Guest Review: Music App

Children give their opinion in a very blunt manner. There’s no sugar coating of things- if they like something, it’s usually praised to the heavens and if something isn’t up to the mark; it’s condemned to hell. The middle road is rarely taken by them. Which is why when a 10 year old young miss gave a comprehensive, concise review of an app she uses to learn music, I had to feature it here.

Say hello to Ananyaa. She’s all of 10, a voracious reader, loves music, art and with a strong sense of focus on everything she does, this young lady accomplishes whatever she puts her mind to! During these times of restricted movement outdoors, Ananyaa’s chosen to focus on learning how to play the piano/keyboard. And she’s given the Simply Piano app 2 thumbs up!

Let’s find out from her what makes this app so great-” Simply piano is a very good app. It teaches you how to play piano. It teaches chords and melodies. It also teaches how to read chords on Google. I liked it because it teaches me many techniques. It can teach complete beginners to play the piano. I used to go to piano class but I liked this more because there were many songs to learn ,even my favourite songs.

This app listens to you as you play. It incentivides (sic) by giving three gold stars. It only waits for you to correct yourself in training. It does not strike you out if you play the note wrong 3 times, it corrects you . It does not ring an alarm to remind you , it happens only if mobile is not on silent mode. The free part has 2 options either you play only 1st lesson or you sign a few contracts and play free for a week .

Simply Piano is available for download both on the iTunes (click here to access) and Google Play Store (click here to download). It has a subscription-based premium access which unlocks the entire learning content for the student.

So if you’re looking to tickle the ivories, then this app is a great way to learn, enhance or just enjoy the beautiful sounds of the keyboard.

Let the music play!

Guest Review: Spices&Condiments

If variety is the spice of life then what are actual spices? Well, according to today’s guest reviewer, the particular brand of spices that she’s endorsing, is simply the goods!

And while a lot of people don’t always think a review of spices is that big a deal compared to say, a household appliance, a gadget or even an app; the right kind of spice can not only save a meal but can make it memorable.

Say hello to Manogyata! An artist, a mom, a party planner and creative thinker par excellence! She has held many different roles over the years which have needed creativity but the toughest one so far for her has been that of a cook.

Many of us grow up not knowing how to do much around the kitchen barring cooking ramen and making our morning cuppas. But when you have a family to look after, the kitchen becomes an important part of your day to day life. Manogyata recommends Shan masalas, brand which has made its mark across the world.

Here’s how Shan’s made an impact in her life, in her own words, ” Well, when I started to run my household after marriage in 2004, I honestly confess that I wasn’t at all a cook! Except for rotees, perfectly round, light, airy and thin as paper, and chai! It wasn’t because I was too much of snob to enter the kitchen or anything, it was only because of two reasons – firstly my mother was such an amazing cook that she could not fathom the mess that I would create if I ever entered and secondly I was too busy with my college, friends and social life. As such, I never saw her buy any pre packaged masalas or mixes to prepare the food. 

Fast forward to circa 2018 in vides and I practically survive on pre-packaged masalas… there is absolutely zero help here, the chores are never ending and since old habits die hard, I must maintain nutrition and health for family. And my savior is Shan Foods, their range of masalas and prepackaged mixes fit right in to my kitchen and  fast and fuss-free cooking styles. 


Since we are primarily non vegetarians, some ingredients in these complex mixes are just right for our palate and there is lil to no effort required in ensuring the taste is full bodied. For example, Papian, which is an important ingredient in Kormas and Bhuna styles of mutton, is essentially raw papaya, dried in shade, coarsely ground several times and sieved into a fine white powder.

It is a perfect marinade for lamb based preparations and it expires very easily hibernating in the back of the kitchen cupboard!

In come the meat, korma and bhuna gosht masalas from Shan – the mixes not only have papian but other important spices all blended in to one potent mix that ensure burst of flavors in the dishes. 
Well, apart from taste preferences Shan plays an important role in terms of cultural aspect also.

