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Happy Parents

Happy Kids

Birthing Doula’s & Breast milk

Gifting educational toys




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10 Things A Doula Actually Does At A Birth

As doulas we’re often asked what we do and why we think people should hire us. There are lots of pieces to consider when deciding if you want to work with a doula, including your budget, how your partner feels about it (if you’re partnered), who’s part of your birth team, and how much support and education you already have. Figuring out the details of your childbirth is a big personal decision and one that can only be made by you. But there’s also a lot of confusion and misinformation out there, so here are 10 things that doulas do (and don’t do) that might help you make a more informed choice:

1. Educate you and yours on the birth experience One of the biggest goals of our doula work is to help you get informed and educated. Most of us find ourselves pregnant knowing very little about the physiological aspects of childbirth and the current birthing practices. And once you’re there, it can be quite overwhelming to find reliable information and ways to feel prepared for all the things that can come up during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. We strive to have lots of information available to you and are always happy to share resources, talk things through, and tell you what we know based on our experience. We’re never giving you medical advice—that’s what your provider is for!—but can help you figure out what questions to ask them and are more than happy to be a resource and a way for you to get out of the Google loop and have accessible and evidenced-based information that can help you make decisions along the way..

2. Support you emotionally.

4. Let you be you.

Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting can be wild—it's a time when we all need as much emotional support as we can get. Even as a doula, now that I'm pregnant, I’ve really appreciated being able to talk to my doula friends and rely on my support system when I’ve felt like I am losing my mind. Most doulas make themselves available to you so you can call them or write to them whenever you need to talk things through. We’re good listeners and will meet you where you are without bringing our baggage along. We let you ask us questions, we hug you when you need to cry, and we take a step back when you need space. We’re there for you and your family and make sure you feel supported and heard.

We’re honored to be welcomed into your family and come without expectations of how your birth should go or what decisions you should make. We trust that you’ll always know what’s best for you and your baby. We know your intuition is right on and don’t push for things to go one way or the other. Because there is no right way, there is only YOUR way—we’re just there to make sure you find your path.

3. Ease physical tension and pain. Prenatally we can help you find ways to take good care of your body, find exercises that feel good for you, and recommend stretches and positions that have the potential to facilitate labor. Once contractions get going and you need more support, we come running and are there for you until the end. We will squeeze your hips if that feels good during a contraction. We will remind you to breathe through the pain and the discomfort. We will place our hands gently on your shoulders to help you let go of the tension. We will massage your feet and your back if that helps you get through a contraction. We will help you walk around and dance as your baby makes its way earthside. We will find ways to make you comfortable if you have an epidural and you can’t get out of bed. We will help you find your strength as you push your baby out and hold on tight to you your hand.

5. Normalize the birth experience. Most people only know about birth from TV and what it’s shown to us is usually far from what actually happens when people give birth. Doulas have seen birth many times and in many different forms and scenarios. We can help you understand what’s normal and what isn’t. When you feel scared because you’re bleeding during labor, we will remind you that bloody show is a sign of progress and a way for us to know your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to. If you feel nauseous, we will encourage you to puke and remind you that vomit is normal during labor. And if something doesn’t seem right, we will make sure to let you know so you can talk to your provider and feel safe.

6. Facilitate communication with your care provider. We’re not allowed to speak on your behalf, but we make sure you understand what your rights are and help you develop the best strategies to communicate with your care provider and the hospital staff (if that’s part of your plan). We want to make sure you feel heard and are an active participant in every decision that is made along the way.

7. Let your partner be present.

10. Have your back!

If you have a partner, we understand that they are going to be your main support and we make sure to not get in the way of that! We’re there to help them be there for you while feeling supported, be able to take breaks if they need to, and help take the pressure off so they can enjoy the birthday party! We also help them get educated so they know what to expect and can speak on your behalf if needed.

A doula will always have your back and be on your side, both while working together and afterward as your little one grows older. We’re there to help you feel good and hold you if you’re sad or going through a hard time. We will pick up the phone when you call us and make sure you build a good support system for yourself. We’re there to help you find YOUR way!

8. Provide breastfeeding support. If you’re planning to breastfeed, we help you get a good sense of what to expect and how to prepare. Lots of doulas are lactation counselors or lactation consultants and can help you get breastfeeding started on the right path or help you troubleshoot if some things are not working and need to be adjusted. And since we have a big network of colleagues and resources, we make sure you get the right support if something is outside of our expertise.

9. Make you a meal. Your doula will help you understand what to expect in the fourth trimester. This includes how your body might feel and how to best take care of yourself after birth, how to care for the little one, and how to learn to read their cues and start to understand their needs. A doula will come see you postpartum and will answer the questions you have. We will make you a warm meal or hold the baby while you take a shower or a nap. We will love you and your family up to make sure you’re still feeling supported as the crazy new life begins.

By Natalia Hayes Natalia Hailes is a birth doula and reproductive health advocate. She's a certified doula, breastfeeding counselor, and integrative nutrition coach. She is the co-creator of Brilliant Bodies, which partners with likeminded businesses to facilitate creative solutions for pressing issues in the reproductive health space.

Breast milk is loaded with exactly the right nutrients in the exact amounts a new baby needs. Research shows that breast milk is not merely nutritious, but it contains a variety of factors with medicinal qualities that have profound roles in infant survival and health. Although the industry continues to attempt to approve infant formula with the addition of compounds, such as fatty acids, oligosaccharides, nucleotides and lactoferrin, breast milk has such far-reaching effects on the infant’s immune response that optimal development depends heavily on its actions. It contains many hundreds to thousands of distinct bioactive molecules that protect against infection and inflammation and contribute to immune maturation, organ development and promotion of a healthy microbiome. (1) For this reason, all mothers should be encouraged and supported to continue breastfeeding for six months and beyond in order to promote the good health of their infants. Of course, I know most mothers have questions regarding breast milk and breastfeeding, so below I answer nine of the most common questions I hear about breast milk.

9 Common Questions About Breast Milk 1.

How long should I breastfeed?

According to research published in Pediatric Clinics in North America, exclusive human milk feeding for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding for one to two years of life or longer, is recognized as the standard for infant feeding.

2. What should I eat to boost the nutritional content of my breast milk? Studies have found that the fatty acid profile of breast milk varies in relation to maternal diet, particularly when mothers eat too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids. Eat lots of omega-3 foods, such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, wild-caught salmon, tuna and egg yolks. Balance your omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid consumption by reducing the amount of meat, dairy products, peanut oil, soybean oil, safflower oil and sesame oil you consume daily. (2)

3. Do breastfed babies need to take vitamins? Vitamin K is typically given to newborns in their first days of life, and deficiencies of other vitamins (except vitamin D) are rare, especially if mothers are nourished adequately. Because the vitamins and minerals in breast milk vary depending on a mother’s diet and body stores, researchers suggest that mothers continue to take multivitamins during lactation. Vitamin D levels are low in breast milk, particularly for moms who get little exposure to sunshine, so pediatricians recommend that breastfed infants are given a liquid vitamin D supplement in order to avoid a vitamin D deficiency. These supplements usually contain large amounts of the water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins that meet the recommended daily allowances for your baby. (3)

4. How do I store breast milk? Many mothers pump when they return to work and nurse at night and on the weekends; some decide to exclusively pump too. Many employed moms choose to use the fresh milk they pump at work for feedings the next day, and they refrigerate Friday’s milk for use on Monday (if they have the weekends off). It’s normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on the mother’s diet. You may also notice that stored milk separates into layers, and the cream rises to the top. Before feeding the baby this stored milk, gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the layers again, but do not shake the bottle.

