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Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Want to save bucks? Here are 7 easy ways to cut down your electrical bill this winter.

Want an easy way to save money? Here are 7 tips to help you cut down on your electrical account this winter.

Winter is around the corner, and the TastyMoments team reckons it’s going to a cold one this year. And, with everyone trying to save bucks, we thought we’d give you a couple of low-effort tips to save electricity and money this winter.

1. Use Your Microwave Instead of Your Oven

Microwaves are incredibly energy efficient. According to the experts, a microwave uses approximately 80% less power than conventional ovens. And with delicious comfort food ready-meals like those from Nice ‘nEasy, you’ve got even more reason to use this appliance for cooking your quick dinners this winter.

2. Switch Off the Heat Drying Setting On Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are incredibly energy-efficient, especially when you do the dishes without the heat drying function. Instead – we recommend you air or hand dry your dishes to save anywhere between 15%-50% power per load. Other tips include washing only full loads and placing the dishes into the machine without rinsing. Modern dishwashers are built to remove stuck-on gunk. So it’s really an unnecessary waste of water and power to rinse your dishes beforehand.

3. Unplug Everything You Don’t Use

Did you know that standby power can account for 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use? Yip, even while the device or appliance is sitting dormant, it draws a small amount of power to ensure it’s ready for you when you need it. You can save a chunk by simply encouraging your family to unplug any electrical device that isn’t being used at that moment.

4. Keep Your Windows and Doors Shut

When it’s cold, it’s best to “trap” the heat in your home by keeping your doors and windows shut. Of course, ensure ventilation and that you get enough fresh air. But try to keep access points to large areas in your home closed up. The trapped heat will mean that you will need less power to heat up the room when it gets really cold at night.

5. Use Hot Water Bottles or Microwaveable Heat Packs Instead of Electric Blankets

No one likes getting into a chilly bed – but electric blankets are energy guzzlers, especially when left on overnight. Instead, heat a “rice bag” in the microwave or fill up an old-fashioned water bottle to keep your toes toasty warm at night. Also, use blankets instead of a bar heater to keep you snug thought the evening. TOP TIP – You can easily make a rice bag at home and save even more bucks.

6. Keep an Eye on Your Geyser

You can save quite a bit of money by getting a relatively cheap geyser blanket to help retain the heat in your tank for longer. Also, switch off your geyser when you’re not using it. Alternatively, get a geyser timer (you may need a plumber to install this) to automatically switch your geyser on and off over set periods. Even reducing your water temperature down from 65 degrees to 60 degrees results in a saving of almost 15% in a three-person household.

So, let’s all pull together and save electricity (and money) this winter. It may just help Eskom keep the lights on during periods of significant power use.

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Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Have you got a gamer in the house? Getting worried? Here are X a few ways you can tell whether your child is addicted to gaming.

Is your child addicted to gaming? Here’s how you can tell.

The TastyMoments team have a few gamers in our households. We’ve been chatting (over a couple of Ital Pizza Classics for a quick and easy lunch) about what we consider healthy habits when it comes to playing in the virtual world. The new Netflix documentary, “Not A Game”, takes a closer look at the role of gaming in the modern world and assesses its pros and cons. The pros are often very case-specific, telling stories of chronically ill and disabled children who have found new life in the online world. The stories of the downside of gaming are mostly of teens suffering from gaming addiction that eventually becomes unmanageable. So, we asked the question, how would we know if our children are addicted to gaming? And if so, what can we do about it.

First of all, gaming addiction is defined as “the excessive or compulsive use of computer and video games that may interfere with daily life.” The reason people become addicted to gaming rests in our brain response and how we release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger in the brain) released when we expect a reward or a positive outcome. Doing drugs, for instance, releases dopamine and people chase that “dopamine high”. According to Healthline.com, “When you come to associate a certain activity with pleasure, mere anticipation may be enough to raise dopamine levels. It could be a certain food, sex, shopping, or just about anything else that you enjoy. It’s a cycle of motivation, reward, and reinforcement.” Studies conducted by the California State University found that video games can have a similar effect on children’s brains as drug abuse or alcoholism. 

So when your child throws an insane tantrum because you’ve switched off a game, you know that it’s due to their brain’s chemical response, much like when drugs are taken away from a drug addict. However, it’s also reassuring to know that true gaming addiction (in the clinical sense) is not that common, affecting around 6%-15% of gamers.  

According to Parent.com – you should keep a lookout for the following signs of addiction if you’re concerned.

  • Does your child talk about their game(s) incessantly?
  • Does your child play for hours on end?
  • Does your child get defensive when you try to discuss their excessive gaming habit?
  • Does your child get angry or explosive when made to stop?
  • Does your child sacrifice basic needs (e.g., sleep) to game?
  • Does your child hide or downplay time spent gaming?
  • Does your child seem preoccupied, depressed, or lonely?

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, they may be addicted to gaming. There are several ways to encourage your child to spend less time online. The most obvious being that you limit gaming time to an hour or two a day. Other methods include reinforcing the perspective that gaming is a hobby or a pastime – not who you are or a way of life. There’s more to life than gaming, and it helps to take the kids on outings or reinforce other positive behaviours (like tossing a ball in the back yard) when they’re not playing. Another idea is to remove the gaming console or computer from your child’s room when game time is off-limits. In extreme cases, you may need to get a therapist or counsellor involved. Like any addiction, the root of the problem may not sit in the “drug” itself but the person using it to escape from other troubles. Ensure open lines of communication and try and find the root cause of your child’s gaming obsession.

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Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Top 5 restaurant hacks for home cooks!

The top 5 restaurant kitchen hacks that you can apply at home to help you save time, money and tears.

The TastyMoments team is fascinated by the inner workings of restaurants. There are so many secrets to running a successful kitchen that we could write a book about it. So, we’ve gone and found the top 5 restaurant kitchen hacks that you can apply at home to help you save time, money and tears.

Keep A Go-To Meal Notebook

It’s a Wednesday, and you’re wondering what to cook for dinner tonight. It’s easy to be creatively drained after a long day of Zoom meetings, and we find that midweek meals are the hardest for us moms. The answer is as simple as keeping a little booklet of go-to meals that your family loves. It’s incredible how quickly we can forget even the most straightforward ideas. So rather than agonising, turn to your notebook for some inspiration. It’s not the time-consuming recipe book your granny used to make but rather a list of meals or ideas that will trigger a solution. Also, remember that your freezer is your best friend. You can take something as simple as an Ital Pizza Classic Base and turn it into any pizza that matches the ingredients in your fridge. Chefs refer to set recipes on menus – why can’t you have your own weekday menu?

No Waste - Save Bucks!

Restaurants are kept profitable by ensuring that not a stitch of food is wasted. Every single item of produce has a purpose.  Instead of tossing away chicken carcass and vegetable offcuts, chefs use these bits to create a stock or broth from which they can make soups, stews and other meals. Before you toss away excess bits and pieces – ask yourself – what could this become with a tiny bit of effort? One of our team members saves her bacon fat after a weekend breakfast and uses it later in the week as the fat to cook other meats or meals. It really amps up the meaty flavour. If you’ve got unusable veggie scraps, compost them with your eggshells. Oh, and plants LOVE leftover coffee grinds – so don’t toss this away but give it to your garden.

