Soar! – a great guidebook for teenage girls

When I was a teen, I’m sure I would have benefitted from some self-help literature, that just “got me”. In my tweens, I had the writer Judy Blume making every adolescent feel normal and less alone, but there wasn’t much for my teenage heart to tap into (aside from angsty song lyrics).

Nowadays, there’s more to access through the tumultuous teens, like the new book Soar! a new guidebook for teenage girls that was written to instil them with confidence and resilience.

In a world of increased comparisons, competition and challenges, the more guidance our young women can get, the better, and Soar! by Despina Senatore, a mom of three, fits this need superbly.

Aside from building confidence, the book also has tools for girls to make informed decisions about their futures. It features 50 various careers, with interviews with women who are in those careers, and how they got there.

There are links and guidelines on tertiary education, practical advice to prepare girls for the “real world”, and tips for developing potential. There are also some lovely “self-help” tips, and life advice.

This book is a good tool for teens, which I’d recommend for their parents too, in order to help support their daughters further.

The book costs R150 from Purposeful Woman. A teen boys’ version will be out later this year.

Feature image: Shutterstock

I could never have dreamed of this kind of Valentine’s Day…


As a parent, sometimes Valentine’s Day is not what is used to be. Sometimes all you have energy for is rustling up a homemade card at the last minute (or an “I love you” on a Post-It), sometimes your kid is in your bed on the night of the 14th because they had a bad dream, and sometimes you would rather watch series than have a night out, because adulting. And parenting. And life. (Can anyone relate?)

And other times, you find yourself arriving in the City That Never Sleeps on Valentine’s Day, without children, ready to kiss your husband in Central Park, share a bagel and doughnut, enjoy a chilly nighttime walk hand-in-hand through Times Square, and indulge in a slice (okay, slices) of New York pizza. And, wait for it… eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, without the occasional co-sleeping toddler asking for water or milk during the night.

And, because I have a sweet tooth, and knowing how American chocolate doesn’t compare well to ours, I shlepped some Cadbury Pop-Out Heart slabs in Original and Dream as snacks for the day. I’m the type of person who takes snacks everywhere, and when I travel, I take my favourites along. Also, as the good South African cousin I am, I also hauled over some Anchovy Paste, and lots of Lunch Bars and Cadbury Bubbly, as requested by my US family.

Anyway, back to Valentine’s Day. We arrived at our hotel, the jetlag engulfed by the excitement of being in New York. We hastily unpacked, showered, and hit the streets, hand in hand, for love and warmth – it was around 1 degree!

We did some of the things I love doing in a big city – walk, take pics, shop, admire, discover and learn. We walked through Time Square, and went to one of my favourite NY stores – the Apple store, open 24 hours a day.

From then, it was onto Katz’s Deli where my husband had their famous pastrami on rye, and I ate veggies and fries.

We just tried to absorb it all – the pace, the energy, the lights, the people. Exhausted and exhilarated, we returned to our hotel room with some takeaway coffee (I’m that person who can drink coffee at night and still fall asleep easily), and watched some of the magical New York lights before us.

PS: Cadbury Pop-Out Heart Chocolate is still on shelf – it’s limited edition, so get it soon!

Want fresher breath? Then you’ll want to win this Sunstar GUM dental kit

No more second guessing the state of your breath, or covering your mouth when you’re close to someone, just in case your breath is dodgy!

This February, National Fresh Breath Month, we’re giving away a Sunstar GUM #FreshBreathCheck kit. Worth R745, it contains everything you need to super-power your oral care routine, including a Sunstar GUM ActiVital Sonic brush, floss, interdental tools, a tongue cleaner, GUM Original White and GUM Red-Cote Disclosing Tablets. 

Bad breath is most commonly caused by inadequate oral hygiene (i.e. not cleaning your teeth and gums correctly) so cleaning regularly, properly and with the right tools is essential. While you’re there, don’t forget about teaching your kids good oral care habits, and ensuring they follow through.

When it comes to a healthy mouth and fresh breath, removing dental plaque is essential. But because plaque is almost invisible it’s not easy to spot. GUM Red-Cote Plaque Disclosing Tablets make it easy to identify exactly where you should improve your oral care. Simply brush, floss and rinse as usual then chew a tasty, cherry-flavoured tablet to reveal any plaque you’ve missed. Then brush and clean in-between again, until your mouth is completely clean.

The smile of shame – the disclosing tablets showed us exactly where to brush!

Sunstar GUM is recommended by dental professionals around the world and available from Dis-Chem, Clicks, selected Checkers, Pick n Pay, SPAR, pharmacies and dentists.

The Sunstar GUM #FreshBreathCheck oral care kit includes:

·         GUM ActiVital Sonic toothbrush

·         GUM Original White toothpaste

·         GUM Expanding Floss

·         GUM Soft-Picks Advanced

·         GUM Easy Flossers 30pcs

·         GUM Tongue Cleaner


To enter:

Simply comment below, and your name will go into the draw.

