Freelance writer and a 24/7 busy super mom to a bubbly, energetic 11 year old boy...Here I am trying to simplify this complicated yet beautiful mystery called motherhood with a zealous effort at reaching out to other moms like me...And yes! I strongly believe in Karma..So if you wish Life doesn't throw lemons at you...you know what to do! Enjoy your time at The Life Studio.
Who says Fashion Designing is not for ‘bacchas’? Meet Sakthi Sivasankar, an eight year old little girl from Bangalore who thinks otherwise. And with good reason!
Stunning Fashion Designs By An Eight Old
Take a look at the stunning sketches this little girl has created, putting her ingenious talent to excellent use. Her color coordination deserves a thumbs up too! Vivid, vibrant colors and proportioned human figures. She definitely has the potential to make it big in the fashion industry. Her mom Chithra has done a commendable job in identifying her child’s creative abilities and encouraging her. The ensembles are carefully designed, colors are apt and vibrant enough to get appreciative glances from everyone around. The best part is unlike a few fashion styles you see on the ramp today, her designs are wearable!
Encourage creativity in kids
This is what her mom Chithra has to say about her –
” Sakthi’s sketches and her colour selection look quite interesting. She is very enthusiastic about designing and spends her spare time sketching. She is very passionate about it. Her interests are badminton, movies and storytelling. She aspires to be a teacher and fashion designer”
A stylish fashion designer in the making I must say! Encourage Sakthi by visiting her page to check out more designs at Shakthi Designs
Every parent must observe their child. Patience, observation and identifying skill sets go a long way in grooming your child for the future. Look carefully…you may see another brilliant Sakthi in your little one.
Small, innocent eyes looking up at you, a tiny mind thinking the world of you and happy little hands tugging along wherever you go! Little children bring you joy. I was a part of this mad rush we call life, till a few interactions with my little boy made me slow down.
Children look at life from a different angle which we fail to notice. To learn from them, all you need is to spend some quality time with them. These are a few life lessons that my little boy taught me.
Interesting Life Lessons You Can Learn From Children
Forgive And Forget
Practically every self healing course and personality development programme in this world emphasises that the most important step towards healing your body is to forget your past and forgive those who may have wronged you. This is also the most difficult step to conquer. Not for kids, though.
My little one had an argument with his playmate over who rides his bicycle real fast! They did a cycling race and both claimed to have won the race. They came to blows eventually. The other kid’s mother and I had to separate them. The next day, my son insisted on playing with the same kid again. I politely refused reminding him of the fight they had. He says, “That was yesterday, mumma! He was my enemy yesterday. Today he is my friend. Please let me go and play.” I mumble an ‘Okay’ hesitantly, looking over my balcony, hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. Thankfully, I see the other boy waiting for my son. Soon they play, laugh and have fun as if nothing had happened the day before.
Ask yourself, how many hurtful experiences are you still harbouring in your mind? Empty that space right away. A negative mindset allows disease to manifest in the body. Replace every worrisome thought that tries to enter your mind with memories that make you smile.
Treat Others As You would Want Others To Treat You.
I was busy writing an article when my boy comes up and tells me,”Mumma I want to show you how an Audi R8 can jump over five cars at the same time.” I reply, “Not now, I’m busy, I’ll see that later!” Dejected, he goes away and plays with his toy cars.
Later in the evening, my husband is busy checking his office mails. I sit down to tell him something important. Without looking up from his laptop, he snaps at me and says, “ Not now. I’m busy, We’ll talk later!”
Karma or otherwise, I did learn a lesson that day!
The most useless fear that limits our capabilities is “What will others think?” The next in line is a series of “What Ifs” – What if I lose?, what if I fail ? And so on… Look at kids. They laugh loudly, clap loudly and enjoy as if no one is looking. When I ask my naughty little imp to behave in the park, he says – “Let it be mumma, no one is even looking at me!” He had a great time catching crabs at the beach and bathing elephants at an elephant camp at Coorg while I was a bit worried over “What if a crab pinches him?” or “What if the elephant gets up too soon?”
