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GIVEAWAY, MAMA, TRAVEL

MY TOP 10 ESSENTIALS FOR DECEMBER HOLIDAY (SPONSORED)

13th December 2017
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The December holidays are upon us! And that means packing bags for the whole family. While I am by no means a minimalist packer (that went out the window with the arrival of my twins), I try to keep anything beyond clothing to a minimum. However, no matter the destination, these are 10 items you’ll find in my suitcase at this time of year:

 

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  1. Dermikelp Moisturising Lotion: What I love about this product is that it’s a cure all for the whole family. I don’t need to pack a hundred different creams for different situations – this will work as a moisturiser, a soothing lotion on any skin irritation, a cooling lotion after a day on the beach, and even treat those pesky itchy bites. Dermikelp products are completely natural so I’m comfortable using it on my girls’ skin. They’re made from kelp extract, and are free from all the nasties (cortisone, parabens, and chemicals). Available from Dischem, and selected Pick ‘n Pay, Clicks and independent pharmacies.
  2. A giant sun hat: I am vigilant about sun protection for me and my babes, and am usually covered up at the beach (hence I arrive back from holiday as pale as ever!).
  3. Mangos: My absolute favourite fruit, and one that is synonymous with December holidays for me. I make sure a box finds its way into the cooler bag of food, and I stock up from padstals once my stash has been devoured.
  4. Artisan chocolate: To maintain balance (or just to feed my addiction) I don’t go anywhere without some good chocolate.
  5. Headphones: Travelling (and nap time!) is the perfect chance to catch up on all those podcasts I’ve been wanting to listen to. I am currently listening to Undisclosed, and Dirty John is next up on my playlist.
  6. Glass water bottle: I actually don’t leave my house without my water bottle. I am trying to reduce my use of plastic in any way I can, and this is such an easy way to do so. Also, it reminds to stay hydrated through the day.
  7. Books: One of my best things about being on holiday is all the reading I get to do as I am not distracted by every day life, chores, and to-do lists. You’ll find the whole family with noses buried into books when we’re on holiday. I am currently reading the obligatory The President’s Keepers with my jaw dropping open.
  8. Camera: I seldom go anywhere without my camera, and holiday is no exception!
  9. Bling: I don’t take my usual jewellery with me on holiday as I don’t want to be worrying about losing it on the beach. But I like to take one or two fun pieces to add to an outfit.
  10. Planner and a pen: A new year means a new diary, and I love that feeling of a whole year’s worth of blank pages. It is such a January ritual to fill in my new yearly planner,

 

PS. Don’t forget to enter our Dermikelp family hamper giveaway valued at R1300 and includes one of each Dermikelp products. Click here for all the details.

 

 

BABE, READ, TRAVEL

HOLIDAY THEMED BOOKS: GOING ON SAFARI

21st September 2017
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We’re off to the bush tomorrow so I thought I would share some of the books that I have chosen to take along with us. Of course we have taken some of our favourite story books but I like to take some books which teach our babes about the environment that we are in. Here are six favourites, all about animals and birds.

  1. First 100 Animals Sticker Books – it’s great to have an activity book for the trip for plane rides, rest or quiet time. Francie loves sticker books like these.
  2. My First Book of Mammals – so that all antelopes are not just buck and to talk about the difference between animals before they disappear behind the trees or into a bush.
  3. Amazing Animal Babies – “Travel around the globe and meet some incredible baby animals as they begin their journey through life in this beautiful, fact-filled non-fiction picture book by wildlife expert, Chris Packham.”
  4. Amazing Animal Journeys – “Every year billions of animals migrate from one part of our planet to another. Travel around the world to meet some of the masters of migration as they take you with them on some incredible journeys.”
  5. My First Book of Southern African Birds – again so not everything that flies is a bird and that is it!
  6. African Wildlife Alphabet and Number Book – we love this one for it’s great pictures.
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, DIARY, MAMA, PLAY, TRAVEL

TAKE ME BACK

17th January 2017
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I can’t believe two weeks ago we were probably sitting under an umbrella on the beach, feet in the sand, drying off from a swim in the waves. From the moment you arrive back home, holidays feel so long ago. I think in part because they are a change in scenery, but also because they are a complete change from every day life.

