Happy Norooz!

Happy Norooz!

 

 

Wishing all the amazing Persian Mommas, Poppas, and families a blessed, and beautiful Norooz. May your year be full of laughter, joy, health, prosperity, success, and love.

The small Sofreh Haft Seen is the ones my children made and the other one is from truly yours.

Har roozetan Norooz, Noroozetan pirooz!
!هر روزتان نوروز، نوروزتان پيروز

My children’s handmade Sofreh Haft Seenkidshaftseen

Our Sofreh Haft Seen for 1393
PMSofreh

Norooz Crafts and Ideas For Kids

Norooz Crafts and Ideas For Kids

Every year around this time I go to my children’s school and help them present about Norouz. Not only does this get them excited and educated about their own culture, but it also provides an opportunity for us to share our beautiful traditions with our friends and community.

Here’s a brief write-up I have attached. It can be tailored to your child’s needs and age, but it may provide you with a good starting point. This was originally provided to me by a friend and I tweaked it. The same friend also provided this coloring page (Thank you Sara, Vahid, and Sepanta!)

Norooz – About

Haftsin Coloring Page

Here is an amazing cake that my very talented friend, Mina, made specifically for my Norooz party. I still remember its yummy taste and am in awe every time I see a picture her beautiful masterpiece! It’s great to have awesome friends :-)

cakehNoroozThis mini Sofreh Haft Seen was made by my daughter and her classmates in 1st grade. We glued all the pieces to the plate and kept it as a display in her classroom. haftseenfor1stgradeNikki at a program I can’t say enough good things about. We were lucky enough to have an amazing Norooz party sponsored by the Iranian Association of Boston where the kids got to make their own take-home Sofreh Haft Seen. You can see that my daughter is elated with joy from her handiwork. NikkisofrehhaftseenThese are the colored eggs I took to my son’s preschool. I colored the eggs at home (to avoid the messiness of it at preschool) and put each egg along with some pretty stickers in these cute little mini decorative bags I purchased in a pack from Michaels. I handmade the tags and made sure to write they were for the Persian New Year. Funny enough after presenting everything to the preschoolers and asking them what they were doing this for, they wrote it off as an Easter craft! So you might want to make Sabzeh with the kids instead or do something specific to Norooz. norouzeggsforPreschool norouzeggsforpreschool2These are some favors I made for our Norooz party for all the children. Luckily Easter candy and eggs are ample during this time! norouzgoodiebagsThe handmade tags I attached to the favors. norouztagsThe lotus trees we made in my daughter’s class using lotus (Senjed), tooth picks, and mini styrofoam balls. You can paint the styrofoam before hand to make it prettier. senjedWe made the Sonbol (Hyacinths) using purple tissue paper, some glue sticks, and tooth picks. You can paint the styrofoam green and add green construction-paper leaves.sonbolHere are some of the supplies needed to make it fun for your kids to create their own personal Haft Seen. You can use the pipe cleaners to make your Sabzeh (sprouts) and use the red to create a ribbon around the sabzeh or a bow around your fish bowl. I have included the prices to show you that it does not take a lot of money to create something special!SuppliesforSofrehHaftSeen

You can purchase plastic goldfish for your fish bowl or use some gold fish crackers. The possibilities are endless. You just need to get started. I hope you enjoy and that I have been able to inspire you with these simple crafts!

Har roozetoon Norooz! (May your every day be a new beginning!)

If you’re looking for a calendar for the Persian New Year, you can purchase through: Persian Calendar

Norouz Giveaway

Norouz Giveaway

WIN A BABAK AND FRIENDS DVD AND STORYBOOK IN TIME FOR NOROUZ!

Visit and “Like” Persian Momma’s Facebook page for the details! If you do not have Facebook and would like to enter in the contest, please add a comment or contact me through the contact page with “Norooz Giveaway” in the subject. Good luck! The giveaway ends March 15th, so don’t delay!

 

babakandfriendsfirstnoroozdvdbookGIVEAWAY

 

Norouz Spring Cleaning Charity Event

Norouz Spring Cleaning Charity Event

With our beloved Persian New Year نوروز (Norouz) approaching and the smell and sight of Spring not too far away (except for people in the Northeast of course, cause I hate to break it to you, but I heard you have another Polar vortex approaching) here is a great idea to promote Norouz in our communities and schools. I hope that one day Norouz will be as easily recognized in our community as Easter, the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, and Christmas are.

