Holiday Hotspots in South Africa

South Africa is a paradise to those who is looking for adventure, glorious scenery and variety of glorious fauna and flora. When you take in this beautiful land and its lovely people you will always want to return and re-experience this wonderful adventure. Deciding on which places are the best to visit is a very difficult task, so to help you with your decision I have made this short list of the best and most beautiful spots to visit in South Africa, so be sure to put these in your list.

 

CAPE TOWN

BeautifulTable Mountain 

The world’s most famous natural icons with its distinctive flat. A very beautiful place to visit and you can take a cable car ride up to the mountain or you can hike up to the mountain. Once on the top you will truly appreciate the magnificent views from the top of Table mountain, it is extremely beautiful.

V&A Waterfront

V&A is a very popular destination for local families and tourists, presenting an astounding choice of hundreds of shopping outlets, curio shops, fine dining, lots of live entertainment, creative workshops, concerts and puppet shows.

There are many outdoor activities available from the V&A, including fun harbour cruises, helicopter flips and boat charters

Two Oceans Aquarium makes for an enjoyable and unforgettable experience

Must See Robben Island

The Robben Island the place where the late Nelson Mandela, were incarcerated and today it holds symbolic status to many South Africans.

Mysterious Cango Caves

The 20-million-year-old Cango Caves is in the Swartberg which consists of a headway of hidden chambers, cut deeply into the solid limestone rock layer. Have fun exploring. Make sure you pop some butter in the coffee before you begin your exploration though, it’s extremely exhausting!

 

Johannesburg

Gold Reef City

South Africa’s top family attractions and is 8 kilometres from the centre of Johannesburg. Entertainment is abundant and it just does not stop, for those thrill seekers they have one of the biggest theme parks and is filled with exhilarating rides. For the gamblers, the Gold Reef Casino is a place where Dreams are made. The multitude of games for both young and old is endless.

Lion Park

This reservation, which emphasises on the wellbeing and understanding of numerous endangered species, including rare white lions, cheetahs and wild dogs. A beautiful place for the whole family to spend on a day out  is a learning opportunity for your kids to learn all about the different African species as they freely roam the area.

Sterkfontein Caves

The Sterkfontein Caves comprise of a set of limestone caves located in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Maropeng. Captivating discoveries have been made within the caves.

The Palace of the Lost City

Absolute Indulgence!!!! A place that speaks volumes by just taking in its beauty. You have to see it to believe it…. The most extravagant choice of luxury one can experience. The perfect holiday destination for you and your family.

 

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Moses Madiba Stadium

The stadium has a Sky Car or a 550 step walk to the top of its arch for a fantastic view of Durban and there are other exhilarating activities available, together with plenty of shops, restaurants and food outlets.

Ballito for the Young

Ballito is probably the most popular get away for student in South Africa. If you are young and looking to party on the beach this is the hottest spot to be in South Africa. The best times to visit is between 25th November straight through to the 15th January. Accommodation in Ballito is know to be full up from 6 month before the holiday, so if you are planning a visit make sure you book early!

uShaka Marine World

An exhilarating marine theme park in Durban. It has a beautiful marine Sea World, the uShaka Village Walk shopping centre and the Wet’n’Wild Water Park and the Walk’s Dangerous Creature exhibit. uShaka delivers the perfect location for a family day out.

 

 

How to wear a poncho

I really do have to admit that it’s about time that I made a post on how to wear a poncho! Just like atoms and molecules, combination is everything when it comes to wearing a poncho and it can ideally make or break your appearance.

No worries! I’m really not trying to intimidate you with my “DO OR DIE!” speech. However, the combination is really an important factor when wearing a poncho and it depends on the context in which you want to wear the poncho.

So which is it? Casual? Formal? Party atmosphere? We’ll go through each of the mainstream contexts that are available with the goal of there being absolutely no confusion when it comes to how to wear a poncho!

Formal Context

This context has all to do about status and about making a statement in the world of work. As such, the use of clothing such as jeans are not recommended. However if you can pull off an awesome combination using jeans then by all means – kudos to you!

The world of work is changing with regards to the degree of formality that is deemed acceptable and many businesses have adopted semi-casual to casual wear in the workplace.

