Friday, 18 May 2018

Weddings and Spring Festivals

This winter season in Pakistan was very happening this year;infact every wedding season is.Perhaps I enjoyed it more because two of my siblings got married and I happened to  attend two more weddings. Musical mehendis, scrumptious food, colourful glittering lenhengas and shararas are the highlights of a typical Pakistani wedding. Pakistani weddings are surely the most entertaining weddings of the world .

Weddings here especially in metropolitan cities have become a huge business and it surely depends on how heavy your pocket is. Wedding planners, wedding photographers, make up artists , jewellery designers and dress designers have taken weddings to a new level. Now the talk of every wedding is that how much the bridal dress cost? how much the make up cost and how pricey is the jewellery set of bride?

A typical wedding nowadays in a Pakistani metropolitan city starts with a nikkah, then there are dholkis to prepare for mehendi function, then there is mehendi followed by wedding reception and then walima. This surely requires a lot of money , hard work and a lot of planning.

October to March are probably the most happening months in Pakistan . Wedding season starts in the third quarter of the year followed by spring festivals, food festivals and   launch of big lawn brands all in the first four months of the year.

Spring carnivals are also so much fun here with so much food variety , music and games.Carnivals are full of colour with greenery and beautiful flowers spread everywhere.

Lawn this year is also exorbitantly priced with big ad campaigns most of which just go over the head. My personal favourites are Saphirre, Khaadi, Elan , Cross Stitch and Crimson. I loved the advertisements of Gul Ahmed featuring three generations. But at the end of the day, we want to buy clothes which everyone of us can carry well in the scorching summers.

As we are welcoming advent of summers so are the textile owners and lawn designers with their eid collections. It seems like there is a deluge of lawn everywhere but good thing about eid collection is that pre Ramadan sales have started and so people can shop considering their budget as almost all the brands have dwindled their prices.
Happy Summers ! 😊

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Feeding the terrible twos

As soon as a baby turns two, you know why they say this stage as terrible two! Your child is no more an infant who only knew how to giggle and cry. The whole world is in front of him and he is a tiny explorer.

Children at two are full of energy  and they know how to throw tantrums even at this stage. The exuberance is at peak and that's why they are learning to yell too. This is also a stage where they are able to grasp so many things.My two year old has just learnt few steps of dance from tv and whenever he does that, he proudly calls me saying, " Mama! "
Neverthless this stage is cute too but kids this age require lot of nutrients to cope up with their growing requirements. And especially if your kid is a picky eater, then you have lots of stuff to think like what do I make him to eat so that he gets wll the vitamins and iron from the diet.Today's kids usually have low vitamin d and haemoglobin levels and that's why child specialists give suppplements to babies and kids.But a mom's duty doesn't end here: she has to make sure that her kids eat the right food.

My two year old also loves chocolates and juices like other kids and I do give him these things occasionally.But here are some foods that I have started giving to him after doing research on internet as my child is a picky eater and I want to make sure that whatever little he is eating he gets enough nutrients from it.

  • Dates ( even 2 dates are enough)
  • Apple (4-5 slices)
  • Egg( one) with a toast or a small wheat paratha 
  • Fish on alternate days( it has iron plus vitamin d)
  • 2 cookies
  • Rice with mutton (small bowl on alternate days)
  • Spinach ( once a week ) because my son doesn't like it but it is full of iron
  • Bananas (2-3) as they are full of potassium
  • Home made potato chips or boiled potato 
  • Plain cake (one slice twice a week) as it has egg and milk in it which are super beneficial 
  • Milk only once or twice a day as kids this age need more solid food
  • Mutton or chicken gravy with half chappati /bread
  • Cheese slices( as my son love to eat cheddar cheese and they are good too as they contain calcium and vitamin d)
  • One bite chicken sandwiches ( as they are easy for kids of this age to eat)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Teaching Vigilance to Kids ..An utmost need of the hour!

Late tuesday night, I came across a horrifying news while I was scrolling down my newsfeed on facebook. The news was of an innocent seven year old girl named Zainab who was raped, brutally murdered and then thrown in heaps of garbage. I was obviously shocked and terrified !

