Posted in Family Life

Things I never thought I would say as a mom

A few months ago we got – actually let me rephrase that – Brent got Hamish a snake. Oh my slithers have I entered an entirely new dimension of the parenting realm with this creature.

Here are some very real Things I never thought I’d say as a mom ( even after raising 6 adult kids) that I have found myself blurting out….

1. No you can not sleep with the snake
2. Put that near me and I’ll fry it for breakfast
3. Do not kiss the snake
4. I don’t know if snakes love humans ( mumbling but I doubt it)
5. No! I do not think your pet is cute. He’s a snake!
6.Get your snake off the table please.
7. You can not take the snake outside without an older person ( who is not me)
8. Go get a frozen mouse to defrost please
9. Have you checked the cage for snake poo
10. If it’s hissing don’t touch it
11. No thanks I don’t want to cuddle your snake
12. I don’t know if snakes can understand English
13. Of course we can give your snake a mouse cake for his birthday
Currently, the snake and I have a love-hate relationship and I try to stay clear of it at any cost. As for Hamish he still cuddles the slithery thing like a teddy bear.
This may just be the child that turns me grey …send help or a snake catcher. lol
Posted in Family Life

How to help your children love the Earth

World Environment Day was June 5th and the campaign for World Environment Day 2022 is called Only One Earth.
It emphasizes living sustainably and asks for worldwide, transformative action to honour, protect and restore our planet.
So, How you can help ….
Transformation will start with us teaching our children. Some ways you can teach your children to love the Earth are:
🌍 Teach your children to love the Earth and respect nature.
🌍 Talk about the dangers that affect Earth, things like climate change, overfishing, deforestation and pollution
🌍 Read books to your children that highlight sustainable and Earth concious topics
🌍 Reduce, reuse and recycle
🌍 Take part in beach, park or river clean-ups
🌍 Support your local nature parks, animal sanctuaries, and wild spaces
🌍 Conserve energy by using less and change to LED lights or use natural lighting.
🌍 Save water and be responsible for your water usage.
🌍 Plant trees, flowers, and your own vegetables
🌍 Don’t overshop. Buy only the things you will need and use.
🌍 Use as little plastic as possible
🌍 Stop using disposable items like straws, plastic shopping bags and single-use coffee mugs.
We only have one Earth …let us take care of her.
Posted in Family Life

The greatest gifts you can give someone

The greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your attention, your love, and your concern. …

These words have so often graced the posts on Fun mamma SA, and we read, nod our heads in affirmation and go on thinking about how we can afford our next holiday,new car, etc.
This month let’s stop and take notice of the relationships around us -partners- children-friends-work colleagues- and truthfully, from our hearts put these into practice.
Time and attention 
In our busy world finding time for our families and friends can be difficult, especially with the demands and stress of life.
But how nice for us to wake up to a friend or family member’s email, or social network message. If you have older children or are separated from your children, a good morning message and good night hugs mean more than a lengthy email. Share short messages, jokes or photos during the day, all of these say “I’m thinking of you”.
  • Put aside 20 minutes a day for individual time with each child – if you can pencil in gym, shopping,tennis, you have time. Don’t make this homework time. Some of my favorites are a cuddle and story. As a large family, this was often difficult when the kids were small -so my solution was to give each child a day, and we would walk alone to the shop to buy bread (and a small treat) and chat there and back.
  • Giving the children different age-appropriate bedtimes also allowed for a small quick cuddle time just before bed.
  • Spend alone time with your spouse/partner daily, even if it is just a special good night or a quiet chat in the car to the shops . Make the effort to spend at least an hour or two alone each weekend. Staying connected is vital to any partnership.
When we give someone our time, we also give them our attention. This says I think you are worthy and I want to spend time with you.
Our children, especially, need this validation to build a healthy EQ.
I don’t believe attention can be divided as you multitask. If you are speaking to someone whose mind is everywhere else and they are so busy with something -are they truthfully giving you their attention?
Stop what you doing …….attention is a gift to give and it’s gift wrapped in time .
Love and concern 
Love your children and the special people in your life. This sounds so easy but can you love unconditionally?
Can you accept those around you, even with their faults? Do you forgive the small hurts and try to see the other person’s side before answering In anger? Can you unselfishly give of yourself to serve them?
We all need unconditional love and praise. We all need someone to believe in us and support us.
Our children learn from us. What are you teaching them about love?
Having never heard my parents tell me they loved me, I determined that there would never be a day go by that my children would not hear the words ‘I love you ‘. So much so that as I call their names, they often turn and say “Yes, I know -you love me! “
This may sound overdone but when you feel loved, you have a healthy self-confidence, and your self-esteem soars. I want my children to be the best they can be, and for that, they need to know they were always wanted and loved.
This is the same for couples -if you ask a majority of divorced couples what the contributing factor to their divorce is -one will inevitably say that the other didn’t love them.
Corinthians states “Love endures all things “
So how do we show love? By giving of our time and attention. Seems so simple and yet we have so many lonely broken people.
Concern is our love and empathy for our friends. Treating them as we want to be treated. Making time for them and being there to support them. Not because you always know or truthfully understand but because that person is important in your life and you care.
So this month, truly and truthfully give of your love, concern, attention, and time.
Have a great July!
Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

