How To Teach Phonics – For Kids

how to teach phonics to kids at home

how to teach phonics to kids at home
via twicepix

How to teach Phonics to kids?” or “What is Phonics?” are questions often asked by parents of kindergarten goers. Your kids enter preschool and the teachers begin by teaching alphabets. The next obvious step would be to learn how to spell and read. This is the tricky part. It is mandatory in almost all schools to learn phonics before learning how to spell. Phonics is the study of co-relation between alphabets and their sounds. Once a child masters alphabet sounds, he or she can easily form spellings and learn how to read. Of course, English sometimes does make your head spin, like for instance the “o” sound is different in the words “do” and “go” 😉 However, phonics makes spelling formation and sentence formation very simple for kids. In fact, once they get their basics in place, they will not get confused between exceptions similar to “do” and “go”.

Kids who skip the phonics part find it very difficult to spell correctly in higher classes. They tend to learn spellings by rote, which is not what we want. Check out this basic list of phonics that you should teach your kids.

Phonics Sounds

Begin by teaching them consonant and vowel sounds. Alphabets a,e,i,o, u are vowels and all the remaining alphabets are consonants. Note that the consonant sounds remain the same. Vowels a,e,i,o,u may sound different in different spellings. You can see the table below for alphabet sounds and related examples.

 

Alphabets

Sounds – Example

A a /a/ – Apple
B b /buh/ Bat
C c /kuh/ Cat
D d /duh/ Dig
E e /eh/ – Egg
F f /fuh/ Fish
G g /guh/ Goat
H h /huh/ Hut
I i /i/ – Igloo
J j /juh/ Jug
K k /kuh/ Kite
L l /luh/ Light
M m /muh/ Monkey
N n /nuh/ Nose
O o /o/ – Orange
P p /puh/ Pen
Q q /qu/ Quill
R r /ruh/ Rat
S s /suh/ Sat
T t /tuh/ Tall
U u /uh/ – Umbrella
V v /vuh/ Van
W w /wuh/ Wall
X x /ks/ Axe
Y y /yuh/ Yellow
Z z /zuh/ Zebra

Following this you need to teach them the sounds of alphabet combinations, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds and short vowel sounds.

Alphabet combinations, blends and sounds

“Ch” sounds /chuh/  as in church

“Kn” sounds  /nuh/ as in Knight

“Ph” sounds /fuh/ as in Phone

Check out useful worksheets for alphabet blends and sounds at www.havefunlearning.com

Phonics Worksheets for Kids

Teach basic sounds, alphabet blends, long vowel sounds, short vowel sounds and words using these phonics worksheets. You can download them and take a print.

Phonics games

An easy word game like this one can turn out to be an enjoyable phonics game for kids. You start off with a simple three letter word like ‘Bat’. Your kid has to come up with a new three letter word that starts with the ending sound of ‘t’ i.e. /tuh/. So he may come up with ‘top’ and then its your turn to think of a word that begins with ‘p’ or /puh/.

Check out these interactive phonic games online
Phonics games at www.supersimplelearning.com
This site offers simple, interactive phonics games for kindergarten going kids. Fun to play and learn.

Beginning Sounds Game by www.softschools.com
This is a basic beginning sounds game for kids where they have to guess the first letter of a three letter word by looking at an object.

Deep Sea Phonics by BBC
This is an interactive phonics game that is sure to make learning a lot more fun than usual. However, this game has medium and hard levels only. Ideal for kids who have already gone through basic three letter words beforehand.

Phonics Books for Kids

Madhubun offers  phonics books for kids – Easy ABC for kindergarten series 1 & 2 that makes alphabets, phonics and simple sentence formation a lot easier for kids.

Phonics  for Kids Videos

Video on basic alphabet sounds

Phonics video for learning three letter words with sounds

 

This is all you need to get started. The rest depends on two Ps – Patience and Practice. So get going!

Fruit and Vegetable Wash – Make Them Pesticide Free

how to remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables

Wondering “How to remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables ?” Every time you see traces of white chemicals on grapes and a waxy sheen on apples that you buy from the local grocer, you feel “Do I have to eat this? ” It doesn’t make sense to stop buying such stuff because farm produce that you get in supermarkets isn’t safe from chemicals either. Then helplessly, you resort to peeling apples before eating. However, there are numerous methods to clean fruits and vegetables, making them free of fertilizers and pesticides.

how to remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables
via Wikipedia

Fruits and Vegetable Wash – Top Tips

Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner

Use these natural methods for making an organic fruit and vegetable wash at home, that takes off pesticides and fertilizers from vegetables and fruits.

Tamarind and Vinegar Wash

A simple tamarind vegetable and fruit wash can remove 95 percent of the pesticide and fertilizer residue, with ease. Simply keep your veggies and fruits immersed in tamarind water prepared by mixing 20 gm of tamarind in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. These findings are the result of an intensive research study on the impact of pesticide residue on farm produce, conducted by the pesticide research and analytical laboratory of the Kerala Agricultural University.

An equally viable option is to dilute 1 teaspoon of vinegar in 1 litre of water. Keep your veggies or fruits immersed in this solution for 10 minutes. Then rinse them in tap water.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and ½ teaspoon baking soda to a large bowl of lukewarm water. Immerse fresh farm produce in this solution for 10 minutes. Then rinse off in plain water.

Fruit and Vegetable Washing Liquids

Several organic fruit and vegetable washing liquids are available in supermarkets, health stores and online stores like www.healthkart.com. However, check if these liquid cleaners are organic and have edible ingredients. Of these Fit fruit and vegetable wash ,  vegfruwash and Pigeon vegetable cleanser are recommended products.

Vegetable and Fruit Wash –  Equipments

Vegetables and fruit purifiers are other good options. Though expensive, they are the best for hassle free purification of fruits, veggies and meat. They work on Ozone technology, killing harmful microorganisms and pathogens. These machines oxidize and eliminate residual pesticides and fertilizers from fruits and veggies. They also clean antibiotics and hormones present in meat and seafood.

You can buy quality vegetable and fruit purifying machines online at Amazon. In India, Kent Vegetable & Fruit Purifier and Ozone Vegetable & Fruit Purifier seem to be good ones. Before buying these purifiers check on after sales service, maintenance, warranty and any parts that need to be replaced after a few months or years.

Check out which option works best for you. Clean your fruits and vegetables the proper way. Stay fit and stay healthy.

