Sunday, 30 August 2015

Hazy Sky and Crazy Food

When it's a day quite cloudy n misty out there, the feelings are not same as we have on a sunny day. I believe most people will agree with me. Life seems something else in such beautiful weather. The pains, sorrows, discomforts fade away for some time atleast. Joy and pleasure start flowing in your heart with positive energy. And when your head n heart are all soaked in heavenly surroundings, there comes a demand of some lip smacking food from your family to enjoy the rainy day. But hey, dare you think I am talking about those traditional snack offerings prepared by mom that most of us enjoyed in our childhood days like aaloo-pyaaz ke pakode, sooji ka halwa and stuffed bread pakodas. There were so simple delicacies to fit into our menu. But unfortunately, sitting down to a home cooked meal has become a forgotten story these days. Specially youngsters crave for convenience food or fast food that can be consumed posing in a style in party mood whatever is the situation...

It was that time of the year again..the season of hot masala tea, garma garam pakodas and rendezvous under umbrellas. I had just returned home from work while enjoying drizzling on the way...that the black stormy clouds covered the sky and the weather got dense with that grey sheet of rain... I was about to make tea for myself and mom that the doorbell rang repeatedly. I went into fury, about to shout on the person on the other side of the door, that I saw my brother and his friends all drenched in rain. Before I could even utter a word, they all ran inside to brother's room while my brother whispered in my ear "Di, you were telling me to avoid street food in monsoon and since it was pouring today, I thought we have a good reason to stay in with the aroma of sizzling snacks made by you. And please don't limit yourself to traditional pakodas..Do try something which makes the rains memorable.." It ignited the furious streak in me, but now it was a prestige issue for me. Mom came forward to offer her help in chopping, serving etc. Because despite being an amazing cook, she avoids experimenting with hip food items of today's trend. 

Anyhow, gazing at the overcast skies, I remembered my deity and decided to please this group of hungry tummies with mom's specialities with slight twist. On asking for their preferences, two of them even expressed their liking for non-veg stuff that I politely refused because ours is a purely vegetarian family. The boys readily agreed to my proposal of enjoying something spicy, tangy, sweet and sour that evening.

Mom quickly prepared lightly-fried pancakes in maple syrup and I topped it up with hot chocolate garnished with chopped nuts for a new variant. For that matter of crunchy delight, mom customized wheat tortilla by stuffing it veggies, corns and cheese mixed in sauces. Then to spice up the celebration at home, we served them crispy Daal Vadas which were made by mixing boiled chana daal (that was in process of cooking for lunch that afternoon), mashed potatoes, chopped onions and chillies. Expecting that the food tasted just the apt, mom n me entered the room and the boys were like "its been such a fulfilling party that we never expected can be managed at such short notice. Hats off to your culinary skills. You have proved that there is nothing you can’t handle - including our monsoon blues."

My food fix had been managed successfully with efforts of my supporting mom that day. Had she not been there, I definitely needed a savior and order food online...Yes! there are many mobile apps these days that save your day. One of such apps is TinyOwl that helps to get the food delivered at your doorstep.
TinyOwl app can be downloaded on devices supoorted by Android and iOS both. It solves your food hassles instantly and lets you search your location and cuisine smartly . No confusing menus to read, just the best dishes to order in a click. Making payment via COD, debit card or credit card is an added support. So delicious food is ready to to served in a blink of eye using your smart device and the awkward disgraceful moments are swept away from your life now onwards ;)
TinyOwl is here to change our food tales from good to better !!

Sheer Care Butter Milk Soap Review

Hi Everyone

I have not been writing much this month for many reasons....some personal preferences, term exams of my son and professional commitments as well. So today I am here to write for another luxurious bathing bar. Remember I shared with views on a handmade soap i.e. Little Hearts Soap by Sheer Care few days back. That soap got over recently and I felt so bad about it because I swear it was the best soap I used till date. But at the same time, I was excited to try out another lovely soap from Sheer Care i.e.  Butter Milk Soap. And now get ready to know how it treated my skin...

