Cut off

I cut my hair earlier this year. Really short, shorter than it has ever been.

It was not a big chop kind of thing as I have always been natural.

It was not a sign of emotional distress.

It was not an instantaneous decision. It took time, months even, of me asking friends how I would look with short hair. Checking out different looks, looking for a good hairstylist. When I finally decided to go ahead, I chopped off a bit at home and had the big chop done by a hairdresser.

I love the short hair look, and I am actually headed to the barbers in a few. Hahahahaha. But recent reactions have made me wonder about the perceptions we have of  women who cut their hair short :-

  1. That a woman cuts her hair as she is in emotional distress, or wants to cut off some things in her life.
  2. That she is unhappy with her sex life and wants to reclaim it. *Insert blank stare*
  3. Cutting off societal expectations of her. A way to express her identity, increase self awareness. (Hmm I am more self aware so….)
  4. Cutting of damaged ends. The “Big chop” , getting rid of relaxed hair and wanting to nurture her hair in its natural state.
  5. Because it is a trend. (Hey, Halle Berry made short hair look sexy)
  6. A cry for help; that a woman wants to be really SEEN.

The list is endless and I have been asked intrusive questions on the same. Am I sick? Is my marriage ok? Am I not sending a bad signal to my daughter that a masculine look is better? Am I Depressed? Am I not being selfish as I had really nice hair that grew long so fast while others struggle to grow their hair? Am I broke?

Thing is, women cut off their hair for various reasons. There is no one size fits all.

Sigh.

Why did I cut my hair? Personal Transformation!Because I wanted to.

Do I intend to keep this look? I do not know. I love it. So far, so good.

I have realized though that I spend more time in the mirror looking at myself. Really looking. Seeing my beauty for the first time. I am surprised at how much I had let my hair define me, even if I was not conscious of it at the time.

I know it does not make sense, but I really do SEE myself now.

Pea and potato curry- My Way

A lot of people have the perception that vegetarian meals are boring. Eh, Wrong!

Vegetarian meals are delicious, nutritious, filling and some are easy and quick to make too. Perfect supper for when you do not want to slave in the kitchen after slaving at work. Hehehehe.

My love for potatoes knows no bounds, and as I have mentioned here, I love Indian food too. So combining the two is easy for me and tasty too.

This meal was last night’s dinner, make sure you keep some to carry for lunch the next day…. I know I am not the only one who finds leftovers tasty. Yum!

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Coriander and mint rice and my take on pea and potato curry. Delish!

Mint and Coriander rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • I bunch finely chopped coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp mint
  • 4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil

 

Method.

  • Heat the butter in a pan and add the herbs and spices, make sure they do not burn.
  • Add the rice and stir to mix well. Add the water, cover and let cook till all the water is absorbed.
  • You can uncover once to check seasoning and mix to ensure herbs are well mixed in the rice.
  • You can add a squeeze of lemon too.

Pea and Potato curry. (My way)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • I large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • I large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • Four large potatoes, cut in small pieces
  • 1Cup frozen green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Method

  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds
  • Once they splutter, add the onion and sauté till golden brown. Add the garlic ginger paste and ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • Add the curry powder and mix well, you can add a splash of water here to ensure the spices cook and don’t burn.
  • Add the tomatoes and let cook till mushy. You can add the paste here if you wish.
  • Add the carrots and courgette and potatoes and let them fry in the masala mixture till evenly covered, then you can add the peas.
  • Add ¼ cup of hot water and let simmer on low heat till ready.
  • Once ready sprinkle the garam masala, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

PS: I season in stages, a little salt here and there as each layer cooks to ensure taste is to my taste.

Also, add water in 1\4 cups as per how dry or soupy you want the curry to be. Adding to much water will water the flavours down.

Final add, you can add the coriander stalks to the curry; they add a lot of flavour too.

Enjoy.

Weekend Recap: Nairobi Mamba Village.

Saturday

Was Njeri’s day to have her hair done. Nothing much happened. I visited my former work place and it was nice catching up with former colleagues. We stayed in traffic for a long time though. I do not know why I had the not so bright idea of heading to Mombasa Road on the same day as the Mater Heart Run. Sigh.

