Cookie-dough frozen fudge

Cookie-dough frozen fudge|HarassedmomI am not sure really how they came to this name because there is no actual dough of any kind in these but they are delicious.

This is actually another Weigh-Less recipe, these are considered one fat each and they are great as a snack when I have to do the school run but am feeling a little peckish, they take that hunger away and tide me over until the next meal.

Cookie-dough frozen fudge|Harassedmom

Cookie-dough frozen fudge
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tin Chickpeas
  • ½ cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • ½ cup Low Fat Milk
  • 8 Soft Pitted Dates
  • 1tsp Vanilla Essence
Instructions
  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into silicone moulds and freeze for 4 hours.
  4. Serve frozen
Notes
I used lactose-free milk.
I bought a pack of those pitted dates, they are all squashed together so I couldn't really get 8, I just cut the package in half and used that.
1 serve - 1 fat

 

What time is it? It’s SANTA SHOEBOX time!

Can you believe that it is Santa Shoebox time already??? When pledging opens it is downhill until Christmas!!

Pledging opens tomorrow people – 1 September.

Santa Shoebox Project

For those of you new to these parts, I have been involved with this awesome project for 4 years, this is my third year on the committee. It is a great initiative that does some amazing work. 

The short version of the project – you select a child when pledging opens on 1 September, you put the box together (a list of all the goodies you need is supplied), you drop the box off on drop off day and then we, as the committee, deliver the boxes to the kids!

Santa Shoebox Project

Santa Shoebox Project

It is that simple!

You can do more than one box, you can do one box with a friend, you can donate fillers to the drop offs, you can come and help out on drop off day or you can get your office involved and donate a whole lot of boxes!

The possibilities are endless!

If you haven’t registered yet, then do so today and then simply chose your children tomorrow (or maybe even Wednesday if the server gets a bit too busy).

Please remember while the babies are cute to buy for it is often the teenagers who are in greater need of a little love. If you aren’t sure what to buy a teenager, our awesome team will be willing to offer advise and suggestions.

 

 

How to build your child’s self-esteem

How to build your child's self-esteem (1)

Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable. Jack Canfield.

Raising a child with a healthy self-esteem is so important but often something we do overlook because we are so focused on then reaching milestones, getting homework done and making sure they are happy.

One of the easiest ways to raise children with a healthy self-esteem is to make sure we, as their parents, have a healthy self-esteem, but there are  few other ways to build your child’s self-esteem.

Love without condition. We probably all do love our children unconditionally but often our words and actions say otherwise. We tie our own emotions to our children’s behaviour – “Don’t do that it makes me unhappy” or “You are a naughty child”. When talking to your child, chose your words carefully. It is a tough one and one we all struggle with at times but children take everything literally. Loving without condition teaches them they are good enough and more importantly they are loved for who they are.

How to build your child's self-esteem (2)

Encourage risks. Cameron is pretty good at trying new things, he will taste most things, experience something that he hasn’t done before but we do have to encourage Kiara a little bit. It is important for children to try new things, even if it turns out they don’t like it. They may actually enjoy it – we didn’t know Kiara could run, her teacher pushed her and look at her now!

Allow mistakes. Jack and I are struggling with this because all I want to do is do it for him to make it easier, but I am actually making it easier for me, not him. We got a peg board in one of our Mysmartkid boxes and Jack loves it, I try to build the patterns on the sheets but he is happy to build his own thing, I used to insist we follow the pattern, now I leave him and often he does follow the pattern on his own and is beyond chuffed.Making mistakes is how they learn that they can do it and that it is ok to make mistakes! It is hard sometimes for us to watch it. 

Pay attention. My mom tells me (and I am sure my brother) all the time we need to pay more attention to our kids. I do struggle with one-on-one time with each time because there are so many of them but I am focusing on it and last weekend I managed it with all 4. It is important because it lets your child know that they are important and you value your time with them!

How to build your child's self-esteem (4)

Don’t compare. Avoid saying “But your brother could do this, why can’t you?”. It is not productive. Children are different – Cameron can swim, Kiara can dance – the each excel in their own way. It makes the child feel inadequate and like they aren’t good enough. 

