Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

During a terrifying time in modern history, The Tattooist of Auschwitz gives us the opportunity to witness the triumph of humanity.

A story within ‘history’ is what attracted me to The Tattooist.  I am generally drawn to non-fiction, and  so The Tattooist of Auschwitz was right up my alley. From the moment I opened its pages, it captured every bit of my attention.

What is  The Tattooist of Auschwitz About

The Tattooist is the story about Lyle Sokolov who was sent to Auschwitz in 1942 (he was 25 years old at the time). Early in his stay of three years, Lyle finds himself being allocated the job of Tattooist. It is his job to tattoo the serial numbers on the Auschwitz inhabitants’ arms. The serial numbers were tattooed on prisoners who were deemed healthy and fit enough to work in the camp.

RELATED: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review
Falling in love

During his tenure, he falls in love with 18 year old Gita while tattooing her arm. Even though her head was shaven and she was wearing tattered clothes, he fell in love with her (get out the tissues now!).

[bctt tweet=”The book is an account of how Lyle and Gita’s relationship evolved amidst inhumane circumstances.” username=”cherralle_”]

Auschwitz

Is it a Cheesy Romance Novel?

Let me set the record straight. I do not like ‘romance’ novels. I find them cheesy and unrealistic, and I just cannot read them.

There are times when the author does go off the rails a bit. For example when she talks about ‘Lale’s longing for Gita during the hot summer days…etc.’ She does bring it back.

Also, when it gets too ‘Mills and Boonsy’ it felt a bit too much considering what is transpiring at Auschwitz at that moment.

The book’s focus is the connection between Gita and Lyle

There are many parts of the book, where I was genuinely moved. Although this book’s focus is not the Holocaust (it is about the love story), the author could not avoid sharing the horrific details (more tissues!).

Important Messages

It shows us that although Lyle was enduring one of the lowest moments in modern history, he found hope (and so did Gita).

It also reminds us to maintain and embrace the humanity within ourselves.

Always lead with kindness. Be human first. We are human before we are any other part of our identity.

I recommend the Tattooist of Auschwitz if you are looking for a read that is embedded in history but laced with a true love story.  The story is heartfelt, and will have you reaching for the tissues!

You will be googling the hell out of Gita and Lyle because you will want to know more about them!

The tattooist is for sale at Take A Lot  and all reputable bookstores.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review

A balanced review of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls  by Elena Favilli and Francesca  Cavallo

We attended Disney on Ice last week, and it was hard to ignore how the stories are built around ‘girls being saved by knights and princes.’ I don’t have an issue with princess stories. In fact, princesses have high standing in our home!

However, I have a problem if that is ALL that my children are being exposed to.

RELATED: My Daughter is Bossy, Here is Why I Am Okay With It

Yes, girls and boys are different in many ways.

However, not everything need to be attributed to gender.

I want my girls to know for certain that there are girls out there who are aviators, mathematicians and Olympic gold medal winners. You know…if you can see it, you can dream it.

That is where  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls comes in.

If you are looking for inspiring stories to read to your sons and daughters, then Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls will make an excellent addition to your bookshelf.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 1: Book Review

good night stories for rebel girls review sa book

What is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls about?

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present.

It ranges from Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Miriam Makeba (my favourite), Simone Biles and Amelia Earhart. The book covers a wide variety of fields, including science, medicine, literature, the arts, sports, politics, fashion, politics, the military, and more from across countries.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls aims to show our daughters not to let anyone tell them that we cannot do something because they are girls. If you have the ability and mindset you can do anything!

What to expect from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

The  illustrations throughout the book are stunning an dramatic. Each women’s portrait is unique and impactful, just like the women themselves. The beautiful blue cover will make an excellent addition to any little girl’s book collection.

 

good night stories for rebel girls review page sa

How long is this book and will you be up all night reading this thick book to your child?

No. Although Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is thick; however, the stories are all one-pagers. Therefore, the book is very easy to read to your children.

How can you use the book to encourage conversation with your children?

