Tag: “arts and crafts”

Looking Back at 2019 – SA Blog Awards

Looking Back at 2019 – SA Blog Awards

WOW WOW WOW, What a year 2019 has been. Highs, lows, changes, babies, houses… At the end of each year I always like to look back on all that I have achieved and how we have grown as a family. Its so important to take a step back to recognise how far we have come.

On the blog side I have hit so many of my personal targets and worked with brands that I used to dream about. I am so incredibly grateful to you, my readers, for allowing me to grow on this journey with you. So THANK YOU THANK YOU, for supporting me and helping me to reach my dreams. I hope you have found inspiration and guidance when you needed it the most.

Once again, I have decided to enter the SA Blog Awards. I know many people have various things to say about the Blog Awards, but these awards are decided by you, the public. Its all of you who get to vote and decide. I have big dreams planned for my little happy space, and hopefully, together, we can get there. Please support me in this, by clicking on this link . I have entered into two categories, both are full of absolutely incredible bloggers and content creators, so even if I just made an appearance I’d be happy. Once voted, you will receive an email to verify your vote, which takes about 15 seconds – please do so, otherwise your vote is not verified. You can also vote by clicking on the badge on the right hand panel my home page. Voting ends on 31 December and it would mean the world to me to have your support.

Looking back at this year, we certainly received our greatest blessing with a healthy beautiful Raya Maryam being born into our family. She has completed our puzzle and is everyone’s absolute favourite being. The calm to our chaos. We have conquered and climbed the initial breastfeeding mountain and are comfortably in a routine now with solids and feeding. Mamas – the first 3 months are hell, but hang in there! It does get better! Incredibly grateful for all the support we have received and for the beautiful baby shower held by my Megan.

Aadam successfully completed grade R, and moves on up into the world of “grades” next year. He has been absolutely amazing to watch this year. From the tears and separation anxiety we battled in the beginning of the year, to literally running into school each day, he even asked to stay on for aftercare! Such huge milestones that we so quickly forget about. He excelled in his cricket and swimming and is an absolute joy to watch as he learns to write and read.

Our little Yusuf is as cheeky as ever, at 4 years old he thinks he is the boss of everyone, and if he could, he would live off cakes and sweets. Even though he acts all tough and confident, secretly he is the one whose confidence I need to build the most. He needs his mama so much still and I have tremendous guilt for not spending enough one on one time with him. He has learnt to swim like a “big boy” now, and gets hugely frustrated if his brother does something that he cant do yet.

On a personal note some of my highlights were working with some of my favourite brands, on campaigns close to my heart. Walking down the runway at 7 months pregnant with Jet; focusing on “self-love” and embracing women of all shapes and sizes. I also got to brand rep for my favourite maternity brand, Cherry Melon whose clothes I am STILL wearing, 8 months post partum! The boys got to do some “modelling” (kind of) for Keedo, a proudly South African brand that is VERY close to my heart. I am eternally grateful !

I managed to juggle the work-life thing…sometimes failing but mostly swimming. I realized that I will never be the “stepford wife” but that’s OK. It’s OK to forget things from time to time. The fact that I remembered P.E. and swimming days, what costume is needed when, charity days and afternoon activities MOST of the time, is enough for me. As long as my babies know how much their mama loves them, and as long as I raise kind, generous, hard working children – my job as a parent is done. We kept crafting this year, and had a bigger focus on more educational experiences. Learning behind what we “played” with. Some of my favourites were the “Dino Dig” Sensory tray, “Lifecycle of a frog”, Crafting with Cardboard, Outback Aussie and the collaboration we did with House of York.

We grew, not only in the number in our family, but as individuals as the boys become their own independent kids. We baked (a lot), from collaborations with Pillsbury to cookies with M&M’s we certainly got creative (and a little fatter). I also fully embraced my Instant Pot, I literally use it several times a week and enjoyed getting creative in the kitchen again!

We went farming, it wouldn’t be a year without it 🙂 From Dairy Cows to Strawberry picking, nothing makes me happier then being outdoors and in nature with the kids. We also explored the Drakensburg for the first time and I’m already yearning to go back. (Full blog post coming soon)

I ramped up our “What to do in Joburg” Series with a focus on FREE entertainment. With the economy in South Africa being the way it is, we all need a bit of relief from all the spending, and I updated our ultimate list of places to go with the kids for 2019 . As a mom to young kids these are invaluable, I know I certainly am always on the look out for new places. The latest one is on my festive entertainment guide for 2019.

