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Showing posts from 2022

Yay, it is a White Christmas this year!!!

White Christmas..... sounds so dreamy. Isn't it?  This term was alien to me until I heard for the first time when I was in the States. It was the month of December and snowing quite a bit. Everyone started speculating it could be a white Christmas that year, while many wished silently it shouldn't be coz of an upcoming project go-live on the New Year eve.                                    So what exactly is this White Christmas? If we wake up to a blanket of snow or snow fall on the day of Christmas, it is considered White Christmas. Since ages, the very thought of Christmas brings the picture of Santa riding on his sleigh over snowy mountains carrying loads of gifts. Though I grew up in a city, which could never get a speckle of snow, Christmas always made me think of snow. Many songs and novels associating Christmas with snow, like the classic by Charles Dickens, Christmas carols, the famous White Christmas song by Irving Berlin, etc. made us believe it is true. I am sure th

10 Things to do during Christmas in and around Kitchener

It's the time to be jolly fa-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.  Definitely this is the season to be jolly as the whole world is in festive mood celebrating Christmas and eagerly awaiting to ring in the new year.  It is also the time, when winter kicks in and brings bountiful of snow at Canada. Wind chills, snow aren't just a reason to be at home, though there are umpteen activities that we could do while we stay cozy in the comfort of our homes. Check out this  post  that details about how to engage yourself during winter. But, for me, I wish to be out once in a while and below are great activities to do during Christmas in and around Kitchener in Ontario. Most of these are free events. Scroll down to know the deets!! Enjoy the Christmas fervor at Malls - Price: Free Malls are the best place to be at this time. They will be decked up with beautiful lights, christmas trees and decorations almost from end of November. Moreover we can roam inside the malls free of cost and the winter chillne

Long distance flight travel with a toddler

Though we were excited about travelling to India (from Canada), deep down both me and my husband were dead scared as how to handle our son during the journey. It was his first flight travel and that too a day long one (close to 30hrs from Canada to India, inclusive of the travel time to-from airport, air travel and layover). Even minutes before starting from home, we double checked if we are ready for the expedition, as travel with a kid calls for unexpected surprises.  In this post, I shall be sharing how we prepped for the travel (along with few personal tips) and how it turned out in reality. 1. Don't miss on taking enough rest day(s) before travel: First and foremost, we as parents should have proper sleep and pumped up energy to handle the tantrums of our little one. But with all the last minute shopping and late night packing (for obvious reason to avoid any distractions by the kid), sleep was the last thing I could accommodate. But luckily, my son slept during the first leg

Roses have thorns - Book I borrowed from a little free library

While travelling through the city I live, I often came across tiny boxes (similar to bird houses) holding books near a park, residential communities and other public places. Initially, I wasn't aware that they are libraries open to public, until I saw a passerby walk away from it, with a book. They are called little free libraries.  Little free libraries are small placeholders where anyone can take a book or share a book. It isn't mandatory to leave a book for every book we take. But certain free libraries insist so. In any case, these libraries serve a great purpose, where we can give away the books we no longer need. This helps in improving book access, minimizing book hoarding and lessen wastage wherein we end up throwing books in garbage.   There are close to 15 little free libraries in our city and it is a well known phenomenon in most of the cities in Canada. Similar public accessible book shelves prevail in other countries under different names like roadside libraries, m

An injection that changed the trajectory of my vacation

Hello Readers, Hope you are doing fantastic.  *** Long post alert *** But definitely worth reading. The intention of this post is to create general awareness, as this is indeed the first time I or anyone in my known circle had such a freakish experience with an injection!! I have been off the writing wheel over the last few weeks, which wasn't something I wanted to. I had my blogging calendar well prepared, before I set off to India on a vacation. After years of wait due to covid and visa related issues, being away from my family for the longest period of time, missing the most important event in my life and innumerous functions, festivals and get togethers, this was the much awaited trip to my home country. It eventually turned out to be the most unforgettable too, due to an unexpected event, which changed the trajectory of my entire trip.  I tripped off at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, during the layover of my onward journey and sprained my ankle. Somehow I managed to boar

