The Cow’s Spots – Toddler Activity

One of my son’s favorite animals are cows. He carries his Cow Puzzle-pal book everywhere making it moo at everyone and himself. So while browsing through Pinterest, I came across a cow puzzle activity.

Since he is really bored of his puzzles at the moment, I decided to change it up a bit. The activity was turned into a ‘give the cow its spots’ one.

I drew a spotless cow on a blank page and then made some black spots on a sheet of sticker paper. (Because I was in a hurry, the spots are basically squiggles)

I cut the spots and put them randomly on the page and asked him to move them into place. After several minutes of moving the stickers around, I gave him the spots with the back sheet removed so they would now stick.

And voila, a weirdly spotted cow!

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The Colors Around Us – Learning Through Play

It’s fairly simple. The more you expose your child to information and experiences, the more they will soak it up. We have recently started colors and even though we aren’t really able to recognize colors correctly, we are slowly getting there.

The key is not to sit with your child and ‘make’ them learn. Instead, play. Adapt your playtime into a fun learning experience and use the resources at hand to reinforce concepts.

We gather all objects of a particular color and simply play. ‘Oh look two orange cushions, put them on top of each other.’ ‘The orange lion is hungry, feed him the orange ring’

It may not be overnight. It is a slow process. But what’s the hurry. There was never a functioning adult who didn’t know colors. 

Centre of excellence

My brother has recently started blogging about social evils and we as a society are delineating into a terrain that is degenerative and destructive. Give him a read, folks!

(The amazing illustrations are his too.)

Bakhti's Asylum

The air near this building was surprisingly heavy in this city. Every second of exposure grew on you in a way that you started forgetting your self identity, and your roots started becoming hazy to you. It was so poisonous that Bakhti had to wear his CBRN Gas Mask just to get close.
He was puzzled. Everyone called this a place of promise; a haven for enlightenment. But he saw nothing but a shabby battered old building with its pillars broken down and its bricks giving way. This was a place where the great people of this city paid large amounts of money to get their cultural values and heritage wiped out from the minds of their progeny.

This was one of the modern private schools, where local culture went to die, where a sick capitalist ideology was injected inside the cerebellums of innocent young boys and girls. An ideology…

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Impulse Buy: Hand Creams, Anyone?

I am a lazy ass and look like a hobo most days because I simply can’t be bothered to put some effort. I don’t own a collection of lotions, potions and creams, only the most basic stuff. 

The only thing I am a teeny bit concious about is my lipstick shade. I absolutely love all kinds of lipsticks but the darker the better.

I’m deviating from the point though. Okay so even though I have no particular interest in beauty products in general, I bought a trio of handcreams.

Wait what?

What did I buy: Hand Creams

How many: A trio. Three.

WHY: Umm…

In my defence, I have always had a weakness for pretty packaging and these creams are the cutest! Tiny tubes in such lovely shades with polka dots and florals..

Also because I had tried a Cath Kidston foot cream once and it was so so good.
I have only broken the seal of one for now, the blue one. I have no idea what bluebell smells like so can’t comment on how close it is to  the real thing but it is pretty nice.

The cream has a pale blue tinge to it and it absorbs really well. I have got nice smelling, non sticky hands after putting it on which is a win-win.

I don’t know if I’ll be using the other two or giving them to friends. But oh well, impulse buys make me happy so it’s fine either way!

With all the pampering and toiling my hands do all day, they do deserve a little love.

Which hand cream do you swear by?

Dinosaurs Love Underpants!

This book is often talked about on this book group that I am part of, mostly because of its name and hilarious cover illustration. I figured my kids’ library definitely needed this one. And now we finally have it!

Dinosaurs Love Underpants has lovely vibrant illustrations which go really well with the text. It is the story of how the dinosaurs became extinct, when the caveman decided to start wearing underpants the mean T-Rex wanted a pair too. Soon all the dinosaurs were fighting over their pants – in fact the fighting got so bad that the dinosaurs were all wiped out.

Moral of the story: Value your pants. They made history.

The book uses short rhyming text which is read at a quick pace. It is a really snappy read and downright hilarious. And though both my kids are really young to understand what the story is about, they thoroughly enjoyed the reading and had a great time roaring. 😂

Now I am hoping to get the Aliens and Pirates version of this book.

