{Giveaway} Soil Voucher

Soil Giveaway

For the longest time I have been searching for scented candles that will make my house smell divine. I have yet to find one that actually smells like it says it does and actually does waft through my house and doesn’t just make the 3cm radius it is burning in smell.

I had all by given up but then I received a voucher from Soil to buy some of their products to try out. Browsing their online store I discovered soya wax melts so I added them to my basket immediately together with some citronella oil, preparation for Spring and all the baby mozzie and a burner.

It arrived 3 days after placing my order and I set it up straight away and I fell in love! Not only is the burner so pretty, the melts actually make my whole house smell amazing, even upstairs and it seems to last well too. I put one of the little blocks in and have been burning it daily (not all day, for a few hours) for about 5 days now and it still has lots in. I am hoping to find some melts in just vanilla which is my favourite fragrance.

That wasn’t all I ordered, I also got their Treemendus Body Wash and some Kenyan Shea Butter. The body wash is for David, I am not a huge tea tree fan but he loves it so it was a belated Fathers Day gift of sorts. The body butter was for me and I was a little disappointed that it doesn’t really have much of a fragrance and initially when I put it on it went very oily but it was soaked in almost immediately and left my hands soft and smooth but not oily. I prefer body butters because they aren’t runny like some lotions and this one is one of the nicer ones I have tried.

So all in all I got a burner, soya wax melts, a burner, citronella oil, body butter and the body wash all for R300! I thought that was a real bargain. There was a lot more stuff I could have bought and will definitely be adding to my soya wax melt collection.

The awesome team at Soil have given me a R300 gift voucher to giveaway to my readers. How lucky are you guys. They really do have some great products and gift hampers that are wrapped so beautifully, so if you have a friend in need of some love then this is a great gift idea.

What do you need to do to win?

  1. Leave me a comment and tell me your favourite thing to use to keep your hands moisturised during winter?
  2. Then for an additional entry please sign up for my newsletter (easy peasy on the right hand side of the screen).
  3. For an additional entry please tweet @harassedmom is giving away a @soil_organics voucher worth R300. You can enter to win too http://www.harassedmom.co.za/?p=10618

Competition is open to SA citizens only.

Competition will close on the 8 July 2015 at 12h00.

{Product Review} COOL TO BE ME Educational Boxes

COOL TO BE ME

I am slightly ashamed to admit that I do not take Life Skills seriously. It is the one subject that don’t really pay much attention to. I am aware that that is probably not the best attitude because the lessons children learn there, may seem unimportant but actually they aren’t.

When we got sent the COOL TO BE ME educational box recently I was made more aware just how important social-emotional learning is.

The COOL TO BE ME educational boxes is a home-based programme that is aimed and aiding social-emotional learning. The boxes are packed according to age and range from ages 5 – 10. The boxes include activities, games and stories that are aimed at

  • Growing social and emotional intelligence,
  • Opening the door to cool conversations,
  • Creating strong, healthy family bonds,
  • Helping define family values, and
  • Building confidence and resilience.

The focus of the programme is on 5 core competencies

  • Personal awareness,
  • Social awareness,
  • Responsible decision-making,
  • Self-management,
  • Relationship building.

It is a really great programme that can be done together with your child which helps in the creating open communication between you and your child. There are also activities that the child can complete on their own. It is something fun that you can do as a family during loadshedding (just saying).

Kiara loved her box. She enjoys activities where she has to full stuff in, she will sit for ages with them. We didn’t send as much time on it together as I think we should have but I know she thoroughly enjoyed the books and spoke about the things she had read about. There is a lot of focus on positive thinking and self love which was really great as well as identifying different emotions.

The games are really creative and fun. She loved the Bru’Me brain breaks where you roll the dice and then choose one of the activities which includes “complete one minute of stretches” and “Do 20 star jumps”.

It is a well thought out programme that really has a positive effect on kids and it helps us as parents to focus on things we often gloss over.

For more information visit their website.

On being a mom to a teenager

This year I celebrated a first birthday and a 13th birthday. Both milestone years. Both with very different emotions. With the first birthday it is sort of a case of “been there done that” but I did pause for a moment back in February and appreciated that that was the last first birthday party my children would have. The thirteenth, however, was a first and totally unchartered territory.