Small amounts of cooled breast milk can be added to the same refrigerated container throughout the day, but avoid adding warm milk to already cooled milk. When you store milk in the freezer, leave room in the storage bag because liquids expand when frozen, and write the dates on the bags and use the oldest milk first.

5. How long can I store breast milk? It’s safe to store mother’s milk in the following ways:  At room temperature for four to six hours (66–78 degrees Fahrenheit)  In a cooler with frozen ice packs for 24 hours (59 degrees Fahrenheit)  In the refrigerator for three to six days (39 degrees Fahrenheit or lower)  In the freezer for six to 12 months (0–4 degrees Fahrenheit) Storing breast milk this way does not increase the possibility of bacterial contamination and growth of infectious pathogens in stored milk. However, the nutritional value of breast milk may be altered. Research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition indicates that store time should be limited to 48 hours in order to preserve the antioxidant activity of breast milk. Freezing breast milk resulted in a greater decrease of antioxidants than refrigeration. Researchers in Spain tested refrigerated and frozen breast milk over a 90-day period. They found that by three months from freezing breast milk, there’s a relevant and significant decline in the concentration of fat and energy content. The modification of total nitrogen and lactose was not constant and at lower magnitudes when breast milk was frozen. (6) Based on this research, I suggest that you use your frozen stash of breast milk for emergencies or to use when your baby begins eating solids that supply her with the nutrients she needs. When your baby begins eating a combination of foods at around six months of age, you can add frozen breast milk to smoothies or purees.

6. Does breast milk lose nutritional value when it’s stored for later use? According to research published in the International Breastfeeding Journal, bottle systems that are used to deliver expressed breast milk may reduce the concentration of vitamin C to less than 40 percent of the recommended daily intake for infant. The study included the analysis of four bottle systems that were sampled after 20 minutes of milk expression. Research published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition suggests that there’s a significant difference in the total antioxidant count of expressed breast milk after refrigeration and freezing when compared to the antioxidant count at zero hour. This includes a decline in vitamins C, A and E.

7. How do I heat or thaw breast milk? Do not microwave breast milk. Microwaving breast milk changes its composition, and it can cause severe burns to the baby’s mouth because of hot spots that develop in the milk. Thawed milk is safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours, but don’t refreeze milk once it’s thawed. If you need to thaw milk more quickly, run it under warm water or leave it in a sealed container or bottle in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes until it reaches body temperature. To warm milk that’s been stored in the refrigerator, it can be kept out at room temperature for three to six hours or placed in a bowl of warm water.

8. Does alcohol affect breast milk? Most mothers can drink in moderation while breastfeeding. According to La Leche League, it takes a 120-pound woman about three hours to eliminate the majority of the alcohol from her blood (and thus her milk) in each serving of beer or wine, so multiply the number of drinks you have by three to know how many hours it will take until your milk is mostly alcohol-free again. There’s no need to “pump and dump” every time you drink alcohol, as long as you’re able to wait before breastfeeding again.

9. Does caffeine affect breast milk? A 2012 study published in Pediatrics suggests that caffeine consumption during pregnancy and by nursing mothers does not have consequences on sleep of infants at the age of 3 months. In the study, infants until 3 months of age were unable to metabolize caffeine when mothers drank about three cups of coffee per day. However, other studies show that some infants can be sensitive to caffeine and display increased irritability and sleep disturbances when exposed to caffeine from breast milk. I recommend that mothers drink caffeine in moderation and make sure they drink plenty of water throughout the day as well — both in order to stay hydrated and avoid caffeine overdose.

Breast Milk Nutrition The first fluid produced by mothers after delivery is called colostrum. Colostrum is one of the most vital ingredients in breast milk, and it’s what is often referred to as “liquid gold.” It’s a thicker, yellowish breast milk that’s made in the later stages of pregnancy. Colostrum is loaded with nutrients and antibodies to give your baby exactly what she needs in her first days of life. After three days or so, the body naturally begins to make mature milk, which contains an ideal combination of protein, sugar, water and fat. Mature breast milk contains, on average, 1.1 percent protein, 4.2 percent fat and 7 percent carbohydrate; it supplies 72 calories of energy per 100 grams. Fat is the most highly variable macronutrient in milk. Hindmilk, which is the last milk of a feed, may contain two to three times the concentration of milk fat found in foremilk, the initial milk of a feed. This is why mothers are commonly advised to empty an entire breast prior to feeding from the other breast. As hindmilk is more energy-dense due to its higher fat content, this recommendation ensures that the infant’s satiety and energy needs for growth are met. Antibodies are also a vital part of the mother’s breast milk. Antibodies protect your vulnerable newborn from both viral and bacterial infections. According to a 2002 study published in Breastfeeding Review, infant formula-feeding is inferior to breastfeeding because human milk enhances the immature immunologic system of the infant and strengthens her defense mechanisms against infective and other foreign agents. Researchers indicate that there are bioactive factors in human milk, such as hormones, growth factors and colony-stimulating factors, as well as specific nutrients. Mother’s milk may also reduce the incidence of disease in infancy, and factors in breast milk promote gastrointestinal mucosal maturation, decrease the incidence of infection, alter gut microflora, and have immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory functions. Breast milk also has antioxidant properties. It contains vitamin C and E and enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Research suggests that all factors, conditions and problems affecting infants, especially those born prematurely, are the outcomes of one unifying disease — oxygen radical disease. If there are too many free radicals produced and too few antioxidants, a condition of oxidative stress develops, which may cause serious damage in infancy. A need to reduce oxidative stress and boost antioxidant defenses in these vulnerable infants is essential.

How to Increase Breast Milk Supply Many mothers fear that they aren’t making enough breast milk for their babies and are looking for natural ways to increase breast milk supply. There are some potential causes of low milk supply that should be addressed before you stress out about taking action to increase your supply (which may already be fine). The golden rule when breastfeeding is that nursing is a supply and demand process. If you’re supplementing with formula, then you won’t make enough breast milk because your body doesn’t know that it’s needed. Scheduled feedings may also interfere with your supply and demand cycle and can lead to a reduced supply, so try to nurse your baby whenever she’s hungry. To establish your supply when the baby is very young, nurse her about every two hours during the day and every four hours at night, and use both breasts. Frequent feedings ensure that your breasts are stimulated enough to establish a full milk supply. The more milk that’s removed from your breasts, the more milk your body will produce. Supply issues may be caused by the baby not latching properly (which can be due to sleepiness, being used to the bottle or use of nipple shields), so seek advice from a lactation counselor if you think this may be the issue. Adding pumping sessions after nursing sessions can also be helpful, especially if your baby isn’t eating frequently enough. If you’re working and need to pump milk for your baby, plan to pump your milk two to three times while you’re away from your baby. Each day’s pumping should provide enough milk for the next day’s time at day care or with a sitter. Galactogogues (like fenugreek, blessed thistle and alfalfa) are used to increase breast milk production, but researchers suggest that this should only be done when all nonpharmacologic recommendations are exhausted. The efficacy and safety data regarding galactogogues use is limited, and more studies are needed to evaluate the herbs’ effects on breast milk production.

