Thursday, 7 November 2019

Disney Junior - It's a Party

Inside cinema with screen: "Disney Junior Cinema Party"
Disney Junior Cinema Party 
There's new seasons of Disney Junior (on DSTv 309) Fancy Nancy Clancy, Lion Guard, Vampirina and Puppy Dog Pals. I always remember what Christine Service, the country manager for The Walt Disney Company in South Africa, said a few years ago. Disney always remembers the parents when they write and produce the stories. We as parents have to see episodes and movies hundreds of times, but we can still marvel at the witty comebacks and above the head (of the little ones) jokes. We enjoy the episodes as much as our children do!

Some facts about the new Disney Junior episodes...

Friday, 1 November 2019

Instax Square SQ20 is the one you want - Review

Instax SQ 20 with Instax Square cartridges and INstax bag
Instax SQ20
The INSTAX SQ20 can now print from video for amazing instant photos.
We love everything about Instax cameras. There is nothing as satisfying as getting a printed photo immediately. We have an Instax Mini 9 camera that we were gifted a while ago, so we have been playing with it for a while. The Instax SQ 20 is everything you would expect from the Instax experience, but so much more. You are able to edit, filter and select frames from videos. It is Instax on steroids. Trust me, you would love this in your gift bag for Christmas or a birthday!

Instax Square SQ20 - beige
Instax SQ20 (Image courtesy Fujifilm)
Disclaimer: We got a black Instax SQ 20 to review for two weeks, with 3 cartridges of film. (The Instax SQ 20 were fetched this week.)

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Nerf Fest 2019 was the Nerf - in photos

Nerf Fest 2019 - girls preparing to shoot with Nerf Blasters
Nerf Fest 2019
Nerf Fest 2019 was awesome! The girls had so much fun. The competitor activities was all the rage, and the stunning GOG Lifestyle Park added to the fun of the day! This is not a Wordless Wednesday, but here are some of the photos. The heat on Saturday was the only reason we left. It was a scorcher of a summer's day!

There was 4 competitor's areas that the children had to complete. They were in a team of 5 each, and the Nerf Monsters (each team had to choose their own name) did a few good rounds. The last round was in the water area, and it was perfect to cool down after the exercises. The smaller children could also play in a number of areas, but I think it would be great if they get their own competitor slots, with parents running alongside them. A fellow blogger told me her son was so disappointed that he could not yet partake! (Just a suggestion?)

Girls preparing to shoot with Nerf blasters
Nerf Fest 2019

Thursday, 24 October 2019

The social contract with your child - Think Ahead

Think Ahead is running great workshops with regards social media and your child. Teachers and parents will definitely benefit to attend. I listened to Having the Social Media Talk with your tech-savvy child, by Cayley Jorgensen.

Cayley Jorgensen in front of overhead projection of her credentials
Cayley Jorgensen - Think Ahead

We have been postponing getting a phone for our Miss Fine, although she is nearly eleven. "ALL HER FRIENDS" ("Yes, all my friends, Mom!") have phones already! She still has an iPad2 that she only gets to play on when homework is done, and she got a tablet sent from family overseas only this past weekend. She is also already very versatile on her parent's phones, and knows both our passwords. We have been having talks, and the school has been having talks. The school has forbidden the use of smartphones that can connect to the Internet. It helped to prolong the inevitable. But here we are!

The social contract by Cayley Jorgensen (shared below) is a great way to proceed.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Marnie's World pre-release screening - WIN tickets for family

Marnie's World Ster-Kinekor poster
Marnie's World - Ster-Kinekor

Ster-Kinekor is having pre-release screenings of Marnie’s World on 26 October. Check out the trailer, Marnie's World on YouTube.

"Pampered pussycat Marnie who does little more than eat and sleep all day is lured into becoming a secret agent. Marnie teams up with a bunch of runaway animals, including a crazy donkey, a chicken and all their friends and sets off on a dangerous mission to track down a gang of notorious thieves."

