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Recipe: Health rusks with pecan nuts and red bush berries

By Lea Brink Rusks you should have in your pantry the whole year round. You will need: 2 kg self-raising flour 1 kg Nutty Wheat 1 kg bran 500g chopped pecan nuts 300g dried red bush berries 1 kg margarine ½ cup oil 7 teaspoons baking powder 7 teaspoons salt...

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How to protect your family against burns

By Nico Strydom Burns are usually caused in and around the home and that is why it is essential to take the necessary precautions. To health care providers the winter months are known as the burn season as people who contract burns during this period usually increase significantly. This is of course due to the cold and people using appliances to try and stay warm. According to Russel Meiring, spokesperson of ER24, burns can be very serious for children as well as adults. “However, children are more inclined to contract serious burns as they cause an accident more easily and ... Lees meer.

Tips for raising independent children

By Dr Eugene Brink Most parents can attest to their toddlers and young children – putting it mildly – dawdling when it comes to performing even the simplest and most routine tasks. In fact, even without any scientific polling done, it should rank as one of the most maddening aspects of parenthood. It is for this very reason that raising independent kids is in all likelihood (albeit arguably) the most important task of a parent. Many parents assume that kids simply “become” independent and reach certain stages of independence, irrespective of what you do. Although this could be true of ... Lees meer.

Help your child with his learning problem

By Emsie Martin Exam time is here again and your child is not performing as well as you expected. Remember, when you child has learning problems, it also affects you as a parent, who with your child also experience the frustration and tension. Children can easily feel like a failure and it can harm their self-image. These children often feel helpless, as the demands made on them are overwhelming. As a result, your child could also develop behavioural problems. Dr. ST Potgieter, a psychologist in Bellville, shares a few thoughts on how you as a parent can help your child: ... Lees meer.

Do children benefit from learning to read earlier?

By Marli Naidoo Preschool children are being increasingly pressurised to learn to read as early as possible. Teachers, who have to see to it that it happens, also experience this pressure. However, does this contribute to the child’s long-term success? In 1967 David Weikart and his colleagues launched a well-controlled study where 68 poor children were divided among three different nursery schools. One of the schools was a traditional play-based school, one was a high-scope school (also a play-based school but with much more adult guidance), and one was a school with direct instruction (where the focus was on instruction ... Lees meer.

The value of music and movement for your toddler

By Melodie Veldhuizen All children possess an innate music talent and sensitivity for rhythm. Just take note of how a baby who cannot even walk yet, moves her body to the beat of music. Music, together with movement, are important for children’s optimal development. What is the value of music and movement for children? Improves mood because children’s music is cheerful and movement speeds up the supply of oxygen to the brain. Lullabies calm babies and let them relax, so that they sleep peacefully. Promotes memory development as they memorise the words, rhythm, tune and movements. Improves attention span as ... Lees meer.

Everyday communication with your partner

By Wilma Bedford A great deal of importance is attached to communication techniques to keep a relationship healthy and the focus is usually on conflict handling or on damage control. And after the big talk was had, how can communication on an everyday level strengthen the building blocks of a relationship? If communication is based on the knowledge that the basic human need is to be appreciated, to feel safe and loved and to experience growth, the battle is half won. Everybody wants to feel unique, appreciated and important and listening to your partner with undivided attention must surely be ... Lees meer.

Borrow a few ideas at work to ensure success at home

By Anja van den Berg When you’re a parent with a full-time job, much of the work of home is compressed into a few hours a day – and you need to move mountains in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy task. It takes planning and effort to make a household and family run smoothly, but it can be done using the same tactics you implement at work: planning and scheduling, thoughtful decision-making, and putting people first. Run your home life in the same way as at work to get everything done efficiently and effectively ... Lees meer.

Conflict can be good for your marriage

By Essie BesterAll of us were created as unique individuals with our own personalities. This means that each of us is going to look at the world differently and that we are going to behave differently. Conflict is therefore unavoidable, especially where two people are sharing a house, a bathroom, finances and a life. Experts, however, feel that conflict can be good for your marriage ─ as long as you learn to fight fairly.Why do married couples have to make an effort to solve problems?The most reliable indicator of how happy a marriage is, is not how often a couple ... Lees meer.

Technology and infidelity

By Nico Strydom The digital era has not only made it easier for people to cheat on their partners, but has also resulted in some people in relationships now being more suspicious of their partners and also being able to catch them red-handed. The progress in technology means every move you make can be traced. Cell phones follow you everywhere and you leave a digital track that can be followed by anyone who has access to your cell phone. However, this also means that people are now able to create a safe, secret world by downloading programmes on their phones ... Lees meer.

Save your marriage by mastering money management skills

Anja van den Berg For richer or for poorer.  This is what most of us promise our spouse when we pledge ourselves in marriage. Unfortunately, many couples today can’t seem to survive either richer or poorer due to poor money management skills. It’s no secret that fighting about money puts a huge strain on a relationship, says Jennifer Ryan Woods, personal finance expert, writing for Forbes. “Money issues are so troublesome that people who say they're experiencing stress in their relationship cite finances as the number one reason,” Woods explains. According to South African attorney Hugh Raichlin, conflict over finances ... Lees meer.