I think I have said it ad nauseum by now, but this teenage thing is super scary. Unlike the wealth of information out there about dealing with sleepless nights and tantrums and what not, there is very little on how to deal with teenagers.

On being a mom to a teenager

In many ways I am extremely lucky that Cameron is my guinea pig child because he has been so easy to parent up until now. I am acutely aware that this could all change with one boost of testosterone which I think is what makes this age so frightening. Its not the cute changes of a toddler that starts talking or dressing themselves, it is the more aggressive changes of boys turning into men and girls becoming women. It is no longer testing the boundaries of wanting one more chocolate but rather staying out an hour later or sneaking a drink in. It is changes that shape where they will go and what they will do.

I am also afraid of becoming a “my child would never do that” parent. Of course we want to believe our children will always make the right choices but just like we did at that age, there are going to be times they make stupid decisions. I don’t want to assume because my child is generally a good child that he won’t try a smoke at a party or have a beer or give in to whatever temptations life throw at him. I also don’t want to helicopter parent, it has never been the way I have done things and I don’t really think it is the right way to go anyway.

The next few years really do come down to the implementation of the lessons I have taught him, the moral compass he has and the character he has developed. (That and regular access to his phone, emails and anything else I think I need to have access to.)

Its tough, I am not going to lie. It’s the best stage of parenting for me but it is also the toughest.

When your child turns 1 you cry because they are growing so fast but when they turn 13 you cry because they are growing away.

5 things to do during the holidays with kids of different ages

 

5 things to do with kids of differentThe kids are officially on holiday!

I have all four of them at home for one week, then the middle two are going to my mom for two weeks while Cameron and I go to Durban for one of those weeks.

Finding things for them to do can be challenging because of the age difference, so I went searching for things that would appeal to all of them.

1. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. This is a little out of the way but well worth it. It has interactive activities for all ages to enjoy and there is a small coffee shop where moms can sit and get some work done or relax with a cup of coffee. The advantage of this is that they also learn something while also having fun.

2. Monte Casinos Bird Park. We have been there a few times and the little ones enjoy it as much as the older ones. The show is great and it is a pretty walk around the park.  World of Birds

 

3. The Park! There are parks dotted all over the city. We have Zita Park which is great and we can take balls and bikes and even the dog along so everyone is kept busy and gets some much needed Vitamin D!

4. Watch a movie. Your little ones will need to be old enough for this but there are generally movies to suit all ages so when it is just too cold to be outside, take everyone to a movie.Inside Out is currently on and it is really a great movie.

5. Putt-putt. We have a course up the road and it really does make for a great day out and even the little ones enjoy it.

What are your favourite things to do in the holidays, other than going away?

Active Kids and Diet – Juniva helps with Foods that Fuel

Diets for Active Kids by Juniva

This is the second in this three part series dealing with the diets of active kids. If you missed the first post you can read it here.

Eating enough

A very active child like your son will have higher nutritional requirements than a sedentary child has, and will need to eat more food to meet these requirements.

If a child is not getting in what they need, they may become tired, which affects sports performance and enjoyment and can make concentrating at school and during homework time difficult. If you do find that your child is struggling with tiredness, one of the possible causes could be nutrient deficiencies – where a child is not getting in enough energy from food, and not eating the correct foods after exercise to promote recovery.

 

Carbohydrates

The most important foods needed for energy are carbohydrates. A child’s diet should include mostly higher-fibre carbohydrates like whole wheat breads, pastas and brown rice. Carbohydrates which are more quickly absorbed, which have a lower fibre content, may be needed during exercise as they can be digested and used quickly when they are needed. It is a good idea to spread carbohydrate intake over the day, so that a child is having frequent carbohydrate snacks to keep energy levels up.

 

Hydration

Being even slightly dehydrated can also make your child feel tired, so encourage him or her to drink sips of water throughout the day to keep energy levels up. Eating small meals regularly will also help to keep energy levels up, as it helps to prevent blood sugar dropping which causes tiredness.

 

Foods that help recovery after exercise

Examples of complete, appropriate snacks are:

  • Wholewheat crackers or bread with peanut butter, cheese (hard cheese or cottage cheese), chicken or tuna
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola
  • Muffins containing nuts and seeds
  • Ricecakes or pitas with hummus and salad vegetables

 

Another alternative to providing a post-exercise snack would be adding a scoop of protein powder to a smoothie. This can be a real help for busy moms so that they can still ensure that their child gets what he needs after exercise to promote recovery and muscle health.

