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BABE, DIARY, EAT, MAMA, PLAY

FRANCIE TURNS TWO!

19th April 2017
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My baby turned two! Sometimes I still feel that I am all new at this mom thing, as if I can use the excuse “I’m sorry I have just had a baby”. But here we are – twice around the sun and a whole lot fuller. There she is talking non stop, making up jokes and running almost too fast for us to catch her. But she still hooks on as if she were a baby koala, sucks her thumb to fall asleep and won’t let her dear old binkie out of her sight. She loves parties – specially singing happy birthday, she is obsessed with her ballet clothes and adores her cousins to the end of the earth. Here’s to another year beautiful one.
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To celebrate this milestone we threw a morning party in Kimmy & Bear’s garden. We had a Bloody Mary bar and served fresh croissants, French toast and maple syrup and muesli pots. My mama made the biscuits and my sister baked the cake. I made party hats for everyone. The four little girls dressed the same, Bailey drew a huge colouring in picture and the day flew by. We invited family and friends and had a delicious morning under the warm sun surrounded by love and joy.

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Pics by Robyn Davie Photography

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, EAT, MAMA, PLAY

ANNUAL CHARITY EASTER PLAY DATE AND TEA

11th April 2017
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Each year us three sisters host a charity Easter play date and tea in Kimmy & Bear’s garden. The afternoon is always fantastic, and filled with joy: there is a delicious tea for the mamas and loads of fun things for the babes like jumping castles and Easter egg hunts. This year we also did bunny mask making and biscuit icing.

This year we chose to suppose Miane Ainslie.

A year and a half ago, then 19 month old Miane Ainslie fell into a porta pool. She was underwater for about 10 minutes before she was found, after 23 minutes a heartbeat was found. Now nearly 3 Miane continues to need extensive medical treatment. Her mother is a single mother who gave up her job to look after her daughter and, without medical aid, relies entirely on donations for medical treatments, physio and medical equipment. 
For more information on how to donate to this worthy cause contact us or visit A Miracle for Miane Facebook page
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!
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BABE, PLAY

DIY BUSY BAGS

10th April 2017
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Lately I have made some great busy bags/activities for Francie. I pack these activities away and bring them out when we need something new to do together or when we go on holiday and need some quiet, fun activities for the plane etc.

Here are some of my favourite free printables that I have found online (thanks Pinterest!) Simply print, laminate and cut/bind.

Shapes activity book 

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Animal Puzzles 

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Silhouette Matching Game

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Stick the stickers

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I posted this idea on Instagram and wow! You all loved it. Here it is again for those who missed it-this is a great fine motor skill/ hand-eye coordination activity.

All I did was draw funny shapes on a card and put big dots where she must put the stickers. I cut the stickers into small strips so it’s a super easy “do and throw away” task.

Don’t forget this Animal Matching Box which is also great.

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Colour/Peg matching

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I love hardwares and I especially love the paint sample cards so I was so excited when I spotted this great way to use them on Pinterest. If you want to make this activity make sure that you get two of each card so that you can cut one up to make the matching peg. Francie is a little young to decipher the different tones but the twins have loved mastering this one.

Printable roads

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I love these and have printed a whole lot and laminated them. The cars Francie Sugar has are these Melissa & Doug ones but any cars would be great.

BABE, PLAY

BUSY BOX: ANIMAL MATCHING

3rd April 2017
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This busy box has been such a hit in our home. Francie Sugar  absolutely loves playing this matching game and often chooses to play it on her own.

All you need to do is buy some smallish plastic animals and find images of the same animals to match. Print them out, laminate them and away you go.

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We started off with a set of wild/safari animals and I’ve added to the game each time I have found interesting plastic animals, for example pets, ocean animals and now even insects. Francie has also learnt her insect names through this game.

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I simply used Google images to find the pics, they aren’t all the same size but I cut them into equal size cards.

(Looking for a free printable rather? Here is a great one)

BABE, MAMA, PLAY, READ

TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING TODDLERS

15th March 2017
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As your babes get older, they get more and more difficult to photograph as they are always on the move. We asked super star photographer Robyn Davie for her top tips for photographing toddlers:

Be prepared to get moving – toddlers (when awake) are always on the move – get on your feet and follow them!

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Get down on their level. Yip, on your hands and knees, as close to the ground as possible. This is super fun for close-ups, and for seeing the world from their angle.

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Fill the whole frame with the little munchkin. An attention grabbing pic excludes the background, and pulls all the attention onto your baba!