Flora force fenugreek ad

Have you ever really listened to how you talk to your children? I mean really listened. Do it, do it now. It could be the most important thing you ever do for them. Now think about how many positive things you’ve said and weigh it up against all the negative and nagging ones. Surprised? I was. It’s nearly 15 years since I took on the position of Mum, the most rewarding and amazing role I have ever stepped into. With each name change from Mummy to Mumma then Mum came learning curves, challenges and hindsight all which have shaped a mum style which I have finally fine tuned and stuck with. I’m by no means and expert and not saying how I do things is right, but it fits for our family and that’ll do for now.

As a positive parent, I try seeing things through my children’s eyes and speak to them as I would like to be spoken to myself. The hindsight thing I mentioned, never underestimate that, it’s a gift as well as a curse but you’re never too old to stop learning and being a better person, a better parent. We’ve all had the experience of hearing that Mum or Dad yell at their child, shaming them in public, scaring them and not giving them an opportunity to understand what they did wrong. How did that make you feel? Uncomfortable I bet, just think how that child felt. Sure, there are times when its a matter of life or death, flight or fight and you need a short sharp shock, but it’s how you act in the aftermath that determines the best response. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life. How are we supposed to teach a child safety and respect if we don’t speak them positively and respectfully ourselves? I listened to how I spoke to my now teenager, it was shocking and sad. Don’t touch, don’t run, stop dawdling behind.

The revelation that I was being a negative parent came one day as we walked home from preschool and a cat ran away from us, I commented that the cat mustn’t like people and my son’s response changed how I parented from that very moment on; “no Mummy, he probably saw your cross face and was scared.” Powerful words out of the mouths of babes.

I realised that not only was I verbally negative with my constant “no’s” and “don’ts” I looked negative, my face could tell a 1000 words, so instead I did this; Walk don’t run It’s a well know fact that you’re much better telling a child to “walk” and “not run”, as their understanding is developing, they’re more likely to hear and follow the last word you say. So I started there. I gave positives in place of negatives. Compliment don’t criticise Did you know for every 1 criticism it takes 10 positives to make a person feel better? For a child who’s self esteem and self worth is still in production and so delicate, this is more important than ever. You’re shaping an adult from the moment they’re born. The building blocks for future success in relationships, work and friendships start from the day the arrive. Tell them how amazing they are and they’ll believe it. Smile, laugh, love Empathy is the key to so much, it’s how we read situations and how we are accepted, if we can learn to know and understand how other people are feeling, then life is just that little bit nicer for everyone. Don’t assume it’s automatic, you need to experience empathy to show it. If your child is worried, scared or sad, acknowledge it. It might be nothing to you but to them its a big deal. Smile when they smile, laugh when they laugh, love when they need love. Always acknowledge and value their emotions. I’m still learning, I still have days when I realise I’ve let opportunities for a compliment pass and gone straight for the telling off, but tomorrow’s another day. It’s never too late to be that parent you aspire to be. Don’t be the parent yelling in the park.

Hi, I’m Ali, a fresh into 40, single mum of 3 boys living on the Devon coast with my Toddler, Pre teen and Teenager. I’m a positive thinker and recently began a switching to a healthier, clean living lifestyle; Giving up meat, reducing my sugar intake and limiting chemicals within the home and my beauty regime. Just to see if I could. And I can.

Single Parenting: Love Letters to My Sons

By Renee Brown

Many, many years ago when I was a fierce single mom with two wild and crazy boys. (Yeah, it’s ok if you want to feel sorry for that stage of my life.) I often felt I was just surviving each day. Truth be told, I likely was, as I was in charge of raising the boys almost 100 percent on my own, working full-time (and then some), running a household, and managing a yard. Life was nuts. On top of all of that, I was genuinely concerned that we were missing out on our lives; that running all over every day meant I wasn’t really being in the moment. And, if that was true, how on earth would the boys and I be able to look back and have memories of their childhoods? Would we primarily remember racing to daycare, soccer and the grocery store? Because I am an overachiever, I also worried about the trauma of divorce on my young children’s psyche. Throw all of this together and it’s one heavy wet blanket.

But this story doesn’t end there. Somewhere in my ruminating brain, I came up with an idea. I had been a consistent journal writer most of my life, even though that abated quite a bit when I became a mother. I loved the idea of scrapbooking but abhorred the thought of all of the supplies (which, let’s be real, I couldn’t afford anyway). With the determination to document at least part of their lives, I fashioned an idea: I made a promise to myself that every year, on each boy’s birthday, I would write that son a letter. The letter would talk about his life right then. What he loved doing, who his favorite friends were, the songs we sang to in the car, the attributes I admired in him. It would be a mini-time capsule. And instead of giving the letter to my son as soon as I wrote it, I’d tuck it away. And so it began, this new tradition of mine. At first, I had to write a reminder on my calendar or the birthday time would slip by me, but eventually, it became a fun new habit. I had a blast capturing the year for each son.

To awaken memories, before I started each letter I would sift through photographs and artwork, and as the boys got older, school papers and memorabilia. Now, I can’t say I did this perfectly. There were a couple years here and there where there was no birthday letter. I have gone over this time and time again, and cannot remember what the reasons were. Likely there was some chaos that had me trying to get over some life hump, rather than practicing this precious tradition. As I write this, my boys are 21 and 19. And guess what? I still haven’t given them their letters. I’m not sure why; I likely just haven’t settled on a way to present them. Find a large enough wooden box? Tie up all the letters with twine? I can’t come up with a solution that feels right, and so we wait. I also never settled on an age to end the letters. I’ve just kept going and loving the experience. Truth be told, I’m a little jealous of what they have waiting for them. I’d deeply love a collection of letters about the girl I used to be and her favorite things. But instead, this will be one of those joyful situations where I will give the gift, then sit back and revel in my sons’ surprise and delight at revisiting their childhoods. It will be a moment in which I can heartily celebrate a job well done.

FINANCIAL TRAINING IN THE FESTIVE SEASON While there are many ways to improve your financial intelligence, not many can afford it or have the time to sit with their kids one-on-one. Us 21st century parents are always on the go and are barely able to do homework with our children every day. What better way to spend quality time with your children this festive season than giving them the skills they will need when they reach adulthood and the financial responsibilities that come with the title. The festive season is characterised by running an endless list of errands in preparation for that all important day - Christmas. From shopping for presents to spending quality time with your beloved stove to give your loved ones the Christmas dinner fit for royalty, it all comes down to just 24-hours going joyously well. But what of your kids’ preparation to become financially responsible adults? Having free time to do nothing is the best part of the festive season according to any child you ask. Parents are either on official leave, have closed for the year at their place of business or have ceased all business until the following year to recharge for the new year. This is the perfect time to start their financial training and do it at an appropriate pace.

As parents, we tend to equate our children’s learning ability to their age. We are guilty of coddling our children and doing everything for them when they can do it themselves.

