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Great tips for using your DSLR – PART ONE
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Great tips for using your DSLR – PART ONE

I've had a DSLR, or digital SLR, for over a year now. And I confess, I still use it on good old auto. Translated: I border on pathetic when it comes to skilled photography, obviously. Luckily for me, the gorgeous Canon I have literally does most of it for me. So I just line up what I think is creative and the camera seems to do the rest. And I manage to walk off with better shots than those I used to capture on my point-and-click. But I know I'm not doing the camera justice. I wonder how many of us there are out there. Those of us with gorgeous cameras  whose younger, tech-savvy siste...
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Activities For Kids Whilst You Explore Easter’s History
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Activities For Kids Whilst You Explore Easter’s History

This coming holiday, involve your children directly in the meaning of Easter with these ideas for decorating eggs. 3 Great ways with boiled eggs for children: Tissue paper dyed eggs – hard boil your eggs, dip them in water so that they are wet, use little squares of brightly coloured tissue paper (have a selection); lay squares one at a time on the egg, allow to overlap; once ready spray with water, set in a bowl to dry; the tissue paper will fall off, but will leave pretty stains on the eggs – easy to do! Crayon dyed eggs – hard boil your eggs, draw pictures or designs with a white w...
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How social media can find you a holiday
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How social media can find you a holiday

One mother's journey to find a house swop on Facebook – the ins and outs, pros and cons We recently found someone with whom we are swopping houses. Or, as she puts it, swopping lives. Because when you move into someone else's home, use their car, feed their cat, flick through their photo albums on a rainy day, stock their fridge with your food, and sleep in their beds, then you've practically taken on their lives, haven't you? I'm not a fan of Facebook. I intensely dislike the compulsion I act under to check FB at least three times a morning to see who is saying what. I cringe when I ge...
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The cutest little Indie Coffee Shop in Africa – Wolves
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The cutest little Indie Coffee Shop in Africa – Wolves

Wolves Café in Illovo, Johannesburg, is the brainchild of three friends and creatives, and is undoubtedly one of the hippest hangouts in the city. One of the talented owners, Angie Batis, is not only the stellar creative force behind a popular blog as well as the Creative Head of a well-known ad agency; she also bakes the coolest cupcakes and delectables for Wolves. Co-owner and husband, Shane Durrant, is the lead singer of popular local band, ‘Desmond and the Tutus,’ and together with a friend, they create the magic that Wolves is known for. Furnished eclectically with mismatching v...
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It takes only one person – the story of Zulufadder
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It takes only one person – the story of Zulufadder

“The world is filled with children and adults who need help. I was never terribly concerned by foreign aid work, nor by Africa, says the founder of Zulufadder, Mari Maurstad. “But when you meet with children of whom you had previously only seen pictures, then another room in your heart opens. You then realise that all the energy you use to satisfy unnecessary entertainment, that same power can be used for something so much more rewarding.” Zulufadder is a children's trust started six years ago to help children marginalised by HIV and AIDS in the rural areas around Eshowe in Zululand. It beg...
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Christmas without the turkey …
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Christmas without the turkey …

Have you ever noticed how inappropriate a huge meal (turkey and all) is in our warm South African climate? The thought of toiling over a stove and oven for hours only to produce a hot meal to consume on a boiling day is fast losing its allure for many. Add to this the concern for the ordeal though which the turkey goes in order to make it onto our table, and it becomes apparent why there is a growing upsurge of turkey-less Christmas dinners. This is not a rant about eating a vegetarian meal (even if modern meat production is energy and resource intensive and anything but humane). I risk muc...
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Get away from it all – Retreats for the soul
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Get away from it all – Retreats for the soul

If I could, I would gladly escape the mad over-commercialisation of Christmas this year and opt for time-out in a retreat in the back of beyond. Whilst this isn't possible - I have family commitments - I can provide, for those lucky souls amongst you who can choose from the wonderful options below to head for the hills, a list of retreats that provide a real space for introspection. Whilst many accommodation options call themselves retreats, the word has come to mean a space away from it all with little to encourage individual exploration and meditation. A retreat in this article means a wi...
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3 very quick, perfect for summer, local meals (and a dessert)
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3 very quick, perfect for summer, local meals (and a dessert)

