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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en+1 Reasons to Love Jessica Sepel’s Living the Healthy Life…

March 21st, 2018 · 4 Comments

When you read books about Healthy Living they tend to be packed with things you should be doing to get to the next level, whatever that is, well not so with Jessica Sepel. Here is a girl who redefines getting things done, and she is full of spunk and energy while she does it. Her entire ethos is “be kind to yourself” and “get lots of rest.” I absolutely love her books… they are pretty in every way, inspiring on every level and quite honestly always leave me feeling like I have been on a little holiday. I am going to take you on a little trip through her latest book: Living the Healthy Life by Jessica Sepel An Eight Week Plan for Letting Go of Unhealthy Dieting Habits and Finding a Balance Approach to Weight Loss.

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In a nutshell, if you want to put the spring back in your step and you hate being bossed around, not to mention beautiful books inspire you… then this is the book to get lost in. If you are looking for a book to leave lying around for yourself and your teen daughters to bump into… a realistic and beautiful book on healthy living, one that says… lose the scale, lose the fad diets, be yourself, and it is not about everyone else… then this is the book.


I reviewed her previous book, The Healthy Life and met up with her and blogged about it here.

Se7en+1 Reasons I Love This Book

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  1. There is a whole section devoted to getting your sparkle back… I can tell you that somewhere along the line I might have lost my sparkle a little, eight kids, running a home, homeschooling and just getting from one day to the next can do that to a sleep deprived mother person. This books is packed with tweaks and really practical ways that we can address the lack of sparkle. Honestly, I thought I was going to be reading a healthy recipe book and it turned out to be so very much more than that. The message is clear… be nice to yourself, nobody else is going to put you to bed, or give you a day off when you need one.
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  3. She has her healthy eating guide, it is not rocket science and it is totally doable… easy ideas for snacks and coping with the afternoon slump. There are lists of menu ideas, ideas for things that you can swap in and out, depending on what you are looking for in your diet… for me I am always looking for ways to add more veg into our kids’ diet… always. And even a page of easy good choices that we can make when we are eating out.
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  5. Her quotable quotes make you want to start an inspiration notebook: “Your best is yet to come; your achievements are really just stepping stones…” food for thought. Not to mention, “Stop telling yourself you need to do more, you are enough, acknowledge the things you are doing already.”
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  7. It is full of beautiful recipes that we put to the test… and they were surprisingly quick to get onto the table… simply blowing the myth that beautiful and healthy food takes hours of preparation to prepare. Not to mention heaps of veggie rich recipes that my kids really enjoyed…
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  9. A healthy living lifestyle book with pages devoted to comfort food… and well, toast. But you have to see this toast… it is toast on point!!!
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  11. I am just going to say, there are plenty of treats, including: “Apple Crumble Pancakes.” They never sit around long enough to be photographed, even though we have made them countless times.
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  13. Her eight week plan, caters for all sorts of needs… she tackles lifestyle, food and exercise for every week of her program… which you may want to follow for any number of reasons. If you want to focus on exercise, healthy eating, or any sort of healthy living plan… she has the plan for you. And her holistic approach means that you won’t be focusing on healthy food and forgetting about the rest of you, or focusing on sleep and forgetting about the rest of you… The whole of you, with easy to implement tweaks that you can address.
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  15. I need a book with a whole section called “Heal your Sleep” I have a feeling I am not the only one. And not only that, she has an Energy-Meal Plan… that is enough to make me want to find out more. And as usual her less is more attitude, and in fact … much less is so much more… except sleep… there she advocates, if you do nothing else then get enough sleep.