Product Info:
Butter milk softens, brightens and exfoliates the skin to give it a youthful glow. A mild bathing bar with the goodness of butter milk and high content of olive oil, creates a rich creamy lather to soothe skin conditions. It is suitable for all skin types.

Ingredients:
Saponified canola oil, palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil, buttermilk, water, red clay, almond powder, kaolin clay, sandalwood powder, Vinegar.
Price: Rs 340 buy here
Weight: 170 gms

Packaging :ButterMilk soap comes wrapped in a transparent sheet. There are labels on either sides of packaging stating the soap name and its detailed ingredients with price etc.
My experience:
The Buttermilk soap is prominently a brown color soap bar. The soap has multicolored stcks on it due to colors that its major ingredient have rendered it. You may clearly make out the presence constituents like kaolin clay, red clay etc. unlike most commercially available soaps; so I am completely trusting what all has gone into the making of the soap.
The soap looks jumbo size when you hold it in your hand so I didn't mind cutting it into two halves and saving one of the piece for later usage. The soap is quite soft in texture as well as gentle on skin. I can't stop admiring the inclusion of so many base oils in the recipe that make the soap so rich to make skin feel super moisturized. The soap feels so mild on skin that I may recommend it to those with sensitive skin too.  
Now talking about its fragrance, the soap has very faint scent which you cannot smell without a close sniff. I wish it were a bit stronger for making the shower more refreshing. This completely natural soap manages to provide soft lather that cleanses the skin really well. 
An interesting incident happened when my son was bathing with this soap for the first time as he always insists to be the first user of any soap before I use them for reviews ;) The soap gives lather of somewhat dark red color  (probably due to red clay) on rubbing on skin. So the brat played the prank with me shouting from inside the bathroom "mumma, my hand is bleeding." And as I rushed in, he grinned n said "this soap foams in red color" that eventually turn into usual white..
Then, on my own usage, I loved its velvety feel on my skin which didn't exaggerated the dryness on my skin. The soap is so easy to rinse as well. After a regular use of few days, the soap softens the rough spots on skin n you would see quite a glow in skin. The buttermilk also treats age spots, soothes damaged skin and sloughs away dead cells. 
Pros:
Natural ingredients.
No animal testing.
Loaded with many nourishing oils.
No artificial perfumes or colorants.
No preservatives.
Looks pretty.
Reasonable priced for its ingredients.

Cons:
I wish the soap be a bit harder as it tends to crack due to extreme weather conditions and should smell little stronger. (but that makes no effect on its fab performance.)

To conclude, I must say this soap is crafted with best of natural ingredients and is wonderfully nourishing for all skin types. Even if you are not fond of drinking buttermilk, put it to use externally and your skin will be grateful to you.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

IFB Launches New Range of Microwaves

Hello Friends

Indians have a different attitude for their cooking and eating habits today. They want healthy food that is quick to cook and tastes great. Keeping this viewpoint in consideration, IFB has designed the microwaves based on the concepts of Oil Free and Healthy Cooking.  The IFB oil-free microwave range is packed with unique features for modern lifestyle and boasts of preparing oil-free food for the new generation that is very particular for calorie count.

The most popular consumer durable brand announced this new range micowaves at Taj Hotel, Chandigarh on 24th August to cater the needs of health conscious customers. A live demonstration was given in presence of noted dietician Dr. Shreya while Dr. U.P Singh (Cardiologist) spoke about ill-effects of oily food and stressed upon healthy eating habits.


A total of 6 models have been launched under this Cook Healthy range of microwaves that would have capacity between 20-30 ltrs. suited to the needs of every household.

Addressing the media persons soon after the launch, the IFB team proudly announced that "packed with a host of innovative features and cooking functions like Heater Selector, Motorised Rotisserie, Turn Grill etc, the new IFB microwaves are perfect solution to those who want to cook healthy n hassle free."

The hotel chefs prepared tasty snacks with and without oil at the venue itself and gave us a chance to express our opinion after tasting.


