Annie’s Baking Club *sponsored*

Do you love baking with your kids? Despite the mess that’s bound to happen. Despite them wanting to do everything themselves. Despite the nagging of when will it be done. I know I enjoy baking with Ethan (as he’s the only one that is willing to help out in the kitchen lol). When Tessa’s Bakery contacted me to test out their new baking kits I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement and couldn’t wait to start.

There are 7 different types of baking kits available. Think unicorn, dinosaur, emoji and many more. The kits start at R195 and include everything you need to make baking memories with your child. They can be found at Annie’s Baking Club. They’re also launching a monthly subscription box in November. These are R295 each and I am so getting in on that!

We were sent the Marvellous Monsters Cupcake Kit. The kit includes the Vanilla Cupcake Mix, Buttercream Icing Mix, White Cupcake Cases, Monster Cupcake Wrappers, White, Black and Blue Sugar Paste, Tooth Picks, Green and Purple Gel Colours, Piping Bags, Grass Piping Nozzle. And to make your cupcakes at home, you need eggs, oil, butter, milk and vanilla essence (the usual ingredients for premixes I think).

The instructions are bright and kid friendly. The easy to follow step by step instructions made it so that Ethan could see what he needed to do next. We had so much fun playing with the sugar paste, although I had to remind myself to take a step back and let him do this on his own. I think the most tedious part was cutting out the monster cupcake wrappers lol.

He was so proud of his creation and couldn’t stop telling everyone about HIS cupcakes. I can’t wait to try every kit in the collection. It’s a wonderful way to involve the kids in the kitchen, spend some quality time with them and make wonderful memories.

 

Do your kids help out in the kitchen? Which kit do you think would be the first one you’ll try?

Products we love from 4AKid

#sponsored

We were given some products from Ally Cohen from 4AKid to review sometime last year. I never got a chance to put the review up on the blog, so here you go. Some of my favourites from their website.

Knee pads
I loved these little knee pads. With Harper crawling all over the show, these pads helped protect her knees from scrapes. They stretch to fit over her knees and are very comfortable. They’re not too tight and don’t leave those elastic marks on her legs. They also minimized the stains on her pants that I struggle to wash out. Definitely a win for us! Available in light grey, light pink, and more.

Toothbrush holder
Oh my gosh, do my boys love this little ladybug. Toothbrushes don’t lay all over the basin now and the holder is easy to attach to the wall with little suction pads underneath it. And they rush to the bathroom to catch a glimpse of this cute ladybug and show him how they brush their teeth.

Plush pacifier holder and dummy
I thought this product was a brilliant idea! I mean what better way to find a lost dummy than to just look for the little stuffed dog. However, for us, it just didn’t work out. Harper didn’t like the dummy that was attached to the dog and there was no way we could remove the dummy attached and add our own one. I would definitely consider using this if there maybe a velcro strip to attach your own dummy to the plushie. If your baby is not as fussy as mine, then this is a win. They have other designs in the collections as well. I think there’s a monkey and a teddy.

Magic tracks
Anything to do with cars and racetracks have my boys jumping up and down with excitement. With these magic tracks, you can bend, flex and curve the track magically in 360˚ however you want – even while the race car is zooming around. They’ve even worn the tracks as a crown lol.

 

I also have a few items from 4aKid on my wish list.

Blackboard sticker
I’d love this blackboard sticker for the boys’ rooms. Those old school blackboards on the stands can get in the way and I love that this sticker is easy to apply and can be cut to fit any size you wish. I could even stick it on my fridge to jot down my shopping list or little love messages for Mark.

Unicorn backpack
Man oh man what’s not to love about this baby bag backpack? Not only does it have unicorns on it, it’s a multi functioning, versatile bag. We’ve only had shoulder bags for the boys and as much as I loved those bags, with 3 kids now it’s a bit difficult to juggle them all as well as struggle with a bag falling off your shoulder. Definitely one on my list to get soon.

Responsibility Chart
The boys are going through a stage of not listening to me and creating a mess wherever they go. I’m hoping to get this responsibility chart and start tracking their behaviors. According to the product info on 4aKid’s website, “kids can open the dry-erase boards to reveal a behavior chart on one board, with the 90 magnets on the other, including illustrated responsibilities and behaviors (like Clean Room, Set Table, No Teasing) as well as smiling rewards (Well Done!, Excellent!, You’re a Winner!) also two blank magnets to personalize. The attached sturdy cord is ideal for hanging and the fabric hinges ensure that it will remain durable for many responsible years to come.”

