Mashaallah is an oft heard refrain when it comes to conversations about children, something I’ve been hearing all around me lately since school started.  I have five grandchildren – mashaallah!  My daughter is two years old – mashaallah!  They’ve just started school and they love it – mashaallah!  My son is learning karate – mashaallah!  It goes on.  What’s interesting is the term mashaallah is said by all and sundry, no matter what religion one is.  In southeast asia (and dare I say, anywhere else apart from the middle east), it is generally perceived that anything arabic with the word Allah in it, has something to do with Islam.  In the middle east however, the phrase is used freely by anyone, as are many other ‘islamic’ phrases. Read More →

The last few weeks have been spent struggling with the dilemma of what lunch to pack for the kids since at this time of writing school starts in two days.  If they liked the same things this would be easy, but turns out they don’t.  One likes easy-and-fast-to-eat food with simple, straightforward flavours and is generally averse to anything being too hot (basically all cooked food), while the other prefers warm food that is packed with flavours and moulded against a carb base like rice or noodles.  On top of all this, the school does not allow any nuts or chocolate, so nutella spread is out (not that it was very nutrient dense to begin with but still..) as are granola bars and peanut butter and brownies and chocolate chip cookies and oreos and cupcakes and just everything in my world.

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