Posted in Christmas, Family Life, Giving back, valentines day

How to gift more mindfully

“Oh we are living in a Material world and I am a material girl …” sang Madonna in the early 80’s

An era where computers were just being introduced in homes around South Africa, the ozone lazer was a hot topic and plastic items graced the shelves of every store.

More than 30 years after we understand the damage we have done to the Earth and now have very conscious steps we can each take to do our part in trying to restore the delicate state of our one and only Earth.

Becoming eco conscious

Whilst becoming entirely eco conscious over night may not be possible for many of us, there are certainly small steps we can each do to make a more positive impact on our environment and change our lifestyle.

And one of these steps is to look at what and how we gift to others.

Gifts of love

Without a doubt gifting plays a huge role in our lives.

In 365 days of a year I personally have 20 family birthdays, 2 anniversaries to remember and all the regular holidays like Valentine’s day, mothers day, father’s day, Easter and Christmas.

Not to mention wedding gifts, birthday gifts to parties my children or I are invited to, thank you gifts, bridal showers, baby showers, gender reveals, retirements, etc

So

With all these gifts we are buying and gifting throughout the year, how much have we added to the pile of unsustainable junk suffocating the Earth?

Are we mechanically just buying a gift to fit a budget ?

And have we diminished the value and love of a true heartfelt gift behind the latest trending items on a gift catalogue?

A change in gifting

Looking at the amount of gifts you give each year and asking yourself how many of them are sustainable, or truthfully given because the recipient honestly needed/wanted or would enjoy the gift, can help you to gift more smartly and with a more mindful sustainable mindset.

How to gift more mindfully

Some ways you can change your gifting habits to be more mindful are:-

  • Don’t gift at all ( I’m personally not sure that I am brave enough to ever not gift but the most eco conscious way to not add to clutter is not to gift)
  • Gift through a charity– many charities offer a service whereby you can make a donation in the name of the gift recipient. Some of these organisation’s offer a certificate or card to hand to the person on their special day.
  • Gift an experience –Instead of gifting yet another item to fill a shelf, why not gift an experience that the other person has always wanted. You get wonderful online vouchers for cooking classes, art classes, helicopter rides, etc
  • DIY – use your skills to make homemade gifts. Bake or make something. Homemade gifts often save you money and are genuinely heartfelt.
  • Second hand – If you are going to shop why not look at vintage stores, thrift shops or second hand stores for good quality gifts to give. Often the charities and organisation’s have their own shops and you get to give back to a worthy cause by supporting them.
  • Upcycle– while you are shopping in the second hand stores look for items you could add a coat of paint to or fix up with a little creativity to gift.
  • Regift – Yes! I said it. Regift that ugly necklace your husband bought or that pair of jeans you’ve never gotten into. If the item is in your cupboards and not being used there is a good possibility it can be used by someone else.
  • New– finally if all else fails and you must shop new try to shop local, sustainably and as mindfully as possible.

Final note

And as a final note, if you are still looking at options to gift less physical items why not gather your friends or relatives and each contribute to one big ticket item gift instead of each gifting several smaller, often unused items.

Posted in Blog posts, Brands we love, Christmas

Play-doh christmas gift ideas 2020

No christmas would be complete for us if we didn’t add a Play-doh gift into Hamish’s stocking,and Hasbro has some fabulous gift ideas for Play-Doh fans this season.

Play-doh slime

This colourful premade slime compound is as much fun to look at as it is to touch!

Stretch it, pull it, let it ooze – Play-Doh Slime for kids 3 years and up gives them a squishable, sensory, creative experience.

Watch how squishy and fun this Play-Doh slime is here

Play-doh colour burst

This is one of our personal favourites. Hamish loves to watch the colours mix into each other.


Have a blast with Play-Doh Color Burst!

With speckles of one color mixed into another, watch the colours swirl and change before your eyes as you mix them together offering an innovative way to mix and play!

Play-doh Elastix


Stretch your imagination with Play-Doh Elastix compound.

With a fun pull-apart texture for new ways to play its perfect to stretch and mould pretend melted cheese, stretchy snakes, and all the other silly things kids like to create.

Hasbro also have some innovative and fun gifting options for your Play-Doh fans.

Play-doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream Playset

Play-Doh fans will love the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream Playset, with new Play-Doh Drizzle compound.

