• Under the African Sky

    Goodbye school! Hello Summer Holidays!

    It’s finally here! The day I have been patiently waiting for, for months! No no, it’s not Black Friday, though I have been waiting for that too! Today is the last day of school for the year. It has been a long year of early mornings, sitting in traffic, early bedtimes and just busy days overall. Now it’s time to wind down. It’s time to… Say goodbye to: morning alarms, lunch boxes TRAFFIC! and Hello to: lazy mornings playdates and picnics outside It has been so insanely hot in Johannesburg recently that we have had to move supper a little later because it is just too hot to sit down…

  • WIN a POOPSIE Surprise Unicorn!

    One of the the things that can keep my kids entertained for ages, is un-boxing videos. Now, if you were born before 1980 then you may not even know what this is. Let me help you. Un-boxing videos are videos of people opening…you may have guessed it by now…boxes of toys. Yes. Kids sit and watch other kids (or adults) open toys and explain how they work while describing the toys in detail. Before you scoff at this, because I know it sounds ridiculous, let me tell you that these videos are addictive! I started off eye rolling but then I was the one saying “Let’s watch one more” when…

  • Making Black Friday work for you!

    It’s almost that time of the year. Two of my favourite things come together – Sales and Planning!!! Black Friday used to make me panic just thinking of the queues and trolleys but now I ONLY shop online while wearing my pjs and drinking coffee in the comfort of my own bed. Every year I have a different game plan. One year it was to stock up on Christmas presents and I saved a small fortune, especially on toys. Then it was to get things for our home, I didn’t plan that one well enough. This year, I need a new wardrobe and Superbalist is going to be my one…

  • Book Review : The Longest March by Fred Khumalo – reviewed by Vasi Govender

    When the lovely people at Penguin sent me this book to review, I just knew that my mum would enjoy it. She was a brilliant and dedicated History teacher for many, many years with a keen interest in South African History. It just so happened that she came to visit a few weeks ago and pilfered this book from my shelf, haha! So then she was tasked with writing the review and did a fantastic job!  Genre & Themes Local Fiction, South African History Main themes – Racism in the South African Context, The Will to Survive Minor themes – Homosexuality, Religion and Friendship Plot The story begins in Johannesburg…

  • Barbie Giveaway

    Now you know, I can’t have a month (and a half) of Giveaways without giving away a Barbie hamper! Barbie and I are not only birthday besties but she is also a firm favourite at home. The girls have a big box full of Barbie dolls with blond hair, brown hair, straight hair, curly hair, slim as a whip and with curves for days. The range of dolls inspire story lines and intricate relationship dynamics that is fascinating to see. I scream, you scream, we all scream for Barbie icecream! Have you seen the new range of Barbie icecream in stores? (Affectionately known as the Ola Barbie Dream Boxes, I’ll…

  • Barney Giveaway

    I love you, you love me… I know that I’m really showing my age here, but I remember when Barney first came out. My sister was still really little and she was obsessed with the show. OBSESSED! That was over 25 years ago and the Barney fandom has only grown since then. Now I have the chance for you to win your kids (or yourself, I won’t judge!) some pretty cool Barney merchandise valued at over R1,000. Up for grabs is: A Barney plush that is roughly the size of a 3 year old. It’s HUGE! (R650) A puzzle in a tin/lunchbox (R140) 6 Board books (R350) Here’s some Barney…

  • As if Born to You

    Book Review: As if Born to You by Susan Newham-Blake

    Genre & Themes: Local Fiction Main themes – Family ; Racial divides ; Adoption ; Alcoholism Minor themes – Grief ; Morality ; Loss ; Poverty ; Social altruism Plot: When thirteen-year-old Zuri begins cutting herself, psychologist Ana is called in to help. Is the troubled girl trying to relieve the tension of being black in a predominantly white private school? And how healthy is Zuri’s relationship with Helen, the white single mom who adopted her? Struggling to soften Zuri’s defences during the course of her therapy, Ana must piece together the puzzles of both Helen and her daughter, including the truth of what happened to Zuri’s birth mother. But…

  • #plasticfreejuly

    Plastic free tomorrow

    Have you heard of Plastic Free July? You must have. If you’re on social media then I’m sure you would have been bombarded by posts this month with the hashtag #plasticfreejuly. The idea behind this campaign is that we refuse single use plastic in the month of July as a way to clean our streets; our oceans; our planet. So why am I only writing about this now, at the end of the month? Well, it’s because I don’t want Plastic Free July to end in July. I don’t want this to be a fad and then we all move on to the next trendy thing to do and go…

  • Ok I’ll say it, I don’t enjoy playing with my kids.

    Please don’t misinterpret that as me saying I don’t enjoy spending time with my kids because nothing could be further from the truth. They are my everything. I just don’t enjoy playing the games that they like at age 2 and 5. I will look for every excuse under the sun to avoid playing with them because their games make me want to pull my hair out in frustration and boredom. An average day in the Gabriel household Have you ever played with a little kid? Their imaginations are out of this world and will leave you astounded but they keep changing the rules and the games often spiral out…