{Guest Post}: Style it Like a Mother

This week’s post is from South African mom blogger Helene, who blogs at Prettybelle. 

 

motherhood is like survivorMotherhood is a little bit like Survivor. No, scratch that, Motherhood = Survival! It’s just like those poor people on some remote island – you have to outwit, outlast and outplay!

 

Adapt or DIE!

 

The only difference they lose weight and you… well let’s just blame it on baby!

 

When you have a baby everything changes. And if anyone, anyone tells you differently? They are… wait for it … lying to your face! (I told you motherhood is like Survivor)!

 

Your world shifts – you‘re constantly thinking about someone else’s needs; is she happy? Did she eat enough? Why isn’t she sleeping? Your body changes! And in the process you need to somehow still be a sexy, loving wife?

 

 

But the biggest change for me (except of course my clown feet) was What to Wear?

 

 

It may sound superficial, but by looking good, I feel great and in return I’m a better Mama.

 

But let’s face it, time is precious and pretty much non-existing!

 

 I learned a few tips and tricks along the way that I want to share with all you exhausted mamas out there.

 

Because somewhere hidden under a big pile of diapers countless wet wipes, and breastfeeding sessions there is still… a stylish YOU.

 

 

 

Survival Tip 1

Comfort is a style!

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but again motherhood changes everything. Yes, I strongly believe that comfort is NOT a style and if you ever see me walking in (comfortable) crocs, just know that I have completely lost my mind.

But it’s just not practical to wear the shortest skirt (flashing innocent strangers while strapping baby in the car seat).

My top 5 mama-is-comfy-and-have-style items:

  • Skinny jeans (research shows that you’re way thinner than you think you are, so get into those skinnies right now)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneakers (you can run in them, and that’s pretty much what Mamas do all day)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirts (they’re affordable and can be swooshed up in a jiffy)

 

 

 

 

 

Jumpsuits (you don’t have to plan an outfit, just jump in)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cap or Beanie (for those bad hair days)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Survival Tip 2

Do not dress like a Mum!

Mamas are ruling the world! The hottest accessory = a bump or cute kiddo walking next to an oh-so-stylish Mama beats a Forever New handbag any day.

 

Constant worrying and a lack of sleep (did I mention guilt)? May cause wrinkles and premature grey hair BUT NEWSFLASH, you’re not that old!

 

No time to put on make-up or even shower? Don’t worry!

 

 

Just do this:

 

  • Colour your hair

 

Make an appointment and make sure you attend. Baby will survive! Nice hair = instant facelift. Even if you don’t wash or style it, it will be a pretty colour, for at least 6 weeks!

 

 

 

 

  • Tint your eyebrows

 

If you don’t have the budget to micro blade (the new eyebrow technique that literally transform your eyebrows from the girl-next-door to Cara Delevingne), just tint it. It’s quick, affordable AND you can do it at any salon. I get my eyebrow-fix at Sorbet. Thanks Janet! It lasts up to 6 weeks.

 

  • Put on red lipstick

Sweep on that red lippie! Red lipstick, just like sunglasses, can change the world.

 

 

 

 

 Survival Tip 3

S = Style it!

  • Pair your favourite summer dress with tights – you don’t have to shave and it’s almost like wearing pants, meaning you won’t flash the car guards.
  • If it’s too hot for tights invest in hot pants. It’s like a mini ski-pant. Now you can be all flirty, without showing your bum.
  • Look out for jumpsuits – this is a mum’s staple! The only thing that takes time is going to the bathroom…
  • If you are a supermodel, stop reading. If not, scroll down. The rumour about that flabby part you get after a caesarean, well it’s true and no amount of sit-ups can fix that, but a high-wasted skinny jean = goodbye flab! No sit-ups required. Take that Britney!
  • Think outside the box! Match your T-shirt with a chiffon skirt, just for the hell of it! You’re going to look good and feel great and inspire a few other Mamas along the way.
  • Prints = mom’s best friend! Whether it’s plaid or floral this is a no-brainer. The busier the print – the less obvious the Purity

AND…

  • Match with kiddo!

The best accessory = baby!

 

Survival Tip 4

Don’t let your hair down!

 

Do this:

Milkmaid-braid

Look out for a vlog on how-to do my version of the milkmaid braid – coming up on Prettybelle – The Blog real soon. This is easy and the best part it’s out of reach for tiny, sticky, grabbing hands.

 

Top-knot

 

Every 2nd day is a top-knot day and that is fine!the higher the hair the closer you are to God.”  If you have an extra second, add a ribbon, for instant style alert.

 

 

 

 

Cover-up

When all else fails, just put on a beanie or a cap.

 

 

Motherhood is a life-changing experience, but with these tips you can Adapt, Outwit, Outplay and Outlast – in style!

 

 

Stay stylish

XOXO

 

Helene

 

 

 

 
About Helene:
 
I’m Just a Mama, married to the love of her life and completely besotted with her babygirl. I started Prettybelle with one hand, while breastfeeding. I believe life is all about the PrEtTy little moments in between. We must just embrace it – with style! 
 
