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Mom’s You Can Only Do So Much…

Pack kids’ lunches.  Grade class spelling tests.  Make sure N’s book report is started.  Plan for the next Language Arts unit.  Make sure kids’ laundry is washed before Friday.  Make copies for Social Studies project.  Oh crap, I have to send out the minutes for the PTA board meeting.  Wait — did I really sign that field trip mission slip?  When is the next girls’ outing…is it this week or next?  Did I call my mom?  When do I need to have report cards done by?

Always Multi-Tasking
Always Multi-Tasking

These are my current thoughts.  I am now up at 3 AM on a Monday morning thinking of all the things I wish I would have had time to complete over the weekend.  Why am I up right now?  Why can’t I just get this noise out of my head?  Oh right — because I don’t just wear one hat, I wear like 20.  I’m (and in no particular order) a mom, wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, teacher, neighbor, friend, best friend, coworker, peer, subordinate…and so on and so forth.

Constantly…working moms around the nation are on overdrive.  Moms are always on the go and always “on.”  I know I’m always “on” — mainly because I’m an elementary school teacher…looking out for children is a constant in my life.  I don’t think it really matters if you’re a teacher or not — the constant to-do list runs through our minds day and night (see my earlier post about achieving balance).


When I took a year off last year, I noticed that I was relieved from that element of my life — which was work.  I didn’t have a boss to report up to because I was my own boss.  I didn’t feel this constant feeling of having to “report” anywhere by a certain time or fulfill my own set of work obligations.  Now — even when I love what I do and wouldn’t imagine another career for myself, I do feel a constant loyalty to my students day in and day out…even on my evenings and weekends.  Would I trade what I do to stay home?  Never.

All at once, I take turns wearing all the other hats — and try to juggle it all at once.  Sometimes I wonder why I even try to juggle it all because it seems humanly impossible to be everywhere all at once…but I try anyways because that’s what I am.  I am the type of person, like many other amazingly strong women out there that try to do everything all at once.  I am the type that will put too much on my plate because I know that I work best under pressure and can’t stand not giving any aspect of my life my 110% all the time.  Is it healthy?  Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me once.

Constantly, I am reminded to take a moment for myself to unwind and take a “time-out.”  A moment to just be with my own thoughts and be myself, a moment to find my zen.  To shed away all those hats for a moment to gather my own ideas and to just be.  As I get older, I do find that listening to my inner self is getting more and more important.  When I feel that anxious, robotic, out of body experience.  When I feel that I’m slipping away from myself…

Mama Challenge - Time Out Card
Mama Challenge – Time Out Card

I have found a few ways that help me gather myself and recharge.  Whether it be making a Target run to just roam around aimlessly with a Starbucks in hand.  Or to get on that treadmill and run away the feels.  Or by meeting up with some girlfriends for some “wine and whine” time.  Or even by taking the long way home from work to just sit and listen to the radio in silence.    

I have found the importance of finding your “time-outs.”  What makes you feel like you the most?  What makes you feel so content that it feels like you’re recharging your “battery?”  What could possibly help you strip away all your hats for just one moment?  

So ladies, take a moment.  Not because I’m urging you to do so, but because you feel that it’s about time!  Take that moment for yourself — just for you.  You can only give and give so much…

You’re in “time out!”

Your Brainy Chick,

Komi

Disclaimer:  No way do I feel that moms staying home to take care of their household and family don’t deserve a time out either — get out there ladies…you need that break!

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Botox and the Indian Community      

Botox, everyone has thought about it, many of us are doing it, so why aren’t we talking about it?

Growing up as first generation Indian Americans, my sister and I had the impossible task of representing our Indian side, our American side, and our hybrid side with grace and full understanding.  This meant being respectful yet assertive and exploring our interests while not wandering too far outside of our parents understanding. It also meant looking and acting within certain cultural norms without compromising our opportunities here as Americans.

