Holiday Play For You and Your Little One

I wrote this post for the SensoBaby blog earlier this week so it’s a repost here for some weekend play ideas. Aanavi and I have been busy with a couple of these this week and hope to get up to even more magic and mischief this weekend.

As the nation celebrates its 49th year of Independence, plenty of families use this time to recuperate after the beginning of a hectic term. The third term is always busy – exams, tests, end of year productions at schools, and just that general end of year feeling! We’re recovering from winter with a nasty 40 degrees “spring” and I don’t know about you, but it’s certainly taking its toll on me.

This September long weekend is a great time to connect with your child as you can both relax and play at home or while away on holiday.

Here are 10 playful suggestions for you:

  1. Roll up with a kitchen favourite – homemade play dough. This was such a hit at our SensoBaby Make and Make Believe class last week.

The recipe:

1 cup water

1 cup flour

½ cup salt

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

Food colouring of your choice (For Independence Day themed play dough, make one batch blue, keep some in its natural colour and mix red, green and blue together which is as close as you will get to black).

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook on low heat. Stir continuously. It should eventually thicken into one lump, at which point it can come off the stove. Turn it out into a large bowl and knead it once it cools down.

  1. When it’s too hot to be outside, grab your children by their brains and engage in some ‘Brain Box’ activities: These include stories, puzzles, threading and beading, drawing, colouring, sequencing games, shape sorters, and other ‘traditional, school-style’ learning tasks. Make sure they are age appropriate and challenging at just the right level though.  
  1. Sensory Baskets: Create various baskets filled with interesting items for baby/toddler to explore. For example, coloured baskets – 3 or 4 baskets, each filled with items of various textures, shapes and sizes but all in the same colour. Alternatively, you can do a ‘soft’ basket, a ‘fluffy’ basket, a ‘rough’ basket, a ‘gooey’ basket etc. You could also create Treasure Baskets filled with shiny or special objects where each one has a story; shells, mirrors, treasures from travels abroad and more!
  1. Sorting trays… you don’t need to go out and buy one, just use a cupcake tray! Have various objects that your little one can sort through such as numbers and letters if they’re in preschool already or coloured rice/pasta shells for the younger ones.
  1. Make some Rainbow Soap Foam Bubbles from Fun at Home with Kids.
  1. Go on that Nature Walk I mentioned last week, pick some fruit if you have some growing in your garden and squeeze it out in water. Let your baby engage in water play outdoors exploring textures, colours, nature and their senses. Or collect some leaves and make this gorgeous mask 
  1. Messy play may sound like a pain to mummy but it’s such fun for baby! Make some Goop like we did at SensoBaby:


1 cup corn starch

1/3 cup water

Food colouring of your choice

Method: Mix all together! Add more water if not runny enough and ENJOY! :)

  1. It’s HOT so water is a cooling play activity for the little ones… Here’s another water play idea: make a water sensory bin. In a large enough tub that would fit baby (or an inflatable baby pool), fill it up to the same level you would a bath. Drop in some cups or a little jug (to encourage pouring), some rubber ducks or other bath toys, squirty bath books, beach toys like a bucket, spade, rake and sand shaping toys such as shells and star fish, safe kitchen items like a plastic sieve through which baby can explore water pouring out… use your imagination! :)
  1. Paint with edible finger paints. Another star recipe from our Make and Make Believe Classes:  


½ cup corn starch

2 cups cold water

2 tablespoons of sugar

Food colouring of your choice

Method: Mix all ingredients except the food colouring together in a saucepan and cook on low heat. Stir continuously until thick. Take off the heat. Add more water for a more runny consistency if you want. Divide into jars to store and use and add a different food colouring to each.

  1. Lastly, one more fantastic messy play one – use all your senses to engage with Rainbow Spaghetti and make it a treasure quest. Boil spaghetti until cooked. Separate it into 3 or 4 different bowls and add different food colouring to each one. Toss together into one big bowl and hide some treasure objects between it all… You can hide small plastic animals, Lego pieces or characters, plastic fruit (available from EduToys) or even little flowers picked from the garden in there.  

Let us know what you tried at home this week and how it went for you! Share your pictures and experiences with us too; we would love to hear more.

Have a Happy Independence Holiday… PULA!


