Faux fame – the social media game

Let’s talk faux fame …yes, you heard correctly … Faux Fame!

What is Faux Fame ?

You know the kind of popularity that shoots you to an elevated status among your peers because you wore the right shoes or were invited to the right party.

The dreamy type of teen girl hype that was pure glitterati on the surface and as empty as an Easter egg in the centre.

That ….is faux Fame!

A quick rising to the top based on who you know , what you wearing or how ” pretty” your social media feed.

Social media and the faux game

Today’s social media demands see a lot of people hankering after the popularity of someone with a few more followers or a hired content developer and professional photographer to run their Instagram accounts.

Their eyes gloss over the perceived lifestyle and popularity of the person behind the screen.

They yearn for the attention, the notion of glamour and importance. They need to be noticed and as each need becomes deeper embedded into their beautiful souls, slowly they lose a part of themselves.

As the eyes of the world burn deep and this Faux image needs to be maintained they lose their honesty, their uniqueness and their beauty until slowly, very slowly, Instagram square by square ,they are packaged into the perfect box of faux fame.

But what happens when it ends ?

The one thing you won’t see on a beautifully curated feed is that faux fame is dated. For as long as Harry potter spotted frog chocolates are the flavour of the season you will ride the wave.

More than not in your new found position of importance you will overlook those who stood by your side, lie to yourself and tolerate more than your soul can take .

You will begin to lose tiny bits of the magic that is you.

And as most seasons do, yours to will end. It won’t float gently into a unicorn encrusted rainbow, but rather it will torrent down a soiled path of unimportance. Your faux fame abruptly stripped from you as you stand bare naked trying to write the caption for this event.

The crown of your days long past onto the new glittering flavour off the month.

Beware the trap that will lead you down this path. All that is posted is not true.

Final words

To me as I gaze upon a social media account I want to see honest. I want to see someone who will kick off their shoes and have a cup of coffee with me but mostly I want to see that I am following a person not afraid of their own light that they need to hide behind the faux fame brigade …someone who embraces their You-niqueness and shines through the seasons, guiding others like a light house should.

4 Hoppy Easter bunny craft ideas for toddlers

Its almost Easter and time to bring out that craft box and create some egg-stra amazing crafts with your toddlerd

Here are 4 of my go to Easter bunny crafts.

1. Easter Bunny toilet tube printing

2. A trio of bunny prints

3. Egg carton bunny

4. Bunny in a bottle

1.Easter Bunny toilet tube printing

( image credit – unknown)

You will need:

3 toilet tubes

Bostik or wood glue

Paints

Paper

To make :

Form 2 of the toilet tubes to look like ears and glue onto the third toilet tube to make a bunny stamp.

Dip into paint and print your design onto the paper.

2. A trio of bunny prints

You will need:

Paints

Paintbrush

Mini canvas or cardboard

Markers

Ribbon

Bostik

To make:

Paint your childs foot the desired colour. Print onto the canvas or cardboard.

When dry use the markers to add detail.

Glue the pictures to a string of ribbon remembering to make a loop at the top to hang.

3. Egg carton bunny

You will need:

Egg cartons

Scissors

Glue

Markers

To make :

Cut the egg carton into single holders. Turn upside down and draw a face. From a second egg carton cut two ears. Colour the ear inners pink and glue onto the bunny.

4. Bunny in a bottle

You will need :

A glass jar

Green raffia or paper

Mini eggs

Chocolate bunny

Ribbon

To make :

Place the raffia at the bottom of the jar to resemble grass. Add the chocolate bunny on top and sprinkle with mini eggs.

Close the lid and tie a ribbon to decorate.

Hoping you love these as much as we do.

Hoppy Easter!!!

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK -OWL STACK HAPPY -a balancing game

Our PRODUCT OF THE WEEK in collaboration with Happy Blocks & Toys is this fun balancing Owl Stack Happy game .

About the product

This chunky colourful game is fun for the entire family as they work together to balance the little numbered owls into some pretty tricky positions.

Defying gravity these owls can stack head to toe, head to head, wing to wing or sideways.


Good for children to develop their imaginations, co-ordination and sense of balance learninging through play.

The box consists of :-

🔹️12 wooden owls

🔹️ 2 balancing sticks

🔹️ A leaflet with ideas on how to balance the birds.

Recommended age 3+ years

Suitable for 2 or more players

Learning benefits

While stacking the owls your child :-

✔Develops fine motor skills

✔Assists colour, size, number and pattern matching and recognition.

✔Develops hand eye co-ordination

✔Improves logic and reasoning

✔develop their imagination

✔Improve visual skills

✔Improves sense of balance

✔ Introduces early match and science skills

Other ways to play :

😊Your child can also use the owls to group different colours into pairs.

😊They can be encouraged to make their own patterns and number lines.

