Spirited Mama

Living a SPIRITED life filled with wanderlust, emotions and everything in between

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Instax mini Link 2 portable smartphone printer heading to South Africa

Instax mini Link 2 portable smartphone printer heading to South Africa

The Link 2 includes InstaxAIR augmented reality effect, allowing users to ‘draw’ images on their prints using the app.

Fujifilm South Africa is proud to announce the latest in the Link range of portable printers – the Instax mini Link 2. The Link 2 follows in the footsteps of 2019’s highly successful Mini Link, offering on-the-spot printing of smartphone photos.

Compact, lightweight and finished with a tonal, striped texture, the Link 2 transfers an image from the user’s smartphone to commence printing in about 15 seconds. It also supports continuous printing and is capable of printing about 100 Instax prints per charge seamlessly via Bluetooth.

Why the Instax mini Link 2?

Draw on prints using unique InstaxAIR

Making use of card-size Instax Mini film, the Link 2 offers a variety of unique functions to ensure photo printing is a social occasion, being the first in the Instax series to feature InstaxAiR.

This augmented reality (AR) effect works through the dedicated Link 2 app and allows users of the Mini Link 2 to add graphics to their prints, including bubbles, petals, neon, spray paint or a glitter look.

By simply holding the Mini Link 2 printer, pressing the feature button on top, and aiming the side LED to draw in the air, what is drawn will then appear on the print preview in-app.

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Once the user is happy with the look, the graphics will appear on the print itself when printed with the Mini Link 2. Users of the InstaxAiR feature can even record a video of the drawing being made and share the moment as a printable QR code that appears on the print – all through the app. The QR code can be scanned by others to view the video, download it, or to share on social media.

Customise Instax prints with Image Modes, Design Frames, Stickers and more

The Instax Mini Link 2 app contains a variety of design elements that can be overlaid onto the selected image for a one-of-a-kind Instax instant print. Users can also use their finger to draw a picture on a photo; select the best artistic filters; or manually adjust brightness, contrast and the saturation of the image. If it’s difficult to choose between images, simply combine up to eight pictures into a single Instax print via the collage feature.

Finally, when printing users can choose between two image colour modes – Instax-Rich Mode for deep, enhanced colours or Instax-Natural Mode for a more original look.

In addition to smartphone compatibility, the Mini Link 2 is also compatible with the Fujifilm X-S10 mirrorless digital camera, allowing photographers to send their images directly from the camera to the printer. Other Fujifilm digital camera users can use the Fujifilm Camera Remote app to transfer image data directly to the Link 2’s app to produce prints.

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The Instax mini Link 2 printer will be offered in Soft Pink, Clay White and Space Blue, and is expected to be available in South Africa at the end August 2022. The Link 2 is set to retail for a suggested R2 799 incl. VAT.

New Spray Art film introduced

Accompanying the launch of the Mini Link 2 will be the new Instax Mini Spray Art instant film, featuring a colourful rainbow spray design that reflects light. It’s the perfect complement to the Mini Link 2’s InstaxAiR feature, making any image pop with added colour.

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This new film variety is also expected to be available in August, for a recommended R180 incl. VAT.

Are you an Instax fan yet?

Spirited Mama

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zipzap; zipzapcircus; socialcircus; moya; #circus; empowerment; #dogood; #makeadifference; #localislekker; circusinspiration

MOYA LIVE! The new show by Zip Zap Circus on stage at the Teatro @ Montecasino

Zip Zap Circus brings you MOYA LIVE on stage at the Teatro @ Montecasino

Don’t stay alone in the dark at home, the Teatro at Montecasino is where the lights stay on.

Fresh from receiving standing ovations at the National Arts Festival, MOYA, the live show of the Zip Zap professional performing company, will travel to Johannesburg for a limited run at The Teatro at Montecasino from 4 to 7 August 2022 for 6 shows only, before the cast travels to Europe for a 3-month contract in France.

Don’t know what to expect, watch the MOYA trailer HERE

Prepare to be spellbound by this contemporary circus show, rooted in South African culture, and seen through the eyes of our youth. MOYA celebrates both unity and diversity, through its unique and artistic interpretation. The show highlights what Zip Zap Circus ultimately stands for: diversity, social cohesion, and empowerment through the circus arts.