Conscious Life Magazine

A 2010 Gesell Institute study found that though there is a clear path all children's brains take; each child has his/her own rate of reaching milestones. Hence parents cannot skip stages ahead of their children’s cognitive development. Children’s financial development, however, seems to be overlooked at every milestone reached. Combining their cognitive developments with their financial training may be the formula that parents should implement to raise kids that are capable of logical financial decisions in adulthood. Starting them young is key. The ages between four and twelve is when the first learning neural pathways are developing in a child’s brain and that’s when we need to start to teach them about financial intelligence. Let us not repeat the words our parents said to us to the next generation; “I wish I knew then what I know now.”

Training them from toddlerhood to do “grown-up” tasks is a mission, albeit a short lived one. Start small when it comes to the chores your child can do. They can be jobs that that give them a sense of independence like letting them make the bed in the morning. Once children start to realize that mom and dad are a reserve bank bursting at the seams with money, they will begin asking more and more. The “I want [fill in ridiculously expensive toy’s name here]” conversations usually start between the ages of 3 and 5. This is the stage in parenthood where doing the shopping alone is preferred over taking your kids with. Avoiding the hassle of saying “No!” to your child when they see something shiny at the store is something that comes first on your monthly grocery list. It is a battle field riddled with time bombs otherwise known as tantrums. Between ages 4 and 6, your child is learning the magic of maths. He/she is constantly coming up to you and trying to impress you by counting to a grand total of ten. Parents can use this to their advantage. You can link their math to money by introducing them to it. When I say money, I mean the coins and bank notes that make up our currency. Introduce them to a coin a day and explain its worth by listing what he/she can buy with it. You can even show them coins that are no longer in use today. This will open their minds up to the physical concept of money and help them ace their maths homework every time. Money Savvy Kids is not just a product. It is a pathway to developing mind-sets that will ensure South Africa’s children not only work their way out of poverty, but that they have the tools to stay out. Financial education can make a difference. It can empower and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take charge of their lives and build a more secure future for themselves and their future families.

For more tools for raising money savvy kids, download our book ‘Raising Money Savvy Kids’ by Kathryn Main from our website link below for only R50: ct/raising-money-savvy-kids/ Activities: Suggesting an arts and crafts session to your four to six-year-old to create your own money will put you right up there as the greatest. Using that opportunity to teach him/her about money will have your child a step closer to understanding the inner workings of the real world.

While picking the colours of your makebelieve money, you can start the money conversation. You can start with, “Did you know that money is made by the reserve bank?” And when they ask questions, you can fill in the blanks for them. Remember to throw statements at them that will evoke them to ask more questions. Here is a list of statements to get your child interested: 1.

2. 3.

Did you know that there are other types of money other than the one we use every day? Do you know how mom and dad get money to buy everything in the house? Do you know where we keep our money safe?

Hurling these statement and questions at your four-year-old while you make your fake money is a fun way to get them interested in the institution of money and get them to understand how money will be an integral part of their future. It is your job, after all, to talk about financial responsibility with your kids.

Once you are done creating your new currency, you can start to explain the concept of money and how it is spent in the household by using your pretend currency as a physical substitute. Use the pile of notes to represent the money that mom, and dad earn to ensure that the family has everything it needs. Then list the family’s monthly expenses – this can range from groceries, entertainment, etc., - and draw from the pile for each. This shows how the family spends money monthly. You can explain how the remaining money from the pile goes to savings such as the family holiday or his/her future university fees. Despite what many parents may think, children between these ages understand money because they are exposed to it every day either at home or when they are with friends at school. Reciting the money poem below with your child is a fun way for them to learn too. It is also a familiar method of learning for children in this age group. They learn through nursery rhymes in grade R and by doing things that make their imagination come alive. Parents can recite with their kids as many times as they wish per week for a few weeks and ask basic questions that will help them gauge how well their children are grasping the concept.


Enter to WIN One of 5 Copies of Raising Money Savvy Kids eBook!

Raising Money Savvy Kids is a book for all parents who want to start giving their kids the financial education they never had. Financial literacy is a cornerstone of prosperity and security. It builds confidence and knowledge in the lives of individuals and the country. We cannot address the issues of financial inclusion and equitable and sustainable socio-economic development without addressing financial literacy. To Enter: 1. Email us at Subject: Raising Money Savvy Kids 2. Answer this Question: What are the first two lines of the money poem in the Money Savvy Kids Article this month? 3. Elect 3 friends to receive Conscious Life Magazine for free by including their email addresses. Terms & Conditions: The Competition Ends on the 31st of January 2017 at 12pm. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The competition is not open to directors, agents, employees or consultants of Money Savvy Kids. Or Conscious Life Magazine. The competition is not open to readers who have won a prize with us in the last 6 months.

Child of The Universe Magazine

Raising Kids Positively Raising Kids Positively is all about improving your relationship with your children, growing their emotional intelligence, and a balance of kind and firm discipline. Psychologist Carol Surya makes this easy with her new website and three easy-to-use routes: a children’s self-esteem game, a conscious parenting book and workshops. InnerMagic Perfect for today’s busy families, is a game to consciously spend more quality time together, without devices or distractions. Expertly designed for selfreflection, self-expression and empowerment, InnerMagic benefits include teaching emotional intelligence while also strengthening all areas of development as you play! Everyone loves it because it gets all players moving, thinking and speaking. Magically encouraging children to talk more easily, develop critical thinking and practice making healthy choices. Ideal for parents, grandparents and educators to play with 5 to 13 year olds.

Order yours today and be reminded of your inner potential. All information available on Email : Phone: (044) 533-5655 Mobile:: 071 671 6337

The Magic of Mindfulness Author Carmen Clews has found a magical way to bring mindfulness into your home and school! “The Magic Mat and its little secret…” is a delightful children’s book (with free DVD animation) offering fun, physical stretching and calming techniques to develop happy, relaxed, loving and healthy children. Used as a story at bedtime, or done actively with the DVD at home or as a group activity in the classroom - with regular use the benefits are magical. Children relax more, improving in balance and co-ordination, as well as memory, focus, patience and selfcontrol. Readers (age 5 to 12) hop on board their very own Magic Mat, transforming them into animals with various beautiful qualities. Finally, they relax, discovering their own higher selves, learning to feel love, compassion and gratitude. Read what buyers say about this magical tool kit, visit the Facebook page, watch the video clip – or simply order yours today.

The Planting Seeds for Life Education Series, also by Carmen Clews, teaches mindfulness and positive values to children aged 10 to 14 years. Enchanting African stories guide the reader through group discussions, visualizations, songs and other learning activities all aimed at improving well-being. The book’s 25 “seeds”, each written as a lesson plan, include the essential life skills of making wise choices; improving communication; managing emotions; problem solving; forgiveness; positive thinking; self-reliance and environmental conservation. If only we’d all learned these skills at school.

Contact details : Website : Email : Video : Magic Mat Seeds for Life

December is a time for giving, showing love & appreciation for those you cherish and love. Here are some lovely gift ideas to help you cherish the ones you love this year‌

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At Boody, form meets function. Our bamboo basics for adults and babies are cleverly designed, skin-healthy, eco-friendly and wonderfully soft. Boody fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. Affordable luxury, every day.

