HOME AS A LEARNING SPACE FOR KIDS

 

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Image Source Flintobox

Home is the first environment a child is exposed to socially and it is home where the child spends maximum time of his early years around his/her family. It is a great opportunity to utilize this environment to maximize the learning of a toddler. To do the same, it is important that we as parents and people around us who are involved in raising the child are actively adopting the behavioral alterations required to suit the learning of the child.Some of the easy to do and important ones are –

1.Improving the listening and responding skills – Toddlers have a habit of asking never ending questions, sometimes they repeatedly keep asking silly questions. There is no end to the whats, whys and hows but then, it is only natural for us to get irritated. The key to alter this behavior is obviously patience; if you consistently encourage the curiosity and raise the interest level of the child it will have many long term benefits. The child grows up to constantly seek new things in life, explore and experiment with changes. If we do it in an early age, it will continue in the long run.

2. Reading Habit – We all know reading is a great habit but it is a habit which cannot be inculcated in a child by preaching. This is something which can only be done by leading through example. There are two ways to do this – reading yourself and being an example to the child or reading the book aloud to the child every night through bedtime stories or any other means. This comes for my personal experience – whenever I read a book, V also has the excitement to hold a book and pretend to read. In fact this is how kids transition from pretending to read to actually start reading.

3. Declutter – Like most other parents, I am also guilty of getting too many toys and games for my daughter. Kids are spoilt for choice and eventually start to devalue things. Research also proves a child’s learning is maximized when it is uncluttered and organised. Prioritizing and organizing skills can really be imbibed in the early years. Time capping for certain games is also a great idea where you only give one set of toys for a particular period of time. Involve the child in the de-cluttering process and let him/her choose the next set.

4. Demonstration – It is always a great idea to ask kids to assist you to do things. Household chores or outdoor tasks, working as a team always helps raise a more responsible child. The activity is also perceived as fun activity by them and not a task.

5. Let them try – Unless it is a big hazard, let the kids try to do things independently. Parental supervision is good but instilling the confidence in the child really means a lot. I have seen the such kids to grow up as very confident and fearless individuals.

 

 

SUBTLE INDIAN MAKEUP

As you would have noticed, most of my makeup tutorials have a lot of focus on the eyes. I strongly believe that if you can highlight your eyes , half the battle is won. Indian look is synonymous to dark eyes and red lips. This is a look created with the red and golden hues(but not going overboard) which is perfect for Indian weddings and parties.

Gold is a great shade for makeup and it suits the Indian skin tone really well. It is a royal color which makes your eyes pop with kohled eyes.

On the eyes –

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eye shadow palette

Desert sand all over the eye lids until smooth

Nefertiti on the inner corners and slowly moving towards the mid of the eye lids

Saffron and Blazing on outer corner of the eyes blended in really well

INGLOT AMC 77 Eyeliner – My favorite black of all times.Used it on the upper lash line and water line.

Maybelline Eye Mascara Long Lashes

Benefit Big Brows

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On the Face

Foundation mix of MAC Studio Fix NC 25 and Bobbi Brown

Blush Too Faced Sweet Hearts

Highlighter Moonlight from Cover FX

Finishing Powder by Laura Mercier

 

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On the Lips

Huda Beauty Heart Breaker dabbed with a brush in little quantities to get a lighter shade of cherry red.

 

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FOTD : PISTACHIO AND BURNT ALMONDS LOOK(GREEN BRONZE EYEMAKEUP)

Green eye makeup has been quite a thing on Instagram. Most people are unsure if green eye shadow could be carried off on a regular day but trust me you just have to choose the right shade and it would do wonders from an office look to a party look. If you are pale, you can could choose darker shades and if you are on the darker side, bright shades would look great.

In the look that I created, I was hesitant to use lot of green as I was already sporting the green lens. So, I used bronze and copper along with the green which was the base shadow and extended towards the outward corners.

