Tuesday, 23 May 2017

I have recommended the karri app to my child's school!

app, karri
Little Miss is always in search of cash for something at school. And then our purses are empty. We did not draw money after she has raided our purses the previous day... The struggle is REAL!

That's why the karri app sounds like such a great idea. Parents can recommend it to the child's school! You don't have to be banking at Nedbank. The karri app works with MasterCard or Visa cards.

As someone who hates walking around with cash, I love the idea of being able to pay with a touch of a button, and even better when the app reminds me because it is linked to the schools calendar.  It frees parents AND teachers as they don't have the schlepp of admin work.

The video explains what happens in every household! Karri Schools payment explainer

I have filled in the form recommending karri to my daughters' school.
The form is available on the page: Recommend  karri to you child's school

I have not been paid to write this!
The karri app is free to download on the App store and Google Play.
I want this!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Little Miss slaying the dragons

Transformers Animatronics at Emperor's Palace
The second quarter of the year is already full steam ahead. It seems Little Miss has settled nicely in at school. She is a Little Miss Independent because we drop her off and there she goes!

All the worries about friends and fitting in have been resolved. She's got friends, and she was even invited to her first party this weekend from a child at the new school. I was told that she has a nickname of "Cutie" (behind her back), but she has heard it and has told me previously that she does not like being called cute! (We think that "Cutie" is not so bad, and it could have been a lot worse! Now only to convince her!)

Revue outfit at school
We had a hectic week last week! The school put out seven concerts in five days! It meant driving up and down to school and getting dressed and prepped for Revue seven times. (Not even counting the practice runs the previous week!) I have a lot more respect for teachers everywhere! They worked their arses off very hard and they were still smiling at the end! We had to laugh when Little Miss told us she had a job of keeping her teacher awake in class, and another boy had to wipe the spit from her mouth when she fell asleep. They found that quite hilarious, but I am sure that is how the teacher really felt each day! School had to go on!

We are still struggling with clothes and melt-downs. Winter has started a a week ago, and Little Miss has had to adapt to her new winter clothes. Of course everything about the winter outfits are bothering her, and the shoes are too tight or too loose. We know why it is a fight to get her to put on her shoes (SPD), but unfortunately we have to find a way for her to handle it better! We are at least 20 minutes to half an hour later getting out of the house in the mornings.

I am contemplating of getting some help with the SPD? If only for us and how to help her?
Should we see an occupational therapist?

For the record! She is very opinionated! I always say that she has been born with all the wisdom on earth. She already KNOWS, when she sometimes most of the times does not know! Head-banging happens a lot! (Saying it with trepidation when thinking about the teenage years?)

Little Miss making flapjacks
Little Miss loves helping with baking and cooking, and I think we should definitely involve her more. She is always willing to lend us a hand in the kitchen! Thanks, Little Miss! I am looking forward to your gourmet dishes in future!

I am writing this down, Little Miss! Even looking back on the previous post, I can see how much you have changed and developed! We like you, and we love you!

It is great to have you in our lives! And we will slay the SPD dragons together!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

#Jozimeetup Storify - Bloggers connecting with fellow bloggers, brands and PR

It's great seeing fellow bloggers, meeting new bloggers, and connecting with brands and PR. Also getting so much inspiration from the speakers!

That's why you can't miss any of these events!
Thank you Heather Step (South African Mom Blogs) for putting this all together!

Let me know of any other links and photos I should include from social media?
What did you learn from the event?

Related posts:

- Jozi Meetup at Cafe Zing - Score! 

- A beautiful living #JoziMeetup


Monday, 15 May 2017

Esther the Wonder Pig changing lives on social media

Esther the Wonder Pig Facebook Page
I have been following a pig on social media. Esther the Wonder Pig has over a million likes on Facebook and 373k followers on Instagram. She has over 14 000 subscribers on YouTube. She is a delight to watch!

She completely changed the lives of her humans when they adopted her as a miniature pig. It soon became apparent that she was a huge commercial pig that would have gone for slaughter if they had not taken her in. They were amazed at how intelligent she is! The thought of her becoming bacon changed their whole lifestyle and the life that they are living now.

They changed to a vegan lifestyle, without even mentioning a vegan diet on social media. That is the power of social media!

Esther elevates pigs to a companion lifestyle only previously reserved for dogs and cats!

Check it out on TEDx Talks!

You go, Esther!

