KIDS PARADISE: PERFECT FOR KIDS!

Last week I decided to go to visit an old friend, Roopali Vijh who runs a playgroup and nursery in her residence in Navrangpura, Ahmedabad. It had been a long time since I visited her and upon entering her premises, the first thing that struck me was the treehouse that was in her lawn!

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I was so fascinated by the treehouse that I insisted upon going upstairs and inspecting it thoroughly. Roopali told me that they use the treehouse regularly for children to hone their fine motor and gross motor skills, do their easel painting and they also conduct their storytelling sessions there.

I then sat down with Roopali, the director of Kids Paradise and Jill Buch, the principal of the school to find out more about the school. They shared with me that Kids Paradise was started in 2010 and the idea behind starting the school was to blend the Montessori method with the Indian system of education in such a way that it acts as a bridge between the nursery school and the school that the child will eventually attend.

Kids Paradise has four air-conditioned classrooms and they have playgroup, nursery and Junior K.G. Aside from the treehouse, they have a sandpit in the garden and occasionally set up inflatable pools for the children to splash in.

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Roopali and Jill aim to have a new activity in the school every Friday. Rainy Day and Vegetable Day are just examples of their Friday activities. They also have a Sports Day every year and an Annual Day every two years.

In fact on the day that I visited the school, the school had their Rainy Day. The school was beautifully decorated with umbrellas. The tiny tots came out into the garden in their raincoats. Since it wasn’t raining, water was showered upon the children through a hose from above. There was a lot of excitement as the children thoroughly enjoyed getting drenched!

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I came away from Kids Paradise with a smile on my face after seeing the laughter and merriment there. I highly recommend Kids Paradise as an excellent playgroup and nursery school that combines learning with fun!

Kids Paradise can be followed on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/kidsparadise03/  and on Instagram as https://www.instagram.com/kidsparadise03/

They also have a website: http://www.kids-paradise.in/

CHOCO’DALE IS DELICIOUS!

Marvellous! Amazing! Scrumptious! These are just a few of the adjectives that I have heard and I have myself used to describe Choco’dale’s creations.

One of Ahmedabad’s leading home baking brands, Choco’dale was started in February 2014 and has grown with leaps and strides since then. Every product of Choco’dale be it a cake, muffin, brownie, cakepop, theme based cookie or cupcake, bears Choco’dale’s stamp of individuality and creativity not to mention its impeccable taste! Today it’s time to meet the creative genius behind Choco’dale, Shruti Bhagat.

This soft-spoken and modest lady was a Fine Arts student who enjoyed sculpting. She has worked not only as a dress designer but as a web designer and a web developer, adapting her profession to meet the needs of her daughter.

Shruti, however, always enjoyed baking for her family and friends. Though she attended workshops to give her desserts a finished look, she never dreamed of taking it up as a profession!

But dissatisfaction with the products available in bakeries and encouragement from friends and family members led to Shruti starting with Choco’dale.

Shruti was very clear behind what motivated her to start her brand. She wanted to use the best and the most fresh ingredients for her products, the same ones she used for baking for her family and friends. She was determined to avoid using any extra preservatives and any premixes.

As a long standing customer of Choco’dale, I can also attest to the amazing variety of Choco’dale creations. I am continually amazed at Shruti’s imagination and her detailing in her desserts. In fact, I frequently joke to my husband that Choco’dale’s products are too good to eat! But at the same time, it is very difficult to control oneself from gorging on Choco’dale’s divine creations.

Choco’dale definitely specializes in theme-based cakes and desserts as Shruti is very conscious of aesthetic presentation. She also presents structural marvels like hanging, antigravity and rotating cakes.

Shruti gives credit to her family and friends for marketing her work and of course thanks her clients for their goodwill and the word of mouth publicity and praise that they have given her.

She has one request to all her clients past, present and future: that they should appreciate the time and effort put in by a home baker.

Shruti constantly tries to improve herself and keep herself updated. She attends workshops and even today spends considerable time online watching tutorials and doing R & D.

With this firm commitment to creativity, quality and taste one can be assured that Choco’dale is growing as a brand every day. I urge everyone who is reading this to not merely take my word for it but to sample a Choco’dale product right away.

For orders and inquiries Shruti Bhagat can be contacted on: 8128024448. Her varied and wonderful creations can be followed as Choco’dale on Facebook and as Chocodale_ on Instagram.

THE BEST BUNDT!

I recently had reason to order a cake, the occasion being my husband’s birthday. Being a cake-lover, I am always looking for an excuse to eat cake! I decided to order my cake from The Good Wives, an account that I had been following on Instagram since a while.

I have been enjoying the pictures posted by The Good Wives as the goodies posted always seemed to be tasty and appealing. I got in touch with the lady behind the brand: Ashini Patel. Mutually, we decided to go for a lemon bundt cake. Ashini suggested this flavour to me as many of her clients had enjoyed it. I decided to opt for this flavour as my spouse enjoys trying different varieties in cuisine.

