Adventuring|Children|Lifestyle|Mom life|Parenting

My 10-year-old and I faced our fears together

I recently took the boys on a Mom and Sons weekend away. We are a crazy yet fun threesome who love new experiences. Let’s just say we are a bucket list family who plan to bring you many more adventures. So, off we headed to the quaint little town of Cullinan, but we were not in search of diamonds. We were in search of adventure and exploration.

You can read more about our entire weekend away to Cullinan on my blog post Sho’t Left to a little town called Cullinan, but now I’m going to share the decision we made to face our fears.

Ashton, my 14-year-old is an adrenaline junkie who doesn’t fear much. He’s a thrill seeker who’s ever-ready to try the most daring thing out there. Skylar on the other hand, (my little baby … okay, not so little, as he is 10-years-old), is afraid of almost everything. In fact, Sky and I are a lot alike in this respect, but we decided a few years ago, that every adventure requires that we challenge ourselves to step outside our comfort zones.

We headed to Adventure Zone Cullinan and signed up for Ziplining. Ziplining, when 2 of the 3 of us are terrified of heights! How incredibly brave are we ??

Anyways, we arrived and were suited up with safety harnesses, helmets and gloves. As a person who works in the Quality and Safety environment on a daily basis, I asked the necessary questions like :-

  • When last were the harnesses load checked
  • What were the weight limitations? (apparently the straps can carry the weight of a bakkie, so I was good)
  • What if we got stuck in the middle? (my biggest fear)
  • Why was it so windy?

All my questions were answered without any hesitation during the safety briefing. Our group then climbed onto a truck and we made our way to the first zipline. At this point, I thought I had the option to choose the zipline of my choice, but I was wrong. Four ziplines formed part of the adventure and it was an “all in” commitment that was required. I had already paid, so there was no turning back. Oh, and talking about paying … we made use of the Entertainer App’s buy 1 get 1 free deal for the Adventure Zone. Yay, for saving money on a weekend away.

As we approached the first tower it dawned on me that I was adventuring alone with the boys. I was faced with choices of who would go first, was the line secure, what if Sky decided to bail at the last-minute. Was I being paranoid, over-protective or just being a mom whose instincts naturally kicked in??

I eventually calmed down and sent Ashton on his way, who faced his first zipline without any hesitation. Then it was Sky’s turn, but he panicked the moment he set foot onto the platform. He started hyperventilating and wanted to cry. He insisted that I go first, but how could I go first and leave him behind. Chances are he would panic again and derail the process for everyone. So with a stern mom-voice and darting eyes we got him secured onto the line. He looked at me and begged to get off. The guide then looked at me wanting a decision to made …. and then my mom instincts to protect and nurture disappeared for a second. A nod of the head gave our guide the go ahead to let him go. My heart sank for a split second as there was complete silence as he was pushed on his way, and then I heard a scream of exhilaration. He was good and made it safely to the other side without getting stuck along the way.

I was relieved but now it was my turn. I freaked out and I couldn’t do it. I was standing on the platform losing my mind and the guide said to me, “Your kids just did this. There’s no way you are going to bail”. I was honestly terrified, but I had no choice. I guess the saying “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you” applied. As my foot left the platform I felt my heart rate increase as my body temperature rose. I’m very sure I held my breath for a few seconds, but before I knew it I was enjoying the zipline. It was pretty damn amazing and the view was incredible. As I reached the boys, their faces were beaming and they were pumped. They were so happy and thoroughly enjoyed the first zipline. They are always inpressed and proud when I try out activities with them.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles Swindoll

We continued onto the next 3 ziplines. The speeds varied on each zipline and weirdly enough the fastest one was my favourite. I was utterly relieved that we chose to go through with the experience and face our fears. Had we not have pushed ourselves, we would have missed out on an amazing experience.

I’m the kind of mom who doesn’t mollycoddle her kids. It’s a tough world out there and I strongly believe that it’s my duty to challenge my kids; to push them to function and think in situations of difficulty and uncomfortableness. It is my duty as a parent to use every opportunity possible to prepare them for life as an adult. I want them to have inquirying minds and souls. I want them to live with adventure in their hearts and an appreciation for the beauty that exists in the simple pleasures life has to offer.

