The Festive Season is a time for cooking, feasting and celebrating with friends and family. Let GLAD help make the holidays a little easier with their handy product range and creative tips for fun and festivities! Enjoy the Festive Holidays by making the most of your time with these timesaving tips and fun ideas!
For the kids:
Let the kids decorate Glad Zip Seal Bags with stickers and paint so each one has their own storage bag for their goodies. This also makes it easy to freeze treats if they melt or simply to save them for later.
Making biscuits or cakes? Entertain the kids with decorating. Turn Glad Zip Seal Bags into icing piping bags. Fill the bags with different colour icings and cut a small hole in one corner to squeeze the icing out into lovely patterns (with less mess).
Remember to line your cake tins and baking trays with GLAD Bake & Cooking Paper to prevent food from sticking.
Buy your groceries ahead of time to ensure you can enjoy your whole weekend, stress free!
Freeze artisanal breads ahead of time, instead of rushing out on in the morning.
Prepare as much of your cooking, as you can, in advance. Making a traditional lamb or beef roast or a braai? Season or marinate your meat in Glad Freezer Bags pop in the fridge over night, ready for cooking the next day.
Keep GLAD Bake & Cooking Paper on hand, it is a non-stick baking and cooking paper that eliminates the need to grease trays and pans enabling you to cook with no oil and less mess.
Make flavourful and interesting ice for drinks using Glad Ice Cube Bags. Add crushed berries, infuse water with mint, lemon or anything you can imagine! Fill the bags and freeze for delicious ice to add to your beverages.
With every family feast there is always a surplus of food and Glad loves leftovers, so let them help with yours;
Package and freeze leftovers in Glad Freezer Bags, ready to be reheated.
Share leftovers with your guests by parcelling the food in Glad Zip Seal Bags or Glad Tin Foil.
Bethany and I had so much fun reviewing these toys. I’m not sure who was more EGGcited! Even though this has been on her Wishlist for the last 2 years, the timing of these toys were just right. They are aimed at children 5 and up and this was ideal for my 6 year old. Bethany tends to latch on to anything she can show care and compassion for and these toys were the perfect fit. From the suspense of hatching each egg, the shrieks of excitement as she discovered a new creature to the hours of play time afterwards, Bethany gives Hatchimals a 10/10!
What I really love about this range was how it encouraged hours of imaginative play. I would often find Bethany sitting and playing with plenty of conversation happening between all the Mermals. And man can they talk!?
Why is Imaginative play important?
It encourages Imagination
Helps develop Social skills: practicing negotiation skills, turn taking and sharing
Develops language skills: practicing listening, looking and talking
Emotional development: Understanding and expressing their feelings through re-enactment of certain experiences.
It’s a great way for children to relax and unwind after a busy day
If you’ve never heard of Hatchimals, this is what you need to know…
What Are Hatchimals?
They are ‘magical creatures” that live inside eggs. Each egg contains one or two Hatchimals. And just like a real egg, your Hatchimal will only hatch once. Hold the egg in your hands, rub the heart and when it changes from purple to pink, you know it’s ready to hatch. Gently press to crack the egg, peel away the shell and discover your newest Hatchimal collEGGtible inside. You don’t know what your Hatchimal will be until it’s freed from the egg. Keep the base of the egg to use as a nest for your new Hatchimal.
Mermal Magic 12 Pack Egg Carton
This 12 pack comes with 10 seashell shaped eggs and 2 out-of-egg clownfish. HOLD, HATCH and fall in LOVE with the color changing mermals, clownfish and adorable little friends. This is the best way to start a Hatchimal collection. The carton is also a pretty way to display your collection, is easy to carry around and can be used as storage.
Mermal Magic 4 Pack + Bonus
Hatch and discover magical NEW characters who change color underwater with the 4-pack + Bonus! With one Hatchimal already out-of-egg, you can play right away! Dive your new character into warm water to see their magical transformation, then hatch the rest of your friends. Hatch a whole underwater world with the Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 4-Pack + Bonus!