I'm not fond of cooking. No, let me rephrase that. I actually enjoy whipping up a meal, particularly if I can use ingredients from the garden. I don't like labouring over it. It must be fun to make, and it must taste good. And most importantly, I mustn't have to spend half the preparation time trying to translate things like deci litres into something more measurable. I've put together a list of three such recipes - they're quick, they produce a really tasty meal (usually) and they're from local cook books (well, most of them). If they're not local, then at least they include easily sourced...
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Fish Recipe for National Braai Day …
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Fish Recipe for National Braai Day …

Braai Day is an active celebration of South Africa's rich cultural heritage and its unique national pastime, the braai (our version of the Barbecue!). Ahead of National Braai Day coming up this Friday 24th September, we are delighted to have received this mouth-watering recipe for Angel Fish to prepare on the braai for those of us that prefer fish to meat! Celebrity Chef Sue-Ann Allen's creation suggested for fish-lovers, Angel Fish basted in an Apricot Jam and Chilli Dill Butter Sauce - served with Asparagus and flash grilled Vine Tomatos, sounds both healthy and delicious! What you will ...
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Dassiesfontein on the N2 – if you visit one farmstall…
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Dassiesfontein on the N2 – if you visit one farmstall…

Dassiesfontein is a smorgasbord of THINGS. We're talking room after room of this and that – from antique furniture through kitchen plates, clothing and shoes, to Victorian fireplaces. The venue is a veritable collector's dream of kitsch and paraphenalia, so set aside at least an hour for your stop at this farmstall. We piled out of the car, now desperate for a breather, to stretch legs and maybe pick up a quick munch while we were at it. Immediately I sense that this farmstall is not like any of the others we have visited on the N2 (and there are numerous between Cape Town and Caledon). ...
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Jou ma se goema
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Jou ma se goema

A friend of mine shared a video about goema recently on Facebook. Since I don't have a clue what goema is, my interest was more than a little piqued. Mostly because this particular friend of mine has introduced me to the sounds of Cape Town jazz in her own way. Her house, up until recently, was a one-stop-shop for Cape Town musicians who used her lounge for jamming sessions, and any occasion that warranted it (and a fair number of those that didn't) would find her home full to busting - singers with microphones, any number of guitars, the piano and even the odd double bass - I tried not to ...
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Fetching cotton rugs – at Barrydale hand weavers
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Fetching cotton rugs – at Barrydale hand weavers

It would be pouring with rain on the day we visit the hand weavers in Barrydale. We run into what appears to be an old school hall, which we later learn is the town's former 'bioscope' and are greeted by Tivane, whom I have already met over the weekend at the Montagu Village Market where he can usually be found manning a stand selling rugs on a Saturday morning. He steps down from the stage (it's one of those typical old halls – wooden floors, stage at one end, gallery on the other) onto a freezing cold floor where we stand shuddering at the combination of wet and wind, and welcomes us. Car...
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Harvest of Hope – Harvesting hope with my weekly box of vegetables
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Harvest of Hope – Harvesting hope with my weekly box of vegetables

Every school week a box of vegetables is dropped off at my son's school with my name on it. It sits, in amongst similar boxes, awaiting pick-up. It must be said that I often forget and my box finds its way into the school fridge until I remember the following day to collect it. My pack is always brimming over with a variety of fresh vegetables, picked on the morning of delivery. This might sound pretty obvious, but I have used other box delivery schemes in Cape Town where, because of logistics and through no fault of their own, you only receive your vegetables a couple of days after picking...
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Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest for the most fun you can have without a ticket
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Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest for the most fun you can have without a ticket

The Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest is a must as part of your Cape Town 2010 World Cup experience. With the ultimate soccer atmosphere it is definitely the most fun you can have without a ticket! Every match day the Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest will broadcast all the FIFA Soccer World Cup matches live on a 70m² screen - to ensure you don’t miss one goal. There is also a daily entertainment lineup between matches that will blow your mind. This lineup will include a variety of top local performers and bands, local DJ’s and new and emerging talent. The overall entertainment programme at the CTFFF will ...
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Perfect weekend fare – Breakfast at Caveau and picnics in Kommetjie
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Perfect weekend fare – Breakfast at Caveau and picnics in Kommetjie

My Saturday was, as per usual a day of eating.  I didn’t feel too guilty about it though because Knysna Half Marathon training has commenced so I did my scheduled 3kms on Friday night and wrapped up a quick 5kms on Saturday morning (the views from Boyes Drive make it all worth while)! Breakfast had been organised for 10am and I met my girlfriends at Caveau in Newlands.  Housed next door to the well known Josephine Mill, Caveau serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and a delicious range of tapas (try the lamb samoosas or beef cubes with béarnaise sauce - to die for!). We were there for breakfas...
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