 

It has been a long journey for the cast of MOYA. Even though the show was conceptualised in 2019 to tour internationally, plans were placed on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the concept was re-imagined as a movie. MOYA, the award-winning acrobatic art film, was released in 2021 to huge acclaim, and won several international awards. MOYA, the live show, was performed on stage for the first time in February 2022.

 

 zipzap; zipzapcircus; socialcircus; moya; #circus; empowerment; #dogood; #makeadifference; #localislekker; circusinspiration

The cast shared their excitement about being able to perform to live audiences and being able to travel. They are all looking forward to enthralling audiences at The Teatro at Montecasino.

Ticket and show details for MOYA LIVE at the Teatro @ Montecasino

Exciting news is that Early Bird Specials have been introduced for MOYA show tickets as follows:

  • Not so early bird (18-24 July 2022): 15% discount
  • Sleeping Bird (25-31 July 2022): 10% discount
  • From 1 August 2022: Regular Prices Apply

 

The show will run from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August 2022.

Bookings for the performances are now open and are available at Quicket, with ticket prices ranging from R190-R290. Depending on the time when you book the relevant discount will apply.

The show runs for 1h15 with no interval.

 

MOYA Live is proudly supported by the National Arts Council, the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture, the Embassy of Switzerland, Cav’ Platform a project of the Goethe-Institut, TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa, and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

 

Véronique Haller, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland shared the following, “Not only are we supporting the arts through our association with Zip Zap Circus; we are also contributing to the creation of employment opportunities for the youth in South Africa,”

We are excited to continue our support of Zip Zap Circus who continues to demonstrate the possibilities of experimental circus performance through an innovative approach to circus arts,” Sophie Boulé, Cultural Attaché and Deputy Director of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS).

zipzap; zipzapcircus; socialcircus; moya; #circus; empowerment; #dogood; #makeadifference; #localislekker; circusinspiration

The Teatro at Montecasino Performance Dates:
Thursday, 4th August               20h00
Friday, 5th August                    20h00
Saturday, 6th August               14h00 and 20h00
Sunday, 7th August                 11h00 and 14h00

zipzap; zipzapcircus; socialcircus; moya; #circus; empowerment; #dogood; #makeadifference; #localislekker; circusinspiration zipzap; zipzapcircus; socialcircus; moya; #circus; empowerment; #dogood; #makeadifference; #localislekker; circusinspiration

Scenes from MOYA. Photographs taken by Joan Ward

Are you ready for MOYA LIVE at the Teatro @ Montecasino? 

Spirited Mama

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LOCAL SNAKE WRANGLER JOINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD SHOW

LOCAL SNAKE WRANGLER JOINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD SHOW

 Mbali Mtshali joins Snakes in the City to co-host new season

together with Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett

 snakes in the city; national geographic; snakes; spiritedmama

“Snakes are more afraid of us than we could ever be of them” says local snake handler

National Geographic Wild’s Snakes in the City has long been a viewer favourite as herpetologists Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett respond to call outs to catch and release snakes from homes and buildings in and around Durban. When the eighth season premieres across Africa on Wednesday 6 July at 18:00 (CAT), the two will be joined by local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali.

Born in Limpopo, Mtshali moved to Kwa Zulu-Natal at young age and had her first exposure to working with reptiles while volunteering at a non-profit organisation. She later cut her teeth handling snakes while assisting at a reptile park. She has since learnt to handle venomous snakes. This dynamic lady also conducts tours at the facility, is full of energy and is a dedicated body builder.

 

In Snakes in the City, our streetwise snake-catchers race across “Snake City” (Durban) to face some of the world’s deadliest snakes in the most bizarre situations and release them back into the wild. When Mtshali joins the team, her skills are immediately put to the test when they go up against a lethal black mamba inside a school, a puff adder in a toilet and an enormous python on a goat farm, not to mention a super-fast monitor lizard in a ceiling, a spitting cobra inside a local shop and many more.

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“For many years, in my culture, these reptiles have been misinterpreted as a sign of witchcraft, a bad omen and an image of the evil serpent. Working on Snakes in the City shows that residents of Durban can catch snakes too – with the right training” said Mtshali. “My biggest message for viewers and my community is that snakes are not these evil monsters that they have been made out to be – snakes are more afraid of us than we could ever be of them,” she adds.

“National Geographic’s mission is to ignite the explorer in all of us, and our on-screen experts have a huge role to play in achieving this mission, as they share the wonders of our natural world for with viewers,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We are excited to welcome Mbali Mtshali to our screens, bringing her infectious energy and passion that, together with Simon and Siouxsie, will go a long way in helping change negative perceptions of these fascinating creatures for National Geographic Wild audiences across the continent.”

