Wednesday 30 November 2016

Fantasy of Light - mark it for a family outing that's worth it!

The family attended the Fantasy of Light last night, a "magnificent extravaganza of lights, music and exceptional local- and international talent at The Waterfall Park, located at the Mall of Africa."
#FantasyofLight, lights, Christmas, Waterfall Park
Fantasy of Light 2016
The spiel:

A majestic, nine-meter-high set by Juan Boshoff, 104 colourful costumes, 22km of twinkling fairy lights, a giant stage, an acre of captivating festive ornaments with cheerful lighting, a unique 160m waterfall of cascading lights.  Add to this world-class concert and you have a dazzling experience like never before.
The ambience set by the original festive music composed by the internationally acclaimed composer, Brendan Jury and music producer Bernadette Vercellino, creates the perfect backdrop to a humoristic fantasy with a gripping story line and characters that will conquer your heart straight away. Outstanding choreography by Weslee Lauder and cheerful outfits by Delene Holt, Heidi du Toit from Hollywood Costumes and Mercedes de Bruyn, gives life to this pantomime-brainchild of one of our most famous actresses and directors Lizz Meiring, along with renowned designer Juan Boshoff and producer Rudi Kesting from Production Projects.  A very talented cast complements this high-quality production, which will leave audiences wanting for more.
This festive spectacular offers a fun-filled, once in a lifetime experience for young and old. Shows will guests will be amazed by a 70 minute show, transporting them to a gripping wonderland full of holiday cheer. Tickets can be booked through Computicket at R120 per adult entry, while kids under eighteen years of age and seniors will only pay R80.
We were early, but enjoyed hanging around and looking at the lights. There's food and sweets and loads of photo opportunities, even with Santa! The lights were even better when it got really dark, and I should have gotten more photos later on... (*kicking myself*)

Huts with sweets and goodies at the venue


Three Elves looking on

My vegetarian sliders that was available at the venue 

We watched the sunset from here, which was awesome
A word of caution. There are many light toys for sale, and the kids will nag you! We said "No" to Little Miss! But guess what? Dad's resolve did not stay strong...!
Little Miss with her light sword
The show was awesome, and the little ones love it. It is a bit late, because the Show only starts at 8 pm! But Little Miss did not want to move until the very last note! The kids enjoy the larger-than-life characters, and the adults enjoy the humour especially! Our favourite was the Snow-person!
(We wanted to go earlier, to miss some of the traffic going out of the parkade! But luckily the traffic was not too bad!)

The Fantasy of Lights continues until 24 December.
It is a great family outing!

Facebook Fantasy of Light
Twitter Waterfall Park

Disclaimer: We got tickets to attend the VIP evening last night!

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Can't wait for this little gem: Moana the Movie at Ster-Kinekor - GIVEAWAY

Disney, Moana, Moana the Movie
Disney's Moana
Ever since I've seen the first trailer of Moana the Movie at The Disney Showcase I knew we would definitely be making a plan to see it! (Luckily we love animation just as much even more as Little Miss!). We are going to see it on Thursday evening!

Moana is an animation about a young girl from the Hawaiian island, who has set her sights on a fabled island and makes her journey towards that place. She uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.
The Moana official trailer on YouTube: Moana 

Ster-Kinekor has given me one set of 4 tickets for a giveaway to go see the movie on 3 December at a Ster-Kinekor cinema nearest to you, anywhere within South Africa.

Ster-Kinekor is having an awesome day of activities planned on 3 December to complement the arrival of the movie at the cinema.

•        Movie date: Saturday, 3rd December 2016.
•        Genre: Animation.
•        Cinema: Nation-wide.

Please tell me in the comments below your favourite childhood fable that inspired you when growing up. Or: What facourite fable are you telling your children now?

Rules of the competition:

- Only one set of tickets (X4 tickets) can be given to one winner.
- The winner must reside in South Africa, and be able to get to Ster-Kinekor cinemas with their own transport on Saturday.
- The competition closes at 12 pm Thursday afternoon
…But remember, the tickets can only go to one winner, so they must be a family of X4 or X4 people who want to go see the movie on the 3rd December 2016.

Monday 28 November 2016

Kindness - what I want my kids to be!

Kindness! We always aspire to be happy, and I want my kids to be happy! But how do we get happy? Because "Happiness is an inside job!" (My Eldest's most favourite expression!)

In most recent times I have read a number of thoughts around happiness and kindness! A most sure way to get to happiness is through kindness! It makes so much sense!

