Thursday, 29 January 2015

Not a lekker day!

"Lekker" = not exact translation, but "Nice"

This is the standard reply that we have been getting for the past two weeks.

Little Miss has an issue each day. And as soon as there is an "issue", the day is spoilt!

Melancholic personality? Hope not!
(Even writing this makes me feel that putting it out there will label it for her and us.)
But how do you teach a little one not to see the dark in everything? That the glass is half full, and not empty?

Is it possible to teach them to see the bright side, when they are constantly in drama mode and having some sort of crisis which ruins the whole day?

Some of the issues this past week:

- Her best friend did not want to play with her!

- Her best friend was mean to her.

- She had a bee sting in her hand.

- She hurt her toe.

- Mom forgot to put in her homework book. (No, I did not! It was in her bag.)

- I did not put in her dress for after-care and she could not put on her school dress again. Her friends teased her, and ran away. She had to make do with her jersey and stretch pants. (Unfortunately I did! Feeling very bad!)

- The sun did not come out yesterday. It was raining!

- Her friend broke her toy.

- She was tired. (We really stick to the 8 op'clock rule to get her into bed, but she struggles to go to sleep, and can't get up in the mornings.)

- She lost some of her stationary at school.

- She lost her socks / water bottle / clothes at school...

And it does not help to tell her to see things differently... It's not so bad! Never!

I saw this on Kidspot this month, and will definitely try some of these to help brighten her spirits! It seems like good advice!
11 questions that teach kids to be happy

Will let you know...

Related post:

First week of school - still getting into it!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

It seems we are set up for 12 years of Voortrekkers

The *Voortrekkers had their first meeting last Saturday, and we realised that we are Voortrekker parents for at least 12 years more. The eldest had her Voortrekkers which she enjoyed (but not as involved as this), and we have to give Little Miss the same "exposure".

[It feels a bit like going down the rabbit hole...]

But it's not that bad! The enthusiasts are doing great things with the children, and they are having fun, fun, FUN!
(And learning something along the way!)

Little Miss is hooked, especially since they started again this year with water sports!

Last year we went camping with the Voortrekkers (#thingsyoudoforyourchildren).
It seems we are going again this year! (Unfortunately we feel that she is still to young to post on a bus for a whole weekend!)
Happy times! (Not that sarcastic!)

I was glad to learn that they stay in their same teams, and that we don't have to buy a whole new set of t-shirts and bags. We can carry on with what we have!

See you at the Voortrekkers!

*Voortrekkers - Think Girl Guides/Boy Scouts

Related posts:

- Road safety fun

- How to celebrate the start of Spring?

- At the Voortrekker Monument

Monday, 26 January 2015

Final year!

The final year for The Student has arrived!

We dropped her off at university yesterday.

It looks like it is going to be a great year! She finally has a single room with more space in the residence. She is doing a post-graduate in management that seems to be very promising... She has made many friends which makes life a ball on campus...

It's the time of her life!

But it is not only a final year for her, but for me as well!
It has been tough on the budget, and I am looking forward to some sort of respite after this year of paying for the studies.


She has been working at attorney's these holidays, which helps with the pocket money. She even learnt a few lessons about how to be an employee from hell! It has been a good experience!


Best wishes for you, my girl!
I hope you enjoy with all your might, because it will pass in a flash!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Clover Little Big Cook Off launches for a second season, and meeting a Mama Afrika

I was invited to the launch of the new season of Clover Little Big Cook Off at the Longmeadow Piano Lounge and Restaurant at Montecasino Boulevard.

The Clover LBCO was such a huge success last year that they are planning to build on the winning recipe of last year!

Martin Kobald, Coco Reinarhz and Zuraida Jardine
(photo supplied by Clover)
The new season will air from June 2015 and include another 13 main episodes with celebrity chef judges Martin Kobald and Coco Reinarhz and fellow judge and host of the show Zuraida Jardine. The show will be on SABC 3 at 16:30 on a Sunday. Entries for Season 2, as well as daily cash prizes will open on 15 January 2015.

All you have to do to win a daily cash prize of R1000 is to buy two Clover products.

The show features parent and child teams competing a-la Masterchef style. Zuraida Jardine spoke about how valuable the interaction between parents and their children are when participating in a cooking process, and not only on the television show, but at home as well!

It was a lot of fun for some of the children yesterday making cupcakes, and painting their aprons.

