Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Volcano Experiment

volcano experiment

My daughter came up to me Friday morning and asked "Mommy what do you use in Chinese noodles?" 
I did not get her question at first. I answered "Soy sauce, dear."
She said "No, no, mommy! It looks like water and tastes sour, smells bad too."
Then I got to what she was asking about, "Its vinegar. Why are you asking? Do you want momma to cook noodles?"

She shook her head to a no and told me she wanted to make volcanoes??!!

My daughter has been learning about volcanoes in her exploration room at her school for the past two days, and took fancy to the volcano experiment.

So, that's what all this was about.

Now what do I do? Remembered this science class experiment from long ago.  So packed up the ingredients and buckled up my 4-year-old in her car seat and off we went to learn more and have fun.

No, no I did not take her to see a volcano. There's nothing remotely resembling a volcano in Dubai.

We headed to the beach in this beautiful winter morning.
See what happened next.


Baking Soda
Red food coloring
Dish washing liquid
Tomato Ketchup
Empty bottles or cups

volcano experiment

volcano experiment

Let's build the volcano first.
All we had to do was dig up a bit of the beach sand and plant the cup/bottle firmly into it. Then build up the volcano, just like you would do a sand castle. You may add rocks, for a better effect, or even shells, if the little one fancies that.

volcano experiment

We then went on to make the lava/magma, which is a mixture of the following:
Water + Vinegar + Red food coloring + Dish washing liquid + Tomato Ketchup

We had this mixture filled and divided into about three bottles (for easily repeating this experiments, if my daughter wanted to go at it again and again).

volcano experiment

volcano experiment

Once done, pour in the baking soda and watch the volcano explode!!

volcano experiment
  • Baking soda reacts with the acetic acid in vinegar to produce carbon dioxide, hence producing the fizz. 
  • The dish washing liquid helps with the bubbles. 
  • Adding tomato ketchup (has vinegar as an ingredient) gets the reaction going slow, for a longer timeand realistic. 
  • And the red food coloring adds the right bit of color. 
  • The projectile of the lava also depends on the diameter of the mouth of the bottle used/ cup. 
  • You can build a volcano to simulate any of its types, may be conical, gently sloping or the dome shaped ones. This also affects the flow of the lava mix.
You can experiment with various ratios to get an oozing out lava or a volcanic explosion. I played it safe and had lava making its way out slowly for a longer time.


volcano experiment

Now hand over the rest of the bottles you have mixed to the little one and relax. Perfect weekend!

volcano experiment

The little one grasped the entire concept magma, lava and the volcanic eruptions. Here is a helpful video for your kids.

Caution : Highly messy. Use a tray to contain the mess. Or still better, simply head outdoors like I did :-)
Never leave little children experimenting chemical reactions alone. Always to be done under the watchful adult eyes. 

Have fun!

This post is linked to 
The Kids Coop Link party @The Sensory
Link and Learn @ No time for Flashcards

Learning Kid link Up - 11 @ Tree Valley

Tree Valley Academy

Let kids be kids Linky

Whatever the Weather - Linky 12

Monkey and Mouse

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Making memories

We have quite a few events coming up on the family front, some travel, a wedding, some celebrations.
To top it, we have been having crazy hours at work. This is leaving us with no time for anything else. Shopping frantically over the weekend for our travel. And I am getting my lists ready and packing to be done. Phew!!! Busy busy busy!

Then it rained. That jolted me out of the craziness to take a break. So I decided to pursue what I promised myself at the start of the year To stop and unwind and have some good quality time with my daughter.

Catch this beautiful view of the clouds ready to pour away.

Sharjah skyline at rains

With that on the agenda, we took a walk in the rain. My daughter splashed and sploshed on the little puddles along our way. We visited my friend's home, who has been inviting us for quite some time.

They have a special guest at home they want us to meet. Tiptoeing we were led to her balcony, where we saw the new arrivals. In a tiny nest, two little hatchlings and their protective mother. I could see my daughter's gleaming eyes, full of excitement, her self-control from jumping up and down and her tender fingers from touching them. I did not know which to concentrate more on, my daughter's wondrous expressions or the tiny little squealing birds.

I was caught in the moment, to take a click of the little birds. The mother bird in a flash, swooped down to her babies and protected them from the chill and the rain, and our prying eyes.

protective mother bird

Stolen little moments and tiny little joys. In an artificial environment in UAE, it was nice to see a glimpse of mother nature. My daughter is still rambling about the birds and their nest, and is shooting down so many questions, that I need to Google up answers for.

What a great afternoon thanks to my friend.

