BABE, GIVEAWAY, WEAR

LITTLE DEAR RAE x KIMMY & BEAR GIVEAWAY

16th May 2018
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Dear Rae Jewellery has launched their very first collection for little ones – ‘Little Dear Rae.’ Created in line with the brand’s adult aesthetics, this debut kids range celebrates beautiful, timeless little collectable treasures, whilst teaching girls and boys from an early age about the value of kindness, courage and self-love. 

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Dear Rae sent each of the Kimmy & Bear babes a piece from the collection. The treasures came beautifully packaged, and the kids were so excited to open the little boxes. They even came with a little drawstring backpacks to match.

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 I absolute love the range (and the kids did too). It has the perfect dose of cute so as not to be too sophisticated for little ones to wear, and it is so sweet to see the trinkets around their wrists.

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Each trinket in the collection is paired up with a little watercolour print and a verse from the Little Dear Rae poem. To me this really reflects the thoughtfulness behind the design, something I associate with the Dear Rae brand (head to link in @dearrae‘s bio to read the poems).

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COMPETITION TIME

We’ve teamed up with @dearrae to one give lucky follower a chance to win a treasure from the brand new Little Dear Rae collection. The winner will be allowed to choose the trinket of their choice to the value of R500.

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Make sure you follow both @kimmyandbear and @dearrae on Instagram

2) Tag someone who would find this collection as adorable as you do

Comp closes: 22 May 2018

Winner will be announced: 23rd May 2018

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 

DIARY, PLAY

OUR ANNUAL EASTER PLAYDATE FOR CHARITY

15th March 2018
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On Friday we hosted our 5th Annual Easter Playdate for Charity in Kimmy & Bear’s garden (see pics of our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). It felt like an end-of-summer celebration as the garden buzzed with children and their lovely mothers (some of which have attended our Easter Playdate every year!). There were easter egg hunts, jumping castles, Easter-themed craft activities, a spread of delicious cakes, sandwiches, healthy kiddies snacks, and our mom’s famous chocolate biscuits.

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Each year we choose a charity that focuses on mothers and children. This year we chose to support One Small Act of Kindness, a grassroots initiative that provides support to small organisations overlooked by NGOs. Thank-you to all those that attended for your generosity – it will go a long way to providing essential services within communities.

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A special thanks to Robyn Davie Photography for taking pics of the afternoon, and capturing each mama and their babes – because really mamas don’t get enough pics of doing what they do! Another thank-you to Heather’s Jumping Castles for the fantastic jumping castles.

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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

WOODLAND

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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DIARY, EAT, PLAY

WE WENT BERRY PICKING AT FIELD BERRY FARM

5th March 2018
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On Sunday we went berry picking at Field Berry Farm, about 30minutes outside Joburg. What a wonderful way to spend a morning with family. You are given a little bucket upon arrival, and are then let loose in the berry fields to pick (and sample!) as many raspberries as you like. As city-dwellers, there is something very fulfilling in partaking in a farm-to-table process of picking your fruit in the fields, seeing where it comes from, the type of bushes it grows on, and how it tastes when you harvest it yourself. Plus, raspberries are delicious, super good for for you, and can easily be devoured by themselves, on cereal, in smoothies, or frozen for later.

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After berry picking you can relax and hang out on hay bales, and indulgence in the various offering of market-style food stalls.

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Cost:

Adults: R40

Children (2-11): R30

When you arrive back at the farm house your bucket of berries is weighed and you pay for that in addition to your entry fee.

 

Tip: It gets really hot out in the fields so go early, take hats, cold water, and lather on the sunscreen.

 

For more info visit Field Berry Farm website, and follow them on Instagram.

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.

READ

HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY! (AND A LIST OF OUR FAVOURITE BOOKS)

1st March 2018
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My favourite books are those that I love to read as much as my babes love to listen to. My all time favourite book to read to my children is the classic Winnie The Pooh, by A.A Milne – it is so beautifully written, full of laugh-out -aloud moments, and contains stories that can be heard a million times over. In honour of World Book Day we are sharing some other of our favourite children’s books at the moment (in no particular order).

We love discovering new books so let us know your favourites in the comments below.

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1.How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

I am a big fan of Oliver Jeffers books but this is my favourite of all. It’s a sweet story of a boy trying to catch a star written in Jeffers’s usual quirky style.

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2. A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess

My girls adore fairies so this book really appeals to them as it lays out a plan to find your very own fairy.

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3. In the Forest by Sophie Strady, Anouck Boisrobert, Louis Rigaud

This is a simple story with a strong message about looking after our planet, accompanied by beautiful pop-up illustrations, and a little sloth!

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4. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo

A must-have book on every bookshelf, for girls and boys a like. The one page, easily digestible stories of women who changed the world are inspiring.
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty5. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

This is one of my all-time favourite books to read to my girls. The rhythm of the rhyming is spot on, the language fantastic, and the story simply wonderful. We also have Rosie Revere, Engineer, Ada Twist, Scientist, and Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau, all by the same author, and I could read each of these books a million times a day.

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6. Lost and Found by Barbara McClintock

This book has the most beautiful illustrations of scenes throughout China as two children explore the country with their uncle. Part of the story is finding a missing object on each page which adds a extra element to the story telling.

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7. Tiger in a Tutu by Fabi Santiago

It’s hard to go wrong with a story involving a tiger, ballet, Paris, and friendship.

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8. In the Attic by Hiawyn Oram

The magic of a child’s imagination is expressed so perfectly in this simple story about a boy who is cored with all his toys.

