Merlot Wrap Review

I’m back with yet another review of a Baby carrier that I got to host as part of the Travelling Carrier program by Soulslings. This time it was a carrier that I have always wanted to try and also one that I was very unsure of. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the Wrap. I’ve been watching videos of people wrapping up their babies for long now and I’ve always been fascinated to try it out. I was unsure of my abilities to pull it off though, and hence I waited to try it out all this while.

The Merlot Wrap is from the latest linen collection of Soulslings and it’s the most gorgeous wine red in color. There are some really gorgeous colors in this series and it’s really hard to pick one really. The wrap is pretty sturdy for a linen fabric but at the same time its super light on the skin and doesn’t feel warm at all.

So wrapping is an acquired taste ive heard. I would personally compare it with the act of draping a saree. There is something really satisfactory about getting the right drape which is equivalent to getting a nice seat and a snug fit in the case of baby wearing. Once you’ve felt that there is no turning back. So to achieve this perfection you really need a fabric that listens to you.. that isn’t stiff and can be moulded to your requirement. The fabric also needs to be sturdy enough to carry the weight. This balance is pretty tricky to achieve and these linen wraps have just nailed it.

Believe it or not I’ve worn Diya almost five times in the last couple of days. We have taken it for walks in the neighborhood, for trips to my mom’s place and we also had a few random sessions of trying out a few different types of carries inspired by Youtube ofcourse. Haven’t tried the back carry yet as I still feel Diya is too small for it but I’m dying to do some Superman tosses with her soon😂.

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Merlot Full Buckle Review

Having tried four full buckles of about three different fabrics I’m finally here reviewing this gorgeous Linen carry called Merlot.

When Diya was about a month old I had started researching the types and brands of carriers available in the market. Fortunately for me AnoonA  had just released and I got some wonderful reviews about it from very close babywearing friends of mine. Honestly it just blew my mind and I had gotten totally partial and biased towards it. But all of this changed when I tried the Merlot.

The basic difference between an anoona and an fb is the fact that you can adjust the panel width of an anoona to suit your growing baby, whereas in an FB the panel width is constant. Hence they have a particular weight recommendation for a full buckle unlike an Anoona which can be used across ages. However this fact also simplifies the wearability of a fullbuckle. If your child is old enough for an FB you will love how simple it is to wear and transfer.

The fullbuckle also has less layers when compared to an anoona and hence is a lot more airy. Having tried fullbuckles from the cotton, gradient and linen series I loved the linen series the most as its the best for this hot and sultry Chennai climate. I absolutely loved each and every color in the linen series and I’m glad that I got to try out the Merlot which was clearly a hot favorite (also I want to meet this genius behind these uber fancy names and colors of the latest series). Loved how soft the fabric was and how snug the fit was.

I have had questions in the past on why a full buckle can not be used as a front facing carry and according to me it is because of the panel width. In an Anoona if you want to carry your baby facing forward you would need to reduce the width of the panel so the baby’s legs aren’t spread too wide. This feature being unavailable in an fb makes it not suitable for front facing carry. However if you are not looking for a newborn carry and are looking to buy a carrier for your 6/7month+ baby, i would recommend a full buckle purely for its simplicity and ease of use 🙂

 

 

 

 

Harmony Ringsling Review

Its been more than a month since I got to try out the latest gradient series ringsling from Soulslings and having used it in and out for about two weeks its time for a review. So the team at Soul sent me a Harmony ringsling from their latest gradient series which was just perfect for my first ever experience with a non structured baby carrier. Do read on to know more about my experience with this beauty 🙂

The First Look:

The ringsling came neatly packed in a drawstring bag as always. The harmony RS has turquoise and dark blue stripes on a sea green base and is such a cool, pleasant color to look at. The rings are nice and sturdy, made of a single piece without any joints in between as per the standards. The fabric used for the gradient series are super soft and can be used for a newborn as well. At the same time they are sturdy and can be used till your baby is about 15kgs. So I used a size 3 and I found it perfect as I like a long train that I can use it as a cover in case it’s too sunny or if I need to feed Diya. Yes, you can feed in the RS as well. Do check out the youtube video tutorial on how to feed your baby while using a ringsling by the Soul Team.