Boody Long Sleeve Onesie Sky: R379.95 Boody Baby T-Shirt Rose: R199.95 Boody Muslin Wrap 2 pack: R429.95

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Angel Care 403 Snuggletime Co-Sleeper Nest: Snuggletime Co-Sleeper Camp Movement & Sound •Secure sleep space for baby Cot: Monitor •The ideal two-in-one co-sleeper in the comfort of your bed •LCD sound monitor with •Breathable mesh lining camp cot (from birth to three sensor pad •Compact, space saving years) •Digital room design •Use as an add-on bedside crib temperature display R950 or stand-alone camp cot •Soothing night light Baby City and Baby Boom •Drop-down side provides easy R1999 access to soothe and comfort Available at: Baby City, baby Baby Boom, Toys R Us, R1499.00 Dischem & Available at: Baby City, Baby Boom & Toys R Us For more info and full list of stockists please go to

Make a Unique Tree of Life Dreamcatcher Using T-Shirt Yarn

Have you ever worked with T-shirt yarn? It’s like ordinary yarn or wool just thicker and there are so many things you can do with it. You can buy it at any self respecting haberdashery or wool shop or you can make your own. I bought three balls a while back on sale and with all the rain we’ve been having it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to make something. If you follow our blog you may know that I have a deep fascination with the Tree of Life. So with that in mind, I decided to make this Tree of Life dreamcatcher using the T-shirt yarn and other bits and pieces. If you’d like to make your own all you need besides the yarn is a large ring or embroidery hoop and some fabric scraps. The ring we used is from an old lamp shade and measures 38.5 cm across.

Start by cutting the yarn into strips that are 2 and a bit times the diameter of the ring. You don’t have to measure the bits exactly as long as they are twice the length of the diameter.

Take three of the strips and knot them together, then slip them over the ring.

Tie knot and slip over the ring Plait, or braid the strips together to form a twig and then add another group of strips to form a new twig. Join the twigs together to form a branch.

Plait the strips together The only thing to remember is to try and make each twig and branch a little different. Trees in nature are not uniform, some branches are thinner than others and branches often cross over each other. To create thinner branches I used a single strand of T-shirt yarn tied to the ring.

Joining the plait branches

Carry on adding twigs and plaiting them together to form branches until you’re happy with the look. I usually divide my circle into thirds so I know when to stop making branches.

Work around the ring Once you have enough branches, plait them all together to form the trunk of the tree. When I make the trunk I plait it a little further than the 2/3 mark. I prefer a longer trunk, but it’s entirely up to you. As long as you leave enough space for the roots. To make the roots simply split the “trunk” T-shirt strips into 3 to 5 groups and then plait and split, plait an split until you can tie them to the “bottom” of the ring. Leave the loose strands.

Splitting the trunk The tree of life should look something like this, but with your own unique touch

To finish off the Tree of Life dreamcatcher, wrap a strip of the T-shirt yarn around the ring. It helps to separate the roots and branches. Finally add bits of fabric, beads or anything else that makes your dreamcatcher special. I used lace, ribbon, bits from an old pillow case and some feathers and just tied them to the “bottom� of the ring. Try creating lots of layers and textures by braiding bits together or tying knots at different intervals. The possibilities are endless and should be as unique as what you are!

How do we inspire our kids to be more grateful? By Rebecca Wolthers

So, in today’s modern world, how do you inspire children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude instead of an “attitude”, if you know what I mean? Many psychologists have studied gratitude and its effects on our well being. People who are more grateful seem to lead more satisfying lives and are more resilient in a crisis or under pressure. I for one definitely want that for my whole family! Rudolf Steiner, known for creating Waldorf Education, said this “Gratitude is the basis for love. When children deepen their appreciation for the natural world, they deepen their love for all of creation.” An easy way to start is to simply as your kids, “What are three things you are grateful for today?” Or, for younger ones, try a rhyme or a song that appeals to you. Giving thanks before a meal is another powerful way to inspire gratitude. Here’s a sweet one for the younger kiddos:

The eagle gives thanks for the mountains, The fish gives thanks for the sea We give our blessings for the food we are about to receive.

The Fretful Five “5 common child issues and some guiding help from a Clinical Psychologist� 1.

School Ghouls

Every child is unique and this means that going to school can be traumatic for the more sensitive child. Children often present with feelings of anxiety on school mornings and in some households this may even lead to a heart-breaking struggle to get ready and out of the door. Whilst this may be due to harmless and normal feelings of missing mom or dad, remember that anxiety may also present as physical troubles such as a tummy ache, sleeping issues or loss of appetite. Try giving a child a small 'transitional' object or fluffy toy to keep in her pocket. Assure her that you understand that it is scary to leave for the day, but that this object with be with her and in that way you will be there with her too. School avoidance that persists or accompanies bed-wetting or more severe anxiety should be investigated.


Slumber Shut Down

Bedtime can become a nightly battle for both small children and toddlers. Ideally, healthy sleeping habits should be instilled in the early months of life, but understandably parents often choose to sit with their children until they fall sleep or let their little ones sleep in the 'adult' bed with them. This may then lead to a child feeling the natural emotions of rejection and distress when the sleeping setup changes. The good news is that it's never too late for routine - it just may take some hard work, persistence and consistency. The key here is the less fuss, the better.

Speak gently yet firmly and explain to your child the new arrangement. "Mom is going to sit with you in your own room for a little bit and then you're going to go to sleep like a big girl." Children understand a lot more than we may realize. You may also want to give them a transitional object such as an item of your clothing to sleep with that holds your body warmth and smell. Every other night or so, try to move further away from their bed or cot. Avoid singing, and if they stir or fret, assure them you are there. You may move closer to them if you like but not right back to the bed. This process takes time and consistency and you as a parent will be able to judge as to how far you move and the pace at which you increase the distance. There are also natural products available that do not contain sedatives – a great help to naturally soothe a child into slumber.

3. The Midnight Monster It's very natural for a child to be afraid of the dark. Biologically we are programmed to fear the unknown and darkness is not pleasant for a young child. Added to this are the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) messages in television and books regarding evil villains and 'baddies'. If your child develops a specific fear or phobia out of the blue it is important to identify the cause. If you have a cause, you have a starting point. Of course some children develop fear of the dark or bad dreams as a natural occurrence. Remember, the brain 'sorts through' our sub-conscious at night and not all the information processed is guaranteed to be pleasant. Night lights are a great way to instill confidence for a child as are pleasant toys on the bed and again, a personal object from mom or dad. It is essential not to feed into the fear, so avoid saying: "This will keep the monster away." Rather, assure your child that there are no monsters – but that you understand that they are frightened. Repeated nightmares or night terrors are a more advanced form anxiety and may need treatment. Children who suffer night terrors are inconsolable and often seem to be in a trance like state. If your child experiences episodes of severe night terrors, consult with your doctor or pediatrician.

