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Monday, 31 October 2016

5 Beautiful Prom Dresses For Every Princess At Heart | Fashion Diaries

Prom is not only one of the most awaited events on youngsters’ social calendars; it is also a rite of passage.  Everybody wants it to be a memorable occasion and girls especially dream of looking like a princess on this very special day. Needless to say, a Prom dress has to be an embodiment of their personal fairy tale. Here is a look at 5 beautiful prom dresses that make this dream come true:-
5 Beautiful Prom Dresses For Every Princess At Heart

A dress inspired by the popular Disney princesses is most apt for dressing up on prom. From Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, from Rapunzel to Frozen’s Elsa, there are many classic and vintage gown styles to choose from. The most stunning princess gown made for dance floor belongs to Belle from Beauty and the Beast, a gorgeous yellow enhanced with flirty ruffles, off-shoulder neckline and matching gloves. It is an iconic classic for a reason; it lends itself beautifully to making a royal impression.

5 Beautiful Prom Dresses For Every Princess At Heart

When looking to rank 5 Beautiful Prom Dresses, gowns always get the pride of place as they are multi-purpose and their fabric has a wonderful draping quality to give every figure a celebrity look. A floor-length gown in red is the easiest way to stand out like a diva at the prom, making heads turn by walking and dancing with grace effortlessly. Simple gown with embellished waist or beaded neck-work or sequins detailing is one of the most popular prom dress styles. A flirty slit in the gown is just the touch a true-blue social butterfly needs.

5 beautiful prom dresses of all time

The light-hearted flirty look showcased by a knee length chiffon prom dress in a shade such as pretty pink or simple beige is enough to land it into the list of one of 5 beautiful prom dresses of all time. The softness of the fabric, comfortable fit and light layers make it a delight to wear while painting the town red or firing up the dance floor. For those who get this in sleeveless style, an embellished jacket is the best way to create a stunning ensemble for the prom.

5 beautiful prom dresses of all time little black dress fashion lifestyle

Ever since the concept of fashion has been discovered, no fashion list ends without mentioning a black dress. Black is the colour of power, mystery and immortality. For this reason, a number of varied styles in black are available for prom. A spaghetti strap midi, strapless gown with crochet work, floor length gown with waterfall hemline and embellished one shoulder high-low dress are all spectacular options in black. But nothing beats a v-neck little black dress with phenomenal sparkling quality provided by sequins work. This is the dress that literally lights up the wearer at any party and this is exactly the kind of effect that prom needs.

5 beautiful prom dresses of all times

The comfortable yet chic feel that a maxi dress with sheer lace detailing provides makes it one of the 5 beautiful prom dresses of all times. It looks old-world and feels modern casual to wear yet hugs the figures at the right curves to make the wearer the ultimate centre of attraction. The best part-maxi dresses are among the most plus-size friendly styles out there, ensuring that all girls have fun, not just the ones bestowed with model genes.

There are many more examples of ethereal prom dresses out there, just like these 5 Beautiful Prom Dresses, for numerous princesses preparing to put their best foot forward on their prom. 

Image Credits : 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Forest Essentials Soundarya Beauty Body Oil With 24 Karat Gold | Beauty Review

Having used some really awesome Forest Essentials Beauty Products which have all been more or less effective and worthy of their price tags, here we come to the last one in my list - Forest Essentials Soundarya Beauty Body Oil With 24 Karat Gold which I did not buy myself,rather won it in a contest quite some time back :) Myself and my mother both have used this for more than 3 months now,on and off, so this is the best time to review it :D

Forest Essentials Soundarya Beauty Body Oil With 24 Karat Gold Review India

Available in Forest Essentials stores, website and on Flipkart, Amazon, Jabong etc. for Rs. 2400 for 200 ml.

Claims to rejuvenate, nourish, firm and tone skin along with increasing elasticity and giving it a sheen with Ingredients like Sesame Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Cardamom, Sandalwood Oil, Saffron Flower Infusion and 24K Gold Bhasma. Packaging is elegant, vibrant, luxurious and travel-friendly too with enough Quantity to last more than a month even if used liberally all over body every day.