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Face : 

Primer : Farsali Unicorn Essence

Foundation : Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation + Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

Highlighter on the cheek bones and Nose Bridge : Becca Champagne

Blush : Benefit Dandelion

No Bronzer

MAC Prep+Prime Powder

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Eyes :

For my eye makeup, I used the TOO FACED Chocolate Gold Eye Shadow Palette which is made with 100% cocoa powder and real gold.

Eye Primer : Bobbi Brown Eye Primer

Base : Rollin’ Dough from the palette

Green : Money bags from the palette blended evenly around the outer corner of the eyes

Bronze : Old Money soft color used in the inner corner of the eyes and blended towards the middle.

Copper : Gold dipped in the middle of the eyelid, used it to let a light shade between 2 dark shade.

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Eye Liner : Colorbar Liquid Liner in Black

Eye Mascara : Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

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Hope you liked the look. Follow me on Instagram to get more such updates –

FOTD: GOLD SMOKEY EYE MAKEUP

Smokey eyes bring up the glamour quotient in no time.

I absolutely love it and when it comes to a signature makeup look, smokey eye has always been my go to. It appears a lot difficult but is definitely not to hard to do. I have improved with time learning from my mistakes and here I shall explain the whole process in 7 simple steps –

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Steps I followed to get this look –

Step 1: Prepped and primed the eyelids with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer potion.

Step 2: Used Bae from Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette as a base.

Step 3: Used a tape at both ends to get the cut right.I used the dark brown bossy shade from Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette and applied it to the outer corner and then took it further into the crease to create the depth.

Step 4: I applied the shade Smog in gold from the Urban Decay  eyeshadow box to the middle of the lid and the shade blackout in the outer corner till I was happy with the intensity.

Step 5: I applied the gold eyeshadow to the lower lashline and followed up with black liner on the lower water line.

Step 6: Then I used Chambor kohl on the upper lashline as an eyeliner.

Step 7: Lastly, I loaded it with Benefit Roller Lash mascara.

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I have a more dramatic smokey look coming up very soon on the blog!Stay tuned!

FUSION WEAR : BELT TO THE RESCUE

Fusion wear is a rage that has taken over the fashion world since quite sometime now. People like me who love to experiment and dress up have a lot of options when it comes to creating fusion looks.If you follow me on Instagram – missvogueviolet, you would know my love for the most convenient accessory I sport with most of my outfits – the belt.While western clothes and belts seem to be the obvious choice, pairing belts with Indian ensembles immediately creates a quirky  fashion statement! I often pair belts with dresses which are loose fit(creates a whole new look) here is a one of the looks I adapted to nail this trend effortlessly.

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This is a pale gold Dhoti dress with a cape which I had bought right after my pregnancy. Needless to mention, I shed a few kilos and the fit looked nothing like it did before That’s when this belt from Label Life came to my rescue. This could be worn over the cape as well, I used it under though. Now, I wear this in 3 different ways with and without the belt 😉

FOTD : SUMMER DAY MAKEUP

I love summers for many reasons – one of the many is how the daylight gives an opportunity for subtle makeup and perfect pictures but at the same time melting makeup, sticky lipsticks and smeared eyeliners can be quite difficult to manage. I go for fresh makeup looks and non-black liners for sunny days. Here’s one I created which is light, simple and very easy to do –

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Products Used –

  1. Neutregena Suncreen
  2. Smashbox primer
  3. Huda Beauty Foundation in Cheesecake
  4. Laura Mercier Makeup Finishing Powder
  5. Too Faced Sweethearts Blush
  6. Huda Beauty Lipcolor in Trophy Wife
  7. Benefit Brow Kit
  8. Estee Lauder Golden Nudes Eyeshadow
  9. Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Rich Ground
  10. Benefit Rollup Mascara

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Few things that one must keep in mind while doing a day makeup during summers –

1.Perfect Primer : Investing in a primer is a must. It helps you hold up the makeup in place when you are sweating like a pig 😀

2.Proper base : I prefer oil free foundation formula as oil based make you really sweaty in this sultry heat.

3. Matte : I keep it matte because shimmer in the daylight can make it look very blingy. Even when you attempt a healthy radiance, it shows up as over – the -top shine in summers.

