Kids say the darndest things

It is International Children’s Day today.

International Children’s Day is observed on June 01, 2017. The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1 to be International Children’s Day in 1925. After the conference, different governments around the world decided to declare a day as Children’s Day to draw attention to children’s issues. Many countries chose June 1, so this is the reason, why International Children’s Day takes place on June 1. This text has been taken from www.cute-calendar.com

So I decided it would be a great opportunity to focus on how cute children can be and put together a few of the funny things kids have said.

Aaron (when he was about 4, now 9)

Me: “Now wash your forehead!”

Aaron: “What’s my forehead?”

Me pointing to my head: “This is your forehead.”

Aaron: “Oh, the wavy lines GINA”

via GIPHY

Haylee-Turning 3: “Mommy I’m not a baby I’m a girly.”

Blake once when saying goodbye : “See you later escalator .”World Childrens Day|SA Mom Blogs

Sarah-Jane started talking and must have had a vocabulary of only 10-15 words when my husband walked in one evening and she said: “Hi Babes!”

World Childrens Day|SA Mom Blogs

Emily 2.5:

I said to her this morning, “You are beautiful.”

She says: “I am not beautiful, I am a hamster!”

Aidan 4y1m.

I had to give him a suppository for fever : “How is this is supposed to be better zactly, you should have put it in my mouth it would find its way to my bum.”

J* is 5: “Mom, it’s easy to have a baby, but it’s not easy to babysit a baby.” Shared by MomOfTwoLittleGirlsWorld Childrens Day|SA Mom Blogs

Emilie (then 3 now 10): “Mom you are the best cooker in all the land.” (On being presented with 2min noodles). Shared by Venean

Mira age 3. “I want to be a scientist”

“What kind of scientist?” I asked.

“A mad one.”

I asked my son: “Do I look beautiful?”

He says back: “You look like a mommy.”World Childrens Day|SA Mom Blogs

James – age 5 at the time. “May I please have a cookie for safekeeping in my tummy?”

Zach age 4. “The boy with asparagus is a kind, clever boy” (Aspergers syndrome)

My son Joshua has been in hospital quite a few times in his life. It would always be a treat for him to go to the vending machine within the hospital. I remember the one morning him asking if he could go to the “falling fridge” to get something…. so cute as he did not know what it was called. I think he was about 5 years old at the timeWorld Childrens Day|SA Mom Blogs

When my son was 5 we went to the parking machine to pay for the ticket and when the machine gave the change he shouted: “We won, we won!”

What cute things have your little ones said?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pampers.
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 a R600 Voucher for Perfect 10 Nail & Body Studio

beauty salon perfect 10

As moms, we tend to put ourselves last and not make time to spoil ourselves. But in those moments when we do indulge, we have extra appreciation for taking care of ourselves in this way. SA Mom blogs is giving away a special treat to a reader of this blog, and also telling you about my experience with this kind of skincare experience.

My treatment took place at Imbalie Beauty, which is an umbrella franchisor of three main salon brands namely Placecol Skin Care Clinic, Dream Nails Beauty, and Perfect 10 Nail & Body Studio. I had the trainer Lisa do her thing on me and it was just awesome. She started by asking me questions and what was the immediate problem.  I talked about the skin damage at my neck area and she suggested a peel. 

Skinderm perfect 10 studiosWe started off with a lovely cleanse. It felt a bit like shaving cream. It was gently washed off with some soft sponges and warm water.

The peel did tickle a bit. But I knew it was working. 

While the creams did their magic Lisa gave me the most amazing head massage. I especially liked the one behind the ears by the neck, it worked those muscles strained from sitting here at the computer! She even did a bit of a shoulder massage too.

More cleansing and then moisturing.

But then came this most amazing part. Lisa used her fingers to work some pressure points on my face. As she pushed certain points I felt so relaxed I actually dozed off at some points. This feeling of total and utter relaxation sent me into bliss and I found it quite difficult to actually get up afterwards and get back to reality. 

Your face is what you present to the world every day, I would highly recommend you look after it.

