Monday, 30 September 2013

Mondays come to soon


and blah-blah...

The normal feelings for a Monday, after a great weekend.
Yawn!
It is the time of the year when everything feels blah-blah...

Lots of things to do, and to get done!

We are beginning to look forward to the end of the year, but it still too far away. The Christmas decorations in the shops does not help! I find it disconcerting, and think they are spoiling the fun! By the time Christmas does come around, I am going to wring its neck!

This photo was taken on the road this morning. The clouds were ominous, and there was an icy wind blowing.
We were hoping for some rain, which did not come...

But I got the Monday dusted, and the week does not seem so bad anymore!

It is back to school tomorrow, and the normal traffic chaos will be back.


It seems the empty road this morning was not such a bad start to the Monday!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

At the Festival with a Little One - #Aardklop

Going to a festival with a Little One is a total different ball-game!

We went only for a day; on Saturday. The Potchefstroom Clover Aardklop festival, with mostly Afrikaans cultural shows, music and theater shows, was on for the past week. The Student was working at the festival for the whole week, and we missed her! It was great to see her for half an hour in-between her work schedule.

We were a bit lot disgusted that we had to pay such a huge amount to get into the festival area. The previous years there were no fees involved. You had access to everything. Which meant that we did not go there at all! And I was salivating for the obligatory fish and sweet potato tent...

But there were still lots to do in Potchefstroom!

We spend some time at the swings. (As you do!)


The venue for the show had lots to keep the children busy.


We watched a show about fairies, and got the photo next to her favourite fairy in the play.
Little Missy loved it!

Droombos se nuwe prinsessie
(Dream forest's new princess)
After the play we spent some time at the River Cafe.

The view from River Cafe
Great food, although they only have a small kitchen,
and you have to wait a bit longer

We will come back to this place. It was a great way to end the day in Potch!

And then it was back on the road before it was too dark...


A total different way to spend at an Art Festival, but we wouldn't want it any other way!


How was you weekend?


Monday, 23 September 2013

Choosing iPads for your school - Fraser Speirs

Fraser Speirs with Michelle Lissoos

I am passionate about iPads in schools. Especially since I have seen what children are able to do with the iPad, and the yearly iPad in Education Awards which are totally awesome!

(I do not get an iPad for saying this!
I just love LOVE my own iPad2, wishing I have the most recent one! - Hint-hint, Universe!)

 I really hope my child's school will incorporate it in their learning programme. Apparently they have a three year plan in place! I have been one of the parents asking, again and again!

Fraser Speirs toured South Africa recently, made possible through the iStore. His claim to fame is that he is involved with the first school in the world that incorporated iPads 1:1 in their school. He has a background in software development and systems administration, and has been involved daily in the classroom.

I attended a session as part of a roadshow at Kingsmead School on 12 September, where Michelle Lissoos, Head of Think Ahead, introduced him. They provide the iPad solutions to schools, from pre-primary to higher education. They have flexible iPad solutions available, which addresses budget vs vision issues. A mobile lab is one way of introducing iPads to a school learning environment.

ZA Books is the text book store for iPad. It is not only about text books, but a sure way to start on the iPad route in a school.

Education app guides are available for primary and secondary education. Schools also starts with working with a core set of apps, which helps a lot with implementation.

They have made a 12 months interest free finance plan available to schools for buying iPads, and there are different purchase plans to match schools financials.

Fraser Speirs about their 1:1 implementation at Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, Scotland:

 "Technology must always be subservient to goal of education to be effective!"

- Internet research is available in class to everybody.
- Everyone challenged on a level that suits them.
- 100% more engagement in the class.
- Some statistics:
       - 50,000,000,000 connected devices by 2025
       - 7 connected devices per person on planet
       - The world is already 1:1
- They spent 11 years to get their teachers to use technology.
- iPads with 10 hour battery, 9.7" screen, 1.5 pounds changed the scenery.
- They have found the "sweet spot" in usability, where they have adaptability to most tasks - Tasks of medium to moderate complexity.
- Bringing your own device is not a good idea, with the following issues:
       - big players are going vertical in mobile
       - "Equally bad everywhere" problem
       - "School uniform" problem - devices should be all the same.
- They are hiding the integration cost in cost of staff effort.
- The Web is Not Enough! any more.
- Technology is as accessible as paper.
- Different stages for different individuals / learners.
- Not an ICT project, but about improving education! They are even going into the gym.
- The teacher training programme starts with:

      "It's essential that the teachers live with the iPad" 

