Amanda Dias

Life is something that I have always believed to be a river that constantly flows, never stops or slows. It has those straight, normal, and peaceful times, but it has rough times with twists and turns. I think everyone knows this, but some people have worse experiences than others. Those experiences cannot be avoided and have to be faced. Everyone always faces those experiences differently as they come. The ones that face the experiences with the bright hearts and their heads held high are those that inspire me every single day to keep going. And one such lady who inspires me is Amanda , the mother behind the blog @raisingmyknights .

Amanda is a mum of two boys and a super creative mum , and her journey is all about learning , creating , exploring and discovering things with her little ones . If you’re always searching for inspiration for fun crafts and activities that stimulate your child’s creativity, learning and development, or simply to keep them out of mischief… then you should definitely head over to her blog . She has everything from craft ideas  to entertainment, and ideas for DIY kids’ activities, that busy modern mums can get into with their kids…as well as some budget-friendly hacks On @craft.set.go

So below is Amanda’s take on parenting , life and everything else between .

1.What was your idea behind starting a blog and how do you think your blog has evolved now ? 

-After becoming a mum I got so consumed with the new role that I felt lost and depressed. I realized I got annoyed and irritated easily and started to vent or react quicker than I normally would.

It all started one DIY morning with Aquarius magazine and vtools we were meant to create a height ruler out of wood.We spent the morning exploring sanding tools and marking the wood. I enjoyed it so much that I lost track of time. I came back home with the wood piece and happier than my usual self. Even though it took me two weeks to complete the finished piece I enjoyed every moment. 

That’s when I realized I seldom get my “me” time. So every Friday I woke up early to a quiet living room and executed a DIY. I was finally making all those pinterest saves and had fun sharing it. As LiL knight grew older we discovered arts and crafts together which slowly made it’s way onto social media /blog.

 I decided it was time to reach other mums who felt like me and maybe encourge them to join in the fun whilst they get some much needed “me-time”. To share ways to keep kids occupied and have when with them creating memories of their own.

Today I have a blog, one stop inspirations/tutorials and so much more.I even managed to create a community with two other mums @craft.set.go to empower other mums to recreate what we once learned and share this with our kids.

2 What is your biggest parenting success ? 

-When I see my knight grabbing a book to read or sitting and painting on his own.Off late I’ve been teaching him to use his words to express various feelings and helping him identify them.Raising emotional intelligent kids is so important in todays world.

3 What is your biggest parenting failure ? 

–When I take on too much I stress myself out. It isnt easy to do it all. My latest obstacle is balancing a baby and a preschooler who both need a piece of me.

4 How do you take a negative comment to a positive post ?

-I’ve been a corporate trainer for almost eight years and the first thing its taught me is how you perceive yourself is not the way the world looks at you. To be your best you need to see yourself through their eyes. Everyone has a right to an opinion separate the facts skip the emotions you might just see the truth.

5 Explain why you post pictures of your kids or why you don’t ?

-I’m not the sort to reveal my entire life on social media. I like a certain part of it to be personal. The same goes with my kids and my spouse. I always ask my son only if he is ok we go ahead. I hope that someday he can look back and see the fun we had together.

6.What are your top 5 achievements in life ?

-Hmm it’s a difficult question…I’ve had small achievements.

1. Managing to figure out motherhood all on my own without having a mom or a dad .

2. Despite daily battles of life I try my best to be positive and not let petty things pull me down , despite the rollercoaster of emotions every now and then .

3. Being on PearlFM radio with my 4 year old .

4. Inspiring people to be the better version of themselves.

5. Sharing my passion through DIY ‘me’ time and mom&me workshops.

7 How much time in a week do you spend on writing and maintaining your blog ?

-I used to have the luxury of spending my mornings writing or creating something artsy/craftsy now with LiL bub it’s a challenge.I do it when I can.

8) Describe your best day as a mom

…It would be a day when I’ve successfully accomplished my to-do list, finished my chores, had no power struggle or temper tantrums from my pre schooler, kids snoring in bed early leaving me with a few minutes to read or scroll through Netflix before I fall asleep.

9)Your top 5 child products must haves ?

-Four cow farm (calendula remedy and tea tree remedy), cetaphyl body cream, pureborne diapers and mustella shampoo

10)What advice can you give a mom to be or a new mommy ?

