Product Review: Bake Me India Vanilla Shortbread Cookies Baking Kit

Baking with the bub has always been a dream of mine. Ever since I became a mommy –  even before that I think – I would dream of, one day, standing alongside the bub in our kitchen, measuring out ingredients, mixing them up, placing a cake or cookies in the oven, letting her lick the last of the batter from the mixing bowl, waiting for the oven timer to go off, and laughing at the look of awe on her face on watching the finished product get out of the oven..  all of this and more. You get the drift, right?

I never actually attempted anything like this, though, till very recently, when I won a Bake Me India Vanilla Shortbread Cookies Baking Kit on an Instagram photo contest.

Check out my detailed review of the baking kit, just in on my photo blog!

Advertisements

The Beginning Of School And A Schoolmoon

The bub starts school this June.

After a lot of thinking and researching and soul-searching, we decided to go ahead with the Montessori method of teaching. I still have my fears about the method, but we want the bub to be in an atmosphere that doesn’t put undue pressure on her, letting her learn at her own pace, in her own way, at least in the initial few years. We love the concept of Montessori, and the few friends I have talked to about this have vouched for it. We have had naysayers, too, but the husband and I have made up our minds to give the bub a chance at this system, and the system a chance to work on the bub.

We were fortunate enough to get her admitted into a school that follows purely Montessori methods of teaching (there are many schools that call themselves ‘Montessori’, but aren’t really!). We liked the school, and got good vibes from the teachers and principal, with whom we talked to at length. Soon, very soon, too soon, the bub will be a ‘school-going’ child. Life, as we know it, is going to change, for all of us in the family.

As I stand at the crux of a huge life change, I am as worried, fearful and doubtful as I am happy and excited. This is a big, big, big decision that we have taken on behalf of Bubboo, and I hope (pray, fingers crossed) that it works out for the best. The OH, being the OH, is unruffled and unperturbed about it all, at least on the surface.

Considering that life is going to get crazier than it is now, once school begins, and because we have been having quite a few stressful days lately, we decided to take a vacation. Within the span of four days, we had in our hands a travel plan for parts of Northeast India – a place that I have always dreamt of visiting. It was as if the place called out to us, and chose us to come over. Last-minute preparations and packing were done, and we left on our holiday – I choose to call it a ‘schoolmoon’ – a week ago. We just got back to Bangalore after a little over a week’s time of visiting fabulous places that had us ooh-ing and aah-ing, made us introspect, and pushed us out of our comfort zones. We met some very interesting people, and had some lovely experiences that I will cherish for a long, long time to come. Stories from the trip will be up on the blog soon, hopefully.

Please do pray for us to fare well and send us positive vibes, will you? And do wait for the travel stories – I promise they will be worth your while!

Till the next time, be good!

Life And Times With The Bub

The little one gave all of us a big, big, big scare over the weekend. The stud we had put in one of her ears somehow got stuck in her piercing, so much so that the entire front portion of the earring disappeared! We tried to remove the earring, but we had to stop because she started bleeding from the piercing. She was, thankfully, fine otherwise – in no apparent pain, playing and talking normally.

The first ENT doctor we took her to just wasn’t ready to listen to us. We repeatedly told him that this wasn’t a new piercing, but he went on blaming the ENT who did the piercing (which was 2 years ago, BTW). Much to our horror, this guy suggested getting the bub admitted in hospital and operating her under general anesthesia. Common sense prevailed, and we decided to seek another opinion.

The husband and I rushed the bub to another hospital, another ENT. She said she could remove the earring, that she would have apply some ointment to numb the earlobe, that we would have to hold the little one’s head tightly. The proceedure would be done right there, in her chamber, in front of us, she said. She told us to be prepared for an incision too – she might have to make one, in the worst case. Almost tearfully, we gave her the go-ahead. Thankfully, the earring came out soon, with lesser fuss than we had expected, without the doctor having to make a cut. I couldn’t thank the doctor – and God – enough. We brought her home in an hour or so, and she is perfectly okay now.

Apparently, the screws we had put in the bub’s earrings had gotten infected, and one  earring had sunk in. The other earring, too, would have gone in the same way, in a couple of days, had we not noticed. Phew! So much stress in the span of just a few hours! But then, there’s nothing like a visit to the emergency section in a children’s hospital to make you count your blessings in life. This incident has made me grateful and stronger, if not anything else.

