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New Year, here we come…

As we wrap up 2014 and gear up for a new year of possibilities, opportunities and the proverbial fresh start, here are a few inspirations….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As some of us list our resolutions and as some of us resolve not to make the same mistakes and as some of us resolve to make the mistakes they held themselves back from….

 

 

Cheers to new possibilities, new experiences & new visions!

~Anushiya

 

 

The Joy of Giving

Merry Christmas!

Today I wanted to share a story that I heard on the radio the other day. The host of the show was asking people to share stories of Christmas and a lady came on the phone and shared a story that gave me goosebumps.

She lived in a small town and the day before Christmas, her and her son went to the local market to buy food items. With a few dollars in her pocket, she was worried about how she is going to feed everyone. With a worried heart she went from vendor to vendor trying to stretch her dollars. As she was passing a vendor, she noticed a man walking around who was built just like Santa Claus. He was heavy, with white beard and a beautiful smile. She took a closer look at him and realized that he must be homeless. She was getting prepared to give away a dollar from the few dollars she had so he can buy a coffee or something. As he got closer to her, he leaned down to her son and said, “You young man, you just made my heart so happy. There is something about you that I really like, here is something for you”. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a $50 bill and handed it over to the boy. The mom who was watching this in disbelief, kindly told him that they can not accept this as it was a big amount but the older gentlemen insisted on them taking the money. So she made a deal with him and said that she will take $5 from him instead of the $50 even though she really could of used that money.

He took a look at her and again leaned into the boy and said, “I want you to take this money and gave him the $50 and walked away”. The mom stood there crying because she just couldn’t believe that this just happened to them.

It is important to give but it is also important that you receive without guilt.

Have a great holiday season, spend it with your loved ones and keep on laughing.

….Gajay…

 

December 25, 2014 - 8:51 pm

Cindi - Beautiful story, goes to show how if you think of others and give unselfishly, God will provide for you somehow. We are put on earth to love and share our love with one another, even with strangers, that is what Christmas is all about.

Basic Iced Holiday Sugar Cookies

As the school is out for the holiday break, what are the plans with the kids?  Here are some kid-friendly recipes to do as a family – keeping them busy as well as getting a task done if planning or contributing to a party.

Basic Iced Holiday Sugar Cookies

Basic Iced Holiday Sugar Cookies

Whether you need Valentine’s Day treats for the class or Christmas sweets to leave out for Santa, these versatile holiday sugar cookies have got you covered.

prep time 1 hr 10 min

  • total time 1 hr 25 min
  • ingredients 8
  • servings 24

Ingredients

Cookies

1   roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
3   tablespoons all-purpose flour

Icing

2   cups powdered sugar
1/4  teaspoon vanilla
1/8  teaspoon almond extract
2  to 4 tablespoons milk
Food color, if desired
Candy sprinkles, if desired

Steps

  • 1 of 4 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough; thoroughly work in flour. Work with half of dough at a time, refrigerating remaining dough until needed.

  • 2 of 4 On floured work surface, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut with floured 2 1/2- to 3-inch holiday-shaped cookie cutters; place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • 3 of 4 Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and edges just begin to brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  • 4 of 4 In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Add enough milk until smooth and desired spreading consistency. Stir in food color until well blended. Spread on cookies; sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Let stand until icing is set, about 15 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

To make icing for outlining, transfer 1/2 cup of the icing mixture to a bowl, and add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until thick enough to pipe from a decorating bag. A small plastic squeeze bottle makes an excellent, mess-free replacement for a decorating bag.

Want 3 dozen from a batch instead of 2 dozen? Go for it! Rolling cookies thinner, to 1/8 of an inch, gives cookies a cleaner edge and shape, but they are more difficult to transfer to the cookie sheets, so handle with care, and be sure to reduce the bake time slightly. You will also need to double the amount of icing.

 

Enjoy!!

 

Recipe & image source: www.pillsbury.com

How to Eliminte Negative Words

Let’s start eliminating the negative words from your children’s vocabulary. Let’s teach them early on not to use words that will not empower them. As parents we need to pay attention to the words and contents our children are using.

