Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Giving back, Life with my bears

Waddling for penguins

Today is International African penguin Awareness day.

A day to celebrate and highlight these cute aquatic birds.

Extinction

This species is still on the brink of extinction with only approximately 50,000 birds left in the wild.

It is estimated, that with the current level of decline they will be extinct by 2026….

A short 7 years from now!

A waddle for penguins

We headed to the V & A Waterfront to join the Two Oceans Aquarium in a fun waddle for penguins.

Dressed in black we were ready for the easy 3km walk around the waterfront district.

Before setting off we were encouraged to paint our faces

and enjoy a penguin cup cake treat.

Hamish was extra excited and although scared of the mascot,

he really loved the soft toy penguin and happily let me get some photos of him with it.

Just after 9.30am we set off on our hour long walk. The excitement was in the air as aquarium staff and public encouraged motorists along the route to HOOT FOR PENGUINS!

Hamish got caught up in the excitement very quickly and joined in with all the energy of a 3 year old.

He however, decided he wanted to be the leader and joined the amazing aquarium staff up in the front of the group to lead the waddles.

It was a lot of fun. Hamish managed th entire 3km walk and I’m looking forward to many opportunities to share with Hamish why we were hooting for penguins this morning.

About the African Penguin

The African penguin feeds on fish such as anchovies and sardines.

Adapted for its aquatic lifestyle, the African penguin can reach speeds of 12 miles per hour (20 km per hour) in the water and travel from 18 – 42 miles (30 to 70 km) in a single trip.

An average dive last for 2.5 minutes, reaching depths of almost 200 feet (60 meters).

How you can help

  • Support our aquariums: they use the funds for much needed education, research and to look afte the birds in their care.
  • Refuse single-use plastic:
    Penguins can ingest or become entangled in plastic packaging, their food, the fish are ingesting microplastics which are passed to the penguins.
  • Say no to all plastic: Plastic is made from oil, if we reduce our demand for plastic we also reduce our demand for oil. Oil spills are disastrous for penguins.
  • Join beach clean ups: help to remove the plastic which could end up in their home.
  • Recycle
  • Consume only sustainable fish
  • Educate others: on both the bird and how to care for the oceans.
Posted in Crafts, Events, Family Time, Parenting, preschool, recipes

World egg day …. 4 fun family egg activities

Eggs are not just a great source of protein, they also feature quite a bit in our activities throughout the year.

I thought I’d share a few of our favourite ways to play with eggs today on World egg day.

1. Marbled eggs

Breakfast is the perfect way to introduce eggs , whether you like your eggs fried, poached, scrambled or boiled….there’s an egg for everyone.

One of my favourite ways to serve eggs to the kids, as I had some fussy eaters, was to give them dinosaur eggs.

Our dinosaur eggs are actually just boiled eggs that have been given a marble look using food colouring.

You can read how we make them here

You could also use the boiled or fried eggs to create pretty food pictures like we did with this egg-stra special breakfast

2. Egg and spoon races

When my eldest, now 27, was about 3 years old we did our first egg and spoon race. Just her and I and a dozen eggs that cracked very quickly. 🤣

There was a lot of mess, a lot of giggles, a lot of fun and the biggest lesson to a little girl that it’s ok to make a mess ….we can clean it.

Over the years we’ve had countless races with friends and families.

3.Blow eggs and paint them

Blowing eggs is a lot of fun and my boys always enjoyed the part as the egg sploshed and slithered out the little hole.

We wash the egg in soapy water, dry and paint using craft paints or undiluted food colouring.

You can also draw on them with markers. One of the easiest ways to work with your egg as you try decorate it is to place it on an empty toilet tube. You can also leave it on here to dry.

We once attended a holiday camp where the eggs were painted with icing sugar coloured in food colouring.

4. Egg rolling

For this you give each child an egg outside and let them roll it to an end point without breaking it.

We once gave the kids wooden spoons and fly sweaters to see which worked better when moving the eggs with gentle taps to the end.

( it’s a good idea to keep extra eggs for tuse little hands that may be a bit too excited)

How ever you choose to celebrate eggs today we hope you enjoy an Excellent day

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Events, Life with my bears

We had fun at the first WordPress Wordcamp daycare

One of the events we look forward to each year is the WordPress Wordcamp.

Unfortunately I missed a year as I didn’t have care for Hamish. So, when I saw a call for a volunteer to head a daycare for the parents attending I immediately volunteered.

