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Why you should use an insulated lunch bag

The standard lunch box has evolved over the years. From early days when school children took their lunches to school in metal tins to the more modern versions of insulated lunch bags.

Today insulated lunch bags are incredibly popular with adults and children alike.

Why you should use an insulated lunch box.

1. They gentle on the environment.

A reusable alternative to paper bags, disposible plastic, foil and plastic lunch bags.

2. They safer and healthier

Your food has less chance of becoming contaminated in an insulated lunch bag.

Because paper bags and plastic containers have no real way to maintain the temperature of food stored inside, the food becomes subseptable to contamination, which can cause food poisoning.

3. They allow a larger variation in lunch choices

They allow you a wider choice in lunches that you pack as they keep food longer so items like yogurt won’t spoil so quickly.

How does an insulated bag work?

Insulated lunch bags typically have three barriers against temperature change.

They have an outer layer made of a medium to heavy weight fabric, like nylon or neoprene. The second layer is made from a type of insulating material, usually foam. The third, inner layer is generally made of foil or plastic. Together, these three layers form an excellent barrier between the contents and the outside of the bag, maintaining their temperature much longer than a paper or plastic bag.

Why I only use insulated lunch bags

It’s always been important for me that my children open a fresh , healthy lunch when they at school.

I wouldn’t serve them something I wouldn’t eat myself and images of soggy tomatoes and squished peanut butter sandwiches come to mind when I think of my own school lunches.

Due to this one of the first things we buy at the begininf of a school year is a new lunch bag.

It was great to send bears formula bottles in when he was at day care. As he grew we added one for his lunches and snacks.

As a teacher , I must admit a lunch bag is so much neater and more organised. Teachers can easily store them neater than a bunch of odd containers and children learn responsibility if keeping all their lunch together and packing it back in when done.

As a mom it is so much easier to just open the bag after school, dump out the containers , wash and line the lunch bags up on the counter and prep them for the next day when each child just grabs their own before heading off to school.

Tip

We take bears lunch bag with us , even when we just go to the shops I add a prefrozen ice block in and then store his juice, milk, snack and dummy in the bag. So much easier than fumbling about in a nappy bag if he needs something .

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Diy paving … A water wise option

(Sponsored post)

With the water crisis and Cape Town’s day zero looming , it’s time for us to start making sustainable choices within our home.

Cape Town’s water crisis has no short term solution and infrastructures to gain more water are only now being built. This means our beautiful green parks and gardens could slowly begin to die off as we conserve our water for drinking.

So how will we cope?

For those with gardens this may mean calling in a professional landscaper to discuss your options or using one of the following garden ideas.

You could use your grey water for watering your gardens but if the taps run dry , you might find the grey water directed towards toilet flushing instead.

You can minimize lawn space by using an alternative as lawns consume a large amount of water to stay green.

You could use one of the following:

Paving like DIY paving moulds

Stonechips
Building raised flower beds
Planting indigenous, hardy, water wise plants
Synthetic turf
Mulched areas with wood chips, pine bark or apricot pips
Decking

DIY Paving moulds

Invest in an inexpensive, strong plastic paving mould and pave the way to style and sustainable gardening in 2018

Benefits of the paving mould

  • Easy to install
  • Great DIY project for the whole family
  • Perfect for the Waterwise gardener
  • One mould can be reused multiple times so No costly outlay.
  • Design your own patterns
  • Variety of shapes.
  • Easy to store

How to use the moulds

So easy to use. You simply mix your concrete, place the moulds and pour. One of the reusable, durable moulds is enough to pave your entire garden.

You can also follow the easy to use YouTube videos.

For more information https://diywesterncape.indigo-child.co.za/

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How to make your day more productive.

As working mothers our hectically busy lives are planned to the last minute and we selfishly embrace even the smallest sliver of spare time when we can finally find some.

With a toddler, two teens , an adult son and my husband at home I often feel I’m trying to cram as much as I can do in small amounts of time.

This recently got me thinking how I could make my time more productive. How could I achieve more in less time?

Below are a few tips to help you become more productive in your day.

1. Get enough sleep

Prioritise your sleep. Without enough sleep you will be cranky, tired and unable to perform at your personal best. You will drag through the whole day and waste more time than if you had slept.

Tomorrow is another day. Rest !

2. Set realistic working hours

Evaluate the time you will need to achieve tasks and do not over stretch yourself by taking on extra work if your schedule is already over burdened.

Working at night or over weekends will take time away from your families.

Try to only work during working hours. If you work from home schedule these hours while the kids are at school.

