Honey, I Ate the Banana (Mask)

You could, technically, eat it. I wouldn't...but you do you, girl. 

For a hydrating face mask in just a few minutes, I used Banana (Vitamins C & E and Potassium), Honey (naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial), and Olive oil (penetrates into your skin = super-moisturizing, and full of antioxidants). I'm all about everything being simple, natural, and quick! 

banana honey mask .jpg

Ingredients

1/4 banana

1 tsp Honey

1/2 tsp Olive Oil

Directions

Mash all three together until very smooth. 

Spread on your face and neck. Since it's a little slimy you may want to go over it one more time as it dries, and pack it on with the back of a fork. 

Leave for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water! If you're hairy (like moi), maybe use a washcloth to get it out of your hairline and eyebrows. :)  

To see it made, check out my Instastories. It'll be up on my profile for the next week. 

 

Did you try it? Let me know how it turned out! 

 

 

Netflix and *Chillah*

Being a vegetarian is tough when, to be fully satisfied, you really only want to eat caloric pasta and fried rice. In an effort to look after myself more (i.e: lose a couple of el-bees), I’m always searching for ways to up my protein intake, and include as many vegetables as possible. 

Bonus points to this Chillah (Indian Pancake) for a making a quick and nutritious dinner...or breakfast...or lunch. The best thing is, it’s a flexible recipe - perfect for the *less talented chefs* (me) among us. If you add too much water, add some more flour, and vice versa! Traditionally it is cooked in rather a lot of oil, but I use just enough to make it non-depressing, and get it a little crispy around the edges, with a soft, chewy interior. 

TIP: If you’re using vegetables that give off a lot of moisture (spinach, mushrooms, peppers) try sautéing them before adding to the batter, so your Chillah doesn’t steam in the pan. 

ERMAGERRD I ALMOST FORGOT: If you’re nursing, you can make these Chillahs with oat-flour instead of chickpea flour, to boost milk production! If you’re not nursing, pair with a frosty cold IPA and enjoy your perky bosom.  Either way, yay boobs? 

 

Ingredients

1 cup of chickpea flour

1/2 cup of warm water

Finely chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, chilli

1 clove of finely chopped garlic

1/4 tsp of grated ginger

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

1-2 tbsps of Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

- Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add water slowly, a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk together and keep adding water until you achieve a thin consistency. 

- Add your aromatics, veggies, and spices (TIP: toast the cumin seeds lightly in a dry pan before adding to the mixture, to really bring out the flavour). 

- Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a skillet, over medium-high heat. 

- Ladle/Pour in some batter, making sure to spread it out with the back of a spoon so it’s of even thickness all around. 

- Once the top of the Chillah looks like it’s drying, lift up with a spatula and add a little oil to the pan, before flipping the pancake to the other side to finish cooking. 

- After a minute or two your Chillah will be ready! 

- I grew up eating this fresh and hot, dipped into cold ketchup, but it’s incredible dipped in cucumber yoghurt or my personal favourite, hot-sauce! 

Absurdly Simple Cucumber Yoghurt: So much so, it’s almost an affront to your intelligence. Add some Greek yoghurt to a bowl, grate a generous amount cucumber into it (skin and all), and mix. Insulting, I know, but also cooling and delicious. 

Did you make this? What vegetables did you add? HMU; I need to know!!! 

 This is what happens when you over-zealously delete perfect images from your phone during your kid's school concert, in an effort to capture Do-Re-Me at its finest.

This is what happens when you over-zealously delete perfect images from your phone during your kid's school concert, in an effort to capture Do-Re-Me at its finest.

You Look Good...For Being A Mom

“You Look Good…for having two kids”

For being a mom. For having kids. Much like a rapid-fire disclaimer during an ad for a potentially life-saving drug. Your disease may be cured, but you may lose all your hair, be at risk for a heart attack or stroke, and FYI death could come sooner than planned. But hey, your excessive flatulence will be gone forever, one way or another!

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to look good for having a baby, or having had two kids. I don’t want to be gleefully described as a yummy mummy, MILF, or hot mama.

I just want to look good. Period.

Do I expect to look the same as I did before kids? Of course not. I just grew, literally and figuratively. A human being. Inside my body. I can sense the slightest change in breathing, anticipate the call of hunger, and survive on a torturously small amount of sleep. I’m basically super-woman.

But yes, that comes at a price. And I’m happy to pay it. I know things don’t go back to where they were before. I’m not lamenting the loss of my perky bosom (well, okay maybe), the tautness of my tummy (definitely), and the appearance of stretch marks that I just couldn’t avoid the second time around. Ok, wait. Maybe I am lamenting all of those things, but sort-of passively. They’re all signs of the miracle of childbirth, which is a blessing I don’t take lightly.

But as much as I may appreciate the compliment, that last part always gets me. I look good, for being a mom. I look good, for having had a few kids. I look good…but is it a reminder that I used to look better?

Do you mean I look good for having gone through 10 months of gaining weight in disproportionate amounts all over my body, and consequent months of shrinking in an equally disproportionate manner, ending up like some sort of lumpy “dry-clean only” sweater that was mistakenly put in the wash?

Hmm…that’s actually pretty amazing.

To be honest, I do feel like I look better. I love the curves that motherhood gave me, even if it also gave me 10 extra pounds that, much like unwanted houseguests, keep coming back after I’ve shooed them away.

