Ramadan Recipe - Veg Ratatouille Lasagne

So very recently I was sent the Gousto Box. What is the Gousto Box? It is a subscription based service that helps you choose your favourite recipes and delivers the ingredients right to your door. How cool is that? You can choose whether you want meals for 2 or for 4. The ingredients are delivered fresh to your door and the vegetables are all organic and farm grown.

One of the recipe that I chose was the Veg Ratatouille Lasagne. Now, I have NEVER in my life had a vegetable lasagne ever. So i was pretty excited to try this. I hardly cook vegetable based things in my house because no one in my family is a fan except well, myself.

And I think this recipe has to be a hit during Ramadan, because even though you're hungry throughout the day, when you actually sit down to eat, you realise you're more than full and just want water to gulp down. This lasagne is no too heavy and not too light either, so its best for iftaar.

What you need:

1 aubergine,
1 tin of chopped tomatoes,
1 courgette,
1 red pepper,
10g basil (to garnish),
2 garlic cloves,
6 lasagne verdi sheets,
2 tsp rich tomato paste,
40g Irish Mature cheese,
40g Italian hard cheese.

Process:

Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C (fan)/ 425°F/ Gas 7. Deseed the red peppers (scrape the seeds and pith out with a teaspoon) and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the aubergine into bite-sized pieces. Cut the courgette into bite-sized pieces. Peel and finely chop (or grate) the garlic

Heat a large, wide-based pan with a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the red pepperauberginecourgette and a large pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 min or until the vegetables are starting to brown slightly and caramelise. 

Meanwhile, melt 30g butter in a pot over a medium heat. Once melted, add 30g flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 1-2 min or until a sandy paste forms - this is your roux.
Whisk 350ml milk gradually into the roux and cook for 5 min until a smooth, thick sauce remains. Meanwhile, grate the cheddar cheese. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and stir through the grated cheese - this is your cheese sauce.
Once the vegetables are caramelised, add thechopped garlictomato paste, 1 tsp sugarchopped tomatoes and 100ml water to the pan. Cook for 3-4 min or until thickened to a pasta sauce consistency - this is your vegetable sauce. Meanwhile, chop the basil stalks (save the leaves for later) and add them to the pan.

Layer some of the vegetable sauce over the bottom an oven-proof dish, then top with 3 lasagne verdi sheets. Repeat this process until you end up with a final layer of lasagne sheets. Finally top with the cheese sauce, ensuring all of the lasagne is covered. Grate the Italian hard cheese directly over the cheese sauce and put the dish in the oven for 30-35 min or until the lasagne is cooked.



Allow the lasagne to cool slightly before serving. Meanwhile, chop (or tear) the basil leaves. Serve the cooled lasagne and garnish with the chopped basil. 
Bon Appetit!

Why your little tot might not be sleeping

Sleep is important for young children and infants. Babies can sleep for upwards of 16 hours a day while they grow. As a result, making sure that they get enough sleep is critical. However, as most mums know, getting the baby to actually sleep is usually easier said than done.
Here are some of the reasons why your little tot can’t sleep and what, if anything, can be done about it.

Your Baby Is Too Young
Image result for kid sleeping


Many parents imagine that babies sleep all the way through the night. But for the first couple of months, this isn’t always the case. Very few babies sleep all the way through the night during the first few months of life. Instead, they’ll doze on and off and random times for about half to two-thirds of the day. It’s only when babies get to around nine months old that they regularly start to sleep through the whole night. And even then, the whole night usually only means six or seven hours at a time.


You’ve Become The Sleep Aid


Loving parents want to help their children in all aspects of their lives. However, helping a child fall asleep might not be such a good idea. The problem is that when parents rock their baby to sleep every night, the child can’t learn to fall asleep on their own.

The best strategy is to allow babies to become “self-soothers” able to put themselves to sleep when they get tired. When your baby is starting to look tired, take them up to their cot and allow them to fall asleep on their own. Yes, they might wake up again during the night, but the ability to rely on themselves to get to sleep is important.

Separation Anxiety
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The separation anxiety phase, where the child becomes worried every time the parent leaves the room, is a normal part of growing up. However, it can wreak havoc with the bedtime routine, leading to stressed babies and even more stressed parents. The advice from professionals is to avoid encouraging it with singing, rocking or extra food. The best way to deal with it is to allow your baby to try to get to sleep on its own. As long as the baby isn’t sick, it should be okay to leave them in their cot after six months.


The Child Doesn’t Feel Safe


Another reason why young children can’t fall asleep is if they feel unsafe. It’s a good idea, therefore, to make sure that they have a proper place to sleep. Beds, like Cuckoolands cots, prevent babies from falling out of bed and injuring themselves. Children who are afraid of the dark may also benefit from having a nightlight in their room or out in the hallway.


