Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Aalayam goes on a trip (to The East Coast Desi)!!



The East Coast Desi, the vibrant home decor blog around the block has featured "Deepa's extraordinary outdoor-tablescape that orbits around jewel tones, pattern on pattern, textural layering and nonconformist décor choices that rightly connotes the free spirited Bohemian style but with an Indian twist." 
Here's an excerpt...


I cannot thank Sruthi enough for allowing us to bring an Aalayam offering to her fantastic blog. I love The East Coast Desi. It is simply my all time favorite design/décor resource. Kudos Sruthi for this beautiful and inspired blog that you have worked so diligently to create and maintain! And as always, it is fun to bring our collective audiences ideas and life style inspirations that we know will be appreciated! Thank you.


Have a wonderful summer everyone!
Cheers!
Deepa 


Head over to The East Coast Desi blog for an explosion of color and bits of bohemia taking center stage in Deepa's backyard.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Food Tales: The Mouthwatering Summer Reading List for your Kids!!



Hello Aalayam!!

Summer’s on in full swing in our household. The hustle of the week day has not stopped, of course! You see corporate consulting has no summer break! We are still getting out of the door with hurried breakfasts and Nutella laced kisses. Okay. We do get to sleep in for 30 extra minutes, and we do get to roller blade and ice skate, all in the same week!  And it’s easy to relax too much – without the pressures of homework and school!

That’s why we are planning our healthy mix of productive and wasteful activities for the Summer to balance fun and learning! Summer Slide is a real thing folks. Summer Slide, as you probably are aware, is the tendency for students to lose the achievement gains they’ve had during the school year during the Summer holidays. There are dangers of losing a whole grade level worth of reading and math proficiency if children do not read and practice their math skills regularly over the yawning Summer holiday! So armed with a Summer Planner (see picture on Facebook!) and a library of books, we get set to tackle the Summer adventurously, and culturally. 




Yes, we want to embed culture into our reading list. We want to cook, we want to read about food, we want to embrace food acceptance, and expose ourselves to the culinary and literary joys of food tales!


Do you remember food being part of the Amar Chitra Kathas, Chandamamas and Tinkles we used to read? The ladoos, the jalebies, and the pakoras ? How about the immediate hunger pangs they generated for us during the Summer Hols? Stretched out under the fan, with curtains breezing gently, a food tale would send us on multiple trips to the kitchens to pester our moms or grandmoms for a thindi or two.



I don’t want my kids to miss out on the joys of thindi, and Summer reading. So, what better way to combine both joys other than by getting them to read food themed books! After all, you have to taste a culture to understand it!


I had my parents visit me this year. In anticipation of their trip, I made a list of all the food themed  books I wanted for my girls from India. Of course, I could have tried to shop for these books online, but why rob the joy for my Dad? You know all grand dads love to shop books for their little ones, don’t you?




Featured here are some of the books my Dad got for the girls, which we are having a blast reading, and eating our way through! Also, are some books which we intend to pick up and read, during our weekly sojourns to the library!

We begin with The Silly Story of Bondapalli, a story about a prince who hated food. One day the royal cook gave him something new to eat... a hot golden ball, crisp outside, soft inside... a bonda! After that there is no stopping either the prince or this mad tale that rolls its jolly way to an inevitably happy, bondaful end. The jaunty illustrations pick up all the comic clues along the way, to make it a truly 'silly' story!


And just because we love Priya Kurian’s illustrations so much (read the artiste feature on Priya Kurian here!), we stop to read Colour Colour Kamini. A story about gorgeous chameleons  and the feisty Kapila Aunty who is teaching the little chameleons how to change colour, one at a time. But Kamini gets excited and goes red, purple, green, yellow . . .she can’t stop! 


Then, slurp!, we stop by to eat..sorry..read Jalebis! Jalebi Curls. The story of the raja who loves jalebis. He even dreams of them. Then the dream becomes a nightmare. The brief text of this mad little book is dramatically set off by illustrations that play with curls and colors!

We have some fun with books about Dosas and Idlys. Just so my kids understand how ingrained these “tiffins” are in our households, and in our cultures.


Then, off we head to the library, to arm ourselves with more food themed books! Check out more food themed reading suggestions here and further below in the blog post!