Being a parent makes you extra sensitive to everything around you. The pain of other children also hurts you  to the core. Every Pakistani was at loss of words. Deep sorrow still prevails as what kind of world we are giving to our kids. Imagine a seven year old innocent child who has just started enjoying the brightness of the world and she is at once thrown into the dark dungeon of cruelty and barabarism. We need to pray and also to be extra vigilant around us that this should never even happen again.

People often talk about the fears of the society to kids starting with good touch and bad touch.
Here are few things we as a parent can teach our kids so that they can be cautious about the people around them.

  • Don't listen to strangers even if they say that your parents or your siblings are calling you
  • Don't take anything from a stranger be it a candy or any other present unless your parents are with you
  • Always make friend of your age as older people can harm you as well
  • Never keep secrets of anybody as your only secret holder is your mom!
  • Never hide anything from your parents
  • Don't go anywhere without telling your parents. Parents should also be cautious of where their kids are going. 
  • Good touch and bad touch should be taught to kids. Never allow anybody to touch you inappropriately.
  • Parents should always listen to kids and should take them seriously.
  • Tell your kids not to be silent if God forbid, they face any kind of bullying or harrassment. Always speak up for yourselves.
We can just hope that the world becomes a safe place to live for children all over the globe and no child has to go through this attrocity again. May the culprits of  little Zainab brought to justice 
# justice for zainab



Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sending off An Angry Child to school!!

For every mother, waking a child up for school and preparing lunch for her while helping her in getting ready are routine tasks. I as a mother do feel blessed because I get to start my day everyday with a new gossip and sometimes a tantrum of our 9 year old daughter while on the other hand our 2 year old naughty son is sometimes busy dancing and sometimes being glued to me because he doesn't want me to do home chores!:)

8-12 years is a tricky age and sometimes you dont know how to handle a tantrum. In return if you shout on yout kid and your kid goes to school while crying; it becomes too difficult for a parent to leave that thought while riding on the daily tasks wagon.

So many times I have pondered on it and yes, this is my new year's resolution to not shout on my kid even if she is shouting and yes, I am going to find alternatives to it that are constructive rather than destructive.I know there is a deluge of articles and blogs on parenting but I am going to find my way because every child is different. For some kids, long discussions do the work while some kids just dont want to listen to you and they just want their space instead of helicopter parents.

Sending off an happy child to school is very important because even kids have to go through a lot in school like peer pressure , bullying and overall strict school environment. Kids can only grasp true concepts at school if they are happy at heart and know that their parents are there to support them not to scold them at every teeny weeny matter.



Monday, 8 January 2018

The magic of New Year!

Today is 9th January and it took me 9 days to post this titled " Happy New Year" . As you step into 30s, you realize that it's more into new year than only making a list of new year resolutions! I thought many times to make a list but somehow I figured that I would be doing it as a norm as everyone else is doing it. You are more enthusistic about new year resolutions in your teens and twenties when you have a countless to -do -things and the reality is that half of list remains unaccomplished every year.


New year is a new start to things but it doesnt mean that new year itself will whirl around you like a magic wand and transform everything just with its aura.No, it's not like that. It's a new start to things and probably your thinking if you allow yourself to do so. If you have the same stagnant thinking, things would probably never change; not this year, not next year and probably never. Your mind is the game changer and also the destiny changer.If you have positive thinking , things would work for you: not always but yes! most of the times.

And yes, this year I intend to focus on my mind rather than pondering on innumerable to do things .Thinking positive and taking risks is very important if you want to succeed. There are some tasks we intend to do every year like lets suppose I promise myself every year that I will read 4 books a month but I fail every year in accomplishing this task because my strategy is not right. Just saying that I will do this doesnt make it happen. You have to make it right by being in a right frame of mind with right planning and execution.

So in a nutshell, just stepping into a new year doesn't make you a new person.You have to toil hard for grabbing opportunities with right planning while taking risks so that you execute your tasks in a timely manner. Best of luck everyone for the new year!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Exploring Dubai with kids

This summer we went to Dubai on insistence of our 9 year old as she wanted to shop and have fun in her summer vacations!

Boarding the flight:
Travelling with a toddler and a tween was certainly a new and a good experience. Starting with the moment you board your flight to the moment you take off till the moment you land, you are bound to experience something new , at times frustrating too but it pays off in the end when your kids are happy. On one hand you have one old something who is keen on pressing call bell again and on other hand you have a kid who's only focus is watching the movie of her choice without any interruption. And yes one more thing, my older one was more interested in getting travel buddy than my younger one who only wanted to get hold of the tv remote.

