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A new play spot for moms and kids

We attended the launch of the newly opened Free Range Life Centre which forms part of the Rustic Timber Centre on Witkpoppen Road, in Fourways, Johannesburg last week. All we can say is – wow! What an amazing spot for moms to relax and little one’s to run around and play.


We love that this centre, catering specifically for moms and babies, has age-specific play areas. There’s a play area for little ones aged 0 – 3 years and another one for kids 3 years and older – both with childminders who look after your kids while you relax and catch up with friends.


There’s even a ‘live-in’ mother hen with baby chicks that the kids just adore.


With so much to do, moms and kids can easily spend  many hours at the Free Range Life Centre. There’s a fun jungle gym and sand art area for the older kids, and a smaller play area for the little ones. And the food really is delicious! With separate menu for adults and kids, moms can now finally enjoy a grown-up meal while the little ones snack on their pizzas or mac and cheese, and sip on a lemonade with sour worms (they’ll love this treat). The menu even offers puréed options for little ones 6 months +.






There’s even a cooking school, Olive Branch Cookery School, on the premises that offers cooking courses for moms, domestic workers, corporate functions and even kiddies birthday parties on weekends. They also have moms and tots classes (from 18 months – 4 years) where moms and kids can spend the morning baking cookies and pizzas.


A bakery, a toy store, a baby boutique and a clothing store for moms and kids also form part of the centre. They have the most beautiful gifts and toys for Christmas!


We had a fabulous time with the owner of the cookery school, Margy Vally, who gave us some really clever ideas for Christmas snacks! And they can all be made from leftovers! Keep an eye on our website for these quick and easy recipes!






If you’re in the Fourways area, be sure to stop at the Free Range Life Centre!



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Why every expecting mom should have a pampering session

Living & Loving’s managing editor, Nandini Parshotam recently spend a blissful day at Sherbet Angel being pampered from top to toe.

Every preggy mom-to-be needs some pampering, especially towards the end of her pregnancy when backaches, swollen legs and other niggles start to surface. I was fortunate enough to be invited by Sherbet Angel in Parkhurst, Johannesburg to come in for a pregnancy pampering session.  Owned and run by a mom and daughter duo, Jo and Lisa, this spa specialises in anti-ageing facials, nails and massage treatments but it was their pre- and post pregnancy treatments that caught my eye. And the products they use to make a mommy-to-be feel extra special is the Mama Mio pregnancy skincare range – simply divine.

After being welcomed warmly and shown around the quaint and beautifully decorated spa, I was  taken to my massage room for their gorgeous glow top-to-toe package. The afternoon kicked off with the pregnancy back massage: As a pregnant woman you don’t realise just how much strain your body is carrying with the weight of your growing baby. So it felt wonderful lying on my side while having someone ease and gently massage my aching muscles. I very quickly slipped into a dream-like state; I think I even snored at one point. When it was time for my pregnancy facial, my relaxed body again sank into the massage bed, my face was gently exfoliated, cleansed, steamed and then lathered in a luscious mask to enhance that talked about pregnancy glow.

Treatment room

As I slowly came out of my relaxed state, I was taken to the pedicure area, where I was asked to take a seat on one of the thrones – yes thrones. And over a cup of refreshing herbal tea the lighten up leg treatment began. This treatment was cooling as it done to help relieve swollen feet and ankles. While I have been fortunate not to have swollen feet during my pregnancy, this treatment did feel wonderful. Once this was done, the express foot treatment started. One thing I miss doing myself is a mini pedi at home, but now that I have this growing belly, reaching my toes have become impossible. So I delighted in the fact that my feet where pampered with a massage, scrub, file, moisturized and then made to look so pretty with a lovely pink shade on my toes. Three hours later, I was truly in a state of complete bliss.

Decor 1

Even though it’s not always possible, a little pamper time makes such a difference to any women’s mood. For a pregnant fairy, this couldn’t be more true. As our bodies change to accommodate our growing bumps and with hormones raging, you don’t always feel your pretty self. So why not spoil yourself (or get your other half to spoil you) during this time, after all you are carrying precious cargo.

For more info on what pregnancy packages Sherbet Angel has to offer, visit and to see Mama Mio’s full pregnancy skincare range and as well as their post pregnancy range, visit


Nandini was 32 weeks pregnant at the time of her visit to the Spa. She and her husband welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world on Friday 29 August! Congrats Mom and Dad!

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New Disney movies to look forward to

We recently attended the Disney content showcase at Monte Casino in Johannesburg and we’re very excited to tell you about two very special events you and your family can look forward to in the next two months.

 Planes: Fire & Rescue

Everyone’s favourite plane, Dusty, is back!


“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite fire fighting aircraft devoted to protecting the historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial fire fighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited air tanker Dipper, heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.


Releasing in cinemas on 26 September 2014

Planes: Fire and Rescue

Lucky Duck

 The first ever Disney Junior Original Movie, Lucky Duck, will be premiering on Disney Junior, Channel 309 on DStv on Saturday 23 August at 9am.