While some supplements that many people call “protein supplements” are certainly not recommended for children because they contain hormones, stimulants and other harmful ingredients, adding a small amount of a high-quality, pure protein product which does not contain these harmful substances can help a young athlete to meet their high nutritional requirements.

 

An example of a complete post-exercise snack for your son, which includes protein and carbohydrates, is as follows: add 1 scoop of pure whey protein (examples of good products include Evox 100% Whey, SSN 100% Whey and Body Logix Natural Whey) to 1 cup of milk and add some fruit such as a banana, apple or pear. Whizz it up in a blender and you have an easy snack to pop into your son’s tog bag.

 

We know that during exercise, protein (in muscle) is broken down – and if protein intake is insufficient, muscle isn’t replaced and our bodies don’t recover adequately. Therefore, the general expert consensus is that protein intake after exercise is important. This is when our muscles are most sensitive to the protein in the food we eat, and therefore this will boost muscle and body recovery.

 

Glycogen is the storage form of glucose (the most important carbohydrate used to fuel exercise) and is found in the liver and muscles. In a young athlete, capacity to store glucose as glycogen is more limited than in adults, which means that young athletes especially need to consume carbohydrates throughout the day to maintain good glycogen stores.

 

This means that taking in enough carbohydrates before, during and after exercise is important. Just as important is eating a protein-containing food after exercise, to promote muscle health.

 

Very active children may need nutrients during exercise so packing in appropriate snacks and drinks is recommended so that your child has what he needs during sport.

 

It is recommended that these carbohydrates are combined with protein so that your son has a post-exercise recovery meal that will both replenish his glycogen stores and ensure healthy muscles.

 

Stimulants

It is best to avoid foods or drinks containing stimulants like caffeine as these are not healthy for a child’s growing body.

 

References

American Academy of Pediatrics

Today’s Dietitian Magazine

American Dietetics Association

 

{Giveaway} Win tickets to a BabySense seminar AND a copy of the BabySense Book

Last year I was invited to attend one of the BabySense seminars and it really was a great, informative morning.

This year I have two tickets to giveaway, to any of the venues as well as a copy of the Baby Sense book.

A bit more about the seminars.

 

Johnson’s Baby Sense seminars help parents navigate through

the jungle of parenting information.

With such a wealth of information available to expectant moms and new parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of facts or to be confused by different points of view and opinions. The Johnson’s Baby Sense seminars are designed to convey concise and expert information to moms-to-be and new parents with babies up to 12 months of age. The seminars are now in its 12th year and have become a vital and credible source of to-the-point information.

The parenting experts this year include Sr Ann Richardson (co-author of Baby Sense and Sleep Baby SenseSense), Tina Otte (midwife and special editor of Your Pregnancy), Lizanne du Plessis (OT and author of Raising Happy Children), Kate Bailey (OT and early childhood development and stimulation expert) and Dr Welma Lubbe (registered nurse and advanced midwife with qualifications in neonatal nursing science). This panel of experts will assist parents with invaluable information on a variety of topics that are close to a new parent’s heart.

In the first session (08h30 – 12h00), our experts will equip moms-to-be with everything they need to know about baby’s transition from womb to world, the golden hour straight after birth as well as newborn basics.

The afternoon session is aimed at parents with babies up to 12 months of age and will include information on stimulating your baby, gentle sleep solutions and what it takes to be a brave mom.

A Johnson’s Baby Massage Workshop takes place between the two sessions and will teach moms the benefits of sensory stimulation and provide tips for baby massage and how parents can communicate with their baby through touch and massage.

Dates and venues for the Johnson’s Baby Sense Seminars:

1 August 2015 – Port Elizabeth – Radisson Blu Hotel

15 August 2015 – Durban – Three Cities Riverside Hotel

22 August 2015 – Cape Town – The Vineyard Hotel

5 September 2015 – Johannesburg – The Protea Balalaika Hotel

 

Cost per seminar is R240 and R60 for the massage workshop.  Each person attending will receive a wonderful goodie bag, refreshments and the chance of winning amazing prizes. The seminar sponsors are Johnson’s, Baby City, Tolo, Huggies, My Smart Kid, Medela, Stokke and Tiger Brands. Please note that moms with babies under six months are welcome to bring them with. You can book tickets by clicking here.

