The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Clean Up The Future with Domestos- Sponsored Video

Did you know that 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to safe toilets?

Did you kow that Domestos, the bleach brand from Unilever Was launched in UK in 1920 and was first sold door to door?
Domestos has launched its unique Tell a Friend campaign in which children spread the word about Domestos and the health campaign that the brand is involved with.

Domestos has been involved in health campaigns and today it is Actively involved in World Toilet Day.

It is known that every 20 seconds, a child dies due to poor sanitation linked problems
Unilever's Social Mission programme, launched in 2009, involves partnerships with the World Toilet Organization and UNICEF with a target to help build a ‘clean, safe toilet for all’. When people buy Domestos, they help support UNICEF's sanitation programs. 
So Domestos is not only a brand delivering functional performances, but also a brand with a purpose and a real commitment.

Available in 35 countries as Domestos, Domex, Glorix, Vim, Promax and Klinex – germs don’t stand a chance. Unilever believes that different problems in the toilet need different products, and 
Domestos has all the right weapons in its range to fight them:

Thick Bleach kills germs that hide above and below the waterline and it removes organic soils, urine 
stains and mould.

 Limescale Removers, special products with an acid base, to fight against limescale and rust.

Solid rim blocks to provide you with a burst of hygiene, freshness and fragrance

So get your bottle of Domestos or Domex as in India, today and keep our toilet germ free. Not only that, when you buy our bottle of Domestos, you automatically help UNICEF in providing better sanitation to more people in the world. 
Post sponsored by Domestos

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Was speaking to the pediatrician who had started practicing since 1978. He mentioned that his fees that time was Re 1 and went on to become Rs 10-15 in 1985...

Wow !
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dumb Question, Sarcy Answer

We were making a paper cut out of a cube. Project from school, dont ask. Given a choice, I would never do it.
So once I had the cut out done, I asked Tejas, so now how do you want to stick this together.

Tejas- umm, Bubble gum? Or chewing gum!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Another Lens Disaster

So I had been wondering why i was unable to see the computer screen properly. It was especially problematic after I changed to my new lens.
I was wondering
Whether my power had changed
Or whether the lens was not made correctly which meant the entire strip of 3 would be wrong
Or whether I have suddenly developed plus vision.

I had been squinting at the screen for two days especially with the left eye when it suddenly struck me.

I exchanged the lenses and the world seemed much brighter.


But what worries me considerably is that in these two days,

I was not worried so much that my power would have changed

I was not worried so much that I may have got plus vision

I was most concerned about

- how will I wear lenses if I get plus power
- What will I do with the six months worth of lens that I had purchased at discounted rate.
- And that I will have to spend a few hours at the doctor's for checking my eye

And that thought itself is most worrying that i was worried about all the wrong things

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Picture of Sadness

Empty Nutella jars. One that was supposedly full turns out to be empty thanks to the husband.
The kids are greatly upset.
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So P aunty of Bijoy and the Big River fame came to school to talk about story telling, illustrating etc.
The school claimed that the kids asked a lot of questions.

When I asked Tejas did he ask any question to aunty, he honestly replied no.

But Ojas says, I did not ask any question but I wanted to. Since the mike was not given to me, I could not ask.

I left it at that.

But Tejas asked with great interest and I detected a mild sarcasm - "Tell us what question you wanted to ask"

Ojas had no answer.

Tejas had a smug 'I told you'  look I imagine. 

On My Sponsored Posts

You would have noticed that I have been doing a few sponsored posts lately on my blog.

Some of you may think I have gone commercial, become a mercenary  and would post anything for money and perhaps the credibility of my writing would go down in your eyes.

You might think that my posts no longer come from my heart.

I agree that the money is exciting but that is not my only motivator to publish them.

It is like adsense, yes you might feel happy if some money comes in (for they never come, never, ever) but that is not the reason that propels you to blog.

