The Story Lover

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There are several things in life that I am immensely grateful for. For this wonderful life, for my loved ones, for the innumerable blessings and a hundred other reasons. One of them which I consider so precious is that my parents raised me as a lover of words, books and all things imaginary and fictitious. Books have hence been my constant companions, with me through the ups and downs. And being a mother now, what I wish for my son is that he fall in love with words and the smell of books too.

As he nears his third birthday, I can happily say that he is indeed a lover of books 🙂 It is an absolute pleasure to see the little one sit down patiently, place the book in his lap, browse through the pictures and writings with much interest and demand stories to be told. In an age of YouTube videos and animation movies, it is a great relief seeing him show an equal interest in reading books as well. And it definitely makes me happy and proud as a mother. Because often, books turn out to be the best teachers.

Am pretty sure you have heard a gazillion times about the importance of reading to kids and why you should make time for reading. It quickens his speech skills, enhances concentration, gives them mastery over the language and other similar reasons. But more than learning alphabets, sounds and words, books also teach them of love, of compassion, of being kind and empathetic.

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If you’re a parent you would know how kids blindly and totally believe their parents. You tell them you are Superman, then YOU ARE SUPERMAN, well, at least for them 😀 At such an age when they imbibe and grasp things so quick and smart, it is important you introduce to them good thoughts and values. You can make them responsible citizens of tomorrow by teaching them of self esteem, of acceptance, of respecting the differences, of helping other people etc. This definitely doesn’t mean forcing things onto them and making them think in ways you want them to. Books come to help here. By reading to them appropriate books, you present to them various situations and circumstances, making them understand things and react to those situations wisely. It helps them gain confidence and realize the truly important things in life. As the saying goes, A child who reads will be an adult who thinks wisely.

Each book should be an adventure; a pleasurable journey for them, stretching out their imagination, taking them to new worlds beyond the stories. Let the stories be funny or explicitly crazy. Let them relate to the situations and learn from them. You are sure to give them their best life lessons and the most wonderfully happy childhood memories.

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December Lover.

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If you were to ask me about my most favourite season of the year, I wouldn’t have to give a second thought, coz undoubtedly it’s Christmas!!!! More than birthdays and anniversaries, I always keep waiting eagerly for Christmas. Maybe it’s so because birthdays and anniversaries are just-a-day’s-business while Christmas spirit stays throughout the month. Also because the whole world celebrates and join the festivities with much joy. There is so much of celebration everywhere. There is so much of love everywhere. There is so  much of happiness everywhere. All of these make me an unwavering December lover.

 

 

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I had always been this excited about Christmas right from my childhood days; a hundred times more thrilled during those days perhaps. Getting done with the exams, waiting for the elder sister to come back home for holidays, decorating the whole house with fairy lights and charms, spending time together, cooking experiments with the mother, special prayers, midnight mass followed by breaking the lenten fast right at midnight ; fond memories are plenty 🙂

Along with the festivities and celebrations, our mother made sure she made the Christmas season more spiritual for us. Observing the lent and daily visits to church were always a must. I also remember she made us follow simple advent calender activities for the 25 days. Simple things like wishing the elders a good morning, offering flowers at the church, doing special prayers, being kind to others, doing little help to someone in need and many other things. Simple things that stick to me strong even now. Little did I know that she was planting ideals, morals and ways of living in me then. This is one of the many very fond memories of Christmas for me.

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What are your fond memories?

I hope the spirit of Christmas stay with you for the days and months that follow. May the peace and joy be yours forever 🙂

Flowers of kindness

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The flowers were fresh and in full bloom.

His smile bespoke his good spirits.

He rushed through the streets,

past the busy crowd of people.

Turning around the corner of the road,

he found the little girl, eagerly waiting for him.

He took out the chocolates and the flowers,

placed them in those little tender hands.

And she smiled at him like an angel.

His day was made, for that was his

Daily dose of positivity and energy.

 

Cookies for the boy.

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The story of Whole Wheat Almond Cookies.

With high hopes of feeding the baby some dry fruits, among other things, I bought some almonds as well. You plan something, your toddler would have plotted a totally different plan in his mind already, I tell you. And guess what. Izahak refused to eat them. Not even tiny flakes of them. So I thought I’d trick him into eating them as something like Almond Milk or Almond Shake. But that didn’t help either. And then I started searching online for more recipes because the Mommy Me was so determined to make him eat them somehow. That’s when I came across this very simple Whole Wheat Eggless Almond Cookies recipe.