Aging is one of those unusual paradoxes where being Indian and American does not agree.  It appears that Americans embrace doing things make you feel good — from facials to chemical peels to plastic surgery to Botox. There is discussion and a sharing of experiences that is a part of the American culture.  I can’t speak to other communities and cultures but the Indian community from both the immigrant and first generation perspectives does not embrace artificial enhancement. Indo-American women will undergo a variety of procedures and services behind closed doors and lie about their genetics and diets to no end.   An acceptance of anti-aging tools that we have available to us as Indians in America has been a difficult pill to swallow for many.

Avani getting her bi annual Botox shots.I am 36 years old, I have been getting Botox for 3 years.  When I looked in the mirror after having two kids and moving homes twice, my body directly experienced the stress. My body had undergone both of those life-changing events and left me with deep wrinkles which made me feel older than I was. My friends, co-workers, and sisters were supportive when I first considered Botox (see our article here about facing judgement). We talked about it, read about it, researched it until I eventually went for it.  Some family members, on the other hand, discouraged me from doing it and hesitantly added that if I did get it, I should keep it to myself.  After seeing my results and my satisfaction, two short years later, they too went ahead and tried it out. But they have since kept their “genetic” advantages to themselves.

Before And After
Before And After

Without getting too carried away, I am grateful that I can take little steps to look the way I feel.  I am not in denial of aging or of my life circumstances; this is a personal choice and one that has left me satisfied. By not sharing ideas and privatizing our desires, we cannot lift each other up in a way that can be positive in the right context.

I hope to get the discussion started.  We are fortunate that one of our Savvy Chicks’, Avani, has a husband who is a plastic surgeon — if you have any questions please leave them in comments below and we will be happy to get you an expert’s perspective.

Cheers,

Rina

If Botox is not your thing yet, here are a few Chicks Picks from Beauty Chick, Neema (check out her take on sunscreen).


Top Ten Ways To Find Your Zen

With the school year underway and relaxed summer routines becoming not-so-distant memories, many of us have to try harder to carve out time for ourselves and search deeper to block out the buzzings around us.  The grind of drop-offs, work, pick-ups, activities, specials, dinner, homework…wash, rinse, repeat…gets to even the most pain-tolerant of us. 

Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. – Alan Watts

Below is a list of the top ten ways to find your zen.

Create a playlist- find the songs that put you in your element.  I listen to a variety of music so mine contains anything from classical to hip hop.  I use my headphones and tend to multi-task at home.  I also play it in the car after the kids have been dropped off.  Have you checked out Chick Radio yet? Subscribe to our channel, we update our list often.

Take a walk – I find my zen walking through the aisles of Target or Home Goods…alone.  I may not purchase anything but I enjoy the solitude and without being beholden to a shopping list and a tight time frame.  The same can be achieved walking outside, snow-shoeing (for the more adventurous), and biking.

Devour a book- Nothing takes you away and warms the soul like a good book; one that makes you lose track of time and makes you look forward to the next chunk of free time in your calendar.  This month, my book club is reading a thriller set aboard a luxury cruise line called The Woman In Cabin 10, nothing like a thriller to create an alternate reality in your mind.

Drink to it-  Not alcohol, I’m talking about a nice relaxing cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.  Perhaps milk with tumeric or cinnamon.  I have a spice blend I’ve created that I add to either black tea or warmed milk and it puts me in my zen state.  Try the chicks favorite, Frontier Organic Fair-Trade Chai!

 

Get organized!- Spend five minutes every night organizing your thoughts for the next day, crossing things off your list for the day and double checking your calendar.  Nothing takes you out of your flow than a disorganized rush in the morning.

Create a mantra- Create an affirmation that motivates and inspires you and repeat it when you wake up, right before bed and any other time you need it!  Check out our Affirmations Board on Pinterest for ways to stay calm and  stay positive.

Learn to say “yes” – Say yes to dinner with your friends, or to your child when he asks to play hide-and-seek  Those events allow you to be present and break up the routine. Also, connecting with others simply feels good.

No guilt – You know the phrase “Life’s too short…” The cliche is actually rather profound.  There’s no room for guilt.  And with that, I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite quotes “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Disconnect! – Make it a habit to set a time every day to disconnect from all electronics.  Start with five minutes and don’t be surprised if you find yourself increasing that time 🙂  You’ll cherish it.  See our post about what you are missing when you are on your phone.

