Every parent dreams of their child's 1st birthday, infact every birthday party counts. When its time for the Birthday Bash, themes are always overwhelming...we need ideas, more and more. I thought sharing some ideas would relieve you of atleast few tensed anxious party planning moments... Use a rainbow-themed first birthday party idea to plan a colorful event for your little bird.   Bubbles and Balloons Party: Arrange a bubble machine from a party supply store, they offer rentals too. And also give some bubble blowers to the kids, let them make their own bubbles, hang clear balloons not the colored ones, but let there be another small balloon inside every big clear one. Around the World Party: Send guests plane-ticket invitations. Use airport lingo, like arrival and departure times, seat assignments, and flight numbers. Candy Theme: Turn basic balloons into free standing lollipops. Wrap them in cellophane and add a wrapping paper tube stick, then position them around the room. Hard candies are super easy to make.Tape together two plastic dinner plates, wrap them in cellophane, and cinch the ends with ribbon. Have fun in your own party!   - Prathyusha Talluri

Eating healthy food alone is not sufficient for a healthy lifestyle but also correct cooking methods are to be employed during cooking. Or else we might be killing the healthy food and make the same dangerous for our own self! Though some of these are tough to break but for sake of our health Using Non-stick Pans at High Heat should be discontinued, at high temperatures PFC(perfluorocarbons) are released as fumes which incorporate into our bodies and damage our liver Using Non-stick pans is a good practice but using metallic utensils is not advisable not just because it prevents scratching and it look but this scratching can lead to ingestion of PFCs. It is best to use wooden or heat-safe rubber utensils When heating oil to smoking, destroys beneficial antioxidants and forms harmful compounds. Just heat it until it shimmers but not smokes! Stirring the food constantly to prevent burning, the flavor of the food is boosted by letting it sit on hot pans. Constant stirring breaks food apart and makes it soggy. Serving hot food on plastic made use-and-throw dishes is very dangerous, because hot foods melt the surface chemicals and enter into our bodies!  While making batter for baking, we expect the ingredients to mix evenly so, we end up over mixing causes gluten to form in flour. Mix the batter gently and uniformly then put down your mixer!  Instead of filling the pan to brim with ingredients, it is better to cook small amounts of food in batches. This ensures crispier looks, healthier and tastier foods

  Kitchens are where the fireworks, ninja wars happen!! The fire, the sharp knives,.... a big no-no for babies, specially babies who can crawl, they start to reach every corner, they are curious about everything Mom regularly pulls out of the cabinet...they love the shiny knives, noisy pots and pans, they like playing here...but to cook peacefully, we have to make sure we baby proof our kitchen.... Your hot-water heater should be set below 49 degrees Celsius/ 120 degrees F so you won't scald your baby at bathtime( these days Babies are given a bath in the kitchen sink). You'll need a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You'll also want smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors(available in the market) on each floor of your home. Be sure to place safety gates at the head and foot of your stairs, and cover electrical outlets with plastic caps if they are within the babies reach. Make sure paint and other hazardous substances are stored in airtight containers on high shelves in a cool, dry area. If you have cleaning supplies and detergents in low cabinets, move them to the very top ones instead. Bottom cabinets (even if you use safety locks) should hold things that are safe for baby to find -- pots and pans, plastic containers, and paper products, for instance. The same goes for drawers -- move plastic and paper bags (suffocation hazards) and anything sharp to high drawers, and put safe things lower. If you use medicines/ vitamin or mineral supplements, keep them in a hard-to -reach drawer or cabinet with a safety lock -- they look like sweet candy and can poison a curious kid. Child-resistant locks aren't foolproof; they just take a persistent toddler a little longer to open. You may want to place choking hazards, such as magnets, up high too. Last, unplug small appliances (toasters, coffeemakers, mixers) when not in use, but don't let the cords dangle. Stove-knob covers, to prevent baby from turning on the burners, if available in the market, else make sure you place the stove beyond the baby's reach on the counter top. Use nonskid kitchen mats if any.   Lets talk about Baby proofing the other rooms of the house next time we meet here.   - Prathyusha Talluri

