Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Lego City Burger Bar Fire Rescue - Review

The lego crazy family received yet another product for review and we had a blast! I love how each lego set is not just building blocks, but allows kids to indulge in role play, unleash their imagination and also learn a thing or two.

About the product -


  • Includes 3 LEGO city minifigures: 2 firefighters and a grill chef
  • Features a fire truck toy with a minifigure cab, rotating back end, new-for-january-2019 directional pump with ‘water jet’ function and 2 storage compartments, plus a motorbike
  • Also includes a burger bar with burger sign, opening service window and a trash can
  • Accessory elements include a new-for-january-2019 fire axe, 2 helmets with opening visors, oxygen tank, trash can, motorbike helmet, small fire extinguisher and 5 buildable fire elements
  • Raise one or all sets of flames on the burger bar sign and trash can to put out a small fire or battle a raging inferno
  • Rotate the back end of the fire truck and squeeze the bellows on the water pump to launch the water elements and knock down the flames
  • Burger bar with sign measures over 6” (17cm) high, 4” (12cm) wide and 2” (6cm) deep
  • Fire truck toy with water pump retracted measures over 3” (8cm) high, 5” (15cm) long and 2” (6cm) wide


We had a major milestone for my almost 5 year old with this lego set. For all the sets before, I had to build them for him with his assistance, and then he played with them. But now that he's almost 5 years old, I showed him how to follow the step by step instructions from the instructions booklet and asked him to make the burger bar on his own - and he did! It was indeed a proud moment for me. I feel lego absolutely helps with motor skills, hand-eye coordination, learning about shapes and plus great for some non-screen play and bonding time!

The set has a burger bar which is on fire, a fire truck and a bike with 2 fire-fighters and one burger bar crew. Check out some details of the set -






I am absolutely mind blown by the details that are thought of while making lego sets today. The firefighter's helmets, the cabinets and truck doors that open, the sliding window in the burger bar, the mini ketchup and mustard in the burger bar, the axe on the fire truck and so much more! 

The set (MRP Rs.3,499/-) and other sets are available on Amazon or at most toy stores like Hamleys. They often go on discount online too, so you should definitely watch out for deals. Age 4 and above can easily play with lego creative range, and for younger kids there is Lego Duplo.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

How important are accessories when it comes to gadgets?


I am a gadget and technology geek girl, and hence always love owning the latest phones, laptops, cameras and so on. I own an iPhone X, MacBook Pro, iPad, Go Pro Hero Session, Insta 360 camera, JBL Bluetooth Speaker, Boat bluetooth earphones, to name a “few”.

We always focus on the specifications, price, warranty and features of these gadgets when we’re purchasing them and if something stops working we are quick to blame the brand for faulty manufacturing or other various reasons.

But did you know that the accessories you use along with the gadgets play a very important role too? Are you using an original phone/laptop charger, if not, you could end up blowing up the device itself thanks to replicas. Are the covers and cases genuine, certified and verified/approved by the phone brand? A cheap cover, if and when you drop your phone, may not protect the phone or tablet from the impact of the drop!

Similarly, when purchasing SD cards for your cameras, you should always go for the best in terms of not only their storage capacity, but also their reading and writing speed, toughened memory cards in case you’re using them with a go pro or any other heavy duty action camera where you know it may fall or hit something. I also feel it is wiser to invest in two smaller capacity SD cards than one big one, incase one of them stops working for some reason or you misplace it. At Least you would still have a backup with you!

You can look for cheap deals online and buy SD cards from trusted brands at awesome rates. Just make sure the website you are purchasing from is authentic, for instance Latest Deals. I have 2 SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB Micro SD Cards that work for action cameras, and come with a reading and writing speed of up-to 300 mb per second!

After all who has the patience to sit and wait for all the awesome footage to get copied, right? You can also go for any of the other popular brands like Sony, Samsung, PNY, Kingston, Transcend and so on. Just make sure you’re not purchasing from any unknown website as they may sell replicas and make sure to check the warranty details before making your purchase!

