Category Archives: Competitions

The Mysmartkid winner is…

Mysmartkid winner


Congrats to Charly and her mom, Mandy Lee! You guys have won yourselves an awesome Mysmartkid Smart Box!

Please drop me a mail,,  with your relevant information including your physical address, contact number and preferred language, so we can get your prize off to you!

I hope Charly enjoys her prize, please send me a photo of her with her winnings once you receive it 🙂

*Winner randomly drawn using


Christmas giveaway with Mysmartkid

The nice people over at Mysmartkid asked if I’d like to give away a prize on the blog. Now I don’t just promote willy nilly on the blog, unless I recommend it myself and unless I think you could truly benefit from it. And that’s why I agreed.

So essentially, Mysmartkid is a subscription-based continuity programme. Every two months, you’ll get a delightful box delivered to your home with age appropriate toys, tools and play-based activities for your child. The box is packed with amazing stuff which will assist with the reaching of key development milestones and promote school  readiness. It will cost you R295 every two months, and the programme is offered in both English and Afrikaans, suitable for children aged 0 – 6 years old.

Now why I like Mysmartkid:

1. You already know I LOVE online shopping. The idea of an educational box of goodies delivered to my kid every two months without me having to so much as lift a finger, presses all my right buttons.

2. The fact that the box is specifically chosen with MY child in mind gives me peace of mind. You know, going into a toy or book store and selecting stuff that you “think” will be appropriate can be quite mind boggling. There is SO much on the market and buying ONE toy/ educational item can easily cost R300. When my kids were younger, after sickness my next biggest concern was whether my kids were being stimulated enough. Was I providing a good environment for them to learn and grow? Was I doing enough to stretch their little minds, what toys were best, was I wasting money on toys that didn’t really work and on and on it went. Mysmartkid sends this box FULL of goodness for your child which is perfectly appropriate according to their age and gender. And R295 every two months for the WHOLE pack? That’s a bargain!

3. If you aren’t entirely satisfied with the programme, they promise you a 100% money back guarantee. They believe in this programme so much, that they are willing to give you your money back if you aren’t convinced. I like that a lot.

So it’s almost Christmas and we’re all on the look out for gifts and goodies to pop under the tree. I’m  giving one lucky reader the chance to win a x 1 Mysmartkid smartbox filled with educational toys and activities, custom made for your kid. If you don’t have children in this age bracket in your immediate life, this is the perfect birthday gift or even baby shower gift! Give a child the perfect Christmas box, a Smartbox!

All you have to do in order to qualify is leave a comment telling me about YOUR smart kid: how old is your little man/lady? What is their most favourite thing to do in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD (as my 4 year old loves to say). 

Also just for fun, go like Mysmartkid on Facebook here.

Winners will be drawn by on Wednesday, 26th November 2014.

Smartbox with owl backpack

Win a Barbie Hamper – with Royal Caribbean International and the Barbie Premium Experience

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the launch of the Barbie Premium Experience exclusive to Royal Caribbean International. It was not your everyday product launch, oh no, this competition will see a local family of four win a cruise fit for a Barbie princess. If your daughter is Barbie verskrik, you have GOT to enter this competition. Like seriously, you have to. I am not even playing with you right now. However, even if your kid is not Barbie verskrik, like my Hannah, you still need to enter. I’m hoping that by the time the prize is drawn I would have indoctrinated Hannah enough. You see, while this is, no doubt, an amazing adventure for a little Barbie enthusiast, it is also a cracking experience for the whole family.

So what’s this all about you ask?

First of all, there’s a free holiday up for grabs. If that doesn’t grab you, then I don’t know what will. Secondly, it’s a CRUISE! Did you know that cruises are becoming THE holiday of choice for families? They are gaining popularity for a number of reasons, here’s just a few…

  1. Cruises are not as expensive as you think. You pay your fee which generally includes EVERYTHING for the duration of your stay on board.
  2. You get to visit several destinations in one holiday depending on where your ship docks and for how long.
  3. Kids have age appropriate full day agendas with activities that keep them well entertained. This is my favourite part – as a mother of two young children, a holiday isn’t really a holiday when I have to see to the kids all day long. However, there are also hosts of activities that both parents and children can enjoy together.
  4. A ship is a very safe and secure environment to holiday and the onboard childcare facilities means that parents can have as much alone time as they’d like, knowing their kids are well looked after.