Helene is a qualified journalist with a degree in B.A Journalism. She has a post graduate certificate in education (PGCE) and 9 years experience as kindergarten teacher. Currently Kids-editor at BELLA-magazine. She has a Diploma in Personal Styling at the acclaimed Wardrobe Academy, just because she’s a self confessed shopaholic.
 
 

What’s new with Prima Toys

prima toysWhat is it about toys that delights children? They are objects that spark the imagination, creativity, and a world where they can be set free to revel in the true purpose of childhood – play. 

Prima Toys had an event to celebrate their newest offerings and they also had some other speakers to give their input into parenting and the importance of play.

Warren Murray, from MamaMagic, spoke about #EqualParenting.  He is an advocate for fathers to be more involved and present in their children’s lives. Men can be a father but few can be dads. Dads are present. Warren is the kind of dad who wakes up at night to help his kids while his wife sleeps. He doesn’t mind doing all the chores that go along with parenting and he doesn’t mind buying nappies either. 

Warren has two children, a three year old boy and a baby girl. He has made it his purpose to find the happy moments. Playing around after bathtime. Joy in the swing. Giving his children his full attention.  He makes the point that giving his children attention is more important than all the chores that have to be done. 

He says he knows dads are known for being the disciplinarian and a provider, but for him success in fatherhood would be if his child would be able to come to him with a problem. 

I liked this man a lot because he showed us a picture of his son playing in a box – making the point that it’s not the stuff that came that came in the box but the time spent playing with your child, cultivating their imagination that matters. Your child wants you, not things. 

Dr Shireen Thomas-Stark is a counselling pychologist who also has a PhD in play therapy and has extensive experience working with children.

She sees toys as an investment but identifies different types. Fantasy toys (such as dressing up clothes) foster pretend play and aid in cognitive, social and emotional development. Problem solving toys, like board games, help kids with planning, organisation and predicting their next move.  There are creative toys and educational toys too – all of which are building the minds of young learners. 

The marketing director of Prima Toys, Chiquita Patrizi, shared with us their current crop of up and coming new toys.

Some of the ones that stood out for me

Shopkins Happy Places:

Nicky loves Shopkins and has fun playing with these little items. He also watches them on YouTube. Now Prima is bringing out the homes and interiors to go with these items, along with little dolls called Lil’ Shoppies. 

-Little Live Pets Surprise Chicks

This toy is unique because you can hatch your chick over and over again. It makes a little tune, busts open and then the little chick comes cheeping out. Very cute and good value. 

 

 

 

-LOL Suprise Tots Ball

Using a similar concept to “pass the parcel” this toy is much like an onion where a new segment is unwrapped to discover new parts to your doll (ie shoes, dress, bottle etc). The fun doesn’t end there, however, because once you assemble the doll you can also put milk in the bottle and the doll spits it out.  We had fun unwrapping this toy amongst the bloggers at our table, and it was lots of fun.

Baby Love

This locally developed version of a doll has three kinds: English, Afrikaans and Zulu/English. The doll speaks 50 phrases which makes it both educational and interactive. 

Ben Ten

There are a whole range of fantasy play outfits here but we were lucky enough to play around with the Omnitrix device which lights up all green with different kinds of aliens who have different things to say.

 

 

 

 

 

Bburago

This is a brand that I’ve seen in the toy shops and recently acquired by Prima. They are well built vehicles. Also “Go Gears”, of which Nicky has a set he got for a Christmas present. Lots of fun to pull that car back and watch it race around. 

-Toddler Toys

Lots of brands here including Leapfrog (a pretend laptop with letters, numbers and early vocabulary) and Little Tikes (the Movin’ Lights range uses lights to help your baby crawl, move and walk). Peppa Pig is another hit with the little ones – even Nicky loves watching those videos and likes those figurines too. 

-Games

Who could forget the Rubik’s cube? Well, it is back and it comes with more than one variation. 

Also at the event were quite a few bloggers! Sorry if I could not find pics of you all!

 Also there was Matismela there giving hand massages. We were lucky enough to meet up with Christina again. It’s a lovely brand. 

 

There were so much more toys, but I just mentioned a few.

Which one of these toys did you like?

What’s on for families this weekend in Gauteng (22-23 July)

There’s a couple of productions still going strong plus some new events this weekend, so if you are looking for something to do with the family this weekend, have a look:

  1. The Smurfs Live on Stage

We went to see this last Thursday and Nicky really enjoyed the outing. You can read more detail about it in the post here. 

THE SMURFS LIVE ON STAGE – SMURFS SAVE SPRING is a 90-minute show (there is a 15 min interval in the middle) at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg for a limited season from the 13th to the 30th July, 2017. 

Tickets available from R150 per person. Bookings available through Computicket or the Emperors Palace Box Office on 011 928 1297/1213 or visit www.emperorspalace.com.  The show times are 10h00, 14h00 and 18h00.  Emperors Palace is located at 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park.

2. Cresta’s Despicable Me 3 Holiday Activities (18-23 July)

Cresta will be hosting fun Despicable Me 3 themed activities for kids these holidays, until 23 July.  The themed dancing, games and activities will take place in the Barnyard Court on the lower level of the shopping centre, close to the Food and Entertainment Court. Great prizes will also be up for grabs.

