Ripe Food and Craft Market

pic1

Who does not enjoy the gleaming outdoors, the quintessential fragrance of lavender, delightful culinary flavors and textures of artisan crafts and unusual finds? My Easter weekend was well spent with family and friends strolling in the sunshine, browsing the stalls and enjoying a variety of flavorful bites at the Ripe Food and Craft market. There is something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

The Ripe Food and Craft market, Under the Patronage of the Dubai Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, is nestled in the heart of the city of Dubai in the picturesque Zabeel Park. It swings into action on a weekend and has developed a great reputation for its bustling atmosphere. Kicking off at 9am on an Arabian Friday Weekend, it features locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, delicious grab-and -go -grub, handmade crafts, arts, jewelry and other exciting merchandise. There are plenty of options to keep the kids entertained ranging from the lush outdoors to a petting zoo and carriage rides. The market offers you an array of cuisine, which spans from local delights to an international selection of scrumptious bites. As I browsed around, I found myself in conversation with a few of the participating artisans and crafters and I soon realized some amazing talents surround me. Here is a glimpse of my favorite stands.

pic2pics

2pic3

 

In all honesty, I walked in expecting very little from a farmers and craft market set in Dubai but I have to admit I walked out in awe, feeling pleasantly surprised with all of the creativity displayed in this market. With the Ripe market bursting onto the artisan and the gastro scene in Dubai, it finally signals to the community that there is more to life in this urban domain than the luxurious haute couture and the dazzling fine dining extravaganza.

 

0

Little boys are little wonders

little wonders

I grew up believing I was a little princess and someday I would find my Prince charming and would be teeming with delightful little ones. I saw myself dressing little princesses in floral cottage dresses and cascading their hair with the perfect bow clips and fascinators. I dreamed of our colossal Christmas table where my girls and I would prepare the most delectable dishes and entertain with finesse. I envisioned teaching them how to accessories clothing and how to decorate a home. Oh the joys of being a girl!

In reality there are many days I feel like a princess trapped in a castle surrounded by hooligans and testosterones. Please do not misunderstand my ramblings. I love and adore my boys and I am ever grateful for them. There is not a chance in a million years that I would ever trade them for any other. However I never imagined of having to live in a house full of monkeys bouncing off stairs, beds and kitchen platforms and who care very little about equilibrium and balance. As for myself this princess of poise is caught very often-screaming “seat-up, seat-down, flush, wash, boogers on tissue not on t-shirt, dirty feet’s off couch”. When I finally sit down I find myself giving them a class on decorum of how they should not be running around naked screaming words like, ‘butt and fart’. My shopping list involves kids body wash and kids toothpaste on every trip. You can imagine why. As a mother who monitors the cartoons my kids watch, I am still trying to get my head around to understand why does a hanger turn into a gun, a balloon into a bomb and a spatula into a sword. What is so fascinating about battles and wars as opposed to doll houses that involves nurturing and loom bands that involve creativity. I look at the limitless energy my boys have and think; I have in my home the answer, the source to our world ‘s energy crisis. Some days can be relentless, overwhelming and exhausting. I tell myself “Breathe in and breathe out” and I say a little prayer and hope that I am gifted every day with a little more portion of patience.

I was that person who went through the throbbing pain of miscarriages and childlessness. I was that person who cried to God to bless me with a child. I would give up anything for this mischief, fun and laughter. So does any of this justify my grievance and annoyance? I agree it is not possible to enjoy every moment. Especially as a mother of little boys you need to be endowed with constant supply of energy and motivation. There may be days I may not enjoy and treasure every moment but I have decided that I will enjoy my boys. I have resolved to lay down standards of raising them that are not measurable. I am determined to refrain from saturating my mind with the infinite legions of instructions that the world has to offer on raising ‘proper organic children’.

There are a few things I have learned in my trek of raising boys and  am beginning to recognize is universal truth.