Also, do you remember my blog post about food acceptance, and the story time I did in my kids’ school to promote food acceptance (read about that here!). Rosemary Wells, award-winning author/illustrator of over 50 books for children, illustrates her story of learning tolerance for difference in her signature charming style with the book "Yoko".  I had a blast retelling the story of Yoko at my kids' school, and how Yoko's sushi was made fun of during her class lunch break, and how Yoko's class room had a great food experience, thanks to the efforts of a sensible and adventurous teacher, who noticed how the kids were  making fun of something they did not know about!!


We wrap up our reading repertoire with Tsomo the Momo, a delightful story about the delectable momo, that flavor-filled savory that travelled to India from Tibet, Nepal and beyond


Also part of our Summer Plans is reading recipes, and going on gastronomic adventures together in the kitchen. We are reading, spending time as a family, and enjoying our foodie culture! Win, Win, Win!! And while you are at it, checkout Devdutt Pattnaik's Pashu!


So, that’s it my friends! My grandiose Summer Plans! Have fun reading, and partaking in the delightful food culture that books can bring us. 


And pass on the good word, if you know of any good food themed books I can add to our reading list!!


For after all, you have to taste a culture to understand it!

Love,

Supriya


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Reflections over a cup of chai


Hello and once again my sincere apologies for posting so sporadically. It is hard to believe that we are almost in June and this is my first post for the year – surely, I could not have been that busy ?! Well, it is what it is but I miss contributing to Aalayam regularly. I have to thank our guest authors for keeping us afloat in the interim.

I hesitate to apologize prematurely because I am not sure if I have the bandwidth to get back to regular programming just yet. “One day at a time“ has been my overarching mantra this year and I am sticking with it.  I finally found myself limping back to Aalayam this weekend for a  (much needed) creative break and it feels good to be back in my home away from home – so let’s enjoy our time together, shall we?  Join me for tea dear readers for I’ve missed you very much.


I am turning 40 this year and I find myself being reflective often – I suppose it is the thing to do as this milestone b’day approaches. Seems like I am required to look back and ponder before the next chapter begins.  Here’s a few life lessons I have learnt along the way,  (nothing ground breaking) and yet I am sure the wisdom will resonate with all of you.


-     -  Put your family first. It does not come easy, because I take mine for granted all the time and I have to intentionally re-learn this ever so often but I am getting better at it and at the end of the day, there is nothing more important than FAMILY- the folks that see you at your worst and still stick around!

-       -Know your passion and your purpose. Again, this has not been easy and I have had to take several detours career-wise before I could course correct. My struggles have filled me with immense gratitude and almost ironically I feel more fulfilled because of how hard the road was. I hope I have taught my kids what it means to persevere- because the only thing to do is to keep going and I live by that.

-       -Develop an identity and by this I mean know who you are, what you like and what you don’t. I have struggled with this – I have tried to fulfill other people’s expectations and allowed myself to become emotionally spent. I am slowly learning that I am my only locus of control and it is freeing in many ways to say yes and even more so to say no. It has been liberating to know who is actually worth it and respecting myself has meant  learning to let go and be o.k with it.


-       -Self care is important and I SUCK at it! I do. At least I am acknowledging it and I hope that’s a start. I have pushed my health and fitness needs to the side and I really have no excuse and that’s all I have to say about that. I hope I can come back soon and say that’s changed and I have a sacrosanct fitness regimen, till then I will have to live with this awareness of what I am not doing!

-       Do not apologize for who you are - People often remark at my perfectionism. For the longest time I did not know how to react to that word. Now at 40, I have learnt to own it and happily acknowledge that I am a brand!  Yes – I know that if I take something on willingly, I will do it well and I do not feel guilty about that. I’ve realized that it is not so much about a perfect outcome as it is about wanting to give my 100 percent and I take pride in that!


-       -Write down your goals. I have never done it – yes, never! But I do to-do lists all the time and things get done! So, why not write down your goals, dreams, wishes – things that you want to accomplish someday – even if it is something as simple as buying those red stilettos! I am going to do it- because every once in a while, I hear that inner voice ask me if this is it –a fiercely demanding job and an equally onerous role as a mother?  Maybe I need a to do-list for the next chapter, to keep me on my toes and silence that inner critic?

-       -Help others. I don’t think I need to say anything else about that at all.