Soak Garlic and Onion to Avoid Tears

When preparing a meal, there are a few ways in which you can save yourself time. For example, soaking garlic in water overnight makes it very easy to peel (or simply place it in the microwave for 30 seconds). It’s no effort to put some garlic in a bit of water overnight – all it takes is a bit of planning. Especially when you’ve got large meals to cook for your guests. The same trick applies to onions if you get a bit weepy when you chop them. Just chop off the onion’s ends and soak in water for a few minutes and say goodbye to sore eyes.

Goodbye, Grey and Soggy Beans!

We believe we’d all eat more veggies if we could just keep them from going grey and soggy. Well, chefs know the secret! Simply boil your veggies, and when cooked (still lovely, green and crispy – don’t overboil), you “shock” the veggies in a bowl of water and ice to stop the cooking process. It also helps maintain the nutritional value of the greens and keeps them nice and crisp. Say goodbye to soggy beans! Once you’re ready to serve, you can “wake them up” in a pan or toss them back into the boiling water for a minute or two (until they’re heated through).

Use the Oven for Large Quantities of Bacon

Got a family brunch coming up? Need to feed a family? Well, making batches of bacon in the pan is NOT the way to go. A chef-approved tip to making lots of bacon is to cook it in the oven. Lay the bacon strip onto a baking sheet on a flat baking tray. Pop into a preheated oven (200°C) and bake for 15-20 minutes – depending on how crisp you want your bacon.

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The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

The course of love never did run smooth, but dating has become even more complex amid a global pandemic. Here are a few tips to help you get back onto the dating scene safely.

Got a hot date? Read this before you return to the singles scene to make sure you stay safe.

As if dating wasn’t hard enough, now there’s the added layer of a pandemic to deal with. Some of the singletons at TastyMoments have found the new world of romance more challenging to navigate than before. But, the protectors of romantic dinners, Ristorante Pizza, have some ideas to help you get back onto the singles scene with confidence.

Step 1: Be Even More Selective

Modern dating is overwhelming – especially when enabled by technology. Apps like Tinder and Bumble have made it very easy to match with a host of people to which you would most likely not have had access in the past. But more options don’t mean more dates. In fact, it means that you have to get even more selective with who you choose to engage with. Before, we would ask questions like, “what have I got to lose?”, “do they like dogs?”, “are they attractive”? According to an interview on Forbes.com, Jennifer Berman, MD, MS, you have to add, “am I going to die?” to the list of questions you ask yourself. The stakes are so much higher than before, and you cannot afford to take risks on people that you’re feeling “iffy” about.

Step 2: Make The First Meeting Virtual

Almost all the experts recommend a virtual first date to identify whether you have chemistry and want to take the relationship further. Zoom dating can also be revealing because it forces you to talk and assess your compatibility without the usual distractions like alcohol, loud music and physical attraction. How often do we have to be blinded by biceps or long legs before we learn that a good connection and conversation is more important in the long run? Movie-star good looks should be a bonus and not the only reason you’re dating. If your first date went smoothly, you’re ready to take the next step: a socially distanced date outdoors.

Step 3: Be Ready To Have The COVID Chat

If your virtual and has gone to plan and want to meet in person, make sure you have the COVID chat. According to relationship expert, Sophie St. Thomas, that means asking questions such as: If your job requires you to be around other people, what precautions do you take during and after interactions? Do you live with other people, and if so, how do you track each other’s risk of exposure to the virus? Do you go to restaurants and other public spaces? The answers to these questions will give you a sense of what risk you’ll face if you’re meeting in person or indoors. Suppose the person you’re dating is uncomfortable disclosing or discussing this kind of detail; we suggest you give them a skip.

Step 4: Getting Intimate or Relaxing Indoors

Once you’ve decided that you want to take things further, whether it’s getting down and dirty or cuddling on the couch – you should know that these are the most high-risk activities of all, for obvious reasons. Experts recommend that you avoid kissing and wear masks during intercourse. But we all know that all of those precautions can be awkward and aren’t virus-proof. The safest thing to do is take a COVID test and, if negative, isolate yourself in the days leading up to the moment. Better safe than sorry!

Remember, all successful relationships are founded on honesty and authentic communication. If you both commit to that, chances are good that your relationship will flourish, pandemic or not. Keep each other safe and be real with one another. Enjoy the date!

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2 Common social media challenges teens face and some ideas on how you can help!

2 Common social media challenges teens face and some ideas on how you can help!

TeenProblems

2 Common social media challenges teens face and some ideas on how you can help!

2 Common social media challenges teens face and some ideas on how you can help!

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Teen-Problems-and-Cyber-Bullying

Being a teen is tough. Here are 2 of the most common challenges they face due to social media and some ideas on how you can help them cope.

Got a teen in the house? We feel for you! We wish they could avoid the new challenges posed by the omnipresence of social media – but in a modern household, it doesn’t seem realistic.

So, grab your partner for a quick and easy dinner, put an Ital Pizza Familia in the oven because the TastyMoments team have got some ideas that may help.

Body Image and Insecurity

In a world brimming with beautiful, trim and polished influencers, it’s hard not to feel inadequate. Even adults report feeling insecure on social media. Even Khloe Kardashian recently fought tooth and nail to have an unedited, no-filter bikini pic (posted by mistake by an assistant) removed from the internet. Instead of saying, “Yes, this is the real me, bits and all.” she waged a losing battle against the internet and its tabloids. The overwhelming message is that you aren’t “good enough” without a filter, designer clothes and make-up. We adults may roll our eyes, but for teens, this dilemma is all too real. According to Healio’s interview with Jamie Zelazny, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, “A study published in 2015 found that the threshold for where kids start to have more mental health problems is the 2-hour mark,” Zelazny said. “Teens who reported using social media sites more than 2 hours a day were much more likely to report poor mental health outcomes like distress and suicidal ideation. A study done the following year found that problematic internet use resulted in poor mental health outcomes longitudinally, and these were mediated by poor sleep.”

However, the tide is slowly turning, with many people celebrating a natural, no filter “look” and the body-positive movement. If your teens express insecurity about their looks – ask them to follow and engage with the people who do meaningful work (like Greta Thunberg). Or people who espouse self-love and acceptance. Ask your teen what they would like to improve about themselves and to unpack the reasons why. You may find that the root cause lies elsewhere. And if the problem is a legitimate health concern, put steps in place to help them achieve their goal. Open channels of communication are a must. As per the advice from Dr. Zelazny, it’s also worthwhile to limit their social media time to 2-hours a day, max. Furthermore, a healthy sleep routine and diet also do wonders for mental health.

Cyber Bullying

Oooh, this is a tough one. Bullying isn’t new, but it used to be reserved for the schoolyard. Nowadays, you can’t escape it. Kids can now be bullied in spaces that were once safe – because their phones are always with them. The first thing we encourage is to have a genuine conversation about the nature of bullies and bullying. Remind them that it’s easy to be nasty when you’re faceless behind a keyboard and really push the fact that these people should be ignored. Bullies are most often people who feel unloved themselves, so ask them (if possible) to feel sorry for them instead. A practical tip is to block the bullies from your child’s accounts or get your kid off social media entirely for a month or two. Tell them to delete the comments immediately – so that they’re not tempted to revisit them later. Furthermore, ensure your child does not respond to the comments – it will only inflame the matter further. Again, fostering a loving, caring, and honest relationship with your teen will allow you to spot warning signs and intervene if necessary.

