Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness

A new me needs new shoes

A new year, a new me is the mantra that many of us chant as we write our New year resolutions. All of us want to become our best selves.  I know I’m certainly chanting this into 2022.

One of my biggest resolutions this year is in relation to my own health and physical fitness.
I’m 5 years into pregnancy weight, bad health, broken bones, blood clots, and covid munching. So to be honest, I’m not at all happy with my weight.

Lifestyle changes

However, I’m also not a fan of diets or the diet culture and so believe that if I’m going to lose the chicken wings, spare tyre, and double chin it is going to have to be a lifestyle choice.
I eat very healthy and aside from smaller portions, less late-night snacking, and actually sticking to 3 meals a day instead of one with way too much coffee, I don’t need to alter my meals much.
Healthwise I’ve chosen to consult with my medical practitioner and have them check what needs checking to treat any underlying conditions, allowing me to be healthy enough to lose the weight naturally and effectively.
My mindset is also in the right space. My lifestyle change into a more healthy one and my weight loss goal are for myself and I’m motivated by myself. So many times we want to lose weight for others and set ourselves up for failure.
One of the things I love is walking, so for me, that is the best exercise to start with. I’m not yet fit enough to run the park run but I can walk it and so am not taking myself until I feel I can fun it again. Hamish and I walk every day and from next week we will be doing our beach walks each morning.
But walking means we need good, sturdy shoes that will support our weight and offer comfort on long distances.
So, I recently spent some time looking for some new shoes to represent the new me. I was also looking for affordable shoes that looked great with all of my exercise outfits. Often I’ll wear tights if I’m taking Hamish out for the day to the park, beach or on a playdate and I wanted walking shoes that looked stylish and complimented my outfit but expressed my personality at the same time.

Urban Art sneakers

To find my ideal walking shoes I visited DC one online and shopped their stunning catalogue of shoes.
It was incredibly hard to choose just one set of shoes, and honestly, their pricing is so affordable that I could have bought a few pairs. There were also so many styles I really liked.
I finally settled on some Urban art sneakers for both Hamish and I.
Hamish got a light blue pair, which has little mesh holes in the canvas for easy breathing and keeping his feet cool as we walk. Inside the shoe is soft and cushioned for longer distances. I bought his size hoping they would fit as I wasn’t certain with doing online shopping sizing can often be too big or too small. They are a perfect fit.
My shoes are pastel pink and everyone who has seen them has commented on the shade. The shoes look stylish to add to my mom wear wardrobe as well as to exercise. Inside is soft and cushioned, making them super comfortable.
Online shopping is reliable through DC One. Their service is great and their website is user-friendly making your shoe shopping experience stress-free.
In conclusion 
For me choosing great shoes is the most difficult part of getting back to a regular walking routine. However I am super motivated to keep moving in my Urban art sneakers.
Posted in Education, Family Life, Parenting

Reward Charts – Do they work ?

There is a lot of controversy within the parenting communities about reward charts. Some parents swear by them and others think that they are a giant waste of time.

Now what would you say if I told you they can be both.
I will explain…

Pros and cons of reward charts

I love reward charts for Hamish. I think that being used in a consistent manner they can help a child reach a goal as they are able to see and track their progress.
I love that they motivate a child to perform better and that often they are just total fun.
There is always a danger in a larger group of children that a reward chart will in fact damage a child’s self-esteem as they compare their progress to that of their peers and instead of motivating them, the reward chart will demotivate and set your child up for failure.
So, do I personally believe that reward charts should be used for every child, in every situation ….no!

Personal experience

However,we have personally had great outcomes for potty training, school work goals, bed training, and reading with Hamish using reward charts.

He is the only small child we have in the house and has no one to compare his achievements with, allowing us to use the reward chart to build up his self-esteem, highlight his achievements and assist him to reach a personal goal.
When I had 6 little ones in the home, things were a lot different. I hated reward charts.
As a family, we weren’t consistent enough to stick to one. My younger children were not motivated to learn from their older siblings’ success and I found the reward charts brought about low self-worth and a multitude of sibling rivalry as the kids judged and compared themselves.
So. I think if you are going to use a reward chart …..
  • Be specific.
  • Consider if it is the right kind of motivation for your child or children.
  • Discuss how the chart does not measure who we are, what we are good at or our worth with your children.
  • Keep the goals short and reward quickly so that your child does not get demotivated.
  • Build self esteem daily through words of affirmation, praise and acknowledgement of good behaviour, kindness, etc so that the reward chart is not the sole check list of how well you feel they behave.
We use these Reward charts and stickers from Tower products avaliable in most retailers.
Posted in Giving back

Where to gift your childs pre-loved schoolbags

Many of us rush out just before school starts to buy our children new school bags and either toss last year’s one into a cupboard or out in the trash.
However, many parents clean an old bag, stitch broken handles, or honestly just simply can not afford a new bag for their children for the school year. These parents would welcome your childrens gently used pre-loved school bags.