Disclaimer : This is in no way a sponsored post.

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.

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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?!

Cake Pops

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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

Parenting|Women

Is There Such a Thing as Intimacy, Connection & Desire after Kids?

I attended the June Mama Meetup which was held at the very luxurious and exclusive Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa. The theme for the meet-up focused on intimacy, connection and desire after kids. The Saxon was the perfect setting, supported by its incredible food and drinks, it set the tone for the night ahead.

Relationships, like most things in life occur in phases and don’t we all absolutely love the initial phase of a relationship. The butterflies, excitement and sheer spontaneity which results in moments of euphoria and incredible chemistry.

Then at some stage (planned or unplanned) kids are thrown into the mix and things change. The added responsibility of looking after our little ones, 24/7 plays a dramatic role in intimacy, connection and desire levels. For most men, having children doesn’t diminish their sex drive, it is however the contrary for many women. Time is also a vital factor which sees us prioritise everything else ahead of ourselves and our relationships.

Totally Me – Intimacy & Relationship Coach

Tracy Ziman Jacobs, intimacy and relationship coach was the guest speaker at the June meet-up and according to her, what sounds a bit like a bit of a fallacy, is actually attainable. You will however need to put in the effort and work.

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Everyone has a beautiful erotic side to themselves” – Tracey Ziman Jacobs

Tracey is a therapeutic counsellor who works as a specialised intimacy and relationship coach within her consultancy, Totally Me which is based in Bryanston.

She spoke passionately about wanting to help couples and individuals who wish to go beyond their current intimacy level and rekindle the passion they once had for each other and for themselves. Tracy Ziman Jacobs shared part of her life story. “When I got married, I thought I’d never get divorced,” says Tracy. “It came as a bit of a shock and after my divorce, I was cynical about marriage,” she admits. But she recognised the hope we as human beings attach to marriage. “It’s the romance that brings us together and after all, people are still getting married,” she muses.

As a mother herself, Tracy understands that there needs to be a balance between parenting and marriage. The interactive session saw us chat to Tracey about our wants, needs and frustrations as mothers in the 21st century.

Whether you’re a parent or not, Tracy’s counselling work is about rekindling romance for a renewed intimate relationship. “You’ve just got to do it to understand it,” says Tracy of her sessions. “In other words, do the work and then you’ll understand it.” She went on to explain that good sexual health is also great for creativity and for our bodies, as it boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin. The bottom line is that connecting with your partner and being in a good space is wonderful for everyone all round.”

My 5 Ways to Increase Intimacy in your Relationships

  1. Love yourself – to truly love another, we need to first learn to love ourselves.
  2. Speak your partner’s love language – communication is indeed the foundation of all great relationships.
  3. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing – Regular kind gestures will have a lasting impacting on a relationship
  4. Go to bed together– Our fast pace lives often have us living past each other. Try and limit that as far as possible
  5. Put the phone down – cellphone have become such an intrusion and obsession in our lives, that we really need to learn to just put our phones aside and connect with people face to face.
  6. Date night is non-negotiable. – It’s okay to take time away from your kids. In fact its vital and help couples to reconnect. So whether is a day, night, weekend away or even just an over to grab a coffee together in a moment of sanity, do it.
  7. Set boundaries with your kids – Kids need to respect that aside from being parents, you are also husbands and wives.
  8. Date each other again – recreate the initial chemistry and excitement.
  9. Spice things up – No further explanation needed
  10. Seek professional help – If you relationship is in a downward spiral, don’t just leave. Seek out professional help

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Irrespective of your relationship status, a renewed intimate relationship is a step in the right direction. Tracey explained that the benefits are numerous: “When you’re in synergy with the one you love, you are in a good space and you will find that you’ll sleep better, work better, have more patience with your children and be far more productive. Good sexual health is also great for creativity and for our bodies; it boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin.

So leave a comment if you have found a way to keep the romance in your relationship alive and kicking.