The Perfect Road Trip – From Calicut To Wayanad

Planning the perfect road trip doesn’t have to scrunch up your brows. In fact, all avid travel freaks will agree with me on this! The destination has to be awesome enough to lure us, in the first place. But the journey makes the actual difference! And this includes your SUV, a crazy gang of friends who share your passion for travelling, a bunch of hyperactive kids and of course the final stop over – the destination. Adding up to this list are vital extras like GPS on your smartphone, an online travel guide, munchies (I would starve to death without them), peppy songs, lot of fruit juices, water, games for kids, my Sony Cybershot (that has clicked most of the pictures below, I find D-SLRs too heavy to handle…) and of course, a fragrant car perfume – Ambipur, to give you a whiff of fresh, invigorating fragrance. In fact, with all these must haves, a lot of adventurous road trips have turned out to be adrenaline pumping, memorable outings for me!

my perfect road trip - ford ecosport

via www.zygler.com

Armed with a newly acquired driving license, here I am fantasizing about my idea of the perfect road trip. I have had many before, but of course, the expert at the wheel was my best friend and better half. This time though, I want to be at the helm and go full throttle with our brand new fiery, Mars red, Ford EcoSport Titanium AT. We can’t wait till it arrives next month. Spacious and sleek, this compact SUV has appealing exteriors, beautiful interiors and a host of superb features like a multi functional steering wheel, ABS, bluetooth telephony, up to six air-bags, rear parking sensors, climate control, hill launch assist and a lot more. What I liked best in this version is its fully automatic 6-speed powershift twin clutch gear box that’ll make all kinds of slopes easy for me on this road trip. That takes care of my apparent laziness, I guess 😉

My Perfect Road Trip
I would like to embark on a mesmerizing road trip from Calicut to Wayanad in my Ford Ecosport AT with my impish 7 yr old son, a few outrageously crazy friends, their kids and of course my hubby dearest. The reasons are compelling. Wayanad, with its idyllic valleys and mist covered mountains makes an ideal destination for this road trip. Look at all the fun we had there, a month back.

Calicut to Wayanad by road


View Larger Map

Driving along, we reached the Thamarassery pass that connects Wayanad to Calicut district. This 14 km long pass  has nine, thrilling hairpin bends offering amazing views from the top. Driving up to Wayanand lets you have fascinating views of scenic mountains, forest life, lots and lots of rubber, coffee, tea and spice plantations. Spanning three days, our road trip covered most of the places in Wayanad including Mananthawadi, Kalpetta, Sulthan Bathery and Vythiri.

thamarassery pass, wayanad travel review
via Dinoop Dayanand

Iruppu Waterfalls, Brahmagiri

irrupu waterfalls, brahmagiri, coorg - wayanad travel review

A trek up the Irruppu waterfalls located at Brahmagiri is a must, if you come here. An old peepal tree marks the beginning of the trail. This waterfall is actually a part of Coorg, Karnataka. All you need to do is to drive over to Karnataka from Manantawadi, covering a distance of 34 km approximately, in 40 minutes.

Kuruva Island

kuruva island - wayanad travel review

We had a wonderful drive from Kalpetta to Kuruva Island, with lots of coconut trees and paddy fields dotting the landscape. For some distance you have to use your own legs to reach the island. We had to cross trenches using single logs. These were meant for trapping elephants, set up by locals to protect their farms. At such places, I usually don’t lose my cool, but my maternal instincts made me go weak in the knees when I watched my little boy cross the trenches. He was quite cool about it, though.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

kalpetta - wayanad wildlife sanctuary

I would love to explore the rugged terrains of  the wildlife sanctuary at Kalpetta, yet again, in my majestic Ford Ecosport (it’s a pity private vehicles are not allowed inside). It would be great to capture on film – deer, tigers, elephants and bison, seated inside my wild beast – The Ecosport.

kalpetta - wayanad wildlife sanctuary

Wayanad is home to some exotic home stays and resorts like ‘The Pachiderm Palace’ , right in the middle of the forest, among elephants.

wayanad homestay

Old world charm – A beautiful homestay at Kalpetta, Wayanad…

Road Trip Gastronomy

wayanad homestay - kerala cuisine

Home stays, resorts and tiny eateries along roads offer lip smacking Kerala fare – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

local food - wayanad travel review

Inside a local toddy shop…

On road trips, it is foolish to be fussy about food. In case, there are no restaurants lining the roads, make do with what the locals have to offer.We were right in the middle of this long stretch of a road amidst paddy fields, the kids were hungry, it was around 3 pm, we hadn’t had lunch and we spotted a toddy shop! We went right in and were lucky enough to feast on a simple meal of boiled tapioca, fish curry and rice.

To be frank, small eateries  in Kerala are cleaner than an average Mumbai restaurant. They even serve clean boiled water.

On a last note – Road trips are also meant for shopping stuff available locally. We bought fresh spices, honey, tea, coffee and lots of unni appams (a sweet, southern delicacy) along the way in addition to carved wooden artifacts and mementos.

This particular road trip has left a memory so lasting that I wish to go there yet again and freak out. And I will, with the same gang, as soon as my new Ford Ecosport arrives!

thegang

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gang (sans the guys…)

 

When will I have a wife? – Amusing questions children ask!

questions children ask

A few funny questions children ask, are enough to drive parents crazy. In fact, every parent dreads certain funny questions asked by children and tries to avoid them. Every child is unique with so many gifted talents topped with a lot of innocence. It is this innocence coupled with a super zealous, developing brain that fuels them to ask questions that are natural but not socially acceptable, sometimes.

Questions children ask

Photo Credit: Dhaval Jani

Amusing Questions Children Ask!

Like the time when my son asked me  when will I have a wife?

The situation was something like this – I was reading an article in the newspaper – one that featured an all student rock band. Each of the band members sported a different hair do. One was bald, the other had shoulder length hair, and one was kind of normal – with spiky hair. My son glanced at their pictures and I told him not to sport shoulder length hair when he grows up. At which he asks me “Why mamma? Will my wife get angry?” I looked at him and said,” You can’t have a wife when you’re a student in college!”

That was just the beginning! He went on to ask “Why can’t I have a wife in college?”, “Why can’t I have a wife now?”, “When exactly can I have a wife?” and “Can we go and buy a wife from a wife store?”

To hear this from a 7 yr old little fellow, I was taken aback. So I used my instincts to get to the core of the issue and find out “Why exactly did he want a wife?”  And he tells me “Mamma, it’s been a looooong time since you made vegetable biryani and baby corn-cheese pizza. If I had a wife, she would do it. You could take rest.”

I told him if he were to have a wife, it would be his responsibility entirely. If she wanted a new dress or some snacks he may have to pay for it. And he could afford to pay for it only after finishing college, some more college and then joining a big office. Besides, if he had a strong feeling to have something to eat, he might as well get up and cook it or order it from out, instead of waiting for his wife to come and cook it for him. All this typically meant that he had  to wait till he was financially independent.

Well, that seemed to din some sense into his head. My little one stopped pestering me and continued watching T.V.

It is amazing how their little brains come up with the most intriguing questions which make us scrunch up our eyebrows in frustration.

I remember, when he was in pres-school, he had asked me “Why did dad marry you?” to which I had replied,” ‘Coz, I’m his best friend, I love him and care for him.” He thought for some time before telling me, “Mamma, then will you marry me too?

Questions children ask stem from their innocence. Though it makes our eyes go round sometimes, we shouldn’t forget this fact!