Lippie Review! – Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Heather Shimmer 

My current obsession is most definitely lipsticks. Lazy old me makes it a point to put on a different shade every morning because I have realised that a good lip color is a real pick me up for me.

Today I’ll be reviewing Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in shade Heather Shimmer (220).

I got this as a gift from my cousin in the UK along with another shade that I will be reviewing later.

Okay, so this lipstick comes in a purple and silver tube that looks really pretty and is also quite sturdy in feel. These look a lot similar to Maybelline colorSensational ones but are slant at the top.

Rimmel claims/product details:

  • Rich colour and intensely moisturising 
  • Enriched shade palette and highly improved moisturising formula
  • Vitamins a, c and e and SPF 20 for protected and cared-for lips
  • Maximised, radiant colour
  • Lips feel up to 70% more hydrated and up to 60% smoother

Let me just start of by saying that this shade is totally mine. I have found my nude lip and I am absolutely loving it. I have a neither fair nor dark complexion and finding the perfect nude seemed elusive. But Heather Shimmer has become my go-to shade for a simple and effortless look.

The pigmentation is strong and so is the scent, which might be off-putting to some but I don’t really mind.

Heather Shimmer is beautiful neutral brown/pink shade that can easily complement a lot of skin tones and look great in a variety of styles. It isn’t in your face at all but does have an impact and quality of a statement shade.

The formula is super creamy and feels a little unnatural on the lips for the first couple of seconds. It doesn’t emphasize fine lines and cracks in the lips but doesn’t do much to make them disappear either. Being creamy like it is, it doesn’t stay on the lips for long and transfers a little bit so be sure to blot it after applying.

The color pay-off is fabulous though and the subtle shimmer and shine is a nice change from my regular matte lips.
You can also read this on Piñata.


Lippie Review! Smashbox Always On – Girl Gang

Liquid lipsticks are all the rage these days and with all the options available, a little confusion (read: obsession) is inevitable when you embark on the quest of finding the perfect one for you.

Here’s a review of a gorgeous shade from the Smashbox Always-on Liquid Lipsticks line.

Infused with the Smashbox Primer Oil Complex, the Always On Liquid Lipsticks dry down to a completely matte and transfer-proof finish and are incredibly light on the lips. The first of the two shades I added to my stash is Girl Gang.

A dark and vampy burgundy-plum, Girl Gang is a stunning shade and is absolutely perfect for a night out.  Though the formula is super smooth, it is unfortunately a bit patchy. I had to take care not to let my lips touch before the liquid lipstick set. A second dab was needed to even out the patches.

But the best part, they really are Always on! With over 12 hours of wear and countless drinks and snacks later, there was no transfer or fading at all. Patchiness aside, this one is a keeper!

(You can also read this at Piñata)

Book Review – We’re Going To The Farm by Nancy Streza and Adam Pryce

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We’re Going To The Farm

Written by Nancy Streza

Illustrated by Adam Pryce

 Publisher: Xist Publishing
 Release Date: 2 July 2017

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A really fun to read-aloud book with absolutely gorgeous illustrations! My 18 month old really enjoyed the words because they can be sung to the tone of ‘The Farmer in The Dell’. The illustrations are colorful and fun and have quite a lot of things to point at while reading with your kids. The full color pages include multicultural characters, farm animals, familiar objects and some of the sounds they make.

Recommended for story-tellers at libraries and day-care centers. Also, the rhymes may get stuck in your head, parents!

Xiaomi Redmi 4X Launch in Pakistan

Xiaomi brings Redmi 4X to Pakistan in partnership with Smartlink Technologies

With the launch of Redmi 4X, Xiaomi demonstrates its commitment to the market

One of the world’s leading technology company Xiaomi launches Redmi 4X in Pakistan on Saturday through distribution partner SmartLink Technology. The launch event took place in Lahore on Friday and was hosted by none other than the witty Taimur Salahuddin AKA Mooroo.

