Easter Baking With The Kids

Chocolate Egg Nests

These little nests are simply adorable and kids are bound to have a blast crafting these delicacies. Add a ring of licorice to the nest to make a basket instead and fill with your child's favourite sweets.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter over a low heat.
  3. Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the cornflakes. Mix until all the cereal is coated in chocolate.
  4. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press three chocolate eggs in the middle.
  5. Chill in the fridge for an hour, until nests are set.

Recipe and image sourced from BBC Food.

Cake Pops

This recipe is so easy to make that the little ones can do it all by themselves. These pops can be attached to sticks or just left in chocolate and enjoyed. Easter baking sorted.

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Crumble the cake and mix with icing.
  2. Roll the mixture into small balls.
  3. Dip the balls in melted chocolate and scatter on sprinkles.
  4. Place the pops on wax paper and allow to set.

Recipe and image sourced from Loaves And Dishes.

Bunny Butt Cupcakes

Who knew a bunny butt could be so cute? Made to look like a bunny digging for carrots, this is the perfect way to decorate some yummy cupcakes for Easter.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Scoop two balls out of each vanilla muffin using a melon baller.
  2. Ice each chocolate muffin with the chocolate icing and dip in the chocolate cookie crumbs.
  3. Melt the white chocolate and place into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe small bunny feet onto baking paper. Allow to cool.
  4. Melt the pink chocolate and place into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe small toes and pads onto the white chocolate feet.
  5. Melt the vanilla icing for about 10 seconds in the microwave. Dip the vanilla muffin ball into the icing and then into the coconut. Repeat with the marshmallows.
  6. Using more white chocolate as glue, attach the marshmallows to the centre of a muffin ball.
  7. Place the muffin ball in the centre of the chocolate cupcakes and glue on the bunny feet with more white chocolate.

Recipe and image sourced from Spend With Pennies.

Easter Egg Cookies

For this Easter baking recipe, use shop bought cookies or make a batch of your favourite recipe. Cover a table in a washable cloth and let the kids go crazy crafting their masterful creations.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Beat the egg whites until frothy.
  2. Add lemon juice.
  3. While beating, gradually add the sugar until combined.
  4. Pour icing into separate bowls and add food colouring.
  5. Put the icing into piping bags.
  6. Decorate the cookies as desired.

Recipe and image sourced from Kidspot Kitchen.

Easter Bark

Finally, we have Easter bark. Not only is this an easy and delicious treat, but it's also a great way to use up any leftover Easter sweets.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Line a baking pan with baking paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate at a low heat.
  3. Spread the chocolate onto the baking paper. Use a spatula to spread it in an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle with sweets.
  5. Allow to set.
  6. Break up into pieces and enjoy.

Recipe and image sourced from Kitchen Confidante.

Do you have any other Easter baking recipes for kids? Let us know about them in the comments section below!

Support Joburg Ballet

Joburg Ballet stages four full productions a year, as well as shorter ballets choreographed by their very own dancers. In 2019, they lit up Joburg stages with Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Unbound and GiselleThe company also travels across South Africa, visiting communities who may have never encountered ballet before. Presenting snippets of their productions, they offer these audiences an intimate encounter with much-loved characters, such as Giselle, Odette and Snow White.

But, Joburg Ballet is far more than just a professional ballet company. As a registered charity organisation, the company works in underprivileged communities around Johannesburg. Bringing the joy of dance to children and adults alike, Joburg Ballet strives to endear the art of ballet to new audiences. However, the love of dance alone cannot keep them afloat. Relying on generous donations, ticket sales and support from their fans, Joburg Ballet balances the scale of financing productions, staff salaries and purchasing equipment.

Joburg Ballet

Show Your Support

There are a number of ways to show your support of Joburg Ballet. The most obvious would be to attend their shows. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent national lockdown, it may be awhile before any of us can head out to the ballet again. A few weeks before lockdown was implemented, Joburg Ballet kicked off their 2020 season with Don Quixote. Setting the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre alight with passion and romance, their first show for the season saw major international ballet stars, Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov of The Royal Ballet take the lead.