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Jesse & the Thinkers, by Ken John - Book review

Kindle book, Jesse & The Thinkers
Jesse & the Thinkers (Jesse & Jake Book 1)
I love it when a book aligns with my understanding of the world: Thoughts create your reality is the main message that permeates in Jesse en the Thinkers, by Ken John.

I would love for my daughter to read it. I will wait two years, until she is 12,13 to introduce it to her. It is a fantastical ride into a world of dreams, but with believable characters whom we all can identify with. The Outsider is always the one who saves the world in the end? The positive message of your thoughts that creates your world, and the way you see and experience the world, is totally depended on the self! How I would love for my "half-empty-cup"daughter to know that she can change that! So much!

My GoodReads review follows below.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

NERF FEST 2019 hits Joburg in a week!

Girl with Nerf blaster at Nerf Fest 2018
NERF Fest fun 

NERF FEST - "the ultimate Nerf obsessed fan experience" - hits Johannesburg on 26 and 27 October at GOG Lifestyle Park! We remember last year and how much the kids enjoyed the fun! The excitement is high, especially because we see that the venue is larger, and there are more activities. Nerf fans are again trying out the latest Nerf blasters and going to test their skills against each other. The title of Nerf Fest 2019 champions and some amazing prizes are up for grabs.

Nerf Fest caters for the whole family, and there's a whole day of activities.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Pekingese, who knew they are so cute?

Pekingese face next to girl's face
Ozo the Pekingese Fluff
My Eldest started with Pekingese. She got a pup when she was still living with us. The dog breaths multiplied and she now has three of them, and we got to know them really well. Especially after we were pet sitting two Pekingese for her pet service...

two pekingese dogs in one dog bed
Pekingese Ozo and Lady

Turns out the two Pekingese we are looking after, are being dumped. We were waiting last night for them to be picked up, but nobody showed. The owner also paid us only for the first month. Luckily my daughter is involved with Pekingese Rescue and we are now fostering them until they can find owners for them. We are very fond of the two Pekingese, Ozo and Lady. They are both lovely dogs with great personalities, and they would make stunning companions. We can't keep them, as we are not planning to have more than one dog. (My husband also says he does not want a dog after our own dog dies. So, there's that!) We also have to be responsible, as we are not in a financial position to have the responsibility of three dogs. Vet bills are not cheap. 

Friday, 11 October 2019

Disney Descendants are back with Series 3 - WIN

Disney Descendants 3
Disney Descendants 3
In celebration of Disney Descendants movie premiere on Disney Channel on Friday, 11 October, Disney Africa has made available a cool hamper to win.

Catch them on DSTv Channel 303 at 17:25 today!

Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart and Cameron Boyce return to Auradon
and the Isle Of The Lost in the dynamite new Disney movie, Descendants 3. 

Some cool facts from Descendants 3 that makes us look forward to it!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

L.O.L. Surprise Boys - add the brother! Review

Girl holds a L.O.L. Surprise Boy ball
L.O.L. Surprise Boy
The L.O.L. Surprise range continues to "surprise"! (Sorry! ;-)) They have brothers as well. L.O.L. Surprise Boys is a range of boy dolls which also needs unwrapping. Now the boys can also unwrap their own surprise boy doll! It adds that extra special element to your L.O.L. Surprise Doll collection.
Each Surprise Boy character has a similar fierce style to his sister character, but with his own unique
twist. With eight characters to collect, the surprise unboxing fun continues.

The festive season is around the corner, and this is a great toy for the girls and boys who love collectables.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Celebrating OUMA on Grandparents Day

Girl with her grandparents
Ouma en Oupa

It's International Grandparents Day on Sunday. OUMA Rusks is running a cool campaign to coincide with this. Who doesn't know the popular phrase "Dip 'n Ouma", or hearing from expats searching for Ouma Rusks? This is one of our proudly South African products that everybody enjoys with a cuppa.


OUMA rusks with cup and OUMA boxes in background
OUMA Rusks

Look out for the limited edition OUMA Rusks packs showcasing some of the many names South Africans use to reference their grandmothers. So cool! 

