Monday, August 29, 2016

The Calling by Priya Kumar – Book Review

I can either feel unfortunate that I did not read any of Priya Kumar’s book before this, or I can feel fortunate that I finally happened to read a book written by her. After reading The Calling, I choose the latter.
The book arrived in my mail along with a letter and gift (a cup with the book's branding) and message written on the first page of the book as well. I love personalization and I was already impressed with the author before reading the book. There also were a couple of small cards that carried quotes written by Priya, such an smart idea – you can use it as a bookmark or pin it up somewhere if you please. I did both the things with the two I received.


You’d expect her book to be an inspirational or motivational piece of non-fiction, but this one is a story. A story that most of us working professionals, living the fast life, chasing our work goals with the only aim of earning and climbing the career ladder; will relate to. It’s a story of a man who is given a reality check and understands what and how his life took a wrong turn and how to rectify the mistakes that are made.

It’s a well written book, I found some sentences to be really powerful – making me ponder about life before continuing to read. For instance –
This book is about something all of us need to be reminded of, I won’t reveal much but as I said, it’s a reality check we all need. The story is easy flowing and the characters are well put together. I found that sometimes the sentences would get a little repetitive at places, but then it does help reinstate something in your mind.

In the fast pace of city life, in the race of conquering everything and trying to make everything perfect – whether it’s family or work or something else, we forget basic ethics, morality and well can even forget who we were or what we wanted to achieve in the first place. The Calling is a book that will make you think about a lot of things in your own life, just like Arjun, the lead character in the book does.

The only issue is we tend to forget our learnings after a few days and then need a reality check, a calling again, after a few days. Oh yes, and after reading the book, I am longing to go back to the mountains, I have been there only once, years ago. It’s time to plan a trip soon! Can’t wait to read some of Priya Kumar’s other work.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flintobox August Subscription - Review

The business of 'subscription boxes' is at it's peak, with a subscription box for beauty, fashion and accessories and why not. It's a great idea for someone who wants something coming home month on month to surprise them, at not a very pocket-pinching price. Why should our kids be left behind when women and men are already covered. Flintobox is a really smart subscription box for kids, which sends a different themed activity box month on month.


The box depends on your child's age group and they have something for 2 years till 12. I had heard a lot about them, and was waiting for my child to reach the age to try them out. They keep experimenting and tried a box meant for 1.5 to 2 year olds and sent one across. It was very nicely packaged and addressed to my son! Now incidentally, theme for the month of August for his box was Food. I found that very amusing, because my 22 month old loves playing with kitchen utensils and equipments like 'chakla belan', spoons and glasses, etc but when it comes to actually eating, he is one of the fussiest of the lot and hardly eats anything at all.


The box has 4 different activities with clear instructions that say don't give them all to play at the same time. I was really impressed by the quality of the materials used, the thought and efforts put by the team in making every box for every age and the instructions and ideas that help parents like me to come up with ways to keep their kids busy.


There was a carrot and plum made out of wood and cut into large chunks, along with a wooden blunt knife to play 'cut the vegetable' with the kid. This was my kid's favourite, as I have already told you he loves playing with kitchen utensils. I am really hopeful that playing with these will develop a curiosity to eat fruits and vegetables too, which he gladly avoids as of now.


The next one was a carrot and radish farm made out of cloth (and carrots and radishes made out of cloth and plastic) where the kid has to put them in the pockets and remove them. This was my kid's second favourite from the lot, and he took some time to figure how to put them back (he would try with the leafy part first) but got it finally. It's great for motor coordination and development of the kid.


Next was a 'stack your own burger' activity with bun slices, sliced onion, tomato, lettuce and cheese all made out of cloth and foam. This looked really adorable, though I think of the bread's look more like burger buns it would be more relatable but anyways. My kid is not paying much attention to this one, but that's probably because he doesn't understand a burger yet, and I haven't unleashed him at a McDonalds yet. But I loved the concept nonetheless, and will try again later, he may just get interested.


Last but not the least was the flip book which consists of different fruits, their visual appearance from outside and if you flip it you can see how it looks from inside. My li'l one was delighted and very curious on seeing the insides of every fruit, though he really wanted to flip the fruits on his own and almost teared out the paper, so I made sure I do the flipping for him for now. He seems interested and what I plan to do is get one real fruit from the book each and show them to him and try to feed them to him! Hopefully it'll work and he'll start eating fruits.

