Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 in Review

Bitmoji girl hitting 2018 with hammer
Goodbye 2018
2018 was a big year for us. It was very difficult! But we accomplished much!

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Escape with Last Secret Chamber by Phil Philips

Cover of Last Secret Chamber book on Kindle
Last Secret Chamber
I did not read as much as I wanted this year. I will definitely change this in the new year. There's nothing as good as a book. To relax, to escape and to expand my knowledge every time.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Summer of rest

2018 was a tough year. We are still in the last throes of it, and 2019 are going to be tough as well. But, amidst it all, we are having a great rest and great times with family and friends. We even had three days of Christmas. How blessed is that?

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Miss Fine end-of-year question review

Girl with Christmas present
Miss Fine
It's been a year since the the previous questions to the nearly 9 year old. This week Miss Fine is celebrating her 10th birthday. We are so proud of her. She has done so well at school, and it seems she knows who she is and what she wants.

Mon asked her a few questions, and I wrote it down as is. Thank you for the honest answers. We learn more from you, than you from us.

Monday, 17 December 2018

The boy who cried Ninja - Take the kids

The boy who cried Ninja with Taryn Bennett, James Cairns and Toni Morkel
By Alex Latimer
Adapted and directed by JENINE COLLOCOTT
Original Score by SUE GREALY
Puppets by ANDY JONES

Daphne Kuhn and Contagious Theatre's new show, The Boy Who Cried Ninja, is still on until 22 December at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square. The show is based on Alex Latimer’s book of the same name and we totally agree with the rave reviews from local theatre critics. It is aimed at young families - recommended for children between 4 - 10 years - but we know older kids would find it just as delightful!

The boy who cried Ninja book cover
The Boy who cried Ninja - Alexa Latimer 
We were invited to attend the show on Saturday. It is well worth going to Auto & General Theatre on the Square as the vibe in Mandela Square is festive at this time of the year. It makes for a great outing lingering there before and after the show.

The boy who cried Ninja is a story with a subtle lesson about honesty.
In the show, Tim witnesses some strange happenings around his house, but no one believes his explanations. In fact, no matter what Tim says, his parents just punish him with chores. To save himself, he hatches a clever plan to expose the truth. Will it work, or will Tim have to spend the rest of his life raking the yard?
Cast from The boy who cried Ninja throwing balls into audience
The boy who cried Ninja - Contagious Theatre: Throwing balls into theatre

The show is bubbling with humour from start to finish, and keeps children and parents laughing out loud. Taryn Bennett is superb in the role of Tim. We love how she makes Tim come alive with all the mannerisms of a lively boy.

Bookings  can be made through Computicket or can be made by calling the theatre on 011 883-8606.

It's only the last few days, and this show is so special! Please take the kids.

Disclaimer: We got tickets to attend the show on Saturday

Friday, 14 December 2018

Nestlé NESPRAY Fortigrow: Nutrition for school going children [WIN]

Nestlé NESPRAY Fortigrow logo
Nestlé NESPRAY Fortigrow
In an ideal world my child would eat all the healthy food we put on her plate, but unfortunately NOT. She’s a picky eater. She loves fruit, but only some... She needs a lot of “encouragement” to eat those vegetables, and then only some... She loves sweet things... I can go on. In the meantime we feel the #parentfail daily with regards her nutritional requirements. That’s why I love the fact that there is Nestlé NESPRAY Fortigrow that tastes great, but addresses the shortfalls in her nutritional requirements.

The statistics in South Africa are alarming: One in four children under the age of three in Gauteng‚ Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape suffer from malnutrition and, among many other disadvantages, will not be physically or mentally equipped to benefit from school. Nestlé has stepped in to address this serious need in our society:

“To nourish growing minds, we focus on providing our future leaders with brain support, immune support and growth builders,” said Adedoja Ekeruche, Business Executive Officer - Dairy at NESTLÉ. “To do this, we work with the farmers and nutritional scientists to not only standardise the milk that goes into the NESPRAY full milk powder, but the milk powder itself, so every sip of every glass has the same nutritional value. A large part of that lies in supporting our farmers deliver to world-class standards and practices.”

The Nestlé approach is multi-dimensional; from the farmer to the community, for the best quality product.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

More Disney fun with Disney Princess

Ariel Doll looking on at Disney Cruise Line on pc screen
Disney Princess fun
A Disney Princess - it makes the ideal gift for all the girls (and boys) who loves the Disney stories about Princesses. All the dreamers who loves to create memorable adventures with their princesses... Best of all, this holiday season, there is not only the opportunity to make a girl happy with her favourite princess, but there is also a fantastic opportunity for a Disney fan. (Cue *me*!!)

Hasbro, Disney and ToysRUs have partnered together for a once-in-a-lifetime prize:

Purchase any participating stickered Disney Princess or Disney Frozen product from Toys R Us stores nationwide, between 1 December 2018 and 31 January 2019, and stand a chance to win a family trip of a lifetime that includes a seven night Caribbean cruise on board the “Disney Fantasy” Cruise Ship, disembarking from Florida USA.  The offer includes exciting meet and greets with the Disney Princesses, Disney on-aboard entertainment (West End quality shows), ocean view accommodation  and so much more Disney adventure. 

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: 
  • This competition will run for a week, until Tuesday 11 December 2018 at 12 pm. The lucky  winner will be drawn via 
  • 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.

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