Thursday, 28 April 2016

A stunning spectacular for the whole family: Mystic India

We were invited to the launch of Mystic India at The Teatro at Montecasino on Tuesday night!
It starts today, 29 April until the 1st of May. (Why for such a short time?)
It is stunning!
It is spectacular! 

Go see it!! You won't be disappointed!
(I would take my Littlest and Eldest as well!)

Mystic India

 I have always had a fascination with Indian music. My mother worked with an Indian co-worker while I was still at school, and he used to send me the latest Indian music of the time (1980s oh boy!). I was mesmerized! We also came across many belly-dancing techniques from the Indian dance move culture while I was busy doing belly dancing classes. The Indian culture is rich and fascinating!

Mystic India - the formal talk:
"Seen by over half a million people during countless worldwide performances and tours, Mystic India is an internationally acclaimed Bollywood music and dance spectacular based on the concept of ancient India’s transition into modern India.  
Featuring some 22 talented musicians, brilliant dancers, mind-boggling aerialists and acrobats, as well as 750 lavish costume changes, the show is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat. The flamboyant costumes and extravagant sets have been custom-designed in India’s film capital by a team of 40 creative designers and collaborators over the course of the last four years.  
This production intertwines a mesmerising combo: Traditional India meets the urban streets of Mumbai and New York. It is hip and trendy with all the glitter and bling to make it an all-out sensory sensation. This feast showcases Bollywood at its finest and audiences can brace themselves for an explosion of colour and energy.  
Audience members will be invited along for a festive journey through Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, and even through the evolution of Bollywood films via a visual display that fuses dance, theatre and special effects."
My photos does not do it any justice!


Mystic India

Just go and see it!

Hubby and I made it a date night, and tried out Deena's Aarya at Montecasino. It was our first time there! (definitely not the last)
The Indian curry paired very well  with the show!
Deena, the first South African Masterchef
Deena's Aarya
Deena's curry

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

OT Toys worth playing with and another give-away from Toy Kingdom

Little Miss has been playing with three OT Toys from the Toy Kingdom OT campaign.
Toy Kingdom have identified a few guidelines on choosing OT toys, and also have compiled a list of OT toys that's available in their stores across South Africa. I have shared previously about how I have changed my mind completely about occupational therapy, and that I think it has worth for all children. Especially when they start with school!

It makes a lot of sense to have creative toys in the home. Dana Katz, a registered occupational therapist, believes that moderation and responsible use is key when talking about too much screen time for children. To counter excessive screen time children of all ages should be playing with traditional toys and play actively and independently inside and outside.

Little Miss chose the following from the OT toys available at Toy Kingdom. We based our selection on her age, and what she can use for a couple of years!


OT Toy
Zoob building set
The building set pieces are able to move after the kids have put them together. Children are able to play and manipulate their creations!
Little Miss was so excited when we got this, because she knows it already from school. She said she wanted to kiss it five times! (Definitely worth buying it!)

Anti-Virus from Smart Games

OT Toys

OT Toys

This IQ building set develops logical thinking skills, encourages strategic planning. It also develops visual and spatial perception. The game has 60 challenges on 5 levels.

Little Miss enjoys it and I know we are going to use for quite a while!

Grammar Wise from Chalk & Chuckles

We selected Grammar Wise from the Chalk and Chuckles series. It claims to exercise your colour and language muscles at the same time.

As Little Miss's home language is not English, this is still a bit advanced for her. But she is beginning to read English at school, and we are definitely going to use this in future!

She made a few good choices!


There is another R750 gift voucher up for grabs for one reader of this blog. 
It is unfortunately only open to South African readers.
The Rafflecopter starts on 26 April, and ends on 3 May at 12 am.
(The list of OT Toys from Toy Kingdom is saved in Google Drive.)