Snakes in the City is produced by Earth Touch for National Geographic.

 

How to tune in:

DSTV: Channel 182

StarSat: 221 on DTH, 210 on DTT (250 on DTT in Uganda)

Season 8 premieres on Wednesday 6 July 2022

My kids are beside themselves as they’re avid Snakes in the City fans!

Spirited Mama

x

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Why you should be playing UNO® Junior, a simplified card game for younger players

UNO® Junior, a simplified card game

Uno is not new to us. It’s actually a firm favourite card game in our house. Noah has always been “playing” along but couldn’t grasp the concept quite yet. Being 3 years old has it’s disadvantages I suppose. But that is no longer the case. Enter UNO® Junior, a simplified UNO® card game for younger players has multiple levels of play so kids can grow with the game. Cards feature adorable zoo animal graphic for each number 0 through 8, making matching easy for kids as young as 3 years old. Three levels of play allow the game to keep pace with a child’s development. Players race to get rid of all their cards by matching them to the card shown on top of the deck, either by color or by animal / number.

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Playing card games actually has real benefits, especially for younger players:

 

Concentration and patience are practised as players need to focus on the game whilst patiently waiting their turn to play. Very handy skill to teach little people who have not yet mastered that skill. It also promotes discipline to follow instructions 🙂 It’s a parenting Win all round. We are mindful of Noah’s competitive nature but a little healthy competition is good for you. If no one pushes you out of your comfort zone, how will you know what you are capable of? We also don’t just let the youngest win… he needs to win fair and square. So imagine his delight when he wins because he actually REALLY wins!

How can we not create the memories! To your kids all you are doing is spending time with them “playing cards” but as a parent you know that it is so much more than just Playing cards. You know kids learn best whilst playing, so why not make it FUN with UNO® Junior.

Memory skills are improved as younger players can recall animals, colours and numbers. Also a brilliant way to teach numeracy and number recognition.

A bonus is that UNO® Junior is compact and lightweight to just pop in your bag. A game on the go so that you can take it out with you wherever you go.

UNO® Junior is designed for younger kids, giving them their “own” UNO card game 🙂 but don’t be fooled, it’s loads of fun for everyone, no matter what age bracket you fall into.

 

Why you should be playing UNO® Junior, simplified for players aged 3 years and older:

• ​It’s the UNO® game everyone loves but simplified so kids 3 years and older can play!
• ​Each of the number cards has a matching animal illustration so kids who don’t know their numbers yet can still play!
​Level One is simple matching, Level Two introduces action cards to the deck and Level Three adds penalty cards to the mix.
• ​When you’re down to one card, don’t forget to yell “UNO!”
• ​UNO® Junior accommodates 2 to 4 players. Although it’s perfect for younger ​UNO® fans, its adorable zoo animal graphics will have everyone wanting to play!
 
Have you seen the UNO® Junior cards yet? 
<Side note: I think it’s a lovely stocking filler…> 

Spirited Mama

x

#UnoJuniorSA #PlayUno

**Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mattel.  

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“We Will Rise” Ndlovu Youth Choir Live and in Concert at Emperors Palace

NDLOVU YOUTH CHOIR

America’s Got Talent Finalists stage “We Will Rise” Live Concerts


Theatre Of Marcellus, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg
4 shows only!
30 October – 1 November 2020

The vibrant Ndlovu Youth Choir captured the hearts and minds of all South Africans and the world as they reached the final of America’s Got Talent last year with their soul-stirring performances.

Now Johannesburg audiences have the chance to enjoy Africa’s pride and joy, live and in concert, as Ndlovu Youth Choir stage We Will Rise at Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace from Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st  November for 4 shows only.

Audiences will be in for a treat as they are taken on a scintillating 2-hour journey of hit after hit that the choir have become famous for; from AGT favourites including Higher Love and Africa to their instantly recognisable takes on Circle of Life, Jolene and African Dream along with their original compositions Believe and We Will Rise.

Other crowd favourites will be there including The Greatest Showman and their unique spin on Jerusalema, the global hit by fellow artist from Limpopo, Master KG, that has taken the world by storm.

And a whole lot more!

This 30-strong choir, ranging in age from 14 – 24, from the beautiful Moutse Valley in rural Limpopo, will soon have the audience top-tapping along or up on their feet dancing asking for more, in response to their infectious energy and mesmerising choreography!