Coral Castle Fold Open Playset
The Magic Coral Castle is every little girl’s dream. With over 25 places to explore, your Hatchimals can twirl, spin and slide. Fill the pool with warm water and be amazed at the changing colours of your Mermal Characters. With two exclusive characters included in this set, you can hatch a seashell-shaped egg and go exploring with your new friends! (You may even find hidden treasure! Open up the pink treasure chest to see!) After your Hatchimals are finished exploring, simply close the sparkly blue gates and easily pack your playset away!
Plush Hatchimals with Interactive Game
Hug, squeeze and cuddle up with your very own super-soft Hatchimal! With big eyes and downy fur, they’re the characters you love with a whole new look! Once you have your fluffy friend, use their secret code (included) to unlock the world of Hatchtopia! Download the Hatchtopia Life app onto your phone (not included) and enter the code to create your very own Hatchtopia! Hatch new friends, play mini-games, earn hatchipoints and so much more!
Hatchimals Pixies, Collectible Doll and Accessories
Meet the Hatchimals Pixies, collectible dolls that hatch to life with your loving touch. With four different beautiful eggs to choose from, you could hatch a Pixie from crystal Canyon, Polar Paradise, wishing Star waterfall or glittering garden. Inside of each shimmery egg, there are three mystery Pixie accessories to discover! Pixies are glam from head to toe! They have magical glittery wings that really Flutter and poseable heads. Pixies are Super stylish, with colorful sparkly hair and fabulous outfits inspired by their hatchtopia hangouts! When your Pixie isn’t accessorizing, store her accessories in the bottom of the egg and display her on the included Pixie bed.
We all know and understand how crucial it is to protect our children’s skin from the intense and harmful rays. Wearing suitable clothing, hats and sunscreen is how we keep them protected, and since most damage comes from exposure during childhood it’s our responsibility to encourage the habit of applying sunscreen daily. Wearing sunscreen daily saves your skin from years of visible damage later. Create a daily routine that includes applying sunscreen before you leave the house. It’s as important as brushing your teeth and combing your hair! I find that leaving the sunscreen in a visible and accessible place, you are reminded often to apply it to yourself and your children. Finding a product that works well for your family is a must and will encourage the habit even more. We were so grateful when Oh-lief sent us these products to try out, and just in time for the hot Summer days!
More about Oh-Lief
Founded in 2010 by 2 sisters. Oh-lief was started out of their love for nature and the desire to use products that would not harm your skin or the environment. These products were designed to produce clean cosmetics, they do not contain harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, petroleum, parabens, artificial colourants or synthetic bases. Oh-lief has a range of natural and organic baby and body care products and it now includes this amazing sun care range. They are 100 % natural with certified organic ingredients.
What makes this Sun Screen Range so amazing?
This broad-spectrum sunblock is made using non-nano zinc oxide, a natural soft mineral that sits on the skin without sinking in. That means the Oh-Lief sunscreen creates a physical “sun-blocking” barrier, protecting your skin without absorbing into your bloodstream. UV approved range provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays, is water resistant, fragrance free and entirely free of preservatives. Every Oh-lief Sunscreen product contains Pomegranate extract, which boasts anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing properties, as well as carrot and Jajoba extract, which is reputed to protect from free radicals produced by UV radiation.
Natural Sunscreen BODY
Ideal for use all over the body, and for the entire family.
Non Nano Zinc oxide
Natural Sun Screen Baby & Kids stick
Comes in a nifty stick form for no mess, no fuss application. Suitable for delicate, young skins
Non Nano Zinc oxide
Natural Sun Screen FACE
Moisturizer with Green rooibos extracts which is a powerful antioxidant. Use daily on the face and neck to moisturise, can also be used alone or under make up.
