The IGP experience

As a mom the most frustrating times I have are when I am unable to get out of the house and buy my friends or family members a gift on a special occasion. It is extremely annoying and makes me feel like a proper failure. There are gifting portals online, but I have never been able to find anything interesting or found the websites reliable. However now I do have a savior. Tried and tested! The Indian Gifts Portal aka IGP were kind enough to send me a voucher to try out their website and also purchase gifts. Here’s a lowdown of my experience and what I purchased from the website:

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IGP is Indias largest online gifting store in India, they started their website in 2001, which also makes them the oldest and most experienced in the industry. They specialise  in personalised gifts, flowers, cakes, festival merchandise among others gifting ideas. The website is clean in design, simple to browse and such that you can find a gift easily because of the various links on the home page itself. They have a simple animated video on ‘how it works‘ for anyone who is new to the website.You don’t have to browse through the whole website to find what you are looking for, they have four major categories ; ‘Personalised Gifts‘, ‘Gifts by recipient/occasion‘, flowers and cakes‘ and ‘Gifts by country/city‘. Apart from these, you can also find other filtered links like ‘Gifts for anniversary’, ‘gifts for Birthdays’ etc. They keep in tune with any special days that come up in the calendar like valentines, mothers day, etc. All this helps in streamlining the search and finding the gift.

I had taken this opportunity to buy gifts for my kids; purchased two for Baby Abbas and one for Batool. Fisher-Price Rock-a-stack and Snap-Lock beads and Funskool Sun Catchers. The price sticker for all of these was either removed or scratched,  which is very important if you’re having the gifts wrapped and delivered directly to the recipient. All items of the order were delivered together and on time, I shall leave you with pics of the same now…

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I am aware of a couple more gifting sites, but haven’t dared to try them. It was very nice of IGP to approach me to try it out as a courtesy.

My experience with the customer support was satisfying, I was having some issues with placing the order because of crappy internet, and wanted some information on a product as well, so I had reached out to their customer care and they were very helpful. The helpline operator, made a note of my query, gave me an estimate of when she would get back to me with the information I needed, and she stuck to it. I was very pleased with their service. When it comes to buying gifts for someone you want to make sure that everything is perfect and there should be no room for mishaps.

Nothing in the world is perfect is it? Critically analysing the website makes me want them to have a larger range especially for little kids, it would be nice to purchase products that I or anyone may not otherwise find on other retail stores in India as gifts. Also, since I was placing my order around the Mothers day the website was very slow, which also I got clarified by the help-desk that it was because they were constantly working on the website by adding new products for mothers day. But still it kind of was annoying.

Having said that , I will give IGP 4/5 and will definitely turn to them for future gift purchases. Especially since many of my friends and family reside in Dubai I always tend to lose out on doing something special for them, sending a bouquet of fresh flowers, or a personalised gift from here, would enable me to express my love for them. IGP delivers to over 90 countries, and over 350 cities have same day delivery option! Isn’t that impressive?

Highly recommend the site, have you ever purchased anything from there?

Makeup Revolution Redemption palette Essential Shimmers Review

My first venture into Makeup Revolution was with the Redemption palette essential shimmers. I was looking for a palette that had golds, bronzes and browns. No matter how colourful you like your eye look, you will always want to have the neutrals, they work any time of the day, for any occasion and are the easiest to explore. When in doubt, go neutral! That’s my mantra.

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I had also purchased the Mermaids VS Unicorns palette along with this, the logic was to get one colourful palette and one neutral. Will review it in another post, for now I have the swatches for the essential shimmers palette.

There are no names for the shades, and they look more or less the same if you’re new into the makeup world. But after swatching and playing around with them you will discover the ones you love and be able to differentiate between the many shades of bronzes and golds.

On to the review: This is an all shimmer palette, and while you may notice minimum to no fall out, there will be some glitter flecks left after wiping it off. I use makeup removing wipes and then if needed go in with a liquid cleanser. The lasting power of the shadows is pretty decent; a primer would do you good. Some of the shades give more colour pay off than others, depending on your skin tone. I recommend using a soft brush for application so that it picks up a good amount of colour and doesn’t make the eye shadow powdery. You may not be able to pull off a look all on its own with this palette, you do require matte shadows to balance it all out. So if you have a neutral shadow palette or just a favourite shade you’ll be good to go. This is a great palette for all skin tones. If you’re looking for a matte palette with this kind of variety the Essential mattes  may be your solution.

