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WE’RE AT DESIGN JOBURG

12th May 2017
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Kimmy & Bear Spaces is show casing at Design Joburg this weekend. For more on our Growing Up space, click here.

The Design Joburg show is set to become a new focus for exceptional design, quality and inspiration. Design Joburg is the perfect mix of a longstanding favourite local exhibition that highlights the best in the industry paired with the new innovators and emerging talent of South Africa.

Visitors to the show will be part of a unique audience of high end consumers as well as architects, designers, specifiers, developers, as well as multinational companies looking to source directly for their latest projects.

Friday 10am – 6pm

Saturday 10am – 6pm

Sunday 10am – 5pm

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Kimmy & Bear Spaces is a three-sisters interior design team working on family spaces – from nurseries, to playrooms, from art rooms and family gathering areas, to lounges and bedrooms. We believe in creating a sense of joy; we believe that how one feels in a room is of utmost importance; and we believe that what you do in a space is as important as what the space looks like. Our aim, through design, is to make the ordinary extraordinary as we redefine family spaces in the home.

For information or queries please contact cheska@kimmyandbear.com

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, READ

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

13th April 2017
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Liv Tyler with her babes Sailor Gene and Lula Rose

Happy Easter weekend mamas and bunnies. Wishing you one filled with family, love, sunshine, laughter and Easter bunnies and egg hunting that brings endless joy.

Here 10 links that we book marked this week:

Ford Designs Car Simulator for Babies That Will Help You Sleep

Becoming a stepmom

Let’s talking about pumping!

How to naturally die Easter eggs

Toy-free kindergartens in Germany

Kids who do chores become more successful adults

Create a pocket playground for your kids

16 Ways to Travel With Kids (And Enjoy It)

Great DIY free printable bunny mask for Easter

Love Emily Henderson! Here is her babe’s nursery

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA, NEST

GUEST POST: HOW TO ORGANISE MEALS

9th March 2017
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We pride ourselves in organisation but Carla, from Pretty Organised, takes things to a whole new level. Over the next few weeks Carla will be sharing her top tips for how us mamas can get seriously organised. Carla is also mama of 2 year old Nikolaas, so she knows all about organizing meals and meal planning. Here are her tips to make things a little bit easier: 

Grocery shopping trip

In my opinion this is the start to feeding your family healthy meals. Choose a day  to plan meals for the week ahead and a time when you are relaxed and calm to plan. I usually plan on a Sunday afternoon or first thing on Monday morning. Keep a shopping list in your kitchen, best on your fridge, and write down what you run out of  during the week.

Organising your fridge

Make a point to clean out your fridge regularly, every two weeks to one month. This will give you more space to organise new and fresh ingredients. Use plastic containers to put certain items together, for example different kinds of cheese. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your fridge is over-full. Also, things get hidden in the back, lost behind the mustard. Don’t let things go bad. Keep your fridge airy and light, with a sensible, realistic amount of food in it.

Pantry

Meals are easier and quicker to prepare if you keep your pantry well-stocked. Stock up on basic foods that can be kept like rice and dry pasta.

Collecting recipes

Personally I like to collect recipes from different sources. Create a place to save recipes and keep it simple. Do whatever works easily for you and don’t get caught up in a system. Meal planning is a really personal thing. What works for you may not work for me. The goal, I think, is to find a process that is both enjoyable and effective. Remember to ask your family what they like to eat. I get extra inspired when I feel like I’m cooking a meal as a gift.

Collect recipes that are both easy and a little more difficult. This way you can give yourself a break towards the end of the week with quick meals. Plan ahead to double recipes so that you can freeze some meals for when you know it will be harder to cook healthy meals.

Cooking time

I found that the time I take to cook a meal has a lot to do with how well I prepared the meal. I  set aside time to prepare our evening meal in the afternoon when Nikolaas takes his nap. This way I am focused, quick and efficient with getting the meal prepared. I set the table, fill the water jug and feel excited for our time as a family together.

Having a meal together

As a family we try to have dinner by 18:00. This has been a good routine for us and it has some great benefits. One is that we eat together at a reasonable time, two once Nikolaas is in bed we have the evening to ourselves and can relax together. Some people prefer to cook dinner once the kids are in bed and that is great, if you prefer that way.

Chef night’s off

Having one day a week where you don’t cook can be a real treat and a nice family ritual. If you have bigger kids, let them prepare a meal for the family or have take-out at home. There are so many healthy options these days for takeout and it is great to give the cook a night off .