Another obvious one, which I guess many of you may have faced is “Where did I come from? How are babies made?

Well, here I had to cook up something like “I wanted a naughty baby boy. So I told God Uncle to make one for me. He made you and put you in my tummy with a few magic spells. Then Doctor Uncle cut my tummy and took you out!”

Another instance was him asking me this “Mamma, why is Tom running after the girl cat? Why are red hearts coming out of his head?

A close friend of mine was explaining “what is a blood relation?” to her 9 year old son. She gave an example – “People from the same family,related by birth are blood relations. You and your brother are born from me, so you are related by blood. ” Her son however was in no mood to stay put after getting this answer. His next question was – “Then how can dad and I be blood related?” – to which she had no answer!

Parenting could not get any tougher than when it comes to answering tricky questions children ask! What do you think? Have you come across a few tricky questions yourself? What were they? Do share them here for other parents to read!

 

 

Top 5 Fathers Day Gift Ideas – For Daddy Dearest!

fathers day gift ideas

Have your thought of any fathers day gift ideas? Or do you end up procrastinating, like me? Well, for one, tomorrow is fathers day and here I am at 12 am midnight, putting my thinking cap on and trying to come up with a few decent fathers day gift ideas – for my daddy dearest!

fathers day gift ideas

Photo Credits : asenat29

 

Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Drill and Toolkit

fathers day gift ideas - tool kit and drill

Photo Credits : toolstop

An electrical tool kit and drill set is the best gift for a dad is loves being busy with home improvement stuff! You get a lot of decent ones online at www.junglee.com, www.homeshop18.com or even www.amazon.com.

Necktie Storage Box

fathers day gift ideas - necktie box

Photo Credits: www.amazon.com

Look at this cool necktie organizer that your father is sure to appreciate. This 12 compartment neck tie organizer will keep all his neck ties in one place, dust free and tidy.

Gift your father a good read!

fathers day gifts

Photo credits: brewbooks

You know what kind of books your dad would love to read, don’t you? Well, simply login to an online book shoppe like flipkart and buy him some books!

Get your dad a Sony Cybershot

Fathers day gift ideas - sony cybershot

A Sony Cybershot with 8x optical zoom and 16 mega pixel features is great for clicking pictures with super clarity and several photo effects, the easy way. This is just great for dads who hate carrying DSLR cameras around and changing lenses every now and then.

Gift him Good Health

fathers day gift ideas

 

How about a blood pressure monitor and blood glucose monitor for your dad? In case you are far away and constantly worried about an elderly father, gift him these medical gadgets. Help him monitor his health at home, without having to visit medical facilities every now and then.

Well, for one there are several thousands of lovey-dovey, cute father’s day gift ideas that you can always DIY. This list is for those who do not have the time for DIY fathers day gifts and yet wish to give him something really useful.

Wall decor stickers – Designer ideas for stunning walls

custom vinyl stickers - custom wall decals

Wall decor stickers for your home are in! It is about time you use wall art stickers to add some life to your boring, plain painted walls! Transform your walls into amazing works of art affordably, using custom wall stickers.

wall decor stickers

  Custom vinyl wall decals are designer vinyl stickers that you can affix to any smooth surface, not just walls. You can use them on your kitchen and bathroom wall tiles as attractive borders. You can use them on kids furniture too. You get them in a variety of designs and colors, even in 3D. You can order custom wall decals online, specifying the design, color and wall quotes if any. Let us talk about custom vinyl stickers exclusively meant for your walls.

Wall decor stickers – All about them

Why Should I use vinyl wall art stickers?

Vinyl wall decals are made from very thin vinyl approximately 3mm in thickness. It comes with a matte finish, making the design seem as if it is painted on your wall. These are faster and low cost ways of doing up your walls in less than an hour, without the hassles of wall paint and related drying time. In fact, most of them are removable vinyl wall decals that can be taken off easily without damaging the walls underneath or leaving any residue behind.

Custom Wall decor stickers  – More Designs Online

You have can order beautiful, superior quality custom wall decals at these online stores. www.highstylewalldecals.com | www.createworks.co.uk

Wall art stickers – Buy Online

wall decor stickers - custom wall decals @ postergully.com

Buy wall art stickers in beautiful designs and catchy wall quotes online at www.postergully.com www.fabfurnish.com

wall decor stickers - custom wall decals @ dodecals.com

 

Custom Wall Decals Quotes

Wall decals quotes @vinylimpression.co.uk Wall decals quotes are catchy and immediately draw attention towards visitors. Get a few decals with wall quotes for your kids bedroom or living room. Go for inspirational wall quotes for your study or funny wall quotes for kids’ room, living and dining room. Or better still, create your own custom wall decals quotes with a custom message, color and design. Check out these awesome vinyl wall murals and wall stickers for kids  from www.vinylimpression.co.uk

wall art stickers - vinyl wall murals

wall decor stickers - vinyl wall decals

Custom Vinyl Stickers For Walls – FAQs

Will wall decor stickers damage my walls?

Go in for superior quality precision cut vinyl wall decals that come with high quality adhesive which leaves no residue on removal. Such wall stickers do not peel off wall paint either.

How to test if your wall is suitable for vinyl wall decor stickers?

Stick a piece of masking tape on your wall surface and leave it on overnight. If the tape has peeled off, then your vinyl stickers may come off too. These stickers work best on smooth surfaces. Do not put your custom vinyl stickers on textured walls. 

How can I ensure zero damage when peeling off wall art stickers?

Gently heat the removable vinyl wall decal with a hair dryer. The heat softens the adhesive and you can easily peel the wall decal off your walls, without leaving any residue or peeling off wall paint.

How to apply custom vinyl stickers on walls?

Your custom wall decals are usually shipped in package tubes. Simply unroll one. Rub the flat surface of the wall decal with a credit card to push out air bubbles. Turn it over. Peel off and stick onto your wall carefully. And you have a designer wall in less than 30 minutes!

Check out this video on how to apply vinyl wall decals on your walls.

Clean And Clear Face Wash – Review

clean and clear face wash

Clean and Clear face wash is an excellent skin cleansing face wash for oily and normal skin types.

clean and clear face wash

Clean And Clear Face Wash – How It Works

Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Wash is a special oil free formula meant to deep cleanse pores on the skin, removing dirt, oil and all traces of make-up. Triclosan is an active ingredient of CLEAN & CLEAR Foaming Facial Wash. It fights acne causing bacteria to help skin stay clear and healthy.

Price Of Clean And Clear Face Wash

A 50 ml bottle of Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Wash costs just Rs.40. 50 ml lasts long enough, as a tiny quantity is sufficient to work up a rich foam.

What I like about Clean And Clear Face Wash?

This face wash is affordable across all classes. It keeps your skin clean, soft and refreshed. It prevents occurrence of pimples and acne due to its deep cleansing capabilities. For people allergic to fragrance, this Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Wash is just right. It has a very mild scent. You just have to take a tiny quantity for working up a rich lather.

What I did not like about Clean And Clear Face Wash?

