Category Archives: Special Occasions

Happy Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day – a Daughter’s thoughts …

I was wondering why Mother’s Day so I just went to see what it was all about and this is what I read on the internet. Early Mother’s Day celebrations can be dated back to the spring celebrations to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, in ancient Greek civilization, according to some sources.’

Here is wishing not only my mom, but all moms a very happy Mother’s Day.  She is my special person in this world.  I really love and wish you all the best on this beautiful day.  I hope that whatever you put your hands to will prosper and succeed.  It is my wish that you will be happy and live a happy and peace filled live.  I want only good days ahead of you, filled with love and laughter.

It is my wish that when you go to bed at night you sleep peacefully and when you wake up in the morning that the day is filled with love and laughter.  There can be a day or two with some interesting stuff.  But, I want to have you enjoy your life, enjoy who you are and love your life and who you are.

Remember when we were little girls and how we used to hang around your neck? Ah, those where the days … you looked out for us and today we can speak to you about anything under the sun.  You have good advice and look out for us still.

Happy, Happy Mother’s Day!


This article originally posted on and re-posted here with permission.

Author:  Yvette van Niekerk

Biography:   I have been writing my blog for the past couple of years and have been on Google+ for some time.  I love trying my hand at writing and hope to become a good writer.  I pray each day the Lord will inspire me to inspire people around me and give me the creativity I need to face the day.



Christmas: A Time to be Grateful

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Be Grateful this Christmas

Before we even knew what hit us, 2015 is drawing to a close and it is time again for Christmas celebrations. For many of us Christmas – and especially the week between Christmas and New Year – is a time that we can slow down and take stock of the year that has passed. It is also the time of year when we should find the time to be grateful for all that we have, as sometimes we tend to forget just how much we are blessed with. And even if you do not celebrate Christmas, you can still spend some time to remember all the things you can be grateful for.

For many Christmas time is as much about spending time with family and friends as it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While there is a lot of excitement about Christmas and a build-up which already starts when the first of the Christmas decorations appear in the shops, we also have to remember that it is not all about the gifts and the food. It is also about fellowship.

Sometimes it seems as if everyone gets more relaxed, friendlier with strangers, and try to connect with friends and family which they have not seen in months or years as Christmas draws closer. But Christmas and New Year’s should not be the only time during which we think of others in this way; we should actually be doing this throughout the year.

When we look at the world as a whole and see all the suffering which is taking place on a daily basis, we can really see how lucky we are to still have family and friends around us and how lucky we are to still be alive. It is also during Christmas time that we all try to give something to those less fortunate than ourselves because we see that we have much to be grateful for. But we should also try and do this throughout the year. May we all in the coming year remember the feeling of gratitude and fellowship that we have at Christmas time and may we carry that with us throughout the year.


An Easter Tradition

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Traditional Easter Food

The pickled fish tradition lives on either as custom passed down by their parents or because they consider eating meat on Good Friday as “unholy”. Most people are totally oblivious of where the tradition originated, but the absence of facts don’t stop them from following the tradition.

Surprise your family with scrumptious Eater Pickled fish, using this recipe courtesy of the Stellenbosch Fresh Goods Market. You’ll be their hero for a long time to come. Perhaps until next Easter, when you’ll have to make it again.

Easter Pickled Fish Recipe for 4


400g – 500g hake or any firm white fish
2t (10ml) Seasoned Sea Salt
2T (30ml) flour
Canola oil
2 onions, finely sliced into rings
½ cup (125ml) water
½ cup (125ml) cider or white wine vinegar
1t (5ml) turmeric
1t (5ml) Seasoned Sea Salt
1 x 200ml Yogurt with 1T curry mix
Fresh coriander


Cut the fish into bite sized pieces and season with salt. Heat oil in a frying pan, coat the fish in flour and fry for about ten minutes or until cooked. Set aside. Combine the onions, vinegar, water, turmeric and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Place cooled fish in a deep casserole or large jar and pour the sauce over. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with curried yoghurt and fresh coriander.

To completely blow their minds, also give them:

Easter Hot Cross Buns

These spicy Easter pastries are delicious.


2 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 cups all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup raisins, currants, or golden raisins (or a mix)
Finely grated zest of half an orange
1/4 heaping teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
2 teaspoons fine salt
3 1/2 tablespoons castor sugar
1 medium egg
3 1/2 tablespoons butter


In a bowl, combine the flours, water, milk, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the egg and butter and mix to a sticky dough.

