July 24, 2017

Prediction: Six Weeks of Chaos!

The start of a very long summer vacation has begun. It started before mid-day last Friday and the kids are over the moon because school is now officially out.

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This means that the kids have absolutely nothing to do for a whole six weeks. Whole.SIX.Weeks!  That’s a long time of play, play, play all day. That’s just brutal!

Then, they get to be bored shitless out of their skulls and because they have too much time on their hands, there’ll be extra mayhem by the end of the 3rd week.  

This would often marked with the both of them constantly in each other’s way as they make a sport out of annoying the hell out of each other.Because they can.

We’ve already seen the signs and it’s only going to get worse as each day goes by.

For us parents, the work day continues with business as usual. It’s also the most expensive months since the kids would rake up full day of daycare hours as parents would have to be at work.

Our respite comes in the form of parents in their kind offer to take in the kids for a few days and spoil them rotten. 

For us that means monetary savings from the daycare, a little sanity check of not having to rush to the daycare to pick them up in time as well as a few days of peace and quiet before (their) bedtime and during (their) waking hours into breakfast. 

In the weekends, the chaos would be ours. Because, while at their grams, the 2 monkeys would decidedly be the prefect role model as the most well-behaved kids in town. Then suddenly, all hell will break loose the moment they see us walk through the door to bring them home. 

It happens all the time.

So predictable they are that I can virtually see the fights unfolding right before my eyes. In fact, it started already this morning.

Although, the advantage was ours: they were swiftly dropped off at the daycare, allowing us to shirk our parenting responsibilities to a few other adults. 

But maybe, just maybe…this time,  the weekends would be different.  They both are a little older now and perhaps they’ll tone down on being disruptive. They’ll miss us so much that they WILL behave. Maybe they would learn to clean up better too!

Well, a mother could hope, no! After all, don’t we all need a little distraction? 

 

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July 23, 2017

Sunday Humour: Like A Boss

Category: Entertainment

Ah! Parenting. Talk about having double standards:

Credit:Google Image

When this comes, I bet this would be a parenting-cringeworthy-jaw-dropping moment. Yikes! 

Keep it real, parents. Keep.it.real. Here’s to a peaceful week of awesome parenting ahead. 

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July 21, 2017

Friday Flavour: Fried Spiced-Scalloped Potatoes

Like carbs? There’s no reason not to! (Well…there is but we are not going to go there.)

This is one of my favourite easy to make snacks: Potatoes marinated with all sorts of spices and herbs for seasoning and then fried with rosemary-infused olive oil. Bless the easy access to pre-boiled taters from the supermarket to make cooking much easier.

After frying, sprinkle some salt and pepper all over and you’ve got yourself some goodness perfect for an afternoon snack. 

Make sure you stock up your spice racks!

Fried Spiced-Scalloped Potatoes
Serves 4
A simple potato snacks full of flavour and really easy to make!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 500g scalloped potatoes, par-boiled
  2. 1 tbsp onion powder
  3. 2 tbsp fried shallots, finely crushed into a powder
  4. 2-3 leaves of fresh sage, chopped finely
  5. 1 tbsp paprika powder
  6. 1 tspn cumin powder
  7. 1 tspn coriander powder
  8. 1 clove garlic, pressed
  9. Half tbsp cayenne pepper
  10. Lots of black pepper
  11. 2 tbsp white pepper powder
  12. Half a cube chicken boullion, crushed (optional)
  13. 5-6 tbsp Rosemary-infused olive oil
  14. Chopped chives for topping
Instructions
  1. Mix all the spices and herbs together in a bowl
  2. Marinade and chill for about 30 minutes
  3. Fry in hot rosemary-infused olive oil till golden brown
  4. Drained. Sprinkle some salt and chives all over.
  5. Serve!
Notes
  1. Depending on your preference of spices, feel free to dial up or down on the usage of some of the spices and herbs used here.
Grubbs n Critters https://grubbsncritters.com/

 

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July 20, 2017

Lak Door Tijn

This came in the mail a couple of days ago and only today had I open the little package, coming face-to-face with this:

My Red Nail Polish

We bought it about a month ago for €10. It’s my favourite nail polish colour. Yet I feel torn about it…because my heart weeps as I held the small bottle in my hand.  

This looks like any other ordinary lak (lacquer or polish) but the story behind it was an extraordinary one.

