A Morning Of Sanity – Kid’s Pantry At The Playstation.

Sipping on my single shot latte, with actual thoughts processing in my head for the first time in awhile, watching my little guy happily squeal with delight as he gets his sensory fingers covered in chocolate dough – I can’t help but find myself wondering why I never thought to do this before.

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Just a short drive from our home, I left the house with an excited 3 and a half year old, excitedly anticipating his very first cooking class ever. I often find him begging to bake at home, which I do often allow, but find myself with minimal patience, and cringing about the mess. It doesn’t stop me, but does, at times, make me more hesitant. I also try to minimize the amount of sugar in our home. Baking means an entire batch of something sugary and sweet, which generally means that you’ll find yourself consuming sugar over the next few days.

Baking classes mean that they leave with just a few special treats that they made themselves.


If you haven’t yet heard of The Playstation, you’re likely to be living under a rock, or perhaps just a busy mom who hasn’t had much of a chance to venture out to discover a place such as this. But, you can thank me now, because I am about to change your life!

My son only goes to school three mornings a week, which means that I have a Tuesday and Thursday to play teacher and mom. I love these mornings, they are incredibly special to me, yet, at this age, it is tough and challenging to keep my busy boy stimulated, and to constantly find new, and exciting projects or ideas to keep it exciting. When I heard about The Playstations brand new Kids Pantry, my heart skipped a beat. I knew exactly what we would be doing once a month.

The thought of my son being able to do something that truly makes him happy, with somebody trained to have patience and who has the passion to bake and do messy activities with kids while I work, and sip on coffee for two hours almost seemed too good to be true. I’ve never had somebody to look after my son, so this felt like Heaven. Cher runs the lessons with the kids, and was previously a teacher – which means that she has the experience working with young kids. This is a huge bonus!


Now to tell you about our experience, and, it feels surreal, but I am actually typing this as my son is in the kitchen baking!!!

Kids Pantry begins at 09h30 and ends at 11h30. This class consists of some play time before the baking begins for approximately 15 minutes. They then get called to the table, wash hands and they go through the ingredients with them. Because the classes are small, they are highly interactive, and they get tons of one on one attention, which is ideal for my sons age!

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They each get their own little station with their utensils, etc. Perfect for your independent child. In between, they break to play and then return to complete the next task. This is phenomenal for a child like mine who isn’t always capable of concentrating for a long period of time. But, due to the small classes, he wasn’t overstimulated or overwhelmed, and was able to listen and follow instruction so well! Half way in, they got to get on their hair nets and visit the kitchen, where they helped melt their chocolate, safely! He loved watching the cooks preparing other meals while in there.

I arrived at a clean and hygienic baking environment which was beautifully laid out and 100% organized. They use utensils which are colourful and without even being aware, perfect for creating a sense of calm.

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I loved that they asked me if they wanted me to have it plated to take home, or if he was allowed to eat one here. I think that is so important – for you to be respected as a parent rather than somebody else making that call. He was, of course, allowed to have one of his cake pops here, and we took the other two home.

The kids were enabled to be independent, make a mess, and unlike how we often are as parents, they were left to just be. This is something I struggle with, I suppose, as a perfectionist. The sticks were allowed to be skew, and the cake pops didn’t HAVE to be totally covered in melted chocolate. And it has made me realize how important it is for kids to be able to do things their way. Imperfection is perfect.

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This has been such a special morning for both of us. A learning curve for me, and a wonderful opportunity for me to breath, and to not feel guilty for getting work done because my son has had the very best morning at the same time!

For two hours – the Kids Pantry as well as play time in the main play area at The Playstation, it is only R95 per child. It is every Tuesday, and there are only 10 spaces available. I would highly recommend booking online. The classes are open to kids aged 18 months – 12 years. Each week, they bake something different – cake pops, muffins and biscuits.

For those of you who have never heard of The Playstation before, it is based in Tokai, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town.

Do yourself a favour and check out their social media handles for more information, as well as to see what other exciting classes they offer – such as Bright Sparks, Sensory Kids and Book Worms.

Website
Facebook
Instagram

We have had the most amazing morning, and I don’t want to leave.

We will be back!

 

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Saving Money With LG NeoChef Microwave Oven Grill.

Goodness Gracious! Where do I even begin?
When David and I moved in together back in 2012, we didn’t have a large budget for going on a wild shopping spree to purchase new appliances and household items.
But, with me moving in straight from my parents home, and him moving from sharing a place with a friend, we were basically starting from scratch.

Cue, family members from all over wanting to do their part by handing down an old appliance or some ‘must-have’ pots and pans that were, quite frankly long past their life expectancy. For the past few years we have been using an ancient Convection Microwave, BUT, the one time I did use the convection, I swore to never use it again!

