Posted in Blog posts

West Pack Lifestyle opens their first Cape Town Store

West Pack Lifestyle is one of those “Go To” stores where you know you can find a bargain, stretch a buck and grab an assortment of everything you need for your home, kids, party or the latest craft supplies for that last minute school project.

When I lived in Gauteng they were my first stop for party goods, kitchenware, toys for the kids and storage solutions.

So when I discovered they were launching a store in the Western Cape I immediately diarised the date.

Saturday launch

Saturday came and we woke up early to head from Kommetjie to Somerset West for the launch.

The evening before I had shown Hamish the cute Cici bird mascot and he was super excited to meet him, in fact so was I.

Cici the crazy craft mascot


As an avid crafter I often order Crazy Craft products online and as the previous owner of a dress up costume shop, when you add mascots and crafts in the same sentence you have my full attention.

We drove the full 60 minutes to Somerset West, with a very impatient Hamish eager to meet Cici and asking every few minutes ” Are we there yet ?”

In the car Brent was mulling over promotions in hopes that there may be some great opening specials on the braai and outdoor products and my teacher mom mind was already wondering how many educational games are too many.

In the store

We finally arrived and if you haven’t seen it yet the new store is at the Somerset Value Mart centre in Centenary drive,  Somerset west.

There was ample enough parking and even though the shop was increadibly busy we were able to find parking relatively easy.

At the entrance to the store we were greeted by brightly coloured gazebos promoting several brands and as we had arrived late, we missed the stunning dancers, trolley dash and unfortunately Cici the bird.

However, the MC was still offering prizes and there were several promotions in store.

I was glad to see that all Covid protocols was adhered to and that even full, the shop is spacious enough to observe social distancing.

What can you buy ?

The most important question though is Judy why would you drive an hour from home to go shopping?

West Pack Lifestyle store has it all …

From friendly staff and well organized aisles where the price tags are prominent and clear to a wide assortment of products.

In store we found, amidst other things :
  • Cleaning products
  • Bathroom products
  • Kitchen small appliances
  • Kitchenware
  • Plastic storage from lunch tins to large containers
  • Party decor
  • Cake baking and decorating items
  • Braai products
  • Spices
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Kids outdoor toys
  • Storage options
  • Laundry items
  • Educational toys, games, puzzles and learning aids
  • School and office stationary
  • Children’s books
  • Toys
  • Sweets and other treats
  • Balloons

  • You really can purchase almost anything here. ( You can read about the fun press drop we recieved here )

    Our shopping experience

    Naturally we wanted to buy a few things for Hamish and he gravitated towards a giant dinosaur and a surprise egg.

    The staff at the till were amazingly friendly, taking the time to greet Hamish.

    As you can imagine he was a really happy little boy holding onto his new soft dinosaur and the dinosaur was actually much cheaper than a similar one I had seen online.

    On leaving

    On leaving we were finally able to stop at the Crazy Craft gazebo.

    Sadly we had missed Cici but Hamish was spoilt with a stunning box of treats (read my review here) from Crazy crafts and his very own Cici bird.

    The dinosaur was totally forgotten as he cuddled his new fun feathered friend.

    To top our morning out and our great specials Hamish was gifted a Superman lunch box as he was about to leave.

    Final thought


    In the car he asked if we could shop there every week and I’m looking forward to our next shopping trip out that way, as this is one store Brent doesn’t mind me spending hours in because he is eager to spend hours there too.

    Posted in Blog posts

    Divorce ….

    One of the most traumatic times of my life was navigating my divorce after 20 years of marriage.

    No one gives a thought as they walk down the aisle, bright eyes and full of the dreams of a future,family and happy ever afters, that one day they may in fact be standing inside a courtroom signing a document to end it all.

    But

    The reality is that there are divorces happening daily. Statistically 4 out of every 10 marriages end before they celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary.

    Does this mean that marriage is pointless?

    Not at all, marriage is hard work and a constant effort from both partners to keep the relationship healthy.

    Sadly, there are times when marriage breaks down, couples grow apart separately or they encounter transgressions that are just too big a hurdle to overcome.

    Many may try the services of a marriage counselor to try mend the rift in their marriage and others simply decide that divorce is the best option.