3. Learn to say No

Setting healthy boundaries is vital , both in your relationships and work environment.

Set limits to include friends draining your time, activities you do not want to do and business demands or home chores that you can delegate out.

4. Daily goals

Set up small daily, achievable goals. You will obtain a much higher sense of accomplishment by completing a small daily goal than setting a large unobtainable goal that could have been broken down.

5. Do not multitask

As mothers this is where we excel but, you will perform much better if you are focused on the task at hand.

If you texting your husband, helping with homework and cooking , you may get everything done but your attention is scattered and you are not giving the best of yourself to any one task.

Focus on one task fully at a time.

6. Let it go

Let go of perfection. We are all flawed and that’s what makes us unique. Obsessing over being the perfect mom/wife/business woman will only set you up for failure.

Learn to be gentle with yourself.

7. Web time

Surfing the net is a huge time waster. Innocently checking your Facebook can turn into three hours of browsing. This is time you can’t get back. Limit your screen time and learn to unplug when engaging with friends and family.

8. Have fun

When I am my most stressed , I treat myself to a cup of coffee with a friend or an outing with the kids.

Stress limits your productivity and clouds your thinking. So avoid a burn out by making time to have fun.

Schedule those vacations, take a long weekend and enjoy time with your family.

9. Delegate

How many times do you hear yourself saying… “I’ll do it myself” ?

As mothers we often take on much more than our share of the responsibility at home and work.

Learn to delegate tasks and allow your colleagues, husbands and children to take responsibility for themselves.

10. Routine

Set a routine that works for you and stick to it.

For me routine is vital as it allows me to mentally tick off all the items I need to do.

My routine for example, starts with waking up , usually around 4.30am. The next hour is mine so I will read, catch up on my emails or write a blog post.

By 5.30am I’m up and waking the family. I head down stairs to make lunches, coffee and put the washing on.

At 6.30 my husband and kids leave for school and work. As soon as he is awake I make the bed. My kids make their own beds and are responsible for their own rooms being clean . I go to the bathroom last so that I can quickly neaten it after brushing my teeth and getting ready for the day.

Exercise is important to me so I walk my baby to and from school. On my walk back I will stop at the shop if we need anything for the day.

When I get home at 8am, I sweep, wash floors, neaten the house, hang the washing and settle down to work.

The next few hours till 1.30 pm are dedicated to work only. It’s rare I work after this time unless I’m on a deadline. I try to follow my to do list and have most of my work scheduled so I know what order to complete them.

1.30pm I leave to fetch baby and then it’s our time. It’s important for me to spend time with my family so I prioritise this.

By 4pm I’m bringing in washing, getting supper on and preparing for my family to get home. Supper is at 6pm and the dishes are done straight after supper so there’s no messy kitchen to deal with in the morning.

My husband baths baby, I supervise homework and bags are packed for the next day. I put out the lunch bags ready to pack in the morning and school and work clothes are laid out.

The kids are in bed by 8pm and I will update my social media and tweek my blog while my husband watches tv.

How you can put all of this into practice….

  1. * Set yourself a realistic bed time and plan an evening routine that allows you to relax before falling asleep
  2. *Draw up a list of all the activities you do in a day. Schedule a time management plan.
  3. *Look in your diary. How many items do you want to or need to do this week? Prioritise these.How many activites are you attending that you do not have to ? Send an email and cancel these.How many small things at work and home could you delegate to others ? Let them help you.
  4. *Buy a note book and write your daily To Do list. Tick these off as you complete the task. At the end of the day reflect on all that you’ve achieved.
  5. *Try this week to give yourself specific down times to surf the net or to watch tv.
  6. * Make time for your family. Diaries it. It doesnt have to be an expensive outing. It could be something as simple as family pancake and board games night on Wednesday. Then plan for it. Put a post it up on the fridge so the kids can see. And cancel any work or other activities on Wednesday night.
  7. *Make a list of all activities at home and work that you can delegate to others. For work write an email to those concerned allocating them their share of the work. At home, place a chore chart where your family can see it with each family members chores for the week.
  8. *Design a routine that works for you and impliment it. It takes 21 days for a habit to form so don’t be too hard on yourself if you battle to stick to the routine in the begining.

Our lives are busy and somedays overwhelming but with midfull management of our time, prioritizing the important people and activities in our lives and setting goals you can achieve a healthy bal

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5 thought changes for smoother co -parenting

Divorce is not easy and co -parenting can present it’s own set of challenges.

Co-parenting can present it’s own challenges

As a parent we should want the best for our children at all times and within a divorce situation this can often mean we need to selflessly assess our own behaviour.

