Sunday, 31 August 2014

Calling out to Moms of Boys

I had a daughter and that was wonderful, so when I learned I was expecting again, by human nature I hoped it would be a boy. And it was. But subsequently I kept having boys until I ended up with a strapping brood of five ranging from ages 2 to 12. Along the way there were some truths I uncovered, about how boys are different from girls. Here are a few of them from my perspective:

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

How to prepare your child for the new "Back to School" academic year

Dear UAE Mums,

I am absolutely delighted and honored to be sharing my learnings with all you through this wonderful platform created by Hena. And I look forward to personally interacting with you at some point through this journey.

With the countdown to the schools starting we are bidding farewell to the long summer months of sleeping in late, family time, late nights, movies and holidays.

The traffic on the roads has increased; parents are rushing to the shops to organize uniforms, stationery and various things in preparation for children going back to school.

For some kids there is an air of excitement, for others anticipation if they are moving to a new school or new country and yet for others trepidation if the last year was dotted with some unpleasant experiences.

Today we will look at strategies on how to help your children put their best foot forward to start the new academic year on a more sure footing.

The first three strategies mentioned will help your child prepare 'physically for the new academic year'. 
1) Get your children into a routine with regard to their sleep and food patterns. Sleeping and waking up on time, eating healthy foods and at the right times.

2) Buying your children new school items like bags, stationery, shoes etc. so that they look forward to the new academic year with freshness.

3) Clearing their desks and the physical environment in which they will be doing their homework and projects.

Besides looking at their physical environment and needs it is also imperative to spend time clearing any 'mental' or 'emotional' baggage they might be carrying from the previous year. 

4) Clearing their minds of any negative situations and experiences in their past academic year by helping them focus on what they learnt from those experiences. If you child has not done as well academically, or a close friend has moved to another school or country or your child was bullied, it is important to sit with your child and change his perspective around that experience by focusing on what he learnt and how he would deal with it in the future.

5) Setting up new and positive belief systems by focusing their attention on things they did well in. Go through the past year and pick all the moments of success and focus your child's attention on their achievements and strengths. You can put up visual reminders, photos, pictures of their achievements so that it boosts their self-confidence for the coming new year.

6) Help your child set new goals on all areas of their life – from academic goals, sports, music to important life skills like building self-confidence, improving communication skills, how to deal with peer pressure, how to improve focus etc. Life skills are skills that will help them not only become resilient but also leaders in their class and community.

7) Talk to your child about the challenges that they might face while working towards their goals and the support they might need from you as parents, their teachers or coaches like tennis coach, golf coach or a life coach who helps to up level them to their next benchmark.

By putting the above strategies in place not only on the physical level but also ensuring that your child is mentally and emotionally ready to embark on a new school year will ensure that he has a successful year.

Wishing all UAE Mums and your children a fabulous NEW academic year! May our children succeed in their individual goals and together create a world of peace, love and harmony!

Sunaina Vohra
Youth & Family Coach
Athena Life Coaching

Saturday, 23 August 2014

How to talk Positively to Kids

We all know how encouragement is good for the kids, how we should be kind and respectful to them, how we should motivate them when they are down and provide unconditional support. These things are perhaps hard wired into our biological makeup. But I find that I am constantly faltering, even though the intent is always there to follow through on all the above and beyond.

Some pointers to inspire you:

Monday, 18 August 2014

How To Choose The Right Foundation

The most common dilemma in makeup is to choose the right foundation. If you choose the wrong shade , light or dark , it will end up looking un-natural. It does not conclude at deciding the right foundation but perfecting your choice in liquid, cream, mousse and powder foundation and how to apply it correctly.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Back to School Prep

Well time flew by pretty quickly, the kids had fun and now the time is fast approaching for normalcy to return to our mad mad lives. Let's face it though, the transition is a bit tough. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way to make things easier and a learning experience:

Monday, 11 August 2014

Take Care In Removing Your Makeup !

Most of the ladies I have come across do not care much in removing makeup like how they do when they apply it. It’s dangerous to go to bed with makeup on your face as it will make your skin hard , get you early wrinkles , pimples , acne and a lot more !

