Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Himalaya for Moms - Review

When you give birth to your new-born baby, everyone around you is elated and your family is over-joyed at the new addition to the family. There will soon be gifts showered on the li’l one, and lots of ceremonies and festivities follow.

One sad truth though is, though the mom-to-be gets a lot of special care and pampering when pregnant, once the child has come into the world, all the focus is shifted there and no one asks about the new mom, which by itself is a rebirth, if you have to ask me.

I still remember when I had my kiddo, anyone who came to visit never asked about my c-section and how I was doing (except for my close, loved ones ofcourse). And then one day, my ‘work-family’ sent a gift home, which was a skin-care hamper for me. I was touched by the gesture, that someone did think about me.

And that is exactly what Himalaya has recently done, thought about the new-moms and launched the ‘Himalaya FOR MOMS’ range of products. Now that they have, it’s surprising how come none of the famous baby-care brands in India did this till now.

The range consists of:


Tones and firms skin. Relieves stress and pain.
When you’re a new mom, the ‘maalish wali bai’ will do a daily massage both for your baby and you. Massage helps in recovering from the delivery, helps the sagging body that has seen so many changes in the past few months become supple and relaxes a ever-stressed new mom.

What Himalaya FOR MOMS Toning Massage Oil Does?
A daily massage with Himalaya FOR MOMS Toning Massage Oil helps in strengthening and tone the skin. The soothing Lavender aroma moderates your mood, stimulates your senses and leaves you rejuvenated and relaxed.
Key Ingredients:

Sesame Oil
is considered the most superior oil in Ayurveda for its skin firming properties. It moisturizes and soothes the skin, thus preventing it from dryness and infections. Its natural Vitamin E content is an emollient and antioxidant.

Country Mallow
also known as Bala, helps to improve muscle and joint strength.

Winter Cherry
soothes and calms the skin and reduces stress with its rejuvenating and skin-conditioning properties.

Aloe Vera
heals wounds and soothes the skin.

Pack Size:
200ml and 500ml.

Intensely moisturizes. Deeply nourishes.
I remember the skin, especially around the abdomen area, because of shrinking, would itch a lot. And also the wrath of the stretch marks. Hence, it is very important to keep it hydrated and moisturized. I love the three different fragrances that the Himalaya FOR MOMS body butter comes in, making it soothing and giving you and your baby both a great feeling!

Why Body Butter?
The skin, after expanding and shrinking during and after pregnancy, tends to get dry and itchy. Body butters have soothing and moisturizing elements which are effective in relieving itching. Body butters which contain soothing and healing fragrances are especially effective in helping de-stress too!

What Himalaya FOR MOMS Soothing Body Butter Does?
Himalaya FOR MOMS Soothing Body Butter is a daily-use cream that intensively moisturizes and nourishes your skin, making it soft, supple and glowing. Cocoa Butter soothes dry, irritated skin, and Glycerin keeps skin hydrated for a longer time. Himalaya FOR MOMS Soothing Body Butter contains Vitamin E which protects the skin from damage and irritation and comes in the three calming fragrances of Lavender, Rose and Jasmine.

Key Ingredients:

Cocoa Butter
is a natural antioxidant which soothes, hydrates, and balances the skin.

is a humectant that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated for longer.

Pack Size:
Himalaya FOR MOMS Soothing Body Butter comes in three delectable fragrances:

   Calming fragrance of Lavender
   Rejuvenating fragrance of Jasmine
   Uplifting fragrance of Rose
Available in 50ml, 100ml and 200ml packs.

Directions for Use:
Apply Himalaya FOR MOMS Soothing Body Butter Cream all over the body gently massaging it in. For best results, use this cream twice daily.

Effectively heals rashes. Relieves itching.
When I put on all the pregnancy weight, rashes between my thighs became very common and it’s very uncomfortable, I remember using my baby’s anti-rash cream on myself so many times. So an anti-rash cream for the mommy is a good addition to the range too.

Why do Rashes Occur?
Rashes can occur due to sweat, rubbing together of folded skin, or irritation caused by normal skin germs. The deeper the folds are, the more likely the chances of a rash. The most prone areas are between and under the breast, under the stomach, in the arm pits and between the thighs.

What Himalaya FOR MOMS Anti-Rash Cream Does?
Himalaya FOR MOMS Anti-Rash Cream is an herbal formulation that effectively reduces itching and rashes, and gently soothes the skin. It is very useful in relieving rashes during pregnancy, as well as other dermal cuts and scratches which cause minor itching. The comforting Lavender aroma will not only calm the rash but also distract your mind from the irritation.