I met up with Ashini when I went to collect the cake. I sat down to have a chat with her as I was curious to know more about her brand and her products.

Ashini revealed to me that she chose the name “The Good Wives” for her brand as she wanted to convey the image of good quality, homemade food. As she was always interested in cooking and trying out new recipes, she started her venture as recently as June 2017.

At present The Good Wives caters to Bundt cakes, frosted cakes, cupcakes, muffins and crackers. The Good Wives also caters to preparing various types of starters and appetisers for dinners and parties.

Ashini revealed to me that presently she is focused on working from home so that she can work around her children’s schedules. But she is intending on expanding her repertoire on gourmet items and baked goods that she can cater to. She would also love to have her own patisserie in future.

I took the cake back with me and to the restaurant where we had invited the family for dinner. We saved the cake for the end of our meal, i.e. we saved the best for the last!

The lemon bundt cake was indeed extremely delicious with a chocolate chip taste in it as well. The entire family along with the children enjoyed the cake thoroughly.

I would certainly recommend trying out The Good Wives’ products as they are extremely well-made, visually appealing and reasonably priced.

Ashini Patel can be contacted on 98240 03500 and can be followed on Instagram under the name of The Good Wives. You will certainly not be disappointed if you go to her!

CHIQUE IS COOL!

“Chic” is a French word that means elegance and class.

Beauty, style, grace, elegance and class are just a few of the attributes that come to mind when one is viewing the creations of Chique Jewels.

Who is the creative genius behind this trendy and upcoming brand of jewellery?  It is none other than the gorgeous Rina Punater!

This lovely lady grew up in Mumbai and moved to Antwerp post marriage. Rina was always interested in jewellery and in fact dabbled in selling gold and diamond jewellery for a while. But the arrival of her daughters, and the joys and duties of motherhood prevented her from pursuing her passion temporarily.

However, once her daughters had passed the stage of being toddlers and no longer needed her fulltime care and attention, Rina once again found herself turning to one of her early loves, i.e. jewellery!

Interestingly, it was Rina’s brother who urged her to turn her dream into reality. This led to the birth of her brand Chique Jewels. Since its inception in May 2017, Chique Jewels, as a brand, has grown in leaps and strides.

What was Rina’s goal behind starting her own line of jewellery? In her own words, “I wanted to create classy, chic, elegant, affordable fashion jewellery that is at the same time easy to wear.”

Since Rina was so clear and focused on her goals, she never had a reason to look back. She is focused on making every product of Chique Jewels, be it earrings, necklaces, bracelets or broches, unique and stamped with her distinctive brand of elegance.

Rina beautifully balances her home and work responsibilities by working from home! This hardworking lady puts in several hours a day into her designs and the creation of her products. She also tries to put in some work over the weekend.

We all know that “charity begins from home,” but in Rina’s case, “help begins from home”. She gets her greatest support from her family. Her husband Romil Kothari, not only extends his full support but also gives his input on all of Rina’s designs. His guidance is extremely valuable to Rina as he himself is in the diamond business.

Rina’s daughters Ayesha and Tanisha are her biggest fans and motivators. While both of them help her with the packaging, sorting and inventory of her products, Ayesha assists Rina a lot by taking pictures of her various creations. In fact, Ayesha frequently reminds her mother to take the “pic of the day!” i.e. to post a picture of a Chique Jewels design on Instagram and Facebook. Ayesha also gives her approval and input on Rina’s jewellery designs.

Rina manages to skilfully use social media tools like Facebook and Instagram to market and sell her creations. She also sells her designs at private exhibitions. She had an exhibition in Mumbai in January that was extremely successful. She is planning another exhibition in Mumbai this April and is mulling over exhibiting her designs in Ahmedabad and in other Indian cities as well.

Though at the moment, Rina is content working from home, she envisions herself expanding her brand in the future. She has set herself some goals for the coming years, which include opening her own store.

Rina is extremely anxious that every product of hers be associated with class and style and she strives hard to ensure the same. She diligently maintains the quality of her brand, from the design to the finished product. At the same time, she tries her best to ensure that her pieces remain affordable. Rina feels that she has learned a lot from her own experiences. However, she genuinely welcomes the feedback given by her clients.

Who can be seen sporting a Chique Jewels design? Rina says that she does not envision any age group when she is visualising a design. Her jewellery is aimed at any woman who is modern, classy and trendy, whether she is 7 years young or 70 years old!

So for all you wonderful women out there, do treat yourself to a Chique Jewels product. Trust me, you are worth it!

Rina Punater can be reached via email on rina_punater@gmail.com. She is on Facebook and Instagram as rina_punater.