Show times:
Friday 30 October at 20h00; Saturday 31 October at 15h00 & 20h00;
Sunday 1 November at 15h00

Ticket prices:
R300 for Adults and R100 for Pensioners and Children under 18, making it an ideal concert for the whole family to enjoy.

Tickets to be booked online through Quicket at https://www.quicket.co.za

Tickets are strictly limited to just 250 per performance as mandated by social distancing guidelines, so book now to avoid disappointment.

Covid-19 protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all patrons, performers and those working behind the scenes.

Doors open 1 hour before each performance, and patrons are encouraged to arrive early for this reason.

There is no Age Restriction but the theatre has a “No Under 3’s” policy for the comfort of all patrons.

The duration of the concert is 2 hours including interval.

Here’s a selection of Ndlovu Youth Choir Videos to enjoy:
America’s Got Talent Audition: https://youtu.be/NqsFO4atwJo
#JerusalemaDanceChallenge: https://youtu.be/IlGlmAGskGc
Jolene:                                               https://youtu.be/JOtm3tjPuNw
The Greatest Showman:              https://youtu.be/F5Vh5yTjPN8
Circle of Life :                                   https://youtu.be/0AGtd2-jv0U
Higher Love (AGT):                         https://youtu.be/3v2Kvnc0kBU
Shape of You:                                  https://youtu.be/JjV36ub5ybI
Connect with Ndlovu Youth Choir online:
Facebook:                           https://www.facebook.com/ndlovuchoir/

Instagram:                              https://www.instagram.com/choirafrica/

Twitter:                           https://twitter.com/ChoirAfrica
YouTube:                              Ndlovu Youth Choir
Website:                                www.choir.africa
Ndlovu Care Group:         www.ndlovu.com

ABOUT NDLOVU YOUTH CHOIR


Since its inception in 2009, the Ndlovu Youth Choir has become one of the world’s most treasured groups. Their unique musical arrangements, powerhouse vocals, irresistibly combined with mesmerising choreography and infectious energy have inspired millions across the globe.

An eleven-year journey has seen an after-school programme for orphaned and vulnerable children, started by the Ndlovu Care Group, transform into an international recording and touring career. Participation does not only instil values of togetherness, a work ethic and a sense of responsibility, but it develops self-discipline, self-confidence, and leadership. Through the choir, choristers gain a global perspective that offers an early pathway to artistic and professional achievement. The choir uses their talents to share their inspirational story with the world through song and dance.

The choir’s repertoire is an exciting mix of traditional South African genres with pop, rock, jazz and EDM. Their intention to create a fresh and original sound is evident in their ability to take internationally well-known songs – Toto’s Africa, Kygo’s Higher Love, U2’s Beautiful Day and Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You – and move them into an exciting new territory.

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Ndlovu Youth Choir at Americas Got Talent

The Ndlovu Youth Choir’s incredible run on America’s Got Talent (Season 14) made them the first choir in the history of either America’s Got Talent or Britain’s Got Talent to reach the final. Their soul-stirring performances won hearts and minds around the world. After their final AGT performance, legendary music producer and record executive Simon Cowell labelled the performance ‘The best final I have ever sat on in my life’. He went on to sign the choir and together with SYCO and Sony Music they released their first album, which debuted at number one on iTunes.

Since AGT, the choir has undertaken two European tours, sold out every public performance and performed on numerous local and international television and radio shows. Performance highlights include a performance to over 115 000 people in Cape Town and The Match in Africa which featured Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Bill Gates and Trevor Noah.

During the Coronavirus crisis the choir continued to offer hope and inspiration with their enthusiastic COVID-19 musical public service messages which were shared by the WHO and the United Nations. They joined many of the world’s top A-list performers on a virtual stage when they were featured during the Global Citizens One World: Together at Home virtual concert.

As the Ndlovu Youth Choir’s meteoric rise continues, they strive to push the creative boundaries of song and dance to reach and touch audiences of all ages across the globe. Their high energy performances have not only thrilled audiences around the world, but have shared a message of hope, love and togetherness.

