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Pretty Mumma Says…

Read what this pretty mumma says 🙂

Hi..I am Surbhi! Pretty mumma of this blog.

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After having worked for almost a decade, I decided to quit my career to take care of my 2 kids. But always had the itch to do something worthwhile. I have picked up multiple professions in my career span out of sheer interest. I love reading books but never thought that writing will be attractive to me and I will choose it as my profession.

I am a Mass Comm post grad and based in New Delhi. I work from home, but not to be confused with “comfort of my home”. When you have kids, you are never comfortable, even at your home (if you know what I mean!). Every morning my dining table becomes my desk, while I instruct my help to put things in order. When I am not running after my kids, I read, write and dress-up. I am a shoe and makeup lover.

This is my personal blog. The thoughts and impressions are my personal and bear no resemblance. All the content and personal images on this blog are fully copyrighted and owned by myself. 

If you like my posts, like them and spread them around. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!

xo

-Pretty mumma

Parenting — The Single Dad Way

#GuestBlog by Gaurav Prakash

To start with I am not a single Dad – so why am I writing this blog post?

My experience of a ‘single dad’ is from the child’s perspective. Yes, I grew up with a single parent – my Father. He is 80 years old and simply does not give a thought to things online. Given that he would not be penning a blog in a hurry – I decided to put some memories online.

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Growing up has moments one can simply not forget; they are like family folklore talked about at every family gathering and whenever one wants a good laugh. With only guys in the house, things can get very interesting. We have a fair-sized kitchen garden and there was a time when a large Papaya tree was full of fruits. Now you must be a real lightweight to climb a Papaya tree, it really is delicate. We had protected the fruits from birds with a gunny bag and I used to climb up to check if any was ready to be plucked. One afternoon I came back from school only to see the tree down on the ground (broken, can you believe it!!). One look at my father and the story was clear – I still can’t forget the look. With men, if one can do it the other can do it just as well. It’s just the tree which was not ready to believe in our adventure.

One would believe that mothers take the lead when it comes to resolving issues in the neighbourhood, specifically in India where we all play cricket and the ball is bound to land up in some neighbour’s house.  I remember Father being innovative here as well – one neighbour was very vocal about her displeasure with kids playing in the park. Simple solution for the senior was to play with us. Not much opposition to the kids when the big guns are supporting them.

Food is a special love and no one cooks better than mom. Well…yes , but we had our fun both in cooking and in designing short cuts around food. Quite often we would get things wrong but this never dampened our spirits or our enthusiasm to try new things or call friends and family over for good fun around delicious food.

The only place presentable in the house continues to be the “Drawing Room”, the rest of the house simply was our playing ground. Truly speaking, the drawing room was also a playground during our summer breaks back then. We had long afternoon sessions of carom where it was difficult to separate the men and the boys, often the boys would win the day, and an evening of celebrations would follow.

Most things people associate with house chores were games for us; the washing machine would do the cleaning but putting the clothes for drying was a FUN game. One man on the ropes and the other tossing clothes to him. Now don’t do a thing wrong else you will be the one going out and picking up all the laundry post drying, simple! Cleaning the house was also simple – put everything in a box or under the stairs. Tada!! The house is clean.

Somehow life was so simple and uncomplicated when we were growing up – it seems so complex and full of ifs & buts now that we are parents. Come to think of it, my Father’s ability to make things simple is what we all cherish even today.

-Gaurav Prakash 

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– This a very special blog specially written for Father’s Day by my dearest friend Gaurav. He works as a marketing and product strategist. He is happily married and has a child. He has two older siblings who are also married and have kids. His father continues to be the centre of gravity in his family. He still maintains the kitchen garden, albeit now with the help of a gardener. Not a day goes by when all of them do not talk to each other. My heartfelt thanks to him for doing this for me.

The First 365 Father’s Day (s)

A lot has been written by experienced fathers and psychologists about the challenges a father faces during the first year of fatherhood. Very little has been written about this dimension of parenthood from a mother’s perspective. An aspect yet unspoken and undiscovered.

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Our little Miss D will turn five years and Monsieur RD will turn one year next month. Yes, both of our kids are born in the same month, which seems like a cosmic conspiracy to me. Same month and same date too – really? To top it all, it is merely a coincidence that their birthdays fall within the same week as Father’s Day. Now, really?? I was the one carrying both of them and the universe conspired to bring them around Father’s Day. If only, I could change that.

