Monday, 10 December 2018

Fourways Mall with Santa Live heats up the Christmas spirit

Elf on bicycle at Fourways Mall handing out crackers and popcorn
Elf at Fourways Mall
Santa's Elves sent an invite to Miss Fine to Skype Live with Santa from the North Pole at Fourways. We love all the festivities and activations around Christmas during this time of the year. This is super awesome to take the kids to experience. Miss Fine was a bit shy to talk to him, but the super-friendly Elf helpers made it easier on her. And we got the photos to prove she spoke to him.

Girl in front of banner: Video Chat with Santa
Video Chat with Santa - Fourways Mall
The Live Video chats are available from 1 - 24 December. Love that it is free.

Miss Fine Skype call to Santa at the North Pole

See the Santa Live call on my Instagram Stories: Santa Fourways

Fourways Mall has a number of festive activities. Bring the kids.
Poster at Fourways Mall with Christmas activities to do
Fourways Mall
We made a whole outing on Saturday, with a lovely breakfast at Mugg & Bean (which is near Dischem Court and the Santa Live activation area) before speaking to Santa.

Breakfast at M&B at Fourways
Miss Fine got a Christmas cracker and popcorn from the Elf on the bicycle when we arrived. (See photo on top) Track him down when you see him.

Girl with Christmas Cracker
Miss Fine with a Christmas Cracker

Girl next to Santa Live from the North Pole
Thanks, Santa!


Disclaimer: Miss Fine was very lucky to get a Carry and care Baby Doll from Santa. Thanks to Fourways Mall and Tribeca for the invite.

Girl strapped in car seat with Carry and Care baby Doll strapped in next to her

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The Greatest Christmas at Menlyn - on our bucket list

The Greatest Christmas at Menlyn banner

We are not so lucky to be able to go away this December. The budget is non-existent. Fortunately there is a lot going on in Gauteng. We still like to do things that are festive and family orientated. If it is "free" even more so!

Menlyn Park in Pretoria has launched their Greatest Christmas at Menlyn campaign on Saturday with a Carols in the Sky show. It was fantastic! I wish I knew how grand it would be, so I could have told you before the time. *Sorry*
See my Instastory for some of the magic. Conductors Tim Roberts and Unathi Malunga were fantastic together with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra. Then there was Zanzi Afrirca and Brandon October as soloists. The Ndlovu Youth Choir was the cherry on top. Excellent! Excellent! Next year make sure you attend as well.




Fortunately Menlyn has a whole programme running until 23 December.

Santa Visits

Meet up with Santa at Mini Cavendish Court from 9am - 7pm.

We got our photo. Santa is friendly and he doesn't mind posing for hundreds of photos every day. He wanted to know what Miss Fine wants for Christmas. She doesn't want to tell us, but we have a good idea.


Zip Zap Circus

Zip Zap Circus at Menlyn banner
Zip Zap Circus - CC Menlyn

Every day at 3 pm and 7 pm at Cavendish Court.
We missed the launch tonight *crying*, but this is definitely on our list for December.

The Zip Zap Circus is a social circus that was founded in Cape Town in 1992, with the aim to inspire young people and help build a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa.
Working with a diverse community of children from all backgrounds, Zip Zap helps kids to ‘dare to dream’ and learn to make those dreams a reality.

Menlyn is raising funds for the Topsy Foundation, which empower rural communities infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. You are welcome to give a donation at Menlyn or online.


See you at Menlyn?


What more is happening in Pretoria this holiday?

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Disney Mickey The True Original Festive giveaway

Banner "Mickey the True Original 90 years"

Disney Africa have been celebrating Mickey the True Original for about 3 months now. The campaign joins the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon. On 18 November 2018 it marked 90 years since Mickey's first appearance in Steamboat Willie .

Mickey has been popping up everywhere, with loads of branded products, engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. We spotted this Disney Mickey tree at Menlyn Mall in Pretoria on Saturday evening.

Disney Mickey plush toys Christmas tree
Disney Mickey Christmas Tree for charity at Christmas at Menlyn Mall 

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”
To continue with the celebrations, Disney Africa has made available one Disney Mickey Festive Hamper for one lucky reader of this blog.

