Its Easter break and you like it or not your kids are going to have lots of holidays! So you better be prepared with lots of ideas to entertain and exhaust them. My daughter has 15 days of break. I mean didn’t they just go back to school after winter break ? Last week I posted the DIY (Do-it-yourself) hand print impressions post and while working on that I had lots of left over dough. I really liked the technique and the concept behind the baking the dough to make it ‘forever’ so I decided to make something ‘forever’ for Easter that I can keep and show my kids later!
You’ll need :
- Roll out the dough to 1 or 1.5 cm thickness (any thinner would cause it to crack as in the pic)
- Cut the dough using your cutter. Or if you are artistic you can cut and mold one using knife! Simple rolls eggs with your child using the dough.
- Bake it for 3 hours at 180 C
- Lets your child paint it however she/he wants! You can give the second coat or leave it as it is for their authentic touch!
- Let it dry for a few hours. Your rock solid Easter bunnies and eggs are ready. After Easter, you can put all the eggs and bunnies in the basket and hang it in the kids room or simply decorate your show-case!
I believe it’s important to do lots of DIY activities with our kids because they may not ‘remember’ all the fun they have now, especially at 3 and 4. But by looking at all their projects and collections they certainly will be proud of a colorful childhood they spent with their parents 🙂 I really don’t do a lot of projects like this with them, but running a blog with DIY posts definitely helps 🙂
Pregnancy was one of the most exciting times in my life. Yeah! I was absolutely excited about being pregnant and obviously enjoying all the extra attention I started getting overnight !. I was looking forward to the birth of my daughter right from the moment I felt her first kick in my tummy. From the fifth month of my pregnancy I started buying things for her and for me. By the time I finished my 7 month my hospital bag was packed and ready. I told you I was really excited!
There were a lot of little little things that I wish I packed and some I wish didn’t pack the first time. I learnt my lessons the first time and I was well stocked for my second delivery. So I thought sharing my list would be quite helpful especially for the first time mammas! Here’s a list of all the things that I would recommend you pack in your hospital bag :
FOR THE MOM :
- 3-4 comfortable pretty hospital/night gowns. Yes 3-4. You never know when you are going to have those visitors even though you may not want to see any of them the first couple of days. And also to have a spare in case you mess up one. If you are comfortable in yoga pants and t-shirts then you can pack them instead or a combination. I preferred harem pants and t-shirts.
- Towels : 2-3 hand towels and 1 body towel
- Recovery kit : Medicated wet wipes, Extra long maxi pads, simple cotton pads (Plain cotton pads are a must!), 5-6 maternity under wears (Disposable or the loose fitting ones) and a robe. If you’ve had an episiotomy then ice pads or hydro gel pads are a live safer. Look for it!
- Nursing set : 4-5 Nursing bras, a nursing cover, nursing pads, sore gel if you get sore when feeding
- Toiletry kit: This kit was such a dose of confidence booster. I always made it a point (or at least wanted to!) to be well dressed when I knew visitors were coming. When every person that walks tell you, ‘wow, you look great or you look so fresh or you don’t look like you just delivered’ or whatever kind words they choose will be such a dose of energy booster! It cheered me up and I began to go up-beat about it and started believing it! It certainly made my recovery more cheerful. So you kit should include some basic items and some feel-good items. They are :
- Wet wipes, Face wash, Body wash, Shampoo/Condi and Moisturizer,
- Comb, Clips, Hand mirror, Lens / solution and Deo
- Kohl, Concealer, Lip Gloss ( Seriously. Why don’t you want to look good if you can!)
- Tooth brush, toothpaste and a pair of flip flops
- Pillow and a blanket: I took my pillow right into my labour room for my second delivery. These are some of the small things that I missed my first time. Hospital pillows may be good, but you never know if you will be comfortable in them. For my first delivery I spent a lot of time between my contractions just hating my pillow. It was too big and hard and I could just not hold onto it to squeeze…you know. You really don’t want to waste your energy that time cribbing about a pillow! For the second delivery I took mine straight into my labour room. It helped!
- Massage stick: No kidding. This is very useful when you are in labour and after labour as well. It is very essential to relax and recoup your energy between those dreadful contractions. After delivery sometimes every part of your body may just kill you – so this comes handy then.
- Gadgets: Take your phone, iPod or your iPad. I’d also highly recommend that you load them up with lots of music, your favourite movies, sitcoms or whatever that can distract your mind when you are in labour. Especially since you never know how long you are going to be in the hospital. I took 3 hours to deliver my daughter and 2.5 days to deliver my son. Uh! Don’t forget your to take your charger and headphones.