Together, you will navigate this strange yet wonderful new world.

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Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Feeling hopeless? Here are 3 ways to reframe your thinking and get your groove back.

Feeling stuck and in a rut? Here are 3 ways to reframe your situation and get your happiness back.

The TastyMoments team are no strangers to feeling a bit down amid all the uncertainty and impact of the virus.  It’s always fun to keep watching Netflix and eat delicious Ital Pizza Familias to relax over a quick dinner (nothing wrong with that). But it’s also good to do a bit of self-care work to keep your mindset strong. So, in the spirit of mental wellness, we’ve pulled together 3 pieces of advice that have helped us look at life and ourselves differently.

When you’re feeling frustrated and enraged – try the 5-minute rule and practice acceptance.

Many people complain of feeling out of control of their lives. Many speak about feeling depressed and angry with the world around them. And, yes, while we need to be aware of what’s happening out in the world. There’s not much you can do to change it. But you can change how you feel about it. For example, no one could have predicted or wanted a virus like COVID, but here it is. It might feel like you’re releasing your frustrations by venting about the world right now. But it actually only makes you feel worse. Life coach Hal Elrod recommends applying the 5-minute rule to venting your frustrations. He suffered a terrible car accident in his younger years and credits this rule to his recovery and positive outlook. You’re allowed to vent your frustrations for 5 minutes only. Once the 5-minutes are over, he recommends you accept your situation in full. Then you can start planning your solution or approach to the problem. And even if an answer isn’t immediately apparent, at least you’re not worsening your state of mind by raging about it.

Feeling like everyone is driving you mad? Skip the judgement and try empathy.

The old saying, “before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes”, is even more applicable during a crisis like COVID. It means that you should try and be empathetic before you judge their behaviour. You don’t know what they have faced in their past and present to inform who they are and why they behave the way they do. Everyone is super-tense at the moment, and our fuses are short. So, it’s easy to want to pick a fight about a parking space or to judge someone’s behaviour when it’s not “what you would have done in that situation”. Instead of defaulting to a place of judgement and anger, remind yourself to be kind and calm. The people you’re angry with are fighting their own battles and have their own demons. Accept that this is how they’re coping with the circumstances, and be grateful that you have the power of perspective and empathy on your side. It’s really quite liberating to be kind and let people “be”.

Feeling stuck? Try “micro-wins”!

Progress is most often made in increments, not major leaps. That’s why musicians called “overnight success stories” often took 20 years to get there. Few people ever master a challenge in 24-hours; that’s why none of us can be Olympic athletes in a blink. It takes practice and consistency to achieve a goal. Trainer and author Lori Milner calls this the practice of “micro-wins”. Where you choose a goal and take small, daily steps to get there. It might seem daunting to want to lose a chunk of weight or get fit – to the point that few very of us actually even try. By applying micro-wins as the goal, you can celebrate the little steps you take to build new habits each day.

The last point to remember is that you’re not alone. Every single fear, hope, dream and failure you’ve experienced has been experienced by someone else before. Take comfort in the fact that they’ve survived – just like you will. Stay strong and reach out for help if you need it. There are many free resources at SADAG (South African Depression and Anxiety Group) to help you.

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Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Got a long-term love? You’re so lucky! Here are 5 reasons that it’s just the best.

Been with each other since forever? Celebrate that love! Here are 5 reasons why it’s the best.

Lockdown was tough on relationships. Some of us may even have questioned our marriages or long-term partnerships, and the experts agree, there was a massive surge in divorce applications over 2020. However, if you have stuck it out and made it through, you really know that you’re onto something good. So, in the spirit of celebrating love with Ristorante Pizza, the champion of romantic dinner ideas, here are 5 TastyMoments reasons why you are so lucky to be in long-term love.

You’ve Mastered the Art of Compromise

Long-term relationships are about 3 things, communication, consistency (which creates trust) and compromise. If you’ve been a long-term partnership, chances are good that you’ve had to endure your fair share of outings with the in-laws, dodgy old friends from high school and hectic hobbies – and survived. We always joke that the UN Council should be made up of people who have been married for a long time. Because compromise (and the resultant art of negotiation) is one of the most valuable life skills one can have.

Your Partner Is Cool with Your Wobbly Bits

The wonderful thing about long-term relationships is that you get to age together. Ageing can be a cruel process (how dare those wrinkles and rolls just appear like that?). But when you’re wrapped in true love, the kind that sees your insides and not the wobbly bits, you are spared your own worst insecurities because your partner only sees the beautiful parts of you. Nothing else matters.

You Have Your Own Language

Long-term couples begin to develop their own words, phrases and jokes that only they understand. Furthermore, your partner most likely knows your body language and expressions better than you know yourself. According to Carol Bruess, director of family studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, “When couples have their own language rituals … they feel like they know one another in a way that others don’t, and that they have a strong connection or bond to each other. They have their own little private world.” What could be better than that?

They Know You Don't Like Coriander

When your love spans over years or even decades, chances are pretty good that your partner knows your likes and dislikes by heart. And they’re cool with it! Even if you don’t like coriander, and they do. It’s so reassuring not to have to explain yourself, your choices and habits to someone new. Your partner gets it, and if someone doesn’t like it – chances are good they’ll defend you against ridicule. And besides, who cares what they think? You’ve got your person.

You've Always Got Each Other.

So many people are lonely and face their challenges by themselves. They often have no one to sense-check whether they should tell their boss to take a hike or have a backup when the chips are down. If you’re lucky enough to have a long-term love, you know you’ve got someone to lean on when the going gets tough. It’s something married couples often take for granted. If this article achieves anything today, we ask that you take a second to look them in the eye and thank them for being your partner. You don’t know how fortunate you are.

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Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started

Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started

Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started.

Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started.

Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started.

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Getting ready to host a party? Here are 5 COVID-aware hosting tips and tricks to get you started.

Get back to socialising safely with these 5 COVID-friendly party hosting tips and tricks.

The TastyMoments team has been celebrating the easing of restrictions and the slow return to “normal” (whatever that is). But it seems we’ve all gotten a bit rusty when it comes to our party hosting skills. It happens when you don’t see people for a year! So, we’ve pulled together some of our best COVID party hosting tips and tricks to help you remember how to throw a memorable social event. Goodness knows, we all deserve a bit of a party after the year we’ve all been through. Enjoy the event and remember, above all, to keep it legal and adhere to your local restrictions for gatherings.

Tip 1: Remember, you can do this!

Many of us are experiencing a bit of social anxiety as life starts creeping back to its old pace. Even seasoned professionals have forgotten how to be confident around others. Our best advice? Remember, everyone is most likely also feeling a bit nervous about socialising. That’s why you’re hosting the party, after all, to reconnect and share your feelings with others. They’re your friends and will understand if you’re a bit jittery and all over the show when they arrive.

Tip 2: Make guests feel safe.