Disney Mickey Festive Giveaway

Mickey Mouse plush toy 43cm
Disney Mickey Mouse plush toy

Mickey Mouse Funko Pop! with box
Mickey Mouse Funko POP! 

One lucky reader will win a Mickey Mouse Funko POP! figurine and a Mickey Mouse 43cm plush toy. The value is R750. (Would love this myself as well! *cue green with envy*)


To be eligible to win:


  • Please comment below and tell me where you have seen the Disney Mickey campaign in South Africa? 
  • For an extra entry, share this on social media. Tell me in a separate comment where you have shared.
          Shareable link: https://ctt.ac/ZcX8G 
  • This competition will run for a week, until Tuesday 11 December 2018 at 12 pm. The lucky  winner will be drawn via Random.org. 
  • This competition is only open to South African residents.
  • If you have won on this blog in the previous 3 months, you will not be eligible for this competition.


Congratulations to Susann Deysel. You are the lucky winner of the Mickey Mouse Funo Pop! and Mickey Mouse plush toy. Please send me your contact details?



Thanks to Disney Africa and Entourage Media for gifting this to one lucky reader.

Monday, 3 December 2018

A Christmas tradition: The Garden of Lights at Emperor's Palace

Girl posing with Princess at "Garden of Lights"
"Garden of Lights" - pose with the Garden Princess
By now we have a firm Christmas tradition: Visiting the Garden of Lights at Emperors Palace each year during the December holidays. The lights never disappoints, and it's a great way to start the Festive Season with kids. The best: The proceeds go to charity.

Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, Olaf, the Magical Fairy, the Gingerbread Man... There's too many of our favourite characters, but they are all there. It's all magical!

Girl walking through the Garden of Lights: "Santas Village"
Santas Village at the Garden of Lights

Lights of Horses with pumpkin carriage at the Garden of Lights
Magical carriage at The Garden of Lights at Emperor's Palace

Girl pose in garden of lights
The Garden of Lights

Pose in Garden of Lights
The parentals were there 
We got our Christmas photo as well. 

You won't be disappointed in visiting this year. This is the 11th Annual Garden of Lights at Emperors Palace, and there are a few surprises. (Hint: It gets better each year)
The Garden of Lights is on from 30 November until 9 January 2019, from 19H00-22H00 daily.
It should be on your bucket list for the holidays. 

Disclaimer: We got tickets to attend the opening night.

Friday, 30 November 2018

DC Comics Animated Memory Match Game - WIN

DC Comics Animated Memory Match Game box
DC Comics Animated Memory Match Game - CC Prima Toys
                                                                                                                              #Sponsored

Perfect for the Festive Season. This DC Memory Match Game is ideal for family time. It forms part of the Prima Toys DC Campaign for summer and the festive season. DC Superhero fans, boys and girls, will love this as a gift.

The DC Comics Animated Memory Match Game is ideal for ages 3 plus and can be played with 2 or more players. The game features Wonder Woman, the Flash, Superman and more.

The game is valued at RSP R99.99  and available from retailers and toy stores. Easy on the budget and super cool as gift for boys and girls and the whole family.

Prima Toys has made available one of these for a give-away here.

DC Harley Quin dress-up costume
Harley Quin 

WIN A DC COMICS JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED MEMORY MATCH GAME


  • Comment below with the DC Superhero your child loves the most?
  • This competition will run for a week, until Friday 7 December 2018 at 12 pm. The winner will be drawn via Random.org. 
  • This competition is only open to South African residents.
  • If you have won on this blog in the previous 3 months, you will not be eligible for this competition.

Congratulations to 


Aidan Kew.


Related post

DC Superhero Toys for Boys and Girls - Great for gifts

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Wordless about life

Girl overlooking pond with duck at Kwenyani Guest Lodge
I haven't done a Wordless Wednesday in quite a while. Nowadays I have no words. Life is hard, and I don't know what to say about it. It's a Word-less Wednesday here, with a couple of words to remind me about this difficult time.

Hopefully I will come back here in a couple of months and tell myself that it wasn't that bad. Just keep on going. Life will sort itself. 

That's the thing about social media. We can post a picture here, but it is not a true reflection of our lives. 

