Wednesday, May 25, 2016

6 Ways to use Baby products in your Beauty Routine

Having just delivered a baby girl means I have a lot of baby products scattered around my home and these days I am trying new hacks and using my babies stuff in my beauty routine.

Using baby shampoo for cleaning my makeup brushes and baby oil as makeup remover is something common for me but here I will tell you some genius ways to use baby products.

Why use baby products?

They are formulated keeping the gentle baby skin in mind and so it is safe to use by people of all ages. Baby products dont have harsh chemicals so it can be used by beauties of all skin types, even sensitive skin

1. Clean your make up brushes with Baby Shampoo:

Makeup brushes need to be cleaned from time to time to get rid of product build up and bacteria. These brushes need to be given special care while cleansing or you end up damaging them.  Use a mild baby shampoo to properly clean your expensive makeup brushes , clean them like you clean your hair and then pat then gently and dry on a newspaper or a towel. Say hi to softer and cleaner brushes without having to invest on expensive brush cleansers

2. Shampoo your hair with baby shampoo

It is quiet difficult to find a SLS free shampoo in India and if you are looking for one the best option for you is Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Baby shampoos dont have harsh cleansing agents and are very mild making it ideal for use if you are having a head bath daily. It is best to use baby shampoo in summers when you will have a bath daily which will keep you fresh without stripping your scalp of natural  oils.

3. Baby powder as dry shampoo

Dry shampoos are very popular these days. A dry shampoo basically absorbs oil from your hair and makes it non greasy without you having to get under the shower. When you are in a hurry and having a shower isnt an option  sprinkle baby powder on your hair and comb nicely so it reaches your roots and all oil is absorbed.  Comb a bit more so the baby powder completely vanishes off from your hair and TADA .. cheapest dry shampoo!
Pro Tip: Use Baby powder with cornstarch not talc for best results.

4. Baby oil as makeup remover:

These days I am using a deep pore cleanser from lakme which easily removes makeup but earlier I used baby oil to remove makeup. On a cotton ball put some baby oil and wipe your water proof makeup away. Even these days i use baby oil to remove makeup when Iam wearing water proof mascara.  This is inexpensive and gentle way to get rid of makeup as many makeup removers I have used are drying and harsh. If you are a beginner or want something gentle to remove eye makeup try baby oil.

5. Healing cracked feet with baby oil:

In winters I massage baby oil on my feet to get rid of dryness and keep cracked heels at bay. You can follow this routine by wearing socks to bed for added impact but I dont do this because winters in Bangalore are rarely that cold. If you have rashes on feet because of tight footwear or wearing heels for long time also you can do a baby oil massage for healing.

6. Long lasting lipstick with Baby powder:

I hate lipsticks which transfer and I use this trick to make the gorgeous red rose shade from lotus herbals transfer proof and long lasting. Just swipe lipstick the normal way and put a thin tissue paper on and dust some baby powder with a blush brush on the tissue paper. Apply another coat of lipstick and follow the same tissue trick and your lip colour should budge all day. This also makes your lip colour look more matte bring down the shine.

Do you use any baby product in your beauty routine? share with me in comments below.

Still next time
Stay gorgeous :)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Exploring REAL India - An escape to Village Calm

Unplanned rapid development, traffic overload and high pollution are terms associated with Bangalore these days. I remember the good old days about a decade back, streets lined with trees, cool weather all year round and so much calm. 
I miss those days and when i was talking about old Bangalore charm, hubby suggested we go off on a vacation away from the hustle bustle of city life. We all need a break from the tensed and busy lives and vacations are the best way to unwind, relax and bust the stress. 

The burning question was where to go?  I dint want anything boring like the normal sight seeing so I chose to explore and reconnect with my roots, villages of lucknow. 

So it was decided, one week of exploring the essence of REAL India with just a camera , no laptops and limited smartphone connectivity. This was going to be an  exciting vacation because it would be our first one with our 3 year old. Yes three years since our last proper holiday together, this had to be exciting and fun.
We booked Spicejet Airlines tickets from Bangalore to Lucknow . On reaching Lucknow airport from Airlines we headed to the charbagh railway station to catch a train for Lakhimpur . We could reach Lakhimpur even by catching a bus from Aishbagh but our little one had never experience train travel and this was the best chance to introduce him to Indian railways. 