The subscription box costs as low as Rs.600 per month if you opt for a 6 month subscription, and it is really worth the money. If you are a parent of a 2 year old or older (before the teenage tantrums begin), do gift them a Flintobox and see the excitement they have as they await the box each month. I remember having only Tinkle and Archie subscriptions as a kid, and how I wish we had such awesome innovations back then. The Flintobox could also make a great gift if you're giving to someone for their birthday! Do follow them on Twitter or Facebook as they keep sharing really cool DIY and other tips.

Do comment with your questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear them out! Stay tuned for the next 'subscription box' review that I will have in some days, that's a unique one too. :)





Friday, August 26, 2016

Celebrating Westside's New Home Collection

Home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically. Everyone knows the joy and comfort of being at home after a long day or an even longer week. And hence, we try to make our space as personalized, comfortable and ‘homely’ as possible.


Every home reflects the people living in it, as it’s their taste and preference that is evident in every nook and corner. A couple of days back, Westside Homes launched their new home range at their Kalaghoda flagship store.


Find your style & style your find with Westside Home. Our curated collection of home and lifestyle solutions is all you need to turn your house into a home.

Extend your sense of style to your home through our exclusive range of home wear available under 5 categories

· Furniture – living, dining, bedding

· Living – d├ęcor, rugs, lighting, cushions

· Bedding – pillows, comforters, bedsheet sets, bedcovers

· Bathrooms – towels, bathroom accessories (bind, mirrors, storage solutions)

· Kitchen – gadgets, glassware, oven to table range, kitchen to table range, dinner sets, table linen, serve ware, glassware


Talking about this collection, Ms. Lyndsay Smith, (Category Head, Westside Home) says, “Our new collection has been designed with a mix of classic & contemporary styles keeping in mind the Westside consumer. Westside Home provides easy home solutions which are aesthetically great looking and perfect for modern homes.”


Westside Home is all you need to create the perfect look for your home. It was an evening well spent with a close knit group of bloggers, some wine and starters and a lot of conversations.

There were few pieces of the new range arranged for us to check out – ranging from bar table to room divider, coffee table, verandah seating, living room set up and dining set up. All the furniture had a modern feel yet had ethnic roots, a mix quite fit for Indians, who want a little bit of both.


There were instant pictures being taken and displayed on the room-divider, I quite liked the idea to display memories like that! My favourite set-up out of all was the dining table – I quite liked the edgy chairs and table style.


While talking with Lyndsay, she mentioned how much she liked India and this range is 90% Made in India keeping in mind the taste of the people here. I have been shopping at westside since I was a kid and though it’s mostly been for clothes and accessories mainly, I cannot wait to explore their home range!


Also, did you guys know you can shop for Westside products online at www.tatacliq.com. I did not know that and was so happy, as all of you already know what an online shopping addict I am. Do follow Westside Stores on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned with latest updates and offers.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Komplete Kare For Your Skin and Hair!

I'm back with another review, and this time it's for these yummy products that arrived a few days ago packed beautifully -


Three big bottles of 3-in-1 shampoo plus body wash plus bubble bath, I was an excited puppy and couldn't wait to try them all. The brand Komplete Kare was unknown to me, even though they're available globally, and they have two range of products - Belcam and Naturalium.

The packing and product range reminds me of Oriflame and Amway products, and I'm not sure if they do sell on referral basis, but that could be a good business idea for them.

The three 'Bath Therapy' products that I received were -


1. BELCAM JUICY - CITRUS SPLASH


Get spa-like experience at home. What’s better than citrus essence? 3-in-1 bottle of magic (Body wash, bubble bath & shampoo) No artificial color, pH compatible and biodegradable. Enjoy the balmy fragrance with hints of lime, lemon & grapefruit.
2. BELCAM DEE-LISH! STRAWBERRY & CREAM

Do you know the popular dessert on the Wimbledon ground? It’s strawberry & cream and it now comes power-packed as a 3-in-1 bottle.The blend of tangy & sweet strawberries and the soft texture of the cream makes it a worthy buy.
Look marvelous in just 10 seconds!
3. BELCAM Paris Sweets – Sea Salt & Caramel

A popular dessert flavor is now in a bottle! Here’s a 3-in-1 body wash, shampoo & bubble bath which will charge you up instantly.
My take on the products -
1. Firstly, the fragrance of each product was exactly what the name would make you imagine. Especially the sea salt and caramel - I almost felt like trying to eat it!
2. The quantity is great for the price - Rs.499 for 500ML, each bottle will easily last you a couple of months even if you use it for both hair and body.
3. Though I do not have the privilege of owning a bathtub (lack of space in my humble abode), I did try bubbling up my bucket of water and it did froth up well, which is awesome coz Paraben-free products might not lather well.