Se7en+1 Recipes We Tried and Tested

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  1. Mushroom, goat’s cheese and thyme toast: This is obviously taking toast to a whole new level!!!
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  3. Tomato and Red Pepper Soup: This is a family favourite recipe already, we all love roast tomato and pepper soup, easy to prepare well in advance and everyone loves it.
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  5. Slivers of Courgette, and chickpeas: with baby tomatoes and leafy greens… this is the kind of salad that literally takes two nits to put together and feels like a meal.
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  7. Quick Chicken Dinners: Moroccan Chicken Skewers: Everything to love. Enough said!
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  9. Apple Pie Oats: Absolute winner… everyone loved it, even our “I don’t eat oats” kiddo… it is all the lovely add ons.
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  11. Courgette Mushroom Alfredo: Firstly, courgette noodles are as easy as pie to make, we just grated courgettes with the hand grater until we had enough… no fancy gadgets necessary. I thought my kids would not be keen on pasta, that was so obviously not pasta… they didn’t complain at all, and in fact loved it… this has become an easy swap out, and is a delicious way to add more vegetables to their day… especially when you need something to go with a creamy mushroom sauce.
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  13. Blissballs vs. Breakfast Cinnamon oat Cookies: Because of our nut allergy and lack of creativity, we decided to try the breakfast cookies instead of the Blissballs, which looked like they needed lots of swapping out. These on a mountain top where considered to be a very tasty breakfast idea… and got the “make them again” seal of approval.
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  15. Lime, Mint and Coconut Water: This on a sweltering day was an absolute winner. The trick to enjoying coconut water, if you don’t love it already, is to serve it ice-cold… yummy!!!

Basically everything to love… you can find her website over here… it is packed with tons of useful information, you can even sign up to her program online. Take a look at her recipes and her blog… and thank me later!!!


Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for giving me this book for review purposes, this is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are as usual entirely my own.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books

Learning More About Sleep, for World Sleep Day…

March 19th, 2018 · 3 Comments

Last week was World Sleep Day… there is a whole day devoted to sleep because it is absolutely critical to our health, except we don’t take to much notice of it. Since I started my journey back to Health with Sport Science I have become an advocate for sleep. You can read about my sleep journey here. I have a feeling that if people knew how critical sleep was to their health and well-being that we would all work a lot harder on it. That being said, sleep continues to be somewhat illusive.

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Dr Dale Rae and I, photo credit: Kathy Mc Quaide of the Sport Science Institute of South Africa

I do sleep less than I need to sleep on week nights and I do catch up on weekends… I would love to be more consistent and I am working on it continuously. It is my life-atitude of “just one more thing,” that works very well in every aspect of my life, except getting to bed timeously. That being said, I have committed myself to learning more about sleep at every possible opportunity… know your enemy and all that. This past week at the Sport Science Institute they celebrated World Sleep Day with a Sleep Day packed with talks… and I attended a talk by Sleep Expert Dr. Dale Rae.

Her opening line: lack of sleep or fatigue is a far bigger problem than we think, and driving fatigued is a far more prevalent problem than driving under the influence of alcohol, just about says it all. Honestly, I don’t think I know many adults that get their full quota of sleep and that is an average of about 7 hours sleep a night. I have a feeling folk just don’t understand the importance of sleep. Let’s be honest all we ever hear about healthy living is exercise and diet and that is most likely because marketers haven’t yet found a way to make enormous amounts of money from people sleeping. They are getting there with sleep tracking devices and so on, but just not on the same scale as selling fitness gear or fad diet foods and slimming shakes.

Sleep Talk by Dr. Dale Rae

  1. What is Sleep? Sleep is a brain state, and polysomnography is a study of your sleep pattern to determine if you are experiencing any anomalies from the norm. Normal sleep patterns included several cycles a night of deep sleep, light sleep and rem sleep, we need all the phases of sleep to function optimally. Deep sleep is for recovery, it builds and repairs muscles and tissue, stimulates growth and boosts your immune system. This type of sleep is so essential to our well being that our body grabs the most of it early on in the night. The “dreamy sleep,” REM sleep, towards the end of a sleep cycle is where our brain processes and consolidates what we have learnt during the past day… and on a typical night, the periods of REM sleep increase with each sleep cycle towards the end of the day. However, REM sleep and obviously all the the psychological factors and brain functioning health that we need makes REM sleep absolutely essential to us… and if our body realises that we won’t be getting enough sleep then you will have more REM sleep towards the beginning of our sleep and lose out on essential deep sleep.
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  3. How Much Do We Actually Need? Less than six hours a night and more than ten hour a night are both indicators of impending cardio/metabolic diseases. While lack of sleep indicates these diseases, this diseases create sleep dysfunction and so the cycle begins. When we are young, in early adulthood, our bodies are robust we appear to withstand a lot of disruption to our sleep patterns, however these disruptions add up, and a lifetime of mismanaged sleep accumulates to a point where our health can just no longer be maintained.
  4. How Much Sleep Are We Getting? Top athletes understand that if they don’t sleep they won’t perform. They need all the deep sleep they can get to repair the damage done to their bodies during high performance training. They are paid to be their best and Roger Federer is famous for his sleep habits, sleeps 11-12 hours a day, he needs it for recovery. Local athlete, Nolan Hoffman gets 8-10 hours every night. A study of cell phone data from around the world indicates that on average we are getting 6.5-7.5 hours per night. We are chronically under slept.
  5. What is the Problem? In South Africa, just looking at the female population studies have shown that roughly 1/3 of our woman have a normal body weight, 1/3 are overweight and 1/3 again are clinically obese. While this indicates poor nutrition, it is a huge indicator of lack of sleep. The problem with our poor sleep habits is the effect it has on our health, especially down the line. Cardio metabolic diseases disrupt our circadian rhythms making sleep more illusive… pretty much turning us into shift workers. Shift workers, and I am thinking moms of young children here as well, are in the most danger of disrupted sleep and will over time develop weight problems, diabetes, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular problems, not to mention mental health and reproductive health issues. It is really terrifying how a lack of sleep effects our long term health and how badly we need to prioritise our sleep.
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    Photo of slide by Dr. Dale Rae

