Mommy Drives #DSFL

It has been a while but I am back to share what I learnt during the Ford DSFL Course.

After sharing the post on child safety, I saw this post by a Mum on FB. Support is so important, and her children’s lives were saved as they were strapped in correctly at the time. This really needs to be taken seriously by Kenyan parents.

We finished the theory part of the course with a brief discussion on what one should always have in their vehicle at all times.

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. Fire Extinguisher- this is to be changed once a year. To be stored clamped under the passenger seat for easy retrieval- should not be put in the boot.
  3. Torch
  4. Tow rope, gloves
  5. Safety triangles
  6. Cables
  7. A bottle of water (2litre is good) Handy when the car overheats and can also quench your thirst
  8. Car phone charger, you would not want to be stranded somewhere with a phone out of charge.
  9. Loose change, for parking and tipping
  10. Umbrella
  11. Note pad and pen
  12. Tissue

There are so many other things drivers keep in the vehicle, some have a complete tool box. (I did not mention H here LOL), but it’s all about being safe on the road and prepared for any eventuality. As a Mummy driver, we keep everything from a kikoy or khanga, or even a picnic blanket, hand lotion, wet wipes, sunglasses, shopping bags and a small bag or bin for trash.

It sounds like a lot but just check what you have in the car with you, you will be amazed. Some of us even have a bag of ready to wear clothes for spontaneous trips. Hehehehe!

With the recent plastic bag ban, my boot now has a kiondo or two (those sisal baskets we’re are given on our wedding day by our grandmas) which is a big help when shopping.

kiondo
Image source: Google.

What else do you keep in your car as a Mommy driver?

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Culinary Delights: Breakfast Hash

May I declare my love for potatoes for the umpteenth time? They are bae. Delicious and filling no matter how you make them.

I love having them for weekend breakfast or brunch. They are a lovely way to start a long day or counter a hangover!

Here are two takes on breakfast. One with Irish potatoes, the second with sweet potatoes or ngwaci as we call them here.

There is no need to boil them first, just chop ‘em up in small cubes, add to a wide pan in a layer covering the bottom of the pan and they will cook pretty first.

Take 1.

  • Peel and cut your Irish potatoes into small cubes. Also slice one red onion and chop one green pepper (hoho).
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onion and green pepper, cook till soft. Remove and set aside.
  • You can add some more oil, just a bit, let it heat up then add your cubed potatoes evenly on the pan, let them sizzle on medium heat, you do not want them to burn without cooking all the way through, turn them when the edges are crispy and brown, add salt, pepper and spices of choice. I used garlic powder and Spanish paprika.
  • You can now add any leftover meat you may have, or even bacon. I added some leftover steak, cubed. Then add back the onion and green pepper mix. Mix well.
  • Make a few wells in the pan and crack a couple of eggs, cover and let eggs cook to your liking.
  • You can add some grated cheese just before serving. I used cheddar. Yum!
    IMG-3106
    Breakfast Hash: Potatoes with green pepper, leftover steak, eggs and cheese!

    Take 2.

  • Same process but this time I used one sweet potato, and did not add any eggs or cheese.
  • I had some leftover mutura (our Kenyan traditional version of blood sausage) which I added after adding back the onions and pepper mix.
  • I used mixed herbs instead of spices and served with two beef sausages and a creamy tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad leftover from previous night’s dinner.
IMG-3145
Sweet potatoes with mutura, served with a creamy salad and beef sausages.

Both versions are delicious, filling, and a great way to include leftovers that are not enough for a main meal. Try them this weekend!

 

Mommy Drives: #DSFL

This is a continuation of the previous post about Ford’s Driving Skills for life course.

Another tip was on the importance of adjusting rear and side view mirrors.

This should be done before turning on the engine, and after seat adjustment. Adjusting the mirrors to appropriate angles helps maximize the driver’s field of vision. Adjust the rear view mirror to ensure the whole rear window is in view. Yes, this sounds like driving 101 but you would be surprised at how often drivers neglect this.

Without proper adjustment and proper use of the mirrors, the driver simply does not have a clear view of the road and other road users beside and behind her.

As one adjusts, keep in mind blind spots, cyclists, pedestrians and other cars, you should angle the side mirrors to enable you to see such approaches.

Another tip was to drive relaxed, but alert. One should avoid constant accelerating and excessive hard braking. Drive while anticipating different traffic situations. Keep the proper distance between vehicles and please oh please use indicators before taking turns! This irks me so much, why is it so hard for Kenyan drivers to indicate. It is not as if you are getting charged for it. Argh! This is a major peeve for me. As for distance, a 3 second distance is fine. Increasing your distance increases your scope of action and reaction time, in bad weather, you can increase the time interval to six seconds.

Mommy drivers should also avoid distractions while driving. I know it sounds easier than it actually is. You are trying to concentrate on your favorite Adelle song on the radio, the kids are yelling for your attention, sip coffee and the crazy matatus are trying to cut into your lane. Sigh.

Increasing distractions = increased risk of a crash.

Distractions include talking (yes!), constantly adjusting the radio, eating, mobile phone, etc. How to avoid such? The phone calls and messaging can wait. Strap in the kids at the back. PLEASE! I see guys driving with the kids in front and I shudder when I imagine what could happen if the driver has to brake immediately. The snacking and intense conversations can wait. All attention needs to be on the road drivers. All. Attention.

Let us keep our eyes on the road. Will be back with more tips.

Mommy Drives- Seatbelt Safety

Last week I attended a short Ford Driving Skills for Life course. I learnt a lot within a short time and decided to share the same with you.

Q: How many of us (mommy drivers) have gone for an advanced driving course?

