Only Me! – Does being an only child effect mental wellness?

Are you an only child or do you have a sibling? Haven’t you heard (parent or not) at some point of time that an only child is a spoiled one? That they are too stubborn and do not share. They do not socialize especially when things don’t go as per their way. Compromises are a big No! There are chances that they might grow up being a lone wolf. When these traits were studied it got a name. Only Child Syndrome.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Lets see what researchers and psychologists have to say about Only Child Syndrome. Is it real or just a myth?

Only children have stereotypes and are very familiar with many people. I myself have seen many kids who because of being single have been pampered by their parents and families. They are adviced to have another child just to get the only child down to earth of I may say so…

This syndrome came into existence somewhere in the late 1800s when child psychologists G. Stanley Hall and  E. W. Bohannon used a questionnaire to study different traits in children. They concluded that children without siblings possessed a long list of negative behavioural traits. They both were firm with their idea and also pushed that children are better off with siblings.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Some researches that took place later on, did agree with Hall and Bohannon while some researchers found some flaws in their study and called Only Child Syndrome a myth.

There might be some truth in it though. A new study suggested that to some degree, these conventions are true. Only children didn’t score as well as participants with siblings in the personality trait known as agreeableness. The differences were interestingly seen to be wired in the structure of the brain itself. It’s surprising that there can be a correlation between personality and neurology but the study says that that the environment we grow up in does affect us, and maybe right down to our brain cells.

Photo from Pexels

But that doesn’t mean that single child in a family lags in everything. There are pros and cons on both sides.

The researchers wanted to study the psychological and neurological conditions, so they looked at college students who were only child in China, a country which has been under one-child policy for more than 30 years. They compared the intelligence, personality and creativity scores of participants being only child to participants with siblings. Even their brain scans were compared to find structural differences.Lets see what they found out in their research.

Neurological differences were also found as there were differences in the structures of their brains.

Only children have better relationship with their parents but that again depends on the parents and the place where they reside. According to the study in China, families from urban areas where parents were both working, the only child went through low love awareness, depression, trait anxiety and dependency as compared to urban children with siblings. Low love awareness can result in negative mental health according to the analysis.

Not much difference was found in rural only and non-only children.

As the saying goes, “You need a village to raise a child”. It seems that it is true after all.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Another fact that I came across through a friend in my Engineering days who was an only child. During a discussion, he shared that he did have a great relationship with his parents, more with his mother specifically and mom was a home-maker. But he did have an imaginary friend upto a certain age and preferred that company. He said he wished that he would have a sibling.

All this sounds a bit too harsh and maybe scary, right! But it definitely shows that it does affect a child’s mental well-being. That doesn’t mean that parents should jump in right away to have another child or that if you can’t, your only-child will definitely have issues. You will find people who will share that they are happy to be an only-child and are now parenting an only-child as well.

There are many ways to make sure that an only-child turns out to be a mentally healthy child.

1.      Allow freedom

Photo by Jennifer Murray from Pexels

An only child mostly has a parent or a caretaker hovering over them all the time while siblings are left to play on their own. Only child should be allowed to play on their own as well which will help them develop their ideas. Give them their own space, their own freedom to grow.

2.     Encourage individualism

Make sure to make the child understand that individualism is important and not always crave to be part of the crowd. Praise their individuality.

3.     More and more playdates

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Expose the child to more and more of social settings and give them chances to be around peers. Being around more kids can help them learn to interact.

4.     Encourage passions

Photo from Pexels

Get your kid involved into many activities and mostly outside the house where they are with peers and into social settings. They will not only find their interests but also develop a sense of self which is good for every child but especially onlies.

5.     Learning compromise

This value needs to be taught from time to time. Something that onlies might not have to go through at home as there is no sibling to challenge them in different situations. Do not give them everything they ask unless it is necessary.

6.     Healthy relationship with parents

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Onlies or not, kids need to have a transparent relationship with their parents. They need their love and support from time to time but that does not mean you let everything go as a parent of an only child. Being their friend might not work every time but will help a great deal when being their secret sharer.

7.     Do not swoop in every time

Every parent has the urge to protect their child in every situation but its healthy for them and especially for onlies to know how to navigate themselves in such situations and find their way out on their own.