  7. What Can We Do? We have to take our sleep more seriously… preschoolers need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep a day, scholars between 9 and 13, teens 8-10 and we need between 7-9 hours sleep, to function at our best. A couple of hours a night is just not enough and less than that is actually dangerous. Most of us can’t change when we get up… we have to be at work by a certain time, we have to get moving… so our wake-up time does not effect our sleep duration… but the later you go to bed the less you sleep… the time to intervene is bed time.
  8. What is Sleep Debt? Sleep Debt is our biggest problem, we all suffer from it… Sleep debt is the difference between how much we need to sleep and how much sleep we are actually getting. Those missing hours accumulate and account for all the nodding off that you do when you should be concentrating in a meeting, and when folk who are under slept are driving. We need a small amount of sleep debt, in order to fall asleep… but a large accumulated sleep debt… you know when you go on holiday and sleep the first week away, or you crash every weekend only to “up and at it” through the next week. It is vital to catch up that sleep and whittle your sleep debt down to a minimum. I wrote about sleep debt and over coming it in this post, here.
  9. What is your Sleep Sweet Spot? You should take a few minutes to fall asleep, if you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow then your sleep debt is way too high. Do you wake up refreshed, give yourself half an hour to transition between sleep and wakefulness, after that you should feel alert and ready for action. You should be alert throughout the day, if you find yourself desperate for a nap or a “pick me up” then your sleep debt is too high. Catch up sleep on weekends should be less than 1.5 hours… if it is longer, then you need to sleep more during the week. Look at your sleep environment… 6 hours of good quality sleep are better for you than eight hours of disrupted sleep.
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  11. Top Tips for Good Sleep: Consistency is key for sleep health. Otherwise there are sleep mismatches between our natural/wake cycles and our actual sleep/wake cycles and we need to be aware of these and factor them in. Studies have shown that folk winding down with an e-reader vs an actual book reader, have more difficulty getting to sleep u Beware of blue light late at night, blue light triggers alertness and surpasses the release of melatonin. Light pollution is one of our biggest sleep disrupters, and we need to minimise our light exposure in the evenings. Either by using apps to reduce blue light emissions or just by turning off our devices. Create a consistent sleep routine. For me, keeping a sleep diary really helps… to have written down when I went to sleep, as opposed to when I thought I went to sleep really helps me to stay on track. I never have a problem going to sleep, I do have a problem getting to bed. To this end I make sure that I reward myself a couple of nights a week with an early night. No one is going to give you an invitation to get to sleep… the trick is really in saying: I have done enough for today and sticking with that.

This is by far the best book I have read on sleep, if you are looking for a good sleep read… this is the one.

There is so much to learn about sleep, read a good book on it and get informed… and don’t give up. The more you know about sleep, the more you will realise just how badly you need it and you will start to hunt it down and get it no matter what. I have a feeling that it was easy enough to develop bad sleep habits, and a lot harder to have consistently good sleep habits. Sleep is worth fighting for folks, make the effort and get some tonight, and tomorrow night and even the next night.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Healthy Living

The Latest and Greatest Reads from Jonathan Ball Publishers…

March 15th, 2018 · No Comments

It has recently been the season for book events… I am blogging all things bookish right now, because every event results in a pile of books to be read and that is my favourite kind of work. We have been reading up a storm, so that we can bring you the latest and greatest reads, hot off the press. Tonight I am going to tell you about Jonathan Ball Publishers’ Bookish Event to show the local media which wonderful books will be on offer over the next couple of months. It really is my happy job to bring the books I have been enjoying on to you and let you know which of them are totally fabulous.