4. The Shout and Pout A child who shows her independence and her own will is a healthy child. It shows that she has a sense of self and set likes and dislikes. However, tantrums on a regular basis can become something that needs to be addressed. When tantrums affect daily life and negatively impact on the family or cause physical symptoms for the child (such as vomiting or crying to the point of breathing problems) then appropriate steps should be taken to remedy the situation for all concerned

Try to always approach the situation in a calm and adult manner (remember you are the parent and reacting with similar childish quips will do no good). When speaking to your child, drop to her level so that you're in an eye-to-eye position with her. Compromise is often the secret. Remember to give your child a choice: "Do you want to wear the blue dress or the pink dress?" In this way, you are making it clear that she has to get dressed, but that she will still have a say in the matter. Another key is distraction – learn the cues of an impending tantrum and when they present, distract your child in a positive manner: "Because you're such a clever girl, mom needs you help with the shopping list.“

5. My 'Friend' Joe Many children go through the phase of having an imaginary friend. Again this is a natural phase born out of a furtive imagination and a natural need to dispel loneliness. A makebelieve friend can help a child to cope with certain situations and allow a child to talk to you 'through' this imaginary persona: "Joe doesn't like asparagus" and so on. This can provide a handy and sometimes necessary go between for communication. Take your cue for your child – if she wants you to include Joe in a meal, do so. As long as the imaginary companionship does not disrupt a child's daily life, there is no need to worry… it’s a natural phase that will pass in due course.

There are great natural remedies available to help instill confidence and allay fears and anxiety in children. Child-safe natural remedies can provide much needed support without the risk of addiction or side effects.

“Parents – The Divine truth is that your parents eternally love you to the best of their ability. The Angels are helping you heal from any pain associated with your mother or father.� So many have issues with either their father or mother or perhaps both parents which go really deep and can be very distressing and hurtful. It is not the parents who choose the child. The child always chooses the parents before they come into an incarnation. This choice is made very carefully and with the help of the Lords of Karma to enable you to finish and learn lessons that still need to be completed. You will therefore come into the incarnation with lessons to learn from your parents but also with lessons to teach them. However what invariably happens is that when the lessons come up you choose not to complete them and so they are repeated over and over again until you eventually acknowledge them and start to deal with them.

Family are called relations yet many choose not to have a relationship with them and would rather avoid them as they often bring difficult challenges and lessons to the fore. Embrace these challenges and deal with them as soon as you are able to. Give thanks and gratitude for being allowed to complete the lessons and then move forward as you are meant to. Your mother and father are a gift that you have been given to assist you on your Divine Life Path. Acknowledge this and thank them for they are your greatest teachers.

Angel light and blessings Margi (Angel Connection)

Interpretation by Margi of Angel Therapy Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

The Alkaline Diet: What Is It And Does It Work?

The alkaline diet is making news headlines. Why? Because the modern diet is increasing the acid content of our bodies. threatening our pH levels – the delicate but vital balance of alkali and acid in our systems. Let’s discuss the alkaline diet, how it works and if it’s worth it.. If you’re getting through your day on coffee, sweets, snacks, fast foods and after-work wine or beer (come on, we’ve seen those queues!), think twice. Your amazing body is, as they say, ‘a finely tuned machine’. It’s quite capable of maintaining that fine-tuning, and that includes the delicate job of balancing the levels of acid or alkaline (the pH levels) in its fluids and tissues. Your body needs a tightly controlled pH level of 7.365 to 7.4 in its blood to function properly. If you eat poorly, the levels of acid in your system increase. That weakens your body’s defenses against degenerative diseases such as bone loss, arthritis and muscle wasting, and even tumours. ‘Even very tiny alterations in the pH level of various organisms can cause major problems,’ says natural health practitioner Dr Josh Axe.

So what is an alkaline diet?

We are what we eat

An alkaline diet helps balance the pH level of the fluids in your body, including your blood and urine. Your pH level is partially determined by the mineral density of the foods you eat, so eating an alkaline diet can help to:

In the past two centuries, mass industrialisation of our food supply has disturbed the mineral balance in our diet. So the food we eat contains less potassium, magnesium and chloride, but far more sodium (salt) than before. Normally, our kidneys keep our levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium stable. But a diet of overly acidic foods places a strain on this function. We’re simply eating too many refined fats, simple sugars, sodium and chloride. And the result? We’re ageing faster, our organs are battling to work properly, our muscle strength is declining, and we’re losing bone mass. High acidity levels are robbing our bodies of vital minerals. And you know what? These conditions are avoidable…

Improve the ratio between potassium and sodium, which may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, and ease other chronic diseases such as hypertension and stroke. • Increase magnesium – needed to activate vitamin D. • Improve the production of growth hormones and vitamin D absorption, which also help protect bones and ease other chronic diseases. Growth hormones also promote cardiovascular health, memory and cognition. • Help fight inflammation, and possibly help benefit certain chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH.

Take our advice to alkalinity in your body: • •

Wonder what ‘pH level’ means? What we call pH is short for the potential of hydrogen, and is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The more acidic a solution is, the lower its pH (battery acid is 0; bleach has a pH of 13). The more alkaline, the higher the number is. pH levels vary throughout the body (the stomach is the most acidic area), but the optimal human body tends to be around 7.4.

• •


Get fresh. Eat seven to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. (You’ll find a comprehensive list here.) That includes all our favourites: avocado, baby potatoes, broccoli, bananas, ginger, garlic, lemons (yes!) and olive oil. Look to that perennial favourite – the Mediterranean diet. Raw foods are the best. Most fruit and veg can be used fresh in salads – in fact, cooking depletes foods of their alkalising minerals. Tired of salads? Try steaming foods lightly. Juicing is good too, especially when you add fresh or powdered grasses – they’re a great source of chlorophyll, which helps alkalise the blood. Up your intake of plant proteins. Eat nuts, especially almonds, seeds such as raw pumpkin seeds, and beans. Exercise daily, but don’t spend hours at the gym. Breathe deeply. You inhale oxygen and exhale acidic carbon dioxide. And relax too!

Take our advice to improve alkalinity in your body: • •

• • •

Get fresh. Eat seven to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. (You’ll find a comprehensive list here.) That includes all our favourites: avocado, baby potatoes, broccoli, bananas, ginger, garlic, lemons (yes!) and olive oil. Look to that perennial favourite – the Mediterranean diet. Raw foods are the best. Most fruit and veg can be used fresh in salads – in fact, cooking depletes foods of their alkalising minerals. Tired of salads? Try steaming foods lightly. Juicing is good too, especially when you add fresh or powdered grasses – they’re a great source of chlorophyll, which helps alkalise the blood. Up your intake of plant proteins. Eat nuts, especially almonds, seeds such as raw pumpkin seeds, and beans. Exercise daily, but don’t spend hours at the gym. Breathe deeply. You inhale oxygen and exhale acidic carbon dioxide. And relax too!

• •

Artificial sweeteners. Trans fats, sugar, refined salts, refined foods, fast foods, takeaways, alcohol, tobacco, pizza, chips, chocolate, ice cream. You know the drill!

Chronic stress, not enough fibre, lack of exercise (or over-exercising), pesticides and pollution can also increase your body’s acid levels

Foods to avoid These foods contribute most to acidity and inflammation – cut them out if you already have acidity related conditions, or eat them in moderation to support your wellness: • • • • •

High-sodium foods such as processed meats and cheeses. High sugar / refined carbohydrate containing processed breakfast cereals such as corn flakes, rice crispies, etc. Eggs. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Pasta, rice, bread and packaged grain products. All grains, whole or not, create acidity. (Although barley and oats are only mildly acidic.)

