Posted in Family Life

National Siblings day – 10 April

Today is National Sibling Day.

Nat. Siblings day
National Siblings Day – 10 April

Siblings are sometimes your best friends or your worst enemies.

Growing up my younger sister was always someone for me to look out for which would annoy me tremendously, but I also remember many hours of quiet tea parties and busy Barbie doll games.

Today both in our 40’s, we are each other’s sounding boards and voice of reason.

My own 7 children are lucky enough to have a wonderfully huge family full of siblings to bond with,to make memories with and annoy because truthfully no one can annoy you like your brother or sister.

My family
My children- Tammi, Dylan, Shaun, Byron, Ronan , Kerri and Hamish at our wedding

No matter what, a siblings will be your biggest competition, strongest source of encouragement and keep reminding you of those embarrassing moments all too frequently.

About National Sibling Day

National Siblings Day was founded by Claudia Evart in 1995 in honor of her siblings.
She wanted to celebrate both her siblings whom she had lost early in life in two separate accidents. Living without her siblings she knew the important role that siblings play in each others lives.

You can read more HERE

Sibling Day follows in a similar spirit as both Mother’s and Father’s Day, as an uplifting celebration honoring people who have helped in your development and who have shaped your values, beliefs and ideals.

Siblings – source best quote


To help your children to celebrate their sibling here are some ways you can show some love today.

1. Take some fun photos together

Grab a box of props or some dress up outfits and make some memories. Take some crazy pictures to remember the day.

2. Make a card

Explain to your children what Sibling Day is and help them to make a homemade card listing some of their siblings best traits.
Even if your children fight every 10 minutes, you will be suprised at how well they know each other.

3. Host a Sibling Day picnic

Grab a blanket and pack a quick picnic for the kids and let them engage in a few old fashioned activities like hide and seek or playing tag.

4. Gratitude Moment

After supper take a moment to have your children say something nice about each other. What are they grateful for about their sibling.

5. Board games

You can’t go wrong with board games. Bring out your children’s favourites for a fun evening.

Research has shown that siblings spend the most time together. They are each other’s first friends and even if your children fight like cat and dog, their sibling bonds will always be one of their strongest relationships.

Happy Sibling Day!

Sibling quote
Quote -Clar Ortega

Note: this blog was first published on April 2019

Posted in Competitions

Win with Sibo Says

A while ago I came across the cutest book teaching children about Malaria, and thus my love for the Sibo says series was born.

Since then I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to get to know and work with the increadibly talented author, Ginny Stone on another of her amazing book series, the beautiful Value series.

Book series
Value series compiled by Ginny Stone

If you have not yet been introduced to the Sibo Says books, which are all avaliable on Amazon , pop over to the website and take a peek.

Children's book series
Sibo Says series by Ginny Stone

From 2015 to 2019 Ginny Stone wrote a weekly blog in the African Reporter as Sibo.

These blogs covered a wide variety of topics from bullying, family life, making things, science and life skills to being brave and staying healthy.

In May 2019, the blog won a global award and the best of those blogs was published into a book, now avaliable on Amazon.

About Sibo Says

Having just launched the 15th book in the Sibo says series, Ginny strives to teach children valuable life lessons through a relatable character.

The beautifully illustrated books are all written in rhyme that engages children and adults alike.

Two children
Sibo and a friend

Her new book Sibo stays healthy focuses on how our children can stay safe following healthy practices like sneezing into a tissue and washing their hands regularly.

But you will find topics on

  • HIV
  • Global warming
  • Chemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Saving strays
  • Space
  • Malaria
  • Recycling
  • Growing your own vegetables
  • Biodiversity
  • Road safety
  • Etiquette using public transport
Sibo Says books

On the blog

The Sibo says blog is a wealth of information, activities and resources for parents, teachers and children.

Colouring pages
Colouring activities on the Sibo says website

Pick a colouring sheet, spot the difference activity, word search or take a fun quiz.

You can click here to take a look.


