FOTD:VICTORIAN LOOK

Dressing in vintage style clothing for a themed event or personal fashion is always a fun thing to do. While the authentic Victorian look necessitates a full skirted dress and a corset fitted blouse, it is hard to carry it off unless the theme of the party itself is Victorian(After who wants to wear a women’s civil war dress). So, I styled it a little differently with the hairstyle and makeup going back to the 19th Century and wearing a gown which has enough flair and volume to make it look Victorian.

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On the face :

Benefit Concealer Boing Brigtening Concealer

MAC Studio Fix Foundation in NC 25

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder in Porcelain

The Balm The Manizer Sisters(Highlighter, Blush and Bronzer)

On the eyes :

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eye shadow Palette

Mimoso Eye mascara

Huda Beauty Lashes in Lana

Benefit Big Brows set

On the lips – Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in shade Trophy Wife

Outfit – Frontier Raas, Delhi

It was so much fun to style this outfit, wore it to a Cocktail!After all, there are so many ways to spice up this boring life 😀

DEALING WITH SEPARATION ANXIETY

As a working mom, dealing with V’s separation anxiety has been tough for me. Although I am well aware that it only speaks of an attachment and is a completely normal behavior, my heart breaks each time she cries her lungs out while I leave. With time, I learnt a few tricks and tips for surviving this anxiety. It demands preparation, brisk transitions and a lot of time. The fact is we parents suffer as much as our children do when we leave. The first time I stepped out for an overnight work trip without V, I kept mourning the parting whole night. While the next day I tried to keep myself as busy as I can to avoid the guilt and thoughts about her, I realized I will have to consciously work towards make it easier for both of us. And months down the line, after a lot of effort I could successfully stay away for a week last month. Here are few tips that worked for me and worth giving a try –

  1. Familiarity: Familiarity always breeds comfort. Sometimes, it gets difficult for adults to adjust to unfamiliar situations, leave alone the little ones who consider their parents to be their whole world. It is very important to keep one familiar person constant, be it one of the grandparents or a caregiver. It is inevitable that your absence is bound to make a difference in the mood of the baby, but good news is babies forget everything too soon if they are comfortable with the surrounding. So, if there is a routine around a constant person, it makes things easier. Also, keeping security objects close to the baby (any favorite toy, blanket etc) makes them feel secured.
  2. Reassurance : As a practice, I have played the game of “Peekaboo” with V right since she started being cognizant of her surroundings. The whole idea behind it was to reinforce the idea that even if she cannot see me for a while, she would know that I will be back. Also, when I am home and my husband is in office, I make video calls to him and let V interact with him(although she would any way get to see him in the evening) so that when I do the same while I am away on work trips, she doesn’t long for me and wouldn’t cry during the video calls.
  1. Good bye Rituals: Good byes should be kept short and sweet. If you linger , the transition time will linger too and make things more difficult eventually. As a practice, I try to keep my departure at the same time every day. So, we follow a ritual of her bidding me goodbye at the door and then she heads out straight to the bath. Gradually, she has realized that there is something to look forward to after Mommy is off to work.
  2. Keeping promises: We all feel heartbroken when promises are not kept, don’t we? These little darlings are no different and rather more vulnerable. So, whenever you promise that you will be back by 6 pm, try to keep it. If you promise to come back with a toy, then do it. This mostly makes a difference to toddlers because they understand what you say and actually look forward to your commitments. Keeping promises helps build trust and credibility with your child.
  3. Customized approach: Every child is different. What works for my baby may not work for you and therefore, you need to keep trying until you are successful. Lot of people insist on letting the baby sleep in a different room in order to build a sense of independence. It never worked with me and I never had the courage to let her be out of my sight through the night but if it does for you, go for it. I have believed in attachment parenting and I always ensure someone is around her at all times until she maybe learns to speak for herself.
  4. Practice distance: Even when you are home, try and practice staying apart while the baby engages in fun activities. I typically like to send her for playdates with other toddlers (of course under supervision of adults) or leave her with grandparents for an hour or so. This helps in adaptability with new faces and gradually they learn to enjoy some time off familiar faces.
  5. Do not impose the concept of “No crying” – According to me, crying is not a negative trait by any means. It is just a way of expressing an emotion and babies have every right to express their displeasure regarding something, The ability to be aware and express the feelings itself is a major milestone and an important emotional foundation. While, we mothers can’t stop feeling guilty about it, babies outgrow this feeling very soon(unless the baby is sick or has any other problem). So, next time the baby cries when you are stepping out, give her a tighter hug and say ‘goodbye’. She will be fine with the care giver, trust me. Just make sure she is comfortable with the care giver on normal days.

