DIY Mid Autumn Moon Festival Lantern

Schools these days expect kids to complete projects that are extremely difficult for their age. So, a lot of times, parents end.up.doing those or they hire someone to do it for them.

Last week, my 5 year old.daughter was asked to make a lantern for the Mid Autumn Moon Festival celebrations at her school. As the lanterns started coming in, I noticed the lanterns to be extremely compliand probably too difficult for my 5 year old tpanage even if I helped. Choosing any of those designs would have meant that in fact I would have to do most of the work. That was not something I was willing to do because I wanted my daughter to contribute in a meaningful way in this project.

A search on the internet led me to am extremely simple design which only required paper of different colors, glue stick and scissors. Thats it.

Steps to follow:

  • Take a colored piece of paper, make some design on which woud be easy to cut.

IMG_20180912_113130.jpg

  • Once done, roll the paper into a cylinder and stick the ends with glue stick.
  • Take another paper, draw parallel lines on it (I drew the lines) leaving a little space on both ends and cut along those lines (my daughter did all.te cutting). We also made holes using a punching machine. My daughter had a lot of fun doing this.

IMG_20180912_113523.jpg

  • Roll up this piece of paper on the cylinder.

IMG_20180912_114322.jpg

IMG_20180912_115025

  • Cut and paste the handle to enable easy holding.

IMG_20180912_120935.jpg

Actually, I was quite happy with how it turned out and it only took us around half an hour to get it done.

I think I will be making more of these lanterns with the kids, especially for Eid celebrations at home.

Do try these at home with kids and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

Advertisements

So I made a birthday cake…. First time ever

And surprisingly, it was edible!

I have never been a cooking and baking enthusiast. I am a stay at home mom and do all the cooking myself but kitchen is definitely not the place where I feel home.

But last week I decided to make a birthday cake myself. All I have ever done (and also messed up) is bake cakes using boxed cake mixes.

So, of course, I started with watching a million YouTube videos and seeing how complicated the whole procedure was, I decided that it would be best to keep the budget minimal (but realistic), make use of the utensils/tools I have already and buy ready made stuff as much as I can to ensure the process can be simplified as much as possible.

A day before I was supposed to have the cake ready, I decided to drop by a supermarket nearby to get the boxed cake mix. I chose chocolate because I know that chocolate hardly ever goes wrong. However, I was not able to find many other stuff which I required. I then headed off to another shop that I thought would have most of the items I required. I decided against buying expensive tools like Cake rotating stand or the cake leveler. I was just unsure how the cake would turn out and whether I would be making another cake ever in my life. But I did buy ready made fondant and some reddy made gum paste flowers.

That same day I decided to get the cake baked with the help of my kids. That was such a fun activity as the kids got to crack and eggs themselves and they helped me stir all the ingredients together.

IMG_20180830_171107.jpg

As I didn’t buy a spatula or a new cake pan, I just used the cake pan I already had and poured in the batter with a simple spoon. Thankfully, the cake came out perfectly.

IMG_20180830_181313.jpg

I left it overnight in the fridge so that I could get down to decorating it the next morning.

So next morning, after dropping off the kids to school, I took out the cake and cut it in half to put in the icing. Meanwhile, I had kept the butter outside so that it would melt. Then I made my first ever icing.

IMG_20180831_111401.jpg

It was actually simpler to make then I had anticipated. I put it on one layer of cake, put on the other layer and covered the whole cake with the icing.

IMG_20180831_114806.jpg

Next, was the turn to cover it with fondant. Now as I mentioned earlier, I had store bought fondant, which apparently I only had to roll and put it in the cake.

IMG_20180831_124431.jpg

I started by dusting off my counter with corn starch and started rolling the fondant.

IMG_20180831_124909

It was all white and a little boring and so I added just a few drops of red food color… Which turned it into pink.

IMG_20180831_125748.jpg

I then rolled on the fondant onto my rolling pin and stuck it onto the cake.  As my cake was not exactly high, it didn’t prove to be as difficult as I expected.

IMG_20180831_130728

Now I just needed to stick my decorations to the cake but I realised I didn’t know how to do so. A quick Google search helped me find out the easiest and the most economical way… Just use a little water. The kids were back from school by then and they helped (added on) with the decorations and they were quite proud of it.