8.     Teach empathy

Kids with siblings learn this value as they have to consider them in every or many situations. Onlies need to be taught this by their parents. Create situations where they get to see and learn empathy. Volunteer at orphanages and old-age homes. Help friends and family when in need.

9.     Be the encouragement

Onlies are kind of perfectionists as parents and grandparents praise them in everything they do. Whwther or not their work is good, all they get is praise. There is no immediate competition as such at home. They tend be more upset when they lack or fail at times. Make sure they take it all in a good way. They should learn to accept failures but as a parent instead of piling on their disappointments, make sure you encourage them when they fall.

10. Don’t make a mini version of you

Photo by Polesie Toys from Pexels

Do not expect that all that you did not do or get in your childhood, the dreams that were not fulfilled will be completed by your child. That your child will probably turn out to be a doctor or an engineer or an artist. That is just your only child and not a second chance for your redemption.

If your a parent with an only child, don’t be stressed. Many children who are onlies are loving and compassionate and wonderful human beings. If your child does have some difficulties, know that you can always help them to get back in the right direction!

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.

You might also be interested in other blogs under CauseAChatter

3Rs To Love Our Mother Nature

VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask – Review

Self care is a must for every woman but being a Mom of two I can hardly find time to visit a salon. With the pandemic, even the home salon services were not available and even I got busy with the hustle at home. I decided to get my game for skin care back on but having sensitive skin, I was very reluctant when it came to doing kitchen hacks or trying new products on my skin.

I have tried some of the products from VLCC their gold facial kit and scrubs and have ways loved them. When I was going through their newly launched products, VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask caught my eye and I thought of giving it a try!

About VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask

Get Glowing Skin with VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask that lightens skin tone with a golden glow.
Enriched with Gold, Swiss Garden Cress Sprout & Aloe Vera Extracts, this Peel off Mask stimulates blood circulation and oxygen supply and helps in the production of collagen.
It also provides a protective layer to the skin which helps retain moisture.
The MRP of this product is just Rs. 495/- (90gm).

How to Use VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask

Wash face properly and pat dry with a soft towel. Apply Peel off mask evenly over your face avoiding eyebrows, eyes & lips. Do not apply a very thin layer. Let it dry for 20-25 minutes. Peel off from the forehead in a downward direction towards chin & wash off. For best results use it atleast once a week.

** Always consider doing a patch test.

My Views on VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask

The ingredients of this product got me interested in it.

Colloidal Gold: It improves skin tone, boosts blood circulation, increases skin elasticity and also treats sun damage. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while making skin youthful and glowing.
Swiss Garden Cress Sprout Extract: It is a powerful antioxidant which targets pigmentation on skin and evens out the skin tone by reducing blemishes.
Aloe Vera Extract: It moisturizes skin while fighting skin aging. It also fights infections and acne while lightening blemishes. Aloe vera also helps to soothe sunburn.

Peel Off masks work wonders by giving you a facial effect and removing the outermost layer of your skin while taking away dirt and dead cells with it and that’s exactly what this product is doing. It gave my skin a smooth texture by cleaning out pores and fading fine lines. It also helps to balance out pigmentation.

I’ve tried other peel off masks earlier but was never happy with the effects or the mess I had to go through while taking it off. It was mostly hurtful while taking off and didn’t come out easily whereas VLCC peel off mask when pulled from top towards the bottom came off in no time. Since this is a gold radiance mask, the shimmering effect is so lovely and the mask effect stays on my face for days. It had become a part of my skin care routine and I make sure to pamper my skin on weekly basis with it.

I always prefer getting gold facials done for my skin as I love the glow it gives to my skin while also making it younger and fresh. I’m happy that VLCC Gold Radiance Peel Off Mask is giving me the same satisfaction while leaving me nourished and pampered.

Disclaimer: The views shared about the product are from personal experience after usage for more than a month. Beauty products should be considered depending on one’s skin type and skin related issues.

5 TV Shows To Binge Watch This Valentine’s Day

The month of love is here and with Valentine’s Day so close to us I’m sure we all have started making plans of gifts to give and dates to plan. But with many of us who want to settle down at home and order in, enjoy a glass of wine with our beloved, some screen time full of love is what you might enjoy. With two little ones, atleast that seems to be my plan so far.