You are welcome to submit all the  Rafflecopter prompts for more entries, but one prompt will also give you an entry. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.
We got R1500 to spend on OT toys at Toy Kingdom. 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Pic Nic in New Town

Picnic NewTown
Pic Nic at Workshop New Town 
We had such a great time doing an urban Picnic at The Workshop in Newtown on Saturday!
We are always searching for something different to do on a weekend, and this is is definitely ticking all the boxes!

The whole family are able to sit on grass, in-between train tracks, beneath shades and having lunch from The Potato Shed or Town at The Workshop. With live music for the whole afternoon!

There's jumping castles, swings and a colouring station for the children.

And there's craft beer!

Picnic NewTown

Picnic Newtown

Picnic Newtown

Picnic Newtown

We will be back!
It's on every Saturday from 11-4pm.

(There's safe underground parking at Newtown Junction)

Disclaimer: I received an email about the launch on Saturday, but we paid for ourselves!
                   We really had a great time!

Friday, 22 April 2016

The heartache of girl politics

I was met by a very upset face yesterday. A friend "made up with her after they had a fight, and told her that she would play with her yesterday". But she did not follow up with her promise...
She was extremely upset (and unpleasant) for the rest of the afternoon!

My heart breaks for her!

I know Little Miss plays her own politics, and sometimes also does not want to play with some of her girl friends. She was busy making a present for her friend (A McD Minion covered in a pretty envelope) yesterday afternoon. To give at school today. (My bleeding heart! sic)

I have tried to explain (countless times!) that she can play with more than one friend, and that she should always be the friend that everybody wants to play with!

Shame, my Little One. (I wish I could make it better!)
I hope you have nice friends today!

Related posts:

Girl politics, and how to teach them to not be bullies

- Bullying, we are stronger than we think

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Why I am still doing Wordless Wednesday's?

Wordless Wednesday

I reached a milestone on my blog yesterday with my 300 Wordless Wednesday post!
My 1st Wordless Wednesday was just a very small photo of The Hubby sleeping on the couch with baby sleeping on top of him. (It was yesterday, surely, not 7 years ago?)

It must be a record somewhere?

It doesn't matter! In my books, it is a record!

Why am I still doing Wordless Wednesday's?

- It is fun!

- I always have a photo to share that is not necessarily worthy of a blog post.

- It increases blog fodder! I don't have to think on a Wednesday of what to post!

- I love looking back at my Wordless Wednesday posts, and being reminded of how quickly she grows up/time flies!

- "A picture is worth more than a thousand words!"
Sometimes it is!

Do you still do a Wordless Wednesday, or is it only me?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Invite to an OT Workshop at Toy Kingdom

The first give-away for the OT Toy give voucher at Toy Kingdom ends tonight at midnight on the blog! Make sure you get your vote in!

Toy Kingdom is running an OT Campaign, and as part of the campaign they are launching OT Workshops in some of their shops. Check out Toys that Teach Workshop in Sandton City on Thursday 12H00-14H00 and RSVP as soon as possible as space is limited!!

Parents of children who are identified with development issues, do not always know what they can do to help. It is my view that all children need some help in one area or another of development, and it does not hurt to have toys that help children to participate successfully in their environment.

The workshop, which will be hosted by OT therapist, Stefanie Kruger, will focus on the following:

  • Definition of OT and when or if to take your child for an assessment?
  • Why is there an increased need for OT today? (Electronics, schooling, etc?)
  • Which skills need to be mastered in early development, and what are the consequences later in life if the development did not take place?
  • How to choose educational and traditional toys that help in assisting with development?
  • How to balance between screen time and traditional play and when it interferes with development?

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why we should go more camping

We had a lovely weekend of camping! 
Of course it was too short, but this and the fact that it is so much hard work, should not deter us from going camping more often.

Reasons why we should do it regularly:

- It is a cheap holiday. We are able to afford it more often.

- We get to breath a bit of fresh air.

- As city dwellers we get to connect with nature. 

- Children love it. So does Little Miss!

- It is lovely to switch off for a whole weekend and get back to basics. Such as eating, sleeping, swimming, walking and reading! 
NOTHING better than this!

