VIR’s First Diwali !

In my last post I wrote about how much I missed celebrating Diwali at home in India. And this year I long for it even more as its a very special one, since we have our beloved son Vir celebrating it with us .

The entire week I was face timing with my mom and brother and hearing their daily activity updates, shopping sprees, reminiscing old days and getting to share the real Gharwali Diwali experience with them. My mom got Vir a really cute ethnic outfit which she will be sending with my cousin sister and even though its is arriving post Diwali, I am super excited to dress him up in it. There is a charm in wearing vibrant desi/ Indian clothes, they make the festival so much more authentic.

Vir is 5 months old this month and loves being around people, he enjoys getting all the attention and lately has been putting his entire fist in the mouth and babbling. He has also started to flip over on his tummy and is in awe of Rio. Rio too has also started warming up to Vir and its a great feeling to see both my boys finally  show some love towards each other.

I am glad to share with you all, Vir’s first Diwali story  at our home in Houston  with these pictures.We celebrated it with our loving friends with great home cooked food,  Coconut ladoos ,Rasgullas,music, lots of cheer , laughter and a long game of Flush. I hope you enjoy looking at them .

(If you follow me on Instagram , you must have seen some of our celebration pictures and videos on my Instastories too)

Thanks to our friend Abhishek for these lovely clicks.

My Anarkali dress : Meena Bazaar

Vir’s Cardi Set from : Amy Collier Designs

 

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Home made coconut ladoos

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Our wonderful friends !!

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Diwali cannot end without some sparkles.

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The focus of this pic was on our fur baby Rio who was waiting to eat mom’s coconut ladoos.

 

Missing Home This Diwali !

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Hi Everyone!! Hope you are welcoming Autumn with high spirits as this is the season of festivals and celebrations. Festivals are a huge part of anyone’s culture and ‘Diwali’ – The Festival of Lights,  is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by me and my family.

This year we are celebrating Diwali on October 30th and although it is almost 2 weeks away, I just don’t feel the same excitement and fanfare around me as it was back home in India…..

The bright decorations at the mall, the shiny packaging on the sweets,

 the aroma in the meals, the sparkle on the clothes,

the buzz at home, the lamps on the floor, the gifts galore,

the shiny lights on the street, the new Bollywood beat,

the hymn of the prayer, the agarbatti smell in the air,

the colorful rangoli, the diya  and roli on the pooja thali ,

the ladoos and  the burfi , the win in teen pati,

I miss it all …..I feel the absence of my family.

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Image: Pinterest

Of course it is hard to find the same cultural experience here in United States and I know it is silly of me to even expect it. But hey! At least I can long for it. The other day I was in Michael’s to get some supplies for Vir’s Halloween costume which I intend to DIY, and as I stepped into the store, the buzz and hullabaloo reminded me of the scene at the firecracker store in my hometown in Rajasthan, where we would go when we were kids. How we loved going through all the different colored sparkles, amused ourselves looking at the creative names on the new rocket and chakri boxes and searched for that new cracker which our neighbor wouldn’t have, while making sure all of them were within our budget.

As a kid, Diwali for me was about new clothes, firecrackers, chocolate covered dry fruits, decorating the balcony with lights, meeting my cousins and enjoying the break from school. Chores like cleaning the house, shopping for gifts, selecting that dress, seeking for more pocket money were the little things we looked forward to every year as Diwali got closer. As I got back from Michael’s the first thing I did was to create a Diwali wreath with the help of my cousin sister and my dear husband. I just wanted to get a whiff of that the Diwali spirit which has been lost in modern times.

Today, I am so thankful for all the cultural traditions that I grew up with. With every passing year, I have learnt to appreciate the meaning of each of these traditions even more. They constantly remind me of who I am and where I come from. These festivities also make me reflect on the literal importance of the holiness of each occasion. Staying away from home has made me preserve these traditions even more…..my culture, religion and language are the essence of my Indian Heritage and as a new mom I feel it is my responsibility to introduce my child to them and maintain their essence in our lives.