Celebrate achievements. When they get something right, celebrate, even if it is something like getting dressed for the first time or being able to open a bottle. We are doing this a lot with Emma now because she is getting to the age where she is able to do more for herself and often surprises herself with what she can do. 

How to build your child's self-esteem (3)

Raising well-adjusted, confident and happy children is simple but it is also complicated and does require a lot of effort and focus. Sometimes we mess up and make mistakes but that is ok because we learn and we teach our children the value of making mistakes!

DIY – How to paint glass jars

DIY How to paint glass jars (1)I saw this on Pinterest and have been wanting to try it for ages. I eventually got around to it last week and I am so chuffed with how they came out. 

It was obviously not as simple as Pinterest made it look but still a pretty quick and easy project to do.

What do you need

 

Glass jars/bottles

Paint – I just used paint I already had but I think next time I will buy craft paint.

Newspaper

How do you do it

  1. Make sure your jars are clean and dry. DIY How to paint glass jars (6)
  2. Pour a little bit of paint into each jar. You may need to add more, depending on the size of the jar.DIY How to paint glass jars (4)
  3. Tip the jar upside down and work the paint around the jar.DIY How to paint glass jars (3)
  4. Once the jar is covered, leave it upside down on some newspaper. DIY How to paint glass jars (5)
  5. Leave them to dry and then use to decorate your house, store your pens etcDIY How to paint glass jars (2)
  6. It can get messy so you will need to clean up the tops (I still haven’t got there yet).

Tip: If you have put too much paint in, before you leave it, let the extra paint drip into one of the other jars. 

5 Things you should consider before becoming a stay-at-home-mom

5 Things to consider before becoming a stay at home mom

The decision to become a stay at home mom is not one that should ever be taken lightly. It is a life changing decision that has far reaching effects for your you, your partner, your relationship and your children.

I sort of ended up here when our plans didn’t work out as we would have liked, it is not always easy but it works for our family.

Every parent, working or not, wants to spend more time with their children but there are a few more things you need to consider before making the decision to stop working.

  1. Is your husband on board! Becoming a SAHM is going to change the dynamic of your relationship with your partner so make sure he is fully on board with your decision. It is not really purely about the fact that he will now be the sole breadwinner, there is more to the dynamic of the relationship that money. Talk about it with your partner until you are both comfortable that staying at home is the best decision for your family to make. 5 Things to consider before becoming a stay at home mom (1)
  2. Figure out the finances. If you stay at home there are a few things you can cut back on like a domestic, after care, petrol etc. Make sure that going into it you will be ok financially and if possible start saving the second you are thinking about staying at home. We actually put my entire salary 3 months before I actually resigned. We were able to see, realistically if we could live off David’s salary and meant we had a cushion. For most of us, staying at home will come with financial sacrifices, prepare yourself for this because as your children get older, these sacrifices increase. 
  3. You need a support structure. I am not referring to family help or a domestic but rather a circle of fellow SAHM’s who you can get out and about with. Staying at home becomes very lonely very quickly. Once you emerge from the haze of the first 6 weeks you will remember you need adult interaction. Unless you are lucky enough to have all your friends pregnant at the same time as you or are friends with the SAHM’s in your child’s class, you are going to need to make an effort with this. Join a Moms and Babes group, initiate get together’s with moms you know in your area. 5 Things to consider before becoming a stay at home mom (2)
  4. Are you doing it for the right reasons. Why do you want to stay at home? Is it to escape a bad job? Or to ease your mommy guilt? Or because you think you are going to have the most perfect pinterest life? Is your partner pressurising you? The realities of staying at home are not always in line with the pictures painted in the media. Think long and hard about why you want to do it because if its not for the right reasons, you will very quickly start resenting the decision and it won’t benefit anyone.
  5. Is it a long term/short term plan? Do you want to stay at home indefinitely or only while your child is small? You need to consider this in relation to your career. It is harder to reintegrate into the business world once you have taken time off, there is no getting around this so you need to consider this. Will you find work easily after taking a few years off? Or is your industry rapidly changing and even 2 years will mean you are worlds behind?5 Things to consider before becoming a stay at home mom (3)

If you are thinking about becoming a stay at home mom, do your research, not on Pinterest but talk to real moms who are staying at home. Find out the realities, challenges and rewards. Go into it with your eyes wide open because if you don’t the white picket fence can very quickly become jail bars!

