Tag: kids

Oops, I’ve fallen in love with a speaker named Jooki

Mooki, the Jooki

So last year Manu decided to back this kickstarter project for some, smart, WiFi speaker thingy called Jooki.

What’s the difference with what we already have? Is this just one of the heaps of gadgety things you keep filling up shelved with?… and never using?

Was my first reaction to his silly expenditure. His argument…

It’s for the kids, its really cool. Teo will be able to play whatever music he wants! It’s made for kids!

His excitement was that of a kid with a shop-till-you-drop pass at a candy shop!

Firstly, y’all need to understand, Manu is a shopaholic in denial, not the normal kinda shopaholic we all are… No!! He’s a man shopaholic… he shops for gadgets – lots and lots of gadgets, stuff that I don’t even understand the use. So you’ll understand why I wasn’t, in the least, interested in his rumbling on about this speaker thing. I was so unbothered that I, quite honestly, forgot all about it.

That’s until the 6th of December when Teo got Jooki as a gift from St. Nick – (St. Nicholas Day is a huge deal here in our neck of the woods… even bigger than Christmas). And that’s the day Jooki and I first met. Let’s just say he got my attention. This little chap came to impress, lookin’ mighty fine in his blue and orange ensemble 🙂 Ok, listen… when Manu was talking about Jooki, I had an image of a cheap looking, poor quality toy… I mean… it was a speaker for kids!!! I was almost certain it wouldn’t even work. But man… how Jooki shut me up! He looked good… very good! For a toddler who gets bored with anything after 5 minutes, Teo could not keep his hands off Jooki for the next few days! And whenever Jooki was free off Teo hands, Imani was curled up somewhere in a corner with him. I had never seen my little humans get so attached to anything that fast.

***This post contains affiliate links***

Mooki, the Jooki
Meet Mooki, our Jooki

If you haven’t heard of Jooki yet, pay attention because this is one of the most exciting child-focused discoveries I’ve made in a long while! Current situation? – in love with Mooki… our Jooki! (yes, we baptised him!). Allow me to educate you – Jooki is a smart speaker specifically built with little music lovers in mind. They say, a ‘kids’ jukebox’… what?!… Love it! I mean… who doesn’t love a jukebox? The whole idea is to allow kids as young as 3, to enjoy their favourite songs, or stories, whenever and wherever they please and that, independently… being their own DJ! Coolness… right?!

Jooki comes with 5, seriously adorable, characters, and an app for the parent. It’s through the app that parents program playlists or audio books onto the characters, meaning each character is a playlist… like a CDs were back in our days . You can decide to add a single song or a whole album to a character… totally up to you! To play it, all the little munchkins have to do is place the character of their choice onto Jooki and voila! Party on!!!

Mooki, the JookiMoka, the Jooki

If that hasn’t impressed you yet… how about this… you as a parent remain in full control of Jooki! They could be in their bedroom, or outside in the garden, while you’re in the kitchen wrapping up on dinner… you still remain in total control, through the app! You can switch Jooki on or off, control the maximum volume level the kids can listen to, and soon you’ll be able to add a timer to power off… at bedtime, for example. You don’t even have to be in the same room to do all this!!!… What?!…  I know, brilliant!!!

Mooki, the Jooki
Lazy Sunday with Jooki
Mooki, the Jooki
One last story before bed for Teo

Why Jooki stole my heart

  • Completely zero screen

The fact that Imani and Teo can listen to their fav music without having any screen on… winner! They can now play whatever they want on the Jooki and not on one of our phones… ending up calling the boss on a Sunday morning or deleting images planned for a post. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to re-install apps on my phone. **eyes roll**

  • Parent controlled

Simple, you as the parent have full control of what the kids are exposed to, what they listen to! And full control of how they use Jooki.

  • Sturdy and splash resistant

As you can imagine, Mooki, the Jooki, has already been bumped on every wall edge in my house. He’s gotten milk, water, juice spills all over him, yet, he still comes out on the other side without a single bruise.

  • Portable

We took Mooki with us to Kenya for the family vacay in December, spent a week with him at the Kenyan coast… paradise on earth by the way. He’s come along on loads of car rides with us for the munchkins’ entertainment. He’s super lightweight that Teo walks around the house carrying him from room to room.

  • Top notch quality

The materials used to build Jooki are first class. As a self-confessed sucker-for-detail, am seriously impressed with the quality… including the sound quality. If you’re like me, you’ll know that sturdy, most of the time, rhymes with no-so-pretty… not in Jooki’s case! He looks good, just look at the pictures! And aren’t the colours just lovely?

  • After bedtime, Jooki is all mine

Ok, it’s marketed as a kids’ speaker, but actually everyone can use it. On the app, I’ve stored tons of my own music, thanks to the possibility of using whatever sized SD card for storage! I like having background music whenever am doing anything, could be reading, writing a blog post etc, and now, I no longer have to worry about water splashing on to my phone while in the bath, and saves the hassle of carrying my laptop to the bathroom or bedroom. Since  Jooki can also be played without its characters, I now jam in the shower, kitchen, while doing laundry, to my own music, without having to override the kids’ playlists 🙂 And… I can listen to my favourite streaming radio station as it is linked to my home WiFi network! Yay!