All in all for the price this palette is great, and fulfills the purpose of having a variety of shades to play with. It’s compact and solid plastic packaging makes it very travel friendly. For the party season, this palette can help you create beautiful night time looks

Let’s celebrate Passing the HAP course!

I finished my course at HAP!! Yayii!. Received the certificate of the same on Saturday 12th, And boy was that day hectic. I know what you’re thinking! I constantly talk about my busy schedules, I am sure it’s getting monotonous at this point. Keeping this in mind I shall move on to what I wanted to actually write about. I treated myself with some online shopping.

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Note the excitement on the daughters face! That’s just ‘zoom into pricelessness moment’ She was roaring “Yayiiiii”

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Appreciating oneself is a habit I am still developing, but when I found out that I was actually truly passing I had this intense feeling of treating myself. All the hard work, running around, studying, maintaining sanity while balancing the many responsibilities that I did, I just had to acknowledge my efforts. The icing on the cake was that I topped the last exam which was a paper submission! Felt great, that sense of accomplishment I have never felt, never topped anything! hehe

Anyway so this is what I did, I bought some make-up, a wallet, and shoes (which are on the way).

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The experience of the course was great, in one word I would describe the course ‘insightful’ apart from the academic learning that took place you really do get to explore yourself, and become more aware of your behaviour and that of others. I have met some really special people, from various walks of life, women who inspire me and will continue to be part of my life. Even though I didn’t perform to my potential, there’s a lot I have learned to do better in the future in other ventures in my life.

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Dr.Diana is a great teacher, and an inspiring role model, for her high ethical standards of practice, passion for her field, and the unconditional positive regard she gives to us as her students. I highly recommend this course for all students who are in the field of psychology to broaden their view of the field, and get exposure to new thinking and learning.

The next target is to wind up my PGDiploma from IHMH. That should be a call for another mini shopping spree I guess!

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I am not a poser, I don’t even enjoy buying clothes and all those girlie things. Normal people get excited to shop, I do too, but not for Indian wear. But this year I was up for some excitement, and I had made it a point to buy something in white. You may already know that I like white from my previous post.

And not only did I pick a beautiful dress in white, I also happened to love a white and pink one for Batool. 🙂

This year I called up me cousin, and asked her to come prepared to click a tonne of pictures, because for the firts time I was feeling like enjoying a little, and just obsessing over myself 😉

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The Eid day was not elaborate, I had stayed over at my paternal aunts place as my cousin is in town from London. I stayed home the whole day and Batool visited her paternal grandparents for a while. It was a good day, just felt refreshed.

What did you do for Eid?

Scholastic book fair haul

Batool school is having the scholastic book fair on at the moment. And to me that’s just an opportunity to buy more books (9 to be precise). I think it’s almost like a disease. I haven’t received the scholastic book order I placed via school yet, but that didn’t stop me. Naah! Never!

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In fact right now all our stuff is in cartons and suitcases, we will be moving once the house construction is over. It’s only when I was packing up her and my books that I realised we hCAM03020ave quite a collection. A variety, mine are mostly text books and the few books I’ve mentioned already in the blog. But hers are truly a variety, from behaviour books, to story books, picture books, activity books, educational etc. I gave a few of her books that she has outgrown to cousins. I think that’s a good way of letting go of books, Batools attached to some of her books, those are the ones she wants to re-read, and always enjoys. Those usually are succumbed to so much love they look rather shabby. I won’t part with those. Will keep them for her to cherish and revisit when she’s older.

Moving on;  I will post a detailed review on first  impressions and review, as and when we explore them. The first book I picked up was ‘who wears glasses?’ by Ana Galan. I am also looking forward to introducing Clifford and Dora to Batool. She’s has recently started showing interest in stickers, (I was waiting for that phase) so I made sure I pick up books that will satisfy that craving.

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What books have you enjoyed reading with your kids? Any recommendations?