Let’s take a look at some romantic TV shows that you can enjoy on Valentine’s Day

Bridgerton

This show is the current talk of every town. Taking place in England’s early 1800s regency period, inspired by Julia Quinn’s bestselling novel, Bridgerton is full of courtship, romance and marriage proposals of the elite class with an anonymous writer Lady Whistledown sharing every little detail of love affairs in her gossip column.

Little Things

Kavya and Dhruv are a modern day couple in love and in a live-in relationship in Mumbai. They face hardships in their career, families and also in the their so called modern relationship. Set to find their own way through it all.

Crash Landing On You

How can we forget K-Drama when we talk about binge watching?? A paragliding accident takes a South Korean heiress to North Korean borders where she meets the North Korean high ranked officer who helps her through. This South Korean rom-com is about the secret love thay they have for each other.

The Vampire Diaries

Vampires don’t exactly sound romantic but this show is worth a watch if you haven’t yet. Two vpire brother Stefan and Damon fall in love with a human mortal Elena. The plot revolves between the history of how they all are connected and with multiple threats to her life, Stefan and Damon rise to every occasion saving her and her town from every vampire that comes their way.

Friends

This show needs no introduction. Six best friends go on with their lives, falling in love and heartbreaks. I’m sure we all have watched it not once but many times and it’s never enough. It’s fun to watch their take on love and life.

Which show would you like to watch?? is there any other show that you plan to watch with your Valentine?

10 Children’s Books That Celebrate Love – Valentine’s Day

It’s the season of love and we all want to gift our little cupids a little something, firstly as a gift to let them know we love them so much and secondly to make them understand what love is all about.

According to me, books on love, friendship, acceptance, generosity are great to read anytime around the year and Valentine’s make the perfect occasion to stock up on these reads. They are not only extraordinary but also make affordable yet wonderful gifts.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourites.

1. No Matter What by Debi Gliori

It’s a simple, short yet deeply touching story by Debi Gliori. Little Fox throws a tantrum and compalins about being unloved while Parent Fox consoles saying that’s not true. I love you no matter what!

2. Love Is by Diane Adams

A girl and a duckling grow to love each other. They learn how to care for each other. Discovering what love is! Its a story loves by little ones as well as parents.

3. In My Heart: A Book Of Feelings

There are so many things that our hearts can feel. Love, happiness, sadness, anger, bravery, silliness, etc. A cutout book whivh explains all these feelings and more to kids in a simple way.

4. One Love based on the song by Bob Marley

A book that every child will fall in love into. Bob Marley’s child, Cedella Marley adapted her father’s super hit song into this book. A heartfelt story of a girl bringing the community together.

5. Love Monster and The Last Chocolate by Rachael Bright

When Love Monster finds a mystery box of chocolates at his door, he can’t believe his luck. But he’s soon thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil. Should he keep the chocolates for himself or share with his friends?

6. Hug Machine by Scott Campbell

A little boy is set out to give hugs. Whether you are big or small, or tall or short or spikey or soft, he is just set to give his unimaginably wonderful hug. Here comes the Hug Machine!

7. Dragon Loves Penguin by Debi Gliori

A Mama dragon adopts an egg and later when the egg hatches, out comes a penguin who doesn’t look like a dragon at all. But Mama dragon loves him no matter what!

8. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Little NutBrown Hare and his Daddy are having a conversation of how much they love each other. If Little Hare loves Daddy as wide as he can reach, Daddy loves a little more as he can reach wider and so on… Another of our favourite.

9. The Love Letter by Anika Aldamuy Denise

Hedgehog, Bunny and Squirrel are best friends. One day they happen to find a love letter. It’s an adorable story of how one’s attitude changes wiht love. How special it feels to know that you have someone you loves you very much.

10. The Wonderful Things You Will be by Emily Winfield Martin

An adorable book that shows parents’ love and acceptance no matter what the kids want to be or will turn out to be. A must have!

I always make sure to keep adding books to my kids’ library on every occasion and why not celebrate love with reading too.

Happy Reading Mamas and Papas and Happy Valentine’s Day little cupids 😊

Charlie And Her Spot

A while ago, Eira had a project from school to write her own story with a little help from parents. At the end of the day, at bedtime, we got into talking about it and a little story was framed.

