Kanika Chadda Gupta

Month: March 2018

Soon to Be Party of Five!

It has caught us by surprise that after our twins, I am now expecting baby #3. A lot of friends have warned, advised, and damn-near scared me about what it’s like having three kids under the age of two (the twins and our littlest one will be 18 months apart), but my husband and I are bracing ourselves for the adventure that lies ahead. 

Here are a few checklist items we got started on since we found out the good news:

Organizing our Hand-Me-Downs. Since we have boy-girl twins, we already have every single piece of clothing (blue or pink) along with toys and essentials for each milestone from newborn on up. Whew! I organized the twins’ clothes in separate bins (I love these Container Store Long Underbed boxes), which I labeled (0-3 months, 3-6 months, etc.). Easily being able to find what we need will be super handy when our baby arrives.

Be Prepared for Anything. Since this isn’t my first rodeo, it’ll be interesting to see the nuances of this baby’s needs vs. our twins how our twins were at that age (e.g. will the child take to a pacifier or not? Will he/she sleep through the night? Will he/she take to breastfeeding?) I am prepared for anything. Our twins are already so different, whether they’re gravitating to various toys (Suhana loves books, Krish likes playing with his toy basketball and soccer ball) or soothing mechanisms (Suhana likes to be held with her hair stroked and Krishie prefers his pacifier and falling asleep being rocked in the glider), so we know baby #3 is going to come with his/her own personality and preferences.

Go On a Couple’s Getaway. We aren’t doing a babymoon since we don’t want to the leave the kids for too long, so my husband and I are doing a mini spa retreat over a weekend. I can’t wait to relax, indulge in prenatal massages, and relish our adult conversation which won’t be centered around questions like, “did you remember to order the size 5 overnight diapers for next month?”

Book a Family Vacation. We are booking our very first beach vacation this summer prior to the baby’s arrival. Our twins were only 6-months-old last summer and weren’t quite sitting up so we avoided taking them to the beach. (Can you just picture them doing tummy time in the sand. No thanks!) So this year, I am very excited to be taking them on this trip where they’ll to explore unchartered waters (literally!) and we enjoy quality time as a family. 

If you all have any tips on what else to do prior to baby #3 arriving, please leave them in the comments below. Any advice is welcome! Thank you for you good wishes!

Mommy Makeover!

My mom squad and I often commiserate about how we never get a chance to treat ourselves whether it’s getting our hair done or going to the spa for a relaxing massage or mani/pedi. I was ecstatic when Marie Lou&D Salon in Soho, New York invited me and two of my mommy friends, Minila and Rachna, to get pampered. A second home to high-street fashionistas and celebrities like Hilary Duff and Jill Zarin, MLD and its touted European stylists have been featured in InStyle, Vogue, and Marie Claire.  

We all were treated to consultations with top hair stylists, blow outs, and recommendations on what we should do to maintain our hair based on texture/length/coloring. 

 

Long, Fine Hair:

My hair is fine and very, very long (I don’t get hair cuts, just trims!) I have long layers and got a balayage hair color treatment four years ago that is still going strong (there are strands of caramel/brown that peak through). Hair stylist Tre Wyrosdick, advised that I use Kerastase Elixir Ultime Metamorph oil as a pre-treat before shampooing and conditioning, once a week. 

The product turns into a milk and penetrates each strand. Leave it in for 2-3 minutes, and then shampoo.

To add volume to dull, flat hair, look for shampoos that contain hyaluronic acid and collagen. The Kerastase’s Densifique Bain DensitΓ©  shampoo and Fondant DensitΓ© conditioner add body to thinning hair. 

Before & After:

Dry, Damage-Prone Hair:

Minila is an Indian semi-classical dancer and founder of the Ajna Dance Company. She and her troupe perform a few times a month for TV segments, live shows, and private events and they’re often straightening, curling, and putting up their hairs in intricate up-dos which has left her hair dry and damaged at the ends. 

Shu Uemura’s Urban Moisture Hydro-Nourishing Treatment for dry hair adds intense nourishment and moisture to parched strands. The lightweight formula enters the hair fiber to soften and smoothe while protecting against future dryness. Recommended for normal to thick hair, the hair mask leaves hair tamed, detangled, and shiny with a healthy glow.

Before & After:

Short, Layered Hair:

Rachna is a a marketing executive who travels a lot. She prefers quick fixes to keep her tresses manageable with plenty of volume. 

Shu Uemura’s Texture Wave Dry Finishing Spray provides buildable texture with long-lasting, flexible hold. It leaves hair with a soft, matte finish which is ideal for any hair type or length. The spray helps to build volume and movement in fine hair, helping you achieve that perfect blow-out look. By absorbing oil at the roots without any powdery residue, it feels especially rejuvenating on second-day hair much like a dry shampoo.

Before & After:

We all loved our salon-ready hair and were happy to know that we could easily achieve results at home with the right products. #MomWin!

