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Sunday, 24 June 2018

How to speak Blogger Lingo fluently

6/24/2018 0 Comments
Hola!

Today's post is going to be yet another blogger trivia sort of a post just like the ones I did earlier (How to start a blog - The ugly truth! and The splattered life of a fashion blogger) which everyone seemed to enjoy and hence, here I am with another fun post talking about what one needs to know to become a fashion blogger or even talk to one. Now there are so many words from the English dictionary that I never imagined I'd use for the purpose I am today. Fret not, these are really common, easy-to-pronounce words that you'd have learnt in third grade but never really got the opportunity to use. So let's get started?



blog - I think everybody on the worldwide web knows what a blog is. If you don't, then you should rethink your life and everything. Just kidding! A blog is a just a website or a web page owned by a person or a group of individuals who express themselves in the form of words, pictures, videos and more. I am sure none of you know this, but the word "blog" has been derived from "web log" or "weblog" which basically means logging everything on the web.


blogger - A blogger is someone who owns a blog on a blogger platform like Blogger, Wordpress, Winkl etc. Having an instagram page only with a bazillion duckface selfies and calling yourself a "blogger" is technically incorrect.

influencer - A blogger, by default, is an influencer. But an influencer may or may not be a blogger. Influencers are usually folks with a decent number of followers on social media to whom they promote products in the form of pictures or videos.


fashion blog - As the name suggests, it's a website related to fashion. A fashionista documents every little detail of her outfit on her blog so that people all over the world can have access to her style. There are many other categories of blogs, like food, lifestyle, sports, fitness, travel etc.

collaboration - A collaboration is a process where two or more parties decide to work together in order to help each other grow their businesses. In the blogosphere, collaborations can be of different types and it can happen between different types of people like bloggers, brand owners, PR agencies, photographers, models etc. Some of the various types of collabs are -

  • paid - This is literally the best case scenario for bloggers. Brand owners/PR agencies contact bloggers to promote a product and they literally pay the bloggers for it.
  • barter - A barter collaboration is a scenario where a brand sends the blogger products to be reviewed in exchange for a review and social media promotion. The products are for the blogger to keep and use and not return to the brand.
  • free - Well, we all know how shameless some brands are. This is the lowest level of collab, but when most of us start as bloggers we end up promoting brands for free. 

instagram - Instagram is a brilliant app that was invented in 2010 to share videos and photos with friends and family and make them look funky by using editing tools. In no time this multimillion dollar company decided to let people actually use this platform for business. 

followers - This is probably the word that bloggers hate most. Almost every brand on the block looks at Instagram followers before they invest in a blogger. Well, I really hope they realize sooner or later that followers can be bought and are not even real.


engagement - Every time one of you interacts with me on the comments section here or on my Insta page or even like my post, it really helps me more than you know! Not only are the comments satisfying to read but also help increase engagement on my posts which eventually translates to visibility. So, please do comment, like, share and subscribe :D

tags - Well, I'm sure you guys know what tagging means. You basically type an "@" before you tag a person or a company page on your posts on social media. It's very important for you, as a blogger, to tag the brands you work with as well as the photographers as tagging helps them get visibility and in return you get more visitors.



hashtags - Hashtags are widely being used all over the internet by people who literally don't know what it's actually used for or how it should be used. Someone I follow on Instagram tends to always put a "#eeee" at the end of every post. It's just ridiculous how human beings tend to follow what everyone else is doing without knowing the fundamentals. Hashtags were invented to group similar posts together. For instance, if I like coffee then I will hashtag #coffeelover on my post and if you click on the hashtag, you will find all posts with that hashtag. Some of the so-called influential hashtags are #followforfollow and #likeforlike.


media kit - A lot of brands usually tend to ask for your media kit. A media kit basically contains all your stats like the number of people who visit your blog, everything that Google Analytics tells you, number of followers on social media, fancy SEO jargon like DA, PA, Alexa Rank etc. I still haven't ever tried to figure out mine because it's a lot of work :p


Some crazy social media influenced abbreviations -
OOTD - Outfit of the day
OOTN - Outfit of the night
WIWT - What I wore today
BTS - Behind the scenes
POTD - Post of the day


It's a strange, strange world. The next time anyone asks you about your life as a blogger, point them to this blog post :D That's all for today, guys. I can't think of any other important blogger words. Do comment below and tell me if I've missed out on any word or phrase that every blogger needs to know.