4.  Sheer liner: I skip the conventional black liner and heavy eye shadows as deep colors look really heavy in summers.

5. As natural as possible : Keeping things light will help prevent the caking and creasing of heavy makeup on the face.

 

INDOOR NEW BORN PHOTOSHOOT

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” – Source Wikipedia

So, Murphy has been my best friend since childhood, always making sure if I dreaded something would go wrong, he made sure it did. When we decided to do the first photoshoot for V, she was only 10 days old – we wanted a few pictures of her to be printed in the invitation cards for her welcome party. I was prepared for sleeping pictures but she kept wide awake all through the photo sessions getting really uncomfortable with the idea of clicking pictures. It was tough but we managed somehow. The second time we actually did a shoot, she was about 2 months old. I had many plans with props but little miss V decided to sleep through the whole session. So, we had to make do with available resources at home and get few pictures clicked. Here are few options that you can look at when you are not prepared or have to do a shoot with very limited resources.IMG_2640

We used a black fur carpet and a white fur one-sie , two red balloons with long strings and the picture was taken from the top. You could easily use few crumpled towels for making clouds around to giving it a feel of the baby floating in her dreams in the sky.

Onesie from NEXT UK

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White is my favorite color for pictures. It just makes everything look so dreamy.Here, I have used a white blanket as the base and this is just a candid shot while she is deep in her sleep.I regret some happy places few red flowers in the base, they would have created the perfect contrast.

Onesie – Carter’s USA

Hair band: Claire’s

Thanks to the filters these days, you can create the dreamiest of pictures from the most normal photographs. These are pictures from different angles while V slept peacefully.

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A basket came super handy when we thought of bringing in another element to the picture. We used the same black carpet, white blanket and placed V gently on the top of the basket which was covered with the white blanket.

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Sleep time is the best time to capture these tiny little feet. I have been obsessed with baby hands and feet for a long time ago. The first prints are always special and to be preserved for ever.

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The last picture of course, was shot after she finally decided to wake up and pose with us for a few minutes before she called it quits 🙂

FLYING WITH A BABY?

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While vacationing with a baby might sound like an oxymoron, good planning and preparation can ease off a huge amount of load from the parents. Basically, if you are prepared ahead of time, it could be a smooth experience. I have traveled with V since she was 3 months and by the time she was 1, she had made it to her 18th flight. It was never perfect but it was never that bad to put my travel life grind to a halt. Here are few tips which can help you on those long flights that you are dreading –

  1. First and foremost, book the front seat with a bassinet – Lot of airlines do give you the option of pre – booking the bassinet seat online but some could  ask you to wait till you collect your boarding pass and request for a bassinet seat at the counter. In that case, it will be based on availability, so it is better to check with the airlines beforehand because once the baby is asleep, you can safely place him/her on the bassinet and give your arms some rest. The crew does not fit the bassinet during takeoff and landing, so you will have to manage that time on your own. Bassinet is quite a boon until your baby has reached the crawling/walking phase.
  2. Lots of extras – You have to forget the concept of travelling light when it comes to travelling with a baby. Layering is important as flights get very cold after they take off, also if you carry layers,you can take them off in warmer temperatures . I always dress V in light clothes which are confortable while travelling and layer her up as and when required.Hence, you should have space in the diaper bag to fit in those extra jackets. Extra outfits and diapers are a must – you never know when there is spilt food/water or for that matter even poop J
  3. Medicines – One of the most important things which I never forget to carry. I learnt it the hard way in one of the flights back to India when V threw up for no apparent reason and I did not have the medicine handy. Guess what, I went around asking a few mothers on board and no body had a sickness medicine in their handbags. It was a huge mistake and since then, I never forget to carry the whole set of medicines with prescriptions wherever I go.
  4. Food and fluids – If you are a nursing mother, chances are you will have a smooth flight. Baby should be hydrated at all times as airplanes can be really drying. If he/she has started to munch on few finger foods or other snacks, please do not forget to carry those with you. I noticed V got a lot more curious about food after we introduced solids at the age of 6 months – I didn’t mind giving her a bite of the food we ordered on the flight as well.
  5. Things baby associate familiarity with – It could be a favorite toy, a favorite blanket or even a favorite pillow. Anything that the baby is used to and is compact enough to be carried must be in your cabin baggage. I have a particular chipmunk soft toy that V relates sleep with. So it becomes a lot easier for her to be calm and comfortable hugging the toy.
  6. Plan your travel around baby’s sleep schedule – Fortunately, most international flights from India are late in the night. In the initial days, V used to be in deep sleep in the mornings only, so I used to prefer booking the morning flights for domestic travel. Gradually when she started to sleep well in the night, we planned our international trips with most of the travel happening in the night flights.
  7. Carrier or stroller – Each one has its own benefits, you got to make a choice. I used to carry V in the initial days but it was a pain to take the carrier off each time during the security Check-ins. Although it is the same for strollers as well but the biggest advantage of the stroller is you can let the baby sleep in a reclining position and keep your hands free. Typically, I use carriers during sightseeing and prefer stroller during flight travels.