While I am no child psychiatrist, I can say that most of these things worked for me and the suggestion are purely based on personal experiences.

BABYWEARING X SOULSLING

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Although baby wearing is an old concept, it has gained a significant momentum in the recent times as researchers have validated the benefits of this timeless practice. The studies have confirmed that our children’s social, physical and emotional development are all affected by human contact. Like many other mothers, I too have been told not to wear the baby often as it makes them clingy but if I go by my personal experience, I and V thoroughly enjoy the whole process. I cannot even begin to express how wonderful I feel when she falls asleep so close to my heart. After all, she is a piece of my heart beating outside of it.

Coming back to the benefits of baby wearing, let me list out the 3 most important ones which have helped me immensely in my motherhood journey –

Bonding and emotional security: The intimacy associated with the baby and mother/caregiver is multiplied exponentially with baby wearing and is directly proportional to the understanding and communication between the two. When you have a strong foundation, it leads to a healthier relationship in times to come. Holding the baby close comforts him/her, this has been a boon for colic babies as well. So, the next time someone tells you that you are spoiling the child by holding/picking him/her, think twice.

  1. Multitasking: They say being a mother is a job where you get no holidays. It is true, we get no breaks, no leaves and no time offs – so basically every other task needs to be completed along with managing pretty much everything related to the baby. With baby wearing, I was not just able to do the household chores but also travel conveniently with her wound around me. V was not too comfortable in the stroller when we went on a trip in her first few months but wearing her made both of us comfortable.

IMG_00483. Eco friendly option: The third less thought about benefit of baby wearing is it offers an option to cut down on the plastics used in strollers and chairs. People have been making their own baby carriers since ages but now, even in India we get ergonomic carriers in the best quality with the ease of online availability as well. My favorite one being Soul Slings!

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Having said this, I must emphasize on the fact that baby wearing is a good experience only if the baby is worn correctly. So, while choosing the baby carrier, there are certain conditions that you will have to keep in mind, few of them listed below –

  1. Ergonomic baby carriers – An ergonomic baby carriershould distribute the child’s weight evenly and comfortably for the wearer while giving good support to the child. The safety of the baby and the wearer is of prime importance, so it should give proper support to the baby and not inhibit the growth of spine in any way.
  2. Carrier suitable for the age – One carrier does not fit all ages and weights. A stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the new born whereas a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. Soulslings has a droolworthy collection of Onbuhimo, wraps, full buckle carriers and ring slings in the most amazing prints and soft breathable fabric.Here you can see me using the Standard Full Buckle Carrier from www.soulslings.com

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  1. Purpose of babywearing: It is important to firm the purpose of baby wearing and then choosing the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. So, if you want to nurse discreetly you would probably opt for a wrap, if you want to go hiking with the baby, you would probably opt for a full buckle which is ideal for back carries.

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I personally have had the best experience with www.soulslings.com, you should definitely go check out their collection.

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For more such updates, click follow on the picture below –

Look who has got my back!! I have been travelling a lot with V and it has been possible only because I decided to wear her weeks after she was born.Here,I am using the standard full buckle carrier from @soulslings_india one for the toddlers which is perfect for front and back carries.The best deal is it is perfect for fathers and other caregivers as well.When I started babywearing , I did not really have the best knowledge of how to evaluate a good baby carrier but now that I know,I thought I must list out 3 most important ones for you all- 1. Must go for ergonomic baby carriers as safety of the baby and the wearer is supreme. 2.One carrier doesn't fit all ages and weights-a stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the spine while a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. 3.Firm the purpose of babywearing (nursing discreetly,travelling,hiking etc) and accordingly choose the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. P.S : My Valentine V is having her morning chai on my back 🙂 #soulslings #soulslingsindia #vogueviolet

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You can follow soulslings on Instagram at www.instagram.com/soulslings_india

ONE SHOULDER FORMAL YET CASUAL

The one shoulder trend is at its peak.Most of the online shopping websites are flooded with varied options of one shoulder tops and dresses. I picked up this satin olive green one shoulder blouse and carried it to one of my holidays. I always thought I could only wear it to a formal party with a pencil skirt and high heels but guess what!I finally wore it to a day long excursion with my all time favorite ONLY skinny black pants and Silver Laceup Cupsole Trainers from KOOVS!Here are few pictures from this look –

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We had an open Jacuzzi with a plain white background in our hotel at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and it was just perfect for the shoot 🙂

On the face :

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder in Porcelain

On the eyes:

Benefit They’re Real Eyeliner

Bausch & Lomb Eye Contact Lens in Green

Mimoso Eye Mascara

On the lips:

MAC Lipstick in Twig

 

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I have such fond memories of this trip and this was the last day at Ho Chi Minh. A day long outing which ended up with a lot of shopping.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures!I can’t wait to pair this with something really abstract and experiment yet again!