Many times over the years, with no family support I have missed amazing events and opportunities and know the value of someone offering daycare.

Along with fellow Blogboss mom, Colleen we spent 2 amazing days with the most awesome kids.

Day 1

We arrived at Lagoon Beach Hotel, armed with half my house of toys and not knowing what to expect at all.

The Hotel staff were so accommodating and friendly and we found ourselves in the Rainbow room fully kitted out for kiddies to play.

Hamish and the other kids spent the time having their faces painted, building puzzles and Lego, reading and painting giant box monsters.

We were able to take some time to play outside at the roof top play area, which I fell in love with.

The Hotel is built on the ocean allowing us to access the beach. The kids had great fun building sand castles, going for a beach walk and collecting shells before dipping their feet in the cold water.

One of the best features of the day was that moms could check in on their kiddies and have them join them for lunch and tea times.

Day 2

For day 2 we were a bit more prepared and took a lot less with us.

The kids had new friends join and our daycare was bustling with kids of various ages.

Cartoons, puzzles, books, paints, Lego and stories kept this busy group occupied.

We enjoyed some sand art and stamping fun.

Their favourite activity was the soccer table and it was very sweet watching the Youth camp older kiddies teaching the little ones how to play.

Again we took advantage of the outdoor play area and spent an hour on the beach where the kids had a sandbuilding competition, dug holes and learnt about some of the ocean treasures that had washed up on the shore.

It was a fun two days and I’m looking forward to next years Wordcamp daycare.

Posted in babies, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fun mamma School Holiday Challenge …. a look at our 10 days of fun activities.

These school holidays I set a daily challenge to encourage parents to spend some time just playing with their children.

All of the challenges were inexpensive, easy things to do at home that did not break the bank.

These were the challenges

On Day 1 we went for ice cream at our local KFC.

Day 2 was more messy as we made our own homemade paints to play with.

These paints were made by adding a few drops of food colouring to yoghurt.

On Day 3 we went on a nature treasure hunt. I think this was his favourite out of all the activities.

I drew a list of things for him to find and we took a walk to find each one.

For Day 4 we played an old fashioned game of hide and seek. Playing with a 3 year old has its challenges. He kept hiding in the same place.

On Day 5 we drew self portraits. I tried rater unsuccessfully to get the entire family to join.

This was also a very special activity as I’m going to get Hamish to draw one once a year and note his progress over the years in a special scrapbook.

Day 6 was to build a blanket fort. I managed to get one up but Hamish prefered pulling it down.

On Day 7 we enjoyed some water play. We had gotten home late and so I added an extra cap of bubbles and we filled the tub with bubbles. It wasn’t long before we were throwing bubbles at each other.

Day 8 we got to move it ! move it ! I took our dance party outside as we were at the Wordcamp kids daycare fir the day.

For Day 9 I gave Hamish some chalk and we went outside to draw pretty pictures on the concrete.

Day 10 and the last Sunday of our challenge. It rained and we decided a lazy Sunday cuddling up and watching movies Hamish chose was the perfect way to end our challenge.

The simplistic activities are often the ones our children enjoy the most. These are the fun things that become part of the memories they look back at when our children raise their own.

Spending quality time, even 20 minute a day totally present with your child is important. Doing things they love allows you to connect closer to them and builds their self esteem.

If you joined our challenge I would love to hear your thoughts on the activcities.

Posted in Brands we love, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Life

5 coffee-licious ways to celebrate International coffee day

It’s no secret just how much I love coffee so when it comes to International coffee day I celebrate my favourite way to recharge, unwind, focus and start my day.

Here are some fun ways to celebrate International coffee day

1. Coffee in bed

Serve your partner their favourite coffee in bed. Add a cute love note and a flower or biscuit.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good caffeine spoil?

Two of our favourite coffees to start our day are :

2. Coffee date

Call up a fellow caffeine lover and meet at your favourite coffee shop or cafe to catch up over coffee.

My top 3 favourite coffee spots are

3. Support fair trade

Purchase some Fair trade coffee, and support the ethical and environmental footprint of the global coffee trade.

You could try :

To learn more about fairtrade visit http://www.fairtrade.org.za

4. Coffee tasting

Become a coffee connoisseur by enjoying a coffee tasting and learning the origin and history as you sip on your favourite blends.

You can try a tasting at :

http://www.truth.coffee

5. Personalised a coffee mug

Not only do I love coffee, I love coffee mugs and have one to express every mood.