3. Christmas in July at Four Seasons, the Westcliff: 

Enjoy a morning or afternoon Christmas inspired brunch, cookie decorating for the kids and live Christmas Jazz entertainment.  There will also be Christmas dinner. 

Times are: Morning brunch: 10 -11am, Lunch 12-2pm, Dinner 5-9pm. The cost is brunch = R595 per person and Cheese fondue dinner = R395 (according to their website)

Check out their website. 

4. Disney’s Cinderella Kids

We mentioned this one before so check out that post for more details on the actors playing in this production.  You can also read Karen’s review here .

Cinderella Kids will run at the People’s Theatre from 5 June – 30 July. There are two shows daily at 09:00 and 11:00 during school times, and 10:30 and 14:30 on Saturdays and public holidays, certain government school holidays and certain Sundays. Tickets are R130 per person and bookings can be made through WebTickets, or by calling Peoples Theatre on 011 403 1563/2340 or emailing them at info@peoplestheatre.co.za

www.peoplestheatre.co.za

5. Puss in Boots

From the producer of Shrek The Musical and twelve sold-out award winning pantomimes, KickstArt Theatre brings you Puss in Boots, a swashbuckling spectacular for the whole family. Live on The Lyric stage at Gold Reef City from Friday, 30 June until Sunday, 23 July 2017, this rendition of Puss in Boots is a variation of the original tale.

 

Set on a mystical, magical Caribbean island, Puss in Boots is a laugh-a-minute and features great audience participation, breath-taking sets, gorgeous costumes and toe-tapping tunes sure to enthral both young and old. Starring everybody’s favourite famous feline in footwear, along with a host of fabulous new characters, Puss in Boots offers the best in family entertainment available in Joburg this winter holiday.

Written and directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King, the story of Puss in Boots is brought to life by a stellar cast – Earl Gregory as the booted hero; Ilse Klink as the good fairy Calypso Honeybunch; Michael Richard playing the evil shape-shifting goblin wizard, Grimbsy Withergood; Sean John Louw as the hapless miller’s son, Tom Marzipan; Darren King as Mother Merry Marzipan; and Zak Hendrikz, Londiwe Dhlomo-Dhlamini, Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri and Caitlin Kilburn as some of Puss’ friends. This extravagant stage production is choreographed by Janine Bennewith, with lighting by theatre veteran Denis Hutchinson and under the musical direction of Rowan Bakker.

 

“Following the resounding success of Shrek The Musical, we are excited to bring this legendary pantomime to Gold Reef City,” says Noeleen Bruton, Director of Marketing for Tsogo Sun. “It’s an enchanting winter pantomime to be enjoyed these holidays by the entire family, not just the kids.”

Bruton continues, “We are also delighted upon hearing the recent news of KickstArt Theatre’s ten well deserved Naledi nominations for Shrek The Musical.  Staging another all-star cast of highly experienced panto performers lead by Steven Stead and his production team was an easy decision for us.”

 

Puss in Boots performances will run at The Lyric during the following times: Wed at 14h30; Thu & Fri at 19h30; Sat at 14h30 & 19h30; Sun at 11h00 & 16h00.

 

Ticket prices range between R150-R260, and are available through goldreefcity.co.za, Gold Reef City Box Office and Computicket.

 

Do you have any events you want to share? Leave them in the comments. 
If you have any events you want to share email heather@samomblogs.co.za. 
 
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Creating a professional media kit

creating a media kit, influencer kit

This post is written by Dominique Harmse, a Managing Partner at HelloConversations

 

After attending the SA Mom Blogs event in May this year, there were a few questions about Influencer Kits  (or Media Kits) from the guests. Heather has kindly agreed to share my thoughts on this in the hope that it will assist you in creating an impactful kit.

 

Why is an Influencer Kit so important? Because it helps influencer relations agencies to ‘sell’ you to a client for campaigns and allows us to make sure we are selecting the right people to work with. At HelloConversations we select influencers based on their values and match them to our client’s brand values. Influencer Kits are a very useful tool in determining if a person is a good brand match.

 

What is an Influencer Kit? It is a pack of documents and images, a toolkit that tells us all we need to know about you, your platforms and how we can work with you. It should always contain the following information:

  1. About You
  2. Your Stats
  3. Your Audience
  4. Your Rates

 

About You                                     

  • Include all the relevant, up to date info about yourself – who you are, why you started blogging, info about your kiddies, your (and their) favourite things, what your platform focuses on i.e. beauty and fashion, parenting, lifestyle, food etc. Keep it short and to-the-point.
  • Contact number and email address as well as where you are based. This assists us greatly when preparing guest lists for events.
  • Any key things to note about working with you i.e. charging for giveaways, your availability during the week or to attend events etc.
  • Something that we are always happy to receive is a features list or hints about what you are working on in the next few months.
  • High res images of yourself and past work that we can include in our proposals and feature on our platforms

 

Your Stats

  • Blog link as well as average monthly visitors/unique monthly views to your site
  • All your social media platforms handles/links as well as number of followers/fans. The most important stat is your engagement rate. Please share this with your social media profile links.
  • Including case studies with images and results always excite client.