- The way of using it in the classroom: Research, synthesize and give back to teacher with the use of apps.
- They have a remedial for children coming from other schools in place.
- The stats show consistent better results!
"Students in iPad classes outperformed every other student!"
- They have put their curriculum on iTunesU. Found it to be very useful!
- During exams they deliberately use iPads less to put in exercises where students have to write for longer periods of times.
- They use Showbie for assessments which can be annotated by the teacher.
- Google Drive also very effective.
- Student teachers are not getting technology teaching > only 1 day in training > major issue ( in Scotland).
- 2% damage and failure over a year > 7 were damaged or failed. 0% stolen and 0% lost! (where Android devices have a 40% failure rate!)
- The right case to protect corners and closes cover of screen. (Important!)
- Ownership > school owns the entire set with a lease for 3 years. It stays with the kid, but if kid leaves, it stays behind.
- Everything begins with the leaders in the school! The head teacher and deputies should be there when introducing and starting an iPad programme.
- Some apps that are great to use: Showbie, Explain everything - whiteboard, Book creator, Adobe Reader, PDF creator
- How to get parents on board? Built cost of deployment in school fees. Parent information evenings, and explaining the educational validity. Today a whole lot more of information to convince parents. University if Holland did a very favourable research study.
- Wi-fi issues and density of use can crop up > performance issues > the solution is to have enough base stations.

It is very exciting times!

Friday, 20 September 2013

The winner of the Freshline voucher

The winner of the Freshline voucher is...

Freshline

Draw via Random.org:
The winner

Congrats to Adele!

Please send me your email address!
Happy shopping!

Monday, 16 September 2013

A Saturday night at Chicago's Piano Bar

                                   

We were on our way to get a pizza, when I thought about this place! We had been driving past it for a couple of months!
The Chicago's Piano Bar is on Beyers' Naude Drive, and it turned out to be a huge surprise.

"Walk into the 1920's with a cigar and drink in hand, stop by a card table and try your beginners luck, dress up, dress down and get ready for Jozi's biggest jol! 
Ladies: flapper dresses - sparkly outfits - feather headbands= free champagne!Men: moustaches - bowler hats - suspenders bow ties= free champagne!"



Little Missy always wants to watch musicians, especially since she has seen us going to "functions" (what we call it) which involves musicians. She has been nagging me that she wants to go with us.

We were there at six on Saturday night, when it still looked quiet, with only a few customers around. But by eight the place was buzzing!                                
                                          

She looked like this until she got her food! 
We had the best seafood, and Missy did a few steps under the disco lights!

We had to go at eight! But this seems to be a great place to chill, to listen to music and to meet your friends!

I definitely think we will be back, even especially with Little Missy in tow! 


Friday, 13 September 2013

A Freshline voucher up for grabs

I have noticed Freshline products before in Spar, but I was not aware of how many products there are or what it is about.

This is what they have to say about their Freshline range:
"All Freshline products can be traced from soil to store, ensuring you cook and serve with confidence!
This peace of mind promise is backed by our commitment to sustainable farming practices and the fact that all our suppliers are audited in accordance with international food safety standards.
Food quality, traceability and safety are our highest priority!"
The fact that they are "committed to green farming practices", makes it an easy choice for me!

Disclosure: I got a R 200.00 gift voucher to try the Freshline products that are available in Spar.

The basket with Freshline goodies, which I spent on vegetables and fruit

Gooseberries, an imported product which I could not resist

The blueberries are imported as well
(Both berries are great in lunch boxes)
Freshness

The best, the good people of Freshline have supplied me with a R 300.00 gift voucher that I can give away on this blog!

To win, please comment below and tell me just one fresh vegetable or fruit that you love to put in your little one's lunch box!
It is always a head-scratch to find something that you know is healthy, but will also appeal to the changing taste buds of our little ones.

I will do the draw next Friday, the 20th September, at 9 am.

(Unfortunately only for people in South Africa.)


Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Vanish that spot - without having to use elbow grease

I am not known or trying to be known for my domestic prowess.

I do not have cleaning powers, knowledge or insight in getting rid of spots. And I am not interested! At all!!

My mother's technique of dealing with spots used to be the use of "elbow grease", as she used to call it. It is a very good technique! If you have time and patience and love standing and rubbing spots on clothes, it is the perfect way to rise to domestic bliss!

My best way of dealing with spots have been to ignore it, getting rid of the clothes, or to replace it!

The Vanish people send me two products to test. I got the pink and the white powder, where the white is for that extra whites!

I have been waiting for the perfect spot to test it on.


The fairy dress got a good initiation last week at pre-primary where it was worn for the whole day. It does not show that well on the photos, but it was not as white any more.

I soaked it! And I walked away! (Which means I could leave it! No rubbing or scrubbing, or wasting my time!)

After an hour when I went to check, I could not see any more spots.


The dress is saved for another Spring Day this year! Even the wings were white again!


Vanish has a whole section dedicated to different soak solutions for different stains: Vanish stain removal.

I think this is a great product to have in the cupboard.

Why would you want to waste time on elbow greasing?

And we get to wear the clothes again!

Monday, 9 September 2013

How do you know you have a little girl in the house?


Sometimes they are tomboys, and sometimes they are all girly girl and sweet and pink and princesses and fairies! 
I don't prefer the one over the other, and I think that all girls should be allowed to be their own self!

We did not press the girl stuff on our Little Missy, but she chooses the dolls and the make-up and the dresses above the cars and the swords and the dinosaurs.