IMG_20180831_165202

So the cake turned out OK. It didn’t look awesome but hey, it was just my first attempt. I made a few mistakes and I will be sure not to do the same in the future. Of course, next time I will try and bake the cake from scratch as well just to challenge myself a little further.

Neurological disorders explained: Cerebral Palsy

Statistics have shown that about 500,000 children in the US alone are victims of cerebral palsy – a debilitating group of neurological disorders that keeps a child from leading a normal life. The prime manifestations of this disease are impaired muscle movement and motor skills along with secondary disabilities that affect vision, mental health, learning, hearing and speech.

_20180822_114504.JPG

With such a high prevalence rate of cerebral palsy, it’s important to illustrate the true cause of this disease. Most children with cerebral palsy have undergone some sort of brain damage. This could have occurred during birth or in the first five years of his or her life. Brain trauma is, thus, the main etiological cause of cerebral palsy. Premature babies, lead poisoning, and meningitis are other causes that may result in a case of cerebral palsy.

Without getting into too much detail of the different types of cerebral palsies, it’s more important to know what you can do if your child has been diagnosed with it. It’s important to approach this disease and its outcomes with a strong, open mind since it is a lifelong impairing disease.

Currently no cure for cerebral palsy exists but the symptoms of this disorder can be minimized by the appropriate medication. Children with cerebral palsy commonly require special equipment and therapy to improve their quality of life.

<< Previous

Next >>

 

The star that is Humayun Saeed

Humayon Saeed is unarguably one of the biggest stars that Pakistan entertainment industry has produced over the last two decades. He is 47 and he is here to stay for a long long time.

_20180803_094756

Nowadays, its rare to see Humayon Saeed on TV and even if we do, it’s usually to promote one of his movies. I believe he always wanted to be a movie star. He tried his hands on a negative role in Inteha and then did a few other movies as well but it was his work in Television that got him recognition, fame and respect.

Now, he is the biggest movie star and one of the best producers for movies and drama serials in Pakistan.

_20180803_094730

When we think of Humayun Saeed now, we don’t think of an actor but a celebrity. However, it was not always like this. He has done some memorable roles in a lot of drama serials which are a must watch (if you haven’t already, of course).

Here is a list of some of his television dramas that are, and will always be, my favourites

1. Mehndi: Of course no surprises there. It used to be everyone’s favourite. And although there were some other big names associated with this project, people simply loved Humayun Saeed and his pairing with Ayesha Khan who debuted in that serial.

_20180808_170800

2. Uraan: Humayon Saeed is very charming and he used that quite intelligently to his advantage in this serial that deals with marriage, domestic abuse and divorce in a very novel way. Penned by Umera Ahmed and directed by Yasir Nawaz, it is actually a story of woman emancipation but its the antagonist that stands out the most.

_20180803_094533.JPG

3. Doraha: Also, penned by Umera Ahmed is a story o  love and how it becomes difficult due to family pressures. It also boasts of jaw dropping performances by Sonia Rehman and Sanam Baloch.

_20180803_094632

4. Dil Lagi: One of his recent works for Television came as a pleasant surprise. Its penned by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Jawani Phir Nahi Aani fame director, Nadeem Baig. The best thing about it was the fact that the leading lady, Mehwish Hayat, had a role just as powerful as Humayon Saeed.

_20180803_094516.JPG

5. Bin Roye: I had huge expectations from this one but oh well, this one just makes it into the list because Humayon Saeed is looking extremely hot.

_20180803_094551.JPG

Which one is your favourite humayon saeed drama serial?

 

What not to do when meeting relatives a d friends over this Eid ul Fitr

As we approach the end of Ramadan and still try to guess when exactly Eid is, let’s try and make this Eid beautiful not only for ourselves but also for others around us by knowing what not to say.

_20180613_114034

None of us mean to say the wrong thing but sometimes we just do especially when we meet our extended family after several months. Sometimes we meet new faces as families expand, or even unexpected guests. Now that I am older, I also see myself sometimes passing the irritating comment, ‘Arey masha allah tum kitney Barry ho gaye.’ It happens to everyone. We often end up asking questions that seem entirely innocent to us but can hurt and/or irritate the other person emotionally.

