Posted in travel

Radium Hot Springs – Fall 2021

Located in Kootenay National Park, Radium Hot Springs offers an expansive hot pool to soak in, or cool off with the kids. The route to Radium from Calgary along the highway 93 is extremely picturesque. its a no network zone and totally worth it to enjoy nature’s beauty.

Posted in Just for Moms

9 Months in 9 Months out

Being a Mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fever you never knew existed.

In the July of 2019 my oven detected a bun and a lot has changed ever since. This was also the time my husband and I had just immigrated to Canada, Yes! So two weeks after landing as PR residents in Canada we got’ The News’, honestly I was happy but so so worried, tensed, lost, emotional and much much more than I can’t put into words. We decided to take a deep breath and start one day at a time.

Once my health card was in I got in touch with an obstetrician who would take care of my health and the babies for the next 9 months. The maternity clinic I choose did an extensive understanding of my health background, family and my current situation in Canada. Here was where I saw a shining ray of hope that things are going to get better. They introduced me to ‘Best Beginning’ program which assisted me with everything related to pregnancy outside the clinic. I was so grateful for all the help this beautiful program extended and helped me through my 9 months.

Now cut to the dreadful first trimester. So after gross vomiting of 3 days when I found out the reason for it in the first place little did i know that it wouldn’t leave till I went into labor. Hyperemesis gravidarum, (an extreme form of morning sickness) was a condition I had which happens to like 1 in 50 women, what were the odds!!! 50 nausea pills, lots of tumbs and a temporarily developed motion sickness later I was just done with being pregnant already. Man being pregnant is not easy only a Mother can understand this statement to the core. So I remember it was only in my second trimester around my birthday that I started feeling a little better (less vomiting a little of eating) You won’t believe when I say this, I lost 6 kilos in my first trimester. Shocked?

So this is when you think yay now its going to be a smooth journey, stop! continue reading. My dietician checked in with me and gave me a heads up my Iron has fallen and it will continue to fall considering I am not eating much and the baby is absorbing it all. So I had to eat like every 1-2 hours and be wise about what I choose as it had to be beneficial. I looked pale and sick, well staying at home most of the time also added to the misery. So i decided to enroll myself with a Childcare Development program for the next 3 months. It took my mind off stuff, I became certified as a level 1 childcare worker and made so many new friends. Among all this juggling I was also planning my baby registry and nesting for the little arrival. This was by far the best part of my pregnancy 😍.

After like 36 weeks of having a bun in my oven I was anxious and eager as to when will SHE (yes i knew the gender) arrive. I did duck walks, squats, ate all sorts of stuff that induces labor because it kind of gets saturating as your due date closes in. But she had decided she will be punctual and enjoy her time inside. Yes on the day of my due date at 4:30am was when I started my contractions. The next night at 2:46am I pushed her out of me. (My labor story is damn intense, but that’s for another time)

Holding and cuddling her in my arms for the first time made me forget the last 9 months. And soon after began the next 9 months of sleepless nights, leaking boobs, grow spurts, cluster feeds and sore nipples. Its not a fairy tale, so no happily lived ever after. Just kidding! But yeah motherhood is tons and tons of perseverance but I mean it when I say that one look at your baby and it all seems to go away. Watching her grow everyday gave birth to a different me. Living through her milestones gave me happiness like never before. I remember her first smile, laugh, coohoo, babble, flip, crawl, step. Wow writing this is making my lips spread from end to end. This was just the part I could put into words, there is so much beyond this.

Everytime I look at her it reminds me how strong, courageous and powerful I am.

Posted in Just for Moms

How To Entertain A New Born

Born in the era of lock-down my lil munchkin couldn’t be taken out of home fearlessly. And we obviously wanted to be safe and keep others safe too. The initial month and half went by just adjusting to being a new mommy (for me) and by sleeping, eating, pooping (for my baby). As days passed and she started developing a sense of understanding, she began to feel bored if left by herself. So for her to be happy and for me to complete my chores I started experimenting with her. For all you new mommys and mom to bes out here I am listing down things that really worked out for my baby. This list is not a rule book as every kid is different and so are their interests.

