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BABE, GIVEAWAY, MAMA

WE’RE LOVING WOOLWORTH’S LITTLEWORLD (AND A CHANCE FOR YOU TO WIN FOR FATHER’S DAY)

13th June 2018
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A couple months ago I told you all about Woolworth’s Littleworld community that I had just joined. Now four months down the line and I am loving it! As you know, I hate loyalty programs that don’t give me any actual benefits, but I have been enjoying the Littleworld benefits since February!

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My favourite benefit, like any mama’s would be, was the spa voucher – I had the most relaxing afternoon, no kids, hot tea, in a gown being pampered, basically a reason all on its alone to join Littleworld (in case you didn’t know you receive a free spa voucher when you spend R450 or more in your first three months of joining). Of course, the voucher benefits have also been great, there is nothing like having a voucher to spend on your baby’s clothes when you hit the stores. I used both my welcome voucher and the kiddie birthday voucher on some new shoes for miss Francie (seriously, how quickly do their feet grow?!) and on some winter essentials. (FYI: You receive an exclusive welcome voucher when joining as well as a R50 Woolies voucher as a birthday present for your little one.)

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A few of the other things that I love about Littleworld:

The Littleworld newsletter is informative and useful – I love the monthly newsletter, I’ve found the tips pretty useful which I don’t usually find is the case with other newsletters and I have also enjoyed getting updates on Woolies food (since I am there pretty much everyday).

The Facebook group: The Parent Feed (if you haven’t joined yet, best you do) I love being a part of this community of parents who are in the same life stage as I am – we are experiencing parenthood together and are able to share and seek advice from a community who cares.

The contributors are Meg Faure (who I have been a huge fan of since I treated my Baby Sense book like a newborn Bible), Terence Mentor, Jo-Ann Strauss (such an inspiring mama), Bailey Schneider (love her Instagram account) and Zodwa Khumalo (who I have known for ages and is one of the coolest moms I know).

CHANCE TO WIN FOR FATHER’S DAY!

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Now, to celebrate Father’s Day, along with Woolworths and Littleworld we’re giving you the chance to win a R1000 Woolworths gift card. All you have to do is:

  1. Join the Parent Feed Facebook group
  2. Share the Parent Feed group on your Facebook timeline.
  3. Tell us in the comments section below that you have joined and shared the group.

The winner will be announced on Saturday 16th June 2018.

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Ts & Cs apply.

The use of the Woolworths gift card constitutes acceptance of the following terms and conditions:

  • This card is only exchangeable for merchandise in Woolworths stores and may not be refunded or redeemed for cash.
  • No cash change will be given.
  • This card may not be redeemed against purchases made at Woolworths stores outside the Republic of South Africa or any Engen stores.
  • This card is valid for 36 (thirty-six) months from date of issue.
  • This card may not be used to make payments into any Woolworths card or loan account or utilities account.
BABE, WEAR

WE LOVE: GUSS AND SHILO

5th June 2018
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Guss and Shilo is a children clothing collection that is inspired by a life lived outside. We love their simple yet beautiful items. We love it when local brands just get it right.

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BABE, BUMP, MAMA

MEET THE BUMP: JENNA MC ARTHUR

30th May 2018
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I am so excited about this meet-the-bump! Jenna and I met when we were both interns at Elle magazine back in 2009! And now she is 34 week pregnant with her first babe. Of course, she also happens to be super stylish leading me to having serious maternity wear envy throughout her pregnancy. Jenna is now looking forward to being a mum as well as continuing to be a content creator for select brands.

How are you really feeling?

Excited, nervous, emotional – all the feelings really! I’m not really surprised as although pregnancy is a blessing and a miracle, growing a human being takes a lot out of you mentally and physically.

What was the thing that surprised you the most about being pregnant?

The preconceptions around pregnancy led me to believe this would be an easy ride – that I wouldn’t eat any sugar, that I would gym my way through the 40 weeks, that it would be all glow and tummy but what came as a surprise was that you just don’t know how you will handle pregnancy – each pregnancy is different and it is OK to say you know what – I love my baby and am so excited to meet him or her but the carrying part is actually not for me or I find this really hard. For me it is important to be open and share on this because during my pregnancy I have found so many other women who have battled with post-partum depression, difficulties through their pregnancy, finding it really challenging to breastfeed, hard truths that women feel they can’t share or talk about, that its supposed to be all roses. I think it is important for women to support each other and share / talk out about this so the ride is not so lonely.

