The Milk Memoirs

One part chronicle, one part resource of all things breastfeeding and family life…with a good dose of fun,crafts & mommy realness

A beauty scrub up, and a lesson in high lipase levels


Mother of two and owner of Bella Essenza, the demure and lovely Ulandi

The demure and lovely Ulandi

I was on the brink of my return to work from my victorious maternity leave. What is victorious, you ask? Well, no one died whilst in my care, the whole time. The WHOLE time! Not even me. Even though I did look pretty much like death warmed up. Clearly, I was in need of a serious scrub-up. So who’s a girl to call? Ulandi of Bella Essenza, of course!

Aside from my hair that was  salvaged a few weeks ago by another beauty institute that I simply love, I was in pretty shabby state. Between potty training, sleep training, our tot starting creche, along with all the vomit and viruses that go with that, not to mention said tot making the big shift from cot to the big girl bed, all while still recovering from my three month sleep deprivation schpiel. I looked mostly homeless. Like a hobo. With lipstick – sometimes. So maybe it was more hobo-chic. But,whatever you labelled it, I was certainly not ready to bound around the boardroom giving presentations, and do brainstorms up close ‘n personal with my colleagues about the latest software archtecture models…and…and a whole bunch of other stuff I still needed to get my brain wrapped around again. Hells to the no! I was in need of more than a good spit ‘n polish! I needed Bella Essenza.

Previously, Ulandi was the highly successful owner of Urban Spa out in Durbanville. However, enter two kiddies into her picture, and you now have a very entrepeneural momma who started her own successful little home-based spa.

I called her up and she made a plan to fit me in. I rocked up, and as always, Ulandi offered a warm welcome. I was pleasantly suprised by how she still managed to maintain that professional spa-like feel very effectively. The decor is simple, yet chic and relaxed.

Simple and chic decor. Next appointment at Bella Essenza Im totally stealing that couch!

Simple and chic decor. Next appointment at Bella Essenza Im totally stealing that couch!

Roomy space for relaxation bliss - wish I had my pro cam with me, to better capture the soft light and quiet ambience.

Roomy space for relaxation bliss – wish I had my pro cam with me, to better capture the soft light and quiet ambience.

After a minute or so of orientation, I left it in Ulandi’s very capable hands as to what I needed. And, in keeping with Ulandi’s usual style, I was not disappointed!

We started with some waxing, which was an awesome start to me shedding my Yeti-like appearance. (I’d love to meet the mommy of an infant who has time to veet, AND still stimulate baby, make the rest of the household tick on, along with a good dose of family q-time!….Then steal her secret, and slap her silly, as she’s making the rest of us look bad!)

Thereafter, I was treated to a skin rejuvenating facial, which includes many magical things that Ulandi massages into your skin.

Full range of Nimue products

Full range of Nimue products

Keep in mind, Bella Essenza is a Nimue house. I have never used Nimue products before, but I was certainly pleased with the results. Hmmm,I wonder if that galvanizing machine had anything to with it… This was new to me, as it felt like she was placing the handle of an electric toothbrush on me. So, revealing my stupidity, I asked. But as always, she gave a digestable explanation as to how the machine helps the serum to penetrate one’s skin. And with the current arid phase my skin is enjoying thanks to breastfeeding, I was all for more moisture penetration!

I could truly lay back and relax. Enjoying the much needed timeout and skin rejuvenation, in silence – with only the soothing music playing gently in the background. Ahhh, bliss. For anyone really, but certainly appreciated so much more by this momma.

Then to round off the session, Ulandi roused me from half sleep state with really good cuppa chai tea. I sunk into her massive couch, and enjoyed every drop of it. It really did complete the whole experience for me, personally. Ulandi just knows how!

Warning: Bella Essenza's divine chai tea could equal possible relaxation overload

Warning: Bella Essenza’s divine chai tea could equal possible relaxation overload

After she was done with me, I felt all shiny and new. I felt so squeaky clean that Im pretty sure my skin went “ping” as I checked myself out in the mirror. I still, however, wasnt sure I was ready for my maternity leave to come to an end. But I dont think it was something that Ulandi could fix, unfortunately.

bella essensa sub header1

I must share with you though, that aside from Ulandi being my skin’s saviour since 2007, by pure coincidence, Ulandi and I have ended up being pregnant at the same time…both times! So naturally our conversations tend to gravitate towards all things mommy and family related.