😊They can trace around the owls improving own control

To order visit www.happyblocksandtoys.co.za

This post was sponsored by Happy Blocks and Toys.

Le Bonheur crocodile park

I’ve been wanting to visit the crocodile park for quite some time and we decided to visit on Sunday.

The drive into Paarl alone,is worth the visit as we enjoyed the iconic Pearl rock mountain views and open fields.Hamish had fun spotting the animals along the way and before we even reached the crocodile park we had seen horses, cows and springbok.The view, as you enter this winelands farm is breath taking and if I thought this was amazing, I was in for a much bigger treat when later we walked around and saw the view from the catch release dam …. I’m going to have to book a stay just to catch a sunrise and sunset from this idealic spot.My first thoughts as we parked in the spacious parking spots was how calm and quiet it was.

Lush green grass and beautiful flowers surrounded us.We had seen a field of cows driving in and as we parked we spotted some emu, whom we later went to feed.

The kids couldn’t wait to get out the car.

Hamish has been crocodile crazy for a few weeks so I just knew this was going to appeal to him.

We entered a large welcoming hall and proceed first to the little shop to buy our tickets.The shop is choc o bloc full with an assortment of items to buy to remember your visit. I was happy to see the pricing wasn’t over the top and we bought Hamish a little plastic crocodile and later a packet of dinosaurs.

You can also buy , among other things, t-shirts, crocodile teeth, leather items and handmade natural products.

We bought our tickets and headed through to the crocodile tour.

The tour guide is really knowledgeable and friendly as he begins to give a brief introduction to the life of a crocodile within the small room set up with an assortment of crocodile species pictures.

There are also real crocodile hides, skeletons, empty eggs and baby crocs in tanks.

I was rather sad that we wouldn’t be holding the crocs but very glad to see that the well being of the baby crocs came before a tourist ticket.

The crocs were only a few weeks old and so not ready to be handled.

After our engaging talk we took a tour of the crocodile pens. There are 4 different environments for the crocs and they are divided by age to prevent them from attacking the younger ones.

The environments were clean and with 200 crocodiles it may have looked a little crowded but the crocs are clearly well fed and looked after by passionate, dedicated staff.

Hamish especially loved the green protein growing in the water and he is convinced it’s green mud.

We spent some time just quietly observing the crocodile as Brent and Kerri listened to the guide discuss the crocodiles and their environment in great depths.

Hamish and I watched as the crocs quietly glided under the water only to surface with a great sploosh of bubbles from their nose.

I was really impressed with the guide. His passion and love for the crocodiles is very evident. He was knowledgeable, friendly and incredibly patient with the kids.

In the hall he took Hamish’s plastic crocodile and explained about how many toes the crocodiles have, engaging Hamish immediately.

Outside, mid tour, he stopped to show Hamish the crocodile life cycle pictures on a board, which prompted my little nature lover to try find the mommy and daddy crocodile.

As a mom of a really enquiring toddler this made all the difference! Many tour guides could take a leaf out of this humble man’s book.

After a walk through crocodile tour we were led to a glass panel that showed us how the crocodile swims under water before we toured the area where you can dive with the crocodiles.

Kerri and Brent are super keen to return and do this. Me on the other hand …I’m not so sure about that. Maybe I’ll just buy a tooth souvenir.

When we were done we made a quick visit to the snakes. I’m not a snake fan at all but Brent and the kids are.

There are some impressive snakes housed here and we had the option to attend the snake show and hold a snake but by that stage Hamish was exhausted so we headed to find food.

Service was a bit slow but the portions were quite big and nicely presented.

The view from the restaurant is spectacular and looks over the mountains and catch release dam.

The spacious children’s play area and picnic grounds are inviting and the picnic hampers sold are reasonable. A kiddy picnic of nuggets and chips, cold drink and toy will set you back R65. Not bad for a day out in nature.

It was the children’s area inside the restaurant that impressed me the most.

They have a some well used puzzles on a table and a row of books. Hamish was immediately attracted to the books and we were able to read about the reptiles he had just seen. He grabbed a book and went to lay on the soft crocodile play mat and read while waiting for his food.

I would love to see this implemented in more restaurants that I take my child to.

On the floor is an animal skin rug that holds wooden barrels of natural blocks which are fantastic for open ended play and keeping busy toddlers still.

Overall, this was an incredibly child friendly affordable day out which appealed to each of us. I can’t wait for our next visit.

Ten Fat Sausages by Child’s Play

This book review is in collaboration with Kids Book Club

Title: Ten Fat Sausages

Author: Child’s play

About the book

This classic child favourite counting rhyme is introduced to your child using bright illustrations by Elke Zinsmeister , and bold numbers peeping through die cut holes to help them understand number bonding.

This delightful book stimulates observation skills, encourages discussion and is the perfect first introduction to number bonding.

