Children|Mom life|Parenting

99 Days Until Christmas and Im Hooking You Up with Prima’s List of Top Toys for 2018

Wow!  Yesterday marked 99 days until Christmas 2018.  Can you believe that?  With the Festive Season just around the corner, it’s time to start working on those Christmas gifts for your little ones (and yourselves).

I’m not normally not one to shop ahead of time but with my boys getting bigger, deciding what to buy for them seems to have become more challenging with each year that passes, but … this year is going to be different.

Different, because I recently attended the much-anticipated Prima Top Toys Carnival launch for Christmas 2018.  I arrived not knowing what to expect, but left with every expectation having been exceeded.  I’m a big kid at heart and the Prima Top Toy Carnival, which emphasized the theme, Let Them Play, unleashed my inner child.  We got the incredible opportunity to play with some of the Top Toys for 2018, needless to say I was like a kid in a candy store.  Rest assured that the Prima Tops Toys for 2018 has been #MomApproved

This Festive Season there is something for everyone and for all ages from toddler to tween to teenager. There is also a wide range of classic and new games that adults can enjoy.

The Official Prima Top Toys List for the Entire Family

Girls Toys

  • Shopkins – This season sees the launch of Shopkins’ Season Nine – Wild Style, which introduces the Shoppets. They are adorable little pets for the Shoppies dolls and are larger than a Shopkin, but smaller than a Shoppie.  The Lil Shoppies dolls that are included with the Happy Places playsets are the new cute kids on the block in Happyville.

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  • L.O.L. Surprise – The success of the products hinges on the fact that it’s all about unpacking the surprises inside until you have put together a complete toy. The products have won a range of international awards and continue to fascinate girls  from the age of four and up.images
  • Baby Secret – is a retro toy that has made a comeback. Baby Secrets is collectibles range which features a unique element, that of discovering if the character is a boy or a girl by bathing it in water. The nappy changes colour to either blue or pink to reveal the gender. How’s that for a surprise?!
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  • Baby Love – is Prima Toys’ own baby doll range. The success of the dolls hinges on the fact that they were designed with a South African audience in mind and each doll speaks a national language. Baby Bella speaks English, Baba Tasha speaks Afrikaans and the hugely successful Baby Thando speaks English and isiZulu. Parents and little girls can look forward to a new isiXhosa speaking doll. For 2018 the range now includes a Baby Love Buggy.
  • Little Live Pets
  • Baby Born
  • Baby Annabell – Baby Annabell® is almost like a real baby with lifelike functions and a cute expression on her face.
  • My Fairy Garden
  • Disney Doorables! – Through a collection of figures and connectable playsets, Disney Doorables empowers kids to become storytellers by uniting beloved Disney characters in one land – where surprise and delight await behind each door.
  • Scruff-a-luvs are adorable fur ball, rescued pets. The pets come in pink or blue and untangle in water to reveal your puppy. Find us Scruffy, Make us Fluffy! These unloved and abandoned pets are in need of your help! When buying your Scruff-a-Luv, they arrive as a sad ball of matted pink fur, but once you bathe them, dry them, brush them and love them, you will discover your puppy! 86270 - SCRUFF A LUVS (11)

Boys Toys

  • Ben 10 – This superhero is still a favorite.  This year sees an incredible range of additions to the Ben 10 collection27311 - BEN 10 ACTION PROJECTION OMNITRIX.jpg
  • Big Hero 6 – The toys in this range are based on the animated superhero series of the same name.
  • Treasure X – Especially for boys who love to hunt for treasure, Treasure X is a new toy that engages the senses as children scratch, dig and unearth the lost bounty. Like any good treasure hunt, Treasure X is about more than just what you find, it’s about the fun of finding it too. Hidden somewhere inside the Treasure X brick are a collectible skeleton figure and a treasure chest which contains a gold treasure.