Stalling Before Bed
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Children, in general, don’t like bedtime. As a result, they’ll come up with all sorts of ways to put it off. Parents need to be savvy to this and stick with the routine. Otherwise, their kids will miss the “sleep window” and be up for half the night.

The In-Flight Toddler Bag Guide.


We are going for a holiday soon and the last time I travelled with Azlan, it was a nightmare. Since it was my first time travelling with him, I hardly had any idea what to put in his bag and plus he was one and a half at that time, so all we did was sleep and watch cartoons and run along in the aisle. But this time I am determined not to get this strong willed child get bored and create havoc for other passengers travelling.

I am making one single bag for him that is light weight and easy to lug around since the last time we travelled he wanted to pull on the hand luggage. I recently got the Trunki extras pack from Kiddies Kingdom and I am smitten! Even Azlan can not stop carrying it everywhere and keeps asking when are we off for an holiday. The Extra's pack includes a small saddle bag, a coin purse that clips on to your belt hoop and a tote bag that also turns into a cross body. And believe you me, this tote is SUPER spacious. The green part of the bag is stretchable mesh so you can literally put everything you need, inside. This bag has two small pockets on the side too and an open pocket in the front. The tote bag can fit into the Trunki bag itself. Also, the tote bag clips on-to the seat so you don't have to keep getting up again and again to get his stuff from the overhead compartments. Genius, right?

The saddle bag is super light weight and can be attached on the Trunki so that Azlan can sit on the Trunki (we are yet to make the purchase) and it is also a cross body. We took a trial run to the park with the saddle bag and he had so much fun carrying his things around.

The coin purse is his absolute favourite. Azlan LOVES collecting coins incase he wants to buy a Kinder surprise egg. He has had the coin purse looped on his pants ever since we got it.

All in all, this extras pack is great for travelling and works amazing as in in-flight toddler bag.
So what have we decided to pack in his tote bag for the vacations?

Here is what is in the bag:

Extra Clothing & Wipes: 

I always carry an extra pair of clothing on long haul flights. My son always gets sick during the flight, and theres the need to change his clothes. I also carry an extra light weight jacket incase it gets a bit too cold.
Wipes & tissues are left my best friends every where I travel.

Inflight activity:

Since the ban of selected electronic devices on certain airlines, we have to be very careful where we put our our tablets. We usually travel in long haul flights that are mostly 7/8 hours long. So story books, wipe clean books (these are an amazing investment by the way - get yours from Book Depository), colour pencils and a few of his favourite toys incase we miss home, are an essential. 

Snacks:

My son hates airline food. And to be honest, I can not blame him. I had a taste of his food once and I literally wanted to throw up. So besides getting a few healthy food items from the airport cafe, I usually carry a few snacks with me incase he gets a little peckish. Chocolate coins from Starbucks are forever existent in my handbag though, chocolates, crisps, cookies and juice. He obviously doesn't have all of it but I like to carry them just incase. We even pick out a selection of fruits from the cafe/store.

I always carry a set of separate headphones. Although the airlines do provide with smaller headphones for smaller kids, but incase he wants to use my phone during the flight and watch a few of his favourite cartoons, the airline provided headphones are not compatible with a few phones. 


Azlan loves carrying his bag around and sure is excited to take it to his holidays. It is the perfect size for him to carry around and fits almost all of his essentials. 

What are your toddler bag essentials? Let me know :)

5 Essentials for an amazing summer escape.

I can not believe that summer is FINALLY upon us. I am super stoked to be honest and I legit can not wait for the school holidays to come around so we can jet off for two whole weeks of sun, sand, lounging around and making memories.

So here is a list of five summer essentials that you should take on your trip to make it more memorable and to have an amazing time.

1. MAHI leather bag.

I am a huge fan of leather bags. There is a very classy feeling that comes while carrying one. Currently, I am really digging the MAHI leather bags. They are actually made to order with every order you place and the best thing is that you can personalise them. How cool is that? The bags are spacious and are built with a lot of sturdiness so you can enjoy your summer escape without worrying about ripping your bags apart. (I am forever running around luggage shops to find a replacement for my bags). You can directly order through their website. And they even have laptop bags, tote bags and washer bags! (Spoilt for choice, really, if you ask me).


2. Polaroid Cameras.

I am a HUGE fan of taking pictures (comes naturally with me being a blogger) and polaroid pictures just plunge me back into nostalgia. I have been wanting a polaroid camera since ages and finally managed to convince my husband to buy me one as a vacation pressie (generally the things I do to mooch free stuff off of my husband HA-HA). I have been looking into the FujiFilm Instax mini and the Polaroid SnapTouch Digital. These are amazing to carry with you to take instant pictures of the memories you want to cherish forever. Call me old school but theres something different about holding a picture in your hand and reminiscing about good old times.