Lastly, I focused a bit more on beauty (as I try to gain some of my youth back). I started exploring collagen more, and tried drinking it in a shake! I took care of my body with Bio-Oil and Natralogic and focused more on what goes into my skin, using products from Dermalogica and Skin & Tonic. I also took back my hair (take that post-partum hair loss) 🙂 Allowing myself to splurge a little is OK if it makes me feel good. Nicho from XOXO Studio certainly knows how to give my hair that va va voom. Invest in yourselves mamas, every little bit helps.

It certainly was a jam packed year and one that holds the best memories. Life is about making the most of EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. Making an impact on every single person you meet . It’s too short to be spent unhappy or complaining. Embrace the positive around you and be grateful for all that you have. That’s the main purpose of this post, Gratitude. For all the opportunities I have had, and all the new connections and friends made. For all the lessons I have learnt (some tough), and all the future that lies ahead. I also have big plans for this little blog of mine, and I hope to continue to grow and learn. If you want to , please take a look at the SA Blog awards, but more importantly; THANK YOU, for being a part of this parenting community. If there is any other content you would like, or advice you need let me know, I value you more than you know!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Whats In The Box? All The Basics You Need To Start A Craft Box

Whats In The Box? All The Basics You Need To Start A Craft Box

I did a bit of a spring clean out during the holidays and while doing so ran an “insta-story” on what was in our craft box. I received so many responses to it that I felt it would be worth running a blog on all the basics you need to get your crafting going.

Make it easier for your children to “create” by filling a box that’s just for them with craft supplies. You would have seen that I have one box for “them” that is easily accesible for them to reach and another for mummy which contains things like glitter, the paints; “messy” items that I prefer them to use under supervision. The box is theirs to use however they wish, with no need to ask permission. Another thing I did was to cut a piece of plastic material (or just use a plastic tablecloth), and we use this as our drop cloth. The boys know if they want to do any messy play, rule number one is to put a drop cloth down.

Keep in mind your childrens ages and abilities when filling up your craft box. We still use jumbo sized crayons for easier grip and safety scissors. If they are going to be doing crafts while I’m cooking, I need to know they are safe. I always keep the paper, card and leftover paper plates in their “craft” drawer in the play room, so they can pull it out whenever they need. Larger items from around the house like kitchen towel rolls, empty egg cartoons, bottle tops and other recyclable materials on the bottom shelf in our pantry. My 5 year old gets sudden “mister maker” urges and creates the most unique pieces at the oddest times, so I want to make sure he can reach everything he needs without causing havoc.

To start you off, in “their box”, I keep the following things:

  • Scraps of coloured paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Felt Scraps
  • Items of interest like buttons, sequins, ribbons
  • Googly eyes
  • Pom Poms
  • Glitter Glue (they dont get loose glitter unless I am around)
  • Stickers
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Stick Glue
  • Watercolour paints (these tray paints are ideal for less supervision)

Items from around the house to collect:

  • Newspaper
  • Bottle Tops
  • Empty Egg Cartons
  • Empty Yoghurt Tubs
  • Polystyrene trays
  • Toilet Rolls/ Empty Kitchen Rolls
  • Foil

I then keep things like the crayons, paintbrushes and pencil colours in standup tins on their book shelf to easily reach whenever they need. Paint, glitter and play dough can be introduced on days that allow for more time to prepare and clean up, or when you want to provide other hands-on learning opportunities.

Keep the everyday supplies to a minimum so both you and the kids are not overwhelmed.

In “My Box” I keep things like liquid glue, loose glitter, more expensive jewels/beads and sharper items.

We have a tray filled with all our liquid paints. Our favourite without a doubt are KV Dala paints and their Teddy range is perfect for children! For more advanced crafters they offer every colour of the rainbow in acrylics and craft paints and the Teddy range stocks everything from Finger Paints to Rollerball paints perfect for little fingers!

When painting with children remember that young children work best standing up. A wall-mount or free standing easel are great ways to create this space. You could even craft your own temporary one out of cardboard. We use a free standing chalk board that doubles up as an art easel. Dont be afraid to experiment with different materials and encourage process art. In our paint tray I keep empty squeeze and spray bottles, sponges, plastic syringes and tape. When we have a little more time everything is on hand to set up for creative play.

There you have it, everything you need to get your crafting set up. Build up most of these items over time, it wont be something you purchase all at once. Dont be afraid to let your kids create as much as they like! Happy crafting!

