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  • Writer's pictureJuliana Vasconselos

Welcome to my new blog

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Hi everyone and welcome to my new journey. I have been wanting to do something new for a while and with a push from a really good friend, I am happy to have finally made this come true.

I would like to introduce you to who I am, where I come from and a little bit about my life.

I'm a Brazilian living in South Africa. My first time in Cape Town was in August 2007 where I stayed until April 2008. I came back in November 2008 and that's when I met my husband Janez. My whole family is in Brasil and some of them have never even left the country.

I grew up in Recife, which is on the east cost of Brasil. It's really beautiful and I spent many of my free weekends and school holidays on the beach. I have a pretty big family combined with my mother and father. My parents got divorced when I was about 10 years old and I was raised mostly by my other family members. It's quite normal in Brazilian families for children to be raised by their grandparents or aunts, which was my case too. I have one sister, whom I am very close to, and one brother. Growing up I spent a lot of time cooking with my grandmothers and helping my family.

My teenage years were rather difficult as I was living with my aunt and my cousin and I didn't have a lot of parental guidance. I had no idea what I wanted to study and I was just totally lost until I was 17 years old and someone who owned a modelling agency approached me. She was young and an amazing soul, and we are still friends to this day. She introduced me to the modelling world which I had never even dreamed of.

I was super excited about the modelling industry, but I could not afford to get a portfolio done in the beginning. I went to all the workshops on weekends to learn more about the industry and how to walk like a model. I was super shy and had no confidence in myself, and it took me a while to get comfortable. Shortly after I started, I went to a casting with a NYC modelling agency and I was selected to go. I was so blown away with the idea but I could not speak any English and most importantly, I was a minor and my father would never authorise me to go.

That was early 2005 and I was only turning 18 in December, so I had a long wait. I tried to speed up finishing my high school and that same year another opportunity came along to go to Thailand. I thought this would be better, seeing that I had never modelled before and could not speak English.

On my birthday, 09 December 2005, I went to the airport, which was very far from where I lived, to take my passport.

23 January 2006 I left home to go on the most incredible journey. I travelled to Thailand, China, Korea, Singapore, Malasia, Japan and the Philippines. This trip took about a year and four months.

I went back home for a break with the intention to study but once I arrived back, I just wanted to travel some more. So I went to Milan, Israel and then to Cape Town in South Africa, which was the most life changing shift of my life.

I started working more than I ever worked in Cape Town, which was the perfect reason for me to stay. I left Cape town after 8 months and went to Paris, which was a disaster. I gained so much weight for the first time during my travels, and I just wanted to go home and have a break from everything. The time I spent at home was much-needed for me and when I went back to Cape Town in 2008 I was much better.

I have an amazing friend called Rafaela, whom I travelled with a lot throughout Asia. We met up back in Cape Town that summer. She played such a big role in my life and was truly a wonderful friend. In fact, I was lucky to meet incredible friends that were like a family to me. Rafa and I were together the night Janez and I went out on our first date, and the rest is history. Janez and I got engaged in December 2011.

South Africa became home away from home and I completely based myself there. I would still travel to work but would come back home afterwards. I knew that if I wanted to stay there, I would need to do something more sustainable, so I decided to study marketing. I loved it, but I could barely write in English as I had self-taught myself the language.

While I was studying, one of my best friends Jackie, proposed that I open a store in Cape Town, selling imported Brazilian swimwear and gym wear as she always loved everything I wore from there. I am rather spontaneous and tend not to overthink things too much, and I saw a great opportunity to learn and explore something new.

Together, we started "Periquita" in August 2012. Shortly after the business opened, Janez and I broke up, which was a really difficult time in my life, as I had just started a business and didn't know what to do. Thankfully I had amazing support in Cape Town from my friends Isabela and Jackie to help me get through.

I went to London for modelling work and I also have a great group of friends there for support. I wasn't quite myself yet, but I felt I needed to get out of South Africa. I met a wonderful group of people who played a big role in my life. It was a time in my life where I learnt and grew a lot as an individual.

In August 2013, I went back to South Africa with the intention to collect my stuff and move back to the UK, but things went differently and Janez and I got back together. A few months later, we were pregnant and everything changed again. I had really missed that stability of having a family and mostly Matisse, who is my step son.

My son Vincent was born in August 2013. During this time, Janez was living in Johannesburg starting a new business. I spent most of my pregnancy alone and the first few months after Vincent's arrival. After he was born, I felt totally clueless with what to do with a baby. My best friend Isabela came to help me for two weeks and together we both tried to figure out how to get the baby to stop crying. But this is a story that I will write about another time...

Vincent was 9 months old when we moved to Johannesburg to stay close to daddy. When he turned one year old, we travelled to Bali for our friend's wedding and boom! - Vincent decided he wants a friend.

Vincent, Noah and Matisse have been my best gifts in life. They truly make me the happiest woman and give me a meaningful life. It is a really hard job being a mother and a privilege to be able to raise them. I always dreamed of having a family and giving my kids all the love I was never given from my parents. When I was young all I thought about was having a beautiful, tight family who traveled and spent quality time together outdoors in nature. I have my faults that I have to work on, just like everyone else, but I'm learning every day with these little monsters of mine.

I have a mad love for working out and yoga, perhaps that's how I manage to keep in shape most of the time. But as much as I love exercising, I also love FOOD. I'm such a big foodie, which is probably why I love cooking so much.

I would love to share some easy recipes that is great for the whole family, as well as some fitness, beauty and travel tips. I'm not here to be better than anyone else, I will do my best to be myself to you all :)

Juliana Vasconcelos

Me and Mitch in Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town 2009. Mitch is my beloved dog and we both love to watch sunsets on the beach.

#juliana #motherhood #momblog #mummyblogger #livingabroad #brasilianblogger #livinginsouthfrica

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