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  • Stretch-Mini Figures – Stretch Justice League Figures are just some of the fantastic toys available in the Stretch range.  Each toy can stretch up to 5 times its original size, it then slowly shapes back, ready to be pulled and twisted all over again.  I keep one at my desk for the those days when I need to release a bit of tension 😉
  • Trixx – is much more than a car that turns 360! Everything is usable in Trixx360! Use the packaging box to build your own circuit! Make as many combinations as you can imagine!But not only that. All the accessories of the cars are interchangeable, including the wheels and the bodies! Collect the 8 cars with their ramps and make multiple combinations!Image result for trixx prima toys

Top Tech Toys

  • Fingerlings – As the best-selling technology toy for 2017, the Fingerlings have become a phenomenon in the toy world and have made their way onto the top of “MY” Christmas wishlist.  Brightly coloured with adorable faces, these palm-sized pets curl around your finger and come to life when you play, responding to sound, motion and touch with over 40 animations.  The latest editions have me obsessing about the Dino Velociraptor

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  • Teksta 360 – Incredibly lifelike, the classic robotic Teksta puppy is back with more interactive features than ever before. The puppy responds to voice, movements, lights and sounds through a built-in artificial intelligence program. It communicates its emotions with barks, whines and changes in eye patterns, just like a real puppy.  Teksta will also react to your hand gestures to sit, stop and flip backwards. downloadtek.jpg
  • PokiBot – The PokiBot is a fun miniature interactive robot that can move, spin, dance and even talk. The bot stands at 8cm and is sound activated – clap your hands and PokiBot will playfully respond as his mouth and eyes light up. Added to the fun is a feature that allows you to make 3 recordings of your own voice to play back in PokiBot’s robotic voice!
  • Robo Chameleon – Move, Aim and Catch! A Robot Chameleon that can Shoot the tongue out and snap up the “food”!
  • VR Real Feel – VR Real Feel is the game that makes virtual reality a reality! Experience 3D high-definition graphics with your iPhone or Android smart phone using the VR Real feel headsets.
  • VR Real Feel Alien Blasters – For fans of virtual reality over the age of 8 years, the VR Real Feel Alien Blasters will meet all your Virtual Reality expectations and more.
  • Show off your skills with the Laser X Two-Player Laser Tag Gaming Set. With two blasters and two receiving vests, players are ready for one-on-one competitions, but can also join in on team play since the sets are all compatible with each other.
  • ARIA – A.R.I.A’s Adventures is an educational interactive set with 3 different games in 1 box. It includes 100 interactive flash cards, a Virtual Reality animal park and 3D colouring pages. Use your smart device or the included VR head set and allow A.R.I.A to take you on an incredible virtual journey.

Top Science Toys

  • National geographic has launched a new range of S.T.E.M. toys that stimulate the imagination and help children develop an aptitude for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The range has fun, educational, stimulating and inspiring toys for kids.
  • Nat Geo figurines – Wildlife Wow is a revolutionary NEW wildlife series! Soft and squeezable with the same level of detail as hard figures. Each figure is hand-painted with non-toxic paint. These animals come to life with a free virtual and augmented reality experience and the app’s X-ray vision lets you see the skeletal structure inside each animal. Watch videos, learn facts, and explore each animal with the educational interface.
  • Games – This year the Prima Toys’ collection of games is bigger and better. From the classics to brand new games that will have your skills tested to the limit, all in the name of fun! Two of the brand new games happen to be favourites in our home:

          – Flipslide is a fast-paced electronic game that tests your speed and reflexes.                  Players need to flip to find the colour and slide to match the lights. It can be taken              anywhere and played anytime. What’s more, it is perfect for teenagers and my 14-              year-old is obsessed.

           – Boom Blast Stix – this is another of our favourites.  The game is simple yet                       dynamic and will entertain the whole family, from the little ones aged six and up               to the adults. Players take turns to lock a stix and then add it to the pile on the lid,               until one of the stix spring open and “explode” the other stix in the pile. The                         winner is the player who “booms: with the most stix.

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  • Game Box
  • Rubik’s Cube –  We are the hugest fans of the Rubiks cubes and Ashton has an impressive collection to be honest.  This classic toy is for both veterans and amateurs, Prima Toys welcomes the Rubik’s 2 x 2, the Rubik’s 4 x 4 and the new version of the Rubik’s 3 x 3.

Toddler Toys

  • LeapFrog prepares your child for a lifetime of learning. The brand is the leader in innovative solutions that encourage a child’s curiosity and love of learning throughout their early developmental years. An extensive range of new LeapFrog products are available to help your child develop a love of learning during the early childhood year.

