Browse Author by Rashmi
Lifestyle and health, Uncategorized

Inspiration for Moms- A guide to Selfcare and Personality Development

This is a guest post by Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd).

The Mumbo Jumbo of Personality

Wow! She has a terrific personality, but… what about me?

Do I look good? Am I cool enough? Here, we have a mini personality and personal development plan, little inspiration for all moms feeling lack of self confidence.

Well, if you have ever run any of these three questions in your head, then read on. By the time you finish reading, you would have a smile on your face, a spark in your eyes and additional energy in your gait. what I talk about here is not only about personality, but selfcare and holistic personal development.

Personality is all about a beautiful smile, a wonderful heart and open arms. As we run through this page, let us figure out this personality gig. We may not know each other, but we are all sisters, helping each other build stronger images of our own selves. These are a few pointers which I keep reminding myself as I look at the girl in the mirror and as I experience the seasons of life, because after all it is about looking within for inspiration.

Building the girl in me, the woman I respect.

  1. Who am I?
  • Love yourself, love your size, shape, complexion, skin and hair. What the beauty industry tells you is meant only for the beauty industry. Beauty of a woman lies in her smile, patience, compassion, feelings, thoughts and actions.
  • Throw these things out of the window: guilt, low self-esteem, ‘I’m not good enough’. Give yourself a hug and usher in, ‘I am sooooo beautiful’, ‘I love myself’, ‘It is OK that I made a few mistakes, I have learnt my lessons and am growing wiser’.

2. Dress de-stress

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  • Clean ironed clothes of any style are good.
  • For interviews: If you love Indian wear, have at least one formal kurta with a simple dupatta that can be slung on a single shoulder. A plain saree always looks classy. If western wear, a formal trouser with a light coloured shirt goes well. Hair tied up in a bun gives a tidy look.
  • Have a black and brown pair of formal bellies. A pair of sport shoes. These would be adequate, unless you love fashion. I’ve never had more than 5 pairs of footwear.

3. The walk, the talk, the unspoken

  • Walk, talk, sit straight… have a good posture. Yoga, walks, exercise, breathing techniques help.
  • Stand against the wall for back correction. Practice walking while balancing a paper glass on your head. I’ve always admired the rustic village girls with earthen pots on their heads, what stride, what style and charm!

4. Practice what you speak and how you speak:

  • Clear well-formed sentences with the right tone / modulation are tools of expression.
  • What language you speak is not important, ability to speak English is over emphasized. Be proud of your mother tongue.
  • Silence works well when you are angry, tired or irritated. Let that moment pass. All humans must master to express their feelings and opinions. 
  • Say what you like or dislike, but rationally and respectfully. It is a helpful skill to master the ability to express your feelings and your needs.

You may like this article about my life story here

5. This is me:

  • Create ‘me time’. Invest in it. It could be listening to music with a face mask/pack or sipping tea by your window after a good shower.
  • Give time to your hobbies- trekking, reading, dancing, shopping (no indulgence, only moderation)!
  • Select a beautiful and happy picture of yours, preferably with someone you love. It could be your childhood photograph with your grandparents or anything that makes you feel that you are you. Use that as your WhatsApp / FB profile picture. You will begin to be more accepting of what and who you are, of the wonder God has created of you.

6. This is what I can be:

  • Learn a skill, master it. It is better if it is related to your interests: cooking, drawing, singing, studying, oratory, dressing up well, computers, mantra recital, mathematics, spiritualism, reading, working professionally. It may be related to art or craft / academics / professional knowledge. Invest your time and energy in learning / gaining knowledge/ empowering yourself. You would be a better version of yourself by trying and stepping forward.
  • Start reading the newspaper / news app to be aware of current affairs. Reading nurtures the mind.
  • Learn how to ride a scooter / cycle/ motorcycle/ car / jeep, to be able to be independent to meet your daily requirements.
  • Be fearless. Make mistakes. Try, learn, grow.

7. The plastic glam girl, I wouldn’t be:

  • Remember that fashion shows, television programmes, other people’s Facebook and Instagram posts, brands don’t rate our personality or define who we are. We are, who we are. We define our own standards of excellence.

8. Me and my people:

  • Have at least one friend who you respect. Respect is different from love, laughter, fun. Filter out / restrict time with friends who make you feel inferior. Better to have friends who accept you with your flaws and nurture you.
  • Work on all your relationships joyfully. We all work on friends and relatives. By ‘all’, I mean your maid, neighbours, hawkers, shop keepers, school teachers and all people in the community.
  • Work on your relationship with God. It need not be ritualistic. Simple heart to heart communication when you hit the bed each night and after your bath. It is a fool proof solution for all personality traits!! He guides, leads, protects and shepherds. Prayers are a tool to further our plans. Prayers are a weapon to fight our follies and roadblocks.
  • Stay in touch with your parents, children, friends and teachers wherever you may be. They will build you up in your downtime, encourage you when you need them, show you the righteous path when you can go astray, bring out your grey areas when you falter and love you unconditionally.

