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Diwali vibes

Diwali is round the corner and it’s time to shake the lockdown fatigue and welcome some well deserved cheer. Restrictions in Melbourne have eased at the right time too. We were invited to a Diwali celebration last night and that put us all in a festive mood.

I am still waiting for my Diwali-in-a-box from my dad & sister thanks to quarantine delays, it’s time to put on my adult hat on and bring some festive furor in my little home with little touches of decoration here and there, massive decluttering & yelling at everyone to help clean( I am not very popular right now) and of course preparing traditional treats – Diwalicha Faral . Faral is a mix of sweet and savoury snacks prepared lovingly at home.

I grew up in a traditional Maharashtrian home and the delicious aroma of besan & ghee roasting wafting from the kitchen signalled that Diwali was here. I remember my mom and grandmother roasting 1-2 kgs of besan in a massive kadhai(wok) till their arms were about to fall off and then roll the laddus till their fingers were aching . There were big steel dabbas ( calling a dabba canister just doesn’t invoke those happy memories 😄) filled to the brim with laddus that we would sneak around to get our hands into.

I had shared this recipe a few years ago, sharing again, if you want to attempt it.

This morning, MsA’s smile when I told her what I was cooking reminded me of my own joy as a child. However, this time I had a little help from my newest kitchen toy, my Thermomix. The girls have named her Therma 😊 Therma did all the roasting for me & then I roasted the besan & ghee mix in the pan for another 5 minutes to get the colour of my choice.

MsAn bantered on about how she doesn’t like laddu & I only cook what MsA likes. She wants Gulab Jamun. I have challenged myself to make some now – of course you will hear about it whether it’s a success or a failure 😄

For now, my house smells beautiful.. Diwali vibes are on. Roasted besan, cardamom, incense… and my heart is happy! I hope to share some more recipes over the next couple of days 🙂

Happy Diwali, you guys ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Hello

Helloooo world!

I have a day off today and had big plans to study but spent most of my morning hanging out in my room, staying out of the way of those who are studying and working. I had Mr.Mowgli for company and used my time wisely to make some phone calls that were long overdue .

And now, it’s lunch time, I made myself a cup of packet soup (Asian Laksa, in case you are curious) and decided to settle down for some studying. But one child is using my laptop and another has occupied my office. I could use the work tablet to sign in but I try to keep work and school separate, so here I am 😊 Just stopping by to say hello and document a few things.

So, we are in Lockdown 6.0 – it seems never ending and COVID fatigue or Lockdown fatigue has kicked in big time. It’s knocked me out for the sixes that’s for sure. The girls are unhappy about logging in from home as well. The only person that seems unaffected is SP. But, then he is an introvert and was also used to this style of working pre-COVID.

Don’t worry, this post is not going to be all doom and gloom. Today is a bright sunny day and that’s making me smile. Last week I also started a new role professionally. And that is super exciting too. The only downer is that I had to do an online handover for the last role and do my own onboarding online. But my new team leader is lovely and set me up for one on one with all the members of the team through out the week, so that was nice.

Usually on my day off, I am bustling around in the kitchen doing the laundry and any other mundane tasks that are pending from the week/weekend. Today, I just decided to give myself a break . And now I am trying to beat the iPad that has 15% battery left, to finish this post.

Today reminds me of the time when I was a 20-something newly wed, living in Toronto or a suburban American town, not a care in the world. I would wake up, make myself a cup of tea and log in to chat with friends and family in India, write a blog post ( although I do regret not starting a blog in those early years) ,craft, watch a movie, go to the library- you get the idea. But obviously, that’s not an option now..working full time, having kids mean more responsibilities. But, every now and again,having a day like this helps.

SP took a photo of MrMowgli and me this morning:) sharing it here to remind myself to take a break every now and again 🙂

MsAn has returned my laptop, so I should try and get some studying done before they finish school for the day. Also in the time that it took me write this post, with interruptions, the weather has changed from sunny to cloudy and there was a quick hail shower too – that’s Melbourne weather for you. But my mood is cheery now 🙂

If you are reading this, do stop and say hi 🙂

❤️ Trish

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Stress cooking is a real thing.

Today was a long day at work- long meetings, lot of firefighting behind the screens and I was exhausted by the time I logged off. I told the husband to order pizza and I was going to sit on the couch and stare at my phone. Another work call and I decided to cook- to unwind.

I love the rhythm of slicing and dicing, the mixing of spices, marinades and finally watching it all come together. Tonight I cooked besan wali Capsicum & a quick kadhai paneer with daal fry and steamed rice.

Quick paneer kadhai recipe :

Marinate paneer cubes with yogurt, Chili powder,coriander powder, Kasuri methi and salt. Keep it aside for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a pan toss in diced onions and capsicum – cook for 2 minutes, dump the marinated paneer in the pan and let it sizzle. Lower the flame, add a little water, cover and cook on low flame for another 2-3 minutes. This whole dish took me about 15-20 minutes from start to finish.