Get drizzling and create a pretend candy shell for your Play-Doh Ice cream creations!

Create colourful Play-Doh sundaes and cones and don’t forget to add fun Play-Doh sprinkles and candies to decorate.

Play-doh Kitchen Creations Candy Delight Playset

It’s crazy candy galore at the Play-Doh candy store!

This Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Candy Delight Playset is a treat for the imagination as kids create their own silly gummy bears, pretend candy bars, and play candy cups.

Fill the top with Play-Doh compound, then turn the crank on the candy machine to see the crazy colourful Play-Doh candies pour out.

Scoop the creations into the pretend candy buckets to show them off to friends.

Gift your child the gift of fun and imagination this Christmas with one of these Play-Doh sets.

Available at Takealot, Toyzone or ToysRus

Posted in Christmas

The legend of the Christmas spider : why we hang tinsel on our Christmas tree

It’s no lie that I’m a fan of spiders.

Somewhere between Charlotte’s Web and owning the cutest tarantula i developed a deep love and respect for these tiny arachnids.

And interestingly

Spiders are just as loved in the Christmas folktales of Germany and the Ukrain.

The legend of the Christmas spider

A long time ago a mother was increadibly busy cleaning her home, getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year. The day the Christ child came to bless the home.

She was so thorough that not a single corner was left uncleaned and even the little spiders has been banished from their cosy corner in the ceiling in her cleaning frenzy.

These spiders moved to the attic to keep safe.

At last, it was Christmas eve.

The beautiful Christmas tree was decorated, waiting for the children to see the delicate ornaments and shining lights.

The spiders were disheartened. They couldn’t see the lovely tree, nor would they be present when the Christ child visited.

Thd oldest and wisest spider suggested they perp through the crack of the door to have a look.

Very silently, they crept out the attic and down the stairs, all the way across the floor to the threshold in anticipation.

The door was ajar and the spiders, knowing how much they longed to see the beautifully lit tree, climbed onto the tree and examined every ornament as they walked from branch to branch.

Finally, they had seen each pretty thing and knew just how lovely the Christmas tree looked.

But

Everywhere the spiders had been was now full of shiny little spider webs. The whole tree was draped in the lightest of spider silk.

When the Christ child saw this he was dismayed. As much as he loved the spiders, as they are God’s creatures, he knew how hard the mother had worked at cleaning her home and how carefully she had trimmed the tree.

She certainly would not appreciate the spiders.

So, He gently touched the webs and turned them into sparkling and shimmering silver and gold threads.

From that day, it has been custom to hang tinsel in a Christmas tree and include a small spider in your decorations.

Posted in Brands we love, Christmas, Press releases

HASBRO REVEALS EXCITING GREAT GIFTS SUGGESTIONS FOR 2020

The festive holiday season is almost upon us, this year unwrap the magic of the season with an exciting range of great gifts brought to you by global play and entertainment company, Hasbro, who is committed to creating the world’s best play and entertainment experiences.With a wide selection of options, to surprise and delight, from popular brands including NERF, Play-Doh, Baby Alive, furReal, Transformers and more plus fun new Hasbro Gaming solutions – there something for each family member, no matter their age, to enjoy this summer!

HASBRO’S 2020 ‘BEST SELLER’ SELECTION FOR THE UP-COMING SEASON:

furReal Pets

Meet this lovable mama from Down Under!Mama Josie the Kangaroo from furReal offers both interactive nurturing play and a surprise unboxing experience.Mama Josie comes with 3 adorable babies – one baby ‘roo is a boy, the other a girl, and the third one’s… a surprise!Unbox all three for the big gender reveal.This loving mama responds to touch with 70+ sound-and-motion reactions, she moves her head and arms, hops to music, and can hold and “kiss” her babies while making loving sounds.There are cute accessories for the babies, and one for Mama herself – a smoothie accessory kids can give her to hear cute feeding sounds… and the occasional hiccup!Whatever she does, she’s sure to captivate!