There is nothing I did not like about this face wash. However, Clean & Clear Foaming Facial Wash is recommended for oily and normal skin all the year round. For dry skin, I would suggest this face wash only for humid summers and monsoons as it strips off whatever little moisture dry skin may have, if used during winter.

Will I recommend Clean And Clear Face Wash?

I would always recommend this face wash for oily and normal skin. It is a must have in your skin care kit. Ideal for use by men and women.

Maybelline Colossal Kajal – A review

maybelline kajal

Maybelline Colossal Kajal is a Kohl pencil worth every penny. I had been looking for an anti smudge Kajal / Kohl that is safe for the eyes, something better than what I was using. I wasn’t very happy with Lakme Kajal pencil. The tip was broad and its pointed tip would become blunt too soon. Besides, it used to get smudged making me look like a depressed alcoholic. Maybelline Colossal Kajal is a product I loved!  Using this Kajal gives you dark and intense looking, jet black eyes.

maybelline colossal kajal

All About Maybelline Colossal Kajal

Maybelline Kajal – Ingredients

Enriched with olive oil, emollient butter, vitamin E and vitamin C derivatives, this  kajal does not irritate the eyes and is so soothing. You can apply it in the waterline without any worry of smudging or irritation to the eyes.

Maybelline Kajal – Price

Rs.175 which is not too much considering the excellent quality of  this branded product from Maybelline.

 What I liked about Maybelline Colossal Kajal

This  is a water proof  kajal that does not smudge or fade. It guarantees a 6 hour no smudge application. It has a sleek , roll- to-open structure that exposes the tip of the kajal stick which glides very smoothly.

I prefer using a kajal pencil on the outer line of the lower part of my eye rather than in the waterline. This is possible only with Maybelline Colossal Kajal on account of its unique tip and anti smudge properties.

The quality of this kajal is so good that it did not sting or irritate my eyes at all. The Colossal Kajal from Maybelline  renders an awesome smokey eye look. Besides, the yellow color case looks very trendy.

What I did not like about Maybelline Colossal Kajal ?

This is one product that I loved completely. There is nothing about it that could have displeased me.

Would I recommend this ?

Definitely, Maybelline Kajal is a must have in your make up kit.

Amway LOC High Suds – My favorite organic cleaner!

amway loc

 

Amway LOC – All purpose cleaner

Amway LOC High Suds is a multipurpose liquid organic cleaner. You can use it for cleaning floors, washing clothes and dishes, cleaning sinks, porcelain, hard washable surfaces, walls, polished wooden furniture and varnished surfaces. An extremely versatile product, this is made from coconut oil derivatives making it bio degradable, Eco friendly and mild on hands.

Very few cleaning agents are efficient stain removers. Amway LOC  removes organic stains like vegetable and fruit stains, ink stains, blood stains, rust and even mold and mildew on the wall. All you have to do is to rub a little bit of the undiluted solution on the stained area and the stain just vanishes.

Amway LOC – Price

– Rs 385 for a 1 Litre pack and Rs. 257 for a 500 ml pack.

How to use Amway LOC

A 1 liter pack Makes 165 liters of cleaning solution when diluted with water. A 1 liter pack lasts for a good 6 months at least. It can be used undiluted for removing tough stains. More usage instructions are provided on the pack.

Where to buy Amway LOC

Amway is one of the largest direct selling companies with a worldwide presence in over 80 countries. All their products are of unmatched quality. You can buy their products from Amway business owners. Do a local yellow pages or justdial.com search to find Amway business owners near your residence.

Will I recommend Amway LOC ?

Yes! I was fortunate enough to be able to remove soya sauce stains from my kiddo’s white school shirt! L.O.C High Suds saved my day. It has also helped me remove turmeric and blood stains besides keeping my floor and bathrooms sparkling clean. I use it occasionally to wipe out mildew stains and dust from my walls and even clean glass panes. But do note that my walls have luster paint, so L.O.C does not take the color off. I cannot guarantee the same for walls with other wall treatments.

Safi Blood Purifier – Has anyone tried it? – Product Review

safi blood purifier

Safi Blood Purifier from Hamdard is an an excellent herbal remedy for acne and other skin problems.

safi blood purifier - REVIEW

Safi blood purifier – Herbal Remedy For Acne

How does Hamdard Safi work

Safi purifies blood naturally. Its herbal ingredients clear toxins from your body by giving support to the liver, thyroid and digestive system. Hamdard Safi has a terrific blend of herbs that keep your skin free of acne vulgaris, pimples and blemishes. It has Neem which cures skin diseases. Chiraita clears toxins from the skin and Senna cleans the stomach. Tulsi improves blood circulation. Overall, Safi is an effective acne fighting herbal remedy, healing the skin and making it glow. It also Improves complexion and helps you to stay slim and fit.

Hamdard Safi Price

A 100 ml bottle of Safi costs Rs.43.

What I liked about Safi Blood Purifier

Safi works the instant it goes down your throat. I had tried every possible OTC remedies for acne. When all ointments and lotions failed to do the trick, an ayurvedic practitioner told me that acne had to be eliminated by taking medicines internally. She recommended Safi, which is a Unani medicine. I had severe acne break outs with pus. Within 2 days, the swelling and pus subsided. On day three, acne was gone. Now what is left are a few black spots. I am yet to finish a bottle. At the end of it, my scars are bound to disappear. It is a wonderful herbal remedy for acne vulgaris.

What I did not like about Safi

Safi tastes weird. It has an awfully sweet smell which contradicts the taste. But the taste is nothing when compared to its acne healing properties.

Will I recommend Safi Blood Purifier?

Definitely. Safi is 100 percent natural and safe. The price is affordable as compared to expensive skin treatments for acne and other skin problems. The best part is Safi adds a glow to your skin. It aids digestion and keeps you fit. It also deals with skin rashes i.e. utricaria.

 

Cetaphil Mositurizing Lotion – For Dry And Sensitive Skin

cetaphil moisturizing lotion

Cetaphil moisturizing lotion is an excellent moisturizing lotion for dry and sensitive skin.

cetaphil moisturizing lotion

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion – For Acne Prone Skin

 Cetaphil Benefits

It keeps dry skin hydrated, supple and glowing for 24 hours a day. It maintains the skin’s natural protective barrier. Cetaphil moisturizing lotion is a non-greasy quick absorption formula that provides long-lasting hydration to the skin. Once you apply this, you can immediately feel its softening effect, especially on the face. I have acne prone skin. Fortunately, I was able to get rid of acne with Hamdard Safi. I wanted acne to stay away. Cetaphil moisturizing lotion is non-comodogenic i.e. it does not clog pores. It has ensured proper skin hydration without clogging pores and the acne has not resurfaced so far. I used to have problems with other moisturizing lotions, with regards to acne. The best part is this is a fragrance-free formulation, ideal for people prone to breathing problems and allergies due to artificial fragrances. It is also lanolin- free. Sometimes, lanolin can trigger eczema or dermatitis on very sensitive skin. Cetaphil ensures that this does not happen.