Ginny has kindly offered to give 2 lucky readers each a copy of one of her books – Sibo finds a stray

Win a book
Sibo saves a stray by Ginny Stone

To enter:

To stand a chance to win …


  • Comment below with your favourite pet tale.

Competition ends 9 June 2020

Posted in Education, Giving back, Press releases

Educo Solutions provides free online accredited SETA courses

Educo Solutions, the organisation that supplies free, accredited education to our country’s youth, has fast-tracked its digital services, launching Educo Academy in an attempt to counter the negative impact Covid-19 is having on the educational environment.

The online learning portal allows all Educo students to conduct their courses remotely and for free, helping them to continue progressing during lockdown.

Educo Academy won’t replace the existing learning centres situated in Alex Mall, Protea Glen Shopping Mall, Diepkloof Library and the newest addition in the Libridge Building, Braamfontein. It is, instead, an easy-to-access tool for students to keep learning whilst locked down, one that they will continue to use at their respective centres when they return to class.

The launch of Educo Academy means Educo is also not limiting its services to the physical learning centres in Gauteng.

“Since we announced Educo Academy last week on social media, we have had dozens of registration requests from potential students all over the country,” says Ayanda Makwanazi. “This bodes well for a mobile platform that aims to provide South Africa’s qualifying youth with much-needed opportunities to up-skill themselves through education, no matter where they live.”

“With Educo Academy, all a student needs is a device to connect to the site,” explains Ayanda Mankwanazi, Educo’s Head of Academics and Facilitation. “This innovation in remote learning opens up our services to the nation. Our existing students can continue their studies uninterrupted, and many more now have the opportunity to join our programme and better themselves.”

In addition to the Q&A function on Educo Academy, each student is assigned to a facilitator who offers support on WhatsApp, either to their group or on a one-on-one basis.

Educo Academy is a positive development that aims to alleviate the stress and uncertainty of these difficult and testing times. It is easy to use and, most importantly, the data is zero-rated, with Educo Solutions picking up all the data costs involved. For the thousands of students currently stuck at home, it offers enormous benefits and hope.

Educo Solutions began registering new students immediately after the launch of Educo Academy, and is encouraging all qualifying South Africans to register and apply for their new 3 -month Digital Business Skills Program.

The course covers a wide variety of skills including Microsoft office and business communication to, and very relevant right now, dealing with HIV and Pandemics in the workplace.

Students will receive a certificate of completion after their 3-month Digital Business Skills programme, as well as earning Unit Standard credits towards a 12 Month National Certificate should they wish to continue their studies.

With youth unemployment on the rise, South Africa’s younger generation are in desperate need of skills that set them apart and enable them to gain access to the labour market.

Educo Solutions is directly addressing the country’s educational and skills gap by providing free, quality NQF and SETA-accredited education to unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 28. And with the launch of Educo Academy any qualifying individual can do this course from their mobile phone free of charge and reap the benefits.

On completion of a 12-month course contract focusing on relevant skills like end-user computing and business communication, these up-skilled graduates find themselves in an ideal position to enter the formal job market and apply for jobs like secretaries, data capturers, admin staff and customer service agents.

To qualify

  • one must be South African
  • unemployed
  • and between the age of 18 and 28.

For interested individuals, you can register at this link:

For more

Posted in Press releases

Denon Home Arrives in South Africa : upgrade to superb wireless sound

Denon Home arrives in South Africa and you can upgrade to superb wireless sound featuring AirPlay 2

Lockdown has reminded us of the importance of family and home time. Now more than ever is the time to invest in your home making it the perfect listening haven during these challenging times and beyond.

Music decreases stress, makes us feel happy and brings ustogether. Never underestimate the important role it plays in your well-being.

Denon Home, has arrived in South Africa, available exclusively through the Homemationdistribution network. These wireless speakers have phenomenal sound that takes your music into every corner, even in large rooms. And good music helps relieve stress…

Denon Home is a multi-room player that delivers the full package, and features Airplay 2 which has Denon-lovers from across the globe very excited. Superb wireless sound has officially been upgraded! The Denon Home speakers play all your music wirelessly with Hi-Fi quality sound, in any room of your home. Stream from popular music services and make use of quick pre-selections with a light touch.