Watch Mama Josie in action here

To add to your collection of lovable furReal furry friends look out for the Peealots & Poopalots Big Wags Pets collection, another expansion of the brand’s successful pet-walking line, with a range of feisty pups and kittens to choose from.Each Peealots pet comes with a leash system that allows you to take them for walks and a water bottle so you can give them a drink.Of course, after quenching your pet’s thirst, they’ll need to go!Just lift its tail and watch as your pet lifts its leg and pees – but be sure to clean up after them – it’s the polite thing to do!What’s more fun than walking a pet? Walking a pet that poops!Give your cuddly Poopalots pet a few of the included play treats, then take them for a walk to do their ‘business’, leaving a trail of poop nuggets behind!Luckily, your pet comes with its own poop scooper for quick and easy cleanups.

furReal Poopalots pets feature a connectible system that lets kids walk one pet, or their favorite pack!

Baby Alive Doll

She loves to bounce and giggle!Baby Alive Baby Gotta Bounce doll bounces up-and-down with impossibly cute laughter when you hold her hands and squeeze her wrist — or repeatedly wave or move in front of her.She actually stands up and bounces on her own!

The interactive Baby Gotta Bounce doll has 25+ cute sound effects, drinks water and “pees” too, like a baby (bottle and a diaper included).Good thing her adorable, removable outfit makes changing-time super easy!Kids ages 3 years old and up will love caring for this sweet Baby Alive Baby Gotta Bounce doll that moves.

Playdoh

Play-Doh fans will love the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Drizzy Ice Cream Playset.Drizzle a crazy candy coating on your Play-Doh ice cream creations.For the first time ever, this toy ice cream set comes with Play-Doh Drizzle compound – a pretend syrup that turns into a pretend candy shell when you drizzle it on top of regular Play-Doh compound.The Play-Doh ice cream maker is easy and fun to use, load some regular Play-Doh compound and press the handle to create colourful Play-Doh sundaes and cones.Squeeze some Play-Doh drizzle on top and add fun Play-Doh sprinkles and candies to decorate.It’s crazy candy galore at the Play-Doh candy store!This Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Candy Delight Playset is a treat for the imagination as kids create their own silly gummy bears, pretend candy bars, and play candy cups.Fill the top with Play-Doh compound, then turn the crank on the candy machine to see the crazy colourful Play-Doh candies pour out.Scoop the creations into the pretend candy buckets to show them off to friends.

Elsa and Anna fashion dolls

Kids can sing along with the Musical Adventure Elsa and Anna fashion dolls (each doll sold separately) as she belts out a song featured in Disney’s Frozen 2 movie.Dolls includes batteries so the musical fun can start as soon as kids open the box.All they have to do is turn on the switch on her back and press the button on her bodice to start the catchy tune.Kids will also love their movie-inspired dresses with elegant designs and glitter accents.

Nerf

There is an exciting range of Nerf blasting options on offer- (eyewear recommended – not included):Experience Nerf Ultra blasters – the ultimate in Nerf dart blasting!The Nerf Ultra One motorised blaster has a high-capacity 25-dart dart drum and comes with 25 Nerf Ultra darts.Fire over two dozen darts with the high-performance advantages of this Nerf Ultra blaster.You have the skills and the expertise as a Nerf battler, now you have the blaster and darts for game-changing superiority!Suitable for kids age 8 years and older.

Gear up for battle with Nerf Elite 2.0 blasters that come with double the darts and feature built-in customising capabilities so you can upgrade them and seize the advantage in Nerf competitions.Suitable for kids aged 6 years and older (avaible in South Africa from mid November).The Nerf Elite 2.0 Shockwave RD-15 blaster features three tactical rails, barrel attachment point, and stock attachment point to optimise for battle.This pump-action blaster has a 15-dart rotating drum to swamp your targets.Pull the priming slide back and press the trigger to unleash 1 dart or hold down the trigger and keep moving the slide to slam-fire all 15 darts.The Nerf Elite 2.0 Echo CS-10 blaster includes a removable stock and removable barrel extension so you can customise the blaster multiple ways.Take advantage of five tactical rails to add other battle accessories (not included).Comes with 24 Official Nerf darts – load 10 into the clip and keep the rest nearby for reloads.

Transformer

The Transformers Battle for Cybertron is on!Mobilize for action with Cyberverse Battle Call Trooper Class figures and Cyberverse Battle Call Officer Class figures.Each figure includes a signature weapon, which disassembles and attaches to the figure to create power-up armour.Voice activation offers an exciting new way to play with Transformers.With each Officer Class figure, activate battle sounds and pulsing lights with voice commands and with each Trooper Class figure, activate pulsing lights in each figure’s chest with voice commands.Officer Class figures command Trooper Class figures with interactive sounds.Figures convert between vehicle and robot modes.Assortment features favorite Autobot and Decepticon characters from the animated Transformers series (each sold separately).

