Thursday 29 October 2015

How do you know that you are caught in a domestic violence situation?

The month of October is a month where we reflect on domestic violence.
There are always ALWAYS other options available to us!

You don't have to live like this!!

Sometimes we ignore the signs, and we say to ourselves that it is not so bad!
He's sorry and he won't do it again!
Until the next time when it's worse...

Please! You are worth more than he makes you feel! You are worth getting out of there, and living the life you  planned for yourself!

If you answer YES to any of these questions, you are a domestic violence victim.

* Has your partner or ex-partner ever hit you or physically hurt you?

*Has he ever threatened to hurt you or someone close to you?

*Does your partner ever try to control you by threatening to hurt you or your family?

*Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn't want to? Has he ever refused to practice safe sex?

*Has he/she ever tried to restrict you freedom or keep you from doing things that were important to you? (like going to school, working, seeing your friends or family)

*Does your partner frequently belittle you, insult you, and blame you?

*Do you feel controlled or isolated by your partner?

*Do you ever feel afraid of you partner? Do you feel like you are in danger? Is it safe for you to go home?

*Is your partner jealous? Does he frequently accuse you of in´Čüdelity?

You don't have to stay a victim. You CAN get out of there!!

A long long time ago in a different lifetime I also could say yes to many of these questions!
I got out of there, and I have never looked back!
I now know that I was only one who could change things!
Nobody else could help me before I decided I wanted help!

I found the questions here: Womanspace: Screening Questions
(There are tons of websites on the Internet)

Word cloud: Wordclouds

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Wordless Wednesday #285 - Ballet

One more mouth to feed: a silk worm

Little Miss came home with two silk worms two weeks back. (Aaarghhh!)

As I don't like living things to suffer, we have been picking mulberry leaves in the street.

And guess who make sure that the worm (One died on my watch! I don't know why?) gets fed morning and night! Me! Not Little Miss!

Now I'm in constant lookout for mulberry leaves... I got some of the leaves near the school, but the owners had the branches cut off! I wish I could buy the leaves somewhere?

Another worm mouth to feed!

How long before it changes to a cocoon?

Monday 26 October 2015

Walking for a purpose - iThemba Walkathon

We took part in the yearly iThemba Walkathon yesterday. We first started when we became aware that nobody is exempt from breast cancer, not even an eighteen year old! It has been a yearly fun day for the family. Unfortunately The Student could not join us yesterday, although she was home (because of the lock-downs at universities), but she still has the rubber arm.

Little Miss did very well, and walked most of the way. She had to be bribed with an ice-cream, and "it's just around the corner", but she made it! (I think we struggled more, being as unfit as we are...) But we finished the 8 kilometres!

It took nearly twenty minutes to get past the starting line yesterday morning at eight. It's not strange if you know that there are 25 000 people taking part. But it was NOT fun stuck in that crowd not being able to move for quite a while!

Of course our beautiful city saved the day with it's skyline, it's purple streets and the friendly people!

That was the final walk for the MomAgain@40 clan!
I am glad that iThemba Walkathon gets so much participation, but it seems that the services and structures are struggling with the high numbers!

A photo posted by Karen Du Toit (@karentoittoit) on
Did we miss seeing you there?

Friday 23 October 2015

Apple in Education Awards 2015 - mind-blown!

The yearly Apple in Education Awards was announced on Tuesday night!
As always I walked away with a an inspired feeling of FOMO! I am definitely missing out!
I wish I was in education right now!
I wish I was a student again!

The possibilities! The creativity!

This year there were again entries from Grade R to Grade 12.
70 schools from 9 provinces participated.
1156 projects were received which were judged by local and international judges.

Here is one of the winning entries:
Exploring the Sciences in Everyday Life - Thomas Granig from The Ridge School
"Gravity and beyond"

You can check out the rest of the winners here: Apple in Education competition 2015.

Christine Greig from Parklands College won in the iPhoneography part of the competition with her "Selfiest Self" portrait! Stunning!