 

 

Your Audience

Tell us about you and your readers, fans and followers.

Paint the picture of your targets: are they male or female? Where do they live? What do they comment on? What do they want to see on your blog? What was your most-read article/post with the highest engagement?

This helps us to suggest brand content that resonates with your audience.

 

Your Rates

  • Blog posts (how many words?)
  • Social media posts – cost per platform and package deals if we use all your platforms
  • YouTube/video creation (cost per video, including editing)

 

A good influencer relations agency will connect with you first before presenting any content or collaboration ideas to their clients. Depending on the campaign and budget available, there will be a mixture of paid and ‘editorial’ opportunities. So don’t just send a rate card as this doesn’t form the basis of a successful collaboration.

 

With an increasing number of influencers in the industry, the creation of a detailed Influencer Kit will set you apart from the competition and improve your chances of working with great brands to create relevant and exciting content.  

 

Dominique Harmse is a Managing Partner at HelloConversations, an Influencer Relations agency based in Johannesburg. For more information, please email dom@helloconversations.co.za or follow @HelloConvo

 

{Product Review} Five reasons why the Sylvanian Families Supermarket adds value to your child’s play experience.

sylvanian families supermarketSylvanian families are a series of little woodland animals who live in the fictional town of Sylvania in a British, 1950s, middle class setting. There are many adults around the world who collect these figurines, but there is a special function here for the children to enjoy them too. We tested out the Sylvanian Families Supermarket and found some really useful aspects to this toy set. 

 

  1. PLAY

The first and most important aspect of any toy is the ability to be able to use your imagination and create stories as you play.

sylvanian families rabbitsThe Sylvanian families most often come in a group of Father, Mother, Sister and Brother.  It’s very useful for play therapy to use these family components to play out the dynamics in your family.  It’s also commonplace, as Nicky played with the toys, to let mom and child do the shopping (as we often do), even to the point where we load the groceries and get in the car afterwards. 

Nicky obviously chose items he liked (like ice-cream) but he was also considerate of the fact that they were bunnies so he made sure they had a carrot.

 

 

2. EDUCATIONAL

Setting up the supermarket is quite a business and many of the items needed to be folded and stuck together. This facilitates fine motor skills. 

The abilities to sort and match are also part of the process. I like that the little fruit and vegetables must be matched to their station. Nicky liked fitting them in their slots and finding the rest of their group.

 

All the groceries also have to be sorted into shelves and fridges. You need to decide what needs to be frozen, refrigerated or shelved, and which items will fit where.  

Admittedly in the beginning I did help Nicky (5 years) with a lot of this, but in subsequent playing with this set he has sorted it out to his own desires and insisted that I do not interfere. I think he’s taken pride in setting up his own shop. 

3. LONG LASTING

It appeals to me that these are collectible items and can be passed down through the generations. They are beautifully made, with incredible detail on the labels, with the cutest little outfits, and the supermarket itself has a solid structure. 

4. CREATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Together with the supermarket set comes a little book. The book has a story about how two characters made more money for the supermarket by adding on some extra value: deliveries and tasting cupcakes. .(Please excuse this image: we had an accident with some juice…) 

I think the supermarket is a setting for something greater than consumerism. It’s also a place to play out scenarios and stories about the shop. For my child something simple like: how will you solve the problem of the can falling down? (Find another shelf.)  But for the older child maybe there are deeper questions like: How will you make sure your customers obtain the best service? They will be open to these kinds of discussions and the toy provides a good starting place for that. 

5. ADDING THE #CheckersLittleShop ITEMS

Sylvanian families supermarket and #CheckersLittleShopMany shoppers across South Africa have been intrigued by the little brand items Checkers has been giving shoppers for every R150 spent. I admit, I’m normally a Pick n Pay shopper but for the past two weeks I’ve been suckered in so as to build a small collection for our supermarket.

Now I’m well aware that the Checkers items are slightly too big for the supermarket and don’t quite fit in the shelves. But. There are ways around this. There is space at the top of the shelves and also along the edges. A good idea if you want to go this direction is to remove the boxes and then you will have more space. I think the nice thing about using these items is that they are very South African and relatable. So buying Milo and Ouma will add further realism to your game. 

 

Remember when I said it was a collector’s item? There are even bloggers who devote their whole blog to Sylvanian families. South African ones too – check out this one: Lady Lolipop’s Sylvanians.  

Someone else worth investigating is speaker and author Nikki Bush who also takes videos a lot better than I do. 

You can check out Sylvanian families at your local toy shop. Here is a picture I snapped at my local Toy Kingdom. 

There are many Sylvanian family items but I do think the supermarket has a lot to offer on many levels. Introduce these little critters into your home and you will find that both boys and girls will enjoy building and shopping in them. 

Disclosure: SA Mom blogs was provided with the Sylvanian Families Supermarket to review. 

 

{Meet the Blogger} Meet Jacqui!

Today meet South African blogger Jacqui, who blogs at Jacqui O’ Bree. 