Saturday dinner was chicken and lemon, chunky fries and coleslaw. I was happy that I would finally get pictures for the recipe so I could update it on the blog but Kenya Power had brighter ideas. Power was gone the whole afternoon till next morning. The food was delicious though. The only photo I got before my phone went off did not do the meal any justice. LOL

Sunday

Went to Church and decided to head to Mamba Village to treat the kids.

Mamba Village is a crocodile farm located along the Langata – Karen Road, just after Stedmark Gardens. The big sign on the road is no longer there so I had to call for directions. We were shocked when we got there. The place has huge grounds but the landscaping and some of the facilities have been severely neglected.

The restaurant grounds are beautiful though, well-kept and clean. And the washrooms were very clean too. Other positives were the service and the food albeit less positive. Service was fast, food was good, though nyama choma was a bit dry (the beef especially), and not marinated as claimed.

You have the option of a la carte or a platter selection. Their buffet is Kes 1500 per person, which didn’t make sense for us to try cause of the kids. We decided to go for a meat platter with three different accompaniments.  That was more than enough for the four of us and we even had to take away some of the meat.

The highlight of the place however are the Nile Crocodiles they have there. They are divided into three sections. The kids, the teens and the mature crocs. The kids were fascinated and Njeri even held a baby croc! Too cute.

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The Mature Crocs basking in the sun

That is a two year old tortoise, isn’t it the cutest?

They also have some tortoises and three female ostriches. Njeri and Leo were bowled over by the tortoises too, especially the baby one that was so small it could fit in her hand. She did not want to let go of it. We had a guide too, Stephanie who took as round, answered all our questions, involved the kids in a little Q and A of what they had seen. Let’s just say we all learnt a lot.

We were also lucky enough to watch the crocs being fed. This is done once a week, every Sunday at 4.30 pm. Messy and stinky affair to be honest but also quite intriguing.

Mamba Village will have to do a lot to reclaim its lost glory, especially now that neighbouring Stedmak Gardens has started a small park too with snakes, ostriches, turtles etc.

Price wise, H and I paid Kes 250 each, Njeri Kes 100 and Leo got in free. Their Facebook page is Mamba village  I found the pricing quite fair and would not mind going there again.

Have a great week ahead and strive to learn something new every day!

The Look

Being a mother is a learning experience. There is no manual that fits all.

The parenting books and websites and Prayers do help a lot, but there are many times one wonders if you are doing right by the kids and your values.

Nobody wants a child who behaves badly, but we do not want perfect robots either. You want a child who can communicate well and stand up for themselves, but you do not want them to be a bully or be arrogant either.

Growing up, our parents’ mantra was “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Our generation is more indulgent now, and we have to look for other ways to instil discipline in our children. There is one thing that has not changed though, and that is “THE LOOK”

The universal way for all mothers to express disapproval at their children’s shenanigans. That stare is enough to make folks freeze in their tracks.  The day you learn or realize you have “the Look” nailed is a moment of pride for all Mothers around the world. You are there keeping a straight face as you give the child one cold stare that will make them feel cold, but inside you are doing the happy dance that you have finally nailed it. Oh the moment of triumph!

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Being a Mom

How do you know you have nailed it? When your child looks back at you, actually stops misbehaving and either bursts into tears or apologises, or looks down guiltily.

Happy Parenting Folks 🙂

Motherhood appraisal….LizWala style

Organisation: Wala abode Title: Mothering four children Year or period covered: December 2007 to December 2016 Time in present position: 9 years Appraisee: Amakove Appraiser: Management State your understanding of your main duties and responsibilities To mother four children. I had initially applied for 2 children. One boy and one girl. The orders got mixed […]

via Performance Appraisal: Year 9 — lizwala

Weekend Recap

Friday

A couple of my colleagues decided to check out #nairobiburgerfest to kick off this weekend and why should I not tag along given my love of food?

Venue of choice: Urban Burger at Prestige Plaza, Ngong road .

It is the newest branch of the Urban Gourmet Brand and it has kept up the standard  quite well methinks.