Next on my gadget wishlist is the new iPhone Pro with it’s extra wide camera, what do you think about it? Speaking of iPhones, how I wish they supported SD Cards!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

30th Birthday Trip at The Machan Feat. Volkswagen Vento & Peesafe

It was my 30th Birthday and I wanted it to be special and memorable. Hence wanted to go somewhere, but with the Mumbai floods and flights being cancelled and uncertainty I thought it was best to go somewhere around. A few years ago I had received an ad from The Machan, Lonavla to celebrate my birthday there, and it had since then been on my bucket list. So I thought, why not check that off the list? It's nearby and should be beautiful during monsoons. This was the first trip after kiddo that me and the husband went alone.


Lonavla during monsoons is absolutely magical, enchanting and breath-taking. But also risky, and you need a good reliable car so that you are not stuck anywhere. I was super happy to get the Volkswagen Vento's latest model for the trip. A royal midnight blue colored beauty - automatic dual shift gear system, rear parking camera, auto dimming rear view mirror, cooling glove box and more. Our drive was smooth and enjoyable instead of being stressful. And knowing that there are two front airbags makes you feel safer too.



We reached the property in about less than 2 hours from Navi Mumbai (remember to offline the map because once you start the upward hill climb, you loose connectivity). It was a beautiful place - truly a forest area where the only sounds you can hear are of rain, streams and birds. There was mist and fog everywhere, we were amidst the clouds and we had our own treehouse! The property is really well maintained, spick and span. The staff was polite and courteous too. 


How it could have been better? Our landline was not working and we had to wait for it to be fixed so that we could order room service, the in-room and al-a carte dining menu is very limited and check-in time could have been little earlier so that one can make the most of the stay (It is 2pm, 1pm at-least would be nice). But the nature, the tranquility and our jungle Machan with outdoor bathtub was an out-of-the-world experience overall. I was also glad to plan our trip during weekdays (Thursday-Friday) so that we escaped the traffic and crowd everywhere. Even the tariff is a little lower on weekdays.

I was also carrying a spray can of PeeSafe - because it's monsoons and you tend to want to pee a lot more, and by spraying the peesafe you get rid of all the germs and sanitizes the toilet seat. If you are a female reading this blog, you know how dreadful UTI's are and you definitely do NOT want that happening. Hence, better to carry a travel-sized bottle of PeeSafe. Got to know of it from watching Girliyapa's video, so thanks guys!

Follow me on Instagram to see more pictures from the trip!



Saturday, July 20, 2019

1 week of Vegetarian/Eggetarian Keto - What worked and what did not

I have been putting on weight rapidly. Every time I climbed the weighing scale, I would get dizzy by seeing the increasing grams and kilograms. But I am not innocent too - no balanced diet, eat whatever and how much ever and absolutely no physical exercise at all. With a sedentary lifestyle and desk job, I should not have been surprised.

I knew a few people who religiously followed a Keto diet and claimed to have lost kilos and inches. What attracted me to this diet was that you were not expected to stay hungry at all, and could eat delicious things like omlette, cheese, nuts and paneer. I did not mind at all.


I went to a nutritionist, and simply asked her for a weight loss plan and she herself suggested 1 week of Keto. I was surprised that only a week, because everyone else who did it told me you need to follow atleast for minimum 15 days to a month (which was too much of a commitment for me tbh). So I was happy at the 1 week plan - and how hard can one week be right? Oh it was a loooongggg week I tell you.

Keto, if you don't already know, basically is cutting all carbs from your body, so no sugar no carbs means no wheat no rice no bread no fruits. Only protein and vegetables.


What I ate:
My plan had me drinking black coffee/tea instead of regular tea, a green smoothie twice a day (I had it once a day on most days because I just did not have it in me to make it twice and drink it). For breakfast I'd have boiled eggs or omelette and then stored walnuts, almonds and peanuts at work for before and after lunch hunger. For lunch I ordered salads daily (burned a hole in the pocket FYI), but I did not have the time or energy to prepare something in the morning. Evening snacks would be nuts and some black coffee again, or green tea. Dinner would be soup followed by a paneer preparation (paneer bhurji, tawa paneer etc).