I have also been using the cleanser, toner and moisturiser for the past while from Skinderm, one of the set of products this group uses. 

skinderm perfect 10The cleanser is really milky and soft and I use it in the bath. I notice that it does have tea tree oil in it.  Tea tree oil is good for all sorts of infections too.  The toner has all sorts of extracts like majus flower leaf, stem and flower extract and litchi  chinesis pericarp extract (good antioxidant). The moisturiser feels so good and softening on my face. 

Checking out their website on the range, these active ingredients are delivered to deeper layers of the skin. 

The products have rice protein, which is a good defense and gives fuel and anti-fatigue to the skin.  Nasturtium Extract helps the skin absorb oxygen. The Litchi Extract  is a free radical scavenger. Red snow algae regenerates skin.  An advanced moisture complex gives a good long term moisturisation. 

But if nails are more your thing, or anything else that Perfect 10 offers, then there is nothing stopping you from entering this competition and winning that voucher. 

We all need our Mommy’s Me Time, and time at the salon is time well spent and invested in yourself. So that you can go back to the kid yelling “Mommy!” all day long with renewed energy. 

All you have to do is show Perfect 10 Studios some social media love! The more you follow, the more entries you’ll gain. Follow the Rafflecopter prompts.  (If you’ve never entered on Rafflecopter before, Sharon has a good post on how to do it)

T&C’s

  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.
  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.

 
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.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

What’s on for Families This Weekend – Swaziland edition (26-28 May) Plus Tekkie Tax Reminder

So every now and then here on SA Mom blogs we like to keep you guys awake by doing something completely different. And this weekend, perhaps you feel like getting away to Swaziland  (about a four hour drive from Jozi) to check out this family event. 

Before we delve into this, however, please support Tekkie Tax! I’ve seen the package of shoelaces and stickers at the till at Clicks. What’s nice is that they support  five different sectors (education, animals, disability,  children and a category called “bring hope” which lumps together the elderly, ill and poor). 

This year the beneficiaries are:

  1. CHOC 
  2. Child Welfare SA                 
  3. CANSA 
  4. Epilepsy SA 
  5. Endurocad 
  6. Imisebeyelanga Services                 
  7. Meals on Wheels
  8. NG Welfare
  9. SAVF
  10. SOS Children’s Villages
  11. Special Olympics SA
  12. VVA

How much does it cost?
R10 if you only want a sticker

R35 for your shoelaces, tags and a sticker. 

T-shirts are also available R95 for adults and R75 for children 

 All VAT included

 

Where can I get it?

Stickers and Tekkie Tag shoelaces are for sale at any Clicks, Toys R Us or participating non-profit organisation in SA. T-shirts can be obtained from Tekkie Tax Head Office
What else?
You can even dress up in your T-shirts to show some green spirit.

 

 

Right now! On to Swaziland!

 

Lauded by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see”, and named as BBC’s Top African Festival, MTN Bushfire is Swaziland’s internationally acclaimed music & arts festival that celebrates creative expression whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world.

 

Over the last decade, MTN Bushfire welcomed families and children of all ages, and this year is no exception with an expanded and exciting KIDzone and family friendly festival programme. MTN Bushfire 2017 will continue to be one of the few major festivals in Africa to welcome families with its safe and warm environment that includes an array of child friendly activities, arts and crafts, performances and safe spaces.   

 

This year, MTN Bushfire KIDzone invites you to Bring Your Fire and get lost in the magic of a wild garden of succulents and outlandish trees that has been transformed into a charmed CIRCUS WONDERLAND.  An adventurous space for young fire starters to ignite their budding flame, the family friendly MTN Bushfire KIDZONE takes a colorful turn this year, inspired by the classical “Alice in Wonderland.” Children will be immersed in wonderfully mad fun activations that also embrace the overall festival theme of environmental sustainability.

 

Clowns Without Borders

Keep your eyes peeled for clowns, a magician and face painter doing rounds on the grounds creating giant bubbles, music, juggling, magic, glitter, acrobatics and lots more.

