30 Nov 2013

Cookworks Kettle Capers

                                                           The day doesn't begin
Till a hot cup of tea
Has passed my lips
And then I am me.

A wire, a switch, a base
A bit of plastic, mainly stainless steel,
Warming and boiling water
My trusty buddy, at most every meal.

We've been together a very long time
Then one morning, I got a mighty fright,
I plugged it in, I flicked the switch 
But of the orange light, there was no sight.

Upset and unhappy, I tried with all my might
To fix my poor kettle, my morning's delight.
Water boiling in a pan, just doesn't feel right
I needed my Cookworks Kettle to be alright.

I turned it off, switched it on
Thumped the base, turned it upside down
Pulled the plug, and tried all sorts
Even cleaned the kettle, to hear its boiling sound.

Nothing happened, not even a flicker
Annoyed, I walloped it in disbelief,
Then a miracle, something clicked
My kettle started boiling, what a relief!

On a cold winter's morning 
Or a wet summer's day
My trusty Cookworks Kettle
Is never far away.

This blog post is my  entry into the Tots100/PartSelect ’Love Your Appliance’ competition.
This appliance gets my seal of approval!

26 Nov 2013

What's He Said Now?

"What a mess!" My son said to me when I dropped a box of his building blocks on the floor. Talk about role reversal!

I have to be uber careful about what I say around J these days. He is emulating not just what I say, but how I say it as well. Scary!

"Oh my God!"
"In a minute."
"Be careful."
"Come on, M-----."

"Vaidehi, Vaidehi, Vaidehi," when he really wants my attention.

"J---- manage." When asked if he needed help getting out of his car seat.

"No kissy, no cuddle." M and I being told what was wanted, or in this case not wanted, in no uncertain terms.

"Morning, Sunshine." J greets the morning with a bright smile, most days.

Baby Grope - is what J insists on calling his babygro. Sigh!

I was telling J about why he should take care when climbing stairs. I told him that if it is a big boo boo, Aai will not be able to kiss it better. He might need to see a doctor. J looks at me with his innocent brown eyes and says, "Doctor kissy." I do so wish it was always that easy, my sweets. 

Wot So Funee?

25 Nov 2013

Out of a Babygro, into a Onesie

My J is no longer the little baby he once was. He is a proper little boy now. Nothing could have driven home the fact more than that he no longer fits in any of his babygros. We were using the last available size and now the feet are too snug. There is a lot of tugging and pulling to fasten the popper buttons. They don't even stay fastened for very long.

We moved out of vests with popper buttons into proper 'big boy' vests some time back. But I was clinging on to the babygros as the last remaining reminder of J's baby days.

It is just over 2 years, but it feels like the end of an era. J has worn a babygro for every day of his 2-odd years (other than when it was too warm). He wore his first ever babygro the day he was born. It was too big for him. The sleeves overshot his little curled-up fists, the shoulders slid off his frame.

Then I watched as he grew into those babygros. And then out of them. I had to go buy the next size up, again, and again, and again. Till we reached this last available size. And now he has outgrown that.

J always wears a babygro to bed. It might sound a bit silly, but I am feeling rather emotional letting go of the babygro. It is a significant milestone as far as I am concerned. A definite move from babyhood into the land of grown-ups. Into the land of pyjamas and bed-socks.

But all is not lost. I intend to cling on to the babygro for as long as I possibly can. Helped along by the rise of the onesie. From where I stand, it does look incredibly like an oversized babygro.

Today, I popped into our local George at Asda and picked up a lovely onesie for J. It is all cotton and looks really snug and warm. I presume it will wash and wear well. It is a beautiful bright blue all over. A vibrant indigo blue. With a band of white geometric print running across the front. And a white zipper to match. It also has a little hood. There are two pockets on the front for little hands to tuck into to keep warm. And no feet.

So we will still need a pair of socks to keep his feet warm. And since it is a hooded onesie, and J shouldn't be going to bed in a hooded anything apparently, we will need some jammies for bedtime after all.

Maybe I'll just buy him one without a hood next time. And with little feet on the end. Just to remind me of the times when he still wore a babygro to bed. 

19 Nov 2013

Orchard Jigsaw Puzzles

I have finally plucked up the courage to write my first ever review post. I am so impressed with Orchard Jigsaws, I had to go ahead and write it.

