Thursday, 14 September 2017

The signs are here: Little Miss is a Tween

Miss, Tween, Tweener
Tweener Miss
Little Miss has grown so much this year. She has been slaying the dragons, beginning in a new school. It was an issue to make new friends, but she finally has a very special friend. It's strange how they all want that special BFF!


We are seeing signs of her becoming more independent, and the Tween that is emerging. And Mom and Dad winces because the precious years of baby and toddler is long forgotten! (Too soon, I tell you *sic*)

Signs of the preadolescence, the Tween

Not scientific, but from a mom's perspective. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Inspiring Melanie Jacobs leaving footprints

Footprints of Faith
Melanie Jacobs

I have met a most inspiring person through my future son-in-law. She's his sister, and she has a great story to tell. After reading her story, you will understand why footprints are such an important part of her message! Although she has physical limitations, she is a model, motivational speaker as well as a role-model to girls!

Questions to an inspiring woman

Overcoming obstacles against all odds

Monday, 11 September 2017

Beneath African Skies at The Peoples Theatre - take the whole family!

Beneath African Skies - Photo op

Jill Gerard and Keith Smith are responsible again for a wonderful engaging and entertaining production at the Peoples Theatre!

We were invited to opening night on Friday, and Little Miss had a ball! The African stories are so much fun, especially when the actors ask for willing participants! All the children wants to join in! We love the music which is all well-known to the big ones and the little ones!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Disney Life & Style Exhibition

#DisneyAfrica
Disney 2017 Showcase
There is nothing as exciting as the annual Disney Showcase. There is so much we can look forward to in the coming year from Disney. This year Disney Africa paired it with a Life and Style exhibition, featuring the best international fashion and living collaborations and inspirations!

I am sharing some of the photos from the event at the inspirational The Tin Factory venue on Thursday!

I want it all, of course!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Meh... It's Spring again! Things that are going to change...

Spring
Spring is in the streets 
The title is one about dichotomy! Yay! It's Spring!
Meh... It's Spring again and nothing has changed!

As excited as one can be about Spring! It is time for regeneration and spring-cleaning! I love Spring AND Summer! It also seems that we have jumped straight into summer as the temperatures are high already!

We can't complain!

BUT...

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Tomato and Baby Marrow Tian - All Gold recipe

Baby marrows with All Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes
I am always in search of a twist on a vegetarian dish. We bought a box full of extra large baby marrows the previous week, and it had to eaten before it got wasted! I found this on the All Gold website. I adjusted it according to our own ingredients.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My Little Pony on a Friendship Tour of South Africa

My Little Pony Friendship Tour SA
Applejack - My Little Pony

I don't think we can ever get enough of My Little Pony. They are all about magic and friendship! But most of all, they are just cute!

I love the fact that all of them represent an element of harmony that helps share important friendship values. Knowing girls and the importance they place on their friends, it is values that needs to be echoed to them!

Monday, 28 August 2017

POWA - there's an app for helping you get out of a dangerous situation

app, People Opposing Women Abuse
POWA GBV app
There is nothing as frustrating than knowing about a person who is stuck in an abusive relationship, and can't seem to make the decision to quit. There is nothing that friends and family can do before she calls on them to help her. Most of the time the reasons why you should not stay is more, but it is very difficult to see it in that situation! We also do not protect our children by staying, but by moving out!

Shaney at You baby and I wrote such a powerful story about women abuse and how terrible afraid they are for a woman in their family. They can't do anything because she is staying! I also know of a women who feels she is stuck, but her children and friends are standing ready to help her.

Just ask!

Please!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Women in Business - Jessi Low from Boss Babes

Women in Business
Jessi Low  from Boss Babes International
Women in Business - Empowering stories for Women's Month! Who does not love hearing about a successful woman? One of the guest speakers at the Nu Skin conference a while ago is the lovely Jessi Low. She is one of the Nu Skin success stories who has expanded her business internationally in a very short period of time. She and her partner are building their businesses on network marketing and the wonderful term "attractive marketing".  Just looking at her Facebook and Instagram feeds proofs the point!

I was sitting at the same table as Jessi at the Nu Skin Conference and asked her to answer some questions.

Questions to a Female Entrepreneur: Jessi Low

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

It's all Heroes at Prima Toys for Boys this season!