load-shedding quick minute meals – Creamy Pork Loins Steak with Mash

I for one am so over Eskom and their load-shedding, especially when that load-shedding occurs at 6pm when I’ve just finished work and need to get supper started.

I’ve started looking at some quick, nutritional options that can be cooked in 10 to 15 minutes before we are plunged into darkness and ready to eat by candlelight.
One of those, I cooked this evening.
In exactly 15 minutes I managed to pop some Eskort pork loins steaks into the oven to grill while I made mash, gravy and vegetables.
How, I hear you say.
All thanks to convenience foods.

Shop with load-shedding in mind

Now, we live in South Africa and honestly, we are no strangers to load-shedding and we should be shopping with convince in mind for at least a few days of the month or for that emergency or end of the month when our bank balance can’t afford to order yet another MR Delivery order for supper.
So, what products do I buy for convenience?
  • Fast cooking meat like bacon.
  • Processed meats
  • and sausages
  • Cheeses
  • Packet soups
  • Packets of smash
  • Packets of instant gravy
  • Instant pasta sauce
  • Two minute noodles ( because as awful as they are they do cook in 2 minutes)
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned fish
You could also buy things like
  • Wraps
  • Rice cakes
  • Frozen meals

Why cook quickly ?

After a long, exhausting day , by 6pm I’m ready for bed. The day has been long and the thought of cooking more often than not does not excite me. It excites me even less, however, if my 5-year-old is hungry and the electricity isn’t working.
To save myself the stress of precooked meals, to assure myself that his meals are still nutritious ( because a week of toasted cheese sandwiches is not nutritional), and to allow us to stay on our family schedule regardless of Eskoms wheels falling off …I simply plan an easy to make meal.
Most of the time it involves a tin, a packet and popping something into the oven and all of the time my family have eaten in time, are full and the dishwasher is ready to start when the lights come back on.

Tonight’s meal

Tonight’s meal was a delicious 25-minute pork loin steak with mash, gravy and a medley of vegetables.
To recreate this meal( for 4) you will need:
  • Eskort creamy pepper pork loins steaks popped into the oven at 180°c for 10 minutes
  • A packet of smash mixed with boiling water. ( you can add a little margarine and fresh herbs)
  • Some frozen mix vegetables boiled on the stove for 5 minutes
  • And an instant pepper gravy mixed with hot water.
Dish up and serve with love.
Posted in Family Life

Hold my hand Mummy by M.S. Moem

Hold My Hand Mummy
Hold my hand mummy
And show me the way
So that I can go out
In the big world one day.
Teach me the basics
And then let me learn.
Should I ever get stuck
I’ll know just where to turn.
Cheer me up mummy
When I’m feeling blue.
I can always rely
On a kind word from you.
Dry my tears mummy
When I’m feeling sad.
Let me know it’s okay
And I won’t feel so bad.
Show me the sunshine
And then set me free
To be the brilliant person
That you raised me to be.
© Hold My Hand Mummy is a poem written by Ms Moem.
Posted in Family Life

Printwild …. making your memories last forever

I recently collaborated with Printwild and ordered some keepsake photos through their user-friendly website.