This scintillating classic tells the story of beautiful, audacious Kitri and her love for the dashing but poor barber, Basilio. Her father, however, has more ambitious plans for his headstrong daughter, hoping to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. However, like all good stories, love conquers all in the end. Featuring celebrated showpieces, including the famous Don Quixote Pas de Deux, this ballet was to be highly-anticipated by Joburg Ballet supporters and classical dance fanatics across Johannesburg. 

Sadly, after only four performances, the season was cancelled on 15 March 2020. The Mail and Guardian has since reported that Joburg Ballet has lost an estimated R1 million due to the cancellation. Chief executive at Joburg Ballet, Esther Nasser, said, "You can imagine the impact of cancelling the guest artists, Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov from the Royal Ballet, as well as the gala in Cape Town, which was to follow after the Don Quixote performances."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-HbtX1j98T/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Generosity In Abundance 

In an Instagram post on 24 March 2020, Joburg Ballet thanked all the people who had already bought tickets for the show for donating the funds to the company rather than asking for a refund. "The cancellation of six of the season’s 10 performances has obviously had an impact on Joburg Ballet and your generosity will help the ballet company through the tough times ahead," they wrote.

If you would like to support Joburg Ballet through these difficult times, read on to find out about their loyalty programmes and plans to continue to bring you the magic of dance through the remainder of the lockdown:

Friends Of The Ballet

Friends of the Ballet is an organisation for the loyal supporters of the Joburg Ballet. Their motto, 'Growing Ballet', represents their goal to build awareness around the importance of the ballet. A non-profit organization, FOTB raises funds via membership, the Friends Merchandise Table and an annual fundraising event. They also host informative talks about ballet, discussions with choreographers, dancers and musicians, allowing new fans to experience all the magic behind the scenes.

Anyone is welcome to become a Friend of the Ballet. There are a number of membership options, including an Under 21s card, couples membership, over 60s and VIP membership. Members receive discounts on tickets, special invitations to performances and events and free merchandise. Sign up here.

My School, My Village, My Planet

If you aren't able to join the Friends of the Ballet just yet, there is another way to give back to Joburg Ballet. Simply swipe your My School card at Woolworths, Engen or online with Loot.co.za. You can support up to three schools or charities with one card. Make Joburg Ballet one of your beneficiaries by registering on the My School website. With every swipe, you can help support Joburg Ballet's productions, dancers and development work across Johannesburg.

Dance In Your Living Room

Joburg Ballet hosts regular adult ballet classes at their studios in Braamfontein under normal circumstances. But due to lockdown regulations, both the company's professional and amateur dancers have been honing their skills at home in preparation for their grand return to the studio floor. Artistic director, Ian MacDonald has said, "It’s frustrating for the dancers not to be able to perform, as they have all worked incredibly hard on their individual interpretation of their roles within the production."

That's why Joburg Ballet now present Chair Barre Lockdown classes online! Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday you can join company manager Chase Bosch and Principal dancer Shannon Glover as they alternate for a 40-minute adult ballet beginners class. The class will take place on ZOOM, so download the app and join in for fun-filled class! The dancers will also be recording the classes, so if you happen to miss the class you can do it at a later stage. While these classes are free of charge, by joining you are keeping the love of dance alive and showing your support to the Joburg Ballet dancers during this turbulent time. So, get on those tights and ballet pumps and dance up a storm from home!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-_-UpZjubf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

For More Information

Show your support by following Joburg Ballet on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

For more information about their upcoming productions, visit their website.

Details: Corner of Loveday Street and Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | 011 877 6898 | joburgballet@joburgballet.com

COVID-19: To Flu Shot Or Not To Flu Shot?