Friday, 12 May 2017

I know WHY it's a fight to get her to put on shoes - SPD

But how do we get her to put on shoes when she flatly refuses?
Each day we have to ask politely for her to put on her shoes! Then it escalates pretty soon into not so nice, arguing and bullying her to get on her shoes.
I know its because of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)! The older she gets, the more I understand the underlying sensory issues. But it is still very difficult! And we do not always handle it correctly! (Sorry, Miss!)

I listened to a Sensory Solutions webinar yesterday, and it just ticked all the boxes again! If you do not have a child with sensory issues, you are quick to label the child as being difficult and naughty and of course bad parenting! (As parent you judge yourself!)

Little Miss is the same with clothes. Some clothes gets worn, because it's comfortable, but some does not! Ever! Most of the time the shoes and jackets get a ride in the car to school, and still do not get onto her feet and body!

And then we say: "Sure! You go cold! We don't care!" (But we do!)

Because she just says "NO!"

Winter is here, Little Miss!
Tomorrow we will try again to get on your shoes. Today was a good day, because you kept on your comfy boots when we got to school (although you wanted to take it off).  (High five to us!)

How do you handle sensory issues and clothes?
Are there more children nowadays with sensory issues, or we we now more aware of it?

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Menstrual cups are the bomb!

I got menstrual cups for myself and my daughter at last year's The Working Mothers Expo. I have tried to order online before, but without success, and was super excited to find it at the Expo. The initial expense of R485 (35.92 USD) each is a bit steep, but it pays itself off within two to three months!

We have been using it for a couple of months now, and we would never go back! In the beginning it feels a bit awkward and you feel you should be checking on it, but it is not necessary at all. It stays put for a whole day. I wish I had found it earlier on in my life.

There are only advantages in using a menstrual cup. My twenty-something daughter enjoys the freedom of it just as much!

Advantages of using a menstrual cup:

- It's cheap and economical. You don't have to buy sanitary products ever again! (In a girl's lifetime it is only necessary to purchase 4 of these)

- It's easy to use. The instructions are easy to follow!

- It's clean. There are less spills than with ordinary sanitary products! (I was most scared of this issue, but we don't bleed as much as we think! ;-))

- It is super comfortable and you don't feel it. You can do whatever sports or swimming and there are no issues!

- There are no wastage afterwards as when you use sanitary products. Think about the environment who is so much better off!

- It is made of 100% medical grade silicone, which means less cramps and period pain.

- There are no dryness and itchiness!

- You can insert it before work, and only empty it when you get home. (There is no need to remove it when urinating or having a bowel movement.)

- It's easy to clean, and put it in it's pouch for next time.

- It's easy to put it in your suitcase when traveling. It does not take up space, and can be used anywhere.

I wish we could get this to all  women struggling to get their hands on sanitary products every month! This is a real lifesaver!

I got my menstrual cup, namely Mooncup, from Maria at Butterfly Wings at the Expo.

Order online here: Mooncup

I'm sure all of the menstrual cups work on the same principle!

I can highly recommend it!

Get this!!

(Good deed of day! *Tick*)

Monday, 8 May 2017

Pamper yourself this Mother's Day!

Nu Skin I Love My Mom Gift Box, #NuSkin4Moms
#NuSkin4Moms spoils
Mother's Day is upcoming, and it is lovely to look at all the Mother's Day wish-lists doing the rounds. I can come up with a few gadgets of my own!

But this Mother's Day the budget is tight! There was Valentine's Day in February where we got to spent the weekend at Dikholo, my birthday in March and our 13th anniversary. There was too much celebrations and gifts in too short a space!

I am not complaining at all! About not getting presents. Hubby and the kids have been told that a card would suffice! I have all the presents I need! I am the luckiest mother there is. I have two beautiful daughters, with both still staying under our roof! I thank my lucky stars that we are a family that's intact, and that we can share our lives together! And brace ourselves together when the going gets tough!

I was sent a Nu Skin Pamper Kit - I love my Mom Gift Box - as part of the Nu Skin Mother's Day campaign. It is a divine luxurious spoil!

The pamper kit contains:
  • ReNu Hair Mask: a deep conditioning treatment that keeps hair hydrated and prevents split ends.
  • Body Smoother: A quick-absorbing smoother that seals moisture with skin nourishing properties.
  • Hand Lotion: A moisture-rich hand lotion to keep hands supple during the upcoming winter days.
  • Epoch Fire Walker: Put your feet up and keep them rejuvenated with this soothing foot cream.

I have used all of this products already, and I will keep on using it until the last drop.
It makes me feel special, good to do something NICE for myself, and to take a bit of me-time each day! The hand cream makes my hands looks less as if they have been in water for ages. I have already had to inform Little Miss that I am a mermaid during the day. (She does not believe me, but she asks me regularly why my hands looks so wrinkly!)

