We Are Back + Exciting Announcement

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Hello Readers,

Hope you all are doing super well. ūüôā

A lot has happened since I blogged last. And I can’t wait to share some exciting news with you all.

As you may have already noticed there wasn’t much happening here on the blog for two reasons. 1) I wanted to give myself a good break from blogging because of Ramadan, so I could give my one hundred percent to my family. 2) I have been thinking for quite a few months about starting my own YouTube Channel, The Mommy Blog TV, so I spent a good amount of time researching and figuring out things on my own.¬† I wanted to share with you a few videos of things I have loved, had questions about, some fun things going on with my family and so much more.

And one month fast forward, I have uploaded four videos on my channel, made loads to mistakes, learnt from them. And I will keep continuing it. So I would love for you all to go check it out and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more videos.

And as of The Mommy Blog, have no fear, it’s my first love and will remain the same forever. So be sure to check back every now and then because I have loads of exciting things lined up. So until next time. Take care ūüôā

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Ramadan Series: 3 Easy Tip For A Well Stocked Freezer

ramadan tips The Mommy Blog

The holy time of the year is just around the corner ‚Äď Ramadan! And when that realization hits us, we try our best to try and prepare our selves for this month and get the most out of the blessed days. Alas, we forget one main concern: food.

It’s not so much forgotten as being unprepared for. We remember it as the month of being deprived during the day and feasting at night. However, with all our spiritual aims and goals of maximum ibadah (worship) during Ramadan, precious hours spent in the kitchen can drain us physically and emotionally.

This is going to be our first Ramadan away from India and as a of family of four. And two little girls under four years of age. I had to plan a lot of things beforehand. I started planning for Ramadan, 3 weeks prior.  And I have been meaning to do a blog post for all my Muslim mommy friends so they could make use of it.

And only yesterday, I shared a picture of my freezer on my Instagram, and from then on, I have been receiving a lot of emails and messages on how-tos, which is why I just sat down to quickly jot everything down for you to read and make the best use. ūüėÄ

Thank you all for your emails and messages, I feel so loved :)

And in this post I will quickly you give heads up on how and what to stock in your freezer, before Ramadan begins.

1.  Start by listing everything you need: 

Sit down peacefully and think of what fruits and vegetables you will need very often, those that go in pretty much every dish. For example onions and celery. Put these on the top, so you don’t forget them later.

Next think of the vegetables that you want to stock on and if you have kids, see what they like and quickly make a note of them.

If you have decided to freeze them, then you will need freezer bags or vacuum sealing bags, if you can find them. I used regular zip-lock bags and a straw to draw out the air from the bags, works just fine.

You will also need a clean towel or tissue papers to pat dry the veggies before freezing (depends on the type of vegetable).

2.  Pick fresh fruits & vegetables: 

Start by selecting the most freshest of the fruits and vegetables, you can find at the grocery store. If possible head to the farmer’s market and pick them up at the earliest ( when they are just out of the farm).

Avoid vegetables and fruits with blemish or marks. They generally won’t last you long.

If you don’t have time, ask someone close to pick them up for you, your husband or help. I couldn’t go out myself, so husband got everything for us. Yes he does better grocery shopping than I do! *sigh*

3.  Start prepping the fruits & vegetables:

Freezing is a process that lets you store fruits and vegetables without losing their nutritional benefits, over time, provided they are frozen properly. Now by ‘properly’ I mean that not every vegetable can just be chopped and popped in to the freezer, that way they won’t last you over a week.

So here’s the list of things I have frozen so far and the method I followed:

Freezing onions & capsicum:

  1. Selected fresh and blemish-free onions.
  2. Peel, wash and chop them into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Spread it flat on a tray and pop the tray in to the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  4. Once all the pieces turn into solid, divide them into meal size portions.
  5. Put them into the zip-lock bags, draw the air out of the bags, with straw and seal.
  6. Then immediately put them back into the freezer.

