Monday, 30 November 2015

List to Father Christmas

Little Miss made a list to Father Christmas tonight.
It is her first written list to him that she has done herself!
1. Kisses
2. Hugs
3. Ball
4. Doll's House
5. Cushion
6. Book
7. Mask
8.. Doll's coach
9. TV
10. Love
11. Rollerblades



Do you know where I can email the list to? (Our postal services will definitely not deliver it to the North Pole.)

The Little Prince movie - an all-times classic must see!


We were invited to the Premiere of The Little Prince movie.

It is a blend of the classic tale Le Petit Prince by by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, with an add-on story about a young girl who befriends her neighbour and also the elderly aviator of Le Petit Prince. The Avaitor is the narrator of the original story as the young girl tries to deal with her overbearing mother!

We really enjoyed the movie, the characters and the story line! They have done a stunning job with a classic tale, adapting it into a new classic tale that will be cherished by many!
Of course I shed a few tears as well.
Little Miss was enthralled, and even most of the younger kids stayed glued to their seats for the entire movie!

We read the Afrikaans version of the book, Die Klein Prinsie, to Little Miss last week. She knew part of the story, but she confidently told me in the car that the book is never the same as the movie! (It was not, but it kept to the original tale that was narrated by the Aviator.)


I give this movie a 10! 
(You can confidently put this movie on your list of holiday activities to do this December.)

A kitty balloon creation at the Premiere

*Toy Kingdom SA characters were there as well.

* I received the invite from Toy Kingdom SA

Friday, 27 November 2015

A genius little app creating your own emoticons and avatars: Bitmoji



Bitmoji is your own very personal Emoji and Avatar that you can create for free on your smartphone!
I hope she looks like me? I could even add in the brow lines.

The Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Jones, alerted me to it: Got Bitmoji? (It is well worth the click over to her blog.)

It is very easy to set up, and you can change every day!
It is fun! You can change the fashion accordingly.


Warning! It will drain your battery if you play with it like I did yesterday!

Do you have your own Avatar or emoji?
Share with me on Twitter or FB when you get one?

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Play dates and sayings


The two Besties have been planning their play date for weeks, and each afternoon I hear the dreaded "When?" and "How?" and exchanging of parents' telephone numbers.

So I HAD TO call the other mom and we organised a play date for last week Friday afternoon at the local Spur. The girls had a ball!

Now they are planning the next one!

The sleepover!

Yesterday I had to hear about all the plans for December. But while they were asking when and how, it came up in conversation that the Bestie wants her mom to come along as well! Because she still goes to sleep next to her!
Little Miss immediately chimed in and told her that her mom and dad also sleeps next to her!

So I could remind them that it's not a sleepover. If she can't come without her mom, she still has to wait a few years! Or they will have to hold each others' hands!
You could see that Bestie was not convinced...

I wonder what plans they will have made by this afternoon?

Monday, 23 November 2015

Little Miss - update


Grade 1 has flown by. We are only left with a few more days!

Little Miss has done very well in Grade 1. Of course I was worried about her doing Grade 1 while still very young, but given how well she has done and how well she has adjusted, I think we did the right thing!

She loves school!
She loves her friends!
We actually want to move her to a nearby school, but she does not want to budge! (It would make it much easier on us in the traffic!) I hope we can persuade her next year!

She has made new friends! That's a big one for us! She had the one friend that she loves, but who was always putting her down, and who influenced her moods. She is playing with new friends that are good to her, and she enjoys their company. She is even playing with friends in our complex where we stay, and can't wait to get home at night!

She does her own thing when friends are around, and disappears at playgrounds and parties! We are finally at the stage that we can drop her off at a party! (Yay!!)

I am still reading articles about the strong-willed child in trying to understand our Little Miss a bit better! She has very strong ideas, and she will defend it for dear life! There are some things to disagree about, but some things we have to examine our own thoughts about it.

(Sometimes we have outdated parental mechanisms that kicks in when confronted with a very opinionated little girl!)

She has done well in most of her extra-curricular activities as well this year! We will be continuing with the ballet and gymnastics, as well as tennis next year!

The CMaths has been a challenge, and maybe we can let it go... It's a struggle to get her to do the extra maths homework each week...


We love the Girl that is emerging, and the Personality that she is.
I am so glad that she is in our lives!

It is especially great to get little love notes from her, writing that she loves her Mom and Dad!


It is passing too fast!!

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Little Toys that Aren't - Great project from the Topsy Toy Project!


The Little Toy that Aren't

A toy project that involves a Toy Library! This is definitely something that has been added to my online Christmas Shopping list!

Little Miss was sent a "Princess Jewellery"-item from the series of The Little Toys that Aren't - which are available for purchase on Spree. The donations are helping to stock a Toy Library in Mpumalanga.

We all know how important play is to our children, and that they do not play enough!  