Breaking In:

As I said earlier, this is my first unsctructured carrier and to be honest i was quite doubtful if I would be able to take on to this carrier as effortlessly. All I did was watch one of the Ringsling tutorials on Youtube posted by the Soul Team. I tried it with Diya and we just loved it 🙂 That feel of fabric, the ease with which you can adjust it, it was all so perfect. With each round of use, the ringsling also got softer and made it all the more easy ,to wear and adjust. You can also wash your ringsling once to make it softer and easier to use.

Affordability:

The gradient series of ringslings are priced at INR 1800 and I feel this is quite reasonable for the quality offered. The ringslings are the most affordable and user friendly. You can also find a variety of ringslings on Sale on the http://www.soulslings.com website that are priced from INR 1050. Now thats a deal that is not to be missed!

Compact and Easy to Use:

The ringsling is not only super easy to use but is also very compact. You can carry it in your handbag and use it anytime you like. It doesn’t take much space and is perfect for those doubtful outings where you are not sure if you need a carrier or not. I’m personally looking forward to using the RS a lot to hip carry Diya in a few months.😊

Simple Hairstyles for Busy Moms

*This is a sponsored post. All the opinions are mine*

Its been four and half years since I became a mom and I don’t remember the last time when I actually sat in front of a mirror and worked on my hairstyle. If I actually get even an undisturbed minute in front of the mirror it is considered to be a really good day 🙂 And that minute is utilized in putting on some kohl in my eyes, some lip color and brushing my hair and styling it into an easy baby-friendly hairdo. So here are a few hairdos that I would like to suggest that are easy to execute and also look really good.

Bouncy Layers

So, my hair is naturally straight and has been so till the time I got my first layer cut in around 2011. Since then I have this bouncy wavy hair texture. My hair is usually at its best behavior after a few hours of shampoo and conditioning till probably the next two days. All that I have to do to get this bouncy wavy look is put all of my hair down while facing the floor and using a broad flat hairbrush to straighten out all the tangles. So when I flip my hair back after this step I get perfect bouncy waves and also it gives a super voluminous look.

The loose side pony tail

This is the easiest look to don and I almost use it on a daily basis. The idea is to tie your hair in a loose pony tail so a few hair strands frame your face on the front. This hairdo works great for Summers in India, especially when its too hot to leave your hair open. Perfect mix of comfort and elegance if you ask me. For people with longer hair, you can opt for loose braid instead of a pony tail and still nail the look 🙂

The Banana Hair Clip

I have been using these hair clips for the last 6 years but trust me they still give a look that is as trendy as ever. There are half clips that are open on one end and full clips that enclose your entire hair in them. They make your hair look really bouncy and voluminous while adding that extra wavy effect to your pony/half pony. Again one hairstyle that is really great for Summers

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Hairband or Slouchy Beanie

This look is one of my favorites especially during the winters. Just brush your hair like how I explained in the bouncy layer look and put on a headband or a slouchy beanie 🙂 Not only does the hair stay in place, it also gives a super chic look that I really like on myself

Hair Extensions/Half Wigs/Drawstrings

Whether you are looking for a fuller hairstyle for a specific occasion or want bigger body and style for your everyday, Divatress has an amazing selection of half wigs. This is especially a boon for women who have thin or scanty hair and who wish to sport a dramatic look to showcase on special occasions. They feature drawstring, quick weave, and other types of half wigs to help you create a beautiful hairstyle down or pulled back into a ponytail. Their half wigs will help blend into your natural hair color so no one will be able to see the amazing body you’ve added. They feature brands like Sensationnel, Outre, and more.