Add the dried fruit, orange zest, and spices and knead until silky and smooth. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Deflate the risen dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape into rounds and dust with flour. Place on a floured board, cover with plastic or cloth, and leave for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. For the crosses, whisk together flour and water until smooth, then transfer to a pastry bag and snip off the end to make a fine hole. Pipe a cross on top of each bun, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Melt jam and water in a pan. Brush over the buns to glaze as you take them from the oven.

Now see if you don’t get the biggest Easter egg ever!



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 Love your Funny Valentine

“Laughter flows where my lovely one goes”

Life is cussed. Things often do not work out the way we imagine. It is often hard for the romantics among us to accept that there is a gap between reality and our dreams. With maturity comes the insight to accept what we cannot perfect. The risk is that one can become cynical if one has too many disappointments. Do NOT let that happen!

The gift of humour

My favourite Valentine’s Day story started off badly but ended well. The participants both had a sense of humour and a gift for having a good time. To this day they share much laughter, and can see humour in many situations that would spoil times … and eventually relationships, for other people.

A friend met her husband while they were both on a flight from Europe to New Zealand.  It happened to be Valentine’s Day and the airline served complimentary champagne to everybody. She started chatting to the Greek gentleman who was seated next to her, who confessed that it was also his birthday. She asked him what he did, what his career was, and whether he was traveling for work or pleasure. He said that he owned a sheep, and was on his way to New Zealand because he wanted to buy another sheep. She thought that he was a poor man, a struggling sheep farmer who owned only one animal, desperately wanting to get hold of another one with a good pedigree, traveling alone on his birthday. She generously ordered the most expensive bottle of champagne they had on board, and toasted him. They exchanged addresses and before she knew what had hit her, he was courting her. It turned out that his accent and his destination, New Zealand, obscured the sense of their conversation: He owned a SHIP, not a sheep, and was in the process of acquiring a second ship. He is a very wealthy shipping magnate. They have been married for 40 years, and on every Valentine’s Day she gives him a small statue or painting of a sheep, and he gives her an ornament or painting of a ship. They stare into each other’s eyes and grin like teenagers.

How to deal with loss and loneliness on Valentine’s Day

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Dealing with sadness on Valentine’s Day

Everybody loves a holiday and St Valentine’s day is particularly popular. This is a happy day that presents the ideal opportunity to show loved ones just how much they are cherished. It is also the ideal time to declare your feelings to a new loved one. Unfortunately, this is also the day when lonely people experience their loneliness more acutely. The same goes for those people who have suffered the loss of a loved one. They feel left out and psychologists agree that depression soars during the build-up towards Valentine’s day.

There is no reason to be lonely and depressed during holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s day. Feelings of depression and loneliness should be seen as a call to action. Every human being is responsible for his or her own happiness. Unhappy and depressed people often push others away, even if they do not consciously try to do so. So, instead of moping and suffering, why not use these holidays as an opportunity to do something positive? Here are two practical ideas:

Join a special interest group

If you are interested in something (and surely everybody is interested in at least one thing!) there is most likely a group or club focusing on that interest. And no, online forums do not count! Join a group with real people. In no time at all you will connect with at least one or two members of the group and thus the foundations for friendship or even more can be laid.

Reach out to others

There are so many lonely people living in old age homes, children’s homes and in places of safety. Volunteer your services. Soon, you will make new friends and you will experience the immense satisfaction of making the lives of other people easier. Spend Valentine’s day at the charity of your choice and give hand-made cards to all and sundry. You will have a fantastic day!

By taking positive action you accept responsibility for your own happiness. Once you take this step you will find that happiness comes from within and from becoming part of the world around you.


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Choices, choices …

Everything in life comes down to our own choices, really. All the good and the bad stuff happening to us is the direct result of the choices we made up to that moment. If we live the same way, make all the same decisions and do all the things in the same way we used to in the past, our future will be exactly the same. If your life is perfect and you are perfectly happy with everything, it is fantastic then!

What if your life isn’t completely what you like it to be? It is difficult to take responsibility for the things you believe to be someone else’s fault. We commonly like to play the Blaming Game, rather than taking charge. It is so much easier to avoid making those tough choices we know we have to. Sometimes we just have to toughen up. What better time than the brand new year of 2015 for making the necessary changes. Why settle for a mediocre year if you could choose for 2015 to be nothing less than spectacular?

