Monday, 31 October 2016

The Working Mothers Expo starts on Friday - WIN a set of tickets!

67% of Working Mothers Unable to Cope with the Demands on their Time
Graphic by Essentials

The Working Mothers Expo had research done in partnership with MiWayLife about the working mother:

1. 67% of working mothers spend half their day or more unable to cope with the demands on their time. - That's true!

2. One in three spend nine or more hours at work every day. - I work my eight and half hours, nothing more! When I leave the office, I am finished!

3. 56% never take the time to exercise. - That's me! But I slot it down to laziness! (Guilt always!)

4. A third check their work email before they even get out of bed in the morning. - No! I don't have the time before I get to the office!

5. On average, most working moms believe that their friends are better mothers than they are. - No, I think we all do the juggle, and I love catching up with my friends to hear how they are doing it!

Janice Windt, the Managing Director of the Working Mothers Expo, had similar experiences. “I started speaking to other working mothers and realised that many of them were struggling as much as I was. Many of them were making decisions that they regretted. They were trying hard to cope and putting on a brave face. My heart started to break for these women - for all of us.”

The honesty of these conversations, combined with requests from other working mothers, lead Janice to found the Working Mothers Expo in order to create an opportunity for working mothers to connect with each-other and get all the help, support and inspiration they need in order to Make. Life. Work.

The Working Mothers Expo, in partnership with MiWayLife, brings together everything working mothers need under one roof on 4-6 November 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
There will be world class products, services and a Speakers' Corner. (I can't wait for this! Check out the line-up: Speakers)
There will also be great entertainment for the kids!
Dads / partners get in FREE with a group / family ticket.

Tickets are available at Computicket.



One reader of this blog can win a set of tickets to The Working Mothers Expo this weekend.

Please comment and tell me why you agree with some of the Research by The Working Mothers Expo and MiWayLife? 

I will draw a winner via at 12 pm on Wednesday afternoon.
Only open to a Gauteng reader able to come to The Working Mothers Expo on their own travel expenses.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Extramarks bagless learning in South Africa

Extramarks - - 360° solutions for comprehensive learning
I was invited to a breakfast by Extramarks at the Digital Education Show last week. They are starting to roll out "Bagless Learning" in South African schools. I was surprised at how well structured, hierarchical and easy-to-use the whole system looks.

It is no secret that I have a preferential tablet and operating system that I prefer! But Extramarks is definitely worth looking at as a holistic system to implement into a school, or use for homeschooling. Especially when the budget is low! They are not yet available on iOS, but apparently working towards it!

Extramarks started in South Africa about 18 months ago, mostly in private schools. They have 150 technology experts, and partnerships with Intel, Google and Telkom. The pedagogy is simplified into three steps: Learn > Practise > Test.

As soon as a learner walks into the school with the tablet, attendance is marked. All the learning is also available without connectivity! A great feature of the programme is a Career Assessment Programme. It is only available in English at the moment. There is also a preprimary-school programme available!

I am super impressed with the way they have implemented Extramarks into Dendron Secondary School, a rural school. I am trying to upload the video here.. (Come back later if it is not yet available. Sorry!)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Parenting is a series of negotiations about clothes

It happens every single day! The negotiations about clothes!

It helps a bit that she wears school clothes, or we would never have been in time during the school week! It is worse over the weekend when she has a whole cupboard full of clothes to choose from, and she only wants to wear her favourites that are in the wash. The best meltdowns have been about clothes and what to wear!

This morning she wanted to go without shoes, although it was raining and cold. She has eczema underneath her toes, and it is never a good idea to go without shoes, as it gets very dry and itchy when she goes barefoot.

But that does not matter! We have to tell her each morning it is a better idea to wear her shoes! And it needs a LOT of convincing.

Then the jacket. She never wants to wear a jacket, UNTIL she is freezing! Usually when we have arrived at our destination... Or in the shops at the frozen section... That's why the parents have to drag a jacket along every single time!  (Now if we can only remember it every single time!)

She has always been very particular about her clothes. I called her a Princessionista at nearly three years of age, and she still has very specific ideas about clothes!

Do you also struggle daily with negotiations about clothes, or are you lucky with kids that wear the jacket and shoes?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Grab the summer!

Saturday was such a grab-worthy day!

The Voortrekkers had a day planned with water sports, and braai bread creations...
We were planning to go to the gymnastics at 11, but this was just a too good opportunity to not make use of everything that they had planned for the children. We are never disappointed with the Voortrekker (similar than Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts) activities!

(I can just imagine how much we would have enjoyed this when we were small!)

The children could not get enough of sliding down the water slide and playing in the water. All the parents had to "extract" their children, and it looks as if most of them were not happy to leave. The children also took part in a braai (barbecue) bread competition over fire. Little Miss and her Dad planned it for the week before the time!

Do you also sometimes skip a activity for another? Do you feel guilty about it, especially when you have paid?

Little Miss, I hope you remember this day?

Friday, 14 October 2016

Star Wars Reads Day on 15 October, also in South Africa!

Star Wars Reads Day 2016

FOMO! A Star Wars Reads Day! Too much is happening at this time of the year!

South Africans of ALL ages will be able to visit participating stores on Saturday 15 October from 10:00 – 15:00 to experience Star Wars Reads.

The Star Wars READ Day - things to do!

- Fans are invited to dress up for a chance to win exclusive Star Wars hampers to the value of R2000.00.
- Fans will receive special gifts with every Star Wars purchase.
- Fans will get to take their photos in the special “SHELFIE box”; AND
- Fans become reading Jedi with the various printed books, graphic novels and more.