If it isn’t exactly a reminder, is it a lower expectation? Do we cease to become women once we become mothers, and are therefore not fully expected to hold the beauty or shape we once did? All while we simultaneously marvel at the ability of celebrities to “bounce back” after giving birth, then look down at our own sagging skin and vow to hit the gym at least 4 times this week (or you know, reach for another chocolate bar…po-tay-to, poh-tah-to).  

It’s funny to talk about beauty standards, considering we only discuss how unattainable women’s beauty standards are. And I’m certainly not encouraging adding more to our list! It’s simply an observation. Once motherhood level is achieved, is it assumed that we will let it all go to shit, forever? Sure, there’s a few months where living in our pajamas and rocking un-brushed teeth might be de rigeur, but you know, eventually we want to look a little more like ourselves. Like the women we used to recognize, even though we are now much, much better, in my opinion.  

Is there really no in-between? You either look good, or you look good for being a mom. Now that I’ve thought it through, maybe it’s a title I should wear proudly, considering everything my body’s gone through. Because it doesn’t end with the pregnancy.

Oh no, there’s recovery, which is as traumatic for your body, the sleepless nights for months (or years) which contribute to puffy eyes, raging hormones (which vary far greatly from the type we experienced before having kids – now it’s more Adult acne and less Adult film), and of course, the uncanny ability for your child to need you just as you’re about to eat...you’ll eat later. Probably another bar of chocolate, or a handful of *organic* fish-shaped crackers, scavenged from the baby’s high chair. Or maybe you won’t eat all day, and then you’ll inhale an entire pizza at 9.30p.m. (I call that the New Mom Food Pyramid). 

Am I saying that if you see me out and about, don’t dare compliment me for fear that I’ll throw it back in your face? Hell-to-the-NO! On the contrary, I’ve never met a compliment I didn’t like, even the ones that have disclaimers.

Stretchy skin…check.

Cellulite…check.

Dark circles…check.

Safari striped tummy…check.

All in all, I look good.

For being a mom, I mean. 

The DREADistry

“Have you created your registry yet?” asked every mother I came across. At the mere mention of the registry, my eyes would glaze over and my brain would start to slowly dissolve. And my blood pressure would rise. Equal parts boredom and stress. “I, um, no, not yet, but I will…”

And then I had to battle my pregnancy brain with actual practical thought, all the while joining forces against my husband's attempts to buy...nothing. 

Read More

Labor Part Un: Dodgy Dim Sum?

I always imagined my pre-hospital beauty ritual and labor to be thus: Luxurious shower, washed hair dried to cascading curl perfection, expertly applied "I just got out of bed" makeup, fabulous  "I'm-about-to-give-birth-yet-I-look-so-amazing-it's-really-not-that-hard" outfit, Loubis (obvi), and simple yet tastefully large diamond studs. I stop to pick up the already perfectly packed hospital bag, which is always ready by the front door, and click-clack down the street to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where I'm already 9 centimeters dilated and don't feel the need for drugs. After a brief session of pushing, with my husband holding my hand and the light perspiration on my brow gleaming attractively, our little Prince/Princess slides out, cooing. Andy and I share this moment of joy with a smile and an "I love you!" before being surrounded by family (of course I have time to reapply my Benetint lip balm first). The baby latches on to my breast and nurses happily, sleeping most of the day. By the time I'm back in the suite, I am able to get up and see my Size 2 figure (that post-partum deflation won't happen to ME!), and hold court by my bedside, in beautiful Natori silk pajamas, receiving well-wishers throughout the stay.

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Mirror mirror on the wall...

After you give birth, you feel untouchable.  Like you have achieved the most challenging of tasks, climbed the highest of mountains.  As I was being wheeled from the delivery ward to the rooms, I felt like a victorious Rocky Balboa.  My brain threw up her gangsta colors and shouted “I just added to the Earth’s population, bitches! What did YOU do today?!”

Read More

Weekend Edit: Let Them be warm! Early-winter coats for all stages

I don't know about where you are, but it is unseasonably warm in New York right now. We probably have another month before the puffers come out (but don't worry, I'll be picking the best 3 soon!) There are so many clothes that can accommodate a baby bump, but coats can be a little trickier, and a lot less stylish. Usually I love to mix high-end with high-street, but I make an exception for outerwear and shoes. So this weekend's edit is all about my top-three early-winter investment pieces for every trimester...and as with all good buys, they will be fabulous on you for years to come! 

1st Trimester: CARVEN - Oversize blush coat, $1050 at Nordstrom

Carven is simply my favourite outerwear label these days, with their effortless and timeless cuts in soft and flattering colors. This coat is perfect to conceal your changing shape while still accentuating that soon-to-be-gone (sob!) waistline! And to be honest, I would wear this in my second trimester as well, adjusting the belt to fit above my bump! SO Betty Draper! Somebody hand me a martini and my pearls. 

2nd Trimester: MAJE, GATITO Swing Coat w/ fur-edged hood, $1010 at Maje

A little more street-chic than the first coat, swing coats are an excellent silhouette choice for the second trimester, keeping it's shape no matter how large you are in these vital months.  

Perfect to accomodate that growing baby bump and still look chic! 

3rd Trimester: Stella McCartney, Draped Knitted Blanket Coat, $1065 (on sale) from Net-a-Porter

When you're in the final stages of pregnancy, it's so hard to find a coat that flatters and fits! That's why I love everything about this blanket coat. It's voluminous and warm, and drapes easily over a giant bump! I also just adore the taupe-grey coloring. 

The best part about all of these is that they are all really versatile (my number one criteria for buying just about anything) and will look just as great when you're going through the post-preggo droop (womp, womp!) as they will when you're in full bloom! What do you think?