Order yourself a mug each year and very soon you will have a caffeine inspired shelf of slogans to express yourself with.

How ever you choose to celebrate International coffee day I hope it’s full of beans.

Posted in Education, Events, Giving back

HOW CAN WE LEVERAGE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE PROMOTION OF A SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

#SocialMedia4Good a passionate conversation between Maps Maponyane, Amanda Black and Ayanda Borotho that trended well over 3 hours

African Monitor hosted the first of it’s kind #SocialMedia4Good event at
SterKinekor Rosebank, on Wednesday, 25 September 2019.

An interactive debate moderated
by a global moderator, Nozipho Mbanjwa was held, in which South African role models Maps
Maponyane, Amanda Black and Ayanda Borotho discussed the UN Sustainable Development
Goals and how every day South Africans can use their social media influence to build
awareness and ignite positive change.

The event was attended by dignitaries, business leaders and members of the press as well as selected social media influencers with a track record of doing good in their communities.

Attendees were invited to interact and share the event on social media. The discussion was live-streamed on African Monitor’s Facebook page using a 360-degree camera and reached South Africans from all over the country, ultimately concluding in the hashtag #SocialMedia4Good trending on twitter for more than
3 hours.

Before the panel discussion with the A-List influencers, Ms. Namhla Mniki, the Executive Director of
African Monitor, drove a thought-provoking conversation to present real examples of social media
activations in South Africa.

One of the guests, as the fire-starters of the day’s conversations was
Sibabalwe Sesmani – a young woman who founded #WithoutUs and CEO of Unorthodox PR. She shed
light on her journey as an activist and explained how she is actively using social media as a tool to
make sure that every woman is economically emancipated.

The fire-starter was followed by a passionate 90-minute debate in which our influencers shared their
experiences and pearls of wisdom on the following subjects :

1) Social Media: Good or Bad?
In this section of the debate, participants discussed what role social media plays in today’s world when it comes to justice and what it meant for them, personally.

2) Social Media: Education
How can social media be used to educate people? How can the conversations be stirred? Is
educational content as popular as “glossy” content? Why are people more inclined to follow funny
meme accounts or celebrities and socialites rather than educational institutions, politicians, etc.

3) Social Media: Reduced Inequality
Social media plays no favouritism. It uniquely is the only medium to touch all levels of society, in
townships, you’ll find that some homes may not have running electricity, but they will have a
smartphone with WhatsApp and Facebook on it. How can we use this to their advantage?

4) Social Media: Decent Work & Economic Growth
How can social media play a role in giving access to decent work and economic growth?

5) Social Media versus Traditional media
What is the catalyst for real action in media? Do hashtags really influence people to action for e.g.
#MeToo #BlackLivesMatter #SayNoToXenophobia #WithoutUs? Which strategies work in media to
activate real social change?

The panel of influence indulged in the conversation:

Amanda Black emphasized there is a shift needed in how we educate our youth and we need to
critically think the way we change our environment and make use of new technologies to do so.

Ayanda Borotho addressed the issue of relatability, warning that if we only have conversations in English, we are closing the dialogue to many. She stressed : ‘ It’s important to have dialogues on
social media in indigenous languages.

Maps Maponyane made the point that social media is powerful but still reflects inequalities in South
Africa where many don’t have access because of data costs.

Building on Maps call to action to ‘ make caring coolNozipho urges the public: ‘ Do not give up
caring, because caring is contagious. And when people see you care beyond the hashtags it will make
a real impact.

In closing, the panel of influence resonated that all of us have a role to play.

We don’t have to overthrow governments to make a difference.

We can start something small and it can explode into a movement.

Social media has the power to disseminate information and create influence in a way we’ve never seen before.

ABOUT AFRICAN MONITOR:

African Monitor is an NPO with the goal of promoting sustainable development in Africa as
well as building the capacity of civil society.

Find out more about African Monitor on http://www.africanmonitor.org/

Follow the campaign on African Monitor Social Media: @AfricanMonitor

(Content provided)

Posted in babies, Events, Health & Wellness, Mamma bears, Parenting, pregnancy, Toddlers

International Babywearing week 30 September – 6 October

This week sees the start of the International Babywearing week.

A week long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate and educate about the many benefits of baby wearing.

The theme for 2019 is “CONTINUING TRADITION” and I encourage you to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

What is babywearing?