 

Tea Patti

Create your own popping jacks, juggling balls & cones from fun recycled waste as well as giant teacups to bring to tea with the queen of hearts using play dough and mud clay and other natural materials.

 

KIDzone Lawn

Stage performances, stilt dancing, jump rope acrobatics, and the Big Game watering hole will be part of the activities happening on the open air energy platforms.

 

Looking Glass Photo Booth

Adults and children are invited to jump down the rabbit hole, into a magic wonderland where you can transform into the maddest hatter or craziest clown. You have only three minutes to grab a hat, a new nose and an outrageous outfit! Then step through the keyhole to have your face painted and photo taken. Make it mad and it will be shown on the screen at main stage!

 

Treats

An array of fun, tasty food & beverages will be on offer, catering to all creatures big and small.

 

Tot Tent

This area will accommodate children between 0 to 5 years of age. Here parents can come away from the high tempo grounds of the festival to use the baby changing boudoir, comfortably feed and breastfeed little tots as well as lay them down for a nap. There will be comfortable seating from which parents can keep a watchful eye and relax with the assistance of trained child minders offering an array of calm and stimulating friendly games that will include:

 -Color books

-Story books

-Arts & Crafts

-Puppets

-Storytelling

-Face Painting

 

FAMILY CAMPSITE

For families bringing their own camping equipment, this area is fenced off from the rest of the campsite and access is only allowed to those with family campsite wristbands. This campsite will be more relaxed, secure and safe for families. Parking is FREE in the official campsite parking area on the opposite side of the main road, 2 minutes’ walk from the campsite check in gate. If you want to camp with your vehicle in this area you need to pay an extra add-on fee when purchasing your tickets online (look for the “Car Pass – Family Camping” add-on option). 

 

Bookings can be at http://bush-fire.com/article/view/buy_tickets

 

http://www.bush-fire.com/article/view/accommodation

 

For more information: www.bush-fire.com , www.facebook.com/MTNBushfire @BushfireFest

Win two hampers of PediaSure worth R750 each! (Plus Recipes)

Young children have boundless energy, but they need the right nutrition to function optimally. I’d be the first to admit that I have a fussy eater, and I’ve also experienced those kids who just are not keen to eat. There is a back up plan to make sure that they get all the nutrients they need: PediaSure.

Little kids are constantly on the go, indeed one of their primary functions is to move and investigate the world.  We have one kid in our class at school that starts eating very early in the day, and it certainly keeps the hunger at bay. Most of them have a little bit to eat and then want to go and play at snack time. But snack time is very important and I have to take my hat off to parents who go to a lot of effort to provide a wide variety of fruits, nuts, raisans, bread, egg, yoghurt, cheese, meat, and many more offerings. Then they also give a selection of drinks from water, to tea to milk and juice. 

Toddlers in particular tend to “graze” and have a little bit to eat here and there. It can be frustrating as a parent to prepare a whole lot of food and see it go to waste. But somehow they keep on growing and eat as much as they need.

To make sure they are getting all the vitamins and nutrients that they need, it’s good to have some kind of insurance in the background to take up the slack when you’re not sure if they have a complete diet.  Having vitamins or a shake that contains these vitamins and minerals is a good idea to boost their immune systems in winter before they get sick. 

PediaSure Complete is a nutrient-rich, lactose-free drink that provides balanced nutrition for children from age three to ten, experiencing growth challenges. Long-term clinical studies using two glasses of Pediasure Complete daily has been associated with improved appetite and physical activity and a reduction in the number of sick days (Huynh DTT, Estorninos E, Capeding RZ, et al.)

Here are some recipes to entice your kids to eat or drink healthy:

 

No-bake Energy Balls

Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Raw Oats
  • 2/3 Cup Desiccated Coconut or Coconut Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

 

Method

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes,

Once chilled, roll the mixture into golf-balled sized portions. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20 energy balls.

 

 

Choc-Berry Smoothie

Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla PediaSure® Complete
  • 75g Frozen Mixed Berries
  • 1 Tablespoon Drinking Chocolate

 

Method

Measure all ingredients into a blender jug.