Silicone Ice Lollies
My kids love ice lollies, suckers, bunnylicks, whatever you want to call them. I love these silicone ice lollies because you can add your own fruit juice, yoghurt, etc and freeze. This way, you know what’s going into these ice lollies and they’re mess free.

 

Bake Snake
I try to bake as often as I can. But I’ve only ever baked a round cake. With this little silicone gadget, I can connect the “snakes” into any shape, place it into a foil lined tray and add my batter. And voila! A heart shaped cake for Valentine’s Day? A number 5 cake for Ethan’s next birthday? Maybe even a star to tell the kids they’re my stars? The possibilities are endless!

Have you been onto 4aKid’s website yet? What have you purchased from them or what is on your wishlist? Tell me in the comment section below.

Review: Childs Farm

Ethan has always had skin issues. Mostly some form of eczema and we’ve been treating it since he was a few months old. From good old Epimax, to Advantan and some more ointments I can’t even pronounce.

In March, I was sent something that claimed to be specially designed for all skin types, and is dermatologist- and paediatrician-approved for use on sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Childs Farm, the UK’s fastest growing baby and child toiletries brand, has recently launched in South Africa.

We’ve been testing it on the kids for the last 2 months. Firstly, and I’m sure this is the one thing everyone who uses it says, the fragrance of all the products in the range is amazing! I haven’t smelt anything like it in any other baby/child product on the market. The products don’t contain any parabens, SLSs, mineral oils or artificial colours and the majority contain over 98% (by volume) naturally derived ingredients.

I haven’t seen a remarkable improvement in Ethan’s skin but it also hasn’t gotten any worse, so it looks like the Childs Farm products can be used on eczema prone skin without harming your baby’s skin. Harper’s skin is silky soft after using the bath wash and the bubble bath is nice and foamy, with the scent lingering long after. The shampoo cleans well and leaves the kids’ hair nice and soft. I’m a little bit let down by the baby moisturizer as it leaves a bit of an oily sheen after application and seems to dry my skin out. But the bubble bath!?!? Gosh, it makes a lot of foam (which the kids love) and it also scented. Bathtime nowadays smells like a fruit salad on steroids in our home lol. We’ve haven’t tried their 3-in-1 Swim yet but I’ve heard others say that it’s just as amazing as the other products.

All in all, we’ve had a good experience and would definitely continue to use the Childs Farm products.

Childs Farm products are currently available in Baby City, Clicks stores and via takealot.com. Prices range from R99 to R119.99, with a range of over 15 different products to choose from.

For more information on Childs Farm products visit www.childsfarm.com or the local Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/childsfarmsouthafrica/

Rhodes Squish Review plus WIN

Have you ever celebrated a toddler eating just 1 spoonful of food? Or jumped up and down, made weird noises or stand on your head and do 100 cartwheels just to get that toddler to taste something new? Well, you’re not alone. I’ve done that and more 3 times over and I was so relieved when I discovered Rhodes Squish (and even more so when Harper tried it and loved it).

Convenience
The Rhodes Squish pouches are convenient and easy to use. Harper can now suck the puree straight from the pouch but before then, I just used to squeeze a little bit into a spoon and feed her. They are 100% natural and contain no nasties. There is no added sugar, salt, colorants, maize starch and flavorings.

Yoghurt Squish


Rhodes Squish has now added exciting new fruit and veg yoghurt purees and ready-to-eat jellies, adding to its popular 100% fruit and vegetable puree and 100% fruit and veg pressed juice ranges. The Squish yoghurts are made from 100% fruit and vegetables with double cream yoghurt, not yoghurt powder.

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly


There’s more, Rhodes Squish has introduced four new ready-to-eat jellies. The jellies are free from gelatine, colourants, flavourings and preservatives, and are made with fruit puree. Harper loves the Mango and Rooibos jelly and gobbles it up within minutes. You won’t go wrong with Squish for a fuss-free, easy to use snack for your baby and toddler.

WIN
Do you want to stop stressing over meal times or cleaning up bowls of food that was thrown by your toddler? You can win a Squish hamper with a Zoku slushie maker for some awesome slushies, milkshakes, and smoothies.

How to enter
Follow Rhodes Squish on Instagram here
Follow me on Instagram here
Leave a comment telling me what lengths you’ve gone to to get your baby/toddler to eat.

For an extra entry, you can enter on Instagram.