Once back home, my daughter was still euphoric over the cute little things we saw. She now wanted to paint my nails. Then she took her time and painted her nails and mine too :-)
Well, there goes away all the stress.
My little one now fast asleep in my arms, with a tiny little smile on her lips.

Making memories

I would do anything to steal more moments like this from my busy, highly-packed 24 hours of work.
This was the mental detox I could have for now.

What have you done recently, to stop, stare, feel and smile in the busy little lives we have?
Do share away. Would love to hear your stories.


This post is linked to :

Happy Days 51

What Katy Said

Thursday, 22 January 2015

DIY GIRL'S FROCK: The story of a purple dress - Part 2

Welcome back!

Here is the continuation to the bodice we created here DIY GIRL'S FROCK: Story of a purple dress- Part 1

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

The pieces for the skirt are basically rectangles with the height corresponding to the length plus seam allowances.And the breadth of the rectangle being, double the waist circumference if you need lots of pleats, as I have done (this can be customized).

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

Now we start with the skirt. You have two separate pieces the outer piece and the inner lining. We are going to be adding some crinoline to the inner lining to give the jersey skirt a bit of poof.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

After the side seams, when joining the back seams of the skirt allow for a clearance for the zipper to be placed.
I always leave the zipper longer and involving the skirt and not just the bodice. Helps in dressing up the tiny kids.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

You may join the lining and the skirt now, or wait till we have gathered them to fit the bodice.
I chose to gather the lining and skirt separately and then attach to the bodice.

Before you gather the skirt we need to measure the waist circumference of the bodice. This is the length to which we are going to gather the skirt. You may add darts on the bodice if you prefer.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

Gather away and sew it down. I prefer to gather by hand basting.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

Now we need to get back to the bodice. Remember how we had left the side seams of the bodice of around 1" un-stitched. We are going to be adding our sash here now. You can make a sash yourself, but I chose to use a ribbon instead. A bit lazy :-)

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

We are going to attach away the gathered skirt (bodice and lining attached and gathered), to the bodice.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

The dress is nearly getting ready. We have the zipper next. I love the invisible zipper, they finish up beautifully. Once you get a hang of inserting them you are going to be hooked.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

The invisible zipper need to be prepared first by opening the zipper up and ironing on it to make it flat. This helps you to sew it as close to the zipped end. The image shows you the difference between the original zipper on the left and the right one which is opened up and ironed.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

Now place the zipper on the dress as above and pin away. You need to place the zipper facing up on the dress. Then twist the ends such that the zipper end faces outward. Do I make sense?? Look closely at the image it gives a better idea.
Now stitch closely to the zipper as you can. You may use a zipper foot in your sewing machine, I used a regular sewing foot.  The cut off the excess zipper and stitch down with the skirt.

You have an amazing tutorial here for an invisible zipper
You can get wonderful ideas of how to finish the ends of the zipper too.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

I finished up the zipper and this is how it looks when closed. Added up a pearl button and a button loop to the end. You can add anything buttons, hooks, etc.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

Look how I finished up this project.
I left the seams of the skirt at the bottom untouched as it was jersey and I got the selvage.
Added a few embellishments, puffed sleeves with piping, and there is the beautiful dress. This is a basic model which can be modified into many ways. You can add sleeves, embellishments, sash, broach, fancy pleats, literally anything.

DIY Purple frock 2 @colorsofourrainbow

You can stop at the left, lower picture for the basic frock and design it as you please. Sorry, the pics don't seem that great. The little drama queen would just not pose.

Well there you go! A pretty little dress for a pretty little girl.
My daughter loved her new dress!

Go on make one for yours!!

This post is linked to Weekly story 3
April linky party

CELEBRATIONS: We have been featured here:
Delighted. :-)
Thank you, Pam.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

DIY GIRL'S FROCK: The story of the purple dress - Part 1

No, I am not a seamstress, I am a dentist. And between my work hours I love sewing clothes for my little girl.

I learnt sewing when I was on vacation, at school, waiting for my board exam results. Mostly due to the insistence of my mother who thought it may help me out in need, partly because I wanted to kill away time and the nervousness of waiting for the dreaded results of my school exams.

The teacher was an old lady, who taught me simple basics over a period of 20 days on a rickety old machine run by one's feet!! The results were out, off I went to college for a gruelling five years of dental undergraduate studies, and the years as an intern flew by. Then marriage happened, and I had long ago forgotten the sewing machine or anything to do with it. But over 4 years ago I was blessed with a sweet little daughter.

Don't know if pregnancy changes the brain, but I suddenly found myself fascinated by little girl clothes. I would day dream about some pretty little dress and conjure up images in my mind dressing up my little one in them. After choosing a fabric and a tailor I would painstakingly make sketches and explain my piece of imagination to them. I would be greeted by a vehement shaking of the head , telling me they don't do it.