Cetaphil Price In India

Price : Rs.230 for a 100ml bottle, which is absolutely fine for dry skin. Once
you use this, you dont need several products to have a glowing skin. Cetaphil
moisturizing lotion is more than enough for dry skin conditions.

What I liked about Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

I loved its non-greasy super absorption formula. Before bedtime, I always cleanse my face and moisturize it. Cetaphil lotion has made my facial skin look supple and well hydrated, besides finishing off dark circles under the eyes.

What I did not like about Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

There is nothing I did not like.

Will I recommend Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion?

Of course! It is an elixir for dry skin. Just try and you will know. Doctors recommend this for dry skin and sensitive skin conditions. You can always consult with your doctor before trying Cetaphil moisturizing lotion.

Top 10 Rose Water Uses For A Younger Looking Skin

rosewater for skin

Rose water uses are many. It benefits your skin like a miraculous elixir for a radiant, younger looking you. Since  ages, women all over the world use rosewater for skin. Rosewater has soothing and cleansing properties that make your skin look young.

rose water uses

Rose water uses

Rose Water – Toner And Cleanser

Rosewater is a gentle facial cleanser. It clears grime and oil that cause clogged pores, keeping pimples and acne away. Rosewater is also a natural toner for your skin.

Rose Water – Astringent

Rosewater functions like an astringent after your steam your face to get rid of blackheads. Apply rosewater as a gentle astringent to close open pores after removing blackheads.

Rose Water – Skin Tonic

The anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties of rosewater reduce irritation and redness of the skin caused by sun burn and dust allergy. The best thing to do to make your skin look younger is to moisturize it. Rosewater lubricates your skin well, adding a beautiful glow to it without making your skin look oily.

Rose Water – Mood Enhancer

The invigorating fragrance of roses uplifts your mood and de-stresses you completely. Rosewater when used at night ensures that you sleep well, relaxed and without any stress.

Rose Water For Skin

Dip a small cotton ball in some rosewater and dab it all over your face, lips and neck. It immediately soothes and cleanses your skin.

Rose Water for dark circles

To get rid of dark circles, add four drops of milk to half a teaspoon of rosewater and apply all around your eyes and over your eyelids in circular motions. This moisturizes the skin around your eyes in addition to increasing the blood circulation in the under eye area. Following this regime regularly before going to sleep will eliminate dark circles.

Rose Water For Scalp

Rosewater is an excellent moisturizer for your scalp. After shampooing your hair, dab your scalp liberally with a cotton ball soaked in rosewater. This prevents a dry flaky scalp, providing relief from dandruff.

Rose Water For Hair

Add 3 tablespoons of rosewater in a large glass of lukewarm water. Use this to get a last rinse after washing your hair. It keeps your hair shafts well conditioned, keeping frizz at bay.

Rose Water For Eyes

Tired, irritated eyes get a soothing relief when you place a cotton ball dipped in rosewater over them. Add a few drops of rosewater in a glass of cool water and wash your eyes with this to get relief from red, tired eyes – something that you get from glaring at the computer screen for a long time.

Rose Water Face Pack

Make a face pack with 2 teaspoons of fullers earth (multani mitti), 2 teaspoons of  rosewater and 1/4 teaspoon milk cream. Apply evenly all over your face. Keep it on for 15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. This is an excellent face pack for dry to normal skin types. For oily skin, avoid adding milk cream to the pack.

You can buy Dabur Gulabari Rosewater for instant results.

The natural moisturizing properties of rosewater make it an effective and affordable beauty enhancer. A daily skin care regimen that involves rosewater can reduce fine lines and dullness, adding a radiant glow to your skin. Why not try it right away?

Places To Visit Near Mumbai – Ganpatipule Beach

ganpatipule-maharashtra

It was ages since I longed for a visit to some place, nice and quiet, away from the maddening crowds of Mumbai. Then came a weekend with three consecutive holidays in tow, the third one being an Indian public holiday. Did a little bit of googling to find interesting places to visit near Mumbai.

That is when I happened to stumble upon  Ganpatipule, an idyllic coastal town with clean, serene and white sandy beaches, located in Ratnagiri district, on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, India. It is a must see destination amongst all other travel places in Maharashtra.
about ganpatipule

Places to visit near Mumbai – Ganpatipule Beach

This spectacularly stunning beach is devoid of bugging commercialization that you get to see on the beaches of Mumbai and Goa.

In fact, Maharashtra tourism website promotes Ganpatipule as a scenic, picturesque beach and a pilgrim center, with many visiting  the temple of Swayambhu Ganesha, which is around 400 years old.  Situated midst mangroves and coconut trees, this beach with its clear waters guarantees a relaxing weekend besides being an excellent stress buster.

about ganpatipule -  view from the Sahyadris

Distance from Mumbai to Ganpatipule

Mumbai to Ganpatipule by road is 375kms. The average time to reach Ganpati pule from Mumbai by road is around 7-8 hours. You can also travel by rail to Ganpatipule. The nearest railway stations are Ratnagiri and Karbude. From there you can take a bus or hire private cabs to Ganpatipule. But the road trip will be a much more pleasant memory than the rail trip. You can get out of your vehicle en route, click pictures, feast on local roasted corn, converse with the local villagers – most of them are hard working, prosperous farmers.

Mumbai  To Ganpatipule – Map


View Larger Map

Best time to visit Ganpatipule

The best time to visit Ganpatipule beach is just after the monsoon season, from mid October to February. However, we happened to be there during the monsoons. We went there by road, driving all the way from Mumbai to Ganpatipule. The natural landscape and the beauty of the scenic Sahyadris all along, was at its very best.

Places To Vist Near Ganpatipule

Include these places of interest near Ganpatipule in your itinary.

Malgund Village

This is a beautiful place at approximately 1km from Ganpatipule and is the birthplace of the famous marathi poet, Narayan Keshavsut.  You can visit a memorial dedicated to him, here.

Bhandarpule Beach

This is a virgin beach with practically no visitors, some 3 km from Ganpatipule.  Awesomely beautiful, the ocean view from this beach takes your breath away. But the sea here can be quite dangerous. Do not swim here.

Jaigad Fort

This ancient 17th century fort is built on a cliff, 35 km from Ganpatipule. Located at the mouth of  the Sangameshwar river, this fort  was built to guard the Jaigad port. Drive your vehicle till the fort entrance and park it outside the gate.  You can walk along the ramparts of the fort, enjoying a splendid view of the sea and the port. You can actually hear the ‘Sound of Silence’ here. It is so very peaceful with lush green vegetation all around. This is a must see place for all inquisitive sight seers.

about ganpatipule-jaigad fort

Prachin Kokan Museum

This museum is a treasure trove of  ancient Konkan history, artifacts, culture and cuisine. Spread over 3 acres, this place offers a view of  practically everything related to Konkan – paintings, handicrafts and indigenous products. You can buy paintings, ayurvedic products and handicrafts from here, among many other things. Feast on Konkan food at Atithya- a konkan restaurant near the premises of the museum

Shopping In Ganpatipule

Shop for local savouries like ambapoli – dried mango pancakes, jackfruit pancakes and chips, kokam kadhi – a sweet sour digestive drink and much more. You can get these from the store attached to hotel Durvankur. Visitors can buy souvenirs and other  memorabilia  from the Prachin Kokan museum.