Connectedness & Wellbeing

I am privileged to be able to take Aanavi to work with me every afternoon.  After nearly a year of ‘maternity leave’, I was nervous about going back to work full-time in June this year. Until she turned one, we were pretty much together all day, everyday… I worked from home as much as possible, tried to do the sleep when she sleeps thing, did as much as I could from what the blogs and books said and then suddenly, I was going to “office” as I would say to her. I was worried about losing that bond with Aanavi though. And then the idea of SensoBaby became real!

One of our goals with SensoBaby is to nurture the feeling of ‘connectedness’ between parent and child; our classes aim to give you focused one-on-one time with Baby where your phone is off (except to capture all those exciting moments), your errands will be done later and your thoughts have been filed away.

Experts in children’s health, psychology and education deem positive relationships with parents and caregivers one of the most fundamental factors in overall wellbeing. But more importantly to note, that from birth to three is when these relationships have the most determining impact.

We all know that children thrive with our attention but we often burn out with insanely busy lives of a multitude of responsibilities, needs and roles to fulfill. We want the best for our children, and while we remember every item on their preferred dinner list, what we sometimes forget is that the best for our children includes the best of us.

I can only attend two classes a week with Aanavi at SensoBaby on a Monday and Friday. Tuesday through to Thursday I teach my own classes. So despite my own goals of establishing SensoBaby I’m not able to commit to daily classes as I am working full-time. So how else can we bond?

We absolutely flourish on weekends! That is OUR time. I don’t even have the excuse or temptation of asking the nanny to do a nappy change because the nanny has her time off; if I have to be at work, Aanavi comes with me and if Dad has plans, we fit around them.

But if I had to wait for weekends, I don’t think I would have a stable sense of wellbeing, let alone Aanavi.

We may only get an hour or two a day now, but we still fill it with quality. So here are some ideas on how to switch off from the world and switch on to your Baby:

  1. Reading together! I will say it in every post because I can’t stress its importance enough.

2. Our new thing is Nature Walks. We explore the garden, look under logs for mini beasts, go on simple scavenger hunts and make things out of flowers, leaves and twigs.


3. Engage together in art/messy play/sensory play at home as well. The opportunities for this kind of play around the house are endless.

4. Our cuddles and time in bed in the mornings are my absolute most favourite time with Aanavi. We giggle, chat, sing and learn. This is when I teach Aanavi new words, songs and knowledge, as she’s at her most receptive and ‘open’ stage of the day.

5. Summer is back which means so is swimming! Splashing together and playing in the pool was something we reveled in last year and I cant wait to start again.

6. Get busy with developmental/learning toys such as puzzles, threading and beading, activity boards and more. These are a great way to reinforce fine motor skills and core concepts of colours, shapes, animals etc.

7. Food is an awesome way to interact and include your children in the process of meals. It builds their sensory profile and reduces the risk of fussy eaters. Have your little ones involved right from the grocery shopping, looking at the colours, shapes and textures of vegetables and fruits. Smell ingredients as you put them together, let them mix and stir your pots and help your serve.

8. Take a trip together… it could be as simple as going to a playground or sandpit, a weekend break, or a lovely holiday… but it could just be an afternoon away together. This weekend we discovered the Petting Farm in Oodi and we had the best time interacting with the animals, feeding them and discovering their sounds, smells and how they feel.


These are just a few ideas to get you started (for when you can’t come to a SensoBaby class!) J However, give your children the autonomy to decide with you, how they would like to spend your special time together. Being involved in decisions is another way to promote your child’s wellbeing and develop a relationship built on mutual respect, shared understanding and love.

Creating Wonderland

Research proves that children who are read to are more likely to develop a deeper understanding of language, speech, literacy as well as social and emotional skills.

This is why, after the sale of Kip McGrath, REWA has focused its direction on building a culture of reading in our community. We aim to empower babies, children, youth and their parents and teachers with the multitude of wonders that stories provide.

Sharing a story with a child is more than just teaching new vocabulary, it builds knowledge about people, places and life situations. Stories have the power to stimulate development across multiple learning areas, foster the parent-child bond and capture imaginations. It is such a valuable tool to use with our children that doctors in America are asked to tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a recent policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But reading to children, especially infants, can be challenging. Their attention span doesn’t last and you may feel that they have no idea what you’re saying. What if they turn a page before you’re done with it? It can be difficult and you may be tempted to just get on with it and finish the story.

Here are some tips on how to make it engaging and enjoyable for you and your child:

  • Make it playful and bring in physical, social, sensory and imaginary elements.