    Divorce

    In the case of divorce, there are two options :

    • Contested divorce
    • Uncontested divorce

    Uncontested divorce

    The later being much easier to navigate as both parties would have reached amicable compromises on child support, child custody, property division and any other issues pertaining to their marriage.

    In this regards the couple would be able to approach a legal firm like The Harris Firm and even be able to complete all the legal paper work online to submit to get their divorce through as quickly as possible.

    Contested divorce

    A contested divorce occurs when the couple have issues in their marriage that they can not come to an amicable compromise on.

    These can often take from several months to several years to finalize and run up a huge amount of fees in the interim.

    If you decide to divorce your partner

    Should you be in a marriage that has broken down to the point of divorce you may want to follow the following steps :

    • Discuss with your partner if either of you are willing to see a marriage counselor or mediator and put the work in to save your marriage.
    • If not see if you are both able to come to a compromise on the issues in your marriage, children and property.
    • Find a good divorce lawyer to either complete an online uncontested divorce or to help you navigate your contested divorce.
    • List the physical items and concerns that you wish to raise with your lawyer and take the list with you to your lawyer so that you don’t forget to mention them.

    What if you can’t afford a lawyer

    If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have the means to afford a lawyer, you can approach Legal aid for financial assistance and raise any concerns with child custody through the family advocate. Maintenance issues can then be assessed through your local maintenance offices and you are able to represent yourself in court.

    Personal experience

    My divorce took several years to complete as I was unemployed and a housewife when I decided our marriage had come to an end.

    It was messy and we could not agree on any issues pertaining to our divorce or our children.

    Eventually, my youngest children were living with my ex husband, both of us had new partners and we had no assets together as we had been separated for close on 5 years already.

    We looked at online divorce and chose to complete the divorce without lawyers.

    In hindsight, I realise that if I had consulted a lawyer I would better have looked after mine and my children’s long term interests.

    My advice to anyone looking to get divorced, consult a lawyer if you can.

    Posted in Blog posts

    Why you need to mindfully navigate your online space

    If covid has taught me anything it’s how to set healthy boundaries in my life to protect my mental health.

    It has also shown me just how nasty some people can be online.

    A new normal

    We spend many more hours online working or just surfing the net, than we did a year ago and as such our online spaces have become a much larger part of our day.

    Now, I’m by nature really honest and try to stay as positive as I can but a few months back I found myself angry, negative and hating my own online spaces.

    Why?

    Mostly because they were so full of negativity.

    Toxic family members, moaning colleagues and disgruntled people seemed to be filling my spaces and sucking me into a toxic vacuum of negative emotion and bad head spaces.

    Thankfully I realised this as I found myself muttering how stupid someone was thinking for the fourth time that day.

    Change

    I needed to make a change.

    Now, I work online so making that change was not at all easy. It meant that I need to be online for a large majority of my day.

    I started by looking at who was occupying my online space.

    Facebook

    Facebook is my platform of choice and I share a lot my personal thoughts on my profile so first I deleted all toxic friends and family.

    Next I removed anyone I had not actually spoken to in 6 months. Honestly do we even chat to that kid we sat next to in 1982 or great aunt Mary’s ex husband?

    This meant I was freeing up the space for more authentic and genuine encounters with positive people who would uplift me. As they say we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with and this applies online as well.

    Then I started to delete news feed groups and pages as they popped up that no longer served me. No more blind following of Lucy’s cake page or News 24.

    Choosing when and what I interact with also does not fill me with unnecessary information throughout the day.

    Instagram

    Instagram was next as I work from this platform there were so many brands and pages that just did not resonate with me anymore that I had once followed for work.

    Several people I followed were no longer on the same mindset as me or what they were posting was filling me with anxiety or negativity. I did the fastest clean up of Instagram.

    I also checked everyone following me to see that I aligned with them. No unwanted Bitcoin accounts or people trying to get me to sell essential oils.

    Twitter

    This was a hard one as I don’t have a big following but I did cut down here as well. Twitter is shorter content so you can see negativity much quicker and I no longer follow anyone who is not positive in their posts.

    As for the rest of my life, I also refined my email subscription list. No longer do I recieved spam or newsletters that I honestly do not read.

