What’s on for families this weekend in Gauteng (25-26 February)

Lots to do this weekend in Gauteng! There is a homemaker’s expo as well as a Dinosaur Expo. There are two kiddie shows. There’s a midterm break holiday program and a list of school open days.


  1. Homemaker’s Expo: 23-26 February

Go along to the Ticketpro Dome in Northgate to give “A Tribute to your Home”, which is the theme of this year’s show.  We have posted about this expo last week when we gave away tickets, so you can read more about the details here. But basically you can see everything from books, outside areas, DIY to modern design. 

Show times: Thurs & Fri 10:00 – 19:00 | Sat & Sun 09:00 – 18:00

Entrance: R90 Adults, R60 Pensioners, Children under 12 – free

Buy your ticket online at Ticketpro.

Venue: Ticketpro Dome, Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, North Riding, Johannesburg.

2. Midterm break holiday program: Midrand

Those of you with children on a mid term break there is a holiday program happening in Carlswald. The program is suitable for children from 4 years old. 

Dates: 24-27 February

7:30am -5:30pm (R280) or half day until 1:30pm (R200)

Contact Carla on 0824028169 or carla@expressionsinfocus.co.za. See their website

3. School open days: 

  • Curro Aurora: Taurus Rd, Sundowner, Randburg. Grade 000-12. From 8am on 25 Feb for interested parents to meet teachers and view facilities.
  • Kairos School of Inquiry info talk: 9am for 9:30-11:30am. Grad 0-7. 12 Sabie Rd in Emmarentia. 
  • The National School of the Arts: 17 Hoofd St in Braamfontein. 25 February 8:30am – 1pm. This school offers performing and creative arts but also art, dance, drama and music alongside a full academic curriculum. 

4. The Little Town of Good Manners

This is a puppet show written and directed by Swannie Swanevelder. In this town everyone has manners apart from Old Man Joe who invents a machine to devour good words. The show starts at 2:30pm and tickets are R50.  Check out their website here.

5.  ‘The Little Dinosaur’ and ‘Fairywings’

25th of Feb, Saturday 10am.

Double bill. Margaret Auerbach performs the all-time favorite Dinosaur Saga. Out of an egg hatches little Dino, but where are the parents? A funny search with happy ending. So, too, for the fairy who has misplaced her wings: the Fairy Queen is coming to visit and the wings will have to sparkle! Ages 3 and upwards. 

39A Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia, for bookings: Kinderspiel@telkomsa.net
011 646 0870, R 60 per person.

6. At the Dino Expo

This dinosaur expo features realistic robotic dinosaurs and offers both inclusive and extra activities. 

From 24 Feb – 5 March they will be at the Nasrec Expo centre on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. 

7. In the forest family open day: Walkerville

Forest zip-line, archery, tomahawk toss, tree climb, pony rides, fairy trail & hay-bale splash pond! Alice in Wonderland Coffee Shoppe open – scones & cream, wacky waffles, cold drinks, cold beers & more!   Or bring in your own picnic basket & blanket.

Entrance: adults R35, kids R25 includes free entrance to our enchanted real fairy trail – share with all fairy lovers! R30 Adults, R20 kids From 09:30 to 18:00   Cost: R20 – R30 Read more on their website here.


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Win two of nine year old Stacey Fru’s children’s books

If you ever played with the idea of being an author as a child but never carried it though, you can look up to Stacey Fru, a child who finished writing her first book two weeks before she turned eight. We are giving away two of her books on our blog today.

Stacey is a learner at Sacred Heart College in Observatory in Johannesburg and it is her love for reading and writing that inspired her to be an author.  Not only does she write but she is also a motivational speaker; the biggest group she has given a speech to was 800 Matric learners at the AngloGoldAshanti Career Expo 2015.

Stacey’s mother, Victorine Mbong Shu, is also an author and has written the book ‘Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting’ tackling why children may be successful, but lacking emotionally. 

Now let’s find out more about the books of her daughter:

Smelly Cats:

This book is about two cats who are cousins. It portrays the common challenges of different socio-economics, academic and religious backgrounds in which the two survived. In this book, Stacey portrays the difference in places where the two cats stay and how this affected their daily lives.