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You recently closed your company, so describe the new normal day in your house?

It was a tough decision to close my first baby but the right one I know to be a first time Mum. I love working so to be honest a few projects have crept up which I am busy with as well as a few collaborations – I have begun sharing my pregancy and my journey on social media – sharing on products I love, baby tips I have picked up, dressing the bump and just really hoping to inspire and inform other women in some way be it big or small. A typical day for me starts with a stroll to Bootleggers for a coffee (I allow myself one a day) then I’m on mail doing a bit of work in the morning and then its full on organisation mode. We have recently moved into our new home in Greenpoint so between preparing for the baby and a new space I am always doing something. Full on nesting mode really. I’m not one to sit still so my days are full and this new phase is about sharing, connecting with people and taking time out to create be it on the home or work front. The weekends are all about family time. These last few weeks my husband and I have really tried to cherish this time together before there’s less of it with a newborn baby!

Take us into your babe’s nursery?

You’ll have to wait till the full nursery reveal on my blog for all the details! But what I will say is that I have tried to create a really still, elegant and peaceful space. Much to other Mums horror it is all white. We don’t know our babies gender yet but even if we did I would have kept the room in neutral hues. We had the compactum, crib and rocking / feeding chair custom made with Baby Belle – these pieces give the room a French / old world feel with a handcrafted crib which exhibits all the hallmarks of an antique crib with its classic curves and detailed carvings and deep button hole upholstery. These pieces add a sophisticated feel to the room while I balanced old world with a modern touch by adding a gold and mirrored side table, a beautiful icelandic sheepskin and a white linen toy box stacked with handcrafted knitted animals and toys. As much as I tried to keep the nursery all local there were a few pieces we picked up on our trip to NYC – a Trousselier sheep musical mobile, prints from the Animal Print shop. Oh and one of my fave finnishes in this room that brings in such warmth and feminity are the French lace curtains I found in Franschhoek at Masquerade.

How has being an expectant father changed David or given you a different insight into who he is?

You know what is interesting is how little others talk about the impact on Dads and what they go through on this journey. They may not have the constant reminder of carrying around a big bump but they too go through changes. There is a lot of pressure to provide as a father, how the new arrival will impact on their work, life, balance, how they will handle the birth itself. I would really recommend couples going to an ante-natal course as this provides a journey for both of you not just mums-to-be and it is a really lovely thing to do together. We are attending Thula Baby Centre classes and it gives us a weekly opportunity to ask questions, learn about pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and most importantly is just such a great support network to meet other mum and dads to be and connect with the right professionals from midwives to lactation specialists. The Dads connect and have a space to chat and bond over their thoughts and what if’s and its really important that the Dads are involved. David is beyond excited, he has been so involved and supportive from the beginning – he has definitely showed me a more gentle side but also a very strong side in that he takes his responsibility seriously and has prepared for his role by reading, reasearching and asking the right questions. For Dads to be – do get your hands on The Expectant Father, The ultimate guide for Dad’s-to-be and he also has enjoyed reading The Bump app.

What are your top picks that you pack to keep you comfortable yet super stylish during your pregancy?

Shoes, shoes, shoes – when you are expanding in every which way and are having a blah day and nothing fits, an amazing pair of shoes can change everything

Have fun with your choices and don’t feel you HAVE to resort to maternity wear. Definitely invest in a few beautiful dresses, a classic white shirt and a really great knit – just get bigger sizes and don’t feel you have to wear maternity clothing only.

Having said this, there are a few items that I had to get in maternity- a pair of maternity leggings (coming from someone who thinks leggings are a fashion sin, trust me, you’ll thank me later) a pair of dungarees and maternity jeans – H&M have great options that are comfortable but still stylish. I find in the last trimester a chunky knit or white longer length shirt goes perfectly with a pair of maternity leggins and leopard print loafers (my current wardrobe staples).

Before you think outerwear make sure you are being kind on your skin – I am obsessed with all the Mamma Mio products as well as Bio Oil – I alternate as I love how they make my skin feel and will continue to use both post pregnancy. I am also a huge fan of Africology anti-ageing SOS spray – in the last trimester I tend to wake up with a puffy / swollen face and the spray soothes, hydrates and moisturises the skin beautifully.