Then came along the StoryTeller’s Blog Hop and with a little hesitation, I participated in it to do something that I’ve never done before. Write something in fiction. So here I am, sharing that story with some tweaks to go along with the prompts but not losing the innocence that my 6-yr old has added to it.

It was just another day. Charlie was sleeping while her Dad came along to wake her up for school. With a kiss, he carried her to the bathroom. Charlie was a sweet girl. No fuss, no whining, she used to wake up every morning with a big smile for her Dad.

Dad had made her favourite sandwiches for breakfast. After all, it was Mom’s birthday. Charlie got ready, picked up her favourite picture of Mom from her dresser and took it downstairs at the breakfast table. She placed some lilies near the frame which she had bought last night just for Mom and sung happy birthday. Dad smiled and asked her to hurry up for school. Charlie enjoyed the sandwich and left for the school bus.

Charlie lost her Mom a year ago. Then being just a 5 year old it was difficult for her to understand what had gone wrong but her Dad made sure that he played the role of a mother and a father in the best way.

On the school bus, Lola had saved a seat for Charlie. She had some big news to share. “Charlie, come along, I can’t wait anymore!” Lola said. Then she whispered into Charlie’s ear, “I’m going to be a big sister soon.” Charlie was very happy for Lola but it reminded her of the conversations that she used to have with her Mom.

Charlie was a very loving girl. She loved little babies and unlike other kids, she had started to ask for a sibling at a very young age. A companion who will always be with her unlike Lola who goes home after school and comes on playdates only once in a week. But with Mom gone, she knew nobody else could bring her a baby. Her companion!

Dad stayed home from work that day. He wanted to make sure Charlie was not upset and also wanted to celebrate Mom’s birthday with her. After Charlie came back from school, they both had lunch together and discussed what they were going to do in the evening.

“How about a movie and dinner at your favourite pizza place Charlie?” he asked.
“Maybe we can order in and stay home Dad”.
“You never like to order in. What’s wrong darling?”
“Today Lola told me that she is going to have a baby sister or brother. I remember asking the same from Mom before she went away forever.”
Dad welled up!
” Don’t you and I have a deal of not to be upset over Mom, especially on her birthday? How about we go to city park today and I’ll ask Lola’s Dad to bring her too and you both can play. Then we can go for our pizza”.
Charlie smiled.

That evening Charlie and Lola played together and while heading towards home, they heard a sound. Dad made out that it was coming from behind a tree in the park. Walking closer, Charlie found a little pup wailing. She carried the pup in her arms and they waited around for the Mommy dog but she was nowhere to be found. The pup seemed very hungry so Charlie and her Dad brought it back home.

The little pup was very cute. It was white and furry like snow and had a big black patch on his eye.
“Dad can I call it Spot? It sure lookes like one”
Dad smiled. He liked the name too. Charlie bathed and fed milk to Spot. She took good care of it. Spot even went to bed with Charlie that night and she read it a bedtime story too.

Next morning, Charlie had forgotten all about school and Lola. She also forgot about city park and Mommy dog. All she wanted to do was play with Spot. Dad reminded her that Spot needs Mommy dog and that they had to go and look for her.

So they carried Spot back to the park hoping to find Mommy Dog. After long hours of waiting, they had no luck and with Spot being hungry again, Charlie’s Dad thought it was wise to bring it home again for some milk.

They visited the park in the evening again, and a dog came running towards them. Spot jumped out of Charlie’s hands to go to that dog. It was surely Spot’s Mom.

Mommy Dog looked very sick and pale. It seemed like she’d not had food for days. Looking at them, Charlie felt sad. How could she leave Spot behind knowing that he won’t be alright. She couldn’t resist and asked her Dad if they could take Spot and his Mommy home for food. Dad agreed.

They took them both home. Dad also made sure to take Mommy dog and Spot to a vet. Charlie’s world had turned around. She had someone who would eagerly wait for her after ahe came from school who would play with her and stay with her no matter what. A few days later, Mommy dog’s health also improved.

Dad wanted to make some permanent arrangements for both the dogs but Charlie didn’t want to lose them. Dad knew about her feelings and decided to adopt Spot and his Mommy.

It was the happiest day for Charlie and also for Spot and that was just the beginning…

This post is written for StorytellersBlogHop FEB 2021 by Ujjwal & MeenalSonal.