‘’Whether it’s your uGogo, Nana, Gran, Ouma, Nani or any other name you use to refer to your Grandparent, we wanted to continue to acknowledge the powerful impact grandparents have had on our lives, not just on this one day but throughout the year,’’ says Nerina Singh, Assistant Brand Manager, Ouma Rusks.

We are so lucky to still have grandparents on both sides of the family. So blessed that Miss Fine has them, as well as a very involved aunt that enriches her life so much. She loves visiting them, and staying with them when the parents want a break, or the school holidays seems to long to go to aftercare all the time! They are also always cheering from the sidelines. The Eldest also had the best time growing up with the grandparents in her life. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

A memorable date night, especially with Simmi Areff

Simmi Areff on stage at Theatre on the Square
Simmi Areff
We do not get that much opportunity for a date night, but last week was one for the books. Simmi Areff gave the proceeds of his comedy nights at Auto & General Theatre on the Square to Femme Projects. We were invited to media night on Thursday, and we are extremely happy we went.

Simmi Areff is funny, and he "works" the audience. Looking at the social media engagements I know not one of his nights or jokes are exactly the same. I bow to that, because how is it possible to stay funny for two hours with an audience that you do not know? Well, he does it really well! Check him out and sign up to his podcasts on his blog. Apparently he is a very big deal on TikTok as well. We laughed for two hours straight!

"Let’s tackle the tale as old as time….love! Simmi Areff is the Agony Uncle for the heartbroken; the love guru of the modern era.  He seemingly has all the answers – but take them with a pinch of salt – because he wouldn’t be sharing his story if his love life was better than yours."
Nelson Mandela statue at Nelson Mandela Square
Nelson Mandela Square

As always, we enjoyed Nelson Mandela Square, and had to make a stop at Hard Rock Café. The Entertainer app still has the two for one burger deal, which is really tasty. I had their vegetarian burger made with cauliflower.

Hard Rock Cafe at Nelson Mandela Square
Nelson Mandela Square

This was an epic date night! (My husband was smiling, just not on this photo, I promise ;-))
Hard Rock Cafe burgers
Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe - Karen with glass of wine
Date night at Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe - Jimi Hendrix booth
Jimi Hendrix booth 
Thanks to MS Publicity for inviting us to media night!
Thank you, Simmi Areff, for the laughs, and for donating the proceeds!

Follow Simmi Areff online:

Twitter: @simmiareff

Facebook: Simmi Areff

Instagram: @simmiareff

Monday, 23 September 2019

My weekend starts today, Monday

I am going in for one day of work today. How fast is this end of year going? We all need a bit of a breather before the final stretch.

We got tickets for tomorrow for ComicCon with the added bonus of KidsCon. The whole family is excited! I have been following along on social media, and we can't wait!

KidsCon bag with Toyzone Zoink
KidsCon bag of happiness (gift)

For the rest of the week we will be staying at home. I know Miss Fine will be impressed. That is her best thing to do.

We are missing Miss Fine so much this weekend. She is still at a camp until tomorrow.

The budget is low. The energy is low. But the excitement for a loooong weekend is high!

What are you doing this Heritage Day?
Have you been to ComicCon, and what can't we miss?

Disclaimer: We got complimentary tickets to ComicCon for today or tomorrow, with a bag full of Toyzone goodies. We are not paid to write this. But we are so excited!

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Defy Bake a Difference campaign for Cupcakes of Hope

Defy apron and pet and cupcake for Cupcakes of Hope
Defy #BakeADifference campaign launch

National Cupcake Day 4 Kids with Cancer is upcoming on 28 September. Defy is partnering with Cupcakes of Hope to raise funds for families for kids with cancer. This is such a cool initiative. I definitely won't be remembered for my culinary skills, but for this baking initiative it is real easy to support the campaign.

Karen du Toit with decorated cupcake at Defy launch for Cupcakes of Hope
Decorated cupcake at Defy yesterday (CC Metro FM photo)


via Defy #BakeADifference

Two ways to make it happen:

  • Bake and share your cupcakes on social media with the hashtag #BakeADifference

Cupcake with icing and sweets to decorate
Cupcake ready to be decorated

Defy will be donating R1 for every post shared with #BakeADifference. Thank you!

