Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nature Center

The other day I took the boys for an outing. I wanted to do something different so I took a chance and took them to a nature center in our town. It was amazing and Kavan, my (almost) 21 month old had a great time! He was so intrigued by all the "natural" activities found there like playing with toy versions of natural elemnts - acorns, leaves, fossils, butterly and insect imprints and seeing all teh exhibits and learning about different ecosystems and animals and their roles. I know he is a bit young but not for a minute do I underestimate this child. I explained everything the center had to offer to him and he was intrigued. I am pretty certain he followed along. This age is such a joy because now I am seeing all the feedback he is giving me. He says and does everything I've been rambling on to him over our days together since he was a baby :) It's such a pleasure. My favorite part of the center was a wall of tiles with beautiful quotes about nature on them. It was set up by the doors as u leave and I spent a good 20 minutes reading them and pointing out the different trees, birds and pictures to Kavan. Here are some pics (i took alot) of what I'm talking about. Which one is ur favorite? :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tupperware Transformed!

Sorry I've been MIA! I have family from out of state in town and have been cooking and cleaning the week away to make their stay as cozy cushy and comfy as possible :) Gosh it's alot on a mama. I hate to complain but lordie - physically and mentally I am just wiped by the end of the day. The whole newborn thing and being up to feed him 4-5 times a night then trying to appease my 20 month old during the day and tune out his high pitched squeals and screams all MAY have something to do with it :)

In the middle of all our craziness, if I get a moment to create something - anything - for me, it makes me feel so satisfied. Even the littlest simplest silliest thing brings me such fulfillment. See: toddler board of fun :)

Now we all love the dollar store and great finds from there BUT i must say i can't STAND it when I buy clear plastic storage containers or tupperware from the dollar store and they seem to close just fine in the store and when I get home they don't???? or after a load in the dishwasher, they're absolutely defective. It's the dollar store - what do I expect. I used to just chuck anything that didn't have a lid or a lid that didn't fit (to avoid tupperware avalanches in my kitchen) until................. I was looking at all of my crafting supplies sprawled on the dining room table and thought of a little old useless tupperware container with a non fitting lid that was on its way to the trash. With the help of some pretty paper, miss modge podge herself and touchup paint - I have my very own supply bucket! :)

dollar store tupperware with remnants of the sticky label still on
Modge Podged some pretty scrap paper on
Painted the rim of the container with leftover paint
a quick paint inside as well
fits just the right amount of supplies to craft and journal at any moment!
u know, essentials like scissors, little brushes, glue sticks, hot glue gun, pencils. 

I am linking up here...
A Little Knick Knack 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yummy Chicken Pot Pie

I made a yummy chicken pot pie the other night. I'm trying to think of healthy meals my toddler will eat and he likes things gooey if that makes sense. He likes his mac and cheese with gooey cheese and not just a little cheese with dry macaroni, he likes his pizza with gooey sauce and cheese, he likes bagels with gooey cream cheese. So i racked my brains for gooey meals that involve some sort of vegetables I can hide in there without having to puree. Chicken pot pie is the first thing that came to mind! it was my first time trying this recipe and it came out pretty good :)


  • - 6 cups cubed chicken (i used leftovers from grilled bbq chicken the night before)
  • - a package of pie crust
  • - olive oil
  • - 1 large onion, chopped
  • - 2 celery stalks chopped
  • - 2 cups chicken broth
  • - 2 cups milk
  • - 1/2 cup butter
  • - 9 tablespoons flour
  • - 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • - salt and pepper
  • - 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • - 1 package frozen veggies (not thawed)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pie dough from box and unroll and bring to room temperature
  2. Heat oil in pan. Sautee  onions and celery 5 mins. Put into a bowl with chicken and set aside. 
  3. its box and follow directions for bringing to room temperature.
  4. Microwave chicken broth and milk 3-4 mins. Heat butter over medium heat in empty pan. Whisk in flour and thryme. Cook 1 min til golden. Whisk in hot milk mixture. Bring to simmer and continue to simmer until sauce thickens - bout 1 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Place pie dough at bottom of pie dish. Save remaining piece for the top after the mixture is placed into dish
  6. Stir chicken mixture, parsley and frozen veggies into the sauce. 
  7. Pour mixture into pie dish with dough on bottom. Top it with the pie dough
  8. Cut 5 slits through pie dough on top to let it breath. To make crust, pinch the ends around edges of pie dish with ur fingers.
  9. Bake until golden brown 30-35 mins 

This is what it looked like before placing it in the oven
I forgot to take a picture of the chicken and veggie mixture in the pie dish and on top of the dough before placing the top dough on but I had a little mixture on the side to freeze for later. Here is a pic of what the inside looks like. gooey goodness! :)
Voila! To avoid the burning around the edges, u wrap them with foil a bit. We like a crisper crust. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Board O' Fun for toddlers

I'm always looking for interactive fun and simple toys for my 20 month old to play with. With books he wants to lift the flaps, pull the handles where the arrow points or touch the fuzzy hair on some animal. At the fridge he is constantly drawn to the alphabet magnets and farm animal toys we have stuck to it. I see that he prefers more simple toys that he can explore like the melissa and doug wooden toys rather than the plasticy noisy toys with sounds and lights that do the work for u.