DOES BEING A MOMMY MAKE YOU MORE EMPLOYABLE?

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We have heard enough of how motherhood is a big hindrance to the quintessential career woman. Well, to think of it, it is undoubtedly a very big challenge to manage a flourishing career with a baby yet being a mother actually necessitates a whole barrage of highly employable skills and competencies which can only benefit a career woman.

While we may not consciously acknowledge or recognize the ways we have up skilled ourselves, I think it is very important that the same should be broadcasted to the world. Who knows our potential future employers might be able to identify with our skill set better after reading this!  I am going to write on 7 most important skills that we develop as mothers that actually give us an edge over our colleagues at the workplace.

  1. Time Management: Yes, this is the primary skill which makes us superwomen. None of us feel we have enough time to complete all the tasks in a day but as moms, we have mastered the art of meeting deadlines and magically completing all the tasks despite the uncertain circumstances. Like many other moms, I too mentally scan the whole day in advance every morning and divide activities in neat slots nearly perfecting the ambition of task completion by end of the day.
  2. Planning and Priority Setting: Yes, even without a scheduler, we manage to feed, wash, clean and complete all the important tasks with no qualms. And when we’re able to mentally plan and juggle these tasks throughout the day, we’re adeptly sorting out which ones are priority to us and which ones can be postponed for later. As a trainer myself, I have done multiple sessions on planning and prioritization for the employees in my organization but lately I realized that post motherhood, I have found new effective tricks to manage gaps, assemble activities and schedule tasks.
  3. Crisis Management: How you deal with crises is a big deal in Corporate life. As a mother, we already are experts in being on top of situational awareness, adaptability and conflict management. These are the most important skills required to deal with any kind of crisis at work and having developed these can actually put us in a pedestal at the workplace.
  4. Negotiation: Any parent who has survived the baby is definitely a pro at convincing an unreasonable person to do what they want. While we get to develop this skill absolutely for free, there is no denying to the fact that it has been developed during the toughest of times. So, negotiating with stubborn people would be a cakewalk for us now.
  5. Change Management: With a baby, every day is a new experience. We cannot predict what is coming our way next but dealing with these uncertain requirements every single day makes us a stone wall ready to take any kind of hit. This is a huge plus for the Corporate employees and in the current scenario, something that should go right on the top of our CV.
  6. Problem Solving : If you have more than one child, you probably practise this every single day. Babies and children always present an endless list of problems that need solving and with multiple children, you possibly got an added flavor of conflict management as well. Starting with sleep training to fixing broken toys, our minds are programmed in such a way that we literally figure out a solution for every problem that crops up.
  7. Communication : The other day during a fun Friday at work, we were playing a game of Dumb Charades. Bam, I was a pro at it. Thanks to all the non-verbal cues I pick up every single day from my darling daughter. Dealing with a baby helps us realize that language is not a barrier. It makes us more positive, empathetic and effective in both verbal and non-verbal communication. It also brings out a great listener in us, after all listening to the endless blabbering and answering repetitive questions is a test of patience that we can pass only with experience.

Personally, I think I learnt better in my motherhood journey than all the management lessons put together during my Business school days.:D

I hope you mommies find this useful as well!

Retro dressing for Indian Wedding

Winters are almost fading out and spring is just around the corner but do you know which is my favorite season? Just like thousands of other women, I enjoy wedding season the most. No matter how cheesy that may sound, trust me we wait for the season of celebration, rejoicing and most importantly, dressing up. While most wedding parties do not particularly have a theme to follow, I would like to share a few pictures from the Retro look I created few days back.