Cupcake creations done by the children
Apron painting
Children with their snack creations
Making milkshakes
Milkshake tasting
I was impressed to hear about the Mama Afrika project. Mama Shirley was there with some of her kids and to say thanks for the empowerment the project has given them.

Mama Shirley

Clover has been running the Clover Mama Afrika project for over 10 years. It follows the spirit of Ubuntu – ‘I am who I am because of who we all are’ – and upholds the values of community, growth and mutual support. The ‘Mamas’ make up the heart of the programme and they pass on their learnings to care for the most vulnerable members of society such as orphaned and abused children, those impacted by HIV/Aids and the elderly.
“The Clover Mama Afrika programme teaches the Mamas relevant and useful skills who in turn transfer these skills to fellow community members.” says Sherian King, marketing manager for Dairy at Clover. “As of December 2014 we had 40 Mamas caring for over 15, 500 children collectively and more than 2 500 elderly. It is a remarkable success and one that we are incredibly proud of.”
The Mamas and their families learn about the importance of cooking and making food together in theirdaily activities. Adults and children alike learn about the nutritional values of food while learning to make bread, a staple ingredient in their mealtimes, as well as other great baked goodies. Each Mama learns how to make other nutritional meals to keep her families healthy and happy, with fresh ingredients pulled straight from their food gardens. The self-sustaining Clover Mama Afrikacommunity is taught to grow their own food in their food gardens, as well as other basic life skills including, sewing, quilting, flower arrangement, hairdressing, crocheting, beadwork, art, basic first aid and how to manage finances. All activities bring the community not only intellectual wealth, but also financial as each activity can bring income into the centres.
Clover is also to release the new The Clover Little Big Cook Off Recipe Book, with recipes from Season 1, tips and hints in how to make cooking easier and making the most out of Clover's products. I got one of these! (Very nice and easy recipes !)

Clover Little Bog Cook Off Recipe Cook Book
(photo supplied by Clover)

A Cook with Clover app is also going to be launched very soon:
"It will be an interactive space for consumers to search for new recipes, build shopping lists for desired meals and share favourite recipes with friends and family."

For further information visit

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

First week of school - still getting into it!

First day of school - homework
The first few days of school have passed already. It has been hectic with sorting the after-care, extra-murals, parent meetings and helping with the homework. (And we only have the one child! "Phew!*)

Little Miss has been very tired after each day.

Her first feedback on her first day was that she very surprised that she did not learn to read on the first day!

Little Hoots - First day in Grade 1
Dad had been struggling with her being very clingy in the mornings when he goes to drop her off.
She doesn't want to play with the other friends. Only off course the one friend who does not always reciprocate!
How do you tell/learn a six year old that you can have and play with more than one friend?

We hope it's only because of the new year with new things and that Little Miss will become more relaxed as she gets used to everything.


I had to make an unexpected visit to the dentist yesterday. Little Miss had been complaining about a toothache, but we put it down to all the milk teeth being lost in recent months.

Dr Wayne
It was with a new dentist, but Dr Wayne turned out to be a gem as well. He can speak good Afrikaans! (It was awesome!)

Little Miss cooperated and her tooth was fixed! (The previous time it was a whole hoo-ha! and we had to give her a mild sedative and we had to prepare her before the time...)

I am very proud of her for staying in the chair and sticking it out!


How is the New Year school year treating you?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Most mothers are an inspiration, but some even more so

"Dr" Erika!
I am always inspired by mothers and how they are juggling their lives with kids and work and everything else. It's not easy, and sometimes s*t hits the fan, and we don't always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

15 years back I was going through an awful divorce, being a single mom to a Grade 1 girl and trying to keep everything together during the legal proceedings. At that stage I felt overwhelmed and did not know how we would get unscathed through it all.

But here we are! Happy, fat and going on with our lives with new beginnings and new challenges! And that life seems like just a nightmare that happened to somebody else in a different timeline...

That's why I am sharing the story of Erika who is also a mom who had to go through a difficult custody battle for her children. She exhausted all her funds in the custody battle, and now she is not able to afford the final stretch for her doctoral degree. She has reached out to me on the MomAgain@40 Facebook page.