While the paneer was getting cooked, I chopped the onions for my daal fry , while talking to my dad and seasoned the daal- burnt the onions a little accidentally but in the end that made the daal tastier.

While the daal was simmering away, I sliced up the red & yellow capsicums for ‘besan wali capsicum’ .

My mom used to cook it for our school lunches and I have finally mastered it.

For this dish: heat oil in a pan, add some cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds start to splatter, add the diced capsicum and stir fry. Season with salt, turmeric powder, Chili powder.When the capsicum is semi cooked, add some besan (Chickpea flour) . Two large heaped teaspoons for 2 medium sized capsicums. Mix well, cover and cook on medium flame for 3-5 minutes. The idea is to cook the chickpea flour by steaming. Try to not add any water, while cooking this dish.

It was a lovely meal to end the long day and there are enough leftovers for our lunches tomorrow . The only person not impressed with tonight’s offerings was MsAn, who ate a cheese toasty instead. Oh well, 3 out of 4 is not bad 🙂

More later,

Trish 💕

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Ten!

Ten- Double digits! MsAn is 10! I can’t believe it that my baby is 10! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, where did the time go? Wasn’t she just born yesterday.

I remember waking up all groggy after my surgery around 11:30 pm or so and asking to see the baby. SP brought her to me and she just nuzzled her way into my heart in that very moment before settling in comfortably on my chest. It felt so effortless- just right.

I still remember being worried if I would be able to love another baby as much as I love MsA. It turns out I was worried for nothing. Now sometimes MsA accuses me of loving MsAn more than her. Well, she follows me around like a puppy, smothers me with kisses and cuddles and talks my ear off – how , please tell me how can I resist the force that is Ananya!

Here’s the little set up for her Iso birthday:)

She is the loveliest little girl with a quirky sense of humour. She laughs easily, even at herself. The only time she gets annoyed is when her dad and sister try to tease her about anything. She loves telling stories, just about anything – it could be something that happened at school, something she read, or facts about animals.

At school, she loves reading, art, Mandarin, food tech, Maths, PE, everything except writing. She is really good with technology & robotics. She has a lovely little group of friends and it makes me really happy that she may have found her tribe.

She is a very sensitive, caring child and worries about those that she cares about. And as a result COVID-19 has been an emotional roller coaster for her. The anxiety of the virus, the loneliness caused by lockdowns and missing school has robbed a little piece of her spirit – I hope I can help her find it again.

But, she is generally a happy little old soul. She loves cooking with me, loves reading, playing video games, basketball, piano & loves her doughnuts. She is very perceptive and aware of other’s feelings and it amazes me how much she takes in when I think she is not listening. She wants to be a vet when she grows up.

Dear MsAn I hope you always remain this happy, bubbly, loud, funny, perceptive person as you find your place in life ❤️ As I tell you, always be yourself unless you can be a unicorn! You are as unique as your name and we would never change that for anything, even though sometime we may ask you to talk softly 😀 A, Papa & I love you soo much ..

Love Mumma ❤️

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Vaccinations & lockdown musings

Dose 2 ✅

SP and I got our second doses of Pfizer about 3 weeks back. I was going to wait 2 weeks from the day we got the jab to post about it,but I got distracted by the Lockdown! Yes, we are in lockdown again- Lockdown 5, but more about that later.

So, with the first dose, I didn’t have any side effects other than the regular flu like symptoms & a dull headache, but they disappeared in 2 days. However, with the second dose, I started feeling sick straight away. That may have caused a little excitement in the quiet waiting area at the hospital. One minute I was standing at the counter, waiting to be signed out, next I was being led the nearest chair. 4 nurses appeared suddenly and I was taken to the examination bay & then wheeled out to the observation room.

Finally my heart rate steadied and they let me go home with instructions to rest and return if I felt worse. I slept a lot for the next two days. This time I had a lot of nausea too and sleeping helped too. Besides when you are a mum, it’s not always that you get told to go back to bed & I was not going to let that opportunity pass.

Anyway, back to lockdown, I can’t believe it that we are back in lockdown so quickly and that our last lockdown was only last month! 🤯 We are doing our part – staying home, using masks, just being sensible. And despite knowing and understanding the logic of it, it’s still hard to not be impacted by it. Almost everyone I speak to talks about how they are now struggling emotionally and that’s completely understandable, isn’t it? We are social beings after all. Even the most introverted, most anti-social ones amongst us need the most basic social interactions for their mental wellbeing.

But we are also the most adaptive species on earth. The last time I was in the office, masks were mandatory. It was so nice to recognise familiar people despite the masks, seeing their eyes crinkle as they smiled upon recognising you. It was wonderful to see everyone respectfully staying the required 1.5mtrs away from each other. It was funny to watch friends do that awkward air hug, side step and then elbow bump – funnier because I had done the same thing myself. We learn, we adapt, then learn some more, until we perfect this game of life, taking all the little curveballs coming our way, in our stride.