COVID-19 And Influenza

Winter is well on its way. We become more susceptible to viral infection as the days get shorter and colder. And, while most of us have a book of home remedies to cure 'the snotties', the influenza virus is more dangerous than you might think. The National Institute for Communicable Disease in South Africa records between 7 000 and 12 000 seasonal influenza-associated deaths every year.

In the face of the novel Coronavirus, which has infected 62 South Africans as of Monday, 16 March 2020, preparing for flu season is more imperative than ever. Babies, young children, the elderly and those with heart disease and diabetes are especially vulnerable to the influenza virus during colder months. And, as we know, these vulnerable populations are similarly susceptible to contracting COVID-19 with complications, such as double pneumonia.

Medical practitioners therefore confer that if you fall into one of these vulnerable categories, having yourself vaccinated against the flu is one of the best ways to avoid contracting both viral influenza and COVID-19. However, here are a few important things to consider before getting the jab:

How Does The Flu Vaccine Work?

Each year, two influenza vaccine strains are developed. These vaccines are engineered to match the most prominent flu strains during the season. Two weeks after receiving the jab, you should begin to build up an immunity to these strains. However, you may still fall ill. But, studies show that the severity and duration of your illness may be reduced as a result of having been vaccinated.

Children as young as six months old can receive the flu vaccine. Although, all children aged between six months to nine years old must receive two doses of the vaccine, at least one month apart. This will ultimately boost their immune response. Children who suffer from respiratory illnesses should receive the flu vaccine, as it can help prevent severe complications from the flu, such as pneumonia.

In people older than 65, the flu vaccine also has many benefits. It is especially beneficial for those who have had a recent heart episode, those who have low immune response or other respiratory illnesses. For younger adults, getting vaccinated can save on missing out work days, paying for doctors bills and expensive over-the-counter medication.

flu

Benefits

It is estimated that it can cost up to R15 000 a night for a stay in an Intensive Care Unit. This sure is a hefty price to pay, especially if you are not covered by a medical aid or a hospital plan. The flu vaccine can reduce your chance of being hospitalised for an extended stay by up to 50%. For parents with sickly children, being immunised can prevent passing on the illness to them. It also allows you to keep playing super mom or dad, all the while staying afloat at work. Caregivers, nurses and teachers may also consider it wise to get the vaccine.

Overall, while getting the flu vaccine cannot entirely prevent seasonal infections, it can reduce your recovery time and the possibility of being hospitalised. This saves you valuable time and money. Plus, you may actually be able to enjoy winter for a change!

Side-Effects

Common side-effects of the flu vaccine include:

In addition to these side effects, the effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary season to season. The vaccine can prove less effective if the strain has not been well matched to the most common virus strain of the season. The vaccine is also known to be less effective in combating certain sub-types of flu, such as Influenza A (H3N2).

Not all vaccines are suitable for vegetarians, vegans or others who follow strict dietary specifications for religious reasons. People with an egg allergy are also susceptible to more severe side effects. Always consult with your doctor before receiving the flu vaccine to ensure that the ingredients do not contradict your dietary lifestyle.

Where To Get It?

Most large pharmacy stores offer the flu vaccine, which should be administered by a registered nurse. Check out these budget-friendly pharmacies in the city to get your flu jab and any other necessary medications to see you through the flu season without breaking the bank.

Both Dischem and Clicks pharmacies also offer flu vaccines. At Clicks, the flu shot is available for *R69.99, while Dis-Chem offers it for *R87 at their over-the-counter dispensaries. But, their in-house clinics administer the shot free of charge. Certain medical aids cover the cost of the flu vaccine as well.

Stay healthy!

Please note that this article is not intended to replace consultation with a medical professional. We are journalists, not qualified doctors. 

COVID-19: Ways To Have Fun With The Kids At Home

Mom, I'm Bored! 

Schools are expected to reopen in phases from 01 June 2020. But this does not mean that your child will be returning to their normal routine any time soon. As kiddies may not fully understand the implications of the outbreak, it is imperative that parents speak to their children about the virus, its symptoms and how to prevent infection through good hygiene and social distancing before school begins. However, for the time being your little ones may become restless, feeling cooped up and lonely without their friends.