  1. Boys are born to explore. So quit trying to contain their energy.
  2. Boys are created as boys so they will be boisterous and often messy. Get used to noise and dirt. Teach them where and when it is appropriate to indulge in ‘dirt art’ as I call it and to be loud and noisy.
  3. Boys enjoy being funny. Polish your sense of humor and laugh along with them.
  4. Boys do not multitask just like men do not. So stop screaming out endless lists such as tidy up, change into PJ’s, brush your teeth and into bed. Learn to give one instruction at a time and follow up. Oh, did I mention not to forget praising them for a job well done. They love it.
  5. Boys love to be loved. They may not always be expressive but they sure love it when you spent time with them, when you attempt to answer the trillion questions they shoot out, and when you put them to bed with cuddles and kisses.

Little boys are little wonders

Little boys are little wonders, filled with charm, and joy they render.

Two small arms and tiny fingers, someday they’ll stand tall and conquer.

With power packed like fire crackers, they are messy with their cars and tractors.

They hide in bushes, swing on trees, they are hard to find but they are one of a kind.

They are every mothers dream come true; cherish every bear hug as they shout out ‘I love you’.

Sneha Cherian

 

 

 

11

A call to India’s Fathers and Mothers

In the wake of India’s Rape tragedies as I sat down to read the numerous articles written on the incidents and after watching BBC’s controversial ‘India’s Daughter’ I questioned, Why do individuals stoop down to become bloodthirsty unbridled vipers? Loathing over the state of our nation and admonishing the crimes is an easier path to protest, but it will never bring about a sustainable change. As responsible citizens and as India’s fathers and mothers, what can we do to make a difference? How do we preserve the sanctity of our daughter’s life’s and woman’s rights?

I am India’s daughter and I am proud of my origins but not of India’s shame. There is a little bit more of an Indian in me, hence it drives me furious and causes pain when a fellow Indian daughter is wronged. My first reaction to all these incidents was to castrate the rapists. Then I questioned my way of thinking and realized that capital punishment or castration just does not cut it. It instills fear to a certain extend but it will not stop the growth of the many sick minds breeding in our societies committing such crimes. This needs to be nipped at the bud. When you hear of all these men who committed these ruthless crimes you often wonder what lead them to this stage. A common thread in all of this- the Family and the environment in which they grew. Most of these individuals who are involved in these barbaric cannibal acts have not been raised in secure homes with a strong role model. They have been deprived of quality love and security. This explains the reason why they naturally gravitate towards evil.

In our society a woman often wades through sexual battles starting from her home and her surroundings. It comes as no surprise that rape statistics in our country proves that there are a rising number of female and child victims than male victims. Ever wondered why you do not hear about men being raped in a bus by women or in their homes by aunties. These prevalent ruthless incidents are resulted by a mindset reinforced by a society or culture that believes men dominate and women are objects of inferior status. This is a sickness that needs to be eradicated with just as much focus given as the nation did for the Polio eradication program. The very first step to deploy a strategy of eradication begins at every Indian home.

I grew up in my home where my father was never overbearing but modeled love and respectful behavior towards my mother and myself. There was no distinction as a daughter, I am celebrated in my home and given equal opportunities as my brother. Growing in a culture of respect and equality has definitely paid off well to mold my brother’s character. I have noticed in various occasions how my brother treats his women friends with courtesy and how he displays old-fashioned chivalry and values such as stepping aside so a woman goes first. I am a mother of 3 growing boys and in my home my husband and I are committed to our in-house project called ‘Rearing Gentlemen’. When one of our boys makes even the slightest playful gesture and hits a girl,  my husband and I are quick to correct and to reiterate that it was a shameful move and they should remember to behave as gentlemen.

I call out to every Indian mother and father to nurture a generation of boys that will tear down this rape culture. These little boys are the father’s and the protectors of the future. Foster knowledge in them of the value of empathy, kindness, compassion, respect and honor towards every human being irrespective of gender, color and social status.