One great way to wear a poncho in a formal context is with a slim fit dress – which admittedly can be a bit of a tease. Generally speaking, colors based on a standard “neutral” palette are used (such as black, brown, cream, navy, charcoal, and grey). Lighter colors are not recommended for this context. Bright pink and eye-blinding yellow won’t cut it in the line of business (most of the times!)

Wearing a poncho in a one color attire is also very unique and acceptable in this context (once it sticks to the neutral colors as stated previously!). This look also complements office skirts.

 

Casual Context

Moving along from the monotonous and very subjective guidelines of the formal context is the casual context. This realm deals with one’s personal expression and comfort as opposed to that of the formal context. So whether you’re just at home or chilling at a friend’s house – it’s all casual!

Jeans, skinny jeans, shorts, tights and boots and bright colors are all welcomed in this realm. It’s really about YOU!

Party Context

This context deals with the realm of parties! So the poncho being considered must have the qualities of gaining attention and ensuring that the spotlight is yours for the night! Items recommended would be a specific poncho print, embellishments, and fashionable jewelry are a yes!

With regards to the recommended pants for a party context, they’re practical the same as those that would be worn in a casual context nowadays so there’s again great freedom. Jeans, shorts, and even tights are very common in today’s parties! If you are wondering where to buy ponchos then stylewe is a great option for you.

Vortex Viper

How I decided on the Vortex Viper 2.5-10 x 44 Rifle Scope

I have been in the market for a scope for my AR-10 rifle for some time now. I have considered many different styles of optics from red dot to prism scopes but I needed something more versatile that I can use for both short range as well as long range as I would like to shoot the rifle out to 800m.

vortex rifle scopes

Vortex Rifle Scopes are POWERFUL!

I came across this Vortex rifle scope. It has variable magnification from 2.5 power which is ideal for close quarters shooting and by turning the bezel I can magnify up to 10 power for those long range shots. The rifle also has a milrad reticle which allows me to hold over for my rifles ballistics and also helps me to estimate range for unkown distance targets.

The reticle is also illuminated and has 10 brightness settings for use in most low light situations. If the rifle scope is set at its lowest magnification, it acts almost like a red dot prism scope. The scopes turrets are also milrad and the tactical turrets allow you to dial in adjustments for wind and distance and easily click them back to zero.

Overall this scope is exactly what I was looking for and after almost 1000 rounds it has been 100% reliable. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in taking up shooting as a hobbie.

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Cheese and Sauerkraut Recipe

Last Tuesday, I taught a class at Cafe Bliss on fermentation.  From pickles to Kombucha, I enjoyed sharing my journey on the fermentation path that I have been traveling down for the last 6 months or so. I have noticed a great deal of improved health since not only incorporating fermented foods into my diet, but creating them in my own kitchen. Getting my hands into a bowl of cabbage has brought forth a deeper connection to my food.  Realizing that the positive energy that is directed into the food  goes so much farther than the “supposed” nutritional value. Sure, fruits and vegetables are high in nutrients, but when prepared with feelings of stress, hatred, disgust, or anger and then consuming or offering to others is less than excellent.

So, with that in mind I share a few of my favorite recipes for sauerkraut, Kimchi, cheeze, yogurt and pickles. Once I started to prepare the foods, I think the guests were amazed in how simple it was to prepare a batch of sauerkraut. Plus it is extremely cost effective. A one gallon batch of kraut coast less than $20 and to go out and by that amount would be well over double the price!!.

Here are a couple of recipes and pictures from the class. Enjoy!

Sauerkraut

sauerkraut

■ 2 heads of green cabbage, outer leaves saved for later usage

■ 2 Tablespoons Celtic or Himalayan Salt

■ 1 1/2 Tablespoons, caraway seeds, optional

■ 1/4 teaspoon, probiotic

Preferably by hand, or in a food processor with the slicer blade attachment, thinly slice cabbage. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and begin to message cabbage. Really work the cabbage, and as the salt breaks down the cell walls, water will start to be drawn out. This process should take 12-15 minutes. Once you get to a point where you have a good sized pool of water at the bottom of the bowl, you can then add caraway and probiotic.  This is also the time to add any additional vegetables or spices. Squeeze out the juice, and pack the cabbage into a crock or wide mouthed glass jar. Once packed tightly, pour liquid over the top. Cover with outer cabbage leaves, and apply a weight (bag of water, rocks, plate with gallon jug of water).