Nevertheless, during this time of urgency, we suggest that you find fun ways to keep the kids entertained at home rather than risk infection by visiting parks or attending play-dates. Besides, there is some benefit to isolation - bonding with the family! Put the electronic devices to rest, detach from the constant influx of media information and reconnect with the people you love most. Here are a few suggestions for having a whole bunch of fun while in lockdown:

Build A Fort

When COVID-19 first broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019, its citizens were quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus. South Africans living in Wuhan took to social media to find connections and comfort from their fellow countrymen. To keep themselves entertained at home, many of these expats attempted to build blanket forts in their apartments. Since then, a number of fun isolation challenges have emerged, as people seek to find the brighter side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get the kids involved in a fun challenge by transforming your living room into a wonder-filled world of imagination! Stack up blankets, sheets and pillows against the furniture and let the kids create their own secret nooks and crannies on the inside of your make-shift indoor tent. Or, build up a space big enough for yourself to crawl into and have a much-needed rest. Gather up a few good story books and huddle up inside together for a day of reading. Don't forget to bring along a couple of tasty snacks!

have fun with the kids

Play A Board Game Or Build A Puzzle 

Give the video consoles and computer games a break for a day. Bring out great old-fashioned board games! Playing games as a family can be a wonderful bonding experience and may become a household tradition. We recommend the classic Cluedo, which is available in a junior edition online at takealot.com. The snooker-inspired fingerboard game, Shoot, is also tons of fun for all. However, if you and your little one prefer a more relaxed style of gaming, why not build a puzzle together? Puzzles are proven to be a great fine-motor skill development tool, and they are loads of fun for adults, too.

Picnic In The Backyard

A good dose of sunshine has been proven to boost your immune system. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get the kiddies outside during this time for some much-needed fresh air and vitamin D. Joburg autumn weather is ideal for an outdoor garden picnic with the kids. Rope them in to whipping up a selection of finger sandwiches, or spend a little extra time baking with them. Lay out a blanket and tea set in the yard to make this activity a special treat. Invite your children to bring along their favourite toys to add to the whimsy of the afternoon. Remember to wash your hands before and after eating! 

have fun with the kids

Arts And Crafts

Get your arts and craft materials out these holidays and be as creative as you can. Drawing, painting, sculpting and origami are proven to decrease stress levels. In these trying times, activities such as these can calm both you and the kids. For artsy inspiration, check out these nifty Pinterest boards.

Dress-Up Party 

Dig through your cupboards to find old and interesting items of clothing worthy of a fancy dress party. Invite the kids to join in on the fun. You can dress up too (if that's your kind of thing). Try out different accents or character skits for a good laugh, or even go as far as organising a family play. Remember to take loads of photographs along the way - they'll bring huge smiles to your faces in years to come.

Stay-In Movie Day 

Kids love movies and can undoubtedly be entertained by a television for hours on end. Take advantage of this by giving yourself and the kids a day off, to binge and bond over your most beloved movies. If you've had it up to your ears with Frozen and Peppa Pig, check out these awesome alternative animated movies for kids. Create the in-house movie theatre atmosphere by drawing the curtains and making a bucket load of popcorn (give everyone a separate bowl to avoid the germies!) You can add to the fun by making it a compulsory pajama and slipper day.

If you have any suggestions on how to have fun with the kids while at home, please share them with us in the comments section below.

Time To Declutter Your Home

Declutter The Living Room

Get Rid Of Old Magazines

If not all of us, most of us have a stack of magazines just laying around serving no real purpose in our lives anymore. Sure, some magazines have great articles that you think you’ll refer back to at some later date, but let’s be honest with ourselves: we’re just going to buy new magazines in the following months. Get rid of the clutter and throw those magazines away, or better yet, recycle them!

