Friday, August 11, 2017

Motherhood hack - Juice without a juicer!!

Necessity is the mother of all inventions ;-) and that is how I got this idea :P

When buying oranges, I got the ones that are good for juices, instead of the usual Kamala Orange (which can be peeled and eaten). My daughter spotted the oranges and wanted to have one immediately. So I had no choice but to make orange juice  without a juicer :-)

And this is what I did :-P

Used this wooden masher to extract the juice from the oranges, filtered and gave it to my toddler - fresh! No water, no added sweetener, nothing! She totally enjoyed it and asked for more :D

Amma happy, papa happy! :-)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Motherhood lessons - How to remove clay from wall!

We were visiting a relative for a few days and I brought along some clay to keep my toddler entertained. She is 2 years old and loves squishing and shaping the colourful balls of clay :-)
Often I make her favourite shapes like star or flower and give it to her to touch, feel and squish. 

As luck would have it, she took the exploration to the next level and decided paint the wall of their new home with clay :-O Imagine my horror when I walk into the room, barely a minute later - I had just stepped out to get myself a plate of food, and find that she had plastered their wall with green and yellow clay! To make it worse, she had pressed and dragged the clay to form streaks of green. As I looked at her, she pointed to the wall and said 'Green' and pointed to the clay still in her hand and said 'Boo' and showed pasting on the wall. She was actually telling me that she was going to follow up the green clay with some blue clay (LOL) Well I didn't know how to react - whether to laugh or cry :-P

I just took the clay out of her hands and told her that clay was meant to be shaped in our hands and not on the wall and got her ready for afternoon nap. Once she fell asleep, got down to work on the wall :P

Checked Google and different people had suggested different solutions, when it suddenly struck me that I could try scraping the clay off. Here is what I did to get the clay off the wall.

This is what my daughter had done - plastered the clay here and there, some were large chunks, while some were long streaks.

 I first scraped them off - using my fingernails. You could use a spoon or some thing else to scrape off the clay. This is how it looks after scraping off - light streaks remaining.

For the final step, I took a soft cotton cloth, and added few drops of dish wash liquid or hand wash liquid and few drops of water and rubbed the remaining streaks. Within minutes the clay was almost gone. Finally used some plain water and rinsed the soap off the wall.

And that is how motherhood teaches me new things every single day ;-)
Signing off for now.. will be back with more fun :D

Friday, July 28, 2017

How to snap your Cloth diaper for a good fit

Hello everyone! Here is a quick comparison video on how to snap your cloth diaper to get a good fit.

And a couple of fit photos too...

Here, the rise is folded downwards and the fit is not proper. We can see the fold (gap) on either side.

A close up shot of the side where the gap is clearly seen

Here the rise is folded upwards, giving the best fit and no gap or fold in the sides.

 A close up shot of the perfect fit!

Hope this is clear. In case of any queries or questions, feel free to ask me.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Aarika - a fun post!

It has been almost 1.5 years of Aarika and it has been quite a ride so far :-)
Looking back, I see lots of learning and lots of support. My heartfelt thanks to each and every single person who supported Aarika in every way possible! This would not have been possible without you :-)

For a fun post today, I am going to pen done some of the questions that I am often asked.

* Is Aarika your daughter's name? :-)
No, Aarika is not my daughter's name. I should thank my husband for telling me NOT to name after my daughter and my Logo designer (Aparrna) for letting me take my time to finalise this one name that clicked! Sri (my husband) said that Srishti (my daughter) is different and this (Aarika) is different - how right he is! Srishti is my personal, whereas Aarika is my passion <3 br="">
Aarika means 'admired for looks' or that which is beautiful, lovely to look at! And that is precisely what I think of, every time I shop - 'will this dress look good on me?' I have extended that to Aarika - to host dresses that look good on you. At Aarika, there is some thing special for every single person to wear and enjoy :-)

*Where do you source from?
Honestly, not a single place or source. We get from any place that has good quality fabrics, unique and impressive designs :-)
Sourcing is an area where I focus most of my energy on. Samples are purchased from different vendors for personal use and after trial and quality check, we take it forward.

*So, hows it going?
Well, What do I reply to this question :P It is always, always a roller coaster ride, without an idea of if it is going to be up or down next ;-) So I always say it is going good :-)

*Why did you choose this?
 Well, I personally love online shopping. I follow plenty of shopping groups on Facebook, and read posts about experiences - both positive and negative. I specially love to read about customer complaints and how those are handled by small scale home sellers.
And when I was toying around with the idea to start a business, there was one thing I knew for sure, which is that I wanted to be different. I wish to build trust and an happy experience shopping with Aarika.
Of course I have not been without my ups and downs and all kinds of experiences, but that is part of the growth curve right :-)

Hope you enjoyed reading my 'Aarika' experiences :-) If you have any questions, feel free to PM me!

