Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day on a Budget

Photo courtesy:The Balance

Youngsters and the young at heart ones, Valentines's Day is here.

Though all of us feel that one day is not enough to show your loved ones how much they mean to you, it doesn't hurt to make the day special for them.

I am sure all of us have already done some research online to look for ways to surprise your loved ones. But, the options might have been a little too expensive. What's more disappointing is that even though you spend on them, the products lack that extra personal touch.

Here I am listing some inexpensive yet special things you can do for your loved one to make those moments memorable.

Valentines Day on a Budget


1. Surprise them with a meal : Have you seen the look on your parent's face when you last cooked a meal for them? Indeed, it's priceless. How about recreating those moments for them this Valentine's Day. If you are the kinds who has never entered the kitchen, try youtube for some easy recipes and it won't look like rocket science anymore ! πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

2. Flowers never fail to show their magic :There is nothing more beautiful than saying it with flowers. Unfortunately, they are not an inexpensive option anymore, especially the ones available online. Try looking for your favourite flowers in your local markets and I am sure you will get a much better deal. Learn some bargaining tips as well. 😜

3.A fishbowl: How about a pair of goldfish swimming in a fishbowl. Perfect, I would say ! Simple, inexpensive and something people will remember for a long time to come 😊

4. Recreate the magic with old, unused things :  Use the old wine or rum bottles creatively.  Pinterest is flooded with so many ideas. You could try pasting your pictures on the bottle, paint and make a lamp, make a message bottle...put on your thinking caps and get going.

5. Go old school: There is nothing that will surprise your girl more than a handwritten note. Go that extra mile and make a scrapbook of your favourite pictures and stories of your unforgettable moments.πŸ’“πŸ’“

Remember, the moments are cherished forever. :)

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers !





Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Essentials : St. D'Vence moisturiser (Autumn Edition)

It's winter finally in Kolkata! Yay! There is nothing like taking a walk on a winter afternoon, sipping on a cup of tea, having some hot soups and of course lazying around in your favourite blanket πŸ˜›. Like every season, it also comes with a set of challenges. 

Dry, itchy skin is a part and parcel of this weather. My skin gives me a tough time this time of the year. You can actually spot the dry marks on my skin this time. It feels rough most of the time, even after applying body lotion a while back. 


I recently came across St. D'Vence's new moisturizer which is a part of their autumn edition. This is the first beauty product you can pre-order on Amazon, a first in Amazon's 20-year-old history. The product will be available from 10 December onwards. 
The product came with a personalised note from the founder, seeking honest feedback which was an extremely thoughtful gesture.

First things first, I loved the packaging. It comes in a nice small plastic bottle.No hygiene issues there, so a big thumbs up πŸ‘. 

It mentions that the moisturiser is an ultra-nourishing one good for dry to very dry skin, which is exactly my skin type during winters. To test this claim, I used it only one hand. Trust me, I could feel the difference. The area where this product was used felt nicely hydrated and super soft for around 3 hours. Again, a πŸ‘for that. It absorbs into your skin within 2-3 seconds and has a nice non-greasy formula. 


The product description reads that it uses a blend of ten premium ingredients that hydrates the driest of skin.The ingredient list boasts of avacoado, argan oil, sunflower oil, til oil, coconut oil, alm

ond oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera and so on. All of them proven to act like magic for your skin. I love the combination especially the argan oil bit in it. I am a big fan essential oils and vouch for its benefits all the time. The fragrance is impressive too- Pleasant yet not too strong. πŸ˜‡

It is parabens free, does not contain harmful chemicals and is a 100 % vegetarian prduct.
100 ml of the product costs Rs. 275, which I feel is a good deal, given the ingredients used and the performance of the product.

I would definitely recommend this product for the winters. Here is the pre-order link for you : http://amzn.to/2iY884z
If you try the product, do share your thoughts on the product with me. It will be good to know what you think of the product.











  




Monday, November 6, 2017

"Post festive season" haircare with Himalaya Herbals' anti hair fall range


Festive season is over! With all the styling, roaming around on the streets while we ignored the weather and the pollution, hair care has sure gone for a toss. Rain gods have also been quite generous this time, which added to the woes. Now that all the festivities are on a pause, it is time for some hair care.

Let me admit here that I am extremely lazy when it comes to haircare or skincare. I am not someone who will spend hours at a salon or invest time on a weekend trying out a new haircare pack at home. Given the hectic schedule I have, weekends are the only time I get to unwind. Weekends are also the time I meet my friends and do things I like. Therefore, for me, trusted products are important for skincare and haircare.


I trust Himalaya Herbals' products for my skin or hair. Might be because their products are well researched and they rely on the goodness of age-old herbal secrets. They have worked very well for me.


When I received this box from Himalaya Herbals with their anti-hair fall range, I knew a lot of my hair care woes were taken care of. It consists of very basic products that are a must-have in your hair care regime- their anti-hair fall range.I have tried these products before and I know I can trust them.