The pamper kit reminds me that we as moms should take more spoil-time for ourselves, even if we don't have the luxury of a great product such as Nu Skin. We can spoil ourselves with what we have in the cupboard.

Nu Skin Epoch Fire Walker on my feet

How cool are these Instagram photos that was sent with the blog drop?
Well done, and thanks, Nu Skin and Mbali from Engage Joe Public!

The daughters that are my biggest gifts!

How do you spoil yourself?
Do you make time to spoil yourself!
What are you planning for Mother's Day?

If the budget is not that tight, this a divine pamper kit for any Mother on Mother's Day!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Vegetarian in a meat-eating household

Lentil Curry Wrap at Craft Beer Library
I have now been a vegetarian for nearly a year and a half. I don't want to eat meat, and I know I won't enjoy it any more! Being a vegetarian is not difficult at all!

My family has been very supportive of this lifestyle choice, and there always something on a menu at a restaurant, or at home to replace a piece of meat! My husband usually makes the meat portions, as he has done before I made the change!

I usually sort myself with a mushroom or a brinjal slice. I can now also make a mean bean curry or spicy beans. Google makes it easy! As long as we have a few options of vegetables, I do not feel that I am missing anything! I also buy a bag of mixed raw nuts at the beginning of the month which helps when I start feeling depleted!

I need to watch myself with the carbs, though! As a vegetarian you can easily start to carbo-load to fill up!

My secret was to take each meal on its own. Taking it step by step!
Each meal is a choice not to eat a living being!

If I can stop eating meat, I must be able to stop eating bread! That is my next mission! (Because the scale is going up, and not down!)
Watch this space!

Some of  the vegetarian options I found in my camera roll:
Mushrooms on the girl
Potato skins at Craft Beer Library - Super Yum!

Sometimes I get a craving for a sausage on the grill

What lifestyle changes have you made, and how did you keep to it?

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

13 years - That's seven bags of salt!

The 1st of May was our 13 years of marriage yesterday! Every year we love the fact that our day is on a public holiday! We have an in-built Break, a long anniversary weekend,  every year to celebrate our anniversary!

There is an Afrikaans idiom "Om sewe sakke sout saam op te eet" (Translated: "To eat seven bags of salt together"). The idiom started as eating one bag of salt together (experiences and difficulties shared together), which changed to seven bags! I would love to know how it changed, but most probably because of certain songs that influenced the colloquially. (?)

It feels like seven bags of salt, but luckily we have each other! It's great to have a Partner, a Friend, a BFF, a Husband, you name it... All doing this together!

I am lucky to have found him!

Thanks for 13 years, Hubs! It has gone by in a flash!
I am looking forward to many more!

Photo by The Eldest!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Cappuccino Challenge

coffee, Better You
The Cappuccino Challenge
"Please order your drink as a TAKE AWAY today, (or use one of those thermos flasks) and go for a 20 minute walk.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a gal in glam heels, a guy in smart work shoes, trainers, slops, barefoot or in cool "Converse's". This is about a quiet walk wherever you happen to be right now.

NO cell phone on your ear, no one to talk to, just YOU and your thoughts, feelings and body responses as you wander….

Give yourself permission to look with "beginner's eyes" and imagine this is the very first time you are seeing this environment. If it is your usual hangout, start looking for things you have never noticed before, noticing how you find yourself responding on the inside.

Notice your breath and your body as you move.

Keep asking yourself "What do I love about what I’m seeing and feeling right now?" BE PRESENT. "

I started doing Kate Emmerson's "THE CAPPUCCINO CHALLENGE" - Fall in love with your real self in 30 days - from the weekend. She gave it as a birthday present on her own birthday!

Today's challenge was DIFFICULT! It is not supposed to be that hard? To be able shut down/open up for 20 minutes?