On reaching charbagh my battery was already drained, I brought some magazines and comics for my kid and we entered the local train and grabbed a window seat. A lot had changed in lucknow, the last time I had boarded a train from charbagh was like 8 years ago. The journey which was to last a good 5 hours stretched to a grinding 8 hours because well thats how trains in the north worked. some things had not changed after all. But it was  a fun  journey which my kid is sure to remember all his life.  Watching lush green fields pass by and train coming to halt at various small stations was an experience in itself . 
The day flew by and at Lakhimpur railway station my cousin was waiting to pick us up. We would be staying at his place for the day. Next day we borrowed his car and from there we were off to explore rugged villages of Uttar Pradesh and pay super short visits to our distant relatives who lived there. 

From Lakhimpur we headed to patrasi village where we have some relatives. On our way to patrasi we stopped at sharda nagar which is a hamlet of sorts in kheri tehsil. Sharda river flows through sharda nagar and the view from here is majestic and calming. This place isnt flocked by tourists because it is so deep into village area away from town or city dwellings. We also stopped at a sugar mill and our tiny tot was excited to see bullock carts and tractors loaded with sugar canes parked all around the place. We even pulled out some sugar canes and chewed on the fresh raw cane. After this we were very tired and decided to go straight to patrasi .

When we reached Patrasi it was around 6 PM and it was already very dark with just some street lights scattered here and there, patrasi village seemed to have already called it a night. The freshness in the air was refreshing and all my husband was worried about was finding a charging point :D . Our aunt in patrasi had already prepared a lavish meal which consisted of lauki ke kofte, shami kebab and roti and we ate like crazy because we had lunch early in the day and hadnt stopped at any hotel because we could not find any good one on our way.  Next our aunt laid our beds on a charpai and while my boy dozed off I sat down to chat with my cousins and aunt, we had so much catching up to do.

Next morning we woke up early, we wanted to explore the real village, the vast green fields. My aunt has some acres of fields in which they cultivate sugarcane and wheat, it was time to witness the lush green crops. The crops were at a short distance from my aunts place so she suggested we take the neighbors horse carriage to the fields. Ofcourse we could even take the car, but whats the fun in that? Taking the horse driven tonga was a different experience altogether. My little one was both scared of being driven by an animal and excited too, but soon his fear vanished he was seen excitedly talking with the tonga wallah, asking him ye kya hai, abhi kitni door and stuff!

In the sugarcane fields it was like a lavish resort view. Trees of poplur lined at the edges of fields while sugar canes covered vast acres. Wheat fields were stretches of brown with not a faint sign of green, this wheat was ready for harvest explained my uncle. The fields of sugar cane also had some Jamun trees and the tonga wallah climbed up the tree to pluck out some fresh jamuns for us. The jamuns were amazingly sweet and fresh. We also toured some neighboring fields of peppermint and corn and by noon the sun came out in full glory and we had to find a shady spot or get sun baked. We decided to go back home as I was already tired. 

At home we had a quick lunch and a relaxed afternoon nap after which we decided to explore the small lake near the village. At the lake we saw many children having bath, some carrying clay mud in buckets and some guys fishing. It was a very raw sight. My aunt explained the mud was making chulhas on which roti is grilled.  
We stayed in Patrasi for 3 more days, exploring their small little market where we get the most colourful bangles , visited neighbors who wanted all details about the big city Bangalore. Infact one neighbour was asking me about cricket match in bangalore cinnaswamy stadium.

After a week of serenity, bliss and village calm we headed back to catch a flight from lucknow to Bangalore. This vacation was super light on pocket and rich in memories. My tiny boy is already planning his next village vacation.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

9 Fun & Edgy Kurti Styles to try this Summer

Comfortable and stylish kurtis are the best way to dress up this summer. But the same styles of straight cut kurtas and anarkali style kurtas can get boring so its time to explore new styles, prints, cuts and fabrics.

I myself love kurtis a LOT and have loads of them in my wardrobe in a variety of colours but this season I got experimental and added some very hatke designs. Here I will tell you about some very edgy kurti styles to up your style game this summer .

Shirt kurti

Move away shirt dress, it is now time to flaunt the shirt kurti. A modern twist to the traditional kurtis, shirt kurti is perfect for office wear. Pair with leggings or jeans and skip the dupatta and you are good to go. Simple and fuss free. You can even add a belt to the look for  more casual feel.

Kaftan style kurti

Breezy kaftans are the best resort wear and the all new kaftan inspired kurtis are best way to style up for summer.

Asymmetrical Kurti: 

At present this is my favourite kurti style. I like to call them hi-low hemline kurtas and they are super chic . I have worn many of this bright asymmetrical kurtis for festivals and parties making this style ideal for occasional wear. I have a floral one from glam and Luxe, and one in jungle print from medhira. I am lookng to ading more to my collecton as this kurti style fetches me the maximum compliments with minimal efforts.

