Friday, January 5, 2018

How to keep kids safe from mosquitoes

Picture this:
Under the open sky, your kids are playing in the park with wild abandon, while you open the picnic basket with packed goodies for you and your family. As the sun sets, there's a smile on your face as you sit on the grass sipping juice and watching your children be happy.

Frankly, a mother like me would actually 'freak out' at the prospect of letting kids go free and wild in the open air surroundings. The probability of getting bit by mosquitoes is too high and is not one that is cherished. Not just kids, adults too are prone to mosquito bites that can increase the chances of diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya. And if you would have thought that wearing full-sleeved tops and bottoms is fine to avoid getting bitten, guess again! Not just in playgrounds and gardens, we need to protect ourselves and our family in indoor places too.

As parents, most of our focus lies around our kids, with them being the centre of our universe. However, they cannot be figuratively tied to a leash, kept indoors all day and be disallowed from exploring their surroundings. In fact, the more the kids explore and figure out things by themselves, the faster they learn.

So how do we solve this conundrum?

As it is rightfully said, prevention is better than cure. It is perhaps best to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your kids. There are some ways and means to protect yourself and your kids from mosquito bites:

Clear out stagnant water
Stagnant water is said to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. These insects are known to lay their eggs in the water which breed rampantly and infest your home. You out to check the flower pots, the roofs, the verandah and your bathroom for sitting water that may act as breeding pools. This must be done time and again, especially in the rainy season.

Placing herbal plants
It is believed that plants and trees like Tulsi (holy basil), Neem and Lavender are helpful in killing mosquito larvae. Once the larvae are under control, it can help in curbing and controlling the population of mosquitoes.

Using repellents
One of the ways is using a safe mosquito repellent. The idea of a repellent is to repel the mosquitoes by preventing them from landing or coming close. Although there are multiple brands in the market, the renowned brand, Good knight has designed repellents in the form of non-sticky gels, patches and fabric roll-ons that are 100% natural and provide up to 8 hours of protection from mosquitoes.

Good knight Cool Gel

Good knight Patches

You can easily stick the patches onto your child's clothes or apply the aloe gel when they are playing on the playground. The mosquito repellent's aloe gel is a natural element that is not only cooling but also works like a charm. You can safely use this mosquito repellent for infants by sticking the patches on cribs.

By using the ways that are in the best interest of you as well as your family, say goodbye to your fears of getting bitten!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review: What Kitty Did by Trisha Bora

Book Name: What Kitty Did
Author: Trisha Bora
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: INR 299 (MRP)

I am reading a book after what seems like ages, and I'm glad I picked up this one. It has opened up the floodgates for reading quite a few more. Thank you, Vivek and Flipkart for shortlisting me for reviewing this book. Will keep this review short and simple.

The story revolves around Ketaki Roy, aka Kitty to her close friends and family. Working as a journalist for a fashion magazine, at times Kitty feels like she's a misfit. However, she is handed to cover the life of a high-profile yesteryear actress and socialite, Roxanne Merchant, which ultimately leads her into a web of the murky lives of big shots. At the same time, an incident helps her realize her true interest: baking and spreading the sweetness with the world. How she unravels the real cause behind Roxy Merchant's death is what the crux of the story is.

Firstly, this is one really great weekend read, filled with rib-tickling lines and funny innuendos. Trisha Bora does a fine job with the narration, sticking to the storyline, at the same time digressing when it is required. For example, she talks about the city of Delhi - where the story is based - quite well; where a non-Delhiite like me could relate and understand. All in all, this book is very in-sync with today's generation and most parts are quite relatable.

If you feel like you need an entertaining read, go for this.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tinkle Buddy Box from Amar Chitra Katha - Product Review

My childhood in the nineties revolved around reading Tinkle, Champak and Chandamama. And from these periodicals stemmed my passion for books, series like Harry Potter and Poirot, and helped me take baby steps towards the world of literature. However, what I did not realise then was the magic of the colourful characters like Suppandi, Chacha Chowdhury and Shikhari Shambhu that were amusing and how most had a moral or a lesson to tell in the end. I also looked forward to solving a riddle or puzzles like spot the differences.

Over time, we all grew up and we pushed it away for more trivial pursuits including our affiliation for technology. We forgot about the charm and unadulterated joy that a freshly minted copy of Tinkle or Champak got us when we were gifted one or spotted one at our sibling's or friend's place. An irreplaceable part of my childhood were these periodical paperbacks.