We bought J his first Orchard Jigsaw for his first birthday. It was the Transport puzzle. It has six individual jigsaw puzzles, each made up of two large, brightly coloured, shaped pieces that fit together. 

The pieces are quite chunky for little hands to hold and manoeuvre with ease. And strong enough to survive some persistent thumping. Just perfect for little tots who are starting out in the world of jigsaws. 

J took to puzzle-solving with such flair, we decided to skip the intermittent stages and jump straight to the bigger jigsaws. Just to challenge him a little bit.

So the next Orchard jigsaw J got was the 20-piece Who's on the Farm? puzzle. It came last Christmas when he was 18 

months old. It was a bit of a challenge for him to begin with, but he soon warmed to it with a little help. The fact that all his favourite animals were on the pictures just helped matters along. 

In a few months, he could identify all the animals and could mimic the sounds they make. He could spot the tractor, apple tree and the red wellies too. 

The 25-piece Who's in the Jungle? was the next Orchard jigsaw puzzle that we bought for J, this one for his second birthday. It proved to be just as big a hit as the previous two had been. He can piece it together all on his own now and knows all the animals - even Flamingo and Hippo!

We are absolutely delighted with each one of our Orchard purchases. They have been excellent value for money and have given us many hours of fun. That they help dexterity, problem-solving and vocabulary-building are just an added bonus. As is the fact they are made from recycled materials.

The constant feature has been beautiful, bright and vibrant colours that make the pictures rather endearing. The pieces and the boxes housing the sets are very sturdy and have survived boisterous handling by a tot, with very little signs of wear and tear. 

A special mention for the boxes for Who's on the Farm and Who's in the Jungle. Each has a plastic handle for little hands to carry around like a little suitcase. Very charming!

J has and is still having a lot of fun with his Orchard jigsaw sets. He has pieced them together so many times, he now has a very innovative way of making them even more fun. He has resorted to mixing all the pieces from the three sets together!

I must say he does manage to sort them out into their individual boxes when it comes to tidy-up time.

The time has come to be more adventurous and venture into the world of Orchard board games now. Or even bigger jigsaws.

Wonder what J will get for Christmas this year? The new Animal Games or the Old MacDonald Lotto perhaps?

In the meantime, if you are thinking of getting a fun, educational present for a toddler or older child, head over to Orchard Toys. You will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: All the Orchard jigsaw puzzles used and reviewed in this blog post were paid for and purchased by me. I was not offered any incentive or compensation to write this review.

Happy Kids, Inc

18 Nov 2013

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been given a product for review by the company in question or whether I 
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16 Nov 2013

Bombay Potatoes - Spicy Aloo in Mumbai

There was a time when I was experimenting with creating lenses on Squidoo as a lensmaster. There is just a lot happening at the moment, so squidooing is on the back burner for now. I did manage to produce a few lenses while I was there. One of them, my recipe for Bombay Aloo or Bombay Potatoes made it to the cover of Good Veg, an online magazine for vegeterian recipes powered by Squidoo. 

It is such an easy and delightful recipe, I cannot help but blog about it. The recipe uses some beautiful spices to flavour potatoes, transforming them into Bombay Potatoes.

Bombay Aloo                  

14 Nov 2013

J Speaks. More Each Day!

Sparkolours - sparklers with colour

Helephant - Heffalump? Half an elephant?
"Look! Helephant!" said J, pointing out the living room window. "And Monkey!"
In the North West of England. In the middle of November. What next?

Every time Sam Bailey comes on to sing on the X Factor, J gets very excited. He points to the screen and goes, "Aai, Aai, Aai! Singing!"
Sigh! If only I sounded that good! Or looked half as glam.
What would I do without my little J? I would be quite lost without my biggest supporter in the whole wide world.

J follows me around everywhere. So I call him my 'sheput'. It means tail in our native tongue.
J has figured out what it means, heaven knows how. The other day, he wanted M to go with him into the kitchen. He stood peering around the door, a cheeky grin lighting up his eyes. Beckoning to M with a crook of his little finger he said, "Come on, Shepoot." M and I could only collapse in a hysterical fit of giggles.

J  now says, "Bless you," every time I sneeze. He says it every time he sneezes too! Especially if I forget to say it to him. Bless him!

Wot So Funee?

"Doka sambhal, Baba!" J telling his Father to 'mind his head' as he was crouching under a low beam in soft play.