Freezing carrots, corn. beetroots, beans and cabbage:

  1. Select fresh and blemish-free vegetables.
  2. Clean, wash and chop them into desired sizes (preferably small).
  3. Heat a large pot of water and start bringing it to boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling, put the vegetables in it.
  5. Grab your watch and keep an eye on it. You don’t want to cook the vegetables.
  6. When the water starts boiling again, turn off the heat.
  7. Quickly scoop the pieces of vegetables from hot water, and put them into ice cold water to avoid the vegetables getting cooked further (with their own heat).
  8. Drain the water.
  9. Pat them dry and store in the zip-lock bags.

Tips:

  • Keep an eye on your watch. So you don’t boil the vegetables for more than 2 minutes. Or they will get mushy.
  • Always try to keep the boiling time same as the cooling time. For example if you are boiling for 1 minute, then let then stay in ice cold water for 1 minute.
  • Boiling will kill all the enzymes and cooling then down will lock the nutrients in it. That way they will remain fresh for a longer period of time.

Freezing chicken for sandwich: 

  1. Wash and boil boneless (you can also use boned) chicken in salt and whole black pepper for 20-25 minutes until its cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken and let it cool a little.
  3. Shred it in to pieces using two forks (it’s easier that way).
  4. Divided into meal size portions and freeze int zip-lock bags.

I mix mayonnaise with shredded chicken. Spread it on a slice of bread. Top it off with slices of cucumbers and tomatoes for a super quick kids breakfast.

These frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored at least up to 6 months. Many people claim to be saving theirs for a year. But I can only talk from my experience, I had frozen beans in March and used the last batch only yesterday. And trust me when I say this I couldn’t find any noticeable difference, in the taste.

So these are all that I have frozen so far. I also plan on freeze a bunch of fruits soon. Let me know how you are prepping for Ramadan this year. I would love to hear it for you. Also please leave a comment down below and tell me if you found these tips useful for Ramadan ūüôā

 

6 Best YouTube Channels You Should Not Miss

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I have to admit it, that every day I spend a good amount of time, watching YouTube videos, a lot of them actually. And I have been doing this for over two years now. And over time I have developed such amazing connect with these lovely vloggers and their channels that I thought it would be nice to share with you all and tell you how amazing they are.

I mostly follow a bunch of mommy/parenting channels and a few makeup/beauty channels, these are the subjects I have always held my attention. And in this post I will talk about six of my favourite and best YouTube Channels you should probably not miss.

1. ¬†What’s Up Mom’s:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: blog.laurelandwolf.com/nursery-design-for-whats-up-moms/

This is probably the first on my list, for two reasons. This was the first YouTube channel that I ever started following. Second, I love the rapport between these young moms and their dedication to work. This channel was started by Elle, a mom of two. Now it’s a group of three moms who make it all happen.¬†Meg shares kitchen tips, easy recipes.¬†Brooke’s beautiful DIY projects and Elle does¬†vlogs and tips videos. You should check out Elle’s Gangnam Style Parody. Their first video I ever watched, I remember husband showed it to me and we ¬†both had a good laugh. That’s when I started following this channel.

2. ¬†I’m A Mommy:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/ImAMommyof1

This amazing channel is by Michelle, a mother to 2 toddlers and a newborn. I have been following her for a long time now. And the reason I love her channel is because she’s so real and just herself. She’s one super mom I completely adore. Plus she always patient with answering all the questions posted by her followers (me included ūüėČ ). I love her hauls and monthly favourites videos most.

3. ¬†It’s Judy’s Life:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: http://its-judys-life.tumblr.com/

Judy is a mom to a pre-schooler and twin girls. I started following her last year¬†and have completely fallen in love with her vlogs. The way Benji, her husband is always helping her film the videos and backing her up every time/place is so remarkable. I mean we all need a strong support system. Don’t we?