-      - Live for today! I guess all these midlife reflective moments sort of have me in panic. As I reevaluate priorities and transition into being a real grown up and reflect on raising kids, saving for retirement, staying healthy I feel this uneasy feeling wash over me but my husband calmly reminds me that life is all about living in the moment because that is all you are guaranteed- the present moment! And nothing can be a greater exercise in mindful living than savoring the cup of chai (or your favorite beverage) in front of you. And this is my biggest lesson as I head into the next decade – to savor in quietude!



Cheers!
Deepa


p.s: all pics are from our home and may not be reproduced without permission.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother's Day Musings!

This Mother’s Day, the Aalayam authors got together to muse about the real  gripes and gushes of Motherhood, and to candidly chat about what Motherhood (round 2) looks like in our households!

Cliché? Not at all. It is only fair that we take a moment to acknowledge the one job that defines our identity, takes over our life, and generally drives us nuts! (and yes of course, the job that is the most fulfilling one in the world!) 

And what better day to take a bow to the job itself, than today! So here’s Deepa, Divya, Smitha and Supriya’s renditions of Motherhood. In their own words.

Deepa says: "This mother’s day is special – I am a mom, again!......after 12 years!  There’s another tiny being in the house that makes our life so much more meaningful – she truly does and I am often amazed at how my heart has expanded to accommodate all the love I feel for this little girl when I could never imagine being able to love anyone else as much as my first born. I am a different kind of mother now – there is so much demanding my attention – my older boy, a super stressful job, the house and the husband and somewhere in the shadow of all this chaos, my little girl is growing - every day and silently. I have accepted that this second stint is going to be VERY different She is going to be 8 months soon! And of course, there is a tiny hint of motherhood guilt as well. I was at home with my boy for 6 years, cherishing, documenting and celebrating every milestone but with her my break barely lasted 6 weeks and then there is also the guilt of focusing mostly on our little one these days making me wonder how my older one is handling all this.



 Being an older mom and a veteran (if I may call myself that) has its advantages too - I am not as jittery this time around, there is much less hysteria around feeding and nap times. There are fewer pictures too. And it seems o.k. This little girl is loved and she knows it and has adapted to the cacophony of the household well.



There are days when I am completely stretched thin and her little coos and my older one’s warm hugs bring me back to the present. These two ground me and help me keep my priorities straight and that is the best thing about being a mom! Our family is different and our struggles are different and yes, there are times when I wish we had handled late night feeds, diaper fiascos and teething tantrums for both kids in one fell swoop. The age gap between our kids defies convention. None of my friends have kids this young and some days I wonder if I will have the energy to keep up with a feisty toddler. But as a family we have always embraced our challenges and this one is no different!

And at the end of the day I am having a lot fun raising a beautiful daughter – she is my latest fashion partner, my dolled-up diva! And I look forward to the challenge of raising a self -assured young girl and encouraging her to grow up into the person she wants to be!"

Divya says: In the last four and a half years, I've been puked on, sneezed at, had my hair smeared with gooey baby food, even had the occasional poop explosion all over my clothes!

As any other person, I have all these naturally strong feelings about not wanting to have another (little) person's snot all over me, or wanting to be able to wee in peace, and you know, just being me.
There are two sides to it, though. The slightly challenging, testing my nerves, make-me-want-to-scream-like-mad side. And then there's also the other side. The beautiful, dreamy side where I've been hugged by tiny warm hands, smiled at like a gazillion times, been kissed by Nutella-smeared lips and been showered with the happiest giggles. The joys and woes of being a mother! The happy things far outweigh all the small inconveniences. Yes, there are times when I secretly wish someone would take them for a day, a few hours, a few minutes so I could actually finish my cup of coffee while it's still hot. But that isn't a real wish, no. It's just some weird chemical reaction in my mad-mommy brain sometimes.




I want their playful presence, the constant chattering, and the never-ending inquisitive questions. I want my Little Miss to tell me all about how she made a picture for me at preschool, I want her to plead me to paint her toenails (with all the colours of the rainbow!), I want her to kiss me goodnight every night. I want my Little Man to hum nursery rhymes all day, I want him to ask me to help him tow his toy truck, I want him to scare me with his loud dino roars.
I want it all. I want all of it, I want every bit of being a mum :-)

The difficult bits, the happy bits, the challenging bits, the fun bits; the love, the laughter, the tears, the frustration; the quiet times, the noisy times, the hunger tantrums, the nap times - I love them all. Because I'm a mum! And because I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Happy Mothers’ Day to all you beautiful and loving mothers!”

