Friday, 20 January 2017

Five for Friday edition 26

1. Well we are all back to school and back to work and it's been busy - athletics colours sport done (so proud that all 3 our kids tried at least two items). The Princess has one athletic meet done - presenting the school in discus. Who would think that tall and skinny one does discus. However she seems to enjoy it a lot. Today is colours gala and C is swimming for the first time. I am so proud that he made this decision and is pushing through (I hope)

2. I am trying new recipes this year - 3 down so far of which one was really not great and the other two (both past based) winners. I have promised some Instagram peeps the recipes and will do so soon.

3. I am enjoying our veggie patch a lot - we have monster radishes lurking there but the carrots and cocktail tomatoes are doing extremely well too. I have just planted new salad plants.

4. The kids all seem to be coping of sorts with the new school year. C is very tired of that huge new backpack and L of the new homework load but I am sure it will all sort out in the next week or two. We seem to have found a wonderful new au pair - but I am planning to write a whole post about au pairs. this year it took a lot of interviews and I think some of you may be able to learn something from my experience.

5.Do you know that Monoply, everybody's favorite board game is thinking of booting our favorite tokens? That includes Scottie the dog - my personal favorite! Just as with the Mzansi version we as the public are getting a chance to vote for this.

You have until the 31st of January, to visit www.VoteMonopoly.com and choose the eight tokens that you’d like to see in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game.  You can pick eight tokens, once per day, from the list of more than 50 contenders including the current tokens and new options such as a penguin, rubber ducky and bunny slipper.  

So please vote for Scottie and save him! I did!

With that I hope you have a great weekend! What's your 5 for Friday?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Just like that we have a 12 year old!


Guys, time flies! Honestly just the other day we had our little baby girl. Such a beautiful content baby that slept through almost from day one. That loved food and playing. The little baby became a quite sassy little girl that kept us on our toes in the toddler years, just to become a stunning level headed girl. The tween that followed showed a lot of guts and determination - brave and always willing to do her part. Now she is on the brink of being a teen when she turned 12 a week ago and I simply can not believe we are this blessed. Blessed to have a girl that always have time for the underdog, for nature and above all for animals.

May your 12th year be blessed with happiness my girl child - may your heart always stay as pure as it is.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dinsdag - en tyd vir boeke


Inspekteur Derek Briel vermy Luderitz al lank - sy grootword dorp waar sy pa steeds bly. Totdat hy geen keuse gelaat word nie en soontoe gestuur word om die moord op die Jurgen troost te ondersoek - 'n moord waarvan baie van die feite net nie sin maak nie. Sy vrou is vies oor hy soontoe moet gaan en praat nie eers met hom nie en boonop is hy hond siek en voel hy kan nie reguit dink nie. Die teenwoordigheid van sy skool verliefdheid, sy juffrou Lena wat boonop sy pa se buurvrou is, help nou nie eintlik om sy kop helder te hou nie.

Konrad skryf 'n effe anders spanningsverhaal met twee storielyne - een wat 'n groot deel grootword verhaal insluit in die terugflitse na Derek se skooldae en dinge wat toe gebeur het en hoe dit sy lewe vandag beinvloed. Die ander is natuurlik die hedendaagse en word parallel vertel.

Die skrywer skep weereens 'n wonderlike omgewing en atmosfeer vir die verhaal - die mistigheid en reuke wat in Luderitz rondhang word so deel van die verhaal dat dit amper 'n karakter op sy eie is. Dit is een van Isa Konrad se skryfelemente wat ek regtig baie geniet. So ook die ou huis waarin Lena bly - mens kan hom duidelik in jou kop teken. Met dit saam moet ek melding maak van die besondere mooi taal wat sy gebruik in die boek - beskrywend sonder langdradigheid. 

Die spanningslyn het 'n goeie pas en die ontknoping is meesterlik en was vir my onverwags. Ek lees vreeslik baie spanningsverhale en as 'n skrywer my onverwags vang is dit werklik goed gedoen. Daar is heelwat karakters wat elkeen volledig ingekleur is. Wat egter vir my uitstaan van hiedie boek is die motiewe wat herhaal en die lyn in die twee verhale deurtrek - motiewe soos metastase, skande en kanker. Auschwitz word ook as 'n motief en die gebeure daar rondom in ons kollektiewe geheue word opgeroep en trek deur die boek. 