How We Met Our Beasty ❤

*sponsored post*

So about a year back we bought our first Car!!! Actually its more of a pickup truck/sports utility vehicle than just a car really. So, we bought an ISUZU VCross(Beasty) and trust me it is not a common choice for a first car or a family car. Then why did we choose Beasty you ask?! Read on to know more..

The Perfect Family Car For Us!

So we are a family of four and that is the capacity we were looking for in our Car. Also we wanted a really powerful and safe vehicle to explore our adventurous side. So Beasty is not only a tough and rugged off roading vehicle, but she also comes with luxurious interiors equipped with all modern technologies like climate control, Bluetooth telephony, power mirrors, a multimedia touchscreen with sat-nav and plush seats. We felt that it was just the right mix that suited us.

We Carry Our World With Us!

We as a family don’t travel light ever. We like to carry our World with us. On any given road trip expect us to carry K’s whole set of gym gear and accessories, his books, his bicycle, Dev’s bicycle, Diya’s rocker, induction stove, half of my kitchen, water bottles, picnic table and a tonne of other necessities. Thanks to our Beasty we can accomodate all this luggage and much much more. Believe it or not, we plan on getting a boat and tagging it along in our Beasty real soon 🙂

Totally Customizable!

Now the deck at the back can be used for various different purposes and can also be customized or covered as per your needs. There are so many different options available right from making it pet friendly to creating extra room for people at the back. The possibilities are just endless. Now this is one feature that we really liked. We would have spotted so many similar cars in the city since we bought it, but trust me, no two cars look alike. Isn’t that just wonderful 😊

Budget Friendly!

Now this is one major factor that attracted us to the Beasty when we compared to other 4WD vehicles available in the market. Beasty is very reasonably priced when you compare her to other 4WD vehicles. We felt we got more bang for our buck with this one. Also K had been wanting to own a pickup truck from around 2013 when he got to drive some mean trucks in Zimbabwe. In a way it sorta became his dream to own a monstrous truck instead of an elegant sedan 🙂 At this price range, it was really hard to resist!

If you’re looking for help choosing your very own vehicle, head over to cars.com which is an awesome resource and full of info on all sorts of models.

AnoonA Review

It’s been about a month since I received my Soulslings Sailor AnoonA. After continuously using it day in and day out, I’ve finally decided to pen down my review of this carrier as promised in my previous blogpost

To be honest, the first look at AnoonA could be a little overwhelming. It may look really complicated with so many adjustments. But for such a feature rich, versatile carrier these adjustments are all vital. After using it extensively I can comfortably say that if given a chance I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Trust me! you will get really comfortable with the carrier in about 3/4 rounds of babywearing and will be able to operate it with your eyes shut in no time.

What will make it look all easy peasy is this video on YouTube by Soulslings Team. Click here for the video. This video will walk you through the small, medium and large adjustments and simplify things for you.

There are also a lot of other videos on their YouTube channel that cover almost all aspects of babywearing like how to feed in AnoonA, do’s and don’t’s, various positions for babywearing in AnoonA, etc

The carrier also comes with a detailed instruction booklet that explains every single component of the carrier in detail.

Without much further ado let me dive right into the review.

So here are the few things that I loved about the carrier.

The Fabric:

Sailor AnoonA is made of linen and is an extremely light and breezy fabric. It takes a few rounds of wearing to break into the fabric but once you do, it provides the most snug fitting ever. The fabric being all light, breezy and summery is also really sturdy. Clever engineering here by the Soul team in pulling out such a strong carrier from such a light fabric👏 I have personally used this in Chennai Summer and neither me nor Diya have ever felt warm due to the carrier. There is also a pocket incorporated in the carrier that fits my house keys and some cash and really helps in quick access of things.