Styling notes: Here I'm sporting a fringe dress from FlyRobe, Oxfords from Street Style Store, this cute owl neckpiece a friend picked up from Goa and a bling purse from Koovs. This ensemble is perfect for a casual brunch affair. Switch the Oxfords for some flirty heels and you can wear the same outfit later at night for a party!

Ciao!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

What to do on your layover in Singapore

6/19/2018 0 Comments
Hey peeps!

If you guys have been following my posts and stories closely, you'll know that on my way to Sydney from India, I had a long layover in Singapore around 3 months ago. I've now come to realize that, for someone like me, even a couple of hours is enough to explore some parts of a city. I am always a fast-paced traveller and while most people prefer to spend more time in a new city, I like jam-packing everything in one or two days. After all, life is short and we all have limited time on this planet! Anyway, I had booked Singapore Airlines to go to Sydney and they had like 10-12 hour layover in Singapore. My college roommate lives in Singapore and this was the perfect opportunity for me to spend some time with her and chill around the city. The best part about Singapore is that they'll let you get out of the airport while transiting without any visa.


I reached Singapore at around 7 in the morning, dumped all of the hand baggage in the baggage storage facility in Changi Airport for a few dollars and waited for my friend to arrive. We took the metro to Marina Bay and that was our first stop. We walked around Marina Bay, walked on the Helix Bridge, chilled by the Merlion, the official mascot of Singapore and took a bazillion pictures there. The temperature was like a 3957 degrees! Unfortunately, I was in a sweater and it was such a terrible idea!






Our next stop was Chinatown! I just HAD TO change into something more comfy before I melted away. And of course, I was broke, unemployed and did not have any money to spare, so my friend took me to Chinatown. Every city has a Chinatown where you get souvenirs and food and everything for dirt cheap prices. I picked up a $2 "I Love Singapore" tee and phew, that was such a life saver! We had some beers and Thai food at a Thai restaurant and chit-chatted about the good ol' days.




After some beers and a crazy heavy lunch, my friend took me to Clarke Quay. Since I would have not been able to enjoy the nightlife there, we just walked around a little bit and sat by the side of the river. Clarke Quay is basically a riverside quay in Singapore that's known for a variety of activities like the river cruise, restaurants and cafes, museums and spots of historical importance etc. We chilled there for some time and then left for the airport.





There are a lot of things on my Singapore bucket list which I shall probably fulfill on my next trip like Sentosa, some zoo that we almost went to and of course, the nightlife! Hopefully, on my way back to Sydney this time, I should be able to spend a little more time in Singapore than last time.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

How to have a Happy Period using Menstrual Cups

6/19/2018 0 Comments
Hello ladies!

What's the one thing you wish you weren't born with as a woman? Don't you always wish there was a better way to deal with those five days of hell? I really hope that some day scientists come up with a solution to eliminate this process altogether. But that's going too far, init? Back in the day, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers suffered a great deal because of the red monster. They had no sanitary napkins or tampons and had to make do with a dirty piece of cloth. They'd get several infections and have also had to live through the embarrassment of staining their sarees. What's even worse is the way they were treated. They weren't allowed inside the house during that time of the month. Going to a temple or being a part of religious ceremonies was completely out of question. They probably did not want to dirty the surroundings and hence these rules were made. I think it's bonkers and frustratingly ridiculous that women still follow this crap without even knowing why it was done in the yesteryears.

Things have been way better for us and yet, we seem to face so many difficulties and are not willing to embrace new remedies. While Padman created a whole new revolution in rural areas, this subject is still a taboo and women in villages refuse to openly talk about it. Folks in the urban areas have it better but from cramps to stains to acne to mood swings, there's nothing about these five days that can cheer you up. "Have a happy period", this commonly used tagline for most sanitary napkins, is definitely a myth. Agreed? I thought so too, until I was introduced to this genius invention called the Menstrual Cup. A cousin of mine recommended this to me and on the same day, a close friend could not shut up about it. That's when I decided that it was high time I gave it a shot. What is a menstrual cup? It's just a silicone cup that has been medically engineered to be inserted into a woman's vagina to hold all of the menstrual fluid or blood. It's completely safe to use and is like 200% hygienic! 


