I am a feminist housewife

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My husband has a very lovely godmother, who is now 84 years old. She is posh, classy and has helped us a lot in every possible way over the past few years. Obviously, we love her!

She is very very intelligent and will put any other 26 year old to shame, when you look at her juggling time between different social clubs, attending exhibitions all around Europe and, last but not the least, her history of international relationships with very interesting and acknowledged people. She is simply awesome!

But…

She is obsessed with my lack of career. Ever since, I took the responsibility of my husband’s two children upon myself, she has been extremely worried about this young ME, who is living a life without any ambition.

I understand her concerns come from love and experience or perhaps lack of it. She has worked all her life as a teacher in Cambridge. She has been a very self-sufficient, independent woman. Even at the age of 84 yrs, she is funding her own care and well-being; while managing to be a backbone for a lot of others like us! Having said that, she hasn’t been in a long marriage or ever had any children.

Every time, she calls, she would ask, ‘what are you doing these days when children are in school?’, ‘what happened to your teaching course?’, ‘has Sushi (Me) got any work at the moment?’

Nothing, Quit, No are the answers! But you can hear disappointment in her broken old voice!

It makes me ANGRY!

I have always believed that every woman should have the right to live the life she wants and chooses without getting a lot of mouth for it. We have been fighting for women’s right for years in different sphere’s of life but home. It is about time, women who have chosen to stay at home, be given enough respect for a choice they have made and not being looked down upon with sympathy or disdain.

I have a Master’s degree in Journalism. I was meant to be a BBC reporter, corresponding from different parts of the world, being the voice of women in India and fighting for animal rights etc. And when reality hit, I was a different person. I hadn’t realised my dream of being a mother, carer and a lover until I met my husband and his two children!

Not having a commercial career was not entirely my choice.

But I did choose to stay at home for my step – children and my husband. I chose to drop them off to school every morning, pack their lunch-boxes, wait outside the school gates to pick them up , chauffeur them around, bake them cakes and flapjacks for snacks, be able to cook fresh hot meals for supper every day, be there to welcome my tired husband home at the front door with a big unweary smile and a big cuddle.

A part of me hates the term, housewife because it is such a lot of patriarchal bullshit. It is this term that makes banks deny me a car or buy a house, or mingle with a certain group of parents even. But if not a housewife, what else?

It is very difficult to put together what I do without sounding simplistic or lacking authority.

But I make it possible for my husband to carry on with his paid work, while I look after other things like childcare, cleaning and washing up underwear’s!

Yet when I get asked, ‘What do you do for a living?’. I bring myself out from the hiding and seek shelter in the arms of the word, ‘Freelance‘. I freelance from time to time but I earn negligible amount to mention it as a career. I am essentially a stay at home mum.

Here’s what I do for a living

I am a cab driver, I am a cook, I am a child-minder, I am a cleaner, I am an entertainer, I am a dog walker, I am a nurse, I am a teacher, I am an event manager, I am an alarm and birthday reminder, I am a counsellor and I am the Director of it all. And I am a good one and I am proud of my little enterprise called Home!

What do you do for a living?

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Embrace the Lace – Date Night

My husband and I don’t get enough opportunities these days to go out on date nights. Hence, I felt a bit confused and over-excited about dressing up for this special occasion. Although I wanted to wear a very bold bodycon pinkish/orangish dress, the light outside made me go for a simple black dress.

But this black dress isn’t all that simple. It is romantic with all the laces and has a sexy back. The sleeves make the dress autumn friendly and the belt adds an extra dimension to this dress.

Minimal make-up, a simple heel and a quirky owl bag is what it took me to go out as my husband’s arm-candy!

My husband and I have a strange fascination for graveyards, not in a gothic way but in a spiritual way. So on the way to our date, we stopped over at the graveyard and took a few pictures.This post could easily be, ‘how to dress for a funeral’, but let’s not.