Raising Little Picassos – Why Should We Introduce Art To Our Kids

Art is said to be food for the soul and it is rightly so! When I get involved with my kids into their creativity, it has instant uplifting effect. Cheers my mood right away! It is colourful, messy yet liberating. Art can be good in many ways. While everyone started to focus on STEM education, researchers gave “A for Art” an equal importance and included it in STEM, turning it into STEAM education. Art is a word that allows one to express their creativity in forms of paintings, crafts, literature, music and art.

A finger dot painting made by Eira
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Schools always tend to focus on Maths, Science, History and Language while giving very little time to art skills so it becomes important for us parents to make sure they are introduced to it. It gives us a great way to connect with them and give their creativity new heights.

Let’s see what impact art has on kids…

When a child uses a crayon and applies different strokes with different pressures or swipes a paintbrush, the motions used develop fine motor skills. From drawing solid scribbles to colouring with finesse, a child grows with each line that he draws. Using scissors to cut shapes also works great for kids. Playing with playdough and slime have great benefits. All these tend to increase the fine motor skills of a child.

Homemade Playdoh Art Activity
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.
Homemade Playdoh heart cookies art activityThis image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Nowadays, even a toddler learns quickly that a phone or tablet works on swipe which means visual information is the first that they process. Playing with clay, drawing and painting and threading beads increases spatial and visual learning.

Diya painting by EiraThis image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.
Painted Diyas for Diwali
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Art gives an opportunity for kids to be themselves, to express themselves. To go above and beyond their imagination. You will be surprised at what a child can show us through art forms.

Christmas snow bear ornaments which
we shared with Christmas goodies.
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Christmas snow bear ornaments which
we shared with Christmas goodies.
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Children who perform art activities quite often tend to have improved academic performance as well. The steps to be followed while making an art improves the level of concentration.

Art soothes a troubled mind and calms a child down instantly giving it a beautiful distraction.

It also boosts confidence, teaches perseverance and teaches patience.

Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflower attempted by Eira
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Considering all the positivity that art brings, me and my daughter used to work on a lot of projects. She loves drawing and painting the most and since lockdown occured, I wanted her to try something out from a professional tutor online.

That’s when I came across Impart Art Academy. I was so tempted by the work they showed me not just of their art teachers but also their students. The detailed step by by step teaching that they show in their sessions is so amazing to watch and easily understood by kids. From crayons, to paint colors to charcoal drawings, kids get to learn a variety of work. The sessions are also not rushed to the point and even though online, every child gets an opportunity to show their work at every step and corrections wherever needed are explained well.
Images like shown below are shared after every class so that the child gets a step-by-step view of their teacher’s work and is also able to practice later.

Mandala Art with Impart Art Academy by Eira
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

About Impart Art Academy
An Academy based in Kolkata, Impart Art Coaching is one of its kind. It takes pride in coaching ages 5+ till 75+ pan India.
Impart teaches varied mediums like pencil sketching, charcoal, soft pastels, pen and ink, watercolors and mixed media. It also organizes art workshops in acrylics online. The feather on its cap is its mentors, who are well known Professional artists of Bengal.

Crayon coloring with Impart Art Academy by Eira This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

With 3 centres in Kolkata and having coached over 5000 students, Impart has now started mentoring students with their Art Portfolios for admission to colleges of design, art, architecture and fashion within India as well as abroad.

Eira Crayon art done with Impart Art Academy
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Impart Academy take pride in the fact that they have sent students to prestigious colleges like NIFT, NID, SRISTHI and many more in India and PARSONS, PRATT, LASALLE, UCL and many more such colleges abroad.

Painting by a professional tutor from
Impart Art Academy

Impart Academy is the place to go to for learning art, not only in India but also Dubai, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, UK and USA. They also have the concept of one on one personal tuitoring in their online as well as physical batches for students who wish undivided attention.

A charcoal painting done by professional tutor from Impart Art Academy

Impart Academy has been conducting an art exhibition each year since its inception showcasing artworks of its students. The show comprises of around 200 artworks in different sizes and mediums and is open for public viewing. For anyone who is looking to buy affordable art of amateur artists, the Impart Exhibitions are a huge draw.

As a parent, I definitely recommend Impart Art Academy for our budding artists.

As Pablo Picasso said, ” All children are artists, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”.