 Smelly Cats also depicts that even though the cats come from the same family, they have differences in friendship, love, hate, care, economic backgrounds and behaviour due to who they are. As her characters both behave badly, Stacey tells us about the role of school discipline in the book.

 The constant fights between the two, although rooted in real issues, can also been seen as  a vital spice of life that do not last forever. Stacey concludes her book by stating that “Life is not a bed of hatred. You grow better when you fight to spread love and have fun in a child’s way”.

Bob and the Snake

Bob loves snakes with his whole heart. He is super happy because he heard his parents planning to buy him a real snake for his birthday. A few weeks after he received the snake, it was crowned the City Hero for saving the family from a thief who broke into their house while they were asleep. Ironically, Lob the snake is the same reason why Bob runs away from home for days. During school holidays, the family decides to travel to Disney Land. Find out if Lob the snake was allowed in the plane or not and how the story ended. Stacey concludes that ‘… no matter how much they try, children will always be naughty and parents will always be hard’.


If you’d like to win these books we are giving away two copies of each to two winners. Simply comment below and you’ll be entered into the competition.

Terms and conditions:

  1. You must be South African to enter.
  2. The competition will run for a week and the winners will be emailed and announced on our Facebook page


{Momentrepreneur} Meet Remedial Therapist and Learning Specialist Marina: “I have generated incredible leads by giving some things away for free.”

This week we meet a remedial therapist, Marina, who quit her remedial school job to start her own business assisting learners learn in a way that suits them holistically.  She works with a child’s learning routine and strategies.

Marina works a lot online to market herself, also through blogging and Facebook. She has also found that giving away certain things has brought her more business. 

  1. Tell us about yourself, a bit of background.

I studied teaching and special educational needs at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University all the back in the 80’s. My first post was working with profoundly mentally challenged children. All of my pupils were non-verbal and low functioning. It was the most incredibly humbling experience and it taught me a type of patience I never knew I had. Teaching these amazing children changed the way I taught for the rest of my life. Making me understand that each child develops in their own time and each child has the ability to succeed when given the right amount of care and attention. I’ve been in education for 25 years and have taught gifted children, mainstream children and academically challenged children.

  1. What were you doing before you started this business?

I was a remedial therapist at a very elite private school and hating it. I was forced to work in a way, which I knew was counterproductive to learning. The school refused to change its stance on remedial intervention, so I bravely (or stupidly – lol) handed in my resignation and walked away with not one client or knowing how I was going to pay my bond, car, school fees etc.

  1. Is your business full time or part time and why?

I work full time in my business. I have tried to build a practice before while still teaching at a school and I found that I never managed to give my business the attention it needed. I always placed my employers needs ahead of my own and landed up having minimal time and energy to grow my own business. While starting it up solo was scary, I mean there were months when I really did not know where the money was going to come from. The one month I actually couldn’t even pay my bond. But I persevered and it has paid off. I still have some scary months, especially when it is school holidays and most my clients are away but this drove me to think how I could make up the deficit and this lead me to writing my books. I have found that you will only really push yourself to grow your business when you are under pressure to make it a success.


  1. How do you juggle the responsibilities of being a mom with your work?


Marina and her daughter at at the Eagle Sanctuary at Spier Wine Farm.

I am lucky in that when I started my business, my daughter was already in Matric, so she didn’t need too much attention from me. There were still things I needed to juggle like lifting her to and from school/college, taking her to photo shoots (she enrolled in college and studied photography about 6 months after I started my business) and so on. I made sure to plan each day, down to the last minute. I did all my planning the night before. I would first fill in the times when all my ‘mommy’ duties would need to take place and then I’d fill in my work obligations around that.  I made sure to commit

Kristin and Marina using a Snapchat filter

to a minimum of 8hrs per day. So if I knew there was going to be a hectic afternoon of lifting and carrying, I would schedule to work in the morning, while she was at college, and then in the evening. This did mean that I worked some very late nights, but it was well worth it. There were days I would tell her to grab a bowl of cereal for supper, as I didn’t want to break with my writing or marketing…and she survived!! If I was busy with doing diagnostic testing or working with one of my children, she would have to wait for me at college until I was ready. Also, if I knew it was going to be a long photoshoot that I had to take her to, I would take my laptop with and do work in my car. However, I was always very clear with what work I would finish while waiting in my car, to avoid any time wasting.