Food recipes I offered my baby (6-12 months old) - Part 3

This is the third and final part of the food recipes I offered my baby between 6-12 months of age. If you haven't read the previous two parts, I would ask you to do so. Especially, check the notes section of Part 1, to know about few important aspects on feeding the baby. I am providing the links here -  Part 1  and  Part 2  .  Rasam Ingredients:  1/2 tomato, 2 garlic cloves, 1 sprig curry leaves, 3/4 cup of water, 1/8 spoon jeera powder, 1 pinch of pepper powder, 1 pinch of jeera, 1 pinch of hing (asafetida), 1.5 tsp of ghee, salt to taste How to make To boiling water, add tomato, cook for a minute and leave it immersed After 5 minutes, peel tomato's skin   Heat 1/2 tsp of ghee in a vessel and roast the garlic cloves and few curry leaves  Blend the tomato, garlic and curry leaves to a smooth paste Add the paste to water (used to boil tomato) along with salt, hing, pepper and jeera powder and boil It's time to take off rasam from the stove when it comes to a roaring boil No

Recipe: North Indian Style Kheer for Diwali

Diwali is around the corner and I am back with yet another delicious festive recipe. Of course, you don't need a reason to prepare this dessert. Preparing and savoring it, turns any normal day into a special one. Perfect sweet dish for any type of party - birthday, family get togethers, new year etc. and none of your guests could resist themselves with just a single serving🤤.  You can check out the recipe of other varieties of sweets like basundi, rava laddu, dry fruits laddu and sweet pongal in "Recipes" section of this blog. You can find the links to those posts at the end of this post.  Kheer/ Payasam is a sweet dish, very popular in Indian households. It is made with milk, rice/ vermicelli/ tapioca/ dal/ bulgur wheat/ semolina, dry fruits, sugar or jaggery. Today's recipe is rice kheer or rice pudding, prepared in the North Indian style. With slight variations kheer is made in South India too and called as paramannam or arisi payasam or ari payasam or akki payasa

Manu's Medley turns One!!!

Manu's Medley turns ONE!!! It was exactly the same day, last year, I published my first post. You can read the post here . I took more than an year contemplating about blogging, primarily unsure whether I will be able to write consistently. But somehow I took the leap, worked on identifying a suitable blogging platform, designed the look, published my first post and shared with my very close circle of cousins and friends. Then, I started circulating with others through watsapp status, Facebook and Instagram posts. Whoever came to know that I write, their direct and indirect reactions/ questions were: Why blogging?  Why this blog (without a specific niche)?  Why not vlogging?  You have good writing skills She doesn't have anything great to do, so she writes It is very easy to write  Let us see how long she blogs How much do you earn out of this?  In what way blogging helps you? And the list doesn't stop here.... I will publish a dedicated post to explain "Why I write, W

Food recipes I offered my baby (6-12 months old) - Part 2

Hello Reader, This post is a continuation to the Part 1 of homemade recipes that I prepared for my kid (when he was 6 to 12 months). The previous post also has few essential points to consider about offering solids to infants. So I recommend you to go over that post first, by clicking  here . Rice-Lentil Cereal/  Porridge Rice can be offered to babies right from the 6th month, as it is super light on tummy and not allergy prone. Gradually you may start including dal i.e., lentils to it, making it more nutritious and filling.  This cereal is completely home-made and you don't have to worry about what ingredients went into the making as in the case of store bought cereal. And of course, it costs lot lesser than the ones you buy from market. You may prepare this cereal and store it for 2 months. If you wish to increase the shelf life, you may store it in the refrigerator. But I prefer to use it within 2 months and a make fresh batch again. You can offer this cereal to your kid even up