Design activities based on the book that are challenging and age appropriate. You can do yoga postures that relate to animals from a story or imagine you’re a character and talk about what you would have done instead. Make a craft that represents a scene or character from the book or engage in fantasy play together.

Have fun with it! Read books that you enjoy reading too, be dramatic and change your voice for different characters. Make sounds, use facial expression and add props to enhance the effect. Be enthusiastic and willing to share the magic of whatever they have read. Allow them to explore other worlds (fantasy, historic or even real) through discussions over the dinner table. Ask them what if questions (e.g. What if you met a Gruffalo? What if you had magical powers you never knew about and were the one destined to kill the Dark Lord? What if you lived in Narnia? What if you walked into an enchanted wood?)

  • Read with even the tiniest of tots.


As they grow, they will know what to expect. Reading from birth will develop attention spans and a love of books. It creates lifelong learners and communication skills. Many children above the age of 8 or 9 complain that they never get ‘read to’ anymore and they miss it. It actually inspires them to enjoy stories and through guided ‘book talk’, they begin to value the knowledge and experience they gain from shared stories.

  • Keep it relevant as they grow.

Choose books about topics that your baby is interested in or based on themes that they can relate to. Animals, colours, nature, places you will visit – these are all ways to reinforce concepts that they are learning about elsewhere. As your children grow up, offer them a choice of books; everyone’s interests are different and they may not wish to read what you enjoyed when you were a kid. Choice means an investment – so if they have chosen the book, they are invested to read it.

  • Rhyme, sing, repeat!

Books that have an element of rhyme, rhythm and repletion in them are usually the most popular with young children as they engage their senses on multiple levels. Little learners can pick up on sound patterns and are more likely to acquire early language skills through these patterns.

  • Use board books, bath books, different textures etc.

Infants will want to experience the book on all levels, including chewing them, bathing with books and scribbling on them. Have a variety of books available for your children to bond with.

  • Model good reading behaviour. If you sit in front of the telly all evening, they will too.
  • Keep it short!

This one is particularly important for the 0-4 age group! Short picture books with great illustrations and just a few lines per page usually work best when starting out with babies. You can talk about the pictures that stood out most and encourage further discussion, creativity and elaboration on those images rather than reading a lengthy story.

  • Make reading a treat…. If they do something well, they get 5 minutes extra reading time before they go to bed. Or if they do something naughty, they don’t get to read tonight and lights have to go off straight away! Subtle technique that subconsciously makes reading a valuable and pleasurable activity.
  • Be up-to-date with children’s books so you can better recommend books for your child:

Children become more attentive and interested in stories as their understanding of the world grows; foster this understanding through music, play and engaging activities.

The adventures are endless, the skills learned are invaluable.

Some of my favourite childhood memories are based on books. Join the Baby in Wonderland classes at SensoBaby to create beautiful memories with your Babas or enroll your child with REWA Book Clubs. 

Baby in Wonderland takes place every Tuesday. See our schedule here.

Book Clubs take place every Wednesday afternoon at Exclusive Books, Riverwalk.


Jobs on my job

 “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you’re doing?”

Apparently Steve Jobs had a resounding yes to this question every single day.

Lifehack has inspired my post once again with their article on Steve Jobs’ guiding question. 

This article couldn’t have found me on a more apt day, for today, I closed my Kip McGrath franchise at REWA. With everything boxed, signage down and centre being repainted, I found myself in tears more than once this evening after saying goodbye to staff who had been at REWA for over three years. 

My Kip centre was my first baby and it’s proved to be very difficult to let go of something I bred. After years of building it up, creative effortful development, hours and hours of passionate dedication for students and staff alike, it’s unnerving how effortlessly we’ve come to an end. I really loved what I did, and valued the opportunity to impact hundreds of children over the last three years. However, this rather anticlimatic end is what proves it truly is time to let go. 


Today marks the end of the beginnings of REWA and the dawn of unfathomably more exciting opportunities for the children of Botswana.

The Lifehack article poses 6 further questions which highlight REWA’s newfound direction and my reignited purpose and passion:

1. Does your work make you smile? 

Oh how it does, and this is why…  


Just today, I signed my first agreement with a publisher as a children’s author! I’ve written three books already and my first book for kids will be out within a year! 