Babywearing has been practiced around the world for centuries and includes wearing your baby or toddler close to you in a sling, wrap or carrier, as you go about your day.

Babywearing has been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of attachment parenting.

The benefits of babywearing

There are many benefits to babywearing, they include :

  • Good for development as a baby who is carried is closer to mom and can study facial expressions, learn language and be familiar with body language.
  • Your baby may cry less and get a better quality of sleep and so improve their immune system.
  • Improve bonds with siblings as parents have free hands and are able to give more attention to siblings.
  • Helps premature babies gain weight and thrive as skin to skin contact is vital for babies born premature.
  • Good for hips when done correctly can assist to develop strong, healthy hip joints.
  • Can reduce colic as babies who are wborn tend to cry less.
  • Gives parents the freedom and confidence to perform other tasks.
  • Allows for a stronger bonding experience between baby and the wearer.
  • Can help with post natal depression as moms feel less guilty when wearing baby.
  • Keeps strangers away and stops them from just touching baby.
  • Helps mom lose the baby weight as you use more energy carrying yor baby than pushing a stroller.
  • Allows mom to feed on the go if you are breastfeeding.
( source : www.babywearing.org)

My babywearing journey

I started my parenting journey in 1992 and remember being given a baby carrier.

This was a simple device that clipped onto me, that I refused to use until my baby was a plump 5 months old in fear of her falling out.

Four years later as the mom of a now preschooler, a toddler and a new born I fished out the carrier again as I needed some free hands whilst shopping or cleaning the house.

I never saw this as baby wearing only as a way to free my hands to get things done.

In 2003 my youngest daughter was born and I met a fellow mom who wore her baby in bright handmade coloured slings. She seemed a bit eccentric to me.

Whilst I had a fancy pram to gently lay my baby down in she would pick up her little one and strap him to her back or slip him into his sling.

When I fell pregnant with Hamish, I had gained much more knowledge on the benefits of babywearing and my eccentric friend no longer looked so crazy.

One of my first purchases for Hamish was a ring sling.

But I broke my leg 3 weeks into our parenting journey with Hamish and spent much of his first year immobile. So baby wearing sadly did not become the part of our journey I had hoped it would be.

Still there were days when he fussed a little too much or when he was ill that I would bundle him into the sling (which I’m sure I always wore wrong)

Brent would use the sling for Hamish if we went out, keeping him close by.

Being on crutches I couldn’t carry Hamish and am greatful for the sling as it not only kept our little one safe and secure, it allowed for a stronger bond with Brent who became his primary carer if we were out.

I remember the one day in particular, Hamish hadn’t slept all day. His chest was bad and I was beginning to think he just wasn’t going to sleep at all.

The sling was in the car with Brent at work, I was stuck upstairs unable to move very far with a heavy cast on my leg and close to tears at my own frustration of not being able to stand up and rock my unhappy baby.

In desperation, I remembered my friend from so many years ago with her colourful handmade slings, grabbed a sarong and made a make shift sling to slip Hamish into.

A few seconds later, he slept for the first time in hours without fussing.

For us, baby wearing was a way to strenthen our bond, keep our little man safe and secure and to comfort him when he needed to be close to us.

Do you babywearing?

Posted in Brands we love, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Time, Fine motor activities

The LEGO® certified store opens in Canal walk

Yesterday we attended the opening day of the LEGO® certified store in Century City’s Canal walk shopping centre.

Unlike some fans, who had camped out in front of the store over night, we arrived at 10am and took our place in the queue.

We were handed brochures containing a LEGO® minifigure piece and encouraged to build ourselves at the minifigure building station, once inside the store, using this piece for R20.

The crowds were kept entertained by KFM radio, who were broadcasting from inside the store. We even spotted the KFM penguin mascot.

I was really concerned about standing in long queues with Hamish, who at 3 years old can bearly stand still long enough to get his shoes on, but with all the excitement of balloons and giveaways he was perfectly happy to wait his turn to enjoy this unique experience

LEGO® certified stores are renowned worldwide for their remarkable focus on customer service and this was certainly demonstrated yesterday as I observed moms with babies being taken through first to avoid niggles and as we were handed bottles of LEGO® branded water whilst we waited.

The queue moved quite quickly and we soon found ourselves waiting outside the doors for our turn to enter as Hamish admired the model of a Harley Davidson, made entirely from LEGO®

I had read that each LEGO® certified store offers a uniquely local experience and the essence of Cape Town is certainly represented by the giant Mother city mural, depicting Table mountain,on the wall ….

and the quaint model of Bo kaap that captured my attention with it’s familiar bright colours.