Learn to understand your dog

By Nico Strydom Dogs use their bodies and expressions to communicate their feelings. By learning your dog’s body language you will know when it feels sad, happy, threatened or bad-tempered. Dogs use their whole body to show how they feel in a particular situation. They will bark, whine or growl and use facial expressions and their ears, lips, noses, tails and bodies, and it is therefore important to know what the different expressions and habits mean. It is, however, important to take everything together as well as the situation in which the dog finds itself into consideration, otherwise you may ... Lees meer.

Yes, your dog can also grieve

By Melodie Veldhuizen Some animal-behaviour scientists doubt whether dogs can really feel grief when a human parent dies. Experts claim that dogs function on the same intellectual and emotional level as children of four to five years old. They do not understand the finality of death and therefore they expect the deceased person to come back. And yet, from the behaviour of dogs it is clear that they experience loss when a human parent dies. The intensity with which dogs experience loss and the extent to which they grieve, depend a lot on how close the relationship between the deceased person ... Lees meer.

Seven diseases you could pick up from your pet

Chisanga Mukuka Just like the rest of us, your furry friend is also prone to germs, bacteria and bouts of sickness. And in the same way that you might catch a cold from other people, conditions from pets can sometimes be passed on to their owners. The good news is that most zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans) are quite rare, and those that you could contract are treatable and can be prevented through simple measures. A great start is knowing which infections are most likely to cross over. Familiarise yourself with the following conditions: ... Lees meer.

Help your child to process the death of a pet

Marli Naidoo In many cases the loss of a pet is a child’s first introduction to death. It can therefore leave him sad, but can also fill him with feelings of guilt, fear and confusion. Some children may even resent a friend whose pet is still alive. It therefore is our duty to help our children through this difficult time. A toddler will probably not yet understand the concept of death. Explain to him that his pet is dead and won’t return, but that it definitely is not his fault. Four- to six-year-olds are inclined to see death as a ... Lees meer.

Having a dog in a complex

We all love our pets but it’s not always easy to live the communal life with an animal, especially a dog. If you’re planning on moving to a complex and have a dog, or live in one and want to get a dog, there are some things you need to consider. Firstly, is the complex pet-friendly? Some people move to a complex because they don’t want neighbours with pets, so make sure you can have a dog before you move in or buy one. Secondly, do you have the right kind of dog for complex living? Remember that an animal ... Lees meer.

How to stay professional on social media

By Nico StrydomSocial-media platforms have become part of people’s personal world, and also of their professional life.Social media enables you to keep contact with family, friends and clients on a professional and personal level and to establish a brand for yourself. First, it is important to know why you are using social media. To create an online presence you must know what the advantages and disadvantages are.From a professional point of view social media can help you build a network of knowledge, to stay informed of trends in your professional world and to market yourself as a thought leader in ... Lees meer.

Adults can also be afraid of the dark

By Marli NaidooNyctophobia is an extreme fear of the dark that can cause intense symptoms of anxiety and depression. Fear becomes a phobia when it is excessive or irrational, or when it affects your everyday life.This fear usually starts while you are still a child and is regarded as normal. It comes from uncertainty about what the dark holds that the child cannot see. This fear of the dark is usually only temporary and should disappear with time. There are, however, people who still have to put up with it as adults. In some cases this fear later becomes a ... Lees meer.

Checklist For An Emergency Plan When Your Child Is Raped

By Anja van den Berg The recent incident of a seven-year-old girl who was raped in a Dros restaurant restroom in Pretoria has left many South Africans fearing for their children’s safety. The sad reality is this is just one of many incidents – over 40% of all rapes in South Africa are committed against children. In 41% of the more than 120,000 total rape cases reported in the last three financial years, children were the victims, Minister of Police Bheki Cele revealed in Parliament recently. The frightening part is that these statistics have been increasing over the years. Acknowledging ... Lees meer.

Be on the lookout for these holiday dangers

By Dr Eugene Brink Holidays should be about fun and some much-needed rest and relaxation, right? Yes, it should, but reality doesn’t always turn out the way you hoped it would. The truth of the matter is that tragedy may well strike while you are busy vacationing. Unwind you must because that is what holidays are for, but one should also be mindful of the hazards that may await you and your family. In South Africa, these are varied: Being robbed Criminals are always on the prowl and even more so during the holidays when people are letting their guard ... Lees meer.

Teach your children safety in and around the house

By Melodie Veldhuizen For your own peace of mind and your children’s safety it is essential for you to make them aware of safety and how to handle emergency situations from a young age. The most important rules Emergency numbers, contact details and self-identification Children of all ages must know how to use a telephone and where to get help in an emergency. Let them memorise important numbers. If they can read, display emergency numbers close to the telephone where they can easily find them in an emergency. Load important and emergency numbers on the housephone and on everybody’s cell ... Lees meer.

