Posted in Money Saving Tips, Random nothings

How to survive Black Friday

Okay you all know that I am just a big sucker for a bargain. And speaking to my friends a lot of them feel the chaos is just not worth it. Lucky for me, I have an advantage over them. I am a big girl. Nobody is going to push this chick over, OKAY…. So hold my chocolate, I am going in…

So I thought it would be helpful to write down a few tips on how to survive if you are also planning on going to the shops on Black Friday.

  1. Choose 1 retailer. You don’t want to be running around from one to another. It’s chaos. And remember the criminals are also looking for their bargains. Buying a lot of stuff at one shop and driving to another or just putting it in your boot and going back into the mall is a huge risk. Do not get taken.
  2. Check all the ads before the time. I see a lot of the retailers already have their specials out. Those who don’t want to join the masses, be aware that a lot of the shops already have specials on and also – you can buy online.
  3. Don’t take your handbag. This is dangerous and will slow you down. I seriously don’t care how it looks, fanny back here we come. All you need is cash and cards and your phone. Put everything in there (Verimark sells a very dainty one that nobody can see under your clothes).
  4. Take a drink with you. It is going to be a LOOOONG day. Do not stand in a queue for hours without anything to drink.
  5. Take a snack with. A small pack of crisps or dried fruit can go into your fanny pack easily. Shopping while hangry (yes I do get VERY hangry) is never a good idea. That is how somebody gets punched in the face.
  6. Remember – it is just a special. If you loose out on something, don’t go ape on people. BE NICE!!! Getting in a fist fight about a 2 liter of soda is just not on – KAY?
  7. Check for coupons. They are in the local newspapers. Or download the shop’s app, you will get lots of freebies like that.
  8. Also, use an app like SnapnSave. You will get money back for just shopping. Wuhu is also a nice one to use
  9. Please don’t use a lot of perfume before the time. The rest of us really don’t want to smell you from the other side of the till. Clean will do. And please – spray some antiperspirant. Please. Pretty please.
  10. Go with a buddy. NOT YOUR HUSBAND. I am going in alone because I can do this… But if you are small or just very nice, take a buddy with you. Protection is always good. But do not, NOT I repeat NOT>>>>> take the man in your life. A special is not worth your relationship. And if I had to take mine with, trust me….. Nope, just nope.

So there you have it. Tips to survive. Be nice, but not too nice. And go them them girls…

Posted in Random nothings, SPD Tips

For a moment there, we were a normal family

We have discovered that Abby is a little beach bum! Yeah! So on Friday evening we had to drop something down at the beach front and the girls begged us to let them go to the beach. So we went down to the beach and they loved playing in the sand. We then went to McD’s for ice cream. Everything seemed so ‘normal’. And I sometimes wonder if parents realize that there are parents that would anything for this kind of normal. Abby did so well and we were so proud of her. She was out and about around people, no tantrums. NOTHING.

It obviously only lasted until we hit home – this is a normal situation for a lot of autism parents. As soon as they get back into their safe space they ‘let go’ and well, all hell breaks loose. She had a meltdown but we got her to bed quickly and I just held her until she fell asleep.

Tonight we went to the Boardwalk and she again did so well. My heart just wants to burst with pride. We came home and there were no meltdowns tonight. She just asked to go to bed as soon as we got home.

It is the small victories. 🙂


Posted in Random nothings

PnP “Spoon for Spoon” Sweetener – sweet poison

So I made a few dumb mistakes today. But even more dumb than getting a piece of yarn stuck in my skin that I had to go to the ER room to get cut off, is that I bought PnP Spoon for Spoon sweetener. I don’t drink sugar in my drinks but I just felt like something sweet – sweet curry to be exact. So according to the bottle the sweetener is ideal for baking and vegan friendly. The only warning on the bottle is that it is packed in a factory that uses milk and nuts. That is the warning on the bottle. Nothing else.

My first taste of the food I got a pain in my head. Thought it was the kids making too much noise and went on to eat my food. Within half an hour I was itching all over, my head wanted to explode, my throat was on fire, I had problem breathing. I was having a very definite reaction to the stuff. I always make sure of ingredients before I try them, I was just stupid to not check it. Well I checked it now and WOW!!!