With unfulfilled time on my hands, I found something that fulfils all my creative desires along with my dedication to children’s literacy and I absolutely love it. Nothing in the world makes me happier than writing books for children. :) 

2. How tired do you feel at the end of the day?

I’m writing this in bed with my eyes burning red and sore…from the Kip tears and how beautifully exhausted I am. I’m the kind of tired that is so rewarding because I know I’m tired from immense brain activity of thinking up and working on programmes that are going to change lives. 

REWA is soon to launch a creative and holistic programme for parents and babies along with various other partners. 

“Going to bed with the feeling that you’ve accomplished something means two things: that you’re using your talents in a way that you find fulfilling and that you’re contributing productively to the world around you.”

I resonate with that 100%.

#watchthisspace for more information on SensoBaby launching in September! 


3. Is your work rewarded?

Collaborating on such programmes that are so personal and important is a wonderfully unique way to feel valued and rewarded on a frequent basis. Working with a very cool team of professional and super-mums on SensoBaby and Little Einsteins revs up my self-esteem, drive and desire to do more!

4. Do you have any regrets? 

Definitely not. Without the brilliantly educational experience of running a franchise, I wouldn’t have the confidence to now develop my own programmes and brand. 

Kip McGrath was an opportune platform to launch the REWA Education Centre. Most importantly, I’m thankful I had the courage to acknowledge that it’s no longer giving me the positive sense of usefulness and service that it used to. 

5. Does your work consume your life? 

My life is my daughter and my family… Aanavi is the inspiration behind all my new projects, the writing (#AdventuRams) and SensoBaby! 

I launched REWA for the children of Botswana and my Botswana baby has just allowed for me to combine motherhood with passion and purpose. So yes, it consumes my life or rather vice versa and I feel like a rockstar for being able to feel this way :) 


6. Do you feel stimulated?

More than ever before. Recently, the universe has conspired to fill each day of mine with creativity and the chance to offer greater service and joy to little humans. 

Ask yourself the same questions… They truly do work as a self-reflective guide to cultivate enthusiastic purpose in whatever you do. 

So,  if today were the last day of my life, would I want to be doing what I’m doing? After more than a year of uncertainty, I would love to tell Steve Jobs that I too can look in that mirror and hurrah a YES for all the jobs I play!


I saw a Facebook post this week that asked Mothers to describe Motherhood in three words. 

These were mine: Motherhood is… “Not for sissies!”

This is how I know:

  1. In Aanavi’s first month of life I got jet pooh all over me – from my hair till my toes! I won’t even count the times I’ve been peed on. Vomit is just normal.
  2. I won’t bother talking about the paradoxical joy and peril of pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding. 
  3. My relationships with everyone around me changed. Every thing was harder, expectations were higher, time and patience were scarce and I was too focused on my relationship with my baby to think about sustaining or developing relations with anyone else. 
  4. I lost sense of who I was as a whole, individual person for a while. A normal adult with a personality, with my owns wants and needs, likes and dislikes, ambitions, dreams and aspirations. I forgot I could be just an “I” and didn’t have to be a “we”. 
  5. Motherhood taught me that I can function exceptionally well on little or no sleep. I don’t mean the university style all-nighter to attend a dull lecture and party hard the following evening. I average 5 hours of sleep a night and somehow I’m still able get up everyday and raise a little person without messing her up while I attempt to run a growing business, renovate a house and have a life!
  6. I can say things like, “I have to pooh. Can you please stop staring at me?” With a straight face. 
  7. You hear stories of children being drunk, on drugs, making irresponsible life choices, getting involved in behaviours that cause serious concern and still want to bring little humans into this scary world. You’re not sissy (but perhaps naively silly) by believing that your child will be different…  It takes courage to have faith in yourself as a parent, to fight what seems like a generation of factors working against you.

Seriously, Motherhood is not for sissies. 

So this is us as we bravely walk the path of the scariest and most beautiful relationship of all: Mum and Daughter. 

What three words would you use to describe motherhood? 


It takes a village… 

In April this year, an international organisation approached and offered me an opportunity to train 400 teachers across 8 different circuits in Namibia. The training was to be on how to teach initial reading skills to Grades 1-3. 

I jumped at the opportunity without thinking twice. 

When I got here though, it wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be. In fact, it was a grand shock to my system. 