Let kids help in the kitchen

About a month ago I brought a little plastic step for Nikolaas to stand on. It is not always possible but he loves to help in the kitchen. . Giving a simple task such as  stirring or chopping, putting peas in a pot just before dinner time  can go along way In encouraging a little one to eat. Children enjoy helping to  prepare food and then eating it!

Click here for tips on how to organise all those toys in your house and here on how to organise your baby’s room. 

BABE, NEST, PLAY

GUEST POST: HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR BABY’S ROOM

1st March 2017
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We pride ourselves in organisation but Carla, from Pretty Organised, takes things to a whole new level. Over the next few weeks Carla will be sharing her top tips for how us mamas can get seriously organised. Carla is also mama of 2 year old Nikolaas, so she knows all about organizing a baby’s room for optimum ease and efficiency.

Keep the décor simple and calm

When you arrive home with your little bundle, the nursery is where you will spend most of your time. Feeding, changing and stimulating your baby. When decorating your nursery, keep the décor simple and calm. Invest in a good chair for feeding. Have a small table setup next to the chair with a lamp and a water jug. Make sure when organising your nursery that you keep in mind that in a blink of an eye your baby will be a toddler and the space will need to transform quickly to meet their growing needs.

Changing station

One of the most important areas to organise in the nursery is definitely the changing station. Put together an organised system that is easy for you to use and also to maintain. I found that plastic containers or wire baskets for bum cream, wipes, cotton balls etc. work well. A helpful tip is to fill these up with those items before your little one arrives so you don’t need to worry about running out during the first few weeks.

Keep in mind that you’re going to have to use the changing table at night time as well as during the day, so it’s helpful to have small lamp beside it, preferably the one  beside your feeding chair.

There are usually many necessities in a nursery that can’t easily be hidden away, but that can create clutter. For example, little things like nail clippers and medicine spoons. Store them in cute decorative jars by the changing station.

Clothing

If you are using a chest of drawers, I would recommend labelling the drawers with  name tags or pictures. For the hanging closet, you can use the same method to divide clothing on hangers.

Nikolaas had a cupboard with a few small drawers. I categorised the clothing according to months with separate drawers for socks, vests and blankets. Once he outgrew clothing I neatly packed it away. After about three to six months I gathered all the clothing together and put it in a Vac Bag.

The Extras

Keep some storage bins in the closet where you store all of the extras and so not to clutter up your space. Here you can put all the clothes that don’t fit, extra nappies and all the toys that your baby is not playing with at the moment. Label all the bins and containers so you can easily see what is in them.

Some tips for older children

Label the closet with days of the week, you can set your child’s clothes out in advance which makes that morning routine run a little smoother.

Storage can be stylish for all ages. You can swop plastic containers for wooden boxes or beautiful baskets as your children grow older.

Click here for tips on how to organise all those toys in your house! 

BABE, NEST, PLAY

GUEST POST: HOW TO ORGANISE TOYS

22nd February 2017
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We pride ourselves in organisation but Carla, from Pretty Organised, takes things to a whole new level. Over the next few weeks Carla will be sharing her top tips for how us mamas can get seriously organised.

Carla is also mama of 2 year old Nikolaas, so naturally the first place for any mama to start organising is toys!

Setup a play area in your home

I found that having a designated area for toys helps to keep things organised. You can use a wooden box,  a plastic container, a basket, a toy chest, or a bookshelf with several bins to  organise toys. Decide what goes where and let this be a measure of whether you are accumulating too many toys. I have a large toy basket that holds the majority of Nikolaas’ toys (which doesn’t include stuffed animals and books)

Keep it simple

When organising your child’s toys, keep it simple and decluttered. Go through the toy room every change of season to get rid of old, broken items that children no longer play with. Getting into the habit of regularly decluttering will save you time and space in the long run.

Pack away

When Nikolaas and I did Kindermusik  the teacher ,Tracey, taught us a sweet song, “Toys away”, which gently taught children about packing toys back where they belong after playing with them.  It has stuck with us and we still sing it whenever we are packing toys away. I think it is important to have little ones help cleaning up. This way they notice all the different toys they have to play with. It also teaches them to take responsibility for their belongings.

Take stock and donate toys

Once every few months it is a good idea to take stock of all your child’s toys to determine which toys are being used the most and which ones are no longer played with. This is especially important in the early stages of your child’s life and will help determine which toys are age appropriate. In South Africa there are so many orphanages and thus a great need for toys to be donated, so get into the habit of making a donation from your stock when necessary. Once your child is old enough, involve him in choosing toys to donate and explain how happy any unused toys will make another child.