Unlike my first pregnancy, this time around my experience was not-so-joyful. I had complications and I was on medication throughout. This time around Daddy was on his feet and was always ready to take on his role. His first experience made him more confident, empathetic and understanding. He was handling Monsieur RD with utmost love and care. He wasn’t scared anymore.

Rewinding five years, when I was expecting Miss D, my 9 months with her inside went like a breeze. I felt great and I was happy and peaceful. Both of us were very calm until the very day Miss D was born. A sudden realisation struck – we have another human (yes!) with us now who has actually come from inside of me. That day DADDY was born. It was a major change and a massive paradigm shift in his life too.

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During the first 30 days of fatherhood, Daddy was back to work. I was sleep deprived, tired and turned into a milking machine, quite literally. As much as I was prepared and was already hands-on taking care of Miss D, I hoped same with Daddy but he offered no help except for trips to doctor, buying household and baby care stuff. There was also a fear factor – like every new father, he was scared to hold Miss D in his arms. He would just make an excuse whenever I told him to pick her. We were both learning on-the-job, and his learning was slightly delayed. Maybe he was too busy with work at that time and still trying to figure out the head and tail of the whole fatherhood thing.

In the next 90 days and by the time Miss D had turned three months, I could see him bonding with her. He had started burping her, soothing her, giving her medicines and also changing her clothes & diaper. He never felt uncomfortable while cleaning her vomit or poop. He never complained. Whenever I panicked, he came to rescue and took charge. He was still trying to strike a balance between home and work. I was happily watching him progressing with fatherhood.

I was out of work for almost a year and I was itching to do something to make my time at home more worthwhile. While Miss D took most of my time, I was still fixated on the idea of doing something that could help me use my free time productively and also make some money. I decided to take baking classes. The class would last until late afternoon and I still wasn’t sure if I was ready to leave Miss D back at home with Daddy. I still did not trust him. He never showed I could. I decided to wait for another 120 days to take the next step and by then Miss D would have turned 6 months too. All this while, Daddy was trying to make most of his time with Miss D. As for me, nothing had changed. (But this one is not about me, anyway!)

We were halfway through; Miss D had turned six months and Daddy’s 182 days of fatherhood went by swiftly. When it came to my role in the life of our newborn Miss D, it required a complete 360-degree involvement. Daddy was stepping up. He was more confident and experienced in how he approached Miss D’s needs but was still not able to strike a better balance between work and family.

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Six months later Daddy had become more attached to her; he had started massaging her, bathing her and putting her to sleep as well. He was not only bonding with Miss D but also inculcating trust and love between them. I could see him spending more time with her, enjoying babbling with her, showing her things out of the window, playing along with her toys, and taking pictures together and funnily. He started missing her after she had gone to sleep or when he was travelling. He just loved buying toys and clothes for her. He was head over heels for her. And boy, I was happy.

In the next 62 days, Daddy made numerous trips to the supermarket to buy nibbles for her darling daughter. It was time to introduce solids to Miss D in her 6th and 7th month, and I was massively relieved. Finally, the time had come to wean her and I could get some more time to myself. He was very excited about her trying new tastes and flavours. Little did he know that his daughter is fonder of home cooked food! He hadn’t started feeding her food yet because we were still trying to understand her taste and likes/dislikes. Feeding her made him nervous. I was the best person to take charge at this stage, not just because I am the mother, but also because I was at home and could cook up things for her.

In the next 60 days, he became more sensitised towards her. During Miss D’s 8th and 9th month, Daddy started realising that bringing up his baby requires more time, patience and a lot more attention than before. He was gaining more confidence in understanding what Miss D’s cries are trying to tell. He did not miss the spontaneity in our previous life which I totally missed. During this time we figured out our roles and had a clear understanding of it. Miss D has started sitting, crawling and was becoming more responsive. Her chuckles were loud and giggles made us laugh too.

During the next 61 days of fatherhood, it was probably hard for him to remember what life was like without Miss D! In the 10th and 11th month, Miss D was trying to cruise and walk with support. It was an exciting time for both of us as she was learning to walk and was speaking few words. He understood his priorities and started working towards having a balanced work-life equation. Her mobility was accompanied by his need to keep a closer eye on her. I have to admit that he was more vigilant and cautious than me. I began to trust him and his instincts more than ever.

Daddy was clearly breaking the stereotype during these two months. He was becoming an emotionally supportive father and for him being with Miss D was becoming much more than the “family need”. He wanted to spend more time with her and get more involved towards her needs. He was feeding her, taking her for a walk, listening music with her, teaching her dance moves, hi-fives & handshakes and doing silly things with her. However, he was still not able to find a work-life balance and that was completely eating me as we couldn’t find any time for ourselves. Our days and nights revolved only around Miss D.