The Topsy Foundation is an NGO that cares for orphaned and vulnerable children in rural Mpumalanga. There is often not enough money to put food on the table and keep the household going, let alone provide toys for the kids to play with. These circumstances are robbing them of the opportunity to develop some of the vital skills they’ll need later in life. 

The Topsy Toy Project is trying to right this wrong. Kids in the communities where Topsy work end up playing with whatever junk they find lying around. Their makeshift robots, dolls, cars and fairy wands inspired our own range of toys – The Little Toys that Aren’t.

Through a partnership with Spree and Your Parenting, these bits and pieces are being virtually sold online as real toys. Shoppers are able to make a donation by “buying” one of ten different toys, with the full amount going straight to Topsy to stock their Toy Library.
Through the Topsy Toy Library, partnerships have been formed with twenty-three day care centres in the area, as well as a centre for physically disabled kids. With Topsy’s help, more than 1 400 children are now getting access to specialised educational toys and better-trained teachers. We’d like this campaign to also spark a bigger conversation about early childhood development and how important it is for parents, teachers and nannies to help kids learn through play.
Spree is available on mobile as well, and it is very easy adding one of these Little Toys that Aren't as a R20 donation on the site.

Spree on Mobile

Princess Jewellery - The Little Toy that Aren't
We are struggling to contain the overflow of toys in our house, and it is humbling to see that kids can play with make-shift toys like these.

I hope that this project will help more children to play with the real thing!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Random questions to the Blogger

I was tagged a while back by Stiletto Mum.

Here's my answers:


1. Are you named after someone?

I do not have a family name, but Karen Muir, the swimmer was huge during the time I was born (Don't Google the year, please!)

2. When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday! - A cute video on Facebook...

3. Do you have kids?

Duh! Yes, two daughters, 15 years apart

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

Yes! I am a good friend to have!

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, wine, coffee, toasted cheese!

6. Do you like handwriting?

Would love to write in my own handwriting, but it is unintelligible!

7. What is your favorite cereal?

Don't eat cereal! Feels like eating carton!

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?

A friendly smile

9. What colour are your eyes?

Blue-grey

10. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings all the time! Don't watch scary!

11. Favorite TV show?

Now it's Castle, but love comedies such as Modern Family and

12. Summer or winter?

Summer

13. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs! Of course depending on the person/situation...

4. What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?

San Antonio in Texas



You are tagged if you are reading this!!

Let me know if you have answered the same questions?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Titanic Expo - It's the personal stories that makes it so memorable


I was fortunate enough to win the tickets to the final days of the Titanic Expo in Johannesburg.
(I was invited to the launch, but The Student had the accident, and we could not go!)

We thoroughly enjoyed the Titanic Expo on Saturday! Even Little Miss could not wait to take a postcard and her boarding pass to show and tell on Monday!


Each one receives a boarding pass with a name of an actual person on that journey! At the end of the Expo you can look through the list of names to see if your passenger has made it. We had one passenger that did not make it!

That is the one thing that makes this experience worthwhile! Connecting the personal stories! I must admit that I had to wipe a few tears during the Expo (but that's just me!). The background research and information that have been gathered is immense and thought-provoking!

We could not take photos inside the exhibition, but some can be found here: Titanic Expo Gallery

This video also gives a good insight into the history and the Expo: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition




The Expo is on its way to Cape Town. It is worth the visit!


Related post:

- The Titanic is coming to South Africa 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Violetta starting with the third series and a giveaway of 5 Violetta hampers


Violetta's third season is starting with premiere episodes on weekdays from 16 November at 16:10
(Disney Channel 303).
The story of Violetta fits into the tweens bracket, from the 8 to 14 year olds.

We have not been following the series, but I'm sure Little Miss will start showing an interest very soon!

There will be a new episode of the show that discusses all things Violetta, called I Love Violetta, which will be airing immediately before the movie Full Out on Friday 20th November at 17:00.

The storyline in Season 3 of Violetta:

"This season continues from where season two left off, with Violetta still trying to cope with life, love and her singing career. 
Argentine Martina Stoessel is Violetta
YouMix’s triumphant world tour draws to a close in Europe, and the students head back to Buenos Aires for their final year of classes. They have had a wonderful time, but now have new dreams and ambitions, as well as new challenges and obstacles to face. Some can fulfil their musical ambitions in the studio, while the dreams of others can be realized elsewhere. Meanwhile, as familiar characters return, there are also new people on the scene.

Violetta is very happy – at last she is able to work on her beloved music, and her relationship with Leon couldn’t be better. However Ludmila is still plotting and scheming, determined to take Violetta’s place in YouMix. Then Violetta’s life takes an unexpected turn when German falls in love with Priscila, a woman who will unknowingly turn Violetta and her family’s world upside down."

5 Violetta Hampers are up for grabs:

Friday, 6 November 2015

I am so sorry I did not buy you the Bratz doll when you were small

To my dear Eldest!