#primatoptoys
Prima Toys for Boys #primatoptoys

The toys for boys are very exciting this year! Prima Toys has some cool superheroes to check out!
I have already done a blog post about Prima Top Toys for Girls this season, and these are some of the most RAD toys for boys! I am sure the girls will also like to play with some, such as the Omnitrix device. See below!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Women in Business - Empowering stories for Women's Month

Mandy Blignaut

The Financial Mail Private Lounge at Emperor's Palace, in association with Nu Skin, had a conference two weeks back in celebration of Women's Month. The theme was Women in Business. It was extremely inspiring to hear the success stories of female entrepreneurs. I was sitting with so many vivacious inspiring ladies who are doing it for themselves!

There is no reason why you can't become your own boss!
There is no reason you can't have the lifestyle you desire! (You see! The talk rubbed off on me! ;-) )

Check out Nu Skin if you want to do it for yourself, if you have lost your job, or if you want a more flexible arrangement when you have kids. It seems it is possible to get it all! Nu Skin is an international company who provides all the backup for entrepreneurs. It does not seem like it's easy, but it is definitely possible!


I met Mandy Blignaut and asked her to answer a few of my questions. She has a Facebook Group The Velvet Vault where she drives her business from.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Engagement celebrations!

Happy couple at Drie Berge 

I have been so excited on my Eldest behalf for a few weeks now. The boyfriend asked the parents a couple of weeks back, and we could not say anything to her!

How sweet that the boyfriend made an appointment with us when she was not around? He planned the whole engagement affair, and we as her parents were asked to join afterwards with a braai (barbecue) celebrating the good news!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Dandy Dogs to the rescue

Banji
Our old Yorkie is living on borrowed time. He is 15 or 16 years, going on 105! He looks as cute as ever, but picking him up you can feel all the growths and moles on his body. We tried giving him away for free, but he is still with us!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

It's a Cake Party with Play-Doh Kitchen Creation range

clay, creative
Play-Doh Kitchen Creation - Cake Party #PlayDohImagination
Hasbro has come up with another great range of creative play! Who would have thought that these little cans of Play-Doh clay can be used for so many things? The Kitchen Creation range is inspiring mini-chefs all over!

Little Miss was extremely excited when she got her box "Cake Party" last night. For once there was no whining (talking about the parents) and the homework was done in a flash! Before she started to play...

The new Kitchen Creation range consists of 13 playsets, such as Play-Doh Sizzlin’ Stovetop, Play-Doh Magical Oven, Play-Doh Frost ‘n Fun Cakes and Play-Doh Ice Cream Treats. 

Play-Doh Cake Party time is all about making imaginative cakes to celebrate any occasion, using stories, decorative cutters and tools to make the most fabulous cake creations. Little Miss loves helping out in the kitchen and this is a perfect way for her to sharpen her decorative skills. (Without leaving the kitchen in a mess! WIN-WIN)

Friday, 4 August 2017

Easy Black Bean Vegetarian Burger


It is Friday, and Friday is braai day with hamburgers! (Braai = barbecue in South Africa)
In my vegetarian adventures I have tried all the packet versions of vegetarian hamburger patties out there. Not only does it taste like carton, but my dietitian says they are very unhealthy and very fatty! It is not good for any diet!
I also get tired of mushrooms and eggplants as the go-to meal replacements for meat.

Google is such a great recipe book. Nowadays you list the ingredients that you have, and Voila! You've got tons of suggestions. The All Recipes Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers jumped out when I did a search for black bean burgers, and here is my take on it!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Breastfeeding until five and a half years. It's possible!

#TBT - Breastfeeding in public 
This is World Breastfeeding Week! I am still an advocate for breastfeeding as long as possible! I do believe that the nutrients our babies get are the best from breast milk that are automatically adapted to suit their age, health and even gender!

I never wrote the post about the end of our breastfeeding journey. It must be that it was such a gradual process of weaning that one day I just realized that she did not ask for it anymore. It was also sad and the end of our special bonding time! But we had five and half years, which made me forty-six-years (46) of age when we stopped. (I am putting up the numbers to see that it is possible! Older moms can do it as well!)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Celebrate Women - Young cancer survivor Jenna Skews

Twinsaver Celebrate Women in August - Jenna Skews
Twinsaver honours special Women in August with a special edition pack supporting breast cancer survivors by donating a portion of the 9-pack to charity.