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Jonathan Ball Publisher‘s Bookish Event

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I love the variety of books, there is really something for everyone… browse away and scroll down this post for our reviews of the ones we loved.

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Stars of the Show


Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon: This book I read all the way through, without expecting the ending at all. It is the story of three ditsy friends: Florence, Elsie and Jacob, who live in Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. Can I just say, these friends, who are all a few sandwiches short of a picnic, sure get up to mischief, and I am guessing we don’t know the half of it. It is a lovely friendship that has stood the test of time. So Florence has had a fall and is lying on the floor in her room waiting to be rescued, and reflects back on her life. I love Florence, she is a darling, and she is 84, so entitled to a certain amount of scattiness. As you head into the book a dark shadow from her past, a somewhat sinister character arrives to stay in the home. With her memory fading, it is hard for her to figure out the truth from reality and you really want to step in and figure it all out for her. There is a twist in the very end of the tail, you have to read it all the way through… a classic tale of what goes around comes around. Great read, sweet and nutty, with a touch of crime.


The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn This is thrilling from the start, something is going to happen, you know it is… you just don’t know when. When I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it… and I bought the audible simply because my review pile was looking a little overwhelming. From the first page, I wished I could turn the pages faster, but you can only listen so fast. I did not see any of the twists and turns coming. The book has really short, sharp chapters that represent the state of mind of the main player, Anna Fox, who suffers from agoraphobia. The question is why? Has she perhaps experienced some sort of trauma? Anna is really not in a good place, her husband has left her and taken their daughter with him, she seems to live on a blend of medication and alcohol and spends her days observing her neighbours. Closely. Anna is also a child psychologist and for all her faults, her heart is in the right place. And then, as you expect, she witnesses something she shouldn’t have, or does she? And who would believe her? She is the epitome of an unreliable witness and she knows it. She blunders her way through trying to solve the ensuing mystery on her own. She is not very good at solving mysteries… just saying. And then the plot changes completely and again and again… and in the end… this book blind sided me so many times, I never expected the twists and the turns. Not to mention, just when you think, sigh… so that’s what is going on, you realise you have thirty more chapters to go… the plot doesn’t wait for you to catch your breath… stick with the short sharp chapters, you absolutely need them, they totally reflect the peripatetic state Anna is in. This book is complete escapism, you will literally not be able to do anything else while you read it. This goes right to the top of my most gripping book of the year pile…

The Venue: The Grand Daddy Hotel

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I have so wanted to visit the Grand Daddy Hotel, about for ever, so this was the perfect excuse. Just the idea of a movie on the roof top seriously appeals to me, and why did I not go upstairs just for a photograph… but lets go back to our bookish evening…

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And the feast…

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All kinds of wonderful…

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And the view…

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If people watching is your thing… then this is the place to visit.

The Goody Bag

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Oh would you look at this lovely, lovely goody bag… I absolutely love it. This is a relaxing reading holiday in a bag. I was very tempted to grab the whole bag and disappear for a day or three. In fact come to think of it, I might need a weekend away!!! Chocolate and hot chocolate to get started, and then tea to sustain you through. And these beautiful, beautiful modern classics… Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have been dying to read Snow Falling on Cedars by for the longest time, my mum told me to read it ages ago and I have been meaning to read it ever since. And Eat Pray Love, well I love a memoir, especially one that so many folk have said… you should read this.

Otherwise a beautiful cook book, Cherish by Anne Shooter, its a family style recipe book packed with beautiful recipes and enticing photographs. We have been without an oven for about six weeks, ours died and I paid an electrician that did a runner (who wants to fix a 40 + year old oven, I hear you!!! Lesson learnt… and our dinosaur is sulking in a corner of the kitchen. Anyway, I was doing just fine with our Wonderbag and hot plate, until I got this cookbook and there are so many recipes that I want to try… so many. It is packed with classics from my childhood, Anne Shooter has packed this recipe book with family friendly recipes from her Jewish roots… can I hear: Israeli salad and chopped herring, as well as the most stunning looking Shakshuka, and a lovely variety of stuffed roast peppers, courgettes, and aubergines. There is a whole chapter of one dish meals, and my absolute favourite… Simple and sweet, chicken with lemon, garlic and thyme with baby potatoes and carrots. If you want to be inspired then head for her instagram account, anneshooter.