Inside the store was hectically busy and honestly we were not able to enjoy all the offerings of this fun filled store as the crowds were eager to explore.

The LEGO® certified stores offer a variety of fun LEGO® installations, extended and exclusive kits and unique experiences that are not avaliable through other toy distributors.

This particular store has :-

  • A Pick a Brick wall, where customers are given a choice of plastic cup size to fill with bricks of their choice from a wall of colorful options.

  • A mini figure building station where you can dream up your own creations fom a large variety of parts and options.
  • An augmented reality screen which showns you a 3D image of the box set you want to purchase helping you to visualize your buildig project.
  • And special building areas to keep little hands busy and encourage creativity.

Hamish and I had a quick walk around and have decided to explore and build his mini figures a little later,when the store is less crowded.

He did however enjoy learning some fun LEGO® facts ….

And discover how many LEGO® meters tall he is.

After we both made mental wish lists of all the kits we would love, we heade outside of the store to enjoy the entertainment area.

Here customers who had made purchases could enter a lucky draw and the children were treated to special activities for them.

The LEGO® bowling was Hamish’s favourite. ( How cute are those mini figure plushies?)

There was also a colouring station, LEGO® building station and a giant pit full of LEGO®

It was a great morning out and I see this store becoming a regular monthly visit for our LEGO® crazy little boy.

Posted in Events

Elsie’s gifting launch

As you may remember I was gifted a lovely Gifts of service jar by Elise’s gifting.

( You can read about it here )

The jar is part of one of many thoughtful gifting products based on the 5 love languages, that this dynamic new company launched.

We were invited to the launch last Saturday by owner Lisa Mari, and I took fellow Blogboss, Colleen with me.

We arrived at the Co lab space in Woodstock which had been completely transformed into a magical space waiting to greet guests.

A beautiful balloon arch guarded a table full of gift jars and other personalisted gifts.

This is a growing range and caters for even the hardest person to buy gifts for.

Best of all the packaging is reusable.

To see the full range visit http://www.elsiesgifting.co.za

Guests were treated to some delicious breakfast treats that were canopied by a stunning floral design.

Lisa Mari gave an introduction speach and outline of her new business and how it got its name.

Some wonderful prizes were won and a balloon wall held goody bags for each attendee.

Inside our bags were delicious chocolate treats from Lion Heart.

This decadent treat was melt in the mouth delicious.

And how stunning is the presentation?

Thank you for including us in your special day.

We wish Elsies gifting many years of prosperity.

Posted in All about Mamma bear, Brands we love, Events, Giving back

Fair Cape factory tour

Last week I was invited to a factory tour at Fair Cape Dairies. To say I was excited was a slight understatement.

A factory tour

I arrived at the Fair Cape factory and greeted a group of fellow bloggers and food journalists.

After a quick briefing by the experienced and knowledgeable staff we were kitted out in factory gear and headed off to see where the magic happens.

I even got a pink hair net.

The first thing that was evident was how strict the hygiene policy is at the factory. We were shown how to scrub up correctly before entering the factory and at other areas we were asked to sanitise our hands again.

The factory is meticulously clean and temperatures are set to assist with the yoghurt making process.

Large shining silver containers containing the dairy that make our favourite yoghurt snacks greeted us.

We were then expertly guided through the factory and each process was explained to us.

I was, and still am fascinated by these amazing machines and the people that operate them with such precision.

I could have watched the process of yoghurt pots being made, filled and labeled all day.

This was such a fun, educational visit.

Why I love Fair Cape

As a household Fair Cape is our preferred dairy brand.

They have become a name I trust with high quality products and Hamish loves that Barney is on his favourite yoghurt and Batman on his milkshake.

But mostly, I know that by purchasing Fair Cape products I’m supporting a company that does it’s part to give back.

Fair Cape established the Fair Cape Cares Foundation in order to make a difference in the many beneficiaries they support.

By purchasing Fair Cape products and supporing the Fair Cape Cares Foundation events, you add to this amazing initiative.

Today,on International Charity Day, I would like to encourage you to ” do the right thing” and buy the Fair Cape charity yoghurt 6 packs. 50c from each pack goes back to the foundation to make a difference.

To learn more about our favourite dairy or the Fair Cape Cares Foundation visit http://www.faircape.com