Oh my Goodness, Someone Moved My Cheese!

It might be much easier said than done if the rug was pulled out from under your feet and your life was thrown into turmoil. We as human beings mostly like things to always be more or less the same. We feel threatened when things get difficult. The only thing in life we can always be one hundred percent certain of, is Change. Everything else can vary at any given moment without warning.

Dr. Spencer Johnson wrote a curious, but brilliant little book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” The mouse characters looking to find their (metaphoric) cheese, had to deal with their fear of change when the cheese was moved to another location in the maze.


If all of us would just take these wise words to heart and really, really live them out, we would live in a complete different world! It is so much easier to be the popular yes-man, than to actually take action. Let us all be the change we want to see in 2015!

Author: Maritha Koortzen

Contact Maritha:

The author writes to various websites and newspapers mostly on Health and Social Issues. She also talks at Ladies Events about Health and Wellness.

Feel free to contact her for any free lance writing.






Christmas fever everywhere

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Perhaps it will be a Christmas holiday!

Christmas preparations in full swing

With just a little under three weeks to go and the clock ticking persistently, Christmas day is approaching at full speed. Suddenly one realizes how much still has to be done, but the excitement cancels out any trepidations.

Most people are planning a Christmas holiday somewhere. Anywhere, as long as it is away from home. Vehicles have to be serviced. New swimsuits and slops for the whole family need to be purchased. Dad is folding his blindingly bright Hawaiian shirt with the hibiscus print and dusting off his fake Panama hat and sunglasses with the mirrored lenses for the beach. Nothing like a beach holiday to make the old man forget his age.

Others are doing the repairs at home that have been on the to-do list since February. Isn’t it amazing how an expected visit from the in-laws motivates you to open the toolbox and get out the paint brushes? We don’t want to give anybody a reason to gossip after the holidays.

Little children have written letters to Santa clause to let him know what is on their wish lists. The blind faith of a little child always astonishes me. It is no problem to expect the old man with the red suit and white beard to be able to bring a real aeroplane or a baby Kuala bear.

Since Christmas in most households starts with, and ends with Christmas lunch, the food is a major issue. Any turkey that is still alive at this late stage of preparation, is surely in hiding in China disguised as a hedgehog. Freezers are bulging, booze cabinets overflowing and pantries stocked up to the ceiling with all that will be eaten and drunk on this one day. Just one day!

If not last week, certainly this week the grannies will be filling every hollow thing in the house with home baked biscuits. Ginger, custard and coffee biscuits. Short bread and crunchies. The family recipe from four generations back is used for the rusks that are thirty centimeters long and can soak up a mug of coffee in one dunk. That is for breakfast on Christmas day just to see everyone over till the feast begins shortly after twelve.

Will it help to ask that the poor and the lonely should be remembered in all this?

Have a merry one!

Weight loss is a lifestyle

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You are what you eat!

Permanent weight loss requires a change in lifestyle

It is hardly possible to buy a magazine or browse the internet without being accosted with dozens of advertisements promising readers and viewers that they will have successful weight loss in no time at all. In fact, the weight loss industry is gigantic. Billions are spent each year by people desperate to look and feel better. They pay because they so desperately want to believe that there is indeed a miracle just waiting to happen for them.

The sad fact is that there are very good reasons to be concerned. South Africans are considered to be among the fattest in the world. More than seventy percent of women are considered to be either overweight or obese. The statistics for men and young people are not much better. Experts agree that South Africans generally do not have healthy eating habits and that they do not exercise regularly. Thousands of people need to lose weight urgently.

Overweight people are prone to a host of serious diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and even some types of cancer. In addition they often find it difficult to move around and they experience extreme discomfort in the joints and feet. Making a firm decision to regain a healthy weight is a sensible step.

The problem is that too many overweight people want to see miraculous results. They do not want to give up their favourite foods and they do not want to follow a diet that requires discipline. Instead, they want to drink a few drops of a special preparation, take a few pills each day or observe a diet plan that allows them to enjoy all their favourite foods. This is simply not going to happen. To lose weight it is vital to observe a balanced exercise program and a diet that is supported and underwritten by experts in the field. There are no miracle programs. Obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight requires a permanent change in lifestyle.

It is a good idea to make proper Insurance cover a part of your new lifestyle too!