Our Twins 1st Birthday Bash

Ahh…the joys of party planning! In the age of Pinterest, Instagram, and Etsy, it seems parties, whatever the occasion (birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorettes), are on steroids. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to throw our twins a themed 1st birthday, and now that it’s all said and done, I have to admit it was well worth it. We have memories and beautiful photos to last a lifetime and most importantly our friends and family from far and wide got to celebrate the little ones who have made us a family.

Our theme for our boy-girl twins was Ties & Tutus. (So cute, right?) I created a Google doc of all the logistics and am sharing all the vendors we used for their special day.

Invitation
If you haven’t heard of Fiverr, your world is about to change. Fiverr is a marketplace of graphic designers, video editors, and other creative professionals you can hire based on their portfolios and reviews. I wanted my twins birthday invite to look like a chalkboard with pops of baby pink and blue and came up with a concept that my designer Sachi executed to a T. She specializes in kids invitations which is big plus.
Graphic Designer: diplomadon

Venue
Since we were expecting 75+ guests, my husband and I decided it would be best to have the kids’ party at a venue which allowed for catering rather than hosting at home. Big win! I just googled “clubhouse New Jersey” and happened upon a place called The Clubhouse in Montclair, NJ. It was perfect. I love the industrial interiors, which appealed to the adults. Someday, we’d like to go there for a get-together with friends and actually make use of the pool table, darts, and the private theatre upstairs. The event manager was extremely helpful throughout the booking process (you have to register for insurance and sign a contract to reserve your date) and the staff member who helped us on-site the day of was excellent.
The Clubhouse, Montclair, NJ

Catering
Our cuisine of choice was Mediterranean – it’s healthy, flavorful, and has plenty of options for non-vegetarians and vegetarians alike. Once we reserved our venue, I was on a hunt to find a restaurant nearby and came across Mediterranea. My family and I reserved a tasting session with the chef a few weeks prior to select our menu. We decided on the following:

  • Greek Salad
  • Falafel with Tatziki Sauce
  • Cheese & Spinach Borak (phyllo rolls)
  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Chicken Shawarma
  • Mussakah (sauteed eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes)
  • Rice Pulao

For the kids, we ordered a few large pies of pizza. 
Mediterranea, Villa Victoria Pizzeria

Entertainment
Since we had a winter birthday party, our entertainment was confined to indoors. We wanted to cater to our kids who were 1-year-old up to kids who were 5. I was referred to a company called Parties for Peanuts which has characters (Elsa, Paw Patrol, Elmo, you name it!) who do circle time music, balloon making, the parachute game, and face-painting. We chose Daniel Tiger, my kids’ favorite and ours too since my hubby and I grew up watching Mr. Rogers. He was a hit!
Parties for Peanuts

Cake
We had two separate cakes rather than a 2-tier that way each kid got to cut their own cake and have “Happy Birthday” sung to them. Krish’s cake was a butter cream and fondant chocolate cake with vanilla icing. Suhana’s cake had rosettes made of butter cream; it was a yellow cake with raspberry and white chocolate ganache filling. We ordered custom tutu and bow-tie sugar cookies that were a nice touch on the desserts table. Everything was delicious!
Pink Petals Cakes

Photographer
I can’t say enough about our photographer, Melissa of Little Spoon Events. Not only does she take stunning photos and specializes in kids photo shoots and events, she was my right hand woman throughout the party and helped my vision come true. She had props for our dessert table, crafted poufs for our backdrops, had photo stands, our handmade cake toppers, the works! We’ve done several photo shoots with her including a holiday family shoot, the kids 1st portraits, and of course their big 1st birthday. We couldn’t be happier with the fun moments she’s captured for us.
Little Spoon Events

Decor
Decorating was the lion share of the planning, but it was only possible because of the amazing women who are so talented and crafty to bring my vision life! Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

Misc.
For all the extraneous items, my go-to shopping destinations were Amazon, Walmart and Michaels, Home Goods, and Trader Joe’s.

  • Amazon: Gold-trimmed plastic plates, Gold-trimmed plastic bowls, Gold plastic utensilsGoody Bags, Gold curling ribbon, Apothecary jar set
  • Walmart: Hershey kisses (2 lb. bags in pink, silver, and navy blue), 9 oz. clear Solo cups, 2 oz. clear Solo shot glasses, Sheer white curtain panels, White & black table cloths, Burners for buffet trays, Gold balloons, Pearl balloons
  • Michaels: Cookie packets, Jute twine string, Vase for Photo Booth props
  • Home Goods: White dessert trays, Cake stands, Ice buckets, Water Pitchers, Silver frames for printed signs
  • Trader Joe’s: Sparkling Lemonade & Pink Lemonade

Printed Signs
I designed the printed signs using Canva, an online portal for designing graphics, posters, and signs. We had signs that read Milk Shots, Photo Booth, Lunch is Served, and Sweets & Treats. Download the Photo Booth Printable I made for your upcoming event!

Enjoy birthday planning — these milestones go by in a flash! :)

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