Most of the people can get real angry if their spouses forget their birthday or anniversary. You may even be disappointed for not getting a gift on this special day. This year, we decided not to throw a birthday party for our son. We simply took a day off from work, took him to the beach followed by his favourite theme park @Kidzania and let him enjoy every moment. He wasn’t bothered about the party or all the gifts that his friends would’ve given him. All he wanted was our undivided attention and lots of love.
Children love you unconditionally. They kiss you, hug you and think you are the best mom or dad in this world without expecting anything in return.
This is what he wrote for a paragraph on my mother in his semester one English exam. The entire paragraph sums up the unconditional love he has for his mom – I’m proud to be his mother.
Appreciate Every Little Thing In Life
“I can make a rainbow!”, says my little boy holding a glass cube against the morning sunlight. A lovely rainbow coloured pattern appears on the white floor. A simple thing as this makes him so happy. He is so happy when his dad flies his kite for him. Every time the kite flies high, he claps his hand and jumps with glee. He loves sailing paper boats in puddles and fishing in the river at his Nana’s place.
Little children are so much in awe of everything going around them. Grown ups focus more on money, work, career, relationships, mostly oblivious to small moments in life that can make anybody smile – the naughty twinkle in the eyes of a kid who has pressed the pause elevator switch on every floor, walking bare foot on wet grass, the contentment you get when you hear a thank you, the warm morning rays of the sun, the friendly ‘woof’ of your pet dog, a blooming flower in your window, a smile from your neighbor…the list is endless.
I saved the funniest part for the last – As I was writing this, my son comes along, reads the caption –5 Life Lessons My Child Taught Me . He adds, “Mumma don’t forget to mention that I taught you how to make an origami paper carrot, lantern and dog face!”
So what did you learn from your little one? Do let me know in the comments below.
A paragraph on my mother, straight from the heart was the last thing I ever expected my naughty little boy to write on his own, at school.
This is what my sonny boy wrote for “write a short paragraph on My Mother” question in his semester 1 English exam at school. Till I read this, I hadn’t gauged the depth of his love and affection for me. In spite of all the nagging and coaxing we subject our kids to, they do have a special place for us moms in their hearts.
Think twice before tossing over a banana peel into the trash can! This seemingly useless waste does not deserve to end up in some distant landfill and rot away! Not before you have used it to reap its benefits! Get to know the uses of a banana peel before you throw it!
Amazing Uses Of Banana Peel
Banana peel for face
Simply rub the inside of a banana peel over your pimples or acne. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing with plain water. The acne simply disappears after repeated application, thrice daily, over two to three days. I generally do not believe in following such home remedies without actually trying them out. It worked for me. The experience of this lady where she used a banana peel for face to get rid of acne, is what got me to try it out!
Banana Peel For Insect Bites
Are you allergic to insect bites, especially mosquito bites ? Before you get an allergic reaction, simply rub the affected area with the inner side of a banana peel. It gives relief from pain and itching.
Banana Peel For Warts
Place the inner side of a banana peel over a wart. Attach it to the area with some duct tape and leave it on overnight. The wart comes off the next day. Clean the area with a disinfectant and apply some healing ointment. Thats all.
Eat a Banana Peel
Not as they are, of course! You can add bake cakes out of them, make chutneys and even stir fry them. Banana peels are a powerhouse of nutrients – vitamins, potassium, magnesium and anti oxidants. There are so many lip smacking recipes using banana peels you can try out at home. Try this yummy Bengali banana peel chutney recipe or Kerala Banana peel thoran(dry stir fried vegetable side dish). Don’t roll up your eyes at this – You can even bake a deliciously slurpy banana peel cake and eat it all alone!
Banana Peel scrub
Mash up the peels of a ripe banana. Throw in 2 tsp ground oats. Mix well. Use this as a scrub to exfoliate your face or body, twice a week! It gives your face a soft feeling, besides cleansing it thoroughly. All this without any chemicals!
