Wednesday, April 16, 2014

20 Exciting DIYs for Summer to help Mommies keep Cool !

Okay! So its Summer already! And we have a tricky situation :) - kids are at home 24x7! 
While there are a million classes / Summer camps flooding your doorstep with their advertisements, do you really need to dispatch your little to yet another mini school in that sweltering heat? While a swimming class every alternate day is great, you could save the heat & stress by starting mini sessions of your own! Just pick one DIY everyday & explore the fun you can have with your little one!

While I did create a list of some 22 DIYs that I'd create for my daughter, I'm not sure if I'd complete them this summer! (Talk about a Mommy's life!). But there is certainly one thing that I discovered: Our little kids find greatest pleasures in simplest things. Over this week I found that even though I just made very simple Princess Crown, Paper Chain, Paper Bracelet in the name of summer activity, she loved it. And was actually more excited than I could think. So I guess, its just about us as parents who feel that expensive toys/activities/sports/classes will lure them the most...but as is the case, precious joys are hidden in simplest things... And am thankful! (certainly not against these wonderful classes, just that kids should be old enough to enjoy or cherish them. As long as simple is precious, we as mommies should cherish being with them!)

Okay, so here's a list of stuff you can create - it may be darn simple, but remember its great for 2-6 year old kids...

1) Paper Crafts: Pick up ordinary paper & make boats, plane, animals, bunting, basket, good old dolls (in picture)... Whatever you make, just let your kid color it... it just doubles the fun for them!

2) Act a Fairy Tale: Tell your tiny tot a story & let them enact along with you... That way you'll get to discover the hidden actor within you & your kid :)

3) Coloring: Its simple & a No-Brainer. But often kids love very simple things, so just draw something funny & let them color! Experiment with colors, paper, fabric according to their age... At four years, my daughter loves water colors... & came up with something so beautiful... (I asked her what should I draw & she said, 'Two Dinosaurs trying to eat up a boy & boy is shouting') ...well, that's imagination running wild! :)

4) Sing a Song & Do Sing Along: Kids love songs & rhymes. Take off a few minutes during the day & sing along with them... I discovered that I had learnt numerous songs during school days... & now as I sing along with my girl, its just 'Yesterday Once More...'

5) Clay Activity: Play Dough is great fun. Make shapes using cookie cutters, bottle caps, spoons or simply with hands... Dry them out & make magnets, paper weights, incense stick holders & much more with clay!

6) Read a Book: Kids don't read for hours like us... But just a few minutes with a book can take them into a wonderful world of animals, people, fairies etc. This way, they'll develop the habit of reading... & a passion!

7) Outdoor Sports: Just sending you kid out to play is not the only way... double his fun time by joining him or her with a Ball, Frisbee etc. 

8) Forest Trail: If there's a forest or simply a garden... take them for a Nature Trail. Discover flowers, trees & bugs along with your kid and help them learn the fun way!

9) Bead Jewellery: This one is a great option for girls, but with caution. Buy wooden beads & let your girl make a beautiful piece for herself! :)  ...She made this colorful bead neck piece & has never taken it off since... :)

10) Cook & Bake: Think of a very simple & safe recipe - let your little one help you with stirring, pouring, mixing... I've been baking cakes with my girl & I often act as if I'm hosting a food show for her... she loves it & tries to do the same... Adorable! :) And while doing this we created a few items for her kitchen! Aren't those French Breads cute? :)

11) Scrabble / Crossword: You don't need to buy one to play... just take a paper & pen... write some short spellings & let your kid learn new words around that. My girl loves those little crosswords that come everyday in newspaper... She fills them with her own spellings... 'ONE, TWO...' etc ... what joy to see her cute acts.

12) Paper Puppets: This DIY was long back & am yet to share the templates with you. Its very easy, fun & can be played with in various ways! The link to template will be posted soon, promise! :)

13) Dance Baby Dance: You can dance around with your little one and no one will judge you! Its a great way of spending time with your little one... teach them a move or just copy what they do... Its so much fun & you'll lose those extra calories along the way too!

14) Activity Book: Create your own activity books for your little one. Just take 4-5 pages... You can add various things on different pages like coloring, counting, missing letters, tiny puzzle, match the following, opposites & more... You don't have to run to the bookstore every now and then, just devise some simple activities... Remember, kids don't really think about exclusive & exotic books... for them anything is great, as long as its fun!

15) Water Fun: Fill a small bucket, drop in their favorite blocks, doll etc and let them have fun for half an hour... they'll love it. Who needs a Water Park when you can devise a pulley & a tiny bucket to drench yourself and your kiddo? Try it, you'll love it!