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9. A River by Marc Martin

A River takes you on a journey through cities and farmland, mountains, and jungle, and finally into the sea as it and beautifully expresses the wonder of imagination.

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10. The Night Box by Louise Greig, Ashling Lindsay

This story reads like poetry as it tells of all the changes the world undergoes as day fades to night and back to day again.

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11. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

I love this book as it’s inspired by the incredible High Line in New York, and tells the story of a little boy who transforms an entire city with one small act.

Book_extra yarn12. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen

Kindness, generosity, individuality and intention are expressed so simply and subtly in this sweet book about a girl who finds a box of never-ending yarn.

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13. Girl and Gorilla by Rick Walton

I used to call New York home, so I love reading stories set in NY to my girls to give them an inkling of this incredible city. I particularly love this book for it’s humour.

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14. Willoughby and the Lion by Greg Foley

Greg Foley is a good friend of mine from New York so his books hold a special place in our bookshelves. This book, with images solely in black and gold, is about finding out what’s truly important.

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15. Jack and the Flum Flum Tree by Julia Donaldson

I used to love reading this book to my niece so when I saw it the other day I nabbed a copy for myself. It’s Julia Donaldson at her best with fun words and silly rhymes.

The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers

16. The Way Back Home  by Oliver Jeffers

Another Oliver Jeffers favourite about a boy and a martian, finding their way back home from the moon.

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17. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kale Pankhurst

What a fantastic book to read to daughters!

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18. Dreamweaver by Claire Freedman and Carrie May

The perfect bedtime story if you ask me, all about going to sleep for the night. We love the rhyming too.

Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

19. Oi Dog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

This series really makes us laugh out loud. The rhyming is fantastic and we are introduced to animals we didn’t know before.

Thank you Bear by Greg Foley

20. Thank you Bear by Greg Foley

A simple story about a mouse and bear’s special friendship.

Theres a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart

21. Theres a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart

We love this tale of a little girl and her giraffe who explore grandmother’s garden – a polar bear, giant dragon flies? What’s next. Oh and the last page is our favourite.

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22. A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen, Chris Riddell

Described as poems for the “very young” which is great way to describe this book. The poems are funny, silly even ridiculous but we’ve read them over and over and love it.

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23. Sparky by Jenny Offill, Chris Appelhans

The sweetest story about a little girl and her pet sloth.

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24. Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack by Lynley Dodd

We are the hugest fans of Mairy Maclary so love all these books but these is something that makes us love the persistence of Zachary Quack.

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25. The Everywhere Bear by Julia Donaldson

Follow the adventure of the Everywhere Bear when he gets lost one day.

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26. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

Fancy a tiger coming for tea? And then eating and drinking everything you have in the house.

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.

MAMA, READ

YES, YOU DO HAVE TIME TO READ

7th February 2018
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I’ll be blogging each month about what I read, new books I’m looking forward to and other book news.
Let me start by stating what may be the obvious, I love reading. Reading is my ultimate downtime – ideally on my own, in a quiet place with a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate but 10 minutes snatched while the kids run in the garden works too!
I read a lot but somehow could not reach 50 books a year, which has been my goal since I started tracking my reads a few years ago. I blamed this on being busy and having two young children but then Bailey sent me this article at the beginning of the year and it has changed the way I think about my day and the hours I spend reading. By being more conscious of reading when I have some free time instead of scrolling Instagram (I still scroll obviously, just with a bit more discipline), even if it’s just for 10 minutes while I run the bath for the kids or wait for school pick up, I read 7 books in January! Disclaimer: I do not spend all day reading! I read here and there during the day for probably a maximum of 30 minutes total and then I read for about an hour in bed each night. A great way to start the year and it looks like I might reach 50 books this year, at last!
This month I read a few books I can recommend:
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Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden
Joe Biden’s memoir chronicles a momentous year in his life as his son battled brain cancer, he faces the decision whether to join the presidential race in 2016, and serves as Vice President. This book is moving on so many levels – his strong Catholic faith, deep love for his family, hope and grief for his son, and his true friendship with Obama.
What I loved: The insights into his dedicated parenting and his commitment to instill a sense of civic duty and service in his children is inspiring.
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Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
I’m always delighted to find brand-new releases at my local library so I picked up Option B earlier this month. Sheryl Sandberg details her approach to life following her husbands sudden death. With two young children and a broken heart she was lost until Adam Grant proposes the idea of Option B, an alternative look at grief and recovery. When I face grief in my own life, my own or someone else’s, this is a book I will turn to.
What I loved: The idea of Option B, which can be applied to all life situations and the chapter on bringing up resilient children, this chapter alone prompted me to buy my own copy.
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Run by Anne Patchett
My favorite non-fiction book last year was The Story of a Happy Marriage by Anne Patchett, which prompted me to read more of her backlist. Run is a short book that takes place over two days, with flashes to the past interspersed. It follow two adopted brothers, their father, brother and two strangers whose lives collide in a startling set of circumstances. Anne Patchett’s writing is outstanding and I don’t think any of her books would disappoint.
What I loved:  A beautiful and unexpected twist that changes everything.
Here’s a look at a few titles on my to read list this month.
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Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
My brother-in-law and a blogger I follow both raved about this Nike founder’s memoir so I picked it up at bookclub this month.
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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I loved her first book Everything I Never Told You so I bought this in December and it’s on my bedside table waiting to be read.
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The Last Mrs Parrish
This book has popped up so many times on my Instagram feed this month so I’m excited to read it when it’s eventually released in SA.
What have you enjoyed reading lately? Follow my bookstagram account @heygoodbooking for more quick reviews and recommendations.
Happy reading!
(all book images via Good Reads)
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