My Boys’ Homemade Birthday Cakes

I have always enjoyed baking and cooking. It is actually a passion which I have inherited from my mother, aunts, and grandma. It is obvious that it runs through our genes.

There are many advantages to make homemade pastries, cakes, and pies. First, it can be a family activity where you and your children spend some fun time together. You cannot imagine how much talk they do and how many stories they share as you are working together. Second, you can profit and have a math concept attained, where you relate measurement to real life. By doing so, they are learning some serious school lessons through entertainment. Last but not least, unlike readymade cakes, you are able to control the amount of sugars you want your children to have. The less the refined sugars, the healthier the choice is. For example, natural sweeteners like agave syrup, honey, or carob syrup can compensate for the harmful processed white sugars that you find in the market.

But baking cakes in not only restricted to the every day dessert that my children enjoy having. I also prepare and create their birthday cakes which take me quite some time. When my mom is visiting we do the cakes together, and trust me the work becomes even more pleasurable. The best part of the whole thing is when my children wake up the next day and run with excitement to check out their birthday cake. Their hug and thank you is the best reward I could get.

My children know by now that every year they will have a special cake even if we are not doing a big celebration. Here are a few examples of the homemade birthday cakes that my kids asked for;

sonic     Sonic cake

minecraft  Minecraft cake

ramy s minecraft TNT muffins

treasure muffins Treasure Island Muffins

pirates ship Pirates Ship

bmw cake My son is a big fan of BMW cars

 

easter bunnies Easter Bunnies

panda cake Panda cake

Mcqueen Cake McQueen racetrack cake

snakes and ladders Snakes and Ladders board game cake

fishcake Fish cake

puppy cake Puppy cake

elephant cake Elephant cake

 

Even if it is a tiring activity and consumes a lot of time, but preparing these cakes for my children is a great pleasure. After all, when you do things with contentment and delight, you do not really worry about the physical fatigue. 🙂

 

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Moms; make some time for yourself…

Being a mom in the twentieth century demands a lot of responsibilities and running errands. Having all those duties in the aim to be “the super mom” who sacrifices her life for her children, we find that we have forfeited on many of our priorities to make our children get the best possible childhood. We may even assume that the only way we can be considered as ‘good’ mothers is by only focusing on our children and hence tend to feel comfortable in isolating ourselves for a while! Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom these constant daily juggles and efforts can take their toll and zap even the most resourceful mother’s energy reserve.

Therefore, every mom needs some alone time…

In order for us to maintain a positive spirit and to continue providing our youngsters with our endless care and attention, we should find that time on our own. It is essential that every mom seizes the opportunity to have some time away from her little ones to recharge, rejuvenate and refresh herself.

Here are some of the ‘me time’ ideas that we, as moms, should try to incorporate within our hectic schedules:

Girl’s night out:

No outings can beat those where you and the ladies meet for dinner, drinks or any other gathering. The laughs and chuckles you do together refresh a mom’s soul and help her relive the times when she was on her own, free of responsibilities, and mostly that she is surrounded by supportive friends. It is also a chance for women to share their experiences or frustration, express themselves and think out loud which has been scientifically proven to be very soothing and comforting for their wellbeing.

Indeed, the article written by Suzanne Braun Levine states that ‘research shows that when women are sharing an experience with other women, their bodies produce oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” because it is released in mothers when they’re nursing… our friends consistently elicit that warm glow, which feels good and soothes anxiety.’ (http://www.more.com/girlfriends-good-health-nextavenue)

girls night

Hit the gym:

For a busy mother with a hectic schedule, going for a run or hitting the gym may be daunting no matter how much you motivate yourself. There is always something else that can be done, some chore or errand to finish… However, being a sportive mom rejuvenates your energy by helping you blow off some steam, release stress and gain an optimistic attitude. After a session of jogging, aerobics or any other sportive activity you go back to your family feeling light, energetic and mostly happy. Like water, doing sports should be a crucial part of a mom’s lifestyle. If you have the possibility of having someone whom you trust to baby sit your children, it will be a bonus. If not, you can simply put your child in a stroller and have a vigorous walk around the neighbourhood. By doing so, both the mom and child will enjoy an outing and both will profit from it.

Remember, exercise releases chemicals called endorphins which are also known as the ‘happy hormones’! Happy moms are the best 🙂

gym image

A little shopping never hurt nobody (except the bank account):

I am sure many of you do agree that shopping makes a woman feel excited and motivated. There is this secret about it, and doing it from time to time revives your enthusiasm and reflects a positive approach on the outside as well. If you do not have the time to do so, one good way is to shop online or download applications of your favourite brands, where you can do some “screen shopping” and head directly to the store to buy your selected items.

