Ella & Ziggy

There’s a lot about having multiple kids that people don’t tell you. Like how much fighting there will be, how loud they can be, how they care for each other and love on one another.

They also learn from their siblings and I love that Matthew can read to his brother and sister. When Matthew was younger, I used to wish I had tools that helped with teaching him to potty train, tell time and when he just started school, a timetable of sorts. I recently found these exact tools I was looking for called Ella & Ziggy.

Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards include a range of fun magnetic games for children to use their creativity while learning the alphabet, concept of time, weather, planning, calculation, shapes and much more.

The Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards also include a weekly timetable and various reward charts to help parents stay organized and kids stay motivated.

ALL ABOUT TIME
All About Time Magnetic Board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn the concept of time in a fun and simple way. 12-hour and 24-hour clock with moveable hands.

POTTY TRAINING CHART
Potty Training Magnetic Chart is a simple and easy-to-use tool to help children potty train and learn good bathroom hygiene in a fun and interactive way.

WEEKLY TIMETABLE
Weekly Timetable Magnetic Educational Planning Chart helps kids plan their week ahead with cute and colourful magnets on a magnetic board. A handy and useful planning tool for children and parents.

They also have the following magnetic boards available:

ALL ABOUT THE ALPHABET
All About Alphabet magnetic learning board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn Alphabets in a fun and playful way.

ALL ABOUT COUNTING
All About Counting magnetic learning board is a simple and colourful magnetic toy for pre-school kids to learn counting from one to ten happily.

ALL ABOUT TODAY
All About Today Weather and Calendar Magnetic Board – Children can learn the concept of days, dates, months, weather and seasons in a playful way. Available in pink & blue.

ALL ABOUT BODY ORGANS
The Magnetic Body Organs Magnetic Board is a fun interactive game to tell the allocation of the body organs. Choose the correct magnetic puzzles and place them in the space provided.

I CAN DO IT REWARDS CHART
I Can Do It! Magnetic Reward Chart is a simple and easy-to-use tool. Children can monitor themselves independently. The more stars they get, the quicker they can get a reward from parents. It can be used by 1 – 3 children with colour-coded stars.

Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards are available at Toy Zone, selected Clicks stores and online from  Charley’s Boxes and Loot.

I seriously need to get my hands on the potty training board soon. We’re starting with Harper in April. Wish us luck.

Have you purchased any of the Ella & Ziggy magnetic boards? If not, which ones would you purchase?

Christmas gift list – kids

It’s almost Christmas, which is my favourite time of the year. The one thing I always need help with, is gifting ideas for everyone. I’ve put together a little list, with some help from Hasbro, of gifting ideas for kids.

For ages 2 to 4
These are some of the toys I wouldn’t mind getting for Harper. She’s such a “girlie girl” and loves her plushies.

FurReal Cubby, the Curious Bear Interactive Plush Toy, is a dream companion for kids. He has over 100 different interactions and responds to touch, voice and motion with moving eyes, nose, and mouth, his face is delightfully expressive. Cubby is a totally lovable, curious young cub and is eager to be picked up and held (he hugs you back), plays peek-a-boo, and let’s not forget snack time – feed him his bottle or treat and he’ll make eating sounds. Then, when it comes to bedtime, you switch him into a nighttime mode and he slowly falls asleep and plays a variety of music and white noise to also help the child sleep. To watch Cubby in action click here.

Baby Alive Happy Hungry Baby loves to eat. Mix baby’s food with water to make doll food that looks like the real thing. When you give baby her spoon, she opens wide and really eats her doll food. She also giggles, moves, and asks for more. With over 50 sounds and phrases, this sweet baby doll makes feeding and changing time feel oh-so-real and fun for little mommies and daddies. The Baby Alive Snip ‘n Style Baby is ready for you to brush, trim, and style her hair. Brush baby’s fringe with her interactive brush and watch it grow then hold the interactive scissors up to baby’s fringe and pretend to trim and watch the fringe get shorter! Includes 35+ sounds and phrases, and 12 hair accessories to style baby’s hair for any occasion.

Gear up and get ready to ‘earn your wings’ with Top Wing. Now kids can join Swift in his Deluxe Rescue Vehicle for high-flying rescue missions as he zooms through the sky on the Flash Wing, which includes a Rescue mode (talons down) and Turbo mode (talons up), each with sounds for even more fun.