  We should always make sure our surroundings are clean and tidy but cleaning and cleaning, too much of cleaning might put us in trouble. You can clean before guests come. As the guests start to arrive, stop cleaning, stop to bother about the pillows to be where they should be even when the guests are sitting around, the floor to be tidy always..if they find you making the bed while you are giving them a tour of your home, cleaning your kitchen counter when you are showing them your kitchen annoys people, and they might end up commenting that you are a Clean Freak. You will be a talk of the town soon. There is a delicate difference between "Your home being neat and clean" and "Your home being too clean to handle"... Take it easy at times, dont worry too much, getting excited about cleaning the house before having guests doesnot give you any peace. Clean at a time when you are most happy and energized. Plan ahead, do things one by one. Your house-keeping skills will be appreciated and you will not be commented for being a clean freak....Take care...   - Prathyusha Talluri

  Your Ice cube Trays..... Aim for 4 times a year,with hot, soapy water usually works to keep ice tasting fresh. But if ice tastes stale, presoak the trays for 10 minutes in a mix of water and a tablespoon of bleach-free cleaner and wash thoroughly. Your Food Storage Containers.... Aim for every six months or whenever they need refilling. Wash the inside with hot, soapy water. If the container is tin, towel-dry to prevent rusting. If its glass or ceramic, simply let it air-dry. Your Wooden Cutting Board.... Aim for a light wash after each use, and a deep scrub wash once a week or whenever you use it to cut poultry, meat or fish. After using the board to cut produce, cheese or bread, wash it with mild soap or equal parts vinegar and water, and pat-dry. Never put a wooden cutting board in a dishwasher or soak for long time, wood absorbs water and tends to crack. If you've used it for raw meat, fish or poultry, sprinkle baking soda over the board and spray it with undiluted white vinegar, wash with running water and let dry. Every item in the kitchen needs cleaning, we definitely cant dedicate a whole day to clean everything, but instead cleaning one item a day is better and releaving.   - Prathyusha Talluri

  Adding our touch in decorating indoor spaces is everyones interest but outdoors are usually neglected...growing some plants is not the only thing to do on the other side of your door. Gardens, no matter how small they are, can be managed in our own style. It can be a plant or two beside your main door or a lush 20feet. The shrubs, flowers we plant depend on the climatic conditions of the country/ city we are living in but to decorate our gardens is easy. Some easy tips make our garden decorations weather proof... Using Terracota, iron, glass, brick, vintage items reduce the maintenance time. We dont have to worry about leaving these items outdoors. Infact they improve the aesthetic look of the space. Old milk cans can be used as planters, terracota lamp holders can be used to light up the space with LED Candles to stay accident proof. Bring in some charm by using bold colors, for planters, lanterns, lamp posts, door bells, door mats....explore any home furnishing, garden store or a hand made artifact store, you will find many..infact few terracota items that have broken edges can also be used to grow climbers, they cover the flaws....now you have more ideas not just for indoor decoration but also to bring some life to your outdoor area too...   - Prathyusha Talluri

  Gone are those years when we, Indian women thought only cooking and house keeping is our part of family responsibility. We have realised that women play a key role in earning, family welfare, and that we also have social responsibilities. I am glad we have a medium like this to share our thoughts, let me speak for many of us who are still shying away,or hesitating to express what we want. We want not to be commented when we drive vehicles saying "If the person driving the other car is not driving it correctly then it should be a woman.".....census says that Women are careful drivers.... We want a secured society that respects women of all ages. We still want elders to welcome a Girl-Child heartily into their families. We want encouragement to take up our interests seriously and turn them into a successful career. We want not to be questioned when we come home late after a stressful day at work. We want freedom to visit our parents' place without any restrictions after getting married!! We want our wants to be fulfilled, atleast thought of, can that be possible?   - Prathyusha Talluri