In fact, science has also proven the health benefits related to shopping. Similar to sports, the ‘happy hormones’ endorphins are released during a woman’s shopping experience. Moreover, another study showed that dopamine, a chemical produced in the brain which will be released during pleasurable experiences, is also triggered!

Happy wife, happy life… right guys?

(http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/benefits-of-shopping)

shopping

Hang out with your better half:

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”

It is true that children require a lot of time and parenting consumes the days and nights without us being aware of it. However, as the famous Lebanese writer Gibran Khalil Gibran makes it clear that our children will soon leave the house and start their own lives. Making sure that both parents find a time for themselves helps them in building a blissful retirement together. Moreover, it will make you enjoy your role in being the cheerful and beloved wife as it keeps the sparkle between the two, makes you feel young again, and appreciate what you have achieved together.

 

dining image

Get a Mani-Pedi:

This is a tension relieving activity which can be done at home, if you do not have the time to go to a professional salon. Having your nails done with the hand and foot massage, highlights a woman’s femininity, relaxes you, and simply makes you feel better about yourself.

mani padi

Power nap:

Power naps boost a mom’s liveliness. It also helps in providing her with a radiant face. As the children are playing calmly with a puzzle, or any other toy, a mom can nap next to them and cleanse her fatigue away.

nap image

Have a book to read:

It is important to have some time where a mom indulgences herself in a good book. Reading keeps your mind sharp, gives you an idea of what is happening around you, or simply takes you into a fantasy world where you feel that you have broken your daily routine.

Yoga and Meditation:

A spiritual activity trains a person to become more patient, to accept struggles and conflicts and mainly to overcome them. In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington explains the importance of integrating meditation and mindfulness in our daily lives. She says: “There is more and more scientific evidence about the impact of mindfulness and meditation in our lives. The list of all the conditions that these practices impact for the better—depression, anxiety, heart disease, memory, aging, creativity—sounds like a label on snake oil from the 19th century! Except this cure-all is real, and there are no toxic side effects.”

yoga

 

Enjoy some ‘me time’ ladies and would love to hear what you do during that time. 🙂

Cake aux Olives Recipe

Having a variety of healthy snacks, remains an essential issue in our daily life. Now that the vacation is over and the children are back in school, I prepared this great and easy recipe for them to enjoy during recess. The interesting part about it is that it can be either baked as muffins or as a whole cake which you can cut it into slices later.

Ingredients:
4 small eggs
Pinch of salt, pepper, and ginger powder
1/2 cup of cooking oil
1 cup fresh milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200 grams diced olives and cut in circles
250 grams of luncheon meats (any type of your choice)
150 grams of Gruyere grated cheese

Method:
Beat the eggs very well along with the peppers.
Add the oil and continue mixing.
Pour in the milk.
Mix the flour and baking powder for 2 minutes.
Fold in the olives, cold cuts, and cheese.

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Spread in a greased rectangular pan or in a muffin tray. Make sure to have at least a piece of olive in each muffin.

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Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Serve warm or cold along with pickles.

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Enjoy!

NB: Personal pics and Internet

What Not To Tell Our Children

 

 

Many are the times when we say things to our children and regret it the minute these upsetting words come out of our mouths. Haven’t we been in situations where we feel we are acting exactly like our parents did to us, and we repeat the exact things which hurt us and annoyed us when we were young?

We are all humans who learn by trial and error what methods and ways we need to use in order to help our children become independent individuals who are characterized by high self-esteem. It is very normal to act in ways that might not be well and perfect with our children, and in my opinion I don’t think it is terrible. However, what I consider catastrophic is when we don’t do anything to change our defaults and have them transmitted to our children.

talking to child

Since it is a new year, and we are all filled with enthusiasm about changing bad habits, one of the good things we can work on is to consider the way we talk to our children. Here is a list of sentences which we should never say to our children and a few ways to avoid such situations.

“You do not know how to do this!

Children need to hear encouragement in order to reach their goals and become ambitious people. Cutting off on their abilities will make them hopeless dependent beings in the future. Being patient with our children until they complete a given task inspires them into seeking more accomplishments.

“Shut up!”

Personally, I cannot bear hearing these words said to anyone, so imagine my feelings if it addressed to children. I find it impolite and aggravating as it has the capability of shutting and cutting all connections with the child.

shut up

“People will make fun of you!