Hamish loves to count the sausages with me and peep through the empty sausage holes to try find out where they have gone. An adorable way for my toddler to practice counting and number recognition.

Recommended reading 1 -5 years

The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Books supplied by Kids Book club

Photos : Funmammasa

For the love of dragons – a Mish Mash review

Hamish loves dragons. I’m not sure if it’s from the bedtime tales I tell but in his mind dragons are magical creatures deserving of cuddles.

They are brave and beautiful. They are friendly and full of fun.

From the bedside stories of Goerge’s dragon to the songs of Puff living by the sea, he is mesmerized with these mystical beasts and his games are full of Sir Hamish and his trusty dragon side kick saving the day.

But as a mom in the real world, buying friendly looking dragon friends for toddlers that won’t cause nightmares is another story. The dragons I have found are mostly plastic and fierce looking.

Then I discovered the Mish Mash’s website.

Mish mash have a variety of beautifully created soft toys for toddlers and made this delightful dragon for Hamish.

He was besotted from the minute he opened his package and it has been love at first cuddle with his new friend.

The beautifully stitched,dragon made from a soft t-shirting material has had her felt wings and arms tugged and pulled and proved just how strong a dragon really is.

She has been cuddled in bed each night and unceremoniously dragged off, on every adventure since Hamish received her. (Thankfully she’s small and soft enough for me to put her in the backpack.)

As his imagination grows,I love listening to how he explains to her that dragons breathe fire from their “nosriiiils” ( nostrils) and that her wings need to be “big big big” to fly. I love listening to the made up adventures as he clutched her little arm and jumps along my couch so that the knights don’t catch them.

But mostly I love how he looks adoringly into her hand painted puppy dog eyes and says ” I Wuv oooo dragon”.

As parents, I believe, we need to provide our children with the tools to develop their creativity and imagination. Soft toys assist with this, as well as offer comfort and security.

A soft toy becomes your child’s first friend, helping them to begin to understand the world around them and their emotions.

Thank you Mish Mash for giving Hamish the dragon of his dreams.

For more information or to buy your own dragon visit http://www.mish-mash.co.za

#sponsored

Heres why your child needs roots and wings

Growing up as a homeschool family my older 6 children were very close to one another, especially my 4 boys.

We hardly had fights at home and for the most part everyone played together. Our home was calm and quiet. And mostly one of harmony among the kids.

They shared the same circle of friends, most of whom became like family to us and many of whom still hold a very special place in my heart.

We had two rules …. The first anyone coming in our home had to get on with everyone and secondly share everything.

Then I got divorced.

Two of my boys chose to stay with their dad, my eldest daughter was living alone and the other 3 kids stayed with me.

That was in 2012 …7 very long years ago.

7 years in which they grew apart, especially my boys, turned ugly to each other, picked sides against each other and fought to find an identity separate from their siblings.

My mother heart was breaking.

I had raised loyal, loving children who were grounded in family first thinking so how could they be so selfish and intolerant of each other?

I’ve watched as each one of the 4 boys have chosen a path unique to them. Some have fumbled and fallen as the world has taught them a few rules. Some have acted out and been rebellious.

And whilst I did not always like their behaviour I tried to love them unconditionally through these phases.

It was a lonely place for me as a mother. How do you admit your child may not be ok? How do you acknowledge you’ve failed? Which mom won’t judge you if you speak out? Where do you unpack the guilt as your child finds their feet through a roller coaster of their own making ?

The last few weeks I’ve seen my adult children start to grow closer. To understand yet again the idea that family is first. I’ve seen them bond over tiny things, stand up for each other and be there for one another.

I’ve seen them spend more time together and for the first time in a long time my mom heart is truly happy.

My grandmother always said our children may deviate from our teachings but if their roots are strong they will eventually remember the truth.

She was not wrong. We spend many hours teaching our children from little , the character traits we want them to possess. Through our example they develop their moral compass, their empathy and their sense of family loyalty.

So, long before our children become teens or young adults their roots have been formed…but, with puberty also comes the need to spread their wings.

As parents we need to give our children those wings to fly. We also need to be there to catch them should those wings fail. These two things can be the hardest parts of parenting.

There are many mom’s out there, ashamed to admit they feel they have failed. They may have a child who is acting out or exhibiting rebellious behaviour. They may be dealing with children who no longer respect them …to you , the parent who is struggling to see the beautiful child you raised…..

Don’t give up.

Continue to love them through this phase. It will pass….your roots are strong.

A Hat with Style – we review Koco Bino Kids stylish Poor Boy Hats.

Hamish loves hats and they look adorable on him. From little he has always allowed us to keep a hat on his head and has cast aside traditional caps and sun hats for a more stylish look by wearing one of his dad’s straw bowler hats.

But, not every occasion calls for a bowler hat so I’ve been looking for some stylish alternatives.