    Within a week I noticed a difference and no longer sat under a cloud of other people’s opinions, sadness, nastiness and complaints.

    Final thoughts

    We will never change just how much more we are all becoming reliant on the online spaces for work or recreation but we can be mindful of how we use our space and what we consume whilst online.

    Just as we would warn our children to choose their friends, be mindful of the places they visit and surround themselves with those who uplift them and help them to grow … we should take the same advice when navigating our online spaces.

    Posted in Blog posts

    30 things about parenting that I’ve learnt in 3 decades of being a mom

    My eldest daughter just turned 29 and I realised that in another year I’ve spent 3 decades parenting.

    Almost 30 years of my life as a mom ….30 years of growing in wisdom.

    Today I’d like to share 30 parenting secrets I’ve learnt along the way ….

    30 things about parenting that I’ve learnt in 3 decades of being a mom

    1. Love your child ….regardless and as is. Totally and unapologetically unconditionally without reserve.

    2. Be honest ….if your child asks a question answer honestly and to their level of understanding. And let them be honest with you.

    3. Keep the magic …now there is no need to be too honest about things that make childhood magical like Santa, the Easter bunny, Tooth fairy or leprechauns.

    4. One childhood …our children only get one chance at a childhood let them enjoy it.

    5. Discipline…is needed and vital for your child to function in society. Don’t be afraid to say no. Spoilt children who never learn the word no are not pleasant to be around.

    6. I love you …Kids need to hear these words, often.

    7. I hate you …you will hear these words more than once, don’t take it personally.

    8. A child will often lash out or behave worse with a parent they feel safe with. Set boundaries if your child is acting out, but rest assured they know you love them and feel safe expressing themselves.

    9. Boundaries and rules are important and needed both for you to run your home and grow your child safely and for your child to feel secure and function in society as an adult one day.

    10. There are no perfect parents , all the perfect parents haven’t had kids yet.

    11. Trust your gut/ intuition and instincts, you know your child better than anyone else.

    12. It is OK to be different. Teach your child early to embrace their financial situation, love their faith or religion and be proud of their culture and heritage.

    13. Patience is the trick to great parenting. ( and huge amounts of coffee, a mom bun and sensible shoes)

    14. Teaching our children tolerance, respect and acceptance for others will give them a better standing in life than all the money or good schools ever could.

    15. Lead by example. Your child will follow what you do long before they listen to what you say.

    16. You don’t always need to like your child…you do need to love them and guide them out of the phases you don’t like.

    17. You can’t choose your child’s friends, you can however discuss why you don’t like them and step back to trust your child to make the right choices.

    18. Your child needs roots …they need a stable home with strong morals, good values and family traditions to become the best people they can be.

    19. They also need wings … independence is critical to them becoming functional adults in society and it’s advisable to start independence young by teaching them to clean their toys, pack their bags, make their bed, etc

    20. Responsibility… goes hand in hand with independence. Teach your child to be responsible for themselves and their belongings.

    21. We all make mistakes.. but teach them to take responsibility if they make a mistake. Also teach them no mistake is too big it can’t be fixed. Let them know you love them even if they mess up.

    22. A family that cleans together has a happier mom …teach your children to do chores and help out around the house. This cuts moms cleaning time down giving her more time to spend with the kids and prepares our children for life in the real world one day when mom isn’t there to do the laundry.

    23. Laugh…play and have fun. Life is not always serious so enjoy the time playing together.

    24. Pick your battles…you don’t always need to follow the rules to the T. There can be times when you break the rules, or deviate from them slightly. It’s OK for your children to go to bed later on a weekend or eat a cupcake for breakfast on their birthday. This teaches the kids balance.

    25. Show charity and kindness to strangers but more importantly show it to your family. Teach your children to value family and be kind to others.

    26. Mom needs a break …take the time to do something for yourself. You are not a bad mom if you leave them over night at their grandparents just to seep or go on that momcation alone. Our children need happy moms so we need to fill our cups often.

    27. Your kids will know better than you …until they have kids and then you will be the wisest woman again.

    28. Soak up the cuddles and love when they are little and learn your child’s love language so that you can understand how to connect when they are teens.