Banana peel – an excellent fertilizer and aphid repellent
Banana peels can be used as a fertilizer as well as a bug repellent. Cut banana peels into tiny bits. Roughly spread them over the top soil of your plants. See how aphids stay away from them. These peels will also decay and fertilize the soil in the process.
So don’t bin the banana skin! Do let me know if you have come across any more uses of banana peel for face! Feel free to drop in a line!
One look at this magnificiently gigantic and beautiful mountain top will make you want to be there! The question is Do you have the guts to climb this? This is Kalavantin Durg, 500m high peak standing proudly on the northern edge of the Prabal Plateau, in the Western Ghats, Maharashtra. A trekker’ paradise, this peak is not as easy to climb as it seems. With steep sides and a treacherous, rocky surface, climb this one at your own risk. There are steep steps of less width, carved into one side of the mountain, with no protection at the sides,whatsoever. A few trekkers reach the base and looking at the steep steps give up right away. This structure was used as a watch tower by troops.
Carved stone steps leading to the top
Kalavantin Durg Trek
Where is Kalavantin Durg
Kalavantin Durg is located bang next to Prabalgad fort, between Panvel and Matheran and can be easily seen from Panvel.
How to reach Kalavantin Durg
Driving along the Mumbai-Pune expressway, deviate towards Thakurwadi village when you reach Shedung Phata at Panvel. The trek begins from here and it can take up too 2 – 3 hours to reach Prabal Machi village which is at the base of this steep mountain. Food and water can be arranged here. Ascend the steep rock cut stone steps, slog for another 4 hours and you will reach the top. This is recommended for experienced trekkers.
Kalavantin Durg Trek – Blog
Read this interesting version of Kalavantin Durg trek by an experienced trekker to get valuable insights.
If you have gone up there, do let us know about your experience at the top of Kalavantin Durg!
Heads with fabulously shiny, silky crowning glories with smooth, straight hair! Sure it does feel great to look great. However, hair straightening and keratin treatments come with certain minus points attached. Planning to go for it? Here is what you should be aware of.
What exactly is Keratin Hair Treatment?
Keratin is a natural protein that is present in your hair shafts. Keratin hair treatment is a type of permanent hair straightening methods.
How is Keratin Hair Treatment done?
First of all your hair is washed off all impurities till it is squeaky clean. After towel drying or blow drying (some products require damp hair while some specify dry hair), your hair stylist applies a keratin based hair straightening product all over your hair. This is then left on your hair for some time. Your stylist would then use a flat iron to make sure the heat packs the product right into your hair. Once done, you’ll be advised not to wash your hair for 3 to 4 days as it takes time for the product to set in. Also make sure not to use hair clips or bands as they can alter the shape of your hair.
Pros of Keratin Hair Treatment
This gives you silky smooth frizz free and easily manageable hair in all seasons. You need not even comb it at times and it’ll look as good as ever. This method is preferred more than Japanese hair straightening and other chemical hair straightening methods.
Cons of Keratin Hair Treatment
This is not permanent. You have to retake a Keratin treatment session every 3-4 months to maintain the look. As with all chemical processes, this may damage hair over a period of time. Hair breakage may occur if the stylist is not careful while applying heat. It is important to visit a reputed salon with an experienced hair stylist for such treatments.
Those with dry, damaged and lifeless hair due to rebonding or frequent coloring can opt for Keratin based treatments. Same goes for those with extremely frizzy and curly hair. This actually smoothens and strengthens frizzy hair shafts by filling up uneven spaces in them, albeit for a short period of time.
Things to Note:
Avoid keratin treatment formulae that contain formaldehyde. Use shampoos meant specifically for hair that has undergone Keratin treatment. You can ask your stylist for reputed brands that do not contain sodium sulphates as these can render such treatments useless.
Those with dandruff and other scalp conditions should absolutely avoid Keratin treatments till these conditions have not been cured. Visit a dermatologist if required.