9. The party begins:

  • Enjoy your outings, dress up in a way that makes you feel beautiful. It may be your favourite perfume or lipstick or none at all!
  • If you drink, ‘enjoy ‘your own drink, don’t go over board to please friends with a one more, one more.
  • Be the person in charge and in control of what your feel / think / speak and do. Don’t go overboard in anything.
  • Use the magic words: thank you, sorry, may I, please, excuse me. Warm gestures, generous smiles, good manners add an aura to every personality. Help, whenever you can.

10. Meditate:

  • Pray. Love and peace within, radiates love and peace around.

The above is the essence. These practices may take time to develop, so, there are some quick solutions too.

The instant solution to deal with peer pressure:

If you want a quick one, wear a pair of goggles, wash your hair well and leave it open, wear your favourite dress, your loved lipstick, sit at the steering wheel, click a pic and post on FB!! It’ll give you a high!! 😊😊.

Rethink. Give this one a thought.

Write down what according to you is personality.

What makes you feel that you need personality development? What is it that you feel you lack?

Is it others who make you feel that you need to work on your personality. Do you think they are right or could they be wrong?

Most important: What is it that you feel if you gain you will have a good personality. Can these traits be learnt / practiced? Do you need others help for this or only your will power and practice?

Rethink over, who you are, what you are meant to be, and how you can rise to your full potential. Work on it!

I’m not qualified or trained to write this. My only ‘experience’ in the field is being a 42-year-old married woman with 2 kids and all bag and baggage that life offers.

Love and light,

Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd).

Vibhuti is an author of a book, The Inner Chord, printed in 2003. She is a dreamer, a lover, a poet, a writer and often smitten by the wander lust, explores the countryside with her family.

Montessori, parenting, Uncategorized

7 Low Cost/ No Cost Family Bonding Activities

7 Fun Bonding activities at no Cost

This pandemic has tested everyone’s limits; especially when it comes to engaging the kids. Going out, family outings, movie and shopping is all stalled thanks to this novel Corona Virus.

The kids are getting bored and anxioux; while I am an advocate of free play, we definitely need to have some activities in place in order to keep them occupied for at least some part of the day. 

Sharing here some bonding activities that you do not need to shell out any money for and these are easy and simple without requiring advance planning.

  • Shadow play: Remember those frequent long hours of power-cuts from your childhood? Yes, you know what I mean here, you don’t need to wait for a power cut. Just turn off the lights and play. Create your own stories. Take this game a step forward, make shapes out of cardboard or any thick paper. Use your hands, or any other prop for shadows. You could even make puppets out of old socks. We make broom from chart-papers and we a have a witch-hat, all perfect for room on the broom play. I even went ahead with creating a mini shadow theatre for my son out of a big amazon carton. Don’t forget to share the stories about power-cuts  from your childhood, my son loves it when I talk about my childhood incidents and share those memories.
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  • Create a home spa- You could have fun converting a small corner of your house into a home salon or spa. We recently did nail art activity together with pretend play where I was obviously the artist. We often turn the bath times into pedicure times. I pretend to be the beautician and my little one becomes my client. Waiting for the times when we would reverse the roles and I could demand a nice foot massage
  • Pillow Fight: Another one from our childhood, wondering how to let your kid vent out his/her aggression? Simply engage in a pillow fight. Make your own rules, simple or silly. Better still, ask your kids to make the rules and play along.
  • The tickle game: May not be everyone’s favourite, but yes 5 minutes of this laughter therapy are good enough. We recently started playing the “Tickle game” before our afternoon quiet time/nap time. I call it quiet time because my son doesn’t let me nap, not that he remains quiet around that time, it is just that I wish to get some quiet, restful moments before starting evening chores.

  • Camping at home or in your backyard: Camping is fun, just the thought of it is so refreshing and fills your mind with adventurous ideas. But what to do when you can’t camp for real? Camp at home, yes, inside your home or in your backyard!! Make your tent out of chairs, clothes drying stand etc. find a spot in the house that has good sunlight and ventilation and set-up your tent there.  Prepare everything like you would for a day if you were to go camping. You could prepare some of your and your kids favorite dishes.  Keep the whole family off screen for those few hours or that whole day/night. Make sure your tent is big enough for all to snuggle up at night. Keep enough pillows to make it cozy. Get a board-game, prepare some camping songs and you could also do a treasure hunt in your house. At night put some fairy lights and use your flashlight to read bed-time stories, we love doing shadow plays even inside the tent.
  • Hide and seek and Dark Room: We often play these two games. Mostly just my son and me. However these can be fun if there are more family members involved.
  • Family water play: Kids love water and so do some adults. If your bath area is big enough, just get in your swim suits and get that shower on and enjoy some splashing and playing with bubbles or soapy froth. To add to it you could arrange for some disco lights and music.

Did you like these ideas, please share which one you liked the most. If you have tried anything exciting do share it with me, I would love to try those too, after all time spent with your family is worth every second.

annaprashan, babies, Babycare, babyled weaning, Uncategorized

All You Need to Know About Toddler Nutrition- Priya Kathpal

We thank Priya Kathpal,  Founder Nutrify for this article.