To enter this giveaway just leave me a comment telling me which city you are in.

For an extra entry you can subscribe to my newsletter – simple and easy to do on the right hand side of my site.

If you have friends who are pregnant or have small babies then share this with them, if they mention you in their entry you will get an EXTRA entry!

Competition closes on the 1 July at 12h00 and is open to anyone who can get to one of the venues on the dates listed above. 

Mid-life crisis – its a real thing!

Ok so maybe it is not actually mid-life but I feel like it is a crisis of sorts!

Have you ever bored yourself?

Like you look at yourself in the mirror and you sigh and think “You look the same as you did yesterday” and sigh some more.

I was starting to do this earlier this year. Its been the same hair, the same clothes, the same glasses – everything all the same. MEH! It was getting boring.

I think if I was rich rich I probably would have had a boob job or a tummy tuck or died my hair blonde with purple stripes or gone on a 10 day holiday to Cancun or something. Anything as long as people said “Really LAURA did Mid-life Crisisthat?”

Since none of those things are real options I went out and bought some news clothes. There were different to my normal jeans and shirts but nothing drastic like leather hot pants or string bikinis but still different enough for Cameron to talk to me about “becoming a hippy”. Basically I ditched the plain option for patterned tights and pants, I even got a pair of Harlem style pants (I think that’s what you call them anyway). It is a small change but I love them ALL! They are different enough for me to not feel bored but not too out there. I also got some new glasses, the frames are totally different to any pair I have owned before but this time Cameron was ok with the change. (This child likes to keep the status quo). I also made time for the meditation retreat which was something I did purely for me because I wanted to do it. A nd I have even booked a facial for next week!

I still feel like I need to be doing something more meaningful and exciting with my life instead. Please don’t say how raising four kids is meaningful blah blah. I know it is but I still feel like I need something outside of that that is a little more exciting than what I am doing now. I am fast approaching 40 and apart from baking babies I am not sure what else remarkable I have done?

Have you ever felt like this? Is it just me?

Its Friday….again

I suppose time does fly when you are having fun doesn’t it.

I am feeling a little disconnected from my blog, my readers and the blogs I follow. I don’t even know what my reader is sitting on.

So I thought it would be nice to do a quick catch up post with whats been happening here and then you let me know whats happening with you.

  • Kiaras school has never really focused on sport and I have been ok with that, the do do PE twice a week o it is not like they were inactive. They recently got a new vice principal who is introducing sport at rather an alarming rate. They have now joined SACSSA (South African Christian Schools Sports Association) and last week Kiara ran in their cross country event and actually ended up getting her SACCSA North Gauteng colours and will be going to Ermelo in August to compete at their National event. On Saturday she is playing in their soccer tournament. I am really proud of her and excited about this but it does obviously pose more logistical (and financial) challenges. I can’t say I ever expected my kids to be as sporty as they are.
  • Cameron and I are going to Durban in July for a week for a gala. Kid 2 and 3 are going to my mom for the holidays so it will be a nice little road trip for him and I.
  • Despite a meeting with Cameron’s school, nothing has changed and I really do despair for the future of our public education system. He has done really well in his exams this term so head down until December.
  • Heather and I are working with Andrea to create a new look for SAMomBlogs and Andrea will also be giving Harassedmom a little makeover. We are super excited.
  • I finally feel on top of everything this week. I have never been one of those people with unread emails in my inbox but the last few weeks have seen a few of those and they really increase my anxiety levels but I managed to get replies out to them all today.
  • Emma is doing so well. She is talking up a storm and causing chaos wherever she goes. She isn’t sleeping so great but not bad enough for us to feel too sleep deprived.
  • Jack has been a little bit sick but otherwise he is happy and doing well.
  • I ordered new frames for Cameron and I and we are both super excited to get them. Both of us chose very different frames to the ones we have now. (Have I mentioned I think I am having a mid-life crisis?No? I will post about that asap!)

I think that really is about it!

Please tell me whats new with you?? I promise to get to my reader this evening!