For me, staying at home has been a journey, not always an easy one. Some months there is nothing more to sacrifice and most days I feel completely defined by my children. I never imagined I would find myself here when I imagined my life but here I am and it works for us, as a family. 

Quick Apple Crumble

Quick Apple Crumble (1)

On the days I weigh-in I generally give myself a little treat so yesterday I decided to make us an Apple Crumble for dinner.

This is the first time I have used the food processor and it worked so well, super quick and easy and I didn’t have to suffer my way through my sensory issues but rubbing the butter into the flour.

Quick Apple Crumble (5)

It really is one of the quickest but yummiest recipes you can make and is a winner with everyone (except my fussy eaters)

Quick Apple Crumble (3)

Quick Apple Crumble
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 175g flour
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 110g butter
  • 1 tin of pie apples
  • Cinnamon and sugar
Instructions
  1. Place the flour, brown sugar and butter in the food processor and blitz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Place the apples in a pie dish.
  3. Sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar over the apples.
  4. Pour the flour mixture over the apples and spread out so it covers all the apples.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes
Notes
I used Earthborne gluten free flour - I substituted it gram for gram.
I used white sugar for this one but would definitely use brown sugar next time.

 

The Birds and the Bees – what worries you about having “the” talk

Lets talk about sex|Harassedmom

We never really spoke much about sex when I was growing up. I can’t really remember how I learnt about it but there was no book or talk from my parents. We did live in a different time though, where parents “got away” with not really talking much about it.

We aren’t so lucky now. We have to educate our children. We have to talk to about and make sure they know what is acceptable and what is not. It did take me a while to talk to the older two kids about it but with Kiara being a girl, we had to have that period talk sooner rather than later, so I just doubled it up with the sex talk. David spoke to Cameron about it. We tried to make it age appropriate and not bog them down with too much information that they didn’t really understand. 

Even though we have spoken to them about it, I am aware that these discussions have to keep happening. We have to be on top of where they are and make sure they are both equipped to deal with situations they find themselves in. There is no point in putting our heads in the sand about this, it is something we have to deal with openly and honestly.

It is not easy to know when or how to approach it. Your 3 year old may ask where babies come from but are they emotionally or intellectually mature enough to have the full on this is what sex is discussion with? Probably not but you do still need to try and answer the question, trust me it won’t go away!

Durex have a CONNECT-ED programme that is aimed at high school pupils and run in association with the Gauteng Education Department. The aim is to provide young people the “knowledge required to enable behaviour change specific to healthy sexual activity.” There is a CONNECT-ED buddy who is an online counsellor and is available to answer questions the pupils have and offers guidance and support in a confidential environment. 

We want to know what some of your concerns are when it comes to your child’s sexual education. What are your top questions when it comes to 

  • Talking to your children about sex;
  • Questions you are scared to ask your children when it comes to sex;
  • The details of their sexual activities; and
  • Communicating your concerns around sex, etc.

You can leave your questions or concerns in the comments or if you prefer you can email me laurakim@harassedmom.co.za.

One of the Durex CONNECT-ED buddys will provide answers to the questions and they may be used in print campaigns that are being run. Our aim with this is ti empower parents with the correct information and support which in turn will enable you to empower your children!

Durex have given me a Birds and Bees ToolKit worth R1000 to giveaway as well as a little sexy something for mom and dad to enjoy. The winner will be chosen randomly on the 31 August.

I don’t want to see your dirty underwear!