The prompt for Roxy Hutton's #cgscreative monthly Instagram last week was kindness. How do you show kindness! For sure it is in the little things! Trying to help others as far as possible. Giving that coin at the robot, or helping to collect for a worthy goal. Even kindness to everybody around you, and most of all, your own family!

Kindness is the one thing I can show and learn my youngest as well! It makes me extremely happy when she see people we can help! When she tells me that me must help the man at the robot who she has seen has children. They are sometimes at the robot with him...

To teach kindness is not a difficult thing! We need so much of it in our world!

How do you teach kindness to your children?

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Only 7 days left of being all alone at school!

Little Miss had a little breakdown last night!

She does not have friends at school, and the children do not want to play with her! She walks alone before school, and sits with her jersey pulled over her legs in the mornings. She has no friends in the mornings. She does not have friends who want to play with her at breaks, and she has to eat her food on her own. The ballet girls do not want to partner with her, and she’s the odd one out! (You saw that, Mom! Yes, I did!) This is what she told me again last night!

What can a mother (and father) do? We both wanted to console her last night! (Our hearts are breaking with her!)

Only to remind her that she has 7 days left of this school year! Next year is going to be better because it is going to be in a new school with new friends! (I really hope so!)

She is such a sensitive little person, and sometimes she goes into analysis paralysis! I do not always see a lonely girl when I go to fetch her at school, but if it is her perspective that nobody wants to play with her! That IS her life right now!

I am planning to use Cat’s advice next year, of identifying a strong girl and organising play dates from the start!

Only 7 days! This day included!
Maybe it is just this year that had enough?
You can do this, Little Miss!

Monday 21 November 2016

Best night at the Phil Collins Tribute Show

We had such a great evening on Friday at the Phil Collins Tribute Show at Emperors Palace! One More Night is a brand new tribute show that features both the story, and the music of legend Phil Collins.

Vocalist and drummer Victor James Chapman does a great job capturing the music and the icon that is Phil Collins! Backed by a 10-piece band, they all contribute to a great evening with favourite hits such as Another Day in Paradise, Sussudio, Groovy Kind Of Love and You’ll Be In My Heart.

Phil Collins is part of our history! (Maybe just mine, but judging by the crowd on Friday night, I am not the only one!) The eighties was my high school and university years! It was part of growing up and becoming a person!

Emperors Palace, #PhilCollinsTribute, #OneMoreNight

The two hours went by in a flash! It is definitely worth the drive to the East Rand!

On stage at the Theatre of Marcellus for three weeks from 17 November to 4 December. Great for a date night and great for the whole family as well!

The show is performed at 20h00 from Thursdays to Saturdays, with 15h00 matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are priced from R150 per person (regret no children under the age of 4).  Bookings can be made through the Emperors Palace Box Office on 011 928 1297/1213 or by visiting  Tickets are now open at Computicket online 

Disclaimer: We got 2 tickets for Friday"s VIP night!

Thursday 17 November 2016

The Biggest Bollywood Extravaganza to hit Sandton from 2-4 December [WIN TICKETS]

Sandton Convention Centre
Sandton will soon be ‘Bollyfied’ with the biggest Blu Blood Bollywood Experience taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 2nd to the 4th December 2016.  It will be the first of an annual event. The best musical talents to top class comedy, finest local and international fashion and the tastes and smells of the East, will be on offer.

A variety show and a fashion showcase featuring top Indian designers has been included on the line-up for this extravaganza weekend!

With so much to cover, there is something for the whole family!

Friday, 2nd to 4th DecemberThe Blu Blood Mela (featuring 200 unique exhibitors, entertainment stage and kiddies play area)

Friday, 2nd The Blu Blood Variety Show
Be mesmerised as the crème de la crème of top Indian fashion designers - the likes of the acclaimed Vikram Phadnis, Joy Mitra, Krishna Mehtra and Pawan & Pranav - showcase their latest collections in a fashion extravaganza paired up with incredible local musicians, dancers and comedians in the Blu Blood Bollywood Variety Show taking place on the 2nd December at the Sandton Convention Centre.