Power Rangers

IT’S MORPHIN TIME!The Power Rangers Beast-X King Morpher is inspired by the Power Rangers Beast Morphers TV show (as seen on Cartoon Network), with light up lion eyes.When kids strap the morpher to their wrist and move around, they will hear show-inspired sounds and phrases.Plus, when they use the included Morph-X key in the Beast-X King Morpher, the Beast-X King mane will flip out and the morpher will enter Beast-X mode, for even more sounds and phrases!

Hasbro gaming solutions

GET YOUR FAMILY TIME GAME ON WITH A WIDE RANGE OF GAMES TO SUITS ALL AGES FROM HASBRO GAMING

Monopoly

Don’t get sad…get even!Say goodbye to the frustration of losing while playing Monopoly and say hello to the Monopoly For Sore Losers board game.This hilarious twist on the classic Monopoly game turns losing on its head and celebrates it instead.Players earn cash by doing the typically frustrating things in the game such as going to jail, paying rent on a property, or going bankrupt.And those who really start sinking can make a comeback using the large Mr. Monopoly token that gives players advantages over everyone else.So get playing, get the revenge you’ve been craving, and feel good about losing!

Monopoly Mzanzi

Still a firm family favourite, Monopoly Mzansi, featuring 22 local locations, makes a perfect gift for the festive season.A definite must have for travellers, Monopoly Mzansi provides an opportunity for family and friends to come together and enjoy some quality time, Mzansi style.

Boggle

Enjoy some fun family time with Boggle.Earn points by spotting words your opponents don’t before time runs out. Shake the grid to mix up the letter cubes, players have 90 seconds to write down as many words as they can find on the grid before time is up.At the end of the round, score the words. The player with the highest score wins.Game comes packed in an easy to store travel case for both timer and dice.

EXCITING STOCKING FILLER IDEAS INCLUDE:

Play-doh Elastix

Stretchy Play-Doh Elastix compound looks and smells like the Play-Doh compound we all know and love, but it has a fun pull-apart effect for a different way to play.

Play-doh slime

This colourful premade slime compound is as much fun to look at as it is to touch!Stretch it, pull it, let it ooze – Play-Doh Slime for kids 3 years and up gives them a squishable, sensory, creative experience.

Nerf Elite 2.0 Trio SD-3 Blaster

Fire three darts in a row from the Nerf Elite 2.0 Trio SD-3 blaster that has a tactical rail so you can customise the blaster with different Nerf accessories. Fires darts up to 27 meters.

Transformers

Easily convert and attack with Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Action Attackers toys!Simply convert figure from vehicle to robot mode in a few steps.The last step of conversion activates the figure’s signature Shot move!Once converted, move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps.Collect all the Action Attackers figures, each sold separately.

Hasbro products are available from leading retailers (subject to availability) including: Takealot.com, Makro, Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Checkers, Game and Importatoy.

Posted in Brands we love, Christmas, Family Life, Family Time, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Health & Wellness, Life with my bears, Parenting

Is your child a KRAZI AWSUM KID ?

Every mom believes we have the most beautiful, wonderful and amazing children but how often do we remind our children how wonderful they are?

Now, you can gift your child with a positive affirmation to remind them just how amazing they are.

Krazi Awsum gifts and goodies have launched a range of slogan tshirts for the whole family to remind them just how KRAZI AWSUM they are !

Hamish loves his and likes to shout out “I’m krazi awsum” as a positive mantra. I love that he is developing a strong self value and when he forgets how wonderful he is, this shirt is a cool reminder should I forget to tell him often enough.

Shop

Krazi Awsum kid Tshirts R150 each

Krazi Awsum mama / papa
R220

KRAZI AWSUM custom shirts for any family member:

Granny
Grandpa
Aunty
Uncle
Sister
Brother
Niece
Nephew

Or how about reminding someone what a great job they doing or celebrating a special milestone ….

Krazi Awsum:
Teacher
Boss
Friend
Artist
Bride to be
Matric 2020
Husband
Wife

This design is copyright Krazi Awsum gifts and goodies 2020

( Last orders for 2020 are 1 December in time for printing )

Contact Judymacgregor161@gmail.com

Or follow Krazi awesome on

Facebook

Instagram

Posted in Brands we love, Christmas

The Bramley Luxurious Gift Sets just in time for the festive season

Bramley Cosmetics have launched 3 luxurious gift set boxes just in time for the festive season. Choose from Magnolia, Lavender or Aloe Vera gift boxes, which are guaranteed to leave your skin feeling soft, pampered and beautifully cared for!