  Stress and Work go hand in hand in the lives of most of us. Suggestions of relief come free... Maintain good friends. When you feel the heat, sharing a laughter or two gives some relief. Keep some pictures of your Loved ones/ family on your desk. Stock up some low-calorie breakfast bars, dryfruits. When you are too hungry, you cant work, which might increase the strain too. A portable Coffee maker comes handy...Caffeine if taken in limited quantities and rarely is helpful. When you feel stressed out and suffer headaches, a cup of freshly brewed coffee helps. Keep few sachets of Green Tea in your desk or Hand Bag. Detoxify your body, relieve your stress (provided your office has a microwave or a pantry for hot water) Clear the air between some hard minded colleagues and you if there were any misunderstandings/ arguments anyday in the past...greeting everyone with a warm smile helps us maintain a happy environment.--just reminding, you know it anyways!! A short walk, sometimes with a good friend/ colleague and at times a lonesome one helps the rejuvenated YOU, ready to face a better, successful day!!   - Prathyusha Talluri

  I dont suggest you keep your Gold, Silver, Precious jewellery at home instead of safeguarding them at the Bank but We are actually talking about Fashion jewellery here. Most of us shove the jewellery into a box, a purse or a draw and when time comes to wear them, we end up taking too long searching for the right piece in the bulk. I have few ideas to not just showcase your fashion jewellery, infact these organising tips can save you a lot of time..Alleast the men will get only fewer chances to complain "Women take too long to get dressed" !!! We can use a Shirt Hanger, an Egg Carton, a simple Picture frame, fix it with an ordinary fence to hang chains and earrings, few curtain hooks hanging to a rod simple small cups in a desk to organise and categorise the items...etc etc..i know you can fill these ETCs with your new thoughts, shre them with us all !!!   - Prathyusha Talluri  

  Fall is the time for warm, rich and cozy colors. From hues of chocolate brown and golden yellow to burnt orange and lipstick red, these season-inspired rooms will have you craving a color change. A soft, neutral color palette is given a refreshing and fall-inspired burst of color with hues of orange, copper and dark purple. Chocolate-brown furniture and accessories complement the other pieces if you have any. We cant buy a new Sofa/ furniture just to change the look. Adding brown pillow covers and draperies in red tones give us bank for the buck. A fall-inspired orange accent color adds vibrancy to any room that has light brown, tan walls. Exotic patterns, colorful fabrics and sheer chocolate-brown draperies make it come to life. A sheer gold curtain adds instant warmth and privacy to the separated living and dining rooms. A traditional fall color palette of rust, gold, brown and tan make this Asian-inspired space comfortable and soothing.   - Prathyusha Talluri  

  Why are most topics written on Kitchens and Women? Dont mistake me, but across many countries in the World, most families have their Women cook for them. Lets think this way, women cook because they can cook with heart and soul !!!! A better feeling!! To make this a more better feeling, why dont we create a corner in the Kitchen which makes us feel relaxing. You can make it looking more beautiful and colorful. Its YOUR kitchen, decorate it your way. Who says kitchens are far from decorations. Enjoy cooking in a beautiful kitchen today! - Prathyusha Talluri  

  I am writing this for MY DEAR LADIES WHO ARE EXPECTING!! Its so exciting specially when its your 1st Child...its a new expereince, you dont know how to take care of your Baby whom you cant yet see, Sametime, its not so easy to cope with the Nausea and Giddiness and also maintain the daily vitamin/mineral intake. Its a great idea to make a chart with the vitamin/mineral dosage, and hang it against the wall in your kitchen, i say Kitchen because you will be visiting your kitchen often all these months, to keep eating every time your baby kicks!!! I am sure you like to browse through every Baby magazine...why dont we cut some pictures and stick them to the chart we are making to make it more interesting and a beautiful sight, every time you look at those li'l, cute, sweet Baby pictures, not knowing if Your Baby will look like any of them , all the guess work you will enjoy!!! And my dear Friends of the Expecting Mothers!! you can gift them one like this..it will be the Best Useful gift. Think!! I just gave you an idea, i know you are more creative!!! All the Best with your project and the Baby coming!!! - Prathyusha Talluri  