For ages 4 to 8
I know for a fact that these are items Ethan would absolutely love!

Mr. Potato Head Movin Lips is an interactive talking toy, that’s fun and entertaining for kids as well as adults. Just attach his mouth and press the buttons, his lips synchronise to wacky songs and some funny phrases.

Play-Doh continues to captivate kid’s imaginations. Picture a land of colourful dreams where unicorns poop Play-Doh ice cream. Meet Tootie, the hilarious unicorn ice cream maker who loves to create silly Play-Doh sundaes. As she dispenses Play-Doh colours this unicorn toy makes laugh-out-loud sounds and even changes her facial expression. There’s no stoppin’ the poppin’ fun with the Play-Doh popcorn maker toy, which includes everything you need to make creative Play-Doh popcorn masterpieces. Crank pretend popcorn into the 3 bucket sizes and mix it up with silly snack mixes. Add fun play food toppings like pretend pretzels, crazy candy, and more with the candy-themed stamps and moulds. Don’t forget to squeeze in some silly syrup or butter with the syrup tool. Little chefs can go pizza crazy with the Play-Doh Stamp ‘n Top Pizza Oven. Stamp a pizza crust in the oven, then go wild creating and customising with the variety of tools and moulds included.

The My Little Pony world is filled with magic, friendship, fun and laughter. Tickle Oh My Giggles Pinkie Pie toy and watch as she starts to giggle, wiggle and laugh – the more she is tickled the harder she laughs and the faster she moves. Cuddle and play with an adorable baby pony doll. Each My Little Pony baby doll has a moulded diaper and removable bib and bottle accessories. Feed the doll her bottle to activate sound. Poseable figure can sit or stand and is made of soft plastic for kids to cuddle and hug.

For ages 8 to 10
Some of these will be great for my fun loving, Nerf wielding 8 year old. I want to play with some of these lol

There is an exciting range of Nerf blasting options on offer:

o The Nerf Trilogy DS-15 toy blaster has ejecting shells to heat up your Nerf dart-blasting action. Unleash a triple-dart blast with this Nerf N-Strike Elite blaster that shoots 3 darts at once from each shell.
o The Nerf Fortnite AR-E blaster, inspired by the blaster used in Fortnite, is the only way to play Fortnite in real life. Drop into indoor and outdoor Fortnite action with this motorised, dart-firing Nerf Elite Fortnite blaster that features two flip-up sights to help you align your shot and an acceleration button to power up the motor.
o Go into battle with the bolt-action Nerf Rival Helios XVIII-700 blaster. Pull back the bolt to prime the blaster and unleash rounds at a velocity of 30 meters per second. The bolt placement can be customised to accommodate right or left-handed battlers.

Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. Build the ultimate battlefield with Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toy figures with customisable weapon configurations.

On the Transformers Cyberverse animated series the Allspark can harness incredible new powers, including the power to convert Earth vehicles into Spark Armor: battle-ready gear that allows them to fight in new places and in new ways. Kids can collect assorted Spark Armor figures (each sold separately) to discover more exciting characters from the Cyberverse series.

Imagine teaming up and battling the Power Rangers’ toughest enemies with these Power Rangers Beast Morphers Action Zord figure assortment (which include: Beast-X Megazord and Beast Racer Megazord). Standing 25 cm tall, and with the included  accessories, these action figure toys are ready for action against any foe.

Young fans of the Disney Frozen movies will love the Frozen 2 Singing Elsa and Anna Fashion dolls (each sold separately). Each doll includes a Frozen 2 inspired outfit, press the button on the bodice to watch the dress light up and hear a snippet of an original song from the Frozen 2 movie. Sing along while imagining scenes with Arendelle’s favourite sister duo. Kids can take magical Frozen adventures on the go with the Fold and Go Arendelle Castle portable playset. Inspired by Disney’s Frozen 2, this castle set has two floors of fun that fold up and fun accessories are included to decorate the rooms.

For the Family
What’s better than spending time together as a family? Nothing. Here’s a list of perfect games to play together as a family.

