kalavantin durg

Kalavantin Durg – Can You Climb This?

kalavantin durg
source: Rohit Gowaikar via cc SA 2.0

Kalavantin Durg – Trekker’s Paradise

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.

kalavantin durg trek
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!

Keratin Hair Treatment

Keratin Hair Treatment – Do you really need it?

Today almost every young woman or girl wishes to flaunt hair like this!

keratin hair treatment

Source: studio1452 Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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

Button Crafts: 6 Fun And Simple Ideas For Kids

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.

6 Easy Button Crafts

Button Tree

button crafts

via www.craftsbyamanda.com

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.

button bookmarks via iheartnaptime.net

Cool Button Cards

Greetings with lovely button designs can put a smile on everyones’ faces. Make a nice little card with a cute design. Glue on buttons in place of flowers, balloons etc.

button card

via Dana Grothaus

button crafts

via pinterest.com

Lovely Button Flowers

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.

button flowers

 

via gestpotvoojou.nl

Button Caterpillar – Ain’t he cute?

button crafts

via pinterest.com

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?

Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bite Allergy

Mosquito Bite Allergy- Natural Remedies For Children

Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bite Allergy

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

mosquito bite allergy

Aloe Vera

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.

natural remedies for mosquito bite allergy

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.

Triphala Bath

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!

Dress appropriately

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

mosquito bite allergy - natural remedies - camphor

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

mild soap for children - skin allergy

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.

Build Immunity

Chyawanprash for immunity

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.

Essay On If I Win KBC for Grade IV Essay Writing Contest

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.

digital printed cushion covers

Stunning Digital Print Cushion Covers

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.

digital printed cushion covers

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.

digitally printed cushion covers

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.

buddha cushion cover

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?

 

curry tree

Amazing Natural Fertilizer For Curry Leaf Plant

I was looking for a safe to use, natural fertilizer for curry leaf plant. I love my curry leaf plant; and not without reason. South Indian cooking can’t do without the inclusion of green, fragrant curry leaves. These leaves are packed with medicinal magic. They’re good for your hair and aid digestion. These also help in keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. These leaves also top the list of herbs that facilitate anti-ageing.

It broke my heart to see an army of slimy slugs making a meal of my plant. I did get rid of the slugs, but my plant was reduced to a mere stick with a few leaves on it.

Natural Fertilzer For Curry Leaf Plant

curd - natural fertilizer for curry leaf plant

That’s when my mom came visiting. She loves gardening and is an expert at it. She made a quick solution of 3 teaspoons of sour curd in 2 cups of water. This was poured at the base of the curry leaf plant. “ Of all things CURD?”, I thought. This actually worked like magic. Two weeks later, my curry leaf plant grew taller, stronger and greener with lots of aromatic leaves.  The trick is to keep using the sour curd fertilizer for your curry leaf plant thrice a week, initially. Later on, once a week is more than enough.

Natural fertilizers are the best for your vegetable garden. Note that curd has so far worked only for the curry leaf plant. I am yet to try this on other plants.

I have since then given more importance to natural pesticides for plants as well. In case we have another aphid infestation or slug attack, I’m better prepared to handle it.

 

Photo Credits: Curry Leaves – dlanglois  CC BY-SA 3.0, text added
Curd – ji-elle CC BY-SA 3.0, text added

short_horror_stories

7 Nightmarish Short Horror Stories You’ve Ever Read

short_horror_stories

In the dead of the night, an eerie sound cuts across the silence and then the clock strikes twelve. Then what? Tired of similar stuff? It’s time for a nice, creepy horror story that sends shivers down your spine. Check out these short horror snippets submitted by users in response to an Ask Reddit thread for 2 sentence horror stories.

The response was good with lots of ghost stories in two sentences, that’s all.  Enough for you to turn on the lights in the middle of the night, today!

Photo credits:bigmacsc99 CC BY-ND 2.0 Text Added

7 Best Short Horror Stories You’ve Ever Heard Of

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horror_story

short_horror_stories

short_horror_stories

short_horror_stories

short_horror_stories

short_horror_stories

Did you enjoy these? Do you have any more horror snippets that we could share here? Do let me know!

 

oil for hair growth

DIY Oil for Hair Growth – My Personal Favorite!

oil for hair growth

Gorgeous hair makes you stand apart. It makes you look and feel good about yourself. However, changing seasons, stress, poor hygiene and harsh chemical treatments, all contribute to frizzy, brittle and lacklustre hair.  What you need is a nourishing oil for hair growth that strengthens your hair from root to tip and conditions it evenly.

Check out this homemade oil for long, black hair – recipe handed over to my mom from her mom and so on. This hair oil recipe uses coconut oil as the base plus four magic ingredients that constitute a complete hair care package.

Oil For Hair Growth: DIY Recipe

homemade oil for hair

Fenugreek Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Holy Basil (Tulsi) leaves – 10-15
Henna leaves – 10 -15
Hibiscus leaves – 3 (pinch them into tiny bits)
Coconut oil – 5 tablespoons

oil for hair growth

Warm some coconut oil in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Do not boil the oil. Add the remaining ingredients to the oil. Turn off the heat immediately. Keep it open for an hour. After an hour, strain the oil and store it in a bottle. The quantity of ingredients specified above will be sufficient for a week.