-No parenting book can fully help each child is different follow your gut feeling it’s 98% accurate lastly make time for you coz only then can you give your best self to your family.

So please do follow her on her on the links below :

BLOG : https://raisingmyknight.com/

INSTA : https://www.instagram.com/raisingmyknights/

YOUTUBE : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPrDdxWMoNvQWXmPokfJ9A

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The Typical Feeding Needs for a Newborn 

Well when I was expecting my daughter I had made up my mind that I would exclusively breast feed my child upto 6 months and give her nothing else, that’s probably any new mommy expectations with her child . Welli my case my daughter initially started to cluster feed and due to such a situation I ended up having to bottle feed my child on day 20. Initially I didn’t understand the signs but when I consulted my pediatrician he explained it to me as to what cluster feeding is … 

So basically Cluster feeding is when babies bunch feeds close together at certain times of the day. Though they may leave a couple of hours between feeds most of the day, there will usually be a few hours of constant or close together feeds. Cluster feeding is most common in the evening, although may differ between babies. This can be challenging for mothers, so we’ve put together some cluster feeding tips to help make these feeding times a little less stressful.  

So for my daughter I use NAN Excella Pro , for her age (2 months ) she needs to have about 4-5 ounces per feed as a growing child but then again that differs from baby to baby . With a span of 2-3 hours . But note that you need to feed your child on demand too . Sometimes it’s earlier sometimes late than usual , try to maintain a schedule for your child . 

And as for the bottles I have been using Chicco brand , one of them is plastic and the other glass , both are good in their own way depending on the situation . If your water that your using is too hot I recommend using the glass bottle . My daughter has other bottles too of other brand but currently I am satisfied with chicco .

Milk container is from baby shop , it’s so convenient to use and store when traveling or just heading out with the baby.

Philips Avent electrical  breast pump : I recently suffered from dengue and typhoid, so whe I was in the hospital I needed to pump my breast milk , so it was so amazing and such a blessing that I could easily pump out effortlessly without having to move or put in any energy . And for all those working moms out there , this product is perfect for you . It’s both both plug ins and can be battery operated too . I personally am in love with this product .

Pigeon liquid cleanser :The PIGEON Bottle Nipple & Vegetable Liquid Cleanser is the ultimate natural cleanser and is essential for baby’s health.Kills 99.99% BacteriaMade from 100% food grade (Edible) Ingredients.Ideal for cleaning Nursing Bottles, Nipples, Pacifiers, Feeding Accessories, Toys as well as food such as Vegetables, Fruits, etcRemove even the toughest formula stains but remain gentle to the skin.PIGEON Liquid Cleanser is a much stronger wash than regular detergent commonly found in kitchens.Remove pesticides residue on Fruits and Vegetables.

Strawberry Cupcake

Ingredients

1 2/3 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops red food coloring (optional)
3/4 cup diced strawberries (dice into about 1/4-inch pieces)
Diced and whole strawberries for topping (about 1 lb small strawberries)

Frosting (double recipe if making for a double layer cake)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree
1/2 cup unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
1/4 cup salted butter, nearly at room temperature
2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops red food coloring (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl then add baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granluated sugar until pale and fluffy (occasionally stop and scrape down bowl throughout entire mixing process if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl). Mix in egg then mix in egg whites one at a time. In liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together the buttermilk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter mixture) alternating with half of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Fold in the 3/4 cup diced strawberries. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full (nearly 1/3 cup in each). Bake in preheated oven 20 – 23 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:
Add 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree to a small saucepan. Heat mixture over medium-low heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced by about 2/3 to 3 Tbsp, about 10 – 14 minutes (measure and if it isn’t quite 3 Tbsp then return and continue to simmer, if it’s not reduced to correct amount it will make frosting runny). Pour reduced puree into a small bowl, then freeze until cool (stir occasionally for even chilling, it will chill quickly in the freezer since it’s such a small amount).
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip unsalted and salted butter until very pale and fluffy (nearly white. Stop and scrape down bowl occasionally throughout entire mixing process if not using the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl). Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, then blend in 3 Tbsp reduced strawberry puree, vanilla extract, and optional red food coloring. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and continue to mix until frosting is pale and fluffy, adding in an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar if needed to reach desired consistency.