in pictures. A day out to the Science Museum with kids.

We celebrated Kabir’s birthday this year on a Saturday, a day before his actual birthday with a big party for all friends and family! A fun reptile theme for my reptile lover. Will do a post of our DIY birthday party soon!!

On Sunday, his actual birthday, we wanted to celebrate with just us, doing something he’d enjoy. So while looking around for things to do around Bangalore that he’d like (instead of heading out to the mall to play games again), we found the Science Museum near Cubbon Park. While Cubbon Park we frequent at least once a month, the museum was still unexplored.

In the end we finally didn’t make it that day. After a lovely brunch at one of the birthday boys favourite restaurant, Smoke House Grill, we headed back home. Considering we had to be back early to get him to revise for his year end school assessments.

But we did make it a point to go the weekend after.

So after a early lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Again chosen cos he loves his burger! But frankly we were a little disappointed, the place isn’t quite what it used to be. While the staff was very courteous and playful with both the boys. It seems to be missing it’s old vibe. Would definitely pick Smoke House given a choice between the two, the next time.

On Kabir-shirt & shorts-H&M; shoes- Adidas Originals
On Ranbir-shirt & shoes- Zara kids; shorts-H&M;
On me- Pleated skirt-H&M; crochet lace top- Zara Woman; bag- Coach; Sunglasses- Urban Outfitters

Another reason we chose to go to Hard Rock was cos the Science Museum is just a short walk away. That’s something I miss so much here in India. Walking on the road. While in Europe for work or leisure….I walk and walk and I love it! For that matter even Shanghai and Hong Kong. In India, however it’s a luxury. Owing to bad infrastructure. Poorly maintained footpaths and the pollution. But… there are still some places where you can.

And the walk till the Museum was quite pleasant and refreshing.

After a 10-15 minute walk, we reached the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum.

The entry ticket is 50 Rupees per person and it is open from 10am-6pm.

The first floor was what Kabir enjoyed the most with fun activities and interactive set-up. The Fun Science section. The lower floor had a special exhibit of the Wright brother’s aeroplane along with the Engine Hall.

Even the little one was entertained by the machines and loved looking at his big brother doing things with them!

We also went for a short 3D movie which you have to pay for separately. While Ranbir got too restless and refused to sit through the show(daddy stepped out with him mid-way) , Kabir really enjoyed the shark and other fish coming right at him!

Some of the favourite things were the whispering circle, magic mirror, the vortex, coloured shadows and more!

All in all a day well spent. And I’d highly recommend a visit. It’s a refreshing change when struggling to find things to do around Bangalore with kids. Just make sure you are carrying enough water and stay hydrated. The building isn’t air conditioned and it can get quite warm, specially now in the summer. Also, we didn’t explore the entire space as the kids were already getting worn out. And we didn’t want to stress unnecessarily. Thought better to leave something for our next visit!

Advertisements

in pictures. cooking and baking with my sous chef..and The chocolate cake…

On weekends, when the house is quiet, we bake. (Provided we have all the ingredients at home!😄) My sous chef being my  4 year old son. “Mamma can I …?” “I want to break the egg!” A happy mess of flour and sticky hands. Standing next to me on a stool pulled up to the work surface. 

From when he was barely able to walk, he’s been around me when I’m cooking in the kitchen. Then, I would hand him a few veggies in a pan and hand him a spatula. And he’d be happily cooking away 🙂

Now he demands to be a part of the process! I’m going to do it…And so, I take his hands and I try and teach him to break an egg and mix and fold. His favourite part being licking off the leftover batter 😄 And then he waits patiently for the cake to get done! 

So finally here goes the recipe for my go to chocolate cake..made special by all these times that we’ve baked it together and then gorged it together! And ofcourse the…”mmmmmmmm…. Mamma it’s yummy!!” “You are the best!”
After experimenting with a few recipes, this one is pretty much fool proof. 🙂 

The Best Chocolate Cake

The Chocolate Cake combines cocoa and coffee to create a chocolate lover’s dream. A simple ganache recipe to top it makes it perfect!

This cake is dark, moist, rich and incredibly decadent! 
The Best Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar (I like my cake less sweet, you can add more if you prefer)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Hershey’s or Cadburys work great. 

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea-salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup strong black coffee (I use nespresso pods)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (purer the better)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (Or simply use a size you have, you can cut in half after its cool and frost as you desire.) Set aside.

In the bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sieve the cocoa and flour, so it has no lumps. Mix with a spoon, until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.