Discuss the unique stories and why the women you read about are so special. The book aims to shatter preconceived ideas about what girls and boys are ‘supposed’ to be.

My four-year-old was amazed that a girl (Amna Al Haddad) could be a weightlifter. I also could not believe it, and we googled Amna together to read up about her further.

Constructive criticism: What could be better?

1. Caution: the writing is simple, remember it is a book for children. Please don’t expect an in-depth overview.

2. Stories are short and may only ‘brush’ over achievements. Can we really cover Michelle O’Bama in a one-pager? No, so be prepared to add in any additional information in need. If your child is like mine, who asks WHY WHY repeatedly you are going to need extra information (in this case Google is your friend)

3. Some stories might make you uncomfortable. As an example, in the story of Malala, she gets shot. I am not going to read that to my four-year-old. So I would adapt the words to say ‘they hurt her.’ Use your discretion.

In Conclusion 

I would definitely recommend adding Rebel Girls to your collection if you want your daughter to be exposed to a variety of role models. The beauty of this book is that these  stories are based on real people.

As with all things parenting, use your judgment and do what makes sense.

One of my daughter’s show and tell days had an ‘air transport’ theme. We drew a picture of Amelia Earhart together. And that was her show and tell – the first woman to fly across the ocean.

 

Rebel Girls is for sale at TakeAlot from R 319 and at all leading book retailers.

16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg (when you are stuck for ideas)

Johannesburg offers many places to visit with kids

I moved to Johannesburg more than ten years ago, and I love it.  I found a number of places in Johannesburg where you can take kids.

The below list are places in Johannesburg I have personally visited (not a a desk top based exercise).

[bctt tweet=”16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg (when you are stuck for ideas)” username=”cherralle_”]

 

16 Places To Visit With Kids In Johannesburg

places to take kids in johannesburg

 

Picnic Spots

Walter Sisulu Gardens

Walter Sisulu Gardens are beautiful botanical gardens with gorgeous picnic spots. Pack a picnic basket and you are set. Or eat in at the restaurant on the premises. Definitely one of the top places to visit with kids in Johannesburg.

Emmarentia Dam and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

One of our most visited picnic spots is the Emmarentia Dam and Botanical Gardens

You can feed the ducks, picnic, go for a run or just laze about.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Delta Park

Delta Park  (situated in Victory Park) is one of the largest parks in Johannesburg. The park has a great picnic area as well as a playground for kids. In addition, we did two family photo shoots here and the scenery was lovely!

RELATED: Flying With Children: What To Pack for a Toddler On A Plane

Animal Parks and Zoos

Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo situated in Parkview was one of the spots we visited often before and after we had children. Visiting the zoo is a lovely day out with the kids.

Pretoria Zoo

Not far you can also find the Pretoria Zoo. The Pretoria Zoo is the largest in South Africa and boasts an Aquarium and Reptile Park. So, I had to add this in here!

Montecasino Bird Gardens

When you stroll through the beautiful Montecasino Bird Gardens, you would not say you are in the heart of Fourways. The Montecasino Bird Gardens also offer a fun Flight of Fantasy bird show during weekdays and weekends at set times.

Tres Jolie

A bit of a mix between eating spots and an animal park, Tres Jolie has a touch and feed animal farm. The kids can also ride a camel! Based in Muldersdrift, its a bit of a drive but so worth it. We attended a kiddies party at Tres Jolie, and it was absolutely lovely! Worth the drive.

Kid Friendly Restaurant Spots in Johannesburg

places to take kids in johannesburg

 

Nostimos

Based in Waterfall, Nostimos is a family focused restaurant. Nostimos boasts a safe playground with a mini art centre for kids, starting at R 20 for the little ones to paint an object that they can take home. The adult and kids menu is tasty! I often want to eat my children’s food.

Kiddilicious

Kiddilicious is a Family Lifestyle Centre based in Bedfordview. Centered around providing a relaxing and fun environment for children and parents it caters to your every need.