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Image: Rang Decor

Even though I have been visiting India every year since I moved to Houston 6 years back, I sometimes get nostalgic. Especially during the festival season! On our trips to India, we would travel between 3 states to visit our homes and squeeze in as much as we could within the 2 to 3 week vacation. Lately, these trips have been planned around marriages in the family. A perfect opportunity to meet all our cousins and family members at the same place and the same time, dancing off to latest Honey Singh’s songs, while wearing  elegant desi outfits and enjoying the incredible food.

However, right now, at this moment , I wish I was home preparing besan ke ladoos with my mom , making  rangoli with my brother, choosing the color for this year’s salwar suit, packing the gifts for my friends and practicing my skills for teen pati. And even though there is time to book my tickets and head off to India, there are work and life commitments that I cannot get out of. Celebrating Diwali at home will have to wait again.

Yet!! I believe, it’s more the reason for me to celebrate my ‘Gharwali Diwali’ with similar emotion and joy at my home in Houston, because this Diwali is SPECIAL !! We were blessed with our son ‘Vir’, our bundle of joy this May !!  And even though it will be difficult to recreate the same sentiment, I aspire towards sparkling my home with happiness, decorating it with shades of love , preparing the food with more joy and stand in the light with my husband and son beside !! My hope is not to lose my texture as an Indian in a foreign land with time, but to celebrate its elements and authenticity as much as I can.

A Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones!! May the divine light of Diwali spread peace , prosperity , pleasure and good health into your lives.

Do share with us on how  you are planning to celebrate Diwali and what is missing this time.

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Happy Diwali !! Acrylic Rangoli perfect for wooden flooring.

 

10 Baby Products That Make Motherhood Easier!

 

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Here comes the Baby and so does more stuff then we dreamed of.  Before Vir was here, I did a lot of research on the products we needed for the baby. While I was pregnant I turned to my trusted friends who have already been there and done that and also referred to  the online resources.

I wanted to make sure we get only the stuff we will use and not go overboard. It’s super easy to get sucked into all of the fancy gear and adorable toys directed towards that newborn stage. Whether it were essentials items for the baby, the nursery or for me as a new mom , I had a spread sheet for everything with several columns and rows listing out all details of the products in my must have list. It is almost like a ritual for me that before I make any purchases, I always go online to check reviews from multiple sources, compare products, and find any deals or discounts and post that check out any order as we hate to make returns. (It’s definitely a time-consuming task).

In the short time since I’ve become a Mom, I’ve learned about so many products that I’ve found to be Life Savers or some that are straight up useless. We are so thankful to our lovely friends and family for gifting us most of the baby gear I registered for my shower. I used Baby List for my registry as everything I wanted was at 1 location. Apart from the baby gear from all different websites and stores, you can also register for a Doula, a diaper service  and even homemade meals.

Below I am sharing a list of my most loved Baby products that have made a huge difference in my life recently with little V . Most of these products are not your regular baby registry picks, but products that made Motherhood more effortless for me one step at a time.

1.Silicone Place Mats : I bought this for Vir as I know feeding a baby can be a real messy adventure. These mats are great as they stick easily to most of the surfaces so that they don’t get  ripped out and thrown by your little one, plus it’s sized perfectly for fruit and cereal. I like the Ezpz happy mat.

mini_mats_on_white_food_clean_coral__60444-1453865533-1280-8002.Teal Baby Bamboo Sleeping Bag – I would always swaddle up Vir to make him sleep, but I guess some babies just hate being wrapped up. He would always pull his hands out and kick open the swaddle and I would be wrapping him all over again. Thankfully I came across the Teal Bee bamboo sleeping bag for babies made using natural thermal regulation bamboo, working to keep the baby warmer in winter and cool in summer. Vir loves it and sleep so well.

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3.ORB Bottle Warmer– If you are a pumping mama and store or freeze the milk, the ORB bottle warmer will save so much hassle. It steam heats bottles and baby food without hotspots and is BPA free. Also its very light and portable to carry while you are travelling. Plus it looks cute and can fit  all size bottles.

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4.Car seat handle cushion cover – If you don’t have upper arm strength like me, you will have a hard time lifting the car seat with your inner arm. I looked up online to help me with this issue and came across Itzy Ritzy car seat handle cushion cover which has thick foam padding for comfort and universally fits to all types of car seats.