I hadn’t worked full time since Aanavi was born; been away from a home environment for this long or anywhere this rural for more than a day or two. I was wholly unprepared for this and after two days I rang my husband and said, “I’m coming home!”

The hotel facilities were far lower than what you would expect from a 3*; the vegetarian food ranged from eggs on toast, cheese and tomato sandwiches and pasta with onions and tomatoes. When we were lucky we got mashed potatoes. The staff have more than made up it though – they are so warm and caring and have gotten to know us so well. Today when I walked back in, exhausted and hot, they brought my tea in a MUG, not a cup,  without me asking for it! It may be my last day, and the first time they actually got it right, but they did! :) 

I was contracted (and paid) to work 2 hours a day on workshops. My first day at work was a 10 hour day. The next was the same. Eventually we got it down to 6-7 hours. 

Long drives through bush and gravel, stopping to allow for donkeys, goats, cattle and chicken to cross the road whilst I sweated away and read book after book, blog after blog. It was so mindless that I actually found myself asking on one of these journeys, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Only to find that the answer really is, to get to the other side! :)   


I spent my first week homesick, frustrated, regretful and complaining miserably to my husband, worried about malaria, malnutrition and all sorts of things that existed only in my mind. 

But then I did my Kriya, I meditated and I made peace with my situation through a calmer mind. I read knowledge from my Guru and today, as I am on my way to my last workshop and as I celebrate my last day here, I am also able to look at things with a very grateful heart. 

For all the self-doubt I had, I now know that I can do anything that I put my mind and heart into. 

I gave each workshop my best, and really got the best results out of it too. Something I didn’t anticipate being so successful when I had cows mooing and goats bleating as a most appropriate background score to my very own ‘The Gods Must be Crazy’ script.   

For all the complaining I did about the food (they even fed me chicken once by mistake), I met with the chef and he is such a wonderful guy who really tried his best to cater to my dietary preferences. I have only compassion and smiles for him now. Today my eight plate of spaghetti napoletena was really pretty good!  


I’ve learnt so much about this country, it’s people and their needs. There is a great hunger for learning here and honest value for quality trainings in education. Their teachers are passionate, dedicated and committed to giving their learners the best of them. I am truly privileged to have been able to help, if only for a few hours a day. There is an immense sense of satisfaction in knowing that your efforts can be valued beyond what you even anticipated. Their sincere learning made all my frustrations worth it.  


I learnt that we rise by lifting others

A real eye-opener was how these teachers needed things for themselves. I came here with the children in mind, and I leave with a place in my heart for the teachers instead. Teachers who held on to every word of mine, absorbing knowledge that I take for granted.   

We talked about how to teach English in a multi-sensory, kinaesthetic way… But in classrooms with no resources – so our resources became water, rice, maize flour and chalk. Hop scotch patterns, cardboard boxes and egg cartons were our tools of preference. 
We shared recipes for play dough and talked about taking learning outdoors – using trees, leaves and sand.    


As I pack to leave tonight, I am packing all these ideas and experiences too.

This amazing adventure has been worth every second of the heat, dust and hunger I went through. 

The feedback from teachers is rewarding beyond belief. But on those forms, other than some ego-boosting comments, you also see another great need – and that’s the language needs of the teachers themselves. We reached out to such remote areas that many teachers are not qualified or fluently literate, they can just read or write a bit better than others in their communities.   


Sometimes the teachers were more excited about the free sweets, juice and muffins they were getting because it was just such a novelty to them! You can then imagine the gratitude they had when they received posters and books for their classrooms!

This is not just Namibia’s story, this is the story of our continent. 

I daren’t complain about my lack of little luxuries again. Aanavi got through her days without me with some style and lots of smile. She sees me in the evening and announces, “Mumma mwah!” Letting me know she wants some mother smother time!

I was taught how to adjust to different (not difficult) situations by a one year old. 

I learnt how to be a passionate educator from villages of teachers wherever I went. 

I learnt that I can pioneer through eight-hour drives in scorching sunshine and live up to what I started – Raising Education Within Africa. I exceeded my own expectations of myself and there is no greater sense of achievement than that. 

My experience over these 12 days was not difficult, it was an honour and a privilege. 

Added to the honour of being here, was the honour and support I received from my family and friends back home! To you all, thank you for encouraging me and keeping a smile on my face via what’s app and Facebook these past 12 days! 

