Sunday, January 24, 2016

A journey called Being A Mom

Being a mother is no less than a car ride. And I'm going to take you all through this journey of a lifetime, and my personal experience through this blog post.

Planning a baby is a lot like planning to buy a new car. There is a lot of thinking, you take the decision along with your spouse, there is a hell lot of excitement for the baby (or car) to arrive after months of waiting (40 weeks for a baby and a few weeks for your pre-booked car). There is a lot of nervousness too, whether you will be able to take care of your baby (or the car's maintenance); if you are financially stable for this new addition to your family (even a car is a part of our family after all). In all, I really think that these beautiful few days or weeks or months give life some Navigation, a starting point, a green flag, that embarks us on a beautiful journey towards our ultimate destination.

In no time, that day is finally here, when your baby (or car) is to arrive. The process is rather painful, I had to personally go through a c-section to get my baby in this world so I know.  Even when the car arrives, it's painful to empty your wallets/pockets/bank balance. But all the wait, all the endurance, all the pain is totally worth it, and then my friend, there is Love At First Sight. Your perfect, beautiful baby (or car) is finally here! Congratulations and celebrations!

Unconditional Love. This emotion has a very strong Impact on a person. If you love someone (or something) unconditionally, you can go to any extent or do anything at all for them (or it). Especially if it's your first car (much like a first child), or if you bought one after years of saving or when you get a kid after years of waiting. For instance you start staying up all nights to console your crying baby, you sacrifice your career ambitions for them, or you give up your perfect body and happily accept the stretch marks, you always put your baby's needs before yours. Similarly, when you love your car, you will see to it that you park it safely, cover it to protect from bad weather, clean it daily and make it spark and shine (just like you would bathe your baby daily).

If your baby is ill or a vaccination is due, you will run to the doctor. If your car is having issues or a service is due, you'll run to the garage/mechanic. The first thing you would get done once things settle down is get a medical insurance (or a car insurance) so that you have the peace of mind. When your baby is hungry you'll feed it milk right-away, when your car is hungry you'll feed it fuel at the next gas station! And Oh! don't we all love showing off our adorable li'l baby or our Peppy new car?

Your baby's giggles will feel like Music to the ears. Your new car's strong engine's throttle and the sound of it racing will feel the same. You will not want to go anywhere without your baby (or your car), and the two of you will be simply inseparable.

The best part is, if you have both a baby and a new car, the two of them will become best friends and the journey will be absolutely Fantastico and completely memorable for all of you! From dropping your kiddo to school in the car, to going out for a family picnic and also to taking road trips and vacations together, the beautiful journey called Life will be worth every ounce of pain or rupee spent.

The day my baby arrived in this world!
The day I went for a ride in the Zica!
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

P.N. I am not making any serious comparison between my baby and a car, of-course I love my baby unconditionally and nothing ever can come close, but this was just a fun attempt to show the love I would have for my brand new Zica!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Grow your security with sound investments! #JanoTohMano

We start the process of learning how to save money right from childhood. Our parents get us a piggy bank and teach us how by putting in coins, one day we can save enough to buy a big toy that we wanted. This encourages us to run errands for our elders, collect pocket money and save it all and see the money grow. Makes you feel nostalgic?

Then in our youth, we kind of let it go, as we enjoy going out with friends, watching movies, partying, etc. and with such a lifestyle we can say goodbye to our pocket money and savings!  If you’re going through this phase or have gone through this phase, you must have heard your parents say, “Beta, paise ped  par nahi ugte!” (Money doesn’t grow on trees).

Then comes the phase when we start working, our first job or first promotion is always so special; or maybe a start-up that is finally starting to show profit. And now we think, what is the best way to invest this money so that it grows multi-folds? Most of us go to our parents to guide us with the best way.

The old school methods are opening a savings account or fixed deposit, which gives you an assured, but not very big return. Some adrenaline junkies and risk-takers will invest in the stock market, and may even see their money shrink or even vanish.

Money is the ultimate security, and no one can ever have enough of it. Money is needed for basic needs like food and shelter and also for luxuries like vacations and jewelry. It’s also a sad truth of life that money is power, “Paisa bolta hai”. So every person who has common sense knows that to live a comfortable life in this new-age lifestyle that demands internet, smartphone, car and the sorts, you need to invest your money smartly to give you a profitable, yet comparatively safe return.

Have you ever wondered that your parents or guardians might be following a decades old fool-proof method? Or maybe they heard of someone have a bad experience in one-off wrong investment and they have shunned investing in mutual funds, etc. Maybe they’re satisfied with whatever interest they’re getting from their fixed deposits because they do not have the need to spend a lot now that they’re in the age when worldly goods matter less and relations matter more.