- It feels and is like an adventure each time, and we come back with "camping" stories! For example, this time we had a friendly helper who made setting up much easier, and helped with fixing a broken tent pole. Although we now have to fix a hole in the roof of the tent... (Luckily it did not rain this weekend, or it would have been another story to tell!)

- There is nothing that relaxes more than a camp fire! The best time of the day!

- The children can ride on their bikes and play near the river/beach/field in a relative safe"environment! 

Can you think of any more reasons why we should do it more often?

We should be planning the next camping holiday for next month already!

We were at Buffelspoort with the Voortrekkers this weekend! I can recommend their camping area, as we as all their facilities that they have available. 

Which is your favourite camping area?

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Guidelines on choosing OT Toys and a give-away from Toy Kingdom

I don't know why I was so apprehensive about occupational therapy earlier? We did the school readiness assessments that highlighted some issues that needed to be addressed. I was questioning "How much therapy is needed when there was no need in the first place?" (Ha! Laughing at myself now!) But we did the sessions with Little Miss, until the final OT therapy, and I know we definitely did the right thing! Little Miss is doing very well at school!

Our kids do not get to play as much as they should any more, and they spend far too much time with electronic devices and watching television. A recent research publication in Britain identified that 25% of children aged 2-5 years have smartphones, while 56% are aged 10-13 years. More scary results of studies in the US revealed that over a third of children under the age of 1 year are using smart devices.

I would not mind taking my child for more OT therapy sessions. The OT therapist never used the same OT toy or technique with each session. I was amazed with the variety of toys she had available.

I am extremely pleased to hear that Toy Kingdom places strong importance on using educational toys to help children develop the skills needed to participate in their environment.
Grant Webster, COO of Toy Kingdom, says “Keeping traditional educational toys in the home for playtime is becoming increasingly important in this day and age of electronic devices, so that children can still spend time developing the basic skills associated with play.”

There are different types of toys that can assist in a child’s development at home.

Guidelines of what sorts of toys are suitable to assist in building skills:

Toys that encourage problem solving

Children’s motor and problem solving skills should be encouraged, as it gives them a chance to try and figure things out for themselves.
Examples: Lego and building blocks
Toys that will help build strength in children’s hands. (Prerequisite for writing)
Example play dough scissors.

A ZOOB creation by Little Miss
Smart Logic Game - Anti-Virus

Things that feel ‘weird’
Toys with sticky or slimy surfaces help children to experiment with texture.

Toys that require the use of both hands
Using both hands well can help with colouring, cutting and writing.
Examples: Winds up toys; simply tossing and catching a ball.

Toys that encourage pretend play
Fantasy and play stimulate creativity as well as social skills in children.
Example: Toy Kingdom’s Shopkins range is a perfect set-up for children to play with pretend food and enjoy make-believe scenarios.

Because toys are so expensive, it is definitely a bonus if it addresses developmental needs as well. Even more so when we can strike a balance between screen time and play time with challenging toys!

Play area at Toy Kingdom

One reader can win a Toy Kingdom voucher of R750 to spend on OT toys available at Toy Kingdom in South Africa. There are 12 stores in South Africa already!

I have saved a list of the OT Toys from Ideal Cycle Toys at Toy Kingdom on Google Drive.
It is only a small selection of the OT toys that are available at Toy Kingdom.
Unfortunately this give-away is only open to South African readers.
The Rafflecopter will close at 12 am on 20 April.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

We got R1500 to spend on OT toys. A lovely lady Siza helped us at Toy Kingdom Cresta to select. We selected The Smart Logic Game - Anti-Virus, Zoob building pieces and Grammar Wise. I will do a follow-up with these specific toys, with another give-away next week.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

3 Ways to Create Me Time in Your Day - Guest post

The ultimate Holy Grail for mothers. Just a bit of me time!
Coffee in a coffee shop usually does the trick for me, but I am always eager to learn about more ways...