4.  I Love Being a Mommy:

Elizabeth Rebecca, a sweet mom to two kids started this channel about a year ago. And I have started following her recently. I love the way she making her videos. They are just so beautiful to watch. Like really beautiful. I have to admit that I keep watching her videos over and over again just because I love all those subtle colours and music in her videos.

5.  Amanda Muse:

Amanda, is also a mother¬†of two and a beauty enthusiast. I love her vlogs for her simplicity and uniqueness. I’m not comparing here. But then it’s so refreshing to find something new and exciting every time you watch her vlogs. Plus she’s such an energetic mother.

6.  Daily Bumps: 

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Image Courtesy: http://channelpages.com/dailyBUMPS

This is another channel I have started following recently. Daily Bumps is by Missy and Bryan, parents to a toddler and expecting their second child very soon. I love how lively their vlogs are. And the constant connect between this vlogy couple. They put up one video every single day, which itself says a lot about their teamwork and dedication.

It’s so inspiring to see how all these wonderful moms and dads¬†manage YouTube, rare kids and still have a life. I’m completely addicted to these vlog channels and can’t wait to see their next videos.

And¬†if you are like me and would love to watch some wonderful parenting vlogs every day/week, then go on and subscribe to these channels. And let me know your¬†favourite mommy YouTube channel. I would love to subscribe to¬†them ūüôā

* This list is purely based on my personal preference and is not a proven one. I was not paid to do this post. 

 

Cloth Diaper Review ~ Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Cover

The Mommy Blog Cloth Diapers

Until few months ago, I never thought I would manage to get myself a Thirsties diaper cover. Given that they weren’t available in India plus I was never interested in¬†trying any, other than Flip covers, since they were working great for us. And though a cloth diaper addict, I definitely knew that I did not need any more additions to my stash.

However, I did recently went on and purchased a Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper cover from a new local online vendor, Totscart, who stocks international brands. Because I wanted to test it out on my daughters. And I have to say that though I still love our beloved Flip covers, I am fairly impressed with this newest addition to my cloth diaper collection.

Thirsties Duo Wrap diaper covers are a one-size cover available in two sizes. Size 1 fits younger babies between 2.8 to 8 kilos approximately (6 and 18 pounds). And Size 2 fits older babies between 8 to 18 kilos (18 and 40 pounds). Since my daughters weigh over 11 kilos, I chose the Size 2.

Although I am generally not crazy about needing to buy two sizes of diapers, I do like that Thirsties Duo Wraps would fit a baby starting from an average newborn to a fairly large toddler.

Talking about the design, the Thirsties Duo Wrap features two rows of three torso snaps. Thus, the cover converts into small, medium, and large sizes.

Thirsties Duo Wraps feature a single row of two snaps. But it lacks crossover hip snaps. However, since my daughters are already so big, I have no need for crossover hip snaps at the moment.

The Mommy Blog CLoth Diapers

Thirsties Duo Wraps can also be used over prefolds and other fitted diapers. During the day, it’s prefolds for us. The Little Thing¬†fits into the large¬†size with a tri-folded Osocozy prefold, without¬†leaving any marks on her. I haven’t tried it for night-time¬†yet. So I won’t be talking about it at the moment.

Thirsties review india

Thirsties Duo Wrap cloth diaper covers are a great bargain for the price. I love the double leg gussets and I think that I can use this diaper cover on my daughter at night with a fairly thick fitted diaper. The leg gussets contain poop very beautifully.

However I am not entirely thrilled about the dual sizing, but I do understand the appeal of parents with tiny newborns and larger toddlers. And the waist elastic does an excellent job of holding inserts or prefolds in place once the diaper is on the baby.

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I have heard very good reviews of the thristies hemp prefolds.  They were amazing, they say!  I will be adding a bunch of those to our stash in the near future. These covers come in both hook n loop (velcro) and snap closures. We prefer the snaps now that our girls are older or they will like try and take the diaper off! Who said kids are a breeze to handle??