Thermavein

Spider veins can be caused by a variety of things including pregnancy, genetics and other hormonal changes. These veins can appear on the face and legs, they can be rather unsightly making people who suffer from them extremely self conscious. Thermavein is a quick, pain-free solution to removing these veins. This unique treatment uses technology to provide a safe and effective solution to this problem and can be used for skin tags as well as spider veins.  “Thermavein uses Veinwave technology which is already proven within the medical field for the process known as thermocoagulation which seals the walls of thread veins with a micro-current of heat, causing them to permanently disappear. ThermaVein – “The Gold Standard for the removal of facial veins” – is a unique treatment for telangiectasia; the medical terms for spider veins and thread veins. It can also treat rosacea, vascular blemishes and spider naevi.” Generally only one treatment of roughly 20 minutes is needed and once the redness calms down patients will notice the difference but it can take up to 6 weeks to heal completely and more sessions may be needed depending on the severity and area the veins cover. One session costs R1500. The treatment cannot be done on people who -	Have infectious skin conditions -	Are diabetic -	Are pregnant -	Are epileptic -	Have a pacemaker -	Take anti-coagulants -	Have fake tan product on the skin -	Are allergic to nickel    If you want to find out more information you can contact Karien Trollip, a trained ThermaVein Practioner on 0834697016 or katrien@thermavein.co.za

Spider veins can be caused by a variety of things including pregnancy, genetics and other hormonal changes. These veins can appear on the face and legs, they can be rather unsightly making people who suffer from them extremely self conscious.

Thermavein is a quick, pain-free solution to removing these veins. This unique treatment uses technology to provide a safe and effective solution to this problem and can be used for skin tags as well as spider veins.

“Thermavein uses Veinwave technology which is already proven within the medical field for the process known as thermocoagulation which seals the walls of thread veins with a micro-current of heat, causing them to permanently disappear.

ThermaVein – “The Gold Standard for the removal of facial veins” – is a unique treatment for telangiectasia; the medical terms for spider veins and thread veins. It can also treat rosacea, vascular blemishes and spider naevi.”

Generally only one treatment of roughly 20 minutes is needed and once the redness calms down patients will notice the difference but it can take up to 6 weeks to heal completely and more sessions may be needed depending on the severity and area the veins cover. One session costs R1500.

Thermavein

The treatment cannot be done on people who

  • Have infectious skin conditions
  • Are diabetic
  • Are pregnant
  • Are epileptic
  • Have a pacemaker
  • Take anti-coagulants
  • Have fake tan product on the skin
  • Are allergic to nickel

 

 

If you want to find out more information you can contact Karien Trollip, a trained ThermaVein Practioner on 0834697016 or katrien@thermavein.co.za

This was a sponsored post.

 

{Product Review} Gymathstics

Gymathstics

Maths has never been my thing. I scraped through in high school and have avoided it at all costs since then. I am not sure where it all went wrong but maths and I are not friends and I am not sure we ever will be. I am very aware though that it is a vital subject for my kids to take and to do well in. I also try, where I can to engage in number activities that make maths fun rather than this huge big monster.

Gymathstics® is one of these programs. It is a series of activities that encourage children to learn about numbers in a fun and exciting way.

The Gymathstics® Program is a new innovative and a developing concept. The Gymathstics® program was developed by a qualified educator. The classes began as a conventional math’s tuition with four learners. Through these classes she observed that they were aware of the steps involved in mathematics but experienced difficulty with mental math’s concept.

We were sent one of their Clip Counter Starter Sets to try out and both Jack and Kiara have loved it.  This set is aimed at children aimed 3 -10 and allows parents (and teachers) to use a variety of fun ways to learn about numbers, shapes and colours. There is a box of brightly coloured shapes, a series of cards with formation numbers and shape and number representations and a mat on which to work. We have done a few things with the set so far.

Gymathstics Clip Counter Kit

  • I have asked Jack to take out 3 stars, 4 rectangles etc.
  • We have matched the shape around the number.
  • I have shown him a card and asked him to get out that number of shapes.
  • We have also done some shape and colour recognition.
  • It has really been such a great addition to the educational toys we do have.
  • There are cards that use the shapes to make up the number, he then copies that number using the matching shapes on the mat.

This set has been designed to develop a few things like

  • Shapes
  • Patterns
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Logical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Number sense
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Odd and even numbers, to name but a few.

What I love about this programme is that it is fun. It allows the children to play freely on their own or with the guidance of a parent/teacher in a more formal way.

For more information on all the products and services offered by Gymathstics visit their website, follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.