And Other Fabulous Reads


Richard Scarry’s Best Treasury Ever, A Collection of Five Favourite Books: Forget flimsy little paperback Richard Scarry’s that have replaced the big old Richard Scarry’s of my childhood, this is the real thing. A great big chunky book filled with the best of Richard Scarry’s books: The Great Big Mystery Book, Busiest People Ever, Great Big Schoolhouse, Cars and Trucks and Things that Go and the Best Lowly Worm Book Ever. I love this book, but my youngest kid loves it more…

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A robust hardback, packed with all your favourite characters… Huckle and Lowly Worm, Bananas Gorilla and Sergeant Murphy. This book is the perfect gift for little people, it is the kind of book that kids will grow up with… from being read to, to reading the book to themselves.

The Infographic Guide to the Bible: The Old Testament: Well we love infographics over here and this one has been lying on our coffee table for a little while now. My kids have been discovering all sorts of little facts and snippets in this book… it is packed with interesting and fun discoveries. This is a great read for dipping into, all those familiar stories and some unfamiliar ones too. Lots of details to glean by looking at charts, and information presented in a fun and lively way. that you may not have known. Fun read and plenty of information presented in an accessible way, especially for folk that like reading information in small morsels.

Unicorn Food by Sandra Mahut: Natural Recipes for edible rainbows… this book is an absolute winner!!! WINNER!!! We love it… packed with bright funky, colourful food… and tons of healthy easy to follow recipes. Easy, fun food that your kids will want to eat and more important they will want to make themselves. No cook book has ever inspired my kids like this cookbook ever. The first half of the cook book has savoury recipes and the second half has sweet recipes. I have to say that when I saw the cover I was a little bit like “Uh-oh” this is going to be all cup cakes and sugary rainbows… it does have those, but it is so very much more… This is very much a why wait for a party to celebrate kind of a cook book… there is even a page of helpful tips on how to create natural food colours from ingredients that you have easy access to. Take a look at the author, Sandra Mahut’s food website, honestly you are going to wish you were neighbours.

Here is a sample of the recipes: Unicorn rice paper rolls, my kids like rice paper rolls, but these send them directly to heaven…

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Unicorn dips of humus and guacamole…

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Can I say mermaid toast, cream cheese with natural colouring on crisp breads…

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Honestly, who wouldn’t want to eat a rainbow veggie sandwich.

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And celestial swirl soup… yummy vegetable soup…

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Of course there are cupcakes and rainbow cakes and unicorn cheesecake and swiss roll, supernova rainbow popcorn, not to mention smoothie bowls and rainbow smoothies… and I don’t think we are going to get through this winter without Unicorn hot white chocolate. If you are looking for a recipe book to inspire your kids to create their own feasts… then go with this one. It is just fabulous!!!

Huge thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for supplying this fabulous collection of books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and all the reviews are as usual my own.

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What We Have Been Reading for Struik Nature Lately…

March 11th, 2018 · No Comments

I mentioned that we were back in school and this year for school we are going to be making full use of the books in this post. Firstly, we are going to be taking a Virtual Tour of our National Parks, keeping a nature journal as we go. And I can see Star Gazing nights popping onto our calendar… it is definitely time for us to start learning all about the night sky.

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Stuart’s Field Guide to National Parks and Nature Reserves of South Africa


Stuart’s Field Guide to National Parks and Nature Reserves of South Africa: This is the perfect guide book for folk looking to see what they can see, in 43 of South Africa’s National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. More than that, it is packed with detailed information about the natural history that you can find throughout the region. And if you are just out and about in the wild… there is also a really quick and easy identification photographic guide of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, flowers and trees.

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The book is divided into provincial regions and for each province there is a map indicating where you can find the different parks that you will find described in the following pages. From the Pilansberg in the North to the Agulhas National Park in the South, For each park there is:

  1. A location map,
  2. Highlights,
  3. Climate,
  4. A brief history,
  5. A map of the park, showing all the main features: hides, view points, accommodation, and such like,
  6. Facilities and activities,
  7. The geology and landscape in brief,
  8. Vegetation, and a Vegetation map,
  9. Wildlife, and Wildlife Facts.