When the campaign manager approached me for these campaigns, I was a bit apprehensive that I might have to talk about stuff that I could totally not relate to, like men's underwear or some random toilet cleaner or dish wash or worst some junk food which I totally love yet would not want to post about publicly or some weird foreign campaign which would never strike a chord with me.

I was pleasantly surprised that while the campaign was definitely by an FMCG (Unilever so far) but they really had a social cause backing the campaign. They are corporate social responsibility ads.

So ultimately it is a win win situation. I get to help in a campaign that spreads awareness, and I do it because I really believe in them. And at the same time, get paid for them. What more could one ask for.

So far, this blog has earned me two Nokia phones and a few dollars in cash apart from the the many books that this blog and The Reading Corner has given me. And yes, I take it as perks of blogging. Many of the bloggers out there have got book deals and perhaps their popular blogs helped them get a positive frame of mind from the editors and not to mention the networking that is part and parcel of blogging.

I have been approached to do campaigns that I did not believe in (paid and unpaid) and I have refused if they did not go with the theme of my blog.

I have hosted writers on Reading Corner without reading their books in exchange or without getting paid for it because I believe that if my one blog post can help them gain a bit more popularity than their then state, I will consider my task done and be glad that the writer gets an opportunity to reach out to a few more readers.

And no, this post is not sponsored! I felt that I owed an explanation for the readers.

Listening to a Story

For a nation where oral story telling is a way of preserving history, and where epics are every growing in size and chapters and where every child loves a good story that is read out to him, audio books are still nascent and untapped.

What are your memories of being read out or being told a story?

How easy do you find to understand and follow an audio book?

Which is your favourite audio book?

Read on a bit about audio books at the Reading Corner

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Light up the Future with Project Sunlight- Sponsored Video

Because there has never been a better time to create a brighter future, we are launching Unilever Project Sunlight .We believe in a world where no child goes to bed hungry, where every home has enough water to drink, wash and clean, where preventable diseases are prevented, and where every child lives past their fifth birthday.We don't pretend to have all the answers, but we are inviting you to join us on the journey.

So says the influential voice of Shah Rukh Khan in the Indian video.

Unilever has launched Project Sunlight that encourages expecting parents to join hands to create a better future for our children.

And as expressed in the words of one set of parents, "We need to change to be able to create a better future."

The video starts with the impacting words-  Having a child one of the most uncertain moments of life

Expecting parents shared their apprehensions for their unborn children.

 “Seeing the present we are scared for the future” is what they said. 

The film that was shown to them talked about revolutionary methods that were developed to grow more food.
It talked about the efforts made to provide clean drinking water available
And promised that their future children had more possibility of having a healthier heart and seeing their future grandchildren.

The film promises that there has never been a better time to create a brighter future for everyone in the planet
But for that,

We Need to Take Action

We need to

"Make a difference at project Sunlight"

For more information, go to the Project Sunlight site at

Post sponsored by Unilever

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

8th birthday

The eight birthday was a sports themed one.
Extremely convenient because the cricket party was conducted by the husband and the other stuff like football was self conducted by the kids. The baseball and badminton did not happen though.

We did a quick IPL quiz downloaded five minutes before the party. The kids answered everything. Except two questions for which they said they had not seen "that" match!. Smart

The cake was butterscotch (which the cake shop claimed as chocolate which we had ordered) decorated with green sprinkles, a pitch, toothpick stumps, cream bat and ball.
We proposed that they add chocolate dolls- 13 players and the children picked a player each after the cake was cut.

The snacks were the usual fare- chips, juice and cake along with Maggi Noodles.

We had a small dinner afterwards.
The return gifts were the books Diary of a cricket God and Diary of a Soccer star bought off

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Like it?
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The Easiest Homework

Last week, I encountered the easiest homework possible for the kids.

To write about the brand name, slogan, target market, ingredients of a chocolate of their choice.

I was extremely thrilled getting this done and it was only belatedly I thought that what were jargons like target market, tagline etc doing in a kids' homework sheet?

Next what will they be learning?