Everything you need under one roof, such as, multiple play areas for kids, mom and daughter spa, on site toy store, etc.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

Bambanani

Bambanani is  a quaint boutique style family restaurant based in Melville.  At the time of my visits Caitlyn was little and I found Bambanani particularly suitable for toddlers. As parents we know that not all play areas are made equal. The menu is divine, and the restaurant aims to provide adults and children with tasty meals and a relaxed vibe.

Papachinos

Cannot leave Papachinos off a list of family friendly eating spots! Papachinos Fourways is the one I have visited the most. It has a fun play area – one for little toddlers and one of older kids. To me, this is an important distinction as I need my children to play in a safe environment. Food is absolutely delicious!

RELATED: A Stay At The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa: A Family Friendly Holiday

Indoor Fun

BOUNCE

Join the free-jumping revolution at Bounce indoor trampoline park. Another favourite.

Local library

Okay, I am going to be a nerd and add the library to the list. I take my four year old to the library twice a month or so (or once a month then we get fined!). We take at least one book. We spend only as much time in the library as she wants to. That can be five minutes or thirty minutes.

Yeesh

Situated in Woodmead, Yeesh offers parents a space to relax and chill in the coffee bar while the kids are entertained. Yeesh is set up in a huge warehouse in Woodmead and is an indoor play centre for kids. Oh, and they have free WI-FI!

RELATED: 15 Funny Mom Sayings (for moms with a sense of humour)

Johannesburg Theme Parks

Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City is one of the largest theme parks in Johannesburg. The theme park caters for all ages, there is something for everyone, and kids of all ages LOVE it.

Family Friendly Markets

Fourways Farmer’s Market

The Sunday Fourways Farmer’s Market is a a special place for adults and children. Open on Sundays from 09h00 until 16h00, so you can drop by for breakfast, brunch or lunch!

Grab your eats, sit down and enjoy, while you watch the little ones play! You may also have a picnic here.

 

There you have it! Any other place I must go see?

Are you Thinking of Hiring A Sleep Consultant? Here is Our Story To Help You Decide

Hiring a sleep consultant is just not something that is spoken of openly, it is almost ‘frowned upon’  (well that was how I felt).

With our second baby (Little Sis), I started thinking of hiring a sleep consultant. We engaged with a sleep consultant (Good Night Baby) when she was 6 weeks old.

Now, you might think that it is too soon. However, it was a positive experience for me as I had someone who could guide me into how to start with healthy habits from the beginning.

Let me get a few things out the way before some people get upset.

At this age there is NO sleep training.  There are NO reducing of feeds. There is NO hard and fast rules about soothing your baby.

The only rule is to be gentle, loving and soothe baby when she needs it. The point of establishing good healthy habits from the start is that it negates the need to do any sleep training later on.

[bctt tweet=”The point of establishing good healthy habits from the start is that it negates the need to do any sleep training later on.” username=”cherralle_”]

My first born (who is four years old now) slept well from an early age.  Or maybe I just had the time and energy to try out different things? I am slightly OCD when it comes to routines.

Returning to work after maternity leave

One motivating factor for me is that I wanted my baby to be on a routine by the time I returned to work from maternity leave.

For me, this was important.

I trusted our nanny; however, I wanted to be able to know that my baby will get the sleep and feeds she needs during the day. I needed to establish a flexible routine that also helped my nanny in her day with my baby.

What does a routine for a newborn mean?

baby sleep consultant

For me it meant, being consistent and building healthy habits from the start.

With two girls home with me, I found it hard to be consistent.  Bedtime was stressful as  I was running around with the two girls.

When thinking of hiring a sleep consultant it is important to discuss goals with your sleep consultant.

Utterly overwhelmed, everything got to me.

You see, I am not a ‘natural’ when it comes to parenting – everything is just hard and so was transitioning to two.

I was also snapping a lot with my eldest (who was three years old at the time).  I wrote here about how hectic it was coming home with baby number two and then when I calmed down, I wrote here about my tips and learning about juggling a three-year-old and a newborn. You see, I evolved.

Establishing healthy sleep habits is good for baby and the family.