I must say, the new range of IFB microwaves is exactly what people want ... a promise of healthy living, added convenience and no compromise in taste.Even the audience were invited to try their hands on using the microwave oven kept for the demo. The event ended with palatable lunch and I returned home enriching my knowledge about healthy cooking after this informative session :)

Anherb Hair Vitalizer Review

Hi Friends

There have been some requests from my readers to recommend any hair care product that works on hair fall and dandruff issue which is more common in people of all ages and all genders. So today I'm reviewing a herbal hair vitalizer from Anherb Herbals that is designed for strengthening your hair with a unique blend of six herbs and provide hair & scalp nourishment to your dull n weak hair.

Product Description: 
Anherb Hair Vitalizer is a 100% natural hair & scalp massage oil with a combination of 6 powerful herbs. These herbs, together with sesame oil nourish scalp, strengthens hair. Enriched with various herbal extracts, it controls dandruff & the problem of hair fall. Thus makes your hair stronger, shiny, silky & healthy. 

Ingredients: Neem / Margosa: Anti-microbial property. Controls Dandruff.
Amla / Indian Gooseberry: Control Hair Fall.
Shikakai / Saptalaa: Specific anti - dandruff action strengthen hair roots.
Jatamansi / Muskroot: Long, Strong, Smooth and Silky Hair.
Bharingraj / Eclipta alba: Improves Hair Growth and helps hair darkening.
Mehandi / Henna: Promotes hair growth, improves conditioning and adds volume.
Qty: 100ml
Price: Rs. 185.00
Shelf Life: 3 yrs
You may order it here.

How to use: 
Apply it on the scalp, massage gently. Leave it for 1 -2 hours or for better results leave it overnight. Apply thrice a week.
My Experience with the product:
Anherb Hair Vitalizer is basically a hair and scalp massage serum. I specially picked this product because it is oil based and using it to massage my scalp would have given me twin benefit of routine head massage as well as extra nourishment of herbs infused in it. 
Beginning with its packaging, its a comfortable spray dispenser containing the product. You don't need to wrestle the packaging to ooze out the serum. The transparent dispenser lets you see the left over quantity any moment. The top cap on the spray head is a real good fit. 
The vitalizer serum itself is a colorless liquid with slight golden shine to it. The herbs that have gone into its infusion effective work on any dreadful condition of your hair. I have been applying it for quite some time now. My frequency to use it is not fixed as such, but I try to massage my hair at least twice a week with this vitalizer. I divide my hair into sections, spray the vitalizer and leave it on my hair overnight after a gentle massage with my finger tips. I wash my hair next morning because I don't prefer stepping out in oily hair.
The vitalizer has a rejuvenating herbal fragrance that relaxes my mind indeed. The beneficial mix of neem, amla, shikakai, mehandi, bringaraja n jatamansi prevents scalp infections, strengthens roots and controls dandruff. The rate of hair fall has gone down to some extent which had been really high due to monsoon season. So I would continue the usage of Anherb hair vitalizer for few months more to attain better results and stimulate growth of hair. 

Pros: 
100% natural.
Unique blend of powerful herbs.
Smells herbal due to its ingredients.
Controls dandruff effectively.
Makes hair more manageable post usage.
Suitable to all hair type.
Not extremely sticky (but still shows its presence on hair)
Price is ok.

Cons:
Some may find the smell strong, but I liked it that way.

Do leave your comments if you have tried this product or a similar one..


Friday, 28 August 2015

Taste Ka Naya Magic With McCain

The pure bond of brothers and sisters is being celebrated tomorrow. Each one of us would be busy dressing up, setting up the center stage for your sibling and ofcourse making a list of gifts you gonna demand from your loving bro ;) Whats better than to please your sibling with some homemade recipes instead of going out. Many Rakhi recipes can be prepared a day or two in advance so that you may spend quality time with your brother or sister.
My li'l brother who is actually 'little' for me because he came to this world more than a decade later after I did ;) Now treating him like my baby is much obvious. This boy I am talking about is so fond of spicy food that he gives me no chance to prepare some homemade sweets for him. That's why this time I have decided to surprise him with the kind of snacks he enjoys...