I leave this picture here from our stay at Kwenyani Guest farm, taken two weeks back after attending a wedding in the Bush. It was such a tranquil place to stay over for the night. I can highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Gift idea for the whole family - FUNKO POPS [WIN]

It's the Season of Giving, the season of spoiling your loved ones. It's sometimes so difficult to get something different and special for those close to you. That's why I love the idea of gifting a special Funko Pop to each of your family members. How cool!! It also won't break the bank especially when the budget is tight this year.


Funko Pops - CC Gammatek
It will be the most fun to choose that special Funko Pop that fits perfectly with each family member. It requires a bit of knowledge and some detective work to find out what they would love the most. The range is extensive; from football players, Game of Thrones, Marvel Superheroes, Disney princesses, DC Superheroes... There's even Sandy Olsson from Grease. She is sooo cute! These collectables will definitely awaken the spirit of starting your own collection.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

DC Superhero Toys for Boys and Girls - Great for gifts

Harlequin Dress Set (DC Superhero Girl), DC Bumblebee figurine and Ooshie pencil topper
DC Superhero Toys

                                                                                                                  #Sponsored

Superheroes are great for imagination and role-play. What little kid (and older kids) does not like a story where we know the hero always saves the day. The hero overcome his inner demons and slay the outer enemies as well. Prima Toys has launched their DC Superhero Campaign, making sure South African fans are not left behind.

It's not a surprise that although DC comics have been around since the 1930s, it still continues to mesmerise and excite fans of all ages, children especially!

The new range of DC products are going to thrill fans of Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, to name a few. There are stretch figurines, ooshies, mash ems and an assortment of dress up costumes for fun role play,” says Chiquita Patrizi spokesperson for Prima Toys.
“Everything in the range encourages imaginative play – it’s all about the super hero universe where it’s all about super powers, fun and hours of play,” continues Patrizi.
We love the characters from the DC Comics universe in their battle to save the world!

The following DC Superhero Toys are great for gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

DC Superhero Toys


Mini Toddler dolls for Girls
DC Superhero Mini Toddler Dolls
DC Superhero Mini Toddler Dolls (credit Prima Toys)


The miniature DC Super Hero figurines stand 7,5cm tall. There are 6 DC Super Hero girls’ collectible figures in the collection, including Bumble Bee, Cat Woman, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Super Girl.
RSP: R89.99

Girl with DC Superhero Mini Toddler figurine Bumblebee
DC Superhero Bumblebee to the rescue

Mini Stretch Justice league figurines

The Stretch range are super cool.  There are now mini Justice League figurines available. Each toy can stretch up to 5 times its original size.  It slowly shapes back, ready to be pulled and twisted all over again. Miss Fine has been constantly stretching her large Stretch. I see her taking it to school and packing it in when we go out. It definitely addresses some sensory issues as well.
RSP: R199.99 


Dress Up DC Classic and Party Time Costumes 

DC Spiderman costume on boy
DC Superhero Superman costume (credit Prima Toys)
Save the day with classic costumes of all your favourite superheroes. Each costume comes in small, medium and large for the perfect fit!
RSP: R499.99
Girl with superhero Harlequin costume and mask
DC Superhero Harlequin costume

The DC Party time costumes and assorted head bands and masks provide the opportunity for children to play as their favourite superhero. I wish I knew of these when we were searching for a spidergirl outfit a few years back. Costumes are available in sizes 3 to 6 years.
RSP: R169.99


Justice League Ooshies

DC Ooshie Batman
DC Comics Ooshie (credit Prima Toys)
Collect 40 of all of your favourite Justice League heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash as Ooshie pencil toppers. There's a special edition glow in the dark, metallic, translucent and gold plated Ooshies. For ages five plus.
RSP: R49.99

Justice League Mash’ems

DC Mash'ems
DC Superhero Mash'ems (credit Prima Toys)
The Mash-ems are assorted squishy collectible characters that will keep boys and girls entertained for hours. The squishy toys are all the rage, and really helps with sensory processing issues. Ideal for all ages, from 3 upwards.
RSP: R69.99


These toys are available from all major toy retailers. 

We recommend this for all superhero girls and boys. You won't make a mistake adding this to your Christmas wishlist for the kids. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Tips for parents for Grade 4 Exams

Kwenyani Guest House
Miss Fine
We are beginning to breathe. The end of the Grade 4 exams are in sight. Friday will be the last subject. I read my previous posts about Grade 4 exams, and realise we go through the same motions each time. But it gets better!

