Friday, March 30, 2018

A weekend at the House Of Bliss

An impromptu plan made on Friday night when we decided to go to Lonavala for the weekend. By we I mean my maiden family - mom, dad, younger brother me and my son. It had been quite long since I went out with just them - almost a year in-fact! We quickly packed and they picked me up next morning and off we went!

Mumbai to Lonavala took us time, there were a lot of trucks on the way - I guess there is a permit for trucks and large vehicles on the new expressway after a certain time, not sure. We did stop-over at the new food court (just a little before the old one) for a bite - it just has a few outlets yet but quite good one's and everything is very neat and clean - even the washrooms. Definitely preferred over the old one with flies flying around your food and dirtier food stalls.

We reached the property at around 2pm, it was quite easy to locate thanks to the detailed navigation whatsapped to me by the owner. Take the 2nd exit for Lonavala and it's just a further 10 minutes from there. So you definitely have restaurants nearby if you want to head out for food. The bungalow is a charming, rustic property - with two majestic suits with high ceilings and each being large enough to be a 1bhk apartment in Mumbai. They both have attached washrooms which are quite basic (there are jet sprays though, yes!) so don't expect anything wow there.

There is a laaarge living room with deewans on both sides - which can fit a whole lot of people! There are beautiful pieces of decor everywhere you see - from buddha statues to wall-hangings to unique lighting. There was a TV too which we chose not to use. A verandah with tables and chairs for you to sit and have your meals or drink tea. It opens to a view of the back of the bungalow which is full of greenery - plants and trees. The front lawn is a huge garden with a variety of trees and plants (there was a tej-patta tree, mango tree and various flowering plants) - a delight for nature lovers! A separate staff house where the ground floor serves as a the kitchen and first floor for them to sleep in.

You can choose to cook your own meals in the kitchen or have the staff cook them for you at nominal prices. You can also order in from the nearby restaurants - a list of which will be provided to you on booking, and they even have discounts at a couple of places, which is quite nice.

My mom, being a typical earlier times mom carried a whole picnic basket with her from home, with puri-aloo sabzi, bread and whatever you need to make sandwiches, dry snacks, etc. She was under the impression there was no kitchen or anything around so she came prepared. We had a quick lunch and rested for a bit as it was too hot to go out yet. We had tea at 4pm and then spent a couple of hours in the garden playing football, badminton and chilling. I hadn't played all that in quite some time and had so much fun! My son had fun running around the whole perimeter of the garden. I wish there were a couple of swings or slides - he would have definitely enjoyed more then. We also had watermelon which was welcoming in this heat, and were there till the sun had set and it got dark.

By now the weather was pleasant, and we headed inside to play board games that we were carrying. We played sequence and then cards (hearts), both our favourite family games and soon were hungry for dinner. We considered going out for dinner, but everyone was tired after the drive and playing badminton and football - so we had sandwiches and tea for dinner, played some more board games and went to bed as we wanted to get up to see the sunrise.

I got up at 7am and it was quite chilled outside! Not biting cold, but pleasant enough to want a sweatshirt or hoodie. Me and my brother both being photography enthusiasts clicked a lot of pictures of the tree logs, and of ourselves while enjoying the weather and the hot tea. We got ready and had breakfast made by the caretaker - poha, masala omelette and tea/coffee. The poha was okay, but the omelettes with bread were yumm. And the tea was always amazing - served in earthern pots - kulhad ki chai!

We would have loved to stay for the day, but my brother had a college presentation (BMM, I tell you) and we had to go back for that. The care-takers were extremely courteous - promptly giving us whatever we needed without making us wait. Would love to be back here during the monsoons with a larger group - maybe with friends this time! It is also pet-friendly, so all you cat and dog owners rejoice! They have their own pet cat too.

A little about the property and offerings -

House of Bliss Lonavala as guests fondly call it, is perfect for a family get-together, a never ending party, an interesting workshop or an experiential holiday. 

A dainty bungalow down a slope, the doors of the villa open into a spacey lounge with comfy divan seating reminding you of a warm vintage time. The villa houses 2 suites, each with a distinct color in itself. The Red Suite and the Green Suite can accommodate, 5 adults each and additional 5-6 people with provision of extra beddings. 
The house is “corporate-ready” with a 42inch Led TV and a well-stationed sound system in the living room that can hold a conference for about 25-30 people.

