28 Feb 2014

Spicy Scrambled Eggs (Bhurji)

I grew up in Mumbai, the erstwhile Bombay, a vibrant and thriving metropolis on the west coast of India. The food I ate while I was growing up there, the food I saw being cooked in the roadside eateries, has had a tremendous influence on what I cook and the way I cook it.

Bhurji Pav is one such easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious offering that is omnipresent in the little food stalls that dot the streets of Mumbai.  Bhurji is a kind of scrambled eggs sans the butter and milk, infused with spices instead. 

This is my take on the egg bhurji - my spicy scrambled eggs with the added goodness of some vegetables. It is extremely easy to prepare, and gets done in minutes. So it is a good staple to have on stand-by when you are hard-pressed for time. Or when you simply fancy some spiced up eggs.

27 Feb 2014

#WotW 28 Feb 2014

Only one word can describe all that went on this last week:

Mess

Everything and everybody in the house was just that. A mess. We had bouts of coughs, colds and fevers. Accompanied by the mandatory snotty noses, phlegm, sweaty resolutions of high temperatures in response to paracetamol and the occasional throwing up of all the contents of your stomach.

Add some more body fluids and secretions and you have an even bigger mess.

The weather did nothing to help. Rain and puddles meant returning home in soaking wet clothes and boots caked in mud. Water dripping on the carpets, boot marks on a freshly cleaned floor and you have more mess.

The omnipresent clutter of books, toys and playthings did nothing to alter the situation. Untidied newspapers, half-opened envelopes and sheets of paper. The laundry not done, the ironing piling up, the dishes overflowing from the sink onto the kitchen floor. Well, nearly. The whole house felt like a big giant pile of mess.

As did the garden. The early advent of spring means the grass is overgrown and looks a mess. Remnants of winter just add to the effect.

Now that everybody is on the mend, we can leave the mess of this week behind us and move on to next week. A week that, if I have my way, will be summed up in just one perfect word. Organised!

The Reading Residence

You Know You Are A Grown Up

Through the eyes of a child
You know you are a grown up when:

You see no shapes in the clouds
Or the colours of the rainbow in the sky
You do not realise when seasons change
You do not stop to watch a butterfly.

Raindrops splash in puddles
And birds in the bushes sing
You listen but cannot hear
The sounds don't mean a thing.

There are no monsters under your bed
No dinosaurs outside your window,
You rush and hurry from dawn to dusk
You have no time to stop or go slow.

You have forgotten how to laugh
To smile at Life's tiny little things
Your brow is furrowed, shoulders hunched
To anxiety, worry and money you cling.

You live not for each moment
Nor for every minute of every day
You are always trying to get things done
No time to pause, impatient at each delay.

There was a time when all it took
Was the stars, the moon and the sun,
A stick, a leaf, a twig, a pebble,
To bring you joy and endless fun.

You had not a care in the world
There was a twinkle in your eye
Excitement, adventure, curiosity,
Imagination was always an ally.

All the wisdom in the world
All the books and all the learning
Cannot teach you to live your life,
Always wanting and always yearning.

The inspiration behind these words was the quote:

Seek the wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child - Ron Wild

These verses are recent, but I have previously penned down my thoughts about how we can learn a lot from our children - The Teacher. Please take a moment to read that post if you will. Thank you.


mumturnedmomProse for Thought


25 Feb 2014

The Adventures of Barny the Bear

Hello! I am Barny the Bear. I am a sponge snack with hidden fillings that kids are sure to love. I am now available in two delicious new flavours - Strawberry and Apple. I do not contain any artificial colours or preservatives.

I was sent by the good people at BarnyWorld to stay a few days with a lovely little boy called J.

21 Feb 2014

At Dunham Massey

Sunday gone was perhaps the first time in over two months that we had a decent spell of sunshine that lasted all day long. We just had to make the most of it. So we headed off to Dunham Massey, a National Trust Site in North Cheshire, to bask in the glory of the winter sun.

The estate at Dunham Massey has an old Edwardian House and gardens set as a backdrop to a huge deer park. The idea was to let J loose in the deer park on his balance bike.

Nutella - Swirled Banana Cake

An inquisitive toddler, ever so willing to help. A few very, very ripe bananas, nearly ready for the bin. And school holidays. The perfect pre-requisites to bake the perfect cake.

As I had all these very vital ingredients on hand this week, I set about baking a cake. A banana cake. With the added hazelnutty chocolatey deliciousness of a layer of Nutella. Well, to be honest, I intended it to be a Nutella drizzle cake. But turns out Nutella has a mind of its own. It decided to sit on top as a layer. So we ended up with a Nutella layered banana cake instead. All good.

20 Feb 2014

Shooting Baskets for Center Parcs

The Center Parcs Family Bloggers' challenge for this month was to invent our very own fun indoor game for all the family to enjoy together. Given the weather over the last few weeks, this challenge could not have come at a more opportune time.