Monopoly Fortnite – in this thrilling Fortnite inspired edition of the Monopoly game, players claim locations, battle opponents, and avoid the Storm to survive. The gameplay, design, and components of the board game include elements inspired by the video game including Fortnite locations and loot chest cards. Instead of Monopoly money, players earn Health Points (HP). Like in the Fortnite video game, the last player standing wins!

Make Monopoly Cheaters Edition board game a favourite go-to game for game nights and other fun get-togethers. Lean into those iconic (yet unspoken) Monopoly moments in which rules are bent, money is borrowed, and funny business is welcomed. Fake a die roll, steal some bills from the bank, and even skip out on rent. Complete a cheat to get a reward but fail a cheat and pay the consequences. The pretend handcuff unit that may leave players “chained” to the board is a fun addition to the game.

The Connect 4 Shots game combines the gameplay of the original Connect 4 game with fast-paced, competitive excitement. Two players at a time race to get four balls of their colour in a row to win. Kids can also practice solo to prepare for a future Connect 4 Shots matchup.

Stocking Fillers
The following are perfect for filling those stockings.

Hasbro products are available from leading retailers including: Takealot.com, Makro, Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Game and Checkers.

What’s on your kids’ list for Christmas?

Father’s Day Gift Guide with Superbalist

#Sponsored

Mother’s Day was a week ago and I hope you all had a better day that I did. Not that it was bad but we were extremely busy with getting our house in order after the move and didn’t have much time to rest.

I know I always struggle to find gifts for the men in my life. (Why must it be so hard to find an affordable gift for my husband that he’ll actually like?) I’ve collaborated with Superbalist to put together a gift guide for Father’s Day.

Father’s Day is on 16 June and below is a great list of gifts for every type of dad. From laptop bags, to workout clothing to shoes for men. Have a look and let me know what you’re thinking of getting your dad or your husband (from the kids).

Gifts for the Office Dad


1. Messenger Bag – R399
2. Backpack Laptop Bag – R1,259
3. Happy Socks Gift Box – R499
4. Formal shoe – R1,699

Gifts for the Metro Dad


1. Lab Series The Grooming Oil 3 in 1 Shave & Beard Oil – R475
2. D&G Light Blue – R2,699
3. Frankees Trunks – R239

Gifts for the Workout Dad


1. Puma Training Sneakers – R1,599
2. Asics Drawcord Hoodie – R799
3. Adidas Sweatpants – R779
4. Reebok Long Tights – R419

Gifts for the Style Conscious Dad


1. Fossil Watch – R2,999
2. Tie Pin with Clear Detailed Cufflinks Set – R149
3. Style Republic Faux Leather Wallet – R209
4. Joy Collectables Tie – R79

Gifts for the Barista Dad


1. Typo Socks – R99
2. Sixth Floor Print – R169
3. 3 Cup Classic Espresso Moka Pot – R299

Gifts for Every Type of Dad


1. 13 inch Laptop Cover – R299
2. Star Wars Galaxy Socks – R99
3. Cable Pinches – R69
4. Beer Time Socks – R99


5. Metal Drink Bottle – R149
6. Anytime Mug – R48
7. Take Me Away Mug – R99

Disclaimer – Superbalist has paid me for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

Being a real mom

Written in collaboration with Baby Dove

It’s after 11 at night, Mark is sleeping and Matthew is a few weeks old. He’s woken up with a poonami and it’s taking all my creative manoeuvres to get it cleaned up. Once cleaned, I put him on the boob to get him to go back to sleep. Next to me, Mark is snoring and I am contemplating how I can get away with smothering him in his sleep. I look down at this marvelous creation in my arms, suckling softly and grasping my finger tightly. I can see he’s not going to sleep soon, he is wide awake. I heave a sigh of frustration because I’m tired, my c-section cut is throbbing and I’m wondering where my pregnancy glow went. All the baby books I’ve read say that I should swaddle him, ensure that he’s warm enough, that he only gets breastmilk and that I shouldn’t offer the bottle too soon or he’ll get nipple confusion. Those same books say that I should let him cry it out if I want him to sleep through the night, no wait, we should co-sleep. No, never do that, you can kill your baby in your sleep, rather keep him in his cot in his own room. But then I’ll never hear him. So that means I must buy all the expensive paraphernalia just so that I can hear if he suddenly stops breathing or pulls the blanket over his head.