Jaigad – Tavsal Ferry Boat Service For Motorists – Ganpatipule To Mumbai

We took our car on a local ferryboat service from Jaigad harbour to Tavsal village, the other side of  the Shastri river. From Tavsal, asking the villagers for directions, we drove through some villages and finally reached the NH-17 Mumbai Goa highway. This route saves 100 km i.e. approximately 2 hours of your travel time back to Mumbai.

jaigad ferry to Tavsal - ganpatipule

 

car ferry boat service jaigad tavsal - ganpatipule

Ganpatipule Resorts

Advance hotel booking is a must. It is impossible to find rooms in hotels and resorts after you reach there.  Ideally, ensure that food is a part of your holiday package. A few restaurants and hotels near the bus stand and near the beach are very very crowded at meal times, so much that you may have to wait for your turn. This is unnerving if you are visiting with small kids. Personally, I found the local restaurant food too oily and spicy. Durvankur restaurant near the bus stand and Ganpatipule MTDC restaurant serve good Maharashtrian food. I loved the “Sol Kadhi” and Maharasthrian fish fry at MTDC restaurant. The MTDC resort rooms offer the best view of the beach.

Things to be noted

Avoid swimming in the sea. It can be life-threatening. The waves are strong, huge and tend to pull away the sand beneath your feet. A local guard goes around whistling and warning the beach goers to be near the sea shore, especially  when the high tide sets in.

All in all, a memorable weekend. I would love to be here again!

Bean Bag Chairs And Bean Seats – DIY Furniture

bean bag chairs

Bean bag chairs and seats are simple DIY furniture that you can design yourself. These are affordable pieces of furniture that cost you below Rs.5000. Ideal for students and people living in studio apartments and rented accommodations and for those who are on a shoe string budget. Check out how to use bean bags in multipurpose ways.

How To Make A Bean Bag – Seat

Buy Rexin sheets of your favorite color. Get them stitched from a cushion or mattress maker in the form of seats as shown in the picture. Dimensions of bean bags are 2′ x 2′ x 6″ .  Make 4 or 6 such seats.

how to make a bean bag

Attach a zipper for each bean bag. Stitch small rexine fixers with velcro on the zipper side of the seats.

how to make bean bag - seat and bean bag chair

 

Leave the bean bag – seats as is or stitch fabric covers for these bean bags for a long shelf life. Make sure that these fabric covers are open from the zipper side of each bean seat. Do not fix buttons or zippers to close these covers.

Bean Bags – Multipurpose functionality

Seats For Two

bean bag  chairs and seats

Place the bean bags one on top of the other in two stacks. Now you have seats for two. Place a center table in between. Enjoy a game of cards or a cup of coffee with your friend or partner.

Bean Bag Chairs

bean bag chairs

bean bag chairs

Attach two seats with velcro fixers to form a sort of hinge. Place them as shown below to form bean bag chairs.

bean bag chairs

Bean Bag Bed

Attach 4 bean bags with velcro fixers to form a single line. Cover this with a bed sheet. You have a single bed.

For a double bed, arrange the bean bag seats as shown below. Throw in some colorful cushions and you can call friends overnight or even handle unexpected guests.

bean bag bed

Maintenance Of Bean Bag Seats

Maintenance of bean bag chairs and seats is pretty simple. Wash the fabric covers once in a while. If the seats start flattening, it is time to refill the seats with fresh styrofoam beans. You get a medium sized bag of thermocol for Rs.200- Rs.250, which is not much.

Benefits

Bean bags are multipurpose furniture. You can prop them up against a wall as a chair or even use them as seats, daybeds or beds at night. These save space and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Bean bags are excellent stress busters too. You can comfortably lie on them, watch your favorite TV show or read a book, entertain friends and so on.

Online Grocery Shopping – Bigbasket.com Review

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

Happened to go in for online grocery shopping the other day – I was running short on time for visiting a supermarket and buying stuff. So I decided to buy groceries online at BigBasket.com. I had a wonderful experience. Of course, there are a couple of points that I would like to share with the management. But that is another thing.

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

Last few years have seen a sudden upward spurt in online shopping with people buying almost everything from apparel, electronic goods, books, cosmetics online. Not many have resorted to shopping online for groceries. People are still skeptical about the quality of perishable food items like milk, meat, fresh fruits etc. and the time of delivery – it should be done when people return home from work as is the case in Mumbai and other metro cities.

online grocery shopping - bigbasket.com

 

Online Grocery Shopping At BigBasket.com.

What is BigBasket.com?

BigBasket.com, an initiative of Innovative Retail Concepts Private Limited is a popular online food and grocery store in India. It has a team of experienced professionals from the retail industry, on board. You can shop from an online catalog of several branded products – farm fresh fruits and vegetables to organic products, beverages, spices, pulses, food grains, personal care products, meats and more.

What I liked about online grocery shopping at BigBasket.com

No more parking woes at supermarkets. No long queues at the billing counter. The website interface is very simple and easy to use. The quality of products is good. The best part is they offer four delivery slots as in  7am – 9.30 am, 10 am – 12.30 pm, 4.30 pm – 7 pm and 7.30 pm – 10 pm. You can choose the one best suited to your convenience. Door step delivery is done the very next day of placing an order. They have a cash on delivery option – you can check the products before paying for them. They accept food coupons for food products. You can also pay online using debit/credit cards. Currently they offer services in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Go green with BigBasket.com

These guys are doing their best to save the environment. No plastic bags. They deliver groceries in crates which they take back after delivery. Even the fruit and vegetable trays are taken back and reused. Also, BigBasket.com bring products directly from the wholesaler to your doorstep. They do not store products at storage facilities as is the case of supermarkets. This saves a lot of energy that would have been wasted in lighting and air conditioning , refrigerators and freezers.

A few suggestions though

They deliver groceries in crates. The more number of products you order, the number of crates is higher. This means double trouble for the delivery boy as well as for the elevators. In some housing complexes, elevators are small. In others, housing societies do not permit carrying so many crates in the elevators to higher floors. I wish they would consider using cloth bags instead, for delivery.

Some products like whole grains and pulses are available in standard pack sizes of 500 gm, 1 kg, 5 kg etc. I faced a problem – ours is a family of three – we require only 3 kg of wheat every month. There was no 1 kg pack size option for that particular brand of wheat. So I had to buy 5 kg instead of 3 kg.

Other than these two points, my entire online shopping experience at BigBasket.com was a breeze. The staff is cordial. The delivery guy personally checked if all the items were delivered correctly. As soon as you place an order, you get confirmation via sms, email and phone call. You also have an option of locating your address on google maps. They save this information for later use.