The Denon Home collection of wireless speakers delivers Wireless Whole-Home Audioand plays all music with the great sound you’d expect from Denon. Pair it with another Denon Home speaker for stereo or combine it with other HEOS built-in products and listen to your music everywhere with multi-room audio.

Every Denon Home speaker is built to deliver outstanding audio quality. With advanced acoustic hardware, expertly tuned digital signal processing and premium drivers, the Denon Home delivers the clearest highs and deepest lows.

All the great music services are fully integrated: Spotify Free and Premium, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, TuneIn, Deezer and more via Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth connection. Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Set the mood that’s just right with your personal music collection – even in high-resolution.

The HEOS App is all you need to get started with effortless setup and operation. Download it from the Apple Store or the Play Store and integrate the Denon Home into your home net­work within minutes. Control everything easily with your mobile device and make use of quick pre-selections with a light touch.

With its elegant design and exquisite materials, the Denon Home is strik­ing and will attract instant attention. And yet, it is subtle enough to blend into your style perfectly, meeting highest aesthetic demands.

The Denon Home 150 is a compact wireless speaker for every room and starts from R 5 990.

The Denon Home 250 is a mid-size wireless speaker for bigger rooms and starts from R 11 490.

The Denon Home 350 is the flagship wireless speaker for big sound and starts from R R15 990.

Homemation is a specialist supplier of premium branded audiovisual, home automation and home theatre products. The brands in their stable offer some of the most advanced and sought-after home automation, AV and sound technology in the world. Homemation has the exclusive distribution, in Africa, of global leading brands such as Control4, Definitive Technology, Denon, Heos, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Polk Audio, Steinway Lyngdorf, Stewart Filmscreen, SVS, Lutron, Roksan and Michi.

Call Homemation on 011-781 8887 for your nearest reseller, or visit or

Posted in Life with my bears

We are moving but my nostalgia is making it bitter sweet

Brent and I moved into our apartment in March 2015.

It was the month of his birthday and we had been dating about 6 months. At that time one of my sons moved in with us.

In that time this little 2 bedroom home has seen all of my children, except my eldest daughter, live with us, at some point. Some permanent, others just needing a place between jobs.

We have had many family meals, birthdays, Easters, Christmases and holidays all in the crammed little lounge.

Brent and I have planned our own wedding here, as well as hosting my eldest daughters bridal shower and getting everyone ready on the morning of her wedding.

We celebrated our gender reveal and that of my eldest son and first grandbaby here.

We’ve welcomed our own little boy and watched him pass all his milestones from his first smile to learning to walk up and down these horrid stairs and potty training in the bathroom where we had to change the toilet seats.

It’s seen loss and tears but also known friendships and joys. There has been laughter and fun and of course fights. But mostly it has felt love.

It’s here that I broke my leg on the steps whilst Hamish was 3 weeks old and here that I, through many frustrations, learnt to walk again after many months.

It’s a home that has known bad health but one where we have healed.

We’ve seen career changes and unemployment and weathered it all.

It is also here that I started not one but two businesses, turned the lounge and garage into a costume shop and painted murals on the wall.

It’s been a home for us to express ourselves from painting the glass windows with Hamish and crafting with the teens.

It’s been a home …

My first consistent home ever in my 45 years. The first home I’ve not had to pack up and move from in a year.

It feels strange to write that and I think I never truly understood the sentiments behind why people struggle to move, as I’m most likely one of the least materialistic people I know.

But, two weeks ago I decided to look for a new home and by the Saturday we had found one, were signing a lease and preparing to give notice to move by July.

We have long outgrown this home. We have wanted to move for 4 years and have been in a month to month lease since then. We no longer fit in the space.

But, as I start to pack up, I’m also holding on. Not to physical items but to memories.

That time I crawled up the steps with hot coffee and a leg cast because I’d be damned if a broken leg would stop me, only to drop it all at the top.

Hamish’s first steps in the lounge.

