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10 Reasons You Should Visit The Ice Slides This Holiday

June 18, 2019

1. There’s real ice! Why drive all the way to Ceres if you can build ice castles at the Ice Age Ice Slides this Winter holidays!

2. Both adults and kids really, really love it and cannot get enough!

image by photofuzion
image by iphotosa
image by iphotosa

3. Meet your favourite characters from the Ice Age. See giant life-sized mammoths, a Saber-tooth tiger, Irish Elk, Terror Bird, and Glyptodon and try not to be alarmed by their terrifying roars!

image by photofuzion
image by photofuzion
image by iphotosa
image by iphotosa
image by iphotosa

4. They have an Xpresso pop up bar and everything from Cappuccinos to hot chocolate and bagels and so much more are only R10.

5. It’s completely safe! There are helpful people all over the playground keeping watch over your children and ready to help where needed.

image by photofuzion

6. There are three slides with different height and length for kids and adults of all ages. Zoom down the 28m long curved slide, the 24m long dipper, or for the littlies there’s a 1.5m kiddie’s slide, all made from real ice of course!

7. There are cameras capturing those memories made. Every time you slide down the ice, your picture is taken capturing your every emotion!

8. Not only are your pictures taken, but for a low fee you can also buy them at the end of your 45 minute adventure.

image by photofuzion
image by photofuzion
image by photofuzion
image by iphotosa
image by iphotosa
image by iphotosa

9. Tickets for the event are affordable at only R80 for a Full Rider and R50 for a Mini Rider ticket.

10. It’s educational and a hit! Your kids will be talking about their amazing experience at the Ice Slides for quite some time after!

Heinz Winkler and family

Happy Ice Sliding!

Entertainment, Lifestyle, Slider

A Birthday celebration at Knife Steak House

March 18, 2019

If I could tell my younger self just one thing, it would be to appreciate the people in her life that matters most. The ones who genuinely care; who don’t always say the things she wants to hear, but the things she needs to hear. I’ll warn her that her circle will get much smaller during this process, but that the conversations will become invaluable. If I’d known this ten years ago, the road traveled to where I’m at today would be less bumpy, confusing, and heartbreaking. It may have taken me some time, but I’ve finally learned to appreciate all the people in my life who truly care about me and my family, and I hope to show them the same love and care from here on.

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday with a few such friends and family at Knife Restaurant next to the Crystal Towers in Century City. I’ve never been to Knife before then, but I’ve heard and read a lot of great things about it, especially their trendy bar and succulent ribs! Based on this I immediately knew that this would be the best place to host my special day. Good food and wine – check!

Dinner was booked for 6:30PM, but we arrived early to get the most out of their happy hour running daily from 5PM to 7PM! Their cocktails and draught beer taste amazing, but we mostly enjoyed just hanging at the bar while the “award-winning” mixologist talked us through it all.

Their service – outstanding! From the moment we stopped in the parking lot we felt welcome and the waiters knew exactly who I was, even though I’ve only ever spoken to one person (who wasn’t even there at the time) over the phone before then.

We were escorted to a cozy, semi-secluded area of the restaurant, beautifully set up for yours truly, overlooking the gorgeous Century City. It wouldn’t have mattered where we were seated tbh because the restaurant is so spacious, we would’ve been secluded anyway!

This American inspired steak house definitely made a good first impression on this local gal and her squad. The decor is classic New York loft chic, while the food is comforting Southern American style, which makes for the perfect combination and best of both worlds experience.

Also, as a mom, it’s great to know how much they value family here and have carefully created a kiddies menu that shows just that. Needless to say, we can’t wait to go back to experience Knife together with our kids.

I must admit, though, the trove card for me is their birthday special – If you bring along eight people or more for your birthday party, and everyone orders a main course, you get your meal free, plus a bottle of bubbly! I think that’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

It was a night of great fun and laughter as you can see from the pictures, and I’m happy I decided to take a chance on Knife. I think we’ve discovered our new favourite hangout and it helps that it’s right on our doorstep.

 

Here’s to another year ahead and appreciating the amazing people in my life!

Entertainment, Inspiration, Slider

The Hidden Costs Of Extracurricular Activities

February 7, 2019

When the kids first started school, I knew it wouldn’t come cheap. By then we’ve done extensive research on the average school fees for public schooling in South Africa, and made a comprehensive list of good schools based on what’s most suitable for our family. When the time came around to shop for school uniforms, the costs completely blew my mind and it was at this exact moment that I realized how expensive having kids really are.  More accurately, how expensive having school-going kids are.