Judge Bernard Viljoen (from "I was shot in Joburg") with Christine Greig

Lindsay Durell from Parklands College won the iTeacher award, and it was not difficult to guess, because she was on stage with many of her students!

Lindsay Durell

The following are links to the rest of the entries. If you have time, it is worth looking at all of these! And wondering How The *Genius they did it!

Expression Through The Arts: Gabriella Fedetto from St Stithian's College: Lovely

Bring to Life Your Favourite Historical/Literary Figure: Matthew Thompson from St Andrews: Winston Churchill

- Shape of my world: Luca Genovese from The Ridge School: The Shape of My World

iTunes U in the Classroom: Brett Udal from Hilton College

Well done to all the winners and the teachers who make this happen! You are stars!!

Which one of the projects are the most mind-blown to you?

Tuesday 20 October 2015

A Mom's guide to travel the world with kids - Johannesburg included #Kindle

Around the World with Kids

This very practical guide has been compiled by local moms from  each of the 20 cities.

Guess who contributed to the South African part! This Mom, Karen du Toit!
I have actually forgotten about, but it finally saw the light of day! I was glad to see that the suggestions are still valid, and I have Maropeng included in the list!

The following cities are included: London, Frankfurt, Rome, Zurich, Paris, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Toronto, Mumbai, Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Wellington, Dubai and of course, Johannesburg!

- This is a  very practical travel guide full of doable recommendations and tips from moms living in the cities!
- It is a great way to introduce your kids to the cities
- It includes tourist favourites in the cities included!

The New Trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens! #StarWarsTheForceAwakens

To get us salivating! A new trailer has been released!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is definitely one of the GREAT THINGS to look forward to in December!

Tickets are on sale now!!!

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt.


Star Wars!

Who is NOT looking forward to it?

Monday 19 October 2015

Doc McStuffins expanding her services to pets - Kennels donated to the SPCA in celebration! #disneyafrica

Doc McStuffins, the favourite Toy Doctor on Disney Junior will be expanding her services to pets in the new season starting today on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) at 07:20am (repeats at 09:30, 13:00 and 14:45). The multi-episode story is "Doc McStuffins: Pet Vet."

Cute things to look forward to:
- Two new songs "Get Your Pet to the Vet," as well as "Stuffy's Pet Vlog," will premiere. have a Pet Care checklist designed to help kids nurture and care for their own pets. Johannesburg vet, Dr Colin van Rensburg of the Radiokop Animal Clinic, helped with top tips for children in caring for their pets.

- Two new mobile apps in the Disney Junior Appisodes app for iOS devices have already debuted: A "Stuffy and Squibbles" episode with interactive elements including the ability to help Doc diagnose and treat Stuffy's pet Squibbles when he runs low on energy. A "Doc McStuffins: Pet Vet" mobile game with several mini-games allowing players to diagnose and treat pets. (R99 each, unfortunately!)

In celebration, Disney Junior, will be donating special Doc McStuffins kennels to the SPCA!
They also asked us to take part in the Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Drive. It involves decorating a dog kennel to be donated to the SPCA.

The MomAgain@40-clan had so much fun this weekend. We also got a dog kennel delivered, and if you were watching my Twitter and Instagram, you would have seen some of this fun!

Here are some more photos from our decorating adventures yesterday!

Friday 16 October 2015

Stuart Taylor with Bespoke the perfect antidote

@TheStuartTaylor with #Bespoke at Montecasino Theatre Studio 

I always love a comedy! The best way for me to unwind and relax is through comedy. That's why I was so pleased when the fabulous Wenchy invited me to Stuart Taylor's show Bespoke at Montecasino last night!

It was a real hoot! There are no holy cows left after the show, but as Stuart Taylor says: The Theatre is the safe space! I can't repeat what's been said over here! For it would not go down as well as he can say it!
But it's good! Staurt Taylor makes us laugh at ourselves as South Africans and at our idiosyncrasies and pervasive racism! I also love the parenting anecdotes!