  • What do you normally get up to on an average day? (Give us a brief description about yourself)

I’m a mom, life coach and blogger. I have 2 girls – Mila (2) and Sophia (6), and I’m a stepmom to Hannah (19) and Josh (23).

I generally fit work into the mornings and afternoons are less predictable. I’m either with my girls or running errands. There are some days that I work a full day – depending on my work load. During work hours I’m either coaching, training (I run workshops), writing or marketing.

I am passionate about personal development and creating work life balance (for myself and others). I also love to travel, so I am always planning holidays or getting inspiration on Instagram for our next adventure.

2) How do you feel about motherhood – what are your struggles and joys?

Motherhood has been a humbling experience – you think you got a handle on things until you have kids!

Having children has been the biggest joy and the greatest challenge. I am learning a lot about myself and life.

The struggles are surprising – you expect the late nights with a crying baby, but it’s the seemingly simple tasks that have caught me off guard, like getting them dressed for school. No one warned me about that!

As a mom, I am my most vulnerable and my strongest. My youngest ended up in hospital just before Christmas last year. Luckily it wasn’t too serious, but it put a lot into perspective. I felt completely vulnerable because I couldn’t do anything to help her; but I managed to put on a brave face and get on with it. Moms can be strong despite what is going on around us, because we have to be.

The joys come from the simple things like going for walks, baking, or snuggling in bed. I’ve had to remind myself to enjoy motherhood more. I was trying to do everything perfectly so “I don’t mess up my child” but I’ve realized that kids don’t want you to be perfect, they want you to be present.

3) Tell us about your kid(s)

Sophia is 6. We call her Mowgli, after the character in the Jungle Book. She is an adventurous sensitive soul. She is brave (much braver than me), funny (she loves telling jokes) and strong willed.

Mila is our little firecracker – she wants to do everything her sister does and she owns a room. She is very loving and very strong.

4). How did you start blogging?

I started blogging when I started my business in 2009. I wanted to share what I was learning with other people, and hopefully offer some tools/ ideas that may help people who are on a similar journey.

5) Share with us a valuable blogging tip you’ve learnt. (or more)

  • Blog from the heart – try to be authentic. I may be writing about personal development, but that doesn’t mean I get it right. I share my struggles, failures as well as advice.
  • Keep it short – people scan online so don’t write essays.

6) If you make money from your blog, give us a breakdown on how you do it. Give us some of your methods on how to get started on this, or any tips or advice.

I use my blog to promote my coaching services and online products.

My advice – whatever you sell, must match your blog & brand. It would be weird for me to sell clothing via my blog, when the focus of my blog is personal development and work life balance.

I am also an Amazon Book Affiliate. I read a lot so I refer my readers to books I recommend, and I have an Amazon banner advert.

 

Jacqui O’Bree is a Personal Development Coach whose mission is to help herself & others be Purposeful, Present & Productive. Her blog is for anyone wanting to build their confidence, manage their time, find balance and live a meaningful life.

Find her here:

Website/blog , Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

 

 

 

When the going gets Smurf, the Smurfs get Smurfin’

The lovable blue Smurfs have arrived at Emperor’s Palace and boy are they painting the Palace blue with their distinctive squeaky voices, humour, songs, dancing and of course, the tendency to scatter the word “Smurf” throughout their sentences.

It wasn’t all Smurftastic getting there however. From Randburg to get to Emperor’s Palace by 6:30 I left two hours beforehand. As I drove off I noticed that the petrol was on E. The first petrol station had queues. I asked what was going on and the attendant said there was a strike. I could get petrol if I waited though. I drove off. The next one I drove past had people building and they told me to come back the next day. Seriously! The third one was fortunately open for business. 

My phone took me through the strangest directions, probably intent on avoiding the highway and the traffic, but coming back I’d rather take the highway and pay the toll fees than drive in places I had no clue where I was.

In any case, I landed up on the way to airport and felt better knowing at least where that was. I was back on track. I was turning into a road, almost there, when an irritating car decided to hoot behind me. For some reason this threw me and instead of turning right to Emperor’s Palace, I turned left.

I landed up at the airport. I landed up driving into a parking garage and knew I could not turn back. I had to go through the whole parking garage to get out. Fortunately the guys at the exit were understanding. Imagine if I’d had to park and go pay! Uh!

We got there literally with five minutes to spare. Nicky actually thought it was very funny that we had made the airport detour. “You have a hole in your head, Mommy?” (Sometimes I say that when I forget things…)

In any case the Smurfs provided the cheerful antidote to a stressful drive. And Nicky loved it. It is cute, kiddie fare, with lots of exaggerated movement, songs, dancing and fun.

I liked all the different characters and the effort that was made with the props. We have Papa Smurf, all in red, the leader of the pack. There’s the only female Smurfette complete with blonde locks and dress. There’s Clumsy Smurf, Brainy Smurf with glasses, Vanity Smurf with a flower and carrying a mirror at all times, Harmony Smurf with his trumpet and Hefty Smurf who every now and then lifts some weights. I also liked the little puppet versions that took over every now and then.