My notes for today:

- I went and bought the take-away coffee, as it is really one of my favourite spoils. It's pay-day also, after all!
- I bought a packet of Lays potato crisps as well! (Why? I was not hungry! Another spoil! And judging myself for it!)
- I contemplated walking outside, but it is chilly today. I am not in a mood for looking over my shoulder or watching out for criminals, so I went to the internal court-yard at work.
- There was a bit of sun-shine, and clouds overhead.
- I thought of getting a picture of the buildings with the clouds. (Sorry for picking up the phone when I was not supposed to!) But my phone's battery went, and it bothered me for the rest of the 15 minutes outside.
- I was thinking about everything to be thankful for: The clouds, the sky, my job and the fact that I have a job, things looking up for my husband, my family that I enjoy going home to,...
- I was feeling the chill in the air, and thinking about winter approaching. I do not like winter! But told myself just now to change my mindset, as I do every year. To embrace winter! (Maybe this year I will enjoy winter more?)
- Seeing the buildings all around, the buzz of the air-cons, and people sitting around and smoking. I am not supposed to be judging any of it, but feeling stifled in that environment. I told myself to just be aware of it!
- BUT I could still leave there with a sense of gratefulness that I am able to take my lunch-time, and that my salary was paid in today.
- I am happy, healthy and this year is going to be one for the books!
- Also thinking: I should BE PRESENT!

This was difficult, thank you very much, Kate Emmerson!
BUT! It's supposed to be difficult!
I am looking forward to each day's challenge!

I AM going to shift something of myself this year!
I will keep you posted if this challenge is going to shift me!

Please tell me how you change something in your life? Do you purposefully work on it? Do you write it down?

Monday, 24 April 2017

Dog Heaven at Walkhaven

Walkhaven, Muldersdrift

We found a Dog Heaven at Walkhaven on Sunday! We are always searching for places in the outdoors that does not cost an arm and a leg. Places that cater for the whole family. What a treat to be able to bring along your dogs as well!

The dogs roam free and they are all well-behaved. Except for our little "monster" that we had to keep on a leash... But she did leave a little bit more calm after all the running around!

Our pavement special "screamed" (there's no better word for it! as all our nerves are shot driving with her!) all the way to Walkhaven. (I think she thinks we are taking her to the vet! Or maybe she can't handle the excitement? Who knows!)

Our old boy, Benji, took it all in his stride, and while missing a few steps and strides, we think he had a lovely time. We even took him off his leash, and he could not be bothered by other dogs sniffing his behind. (The same can't be said for the other anxious one!)

We told Benji several times he can go to the light! (A family joke, because he is OLD, and the regular foul-smelling pees in the house is a huge irritation!) To die while walking in Walkhaven must also be like missing a step crossing over into Dog Heaven! He would carry on walking in the fields...!  But as long as he still catches the snacks with such ease, he must be okay!

Walkhaven is in the Muldersdrift area, right next to the Cradle of Humankind. There are braai and picnic facilities on the premises, as well as a great outdoor restaurant at The Dog Box Grill. We had the burgers as they were on special, but the pizzas look great as well!

Adults pay R35 and children and students R20 for entrance for the day. (Not bad!)

I was there as well! ;-)

Friday, 21 April 2017

Disney Junior giveaway in anticipation of Mickey and the Roadster Racers

Disney in Africa


It's finally here! Mickey and the Roadster Racers will premiere tomorrow (Saturday, 22 Apr) at 9:30 am on Disney Junior, DStv Channel 309.
Check out some fun roadster facts about Mickey and the Roadster Racers I shared earlier!

The series takes Mickey and the gang, along with their unique transforming vehicles, on humorous high-spirited races around the globe, as well as hometown capers in Hot Dog Hills. Off the racetrack, Minnie and Daisy also run their own successful business as Happy Helpers, solving problems for anyone in need of a helping hand. Geared towards kids 2-7, the stories are designed to impart social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism and good sportsmanship.
In anticipation of the release tomorrow, Disney Junior is giving away 5 Disney hampers of a sketch pad activity book and cup. (See photo below)

To win one of these hampers, please tell me the name of Goofy's Racer in the comments below? ( For the answer: Fun Roadster facts about Mickey and the Roadster Racers; or on Facebook: Disney Junior in Africa

The 5 winners will be notified at 12 pm next Wednesday 26 April.

The giveaway is only available to South African residents!

The Winners of the Mickey and the Roadster Racers' hampers are (via Random.org):

1. Carolyn
2. Elaine
3. Jackie
4. Candice
5. Aidan


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Roller skating at Roll Egoli - a great family outing!

The holiday period has gone by in a whizz. We were still working, and Little Miss had to go to vacation school. Which is not her favourite place to be during the holidays. (Sorry, Little Miss!)

We promised her an outing to to the roller skating rink at Roll Egoli to make up for the lack of holiday vibe and activities during her holiday.

This was our second time there, as we took her there for her birthday in December.

This is really a good outing for the whole family. It is amazing how fast they learn to skate.

Little Miss taught herself real quick to skate with her roller blades. They have frames at Roll Egoli to help you when you are still trying to stay upright!

