Thursday, December 01, 2016

Posted On 12/01/2016 by Team iCynosure.

My gorgeous little one was to turn FIVE on the 18th of November and I was looking forward to celebrating the day with her all dressed up in a beautiful gown, true princess style. I expected her to want a Barbie themed party or even Sofia the First; however to my surprise she looked at me while watching Disney and chose PJ Masks. I thought the sweet little babe of mine would forget all about it the next day; but she got talking about the décor, costume and much more. 

She seemed obsessed with PJ Masks, especially Owlette a red-eyed girl who transforms into an Owl wearing a red costume with cape-like wings and moves around in an Owl Glider. I smiled and got working. What I didn’t realise was that PJ Masks stuff is hard to come by, they have no decorations or toys, not even at the Disney Store or any other place in a city like Mumbai. So huge preparations began amidst the chaos for my little Owlette! As it’s a new show, I hardly know anything about it, but #PrincessHeer filled me in completely. We got creative, worked with what we had available and called on a few favours from friends. 

We found a local costume shop willing to make a costume in 3 days, and then I called upon a friend based in the US to send us the figurines for the cake and the Owlette mask. A dear friend Ruchika who is a home baker at ChocoRika, agreed to make the cake as per the birthday girl’s suggestions n requests. No soon this was confirmed, we sent out the invites. For the décor we stuck with the blue, green and red theme to represent Catboy, Owlette and Gecko with balloons, character cut-outs and streamers. We printed and cut-out a ton of wristbands and punch gloves for all the kids to wear. The food was managed by the restobar Brass Monkey and they did a fine job of it; while the pictures were taken by Rutik Shah

I insisted that she change into a dress for the cake-cutting and she readily agreed. All in all the party turned out to be great, mind you the post is image heavy. 

What do you think? Did we do well?
- Heena

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Posted On 11/30/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Motherhood, I’ve realised is not a stage of life it’s a way of life. As a parent I know I will pass more than just my genes to my kid. I will, over the years be passing on my habits to my little one, nearly all of them... good, bad and ugly. One things I’ve learned from my mother is showing my child instead of teaching her what needs to be done and that has helped me in ensuring that I convey the right things to my little one in a timely manner.

Two things that I’ve consciously tried to inculcate in my personal routine so that the same trickles down as habits in my little one are eating healthy and maintaining hygiene. These are the two life lessons and nuggets of health advice I want #PrincessHeer to carry on for long after I’ve carried her in my arms. 

Every morning I lay out a spread to make eating colourful. I push myself to follow a routine of regular mealtimes with the most nutritional rainbow of colours to push that healthy habit onto my little one.

Just like I make healthy eating a visually appealing treat, I make maintaining hygiene an exciting fun game for us to compete against each other. Every day, we score each other on various parameters of hygiene; ranging from brushing teeth to washing hands to keeping our surroundings clean and much more in a bid to make the simple tasks a lifelong habit.

The other day, when her friends were over for some downtime; they ran around the garden doing everything 5-year olds are good at. After a good two hours of strenuous physical activity they got home to a large spread of snacks, juice and milk. With most of the kids just plonking themselves on the dining table, I saw my little one stride towards the washbasin scrub and wash her hands diligently and declare to her friends, ‘Hygiene is two thirds of health.’ No one could have been a prouder mother, when I saw a dozen 5-year olds scampering towards the washbasin to emulate my princess. 

Yes, hygiene is all about behavioural changes that encourage ‘Healthier Kids and in turn a Stronger India’. And the need has been recognised not only in urban but more so ever in rural India. This unmet need has been identified by Savlon, ITC’s leading hygiene brand and the team has got together to design a great CSR programme to cultivate a habit of washing hands among children through various engaging and entertaining educational initiatives in schools through the Savlon Swasth India Mission. 

The brand has launched the Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks, a set of unique chalk sticks infused with soap to emphasise the importance of washing hands before eating. The idea stemmed from the observations made at municipal schools of children using chalk and slate with bare hands and then having their meals without cleaning; leading to numerous health complications. The Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks is made in a manner that the chalk powder on the children's hands lather into a foamy cleanser when in contact with water, creating a fun experience for children and educating them about the importance of hygiene and washing hands before meals.