Here are 5 ways to change your thinking about your ex to help you co -parent with less anger, animosity and anxiety.

1. Pick your battles 

You do not have to attend each argument you are invited to. Pick your battles and back down from any arguments by walking away. 

It will be easier to discuss things when you are both calm.

2. Treat your ex the way you want them to treat you.

We teach our toddlers this rule so it stands to reason that we should apply it.

Often we wait on the other person to treat us better. The truth is sometimes this may never happen but if you continue to treat your ex the way you want to be treated you are sure to illiminate friction. 

3. Smile when you see your ex

This is not easy but he or she is still your child’s parent.

In divorce we often are so angry and bitter towards each other that we have our guard up before we even see each other. Try to smile. It will make meetings smoother and your child will be less uncomfortable.

4. Be thankful

Instead of grumbling about how little you have or how much your ex has taken, spend some time counting your blessings and being greatful for the things you do have.

Thanking your ex for something positive as it happens will also help you to move forward.

5. Give credit

Your ex was once the person you loved enough to start a family with so therefore they must have some positive traits.

Think of 1 positive parenting skill your ex has and praise them for that.

Co-parenting requires the selfless act of loving your child enough to do what’s best for them …that includes being civil to your ex.

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Trending school books 

How to cover your child’s school books with style.

Remember the days of boring brown kraft paper?

School has started around the country and millions of children have lugged a ton of school exercise books home to be covered.

Now to be fair there are so many stunning wrapping paper and precut book cover options on the shops. Not to mention the matching labels and pull on plastic covers.

But if you like me and want to help your child express themselves here are some easy DIY covers.

You can use any of the following ideas :

Cover your books using magazine, newspaper or comic.

You can use old musical note paper.

You can also use pretty material to cover harder covered books

Let the kids make a collage from stickers.

Cover your books in plain paper and cut out coloured card and glue on to make a picture.

Paint or stamp images onto brown paper.

Recycle old gift bags and cover the books.

Use washi tape and other scrapbooking materials to brighten up plain materials.

Draw images with a marker onto plain covers.

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Empty Arms – miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss conference

Book your place now.

About the event

The Empty Armsmiscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss conference is organised by Amanda Loots who is based  in Kimberley. 

Amanda is a birth doula as well as a mommy who has endured her own loss and will be training as a Bereavement Doula at the end of Febraury. 

The aim of the event is to create a space for couples that have experienced  loss, to come together and share their experiences. 

It is a place for family members to learn how to support their loved ones who have suffered this kind of loss. And in doing this we aim to create awareness of the number of families who experience this type of loss each year and the importance of breaking the silence by allowing these families to speak of their loss whilst finding healing and support within their communities.

Guest speaker

Samala Kriedemann is a Social Worker and mother of 4. The birth of her last child, which was an incredible waterbirth inspired her to enter the birthing world and use her Social Work experience to support mothers as they transition into motherhood. 

She studied to become a birth doula and her very first client as a doula had a stillbirth at 39 weeks! 

With her exstensive Social Work background she was aware just how much this mommy was going to need support!

 She began searching for a baby loss support group and could only find 1 and this was in Johannesburg.

 As a trained Social Worker she came to the realisation that she could  start a support group in Pretoria. And a year and a half ago she started the Mothersof Angels Support Group with 4 mothers.

 To date the support group has assisted almost 40 mothers and is growing all the time.

 After hearing these mothers’ personal stories of their births,their losses and how so many mothers suffered added trauma during their births due to the the lack of necessary support during their births she studied to become a Bereavement Doula and received  her International qualification with Stillbirthday University in America. 

Since then she have been assisting mothers’ as they birth their stillborn babies or have to go through a medical termination due to fatal diagnosis.

What is the role of a Bereavement Doula?

A bereavement doula supports the couple through their labour and birth. Your bereavement Doula will  receive your baby and clean the baby. She then dresses baby and presents the couple with their little one.

 She will take photos, help them say goodbye and then assist with arranging a funeral home to come and collect the baby.

  In South Africa, we have an old law which states that any baby born pre 26 weeks that does not take a breath is considered medical waste and is disposed of as such. So basically baby is incinerated with other medical waste such as amputated limbs.

A Bereavement Doula is trained to assist clients that want to have their pre 26 week baby taken out of the hospital and buried or cremated.

These families are assisted in this process, giving them an opportunity to have their baby’s ashes and some kind of farewell ceremony.  

For more information you can contact :

www.mama-nurture.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/Mama-Nurture-130146420725811/