It’s Smitha’s turn:Being a mother is learning about Strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed “

Flash forward my life to baby number 2, she was as unexpected as she was a blessing.  Although I was miles away from my mum and loved ones, I took this experience in my stride and didn’t stress about the small stuff; gone were the first time jitters. As there was no one else telling me what to do, I pretty much did everything to my heart’s content.  I stayed out late, I partied hard, and I might have even downed a glass or two of champagne once the trimester had passed. I didn’t play the recommended music to my in-utero baby nor did I read to her. I was so exhausted from working full time and keeping up with an overactive 4 year old that the days rolled into weeks and months very soon.

My only concession to my pregnancy was that I ate out every day. I always chose to eat healthy and funnily enough the smell of curries actually put me off.  So I had to figure out different types of food that I could actually keep it down; eventually I alternated between Korean food and Subway. Today my daughter can demolish a half foot subway in the blink of an eye. Once I introduce her to Korean food no doubt it will be the same. My point is our state of mind during our pregnancy has a direct impact on a child’s personality. No doubt the external factors will also have bearing in a child’s formative years. I always tell where Google fails, a mother’s intuition comes very handy.

Of all the different hats that I wear every day, none as proudly as that of being a mum. Now that they have both grown up a bit, the monologues in my head have converted into fun conversations. I am enjoying their thoughts and their reactions on sports, sex, politics, food, clothes, privileges, gifts and so on. Not every day is like that though; there are days when I just want to be left alone and let them know in not so uncertain terms; it seems harsh but the no-nonsense attitude works for them.



I remember talking with my hubby recently and he was teasing me about the fact that our son is now the same age that I was when I attempted to run away from home with my cousins.( Almost 2 and some decades later, I am still unable to live that incident down!) I was amused at the comparison but I also knew that kids these days wouldn’t give up the luxury of an air conditioned personalised room with unlimited data time on their iPad for a small matter of having an adventure. As funny as the comment was I was also struck at the fact that kids at a certain strata of the society are hardly exposed to the harsh realities of lives. I highly doubt if my kids understood what poverty or homelessness entails. I have since made it my mission to tell my children that I live an ordinary life so that they could do extraordinary things with theirs. I feel passionately about everything in life. I feel like all wrongs have to be righted. This might sound unrealistic to some of you, but we forget that one  day one of our children will rise to lead a nation, be a sporting legend, be a music maestro, be a dancing sensation or a movie star or a celebrated writer or an Astronaut…or whatever their little heart desires. They are only limited in the extent that we let them dream. I have made them promise me that in their lifetime they will work to eradicate hunger - once again I can dream can’t I? and who knows?

It’s that time of the year to take stock of the brave mums who sacrificed their sons and daughters just like ours, so that many others could be safe within their homes. My mother’s day musings are incomplete if I don’t shed a tear to all those mothers and their families who have been cruelly, barbarically and systematically decimated in recent times in the name of religion.
The journey of being a mum is a lot of hard work, loads of fun and infinitely rewarding. Being a mum to two kids’ means that I am constantly performing a juggling act between, work, home and family.

However, as someone rightly said Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own; to teach the hard lessons to do the right thing even when you are not sure what the right thing is….and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.

Once again to all the beautiful mothers everywhere you are what makes the Earth and the Sun move and don’t you ever forget the strength you have to never give up, despite all the struggles”


 And all Supriya has to say is “Motherhood  brings out the worst in me. It brings out my obsessive need for control, my itching compulsion for order and organization, my panicky fixations at the responsibility of shaping two little girls’ futures, my dire impatience at child-like curiosity and pace when we are running against the clock, my competitive fervor that raises my expectation of myself and my kids to the zenith, and of course, my apoplectic rage when my twin girls gang up on me to push all my buttons at the end of a long, invested day at work. 

Motherhood also brings out guilt. Tons of it. It manifests itself as self-doubt at my parenting philosophies and shortcuts, serious contemplation at my purported inadequacy in comparison to my self-imposed high standards (and of course, the standards established by society, and it’s expectations from moms, who are supposed to be the paragons of patience and tolerance and values!), and paranoid musings about a million “what-ifs” because I am not spending every minute of my kids’ free time with them.



But you know what, Motherhood, albeit with stretch marks, that have only slightly faded, grey hair that are sprouting in the earnest, and love handles that do not go away, stubborn, stubborn, is not that bad. 