In my household, homemade spices were given preference over packaged ones only leading to the belief that when they make it on their own, it gives the right flavor. I feel it is also about the economic freedom and less time spared in the kitchen.

According to Maslow’s heirarchy, food and its fulfilment tops everything – in this case if it takes a packaged spice-box to actualize – so be it! It satisfies our taste needs, it is readily available in the diaspora and even if I consume it daily – it would never burn a hole in my pocket. At the end of the day, I am a fan of Shan Foods!”

This range of products are available on the following sites:

  • Amazon- click here to buy
  • Flipkart- click here to buy
  • Bigbasket- click here to buy

Are you old school in terms of grinding up all your masalas fresh before every meal or do you fall back on the easy-to-use and fast-to-cook pre-packaged spices available in the market? Even if you are one of the former, check out Shan masalas for their range of mixes. Who knows, you may never use hand-pounded spices again!

Guest Review: Sulphate-Free Shampoo

If you have a thick, curly or wavy head of hair the chances of you looking for hair care products which suit you to a T are tough. If something is good for the scalp, it can make the hair rough. If something helps in oil/sebum reduction then it can make the hair frizzy and hard to manage.

And if you are an individual who is particular about reducing their carbon footprint and using less chemicals in their personal care products, then you have quite a balancing act to follow before all the boxes are ticked off.

Say hello to our latest guest reviewer- Jhumur. A travel enthusiast, a mom, a techie, a dabbler in art forms and a voracious reader with a big laugh- Jhumur recently faced a problem with her hair which led her to the product she’s recommending for us today- Lever Ayush Anti Hairfall Bhringaraj Shampoo. But first let’s find out what sulphate actually is and why it’s in so many shampoos if doctors are vetoing its use.

According to Healthline.com– “Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents. They’re found in household cleaners, detergents, and even shampoo. Two main types of sulfates are used in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. The purpose of these sulfates is to create a lathering effect to remove oil and dirt from your hair. If your shampoo easily makes a lather in the shower, there’s a good chance it contains sulfates. Sulfate-free shampoos make little to no later:- read the whole article here.

This is what Jhumur has to say about how she discovered this brand’s goodness- “I recently started using Ayush shampoo. Off late, I was suffering from itchy scalp. My dermat asked me to shift to a non-sulphate based shampoo. She gave me a lot of names. But when I looked them up they all contained sulphate in some form. Plus other options on web were expensive and no surety they would deliver to my location.

Then while I was browsing at my local Sahakaro Bhandar I stumbled upon Ayush. Quick scan revealed-NO sulphate! Bought it and it is really good. No itchy scalp. Don’t have to use moisturizer post shampooing and it’s really soft on my hair. It’s so good my child has started using it too. So bye-bye to L’oreal which by the way (IMO) is best in the market compared to all the other brands out there.”

This product is available in 2 sizes- 175 ml and 330 ml. It retails at Rs. 210 on Amazon for the 330 ml (the 175 ml isn’t stocked at this time). On Flipkart for the same amount for 330 ml. On Nykaa it’s priced at Rs.110 for 175 ml and Rs.210 for the 330 ml.

According to research available on the internet, while a sulphate-free shampoo may not be the best friend your hair’s ever had, but it definitely is great for the environment!

So try out a healthier way of life for your hair, you and everyone else- try Ayush!

Guest Review: Modelling Clay

Today’s post is very close to my heart since it’s an R&R from a very young lady. Say hello to Antara– she’s 9 years old, very creative with clay, loves to read, birdwatch, sing, dance and bake! Sometimes all in course of the same day! Let’s see what she (and her mom) like about some brands of modelling clay that Antara’s always got at her finger tips- literally!

This is what Antara’s mom has to say about their clay experiences-“Give a child a bunch of vivid colours, and see the magic. Antara is rather gifted with clay modelling. Over the years we’ve given her a lot of home made dough, play doh, modelling clay, polymer clay, beeswax and tried out several brands to satiate her modelling urges.