So here it goes:

  1. Supervised tummy time worked wonders for me. The day I returned from the hospital my husband and I started laying her flat on her tummy. Tummy time not only helps to reduce the incidence of flat spots, it also helps your baby strengthen the muscles in her arms, chest, and neck—muscles needed for sitting, crawling, and walking.
  2. I put on soothing music while she lays in her bassinet. She used to love listening to the different melodies and nature sounds.
  3. Massage has become a playful routine for my baby and me and helped me bond with my her. Massage can soothe your baby and help her to sleep. It has many added benefits for your baby, including improving weight gain, aiding digestion, improving circulation, and easing teething pain.
  4. Singing a soothing song or lullaby and slowly swaying her. This can also be done to put your baby to sleep if she had difficulty sleeping on her own.
  5. I read books to her which consists of black and white images. I use to place those images in front of her to observe. Newborns’ color perception is limited to white, black and shades of grey, they love to look at high-contrast black-and-white patterns, which stand out in their blurry worlds, attracting their attention and helping them focus.
  6. I use to look right into her eyes and smile, she would look right back at me and smile even laugh at times (I still don’t know what made her laugh), you can also make other expressions and talk to them for your infant to study, learn, and imitate.
  7. Once I was comfortable with her basic day to day care giving I began taking her for walks in the stroller. I kept her completely covered and left just a little window open for her to notice the change in surrounding and breathe in fresh air.

As she keeps getting bored often and wants new entertainment I have a few things planned out. I have ordered a discovery cube to support her sensory development. Keep an eye on my Instagram page for a review and pictures. I am also planning to order a baby swing, it will be a fun and playful experience for her I am hoping. I also have a rocking chair with colourful rattles hanging above to develop her grabbing skills.

That’s all folks, hope this blog helps you in creating beautiful memories and having a wonderful time with you new born. If there are some more toys and activities that have worked well for your baby do mention them in the comments.

Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Reading: Is it a Dying Hobby?

Recently, when I told my friend that I was not finding enough time to read, she scoffed at me and said, “Who even reads anymore? Don’t you have a phone to keep you updated?” That sentence was such a jolt to me, and I realized that a majority of people consider reading a waste of time, thanks to the digital age. Whether you are an adult or a child, everyone is engrossed in all kinds of digital mediums, making reading an obsolete hobby.

If you come to think of it, an increasing number of people are reading, but that does not amount to traditional reading. ‘Reading’ as a hobby is diminishing, and for book enthusiasts like myself, it is disheartening, to say the least. More and more bookstores are closing down, and that is a disturbing trend.

Sometimes it makes me think if words will be lost collectively; whole words, paragraphs, texts- all gone from collective memory. All we will be left with will be short-forms, 240 character tweets, and Instagram captions. Books are relevant only when someone reads it, otherwise its nothing but sacrificed forests. Wouldn’t such a world be bleak? I shudder to think.

Our younger generation is far engrossed in consuming short, easy, digestible content due to which they are unable to commit to reading a book. Because reading a book is a commitment you make to yourself; without that commitment in place, reading is nothing but a chore. I am appalled at the lack of love for reading in today’s youth. But I realize that visual storytelling is what they enjoy the most. A medium where you do not have to wait for what will happen next, the information is dished out in a matter of a few hours. Alas! The love for reading is diminishing.

Inculcate the habit of reading in children

I agree that there are several factors influencing the choice of visuals over reading, but in my opinion, parents also play a huge role. The ease that electronic devices provide has convinced parents that not reading will not harm their child as they are learning in any case. That attitude is also a significant reason for reading to become obsolete. I, as a parent, have filled an entire library full of books and insist my children give time to reading. Little efforts from parents can help inculcate the right reading attitude. I urge one and all, give reading a little bit more importance!

To conclude, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

Posted in travel

The Weekend Retreat

Lake at Nandanvan Farms

Weekends these days have become more and more about a get away, staycation, disappearing into the woods. After a hectic and busy week we all want to be away from the hustling city to breathe in serenity and tranquillity. Although Mumbai is surrounded by a bunch of resorts very few live up to the expectations and provide the ambience we are thirsty for.

Cycling our way to the resort

Last weekend I visited a new upcoming resort in the outskirts of Pune and believe me it was worth traveling so much and enjoying time with family away from social media. Nandanvan Farms is a dream of a man who wants to provide a haven for everyone who knocks on his door. From a massive play court to cosy rooms to a refreshing lake side view they have really developed a retreat.I know you’ll are thinking what about the food? Their have barbeque night, finger licking deserts and chefs here can cook some great cuisines.

Pool side with rain dance

We reached Nandanvan Farms in the afternoon and grab lunch quickly. There was coal chicken, mouth melting brinjal curry, butter chicken and jeera rice. For dessert they served hot halwa which was truly delicious. We rested a bit and spent the evening in the pool and did I mention they have rain dance too. The dip in the pool was so refreshing, quite a relief from the heat. Soon after we jumped off the pool they had hot tea ready with bhajjis. My mouth waters as I write about the food here. Since we were already tired by now after the eventful day our eyes set on the play court and oh boy we couldn’t resist. Boys lingered around the billiards table, I ran towards the foosball table (can’t express how much I love it) and those left took up table tennis or the carrom board. Just to add to the activities they have there is badminton, boating, kite flying, cycling and a lot more. So you basically don’t want to go to your room.