**Disclaimer: Press release and images provided.

 

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Build your kid(s) UP with Mega Bloks

Build your kid(s) UP with Mega Bloks

If this global pandemic has taught me anything, it is to stop and enjoy the moments. To build on your relationships and create lasting memories. To focus on what is most important to you and align your priorities in the correct order.
Entertaining kids can be exhaustive but it doesn’t have to be. The lockdown period ensured that as parents we had to think out of the box and find ways to help the kids LEARN whilst playing. We were simply unlocking their creativity just by letting them play. We are building our kids UP.
Our home always has a “lived-in” look and feel. It’s not spotless and neither is it 100% tidy all the time. I mean we live there. It’s perfect as our kids zone at home pretty much always looks like a construction site. NB! The kids zone is pretty much everything that the light touches 🙂 
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It’s a Robot with energy bars 🙂

Playing with Mega bloks have real benefits

 

  • Promotes development of spatial awareness
  • Develops hand-eye coordination
  • Promotes imaginative play
Mega Bloks are big and bulky making them easy for little hands to build and create a masterpiece. There are many benefits to playing with blocks but it’s also the opportune time to build your family bond whilst creating memories. Just ask Google, if you need some clarity.
Colour grouping is a thing with Noah. Just as different shapes are fascinating to him. The joy of seeing your vision come to life is priceless. My creations are nothing close to a masterpiece BUT it is for Noah. His imagination is endless and with that so too are the possibilities for his creations. He is currently very chuffed with the airplane that Joshua built. Apparently, only Joshua can build “that” airplane the way that he likes it.
So for now we’re enjoying the BlokFest with MegaBloks. Summer days are here and we are making the most of spending the days outside, in the shade of course. MegaBloks are quiet durable too. Just ask our dog, Zara, who tries to get in on the BlokFest too.
Did I mention that it comes in a handy carry bag? Simply pack the bloks into the bag and zip it up to store away. Safely…away from any barefeet 🙂
  • 80 big and vibrant building blocks, designed to be durable, including special shapes
  • Blocks are compatible with all Mega Bloks building toys for endless learning fun
  • Storage bag for easy cleanup
  • Ideal for ages 1+, and endorsed by Fisher-Price, First Builders blocks are the perfect fit for little hands, designed to develop imagination and fine motor skills
Do you encourage Blok playing in your home? It’s not just for little hands. It’s a family affair here. 
Spirited Mama
x

 

#MegaBloksSA #BlokfestSA

**Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mattel.  

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Expanding imaginative play with Thomas the Train and Cassia the Crane Cargo Set

Imaginative play with Thomas the Train and Cassia the Crane Cargo Set

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Hint: Early Christmas shopping.. 🙂 Go look at your calendar, it’s not that long before it’s Christmas 🙂

At some point, you would have heard the phrase, “Children learn through playing”. Now, as much I like a formal structure, I prefer that a child learns through playing. In my opinion, not only do they learn faster but retain most of the information and/or skill that is being transferred to them. Thomas and Friends are teaching young minds to be good friends and modelling appropriate behaviour about being useful and helpful. Can you see how helpful and useful an older brother is below…

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Thomas the Train is ever so helpful and this time has teamed up with his good friend Cassia the Crane to the job done. Noah happily reminds Joshua that friends help each other, of course this is his way of getting his brother to build his track for him…

 

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Expanding your child’s imagination through play

Noah is extending his imagination through play and boy oh boy, the stories that this 3 year old can come up with just blows my mind. These TrackMaster sets also allow kids to relive their favourite moments from the Thomas & Friends™ TV show. The possibilities are endless. You just have to use your imagination. Imaginative play encourages kids to immerse themselves in a whole new world filled with endless fun.

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Noah added another Thomas Train so that they could race each other

• Cassia the crane helps Thomas load up and deliver his cargo with this Thomas & Friends™ playset. Cassia grabs and loads the barrel onto Thomas’ cargo car. It’s a barrel but Noah insists that it is a NUT 🙂

 

• Cassia the Crane spins 360 degrees with a real-working claw for grabbing, lifting, and loading cargo. Although there is a designated spot on the track for Cassia, Noah seems more interested in moving the crane around to various positions.
• Thomas is a motorized engine, takes two AA batteries, compatible with all TrackMaster™ and Wood tracks; additional tracks sold separately)
• This set includes Cassia, Thomas motorized engine with cargo car, dock pieces, barrel, and 7 track pieces (Compatible with all TrackMaster™ tracks; additional tracks sold separately.)
• The track set is aimed at children ages 3 years and older.
They are available in SA already at all leading retailers: https://www.toysrus.co.za/cassia-crane-thomas-cargo-motorised-train-set
The tracks and train set is quite durable as very often you will find Noah rebuilding the track or Thomas the train racing through the passage in search of his “nut”. There is no guarantee that Thomas the Train will be on his track…

Do your kid(s) know Thomas and Friends? Have you seen any changes in your kid(s) imagination?  