I have got my hands on some tasteful products from McCain which would replace the tradition dishes on my menu to celebrate #RakhiWithMcCain. 


Ingredients:
McCain Veggie Finger 1 pc.
McCain Aloo Tikki 1 pc.
McCain Potato Cheese Shotz 6 pcs.
Corns 1/4 cup (Boiled)
Tomato 1 (small sized)
Green Capsicum 1 (small sized)
Oil to fry

Steps:
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry all variants of McCain products till they turn golden brown. It will take almost 3 minutes to get ready. Now place the McCain Aloo Tikki in the center of the plate and McCain Potato Cheese Shotz as its petals. McCain Veggie Finger can be used as the stem of the plant. Now decorate this cute McCain flower with tomato slice cut into semi-circles, corns and capsicum slices slit lengthwise.

Ingredients for Cocktail Sauce
1 tbps tomato ketchup
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 cloves of garlic (peeled and pressed)
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
Mint Leaves (as per liking)

Steps:
Mix ketchup and mayonnaise in a bowl. Add salt, pressed garlic, pepper powder and oregano in the mixture as per your taste. Chop mint leaves finely and add in the bowl.(You may grind the mint leaves as per your preference). Blend evenly all the ingredients for bringing out the taste and aroma. Pour the cocktail sauce in a clean bowl and garnish with mint leaves. 
Serve the beautifully decorated McCain floral snack preparation  to your sibling with yummy sauce.
Now why I picked only McCain products...My brother is very choosy about food items and runs away from most veggies. He avoids even tasting food with aromatic ingredients like garlic. But with McCain, he felt simply irresistible to refuse this delicious combination of mashed potatoes, chopped veggies seasoned lightly with spices of his fav flavours.
The quick snacks recipes indeed succeeded me winning my sibling's heart by giving preference to his taste and choice. I am feeling special to give a twist to my celebration of #RakhiWithMcCain.

  

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ethicare Remedies Kozilite Skin Lightening Lotion Review

Hi dears 

I am making you familiar with a skin lightening lotion today that is packed with rich botanical extracts that promises to give you even toned skin that you desire...The product is Kozilite Non-Oily Skin Lighteneing Lotion from a well known brand Ethicare Remedies.
Product Claims:

Ingredients
Kojic Acid, Turmeric extract, Liquorice extract, Arbutin, Nicotinamide, Vit. C, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Bearberry extract, Mulberry extract, Chandan, Wheat Germ Oil, Titanium oxide.

Price:
Rs. 499 for 100 gm
Rs. 299 for 50 gm
Can be ordered here.
Shelf Life: 3 yrs.
Caution: Not to be used for kids under 3 yrs of age.
Packaging
The product comes in plastic tube of chocolaty brown color which seems very attractive to me. The tube is contained in a cardboard box following the same color theme.  The tube and the outer pack have complete details of the product printed on both. The screw cap as well as the tiny nozzle inside the pack is neatly sealed to avoid any spillage.



My take on the product:
The Kozilite lotion is a pale yellow liquid. The consistency of the lotion is very thin. The tube packaging of the product has a tiny nozzle on its top which I expected would be ejecting little quantity on pressing the tube softly. But due to the runny consistency, the lotion came out as soon as I turned it upside down after opening the cap. This is something I didn't like about the product. Because there are chances of wastage if extra quantity comes out than required.
The lotion has a mixed perfume that I couldn't related to one single ingredient, but is somewhat closer to mild smell of Chandan. The fragrance stays for not much longer, but you may still feel it if sniffed your skin intentionally to check.

The lotion is lightweight with non greasy feel and easily gets absorbed through the skin. It leaves no shiny, oily, whitish layer behind post usage, which I liked a lot. Packed with moisturizing oils and vitamin C, the effectiveness of the product can be swear by. 
It is one product that can be used on face and entire body. It can be used at any time of the day, but I feel its best to give yourself a light massage after bath or shower with this lotion until thoroughly absorbed into skin. The skin remains hydrated for quite long after its application. In my opinion, it would help out the dry skin beauties to great extent. Though its not too oily to be avoided by normal and oily skin types. 