So anyway, Royal Caribbean International has a new offering: The Barbie Premium Experience package.

“The Barbie™ Premuim Experience package is another product of Royal Caribbean International’s celebrated 40-year legacy of cruising innovation. The experience begins in girls’ Barbie-themed staterooms, where they’ll also find complimentary Barbie™ dolls and other keepsakes.

Their on-board activities include a tiaras and teacups party, featuring a whimsical palate of pink pastries and pink lemonade served on dainty dishes, along with fun tips on table etiquette. There’s a mermaid dance class, where girls will learn moves from the hit movie, Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2.

They’ll then learn to create their very own Barbie-style clothing at a fashion designer workshop. Later they will star in a fashion show, where they will display their fashion creations and perform their dance routine to the admiration and applause of their family and friends.”


Isn’t that exciting?! I know a lot of little girls who would give up their Barbie collection for this experience.

But wait, here’s the best bit:

“Now, to bring family-friendly cruising to the attention of South Africans, Cruises International, Royal Caribbean International and Blue Horizon Licensing are offering families the chance to win a seven-night Mediterranean Barbie™ Premium Experience cruise for four on board Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas, sailing from Barcelona.”

That’s right, from the 1st September until the 24th December 2013, you will be able to enter this competition to stand in line to win this fantastic prize. You will need to buy a qualifying Barbie product at a participating retailer in order to enter. For more details on how to enter and to take a look at what this fabulous prize includes, visit Also note, there are other fantastic prizes to the value of R20 000 to be won.

But of course, I know you guys want something to win NOW! So to get you in the competition winning mode, I have a lovely hamper for one lucky little girl to win. The hamper includes:

  • 1 x Barbie Glam black & pink trolley
  • 1 x Barbie Party hamper for 12 girls including:
    • Barbie invites & envelopes
    • Barbie gift bags
    • Barbie lucky packets
    • Barbie cups & straws
    • Barbie serviettes
    • Barbie party hats
    • Barbie Cupcake mix
    • Barbie bubbles
    • Barbie magic facecloths
    • Barbie various confectionary

hamper 1

hamper 2

If you’d like to stand a chance to win this incredible hamper, all you need to do is leave me a comment with the age of your little girl(s) and tell me something amazing about your princess(s). It does not have to be Barbie related at all! We’ll randomly draw a lucky winner on 5th September. Good luck!


I have a Spar Freshline gift voucher for you..

The very nice people over at Spar sent me a voucher to purchase Freshline products, try them out and then blog about my experience. Since moving to Midrand I’ve become a regular at my local Spar because it’s literally in walking distance from my house. And the bigger Super Spar is a short drive away so we have become regular Spare goers. So when I received these vouchers, I was excited because I knew exactly what I was going to use my vouchers on!

Firstly, let me admit that my family and I have a problem. I am ashamed to admit that I brought this atrocity upon my family, because it was passed on from my parents and now I have passed it onto my husband and children. We have this problem which manifests at any time of the day, but usually in the late afternoon and often in the evenings after dinner. And here it is…

We have to have something sweet after a meal. HAVE.TO.

I blame my paternal grandmother who used to have a half a slice of bread with thick apricot jam after dinner every night. I believe it was here that the legacy was born.

While staying with my aunt in London a few years ago, she used to say “the English like something sweet after their tea.” And after dinner she would bring out all sorts of sweet baked goods. I am sure this had nothing to do with the English and everything to do with her mother (my grandmother) who had groomed us with a sweet tooth.

When I  met my husband, he wasn’t really into sweet things. So much so, he’d take DAYS to eat a single bar of chocolate. He’d have a neat little bite every night and place his little chocolate back into the pantry cupboard for the next day. WHO DOES THAT?? He would look at me with mild amusement as I’d rip into a slab of chocolate and easily eat half of it in one sitting. Ok, who am I trying to kid, I can polish a slab in one go, there I said it.