Blog Away Blog-A-Thon in 2021

For all those have followed my blog in the past months, have known about my writing journey. From sharing my personal experiences as a woman and mother to what cooks in my kitchen. I also participated with many blog trains to make sure my writing was consistent. I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

For the New Year 2021, have decided to make sure we all as bloggers grow together and so I and my fellow mom blogger Hansa are thrilled to share with you all that we are starting “Blog Away Blog-A-Thon” which will be for all the writers out there, no matter what your genre of writing is!

Guidelines

  1. Participant has to write 1 blog every fortnight, that’s in 15 days.
    So, only 2 blogs a month, 6 blogs for the quarter.
  2. The blog should be posted by 15th and 30th of each month.
  3. It has to be a new blog as the whole purpose is to get you writing. You need not be a mom blogger compulsorily, all kinds of bloggers are welcome as this is also about learning and growing.
  4. Participant has to engage and share 2 fellow bloggers post on any one social media platform (more details will be shared on WhatsApp Group created once the list of participation is final).
  5. Engaging and sharing Host’s blog is mandatory.
  6. Hashtag to be used #BlogAwaywithSeemaandHansa in the blog and while sharing on social media.
  7. You have to add the line “This Blog is a part of Blog Away Blogathon hosted by Seema and Hansa”
    There are no prompts or theme to follow as wish to allow the writer’s thoughts to flow freely and write what comes in their mind. It could be a short story, poem, promotional blog, guest post, book review, recipes, beauty hacks or anything related to your genre of blog. Just make sure that blogs are interesting.

To register and fill the form, click here

So what are you waiting for? Just get along and we will all have fun reading, writing and sharing.

Waiting to see you all in the “Blog Away Blog-A-Thon“.

Tilache ladoo (Sesame seeds laddoo)


Tilache ladoo is a traditional sweet made during Makar Sankrant and shared with everyone it the special day with the words saying “Tilgul ghya, God god bola…” meaning have the til ladoos and speak sweetly just like they taste.

This powerful seed other than having a distinct nutty flavor is a powerhouse of organic minerals especially calcium which supports a great deal in bone health. That’s exactly why Sesame Seeds made it to the list of ‘Foundation Foods’ in the diets related to Osteoporosis. A quarter cup of sesame seeds has more calcium than a cup of milk.

White sesame seeds

Sesame gives great texture to baked goods, in used in sushis and is used to make tahini to use in making hummus. Sesame butter is also loved by many and a sprinkle of freshly toasted sesame seeds can add an amazing flavor for to your salad.

These til ladoos are made specially during these winters to keep our body warm. Sesame seeds have alot of benefits while the addition of peanuts and coconut adds an aromatic flavor and the sweetness of jaggery to bring it all together makes it great for an after meal healthy piece of dessert as well.

Black sesame seeds

I have used white sesame as well as black sesame. Black sesame has more calcium content than the white ones but is a bit pricey. You can also go with only white or only black ones as per your choice.

Ingredients
White sesame seeds (Safed Til) 1/2kg
Black sesame seeds (Kale til) 1/2kg
Peanuts 1 cup
Half a dry coconut.
Jaggery (Chikki ka gud) 1kg
2 tbsp ghee

Method

Dry roast both the sesame seeds. Make sure they are cleaned nicely before roasting. They should not be over roasted over these seeds can taste burned. We.roast them only to enhance their nutty flavor.

Dry roast the peanuts. Make sure they become crisp.and do not remain soft. Once cooled peel them. A gentle rub between your palms will do the magic.

Peanuts

Grate the dry coconut and then dry roast it too. This should also be roasted until golden brown and then run it between your hands to make it fine. Pulse them in a mixer grinder to get big chunks of peanuts instead of powder. You can even powder them if you like.

Grated and roasted dry coconut

Jaggery should be used in equal amount to sesame seeds. I’m using jaggery which is known as “Chikki ka gud” in Maharashtra. This jaggery will be easily available in winters as it’s the season for all sorts of ladoos and chikkis. You might have noticed the difference between the jaggery that you bring home for kheer and the jaggery that you taste in a store bought Chikki. Any grocer or supermarket will definitely have it. This jaggery is easy to use whileaking ladoos and the binding is so much better and easier.