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  • V Tech – VTech creates age appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children of various ages. The products enrich children’s development and make learning fun.Image result for prima toys vtech
  • Peppa Pig – Inspired by the TV show, expect all things Peppa Pig.
  • Little Tikes – Little Tikes is a range of toys for indoor and outdoor play that will entertain your child while helping them to develop their mind and imagination. The toys encourage discovery and learning through active, creative and social play and provide hours of fun.

Disney – Mickey Turns 

With Mickey turning 90 on 18 November. Disney will be running a nationwide campaign to celebrate all things.  Expect see Mickey everything!!41972 - 60CM CLASSIC BIG HEAD MICKEY

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Children|Parenting

Guess Who’s Turning 90 in 90 Days

Guess who’s turning 90 years old in 90 days?  It’s our favourite Disney cartoon character, iconic legend Mickey Mouse.

Icon Mickey will beturning 90 on 18 November 2018.  Disney will be running a nationwide campaign to celebrate all things Mickey.  So prepare for the hype during the months of October through to December as we not only celebrate but honor Mickey Mouse.

The famous cartoon character has been bringing smiles and joy to kids and adults alike for nine decades.

Random Facts About Mickey

  • Mickey Mouse was inspired by the pet mouse Disney had as a child
  • Mickey was originally going to be named Mortimer!
  • Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to ever speak. And what were his first words? “Hot dogs!”
  • There are hidden Mickeys all over Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Spotting them is part of the fun of going to the theme parks.
  • Mickey wears white gloves so that you can see his hands (otherwise they would blend in against his body.
  • Walt Disney said that Minnie and Mickey Mouse are indeed married, although they keep it private and they do not share a home.
  •  Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • In the 1970s, Mickey released a disco album which went double platinum.
  • Mickey Mouse only has four fingers! Walt Disney felt that five fingers resembled a “bunch of bananas.”
  • Walt Disney himself voiced Mickey Mouse for many years.
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Photo captured at the Prima Toys Carnival a few months ago

Prima Toys has an amazing range in store for you guys.  This season there really is something for everyone! Keep your finger on the pulse by going to www.primatoys.co.za or www.Facebook.com/primatoys and follow @PrimaToys.

Thanks for all the awesome memories, Mickey!  We love you

Children|Parenting|Review

Cartoon Network Live Tour Hits Jozi

As the cold front gripped Gauteng, parents were left looking for ideas to keep their little ones entertained  that didn’t involve the outdoors.  The timing of the opening show of the Cartoon Network Live Tour in Johannesburg, couldn’t have been more perfect.

In a story inspired by “good can conquer evil”, Cartoon Network Live Tour brings to life the much-loved characters from DSTV’s channel 301. The kids eagerly arrived to take their seats and one could see their anticipation build as they awaited the appearances of their favourite Cartoon Network characters.

The show sees characters such as the Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Gwen, Jake and Finn, fighting villains live on stage in a performance filled with music, dance, colourful lights and a willing participation from the kids and parents alike.


Kelvin Gizmo, scientist extraordinaire, transported us into the world of Cartoon Network which is under threat of Zarr, the evil robot.  We travelled through the Land of Ooo, the city of Townsville and Elmore to help Kevin Gizmo stop Zarr and his evil plans.

What was originally assumed to be a show for the kids only, turned out to be a show that catered for the entire family.  The kids clapped, danced and sang along.  There was a definite highlight for the kids and they revelled in every second of it, but you will need to attend the show to fully feel and understand that part of the experience.

The props and effects are rather impressive, resulting in the show providing an atmosphere similar to that of a concert.  Cartoon Network Live ends on an absolute high, leaving everyone wanting for more.  An extremely creative, fun and interactive production that the kids and entire family won’t want to miss this winter school holiday.