Call Auto and General right now for professional Insurance advice!

The history of holiday and the holy days of history

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The history of holiday

              …………………  and the holy days of history

The very nature of work (and play for that matter) has changed over the ages. Some people did not work at all! In ancient China, the top notch royalty grew their nails so long it curved and curled into elaborate symbols of importance to prove one’s aristocratic background. The nails were decorated and displayed, and the people attached to these appendages had to be fed and dressed, washed and pampered. Try as I might to respect the customs of every culture, it seems pretty strange to me. But such is cultural conditioning, and what is respected by one culture is abhorred by another. How different is modern day China and the worldwide perception that the Chinese are the most hard-working people!

Customs and beliefs about work

In the caste systems of some cultures, certain labours are designated unclean, whereas I was raised to believe that all labour is ennobling. Whether you polish the silver of the cathedral or clean the toilets of the station, every job is important to keep the world going around. The millionaire mogul of a multi-national company is not more important than the man who removes the weeds in the wheat field. Everybody needs bread after all. What is important is whether you do the work with integrity and treat other people with decency. Like most cultural conditioning, this belief has served me more-or-less half the time.

Holy days

The word “holiday” comes from the holy days of religious festivals, when workers were given leave to attend worship or celebration, or the commemoration of an event, (like a king coming into power or a war ending). On these days people were exempt from work. On all other days people worked.

Fun and relaxation

It is a recent development in the history of mankind that one does and should have time for rest and recreation. And we jolly-well need it! Modern life is fast! The world is changing rapidly due to the advances in technology. The holding and supportive structures of the old rhythms and customs are no longer available to most of us. There is a price to pay for the freedom to do what we want: We are expected to do EVERYTHING!

That is why the re-creation of a holiday is essential. On holiday we create ourselves anew, so that we can be up to the demands of modern life.

Get peace of mind when you go on holiday. Contact Budget Insurance right NOW!

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Oscar Pistorius – No more running

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Oscar-end of the race?

Oscar Pistorius – the end of his race

Oscar Pistorius, renowned star of the race track also known as the Bladerunner, has come to the last straight of this race. The race he is running now is like none he has ever run before. This one he is literally running for his life. It is the murder trial where he is the perpetrator and accused of premeditated murder on Reeva Steenkamp, in his own bedroom.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel assumed that Oscar Pistorius’ mental condition claim is “a fallback position”.
The murder trial is due to resume on Monday and any time soon Judge Masipa will decide his fate. That decision will mainly depend on the reports of three psychiatrists and one clinical psychologist, who had the mammoth task of evaluating the mental health of our fallen star, Oscar Pistorius.

Oscar Pistorius – the last four weeks

Every weekday of the past month Oscar found himself spending long periods of time at the former asylum for the criminally insane, which was built more than a century ago for detaining society’s most dangerous criminals.

Every morning he was driven down the gloomy tree lined path leading to the building. A path that reminds strongly of the usual paths that lead to the cemeteries of old. TV showed him being taken there by a family member, but once there, he was on his own. Nobody to coach him how to answer questions. What to say and what not to say. Whatever he said, his life depends on it.

The viewers of the broadcasted trial have often witnessed Oscar reaching for the ever present bucket, in which he vomited due to stress and emotion. One has to wonder if that happened during his tests and questioning in the asylum. Was there a ‘bucket’ too?

Surely he was must have tried to anticipate the repercussion of every answer he gave and every action he made. He was between a rock and a very hard place. Did he want to be diagnosed as mentally unstable? Or stable? I surmise ‘unstable’ would have the lighter consequences.

Oscar Pistorius – the last weekend

And so today he has nowhere to go. No hospital room . No court room. No one asking him any questions. No thinking and mulling over in his mind to try and take the correct next step, whatever that may or may not have been.

What is he doing with his free time this whole weekend. Perhaps his last 3 days of freedom. Or did freedom for Oscar Pistorius end the moment he fired his first or four shots at the locked bathroom door, in the wee hours of Valentines Day 2013? Or was it when his loved one received a fatal bullet? Or will he be saved by an unstable verdict on his mental health?

Perhaps ‘freedom’ for Oscar Pistorius will be a reflection of the words of an old song that indicates, freedom only means he ‘has nothing left to loose’?

You, however have much to loose!

That is why you should call Auto & General Insurance right away to get all your valuables insured!