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Dress: Primark

Shoes: Tamaris (I actually got it from a second hand shop)

Bag: Pop-Up Margate (A local pop-up shop)

Confessions of a Naughty Momma & a Sneaky Wife

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Every mommy and wife has her dirty little secrets that you hide from your children and your husband at times. I always wondered if anyone out there shares the same secrets like I do…

1. I sometimes eat all the tasty and nasty snacks from the cupboard when the kids are asleep. Sometimes I eat them on my bed. I do it surreptitiously only because I don’t let the kids have any snacks just before dinner or bed!

2. There are days I don’t dress up and lounge about in my pyjamas.

3. I send the kids upstairs to play in the name of “work”, when actually I am watching some tele or facebooking.

4. I let the dogs on the bed for cuddles when husband isn’t home (I change the sheets to hide furry evidence)

5. I give my children calpol despite my husbands disagreement, because I just don’t want to deal with temperature for more than one day.

6. I shop secretly, and when my husband asks, I say, “I got it from a second hand shop.” (not that he ever would question my spending, but there is an element of fun in the lack of total transparency :p )

7. I get the kids to tidy up their own room, by luring them to watch TOP GEAR 😦

8. I sometimes don’t clean my teeth before going to bed.

9. Last but not the least, I used to shower twice a day or atleast once in the morning, but these days it is the other way round. I shower just in the evenings, after the kids have gone to bed. It is so peaceful, quiet, no one is banging the door, calling me to go upstairs, nobody is getting their fingers caught in the door, no one is kicking someone…warm water washing my days sins away!!!!!!!!!!

I would have never thought of doing such things before having the kids in my life, but they change everything. Yes, they do!

What are your naughty parent secrets?

Cauliflower Korma

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We are trying to eat less meat and incorporating more vegetarian and seafood based diet. Cauliflower is our house special and it also marks the flavour of autumn and winter. It is warming, tasty yet light and satisfying.

Ingredients:

For Korma Paste

2 medium chopped onions

9 to 10 cloves of garlic

1 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tomatoes

1 anise seed

2 tbsp freshly grated/dessicated coconut

half a tin of coconut milk

For cooking:

1 whole cauliflower

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp chilli powder

salt and sugar to taste

1 lemon

coriander to garnish

2 tbsp oil

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Then add the paste we made by grinding all the above mentioned ingredients. Once the paste is cooked enough and the oil starts to separate, add the spices and the cauliflower and mix well. Add water and simmer until cooked.

Once cooked add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander.

Serve hot with rice or nan bread, poppadums and pickles

It is Shabby and Chic but not Shabby-Chic! Please NO!

Our back garden is an untold story! It needs loving, attention and care. It is full of thistles and wild stuff growing everywhere and it is absurdly shaped. We took the shed off which makes more space, but again it needs character. 

My very enthusiastic husband, for a long time now, has been meaning to to paint the walls white and he ended up ordering some lime putty online after watching this exciting video. He thought that the lime would bubble up etc but nothing of such sort happened because we used hydraulic lime as opposed to quick lime which reacts to water. I felt for my husband, and decided to help him do the back garden together. My help makes him feel special. No it does! 🙂 

Anyhow, so we began by removing weed from the walls by pouring hot boiling water and scraped the wall quickly with sand paper (if you have children, this is where/when you get them involved and keep them busy). After all that, we made the walls wet and began painting. 

It is pretty simple to make the mixture. We did a very thin layer first. We mixed lime with water to form a very thin liquid like mixture and started brushing the walls. We did two layers, second one being slightly thicker! And I made some plaster like thick paste to fill up the gaps in between the brickwork and then my husband did another whitewash on top of it to seal everything in. 

Working with lime, I have to admit, was very satisfying. Lime is very powdery and milky; and it has a very seductive leather like texture. What is good about limewash is that you cannot go wrong with it. It only improves with each layer and the white colour gets richer and intense. It dries out easily, hence very England weather friendly. And for our garden, white works perfectly as the sun gets blocked due to neighbours walls etc and the white helps reflect the sunshine back onto our garden. 

