Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On my bookshelf: "We Should All Be Feminists"

"We have evolved .But our ideas of gender have not evolved very much."-
this line brings out the essence of Chimananda's book " We Should All Be Feminists". It is adapted from her much viewed  TEDx talk with the same name.

 I would highly recommend this short ebook to all, especially to young people and to those interested in gender studies. It would also be a rather useful read for teen girls because  it's the perfect intro to those who are just starting to understand gender issues.

Chimananda writes gently but effectively and she draws on  experiences from her homeland Nigeria and from USA- her own and her friends'. She speaks of the time when she wasn't made a class monitor just because she was a girl, even though she met the criterion by scoring the highest . It was something that shook her nine year old self to the very core.

Chimananda speaks of how a woman is often criticized for the same attributes that a man is praised for.For example, a woman CEO is often spoken ill of if she's assertive, whereas a man CEO is likely to be admired for the very same trait.

For the discrimination against women, rather than attacking men, she talks about culture and mindsets, which I think is a good approach.She says that the culture must be inclusive and must evolve according to the needs of the time where physical strength is no longer important and therefore men's dominance no longer makes sense.

Some of my favourite lines from the book:

"We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough,which is bad enough,but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons."

"We define masculinity in a very narrow way.Masculinity is a hard,small cage, and we put boys inside this cage."

"The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are."

Chimamanda's tone in this book is conversational and not at all pedantic, which makes it a great read!Looking forward  to reading more of her work!

Monday, November 14, 2016

This instead of that......

As moms, we wear many hats.One is that of a  hunter-gatherer, always on the look out for wholesome food for the fam.

Here I share some substitutions (suggestions based on products available in  Singapore supermarkets) that I have come up with while navigating the aisles:

Chocolate Spreads 


Commercial chocolate spreads  are fingerlickingly delicious  but they are sugar bombs !




Instead of 

 You can substitute chocolate spreads such as "Nutella" with the likes of Coco2 from Pure Harvest which harnesses the benefits of  coconut and cocoa and is delectable. I tried it and my kids gave two  thumbs up to the taste.I am not endorsing any particular brand here and there are many more healthy chocolate spreads other than the ones that you see here  .You can find them in Mustafa or in Cold Storage and  also at Fairprice .




Cheese is another favourite of the little people in our lives ! So we might as well give them the best .....



When selecting cheeses, just go for natural cheeses which are the real stuff and full of the goodness of dairy ! 





  Instead of that 

Processed cheese doesn't have much food value as it contains a lot of fillers.In fact you'd be  surprised to know that the final product contains very little  cheese!

 Soup stocks 


 For soup stocks, it's a great idea to choose one which has less salt and  made from free range chicken.My kids like  noodle soups when they get tired of rice and so I prefer a wholesome broth base instead of a chemical concoction full of MSG and artificial flavours. A tad expensive but worth it.....

More to come as my exploration continues........and very keen to hear about the smart substitutions that you have made!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Yay! First Pet!

 A first pet is a  kind of a rite of passage for any child! I think pets add  more fairy dust to the magic of childhood and create warm and fuzzy  memories to look back on !

Our kids have been asking for a four legged friend  for a while now but we have been reluctant  because of the enormous responsibility it would entail. And where would we keep it while we are vacationing in our hometown was another question that lingered in our minds. My siblings and  I always have had dogs and some of our fondest memories consist of Woolly,our beloved dog, who was unique and very playful . And so at times I felt that I was depriving my children of this fun aspect of childhood.

But life is full of surprises and my kids were thrilled to  get their first pet quite unexpectedly a week ago. It's  a lovely gift from a lovely friend. 
And it's a perfect pet for first time pet owners.Fighter (Betta) fish  is hardy and low maintenance. His name is Lil Mia  and my photo totally doesn't do justice to his beautiful colours !

The kids are thrilled and enamored of their new pet. They google "fighter fish" countless times a day  to see how best to keep him happy and cheerful. They were quite amused to learn that his vibrant colours were meant for attracting a female partner.

And the best part is we need only 3 items for Lil Mia's care :

I hope Lil Mia will prepare my kids for "bigger" pets in future ! I eagerly look forward to the day when they  can have a furry friend ! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

#Growth Mindset

Came across this wonderful  #Growth Mindset poster by Sylvia Duckworth and shared by Vicki Davis ( It's  meant  for teachers but I think it's equally important for parents !

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Things kids do & say

Last week, I was a bit unwell and was feeling tired and hungry in the evening. I called my older son, and told him to bring me something to eat. Condition was that no cooking was involved & no cutting. I allow him supervised access to the stove-top & chopping anything.
So he went and made me a sandwich, it was delicious & simple with unconventional ingredients going into it. Here is what he made: 2 slices of bread, plain yoghurt speard on them, a slice of cheese between them. Some tomato-chilly ketchup. This was plates with a fist full of roasted peanuts.
It was a tasty snack, that served to satiate my hunger pangs.
I really loved how he used his imagination to make something that he's never eaten or seen!