A hat that suited his personality, was a good quality and had the potential to be dressed up or down according to the days needs.

I discovered these gorgeous poor boy hats at Koco Bino.

Koco Bino are amazing. Based in Johannesburg I wasn’t able to take Hamish for a fitting and honestly wasn’t sure about what size to order.

A simple email with his age came back with a recommended size of medium and a few days later I received 2 perfectly fitting Poor Boy hats for him.

The service was outstanding and the simplistic but stylish packaging displayed the Koco Bino attention to detail that have earned them the reputation for quality.

Hamish received both a stone and a navy poor boy hat to accessorize his outfits.

He loves them and I can dress these hats up or down. Not only does Hamish look super cute in them but the fit is perfect and to me personally a hat makes an outfit.

Manufactured in South Africa, the quality is superbly made from 100 % cotten sateen and is fully washable.

Available in stone, navy, white and tartan.

Who are Koko Bino?

Koco Bino are a boutique store of reference within the South African fashion industry. Dressing mom’s to be and their children in high quality, stylish and unique clothing.

Established in 1978, they are one of a few stores to be part of the world renown Santon city since inception.

In 2015, this passionate team launched their very own locally manufactured children’s range – Koco Bino for kids and it’s easy to see why this range is so popular. Stylish and comfortable, the unique outfits are exceptionally made with attention to detail.

Owned by Bradley and Mandy Manas , this dynamic duo share a passion for business and a flair for fashion, bringing you an exceptional shopping experience and the trusted knowledge in the quality of each product.

For more information visit http://www.kocobino.co.za/content/4-about-us

#sponsored

Hand Shadow puppets – a forgotten form of entertainment

I absolutely love this image by Ferdinand du Puigaudeau called Chinese Shadows, The Rabbit.

It reminds me of the many hours my sister and myself spent trying to perfect the shape of our fingers to form various shadow animals.

We would chose one animal at a time from my thick encyclopedia and practise until we got it right.

Do you remember making shadow puppets on the walls ?

According to writer, Austen Hackney, hand shadow puppets most likely originated in China as a form of entertainment and there has been a significant decline in popularity since the 19th century invention of the light bulb.

Although you can use a light bulb or torch to reflect your image onto the wall, shadows were best cast using a candle light. Since, we no longer rely on candles in our daily use, this age old form of entertainment has slowly been forgotten.

The more modern increase of technology and screen time alternatives to keep our children entertained has also seen simple games like hand shadow puppets lose their appeal as our children choose Netflix and video games to keep busy.

Recently, during load shedding Hamish and I tried to make bunnies and birds. (Well I tried to make them and he said he was making baby sharks.)

It was a lot of fun and we spent about 20 minutes making odd shapes thst I’m sure hardly resembled the actual creature we were trying to show. We were almost sorry to put the lights back on.

How to make shadow puppets

You will need a light wall, your hands and a light source to make shadow puppets.

Look for image charts like the one below. Practice forming your hands correctly, switch off the lights and put the light source behind your hands so the shadow reflects onto the wall.

You can make up stories and put on a show or just cast the shadow. Either way this old fashioned art will keep the kids busy for ages.

It’s good to note that the closer your hands are to the light the larger and less clear the projected image will be so for a smaller clearer image , move your hands further away from the light.

So, if you haven’t tried this with your children, you don’t need to wait for load shedding….just grab a torch and switch the lights off.

Have fun.

5 non chocolate Easter eggs for toddlers to hunt for

This year, I’ve been looking for fun alternative eggs to gift Hamish for his Easter egg hunt.

Things that would last a little longer than 3 bites.

Here’s what Hamish will be hunting for this year…..

1. Therific Naturals Egg-experimental gel

This gel is awesome for sensory play . It comes in 3 colours and you can mix it to a variety of consistancies for hours of play.

2. Therific Naturals egg fizz sprudles

I love this products. It’s a bath bomb that looks like an egg. Made from magnesium sulphate it’s both good for you and refreshing. We’ve used 1 already and Hamish was mesmerized with the water changing colour and ecstatic when he found a soft sponge in the centre. Also great for getting the kids into the bath after an Easter egg hunt and chocolate feast.

3. Clicks Paw Patrol egg

These eggs are really cute and have tiny Paw Patrol dogs inside, which are perfect for small world play. I’ll add a few of these to his hunt. He can use the eggs afterwards in the sandpit and play with the toys inside.

4. Crazy Store Plastic Egg

A variety of cheap plastic eggs that I can fill with homemade slime, playdough and moon sand. These will keep him busy whilst we prepare Easter lunch.

5. Peg Surprise Egg

I’ve made a few of these cute peg surprise eggs and will peg them to the plants for him to unpeg and place in a basket. He secretly, will be getting in some fine motor play as well.

( I found this idea on Facebook so not sure who to credit)

Do you have any cute non chocolate eggs you’ve found ? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.