Reaching Dubai:
Dubai surely is more hotter than Pakistan and less greener also but the moment you see their buildings, you are bound to get mesmerized. The height, the structure, the design; everything is just amazing.The thing that touches you the most is that they have created all this in desert and in such scorching heat, they are able to attract huge number of tourists all around the world due to their diligence: they are no doubt one of the most hard working nations around the world.

Exploring Dubai:
We stayed in Hilton hotel near mall of emirates which was very nice offering good breakfast and a nice swimming pool too. The icing on the cake was that it was just 5 minutes walking distance from mall of emirates.
Img park:
IMG world of adventure is the world's largest indoor theme park.
Img park was just amazing : a perfect treat for kids especially from 7-12 age group. Our daughter enjoyed a lot especially on scary rides.There are also some rides suitable for toddlers too and we made sure on son also enjoys the visit by riding him on train and carousel. The shops selling products of cartoon characters do attract kids but at least we were able to divert our daughter's attention as we found some of things expensive as compared to shops in the shopping malls.

IMG park is amazingly built; it has different sections with altogether different rides. There are comfortable sitting places too where you can relax.Food is also nice with variety of restaurants to choose from. We are glad that we chose img park among the list of other parks to visit.
Cruise:
We took the cruise and we were glad that we decided to do so because it was obviously different experience from wandering in the big shopping malls and the big themes adventure parks.The food was nice and so was the traditional dance.

Dubai Dolphinarium was also a really good place where you get to know that how playful and intelligent dolphins are.
Shopping:
We didn't explore the shopping bargaining places.We only went to two shopping malls: one was Dubai Mall and other was Mall of Emirates which was close to our hotel.Dubai Mall is so big that you need whole two days to explore it thoroughly. It has got almost every famous brand under the sun. Moreover it has got the amazing aquarium.Not to forget, it has the amazing fountain show every evening.
I found Mall of Emirates more convenient and reasonably sized at least with kids .It has got everything too from brands to restaurants to really nice cinemas.It has got the famous Ski Dubai too where you can enjoy the snow while there is scorching heat outside.
Food:
Food was really good too with almost all the famous chains present everywhere. The restaurants which we liked the most were " Cheesecake Factory",
 " P.F.Chang's" and "Shake Shack".
We also went to "Atlantis", the amazing five star hotel made on Palm, man made island. It has a water park, underwater world plus 23 restaurants to cater to.

Overall it's a good place to visit especially with kids as Dubai is very child- friendly place.You have got something for the kids everywhere.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Raising confident kids... training begins at home!

I have a lovely eight year old daughter who according to her teachers is amongst the most confident kids of her school.When somebody says good remarks like this about your kid, you surely feel elated but raising a confident kid and a kid that has her opinion at a tender age is not a piece of cake. 
                                                    Image courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

You have to be patient, at times harsh too when a kid doesn't listen to you and values her opinion more but later, when you think about it, you feel proud too that your kid is confident and not hesitant which will not make her solely dependent on other kids to make her decisions.

I seriously believe that the starting years of a child's life are crucial in giving him utmost strength and confidence which will last for lifetime . In my case, the first four years were very calm and loving both for my daughter and me. Then the tantrums started when her father  had to go abroad for four months. She would ask me to take her daily to bookshop to buy her favourite book. Time passes quickly but the thing you ahould never let go is patience and while I say this, I know that completely  never letting it go is an arduous  task.

The 6-8 age group is pivotal in the sense that kids no longer consider them as little children . They think that now they can do anything but the best thing about this age group is that they still need you for reading bedtime story, for tucking them in bed and for hugging . My daughter can now get ready for herself but still she needs me for her hairdo and I love it. Everyone of us shout or get angry at our kids at sometime but these moments go away so quickly as time passes and then kids don't need us for little things. I read somewhere that if you listen to them today, they will listen to you  tomorrow and that is 100 % accurate. We as parents have to be patient today in order to let our kids grow as patient and confident  individuals tomorrow.

Allowing kids as small as 5 years to choose their own bed sheet or wall colour also instills in them the confidence that they can take decisions. One thing more which gives sheer confidence is parents' support. If a kid knows that his parents would listen to him and support no matter what, then he would never be afraid of others.