Cover jar or crock with cheese cloth, or screen but do not make an airtight seal.  Allow to sit in a cool dark place for 7 days or until desired taste is reached. Once complete, you can store in the fridge for, well as long as you wish.


The Beginnings of Yogurts and Cheezes

dairy

Cheeze

■ 2 cups cashews or pine nuts, soaked 2 hours, strained and rinsed

■ 1½ cups water

■ 1/4 teaspoon probiotics

Once the seeds are soaked and rinsed, add to a Vita Mix. Starting with ¾c water, begin to blend until a smooth and creamy consistency is reached. If you want a dense cheese like product than don’t use so much liquid. If you plan to create a dressing, then you can thin it out more. Add more water if necessary. Once creamy, add in your probiotics and blend to incorporate. Place in a 1 quart Mason jar and top with a screen or cheesecloth.  Allow to rest in a cool dark place at room temp for 8-12 hours. You will begin to see the cheese expand.  Give it a taste. It should be slightly acidic, cheesy tasting. At this point,you can season with salt, black pepper, stir in fresh chopped herbs, or even chopped up nuts.  Place in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.

Great Source for more recipes: robertsons.co.za

 

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Family Mentoring

Help! My Parents are splitting up! 

Although divorce technically is when a married couple legally end their marriage even when an unmarried couple with children split up the impact on everyone is very similar if not the same.

I’m so sad and angry will it get easier?

If your parents are splitting up it will be difficult at times, have faith that things will get easier and settle down eventually. Remember it is not about you and it is not your fault. It is between your parents alone and they have probably tried all they can to sort things out. In the end it is there own decision.

If you’re worried about the future or anything, talk to your parents, it’ll be tough at first, but if your parents are happier, you probably will be too.

What if I have to choose who to live with?Try and make a list of pros and cons of living with each parent and how you would like it to be when it comes to arrangements for seeing the other parent. There are lots of things to consider; who has more time to attend to your needs? Will you have to move? Be away from friends? Will it interrupt school or Exams? Can you change later…?

If after making your decision you find it hard to talk to them about it you could show them what you have written to open up the discussion.  Go with your instincts and stick with what feels right.


Can I help them get back together?No amount of meddling will make them suddenly feel differently. You can’t change the situation. Don’t waste your time and energy on something that is out of your control. Concentrate on the things you can like your education, and give yourself time to have fun with your friends.

 

PARENTS


I’m not getting on with my parents. 

We all go through stages when we don’t get on with our parents as well as others; it is really common in our teens and early twenties when we are developing our independent thinking. Remember this may be difficult for them too. The majority of parents would rather have a good relationship with there children.

 

 

 

 

Some tips for getting on

  • You don’t always have to have the last word, let some arguments go if you can do it they are more likely to do it sometimes
  • Pick your battles, don’t argue over petty things. Leave it until it is something you feel particularly strongly about.
  • Lead by example, if you go to far apologise, don’t wait for them to do it. That way they are more likely to do the same sometimes.
  • Don’t lie or go behind their backs, they will eventually find out, lose trust in you and it will make things harder all round
  • Seek a win win result, If they wont let you do something try and get a compromise, can you go out but come home earlier?  Could you do it if you save the money and pay or organise a lift home? If you cant go this week can you arrange a time when you can? The more you take responsibility and stand by your word the more they will trust you and begin to let you do more.

(Look at the friends section for tips on handling arguments and falling out.)

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  • Keeping your voice low and calm is a much more effective way of getting your message across.
  • If you are not getting anywhere (and sometimes you wont) walk away and vent your anger in ways other than slamming doors or shouting (punching your pillow works quite well).  Once you are calm do something that will take your mind off it.

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Bullying


Are you a bully?

The signs…Do you tease people push people around or pick on them on a regular basis? Or do you hang out with a group of people that do? Is it possible that someone has felt bullied by you or your friends?

Bullying ruins people’s lives. Every year around 16 children in the UK kill themselves after being bullied. Others miss out on education because they can’t concentrate or they bunk off to keep away from the bullies. Even for those who survive bullying, the effects on their self-esteem, confidence and relationships with others can last for years.