Brand Equity? Something that took me awhile to fathom after all!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thank You

Thank You to all those who wrote to me and commented on my post. I felt extremely reassured that the injury could be in fact healed. People shared their experiences and recommended doctors to who I could go to and it all helped me a lot morally and emotionally.

In fact my neighbours also came all out and helped me with the school drop for Ojas while I was going to the clinic morning and evening.

They took care of Tejas when my MIL would go to school to pick Ojas up.

It broke my heart every time I saw him with a bandage on his eye, yet to his credit, he was very cooperative and never gave me grief on his condition.

Everyone including the cable wallah, milk man, driver, courier wallah, kids in the building asked after him but to my surprise, our neighbour who saw him with a bandage on his eye never asked me what happened to his eye. Such a callous attitude.

i was flooded with calls, whats app and BBM messages asking about Tejas and it gave me a lot of strength and support.

My colleagues, including my regional bosses who happened to be in town were also very solicitous.

We went for the vision test two days ago and the doctor has given an all clear for Tejas' eye.
However I still have to put the tear drops eye drop for him otherwise all is ok.

Monday, October 07, 2013

High Five On Reaching the Age of Five- Sponsored Post

Gondappa is a triumphant person today.

His child has reached the age of five. This is the first child of his that managed to reach this age.
All thanks to Lifebuoy's hand washing program which included a focused initiative in the village of Thesgora to help children reach the age of five.

The initiative was also endorsed by lead actor Kajol who supported the campaign with her voice.
To celebrate his child's fifth birthday, Gondappa does a triumphant hand walk in his village thus symbolising that health and strength lies in our hands only.  

The more we wash our hands, the healthier we are and therefore the emphasis on washing hands with Lifebuoy has been the key for the children of the village to cross the age of five, which had been very difficult so far because most of them got afflicted by diarrhoea which is entirely preventable just by keeping the hands clean.

Starting with Thesgora , Lifebuoy aims to reach out to other villages through a series of on-the-ground charity work, to help more children reach their fifth birthday and cross that threshold also.
15th October is Global Handwashing day. 

Global Handwashing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals all of whom believe that children are the best targets to this campaign because they are open and receptive to new ideas and would take them on enthusiastically.

The risk of diarrhoea  is reduced by  42-47% just by washing hands. 

Please visit the brand website for more information.

Post sponsored by Lifebuoy

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Nightmarish three days

Last Sunday, as Tejas was walking back from his cricket coaching, someone came and poked his finger into his left eye.

He never saw who it was and did not feel much until he came home.

One look at him and I knew something was wrong with him. He was rubbing his eye and looking very serious.

When I asked him, he sobbed that someone had poked his eye and it was hurting. He was not letting me touch his eyes and after the headache medicine I had taken that left me light headed and generally very pleased with the world, I did not suspect that anything would be wrong with the eye.

I gave him warm compresses using a towel soaked in hot water and even ordered a pizza for the kids.

Tejas somehow managed to eat a pizza and went immediately to sleep.

The next morning, he was howling with pain. I made him wash his eyes and hoped that he was feeling better but he insisted he was not ok. Even though the eye looked ok save for some redness. But it is very unlikely of him to cry so much. So I decided to take him to the eye doctor.

While waiting there, he bravely told me that he was feeling better but he could not go to school because he will not be able to write with his eye shut,
The doctor's assistant who is half doctor himself perhaps, gave him an eye drop which helped open up his eye that was progressively getting shut.
He then applied an orange florescent paper strip dye and showed me a green patch that was seen on his eyeball.
'Cornea damage' he pronounced. I have never heard any other two words that could terrorise me so badly.
It will heal he said and immediately sent me to see the doctor.
The doctor told me it was a serious injury and if it does not start healing by evening, we had to think of something else.
They applied a few more drops, antibiotics and some gel and shut his eye and patched him up.
The doctor prescribed Sporidex capsule to be eaten twice and combiflam painkiller, for the next three days.
Monday evening I again went to see the doctor and they put the dye again and saw that it was healing.
Tuesday morning it was better, just a dot on the cornea and by evening the dot had disappeared but a new patch had appeared, perhaps because he had rubbed the eye during the course of the day. So he had to patch him up again.
Wednesday morning the patch had cleared. And he was prescribed tear drops and vigamox every two hours and I need to take him to the doctor tomorrow morning to get an all clear.
The vision will be blurred for a few days because his pupil has been dilated by the multiple eye drops. And I need to review it in four to five days and get the eye test done.