Thirsties Duo Wrap is my favorite diaper to direct new cloth diapering parents, too. Whether you use prefolds with diaper fasteners (a must for containing newborn poo) or just tri-fold them and lay them in, you can get multiple wears out of each cover before it needs washing.  This makes for a very cost effective stash.

So if you are new to cloth or just looking for something that is simple and works on a smaller budget, this is definitely the way to go.

If you have any questions about cloth diapering India, feel free to comment below. I would love to help you out. And if you like this post, do give me a thumbs up on Facebook. ūüôā

The review is based on my experience and is not a proven one. I was not paid to write this review, the product was bought by me for my personal use. All opinions and images are my own.

 

 

 

Mommy & Toddlers Favourites | May 2015

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Shopping has always been a major part of our weekend outings. And with two young girls, it only gets more interesting and¬†fun. And I’m here to share with you, our Mommy and Toddlers Favourites for this month. So let’s get started.

Thomas Like Train ūüėČ

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^^Our girls have always adored pretty much everything with wheels. And this toy train is their current favourite. They love watching Thomas and Friends and¬†are¬†obsessed with Thomas. After a lot of search, as husband¬†couldn’t find Thomas Train anywhere, he got them this colourful train instead.

They love it, also for the driver that transforms in a ‘screw-driver’ that can fix the wheels. This is one of the most used/loved toys of the month.

The Story Of The Elephant Children’s Pop-up Book:

The Mommy Blog

^^  This huge beautiful book is a Quranic pop-up book for children by Shade 7 publications Limited. I got this for the purpose of review (coming soon). We absolutely love reading this book together.

Feeding Bottles:

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^^ These are the bottles that we bought for the girls. Yes they still have their milk in these bottles, once every day. That’s okay with me. As long as it’s just plain milk (okay don’t judge me for this). ūüôā

A Lip Balm: 

The Mommy Blog

^^This is my new favourite. I haven’t really used Labello before. I don’t think I can came across this back in India. Anyhow I just love the sweet fruity smell and beautiful shine it has. ¬†This is the latest addition to my diaper bag.

Those are all, for this month. Have you have used any of these products? Would you want me to do a detailed review of any of these?¬†Let me know in the comments below, I would love to do it for you. ūüėÄ

 

 

Quick & Healthy Carrot Apple Smoothie Recipe For Moms And Toddlers

The Mommy Blog

If you have been following my blog for sometime now, you know that I have two super active kids¬†and ever since we moved here to Qatar, I have forgotten the last time I sat and peacefully finished¬†my breakfast. It’s always two on one and I’m always in a hurry. And I’m sure there are many moms out there who just skip their breakfast like I do most of the time (yes do I!).

This quick smoothie recipe is what I discovered a couple of days ago and trust me this keeps me sane and sound for at least a couple of hours. Plus it’s super easy to make and healthy to have. The Little Thing enjoys it as much as I do.

We have all grown up with the knowledge that carrots are good for your eyesight. They are famously rich in beta carotene, which the body processes into vitamin A.  Carrots also pack a well-rounded nutritional punch including vitamins C, B3, B6, E and K as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, molybdenum and potassium. They are also a great source of dietary fiber.

And apples are probably one of the healthiest fruits on the planet. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C. Plus they are also low in calories, have only a trace of sodium, and absolutely no fat or cholesterol. So if you are trying to shed some kilos and still remain healthy. This is the tastiest and simplest way.

So here’s the¬†recipe for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 Apple sliced
  • 1/2 cup Mango Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Milk

Method: 

  1. I cut apples and carrots into small pieces and freeze them overnight before using them.
  2. Blend apples and carrots with mango juice.
  3. Add milk and blend until it’s creamy¬†and lump-free.¬†That’s it.

The reason I don’t add everything together and blend is because I want a creamy smoothie not a thin one. I keep adding juice gradually until the deserved consistency is achieved. Serve it chilled.