This was 7 years ago, when I was a new mom with no idea what I was doing or how I was going to keep my newborn alive. I was scared, in pain and utterly in love with this amazing creature that God entrusted to me. While I was pregnant, I was given so much conflicting advice from well-meaning aunts, friends, colleagues and the random grandma at the store, that I didn’t know what was what. Then all those books I read made me even more confused and I was clueless. One day, I received the only advice I needed to hear, to trust my instincts because only I knew my baby. I can listen to the advice of all those well-meaning people around me and just use what I need.

Us moms are bombarded with information and advice daily. If it isn’t an aunt, or some stranger in the shopping centre, then it’s Google and all those online articles that we somehow subscribed to. After 3 pregnancies and 3 children, I’ve learnt that the only thing I need is to listen to my baby and trust my gut. I’m the only one who knows what that cry means. I’m the only one that knows when my son falls, all he needs is a little hug and the permission to try it again. I’m the only one that knows exactly when my baby is sick, before the thermometer even confirms it. This is why I love the Baby Dove concept of being a Real Mom. Of trusting your own way of being a mom. That there is no such thing as a perfect mom, only a real one.

This campaign has made me reflect on my 7 years of being a mom. How overwhelmed I was in the beginning. How I wouldn’t trust myself to know what’s right for me or my baby. All those baby books and advice would never make me a perfect mom, I just needed to be a real mom. Remember, when it comes to your child, you know best, so #TrustYourWay.

Baby Dove

Written in collaboration with Baby Dove

I’m sure you’ve heard the hype about the not so new anymore Baby Dove products. I can tell you, I really do love them. I’m not just saying that because they’ve collaborated with us to giveaway a little hamper but because that’s my honest opinion.

I started using the Baby Dove Sensitive Tip to Toe Wash not long after they launched here in SA. I was thrilled that I could immediately see a difference on Ethan’s eczema and that sold me. Granted I’ve heard mixed reviews about this from other moms but it worked for us.

Then, when Harper was born, I continued using the soap, nappy cream and lotion with her. People love that just washed baby smell but with the Baby Dove, that smell is even more pronounced and I had family and friends commenting on it constantly.

The biggest tip I received about choosing products for your baby’s skincare routine is to choose gentle and hypoallergenic products.

Hypoallergenic means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. It is better to opt for products that are both gentle and mild as well as hypoallergenic. Take the time to read the label and look out for products that have been dermatologically and paediatrically tested. Baby specific products are a must have, as they have been specifically designed for delicate baby skin.

Here’s a few of the Baby Dove products I’m currently using on my own children.

Baby Soap Use a rich moisture bar because it is designed for the adapted skin care needs of an infant, and is milder and more nourishing than ordinary baby soaps. Milder and more nourishing than ordinary baby soaps.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Bar 75g – RSP R12.99

Baby lotion Baby moisturising lotion will help to replenish moisture lost during the day and nourish your baby’s delicate skin. Gently moisturizes for 24 hours.

Baby Dove Moisturising Lotion 200ml RSP R48.99

Nappy cream Like petroleum jelly, nappy cream is a barrier cream that prevents excess moisture from irritating skin that is constantly exposed to dampness. Neutralizes pH in seconds and immediately protects from redness. Instant comfort from the first use.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Nappy Cream 45g RSP R34.99

Wipes Care for your baby’s sensitive skin with these fragrance-free baby wipes. Instantly moisturising and as gentle as water.

Shampoo Keep your baby’s hair and scalp clean, visibly healthy and soft with this moisturising baby shampoo. Hypoallergenic and tear-free.

Tip To Toe Wash A tear-free and hypoallergenic baby wash and shampoo that helps moisturise your baby’s delicate skin to keep it soft. Helps retain moisture all day.

Now for some good news! Baby Dove has given me 1 Mini Hamper to give away to a lucky reader (I’ll even add in 1 or 2 surprises from my own pocket).

HOW TO ENTER:
Comment on this post and tell me how old your child is.

FOR EXTRA ENTRIES:
For extra entries, please do the following:
> Subscribe to my blog
> Follow me on Instagram
> Like my page on Facebook

Competition closes 2 March and the winner will be announced on the Facebook page and emailed