I don't want to see your dirty underwear|HarassedMom

My brother used to get lifts now and then with a family who lived nearby. I think they took him to swimming. Anyway my brother used to share all the family secrets on those trips, the mom would ask my mom about stuff or mention things that we hadn’t shared. It wasn’t ever really anything bad, just the usual stuff kids share that you would ideally not like the neighbours to know.

It was sort of like Faceboook for the 90s, you know when people actually spoke to each other. I think I preferred those days, the days where we shared our lives with our close circle of friends rather than our 1652 friends on Facebook or 87562 followers on twitter. It may sound strange for me to say that since I share pretty much everything with you guys here and on twitter and Facebook but there is something I don’t share – my dirty laundry!

I never share when David and I fight or when my family are going through an emotional time or when things happen with and to the kids that are personal. I have had many a rants online, usually about bad service (I think with RBJacobs sees my name on twitter the whole team cringes a bit) but I have also stopped myself from doing that for the most part because 9 out of 10 times I regret it in the morning.

“Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” Laurence J Peter

This is so so true and when we put that angry speech on our Facebook wall it is there FOREVER. You can delete it, but trust me nothing moves as fast as a person who wants to make sure negativity is not forgotten, someone will screen shot it just in case…..

I can totally see the appeal of posting something in anger online, people love a bit of a rant and I am pretty sure if I posted something right now on one of the groups I follow or even on my personal timeline about how David never helps*, withing seconds I will have all the mothers out there agreeing with me and condemning David to a place worse than hell! Even those people (especially those) who don’t know me or David! 

I don't want to see your dirty underwear|HarassedMom

The thing is, it is never a good idea to air your dirty laundry with the rest of the world. Here are a few of my reasons why!

Anger fades! I have been angry with David, my mom, my mom in law, my brother, my kids and I have often felt tempted to share how my mother doesn’t understand or my brother is being a morone but usually by the time I have actually picked up my phone, read my updates and am ready to post I can’t remember why I was angry or we have worked through it. Your anger will fade but your status will be there forever, so while you and your husband are blissfully sharing a bottle of wine, your FB timeline is abuzz liking your rant!

It is disrespectful and unfair to the other party. Publicly shaming someone you love is disrespectful and if I need to explain why then you need to re-evaluate your idea of good relationships. 

It’s not real validation. We all want to be validated,  no one understands that better than me. Validation from 10000 random strangers online is not real validation. Just because someone you have never ever met agrees that your husband is a terrible father does not mean he is a terrible father. When your best friend, who you have known for 25 years says “your husband isn’t a great father” then maybe pay attention. Sharing one incident doesn’t define who that person is. 

Next time you are angry, step away from your phone, make a cup of tea, scream into your pillow, take a long bath and the decide if the best course of action is to share your anger online. I certainly don’t want to see your dirty underwear or anything private that is happening in your personal relationships.

I am going to leave you with this from Tom Eaton, it is sort of related, the whole article is here, read it, it will make you think twice before sharing what everyone else is.

I also suspect many of us who stand on soap boxes and shout (whether for money in the media or for free on social media) have unconsciously signed on to a bizarrely impotent social contract in which we have agreed that we have a moral duty to be outraged by anything deemed outrageous.

*I just want to state clearly that David does help, a lot. I do sometimes whine about how he doesn’t but it is generally me just being a princess.

 

These are a few of my favourite girls clothes

I am having a lot of fun playing dress up with Emma. She allows us to dress her up, she is happy to try on the shoes we buy her, she wears the tutus and tops that aren’t really practical but super cute. I had a ball at the Cotton On sale on Sunday, there was so many cute outfits!

So I have picked a few of my favourite items!

Naartjie’s new spring range is awesome, as always! The nice thing about Naartjie is that there patters are pretty neutral, there are no Disney characters or other commercialised stuff.

I love these little jumpsuits. These long ones are perfect for this time of year when it is still a little cool.

A few of my favourite girl things|HarassedMom

And you can never have too many leggings. 

A few of my favourite girl things|HarassedMom

Cotton On also have some really stunning, practical clothes. There sizes are a little bit of an issue – the go up in year, so size 1 (for a one year old), 2 (for a two year old) etc. There clothes are super soft and even Kiara is happy to wear them.