Blend until smooth.

Serve at once.

 

Peachy Iced Tea

Ingredients
  • 4 Rooibos tea bags
  • 2L Boiled water
  • 1 Cup Diced Peaches or 1 Tin Peaches (in Fruit Juice), Drained

 

Method

 

  1. In a large jug, add 4 tea bags to 2L of boiling water. Allow to steep for 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags and 1 tin of peaches, roughly chopped. Cool in the fridge overnight.
  3. Serve chilled. Makes 2L of peachy iced tea. Serves 8.

 

 

 

 

SA Mom blogs is giving away two hampers of PediaSure consisting of:

  • Toy Voucher (ToysRUs, worth R300)
  • Notebook
  • Shaker
  • USB
  • 400g Product of PediaSure

The worth of the hamper would be R750.

 

All you have to do is leave a comment below. Tell me about your child’s eating challenges. 

 

#GrundigMomOfTheYear: Celebrate mom with a culinary experience worth R600 and a chance to win an oven worth over R8000

We’re still celebrating our mothers this month with a very special competition. Our moms are an invaluable part of our lives, so this would be a great opportunity to spoil yours.

There are two parts to this prize.

The first one will run on this blog. It is a culinary experience at the JHB  Culinary & Pastry School worth R600,00.  I had a look at their Instagram page and they are sure cooking up some impressive food and pastries as well as amazing cakes at that school. Here’s one that a lucky mom to be enjoyed, together with talented chef Charity. 

Then we have this impressive artwork from Chef Kelvin. Looks like something straight out of Master Chef. 

Suffice to say your mom will be in good hands learning from the best. 

I wouldn’t say that cooking or baking is really my strength so I’ll take this as an opportunity to learn. Oh yes, the blogger gets to go along with the mom. So I’ll be creating something yummy (and hopefully good looking too).

The winner and blogger will be treated to a red Velvet cupcake making and decorating lesson. The culinary experience will most likely happen over the weekend.

 

Now for the second part of the prize.

On the day of the experience, there will be a draw where the attendees will stand a chance to win the grand prize which is Grundig top of the line oven valued at R8 900. 

Grundig is a German brand which as we know, is typically efficient and reliable.  They have been making high quality products since 1946. It started with a radio and has expanded to the latest stylish home appliances.  They also pride themselves on being energy efficient.  You can read more about them on their website here. 

The oven up for grabs is a GEBM 25000 B Multifunction 70cm single oven. It has triple glazed doors and a built in meat probe. For more info on the oven see this link. 

 

Not bad for mom, isn’t it?

 

Now all you have to do to win this for your mom is to comment below, telling me the name of your mom and why she should win and why she is the #GrundigMomoftheYear. Unlike other competitions where we draw a prize randomly, this time the decision will be based on the answer contained in your comments. 

 

Terms and conditions:

  1. This competition will run for a week and end on 30 May. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page and emailed. 
  2. This competition is open to Gauteng residents only. If your mom lives far away she must be able to attend the culinary experience in Johannesburg. 
  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.

 
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.

 

{Guest Post} 10 Things to do when you’re stuck under a sleeping baby…

Anastasiya shares with us what to do when you’re immobile with a sleeping baby.

I was blessed with two little boys who, at a younger age, refused to sleep anywhere but on top of me.

While all the snuggles and cuddles were greatly enjoyed and loved, this helped with no chores being done or even having breathing space because once they were awake, they wanted to be fed and given all my undivided attention. This was a lot trickier the second time around as I had to work while on maternity leave and multitasking with a sleeping baby on your chest proved to be harder than I had expected it to be. I survived though, because I found ways to keep myself busy and be productive in other things while my kiddos were happily snoozing away. Sure, the dishes stood piling up and the laundry stayed in the baskets but waking my babies up was a lot lower on my agenda than worrying about a couple of chores.

So if you have a baby that refuses to sleep anywhere but on top of you, here are some ideas to keep yourself busy.