So here is the ingredients.


Sodium Cyclamate

Acesulfame K

Only 3 ingredients. So let’s go through them.


According to

5 Dangers of Maltodextrin

1. Spikes Blood Sugar

Maltodextrin can cause spikes in your blood sugar because it has a high glycemic index, and this can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes symptoms or insulin resistance. Maltodextrin’s glycemic index is even higher than table sugar, ranging from 106 to 136 (while table sugar is 65).

Easily absorbed carbohydrates like maltodextrin and sugar get into your bloodstream quickly, and if the carbs aren’t used for energy, they’re stored as fat. This is very different than real complex carbohydrates from whole grains that are broken down and absorbed slowly, helping keep you feeling full and energized for a longer period of time. (4)

2. Suppresses the Growth of Probiotics

Maltodextrin can change the composition of your gut bacteria by suppressing the growth of beneficial probiotics. Research conducted at Lerner Research Institute in Ohio relays polysaccharides like maltodextrin have been linked to bacteria-associated intestinal disorders. According to researchers, the escalating consumption of polysaccharides in Western diets parallels an increased incidence of Crohn’s disease during the late 20th century.

A 2012 study found that maltodextrin increased bacterial adhesion to human intestinal epithelial cells and enhanced E. coli adhesion, which is associated with autoimmune disorders. (5) Even more research points out that maltodextrin promotes the survival of salmonella, which may be responsible for a broad range of chronic inflammatory diseases. (6)

A study conducted at the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center in Boston also indicates that maltodextrin impairs cellular antibacterial responses and suppresses intestinal antimicrobial defense mechanisms, leading to inflammatory bowel disease and other conditions that arise from an inappropriate immune response to bacteria. (7)

3. Made From Genetically Modified Corn

Although the Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), increasing independent research has linked them to a number of health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, kidney damage, antibiotic resistance, reproduction disorders and allergies.

According to research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, genetically modified foods have shown that they may toxically affect several bodily organs and systems, including the pancreatic, renal, reproductive and immunologic parameters. (8) Because corn maltodextrin is made by processing corn with enzymes and the United States Department of Agriculture found that 85 percent of corn planted in the U.S. is genetically modified to be tolerant to herbicides, it’s most likely that the maltodextrin you eat is a genetically modified food.

4. May Cause an Allergic Reaction or Side Effects

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminologyfound that maltodextrin consumption, especially at higher doses, may cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gurgling sounds, gas and even diarrhea. (9) There have also been reports of other allergic reactions to maltodextrin, such as skin irritations, cramping and bloating.

Maltodextrin is sometimes made with wheat, but the production process is said to completely remove gluten from the wheat, making it “safe” to eat for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance symptoms. During the processing of maltodextrin, all proteins are removed, including gluten, but there may still be traces of gluten in products containing maltodextrin. This can be dangerous for people suffering some celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

You may see maltodextrin listed with the product ingredients, but the name doesn’t indicate the source, such as wheat. Although maltodextrin is generally considered to be gluten-free, people with severe allergies should avoid foods containing this ingredient.

5. Has No Nutritious Value

A teaspoon of maltodextrin has about 15 calories and 3.8 grams of carbohydrates, and that’s about it. It’s so highly processed that it’s devoid of all nutrients. While it can spike blood sugar levels and promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, there are no health benefits that come with the consumption of maltodextrin. (10) When choosing foods to use as sweeteners, binders or bulking agents, pick natural foods that provide some nutritional value.

In short it is very dangerous for people with diabetes and insulin resistance. Where is the warning????



According to

Sodium cyclamate is an artificial sweetener that’s 30 times as sweet as sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it in 1969 due to concerns about its safety after an animal study showed a potential increased risk for cancer. The FDA has yet to overturn this ban in spite of more recent research not showing this same risk, at least in part due to problems in determining a safe intake level.