The multipurpose living room can be used as a conference room for employees, or a little change in the audience and it turns into a personal movie theatre for a family, else a little swish and it can be used as a dance floor for a group - the sound system does the magic.

The villa also adds up to be a pet friendly holiday home, a place your four-legged family member who can be home away from home. Pets no longer have to be cramped up in a single room when they have a plantation area with of nearly 28,000 sq. ft., to roam around freely. With two beautiful stretches of manicured lawn and organic garden, there is ample space for kids to play and pets to run around.  

All three rooms open to the lawn and garden, looking out to the splendid hills of Lonavala – an ever so pleasing sight to enjoy the monsoons with your loved ones.  Sit in the Verandah by Valley  at the backside of the villa, enjoying a meal by yourself while you hear chirping of birds with a hoard of trees surrounding you. Our spacious outdoors with splendour lights and sound system, surely makes a thumbs up for a weekend getaway.


  • Two spacious suites with bathrooms attached. 
  • Each suite has a king size bed, side bed, en-suite bathroom & wash basin.
  • Each suite can accommodate 8 people comfortably with provision of extra beddings.
  • Divan style seating in the living room with amenities including a LED T.V and indoor sound system.
  • A spacious 28,000 sq. ft. organic lawn with splendour outdoor light and sound system.
  • Superior household linen is provided (beddings, towels, napkins, blanket)
  • A kitchenette with basic cooking equipment’s, crockery and bar essentials available serving up to 50 people.
  • Efficient staff available 24 hrs at your service.
  • Purchase exquisite handmade products from House Of Bliss Artist Community at exclusive prices.
  • Two sided open-air verandah with a covered roof facing an organic garden.
  • Bespoke soft furnishings
  • Crockery, cutlery and white goods
  • Free Wifi
They can even arrange for activities for you at an additional cost, and their tariff ranges depending on the number of people staying - 

 Tariff for a group of less than 5 (Weekday & Weekend packages)
  1. Rs.1500 per person for a suite attached with lawn for a 24 hr. stay.
  2. Rs.2000 per person for a suite with lawn for a one and a half day stay.
  3. Rs.2000 per person for a suite attached with living room and lawn for a 24 hr. stay.
  4. Rs.2500 per person for a suite with living room and garden for a one and a half day stay.
                Please note - The tariff mentioned above is inclusive of breakfast and snacks on both the days.
 Tariff for a minimum group of 15 (Weekday and Weekend packages)
        1. Rs.12,000 for up to 15 people for a one-day picnic. 
            Check in 10 am - Check out same day: 7 pm
        2. Rs. 15,000 for up to 15 people for a 24 hrs. stay.
            Check in: 10 am - Check out on next day: 10 am

        3. Rs. 22,500 for up to 15 people for a one & a half day stay. 
            Check in: 10 am - Check out on next day: 4 pm

        4. Rs. 25,000 for up to 15 people for a one and a half day stay.
            Check in 10 am - Check out next day: 8 pm

        5. Rs. 33,000 from Friday evening to Sunday night for up to 15 people
            Check in: 6 pm - Check out on third day: 10 pm                 

            Please note - The tariff mentioned above is inclusive of breakfast and snacks on both the days.

For any further information, you can contact them on +919820068611 or write to You can also follow them on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter to know more.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tips to bond with your baby/ toddler: Ultimate goals

Being a parent is not just about providing your kid with a house, clothes, food, education and other necessities. It is so much more than that and if you’re a parent, you already know that! When our baby comes into this world and when you first hold him in your arms, there is a magical bond between you and the new born.
I was just not able to believe that I had given birth to another human - an actual living person, who was inside me for 9 months!

If you’re a working mother like me, there is very little time that is spent with the kids; and hence it becomes very important to bond with them in that little time, or else for all you know, in a few years you wouldn’t know your kiddo’s likes or dislikes. They might not even be comfortable to open up to you and share their secrets! So what to do? 