The show only runs until 1 November, and The Montecasino Studio Theatre is not a big space. Book at your earliest!!

I had to capture the outgoing quote, because that is what "Bespoke" is all about:
"You can put any label on that shit, as long as you are happy with who you are!"

YOU define YOU!

Thanks Stuart Taylor for making us laugh at ourselves, and thanks Wenchy for the invite!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Being a second Bestie!

I have been talking to Little Miss about us loving her unconditionally! That there is nothing that she could do that would make us stop loving her!

She has been enjoying it quite a bit, because each time she comes up with other scenarios. And we've even covered "murder". I told her that I would be very disappointed, and that I would probably scold her, but that I would never stop loving her! And that I would come to visit her in prison...

These discussions were sparked by blog posts I read from The Leaky Boob clan whose eldest daughters were sexually abused. The perpetrator told them that they were bad and that their mom and dad would not love them any more if they knew the truth! 

I would want Little Miss to always come to us with her problems!

Little Miss also told me that she loves us no matter what. Even if somebody told her not to loves us any more. But Dad is her first Bestie and I am her second Bestie! (Even though he is the strict parent, she says!)

Thanks for that, Little Miss! 

Monday 12 October 2015

It's not too late! You can still buy your bandana today! #BandanaDay

The slogan for this year's National Bandana Day! "We heart Bandana Day!"

By buying a bandana from Pick 'n Pay, you will be contributing towards paying for the expensive tissue typing (DNA) tests for new stem cell donors to join the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR). You will be helping to save lifes!

For more information on Bandana Day or how to become a stem cell donor:

Toll free helpline: 0800 12 10 82

You can also take part in this fun pet competition!

Because it's a Monday, I forgot to put on my bandana, but there's still time...
Watch out doggies!!

Thursday 8 October 2015

The best mobile photography! #iPhoneography2015

The fifth iPhoneography Awards evening in Johannesburg was held last night at the iStore on Sandton Drive. This was my first time that I attended, with the family in tow. We all enjoyed it!
I will definitely bookmark this for the future!

It is worth seeing what people can do with an iPhone with regards photography. All the entries were taken and edited on iPhones! It is truly inspiring!

Africa is Absolute category

The food trucks had great food and smells

The lawns provide a great spot for catching up and enjoying the vibe!

Little Miss had a ball climbing the "hills" and running around

Inspiring entries!
The overall winning entry is by Jaco van der Walt with his "Emergence" photograph!

Maybe next year your entry will be here as well?
And mine! ;-)

Wednesday 7 October 2015

The power of a R2 coin #addhope

October focus on World Hunger Month!
Poor nutrition leads to stunted mental and physical growth, which is irreversible!

KFC started with their CSI campaign, Add Hope, in 2009. Each R2 added on a KFC purchase goes into a Trust which looks after beneficiaries which provides healthy meals to children in South Africa. Their crazy dream is to feed over a million children in the near future. At this stage there are 103 beneficiaries in their system which feeds over a 100 000 children each day.

The stats are overwhelming. 11 million people go hungry in South Africa each day, of which 3.2 million are children!

KFC has raised R263 million, and all the funds are used for the purpose that is intended for! The marketing gets funded from separate budgets.

A new advert was unveiled yesterday to grow awareness of the campaign! The images were created by one of the beneficiaries of the campaign, Afrika Tikkun. The children of Afrika Tikkun created the drawings used in the video.

When children are not getting sufficient nutrition, even their drawings reflect this sad state. The pictures lack definition, colour and vibrancy! The first character in the video shows a hungry character who changes into a bright and multi-faceted character in the story line.

It is a Story of Hope: Children who are hungry lose hope! They lose hope in the future!
A full stomach makes all the difference!

A wonderful young lady, Sinanzi Ndlovu shared her experience at Afrika Tikkun. They gave her a meal and a place to do her homework in the afternoons and learn extra skills after both her parents died. She was able to complete her matric and carry on with extra courses. She was given hope where it would not have been possible without it!