10 Nov 2013

Sunday 10 Nov 2013


Writing for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) 2013

We were at the park this afternoon, enjoying some winter sun. J was on the swings, wanting to be pushed higher and faster. After one particularly strong push from M, J pipes up, "Carefoool, Baba! Carefoool. Don't like it!"

Guess it was M that needed to be careful, especially as J got him with two little feet stretched straight out in front of him. As for not liking it, that didn't stop him staying put on the swings till we prised him out.

8 Nov 2013

Guilt-Tripping Through Parenthood

Does anyone else feel it too
Guilt-tripping through parenthood?
Trying to be the perfect parent
Hard work, when every moment
You fail 
To live up to your expectations.
Agony, guilt, tears
For you, not them.

A screaming tot tugging at your knee
Ignored, as you cook a meal,
CBeebies on for an hour or two
As you catch your breath, a cup of tea,
Trying to read, write, network, socialise
Your tot, no input, playing by your side.

A struggle to brush teeth, cut hair, nappy change
Give in to tantrums or hold out?
For how long?

Anyone else feel it too
The strain of juggling home, tot, blog the lot?
Is it bad parenting or being human
Is there a fine line
That I can't see?
Is it just me?

My Life As A Mummy
Weekend Blog HopProse for Thought

7 Nov 2013

Autumn Leaves

Red, yellow, orange and brown
Gently on the breeze, falling down,
Covering the soft grass under the trees
A blanket of curled-up autumn leaves.

Crunch, crunch, they make a sound
Under my feet, walking around,
We'll come back, they seem to say
Tender and green, on a spring day.

Until then, here shall we lie
The heat of summer long gone by,
Waiting for the frost and snow
As winter casts a cold shadow.

On the grass, under the trees                     
A blanket of dry autumn leaves.

6 Nov 2013

How to Make a Paper Lantern in Minutes

This is the second of two instalments of fun craft activities we got upto over this half-term. 

We had just been to watch a free showing of Toy Story the weekend before. J has been so impressed with Buzz Lightyear and rockets ever since that even his little water bottle is now a rocket!

He expressed a desire to make a 'craft rocket'.  As it was Diwali and we needed to make a paper lantern, I decided to fashion one to resemble a rocket. 

5 Nov 2013

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Our Diwali celebrations draw to a close today. We have had a fantastic five days of festive fun. 

We have been lighting tealights on our windowsill in the pretty holders we crafted this week.

4 Nov 2013

Besan Ladoo (Sweet Gram Flour Balls) for Diwali

Diwali would not be complete without a lot of home-made sweet and savoury delicacies. 

This is the first Diwali since J was born, or for that matter the first Diwali ever, when I have wholeheartedly assumed cooking responsibilities. I am after all a very new convert to domestic goddess-ness.

So I have been slaving over the kitchen stove these last couple of days, following my Aai's (mother's) instructions (thank goodness for hands-free and speaker phones), trying my very best to produce some edible goodies. 

Some experiments were glorious fails, some were fairly successful, and some more were salvaged by timely intervention by Aai on the end of the phone.

3 Nov 2013

Pretty Tealight Holders

Writing for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) 2013

Now we have a super-organised craft box, what do we do with it? Get crafting, of course! 

We needed a really simple activity combining glue and 'shiny'. And in keeping with the festive spirit of Diwali, the festival of lights.

So we came up with this novel idea of making pretty shiny tealight holders. More like coasters or place mats for the little tealights.

2 Nov 2013

So funny

Writing for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) 2013

J and I were dancing to some music. I was getting a bit carried away with my moving and shaking under the very strong influence of #SCD (Strictly Come Dancing for the uninitiated).

A "So funnnie," stopped me in the middle of a twist. There stood J with a huge grin on his little face.

I just hope he meant he was having fun with the dancing. Not that the sight of his mother dancing was very funny.

I continue to live in hope.

1 Nov 2013


Writing for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) 2013

November this year is a super busy month. On the social front, on the writing front, on every conceivable front! 

November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). As a participating blogger, you are expected to write and post on your blog every day for the whole month. 

I have decided to take on this challenge, and have signed up with Vonnie's lovely linky. 

Starting today, we are celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. So for the next five days there will be a lot cooking, cleaning, decorating and a general sprucing up the C residence. Not to mention entertaining and being entertained. All with a tot in tow. 

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