For when it is pouring outside, the need to improvise and invent ways and means to keep a boisterous toddler happily entertained indoors becomes even more urgent and pressing.

Lisa Brown, the Center Parcs' Games Guru has some very inspiring ideas to help create fun games for all the family to enjoy at home. Her tip to 'screw up some old newspaper and stick it together to make a ball. Decorate it, grab some empty toilet roll holders and make your own indoor ten pin bowling alley', was the one I found best suited to our needs.

19 Feb 2014

Creative Canvas

What was that about life being a blank canvas and you getting creative with it any way you like? 

The scientist in me decided to test this adage in a very literal sense. Here is how I went about my little experiment.

Aim: To test the adage 'Life is a blank canvas, add colour' in a literal sense.

18 Feb 2014

J Speaks Marathi

The Marathi Grammar Conundrum

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
Charlemagne

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
Frank Smith


Being a bilingual child has its pros and cons. The biggest pro is getting to use two languages instead of just the one. And the biggest, albeit temporary con is trying to come to grips with two separate sets of grammar rules at a very young age.

15 Feb 2014

Sunday 16/02/2014




OneDad3Girls

Bridges at Salford Quays

It all began a couple of weeks ago when M took the train down to London for work, and I made the mistake of telling J that he had. The child latched on to the three words in that sentence that made most sense to him, electric, train and London. All I ever heard from then on was, "J go Falling Down (aka London Bridge) on electric choo-choo train!"

It kept playing on loop all through our waking hours. I could not switch it off. It played in the car, it played at play-group, it played at the dinner table, it played in the bath, it played in the cot, it even played at the nocturnal awakenings instead of the usual howl and cry! It would not stop playing the day after, and the day after, and...you get the picture. The Record just would not stop (Duracell, take note. This is what is meant by long-lasting power).

13 Feb 2014

Super!

Super! That is my word of the week. And why shouldn't it be? After all, it was this week that J said, "Super!" for the first time ever. Everything else that transpired this week pales in comparison to that one word - Super.

Come to think of it, every day this week could easily be summed up in that one word. Not every waking moment (or sleeping, for that matter) was necessarily super. But every cloud has a silver lining if you choose to look for it.

Happiness


All hope lost, gloom and misery
They said I could never be a Aai.
Then you came along, miracle child,
And I was happy.

The first moment I held you
Your little face turned up to mine
A wrinkled up nose, a lusty cry,
And I was happy.

Your little head on my chest

Unseeing eyes looking to me
Little fingers curling around mine,
And I was happy.


Then you smiled at me, a toothless grin
Called out to me, "Aai!"
Held my hand to steady your step,
And I was happy.

Now as you toddle along

Come to me for a cuddle and a kiss
My heart swells with love and pride
And I know I am happy.

Prose for Thought


mumturnedmom

12 Feb 2014

The MAD Blog Awards 2014 Nominations

The time has come to nominate your favourite blogs and bloggers for one of the hottest Blog Awards in town. The nominations for the MAD Blog Awards 2014 are now open.

Call it preposterous, over-ambitious or just plain loony, I have bit the bullet and decided to throw my hat (or feathered headdress) into the ring.

So here I am, unabashedly campaigning for my blog in the hope that you have enjoyed reading my little ramble through parenthood enough to nominate me in the Best New Blog, the Best Blog Writer and/or the Most Entertaining Blog categories.

Please do this for me, and I will wish some warm spring sunshine on your heads. And throw in a rainbow too. If that was not enough, picture this. If I am nominated, I get to wear a pretty frock, a hat (or hair fastener) and go to London City for a lovely night out.


So lovely people of the blogging world and my readers, please get nominating.

Here are a few fellow bloggers who I have been inspired/motivated/just plain bedazzled by:

Sara at Mum Turned Mom, whose writing I enjoy, and whose new linky, The Prompt, has inspired me to rekindle my love of writing.

Emily at A Mummy Too, who introduced me to the world of linkys, and whose recipes and photography is a wonderful reminder of what good food should be like.

Helen at Actually Mummy, who reminded me to write down all that J says, lest I forget it as he grows up.

Victoria at Verily Victoria Vocalises who re-introduced me to the long-forgotten world of poetry.

Charly at PODcast, whose beautiful photos bring stories to life.

Helen at Peakle Pie, who I met at my first ever bloggers meet, and whose creativity never ceases to amaze and inspire.

Keri-Anne at GingerLilly Tea, whose blog can easily transport me to a place of peace and tranquility, it almost has an ethereal feel about it.

Hope you have all you need to nominate your favourites (and me;-) ) now!

Craft-A-Robot

Upcycling an Empty Box of Tissues


J is at the age when robots and the like are a source of immense intrigue, not to mention curiosity and fascination. That does not mean that the moment he asks for a robot, I drop everything and rush to the shops to buy him one. 

