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Easy homemade waffles with oats

Happy Friday everyone!

I found this simple recipe in my Big Boss Grill Recipe book and have made it a few times already. I love how the ingredients are simple and of course healthier than store-bought ones, especially when you enjoy waffles frequently. The only thing I kept forgetting to do was to take proper pictures, so please your imagination. They actually taste great and my picky 3 year old loves them just as much.

If you have a waffle iron or the waffle attachment in your sandwich maker you can easily make this. I love my Big Boss grill which comes with several plates that you can snap on and off.

The recipe calles for blueberries but I make some without blueberries as well. With these proportions I get about 6 medium size waffles. They are quite thicker than the regular Eggo waffles you buy at the store.

Here’s what you need:

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 up fresh blueberries

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

In a medium bowl whisk milk, egg, oil and lemon juice.

Stir into dry ingredients and mix until blended.

Here’s where I split up the batch and make some waffles without blueberries. Just pour 1/4 cup batter into each waffle plate. On my Big Boss grill I close the lid, lock it and and cook for 5 minutes. Then remove with a spatula.

If you would like blueberries, you can mix some in the batter (I have used both fresh and frozen and they turn out fine).

I could never get a good photo before we gobble them up. I froze a few of the blueberry waffles (they freeze well) last time I made some, so this is all I could salvage. The batter turns dark once you mix in blueberries, hence I make some without them for my picky daughter.

Enjoy!

…Saumea…

How I went from a size 4 to a size 10 in just a few minutes

I am quite happy with my body. After 2 kids I am still happy about it. Give or take those dreaded moments of realization about my mommy tummy, I am still happy about it. If you’ve read a previous post of mine you’ll know that I don’t care about losing those extra baby pounds.

I have learned how to choose clothes that look good on my body over the years. I never stressed about exercising to get in shape after my pregnancies as I prefer to spend that time with my kids and just stay healthy by leading an active lifestyle. However one skirt single-handedly has forced me to get back in shape.

This is what started it all…

I fell in love with his skirt at H&M as soon as I laid my eyes on it. Ahhh…love it.

 

I was always a size 4 at H&M before I had my daughter. After her birth I bounced back and forth between a size 4 and 6 depending on the outfit. After the recent birth of my son, I assumed I was still a 6. So recently when I saw this skirt I grabbed it in a size 6 but it DID NOT FIT. Not really panicking, i got a size 8 but it still didn’t fit. I had to go up to a size 10.

It wasn’t the number that bothered me so much as the fact that even the size 10 was snug and did not look so good on me. I have worn this style of skirt many times. But this time around I guess I had lost a lot of my pregnancy weight except that mommy tummy, so the skirt was snug at the waist but way too big everywhere else, which made it look sloppy. That’s it, I decided that I need to get moving.

I’m on a mission ladies…all because of this skirt. I don’t usually stress over outfits that don’t look good on me. But I really really want this skirt! I am determined to wear it on an upcoming vacation so I’ve decided to walk, dance and do whatever it takes to be able to wear it. Hey maybe I”ll go back and even get a size 8 when I’m done.

I guess this skirt was just the push I needed to get back in shape.

Now that I’ve declared it to all of you, I guess I need to get moving. So check back in a couple of months to see how I did.

…Saumea…

 

 

 

Spring 2015 Fashion Trends

As we’re truly enjoying some spring weather in Ontario lately – and I don’t complain about the showers as these are the ones that bring May flowers – it’s time to look forward to the fashion trends of Spring 2015.  Whether you’re planning to strut the styles or be a bystanding audience, here’s what’s coming up our way – the most popular and do-able styles by any fashionista:

JUMPSUITS

Tendances mode printemps-été 2015 combipantalon

HIPPY DRESSES

Tendances mode printemps-été 2015 hippie-chic

KHAKIS

METALLICS

Metallic outerwear hit the runways in a big way for spring. After a season of statement coats from fall (think houndstooth, shearling and fur), designers are still into the bright and bold look—just with lighter materials. Peter Som, Tome and DKNY are setting the gold standard.

KNEE-HIGH LACE UPS

You can stop thinking about knee-highs as socks or tights because for spring summer 2015, designers are focused on the way that shoes can lace up the leg. From Rodarte

FLARES

The skinny pants has too long reigned supreme. Now the bellbottom is making a play for the spotlight. At Coach, they introduced themselves to New York fashion week with a flare that would make Marsha Brady super jealous and later at Theory, they popped up in a minimal way, perfect for the New York modern woman. Next season, let those ankles breathe ladies!

CROCHETS

My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was younger and though I have totally lost the skill, I will never lose the admiration for just how complicated it is. The incredible detail and delicacy of crochet is probably a key reason it has been so popular on the runways lately. This homespun craft is making waves on the runway at Elizabeth and James, Azede Jean Pierre and Delpozo.

Spring, here we come!

~Anushiya

 

Image Sources: www.vogue.com & www.elle.com

7 secrets of happy children

We think about filling our children’s days with scheduled activities and classes, but do we really think about what makes them happy?

I always feel like there is not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do.

We rush our children off from one thing to the next, all in good intentions, but it would be nice to take a step back and think about what it is that truly make them happy. Our definition of happiness is not the same as that of children. Sometimes it is the simple things that we tend to overlook that stand in the way of them being happy.

Read on for some tips from the article 7 secrets of highly happy children by Katie Hurley, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and  Parenting Expert. They are obvious things that are easily overlooked by parents.