Cotton On KIDS 3

A few of my favourite girl things|HarassedMom

I know Woolworths came under fire again for their apparent lack of practical toddler clothing and to be honest I generally avoid their kids section for this reason but I went in with my mom in law the other day and was actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of stuff they had that didn’t have Sophia or Elsa on!

I love these packs of leggings and shirts. They make so much sense to me and these ones are nice and simple.

Sunshine-Cotton-T-Shirts-3-pack-6009189490965

Cotton-Print-Leggings-6009189317583

These are a few of my favourite girls things| HarassedMom

What are some of your favourite items for your kids? Where do you buy most of their stuff?

PS: This is not a sponsored post, none of these brands asked me to write this, these are just my favourites.

Nominate an inspiring leader to win R2500

Every now and then something comes across my desk that makes me sit up, pay attention and want to share.Unilever Logo

When I received this blog drop, I opened it and was not really sure what it was all about until I started reading the media pack. Turns out it was about really great campaign about a really great initiative.

We were sent a bag made from recycled plastic bags, the brain child of Thato, a young girl with a vision!

Thato Kgatlhanye couldn’t wait to get a head start on her dreams. By 18, she had already founded and is CEO of Rethaka, a business with a social conscience. The company’s first business venture was the Repurpose Schoolbag.

“The idea for Repurpose Schoolbags came after looking at some of the societal problems facing learners; a lack of dignity, basic school materials and no source of light to study at night,” said Thato,

“On the other hand was plastic pollution. The schoolbags are made from recycled plastic bags, the schoolbag integrates solar technology so that children may study for up to 12 hours. It also features retro-reflective material that makes the children more visible and safe on their walk to school. With this product we are offering dignity, safety and access to light.”

Born in Mogwase, a small township just outside Rustenburg, the daughter of a nurse and a taxi owner, Thato studied a BA in brand management from The Vega School of Brand Leadership before having the honour of being selected for an internship in New York with marketing guru and American best-selling author Seth Godin.

She was also picked as one of 18 South African social entrepreneurs to attend the 10 day RedBull Amaphiko Academy this year.

Although her business enterprise has garnered international attention and awards, (In November 2013, Repurpose Schoolbags came third at the SAB Foundation Innovation Awards and in September 2014, it won the R15 000 prize for the SA Innovation Summit Inventors’ Garage competition and was the runner-up for the Anzisha Prize 2014), Thato genuinely craves to make a difference and contribute to the development of her community.

By building its factory in Rustenburg, Rethaka chose to shine the spotlight directly on their own community, creating the change that hoped to see around them. 

Rethaka’s factory in Rustenburg currently employs 17 full time staff, 13 of which are women, using a sustainable manufacturing process. Each schoolbag is made of 20 plastic shopping bags that are up-cycled into a textile and all offcuts are used to design a signature pattern on the bags.

Indirectly, Rethaka has been influencing the minds of the local community by showing them the value in waste materials.

Thato and her team have set an ambitious goal of manufacturing 10,000 bags by the end of 2015 which she believes is possible, bearing in mind she aims to increase her staff compliment to 20 by the end of the year.

In addition, the company is diversifying its product offerings and launching a new luxury brand by the end of the year to cater to a broader market.

Do you know someone like Thato? Or are you someone like Thato?

Someone who is making a difference in their community in any way.

We are looking for inspiring leaders and contributors in the community. Someone who is making a difference in the lives of those around them. It doesn’t have to be on the same level as Thato – maybe there is a child in your school who is doing something for their community or maybe it is a young entrepreneur who is improving the life of those around them.

If you now someone like this, then let me know! You can either leave me a comment or email me laurakim@harassedmom.co.za and tell me their (your) story.

The only requirement is that they are making a difference in their community.

The winner will win R2500 towards their initiative.

The person who nominated them will receive a stunning Unilever hamper!

I will choose the story that I feel is the most inspiring on the 2 September 2015.