I know that at this given time, in the right here and now, only I could have undertaken this initiative. I don’t regret it for I know I was chosen for it – not merely to empower the 400 teachers in Northern Namibia who I reached, but to honour myself with the knowledge that I have an even greater power within. 


When we break out of all our comfort zones, defy our own limitations and expectations, that is where the magic of life is. 

On Monday 6th July, I felt like a little girl at boarding school again. 

Today I feel grown up. 

There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child… Well it’s taken 8 villages in Namibia to raise me! 



Mumma, I know we’re the #AdventuRams but I’m ready to go home!


What happens when Mummy has the travel bug? 

Aanavi turned 13 months yesterday… And in these 13 months, she has spent a a couple of weeks in Johannesburg; a week in Seychelles and two in Cape Town; five weeks in London; seven in India; a few days in Madikwe and now we are in Namibia for two weeks and off to Europe thereafter. Her first trip on a plane was to London when she was 8 weeks old!


#poutlikeAanavi on our very first flight

In her short life so far, she has spent about 5 months away from home. 

The mum-guilt that I spoke about before was back again last night before I left… But Aanavi reassured me today, by being a happy traveller despite two flights and barely any sleep, that as always my guilt was unfounded.

Is it fair to her though – the constant adjusting, new places, a different cot (or no cot), changing routines, weird and wonderful food choices, different people and no Dad half the time? 

I don’t know if it’s fair but I do know that she’s not being hindered by any of it. Rather than wondering about ‘adaptation issues’, I thought about what she’s gaining from all of these experiences: 

1. She’s learnt to be flexible with her needs and routine. 

2. She eats a variety of foods and flavours! 

3. Aanavi is learning lots of new skills and words very quickly; learning she wouldn’t normally be exposed to if we didn’t travel as much. She shows recognition of safari animals and notices little and big things from birds to butterflies; her fine motor skills are pretty amazing from practicing things like opening the airplane table all by herself and the pincer grip she’s developing using crayons to draw while I am working. She can actually identify 5 different shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle and heart) because the only book I can fit into my diaper bag is Spot’s Touch and Feel Shapes! She’s read it hundreds of times. 

4. She is SUPER friendly towards everyone because she’s so used to people! She has learnt to greet and smile at almost everyone she meets. She’s even mastered a little ‘royal wave’.  


India – February 2015

 5. She never watches TV because we just aren’t home long enough to get into it and I don’t travel with an iPad. There is little to no screen time in her life. 

6. She can swim in the sea and in pools.


Seychelles – December 2014

7. She has developed a very cool sense of curiosity towards nature, people, animals and life in general. I love watching her watch the world in wonder. 

Here’s what I have gained in the process: 

1. My greatest achievement has been learning to let go. I used to sweat the small stuff with what time she has to sleep and has to eat and has to do everything! Now, as long as she’s happy, healthy and having fun whilst still getting enough sleep and nutritious food, I’m relaxed. 

2. I’ve gained flexibility with her flexibility. 

3. I don’t have to think twice about a spontaneous holiday or a crazy work trip to rural Namibia. My travel bug doesn’t have to be cured :) 

4. I am learning how to be a different kind of mum everyday – some days I’m a nutritionist trying to count how many measures of calcium, iron and protein she’s had, other times I’m a clown and entertainer, a storyteller and a comforter, some days I’m Tiger mum and others I’m Dolphin. Sometimes I Helicopter and sometimes I’m an Elephant mum (can you believe all of these terms actually exist!?)! My knowledge on theories of childhood, parenting and nutrition amazes even me sometimes because I’m forever reading, doing and now writing about it too! 😄 

5. I’ve gained inspiration from travelling with Aanavi for a massive career change! Watch this space… #adventuRams :) 

So, top tips for travelling? 