In another bowl mix the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; slowly add the dry ingredients and beat again. The batter will be thin.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Frost as desired. This cake pairs beautifully with a simple chocolate ganache. You can also do a chocolate butter cream frosting if you prefer!

So there it is…for all those I promised the recipe to:) Try it and let me know! 😘

a lil note. first international trip as a family.

Its been a while. Some bit of laziness as usual. A lot of travel. Work and play. And life in general!

Almost 4 months back now, we went on our first international trip together as a family.First ever for Kabir. And first time both for me and Sapan to the U.S. Was a great break despite the hardships of traveling with a three year old. I think both Sapan and me got a few extra grey hair. And Sapan ended up working out more in the fortnight we were there than he has in the last few months back at home! 😀 Carrying around Kabir when he was just too tired to walk, like on a hike in the Shenandoah National Park. Or when he was just too cranky and sleepy to sit on the stroller (specially bought to survive NY!). It was an adventure through and through. Driving around the beautiful landscapes of the U.S. Seeing picture perfect towns and gingerbread houses! And spending quality time with my sister after what felt like years. The last few times we met each other was for weddings! Mine, then hers and then our brothers! A great time to have a lot of fun but never a good time to just catch up!



 Kabir of course had a blast. From meeting minions ( who he really believed were the real things) at a drive in theater to riding the waves at Virginia beach. His expression when he saw The HULK at Madame Tussaud was of absolute awe! He clung on to his feet, throwing the biggest tantrum when we tried to peel him away to let others take pictures. He just wanted to stay with Hulk…that’s all! and at such times, there is no reason or logic that you can use to make them understand. To him it was simple, I want to stay with Hulk. I don’t want to go anywhere else. So we ended up with a set of frustrated parents and a crying toddler.

We packed in so much in the 2 weeks we were there, Bethlehem-Boston-Cape Cod- Martha’s Vinyard-Bethlehem- VYC- Virginia Beach-Shenandoah National- Park- Bethlehem. Would have been unimaginable without the days of pre-planning with my sister and bro in law. Figuring itineraries, booking hotels …all adding in to the anticipation of the trip. And it did not not disappoint. It wasn’t the conventional itinerary for a first visit to the U.S. With no Niagara Falls or D.C. in the picture, but we had no regrets!

One of the many memorable moments from the trip was the evening at the Shenandoah National Park. Even with a three year old who isn’t used to walking much and a very pregnant, mommy to be, we managed to do one of the hikes. After almost turning around a couple of times, we finally made it to the summit and it was completely worth it! The view was amazing!!! A true”top of the world” feeling! And then a lovely dinner at the resort with a live country singer. Thanks to him, I now know that John Denver wrote the song “Country roads” about Virginia, Shenandoah and the blue ridge mountains which we were admiring minutes before. Sitting there amidst the sun setting behind the blue mountains and singing “country roads” along with the country singer. The evening was nothing short of magical!


  
Walking down the Brooklyn bridge on a hot morning, taking the boat to the Statue of Liberty while it started raining, enjoying multiple rides on the carrousel in Bryant Park, looking at dinosaur bones in Museum of Natural History, soaking in the view from the Empire State Building, getting stranded in Soho in a downpour, taking in the lights, sounds and madness of Times Square. We did it all in New York!


  

  
So many happy memories made and tons of lovely pictures collected. To browse through years later, on a cold afternoon on the sofa with big cup of hot chocolate and reminisce. And now the next time round we will have a plus one among us in the US!! Kabir will get to be the big brother to his lil baby cousin! Here’s to many many more travels and adventures ahead.

A lil trailer of our fun vacation! A very amateur lil clip made on iMovie…excuse me for it but it’s a first!🙈🙈🙈

in pictures. first time at the movies.

So we avoided taking Kabir to the movies for all of his 3 years. Something about his super restless nature, which keeps him from sitting still even for 5 minutes had a lot to do with it! All the times Sapan and me were at the movies( before Kabir!) , we cursed the parents who brought their tiny-tots along. “How can they torture their kids like this…just because they can’t do without watching a movie!” ” I mean are kids even allowed in here for this rating!” And so on…So well,we kind of gave up on movies in the theater. Something we loved doing before. And it was alright really…we saw them still, but a tad bit late and from the comfort of our home when our lil man finally did decided to call it a night and mummy and daddy still had enough energy left after the day!