NOW? Oh my sweet tooth. Husband has stopped eating chocolate like a 2 year old and eats a full chocolate bar in one sitting like a man. As soon as the kids are down, it’s Milo time, which of course needs to be accompanied with something sweet. Although I do enjoy baking, I don’t always have the time in the week so I like to make sure we always have something yummy to satisfy the craving.

Even if it’s just a biscuit or a rusk to dunk in my tea. Or a little cupcake with pink frosting. Or a coconut covered lamington. Or a blueberry muffin. Have you guessed what I’m going to spend my Spar Freshline voucher on??

But listen, don’t let me sidetrack you, Spar Freshline DO make the yummiest sweet baked goods, but this range also includes fresh fruit and vegetables and much more. There is something for everyone, here’s what they had to say about their Freshline range:

All Freshline products can be traced from soil to store, ensuring you cook and serve with confidence! This peace of mind promise is backed by our commitment to sustainable farming practices and the fact that all our suppliers are audited in accordance with international food safety standards.

So guys, I have this R300 voucher to give away from the nice people at Spar. All I want you to do is comment with what you’d spend the voucher on. We’ll draw a random lucky number on 28 August at midday. I don’t know about you, but with the price of groceries, I am sure this R300 will come in handy 🙂



Travelstart Blogger Experience Contest – I’m in it, to win it.

I received an email from Travelstart Blog about their Blogger Experience Contest.

I’m like cool, I like writing, I have words, I’ve travelled. The rules say I only have 300 – 1000 words to blog about my own travel experience. Now if you know me, you’ll know that I can pour 300 words into a description of a lead pencil.  But here goes.

The year was 2001. I met my future husband outside a Durban nightclub around 4am the day before New Year’s Eve. Don’t judge, he looked pretty in the breaking dawn. We fell in love and spent the next 9 months planning our escape from Africa. I turned 21 that September and the next month we hopped on a plane to London. If my daughter even THINKS of running off with a man who she has only known for 10 months, I will hunt.them.down. So not London exactly… Spalding… a little town in Lincolnshire, England. To work on a potato farm. That quickly turned into a nightmare – I don’t do manual labour. I remember standing in a red phone booth, calling friends who had already made it to the Big City Lights of London, begging for a hookup. My aunt in Bournemouth put us up for a few days, gave us some money and a few tins of rice pudding and sent us on our way. We house-shared with friends until we found jobs, got on our feet and really began to enjoy the city that never sleeps. I’ve been to New York, and that’s a story for another day, but for me, London is still the city that doesn’t slumber. Catching the 92 bus home from a boat party on the River Thames at 3am, standing in a snaking queue at the local kebab/sharwama joint to fill the gap, before minding the gap on the tube for the last stretch of the journey home. I assisted a health inspector for my 9 – 5 gig, and pretty much jolled from 5pm – 8h55am.

Crazy times.

But the beauty of London, is that it is the gateway to Europe. Once we had done England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales… we ventured out. Paris is a stone’s throw away on the Eurostar. We visited often, and stayed with my friend Isabelle, a French national who I met while au pairing in the State a few years earlier. She humoured us and took us to the usual hotspots: yes, we kissed under the Eiffel Tower and took the obligatory photos at the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and down the Champs-Elysées, we even visited Euro Disney – which grown adults without kids torture themselves like this? But we saw the real Paris while eating pastries and people-watching on the steps leading up to the Sacré-Cœur, we partied in the hippy district of Montmartre and found ourselves eating in tiny undiscovered bistros. And we met Oscar, Isabelle’s French cat who had a penchant for English speaking men – completely freaked my Mister out.

We ate mussels in Brussels, strangely enough some of the tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was in Brussels. Weird because if someone says Brussels, I immediately think brussel sprouts, right? Right! We hopped over to Cologne for the day – because countries are just that close together. We found ourselves hitchhiking through Holland. The advertisement stated “rustic accommodation just outside Amsterdam.” Yes, that turned out to be a caravan in a caravan park full of strange looking people who clearly didn’t work for a living – and it was two long bus rides away from the city. Have you seen the height of my husband? He cannot fit into a caravan without doubling over. After one night of caravan living and communal ablutions, we hitchhiked our way to Amsterdam. Note to my younger self: you were stupid and willful, but it was good. On our travels to Switzerland, we quickly discovered how miniscule our rand was to the franc. But, my word, Zurich is beautiful. Perhaps it was the cable car we took from the highest point of the city, literally in the mountains, with a magnificent view of the city splayed out before you. Breathtaking. The highlight of Zurich, was our trip to a chocolate making museum type of place. I wish I could remember the name. But there was chocolate being made, chocolate on conveyor belts, chocolate fountains, chocolate displays up to the ceiling. It was the stuff that chocoholics’ dreams are made of. Even my husband with all his eye rolling and deep sighing at the suggested excursion, couldn’t deny the awesomeness that this chocolate-y place was.