How I felt:
First two days were tough, hence I started on Saturday so that I was not getting affected at work. By Monday i.e. Day 3 I felt great - I felt light, full of energy. I also weighed 500 gms less already and that made me feel nice. But by day 5 my energy was gone, I had ache in my body - had recently joined Zumba and now on Keto I was just not able to put energy at class. Soon even walking became painful. When I asked my nutritionist why this was happening, she said this shouldn't be happening. She refused to believe I lacked energy, since I was eating and was not starving myself.


Why I had to stop:
By end of the week i.e. 7th day, the weighing scale showed 2kg drop on the weighing scale, which was great. Maybe if I continued for another week I would have lost more weight and maybe even felt better. But being a working mom and a foodie - I just could NOT continue on this diet. No time to cook and experiment plus was so tired of paneer and egg! I guess if you're a non-vegetarian you get a lot more options.


What I gained out of it:
I got accustomed to giving no sugar to my body and got used to having black coffee instead of sugary tea and coffee so have switched to that. Now that I have tried this, I know the importance of eating clean and working out - to give me good long term results! Because I had to limit carb intake during Keto, it made me look behind every packet and check it's carb content - I never used to check the nutritional facts earlier - so that's another good habit picked up!

Summing it up, my weight is not so out of control that I needed to do this self-inflicted torture. For those who are recommended the diet for medical purposes, is surely is better than other diets where you got to starve. But I will focus on doing physical exercise and eating healthy! Let me know how did Keto work out for you, via comments below..

Saturday, June 22, 2019

#HappyTummiesMeet by Enterogermina


I recently attended a blogger’s meet with my kiddo after a long time. And it was a fun and informative one at that! As a mother, you must have experienced diarrhea in your baby or toddler/kid at some point of time. Even as adults we get absolutely weak, the kids cannot even express themselves properly. Here are somethings I learnt at the event:

All the awesome mommy bloggers & their kids at the event.
1.     Types of Diarrhea
Did you know that there are two types of Diarrhea? Viral and Bacterial. Viral diarrhea is more commonly seen than bacterial. Common symptoms in kids for diarrhea are frequent passing of loose stools, dehydration and weakness. But signs to be alert and visit the doctor at the soonest are – If child is inactive and not playing, urine is dark in colour, less frequent and concentrated (signs of dehydration) and is complaining of a griping stomach pain. As long as child is active and playing, things will get fine.
There also is something known as seasonal diarrhea – generally occurring towards end of summers and start of rainy reason – hence now is the time to be extra cautious!

2.     Types of Bacteria
Most of us know that there is good bacteria and bad bacteria. It’s important to balance the bad bacteria with good. This was explained really well at the event via a skit where there was a red coloured bad bacteria character and a blue coloured good bacteria character telling the kids more about bacteria.

Kids really enjoyed meeting the good bacteria!
3.     How to manage diarrhea?
Lot of liquids. Curd is important. One new thing I learnt is a 14-day course of zinc as it helps manage diarrhea. Another very important thing is to avoid milk – grannies will ask to continue giving milk but it should be avoided. Breastfeeding can continue as it is. Doctor’s will not recommend antibiotics for viral, it may be required for bacterial only after doing a stool test. So avoid asking for a “fast solution” because some things take time! Enterogermina is Pediatricians’ No.1 Choice in managing diarrhea.



4.     How to prevent diarrhea?
Prevention is better than cure and just by following some basic hygiene rules we can help prevent diarrhea. Clean, safe drinking water (always carry your own water bottle at the park or mall or while out on a vacation), and washing hands with soap, specially before eating. Though the older kids will be able to follow this, teething babies will grab whatever they find and put it in their mouth – hence more prone to diarrhea. Hence look out for the symptoms.

Activity where they had to feed Popeye good food. My kid got pani puri.
5.     Experience at event –
All the kids and mommies had a fun time interacting with one another. Dr.Zinal gave an informative session on some myths and facts around diarrhea. It was insightful to learn about how zinc helps manage diarrhea and also that one should not let the kids get anemic, iron intake is very important to increase immunity again. So iron rich food is a must! I loved the activity where the kids had to decide which was good or bad food to feed Popeye and also the skit with the good and bad bacteria! Wonderful ways to teach kids good habits and important health related things in a not-boring way!