Die Ondenkbare is 'n meesterlike boek en 'n uitstekende lees. 'n Wonderlike grootword verhaal in die tradisie van Stephen King se "The body" (jy sal dalk die fliek "Stand by me" beter onthou) en soveel ander verhale oor hoe een gebeurtenis 'n kind tot grootword kan dwing in 'n oogwink. Lees gerus - jy gaan beslis nie spyt wees nie - 9/10.



Monday, 16 January 2017

Well hallo! And happy new year!

Two weeks into 2017 and I only greet you today! All that I can say is that it has been a wonderful holiday. One filled with rest, relaxation and family (and obviously not blogging) - and it was great. Port Elizabeth spoiled us with stunning weather! Just some highlights in photos:

We had hours of relaxed family time at home and lots of time active outdoors.
We slept over on our favorite Karoo farm on the way down - it was so dry - glad to know it has rained substantially since then. It was a day of magic and nature.

The kids fished - and totally loved it. The girl child turned out to love it most for the moment. That may of course change again. She caught and released 3 fish that morning - and the boys one each.
We spent a lovely day at the Sundays river with friends - boating and eating and having so much fun.

Our Ocean girl loved the rock pools - she is not a huge lover of waves but those pools!

Our favorite beach at New Years morning was quiet and stunning - it did get busier but it is big enough to handle it. What a blessing!
All the best for 2017 - we are already knee deep in school things. So how was your holiday? 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 - My year in books

I had such an amazing reading year - honestly it's been one of the better ones. Although I have not reviewed every book I have read I have at least reviewed the best ones. To ask me to give you "my best book of 2016" is a bit like asking me to tell you which of my 3 kids is my favorite - totally impossible and extremely unfair. So I give you the following (bilingual as books go in my little space in the computer) based on what I read this year of course, and not as the best books released this year.

Book of the year (English): I could not choose just one (or the planned 3) because there is very little to choose for me between numbers 3 and 4


1. I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes reviewed here  -spies, adventures, galore!
2. Recipe for love and murder - A tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew  - reviewed here
totally unexpected and unique in every way . A great local read.
3. The husband's secret by Liane Moriarty -  reviewed here - a great book touching the issue of community responsibility and the moral question on poetic justice (or not)

and a special mention to:

The curious charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick reviewed here  - a most charming read.

Boek van die jaar (Afrikaans): By ver my moelikste keuse

 

1. Koors deur Deon Meyer - my resensie hier. Na lang oorweging moes die boek vir my wen bloot omdat Meyer gewaag het so ver uit sy gewone genre en dit so vrek goed gedoen het!
2. Offerlam/Offerande tweeluik van Chanette Paul - my kort resensie oor Offerlam hier. Ek het sopas Offerande klaar gelees en in my vakansie roetine nog nie by 'n ordentlike resensies van die tweeluik uitgekom nie (beplan wel een in die nuwe jaar) maar ek kan maklik sê dat van my heerlikste leesure hierdie jaar in Caz se geselskap plaasgevind het.
3. Die Soenoffer - Isa Konrad - my resensie hier - een van die beste sielkundige rillers wat ek nog ooit gelees het.

en 'n spesiale vermelding aan:

Oorlewingsgids vir 'n bedonnerde Diva van Sophia Kapp - my resensie hier - lees as jy
n vrou is - of selfs al is jy nie. Jy kan nie hierdie boek mis nie.

Youth/Young adult book of the year: (an Afrikaans choice)

 

'n Goeie dag vir boomklim van Jaco Jacobs - lees hier. Jaco is 'n meester en ek en my 11 jarige dogter was albei gaande oor hierdie middelkind grootword storie.

New writer discovery of the year: (English)

 

Sally Andrew - I am busy with the second Tannie Maria mystery and it is possibly even better that the first one. A new style and voice and local to boot.

Nuwe skrywer ontdekking van die jaar: (Afrikaans)


Isa Konrad - ek het nou 3 van haar boeke gelees en elkeen vreeslik geniet. Sy is 'n meester wat atmosfeer en plek skep betref.


The book I abandoned this year:

A year of Marvelous Ways by Sarah Winman -it has great reviews everywhere but I found it slow, over descriptive and very static. I loved "When God was a rabbit" also written by her but not this one.

So there you have it - my year in books. What was your best books this year and did you abandon any? Any new favorite writers?

Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas wishes


Wishing you all blessings, love and lots of family time over the festive season.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Dis Dinsdag - tyd vir boeke


As 'n enigste kind was lees vroeg in my lewe al 'n toevlug. 'n Toevlug uit alleen wees, uit verveeld wees en ontsnap na 'n wêreld buite jou eie. In graad 2 moes ek aan die skool biblioteek juffrou bewys dat ek goed genoeg kan lees om boeke te kon uitneem uit die groter kinders se afdeling. Na my juffrou se insette is ek toegelaat my te verlustig in Liewe Heksie, Pippie Langkous, Trompie en Saartjie. So het ek baie vinnig myself deur dit wat toe beskikbaar in Afrikaans gewerk - dis net Maasdorp wat my nooit regtig geinteresseer het nie. Maar Die Uile was my absolute gunsteling tot ek Frits Deelman en die Lennet boeke ontdek het.  In Engels is elke liewe Enid Blyton boek verslind en Nancy Drew en die Hardy Boys. 'n Lekker speur storie was maar altyd my kos - van vroeg af. Dit is daarom so heerlik om my Prinses te sien lees - ek sien myself op dieselfde ouderdom - met dieselfde lekker en uitdagings - en presies dieselfde Nancy Drew boeke!

Gou het ek myself dus so half sonder nuwe leesstof bevind - tot my Ouma Anna (sy was 'n besondere vrou - ek het hier oor haar geskryf) besluit het ek is oud genoeg vir haar Ena Murray boeke en selfs Danielle Steel. Ek het stadig deur haar boekrak gewerk - hier al op laerskool. Vir my 12de verjaarsdag het ons buur tannie haar eie boek vir my gegee - "Waardin in die Wolke"  - ek was heel verstom om te ontdek Tannie Ettie (Bierman) was 'n skrywer. So het ek al haar boeke ook verslind.

By die biblioteek in Waverley was daar twee tannies - een wat altyd geglimlag het en my enige iets laat uitneem het, en een wat kwaai oor haar bril geloer het en vir wie ek altyd moes oortuig ek het regtig al deur die kinder afdeling gewerk. Hier in standerd 5 kyk die kwaai tannie eendag na my Mills and Boons hopie vir die dag en sug. "Nee wat my kind", sê sy. "Los hierdie - kom saam". En sy prop "The Hobbit " in my hand - en "Dune" van Frank Herbert en "The Clan of the Cave Bear". En dit was die einde van my belangsteling in enige boek wat as romanse bestempel kan word. 'n Hele nuwe wêrel het vir my oopgegaan.

Dus was dit vir my 'n onverwagse uitdaging toe ek gevra word om "Wilde hawer" van Madelie Human te lees.
Wilde klawer is 'n omnibus met 3 Romanza boeke - "Om Ben lief te hê", "Om Dirk te tem" en "Om Kobus te ken". Ek het so langtand begin lees aan die eerste boek en voor ek my kon kry het ek was ek vinnig deur die boek - en gaan toe maar sommer aan met die tweede een en die derde een.

Alhoewel ek dood eerlik moet erken dat hierdie nie my gewone koppie tee is nie, het ek werklik lekker gelees. Verbasend - maar dit is wat gebeur as jy jouself buite jou gewone gemaksone uitdaag. Jy mag dit dalk net geniet. Ek dink wat die verskil was van die gewone liefdesverhaal is dat Madelie Human romanse uit 'n komiese oogpunt benader - en dit maak al die verskil. Dink "When Harry met Sally" in 'n Afrikaanse boek. So bietjie tong in die kies oor die liefde en die tipiese slaggate rondom dit.

As jy hou van romantiese komedies is hierdie heerlike vakansie leesstof. Dit is ook 'n baie oulike Kersgeskenk vir enige iemand in jou lewe wat van hierdie genre hou.

Boheem van Chanette Paul 


Kayla Cilliers (voorheen Katrien Bresselaar)  beland op die kunstenaarskolonie Bohemia met 'n verlede vol geheime  - net om haar in 'n moord vas te loop. Sy kan hierdie komplikasie in haar lewe nie regtig bekostig nie - veral nie met haar vingerafdrukke op die moordwapen nie.

Hierdie is die derde boek in Chanette Paul se Gys Niemand reeks wat afspeel in die Niemandsdorp omgewing. Gys, Gertjie en die nimlike Faantjie Fortuin (my gunsteling van die trio) is na Springety en Fortuin al ou bekendes. Dit is volgens my een van die lekkertes van hierdie reeks - elke storie is uniek, spanningsvol en vol intriges maar 'n mens voel tuis in die bekendheid van die drie deurlopende karkaters.