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And of course the book is very picture rich, packed with beautiful photographs making sure that if you haven’t already been to a park that you will be inspired to visit it soon. We love that it includes quite a few of the parks that we know really well, like the Table Mountain National Park as well as areas that we have holidayed in like the West Coast National Park and camped at, like Cape Agulhas; and our favourite, the Cederberg Wilderness Area. This book is really easy reading, in fact I tried to review it a number of times and each time got completely lost in the book. This book is a fabulous resource for those folk who like to collect national parks (!), as well as for armchair travellers who are looking to reflect back on visits they have taken or to be inspired to just get up and go themselves.
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We will be virtually visiting a reserve each week for school and creating a notebook page for each reserve. It is a great way to cover a flavour of national heritage into our school week: a little bit of history and geography, as well as nature study, all the while inspiring our adventurous spirits. This book is a great addition to our pile of family reads. You can meet the authors on their website: Stuart on Nature.


Star Maps for Southern Africa by Albert Jansen

Star Maps of Southern Africa by Jansen Albert: After a visit to the Planetarium over the summer holidays we have become a lot more interested in what is in the sky above us. This book is perfect for a study of the stars above. It is a a guidebook to what you can find when and where in the night sky, throughout the year. It took us a little while to figure out how the maps work, but now that we understand that we are constantly discovering new things.

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The stars above us are changing all the time and this book provides a framework, almost a diary of the stars in the sky… so that if you go to the correct date and time and look at the map, then you will be able to see the names of figure out the constellations in the sky, buy comparing them with the maps in your hands. This is a practical handbook style of book… not a lot of words, but for the star enthusiast it is a dream.

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There is a reader friendly introduction, with guidelines and helpful information to help you navigate the night sky. Their are plenty of tips on how to select which map to look at and how to orientate the map, not to mention how to select a moonless night so that you can have the best star viewing. From which time of day is the best time of day, to which binoculars would be useful. At the back of the book there is a useful index of stars and constellations, so that if you are looking for a particular star, for instance… you can refer back to the correct map and hence find where it is in the night sky on a particular night of the year.

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There are 12 sets of maps, one for each month of the year, and then eight star maps for each of those, one for each of the principal views according to the compass… there are a lot of stars to look at, and these maps, that have the constellations outlined will thin out all the stars into plenty of something recognisable. For beginner stargazers, like us, these maps are the perfect introduction and guide to what to look out for in the night sky. With each month comes a guided tour of what to expect in the night sky and pointer tips to help you learn more and understand what you are looking at so much better. Just by spending a couple of nights each month you can learn so much about the night sky… looking forward to spending a year in the stars and I have a feeling that more than a couple of our kids are going to become eager stargazers because of this.


I received these books from Struik Nature for review purposes. It is not a sponsored post, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

→ No CommentsTags: Brilliant Books

The Latest And Greatest Reads from Penguin Kids South Africa…

March 8th, 2018 · 2 Comments

Hopefully you are gearing up for a weekend of reading… because I am going to be posting about books, books and more books. We have been reading up a storm and it is time to post a pile of reviews… but more than that I have been to a couple of bookshops lately… and they have been fantastic… let’s begin at the beginning… Penguin Random House Kids Presentation of new and upcoming books for the first half of 2018…

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The team from Penguin books always go to the greatest length to display their books beautifully and they are piles of books that we are really looking forward to reading…

Peter Rabbit coming to a Movie Theatre Near You…

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You have to love this display… the whole delightful series…

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And the Little Hero of the Day…

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And as for this cute little garden all ready to plant in the goody bag…

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And Other Favourites…

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James and the most fantastic looking Bug Book that is coming out…

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Marvels is a real thing…

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And so are Princessess…

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Would you look at those Women in Space… I have to read that… and then the Series of Unfortunate Events…

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Not to mention The Girl Who Saw Lions, and The Truth and Lies About Ella Black.

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The local books look fantastic…

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We are looking forward to The Amazing Coelacanth book and the African Wild Flowers colouring book from Struik Nature…

The Venue: The Colour Box Studio

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A stunning and creative space, that I had never been to before…

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Prettiness and pallet furniture abounded… I loved it!!!