Here's how you can do something healthy for your hair:

1. Start with oiling your hair with Himalaya's anti hair fall oil around 20-30 minutes before a hair wash. It has a light fragrance and is comparatively non-greasy. Massage it gently on your scalp so that it gets absorbed well. If you have time, you could also use some hot towel therapy.

2. Rinse your hair with their anti hair fall shampoo. It can be used for all types of hair including chemically treated hair.

3. Use Himalaya's anti hair fall conditioner the usual way, along the length of the hair.

4. Apply the anti-hair fall cream on damp hair right after shampoo and conditioning, for some extra nourishment. The formula is not exactly non-greasy so make sure to use a very small amount.

The ingredients used in the range of products like bhringraja, amalaki, chickpea have been known since times immemorial to make your hair stronger and healthier. 

I have been using these products for quite some time now and have seen a visible reduction in hair fall. I would especially recommend the shampoo and the conditioner. There are months when I wash my hair almost every day because of the humid weather. The natural ingredients used in the products gives me the confidence to do so without worrying about my hair becoming dull and dry.

Have you used any of these products? Let me know what do you think of them.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bombay Brasserie is back to Kolkata !



Bombay Brasserie is back to the city of joy, in a brand new avatar. Moving from formal dining to casual dining, the brand has put a lot of thought while curating the menu. Aimed at keeping the armchair traveller happy, the menu has a desi touch to it.

I was invited to the relaunch party and here are the four things which appealed to me :

1. Think Pauwas, Think Bombay Brasserie: The rustic pauwas have got a sophisticated touch to it with the outlet's relaunch. Served in glass bottles, they have interesting cocktails like the Pondy Rush, Jaipur Gulaabo, Go Goa Gone, Nagpuri Santra, Janta Bar to name a few.

2. And, the Chaknas to go with it: Friends, pauwa cocktails and no chaknas? Bombay Brasserie has that sorted for you - The Chakna Tray! It's a variety of snacks in a single tray to go with your cocktails.

3. Chilli Cheese toasts are a passΓ©, BB brings Chilli Cheese Kulchas: This is one of my favourite items from the menu ! This comes from a hard core non-vegetarian, who hardly looks at the non-veg menu at most times. The concept of chilli cheese toasts in a kulcha format, this one is sinful and comforting at the same time.

4. India's favourites curated for the armchair traveller: In the menu, you find some of the country's choicest dishes - there is Kolkata's fish fry, Mumbai's keema maska pao, Kashmiri naan kebab to name a few. The brand claims that the ingredients are also locally sources to maintain the authenticity of the dishes.




Presentation of the menu is decent but portion sizes could be better. A meal for two costs you about Rs. 1600 + taxes.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Keep yourself healthy this Monsoon



Hello Guys :)
It has been raining on and off almost everywhere in India. This is the season of a hot cup of chai, some piping hot pakoras, long drives and staying curled up in bed all day! Bongs would also tell you about the beauty of the ilish maach - khichdi combo(hilsa fish & khichdi) during this season. πŸ˜‹


While it is the most awaited season of the year after the hot and humid months, it also brings with itself a lot of viruses. We all have to step out of her homes due to work and other engagements. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to keep certain things in mind to keep yourself healthy this season.


Here are my mantras to keep yourself safe:


1. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean - It is absolutely necessary to keep yourself, your home and colonies clean. This is the season when viruses can breed easily due to the humidity. Mosquito borne diseases are usually on the rise. Make sure there is no stagnant water in your home/ colony. I would suggest a pest control ahead of the season to keep any unwanted insects at bay. Typically it will cost you around Rs.500 - 1000 and you will need it only thrice/four times a year. Local vendors offer more economical rates.


2. Keep germs away even on the move - We constantly have to keep moving out of our homes and offices. We avail public transport almost every day and come in contact with people from different walk of life. It is mandatory to keep a hand sanitizer and a mosquito repellent cream in your handbag. You never know where the germs might find you!


3. Eat healthy - Have loads of soup and stews this season, homemade off-course. They have this typical power to fight viruses- be it cold, cough or fever while also giving you the comfort of sipping something hot in this season. Chicken soups work best for me as an immunity booster as well :) Junk food should be avoided especially those which use a lot of water like panipuris. For a person like me who swears by her weekly dose of phuchka, I have it without the water. 


4. See a doctor if you are feeling unwell - If you have been feeling unwell for more than 2-3 days, please see a doctor. It is better to get yourself cured in the early stages than wait for it to get worse. Always trust the doctor rather than your own instincts or other's opinions, please!


5. Gargle regularly - Though we do this only when we have a sore throat, it will help if we do this on a regular basis during this season. 


6. Always remember grandma's tips are the best - We all have these trustworthy home remedies that work wonders for us. We all know the magic of the adrak wali chai (ginger tea) or masala tea or the honey-lemon drink or a glass of warm milk. There is so much more to this πŸ˜ƒ

These tips have been adopted by generations and they still work like magic. 

Take care of your health while you enjoy this season. Happy Monsoons πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ Please share your tips for this season as well :)


Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for interesting updates on health, beauty and lifestyle. 


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Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVCzw4_CCEM8s0_P00IE_AA



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Iftar In Dhaka, Bangladesh

It's a new job, yet the same corporate life! 