  1. Read.

If, like me, you love reading but never actually get a chance to getting around to it, now is that chance. I caught up on so many forgotten books that I had been planning to read for months, and I finally had the chance!

2. Write.

I wrote a lot of my poetry pieces while on maternity leave, because while the boys were sleeping, I had peace and quiet. I was able to keep my thoughts forming one after another and I became pretty productive. Also, I kept journals about my experiences with mamahood and all the thoughts that passed through my mind to reflect on later. Of course, I caught up on drafting blog posts and scheduling them for appropriate times so I knew that that was one thing I didn’t need to worry about later on.

3. Pinterest.

I have been a huge fan of Pinterest for many years now but couldn’t always find the time to actually enjoy it. While my babies snoozed, I pinned away like a mad woman. Of course, I also pinned loads of ideas for things I really wanted to do or try, and still haven’t gotten around to doing them.

4. Make a list of all the things you should be doing.

Why not? You’re going to be getting around to doing them eventually. The dishes won’t wash themselves, the dirty clothes won’t switch the washing on, and the clean laundry won’t pack itself away. You might not get to all the things you should be doing right away (or maybe in a day or two), but it’s a nice feeling knowing that you’re semi prepared for them to be done. Ah, wishful thinking at its best.

5. Wishing you had followed the advice of preparing ready-made meals.

I wished I had listened to the advice I was given about preparing ready-made meals so I didn’t need to worry about not eating when I didn’t actually have the time to cook. So I found myself thinking about all the delicious food I could’ve been eating while my babies were happily sleeping away. And no, I didn’t think of following the advice the second time around, it only came to me later, when I didn’t need it anymore.

6. Research ways of creating a clone.

Joking, of course. But it would be nice to have a double to take your place for a few minutes so you could use the loo in peace or take a much needed shower. And it would be nice if that double took over all the chores that required your attention.

7. Watch movies/series.

Have you been planning on having a movie marathon or catching up on series? You won’t have the same opportunity when your baby is awake and needs your full attention again. So while they snooze, mark those series and movies off your list and enjoy the moments of uninterrupted screen time.

8. Learn something new.

Have you been planning on learning a new language or trying some self-improvement techniques? Pinterest here might be your new friend as you scroll through thousands of ideas to help you reach those goals. Also, need to get some parenting advice or do some mamahood research? You can do all that, so it’s kind of a win-win situation; baby sleeps and you’re growing your knowledge bank at the same time.

9. Stare at your baby.

Those tiny newborn features won’t be around forever. Embrace every detail, admire every curve and even though, having a sleeping baby pinned to your chest might feel like a little too much, enjoy these moments. Soon they will grow out of this stage and you will end up missing these times, when your kids actually enjoyed cuddling, and staying still in one spot for longer than a minute.

10. If all else fails, take a nap.

You’re probably pretty sleep deprived at this stage and that’s completely normal when a little one enters your life. I’ve never been the type to take naps during the day, because I struggled to switch my brain off, thanks to all the reminders of the things I should be doing. Though I quickly got over this ‘problem’ when fatigue kicked in and I just gave in to taking naps when my babies took them, and with though warm little bodies against you, it’s very hard to resist the urge to snuggle and enjoy a snooze yourself.

 

Anastasiya Meintjes is a full-time working mom, to two little boys. She is a part-time night blogger while working as a copy and content writer by day. She enjoys writing about her two boys on Anniemation Floe while trying to squeeze in info about the rest of her life.
You can find her on Facebook

What’s on for Families This Weekend in Gauteng (20-21 May)

This weekend in Gauteng you can get very fit. There are two cycling events and two walks happening. On the other hand you can tuck into some delicious pastries and fresh produce or go visit the Transformers. 

  1. Like2Bike Cycling Event

The Centrum Kids Like2Bike fun cycling series inspires kids 2-14 to be active outdoors on their bikes. 

There are different options for the race: 2km, 5km and 10km cycle as well as a long and short duathlon. 

The event is at 9am at Huddle Park in Linksfield. If you enter online it is R130 ad on the day is R140.  21 May. 

Go to their website like2bike.co.za to enter. 

