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Kale, sweet potato and feta Muffins

I’m a kale-aholic. I usually make it into chips but have been experimenting with other recipes recently. I’ve been taking any spinach recipe and replacing spinach with kale. Not such a good idea as kale has a different taste. :/ Don’t get me wrong, some recipes have worked wonderfully some not so much. :/

A few days ago I found a kale muffin recipe on Betty Crocker’s website and tried it out last night. OMG!!! Immediate hit! Fabulous, perfect and sooo yummy!

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I made a few alterations to make it healthier:

- whole wheat flour
- skimmed milk
- lite feta
- light butter
- sprinkled parmesan on top of each muffin

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Next time I make some, I’m gonna add quinoa and chop my kale a bit more for better distribution of taste. :)

Parenting: Past vs. Present

Our generation nagged less and probably caused less trouble for our parents. Who am I kidding we must’ve nagged just as much but the way our parents dealt with it was totally different. We usually got the Look, the abrupt “stop it” that meant “do that again and I’ll make sure you get a good beating when we get home”, or the arm squeeze. That definitely put an end to our nagging at that point in time.

This generation’s parenting is more based on negotiation. So nagging is prolonged. Sometimes to the dislike of the parent and others for sure. But my belief is we are raising children who respect other’s feelings rather than being afraid of the punishment. Meaning “I will not nag because I know it is counterproductive” rather than “I will not nag because mom will punish me”.

Moreover sharing your own feelings with your children was the biggest taboo when we were kids. We never knew that our words and actions hurt my mom’s feelings. I have not hidden my tears from my kids and I let them know when I’m sad.

I’m not the perfect parent. I have my bad moments. But I try my best to learn from every situation. Understanding my children is my job. Knowing that I’ve expected too much off them is my shortfall not theirs. Admitting I’m wrong is an important part of raising children who will admit when they are wrong. I love my kids and hope they will be exemplary citizens not by falling in line as sheep but rather as independent considerate thinkers and doers.

How is Motherhood Treating You?

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Funny enough, I got asked about motherhood today and all those images flashed in my head! However, what came out was “we had an absolutely exhausting day yesterday. As we climbed up into bed at 10 o’clock, which is wayyyy past my kids’ bedtime of max 7, Oullie did something funny and then Mimi and I cracked up and I thought I love being a mom.” I wouldn’t trade all this for the world!

Dubai Ice Skating Rink Fun for the Whole Family

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We had a fabulous time at the Dubai Ice Skating Rink today. The entire experience was superb. First the ability to book in advance for the upcoming session. Then it was the amazing staff who were so helpful with our skates and teaching me how to use the locker.

I was so scared the first five minutes on the ice. I was literally hanging on to the edge for dear life. But then my own kids skated past me with their penguin pals and I thought “I can do this”. I eavesdropped on a staff giving her student some tips and I imitated. It wasn’t long before I was skating.

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Sam checked his jawbone for calorie burn and it was about 300 cals. That’s pretty grand for an hour of leisure skating. Can you imagine what it would be like if we were actually skating laps? :)

The real shocker was the staff on the ice. It was like they materialize out of thin air. As soon as one of the kids falls down, one of them would be there to assist the child stand up. Even staff who were in the middle of teaching a lesson would turn around and help a distressed child. It was simply amazing!

As we were picking up our shoes, one specific skate rental staff helped Oullie with not just his skates, but also his shoes! I was so impressed and so very thankful.

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Honestly, the staff made the whole experience even better than I would have ever imagined. I would really recommend this as a family activity. Totally worth it.

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Vacationing Footwear: Then and Now

I wonder if other moms feel this way. Before kids I used to pack the cutest shoes for vacationing. Who am I kidding?! Here I am again! I packed the cute shoes only to discover that my feet are killing me half way through the day.

So even though I thought these babies will be my go-to shoes, they didn’t make it on my feet for more than a couple of hours.