Non Nano Zinc Oxide
Our thoughts on this range
It’s non-sticky and easy to apply. I loved that it didn’t have that strong traditional sun screen smell. It covers well and leaves the skin feeling moisturised and soft. I LOVED that it is natural and organic and I felt confident using the product. Having said all that, I did expect some of my children to get a rash or a skin reaction to the cream which is usually the case with every other sunscreen we’ve used before. It was the first thing I checked for the next morning when they woke up and I was thrilled to see there were no rashes or reactions to the cream. I was pretty much sold from that day. The face stick is so convenient, I carried it in my bag and whether on the sports field or a playdate at Papachinos, I could quickly and easily apply it to their faces and I knew it would be suitable to use from my toddler to my 7 year old. My personal favourite was definitely the Moisturiser and I use it daily before applying my make-up. This is a GREAT range, perfect for sensitive skin, suitable for the entire family and proudly South-African.
Since the birth of my last child, I have suffered with postpartum hair loss. Postpartum hair loss is no joke, and I wasn’t pulling out my hair from the chaos of dealing with 4 little kids – I promise!The average person can lose up to a 100 hairs a day, not all at once, so you don’t notice it. Pregnancy hormones keep your hair from falling out, hence, every maternity shoot the Moms have THE most beautiful thick locks. But that all changes with the arrival of baby, not only are you losing out on sleep you are probably also losing hair. There is light at the end of the tunnel, so take comfort, you will sleep again and your hair will grow again. It usually takes between 6 and 12 months to normalize, for me; it has taken almost 18 months. I was getting discouraged and obviously tempted to try every product out there to help with the situation. I’ve had many suggestions from friends and professionals. Some I’ve tried, some have worked and some products did not. I made a decision to stop going from one product to the next, to get back to basics and to trust the process. After a few months of little adjustments to my routine I have seen and felt a big difference in my hair and I’m definitely experiencing less hair loss and breakage – yay! Here is what I’ve done in my attempt to get my hair in better condition and to encourage hair growth.
1.Let your hair down – literally! I was wearing a ponytail or rocking my mom bun DAILY because it was the quickest and simplest way to deal with my hair. There was a lot of unnecessary pulling and tight styles. I’m resting my hair by wearing it down a lot more. 2.A good haircut Things get busy and our schedules fill up fast, but try book in a good trim with your stylist every 2 months. With my last cut my stylist and I were both delighted to see the new hair growth! I love that she is as committed to seeing my hair in the best condition as I am. 3.Healthy eating I think we underestimate this healthy habit: a balanced diet. Getting enough Protein, Iron and other nutrients are important. Iron is an energy source for hair. I have upped my fruit and vegetable intake considerably and drinking a lot more water. Keep taking a good vitamin supplement especially during breastfeeding. 4. Deep Condition Weekly Weekly treatments make a big difference in the long run. For the first 2 weeks I used the MUK 1 minute treatment after every wash, thereafter only once a week as part of my self-care days. It’s an amazing product. It restores elasticity and strengthens hair internally.
If you are looking for a great hair care range, go to www.mukhair.co.zaMUK is PETA approved – cruelty free and vegan.
5. Quality Styling Tools For me, less heat means less damage. To minimize heat on my hair, I usually wash my hair the night/day before, letting it dry naturally before I use my hair iron. Invest in quality Styling tools – that includes good brushes, a heat protector and Flat irons. After years of having the Veaudry MyStyler on my wishlist – I was gifted with one. I have used many irons over the years, mostly “cheap” ones – and have done a lot of damage to my hair in the name of beauty. I didn’t know any better – but I do now. With my Veaudry flat iron I am able to straighten my hair in less than 10 minutes. It’s quick, easy and I have had not aggravated or damaged my hair. It leaves a smooth and silky straight finish after every use. I can also create waves using the same tool. Bargain!
So, what makes the Veaudry MyStyler so amazing?