Audiences were provided double dose of entertainment with the hilarious jokes of Mooroo and scintillating performances by Pakistan’s leading band Noori and Nescafe Basement band with Altamash Sarver who made audiences dance to their favourite tracks. The stunning Mira Sethi also made a special guest appearance who was all praises for the newly launched Smartphone, equipped with the latest technology in an affordable price.

Smartlink Technologies Marketing Director Ahmed Butt was quoted as saying, “Majority of the Pakistani consumers prefer to purchase smartphones remaining in this price bracket and thus this bracket has always remained a key market for all brands. We have confidence that Redmi 4X will be a hit within its own price bracket, as the smartphone surely outperforms its competition in the market.”

Redmi 4X

Redmi 4X features a full metal body, is the slimmest in design at just 8.65mm of thickness and weighs a mere 150g. Equipped with a 4100mAh battery, Redmi 4X has an impressive standby time of up to 18 days! Bid those dying battery issues adieu! It will be available with a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, so users can multi-task more efficiently, having more space for their downloaded applications and images. Redmi 4X will be available in the markets from Saturday in black a price of Rs 18,900.

The smartphones will be available offline across the country and online at official mistore.pk and at authorised online sales agents including Daraz.pk and Yayvo.com.

Every Redmi 4X will ship with MIUI 8 which builds in several technology breakthroughs such as being able to clone apps and manage multiple accounts on the same phone. This means that users can have two instances of a messaging app on the same phone that correspond to different accounts, removing the inconvenience of having to log in and out on the same app. With MIUI 8, users can also split their smartphones into two accounts. This means that a different password or fingerprint can allow you to access a different home screen entirely, with independent apps and data. According to their needs, users can choose to merge certain data such as the address book and their call log history.

Key features of Redmi 4X:

• Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 with (Octa-core 1.4GHz)

• 4100mAh battery

• 13MP camera with PDAF; 5MP front camera

• 5-inch HD display

• Dual SIM (3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray)

• LTE support

• 3GB RAM + 32GB Flash

• Up to 128GB microSD expandable storage

• Rear fingerprint sensor

• Available in Black

About Xiaomi

Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Lei Jun based on the vision “innovation for everyone”. We believe that high-quality products built with cutting edge technology should be made accessible to everyone. We create remarkable hardware, software, and internet services for and with the help of our Mi fans. We incorporate their feedback into our product range, which currently includes Mi and Redmi smartphones, Mi TVs and set-top boxes, Mi routers, and Mi Ecosystem products including smart home products, wearables and other accessories. With more than 70 million handsets sold in 2015, Xiaomi is expanding its footprint across the world to become a global brand.

About Smartlink Technologies

Established in 2016, Smartlink Technologies is a brainchild of a pool of professionals whose strong vision and even stronger conviction paved the way for an exclusive partnership with Xiaomi. We believe in reaching out to both the low-end and the high-end consumers and still give out state-of-the-art and warranted products at the best possible prices. We live in an age where the digital world meanders from smartphones to smart everything – we see it all around us. Smartlink Technologies strives to connect latest technology with modern and innovative sales techniques to change not only how brands are marketed but also how they define themselves.

Book Review: How To Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

images (4)How To Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life By: Lilly Singh

 Publisher: Random House
 Release Date: 2017

The Short Summary:

Youtube star’s motivational rules for living life.

The Summary (via Goodreads):

From actress, comedian, and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||) comes the definitive guide to being a bawse—a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side. 

Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over nine million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success. 

WARNING: This book does not include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness, and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for—not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no escalators, only stairs. Get ready to climb.

Review:

stand-3.5stars

 Let me put out a disclaimer first: I love Lilly Singh. ||Superwoman|| is one of my favorite YouTube personalities and I absolutely adore her work. That being said, I detest self help books. Hate is a strong word, but I really, really, really don’t like them. So I put in a lot of thought before picking this one up. I basically decided to give this a shot because I love Lilly’s style and knew that any book written by her would be fun to read.

The kids’ nap-time resulted in me sitting down in peace to read this and guzzle down chocolate chip cookies.

I’ll be honest, the writing style is great. You can actually hear her talking while you read. Pair that with the vibrant photos of Lilly that accompany the chapters, and the unique numbering style of the text itself, this book sure does have a lot of personality.