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We know you are always on the look out for amazing products, what have you bought already for your babe that you cannot wait to use?

I can not wait to use my Artipoppe leopard print baby carrier – it is made from cashmere, wool and cotton and carries baby from 6months – two years and I can not wait to wear it!

My Bugaboo – my husband is a bit of a nerd so we spent days test driving different prams, he researched different brands to within an inch of his life  – he took this very seriously and the result was the Bugaboo Chameleon 3. We got the navy one with cream quilted detail interior.

Mums swear by the Nurture One Nesting cushion – it is locally produced and an amazing sleep aid that is safe. It holds the baby securely and assists with snug position for sleeping which in turn encourages calm and relaxation. It also allows for a smooth transition from breast feeding to crib, pram or cot without changing position.

Anything Mustela.

My Woolina sleep sack which is a wearable blanket made from merino wool which regulates the babies body temperature keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.

Im also excited to try out my Wubbanubs – part plush toy, part dummy the Wubbanub is designed to stay in place and comfort your baby. It’s attached to a sweet toy that’s easy for babies to grasp and close to impossible to lose. It will probably be my baba’s first little friend – I ordered the lamb, baby giraffe and ele from Amazon.

Ewan the Dream Sheep – I bought mine from Kids Living. It calms the baby and lulls them to sleep – it has actual womb and heartbeat recordings that are combined with either vacuum cleaner, rain or harp sounds. After 9 months in the womb your baba is accustomed to the mothers heartbeat so Ewan the dream sheep immitates these sounds and provides a calming and comforting affect on your little one.

Oh and last but not least – I am so excited to try out my sheepskin – it has such amazing benefits – the merino wool is super gentle against baby skin, has natural temperature control abilities, can result in better sleep, reduce stress and colic and, and and! Love that you can use it as a play mat or in the crib or pram – I got mine from Baaa Sheepskins.

If someone could have given you one piece of advice before falling pregnant what would that be?

Slow down, take a long deep breath and pause. Pregnancy is such an individual experience so it can be hard sometimes to get good advice and trust me, everyone has an opinion. Listen to your own body and do what feels right for you. On a practical front I would really suggest spreading things out nicely – don’t wait until the end to do the nursery, to buy all the essentials – do it as early on in your pregnancy as you feel comfortable doing it. For me the last few months have been exhausting so to have everything ready and organised has been so wonderful and less stressful.

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For more of Jenna make sure you follow her on Instagram and have a look at her blog, Jenna Mc Arthur.

DIARY, PLAY

FRANCIE TURNS 3!

3rd April 2018
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We celebrated Francie Sugar’s 3rd birthday a couple weekends ago! After a week of continuous rains and searching for plan B options and even thinking of cancelling we woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning and a shining new three year old. We celebrated, like we always do, in Kimmy & Bear’s garden with breakfast and balloons and a super fun train which was a huge hit. Bailey did a puppet show, using the same puppet stage my mum made for us when we were kids. It made me all nostalgic seeing all the kids watching in such excitement and laugh with such enthusiasm. Hugolyne baked Francie’s cake and stuck to Francie’s brief exactly, “I want a chocolate cake with pink and purple smarties” so that’s what she got. We had the best morning.

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Pics by Robyn Davie Photography 

NEST, PLAY

NEW KIMMY & BEAR X THINK CO WALLPAPERS

13th March 2018
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We are so excited to announce the launch of our latest wallpapers in the Kimmy & Bear x Think Co collection. Email shop@kimmyandbear.com with your dimensions for orders and queries.

Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Clouds

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Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Mountains

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Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Stars 

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Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Woodland

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And don’t forget about our other favourites:

Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Trees 

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Kimmy & Bear x Think Co Forest

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MAMA, READ

WHAT WE’RE READING

7th March 2018
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After easing into 2018 during January, February kicked up a gear as we found our new routines and got back to the normal busyness of daily life. Resolutions may have also weakened somewhat already with increased Instagram scrolling at the end of the day. As such my reading dropped to three books this month; three books that could not have been more different from each other – Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the fluffy A French Affair by Katie Fforde, and the somewhat depressing The Locals by Pulitzer prize winner Jonathan Dee.