Will stick to BigBasket.com for online grocery shopping every time.

 

Best Soap In India: Anuspa – Pure And Natural Soaps

atural soaps - Anuspa - Herbal Soap

Anuspa range of premium natural soaps is the best soap in India when it comes to skin care. You must be wondering – herbal soap for skin care? I was skeptical initially as my skin is dry and I need a moisturizer 24 hrs a day. The soap pack came with its usual details of ingredients, price et all, which I’m going to share with you later. But what caught my attention was its list of natural ingredients that nourish and soothe your skin.

Best soap in India - Anuspa

Best Soap In India : Anuspa Premium Herbal Soap – Facts

atural soaps - Anuspa - Herbal Soap

Anuspa range of natural soaps are FDA approved and without animal fats. Anuspa herbal soap is a Grade I soap with a T.F.M(total fatty matter) of 80% – means this soap is pure without any fillers. You get a natural spa like bathing experience when using one of these soaps. Further more, these natural soaps have zero alkalinity meaning your skin will not go dry after bath. The fragrance lingers long after your finish bathing. This range of premium natural soaps is promoted by Khadi Gramodyog, India.

Anuspa Herbal Soap – Price

A 125gm pack of this herbal soap costs Rs. 45.

What I Like About Anuspa Premium Herbal Soaps

Your skin gets nourished and pampered. This soap lasts long, really long. The fragrance is uplifting for all your senses. Anuspa herbal soaps are totally safe for children and people with sensitive skin. You would need a moisturiser after bath only during winter season. This soap is perfect for all skin types. The best part is Anuspa offers a lot of variety – They have Anuspa Kesar, Anuspa Honey & Aloevera, Anuspa Sandal, Anuspa Ashtagandha and so on.

Where To Buy Anuspa Premium Herbal Soaps?

You can buy these soaps in supermarkets, Anuspa outlets or online at www.anuspasoap.com. They also offer gift packs for festive occassions. A complete list of retail outlets supplying these soaps is mentioned on their website. Anuspa also has aromatherapy, hair care and biodegradable laundry care products.

What I Do not Like About Anuspa Premium Herbal Soaps

There is nothing that I do not like. Try it to believe. I tried and the results were marvellous.

 

Awesome Ramp Ready Hairstyles With TRESemmé – Pamper Your Tresses

Tresemme Hairfall defense

Hairstyles should flaunt your personality in a flamboyant manner. They must go hand in hand with the kind of dress you wear, with the accessories you choose and your overall look, making you fit for a ramp walk. Picking up the right hairdo for every model is one of the most important aspects of a hair stylist’s job when it comes to a ramp walk. Hairstyles must blend well with current trends, seasons and the outfits you choose to wear.

TRESemmé range of products are the perfect hair stylists for you. You don’t have to be a model to have salon style hair. TRESemmé imparts  a wonderfully manageable and healthy mane besides ensuring that your tresses easily fall into place and carry off any style you give them. I have a mix of wavy and curly hair which turns frizzy at times. TRESemmé softened my hair and actually allowed me to experiment with different hairstyles.

Just follow these steps to have a salon kind of hairstyle. Allow TRESemmé and me of course, to do the honors. After you shampoo and condition your hair with TRESemmé, look at these pictures to work up a ramp ready hair style this summer!

Long Hair Styles For Women

I picked up these hair styles for a nice summery look.

French Braid

Go french this summer with this cute, girlish french braid. Accessorize it with a silver, floral clip.  This hairstyle is great for Friday dressing at office and equally great for hanging out with friends. TRESemmé  hair fall defense conditioner imparted that much needed shine to my hair as seen in this picture. french braid - Tresemme ramp ready hairstyle

Braided Ponytail

A simple ponytail tied with a braid teams well with office wear for a corporate meeting. It can also be used to sport a casual look. This is a super quick hairstyle you can create in minutes. Just tie your hair in a simple ponytail using a rubber band. Take some hair from under the ponytail and fashion a thin braid out of this. Cover the braid over the rubber band and pin it underneath your ponytail with a small hair pin.

braided ponytail - TRESemme ramp ready hair

Butterfly Ponytail

Check out this butterfly ponytail style. Girlish and cute, it looks very trendy. I picked this one from the TRESemmé DIY videos for ramp ready hair.

butterfly ponytail - tresemme

Voluminous One Sided Braid

The voluminous one sided braid from TRESemmé DIY videos is my favorite. I need to perfect it some more, so couldn’t click a picture of myself. But here is a video that demonstrates the voluminous one sided braid.

 

Take a look at the  interactive TRESemmé India Youtube channel featuring Diana Penty who takes you backstage at The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, New York where you can take a look at several simple yet gorgeous hair styles. Go through their DIY videos that walk you through salon style hairdos fit for a stunning ramp walk!

And yes, this write up won me a runner up prize at the TRESemmé Ramp Ready Hair – IndiBlogger Contest!


TRESemmé Ramp Ready Hair - IndiBlogger Contest Runner-up

Pan Fried Fish – Sardines In A Banana Leaf – Kerala Style

fish fry in banana leaf

Pan Fried Fish in a banana leaf  – A  spicy treat that tantalizes your taste buds! Fish fry in banana leaves – Kerala Style – is a healthy recipe!  This post also covers the technique of  using a banana leaf for frying fish on a low flame. Cooking on a low flame makes sure the fish is cooked well, with all flavors seeping into the fish. Let us check out how to make this.

fish fry in banana leaf - recipe

Fish Fry – Sardines In A Banana Leaf

How To Prepare Pan Fried Fish In A Banana Leaf

Ingredients

Sardines – 15 – cleaned and washed. You may use mackarel or any other fish.
Garlic – 10-15 pods
Curry Leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Onion – 1 medium sized
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
Juice of a lemon
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil – 1 and 1/2 tsp

Fish Fry Masala Or Spice Mix

For the masala or spice mix, grind these ingredients to a smooth paste. Marinate the fish with this spice mix for 30 minutes.

Method – Pan Fried Fish In A Banana Leaf

Cut a banana leaf to the size of your frying pan. Apply ½ cooking oil on the frying pan. Place the banana leaf on the pan. Apply 1 tsp cooking oil on the banana leaf. Place 2-3 fish over this leaf. Cover the frying pan for 3 minutes till the fish gets cooked. During this time, the banana leaf may release some water, but do not bother. Now remove the lid of the pan and cook the fish on a low flame, without covering the pan. After 5 minutes, turn the pieces of fish over. Continue frying the fish without covering the frying pan. Your pan fried fish or Kerala fish fry in banana leaves will be ready to eat in 15 minutes.

Health Factor 
Did you notice? We just used one and a half tsp cooking oil for this Kerala fish fry recipe. This recipe tastes just as good as a normal fish fry recipe, without using too much of oil. Also, the smell that emanates when frying fish is minimal if you use banana leaves for the purpose.