I am so scared.

Pray for my baby please

Three mornings in a row, I have been waking up with a bleakness within me. While every visit pronounced progress, I am still scared. Perhaps I will never be able to relax about my baby's eye anymore.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

1, 2, 3 I Love Chennai

1, 2, 3 is a first of its kind counting book based on Chennai conceptualised by Rupa Jacob. 

What does the word Chennai conjure? 

The very long Marina beach?

Beautiful and complex architecture of South Indian Temples?

Dancing...Bharatnatyam to be precise!

Aromatic Degree Coffee served in its unique container!

Beatifully and intricately woven, brightly coloured Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees!

And all this and more will be found in this unique, one of a kind book by Rupa Jacob. 

Each number is associated with one concept and has a colourful original photograph by Shaun d'Sa and therefore makes the number association for young children very strong, as we know that kids learn using photographic memory.

This counting picture book also teaches about the history of Chennai to curious kids. 

There is a lovely 2 pager on the history of various Chennai monuments and specialities as depicted in the book. 

And towards the end there is an activity that children would enjoy. A sticker fun activity that matches the picture to the number. 

All in all it is a complete book that can be read aloud to children in a story session too especially because each page has a large scope of activity and story or word building session that can be done around it.

I can envision children talking about a day on the beach or the various ways one can enjoy a dosa or dancing a few simple Bharatnatyam steps thereby making it a complete all round activity session.

A note of interest on the author- Rupa Jacob is the co founder of The Science Factory, a science enrichment program for primary children, in Chennai.

Title- 1, 2, 3 I Love Chennai
Author- Rupa Jacob
Price- Rs 499
Publisher- Rupa Jacob
Photography- Shaun D'Sa
Buy it at or at Pappadams  
Age Group- 1-3 Years

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Bodies - Taking Care of the Private Parts

It should be the easiest thing in the world to talk to our children. About various things under the sun. Perhaps as parents, we are able to satisfactorily answer most of the questions that he children throw our way. But the most crucial and the most important aspect that a parent must cover for the children are the basics of our bodies. And parents postpone is as much as possible. 

I have seen a lot of books on children's safety and how to behave in dangerous situations but I was yet to see a compete, well illustrated book on good touch and bad touch, explaining how the bodies of girls and boys are different.

It is important to introduce children slowly and surely to the concept of safety and the basic differences between boys and girls.  And it is important for parents to be matter of fact and direct about the entire process and perhaps that requires a good deal of preparation on the part of the parent to be ready to impart sex education without feeling shifty or embarrassed about it.

Also it is important to not make a big deal about it and make it a topic which can be spoken in as generic manner as perhaps asking the children about how was their day.

Has anyone touched your bum or tried to kiss you on the lips?

What shuld you do if you do not like someone touching you? 

Whom should you tell? 

Simple and straightforward.

Shruti Singhal's book Our Bodies is a well illustrated book about teaching children about their private parts and the fundamental difference between a girl's body and a boy's. It goes on to talk about good touches and bad touches and how they make the children feel. Whether it makes them feel uncomfortable, dirty or happy and loved. 

It talks of saying Stop, No, I will tell the moment one feels uncomfortable. 

The narrative leads the readers to understand that while some aspects of the bodies are same, their are some parts are different and it is important to know why and what purpose they serve. 

I took the children through the book and I agree that some of the illustrations made me a shade bit uncomfortable and perhaps it could have been done in a better way.  It was perhaps a new thing for the children too and perhaps we did a little growing up together while going through he book because with the second and third reading, after the initial discomfort was taken care of, it became easier. For it was the first time I was using a book to take them through this. 