BUT…

There isn’t much meat in it. The advice is pretty much stuff you have heard all your life. It is motivational, yes, but cliched too. Lilly says we can take this advice from her because she has been through depression and ‘gets it’. Okay. Fair enough. But tell us more about you, Lilly. There are sections in the book titled ‘Out of the Blue’, which are basically her own story, but they are so short and left me hankering for more of her personal back story.

This book made me smile a lot of times, the advice she gives is pretty honest and would help people, maybe. It just wasn’t something for me. The chapters are too short. As soon as I would start getting into it, The End. Why, Lilly, Why? A little more length to tie the knot would have been great!

This book is more geared towards teenagers and I sort of felt a little too old reading some parts (I am not old, nope) and it has a lot of things that the youth does need to hear these days. I liked it but did not love it. Probably will not give it a second read, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

3 and half stars for being a lovely mix of humor, sass, wisdom, and common sense.

The Lazy Girl’s Basic Skin Care Routine

I am awfuly lazy. This has not come about becauseI am a mom to two under two. I have always been lazy. I have never been really beauty inclined either. My daily routine included nothing except for a face wash in the morning and repeating after school. No make up, no bb cc dd creams, no moisturizing. Now that I’m a mom I sometimes forget the face wash too, a splash of cold water is all my toddler will allow me.

So because I have never had an extensive routine, I have never bought many products either. Occasional splurges aside, I seldom buy expensive face care potions and lotions. But now I feel I need to change myself a bit.

Because days when I put on red lipcolor are way better than days when I don’t, I finally agree with the look good, feel good adage. 

I’ll start simple, with a very basic routine:

This Clean and Clear daily scrub is an old favorite. I have been using it since my teenage years and it makes me feel so fresh. But I won’t be buying it again because I saw a video about the hazards that these micro-beads pose to the environment.

The Comvita cleanser is honey based and oh so mild and gentle. It is great at removing makeup too. 

My post shower routine is spritz, comb and moisturize.
I absolutely adore this body mist from The Body Shop. The Japanese Cherry Blossom scent is so delicate and refreshing and has really calming undertones. I got it as part of a set (mist, lotion, shower gel) from Lush Beauty Shop at a great price and will definitely be buying the mist again when I’m through with this bottle.

Another The Body Shop product (bought from Lush too) is the Brazil Nut Define and No Frizz Hair Cream. I have hair that has a mind of its own and misbehaves most of the time. This cream tames it to quite an extent.

For post shower moisturization, my current favorite is Mango and Papaya from I love… The scent is heavily and the lotion doesn’t leave any oily residue on my skin.

Here’s hoping I can follow this routine everyday this summer. 

(P.s. Lush Beauty Shop has a lot of TBS products instock and all at such unbelievable prices. Be sure to check them out.)

(P.s.s This post is NOT sponsored by Lush lol.)

Displacement

Mama said my home

Is where my husband is

They nodded and I

searched in all the places I knew

Obvious places; the office with its tie sporting

men and clickity clackity

women,

at his mothers’, no – not in the kitchen

or inside his closet,

I went to his haunts – his hunting spot his bowling place

his burger joint his best friend’s space 

my husband lost, and I, displaced.

My home is where my husband is.

The Accomplice

It is 4 in the morning. The winter is settling in between the tiny cracks the earthquake left behind and I am sitting barefoot on the marble floor, cleaning out his gun.

I pause after each swipe, look up at his sleeping face, smile to myself and go back to the sliding feel of the washcloth against the metal.

I think of all the death there will be today. I think of what my part is going to be in it. The blood will be on my hands and will make its home there even before I touch the casualties. Murderer. Murderer. Murderer. I look up at him again. Is he really? No. It can’t be that easy.

I put in the chokes and screw them tight. Long range, he won’t have to get so close to the victim. He will only see the gaping bewilderment frozen on their faces once all that made them alive has been drained out.

I hope he doesn’t bring them home. Cooking hunted birds is not something I want on my conscience.

Growing

There is more from where this flows.
A bloody trail, not even red
A blackness – thick tar
It covers you – crown to rump

That’s how they measure you now, isn’t it?

Twisty limbs poking here and here and here.
I should scream but I don’t.

Don’t be ungrateful child.