It was after a really long time that I got my hands on a Tinkle digest. This happened when I was asked to review TinkleBuddyBox, an activity box. And no points for guessing who was more excited than my daughter! :)

I soo wanted to do an un-boxing video, but my daughter beat me to it. She was super elated with her shiny new box of things that she has seen for the very first time. It was perfect timing since she has her vacations and I was just thinking of purchasing an activity box to keep her busy while I was away.

The contents of TinkleBuddyBox are:

a never-seen-before Tinkle board game
a 108- piece jigsaw puzzle with Shikari Shambhu
an exclusive Tinkle card game
Tinkle merchandise: four badges
2 DIY art projects
2 mega Tinkle digests

All this equates to a whole lot of fun.

Even though my darling daughter isn't 6 yet and is still young to understand most games, she thoroughly enjoyed piecing the puzzle and making an aeroplane and Suppandi's autorickshaw - the DIY art projects. 

Take a look:

The contents of my TinkleBuddyBox

My thoughts about the Tinkle Buddy Box:
For kids ages 6 and more: It is hours of fun and learning for your child, away from the television or smartphone. They are bound to be glued to the activities that will keep them engaged. I had my nephew and niece go ga-ga over the fun-filled activities.

For kids less than 6 years of age: This box will give you an opportunity to spend quality time with your kid. knowing that most of us parents have very little free time on our hands. You can develop a lot of your child's skills through this pack of activities and keep them engaged and away from the smartphone mania.

I know I created a mini storm on my Instagram account @missalpao just by posting a snapshot of this box.
My kiddo and I had loads of fun with this activity box. So head out and grab a box for your kid (or may be for you!).

Monday, March 20, 2017

Colgate Magical Stories - A Toddler's Adventure in Space

As kids, our lives kinda revolved around stories. Be it before going to bed or for being coaxed to eat up those veggies. Our grandparents, parents as well as our elder siblings showered us with stories of their experiences, sojourns and life's lessons. Enriched with these stories, we took each day as it came...with a burst of creativity and imagination.

But then arose a problem.

We stopped sharing these stories. Partially to blame is the addiction we have towards gadgets. And partially, because we may have become lazy and uninterested in this ritual.

This thought made me wonder, how limited our kids' imagination might become if we don't encourage them to build and share stories. We may have developed a habit for thinking practically but kids are still young and need to be exposed to various creative experiences and develop their own way of thinking, questioning and understanding.

Colgate Magical Stories - An breakthrough initiative by Colgate Palmolive has reopened the doors of creativity and imagination in the children's lives. In association with BlogAdda, India's leading network of bloggers, they've tried to bring back the beauty of incredible stories in children.

I too signed up for this initiative for my daughter. I want my daughter to start young in expanding her creative skills.

I received three packs of Colgate toothpaste with a different space adventure inside.

My daughter was elated in learning about the contents of these packs. As she has limited knowledge of the planets, space and the solar system, I took this as the right opportunity to show and tell her about them.

The story goes like this:

 Here is Tony, our space crusader.

 Like every astronaut he sits in a rocket. Ready to launch, 3...2...1...BLAST OFF!

 The rocket travels far away from the earth and into space.

 It passes through the International Space Station. "I'll visit my friend Tina after I complete my mission." says Tony.
 He successfully lands on the surface of Mars. Tony places his flag on the Martian land. Now, it is time to explore this planet.
 He sets out to explore in his buggy.
 "What's this. We have company!?" Tony exclaims on eyeing the spacecraft and the Alien being.

"Hello" says Tina and Tony is surprised to see her there. The Alien gets scared and leaves the planet in his spaceship.

Tina invites Tony to her Space Station. Floating in outer space, Tony gets to see the various planets and inter-celestial bodies.

 Having successfully completed his voyage, Tony bids adieu to Tina and heads back to earth.

Wasn't it a magical story? What did you think?

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016

At the end of any year, I always look forward to a lot of get-to-gethers, weddings, fests, shopping sprees and meets. But unlike every year, this year we had to struggle with the burden of demonetization and are reeling under its effects. Yet the year end still has a silver lining for me. It did not dampen the celebrations much as I would've thought it would.

So when I was invited by the good folks at Big Bazaar to be a part of the Mommy Bloggers meet I was elated. Usually blogger meets are all about the blogger, but this one was with a difference, my little one was invited too! My kiddo and I were invited to the exclusive launch of the Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016, a fun initiative by BB Kiddie Club.