I mentioned Shoe Dog last month and it was outstanding! Phil Knight, the creator or Nike, shares his journey as he builds one of the world’s most recognizable brands. I loved seeing what went into starting a business in the 60’s and 70’s, a time of handshakes, long-distance letter writing, and risking it all. Phil Knight’s story also reveals and honors the personal relationships that were key to Nike’s success in an open and heartfelt way. If there’s one book I’m recommending this month, this is it!

Shoe Dog is the perfect example of why memoirs are one of my favorite genres. I love a look at people’s stories and lives whether similar or completely different to mine, their understanding of themselves and their places in the world are so compelling. If you enjoy memoirs here are some of my favorites:
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls: One of my favorite books, this story will break your heart. The author grows up in an unconventional, dysfunctional family yet goes on to defy all odds, through it all her deep love for this crazy family shines through. Eagerly awaiting the movie out this year.
Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming: Did you love Eli Gold in The Good Wife? This is his memoir and it’s a wonderful story of triumph and putting the past to rest. Looking at him now, it’s hard to imagine all he’s overcome to get here.
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller:  Compelling memoirs filled with love, family, heartache, tragedy, adventure, starting over, and Africa.
The Mommy Group by Elizabeth Isadora Gold: I press this book into expecting mother’s hands at baby showers! The author reveals such vulnerability, which will speak to any new mom navigating parenting waters. There is so much truth in this book, highlighting our common experiences as mothers and reminding us that we all need our own ‘mommy group’ to make it!

There are a few books I’m looking forward to this month and Hum If You Don’t Know The Worda by Bianca Marais tops the list. This South African author’s debut novel was inspired by her own nanny and is set in South Africa, I’ve been wanting to read it after seeing it on so many holiday reading lists last year. (There’s another book I’m excited to read that’s linked to one of my guilty pleasures so check in next month for more on that!)

Happy reading!

Follow Hey Good Booking on Instagram for more reading inspiration.

BABE, PLAY

GET TO WORK, KIDS!

2nd March 2018
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This morning I came across this article, it speaks about a mother whose kids were driving her crazy, not listening so she called her mother, who said “They need jobs!” – the article offers great advice.

Later that morning I was looking after two two-year-olds, both wanted the exact same pen at the exact same time, then the same block and even the same space on the carpet. I thought of the article and set them to work.

I gave them each a bowl of water, a sponge and some (organic) soap… the result? 45minutes of washing windows! They (and I) had the best morning. After washing the windows, they dried them too.

So next time you need 5 minutes peace… get your windows washed.

BABE, MAMA, TRAVEL

MUSEUM VISITS WITH CHILDREN

20th February 2018
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Visiting Monet’s Lillies in the Musee de l’Organgerie when Francie was 18months old

When I mentioned that on a recent trip to Paris we took our babe to the art museums, a friend of mine was surprised. She immediately asked what we did with Francie, and if she was bored. It got me thinking about museums or (non child-specific) exhibitions with children, and how this is actually a great activity to do with them. Obviously we don’t spend hours staring at the paintings listening to audio explanations but that doesn’t mean museums and galleries aren’t an option.

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At the Henri Matisse exhibition at the Standard Bank Art Gallery in Johannesburg (Sept 2016)

Here are a few things that we do to make museum and exhibition trips fun for us as a family:

  1. Book in advance. We avoid long queues and long waits by booking ahead so once we arrive things are relaxed, and no one is exhausted or over it already.
  2. We limit our time. Don’t think that you are going to spend an entire morning in the museum. Decided to spend an hour or so there, depending on the age of your child.
  3. Limit what you see. Again, it is not about seeing everything, everytime. Choose a few pieces of art that you want to visit.
  4. Take the time to discuss the art with your child. Talk about what they see – you don’t need to go into detail on the artist or techniques. Talk about the colours, the subject e.g. the ballet dancer or boat, and the shapes. Ask your child what else they see? What they like about the artwork.
  5. Be enthusiastic yourself! Be excited when you see something that you love, and draw on their enthusiasm and experiences. We were so excited to see a Monet’s La Gare painting in the Musee d’Orsay, since Francie loves trains, and we had been on one the day before.
  6. Finally, as you leave the museum buy a book which features some of the artworks that you saw. This way you can discuss them again at home.