It was soon time for dinner and our barbeque night began. I was so dunked into the tikkas I forgot to click pics of take videos of the meat grilling. My best dish of the night was creamy malai tikka and barbequed mushrooms. I can’t count how many pieces I ate. With an overflowing tummy it was finally time to hit the bed.

The next morning after breakfast which was eggs and malpuas we decided to take a walk by the lake obviously to shoot picturesque photos. I then sweated playing badminton and enjoyed every bit of the physical workout it made me do. The other ladies went cycling around the lake and had a pleasant time too.

I decided to rest in my room for a bit before lunch because I realised it’s Monday tomorrow. After a succulent Chinese lunch and lots of sheerkhurma (made for us on demand) we packed a bag full of memories and left for our abode.

Posted in Lifestyle

Joy of Street Shopping Rediscovered!

With the advent of malls and high-end shopping, the street shopping culture is slowly fading away. Apart from young college students, we don’t see a lot of people opting to rummage through the long line up of similar looking street stalls selling absolutely everything under the sun. Ah! The wonderful days of youth are mighty missed. I have observed that the present generation is more focussed on online buying or popping up to a nearby mall for a quick purchase. The charm of street shopping is inadvertently fading. 

Restraining myself from lamenting about the good old days, here are 4 street shopping areas across the globe that you must visit!

1. Colaba Causeway, Mumbai, India

For someone who is looking for a complete immersive street shopping experience, Colaba Causeway is their best bet. One of the most eclectic places to visit, it is a complete shoppers paradise. Home to products ranging from clothes, to ethnic jewelry, shoes and also books, this place is a must visit for those who love to roam the streets. However, make sure you bargain profusely since this is one of the most visited places by tourists. 

If you find yourself feeling famished with so much of shopping, visit the famous Cafe Leopold or Cafe Mondegar, two of the oldest cafes out there.

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Colaba Causeway, Mumbai

2. Khan-e-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt

Wouldn’t it be a lot of fun if you could access medieval malls? Khan-e-Khalili is just that! It is one of the most vibrant markets, selling hordes of products that range from soaps, clothes, toys to souvenirs and marble items. This open air market is traditionally known as a ‘Souk’ and is a perfect amalgamation of old world charm with new age products! The market itself was once the financial center of the Fatimid Era, and then became the trade center in later years. Today it serves as a must-visit market, especially of you are interested in local knick-knacks. Like all other street markets, haggling is a part of the buying process here. All prices are substantially marked up, therefore make sure you start from really low!

3. Ubud Market, Bali, Indonesia 

The famous and well-know Ubud market in Bali, Indonesia is a favourite amongst tourists. From souvenirs to self gifts there is everything available in this single lane. Cluttered with humans around the world shopping for their loved ones its a vibrant locality. I purchased handmade wallets with Bali painted on it, surfboard keychains with names engraved on it, soothing body oils and not to forget a T-shirt which has Tanha Lot on it( I dearly love it).

P.S: you have to bargain a lot to buy it at a best bet. They quote sky high prices.

Ubud Market, Bali

4. Meena Bazar, Dubai

Who would have thought that the city of malls would be home to some amazing flea markets and street shopping? Meena Bazar is the epitome of cheap and quick buying in the city. Located in Bur Dubai, it is nothing but a slice of India in Dubai! This market is home to some of the best gold, silver, clothing and shoes from the Asian subcontinent. The narrow lanes and by-lanes are all crammed with tiny stores, offering scores of items! If you have been to Dubai, and not been to Meena Bazar, believe me, you’ve missed out on the best shopping experience!

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Meena Bazaar, Dubai
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To conclude, street shopping is a common phenomenon across the globe, you only need to find the will to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in Food

Juice It Up

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Ramadan; a 30 day festival wherein they fast from dawn to dusk. During this fast they can’t munch on any food nor can they gulp any drinks. Not even water. To make Iftar (the time when they break their fast) more satiating and to beat the heat we have listed down four ice cool recipes.