2. Two Walks: Randburg area:

20 May: Adventure walk: Kloofendal Nature Reserve

Join Karin Spottiswoode from 8:30 am till 10:30am. R70 for adults, R60 for pensioners and R50 fro children. Phone Karin 0796935608 for more details.

21 May: Koppie Adventure: Melville Koppies

Park at Marks Park, Judith rd, Emmarentia, walk across Judith Rd to the Koppies’ entrance opposite.  Time: 8:30am. Adults R50 and R30 for children who must be over 6.  No dogs allowed.  For more info see their website. 

3. Hazel Food Market: Pretoria

The aim of the Hazel Food Market is to bring residents of Pretoria fresh products straight from the producer at a convenient authentic food market. Shop for fresh produce and mouth watering delights while your children play.  Among others there will be artisan breads, muffins, pastries, coffee, fresh smoothies and fruit juices. 

4. Cyclethonian Pretoria

This event is in aid of the Smile Foundation and Hospice Wits.  So join them on the bikes for a good cause.  The sessions are 50 minutes long with a break inbetween. 

The venue is Central Park, Menlyn Park shopping centre. R160 per person.  You can book on Quicket and as you’ll see, you can choose which session to attend, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am or 12pm. 

5. Transformers Animatronics

The second last week to catch the Transformers! I wrote a post about it here

The exhibition features 12 animated Transformers (that’s Autobots, Decepticons, Rescue Bots and Dino Bots inclusive) There’s also this cool play area afterwards where the kids can build with various lego sizes and create their own transformer.

Adults pay R155,  children 5-17 are R100 and children under four are free. The family package is R440 for two adults and two children. It runs until 28 May from 10am till 7pm at the Red Shed at Emperor’s Palace. Drive all the way in right to the end past the casino and go park in the parking garage next to the Red Shed.  For more info see their website. 

 

If you have any events you want to share email heather@samomblogs.co.za. If you would like your event in the top slot you can reserve it for R250.   
 
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.
 

{WIN} with PAMPERS!!

Potty training is one of the parenting stages I enjoyed the least. Fortunately all of mine are fully trained. One of the things that does help is moving from nappies to to nappy pants. Pampers have a great option, which we used briefly with Emma. The only reason we used it briefly is because she potty trained very quickly fortunately.Pampers Pants| SA Mom Blogs

The sight of your little one wriggling and rolling in laughter is as adorable as it gets, but while changing diapers it’s another story. That’s where Baby Dry Pants come in. With just one pull to put and up to 12 hours of dryness, these pants-style diapers are your best bet for a good night’s rest. Moreover, the soft cotton-like material provides superior comfort and keeps the skin fresh all night long. Your baby will find it interesting too, as it comes with a colorful cartoon picture. Just the miracle they deserve.

A few of the  Pampers Nappy Pants features.

  • Absorbent Micro Pearls

  • Breathable Material

  • Soft-like Cotton

  • All-Around FitPampers Pants| SA Mom Blogs

You can find out more about the Pampers Pants here. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on all their news.

Pampers have given us a pack of Pampers Pants to giveaway to TWO lucky readers!!!!!!Pampers Pants| SA Mom Blogs

How awesome is that.

To enter simply leave a comment telling us how old your little one is.

T&C’s

  1. This competition ends 24 May.
  2. This competition is open to SA residents only.
  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.

 
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

#JoziMeetup: Connecting Bloggers, Brands and PR.

#JoziMeetup reflected in the windows of Cafe Zing.

Each time we have a meetup there seems to be a different theme of the day and this time I really think we really enjoyed a good mix of bloggers, brands, and the folk who connect the two: public relations. We had some good conversations, not only from the speakers but also from the audience chipping in, so I honestly feel so grateful to be in a place to be bringing all these people together.

In the week leading up to this event a few challenges were thrown my way which really made me feel like a South African mom. 

On Tuesday afternoon Nicky and I were lying around on the couch. I moved my head one way and he turned another and his head connected with my eyebrow. I actually had a good cry because I really wanted to look presentable for this meetup and a black eye was not part of the plan.

