Tag: #cnawhatsyourstory

Back to School – Our Essentials List

Back to School – Our Essentials List

I couldn’t bear to post this earlier. Although schools are going back a whole week earlier this year, my mind would still not allow me to think about school (or work) until after the December Holiday.

I’m a “last-minute Minnie” on a normal day but thankfully I have some fantastic products to make my life a little easier.

This is our first year of receiving the dreaded “stationery” list, though with that the excitement around buying all new sets and labeling is still new and both my son and I have already packed his school bag. It brings back flash backs of my own childhood staying up the night before school started wrapping all my books in my favourite paper, insisting that I needed all new everything every year at school, with my mum ensuring me it didn’t all need to be brand new.

CNA has always and will always be my go to store for all things stationery. Whether it was matching purple files for me during my high school years or fresh jumbo crayons for my son about to start big boy school, they have always been my first point of call. It was only recently that I realised however, that they really do cover all back to school needs, from school bags and books to lunch tins and juice bottles! We were in and out of our local store within 30 minutes, with all items ticked off. All items are also available online and if you spend over R350, your delivery is free.

Here are some of my favourites from the back to school selection:

The ”Roamer” range at CNA offers a wide variety of durable and affordable school bags and lunch bags. The type that can be passed down year after year. Have a look at some of the options here.

We adore our bento style lunch boxes and I have been using them for the boys for well over a year now. CNA stocks a wide variety including the ever popular Sistema and Addis ranges. Whether your little ones are into cars, Spiderman, Barbie or something a little more refined, I’m confident you could find your choice in store. This year we have gone with the Sistema Bottles where you can freeze the inner part to keep your water cool throughout the day.

I couldn’t help but pick up a “space case” for my son, while he still let’s me choose his stationery. This is a nice flat one from Penflex and he can decorate it with whatever stickers he wants. It’s an absolute steal!

Talking about stickers …. I am so incredibly thankful that we have moved on a bit from the old “hand stitched” labels in clothes. I found an old ream of about 200 labels from my school days when I went home the other day. To think of the hours spent stitching those into school clothes sends shivers down my spine ! Tower labels has a brand new range of labels specifically designed for school, and making parents lives a little easier.  TOWER are Southern Africa’s largest office stationery and label supplier and pride themselves on delivering products of the broadest range and highest quality, and you can actually purchase a lot of their products at CNA, including their super cute “reward” and “lunchbox love note” stickers!

We received the standard and pre school pack to try out, though there are four new offerings,
including a Standard Pack (R225.00), Mini Pack (R125.00), Iron-On Pack (50 for R90.00) and Pre-School Pack (R150.00). You can customise your order online here, and can include everything from your child’s name to grade, subject and even their school logo if you wish!

The Standard Pack for Aadam literally contained everything we needed for his first year at big boy school, including:

  • 2 Bag Tags
  • 8 Shoe Labels
  • 44 mini labels
  • 30 Book Labels
  • 60 Wrap-Around Labels
  • 50 Iron-On Labels
  • 44 Stationery Labels

The Preschool Pack

We got this for Yusuf and I love the fact that it includes little Happy Birthday labels, I just wish you could add a little colour or a character to this one. The pack contained:

  • 1 Bag Tag
  • 21 Birthday Labels
  • 60 Wrap-Around Labels
  • 30 Book Labels
  • 44 Mini Labels
  • 50 Iron-On Labels
  • 44 Stationery Labels

The Mini Pack

This is also perfect for preschoolers or small playgroups. You can add your child’s name, grade and school logo to the stickers and the pack contains the following:

  • 1 Bag Tag
  • 4 Shoe Labels
  • 12 Book Labels
  • 42 Wrap-Around Labels
  • 30 Iron-On Labels
  • 22 Stationery Labels

The Iron-On Pack

With this package you can choose between 50 and 100 iron-on labels with your child’s name, grade and school logo.

The stationery labels as well as the Mini-labels are all dishwasher safe, goodness knows how many juice bottles we lost on the playground last year, so this is a real life saver! The shoe stickers are perfect for Yusuf just beginning to distinguish between his left and right feet. Top Tip: Cut the sticker in half and place half in each side of the shoe. That way your child can look at the shoe and “match up” the stickers to place on the correct foot!

I’ll definitely be ordering for years to come through MyTowerLabels, they offer a door to door courier service, affordable prices and a quick turn around time. In fact, if you choose to order your labels through TOWER, you can use a special “inthesestilettos” discount code to get 10% off your order

Simply visit their website at https://www.mytowerlabels.com/ make your selection and on checkout add in the “Inthesestilettos” code. Its valid until 30 June 2019.