I was really worried about these last exams. We did not prepare as much as we would love. Notice the "we" as the parents were still greatly involved in the process of learning. We both stepped in, and tried to help. It is not always easy when you try to help, and the recipient of the help knows better most of the times.

Amazingly, Miss Fine found her groove. It helps that she gets to stay at school (we don't have any other choice). She summarizes her subjects at school, and then we are able to check her knowledge at night. We are so impressed with her!
Here I was dreading this week, and when I pick her up I hear that she has gone through her work at least once! *Happy dance!*

I am so proud and so relieved!
Grade 4 was difficult! But she made it!

I have picked up some tips on how to cope as parents when helping a Grade 4 preparing for exams.

6 Tips on how to survive Grade 4 exams 

For parents of Grade 4 learners

  • The earlier you start, the better. If you have difficulty in convincing them to start early, don't sweat it. The work can be done in two one day.
  • Help, but also take a step away. They are supposed to start doing it on their own.
  • Take turns as parents to help. It keeps frustration at bay.
  • We set some goals. Do a page, and then we give you something/a surprise to do. Such as exercises, or jumping on the trampoline. (This really worked)
  • Pull up your own exam papers for them to complete. It gives you insight in how much they know, and helps them to feel better about an upcoming subject.
  • Give the responsibility back to the kid to learn. They may surprise you. 
Well done, Miss Fine!
You are so fine!

Photo at Kwenyani Guest house this past weekend. We attended a wedding in Roodeplaat on Saturday.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Child's Farm for the whole family

Child's Farm
Child's Farm
Child's Farm is a range of skincare products for babies and children that tick all the boxes of being safe, natural and containing only essential oils. We wish we could share the fragrances of all the products here. Luckily it is now available in Clicks in South Africa. Next time, do yourself a favour and smell them when you see it on the shelve.

We got five of the products through a blog drop. The Child's Farm bubble bath, hair & body wash, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner. We used the products for the whole family, and they are now on our shopping list. The hair products is so soft, and we do not struggle with combing the hair afterwards. The other day somebody asked me about Miss Fine and her scalp that she is always scratching. She struggles with eczema. We realised that the scratching has stopped. *Happy dance!* We are so glad we found this!

We uses the moisturiser as an all-rounder in the bathroom. I have to test more on Miss Fine's toes for the eczema, but it definitely helps to have it nearby when her toes flares up from the eczema.

The product is clinically tested, and has got the Leaping Bunny award. It is the most trusted cruelty free certification for non-animal tested cosmetics & personal care products. It is awarded by animal protection organisation Cruelty Free International. They definitely get extra points for this!!

Have you tried the products yet?

Updated: Child's Farm is also available at Baby City in South Africa.

Monday, 12 November 2018

My weekend was better than yours

Mom with daughter
"Smile!"
Because we have summer weather and Miss Fine had a lovely time at the Telkom 947 Kiddies Ride on Saturday. Ever since she did the 94.7 Kiddies Ride ride two years back she has been nagging to do it again! Last year it clashed with her gymnastics end of year, but this year we signed her up again.

It is such a lovely outing for the whole family.



She will maybe be able to do next year's ride as well, and then we can do the family ride the following year.
Girl with bicycle and attire for Telkom 947 Kiddies Ride
Miss Fine at the Kiddies Ride #CCKiddies

Who was there?
Was your weekend better than mine? :-)

Sunday, 11 November 2018

daughters, by Stuart Land - Book review

Opened tab on computer with review of "daughters" on GoodRead
daughters, by Stuart Land - Review on Good Reads
I start so many books nowadays, to loose interest and not really wanting to continue. Although I do not like abandoning a book, I struggle to finish it. Does it say something about my reading style, or how much we have changed with regards reading behaviour in our multi-media world? Luckily "daughters" by Stuart Land gripped me immediately, and I could not wait each evening to find out what is the next shocker in this gripping tale. If you like science fiction and human behaviour stories, this is a great read. As a mom of daughters, this also hit a nerve, as I could only imagine how I would feel if my daughters get pregnant at age 12-13.