A couple of times before we thought of taking him for a “kids” animation movie. “You think he’ll sit still long enough now?” ” Will this movie engage him enough?!” So finally the week before last, (I know..I am super lazy with my blog posts!) when Sapan was traveling to Delhi and I had a few night outs partying by myself, with Kabir at home with the nanny. I decided to be brave and take him for his first movie experience in a theater. The movie of choice..Inside Out! The guilt of having left him alone pushed me to it too…

And I am glad I did! Having a movie hall right beside my place of work, makes the logistics a teeny bit easier. Having arranged a cab for the nanny to bring him over to Mamma’s office and pre-bought tickets in my lunch break. We were all set! The excitement on his face when he got off the cab and realized I am there waiting was priceless!

Reached just in time with a huge tub of pop-corn for him and spicy nachos for me. The fact that it was a 3D movie, made things a lil difficult, considering how Kabir hates any sort of accessory on himself. No hat, cap..glasses…much to my dismay! I buy and buy and he just puts them aside, other than few fleeting moments at times when the hat stays on his head just long enough for me to take a picture!

So well, first the glasses came off. Thankfully the movie still made sense without! And then he wanted to run down from the aisle in the dark just to explore around, when Riley and her emotions couldn’t hold his attention!

But then moments like when a tiny animated dinosaur came up on the screen and my lil monkey made a “Raaaaarrrrrr” sound loud enough for the entire hall to hear :P,  when he complained to me in a rather loud voice…”Mamma, didi is taking all of the pop-corns, tell her to take only one!” more than made up for it all! Oh and he totally take on after his daddy in the pop-corn department!!! He ate and ate and then was too full for dinner…it’s like deja vu all over! 😛

Was hilarious when the scene where the lil imaginary elephant is trying to help “Joy” out so she can go save Riley came on. Kabir wasn’t very impressed with the fact that he broke the scooter…”Mamma, see he broke his scooter!” :* Not caring if it was an announcement he was making to everyone in the hall!

The movie I loved, maybe a tad bit grown up in its concept for my three year old, but he still enjoyed it. The movie beautifully just puts forth the fact that its ok to be sad…For those who haven’t seen it or read much about it, here’s a synopsis: A little girl named Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents and has a hard time adjusting to this big change. And also figure how she’s supposed to feel about it. But the movie isn’t about this move, or even about Riley herself. It’s about her feelings- each of them assigned a unique character. A chirpy lil girl in lemon yellow is joy, a sad faced short blue one is sadness, purple scrawly one is fear, a green diva is disgust and a stout guy looking like he’s dressed for work in red, is of course anger!

It’s been a while and I don;t even know if its playing anymore…but go see it if it is. Or rent the movie…specially if you have a 10-11 year old wondering how to cope with change!

So till the next one…with daddy this time! Enjoy the movies!!! 🙂

P.S. I even managed to take Kabir grocery shopping after! Pat on my back!😄

 
  
  
On Kabir

Shirt-H&M kids

Jeans & shoes-Zara kids

a lil note. versatile blogger.

versatile-blogger

It’s so nice to be nominated for “The versatile blogger” award by fellow blogger and mommy! Check out her lovely blog RunningafterAle about her…. well running after her hyperactive toddler! Her writing is heratfelt and honest and there are so many things I relate too so well. Cos basically no matter which continent, city across the globe you live in…Boys will be boys!

Here are the guidelines for the Versatile Blogger Award:
1- Show the award on your blog.
2- Thank the person who nominated you.
3- Share seven facts about yourself.
4- Nominate 15 blogs. – I am only nominating 4 now..
5-Link your nominee’s blogs and comment on their blogs giving them the good news!

Seven Facts

1. My Mom and son’s birthday are 4 days apart! And that makes me super happy…

2. I love driving. Its my stress buster.

3. I love food. Cooking and eating! And I am so happy that Kabir has turned out to be quite the foodie himself!

4. I am a light sleeper and can’t fall asleep till all lights are shut and noises down. My husband the exact opposite which makes me very envious!

5. I speak French and Italian. Not so well anymore though…

6. I get bored easily. I am great multi- tasker!

7. I would love to have a pet dog someday!

My Nominations

To my nominees- you don’t have to post this on your blog if you don’t want to. No obligation. Its really just a pay it forward- I just really like your blog. Cheers!

1. ThisisMotherhood– A Mommy blog by Britta, who lives in a farmhouse, in Vermont with her husband and 3 year old son. She’s a lovely writer and I really enjoy reading her posts!

2. RunningafterAle– Back at you…:)

3. Oh,hellofriend– A lovely blog I have been following for a while now. Danni is super creative and very inspiring. She’s moved on to spend more time on her online store now. Check it out.

4. OhJoy– Another joyful blog full of lovely inspiration and pretty things! Food, DIY’s …all things I love!