There you have it, that’s how we have survived the “Back to School” rush. Bring on the 9th January, “Big School”, we are ready for you! Good Luck to all newbies starting out, its the first day of an incredibly exciting journey!

Do you have any back to school products or services that made your life easier? I’d love to hear about them!


*Sponsored post – however all thoughts and views expressed are my own.


Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas For Under R150

Christmas Stocking Filler Ideas For Under R150

I asked a question a while back on Instagram regarding stockings (no not the hosiery type), and your family traditions. Who gets in your family? Do you have a budget per item going into the stocking or the overall Christmas stocking itself? In some houses the stocking is the main present, and in others it’s an “extra”. I still receive a stocking from Santa when I am at my mum and dads, and both my mum and dad receive ones too. While the contents may have changed a little over the years, the thought that goes in and the excitement around it has not.

As a child we would wake to finding the stockings (normally pillow cases), stuffed full at the end of our beds on Christmas day. The contents of the stocking would keep us entertained for the morning as typically we would go to church first and then only after our main meal at lunch would we do the main “Christmas tree” presents.  As a younger child it was filled with Play-dough, colours, stickers, sweets and always, ALWAYS, a mandatory orange. As a I grew older the contents shifted more to make up, stationery, luxury bath products, chocolates and still the orange 🙂 I love the fact that when we are with my family the boys still get to share in the excitement of Christmas. It adds a little bit of magic in their lives which I think is so important for children.

I spoke a little in my previous post about how some of my favourite Christmas memories were funnily enough shaped by CNA, so in collaboration with South Africa’s leading Stationery Store, I have put together some of my favourite stocking filler items, all under R150. These are mostly for children (of all ages), but you may find some inspiration for the whole family here too. It’s the ultimate range of adorable gifts.


From top left to right:

How cute are these Novelty Pencils? At R29.90 they literally are the perfect stocking filler.

Playdough tubs are always a hit with younger kids – R49.90

These Christmas Activity Books are absolutely adorable! I’ve bought them for my boys and there is a whole range available from Christmas Sticker Books to carry along activity packs. R29.90.

PJ Masks has the perfect Christmas eve entertainment with their “Hello Christmas” DVD. R59.99

I kid you not, on the top of my sons wish list is a Rubix cube (he’s 5). You can find yours here for R139.90

Marvel Avengers Super Activity Case – For the superhero fans in your life, this pack contains over 700 Stickers! Hurry they are selling out fast . R129.90

Simba Art and Craft Bead Set – When I was growing up I would spend hours and hours making my own bracelets, earring and necklaces. This is the perfect introduction at R79.90

CNA’s adorable range of stockings this year starts at R29.90 and you can find one for everyone in your family, even your pet!


Stationery – An ever popular item from Santa in our family. These are some of my top selection :

GoGoPo has the cutest, most affordable range at CNA. Mini Silicon Purse – R34.90

These Highlighters  are a steal at R34.90

Glitter sticks, who doesn’t love glitter? A must for every craft box – R26.90

Cute 3 Pack BallPoint Pens – R39.90

How cute is this Aztec Printed Clipboard R49.90

My gold and rose gold obsession continues Notes 8 piece paper clips – R119.90

These glass fun crayons are perfect for younger kids, we use ours in the bath as well! Amos Colorix Glass Fun – R114.90

My love for glitter is known to all and this 2019 diary is sure to brighten up your year! R109.90

The Light up Water Pen and GoGoPo Neon Fluffy Pen – Perfect for the tweens in your life, you guessed it R34.90

I personally have this rose gold glitter pencil bag and its glorious! R49.90


Books in our family were another popular stocking filler and CNA has the most adorable Christmas books in stock. Starting from as low as R29.90 its something that everyone can afford !


From top left to right:

Playhouse box set – The Story Of Christmas – This incredible fold out book folds out like a carousel to create a 360-degree play scene. It contains little characters so that you can act out the nativity scene. R129.90

Felties: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Other Nursery Rhymes – Elanor Best, Shannon Hays (Board book) – A perfect touch and feel book for the babies in your life. R139.90

Reindeer’s Nosy Christmas: Kali Stlieman (Board Book) is the most gorgeous touch and feel book which tells a sweet rhyme about a lost reindeer who must follow his nose to find Santa. R109.90

Chalk Away – A little obsessed with this one – Discover the alphabet and doodle your ABCs with traceable, erasable chalkboard pages, perfect for first time learning. R129.90

Made with love from me at Christmas – The cutest art and craft book R99.90

Build up your own groovicorn palace and characters with this play model set and then act out the story. R99.90

If you ever meet a Groovicorn is a magical story for any little girl R109.90

Have Yourself a Hairy Little Christmas: Rosie Greening (Board Book) – Santa needs a new haircut and the elves offer to help! Why do I see this story ending in a bad way? 🙂 R129.90

Push and Play: Unicorn Dance ends off our magical theme with this adorable tale R109.90


Puzzles are some of my favourites and the educational range at CNA is second to none.