Title- Our Bodies Taking Care of The Private Parts
Author and Illustrator- Shruti Singhal
Age Group- 5 upwards
Publisher- XYZ Publications

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ranganna The Elephant Who Loved Colours

Ranganna is a cute blue coloured baby elephant who lives on the dhobi ghat.

He loves colours in all forms, colours of the rainbow, the colourful clothes laid out to dry on the dhobi ghat and the colorful flowers around him.

Two little girls often come to play with him and he is fascinated by their colourful clothes and also their pretty painted nails.

On a whim, he decided that he wished to apply nailpolish too and this seemed too strange for the little girls, however not impossible.

Did Ranganna get to apply nailpolish on his nails?
What colour did he choose among the array of pretty colours?

The book, true to its subject is a riot of colours. A small town diaspora complete with dhobi ghat, temple and the populace is recreated in the illustrations and the story.

Arthi in her unique style churns out this delightful and simple tale of colours and their vibrancy through the loving elephant Ranganna. The language is simple and lucid.

Kavita Singh Kale's illustrations are magical and well defined as usual.

The expressions are well captured from ecstasy of Ranganna upon seeing the delightful colours and shy yet covet looks when he spoke his heart's desire to get his toes painted.

I happened to read both the English and Hindi versions and found that the translation did not affect the flow of the story at all.

Title- Ranganna
Author- Arthi Anand Navaneeth
Illustrator- Kavita Singh Kale
Translated in Hindi by- Sushma Ahuja
Price- Rs 135
Publisher- Tulika

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nuga Gama Back to Our roots

Nuga Gama or the big Banyan tree is symbolic of ancient knowledge and revelation and is like the hot seat of all activities in a village.
In the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo, they have re created the traditional Sri Lankan village with all detailing of a village reproduced in the most authentic fashion. This includes a pond and a vegetable patch complete with a scarecrow, the traveler's resting place, the village dwelling with traditional implements and tools and thatched roof and a two century old enormous banyan tree under which there was a tender coconut stall.

As soon as you enter the village, there is a wicker gate and a narrow pathway lit up with fire torches and a traditional bullock cart on one side. The village also has a mock village shop with a banana bunch, jars of sweets, cup cakes on open trays, artifacts, brooms etc set up to create the authentic feel of a shop. There are pouches of detergents and shampoos hanging from the roof and one gets a feel of being part of a proper village.

The menu is  traditional Sri Lankan fare and the same is served in clay utensils. The main course is accompanied by a range of sambals and chutneys and a traditional sri lankan village woman makes coconut rotis and string hoppers on the side. The desserts are authentic Sinhala and the servers dress up in traditional village style.

In the end, they served us yummy ginger tea with palm jaggery.

There was a music troupe that was performing enchanting music and included even popular Hindi numbers.

I asked for a leaflet on the village and was rewarded with a comprehensive one with the traditional names of all structures and the history about them.

The photographs, unfortunately were taken on my mobile camera and are not much to speak of.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A pretty kolam

Made with rice grains and bird seed
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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Health In Your Hands - Sponsored Video

The first step to health and wellness is keeping your hands clean squeaky clean and more importantly germ free. There are products that clean and there are products that kill germs. But one product that does both is Lifebuoy hand wash. The one stop solution to germ free hands that is also quick acting.

Worldwide, a child dies every second due to diarrhoea or pneumonia, diseases that are totally preventable by performing the most basic hygiene function like hand washing.

The hand washing initiative from Lifebuoy intends tic hange the hand washing habits of children and parents across the country. It aims to prevent the deaths of children under 5 years that happen every year in India due to preventable diseases. 