It was quite busy as it was lunch time and burgerfest after all, but the service was on point. I had a cheese burger, my colleagues had the Texan burger, the blue cheese and the fourth was the chilli burger. Unfortunately the chilli burger was not as hot as the waiter made us believe, but delicious nevertheless. We had the burgers with fries, onion rings and coleslaw on the side. We were all stuffed, and had to get doggy bags for the fries. The patties were juicy, the buns fresh, the salsa on point too.  They really do have great burgers and I am delighted that they are now closer to where I work. Yum!

Saturday

Was to take Njeri to dance class then spoil her rotten afterwards. Unfortunately, dance class was canceled and she had a tummy ache so decided to stay home and sleep. I decided to do a bit of shopping for the kids and stock up on groceries. Came across this place; Tracy’s Kids Collection and I am in love. Good quality and beautiful selection of kids wear at really good prices. Her customer care is top notch too and she is located just across the popular Smart Baby at Chaka road. Smart Baby does have good clothes too but awful customer service. I am done with them. Tracy’s  is my new boo!

Rushed home to check on Njeri after grocery shopping. Sigh. Current food prices are a joke! I really do not see how the current government expects us to reelect them.  H was coming home from a work trip, decided to make him some yummy chicken biryani with creamy cucumber salad. I got the biryani recipe here Easy and quick. I did get carried away with the food colour though. LOL.

This was my second time to attempt this dish and I am pretty proud of my effort!

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Chicken biriani with creamy cucumber salad

Creamy cucumber salad recipe. (Serves 3-4)

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and deseeded, and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt, sieved to remain with a smooth curd (takes an hour so to remove the whey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • I small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp dhania chopped finely

Method

  • Mix the curd with the onions, herbs, dhania and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cucumber, mix well and chill till ready to serve.

PS: Ensure the yoghurt drains well and deseed the cucumber so salad is not too watery and runny.

Sunday

I have said here before I love weekend breakfasts, and as a Mother’s Day treat to myself, I made these yummy pear and nutmeg pancakes. I reduced the sugar though to 2 tbsp as I did not want them too sweet.

The taste is out of this world, OMG!!!! I served with some fruits and downed with my usual ginger tea.

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Pear and nutmeg pancakes with an assortment of fruits and jam

This is one recipe I need to try again. Too delicious!!!!

Also check out more recipes on Kaluhi’s blog. They are easy to make, use easily available and affordable ingredients, you cannot fail to have a delicious and filling meal as a result.

After church we stopped over at Wilson airport for the kids to do a bit of plane watching as we caught up with  a good friend. Njeri and Leo loved it! Uncle Alex scored maximum points with them on that one. Headed home as my bestie Vee was around. We caught up on stories of work, food, future dreams etc ; the visit actually ended up being a sleepover as we were still chatting past midnight. LOL.Too bad she has to go back to Uganda tomorrow. It was a great weekend to say the least.

Have a great week ahead!

Potato Love

Potatoes are bae. Love them in all their forms. Roasted, boiled, fried, mashed…..YUM!

We are in the midst of drought and vegetable prices have skyrocketed as supply is less than demand.

Luckily, H travelled to an area known for fluffy potatoes and came back with some plus fresh juicy carrots the kids and I keep snacking on.

I made potato bhajias the other night, with salad and panfried tilapia.

The bhajias were literally eaten off as I cooked by the kids, by the time I plated my portion, they were the few remaining, but hey, as long as we were all fed, it was fine.

For the potatoes, I just sliced them thin and dunked them in a thickish batter of gram flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and finely chopped coriander.

Do not overcrowd in the pan as you fry so they can get crispy and not clump together.

The salad was a basic kachumbari of onion, tomato, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon and a bit of chopped coriander leaves, I just added some grated carrots as these carrots are so sweet and juicy, I had to add them. J

The fish-fresh Tilapia was marinated in lemon juice, seasalt and black pepper, then pan fried. Do not forget to squeeze some lemon just before serving.

A delicious and filling meal.

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Crispy  fries potatoes, tilapia and kachumbari