Then over her first birthday, I took the plunge and bought the most basic sewing machine of the rack, my Brother Ls-2125. Dusted out my basic knowledge of sewing, Googled up so much great information available online. Many trial and errors and 3 years of sewing I have come up with pretty good end results. Often after the 8-hour work shift you will see me sewing away like crazy, making tiny little clothes for my daughter or niece.

DIY Purple dress for child
My trusty old machine!!

This simple purple frock is out a purple velvet jersey fabric and was made over say 5 hours or so.

Lets begin with some things I learned through trial and error.
- Drafting your own pattern is very simple, just use a T-shirt to draft the bodice.
- Draft your pattern on a paper or muslin if you are a beginner, saves a lot of costly fabrics from being ruined.
- Pin/ use weight as you cut or sew. Gives perfect edges.
- A serger is not necessary, just use the widest zigzag on your machine.
- Always oil and clean and use a new needle for each of your projects. Prevents you from getting stuck and frustrated in between.
- Sew on scraps of the fabric to get hang of the thread tension, before starting the project.
- Clip away loose thread and finish your inner seams as good as you can. Your end product will look like its been bought of a rack.
- Always open up a seam and iron on them before the next step. Gives a perfectly finished garment.
- Make sure that children's clothing has as minimum seams inside as possible. The technique of a lined bodice here gives perfect results each time.Here is a great tutorial on lined bodices 

And sew away.

DIY Purple dress for child

DIY Purple dress for child

1- Use a T shirt to draft the bodice and its lining. Leave 1/2" seam allowance when cutting.

DIY Purple dress for child

2- Sew the front and back pieces of the bodice along the shoulder seams. Repeat with lining.

DIY Purple dress for child

3- Iron the seam allowances along the shoulder open.

DIY Purple dress for child

4- Place the bodice and its lining, right sides facing each other. Pin along the neck and the arm holes.

DIY Purple dress for child

5- Sew along the neckline and arm holes. Once done snip along the seam allowances to get the right curves when turned.

DIY Purple dress for child

6- Turn in the bodice through the shoulder straps.

DIY Purple dress for child

7- Open up the side seams of the bodice. Sew in a straight line with the right sides of the bodice together and lining together, separately as shown.

DIY Purple dress for child

8- The bodice is ready to be joined to the skirt. The we have the sash, zipper and the embellishments.

Well I have tried my best to document the steps that went into making this dress. Jersey is a very easy fabric, and not as difficult as imagined. Its very forgiving on the fit. And looks great if you use a double needle to get the perfect edges.

The post is turning out to be humongous. Hence there will be a Part 2, coming up on thursday.
Stay tuned.

Happy Sewing

This post has been linked to Weekly story 3
April linky party

NOTE: You can find the Part 2 here

CELEBRATIONS: We have been featured here
Thank you, Pam.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

MINI-ANIMALS: Pistachio shell craft

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-
We are still very much on the theme of animals at home. This week we almost made an entire collection of them :-), which now the little one is proudly displaying.

We saved a few pistachio shells from our snack time. The end result of what we did with them turned out so cute...

Bonus : It teaches children about recycling.
This activity is perfectly fun, keeps them occupied for the week's after-school hours.

My daughter is story-telling her dolls with these :-)
Do try it out.

All that is needed:
Pistachio shells
Acrylic paint/ Water colors
Marker / Color sharpies
Paper / Cardboard for the background
Color paper / Krepe paper
White ink/ Whitener for the eyes

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

The possibilities are endless. A mini-zoo, mini-monsters, teddy bear world, life-cycle of a butterfly, mini-aquarium, flowers so so many more.

pistachio shell craft- mini animals-

Which one is your favorite here?
I just love the adorable lady bugs, and the cute penguins of madagascar.
The turtles turned out a bit creepy. Don't you think so?

Please do try it out.
You can make story cards, decorate shadowboxes, glue and paint on clay pots, literally make anything out of pistachio shells, even decorate a handmade greeting card or use them for home-schooling.

Do not forget to drop back in and link your creation here. Can not wait to see the pieces of creativity flowing in.

This post has been linked to Best of the blogosphere link party at

This post has also been linked to The weekly story- week 2 @Colors Dekor

Celebrations!! We have just been chosen as best blog post of the week at Best blogosphere linky party 2

Linking also to:
 lou lou girls fabulous party 46

Make it Pretty Monday-week-131

Kids Co-op link party

Link and Learn @ No time for Flashcards

Learning kids linkup

Kid-craft-challenge-2 @The Resourceful Mama

The Resourceful Mama