Laugh!!- What better way to feel relaxed than by feeling happy?  Try something silly, learn a new dance, tell a joke.  Get in touch with your unabashed-ness of your youth when you laughed more than you worried!  If you have not already read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*$k, do yourself a favor, and pick it up!

Cheers,

Serene

Your Brainy Chick


How To Get #HairGoals

3 months postpartum and I was losing hair in ridiculous amounts. When I say ridiculous amounts I mean constant never-ending shedding all day long. 4 months postpartum and I could tell the thickness of my hair was not what it use to be – my ponytail was skinnier, I could see bits of receding in places around my hairline. I CRIED.

After doing some research, I found out that postpartum hair loss is completely normal, and happens to most women but in different severities. It has to do with all the crazy hormones trying to go back to normal in your body (Like we don’t go through enough, right?)

Even after reading that it was normal – I was devastated and seriously thought my hair would never be the same. Fast forward to 8 months after delivering – and I saw fly always all around my head. IT WAS GROWING!! (Insert happy dance!!)

 

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I started taking things into my own hands to help my hair grow faster and better. No chemicals, no expensive medications, just a few nourishing techniques I learned while obsessing over how to get my hair back.

Please hear me — this is just what I did to grow my hair quickly. Don’t feel pressured to have to try all these things all at once. It’s like a buffet — pick a few that work for you!

No-poo

Sigh. Yeah, you heard me. For years now I had heard about no-poo, and thought it was nuts. But I was desperate and tried it. Why not? Buy a little bit of high-quality baking soda, and use a little vinegar, add my favorite essential oil (lavender oil), clean all the buildup off my hair and scalp. RESULTS: LOVE! My hair had never looked as good, ever. I did the no-poo for about 4 months, before I went back to a natural shampoo.

The Inversion Method (Major game changer!)

What’s the Inversion Method? For one week per month, once a day, you wet your fingertips with some hair-appropriate oil (I did a mix of almond oil and castor oil), flip your head over and give your scalp a good 5-minute massage with your fingertips. Like, a really good massage. The massage paired with your head being upside down MAJORLY increases blood flow to the scalp and triggers an increase in hair growth. You should only do this once a week per month (one week on, three weeks off). Your scalp quickly gets accustomed to it if you do it too often. I’ve read that this method can grow hair 4 inches in one week – I’m not sure I saw that kind of growth but I DEFINITELY saw a difference.

Biotin

This one’s an easy one, peeps. I started taking Biotin. Pairing this with all the other crazy hair things I was doing makes it hard to for me to say how effective it is, but since taking it my nails have become rock hard. So I know it’s doing something!

Eat Healthy!

This is usually a no brainer, but there are certain foods that provide the exact vitamins that your body needs. I’m a vegetarian so I did the plant version of everything but I will list the beneficial non-vegetarian options as well

Fatty acids: Avocados, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts were my go-to. Non-vegetarian: Salmon

Antioxidant, beta-carotene, vitamin A: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Cantaloupe

Protein & Iron: Eggs for me! Non-Vegetarian: chicken, pork, and beef.

Vitamin C & Folate: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and leafy greens. I would make a smoothie!

Zinc & Biotin: Lentils, soybeans, kidney beans

Vitamin B5 & D: Greek Yogurt

Vitamin C: Blueberries, strawberries, and kiwi – Also added this to my smoothie!

Chlorine, UV, and Wind Protection:  This ones pretty obvious — Throw on a hat if you can! If you’re in the pool a lot, wet your hair before going into the pool and if possible add a conditioner to help prevent it from stripping in the chlorine.  Also check out my previous post on physical sunscreen to learn more about my recommendations on UV protection.

These are just somethings that really helped my hair! My hair if feeling the same as before and even a bit thicker than before having my baby girl. I just cut off 7-inches of my hair just to try something new so it is the perfect time for me to do a before and after in a few months to show you guys how much my hair has grown!

Think hair-growing thoughts! #hairgoals

Love,

Neema

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