3. Sunscreen

Now if you know you're going to be travelling to somewhere sunny, the first thing that you put in your bag is sunscreen. But I am totally over those sunscreen that retain no moisture, slather on as a white cast, and give the weirdest flash backs in pictures (yeah, I do take my pictures seriously). I am absolutely loving The Body Shop's  Skin defence with SPF 50. Ya'll HAVE to buy this. Personally for me, I go very light with my makeup on holidays. And with this, I don't have to worry about having to put on lots of layers of makeup and skincare.

4. OUAI Hair

I dont know about you all, but my hair likes to do a Diana Ross impression when it comes within a half mile radius of humidity. The only thing that has worked for me was OUAI hair products. The wave hair spray and the texturising hair foam have been life savers for me. 

5. Splash Proof Phone Case

This is an absolute essential for me during any vacation. Being a parent means, you definitely will have to take pictures near water. Or if your child needs soothing, Youtube Kids will come to the rescue but my phone doesn't have to pay the price every time. Even during park times where there is a splash pad, this case is ALWAYS in my handbag!

What are your top 5 summer essentials? Let me know in the comments down below :)



The Fashion Edit - The Classic Spring Outfit


I think I can safely say, that Spring is that one season that everyone loves. The flowers, cherry blossoms and the colours generally make everyone happy and perk up our moods. Spring also sees an amazing change in the fashion trend. From dark colours to loads of light, bold and beautiful colours. This season has seen the gingham and the pinstripe trend a lot. Fashion from the 80's and the 90's has been incorporated this season and I am absolutely loving it!
lo
Vintage shirt, £13 / Stretch jeans, £12 / Vintage shoes, £28 / Crossbody purse, £23

Embroidery is HUGE this season and I love it! Even with a plain white shirt, a little bit of embroidery, can perk up the whole outfit. I love this shirt from Shein. Its absolutely beautiful and totally digging the knot detail in the front.

Ripped jeans have been on the racks forever and ever since I have started losing weight, I have been investing in more ripped jeans. And ripped jeans being so much character to an outfit. Even if you don't like proper ripped ones, then you can always invest in some distressed ones! Or do a little DIY on your favourite jeans.

I am so glad that winter is over and I don't have to wear boots and trainers all the time. Also, if you haven't seen the pom pom effect this season, then you definitely need to go on google and have a look. I am pretty fond of the trend and these slippers are gorgeous with the pom pom details and a little south asian tribal effect.

Also, you can never go wrong with a classic black cross body bag with a little pop of colour. How gorgeous is this bag? I am smitten by it!

You can shop the look from the website http://bit.ly/2pZ8Q2z

What is your favourite spring trend? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Go Beyond The Half-Time Orange With These Sporty Mum Ideas


As soon as your children start school, their passion for football, running, and every other sport on the curriculum takes over. After school activities, weekend clubs, matches, meets and more will leave you in a spin. It’s wonderful that your little ones love to be active. And a little competition (with expectations fully managed) can be a good thing at times. But where does it leave you?


All those wonderful mummy-child moments at the park, just walking hand-in-hand and enjoying the swings seem to be over. Now the sports coach is leading the way, and you’re not getting much quality time with your little one anymore. How can you get involved with your kids’ activities? Don’t just be the taxi driver. Volunteer your time and help the team to success!

Drills and Practice
Your young child will undoubtedly be honing those gross motor skills during coaching sessions. There are plenty of opportunities to do the same at home too. Help your child fully grasp the rules of the game and the technique involved in the movements. All you need to do is ask them to show you how! Any gaps in knowledge can be worked out together. Your son or daughter can help you refine your skills, and you’ll both have fun playing the sport together.


Exploring Even More Activities
Most of the skills and physical techniques your child is mastering can easily become a part of other sports and activities. Try to introduce your kids to more and more sports and activities. Chances are they’ll stick with one or two, but a rounded experience means they have more opportunities to really find their passions in life. Kicking a ball requires balance and good coordination of the limbs. So does swinging a golf club, kicking a rugby ball, and shooting a hoop.


Rewarding Effort and Participation
Even if your child isn’t quite as physically adept as you both would like them to be, you can always reward the time and effort they put into trying. Why not visit the site that sells the trophies and awards for the sporting fixtures? You can always pick a few up yourself and award them when your child works really hard. Competition isn’t always seen as the most important aspect of sport anymore.