1. They eat on time.
I know what you’re thinking; that’s too simple to be a real parenting strategy. Think again. Have you ever been so hungry that you just wanted to scream? That’s how kids feel when they miss a snack or have to wait two hours past their normal mealtime to participate in some super-fancy family dinner.

Eating at regular intervals refuels their growing brains and bodies and keeps hunger under control. When kids are calm and satisfied, they experience greater happiness.

2. They get consistent sleep.
I know, I know, some kids are better sleepers than others. While that’s certainly the truth, it isn’t an excuse for poor sleep habits. Kids need to learn how to sleep. It’s up to us to teach them. When they are completely exhausted, they are cranky. When they are well-rested and ready to embrace the day, they are happier. Make sleep (and a consistent bedtime) a priority.

3. They play without instructions.
Unstructured playtime appears to be a lost art these days. It used to be that kids made their own fun. Today, kids are over-scheduled, dialed in and in awe of toys that essentially do the playing for them. Sure, those garbage trucks with all of the bells and whistles are neat, but be sure to mix in some wooden trucks and building blocks. And, please, take a look at the busy schedule and find some time where your kids can just play each day. Play is good for the soul.

4. They are allowed to express emotions.
Kids yell when they’re mad. They cry when they’re sad. They might even stomp their feet and run around in circles when they’re not sure what to feel. And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they do all of that in the middle of aisle 9 at your friendly neighborhood Target store. Let them. Kids need to express their emotions. While adults know to call a friend to vent when the going gets tough, kids are a bit more primitive. Shushing them and publicly shaming them doesn’t help. Let them vent in their own little way and then offer to help. Enduring a public temper tantrum might feel overwhelming in the moment, but it’s better than a lifetime of internalizing negative emotions that could lead to eating issues, depression or other emotional problems for your child.

5. They get to make choices.
Kids have very little control over their lives. They are constantly being told where to go, what to do and what to eat. A little bit of control goes a long way toward feeling happy. Let your kids choose their outfits. Allow them to choose the dinner menu one night per week. Ask them what classes they want to take. Give them the opportunity to make some decisions and watch them smile in return.

6. They feel heard.
Kids are intuitive. Even toddlers can tell when parents are tuning them out or answering on autopilot. When kids feel like their parents truly listen to them (about everything from Lightning McQueen’s best race to what they learned in school), they feel more connected. This increases their self-confidence and increases their overall happiness. Listen when your children speak. It’s the best way to build an open and honest relationship with your child and it makes your child happy.

7. They experience unconditional love.

Kids mess up. You tell them not to jump off the couch over and over again, but they do it anyway. And then they cry. Because childhood is largely based on trial and error, and sometimes kids just need to take chances. Forgive them. Love them anyway.

When kids know that their parents love and support them no matter what, they are more likely to take healthy risks. They are confident and secure in their decisions. They learn that sometimes people make mistakes, but there is always a chance to right a wrong.

When children know that their parents will always be there for them, for better or for worse, they are happy.

…Saumea…

Image source: http://wonderopolis.org

My choice – does it really empower women?

A recent video titled ‘My Choice’ features Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone in collaboration with Vogue India and aims to bring awareness to women’s rights and the right to make choices. The project is part of Vogue Empower, an initiative that the fashion magazine launched in October last year to mark its seventh anniversary in India.

Check out the video for yourself here.

The video, directed by Homi Adjania, has brought a lot of criticism as some claim that it is not the least empowering, but rather hypocritical. The project aims to empower women in the country and reinstate the notion that women have a choice over their bodies, relationships and their destinies.

However many claim that this message, coming from people like Homi Adjania and Deepika Padukone who both thrive in an industry that objectify and reinforces the sexist standards of beauty on women, is hardly empowering. Aren’t women in Bollywood presented as glorified dolls running around trees and dancing in glittery skimpy outfits?

In the video, Deepika recites

“My body, my mind, my choice. To wear the clothes I like; even if my spirit roams naked.

“My choice; to be a size 0 or a size 15. They don’t have a size for my spirit, and never will”

‘To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe that you can halt the expansion of the universe.”

She also says:

“My choice to marry, or not to marry,

‘To have sex before marriage, to have sex out of marriage, or to not have sex”

“My choice to love temporarily, or to lust forever.”

Many seem to criticize the fact that Deepika talks about sex outside of marriage and that the issues brought up in the video are those of urban women, the elite, educated ones. What about those that line the villages of India who have no opportunity to even make those choices?

I can’t seem to take any extreme sides on where I stand on this video. While I feel that videos such as these are necessary to bring to light many different issues and healthy discussions about women’s roles, bodies, perceptions and gaps in our society, I do not feel that this video adequately discusses all of these. The video is stylish and sophisticated. Exactly. What is stylish and sophisticated about the issues women face?

Although there are images of many women in the video, the ones that stand out are those that are quite attractive and stylish, including that of Deepika. The messages in the video are lost against the backdrop of the the fancy and sophisticated imagery. I feel like it was a lost opportunity for a great message. It just goes to reinforce the fact that even when we have to stand up for women’s rights we have to dress it up in fancy, sexy stilettos in order to be heard. That itself undermines the efforts of this video.

I do hope that this sparks discussions nationally and globally as it already has. By bringing awareness to women’s rights in either a positive or negative manner, it creates a forum for people to discuss these issues. While there may be disagreements, any discussion is better than no discussion.

Recognizing it and discussing it will help identify steps – even if it may be small, slow steps -in finding solutions.

Write to us…how do you feel about this video?

…Saumea…