Lucky Duck

Lucky Duck is an unflappable rubber duck with a broken squeaker. When he fails an inspection at the toy factory he finds himself on a boat, inside a shipping crate, along with two kindred spirits – a sassy and extrovert hippo with miss-matched eyes named Flo and a timid turtle named Snap. When they find themselves stranded at sea after the cargo ship they are being transported on is caught in a storm, they must fight to save their lives. Is this where Lucky Duck’s luck runs out?





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3 Reasons why we loved The Winter Sculpture Fair

Tucked away in the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng lies a hidden gem – the Nirox Sculpture Park – home to nearly 100 sculptures by more than 50 contemporary artists.

Stuck in the city all week one often forgets how beautiful it is on the outskirts of Jozi. So, needless to say we were very excited to leave the city behind and venture into the ‘Jozi Countryside’ for the Winter Sculpture Fair on Sunday. I’m not sure what we expected to find there – perhaps a couple of sculptures in a room you can browse through in about 20 minutes and be on your way again, but how wrong I was.

It was one of the best Jozi day outings I’ve been on in a while – and the kids in attendance seemed to love every minute of it too.

We loved it so much, we rounded-up three reasons why you should take your family there next year:

1. The sculptures are really interesting. They’re scattered all along the pretty grass paths with a beautiful view. Even the kids won’t mind taking a peek at them.

Artist: Johannes Maswanganyi       Sculpture name: Desmond Tutu

Sculpture fair

Artist: Jop Kunneke  Sculpture name: Nothing but a Hound Dog

Sculpture Fair 5

Artist: Cobus Haupt Sculpture name: Self

Sculpture Fair 3

Artist: Pat Mautloa Sculpture name: Horse, 2011

Sculpture Fair 2

2. It’s a great day out with your family plus there’s a marketplace that showcased some of Franschhoek’s finest food and wine producers. We loved the Chakalaka burger, not to mention the chocolate dipped strawberries and nougat! We were in heaven. You can even take your own chairs and a blanket with and set up a nice picnic spot under the trees next to the pond.


3. The view is beautiful! And there is plenty of space on the vast green lawns for the kids to run around and play.



more grass and pond

We hope to see you there next year! We’ll keep you updated with the details!

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Make your own glass recycling box

We recently spend a lovely morning with The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) at The Tool Share Studio in Ferndale learning more about glass recycling and making our own glass recycling boxes.

Did you know that South Africa’s national glass recycling rate have increased to 40.6%? According to TGRC CEO, Shabeer Jhetam, over one billion bottles were recycled in the past year, and as a result approximately 222 000 tons of carbon emissions were reduced by recycling glass.

As glass is made from natural substances, it’s endlessly recyclable, making it a truly environmentally sustainable packaging. As the recycling rate has now reached 40.6%, this means that almost every new glass bottle and jar made in our country contains 40% recycled glass.

Let’s make this number even higher by teaching our little ones and our families about glass recycling.

These tips from TGRC can be helpful to get started:
• Whenever you buy a packaged product, think about how you can reuse or recycle the packaging. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled again and again without losing its purity or strength.
• Plan your trips to glass banks to fit into your daily schedule. Take the kids with you and show them how and where to put their bottles.
• Explain to you children what it recyclable and what’s not. Glass containers, such as those used for food and beverages can be recycled.
• Other types of glass, like window glass, ovenware, pyrex, crystal and light bulbs are manufactured through a different process and cannot be recycled through South Africa’s manufacturers.
• Reuse old containers – they’re great for storing paint, crayons, buttons and arts and crafts tools.
• In South Africa, it’s not necessary to wash glass before placing it into “Glass Banks”, or to place different coloured glass into separate banks.
• Get your child’s school to register for The Glass Recycling Company school competition. There are fantastic prizes up for grabs plus a conveniently placed glass bank at the school. Visit for more details.

Getting started

Getting started!

Half way there

Half way there!

The end result

Now we’re ready to recycle!

Download your free instructions to make your own glass recycling box here.

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Five of our favourite parenting quotes

We put together five of our favourite parenting quotes to share with you 🙂 Do you have any you would add?

Babies_make_love stronger




Bill Cosby Quote


Decision to have child



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The World’s biggest Baby Shower

Jo’burg Child Welfare has taken on the mammoth task to organise The World’s Biggest Baby Shower at the Kids and Baby Expo (from 20 – 23 March) at Emperor’s Palace this year. The baby shower is in aid of abandoned babies that Jo’burg Child Welfare cares for. Many of these babies are found dumped in dustbins and open veldts and need to be cared for, clothed and fed.

In order to get the title for ‘’The World’s biggest Baby Shower’, Jo’burg Child Welfare has to collect 13 tons of baby goods within a 4 day period – and they need your help!

If you’re planning on going to the Kids & Baby Expo this year, take along baby toiletries, toys and any prams, camp cots and feeding chairs your kids have outgrown to donate to the Baby Shower World record attempt. It’s for a good cause!

You can also buy baby products from the Expo and take it to the Jo’burg Child Welfare stand.

Jo’burg Child Welfare won’t be the only organisation to benefit from this event. They will also be sharing the items collected at The Baby Shower with 65 other Community based organisations.