The story of  one of the young survivors, Jenna Skews, hits very close to home. Our Eldest also had to deal with finding a lump in her breast. It was a big shock, as we realized that 18 year olds can get breast cancer! The first diagnoses was that is was non-malignant, and that we should not even worry. Luckily we got a second opinion, and now we know that she cannot ignore it, and needs to check it regularly. So far the fibroadenoma has not increased in size, and the hope is that it will disappear after a few years. But we cannot ignore it! It needs to be checked!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Prima Top Toys for Girls this season

Chiquita Patrizi -

Parents are allowed to get excited about toys! Yes? I was so inspired at the Prima Toys media launch last week. That's where Warren Murray spoke about dads being equal partners. The new toys that are coming to South Africa are epic!

Play is a very important part of our children's lives! Play shape them and give them a safe space to learn about life!


The upcoming blog posts will be divided into girl and boy toys, but there are also toys that both genders will definitely enjoy to play with! Of course I will be starting with toys for girls, as my little girl loves her girl toys. You can say what you want, but she's not really into cars or robots.

Monday, 24 July 2017

A fringe is as good as a holiday!

Can't wait for the haircut! - Maddy Magoo at Kids Emporium, Bedford Square
Little Miss has wanted a fringe for years! I have been reluctant, because I know it's an issue as soon as it starts to hang in the eyes. It also needs to be cut regularly.

Little Miss needed the haircut, and of course the whining about the fringe finally worked! (Yes, I know! *Rubber arm!*)

Little Miss could not stop talking about the haircut and the fringe. She was counting the days until we finally took her for the haircut at Maddy Magoo, Bedford Square. We got a free cut and blow from Kids Emporium at the Bloggers Breakfast. Maddy Magoo has opened the new store  In Bedford square in conjunction with Kids Emporium from July this year. It's in a lovely setting! Mom can browse in the Kids Emporium while the kid is entertained on a tablet/monitor while her hair is being cut! (And dad can go for a cappuccino/beer at a nearby restaurant while watching rugby!) WIN-WIN-WIN!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Dads are equal partners in parenting

#primatoptoys
Warren Murray #equalparenting at Prima Toys 2017 Media Launch
Exhibition Director of MamaMagic Baby Expo, Warren Murray, is all about equal parenting! Dads want to be involved in the whole process of pregnancy, birth and they are 100% involved in the lives of their children. That's true for most men I know. Hubby is an excellent example! Dads are not babysitters, but parents. Full stop!

Warren Murray addressed us yesterday at Prima Toys Top Toys launch of the season. It was a Christmas in July celebration. I am so excited about all the cool toys, but will break it up in a few posts to come.

Warren did not say anything we do not know already, but it was a passionate plea to set the world's record straight, and to get rid of stereotypical notions about the role of dads. Even dictionaries have not been updated yet!

A search on Google reveals the dichotomy between the words "mother" and "father".
Google search 21-7-2017: Mother
Google search 21-7-2017: Father
Dads are involved equally, not only from inception, but throughout their children's lives. Warren and his wife are actively and consciously creating moments as a family! They have found play to be a wonderful catalyst of being present in the lives of their children. Play is in the simplicity of things. It's not about the toys, but about the presence! It's not about the mom or the dad, but the partnership!

Dads are equal partners!

Does your hubby fit the bill?


Prima Toys media launch was so much fun yesterday, but we also got inspiration for the roles we play as parents!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Birthday at Hard Rock Cafe in Johannesburg - Such a treat!


We celebrated The Eldest's birthday two years back at Hard Rock Café in San Antonio. We have never been to Hard Rock Cafe in South Africa, and this year we decided it was time! It's a thing to buy a t-shirt in a Hard Rock Cafes whenever you visit a city worlwide. The Eldest has a nice collection already, and she is planning to get some more... (*Thumbs!*)

We love the vibe and the food! It's an experience. They have a kiddies menu as well.

Sandton Square

The poses!

Happy birthday with a cocktail!

Hard Rock Cafe interior! Such a treat with all the musical legends and paraphernalia

We had the Paul McCartney booth

Paul McCartney signature
And of course, the obligatory selfie with the great man, Madiba, on Sandton Square!

Nelson Mandela statue
Nelson Mandela statue on Sandton Square


Related post: A birthday at Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Smurfs are Live on Stage

#SmurfsLiveSA #PaintThePalaceBlue

We attended opening night of The Smurfs Live on Stage yesterday evening at The Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace. This is an excellent show for the whole family for the holidays! And beyond!