Boheem is gevul met heerlike kunstenaar karkaters soos wat die omgewing van die boek toelaat. Judy was vir my 'n gunsteling wat kleurvol beskryf word - maar elke karkater in die boek is lewensgetrou - in hierdie geval meestal in hul eie eksentrieke denke. Dit is maklik om 'n prentjie te vorm sonder dat die skrywer in lang beskrywings verval.

Die storie is tipies van die reeks deurlopend op 'n spanningslyn geskryf met 'n bietjie komedie ter verligting gesprinkel. Ek het veral geniet hoe die magspel selfs in so 'n omgewing tussen karakters uitgespel word -in 'n omgewing waar mens nie so iets verwag nie - of moet mens juis? Is kunstenaars verhewe bo die soek na mag en erkenning of is hul juis soveel te meer soekend daarna? Getrou aan die reeks sal daar wel romanse iewers ter sprake wees maar sonder om noodwendig die storie se lyn te beinvloed of oorheers.

Twee vrae bly by my - gaan Gys en Gertjie ooit bymekaar uitkom? En wanneer gaan die Visvrou se misterie verduidelik word?

Boheem is 'n heerlike boek en perfekte vakansie leesstof. Die Gys boeke word almal tans weer uitgegee met pragtige nuwe skudblaaie.  9/10 vir 'n uitstekend geskryfde boek.

LAPA het die boeke aan my verskaf vir resensie doeleinde - die opinies hier uitgespreek is egter 100% my eie

Friday, 9 December 2016

Five for Friday edition 25 - the it's almost holiday one!


1. I completed another run around the sun on Sunday and spent most of it singing in The Capital singers project - which really deserves a post on it's own. It was special and it was fun! We also spent wonderful family time together and the hubby made me a wonderful French chocolate cake - just as I love it.

2. Our Bookclub had a wonderful end of year/Christmas dinner on Tuesday night. The joy the friendship and great books bring into my life is just amazing

3. I look at all these Elf on the Shelve posts and I am like - "What the hec, who has time and energy for this?" Nothing against you if you do it - in fact I totally admire your dedication, creativity and mostly energy. But I am way too tired..

4. For those who did not manage to get a Lego Advent calendar - look what I found! This is brilliant! An electronic calendar with instructions to build Christmas items from standard Lego pieces one generally have available. We are so going to build some of them over the weekend and holidays. Check is out here: Lego classic advent calendar

5. We had our end of year dinner last Friday at the Hillside Tavern - an old Pretoria institution. Every byte that each of us had was wonderful! What a great lunch. The best for me was the Duck a'l Orange I had - it was truly out of this world.

In case you have not noticed I have 2 wonderful competitions running for great Christmas toys. Enter now - both are closing at 5pm this Sunday.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Fabulous fun with Stikbot and another giveaway

Prima Toys asked the Princess to do a review of Stikbot - one the funkiest tween and teen gift this Christmas. Stikbot is a toy cum app combination that combines traditional toys with social media with a special app.

You pose the Stikbots that come with easy to pose suction cups and create either photos or stop motion videos with them.

There are backdrops, stickers, music and sound effects and simply provided hours of great fun for her - and yes, the brothers adored it too. However what I love most about this is that it successfully integrates creativity and imagination with technology. It is a fabulous idea and a safe way to integrate on social media as it is 'faceless".

I have to tell you that the young guys in our office totally freaked out when they saw this! I will bring it to the office one day soon - they will have huge fun. This is without a doubt one of those "age is no limit" toys.

You have to see their faces when they see the end result of their first movies - it is simply magical! A's first movie was set in the desert and C's is an underwater dive. We obviously need to refine a bit but I love that there are such great instant results. Go check them out on our Instagram account (@catjuggles)

The folks at Prima Toys have give us one #Sitkbot zanimation Studio set to give to one of our readers to the value of R439. This is the top set in the series and a whole lot of fun.

Rules are as follows:

1. Post me a comment below and tell who in your household will enjoy this toy most. No comment, no entry or bonus entries. Just tweeting and retweeting will earn you no entries. Entries close by 5 pm on Sunday 11 December 2016.