16) Blow Bubbles: This one is therapeutic! Try blowing bubbles along with your kid & you'll actually end up finishing the liquid before they do! :)

17) Homemade Picnic: With sweltering heat around who wants to venture out? But hey, who says picnic is all about going out? Just spread a little mat in your porch/balcony, a few snacks, juice/milk, play some music & you're ready to picnic... just Mommy n Little one! Well, Dad can join the fun on weekends... I've done it so many times here in my balcony, that now my girl thinks that every meal is actually a picnic! Including Tea times!

18) Make a House: Not with bricks! Just a few pillows, a light cloth & a few clothespins... Make a hideout/house for your boy/girl & let them play. In case you make it big enough, you can play too... Its fun to get creative with this one!

19) Click to Scrap: Take pictures when you both take up an activity. And then just create a scrapbook of Summer of when they grow up, you can proudly show them, 'I know what you did last Summer!'  ;)

20) Catch up on sleep: Kids & Mommies both need to catch up on their sleep idle summer holidays...All day of inexhaustible jumping, playing, running, screaming etc can certainly get your child tired. And You? let's not even get started! So just ease out, relax and have a fun summer siesta... while it lasts! 

These are fun activities for kids aged 2-6 years. You may not agree with all of these, but having a list of To-Do's in one place certainly helps! That's why I just thought of sharing what I do, with you :)

If you loved it, just drop in a comment...I'd love to hear from you!
Have Fun!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Is your Hairstyle a Cut Above the Rest?

Our hairstyle defines our look, to a large extent. We can beautifully disguise ourselves behind a look, if it goes right. Depending on the hairstyle you can probably look younger, stylish & glamourous with just a bit of tweaking here and there.

However, there is a flip side too! If you have the habit of dashing into salons without bothering to understand what hairstyle suits your face or style, you can end up with a disastrous look in a matter of minutes. 

While many people think that hair gels or hair sprays can fix any haircut (yes, even if it has gone wrong!), it is certainly not an option you can live with for too long! If the basic look is not right, even the hair accessories cannot help.

Hair care and hairstyling requires time. You need to know what suits your hair and what doesn't. As with hair care products (oils, shampoos, gels, colors etc), hairstyle too demands a careful selection. But how do you decide what is a good hairstyle for you? Are you someone who follows yearly hairstyle trends or do you still follow a classic hairstyle you began your childhood with? Do you match the shape of your face with the hairstyle or do you simply match yourself with a celebrity? Do you choose a comfortable hairstyle or something elaborate that need hours of styling? Do you love a neat hairstyle or being messy is your kind of fashion? The questions don't end here. However, the search for answers does! Here's what a good hairstyle should offer:

1) Comfortable & Long lasting : A hairstyle should be easy to manage. Specially for kids, always choose a hairstyle that is hassle free. Bangs or fringes getting into eyes is the greatest discomfort (no matter how fashionable it is!), so choose an optimum hair length for the front. A disastrous haircut can probably make you run back to the salon every fortnight, getting a fix here and there to get it look normal. A good haircut should last at least two to three months. 

2) Match your face shape: A hairstyle should always match your face shape. While you cannot physically match a hairstyle with your face, at least browse through the pictures with similar face shapes. There are quite a few online apps (just google!) that can help you match your face to a particular hairstyle.

3) Enhance your look: A good hairstyle should enhance your appearance. A person can change his / her personality with a lot of add ons (clothes, accessories, makeup) and hairstyle is certainly the biggest. The entire look is put together by all the elements to create a confident appearance. Although in everyday life we don't need to rush to the salon every now and then, getting a suitable and good looking haircut is good enough to enhance your personality, create confidence about yourself and of course, create a lasting impression! 

Your hair are your precious feature. The healthier you eat, the healthier your hair will be. Stress is certainly the sole and biggest reason why your hair begin to lose their voluminous growth and shine. You could certainly get a great looking haircut and probably maintain it with the help of hair gels and other chemically loaded hair products, but the true strength of your hair is your nutrition and a stress free lifestyle. Look well after yourself, beauty will naturally follow! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Cut Above the Rest?

How frequently do you get a haircut? Do you carefully research what hairstyle you want? Or blindly trust your Salon? Coming up next... A Cut Above the Rest!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

10 Ways to deal with Migraine!

Migraine is a very painful form of headache that can last up from an hour to three days. Migraine usually begins on right side of head and gradually spreads to centre and back of the head, sometimes all over the head. It can also cause discomfort to the shoulder and neck area. Alternately, a strained neck and shoulder area can also be the cause of migraine. Often induced by warm temperatures, prolonged stress or substances like vanilla, chocolates, cheese, MSG, soy etc, this one is difficult to get rid of. While medicines do help in relieving pain, some regular home remedies can help reduce its occurance. 

While reduced intake of substances (vanilla essence, cheese etc) causing migraine can be helpful, one caused by heat and stress is at times unavoidable and causes greater discomfort. Some home based remedies can be handy in initial stages to reduce the pain as well as prevent it from increasing in intensity.