Erika, hats off to you! I love the fact that you call yourself "Dr Erika" already!
My name is Erika, and I am a mother of two amazing girls, a teacher, a coach, and a doctoral candidate. It is a lot to be at one time, but I love it all.  
In the middle of my degree, I got a divorce. I had to use all of my savings to ensure full custody of my two little girls when their father decided to move out of state. I am thrilled to have my girls with me every day, but lawyers are expensive. The money I planned on using to finish my degree went to the custody hearings.  
 The financial realities of a divorce are harsh. I don’t have the space for one more student loan. I wish it were that easy. Instead, I am stuck right at the place where I can see the finish line. Can you help me get there? 
All I would ask is that you help me finish my last semester, so that I may be an example for my daughters, students, and athletes, and complete the degree I have worked so hard for. This is me, showing these young ladies that nothing should stand in their way.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Grade 1 - Here we come!

Grade One learner

There is big excitement in our midst. Tomorrow is the Big Day! Tomorrow is the start of a new chapter in the life of Little Miss.

She is going to Grade 1.

We walked this morning past her new class. She could already check it out because the after-care at school had organised two days of holiday care at school this week. It was a good idea to get her familiar with the new after-care, before everything is a new blur tomorrow.

Hubby seems to be more apprehensive about this huge stepping stone. He loves her going into the new phase, but also mourns the end of her being a toddler and a preschooler. His little girl is not as little ...

I do not have the same apprehension, because I love each new phase of her. Maybe also because I went through these stages previously, I am not that upset any more...

But The Student told me I would pinch a tear tomorrow. She says: "You always do!" (I won't! I won't!)

As expected, Little Miss got the go-ahead from the occupational therapist as well as the vision therapist. Not that we would have kept her behind, but we feel more at ease that she will cope this year! I am glad that we took her for the sessions!

She is also going to school without any front teeth. She lost two more teeth and the count is now up to six! She is a true "haasbek", an Afrikaans word for all the front teeth missing!

She practised the whole day on Sunday to jump rope, and by yesterday she was jumping ten counts in a row. She could not understand her sore legs, and told me we had to go to the doctor... (Another accomplishment ticked off!)

The whole family is going with her tomorrow for the first day! We can't wait to see her in full school attire! (Expect a photo!)

 The bag, the clothes, the stationary... everything is ready!

You go, Little Miss! We are sharing your excitement!

Picture taken by Dad yesterday at the OT

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Quotes about emotional manipulation

Hero of your own life #quote - Pinterest
I have a friend who seems to be stuck in an emotional manipulative relationship.
She is unhappy, and the relationship is not doing her any good.
She knows it and says she must be going, but she doesn't!

That's all we have been talking about for two years now...

She is worth so much more, but it seems her self-worth has been eroded so much that she can't move!

I so hope she gets herself out of the situation this year!

I though I would collect some quotes and remind her each day how much more her life can be!
(I hope it is not patronising?)

But I feel helpless watching from the sidelines!

Here are some:

- "Stay away from people who make you feel you are hard to love" -

- "You are angry and frustrated when you question your partner about something that's bothering you, because he immediately shifts the focus onto you - it becomes all about your problem with trust or insecurity, while the original question or issue is never addressed." -

- "If you ever found yourself in the wrong story, leave." - Mo Williams (Loubis-and-champagne)

- "I love the person I've become, because I fought to become her." - Pin from Sayings and Quotes / Unhealthy love

- "The only solution to a controlling relationship could be to break the repetitive cycle and end it!" - The Telegraph

Do you have any quotes for me?

Sunday, 4 January 2015


My word of the year!

It is not a itsy bitsy airy feathery thing...

Dream HIGH
Dream FAR

2015 is going to be HUGE!


Our dreams are keeping us on course!

May all your dreams for 2015 come true as well!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Catch-22 of a student loan

The Student and I was at the bank this week to try to get a student loan...

What a joke! I could have said "process", but it really feels like baring your underpants, and then after the scrutiny you are left without that same said underpants!

It takes ages for the "process" to complete...
And then you don't have a guarantee they are going to approve the loan.

There were two bank employees going through all our documents, and we still did not have the "right" documents! All the university documents should have a date stamp of 2015, although The Student has a letter of approval for her post-graduate diploma. Apparently we also lacked some more documents from the university, which she would not be able to get at this time in the year...

The bank wants proof of registration from the university! Which we don't have!
(That's what we are trying to get at the bank: Registration fees!)
They will only pay the student loan as soon as the registration is done!

But: The University wants proof of payment of the registration fees!
Or else they wont register her!

A Catch-22!

We gave up on getting a student loan at the bank! It was a very degrading process!
It just does not make sense to try to get a student loan from them.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Save-a-Bundle ideas for the New Year

I am re-posting this blog post to help me get into the saving groove for the New Year!