  1. Do you have a business plan? If so, can you share a bit about your strategy to make it successful?

I do have a business plan. My strategy centres around social media marketing, blogging, Google Adword campaigns and branding myself as a leading expert in education.  Branding has been done through, doing talks at schools, and accepting speaking engagements through the WCED. I have done a lot of these talks for free, because it is about looking at the bigger picture and making valuable contacts. I also offer free education advice through email and via my website. I have generated some incredible business leads by giving some things away for free. I have to admit that I am behind on my blogging strategy mainly because things got really hectic due to moving cities, but doing giveaways through my blog has also driven a lot of traffic to my site. I am also prominent on social media – I find that I get a lot of leads through FB, as my target market is South African moms and that is where they are most active. I also belong to a lot of mommy groups on FB and offer consistent advice, which also leads to some valuable contacts.  

  1. How do you get clients/ market yourself?

I get new clients by doing my own marketing. My FB page, email campaigns. blog and Google Adwords drive a steady stream to my site. I have also had people contact me through word of mouth, as I mentioned above a lot of this has come through me giving free advice to people who then refer me to friends and colleagues. I do FB advertising every so often. I haven’t had huge success from FB advertising – I just haven’t managed to grasp how to make it successful. I do however pay a monthly fee to advertise on a very large Mom’s Group on FB and that tends to yield better results. I also advertise through school newsletters. I have found that if you look carefully, and think out of the box you can market your business on a limited budget.


  1. What’s your biggest challenge right now?

My biggest challenge right now is building up my clientele once again. I moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg, so I am right back where I started. It is a bit easier, as I do have contacts at schools here in JHB, which I didn’t in Cape Town.

I also have found that I am at the stage in my online business where it is too big for one person but I am not earning enough to bring in a second person. This means long hours and there is always something that falls behind – and lately that has been my blog.

Also because of the move, I had a backlog of things which have piled up and I am trying to sort through getting that done, as well as trying to keep up with my present business demands. So my workload right now is a bit hectic.


  1. Did you need a lot of money to start off? And how long was it before you made a profit?


I was lucky in that I was in education for 20 years before I stepped out of a salaried job. This meant that I had already gathered all the resources and tools I needed. I also was able to work from home, which eliminated the need for office rent. The only thing I had to was ensure I had enough money to keep the bills paid – as mentioned above, there were some very scary months but I really do believe that when you struggle, it makes you stronger and more determined to succeed.


  1. What makes your business unique from other brands?


I believe in holistic education. So all my programmes take a child’s emotional, physical and cognitive needs into account. This is not a very common approach in South Africa. Holistic education means that if I am asked to diagnose a child’s academic issues, I will investigate their diet, emotional well-being and their cognitive ability to determine where they need help. The books I authored, on learning, also take a holistic approach. I never underestimate how much a child’s emotional well-being affects their learning. I am also a learning specialist and there are very few in South Africa. I analyse and determine how effective a child’s learning routine is and then show them where they need to work on improving their learning strategies. Being able to give parents a more rounded and holistic overview of their child, is what makes me different from other remedial therapists.


  1. Share with us your social media links and website.





What’s on for families this weekend in Gauteng (18-19 February)

This weekend in Gauteng you can go to a children’s book signing, drop your teen off at the colour fest, go to a puppet show or visit a school open day. 


  1. Andy Griffiths talk and book signing

Andy Griffiths is the author of the Treehouse series and will be in the following stores to chat and sign your books.

-Bedfordview Exclusive Books 10:30am 18 February

-Hyde Park Exclusive Books 10:30 am 19 February

For more info and when they will be visiting Cape Town too, visit their website.