At around this time, it is customary to begin spring cleaning for the fast approaching Persian New Year (Norouz), which always falls on the Spring Equinox. So, it would be a great idea to promote a clothing drive or some kind of spring cleaning event in our community and schools with Norouz in mind. Here is an event that my sister-in-law started at her children’s school. It was a clothing drive that benefited their local Big Brother’s Association for Norouz. You would need to get in touch with the charity of your choice while also getting the permission from your child’s school. It may help to begin with a locally recognized and supported charity so that the community you live in can relate. I hope that I can pull this off at my daughter’s school this year. We shall see :-) But even if I don’t, I hope I have planted a seed of inspiration that will hopefully grow as fast and tall as your Norouz sprouts سبزه sabzeh. Together we can benefit our community while raising awareness of our Persian culture and teaching our kids the beauty of charity and leadership.

 

NorouzClothingDrive

 

 

bani_aadam

The Persian writing above is Saadi’s poem used in the flyer and here is the Penglish for those who understand Persian but can’t read it:

Bani aadam azaayeh yek digarand         Keh dar aafarinesh ze yek goharand

Cho ozvy be dard aavarad roozegar         Degar ozvhaa ra namaanad gharaar

To keh ze mehnateh digaraan bi ghamy       Nashayad keh naamat nahand aadamy

There will be more on Norouz and crafts you can do with your kids coming soon! Stay tuned and as always I welcome your suggestions, feedback, opinions, and expertise!

با تشكر Ba tashakkor (with thanks),

PMSignature

 

10 Parenting Tips by Persian Momma

10 Parenting Tips by Persian Momma

I was just recently asked by a friend who’s a fairly new mom in a moment of her frustration with her toddler, how on earth I managed three kids when one alone is enough to drive a mother crazy. Well, firstly I admitted that I’m pretty sure I have become some sort of crazy, and that as the Persian saying goes آب كه از سر گذشت، چه يك وجب چه صد وجب aab keh az sar gozasht, cheh yek vajab cheh sad vajab , meaning that once you’re drowning, what difference does it make how much water you’re under? As you may have already noticed, I resort to humor and I’ve learned that you just have to learn to be able to laugh it out and laugh at yourself sometimes.

top10

In response to my friend’s request, here are Persian Momma’s top 10 parenting tips that I’ve learned along the way and wish I was told and reminded of more often:

  1. Remember that everything with your new baby/child is transient. If they are a bad sleeper now, I can guarantee there will be a day when you will have to nag them awake. Think school days, snoozing alarm clocks, etc. If they are not good eaters now, there will come a day when you have to hide food from them, if they are clingy now, there will be a day when you will be yearning for them to call your name. So cherish the moments for what they are and remember that it will not always be like this.
  2. Time-outs work! They have been a Godsend and actually allow me, the hotheaded momma, to calm down before I react to my child’s action. Really I look at it more so as a time-out for me. But it also allows your child a moment to think about what they have done.Some time out pointers:
    • 1 minute of time-out for every year (1 year-old has 1 minute of time-out, 2 year olds 2 minutes, etc.)
    • Set a timer (I use my oven timer) so your child is not sitting in time-out for more than they should. It also helps your child understand time better.
    • After the timer has beeped, I also made my toddlers count to 10 (this was a tricky way I got them to learn their counting ;-)
    • Come down to your child’s level and ask them if they know why they were in time-out. Make sure you explain why what they did should not be done.
    • Always end your time-out with a hug and a reinforcement of how much you love your child. I don’t think you can ever tell them enough times how much you love them. Feeling loved gives a sense of security.
  3. Remember that your child is not doing the “naughty” things to spite you but it is how they learn about their environment and boundaries.
  4. Be consistent in your parenting and if there are two parents in the household, make sure both parents are on the same page and use the same discipline techniques.
  5. I find that the most frustration with my kids comes at times when I am trying to do something for myself (write an email, make a phone call, tidy up, etc.). I am learning to time these things during nap times and bedtime so I can actually get them done and not become a raging lunatic TRYING to get them done while meeting my children’s constant demands.
  6. Have fun with your kid(s). Do something you both enjoy, like singing, dancing, play dates, reading, etc. Remember that these little children have opened up the door for you to once again revisit childhood and innocence! So dance like nobody’s watching, act goofy, and have a good time!
  7. Get some fresh air. Being cooped up in the house is not healthy for you or your child.
  8. Exercise! I cannot tell you how much the gym has helped me become a happier and stronger mom. If you can’t go to a gym, or there isn’t a gym with a daycare option, try going for a walk with your baby/child outside or at a mall. Just avoid walking by Cinnabon and the food court at the mall. It totally defeats the purpose of the walk ;-) Or just do some stretching, yoga, or dance at home. It will keep your child entertained as well and wondering just how weird mommy can get.
  9. Learn your own triggers. My 3 big personal triggers are a messy house, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise. Find your own and find a way to handle it so you are not taking your frustrations out on your kid(s).
  10. Have a routine/schedule. This will only prevent the meltdown that comes with your child being too tired, over stimulated, and hungry (a lethal combination, that you should NOT allow to happen if you don’t want to end up on the 5 O’Clock news channel)