You may feel like it’s just a joke but it is very serious and harmful, no one deserves to be treated like that and it needs to stop.

How to stop

  • Look at yourself why do you do it, Has someone done it to you? Are you worried that people will do it to you? Do you have low self esteem and it makes you feel more important to make others feel low?

People can change and you can choose what kind of person you want to be. You will like yourself more and feel more positive if you deal with this stuff properly instead of taking it out on other people.

What do I do if I see someone else being bullied?

Watching and doing nothing while someone gets bullied is helping the bullies. Have the courage to speak out and get help if you see it happening.

Am I being bullied?Bullying takes many forms, from repetitive name-calling, hitting, spreading rumours, stealing, excluding people and turning someone’s friends against them. It can be subtle or very obvious and violent. You can also be bullied via abusive telephone calls text messages or online.

I think it is my fault.

NO IT IS NOT! Although it’s hard to feel sorry for bullies, it might help to understand that happy people do not need to bully. It’s the bullies who have a problem, not the people they pick on.

 



What should I do?

  • Speak out!  No one ever has the right to treat you like that.

Tell someone you can trust and who is in a position to help (not make things worse) It’s probably not a good idea to tell someone who is likely to ‘get them back’ as that will cause even more problems for you in the long run. Consider a teacher parent, Mentor family friend or older pupil in the school. Sometimes just having things out in the open can be enough to make bullies stop. (Your school should have an anti-bullying policy). If you can’t tell your teachers, ask a parent or another adult to speak to them for you.

  • Keep a diary of what happens,

Write when and where. Stick to the facts and try not to miss out anything important. This will help you get a better picture of what is happening and of what you may need to do. (There may be things you can do yourself to avoid the situations) It will also give you a clear run down of events and help show you’re telling the truth when you go for support.

  • If you’re being bullied on your phone,

Save all messages, if you have space. If not, write down the time of the call/text, what was said and the sender’s number if you have it. DO NOT reply to any texts or pick up the phone – it’s just what the bully wants.

  • If you’re being bullied in a chat room,

DO NOT respond to what they write, Instead name them as a bully to everyone else in the chat room so other users can support you.  Email the moderators or hosts to complain, using examples from the chat room. If there are no moderators, then do not use the chat room any more. Good chat rooms are moderated.

If you are struggling with Bullying and you don’t know who to talk to a bullying website may help or the Child Line website. You could also call Child Line or the Samaritans without having to give your name. Child Line on 0800 1111 (free) or The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (cost of a local call) 24/7

Committing Crime

How old do I Have to be?

If you’re aged 10-17 and have committed an offence, you’re a young offender.

The law says if you are over 10 years of age you know the difference between wrong and right therefore you can be held responsible even arrested.

 

Do young offenders go to prison?

Prison is NOT the preferred option and is only used as a last option.  A young person would not be sent to an adult prison, they would be sent to either for 12 to 17-year olds a Detention and Training Order, this can last from four months to two years. It combines time in prison with time under supervision in the community.

 

Young people under the age of 18 who are found guilty of the most serious crimes, like murder and serious assaults, can be detained for longer periods.

What are the alternatives to prison?

If it’s a first court trial and you plead guilty, you could be given a Referral Order, where you have to meet with a panel to agree a contract to repair any harm done and stop you doing it again. This is supervised by a local Youth Offending Team. Every borough has one.

 

  • There’s also community service or reparation, especially if you’re 16 or 17. This could be anything from picking up litter to cleaning grafitti off a wall, and can be for a number of hours.
  • And then there’s the ASBO, the Anti-Social Behaviour Order…

 

If I do something wrong do I immediately go to court?

Basically if you make a poor judgement or decision in life and commit a minor offence and it is your first time iyt is highly likley that you will be given a reprimand on your first occasion, a final warning on your second and then a charge and go to court on the third. However it must be stressed that this is only if a full and frank admission is made and that as previously stated the offence is of a minor nature.

Should the matter be serious ie some one is seriously hurt, a knife or other weapon is used then it is more likely that the matter will be sent to court or that if for a first instance the matter jumps from a reprimand to a final warning.

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