I made a no brainer board for him the other day. Last year I had these little wooden animals I picked up from Michael's in his room when he was a baby, I stuck them to the wall with velcro. Bad move - it pulled off the paint and some of the wall along with it :/ So this time around I made it on a white board I had lying around. just buy a pack of velcro dots with the sticky backs at walmart - maybe $4 and u can stick anything on there: cutout shapes, letters, these little wooden animals, flashcards etc.

Im happy to report that he loves his new little toy. I'll name an animal and have him pick it out or stick it on. We talk about each animal. It's a bit more involved and interactive even if it means just sticking it on and taking it off rather than just pointing to something in a book (which we do plenty of as well). This was just to change things up a bit. I've also added a bunch of more shapes and letters and animals with velcro on the back to switch up the objects on his board o' fun! The best part is that it is portable and we can take it from room to room and in the car on a long drive. Simple, easy peasy and cost to me - around $5.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,
It's been 8 years today since the day u died. Even as I write these words out, I can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe I was able to go on after u were so suddenly taken away from us. I replay the events of that day over and over again and to date, it was the worst day of my life. I kick myself for not spending every second with u that I could have, that I took for granted. Over the years I have grown so much and have matured in a way I never thought possible and I want u to see me now, I wish u could see me as a woman - not the difficult young girl I once was. Everyone tells me that I am ur carbon copy now. I can't think of a greater honor or success for my life and can only pray that is the truth. U were such a shining star - so amazing and so loving. Even now, I've never met anyone like u. Everyone flocked towards ur energy, ur charisma, charm and grace and I get it now - I understand why and how. I wish u were here with me now. We would be the best of friends - even better than we were because... only now do I or CAN I understand the struggles and triumphs u had as a woman and a mother. You were a full time mother and held a full time job as well as went to school at night. How u did it, I have no idea. U never showed us anger or frustration and always gave any time u had with us freely and creatively. How you brought two babies (Moni and I) over to America from India by urself - I have no idea. All my memories of u are of u smiling and laughing even through the worst of our times and challenges. You were such an amazing woman that I can only dream to be one tenth of the woman and mother u were. I miss u so very much - I miss ur contagious laugh, your radiant smile, your beautiful voice, your sweet smell and your warm embrace. I miss talking with u about everything and laughing about anything. Whenever I am in the mall, I make it a point to go by your perfume and smell it to just take you in. I've saved all ur bottles, all ur clothes, everything I can manage to hold onto. I hold onto pieces of u when I cook ur classic dishes u always made for us. I can feel u with me when I rub a piece of ur jewelry I  wear and remember how beautiful u looked with it on. When I hear ur favorite songs, everything around me comes to a standstill and i just smile and sing along remembering how u would do so when you were with me. I believe in these moments, u are with me.... speaking to me. That's all I have left. I wish I could hug u again and take u in. I wish u were here.... I wish u could see my beautiful babies and get down on the floor with them and one day wrestle with them the way u did with Moni and me. I know the rest of my life will continue to be a journey of healing over ur loss. You were a slice of history and I carry ur spirit with me and hope I make u proud. I tell my babies about u all the time and hope they have ur energy and blessings. When I stop to think of u, I can feel u smiling down on me. I aspire to be ur very essence - the woman u were, the compassion u had, the love u gave, the kindness u showed. I miss u dearly......
Love, your Candle.

Me and momma in India
Me and Moni (my brother) in India

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

my little man...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sectional Shopping

Since moving into this new house we realize that there's not much by way of seating for guests here. We have one set of massive couches we got from Jennifer's Convertibles the year we got married. We split them up where one couch is in the main living room/ tv area and the other is downstairs in the den/playroom. It serves its purpose for each room but if more than 2 bodies want to sit down in the living room, they have to pull up a heavy hard dining room chair near the sitting area. Awkward. :/

We've always loved the idea of a sectional and have been sectional shopping!! I'm thinking it's a great use of the space. To give u a visual to work with, this is a picture of the main living room area (prior to renovations, painting and moving in!). It's a big space with high ceilings (and beautiful beams :)). Right now, our long couch is against that bare wall in the back .... and that's it?! We're thinking a cozy sectional will fit nicely right into that corner u see.

I found a pic I took of the couch as it currently sits. Pls ignore the bright white lights, the baby chair, the boppy, the pack n play and the .. mess. err.