    29. Mom guilt …don’t go there. If you have always done the best you knew how and changed when you knew better then you are a perfect amazing and wonderful mother, even if your best did not look like someone else’s.

    30. Take the photos… one day you will want the memories 💕

    Posted in Blog posts

    Why his wondering eye has nothing to do with you and everything to do with his ego

    Yesterday, while out I noticed a beautiful woman, most likely in her late 3O’s, walking with a man I assumed is her husband.
    She held onto a backpack full of items for the two little girls running ahead of her.

    Under one arm was an abandoned well loved teddy bear and she was holding someone’s discarded pink shoes in the same hand that she tried to hold a plastic water bottle in.
    Her husband seemed blissfully unaware to her struggles, and had walked several paces ahead, clearly enjoying the day out.

    And I noticed that while she constantly checked in on the kids, calling instructions and never letting her eyes fall off them, she also simultaneously tried to enjoy the beauty of the park around her, stopping to take a photo for the family’s albums, only to discover that her husband had wondered further and she had to run a little to catch up to him each time.

    Sound familiar

    Are you this mom? Is your mother , your sister, your aunt or your neighbour this mom?

    We have all seen her, perhaps even been her!
    So, if you are now thinking, as I was … wow! That husband is an ass. Don’t worry you are not alone in your thinking.

    I watched her, as we were both walking to the same destination and I so much wanted to reassure her that she was a wonderful mom.

    And there I was deep in thoughts of the mental mother load when I noticed that her situation only got worse.

    A man with a wondering eye

    To me,the woman’s beauty was evident and she is obviously a devoted mother and wife. . . A woman any man should cherish!
    Sadly her husband’s eyes, as he walked ahead of her, kept darting to oogle the other women who walked past him.
    As he admired the body or eyes or legs or tight shorts on woman passing him by, not once did he think to marvel at the wonderful woman behind him.
    Not once, as he selfishly distanced himself from his family, did he think to take his wife’s hand or smile at her.
    Not once did he offer to unburden some of the days parafanalia from her weary arms or call to their precious little girls so that his exhausted wife could enjoy the outing alongside her family, instead of from the point of watching them.
    Not once, did the woman he chose to marry, to have as his partner, to cherish and love, cross his mind!

    A man thing and a woman’s fears

    Now, I hear you …all men look.
    Perhaps, but what he also failed to notice was how the beautiful smile left his wife’s lips each time her eyes saw him admiring the other women walking past.
    You see, while he may have thought it an innocent gesture to admire a women, his wife questioned herself.
    Was she ugly? Was she fat? Her hair wasn’t long enough, her nails not manicured, she had no make up on, when last did she wash her hair?
    And just like that the seeds of self doubt dragged up every insecurity and self hate she had ever felt.
    Her family outing, which had early on in the trip become for her mostly about work and duty had already left little enjoyment for her as she navigated her husband and children.

    So, now her family outing became a game of self loathing and doubt.

    A mental overload, if you will, of why doesn’t my husband love me?

    And why?

    Because society and our upbringing will have us as women believe that if a man strays, looks away or is in any way not attentive to the woman he is with that he is not interested in her, finds her unattractive or he is sexually active with someone else and all of this, in societies eyes, is the fault of the woman beside him.
    This seems like a considerable unfair and hugely inaccurate burden to place on a women who already sacrifices most of her day light hours for her family.

    A new way to look

    What if I told you that the reason our male friend’s eyes oogled other women was nothing to do with the woman he was with and everything to do with him.

    Let’s break this down …..

    …..

    He purposefully strode ahead of his wife instead of holding her hand or walking next to her… this distance meant that he had disengaged before the trip had begun. He did not want to be there.
    He ignored his children, leaving it up to the mom to care for them. He could have assisted in carrying items and helping her. He could have engaged with his young daughters as he walked. He chose not to be an active, involved parent. Prehaps a yearning for his single life.
    His wife was beautiful, so he had no reason to be looking at other women, especially not whilst she could notice. He had no reason to cast doubt in her mind or hurt her heart.
    But he did and his reason for this was about his ego and his needs.

    His selfishness.

    He needed to know that he was still desirable.