Digital Temperature control You can adjust the heat setting according to your hair type. It is vitally important to have that function. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for the next – we don’t all have the same hair type. Temperature control is from 130 to 230 degrees for all hair types – giving you full control for your hairs requirements. Your hair iron NEEDS a temperature control. Read this article on www.hairnews.co.za Tourmaline technology Tourmaline is a semi-precious Crystal, which when heated, produces infrared properties. It allows heat to penetrate from within the hair fiber with even heat distribution, reducing damage to the outer layer of your hair. Floating plates No unnecessary pulling of your hair. It’s smooth and easy. Enhancement safety feature, including an automatic safety switch-off Can I hear a hallelujah! No more asking my hubby to turn back the car because I ‘think’ I left it on. Rapid heat-up time in seconds Turn it on, get your brush ready and you are good to go!! Really, it’s that quick!!
The MyStyler retails for aroud R2300 and has a 1 year guarantee. For updated prices and more info go to www.veaudry.com If you want to see the VEAUDRY MyStyler (or any other Veaudry tool) in action, go check out Veaudry icon Salon in Fourways (Johannesburg). You can chat to one of their amazing stylists. The store also stocks the full MUK hair care range.
“Invest in your hair, it’s the crown you never take off”
Recently we took to the skies for a trip to Zimbabwe. Everyone was super excited, we had been planning for weeks. We were up early, got to the airport on time and I had some coffee in my system! I felt organised, prepped and ready to go! But Once at the airport, l was running behind my 18 month old trying to stop him from eating all the little pieces of food off the floor…. My 3 year old was rolling on the floor…. My older two tried to go into every shop. All the while I’m trying to get each kid to keep their back packs ON their backs. Not to mention check-in, security and about 2 hours waiting to board…. I was feeling super stressed. When we finally settled on the plane, I breathed out a sigh of relief….and it hit me… I obviously forgot to pack the ONE thing you need when traveling with kids: a SENSE OF HUMOUR. It doesn’t matter how much preparation you’ve put in or how perfectly you’ve planned it all, traveling with small children is challenging. Well for us it was! So, if I can in any way help prepare you for your next flight with small (or multiple) kids, then it was ALL worth it. I’ll be keeping these tips as a reminder for the next time we travel and will be adding to it I’m sure! Some lessons I’ve learnt flying with small children:
Talk to your children about flying, let them know what’s going to happen and what to expect. Get them excited but also explain safety rules and why we have to adhere to those rules. When they suddenly hear the engines, loud noises etc, it can all be a bit overwhelming and cause some serious meltdowns.
Make sure your nappy bag has: Gum, wet wipes, spare dummies, enough diapers, enough formula, a water bottle, snacks, a change of clothes for baby, plastic bags (for diapers and dirty clothes), wet wipes, a favorite toy and blanket and more wet wipes!! A back pack nappy bag would’ve been so much better!
Have a carry on bag for every child, with their activities, a book, water bottle, snacks and favorite toy. LESSON LEARNT!! You are going to end up carrying the bag so make sure your child is able to pull/push it if they cannot carry it on their backs. Invest in some good kid friendly carry-ons.
Plan who will sit with who. I found it easier to deal with the activities and feeding everyone on the plane while Brad had the baby sleeping on his lap.
Give older kids gum for take off and landing to help with their ears.
Planned activities. We had the MOST amazing busy bags from Busy Bean and it made the flight an absolute pleasure. We didn’t have to use any electronics and it kept the kids busy for the entire flight!
Have some other entertainment just in case, and make sure you have an external charger or power bank. You don’t want the tablet to die in the middle of his favourite episode!
Accept help! Yes, some people shook their heads at my 3 year old having a meltdown but MOST people are friendly and if someone offers any kind of help, allow them.
Don’t worry about what the people around you think – don’t waste your energy; you’ll need it for the rest of the trip! The only thing you can do is to entertain your kids, and do the best you can, given the circumstances. Getting tense will only make your kids tense. Remember, you’ll probably never see these people again!
And FINALLY! The exhaustion, tantrums and meltdowns are worth it in the end. You made memories as a family!