The Smurfs are a treat, and for the parents there is the wonderful evil character of Gargamel! Let me know if you agree? I think he is the best!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Mom and daughter week

Little Miss
Winter holiday picnic
Little Miss has a three week holiday break. It's a very long break for a little girl who still has to go to school. It is Vacation School, but still... It's at school!

Mom guilt took over, and I decided to take a week (this week) with her! The plan is to relax and sleep late. We are doing it!

Things escalate each day, because she gets me to do more than I think we/I should! Yesterday I promised her a picnic, and soon we were buying sushi at Spar and going to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. (I was thinking of having a picnic at home...  Real mom rubber arms, it seems!)

Little Miss packed our picnic basket, and of course I had to carry a heavy basket, instead of the back-bag that I suggested to her. (Why do I do this to myself? Rhetorical question, of course!)

But I was glad we went. It's lovely in the gardens this time of the year. The succulents are in full bloom, the waterfall is full and the eagles are flying overhead.


Sushi picnic - Mom win!

I was also instructed to pack away my cellphone in my bag!
(Mom fail! Sorry, Miss, I still wanted to take the picture.) It is lovely spending time with you, and I want to remember it!


What are you doing these holidays with the little ones?

Thursday, 6 July 2017

To the Eldest


Happy birthday, K! I am so glad that you are enjoying your life, and having the best time!

May your day today be one of celebration! We are stretching it out until the weekend this year!

Thanks so much for all you are teaching us. You are the kindest and most compassionate person I know! You are always helping others! Thanks for the lovely example you are for our youngest!

Your smile and warm greeting to each and every body you meet makes it a pleasure to be around you! Stay as you are!

May this year be the best yet, and may you still go on those travels you were planning!
Boomerang back as much you want! ;-)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

I made cupcakes, but I did not win the Grundig oven #GrundigMomoftheYear

Grundig

The chance to win a Grundig multi-function oven of R8 900.00 does not come around regularly, so I was making cupcakes this past Saturday at the Johannesburg Culinary & Pastry School. The competition was run on my blog at the end of May: Mom of the year? Win a culinary experience and a chance to win a Grundig oven.

The Grundig Mom of the Year event was held at the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School in Johannesburg. Slaying in the kitchen is not one of my favourite pastimes, but for an oven I could break my usual misgivings.

I had such a great time working together with Brent Grung of Born Fabulous who had won the culinary experience through Tums 2 Tots Online. Luckily he's got chef skills, and that's why our cupcakes were perfect! Thanks, Brent!

#GrundigMomoftheYear
Red velvet cupcakes - Jhb Culinary & Pastry School

The saved story of the day (SnapChat @karentoittoit) is uploaded.
I did not win the oven! (*sad face*)



video

Melissa Javan (the winner on this blog, but who could not be there), you missed out big time!


Top photo: I decorated those cupcakes and I am proud of it!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Still not sure what special family activity to do this holiday? Go see The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice!

Disney on Ice
#DisneyonIce
We saw a Disney on Ice two years back, but we are absolutely in awe of the most recent production of The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice! It's better, bigger and more entertaining (for the whole family!) than we remember the previous show we saw!

Little Miss
Little Miss all excited!
Maybe it was because it was the evening just before we left for our adventure to San Antonio. Maybe it was because of our seating. The previous time we had seats high up in the air. This time we were seated to the front and more level with the ice-skating rink. Maybe it is just because it IS BETTER and just so much more entertaining! Most probably! Dad, Little Miss and I had the greatest time on Friday night!

The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice


The extraordinary lineup of Disney stories that come to life in The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice! Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy on a walk down memory lane with Dory, Nemo and Marlin from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as well as Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen. There’s Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and your favourite Disney Princesses plus Buzz and Woody; Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie. Make unforgettable memories as you explore The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice these July school holidays.
All the favourite Disney characters are here, and we love the most favourite snippets from our Disney shows!


If you are still not sure what to do with the kids, this is the show!

The show is still on until 9 July at Ticketpro Dome, before it moves to Durban and from there to Cape Town. It seems the tickets are flying fast on Computicket, and it is better to book sooner than later!


Facebook: Disney on Ice
Twitter:  Showtime Management
YouTube: Disney on Ice
Instagram: Disney on Ice


Disclaimer: We got tickets to the opening night, but I was not paid for this blog post.