Grouchy Smurf is a really interesting character in this show. He’s very negative about everything and the other Smurfs think he is spoiling their Spring spirit. But in fact he has his own contribution to make and I think this is an excellent lesson in not jumping to conclusions about people, and how someone you think you will never get along with because of their particular outlook may just surprise you. 

The antagonist Gargamel was excellently acted with a lot of dramatic flair and humour. He has this very expressive cat (Azrael) which is much like a puppet who supports his master even though he is pretty dismissive of the “flea bag” at times!

Gargamel is intent on spoiling the Spring festivities by capturing Mother Nature, stealing her recipe book and turning Spring into a cold winter instead.

Even though Papa Smurf has been captured, their flowers and fruits have withered away, the air is cold and nippy, (really awesome snow effects falling from the roof of the auditorium by the way) and all seems lost, the Smurfs sing and dance “When the going gets Smurf, the Smurfs get Smurfin’ ” and off they go to rescue Papa Smurf. 

It’s a lovely simple children’s tale that the kids will enjoy, but for the adults too it’s a good distraction. 

Going home was plain sailing! And Nicky fell fast asleep with his Smurf toys on his lap. 

Disclosure: we were supplied with tickets. 

THE SMURFS LIVE ON STAGE – SMURFS SAVE SPRING is a 90-minute show (there is a 15 min interval in the middle) at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg for a limited season from the 13th to the 30th July, 2017. 

 

Tickets available from R150 per person. Bookings available through Computicket or the Emperors Palace Box Office on 011 928 1297/1213 or visit www.emperorspalace.com.  The show times are 10h00, 14h00 and 18h00.  Emperors Palace is located at 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park.

 

 

 

Cape Town moms! Win a skin tightening for your stomach! (um.. “mom pooch”)

I remember back in my teens and twenties when I had a flat stomach. Somewhere after I hit 30, and definitely after pregnancy, well… it is definitely no longer flat. It’s flabby and at the wrong angle you could definitely accuse me of looking.. well.. a few months along.. sigh…  So short of doing a relentless ab workout (which I have done in the past) there is another alternative, specially targeted at those 3 months post birth, but will still have an effect to reduce and improve your stomach.  SA Mom blogs is giving away a skin tightening treatment to a winner in Cape Town.

Pregnancy can wreck havoc on your body. Stretch marks. Ug. I was so good with the Bio Oil on my stomach but I forgot to do it on my boobs. I still have stretch marks there. Pigmentation. Fatty deposits in unwanted places.

As your body has created new life, you owe it to yourself to restore and heal your body afterwards. And this is where Pulse Dermatology and Laser comes in.

This establishment is run by Amy Bowie, a new mom herself.  So she has a special understanding of what you are going through. 

Pulse offers a range of treatments post-pregnancy.

Mesotherapy / Micropen (uses tiny needles to create micro-injuries so that the technician can get better penetration of active ingredients and trick the skin into rebuilding a newer healthier version of itself)

Pregnancy Pigmentation (Cosmelan de-pigmentation program by Mesoestetics. It is very strict and precise but the results are amazing, giving patients an average reduction in pigmentation of 95%!)

Hormonal Acne (the Pulse Dermatology and Laser Medifacial which combines either a ‘No-Peel’ peel  or some crystal microdermabrasion to reduce blockages and impurities with some healing and antibacterial LED light therapy. Add in some glycolic acid for cleaning out pores while promoting cell renewal and some phytic acid and you are all set on the path to fresh glowing skin.

NIR Skin Tight Laser (this is the one we are giving away)

The first point of call for postnatal abdomens  is laser. The Near Infra-Red laser heats up the dermis (the under layer of the skin where collagen is produced) to cause tissue regeneration and contraction of existing collagen bands, and is used to treat loose, wrinkled skin all over the body and face. It is pain free as far as laser treatments go and gives patients absolutely no ‘down time’, allowing them to resume their treatment. It is also excellent at shrinking and smoothing stretchmarks. This treatment can be used on all skin colours safely and effectively. It is best to start treatment within 3-month post birth as it yields the best results – an average 60-90% reduction, but if it’s been a few years you can still significantly reduce and improve the areas treated.

NIR stands for Near Infa-Red. This is the type of light emitted during your skin tightening treatment. The light heats the skin and tissue immediately under the skin’s surface.

The heat produced during the treatment simulates the infiltration of fibroblast and the formation of new collagen, while also tightening the existing bundles of collagen and elastin in the skin. This both thickens and tightens the skin, strengthening the natural “scaffold” that gives our skin structure. This works not not only on current appearance but also bolsters against future aging. Healthy collagen in the dermis helps maintain the skins’ youthful resilience and texture. 

For more info and more pics on how they target other areas as well see the website. 

 

Would you like to win a treatment? SA Mom blogs is giving you an opportunity to experience the treatment. This is designed so that if you were perhaps thinking about the it and wanting to try it but not sure about spending the money or pain association etc– you would then have the opportunity to see the benefits and make an informed decision. 

All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter prompts. You must visit their Facebook page. The rest are additional points that will improve your chances of winning. 