Key Ingredients:

Yashad Bhasma
is known to lock in moisture and have antiseptic and astringent properties. It is helpful in treating eczema, itching and other skin disorders.

Aloe Vera
helps to heal wounds and soothe skin.

Almond Oil
which is rich in Vitamins A, B and E, is easily absorbed, and helps to maintain skin moisture. It is known to nourish the skin and make it soft and supple.

has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is known to provide blemish-free, clear skin.

Pack Size:
20g and 50g.
Directions for Use:
Apply Himalaya FOR MOMS Anti-Rash Cream gently on rashes and affected areas. For best results, use twice daily.


Soothe, heal and protect dry, cracked, and sore nipples.

You will understand the pain & discomfort of this, only if you’ve been a new mom. Enough said.

Why do nipples get dry and sore?
Nipple care is usually done the traditional way. A cloth dipped in warm water is used to wipe away excess milk and saliva. Sometimes, harsh soap is used to clean nipples. Enzymes from baby's saliva, water or even soap residue can remove moisture from sensitive nipple skin, thus making it sore and cracked.

What Himalaya FOR MOMS Nipple Care Butter Does?
Himalaya FOR MOMS Nipple Care Butter is an herbal formulation with the goodness of natural oils. Ideal for both expecting and lactating mothers, it helps prepare nipples for effective nursing and also helps in the prevention and management of sore and cracked nipples.

Key Ingredients:

Kokum Butter
is used for ulcerations, fissured lips, chapped skin and skin disorders. It exhibits excellent emollient properties and deeply moisturizes and promotes healthy, supple skin.

Virgin Coconut Oil
has cooling properties and helps in strengthening muscle and tissue. It has antibacterial, antiseptic and cleansing properties. The natural Vitamin E present in Virgin Coconut Oil promotes healthy skin, and helps in smoothening and protecting skin from cracks and fissures.

Pack Size:
20g and 50g.

Directions for Use:
Apply Himalaya FOR MOMS Nipple Care Butter to the nipple and areola and massage gently, or as directed by your physician.
Safe during nursing, however it is advisable to clean nipples before breastfeeding.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Teddyy Premium Diapers - Product Review

In the competitive world of baby products, we tend to try most of the brands and range of products since we want the best for our li'l one. I was sent over a packet of Teddyy Premium Diapers (Size L) 34 No.s for my li'l one by the brand.

Honestly, I had not really heard of Teddyy diapers before this, though I have heard of their adult diapers - FRIENDS because we had someone in our extended family use them. The packaging is compact with the perforated plastic opening to remove diapers.

The bes thing is that Nobel Hygeine, unlike most of it's competitors like Huggies or Pampers is an Indian born company, headquartered in Mumbai. It is a proud feeling to know that.
Product Description:

Premium traits, exclusive serenity.

Premium baby diapers come with a cloth like backsheet and standing leg guards which corroborate ultra-level protection and no side leakage!

With high absorbency and being extra-soft, the Premium diaper stands apart from the Easy range. The diaper comes in both taped and pant style. They even have changing mats available for purchase, which is great specially for the initial months of the baby's life.


The material on the diaper is really quite soft, with cute cartoons printed all over. The elastic is quite snug, making the diaper cling to the baby. It does great overnight, and even after a few hours when I remove it, it is light weight which tells a lot about the absorbency. But of-course, if it stays on for too long it can leak. Happened a couple of times. I found the elastic tighter than the competitors, and my baby is on the leaner side, so it works for him.

If you go to compare the pricing, Teddyy Premium diapers are around Rs.100-Rs.150 (per packaet) cheaper than the premium range of competitor brands. I used the diaper for my son daily for a week before writing this review and have not seen any rashes or skin discomforts so far (which is my major concern whenever I try a new brand, specially that I have never heard of before).

They're also available online on their own site as well as top eCommerce sites at competitive prices. I would recommend parents who want to give a premium diaper solution at an affordable price to try these. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A short trip to Shillong and what you need to know

Shillong, also known as Scotland of the east, is a must visit if you love nature, good climate, culture and even shopping for that matter! Here are some pointers I have put together from my recent trip:

Though Shillong has a small airport of its own (Umroi Airport), there are hardly any useful flights, with only one direct flight that runs between Kolkata & Shillong. So, a better option is Guwahati (you could also stay a night or two here and visit some tea plantations, Kamakhya temple etc). Shillong is around 2.5-3 hours away by road. You definitely want to take a non-stop flight so that the connecting and layover flights do not already tire you out. Indigo has good 3 hour non-stop options for Mumbai-Guwahati route, which are definitely recommended.