If you liked this recipe please don’t forget to give my blog a thumbs up on Facebook. ¬†ūüôā

 

Top 5 Pregnancy Apps For Android & iOS

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Pregnancy can be very overwhelming especially if it’s your first time. As it doesn’t last long,¬†every mother-to-be obviously wants to make the most out of those nine months.

I’m a mother of two and trust me when I say this, the excitement of learning about all those big and small developments your unborn baby is undergoing, is just so amazing. ¬†I when I pregnant I never shied away from having multiple pregnancy tracking apps on my phone.

You can do the same. You can track your baby’s development, time your contractions, or even pick a baby name with one of these excellent pregnancy apps. When it comes to pregnancy, there is most definitely an app for that. Here are five¬†of my favorites.

‚̧ ¬†What to Expect Pregnancy & Baby:

themommyblogpregnancyapps

 Image source: thebrowngothamite.com

The very popular pregnancy book, “What to Expect When You‚Äôre Expecting,” has it’s official free app which includes a very good amount of information. The app has a due date calculator, week-by-week photos of your baby‚Äôs growth and development and¬†pregnancy countdown. There are also a lots of other interesting features¬†scattered throughout this app. For example, did you know that at 13 weeks¬†your baby is the size of a ¬†pea pod?

‚̧ ¬†My Pregnancy by BabyCenter:

themommyblogpregnancyapps

Image Source: itunes.apple.com

My Pregnancy app is by BabyCenter. It’s another¬†free app. This app is¬†very much similar to the What to Expect Pregnancy app as discussed above,with a bunch unique features. For example, it includes some very realistic yet scary illustrations of babies in the womb along with¬†a number of videos on real birth. You can even¬†manage your pregnancy to-do list and join a due date club. Also it is very reassuring to know that all the content in this app is reviewed by a medical advisory board.

‚̧ ¬†I’m Expecting – Pregnancy App & baby guide:

themommyblogpregnancyapps

Image Source: itunes.apple.com

This¬†is again a¬†¬†free app which includes online community forums based on the month when you are due, or on your age. It has a very¬†sleek design and tons¬†of helpful features have helped to make this app a favorite among parents-to-be. Using this app you can create a virtual scrapbook of baby bump photos, and even track your symptoms. I‚Äôm Expecting is very easy to navigate, and helps you keep all of your medical and personal pregnancy information well organized at one place. However, this app doesn’t include a contraction tracker, which I think is very important as you near your due date.

‚̧ ¬†BabyBump Pregnancy:

themommyblogpregnancyapps

Image Source: babybump-pregnancy-free.en.softonic.com

The BabyBump Pregnancy has two versions, one is paid and the other is free. Since I already had too¬†many pregnancy apps, I didn’t bother buying this one. I downloaded the free version and it was decent enough. This app includes week-by-week development information and also lets you keep a journal of your progress and create a birth plan for the big day. You can also connect with the other moms and discuss via social forums.

‚̧ ¬†Pregnancy Sprout:

themommyblogpregnancyapps

Image Source: itunes.apple.com

This is another app that has two version. The paid one costs $4 approximately. And the free version, Pregnancy Sprout Lite¬†gives free access to the full app for a two-week trial period. The week-by-week graphics are very attractive. It has all of the basic tools ¬†such as a kick counter, a contraction timer, hospital bag checklists and a doctor visit planner, where you can add questions for your provider. This app doesn’t have¬†any community forums but it’s easy to navigate and a solid choice.

Pregnancy is a phase that you won’t be able to enjoy if you‚Äôre anxious about your or your baby‚Äôs health. These apps will guide you to just about any information you need. Or at the very least, they‚Äôll explain what you need to ask your doctor and what you need to know prior to your delivery.

So while you reach there,¬†you can spend your time finding names and keeping journal notes or sharing photos with friends and family until¬†the time arrives. Enjoy this special time and use these apps to get the most out of your pregnancy. GoodLuck ūüôā