It was time for Miss D’s first birthday. In these 30 days, Daddy learnt to make his family life more meaningful. He completely evolved from a ‘man’ to an extremely caring and loving ‘father’. Miss D became his world. There is nothing in this world that he would not do for her. He started giving his family more time than before. He became more tolerant and open to learning new things. He overcame the year long phase of “uncertainty”.

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There is no greater contribution that a man can make than preparing his children to find their way in the world. In the first 365 days of his fatherhood, Daddy went through many emotional changes; the most profound being discovering himself and evolving as a Father – a Father whom I love evermore and I am so proud of!

xo

-Pretty Mumma

Follow me on – http://www.instagram.com/prettymumma_says

 

Pretty Mumma’s Guide To Caring For Your Handbags

Worried about your precious branded bags in this rainy weather? Cleaning them time-to-time and storing them rightly can keep them forever young. Here’s how!

I love my & my kid’s bags, and I have them in all sizes. These days I prefer to carry a tote or a hobo bag since I take kids’ goodies in my bag along with my essentials. When the weather is sunny and windy, I always prefer a fabric tote bag. In case of spillage, bag and the things inside the bag dry quickly. The real problem are the rains when I have to be extra cautious about what kind of bag to carry so that the bag and the things inside, both stay safe.

Maintaining a fabric bag is always easier than leather, suede and nubuck. If they are not stored properly, they can develop fungus, mold and mildew in the rainy season. Mold thrives if you store leather bags in a dark and humid place with less or no ventilation. Leather bags also need to be aired time to time.

Here’s how you can remove mold from your leather bags:

  • Scrape as much as you can off the surface with a dry nylon brush or a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Mix one part vinegar with one part water
  • Moisten a soft cloth with the mixture and use it to wipe the surface of the bag
  • Once the mold is removed, wipe it clean with a dry soft cloth
  • Sunshine is a natural mold killer. If nothing else works then put your bags in the sun for a day

For bags made from ‘suede leather’ or ‘nubuck leather’, there are several shampoos available in the market that will take care of your cleaning woes. Follow these simple steps to clean your suede and nubuck bags:

  • Use suede brush to remove surface dirt and dust
  • Shake the shampoo can well and spray on, best to do small areas at a time
  • Use a clean cloth or a hard brush
  • Allow the surface to dry thoroughly
  • Then use the brush to clean and freshen

With time, your precious leather bags also appear to age and wrinkle. They need care like your own skin. Leather should be cleaned and conditioned from time to time to retain its softness and shine. Leather conditioning will protect your bags from any stains and losing its shape. Ideally, the leather should be conditioned twice a year. There is a variety of leather conditioners available in the market. Following are some tips to apply conditioner on your bag:

  • Put some conditioner on a soft, lint free cloth like cotton or linen
  • Use circular motion to rub the conditioner evenly over the affected area
  • Follow the conditioning with a brisk buffing of the leather surface with a soft, dry cloth (cotton or linen)
  • Allow the leather to air dry for a few hours before using the bag

Your bags can have a long life if they are stored rightly. Here’s how you can store your bags safely:

  • Use old cotton pillow covers to store your bags. Cotton is a great fabric and causes no damage to leather or suede
  • Use old cotton or linen scarves for wrapping your bag before keeping it inside
  • Put silicon beads inside the bags to avoid any moisture inside
  • If your bag has a detachable belt, then before storing it, detach the belt and keep it inside. In case of an undetachable belt/handle, fold it in a way that there won’t be any fold marks or cracks on it later.

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  • Don’t squeeze your bag hard and close all the zips and buttons so that the shape of your bag remains intact.

Your bags are not only your investment but companions too. They go wherever you go. If they look good, you look good too. If properly cared and handled, your precious and expensive leather bags can last for decades.

xo

(If you enjoyed this post, then like it and spread it around by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!)

-Pretty Mumma

Follow me on – http://www.instagram.com/prettymumma_says

Am I making my daughter a narcissist?

This wasn’t something that surprised me. She loves taking selfies. That doesn’t bother me too. What caught my attention was her love for dressing up just for selfies. Am I allowing her to become a narcissist?

Mumma, I am looking so pretty na?” asked Miss D posing in front of the mirror.

Yes D, you are looking beautiful”, I replied looking at her smilingly.