She loves making miniature food and characters with the clay and we’ve seen assorted fairies, princesses, pets, pet food, human food and of late birds and objects of nature such as flowers and trees. She’s original in most of her work, and sometimes she takes inspiration from baking shows, modelling with clay what she sees them do with fondant.

We like the Faber Castell modelling clay for its variety of 12 colours, getting them all together is a treat. Wish they came in larger packs of 12 colours too, since typically there will be a need to have larger quantities of some colours. The clay doesn’t dry out and can be resued for some time, if the colours havent been too mixed up.

For larger quantities, we have used the Creations Fun Clay, available as slabs in individual colours, an sometimes also in multicolor packs such as this And for the hours of creativity and fun, these products are so cheap that price is usually not even a consideration!.”

Whether it’s to encourage your child’s creativity, or to keep them busy during times when their usual outdoor activities are getting curtailed, modelling clay is a good product to invest in. Read this article to know the benefits of modelling clay in multiple aspects of our children’s learning.

These product are readily available not only on the supermarket shelves but on Amazon– click here to buy Creations and click here to buy Faber Castell.

So how will your child showcase their creativity while having fun today?

Baby Steps

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><em>Hello! A quick look into how far <strong>MotherKnowsBest</strong> has come since our <strong><a href="https://armchairshopaholic.com/2020/06/06/product-review-mcaffeine-body-scrub/">f</a></strong><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://armchairshopaholic.com/2020/06/06/product-review-mcaffeine-body-scrub/&quot; target="_blank"><strong>irst review post</strong> </a>was published on 6th June, 2020. </em>Hello! A quick look into how far MotherKnowsBest has come since our first review post was published on 6th June, 2020.

Since then, 50+ blog posts have been published, we’ve had 2140 views and 725 visitors till date. We’ve been visited by people from 29 countries across the world with India, USA, China, UK, Finland and Australia leading the list. We’re also very happy to have countries like El Salvador, Macedonia and American Samoa amongst others, join the list of our readers.

Our most popular categories have been- Curated, Value For Money (VFM) and Online Shopping showing a trend that more inputs and transparency will possibly lead to more purchases of things which are primarily an ROI in terms of saving money.

The referrers come from Facebook, WordPress Reader, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and Instagram.

The only thing that remains is to keep at it, put good, reliable content out there in the blogosphere and gain more momentum with the audience engagement. So keep reading, keep critiquing and keep coming back for more of MotherKnowsBest!

Salut!

Guest Review: Hair Volumizing Shampoo

Whether we’re born with a great head of hair or not, everyone wants to believe their hair can be thick, lush and full. For those who need a helping hand to get to a happy head of hair, our latest review meets that criteria well.

Our reviewer today is one who is well-versed in the way of hair. Say hello to Poorvi who is featured here again. To read her first review click here. This is what she has to say about her product of choice today- the Park Avenue Beer Shampoo

Buy Park Avenue Shiny & Bouncy Beer Shampoo 180 ml Online at Low Prices in  India - Paytmmall.com

If you’re looking for a volumizing shampoo, look no further. I’ve tried a lot of shampoos. At least 20-25 types if I count the variants of various shampoos. So when I tried the Park Avenue Beer Shampoo, I was pleasantly surprised. It says Shiny and Bouncy, but a lot of shampoos say a lot of things and don’t really get you the results they promise.

But lo and behold. This one really volumizes. Sometimes we just loose a lot of hair, and when the hair is limp and sticky, it looks really low on volume. At such times, one wash with this shampoo and the hair looks so voluminous. Bouncy, as promised! The results have been consistent.
This is also very good value for money, considering a lot of high end shampoos have fancy, unpronounceable ingredients and cost a lot.

This product is available on Amazon (click here to buy), Bigbasket (click here to buy), ParkAvenue (click here to buy. Prices shown for 350 ml), Flipkart (click here to buy) with prices ranging from Rs.119- Rs.250 for a quantity of 180 ml.