Actually, it’s pretty awesome. What started as a never ending saga of giggles, cuddles and canoodles with my chubby little ones (why do those cheeks go away!!), who used to hang on to my every word, listen to my fashion advise, and laugh at all my jokes, now has turned into a slightly more mature, and roller-coasteresque relationship, full of candid conversations during bath times, serious confessions during our walks to the park, impromptu sing-alongs during car rides, and  mild wardrobe wars and existential arguments on life, love and ladybugs. If this is what Year 6 is like, God give me strength for the teenage years.

As the days progress, I am seeing that Motherhood is bringing out the best in me too.

Happy Mother’s day to all the brave and tireless moms and mom-like figures in your lives. 

Mother's Day may not be the same in many households and we recognize that there may be some who are not as blessed as we, or our kids are. 

Celebrate Motherhood nevertheless. It’s the most difficult job in the world”

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Expanding the Aalayam repertoire: Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Place Called Home!


It’s been nearly nine years since we packed our bags and flew over the Indian Ocean down to the southern hemisphere to sunny Australia, now our home (away from home!). Over the years, we’ve created our own little comfort zone around us- a wonderful mix of the Aussie way of things and our very own Indian values and traditions. Nevertheless, the home we grew up in always stays very close to our hearts, like that first love. And there are certain things that always, always make me feel totally at home, take me back to the familiar warmth and comfort of my country. I think you would agree and nod knowingly at my pick of ‘Five Things that Instantly Take Me Home’. All I need to do is close my eyes J


1.     The Quintessential Pressure Cooker

“Shhhhhhhhhhh!” says the pressure cooker in my kitchen almost every morning and late evening, almost as if calming me down, bringing back memories of Amma’s mildly spiced sambar and soft fluffy rice. And it’s kind of incomplete without the stacking stainless steel pans which reassure me that they will take care of the dal and the rice and the vegetables, all at once! One of the many familiar sounds from the kitchens of India.



2.     Filter Coffee

Growing up in a traditional Kannada household, my mornings always had a hint of fresh coffee wafting through the air as I went on with the business of properly waking up J And even now, after all these years, as the kettle boils and I pour hot water into the coffee filter over a spoonful (and more) of ground coffee, my mind instantly goes all the way back home. It’s almost a ritual, as if to say “I hereby declare that this morning has begun!” With the latest addition of the traditional ‘davara-tumbler’, the very first sip of strong frothy filter kaapi keeps our Indian homes snug in our hearts.



3.     Indian Bedsheets

In a land of fitted sheets and flat sheets and doonas and pillow cases, my beloved ‘bedsheets’ and ‘pillow covers’ from India haven’t lost their place. Yes, those fitted sheets are a boon, like really! I mean, who wouldn’t like a sheet that stays put and doesn’t jiggle and shimmy and find a way towards the middle of the bed? But let’s face it, as fitted as they may be, they’re a tad too boring and plain for me. Maybe that’s why the patterns and colors and the little flowers so daintily embroidered on the bedsheets from India make me smile! Make that freshly laundered, sweet smelling, Bombay Dyeing bedsheets and I’m like a little girl running in a meadow, grazing my hands across flowering plants, soft breeze in my loose hair with the sun lending an angelic glow! Yeah! I go cuckoo for clean, fresh, crisp sheets!



4.     Nighty, Nightie Night!

I’m a plain Jane when it comes to bed time. No satin PJs for me, no siree! Don’t judge me now, but you know what I want to get into after a really, really, long, tiring day? The ever forgiving and ever comforting Indian nightie! When I slip that soft cotton, longish, flowy thing on, trust me, I (almost) attain nirvana! No, seriously ladies, what better to remind us of our mums, and aunties and pretty much all of our favorite women back home? It’s like they’re literally wrapping their arms around us and giving us a warm reassuring hug!



5.     Agarbathi

Sometimes, when I want to find my inner calm (or when the house smells kind of damp), all I need to do is light an agarbathi and a calming feeling pervades. It takes me back to the beautiful temples of India, brings back memories of my father doing the sandhyavandana (evening salutations) and my mother reciting prayers in the early evening. Such a simple thing, a slender stick wrapped in incense, but it has the ability to merge my Indian home and my Aussie home ever so subtly!



So, there you have it! Five of my favorite things that remind me of the home I grew up in. 