At R65 for a 3 hour session it is really worth it! The skates are for hire at R30.

And they have lovely pizzas from a wood-fired oven!

We will be going again!
(Next time I am also going to skate! Watch this space! Why should I miss out on so much fun?)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Keeping all the Little Hoots in one place!

I do not post enough of the things she says! But I still love the Little Hoots app.
The app had a critical update in February. The previous design sets are not available anymore, but the new ones are just as nice.

The following have been changed and upgraded! I love it especially the edit function!
  • Three new memory types: capture stories, upload photos or videos
  • The ability to edit memories (created with LittleHoots 2.0 and later) after they’re saved
  • A private network! Invite a spouse to contribute, or close family and friends to keep up with the kids
  • An in-app community feed for memories too-good-not-to-share
  • All new design packs with improved options for design customization
  • Photo filters for pictures uploaded to quotes, conversations or stories

Luckily our previous hoots are still available!
And I still enjoy reading them again!

Previous Little Hoots posts

I hope you have a lovely Easter Weekend!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Fun roadster facts about Mickey and the Roadster Racers

Disney, Mickey Mouse
Mickey and the Roadster Racers logo

Mickey and the Roadster Racers is coming to Disney Junior, with the premiere on Saturday, 22 April at 9:30 am, DStv Channel 309.
It is a a madcap car-racing adventure series for pre-schoolers led by Disney's No. 1 star, Mickey Mouse, and his pals Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald.

The series takes Mickey and the gang, along with their unique transforming vehicles, on humorous high-spirited races around the globe, as well as hometown capers in Hot Dog Hills. Off the racetrack, Minnie and Daisy also run their own successful business as Happy Helpers, solving problems for anyone in need of a helping hand. Geared towards kids 2-7, the stories are designed to impart social and emotional lessons about friendship, teamwork, optimism and good sportsmanship.
We were invited to a special screening on Saturday of Mickey and the Roadster Racers. Little Miss is already 8 years, but she enjoyed the four episodes just as much as the rest. She was quite bummed when the last episode got stuck, and we were told to catch the last bit on Disney Junior. (It's too long to wait! ;-) )

Some fun facts about the vehicles in Mickey and the Roadster Racers

All of the transforming vehicles in Mickey and the Roadster Racers are inspired by the characters' personalities.
  • Mickey, being a classic character, drives a classic American hot rod – the Hot Dog Hot Rod.
  • Minnie's car, Pink Thunder, is a 1930s French inspired car – it looks like a bow and was inspired by Delahaye.
  • Goofy - being Goofy - drives a car made out of a bathtub called the Turbo Tubster.
  • As Donald Duck is a sailor, his vehicle is a cabin cruiser – the only vehicle that can go on both land and water.
  • Since Daisy loves flowers, her car is a Snap Dragon dragster.

All of the numbers on the Mickey and the Roadster Racers cars have a significance to each driver.
  • Mickey has the number 28 on his car for the year of his debut in Steamboat Willie.
  •  Goofy's car has the number 8 which refers to the that Goofy is always behind the 8 ball.
  • Daisy picked the number 4 in honor of her four friends – Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy.
  • Donald's car sports the number 3 - referring to the Three Caballeros, which Donald is proudly one of.
  • The number 89 was picked for Minnie's car to represent that it has been 89 years since she was created.
  • Pete's car is number 9 which is a reference to the nine lives of a cat.

For more info:

Facebook: @disneyjuniorafrica

Twitter: @DisneyJunior

Stunning spread at Mickey and the Roadster Racers screening

Minnie gets the photo op

Making her own Roadster Racer - this was a hit!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The sun still rises every day!

It's been hectic!

I had taken 5 days leave to go camping with the Little Miss! I am censoring myself so much, as I do not want to say too much! Suffice to say that it was our last time camping in this way, and that I won't let my daughter go on a trip like this again! I am so glad that Hubby and I went along. Being eight years is definitely too young to send your child on their own on a camp! I am SO disappointed!

The children made art works over the weekend camping. The marble art (rolling marbles in paint and letting it roll over paper) was part of their projects.

This past traumatic weekend was magnified by our own family financial crisis! As if not enough, the country's economy took a dive which does not bode well for a rosy future in finances (personal and investment related)!

This is life! I know we will survive!
On the personal and broader level!

I just need to dig deep, go inside (as introverts do), and carry on!

The sun rises every day!
Even on a bad camping weekend!

The school holidays are in full swing, but we are still working! (The traffic is definitely better!) Lucky you if you are able to go away for a while!

Where are you going or what are you doing for the holidays?