Mooki, the Jooki
Sibling story time with Jooki

I really did not want to like Jooki! I actually hoped he would fail as soon as he got out of his box. I wanted to have my ‘I knew it’ moment, while rolling my eyes at Manu! I don’t know when or how it happened… maybe it’s when I saw my kids jamming to ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley and the Wailers, or Imani yelling from the top of her lungs, singing along to ‘Bicycle Race’ by Queen. I really did not expect it… but I’ve fallen in love… head over heels in love with a speaker named Jooki!

Mooki, the Jooki
In all honesty, isn’t he lovely?

And you know what… I’m certain you and your kids will too! So, if you’re still out there hunting for a Valentine’s gift, or your little’s birthday is coming up, or you’re like me and don’t really need a specific reason to buy your kids something you know they’ll love… I highly recommend Jooki. In fact… let me hook you up… here’s a code that will get you 30€ knocked off the retail price: MUNCHKINS30. Here’s Jooki’s home, read about how he came to be, check out how much fun he is, and tons more about this little guy. And don’t forget to validate the discount code… it’s 30€ off!!! You can thank me later 😉

Note to self, start paying attention when Manu starts talking gadgets… he does know a thing or 2 about them clearly.


Why I am raising my kids to be feminists

The family

Before my kids, my loves were partying, shopping, food, sleep and a good G&T. I lived for these things, I lived for the weekend! ***reminiscing on the good ol’ days.*** Then one day everything changed – the day I found out I was expecting my first child… Imani. I had heard people say having kids doesn’t necessarily change you… unless you let it. Well, that’s total B.S! Believe me, nothing will change your life the way becoming a parent does! Maybe what these people should add to that statement is, it’s up to you how you view that change, for better or worse. Personally my little ones’ arrival changed everything… for the better! I thought I had love, more or less, figured out, until I held Imani on that Autumn evening. The meaning of that little word… ‘love’… changed completely then. The love I felt for this tiny little person was like no other love I had ever experienced. No words could describe the feeling that suddenly overcame me. That there… that was love. Pure, genuine love.

So back in 2012, here I was, growing a tiny human in me, a tiny being that was all mine, to care for, to protect, to mentor, to nurture, and to love. This was responsibility taken to another level. I prayed and hoped I would be the best mum in the world. I was so excited and terrified at the same time, but I knew I was gonna do everything in my power to nail this gig. I didn’t really care much about the baby’s sex… I just wanted a health baby. At my 20th week scan, the doc announces that the little person was going to be a girl! And that was a game changer right there!

See, raising a girl.. and raising her well, to me, was going to be the most challenging thing I will ever have to do in my life. Society dictates a girl’s future even before they can utter their first words. Girls are inferior to boys… never equal. They are seen as softer, more fragile beings. When you look at the most common girls’ toys, they are always along the lines of soft cuddly dolls, little pink doll houses, and anything princessy. Boys on the other hand, get ‘tough’ toys and machines! Cars and diggers, work bench and power tools, toy planes. Even when it comes to dress up play and costumes, the common options for girls are a princess… or a witch, while boys get to be firemen, pilots, policemen and super heroes. That’s where I have a problem with society! Why is society undermining my daughter’s capabilities! Why can’t society allow her to dream of greater things? Why can’t she be a pilot? A fire woman? A superhero? Why does she have to be a helpless princess trapped in a tower waiting for ‘oh so strong prince charming’ to come to her rescue? Heck… why can’t she be the one to rescue the bloody prince?

Well, I accepted the challenge that destiny threw at me, I am going to do my best to raise Imani to be a young woman who believes in herself, in her abilities… who will not be put down just because she was born ‘the wrong sex’! I will encourage her to be a go-getter, proud of being a woman, and not be held back because of the ‘what-ifs’ of life. I will raise BOTH my kids with this mentality. At bedtime, I repeat to Imani the same words, every single night, I tell her that she is a strong little girl who will grow up to do great things… and I make her repeat that phrase! Most of the time she whines… “Mama am tired, I’ll say it tomorrow”… but I insist on it. She might not understand why I insist on her repeating these words, they don’t even make sense to her, but one day it will click.

Please don’t get me wrong, I know she is still a child, and I know ‘children should be left to do ‘being children’… and of course I do not cringe when she picks her ‘Elsa’ dress – yes, she has one, bought it myself – for Halloween, as long as that’s what she wants, and not because someone has pressured her into it. If Teo wants to play with a doll – which he does all the time- I let him, even encourage it. If he wants to put on a princess dress… why the hell not! If Imani wants to dress like papa and play at ‘doctor’… nothing makes me more proud! I let my kids be whatever THEY want to be.

As for the Teo, I raise him the exact same way as I do Imani. I want him to grow up with the understanding that girls are just as brilliant as boys. That girls can do what boys can do… and probably even better. I don’t want him growing up thinking that he is superior to Imani… or to any girl for that matter just because of his sex. I will tell him that the world will try to convince him that he is better, he is more intelligent… but he should not let this blind his judgment. He should see girls, women as equals. I want for him to grow up to be the kind of man who stands up to defend girls and women whenever he sees an injustice towards them.

I will raise my munchkins equally… and raise them to see each other in this same way, from as early as now. I will not force them to be something else just because society says they are! And when that day comes, when they go out there to face the ‘big bad world’, equipped with the understanding that we are all capable of greatness… I will be able to, finally, sit back and watch them take over the world.

What are some of your parenting challenges? What do you teach your kids? What do you wish for them when they grow up?