2. The Color Fest U18

Under 18s wear white for the festival of colour held at Innesfree Park in Sandton, 12pm – 10pm. This event is a safe alcohol free party which will offer electonic music for the under 18 crowd. 


3. Feb 18: Jack and the Beanstalk: puppet show by Margaret Auerbach

Venue: Kinderspiel, Greenhill Rd 39 A,  Emmarentia Johannesburg.

Time: Sat 10am

Cost: R60 per person

Age: From  3 years old

Visit their website.

4. School open days and evaluations:

If you’re starting to think about visiting some schools, here’s what’s up this weekend:

  • Brescia House School Grade 8 evaluations

Grade 7 girls wishing to join Grade 8 in 2018 can participate in evaluations and scholoarship examinations. Registration is R500 Contact Brescia House on 0117067404 or admissions@brescia.co.za.  8am -12pm.

  • Andrews Academy and Preparatory School

This school caters for learners from Grade R till A levels with Cambridge International Education and certification for Checkpoint, IGCSE and AS/A levels. 

The open day is from 10am -2pm on 18 February at 1 Vosloo St, Cnr Republic Rd, Windsor Glen, Randburg.  Visit their website. 

  • St Theresa’s School for girls

Looking for a school for Grade 00 – 3 for your daughter?  The open day is on 18 February from 9am -12pm at 30 Rutland Rd, Craighall Park. Visit their website. 


If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.



Pregnancy Survival Guide

While being pregnant is a magical, special time, not all expectant mothers are prepared for just how their body transforms during the 9 months they are pregnant. Each trimester brings with it a new set of changes and challenges. We have put together a survival guide for pregnant moms to make their pregnancy easier so you will have time to enjoy being pregnant.Pregnancy Survival Guide|SA Mom Blogs

Rest. The first trimester is often characterised by an exhaustion only another pregnant mother will understand. It does get a little bit easier during the 2nd trimester but returns during the last few weeks. Listen to your body and rest as much as you can.

Get Comfortable. Once your tummy starts expanding it will become increasingly uncomfortable to wear your regular clothes, especially those with restricting waistbands. Find clothes that are comfortable and allow your belly space to expand. It might also be a good idea to swap your high heels for a more comfortable option, especially if you are on your feet all day.

Stay active. There are a lot of safe exercises you can still do while you are pregnant, like yoga and Pilates. It is important to try stay as active as possible, even if it is just a walk around the block every afternoon.

Eat well. You don’t need to increase your calorie intake for the first 6 months of your pregnancy and after that an increase of around 200 calories will be fine. Make sure though, that you are eating healthy balanced meals that include fresh fruit and veg and good proteins that contain the vitamins you and your baby need. Try to cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink daily.

Take your vitamins. Ask your health care provider to recommend a good pregnancy multivitamin that you can take during your pregnancy. It should ideally contain folic acid and Vitamin D.

Ditch the stress. It is normal to worry while you are pregnant but try to focus on the positive. If you are worried about something, ask your midwife or gynae about it but try not to overthink every ache and pain (because there will be a few).

The most important thing to focus on while you are pregnant is enjoying the experience while you look after yourself and your unborn child.

Pampers has a dedicated pregnancy section where you will find out everything you need to know about pregnancy.

If you found this post interesting please share it with your friends and remember to follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.

South African Mom Blogs

Win 20 Double Tickets to the Homemaker’s Expo 23 – 26 February






Home is where the heart is. The place where you arrive, your dogs bark at you in greeting and you can finally relax after a hectic day.  So why not pay some attention to it and make the place you live in that much more special? The 2017 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo celebrates its 24th year with the theme “A Tribute to Your Home” and we are giving away some tickets to go there.

2017 sees the launch of the Blue Label Wing, a brand new and stirring exhibition space.  No more up and down the stairs to visit your favourite stands. Now the entire show is on one level.

Not just the inner heart of Jozi will be explored by her residents, but witness three South African graffiti artists make their artwork come to life.  Follow them as they complete the project at the show.


If you like to get lost in a book or even browsing around a book store, then you will have a ball at Book Nooks, which is sponsored by Bargain Books.