Cupcakes of Hope is a non-profit company, but they are reaching bigger targets each year to support kids with cancer. They assist between 50 and 70 little cancer patients at a time. Look out on 28 September to support them in donating cupcakes or buying cupcakes at your local mall. Such a small gesture makes such a big difference!

Love this quote: "We can't all do great things, but we can all do little things with great LOVE" - Mother Theresa

Sandy Cipriano from Cupcakes of Hope at Defy launch
Cupcakes of Hope Founder Sandy Cipriano
WARNING: Prepare to be spammed with pictures of cupcakes!

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the launch of this campaign yesterday. I don't like baking, but I love to support great causes. (Luckily we were only expected to decorate a cupcake *phew!*)
I am not paid to write this, or to share my #BakeADifference posts.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Sleep well and do good with Bed King

Bed King’s Children’s Hospital Trust campaign to raise money for the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital

Sleep never felt so good!

Bed King exterior shop in Roodepoort
Bed King 

We were invited to test out Bed King's Comfort Solutions Lab. Bed King is running a fundraising initiative for the third year. R500 from every Comfort Solutions mattress is donated to the Children's Hospital Trust. All money goes towards upgrading the Red Cross War Memorial Hospital emergency unit. Last year they raised R250K, and they are planning to pass this target this year. 

Bed King Comfort Solutions Lab - reading being done
Bed King Comfort Solutions Lab

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Disney Junior shows and products - GIVEAWAY

Disney Junior logo
Disney Junior
Disney Junior celebrates Spring with some of their most lovable characters. The retail campaign in conjunction with Disney Junior shows is launching on 15 September.  The products range from puzzles and books to toys and figurines available at retailers nationwide. The shows include Fancy Nancy Clancy, Vampirina, Puppy Dog Pals, The Lion Guard and everyone's favorite mouse, Mickey Mouse.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Journey Beyond Symphonic Circus - WIN tickets

Journey Beyond Symphonic Circus poster
Journey Beyond Symphonic Circus

A magical production! The Zip Zap Circus is joining forces with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company, and the rousing voices of  Zolani Mahola, Zita Pretorius and Timothy Moloi to bring you Journey Beyond – Symphonic Circus. It will be on stage in Heritage Month, only for 3 days from 20-22 September at Joburg TheatreZip Zap’s founder, Brent van Rensburg, choreographer Adele Blank and conductor, Maestro Eddie Clayton, are excited to share this production.

2 sets of tickets (4 each) has been made available for a give-away. See below on how you can win. The previous time we heard about Zip-Zap Circus was at The Greatest Christmas at Menlyn last year. It was awesome!

Zip Zap gymnast balancing on pole
ZIP ZAP Circus (photographer Joan Ward)

Monday, 2 September 2019

Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a Cutter - coming-of-age insights

Screen print: Booktasters tweet: Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a cutter
Booktasters tweet: Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a cutter
I hate it when I can't seem to finish a book. I had to do it with Snowflake Obsidian: Memoir of a cutter. I struggled to read it, but I also can't pick a new book before I have finished with the one I am busy with. Booktasters says it is ok, I can let it go... Phew! (I am 62% into the book)

I thought that this book would give me great insights into the mind of a young adult, and help me understand the workings of a teenage brain. We have a tween in our midst. I love the writing in the book, but it did not seem to get to a point. I still gave the book 4/5 for the writing, and for the fact that I think young people and people struggling with the existential questions will get great insights from reading this.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Read because... 10 ways we can do our share

Karen Bitmoji standing with books in hand
National Book Week is celebrating it's tenth year next week from 2 - 8 September. It's a reminder to all of us to pay attention to one of the most liberating activities we can do for ourselves, and especially our kids. If we can't read, we can't learn, and if we can't learn, it has major implications for the rest of our lives. Reading is an issue in our country. Parents don't read to their kids, and there is not enough access to books and resources.