I have not. But doing one preferably by Glen Edmunds is one of my goals. We were challenged by the trainer on how we make an effort to improve other aspects of our lives, but neglect improving on our driving. It was a challenge and be sure to sign up for one ladies. There are several types of advanced driving courses available, some are tailored for ladies, others defensive driving (to counter carjacking), and others on how to drive in difficult conditions (rough terrain and insecure places.)

There were many tips shared, and I will try to exhaust each. I have a disclaimer though; I am no driving expert or car guru, this is just to share what I learnt and keep learning as we need to keep ourselves and our families safe on the roads.

Tip 1: Safety belts.

This is a no brainer Ladies. Seat belts need to be used by ALL passengers ALL the time.

It is a legal requirement in Kenya too.

Why? They reduce chances of fatalities and/ or serious injuries.

Kenyan statistics are not easy to come by on seat belt usage, but it is a challenge. As you drive, make sure all your passengers are belted up too. You would not want them to become missiles in case of a crash now would you?

Here is an article on the same.http://www.machakos-orthopaedics.org/single-post/2016/02/17/Should-I-really-wear-my-seat-belt

I do not even want to get started on those who drive with their children in the front seat or between the driver’s legs. We can and should do better as parents. If I see you do this, I call you out there and then. It does not matter if I know you or not. What is the point in belting up as the driver and not ensuring all the passengers are belted up too? Safety measures apply to all in equal measure.

Below is a clip of an ad advocating use of safety belts that was shared in the class.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-8PBx7isoM

Also, as you belt up, ensure the belt is adjusted correctly, you do not want it to cut your jugular in case of impact, or slice your tummy either. Here is a great article on how to ensure you are wearing your belt correctly. https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-wear-your-seat-belt-properly-by-jason-unrau

This really hit close to home as I realized I was wearing my  seat belt wrong this whole time. You also need to adjust the belt every time you use it. H is much taller than I am so he adjusts differently and if I fail to do so when I drive well, let us not discuss the possible ‘‘headless” scenario.

Until the next tip, let us belt up and make it a rule that every passenger in your car belts up too.

Culinary delights: Spaghetti and Tuna.

Pasta and tuna are an amazing combination; tastes great; cooks fast and is filling, a perfect weekday dinner recipe.

I however still need tips on how to plate spaghetti 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 courgettes, diced.
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (optiona)
  • 1 can of tuna chunks in oil, drained.
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded cheese to serve.

Method.

  • Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and fry till transluncent.
  • Add garlic, give a quick stir and add the courgettes. Cook for about seven minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, some salt and cook till tomatoes are mushy, you can add a bit of water to increase the sauce.
  • Let the tomatoes cook for about 9-10 minutes till the sauce is thick.
  • Add the tuna and basil, let heat through and serve.
  • Cook pasta as per package instructions, as the sauce simmers. Toss in the sauce and serve with some cheese on top.

Pasta

Project Manenos Part 3

Our project is almost done. Woop! Woop! Almost is so relative by the way. I think I now know how long distance runners feel in the final laps; so near yet so far. Finishing is a lot of work. It takes time, energy and most if not all the finances. I kid you not.

It has been a lesson in patience, wisdom, strength, perseverance, humility, I can go on and on. I tip my hat to anybody building in Kenya right now. Y’all really rich fellows when the economy is taking a beating but there are still busy construction sites everywhere I look. Who are these wealthy folks?

Anyway, in my last update I had talked about Streamline designs who did our kitchen and wardrobes. Though the final handover is yet to be done, we are happy with the job so far.

I had also mentioned getting an interior designer. Well, we did get a fabulous one who understood what we wanted, but she did not last long as she had some personal issues. We are not feeling inclined to replace her, so we have been working on the ideas and it has been successful so far.

We also got somebody to do kitchen blinds, Lorraine from Organized Interiors. Pleasant lady, beautiful fabrics and good customer service.

kitchen We might actually use her for the curtains for the rest of the house too. You can check out her FB page here.

We sourced our light fixtures from Glow. They have a showroom based at Odds and Ends Mombasa road, and also have their own at Nine West building Westlands. Their customer service is tops. No complaints there. Their prices are not too bad, but we were lucky to buy during their Mega Sale. And boy did we buy! Their light fixtures are unique and the showrooms are well organized.  One is able to walk around comfortably and see all the pieces in their glory without a staff member breathing down your back and other clients elbowing you as they struggle to move. Yes, Creative Innovations, I am looking at you and your claustrophobic showroom.

The paint work in the house is amazeballs. Jotun paints are the truth! What you see is what you get. When they call the paint “thahab” my fren, it is real gold. And this is how we have ended up with a gold entrance but who is complaining? *Shrugs*

Our painter Eric is a real artist. And a man who takes pride in his work. He not only painted the interior and exterior walls, the grills too, ceiling but also did murals in the kids’ rooms. They are both in love with their ocean themes; Leo’s room has Maui in all his glory and Nje’s room stars the Little Mermaid. The best thing about the murals is they do not take up too much space, so if or rather when, the kids get bored, it will not be too bothersome to repaint or have wallpaper installed on the murals.

I cannot choose a favorite between the two rooms; I am in love love love. Eric has an FB page here and is one guy who I will not tire of praising and giving referrals.

Nothing in this town comes cheap my friends. Nothing.  We have been lucky to work with amazing people who understood our budget and desires and were able to work well within the limits. We have not been conned or had major incidents (emphasis on major) and we thank God for that. This does not mean it has been a smooth ride though.  Heh! I will do a whole rant, sorry, post on all the negatives and the solutions we arrived at once the job is done.

Keep it locked…