Contact Belinda on 011 2988 566 or email for more info.

World's Biggest Baby Shower

Let’s all stand together and make a difference, and perhaps even set a world record for ‘The World’s Biggest Baby Shower’.

We hope to see you there!



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Cheesespider recipe

The Cheesespider is another one of the ‘Foodimals’ in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,
and it’s terrifyingly delicious:-) If you’re struggling with a picky eater at the moment, this is a great way to get him to try new foods!

Treat your family to a yummy cheesespider burger tonight!

mkt023_Cheesespider_lm_v5_cmyk copyHere’s how to make it:

This recipe makes one Cheesespider


  • 1 Bread roll (sesame seed roll optional)
  • Beef burger patty
  • 2 Slices of cheese
  • Sliced gherkins
  • Slice of tomato
  • Piece of lettuce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Thin French fries


  1. Cook your burger patty.
  2. Take your bread roll and cut it in half. On the bottom half of the roll, place your first slice of cheese, then place your burger patty on top of it.
  3. Squirt some tomato sauce on top of the burger patty.
  4.  Next, put your sliced gherkins, sliced tomato, slice of lettuce, and your second slice of cheese on top of the tomato sauce.
  5. Place the top bun of your bread roll on top to complete the body of your Cheesespider.
  6. Finally, place eight thin French fries underneath the bottom burger bun to serve as your Cheesespider’s legs.

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Tacodile recipe

If your little one enjoyed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, he’ll love the yummy ‘Foodimal’ recipes we’ll be featuring here for the next couple of days!

Today’s recipe is the ‘Tacodile’. The Tacodile is a taco beast made with jagged onion teeth, sour cream saliva, olive eye, and pepper legs and tail.


Here’s how to make it:

*This recipe makes one Tacodile


  • 2 large hard taco shells
  • 2 tablespoons refried beans
  • ½ cup cooked mince
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 thick slice of white onion, cut into small triangles and squares
  • 1 black olive slice
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 red mini peppers


  1. Cook the taco shells according to the package instructions.
  2. Spread the refried beans inside the top and bottom part of one taco shell. This will be to hold the onions in place for the teeth.
  3. Fill the taco shell with ¼ cup cooked mince and top with ½ cup shredded lettuce and ½ of the tomatoes. Stick onions into the refried beans to form the Tacodile teeth.
  4. Place the sour cream in a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with the end cut off and squirt sour cream in-between the onion teeth.
  5. Spread a small amount of refried beans on top of the taco shell and stick the olive slice in to form the eye. This will complete the formation of the Tacodile face.
  6. Fill the second taco shell with the rest of the mince, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. This forms the Tacodile body.
  7. Create the complete Tacodile by propping the Tacodile face, lying flat, on a folded paper napkin.
  8. Place the taco body behind the face, holding it up with two red mini peppers on each side. These act as the two back legs.
  9. Place the green poblano pepper in the back of the taco body for the tail. Put the last two peppers on the sides of the face of the taco for the two front legs.


Send pictures of your attempts to! We’d love to show them off on our blog!

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A helping hand for cancer survivors

We had such a lovely morning celebrating with Reach for Recovery (a support group of trained volunteers who personally experienced Breast Cancer and its treatment), Pick n Pay and the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA).

Breast Cancer Awareness

Do you remember the Mushroom Pink Punnet campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness from October last year? Well, the breakfast was to celebrate and hand over a cheque to Reach for Recovery for the money raised during that month – a whopping R414,473.00!

The funds raised through the Mushroom Pink Punnet campaign is predominantly used to buy silicone prostheses for women who can’t afford them. One prosthesis cost between R2000 – R3000. The funding also allows R4R to create support materials that help survivors and their families, and it also extends their work further into needy communities throughout South Africa.

Beulah Jankelowitz and Ross Richardson

SAMFA chairperson Ross Richardson hands over the R414,473.00 raised during the Mushroom Pink Punnet campaign in October last year to Beulah Jankelowitz, the National Coordinator of Reach  for Recovery.

Breast Cancer Facts

  •  Breast Cancer is the number one cancer in women worldwide and is the second most common cancer amongst South African women. Statistics state that 1 in 26 women in South Africa will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • Breast Cancer is a serious disease which could lead to a loss of a breast or even death. However, if detected early it can be treated successfully.
  •  According to researchers at the University of Western Australia, women who eat at least 10g of white button mushrooms per day are 64% less likely to develop breast cancer.

Who is at risk of Breast Cancer?

All women are at risk, but you are more at risk if you:

  • Are over 40.
  • Have a mother or sister who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
  • Started your period at a young age.
  • Have gone through menopause at a late stage.
  • Had your first child after 30 or no children at all.
  • Drink more than two glassed of alcohol a day.

Other factors with an increased risk are:

  • Oral contraception taken in excess of five years prior to first pregnancy.
  • Hormone replacement therapy in excess of five years.
  • Diet high in saturated fat.
  • High stress levels.
  • Obesity.

Breast Cancer Awareness 2

Visit for more information.

Remember to do a breast self-examination every month! It can save your life! And don’t forget to buy your pink punnet later this year! Every little bit makes a difference!

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