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5.Baby Carrier for Mom and Dad: Baby carriers are definitely a staple of life with a new born, as your hands are free and the baby is cozy and secure. For longer trips and especially when baby is 5 months over Baby Bjorn is a great carrier to have. It looks great, is sturdy and has a waist belt for support. Also the babies hand and legs are free.  But when I am out with the baby at a park, grocery store or running an errand,  I prefer the Baby K’tan . It is made of 100% cotton and has good stretch too. The material is very soft and cozy for an infant and the best part is it is very light and easy to carry in your diaper bag.

6.Tote Savvy –Tote Organizer: I don’t feel like carrying my diaper bag everywhere, I miss my cute and light totes. I came across  Tote Savvy , it offers the best of both worlds by combining the inner lining of a diaper bag with any handbag. Also it is available in 2 sizes. Its expensive, but it makes sense if you want to be organized and search for your lip stick and car keys in the diaper bag.

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7.Skip Hop Bath Kneeler: Trust me it is so much better to kneel on this cushioned surface especially if your knees hurt. I prefer kneeling to sitting while giving Vir a bath in our bath tub. The bath kneeler doesn’t skid and is washable too. I had registered for the Skip Hop Moby Bath set on my baby registry  and I love it.

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8.Dr Brown’s Bottles – Vir was very gassy  for the first few months and I was looking at all possible solutions to reduce his gassiness. Glad to have found the Dr Brown’s bottles they come with a Infant paced Feeding Valve which helps decrease air intake and helps burping with non squeeze method. They are BPA Free too.

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9. Baby ear protection ear muff or Baby Headphones– There are some events, concerts, games that you just can’t miss and if you are worried about your child’s hearing, I highly recommend getting noise cancelling earphones or ear muffs. We recently attended a concert with 4 month baby Vir and he slept through the entire concert with his headphones on for 3 hours. These ear muffs/ noise cancelling head phones are your best bet if you have a light sleeper or if your baby is sensitive to noise. I wished I had them while flying to New York for the first time with the baby. These headphones are easy to wear and have foam filling cushions that can fit to every child and are available in different sizes and color options. I am glad they make these. We have the Walker’s ear phones for babies.

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10.Squeeze packs of baby food– Vir will be very soon starting solid foods and I am looking forward to make some homemade healthy and nutritious purees. I will like to avoid as much store bought squeeze foods as I can as they are so freaking expensive.  I really liked the concept of  Foodii Squeeze Snack Filling and Feeding System as they are so convenient, compact, easy and also BPA free. You can bulk them up and store it for mess free meals on the go.

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I hope this blog post has helped you find something you need . I will appreciate if you can reply or comment below with your favorite baby products which worked well for you and the baby. .(You can catch us on Instagram )

 

Pink Blush Maternity GIVEAWAY!! $50 gift card 

Such a classic little black dress from Pink Blush . You can never go wrong with one !

 

$50 Gift Card !! 🎉🎉INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY 🎉🎉
I have reached 2000 followers today on Instagram , and that too in such a short time, so here’s a way of saying THANKYOU 💖with my first #giveaway .

I’m a total sucker for dresses and Pinkblush has such an exciting collection for 🍁Fall🍁and has something for everyone. This #Pinkblush Dress has totally taken its place as one of my favorites. Check out their amazing collection www.shoppinkblush.com.

Because I love you all and want you to enjoy modern and versatile designed pieces, I’m teaming up with @shoppinkblush to give one of YOU the chance to win $50 to their shop, and entering is super easy!
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Go to Instagram

*TO ENTER*

1. You must be following both myself (@the_snazzy_mom) AND @Shoppinkblush

2. Comment ‘All Steps Done’ (the winner will be chosen from the comments, so make sure you do this step!)

3. ‘Like’ the giveaway picture

4. Tag a friend or friends

*For Extra Entries*
• Like my  FB  page TheSnazzyMom and let me know what will you get with your credit on the giveaway picture.

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Giveaway will run from 10/2-10/7 at midnight CST, and a winner will be announced on 10/11.
-Open to Internationals too.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Shoppinkblush and no way sponsored by Instagram !