How you can help

Moms you can make a difference this year by supporting the“I’ve got your bag!” initiative. This is a school bag donation drive to get bags to less privileged children in South Africa.

Why?
Because the harsh reality is that the majority of children in under-resourced communities are walking kilometers every day, just to get to school. They don’t have bags to carry their books in and are using plastic packets to hold their school lunches, books and stationary. We all know how heavy school bags can be. With you donating your old school bags you could help a child in need, that will last a long time.
Simply bring those previously loved bags, and Hands of Love will distribute them to those in need.
The only stipulation is that you please ensure that bags are cleaned before.

Dropoff point

If you live in Cape Town and would like to donate your school bag to someone who could really use it, these are the locations where you can drop them off.
If you are a school and would like to participate either by donating or collecting school bags, please send an email to help@handsoflove.org.za.
Drop off points: 
1. Curro Century City High School
 Socrates Way, Century City
2. HTS Bellville Technical High School
Corner of College and Strand road
Labiance, Bellville
Visit www.handsoflove.org.za for more infomation
Posted in babies, Parenting

7 Trending baby names for 2022

As is customary, each year brings a new season of fashion, food, outrageous Tiktok trends, and baby names.

I decided to take a look at the popular baby name website, Nameberry to see what their predictions are for 2022.

Defining trends

It was interesting to see that they have identified 7 major trends that will influence baby names in the coming year.
these are:-
  • Playful names
  • Bridgerton inspired names
  • Names with the letter R
  • Names that give a feeling of retro nostalgia
  •  Euro Chic names
  • Names ending in an S
  • Names inspired by nature
Nameberry make their predictions based on American social security administration, user behaviour on their website, current events, pop culture, and several other defining factors including categories from TV, music, nature, letters, and sounds.
So, if you are expecting take a look at these name suggestions.

Baby Name Suggestions for 2022

1. Playful
It is believed that after the harsh pandemic months many parents may want to lighten the air and will choose playful names like Birdie or Pixi
Other suggestions are
Bear
Dovie
And iggy
2.Bridgerton – inspired names
It seems the ever-popular Netflix Regency Era novel adaptation – Bridgerton has proved extremely popular among future parents with name choices like :
Francesca
Benedict
Cressida
Eloise
And Daphne
3. The letter R 
Short names that are powerful in their simplicity and strength will appeal to the parents of 2022
There has already been quite a trend of short unisex names starting with R,  mostly as middle names.
Names like
Reeve
Revel
Reign
Roux
And Rome
4. Retro nostalgia
Much of the time what is old becomes new again and many retro names evoking happier, simpler times are making a huge comeback this year.
Old names like
Betty
Bobby
Mae
Ned
And Nellie
5. Euro chic
Euro chic baby names appeal to the sophisticated worldwide traveler and would be comfortable anywhere from Copenhagen to Cape Town
Chic names like
Astrid
Bastian
Cosmo
Oona
And Stellen
6. Names ending in S
Names that end in S are quite rare and Nameberry predicts a change in this for both boys and girls.
Some examples are
Emrys
Lois
Wells
And Ozias
7.Nature
With the pandemic keeping us all indoors for most of the year, it is predicted that many a wanderlust parents will draw inspiration from nature and use names like
Horizon
Koa
Lotus
Prairie
And wood
Which is your favourite from the lists above?
Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschool curriculum

Best sticker hack for little fingers

A really great fine motor activity is to let your child peel and stick stickers onto a book or paper.

Nowadays you get a wonderful assortment of learning activity books with stickers and they both engage and entertain your child.
We use many sticker books in our homeschool lessons and I often find that the stickers open an opportunity to develop vocabulary and learn more about a subject as your child will question the stickers that they are working with.
A good age to start working with stickers is from about 2 and a half to 3 years but many times little fingers just can not pull the stickers off the sheet, leaving them frustrated or mom/teacher doing most of the peeling.
When Hamish was about 3 years old, I taught him this easy hack to allow him the independence of being able to peel the stickers himself.
Teach your child to bend the page at the sticker and you will notice how the sticker automatically lifts making it easier for your child to peel off and giving them more confidence in their task.
Let us know if you tried this.
Posted in Press releases

Keep it fresh this school season with GLAD Freshness that’s Head of the Class

Trust GLAD Zip Seal and GLAD Cling Wrap to protect lunches and snacks.