- Camera / Phone : You’ll need a fully charged camera to take lots of pictures when you are in labour or just delivered to capture the very first shots of your baby ! If some hospitals permit, you should also capture the birth of your little wonder thru pictures or video. These are precious shots to cherish and a pride to never let go off for the mamma!
- Documents : Your Insurance papers, photo-id, your pregnancy file, emergency contact details and a wallet with some cash. Though someone is always going to be with you, its good to tuck these in your bag with you.
- Snacks : Yes, I mean snacks. You probably can buy this a couple of days before of your due date. You won’t be allowed to eat anything once your labour kicks and you never know when you will be delivering. I delivered both my kids in the wee hours of the night and after all the pushing and exhaustion I felt very hungry after my sedation wore out. In case the hospital kitchen is closed or you don’t feel like eating that food…some snacks might come in handy.
- Brother gift/ Sister gift: If you have an older one you should pack some books or toys for her/him when they come to the hospital to visit you. I’d highly recommend that you buy some new toys/books to surprise them when they come so confused to meet you and the new baby!
FOR THE BABY :
- Diapers. I bought two different kinds for back up. Just in case the baby gets a rash in the first kind.
- Cloth Nappies 8-10 pieces at least – You may want to consider this if baby’s skin is too sensitive for diapers or if you don’t want her use rash creams from day one. It’s a good option to throw in some cloths nappies into your bag.
- Rubber sheet : If you are using cloth nappies
- Destin or a rash cream
- Nail clipper (babies have really sharp nails when they are born!)
- Swaddle blanket : 2 -3
- Onsies / Jablas : 8-10 , Mittens, Socks, Cap.
- Wash cloth to wipe baby clean everyday
- Feeding bottles for nb : 2-3 bottles for back up. In case you are not able to feed or if the baby resists a bit initially you may want to use this. You can probably buy the formula at the hospital pharmacy.
- Nursing pillow : I’ve heard that this is a boon. I personally preferred sitting on a chair with arm rest and feeding my baby
- Car seat : This is mandatory if you are in US or EU.
Hope this list gives you a good idea of what to pack in your bag! Here’s wishing you an easy delivery and a quick recovery 🙂
Thanks to my house-owner who set up a crappy microwave in the apartment. That’s the only reason I think I decided to go and buy myself a new one with a convection system in it. Its been quite a while since I took the time out to bake and ever since I bought it a week ago I have been excited to make cakes or bakes or breads or anything. I just wanted to use it!
The day had arrived. Today it was! I made a choco-nutella cake. Its was pretty simple and quick. I now only regret postponing my oventures (Pun intended. A really bad one I think!) this long.
So, here’s my recipe. It’s fairly easy to whip up and would make a great party dessert or a kids play date treat! You could do up the icing differently , but I decided to simply spread a choco-spread over the cake with a wavy butter knife to get a simple pattern and dusted it with a bit of a cocoa powder and powdered sugar to make it Instagram worthy. Ha!
- 15-20 mins to prepare
- 25 mins to bake
- Butter : 150 gms
- Brown sugar : 1/3 cup
- Nutella : 80 to 100 gms
- Eggs : 2
- Flour : 200 gms
- Baking powder : 1 tsp
- Salt : A pinch (If you are using salted butter you can avoid salt)
- Combine Butter + sugar and beat (preferably in an electric beater) until fluffy.
- Add Nutella and beat on low speed. Add eggs one by one and continue to beat.
- In a separate bowl add : Flour + baking soda + salt
- Fold the Nutella mixture into the flour and mix until ingredients are combined really well.
- Preheat the oven at 190 C (375 F). Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 25 mins!
- Prepare icing as mentioned above.
Its quite simple, told ya.
I know quite a lot about buying strollers now. I’m at the end of my 3rd year of motherhood with 2 kids. And more importantly I’ve bought 3 wrong ones before I found my right one. Yep, so that’s 4 strollers to my credit (card!)
There are tons of really great ones out there. All the strollers I bought were fantastic ones, but only each in its own way. The only reason I had to get rid of them and look for a new one was – My need was different and it took a while for me to figure out what I actually wanted from a stroller!