The next day two robbers decided it was a good time to rob our home. They got away with three TVs and would have plundered more had it not been for my neighbour who yelled at them.

In the midst of this I have discovered that help is at hand and people can surprise you with their generosity. I am so grateful to our neighbour and the fact that they did not touch the #JoziMeetup stuff that was just sitting there and my laptop was still there. I also think there must have been angels around.

Isobel from MzansiFro

The fact that I still looked good on the day is entirely due to Isobel. Isobel is a hair blogger who has recently opened up her own hair salon at 309 Bryanston Drive (0110538880). She caters for all hair types although she has a lot of African resources on her blog, MzansiFro. My hair was cut by David who did two colours, a blonde and a light brown so that it won’t look so unnatural when it grows out. 

Myself with Louise from Myang.

Right next door was a beauty salon (Dr Baumann) and they hooked me up with concealer and foundation for the eye. Now concealer pencils I have used in the past have been hard and not condusive for a bruise but this one just glided on. And honestly, unless you look closely, you won’t see it.

In any event the day dawned dark and rainy, but undeterred the meetup carried on.

Mike Said

 

Representing bloggers in the equation was Mike Said, from Daddy Blogger. Mike describes himself as “just a waiter that got lucky” but actually it must have been more than that to win Brand Builder of the year for Mugg and Bean in 2003. He is a brand strategist at MikeSaidWhat and assists companies in their brand strategies and integrated marketing plans.

Mike told us all about his #16Stays16Days #Ultimateroadtrip. He wanted to create a special holiday for his daughter Sasha out of necessity.

He wrote a letter to various brands about the trip, outlining who they were (adventurous, together with a signature pose of Sasha balanced on Mike) together with all their social media details. He drew up an agenda, showing other brands already on board. He also made a series of T-Shirts, one for each day. His first success was from Samsonite luggage and with that, they were off.

Many of the guest houses appreciated a write up on Travel Advisor and he also enjoyed other adventures such as canoeing and hang gliding. His only negative experience was with the paragliding but he preferred to give them feedback. 

Mike had a few tips for us as bloggers:

– authenticity is priceless. He described how he cannot promote eg baby goods as he no longer is in that stage. He won’t be a brand ambassador for an unrealistic amount of posts every month that are fake. 

-use the product. Brands can take their own airbrushed pics but you can take photos of the product in use.

-be a brand yourself

-charity: good to be involved and give back. He told us how he gives out hugs and chocolates on Mother’s Day.

Mike’s next holiday project is a mobile home made from upcycled materials. He is still in the process of constructing the camper but I can’t wait to hear more about how this adventure turns out.

 

Nicole Sparrow

Public Relations Officer Nicole Sparrow from Autograph PR was up next to tell us about what is essential on your blog to be noticed by brands.

1. Your own domain name. Brands prefer you not to be on free hosted blogs such as wordpress.com or blogspot.com.

2. A modern, relevant look and feel. Your own brand identity. There are many free themes out there you can use.

3. Write well with an authentic voice.

4. Responsible writing. Readers prefer a balanced review. You don’t have to gush but put negative comments in context rather than trashing a brand.

5. Production value. Use lighting. Don’t do a lovely make up tutorial but forget to iron the sheet in the background.

6. Fresh content. Blog 2-3 times a week. Engage with your audience. Be someone who stands out.

7. Social media. Have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube with frequent posts. You do need followers but know that brands and PR are skilled in identifying fake followers and their are tools online to check this.

8. Media Kit. You need something to show off your branding with a little bit about you and your social media stats. You do need a rate card too but try and build a relationship with someone before you pass it on.  (You can see an example of ours here). 

9. Get noticed: Write something about a product and send the link to the PR, and tag the brand. Interact with the brand’s social media accounts. 

10. Be innovative and pitch a new idea. Collaborate. 

What PR don’t like: poor production, freebie hunters, brand trashing, last minute proposals, rudeness and being unprofessional, and of course, bought followers. Be honest if you don’t want something delivered: don’t sell it online, rather tell them you don’t want it. 