More later, Trish xoxo

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Saturday musings

Just because 😊

I am waiting in the car with MsA, waiting for the Dr to call us in for the appointment. She is running late, so I think it will be a long wait.

Anyway, the reason for this photo is that I have one of my favourite scarves on – it’s so colourful and has giant butterflies on it. I am also also wearing my favourite earrings . And I am finally seeing some curls in my hair again – you can see the greys too 🙂

About 4 years back, when SP was working interstate and I was rushing everywhere alone – I decided to get my hair permanently straightened. Wait! Wait .. there was a logic to my madness. I had long hair but never enough time to style it. And even if I found the time to make an effort, by the time I arrived at work, I looked like I had fought 10 battles( at least I felt like I had) .

I loved the ease of wash and wear and that I always woke up with amazing hair. Fast forward to a couple of years and MsAn started noticing that she was the only one that had messy curls but both MsA and I had straight hair and she started feeling left out and wanted to change her hair. I told her her curls were gorgeous and she asked me why I didn’t have any. I didn’t know what to say.

Finally last year, I decided to return to my original hair. It has taken a long time for it to get to this stage but I can finally see little waves and curls 🙂 it’s not a lot but still considerable since I have had dead straight hair for 4-5 years.

The doctor called us in just as I was looking for a photo of MsAn’s curly hair..so finally finishing this post 4 hours later. We managed to fit in lunch at our favourite cafe, grocery shopping and a short drive in between. Seems like a good Saturday so far.

Here’s MsAn’s hair.. love the curls- this was straight out of shower
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This, that and nothing..

I wanted to write something for the last so many days.. nothing big- just something little- a few lines, a few words – just something to fill the hole in my stomach..

You know the pit in your stomach when you are trying to hold it together when you are feeling nothing but despair.. despair at not knowing when we will see our families in India again… despair at not knowing when COVID will go away.

The start of winter,onset of another lockdown (Lockdown 4!!) in Melbourne and being unwell just made the hole bigger and bigger and I had to lay low to lick my wounds.

I am not ok, but it’s ok to not be ok. This too shall pass – it always does 🙂 In other news, Ms A turned 14 and the Husband turned another year older and we celebrated with lots of cake.

MsA finally got her teen birthday party with cake and friends and a sleepover. The husband had another birthday in lockdown.

SP and I got the jab! First dose of Pfizer! And since I am actually feeling better after writing this post, I will leave you with a smiling photo of me.. I promise I am smiling behind the mask 😷 I knew it that writing will help 😊

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And it’s a wrap… February 2021

And just like that , it’s the last day of February. February is a special month for me, as it my birth month.

I turned another year older and wiser( atleast I think I am wiser!) and my blog turned another year older. I have been blogging for 14 years now.

As much as I want to blog more regularly, life gets in the way.. and .. yeah..

Anyway, here’s some cake to celebrate the blog and me 😊

I start Uni again tomorrow. I have 4 more subjects and one more year of studying to complete it order to finish this course.

Sometimes I am tempted to shut down the blog but I can’t.. active or dormant, the blog is a big part of me, a big part of who I am today – my identity. So, I will just keep posting sporadically as and when I can.

Looking forward to a fun March,

❤️❤️Trish

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Another Lockdown …

Another lockdown in Victoria

The announcements were made around 1PM Friday afternoon and as I heard our Premier announcement the lockdown, my heart just sank.

I understand the logic behind it and am grateful to be at home with my family but I couldn’t help but feel this sense of dread- this sense of helplessness.

My first thought was MsA, MsAn was at home sick, so she was fine. But along with MsA, I had to figure out workforce plan for my team for next week. I took 5 minutes to take some deep breaths , collect myself before logging into planning meetings.

Taking deep breaths really helps when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. And getting busy – like jumping in headfirst into your work, pushes the anxiety away- at least that’s what it did for me.

Now, with all that work done,sorted- I have the next 3 days off. 3 days at home – doing nothing but relaxing. All sports have been cancelled. The schools will remain closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I hope this circuit breaker lockdown is exactly that- a circuit breaker and things go back to being normal again.

Sending lots of love and strength to all Victorians… we have got this !

❤️❤️❤️ Trish ❤️❤️❤️

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And he is 4!

Mr Mowgli turned 4 on the 1st of Feb. He is still on special diet, so I just made a pretend cake for him. I say pretend because it was still his everyday food, but I put it in a new container and added a blob of peanut butter as a special treat, lit a candle and we sang Happy birthday to him.

I don’t know whether he knew that it was a special day, but he loved all the attention & loved it when I kept saying “ Happy Birthday” to him in a singsong.

Spoiled with all the presents
Pretend cake 😃

Love my gentle giant😍

This is the first time we have all been at home for his birthday. Here’s to many more.

❤️Trish