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Showing posts from 2023

10 Ideas to keep kids busy during winter holidays

It's almost Christmas. While the festive spirit is surely magically and makes all of us look forward to it, I certainly feel the despair of parents especially those of school going children. I am listing out few ideas that could help engage your kids during Christmas holidays. Set up a Christmas tree Talking about Christmas, the first thing that comes to my mind is Christmas tree. Try setting up a tree along with your kids. It's not only fun, but also kindles the creativity in your kids. You can also try making your own Christmas ornaments using minimal craft items. If you live in apartments or don't have much space in your home, you may alternatively try setting up a wall Christmas tree. Check out the video below on making Christmas ornaments and how to set up a wall Christmas tree. Those festive lights inside your home will certainly warm up the place and your kids will cherish those lovely moments.  Bake Christmas treats Baking doesn't need any occasion. Does it? The

Winter Worksheets for Kids

I have specially designed the below worksheets for toddlers, focusing on educating and entertaining them at home. These worksheets are free. So you can download, print or use it online. These worksheets are designed in such a way it covers English, Maths, critical thinking, colouring and fun holiday activities. All pictures in these worksheets are designed in black and white, so that your kid can enjoy colouring them in addition to the activity it is meant for.  To top it all, these worksheets are free. So you can download, print or use it online. Hope you and your kid like these worksheets. If you do, please share this webpage with others who might like them too!! It is winter and the holiday season is around the corner. Nothing beats enjoying the coziness of the home while enjoying the festive spirit and welcoming the grand new year. So here is my first set of worksheets for this WINTER, for your kids to have fun while learning, during their holiday break. Many worksheets are yet to

Make non-greasy fried rice at home

There was a time, whether it was a birthday party or a treat or just returning from shopping or lazy to cook at home or dining out or catching up with a friend, we used to order fried rice/ noodles. It was the beginning of the fast food era and fried rice was the most sought out - veg fried rice, paneer fried rice egg fried rice, chicken fried rice, schezwan fried rice and the list goes on. Somehow I wasn't a fan of fried rice nor the noodles made at the eateries, though I love watching the preparation - tossing the veggies, rice/ noodles together. Yeah you got me. I admit I was and am still a fuddy duddy. Though I accept greasy food tastes the best, I am scared of them because of their ill effects to health, especially the reheated oil, MSG (ajinomoto) used in its preparation. Fried rice was originally a chinese dish, which is believed to be prepared to use the left overs - rice, vegetables and meat. But it created quite a stir in Asian countries and is still topping the fast food

Why I Write - Q&A with Manu

I keep getting direct and indirect questions on Why I Write? There won't be a better occasion than this to address this Q and other frequently asked Qs. It's been exactly 2 years since I started this website -  Manu's Medley  and apparently this is my 100th blog post.  So Why I Write?  I can give a fancier reply stating "I chose to follow my passion". But I won't, as it isn't true. After being in the IT industry for more than a decade, working tirelessly all through the weeks, months and years, I moved to Canada carrying my little one, when the whole world was witnessing one of the deadliest diseases COVID. It was at the same time, I had to take a career break due to few compelling personal reasons and decided to be a full time mom.  It's a new place and a new role, with almost zero support, unlike the support system at India. To top it, the lockdowns and restrictions were never ending. The three of us spent months together within our apartment and my

Book: California Summer by Anita Hughes

In the recent months, I saw many recommending "The Memory Box" written by Kathryn Hughes in various book forums. While browsing through the books stacked in our public library for the above title, I noticed "California Summer" by Anita Hughes, right next to it. The Memory Box seemed to be a heavy subject revolving around love and war, while California Summer just as its name, felt cheerful and breezy - apt for a summer read. This is just an instance to tell why my TBR is ever-growing. Anita Hughes was born and brought up in Sydney, Australia. At the age of 8, she participated in a writing contest "One of Australia's Next Best Writers" conducted by The Australian Newspaper and won the title. She graduated in B.A. English literature and Masters in Creative Writing. She has written more than a dozen novels like Christmas at the Ranch, White sand Blue sea, Santorini sunset, Island in the Sea, Rome in love, French Coast etc., out of which couple of them hav

Ragi sangati in pressure cooker (Ragi mudda/Ragi Balls)

Ragi sangati, also called Ragi mudda is a staple food of people in many parts of Andhra-Telangana states (in India). It is also consumed everyday in majority of southern Karnataka and few places in Tamil Nadu. In these states, it is known as ragi mudde and ragi kali respectively. Often accompanied by a side dish like gravy, curry, dal or just chutney, it makes for a hearty and nutritious meal. Ragi sangati is often considered a farmer's meal as it keeps them full for longer duration and energetic at work throughout the day.   So, what is Ragi sangati and how is it healthy? Ragi, the super grain is a millet variety and is known as finger millet in English. Ragi is rich in dietary fibre, protein, potassium, calcium, iron and vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C and E, making it a nutrition power house. Regular intake of ragi flour helps to improve bone density, overall heart health, bowel movement and regulate blood sugar levels. Because of its fibre content, it help