Terms and Conditions

1. Closing date for entries will be 13 March 2019. After this date no further entries will be permitted.
2. You must reside is SA in order to qualify for the prize.
3. Your prize cannot be sold or redeemed for cash.
4. Winners will be drawn via a Random name generator.
5. The winner will be notified via email and has 42 hours to claim their prize. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 2 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
8. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Tooky Toys with BabyWombWorld

A few weeks ago, the kids received a special delivery from BabyWombWorld and they’re loving it (so am I). I love the quality and the educational value of these Tooky Toys.

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The boys received a 135 piece box of wooden blocks. It was a jungle theme with little wooden jungle creatures! There’s  floor puzzle that you connect and use as the base for your blocks. Ethan had a ball building a little story for us, making the tree lines, with the hippo in the pond and the lion roaring at the giraffe. Matthew eventually joined in and the 2 of them played happily (and without fighting) for a good hour.

The fact that the blocks are wooden means they’re durable and can withstand being thrown around (or aimed at someone’s head) and stepped on. I often find the boys playing together in their room having added some of their other wooden blocks and creating bigger scenes and stories. I just wish these toys came with an automatic pack away option.

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We also received a beads coaster for Harper. She loves moving the beads around on the rungs and because they’re wooden, I find her using some of the beads as teething toys. Chewing on them and trying to get her head through the rungs to reach a bead at the back. This toy is colourful and everything is fixed to the base, so there’s very little risk of baby losing anything. Oh and the coaster also has suction cups underneath to stabilise it. Love, love, love! I even catch Ethan now and again playing with the coaster. So it doesn’t only keep babies occupied.

There are loads more options on BabyWombworld‘s website. Check them out. They make wonderful gifts and are definitely a worthy investment.

4aKid has toys

Disclaimer – I received the items from 4aKid but all opinions are my own.

As the mother of two young children, I’ve realised that child safety is the responsibility and obligation of every parent and guardian. After all, we all want the best for our children. Being a parent in today’s times is challenging enough, so I’ve worked hard at finding the products, tools and resources to make life easier & simpler for parents and for kids.”

– Ally Cohen, founder of For A Kid.

I received a few amazing goodies for the kids to try out from Ally Cohen from 4aKid recently and I thought I’d share them with you.

Bath Toy Diver Shower
First up is this bath toy, Divers. We haven’t opened it yet because of the drought here in Cape Town but I am super stoked for the kids to play with this (which means that I will get to play with it too lol). The colours are bright and bold and the the fact that it has it’s own little shower head is sure to make Ethan happy!

Bath Toy Diver Shower has a manual spout that attaches to the tub as well as offers many creative ways to play with water. Press the Diver’s eyes to draw up water through the spout creating a safe and also constant flow of water into the stacking cups and more! In addition… there is no need to keep the the faucet on. Simply attach with the suction cups provided.

UNICORN PILLOW
Then we have this really cool unicorn pillow. Guys, I never thought I’d have anything unicorn in my house, so this freaks me out. I love it so much! And it seems Harper loved it too.

Enjoy nothing but sweet magical dreams with this Unicorn Pillow by your side!

PLAY CASH REGISTER
Thought the boys would toss this one aside but they surprised me and I loved listening to them play with this cash register. Using their imaginations and taking turns being the shopkeeper. Definitely a winner!

Not only will kids love playing with this Play Cash Register, they will be learning crucial math skills at the same time!

Emoji Crystal Putty
I must be honest and tell you that the boys did not like these crystal putty. I think it was the texture that they didn’t like and that there was some residue left on their hands, so putting it away was a little messy. But, I enjoyed squishing it in my hands and feeling the slime go through my fingers.

Emoji Crystal Putty is part toy, part stress reliever, part physical therapy and entirely addictive. It’s translucent in colour, so the glow appears to come from deep within! Very different, unique as well as fun!

SAND FREE MAT AND SAND FREE BEACH BAG
Now this is what I was most excited about. Mark is an avid fisher, so we spend a bit of time at the beach together. And I was super keen to use the sand free mat and beach bag. Only thing is, we haven’t managed to get to the beach for the last few weeks. I did, however, use the mat at KDay the other day and it works. The mat allows sand and dirt to fall through it and is light, portable and easy to set up. So no more sandy legs or messy cars.

How many times do we have to shake our towels to get all the beach sand off? Now, imagine having a relaxing, sand-free day at the beach without having to worry about all the sand. Firmly attach to the ground with the D-rings so that towels as well as blankets can easily be laid on top for additional comfort.

Made of mesh, these Sand-Free Beach Bags will filter out the sand. Just give it a shake and watch the sand sieve through. Specially designed for the beach as well as other outdoor activities. This is one accessory you wont want to go without.

Did you like any of the items we received? Which was your favourite?

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