Making Learning Fun with Panda Post Learning

Making Learning Fun with Panda Post Learning

I love it when I get to work with brands that are so aligned to my parenting style and philosophy. The second I heard from Nina I was so excited to jump on board with Panda Post Learning. My blog has always focused on fun learning ideas and activities to do with your kids. Its more than just chucking an activity in front of them and expecting them to do it, it’s about doing it together and spending time with your kids. I wrote a blog post a little while ago on how being back in an office environment (as opposed to a home office), I was battling with guilt while the kids were on holiday. They are too young to just drop off at holiday classes, and I certainly didn’t want them just watching TV the entire day, so I created a few set up in advance activities for the kids to do in the day.

Enter Panda Post Learning, it’s like Nina read my mind ? Panda Post was born to empower parents to make learning through play easy and fun! Helping parents to reduce screen time and increase play time. Each month a new theme is announced. Age appropriate boxes are available for children from 9 months to 6 years old. Select a box according to your child’s’ age (Baby Box,Toddler box, Playschool Box, Preschool box) and receive your box by the 20th of the subscription month, it’s that easy!

Our September box arrived, and the boys thought it was Christmas. They went crazy opening it up before I even got to take a few good pictures. I went for a combination box of both preschool and playschool and the boys are 3 and 4. When you receive your first Panda Post you receive a few “extras” that wont be included every time. Basics like scissors, glue and crayons to get you going on your arts and crafts journey. Our box had a healthy mix of art and crafts coupled with some puzzle games to encourage thinking (my boys are still getting frustrated with lining up the dots) and a fun ball catch kit to encourage gross motor skills.

A thoughtfully typed out description and activity list was included in the box, breaking down the activities step by step, making it super easy for your caregiver or nanny to do if you happen to be at work. Our box was “Spring themed”, so naturally the focus was on flowers, butterflies and birds. I honestly found the box jam packed with different options, we still haven’t gotten through half of them! We have created butterfly shaped suncatchers (something I always wanted to do but always forgot to buy contact paper), peacocks, owls, pet rocks. We have hunted for bugs and butterflies (and now have an earthworm living in sand stored in a container). We’ve spoken about spring and growth, planted seedlings and painted pots!

I only blog about products I believe in, Panda Post Learning is supporting a local, proudly “mumtrepeneur” business and is making my life a whole lot easier. My eldest comes at the weirdest times of day with a head full of ideas of what to craft, Panda Post sends you everything you need. No running to the craft store at inconvenient times because you don’t have one thing that you need.

I have literally just received an SMS from our playschool reminding me about the upcoming October break (yes I had forgotten about it), so guess who is hopping onto the website to order the beach themed October box…

You can find out more about their subscription boxes on their website .

Homemade Bath Bombs

Homemade Bath Bombs

I’m jumping on the latest internet craze once again. Its safe to say bath bombs are pretty much everywhere. I was surprised to see how much these balls of scented goodness can retail for. Everyone loves baths, with my boys we often use little fizzies in the bath to colour up the water, and I just use them for their glorious scent and healing properties.

With mothers day coming up they are the perfect gift to give to someone special. You can customize color, scent, and shape to perfectly suit the person, and its a heck of a lot cheaper to make them at home. It was such a fun activity to do and the boys loved watching their balls form.


1 Cup baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)

1/2 cup Epsom salts

1/2 cup Citric acid

2 tsp Essential Oil (I used Lavender)

1 tsp water

3 tsp Coconut Oil

Plastic moulds/ egg shells (I used those little plastic ornament shells for Christmas as well as egg shells). Silicon moulds work really well as well.

All these ingredients are natural so the bath bombs are safe for kids and toddlers. I chose to omit glitter, as pretty as it is, on purpose. Most glitter is made out of plastic and I have become quite conscious of what goes down our drains and into our water system. You can choose to add dried petals, or even those little magic grow beans to hide inside.

  1. In a bowl whisk together the baking soda, citric acid, Epsom Salts.
  2. In a separate small bowl combine the melted coconut oil, water and essential oil
  3. While whisking, very SLOWLY drizzle the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. You can choose to do this with a spray bottle. DO NOT be tempted to add more liquid. If the liquid gets too wet it will activate the fizzy part of the bath bomb too soon!
  4. TIGHTLY pack the mixture into each side of the mold then press the two sides together. Ideally let it stay in the mold overnight, then lightly tap around the mold with a spoon to very carefully open and remove bath bomb.

What I learnt:

It is so important to add in the liquid as slowly as possible. I have seen some people using a spray bottle for this step, just to ensure a thin mist. You do not want the Citric Acid to start reacting.

Some recipes contain Corn Starch, I chose to omit that on purpose as I wanted the bombs to be as natural as possible. My little guys suffer from Eczema and I didn’t want the corn flour blocking up their pores in any way. I would like to try that recipe in future though.