What are some of the quaint little things that remind you of your home? Share them here with us and take us back home with you!

Lots of love,
Divya

Here's more about me:

Typical Bengalooru Girl, with familial roots in Australia! Blogger, Mom and Artist! You may remember me from my guest posts in Aalayam! (www.creadivya.blogspot.com)




Saturday, March 12, 2016

Brand new Aalayam author tells all about the charm of Traditional Games!

Absorbed in Aluli Guli Mane (Mancala World) game

2016 seems to have started with a flourish and a bang. The holiday memories are long faded and relegated to a distant past. As we all struggle to achieve that happy medium of work-life, family, friends and kids, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if I am doing enough as a parent.  I am always comforted at the sight of my kids engaged in creating something (as messy as it gets afterwards!) or reading a book rather than with an IPad. Interestingly enough this year marks six years since the advent of the IPad - technology which was pretty much delivered into the laps of our babies.

Chauka Bara is a delightful throwback

I am all for Technology, Innovation and Science. I understand how this positively enhances and makes our lives so much easier; I also understand that the benefits of IPad are multi-fold. Kids obviously love them, learn new things quickly and tend to be absorbed and remain quiet while playing with them. IPads are now part of School Curriculum and are replacing textbooks. All this however, scares me a little. The fact that our kids now inhabit the virtual world more than we do. We now seem to be raising a generation of kids who are missing out on developing crucial social skills.  

Hop Scotch - or our very own Kunta Bille

I feel like our kids have forgotten how to write or enjoy a good old fashioned book. I will be the first to admit that I resort to my phone as a stress-buster or turn a blind eye when my kids have been longer on the phone or IPad than they should. 

Snake and Ladder - the traditional version


I remember some 12 years ago when my son was being raised in Bangalore (India), even regular mobile phones were a luxury and we only had a serviceable one for the family. He spent most of his waking hours exploring the neighbourhood, making friends creating crude toys with bits and pieces and generally enjoying his time out in the Sun. Our daughter born overseas was a totally different story. She could identify and sing-along to her favourite T.V characters before she turned one and she was able to nimbly swipe through games and apps before she was potty trained. The uncomfortable truth for some of us is that Technology is here to stay.

Carrom is an all time family favorite


Days when I can’t work something on my phone or my laptop, I run to my kids for help. I am happy that they are not fazed by technology as I am and can problem solve issues, if need be. However, I have to wonder sometimes, what tools I am enabling my kids with to jump-start their imagination and create a thirst to explore and invent. I sometimes go back in time to my memories when I was their age and wondered what I enjoyed the most. 

The gorgeous colors are a draw in itself


I remembered the endless days when we played kuntu –bille, Aeroplane or hop-scotch for some of you on the streets and spent hours scrounging construction sites for a perfectly smooth stone for the game. I remember how I spent a whole summer with my brother and cousins in the backyard trying to create scented erasers from pencil shavings and a rubber plant tree. 

I also remember how we scraped tamarind seeds (left over from mum’s cooking) to play Ali Guli Mane (Mancala World), Chawka Bara (Race game) with traditional bronze dices, Carom board and of course our all-time favourite Snakes and Ladders with a twist -  because back in the days some of them came as Ramayana and Mahabharata board games.




After all that reminiscing it was exciting to find some modern version of these games available at Ikea.  I am very thrilled to try these board games with my kids and re-live a bit of my carefree childhood days with them. My kids also came with an innovate idea to make the hop-scotch game work for them. They decided to paint some of our paved area to make up this game. 



This means a run into the local paint shop squabbling over colours and brushes and the dramas and some tears that I already anticipate; but I am quietly excited. This means another weekend where they will not feel the urge to resort to IPads to deal with boredom. I know that they will eventually tire out of these games. But I find that the challenge will be to just keep one step ahead of them and keep them guessing and keep them busy. As one mum rightly said – my child will take all of 5 mins to master the IPad but for me it’s important that she has memories of riding a bike, playing with her friends, getting messy, having fun and just enjoying herself. 

Indian version of Chess!

They don’t understand yet, but we are helping them create fabulous memories of their happy days that they can go back to when they are all grown up, that can hug them like a warm blanket on a cold winter day.

LOVE,
Smitha!

And here's a sneak peek into who I am: A mom, a fashionista, a career woman, and a newly minted blogger. Excited to be part of the Aalayam family.