The boys helping me to hang pictures or fix a cupboard.

Kerri coming in after school, leaving her stuff all under my feet in the kitchen.

Friends birthdays, baby showers and so many coffee mornings.

Brent and I sharing a bed picnic, eating sushi off of the smallest ottoman and our first braai in the yard.

Our lovely elderly neighbours and the rather odd families too.

I’ve loved this home, it has been good to us.

And now that we set sail to make new memories from next month, my nostalgia is making this moment bitter sweet.

Posted in Family Life, Parenting, Press releases

Infertility: Don’t wait until it’s too late!

June is World Infertility Awareness Month and there’s no better time to be proactive about your fertility health.

Parenthood is undeniably one of the most universally desired goals in adulthood, and most people have life plans that include children. However, not all couples who want a pregnancy will achieve one spontaneously and a proportion will need to seek medical treatment to help resolve underlying fertility problems.

It’s therefore understandable that infertility has been recognised as a public health issue worldwide by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Infertility is when you cannot get or stay pregnant after trying for at least a year and you are under the age of 35,” says Dr Sulaiman Heylen, President of the Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).

One in every four couples in developing countries is affected by infertility, while one in six couples worldwide experience some form of infertility problem at least once during their reproductive lifetime.

The current prevalence of infertility lasting for at least 12 months is estimated to affect between 8 to 12% worldwide for women aged 20 to 44.

In recent years, the number of couples seeking treatment for infertility has dramatically increased due to factors such as postponement of childbearing in women, development of newer and more successful techniques for infertility treatment, and increasing awareness of available services.

This increasing participation in fertility treatment has also raised awareness and inspired investigation into the psychological ramifications of infertility.

It can cause stress, depression and anxiety, which is why it is important to know that there are options available for treatment.

Age is a key factor

“Up to 50% of all patients who visit a fertility centre are 35 or older. We cannot stress enough how important it is for people not to wait too long when they consider having children. Young women need to be aware that there is a slow decline in fertility from their 20s until the age of 35, after which it starts to decrease rapidly until the age of 45,” says Dr Heylen.

“It’s extremely important for couples to investigate fertility options and fertility preservation earlier in life, rather than leaving it too late. A woman who is not ready to have a child can choose to freeze her eggs to try to preserve her ability to have a child later,” says Dr Heylen.

It’s estimated that 20 to 30% of infertility cases are explained by physiological causes in men, 20 to 35% by physiological causes in women, and 25 to 40% of cases are because of a problem in both partners.

In 10 to 20% no cause is found. Infertility is also associated with lifestyle factors such as smoking, body weight and stress.

A woman’s age is one of the most important factors affecting whether she is able to conceive and give birth to a healthy child.

This is due to several changes that are a natural part of ageing:

  • The number and quality of eggs (ovarian reserve) decreases naturally and progressively from the time a woman is born until the time she reaches menopause.
  • It is not only more difficult to get pregnant (conceive), but miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities in the child (such as Down syndrome) are more common in older mothers.
  • Fibroids, endometriosis, and tubal disease are more common and can affect fertility.
  • Women who become pregnant at an older age have a higher risk of complications during the pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
  • The decrease in a man’s fertility appears to occur later in life than in a woman’s fertility. In their mid-to-late 40s, men experience changes in their sperm that can cause issues with fertility, and chromosomal or developmental problems with their children.

Lifestyle and family history

If you have any of the following risk factors, you may also consider seeking advice earlier:

  • Family history (i.e., mother or sister) of early menopause (before age 51)
  • History of cigarette smoking in either partner
  • Previous ovarian surgery
  • Exposure to chemotherapy or radiation to treat cancer in either partner
  • Shortening in the time between periods
  • Skipped or missed periods
  • History of injury to the testicles
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals (certain pesticides or solvents)

Pregnancy is a complex process

Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps. To get pregnant:

  • A woman’s body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
  • A man’s sperm must join with the egg along the way (fertilise).
  • The fertilised egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus.
  • The fertilised egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps.

For the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman’s hormonal environment adequate for its development.