  1. Make a list. I have a generic packing list for both Aanavi and I which I can easily adapt depending on our destination. I then just pack to my checklist and have never forgotten or run out of anything.
  2. Take a little bit of home with you. Pack things that Baby will be familiar with and finds comfort in. We take Aanavi’s little baby bear with us everywhere, her favourite bath toys, a ball and whatever toy/book she’s into at that point. I pack the same blanket, she knows and loves her pram and I take her bowl and spoons from home too.
  3. Be flexible with yours and Baby’s needs during your trip. Don’t feel forced into sticking to a rigid routine if it’s not working while you’re away. Learn to listen to your baby’s body and teach him/her to listen to it too. 
  4. Have a diaper bag packed and ready-to-go at all times with nappies, wipes, cream, snacks, a water cup, a change of clothes and other essentials. 
  5. Invest in a lightweight travel stroller that can recline flat and a light blanket that you can hang over to block light/the world of distractions out when you want to push Baby to sleep. 
  6. Spend time carefully choosing the right baby carrier. We tried Stokke, a Mama’s and Papa’s one but have found ErgoBaby to be absolutely super on the back and shoulders, as well as easy to put on with various different carrying positions. 
  7. Have some easy-to-pack toys in your hand-luggage. I recently discovered kinetic sand! Very cool handbag toy. That and the Fisher-Price talking lunch box, a pair of singing keys and plastic sunglasses. That’s when Aanavi’s good to go!  

    London Baby – May 2015

  8. Did I mention little nibbles? Pack snacks – lots of them! 
  9. Hand and face wipes as well as the chubby cocoa butter stick for babies. Every wipe makes her skin drier in this weather so we replenish with cocoa butter. We also have an Oh Lief sunblock stick permanently in the bag.
  10. Dress Baby in a buttoned grow when travelling. Not all planes have a changing station, most restaurants/cafes don’t either. You don’t have time or space to be taking off and putting on clothes. Always easier to just pop buttons open and do the necessary bum wipes. 💩  Added bonus – they’re warm, which is important on planes as they have central cooling systems… and you’re not worried about lost socks on the flight.    

Wishing you and your children travels filled with happy adventure and zestful curiousity!



Who needs to be supermum when you can just be MUM?

Along with sleep deprivation, sheer joy and madness at the same time and wondering when we can wear our favourite jeans again, one more guaranteed common feeling for every mum in the world is guilt. 

Today I had one of those guilt-engulfing moments. I read an article about 10 things I probably should do as a mum, but don’t. Written from the perspective of a mum who also doesn’t do any of them, it’s good to know I’m not alone… I shared the post to unburden my guilt.

This is the article: 10 Things I Should Do As A Mom But Don’t

Once I got into bed though, I questioned that guilt. Why should I feel this way? Why should any mum? They’re not even relevant to me! 

Here’s a breakdown:  

1. Get crafty with my kids. This is just not my personality! I am not the arts and crafts type. I probably won’t ever make her a birthday cake or make clothes for her dolls. I will, however, give her a huge hug when she bakes her first cupcakes, savouring every crumb and I will make up fantastic stories for every day of the week based on all her toys. 

2. Clip coupons. A couple of Pula saved by spending enough time figuring out where and how or a couple of minutes extra in bed this morning? A couple of extra minutes cuddling Aanavi? 

3. Exercise. 10000 steps on a daily walk IS exercise! 

4. Set up play dates for my kids. When it’s convenient to me and I like the mum, I do! Her social life and mine are intrinsically tied and I truly believe ‘you are the company you keep’. I have no interest or desire in keeping company that adds little value to my life AND hers. It’s not an ‘or’. 

5. Make my own baby food. I probably would have if I didn’t have organic options. Personally, I’m glad Aanavi ate out of bottles and boxes so readily – it made travelling with her super easy! She now eats everything we do.

6. Clean regularly. Thank god for house help! 

7. Help out in the classroom. Not yet relevant but this is one I probably will do. 

8. Model responsible behaviour. It depends what is meant by responsible? Do I sometimes sleep in and skip an early morning appointment? Sure. Do I take spontaneous vacations at the risk of missing work? Yup. Do I watch hours of a TV show I’m hooked to? Oops! I even leave most things to the last minute and sit on my phone at midnight! 

But! I’m a kind and happy person and do try and express that to everyone I meet. Hopefully that’s good enough for her. 

9. Nix the Starbucks habit. Why would I ever?

10. Plan date nights. I’m sure we will get there one day :) 

I may not do the ten things above, but here are ten things I do that are unique to Aanavi and I: 

  1. She comes into my bed every morning and we giggle, we cuddle, we sing songs and we watch videos of herself on my phone. She just loves this. 
  2. We read together in the afternoons. 
  3. I’m even writing little books for Aanavi about all her adventures!
  4. She sits and ‘works’ with me when I am working from home.  
  5. I plan a nutritionally balanced meal-plan for the day which includes Aanavi’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and her snacks. 
  6. We have a super bath and bedtime routine which we both love and follow religiously. I know she sleeps smiling and that means I do too. 
  7. I go to work every day – my mum did and it made me who I am today! Independent, career-oriented, hard-working but also so appreciative of quality time rather than quantity of time. 
  8. We practice gratitude together. One of Aanavi’s first words was “Ta” for thank you! 
  9. I take photos and videos of her whenever I can…  So one day I can show her that I was so enthralled by everything she did, I needed to capture it all! 
  10. I tell her I love her at least ten times a day and I tell her why. Each time a different reason.