At times, we can't afford large spaces. I have some tips from Experts to make Small Bedroom spaces look Bigger! Minimizing color distraction on the walls, floors and furnishings is one of the ways. Use just 2 colors everywhere, not too many colors. Does your bedroom has access to outdoor space? Lucky you! Maintain the connection to the outdoors with drapery panels and window treatments that frame the view instead of distracting from it. "Use window treatments made from fabric with subtle details and texture, and make sure you can pull the panels all the way back," e. The length of the draperies should just barely touch the floor; this allows you to create an illusion that the room is spacious and as wide as the outdoors. Strategically hanging art is one of the easiest ways to make a room look bigger. The art gives your eye something to focus on distracting from the physical perimeter of the room and has the effect of expanding space. But don't overload the walls with too many paintings or frames! If you are blessed with high ceilings, take full advantage of them and choose a tall bed to anchor the room. "The height of the bed calls attention to the volume and height of the ceilings, again diverting ones view on the small floor space. Pale walls and furniture that is light in scale naturally make a room seem larger, but that doesn't mean that big, bold furnishings don't have a place in small rooms too. In fact, atleast one piece in a bold color like RED, ORANGE add drama Make sure you try to get a lot of natural light in your room which is an easy way to improve the space. - Prathyusha Talluri.

  We never know when we suddenly need some vegetables/ fruits/ grocery items...few ideas to stock up your Refrigerator and Pantry. I am only talking about HEALTHY ITEMS, definitely not JUNK!!! Fridge: Ginger, Lemons/Limes, Tofu, Organic Omega 3 Eggs, Almond Milk, Organic Skim Milk for Elders/ Organic Whole Milk for Babies/ Toddlers/ Childern until recommended by the Pediatrician, Organic Low-fat cheese, Apples (Organic if possible, else wash thoroughly and peel to eat), Organic plain Curd/ Yoghurt Kitchen Storage/ Pantry: Brown Rice, Pink Potatoes ( not the sweet potatoes, i am talking about Pink peel ones, as they have low cholesterol), Onions, Garlic cloves, Oats ( prefer oats to Corn flakes as corn is Inflammatory food), Extra virgin Olive oil, Desiccated/ dried coconut, Raw pumpkin seeds, Coconut oil (if you use it to cook), Vinegar, These are just a few suggestions, dont strictlygo by this list only, you will fall in trouble. Try to add these items to your already existing items, and prefer these over others whenever possible.   - Prathyusha Talluri.

  Reading books is a Hobby! Its a good habit too wen good books are chosen. Besides improving our vocabulary, reading works as a topic to discuss when there's nothing to discuss among friends or even strangers in an Airport, Flight. etc. They also come handy in decoration. The books we need must have some strong history, some character to discuss about, they can also be on Cooking, Interior Designing, Decorating, Gardening and relative stuff. They work as great collections. We can use a bunch of books to decorate spaces too. Dont find any interesting decorative piece, use a Book that talks about Beautiful Homes and Designs for display!! You dont have to pretend like a Book worm...they are just Books, no ones asking you to know the story by-heart!! Do you like my idea - Prathyusha Talluri

  Everyone likes to hang pictures, instead of saving them in an album. I have some new ideas, would you like to try? Photographs need not be in custom frames only, they can be hung to a cord , like clothes...they can be individually framed in few...a whole wall can be used to display one beside the other. Sometimes, one below the other, sometimes all aligned in square shape, too. Did you ever think of using an old frame to hang pictures? Attach a fence-like feature to the frame and use it to hang pictures. 11Memories flow through the whole space. No restrictions, absolutely no guidelines to display pictures. Try these new ideas. Not just you, everyone around will also appreciate.   - Prathyusha Talluri  

  Decorating Bedrooms is an Art! Not everyone can do it tastefully, but we can. I know you are interested and skillful else you wouldnot be reading this. Here are some tips we can follow to make anyone and everyone, including your own self say "WOW" looking at the staged Bedroom. Bring a room together by repeating an element throughout. Circles play a central role and can be used in chandeliers, artwork, pillows and mirror. Soft pastel color palettes are perfect for creating a serene environment for the bedroom. Match furnishings or accessories on either side of the bed for a balanced space. To avoid a boring bedroom, add different textures and fabrics throughout. Add height to a small room by hanging window treatments at the ceiling line. A simple yet elegant chandelier hangs over the bed for a romantic touch. - Prathyusha Talluri.  