Continued use of Kozilite helps lighten skin pigmentation and improve overall skin texture for fairer, and even skin tone. I won't claim that it may transform your appearance magically, but I totally trust the botanical ingredients like bearberry extract which is a  natural skin brightener and mulberry extract that may even cure your dark spots. The effects of chandan and turmeric are known to the world and they have been infused in the product to achieve the result. My final verdict is in favour of the product, provided the lotion had been a bit more concentrated for my liking. 


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sheer Care Little Hearts Soap Review

Hello 

I find anything in heart shape so cute and adorable, be it a piece of jewelry, print on an outfit, a candy or even a soap bar ;) How exciting it is to imagine yourself holding a beautiful bathing bar with little hearts imprinted on it. This is something I felt when I received a lovely handmade soap from a natural skin care brand Sheer Care.

Brand Promise:
We prepare our products without using any 'harmful chemical'. We use natural colorants, skin safe fragrances, essential oils, pure carrier oils, clays, herbs, fruits, flowers etc in correct proportion to formulate our products to provide you a safe and healthy daily care, and a toxin-free routine. We do not buy readymade bases of skincare products, add on something, and claim 'handmade'. We prepare each product from scratch, in small batches, so that we use least amount of natural preservatives to reach you safely and remains intact till consumption, ensuring highest quality product for you. We prepare these products at home, as well as cut ,wrap and label at home. You may not find the packaging very attractive like other sellers, but we assure you of a genuine quality product for the price you pay!

Product Info: 
These little hearts on soap and mild fragrance,with the goodness of nourishing oils like olive,rice bran,sunflower,etc is a perfect sweet gift for anyone on any occasion.
Ingredients: 
Castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, beeswax, water, red clay, pink clay, activated carbon.

Price: 150/- Order here
Weight: 75 gm
Packaging :
Little Hearts soap comes wrapped in a cling sheet. There are labels on either sides of packaging stating the soap name and its detailed ingredients with price etc.

Appearance:
The soap bar is designed with cute little hearts embossed with so much of delicacy. The tricolor soap bar in the first appearance reminds you of a tasty sandwich ;) Why?? because the soap bar is a triple layered soap with offwhite base, green center and the top layer with heart designed on it.
Texture:
The soap bar is so creamy that the moment I unwrapped and took it out,  I had a feeling of holding a soap dipped in oil. (But no worries, it actually has no excessive oily feel on usage.)

My Experience:
The Little Hearts soap is a clay based soap with a generous mix of multiple essential oils. The soap has no artificial fragrance, but a natural smell of a combination of its ingredients. It didn't feel that floral feminine one, but truly an invigorating aroma. Also the smell doesn't lasts as soon as you rinse the skin up.
The clay is believed to absorb oil from skin surface without excessively drying it. The pink clay gently draws out the impurities from skin and soften the skin. This soap is especially suited to my dry skin type but also works well as a face and body soap for most skin types.
Its silky lathers doesn't feel extremely soapy on skin that required lot of rubbing to rinse it out. Just few splashes of water with soft touch to your skin in enough to cleanse the skin. The rich blend of oils with red clay genuinely kept my skin exfoliated and even worked on lightening tanned areas of my neck. So I am expecting a better skin toned after some more days of using this soap.
Most amazingly, unlike most facewashes/facial soap require me to apply moisturizer/lotion post shower, I dont use any after using this soap and still my skin feels happy and purified.

Pros:
Beautifully crafted.
Blend of essential oils.
Uses clays as natural detoxifiers.
Lightens tanning.
No drying formula.
Suits most skin types.
Smells fine.
Easy to rinse.

Cons:
I wish if the packaging could be improved a bit to keep the soap in a cardboard box to avoid disfiguring such pretty soaps made with loads of effort.