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Makeup :

On the Face:

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation in Beige

MAC Strobe Cream as highlighter

MAC Petal Power as blush

MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural

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On the eyes :

Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eye Palette

Eden on the lids, Desert sand towards the inner corners

Saffron on the outer corners and on the crease

Cosmo on the lids

Angelic in the inner lids

Chambor Eyeliner in Peacock Blue on the waterline

NYX Purple eye liner under the lower lashline

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Huda Eye Lashes in Claudia

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On the lips :

Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Trophy Wife

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Lehenga : Nivedita Saboo (This lehenga with a perfect fitted corset blouse is 7 years old which I had got done for my cousin’s wedding – Very light to carry and something that I would probably never do away with. I am just so glad I still fit into it)

 

For the perfect Retro look, I obviously created a generous amount of puff and bounce in the hair. I hope you would like to recreate this one!

 

 

KEEPING PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE!

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Keeping our personal lives private is such a difficult task. With the social media bang, it’s so flattering that people genuinely love to follow and comment on the lives we are living, the work we are doing, who we are sharing our lives with, what are our relationship moves and how we are getting to our life’s goals. We add fuel to the fire ourselves by the information we share on social media platforms and then have to face the repercussions. If you’re possibly looking for some ways to get off the grid , the next few lines might help.

Let’s talk about few points on why private life must be kept private –

  1. Low key profile – We live in a constant struggle to make our presence felt by people around us and to do the same, we try to share as much as we can. Well, I feel giving too much of yourself away in a way allows others to feel like they can define your personality and once they do, it’s hard to feel like you can ever deviate from not what you project but how they have defined you.
  1. Peer pressure – Social media has done this to us. We see the happiest of faces of people around us – a projection of life they DO NOT lead and guess what? Our brain compels us to share similar projection of ourselves to the world. We perceive it as a need to tell the world that we are happy because everybody else seems to be happy. We must not give in to such pressure because after all, it is just a part of someone’s life, not the all of it.
  2. Work life balance– Don’t let your professional life drive all over your personal life. Respect your personal relationships and schedule your personal activities so that you can dedicate specific time for personal activities. This way, you can ensure there is a clear demarcation between what the people at work can expect and what your family and friends can expect from you.
  3. Element of mystery – There is a theory around this. People who do not open up about themselves frequently are found to be more attractive. So, basically there is a constant curiosity in the minds of people to know more about the individual. So , next time you want to draw attention to yourself , do not just give away the whole of you 😀
  4. Move On – When you share your intimate details with everyone around you, it gets more difficult to move on. The other day, I heard someone share a story about how he got terminated at multiple workplaces due to unethical practices. The next I knew, the interviewer of the next job opportunity was someone who already knew of this history because he had made it public. This not just killed his confidence but also got him caught in his own trap.
  5. Opinionated world – Yes, the world will judge you, always. If you give people more opportunities to peek into your life, they will get more reasons to point their fingers at you. So, build your core group and value opinions of people who matter to you and trust me, they are the ones who will be a phone call away, not people who would be checking your social media accounts.
  6. Profession – As bloggers, we feel it is a self-imposed duty to share useful information from our personal experiences with the world. I agree, the best content comes from our own personal perspective and point of view but personally, I always draw a line. You will never see me dish out the nitty gritty details of my everyday life but just as much as required for people to understand and resonate with me.

I would love to get your comments on where do you draw the line!

PAKISTANI SUIT WITH WISHALLEY.COM

We all keep looking for that perfect Indian wear, don’t we? And Salwar suits never go out of fashion. Pakistani suits have taken center stage for most fashion shows lately and no wonder, the trend has been quite a hit. They have a regal, graceful look, with flowing silhouettes, intricate designs and artistic patterns being quite a norm. They come with a long kurta with full sleeves, straight bottoms or loose pallazos and a flowy dupatta.

Personally, I am a sucker for pastels. I always have been and when I saw this perfect combination of pastel pink and green, I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on them. The fabric is a breathable Georgette with ample golden and pink embroidery making it look no less than a designer outfit.

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To shop this look, please click on the link below –

http://www.wishalley.com/designer-light-green-and-blush-pink-georgette-suit-with-heavy-embroidery.html

I wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing ensemble and hence, paired this dress with silver and dull gold jewelry.

Details below –

Silver earrings from Tribe by Amrapali

Statement Silver Ring – Local shop in Langkawi

Dull gold Bracelet – Tanishq

You could easily pair it with a maangtika and wear it to a Sangeet or just keep it simple to a casual party. This is the beauty of a Pakistani suit – very high on comfort and wearable on all occasions.I could hold  the suit all day with absolutely no discomfort.