Instill in them that the strong takes care of the weak and to be brave is to have a voice for the voiceless. This is the mark of a ‘Masculine Man’. In our nation it calls for the primary institution of ‘Family’ to mold boys into men and guardians of our future. This is the first step to a sustainable change. Rise up India’s Father’s and Mother’s to this call of duty.

 

21

Green Smoothie lifestyle

 

smoothie

Time to give thought to ‘Healthy’- Give Green smoothies a try. It is the best fast food you can ever down. With a preparation time of under 10 minutes, it is packed with the goodness of  leafy greens and fruits. It aids in boosting your immune system, increases your energy, packed with anti-oxidants and helps with weight loss. It’s yummylicious and guaranteed to make you insanely addicted.

Ingredients

2 cups of fresh or frozen Spinach
2 cups of Papaya
1 cup mango
1/2  cup Celery
6-7 blueberries
2 cm piece of ginger
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon Linseed
1 tablespoon  honey (optional)

Preparation

Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Sit back sip and enjoy some power packed green infusion.

 

 

*Disclaimer: I am one who enjoys creative, healthy cooking. My family table is a place of comfort, nourishment and satisfaction. My past work experience qualified me to be a service trainer for a leading International airline assessing service rendered in fine dining environments. I am not a chef and have no formal eduction in food preparation, food writing or food photography. Everything I write  is from my own experience. I  love to help women in all walks of life create a healthy lifestyle and enjoy an abundant life in every area.

 

 

0

Spiced Banana Berries Smoothie

picstitch

Ingredients

2 bananas
4-5 strawberries and a small hand-full blueberries ( use your choice of mixed berries)
1 cup low-fat flavored yogurt (strawberry or blueberry)
3/4 cup skimmed milk
1/4 cup crushed ice
1 -2 tablespoon  honey (optional)
2 cloves, 1/2 a tsp nutmeg powder and 1/2 a tsp cinnamon poder

Preparation

Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Garnish with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg powder. Serve immediately.

0

Fried Veggies and Quinoa

IMG_6853
INGREDIENTS
  •  1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 Tsp sesame oil
  •  2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • A small hand full of sliced carrots, beans and mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (more or less to taste. I add less if i am serving children)
  • 1 teaspoon Oyster sauce
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a bowl cook 1 cup Quinoa with 2 cups of water and set aside
  2. Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Pour sesame oil in the bottom. Add garlic and saute a few seconds. Then add carrots, beans and mushrooms and fry until tender but not soft. carrots should still be in texture to bite into
  3. Add the sauces and some ground pepper
  4. Add the cooked Quinoa to the veggies. Stir and fry the  mixture until heated through and combined. If you like it spicy add some chilly sauce to this. Enjoy some healthy goodness.
0

A bowl of easy and healthy

salad                                                                             

Our family is on a detoxing mode after the holidays. It is not dieting I am talking about and not skipping meals either. It is all about adding the right ingredients and removing the wrong ones from your daily diet. I eat though the day, trust me on this one. My big discovery to staying fit and lean: DO NOT SKIP MEALS, WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT SMALL PORTIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. MOVE AROUND AND WALK, WALK, WALK! THIS KEEPS YOUR METABOLISM ON HIGH. YOU EAT THROUGH THE DAY AND BURN ALL YOU EAT.

Our January plan:

1. My children have home cooked meals through the week and on the weekends we give them their fast food choices. We are limiting fast food to: once a week a happy meal. If you skip it, get more HAPPY..a happy treat like playing in a play area/park for longer or a movie date. Yay!!

2. We are including more fruits and veggies to our meals. So everyone eats a bowl of fruits for breakfast and bowl of salad with dinner.

3. Each member right up to our youngest have our own bottle of water and have to go through 2 refills minimum a day.

4. We have increased our intake of dried fruits and nuts. Our children love, love, love it! and so do we :)

Sneha’s super-easy tangy mixed salad recipe.