If you know me well, you’ll know that I’m pretty much obsessed with play dough. It’s my go-to activity for when my kids are bored or when we are entertaining other kids. It started out as a fun activity to keep my then 1 and 2-year-olds busy, but over the years I’ve become even more passionate about play dough and here’s why I encourage you to incorporate this activity in your home. It’s a great way to teach your kids how to transition from one activity to another. It has a calming effect on them (This has made a huge difference in dealing with sensory issues in my boy) or if you simply need half an hour of quiet time, it keeps them busy. But what are the benefits of playing with play dough?
1. Fine motor skill development: Strengthening and developing muscle tone in those little hands by squishing, rolling, pushing and squashing. These are the same muscles they will be using to hold a pencil, cut with scissors and manipulate zippers and buttons. 2. Creativity and imagination: The possibilities are endless – allow your kids the freedom to create whatever they want! Even if they mix the colors (GASP!!) Everyone is different and has different ideas; let them express those thoughts by bringing their creations to life. Provide them with a wide variety of goodies to use with their play dough to encourage the use of their imagination. There is no right or wrong way. Add some buttons, a cutter, rolling pins, beads, plastic army men, Lego men, straws, blocks etc. My 7 year old STILL plays with play dough, simply because I add some fun accessories. You can encourage play at any age and I think kids need to play for as long as possible. The older they are the more detailed the creations become. 3.Calming and therapeutic: Simply sitting and playing quietly while rolling a piece of play dough is a very calming and soothing activity. Think of it as play dough “stress” balls. Easing tension, releasing extra energy, improving focus and concentration. I have seen the most amazing results with my very busy, very active 3 year old boy – I’ll even add some lavender essential oils to the dough and have encouraged a 20 minute session before bedtime to help relax and calm him down. 4. Develops hand-eye co-ordination: Tracking the movement of their hands stimulates co-ordination. The discipline and focus is essential for reading and writing! 5.Social skills: Playing with others, like siblings and friends, is a fantastic opportunity for developing social skills. It involves sharing, talking, discussing, problem solving and planning with others in mind. Encourage your children to tell the rest of the group what they are making. 6.Encourages independence: When they sit and create a masterpiece all on their own, you can see how proud they are of their creation. Thinking of a concept and then creating that encourages independence and a sense of achievement. 7.Language, literacy and numeracy development: Adding some alphabet or number cookie cutters creates an opportunity to teach spelling or counting. Rolling out some dough, measuring the different pieces and comparing different sizes assists cognizance. Ask your child questions while they are playing, this is great for teaching them to multitask and listen or communicate while focused on something else. Encouraging your child to explain to you what they are making helps build their vocabulary. 8.FUN!!! You’ve heard the saying, “Laughter is the Best medicine”. It really is. Let kids be kids, when they have fun, they LAUGH. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts moods, diminishes pain and is a great stress reliever. It also promotes group bonding. So why not join in and make some of your own creations with your kids. You may find yourself benefitting from missed youth!
All 4 my kids (from18m to 7years) love it and use it almost daily. Make it easily accessible and available, it will likely encourage your children to have open-ended play. But have some rules! Ours are: It stays on the table & It gets put back in the container when done.
So, why not go ahead and make your own batch? I cannot promise you that it won’t end up all over your floor and even your carpet! But I can promise you it will be great fun and your kids will be happy you did!
Here’s the best recipe I know!
2 tsp. cream of tartar
¼ cup salt
1 Tbsp. oil Food coloring
Mix the flour, cream of tartar and salt in a medium pot
Add the water, oil and food coloring (gel works best – but any will do)
Stir over a low/medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Mixture begins to thicken and form a ball
Remove from heat and put dough on a plate to cool
After cooling (15 minutes) knead dough
Store in an airtight container or bag
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please leave a comment! And if you do make a batch, please tag me in your posts. I would love to see your little treasures having fun!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…. I really do not like cooking but I need no convincing when it comes to baking. I bake these beauties at least every second weekend and they are usually gone by the Monday. Who can blame them (us), they are delicious! Crispy golden treats that are perfect for teatime, that are lunchbox friendly and make awesome home made gifts for friends and family. This is a super simple recipe. Bakes in 15 minutes and your kids can get involved.
