Name: Nipuni Sangakkara
Age: 43 Years
Designation: Mother/Wife, Caker@Petit Pot Cakes, Jack-of-all-trades and master of few
Motherhood – Reality Vs Expectation?I wish my babies came with a manual! But they didn’t! :o) Despite all the babycare/childcare material I owned and subscribed to, there was always something new to learn everyday with my girls. Seven years on I know them very well, but still, I am learning But of course Motherhood is easier when kids arrive in your 30’s, so being a “mature” mom somewhat bridged the gap between reality and expectation.
Do you think a specific age gap between siblings is a good idea?
Personally, I prefer a couple of years between siblings. Yet, I wouldn’t have been disappointed with twins either
How do you encourage your children to be close siblings?
I feel parenting is very much a lead by example technique. Kids do exactly what we do. When they see us in good relationships and being kind to others they will follow in our footsteps. Having said that my kids do have their share of squabbles. Most of the time they are left to resolve their own issues themselves. I step in when I feel they are arguing for much longer than they should.
What is playtime like for you and your kids?
At 7 and 5 years, my girls love to play together. There is no specific play time for them. They will wake up at 5.30 in the morning and play with the soft toy they put to sleep in the cot next to their bed until I ask them to brush and wash for school, or they will take a couple of toys to the vehicle to play on their way to school. Currently, play is mostly pretend play: house, school, ponyville; and some of their favourite cartoon/movie characters come alive at this time. Playtime then is very peaceful. Yet there are times when they literally start bouncing off the walls, then it’s a matter of distracting them with another activity or taking them out to burn that energy constructively. I also get involved when they want to cook and bake. We allow this as part of play and now they make their own eggs, with supervision, the way they like it, each time they have eggs.
How much of TV do you let your kids watch?
TV or any “screen” time is comparatively shorter now that they are older; purely because they have so much to do – including play :). During the week, on average, they probably watch about 30 to 45 minutes of TV to unwind, and on weekends a bit more and maybe a DVD as well. And then there are those lazy days once in a blue moon, when we have a movie marathon and watch about two movies in a row
In terms of physical activities, do you plan on any activities or classes to make sure they get enough of outdoor exercise?
Yes. But I sometimes feel they really don’t need anymore physical exercise as, even when indoors, they run instead of walk, they cartwheel, they skip and beds become trampolines very often. Coming back to your question, yes, we take them to the pool very often at least thrice a week and the elder girl does swimming, badminton and karate as scheduled classes at school. At this age the emphasis is more on keeping them occupied rather than physical activity, as that, they do get in plenty.
Tips on getting your kids to eat healthy food?
Eat healthy ourselves! This has worked well for us when getting the girls to eat healthy. In fact. they grew up on typical Sri Lankan food such as grains (kadala, mung ata, cowpea), rice and curry, mallums and loads of local fruit. We very rarely purchase fast food. And by making our own burghers, pizzas, chicken nuggets, meatballs and desserts etc at home, they get to enjoy the healthier version of the fast foods that are out there!
What inspired you to start PPC?Being a wannabe Gourmet, it’s not cakes and cupcakes that I’ve always wanted to do, but a Parisienne stlye little bristro :). Yet, I never found the time nor resources for it. After I left my last job to be a stay-at-home mom, I tried baking and decorating the kids’ birthday cakes; as thus far that was the only item that was bought for their parties and everything else was made at home. Thereafter friends and family made a few requests for their birthday cakes and voila, Petit Pot Cakes was born.
What was it like – the transition from the Corporate sector to stay-at-home-mom and now being-your-own-boss?
As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”. When I left my job it was time to stop making other plans and to get back to life and what mattered most in life – the little human beings that we created. Being-my-own-boss however, is a bonus I feel as I get to choose how much I work or how little I work – working around the schedules of the kids!
Do you have any favourite diet meals?
I am not so much into strict diets. As a self confessed foodie, I do enjoy a well prepared meal. On a daily basis I try to leave out carbs and sugars as much as I can and ensure quantity control. Occasionally, rules are broken in order to enjoy a left over cupcake, cake scraps or other sinful indulgences.
What is your workout regime for staying fit and in shape?
I try to work out at least thrice a week but there are times when I don’t have the time to visit the gym for weeks. During such times, the only way to keep fit is to use the stairs more often, knead the fondant or mix batter by hand instead of using the mixer, or do yoga at home!
What do you do to relax?
Sometimes lounging around just doing nothing works well for me. And at other times a book, a bit of House, Downton Abbey or any Food & Travel programme help me unwind and relax.
Fun places around Colombo to relax with your kids?
Since we are in Battaramulla we rarely go towards Colombo for fun and play. Diyatha uyana/Aquarium, Water’s Edge and surroundings, the local kids’ park are some of the places we take them locally to run about and play, for cycling or to fly kites. On rare occasions when we do take them to Colombo they love to see the ponies at the Vihara Maha Devi Park.
Where would you say are the best places to get clothes and accessories for your daughters?
I am blessed to I have a mother-in-law who makes cute and stylish clothes for my girls. Apart from that, they receive lots of clothes and accessories as gifts from friends and family here and abroad. I very very rarely buy them clothes and when I do it is mostly from a small shop in Pelawatte called JD Fashions or Cool Planet or Odel!
Location: Nipuni Sangakkara’s Residence
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To Get Nipuni Sangakkara’s Look
Jeans: A Gift
|Saree: Buddhi Batiks
Shoes: Misc. Shoe Shop – Pellawatte
Pants: A Gift
|Dress: Cool Planet