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

 

Fit Family|Parenting

It isn’t about winning, but more about crossing the finish line

Those of you who follow me, know that my family is indeed a #FITFAM. I couldn’t look at improving my health and fitness level, without including my kids. Being fit as a family is important to me, as it’s created lasting moments of quality time spent together. I know my kids will look back and cherish our moments of fitness fun.

Fit Family of the Month
It’s so important to me that I’ve decided to do a series about Fit Families who inspire me. Today I’d like to introduce you to Emanuel and his family. Mani (as he is better known as), is a Dad blogger who shares Darren’s and his personal journey as gay parents in South Africa. They are the gorgeous family behind the blog Two Dads & a Kid

Mani has generously agreed to share their story as a Fit Family with us and I’m over the moon and grateful to have them on the blog today.

Their Story
Hubby(Darren) and I both grew up during a period that sport was part of the school curriculum. You weren’t expected to participate in every single sport the school offered, but we were expected to participate in at least one sporting discipline in addition to PE (now known as Physical Training). Darren was into athletics and his rugby. He loved rugby so much that it became part of his career. I on the other hand was exposed to and participated in a variety of sports disciplines ranging from individual activities like squash, athletics and swimming through to group disciplines like soccer and cricket.

Into our adult life, sport or rather physical activities have always been a part of our daily routines. We either at the gym for 30 to 60 minutes doing weights or cardio, or we are on the road, running or cycling. Entering races has become part of your weekend routine, not to win but to finish and improve on your previous race time. When our son was placed with us, he was our support crew with whichever spouse was not participating. Early morning starts became part of our weekend game.

Even before our son came home, it was a given that he would be encouraged to participate in sports. So, it was no surprise that we introduced him to swimming at age 6 months. At this point we attended lessons for about 4 months before he had had enough. So, we stopped. I’m so glad that we attended these lessons though, because a Sunday afternoon a year later he accidentally fell into the pool. Thank God for the lesson, because instinctively he turned himself onto his back and started kicking his legs and moving his arms about. What felt like minutes, was a lot less. When I eventually reached him, he was calm. This scenario could have been deadly, thankfully it wasn’t. Drowning is real! Besides saving your life there are many other benefits to learning how to swim. Swimming is great for the heart, lungs, improving your strength, balance, posture and flexibility. In recent years child obesity has become a huge concern, as it may lead to diabetes, swimming is a great preventative measure.

Although our son disliked the pool for a while, today he is loving his swimming lessons. We’ve introduced him to the world of Karate, Basketball, Soccer and Mountain Biking to bring a little more balance. Of all these disciplines, Mountain biking is where his heart is. He is a true MTB Rider. Seeking all the challenging routes while out on the trails. Although the hills are still his nemesis, if neither Darren or I are around, he will give it his best, refusing to give up, and giving him a sense of achievement. As he matures, being out on his bike will be another way for him to meet and make new friends. Although relatively new to schools, MTB is growing at school level with many events now introducing a prize for the school with the most entrants, for example. The best part of MTB or Cycling is that you can go out onto the trails as a family and it’s a skill your child will have forever.

Benefits of Exercise for Families

  • it improves our moods by releasing endorphins in the brain, that natural ‘high’ you feel after a good workout
  • kids that exercise regularly are more likely to pay attention and switch between tasks with better speed and accuracy
  • perform better on tests regular exercise also builds a child’s self-esteem
  • provides an environment for kids to meet and make new friends

Different Strokes for Different Folks
As a family we don’t necessarily all excel in the same sports. So, for example, Darren enjoys MTB more than I do. For that reason, he tends to be the one hitting the trails with our son. Swimming is my fortes, so besides swimming school, whenever I get the chance I hit the local pool at the gym and basically get our son to show me what he has learnt during swimming class. All three of us enter races. There’s nothing like a medal to boost your spirits and push you to do better.

Final word
Their motto is that as a family they do not give up. They may not be the first to cross the finish line, but they will finish! If you would like to follow these amazingly inspirational dads as they keep fit with their handsome son, then go and vist their blog TWO DADS & A KID and follow them on social media.

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