I have been travelling a lot all these months, and therefore haven't been able to devote too much time here. I have been missing blogging so much. 😐 Any transition is not easy and this is one amongst them. While I adapt to the new things in life, I hope I am regular here because it is one of my favourite places, my place of expression 😊😊

As a part of my work routine, I recently visited Dhaka, Bangladesh - one of the distant cousins of Kolkata! If you have ever stayed in Kolkata, you would have definitely heard the great "Ghoti - Bangal" debate.😝 To make things simpler, Ghoti are people from West BengaI and Bangal are people with a Bangladeshi origin.

I was curious to explore the other part of the border, a place I had heard a lot about from almost everyone around me in Kolkata - relatives, friends, colleagues, random strangers! From the famous ilish of Dhaka to the Dhakai Jamdani sarees to feasting on traditional Dhakai cuisine, I had everything on my "things to do" list.(Yes, that is how you tend of talk when you have been a corporate slave for more than 6 years now !) 😁.Even before I had landed, I had a list of things I had to get for people - Dhakai Jamdaani sarees were something I was really eager to buy, hilsa fish for family, biriyani for a mentor and friend from the blogging world, Poorna Di of Presentedbyp.com. Little did I know then, I would not be able to do any of them, thanks to the almost packed schedule of my trip. 

While I was busy brooding over what I could not do in Dhaka, I stumbled upon something which was unique in its own little way. It was the holy month of Ramzan time and all the little street corners were buzzing with excitement every evening during Iftar time. 

The city had a distinct excitement during this time of the year.Offices were shut by 4, roads which are choked with cars almost every hour of the day, became desolate by 6, a city which is as excited about its food as Calcutta, none of the lunch joints were open as people were fasting. Lunch for me was mostly KFC or Dominos! It was only in the evenings that you could smell delicious haleem, see hot pakoras being fried, chana, fruits, dates being sold and delectable kebabs in almost in every area. 


Mutton Haleem

I tried out mutton haleem from a small streetside joint in Gulshan area of Dhaka. It was a handi full of deliciousness 😊. Small pieces of mutton which almost melted in the mouth in a delicious gravy of pulses garnished with fried onions, lots of green chillies and a dash of lemon. A huge earthen pot was priced at only 200 BDT. 

Even our guesthouse treated us to some lovely iftar food in the evening one day, including kachchi biriyani for dinner.


Iftar meal at our guesthouse

The luxury hotels were also decked up for the occasion. With elaborate decor to a lavish spread of over 400 exquisite dishes, we were spoilt for choice when we sat down for iftar at Le Meridien Dhaka. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to relish all of them. We were already running late for our flight. I enjoyed the haleem, sheekh kebabs and the savouries.


Decor at Le Meridien, Dhaka



The spread at Le Meridien, Dhaka

Pickles


Mutton Biriyani

Mutton Haleem again :)


Kebabs 

Though even Kolkata has some amazing iftar food, Dhaka's iftar food experience was also something to be cherished forever. I returned as a satisfied person :)

P.S: This post doesn't list the best places to try Iftar food as I didn't get to explore them myself. It just speaks about my rendezvous with their street food and the spread at Le Meridien Dhaka.

Please do read about my experience of the Iftar food walk in Kolkata :)



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Maybelline's new 24 hour Colossal Kajal

Well, its Maybelline's Colossal Kajal again ! This time, it claims to last 24 hours !! Let's see if it holds true.


Maybelline's new 24hr Colossal Kajal range

Maybelline's Colossal Kajal range has been a favourite for almost all girls I know, because of it's consistent performance and for it's ease on the pocket.From its first launch, Maybelline has worked on this cult product and reinvented it several times,each time coming out with a attractive proposition. This time they claim that the kajal lasts for 24 hours.

The product comes in the classic yellow and black packaging as for most of the products in this range. You can hardly make out the difference from its outer body unless you notice the "24Hr" claim on the packaging.


Maybelline's new Colossal Kajal

How do I feel about the product?
It comes in the same retractable tube that all other Colossal Kajals have. There is definitely a change in the texture. This one is creamier and smooth on application. The end result is matte, though. I needed around 3 swipes for the perfect pigmentation on the lash line.

The formula has aloe vera, vitamin E&C to keep your eyes looking fresh without any irritation.

The kajal lasted for a good 6-8 hours despite the heat, after which there was slight smudging on the corners.You could easily ignore that if you didn't look too closely. It didn't last for 24 hours for sure on me because by the end of the day,it was almost like any other kajal without touch ups. It could be this way for me because I have extremely sensitive skin around my eyes and there are very few kajals that do a good job on me. Maybelline's Colossal range is one among the few. There was no irritation even after a long day and was not difficult to remove either.

 A stick of 0.35gm costs 180Rs, which is a pretty good price. Colossal kajal has been one of the most preferred budget kajals.


I am wearing Maybelline's Colossal 24hr Kajal here

What could be better ?
I wish they hadn't claimed 24 hours without testing it well 😐

Overall, it's a good product for everyday wear and does justice to the reputation of the Colossal range. πŸ‘