Crispy Golden Oat Crunchies Serves: 25 cookies
1 cup oats· 1 cup flour· 1 cup coconut· 1 teaspoon of cinnamon · 1 cup brown sugar · 125 g butter· 2 T golden syrup· 1 T hot water · 1 t Bicarbonate of soda Optional: almonds, flaxseed and raisins
Preheat the oven to 160 C and line baking trays with baking paper or butter. Set aside.
Place the oats, flour, coconut and cinnamon into a large bowl and combine.
On the stove, on a low heat melt your sugar, butter and syrup. Combine the water and bicarb and add to the butter mixture.
Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined and a sticky dough is formed.
Make rounds and flatten slightly. Arrange on the prepared tray. (They spread quite a bit)
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and you don’t recognize the person staring back at you? You realize one morning, that even though you have an amazing, full life, you just somehow have lost a bit of your joy…Or you are filling in a questionnaire and it asks you to describe yourself in 5 words, and you go blank…. No? Then maybe it’s just me…. A few months ago, a very precious lady graciously reminded me of this simple truth….”you can’t pour from an empty jar”. It really made an impact on me. I was running on empty. And it was starting to show. I was convinced I was rocking my mom bun and tights and coping with all the demands but really it was about more than that…. I wasn’t able to pour into the lives of those around me – my husband, my children and my workplace.
“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin
Combined with our lack of sleep, balancing work, parenthood, marriage and other relationships, I also believed the lie that by caring for myself, I was taking away something from others. Finding the time and resources to recharge myself was another challenge. This was more than a girl’s nights out, spa days and pedicures. It was time to get back to basics. I had to make small adjustments that could also serve as self care. These small changes have made a big difference. Change your perspective and make sure your are able to sustain it so that it doesn’t become another item on your to do list.
Here is what I did
1.Get up earlier and before everyone else This is honestly the best part of the day. Its quiet, there are no distractions and you are able to be present and focus. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Take 5-10 minutes for yourself. Take another 10 minutes to organize, plan and prioritize your day. Keep on top of birthdays and plan some special dates. 2.Have a devotional time There are so many different ways of doing this. You can use devotionals, podcasts or books. Do what works best for you. For me, it’s following a reading plan and journaling. Spending time with your God puts life in perspective. You are plugging into the source. The only one that can ultimately sustain you 3.Exercise Twice a week I’ll head to gym at 5am for a Boot camp class. Yes its cold, dark and early but I absolutely love it and I always come back energized. Again, do what you love and it won’t be a chore. 4.Once a week have time by yourself This has been the most challenging one. It’s easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of life. Once a week, I take 2 hours for me. This is dad’s time with the babies and he has to push me out the door, as there always seems to be an excuse for not taking this time for myself. These times are not for work and spent solo! Do something you love: Reading, journaling, painting, listening to audio books or just sitting and enjoying a cup of tea in a quiet spot. And once a month, plan to spoil yourself. This is also the perfect time to book that pedicure or hair appointment. Plan it into the budget.
This has been a great journey for me, and yes, I’m still on that journey because I seem to fall into #wifeguilt, #momguilt, #friendguilt and #daughterguilt very quickly. It takes time, practice and discipline. But the consistency of self-care will bear amazing fruit.
Welcome to Lanes of Grace, a place where I share passionately on faith, wellness, marriage, infertility, adoption and most importantly how to find joy in the mundane and manic journey called motherhood.
I am a wife and mommy to 4 amazing children. We have walked a hard road of infertility, experienced the immense joy and privilege of adoption and have enjoyed growing 2 babies through pregnancy.
My children are a grace to me, and daily I walk in His Grace.
I love sharing our family and everyday life with you and I promise to keep it real! Join our tribe and perhaps Lanes of Grace will ignite your own passions as well.