Guest post by Janice Windt, MD of the Working Mothers Expo:

Somewhere in the far reaches of my memory I can recall the concept of Me time: A moment that involved me, a book and a cup of chamomile tea on the two-seater couch that just fitted in my tiny first apartment...  A breeze would gently blow the sweet sound of children’s voices in through the open window.  I would lie peacefully, my knees over the couch armrest, dreaming of the day when I would be married with children of my own…

Today, Me time is the three minutes I get on the loo to check Facebook before one of my sons bursts through the door to see what I am up to.  It’s my drive to work – a luxury many stay-at-home mums would give anything to have – even once a week.  Me time is the thirty minutes I get here and there when I just leave everything – dishes, dirty clothes, toys strewn into every nook and cranny.  Sometimes I just look at it all and say “no, not right now” and I escape to my writing.  Sometimes, me time is a coffee, uninterrupted, during work hours.  That is a dream too – I know that and I appreciate every creamy sip.

So, what can you do, amidst the chaos that is your schedule, to create more Me time in your day? We have some suggestions for you below but we would really love to hear yours in the comments… because the truth is that we are all in this together:

Friday, 8 April 2016

Powerpuff Girls app - Flipped Out! AND Powerpuff Yourself for free!

The Powerpuff Girls series from Cartoon Network Studios now gives fans the opportunity to be part of the action with with the all new mobile game Flipped Out!

Disclaimer: I received a promo code to test the app. 

It is already available exclusively on iTunes (iOS) from Thursday 31st March 2016.
It will be available on Amazon & Google Play (Android) on Thursday 14th April 2016.

Flipped Out is two games in one: Landscape mode let's you destroy monsters. By rotating it to portrait mode you are in for an action-packed brawler. All three Powerpuff Girls; Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup, are up for play while you defend Townsville against the monsters.

It stays true to the original characters of the Powerpuff script and characters. The Girls need to save the city from too many sea buddies, and they go about it in the their well-known fighting fashion!

It's just a lot of fun!

Apparently you can unleash a bit of thinking power while playing as well.
Team up to take down toughies, or divide and conquer to cover more ground. Unleash spicy and sweet superpowers to demolish the bad guys! (Next time! I am just extremely pleased when I get a score. Not that big a GAMER here!))

Pointers by the Powerpuff Girls on how to move along
(A big thumbs up from me!)

I got a score!!

NOO! I lost!
Cartoon Network targets boys and girls from 6 - 12, and I think this game will do the same. (I might be mistaken, because Little Miss just KNOWS how it works already! They are born KNOWING! )

The latest original, animated comedy series from Cartoon Network Studios, The Powerpuff Girls, launches exclusively on Cartoon Network, DStv Channel 301, on Saturday 30 April @ 09:55 CET

Flipped Out! costs $2.99 (R45.20) on the iTunes store.
There are upgrades available to add superpowers and sticker layouts.

For FREE: Powerpuff Yourself!

Our social media timelines are filling up with Powerpuff Yourself images!
Of course we never grow up, and I made one for myself as well!

Send me a link of your Powerpuff? I would love to see!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Found a spot with a view and vibe

The Windjammer
We are always in search of a view here in the city! Somewhere to catch the last rays of the sun and being able to look towards a horizon and not into the rows of brick walls!

We found that on Friday night while I was scrolling through Zomato looking for a place we have not visited before.The Windjammer Restaurant and Upperdeck Bar in Honeydew is such a spot!

We got seats on the deck with a great view. There was also live music that was not bad at all. In fact, it was excellent!! A few of the Sting songs really got us going. We left early, because CHILD, but apparently they were waiting for the main entertainment at 9 pm. (Date night spot, definitely!)

The food was just as great! I wrote a review on Zomato. Little Miss loved her squid starter, I had the Mediterranean pasta and Hubby the huge double burger!

We will be back to get more of this view, vibe and food!

There were a number of children with their parents at the venue. Next time I will ensure that I bring earplugs on a weekend as the music was extremely loud.
 (I don't think it is good for young ears to be exposed to this for too long!) 

What spots can you recommend for their views?

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