Spoilt for choice

Printwild offer a wide variety of photo printing options and I was spoilt for choice on what to choose.  I eventually decided on their Magna tot photo magnets and their amazing Face blocks that I am officially now addicted to !
With a small rental home, I wanted to display photos of my big family but am limited for wall space so choosing the Face blocks meant that I could fit many photo memories on one wall.
Printwild also offer :
  • Canvas prints
  • Loose photo prints
  • A stunning photo box to hold several photo box prints (great for weddings & special occasions)
  • Photo frames
  • Mounted prints
  • Printed wallpaper

Ordering

The order process was so easy. You upload your images online and from the first moment, your order is placed you are sent emails to advise you on every step of the process. I really love this.
My photos were set and sent for me to proof and changes made without a fuss, all before printing.
The process was really quick and I was sent a tracking number to track my photos once they were on the courier truck.

Delivery

Hamish was so excited to open the package with the Face blocks of his siblings and his special keepsake Magna tot photos for the fridge. The photos arrived packed neatly and securely.

My first thoughts

The quality is fantastic and the Magna tots look like little glass tiles. They give our fridge a stylish look and they are such a special way to save your memories. I love these and they are not only a great conversational piece in our open-plan space but Hamish enjoys moving them about and talking about his experiences.

However, The face blocks are my absolute favourite. Not only were the photos clear ( I expected them to be blurry on wood…not sure why?) But I got to get photos of my entire big family and display them beautifully in a small space.

Magna tots

Magna Tots are personalised fridge magnets with a vibrant, modern look. They are 70mm x 70mm and your photo is printed onto acrylic squares. To do this your image is professionally cropped and printed onto glossy paper before being face-mounted to 3mm acrylic. They are then finished off with a magnet on the back to give you a beautiful and elegant way to decorate your fridge or any magnetic surface in your home or office. It is recommended to display Magna Tots in groups to give you a stunning collage of memories.

WHY I CHOSE MAGNA TOTS

As a blogger, Hamish and I have enjoyed some truly memorable moments over the last few years and some of those are our appearances on the Afternoon Epress show and the Morning Expresso show on SABC. I really wanted to preserve these moments but wasn’t too sure how until I saw Printwild’s magna tot photo magnets. These are perfect for the small special moments.

So I chose 10 images to print and they came out fantastic.
The magnets look like little glass frames, are crystal clear and make for great conversation on our fridge while at the same time forming a visual photo album.

Moments we chose to remember:

  • Fun mamma sa interviewed on Afternoon Express show
  • Hamish on show with Meg Faure and Lara Schoenfeld from Playsense for the launch of dinosaur stomp.
  • Hamish on show with Peppa Pig
  • Hamish on show with Sparkle parties explaining to Katlego Maboe all about dinosaurs
  • Hamish modeling for woolworths with Nox_Mafu
  • Hamish with some of the presenters Graeme Richards, Leighanne Williams, Thabiso Makhubela
           

Face blocks

Faceblocks are professionally cropped into 15cm x 15cm squares and printed onto high-quality fine art matte paper, before being mounted on shutterply board for an amazing effect. They are delivered ready-to-mount with an industrial hook and loop mounting system and are best displayed in batches. Over time you may want to replace your Face block prints with new images. The replacement prints are printed on fine art matt paper using Ultra Chrome inks. They come with backing adhesive and a blade to trim your prints once you have stuck them over the old print so that there is no need to remove the old print.

Why I chose Face blocks

Some girls love diamonds…I love photos. There is nothing more special for me than having photos of my children displayed around my home.
We are a big family and I have always said I would get photos of each of them to put up, but canvases can be costly and I don’t really have the wall space. These face blocks from Printwild allow me to put all of their photos up on display in a small space.
The quality is stunning and they afix to the wall with sticky tape on velcro, allowing you to unwrap and put them straight up. You can also remove them so you could order updated photos and just peel off the older ones, and put up new ones.

Photos I chose to print

  • I love being a Cricut_sa ambassador and I ordered this face block of my official Cricut ambassador photo to use at my Cricut dem days.
  • Photos of each of my 7 children which are now proudly diplayed on our entrance wall
  • Two special photos for Brent’s office, one of him and Hamish and one of the first painting Hamish made of himself and his dad.

 

Final thoughts

I love my prints and can’t wait to put another order in. Printwild is competitively priced and offers amazing service and outstanding quality.

Posted in Family Life

What to consider When buying a new car

As a family over the last few years, we have felt the financial impact of Covid and the ever-increasing fuel hikes.

Recently our car was bumped into at the back and Brent accidentally knocked into a scooter, so we also needed to replace the bumpers and lights resulting in higher insurance premiums.