Conscious Life Magazine

Support your body with wholeherb products Whole-herb products may help balance your body naturally – in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise and the recommendations listed above. Turmeric may help alkalise your body, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps your liver, digestion and metabolism. Get Turmeric capsules here. Cayenne is highly alkaline, with natural anti-inflammatory properties. Get Cayenne capsules here. Turmerynne™ combines both turmeric and cayenne with a shot of black pepper to aid absorption – perfect if you’d rather take just a single capsule. Get Turmerynne™ capsules here. Ginger has a pH of 5.6 to 5.9, similar to that of figs, fennel, leeks, parsnips and romaine lettuce. Ginger also improves digestion and boosts blood flow. Get Ginger capsules here

Flora Force wishes you a healthy, energetic spring! CAUTION Consult your health practitioner before taking any herbal supplements. Always consult your health practitioner before taking any herbal supplements, especially if you are taking other medication, and especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. References Axe, J. Alkaline diet: The key to longevity and fighting chronic disease? New Life Nutrition. Schwalfenberg, G.K.The alkaline diet: Is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012. 5546/

Conscious Life Magazine

Conscious Life Magazine

Treatments for allergies 10 all natural options to relieve allergies Spring is here. Yay! Or not, if you’re one of the millions for whom spring means itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and a streaming nose. Help is at hand – we bring you 10 allnatural treatments for allergies. By Judy Beyer The change of seasons can be a mixed blessing. Spring and autumn may be beautiful, but they’re treacherous if all that pollen and dust in the air trigger soggy misery. Many over-the-counter remedies clear your head but leave you feeling lethargic. So what’s the natural alternative? Well, the truth is that there are no silver-bullet natural treatments for allergies. But if you want to keep your symptoms to a minimum now and into the future, these lifestyle changes offer the healthiest and most natural long-term solutions to your wheezes.

Try our 10 all-natural treatments for allergies – and let us know what works for you:  Apple cider vinegar is one of the age-old treatments for allergies. It’s said to help reduce mucus production and cleanse the lymphatic system. You need to use it consistently. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and ½ tablespoon raw honey – drink three times a day.  Rinse your sinuses. Get a neti pot (available online or from large pharmacies and health shops). This teapot-shaped vessel basically flushes out your sinuses with a salt-water mixture. ‘Rinsing the nose with saline solution is similar to using saline eye drops to rinse out pollen,’ says Dr Steven Osborne, a medical officer in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Use a pre-made saline rinse or make your own by dissolving 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or sea salt in a litre of boiled distilled water. Once cool, decant into the neti pot and pour through one nostril, letting the liquid drain out the other. A word of warning from the Mayo Clinic: if you use tap water, make sure to boil it for a few minutes before using it. And clean the pot properly – bacteria in tap water can cause infections.  Local honey.. There’s little scientific evidence to back this one, but many people who have used local honey to immunise their bodies against seasonal allergies swear by its effectiveness. There are no side effects (unless you are allergic to bees, of course), so take a teaspoonful twice a day to relieve symptoms. (Remember that young children should not have raw honey.) Check with your healthcare practitioner beforehand.

 Shut the windows and turn on the aircon. Create a barrier between you and the outdoors. According to Dr Myngoc Nguyen of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in the US, ‘Using an air conditioner in your car can cut the amount of pollen you breathe by as much as 30 per cent.’  Balance your gut bacteria. Allergies are caused by an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to experience extreme reactions to certain stimuli. Research from the US has linked the presence of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut with reduced allergic reactions. So make sure your diet is varied, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha and kefir. And take a good-quality probiotic capsule.  Drink green tea. A Japanese study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that the anti-oxidant EGCG (methylated epigallocatechin gallate) in green tea blocks the production of histamine and reduces the production of immunoglobulin E, both of which trigger allergy symptoms.  Take quercetin. This anti-oxidant, found in many fruits and vegetables, has an antiinflammatory effect that helps quell allergic symptoms. A Japanese study found that taking quercetin daily for eight weeks significantly reduced itching and irritation of the eyes in people with pollen allergies.  Up your intake of fish oil. Research published in the American Review of Respiratory Diseases found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, which are potent anti-inflammatories, reduced the symptoms of asthmatics who were sensitive to pollen. Fish oil lowers the levels of leukotriene's, chemicals that prompt allergic reactions.  Change your clothes. One of the really simple treatments for allergies is to prevent pollen spreading in your home by changing your clothes and shoes after venturing outside during allergy season. Pet fur carries pollen too, so keep dogs and cats as clean as possible.  Take a good-quality allergy fighter. Many over-the-counter allergy remedies make you sleepy. Flora Force AllergoTM combines all-natural ingredients that may help reduce allergic irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes without making you nod off at your desk. It’s one of our favourite go-to products for allergies.

We wish you a sneeze-free holiday season! A unique formulation of herbal, homeopathic, nutritional and mineral ingredients with enhanced bio-availability in a synergistic combination. Reduces allergic irritation and inflammation of mucous membranes. Lessens secondary complications of respiratory system, sinuses, post-nasal drip and allergic skin conditions. Restores sleep and recovery. It is a non-sedative formulation that improves quality of life. The action of the constituents is anti-allergic, anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory, controlling the effect of T-lymphocytes, reducing allergy- inducing antibody levels. Stabilising effect on mast cells and histamine release. It inhibits prostaglandin formation and inflammation. AllergoTM also has anti-asthmatic/broncho-dilatory properties; it eases coughing spasms and reduces mucus. 30 capsules.

FIND & BOOK ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION IN SOUTH AFRICA is your green heart guide to eco-friendly accommodation throughout beautiful South Africa. We partner with all kinds of accommodation establishments that operate in an eco-friendly, sustainable and responsible way. So whether you opt for a luxury boutique hotel or rustic tree house, you can feel good knowing your holiday supports a place that serves the environment and community in a positive way. To help you make these good choices, we are committed to growing a wonderful selection of urban and country, luxury and rustic green accommodation options where you will love to stay! Search for your next green getaway on by location or type; the Check Availability & Book Online green button will enable you to check real-time availability, make a booking & secure online payment through the Nightsbridge booking system at no extra charge.

WHAT IS ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION? Eco-friendly accommodation is defined as a lodging establishment with structural features that minimize the impact and footprint on the environment; as well as well as those that follow green living, sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

WHAT ARE GREEN HEARTS? Look out for the Green Hearts Seal of each establishment. We are proud to showcase all of our members and love to highlight their specific efforts to protect and conserve the environment. Seals display between 1-5 Green Hearts as awarded to them for their positive Green Acts. Here`s more info!