A highlight of the evening will be the showcasing of India’s Vikram Phadnis’ latest collection.  Vikram started his career as a choreographer before rising to fame as a fashion designer, having dressed a bevy of Bollywood stars.  His journey has been an inspiration to all those who want to make it big in the fashion industry.
Incorporating fashion, Bollywood music and dance with comedy, the variety show – hosted by Riaad Moosa – will feature the hilarities of South Africa’s Indian comedy heavyweights Krijay Govender, Muthu Murugan and Leeanda Reddy with amazing music performances by Shay Ramjee, Suraj Jewan, Imran Mohamed and Zeeshaan Ahmed.
Blu Blood Bollywood

Saturday, 3rdKings Queens of Comedy And All’ (featuring Riaad Moosa, Yaaseen Barnes, Leeanda Reddy and more)

Saturday, 3rdThe Blu Blood Fashion Showcase (top Indian designers including Vikram Phadnis showcase their latest collections)

Sunday, 4thSonu Nigam + Atif Aslam (the biggest Bollywood music powerhouses make history and take to the stage for this first time together on African soil)

The tickets are available at Computicket: Blu Blood Bollywood Experience

I loved the previous Blu Blood production - Mystic India -  and would have loved to attend some of this as well! Unfortunately we will be away for that weekend!

WIN:  (Perfect for a date night to get into the December holidays!)
- One reader of this blog can win two tickets to The Blu Blood Variety Show on Friday, 2 December at 8pm.
- Only open to Gauteng readers who will be able to get to the venue with their own transport.

- Please comment below and tell me who will be hosting the event?

- I will make the draw via on Wednesday 30 November at 12pm.

Monday 14 November 2016

94.7 Kiddies Ride - a Spur Sports success

Little Miss said yes when asked if she wanted to take part in the 94.7 Kiddies ride. She was a bit apprehensive, and  worried what would happen if she do not win. But luckily they were all winners and all got a medal. (I know! I know! But for Little Miss it worked very well, and she could go past that anxious nature of hers!)

We found the 94.7 Kiddies Ride a very well organized event where we did not have to worry about any logistics! It was a smooth operation! All the kids (and adults) had fun! The adults were running along, or cheering from the sidelines. It was such a good day out and the weather played along!

There are four divisions with the Kiddies Rides, and Little Miss was in the Lions group.
How cool is this photo from Dad's phone done by Google photos?
Selfie before the race

Waiting for the race to start
The Lions group had to go without the parents

Spur sponsors and is involved in various sporting disciplines to promote an active lifestyle for parents and children.

Spur hosted us as part of this campaign. They paid for Little Miss' racing fees, and we got the famous Spur Burger afterwards!
#spursports #CCKiddies
Refueling with Spur after the race

We are planning to do the 94.7 Family Ride next year!  (Definitely!)

Thanks Spur Sports for the opportunity! We would not have known how much fun this is if you have not invited us!

Friday 11 November 2016

Bowling with the kids


I don't know why we haven't gone bowling before, but this is a great activity to do with the children! We went bowling three weeks back at Northcliff Bowling with the Voortrekkers. The kids had a ball! (Pun intended! Sorry! ;-) )

For only R30 a kid they kept themselves busy for more than an hour playing a game with a group of 4-5. The bowling alley put up barriers to keep the ball from going into the trenches, which makes it much easier for the children to get into the game!

We are going to be at home for most of the holidays, and  I am starting to think of all the fun and inexpensive ways to make the holidays fun! This is going to be one of the activities!

What suggestions do you have for activities with the children during the holidays that does not cost an arm and a leg?

Wednesday 9 November 2016

The Working Mothers Expo - next time I am taking a day!


The Working Mothers Expo finally came around this past weekend. We went to the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday afternoon. I plan to take a day (at least) next time (in May!) to pamper and experience more than we could in an afternoon

I listened to two speakers, Janice Windt, the MD of Working Mothers Expo, and Shaney from You Baby and I.

Janice Windt
Janice Windt shared her parenting and career journey up until The Working Mothers Expo. She is already planning the next Working Mothers Expo for next year as well.

A great life hack from her: Life hack - take 5 min each day to write down priorities! 

Shan Vijendranath
Shan is a very successful blogger who stressed the importance of a social media strategy:

Her tips for a social media strategy include the following points:

1. Identify clear goals
2. Know your target market
3. Listen and compare, but stay authentic
4. Pick the right platforms
5. Build your brand
6. Mix it up by keeping up with Industry Trends
7. Engage your audience
8. Attract potential clients
9. Listen to your analytics
10. Plan and schedule

Little Miss loved the Bounce Inc area, and could not get enough! There were lots for her to do!