Support The Match
Lots of mums and dads turn up to their kids’ sporting events and matches to cheer the team on. Some will bring refreshments like cut oranges for half time. Others will serve the kids water. You don’t have to get involved in any of those things if they’re not really for you. But do try to attend all of your child’s fixtures, and notice when they’re paying attention to the play. Teamwork is important, regardless how many touches of the ball your child gets. If you’re really good at noticing what’s happening on the field, why not write up the match for the school newspaper?


Sporty mums aren’t all athletic, but they do get involved. They aren’t all knowledgeable about the rules, but they don’t mind learning. How do you participate when your child is a sports participant?


Self Love - Skin Care.


This is going to be a long one, so grab a drink and read up.
Disclaimer: I have used a few products on a trial and error basis and found these to work well with my skin combination.
Besides doing all this thrice a week, I cleanse, tone and mosturise my skin twice a day to get rid of all the everyday toxins. What might work for me, might not work for you since every person’s skin and hair is different. Please do a patch test first before using the products properly. Most of the products are cruelty free which works in plus points for me since I am trying to move to a more organic and cruelty free lifestyle.

If you really need to enjoy this life, then the first rule of it is to love yourself. If you appreciate your own self then all the trouble that other people come up with, literally disappears itself.


The one thing that you should have a firm belief on, is that you are beautiful. No matter what other people say or judge, you know that you’re top class. It is also important to look after yourself. And this is where skincare comes in. 

So I am soon going to transition in my 30’s and it is so so important to look after your skin. I have been following a skin care routine since the past few months and have noticed a considerable difference in the quality and the freshness in my skin.

I make sure that I follow this regime at least three times a week not only to improve and maintain my skin and hair but also to relax and have a good me time!

Face:

The first thing that I do is, wash my face with the Soap & Glory Vitamin C face wash. Now, I have been using this for the past six months and it has done wonders to my skin. I actually feel like that I have washed my face and it gives me such a cool boost and wakes me up.

The next step is The Body Shop Drops of Light liquid peel. Now I have just very recently tried this product and I am loving it. I was debating over it, whether to buy It or not because of so many mixed reviews but I am glad that I made the plunge. You just need a very small amount and rub it all over your face and neck and as you rub it in circular motions, the dead skin starts peeling. I wipe it off with a flannel cloth to remove all the residue.

After this, I use one of The Body Shop masks. These Expert Facial Masks are quiet the rage. I bought the Himalayan Charcoal mask because of the hype and I think I have never loved a mask as much as I love this. So I invested in other masks from the range and can’t wait to buy more from the range. They make your skin glow, detox it from all the toxins and give your skin such a rejuvenate glow to it. After the Charcoal mask, I personally love the Ethiopian Honey Mask. My skin legit glows after this mask.

While I have my mask on, I scrub my lips with the Lush Cosmetics Santa Baby lip scrub and buff my nails out. After I am done with the mask, I use Sephora’s Charcoal nose strips (I use this every 15 days).  

After getting done with the entire face routine, I use the Balance Me facial oil to mosturise. I got this in a recent subscription box and it had made my skin feel so good. Before that I used to use The Body Shop skin defence to mosturise my skin. Because I used the liquid peel on my skin, it’s important that I use SPF on my skin.

Hair:

After getting my xtenso done, my hair although still healthy, has been falling out a lot. I have been using the Vatika hair oil since like forever. And never has any oil suited my hair this much. It has a blend of olive, almond and cactus oil which works a treat.

Other than that, I got the Jamaican Black Castor Oil and been using since a few days and the results are slow but really liking it. I have been using it for my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Can’t wait to see the full results.

After shampooing my hair, I usually skip using conditioner since it makes my hair fall out a lot. So I have been using Argan oil and Kevin Murphy's leave in serum mixed together, It makes my hair feel so soft and bouncy and gives it that extra shine.

Body:

Ever since I gave birth, coffee as a scrub has become my best friend! It brings back elasticity to the body and reduces stretch marks. I was sent the Naturelle Coffee scrub last month and I love using it. You can mix it with coconut oil for extra moisturisation for your skin. Its 100% natural which is great for the overall texture of your skin.


After the scrubbing, I like to take a quick bath with one of Lush’s bath bombs or bubble bars. I can not go back to using anyother bath bomb than Lush’s own. Best thing ever. The bath is my only me time during the week and I absolutely love it. I don't do the candle and drink shenanigans while taking a bath but I do love reading a good book. Best stress buster ever.

It is so important to look after yourself, so that you age better and not just radiate positivity from the inside, but also from the outside. Self love does not only include taking care of your skin but also living healthy. Next week on the blog, I will be talking about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So stay tuned :)