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BABE, DIARY, MAMA

PHOTOBOOKS!

22nd August 2017
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I hope it is not just me who is 2.5 years behind on Francie’s photo books! Our photo books are one of those things that are constantly on my mind and my to do lists yet I just get further and further behind as the days go by. That is why I think that photographer Robyn Davie‘s photo book service is the most fantastic idea. All you do is send Robyn a selection of your photos and she will do the rest, no more excuses mama! We chatted to Robyn about this fantastic offering!

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Tell us about your photo books?

Oh, I’m so excited about these photo books! This has been a passion project of mine that has been a long time coming – mostly because I’m an utter perfectionist and it has taken a good eight months to find a couple of printing companies, and the beautiful matt papers and covers that I’m happy with.

The part that I love the most is the A Year In Your Life photo books which I’ve just started working on this year – they’re gorgeous memory keepers, showcasing 20-30 images from each month of a year out of your life! These come in soft or hard cover, in 20×20 or A4, and are a fantastic way of cataloguing your life.

Here is a video of her 20×20 book which gives you an idea of how beautiful the books are.

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What inspired you to create this new offering?

As a photographer it breaks my heart to think of my own personal photos trapped inside my computer, and it always is such a wonderful trip down memory lane when I stumble across pictures from a forgotten holiday, dinner with friends or memorable moment. My aim is to get those treasured photos off your phone or computer and into print, because there is something truly magical about being able to run your fingers across the surface of an image, or to stand back and admire a big blown up photograph on your living room wall!

How does it work?

In order to get started on your order, send me an email and we’ll get chatting about prices and packages. I’ll then need 20-30 images (depending on the size of the book that you choose) per month from a year in your life – this is the fun part, where you get to look back and choose the best moments from that year, and they can be anything from bath time to visits from the grandparents to birthday parties.

And then I’ll gather up those images and curate a beautiful photo book for you! All in all the design and printing takes about 2-3 weeks, depending on the time of year. We’re a little busier around Christmas time, so give us a few extra weeks to process your order then.

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Are there different options to choose from?

I also offer three other gorgeous options when it comes to photo books – mini softcover flip books (with a similar feel to a magazine), hardcover A3 and A4 books (great for showcases a photo shoot, a family holiday or a special event), and premium genuine leather and linen covered books (great for the big life events – weddings, engagements and 60th birthdays!).

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Do you have tips for choosing images for the album?

Don’t just focus on the big significant moments, this album is a wonderful opportunity to include the tiny little things that really make you love your family – making pancakes on a Sunday morning, a trip to feed the ducks at the park, your little one absolutely covered in their favourite food and loving it!

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For more info click here.

 

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, 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, EAT, PLAY

HALLOWEEN WITH KONFETTI LOVE

27th October 2016
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Lately we have really loved the events that Konfetti Love have put together. I mean, do you follow them on Instagram – serious party envy. With Halloween just around the corner, and many head out this weekend for trick-or-treating we wanted to share this super fun Halloween shoot that Konfetti Love did.

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Styling and Decor by Konfetti Love. Photography by Littish Photography. Cake & Biscuits by Koekemakranka. Macarons by Freckled Ginger   

BABE, PLAY

FAVOURITE TOYS FOR 18 MONTH OLDS

24th October 2016
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{Robyn Davie Photography for Kimmy & Bear Spaces}

I don’t know about you but I find toys are either a hit or  a miss. Often the things that I think will be “the best toy ever” ends up hardly used while others that are a quick buy keep Francie Sugar entertained for hours.

It’s amazing to see Francie Sugar play with toys in a new way. Now that she is a bit older she spends more time figuring out how things work and then enjoys those toys she likes for longer, remembering them and looking for them in the house – sightly difficult to do toy rotation with these ones!

At the moment these are Francie Sugar’s favourite toys – they have been an absolute hit!

KidO Myland Horse (from Yummy Mummy & Baby)

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Well, horses and their clip-clop sound are one of Francie’s fascinations at the moment and this toy horse is fantastic. The little girl rider fits into the horse and then the horse makes a clip-clop noise. Francie Sugar loves being in control of the sound and makes sure the girl fits in correctly. She then excitedly says “mama” to show me that the girl is indeed riding the horse! Much excitement! I was worried that she would get tired of the horse once she worked it out, but she has played with it everyday since we bought this new toy and if you are a visitor to our house it’s the first thing she will show you.

Also isn’t the design great? I want all the items for our collection!

Le Toy Van Ice Cream Sundaele_toy_van_blue_ice_cream_sundae__93797-1412810784-1280-1280I am the biggest fan of wooden toys – they just look fantastic don’t they? And Le Toy Van makes really cool products for kids. This sundae has been an absolute hit. It’s  a stacking toy only better for independent play as the rings can go on in any order ,except for the cherry on top! But funnily enough what makes this toy so great is the straw. Francie spends ages putting the straw in the right place and experimenting by putting the straw through the other holes. This has become our morning toy – I keep it for when  this mama needs an extra few minutes shut eye or time in the shower to wash her hair.

PlayMobil 123 Airport Bus (from Greenbusters Toy Shop)

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I love the 123 range from PlayMobil – it is perfect for Francie’s age as she can open and close and manage all the bits. I made the mistake of buying her some PlayMobil which is from the more advanced range and it’s a bit tiny for her to manage on her own.

This airport bus was one of the toys we took on our trip overseas and it was a savior. It’s pretty much the only thing Francie played with for 10days and when we got home she still wasn’t tired of it. The bus comes with 4 little people who can sit in the bus and four suitcases that go in the compartments underneath. Apart from being great fun to play with, I liked having a toy that linked to being on holiday – it was so much fun to play with the bus, then ride the bus and play with the suitcases and then have suitcases of our own. I will definitely be adding some more Playmobil 123 to our collection.

La Fede Wooden Camera

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There are so many things I love about this toy: Firstly it is proudly South Africa, secondly it is wooden and thirdly it just looks so cool! Francie absolutely loves it too and runs around holding it up to her face saying “click click” but the reason I think that it is such a hit is it’s long strap which she loves slinging over  her shoulder.

House Chalkboard 

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I ordered this chalkboard from Simply Home a while ago and Francie’s cousins loved it from day one but lately Francie has really enjoyed it. It’s a great “toy” that you can use with your little one and we spend loads of time hanging out drawing together – she loves us drawing the people that she knows and I am using the board to teach her shapes, colours etc. She also enjoys experimenting with the chalk herself and drawing better and better. As I said, her cousins have loved it and whenever we have a playdate with other kids things seem to gravitate towards the chalkboard!

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}

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, WEAR

KIMMY & BEAR CLOTHING

14th September 2016
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We are so excited the announce the launch of Kimmy & Bear Clothing.

Kimmy and Bear clothing is simple, beautiful, and well made. Our materials are handpicked for form and function, and we select only 100% pure cotton fabric. We  also oversee every aspect of the production of our small, limited collection. Our garments are not built for a single season, rather they should be worn again next year or passed down to a younger sibling just learning to walk. Founded by three sisters, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Kimmy & Bear’s first collection is inspired by childhood. By a time when our mother dressed all three of her daughters in matching outfits she’d made from patterns not dissimilar to these, by a time when the garden was our playroom and barefoot mornings stretched into long shadowed afternoons collecting snails and imagining worlds of fairies and forts, when reality was magical, and the magical was real.

Our clothes are reminiscent of those sweet childhood memories you have tucked away in some forgotten place.

Kimmy & Bear Clothing will be launching this weekend at Rock-a-Baby  or find us on Etsy.

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