Giving our feedback to the team.

If you have any questions regarding managing diarrhea, do comment and I will try my best to get the answers to you from the experts.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Lego Avengers Endgame - War Machine Buster Set - Product Review

The Avengers Endgame craze has absolutely taken over my household. The last movie of the decade, the ending of an era, such nostalgia! I obviously saw the movie on the first day - and the kiddo, younger brother and me were in for a surprise just soon after - when we received a Lego Avengers Endgame Set - for the War machine buster. Mind you, that by itself is a spoiler, because it tells you that War Machine will be there in the movie!

 

If you've seen the trailer, you know that the Avengers assemble in an all new suit and avatar to take on Thanos. If you're a Marvel and Iron Man fan, then you know Iron Patriot or War Machine. The set comes with 300+ pieces to build the war machine along with characters for War Machine (Played by Don Cheadle in the movies), ant man and a couple of outriders.


Iron Patriot or War Machine was created as an alternate Iron Man suit by Tony Stark, and was first used in Avengers Age of Ultron to tame the Hulk. The sheer detailing in the Lego Avengers set received was brilliant - the fingers and thumb of the war machine, making sure the face inside the iron patriot armor is brown to resemble that of the actual character, the suit and everything else. Simply amazing.

Watch the unboxing and time-lapse video I have a created :


Product information:
  • Build the posable War Machine Buster mech toy, with an opening minifigure cockpit, 6-stud rapid shooter, 2 detachable stud-shooting cannons, 2 flick missiles and gripping hands, and battle the Outriders!
  • Includes 4 minifigures: a War Machine figure and Ant-Man, each featuring new Avengers team suit decoration, plus 2 Outriders
  • War Machine Buster mech model measures over 6” (17cm) high, 2” (6cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide
  • 362 pieces – Marvel superhero toy construction kit for boys and girls aged 7+ and for fans and kids of all ages; This LEGO Marvel Avengers War Machine Buster 76124 building set for kids can be built together with all other original LEGO playsets and LEGO bricks for imaginative play
  • Recreate exciting action from the Marvel Avengers movies with this fun-packed creative building toy

You can purchase it online from Amazon, makes a perfect gift for any die-hard Avengers fan!


Monday, April 29, 2019

Grandma's Recipe: Sweet Corn Bhel

My grandma makes this really nice Sweet Corn Bhel/Chaat, and I had not had it since years. She does not keep to well these days and hence seldom is in the kitchen. But after a few failed attempts of ordering corn chaat in various restaurants, I finally told her that it's been so long since I had it. And she made sure I had the good old corn bhel on my visit at mom's for summer vacations, and I made it a point to observe and focus on the recipe, and it is surprisingly easy!

Here's what you need -

Servings (6 to 8)

3 cups of boiled sweet corn
1 dry coconut (cut into small pieces and then grinded in the mixer)
3 medium sized potatoes boiled and chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes - finely chopped
2 medium sized onions - finely chopped
2 green chillies
Nylon sev
Juice of 3 lemons
4 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste
Bread croutons (or small bread pieces fried till light brown)

Method

1. Once you have prepared all the ingredients for the bhel, put a kadhai/pan for the gas burner and add 2-3 teaspoons ghee/oil.


2. Add the onion and sauté till a li'l cooked (we don't want it to be completely soft and brown). Add green chillies and chopped tomatoes. Cook till all the water from the chopped tomatoes evaporates.



3. Add the chopped boiled potatoes, sugar, salt and lemon juice. After cooking a little add the boiled corn and shredded coconut (leave some coconut for garnishing).


4. Finally add the bread croutons and nylon sev and mix well. Taste once and add salt and lemon juice till it matches your liking.


5. Garnish with the coconut and some more nylon sev and coriander leaves (if you want) and serve hot.


The final result is a yummy corn bhel with flavors of coconut and the veggies! It is not supposed to be a spicy dish at all, but if you are a fan of spicy, then you can add more green chillies.

Do let me know how did it turn out for you!