My best include, from top left to right:

Map of Africa (36 piece) – We are getting this as my eldest has been instructed to practice his puzzle skills, and what a perfect way to get to know our continent. R49.90

Zoo Wooden Puzzle (36 piece) – R49.90

Puzzles on the Go: Crosswords – R49.90

Map of South Africa (17 piece) – The perfect choice for little hands learning to fit pieces together. R49.90

Paw Patrol Match Game: My boys adore this memory game! R59.90

Farm Animals Peg Puzzle (6 Pieces) the best introduction into puzzles for little ones R49.90

World Map (50 piece) – We have been practicing this to see where all the family live. R49.90

Mermaid Puzzle (36 piece) – R49.90

Colour Wonder Puzzle – Comes in a range of Blaze and the Monster Machines, Cars, Barbie these are fantastic at R99.90


What would a wish-list be without making my own little list? Here are some super cute favourites that I just couldn’t leave off

From Top Left to Right:

Its not Christmas without some sort of crown or headpiece, I’m in love with these glitter antlers at R29.90.

Include your pet in the action with this gorgeous festive Pet Deluxe Bandana at R29.90.

“I need a Vacay” Tote Bag is perfect for the beach in my opinion and I adore those Pom Poms! R99.90.

I Love a good mug, this “working from home” mug would have been my perfect gift! R119.90.

For the budding chefs in your life, these mini Cooks Corner Cook Books are the perfect stocking filler. I own a few copies myself. They are an absolute steal at R39.90 and the series covers a wide range.

GoGoPo Selection of Washi Tapes – R34.90.

This Cat Bling Keyring would make sure I never lose my keys again! R59.90.

Who says crackers have to be just for the table? These mini novelty crackers are perfect for stockings! R39.90.

There are a huge selection of fashion notebooks available, I love this Cute Slim Flamingo Wiro Notebook R39.90.


So there you have it. That’s my ultimate stocking filler list, all done from one single shop, and all under R150 each!

I hope you found some inspiration here and I would love to hear about your favourites?




*This post was written in collaboration with CNA.

**All thoughts, opinions and selections are my own.




From Stockings To Stationery – What’s Your Story?

From Stockings To Stationery – What’s Your Story?

CNA has inspired my world for decades, and I’m pretty excited to share “My Story” and journey with one of South Africa’s most loved brands.


For me personally, being a small town girl, CNA was (and still is) our go to store for pretty much everything “stationary & gift” related. Whether it was Christmas presents, school stationery or the latest novels, it really was our one stop shop. I can remember as a child my excitement for the Christmas and “back to school” shopping trips we would do as a family at CNA.

Over Christmas, our stockings were filled to the brim with cute fashion stationery items and other quirky products from CNA. My sister and I would take out each item one by one comparing who had the best eraser or glitter pen. Evening entertainment over the holidays always entailed many a late night of board games with my extended family. We spent hours arguing over games such as Monopoly, Pictionary and even Cluedo (yes even Cluedo!).  These are family memories created that I will treasure forever, as we all grow up, move away and are all scattered across the globe.

The start of the new school year always brought the excitement of showing-off my new shiny stationery items. The first morning back at school always almost always revolved around who would whip out the coolest “space case”, or who had the best colour highlighters. A luxury that a lot of children in this world today don’t get, but all deserve. The years progressed and so did my love for stationery. CNA supported me throughout my university years, as I bought BIC pens and exam pads in bulk, maybe even picking up a few valentine cards while I was there 🙂

As a mother now, my favourite stationery is still there for me, it is my go to for all things arts and crafts for the boys, or the latest PlayStation games for my husband. It’s not secret that i have a love for educational toys and STEM related learning and the range that CNA offers is spot on, it doesn’t hurt that their latest fashion stationery range is right down mama’s alley 🙂

I love the fact that my boys share my same excitement when we walk into the store. They don’t know where to look, from books and stickers to craft supplies and toys. My eldest is developing a love of all things stationery like his mama and goes towards the latest notepad to create treasure maps on, or the brightest pen or stickers he can find.


It’s a special thing when you can share memories with your children and I look forward to creating many more arty/ “gamey” moments with my family and CNA.

Whats your Story?