1) Ice Pack - probably the best remedy to keep migraine intensity low in initial stages. Use ice pack generously on the area of head where pain intensity is higher. Keep dabbing it all over the head to cool the nerves.

2) Bay leaf paste - apply bay leaf paste on the forehead and temples to get a soothing balm like relief.

3) Lemon and Rock Salt - squeeze a lemon and a teaspoon of rock salt in a glass of water and take small sips to avoid that queasy and nausea like feeling when migraine begins.

4) Apple a day - eating an apple regularly in the morning, on an empty stomach (without brushing your teeth) can also be helpful in reducing occurance of migraines.

5) Milk and Unrefined Brown Sugar (Jaggery) - regular intake of half a glass of milk with small piece of Unrefined brown sugar (called Jaggery) also helps gradual cure of migraine.

6) Homeopathic treatment - while there may be different pain relievers for migraine, the best treatment to go with is Homeopathy. With no side effects and a very natural cure, it really helps in reducing frequency of migraine attacks.

7) Avoid Heat - For those who get migraines induced by heat, avoid high temperatures, use eye shades and caps regularly when stepping out in the sun. Use an umbrella while out for work / shopping etc during the day. Also, never step out with an empty stomach. Always eat well before leaving for work etc to avoid acidity which also induces migraine combined with heat outside

8) Regular Meal Times - Maintain a regular schedule of your meals to avoid acidity. Acidity is a catalyst for migraines. Eat healthy meals rich in fiber and avoid greasy stuff.

9) Keep Stress at bay - When possible, avoid stress. Problems are just difficult situations. They can be dealt with. But stressing over problems damages the body in ways more than one, migraine being one of them.

10) Sleep - Migraine often makes your head weak, even days after you've recovered from pain. Make sure you catch up on sleep. Otherwise too, overcome any sleep deprivation (due to work, stress etc) to avoid regular occurrences of migraine.    

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easy Home Decor Changes - New Look Every Month!

A beautiful home is a reflection of people who live in it... The decor of your home speaks volume about your aesthetic sense. Whether it is plain & simple, eclectic, vintage, traditional or modern, the decor of your house is the first feel that one gets as they enter your home.

A home decor can be based on a theme or a style you love. The objects that adorn your walls or the furniture that defines the space of your rooms, follows the style or theme that you select. Home decor is therefore a decision that involves planning not just the color of your walls but also some unique finds that will exhibit your unique taste. 

No matter how much you love your decor, but there is always a scope for some changes that bring in freshness around the existing theme. You could consider making a few changes here and there, all without much expenditure (or none at all!) and give a new look to your rooms. 

There are many things that you can work around with, some of which are listed... 

1) Change Covers:

Bed, Pillows, Cushions & dining table... there is a lot of newness that you can create by changing dull or boring covers around your home. Bring out those exotic bed covers you've neatly stacked for a special occasion or just get creative with your plain cushion covers and creative appliques / fabric colors / lace / embroidery. Create a theme for each room and then pick covers that suit. Sometimes, creating a festive ambience at home is a great brightens up the ambience and your mood too!
2) Rearrange display on walls:
Bring down art or handicraft that's been on walls for ages and   replace them with new ones (just exchange between rooms or get the ones that have been lying unused in store / garage!). Wall decals  are the newest and very popular way of creating grand effects on walls, often around the furniture. Kids room can be amazingly transformed with wall decals. And if you are a confident artist, just go freehand with colors and a brush...paint the house red! (not literally!)

3) Rearrange furniture:
Many a times a rearranging some furniture can completely change the look of a space. You could create a cozy place for two around your balcony by placing light furniture - a set of two chairs or two huge cushions and a coffee table!

4) Work on Shades:
Work upon curtains. A window with ample sunlight could be toned down with some light color shades, blinds or drapes. Get creative by making your own drapes with some exotic fabric or just some melange for an eclectic styled room. 

5) Flower Arrangement: 
Whether it is natural or artificial, flowers brighten up any space. Use tall vases to accentuate the flower arrangement. Get creative by touching up flowers with golden shimmer or just a spray of natural essence water to give a fresh look. Dry flower arrangement looks very elegant and is quite easy to create with just some dry branches/flowers/weeds or simply pine cones! 

6) Create Natural Ambience:
Placing plants that can be kept in indoors or semi-shade is a great way to create a natural ambience within your home. Indoor plants lend a wonderful natural color to the interior and at the same time carry out the divine task of purifying your home off the toxins, act as natural humidifiers and infuses fresh oxygen. Some of them are Ferns, Golden Pothos(money plant!), Areca Palm, Chinese Evergreen etc. However, research well before your buy them (check if they are safe with kids or pets around the house). 