Even if we are prisoners to our own society, we should not let people decide for us. Teach your child to make his own choices as long as they are not harmful, neither to him nor to other people. They should not change their minds simply because they are afraid of people who might make fun of them.

bullying

“Why can’t you be like your sister/brother?”

Comparing siblings among each other develops jealousy. Have each child take credit for his own credentials and work on his weaknesses in the aim of becoming a better person for himself, his family, and the society.

“When I was your age…”

Comparing your child with yourself when you were his age sets high expectations which he cannot attain yet. Here, you are making it more difficult on the child as you show him that you are a perfect parent since you were still very small.

“Stop crying!

In eastern cultures, expressing one’s emotions is kind of shameful. Help your child cry when he feels the need to do so. After all, these emotions must be released in order to help the child learn how to cope with problems later on.

crying

“You are bad!

Instead of labelling your child’s personality as good or bad, have the focus on the behaviour instead. If you want to show that the child has done something terribly wrong, you could say, “What you have done to your baby brother hurts,” for example.  Make the child aware of his actions and help him find ways to correct them.

Hurry up!

We already live in a stressful environment and we are always booked with appointments and activities. Pushing your children on hurrying up, changes them into being worried and anxious beings. It is indeed difficult to maintain a composed manner when they are acting in such a slow conduct, but we need to remind ourselves that they are still unaware of deadlines and time management.

rush hour

“That is ridiculous to be upset for.

Children get upset on things that seem trivial to us. If we do not teach them to talk about their mishaps and fears, we teach them to develop a dark well of insecurities and inferior complexes.  Teach and train them into talking about what makes them sad, happy, anxious etc…

“I don’t care.”

Using this expression makes your child feel neglected, secluded, and doesn’t have your support. Thus, they will not come to you when they need help, because in their minds they believe that you actually don’t really care – and of course it is not the case.

“I wish I never had kids!

Sometimes parents get to the point where they wish they have been excluded of these duties and responsibilities as they might be overtired. However, even if you do have such feelings, try on not showing them because it takes a parent a few seconds to realize that children are treasures despite of all the trouble they cause.

“I have had enough of your lazy attitude!

If your child is lazy about any action or duty, and he hears you tell him that you are tired of him, he feels that he should preserve this attitude as you are reinforcing it. It devastates a child to know that his parents are tired of his weaknesses.

In contrast, try to take things in a positive way:

Stay focused on the problem:

Children always try to manipulate parents into power struggle in order to avoid carrying on a task which they do not want to do. “I hate you”, or “You are a bad mom”, are some examples that the child might say when he is angry. A good response would be, “We’re not talking about whether you love or hate me right now. What we’re talking about is you doing your homework. Let’s focus on that.” By doing so you focus on what needs to be done, and you do not let their words upset you or bring you down to their maturity level.

Act instead of talking:

Train yourself to realise that you have reached a point where you cannot stand it anymore, and you are about to blow out this mean attitude on them. You also know you will regret it after. Use these emotions as a sign to drop the whole thing and leave the room by stating clearly that you will discuss the problem once you have both calmed down.

Apologise for your behaviour and actions:

We have all been mean and said awful things to our children and sometimes we do it with bitterness. When anger is in control, things just fall apart. We are humans and we tend to do mistakes, especially when it comes to parenting. However, showing your children your regret teaches them how to apologise and forgive. You can simply say, “I am really sorry for what I have said. I did not mean to hurt you. It hurts me too. And never forgot that I love you.”

Observe your children’s attitude:

When your child is angry, his attitude is exactly as yours when you are in the same state. Take it as an indirect lesson for you to change if you do not really like what you see.

Have them play a game:

Instead of pushing them along to hurry up, to school for example, playing games is fun and helps your children finish on time. We vary the games from racing, to gathering points to winning imaginary medals. It works out for a few weeks, then they get bored with it and we need to look for new interesting ideas.

Say a mantra in your mind:

Repeating encouraging statements in your mind many times helps in establishing a calm setting in your mental state. This will have a positive effect on your outer reactions and attitude towards any difficulty. For example, “Keep calm”, “All is well”, “I can do it”, “Breathe”, etc…

mantra

We as parents are always on a scale ranging from a correct attitude to a wrong reaction while we are doing our job as parenting. We should not be frightened of the mistakes we do. In contrast, let us have them as a lesson to a new strategy. Finally, I wish you and myself the best of luck in the years to come hoping we are on the right track.

quote mistakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

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