    He is also obviously not appreciative of the woman he has. He is not at all respectful of her feelings or of the other women, who most likely do not take his stares and looks as flattery as they see his wife struggling behind him.
    So sadly this husband is both immature and perhaps not truly invested in his marriage.

    He does not have the skills to make a relationship work nor does he have the willingness to try.
    He is also most likely highly unaware that his wife, who is used to watching the kids slightest movements, immediately picks up his behaviour in a flash.

    He most likely calls her jealous if she calls him out and tries to make her feel at guilty for his faults and transgressions.

    Let’s Get this right…

    There is nothing wrong with our busy mom!

    She did not stop to walk ahead of her husband. She did not ignore her children. She did not need to fuel her ego or prove her beauty by admiring every man that passed her and she did not at any time make her husband feel any less than the perfect man for her.

    Let us as women start to remind the women, moms, sisters and neighbours of their beauty, their strength and as women raise a generation of women who know that their value does not diminish if the person they are with does not have the emotional maturity to treat them with gentle, loving respect.

    Posted in Blog posts

    How to Add a little Easter magic to your photos with the Easter bunny

    Hamish discovered that the Easter bunny was in fact invisible and hiding around our house today looking for just the right spot to hide Easter eggs for tomorrow’s egg hunt.

    As you can see, we’ve added an Easter bunny into the photo next to Hamish.

    How did we do that?

    Very easily, let me tell you how.

    Capture the magic

    You can add some Easter bunny magic to your Easter hunt in a few minutes when you download the APP – Capture the magic from your phone.

    This App allows you to either take a photo of a room of your home or your child or add one from your phone gallery.

    You then add stickers of objects or text into the photo and adjust to size and position.

    Several of the sticker sets need to be purchased but there is however a large selection of free options.

    I just used a free set of Easter stickers and found this Easter bunny to add to our photos.

    Once your photos have been taken and you’ve added a sticker you download the image to your phone or share it directly to your social media networks.

    Add the magic

    For Hamish this APP allows us to add a little magic and I took several photos and showed him the Easter bunny next to him.

    He was so impressed he went to bed early as the Easter bunny was waiting for him to sleep so that he could come hide eggs.

    And finally I took a photo if the bunny next to the places we hid his eggs and near him sleeping as proof that the bunny was here.

    A little magic goes a long way when you are 4 years old.

    Posted in Blog posts

    11 Fun Things To Do in Johannesburg for Adults in 2021

    Johannesburg is not only one of the three capitals of South Africa, but it’s also known as ‘Egoli’ (City of Gold) due to its extensive gold deposits. From there, a rich and electric city was built and can be thoroughly enjoyed by all those who grace it with a visit. From free and affordable activities like South Africa’s First Thursdays to a once-in-a-lifetime sight of the renowned Big 5.

    Most cities around the world have direct flights to Johannesburg, making it rather easy to visit considering its far south location. LIFT has some affordable flights that will allow you to start your holiday and experience all the things to do in Joburg.

    What to do in Johannesburg

    The fun things to do in Johannesburg are endless. This city is inland, unlike its siblings, Durban and Cape Town. The activities in Johannesburg make up for the lack of beaches with an array of affordable and glamorous pursuits for you to enjoy.

    Picture rooftop swimming pools and bars, extravagant clubs, culture and historic venues. You can enjoy a glass of wine and watch the sky turn to fire during sunset or you could take a drive to see the Big 5 in action.

    Because there’s so much to do in Johannesburg, we’ve compiled a list of the best free, affordable and lavish things to do in JHB to help plan your stay.

    Free things to do in Johannesburg

    Having fun in JHB doesn’t mean you need to break the bank, check out our list of some of the coolest activities, and the best part is, they’re completely free!

    1. First Thursdays

    First Thursdays is a special day in Joburg. On the first Thursday of every month, all the art galleries, cultural attractions and restaurants stay open late to allow the city to experience and view the collection on foot. It has a city-wide interest and can be enjoyed in Rosebank, Braamfontein and Maboneng.

    This is a great evening to spend with your friends, discuss art, see new things and catch up on life, for free. You can even plan your route on the First Thursdays website.