For the foreseeable future, parties will have to reassure people that it is safe to feel human again. Make sure you’ve got lots of sanitiser, soap and clean towels for handwashing. Ensure that everyone knows to disclose in advance whether they’re feeling a bit fluey. If they are, insist they stay home. Ask your guests to monitor themselves and, if in any doubt, rather not come to the party. Experts also recommend that gatherings take place in well-ventilated areas or outside. If you’re hosting a party outdoors – try to keep your guests warm with gas heaters or a fire if it’s cold.

Tip 3: Rather don’t serve finger foods for sharing.

To avoid getting fingers into shared foods, offer guests canapes (which they can pick up with forks) or pre-plate meals with gloves in the kitchen—anything to avoid the transfer of germs. Also, invest in beverage markers for glasses so that everyone knows which drink belongs to who. An ideal party snack is served hot out of the oven. We always serve Ital Pizza Pizzinis with additional fresh toppings. If you want to go the cold meats and cheeses route – we recommend creating individual plates or skewers for each guest.

Tip 4: To mask, or not to mask? That is the question.

This is a tough one because it’s really up to you who you invite into your space and how you ask them to behave. If you’re nervous, ask guests to wear masks in advance – so that they know what is expected of them. This way, you avoid any awkward arguments later. Remember, it’s not personal; the virus is a treacherous, sneaky thing and is indiscriminate as to who it attacks. Everyone is vulnerable – so it really is a personal decision whether you ask people to mask up in your space. If you do choose to go mask free – alert your guests so that they are clear on their decision to attend or not. That way, everyone is comfortable from the get-go.

Tip 5: Keep the energy authentic and positive.

After the year we’ve all had, it is tempting to moan and groan about our woes. However, it can have a ripple effect at your party – negativity is contagious that way. Allow people to gripe and have a proper vent. But try to encourage your guests to focus on all the reasons to be grateful too. Ask them about their silver linings, their lessons and their triumphs and make these the real talking points. If you’re at a party, then you’re lucky to have friends who care, a bit of food to eat and laughter to share. Enjoy!

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10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

10 Ways in which you can teach your kids the importance, and real value, of money

10 Important money lessons that will stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives

The TastyMoments team have been thinking about the best ways to teach young children good money management skills. Don’t let your kids think that money appears magically when you stick a piece of plastic in an ATM – or slap that very same credit card on a table at a restaurant. We all know those bucks have been hard-earned by someone.

So, let’s gather around the kitchen table now and think up some cheap dinner ideas. A winner is to get the cheese of your choice and allow everyone to choose their own toppings to put on Ital Pizza Classic Bases.

Let’s start by making our kids understand that money is earned

Let your family members help with simple, age-appropriate tasks such as making their beds, taking out the trash, walking the dog or helping to weed the garden. Then put the money in a personalised glass jar so that they can see their savings grow to the point that they can afford that new device that they’ve been wanting for so long. This way, you can show them that money can buy the freedom of choice – a valuable life lesson. And that it is earned by making a valuable contribution.

Migrate from the glass jar to opening a savings account

Little ones need to understand the concept of banking and the associated processes. So, take them with you when you go into a branch. When paying online, take the time to explain to them why you are paying utility and other bills, so that they understand the importance of these disciplines. Besides, nothing in life is easy without having formulated a plan. Therefore, helping them to develop a savings plan will help them to achieve their goals.

Having money is a privilege – not a right

Many people in the world have not benefited from a good education, training or a job. As we know, life can be really tough when there is no stable income. But equally, show your kids the importance of being generous. Encourage them to set 10% of their earnings aside to donate to someone, or an organisation, of their choosing. Not only will they feel good about making a difference, but they will also be empowered and in control of their circumstances.

Stress the importance of education and hands-on learning

Very few people can create a comfortable life without having qualified in a particular profession. Talk to your young ones about their fields of interest – whether that be digital game development or architecture – and encourage them to find out more about what classes they need to take to qualify. Getting educated is expensive – and it’s probably even more challenging to get a bursary. So, encourage them to consult Google to get ready for the road ahead.

The difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ spending

If you have a Spendy Wendy on your hands, try and point out the difference between splashing out on a pair of sneakers or an essential mobile phone. And, more so, if they stick to their older model, they may be able to buy that mountain bike in the window soon. The concept of delayed gratification is essential.

Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change

Chances are that, at some stage in their lives, people will lose money through no fault of their own. Things like a pandemic, natural disasters, and retrenchments are realities – ones that no one can predict. That is why money cannot be the be-all and end-all of life. It is, therefore, more important that kids be taught that values such as integrity, honesty and reliability can carry them through life. And may very well lead them to greater prosperity—what a nice thought.

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7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

7 Tips on how to become a vegetarian – it’s actually easy peasy

7 Things you can do to become a vegetarian. It’s easier than you think!

Thinking about going vegetarian? There are many health benefits when you choose to focus on a plant-based diet. The TastyMoments team have been giving it a try, and we’ve got a couple of tips to help first-time vegetarians get started.

It’s not as difficult as you think

The good news is that it is really not that difficult to transition to becoming a full-time veggie person. There are so many delicious meat substitutes these days. You – and your entire family – will not notice the difference. With soy alternatives to, for example, minced meat, you could still make an excellent spaghetti bolognaise served with a bowl of Nice ‘n Easy Green Valley spinach. Pair it with some chopped avo and tomato. Or, if you were planning a curry, simply substitute the chicken with tofu. Dinner sorted.

Remember the benefit of avoiding saturated fats

Let’s face it, saturated fats found in meats are harmful and inflammatory. But good fats, such as those found in vegetables and nuts, are superfoods that lower our risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. A veggie diet allows you to enjoy more healthy-omegas that for sustained energy and focus.

Write it down

If you decide to try a vegetarian diet, take a moment to write down the reasons for your decision. Stick it on the fridge or your bathroom mirror. Any significant change requires a good deal of motivation and reaffirmation. If you have a point of reference, you’ll be reminded of the many good reasons for your decision – and be more likely to stick to your resolve.

Read up on the benefits of being a vegetarian

An understanding of the benefits of this lifestyle choice will really help. For example, eating plants instead of meat is better for the planet! Also, compile a list of 5 – 10 lekker everyday recipes such as soy lasagne (soy is a complete protein), a handy hummus dip, a fabulous feta and broccoli soup, and so on. With all the delicious meat substitutes on the shelves these days, in many ways, you can actually carry on eating exactly as you have before.

A gradual transition

Some people adjust better if they cut out one thing per week. You could, for example, cut out red meat during week one, chicken in week two and finally fish. Unless you want to remain a pescatarian (Vegans, Pegans and Flexatarians). It is worth noting that most new vegetarians report that they had no cravings for staples of their previous diet after 1 – 2 weeks. Some even migrate from cows’ milk to delicious alternatives such as almond milk.

Take heart; you can still enjoy a braai!

The TastyMoments team have often remarked how people lap up the non-meat items at a braai. Check out how quickly the Ital Pizza Snack Slices Margarita, braai broodjies or that slab of halloumi cheese, butternut cooked on the fire, disappear – long before the boerewors. And, if you are a guest, make sure you take a dish, so no one is inconvenienced. Why not try this awesome braai-veggies recipe we’ve been working on? 