I made few variations to the original recipe to suit my liking. I doubled the quantity of almonds and halved the butter and wheat flour, which worked very well. The original recipe is posted below.

  • Sliced Almonds – 1/4 cup
  • Wheat Flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 2 tbsp

Izahak loves baking with me. So I decided I’ll make him join me right from the start itself, though it calls for flour clouds all over the place, dough sticking everywhere and double the cleaning.

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He loved crushing the almonds. Other than eating the cookies, this was his favorite part.
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Almonds, Flour and Sugar that strangely made a Mickey Mouse face, which nevertheless the boy enjoyed :O
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Little helper
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And in goes. 

 

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TADA ! There you have it !!

This recipe makes around 15 to 20 cookies.They taste yum, plus they are whole wheat and eggless. And above all that, they are so easy to make. And if your toddler hesitates to eat almonds, maybe you should try this too 😉

A little fresh air

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Its wonderful how certain simple experiences can become so rejuvenating, relaxing and overwhelming for ones soul. Like an evening by oneself at the park, listening to the passive sounds, the scent of fresh grass, watching the skies, feeling the wind touch your cheeks, your toes and your soul. Its always good to detach yourself from technology, from thoughts, from emotions and let go of it all. Just to experience peace, stillness and enjoy THE MOMENT. Away from anxieties, questions and answers, you find yourself, your existence. You learn to love yourself, to love even that part of you which you always regret about, you fear of. You learn to forgive yourself, to unlearn and start anew. You learn to enjoy and appreciate the tiniest of things. A little fresh air can bring lots of freshness to your thoughts as well. So whenever you feel a little disoriented, take some time for yourself, try meditating if you could, unburden yourself, find peace, feel light and fresh all over again 🙂

Izahak Turns Two !!

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Our son turned two last month. And we had a small gathering with the family at our hometown. More excited than the baby, it was me and my husband crazily planning since weeks for the same. While the husband took care of the decorations and invitations, I was busy planning the birthday cake. For Izahak’s first birthday I had made a Smash Cake for him, a simple rosette cake which luckily came out pretty well, even though it being my very first baking experiment. So this time I thought why not bake him my own cake ?! And to decide on a theme was just a cake walk 😉

WHEELS  ON  THE  BUS

Because that’s one song he could keep playing all day long…

Being a self taught home baker, I was really anxious about making a bus shaped cake  because that was going to be totally different from the usual square, rectangle and round cakes that I have baked before. But thanks to YouTube ! After religiously going through numerous tutorials, I finally figured out the steps and tricks. As for the Icing, I decided to go for cream cheese frosting since not everyone in the family likes butter cream frosting.

After having all the ingredients and steps sorted, we decided to bake the cake a day prior to the party. You know, just in case the bus fails :O You never know. The tension ended up in too  much self doubt. So we started the work on the day before. When I say we I mean my husband, okay. Though the only thing he knows about cakes is how to eat them perfectly, he was on this right from the start.

We baked two rectangle cakes, cut them in shapes and placed one on top of the other to make the basic bus shape. For the wheels we used Oreos. Never had Oreos been such lifesavers before 😀 The crumb coating and the final cream cheese frosting took more time and effort than we expected and wasn’t that easy for the beginner me. Five hours on my feet but hell yeah, WE DID IT ! Insert Dora song in the background. we did it, we did it, we did it. YAAY !

 

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Not perfect as the store bought ones, I know. But please don’t judge me on that. Am just taking my baby steps. Way to go in terms of looks and perfection.But hey, it tasted pretty good. In fact, everyone liked it. Morover, the birthday boy was thrilled and overjoyed to see the cake Amma made for him. Hence, Mission Accomplished ! 🙂

Fumes of hope

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via Daily Prompt: Candle

She woke up early, did her morning prayers, cleaned herself and started getting ready for the mass. There was only one thing in her mind, the thing that has been bothering her since some time.

She sneaked into the kitchen, quickly grabbed a cup of coffee and got out of home. The day isn’t bright yet.Mr.Sun is just peeping out, the town isn’t fully awake. But she walked briskly. She got to pour her mind and her worries at the altar. The cool breeze and swaying flowers made her mind calm, at least a bit.

She kept thinking about that. How long has she been praying for this, hoping for this. Yet she was hopeful. Her faith was stronger than her worries. And prayer was her only solace. Thoughts kept her busy and she reached the church faster than she thought it would take.

She took out the packet of candles she had carefully placed in her pocket. She lit them one by one, closed her eyes and prayed. The fumes took her prayers up and above !

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