Buckle Safety Loops:

So the waist buckles and shoulder buckles are provided with extra safety loops through which you can pass the buckles before buckling on. Now this provides that extra safety in case we have not buckled the shoulder or waist straps properly. This is such a relief for my paranoid #mombrains that keeps calculating endless possibilities of things going wrong 😀

Hood:

The hood provided is really useful and also serves so many different purposes. So Diya doesnt like to wear beanies or caps and gets cranky when I try to make her wear them. So instead I just use the hood to cover her head when its too sunny or windy. It also works as a great cover while feeding your lil one. The hood comes with these snaps that make it really easy to snap the hood on and off. Also I think the hood kinda makes the carrier look really cool!! Don’t you think so?

One Size Fits All:

Not only does AnoonA work for babies of all sizes, it also works for Adults of all sizes. And the numerous adjustments just make it all that easier to comfortably fit all sizes. So K and I switch carriers on the run very regularly. For example, if I’m wearing Diya while heading out, chances are that he will be wearing her while returning. So is it tricky to get the adjustments changed on the go depending on the body type? No! Not at all. All the straps and buckles are super easy to pull and adjust once you get the hang of it. So it doesn’t take us more than a couple of minutes to shift the carrier from one person to another.

Transfers:

Now this is actually a really important point to consider when you are buying a carrier. So babies do sleep off when you carry them, but what about transferring a sleepy baby from the carrier to the bed without waking it up. This can be done easily only if the removing of the carrier is easy. So all it takes in an AnoonA is unbuckling the H strap at the back. Yes, you read that right. Just one buckle. Hold your baby tight with one hand and unbuckle the H strap and remove the shoulder straps( loosen the shoulder straps before hand if required), gently lift your baby and move her to one of your shoulder so she continues sleeping. Transfer her to the bed and make sure she is sleeping. Once transfer is complete, you can proceed to remove the waist band of AnoonA. Easy Right?

Hope this review helped in giving you a better understanding of this carrier. Do feel free to reach out to me or to the Soul Family Group on FB for any queries related to babywearing or AnoonA.

Also check out this video for a detailed tutorial on how to use your Anoona with a newborn.

#aGenerationWithoutGenderBias

The topic says it all, doesn’t it.

To be absolutely honest I hadn’t thought about consciously educating Dev on this topic all this while. So when I got tagged by Anjana, I wanted to test Dev, to see what he thinks about it or if he thinks about it at all.

Lets talk colors:

Dev has a pink lunch box that he has been using for a long time now. It was a gift from a friend and not once has he ever questioned the choice.

He has a tricycle that is Pink, Purple and flowery that he picked out himself during our time in Nigeria and he rides it till date. Oh and he also owns a variety of kitchen sets including the ones that I owned as a child and he plays with them as frequently as he plays with his Lego blocks.

He owns a lot of pink shirts and so does K. The boys really love the color and have never felt it being linked to any particular gender.

Dev also loves flowers and helps me pick flowers in our terrace garden. He even takes them to school sometimes for his teacher. Oh, and butterflies!! Who doesn’t love them!! 🙂

I guess I have done a decent job of not associating any particular color to any particular gender.

Lets talk roles:

K and I were talking with Dev the other day and we asked him what he would want to be once he grows up. His reply was quick. He wants to be a Soldier in the Indian Army. So K asked Dev, what do you think Diya would want to be. His reply was same. He said, Diya will drive an battle tank and he will drive an army truck. K and I were impressed with his answer but we didn’t show it out because appreciating him on his thoughts would acknowledge the fact that these roles are gender biased.

Now that is the beauty of a child’s mind. It is pure and innocent. They don’t have these preset notions unless its being forced on them by us adults.

So what do you do as Parents to maintain this innocence ?

Work as a team. Try to alternate roles. Let there be no task that is specific to mommy or daddy. For example, both K and I are working. We both carry our wallets wherever we go. We both pay bills. We both frequent the gym. K and I work together when it comes to household chores like cooking, cleaning, etc. We also play basketball and cricket together with Dev. K takes care of Diya as well as I do. He can bathe her, change diapers, clothes, give her meds , make her sleep all by himself. So in no way Dev sees a difference in the roles we perform. The only thing that Dev prevents me from doing is changing the bubble top in the water dispenser because its too heavy for me. And that is perfectly alright!