Tulip cut kurti

Also a version of asymmetrical kurta, I first spotted the tulip kurta on yami gautami and fell in love. it is best to pair this type of kurti with dhoti pants or patialas.

Angrakha Kurti:

The angrakha style in kurtis isnt a new trend but these days brands are really upping their style game and coming up with plethora of angraka styles. Choose something different to standout in this traditional style.

Dhoti kurti

The dhoti saree drape style and dhoti pants are raging hot fashion trends this season and not too fat behind is the dhoti kurti. The draped style kurti is very contemporary and  will be perfect for parties and occasions.

Long straight kurtas:

I like my kurtis short but this recent trend extra long kurtas have caught my eye and Iam ready to experiment . I brought a shree long kurta from flipkart and paired it with leggings and it looked super chic.  I did pair my long kurta with leggings but the best way to style them is to pair with contrast coloured palazzos.

Floor length anarkali kurta with front slit:

Floor length anarkali kurtas have been here for a long time but the new trend emerging is a high slit in the middle. the slit opens up beautifully when you walk giving a stylish edge to your simple kurti without adding any accessories to your look. Anita dongre, anushree reddy and sonam and paras modi all have been creating outfits with this style.

Front side slit kurtas:

side slit kurtas are the most comfortable and easy to manage but these all new kurtas with just a single slit in the side are chic and stylish. Pair them with slik pants or palazzo pants and some statement earrings for a party look.

Which kurti style are you loving these days? 

Monday, May 02, 2016

10 Foods to avoid while Breastfeeding

If you do follow my posts on blingsparkleblog you already would know about c- section delivery of my second born . Unlike my first child where I foolishly chose to bottle feed, this time even before my baby girl was born I have made a resolve to exclusively breast feed.

I am happy to report that my 2.5 month old bundle of joy is being exclusively breast fed and I am loving the whole experience of nurturing my little one closely.

After My C section my doctor asked me to eat anything and everything I desire including non veg, but if you are breastfeeding it is better to avoid certain foods which can cause problems for your baby.

Breast feeding need to take extra care of themselves and should never skip meals. If you do want to shed the extra weight you gained while pregnant I suggest you wait for  6 months before going on a diet. Eating regular nutritious meals means your little one is being properly nourished and it also helps increase your milk supply.

Here in this post I will talk about foods to avoid while you breast feed. You dont have to completely avoid these foods as taking them in small quantities will bring no harm but it is best to stay away if you can. Please note not all babies are same and some babies can react differently to different foods so it is important to watch your baby closely to see if he reacts differently to certain foods  and avoid them too..

Overdose of caffienated drinks can keep you baby awake for longer intervels by interrupting his sleep. Sounds scary? Then avoid more than two cups of coffee or tea a day. If you are addicted to tea try herbal tea like chamomile tea.

Chocolate has caffiene content and so it should be consumed in limited amounts .

The herb peppermint is known to dry up milk supply and so is not recommended while breastfeeding. You can have an occasional cup of peppermint tea but if you already have low supply of milk then avoid it totally.

If you exclusively breastfeed alcohol consumption is a big no becuase it gets into breast milk and hinder babys growth and sleep. If you do end up drinking a glass of beer then wait for 2 hours before your breastfeed your baby. If you use a breast pump then pump up milk before you consume alcohol .

Spicy Foods:
I havent stopped having spicy foods and my baby is perfectly fine. But eating too spicy foods can make your baby irritant.

Citrus fruits:
Citrus fruits can make your infant fussy and also cause diaper rashes. it is best to eat fruits like mangoes and pineapples instead of  oranges .

Almost 95% of what i cook involves garlic so I havent completely avoided garlic from my diet , but over doing it isnt good for babies.

Roadside foods: 
This is a no brainer unhealthy chats and road side foods are bad even for your health which can negatively impact your baby.

Gassy foods: 
Gassy vegetables like cabbage,cauliflower and onions can cause discomfort in babies but it is not the only reason why your baby maybe having gas issues. So monitor your baby and eliminate these vegetables if you find him getting fussy .

High Mercury Fish:
Fish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids but they may also contain high amounts of mercury content which isnt good for baby's developing nervous system. This doesnt mean you should totally avoid sea food, you can have it in small doses

Additional tips

- Breastfeeding moms should drink lots of water
- Dont indulge in low carbohydrate diet to loose baby weight. Wait for 6 months before you start this
- If you find your little one is unusally fussy and feel he maybe having problems because of what you ate, then monitor what you ate 2-6 hours before nursing.
-You dont really need a special diet while breastfeeding, just eat healthy .

Do you have more breastfeeding nutrition tips? Please do share them in comments below.

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