“The lack of reading interest in our country needs our collective awakening, each one of us must take responsibility to encourage people to read,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, SABDC. “National Book Week provides that platform, a week-long celebration where all South Africans can play their part to promote reading and making books available to those around them. We encourage all corporates, leaders across political lines, parents, teachers,community members, brothers and sisters to celebrate stories, reading and books. It is a human right, and an inexpensive way to transform and move our country forward.”
print screen of Cyril Ramaphosa reading quote - SONA2019
Cyril Ramaphosa reading quote

What can we do to start reading more?

Friday, 23 August 2019


Karen du Toit
Karen with a SnapChat filter 

What a strange word: Menopause. ME NO PAUSE. I just love it!

There is still the slightly negative connotation to it! And that it should be kept under wraps. To be suffered in silence! WHY? It signals a next stage in your life. It is to be celebrated, just as a first period transports you into being a woman.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Writing stories for children - Hollard makes it easy with Instastory Books

Small children's book in hand: Fumiko
Hollard InstaStory Book

Always wanted to write a children's story book? There's a really easy way using social media on Instagram. Hollard in partnership with NGO Kago Ya Bana have come up with an ingenious programme available to all to produce story books for young children. You can write and produce your own story book now!

Using Social Media to create Social Good
We have a country where most of our children do not have access to books, and they can't read for meaning in any language. The opportunity to learn is severely compromised. The initiative by Hollard is creating and collecting a new library of original InstaStoryBooks for kids. They are calling on people to create stories in the form of 9 Instagram Story frames, that they convert into foldable books.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Letibalm - still a firm favourite in our house

Letibalm products on flat-lay board with tissues
Letibalm Nose and Lip repair (Tegan Smith Photography)
Letibalm is the only balm that cares for the lips, nose and skin in-between. It's a firm favourite in our house. This past winter (yes, the winter is already forgotten here) we battled some colds and flu, and now it is hay fever season again. We can not survive runny noses without Letibalm.

I have found a new use for Letibalm as well. I wish I had known about it sooner, because I could have saved myself a lot of inflamed outbreaks on my face. Letibalm also has a new addition as well, a Letibalm Junior Nose and Lips repair fluid with a soothing strawberry flavour.

We keep our Letibalm repair creams in different places to always have it on hand.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Little Live Wrapples - the cutest pets from Prima Toys

Little Live Wrapple in packaging

The cutest furry best friend, a Little Live Wrapples, made it's way to us via a blog drop from Prima Toys. We love them, as they are interactive and great for fun. We think it is a magical toy for special people on their birthdays or the upcoming festive season. Yes, it's that time of the year again! Yay!

We are listing a few reasons why we think Wrapples are such a great toy.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The Warrior Project addresses Domestic Violence

The Warrior project - banner screen print
The Warrior Project logo

Domestic violence is a topic that is very near to my heart. The Warrior Project is live and free and available to those in need in South Africa.

The Warrior Project

  • Providing victims with access to information and resources
  • Established by Yvonne Wakefield (also founder of Caveat Legal), in collaboration with LawForAll and SweepSouth

Friday, 2 August 2019

Avo Tacos with Chunky Salsa - Disney Cookabout recipe

Recipe front page Biltong & Ac Tacos with Chunky Salsa and ingredients
Disney Cookabout Season 3 Avo Tacos with Chunky Salsa recipe
Disney Cookabout Season 3 is in full swing on Disney Channel 303. There is nothing we love more than watching cooking shows. For me the focus is on the "watching", but luckily I have a husband and hopefully a daughter who likes cooking a bit more. When I cook, I want it to be easy and fresh. We had the opportunity to prepare a Biltong and Avo Tacos with Chunky Salsa recipe at the recent launch of Disney Cookabout. Because I am a vegetarian, I did not include the biltong in my version.

