Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Party Fun in Ballito

I am back!!! I took a long break from blogging to concentrate on my writing for pay:). However, I really missed blogging and writing about things that interest me.

Last weekend was my kids birthday party. E turned 9 and Z turned 5. Time really does fly.

E decided on a Harry Potter themed party and Z just went along with the idea. She adores him and wants to be just like him so anything E wants would be just fine with Z.

I have in all honesty been having a bad time lately with depression amongst many other issues. Sorting out incredible details for the party just didn't happen.

What I did get sorted made the kids very happy and I realized that you don't need tons of decorations and expensive party extras to make the kids happy.

We hired a jumping castle, bought a few sweets, had a fantastic cake made, and assembled a cheese platter for the adults. That was it.

I put everything together at the party with a few the help of two very good friends. It took us twenty minutes.

So onto the things that may interest those that live on the stunning Dolphin Coast.

We had the party at our Estate clubhouse. We are super lucky to have one as I know that venue hire around here can be pricey. Last year we had Z's party at Sugar Rush and it was amazing. I highly recommend them. The price included a jumping castle, playground, and all the catering. It was by far the easiest party we have held. I just pitched up with the cake and they did all the rest.
E had his party at the Jump Park and it was perfect for a group of 8-year-olds.

We hired ours from Jolly Jumpers this year and two years ago. This was the second time they didn't have the castle that we ordered. Well, this time the castle had a slight leak at the top so she gave us a different one. The new one was fairly boring looking but I wasn't given a choice as that it was they pitched up to the party carrying. I figured that this new one was probably a bit cheaper anyway so I just let it slide. When she requested payment the new one was R60 more than the one we had hired. I know it's not a huge amount of money but I was unhappy with the whole thing in principle. I have been told by friends that KZN Inflatables are fantastic so we will probably use them next time.

The high point of the party. The cake was made by Elaine from Love Baking. This is the third cake we have ordered from her and again she exceeded my expectations. The cakes are always delicious and just stunning to look at.
Isn't that just the most amazing Harry Potter cake? I love the aged pages and the images are just perfect for the kids.

So that was our Harry Potter party... We had so much fun.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Grid

So I recently joined Virgin Active. Still trying to lose the extra pregnancy weight and all that. My daughter is now 3. I am pretty sure that I no longer have an excuse for carrying he extra kilograms around.
VA has this class called The Grid. Basically 6 moves that you perform for 40 seconds each and then you get a 20 second break before doing it again. You could say that I am trying to kill my fat. The next day my muscles are killing me and I really curse the stairs in our house.

So today was The Grid day. This was only my 4th session so everything is still a bit new and fun. Every time the moves are different and I really liked today's set. It was all going well until I started feeling faint and had a coughing fit on the 3rd of the 6 rounds. Curse you family for getting sick and passing your nasty germs on to me.

I had to walk out of the class. My chest is still aching and I am waiting for the constant coughing to start. It 34 degrees today and it does not feel like the right weather to be getting sick.

So here is some advice... skip the grid if you feel a vague hint of a cold coming on. I am off to find the Vitamin C and hope that this vanishes instead of getting worse.

Of course I am a Mom and this is the busiest time of year at work for me and for getting stuff done for the kids so I may get the Batman voice but I won't be sick. Just not allowed.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sunday things

Kids making a space ship from their toys.

Follow my Instagram for regular pics and updates.

Easy Dinner Idea - Bacon and Gnocchi bake

I am trying to out new recipes every week and I will be sharing them here with you. The idea is to give you guys simple meals to make that kids will enjoy and get me to try new things in the kitchen.

So here is the first one and I hope you enjoy it.

250g bacon - diced
Punnet mushrooms- chopped
1 onion - chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
100g grated cheese
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 pack gnocchi


1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius

2. Fry the onions and chopped garlic in a little oil of your choice.

3. Add the bacon and mushrooms.

4. Fry till the bacon is cooked.

5. Add a tin of tomatoes and simmer.

6. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil.

7. Carefully add your gnocchi to the pot of boiling water.

8. Once the gnocchi rise to the surface they are done.

9. Drain the gnocchi.

10. Mix the gnocchi and tomato/ bacon sauce together.

11. Pour into an oven safe dish and top with the grated cheese.

12. Bake in the pre-heated oven until the cheese has melted.

Dish rating: 5/5

My son adored this and polished his plate. Hubby and I enjoyed it and it goes really well with a glass of wine. Took me about 10 min of prep and 10 min in the oven so the perfect week night dish. Toddler didn't touch it but she is still feeling a bit unwell. Any tips for picky eaters?

Friday, November 25, 2016

sharing a bed with your kid

One of the "joys" of parenting is that occasionally you will need to share a bed with your kid or kids. Kid is preferable to kids. If there is one kid in the bed you may be allowed 10 cm to sleep on but if another kid joins the mix you will end up on the floor.

Don't get me wrong... I loved sharing a bed with E when he was a baby. It made feeding easier and he was such a calm sleeper. He slept with his feet on my head and head on my husband. He still managed to touch both of us even when we got a King Size bed. I still don't know how but he did. I am sure toddlers have the abilities of an octopus for many months.