My mom is an avid baker. She swears by her convection oven for 99% of her baking. As we grew up, our birthday cakes and any other baked goods were religiously done in that oven. I only realized just how much of a lifesaver that was when I became a mom, AND when we started having to cover our own electricity bills.

When LG contacted me about their Neochef Microwave Oven with Smart Inverter Technology, I just knew I had to have it. With the chic, minimalistic design, which is such a lovely size (in comparison to our previous one that took up our entire counter top), and the fact that they have incorporated a range of hygiene-enhancing features, including Anti-Bacterial EasyClean which helps users keep their ovens clean and fresh is just a total win.

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I can already see the how simple meal time has become in my home. I’m looking forward to see our electricity bill at the end of the month to see how much of an impact not using a normal oven has made. This is a phenomenal appliance for somebody who lives in a small, limited space to own – you won’t need to find space for a bulky oven!
I love that they have designed this elegant LG NeoChef to not only deliver the ultimate precision and user-convenience, but to seamlessly blend in with the décor of any kitchen!

I’ve officially and successfully defrosted, microwaved and used the convection oven so far. And I am hooked. They have advertised the LG NeoChef by saying: ‘There’s no cooking job the LG NeoChef can’t handle’, and so far it has lived up to its word.

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I must admit that I am a bit useless with some appliances, and I am so grateful to have David around to help me navigate how to set them up, and how exactly to use them – but I have had a wonderful experience with how easy this one in particular is to use. I’ve mostly figured it out myself, and the book that comes with it really lays it all out very well. They also have a phenomenal, information packed video that one can revert to. View here: http://www.lg.com/us/kitchen/discovercooking/countertop-microwave-ovens
Here’s to some delicious meals, some baked goods for upcoming special occasions and just making life as a mom easier altogether!

Do find out more about this product here: http://www.lg.com/za

And, be sure to read some of the other bloggers reviews on the product, as individuals do have their own experiences with products.

LG’s Social media channels

– Instagram:

@lgsouthafrica https://www.instagram.com/lgsouthafrica/

– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LGSouthAfrica

– Facebook:

@LGSouthAfrica https://www.facebook.com/LGSouthAfrica/

– Twitter:

@LGSouthAfrica https://twitter.com/lgsouthafrica

#PaidAd


@lg_homeappliances
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#LGNeoChef

A Christmas Tradition

Traditions are near and dear to me.
Perhaps it partly has to do with being adopted, and grasping onto special memories that really made me feel like we were finally ‘home’ when we moved in with our parents.

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Or, maybe I am just more of a soppy person.
Having family in the States, and have had the opportunity to have a couple of white Christmases with a huge family that filled up the room.
Going on tours of the towns seeing all of the over the top light displays while the snow flakes fall to the ground.
Attending Church services with the most amazing Christmas plays, Christmas carolers stopping by your home, and food – so much delicious food!
Visiting shopping malls with Christmas music, and sales and decorations everywhere!!!


A house overflowing with family – all having driven in and flown in from different states around America – all to be in the same place for Christmas.
All of the kids sleeping on mattresses around the tree on the night of Christmas eve, watching Christmas movies with popcorn, hot cocoa and cookies.
The memories leave me wishing to be my five year old self again, back in this moment.

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But, the part that stands out the most to me is FAMILY.

The years that we weren’t in the States, our Christmas was small, intimate and quieter.
They were still just as special, just different.
We would attend the Carols by Candle light service at our Church at the seaside, in short sleeves, because we aint got no white Christmas here in South Africa.
Christmas morning would mean unwrapping gifts from Father Christmas and our parents.
And then we would rush off to Church for the Christmas Day service.
We would then return home or to whichever family members home and have a Christmas lunch.
When we were younger, we would alternate different family members homes. And then it became just a handful of us as everyone immigrated or after some of the older folks passed away.

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And then, my very own sweet family grew by one.
And, the meaning of Christmas changed oh so much for me.
There was a new spark that was added to Christmas. This year has been amazing to start really teaching Olly some of the Christmas stories. He just adores them.
He attempts to sing along to Christmas carols, and we write down his Christmas wish list for Santa together.
Christmas comes up daily from the day he sees the first Christmas decorations in the malls.

It has become exciting all over again.

Amazing what a little soul can do.

As you can see, traditions are something very close to my heart.
Each year on Christmas we bake Christmas cookies together. It is something I did with my mom, and something I really wanted to do with Olly.
The Christmas music plays throughout our home, and the smell of freshly baked cookies makes its way through our home.
Cinnamon, and peanut butter cookies come out tray by tray as if we are trying to break a world record.

The home turns into a mess. Colourful icing, sprinkles and flour everywhere.
Faces are filled with batter and fingers filled with sticky cookie dough.
The sink filled with mixing bowls and baking utensils.
Trays of imperfect cookies cover the counter.


It really is a happy day. And one that will always be a special memory to me. And I hope one that Olly has as a happy memory of Christmas Day as he grows older.