How to use this oil for hair growth?

homemade hair oil

Oil your hair from root to tip every alternate day. Massage it into your scalp in circular movements, for 5 minutes. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a shampoo suited to your hair type.  Working professionals can do this after returning home from work. You will see encouraging results in a month’s time.

Why is this oil good for hair growth?

This homemade oil is fortified with the goodness of coconut oil, fenugreek, tulsi, henna and hibiscus.

Fenugreek prevents dandruff and conditions your hair. Hibiscus and henna leaves strengthen the hair roots and arrest hair fall. They work together to prevent greying. Tulsi keeps your hair free from dandruff, nits and lice. It also reduces hair fall.  In case you’re unable to procure Henna or Mehendi leaves, you can use dried pieces of Amla or Indian Gooseberry instead.

Want long and healthy Rapunzel tresses? Try this oil for hair growth and let me know how it goes.

coconut oil for skin

9 Compelling Reasons To Use Coconut Oil For Skin

coconut oil for skin

Coming from a tropical country with diverse climatic features, I’ve been told about the numerous uses of coconut oil a zillion times and more by my mom. Women from South India sport long, thick, black hair that is not so common elsewhere. People here use coconut oil liberally over their bodies for overall skin protection. Coconut trees abound in plenty down south. Each and every part of the coconut tree can be used. We’ll save that for later…However, let me give you 9 convincing reasons why you must use coconut oil for skin. Read on to know some non-messy, beneficial coconut oil recipes for an amazingly soft and radiant looking skin.

Why Should I Use Coconut Oil For Skin?

The goodness of coconut oil is mainly due to its chemical composition. It is rich in saturated fats – making it an excellent moisturizer. It penetrates deep down to the innermost layers of your skin and retains the moisture content. Coconut oil has three important germ fighting agents for effective anti-microbial action – caprylic, capric and lauric acids. Next in line is Vitamin E that has anti-oxidant properties. It protects your skin from age spots, wrinkles and premature ageing. Proteins come last – These help your skin to rebuild injured tissue and reduce the noticeability of scars. No wonder coconut oil is used in so many skin care creams.

How to use coconut oil for skin?

It is not without reason that I like coconut oil so much. It is light, spreads easily and is readily absorbed. Unlike olive oil or other skin care creams, you will not find any trace of this oil after applying. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind.

Check out the numerous benefits of coconut oil with these time tested skin care methods.

Skin cleansing with coconut oil

Dab a small cotton ball with a few drops of coconut oil. Use it to remove makeup and dirt from your face. It cleanses your skin thoroughly. Incorporate this with your daily skin care regimen. Trash all those silly, expensive cleansing creams and lotions. For people prone to break outs, you can simply wash the oil off with a mild face wash after cleansing.

Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks

Pregnant women can rub their lower abdomen with a few drops of pure, virgin coconut oil twice daily thru pregnancy and nursing to reduce the occurrence of ugly stretch marks.

Coconut Oil for Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

This actually worked for me. Before you retire for the night, take two drops of coconut oil and rub it gently into the area surrounding your eyes. A circular motion with your index finger is preferred. You will notice an immediate difference in a week’s time. The wrinkle busting properties of coconut oil work wonders for dark circles, under eye bags and puffiness.

Coconut Oil as Insect Repellent

Here is a good natural insect repellent formula that you can try for kids.
Take 1 small cup of coconut oil in a small pan. Heat it lightly. Add a few basil (tulsi) or neem leaves. Keep it for a day and then strain. Rub a few drops of this mix on the exposed areas of your kids’ arms and legs, before they set out to play. This will keep pesky mosquitoes and other insects away from your kids.

Alternatively, you can add 2 tablets of camphor to some hot coconut oil. Allow it to cool, then apply on exposed areas of your skin. Mosquitoes will skip buzzing around you.

Coconut Oil for Cuts, Wounds, Insect Bites and Skin Rashes

In case of wounds, cuts, scrapes or insect bites, you can trust coconut oil to the core. My son either scrapes a knee or gets pinched sore at school or gets pricked by mosquitoes when out playing in the park. Coconut oil does the healing trick for him. You should see how fast a wound starts to heal with coconut oil. You may also use this oil to treat diaper rash in babies. Coconut oil soothes allergic skin rashes.

Coconut Oil for Eczema and Candida

This oil is anti fungal in nature. Of course you need to consult a medical practitioner for both these conditions, but using coconut oil externally on the affected areas provides instant relief from itching and pain.

Coconut Oil as a Deodorizer

This is for people who sweat a lot and end up smelling nasty. Rub a few drops of coconut oil into your arm pits. Use a very minute quantity though. It shouldn’t stain your clothes. It kills odour causing microbes, keeping you fresh all day long.

Coconut Oil for Moisturizing your Skin

People with dry and normal skin tones can use coconut oil as a moisturizer before going to bed. Make sure that you cleanse and wash your face before applying this oil. A few weeks of use and you’ll see encouraging results. Do not leave it on acne prone skin, though. This Works well on chapped, dry lips too.

Coconut Oil for Chapped Nails

Apply coconut oil directly over chapped, yellow nails and cuticles. This nourishes your nails and makes them look prettier. Keep your nails free of polish for at least a week’s time when trying this out.

That’s it for now.

Have you ever tried coconut oil for skin? Do share your thoughts and any tested methods using coconut oil for skin.

Image Credits: Chandrika Nair licensed  under CC BY 2.0/ Text Added to original


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