Z on the other hand is a noisy and wriggly sleeper. She has slept in her own cot or bed from day one. I am now an older Mom and I value my sleep far too much.

Last night she was really sick and I was worried so I let her move into my bed. She was thrilled with the idea and set up her book and bottle on my husband's night stand. I got lots of cuddles and other sleep avoidance for hours. She eventually fell asleep and after finishing up some work I went to bed. I moved her across to the other side of the bed and went to sleep on my side. Within five seconds she had an arm across me. I let her settle and moved her back across the bed. After playing this game for an hour I gave up. I slept on my side with a toddler pressed against my back. Again I will point out that we have a king size bed. I don't how they do it but kids will always gravitate towards the parent in bed.

Lucky for me she is feeling a bit better today. BUT in even better news the husband is home today. So guess who is getting the snotty toddler in bed with him tonight. He-he. I will be in another room enjoying the space.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The results

So, if you read this blog then you will know that we spent close to R20 000 taking E to different Doctors and therapists to diagnose if he had an issue. He sometimes swapped his letters, didn't grip his pen correctly and had a tendency to drift off while working. Turns out that he is BORED. Final conclusion is that he has very high IQ and doesn't find school interesting or challenging. So I have asked the teacher to push him and this term we have seen really great results. The kid is trying harder at school and we are super proud of him. At home I am trying to get him to work with speed. The rush in the morning has improved and we are getting to school with 20 minutes to spare instead of 2 minutes. All progress.

In the holidays we are going to take him for and eye test as he may have a slight vision problem. End result is that he doesn't need a million different types of therapy. I never felt that he did.

Z started moaning and crying in the middle of the night and today woke up with a fever. So I am in the Calpol world and dealing with a three year old that won't let me put her down. My back is already feeling the strain. Luckily I have a few hours off today. It's called work but sometimes as a parent it feels like time off.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

End of the year

Only 11 days left of the school year. How did time go by so quickly? I am sure the 4th term just started, but already I am going to end of year plays and packing sports clothes for the last time. Tomorrow is the last day of school swim practice and the last day of homework for the year. At least the bag will be pretty light each day.

Yesterday we went to watch Z in her end of year school play. She was a monkey and a very adorable one. I can't believe how much she has changed in one year. At the start of the year she hardly spoke and tended to play on her own. Now she was singing loudly and doing all the actions with her friends. She is ready to start Grade 000 now and I know she will have a wonderful time. She has had the most amazing teacher this year. Miss M has loved those kids as though they were her own. Z runs into school every morning to give Miss M a cuddle. I know that her next teacher will be lovely but I am so glad that her school career started with someone as wonderful as Miss M. Such as change from the awful start that E had.

E is getting really excited about the end of the year and the move to Grade 2. I just can't believe how fast he is growing up. He still gives me big cuddles and wants to sit on my lap when he is sad. I know these moments are coming to an end so I treasure every one of them. He tells me that he will still give me cuddles all the time and that he will always love me above every one else. I know that will change and I am okay with it but for now I am going to enjoy every cuddle and sweet word.

This last weekend we went to the Cherry Festival in Ficksburg. I was probably not in the right mood for it but I hated every moment. The R100 entrance fee per adult and R50 per child is really not worth it. I had told E that we would find interesting cherry based food to try. Not true. They have cherry liqueurs and a few cherry jams but that was it. The majority of the stuff for sale was cheap plastic toys. I hate these things and the kids begging for them. They had a police dog show that was vaguely entertaining and the usual very expensive and badly maintained rides that pitch up at all country fairs. It was extremely hot and you have to park miles away and walk past a selection of hawkers, while dodging potholes and trying to look after two kids. I was not happy by the time we got to the entrance so you can imagine how thrilled I was by the plastic and rides. We ended up in a beer tent with loud music playing. It was awful. We left after buying a few boxes of cherries.

The weekend improved in Clarens at the lovely Clarens Brewery. They had yummy cherry juice for the kids and interesting craft ciders and beers for the adults. It was so nice to relax in the cool around the town square.

We did have another sour note with dinner. The German restaurant has lovely views and a nice play area....BUT it took almost two hours for our food to arrive. We got there at six. Kids food arrived at 6:30. Everybody is happy and we watched the kids play together. All great but after a long day in the sun, waiting another 90 minutes for our food was not great. My meal was pretty awful. Bland and badly cooked. The majority of the 8 adults at the table had issues with their meals. So after all that waiting the majority of food was left behind and we grabbed tired children for the drive back to the campsite.

Golden Gate campsite is very pretty. Lush green grass and large trees make a for a lovely camping site. My only objection is the busy road right next to the camp ground. It gets loud at night and we had bikers arriving late into the night. However the views make up for that. Waking up with the mountains towering above you was a great start to the day.

The highlight of the weekend was stopping at Piggly Wiggly in the Midlands. We really need to go there on a more regular basis. The kids had fun on the playground and enjoyed exploring the shops. A yummy lunch at the restaurant followed by a train ride = happy kids.

So what did you do this weekend past?