Spirited Mama

x

 

**Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mattel.  

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Remote learning and schooling whilst working from home during the COVID-19 Pandemic days

It is Day 59 of our lock down, we opted to stay home before the national lock down was instituted. We’ve been out here and there to get some supplies at the shop. Even that was a “treat” just to do something that resembled some “normality” to the life as we know it, well used to know. But when life as you know it ceases to exist… The COVID-19 PANDEMIC days has brought about many changes for the world but for us as a family we have adapted remote learning and schooling to suit our needs.

Remote learning and schooling

How many hours a day do you school your kid(s)?

Are you a teacher? By definition I probably am but it’s definitely not my profession.  Joshua, the eldest who is currently in Grade 5, has joined his google classroom sessions. It has taken weeks to find a rhythm that works but he is a champ and taking the reigns. Although we have daily “schooling” sessions, we are very relaxed about the timing of these sessions. Some days he starts at 9am other days he starts a 3pm. We are letting him take the lead… with a little guidance from us 🙂 Some days he will have one schooling session whilst other days he will have up to three sessions.

I commend his independent school for their plan of action they have taken thus far. Initially, I did get extremely frustrated with them because it’s as if they thought that we would have the kid sit and do “school” from 8am-2pm. Are you serious? How am I suppose to work from home and school my kid for a full “school day”? I was livid that they could comprehend that parents who are working from home should now suddenly set aside 6 hours in their day and follow the timetable, period by period.

The husband and I discussed this new way of schooling and came up with our own plan during the COVID-19 pandemic days. We tag team, assist and guide each other as a family, kids included. We prioritized the work. Those required for assessment purposes were bumped up and tackled first. Joshua is good with hitting his deadlines, even though he is only 10 years old. The work that needed to be completed in workbooks were and are still done on a more relaxed approach. We even use some time on the weekend to catch up on some exercises in his workbooks.

Noah is 3 years old. He just colours outside the lines and we let him! He is learning through play. We leave out some puzzles and we are definitely adapting screen time more efficiently. During this lockdown period, we have had more screen time than the last year. I dusted off my iPad and Noah is happily “playing” educational games.

We try and incorporate the whole family into the “schooling and learning” phase. With Joshua doing Art, we are all suddenly making clay pots and painting with acrylic paints. This gets the schooling session done but it was a combined effort to get some family time too. For us, remote learning is beneficial to the whole family during the COVID-19 pandemic days.

COVID-19 Pandemic days

As this is our new normal, well for now at least, we are adapting and changing with the times. We have found our routine for remote learning and schooling during the pandemic days. We have no idea how long this situation will prevail and honestly I am not too phased about finding an end to our lockdown days either.

Life as we know it has changed due the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing will be the same. Are you ready for a “new” normal? Whatever it may be… I wish you well in your adventures. We are all in this together. We are all trying to navigate a new normal.

There is no one size fit all solution here. You need to find what works for you and YOUR family. I know of many who are trying to find their “happy” in these trying times. Without a doubt,  the pandemic days are stressful. But let me leave you with some food for thought… What are you doing to find your happy?

Are you incorporating your family into your remote learning/schooling/working situations?

Stay Home and Be Safe!

Spirited Mama

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My homemade pecan nut rusks, it’s easier than you think.

I love homemade anything! And right now I need to feed my savages as they are hungry all the time. They love an on the go snack; so I leave a huge jar of homemade pecan nut rusks on the table and everyone can just grab some on the go. This is actually my Great Aunt Josy’s recipe which I adapted for my family.

Here’s my homemade pecan nut rusk recipe:

Ingredients:

1kg self-raising flour

5 cups of wheat bran

500g butter (melted)

1 cup of sugar [if you want to “taste” the sugar you’ll need to add a whole lot more 🙂 ]

5ml salt

10 baking powder

2 eggs (beaten)

600ml of milk (you can use buttermilk too)

50g pecan nuts

*Variations: you can add oats, coconut, seeds, dried fruit or berries and even chocolate. Be adventurous. I use pecans as this is what my kids like.