Packing lunches can be a family bonding experience and a great opportunity to teach your children how to create their own school meals and perhaps educate them about healthy eating choices too.

You might even discover along the way that your kids enjoy the responsibility of being in charge of their food – it can be empowering.

Plus, you could keep a notepad handy, for them to write down their ‘shopping list’ suggestions.

As always, GLAD is here to help you and your family. With the GLAD Zip Seal resealable range, this is a cinch! Remember their Zip Seal® clever seal lets you know it’s sealed properly with their YELLOW AND BLUE MAKES GREEN technology. Plus you can write the date and contents, or name, on the printed white strip.

Tips to help kids pack their own lunches:

  • Keep the pantry stocked with healthy staples such as nuts and dried fruit
  • Create a “snack station” with pre-bagged snacks, in GLAD Zip Seal Snack Bags, for the whole family to grab from
  • Keep school meals in mind when you make dinner, because leftovers can be yummy the next day and help save food – GLAD loves leftovers!
  • Create delicious sandwiches from leftovers and keep them fresh in GLAD Zip Seal Sandwich Bags
  • Before the next school week starts, spend some time as a family planning and preparing the lunch menu for the upcoming week

All it takes is a touch of creativity and pre-planning, and the kids will love their new-found independence – it’s like shopping in mom’s kitchen!

Speaking of creativity… here is a fun sandwich sushi idea to try…

Fun Sandwich Sushi
courtesy of Ayesha Curry

Prep 20 minutes

Total 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon basil, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup cucumber, deseeded and julienned
  • 6 veggie flour tortillas
  • cold meat slices

Directions

  1. Allow cream cheese to soften. Add to a small bowl with parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Lay flour tortillas on a flat surface covered with Glad Cling Wrap. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly across the middle of the tortilla. Top with spinach, carrot, cucumber, and turkey or your preferred lunch meat.
  3. Tightly roll up the tortillas and wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
  4. Slice when ready to serve.
  5. TIP: prep extra carrot, spinach, cucumber, parsley and basil and keep protected in the fridge for delicious sandwiches and salads later in the week.

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.

Please visit www.glad.co.za for more information and follow ‘GLAD SOUTH AFRICA’ on Facebook; Available in the GLAD aisle of most supermarkets.

Posted in Blog posts

World Read Aloud Day with Nal’ibali

JOIN 1 MILLION FAMILIES THIS WORLD READ ALOUD DAY

2 February 2022 marks Nal’ibali’s 10th World Read Aloud Day celebration. In celebration, Nal’ibali have written a special story. This year’s story “A party in the park” has a celebratory theme and includes some of Nal’ibali’s beloved characters like Gogo, Neo and Hope and is available for FREE in all 11 SA languages, as well as Chichewa, French, Lingala, Portuguese, Shona and Swahili.

This year the focus is on families reading and telling stories together, which can happen anywhere, anytime. Reading together is bonding, brings families closer, and it’s fun!

Children who read learn how to understand the world around them through developing their imagination. Confident readers do better at school and go on to be knowledgeable adults with fulfilling careers.

Here’s how to make your family’s pledge this World Read Aloud Day: 

·      Visitwww.nalibali.org/wrad2022or
·      WhatsApp “WRAD” to 0600 44 22 54  
·      Download the story in your preferred language
·      Practice reading it aloud before the big day!
·      Refer your family and friends to pledge

We can do this! Let’s get 1 million South African families reading this World Read Aloud Day!

Posted in Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Press releases

Playdoh Challenge 22

This year Play-Doh is challenging you to get your creative juices flowing and show your best Play-doh frog interpretation. Share these frogs on the Play-Doh Instagram page @playdohza and stand a chance to win a Play-Doh prize.

To help you, Play-Doh have a great back-to-school buy 3 get 1 free promotion on Play-Doh single cans at these retailers  (limited time only) –

  • Toys R Us
  • Toyzone
  • Toy Kingdom
  • Hamleys
  • Takealot

For more inspiration visit @PlayDohSouthAfrica on Facebook and @playdohza on Instagram.

 

Posted in Press releases

Back-to-School Made Easy A Budget-Friendly Guide for Back-to-School Shopping

The festive season which is filled with Christmas feels, quality time with loved ones, and relaxation, will soon be replaced with back-to-school excitement. As consumers shift gears from the holiday season to the back-to-school (BTS) madness, Kutlwano Tshetlhane, mother and Stationery Marketing Manager at BIC, shares her top four budget-friendly tips to help navigate the BTS panic and make it a little bit easier on the mind and the pocket. 