Bramley have included a hand wash with their Christmas gift sets this year because it’s important for people during these COVID-19 times to stay germ, virus and dirt free.

Protect yourself and your family with this convenient travel size hand wash.

While it’s very important to wash your hands frequently, your hands may be left feeling dry, sore and irritated.

By using Bramley Hand & Nail creams you automatically put that moisture back into your hands.

Your hands are left feeling moisturised, softer and younger looking.

MAGNOLIA LUXURIOUS GIFT SET

1 x 100 ml Tissue Oil

1 x 75 ml Hand & Nail Cream

1 x 100 ml Hand Wash

R34,99

The Magnolia range is infused with a luxuriously rich floral, long-lasting fragrance that opens with a heady blend of magnolia, carnation and rose. The emerging heart notes develop to reveal a creamy floral character of heliotrope and ylang ylang, whilst resting on a lingering base of sweet musk.

LAVENDER LUXURIOUS GIFT SET

1 x 100 ml Tissue Oil

1 x 75 ml Hand & Nail Cream

1 x 100 ml Hand Wash

R34.99

The Lavender range has a wonderful scent of relaxing lavender. The heart notes open to reveal rustic greenery and wonderful sweet musk.

The warm and comforting scent of lavender is said to be stress, inflammation and sleeplessness reducing.

ALOE VERA GIFT SET

1 x 100 ml Tissue Oil &

1 x 100ml Hand & Nail Cream

R29.99

Pamper your skin with this true gift from nature.

This gift of body care products is beautifully formulated with sustainably selected 100% natural Olive Oil and sustainably sourced Aloe Vera. Its elegance and fragrance will enhance and amplify your mood and confidence.

Aloe Vera is known for its intensive moisturising and cooling properties. It has the ability to restore, revitalise and rejuvenate dry skin. Olive Oil has antioxidant properties, is moisturising and protects skin against premature ageing.

This perfect blend of nature leaves your skin as Mother Nature intended.

All of these pampering skin care products enriched with Bramley’s signature, unique Bio-Pharm oil and Vitamin E oil will provide protection and nourishment to your skin.

Treat yourself to pure goodness and quality you can trust and ensure the best care for you.

Available at PEP Stores Nationwide

Follow Bramley Cosmetics: Facebook Instagram www.bramleycosmetics.co.za

Posted in Christmas

Christmas Traditions -Stir up Sunday

As a young girl I remember my grandmother being extremely busy months before Christmas, in her kitchen making Christmas cakes and puddings.

These images always struck me as odd, until recently, whilst I was researchingold Christmas traditions and I came across Stir up Sunday.

What is Stir up Sunday ?

But what exactly is stir up Sunday and what does it have to do with Christmas puddings?

Stir up Sunday, as it turns out, is the day ( about 5 weeks before Christmas) that you gather in your kitchen to prepare the Christmas pudding.

Traditionally Stir up Sunday falls on the last Sunday before the Christian season of Advent begins

The delicious aromas that waft throughout your home signal the start of the Christmas season.

The whole family stirs the pudding

The forgotten customs of this tradition, bring the entire family together, as according to tradition, each member has a turn to stir the dark, rich pudding mixture from East to West. This symbolizes the wise men’s journey to find the baby Jesus.

Images of an entire family all gathered in a warm kitchen, are the images Christmas cards are made of and the reason we hold onto traditions and customs as we get older.

To remember and hold dear the value of family.

The Christmas coins

As the pudding mixture is being stirred a wish is made and a coin is tossed into the mixture.

Today silver coins, which can be wrapped in foil, are added but as a young girl, I remember finding beautiful silver charms in our Christmas pudding. These would lovingly be cleaned and added to my charm braclet.

My grandmother instinctively knew just which slice of pudding to dish up to make sure I always recieved a treasure. As an adult , I have to wonder if these coins and charms were not infact added in after she sliced our piece of pudding.

Finding these coins on Christmas day was supposed to bring you health, wealth, happiness and ensured that everyone ate a piece of pudding to try get one.