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Andy Warhol exhibition at WAM (Oct 2017) 

I loved this comment on one of our Instagram snaps by reader Iriann “Great that you are taking her to all these museums, I’m sure children take in the colours and images and emotions evoked in art in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.”

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National Gallery, London (Oct 2016) 

Check out Rock That Museum Kid, a cool Instgram account featuring kids in museums.

BABE, PLAY, READ

AUDIO BOOKS TO THE RESCUE

19th February 2018
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I have recently introduced Francie to audio books and it’s the best thing, for both of us. As you know we are screen-free so handing Francie an iPad or letting her watch TV for a bit isn’t an option for us. She has always loved listening to music in the car, and some time ago I introduced her to stories in the car which she loved. It then suddenly dawned on me that I don’t only have to let her listen in the car! I remember loving to listen to tapes when I was a child and I guess it is the same thing.

Although she loves stories and reading books, listening to someone elses voice took some getting used to. Two main things helped to start Francie off on audio books:

  1. I chose stories which she already knows or characters she is familiar with
  2. I chose shorter stories, around 5 minutes – 10 minutes long

These are the times I find audio books most useful/ effective:

  1. Francie is transitioning to no nap so on those days we still have “quiet rest time” where she is in her cot, and I am either in her chair reading my own book (!) or in and out of the room. Our rest time at the moment is 20 minutes, and the last 5 minutes are usually taken up by an audio book.
  2. Today I had a dermatologist appointment, and had to take Francie with me. She sat quietly on the chair and listened to the story while I had my appointment, it was fantastic!
  3. That time when you just have to get something done but your toddler is hungry and tired and just needs to slow down for a bit. A quiet story, while relaxing on the bed/ couch/ floor is a great way to just calm down the energy and get those 5 minutes that you need.
  4. Travelling. We went overseas this month and there was plenty of travelling – buses, trains, and planes. She loved an audio story every now and then (I bought her a pair of headphones for the trip which caused great excitement!)

Our favourites: We use the Audible app which is linked to my Amazon account. Of course there are countless stories to choose from but these are our favourites:

  1. Any Julia Donaldson stories – especially Singing Mermaid, Paperdolls and What the Ladybird Heard
  2. The Very Busy Spider by Erid Carle
  3. Tales of Beatrix Potter, specifically Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-winkle (her favourite for us to read too).
  4. All Mog stories by Judith Kerr
  5. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

Here are a few new stories which we discovered through audio books:

  1. The Penny series by Kevin Henkes
  2. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  3. The Animal Fair and Other Stories by BBC Audio

I hope this inspires you to download some kids audio books and get those toddlers listening, and if you do already love audio books please share some of your favourites in the comment section.

BABE, MAMA, WEAR

I’VE JUST JOINED WOOLWORTHS LITTLEWORLD

5th February 2018
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Let’s face it, Woolworths is our go to store for all things baby (well, actually all things mama and family too). Ever since Francie was a tiny thing I have loved their white babygrows, and now I love their cool kids fashion for little ones so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered their Littleworld loyalty program  — I immediately signed up.

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Nothing bugs me more than loyalty programs that actually give me nothing, seriously what is the point? But Littleworld has already made signing up worth it: I’ve just received my welcome voucher of R100 off (with any R400 purchase on kidswear). And since I immediately stocked up on new items for Francie Sugar I also received a spa voucher — yip, pretty much any mama’s dream (you are rewarded a spa voucher when you spend R450 or more in the first 3 months of joining Littleworld). All I need to do now is book my mama to babysit so I can head off for a massage!

Other benefits that make it worth joining are the monthly gift card competition (each month you stand a chance to win a R500 gift voucher), other vouchers for birthday outfits, and special savings.

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As a member of Littleworld I am also entered into exclusive competitions such as the amazing WIN AN EDUCATION BURSARY WITH R20 000 TOWARDS YOUR CHILD SCHOOL FEES. Francie is only starting school later this year, and already I can’t quite get used to the cost of school fees so winning R20 000 towards fees would be amazing. Every time I swipe my Woolworths WRewards card it counts as an entry. The competition ends on Friday 9 March so get swiping as soon as you are a member!

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I know our readers are huge fans of Woolworths so make sure you join Littleworld, and enter the bursary competition — it’s really a great program.

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To join Woolworths Littleworld click here.

{Photography: Lad & Lass; Robyn Davie}

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