 

We spent our Christmas holiday with our whole family on the Natal coast. And although we were brought up going to this area, we haven’t all been on a beach holiday together since we were young. I get nostalgic returning here – the smells of the tropical vegetation under foot as you make your way down to the beach through a jungle-like canopy, and the sticky feeling of salt water drying on your skin, and the sight of tropical leaves lining every street bring back so many memories as we create new ones with our own children. Our barefoot days were spent going to the beach with the kids piled in the boot of the car amongst umbrellas and boogie boards and buckets, dips in the pool, late afternoon walks on the golf course, long swims in the sea, juicy litchis and mince pies and Christmas-pudding-ice-cream, little cousins who were barely apart, and early mornings with the smell of the ocean and suncream more than hinting at what the day will hold.

 

Here are a few snaps from our time away.

 

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We hope you had a happy break, whether at home or away. One thing is for certain, looking at everyone’s holiday snaps from the passed month, we really live in a beautiful country with amazing places to go and explore.

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, DIARY, MAMA, TRAVEL

TRAVEL GUIDE: PARIS WITH A TODDLER

18th October 2016
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We just got back from 10 days in Paris. So many people thought I was crazy taking a toddler to Paris but it was fantastic. Big cities are really geared up for kids and we all had such a great time.

First things first:

Surrender to the fact that your holiday will be different to pre-baby holidays. We forgot about late dinners or all-monring coffee stops and instead indulged in toddler friendly activities.

Where we stayed: 

As you may know Paris is divided up into different endorsements (areas) and each has a really specific vibe. My favourite androssiment to stay in when I visit the city is the 3rd/4th in the Marais. This area is a very old part of Paris, complete with tiny cobbled streets, great boutiques and even better restaurants. There are many cafes and bistros to try  and is centered around Place des Vosges which is one of the most people spots in Paris. It is also very central so it’s easy to explore the rest of Paris from here.

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We have given up on hotels, especially since having a baby so we turned to AirBnB. This is the one bedroom apartment we chose – it had the best location ever! And we really wanted an apartment which had a bath – to keep in our bedtime routine with Francie and also wanted a space where the one bedroom was closed off to the rest of the apartment. This one ticked those boxes but I must mention that it was 4 stories up with no lift. We left the pram at the bottom each night but  say those stairs where a killer.

How we got to our apartment from the airport:

There is a train from Charles de Gualle straight to Paris which we usually get but this time we decided to rather go for a pick up – with a babe, long flight, luggage and a pram we decided a car would be easier. We used Taxi Baby Seat – it was great, you book online and they meet you at the arrivals hall and then drop you off right at your apartment.

What we ate:

Crossiants! Haha. Croissants definitely became Francie’s favourite food while we were there so she had one everyday.

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Since we were in an apartment we gave Francie most of her meals at home and then anything she ate at cafes etc was a bonus. We headed to  the supermarkets Monoprix and FrancPrix for daily staples like yogurt, fruit purees and eggs. We used the markets or speciality stores for roast chickens, ham, cheese and fruit and salads and Francie also loved the quiches that we found.

We also used Picard. Picard is pretty amazing, it only sells the frozen food and I found Francie the most delicious meals there for lunch and dinner – think chicken, couscous and mixed veg or meatballs and rice. These we easily heated up on the stove and she loved them.

High chairs are not a big thing in France. Have you read Bringing Up Bebe? No cafes we went to had high chairs which suited Francie just fine, she sat in a chair and behaved like a little french babe. Laduree (which we visited once for a treat) is geared up for tourists so they had a high chair, as did Le Pain Quotidian, a favourite spot of ours.

Playgrounds: 

We decided to explore the playgrounds of Paris and made sure we hit at least one playground a day for Francie to explore, play and get much needed exercise. Here is a list of some of the best ones:

Place des Vosges: Although this playground is tiny, it is pretty awesome to play in such a beautiful square. There are also two big sandpits here which are great for babes. *Place des Vosges has free wifi, so while your babe plays you can catch up on some internet time.