So if you have naturally strong and healthy hair, do think twice before visiting the salon for keratin hair treatments. And those with a lesser healthy mane can visit the salon for a monthly Hair spa treatment instead. Finally top it all with regular hot oil massages using a nice home made herbal oil and a follow a healthy diet for strong and shiny hair.
Button crafts can turn a drab, boring afternoon with kids into a lot of fun. These are cool crafts using buttons for kids of ages 4 years and upwards. Collect or buy lots of colorful buttons in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Use your imagination and creativity to come up with lots of ideas. It could be anything from button bookmarks or button flowers or even button puppets. Check out these lovely button crafts to begin with.
Draw a simple tree design on a plain chart paper or an old cardboard sheet. Color your tree. All you need to do is to glue on these button as leaves on the tree you just made. This makes for a lovely piece of wall art once framed!
Cute Button Bookmarks
Check out these super cute button bookmarks. This is a simple button craft project even preschoolers can make. Simply glue on a cute button on a paper clip with some felt strips.
Cut out a basic petal from fabric or felt pieces. Sew on buttons. You can also sew buttons on top of buttons to create a cascading look. Glue these flowers onto pipe cleaners (stems) and you have a lovely bunch of colorful button flowers.
Buttons are so simple yet you can craft so many beautiful projects out of them. These DIY button crafts are kid friendly. You can keep them busy this weekend by taking up any one project. What do you think? Do you have any idea that you can share with us here?
Nasty mosquito bite allergy symptoms leave kids feeling itchy and uncomfortable all over. This irritation subsides after sometime. However, some children get symptoms that go beyond the tell-all, red, itchy bump. Swelling, pain, hives – tiny, red, itchy eruptions surrounding the bite or all over the body. This is what we need to worry about. Allergic reactions to mosquito bites need to be looked into immediately. If ignored, the bite may swell, ooze with pus and the child may get hives all over the body. These bites also leave behind unsightly black marks or scars. Severe reactions include anaphylactic shock with difficulty in swallowing and breathing. What happens is your immune system begins to react to the proteins present in the mosquito saliva. These are simple and effective home remedies for mosquito bite allergies.
Effective Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bites
Scoop out some fresh gel by scraping the insides of an aloe Vera leaf. This cooling pulp soothes the affected area immediately. If the area of the bite is oozing, aloe gel drains the swelling and heals the wound. Apply four to five times daily till the itching and swelling subsides.
Turmeric and Coconut oil paste
Make a paste of turmeric root and coconut oil. You can also use 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder instead. Go for pure, organic turmeric powder like the one from 24 Mantra or Organic India. The normal brands like Everest, Eastern etc. have no aroma and have artificial colours added. Turmeric helped my little one who is also allergic to mosquito bites. A little messy, but very effective natural remedy for mosquito bites and other insect bites.
Neem and Tulsi paste
Grind a few fresh neem leaves and tulsi leaves into a fine paste. Apply this paste over the affected area. You may also bathe the child in boiled and cooled neem water for a few days.
Boil 3 teaspoons of Triphala powder in 2 large mugs of water. Allow to cool. After bath, use this water as for the last rinse. Triphala is an excellent skin tonic. It provides relief from mosquito allergy symptoms.
Prevention is always better!
For children prone to insect bite allergies, make sure you clothe them with long pants and long sleeved dresses when out playing in the garden, especially after sunset. Mosquitoes are often attracted to heat, which is why kids must wear light coloured clothing that absorbs less heat.
Natural Mosquito Repellant
Crush some camphor in 1 cup coconut oil. Put this mix in an airtight glass jar and place it in the sun for 10 minutes. Apply a little of this oil all over the exposed areas of the child’s body to prevent mosquito bites. This is better than applying mosquito repellent creams like Odomos and Good Knight.
Mild Baby Soap
For kids prone to skin allergies in general – Use mild baby soap like Seba Med with an ideal PH value of 5.5. You can also use Grade I soaps with T.F.M above 80 – 90 percent like Anuspa soaps – they are delicate and nourishing for the skin.