P.S: Read ahead only after breaking your fast. 😉

Recipe one : Bottle Gourd Punch

Ingredients:
1 peeled and shredded bottle gourd
1 lemon
A bunch of mint leaves
Pepper powder
Salt to taste
Sprite

Method:

  1. After peeling and shredding the bottle gourd, boil it till it becomes soft. Drain excess water.
  2. In a mixer add mint leaves, sugar, salt and a bit of pepper powder and mix it until it all blends well.
  3. In a glass, pour the boiled bottle gourd, mint and sugar paste and fill it with Sprite. Garnish it with a slice of lemon!
    Refreshing and tasty to plunge into at iftar.

Recipe 2 : Watermelon Punch

Ingredients:
Watermelon cut into pieces
Mint leaves
Lemon
Sprite

Method:

  1. Take the cut watermelon pieces and put them into a mixer grinder and mix it until it becomes a pulp.
  2. Now using a muslin cloth or a small-holed sieve, separate the slurry from the juice.
  3. Take mint leaves and cut them and add them in this watermelon juice.
  4. Put a juice of one whole lemon into this juice and refrigerate it.
  5. While serving pour in half of the watermelon juice and half Sprite and serve!
    A refreshing drink for the summers.

Recipe 3 : Kacchi Keri Sharbet
Ingredients:
Karachi Keri
Sugar
Cumin powder
Rock Salt
Mint leaves for garnishing

Method:

  1. Peel and boil the kacchi keris till soft. Drain excessive water.
  2. Add cumin powder, rock salt and make a paste of the fruit pulp.
  3. Make sugar syrup and once it cools down add it to the paste and mix well.
  4. Pour this juice in a glass and add some fresh mint leaves to it.

Recipe 4 : Jaggery Juice aka Gol Pani

Ingredients:
Jaggery
Basil seeds
Lime juice

Method:

  1. Boil water in a vessel and add jaggery, stir till the jaggery melts completely.
  2. Now immerse the basil seeds in water and wait till they all pop. Drain excessive water.
  3. In a glass pour the jaggery syrup, add the popped basil seeds and top it with lime juice
    At iftar gulp it chilled for immediate thirst relief.

Do try these recipes at home and leave your comments which one you liked the most. Happy Fasting and Feasting!

Posted in Collaborations

Hiring Professionals for Digital Marketing: A Reasonable Discourse

Social media marketing requires a lot of planning, brainstorming and execution in order to make any page stand out. The term Social Media Marketer is not limited to posting images and writing captions, it encompasses a whole lot of strategizing to come up with the right plan for the brand. It is important to remember that each brand is different and for every brand a different strategy needs to be adopted. One cannot use the same methodology for all brands and expect each one to work. This is why Social Media Marketing is not a simple affair, professionals may make it look simple, but there is a lot of hard work behind each post.
At Hi! the focus has always been towards providing a nuanced and customized approach to each brand. The company believes in Brand Storytelling, such that each brand page speaks for itself. The approach towards each brand is an open approach, wherein experts take in the information and design a strategy that resonates with the brand image. The image that is built on social media is going to have a lasting impression on the target audience and if you are looking to convert this audience into customers, it is vital that they have a sense of belonging with your page.

When we talk about social media, there are different steps such as product photography, videography, graphic designing, content writing and page management. Hi! has successfully provided all these services to their client and managed to create a unique identity for each brand. One of their clients is Infign, which began as an online store for uniquely crafted, wooden products. Infign offers a range of products such as luggage tags, coasters, organizers, wall clocks and much more. Over time the brand grew substantially and today it has branched out into its own website with the option to purchase directly. Boasting 9400 followers, Infign is on the road to becoming 10K soon! Efforts of the hardworking team of Hi! made this feat possible for Infign and helped it gain massive popularity.

One another important aspect of a good social media strategy is to make the page attractive and appealing to the masses. It should create a persona that resonates well with each customer. The team behind Hi! gives a lot of thought to this and thus comes up with winning layouts that will attract any potential customer that lands on the page and convert them into a lead. This again is made keeping in mind the requirements of the brand, their target audience and the brand identity.

To conclude, social media marketing is the ‘in’ thing to do, however it is not something that can be done easily by everyone. It requires a special understanding and a professional approach, especially if you are looking to enhance your brand image and identity and if you wish to attract more customers. Remember, everyone can take images and post them, only professionals can pull in the crowd! So invest in a professional social media marketing company today!

Posted in travel

The City with a Thousand Minarets

Cairo also known as Al-Qāhirah (“The Victorious”) is Egypt’s sprawling capital, set on the Nile River for more than 2000 years now. It’s the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and its metropolitan area is the 16th largest in the world.