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Also in the Marais, Square Charles-Victor Langois: we loved hanging out here as it was just round the corner from our house and Francie and I would often head there early in the morning while the rest of the city was still asleep. There isn’t much for small babes but Francie still loved to play on a few things and watch the other kids play. This park also had a ping pong table which I imagine would be fun for older kids and Francie found it fascinating to watch.

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The best play area: the playground in the Jardin du Luxembourg. There are so many wonderful things about this playground: it’s big, it has loads of play stations – big jungle gyms, play trains, buses to climb on, mini slides and climbing roles, bounce animals and an enormous sandpit. The sandpit also has a house and car in it with a pulley system which was such fun. I loved sitting here and watching Francie play with the little French children. Just outside the playground is a kiosk for coffees and other yum things and there is a carousal too – but its not one of those that you can stand with your babe, so it is better for bigger children.

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Francie’s favourite thing to do in Paris: ride of the Carousel in the Jardin des Tuileries. I think this is the most magical carousel. It’s perfect for littles as you can stand with them (and hold them!) We ended up visiting a number of times. Also in the Tuleries is a great playground and a trampoline park! The Tuleries brings back such wonderful memories for me as I used to live just around the corner so I may be bias, but I think it is the most beautiful garden in Paris – with the Louvre at one end and  the Concorde at the other . We spent many hours just strolling through the gardens – Francie found her shadow this holiday which  is pretty much the best thing ever.

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One afternoon we head up to the Canal St Martin – which I had never been to before. It was a wonderful area to wonder around and fun to walk along the canal. I also recommend popping into Antoine et Lili – a fantastic kids store on the corner (it’s painted bright yellow so hard to miss), I found some lovely little things for Francie and her cousins. Also in that area is the Jadin Villemin which has a fantastic playground and it is where Francie mastered the art of sliding.

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Tourist things and museums: 

Since we’ve spent lots of time in the city we didn’t feel the pressure that we had to do anything but of course being in Paris there are a couple things we didn’t want to miss. The gardens in the city are so wonderful so part of being in Paris was spending time in them, here are the other things that we enjoyed:

The Eiffel Tower – I wanted to get a snap of Francie near the tower – mostly to prove to her when she is older that she had been to Paris. We didn’t climb it though, but once again spent time in the playground on the Champs de Mar – it was quite something to see our little babe playing in a sandpit with the famous structure in the background (although she was, of course, oblivious!)

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Museums  – our approach to museums was limited time and to not try and see everything. She is of course only 18 months but I approached showing her the famous artworks the same way we look at any pictures in a book. We chose the fifth floor of the Musee d’Orsay to look at the impressionists. I pointed out the trains, flowers and ballet dancers. Francie liked Degas’s horse sculptures the best. We also went to Musée de l’Orangerie to look at Monet’s waterlillies, which of course are amazing. *I noticed many of the French mums take paper and crayons to museums and their little ones sit on the floor and draw while looking at the pictures, I will do this next time, for sure.

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Musee Rodin is also a great spot to visit with kids because once again it has a huge garden yet you are surrounded by beautiful sculptures. Plus there is no need to worry about keeping your babe quiet and there is space to run. We had a lovely afternoon there and once again ended up in a sandpit which is located at the end of the garden.

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The bridges! Aren’t the bridges across the Seine magical. We loved walking across the two pedestrian bridges (Passerelle Solférino is just near Musee d’Orsay and Pont des Arts is further up and deemed the most romantic bridge in Paris). We spent time looking at the boats and listening to the buskers.

Shopping:

I decided that I wouldn’t do loads of shopping while there but of course I couldn’t resist a few little spots. Here are the best shops for babes and all of them had great installations for her to play in.

BonTon – quintessential French brand. Their flagship is fantastic and we loved exploring the 3 floors.

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BHV – They have a great kids clothing and toy section with a few play stations set up and some great toy brands which we don’t have at home.

If you are in the Canal St Martin area Antoine et Lili was great. Francie happily played with the toy kitchen with I browsed.

WH Smith – this is the best English bookstore in Paris, if you ask me, and they have a great kids section upstairs. I was on the lookout for some great kids books about Paris to read while we were there and I found some fantastic ones.

Other tips: 

Make sure you take a baby carrier. While we loved using our pram, somehow all you need is a baby carrier. We used Bailey’s African Baby Carrier (from Yummy Mummy & Baby) and we loved it so much we are going to buy one of our own.