There is a nook for each of six themes. Go ahead.

I’m wondering if they had some inspiration from Dr Seuss…

We took a look, we saw a nook, on his head, he had a hook, on his hook he had a book, on his book was ‘How To Cook’ but a Nook can’t read so a nook can’t cook SO what good to a nook is a hook cook book?”

Oh yes. They will have cookbooks as well.

Look out for great Book competitions and wins!


In South Africa we are spoiled with breath-taking landscapes and beautiful weather; love for the outdoors is second nature to us.  Take it Outside, a budding new addition to the show, embraces this love for our gardens, patio’s, outdoor furniture and of course new and interesting things to enhance your outdoor living area.


Taking things to the next DIY level?  Find your inspiration at the theatre where DIY celebrities give you great advice and tips.  Move over to the Interactive Zone and workshop some of Fired Earth’s fantastic products.


 The Market brings together a tempting selection of gourmet treats, wine and locally produced delicacies. Everything you could possibly need to stock up your picnic basket.


Are you a “toolaholic” …do words like circular saw, cordless drills, jigsaw blades, routing, chucks, grinders and sanders get you all excited?

Then make your way to the WORKSHOP and try out some of the best tools available to creatives, DIYer’s and homemakers.

Make sure you see the special demonstrations on the SawStop machine, a machine that not only offers versatility but is the safest table saw in the world. With its patented flesh detecting technology it insures that you are safe ALWAYS! Come and see this amazing machine in action.


Hosted in collab with the University of Johannesburg and Festool.
The industrial designers base their designs around the challenge of designing a compact and easy to use household drill.  Come see how they showcase their ingenious ideas for a functional yet beautiful must-have powertool.


We all love to be surrounded by beautiful things.  The Live by Design feature contains all those must-have items your home wants in a unique and inspiring space.

If you’re thinking about renovating, building, or decorating, you need to visit the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo at the Ticketpro Dome from 23 – 26 February 2017.


Show dates: 23 – 26 February 2017

Show times: Thurs & Fri 10:00 – 19:00 | Sat & Sun 09:00 – 18:00

Entrance: R90 Adults, R60 Pensioners, Children under 12 – free

Buy your ticket online at Ticketpro.

Venue: Ticketpro Dome, Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, North Riding, Johannesburg, 2161



Twitter – @SAHomemakers

Facebook – www.facebook.com/HOMEMAKERSonline

Instagram – HOMEMAKERS_Expo



All you have to do to win a double ticket is to leave a comment below. 

Terms and Conditions

  1. Winners must be able to attend the Homemaker’s Expo in Johannesburg between 23 – 26 February 2017.
  2. The competition will run for a week and winners will be emailed and announced on our Facebook page.
  3. Comments must be left with a valid email address so that we can email you the ticket.

Please share this post with all your Jozi friends! We need 20 winners!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram and join our awesome group called Mommy’s Me Time.

Meet blogger and momentrepreneur Belinda: “Success for me is doing what I love, making a decent living and working around my family”.

Today we find out more about South African mom blogger Belinda’s day job of digital copywriting. She shares how building a lifestyle business of working around her family brings her joy.

  1. Tell us about yourself, a bit of background.

Hi! I’m Belinda Mountain, an Eastern Cape farmer’s daughter who now lives in Cape Town. I am married to Gareth and we have two kids, Rachel (6) and Ben (3) as well as two dogs, Juno and Buckley. We live in a house with a red roof at the foot of a mountain (haha).

  1. What were you doing before you started this business?

I was working in book publishing, which I did in both England and back home in SA. I worked mostly in the marketing and digital side of things, but also did some book cover design, publicity and various other publishing odd-jobs. It was after having my first child that I quickly realised that working for somebody else wasn’t for me and I needed to find an alternative. My future business partner Catherine was freelancing at the time and came and did some social media work for the publishing company I was working for. We hit it off immediately – sharing a love of good words and all things digital. We had the idea to start a small agency specialising in producing high quality digital content – and so the idea for Black Mountain was born.