Terms and Conditions

  1. This competition will run for a week. The winner will be announced on the Facebook page, and emailed. 
  2. This competition is open to SA residents only who would be able to attend the prize treatment in Cape Town. 
  3. The prize is not transferable.
  4. If you have won on SA Mom Blogs in the past 3 months you will not be eligible to win this competition.

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Blog to Business at our August #JoziMeetup

If you’re wanting to take your blog to the next level, then our next #JoziMeetup will give you just the boost you need. This time we’re focusing on two ways you can give your blog a serious edge: SEO and turning your blog into a book.

 

Imka Webb will be speaking on SEO.

Imka is  a social media and Search Engine Optimisation expert and the owner of www.imkawebb.com. She was a copywriter in marketing and PR Account Manager at NetFlorist. Currently, she is the digital/online editor at Food & Home Entertaining Magazine. But as it turns out, her real passion lies in blogging and helping bloggers become successful after experiences in Beauty blogging. 

After years in the digital marketing industry, spending my days knee deep in SEO stats, keyword research, SERPS results and copy (glamorous, right?), I decided that I needed a side-hustle to keep me sane. And that’s when Glamorous Glitter was born!

I spent months trying to perfect my beauty blog, researching and trying everything from design to photography to marketing. I have tried-and-tested it all. I know what worked and what didn’t. I got rid of everything that sucked and tried to perfect what I had and what I knew.

Glamorous Glitter was more than just a blog about makeup. It was a 7-year research project where I learnt everything I know about blogging and growing blogs and online businesses. My passion for SEO and strategies grew even more and soon I found myself spending more time helping other bloggers and creatives with their blogs and side-hustles. A new obsession started…

Jodene Shaer will be talking about turning your blog into a book. 

Jodene has a blog and she also is a partner in a social media agency, Chat Factory.  She also has a passion for people development and you can read more on her website about that here: Lifeology. She is also her own social media influencer with over 50 000 Twitter followers. 

Her book is called “The Holistic Entrepreneur”

 

Entrepreneurs often struggle with the traditional roles and expectations in industry; don’t you have to be tough and ruthless? In The Holistic Entrepreneur, the author lays out an alternative vision for independent business in the 21st century; a blueprint for growth that considers your own emotional and/or spiritual well-being as the foundation of your success. Following Jodene’s proven plan, you’ll quickly discover that the world has been fooling us all along; nice guys do win, and more often than you think.

Jodene will be sharing with us how she turned her words into a book and I’m not only looking forward to hearing about the process of that, but more from this very interesting person with her own philosophy of success. 

Also at the event will be Fountain Medical, who are the distributors for Philips Avent , Clevamama , Happy Baby and Bibi. They will be showcasing Philips Avent and Happy Baby in particular.

Philips Avent is a leader in parenting and baby products. The Philips Avent product range includes breastfeeding, bottle feeding and toddler feeding.

Happy Family  wants the best for our kids, just like you do. That’s why they strive to provide the absolute best nutrition in their range of baby food and snacks . They can’t help it — it’s what they love to do.

So will Tall Trees: Personality & Leadership Profiles and Workshops to Grow Your Life.

 All people can be leaders provided they make their unique contribution at the right time and in the right place, and allow others to do the same. Leadership is the art of knowing when to bow, when to stand tall and when to dance with others.

 

Event details:

Date: 26 August 2017

Time: 10am – 1pm

Venue:  Placecol Spa

77 Malibongwe Drive
Randburg
Johannesburg

Cost: R250

 

Also: #KZNMeetup on the same day. See their Facebook page here. 

#CTMeetup on 2 September. Their Facebook page is here. 

 

Book tickets for the #JoziMeetup on Quicket here.

Or you can even use the widget below. 

 

Any brands/PR wanting to get involved email heather@samomblogs.co.za or laura@samomblogs.co.za. 

 

 

 

 

 

{Guest Post} Helping a child through the death of a parent.

helping a child through the death of a parentToday’s reflective post on helping a child through a death of a parent was written by South African mom blogger Amelia Meyer, who blogs at Suddenly a Mom

 

My daughter was five when her biological mom (BM) died suddenly. Then, less than a year later, I came into her life as her new mom (a term she chose before we were even married). In the first few months of our marriage, there were tearful nights where she missed her BM, and we went through hours of gentle conversations about how she felt. Then, gradually, there were fewer tears and shorter conversations. She didn’t forget her BM. In fact, three years later, she still occasionally mentions her; usually in reference to a memory of visiting somewhere special or hearing a particular song. But, the real, raw sadness isn’t there anymore. And that was really our goal. Not to erase her BM with a replacement model. But, for our daughter to acknowledge the loss, work through the feelings, and move forward.

 

So, while neither my husband nor I are experts in this arena, I’d like to share what we’ve learnt from our experience and from a lot of the info that we read on it. There’s a handy breakdown of what to expect from bereaved children of different ages on this site.