Taking all of these things into consideration we have decided to sell our big family car and purchase a smaller, more economic car. One that is lighter on fuel consumption and to insure.

However, buying a new car means we need to make an informed decision in order to not pay more in the long run.

So, what do we need to know before rushing off to buy our new car?

Here is a list of things to consider before you rush out and buy a new car.

1. Research
Do your research. Cars are long-term investments and therefore should not be impulse buys. Consider your needs and your family size. Do you travel a lot or need a special Isofix fitting for car seats?

2. Read reviews
Reviews will often highlight the features of the car and bring to light any negative things to consider. Reviews from reputable auto magazines and bloggers should be considered like www.carblog.co.za or www.autotrader.co.za

3. New or second-hand?
What is your budget like? Which can you afford? Do you want a new car or a second-hand one? Interestingly car dealers do not make more money on new cars, they’d however on second-hand ones so if you looking to negotiate they will often have more room to negotiate a price on a second-hand car.

4. Compare prices
You can use online price calculators like http://www.carpaymentcalculator.net
To determine your final monthly costs as well as your interest over x amount of years. These calculators will help you to keep all costs in mind before making an educated choice.

5. Compromise
A car dealer may have a sale, these are often excess stock and would require you to compromise on things like colour. You will need to ask yourself how important it is for you to own a purple car?

6. Offer to purchase
Your car dealer will not reserve your new car until you sign an offer to purchase or put down a deposit. It is good to know this in advance to see if you have the finances to do so before a trade-in or finance becomes available.

7. Added extras
Do you need them? The cost of those added extras will differ between dealers. We discovered just how much our extras cost us long-term and not to be honest some of them were not worth it. A reputable dealer will not rip you off but do your homework and ask around dealerships as to which one offers the best price.

8. Accessories
Accessories do not improve the value of the car. You will benefit from them as they give the car added comfort and functionality but in the long run, add no extra value to your car in a resale or trade-in. It’s also interesting to note that badly installed accessories like a  sound system can devalue your car and void your warranty.

9. Metallic paint
All brands charge extra for metallic paint.

10. Test drive
You must test drive the car you want to buy before making a purchase. Not just in the test drive patch but on the highway. You will spend so much time in the car you honestly need to know if it is a good match and comfortable drive.

11. Showroom check
After receiving your new car check everything works before leaving the showroom. That way you can address any faults straight away.

12.Small print
Take time to read the small print, the T & C’s, and the warranty. Things like a 3-year warranty over a limiting 7-year warranty could make a huge difference in the long run.

13. Be flexible
Don’t set your heart on just one brand and model. Be willing to test drive other models. Compare prices and look for a car that ticks all the boxes in what you are looking for.

14. Quotes
Get a quote with and without trade-in value. Occasionally a car is actually cheaper without a trade-in. Also, if a dealer really wants your car, the trade-in value will be higher.

15. Finance
As lovely as it would be to buy a new car in cash, most of us cannot afford to. Also buying a car in cash usually leaves you very little room to negotiate the price.

Dealer finance is usually the best way to buy a car. They have access to multiple banks and can help to secure the best finance option. They also negotiate on your behalf.

16. Registration
Ensure that the cost of registration is added to your deal.

All that is left once you’ve done your homework is to choose your new car.

Happy driving.

 

Posted in Health & Wellness

Keeping your family active during winter

The days are getting colder and we are all looking at ways to snuggle up and keep warm.

However, as a family it’s still very important to stay active. The best way to do this is to set put togther a family plan that includes physical activities.
Children spend an average of 3 hours a day watching screens and many teens and children do not get regular weekly exercize.
Children should, ideally spend 1 hour a day outside, engaged in play and vigorous activity. Adults need 30 minutes exercize a day to stay healthy.
So, exercising as a family is not only benefits our health but it also teaches our children how to become healthy adults.

