Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness, Parenting

Practical presents for kids who love gardening

Hamish and I love to spend our time ouside and starting a little garden with him has been a goal since I bough him home from hospital.

And whilst we’ve done a few little gardening projects, I really wanted him to be able to enjoy his new hobby with kiddy sized garden tools.

So, when I saw the stunning little garden kit from Practical presents, I knew I’d found the perfect way to start his hobby.

Who is practical presents ?

Practical presents is owned by a mom who understands the practicality of including quality essentials without breaking the budget but who is also mindful of the excitement of the little ones opening their gift.

With a range of gifts that suit most price ranges you can find practical gift hampers for a mom to be , toddlers and even for the young adult moving on their own for the first time.

I love that not only is the pricing affordable but these gift boxes can be ordered online and delivered to the child as a fun way for a distant relative, like a grandparent or aunt, to send a memory making activity.

The garden kit

Hamish’s kit contains everything you need to get your spring garden growing.

🌸watering can
🌸garden tool set
🌸decorative flower pot
🌸Starke Ayres kids flower seeds

Why you should Garden with kids

Gardening with children promotes responsibility, a love of nature and helps to strengthen the child/parent bond.

A child also learns early biology by understanding the plant life cycle and learning how to care for plants.

Our gardening experience

Hamish was very excited when we planted our little pot and there was so much giggling as he slowly dropped little stones into the pot.

Next he filled the pot with some soil, added some seeds and watered everything ,while I explained how the flower was going to grow from a seed to a plant but it needed sunlight and water.

The watering can is his absolute favourite part of this little garden kit.

When we had finished he carried the pot inside and asked about eight times if the flower had grown yet.

Wish me luck as we wait for the first seed to sprout.

* garden update …..Unfortunately Hamish overly loved his plant and gave it far to much water, so we are currently trying a second time to grow some seeds.

To order your own kits visit http://www.practicalpresents.co.za

Posted in Brands we love, Giving back, Tweens & Teens

Ms. Monopoly- Celebrating Women Trailblazers

Hasbro Introduces Ms. Monopoly – First Game in the Franchise that Celebrates Women Trailblazers

Hasbro has introduced the first-ever game in the Monopoly franchise that celebrates women trailblazers with Ms. Monopoly.

The Ms. Monopoly game marks the first time in the franchise’s history where a new character will grace the cover – and while Mr. Monopoly is a real-estate mogul, Ms. Monopoly is an advocate whose mission is to invest in female entrepreneurs.

Ms. Monopoly was created to inspire everyone, young and old as it spotlights women who have challenged the status quo. To celebrate, in lieu of Monopoly winnings, Hasbro surprised three young female inventors and entrepreneurs with the recognition they deserve – approximately $20,580 in REAL money to fuel their inventive spirit and further their projects – which just so happens to be the same amount of Monopoly money featured in the game.

You can see all of their reactions to the surprise

To celebrate, in lieu of Monopoly winnings, Hasbro surprised three young female inventors and entrepreneurs with the recognition they deserve – approximately $20,580 in REAL money to fuel their inventive spirit and further their projects – which just so happens to be the same amount of Monopoly money featured in the game.

You can see all of their reactions to the surprise here.

All of the young inventors come from very different backgrounds, but with a common goal to help others using their inventions:

  • Sophia Wang, a 16-year-old from Connecticut invented a device that can detect sinkholes before they occur, and after two years of work, her prototype is now 93% accurate. She is hoping to get it patented and in the hands of communities in Florida that are vulnerable to sinkholes.
  • Gitanjali Rao, a 13-year-old from Denver came up with an invention that helps detect lead in drinking water so that individuals can do the test themselves and get results sooner. Her goal is to create an inexpensive, easy to use, portable device so that people all around the world can use it.
  • Ava Canney, a 16-year-old from Ireland, invented a spectrometer that measures the amount of dye in candy and soda. After studying the harmful effects of additives in our food, Ava set out to help people make educated decisions about the toxins they put into their bodies.

Ms. Monopoly gives new meaning to the franchise, as properties are replaced by ground-breaking inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history and instead of building houses, you build business headquarters. From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating and modern shapewear, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories – all created by women.

From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating and modern shapewear, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories – all created by women.

Ms. Monopoly is also the first-ever game where women make more than men – a fun spin in the game that creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men. However, if men play their cards right, they can make more money too.

Ms Monopoly will be landing in South Africa in early December, just in time for the summer holidays and will be available from leading retailers including; Toys R Us, Toy Kingdom, Toy Zone and Takealot.com

Follow @MonopolySouthAfrica on Facebook for more information.

Posted in Brands we love, Health & Wellness, recipes

Do Good and Save Food This World food day

World Food Day 2019
Do good, save food with GLAD

Every year people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to tackle global hunger on 16 October, World Food Day.