Foods To Avoid
Avoid certain foods like shell fish, prawns, brinjal, certain nuts and certain packed and processed foods, especially ones containing MSG. You will have to find out what causes skin allergies and then avoid these items in your kid’s diet.
Chyawanprash, cod liver oil capsules, triphala are all good in building immune strength. Opt for pure, organically prepared Chyawanprash and Triphala instead of commercial brands like Dabur. I prefer Organic India products. Add to this fruits, vegetables and
fish and you’re done. It can be difficult in getting your child to consume all this. It is up to you to coax them. In fact, you end up doing the same in case of allopathic medications, so why not convince kids to have some pure Chyawanprash instead.
These are a few simple natural remedies for mosquito bite and other insect bite allergies. In case of new born babies and toddlers, it is best to consult a medical practitioner. These natural treatment methods are mostly for children aged 5 and above.
Check out this essay on IF I WIN KBC written by a grade IV child for his school essay writing competition in Navi Mumbai, India. The word limit was 300 words.
Essay on If I Win KBC
Coming face to face with Mr.Amitabh Bacchan in all his majestic glory has been a fascinating dream for me ever since I have been watching ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ on Sony Television. It would be an interesting challenge for me to field tough questions from diverse knowledge zones right before a huge audience. Of late, I have been fantasizing about what I would do with the prize money of Rs. 1 crore, when I win KBC.
I would begin by doing some selfless service to the society. First and foremost, I would start an NGO that focuses on waste management and bio fuel generation. This would be a boon to rural areas besides solving at least 25% of the waste management issues Mumbai faces today. Next, I would start a state wide tree plantation drive followed by buying a 50 acre plot to begin organic farming. This will help many poor farmers to earn a decent livelihood. Helping the elderly from old age homes is next on my list. Here, I will ensure jobs for those who have no financial backup to find jobs as per their skill sets. I would then fund a ‘Pick a book’ project for poor street children. Public reading places will be equipped with informative picture books for these children.
Finally it would be time to do something for myself. Taking cues from the movie ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’, I would start a chain of chocolate shops selling rich milk chocolates and delectable confectionery from across the globe. Embarking on a world tour with my parents would be a dream come true. We would love to visit ancient historical places around the world. The last entry on my wish list is to buy my dream car – a sleek, white Audi R8 LMS.
I sincerely wish that KBC organizers would allow children below 18 years to participate in the show. On second thoughts, they could start a new show on similar lines, just for children like me. I am optimistic that one fine day I will be a winner on KBC and be able to fulfill all my dreams.
Hope you get an idea on how to write an essay on ‘If I win KBC’, now.
Need some cool accents for your sofas and beds? Digital printed cushion covers are in. Toss in a few cushions dressed up in these stunning cushion covers and see how your living space gets transformed into a beautiful haven.
From delicate floral designs and serene Buddha faces to historical monuments and cute animals, you can showcase them all using your cushion covers. Ethnic charm gets a touch of modern style in these attractive pieces.
Digital printed cushion covers – What you need to know about them
Usually made with poly dupian, poly taffeta or poly velvet fabric, these covers come with proper finishing and a nice sheen. Available in different size variations – Small Size (12 inches x 12 inches), Medium Size (16 inches x 16 inches) and Large Size (18 inches x 18 inches), you can choose the ones that you want. The best part is they are wrinkle resistant unlike cotton cushion covers. Digital printed cushion covers have a subtle non reflective sheen that is pleasing to the eyes. Most of these have normal wash specifications.
Custom digital printed cushion covers
You can get custom photos printed on a cushion cover or cushion cover fabric. A few sites like www.picsquare.com, www.spoonflower.com let you do just that.
You can buy digital printed cushion covers online at www.fabfurnish.com, jabong.com, zansaar.com and amazon.in, among others. Popular labels are India Circus, Me Sleep, Aawrun, Bluegape and Shibori.
Am totally in love with these stylish cushion covers. What about you?