As I absentmindedly turned another page of my life last night, a sudden thought crossed my mind. Why is it that I never stopped to bookmark some of those pages from the book of my life, at least the ones that I considered significant? There were many paragraphs that I should and would have loved to re – read. Those special moments marked in my book and specially saved for the “someday when I have lots of time”. The pages in which I had written about what I plan to be when I grow up. Also some of those (now a little frayed and yellowing) pages in which I drew the picture of my dream home. They were so painstakingly well written! In this book, I had also preserved some wonderful souvenirs, some dried flowers, colourful feathers, few dried leaves and a piece of paper that had a small hand print of my best friend. My most prized possessions!   As I grew, I often found myself wanting to erase and tear out some pages and paragraphs from the book of my life, wishing they had been never written! Unfortunately, I was unable to do so. Whenever I sat down to write a fresh new page, the blowing breeze would invariably open up and lay those annoying erstwhile pages in front of me, clouding my thoughts. So I decided to appoint a little voice inside me that would warn me. I paid, encouraged and nurtured this voice allowing it to grow. It would always help me and tell me what was right or wrong. I was happy and allowed it to dominate my thoughts, feeling and my being. Soon it began telling me what to write in my own book. I had no choice or control over it anymore. I would read each page from the past and decipher it the way this inner voice wanted me to. It had gained complete control over me! It soon started saying things I didn’t want to hear! Now not a day goes by when I don't hear that nasty, contemptuous, nagging voice saying, "You can't do anything right. You're a loser. You're not good enough. This is not your cup of tea “It had managed to make me, my own worst enemy. I wanted to shut this voice out, erase it and tear it out of me. I wanted to re- read the old pages of my book, but couldn’t. One fine day, I realised I had been reading my old pages from my life book ,with a pair of spectacles expensively bought from the “selfcritical” store . No wonder I couldn’t see much! I should have been wiser! I should have underlined those special lines and paragraphs with my red pen, the one that I had so lovingly bought from the “mark your achievement” store. I wonder where I put that pen! It used to write so beautifully. I used to give some amazing stars to myself with it as a little girl. I would use it for everything, for writing my best friend’s name, copying my favourite teacher’s signature. Why! I had even used it to draw my first picture of a rising sun! I remember being so proud of myself then! But as time passed, I started using it less and less. I was giving myself less number of stars each day, began evaluating myself critically at the end of each page. My beautiful handwriting had by now turned into scribbles. I now find myself picking up any pen that is lying around to scribble in my life book’s pages with strange things like, targets, deadlines, to do list, recipes, my family’s needs, children’s fees, doctor’s appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, due dates and bill payments, telephone numbers of grocer, plumber, electrician….. There are no doodles, drawings of a rising sun, beautiful home, and tomorrow’s dreams, no dried petals or leaves in it anymore. Sadly, I can’t even decipher my best friend’s number I had once hurriedly jotted down !!!   Do I sound familiar to you? Have you been nurturing that voice too? Does it bother you as much? Don’t worry; you and I are not the only ones doing this. Millions of us find ourselves battling a self-critic that we can never get away from. This critical inner voice makes us feel sad, hopeless and helpless. It makes us feel stuck in regret. We dwell on all of our past mistakes and think the future will be even worse. We can never get away from your own worst enemy, our own inner voice!   The good news is that we can defeat that inner voice and put it down in five simple steps. 1. Replace self-criticism with self-correction: Remember go to the right store and get yourself the right pen to write each page of your life book with. 2. Start looking for the positives: all of us have that little girl inside us who once drew a beautiful picture of a rising sun. Open up those pages again. Love them for they were indeed beautiful! 3. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others: We are often much harsher with ourselves than we are with a friend, or others. Recognize this double standard, and when you start criticizing yourself, stop and direct the kindness and compassion that you feel for your best friend toward yourself. Just as you need your friends on your side, you need yourself in your corner. Ask yourself, "If my best friend had this problem, how would I support her?" And then treat yourself as you would treat your best friend. 4. Let Yourself Be Human: All of have faults, make mistakes and are imperfect. Accept this. Think of people you know, their flaws and defects. You love them in spite of all that don’t you? Don’t spend hours moping, allowing that voice to criticize you. Love yourself regardless. 5. Focus on goals and not on the self critic voice: Move on, let the voice chatter away. Let it do its job you do yours. You will find that it will soon fade away and not bother you anymore.   - Veena ShyamRaja