 

  1. Take control of your own shopping basket: while ordering a stationery box through your child’s school may seem like the obvious choice, it’s not necessarily the only option. You might end up with stationery items that you don’t necessarily need. Take control, shop yourself through physical or online stores, and choose the items that you and your child prefer. Pro tip: you don’t have to buy the brands specified on the stationery list provided by the school, and you don’t have to send 10 glue sticks and 24 pencils with your child on the first day! You have the option to purchase what your child needs at the beginning of the school year, and replenish later if needed.

 

  1. Not all things are uniform: check what you can reuse from previous years and shop smartly for the remaining/needed items from budget-friendly retailers. Don’t be shy to shop for some of the items at the second-hand uniform shop at your child’s school, where you will find good bargains for half the price.

 

  1. Normalize using labels and checklists: it is no surprise that kids play around at school and might end up misplacing items they bring from home. Do yourself a favor and ensure that all items including stationery, lunchboxes and clothes are properly marked. Pro tip: create a checklist of your kid’s items and give it to them to help them (and yourself) remember what needs to be packed before they leave school to head back home. This will not only teach kids responsibility, but will also help avoid the frustration of misplacing items and save costs on replacing them.

 

  1. Get lunchbox smart: avoid the temptation to fill your child’s lunchbox with a variety of fancy pre-packaged goods unnecessarily. Keep it simple! healthy snacks like fruit, carrots and cucumbers, as well as popcorn, and rice cakes, go a long way. You could even whip up some basic treats with your kids over the weekend, and add those to the lunchbox.

 

Whatever tips you may go with or preference you might have, always remember to involve your children in the back-to-school preparations, as that will help them make decisions, take accountability, feel like they are part of the process, and get them excited for the new school year!

 

ABOUT BIC
A world leader in stationery, lighters and shavers, BIC brings simplicity and joy to everyday life. For more than 75 years, the Company has honored the tradition of providing high-quality, affordable, essential products to consumers everywhere. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands and is a trademark registered worldwide. Today, BIC products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as BIC Kids™, BIC FlexTM, BodyMark by BICTM, Cello®, Djeep, Lucky Stationery, Rocketbook, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Us. TM, Wite-Out® and more. In 2020, BIC Net Sales were 1,627.9 million euros. The Company is listed on “Euronext Paris,” is part of the SBF120 and CAC Mid 60 indexes and is recognized for its commitment to sustainable development and education. It received an A- Leadership score from CDP. For more, visit about.bic.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.
Posted in Education, Family Life, Parenting

Getting ready to go back to school with Tower Product

With Christmas barely over, parents are starting the annual Back to School shopping rush of uniforms, school bags, and labels.
Even as a homeschool family we often label much of the kids’ items. I love the wide range of school labels and stickers Tower Products have and these products have been part of our annual Back to school prep for years.
Some of the products on the Tower Product Back to School catalog are :-
  • DIY bag tags
  • Shoe labels
  • Pen/Pencil labels
  • Waterproof stickers for lunch boxes
  • Lunchbox sticky notes
  • Iron-on labels for clothing
  • Multipurpose book labels

Products

DIY bag tags that can be used for easy identification or to add contact or emergency details onto your child’s bag. I’ve actually added one of these to our car seat safety belt with Hamish’s info on so that if we are ever in a crash, the medics can identify him and assist him quickly. I have his name, my contact number, allergies, medical aid number all listed on the tag.
Shoe labels are not only fantastic to help little ones to label their left from their right. I use two different labels for that (for example Left could be a yellow label and Right a blue) but they also help your kids to know they have the right shoes on and teachers know whose shoes are left behind in the classroom.
Pen/pencil labels for easy marking. Use a ballpoint pen to write your child’s name and affix the label. I have to confess, I absolutely hate labeling pens and pencils. It is always such a long process. This way you can write all the names and let your child fix them on. Hamish was quite adamant that we match the colour of the label to the colour pen.
Lunch box sticky notes. How cute are these? I honestly think that they are my favourite and such a nice way to send a little love with your child to school. Tower Products also have a variety of waterproof labels to mark lunch boxes, juice bottles and lunch bags. These are dishwasher safe.
These Iron on labels for clothing take me back to my own school days. They are so easy to use and cost-effective. Write your child’s name with a ball point pen and iron onto the garment with a hot iron. For me personally, these labels are great for if you have a bigger family and don’t want to order 100 name label stickers per child at a time.
Multipurpose and book labels because all textbooks and exercize books deserve to look good and Tower Products makes it easy to label these with a variety of self-adhesive stickers. Simply write your child’s name, subject, or year on.
Back to school has never been this much fun.
To learn more about Tower products go to www.towerproducts.co.za