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It wasn’t long before I walked into a Nike store and got these babies :)

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Truth be told, I’m not a mellow walker. I’m always in a rush to get everywhere. Plus I walk A Lot! I don’t stop until my shoes truly and honestly give up. :D

Quick Weekend Breakfast

I love a good old pancakes, eggs or French toast breakfast, but those usually mean I’m at the stove flipping and serving while everyone else is eating. It also means by the time I’m done making what ever I’m making, everyone else is done eating and I end up eating on my own. :( Or if I make enough for everyone and make them wait to eat, we end up eating cold food :( So what’s the solution? Going out for breakfast. Yeah I can’t do they on a regular basis.

Then last week a friend posted this recipe on Facebook and I thought “this might be it!”

I made it last night and baked it this morning.

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It doesn’t taste as good as French toast, but hey it means sitting down and eating together as a family. :) So it’s a winner in my book :)

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Not the Conventional Cook

Despite what others say about me, especially the hubz, I love cooking. Really really love cooking. I can cook most traditional dishes… But I find them boring. They do not challenge me and that’s why I make them halfheartedly and they flop.

I’m an unconventional cook. I like to wing recipes, create new recipes based on just eyeballing the whole meal and pushing the limits of my tastebuds. This has ranked me as a non-cook because I don’t have the audience I had in university, namely my brother.

Maybe that’s where it all started. I learned to cook from my brother not my mom. He used to experiment with dishes himself and he was always up to trying whatever dish I had whipped up.

So yes by the traditional makes-rice-and-stew, sense, I’m not a cook. But by the OMG-where-did-you-think-that-up, I adore cooking.

This post was inspired by today’s dish: Mushroom Quinoatto ;)

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Valentine Crayons with Crayola

In an attempt to be more valentine-y, the kids and I made heart shaped crayons this year. The idea was given to me by whatskickin on Instagram. A bit of research got me to this fabulous site that has a DIY tutorial.

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The first attempt was a flop. They were too thin. :/

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So I melted more crayons then dropped the thin shaped ones on top to make fatter hearts.

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With just one mold I had to wait between making batches. Which was uber frustrating.

Moreover, you’d think your old crayons would do the trick and be enough. Sadly, you’ll be very mistaken. I literally used every single crayon we had in our household. I even went thru my purses for strays. But they weren’t enough! I had to go out and buy a whole entire box of 24 crayons to make the last 16 hearts. I guess that’s the down side of having two kids and having to make 42 crayons :D

The end result was totally worth it. They came out beautifully. What a much more practical gift on valentine’s day :)

I dropped one in a heart printed bag with a handwritten “Happy Valentine” and we were good to go. Blue bags for Oullie’s class and pink for Mimi’s.

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Getting Workouts Back on Track

It’s been over a month without workouts. I’ve been coming up with the lamest excuses. Things like but I can’t exert myself, I have to take it easy, a 10min workout is pointless, we’re going out and I have to get ready… Blah blah blah.

Saturday I forced myself to workout regardless of what we had planned that morning. Yes it threw our plans off by half an hour and I huffed and puffed thru the entire workout… But I must say I was happy I did it.

I usually do at least a 45min Octane workout (cardio) at level 8 with an 82-85 speed and burn between 500-600cals. Because I had to take it easy, I did 25mins at level 4 with a 60 speed. I felt like an injured bird that can’t fly. I just wanted to go at the machine like there was no tomorrow but I couldn’t. :”( The result was a mere 180cal burn. I wanted to cry.

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Two choices here: I live with the current low cal burn or I cry about it and not do it. I opt for the first choice. It’s not much but it’s a start.

Yesterday I did Zumba and today in an attempt to ward off the soreness that’s bound to happen, I jumped on the Octane again for 20mins. :)

This is my purpose

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This is what I was created for

It’s quite shocking how the simplest things leave me speechless and fill my heart with happiness. In the midst of a birthday party, Oullie put his head down on my lap and I was reminded my life is complete. Every sleepless night, tantrum, hurdle withers away. You are my joy and my pain. I want to hold you till the end of time.