We chatted about baby sleep, public breastfeeding, milk storage ,pumping, and the challenges of returning to work, and vasectomies… you know, a typical mommy-conversation.

What I love most about mommy-convo’s is that, aside from always having a good laugh, is that I always learn something new. Like in this instance: Lipase – too much of it in your breastmilk, will make your defrosted milk taste like soap. Oh, boy! More “booby traps” to add to the list of possible breastfeeding challenges!

I was truly intrigued by this high lipase levels matter.  Apparently, its an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats and is found in ALL breastmilk. It is responsible for breaking down the fat to assist baby in digestion, but the sneaky little enzyme does the same in stored breast milk as well. Lipase in expressed breast milk that is stored, can give the milk an unpalatable metallic flavor in just a few hours. And Ulandi happened to be one of those lucky mom’s who had it! We had a good laugh it, because between the two of us it seemed that a lot of these “lucky” incidents occurred.

But I was really interested in this, and decided to do more research into it. I never had it, and thus never heard of it. And I certainly didnt come across it in any of my ante natal classes or breastfeeding research. So whats the chances that a new mom out there knows of it? And if so, how many? My guess is not too many. Perhaps a post dedicated to understanding it, and how to deal with it would be in order. I think so – keep your eyes peeled for that post.

But in the mean time, why not do yourself a favour and book yourself a spot with Bella Essenza. You wont be sorry. Prices are fairly competitive, with my facial clocking in at R 420. And given that Ulandi is a well-seasoned professional, who has worked all over the world for many years before bringing her skills back home for us all to enjoy, its not suprising that the quality of service is top notch. You don’t even need to be a tired mommy to pay her a visit. In fact, you dont need to be a mommy at all. Just go, and thank me later.

Friendly heads up, though: DO NOT, I repeat, do not go sneaking barefoot around the house in hopes of not waking your three month old baba who just fell asleep, right before you leave. You WILL have dirty feet by the time you go, and end up being absolutely mortified when Ulandi offers you a complimentary foot rub. Thankfully she’s ever the professional and deals quite well with any suprises of the sort. And still enables you to relax and enjoy. Which is a good thing, because that foot rub rocked!

She’s pretty busy, so give her a call today, and make sure you book yourself a treat or two. Or three with her. Your skin and body will thank you…and in my case, unbeknownst to my colleagues, they should also thank her too.

What you need to know:

      • Address: 24 Summer Cloud Rd, Durbanville
      • Contact: 082 067 2279
Business card

Business card

Your maternity leave coming to an end? Any prepping tips you’d like to share? Or maybe any stay-at-home moms making a big come-back to the rat race? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to help get your head back into the game. Lord knows I need a little push.


Author: mommabeartrax

Mother of two (and counting), pregnant with the third and have a sweet little angel in heaven. A very happy wifey, blogger, lover of life and laughter, a clumsy swimmer, loyal friend, Im funnier in my head than I actually am, I am a qualified HypnoBirthing Child Birth Educator, I get inexplicably excited about good food, baking & crafts. Although, I think baking and crafts are just trying to fill a void that my Kenpo and gym-rat days used to fill. Lastly, according to the rest of the world, I fix your printer. But I'm actually a Software Architect.

5 thoughts on “A beauty scrub up, and a lesson in high lipase levels

  1. Wow love the pics! Makes me want to go there immediately!!! this is in my ‘hood so super keen to give it a visit. And lipase… U learn something new everyday, can’t wait to hear the DL in your next post mommabearttrax !


  2. Sounds lovely friend. I am in need of a spit and polish myself 🙂


  3. Ahh thank you for the lovely piece!!! It’s always a pleasure to have you around for a treat. Love your blog by the way! Ulandi


  4. Pingback: Valentines day gift ideas for that special pregnant lady in your life | The Milk Memoirs

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