My first one was a full-sized stroller with great cushioning and would recline 180 degrees, but it did not have a 5 point harness. My second one was a famous European brand, had 5 point harness and and all great features but it stood so bulky at the corner of my room. My third one was a jogging stroller. What a bump-free ride it would give my baby! Even when bouncing down some stairs or on snow or beach too. But how many times can I go to the beach and what do I do when it’s not snowing? It was a bit gigantic in my living room. So now quiet fed up with the so many misfits at home, I wanted to get rid of them all and see what I actually needed my stroller to be the most for me. After a lot of research I made myself a check-list with all the features of a good stroller to prioritize my need and pick my hopefully final stroller! So now I just wanted to share my checklist with you and if I can make you buy one less wrong stroller, you’ve made my day : -)
So here’s my 15 POINT STROLLER BUYING GUIDE for you. This guide has all the features of a good stroller that you should keep in mind when you are buying.
- TYPE OF STROLLER: Full sized, jogging, Travel system (car seat adaptable) or Light weight umbrella. The terrain you are in and the extensive type of activities you plan to do with your child plays a vital role in your decision. If you actually know the answer to this question, your problem is half solved!
- SIZE: This was the most important thing for me. You don’t want a gigantic stroller occupying your living room or at back of your door, or your baby’s room or the bathroom. That’s all where I tried to hide mine! I now live in HK and you can imagine my need to save space. But if you have a garage or a storage room, you can go easy on this.
- WEIGHT: If you like to travel a lot or move around, you should pick a light one. Umbrella strollers are the best options for travel and especially if you have to lug the stroller down a flight of stairs!
- WHEELS: Wheels are important for manoeuvring. Make sure the front wheels swivel for an easy ride. I also think the bigger the wheels, the better suspension you get for your baby.
- AGE COMPATIBILITY: If you don’t want to buy too many strollers, invest in one that can be used from NB to 2 or 3 yrs. Or maybe in one that can be used from 3 months and up.
- RECLINING OPTION: This is very important in giving the baby a comfortable place to sleep when we take them out. Pick a stroller which gives you at least 120 degree reclining options. Some strollers give you up to 180 degrees!
- FOOT REST FOR BABY: This is not very essential, but it would be nice if the baby can stretch their legs when they fall asleep. So if you like that, look for extendable foot rest option.
- RAIN COVER: I prefer a stroller that has its own rain cover so that it fits very snugly on the stroller to protect your baby from rain. I once got caught (not really caught when you are in Disneyland, are you!) with my baby and it started to pour for about half hour. We were all drenched, but not a drop on my baby who was enjoying the scene cozily from inside! This is great to protect the child from the cold winds too.
- SUN PROTECTION CANOPY: Its important to protect your child from the UV rays and the heat directly falling on their heads. Some strollers give you the extended sun canopy protection that almost covers your baby from the direct rays.
- WASHABLE SEAT COVER: You are going to put a kid on it. So you better expect the seat cover material to be stain resistant or easily washable.
- SEAT CUSHIONING: Pick a stroller with nice cushioning. This is essential if you plan to put your baby when she is very small. This will make a cozy place for her sit as well as protect during the bumpy rides.
- 5 POINT HARNESS: Do not settle in for 3 point harness, especially if your child is still young. You don’t want your baby to stand up when you are walking her down in the stroller. Maybe after 2 yrs, you can consider 3 point harness.
- CUP HOLDER AND TRAY FOR MAMMA: While the stroller is for the comfort of the child, its important that you also have a couple of extensions on it to make your walk a bit more relaxed. Make sure you at east have a cup holder. It would be nice to have a small tray where you can throw in baby’s bottle, a pacifier, your keys, some change etc. Even if there is no tray there are actually loads of stroller attachments that you can buy separately.
- BASKET UNDER STROLLER: You really don’t want to lug a diaper bag always! Even when I decided to buy an umbrella stroller, I was particular that I wanted to have a small basket underneath to throw in some diapers, change of clothes and some space to put some things that I buy on my way. This is so crucial when you start walking around.
- EASY OPEN AND FOLD OPTIONS: If you are going out alone, it’s important that you are able to do it effortlessly all by yourself. There are some great strollers that let you open and fold them using one hand, in case you have to carry your baby in the other. Definitely try to do this and see at the store!
There were a lot great strollers that I came across when I was researching. But some of my personal favorites were from these 7 brands that are from across the globe. They are : @Uppababy @Maclaren, @Bugaboo @Bumbleride @BobRevolution @PegperegoUSA and @Babyjogger.
Btw, just in case you want to know what I bought 🙂 – I narrowed down and decided to buy a space-saving light weight umbrella stroller that gave me all the features of a full-sized stroller! Yes, I found one like that and couldn’t be more happier with my choice! It was also compatible for babies from 3 months to 15 kgs and I’m using it for second child now!