Must visit tourist attractions are – Umium Lake, Ward’s Lake, Elephant Falls, Don Bosco Museum, Lady Hydari Park, Police Bazaar Market, Shillong Peak. Now, you should cover these places only if you want to do the touristy thing that anyone does on their first trip anywhere. If you want something off-beat and less crowded, then you can avoid most of these. Elephant Falls was given the name coz of a stone that looked like an elephant that was destroyed in an earthquake few years ago, so apart from that it’s just 3 waterfalls one after the other. If you are someone who loves to learn about a place’s history, culture, etc then the Don Bosco museum is a must visit, the sky-walk on top of the museum was certainly a cherry on the cake. Shillong Peak is inside the Air-force area and gives a great view of the town, but that’s about it. Lady Hydari Park houses a few animals and birds, which kids would enjoy, otherwise it’s a simple park.

Do take a picture in the local Khasi outfit – you will find stalls/shops at most of these points I mentioned above. And they just charge Rs.50 for the costume and another Rs.50 if you even want a printout of a photo (which you can skip if you’re satisfied with your mobile pics). Kid’s look adorable in the costume, alas mine just refused to wear it after multiple attempts. 

Non-vegetarians are in a for a treat at Shillong, but there are a lot of options for vegetarians as well. Hotel Bistro on Police Bazaar is famous for its vegetarian food, and there also are the pizza and burger chains incase you want to stay safe. The entire roadway to Shillong and to Cherrapunji etc is curvy and bound to make lot of us feel queasy and sick, so I suggest you eat light before traveling. If you’re prone to motion/travel sickness, don’t forget to carry your medicines or else you will not enjoy at all. While we’re talking about the road journey, Japan’s famous Cherry Blossom can be enjoyed here in Shillong! Do spot the trees and enjoy the scenic view when you enter or leave Shillong.

Now the locals aren’t the friendliest lot, they can be pretty hostile towards Indian tourists at least. So, I suggest rely on google maps Internet wherever possible, I was given a couple of wrong answers by the locals unfortunately. There is scope for bargaining with cabbies and shopkeepers, but only to an extent, if you try to haggle a lot they will not entertain you. You totally have to shop for the cane & wood products available – they are cheap, pretty and light weight! I bought bags, accessories and other knick-knacks to gift. Travel light so that you don’t have to worry about baggage limits while coming back!

The weather is amazing, the air is clean and the sights are pretty! It is cold during the winters, but not biting cold that you don’t enjoy (if you’re travelling with kids, ensure you pack thermals, monkey caps etc. for them they will feel cold, alternatively you can purchase them from Shillong itself on day 1 for a good deal and also get great variety!).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Skyfire by Aroon Raman - Book Review

Skyfire” is set in 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather incidents and startling epidemics that are bad news for the country. At the same time, children are disappearing from slums in the country’s capital and no one actually seems to care. 

To the rescue – journalist Chandrasekhar and historian Meenakshi Pirzada (from Aroon’s earlier books) make an entry! This is also an operation which is hand in hand with intelligence over Syed Ali Hassan and what they uncover has its roots in the high offices of Delhi, ultimately leading them to Bhutan.

After the last few chick-flick rom-com books I had read, this was a 360 degree change in every way - the style of writing, the fine details, the plot everything. I have not read 'The Shadow Throne' (reference for which is there quite a few times in this book also, and I must check it out soon), it did not feel as if I am missing out on a lot of previous facts.

The book is present time based, almost, set in 2012 (Ironically the time when the end of the world was prophesied), with references of eCommerce sites and other relatable things. Children going missing, major disaster and the turn of events will definitely send chills down your spine. It is almost movie like, except for the fact that a book has a lot more fine-tuning and detailing. I did find it a little slow and dragging in the beginning, but the pace soon picks up and then you don't want to put it down till you have reached the end.

I did get a bit lost when too many scientific terms were used, but the on and off romance between Chandra & Meenu (Spoiler Alert: Yamini is back) balances that out. I had a slight inclination of who was the bad guy here since almost halfway through, so it did not come as much of a surprise, it had become obvious, Aroon, he was too good to be true (No, I won't give this one away too).

If you're into scientific thrillers, you definitely must read it, I am sure my dad (who I will pass on the copy to) will love it. And I can so visualise a Akshay Kumar's Baby or Holiday kinda movie made out of this!

The book is available to buy on Flipkart and other leading stores.