To sum it up, I would say the Little Hearts soap bar by Sheer Care is one of the best handmade, organic, all natural cold process soap bar on this planet that provides most supplements to your skin. It is slightly expensive, but I don't mind paying few bucks extra for its excellent ingredients

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Todzzle: A Roly-Poly Fridge Game for Toddlers

Hello Mommies,

Here is a special post for you all today...

Being a busy working mom, I am always looking for ways to keep my toddler occupied with something creative when I am at home after work. There are basic household chores to be performed while I want to attend to my baby's needs & observe his cute activities too. Usually when I'm working in kitchen, a constant thought keeps running in my mind what he is up to as soon as I turn my sight away from him. I am sure every toddler needs closer supervision of his mom/dad all the time...However, realizing this dire need of parents to keep their toddlers engaged, Madrat Games has recently launched an interesting game Todzzle for children aged 2-4 years. 

Toddlers are a curious lot, wanting to learn new things. This is the age at which they learn their first words. Todzzle provides an exciting platform for kids to learn these words and make correlations between various things around them. 
Todzzle puzzles have been created around 4 different themes namely 
Flowers & Bugs
Cars & Planes and 
2 Nature themes in 1 game - Fruits & Veggies and Horses & Hippos;
each of which sound equally favourite exciting and attractive for kids.

I received the Flowers & Bugs themed puzzle for my junior which comes in a colorful cylindrical packaging. 
What does the Todzzle contain?
The puzzle pack is very safely organizing the contents inside separating them in compartments which keeps them all safe from all kind of wear n tear. The contents in Flowers & Bugs Todzzle are:

13 Magnetic Pieces 

The Mommy Tracker 

Double Sided Magnetic Scroll 


Story Book 


How do we play with Todzzle?
The game is designed to help mother and child bond over play when mommy is busy with cooking or any other household. I put the colorful magnetic scroll on the fridge using magnetic surfaces on both sides at a convenient height where it is easily accessible to my little boy and then he tries to match and fix the magnetic objects where their shapes are drawn. 


The scroll is reversible and prints different Day and Night scenes on either side. I loved the innovation by Madrat that the NIGHT scene print glows in the dark. My baby feels so happy to see and touch the glowing moon and the stars so close in his reach :)

Introducing the game to my little one included myself reading out a story to him from "Read Me" story book while sticking the scroll on the fridge and asking my boy to help the magnetic characters enact their roles by placing them on the mat. At the same time, I ask him to find extra objects not covered in the story, but seen on the puzzle using "Find Me" section. Now the unique 'mommy tracker' is an assessment of child's understanding. I use "Tell Mesection to ask easy-peasy questions from my child on topics such as colour, shape, size, number, alphabets, body parts etc.


Playing this knowledgeable game with my boy not only makes him happy, but gives him a sense of pride when he answers my question correctly ;) Only after a few days play, the intelligent boy has started devising smarter questions to ask me. I feel overjoyed that the game is NOT meant for killing time like making toddlers sit in front of television, but is giving him right kind of exposure to his small world around. 

Most importantly, even letting my child play independently with todzzle helps me handle my primary concern to fix an eye on him at all times. 
I am planning to extend the game by trying it different ways like playing it as Color Matching game, Shape Sorter game, See n Draw game etc.

Let me not leave without a mention of that pack of Magic Beans which Madrat ensures in every pack of their puzzles. They ensure to compensate the environment for using a lot of paper in making of this puzzle, so provide a li'l pouch of different seeds to plant some trees to replenish the planet. In our pack of Todzzle, we got mustard seeds that have already been sent to their right place for germination :)
Now, if you are curious of how much does this game cost? It has been priced really economical at INR 450.  
As of now, this game is in its pre-launch stage and is not available for purchase. But the Todzzle will be available on Flipkart and Amazon very soon.

Todzzle is an informative playmate for a young learner. It makes an ideal age-appropriate game for children whose mommies want to give a calmer, happier and wiser childhood to them.

P.S. Daddy can also keep their kids occupied with this game when mommy is out ;)

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