Get A Bookshelf

For book lovers, if your book collection keeps growing and your coffee table can no longer hold any more books, it’s time to invest in a bookshelf. Not sure where to get one? We love the bookshelf options from Superbalist if you're looking for something more stylish. But, if size matters, have a look at Furniture Warehouse.

declutter the lounge, blue chairs, shelves and modern chic design

Declutter The Bedroom

Give Away Old Or Unworn Clothes & Shoes

Clothes are simple really, but we like to complicate them by thinking, “I might need to wear that to an event” but really, if you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it to charity, sell it at a thrift shop or give it away to someone who’ll make use of it. Don’t be a hoarder: declutter your wardrobe and declutter your life. Besides, you’ll have more space to buy and store that cute outfit from Zara!

Let Go Of The Old Jewellery

If it’s broken, discoloured, has no sentimental value, never worn and just taking up space in your jewellery box, then it is time to let it go. On the upside, if it’s fine jewellery but maybe you can’t really tell whether it’s worth keeping or not, get yourself a sizable jewellery box from your nearest luggage or accessories store.

decluttering the bedroom, mirrors on cupboard doors and shelves

Declutter The Bathroom

Toss The Old Make-Up And Cosmetics

If you can’t even remember when you bought certain make-up essentials and cosmetics, this means you haven’t used them in a long while and you should most certainly toss them in the trash. If you buy your make-up from M.A.C., you can recycle old containers (six) with them and get a new lipstick, lip gloss or eyeshadow in return. Make-up case looking a little empty after the declutter? Visit Superbalist and Zando online to stock up on some fresh items.

Overall Order In The Bathroom

There’s always a better way to store your dry towels, toilet paper rolls and toiletries. Pimp your bathroom out with towel racks, toilet paper holders, soap dispensers or soap dishes. Not sure where to get all these nifty accessories? We highly suggest you start off at Mr Price Home for some stunning and good quality options. Also, don't forget to throw out all the empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, lotions, ragged loofahs and all the things you generally don't want to keep anymore.

declutter bathroom with wooden basket with a rolled up white towel

Declutter The Kitchen

Throw Away Medicine And Vitamins

It is crucial to throw away expired medication and vitamins. Check your medicine cabinet quarterly for expired medication or vitamins and toss them in the trash. Not only is this beneficial in knowing what medicine and vitamins you actually have, but you also prevent risking your health by treating yourself with expired pills.

Only Keep Fresh Food

With our busy lives, it’s easy to lose track of what we have in our kitchen cupboards and refrigerators. Make it a habit to do a weekly check of your kitchen cupboards and refrigerators for expired, old, rotting and unused food and food products. This not only declutters your kitchen space, but you also avoid any unpleasant surprises and persistent pungent smells.

declutter kitchen, white counters with sink and green plants

Want to share some decluttering and organisational life hacks with us? Leave us a comment below!

Bliss Juicery Offers 100% Natural Juices & Snacks

Who Are They?

Bliss Juicery makes 100% natural cold pressed juices and healthy snacks designed to fuel, nourish and energise your body with a healthy burst of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

Their juices have no additives or preservatives and are freshly cold-pressed and bottled each morning to ensure maximum freshness.

Bliss Juicery also offers three-day, five-day and seven-day cleanse programmes to assist you in looking and feeling your best.

What Do They Offer?

Bliss Juicery has a delicious and nutritious selection of all-natural products to enjoy anytime:

bliss juicery selection of natural cold pressed juices

Where Are They Located?

The Colony Centre, 345 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, Johannesburg.

Safety Precautions In Place

Their store is currently closed due to the national lockdown but they look forward to seeing all their customers again once they've reopened.

Do They Deliver?

Yes, they deliver frozen products to Johannesburg and Pretoria. No delivery is available during the lockdown period.

For More Information

For more information, visit www.blissjuicery.co.za.

Details: 064 084 5612 | suzette@blissjuicery.co.za

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