Remember that it’s all about balance

Many first-time vegetarians battle to maintain the diet because they haven’t adjusted their mindset to put veggies at the centre of the plate. Many think that vegetarianism is just about eating pasta with lots of cheese. But a diet loaded with refined carbs and dairy is as unhealthy – whether you skip the meat or not. The trick is balance – everything in life is about moderation. You can enjoy a delicious Nice ‘nEasy Mac and Cheese but pair it with a fresh green salad or a nice warm veggie soup as a starter.

Given the considerations about the environment, living costs, and health benefits, vegetarianism is worth a thought. And the family will love the bragging rights, we think.

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7 Important – and inexpensive – ways in which kids can help to make their mothers feel loved and appreciated

7 Important – and inexpensive – ways in which kids can help to make their mothers feel loved and appreciated

SpoilMom

7 Important - and inexpensive - ways in which kids can help to make their mothers feel loved and appreciated

7 Important - and inexpensive - ways in which kids can help to make their mothers feel loved and appreciated

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

SpoilMom

7 Ideas on how children can show their moms they love them to bits – and make them realise just how awesome they are!

A couple of the TastyMoments team are mothers. These moms know that sometimes families take the cooking, cleaning and multitude of other chores for granted. So, now is the time to leave a printout of this blog somewhere where your family will find it. Or ask the oldest sibling to suggest some salad ideas and then call a family meeting over a Ristorante Pizza or a few slices of mouth-watering Patisserie Baked Cheesecake. This way, everyone can participate and discuss ways to help around the house and show their appreciation for everything mom does.

Gestures like these will make a world of difference to mothers, especially in a time of shutdowns, online shopping and Zoom calls. So, kids, it’s time to sit up and take note, mainly because Mother’s Day is around the corner.

Let’s start with the classiest, easiest move

On your way back from school, pick a flower or succulent from the sidewalk. Geraniums are great as they are easy to propagate. Simply place a small piece of the stem in a glass of water for a day and then plant it in a container, a window box or that special place in the garden that she loves.

Google a recipe and bake some biscuits

Imagine the surprise of being given a batch of home-baked yummies featuring love messages. All you need is some icing to write messages like: You mean the world to me. I love you so much. I’ll always do my best for you—world’s best mom. And if the baking part is too daunting, you can always buy a packet of biscuits and personalise them.

Memories

Go through the pics on your phone and send – or print – some of the moments which will have special significance. You could even stick them on the mirror in her bathroom. She’ll probably leave them up for days.

Make a surprise breakfast

Set your alarm to get up in time to beat mom to the kitchen. Make tea the way she likes it take it to her. Then start breakfast. Here is a breakfast idea: make a couple of delicious Egg and BBQ Ital Pizzas (yum) – the perfect love and care message.

Run her a bath

These days, a bath is a rare luxury. Put a few drops of fragrant oil in the water, pour her favourite drink, light a candle and invite her to relax and enjoy.

Tell her she was right

We often inadvertently ask our moms for advice. When their wise words come to serve you, always acknowledge that she was right. You may be surprised at how often she is. She’s a lot more life experience than you, you know…

A small chocolate on the pillow

The best way to ensure that she has the sweetest of dreams is for her to find a choccie on her pillow. It’s a sure way to surprise and delight – and something you should be able to manage once a month.

Whether you take the dog for a walk, make her a playlist or surprise her by cleaning your room. You know how much she does for you. Your turn now!

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5 Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

5 Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

5 Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

5 Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

Ways in which you can make it easier for kids to go back to school during winter post-lockdown

Here are 5 ideas on how to make sure that your children are happy about going back to school after a lockdown in the colder months

The TastyMoments team has wondered how one keeps one’s family motivated and keen to get back into the swing of things after the holidays and all the recent interruptions due to the virus. Here’s an idea: call a ‘back to school’ meeting over some Ital Pizza Minis or – better yet – Ital Pizza Pops and discuss the way forward. Once you’ve reached an agreement, stick a roster onto the refrigerator door so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.

But until school starts, it is our suggestion that you keep them in ‘learning mode’. Diarise a few readings at the library so that they can experience the joy of books or drag them off to a planetarium, museum, park, theatre or art gallery. Even a graffiti tour will do. If you keep your eyes open, there is always something out there for them to experience.

But back to school for now. Here’s how you can help them confidently master the first few weeks.

Masks and tissues

After you’ve poured some orange juice, cooked a bowl of oats or boiled a few eggs to ensure full tummies, make super-sure, they have enough tissues and masks in case of runny noses. If they have a few extra, they will also help new friends who might not have a supply at hand.

Create structure

Believe it or not, rules make youngsters feel secure. If they know homework is to be done between 16h00 and 19h00, they have the freedom to choose what they want to do with the rest of the day. This will eliminate arguments about TV or FB time.

Make sure they’re warm enough

There is nothing worse than being cold on an icy winter’s day. Ask granny to knit an extra jersey, or better yet, fork out on a warm jacket. A pair of gloves and a beanie will add extra love.

Enough sleep

There is a reason why bears and other mammals hibernate in winter. And, we are also mammals, after all! Decide on a bedtime rule and stick to it. A cup of warm chocolate milk will help make them sleepy, reassure and keep them warm, and not so keen to spend another hour or two on their devices. It’s worth the effort to send them to dreamland smiling.

Make a checklist - for all to consult before leaving the house

It’s easy to forget things that can make all the difference between that panicky phone call and having to drop everything to rush to school.

The checklist should include:

  • Sanitiser and mask
  • Lunch box (including some vitamins in the form of carrots, raw peas or apple segments)
  • Sports kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Clean shoes
  • School books in a backpack
  • Pencil case
  • Transport arrangements: who is taking and fetching?
  • Agreed ETA at home
  • Permission about having friends over, COVID protocols and device time

QUICK DINNER IDEA: A delicious, nutrient-rich pot of veg soup served with yummy Ital Pizza Slices will go a long way in protecting everyone from the dreaded lurgy during these times. Soups freeze well, so they can be made over weekends for the week. Cooking time also doubles as family time, so get the young ones to pitch in and help with chopping and peeling. Happy school, everyone.

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5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 Ways in which you can help your family deal with change – whether that be a physical move or just a different school

5 Ideas on how to help your kids get used to change. And how they, too, can help others – and emerge as leaders

The TastyMoments team has become aware of how many people have had to make significant life adjustments recently. We need to try to reintroduce more of the happy-go-lucky attitudes of pre-COVID days – but under changed circumstances. Uncertainty can affect our little ones most. Here’s how you can help them to ensure a smooth transition.

Make them feel that they have a say when it comes to making decisions

Children will feel empowered and acknowledged if they are regularly updated on plans and potential decisions. Especially if these changes can be disruptive such as changing schools or suburbs. The best thing to do is to involve them right from the start. Be transparent and encourage them to talk about their feelings.

If, for example, they have to change schools, prepare them by taking them to the new school a week or so ahead of time – and preferably while school is in session. Make an arrangement with the headmistress or teacher and ask if you can bring your kid around at break. Show them where the restrooms are, the tuck shop, change rooms, sports fields, and so on. This way, they will feel more at ease on their first day. Or if they want to meet a few new friends, here are or some Friday night dinner ideas. A butternut soup starter served with Ital Pizza Minis will ensure that they have a couple of ready-made friends from day one!