My hair?” she asked again.

You have made them very nicely today”, I stole a glance and I continue looking into my phone.

My dress is so pretty na?” she asked again grinning.

Yes D, it’s beautiful”, I replied. Doesn’t she just loves herself!

Mumma, let’s take a selfie”, she said rather excitedly. I could hear the chirp in her voice.

Miss D picks up my phone, unlocks it and opens the camera. She is 5 years old and she is extremely proficient in using my phone. She figures out the perfect angle and pouts. Then makes some funny and some cute faces and goes on a selfie spree.

This wasn’t something that surprised me. She loves taking selfies and likes to share them too (yes, she asks me to share with a select few family members). That doesn’t bother me too. What caught my attention was her love for dressing up just for selfies, and that made me think. Am I allowing her to become a narcissist?

She keenly observes me every time I take a selfie. I like to click my picture when I think I am looking my best, and I am in the mood. But who does not, these days? A lot of social experiments and studies have been conducted about why do we love taking our own pictures? If I ask myself why I take selfies; I’d say because it is a great way to capture a moment with friends or family. Or maybe to show my friends or followers what I’m doing that day or at that moment. But that’s not really true. If I ask myself really honestly, I’d say it’s a part of showing everyone “BRAND SURBHI” – This is what I look like and this is how I spend my time. Our sense of identity, of who we actually are, is defined by what others think of us.

While selfies can be seen in a somewhat negative light, they can also play a very positive role in people’s lives. Selfies help people depict a version of themselves to the world that says “Look at me. This is who I am.” Sometimes, it can be a very powerful statement and inspire people towards great things in their lives, while at other times, it is simply something that helps them get through the day. A selfie is a statement to the world. It allows people to stand out among the masses.

As a mother, my aim is to make my daughter very confident in herself and be totally free-spirited and uninhibited. Having said that, she is in the right age to learn the difference between right vs. wrong and good vs. bad, that will help her to understand situations and take right decisions, and I am working towards it.

Miss DD doesn’t have any social media presence, except what we put across once in a blue moon. As parents, we are very cautious about sharing our kids’ pictures on any social platform. Even then, Devyani just loves taking her own pictures. My observation says that this is purely because of the fact that she simply enjoys it – making faces and clicking pictures! That also makes her feel pretty, confident and boosts her self-esteem; and no, she is NOT seeking your or my approval of her appearance. Isn’t this what I want for my daughter and all of us for our daughters?

In my earnest opinion, that is NOT narcissism.

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xo

(If you enjoyed this post, then like it and spread it around by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!)

Pretty Mumma

Follow me on – www.instagram.com/prettymumma_says

The Best Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Have you missed the precious days to buy a gift for your mom or your grandmom for Mother’s Day? Don’t fret.

 

Have you missed the precious days to buy a gift for your mom or your grandmom for Mother’s Day? Don’t fret as it’s not too late. Take a look at the last minute gift ideas that will make your life easy and your mom will love them.

1. Create an experience – Gift an awesome experience to your mom from the options that have been curated exclusively for Mother’s Day by www.xoxoday.com. xoxoday has created an awesome list of gifts that your mom will love.

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  • Take your mom out for a lunch or a dinner to thank her for the tastiest food she cooks
  • Get her a gym membership – it’s time to get back in shape
  • Gift her a new look – a makeover for your beautiful mom
  • A spa session for your mom to give her a break and to relax her mind and body

There are more such gifting ideas on www.xoxoday.com that you must check out.

2. Boulangerie by Anita – Home-baker Anita Ankur’s Boulangerie is a venture that she started as a result of her sheer passion for baking. She makes beautiful personalised and theme cakes. She also bakes gluten-free cakes and bakes using other healthy ingredients like oats, fruits, etc. Her philosophy is that the cakes that she bakes are true feelings of her customers, which they want to convey through a cake.

Check out her work at –
Facebook- Boulangerie by Anita

Instagram- Boulangerie by Anita

Contact No. – 8750711641

3. Bake Your Dreamz by Malvika Sharma – Bake Your Dreamz is about making happy occasions all the more tastier & memorable.   Malvika specialises in designing customised cakes for her customers & believes in giving them one more good reason to remember the celebration and cherish the moments forever. Her USP is the quality  & the finishing of the cakes.

Check out her work at –
Facebook – Bake Your Dreamz

Instagram – Bake Your Dreamz

Website – www.bakeyourdreamz.com

Contact No. – 8826325322

I hope this small but exclusive list of Mother’s Day gift ideas has helped you to pick a gift for your mother.