Cairo has a rich and a glorious history, we did read about this in books but the trip down there made us live it. The city was the seat of ancient Egyptian civilization and tradition. The magnificent Pyramids, the Sphinx and several historical monuments validate the rich history of Cairo. The city thus has inspired many historians, anthropologists and archaeologists. Other historic monuments situated within this city include the Mosque of Baybars I and Saladin’s Citadel. Among the major bazaars within the central walled city is the Khān al-Khalīli, an expansive assortment of shops near al-Azhar Mosque. The major north-south thoroughfare is Shāriʿ al-Muʿizz li-Dīn Allāh, which bisects the old city and along which stand the major mosques and markets. Shāriʿ al-Azhar; was created in the 1920s to link the mosque of that name with Al-ʿAtabah al-Khaḍrā Square streetcar terminal, Shāriʿ al-Azhar now connects the old city with the central business district.

Are you ready to walk through and be mesmerized by this city’s breathtaking architecture? Scroll down then!


Lights
The Arabic culture and architecture is something that I have always marveled at. The intricacies in it’s designing and the delightful presence of floral motifs have made it a very attractive style. This lamp with it’s intricate designs was extremely attractive and I couldn’t help but capture the intricate shadow it made on the walls!

The majestic Al Jame Al Anwar
This majestic and huge mosque located in the Heart of Cairo is something that shouldn’t be missed. It’s beauty lies not just in it’s interesting history but also in the architectural wonders that are a part of this structure. From intricate designs to the use of Qura’anic verses, this Masjid boasts of elegance and opulence.
The Great Pyramids Of Giza
Among the seven wonders of the world this historic structure still stands strong even after 4000 years. About 2.3 million stone blocks were used to build the pyramid you see on your left. These massive blocks weight millions of tons and one single block comes up to the upper body of an average height-ed human. Designed as a tomb, the Great Pyramid contains three burial chambers that were intended to house Khufu and the litany of goods and treasures he would take with him in the afterlife. Do add this wonder in your Itinerary when you visit Cairo.

The Sphinx
An iconic Giant statue of the mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It’s body is created from a single stone and this structure looks absolutely amazing when you go near it to explore further. Really makes you think of the hard work put forth by the workers to erect this wonderful structure
The Nile River
The longest and among the most famous rivers in the world Nile played a vital role in building the pyramids. Flowing across nine countries this versatile river was the primary source of water supply in ancient Egypt. Put this on your checklist right away to take a rejuvenating boat ride in this river, you can also try for a cruise dinner if you wish.

Cairo Through the window
Cairo , a city that exudes old-world charm is one that I have never experienced before. It is so full of colors, that you will get lost in it’s charm. The old buildings and fort walls take you to a time that is untravelled and unexplored. I loved every moment of it, even if it was dirty, chaotic and hot! In this pic you see the city of Cairo from the windows of Masjid Al Juyushi set atop a mountain. Made me realize how tiny we are in the scope of things. 
Posted in WORLD OF WOMEN

Parenting: My Take!

I am sure that you must have come across scores of parenting articles talking about the do’s and don’ts of parenting. This blog is not directed towards what you should or shouldn’t do as a parent. Rather it is a personal experience that I wish to share with my readers. The aim is to educate you all with the different experiences a parent goes through right from the time a child is born to the time they become teenagers.

When the three of travel! Yes, that’s a very tired me!

I have two daughters aged 14 years and 4 years. Yes I know the age gap is huge, but well, that’s why I am recounting my experiences! As a mother to both, a teenager and a toddler can be taxing and tiring, but it can also be rewarding in unimagined ways. When the little one makes sure she doesn’t disturb me while I am working, melts my heart or when my elder one tells her friends that my mother is ‘cool’ I feel happy that she is accepting of me. While many of you may think it is absurd to seek validation from you kids, but believe me it feels good and it is definitely a necessity.

One of the difficult aspects of raising two kids is making sure you maintain the balance. You don’t neglect your duties towards one child simply because the other one needs more attention due to their age or any other criteria. I have noticed how my teenage daughter feels left out or underappreciated when I am unable to give her full attention. Even if I try to compensate at a later time, the damage is done and there is little I can do to convince her that she is as much important to me as the little one. This, I have noticed creates a kind of distance between the parent and the child which becomes difficult to fill. Thus, rather than filling those gaps with materialistic things, it is important to try and not let those gaps form in the first place.

Ending this blog, I would simply like to state that parenting is a difficult road, but also very rewarding. At the end of the day when they fall asleep, you thank your stars for having them in your life. The kind of happiness kids bring to our lives is unparalleled and I can only hope it remains that way!

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” -Jane D. Hull