The perfect Christmas pudding

Also referred to as a plum pudding during the Victorian era who dubbed any fruit pudding a plum pudding if they contained raisins, currants, beef suet,citrus zest, almonds and spices.

A perfect Christmas pudding is both dense and moist. It oozes with a rich array of fruit and brandy.

As beautiful as the puddings look they are rather time consuming to make due to the time needed to weigh the fruit, marinate it and steam the final mixture. It is then put away in a cool dark place and steamed for a further hour on Christmas day again.

The pudding consists of 13 fruit and these represent Jesus and his 12 disciples.

Traditionally this rich pudding is flamed before serving and served with a vintage port.

It’s interesting to note that the biggest difference between a Christmas cake and a christmas pudding is that, even though their ingredients are relatively similar, the cake is baked whilst the pudding is steamed.

The pudding also contains either meat or vegetable suet whilst the cake does not.

This year I’m going to attempt to make my own Christmas pudding. I’d love some tips in the comments if you’ve made your own.

Posted in Christmas

A complete Christmas Check list

I love Christmas. It is my favourite time of the year.

There is always good food, lots of activities and happy kids. It is a time of holidays and family.

But it can also be costly, especially to a big family like ours, and stressful as moms take on the extra burden of trying to achieve a Hallmark Christmas for our children to remember.

To make this year smoother I’ve compiled a checklist to break down the monstrous list of things to do and help you achieve a stress free Christmas season.

The Christmas check list

October

  • Decide on a family plan for Christmas. Where will you be spending the holiday? If you do holiday themes what theme are you choosing? What type of meals do you want to serve?
  • Book reservations to any restaurants if you are spending Christmas eating out.
  • Make any travel arrangements and book both tickets and accommodation.
  • Start a family WhatsApp group or email if you do not have one to communicate easily about holiday plans.
  • Use a Google calendar to start scheduling holiday events to allow the whole family to schedule items and keep each other informed.
  • Keep a print calendar on the fridge will help to keep track of school plays, carol services and that Christmas lunches.
  • Start baking the items you can freeze like un-iced cookies.
  • Prepare your fruit mix for cakes and puddings.
  • Make a holiday card list
  • Book any professional photos
  • Have holiday card photos taken
  • Design your holiday card to send out
  • Gifting -Purchase or make gift tags, Christmas cards and Christmas wrapping.
  • Send international cards and gifts
  • Measure your family for clothing size and shoe size. Make a list of this to help you shop or to send to grandparents.
  • Order any personalised items to ensure you recieve them before printers shut down for the holidays.
  • Famlly holidays-Make plans for family that will be staying with you. Do you need more linen, sheets, ect
  • Book any leave needed from work.

November ( 6 weeks before Christmas)

  • Decide on a Christmas budget
  • Make a holiday gift list
  • Buy gifts for Secret Santa events, neighbours, friends,teachers and work colleagues
  • Keep several small gifts of chocolates or biscuits for those unexpected people who pop in or gifts you recieve and need to reciprocate.
  • Start Christmas shopping for family. You may want to take advantage of the Black Friday sale for any big items you are planning to buy.
  • Do any online shopping .Make a note of delivery days when online shopping to ensure you recieve items in time.
  • Wrap gifts as you buy them. This will save you time during the busier days leading up to Christmas.
  • Charity– decide on the charity and causes you will support over the season

6 weeks before Christmas

  • Buy a Christmas eve box
  • Buy an elf on the shelf
  • Plan elf antics and get a box ready with activities for the elf to do throughout Christmas

5 weeks before Christmas

  • Celebrate Stir it up Sunday and make your Christmas puddings
  • Check your christmas tree and ornaments and make note of anything you need to replace.
  • Stock up on batteries.
  • Make an intinerary of holiday activities to enjoy with the kids
  • Book kids Holiday Clubs
  • Buy advent calendars or the items to fill reusable ones
  • Wrap 24 books to read 1 a night throughout advent. These are traditionally Christmas themed.
  • Neaten garden and outdoor areas.
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Stock up on braai items like charcoal, firefighters, ect
  • Put aside table settings. Items such as the table cloths, name tags, christmas crackers, ect for the Christmas meal. Getting this ready now will save you running around looking for matching serviette rings on Christmas eve.
  • Buy christmas crackers
  • If you are travelling over christmas book a service for your car, plan your route and pack emergency items in the boot.
  • Arrange pet sitters or house sitters
  • Have any photos you need printed
  • Buy instax film
  • Check board games and buy new ones to add to the family board games stash.
  • Bucket list – make a family holiday bucket list of things to do