I know for many, Christmas isn’t a happy time of the year. And I do sometimes feel selfish for loving it as much as I do.
It reminds me of happy times with so many people who are no longer here with us.
It reminds me of times spent with family and friends who live thousands and thousands of miles away.

But mostly, it is a reminder of how many amazing memories are yet to be made with this family I get to call my very own.

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So, here’s to the countdown to Christmas. I must be honest by saying that I’m not sure how we are already here!
BUT, it certainly is the most magical time of the year for me.

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A huge thank you to the incredibly talented Carina at https://www.crieneimages.com/ for these magical photos of Olly and myself in the (early) spirit of Christmas.

I also have to add – the beautiful and fun products available for Christmas these days is just amazing. It really is a fun time to shop for Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and bits and bobs for Christmas. The featured products were sourced from the following places:

Typo, Woolworths, Clicks and Hirsch’s Homestore to name a few. And, Olly was dressed by Dandylion Kids.

I love to hear about other families Christmas traditions. If you have one of your own, please do let me know in the comment tab below. And, keep an eye out for the exciting Christmas giveaways I have coming up weekly!

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These little guys are simply the best! I get so peckish for a little sweet treat every single day (without fail) around noon. I just crave sugar but had indulging in bad sugar.

These little power balls are delicious and have so much energy packed in every bite.

Want to know how to make them? So simple.

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1/2 cup creamy nut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon Chocolate Moondust wazoogles protein powder
2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a bowl, add more water (one tablespoon at a time) if too dry. Refrigerate for 15 min and then roll into balls.

I love to snack on mine with a strong cup of black coffee. And Olly loves them too! 💪

A Sweet Easter To All.

 

Angela, myself and our boys were so lucky to do a little Easter collaboration with Nikki from Lionheart and Matt Masson Photography a couple weeks ago. If you don’t know who Sweet Lionheart is, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past few months. Home to the most delicious cakes and rocket pops, they are tasty not only to the eye, but to your taste buds too!

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We arrived at the Lionheart studio in Woodstock the morning of the shoot. Our boys fully equipped by being dressed head to toe for the occasion, two sweet bunnies bounced excitedly through the Lionheart doors. With squeals of anticipation and mischievous smirks on their faces, we were slightly curious to see how the shoot would go.


I was immediately inspired by Nikki. Her drive, passion and enthusiasm was contagious. I would define her as a tiny, but trendy firecracker! She is such a talented woman. Graphic design, baker and photographer all in one! I was so taken a back by her. A few minutes later, Matt arrived. With a very friendly smile and his camera ready to start snapping away, we were ready to go! The blenders were spinning, and the colourful decorative bits laid out and ready to be toddler handled.

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The boys were seated on stools at the island in the organized and sparkly clean kitchen, and within 5 seconds, the kitchen had been turned upside down. Nikki smiled and laughed as the boys messed up her baby (her kitchen) without a second thought. The baking begun, and the boys eagerly pushed their cake into the molds for their cake pops with the gentle guidance of Nikki. How she managed to get through the entire thing with two boys on her own, amazes me to this day! I think they ate more than they pushed into their molds, but that’s ok too, right?

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It was then time to get REALLY messy, and they got to dip their bare rocket pops into the chocolate before adding their colourful icing, the decorative bits and of course the bits added to make the bunny an obvious bunny. The entire process was calm, and fun – and the boys were just totally besotted with Nikki because of the way that she interacted with them.


Disclaimer: The Easter Bunny Rocket Pops shown in these photos were made by our two and a half year old boys, not by Lionheart – I promise that your order will NOT look like this!!! 😉

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Matt was just an absolute pleasure to work with. He knew exactly what he was doing, and although he does more weddings than shoots with young children, he immediately adapted to the challenge, and the results are just divine. He was quirky and the boys just loved having him there.

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I will be doing a separate blog post on Matt and his incredible talent next week because he totally deserves to have his own moment of appreciation. But I just had to mention him here to say a huge Thank You for his amazing work and all of the time he put into making this collaboration happen.
Angela will be doing a review on the boys’ sweet bunny outfits from Eurobebe SA tomorrow, so make sure that you check in tomorrow afternoon!

In the meanwhile, go and get your taste buds working and get inspired by following Lionheart:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sweetlionheartpatisserie/?ref=br_rs
Instagram: @sweet.lionheart
Website: sweetlionheart.com

Inspire yourself equally by following Matt Masson Weddings:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattmassonweddings/?ref=br_rs
Instagram: @mattmassonweddings
Website: http://www.mattmasson.co.za/
You can also checkout the Eurobebe pages in the meanwhile:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eurob%C3%A9b%C3%A9-1254884247927711/
Instagram: @eurobebe.sa
Website: https://eurobebe-sa.myshopify.com/

You can also follow Angela and myself on Instagram to keep up with all of our adventures as toddler/boy moms:

@onemodernmom // @angievictoriarea