I am so sorry that I did not buy the Bratz doll when you were young!
(You wanted it, because your friends had one!) I don't know what I was thinking, but it's not the same I am thinking right now!

I already bought a Bratz Cloe for Little Miss, and the other day I got a Bratz Jade delivered!  (I was way more excited than Little Miss!)
They are super cute! Why did I think 15 years back they were not pretty?

It's just one of the many parenting mistakes I now know that I have made with the eldest!
There are so many!

I am sorry for everything that I did wrong with you! 

I did it with the best of intentions. (And with the knowledge I had at the time.)

The Littlest is getting to grow up with a lot less of "parenting" I did with you.
(But as we go along we are definitely saying we are doing it wrong now as well.)

Unfortunately we can't do it over!


I heard the surprise in your voice when you reminded me that I did not want to buy you the doll...
I can only say sorry!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What happened to the dog kennels that was decorated? #DisneyAfrica #SPCA

*

 Doc McStuffins has expanded her services to pets, and Disney Africa has donated the decorated kennels in celebration of the launch to the SPCA in Roodepoort.

The MomAgain@40-clan also decorated one of the kennels! I'm glad it has arrived at it's destination and that the dogs who are waiting for their forever homes are housed properly. It is also much needed in this time before the Christmas season.




Mandy Cattanah, Senior Inspector and Manager of the SPCA: “On behalf of the Roodepoort SPCA, a very big thank you to the Walt Disney Company Africa for the donation of 25 kennels for our animals.  Mahatma Ghandi said that ‘the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’  With the assistance of Disney Junior Programmes like Doc McStuffins, we are more able to educate our children on the importance of pet care, which will go a long way to reducing the number of animals in distress.”
Watch Dr Colin van Rensburg of the Radiokop Animal Clinic share his top tips for kids in caring for their pets on Disney Junior Africa Facebook Page. Parents and care-givers can also log on to the brand new Disney Junior Africa Facebook page to keep up to date on the very latest from Doc McStuffins and Disney Junior.
From dogs to goats, Doc McStuffins can fix them all! 
 
Catch the third season on Disney Junior, every day at 07:20 (Disney Junior DStv, Channel 309)


* Images supplied by Taryn Fritz PR.

Related posts:

- 5 Doc McStuffins hampers up for grabs

- Doc McStuffins expanding her services...

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

5 Doc McStuffins hampers up for grabs!

The third season of Doc McStuffins is currently running on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) at 07:20am (repeats at 09:30, 13:00 and 14:45). Doc McStuffins has added more patients to her playhouse clinic.

Our 6-year old Little Miss loves watching The Doc fixing her friends!

Disney Africa will give five readers a Doc McStuffins hamper. Please answer the following questions in the comments.

1. Who is Doc McStuffins treating now as well? (She used to only treat broken toys)

2. Check out Doc's World on Disney Junior and tell me one thing that can be played on the site with regards Doc McStuffins?

Only open to South African readers.
The five winners' names will be drawn on Friday 6 November at 9 am.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Toy Kingdom launches two new stores in South Africa


Little Miss had a blast on Friday afternoon when we attended the Toy Kingdom launch in Sandton City.

There was much excitement as the pressure was building after the store was opened only an half hour later than the 4 pm time stipulated. The children were peeking through the windows where the papers were being torn down... (It must have been on purpose?? ;-)

Luckily there was lots of characters and a magician to keep the kids entertained and excited.

A photo op with Barbie
The Toad from Toy Kingdom 


The magician "thinking"

Little Miss hiding her chosen colour, but he guessed it right!
Once inside, it was very difficult to focus for a Little Miss, but we finally agreed on a water gun and a special Lights Lego set. I also bought one for a friend's birthday. And some of those magic balloons that fascinates all the children!




A second photo op with Barbie,
 because how many times do you get to meet Barbie in person?
The Cresta Toy Kingdom Store also launched on Saturday.

It's a great place to do birthdays and Christmas shopping, especially since they have many specials going at the moment!


All Toy Kingdom stores nationally, offer toy ranges that are not stocked by other main stream toy retailers, such as HAPE, SYMA, JD Bug, Maui & Sons, Ballipo and Squigz  and of course the firm favourites such as LEGO, Barbie, Hot Wheels and Star Wars figurines are streamlined across the shelves. The Magic Tree is also a much loved meeting point and can be found in most of the stores together with a stack of soft toys and activities close by.  
“What sets us apart from other toys stores is our unrivaled offering of quality toys, beautifully laid out stores designed around the concept of play and friendly and knowledgeable staff,” says David Tredinnick, CEO of Toy Kingdom. “We are extremely excited to now have a footprint in Johannesburg and to be able to bring the unique Toy Kingdom experience to children and families there.” 



Disclaimer: We got a gift bag (see above) with a R200 gift voucher to spend on Friday.