With Little Sis, I was more motivated to seek out a sleep consultant. I did not have the energy and time as I did when I had only one child. With two children things needed to happen. I operate well with some form of structure. I know myself.

How did it work?

As soon as I started thinking of hiring a sleep consultant I contacted Good Night Baby online, and I received a questionnaire to complete. Carla (the sleep consultant) emailed me, and we arranged to meet at my house.

We discussed:

  • the sleep space for baby, where she slept at that point.
  • Current bedtime and bath time routine  (this was a disaster so after this I implemented a consistent routine)
  • We chatted about my parenting style and how my baby was doing (I felt this was important because each baby is a unique individual)
  • I was given tracking document to fill out during the day to pick up patters. I appreciated this.
  • We also discussed follow up support, if I had any questions or concerns.

 

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

A newborn action plan (which was not sleep training) contained:

  • Tips on how to soothe my new baby
  • What type of routine is suited to a little one
  • What to expect at the various stages as she gets older
  • Understanding sleep
  • How to put her down to sleep
  • We fed the baby as per usual, as at this age there is no reduction of bottles and baby stayed her 2.5 – 3-hour feeding routine for a long time until she started solids

 

Based on our circumstances, Carla developed newborn guide document for me. It had a structured way to approach the day, but included personalisation.

As the baby is a newborn, there are no hard and fast rules it is just a gentle approach to building healthy sleep. Example, at the time, I sat with Ava when she fell asleep with my hand on her, so that was factored in.

Accountability partner

A sleep consultant also served as an accountability partner to ensure that I could feel confident in doing what I needed to do. I did not think my husband, family or friends wanted to discuss my newborn sleep issues. As all consuming as it was for me, it was not interesting for other people. We are supposed to ‘enjoy every moment’ at that point. Right?

So, I liked having someone I could pop an email to in need. Someone who got what I was trying to do.

Once the littlest was on a routine, I also had more time to spend with Big Sissy too (she was only three years old and needed me too).

And did it work?

By the time I went back to work she was able to put herself to sleep for naps and bedtime. The naps were still 30 minutes only. But when I returned to work it lengthened by itself – like it was a developmental stage.

Little Sis is 18 months now, and she has always been a darling sleeper.  Of course she has her moments of regression and issues now and then. But we keep track of her routine and adjust it as she grows up.

A post shared by Cherralle (@mydailycake_) on

I bet as soon as I hit publish Murphy’s Law will change my darling sleeper!

Tell me, have you been thinking of hiring a sleep consultant?

A Stay At The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa: A Family Friendly Holiday

the cavern family friendly

The Cavern Resort: A Family Friendly Holiday Destination (A Review)

When I say The Cavern is family friendly – I mean it. The resort has everything that would make  your life easy if you are a family who lives an active lifestyle (a lot of walking). It was perfect for our family of four.

For me, family friendly is a destination that is built to entertain children and adults alike.

[bctt tweet=”A family friendly holiday destination, catering for adults and children alike!” username=”cherralle_”]

The resort and its amenities are also built to give parents a little bit of a break to relax. Because, let’s face it sometimes a holiday with kids is still pretty much  still work.

The Family Friendly Features that stood out for us:

  • Safe and fun play area for kids (outside and inside)
  • Kids’ dining room
  • Free childcare and fun for kids while adults eat alone (don’t hide it, we all want to eat alone!)
  • If you prefer, you may eat with your children
  • Childcare for times other than meal times
  • Structured activity times for kids (30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon)
  • And last not least, three AMAZING meals per day for adults and children. My one-year-old and four-year-old both ate at all meals! Well, of course at certain times play was more critical to my 4-year-old.

 

Here is a full review of our stay at The Cavern.

A Stay At The Cavern Drakensberg Resort: A Family Friendly Holiday

the cavern drakensberg family hike

Travel

Situated in KwaZulu Natal, the Cavern is adjacent to the Royal Natal National Park and the Amphitheatre. We live in Johannesburg, and it took us about 3.5 hours to get here.  We also met a few families who flew in from Cape Town or overseas.