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Creative corners…

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And pockets of green…

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And can I say puppy…

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The Goody Bag

This goody bag was fabulous… full of the most amazing little treats…

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Zoom, zoom…

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Bookmark heaven… and my personal favourite: Rebel Girls!!!

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Stickers…

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And postcards…

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And books of course!!! Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead, that we reviewed here. As well as, The Amazing Talent Show that we have also reviewed before.

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All contained in this lovely Peter Rabbit Bag…

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Everything to love, thank you Penguin Random Kids, South Africa…

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→ 2 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books

It’s Turtle Season And Here’s a Tour of the Turtle Road Trip with the Two Oceans Aquarium…

March 7th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Last week we joined the Turtle Road Trip Team, from the Two Oceans Aquarium… to learn more about turtles. We are heading into turtle season, when young turtles wash up on the beaches along the Southern Cape Coast. It is important to know what exactly to do if you do find a turtle washed up on the beach and this post will tell you all about it…

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Meet Zoku the mascot turtle, ready for his road tripping adventure…
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Meet Talitha, the Two Ocean’s dedicated turtle rehab facility co-ordinator and all round fun ocean ambassador…
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Why Do Turtles Wash Up On Our Beaches

Turtles nest on the north eastern shores of Southern Africa, and when they hatch they head out into the Indian Ocean, where their first oceanic encounter is with the very fast flowing Agulhas Current that rushes down the coast until it reaches the tip of Africa, whereupon it turns back towards the Indian Ocean and flows towards Australia.

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As the current takes a sharp turn towards the East, so a number of turtle hatchlings will find themselves battered by the ocean and the uncompromising coast, and they get washed up and stranded on our shores. These turtles are usually in very delicate health when they arrive on the shore, often injured, malnourished and exhausted. In fact they may even look as if they are no longer living, but incredibly they are still alive. The most critical thing when finding a hatchling is not to return it to the water as they are too weak to cope with the stress of survival… pop your turtle onto a piece of towel in a well ventilated shoebox or ice-cream box (cut holes in it)… and get it to the nearest collection point.
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The Turtle Road Trip

The Turtle Road Trip is really a series of talks at strategic points along our coastline (centres where turtles can be dropped for rehab), so that when folks find little turtles stranded on the beach they know what to do with them and how to take care of them. The meeting we attended at Primi Piatti in Muizenberg had three speakers.

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Sarah from Sharkspotters, told us about their collection point at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenburg. In fact any turtle in the South Peninsula, should be taken there and they will get your frail little turtle to the Two Oceans Rehab Centre.

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Talitha, sharing how they rescue and rehab their little turtles and then return them to the sea. Upon arrival, the turtles are measured and cleaned, and any injuries are immediately addressed and they certainly go the extra mile for these babies. If they need surgery or x-rays to check them out, or even physio, there is a medical team on hand for them. They are then put into holding tanks, for a period, and they are put on a healthy diet to get their strength back. They are stimulated as turtles in the wild would be, and they are fed exciting (to turtles) meals… on a feeding rock… basically setting them up to return to the ocean once they reach their full strength again.

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And Hayley from Rethink the Bag and the Environmental Campaigner at the Aquarium, was there to tell us how we can each care for turtles, even if we don’t find them on the beach. By caring for the ocean we can make a huge difference to the survival of these incredible creatures. This photo shows a jar of trawled water taken from the turtle’s environment in the Indian Ocean. The water is full of small plastic bits as well as nurdles. You can make a difference just by ditching plastic bags… South Africa alone uses 8 billion plastic shopping bags a year… that is a horrific number and we really can address that.

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The great thing about Hayley and all her presentations is that she is full of ideas for things that you can action in your life today… you don’t have to wait, you can start making a difference today…
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And now that the Turtle Road Trip is drawing to an end, we are more excited than ever to learn more about turtles and what we can do to care for them.

→ 1 CommentTags: Green Living

Se7en’s March and Your Free Printable Calendar…

March 1st, 2018 · No Comments

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March is here!!! Really!!! And as promised here is your March printable calendar. You are welcome to print it out, use the landscape option, it works better!!! Click on the image and it will open in a new tab. Print it out and write the days you would like to celebrate on it then pop it onto the fridge as a reminder…

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Dates to Remember

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