Unfortunately, it would appear, salaries don’t magically increase when the kids start school and the unexpected day-to-day costs begin to pile up, so we began our kids’ journey into schooldom by cutting down on as many of our monthly luxuries possible. This meant fewer trips to the cinema and more movie dates at home, fewer Spur lunches and happy meals and more weekends around the braai, and allot less impromptu long drives out of town (guilty pleasure) and more time at the community park.

We thought we had it all figured out, until one day Jada came home from school and announced she now belongs to the drama academy and the swim club, and Miguel suddenly needed gear and equipment for all the different types of sports he was “trying out” for. Extracurricular activities are great opportunities for kids to build their confidence and to meet new friends, so of course, we agreed. However, we knew simply cutting out on take-out and movies wasn’t going to do and that we needed a more solid game plan.

We now have a savings account, the emergency fund as we call it , especially for those unexpected costs and it’s been working great for us so far. It’s certainly served its purpose to help with the extramural fees every term and comes in handy when we need to get costumes, equipment and prepare for sudden school trips.

All these unplanned-for costs really do become a heavy burden to bear for many families. You’re not alone in this. Parents are working double shifts or even doing double jobs altogether to make sure their kids are able to participate in school activities, apart from school fees and uniforms that are mandatory in almost all South African schools. To so many parents out there, sending kids to school seems more like a privilege than a right and others go as far as to avoid certain, more “superior” schools, simply because they’re afraid they may not be able to afford all the “hidden costs”. Sure, we can opt out of participating in extramural activities, but the truth is that pressure from both the school and our children makes it difficult to say no every time.

I found a great list of the best savings accounts in SA and the best returns according to Moneytoday.co.za. During these difficult financial times, it also doesn’t hurt to speak to a financial adviser to help you make the right decision and point you in the right direction, whether short or longterm because all our kids deserve the best and to experience the best school has to offer.

Health, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Slider

You Got This: Handling the Holidays with a Solid Morning Routine

December 24, 2018

What is your family’s morning routine like? Does it vary from day to day and completely fall to pieces when the holidays roll around? There is an old saying, “Well begun is half done,” and there is no better strategy for breezing through the season stress-free than with a strong morning regimen. Need some tips? We’ve got you covered.

Maintain Your Game

Kids seem to have boundless amounts of energy anyway, and the holidays tend to build their vim and vigor to crazy heights. When your youngsters start thinking about presents, Santa, and holiday snacks, keeping up with them can be daunting at best if you aren’t taking good care of yourself. One recommendation is to make sure you stay on top of your game with actions that keep your energy levels strong. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep each night, and don’t indulge in too many holiday goodies. Instead, stick with a nutritious diet, and make sure to drink enough water, since insufficient hydration can lead to feeling tired.

Also, the busyness of the season can often lead to days getting away from us. One way to ensure you stay on top of your fitness regimen is by putting together a home gym, so working out is convenient in spite of the countless holiday obligations.

Conquer the Clutter

Clutter can lead to disruption and chaos, especially in the mornings. When you can’t find your tweezers, Sally is looking for her curling iron, and Jimmy can’t find his deodorant, you might all be tripping over each other to get yourselves ready to conquer the day when what you really need to do is conquer the clutter. This can be especially challenging if you’re all sharing a small bathroom, but as Good Housekeeping points out there are plenty of ways to keep the space organized and efficient. Look for solutions that optimize walls and shelves and group like items together, and consider adding small, attractive and functional storage as needed.

Stick to Schedules

Does your family adhere to a daily schedule? All too often, our commitments keep us on the go and bending our days to various obligations, rather than staying in good habits and timeframes. While it can be especially tempting to let things slide during the holidays, it is important to establish and maintain a routine, regardless of the season. Kids can draw a sense of security from knowing what to expect every day, and they even handle lifestyle changes better if those changes occur within the structure of a normal routine, such as moving or changing schools.  What’s more, some studies indicate that children’s development hinges on circadian rhythms, so keeping on normal timelines can mean keeping them happier and healthier. Ensure your kids go to bed and wake up at the same time each night and eat meals at set times.

Eat Breakfast Together

Sitting down to breakfast as a family every morning can help set your family up for a successful day. CBS News explains that breakfast is an ideal time for families to convene for a meal since it’s easy to prepare, you can talk about the day ahead, and children generally love all sorts of breakfast foods. On top of all that, eating a nutritious breakfast offers certain health benefits, like helping you maintain a healthy weight. You can even prepare some hearty, make-ahead breakfast casseroles so everyone can sit down together and enjoy the holiday mornings.

Instead of being stressed out this holiday season, ensure your family members can start their days with a solid routine. Stay organized and energized with healthful and smart strategies to keep everyone in sync. The season will be stress-free for you and yours, thanks to your proper planning and some great, healthy choices.