The drive was pleasant, and we made a stop or two along the way to stretch our legs.

Arrival

It was our second time visiting The Cavern. Again it has not failed to impress. From the moment you arrive, you feel welcomed. The beauty of the surrounding valleys and mountains is breathtaking.

Well kept and fresh rooms welcomed us after check-in. We stayed in a two bedroom cottage which was right for us! Coincidentally, it was the same cottage we stayed in when we came the first time in 2016.

the cavern drakensberg family friendly

Food

All I can say is that the food is delicious.

All meals were sit down, and the elegant menu caters for all tastes. Breakfast was sit down, and it also differed each day. From Eggs Benedict, Omelettes to Salmon and Crème Fraiche. Lunch was a buffet (different each day).

Dinner was a three-course meal.

The children’s menu was a kid-friendly version of the adult meals.  With kids, you never really know, as it can be a hit an a miss despite your efforts. The kids were treated to a marshmallow braai on the weekend, which was EPIC for my four-year-old.

Eating times were set, but there was some flexibility.
Example kids eat breakfast at 7h30am, lunch at 12h30pm and dinner at 17h30pm. The only issue here is that Caitlyn was not hungry at 07h30am and only ate a bowl of cereal. A bowl of cereal would not last beyond 10 am. However, we usually kept her real breakfast of egg, bacon, etc. packed away in the fridge until she was hungry after 10h00am.

Activities

The cavern has a full range of activities available.

Activities we partook in were:

  • Pony rides for kids aged 3 +
  • 10:00 – 10:30 Structured activities for kids 3 – 7 years
  • 15:00 – 15h:30 Structured activities for kids 3 – 7 years
    These are fun activities for the kids guided by a class nanny. The outdoor activities involved outside walks and fun on the slippery slide on the warmer days. On cooler days it involved art indoors.
  • Light Family Hike/ Walk. As Ava is still little, we did a gentle walk/stroll on two days on our own. You may also request a snack bag to be prepared for you. Caitlyn (who is four years old) absolutely loved the walking!
  • Horse riding
  • Guided hikes (at varying degrees of difficulty)

 

the cavern drakensberg review play area

For the adults

The Cavern has a whole host of activities available within the resort or nearby.

The Cavern also has a bar/ lounge area where you may have a drink at your leisure. In our previous visit, we went for drinks. Caitlyn was 2.5 years old and she was okay with childcare. However, this time Ava (who is 18 months) was not ready, and so she did not want to be left with child care. This time, we did not manage to go for drinks!

Nonetheless, we had a fantastic break as a family.

Would I go back?

Overall, The Cavern exceeded my expectations. Holidaying with kids is rewarding but at the same time demanding. The Cavern makes it easy for you to make sure that your kids eat, sleep and play!

I do believe this might be an annual thing. Overall a pleasant stay and a yes from our whole family!

 

 

KidloLand Preschool Math Games Review

The KidloLand Preschool Math Games Can Complement Learning

Did I tell you guys I have deleted 90% of Caitlyn’s games off my iPhone?

I could not find anything that I felt was worth the subscription fee. And to get to the really good stuff (you know what I mean) you need to subscribe.

I was invited to review the Preschool Math Games from KidloLand, and saw it as a good opportunity to try out something new.

After trying out the games for a good month, here is my (our) balanced review of the app.

Related Post: 7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Kids

KidloLand Preschool Maths Games Review

kidloland preschool math games download

 

What we loved about KidloLand Preschool Math Games

The graphics of the app is fascinating. From the moment I downloaded it and sat with Caitlyn; she was hooked.

What I liked most about the app is you can choose K or Pre K. Pre K being age group 3 – 5 years. And K being 5 – 6 years of age (well, my summation).

Caitlyn is four years old and was very comfortable with the ‘Pre K’ games, but for certain concepts we went to the next level.