We can do the following:

1. We can add the R2! Off course!

2. We can share a photo of an empty plate on social media and nominate somebody else to do the same!

A photo posted by Karen Du Toit (@karentoittoit) on

Monday 5 October 2015

It's a Monday face

Life is difficult!

- She has to wear her pajamas for first day of vacation school during the holidays! (We had to assure her countless times that everybody is going to wear their pajamas!)
- She can't wear her slippers on it's own, because it scratches her!
- It was difficult to find the right socks to wear with the slippers, because most of her socks scratches her!
- When asked to smile at the camera, she told us that she does not feel very well!
- We could not get all her stuff in one bag to take to school. She is adamant that this bag should not be a school bag.
- When asked about what character she wants to be on Wednesday, we had a whole flood gate of tears, because her princess dress is too tight around the arms. We should go to the shops to get her a new outfit before Wednesday! (Most unlikely that that is going to happen!)
- The swim cap does not fit (it does!), and she is taking her toddler swimming cap today. (Luckily sorted yesterday already)

Mondays are difficult for a little girl!
Mondays are difficult for Mom and Dad with a little girl that struggles with a Monday!

Friday 2 October 2015

Ronald McDonald House as part of the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital! - Brilliant!

Chairman of RMHC South Africa, Reggie Skhosana and Deputy Chairperson of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, Nana Magomola conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony to inaugurate the site handover of the Ronald McDonald House to be built at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

On 30 September the first Ronald McDonald House was launched at Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House will provide a home-away-from-home for families of children receiving lifesaving treatment at Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital. The building of the House in Parktown will be completed with the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in December 2016.

As a parent who just went through an ordeal with our eldest daughter who was in an accident, I am even more supportive of such a venture! We had to sit and wait for a whole day at the hospital for our daughter to  go for an operation, and afterwards we had to wait to hear about the success of the operation. We also wanted to talk to her before leaving the hospital that Friday night! Because she stays an hour and half away, we could not drive back and forth. Luckily we could organize to stay at a friend of The Student's place. That was a lifesaver! And it helped to visit her the next morning very early and to see that she was okay.

We only had a weekend of hell, but what about families who have to stay and wait for days and weeks?

I can only imagine how much appreciative parents of sick little patients would be if there was a facility nearby where they could recover and relax while waiting for their children to receive their important treatments!

I had a question about the payment expected from families. The answer: "The families will stay at the house for free to take care of their children who have been admitted to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital to treat severe illnesses. The understanding is that it will be by referral from the doctors and surgeons."
This is great news!!

To donate towards the building of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, SMS “GIFT” to 40301
SMS cost R20. (Terms, condition and administrative costs apply.)

Alternatively, visit for more details of how to donate.

PS I was invited to the launch on Wednesday, but unfortunately had to work!

Thursday 1 October 2015

She got the sling! It turns out you really need your left arm!

The Student gave us a big fright with the accident two weeks ago!
She was discharged after two days in hospital and recuperated for a week at home.

She is back at university since Sunday, and coping very nicely with one arm.

She has made the following adjustments:

- Buying most of her food. It is very difficult to prepare food and wash dishes afterwards.
- We bought dry shampoo to make her hair last a bit longer.
- We bought pants that she can pull on, without zips and belts.
- We could not find a cover for the arm. She is using a plastic bag with an elastic.
- Friends have to help with washing her clothes.
- She has to ask for help from other students.
- She had to cancel her holiday work that's coming up.
- She has to use a mouse with her laptop since it is very difficult cutting and pasting and adding punctuation.
- She is seeing a campus counselor about the nightmares she gets after the accident! She is very jumpy in the traffic!
-She cannot ride on her newly bought bicycle just yet!

That left arm is sorely missed, but she copes!
I am proud that she takes it in her stride!

What would you miss doing if you were left with only one arm?

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