1. 15 minutes of UNDIVIDED ATTENTION

15 minutes. Sounds too little in a day that has 1,440 minutes, right? But how often do we actually give our whole undivided attention to our children WITHOUT being distracted by our smartphones, television sets, household chores, etc.

To confess, I have been like that until recently too, but then I try to proactively show mindfullness and focus my whole undivided attention on my little one - and I could notice the difference. I could observe things like his laughter, his innocence.  Eye contact is very important when you're talking to your kid - it makes all the change.

2. Enter their world and see it through their eyes!

For truly bonding with your kid, I think it's a great idea to become a kid yourself. Play in the park with them, overcome your phobia of swimming or cycling or learn how skate with them or do some art and craft activities - it'll be a lot of fun.  Trust me on this - there will be bonding like nothing else and it will make your relationship with your kids and family strong for a long time to come. Don't forget to protect your baby and yourself from mosquitoes while you're outside having fun, I rely on the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On and Goodknight Cool Gel for the same.
Just apply 4 dots of the Fabric Roll-On on your kid’s clothes. It is made up of 100% natural ingredients such as eucalyptus and citronella oils that have the mosquito-repelling properties. It is now available in 2 scents - bubblegum and citrus! The Cool Gel is non-sticky and skin safe. It is made using aloe vera, making it natural. Both these products are paediatrician certified and provide up to 8 hours of mosquito-protection.
3. The most effective bonding time daily - 

I once read somewhere, that your baby needs you the most on two instances everyday - when they wake up from their sleep in the morning and at night when it's time to go to bed. This is a great time for both parents, and not just mommy, to talk to the kids, cuddle with them, tell them you love them and at night ask them how their day was and read bedtime stories to them. It helps them feel safe and secure and feel your love for them.

These are some really simple, every day things to help bond with your child. I feel if we start right from this moment, it can make a change in your relationship with your kid! And very importantly, keep all your work or home relationship frustration at bay when you're with your children - don't let it affect what you say to them. More often than not, we tend to remove our frustration on them subconsciously, and it has an adverse effect on them. Hope this helps!

How do you bond with your kid?? 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cloudnine HRBR Layout, Bengaluru Launch

If you remember, I had recently attended the launch of CloudNine Hospital at Vashi – which was inaugurated by Shilpa Shetty. I was thrilled to know of their new launch at HRBR Outlet in Bengaluru!

I love how the chain is rapidly expanding – to cater to more couples, parents-to-be around the country! Plus I have many relatives and friends in B’lore and I really wanted to tell them about this. It’s their first branch in North Bangalore and they have other branches across the city as well.

CloudNine is India's leading chain of maternity, childcare and fertility hospitals, with a presence in 6 cities - Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Gurgaon, Pune and Chandigarh. Having celebrated over 50,000+ births across 6 cities, with a 3000+ strong team, Cloudnine has expanded its reach to multiple facilities across India while continuing to maintain and excel international standards of care and is still going strong with plans to reach every woman and child in India. 

Services offered at CloudNine:

Pregnancy Care
Gynaecological Care
Neonatal Care
Paediatric Care
Newborn Intensive Care
High-risk Pregnancy Care
Infertility Care

The launch event at HRBR Layout started with a ribbon cutting ceremony and lighting of the lamp by the hospital dignitaries and key people. The audience was then addressed to by Dr. Kishore Kumar, Chairman and Co-founder, CloudNine Hospitals; Co-founder – Vidya Kumar; South Regional Director – Mr. Nitin Nag and Director of Medical Services Dr. Arvind Kasaragod.

The journey of Cloudnine started earlier this decade and they have come a far way! Their motto is – healthy mothers, happy babies and I love how they are thinking equally for both the baby and the new mom! I love how they strive to give similar experiences to all families across cities, have best-in-class equipment for patient’s care, an extremely dedicated team that aims at doing everything to make both baby and mom comfortable and healthy. What they’re hoping and aiming towards is to bring the best of healthcare to every neighborhood – so if you’re reading this, Cloudnine Is already there near you or will be soon! I wish there was a Cloudnine near my home when I had a baby, what better thing than to have it all under one roof – fertility, maternity, paedriatrics, special needs and more!

Do follow Cloudnine on Facebook to stay tuned for their latest news and events.