Jaggery ( Chikki cha gul)

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp of ghee. When heated add jaggery and melt it all while stirring it. Make sure it does not burn. Stirring continuously will make sure the jaggery is heated and melts evenly while leaving no over cooked or burned parts at the bottom of the pan.

Once the jaggery is melted, keep stirring until it gives you get a syrup kind.of consistency. Now add both colored sesame seeds, crushed peanut dry coconut. Stir all of it well and then turn off the flame.

It’s time to make ladoos. The mixture for these laddos should not be cooled. You have to start moulding them right when it is hot.
The trick to do this is to take only a little mixture out of the pan and keep it completely covered. Apply some ghee to your palms and take a small mixture according to the size of ladoo you want and start moulding. Be a little careful while handling the mixture. Do not use water at all while moulding. Only use ghee after every few ladoos.
Air dry them for a few hours. To maintain their shape you might have to rotate them in a plate. An activity that your kids can do and enjoy.

Tilache ladooThis image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Your til ladoos are ready. Make these ladoos all year around to reap it’s benefits.

Tilache ladoo
This image belongs to https://www.myworldwitheira.com
and reuse is strictly not permitted.

Makar Sankrati Chya Hardhik Shubhechha🙏🏻
Happy Makar Sankrant🙏🏻

3Rs To Love Our Mother Nature

Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi got the prestigious Global Goalkeeper Award for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. India has definitely improved its sanitisation coverage but we still have a poor waste management infrastructure.

We can help manage waste right from where it all starts and that is our home. The 3 important R’s that everyone talks about when we come across waste are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Now the question, why should we use the 3Rs? Once we dump our trash properly, our duty is over, right? Absolutely wrong!! The current population of India is 1,387,160,324 as of January 2021. Think about the amount of trash generated on daily basis, then weekly basis and yearly basis.

Photo by Leonid Danilov from Pexels

The 3Rs help our environment and keep our planet clean. They also make one’s life eco-friendly and sustainable. Don’t forget that it will save you some bucks as well. Thanks to books and Peppa Pig, kids already have an idea about it. But how can we make sure that even our kids implement it in their daily lives.

We need to make sure that they know how and when can they reduce, reuse and recycle.

♻️REDUCE♻️

Reducing is nothing but cutting back on the amount of trash we make. This is the best way to keep our earth clean. Making less trash means no need to clean the mess. You are tackling the problem at the start itself.

Pack your kid’s lunch in lunchbox instead of paper or plastic bag. Even if its a sandwich, do not use cling wrap. Instead of using small plastic use and throw containers for sauces, chutneys and pickles, do one time investment in reusable containers like Tupperware.

Fresh Apples in a Shopping Bag Mesh. Zero waste, no plastic concept.

Make kids carry reusable shopping bags like cloth ones instead of using plastic bags or ending up buying paper bags at the supermarket. Some people do prefer to carry their own bags but only to the vegetable market or supermarket. When it comes to shopping at the mall, a reusable bag might not look nice but think about the difference are you making. Less buying of paper bags means less production and even lesser cutting of trees to make them. All in all, good for the environment.

Make sure kids turn off the lights of their room when not in use. They cannot see any waste made out of overusing or wasting electricity but a lot of work goes behind making it and we try to avoid that waste as well while saving some money over the electricity bills.

Make sure kids do not waste water by leaving the faucets open while brushing. Use water only as much as you require. Switch to plain old bath from a bucket instead of a shower or a bathtub. Lack of water issues are very well known to all that we face almost every year in India. We even have organisations who keep looking for donations to build hand-pumps with pipelines in small villages where water needs are hardly met.

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♻️REUSE♻️

Use vegetable skins to make soups and broth. Garlic skin, onion skin and peels from vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and gourds can be used in an excellent way by adding them to the pot of vegetable broth or bone broth. Boil them nice and good and then strain them away. You are left with a broth full of nutrition. Eggshells are high in calcium and can also be used in your garden. Orange and lemon peels when dried and powdered can be used in recipes and also as a scrub.

Reusing is to find new ways to make use of the trash instead of throwing it out. Lots of our kid’s stuff can be reused and in much better ways.

Image from Freepik.com

Donate your child’s clothes. Make sure your children are involved in this and Instead of throwing away the clothes that do not fit, hand them down to someone who will reuse them. Orphanages are happy to accept kid’s clothes which are in good condition.