 

  • death of a parent, stepmomThere are no rules. Everyone grieves differently and has their own way of wading through their emotions. So, while my daughter needed to cry and cuddle when she was sad, others may need to express themselves through play therapy, sport or writing their feelings down. As the parent, you may have to guide the process – in a time of such sadness, children and teens often don’t know how to express themselves. So, suggest different things until you both figure out what works for them.
  • Have a timeline in mind. Little ones are not able to harness their emotions or see context in the way that adults can. So, allow grief and mourning, but also encourage moving on. After a while, my daughter would only get teary and want to speak about her BM when it she was pushed to get to bed or being told to finish her salad. Although we could see the attempt at (very normal) manipulation, we had to be sensitive. I found that being empathetic and saying something like, “Shame, my love, it must be hard. Let’s talk about it when you’re finished your salad” worked best. Usually, she forgot all about it before the last leaf was gone.
  • Don’t suppress your own grief. As the biological parent, you’ve also lost someone that was once pivotal in your life. Take the time to work through your loss, not pushing it down to look strong for your children. This will only lead to an eruption somewhere down the line. Consider counselling if you’re feeling unable to work through the various stages and degrees of grief. Seeing your reasonable degree of grief may also help your kids to express their own, since you’re their example.
  • Recognise that feelings and behaviours that emerge may be related to the death of their parent, even when they seem totally random. So, problems with homework, tensions in their friendships, attitude changes, changes in sleep patterns, and so on may have more to do with the internal frustration of having feelings that seem too big to handle. Often, children struggle with unexpected emotions when a parent dies. They may feel guilty that they couldn’t save their parent. Or, they can feel angry at the parent for ‘leaving’. Your role is to acknowledge the feelings, reassure the child that there is nothing wrong with feeling this way, and recognise that this is their way of sifting through the many emotions swirling around inside. Don’t berate them or tell them not to feel a certain way.
  • As the new parent that fills the role of the parent that died, it is crucial to allow your son or daughter to retain some kind of relationship with their deceased parent. Don’t try to carbon-copy them and don’t pretend they didn’t exist. Never discourage the child to talk about them and never speak of the biological parent in a negative way. That’s not your place and it will only cause massive issues between you and your child in the future. One of the best gauges of how my daughter was feeling was a photo of her BM that I had framed and put in her room. At first, she loved it, even packing it with her when we went on holiday. Then, she took the initiative and put it in the top drawer of her desk. A few months later, she moved it down to a lower drawer. Eventually, she put it in the garage. Last week, I reminded her that she needed to sort her stuff in the garage out and donate what she wasn’t going to use to other kids. She said, “We can donate it all, I’ll just put that picture of {BM} aside so we don’t give it away”. She hasn’t forgotten; she’s just moved forward.
  • Take your child for counselling. Teens may be able to communicate with a formal counsellor, while little ones probably respond better to play therapy. You may be surprised at what comes out in these sessions, which give kids the opportunity and platform to express things that they may otherwise have bottled up.

 

Also, the advice I’ve found for children may be useful to the parents reading this. When grieving the death of a parent, children need to:

 

  • Get enough rest – sleep deprivation has been used as torture, it’s no joke. And, when the mind is racing and the tummy caught up in knots during a time of trauma, sleep can elude us all. It’s important that parents and children work hard at getting back to a place where they’re getting enough sleep.
  • Exercise – this is a tonic in venting pent-up frustrations, distracting the mind, and getting the endorphins surging. We live in Knysna, so we may head out onto the lagoon or go for a long walk on the beach (my favourite). It doesn’t have to be a formal sport.
  • Keep a journal – no-one ever has to see what you write, so you can be as angry, sad, scared or ‘crazy’ as you like. Getting those feelings out of your head and onto paper is half the battle. Write what you feel (e.g. “angry”) and then try to write why (e.g. “because I forgot to say goodbye to dad the morning that he died”).
  • Stick to routine – try to stay with what you (as an individual and a family) know. This decreases stress as there are fewer decisions to make (i.e. you don’t have to wonder how to keep busy and distracted tonight, because it’s Tuesday and you know that every Tuesday night is Rummy night).
  • Eat well – give your body something to work with. Don’t feed it on unhealthy comfort food, but nourish it with proper nutrition.
  • Make a memory box or photo album – celebrate the life of the parent that you lost and spend time making your memory very special.
  • Talk to someone you trust – this may be a teacher, family member, counsellor, or even God. It should be a mature person that can just listen, rather than trying to give you advice.
  • Remember that this wasn’t your fault – there was nothing you did wrong and nothing you could’ve done to change what happened. Even if there was something you could change (in a car accident, for example), their death was not your fault. Accidents happen, people get sick, the world isn’t always a great place. This was not your fault.

 

This is one of those things that we wish life didn’t hurl at us. It’s agonising, nothing short of devastating. But, it happens. And, when it does, we have ways of dealing with it that are better than others. This advice is just what worked for us and our family.

 

 

 

helping a child when their mom diesAmelia is a writer, editor and mom. She spends some of her (sometimes scarce) free time blogging about family life and volunteering in the community.

 

Blog – www.suddenlyamom.wordpress.com

Professional website – www.voxate.co.za

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SuddenlyAMom/

Pinterest: https://za.pinterest.com/ameliaduplessis/suddenly-a-mom-blog/

Instagram: @suddenlyamom