Written By:  Karen du Toit

Brand: Budget Insurance

We are feeling the pinch even more this year!

I do not think it is only us, as I have heard many expressing the same misgivings about the exorbitant nature of this time of the year. We have to survive the festive season, but also be able to cope in the New Year which has its own demands.

  • Hubby is still busy getting his business off the ground. 
  • The Student is going to do a post-graduate diploma next year, and we do not have the luxury of a bursary any more next year! 
  • Little Miss wants to start with music lessons on top of her other extra-murals. 
  • We are planning a trip to visit my brother in America in the middle of 2015! We have to start “saving”! My sister believes you just put down the date and make it happen. We have! (Take note, Universe!)

I have compiled a list of things we can do to save-a-bundle this period, but also try to help us get into the groove of the New Year and help us to stick to our New Year resolutions.

13 Save-a-Bundle tips:

    1. Cancel the gym contract

I am very sad about this one, but each month we try our utmost to get to the gym regularly, but each night there is a different reason (excuse). We are weak!

But it is costing us mega bucks when we do not go enough!

We are also cancelling the swimming lessons for Little Miss. We wanted her to be able to swim, and that she can do by now. We carried on with it because she enjoyed it so much, but luckily we could also convince her that she is now going to swim in a cold water pool which is not going to be as pleasant any more. (It worked!)

From now on we will walk/run and make an effort to go to a park/swimming pool! I have also activated my Fitbit again. (I had to replace the battery.) It helps in getting me moving.

     2. Cancel the paid television subscriptions, or scale down the bouquet

I do not have such an issue with this one, as I have been telling Hubby that I do not think it is worth it! We do not have the time to watch everything, but Hubby has always been saying that he still wants to watch that rugby match. (He longs for a time when he was single and could spend a whole weekend parked in front of the TV. Not happening!) It mostly never materialises because something usually happens at exactly the same time the rugby match is on.

       3. Only go to the shops once a week

I have been good with this one already. It helps because when I go to the shops I usually see something that I did not know before the time that I “needed”.

     4. Make our lunches at home

This is a no-brainer, but I tend to make Little Miss an elaborate lunch-box, but do not fix us something. Then we have to buy something at the canteen, or in the shops that is much more expensive. Planning here is the key!

     5. Restaurants

Painful! But we have to scale down considerably! We have to keep it to once-a-month, and not once-a-week.

We also have to have a plan in place for when the load shedding kicks in (it seems it is happening more regularly). We must have something in the “cupboard” and fridge to take out. We have a gas braai (barbecue), and Hubby usually doesn’t need a reason to braai.

     6. Activate all the reward systems possible

Banks and shops give rewards for shopping with them. One of my favourites is Dischem. We also get a R50 discount from Spur every so often. (Of course, from now, we are going to get it less!)

I also love the Edgars’ reward system.

I need to activate a couple of Spar cards, as well as activate my UCounts rewards.

Please let me know of other reward systems?

     7. Insurance

Check all our short term insurance again.

Budget Insurance has online insurance quotes with saving specials which are worth checking out!

     8. Scale down on coffee

I don’t have to go and buy coffee, but make do with the Ricoffy in the office. I have become better at not going to the canteen for my coffee fix, but I need to stop this practice to save a considerable amount in a month!

     9. Vacations/Stay-cations

Stay at the holiday destination (or home) and do not drive around as much. Explore all the opportunities in your immediate location. I will let you know how this one worked out. (*Crying!*)

   10. Cleaning up my budget from supporting representatives from selling products from brochures

It is usually much more expensive as you pay a commission fee on each product as well. From now on I will go and buy in the shops. (Sorry!)

   11. Free Christmas printables 

I saw this on Kidspot, and will definitely do it this year!

The following is available:

  • Christmas templates
  • Christmas gift list printable
  • Printable Christmas budget planner
  • Printable Christmas food shopping list
  • Printable Christmas tags
  • Free printable Christmas tags
  • Printable Christmas colouring in tags
  • Printable Christmas swing tags

   12. Limit the Christmas gifts budget

Only one toy/gift for the children, limited to a certain amount. The children don’t even question this. Hubby and I have also put a limit on our gifts to each other.

   13. Sign up for free edX or MOOC courses

I want to continue with some studies, but while I am not able to afford post-graduate studies or completing that Masters, I can sign up for free courses to keep me in the loop in my career and professional development.


This is my list for now. I am making it a work in progress.

Please let me know of other good save-a-bundle ideas?

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