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4 Secrets to Being A Happy Mother

Set Your Own Standards
Being a mom comes with its fair share of advice, both warranted and otherwise; you’ll no doubt hear the opinions of in-laws, friends, and complete strangers, and they’ll have the latest on just exactly how you’re supposed to raise your kiddo. Add this to the mountains of parenting magazines out there telling you what to do as well, and you can easily become overwhelmed. 

Take a Time-out
When it comes to time-outs, sometimes you need to be the recipient rather than the giver. Everyone needs a break now and then, so don’t feel guilty about sneaking away to take a long, hot bath or to curl up with a good book. When you return to your parental obligations, you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle finger-painting, refereeing, or whatever else comes your way!

Connect with Other Moms
A little moral support never hurt anyone, and no one can understand what your life is like better than a fellow mom. Just chatting with someone who truly gets it, even if that person is an online friend, can help reduce your stress level and let you know that you’re not alone in the journey.

There are just too many tasks that come with motherhood to get them all done, all the time. That’s why, in order to be a happy mom, you’ve got to start prioritizing. Take a few minutes in the morning to list three to four chores, or errands, that absolutely have to get done. Leave the rest for another day. After all, if you clean and toil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you’ll miss the best part of being a mom. 

Hot Cross Buns

This year we have a combined English and Orthodox Easter, so it's going to have to be Flaounes alongside Hot-cross buns, which sounds good to a Cypriot born and bred in the U.K, I feel privileged to grow up within two cultures, everything is different within you because of this, our humour,our values, some of the choices we make and of course our knowledge of two very different cuisines....Moussaka followed by Apple Tart...Traditional English Roasted Turkey on Christmas Day and Souvla,Pastitsio and Kollokassi on Boxing Day...yes, indeed we are lucky!!! Today, we'll start with those lovely sticky traditional English Easter cakes, Hot Cross Buns and tomorrow it'll be flaounes!! Enjoy!!

For the buns
625 g Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
85g Sugar
Zest of one Lemon
1 sachet yeast
1 Egg
275ml tepid Milk
125g Mixed Dried Fruit..I prefer to use sultanas
For the topping
2 tblsp plain flour
Vegetable oil for greasing
Honey, gently heated for glazing


For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, and then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast.
Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Add the mixed dried fruit or sultanas into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for
5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Grease a large, warm
mixing bowl
with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.
Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces.
each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8.
Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot honey, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.


The benefits of family holidays

To know each other
Often, the holiday season also brings an awareness of a change in a loved one’s capabilities. Family members may notice tasks that used to bring joy are now overwhelming. Keep in mind that more individuals are reluctant to ask for help. Be proactive and help the seniors in your life take appropriate action. For example, adult children should have the talk.

 Many times seniors struggle with how to tell their children what’s really going on in their lives. Likewise there are many topics that seniors themselves should begin discussing with their children and other loved ones. Many aging issues can be solved by providing a loved one with the support he or she needs.

To help people relaxing
Family holidays are great occasion for each member of the family to get relaxed. Modern family lives are full of tensions and stress. Only a peaceful environment can help them to forget the tensions and rejuvenate the mind and body to lead the life more actively and happily.

For successful family life
Gatherings with your relatives may be more important than you think. Familial encounters not only provide positive experiences, but also can play a large role in successful and happy life. Face-to-face contact provides the contextual part of what it means to be family. People who cultivate extended family relationships are at an advantage emotionally and are often more successful in their personal lives.

4 interesting facts about raising twins

You will likely give birth early
With so many mamas having twins these days, it would seem like a twin pregnancy is no big deal. But carrying two instead of one is a very big deal, indeed. Women expecting twins are at higher risk for preeclampsia,gestational diabetes, andpremature birth. In fact, about 60 percent of twins are born prematurely, according to the March of Dimes, with the average twin pregnancy lasting 35 weeks.

Twin moms are more susceptible to the baby blues
It’s hard to bring one newborn home, let alone two. Juggling the feeding and sleeping demands of a pair can be exhausting, and parents of twins get less sleep than parents of singletons, at least for the first few months until the babies get on a more synchronized schedule. Exhaustion can make everything more challenging. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re likely either nursing or pumping around the clock to keep up with your wee ones’ demands.

But it gets easier later
Now, the good news: Raising twins will not be this difficult forever. With twins, the hard work is front-loaded in the first three years or so. Later on, your same-age siblings will be able to entertain each other. Plus, you can put them in the same schools, camps, and extracurricular activities without having to shuttle between programs suited for different ages. Also, they’ll likely be interested in the same shows and movies, eliminating fights over the remote, and you’ll have one bedtime instead of two.

Your fraternal twins might really be identical
A recent study out of University College London found that 15 percent of parents were mistakenly told that their identical twins were fraternal. Why the confusion? Most identical twins share one amniotic sac and one placenta, but 25 to 30 percent actually have two separate placentas and amniotic sacs. However, not all doctors are aware of that fact: 81 percent of doctors think that twins who don’t share a placenta are fraternal.

Fears for Larnaca’s future - Paula Manoli-Gray

Things are heating up regarding the future of the port and marina. At the time of writing, the government is pushing for a heavy industry port, whilst the Mayor, Municipal Council, Larnaka Tourism Board and the Larnaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry are all vocally objecting. Their vision is of a unified coast from Dhekelia Road all the way to Mckenzie, taking in the port and marina and seafront along the way.

A protest took place on Saturday and statements have been issued, but will the wishes of a town be able to override the wishes of a government who are thinking very differently to those who live in – and love – Larnaca?

Larnaca has always drawn the short straw. Our reputation is that of a peasant town; old fashioned, backwards, un-trendy. I don't know how much this has changed over the years, but growing up, this is the way people in Nicosia and Limassol always viewed us.

In actual fact, Larnaca is the gateway to the rest of the island, thanks to its central position, and is (in the opinion of many), the only coastal town on the island that is not a tourist 'resort'. The experience tourists have here is not a segregated one like in Paphos or the Famagusta resorts where there are clear and obvious tourist restaurants and bars. In Larnaca, tourists and locals alike all go to the same places, and the result is an authentic experience for visitors, and a normal town, unblemished by an 'in-your-face' tourist industry for its residents.

The vision the bodies have is a wonderful one. It seeks the removal of the refinery tanks from Dhekelia Road – something that the town has been demanding for years – and its redevelopment. That prime stretch of coast would then be developed and is the only place where new hotels could be constructed, and boy do we need those. Dhekelia Road has been in decline for so long, this is the much-needed push the area needs to return to its glory days of the nineties.

The port and marina plans are grand and will see an influx of cruise ship passengers. The redevelopment of Piale Pashia and the promenade (which begins later in the year), will result in a coastal town that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and we are lucky that there are people in positions of power and authority in Larnaca that actually care about the town's future.

It would be tragic for the government to block these plans and it's about time the politicians came down to Larnaca for the weekend and saw what we are and what we can become. Let's take them to Piale Pashia for a good quality meze, let's take them for a drink at the town's hotspot of Mckenzie, and let's stroll with them along the Finikoudes. Then we could show them round the fort, and the small artisan workshops, educate them at our museums, show them the natural beauty of the salt lake and the environmental significance of Oroklini Lake.

I defy anyone to spend time in Larnaca and not love it. If those at the seat of government come down and meet us, I have no doubt they will realise the gem we have and will be as keen as we are to allow it to flourish.

First published in The Cyprus Weekly, 12/04/14

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