Till now most of us have chugged down a bottle of beer for a different kind of happiness…let’s find out whether the beer shampoo leads to a happy head of hair.

Guest Review: Eco-friendly Toothbrushes

Many of us are trying to streamline our lives and make them greener. We would like to reduce our carbon footprint to the maximum extent possible and eventually get to a state where’s it’s nil. And while that take a while to come about, it’s the smaller day-to-day actions which end up resulting in a big change if carried out by more of us.

Our guest reviewer today is a special one since we started off with our guest reviews with her (read her first review here). Say hello again to Kasturi– lover of dogs, designer of homes and fierce advocate of keeping things clean and green!

She not only keeps an eye out to to see how clean her surroundings are; she is pretty conscious about what she puts back there as well. Her recommendation today is an eco-friendly and (largely) biodegradable, recyclable toothbrush from the brand BigBlueMarble– click here to visit their site.

Bigbluemarble Toothbrush - Bamboo Toothbrush in 4 Vibrant Colors-  Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bristle Brush (Pack of 4): Amazon.in: Health &  Personal Care

According to their site, this is why these brushes are great for you AND the environment:

  • Biodegradable bamboo handle
  • Crafted from sustainably harvested bamboo
  • Naturally antibacterial and water-resistant
  • Non-toxic Soft bristles
  • Eco-friendly packaging, 100% compostable
Kasturi likes them because:
  1. The price is affordable.
  2. She’s able to use it for months at a stretch.
  3. The wood quality is good and doesn’t warp or start to peel despite being in contact with water a lot.

These brushes retail from just under Rs.400 to Rs.500 for a pack of 4 or 5 brushes with an individual brush costing Rs.99. Pick them up on BigBlueMarble (click here to buy), Amazon (click here to buy), Flipkart (click here to buy), BharatGoods (click here to buy) and LBB (click here to buy).

Even if you aren’t too active in terms of saving the environment, a small step like switching to an ecofriendly toothbrush can go a long way in making a difference. Start today and make the change.

Product Comparison: Body Butter Vs.Body Yogurt

Index of /agi/retail/The Body Shop

I am a Bodyshop loyalist and have been since I fell for the mild and yet intoxicating smells coming out of a store in a mall in Mumbai nearly 20 years ago. Their products, while definitely not cheap, have been preferred choices over the years for personal use as well as gifts.

The range of their products is restricted in terms of being largely centered around beauty and skincare but that has helped them maintain their quality and consistency in that quality.

NEW* Body Yogurt by The Body Shop 200ml | Shopee Singapore

I had reviewed their Body Butters a while back (click here to read the post) and today I’ll be reviewing their Body Yogurt and shedding some light on how each one compares to the other. But for all those of us who basically stop at calling everything that moisturises the skin as “cream”, let’s first find out what a body yogurt is, shall we?

As per The Bodyshop’s website, a body yogurt is, “…a moisturizer that absorbs in seconds and works even on damp skin. … Because when it only takes a few seconds to get glowing, healthy-looking skin, there’s more time for the things you care about.” And while everything isn’t always available in every single store in India or on the website either, for the most part, the most popular fragrances can be found easily and then it comes all about the application it and enjoying the experience.

The Body Shop Body Yogurt 5ml Sample or 200ml full size | eBay

The biggest differences between the body butter vs the yogurt are:

  • The yogurt’s lighter on the skin and in texture and is for all skin types. The butter’s oilier and for drier skin.
  • The yogurt gets absorbed much faster and is suitable for use all year around and especially in mild weather conditions and pretty much like a quick sip of water for the skin vs a tall glass of water like the butters.
  • The yogurt can be applied on semi-moist skin whereas the butter needs dry skin to be applied effectively.
  • The yogurts are slightly more economical than the butters.