The second incident is about my younger son, who just turned 5.
We were watching a famous Marathi song, which showed innumerable fireflies appearing during the course of the song. He asked me what they were. I replied 'they are insects and are called fireflies'.
To which he immediately asked, 'are they hot?'
We had a hearty laugh at his honest and innocent question.
Oh, yes I did explain to him, why they were called so and why they are not hot to touch.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Update #haircare

In the previous post, I had mentioned that I had generously slathered my hair with a cream hair mask (i bought it at my local Cosway store). I was to wait for about 20-25 minutes before I go ahead with the shampoo and rinse.
I followed these steps, and I am happy to report that my hair looks nice, they look well conditioned, soft and best of all, no frizzy hair!!
I'm definitely going to do this often.

Recently a friend introduced me to the hair vitamin capsules at the pharmacy. These capsules contain some oil base enriched with vitamin E, argan oil, etc. There are a few options to choose from, based on the hair type.
The contents of one capsule is to be applied to towel dried hair.
I discovered that using these capsules were exactly whati had been looking for to allow my dry frizzy hair to get smoothened out, to give my hair some shine. They actually look healthy, and well taken care of!

If anyone wants details of these products, the hair mask, the hair vitamin capsules, do let me know, I will be happy to share.

Let's work together to ensure that we all have happy hair days!!

This & that and everything in between....

There is just so much that I wish to write down; and I actually got worried sick about how I was going to do it all! So I decided to start with baby steps (we all know a thing or two about baby steps...don't we?)

This week I am sort of free. Free only from the content-writing that I have started last year. So I have time on hand; and so this Monday I spent a day at the nearby mall watching a movie with the kids and another friend & her beautiful daughter. After the movie, we visited the Body Shop; as we both (mommies) wanted to pick up some stuff. I chose the Tea Tree Oil BB Cream. My friend recommended it to me; and I like what it does to my skin.
So to cut a long story short; since Monday I have been in this mental zone of researching about skincare products for my age group. My problem areas are endless...but for starts I wish to minimize the gigantic craters called pores! Secondly hydration for my skin is a worrying issue right now.
I have zeroed on a few products; like the ROC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream; and the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum. Both have excellent reviews and are highly recommended products. My worry is their price point; secondly that these are not available in trial-size packs. If they were, then we could just buy those samples, try the products for a month, then make the decision to purchase.
While I was at the home country, I greedily grabbed a big (biggest available) jar of the Biotique Bio Wheat Germ cream. It used to be my favorite; but now it leaves me super greasy! So I don't like it as much but I can't discard it also because it cost hard earned money!! So I have decided (for now) that I will first finish off this ginormous jar of cream; and only then think about purchasing any other skin care product.

Last month I also learnt over YouTube (Yes I am an avid YouTube watcher); that trick to smoother hair is to first apply conditioner; wait for some time, rinse it off; then apply your shampoo. I have tried this and it seems to be working. Today I have actually applied a hair mask, which I will wash off before shampooing my hair. Let's see how that goes!

The younger ones birthday is soon approaching, and I have to finalize the cake and that should keep me occupied with something constructive to do for the next few days.
How fast these little munchkins have grown up!

Lastly....while I was on the lookout for skincare products...I chanced upon something very ingenious! I saw one one of the pharmacy websites a product so useful, so needed...that I am going to grab a few packs when I visit the store next. The product was Disposable toilet seat covers!!
We need them....don't we? When we are outside, at a mall or the movie, and we need to visit the restrooms...get the picture? Now you know...that you also need to buy few packs!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Peter Pan market !

Can you guess the hottest publishing trend of  last year? C'mon try ! It's colouring book for grownups!

Most bookshops now have one or more corners dedicated to them and they come in all kinds of themes like "Harry Potter", "Mandalas", "Henna designs" & "Secret Garden Colouring book" (liked this one the most).                                                                
Fans say that adult coloring books can fight stress big time much like yoga and meditation !Its therapeutic and works like magic to relax your mind. I do agree but I feel  the same could be said for any type of art and craft activities.

Maybe colouring books have the added advantage as  the groundwork has already been done for you ! All you have to do is to grab some colour pencils, which probably most grown ups already have at home & go crazy !

On the contrary,when you are creating artwork from scratch,there is some planning that is involved and you usually have to source the materials.Yes, definitely not as easy peasy as just buying a coloring book and starting  your creative journey .

 By the way,"The Secret Garden: an Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book" has sold 2 million copies worldwide since its release in 2013.