Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Musically Inclined

When it comes to music, I would say I am actually musically declined, if that is even a phrase. It just doesn't appeal to me like it does to others. Not saying I don't jam out every now and again, but there isn't a band or song that I obsess over. Not like my friends, who OBSESS over bands like Widespread Panic and Lady Gaga. Widespread and Gaga, in one sentence. Hilarious!

Recently, I found myself driving all the way to work without even turning on the radio. It's a 45 minute drive. Not good. I want Ava to love music and have been trying to turn on music as much as possible when she is around. She is so peaceful when I play children's music while driving in the car. Our next step is to purchase her some instruments. She looks like a flute player to me. 

It's funny that I have been thinking a lot about Ava and music lately, and then the below article landed in my inbox. It's written by two ladies from Primrose Schools who found my blog on Top Baby Blogs and offered for me to use this piece on Blairadise. Enjoy.

Have you voted for me lately? Vote here.

Musically Inclined

A child’s senses are stimulated to the fullest when he or she grows up listening to music, singing songs, and dancing. Their early development is positively impacted through this exposure to music. As it works to strengthen the neurological pathways between brain cells it also provides a unique learning experience. An early introduction to music is crucial for jump-starting childhood learning processes whether it be in day care, or homeschool, or even before the education process begins.

Incorporating music into early childhood education strengthens cognitive abilities like memory and spatial reasoning skills. More over, research has proven that creating an educational environment that engages the five senses, with particular attention to hearing can positively affect a child’s mind and physical development. The Nemours Foundation, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the health of children, produced a report concluding that children who actively listen to, play, or perform music related activities excel in math and reading, have higher self-esteem, are more focused, and are more likely to play and explore with their peers. 

Music makes the greatest educational and neurological impact on children when they actively experience it. Active listening can be defined as clapping, singing, tapping, or keeping the beat to music.  Further more allowing a child to create his or her own music will prove to be priceless. Passive music participation (listening to music) is also beneficial to a child but does not work to engage and develop neurological pathways as deeply. If you would like your child to experience the benefits of music on early childhood education and development, begin simply.

1. Play music for your child then ask he or she to distinguish the different instruments present in the music. This game works to sharpen your child’s divided, shifted, focused, and sustained attention. Each type of attention is crucial to the healthy development and functioning of your child. Divided attention can be defined as performing two or more tasks at once. Shifted attention is moving back and forth between multiple tasks without forgetting the rules and instructions particular to each task. Focused attention is concentrating on one task. Sustained attention is concentrating on one specific task for a long period of time.

2. Teach your child basic nursery rhymes and songs. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, This Little Piggy Went to Market, and The Wheels on The Bus are nursery rhymes that have accompanying hand motions. The synthesis of music and movement enhances a child’s memory by linking the memorization of words with hand motions. This method also works to strengthen a child’s ability to do more than one thing at a time.

3. An upset child can be comforted by music. Playing certain types of music for a sad or angry child provides stability and repetition as the child learns to cope with new feelings and emotions.

4. Use any available opportunity to share music with your child. Play music when riding in the car or before bedtime! Researchers say that tones and notes characteristic of jazz and classical music work best to stimulate neurological pathways.

The benefits of playing music and encouraging participation in making music can be huge. The developmental, emotional, and educational affects yielded from exposing your child to and encouraging your child toward a musical life are invaluable.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.



Monday, August 22, 2011


Well folks, there you have it. Ava has finally discovered her tongue!! 
That little tongue of hers gives me the giggles like you wouldn't believe. 
Love it!!

On Friday's post, which you can read here, I created a Bucket List for the weekend. I am quite surprised that we managed to accomplished all but one of the items on said list. Granted, there were only four, but still. If it weren't for me writing this post last night, I could have probably read a few chapters of The Long Tail, but I'd rather be online clearing my head, then have my nose stuck in a book about economics.