4 weeks before Christmas

  • Test your Christmas lights . Replace any that do not work and see that you have enough.
  • Set up outside decorations
  • Enough to feed everyone – Take stock of your serving dishes, cutlery and crockery. Purchase what you need.
  • Write your local Christmas cards
  • Book any hair, annual medical or beauty procedures you will need until the end of January.
  • Stock up your medicine cabinet
  • Clean windows
  • Put up window decals or fake snow
  • Download a christmas ring tone or wall paper for your phone
  • Play Christmas Carols
  • Have photos taken with Santa

3 weeks before Christmas

  • Mail cards
  • Let the kids write to Santa
  • Christmas tree – Decide on your Christmas tree. Will you use one you have? Do you need a new one? Are you having a fresh tree?
  • Buy or make your tree skirt
  • Decorate your tree
  • Start your Advent calendars
  • Put out the Nativity scene
  • Decorate your home
  • Purchase any greenery or wreaths to decorate with.
  • Finalize your menus
  • Order your Christmas meat
  • Shop for groceries you can freeze and store.
  • Send any out of town gifts
  • Start your elf on the shelf activities
  • Let kids write a wish list
  • Make gingerbread men
  • Make gingerbread house and train
  • Put together a christmas day playlist
  • Fill any gas cylinders
  • Drive to see the city Christmas lights

Two weeks before Christmas

  • Purchase alcohol and beverages
  • Break out the Christmas crafts with the kids
  • Plan your christmas Caroling events
  • Print out free colouring pages and staple together to make a colouring activity book to keep kids busy.
  • Buy Christmas day outfits and Christmas eve pjs
  • Bake or buy Christmas cake

One week before Christmas

  • Spring clean your home
  • Line the oven with foil to prevent too much mess while cooking for Christmas day.
  • Clean out any unwanted or outgrown clothing, toys and books to donate
  • Clear out the refrigerator and deep freezer
  • Plan spaces for guests and clean the linen and towels.
  • Purchase any gift vouchers you are gifting.
  • Have a christmas movie marathon. Dont forget the popcorn.
  • Bake or buy mice pies
  • Christmas dress up – wash , clean and replace all christmas hats, stockings and Santa suits

3 days before Christmas

  • Shop for fresh ingredients
  • Make life easy – Stock up on paper plates, paper cups, serviettes, tin foil
  • Do any baking
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Dry oranges, pears and apples to make potpourri and hanging strings
  • Go see christmas lights
  • Christmas light scavanger hunt – these are a lot of fun.

2 days before Christmas

  • String popcorn for tree
  • Make pomanders
  • Make a timeline for Christmas eve and Christmas day
  • Go caroling
  • Put fuel in the car
  • Double check all gifts are bought and wrapped
  • Make Christmas deserts
  • Purchase Christmas candles
  • Buy Santa’s cookies and Rudolfs carrots
  • Watch the nutcracker

Christmas eve

  • Prepare Christmas eve meal
  • Watch christmas family movies
  • Have photo taken in matching family pjs
  • Put out children’s Christmas eve box
  • Leave milk and cookies for Santa and Rudolf
  • Read the Christmas story
  • Drop christmas cookies at neighbours
  • Place gifts at tree
  • Christmas day box -Set out bin bag and box with batteries, scissors , ect ready for the mornings excitement
  • Fill stockings or Santa sacks
  • Make trifel
  • Make eggnog
  • Take any meats out to defrost
  • Pre cook some food
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Track Santa on Google tracker
  • Place luminaries in the yard for Santa to find his way
  • Leave out magic key for Santa
  • Charge phones, cameras and laptops
  • Hide the pickle and Rudolfs nose for the children to find in the tree
  • Leave flour Santa and Rudolf prints on the floor
  • Take elf away
  • Bite the cookie, eat the carrot and drink the milk so that it looks like Santa did it
  • Mull your wine

CHRISTMAS DAY

  • Make hot chocolate for the morning
  • Open gifts
  • Cook lunch
  • Take family morning photos
  • Read the story of Jesus birth
  • Kiss under the mistletoe
  • Family- phone, Skype or text family to wish them
  • Send out digital Christmas cards

Posted in Christmas, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting

What to say when your child no longer believes in Santa

Living in a home where my kids range in ages can get tricky when trying to keep the Christmas magic alive and some don’t believe in Santa any more.