What I’m trying to say is, instead of asking around for advice, do your own research. Talk to experts from well-established companies, and they will all tell you that investing in SIP’s is definitely the new-age thing. And every smart person knows that investing in them is the best (and not extremely risky) method to actually make your money grow as if it were a plant being nurtured! So, #JanoTohMano, and don’t just blindly be part of a herd.

Now that you’re ready, know how to grow your money efficiently by clicking here:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Skin Defence with VLCC

The winter season I feel is the worst for skin. And even in a tropical city like Mumbai, we suffer with dry skin, flakiness, itching and also because of the humidity we have oily skin which is prone to acne and black heads. Not to forget the pollution, that adds to the daily damage of skin.

Hence, what we require is not just Skin Care, but also Skin Defence. And that is exactly what VLCC Natural Sciences has developed.

I got three products for reviewing - The VLCC Indian Berberry Face Scrub, Melia Face Wash and Cocoa Butter Hydrating Body Lotion with SPF 15. 

I'll take you through all the three products one by one -

Product Description -

Indian Berberry has long been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, while Banana is known for its natural hydrating, antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Blending together the benefits of Indian Berberry and Banana, VLCC has created this efficient exfoliator that helps in remove tan, pigmentation and blackheads while simultaneously nourishing and protecting the skin.

Usage -

Apply about a teaspoon on clean skin, leave for 2-3 minutes, then massage gently with moist finger tips for 3-4 minutes. Avoid sensitive skin near eyes. Rinse off using lukewarm water.

My take - 

It is priced at INR220 for 80gms, and the quantity is good. Even if you use it twice a week (I don't think one should use any more than that) it will last months. I love the fragrance and it's a great scrub. But you need to follow the instructions and wait a couple of minutes after applying before massaging. If in haste you just apply and scrub, it will not be as effective. And remember to massage gently and not scrub hard, because it will be very harsh on the skin otherwise.

Product Decription - 

Melia (Margosa Bark Extract) is ideal for sensitive skin, oily skin or skin with acne and pimples because it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The extract has cooling and soothing effect on irritable skin. It also contains high level of vitamin C which helps blackheads, dryness, pigmentation, dullness, wrinkles and reverses sun damage. This facewash formulated with Melia extract helps clean skin without drying it. It offers protection against pimples as well as controls sebum secretion leaving your skin feeling sparkling fresh.

Usage -

For best results: Use twice daily. Follow this cleanser with VLCC Lavang Moisturiser for soft & moisturised skin.

My take - 

Priced at Rs.140 for 80ml, this product is refreshing, and works well on sensitive skin that I have. When I read what is is for, it felt as if this product is specially for me. I have used it a few times, and so far so good, but I guess I'm yet to know it's long term benefits. But what's important is it does not leave my skin dull and dry, which a lot of other face washes made for oily skin do.

Product Description - 

Cocoa butter is one of the best natural skin conditioners. It contains fatty acids that help in hydrating the skin deeply making it look and feel soft and supple. Enriched with antioxidants this nourishing emollient fights environmental stressors and free radicals, keeping them from damaging the skin cells that trigger premature aging. Combining the benefits of Cocoa butter with conditioning qualities of olive oil and aloe gel VLCC has whipped up this beautiful hydrating body lotion that moisturizes the skin and keeps it looking young, flawless and radiant.
– With SPF 15
– Deep hydration
– Enriched with Cocoa butter

Usage -

Apply it twice a day morning and evening, in the morning either after taking bath or 15 minutes before stepping out in the sun. 

My take - 

It's pretty reasonable at Rs.155 for a 200ml bottle. And is it claims, it is hydrating, light and refreshing. My only disappointment is that it does not smell like cocoa butter at all, which I have seen in other cocoa butter products by other brands, which smell absolutely heavenly. 

They have a really wide range of skin care and skin defence products, and I would love to try their other products in the future! You can avail exciting offers if you buy online from their site - they currently have a flat 25% discount. Do let me know via comments if you've tried their products and how was your experience. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Celebrate a healthy, fun Pongal & Makar Sakranti with your kids!

The Christmas and New Year’s festivities have finally come to an end, and after all the merriment, feasting and gifts, the days of post-holiday blues are here. But fortunately, I live in India, a beautiful country, rich with different cultures and traditions; and we always have something or the other every month!

January for my family is full of festivities because of my dad’s birthday, brother’s birthday, Makar Sakranti and also Pongal which is celebrated in our society. Which means, January is full of sweets again! The best part is that my kiddo is a sweet-tooth too, just like me.


We often forget why do we celebrate these festivals and meaninglessly follow the society. But just to remind you, these are all harvest festivals, celebrated in the joy of a good harvest by the farmers.