Participating stores, Saturday 15 October from 10:00 – 15:00:

-      Exclusive Books, Shop L56, Sandton City, Sandton, Johannesburg

-      Skoobs Theatre of Books, Shop 74, Montecasino, Fourways, Johannesburg

-      Bargain Books, Shop 312, Woodlands Boulevard, Cnr Garsfontein & De Villiers Mareuil Dr, Pretoria

-      Exclusive Books, Shop LG157, Cavendish Square, Dreyer Street, Claremont, Cape Town

-      Bargain Books, Shop 629 UL, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century Boulevard, Century City, Cape Town

How cool is this poster? I had to share it!
Star Wars Reads Day - Yoda

For the coolest printable activity charts: The Star Wars Reads Printable Activity Kits - look for Star Wars activities as well as The Force Awakens activities. (These are super cool for ALL the kids! Me included!)

More info here: Star Wars Reads website and Star Wars Reads community Facebook page.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Barbie in an out of this world adventure – Starlight Adventure

#Barbie, #youcanbeanything, #StarlightAdventure
Barbie Starlight Adventure
Barbie® returns for an adventure in an exhilarating new movie, Star Light Adventure. Flying through the galaxy to a faraway universe, the cosmic princess Barbie® and her adorable and trusty new pet Pupcorn will find a world like no other. But this world is in danger. The once bright and sparkling stars have started to slow their dance and fade. Barbie® has been set a new mission - to save the fading stars!
We were invited to a screening of this delightful movie. Although Little Miss does not want to share in class that she attended this event (“They are going to laugh at me!”), she loved the movie and the whole experience on Saturday. I do think that most girls (including me) still love Barbie!
(Some of us just don’t want it to be common knowledge! ;-)

Sci Bono
At the beautiful Sci Bono Centre in Newtown

Cupcake decorating

Photo op with Barbie!!

Barbie Starlight Adventure Screening at Sci Bono

Barbie, Starlight Adventure
You can be anything!

#youcanbeanything, #starlightadventure
Movie face!

The Barbie Starlight Adventure surprised me. (I needed the catch-up!) I was not aware that Barbie is going into space with cosmic adventures. Do you? There are no barriers anymore for little girls and their dreams!
You can be anything!
A great message that I would like to impart on my daughter on International Day of the Girl today!

Do your little ones still play with Barbie?

Monday, 10 October 2016

A day in the life of Janice Windt, MD behind Working Mothers Expo

Working Mothers Expo

The Working Mothers Expo is around the corner. Janice Windt, the Founder and Managing Director behind the Expo, answered a few personal questions. I wanted to know more about her work-life, as well as how a normal day in her household looks like.

Janice Windt:
My normal day starts at about 4am, when I wake up to answer emails before hundreds more emails and calls start coming in again at 8am ;)  My husband takes the boys to school so that I can start my proper work day at 07h30 and work until 1pm when I fetch the boys from school.  Afternoons are all about them, which is such a privilege.  I try keep evenings for my husband and I and the result is that I sleep a lot less than I used to!  Even our accountants are worried about the hours I keep!  So yes, this is my only job.
I worked at an Investment Bank for ten years and left corporate in February 2015 to start the Working Mothers Expo.  It’s taken 18 months to get to this point and we are VERY excited to see what the response to our first event will be.   Our goal is to make the lives of working mothers easier by bringing together everything working mothers need under one roof.  Working mothers need to realise that they are not alone, get access to the help and inspiration they need and have a moment that is, quite simply, all about them. 
The idea for the Working Mothers Expo evolved out of the challenges I personally experienced as a working mom and also from the experiences I was privileged enough to learn about when I interviewed more than one hundred women from seventeen countries around the world for my blog. As I started speaking to other working mothers I’ve realised that many of us struggle with similar things. It’s a real privilege to be able to reach thousands of working mothers through the avenue of the Working Mothers Expo.  I’m very grateful.

The Working Mothers Expo, in partnership with MiWayLife, brings together everything working mothers need under one roof.
It will be on from 4-6 November 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre. With world class products, services and speakers and great entertainment for your kids, this is an event not to be missed.
Tickets available at Computicket. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

iOS 10 Memories - Great for Throwback Thursday

travels, travelling, Texas iOS 10,
St Fredericksburg in Texas
San Antonio visit 2015

How great is the new iOS 10 Memories with the new update on iOS? It comes with the most recent update on iPhones, iPad and the Mac. It opens up great memories.

I am only discovering it now, and loving it!

I am able to see group photos, place photos, "Best of the last 3 months",  as well as certain dates on my photo album.

The throwback Thursday is from last year's visit to San Antonio in America.
Good times, and good memories!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

In desperate need of a holiday

Bitmoji, Empty

This year has been very short, but in terms of holidays it has been very long!
We did not have a mid-year break this year, and I am beginning to feel it!
It's still two months before December.
I cope by telling myself to take one day at a time, but it makes it feel that we are in "desperate measures"-mode!

For how long have I not yearned for that long weekend in the Cape?
To place it on my vision board and on my bucket list does not help at all!
The budget is too tight!

I know I should not complain, and that I should be grateful for everything I have!
The World with it's Wars; people fleeing their homes; children who are abandoned and fending for themselves,; #feesmustfall; dictatorships; rapes; killings; GAH...!
So much weighing in! Even though I try not to read/hear/listen too much, we are bombarded by it!
I can't ignore it either! That would be stupid!

I try to be positive, and to seek the positive in every situation!
(I know: Keep doing it!)

Little Miss
The Cat in the Hat

Little Miss has a little break from school this week, and the holiday school programme has a fun item planned for each day that keeps her entertained.

Here she is on Monday with her Cat in the Hat outfit! We got the hat on Saturday at Silverstar when we decided on a whim to go just to get out of the house.
Little Miss loved playing in the water in the Piazza area.
(We should be doing more of this!)

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

I hope you are having a lovely spring break before the final stretch?
How do you cope during this time?

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