Be positive

Life deals everyone – yes, even Kim Kardashian – some challenging cards at times. Like the one that everyone looks up to, you must remain positive and upbeat. If your family sees that you are anxious, they, too, will become uptight. But if you stay calm and relaxed, they will soon see that there is nothing you – as a family – cannot overcome.

Allow your kid to be who they are – and let them lead

Not everyone is a born hockey or rugby player – or Shakespeare. If your youngster is more interested in fixing computers, participating in gaming competitions or flying drones, encourage them to take the lead in organising meetings, starting a club or producing blogs on their topic of interest. Let us celebrate our differences rather than be attached to outdated ideas about what constitutes success. Just think of the possibilities if you have an out of the box thinker like Elon Musk in your midst.

Life is an adventure

When change is in the air, it is the very best time to teach your family the meaning of the old saying: “You can’t discover new continents unless you are prepared to lose sight of the shore”. You have to be brave and take the next step.

A member of the TastyMoments team once travelled with her kids and arrived in a different country. All the luggage got lost during the journey. Those 2 days without anything but the clothes they were wearing (ok, they did buy some underwear) turned out to be the most fun, family experience. Let’s face it, it is not what happens to us in life that matters, but how we deal with it.

Be as consistent as you can

Stick to familiar routines, but only if they make sense. If things need to change to suit your new circumstances, call a family meeting and discuss. Take note of everyone’s point of view. Let them contribute their ideas and then together decide on the best way forward. This way, you can call upon their support in future. Agree on the division of tasks, draw up a schedule and get each person to sign it before a celebratory meal accompanied by yummy Hasselback potatoes and creamed spinach. This should stop Johnny from grumbling when next it’s his turn to do dishes.

Nothing ever progresses without change. So, use the opportunity to teach them that nothing stays the same forever. It is a precious life lesson.

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5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try it!

5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try it!

5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try

5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try it!

5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try it!

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 Delicious, nutritious easy-peasy variations on a classic vegetable soup. And 5 reasons why you should try

5 Ways to keep your family warm, happy and healthy (bonus!) during the colder months. And the 5 reasons why you should try it!

Everyone is happy if there are some Ital Pizza Slices or pizza pops on the table. Especially if they can dip them into a steaming bowl of hearty soup. Healthy dinner ideas actually come easy if you get the family to tuck into their 5 daily portions of vegetables all in one yummy go – by making soup!

There are a few important reasons you should serve these comforting delights during the colder months. The TastyMoments team is suggesting some veg based soup options that contain a mass of disease-fighting nutrients. What’s more, they are so good and more-ish that your family will not even realise that they’re eating the good stuff. Here are some excellent reasons why.

Vegetable-based soups boost the immune system

We all know that winter can bring with it crisp, refreshing days – but also colds and flu. And with our old friend COVID still hanging around, let’s get the immune systems going to avoid the doctors’ rooms.

Soups keep the family fuller for longer

Studies have shown that people report feeling satisfied for longer after a soup meal. And those with full tummies are always much happier, whatever the circumstances.

It keeps the family hydrated

During the summer months, we perspire and naturally get thirsty – to water, we go. But when it’s chilly, a glass of water is not our go-to place. Because of its high water content, soups are the ideal way to make sure your family gets in their daily liquids.

Veggies are not only superfoods; they are inexpensive

If you’ve recently looked at the cost of medicines, you will have one more reason to reach for the vegetables to ward off the dreaded lurgies.

They freeze well

Consider the time saving if you could simply warm up a soup at the day’s end. And, if you are lucky enough to have an air fryer, you can pop those pizza slices in there and have a ready-made meal in 10 minutes flat.

Because chomping your way through a cold salad in winter is ‘not a look’, here’s a general idea. Get some onions, leeks, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, butternut, celery, green beans, broccoli, potatoes – or any combination thereof – into the fridge. Always start with frying a few onions on low heat, add the garlic for a minute and then roughly chop some tomatoes. The base is done. Now, add whatever you have in the veg drawer, salt and pepper, and blitz in the blender. It’s as easy as that.

1. Beef and Barley

You can turn your base into a beef and barley masterpiece by frying the beef with the onions and simply add a handful of barley when your soup is on the boil.

2. Minestrone Anyone?

Add some pasta shapes, and you’ll have a wanna-be minestrone. Or some curry powder and potatoes will add an exotic twist which will have them coming back for more.

3. Creamy Chicken Delight

Leftover chicken, a chicken stock cube and cream will turn your soup into a gourmet meal.

4. Onion Soup

Remember those melted cheese slices of baguette on a classic French onion soup? Simply use your Ital Pizza slices as a more exciting alternative.

5. Mean Beans

If you soak some beans overnight (any beans – or even split peas – will do), you will add some additional body and sustenance. Even a tin of baked beans will do the trick.

If the soup is ever a bit bland, instead of adding more salt, try lemon juice, a small glass of white wine, some herbs a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Top Tip: If the vegetable drawer looks a bit sorry for itself, a bag of frozen vegetables and some tinned tomatoes will do just fine. Now, go soup it up!

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4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up

4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up

4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up.

4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up

4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

4 Things to keep in mind when you’re planning that special romantic dinner to spice things up.

4 Ways to make sure the flames of romance remain fired up. Here's how to plan that special dinner at home

The TastyMoments team knows all too well that our emotions are stirred by our senses: Smell, Sight, Taste, Touch and Sound. It may surprise us that smell is considered the most essential trigger in recalling pleasurable experiences and memories. Just think back on the fragrance of Granny’s chicken curry, Sussie’s seshebo or Ouma’s melktert, and you’ll remember why. It is, after all, the one sense that the entire perfume industry has been built on.

That’s why we so love the food smells that we’re familiar with and that stimulate our appetites. So here are a couple of ideas to plan the perfect romantic dinner

Planning The Menu

Let’s face it, everyone loves pizza. It has become just about the universal favourite food – especially if you get to choose your own toppings.

Date night should be relaxed and easy—the more chilled you are, the more romantic it will be. So, try to keep it simple by getting a couple of your favourite Ristorante Pizzas and ingredients for an easy salad. Then send your partner a (slightly suggestive) email invitation. Promise them an experience with no interruptions – this means mobiles off – if you both can bear it.

Prepare the Ristorante Pizzas by placing them directly onto your oven grill. Trust us! It is the best way to enjoy Ristorante’s thin and crispy bases. And top it all off by serving a delicious side dish such as an egg and spinach salad for the full experience.

Dessert is also a delicious, easy fix if you can get your hands on a Dr. Oetker Patisserie Strawberry Cheesecake. You can cut two slices and freeze the rest to share with your besties on the weekend.

The Ambience

There is a reason people still use candles. From the earliest of times, firelight has been reassuring, creating warmth and intimacy in a space. This is the one evening you should set the table, tablecloth and all, drinking glasses, crockery and cutlery and, of course, some fragrant flowers.

Top tip: If your person is so inclined and you want to suggest a theme, some rose petals and candles leading up to the door are sure to set the mood right from the start.