In India, plantains are in plenty. You also get fresh banana leaves at the local grocers’ if you place an order for it, a day before. You can substitute banana leaves with any other locally available leaves which are big enough to hold at least 2 pieces of fish.

Bean Bags – Affordable Furniture For Your Home

bean bags

Looking out for some funky soft n squishy pieces of bean bags for lazing around when you get back home from work? You are not alone. Bean bags are in. Every home has one or more bean bags. They are affordable, easy to move and lend a casual appeal to your living room, study and bed rooms.

bean bags

Photo Credits – Chelsea Wa

All About Bean Bags

Bean Bag – Uses

Multifunctional

These are multifunctional pieces of furniture.Watch TV, enjoy a drink or read out bed time stories to kids sitting comfortably in a nice, soft bean bag. Relax and unwind. You can enjoy a short nap or possibly use it for collecting dry clothes, to be folded later. Kids can use these as center tables, for playing board games when friends come over. In fact, children love bean bags as they can jump on them.

Easy Relocation

Bean bags can be easily moved from one area to another. Moving a bean bag is as easy as sliding it from one room to another. You can slide it from your living room to the side of your pool, bask in the sun and enjoy a nice, cool drink. Some people carry bean bags along in their vehicles when camping out or going out for picnics.

Body Support

Pear shaped bean bags offer  great back support as they cover more of your back.

Child Safe

Bean bags have no sharp edges. Their soft nature makes it safe for kids.

Bean Bag – Features

Shapes

Bean bags come in various shapes – typical shapes are bean bag chairs, cylinder, teardrop or sack shaped. Before buying, sit on these and find out which is the best suited to your body type.

Bean Bag Covers

Bean bag covers come in a variety of materials – you get rexine, leather, microfiber, cotton and denim. Rexine or vinyl and leather based bean bag covers have a firm grip on the floor. However, they are also subject to wear and tear especially with kids around. Microfiber, cotton and denim covers last longer, but require periodic washing to keep them clean. Cotton covers need to be really thick else they will not have a firm grip on the flooring. Rexine and leather bean bag covers require minimal cleaning. Wiping with a damp cloth is all that is needed of them.

Bean Bag Filling

You get thermocol fillings i.e. polystyrene for bean bags. A bag costs Rs.200 in Vashi APMC Market, Navi Mumbai. If possible, go green – use recycled polystyrene from older bean bags or packaging material.

Bean Bag Colors

Rexine or vinyl bean bag covers are available in a myriad of colors. Check out Matta Foam House in Turbhe market. This tiny shop is famous throughout Navi Mumbai for autorickshaw seat covers, foam etc. They have rexine of every possible color under the sun. For kids rooms, use bright colors like red, orange or yellow for bean bag covers. Other rooms, you can co-ordinate bean bag colors with the wall color or color of the furnishings. Throw in colorful  or plain cushions to complement the bean bag colors.

Customized Bean Bags

Buy rexine or covering material of your choice. Design a bean bag  yourself. Use different shapes like bean seats, bean bag chairs etc. Get it stitched from tailors who stitch mattresses and mattress covers. Stitch a handle on top for easy lifting. Make sure there is an inner lining of a different material – say curtain lining. Fill this with polystyrene filling.  The bean bag cover goes on top of this. Both the lining and the top cover must have zippers for opening and closing.

BEAN BAG - Rabbit shaped

Rabbit bean bag – Photo Credits – KDL Designs

Look at his rabbit shaped bean bag design. You can use similar designs for smaller bean bags that double up as a back rest or arm rest on a daybed or a Diwan. Experiment with different colors and shapes.

Bean Bags Online

bean bag - buy online

Setner Football Bean Bag

You can buy  such funky bean bag chairs and bean bag furniture online at www.fabfurnish.com for as low a range as ₹799 onwards with free shipping(check shipping T & C for available locations.)

Paper Quilling Basics – How to do paper quilling?

paper quilling - animal shapes

Paper Quilling is an interesting paper craft for kids. FYI, it is also known as Paper Filigree! Summer workshops for kids often incorporate Paper Quilling as part of their programme. You can make all sorts of  wacky paper quilling designs with colorful paper strips.

How to do paper quilling?

Paper Quilling is the art of rolling colorful strips of paper into beautiful three dimensional patterns. The technique of making basic shapes and patterns is discussed here. Finally you have to assemble the different shapes to form awesome designs. It is so simple, my 7 year old son could do this with ease. Of course, I had to pick up the nuances first and then teach him. At the end of this tutorial you will know how to do paper quilling with basic designs.

Paper quilling techniques  – for kids

Paper quilling kit

How to do paper quilling - for kids

Slotted Tool - How to do paper quilling - for kids

For very basic quilling you need a slotted tool, colorful paper strips and a glue stick, that is all.

Paper quilling – How to use the slotted tool?

How to do paper quilling - for kids

Now the slotted tool is like a pen with a slit in its nib. Look at the picture above. Place one end of the paper strip in the slot of the tool and slightly turn this end. Hold the tool in your right hand. Next, place the slotted end with the paper strip between the index finger and thumb of your left hand. Keep rolling till the strip of paper ends. You get a coil. To increase or decrease the size of the coil, leave it loose and vice versa. Finally paste the open end of the coil with glue. This is a closed coil. You can leave this end without gluing it to get an open coil.

Basic quilling patterns

Basic Closed Coil, Arrow and Tear Drop Patterns

How to do paper quilling - basic designs

The basic shape is a closed coil. To get a teardrop, pinch one end of the closed coil. To get an arrow, first make a tear drop. Now make a depression by pinching the rounded corner of the teardrop, twice(Refer the pictures above).To get an eye, first make a teardrop. Then pinch the other rounded corner of the teardrop. So a coil and a teardrop are the simplest of all shapes. Once you master these shapes, the remaining shapes can be made easily.

More quilling patterns

Shapes - Paper Quilling

 

Paper quilling designs

You can use paper quilling patterns for a variety of designs. Make a beautiful scenery by quilling flowers, sun, clouds etc. and frame it. You can ask your kid to narrate a story based on this picture. My little one made a rabbit eating a carrot. Look at the picture below.

Paper quilling – Scenery

How to do paper quilling - designs

Paper quilling – Envelope design

How to do paper quilling - Envelope design

Use paper quills to decorate ornate envelopes and wedding cards.

Quilling Cards

How to do paper quilling -  Card making Photo Credits: Yamunah2002

Make beautiful greeting cards with paper quilling. You can also use paper quilling for scrapbook embellishments.

Paper Quilling – Animals

How to do paper quilling  - animal shapes

Check out these cute animals made by paper quilling techniques. Make paper quilling patterns from different colored strips. Draw a beautiful design or scenery on a thick sheet of chart paper and paste these patterns in accordance with quilling designs.

Advanced paper quilling requires a quilling needle, quilling comb, quilling board, tweezers and pins. Once you master the basics, you can learn advanced paper quilling techniques all by yourself using these  materials.