Wednesday, 28 February 2018

WIN tickets to Alice in Wonderland at the People's Theatre

Poster of Disney Alice in Wonderland
Disney's Alice in Wonderland - People's Theatre

We love the People's Theatre. The excitement and introduction to theatre for children are unsurpassed. We are so glad that they are going down the rabbit hole this upcoming holidays! Crazy, mad and wonderful Alice in Wonderland is always great escapism for the whole family.

In March and April, travel down the rabbit hole and join Alice, one of literature’s most beloved heroines, on her madcap adventures. The ever-curious Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit.  Her adventures become increasingly more strange as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar  is shrunk, stretched, scratched and stuffed into a teapot, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game!
Based on the Alice books by Lewis Carroll, the Peoples Theatre’s version of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland will bring all your favourite, wacky characters to life. And don’t forget the crazy ditties. Expect to hear all of them - from “In a World of My Own” to “I'm Late” to “The Unbirthday Song”.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

How to improve Facebook engagement in 2018 - Jodene Shaer

Emoyeni Estate, with people sitting outside
MamaMagic New Product Awards at Emoyeni Estate
MamaMagic is not only known for the MamaMagic exhibitions throughout the country. It has become a powerful platform partnering with the best products and people - from pregnancy to parenting babies and children. It is a platform to kick start new products and to empower the skill set necessary to drive this innovative growing industry.
Cover of Milestones Magazine with text MamaMagic New Products Awards at Emoyeni
Milestones magazine by MamaMagic - New Products Awards event

The MamaMagic New Products Awards Ceremony for 2017 was held at the beautiful Emoyeni Estate last week. It is always exciting to see the products, and meet inspiring people. Last week did not disappoint. Jodene Shaer from Chat Factory was there to get the business owners up to speed with what's happening in the social media sphere. Of course everything has changed again this year, and you can't be doing social media the same as previously!  Jodene has most of the answers for most of the platforms, and we need to know what to do differently this year. Facebook has changed their algorithms considerably. I share some of her insights about FB here!

Monday, 26 February 2018

LG Smart Inverter Top Loader Washing Machine - making life easier (Review)

Girl looking into LG Smart Inverter Top Loader Washing Machine while washing
#LGSmartInverter #SmartInverter

LG has launched the LG Smart Inverter Top Loader Washing Machine into the SA market with a bit of fanfare. Of course I said yes when asked if we would want to review the machine. The 17kg white LG Smart Inverter Top Loader Washing Machine was installed last week.

17 kg White LG Top Loader Washing with washing on top
LG Smart Inverter Top Loader Washing Machine
The most awesome and immediate benefits are that we only had to do two loads of washing for a whole week of clothes, and that it runs so silently we have to go and check that it is really working. It's probably not fair to compare with our 5kg front loader, but saving time and effort and not having an "aeroplane" (noise level) take off in our kitchen each time it spins is a HUGE DEAL!

It is making our life so much easier.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Grooming female scientists and engineers of the future

Girls in science classroom
Parktown Girls
Stories about inspiring women and girls are always great to share! We got an email about Parktown Girls who are grooming female scientists and engineers. We have a Miss that only has a few years (3 years eeek!) before she also has to decide what direction she is going to go with regards her career and her subjects. How do we prepare girls like her to choose a career in STEM?

South Africa is in desperate need of qualified scientists and engineers. Compounding this, only 11% of engineers globally are female according to an article published by UNESCO in October 2017.  This is a worldwide phenomenon, despite a rising global demand for qualified science, technology, engineering and, maths (STEM) professionals.
Tracey Megom, Principal at Parktown High School for Girls, says the idea for a Science Centre was born 15 years ago, but the school initially struggled to come up with the money to build it, so parents started fundraising and looking for partners. Anglo American helped them with their dream by a multi-million Rand investment that is already impacting this skills gap.
Following Anglo American’s contribution, the construction of two conjoined laboratory and classroom facilities for life sciences, physics and chemistry began in 2015 and the science centre was opened in late 2016 to the school’s 1 100 pupils. Its effect was almost immediate: 30% more Grade 9 girls chose the sciences as matric subjects.

Parktown High School for Girls is a government high school in Johannesburg that serves a diverse grouping of girls across class, race, and culture, and happens to be one of Gauteng’s province top-performing schools. It boasts a consistent 100% matric pass rate and achieved a 97% Bachelor Degree entrance rate in the 2017 matric results.  The school has been acknowledged by the University of the Witwatersrand as its top feeder school.

Tracy Megom answers a few questions, about herself and how to inspire young girls.

Monday, 19 February 2018

LIfe is a choice, not an excuse

Notes in notebook, with coffee in background and Stabilo Boss highlighters
Study course notes
We signed up for a study course, and this past weekend was the weekend that we could fit it in. Grade 4 is a culture shock! More for the parents than the kids, it seems! :-) The extra subjects, tests, exams and projects are a lot more than the previous grades. The parents need to help manage, AND time manage, AND help the kids to learn.

We are so glad we signed up for this! We got a couple of telephone numbers to phone from the Grade 3 teachers last year, and the lady who phoned me back is from a Tina Cowley Reading Centre. The course was from a Friday afternoon, followed up by the Saturday afternoon. It was more than a good six hours of learning how to learn.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Grade 4 is a culture shock, but mostly for the Mom

Girl looking through binoculars
Grade four is a total different ball game here! The children start changing between classes and they start writing tests and exams. The pace is also much faster than the previous grades. Miss Fine has been taking it all in her stride, but we (the parents) feel a little bit overwhelmed.

We have to make sure that we are abreast of her calendar and her homework, A standard request each day is to immediately take out her homework book so that we could check if there is something new. I am writing this down for future reference. We feel like we are doing grade four for the first time, but our grade four, way back when, surely did not involve as much as this? Even 15 years ago with the eldest it was not so tough!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Breather away at Dikhololo

Dikhololo sign board at the entrance
Arrival on Friday at Dikholo Nature Reserve, near Brits
We had a good rest at Dikhololo, a second year in a row. We are very blessed to be able to celebrate my Dad's birthday away in the Bush!

We complain about the eleven kilometers of bad dirt road we have to get there, and we even said this year was the last! But thinking back about the weekend, I have a rubber arm! I would be there in a flash if I get the chance. A weekend away is a great way to breath. I have been spamming my Instagram feeds. Sorry! Not sorry!

It was great to get away from the year that has started with a bang!

A post shared by Karen Du Toit (@karentoittoit) on

Thursday, 1 February 2018

World Read Aloud Day - Every Day

Girl searching for story books on library shelves
Girl searching for a story book on the library shelves #WRAD2018
This day needs a shout-out! World Read Aloud Day! It should not be the only day that we read aloud, but it is always good to get a formal reminder each year that we should read aloud to our children. They should also read aloud to us!

The Read Educational Trust, a NGO, and Nalibali are doing great work in South Africa with regards reading, and Read Aloud Day today!

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