Preparations

Make the dressing, chop the vegetables, boil the eggs – whatever is needed – the evening before. They’ll do just fine in containers in the fridge overnight. If everything’s ready, it is a pure pleasure to throw things together to serve.  And remember to keep a few favourite drinks on hand.

The Playlist

To quote Shakespeare’s character, Orsino, in the first line of his play ‘Twelfth Night’: If music be the food of love, play on.” We agree!  So, download those soothing tunes already, and you’re sure to enhance the mood.

All that’s left to do now is to dim the lights, put on the music, fold the serviettes and welcome that particular person with open arms and delight in their presence.

Enjoy!

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EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE – AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE – AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE - AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE - AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE - AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

EASTER TIME IS F-EASTER TIME. WHO ON EARTH DOES NOT LOVE CHOCOLATE - AND PERHAPS A BIT OF ROMANCE?

IT’S EASTER - AN EGGCELLENT TIME TO GET TO KNOW AND PLAY WITH THE 4 MAIN KINDS OF CHOCOLATE.

The first thing the TastyMoments team wants you to know is that you can think of chocolate as a vegetable! Yip, cocoa beans come from a tree. So, right there is everyone’s perfect excuse.

But chocolates mean different things to different people. It could be the start of an egg hunt, a well-done for good school marks or a sign of interest from a dishy person.

So, here’s a fun dessert idea. Why not invite that guy you fancy, one or two of your other favourite peeps and get creative. Start by getting a Dr. Oetker Patisserie Cheesecake in your hands and invite everyone over. Ask them to bring the chocolates they like – and then you can all go wild decorating the cake. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate, shave chocolate to make the hair on a funny face – go wherever your imagination takes you. Or you can try these awesome chocolate décor tricks from us!  Then it’s time for tea and cake – or a yummy, fun dessert after a few crispy Ital Pizza Classic variations have come out of the oven.

While you’re at it, you can regale your friends and family with these little known, fast facts about this globally celebrated confectionary.

A look back in time

Did you know that National Chocolate Day is celebrated on the 7th of July? This is said to be when chocolate was introduced to Europe, as far back as 1550.

It became a bit of a French thing

When told that the people were starving and did not have bread during the French Revolution, Marie-Antoinette apparently said, ‘Let them eat cake. Well, it seems her tastes did not end at cake. She also loved chocolate – which she considered to be an aphrodisiac.

The other famous Frenchman who loved chocolate was Napoleon. He insisted that his armies had access to wine and chocolate at all times. The combination seemed to work well for a time. And then, as with all conquerors – his time, too, came to an end.

Bragging rights

Although cocoa (or cacao – the words are interchangeable) originates from central and south America, guess who is currently the biggest producer? Africa!

It takes years for the trees to grow mature enough to produce the beans, which are then picked, dried and roasted to release their full flavour. Although the trees can live for up to 200 years, they produce beans for only about 25 of these years. Seeing as it takes around 800 beans to make 1kg of cocoa, farming it is no child’s play. So, hats off to our continent.

The four kinds of chocolate

Milk chocolate was first made in Switzerland in 1875 by a Mr Peter. No one else could get it right until he tried to add a product his neighbour, Mr Nestlé, invented. The trick turned out to be to add condensed milk. This is still to this day the most popular variety of our favourite sweet.

White chocolate is made of cocoa butter which contains no cocoa. So, strictly speaking, it is not even chocolate—fancy that.

Dark chocolate can consist of up to 80% cocoa, as opposed to the 20-40%  ratio of milk chocolate. It is less sweet but absolutely delicious when a candied orange rind is dipped in it.

Ruby chocolate is the latest addition to the family. It was first released in 2017 and made with pink cocoa beans, which explains the colour. No colourants are added. One of the TastyMoments team has had the pleasure of having some and raves about the unique flavour.  It looks like white chocolate after it has been mixed with berries. But not a berry in sight. Just a pure, natural pink delight.

Bring on the chocoholic’s dream. It’s Easter, after all.

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5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 GREAT AND EASY MIDWEEK DINNER IDEAS

MIDWEEK MEAL IDEAS HAVE YOU STUMPED? HERE ARE SOME EASY ANSWERS.

What’s for dinner, maaaaaaaaa? Sound familiar? We all get a little “over” cooking, especially around Wednesdays when the energy and patience levels dip. So that TastyMoments team have looked at 5 easy midweek meals for you to try this Easter.

Vegan-Veggie Vibes

Tomato Vegetarian Pizza & Mushroom, Onion & Bell Pepper Vegan or Vegetarian Pizza

Everyone is on the vegan bus now; it’s better for the planet, healthier for you and can be pretty affordable if you do it right. So, if you’ve got a vegan at home – or just feel like trying it out, you can’t go wrong with these two fantastic vegan or vegetarian pizza recipes.

TOP TIP: You can either use Happy Days Pizza Bases or Ital Pizza Classic Bases. Always keep a couple in the freezer for DIY pizza days.

Butter Chicken Roti In A Flash

Making proper butter chicken at home is quite the chore! Now you don’t have to schlepp cause this recipe hack uses Nice ‘n Easy’s famous Butter Chicken ready-meal for the filling. We promise we won’t reveal your secret! You can get all the glory.

TOP TIP: This recipe shines when you add a bit of mango chutney!

Make It Mexican

Mexicana Pizza And Mushroom & Goats Cheese Pizza

We all love a bit of Mexican food, so why not spice things up with this two-topping wonder recipe that will make everyone in the family happy? Make your own guacamole, a fresh tomato and onion relish and serve with spice tortilla crisps. And just like that, you have your own Mexican feast. Just add a frozen margarita cocktail (or mocktail) to make a proper event!

Caprese Salad On a Pizza? Say No More!

We love this fresh take on a classic, Caprese Salad On Pizza. Simply add tomato slices, mozzarella & rocket to a pizza base. This is a perfect midweek meal when the weather is hot. The real magic comes from the Balsamic Crema (or reduction) that gives this salady pizza its sweetness and acidity. YUM!

Pizza Pops For Little People

When you’re a kid, everything tastes better when it’s on a stick. Why not wow your little ones with Pizza Pops tonight? TOP TIP: Get them involved in the cooking process. It might be a little messier, but it’s an excellent opportunity to bond as a family and chat about ingredients and nutrition. Yes, it’s a spoil meal, but it can be topped with a host of healthy, fresh veggies to help them get in their green. It’s a WIN-WIN!

Enjoy!

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5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

5 WAYS TO TELL WHETHER SOMEONE LIKES YOU

WONDERING WHETHER THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE LIKES YOU? HERE ARE 5 SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR THEN YOU’LL KNOW.

Everyone at TastyMoments is dreaming-up romantic dinner ideas to spoil a special someone special in their lives. That got us thinking, how do we know when someone loves us or likes us? There is no way we can actually tell what someone else is thinking. But behavioural scientists have been studying ‘invisible’ signs for years. They agree that these signals are pretty accurate indicators that someone really likes you – whether as a friend or maybe even a potential romantic partner. So, whip out the Ristorante Pizza and get reading.