Breaking a Guinness World Record with #PumaWomen. #DoYou

My Zumba instructor Radha had posted a message on our group about registering for the #DoYou planking attempt to break a world record. Fortunately, I know what planks are and the correct way to do them, because my Zumba instructor would occasionally make us do them in our class. But I was very skeptical about pulling it off for 60+ seconds. The best I had done till now was 30-40 seconds, that itself took a lot of efforts.

What is a plank? (As stated in Wikipedia)

The plank (also called a front holdhover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.

The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes. The arms should be directly under the shoulders, with the entire body in a straight line (from toes to head) and the back completely flat, neither arched nor rounded. Many variations exist such as the side plank and the reverse plank.The plank is commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.

So basically, since your whole body's weight is borne on your forearms, elbows and toes; I believe that the heavier you are, the more difficult it is initially. And post delivery, I have not really managed to lose much weight. Hence planking has been a challenge.

I was not going to go, since I thought I could not attempt. Then I got invited to cover the event as a blogger/influencer, this was a sign, that I had to go. We did a couple of practice sessions at Zumba, and I managed 50s. Your whole body vibrates as a process of strengthening your core.

On the day of the attempt, we reached the venue - Jio Garden, BKC around 1.30pm. I had taken my sister-in-law along with me, since she is into fitness and is a huge fan of Jacqueline  Fernandis, who was supposed to be there. 4 of my Zumba peeps, along with my instructor were also there. We got a tank top upon registering (I got my media badge in addition), and there was to be a screening test next.

It was a smart thing, screen first so that while the actual attempt happens, there aren't too many disqualifications. I was a little nervous, but nevertheless went for the screening. Surprisingly, I completed the 60s test easily, without too much of an effort. I don't know if it was the adrenaline rush, the vibe of the place or the determination that I had to be a part of the attempt that made me push my limits.

We got our 'golden band' and proceeded further. There was a photo-booth which we queued up for, but after waiting for almost an our we reached and they shut it down because it was almost time to start gathering for the 1st attempt. :(

It was crazy, all of us excited and nervous...there were small girls and there were old ladies, all taking part, it was commendable! We had a lot of celebs amongst us - RJ Malishka & VJ Anusha were hosts for the day. We had Sakshi Malik, Kalki Koechlin, Jacqueline Fernandis, Tashi & Nungshi Malik - first twins to climb the everest, Ujwala Raut, Anushka Manchanda and Sucheta Pal, to name a few.

We soon took our positions and they counted the total people and gave us instructions for the attempt. If at all we failed the first attempt for any reason, we would get a second chance. The previous record was set in HongKong where around 1400 people (men and women) had taken the challenge. It was a proud feeling that we were all women attempting this.

The moment was here and I was very queasy. Because I wanted to pee, and because I was hungry (had a late breakfast and no lunch) and I was nervous ofcourse. We all attempted, it was a sight to see - the sea of tangerines. Honestly, it was very tough for me. I wanted to give up, fall down, I kept telling myself that I could not disappoint everyone now, I could not disappoint myself, my Zumba instructor now. And then they announced that the time was up. We were all pretty thrilled, we were positive that we must have done it and there wouldn't be any need for a 2nd attempt. Honestly, I wasn't so sure if I could survive a second attempt. I should not have exerted myself earlier.

In the interim while the Guinness team scrutinised their recorded videos and we waited for the outcome, we had a Zumba session by Sucheta Pal. I was really hungry, but did not eat because what if there was one more attempt to be done?

After around 45 minutes, it was time to know how did we fare. The minute the Guinness representative announced we had broken the record, everyone literally ran towards the certificate collection point. We were 1623 people, after around 76 disqualifications It took some time, depending on your initial. Finally we had our certificate, collected our bags from the baggage counter and left to go grab a decent meal after the tiring yet awesome day.

The event was very well organized by the Puma team, it must be difficult to manage around 2000 women! I now know the importance and benefits of planking, and have vowed to get better with a target of being able to pull it off for 2-3 minutes eventually.

On 11th October’16, on the occasion of International Girl Child Day, PUMA had launched DO YOU – a movement with women at the core of it. Launched internationally last month, the campaign aimed to inspire confidence in women across the Globe to do what they want to do. “#DOYOU” is all about expressing your core strength that stems from your inherent beliefs and individuality. Through this campaign PUMA encouraged women to follow their instincts and find their best self, to DO YOU and be who YOU are, unapologetically. 

Follow @PUMAWomen and @PUMA for the latest news on the campaign. 💜