I was thinking how much it has made an impact on us. The fact that we have a little GIRL in our house...


How do you know you have a little girl in your house?

- She always has a bit of make-up on her face, not always on the correct place, but it is there!

- I never have a lipstick that works in my handbag. It is only the broken ones that's was swapped for better ones.

- The older sister and I always have to sit down for a make-over and a hairdo.

- The older sister and I have instructed each other and the male in the house to tell us when we leave the house. To make sure that we do not have said make-up and hairdos when going out of the house.

- I have chipped yellow and blue nail polish on my nails. Today!

- I have blue and yellow nail polish on my jacket in the wash. (Maybe I should just transfer it to the dustbin?)

- I have to constantly buy hair accessories because it also disappears like socks. She likes to have free-flowing hair, and we are always trying to get it out of her face... (A losing battle!)

- She wears heels (although not very high) for a whole day! Without complaining! (Thankfully not every day!)

- She has only one standard answer when asked about what she wants to wear: A dress!


Interesting times! 

Now if I can only secure one lipstick for my handbag! That would be great!

We have bought her a few cheep lipsticks and an eye-shadow! I hope (cross-my fingers) that her own make-up will do the trick!


Friday, 6 September 2013

The winner of the Iron Man 3 DVD #CheckersIronMan

The winner of the Iron Man DVD....

There were only 3 entries. Lucky? Unlucky?

 

Via Random.org:

List Randomizer

Mauruschka, please send me your email so that I can get your prize to you!

 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Having fun with an iPhone and a MINI Paceman in Johannesburg #iPhoneographySA #iStoreSA

I had so much fun today. I got to take photos with an iPhone for an iPhoneography photo walk in Johannesburg, as well as being driven around in a Mini Cooper S Paceman.

The iPhone was on loan, and I am totally i-jealous after I saw how easy it was to take very nice photos with it.

The igers and iphoneographers have been doing it for about three years, and the big hype is taking part in the competition which launched today - the excitement of the yearly iPhoneography exhibition. Anybody with an iPhone can submit their photos to be entered in the competition.

Here are some of my photos taken on the iPhone. 

We went to Zoo Lake and the Military Museum in Johannesburg. 

With the two Techie Geeks that had a lot of tips up their sleeves:
 Jessica Meyer and Gina Jacobson
Searching for the perfect shot

Zoo Lake cat

Praying

The Mini was tested with a big wooden elephant bought by Gina
(It passed the test!)
The Military Museum

Sandton rising!
Apparently there are more photos being taken and uploaded on an iPhone than any other phone.
I can see why!


This is what I want for Christmas! An iPhone!
And a Mini Cooper S Paceman won't be bad as well!


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Iron Man 3 at Checkers and a DVD giveaway #CheckersIronMan

I haven't yet seen the most recent Iron Man, but I have heard only good reviews! It was on our movie list, but we missed it! (As you tend to do when you have a little one...)
Luckily it is not a problem...

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD at Checkers.


Checkers customers have the opportunity to win a life size Iron Man figurine worth R45000 plus many other prizes from 26 August  - 30 September as part of an in store competition.
All they have to do is buy Iron Man 3 on DVD or Blu-ray™at Checkers and Checkers Hyper and enter with their till slip.

Prizes:

- 1st Prize – Life-sized Iron Man 3 Statue – value R45,000


- 2nd Prize – Hot Toys Iron Man 3 Mark 42 Collectible Figure – value R2,500


- 3rd Prize – Marvel Select War Machine + Marvel Select Mark 42 Figurines – value R500



There is an Iron Man 3 DVD up for grabs (South Africa only).

A reminder that the age restriction is PG 13.
I will do the lucky draw on Friday 6 September!

Please answer the following question in your comment below to stand a chance to win:

Do you let your children watch movies that has an age restriction not suited to them?
(No judgement!)


(Disclosure: I was sent the DVD to pass it on again to the lucky winner!)


Monday, 2 September 2013

Spring, you are here!


Little Missy was extremely excited to hear that it is Spring, and couldn't wait to put on her new fairy dress (thanks to the sister's boyfriend and China Mall) today. She is wearing her princess shoes with that, and a vest underneath.
It was a chilly weekend and chilly start to the week today.
(Let's hope it is the last of the cold weather!)
She didn't want to pose for a photo, because she was still asleep this morning at six...

We were giggling this morning about the wings which got stuck onto everything.
I am not sure the dress is going to stay white, but that is a problem for later...

We let her wear what she wants, and let her experience the consequences of her clothing choices. She does not believe us when we tell her it is a cold day, or that the clothes are impractical!
Which usually turns into a massive tantrum if we deny her!
(There is a back-up set of clothes in her school bag.)

It is much less stressful for all!
She quickly tells us that she is cold when we go outside!

-----

We had a very relaxing weekend, with a Student that kept us busy with errands. But it was very nice to have her home! It is a busy time of the year coming up, and we won't be seeing much of her for a bit!
We miss her!


How was your Spring weekend?