I remember threatening not to bring gifts to the older kids if they dared breathe a word to their younger still innocent siblings.

So, when I found this beautifully written explanation online I couldn’t help but share it with everyone.

To me this message is the perfect way to explain why we keep the Santa Christmas magic alive .

What to say when your child no longer believes in Santa

**ATTENTION ALL PARENTS WHO MIGHT NEED TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SANTA 🎅🏼 **

Son: “Dad, I think I’m old enough now. Is there a Santa Claus?”
Dad: “Okay, I agree that you’re old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the “truth” is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you’ll never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?”
*Brief pause*
Son: “Yes, I want to know.”
Dad: “Okay, then I’ll tell you. Yes, there is a Santa Claus.”
Son: “Really?”
Dad: Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea. Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. We bought those for you. We watched you open them. And did it bother us that you didn’t know? Of course not! In fact it gave us great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.
When I saw that woman collapse in town last week and I called for help, I knew that she’d never know that it was me that called an ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.”
Son: “Oh.”
Dad: “So now that you know, you’re a part of it too. You have to be Santa Claus now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help other people. Got it?” ☺️

Look out for and help each other this Christmas🎄🎅 and… always be kind ❤💕

( original author unknown)

How did you explain to your kids? Please share in the comments .
Posted in Brands we love, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Christmas, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

How to book convenient Holiday road travel with the Travelstart buses platform

With the holidays here and many families looking to unite and visit with relatives in other cities, Travelstart have launched a new online bus booking platform to take the stress out of road travel.

The Travelstart buses platform,which was launched this November, will not only save you time and money but will allow you to compare bus tickets from reputable competing companies.

Travellers can now enjoy the flexibility of finding tickets suited to their budget by searching, booking and paying for bus travel from numerous suppliers within South Africa or to neighboring countries.

With the Travelstart buses platform you can book up to 10 passengers in a single booking and filter your search by destination, bus company, coach, class and price.

To make payment convenient, you can pay by Credit card or at your local Pick n Pay countrywide. There is no more standing in long queues, your bus ticket is sent directly to your inbox.

Destinations

Traveling in South Africa you will be able to use the best bus companies, ensuring you arrive safely at your destination.

Whether you are traveling on a one way ticket or return , you can book for major cities like Cape Town and Durban or to smaller towns like Harrismith.

Buses

The two most popular travel routes by bus are :

Johannesburg – Durban – Johannesburg

Cape Town – Johannesburg – Cape Town

And these routes are serviced by the following reputable bus companies:

  • Eldo coaches
  • Citiliner
  • Intercare
  • Greyhound
  • Eagle liner
  • Intercity Xpress
  • And African People Mover ( APM)

Reginal Destinations

For those wishing to travel a little further to visit family in Zimbabwe for example or who wish to do a holiday trip outside of South Africa, you are able to purchase reginal tickets and travel safely to destinations like Harare, Bulawayo, Maputo and Windhoek.

The most popular reginal route is :

Johannesburg – Harare – Johannesburg

How to book

  • Visit the Travelstart bus booking page
  • Choose your departure point and destination
  • If you are only wanting to travel to the destination and do not require a return ticket, click the “one way” option
  • Fill in your travel dates and the amount of tickets required
  • Choose your preferred bus company to travel with
  • Once you have selected the bus company that offers you the best value for your budget, head to the final page and enter your personal details
  • Provide your credit card details and pay

Your booking confirmation and a reference number will be sent to you via email and SMS.

How to book with Travelstart buses

How to redeem your ticket

Once you have recieved your ticket via email you will need to print it. You will use this, along with your ID to board the bus. Your name on your ticket will need to match your ID in order to board the bus.

On the ticket you will also find the information you will need on where to board the bus and at what time.

Notes

  • When booking your tickets with children, please note that infants travel free but are limited to one infant per accompanied passenger.
  • If you have made an error on your ticket or need to cancel a booking you can contact Travelstart on 087 650 1369 or via email at bus@travelstart.com

Booking a bus ticket these holidays just became a whole lot easier with Travelstart buses and family can reunite this Christmas by purchasing a ticket online with the Travelstart bus booking option.