The lovely Emcee welcoming all mommy bloggers & kids to Big Bazaar Kids Carnival 2016
My kiddo and I were warmly welcomed by the BB team. After a round of introductions, all kiddos were encouraged to participate in some fun and games. Moms were not left behind, as there were fun games for us as well! The zest and the enthusiasm was infectious when we witnessed the staff of the Malad store cheering for the moms. Though the winners were rewarded a sweet token of chocolates, the fun we had was one to cherish.

Checking out the latest in fashion for kids

Toys section: Kids love this section, but is a danger zone for parents!

A group capture of all the mommy bloggers and their kids present at the event.

We were made aware of the exclusive benefits of being a #BBKiddieClub member.

The Big Bazaar Kiddie Club is a novel idea which aims at providing a platform for 3 to 15 year olds to pursue their passion and showcase their talent whilst having fun. This Club offers these kids an exclusive card which entitles them to accumulate points when they shop at Big Bazaar and also by participating in the events held.

The key highlight of this carnival would be that kids to stand a chance at being featured in the Chhota Bheem TVC! And all they need to do is take a selfie at any of their stores!
There will also be Stores will have a dedicated area to engage kids and will follow a theme that ranges from superheroes to a jungle setup.

Isn't it a win-win situation for parents, when they can shop at ease as their kids are engrossed in the various fun and engaging activities held by one of the leading retail chains in India?

So head to their store right away! This carnival will be held at Big Bazaar stores across the country from December 10, 2016 to January 8, 2017.

The event concluded with some mouth-watering refreshments for the kids and their mommies as well as a loaded goodie bag full of toys for all ages! What a fun day it was!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book Review: Graffiti by Joanie Pareria

Book Title: Graffiti 
Author: Joanie Pariera
Publishing House: Author House
Available format(s): ebook 
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, Drama

I picked up Graffiti through Book Review program on Graffiti showcases a medley of human emotions, from bereavement to elation. It is a fine depiction of the central characters, which are Rene, Vipin, Pournami, Upi (Upasna), Mark and Agni. Narrated in first person, the story takes place simultaneously across Denver, Bangalore and Mumbai. 

Off late I've been reading a lot of ebooks on my kindle app, particularly for the convenience it offers over a paperback. So, I had instantly applied for this one thinking the same. However, I couldn't finish this book at one go, and it did take me longer than usual to read it entirely. But having said that, it mustn't daunt a reader to pick this one up.

Joanie takes the story of each character and describes it well. In my opinion, the initial pace of the book is slow but it does keep a read engaged to a certain extent. However, certain place the story seem to dawdle a bit. She has depicted the pain and the emotions of losing a loved one - one's spouse - somewhat realistically. Most of the chapters are peppered with some playful banter and awkward hilarity that is charming. 

The author has aptly tag-lined Graffiti to be a sensual, tragic, sexomedy; which readily I agree. All in all a good, emotional read.

About the Author:

Joanie Pariera (Pen Name), has apparently been thinking about writing fiction since the time she learned to say the word ‘pencil’. It came to be, that that was the first word her parents taught her to say. According to them, she then made up her own word for it just to see them squirm. 

She likes to think she is a master of many things, including making up words. To start with she has two master’s degrees. She cooks, keeps house, codes and programs, and until recently used to write specifications for Information Systems for a living. Having travelled extensively, she has self-assimilated the cultural nuances of various unsuspecting anthropological groups and stealthily continues to put down her impressions in her writing. 

Book Review: Skyfire by Aroon Raman

Book Title: Skyfire
Author: Aroon Raman
Publishing House: Pan Macmillan India
Available format(s): ebook and paperback
Genre: Fiction; Thriller
Pages: 256

May 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees. At the same time, children are disappearing from the slums in the capital and nobody seems to care. Stumbling upon these strange and seemingly unrelated incidents, journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan start upon a trail that leads them into the drawing rooms of Delhi's glittering high society before reaching a terrifying climax in Bhutan, where they come face-to-face with a force of unspeakable power and evil.

My Review:

One word: Unputdownable. I am so glad to have picked this book up. Though the initial pace of the book is slow, it catches up as the author describes the fine details of each of the freak weather disturbances and unusual natural occurances. The character sketches of the main protagonists, the trio of Chandrashekhar, Meenakshi Pirzada and Syed Ali Hassan have also been defined very well, each of them have a key role in the plot. 

Overall, a pacy and a racy read, not a single dull moment! Now I'm compelled to read the first two of his books as well.

This is review is a part of the Flipkart book review program; I've recieved the book in exchange of an honest, unbiased review. I thank Flipkart for shortlisting me for to review this book.
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