Children do not always need plastic and battery-operated toys to keep them entertained, stimulated and happy. Quite the contrary. The new, large, noisy toy soon loses all appeal, and we go back to the much-loved tattered old teddy and hand-me-down train engine that has its paint peeling.

10 Feb 2014

The Imperial War Museum

We visited the Imperial War Museum North (IWM) over the weekend when the skies were grey and there was a chill in the air. Perhaps it was providence that the weather should be so on the day we decided to visit the IWM.


As the name suggests, it is a museum dedicated to war. That should have warned me. But I was not prepared for the emotions I felt when I stepped into the main exhibition gallery on the first floor.

7 Feb 2014

Dear Messrs Gove and Kirby

Dear Messrs Gove and Kirby,

I am writing to congratulate you on your brilliant stroke of genius. For who but a couple of geniuses could come up with this wonderful solution that promises to solve all the problems we currently face as a society and as a nation.

Our children are, after all, our future. So why wait till they are old enough to understand and shoulder that responsibility? Start them young, I say. After all, if they are faced with a 50-hour working school week at 3 years old, they will just get used to it by the time they are ready to go out into the big bad world of formal employment. If they do not get burned out by then, that is. What if they do? It is after all, the survival of the fittest. A wee child who cannot withstand the pressures of a normal school day is not fit enough for the big bad world now, is he?

Did I hear someone draw comparisons to child labour? Oh, come, come! If we cannot ask our children to step up to the plate in our hour of need, what is the point of having them in the first place?

And who cares about the European Working Time Directive anyway? Work for just 48 hours a week! Nothing could be more preposterous. Our teachers and school support staff do not need any rest and recreation. They need to make themselves useful every minute of every day. They owe it to us, surely.

I would like to go a step further and propose that all schools and educational institutions should provide compulsory residential education. Children aged 3 and above have no need to be with their parents. Who needs pesky children at home anyway? Parents across the length and breadth of the country will be ever so grateful to you, Messrs, for getting their lives back. With the children away at school for all but 4 weeks every year, us parents will have all the time in the world to get drunk and party the nights away. And reclaim our beds back for an undisturbed, restful sleep. And wake up at noon on weekends.

And us stay-at-home mums who do nothing but sit at home all day long, we can get off our backsides and go shopping. Go and find work, did you say? Oh, no, Messrs Gove and Kirby, we stay-at-home mums are a lazy lot. We are so used to doing nothing but run our households, manage our families and look after our children (they are at home most of the time now, you know, what with schools not being open for long enough), we are not going to let that go in a hurry now, are we? We are pretty resilient too, so it will take more than long school hours to get us off our backsides and into work.

And somebody has to look after the little baby at home too. For with all the children away at boarding school, us parents will have all the time in the world to... you know! So Messrs Gove and Kirby, we parents will produce the little brats, and you can take them under your excellent care and guidance the day they are 17 15 12 8 5 3 2 1. You can be like Professor Dumbeldore, heading the best residential educational institution, protecting our little ones against the Voldemorts of this world, and arming them with all the equipment they need to tackle the Death Eaters.

And why should we not trust you to create brilliance when charged with caring for our children? You are doing such an excellent job at the moment, when you have them for less than 8 hours a day, for less than 40 weeks in a year. You do, after all, have their best interests at heart.

Forget about improving discipline, standards of education and making good use of the time that is available to you at the moment. Nobody really cares about quality these days, it is all about quantity, you see. So the only way forward, the only way our children can compete on the international stage is if they spend long, long hours at school from a very early age.

What my child gets up to in that time should be no concern of mine at all. I am after all, nothing but a mother whose prime concern is the welfare and well-being of her child.

Good luck, Messrs, as you embark on this wonderfully hair-brained genius scheme. That is how it should be.

Yours sincerely
A Stay-at-Home Mum

mumturnedmomPost Comment Love


5 Feb 2014

Mr Nutcase Personalised Case Review

Mr Nutcase is a website that enables you to create personalised cases for your mobiles, I-pads, tablets and more.

You can either choose a design from their varied, rather impressive collection. Or you can hone your own creative skills by making your very own case design.

3 Feb 2014

J Speaks 04/02/2014

J is turning out to be quite a chatterbox. He has an opinion about everything, and is seldom afraid to voice it. Quite loudly too at times. Here is the latest in what promises to be an eternal saga of Jspeak, if current form is anything to go by.

1 Feb 2014

Winter Sunshine

Going by the wet weather over the last few days, I was not overly optimistic about being  outdoors with J any time at all this week. Driving to pre-school and all the other song-and-dance groups and playgroups does not constitute outdoor fun. Going outdoors is defined as pulling on your wellington boots and walking running about on two little legs.

As anybody with a young child will know, Saturday mornings mean nothing to these toddlers. So we were up at the crack of dawn today, which, being winter, was about half past six. I was pleasantly surprised to find a ray of winter sunshine streaming in through our window by the time breakfast was done. We just had to make the most of it.

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