All’s well that ends well, though. We have been asked to apply antiseptic gel on both her earlobes for about a week, and to rest the wounds for at least a couple of days before we try to put other earrings back on.

If We Were Having Coffee…

… I’d tell you of how I have started taking little, baby steps towards better health. I have been brushing certain health issues under the carpet for quite long. I haven’t been going for regular check-ups. Also, post-baby, my eating habits have been quite bad – I have not been eating healthy at all. I’ve been giving in to cravings all the time. I haven’t been exercising regularly, and am quite, quite overweight. Guilt over all of this has been keeping me up in the nights often, as a result of which I have been tired in the mornings and unable to go for a walk or exercise. Such a vicious downward spiral! I had to break it somewhere, right? I took the first step towards breaking the cycle by getting a complete health check-up, recently. The results haven’t been bad, but some stuff isn’t great either. I know just what to do to improve, now. When all the figures are before me, in black and white, on a piece of paper, it pushes you just enough to exercise and figure out ways to improve your lifestyle. I did myself a huge favour by going for that check-up. It did need a whole lot of guts to go for it, too, so, yes, I’m patting myself on the back for it.

… I’d tell you of how we have still not zeroed in on a school for Bubboo. We do have a couple of schools in mind, but haven’t finalised anything. It is freaking me out a bit more every single day. We have to step up on this, and soon.

… I’d tell you of how a few places have been calling out to me. Madurai and Madras, basically. I want to explore these places thoroughly, discover the little and big secrets their streets have been hiding. Why these two places now? I don’t really know. I think places, like books, call out to you when you are ready for them. I hope they will make the trip happen, too.

… I’d tell you of how Paati, my paternal grandmother, hasn’t been doing well. For over a year now, she’s been entirely bed-ridden, not even getting up from the bed to walk to the living room or the washroom. I can see her weakening, day by day, and it is saddening to see her like that. Every time I visit, she tells me of how she wants God to send for her now.. I don’t know what to say. Thankfully, Amma takes good care of her – having someone by your side, to help you, to care for you, in old age, is a luxury that not everyone can boast of these days.

… I’d tell you of how I started reading this book called The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats, with great expectations. Sadly, though, the book is super-disappointing. I can’t wait for it to end, so I can get on with reading something better. Sigh!

… I’d tell you of how I have just been unable to write. I mean, I can write book reviews and stuff about food, but nothing that really, really moves me. Nothing comes even when I try to keep my mind open, and sit with the keyboard and a blank document on the ready, waiting for the words. I feel blocked in that sense. I so want this to change!

… I’d tell you of how Bubboo amazes me every day, with all her questions, all the stories she conjures up, all the things she soaks up from her day-to-day life. It feels like just yesterday when she was a tiny, mewling, breast-feeding baby. She’s now a little girl, ready to go out into the world. Will I ever get used to just how fast she’s growing?

… I’d tell you of how, on the foodie front, I am continuing to do experiments in my kitchen. I’m trying to walk the fine line between ‘being a foodie’ and ‘eating healthy’. 🙂 There are some lovely recipes that I can’t wait to put out on the blog. Wait and watch!

… I’d tell you of how, lately, I have been thinking a lot about Bubboo’s growing-up years. I mean, when she is nine or 10. I’m sure parenting then won’t be just about feeding her the right food, bathing her, getting her to bed on time, or making sure she gets enough physical exercise. It is going to get a whole lot more complicated, and that is scaring the living daylights out of me! The book that I am reading now, a yet-to-be-released one called Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland, is causing this feeling, largely. I hope we do a decent job of parenting Bubboo through the years!

… I’d tell you of how the OH and I recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. We had a simple, homely celebration, that included a lovely lunch at Nasi And Mee. He got me some little things I wanted to experiment with (read: soaps, chocolates and some other foodie stuff). I’m yet to get him his gift. Boring, eh? But we had fun! 🙂

… I’d tell you of how all my days feel like a blur. I don’t really know what I’m doing all day long, but the time seems to pass really, really quickly. At the end of the day, I am amazed that the day is actually over! I so want to add some meaning, some more charm to my days. I don’t want them to pass, just like that!

… I’d also ask after you and your loved ones. How has life been treating you lately? What have you been up to?

**********************

For Weekend Coffee Share, an interesting meme here. Do check it out!