I hope you find this guide useful. If you did, let me know what stroller you bought.
Easy, iron-rich and a tummy filling shake!
I’m constantly in need of quick and tummy filling recipes for my kid and this one’s quiet a hit at home. I definitely make this when I have to get my daughter to quickly eat something filling (like before her class) or sometimes a couple of hours before I take her out to a dinner party or a get-together. So even if the dinner is served a bit late…this holds her up!
We all know the goodness of dates. High in fiber and very very high in iron. It’s a great source to increase the hemoglobin (Red blood cells) in your blood.
This is a thick and a healthy shake ready in no-time! Look at the glass on left…I’ve poured half a glass of plain milk over half a glass of the shake. It just doesn’t mix until you stir them together!
Here’s what you’ll need to make 1 glass :
- Dates : 4-5 pieces (I used Medjool dates)
- Milk : ½ cup
Method: Deseed and soak the dates in hot water for 15 mins. This will make them moist and soft. Drain the water and blend the dates with a little bit of milk. After it becomes a smooth paste, add rest of the milk and blend again. Serve chilled! (or hot!)
Tip : If you want to make it light, add more milk.
This is a pretty looking giraffe teether toy named Sophie, manufactured by a French company called Vulli. I had heard so much about this toy that after I got pregnant this was the first item I put on my baby registry and couldn’t wait for my baby to open it. You can imagine that long wait of mine. But I was certainly a bit disappointed for all the hype that was out there. I’ll give you a few reasons to like it and more reasons to reconsider it too. Happy baby toy shopping 🙂
Image taken from Vulli’s french website
Why I liked it before I opened the box :
- Good looking teether toy
- Very easy for baby to grab and put it in her mouth
- Made of natural rubber and safe for baby to chew on (Though questionable by German standards in Nov 2011. I think there are more details on Wikipedia)
Here’s why I din’t like it after I opened the box : I opened this for my boy when he was 3 or 4 months old and within few days I put it away.
- DUST AND FUR MAGNET: Its body is made of soft flexible rubber that seems to collect mild moisture and so much dust particles and fur on it very quickly. These tiny particles get stuck onto them and takes a bit of an effort each time . Do I blame my carpet? Do I blame my cushion sofa ? No. I think they are meant to be soft and furry. I just don’t understand why Sophie giraffe pulls them out onto her! and really I can’t clean her before everytime my baby wants to play with her!
- SQUEAKER WENT MUTE : I have an older daughter (3 yo) who likes to play in water. She dragged this into her bath along with her bath toys and while the toy came out clean, it also came out muted. Muted till date. Clearly this was not the way to clean.
- WATER TRAPPED INTO ITS BODY : So after that, there was so much water that went into its narrow-hollow body and legs and there was no way to drain it fully. The squeaker hole was in the middle of its body so if turned it upside down the water would rush to its head and not drain through the hole. Finally, it took about a week for me to drain and dry her fully and even then I was not sure! Seriously I’d much rather have a teether toy that I can simply immerse sterilize in hot water every night.
- NO WAY TO STRAP IT TO STROLLER : So if you do decide to take this along with you in your stroller , there’s actually no way your gripper can hold it securely in place. You baby will drop it in a few minutes and you have to put it back in your bag immediately to bring home and clean!
So, Sophie – will not make it to the permanent brood of our other animal toys!
RATING : 6/10
Have you faced any of these problems with this toy ?
Quick and healthy everyday dessert!
Getting your kids to eat some fruits could sometimes be the most difficult thing! They don’t want to eat boring looking stuff, they don’t want to eat healthy stuff, they don’t want to eat the same stuff twice, they always want to eat what they are not supposed to eat and they simply don’t want to make our life simple. Argh! But here is an attempt to make life our simple and to get them to eat some healthy stuff! FRUIT PARFAIT SHOTS! My daughter thinks she is eating some really cool fancy stuff (especially in those shot glasses!) and I think my daughter is eating some healthy stuff. She wants it everyday. Yay!
Here’s the recipe and it takes less than 2 minutes to whip this up.
You’ll need :
Method : Place 2 sliced bananas on the bottom of the shot glass. Fill 3/4th of the glass with flavored yogurt. I used Swiss mango yogurt Top it with a strawberry and then drizzle some honey over it for the garnish. And finally place a sliced banana on the rim of the glass. Tadaa. Your quick fruit parfait shots are ready to serve!
Tip: This makes a great kids party dessert. Well, great or not, but at least a quick healthy dessert on the table.
Let me know if you try this !