Looking for a travel stroller? Banimal Kids stroller.

*** Just a heads up…I do not usually do reviews, this is just an honest opinion from one mom to another about a product that I was blessed to find and I am so excited to share with you! I did not get any payment / compensation for writing this review.***

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In the months leading up to our big trip from SA to Belgium I spent a lot of time researching the perfect travel stroller. I knew I would be taking my Ubuntu Baba carrier, but I also wanted to have a stroller that folds up really small and handles easily with one hand. I read many many blogs, but most of the strollers that were reviewed were not available in South Africa. If they were available, it was mainly in baby-boutiques, and the price-tags reflected that. I prayed about it and decided to forget about it for a while.

One morning while scrolling Facebook, a random stroller caught my eye from one of the “suggested posts”. It was a brand new South African company, Banimal Kind Creatures, that was only launched in May 2018, but the stroller looked a lot like one of the top-range strollers I have been researching. On further inspection I also found it was for sale at a very affordable price. I sent them a message via their Facebook company page to hear more, and they were quick to reply and very caring. (The customer care is amazing and just keeps getting better!)

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Within a week my stroller was delivered fully assembled in a teeny-tiny box. Yes, it folds that small! It weighs only 6kg! The material of the seat and canopy is of a good quality and looks stylish and neat. We chose the grey model and love the melange as it hides spills and spots! It is easy to clean with a wet cloth and after 2 months of use it still looks like new. The frame feels sturdy and there are not a lot of gadgets that can break. It comes with a carry-bag and a cup holder. We ditched the cup holder as it makes the stroller more bulky when folded.

The canopy has good coverage, it kept most of the seat dry during a European-rainstorm and it keeps the sun out of Eran’s eyes. There is also a peek-hole in the canopy which comes in very handy if you want to see if baby is asleep yet. The storage basket looks deceptively small, but it can hold a 6-pack 1 litre milk containers (or beer here in Belgium 😉) and the Ubuntu Baba carrier fits perfectly!

We could not wait for Daddy to get home so that we could all go for a “test-drive”. The stroller opens with a quick shake (possible with one hand) and Eran sits in it quite comfortably. He likes holding / chewing the handle bar, and it its possible to fold the stroller with this bar in place. You can change the seat position from upright to flat with one hand, but need a second hand to put it back to the upright position. It reclines to about 150 degrees which is more than enough for baby to take a nice nap. Eran is quite tall, so his feet does dangle from the edge when he is sleeping, but it does not seem to bother him at all.

Closing the stroller is a little bit more tricky, but after a few practise-tries you get the hang of it. Just make sure there is nothing in the storage basket and that the canopy is fully folded before attempting to close the rest. Unfortunately this is not a one-hand process. Once folded the stroller is really compact and easy to fit into most plane/train luggage racks or cupboards, keeping the isles clear and my house neat. There is also a carry-strap fitted on the stroller which has come in very handy when Eran is in the carrier and we have to hop from train-to-metro-to-bus quickly. We live on the second story with very small, windy stairs and no lift, so it is also very convenient to get the stroller in and out of the apartment.

The wheels are solid and handle all sorts of surfaces well. We have tested it on grass, dirt, tar, pavements, carpets, woodchips and tiles and it is really easy to steer with one hand. The handle bar is also quite high, which is an important point for us as we are a tall family. Even the Grannies and Grandpas where able to operate the stroller with ease.

This little stroller is packed full of punch and we have used it for much more than just travelling! It works well on shopping trips and saves a lot of boot space! The price also makes it perfect to have as a backup stroller in dad / granny’s car. (Most of the other travel strollers I was looking at retailed between R4000-R8000, the Banimal is currently on sale for R1899!!) It is now available online and in Baby Boom stores so you can look and feel and steer for yourself! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

 

Growing Kids with Character

growing kids with character

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6  (NIV)

This verse was one of the key verses at our baby boy’s dedication last weekend. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read it in a whole new context in the book “Growing Kids with Character” by Hettie Brittz this week, as it showed me a practical way to live out the promise we made. Litfuse Publicity gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour and sent me this e-book, and I jumped at the opportunity as Hettie Brittz is one of my favourite authors.

I have started reading this book in Afrikaans, but the was interrupted by the first few months of surviving with a baby… and now, 6 months down the line I finally had the motivation to complete it.

In reading and writing I love using metaphors, and Hettie nailed the parenting journey with her gardening metaphor. She used four types of trees to describe four temperaments that your kids could have (or any combination of the four). There is an online questionnaire that you can complete to figure out what “tree” (temperament type) your child is growing to be, and then the book teaches you more about the characteristics, strong points and weaknesses of that temperament, and how to parent that child better. Life is full of hard, confusing, scary weeds and other temptations, and we all want our kids to grow into the plan the Father has for them. Based on scriptural principles, this book helps you to reach that goal.

Sneak peak…

Palm tree 1

The palm tree conjures pictures of an island, with coconuts hanging from the tree and monkeys playing around the branches, dancing to the beat of the hula… these kids are jovial, fun-loving and live for the moment, but do not like routine and chores.

 

 

rose bush 1

 

A rose bush may be prickly but it produces the most beautiful flowers! They require aggressive pruning, but they’re tough… these kids are driven, competitive, and usually very successful, but need to be shaped early in order to grow their beautiful roses.

 

boxwoodtree 1

The boxwood tree is often used as decoration and appears very neat and tidy and controlled. Kids with this temperament thrive in situations with strict rules and regulations, and have high standards for themselves.

pine tree1

 

The pine tree represents the calm you find in a plantation. Pine-tree kids are deeply anchored, stubborn and not eager to be transplanted. They are peaceful in nature, loyal friends and very attached to their families.

 

“I am not the whole story when it comes to parenting. God, other parents, life, friends, and influences will parent with me. I will deserve neither all the blame nor all the glory. I will be stretched in the process.” Hettie Brittz, Growing Kids with Character

This book is full of practical tips, but also full of grace for parents. You will feel more equipped to handle discipline, relationships and praise for your specific child. There are even some characteristics outlined that you can start recognising from as young as babies and toddlers, so the book grows with your family. You do not need green fingers to have happy, healthy children!

I really want to encourage you to read this book. (It is also available in Afrikaans as “Kweek kinders met Karakter”). It creates a strong, wise framework for you to build your parenting on.  You can also become part of the Evergreen parenting / Tall trees profiles community on Facebook or on their websites (https://evergreenparenting.co.za/ or https://www.talltreestraining.com/).

 

Hettie Brittz is a South African–born author, international speaker, and a foremost voice in parenting advice and personality styles. She is the author of “(un)Natural Mom,” the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course, and the codeveloper of Tall Trees Profiles. She heads up Tall Trees Consulting (USA).