daughtersdaughters by Stuart Land
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Since the moment I started reading, I wanted find out more and why this was happening. Virgin daughters getting pregnant worldwide, changing the story of human survival... I cannot say more, as I do not want to spoil the story-line for future readers. I love a good SciFi story, and this story ticks all the boxes. The story are made even more plausible by the use of biological science throughout. It is well-researched. The well-rounded characters also adds to the allure of the story. I would definitely recommend this story for a movie script.
Well done, Stuart Land!
Disclaimer: I got this book for free through a suggestion by Booktasters on Twitter, with the undertaking that I do a review afterwards. I even changed my review from 4.5 to 5 when I read the end of the story. You'll know when you read the end of the story.

View all my reviews

Friday, 9 November 2018

Consciously connecting with nature - With Sunlight inspiration


Shepstone Gardens event
#InspiredByNature
As a working person it is difficult to find time to spend in nature. We leave the house very early, spend at least two and a half hours in traffic each day, and sit in a cubicle without a glimmer of sunlight. We are disconnected from nature, and totally stressed. Profmed's Stress Index 2017 claims that stress has both an emotional and physical impact on professionals, with 10.9 percent of the respondents taking time off due to stress-related illness.  I was reminded on Tuesday to consciously seek out a closeness with nature to improve my own health, well-being and functioning.

Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid launched their Sunlight Extra range by treating us to a day of natural inspiration at Shepstone Gardens. We had a wedding at this lovely venue a few years back, and it still is a favourite spot in my books.

There is so much inspiration from nature, and these are my 5 take-away notes. How do we bring Nature back into our lives? 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR at Peoples Theatre - WOW!

Curtain at Disney's Beauty and the Beast at People's Theatre
Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR #BeautyBeastJR
Jill Girard and Keith Smith have done it again with the most recent production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR at Peoples Theatre. It's amazing, entertaining and totally different than the previous shows. It's not only theatre for young people, but for the whole family. The "storybook comes to life" shows are always a total treat. I am surprised each time at how creative they use the stage and the characters while still staying true to the original story. Well done! This is a great way to introduce children to theatre, and making them want to come back for more.

Miss Fine asked for the first time about the kids playing in the show.  How do they get to be there? They are such wonderful actors already, and inspires her immensely. I had to tell her about the auditions, but hopefully she forgets to ask again (*thumbs crossed*). It looks like they have so much fun on stage, but I am thinking about all the repetition and hard work and getting the children there...
Selfie: Karen du Toit, Miss Fine and Hubby
MomAgain@40 clan at People's Theatre
Girl looking at Beauty and the Beast JR programme at Peoples Theatre
Miss Fine waiting for the show to start at People's Theatre
We were blown away by the set and lighting for this show. The transparent drops with moving images added so much more to the eerie and somber scenes.

Peoples Theatre - Disney Beauty and the Beast with moving images

Disney's Beauty and the Beast JR will be on until 24 December. It will be great for an exam reliever or a great holiday outing in December.

Cast on stage at Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Final bow at Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Related:

Upbeat Annie JR at Peoples Theatre 

Beneath African Skies at the Peoples Theatre


Disclaimer: We got tickets to attend the show on Friday night. Thanks, Peoples Theatre and Buz Publicity

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Take a shot left at Dullstroom Inn

Dullstroom street with trees
Dullstroom street
We had brunch at the Dullstroom Inn a few weeks back. I was lurking on #TravelChatSA stream on Twitter tonight talking about all South African small towns. Dullstroom should definitely to be on the list of towns to visit. This town has so many stories and history to share. I have already written about Mrs. Simpson's and Wild about Whisky in Dullstroom.

Dullstroom Inn building seen from street
Dullstroom Inn

The Dullstroom Inn also needs a shout-out!

Some more photos. It's not a Wordless Wednesday, but here goes...
Dullstroom Inn door with customer
Entrance DullStroom Inn
Dullstroom Inn warning sign "No bloody swearing"
Warning with rugby showing in the background
Dullstroom Inn fire which burns the whole day

Dullstroom Inn Bar
Dullstroom In bar
Dullstroom Inn Hotel as seen from the street
Dullstroom Inn Hotel
Great for a weekend away, and beckoning us to go back again.

Have you been to Dullstroom?