Conscious Life Magazine

When a Pet Dies, How Can You Help Your Kids Say Goodbye? Here’s the one security question I still can’t choose: “What was the name of your first pet?” I was 13 that October, right around the time when the weather turns in Tennessee so that I needed a jacket before I left for school that morning. I ran back in to grab the old Patagonia off the hook when I heard the summons from my mother to check Amber’s food bowl before I left. Amber, our golden retriever, the dog we drove over an hour to pick out of a brand new litter on a small farm outside of town, and who had been my sidekick for seven years. That dog was mine. I named her in the back of the minivan before we’d left the gravel drive of the farm, picking at random, because that’s how you name a dog when you’re six. I was in a hurry when I checked her food, worrying about missing my ride and the Latin test I had later that day. But I sought her out, in her favorite lawn chair where she sat like a person with legs tucked under her, and I kissed the soft fur right between her eyes. And then I ran out the door.

And then Amber was gone. My parents took her to be “put down” while I was at school. I hadn’t known. Her bowl was gone when I came home. They say “out of sight, out of mind,” but it’s not true. Out of sight is in the mind, locked and sealed with nowhere to go. Without a proper goodbye, I was always rounding corners, expecting Amber to be there. I was crying over hair shed on the couch and absently grabbing for a leash that wasn’t there to take her for a walk. She’d had cancer. I knew she didn’t have long. It was the right thing to do. But I never got my moment. I never got to look into her eyes and tell her that I loved her. In my mind, I’m still calling her in from the yard. I won’t do that with my kids. As hard as it may be, I want them to have a proper goodbye when the time comes. I owe it to them and to their animals – their companions and sidekicks. Here are five ways I’m going to help them say farewell:

Prepare Our family dog is 12. She’s doing well, but I’ve noticed the gray in her muzzle and how long it takes her to stand up, like me unfolding myself from the car after a road trip. When the times comes that she can no longer maneuver herself down the back steps to the yard, when she is in too much pain to enjoy her life, we will sit the kids down and talk to them about how she is unable to do what she once did. How she is tired and ready to rest. We will give them time to love on her and whisper the secrets in her twitching ear that they still have left to share.

Tell the truth I’m not going to say she “went to sleep” or “went to the farm.” That doesn’t help the grieving process, even though the words “she has died” makes my stomach plummet three

feet to the floor. They have to understand what happened to her, to wrap their little minds around the idea that things that have a beginning also an end. And then we will watch “All Dogs Go to Heaven”, because I’m going to need it.

Plan a memorial Letting children decide how to honor their pet is key. I kept Amber’s collar and tags in my hope chest along with handmade quilts and my favorite Indigo Girls album. We buried her in our backyard under the strawberry plants she always got to before we did. I want my kids to be able to choose how to honor our dog. Poems, speeches, favorite foods and walks, best memories and pictures are up for their choosing. It’s their goodbye, and they will be able to say it as they wish.

Feel the grief Saying goodbye to my grandfather at age 10 was easier than saying goodbye to my childhood dog. I remember feeling sad at his funeral, staring at a face that did not look real, but must be because everybody said so. Perhaps it was because he lived eight states away and visits were annual. Perhaps it’s because he was already old when I met him. I did not know him in his puppy stage. But with Amber, the grief laid me flat. Denial and anger were the heavy hitters. How could she be gone? I just fed her this morning? How could you take her without telling me? Because of this, I will honor every stage of my children’s grief. As their mother, I will ride out every phase and weather the storm with them as best I can.

Moving on If acceptance is the last stage in the grieving process, getting a new pet is the reset button. But we’re not going to hurry. I don’t want a replacement pet. I want a pet who will not have to settle for second-best to a memory. I want my kids to understand that this new pet, whenever and whatever they choose, will not be a “do-over,” because no one can fill the place of the one that went before. Once they have grieved enough to heal, then we will visit the farm or the shelter or the adoption center and let our hearts melt all over again at the new fuzzy faces. Our pets love us with their whole hearts. It’s in their genetic make-up to take us as we are. We owe them big for all they put up with in us. Because of that, it’s important to help our kids pay homage to them as best we can when their time comes to say goodbye. I’m still going to need a lot of Kleenex and wine at the end of the day.

Jamie Sumner

Jamie Sumner is a writer for Parenting Special Needs Magazine. Her articles have also appeared in Tribe, Mamalode, Complex Child and Her View From Home. She is the author of the website, where she writes with humor about infertility and special needs parenting. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and three children.


Dear Reader, Because of animal lovers like you, Humane Society International is working around the clock to fight the gruesome dog meat industry – to end it for good. We’ve slammed the doors permanently on nine dog meat farms in South Korea and rescued more than 900 dogs. Not only that, but we’re lobbying hard for better laws throughout Asia to fight the cruelty, transition farmers out of the business of cruelty, and so much more. Here is one transformation that we can't stop smiling about. Sophie was rescued just this year from a horrible life on a dog meat farm. Now, she is running free and playing in the grass, surrounded by the love of her forever family:

This kind of ending never gets old, but so many other dogs still need you.

You can make a difference for dogs caught up in this brutal industry: Sign the dog meat pledge today.

With you by our side, we're committed to this huge fight against the dog meat trade. We’re closing farms and rescuing the animals; we’re raising public and political awareness of the cruelty involved; and we’re growing substantial support for a phase out and ban of South Korea’s dog meat farms. Become a part of the global campaign to end the dog meat trade—sign your name right now. Thank you, for protecting animals from cruelty all across the globe. Sincerely, Kitty Block President Humane Society International

ALONE FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON? ADOPT A PET… GO ON – BRING MORE LOVE INTO YOUR HOME This little kitty –and many more animals, dogs and cats – are living out their lives in small cemented cages, hoping that someone will find place in their homes and hearts to give them ‘Forever Homes’. I know I harp on and on about adopting pets, but there are so many of us who have the room in our lives for a loving animal, and there are so many of our furr-kids, young and old, who would bring loads of fun and joy to your lives. Just an example: early this year I took on a new-born kitten to hand-rear, bottles, formula and the whole toot. … and the frequent feeds every 3 hours, and the worry when the little one’s tummy doesn’t work. Anyone who has hand-reared kittens and puppies will know how relieved your are when the tummy works – kinda proud! Anyway, this little kitty got to the point where she needed to homed. My daughter had spent a lot of time helping me with Maxi, so naturally she got fond of the kitten and took her home to join the other 4 ‘rescue cats’ that live with her.

Well, Maxi lit up the lives of these four fairly lazy cats and brought loads of mischievous energy into the house. Somehow she has captured the hearts of all the cats and they cuddle and play with her as much as they can before flopping over and sleeping again. So my friends, think about the difference adopting an animal will make to not just your life, but to your resident pets and obviously to the animal you give a home to. Call your closest SPCA or look on Facebook for your new family member. Xxx Linda

Blue Sky News is a kids friendly newsletter (A3 folded to A4 full colour) distributing (personally by each franchisee) on a monthly basis to over 300 schools into school bags, in the Gauteng area. We currently have franchises covering Midrand/Centurion/Fourways/Houghton/Sandton 40000 copies collectively. If you interested in becoming part of our team OR if parents/kids/families are your target market & you would be interested in advertising with us OR would like to distribute or subscribe to our newsletters then check out our website and/or Facebook page Contact for more info, we would love to hear from you!

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Cotu Positive Parenting issue 41 December 2017  

Holiday time - kick back and enjoy browsing through our interesting articles, shows, books, and things to do

Cotu Positive Parenting issue 41 December 2017  

Holiday time - kick back and enjoy browsing through our interesting articles, shows, books, and things to do