So I do believe that we are raising #aGenerationWithoutGenderBias and the future is gonna be Oh So Beautiful!

I Love You, Man

Yes !!! You read that right. I’m here today to celebrate the men who let me be this Strong Independent Woman that I am so proud of today. Especially with International Women’s Day nearing, I am going to be flooded with messages wishing me, more so now, because I am a working mom of two, living in a nuclear family setup, juggling all of my roles with ease. But, what about the men in my life who have helped me become the person I am today?? My Father, My Husband and My Son!!

So here I am, giving these genuinely good men a few privileges, that I have had a chance to enjoy, being a Woman:

Help is Always around the corner

Have you observed that being women, if we are ever in some sort of trouble, there are always people around who are willing to help?! People like falling for the “damsel in distress” card. They also like to give the benefit of the doubt to women in any situation. I would like you to have this privilege, for whenever you get into a tricky situation and could use some help.

Choosing Your Career Without any Financial Pressure

Yes, times are changing. You are likely to experience this privilege in a few decades. But for now, I would like you to have the option of deciding your career based on your preference and flexibility and not under the pressure of being the bread winner of the family. I hope, no one will call you a loser, if you choose to not have a career, and contribute to your family.

Appreciations

I have always felt that being Men, you haven’t been given enough credit. We talk about equality and sharing the work load, both at home and outside. But when you see a working mom juggling all her roles, you go ahead and appreciate her. Why is a working dad never appreciated? Does he not get the kids ready to school? Does he not change diapers? Does he not drop the kids off to school? Does he not take them to the umpteen number of extra curricular classes that your child goes to? Does he not help you take out the trash or cook? When was the last time he was appreciated? I would like to appreciate you, Men, for being the givers that you are, never expecting anything in return.

Judgements

Men are always judged based on their availability for their family. If he accompanies his kids to birthday parties, he is considered jobless, and singled out in a group of moms. If he doesn’t accompany for doc appointments, he is judged for not being available for his family (and you pity his wife). Men are also not allowed to be cranky or moody unlike women. He is judged to be short tempered and emotionally unavailable. I wish people gave you the benefit of the doubt before making judgements. Maybe you took the kid to the party coz your son wanted you to be there to introduce you to his friends. Maybe you missed the doc appointment coz you were stuck with an important business meeting and you trust your wife to handle things well. Maybe secretly even you want to just quit everything and spend all your time with your family but you can’t coz life doesn’t always work that way.

Maternity Benefits

Like maternity leaves policy in India, I wish you had an equally long period of Paternity Leave to just bond with your baby all day long, to take a break from the routine and to just experience the joy that a baby brings to your life. You probably missed your child’s first words and most milestones. I wish you had the privilege to just stay at home and enjoy your time with this little piece of your heart thats growing so fast each day, for just 6 months, and get back to work feeling more energized than ever before.

To the men in my lives,

I LOVE YOU, MAN!

This blog post is a part of #womensdayblogparty.

I’d like to thank Amitoj for introducing me.

She is a dentist by profession but currently raising her 3 year old son being a SAHM. Being a voracious reader herself, she makes sure to read to her son every day and wants him to love books. She has written a heartfelt letter to her son as part of this blog party. Wanna read?? Click here

I’d also like to introduce my friend Cheni. She is a mom of a one year old and has written a loving letter to her darling daughter. Wanna read??? Click here

Every Superhero Needs a Costume, This Is Mine

Life hasn’t been the same in the last four/five months. Yes, I had a baby. If you have been following me on Instagram and Facebook you would have seen some really cute and heart melting moments of Dev (4yo son) and Diya (4mo daughter) bonding. Life feels complete. Each moment seems happy. But behind all those cute, happy, awwwww moments is also a lot of hardwork, multitasking, physical and mental stress involved.