    2. Hiking in Johannesburg

    You don’t have to be a professional hiker to enjoy the natural world. Joburg offers amazing nature walks and hikes for beginners and seasoned hikers.

    Around the city you can find nature reserves with hiking trails for all levels. Melville Koppies Nature Reserve is tucked away in Randburg and is home to the remains of the Kraal Wall from the Iron age and some stunning trails. Rietfontein Nature reserve offers hikers a chance to make their way over the ridges of Johannesburg and witness a spectacular view of Santon.

    Cheap Things To Do in Johannesburg

    If you’re wondering what to do in Joburg, and have a budget, check out these affordable options. They are guaranteed to bring heaps of fun and make your trip to Johannesburg one to remember.

    3. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

    You don’t have to be into science to enjoy this amazing, world-class science centre. For only R45 you can wander around the centre for the entire day, seeing all the weird and interesting displays.

    The Sci-Bono Discovery centre showcases over 400 permanent exhibits as well as fresh new travelling exhibits changing all the time. To make this even more fun, the exhibits are interactive and guests are invited to use all their senses in this immersive experience.

    4. Picnic at the Vaal Dam

    This option might be cheating as it’s not in the city, but totally worth the quick 1-hour drive away. Visiting the Vaal Meander is a chance to escape from the noise and movement of city life and relax surrounded by nature.

    The banks of the dam make for the perfect spot for a romantic picnic to watch the sunset below the horizon. Make a homemade picnic basket or bring along some takeaways to make this experience budget-friendly.

    The Vaal Meander has more to offer than just the Dam. There is an array of delightful craft stores, outdoor activities, local wildlife to see, boating and water sports and even some local entertainment that will keep you busy for hours.

    5. Museums and Art Galleries

    Joburg is big on history and remembrance, this makes it a great place to learn about the culture and the city’s life-changing events. Museums and galleries generally have little or no entrance fees, making them an affordable day out.

    Whether it’s political, social, cultural or natural, you can find work from local and international artists in some of these amazing galleries.

    • Johannesburg Art Gallery
    • Gallery Momo
    • The Apartheid Museum
    • Constitution Hill
    • National Museum of Military History
    • ABSA Money Museum

    6. Catch a Movie at the Cinema

    Johannesburg has a movie cinema in almost every mall. Making it an easily accessible activity, no matter where you are staying in the city. You can find the latest blockbusters in 2D, 3D, IMAX and VIP cinemas.

    Enjoy a box of popcorn and 2D movies for an affordable night out, or watch in a luxury cinema with sensory action. Alternatively, in Cinema Prestige you can be served your choice of tasty foods like sushi, burgers, gourmet milkshakes and dessert while you relax in leather recliners.

    7. Taste of Africa (Food and Beer Tasting)

    Head to the suburb of Yeoville, known as an Afro-cosmopolitan for its extensive diversity in a single square kilometre. Here, you can take a guided tour through the tastes of the continent’s finest and most homely foods.

    This little suburb and experience will quench your thirst and fill your tummies with the delights of South Africa.

    Luxury Joburg Experiences

    Joburg has a wide variety of fun, adventurous and cultural experiences that are sure to blow your mind. These things to do are worth every penny and will make you smile every time you think of your trip to Joburg.

    8. Orlando Towers – Bungee Jumping

    Jump off the colourful African murals of the Orlando Towers in Soweto. A suspension bridge connects the towers and creates a platform to jump off. Being 100m above the city provides you with spectacular city views and gets the adrenaline pumping for just over R600 per person.

    9. Gold Reef City

    Gold reef city is just 8km from the city centre. For just over R200, you can ride exciting themed rides and rollercoasters, win some cash at the casino and browse through historical exhibitions. As the name suggests, the park is more like a city filled with shops, restaurants, golf and a collection of other excursions and activities.

    10. Theatre and Live Performances

    Wanting a lavish night out or just a chance to experience the talented actors, dancers and singers of the City of Gold.

    You can book shows at the Lyric, Joburg or Market Theatres around the city for some culturally rich, professional performances. The Barnyard Theatre also holds delightful and fun cover shows of iconic eras and artists that make for a great evening out with your friends. You can bring along your own food and drinks or get something from the cafe there.