How to set out a physical activity plan for your family

With so many other things to do a week, taking care of everyone’s physical health may seem really overwealming but this is where a good schedule will help co-ordinate your family and keep you all physically healthy.
So, how do you set up a physical activity plan for your family? 
  • Existing activities – examine which physical activities your family currently take part in. Prehaps your child does an extra mural, you enjoy an evening run or your family hikes each Sunday. Chart these into your plan first.
  • Options – for those families not yet active, or for the families wanting to add more activities that include all family members sit down and brainstorm some activities first. Make a list of options that meet your family dynamic, interests, energy and physical level and that are age appropriate.
  • Time limits – set time limits to how much physical activity you wish to participate in each week. This could be a 30 minute walk or a 1hour hike. By having a time limit it will help the less enthusiastic members of your family to  complete the activity. This also sets the basis to physical activity becoming a habit in your weekly routine.
  •  Be flexible – Remember that life happens and many factors could determine you not reaching your goals for the week. Mood, health, weather or other engagements. Instead of feeling guilty or frustrated rather enjoy your family in a less demanding way.

Some low cost family activities

Not every family has the resources to join gyms, add additional extra murals or endulge in new exercize equipment.

But

Every family can enjoy these low cost and free activities to become healthy.

 

Low cost family activity ideas

  • Walking – walk around your neighborhood, in the park, at the beach or walk the dog
  • Ball games– winter is the perfect time to bring out those soccer balls.  cricket sets or other ball games.

 

  • School yard games – games like tag, hide and go seek or red rover on the yard or park will keep the kids entertained.
  • Fly a kite– Cape Town autumn winds are perfect for kite flying. You could make your own first then see who flies their kite the highest.
  • Park runs – join a local park run . These are every Saturday morning and great for all ages.
  • Beach clean ups – use your physical time to do good and join a beach or river clean up

 

  • Bike rides– family bike rides or scooter rides are great to not only see your neighborhood but to keep fit too.
  • Roller skating – Go roller skating, roller blading or ice skating.
  • Dance parties– for bad weather you could turn up the music and have a dance party.
There are so many other inexpensive ways to get moving as a family and stay healthy. The goal however is to always have fun.
Posted in Life with my bears

I’m Raising a Wild One

I’m raising a wild one

The child who needs to run and jump and explore
The child who grabs life and swings across her adventures with the courage and enthusiasm of an adventurer.
The child who knows no limits and tests boundaries, determined to find his own path.
The child who leads and seldom follows.

I’m raising a wild one

A self confident traveler whose spirit dances with the wind as he sings songs that only he can hear, whilst dancing to his own tune.

The loud one.
The strong one.
The child who dies not hide in shadows and who isn’t afraid to say NO! He isn’t afraid to take up space or to question the roads already travelled.

I’m raising a wild one

The stubborn child. The smart child. The child who looks back at me and says “but mother you are wrong because I’m being raised by the wild one.

By the mother who will not break my will as she guides me to be free to be myself ….a wild one.”

And I look back, knowing, as only a wild one knows…..

That I’m raising a wild one.

The Wild one
By Judy MacGregor ( 2022) 

Posted in Family Life

Tap and Go …. What you need to know

A few months ago Brent discovered a transaction on one of his accounts that he definitely did not make.

This was reported, investigated and his account was suspended for a while and he had to go through the process of awaiting a new card and changing his banking Pins, etc
Now, we are still not exactly sure how this transaction was processed but I had wondered if it wasn’t the Tap and go feature on his bank card.
As a consumer, I’m still wary of this feature so I was interested to read a recent article where a consumer journalist, discussed the relevant questions regarding the tap and go facility offered by banks.

Tap and go …the facts 

The Tap and go feature is offered by all banks, however only one of our South African banks does not allow you to turn off the feature.
Whilst incredibly convenient, as you do not need a signature or a Pin code if you Tap for an amount under R500, this feature is feared by many as an easy means for criminals to conduct fraudulent transactions.
However, the banking ombudsman has reported that fraud in connection to the tap and go feature is low, with as little as only 2 cases a month reported.

Banks

These banks offer tap and go options to their clients with the option to turn off the feature.
Capitec
ABSA
Nedbank
Standard bank
However FNB does not. The reason for this is because all FNB are contactless enabled and this is a core feature of their product, thus not allowing the tap and go facility to be disabled.

How to disable your tapped go

Should you wish to disable your tap and go facility, depending on your bank of choice, here is how to find where to do so.
Capitec– Inside the branch or on the Capitec banking App
ABSA – Inside the branch , on the APP or via the customer care contact centre.
Nedbank – Through the Money App or via online banking.
Standard bank – On the App
As banking features, payment Apps, virtual cards and device payments grow in popularity it is important that we as consumers stay educated to make the most informed decisions to protect our money.