The main item I wanted to tackle this weekend, was to learn how to properly use our new camera. I know it will definitely take longer than a weekend to fully understand the camera and the rules of photography. It would have helped if I had listened more during my photography class senior year of high school. The ISO, f-stop and shutter speed triangle thingy is still just as daunting as it was back then. 

Needless to say, I was messing around with the camera this weekend, that's why most of the photos are blurry, overexposed and just plain bad. Shame. I did, however, learn about the functions of all the automatic and professional modes. Should be a professional within a month, tops! hehe. Maybe two months....

Our hike was a perfect example of photos gone wrong.

overexposed, but I like it.

Underexposed? I don't know. Such a shame, it would have been such a nice shot.
not too bad... 

The rest were really bad, but I am learning.

One thing I didn't mess up was the Seasonal Crunch I made, from the recipe I found in Notes From My Kitchen Table. DELICIOUS! And so simple, really. Made mine with strawberries.  

These pictures aren't sooo bad...
I need my brother in law, Charl to give me a bit of guidance with the photography! His pics are amazing.

Still obsessing over Pinterest this week. I  haven't had this much fun on a site since I opened my Facebook account four years ago. Look what I found yesterday:

Source: ohdeedoh.com via Blair on Pinterest

Johan and I had the idea of putting a tree house in Ava's room, long before we even came up with the idea of the tree. See Ava's tree and bird houses here. This photo, is exactly what I had in mind and I want to start building it right away! Thankfully, Johan is the rational one. He says we can start next month... Will keep you posted. 

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

Don't forget, today is awesome.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Today is Awesome


I saw this print on Etsy's Facebook page on Wednesday. The artist's description says, "Today is awesome. Say it twice and you can feel it happening!". 

It totally works! I've been repeating that mantra in my head all week and it completely changes my attitude. My smile is a bit brighter. My step, a bit lighter. These long, busy days at work, not so bad. Freezing weather, awesome.

Imagine if everyone repeated, Today is Awesome, twice a day? The world would be such a better place. Try it and let me know how it works!

Last weekend the Scheepers' had a lazy weekend at home. It was nice, but not my normal cup of tea. Here is my Bucket List for the weekend ahead:

buy here

  • Cook at least one dish from my new cookbook, Notes From My Kitchen Table - an awesome bday gift.
  • Take a hike - like a real hike, on a mountain or hill.
  • Learn how to use our new (bought in March) Nikon D3100 - so I can become a professional, not.
  • Read, at least to chapter 3, of Chris Anderson's The Long Tail - I want to sound more intelligent at my upcoming work event.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Update

The Scheepers' had a jammed packed weekend full of nothing. We had absolutely no where to go, and nothing to do. It was wonderful. Ava and I didn't even get into a car this weekend. Normally, we spend our weekends out and about, shopping or exploring the city. But I have to admit, this weekend has been so relaxing, we really must stay home more often.

The warmer weather helps, as we no longer have to coup ourselves up in the bedroom to keep warm. We also turned on the DSTV (cable), again. Johan and I are funny about TV. Every few months, we switch on DSTV, after a month or two, we get annoyed by the repetition of movies and TV shows, that we end up turning it off. I am more excited about having the country music channel again, than I am about anything on TV, with the exception of Carte Blanche on Sunday nights. I missed Carte Blanche.

This weekend, Johan worked in the garden and I worked on Ava's closet. She's almost outgrown most of her 3-6 months clothes and I packed away her winter clothes. Plus, hung up her new clothes that arrived from America. Baby Gap, how I love thee? Their clothes really are so gorgeous. Everything I bought for Ava, I would wear.

Last week on iwantthat, she mentioned her Pinterest account, which I had never heard of, and am now totally obsessed with. It's such a fun way to save your discoveries online, plus view what others find. Since my birthday, I've been spending lots of time day dreaming of Ava's first birthday party. Pinterest is the perfect place to help me realize this dream. I am torn between an under the sea party or just a coral and teal theme. You can check out my inspiration so far by following me on Pinterest. Click the button below.