Eye contact

If someone focusses on your face, it is a sure sign that they are (in the words of Alain de Botton) ‘interested in your happiness’. That is his definition of love. The TastyMoments team agrees that a gaze speaks volumes! It has been proven that men who are not really into a woman tend to look down at her legs and feet, while really interested men will look at her face and chest more of the time.

An invitation to their home

Nobody is going to ask you over if they don’t trust you. One’s home is one’s castle – a living expression of who you are, what you like and how you prefer to live. Being asked to visit is an invitation to get you to know who they are. And if you like what you see, be sure to return the invitation sometime soon. Better yet – why not ask your new friend to join you for a delicious or even romantic meal over some thin and crispy pizza?

Don't tell me you're funny; make me laugh

We cannot say it enough: people who can play together stay together. When a person jokes around or has the confidence to tell hilarious stories at their own expense, you can be sure that they want to feel close to you. And you’ll soon be able to know whether they like you if they are amused by your own tales.

Acts of service

When someone offers to help, whether that be with homework or fetching your car from the mechanic, it means they want to make life easier for you. People only help if they really value the friendship. So, why not be the one to make the first gesture?

They notice the new haircut, nail colour or what toppings you like

If they mention your preferences or notice your choices, it is a way of showing that they approve. And if they bring the pizza next time, it is a sure-fire sign that they are trying to impress you. Another tell-tale way to know they like you – a lot – is if they use your name often in conversation. They recognise and appreciate you for who you are. So, if you like the person back, remember to say their names when you tell your stories.

There you have it. It doesn’t have to be a bunch of bought flowers. Sometimes a mere light touch, a rose picked on the sidewalk or an extra sandwich made especially for you says much more about friendship and love.  

Enjoy these TastyTips?

PS. Have one of your own? Let us know in the comment section below.

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9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

9 EGG-STRA SPECIAL EASTER ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER EASTER

9 EXCITING, FUN THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS OVER THE EASTER HOLS

The TastyMoments team had some inspiration and hopped to plan some fabulous things to do around this special time of the year. So, here goes:

Host An Egg Hunt

Round up some of your besties, let them each bring a handful of small easter eggs and help you to dot them around the apartment or garden. Don’t forget to make a note of where you’ve hidden them; otherwise, you might discover them shrivelled up and sad looking when next you’re spring cleaning or weeding the garden.

The Easter Brunch - A Breakfast Idea Your Family Will Love

Easter is a time for eggs, after all. So why not save some of the prepared spaghetti mince, scoop it into a pan and poach eggs in mince nests. Or try our awesome Shakshuka Pizza recipe!

Top Tip: As a unique, unexpected Easter treat, you could serve some Ital Pizza Minis instead of toast on the side. Imagine the delight!

Read The Tale Of Peter Rabbit Out Loud

You could do it library style, invite a few kids around for a reading. Or choose an evening to put the little ones to bed early with a chocolate drink and a reading session. Remember to make yourself a cuppa, too, to keep that voice lubricated.

The ‘Egg’ Toss

This lekker game requires nothing more than a great imagination, a wastepaper basket and a few balls. Place the basket in the middle of the room or lawn and let everyone take a turn at landing the balls in the basket. You might even discover another Micheal Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant in the family.

The Spoon Race

Have you ever been handed a hard-boiled egg and a spoon? Unless you’re a granny, you might not have. But if you’re old enough to have seen your folks run the race in a hessian potato bag, you’ll know that you can’t win if you lose the egg.  Sadly, the scratchy potato sacks have long made way for plastic bags, but spoons and eggs are still around to provide entertainment.

Challenge The Kids To Dream Up A Play

Book an evening with the whole family, including grandparents. Then give the young ones enough warning to write their own script or rehearse one they have found online. They can choose the theme, whether that be a traditional Easter narrative or an original alternative. Lights, cameras action. Someone has to be the videographer to capture the footage to watch next Easter.

Go For A Bunny Picnic

If you have a bunny park in the vicinity, gather a blanket, some carrots, lettuce and anything else a rabbit may eat. Then, add a few egg mayo sandwiches and a couple of slices of Château Gâteau cake for desert and head out. In fact, any park will do. It’s always a good idea to take a soccer ball to kick around before unpacking the picnic basket. And remember the sunblock.

Get The Kids To Clear Out Their Cupboards

Kids outgrow toys, clothes and school stationery – now that they have devices at hand. Help them to put together a gift box to drop off at a community centre. This way, they will get to understand generosity and gratitude.

Picasso, Anyone?

If your granny didn’t teach you how to suck eggs, there’s always Google. And if it seems like too much of a mission, simply boil the eggs. Get some non-toxic water-based paint and a couple of paintbrushes spread plenty of newspaper on the floor and let them get creative. Then proudly display the works of art until Easter.

Enjoy!

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5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

For Hectic Moms – Tips To Make More Me-Time

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS

Being a teenager is not easy. In adolescence, they start to try out new things and start discovering what they really want out of life. It becomes a huge responsibility for these youngsters to work out who they are. They are still inexperienced, as they have not had much exposure to the world and its challenges.

In the USA, the University of Rochester, known for its scientific research, studied close on 300 teenagers over many years. Their findings confirmed that youngsters who feel free to express their emotions are less likely to become depressed when, later in life, they experience stressful events.

But teenagers can sometimes feel completely overwhelmed. So, the TastyMoments team have come up with a few bonding ideas for you to consider while you dream up another easy dinner tonight. (HINT: Teens love Ital Pizza.) Read on to find out you can make things easier for them – and steer your household through calmer waters.

Listen

As parents, we often think we need to provide instant solutions. Not so. First, listen carefully to find out what might be bugging them. Even if you feel it is not important that John has not been invited to Jabu’s birthday party, to him, it might matter very much. Take out the time to look him in the eye and listen.

Validate Their Feelings

Kids know whether there is genuine empathy or whether you are dismissive of their feelings. Try not to pooh-pooh and downplay disappointments. If the boy she had a crush on falls for someone else, they are bound to be devastated. Saying ‘He was never right for you, anyway’ is not going to make things better. Try to acknowledge the feelings of rejection by responding with something like ‘Shuwee that must be very hard. I know how it feels.’

Show Them You Trust Them

Children are much more likely to act responsibly if they believe that their parents have faith in them. One way to demonstrate your confidence is to volunteer a privilege – suggest that they can meet a friend or host a sleepover. This way, they will learn to take responsibility and assert their independence. They are not going to have an adult watching over them for the rest of their lives, so you may as well boost their confidence from an early age.

Don’t Dictate

Let’s face it, dictators have had only ever messed up the world. Your child will rebel if they feel forced to follow the rules, especially if they consider them to be unreasonable. So, rather have an open discussion about what you (both) think should, and shouldn’t, be allowed. You may very well end up understanding your child a lot better.

Praise

Let’s face it, dictators have had only ever messed up the world. Your child will rebel if they feel forced to follow the rules, especially if they consider them to be unreasonable. So, rather have an open discussion about what you (both) think should, and shouldn’t, be allowed. You may very well end up understanding your child a lot better.

A last thought – do things together. Go bowling, take a walk or watch a movie over an Ital Pizza Thick’A. We all know the old saying: people who play together stay together. Just relax and enjoy – no intrusive questions during these times.

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