You should take care in removing makeup and give it time the same way you do when you apply it.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Avoid Yelling at Kids and Yes, It can be Done

In my last post I admitted to yelling sometimes, and this is probably true for most parents but in order to avoid losing your temper or losing your patience with your child (which will just make you feel guilty anyways) it is better to have a calm conversation. These tips may help the next time you feel your blood pressure rising:

Sunday, 3 August 2014

How To Choose And Use A Concealer

We all know that concealer is used to cover the spots of redness, dark under eye circles, pigmentation spots and any other areas that the foundation is not able to hide but not the right concealer to be used.

Let me make it easy to choose the right concealer for you with some basic rules -

  • Concealers with a thicker texture are good for covering up red splotches and dark circles.
  • Concealers with a lighter texture are better for covering up small complexion irregularities and cover up the shiny / oily skin in the area of the nose, chin and forehead.
  • In order to keep your concealer from being visible, it has to be 1 or 2 tones lighter than the tone of your foundation, but make sure its still close to the tone of your skin.
  • Smooth textures are easier to apply.
  • Never use the concealer past its expiration date.
  • Try finding the concealer and foundation from the same brand and line so that there is no color divergence but if you are lucky you can go ahead with the type suiting you from different brands.

Next is how to apply concealer to achieve best results -

  • To make the corrections less visible , its always recommended that you first apply a good moisturizer. If your skin is dry and you skip this hydration process, the concealer will not only fail to cover up your blemishes, but will highlight them instead.
  • There are two different opinions on when concealer should be applied. Some say it is best applied before the foundation and some say after. I recommend to apply after the foundation as it helps to cover up the minute skin faults. 
  • Use your concealer in patting motions specially around the eyes. Do not rub as it can cause swelling and protect skin from bruising
  • You can use concealer to cover up spots all over your face – around the eyes, at the base of the nose, along the sides, forehead , chin etc.
  • Use light-textured concealer if you have fine wrinkles around your eyes because any other kinds will only add your fine creases to be visible.
  • Concealer is most suitable for when you are not wearing too much makeup.

My top picks for concealers - 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Clinique Advanced Concealer
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer

The purpose of the concealer is to conceal, but if you cover up all your flaws, but the concealer remains visible, you need more practice.
Remember the golden rule - practice makes perfect !

Until next - Stay Blessed and Beautiful !

Confessions of an Over-Stressed Mom

I thought of doing something on a lighter note this week, and yet I think most mothers will be able to relate. I mean as mothers we are always trying to nurture our kids and balance out lives whether we are home makers or working moms. But we all have our little quirks....those little stolen bits of...dare I say selfishness? I mean are we not primarily human beings? Mommies have feelings too...we are not infallible are we? So without further ado, a few of my confessions:

Saturday, 2 August 2014

To be...or not to be friends?

We all have had friends as early as we can remember. When we were young, we had playmates who would find our hiding spot and share crisps with us. The ones who sat next us in the class would then be invited to our birthday parties. And eventually be named our 'best friend'. 

 As we got older, our schools might have changed or place moved. We got new friends there. Some nice and some not so nice. The hormonal teenage years would throw us together where guys and makeup were concerned. Go to the movies together. Then colleges and universities have us make other friends. And so it goes on. 

The number of best friends that we might have gone through may be numerous. But have you ever had reunions with your older 'best friends'? It's so easy to find people through networking these days. The world has definitely shrunk to a size of Facebook in that sense. Look them up and voila!, they are staring back at you through there pimped up profile picture. 

Right back at my question then. When you meet up with your older friends, does it seem awkward? Do you feel like you just don't know why you were friends with her in the first place? Or does it feel like you just continued on from where you left off? Best buds forever and ever?

I recently met a good friend who I just couldn't go a minute without sharing every life detail with. We were really good friends. But we lost touch when she moved away and things kinda cooled down. I would miss her terribly. There were times when I couldn't find one person who I could share my heart out with. So I ended up going to her. Eventually we drifted apart. 

Then she came back few days ago. We met up. And I felt like I don't even know her. All through the time we caught up, I kept thinking as to why we became best friends in the first place? I felt like she was too immature, too creepy. And it just made me immensely sad.

But I realized that as people grow and surroundings change, so do our mentalities and views. The people that we were at the same frequency with a long time back, would have opposite views now. That's why people grow, drift and come back. 

After all we are just humans. :)