4. Talking of that, the best thing is that all the products are free of Parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, petroleum, artificial color, and formaldehyde. It is pH skin compatible, gluten free and biodegradable. It is scented with a hypoallergenic fragrance. Means people with sensitive skin can use them, and they suit all skin or climate types. Paraben-free shampoos are quite the trend this year, all the top brands have a range.

If you live in a metro city, specially Mumbai, you know how it feels to always be on the run. You also know the importance of every square inch and space crunch to store stuff. So I love how you can have a multitasking use out of one product - and both genders can use it. They even have a kids range which I will try next time.

I'm a sucker for yummy smelling personal care products, and they're key factor I consider when I purchase anything. So I was very happy with the range - you can buy the products from any Beauty Palace, Health & Glow etc or online on Nykaa.com. They even have a range called Naturalium that has body lotion, shower gel and shampoo cum conditioners to try out!

You can follow Komplete Kare on Facebook & Instagram to show some love!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#ColgateMagicalStories


Recently, Colgate sent me four toothpaste packs from their limited edition Magical Stories range. Though we use Colgate at home, it was not the one in which you get these. I'm pretty sure you must have seen this cute TVC already -


Though my kid is only about 2 years old, and cannot make his own stories right now, I was excited to cut these sea-world characters out for him to observe, play and learn. Don't we parents want our kids to pick everything up fast? 

My neighbour has a 5 year old son, and one day when he came to our home and saw these packs he was very excited because he had been asking his mom to get them for him since some days. So I couldn't help but give 2 of the packs to him, you should've seen the delight on his face!

I told him to tell his mumma to share pictures with me, and here they are -



Not only kids, adults who like to be creative will enjoy this craft time with their li'l ones too. Plus there are so many facts that even I did not know of and read on the pack. My li'l one really loved the fishes and now I know that one day maybe I can get him a pet goldfish! 

It is such a simple and thoughtful innovation by Colgate, instead of throwing the pack, make use of it to enhance children's imagination, give them some activity that doesn't involve gadgets and of-course, encourage them to brush teeth (twice a day). Hat's off guys, whoever thought of this deserves to be complimented.

For my kid, I put together a story combining 2 of the packs, why not?


The sea-world theme reminded me of the famous movie series Pirates of the Carribean, with the octopus and lady-pirate and all. My story involved a good pirate in search for a hidden treasure left by his ancestors but no one was able to search for it till now. It was protected by a mighty octopus, and only a true honest pirate would be able to take the treasure away. The pirate, with the help of his talking parrot and crew, finds the treasure. Fishes try to stop him from going in the sea, warning him that whoever has gone till now has never come back. But our pirate here is not one to easily get scared. He dives in, faces the octopus and his fish friends. The octopus asks him, that answer my question honestly and if I get to know that you're telling the truth, I'll let you take it. Our octopus friend has superpowers of not only changing his colour quickly but also knowing if one is lying or not. He asks the pirate - "What will you do with the treasure?". The Pirate replies - "Sir, I'll be honest. I will use a small portion to repair my ship, rest will be divided between my crew and their family back home, they need it more than me." The Octopus was not only happy with the answer, but also knew it was the trust; and he gladly let the pirate take the treasure home. Moral of the story - Honestly is the best policy, Take only how much you need and charity begins at home. :)

Thank you Colgate, on behalf of all the kids who enjoyed story-telling sessions with the pack. And will look forward to more themes and series in the future, when my kid is old enough to make his own stories!


Happy Baby Bottoms with Himalaya Diaper Rash Cream

We as parents find our babies running about in their diapers so extremely cute! And till they’re not potty trained, we make them wear a diaper overnight and whenever we’re having a baby’s day out. Kudos to mommies who make their babies wear minimal diapers, but I am one of the regular mom’s who still relies on diapers, as my baby is not potty trained yet.


I obviously buy the best diapers available out there for my kiddo, but there are times when the diaper gets heavy and wet, like during the rains or winters when everyone tends to pee frequently. If for any reason his diaper is on for way too long, he get’s prone to rashes. Why just kids, mommies, even if you use your sanitary napkins for too long, you’ll get rashes, so imagine your li’l munchkin who wears a diaper every day (or night)!