And lastly, I will leave you with my motherly advice of don’t be so hard on yourself. We are all doing our best as parents and have the same goal in mind. Parenting, as one of my friends once told me is not for the faint of heart. I’ve learned not to judge other people’s parenting. Different folks, different strokes. Do what works for you, and your family and don’t let anybody get you down!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you were all able to ring in the New Year with yummy food, good company, a smile on your face, and a gher in your kamar (loosely translated, a dance in your step). Here’s what a party hosted by myself and my cousin looks like. And yes, we went crazy with the 2014 :-)

There was Gheymeh, Maast va khiyar, Salad Oloviyeh, rice (of course), Salad Shirazi, Fesenjoon (not pictured because we almost forgot to serve it!), and Salmon.

2014NewYearspread

 

And of course it wouldn’t be a party if we didn’t have desserts to share. There was Sholeh Zard, Persian Roulade, and homemade Baklava & Nummoora (courtesy of our talented Lebanese guests). Yum yum!

NewYearDesserts

 

Easy Peasy Pasta Dish (read maacaaroni = ماكرونى in Persian)

Easy Peasy Pasta Dish (read maacaaroni = ماكرونى in Persian)

If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to spend your whole day in the kitchen and you already feel like you are there too often for your liking. However, you also want to provide a well-balanced, nutritious, and khoshmazzeh (delicious) meal for your family, yourself included. So here’s a dish, guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s palette.

Macaroni

Macaroni ماكرونى

  • 1 package of your favorite pasta (I chose the curly spiral ones because  they are easy for kids to eat. Penne and elbow macaroni also work well)
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 lb of ground beef (preferably Organic for your own good)
  • 3 tablespoons of Piaz daagh پياز داغ = Fried onions (This is a staple in every Persian household as it is the base of many dishes. It is basically onions sautéed in oil to golden perfection). I have a stash of frozen piaz daagh in my freezer. OR 1 chopped onion (sautéed to make piaz daagh)
  • 3 tablespoons Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Garlic (minced or powder)
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium skillet and add piaz daagh, some olive oil, and the ground beef. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat while cooking it. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and turmeric and allow to brown and fully cook. 
  2. Add the pasta sauce to the meat mixture and allow to cook for another 5 minutes to soak up the flavors and reduce the liquid.
  3. Cook your pasta according to package directions and drain the water.
  4. Add the meat to your cooked pasta and set over the heat for another 5-10 minutes, and voila, dinner is served. Serve with a side salad and some yogurt and you have yourself a complete dish! Noosheh jaan نوش جان (Bon Appetit)

Note: You can always jazz this dish up if you’re not in a hurry by adding in some vegetables (like chopped mushrooms or peppers) before you cook the meat or by simply sprinkling some fresh parsley to the food.

Tis the Season for Discounts!

Tis the Season for Discounts!

I am so excited to be able to offer YOU my wonderful readers, through the generosity of Oznoz, a 20% discount on your entire shopping cart through Dec 29th! They offer books, movies, and products for bilingual children of all ages in multiple languages, our beloved Persian included.

Please visit their website.

https://shop.oznoz.com/index.php/language-culture/persian.html

Discount Code: Persian20

Offer Ends: Dec 29th

I assure you I get nothing out of this but the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to introduce a great website to you as well as haggle on your behalf for a discount :-)

And if you’ve never seen Elmo speak Persian, well you’re in for a treat!