Priya is a Nutritionist with over 15 years of experience. She works with health and fitness enthusiasts, people with medical conditions like diabetes, PCOS, hypothyroid and other lifestyle disorders, sportspeople and children. I happened to attend one of Priya’s workshop and that is where I could get all the insights for this article. 

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Uncategorized

Plant Propagation – Dos and Don’ts and Much More

Gardening is one of the most fulfilling hobbies, but often people get demotivated by the exorbitant prices at the nursery. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love plants. Some are able to manage them others are not, but there isn’t a soul who says that I dislike plants

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Sometimes we may not know the right ways to keep those exotic, expensive plants we bought looking at pinterest or someone’s pretty Instagram feed  and we eventually may just kill those plants and vow never to indulge in gardening. 

In this post I have shared some ways that you can propagate a few plants from your existing ones and points to keep in mind when you get new plants home. 

Plants and greenery at home brings joy to one’s heart and tending to them is therapeutic, isn’t it? For me the best shopping is plant shopping, and I have done the mistake of spending many thousands on plants.

Check out this post on Homedecor

Few things you can do to add to your plant family.

  1. Propagate from existing plants (best option during current times)
  2. Get cuttings/pups from friends
  3. Get cuttings/pups from society gardens, public parks.
  4. Join plant swap groups in your locality.

Some ways you can propagate the plants- cuttings, root division or pups

Propagating plants from cuttings is very easy, you just need to snip off a stem with a few (3-4) leaves. Most plants can just be put in the soil and they root in few weeks, you may put them in water too for you to be able to see the root growth.

Use clean shears and cut just below a node (that’s where new roots will form). You can use rooting powder or honey to promote root growth.

Some sturdy plants that will easily grow from stem cuttings- Coleus, Monstera, Pothos, Aglonema, zz plant.

Some plants like Spider plants, Snake plants, Aloevera and Succulents grow well from either off-shoots or pups or both. Let the baby plants (off shoots grow a few inches and then carefully separate the baby-plant from mother plant from the roots. These are some very interesting plants when it comes to propagation; they can be propagated from pups, off-shoots and even leaves.

Points to consider while propagating-

  1. Ensure that you are taking the cutting from a healthy mother plant
  2. When propagating, a cutting with buds or flowers should be avoided as the chances of survival of such a cutting get low.
  3. Do not keep your cuttings in direct sunlight.
  4. Ensure that the soil is moist (neither wet nor dry, just moist)
  5. Preferably use soil-less potting mix (it is a mix of peat, coco coir, perlite and slow releasing fertilizer) Soil-less potting mix reduces the chances of rotting in cuttings.

Here are a few things you can do while getting new plants from the nursery.

  • Check the leaves, avoid plants with (unhealthy) yellow or brown or discolored  leaves.
  • Check for pests. check the plant thoroughly under the leaves, stem and top 1-2 inches of soil for pests.
  • If you are getting a flowering plant, get the ones with lots of buds rather than ones with lots of flowers.
  • See if you have similar conditions (at home) as required for that plant. Some plants need bright sunlight some can thrive in low lights.

Re-pot the plant only after a few weeks to avoid any shock or discomfort to the plant.

last but not the least –  Once you get any plant from outside (friends, nursery or as a gift) ISOLATE the plant! Yes, you must quarantine the plant for at least 10-14 days. Yes, you read it right! It is best suggested to put the plants away to avoid the pests from spreading from new plants to the existing ones.

If you found my post helpful you may like this Post on gardening too

Happy Gardening!

 


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eco-friendly, Lifestyle and health

Bio Enzyme – Natural Multipurpose Cleaner

We have all read the labels of most popular household cleaners. They all come with a warning “Hazardous, keep away from children and animals”; which clearly means they may clean your house but are not safe for you. At a macro level these commercial cleaners are a big environmental hazard too, slowly poisoning our lakes, rivers and soil. The best thing is to switch to Bio enzyme!

It was 5 years ago that I first heard of bio enzyme and regretting that it took me so long to try my first batch of this magical enzyme. 

If you like the idea of low or zero waste, you may find my post on home composting interesting too.

Bio enzymes are natural cleaners made from fruit peels, preferably citrus fruits. Most people use orange and lemon peels for making BE for cleaning, other peels like banana etc. can be used to make plant food/ fertilizer.

Uses

A bio enzyme as mentioned earlier is a natural multipurpose cleaner. You can use bio enzyme to clean your bathroom sink, W.C. You can use bio-enzyme for mopping too

  • As floor cleaner- Add 50ml of Bio Enzyme to your bucket of water.
  • As Bathroom tiles/ sink cleaner- Spray Bio enzyme and leave it for 20-30 minutes and then scrub the areas.
  • Laundry and dishes- Add soap nut liquid and use your Bio Enzyme liquid to clean dishes, laundry
  • Plant fertilizer- Diluted Bio Enzyme can also be used as liquid fertilizer for plants, the ones made from banana and other peels. I have only made citrus fruit BE; hence I will only be talking about that in this post.
  • Vegeatbles and toy disinfectant- These days there are several vegge washes and toys disinfectants, you can use BE to clean your vegetables/fruits. Make water and BE solution and dip your vegetables for 10-15 minutes, wash with regular water and then dry before storing.
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