7) Create Art:
There are a number of ways to create an artistic piece. Canvas, colors, fabrics, modgepod, embellishments are just a few things you could gather from a stationery shop and create your very own masterpiece!

8) Use stuff around the house (books, soft toys, photo frames)
If nothing works, books and photo frames can always work wonders. Create an intellectual corner in your living room by arranging books in an artistic manner. There is certainly no dearth of ideas to arrange books (shelf, rack, stack, bookends etc). Find some vintage photos of your parents, grandparents and make a unique framed Sepia gallery or just collect colorful pics of your kids (at beaches, parks, pool) and create an artistic display. Soft toys too (albeit a few of them) can bring about cuteness to a space. A sweet little brown teddy on a white couch does look divine... Isn't it?

9) Create a 'Flooring' Look!:
While you may ignore flooring of your house, it can certainly perk up the look with minimal effort. No hammering, no sticking, no hanging. Plain and simple 'Throw'. Get some inexpensive rugs, mats, throws to infuse a brand new style in your room. Carpets are high maintenance but if you do own one or a few, put them to good use - spread it where it suits best.

10) Brighten up with Lights (Candles, Lamps): 
Lights are the magic makers of home decor. A single lamp shade can change the ambience completely, no matter how huge or small your house is. Besides that, it reduces the strain on your eyes. Its also a great way to accentuate masterpiece art on walls. Candles work well in the dining area (be careful with kids around). A reading corner can be made cozy with a soft shade of lamp.  
A bit of rearrangement to your home decor is always a welcome change. Then what are you waiting for, Christmas?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What's your Home Decor Style?

How important is Home Decor for you? Do you love a constant look or do you prefer change? How would you define your 'Home Decor Style?'

1) Eclectic
2) Traditional
3) Modern
4) Vintage
5) Define your own style -

Drop in a comment...I'd love to hear from you! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

6 Natural Ways to Reduce Weight!

We live in the world of size zero... Health consciousness is at its peak & gymnasiums have sprung up like sprouts in a pot! Well, after all weight does matter... at least when it comes to maintaining your health. Being overweight is a cause of numerous health problems. While you could force yourself to the gym every morning, there are many ways, all natural, which can help you tone down your weighty issues. 

Here is a list of few natural ways (Keyboard Style!) that can be easily incorporated into a daily routine:

1) DELETE Sugar from your diet: Sugar is the fastest way to increase your calorie count. While it isn't easy to give up something sweet from your life, you need to gradually reduce sugar intake. Set a weekly target & reduce the dosage to half of what you consume right now. 

2) ADD Green Tea: We all love gulping beverages with food. While carbonated drinks are the easiest to grab and gulp, there are healthier options you could think about. How about a cup of green tea. Green tea is known to help burn calories if taken regularly over a period of time. Now it certainly doesn't mean you consume green tea all day long... just go it whenever your hand reaches for that carbonated drink (unhealthy, loaded with sugar)!

3) ENTER an Exercise Routine: It's the toughest thing to do. Following an exercise routine is a habit you develop over a period of time. But once you get the taste of it, you won't start your day without exercising. Yoga is the healthiest and most powerful way to lose weight. But you could go for exercises and schedules that suit you best. In that case consult your gym instructor. Dance is a great form of exercise. For those who cannot do the elaborate stuff, just opt for a walk, a jog or dancing...

4) ESC Indiscipline: An erratic life can impact your body, not just your sleep. Lack of sleep and irregular meals can affect the normal body functions (digestion etc), thereby prompting it to stack fat. A disciplined body feels healthy and helps you tackle weight issues effectively. 

5) INSERT Water: Make water the most regular entrant to your body! Drink lukewarm water at least half an hour post meals. The in-between water intake can be lukewarm too, as it really helps you get in shape.
It certainly does not imply that you finish off gallons of water every hour, it should be need based. However, not missing on water is what is really needed. It replenishes your body, ejects toxins and keeps the circulation healthy.

6) CTRL Meals: Hmm....this one is dicey. Our constant food cravings, fast food desires, meal on the go habits & many such food adventures ensure our weight never gets back to the desired figure. First & foremost get into a healthy eating habit. This entails too many 'To-Dos' & 'Not-To-Dos'... but broadly it would help to include generous helpings of fresh fruits, vegetables, soya, cut down on fried stuff, reduce spice (chillies I mean!) ... These days we are informed enough to know what to include and what to exclude from our diets. But eating healthy should get into your habit. Then 'Once-in-awhile' kind of indulgence really doesn't hurt. 

Health is true wealth and this fact should be incorporated into our children's growing years. With the choice of fast foods that are coming into the market, cooking and eating may become a thing of past, at least by the time your kids grow up. So eating healthy, keeping fit & being disciplined is a lesson not just for us, but for generations to come.