This recipe is from the Disney Cookabout launch, but I am allowed to share. It is so tasty and so easy to make. The most preparation is in the cutting and measurement of ingredients.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

MLP Friendship Day with the original Besties

MLP Cutie Mark Crew Rainbow Dash with mom and daughter photo in background
My Little Pony Cutie Mark Crew Collectable - Rainbow Dash

30 July is International Friendship Day 


Hasbro combines it with the release of My Little Pony Cutie Mark Crew Collectible range 

My Little Pony Cutie Mark Crew Confetti Blind Pack

Per usual Hasbro did a personalised blog drop with a Cutie Mark Crew Confetti Blind Pack. How cute is Rainbow Dash? There are 24 to collect in each series. (My *hoarder heart* is soooo happy!)

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Disney Cookabout Season 3 - perfect to get us all out of the winter slump

Kirsten Mohamed and Mthunzi Ntoyi with the Disney Cookabout launch
Hosts Kirsten Mohamed and Mthunzi Ntoyi

Disney Cookabout Season 3 is launching with premiere episodes on Saturday from 27 July 10:15 am on Disney Channel 303

We attended the launch at The Good Food Studio yesterday. 

We now have a budding wannabe Cookabout contestant within our midst, because Miss Fine got a chance to display her culinary skills. She thinks she can take part in the next Season of Cookabout, as well! (Please notify us when you see the call for auditions? *big smile*)

In this cookery game show, set in South Africa, teams of two young chefs head out each week to explore where the food on our tables come from and then head back to the amazing kitchen to rustle up some tasty dishes. The hosts are Kirsten Mohamed and Mthunzi Ntoyi.

Tell the kids!

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Miss Fine 2019 mid-year update

Miss Fine SnapChat filter
Miss Fine faces

The updates and shares are getting less. Miss Fine is coming into her own. She is a very opinionated tween who thinks she knows better already. It's really fine! We are expecting it, and welcoming it!

Friday, 5 July 2019

KidsCon 2019 - mark your diaries for September

Kids dressed in superhero costumes at Comic Con 2018


For the first time in Africa there will be the most exciting family-friendly, kids-oriented convention! KidsCon promises ‘fun and games’ by empowering kids to be expressive and embrace their individuality.
KidsCon logo

KidsCon will be at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand between the 21st and 24th of September 2019.

The importance of playtime

C/u of hand with token on Monopoly board game

"Save time for playtime."

This video from Hasbro made me shed a few tears. Play time is extremely important for children. We are so busy in our daily lives that we do not have time for the most important thing: Playing. We also forget that we should make time to play with our children as well. They crave the attention of their parents in fun interactive playing.

We CAN make some time each day to engage more meaningful with our kids.

Thanks for the reminder, Hasbro! This weekend we will take out the Monopoly again. (I had to scroll back quite a few months to find the photo shared above. That's scary!)

Visit Hasbro Gaming @MonopolySouthAfrica on Facebook for more information.

Disclaimer: We are not paid to post this, but we got a Hasbro Monopoly as gift a while ago, and we have not played in quite a while.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

All life is precious, even those of critters

Lost Kitties and Mice Mania figurines with stickers and accessories
#LostKitties #MiceMania
                  * In loving memory of Bubbles, the hamster*

A very important part of parenting is learning kids about the preciousness of life. That all life is sacred, and that every living being is needed and worthy. Even critters have a place and are needed in the eco-system of life. The older I get, the more I think we have to place even more emphasis on preserving and cultivating a mindset of value placed on every living breathing being.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Disrupt Yourself, Or Be Disrupted - Nickey Verd - review

Two books on top of each other: Disrupt Yourself, Or Be Disrupted
Disrupt Yourself, Or Be Disrupted
Escape Conformity, Reinvent Your Thinking and Thrive
in an Era of Emerging Technologies and Economic Anxiety
Nickey Verd, the author of Disrupt Yourself, Or Be Disrupted, has sent me a digital copy of her book for an honest review.

I am so excited about the book. It should be in the hands of everybody. We are living in fast changing times where technological and digital disruption have changed the way we live and make our living. It's imperative that we understand that we can't be complacent about the way we work, and the way we earn our salaries. I am probably of the last who will be in my job for nearly 30 years.