Cartoon Network Live will be showing in Johannesburg at Montecasino from 3rd – 8th July 2018
Tickets are available from Computicket: R175 – R390 – up to 50% off all off-peak shows

Please don’t forget to share your experience with us via social media using the #CNLSA

 

Children|Lifestyle

The far reaching effects of bullying

As a mom who has experienced both her sons having being bullied, this is a matter very close to my heart. Ash and Sky were both bullied within the first two years of starting Primary School. They experienced it again with the change in schools due to us relocating from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

Sky is a lover not a fighter and somehow managed to remain unaffected by the incidents imposed on him. Ash on the other hand hasn’t been that fortunate. The bullying he has been subjected to has had far-reaching effects that affects us daily. At the age of 9 he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. 5 years on and this is still very much our harsh reality. At the beginning of 2018 he started High School, the anxiety and fear of being bullied again, had him in an absolute frenzy. We have a course of action to help him cope but that’s a blog post for another day. All I am saying is bullying should never be underestimated.

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Ashton consented to me sharing this information about him with all of you in the hope that it would make a difference.

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Press release

Celebrating 30 Years of Inspiring Hope

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Ever since its inception in 1988, the Reach for a Dream Foundation has been doing amazing work by providing hope to children fighting life-threatening illnesses, by fulfilling their dreams.

Children have the innate ability to live in colour so to speak and to live each day to the very fullest. Encouraging them to dream their biggest dreams inspires a sense of strength, hope and courage.

Reach for a Dream touches the lives of over 45 000 children and their families a year. The 2018 campaign is well underway and the Reach for a Dream team is all set to impact lives like they have been doing for the past 3 decades, but they can’t do it without your generosity and support. 2018 will see this NPO celebrate 30 years of inspiring hope by making dreams come true, so you can expect this year’s Slipper Day campaign to be one for the books.

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What can you do with R10?

Now take a moment to consider what you can do with R10. Well, pretty much nothing, but your R10 can make a difference to the the dreams of these life-threatened children come true. So head over to your nearest Pick n Pay or Wimpy and purchase your wristband for just R10. Support #SlipperDay2018 in the coolest and most fun way ever by wearing your slippers all day on the 11th of May 2018 and don’t forget to pop into a Wimpy to get your free coffee.

Want to get more involved?

  • Get your local schools and businesses to participate in Slipper Day 2018
  • Bulk wristbands can be bought directly from the Reach for a Dream Foundation info@reachforadream.org.za
  • Buy your slippers from Reach for a Dream
  • You can make a donation
  • Donate a mere R30 to celebrate 30 years of making dreams come true
  • Become a volunteer
  • Donate your voyager miles
  • There are so many other ways to get involved

Jonathan Boynton-Lee summed it up pretty much when he said, “The only thing we can control is the amount of love you choose to give without expecting anything in return.”

Namritha, Melanie, Johathan and I grabbed the opportunity to take a photo with 18-year-old Kamo. This young man beat the odds after spending more than 2.5 years in a coma due to a brain tumour. Kamo now wishes to inspire hope by sharing his story.

I urge you to get involved and support this amazing initiative and the outstanding work that Reach for a Dream does. They are indeed “the closest thing to angels”.

Adventuring|Lifestyle

Hiking Lonehill Koppie

Over the December holidays while looking for a place to take the kids fishing, my hubby stumbled across the Lonehill Nature Reserve. Besides its lone, rocky hill, this archaeologically rich reserve offers hiking, a lake & city views.  The significance of the Lonehill Nature Reserve is that it conserves three stone age furnaces, built around 1600 that were excavated in the 1960’s, so this is actually an important Stone Age site. 
The nature reserve is situated on the outskirts of Johannesburg.  Yes, an actual nature reserve in the middle of a concrete jungle and the beautiful suburb of Lonehill makes for the perfect settings.  The entrance to the Reserve can be found at the dead-end on Calderwood Road.
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The word “koppie” is an Afrikaans word which means little hill.

A few years ago we decided that we were going to swap birthday parties for new experiences and adventuring.  It was definitely the best decision we have ever made.  Seeing as my eldest son was celebrating his birthday we decided to go on a  hike and do some fishing at the Lonehill Nature Reserve.  After some research we were convinced that taking the “Granny path” was the right decision to make considering we had kids on the hike starting from the age of 7. So we entered the reserve and made our way to an isolated picnic bench at the foot of Lonehill Koppie.  Signage in the reserve is seriously lacking and all we could find were white arrows on the rocks.  We however couldn’t figure out which was the Granny path and decided to just wing it.  The kids, filled with excitement and enthusiasm raced up ahead.  I what I would do to have that kind of energy and zest for life.