This giveaway closes on Friday 21 February 2020 at 11am, after which the winner will be announced on the Rattle and Mum Facebook page, and then emailed.

This giveaway is open to SA residents only. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash or anything else.

Take the #FreshBreathCheck this February

How fresh is your breath? Take the #FreshBreathCheck – – to find out. You could win prizes valued at over R2, 500 and Sunstar GUM will donate a toothbrush on your behalf to the Dental Wellness Trust, an oral health charity that reaches
15 000 children in poorly resourced areas of South Africa.

Feature image: Shutterstock

Lovely Valentine’s Day ideas (beyond just red roses)


Whether you love or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is a’coming, and instead of seeing it as a “commercialised” day, I view it as a cool day to show some loving – whether it’s to my husband, kids, or amazing running group of women.

Cadbury asked me to round up some lovely ideas for the 14th. You might have seen their limited-edition Pop-Out Heart slabs, on shelves in time for the month of love. In Dream and Dairy Milk varieties, these slabs have a pop out heart, which you can give to a loved one, or keep for yourself (I admit to the latter most of the time).

Here are some gift/sentiment ideas for your partners, friends or kids:

  • Pop some Cadbury Pop Out Heart chocolates into a gift bag or box (hat boxes are a great idea, and they can be used after), and decorate with some fabric ribbon (these can be re-used too).
  • Deliver breakfast in bed to your loved one
  • Gift someone with an Uber Eats or SweepSouth voucher to save them some time cooking.
  • Make a scrapbook of your relationship – it could be an online version, or a physical one. Gather all your old photos and any mementoes, add a sentiment of love, and you have an awesome gift!
  • Make their lunchbox a special one – cut out hearts, write a cute note, and cut some sandwiches and fruit into heart shapes. Don’t forget to top off with a Cadbury heart!
  • Bake something delicious – your work team will love this too. I have a heart-shaped muffin tins which I often use for Valentine’s.
  • Recreate your first date.
  • Cook dinner together – put on your favourite music, have your favourite drink out, and make it a date night (try to get the kids to bed earlier, or get them to join in!)
  • Exchange beautiful love letters or poetry.
  • Have a movie night. Grab your favourite snack, turn off your phones, and watch a movie (it doesn’t have to be a romcom!)
  • Have some spa time together.
  • Do something sporty that’s good for the heart – a yoga class, Park Run (a day after Valentine’s) or a gym session is a great bonding exercise (literally!)
  • Host a games night – invite some other couples over, and bring out some of your favourite games. Don’t forget the snacks – and chocolate!
  • Go on a course together. This might not be a one-day event, but it could be a reminder to kickstart something together. Learning French, cooking, pottery or wine together could be great fun (and it’s often good to get away from the kids for a bit).
  • Instead of flowers, send a plant, or even better – spekboom! It’s easy to. grow, is water wise, and helps fight air pollution – it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and turns it into plant matter.

Wishing you an awesome Valentine’s Day, and a year with much love.

Win an awesome kids’ craft subscription box

I do love a great craft subscription box because I’m not that crafty, and I’m a little lazy, and therefore all the thinking and preparation are off my hands.

My latest trial box comes from Moxie Kids Craft Box, a wonderful offering that gives kids between the ages of three and nine wonderful fun activities each month.

Each box contains all the supplies you need to complete four fantastic crafts, with a new theme every month – our box had an Underwater Exploration theme.

Those who are environmentally conscious will be pleased to know that there is very little plastic used – even the box that the crafts came in was used in one of the activities.

Everything you need to complete the crafts is included, as well as full-colour step-by-step instructions, which are straightforward to follow.

I roped my 10-year-old in to oversee his little sister, as some of the gluing was a bit complex for her (he did however get equally involved with the painting and decorating). She did the painting and decorating excitedly, and loved doing each of the craft activities.

I was impressed with the creative activities and quality materials. We had some paint left over, which my daughter used to create more pictures. Very little went to waste, and the crafts were fun to put together.

Subscription prices vary, depending on the frequency of your boxes – the more boxes you buy, the more you save. A month-to-month subscription costs R460, for three months it’s R1 320, for six months it’s R2 550, and for 12 months it’s R4 920. These prices include delivery within South Africa.

There’s also an “Add a Sibling” option to your craft box. The cost is R90 per box and ensures that there are enough supplies in the box for two children to share.

The underwater diorama (Confession: I had to look this word up – in this case it refers to a miniature model)

For more information on the boxes, go to Moxie Kids. You can also find them on Facebook.


To enter to win a craft box in the theme of your choice (you can see the different boxes on the website), just comment below, and your name will go into the draw.

The giveaway closes on Friday 14 February 2020 at 10am , after which the winner will be announced on the Rattle and Mum Facebook page, and then emailed.


You can get 15% off your first order of a month-to-month subscription box. Just use the code RATTLEANDMUM on checkout. Valid until 15 April.