The unique product is a first of its kind initiative undertaken by #SavlonSwasthIndia Mission and as a mother I believe it is a great move to combat all the ills associated with unclean hands. What do you think about this amazing initiative by Savlon? Leave me your thoughts in a comment below. 
- Heena

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Posted On 11/29/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Who wouldn’t be excited to go to a carnival, and that too when your favourite brand invites you for an evening full of fun, that’s a fantastic mixture of everything amazing. And to top it all, the clincher is that the invite is especially for your little one. Wouldn’t that be spectacular?

At iCynosure we never miss any opportunity to party and with Pepe Jeans throwing a big party, I became a partner in crime with my little one to enjoy the #PepeJeansKidsCarnival. Pepe Jeans organised the Kids Carnival at their flagship store in Santacruz and as we made our way to the store we witnesses the ambiance full of fun bright coloured balloons, photo props, an entertaining line up of activities and lip-smacking food. It was perfect for mommas as kids were entertained while we enjoyed some soothing mocktails and a gossip session with fellow blogger mommies.

#PrincessHeer was pretty excited, as she was introduced to the group of children and invited to punch a surprise wall to pick a gift that lay in the individual box. Luckily she punched one with a gift and was ecstatic with her achievement. Next up the children were divided into two groups and were to build a castle using the life size Jenga bricks. It was the most chaotic construction sight one would ever see, but the most fun too. With all the craziness going around us, Heer and I sat tight for a few minutes to get our caricature made.

She soon headed back to the activities and came back winning prize after prize. Finally we played a couple of coordination activities as a pair and cracked the whip on those as well. At the end of the evening, we headed home not only with some great prizes, but also with some amazing memories and a truckload of Pepe merchandise.

What fun we had!
- Heena

Monday, November 28, 2016

Posted On 11/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Saree is the intrinsic affair of any Indian woman and they know it best how to flaunt it. These are the timeless and mysterious that are though hard to handle by the beginners but just ethereal after then. This classic traditional Indian ensemble graces every curves of feminine body so well that women searches special occasions and events to wear them. Stylish women stack them in their closet for special events and this is what makes the accessories related to this attire also special. But have you ever think of what has made it so special? 

Designer blouse patterns and body-shape petticoats can really pitch up your looks. Petticoats are available ready-made and they hide under your drapes and thus any type of work pattern on them doesn’t mean anything to your appeal. So there is a chance for blouse only to complement your designer sarees. But how can you make them extra special? Front patterns are okay and oodles of list are already there in the market for that but what for back designs of blouses? So catch out best and most trending back side design of blouses for all of your stylish sarees and flaunt your best amongst your peers. 

Single Knot

This style is the most common type which is almost adorned by everyone. Every woman definitely has at least one or two blouses with single knot in their closet. In this style, doris from both ends come and the wearer can tie a knot according to her fitting. 
Double Knot Design

Now this one is exclusively for designer sarees that are ready to be worn at wedding ceremonies. This style showcases single knot at upper shoulder line and second knot at the back abdomen line. Buy any embellished online saree and adore it with stone embedded or mirror work blouse with double knot style. 
Bow Design

Let’s draw some attention from the people around! 
Well this style is inspired from the date back during the time of 80’s. Bollywood actresses are the first one to grab this style with their Indian ethnic wear. With broad bow style at the back in place of knot, this style will go awesome with georgette printed sarees.
Front Zippered and Circular Cut At Back

A little bit inspired from rugged crop tops, these stylish blouses have front zippered and back circular loop pattern. Try this style on coral hue or pastel coloured blouses. 
Net Back

Net back blouses are the hottest sensation to try with designer sarees. Complement it with contrasting pseudo buttons (fabricated ones) to let your peers can gaze a little more! 
Back Buttons

The classic pieces to remember are cotton sarees and kalamkari sarees which are famous for their simplicity and yet having an X-factor of WOW. 

In this type of blouse patterns, shirt style buttons are used in place of hooks or zip. Bag some attention from the sides with embroidered online sarees and back buttoned blouses.

So whats your favorite blouse style?