Here’s a little sneak – peak into our very sexy weekend: 

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My Autumn/Winter Skincare Favourites

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September is here and I can’t be more excited! I have enjoyed the summer, but I am also looking forward to cosy evenings by the fireside with a cup of herbal tea and a book; cuddling up with my husband on the sofa watching a film, dressing up my kiddies in cute woollen clothes and cheekily letting the pups jump in bed to keep my feet warm! Oh winter, I do love you!

With lots of snuggles and cuddles, comfy layering and hot chocolates, winter also brings extreme pampering for your skin. I understand, we still haven’t hit autumn yet and there are speculations of Indian Summer even, I have already prepared myself for the coming season in terms of my skin care.

(I started using these products a week or so ago for the sake of this post, but I think I will carry on, as the wind by the seaside has started spreading the chill a bit )

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Eyes: Every morning, as soon as I wash my face (with water only), I dab a little bit of Elderflower Eye Gel from Body Shop. It is fragrance-free which I like, as I cannot bear loud noises and strong smells first thing in the morning. We all struggle to wake up and get out of our warm duvets and hence, can end up with puffy or tired eyes. This eye gel is very soothing and refreshing.

Face: This year’s winner is Johnson’s Baby Intense Moisture Cream. It smells very gentle and spreads like a dream leaving your nice really well moisturised and hydrated. I apply it in the morning and in the evening after my shower. (turns out my husband isn’t a fan of the the smell combined with the smell from my foot care cream and hand cream, I might have to search for a new night cream – update on that to follow)

Body: Every evening, after my shower, I use Johnson’s Baby oil  with lavender before drying myself. The water helps spread the oil evenly and then I dry myself by dabbing the towel, which removes the excess oil and water leaving the skin nicely moisturised until morning (but on days I feel very dry and itchy and reapply the oil before going to bed). Lavender also helps sleep you better, they say!

And in the morning, I use Body Shop’s Peach Body Lotion. It smells summer like, and if you are missing sunshine, atleast the fragrance from this lotion will comfort you. It is light and not very greasy, perfect for day wear.

Feet: Our feet takes a lot of battering during summer, but wearing those wellies and boots all the time during winter can also cause a lot of damage. Our feet don’t get to breath much during winter as we wear socks or tights or slippers all the time.

I brought this whole set of foot care products from Body Shop. They are all rich with Peppermint oil making your feet relaxed and refreshed.

I use Body Shop’s Intense Foot Scrub in the shower once every two days, and follow up with a pumice stone for extra exfoliation.

After my shower, I spray a bit of Cooling Foot Spray on my feet, again from Body Shop, leaving my feet smell nice and cool. I use it whenever I feel tired and want to make my feet smell nice 🙂

Before going to bed, I moisturise my feet again with Peppermint Intensive Foot Cream. It is very rich and creamy, hence perfect for night time.

Hands: As a mother, you have a lot of washing up and cleaning to do all the time, but during winter, our hands suffer a lot from all this exposure. I use my all year favourite Aesop’s Ressurection Hand Cream, which I had reviewed (here) a few weeks ago.

Lips: I have been loyal to Carmex Lip Balm with the goodness of Camphor, Beeswax and Menthol for the past two years. It moisturises your lips immediately, stays on well and smells good too. It is very cooling for winter, but somehow I like the tingly feeling.

Both my footcare and lipbalm is full of tingly and cooling, quite contrast to what one would want for winter but I like the feeling as it feels refreshing and relaxed.

What are your favourite skincare products for this winter?

 

 

 

 

 

Black Eyed Peas Curry (No oil)

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I have been tad bit lazy in the recipe deaprtment. So here is a delicious vegetarian recipe I tried almost a week or so ago. It is easy, simple, very healthy and deliciously Indian.

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Ingredients:

2 tinned black eyes peas (if using raw, soak it overnight and then boil it for 20 minutes)

1 chopped onion

1 chilli slit lengthwise

2 chopped tomatoes

1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Salt and Sugar to taste

Method: (This is the best part)

Put all your ingredients in a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and cook it for 15 minutes. Check and if required add more water and put the lid on until cooked. 

Once cooked, garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve hot with rice or roti. (At home we’d even eat it with bread)