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix flour, wheat bran, sugar, salt, baking powder and pecan nuts in a large bowl. Add the melted butter, beaten eggs and milk and mix well with a wooden spoon. Spoon into a large oven proof dish and bake for 1 hour. I was lazy and only used one dish but you can make two batches from this. Allow to cool before cutting. I wait about 10 minutes, so it’s still warm and easy to slice.

*Patience is required here. You need to dry out the rusks in the oven for 8 hours or so. Set the oven to 60-80 degrees C. Pack your sliced rusks on a baking tray and leave to dry out in the *lukewarm* oven. If I don’t get it done in one day, I just carry on the next morning. The rusks are still perfectly fine to dry out the next day too.

Some say you can do this overnight but I’ve never done it this way. Not sure if it’s just me being paranoid but I don’t like the idea of the oven being on whilst we are sleeping.

And that’s it. Store rusks in an airtight container. I prefer the glass “cookie” jar on the table.

homemade_rusks_recipe_spirited_mama_baking_eating_pecans_healthy_choices_snacks_eat_well_live_well

I’m off to have another cup of coffee and a rusk.

What’s your go to snack?

Spirited Mama

x

 

Sugar glazed donuts… My recipe so that you can make your own

I wasn’t even aware that there was some donut challenge happening until someone asked me if I took part in the challenge. To be honest, I take deliberate breaks from my phone, social media as well as the television as I just feel overwhelmed with all the information. But that story is for another post.

For now, here is my donut recipe that I learnt from Mamma when I was a kid 🙂 Fun fact: Mamma and I once used a 20 cents coin to make those inner circles in the dough.

Donut Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups of cake flour
  • 55g (about 1/4 cup) of castor sugar
  • 2 packets of instant yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250ml (1 cup) of milk, warmed
  • 100g of butter (melt in the microwave)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Oil to deep fry your donuts (I prefer Canola oil

Method:

Combine the flour, castor sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl, Just give it a good mix. In the centre, add the milk, butter and egg yolks. You need to mix this through thoroughly. Don’t fret as the dough will be sticky at this point.

On a lightly floured surface, knead your dough until it no longer sticks to your hand. Rub some oil in your bowl and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover the dough with some cling wrap and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. This could take from 60 – 90 minutes. Be patient.

Gently knead the dough again lightly on a lightly floured surface, until it is smooth again. Now you can roll out your dough until about 1cm thick. Don’t worry if you don’t have a rolling pin, you can also just gently press down on the dough with the palm of your hand.

Cut out round circles with a cookie cutter. Now here is where you can be creative and find a smaller round cutter to cut out the inner circles. We just used a test tube from Joshua’s Science kit. Let the cut “dough” rise whilst you heat your oil in a deep fryer or pot.

Tip: I deep fry the inner circles and pop them into a bowl of cinnamon and sugar mix. Perfect little bite size cinnamon bites.

The oil should be 180 degrees, so hot but not scorching the dough. Test your oil with a a small piece of dough. It should fry as soon as it hits the oil. Don’t be impatient. Take your time so that you get gold brown donuts instead of dark brown, scorched ones.

Deep fry the donuts for 2 minutes each side, I usually pop 4 or 5 in at a time.

If you are making the cinnamon and sugar coated donut, just pop the hot donut straight into the cinnamon mix and coat as desired. This is where the kids just shake a tupperware bowl 🙂 If you try to coat them once the donut has cooled the cinnamon and sugar won’t stick to the donut.

If you are using a sugar glaze, see my recipe for the glaze below, place the fried donut on a drip tray to get rid of any excess oil for a few seconds. Then just dip the warm donut into the glaze. I use a skewer as it is easier to work with and you won’t damage your donut. Place your glazed donuts on a drip tray and allow your the glaze to “set” whilst you finish off your frying.

Sugar glaze:

Over a low heat, melt 100g of butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cup of castor sugar and let it dissolve completely. Now you can thin out your glaze by adding milk or water, to get your desired consistency. I prefer water as it breaks the sweetness of the castor sugar.

Tip: As the sugar glaze cools down it will crystallize. Just reheat the sugar glaze until everything is melted once again.

The donuts are best enjoyed immediately. If you do happen to have any leftovers, just store them in an airtight container. Pop in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and they will be yummy again. 

I also like to substitute the cake flour with coconut flour. It give the donuts a delicious coconut taste. The donuts I made yesterday was made with normal cake flour.

Enjoy and happy donut making. I get about 20-24 donuts out of this mixture. Let me know how it goes.

Spirited Mama

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