But next time I will definitely take a day to listen to more speakers, to take my time through the exhibitors, and to get a pamper in! (And maybe leave the rest of the family at home...)

I finally found the Mooncup (menstrual cup) at the Expo, but that warrants its own post.

Disclaimer: We got a family ticket for one day at the Expo.

Monday 7 November 2016

Make-up artist? - a career choice

Little Miss warned me that I should not be frightened or scream when I saw my own face.
(The lots of reds she was using gave me a clue! Fortunately!)

make-up-artist, career choice
But I could not help myself! I screamed! She definitely made me a scary face!

She said she dreamed this, and that she is considering becoming a make-up artist! Last week's scary face Halloween make-up inspired her!

I think she is on the right track, and to just continue?

Reminder for next time: I should check my hairline more thoroughly.
There is a faint red glow still visible today!

Related post: Mom's the guinea pig

Thursday 3 November 2016

Is my child addicted to gaming?

parenting in a digital age
I was invited to The Think Ahead information sharing session about Gaming at the iStore on Sandton Drive last night.

Is gaming overtaking your child’s life, impacting sleep, health, relationships, academic experiences and general well-being?*
This Think Ahead information session is designed to help parents understand and discover the following:
     •      does your child have a serious gaming “problem”?
     •      why are games so compelling?
     •      how do games affect sleep, learning, memory, relationships and health?
     •      what games teach our children and games’ positive effects
     •      effective processes to help set limits around games  

The topic is extremely relevant today, as our children do not grow up in the same world as we did! We now have to parent in a digital age, where we don't have the experience and know-how of growing up with digital devices and technology.

Pam Macmillan, currently Edtech coach at St Stithians Boys’ College and Greg Crighton, an educational psychologist with extensive experience in schools and private practice, gave some solid advice to parent with regards gaming and children. The "trick" is to be involved and to set up negotiated ground rules from a young age.

There are some negatives of gaming!

But the good far outweighs the bad!

Take control as a parent by sitting down with your child to discuss and negotiate time management. It boils down to having open conversations with your children. Take the time to "walk-through" the games (YouTube videos etc) and to play it with them. To use gaming as punishment (by taking it away), is not as effective as rather using it as a reward system: "The sooner your chores/homework are done, the sooner you can play and have a longer play time!"
It has been found that balanced children who play games, but also take part in other activities, such as sport and culture, are achieving better academically.

Pam Macmillan
Parenting controls with regards gaming:

- Put parental controls in place

- Encourage a balanced lifestyle

- Games should be a privilege, not a right

- Develop and maintain open communication

- Don't over react

- Encourage responsibility

- Choose the environment

- Educate yourself

- Play games with your child

The positives far outweighs the negatives with regards gaming and children. As in everything else in life, we need balance! We can provide the balance as parents!

Some final notes: Visual learning is effective! Gamification of learning is important in the future!  The brain selectively remembers, choosing the most stimulating moments of the day (memory and attention). To transfer the focal attention to the learning situation makes 100% sense. The learning outcomes are less important than the process. Pam Macmillan concluded to say that the benefits of learning with devices far outweighs the disadvantages!

*No, my child is not yet addicted to gaming, but I can start conversations with her about screen time, and balance in life! "Phew!"

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Being bullied for using a car seat

Little Miss regularly comes home telling us that the other kids are saying that she is a baby for still sitting in a car seat. They see it when we drop her off or fetch from school. It bothers her! (Of course!)

I have to ask if the parents don't care?

I even heard it two weeks back when I picked up two of her friends at school. When they saw the car seat they asked her in condescending tones why she is still sitting in one! I had to chip in and tell them that they should also still be sitting in booster seats, and that it is the safest way to commute in the car!

I have to ask if the parents don't care?

The #carseatfullstop campaign has been doing the rounds. I was not part of it, but I fully support it!

Little Miss was even a bit envious yesterday afternoon when one of her friends got into the front seat of the nanny's car, without strapping in...

I have to ask if the parents don't care?

My speech usually revolves around children who get hurt when they are not strapped in properly, and not seated in a proper car seat. Would the children still be laughing at her when they get hurt? Would the parents still think it is okay when they are in an accident and their children get hurt?
We also tell her that it is law, and that we are expected to buckle them in!

What more can I say to her?

The children in her age group are 8 years. Surely they still need to be in car seats?

It bothers me that so many children can get injured unnecessarily!

I have to ask if the parents don't care?

Photos found through a "car seat" search on my iPhone. (Love this new iOS Memories feature!)

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