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Let them be kids! Smiling for the camera is lovely, but let’s see some funny faces 🙂

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Capture the every day moments. Yip, a posed pic when everyone is dressed up in their Sunday best is gorgeous, but I love the tiny in-between moments – the early morning deliciousness of a just-woken-up baba, the toddler who thinks bath time is as fun as pool time, and the quiet concentration of a little one completely absorbed in a moment of play.

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Follow Robyn on Instagram and book a photo session with her – we all know mamas need more pics of themselves and their babes.

BABE, BUMP, EAT, MAMA, PLAY, READ, TRAVEL

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

11th March 2017
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Chrissy Teigen and baby Luna via Instagram 

Happy weekend mamas. There is a strange autumn feel in the air this weekend and I am not sure I am ready for winter to be on its way. We hit the park this morning and convincing a toddler that she needs shoes and a jersey was like negotiating a high level contract – I couldn’t help but think “how am I going to do this all winter long?”

Here are Kimmy & Bear HQ we are busy busy – working hard on Design Joburg and a couple cool Spaces for some fun clients. I am also starting to prepare for Francie’s 2nd birthday – break my mama heart!

Here are some links that caught our eye this week, enjoy! 

Chrissy Teigen opens up about postnatal depression

Dad is not a babysitter, he is a parent

The BBC video that went viral this week – every parent can relate!

You are never going to sleep again

7 Strategies for Empathic Discipline

Did you love enough today?

Interesting read on the vaccination debate

The new preschool is crushing kids

A brave mama and how her daughter changed countless lives (you will weep!)

The dangers of using a sticker chart to teach good behaviour

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

Family Vacations Serve as ‘Happiness Anchors’ for Kids

Want to Raise Successful Kids? Do this

Ted Talks for when you’re expecting  a child 

Having a baby isn’t a miracle and doesn’t make you a goddess

Best countries for raising a family (*WOOHOO #15!)

Harvard Psychologists reveal: parents who raise good kids do these 5 things

32 ways to savour your children while you have have them 

My degree was not a waste

This is why Finland has the best schools

Walk slowly mama 

How French schools handle fussy eaters

Music and your baby’s brain 

BABE, GIVEAWAY, MAMA, PLAY

CLOSED: GIVEAWAY: A BOOK OF YOUR CHILDREN’S ARTWORK BY BUMBLE BOX

8th March 2017
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THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED:

CONGRATULATIONS SHEREEN LURIE

Mom’s come up with the best ideas about what other moms need and this idea is no exception. A former teacher, and now mother, Paula has just launched Bumble Box, a coffee table art book of all your kid’s art. We chatted to her about what inspired Bumble Box, and how exactly it works.

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Tell us a bit about yourself 

My name is Paula, I live in Johannesburg and last year in June our Harry was born. I couldn’t believe how much I would love being his mum. So after teaching for the past 9 years I made the emotional decision to take an extended break so I could spend as much time as possible with our little boy.  All this new found “freedom” had me feeling a bit itchy to try something new.

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What is Bumble Box?

Bumble Box takes children’s artwork and turns them into beautiful bespoke coffee table books. This can include letters, pottery, short stories or any special keepsakes you wish to display.

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What inspired the idea to start Bumble Box?

As a teacher I know the amount of artwork that was being sent home. I know how emotionally hard it is to throw it away. I also know how frustrating it is to take up so much storage space. Children take such pride in their artwork. They often associate memories, facts and feelings when going through their art. I had been playing with the idea for some time, I even tried to convince my husband (who has a digital agency) that this is what parents really needed and that he should do this. After I resigned I knew it was the perfect time to test the waters. The complete wonderment and awe on my 4 year old nieces face when she looked through her own book made me realize just how important the sense of belonging is, and something as simple as seeing your art proudly displayed can be in a little persons life. Not to mention the slick design that will compliment your homes decor.

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How does it work?

The whole process is aimed to make it as simple and convenient as possible for the busy parent. The easy to use step by step online ordering process allows for the box to be delivered to your home or work place. The hard part will be picking which art to pop in the box. Once you have finished selecting and packing a courier will come and collect the box from either your home or work place.  After the artwork has been professionally photographed and creatively curated into the coffee table book, your art and book will be delivered back to you.

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Typically how long does it take?

4 – 5 weeks

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We are so excited to be doing a give away with Bumble Box. You can win a bespoke, wheatlam hardcover coffee table book customized with 60 pieces of your child’s art, valued at R1,550.

To enter, like Bumble Box on Facebook, and comment below telling us why you would love to win this prize.

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For more information on Bumble Box, and to keep up to date with their beautiful creations, follow them on:

instgram: @bumble_box

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BumbleboxZA

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.

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