My husband is entertaining the idea of a leather sectional. Me? Not a fan. I want something that's gonna catch my back when I plop down and give me cushion yet support. That falls along the lines of the couches that look like they have a bubbly back. do u know what I mean? Hubs is not a fan. grumble grumble. He wants extra loungy and super soft as in when u sit down - u fall right in. That doesn't help me when I need to sit down with the babies - it's so much work to scooch back up and get some bearing to feed them! That's my problem with this couch now. It's 8 years old and still in good condition but when u sit down, u sink into it til the point of no return without a bit of an ab workout and trust me - that's Not the reminder I need right now with this post baby body. (:///). Oh and hubs is also insisting one end of it be a chaise for his loungey HGTV tv  time after the kids go to bed. I can't argue with him there. The man knows what he wants. We just have to find a happy medium because these babies are expensive!

Here's a few sectionals we came across while shopping.

I loved this one. It's on the more affordable end. It looks like leather but it's microsuede. My hubs hates that and feels it looks cheap.
A sectional we saw at Lillian August - one of our favorite home stores. It's beautiful and white and SUPER comfy but super expensive too and kinda on the small end...

I loved the shape and size of this sectional - altho this particular one looks like it was made out of 300 parakeets or something. Sorry animal lovers. Jk. U can customize it to ur colors and fabrics and tubing around the borders of the cushions. It broke my heart when I sat on it because it just wasn't that comfortable....

This one looked nice but not comfortable - so it's out. Hubs didn't like the bubbly back look altho it's not as bad as some other ones i loved...

Ok this is the epitome of a bubbly back sectional. Hubs hated it. I thought it was amazingly comfortable which in my opinion is all that really matters and who cares what it looks like - it's not as important to me as the functionality of the piece. It's out .... :( bye bubbly back

NOW THIS is the piece I am hoping I can convince him on. It's a perfect corner unit for our space. It's a neutral enough color. It has a chaise. It's not THAT expensive. Not as expensive as some others that we have seen. And it's really comfortable. He wasn't budging in the store but I'm hoping I can talk him into rethinking this one. Unfortunately I can't just get my way on this - we both have to love it but I'm not sure how that's gonna happen with such different tastes!

The search for our perfect sectional continues....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Craft Fair Purchases

2 weekends ago there was a craft fair in a town over from us. I love crafts (obviously) and love supporting local artisans. I thought it'd be a nice outing for the boys as well - something different. We had a great time, saw some neat items and met some new people! My little lions were such troopers :) It was a hot day and it was outside and mama took her time looking through stuff. Everything at the fair was on the pricey side but personally, I don't mind spending on hand made works and products with a special message because the quality is so much better. I'm trying to incorporate quality or quantity in our lives in general!

Here's Kavan :)

I came across a booth that was selling children's toys, books, cds and the like. The stuff was beautiful and very brightly colored and illustrated beautifully. I was instantly drawn to it. Then I started looking at some of the prices and eek!! too high. It was definitely expensive esp for a mama with 2 children who wants to get them each a few things. We settled for 2 books. I started speaking with the lady and I fell in love with the concept of the products. The brand is called Barefoot Books and the items really expose children to other cultures and people of the world and tell colorful stories from every country and even in different languages. This was right up my alley!! And wouldn't you know it - I came across a book of children's stories from our country, India with stories from all the different states in India, including Punjab! The stories are long but they are common tales that children grow up hearing and knowing when they are young. My babies are a bit young for these but there's no harm in beginning to show Kavan the different stories with their pictures and make shorter versions of the stories to tell him.

I also came across some beautiful pottery. I knew I had to have a piece! It was so hard to choose! I love hand crafted and homemade items, especially pottery and always try to support anyone putting such love and effort into making something like that. A friend of mine is a potter so I know how much work she puts into her pieces I'm thinking a plant that roots right into the water of a little clear pot and then placed right inside the pottery piece would look better than this small terra cotta pot here. Here are a few pics. Pls don't mind the cell phone quality to them or that the house is a mess :) thanks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicken Soup!

All my boys are sick :( That puts mama to the task! I brewed up some yummy homemade chicken soup from scratch and it came out delicioso!! (in the words of my friend, backpack). Sorry for the lame joke but the mommies of little kids out there will know what i mean!

Since i have NO time these days, I relied on my handy dandy crockpot.

As we were gathering up our things to leave the house for the morning, I literally peeled, washed and chopped up the ingredients and threw it in to cook for 6 hours.

My recipe included 4 chicken legs (with bone), 4 cups water, 4 cups chicken broth, carrots, celery, a chopped onion, some parsley, a bay lead, salt, pepper and i threw in a chicken boullion cube. After 5 hours of cooking, I took the chicken legs out and took the meat off the bone and cut it up into pieces and threw just the meat back in. You can serve this with noodles or rice but I needed Kavan to eat up too so I left it plain.

He ate well as did his dad and I hope they're feeling better for it!