Cancer Risk

In 1969, a study found that a cyclamate-saccharin mixture caused bladder cancer in rats, but since then numerous studies have shown no link between cyclamate and cancer, according to a review article published in Food & Nutrition Research in 2006. For example, a study published in Toxicological Sciences in 2000 found that high doses of cyclamate didn’t increase cancer risk or have toxic effects in monkeys. The National Cancer Institute notes that the FDA’s current concerns about this sweetener are not related to cancer.

Effect on Male Fertility

Although there’s some concern about the risk of cyclamate affecting male fertility due to the results of certain animal studies, a study published in 2003 in Food Additives & Contaminants didn’t find any effect of cyclamate on male fertility at the levels usually consumed by people in Spain, where this sweetener is legal. This concern came about after a study showed that cyclohexylamine, which is produced when cyclamate is metabolized, could cause testicular atrophy in rats.

Intake Considerations

The European Union has set the acceptable intake level for cyclamate at 0 to 7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or between 0 and 3 milligrams per pound of body weight. The problem with cyclamate is that although most people don’t metabolize or absorb it, some people do metabolize it, and this variation makes it hard to determine what levels are safe for everyone. Drinking 1.5 liters of soda sweetened with cyclamate can cause people to reach the acceptable intake level set by the European Union.

When words like cancer and infertility is being thrown around, surely we need to know about it when you add it to our food???


According to

The problems surrounding acesulfame K are based on the improper testing and lack of long-term studies. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans. There has been a great deal of opposition to the use of acesulfame K without further testing, but at this time, the FDA has not required that these tests be done.

Once again words like cancer, mental issues, liver and kidney issues…..

So I am sitting here with one hell of a headache and I’m not sure who I am more angry at, myself for not reading a label or for Pick n Pay for putting this poison on their shelves. We need answers PnP….

Posted in Healthy Eating

Easy gluten free egg muffins

With having such a restricted diet – no gluten, no sugar and a little dairy I have to get creative. I am busy during the day so I have to make something easy and quick.

Now, I am not a big fan of egg to start off with, but if you make this recipe right it does taste way better than scrabbled eggs!


3 eggs

1 mushroom

Pieces of bacon

Tomato (chopped)

spices and herbs (I use Ina Paarman’s Veg Seasoning) and some parsley, but you can really use what you want.


*You can add whatever you want in these. They really work well with any meat / herbs

I put them in little muffin papers as the children then eats them because – cupcakes! YEAH ! But you can just spray a 6 muffin tray with spray and cook. Whip the eggs with a fork and divide the mixture between the 6 pans. I then throw in the rest of the ingredients.

Pop it in the oven for 15 minute at 180C.

And serve with a salad. The children loves them (and Sky refuse to eat any egg).

Posted in Random nothings, Sensory play

How does an older sibling deal with a special needs sibling

I get asked that question a lot and my answer is always the same – I do not know how I would have coped with Abby, without Sky. She might only be 2 years older than her, but she is such a mother hen to her little sister. She makes sure Abby does not get into things she should not – and trust me that is very very often. She makes sure Abby is safe when she is out of my sight. She makes sure Abby wipes  – long story but she has appointed herself as toilet police!

This morning our garden services arrived. I did not really expect them, so I was caught off guard. Any parent that deals with a child that is noise sensitive knows garden services are the pits. And noise sensitive autistic children really takes it bad. Not only is the noise crazy for them, but also having to deal with strangers in their space. Abby goes into total panic mode. She holds her ears, cries, runs, hides and she is shaking from pure fear.

She hold on to me for dear life and everything comes to a hold. The whole household goes into action to make sure she is okay.

So me being caught off guard, I had to run to open the gate for them. Take down wet washing I just put on the line. I was worried because now Abby is alone with Sky in the house. I get inside, run to her, just to find Sky (my FOUR year old) has taken her into their room. Closed the door. She could not find Abby’s earphones and phone to block the sound out, so she took her own phone that she HATES sharing, put it on full volume to block the noise from the machines out and is sitting on Abby’s bed, holding her.

I just cracked. I burst out in tears. I could not have asked for a better older sister for Abby than Sky. She really made this momma proud. Yeah for older siblings!