So when Makar Sakranti or Kite Flying Day are approaching near, me and my mother-in-law start preparing Til Laddoos, Til Chikki; which are made using sesame seeds and jaggery or sugar. You must have heard the popular saying “Til-Gud ghya, god god bola” or to translate, eat sweet and speak sweet. With my toddler teething, he absolutely loves biting and gnawing on the til laddoos, but that also means he’s making a mess with the crumbs in the entire house.

We also happen to have a lot of South Indian neighbours and friends and colleagues who join the celebration as they celebrate Pongal too. And they always make it a point to send some of the delicacies like the Sweet Pongal rice, milk and jaggery. Yummy! We also make puran puri (sweet parathas made from gram flour and jaggery) along with curry and pickle. When served hot during the cold winter days, these are all just pure bliss!

But along with us, unknowingly, other (not-so-welcome) “guests” are also feasting on these savouries. All the laddoo crumbs dropped by my kiddo (which if he finds later on, he will pick up and eat), all the left-over dumped in the kitchen dustbin overnight, all the other food send by relatives kept in the kitchen; are all devoured by cockroaches. These cockroaches not only look disgusting and make the hair on the back of my neck stand, but also spread disease-causing bacteria all over the food and kitchen. And when we negligently eat using the same dishes or unprotected food, we’re prone to food poisoning. The thought of my baby getting a tummy bug is just too scary, and didn’t we learn that prevention is better than cure?

That’s why, after cleaning up the kitchen at night before sleeping, we spray LAL HIT - The red one. It helps me get rid of cockroaches completely, even the hidden ones as it comes with a unique Deep Reach Nozzle. I can sleep at peace that those menacing cockroaches will be taken care of, and I can let my kiddo nibble and eat whatever he likes. And not just him, everyone is away from diseases during the festivities, as festivals are the worst time one can fall ill, whether it is Pongal or Diwali.


#SayNoToFoodPoisoning and have a Happy Makar Sakranti! Don’t forget to take your little one kite flying and see the joy on his face. And eat a lot of sesame, it’s really good for healthy, especially during the winters. Plus, it’s yummy too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter Lip-Care!

Hello beautiful people! You must have read a couple of articles on winter care on my blog, and this is one more for you all!

This is the season we all love, yet the season that our skin totally hates. Dry, scratchy, itchy skin is something we all hate. And our beloved lips have to suffer the most, because the skin on the lips is the thinnest of all. Did you know that?

That's the reason for chappy, dry, dark lips. And if you happen to lick 'em to get rid of this dryness, mind you, you're just making it worse!

There are some home remedies you can try to protect your lips - like applying milk or malai on the lips after having a bath, or keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water. But when you're out of home, at work, or travelling - a lip balm is your only haven!

I have tried quite a few brands of lip balms, both sticks and pots. This time I decided to try and review the range by VLCC - Lovable Lips.

About the product -

A lip balm infused with the goodness of jojoba oil that dresses and caresses your pout in one sweep to make it luscious,lovely and lovable. Jojoba oil is one of the richest natural conditioners that the tropical forests have to offer. It has numerous beauty benefits and is perhaps the best known plant-based lip hydrator and soother. Jojoba oil heals chapped lips and seeps in to restore moisture and texture from within leading to smooth & supple lips. With Vitamin E, nourishing Almond oil and SPF, VLCC brings to you a range of sun-safe pout perfectors in many pretty hues.

Key Ingredients : Almond Oil,jojoba oil,Vitamin E, Octyl methoxy cinnamate,Performalene PL & Benzophenone 3.

Usage : Simply glide it over your lips to savour the fragrance and set the colour. Use daily and as often desired. Continued use makes lips soft,supple and healthy.

What I loved -

1. Range of flavours - The VLCC - Lovable Lips comes in 8 different flavours ranging from strawberry, rose, cherry to mango, peach, honey, almond and orange!

2. They're made up of healthy ingredients like Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Sheer Butter etc,

3. They also give protection from UV Rays with a SPF15.

4. The dark coloured flavours like rose, strawberry, cherry and peach have a beautiful tint that colours your lips, so you get lips that feel beautiful and look beautiful!

What I didn't -

1. The packaging quality overall is very okayish, but then it's priced at Rs.125 which is very reasonable!

2. Some of the flavours like almond don't have a tint or rather give a whitish layer to the skin on the lips, which is a complete no-no. otherwise, these non-tinted variants are great for men looking for lip-care.

3. It does not last all day long, you need to keep re-applying it every couple of hours, but then that's alright, because to make products last long, a lot of chemicals are added to beauty products, which I'd rather not use on a daily basis.

Verdict - I would buy one of the dark tints, which look great, smell awesome and feel beautiful! And thanks VLCC for telling me that Jojoba is actually pronounced as Ho-Ho-Ba (It was written on the website). I gave different flavours of the lipbalm away to family and friends for Christmas!