When just one of these factors is impaired, infertility can result.

Couples, dependent on the ages of the partners, are generally advised to seek medical help if they are unable to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. The doctor will conduct a physical examination of both partners to determine their general state of health and to evaluate physical disorders that may be causing infertility.

Usually both partners are interviewed about their sexual habits in order to determine whether intercourse is taking place properly for conception.

If no cause can be determined at this point, more specific tests may be recommended. For women, these include an analysis of ovulation, x-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus, and laparoscopy. For men, initial tests focus on semen analysis.

“Based on the results of the specific tests, a treatment plan will be made which can include medication, surgery or assisted reproduction,” says Dr Heylen.

Treatment options

Not all couples who desire a pregnancy will achieve one spontaneously and some will need medical help to resolve underlying fertility problems.

It is now estimated that more than 9 million babies have been born worldwide since the first IVF baby was born in 1978.

Most assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments take place in women aged between 30 and 39.

The most common fertilisation technique is ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Overall, ICSI accounts for around three-quarters of all treatments worldwide, and conventional IVF around one-quarter. Success rates from frozen embryo transfer are increasing, as are the number of frozen cycles. Vitrification, as an efficient cryopreservation technique, has improved the outcome of both embryo and oocyte (immature egg cell) freezing.

Infertility often creates one of the most distressing life crises that a couple has ever experienced together.

The long-term inability to conceive a child can evoke significant feelings of loss. Coping with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainties that infertility brings can create great emotional upheaval for most couples.

“If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, out of control, or isolated, you are not alone,” says Dr Heylen. “Infertility is more common than you may think, but there is no reason to lose hope. Visit a fertility clinic near you to speak to a doctor about the options available to you and your partner.”

For more information, visit

1. Boivin J, Bunting L, Collins JA, Nygren KG. International estimates of infertility prevalence and treatment-seeking: potential need and demand for infertility medical care [published correction appears in Hum Reprod. 2007 Oct;22(10):2800]. Hum Reprod. 2007;22(6):1506‐1512. doi:10.1093/humrep/dem046
2. Word Health Organisation. Sexual and reproductive health. Global prevalence of infertility, infecundity and childlessness. [March 2020] Available from:
3. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). ART fact sheet. [May 2020]. Available
4. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health. Fertility & Mental Health: Stress, depression, and anxiety associated with infertility and its treatment. [May 2020]. Available from:
5. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Does my age affect my fertility? Fact Sheet from [May 2020]. Available from:
6. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Medications for Inducing Ovulation: A Guide for Patients. [May 2020]. Available from:
7. Merck. How is infertility diagnosed? [May 2020]. Available from:

The information provided herein is intended to support and not replace the advice of your Healthcare Professional. Always seek the advice of your treating Healthcare Professional if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment plan. Merck (Pty) Ltd. Reg. No.:1970/004059/07. 1 Friesland Drive, Longmeadow Business Estate South, Modderfontein, South Africa, 1645. Tel: +27 (0) 11 372 5000 / Fax: +27 (0) 11 372 5252. Report adverse events or +27 (0) 11 608 2588 (fax). SEA/NONF/0520/0019a. May 2020.

Posted in craft reciepe, Crafts, Fine motor activities, preschool

Painting marshmallows with milk paint

Painting marshmallows is a fabulous activity to keep the kids busy.

You will need:

  • Marshmallows
  • Fork or kebab stick
  • Milk
  • Small containers to hold colouring
  • Paint brushes
  • Food colouring


Pour a little milk into a container and add a few drops of food colouring.

Do this for each colour you are going to use.

Attach a marshmallow onto a fork or kebab stick so your child can hold the marshmallow nicely while painting.

Let them use a paintbrush to decorate their marshmallows with the milk paint.

The white marshmallows are best to paint on as the colours are more vivid.

Instead of using a paint brush you could also let your child paint using ear buds.

Posted in Press releases

Tips for Dad from GLAD

Dad, we are GLAD to have you and for all that you do!