Different maths concepts covered

The KidLoLand Preschool Math games covered a number of math concepts. We played with games addressing the following concepts:

Number recognition and tracing

The complexity of the counting games and number tracing games were at level that was easy for Caitlyn to master. And so, she could progress to more challenging games.

Before we received this game, I was spending time with Caitlyn on number recognition. And this game helped with grasping some of the concepts.

Identifying different shapes

We had fun naming and categorizing different shapes, from basic shapes to more complex ones.

Comparisons

Comparing objectives based on their properties, such as long, short, big and small, and so forth.

Patterns

Caitlyn needed a bit of guidance on this one, however it was fun nonetheless. A new concept  for her that we have not tackled at home.

The games are endless. They are fun, colourful and has educational value, if used correctly.

What could be better

Three points.

1. Each time you start a new game, you have to download it. Hence, watch out for space comsumption on your phone.

2. Secondly, there are so many games it is easy to become overwhelmed.   The vast amount of games can be a strength too.  We tackled one concept at a time.

3. The narration on the games I felt could be better. Example, we have a LeapReader. Each game on the LeapReader is clearly narrated so that Caitlyn can figure out herself what to do. Whereas with the KidloLand Preschool MathGames, I did have to step in quite a bit and explain what needed to be done.

Altogether, not a train smash, but just a heads up.

That was it! It is incredibly hard for a kid to get bored with this game. Provided the complexity level is right for them.

My conclusion on the KidloLand Preschool Math Games

Get the app. I sit with Caitlyn  doing paper-based ‘activities’. However, the app has enhanced her understanding of specific concepts.

Especially, patterns and counting games. I do not see the App as replacing our paper based games. In conclusion, it ampliefies her learning experience.

What is your favourite app for your kids?

Learn More!

You can learn more about the Kidloland here or if you want to download the Math Ganes:

Disclosure: We were sent the PreSchool Maths App To Review. We received an annual subscription to the Kidlo Learn English app in exchange for the review.

Shonda Rhimes Year Of Yes: 5 Key Lessons (and why you need this book in your life)

Shonda Rhimes is a power house. Creator of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder.

In  Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes gives an intimate account of how she said yes to things that scared her for one year. The book is a full account of her one year journey and is now one of my favourite books for women.

It was hard to get stuck into the book at first. I found the book a bit too ‘informal,’ ‘chatty’ and the pace felt slow. However I soldiered on, and I am so glad I did.

By the second to third chapter, I realised two things:

1) She is speaking to me (the reader) as if we are girlfriends and just chatting. In the book she wants to connect on a personal level
2) The writing style in her book is reflective of how she writes her scripts. Fast paced monologues anyone?

Related Post: 7 Things a Working Mother Wants To Tell her Boss

I was getting very excited. I could  see where her main TV characters came from: Olivia Pope, Meredith Grey, Christina Yang, etc.

It was as if Olivia Pope was there, permeating through the pages. It was truly magnificent to discover the inside workings of this woman’s mind.

Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes: Here are 5 Key Lessons

shonda rhimes year of yes

Say yes to your voice, you  may just inspire

The first yes that Shonda describes was saying yes to a Graduation Speech at Dartmouth, the university which she attended. Although scared out of her mind, she ends up delivering an epic speech! By the way, one of the things she  told the students is that they need to get rid of the dream and start doing.

 “I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people, are busy doing,” she said.

Related Post: 10 Things A Working Mother Needs to Survive

Working motherhood – we don’t need to pretend we got it all together

Shonda discovered that often people are not open about the level of support they have to make this working parent thing work. She states that she has a nanny, who looks after her kids, and would not be able to what she does without her nanny.

The lesson here is that it is important for people to share their stories. Particularly, those who are ‘role models’ so that they do not create unrealistic expectations (albeit unintentionally).

Shonda takes pride in being a working mom and loves the fact that her daughters are proud of her.

I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them. I like how proud they are when they come to my offices and know that they come to Shondaland”, she said.

Related Post: Moms, Step Up and Play With your Kids: Why Play is Important

Say Yes To Play Time

Shonda committed to saying yes when her kids asked her to play. In one example, she was on her way out to a dinner function one evening. However, her children asked her to play just as she was heading for the door. She said yes anyway, knowing she would be late for the function.