Rotate toys

Create a cycle of toys so that kids don’t get bored. Store some books and toys away and then, in a few weeks or months, rotate the ones from storage. To help you remember to rotate, make a note on your calendar.

Receiving toys as gifts

When it comes to birthdays, let your family know that you are trying to manage the number of toys that your child receives. I try to have a chat with my family before Christmas or Nikolaas’ birthday. We discuss options for gifts and if there is something specific we would like to get him. This year we decided to buy him a wooden kitchen. It helped so much that the family contributed, because we could get him a good quality gift that would outlast other toys. Asking for books is always a great option if it is difficult to chat to your family or if they live far away.There are so many wonderful children’s books and they seem to be far more manageable than toys.

Storing toys

I find it helps to categorize and store  toys by type (cars, dolls, puzzles, etc.)  I do like the idea of a toy box which is filled with a bit of everything, a toy box is especially nice when friends visit and you want to set up a play area. This will give children more options when they decide what to play with. 

Toy shelves

Shelves help children see what toys they have. When storage boxes are used, try labelling them with large words or pictures to help children identify their contents or use clear plastic containers. Place frequently used toys on low shelves, to make it easier for children to reach.

BABE, MAMA, NEST

YOUR TODDLER ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL? HERE IS HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER

9th February 2017
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Francie and I recently spent 4 days in hospital – she is fine now, but at the time it was pretty scary. Admitting my toddler into hospital  had never crossed my mind and the most serious thing I had ever had to do with a hospital was have my wisdom teeth out. Francie wasn’t even born in a hospital!

Of course it is hard because it is scary and worrying, but other things make it hard too. The unexpected things: fighting your mama instincts when your baby is continually poked and prodded while screaming for you save her – this is so emotionally draining. The claustrophobia of staying in one room for such a long time – you are in a hospital bubble, the light is strange and the temperature is controlled, everything is clean, you eat on the go or in weird positions with a baby in one arm. After a day or so I was pretty claustrophobic but because of the drip we couldn’t leave the room. On that note – the  drip!! – it confines your poor babe to a very small area – a cot and a chair which means very long days. And finally the break in everyone’s routine, the continual waking up for checks and temperatures etc. It ain’t easy.

I constantly thought of those mamas, babes and families who spend long stretches in hospitals and paed wards with little progress.Illnesses that wear one down in their longevity and those mamas who spend weeks and months by their babe’s sides as they are helplessly fighting a long term disease – I always thought they were amazing but I now know that they are the real life super heroes.

If you find yourself headed to hospital with your babe/toddler or child, here are a few things I suggest packing – some of them I thought of and others I called my sisters or husband for in panic!

  • All your babes favourite comforters – Francie’s cot had all her friends in it and it really helped settle her in when we arrived, she seemed to understand that that is where we were sleeping because all her home cot contents where there.
  • Blankets – for you and your babe! Hospitals get cold. And nights in the chair holding your babe can get pretty chilly without a throw. Plus later on, once the drip was removed I used this blanket as a throw on the floor for some playtime.
  • A teaspoon. Yes I know, strange. But I promise you when you need a teaspoon in hospital you will not be able to find one! The food for babes is delivered with a knife and fork so having a teaspoon would have been really useful.
  • You cannot have too many story books – I know Francie’s five favourites off by heart now and actually dreamt of Cave Baby the other night.
  • Surprise toys that are wrapped up! And extra wipes for “cleaning” everything.
  • A doll. I found a great little doll at Pick ‘n Pay and I took this along with us. It not only provided many hours of entertainment but was also great for role play – Francie quickly became scared of the nurses and doctors so everything that they needed to do to Francie they did on the doll first and it really helped her understand what was going to happen.
  • . I have always been anti doctors kits as toys.  I sort of feel medical things are not toys and playing giving injections is not ideal and shouldn’t be looked at for entertainment and fun. BUT I wish I had bought her a little medical kit to play with at the hospital, perhaps it would have helped her to have similar instruments as the doctors.
  • Not full baby grows as pyjamas. It is much easier to have a long sleeve baby grow with no legs and tracksuit pants and socks – yes is it more of a mission but it is much more practical. The baby’s pulse is measured on their toe so at night you can sneak off the sock without underdressing your babe each time and therefore keep her sleeping. The same goes for the examinations etc. Separates are the way to go!
  • Things to make drinking water the most fun thing ever! Take fun straws and interesting new bottles. We were told to get her to drink, drink, drink. Once my sister had dropped off some fun straws it was such a novelty to down loads of water.