World Food day provides an opportunity to shine a light on food waste, our environmental footprint and most importantly the 870 million undernourished people across the planet – and to reaffirm one’s commitment to ‘save good food, from going bad’ exactly like the GLAD slogan.

It is estimated that as much as a third of all food produced goes to waste, in South Africa this is equivalent to a staggering 201kg per person annually!

A portion of this happens during the production cycle and is why ‘odd-shaped’ fruit and veggies are being reintroduced by some grocery stores.

With these figures alone, it is clear, that we need to act in our daily lives to make a difference in any way we can to reduce this number.

Let GLAD help you be the hero to stop good food from going bad:

  • Begin by planning your meals ahead of time and shop accordingly. If you buy in bulk, portion and then store in GLAD Zip Seal Bags or wrap using GLAD Wrap or Press ‘n Seal and freeze, defrost as needed. For example, if three meals require broccoli, separate the large pack into three portions to store. Do the same with your fresh herbs, nuts, meat, chicken, fish and other perishables.
  • Organise your fridge, keeping items with the earlier expiration date in the front and the longest behind. Naturally use in this order too.
  • Love your leftovers! Instead of scraping leftovers into the bin, keep them for another meal, by storing in a GLAD Zip Seal Bag in the freezer. They are transparent, allowing you to see immediately what’s inside and they have a printed white strip already on them, to write the contents and date stored.
  • If you don’t eat your leftovers, share them!
  • Understand the dates on your food. After the “use-by” date food is not safe to eat, and you need to dispose of it. Add fruit and veggies to your compost heap. “Best Before” dates only indicate when the item is at its best, if it has been properly stored it can still be consumed after this date.
For GLAD, every gram counts, and we’d like to invite you to join us in being more aware this World Food Day (and beyond), to save good food from going bad. As all GLAD products are made for your convenience with the purpose of keeping your food fresh for longer.

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

( Content Supplied)

Posted in Brands we love, preschoolers, Toddlers

Saving the day with Lieflap superhero felt dress up dolls

Hamish is a typical boy who loves anything to do with superheroes.

He spends hours submerged in imaginary play, pretending to be Batman or Superman as he saves the day from evil.

So, when I came across these little felt dress up dolls from Lieflap I knew they would be a hit with my adventure loving little boy.
The set comes in an attractive carry bag that has big strong plastic pockets on the outside to store your dolls in.
I was impressed that the pockets are wide enough for little hands to easily slide the dolls in and out.

The bag zips opens to reveal velcro strips on which to store clothing, masks and accessories.
Each one  of the pieces is handmade with so much attention to detail.
Hamish recieved this stunning superhero kit on Saturday and immediately launched into play. Inventing a make believe crisis for the  Hulk and Batman to rush off to and save the day.


As a young girl I remember spending hours playing with my paper dolls and love that these little felt dolls will give Hamish the same joy.


It’s the perfect quiet time activity, great for travel, classrooms, play therapy or to gift .


His kit included:

  • A green hulk
  • 2 boy dolls
  • A batman outfit and mask
  • A spiderman outfit and mask
  • An iron man outfit and mask
  • And a superman outfit and Cape


Lieflap do a beautiful range of princesses and other characters/accessories aswell.

For more information contact https://www.facebook.com/lieflap1/
Posted in babies, Brands we love, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

6 reasons I love this eco friendly giraffe play mat from Babyluv

We live in a really small space that is mostly tiles and I’ve been looking for a playmat to put down for Hamish to play on.

I specifically wanted one that was easy enough to move around to the area he wanted to play in and that I could take with us if we headed for a picnic or to the beach.

When I saw the Babyluv eco friendly animal play mats I knew I had found the mat I was looking for.

Why a giraffe ?

Looking at the cute designs of bunny, elephant and giraffe I chose the friendly lookng giraffe as he loves giraffes.

If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen the absolute delight on Hamish’s face when he recieved this package. He fell in love with the giraffe and insisted on putting the play mat on his bed to sleep on that night.

Why I love the eco friendly playmat

Firstly, the size…. it’s perfect for babies tummy time all the way up to preschool playtime, ensuring that you are investing in a product you can use for a while.

The mats come in two sizes and this is a large which measures 145cm x 195cm

Secondly, design …it’s just too cute. Hamish fell in love with the friendly giraffe and it will compliment most homes.

It’s the perfect play mat or carpet for bedrooms, playrooms, classrooms, travel, speech therapy, or rainy days at home.

Thirdly, its portable …this playmat folds up into a much smaller size and can be kept or transported in the little bag it comes with making it great for taking along to the beach, on a picnic, playdate or on holiday.

Fourthly, its non slip. ..Soft anti slip cloth underneath allows your kiddies to jump, roll and slide all over the mat without it moving.