Father’s Day is a day to show our fathers, grandfathers and the special men in our lives how much we love and appreciate them!

For dads who cook, braai, pack lunches, are handy men and so much more, GLAD salutes you and we have a great tool to share with you – GLAD Press‘n Seal – which is as strong and versatile as you.

GLAD Press’n Seal stands out amongst other types of wraps as it doesn’t just cling – it seals.

It seals to a variety of surfaces including glass, paper, plastic and wood.

It helps keep food fresh, in the refrigerator and freezer, prevents spills and can be used in the microwave.

It has many uses both in the kitchen, around the home and while on the go that can help make your life simpler.

Handy Tips for Dads;

In the kitchen:

  • Want to keep leftovers and reheat later? Seal your container or plate with GLAD Press‘n Seal.
  • Minimise mess by covering kitchen counters, chopping boards/preparation surfaces when working with sticky, messy foods with GLAD Press’n Seal. It will stay put while you work.
  • Buy meat / chicken / seafood in bulk then separate them into portions – wrap each portion in GLAD Press’n Seal and freeze. This helps prevent ice crystals from forming plus meal portions are prepared and ready to be used.

Around the home:

  • When moving household or office items, use GLAD Press’n Seal to cover draws, containers or baskets – anything that has items in it that could move during transportation will be kept in place.
  • It can also be used to protect mirrors, glass cabinet doors, TV and computer monitors from being scratched.
  • When your laptop isn’t in use, you can cover the screen, keyboard and ports with GLAD Press’n Seal to prevent the laptop getting fingertip smears on it and protects it from dust.
  • Line paint trays with GLAD Press’n Seal for an easy clean. If you aren’t finished with the job, wrap the brushes in GLAD Press’n Seal and store in the fridge to keep the paint from hardening on them.
  • Make taking out the garbage a little less messy. Line the bottom of your garbage can with GLAD Press’n Seal in case of spills or sticky messes, which can simply be peeled away.


  • Wrap your phone, keys or wallet in GLAD Press’n Seal for around the pool, beach, in the rain or on a boat to keep everything dry.
  • GLAD Press’n Seal can be used to wrap toiletries when travelling to avoid any spilling onto clothes or other luggage items.

As busy, hands on dads we hope that these tips make your life a little easier. Thank you for all you do!

Happy Father’s Day from GLAD, sealed with a kiss!

All GLAD products are made for your convenience with the purpose of keeping your food fresh for longer. GLAD – Saving good food. From going bad.

Recommended Retail Price:

R 150.

Please visit for more information

Posted in recipes

A Beary healthy snack

Hamish asked for his favourite snack today, a peanut butter bear bread, and I thought I’d share with you this incredibly simple way to make a plain old peanut butter sandwich beary yummy.


You will need :

  • Slice of bread
  • Peanut butter or any nut butter spread
  • Fruit, fresh or dried
  • Bananas

To make

First spread your bread with your peanut butter or nut butter spread.

Next cut bananas as ears and a nose.

I used oranges here but normally I would use 2 raisins for eyes.

I also normally cut the mouth from strawberry or apple or red dried fruit bars. All I had in the house was orange so I used that.

Serve and let your little one enjoy.

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Family Life, Parenting

Meg faure and the Parent Sense App

I was excited to attend the online launch of Meg Faure’s brand new parenting platform – Parent Sense.

About Parent sense

Parent sense is mobile App that takes the guess work out of parenting your new baby.

I wish this had been around when my own 7 children were babies.

This ingenious App, follows Meg Faure’s practical parenting advise and delivers intuitive, age related content with personalised routines for your baby each day.

The app automatically adjusts to the time baby wakes and takes into account that all babies are different.

Parent sense assists moms to :

*know their babies ideal daily routine

*keep track of milestones

*keep track of your baby’s sleep routine

* keep track of baby’s feeding times

And offers trusted stimulation ideas and nutritional recipes.

With this great app parents will have comfort, control and peace of mind whilst raising their little ones. Taking the guesswork out of parenting.

Download the App on Google Play Store or the Apple Store

Image credit : Parent Sense