How to avoid the Christmas rush

During the preamble to the Christmas season and this busy time do you want to lock yourself inside your home and only appear again after New Year? You hate the crowds of people and large shopping malls and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and Jingle bells blaring in your ears. Even Father Christmas who sits back quietly and just utters a ho-ho-ho now and then while you rush around for Christmas food and Christmas gifts irritates you. Unfortunately you cannot avoid the festive season, but you can sidestep the Christmas rush.   Christmas gifts: Compile your gift list ahead of time. Look ... Lees meer.

Be sun smart this summer

Essie Bester For decades people have been hearing that the sun can make you old and even kill you. And yet it would seem that people think that scientists are lying about it and it is all just a lot of scare stories. South Africans are still shockingly careless or ignorant about protection against the sun, says the Durban-based dermatologist, Dr Marc Roscher. Be sun smart this year by familiarising yourself with all the necessary hints and facts. Suntan cream Nothing ages your skin faster than the sun, regardless of suntan cream. And although there are as yet no scientific ... Lees meer.

Matrics, this is how to stay safe during the holidays

By Nico Strydom The matric exams have come and gone and matrics are looking ahead with great excitement to the holidays and parties in the offing. Parties and celebrations will be held all over the country. “Unfortunately, each year there are also cases where matrics die in road accidents, due to inebriation or a drug overdose. There are also cases of theft of valuable items and vandalism,” says Charnelle Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT. However, according to Hattingh, there are some easy tips that matrics can follow to stay safe. “Make sure all your valuable items ... Lees meer.

Make sure your car is safe for the long trip

By Nico Strydom The festive season is just around the corner and it is time to create memories with friends and family. Whether you are planning a peaceful and quiet holiday in the bush or a holiday at the beach, or just intend staying at home and exploring your town or city, you have to acquire peace of mind by making sure your vehicle is safe and ready for the journey. “Millions of South African motorists will be on the road during the festive season. Most vehicle problems can be detected early by taking it for an inspection, listening for ... Lees meer.

3 Tips to Avoid Family Drama during The Christmas Holidays

By Anja van den Berg With the Festive Season upon us, many of us will be spending time with extended family. Whether you're traveling to visit parents or they're coming to stay with you, time spent with family can be filled with blessings – and also lots of stress. Like it or not, extended family and in-laws are part of your life. And never is that fact more accentuated than over the Christmas holidays. How can you keep your home harmonious when your mother-in-law has outstayed her welcome, over-excited children are acting up or your spouse is driving you crazy ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Sweet potatoes filled with butternut and chick peas

By Lea Brink The flavours in this recipe are of Moroccan origin. You will need: 1 butternut, diced 3 large sweet potatoes 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves 1 tin drained chick peas 2 chopped cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger 1 finely chopped green pepper 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cumin powder 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1 teaspoon paprika Salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup olive oil 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese Tabasco sauce Preheat the oven to 180°C. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Cut open length-wise. Hollow out half of the sweet potatoes so ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Green pepper and biltong soup

By Lea Brink Enjoy this soup anytime of the day or night. Soup is a wonderful comfort food on cold winter nights. You will need: 6 red green peppers, sliced 1 tablespoon paprika 4 rosemary sprigs 400g carved biltong 2½ cups beef extract 1 chopped onion 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves of garlic 80g olives, pips removed Salt and pepper to taste 250 ml fresh cream Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the red green peppers, paprika, rosemary, onion, olive oil, garlic and olives in an oven pan. Add salt and pepper. Stir the green peppers and spices through ... Lees meer.

Declutter the Marie Kondo way

By Melodie Veldhuizen It is time once again to declutter your home, but you don’t know where and how to begin. Try the KonMari method of decluttering, that was developed by Marie Kondo (a Japanese woman). Remember, not everything you get rid of is clutter just because it no longer gives you pleasure or is of no use. Many of these can still mean something to someone else. According to this method, you declutter according to category and per room. Kondo distinguishes between five categories (that you can divide further into subcategories): Clothes Books Papers Komono (diverse items) Sentimental item ... Lees meer.

3 Water-Wise Gardening Tips For The Newbie Gardener On A Budget

By Anja van den Berg Creating a beautiful garden doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some money-saving gardening tips that will help you stick to your budget – and even save water. You cannot have too much mulch The first and easiest step is to add a thick layer of mulch around your plants. Mulch could be anything that will cover the soil sufficiently to prevent it from getting too hot and from water evaporating. Leaves and bark work very well and will gradually break down to provide you with some nutrient-rich compost. Other options include pebbles, pine ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Filled caramel cream pumpkin fritters

By Lea Brink  I use my basic stalwart recipe obtainable at A very easy and tasty pumpkin fritter for the base. You will need: Batter: 2 cups cooked pumpkin, mashed 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 beaten egg 1 cup self-raising flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar Caramel cream: 1 tin “Caramel Treat” 250 ml fresh cream ½ cup chopped almonds Pinch of salt Cinnamon sugar: ½ cup white sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon Beat the mashed pumpkin and egg together in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat well. Heat ... Lees meer.

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