African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Canada

When you are clueless what to do on your holiday, consider spending it amongst the nature. You will definitely not regret. Talking about nature, doesn't the idea of roaming amongst the wildest of wild animals, sound exciting? Animal Safaris are just such places.  African Lion Safari in Cambridge, Ontario, is a must visit if you hadn't had prior experience of navigating amidst a natural set up of the wild life. At this park, we can drive through the Games Reserve (the animal safari), which is approximately 9 kms, in our own vehicles. The tour takes close to 1.5hrs and if we are lucky we could get a closer view, as close as few meters away from deer, giraffes, lamas, baboons, zebras, lions, rhinos, wildebeests etc. We just have to keep the car windows closed throughout the drive, to avoid getting knocked off by those mighty animals. I am just exaggerating😆The safari guards will be patrolling in their vehicles all the time to calm down the wilder ones. But to be safe, have your v

Food recipes I offered my baby (6-12 months old) - Part 1

In my last post of the "Mom & Baby" series, I shared how to start solids for infants, what to feed and the foods to avoid. You can check out the previous post  here . Based on couple of requests, I am sharing some simple recipes that can be made at home. Hope this helps the new moms.  These are the recipes I offered my kid and I am not a licensed practitioner. So always consult with your pediatrician before introducing any new food to your baby. Fruit Purees Fruit purees are simple to make. At this stage, choose fruits that are easily digestible by the baby like banana, apple and pears.  How to make:   Take a ripe banana, mash it to a mushy consistency and feed If you are using apple, wash and peel off its skin, cut into small pieces, steam for 5 minutes, mash and it is ready to be fed Once baby turns 8 months, he will be accustomed to eating fruits and its texture, so you may offer him pears prepared in the same fashion as apples Avocado is full of healthy fats. You can

Recipe: Pesto with homegrown basil

It is an absolute delight to harvest from our own garden, irrespective of how small the garden is and how less the produce is. I harvested some basil from my balcony garden last week and made some delicious pesto out of it. You can check out this video , if you wish to see the garden space in my apartment.  Basil, as many of you know is a flavoursome herb primarily used in cooking. When I was in India, I once had pesto pasta in an Italian restaurant and that is my first encounter with this herb. But after few years, I tasted its fresh leaves as a salad topping when I was Germany and fell in love with it. It has a very refreshing taste. Its flavour and taste slightly resemble our Indian Tulasi, so most of us mistake Basil for Tulasi (Holy Basil). They both along with other herbs like mint, parsley, sage, oregano, chia, rosemary, thyme etc. belong to a flowering plant family known as Lamiaceae, commonly called Mint Family. These plants are aromatic and are used in cooking and making balm

Book: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

After reading a lot of positive recommendations about this title, I wanted to read it last year. However more than 100 people in our community library, eager like me have blocked this book, making it certain to move this book to my TBR 2022. Though I had a soft copy, I waited for the hardcover. The joy of holding the book in hands is incomparable. Don't you agree? Finally, its my turn at the library!! The Silent Patient is authored by Alex Michaelides who is an author and screenwriter. He is half Cyrian-half British. Alex is an M.A. in English Literature, M.A. in screenwriting and holds a degree in psychotherapy. He has worked as a therapist in a psychiatric unit for teenagers and has been the inspiration for writing this book. The Silent Patient is his debut novel with more than million copies sold world over and is rated as the New York Times and Sunday Times best seller. This work has fetched him the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019 and has been sho

Brantford Twin Valley Zoo

We are left with just few more weeks of summer and couple more beautiful places to explore, before we bid good bye to the season this year. Twin Valley Zoo at Brantford (Ontario, Canada) is one such place which was on our bucket list for this summer. At Canada, we cannot spot any other animal in our neighbourhood beyond pet dogs, cats and the ever active squirrels that freely roam wherever their heart takes them. If we are lucky, we may also get a chance to find few horses in their stables when we pass through the country side.  While I was in the US, I visited a pet zoo in our locality, which housed a cow, sheep, goat, hen, rooster, few chicken, duck and a goose, specifically to introduce them to kids; which was quite amusing. A person like me who has grown up seeing domestic animals and birds like cows, buffalos, sheep, goat, hens, ducks etc. in the neighbourhood (in India), I found this particularly odd. Of course, today, we don't get to see these beings in the city side of Indi