Ps, don’t be fooled into thinking that they get along. They are real siblings that fights about everything!

Posted in Healthy Eating, Weight Loss

The post I didn’t think I would want to share…


Weight is always a tricky subject. Especially if you have been overweight your whole life. I have a condition called PCOS – poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. It causes a lot of weight gain and it makes losing weight very hard.


Talking about my weight is not something I do in public. But hey, facing your fears head on is something I have always believed in. So here we are.

Back story – Thursday (about 2 weeks ago) I got up and lost all feeling in my legs. I was standing and held onto the cupboard, but I could not move. I stood there for 10 minutes. Not able to move. My legs gave in. And I couldn’t pretend that I did not know why. My weight has shot up the last few years due to stress about Abby and the fact that I don’t have time to prep meals or have time to eat properly. Having a child that won’t eat, or eat out of my plate, or puke out all the food while we are eating, tends to mess your meal times up. Also the fact that I have a c-section with Abby. There was some complications afterwards and I had another operation 8 months later to save my life. A year later another operation that almost ended my life. So physically I am just ‘done’. Every part of my body aches all the time. I can’t walk properly. I can’t bend – my one hip is busy giving in. My knees is giving in. I am dizzy and nauseas all the time.

I contacted a friend that I know will give me advice. She understands me – that I won’t take medication to loose weight or even, like a doctor suggested, get a gastric bypass. I told her – you either help me, or in a year I will be one of those women who has to get her husband to wipe her ass, and that – is not happening!!  She excepted to help me if she was allowed to shout at me. I think shouting was the only way at this stage, so I excepted her challenge.

We decided that the GAPS diet would be my best option with a fasting period every day. I hate breakfast so we decided that I will eat at 6pm and then again 12pm the next day. It works for me as I can’t eat in the mornings and it makes me sick in anyway. Further – no sugar, no wheat and minimum dairy. I have been struggling wit Candida for a few years already and it needs to be treated with diet as well.

The first 8 days I lost….. 4.7kg! Yes, I lost almost 5kgs in just over a week! But more importantly – I feel better. I do a 5km every day – where I used to not be able to walk to the gate. I actually had a race with my kids on Sunday and I ran!! Like ran!!!! I know… SHOCK!

The aches are mostly gone, I can almost bend again. The hip is still sensitive but not nearly as bad as what it was. In 2 weeks!

I have a weight loss support group on Fb and we have been recording my progress there. And I have had so many people saying that, me being open about my struggle is giving them the courage to do also start. And hey, if I can help one person feel better, why not!?


Posted in Activities for little ones, Homeschooling, Sensory play

Water Experiment for Toddlers

Yes, we do ‘do’ school, even if we don’t ‘go’ to school!! I get asked a lot of times so what do I teach my children.

So here is a day in the lives of toddler homeschoolers.

They stayed in bed until 10am. They were awake and they came out of their rooms to each grab a phone. They went back to bed watching “Word Party”. A Netflix original. They love it, especially the little one. I will post a decent review some time about it. But it is very cute and very helpful.

So they had their language lesson in bed.

Our theme for the week is water, so we then bottled some water beads that we will need for our lesson tomorrow. But that does not stop them from playing with them so long. So they had their sensory lesson.

We then did their science lesson. We made an experiment with water and what effect it has on different objects. They had to tell me before the time what they thought would be the effect on the object. Will it change, or will it stay the same.

We used:


Fruit Loops




We put each object in an empty yogurt container and covered it with water.

They then had to tell me if the water had any effect on it. We also came back to it half an hour later to see if anything changed. They loved that the sugar just disappeared. They both tasted the water.

They then asked if they could play ‘house’ with it. Resulting in some real messy play. They mixed up the bread and fruit loops with the paper. Making this weird gooey paper paste. YUK! But they did enjoy playing with it and seeing how the water changed the objects.

At the moment they are doing imaginary play by playing “magic show”. They have a hat and are pretending to pull magic things from the hat.

It has been a full day for these two. In between they played in the sand pit and had a race around the garden and learned how to pump up a inflatable pillow – learning how the air goes from the pump into the cushion.