To any mum out there who feels that ever-persistent feeling of guilt, make your own list of ten. Don’t bother with what you don’t do. Trust me, your child hasn’t even noticed… But they are noticing and growing from what you do DO. 

Once upon a time… 

I’m currently watching a TV series called Once Upon A Time.  It’s where all our well known fairytale characters are living in a modern time. Adi and I are hooked by its creative ingenuity… We are enchanted by the romantic notion that fairytales may actually exist in real life.

They certainly do in my real life:

Once upon a time, on the 4th of June 2014, a little fairy blessed me with the title of Mumma. My little fairy, my little Aanavi.
In a few hours you turn ONE and this year has been a fairytale in the making…

We’ve had moments of love, laughter and bliss as your learnt your many firsts – when you first sat up, crawled, stood, ate, walked… Your first holiday, your first Diwali, Christmas, trip to the park to feed the ducks, your first words, “ball”, “open”, “Aarna”!

We have had dark and dangerous times with projectile poops and sleepless nights.
I’ve laughed and cried like in any great story. My heart has soared with your giggles and broken with your tears.

You’ve even managed to have your first kiss already from your buddy Huxley!

Fairytales consist of a struggle overcome – and this first year of parenting has been the hardest yet most joyful year of my life!

Fairytales have a moral and you, Aanavi, have taught me many of life’s lessons in these 12 months:

In month 1, you taught me that I am stronger than I ever knew.

By 3 months, I realised there is no such thing as right or wrong parenting… There is only intuition.

In your fourth month, your Nani had a car accident and you taught us all that happiness can heal all pain.

At 6 months, we travelled and explored; your curiousity for the world was contagious. Your zest for life all around, your eagerness to make friends with all whom you meet proved to me that we are designed to be a One World Family.

9 months later, I started listening to my body again as you reminded me about the holistic perspectives of Health. Simply by focusing on your growing demands, I paid more attention to mine. We share the same needs – nutrition, sleep, exercise and mindfulness.

We are at twelve months of Aanaviness and by far the greatest learning of all is that I will never stop learning. I will never know it all and the acceptance that I don’t want to. I love that everyday with you teaches me more about myself, about life, about childhood and education, about people and family. The greatest knowledge is that with you, learning is infinite.

Finally, all fairytales have an element of magic. In my fairytale, that’s your smile.

My wish for you today Aanavi, is may this magic last a lifetime. May we live Happily Ever After.

Happy 1st Birthday Aanavi.

I Love You.


Happy Mother’s Day to my daughter 

My reason to celebrate Mother’s Day

My dearest little Aanavi, 

This Mother’s Day is extraordinarily special because you’re at that age where every moment is exciting, learning new words as each day goes by and surprising me with your charm and wit at such a young age. 

Most mothers describe what they want for their children – to live lives of purpose, passion and happiness. Of course I want that for you, but today I want to tell you that you’ve inspired these three virtues in me. 

Because of you, I have newfound determination to succeed in all ventures – whether at home with you and at work without you (so I can be efficient and rush back to you!). 

For you, I want to make the world a better place to grow up in. Having you in my life has only reignited my passion to uplift children’s education and holistic development. 

With you, I feel a sheer bliss that words cannot explain. Every description falls short and sounds far too clichéd. Suffice to say, it is the kind of happiness that is unconditional; untainted by the day’s stresses; the kind of happiness that makes all my internal organs soar with smiles. 

Whilst parents hope to be super-role-models to their children, you –  with your dynamic and intelligent spirit that never ceases to amaze us; a smile which makes even people on London trains cheer up; eyes that charm whoever you meet and sloppy little kisses that you’ve learnt to give; you, my little darling, inspire me to be the best version of myself.  

So Happy Mother’s Day to you my daughter – tomorrow the world celebrates and honours mothers and I’d like to thank you, Aanavi, for giving me the honour of being yours.

special mummy kissies