Sometime in December last year, a 6-year old Dutch boy by the name Tijn created this nail polish challenge. It was a part of his bucket list to helping as many children as possible, raising more than €2.5 million by varnishing people’s nail. He had less than one year to live.

“Lak door Tijn” was conceived only a few months ago. It’s the brainchild of local Dutch celebrities who started the line of nail polish to raise money for Dutch children suffering from the same illness as Tijn who suffered from cancer of the brain stem. 

Tijn passed away not too long ago. He left behind not only a brand with his chosen colours but also a hope for a newfound treatment for an illness that has no known cure. 

For one, I could never look at this nail polish the same again. This one is truly different from all other nail polishes I ever owned.

No, we don’t know him or his family personally; neither is this an affiliate post.

Though, one thing is for sure: the mother in me cannot look at his adorable face without my eyes glistening away and thinking how so very beautiful his soul was for wanting to help others even when his own life is uncertain.

At 6 year old, that was a remarkable gesture. Such selflessness and kudos to his parents for raising him so well. May his soul rest in peace. 

Source: Buzzfeed

 

Note:
The fund-raising campaign for the buying the nail polish has unfortunately ended, though the foundation is still accepting donation here

 

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July 17, 2017

Days Like This

There have been days when I wonder and question my sanity with:

|| How did I ever end up living here in the Netherlands?||

HOW?!

I mean, of course I know how I ended up here! It’s all Silver Bullet’s fault. HE wanted to come home and I was crazy enough to merely bless the move when I threw caution in the air because we’ve had it with Thailand.

That wasn’t the point I was trying to make, though.

What I’m trying to say is that somehow, the sudden thought of the question hit me hard. It almost felt like a hard slap had landed on my face, followed by the chilliest gust of cold wind punching in my cheeks. It’s that sudden feeling of being abruptly woken up from a deep slumber and then trying to figure out where you actually are.  

Usually those feeling creep up to me and it would hit me at the very same spot whenever I take the train at Amsterdam Central Station. It is that stretch of walkway between the brick walls and to the footpath outside followed by that distinct route of the escalator and towards the metro.

I don’t know what it is or why that is.

Towards Amsterdam Centraal Station
The path to the metro

There’s just something about the whole set up that triggers it all, bringing the shudders down to my spine. Sometimes I feel creeped-out and I’d be getting goose bumps. Know those feelings? 

And I don’t mean in a “I’m-being-stalked-or-followed-by-a-lunatic-murderer” kind of way since this occurs in broad daylight. It’s really just the big HOW feels like a rude awakening. 

Ask me 15 years ago and I’d tell you that living in the Netherlands and working near Amsterdam or anywhere in Europe for that matter, would not have crossed my mind.

Not in a million years.

It was not my reality.

I mean, I was once only a tourist. I travelled solo and staying put at one place was never a plan. I move, I go places and I remember things. Sometimes random things kind of get stuck somewhere deep in my mind for no reason at all. Much like those old walls at the Amsterdam Central Station.

Then only in the last decade has the Netherlands become an annual place to visit for family reasons.

HOW I ended up living in this country, tucked in a suburbia of a place,  struggling to understand the language and then having to figure out what’s normal in a corporate culture I have no affinity with, has baffled the bejesus out of me.

Some days I can’t help but feel a little misplaced. Kind of off-balance. Somewhat surreal, but familiar.

These sentiments lead to more pondering, questioning and having internal dialogues where I would question the reason of being. MY reason for being. I question the meaning of life, the loyalty of family and the true value of friends.

There have been days and many a day when I question my competency; feeling like an impostor despite the years of experience I have under my belt in the work that I do. Often, I’ve never felt skilled enough or knowledgeable enough to claim that even after all these years, I am an expert in my field.

There’s always much to learn. There’s never enough knowledge. There’s no one true PhD to navigate life.

Often, it is days of pondering like this that humbles me. It jolts me to take stock of where I have been, where I am and where I am going. I get lost in my own thoughts; not being able to think straight what life could have been had I not taken the route I took. 

Granted, things could have been worse.

But for all that’s worth, I’m thankful for the HOWS and the WHYS of life and the helping hands that came in packages of little blessings, often when I’m not looking or expecting. They had one way or another made our life a tad easier and the inconveniences a little more tolerable.

Like those brown walls, despite their aged looks, they are still standing strong amidst the changing landscape. The pillars are comforting. Just what anyone would need to navigate the journey of life. 

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