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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

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
View More: http://helloharbour.pass.us/cheskaandfranciesugar

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}

BABE, MAMA

THIS IS US

5th February 2018
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“The love a parent feels for a child is strange. There is a starting point to our love for everyone else, but not this person. This one we have always loved, we loved them before they even existed. No matter how well prepared they are, all mums and dads experience a moment of total shock, when the tidal wave of feelings first washes over them, knocking them off their feet. It’s incomprehensible because there’s nothing to compare it to. It’s like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to some one who’s lived their their whole life in a dark room. It sends the soul flying.” Fredrik Backman, The Scandal

We hung out with Emma Jane from Lad & Lass Photography in our parents’ garden a couple weeks ago. Here are some of the moments that she captured if you would like to see.

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BABE, MAMA, NEST

FAMILY ALBUM AND THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

2nd February 2018
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{Anna, March 2016 photographed by Robyn Davie}

Happy Friday and happy February lovely mamas. We’re back into the swing of school, classes, new clients and trying to juggle it all! I am off tonight to France, we’re going skiing – with Francie in tow, which should ne interesting. I can just imagine her saying “me not wearing that” as she points to the boots, skis and helmet. So follow us on #KimmyandBearTravels over the next few days for updates!

In the meantime here are some links that caught our eye over the past few days and weeks:

If Apple CEO Tim Cook had kids, he says he wouldn’t let them engage in social media and How Bill Gates limited screen time for his kids.

Pressure much? The best foods for a baby’s brain.

The Art of Raising Kind Kids.

How to minimize your exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

The godsend of meeting mom friends online.

Kid’s Lunch Recipes from Chef Moms.

The Times released a 6-piece video series about motherhood.

Fussy Baby? Here Are 20 Things You Need To Try

The question all moms are asked (and dads are never asked).

Why kids in school need helicopter parents

Do Parents Make Kids Fat?

BABE, READ

5 OF OUR FAVOURITE BOOKS AT THE MOMENT

23rd January 2018
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We have shelves and shelves full of story books but somehow favourites are favourites and those are the ones we read over and over. Francie Sugar (who is 2 years and 9 months old) got a whole lot of new books this holiday, some of which have made it onto our favourites list. Here they are:

1. The Everywhere Bear, Julia Donaldson

We love reading all about Everywhere Bear’s adventure,  spotting the bear on each page, laughing at which book the teacher is reading to the children (one of our other favourites) and of course the rhyming is always great too.

2. Gotta Go, Buffalo: A Silly Book of Fun Goodbyes, Haily Meyers and Kevin Meyers

Francie finds little goodbye sayings like “See you in a while, crocodile” hysterical at the moment so this book is right up her ally. We know them all off my heart now so when we say goodbye to anyone it’s a long rhyming farewell. The book is lift the flap too which is always nice.

FYI: I found this one on Amazon but ordered it through Exclusive books, it took a couple weeks but it worked really well.

3. There’s a tiger in the Garden, Lizzy Stewart

There are so many things that we love about this book: Jeff the giraffe, the grumpy polar bear, spotting the tiger and of course the last page is the best!

4. Pretty much any book by Sandra Boynton especially Pajama Time, Barnyard Dance, Belly Button Book and Thirteen Animals

These books are such fun, catchy and pretty funny too. We know them off by heart and are known to bust out a few moves for the Barnyard Dance and Pajama Time.

5. Thank you Bear, Greg Foley and Good Luck Bear, Greg Foley

The sweetest stories about a bear and a mouse and what friendship is. These books are heartwarming!

BABE, MAMA

MEET THE MAMA: CHLOE FROM KISS KISS PHOTOGRAPHY

1st December 2017
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We’ve worked with Chloe on a few projects lately and have loved getting to know her. She is mama to almost 2 year old Ava.

Tell us one of your favourite things about being a mother. 

Anytime her little hand grips mine in a tight hold while we walk.

What is one piece of parenting advice you heard and tried to follow as a mother.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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Tell us one of your favourite memories of parenthood so far.

When Ava realised she was Ava. She kept pointing to herself again and again saying Ava, Ava! She was so happy to be her own person in the world.

What if your idea of the perfect way to spend a day with your little one? 

In nature, swimming.

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What are your favourite books to read to your babe?

Dr Suess is always on rotation as well as a collection of vintage Beatrix Potter books that belonged to my step mother as a child.

Do you have any family rituals?

My husband gets up every weekday morning with Ava and makes himself a coffee, Ava a baby chino and me a cup of tea. Ava climbs into bed with me and we drink our beverages whilst reading stories in bed.

What one thing we will never catch you doing as a mama?

Saying “I’ll never….” because I’ve done everything I thought I would never do as a mom.

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What is the biggest surprise to you about having children?

How clever they are and their ability to teach you. I feel like she teaches me far more than I teach her.

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What do you love most about your husband being a dad? 

Aw man, EVERYTHING!? Seeing them develop their own relationship that’s separate from me is pretty special. I shoot over weekends so they spend a lot of time together and it really shows.

Follow Chloe on Instagram here.

BABE, PLAY

ROAD TRIP ACTIVITIES

27th November 2017
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We went on our first road trip with Francie last weekend. We headed to a farm in Limpopo, which was about 5 hours away. I was so nervous about the long drive with Francie. She isn’t the best in the car. Since we have a “no screen” policy I created loads of fun road trip activities for our journey. Here they, in case you are prepping for the holidays too. I also ordered this activity tray which was perfect for activities and snacks in the car, I’d really recommend it.

1. Velcro Coloured Sticks

Francie spied these on my desk this week and I know that she is already curious! I bought these coloured ice cream sticks at my local stationary store and then stuck velcro on them. The coloured sticks are great because not only can she stick them together, but also sort them into colours and patterns.

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2. Lacing!

A new, fun activity which Francie is loving at the moment. We have a hand me down version from our cousins but here are three options which look great:

Melissa & Doug Farm Lace & Trace

Alex Lacing One, Two, Tie My Shoe

Viga Wooden Transportation Lacing Blocks

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3. Activity Books (I picked this selection from Exclusive Books)

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4. Crazy Clay 

I recently discovered Crazy Clay at our weekly Mom and Me and we both loved it! It’s a fantastic mix between Play Doh and Presstick. This was a huge hit and she played with it for ages. The great thing about it is that is that you can keep reinventing activities. First, she played with the clay on it’s own, then using paper to create artwork with the clay and in the end I even gave her little things to stick in the clay.

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5. Magnetic Drawing Board

I got one from Baby City for only R60. Francie hadn’t had one of these before and she totally loved it, it was a hit.

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6. Button Trees

Trust me, this is worth making! Francie absolutely loved making these trees and it kept her busy for so long that I didn’t end up using all the activities that I packed. She loved threading the buttons and then on the way home, she enjoyed taking them off too.

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Looking for some other busy bags? See some other ideas here.

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