It is only ideal that India's largest selling health brand takes this essential step and trains young parents and children the importance of hand washing for hygiene.
The campaign has adopted Thesgora, a village in Madhya Pradesh with one of the highest rates of diarrhoea to inculcate handwashing habits.
Lifebuoy hand wash is available in Freshness inducing and health cueing fragrances and in red and blue colours. They also have a unique colour changing variant in green that changes colour once the germs get killed. The visible and interactive product makes hand washing a fun thing to do. The product is available in economical refill packs and also convenient dispenser bottles.
Lifebuoy also has their famous soaps in multiple colours that could serve the dual purpose of hand washing and bathing for a complete, healthy and refreshing bath experience. There is a Lifebuoy for every occasion and every person in your home.
Go on, buy a hand wash and help teach your child the importance of hand washing.
You can help Unilever contribute in more ways towards the hand washing campaign.
To help more children reach the age of 5, Kajol is urging people to donate to handwashing programmes. The donations can be made online and the proceeds from the donations will go to Population Services International (PSI), a leading health organization for implementing handwashing programmes.
For every donation made Lifebuoy will match the donation amount for its handwashing programmes. Lifebuoy will also donate 1 rupee to handwashing programmes every time the 'Help a Child Reach 5' video is shared online. 

Watch the video to know more on the campaign.

This post has been sponsored by Lifebuoy.

Check out Lifebuoy's website

For more information, visit 
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Saturday, August 31, 2013


A string of beads, a paper clip and a bey blade ...

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Friday, August 23, 2013

2d and 3 d

Said Tejas... We don't see any circle. They are spheres. They are 3d. Turn behind you see something so they are sphere.

Me...steering wheel?

Tejas- marks the thickness of it and says see it is not circle.

We conclude it is a ring.

Next question .
What is the 3d of triangle.
Seriously I forgot it is a prism.
We debated about pyramids but decided they are too big and triangle drawn on paper is very small plus a pyramid is not solid so decided against it.

Not very logical but so what. I can't know everything.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Do you know what is two toilet?

Tejas - Which is the room one can't enter...mushroom Ojas answered as I racked my brains.

Which is the net you can't come out from ?

Longest rope ..Europe

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Feedback on my Housekeeping skills?

Seeing the growth on my Aquaguard table.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Rakshabandhan

Ben 10 rakhis for the brothers.
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sarcasm comes in small packets

Ojas to grandpa, on seeing him moistening his finger while turning the pages....what are you eating?
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Gifts

Tejas to me- Mamma, I will go to Odyssey (note the shop of his liking) with Dadda and buy you a gift.
And will go with you to shop and buy something for Dadda. May be a jeans.
He likes watch also very much.

Me- what will you buy for me.
Tejas- I will not tell you. I will tell Dadda

Dadda- Ojas, what gift are you giving to Mamma
Ojas- I already gave. That Story...(with an indignant look)

Hubby and I decided that the Fossil watch he got for me is the birthday gift and the shoes I bought for him a few days ago is my birthday gift for him.
We are cheap that way.

Tejas- Mamma, will you call those people who came for Donut's b'day today.
Me- Sure, why?
Tejas- they make the best gulabjamuns. (He meant the caterer not the guests)

Friday, August 09, 2013

Story for My Birthday

So Ojas wrote this story along with friend R.

 Tejas jealously criticized after they read it out to proud parents...

So many then then then. Not good.

If it gets published, no one will read it.
Even the book seller will throw it away.

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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Funny song

Tejas giggles on listening to mere rang mein...this is such a funny final countdown song.

The joke is he must have heard both songs equal number of times, in the range of say 7 times.
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Remember the Keds

My mom always bought me these colorful, functional, non girlie, hateful shoes.

And I follow suit
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rose Apple

Crunchy combo of pear and apple. Slight citrus and distinct rosy flavour.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ironically Speaking

Tejas mugging up spellings...yay yaar c t yai c arctic

Ojas- are you tamilian that you are talking like this?
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Basic Waffle Recipe

2 eggs, 250g flour and milk, 4tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1tsp baking powder, 4 tbsp unsalted butter, vanilla essence.

Makes 10 squares.

Combine all.

Preheat a waffle iron.

Grease with butter.

Fill the batter. Fully, leave no gaps.

Bake till they fluff up and become brown and crisp.

Serve upside down

drizzled with maple syrup.

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