  1. Is your business full time or part time and why?

I would call it full time, although I probably work a 6-hour day, as opposed to the standard 8 hours (but I get a lot accomplished in those 6 hours!). The difference is that lunchtime onwards is quite difficult in terms of working, as there is the school run to do and extra murals to arrange. So often I will work 4 hours in the morning (in the office) and then the other two hours at home in the afternoon or in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.

  1. How do you juggle the responsibilities of being a mom with your work?

I don’t! It’s a constant challenge but I feel privileged to have the flexibility that I do. I pay rent for an office because I find that if I try and work exclusively from home, then my kids expect me to be accessible. My 3-year-old doesn’t understand why he can’t have my attention as I’m typing up an email – all he sees is his mom at home and he needs me NOW.

  1. Do you have a business plan? If so, can you share a bit about your strategy to make it successful?

We’ve been in operation for four years now and have got some incredible clients along the way. In terms of my strategy to make it successful, I think it depends on how you measure success. My business partner and I have already decided that we don’t want to build an empire. We still want to do the actual writing and we don’t want to end up managing a team of 20 writers instead (although we do sometimes use trusted freelancers if certain projects require it). We call this a “lifestyle business”, where we can do what we love, make a decent living, but still fit our family lives around our work. I believe that in this regard, we have been successful.

  1. How do you get clients/ market yourself?

Word of mouth has been our biggest marketing tool. We also invested quite a bit in our website recently (www.black-mountain.co.za) and this has paid huge dividends –many clients find us this way and are impressed by our previous work.

  1. What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Our biggest challenge is consistent cash flow. Because of the nature of what we do, much of our work is project based, which means that after a few months, that project will end. But we still have to pay our salaries and other expenses! So finding retainer clients who pay a set amount each month is what are always aiming for, but this is easier said than done.

  1. Did you need a lot of money to start off? And how long was it before you made a profit?

We started with no cash injection, just one client we had secured beforehand – who would pay us a very small amount each month. We had minimal expenses and so started making a profit immediately (although not paying ourselves very large salaries those first few months!).

  1. What makes your business unique from other brands?

We’re a niche content agency who specialises in digital copywriting. A lot of larger agencies offer the full remit of digital services, but not many people focus specifically on content like we do, ensuring the high quality of our work. Because we’re small, we’re also agile and have fast turnaround times. Our SEO expertise (my business partner is very experienced in this field) is also a unique trait of ours, as not many writers can offer this skill too.

  1. Share with us your social media links and website.


You can follow us on Twitter at @blackmtn and find us at


Belinda also blogs at Making Mountains


What’s on for Families this weekend and Valentine’s Day (11-14 February)

With just a few days before Valentine’s Day, you can celebrate the event with (or without) your family through a variety of different events, many of which involve food and picnics! Or you can send them to a lego batman movie!

  1. Eat and let the kids do crafts: Nostimo by Mythos, located in Waterfall Estate

There’s nothing better than a delicious meal in a stunning setting, while children are kept occupied. The on-site craft centre, Create Shop Play, is offering Valentines themed crafts including mosaic hearts, from the 10th-14th February, so kids can get their creative juices flowing by creating a Valentines keepsake to take home.

In addition to its exclusive Mediterranean recipes, Nostimo serves piping hot pizza fresh from its wood burning ovens and a variety of luxury, homemade ice creams. So if your Valentine’s Day treat is about coming together as a family over good food, fine wine and laughter, Nostimo by Mythos is just be the spot for you.    

I did a bit of googling and you can read trip advisor reviews of the restaurant here.

2. 14 February Valentine’s Day  Outdoor Cinema at Riversands: (close to Fourways/ Midrand/ Centurion)

Have a romantic picnic under the stars while watching a movie. You can bring your own or order one of theirs.


17:00 Venue Open
19:00 Love Actually
21:15 The Notebook
11:30 CLOSE


Adult: R 120

Age 13 – 17: R 50

Children under 13: FREE

Get your tickets here: http://qkt.io/7wlMGc 

Valentines’ Picnic Basket for Two – R300

  • Fresh ciabatta bread with home made butter.
  • Butternut, biltong & feta quiche with a side of rustic baby potato salad.
  • Salt biscuits, pecorino cheese, and black forest ham with sweet mustard.
  • Delectable white chocolate brownies and fresh seasonal fruit.
  • Still water, 1L.