 

Finally a note about the brands present on the day. 

 

 

 

 

 

MatsiMela had some lovely products on display and everyone was treated to a lovely hand massage with their body butters, Unfortunately Samantha was sick and not able to chat to us, but I have to say it is a lovely home spa product. For more information on them you can read my post here. 

Prima Baby showed us some interesting products. We liked the stroller that you can fold down with one hand (as demonstrated by the crafty Krystle) and a cute car seat with flamingos on it together with a strap that makes sure they don’t escape. They have summer and winter blankets and our bloggers were particularly taken with the glow in the dark fleece blanket. They even have a temperature indicator on their blankets that tell you by how much baby’s temperature would rise while using it. 

Sashalee from Prima Baby, Veruska from Twiga Communications, Dominique from Hello Conversations and Le-Andre from Spirited Mama

 

 

“Let them Play” was the title of Prima Toy‘s talk from Veruska and I couldn’t agree with her more. Play is an essential part of growing up and kids just need to be kids. But did you know that there is a whole list of benefits to play? Kids learn social skills, planning skills, communication skills, listening skills, story telling, negotiation skills, role play, fine motor skills and exercise for your muscles. (You can see Veruska in action on Twitter here).

One tip Veruska shared with us that I found useful was to calm a kid with a small item to distract them from the big one which you want to keep for Christmas or their birthday. Prima Toys have some great little collectibles in packets and also the Shopkins range. I used this trick straight afterwards when I did my grocery shopping and Nicky was sitting at a remote control car and begging for it. I saw a collectible packet nearby and we could move on. 

We then had Jeannette share with us a Whisky tasting. I have to commend Jeannette for coming up with all those glasses at short notice. She also gave us a very sensual experience, experiencing not only the taste but also the colour and smell. 

 

The goody bag was overflowing. I don’t think I will be able to top this one again. Isobel has done a video of it over here on Instagram. 

I’ll also include some lovely pictures from Jeannette that she also put on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Funso also took some amazing pictures many of which are in this post.  How’s this one with everyone on their phones? So typical of us bloggers posting on social media. I’ll end off with some pictures of the bloggers themselves so you can have a good look. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more info on the meetup check out these posts:

Melissa wrote a nice one which also included an interview of us meetup planners to give a background to the event – #JoziMeetup: “Working With Brands” + Hosts Share Details Of Planning

Charlene: #JoziMeetup

Karen put together a lot of social media posts on this post here using Storify.

Carly, who drove from the Free State, wrote a post here. 

 

And also on the #ECMeetup which happened on the same day: 

Luchae: ECMeetup recap: Of unicorn horns and decadent pancakes.

Eleanor: What’s in the bag

If you’ve written any please let me know and I will add them in!

Win tickets to Mama Magic (18-21 May, TicketPro Dome)

mama magicThe Mama Magic show basically has everything under one roof you will need in your pregnancy and parenting journey for your child 0-5. It is one of those staple  events for new moms to attend to find out about the latest baby products, as well as for those to bring their tots along to watch Barney and grab the specials at Baby City on nappies.  SA Mom blogs is giving away two double tickets for any day during 18-21 May at the TicketPro dome at Northgate. 

I’ve written two posts about this expo before and you can read them here: 

mama magic BarneyThe first post I wrote about watching and meeting Barney when Nicky was about two years old and also some products that I saw that I liked. 

Mama magic BarneyTwo years later we went to Mama Magic again and Nicky had fun in the ball pit, with the lego and dragging a plastic dog around we found at the SPCA stall. 

I think it is a testament to the variety to be found at the show that there were items and activities to be found at each age group, and moms who want to entertain the little ones can bring the older siblings as well to join in the fun. 

Would you like to attend this year’s show?

All you have to do is comment below.

Terms and conditions:

You must be a resident of SA to enter and able to attend the exhibition at the TicketPro Dome, 18-21 May, Johannesburg.

The competition will run for a week and then the winners will be emailed and announced on our Facebook page.