The similarities are:

  • Both come in the same sizes- 200 ml
  • Both have a range of fragrances which are quite lovely.
  • Both have variations for sensitive skin.
  • Used sensibly, they last for a good long time.
Vegan Body Yoghurt from The Body Shop – 5pm Spa & Beauty – Health and  beauty news, offers, promotions and general musings

To start off your Bodyshop body yogurt experience today you can source them from the following sites if you are still staying put at home:

  1. The Bodyshop website (India)- click here to buy.
  2. Amazon India- click here to buy.
  3. Nykaa- click here to buy.
  4. Boddess- click here to buy. (maximum discounts available on this site as on date)
  5. Flipkart- click here to buy.

My personal experience has always been feeling, lighter, fresher and smelling almost edible post using a body yogurt.

So is the body yogurt the right kind of moisturiser for you? Buy one and find out, today!

Product Recommendation: Organic Face-Body Scrub

A while back one of our most popular post had been published. It was about an organic, vegan brand called Wild Ideas. Click here to read the post. Since the recommendation was from an old friend, I decided to try out some products myself and today I’ll be reviewing their Neem Body Wash.

Before that, for the uninitiated, here’s why Neem is such a big deal and why we can all benefit from it. It’s truly a wonder that so much can be derived from one plant- being a shade provider is only one of them!

Read more about the ways in which Neem can clear and restore your skin and hair here.

When I decided to try the Neem powder as a body scrub I mainly had it in mind as a natural product that wouldn’t cause any adverse reaction to my skin even if it didn’t go a long way in cleaning it up or making the blemishes disappear. But what happened is even better- it’s not only cleaning up my face of the sebum, it is keeping it from becoming oily for longer intervals without drying it out entirely.

What I will recommend though is, for people with combination skin which ranges from oily to dry, keep a mild, non-oily moisturiser handy to lightly dab on the face and skin in a few minutes after the cleansing is done. You can also try out aloe vera to keep things all natural and enjoy a sensation of cooling in the process. Read about our aloe vera product review here.

The Wild Ideas Neem Body Wash is available with the following retailers, ranging from Rs.144- Rs.160 per a 75 gms bottle:

  • Lagom– click here to buy.
  • Amazon- click here to buy.
  • Peach Mode– click here to buy.
  • Flipkart– click here to buy.
  • DirectCreate– click here to buy.

So choose Neem and embrace a healthier way of living and be good to your skin.

Addendum: Guest Review- Robo Vacuum Cleaner

A month ago we had published a guest review of a robo vacuum cleaner. If you haven’t read the review yet you can do it here. Our reviewer got back to us recently and gave some more inputs about the product- 360 S7 Laser Navigation Robot Vacuum Cleaner.

Over a point of time the product’s flaws have shown up. Its brushes do not function well when they come in contact with threads and hair. The items get tangled badly in the rotating brushes and have to be cut away for the optimum functioning of the machine again.

Also there’s no way to know that the brushes are functioning at a lesser level of efficiency unless you happen to see the cleaning process where small bits of dirt, papers and slightly bigger pieces of trash don’t get swept away adequately. The mopping too, needs to be stopped after every 20-30 minutes or so to refill the water container, depending on the size of the room.

The app functions quite well with pop-up messages coming in whenever there’s an issue with the gadget. The app also allows for the rooms to be personalised/renamed so when just the room options are chosen one doesn’t have to always look at the schematic and figure out which room is which in relation to the position of the robovac.

The battery charges quite quickly and after a few times of the whole house being cleaned, the efficiency of the robot kicks in and lesser amount of the battery is expended in one go.

Due to the raised top of the gadget, any low chairs, sofas pose as obstacles and the underside of them don’t get cleaned properly.

So while the Roomba properly will score higher on all these parameters, the 360 S7 still cleans well but don’t throw away the long-handled mop for any spills and clean-ups that might be needed!

Roborock T6 using experience: the most outstanding smart robot vacuum  cleaner I have reviewed | GearBest Blog
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