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We took the opportunity to explore new modes of transport with Francie. She learnt all about trains and buses. Hugolyne gave me the tip of using the app City Mapper and it is amazing. You simply put in your destination and it gives you all the options of how to get there and times. For example: this bus and then walk or that metro and then a bus etc.

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BABE, BUMP, MAMA, READ, TRAVEL

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

30th September 2016
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Grace Kelly and her babe

Oh my goodness I am off to Paris tonight. We’ve been planning this trip for a while and now I feel like it has suddenly sneaked up on us. I am a bit nervous for the flight – from Joburg to Munich and then onto Paris with 18month old Francie Sugar but she likes it best glued to me in the night so hopefully we will be fine, wish me luck! Then I am going to have a week of Paris parks, too many croissants, museums and playtime with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Here are 10 links that caught our eye this week:

5 moves for mamas to stay fit during and after pregnancy

WOW! This school replaced detention with meditation.

The Benefit of Being the Big Kid on the Playground

What Really Happens to Your Breasts After Pregnancy

How to Raise Kids With More Empathy

Do Mothers Really Have The Choice To Breastfeed?

To the husbands, here is what we forgot to tell you

How ‘twisted’ early childhood education has become — from a child development expert

One mama’s story: I was a tiger mother

18 Under-the Radar French Baby Names You’ll Want to Steal

BABE, NEST, PLAY, TRAVEL

THE CUTEST TRAVELLING SLEEPING BAGS

27th September 2016
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We just came across these Travelling Sleeping Bags by South African brand Krokenoster and love them. Made by mama and daughter team these (easy to fold up and carry) snuggly sleeping bags “double up as watchdogs against monsters, boogymen and baddies, when you’re at home or on the go”. There are three characters: a lion, a frog and bunny and are available online at krokenoster.com.

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BABE, BUMP, EAT, GIVEAWAY, MAMA, NEST, PLAY, READ, TRAVEL, WEAR

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

26th August 2016
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Angelina Jolie featured in W Magazine breastfeeding

Happy weekend lovely mamas. We are headed back to Joburg today after a week in the bush so we’ll be chilling out at home most of the time. Watch out for some pics from our time away up on the blog next week.

Here are 12 links that caught our eye this week:

Why the iPad is a far bigger threat to our children than anyone realises

This mum’s advice to her husband when left alone to look after the kids is so funny

Hormone balancing drink

Get your baking on: a delicious snack for kids

9 ways lazy parenting helps grow grown ups

Want happy kids? Science proves these 10 things make a difference

6 Marriage Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Kids Later On

Japanese school lunches 

What’s your parenting objective? Happy vs. high achieving

9 Miserable Travel Mistakes Parents Make With Their Kids

And just for fun:  What It’s Like To Be A Celebrity Personal Assistant

Have you entered our latest Kimmy & Bear giveaway? It’s a great one.

BABE, BUMP, MAMA, READ, TRAVEL

FAMILY ALBUM & THIS WEEK’S READING LIST

22nd July 2016
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Olivia Wilde and her babes

Happy weekend mamas! I escaped the city with Francie Sugar and my parents this weekend, we headed off to the bush for some R&R, hot weather and game drives, I know Francie is going to be so over excited when she spots an elephant. I hope yours is full of love and happiness. (Here is the first time I took Francie to the bush, she was just 4 weeks!)

Here are some links for during nap time reading:

The most amazing chocolate chip cookies – and they happen to be Vegan.

Here’s why we are so specific about our babe’s age, i.e. :he is 24 months, not 2.

A reading list – for mamas!

No! You can’t do it all.

What?  An in-flight kit you can pack at home to make any seat feel like first class

Jennifer Aniston is fed up with the pregnancy rumours 

How social media effects teens brains

Life with two kids

The Story Behind Monopoly Pieces

This mama didn’t feel the way she was “supposed to” feel about becoming a mama. 

20 beautiful breastfeeding pics

What it’s like trying for a second child

This Mother’s Memory Journal looks beautiful 

Need ideas for a craft? Paper plate birds

Trendiest baby names of 2016 (so far)

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