In the list below I share some of the questions that are not as polite as we might think they are.

What not to ask people this Eid ul Fitr or any other party? 

  1. Do not ask anyone when they are getting married. People might be looking aggressively for an appropriate rishta and sometimes finding a suitable rishta is not easy. And no, it’s not suitable to tell them about certain single women who you think might be extremely lonely. There is no point in showing the grim side of not being married. Sometimes, they do not want to get married any time soon and they have other plans. At times it gets so infuriating that many young adults do not want to join their family during ‘House hopping’.
  2. Do not ask others when they might be having kids. Infertility issues, miscarriages or sometimes just not planning a child might be the reason for a couple not having a child. Other people reproductive health and decisions are none of your business. You don’t know who is dealing with infertility or grieving miscarriages or struggling with health issues. You don’t know who is having relationship issues or who might not be in a position to have their ‘next’ child straight away. You don’t know your seemingly innocent question might cause some people grief, pain or stress. This is one question you must stay away from.
  3. Do not comment on anyone’s weight. You can simply say, ‘It’s so good to see you.’ We will surely meet someone who might lost a bit too much weight or someone who has drastically gained a lot of weight. Weight is sometimes not just about being lazy or over indulgence. Whether you believe it or not, it’s not necessary at all to tell someone about how bad they look due to their weight. They probably do have mirrors at home and know exactly how they look. Their weight is their business. Some people are confident and secure in whatever their weight may be. Some people are struggling. So it’s best to avoid any conversation that revolves around weight.
  4. If you meet a young child, do not ask them who their favourite family member is or who they love most. Love is a huge word and it’s meaning can’t possibly be understood by a young child. Also do not force them to eat something. Nut/gluten allergies are more common than you might think so let the parents choose what they want their kids to eat.
  5. This one is also a basic etiquette that you must have when meeting a young child. Do not say, ‘hug/kiss me and I will give you a treat.’ Please do not invade a child’s private space. They are still learning about trust and do not tell the child that its alright to bribe for certain ‘favours’

So yea, that’s about it. Sometimes empathy is more important than anything else. And the best thing about it is that it doesn’t cost anything.

On Writing, and Writers Block

Sometimes it comes to me as flowing wind, not too fast, gentle but forceful, naturally, fluently pouring out of my fingers on to the keypad or into a paper. And sometimes it just stalls, behind a frosted glass window; I can glimpse it but not actually see it, it leaves me entranced and at the same time frustrated. Just like the frosted glass door in my high school. My class was upstairs and one day a few months after joining I exited the principal’s office (some mischievous errand I am sure) and about to climb the stairs when suddenly my eyes beheld a strange thing in the otherwise squalid and ugly building, a thing of absolute perfect beauty enhanced by the drab surroundings. It was a silver framed door of frosted glass, and since the sun shone extremely bright in the desert island city I lived in, it was lit up bright, a glimmering silver light filtered through giving the dusty innards of the building a cool luminosity. Outlined in the bright frame was a single branch of bougainvillea, dark green and bright red, at once visible and not clear. I stood transfixed staring at this improbable beauty, it was like a beautiful dream which overshadows your mind even after awakening, but you can never quite completely figure out what it exactly was and wonder about it for days. Its sweet aftertaste lingers on but clarity is forever eluded. I stood transfixed unable to digest what this was, was it a sign from up above that there is escape yet from this dreary world or was it just a distraction, was it a door into the occult; there I stood until the jarring sound of a banging door in the corridor brought me back to the drudgery of the world coming back to life around me. But a nagging doubt often came to me sitting in class, walking to the library, back home in bed what was that, why didn’t I touch the door or try and open it, was there even a real plant there outside, why couldn’t I see what was it exactly on the other side. That is often my situation, the frosted glass intrigues me but at the same time haunts me, I cannot manage to open the door. The worst times however are when a dark shadow falls across the door, no light shines through and I feel claustrophobic, walled into grey corridors lit up by lurid white tube lights, no fresh air comes through. So it is that I pray for all my friends who write, my the door always be there, may you be able to open it at the right time and may the light always shine through.