Fifthly, its soft … it’s so soft that if you were out your little one , or bigger one could nap on it comfortably.

This breathable mat was made with comfort in mind.

And finally…. it’s easy to clean.

The mat is MACHINE WASHABLE and you can tumble dry (gentle/low) or drip dry.When cleaning use a mild detergent, no bleach. You can also use warm iron if needed to get any creases out afer washing.

This little mat is perfect for childhood adventures and I see many reading moments and puzzle play happening here for us as I love to play on the floor with Hamish.

For more information please contact http://www.babyluv.co.za

#sponsored

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Family Time, Fine motor activities, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

Hamish was gifted this stunning Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

He absolutely loves it but it’s taken a few weeks for him to learn to throw the discs over this modern ring toss game, instead of just placing them onto the poles.

The cute hedgehog face base rotates at 2 different speeds, which challenges his attention every time and is awesome for building his hand eye co-ordination skills.

The 8 coloured rings, 2 of each colour pole, are made of lightweight plastic making it the best game for playing indoors as I know he can’t break anything.

Also great for little ones who have just started matching and grouping colours, as Hamish first used this to match the pole and discs according to their colours.

Now we play a variety of games, allowing him to learn to follow commands.

For example :

  • Throw the purple disc onto the red pole.
  • Throw 3 discs onto the blue pole.
  • Throw all the discs onto the yellow pole.
  • Throw the colour disc onto its matching pole.

You could make up any combination.

Of course he loves this version of play, as he gets to tell me what to do when I take my turn.

The poles are also removable, making it easy to store or to take with if travelling.

It plays 6 different melodies.The tunes are plesant and not overly loud, so if you had a baby sleeping your toddler could still enjoy this game without it waking baby.

This fun and funky musical game stimulates manual co-ordination and fine motor skills.

A welcome addition to any toddlers playroom.

For more information contact http://www.chicco.co.za

Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears

A pledge to play

In July Hasbro gaming sent us a lovely campaign to pledge along with a pinkie promise to make time to play with our children.

Monopoly South Africa interviewed a few kids and the biggest result after being asked what they would do to get their parents to play was that parents realised children wanted them to engage and play with them more.

You can watch the video Here and read more about it Here

How many of us parents actually set aside time to play with the kids?

Research shows that learning through play is an important part of a child’s development.

Through play children learn many different skills they will need in their life such as:

  • Problem solving
  • learning cause and effect
  • Learning how to play with others through compromise, conflict resolution and sharing
  • Development of fine and gross motor skills
  • Nurturing their creativity and imagination
  • Discovering their independence
  • Building a positive self-esteem

Our pledge

We took the pledge and I promised that this would be more than just another campaign for us. Whilst I spend a lot of time with Hamish it is also getting easier as he gets older, to allow him to play by himself whilst I work.

So, I promised to keep my pledge to him.

So far, we’ve had good days and not so good days. But in all of them I’ve tried to remain totally present and engaged in the activity we are doing.

Whether we are busy with Playdoh, a game or reading.

Life changes

Some of the things I have changed to incorporate more time to play in my own busy schedule is :

  • Firstly to be aware of when I’m on my phone and to put the phone away when we are playing or reading.
  • To limit screen time for our entire family.
  • To not watch that last last episode and to rather use this time to bake or cook or read or play a game.
  • To have regular picnics
  • To include Hamish in the kitchen making a game out of cooking
  • To have monthly meals or braai with our entire family
  • To stop working from 5pm to 8pm when he goes to bed
  • To play board games
  • To have regular family outings
  • To make Sundays family only days and focus on play and togetherness
  • To make shopping a game or at least interesting if I cant shop online

Play is an important part of our childrens learning as is engaging with us. Because of this I pinkie promise to keep pledging to make more time to play.

Posted in Brands we love

For whatever life Chux at you

I was recently sent some Chux cleaning products to help me clean up after my large family.

A cute reusable bucket full of all the tools I need to keep this super mamma ready for any of life’s spills and splotches.

My bucket contained :

  • Chux original superwipes ( No mom can be without these)
  • Chux magic eraser ( which I am in love with)
  • Chux heavy duty scourer scrub
  • Chux heavy duty scourer pad
  • And Chux non scratch scourer

I was ready, armed and waiting for my family to make a mess.

I didn’t have to wait long.

Shoryly after the box arrived, Hamish and I were painting and he decided to go and switch the light switches on with his beautifully blue painted hands. ( He also wiped these all along the wall)

Thankfully I wasn’t too stressed as I grabbed a Chux superwipe to wash it off with and cleaned the light switch with a Chux magic eraser.

I’ve become such a fan of the magic eraser ( I now look for reasons to use it) You simple activate this powerful grime and mark remover block with a little water and you can wipe down light switches, crayon or paint off walls.