P for Patience - P for Potty Training

Babies aren't all smiles, giggles and hugs. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared to get your hands dirty and train yourself to be smell resistant. Yes, we are talking about diapering your child!! Initial few months after birth, babies "drink milk, pee and poop and sleep" and this cycle goes on for n-number of times in a day. That means you end up having 7-10 diaper changing sessions on an average in a day, until your child turns 1. And good part is the frequency of pee and poop gradually reduces as the little one grows and is fully potty trained.  Potty training is not only a big milestone for the child but for the parents too. But this doesn't happen overnight. Some may be full trained before completing 2 years and some might not be ready until 3 or even 4 years. Again there is no set guidelines to train them. Each child is different. We need to figure out what suits him/ her the best. And it needs constant effort and lots of patience.  Who doesn't like to travel

Book: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana , a Newyork Times bestseller, was written by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.  Till date, she has written three books - The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (2011), Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield (2015) and The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice (2021), dealing with women's entrepreneurship, women in battlefield, child and forced marriages in Syria and Afghanistan. She dons multiple hats of an author, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, producer and journalist. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is the story of Kamila Sidiqi, a women student who became an entrepreneur when Kabul entered into a politically unsafe situation under the Taliban rule.  Passion for journalism made Lemmon, a second year MBA graduate travel to Kabul in the year 2005. She was always on look for subjects rich with stories no one else covered. Stories that really matter to the world. She has pr

How to store cherries and best cherry jam (2 ingredients)

It is the season of cherries, one of our favourite fruits. Those who are regular readers of my blog would have read about cherry picking I posted last year. In case you haven't read it so far, do read it by clicking  here . We are never bored of cherries and it's always a pleasure being out in the farm. Similar to last year, we had a lot of fun in the Sun Valley Farms. Apart from tasting and picking cherries, we brought along lot of cherries home and rekindled lot of everlasting memories from my childhood. Me and my cousins have spent most of our summer holidays in our grand father's home garden where we used to grow different varieties of trees, flowering plants, herbs and shrubs - tending to them and playing under their shades. And in the afternoons, we used to enjoy (should I say loot?) fruits from others orchards - guava, mango, papaya, tamarind, pomegranate, monkey pods and a lot more. Don't get judgy-wudgy. They were all our relatives yards and gardens­čśť Whenever

Spicy potato cheese sandwich (aloo sandwich)

Sandwiches are super simple to make, easy to carry and most importantly can be eaten for any meal in a day. In this post, I am sharing a very easy to make sandwich, which is just perfect for your busy mornings. You can have it for breakfast or pack it for lunch and most importantly everyone in the family will love it. Count in your fussy little eaters too. With some pre-preparation, you can put these sandwiches together in less than 5 minutes. If you hear someone say he doesn't like potatoes, you know you caught a liar. Of late, there has been a lot of fuss about eating potatoes. That's because it is loaded with carbohydrates. Eating potatoes the right way is actually beneficial to health. I am not talking about the deep fried potato curry, french fries, chips and the likes. Potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, protein and fiber and provides you the much needed energy to kick start your day. These sandwiches are one of the healthiest options to inclu

Smart ideas to set up a garden (in Canada)

Since the times I remember, however tiny the home we lived, we always had at least one plant. Just wondering, was it the way of keeping nature close to us -  while the greenery amidst which we grew slowly transformed into concrete structures (over the years) or to constantly remind us that "what we sow is what we reap" or for the simple joy to nurture and see a life bloom in front of us or is it for the positivity they spread - a mere look at a new leaf or a bud is just enough to brighten the day!! I still remember the happiness of a little girl who checks upon her lone rose plant everyday to find a new bud or a blooming flower and nothing has changed over the years... she still likes to see the seeds transform into tiny saplings, nurture her plants, count and keep checking the buds, flowers and fruits and watch them grow. Yes, that little girl is me!!  The love for plants has always been within. So naturally I leaned to gardening when I wanted to keep me company in the other

Are you planning to take CELPIP?

It is a known fact that anyone who aspires to come to Canada on a student visa or as a Permanent Resident has to give an English Test to prove their proficiency. If you are contemplating between IELTS and CELPIP or want to know which test suits you better or looking for some guidance on how to prepare for CELPIP, then read on. This blog is specially curated for you!! ** Long post alert - consider this article as an essay from IELTS / CELPIP reading. Voila, you already started your preparation­čĹŹ IELTS is an English Language Test that is accepted by wider English speaking countries like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and hence its reputation amongst the aspiring immigrants. Unlike IELTS, CELPIP is Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), specifically designed to evaluate test takers ability to function in English for Canada's permanent residency, citizenship and professional designation. In the recent times, especially during the pandemic, man