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Lessons From A First Time Blood Donor

How you can save a life this world blood donor day

World Blood Donor Day is fast approaching, 14 June internationally, and 11 June in SA. I’d never really thought of donating blood, well there was this one time after I’d left school but I was on Roaccutane treatment at the time (those darned teenage hormones!) so was never fit to donate in any case. It was only in my later life that I was approached by the local South African National Blood Service (SANBS) office to assist them with a blood drive in my, then capacity as Mrs Port Elizabeth (yea, we haven’t really discussed this, but we’ll leave that for another day shall we?)

Continue reading Lessons From A First Time Blood Donor

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7 Reasons To Quit Being a Butthead!

Penelope & Bella | 7 Reasons To Quit Being A Butthead!

One would think that in the 21st century, with the number of studies and readily-available information on smoking and it’s ill effects, that we would see a decline in parents smoking in the vicinity of their children. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case.

We’re discussing the effects of smoking on your children in this edition of

What Your Pediatrician Wants You To Know

Second-hand smoke is harmful to everyone, especially babies and children. It can be the cause of, amongst other things, ear infections, breathing problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Often overlooked, third-hand smoke, that which gets trapped in clothing, hair, furniture, and carpets, is just as dangerous. So then “smoking outside” is no longer a fair excuse, is it?

Why are babies and children more at risk from second- and third-hand smoke?

1 They have a faster breathing rate, which means that they breathe in more air relative to their body weight
2 Their immune systems are less developed
3 They are not able to complain about being in a smokey environment and are less able to leave by themselves

What harmful effects does second-hand smoke have on my child’s health?

1    More susceptible to coughing and wheezing
2   Suffer from more ear infections
3   Have less lung capacity
4   More respiratory tract infections
5   Increased occurrence of asthma and severity of asthma symptoms
6   Lower test scores in reading and maths
7   More likely to take up smoking themselves

New evidence is also suggesting that babies exposed to second-hand smoke may be more at risk of cancer later in life. Our children have a right to be protected from harmful second- and third-hand smoke. It’s time for us to quit lighting up in front of our kids!

Till next time, I leave you with these pearls of wisdom…

Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool ~ Author Unknown

Photo Credit How To Quit Smoking





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How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

Penelope & Bella | How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

I stumbled across a quote this week, that went something like this:

Don’t see your teenager as a burden, but rather as a blessing ~Author Unknown

Ha! You may say, we’re going full force ahead into the June exams, and that brings it’s own flurry of challenges with it! Oh don’t you worry, this momma is hearing you loud ‘n clear! But serisouly, I know these exam times are challenging for us all and it’s hard to take a fresh stance on your relationship with your teen during this stressful time. Continue reading How To Build A Great Relationship With Your Teenage Boy

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Ode To Bella Bus

Penelope & Bella - Ode To Bella Bus

It’s been three years since my darling hubby bought the family Volkswagen Kombi aka Bella Bus. Yes you guessed it, it’s part inspiration for the name of this blog. We’ll get to the “Penelope” component another day, shall we?

Since she’s three years old this month and possibly feeling a little under-appreciated, I thought I’d write Bella an ode, a Five things I love about you kind of vibe. Continue reading Ode To Bella Bus

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3 Questions To Help Your Teen Succeed

Penelope & Bella | 3 Questions to Help Your Teen Succeed + Free Printable!

So we’re almost at the end of the first term, and some of us may have better routines established in our homes than others… ahem…
I ended up having one of “those talks” with my kids the other day, you know the kind, the mom-has-a-nervous-breakdown-and-then-calls-a-family-meeting kind.

Well I took a different approach this time around, and maybe, just maybe I’ll achieve better results – or ideally they will. I thought I’d wait it out a bit before I share my fail-proof recipe with you, in case it’s not so fail-proof. Although let’s be serious, when it comes to young adults, nothing is fail-proof. Continue reading 3 Questions To Help Your Teen Succeed

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Featuring the Apple Watch

Penelope & Bella - Apple Watch

Can I just start by saying yay for Discovery Vitality? We are just loving their get healthy initiative, enabling us to purchase an Apple Watch Sport for R350 🙂 And now we’re signing our souls away for the next two years – running, cycling, stair climbing, doing basically anything to earn points really!

In all seriousness though, I’m just loving the Apple Watch Sport and all its features and functions. I’ve realised I need to wear the watch every day, as I’m only moderately active and need to accumulate the points for Vitality, to avoid paying an installment for my watch at the end of the month. If this accessory switch poses a problem for you, you would need to make sure you reach your goals during the day so you’re able to vary the watches you wear at night – problem solved. The watch has definitely made me more aware of my daily activities though. I find myself taking the stairs instead of the lift and parking further away from the entrance to get extra steps in… It all adds up. Continue reading Featuring the Apple Watch