Posted On 11/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Year end positivity is great and what is more positive than exchanging greetings and giving gifts. Gifts always put a smile on the face of the receiver and more so if it is completely unexpected. I’m all in for routine gifts and it is extremely easy to pick gifts for women especially if you know them well. I prefer to pick gifts that are useful including handbags, beauty and skincare products and sometimes even discount wholesale clothing. However when I have to pick a gift for a special man in my life, I’m most of the times absolutely stumped as he practically has everything he needs. While I’m all for making my way to his heart through his stomach, an unexpected surprise would never hurt him would it? Especially if it is classified as luxury.

When I put some thought to it, I realised it can be really difficult to choose a special, perfectly curated gift for my dad and my husband,. Every festive season and special occasion I alternate between a few things and feel terrible about it and so I've painstakingly put together a guide of some luxury products that will definitely be perfect gifts that will amaze them and make them feel super special.   

Nothing beats giving him a classic timeless watch from a brand that resonates with his personality.
Upgrade his travel style with a luxurious Joy bag from Gucci that is ideal for long weekends or as an in flight carry on.

Make him stand out in a stylish toned jacket that speaks sophisticated craftsmanship from La Martina.
Add some chutzpah to his wardrobe with some stylish and quirky accessories like cufflinks and lapel pins from Dapper Homme

Create a balance between style-n-functionality while picking a pair of vintage sunglasses from Lenskart. 

Splurge on a royal grooming kit containing all the essentials for the perfect shave from Britain’s oldest grooming giant Truefitt & Hill. 

Add mini fragrances in his collection of perfumes from the wholesale perfumes online of Pure Gold by Diamond Collection inspired by Paco Rabanne. 

So which of these would be the best gift you'd want to give him? Let me know in a comment below. 

- Heena

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Posted On 11/24/2016 by Team iCynosure.

This year L’Occitane celebrated its 40th anniversary for the ultimate passion it shares with people who cultivate true beauty, inspired by nature. The advent in 1976 was marked as a young Frenchman; Olivier Baussan waits for drops of natural essential oil from rosemary to fall over a copper still. The fragrant oil he extracts is added into scented soaps that he makes and sells through drugstores as ‘Savons a L’Ancienne’. 

Today 40 years later, the French skincare brand L’Occitane is available in over 3,000 stores across 60 countries to provide its customers with the best products, as well as fighting for good causes. From its dedication to emancipating women in Burkina Faso, to planting new almond trees in the south of France, and to setting up a Lavender fund in Provence, it’s been a wonderfully busy time for its founder.

All along the last 40 years, L’Occitane has developed new ranges and discovered new plant extracts, and now on the eve of a fabulous celebration the brand has launched some beautiful limited edition products that best sum up the brand niche. In India L’Occitane opened its doors in 2009, with a flagship store in Khan Market, New Delhi. Now it has presence through 12 boutiques in India across all major cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Pune.

To celebrate the brand’s anniversary in India, Dr. Aidan Goddard, Chief Financial Officer, Asia Pacific and Mr. John Ho, General Manager, South East Asia hosted a special meet at Spa La Vie, Mumbai along with Ms. Simi Dewan, Deputy General Manager, L’Occitane India. We were taken through the journey of L’Occitane and the brand product portfolio whilst a pampering sessions at the spa. 

The 40th Anniversary Limited-Edition Hand Creams Collection Set that they gifted us at the occassion remains my ultimate favorite. The set included the hand creams in the Cherry Blossom, Rose, Rose Shea and Shea fragrances. My best of the lot is the Rose Shea Hand Cream a highly concentrated shea butter cream (20%) that helps to protect, nourish and soften the hands. It leaves behind a delightful floral scent reminiscent of a rose flower. An international favourite, sold every three seconds the Rose Shea is infused with honey, almond extracts and coconut oil, blended with shea butter and Vitamin E for extremely effective skincare. The cream's rich texture is rapidly absorbed to leave the hands soft and supple without any oily-finish effect.

The product is available in both medium and mini sizes keeping it economical as well as travel friendly. I have the mini in each of my three bags, and I must say you must get yours too. 

- Heena