Guys, come what may, your baby is not going to behave his/her best while travelling unless you are extremely lucky. Let’s understand it is a change of place and by all probabilities an unpleasant one for him/her. So you will get those smirks, frosty stares and unwanted advice from your fellow passengers but good news is it doesn’t matter. Remember when you traveled during college and there were babies wailing in the flight. Could you do anything about it?No!So do not bother with what others are thinking of you – just try to make the baby comfortable as much as you can. Hope you have a safe flight with your munchkin!

WHY CHILDREN SHOULD PLAY OUTDOORS?

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This winter has been very tough for me as far as V’s health was concerned. We struggled for nights with blocked nose, persistent cough and sore throat. I had to do an extensive research on how to deal with baby’s cough and cold , how to boost immunity and how to get rid of recurring flu. While I was not successful in the initial attempts, I learnt a lot through the failed attempts. One of the biggest myths that burst for me was that babies/kids should be kept indoors to avoid any kind of health issue. Contrary to this popular belief, there are in fact hundreds of benefits for kids who play outside regularly, it is also advised that kids should spend more than 3 hours outdoors each day. Some of the reasons why you should let your child spend time outside are listed below –

  1. Confinement breeds diseases: While rest is extremely important for the sick and we are perennially worried about our kids catching cold when they step out, the reality is virus is easy to catch in closed environments. In open areas, there are lesser chances of kids catching the virus and in open air.
  2. Emotional and social competencies: Outdoor play has brain-boosting benefits for kids, starting in infancy. It strengthens the language and communication interactions among children who play together in the park. The more they socialize, the faster their learning is.
  3. Vitamin D Levels : Vitamin D has several health benefits like strengthening bone health which is a key parameter for growth in kids. Since, most of our kids have minimum exposure to sun these days, we try to supplement through food and tablets but sunlight is the most natural and effective way of receiving Vitamin D. Ofcourse, the precautionary measures must be taken for children who get sun burns easily.
  4. Channelize energy and increase curiosity: Kids come with a huge amount of energy which has to be channelized in a productive way. Kids who are confident about their physical abilities tend to be more positive about their lives in general. When they are exposed to newer things, their curiosity levels rise up, their tendency to ask questions increases and all of this contributes to the overall energy levels of a child.
  5. Increased attention span : Green outdoor settings always appear to reduce Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms amongst children, that includes the exposure they get to natural settings through different outdoor activities.
  6. Concept of leadership and team work – Outdoor play is extremely important to the social development of children particularly for building self-confidence. In addition to it, children also get more empathetic through social play, and they develop more skills for coping with conflict. Group activities also help develop team skills and leadership/moderation skills at a very early age.
  7. Boosting creativity: Sensory inputs help boost creativity and imagination. It also helps with quick learning – we all know we learn to do by doing and there is no substitute to experience. So, if you touch the sand, you would understand the concept of coarse and fine and there is no other way to explain it by seeing or reading. Hence, we must encourage our kids to step out and enjoy the sun, grass and wide skies.

I would be so happy to receive inputs from other moms who are willing to share their experiences and tricks which have worked for them.