    Johannesburg also has some big artist lines up for 2021. Including the likes of Zeezy, Rob Rodell and Stormzy at the In The City Festival.

    11. Nature and Game Reserves

    While Johannesburg is an electric cityscape full of high-streets and chic restaurants and clubs, nature and game reserves are only a drive away. Organizing a weekend getaway to the African plains is a great chance to see the famous Big 5. Johannesburg has a collection of wondrous game reserves and wildlife opportunities for you to experience.

    Just 11km out of Johannesburg, you can find the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. This game experience hosts biodiversity of indigenous fauna and flora. Here you’ll have the chance to witness some African buck and other animals, like the zebra, blesbok, wildebeest and duiker, in their natural habitat.

    MalaMala Game Reserve is known for its exceptional wildlife photo opportunities. This game reserve covers over 30,000 acres of land and shares a 19km border with the iconic Kruger National Park. At both these game reserves, you are able to see the Big 5, amongst other African wildlife like cheetahs, African buck, hippos, giraffes and much more. You can hop on a 1-hour flight to Nelspruit or take a 5-hour drive from Johannesburg city centre.

    Getting To and From Johannesburg

    SA Airlines has numerous flights from and around South Africa, as well as globally. Mango flights, LIFT, Kulula flights, and FlySafair can provide affordable travel to Johannesburg. Cheap flights to Johannesburg allow you to spend more of your hard-earned money on memories and experiences, making this trip to Johannesburg, the best yet!

    If you’re planning on stopping by other cities in South African, Mango airlines and Kulula airlines have some cheap flights to Cape Town, Durban and Gqeberha. From here you can enjoy the rest of the African culture and the breathtaking coast South African has to offer.

    Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Johannesburg Today

    Joburg is a must-see, whether you were born in South Africa or just coming for a vacation. From exploring the hot streets of the city centre to playing the night away at Gold Reef City Casino, Johannesburg has something for all budgets.

    So don’t be late for this awesome party, book now with SA Airlines for cheap flights to Johannesburg to have an unforgettable experience in Jozi!

    Posted in Crafts

    Rainbow salt painting

    We spent yesterday doing some salt painting. This is a really easy activity and nice to use for several ages.

    It also looks so pretty when the colour runs along the salt.

    To make your own you need:

    Paper
    Glue
    Salt
    Water colours or food colouring

    Method:

    • First draw your image onto the paper.

    • Next trace over the image with glue.
    • Pour salt over the glue.

    • Use the water colours ( be sure to wet them quite a lot) and drip the colour onto the salt. You should notice how the colour spreads making the salt look like coloured crystals.

    Have you tried this activity ? Did your children enjoy it?

    I would love to share your children’s beautiful artworks so tag me on social media with the hashtag #FMmakeitmonday

    Posted in Brands we love, Easter

    An Egg-stra special Easter egg hunt with Cadbury

    A few weeks ago we excitedly opened a press drop from Cadbury chocolates to find all the egg-citing chocolate treats to arrange the most egg-stra special Easter egg hunt.

    Chocolates for days

    Inside our mouth watering box was:

    • the most adorable cardboard house
    • Fluffy mallow eggs
    • Hallow eggs with whispers
    • Hallow eggs with Astros
    • Hens eggs – candy coated hallow chocolate eggs
    • A packet of mini eggs
    • Limited edition bunny top deck slab
    • And a delicious creme egg

    Hide them with love

    Brent’s birthday weekend and the arrival of our box of chocolates arrived on the same day and as we had the whole family over to celebrate, I couldn’t think of a better time to hide the chocolates with love.

    And I set the girls the challenge to help me with an Easter egg hunt.

    How to plan the perfect Easter egg hunt

    Every year, we have an Easter egg hunt, but this year I wanted to make it a little more special so we turned to the Egg-sperts and visited the Cadbury SA social media pages for some inspiration from Fluffy the Easter bunny.

    To start we needed a planned route and a designated area to hide the eggs where pets or insects would not eat them, the sun wouldn’t melt them and Hamish could find them with ease.

    What better place to hide them than around the house.

    This decided, I put the girls to work to design the perfect Easter egg hunt treasure map. They did a brilliant job and even drew little lines for Hamish to follow with silver stars placed at each spot he would find an egg.