But my bestest-best destination was Thailand. We backpacked our way from island to island, staying in low budget accommodation with long drop toilets. We were eaten alive by mosquitoes and I got my hair braided on the side of a dusty road by a strange looking woman. We got around on zippy motorbikes for which we didn’t have licenses to drive, and we lived on club sandwiches and fried rice for almost three weeks. Massages on the beach on demand. Bangkok was good for a day or two, but I couldn’t wait to leave – it’s scary and crazy and gets your adrenalin pumping. Shoppers paradise – but not always a winner – when you find yourself bartering with a woman who is half your size and insisting that the size 28 fake pair of Diesel jeans WILL fit over your size 36 hips.

Those two years spent globetrotting were some of the best times of my life. If you haven’t travelled, I urge you to do it. Go down the road, go to another city, go to another continent if you can. But allow yourself the opportunity to have your mind blown away by how things are on the other side. You won’t ever be the same.

Man, this has me gagging for a holiday. Sans kids. Just like ‘ol times.

Young (and skinny) Love - Notting Hill Carnival
Young (and skinny) Love – Notting Hill Carnival

Competition time with Philips AVENT!

My very first giveaway 🙂

When Liam was born, I was slightly fanatical in my need to be Über-mom-extrodinaire. This extended to my culinary skills. I used to whip up pots of fresh homemade food: pressed, pureed and pukey looking. I would label, bottle and freeze and I only gave him “food in a jar” when I was desperate or not at home. Luckily he was a good eater so it worked well – I was proud of my cooking and he seemed to like the gloop I offered. Then he got older and Hannah came along and I came to appreciate the wonder that is finger food. Liam started feeding himself from a young age simply because I was not always available to assist him while bouncing the baby on my knee. I found that a few bits and bobs on a cute little plate worked best for him. Hannah, too, caught onto this method of eating early while watching her brother. They soon got used to plastic cutlery for the messier food options like bolognaise and porridge. So I’ve always had lots of colourful plastic crockery and cutlery in my kitchen cupboards. And I guess that is why I am so excited about this competition! We STILL love pretty crockery and cutlery 🙂

The nice people over at Philips AVENT wanted to spoil my readers with a chance to win one of five Toddler Mealtime Sets, each valued at R499, right here on my blog. Check it out:

Philips AVENT toddler feeding mealtime set

Encourages eating through fun learning

The complete toddler feeding range help engage your little ones at mealtime with fun and educational story-telling designs.

  • Toddler bowl, plate and cutlery set perfect for first feeding through to self-feeding. Plate dividers keep foods separate
  • Easy-scoop sides that help make self-feeding easier
  • Easy-grip spoon and fork ideal for self-feeding
  • Deep scoop spoon and fork helps prevents spills
  • Non-slip handles, easy-grip, also rest on bowl without sliding
  • Educational Design
  • Anti-slip bases help prevent spills
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Includes Recipe Booklet, developed by a child nutrition specialist


I love the cute design and functionality of the set. I love how the plate is divided into sections; Liam and I do not like our different food groups to touch on the plate! These separators keep your rice away from your carrots and maybe the third spot for a piece of cheese? I know our plates have seen some weird food combos! So to enter, all you need to do is leave a comment with some of the food combos your kid (or kids you know, or combos you, yourself) enjoys. Your comment will not make you the winner, so moms like me with somewhat unhealthy combos needn’t stress! The draw will be random, but I’d still like to hear about what you guys like to eat! Extra draw if you share to Twitter (@robynrichen) and Facebook! Competition closes at 3pm on Wednesday 10 April and five winners will be randomly selected on the same day. Good luck!