Early Learning centre and Kinokuniya haul (Dubai Mall)

I have a very tiny list of haulage for this trip to Dubai. And on the top of the list for my daughter was ‘my alphabet writing cards’, I first saw it on a fellow mommy blogger and friend’s blog. And while I was there I picked up two other things.

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1. Rainbow my alphabet writing cards- These cards may not seem very exciting to most mommies out there. There are plenty resources for developing writing skills, but the reason why I wanted this so badly was because Batool can’t visualise the small little alphabets in the books. She can’t clearly see the arrows as well. These cards have a larger font as you can see in the pic below. The starting point, and the arrows are big and clear too. The box comes with 26 double-sided cards, and a small black marker. The writing can be wiped and the card can be used multiple times. They’re for ages 3-8years. Focus on fine motor development, writing skills, and learning to read. The child can use the cards to form two or three letter words. This helps enhance reading, and the corresponding images at the back of the cards helps improve phonetic vocabulary too. It was AED 34 which isn’t that bad for a product that’s going to be so useful and has multiple purposes.

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2. Chunky washable pens- I had purchased these 2 years ago when I had come to Dubai. And since the writing cards only had one pen, I thought it’s better to get a pack just in case it runs out of ink. These are washable, so need to worry about them staining clothes or the childs skin. Batool loved them then and I’m sure she will enjoy now as well. Plus having the variety in colour will help her get even more interested in the writing cards. The pens were for AED19 but there was a discount on them.

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3. Flashcards- These have sight words!!! I was so excited when I found these. I have been practicing the sight words with Batool, to speed up her reading. She’s showing more interest now, and I thought it’s the best time to pick these up. 70 double sided cards, and the font is simple and easy to read. There are few plain cards too, for using with the washable markers. The beauty of this product is you can use the cards to help the child make sentences too. It’s for 3yrs and above, and was priced at AED 29, this product was on discount as well. The box looks hideous but it was the only one left, and I didn’t want to pass.

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I went into Kinokuniya to pick up books on ‘good touch bad touch’ but there were NONE! Very disappointing. I did find ‘Hands are not for hitting’ that I wanted though, and Batool made me read it there and then in the store itself before I even purchased it! The book was for AED 34. Batool already has one of the books from the series; ‘words are not for hurting’. I think I’ll pick one more up before I leave.

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I did a bit of shopping myself which was not on my list..the things that happen when you’re in Dubai! Shall update on that soon…

Scholastic haul

The school had distributed a hand out by Scholastic for books to order. It’s their initiative to promote reading at schools. Batool has always loved books, and enjoys it. And I thought this is a great way to just purchase selected books for age levels. So I got all excited and ordered few, it was my first experience, and even though I was tempted to buy almost all of them, I tried to keep in mind that they’re for Batool and not for me to explore!. So I decided to go for books that she didn’t have, variety to expose her to.

The great thing was all these books arrived in separate parcels, which made it easier for the teachers also to distribute them at school. Let’s get some picture in shall we?

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1. Trees to paper- This is a science based book, and since the daughter knows what paper is and trees are, it would e of interest to her. The concept to learn is how things come into being.

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2. Trash crafts- I mainly got this to have fun activities to do with her. This should be interesting

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3. Fly Guy Dinosaurs- She loves dinosaurs, there was no other reason to this order

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4.Night Sky Glow- Batool hasn’t shown much interest in space, and I had once almost picked up this ginormous book at Crosswords on the planets and space and all that beautiful stuff. But then I thought she needs something simpler, I should expose her to the idea first and then pursue it if she enjoys it. Because these space books for kids are a litle on the expensive side, they have many pictures, and textures too, some even have stickers. They make it super interesting. Anyway, when I spotted this on the list I thought this will be a great way to introduce Space into her little head. It has radium content also, that should make it grasping.

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5. Enjoy Phonics level 1- I wanted to explore this frankly, the book is nice and colourful with a CD too. There are writing activities as well, she’s just been introduced to the various lines (standing, sleeping, slanting) at school, so good timing.

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All of these books and others can be found on the website. Reading is the best and safest habit that can be inculcated in children. And the sooner it happens the better.

If you want a detailed review of any of the above books do let me know in the comments below. Happy reading.