What difference does it make being 15 minutes to a function, when that 15 minutes will mean the world to her kids? She also realised that when she sits down and plays with her children, they can only  play together for about 15 minutes before they want to move on,  and that is cool.

We can all manage the 15 minutes, can’t we? Shonda encourages 15 minutes of play time a day. Play time could be with your kids, or  could be 15 minutes dedicated to doing something that relaxes you.

[bctt tweet=”Play time could be with your kids, or  could be 15 minutes doing something that relaxes you” username=”cherralle_”]

Related PostThe Side of Motherhood That We Do Not Post on Instagram

Say Yes to looking after yourself

Shonda advocates saying ‘yes to replenishing your well’.  For one thing, she recommends disconnecting from work, especially on weekends to explore other sides to ourselves. As a rule, she started focusing on being home for dinner, disconnecting by 19h00 in the evening. Actually the world will not end if she does not take those calls. There will be emergencies, but these are few and far between.

She also admits to getting it wrong as often as she gets it right, don’t we all?

Be the badass that you are and own it

Shonda created a word. Yes, she did, she is completely within her rights to create a word. Badassery. Defined in her book as follows: 1) “the practice of knowing one’s own accomplishments and gifts, accepting one’s own accomplishments and gifts, and celebrating one’s own accomplishments and gifts; (2) the practice of living life with swagger.” 

Accept compliments, say thank you and move on.

[bctt tweet=”Shonda created a word. Yes, she did, she is completely within her rights to create a word. ‘Badassery’.” username=”cherralle_”]

Year of Yes is not about agreeing to everything, its about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Do something different you may just surprise yourself.

Be a good friend and share this post with a friend who might love this book!!

Related articles:

Bye Bye Mom Guilt – Why You Should Feel Proud Of Being a Working Mom

 

 

 

LeapFrog LeapReader – A Review

We bought Caitlyn the LeapReader for her third birthday last year. I did not give it to her at the time, as I felt she was too young. I recently started giving her the LeapReader to play with and this is how it has been going.

LerapFrog LeapReader: What does it do?

The LeapReader is an electronic pen, that is used in conjunction with LeapReader books. The tip of the pen has a sensor, and when it touches a word or an icon on a page it can read the whole page or sound out the word.  This can help a child learn to read and can also be used for tracing to help a child with learning to write.

Who is it for?

The leap reader is targeted at kids aged 4 to 8. Caitlyn is two months shy of four and she is enjoying it.

We started by sitting with her and showing her how it works. It is really easy to use and she caught on very quickly. The LeapReader comes with a sample LeapReader book and there are a few sample of stories included.

What made the LeapReader really fun and useful:

  • Caitlyn could use it easily, it is very simple and straightforward
  • It has the benefits of an audio book and an actual book combined. The LeapReader has a function where you touch a specific icon on a page and it will read aloud that specific page
  • Besides reading a whole page or sounding out words, the characters in the book also come alive through audio when you touched them on the pages. Very entertaining for a 3 year old, trust me!
  • She would literally sit by herself for 20 – 30 minutes playing with it. This is always a good thing 🙂
  • The LeapReader book also includes games and quizzes and this was a lot of fun. We had to do the games together, because these particular games were a bit advanced but it was fun nonetheless
  • You can also download additional audio books and LeapFrog songs, from a LeapFrog account, which we already had set up as we have a LeapPad
  • It also has a headphone jack, very handy if you need some quiet time.

LeapReader review box

What we did not like

What did we not like? Hmm….

Although the leap reader came in at around R 800 on takealot. The LeapReader books that you are required to buy with the LeapReader is at least R 200 – R 350 each, this can add up and can be quite costly if you want to buy a couple of these books.

In closing

This is a fun and educational toy for young kids, and enhances learning.  I would definitely recommend it for this age group. In my opinion, the LeapReader is a good learning system that can complement (not replace) normal learning to read and write activities.