Follow Me on Pinterest

A peak into our lazy weekend:
Ava and Daddy playing XBox

Heading out on our stroll around the neighborhood

Reason number 5,784 why I need an iphone - Ava's 1st school photo taken from my Blackberry. How funny is this? 

Reason number 5,785 why I need an iphone - Ava's 1st birthday dress that just arrived in the mail. Thanks again, Nat!!

Reason number 5,786 why I need an iphone - Ava's 1st bathing suit. Doesn't get much sweeter than this.
A few of my finds for Ava's birthday party on Pinterest:

Another busy week at work for me. We have a huge event coming up in roughly 6 weeks. You can check it out here. Super excited to be apart of the team responsible for this event.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend and all the best for the week ahead. 


ps: Ava and I were jamming out to Toby Keith's How do you like me now? today. She was smiling as I sung at the top of my lungs and we danced around the house to one of my all time favorite tunes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Second Chance Pet Adoption

Hi friends,

Please cast your vote for Second Chance Pet Adoption. It's an old friend of mine and they are so close to being in the top 10 and awarded $50,000 to their cause!



Please, and thank you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's My Birthday!!

Today is my birthday! Woo hoo! Normally, I am not a birthday person. The thought of organizing a birthday party for myself, fills me with anxiety. What if no one shows? Depressing! The thought of growing older? Depressing! This week leading up to my birthday, was just that. Monday I woke up with a horrible cold, which I still have. Cut my thumb at work, a fingernail broke below the quick and my hair is falling out. Becoming ill, clumsiness and a deteriorating body? All signs of old age. Depressing.

Thankfully, my birthday has been anything but, depressing. 

This weekend, I celebrated two new lives. The birth of my brother's baby boy, Lucien. The other, a baby shower for one of my best girlfriends Mitzi's unborn baby boy, Ruben. I am so excited to watch both of these little boys grow and flourish. One day, they will be handsome young gentleman, ready to steal the hearts of all the girls around them.

Chatted on the phone to my brother and older sister, both in America.

Skyped with Stacy for about an hour. 

Chatted to my sister in law in New Zealand.

Had a braai with some friends. Johan's best friend and his wife, who is also my sister's brother in law. Basically the link that brought Johan and I together. 

Johan and Ava bought me the biggest bouquet of flowers. Really, it's so big we can't even get a proper photo. I asked him what he is going to do for my 30th to top this gorgeous and gigantic arrangement. He hadn't thought about that... Hehe.

Today, we took the Gautrain into Rosebank. It was such a pleasant experience. The staff was so friendly and helpful, the other passengers, also friendly and just as excited to ride the train. The train and train station was so clean, it felt like we were in a first world country. Plus, I got to shop in Joburg, something that NEVER happens. 

Quality time with Johan and Ava, exploring our world. It was perfect in every way. 

Did I mention I got a ghd hair straightener? AMAZING! You will see in the pics below. I didn't even ask for it! I guess the husband does listen to me!

How about all the Facebook love on your birthday, it's awesome!

My brother in law and his family came for a visit this afternoon and brought delicious treats and a BIG surprise that I will share at a later date. 

Lucien Chandler Kernodle

At the Pretoria Station

So cute

Love this one.

Look at the big girl, in her own seat!

Our first family trip on the Gautrain!

She shopped til she dropped!

A sign of the times, I go shopping on my birthday, and all I buy is toys for Ava.

Drumroll, please! 

The winner of the lucylucybangbang "Vintage Lights" kitchen towel is... Dee Stephens of Dee's Adventures! Congratulations!! I'll put you in touch with Jacy to receive your towel. Thanks to everyone who entered and to all my new followers on here and Twitter!

Like Jacy said, every one here is a winner, and she has been kind enough to extend her offer of 10% off any order with the coupon code "blairadise". Recently, she has added a few more gorgeous collections like "Vintage Oilily" and "Orla Kiely", go check them out here and buy a few!

Happy birthday to ME!


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