    Halal / Vegetarian Option available online.

     Join Valentine’s  “Movies in the Park” by #PiP here: http://bit.ly/2jRRfJL

3. Full moon picnic at Albert’s Farm 11 February

Meet behind the jungle gym on the corner of 6th Road West and 10th Street from 6:30pm. Bring a chair, a cushion or a blanket, friends, family and neighbours, picnic food, lots to drink and wood for a roaring fire. No dogs. 

4. The Lego Batman movie

For the kiddies. If Lego Batman wants to save the city from the Joker’s hostile takeover, he will have to forgo his lone vigilante antics and work with others.

5. Two Valentine’s Events in aid of Charity:

a) Valentine’s picnic 11 February

Entrance is R250 which includes a picnic hamper for two. Take your own blankets, chairs, umbrellas and refreshments for the San Salvador Home for the intellectually disabled women. Suitable for 18 years and older.

12-3pm at 19 Mellville Rd, Hyde Park (entrance in First Road). Contact Sheilagh on 0826535128 or shelagh@chantillynetworking.co.za

b) Tea 14 February

Coffee, cakes and snacks at the SA Riding for the Disabled Association Gauteng fundraiser at the Earth Centre, 125 Peter Rd, Ruimsig, from 9:30 till noon. The aim of the event is to assist mentally and physically handicapped children to continue benefitting from horse riding and other interactive equine therapies. The cost is R60 per person.  Book through info@earthcentre.org.za. 


{Momentrepreneur} Meet Speech Therapist Laura: Don’t try and work and parent at the same time!

This week meet a Laura, a speech therapist mom who decided to take on rooms for her practice to better separate work and home, and believes that you can’t do both parenting and work at the same time.


  1. Tell us about yourself, a bit of background.

I am a qualified speech-language therapist, wife, and mother to two little girls aged 4 and 7 years.


  1. What were you doing before you started this business?

I worked as a PA for many years before finally taking the plunge and going back to university to study as a speech therapist. After qualifying, I worked as a full-time at a hospital, and then when I had my first daughter I went part-time at the University of Cape Town as a lecturer and clinical educator. When my second child was born I decided to go out on my own and open my own practice.


  1. Is your business full time or part time and why?

It depends! There aren’t really any such thing as fixed hours when you are self-employed. When there is work, I work and when there isn’t, I don’t. Sometimes I work 7 days a week and sometimes I only work a few hours. I never know what is going to come in and I can’t afford to turn work away, so I take it when it comes! There is also no such thing as 9-5. I try to get lots done in the mornings while my kids are at school so I can fetch them and be around in the afternoon, then once they are in bed I carry on working (but it does mean husband gets neglected, which is not great either!).


  1. How do you juggle the responsibilities of being a mom with your work?

It’s a challenge. You have your business, your husband and your kids, and every time to choose to focus on one you are aware you are neglecting the other two (and never even mind spending any time on yourself!). There is no downtime and if you have been up all night with sick kids, you still have to get out there and put your business face on in the morning. You have to super-flexible and be able to switch between invoicing, building tents, making supper, wiping a snotty nose and emailing a client all in an instant! On that note, I have found that having an office at home really didn’t work for me- the children bother me constantly, and I am easy to distract as I enjoy being with them! My husband also works from home and they don’t bother him at all…I moved into offices this year and although the extra expense is a burden, I find I am much more productive. It also helps me to separate work from home-life- I found before I was constantly trying to do both, like checking emails on my phone while helping my daughter do her homework. When I try to work and parent simultaneously, I find I do neither thing well! Now, for the most part, work and home are separate. It is also getting easier to do some work at home now that they are older, although it is still inevitable that the minute I get on a business call, one of them will start shouting that they need a poo!