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Apple crumble!

For a while now, I have been curious about the bottom layer (of digestive biscuits) in Cheesecakes and pie and really wanted to try out an easy recipe, to see how it turns out. So when I had few apples lying around, I instantly decided to make apple crumble. Now this recipe is ridiculously easy and very delicious. If you try it, do post pictures :-)

All you need are:
*few apples (I used 2)
*digestive biscuits or crackers ( I used a packet)
*flour (I used Atta - 1.5 cups)
*Sugar (I used honey approx 1/2 to 3/4 cups)
*Room temperature butter

* Dice the apples to desired size. I cut them medium to small pieces.
* Add some lemon juice to prevent browning
* If you want to add extra flavour or sweetness to your apples, you can add a dash of vanilla essense and some honey.

* Prepare your top crumble layer - 1 or 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. Add desired amount of sugar or honey. Rub in cold butter to form crumbs as shown in photo

* Bottom crust - Crush a packet digestive biscuits (Some tiny bits and some medium bits).

* Mix with room temperature melted butter and line the bottom of your pan (I used a 7 inch square pan)
* Your crust is now ready

* Arrange your apple layer on top of the digestive biscuit layer

* Add the flour crumble layer on top evenly and pat down gently.

* Bake for 180 C in a pre-heated oven till a golden brown crust is formed.
* Serve warm as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
* Sit back and enjoy :D

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cloth Diaper Laundry - So simple!

When I say Cloth diapers - the first thing I hear is "How do we wash them?!"

Well, it is really simple. Cloth diapers (CDs), are just like your regular clothes - just as simple to use, and just as simple to wash :-) You can use any mainstream detergent to wash them.

For detergents, just check these points:
* No additives
* No fabric softeners (like Comfort)
* No fragrances (Jasmine flavoured, etc)
* No Dettol (Oh please!!)

The next question is - hand wash or machine wash?
Well, that is totally up to you! It depends on how you wash your regular laundry.

You can check my regular wash routine - here.

Few points to keep in mind:* Why no additives, fabric softeners (comfort), etc?
Any extra substance you use on CDs, will clog and cause buildup in the diapers, which will reduce their absorbance and also cause stinking issues.

*Dirty diapers smell a lot, can I use a little Comfort or Dettol to make them smell better?
Err, dirty diapers smell. Obviously - they have been peed or pooped in! If you are using sufficient quantity of a good detergent, then your diapers should come out of the wash smelling fresh and clean.
Absorbance is very important for a cloth diaper.
Any additive or fragrance you use will clog the pores and cause more issues in the longer run.

*What temperature should I was CDs in?
Normally CDs do not require special treatment unless you are facing problems like leaky or stinking diaper. You can regularly wash diapers in normal cold water or at 30 C or 40 C. Using very hot water on CDs may cause the elastics to loosen.

Any questions or queries, feel free to ping or email me and I ll be glad to help you out. Alternatively, Expecting mothers, new mothers, mother looking to cloth diaper your child, you can join the Facebook Group - Cloth Diapering India. It is a support group from Cloth Diapering mothers, with plenty of resources :-)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cloth Diapering - my wash routine

The most common query I come across is regarding washing CDs (Cloth Diapers). I have summarised my every day wash routine below.

I have been CDing for almost 2 years now and I always wash her CDs together with the family laundry in the washing machine.

I have used  
*Surf Excel
*Amway SA8 
*Rustic Art (Power Laundry)

Amount of detergent you use for every wash depends on the load - number of clothes and how dirty they are (a day out in the park, more poopy diapers, etc).

This is my wash routine:

* Dirty diaper goes inside a large laundry basket (with holes for air circulation)
* If there is poop, shake the solids into the toilet and flush. You can also spray off the solids into the toilet. Rinse the diaper under tap and store the diaper in the said laundry basket.
* we do our laundry every night.
* Pre wash in cold water, with little detergent (this step is important to remove most of the urine and dirt) so that when the main wash cycle runs, the clothes are washed and rinsed in clean water.
* Main wash at 30 C or 40 C with sufficient detergent depending on the load.
* Once washed, sun dry.

This routine has worked well for me over the past couple of years, while using different detergents too.

Any questions or queries, feel free to ping or email me and I ll be glad to help you out. Alternatively, Expecting mothers, new mothers, mother looking to cloth diaper your child, you can join the Facebook Group - Cloth Diapering India. It is a support group from Cloth Diapering mothers, with plenty of resources :-)

Motherhood hack - Juice without a juicer!!

Necessity is the mother of all inventions ;-) and that is how I got this idea :P When buying oranges, I got the ones that are good for ju...