  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 to 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a red thai chilly finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup capsicum (Green large pepper) chopped in fine squares
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
s
  • A small bunch of fresh cilantro or coriander leaf finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 
Lime juice from 1 or 2 lime squeezed
  • Pinch of salt, brown sugar and pepper
 according to taste
  • A tinge of chilly sauce to add the kick

Simply mix everything together for a yummy flavorful salad !

Another version of the same kind of salad is

 super-easy tangy grated salad recipe.

  • 1/2 a red thai chilly finely sliced
  • A small bunch of fresh cilantro or coriander leaf, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime juice from 1 or 2 lime squeezed
  • Pinch of salt, brown sugar and pepper
 according to taste
  • 1 carrots grated fine using hand grater (thin long)
  • 1 cucumber grated fine (thin long)
  • 1 Raw mango grated fine (thin long)

    Simply mix everything together for a delightful tangy goodness !

 

1

Make room for the meaningful and let go of the vain

A New Year is here. It is that time of the year yet again to embrace change. We are optimistic people intrigued and looking forward to what the future holds. This new year I challenge my readers to embark on a journey which leads to a meaningful life. Are you set about to transform your life from fear to one grounded in confidence, from lack to living content, from anxiety to finding peace, from depressed to rooted in joy. If you are on a pursuit to happiness and good living then there are a few important questions you need to answer. Firstly, what are the foundations for how you live and the decisions you make? If you have an answer to this, and conviction to back the answer then you have found yourself meaning to live. The next question would be how are you fulfilling your purpose to this meaningful life?

This New Year I have decided not to chase after resolutions but to live by principles my best life, giving it my best. The first principle being I am created with a purpose to glorify my creator, so no matter what I do, let it all be done reflecting the greatest light. I am going to be authentic with no strings attached and no masks to fall behind. I will remember to love someone who is hostile and  who has wronged me and practice love when it is the hardest. I will choose to celebrate the life I live and remain content and remember not to compare. I will be intentional about investing my time to nurture my family and relationships. I will practice a culture of appreciation and bury up the urge to judge. I will veer away from negative thoughts and surround myself with abundant life. I will dust off disappointments and honor my beliefs by pressing on and conquering. I will live to inspire through my words and deeds.

This New Year I am out to live an unconventional life, a life beyond normal, a life filled with meaning and purpose, the life I was called to live. I invite you to discover a new life, a life worth living and a life worth dying for. Make room for the meaningful and let go of the vain.

2

A mom’s Review- Fun City Dubai

As a mom of 3 kids aged 5 and under I have trawled through Dubai’s myriad of play areas to find a suitable one, where I could let my kids run around and burn off some steam. As for myself what I look for in a play area is a place that combines fun, safety and affordability. This weekend I enjoyed a play date with some of the C2B mommies and kids at ‘Fun City’ in Arabian Center, Mirdif. This Play area is worth a drive if you have never been. It is packed with high fun factor with a variety of play features. It is set in many locations in Dubai city, nestled within accessible shopping malls. Many of the features are similar to other play areas, but with a definite twist. My kids got excited the most over games that awarded tickets when you play and the redemption area with exciting prizes. This facility has entertainment geared for children of all ages, including an enclosed padded area for toddlers. My 2-year-old son loved it too and was able to keep up with his 5-year-old brother. Entry is on a card system basis, which gives accessibility to any of their play areas without having to register every time. To make the most of the card buy higher credit and be awarded with more points.

Features:

Video games, art and craft zone, Fun and learn zones, Soft play area and gym with climbing features, entertaining rides, party hall and games that give redemption tickets.

What’s Great:

* Friendly staff

* Safety and sanitation protocols in place

* Affordable and accessible.

* Variety of play options

* Suitable for different genders and different age groups

What’s not:

* Prices are not inclusive for art.

Verdict : 4.5 (out of 5)

Overall this indoor play area is guaranteed to capture the curiosity of your toddlers while it provides a one-stop-shop entertainment for your older sparks.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was invited to check out Fun City for the purpose of this review. All content and comments are based on my own opinion and was not influenced by any external factors.

 

 

0

Powered by Wordpress