30 Oct 2013

Toy Story

I have said it before, and I will say it again. We don't really do Halloween. I am not one for scary, spooky anything. And I don't suspect that at two, J is too keen to be worried and scared by ghouly ghostly monsters either. We did craft a sock monster as our homage to Halloween. But that is about as far as I am willing to go with gore. At least for the time being. 

So what do we do the weekend before Halloween?  We head into Altrincham Town Centre to stock up on our craft supplies.  Now there is a ghost town if there ever was one!

28 Oct 2013

A Crafting We Will Go

I was recently reading a lovely blog post about alternative gift ideas by Maggy Woodley. She talks about a craft box as an alternative to traditional presents for kids aka toys.

Any sort of craft box is non-existent in the C household. I have bits and pieces strewn around the house, a ball of wool, some coloured paper, a glue stick, some threads and needles. We seem to have got by without one so far. We have made some paper flowers and even a sock monster.

But there has never been an organised effort to create something that resembles a craft box.

I vaguely remembered owning a pair of knitting needles and a couple of crochet hooks as well. I am clueless as to where they lie in the house at the moment.

That was the last straw. The obsessive compulsive organiser in me could not carry on functioning in this random manner.

25 Oct 2013

Corn and Cumin Rice

Cumin is a staple spice in any kitchen of Indian origin. So goes without saying, it is omnipresent in my kitchen and in my cooking.

I grew up eating a lot of cumin rice. It is extremely popular as a main course through large parts of India.

24 Oct 2013

The Versatile Blogger Awards

A massive thank you to Debs over at Super Busy Mum for my Versatile Blogger Award nomination. My first ever award! I am really rather chuffed about it. So much, that I still haven't stopped grinning :-D The Versatile Blogger Awards are a great way of recognising blogs that deserve some recognition.

So here are 7 random facts about me -

1) I am a recovering chocoholic. Always recovering.

2) Cooking was a pet peeve until very recently. I am always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen.

3) I am technologically challenged. I cannot even change a lightbulb. There was a time when any electronic equipment would go bust if I so much as ventured near it.

4) A holiday in Majorca has inspired me to take Spanish lessons. Two words so far - Hola, Adios.

5) I love Strictly Come Dancing. I absolutely love to dance, although I am terrible at it. Dancing nowadays is restricted to jumping around with J and going to the occasional Zumba class.

6) I quite enjoy doing puzzles of all sorts. Sudoku, word challenges, logic problems, jigsaws, the lot. 

7) I have a bit of an obsessive compulsive streak. Things have to be a certain way, no compromise. The OH often bears the brunt of it.

And here are 7 lovely bloggers that I want to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1) Sara Murray at Mum Turned Mom
2) Fiona J at Green Loving Girl
3) Vonnie at A Woman wearing Many Hats
4) Claire at Great British Family
5) Colette at Going on an Adventure
6) Helen at Peakle Pie
7) Emma at Helvetia Handmade

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

* You must put the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blogspot.
* Make sure to thank the blogger that nomiated you, in your post.
* Finally write 7 random facts about yourself and nominate 7 other bloggers.

21 Oct 2013

The Sock Monster

J is beginning to discover the joys of using a glue stick. I have sourced out a brand that is washable and solvent-free, so he can use it with minimum supervision.

So taken is he by the glue and the ability to create, that he expressed a desire to 'do craft' this morning.  He was rather vocal about it too.

I am still in the process of assembling a decent craft-box. All I have is bits and pieces lying around the house.

So what could we do with one googly eye, scraps of paper and bits of wool? A sock monster, of course!

We don't really do Halloween. So this could be our Halloweeny thing.

I found a lonely old sock belonging to J from when he was a baby lying at the bottom of his sock drawer. We stuck on the googly eye and a woolly nose. A piece of colourful string became smiling lips. (You don't do grumpy,  scary monsters when you are two). We gave our monster some spiky blue paper hair.

Me and the Sock Monster
J and the Sock Monster

And there we had him. Our smiley Sock Monster. J was thrilled to bits. We took turns wiggling him on our hands. He hid behind cushions,  he tickled our tummies and he made us giggle.

Our Sock Monster does not have a name yet. What shall we call him?

20 Oct 2013

Bin Your Bra

I resolved to do it and now I have done it.

It took me a while to find my nearest House of Fraser shop. It took me even longer to find the bra bin inside the shop. That probably was just me trying to contend with a toddler who, like all males of his species,  hates all things shopping.

But I did it. I binned a great big bunch of bras that were cluttering up my lingerie drawer. All for a very good cause. A cause that is close to my heart for some very personal reasons. 

It was in support of Lorraine's Bin Your Bra campaign to raise money for Against Breast Cancer, a charity that is involved with breast cancer research.

So ladies, and gentlemen with access to unloved bras, head to your nearest bra bin with your bagfuls. Certainly better than taking them to the landfill.

There is no better time to declutter and support a worthy cause.

15 Oct 2013


Bobobin - an abbreviation of 'bobbin up' in the nursery rhyme 'Wind the bobbin up'. Why use two words when you can use just the one! So our rhyme now goes, "Wind the bobobin, wind the bobobin..."

25 Ways to Exercise for a SAHM

It is almost impossible to incorporate structured exercise into your daily routine when you are a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) to a toddler. 