This is a messy activity so do it somewhere that’s easy to clean up. Citric Acid is easier to find then i thought, i searched Dischem and Clicks and ended up finding it at good old Pick n Pay, right next to the Bicarb.


This is one fun activity and now that I have all the ingredients on hand its time to play! I want to try mixing up essential oils and colours. Its a little addictive, and the boys loved it!

Valentine Themed Sensory Bin

Valentine Themed Sensory Bin

There are so many wonderful ways to fill and to play with sensory trays and I love any excuse to find a theme to create one. If you follow my instagram and facebook pages you will see a lot more of my other ideas for sensory bins, we do slime, animal environments, snow, rainbow rice, anything I can really!

Sensory play has a lot to do with the nervous system and your child will react to how it feels, good or bad! They can be both calming and stimulating for a child as well as engaging and educational. Each item used in this valentine themed sensory bin is reusable and bought from our local china mall for under R100.

Items used include artificial rose petals, pink rainbow rice (homemade), pink polystyrene balls, plastic hearts, cardboard hearts, a variety of heart-shaped tins and containers for them to scoop and play.

I used a variety of different textures and shapes here and I knew I wanted to do a “dry” sensory bin this time. As I was creating it I knew that my boys would probably be too “old” for just a touch and explore one and realised that it was the perfect treasure hunt bin!

The challenge was on.

The boys had to dig in the bin, through all the petals and rice to find all 14 of the little plastic hearts, next came the foil ones and so on. My little Yusuf loved the feeling of the Polystyrene balls and watching how the static made them jump (Tip: have a hoover close by, second tip: the rice seemed to diffuse the static slightly so I would definitely do both).

Once we had finished the treasure hunt we moved onto a game of eye spy before Aadam decided he wanted to do arts and crafts with all of the hearts.

So a simple activity that took less than 15 minutes to set up created an afternoon of play!

What else would you add to your bin?

For more fun activities to do with your kids subscribe to the blog with your email address on the right hand side.


Craft fun – Raised Salt Painting

Craft fun – Raised Salt Painting

We went on an arts and crafts spree last week when the boys were battling with fevers. Id seen a mesmerising video on instagram doing the rounds of the watercolours spreading through a “snowflake” and had been itching to give it a try. Continue reading “Craft fun – Raised Salt Painting”

Fizz Dough Recipe

Fizz Dough Recipe

A soft, fizzy dough to make sandcastles with the magically turns into a playdough consistency, this recipe literally has it all for kids and may just have become my favourite !

We started off by combining equal amounts of cornflour (cornstarch) and bicarbonate of soda. I was running out of cornflour so I think my Continue reading “Fizz Dough Recipe”

Rainy Day Fun – Play dough and Slime recipes

Rainy Day Fun – Play dough and Slime recipes

I try to limit screen time for the kids to early mornings (when I’m usually too tired to think and just want a cup of tea in peace). My eldest son is now going to playschool 3 mornings a week but there is still plenty of time left in the day to be filled with crafts and endless energy for ball games.

With all this rain we have been having, you have to get creative when it comes to keeping the little ones busy, and I’ve gotten a lot of requests on how I make my play dough and slime recipes for the boys so I thought I’d just put it out there for all to share, honestly, these are so quick and easy, you can have homemade fun and banish boredom in less than 5 minutes:


I have my friend Zelda to forever credit for giving me this recipe.

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Between 1 and 2 cups warm water (you keep adding until it feels right)
  • food colouring (optional)

I usually do the initial mixing here while the water is still a bit warm, and then I hand the bowl over to the kids and let them get stuck in there. This should keep up to about 6 months in a sealed container. There is honestly no reason to ever buy playdough ever again!



  • 1 bottle art and craft glue (clear or white – I used Bostik’s art and craft glue) (100ml)
  • 100 Ml Water (pour the water into the empty glue bottle its easier)
  • ½ tsp of borax dissolved into ¼ cup warm water
  • A drop of food colouring

Mix together the water and the glue, in a separate bowl dissolve the borax into the quarter cup of warm water, and add a drop of food colouring. Pour this mixture into the water/glue bowl and stir. You will immediately see a gloop ball start to form, keep mixing until it all comes together. (There may be some excess water which you can just discard). You can also add glitter to the slime to really create an intergalactic experience.

TIP: Ive made this 3 times before, a pinch more borax and you can end up with a more solid “bouncy ball” consistency, if this happens you can try adding a little more glue and seal it in a bag to absorb.

TIP 2: Try to avoid getting this onto carpets or clothes, the longer it sits, the more in soaks in. If it does a brush and some vinegar should get it right off.

I hope these two recipes give your kids as hours of endless fun as they do with my boys ! Happy playing!