About the writer:
Daniel’s been a single dad to daughter (9) and son (6) for three years now. He admits he doesn’t always know what the heck he’s doing, but that every day is definitely an adventure and a blessing. You can find him over atdadsolo.com

 

Happy Holidays!

Love,

Books/Movies, Entertainment, Inspiration, Slider

What’s all the hype about Goodreads, anyway? 

November 26, 2018

Whether you’re a big lover of books, or not so big, chances are you’ve stumbled upon Goodreads at some point. You were most likely searching for reviews for some book you’ve been meaning to get your hands on when you did. No surprise here – that’s exactly how I discovered Goodreads. My biggest mistake at the time, though,  was thinking that Goodreads is just a book review site, so I’d spend hours upon hours reading through all the reviews (it gets really addictive) and nothing else.

Once I took the time to actually look around the site more, I discovered that Goodreads has so much more to offer than just awesome reviews!

Here’s why I love Goodreads:

My Books

It’s a virtual bookshelf and your own personal online library, giving you instant access to almost any book you can imagine. Think of Belle when the beast first shows her the library in his castle, or Hogwarts library in Harry Potter! Although you cannot actually read the books you shelf directly on Goodreads, it’s a great place to organize all the books you’ve ever read and all the books you’re planning to read. It’s a bookworm’s heaven!

 

Reading Challenge

Nothing is more motivating than setting goals and competing –  against yourself! I absolutely love the Goodreads Reading Challenge! You decide how many books you’ll read before the end of each year, and when you reach your goal, you’re rewarded with an honorary badge that stays on your profile, and the sweet satisfaction of knowing you’ve reached your goal.

You know your reading habits, your lifestyle, and your motivation levels. Don’t set yourself unrealistic reading challenge goals. There are members with a Reading Challenge goal in the hundreds, even thousands; and there are those starting off with a reading challenge of only 10 books.  Both are perfectly okay if it means it fills your soul with joy.

 

Trivia & Quizzes

Need some time to just unwind and let your general knowledge juices flow? You’ll love these! Be careful, because they are quite addictive. Whether it’s a quiz about your favourite books, genres or Game Of Thrones – you’re likely to find it here.  And if you don’t, then you can create your own!

 

Widgets

If you have your own website or blog, or if you have an email account, then you’ll love this!  Show off the cover of the book you’re currently reading when responding to emails.  Friends and clients alike are sure to be impressed and maybe even inspired.  At the same time display your bookshelf, reading challenge, or a favourite quote on your website or blog. It’s a fun way to show off your book obsession and meet other book lovers out there.

 

Book Barcode Scanner

We already use our smartphones to scan everything – documents, audio, video, when we go to the store – so why not also books?

Instead of manually searching for books on the site and adding them to your reading shelves, simply scan the barcode of books you find interesting while browsing a bookstore. This will bring up all the information about the book and you can then decide on which shelf it should go!

I swear, I’m obsessed.

 

Book Recommendations

Another reason I love Goodreads is for how easy it is to recommend books to your friends and to find book recommendations for yourself! I no longer have to search high and low for my next exciting read, which I spent most of my life doing.

Goodreads made my life so much easier!

 

Compare Books

Imagine finding your reading twin! Well, with Goodreads that’s highly likely with its nifty “compare book” feature that lets you find other users of the site with the same taste in books as you. Neat, huh?

 

Chat With Your Favourite Author!

Authors are understandably very busy with all that writing going on. There’s hardly time to casually book chat with their adoring readers, but Goodreads has thankfully bridged this gap and made communication between author and reader so much more convenient. Authors are happy to answer any burning questions you have about their work through the “Ask the Author” feature on the site. This feature is controlled by the author, so keep an eye out for when it’s turned on and ask away!

 

Join As Many Groups As You Like!

Goodreads is rich with many diverse groups (or virtual book clubs as I like to refer to them). There’s a group or groups for everyone, and if you don’t find anything you’re interested in, then go on and create your own group!

 

Become a Goodreads Librarian

Think you got what it takes? Librarians are long-time users of the site and are passionate about keeping their “library” neat and tidy. They also know the librarian manual, aka the Goodreads rulebook, by heart and are happy to quickly remind users what the rules are when adding and editing book data.  The great news is that you too can apply to be a Goodreads librarian. Though you won’t need to learn the Dewy Decimal System, you will need to know the librarian Manual.

 

These are just a few of the reasons why I love Goodreads and why I recommend you give it a try! It’s the app to have and the community to be a part of. For now these are my top 10 best features, but I’m sure once you’ve had a look around you’ll be able to find your own reasons for loving the world’s largest online community for book lovers.

Happy birthday Goodreads!

love