Any new product in the market should come with a pre-requisite and there are a lot of things you need to know about using a menstrual cup before you start your purchase. I have made a list of some basic things you need to know -

  • If you've had gynecological problems in the past or if you have a sensitive vagina, then it's best you consult your gynecologist before taking this step. 
  • I would recommend talking to a gynecologist even for girls in their early teens or unmarried Indian women as well. 
  • You need to know the size of the cup you might need. It depends on your flow and if your vagina has stretched after pregnancy. I guess "trial and error" is the solution here.
  • The brand you use is very important since you're inserting something inside your private part and you don't want any infections down there. Do a thorough research on the subject and then only consider it.

So using a menstrual cup can be quite a task in the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, there's nothing like it. Here's how you do it -

Insertion and Removal

Sit on your toilet bowl with your legs wide open or in a squatting position. You need press the cup into a half and insert it into your vagina. Make sure that the cup opens up inside and is fully inside so that you're comfortable. If required, you can grease the cup with petroleum jelly during insertion. Insert two fingers into your vagina and try to hold on to the base of the cup by pressing it and then pull it out. If you get a cup with a tiny tail at the bottom, I am sure this process is much easier.

Maintenance

Empty your cup every 2-3 hours during the first two days depending on your flow. Wash it with water and if required some soap as well and insert it back. Once you're done with your period, make it a point to boil the cup in water and sterilize the same and place it in the little bag provided.


Brands and Price

I have started using this Medium sized cup from Stonesoup.in and I purchased it from Health and Glow for about 835 INR. If you are looking for a cheaper option, then I believe Sirona has some good options too. Another option you can try is by this brand called Rustic Art.

I used it for five days straight and while it has a million pros, there are some cons too. So here's a list of things you should know before you make a decision to switch over -

Pros

Environment friendly - This is the biggest reason for me to start using menstrual cups. We don't realize the negative impact we are causing on the environment by using sanitary napkins and tampons. A menstrual cup is reusable and you don't have to worry about disposing it.
Lack of bad odour - I don't know about you, but I have often noticed that when your period blood mixes with the toxins on the sanitary napkin and your sweat, urine etc. it creates this foul smell that makes you really uncomfortable. A menstrual cup collects your blood even before it is exposed to the outside world and trust me, the blood is odourless.
Cheaper in the long run - Since it's a one time investment, it's quite cheap in the long run. Sanitary napkins and tampons of good quality have become unimaginably expensive these days. I end up spending at least 200 INR every month. But this is definitely going to reduce my expenditure.
Overnight usage - You can use it at a stretch for 10-12 hours and you can sleep with it on. I have literally travelled overnight on a bus with the cup inside me and did not feel weird at all.
Say goodbye to stains - If inserted properly, the cup holds all your blood and doesn't allow it to reach your underwear. Hence, you don't have to worry about stains on your clothes.

Cons

Difficult to insert and remove - You need to really get used to inserting and removing it because it can get really tricky. After a 2-3 days, I had no trouble in insertion or removal.
Hard to use if your flow is heavy - On the first two days, if you have heavy flow, then you better use a sanitary napkin with it because there are chances of leakage and also you need to empty the cup evert 2 hours so that it doesn't leak. That can get a tad bit annoying!

Some Q&A

Does it cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)?
I am no expert to answer this question. However, based on my research online, there's a chance that it might cause TSS. To avoid the same, you could probably invest in an extra cup and sterilize the cups before every insertion. The key is to keep the cups as clean as possible.

Does urination get affected?
Absolutely not. Your urinary pipe is completely different from your menstrual pipe. I definitely have faced a slight amount of resistance while peeing, but with a little extra force all is well.

Does the cup bruise your vagina?
I haven't experienced anything like that. However, just to ensure that the insertion and removal process is smooth, grease your cup with some Vaseline as mentioned before.

Is there any vaginal irritation?
Nope, haven't faced that at any point. Once inserted, you don't even feel that it's there.

Does a tiny cup like that hold a lot of blood?
Yes, it holds all your blood, but to be on the safer side, make sure you empty the cup every 2-3 hours.

Why I urge all women to use this is because of the trillion benefits it has on a woman's health and sanitation and most importantly, on the environment. Every time I dispose a sanitary napkin, my heart sinks a little. But now, with this brilliant product I am so grateful that my impact on environmental pollution has reduced by at least 10 sanitary napkins every month. How cool is that, huh? Do you bit, guys! The world is sinking in filth. With that, I'm gonna sign off and actually mean it when I say, "Have a happy period!" :D

Love,
Hand On The Hip

P.S. This is not a paid or a sponsored post. If you have any comments or concerns or if you believe I haven't given the right info, please feel free to comment below or correct me. I have written this post solely based on my experience and research and I may or may not be fully accurate on the subject.