The most important thing to remember when you are a mom who balances so many things at once is the word “EASY

Keep trying to find the answer to this question – “How do I make my life easier?” in difficult situations and *BOOM* your problem is solved!

So here are some of those challenges I faced as a mom of two, living in a nuclear family, with K(my husband) being super occupied with his work(read unavailable, not that I’m complaining):

1st Challenge:

My mornings start with getting Dev ready for school and dropping him off at this school van pickup point near my house. As I can’t leave Diya home alone, I need to carry her too to drop off Dev. I also need to hold Dev’s bag while we are waiting. So both my hands are full right now and the Van arrives. Just then I remember that I have to lift Dev and help him get into the van as well. Now that’s the challenge.

Things to carry:

Diya, Dev’s bag and Dev

So how do I make my life easy?

Babywearing to the rescue!! Both hands free!! Problem solved!! Life made “EASY”!!

2nd Challenge:

After your second delivery, you may want to stay at home all day long doing nothing, (coz you’re on Maternity Leave after all) but not Dev. He wants to play. He craves the outdoor. You can’t make a child study or do constructive activities(like coloring, building blocks etc) at home all the time. You don’t want him to get hooked onto television either.

What do you do?

You take him out to play.

Things to carry:

Diya and Dev’s bat/ball/scooter/cycle, etc. (sometimes all of it at once)

So how do you make life easy?

Babywearing to the rescue!! Both hands free!! Problem solved!! Life made “EASY”!!

3rd Challenge:

With two kids you might want to give up on your social life, but hey, your son is just building one of his own!!! Now that requires him to attend all the birthday parties of his friends. And no, you can’t fool them. Like women, kids talk!!! If they find out that they missed a party because of you, be sure that he is going to bring this up every single day of your life going forward in every other argument!!!

What do you do?

You have to go to the party.

Things to carry:

Diya, a bag(with your world in it), birthday gift (onward journey), return gift, bday cap and balloons(return journey)

So how do you make life easy?

Babywearing to the rescue!! Both hands free!! Problem solved!! Life made “EASY”!!

4th Challenge:

There are times when you need to step out for either shopping (trust me I don’t step out to shop unless it is really important) or hospital visits or a trip to your parent’s place.

Things I need to carry:

Diya, a bag (with my world in it) and I also need to hold Dev’s hand so he doesn’t get lost

So how do I make my life easy?

Babywearing to the rescue!! Both hands free!! Problem solved!! Life made “EASY”!!

5th Challenge:

Being a mom ain’t easy. Not one bit. But to keep myself going I need to stay fit which is the most important thing. If I’m healthy I know that I will keep my family healthy and safe. So instead of giving excuses and binging on food I have made a promise to myself that I will walk on my terrace every night.

How Life has gotten “EASY”?

I just need to wear Diya and walk with Dev!!! We are in no rush! We just walk slowly on our terrace in whichever direction the wind blows telling each other stories, singing songs. This is also the time when me and Dev count the number of flights that take off from Chennai airport. Before you know it, Diya sleeps off. We get back home and put her in bed.

Have I told you how cool soul AnoonA transfers are? No? Well stay head to my review of AnoonA right away by clicking here!!

Blogging? Why now?

Life has been  really eventful lately. Especially from the time I got married. In roughly about 5-6 years, between one husband, two kids and three places I’ve had some great (and not so great) experiences.

I realized the other day how much I love telling these stories, How these experiences have shaped me to be the person I am today, and how these stories could actually help someone else in need.

{No, I am not going to give mommy advises. That is not what I do. I believe in hands-on parenting, but that topic is for another day and another post 😉 }

What I will be sharing is:

  • a glimpse into my world
  • some sweet and bitter sweet experiences of mine
  • random deep thoughts that hit my brain  (not too serious , i promise)
  • probably a recipe or two
  • anything and everything fun that I experience

So now that I have answered the questions I had put forth to myself and gained some perspective, I am pretty excited to start my journey as a blogger!!

I hope you guys enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy compiling them for you!