And in case you know a mama and babe heading to hospital or you hear that they are there, they will probably say they don’t need anything – but they do! So drop off a little toy or a favourite book. It will help that mama so much. You don’t even have to buy it, you could wrap up a few of your kids’ books from home with a note “We thought you would like to borrow these” trust me, it will help!

 

BABE, NEST, PLAY

MEET THE MAKER: LAURA OF WORK OF HEART

10th November 2016
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We absolutely love the products from Work of Heart. They are so cool, modern and stylish and it’s great that you can customise them as a special gift or for a specific occasion. Here we chat to owner/maker Laura.

Tell us a bit about your products. 

I make handcrafted wooden blocks for little ones; they are design-led & can be used as beautiful decorative accents to be enjoyed by grown ups too. I personally make each piece, with great attention to detail & lots of love. Most of my products are custom orders – one of a kind sets to add a personal touch & perfectly match a certain space. My clients are able to choose their own colours, letters, words, short phrases & even photographs, to make their block sets unique & treasured keepsakes. I currently also have a range of Santa Sacks & Christmas Onesies for the festive season.

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What inspired your business?

My daughter Evie is the inspiration behind Work of Heart. She led me to discover a whole new world – of children’s room decor, party decor & toys. I began creating personalized items to celebrate the special milestones in her life. I enjoyed it so much I began making for family & friends, & my little business grew from there.

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How does your business fit your lifestyle?

Work of Heart was a creative passion turned full time business after Evie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 18 months of age. I began working from home, as I needed to be available to her 24/7.  My business fits my lifestyle perfectly – I’m blessed to be able to stay at home with her whilst also pursuing something I love. I’m so thankful for each & every client that makes this possible.

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What is your favourite product & why? 

Its so difficult to choose! At the moment I love the milestone block sets, as they are so versatile! They are the perfect photo prop to document a pregnancy & little one’s growth, & can be used for years to come on birthdays and first days of school.

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To order: Visit Laura’s Instagram and then email her.

BABE, NEST, TRAVEL

THE BEST BABY BASKETS WE’VE EVER SEEN

31st October 2016
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Oh my goodness I wish I had seen these baby baskets before Francie Sugar was born, I definitely would have bought one. Design Dua is really the greatest – they work together with rural artists to make high quality handmade craft. They use modern designs to influence traditional african craft to make the most beautiful products for your home. Visit their Etsy store for easy shopping.

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BABE, NEST

THE SHAMPOO I LOVE SO MUCH THAT I WANT TO WASH FRANCIE’S HAIR EVERY NIGHT

17th October 2016
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As you know it took me 6 weeks to bath Francie Sugar so I am sure that you won’t be surprised when you hear that I only washed her hair with anything but water at 16months. When it was time to shampoo shop I looked around – I definitely wanted an organic product. A friend told me about Gluki so I decided to give it a try and absolutely loved it! It is fantastic.

The global trend towards organic skincare inspired us to produce a range of natural and organic baby and mother body care products that carry certified authenticity of every ingredient. ECOCERT Greenlife France is the most widely recognised international certification and regulatory body for Organic Cosmetics and are the global leaders in this field. Gluki Organics is an uncompromised, high quality plant-based product range that meets my needs for my babe.

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Here is what else I love about it:

  • The delicious smell
  • It still foams, I have found that a couple of organic products I have tried don’t product a whole lot of foam but I want foam when I do hair washing!
  • The result: You haven’t ever seen sweet, soft, silky hair on my babe as after we’ve washed her hair with Gluki. It’s beautiful!
  • Finally you don’t need to use a conditioner too, just shampooing gives me the results. As a mama conditioning after shampooing may be just a little too much for one bath!

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I got my Gluki at Yummy Mummy & Baby in Parkhurst and am now going to try out the whole range.

BABE, BUMP, DIARY, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, READ, WEAR

ROCK-A-BABY 2016

28th September 2016
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We had the best time at Rock-a-Baby two weekends ago. It was such a fantastic event – how amazing to celebrate South Africa design and meet such cool mamas along the way. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us, and to shop the beautiful products. Here are some snaps from the weekend:

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{Photos by Robyn Davie}

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