Do not throw away old toys. Make sure you use them in good condition or repair them in a way that they can be used and donate them as well. Not every child receives a toy every time they do something good or have a birthday. Believe me, your child will be very happy to see another less fortunate child happy with their toy.

Clothes can be turned into toys. There are many small businesses doing this for their living. You just have to send in a bunch of your child’s clothes and they turn them into beautiful dolls and stuffed animals for you, of course at a price. This way you have reused clothes and also supported a small business. You can even think about getting such toys made and send them in charity.

Cotton clothes also make good rags. Instead of buying wash clothes and kitchen wipes, use cotton clothes. They can also be used to make carpets and pullovers. Remember our Dadis and Nanis making big pullovers and blankets before winter also little ones for new babies coming in the family. Some brands like H&M, offer discount vouchers in excahnge of 8-10 old clothes and you can use the vouchers when you shop with them.

Make sure you use reusable cloth diapers instead of the plastic ones. They are environment friendly and skin-friendly for your child. Plus you save a lot of money on them.

Do not dispose your kitchen waste. Instead you can make good compost out of it for your garden along with your kids.

Photo by Huy Phan from Pexels

Do not throw away the waste water from your RO water filter. Collect it and use them to wash fruits and veggies. Wash vessels and mop your floor. You can even use it for washing your car.

Get rid of dark circles with used green tea bags. Instead of using new ones, make sure to chill the used ones and apply them over your eyes. Later you can use the green tea in them in your garden.

Make coasters out of CDs and DVDs. This can turn out to be an exciting craft for your kids while giving you some interestingly designed coasters.

Make sure kids use printed paper to do your crafts. Read the news online instead of getting newspapers and if you get them, use them for crafts and as gift wrapping paper as well.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Use metal bottles and straws for kids. Also make sure to use glass jars as containers in your kitchen.

Image from Freepik.com

♻️RECYCLE ♻️

Recycling is to recreate ways to make new things out of trash instead of throwing it.
Make sure you segregate your waste and have a separate bin for waste that can be recycled. Bottles and tin cans are collected and sent to plants wherever they are recycled and turned into new bottles and cans for reuse. Well-known recycled materials are glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum.

Image from Freepik.com

There are many more ways to use things before it reaches the trash can. All it needs is a bit of determination and time to do it and when you have you little ones to help you out, this job is just easy peasy! It is all about being smart when using things.

Just keep reminding yourself and your kids the mantra of…
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE…

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.

10 songs of Christmas that we love…

Christmas is here! I mean almost here! We are already into the spirit as our Christmas tree is up and we have started making kuswar (sweets) . But while doing all these, one enjoys listening to the traditional hymns and songs that bring in the vibe. Chances are that you have heard many or all of them and still feel like hearing them over and over again.

So here is the list of our favourites as a family…

Deck the halls

Decorate your home and be ready to welcome Jesus and many friends and family to celebarte with you.

Santa Claus is coming

This song needs no introduction. Sing it to your kids and ask them to be good so that they can get all they ask from Santa.

Joy to the world

It’s time to rejoice and celebrate the coming of our saviour Jesus Christ. Christians all over the world believe in the birth of Jesus and that he is a living God and celebrate his birthday as Christmas every year on the 25th of December.

Jingle Bells

The bells that ring and indicate that someone is on his way with a sleigh full of presents.

Silent Night

This hymn tells us the story of how heavenly and calm it felt the night that Baby Jesus was born.

Rudolph the reindeer

This song tells of how the red-nosed reindeer was chosen by Santa to lead his sleigh because of his red glowing nose.

12 days of Christmas

A tongue twisting song with such pep yet so enjoyable. Learn and sing this with your kids and you will have a blast.

Jingle bells rock

This is another of the classic songs with wonderful music written in 1956.

O come all ye faithful

This hymn calls everyone to celebrate and worship the coming of Jesus.

Feliz Navidad

A Spanish-English song sung at the strike of midnight after the holy mass at every church ends and the atmosphere fills with the Christmas vibes.

My daughter Eira has recently explored the pop group Pentatonix and just can’t get over them. While me and my husband enjoy the traditional songs and also Celine Dion and Sixpence None The Richer. You will see a mix of them all here.

Which one is your favourite song for Christmas? Do share it in the comments below.