I was at a family event and overhead one of my little cousin use the word “revenge”. I was not sure in what context she was using the word but now I was curious to find out so I sat close to her to see how she was using that word. Soon enough she make a comment. These were her exact words; “I am going to take revenge on her for doing that”. I was very shocked to hear that. I know that she didn’t know the real meaning of that word but somehow she knew to use it in the right context. I was not going to leave her with that thought in her mind. So, I sat with her and explained to her that we don’t use the word revenge because it’s not a nice word to use. She thought about it for a second and said ok. She went about her way playing with the others kids. All I can do now is hope that she understands the conversation we had.

If you hear your children using words that are not appropriate, address it right away! After all we are their first teachers so lets do our part to eliminate the negative words from their vocabulary.

…Gajay…

How to bounce back after over-eating

Most of us tend to gain a few extra pounds during the holidays: after all, it’s time to gather, eat and be merry!  During the months of various celebrations, most people drop their fitness routines in place of party planning, nursing hangovers from previous gatherings and catching up on sleep.  I’ll speak for myself when I say, “fitness what?” during the weeks of attending gatherings one after another and feeling stuffed with fatty, greasy, sugary goods, but yet continuing to consume them at the next party.  So, what’s the best way to bounce back after binging through the holidays?  Know what to do post-holidays to step into the new year with the right foot…some relatable Dos and Donts from Everyday Health.

Don’t: Let the weight of your food baby take you down for the count (or straight to the couch). Lying down can give you heartburn and other gastro issues. It can even aggravate respiratory issues for people with asthma. 

Do: Get moving. Light exercise is the best thing you can do to help your body bounce back. Operative word: light. Jogging around the block might not be smart, thanks to the high barf factor, but taking a walk can do a world of good. Not only does it speed up digestion, it’ll also even out your blood sugar and clear glucose out of your bloodstream. Another idea is light yoga. Certain twisting poses have been known to assist and alleviate digestive woes. 

Don’t: Drink alcohol or coffee. Knocking back a boozy “digestif” drink after a calorie rager is a common practice for many, but they don’t actually assist with digestion. In fact, alcohol can pump the breaks on your body’s digestive process. Coffee may swing you back up from a food slump with a jolt of caffeine, but it also doesn’t do any good for digestion.

Do: Drink water, seltzer, or teas. It might seem counterintuitive to drink water when your belly is full to bursting, but H2O helps move along digestion. It can also battle sodium and carb bloat, and it’s a preemptive strike against any post-gluttony constipation. You can also try seltzer, which is proven to relieve indigestion. Herbal teas with ginger, peppermint, and fennel have been shown to ease that I’m-so-stuffed feeling. In short, keep these liquids coming.

 

 

 

 

 

And for those of you who are happy to keep up with your eating plans during the holidays, but are annoyed with people pushing the not-so-great foods on you, here are a few ways to deal with the food pushers from Dr. Susan Albers to Huffington Post:

1) The Comedian: Say, “No, thank you! I couldn’t eat another piece! I’m starting to feel like the turkey — just a little too stuffed!” Keep it light-hearted.

2) The Professor: Use this as a teaching moment. Hold up your hand and make a fist. Say, “Did you know this is the actual size of your stomach? It’s amazing to think about how much we try to put in there!”

3) The Parent: It’s okay to say no. It’s as simple as that. Too often, we are afraid to put down limits. Say “no” politely, but with conviction. Practice when you are by yourself to make the words come out effortlessly. Other people easily push past a wishy-washy no.

4) The Therapist: Remember that the comments people make are often a reflection of their own fears and insecurities. Offering reassurance may help to take the pressure and focus off of you. Say, “It sounds like you would like another piece. Go for it!”

5) The Magician: Try to divert and deflect. Be sure to hand out a compliment, “The pie is fantastic! Do you have the recipe?” This can redirect the focus from eating to learning how to make it.

~Anushiya