Unless of course,  the other half takes over and you get some precious time to yourself. Exercise is the last thing on my mind at the best of times, let alone in 'me-time'. I would rather use it to put my feet up with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

If you have ever tried doing any structured exercise with a tot in tow, you will know that they perceive it as the perfect opportunity for adventure. You get climbed upon when trying to hold a Yoga pose. Running becomes a game of catch. The Wii Fit board refuses to recognise you because you cannot stand still. How can you, when you are trying to claim board space from your meddling toddler!

If you can't fight them, join them.  So forget structure. There are ways to get moving that can be fun for both you and your tot.

Here are my top 25 exercise tips for when you are parenting a toddler. Best results are achieved when done with said toddler.

1) Go to the park. Swings, slides, roundabouts and climbing frames are great to burn some toddler energy and adult calories.
2) Go exploring in the back garden.
3) Kick a ball around.
4) Play 'catch me' indoors or out. Random running about is so much fun.
5) Dance to any music. Make your own music if you wish. Or just create a racket.
6) Start potty training. There is no better way to keep you on your toes.
7) Go to a soft play centre. Help your tot with the climbing and scrambling. Scramble with them and rediscover your own flexibility (or lack of it).
8) Climb up and go down the stairs for no reason at all.
9) Remove the stabiliser wheels on your kid's bicycle so you are running after them to keep them from falling over.
10) Buy them a scooter or a balance bike. Ditto the running above.
11) Do bunny hops together. Do not be surprised if your tot outlasts you.
12) Pretend to be a choo-choo train and puff around the house.
13) Jump or jog on a trampoline.
14) Jump anywhere.
15) Be a climbing frame for your child.  Just take care of the health and safety bit when attempting this.
16) And when carrying your toddler around on your back like a sack of potatoes.
17) Also when pretending to be a horse/elephant/lion or some such four-legged animal that takes your child around the house on its back.
18) Go for a walk.
19) Go for a swim/splash session.
20) Do a trolley dash around the supermarket.  Choose a quiet time to avoid bumping into other shoppers.
21) Have a session of rough and tumble. Preferably on a soft, mess-free carpet.
22) Sing some action songs and rhymes.
23) Chase after a balloon, a butterfly, bubbles, anything.
24) Dig, plant and tidy your garden.
25) Put on your welly-boots and splash in puddles.

You will be amazed at the rush of endorphins as you unleash your inner child. The feel-good factor only gets multiplied by the giggles, laughs and cuddles that usually follow. The calories burnt are just an added bonus.

11 Oct 2013


Batatoes - a term to describe home-grown tomatoes. The origin of the word probably lies in the frequent and excited use of the words batata (potato) and tomatoes. 

8 Oct 2013

Nutella Bread Pudding

I was stuck with a dry batch of rather tasteless bagels bought from a local supermarket. I care too much about food, or the lack of it in parts of the world, to let a perfectly digestible, but utterly unpalatable bunch of bagels go into the recycling bin. There had to be something I could do with them.

I am no masterchef. And I am no food blogger. What I am is a Mum with a tot who loves his puds. A Mum who likes to whip up scrumptiousness in her kitchen with minimum effort. So what becomes of said bagels? They get transformed into a bread and butter pudding. With a twist. A very Nutella twist!

6 Oct 2013


Aai phone - the latest version of the i-phone.  Not really,  no. Just J's way of saying it is his Mother's phone.

4 Oct 2013

Tulips in the Autumn Garden

Tulips. The prettiest of spring flowers. I have been enchanted by these delightful lovelies ever since I first saw them. Not in real life (there are no tulips in Mumbai), but on the silver screen in Yash Chopra's Silsila. Any Bollywood buff will know what I am on about. What romantic could possibly resist Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha cavorting to the strains of 'Dekha ek Khwab' in the tulip gardens at Keukenhof. 

I digress. Autumn is the time to plant tulip bulbs in your garden. So M and I readied ourselves to get planting on a sunny weekend in September. The idea, my idea, was to let M do all the digging, while I pranced about, ceremoniously placing the tulip bulbs in just the right spots. I had Keukenhof to live up to, after all!

When both parents are trying to get a job done, it is invariable that the tot volunteers his invaluable assistance. You have no choice but to accept the gracious help being offered. On the plus side, your garden is perhaps the best place that your tot can be of help without getting into too much trouble. It is by far the best place for messy play; you do not have to worry about tidying anything up after.

It is quite amazing what abundant happiness a simple, basic, plastic garden set can bring. J got digging with M. He got planting with me. He even managed to plant his own little tulip bulb in his own little garden pot. All by himself. With absolutely no help. There could not have been a better way to foster his independence.

fostering independence
Tulips. My favourite of all the spring flowers. We may not have planted a Keukenhof, but our tulip garden has already brought us much joy this autumn. Especially the one little bulb in a little green pot that will bloom this spring.

2 Oct 2013


lolly nice - something that is as nice as a lolly. In toddler-land, that is perhaps the nicest thing there is. "Do you mean jolly nice?" I asked. "No, lolly nice," came the reply. Time to swap the very British 'jolly' for a 'lolly', me thinks.

1 Oct 2013

J Speaks

Children can say the most amusing and awe-inspiring things. 

Our J is no different. Being two, he is experimenting with language, with speech, grammar and comprehension. There are no rules, no boundaries, no limits. Unlike an adult, he has the freedom to say what he thinks, when he thinks it. He has the liberty to coin new words and new phrases. He can use them in whatever context he deems fit.

The results are truly remarkable. One-liners, conversations and definitions, some of which are worthy of a place in an updated version of the Oxford English Dictionary!

I hope to share some absolute pearls that are sure to make you smile, if not chuckle.

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