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WishAlley has a wide range of options to offer – from solids to prints and they swear by the statement –‘classy is always in’. You can pick from a mix of stitched and unstitched garments and with the ease of online shopping, you can actually browse through the collection and pick something for every occasion (weddings to kitty parties). The products are shipped within 3 days and you get the option of Cash on Delivery as well. High time to log on to www.wishalley.com and revamp your closet from a range of designer kaftaans,kurtis, dressy suits to add a dash of style to your persona, all at a reasonable price! They have very satisfied customers who have rated them 4.8/5!

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Learning from Homestay Hosts!

‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is an ancient line that comes from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God. While this is practiced widely in India, we got to experience the flavor of it in our Paris Trip where we decided to stay with the host family through a popular home stay website. While the option is far more economic compared to a hotel stay, the experience is unmatched. In most occasions, you will find the hosts being extremely enthusiastic about letting out their place. They won’t behave like they are just temporary landlords who are handing over their keys to you. They are in the true spirit, cultural ambassadors proud of the place they’re from, sharing their homes and offering a unique experience in the city you have come visiting. We as a couple had a ball in not just Paris but different cities of UK and Europe staying in various apartments where we met extremely generous and fun loving hosts. We have been picking up our learning from each of the experiences.Here are few pictures from the home stay at Paris.

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Let me just share my top 7 points on being a good host and why you should consider hosting your space to guests –

  1. How to be accepting – No matter how different your cultures and languages might be, there is always something common to strike a chord with and this is a great platform to explore that. Similarly, you also learn to respect each others’ differences, either way it is a great way to improve the quality of accepting people around you.
  2. How to respect individual space – When you are letting out your house to strangers, you have to place hundred percent trust on them and it is not easy. So, that itself is a huge task to complete before you step out to become a host. As guests in our homestays, we felt completely at home particularly in the magnificent modern apartment of Paris only for the reason that the hosts gave us our space all through the day yet made sure to join us during the meals as one big family.
  3. How to be a cultural ambassador – As hosts, you can be an instant favorite if you give useful recommendations like the local pubs, the nearby restaurants, the must see places and the ones that can be skipped, the opera, the theatre and the list goes on. Funnily, it improves your knowledge of the culture of your locale.Hence, it is always wise to write to the guest beforehand and understand their interest and purpose of travel.
  4. How to exchange values – Hosting guests provides you with the opportunity to learn about a new country’s cultural and family values as much as it provides them with the same opportunity. Understanding other’s cultures teaches you to understand more about people’s personalities and attitudes towards many different aspects of life.
  5. How to make awesome food – I know it sounds funny but I have heard people say that some of the best foods they have had in their lives are with the host families they have stayed with. In our experience, the hosts would leave a generous spread of breakfast at the table every morning but they loved to cook food for supper every evening. We took this opportunity to introduce few Indian dishes to them and they absolutely loved it(minus the spices). Interestingly, one of them was Spanish, so it was a brilliant concoction of Indian, French and Spanish food that we had every evening.
  6. How to build professional network – Foreign language is a great plus for your resume if you are ready to take up an international assignment, this is a wonderful opportunity to grow your professional network .
  7. How to be passionate about simple joys of life – Hosting is possibly the most natural thing that comes to human beings, after all you must have hosted someone at some point of life – be it friends or family. Hosting a stranger can be a really rewarding experience if you leverage on this unique opportunity of making a new friend, getting to know about a new culture and possibly open a channel to your next travel to the guest’s city.

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Picture from a busy locale just outside the apartment, from fruits to flowers to pubs – everything a stone’s throw away!

The next time you think about letting out your space to a stranger, think from a positive perspective!

Happy Hosting!

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Atithi devo bhava is an ancient line from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God.While this is practised widely in India,we got to experience this amazing hospitality at Marc and Xavier's place in Paris. My top 3 learnings on being a good host comes from these gentlemen- 1.How to be accepting-No matter how different our cultures and languages might be,there is always something common to strike a chord with. 2.How to give space- When you are letting out your house to strangers,you have to place hundred percent trust on them.We felt absolutely at home in this magnificent house only because they gave us our space yet joined us for meals as one big family. 3.Being a good guide – As hosts, you can be instant friends when you give useful recommendations like the local pubs,the nearby restaurants,the opera,the theatre and the list goes on.Read full story on #vogueviolet-link in bio👆 Have you ever experienced such an amazing hospitality from strangers that you can't forget the hosts? #airbnb #homestay

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