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The steep, jagged rocks made this hike up, rather challenging.  Within a few minutes we simultaneously asked each other if anyone knew a granny fit enough to make her way up this “far from even path”, then decided we would be bringing my hubby back to do this hike when he turns 55 (he was the event coordinator on this occasion which is normally my job). This hike is definitely not meant for inflexible people with short legs (referring to myself), because I honestly found myself crawling more than climbing.  All the reading I had done prior to our visit, mentioned and some even warned about the  local dassies, but all we came across was dassie poop and lots of it.  It was rather extra and had the kids screaming that the place smelt like a pig farm.  I must admit it got them to the top much quicker than expected.
We made our way through a collection of  boulders, and had to use ladders to get to the very top.  The first ladder was missing a rung  which saw my hubby drag us ladies onto the top of the boulder.  See what I meant earlier when I spoke about short legs ?!?! Ascending another ladder saw us reach the very top.  As the slight breeze washed over our faces we sat there taking in the beautiful views of Johannesburg.  The kids were super excited because they could see Monte Casino and the Mall of Africa from up there Now what makes you think these are city kids?  We also saw many beautiful birds and several lizards, but no dassies.  The kids loved the nooks and crannies of the found at the boulders.

We made our way down but holy hell …. it was steep and I definitely felt it on my knees the day after.  The perks of having a big bum is that it was easy and safer  sliding down those boulders.  Our way down was much easier than the way up that’s for sure.  Within a few short minutes we were done with the hike.  I have to admit that we were left feeling rather disappointed.  We were in the swing of things and our sense of adventure was crying out for more.

All in all it was a fun hike especially perfect for little kids as it isn’t too long.  I love that the Nature Reserve is directly next to the park, which is where we ending up spending the rest of the day.  The adults chilled under the trees while the kids fished at the little lake and played.  A fun family outing that I would highly recommend especially for families with kids.

Children|Food|Healthy eating

Superfood for My Superheros

This self-declared Boss Lady of Meal Prep doesn’t just meal prep for herself, she does it for her kids as well.

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Mom’s Superheroes

Being a working-mom means that I’m a slave to the clock and time is pretty much never on my side. So meal prepping for the kids lunches saves me loads of time in the morning when all hell is breaking loose.

I’ve tried my best to keep it simple but my sons are like day and night, especially when it comes to their eating habits. My little one is indeed a picky eater and would rather starve himself before eating tomatoes, olives or cheese for examples. My eldest on the other hand is an absolute pleasure to make lunches for. He eats absolutely anything. All this means that I pack different lunch boxes for each child (yes this extra work is indeed self-inflicted).

Below is my standard list of lunch picks. All items listed below in blue are meal prepped on a Sunday afternoon. The key to success for me is to select at one item from each category listed below, keeping the specific dietary requirements of each child.

1. Main Course

In an attempt to reduce their carb intake, we aim for sandwich free lunch on most days. The rule however doesn’t apply on Fridays. Monday to Thursday Options:

  • Chicken strips
  • Ham & cheese pinwheels
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Meatballs
  • Beef or chicken kebabs
  • Egg muffins
  • Bacon wrapped egg cups

Friday Options:

  • Burgers
  • Wholewheat wraps
  • Wholewheat pitas

2. Fruit or Veg

All the items listed below can be prepped in advance.

  • Apples
  • Bananas (we avoid this on super hot days as they spoil easily)
  • Grapes
  • Naartjies
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Olives
  • Cherry tomatoes

3. Snacks

  • Popcorn
  • Biltong
  • Nuts
  • Banana crunchies
  • Power balls ( I make these on a Sunday during my meal prep)
  • Chocolate or yoghurt covered rice cakes
  • Pretzels

4. A Drink

  • Water
  • Juice
  • Fruit infused water
  • Hot chocolate (in winter)
Balanced lunchbox ideas obtained from Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts

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#PimpMyLunchbox game on point, so we are definitely ready to tackle the 2018 school year

Happy First Day of School Fit Like Mummy xxx