Wishing all the strong and gorgeous moms a very happy Mother’s Day.

xo

(If you enjoyed this post, then like it and spread it around by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!)

Pretty Mumma

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Shopping Guide – Vol. 3

Many perfumes promise to lure men to women. None of them smells of motherhood. None of them proclaims the wearer to be tidy, thrifty and sensible. Maybe it’s time to break the stereotype.

 

My Two Scents

The famous Tiffany & Co. jewellery designer Paloma Picasso once said – “A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself; a costume that differs according to the woman who wears it.”

It’s true that you are never fully dressed without perfume. The reason I wear perfume is just not to smell good but also feel good and lively. Perfumes not only make an impression on the people around but also create memory associations for the one wearing it. Nothing lifts up the spirit and makes you feel pretty like a good perfume. Your perfume should bring life to your persona and exuberate your personality.

It’s quite funny that every perfume company promotes their fragrance with a promise to lure men to women. None of them smell of motherhood. None of them promotes or advertise their scents to be worn by women who are tidy, thrifty, intelligent and sensible. Well, that’s just my perception.

Here are some tips to buy the right perfume

Honestly, perfume is an indulgence and a splurge. However, that’s just part of the deal – refrain from buying the cheap imitations because they don’t give the real experience of the original perfume.

To some extent, your perfume should choose you. Never decide right away. Body chemistry makes a difference in the way a scent smells on you, so wear it for a while before buying.

Match your fashion sense. Your ‘look’ should have matching ‘smell’. One reason for this is that a scent is very personal, and there’s really no barometer other than your personal style and your own judgment. The other is that smells evoke memories, and you want your smell to evoke an accurate one.

The Fabulous Five – From fresh, citrus notes to bold and beautiful florals, here is my list of the best five perfumes that you can wear on this Mother’s Day. Day or night, ladies…splash it up!

Issey Miyake

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Fresh water floral notes with a soft feminine fragrance. Perfect for casual wear.

Jimmy Choo Signature

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An exotic fragrance for the strong and modern woman. Feminine yet empowering, this perfume has a lot of sensuality to it. Perfect for day time.

Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline

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Delicate, gentle and sensual like the touch of flower petals. Perfect for date nights.

Femme de Mont Blanc

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A brilliant harmony of fresh, cool and warm notes that leads to an intense, sweet and floral heart. Perfect for day time.

Miss Dior

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An intense, sophisticated and elegant floral concoction. Perfect for special occasions.

Remember that while choosing a perfume; always pick the one with good density and quality that stays for a long time.

With this, I conclude my series of “The Ultimate Mother’s Day Shopping Guide”.  I hope you have the best Mother’s Day ever!!

xo

(If you enjoyed this post, then like it and spread it around by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good karma always pays back. Thank you!)

Pretty Mumma

 

 

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Shopping Guide – Vol. 2

Now it’s time to put some makeup. In the second blog of the series, I am going gaga over nude. And It’s NOT about clothes!

Wake up and makeup: Mother’s Day Makeup Ideas

In my last blog, I presented a curated list of exclusive prêt-a-porter boutiques selling high-end fashion, ranging from garments to accessories.  By now you must have decided what you’ll be wearing for your Mother’s Day shenanigans. Time to put some makeup and get ready to turn heads.

Thinking of summer, matte skin and lip shades ranging from lightest mauve to the brightest red come to my mind. For days when it’s just too hot when you can’t even think about wearing a sunscreen, a swirl of mascara and a fabulous colour on your lips will instantly brighten up your day. To avoid smudging, choose waterproof mascara.

After smoky eyes and winged eyeliner, the biggest makeup trend ruling the runway and our hearts this summer is going nude. Be it nails or makeup, day or night – nude is in! Be it Hollywood or Bollywood, every celebrity is flaunting their skins sans makeup or with a nude makeup day and night. NUDE IS THE NEW BLACK. A makeup trend that leaves you with nothing to hide and everything to show off. Get the look and dare to go nude.

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Tabu looks ravishing in the nude look.  It looks great with her outfit. Perfect for day and night.

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Who cares about Vani’s nose job gone wrong, her makeup is on point! Nude and hot.

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Kareena is one actress seen most with the nude look. But she loves her smoky eyes.

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Alia’s amazing nude makeup is flawless.

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And that’s Moi – inspired always.

In the third blog of this series, I will talk about perfumes and fragrances that will totally complete your look.

xo

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Pretty Mumma