    Next we decided which eggs to hide and how many so that we could account for him finding them all.

    We chose the mallow eggs as this is a tradition in our home, since when my eldest child was little.We have always bought a box of mallow eggs every Easter to hide.

    Now Hamish would need something to gather his eggs into.

    Cadbury sent him a super special Team MacGregor bag which was perfect to gather eggs.

    I love personalised items and Cadbury are, true to their nature of generosity, always increadibly amazing at adding a touch of personalised specialness to their press drops.

    The hunt is on

    Once everything was ready it was time for Hamish to get his hunt on.

    Easter is a soecial time for kids and even more so for 4 year olds who are deeply invested in the magic of the Easter bunny and his chocolate factory.

    The excitement was high as he rushed about followed his map and with each shriek of joy we knew he had found another one,slowly filling his Easter bag with chocolate treasures.

    Ten minutes later, a bag full of Easter mallow eggs. He asked if we could do that all over again

    Why not set up your own Easter egg hunt and create special memories for your children to remember with Cadbury .

    Posted in Blog posts

    Memories from my childhood- making perfume with my grandmother

    I had an adventurous childhood and there are many fond moments but one that will always stay with me was making perfume with my grandmother.I remember spending half a day collecting just the right flower petals, sorting them to size and colour and quickly banishing any with flaws into the bin.Only the best, perfect petals were ever good enough for our perfume.Next we would grab empty peanut butter jars and full them a quarter of the way with the petals before pouring the ‘alcohol ‘ into them.These would stand on a sunny windowsill for days as we waited for them to infuse with the delicate flower scent.Now, I’m almost sure that as we mixed our flower petals with the clear strong stench of vodka,we didn’t really make the equivalent of eu de perfume at all.But in my 9 year old mind I was an expert perfume maker and may as well have relocated to a fancy shop in Paris and dressed as royalty as I spritzed the foul smelling concoction onto my wrists and neck.Thinking back, I’m sure I smelt more like a 50 year old cat lady who hid her vodka in a tea cup.So, why would this be something I remember?

    Memories

    Mostly I remember how my grandmother would tell me about the flowers as I sat on the end of her bed, bad country music blaring in the background as she sipped on her tea, twice stirred and bag still in the delicate porcelain cup.I remember how she came outside, as the other adults carried on about their business, and how we walked the garden slowly and patiently indulging my imagination as we pretended to be walking through rose gardens or lavender fields.I remember how she sat beside me guiding me in my need to find the perfect petals.How she showed me how to wash out the sweet sticky black cat peanut butter jars and to sterilize them by boiling them in huge pots of water.How we would scrub the labels off as we sang old church hymes and I listened to the amazing adventures of her youth.I remember how we measured the putrid smelling vodka to exactly enough and how she always made me pour it through a funnel as we pretended that the cold bedroom was an elegant perfume factory and we were designing new exotic scents for royalty.After carefully putting our jars on the windowsill I remember how we would sit together crafting new toys and dream up the names of our fancy new perfumes.

    Time

    I mostly remember the time she had for me. She was never to busy to include me, make me feel special or indulge my increadibly large imagination.She always had time to hear my stories, dream my dreams and encourage my creations.She was patient and never too busy when I needed her.

    Children need so little

    And because of her love and patience. Because of her ability to endulge me with her time I am the woman, wife and mother I am today.Because of the time she took to nurture, love, guide and bond with me she taught me some of the most important lessons in my life.She showed me the importance of giving your time to others.She taught me unconditional love and insurmountable patience.She grew my imagination, taught me to dream and let me believe I was capable of being anything I wanted to be.She taught me about hard work and how to do things properly.She instilled a love of crafts and the knowledge that I was capable of creating masterpieces.ButThe greatest lesson she taught me was that children need so little to make them happy.That at the end of the day, by giving them our undivided time to meet them in play we will meet each need our child has.

    Perfume

    Several years later, when I was 12, my grandmother bought me a delicate little bottle of Charlie perfume.It smelt like sweet flowers on a summer’s day and as I stood on the threshold of being a young lady…I longed for the putrid smell of my grandmother’s vodka cat lady perfume.