It’s brilliant for removing toddler finger prints and messes.

I’ve used it on our door handles, the toilet handle ( because we always forget about that), our electronics, some of Hamish’s toys, to clean the grease and grime in my microwave and on our bathroom mirrors and tiles.

It’s chemically and detergent free and you only need to wipe gently as the super fine fibres lift and trap the dirt.

Of course when it comes to cleaning it isn’t just the messes and spils but the daily cleaning that needs to be done and I find my biggest chore daily is the Dishes….. I’m sure the pile grows on its own!

Somehow we always have a sink of dishes and with 7 of us in the house if we don’t wash up after each meal this starts to resemble a mountain of mess.

Thankfully when life throws dishes at me I can bring out my Chux cleaning supplies and tackle the job.

I normally use a heavy duty scourer scrub to take my mess as it has a soft foam layer making it gentle on my hands and dishes. I love the easy to grip, unique angles shape that helps me get that last bit of milo or cheese sauce out of the corners and hard to reach areas

This scourer also has an easy to hang feature so I can hang it at the sink for easy access. Hanging your sponge up allows it to dry faster and keeps it out of wet areas so it stays hygienic to use.

For the harder to clean dishes like the pots and pans, or to clean my oven and stove top grease and grime, I use the Heavy duty scourer pad or the non-scratch scourer scrubs.

The scourer scrubs are a combination of a gentle, non scratch scourer and a foam sponge .

This little scourer is suprisingly gentle and I cut Hanish a piece to use to wash his cars this morning after we painted with them .

Because you are never to young to learn to clean a mess like it never happened.

For more information on the Chux range contact Chux

Posted in Brands we love

We made Rawsome Dinosaur cupcakes with Annie’s Baking club

Last week we recieved a very special package from Annie’s Baking Club by Tessa’s Bakery … our very own dinosaur cupcake kit.

Hamish was so excited I hardly got a photo before he wanted to open it and start baking.

What is inside the kit ?

Inside the sturdy, reusable and adorably decorated box is all the items you will need to make your cupcakes.

You only need to add eggs, oil, milk and butter to complete your rawsome cupcakes

The kit contains:

  • Baking mix
  • Icing mix
  • Cupcake holders
  • Cupcake liners with dinosaur bodies printed on
  • Green sugar paste
  • Gel colour
  • Smarties and Dragees to make spikes and eyes
  • Toothpicks
  • Piping bag
  • A recipe booklet

The recipe booklet

I fell in love with the little booklet as it’s colorful and easy to read. An older child could follow these instructions without assistance.

The best part for me was the page that allowed Hamish to “read” what was needed and tick it off once he had found it.

Baking the cake

I have to confess that there are days I could burn water so anything that is prepacked is honestly my first choice.

As we followed the instructions it soon became apparent that I couldn’t flop this reciepe, even with Hamish taste testing along the way.

I allowed him to do most of the work fron mixing to scooping in the uneven amounts into the cupcake holders.

I remember baking alongside my own grandmother and the best moments were the ones where I believed I had done all the baking by myself.

So, I try to remember that when Hamish is in the kitchen.

Learning through baking

Of course being in the kitchen is just as much fun as playing and there’s always an opportunity for some learning.

  • We practiced our vocabulary by naming the ingredients.
  • Counted out cupcake holders, sweets and eggs
  • Developed our fine motor muscles by pouring, stiring and scooping the ingredients. Also pinching, rolling and moulding the sugar paste.
  • Started to understand easy fractions as we used a whole egg and scooped to just half way of the cup cake holder
  • Practised sorting colours for spines of each dinosaur
  • Read the items needed
  • Matched real items to their drawn image
  • Learnt what tools to use to cook with
  • Practiced the lifeskills of cleaning up after ourselves

Making T-rific dinosaurs

I’d seen the gorgeous Instagram images of the dinosaur cupcakes and really worried mine would look nothing like those.

Thankfully, the instructions were easy to follow and Hamish and I took our sugar paste and pretended we were using playdough and made our dinosaur heads and tails.

Icing the cupcakes

We added some gel paste to the icing mix and iced our cupcakes using the piping bag supplied, as in the pictures.

Hamish helped me to tape on each wrapper that big brother Byron had cut out for us and I then let him make up each cupcake by sticking in a head and tail and adding spikes from smarties.

He was delighted

Of course the test is always in the tasting …..

And these are Dino-licious.

I love the presentation of this kit. It would make an amazing gift, perfect for school Baker day, holiday activities and it’s ideal for kids DIY cupcake parties as it makes 12 cupcakes.

There are several in the series and this kit retails at R195

You can find out more at https://anniesbakingclub.co.za/baking-kits/

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.