That’s why I always keep some diaper cream handy, and just like most of the other baby care products, I trust Himalaya’s Diaper Rash Cream. Himalaya BabyCare has recently changed the packaging of their diaper cream, and now it comes in a standing tube, and I prefer this one to the old tube.


What it does:

Himalaya’s Diaper Rash Cream, while promoting effective healing, soothes red and irritated skin and forms a protective layer on baby’s skin.

Key ingredients:

Natural Zinc keeps baby's skin dry as well as helping rashes heal. It is also known to have antiseptic and astringent properties.

Almond Oil is an excellent skin softener, which moisturizes baby’s skin.

Aloe Vera is used extensively in Ayurveda for wounds, burns, dermatitis and other skin ailments. It soothes and moisturizes baby's skin. It acts as an antibacterial agent and an astringent, which accelerate the healing of baby's skin.

Five-Leaved Chaste Tree contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is useful in the treatment of sores and skin infections.
Pack size:

20g for Rs55 and 50g for Rs95

Directions for use:

Apply Diaper Rash Cream on rashes and around the area where the diaper's edges rub against baby's skin.


Because the skin in that region is the most sensitive, I would never take any chances with harsh ingredients like parabens or chemical based products. The natural and herbal ingredients in the Diaper Rash Cream, as well as other Himalaya Baby Care products make me choose them every time. There are some other diaper rash products or protective creams which tend to make the baby’s skin dark with frequent use. I have not seen that with the Himalaya Diaper Rash Cream.


Apart from the diaper rash cream, I’d recommend you to wash your baby’s private parts at least twice a day (or clean with wipes if travelling) and avoid keeping your li’l one in a diaper for too long, after all till they can’t talk it’s very difficult for them to express their discomfort, and you might take their irritated expressions to be a sign of gastric issues or being fussy.

P.N. Always check product details before using to see if it has any ingredient that you or your kid is allergic too. J

Buying the right shoes for my Zumba classes!

I have never been a “High Heels” person ever. I find them extremely painful and straining my back, and whenever I have attempted to wear them I’ve just been tripping over or walking 10x slower as a precaution. I have never felt the need or desire to wear stilettos or pencil heels, occasional wedges or low heels during parties or weddings are totally fine.

If you’ve followed my stories on the blog or social media, you must have seen how determined I have been recently to get fit – and joined Zumba too. It’s been almost 2 months and I’m loving it! I thought, now that I know I’m serious about my fitness, its time I invest new gear, as my old sports shoes are all wearing out and loosing grip.

I have mostly worn Puma shoes, but was looking at online shopping sites for other options, I thought it’d be nice to try some other renowned fitness brand. There is such a wide variety not only of brands but also types of sports shoes – casual, sneakers, walking shoes, running shoes, special shoes for sports like tennis or football and so on. I was looking for walking/running shoes but with a good grip and light weight. Casual sport shoes or sneakers are usually heavy and don’t have a good grip and comfort for working out frequently.

White sneakers and sports shoes are so in fashion nowadays; I wish listed a couple of them but soon took a practical decision to go for a darker colour as white would get spoilt easily in commute. At the same time, I didn’t want to go for a girly colour so Pink was definitely ruled out too.

I was pleasantly surprised and happy to find a range of colours and decided to select a Nike shoe. One issue I usually have when buying shoes online is availability in my size – because I am a size 6, which is very common in Indian women. So I always need to shop on sites where I can get a good variety in my shoe size and I was happy that Myntra had some 50 odd Nike sports shoes available in my size! Da Da Ding!

These are the one’s I shortlisted basis the price, discount and shoe details –


1.     If you want to go for white sport shoes, this one is awesome! The detailing and the contrasting orange design makes the shoe look eye catchy.
2.     A feminine running shoe, though not Pinky. Grey and purple is a combination I never thought of. This is the one I am ordering.

3.     If you love black, this one with a hint of purple is cool too. It’s got a nice mesh effect.

All the shoes have a good discount and I simply cannot wait for my shoes to arrive and flaunt them in my Zumba class. There is always the hesitation of the shoes being original, because there are so many first copies and duplicates available in the market, but I trust Myntra and even if the shoes do not match my expectations of quality or do not fit me , I can always return them easily.