2. For bonus entries:  Visit (and a like would be great) our new Facebook page Juggling act of life
                                  Follow StikBot ZA on Twitter 
                                  Tweet the following:" I would love to win the #SitkBotZA zanimation Studio set with  @catjuggles and @Stikbot_ZA http://juggelingactoflife.blogspot.co.za/2016/12/fabulous-fun-with-stikbot-and-another.html

One entry each to a maximum of 4 entries.

3. Please mention every of the actions that you have done so that I can allocate the correct number of entries to you. No mention no bonus entries. I will check that the winners have done the actions as claimed.

Conditions:
1. Winners will be chosen by us and the decision is final.
2. Winners will be emailed and mentioned on Twitter - prizes have to be claimed by 12 December 2016 at 1 pm.
3. Only entries within South Africa are eligible.
4. Prizes will be delivered to the winners by Prima Toys.
5. Prizes are as show or similar and can not be exchanged or claimed in cash.

Best of luck! Thanks to Prima toys.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Airstorm fun - and a giveaway!

There was much excitement in our house this weekend as Just Fun Kidz sent us a wonderful Air Storm package to review. I thought of naming this post "best Christmas toy for boys" but honestly the girl child was just as taken with these as the boys were. The boys are now 9 and A is almost 12 and these are perfectly suited for their ages - in fact, the grown ups in the house had quite a lot of fun with them too.

The Air Storm Sky Ripperz were immediately claimed by Mr L who loves the idea of rocket of any sort.

Wow do they fly! The 75 meters advertised on the packaging is definitely achievable and after a few tries in the garden we took it to a park where it truly showed us how well it flies. The kids have already decided that this is a beach essential these holidays and we will give it a good few flies there. It makes a great whistling sound as it flies. The kids had quite a few competitions with it seeing who flies the furthest and highest.

Mr C is bow obsessed and was so excited to see the two bows! He loves elves and centaurs because the shoot bows and arrow so these were right up his sleeve. He and A tried the two bows out and right from the start competed at target practice and how far they could shoot with them.

























The Air Storm Zano Bow is a nifty little bow that comes with two suction arrow and a handy target on the back. It shoots with great accuracy and lots of target shooting happened. What we totally love about this one is that it can very handy slip into a backpack to take on holiday or visit a friend. Also absolutely fantastic is that both bows can with the switch of up and down adapt for lefties. Mr C actually tried them both ways and love checking with which hand he was most accurate. As a mom I love that both the bows have storage place for the arrows so no arrows lying around.

The big guy of the 2 is the Air Storm Z-curve Bow - the ultimate toy bow. This is one potent and very strong and accurate bow. It comes with one suction cup arrow that provided lots of target shooting fun, and two zonic whistle arrow that screeches through the air. It shoots far and very accurate when the kids get the hang of it. One of A's friends have a 13 year old brother and he was so taken with this bow that he has asked for it for Christmas. I do believe all 3 these but especially the Zano Bow has an age range up to adulthood !

The Air Storm range are available at Toyzone, Toy Kingdom, Kid Zone, Hamleys and on Take a lot.

As it's almost Christmas I have two great giveaways this week and this is the first one!

Not one but two of my readers can win this stunning Just Fun Kidz Air Storm package that consist of all 3 the products reviewed above valued at R1200 per hamper.

Rules are as follows:

1. Post me a comment below and tell me which one your kids would love most of the 3. No comment, no entry or bonus entries. Entries close by 5 pm on Sunday 11 December 2016.

2. For bonus entries: Visit (and a like would be great) Just Fun Kidz on Facebook
                                  Visit (and a like would be great) our new Facebook page Juggling act of life
                                  Follow Just Fun Kidz on Twitter 
                                  Tweet the following:" Here's hoping we win the fabulous Air Storm hamper with  @catjuggles and @Just_Fun_Kidz athttp://juggelingactoflife.blogspot.co.za/2016/12/airstorm-fun-and-giveaway.html "

One entry each to a maximum of 5 entries.

3. Please mention every of the actions that you have done so that I can allocate the correct number of entries to you. No mention no bonus entries.I will check that the winners have done the actions as claimed.

Conditions:
1. Winners will be chosen by us and the decision is final.
2. Winners will be emailed and mentioned on Twitter - prizes have to be claimed by 12 December 2016 at 1 pm.
3. Only entries within South Africa are eligible.
4. Prizes will be delivered to the winners by Just Fun Kidz.
5. Prizes are exact as show and can not be exchanged or claimed in cash.

Best of luck! It will be two very lucky and happy families that win these. Thanks to Just Fun Kidz for giving me the chance to treat my readers.