  1. Do you have a business plan? If so, can you share a bit about your strategy to make it successful?

I didn’t initially, which was a mistake. I just kind of bumbled along and dealt with things as they came. It’s good to be flexible because you can never predict what is going to happen and how plans might change, but having a longterm vision is very important. I eventually got some help from a wonderful PR person (Claire Winson – “Entrepreneur Mom”) who helped me to figure out a business plan and how to market myself.


  1. How do you get clients/ market yourself?

Most clients find me through my website. Getting a website set up with proper search engine optimisation is definitely money well-spent. It also really useful getting professional advice on how to market myself as I was making stupid mistakes (like marketing in health magazines, when my target audience was corporates).  I only recently put up a proper LinkedIn profile and I have made so many useful connections, I wish I had done it sooner.


I also contacted all the organisations and people in my area that I knew could make use of me (schools, doctors, hospitals, other therapists etc). I’ve found that getting in touch with my competitors and offering to collaborate and cross-refer has also been hugely helpful- we work together instead of against each other, and we all benefit.


Word of mouth is invaluable and I always make sure I deliver excellent service so that people will recommend me to others.


  1. What’s your biggest challenge right now?

My biggest challenge is that my practice is growing to the point where I’d like to take someone else on, but I don’t yet have enough money to pay them a full salary (but can’t grow a caseload WITHOUT taking someone on). It’s a tricky transitional period. Also managing my admin and finances is very time-consuming and tedious as I didn’t get a good system in place to begin with. Finally, the feeling of wanting to invest time in my business to make it grow, but not wanting to miss out on spending time with my children. It’s a constant tension. Basically, my biggest challenge is how to clone myself!


  1. Did you need a lot of money to start off? And how long was it before you made a profit?


Luckily I hardly needed any money to start off with as I just did home-visits and made my own therapy materials. I took on rooms this year and the extra expense has been a challenge but it is nice to have my own space. It probably took 6 months for me to break even but it still varies so much month from month. December is bad because everyone is on holiday (and out of medical aid funds!) while January is hectic because everyone has medical savings again! So some months I do well and other months I barely scrape through. I’m much less financially secure than I was when I was employed, but life is certainly more interesting, and I’m happy to do without material things for the opportunity to be around for my kids more than I was previously.


  1. What makes your business unique from other brands?

I work mostly with adults who have voice disorders, which is fairly unique in South Africa as the majority of speech therapists work with children (or with adults who have had a neurological injury). My background in corporates means I understand how business works so am not just limited to the clinical setting- my clients are call centres, CEOs, sports presenters, radio commentators…it’s really varied. While many people who work with voice come from a speech & drama background, I have the added clinical expertise. I also LOVE what I do!

  1. Share with us your social media links and website.


Linked In

What’s on for Families this Weekend in Gauteng (4-5 February)

This weekend go to the theatre, pick raspberries or go on a mine tour!

  1. Kinder Theatre: Bella and the the Bloukopkoggelmander

This is both a puppet show and physical theatre about a blue headed lizard that starts at 10am at Kinderspiel, 39A Greenhill Rd in Emmarentia. Also at 3:30pm on 7 February.

Bookings: Kinderspiel@telkomsa.net
011 646 0870, R 60 per person. For more info see their website.

2. Raspberry picking at the Field Berry Farm. (Elandsfontein/ Walkerville)

From 10am -3pm every Saturday and Sunday till the end of March (weather permitting) you can pick raspberries! This is a super activity to do with kids.

Entrance for adults is R30 and children under ten are free. The cost of the berries is determined by their weight.

I see they also have some food stalls including prawns, peri peri, Halal food, coffee, cakes and drinks.

They also have a website here. I see they are near the Grasmere Plaza. 

3.Kloofendal Gold Mine Tour

Experience the wonders of a gold mine with Rod Kruger at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve.  The tour prices range from R50 to R70 and the time is from 2pm till 4pm on the 5 February. 

Book tickets on quicket here.

You can also phone Karin on 079 6935608


Please add your events in the comments! If you have any events you wish to appear here please email heather@samomblogs.co.za. For R250 we will give your event top spot.

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