Forest Essentials Soundarya Beauty Body Oil With 24 Karat Gold Luxury Beauty Brand India Review Beauty Blogger Lifestyle Blog

Just one look at the ingredients list and it is clear that who's who of Ayurvedic Beauty Bible is included in this oil. Sweet Almond, Sesame Seed, Sandalwood, Turmeric and so on are already renowned for their nourishing, moisturizing, anti-ageing, glowing, lightening properties. Obviously, our expectations were on an all time high with Forest Essentials Soundarya Beauty Oil. In reality, however, it has turned out to be another decent body oil which can be used pre-bath or post-bath or just as a body massage oil

Like all Forest Essentials products,it smells great, naturally refreshing and delicately luxurious. It has a heavy texture which is surprisingly light when applied on body and instantly sinks inmaking skin soft and nourished. Using it pre-bath, my mom would often massage it all over and leave it on for 1-2 hours which did add some glow to her skin,but she is naturally gifted with soft glowing skin too, so can't give all the credit to this oil. Same results are achieved when she uses any body massage oil. 

For me, it gave excellent results when used post-bath as a moisturizer. It sinks it, nourishes and does heal my dry skin especially on hard areas like elbows and ankles. Effects also stay throughout the day but in the long term, I have not observed any special de-tanning or de-pigmentation or special glow of any sort which was expected on seeing ingredients like Saffron and Sandalwood. I can use simple regular coconut or almond oil on my skin and get the same results. But yes, the smell of the oil is luxurious,the overall feel of using the product is definitely elegant and so I have no major complaints with this except the extremely high price! I am not sure exactly how much gold bhasma they have in here but the price tag makes it feel as if it is 100% gold bhasma and so one would be left disappointed on seeing pretty regular results :) I would say this is worth it only for people with severely dry skin who love luxurious products, otherwise there are many lotions,oils and creams out there for moisturizing our body at 1/4th the price tag.

YES
  • Forest Essentials' name, trust, purity of ingredients
  • Works wonderfully to nourish, soften, moisturize
  • Excellent for really dry skin, especially areas like elbows and ankles
  • Soft,supple skin stays so for 24 hours
  • Delicate fragrance, luxurious feel
  • Lasts a long time
  • Sinks in immediately,does not feel greasy or stains clothes

NO
  • Nothing special observed, it was expected on seeing '24 karat gold' in the name!
  • Too expensive when more or less same results are achieved by any regular body massage oil
  • Oily skinned beauties will hate the sticky texture 

Recommended- YES and NO. YES if you have horribly dry skin,are allergic to other lotions/creams, love splurging on luxurious brands. NO if you already use a regular body massage oil and are happy with it. Personally, me and my mom are giving a Rating of 4/5 as it has served us well but now it is time for us to move on :)

Friday, 28 October 2016

5 Reasons To Buy A Toy For Your Cat | Animal Lovers Corner

One of my childhood friends is a huge animal lover and just recently adopted her own cat. I have never had a pet myself and was never even aware of the whole process of caring for them just like our own kids. Having spent some time with my friend and her cute ''Bolshin'' (that's her cat's name!), I have realized that our responsibility as a pet owner does not end by getting a cat, rather it just starts. Buying a toy for the pet cat is one of the most crucial decisions to be taken. Here is a look at 5 Reasons you should buy your cat a toy:-

5 Reason you should buy your cat a toy

Respecting Nature

Cats are natural predators. Nature had gifted them skills to hunt for survival. The fact that a cat has been adopted as a pet does not change its natural instincts which are sharply honed to chase, stalk and pounce upon their prey. If they are not given appropriate toys to indulge in their agile predator skills, there are bound to be repercussions. This is the most important among the top 5 Reasons you should buy your cat a toy.

Eliminating Boredom

Cats are naturally curious creatures that always need some sort of challenge. Boredom makes them lethargic and shows as a multitude of unexpected problems in their behaviour and/or health. Watching them chase a bird or even simply looking out the window at the hustle-bustle of daily life proves how much they loathe boredom and need toys for a healthy output of their curious instincts.

Health Reasons

Being agile, curious and naturally hyper creatures, cats need plenty of physical and mental exercise on a daily basis. Toys fulfil this need in the most meaningful way. Even a simple cardboard box keeps them occupied for hours thanks to their fertile imaginations. In absence of exercise, they become anxious and are prone to health problems such as weight gain or even diabetes due to excessive sedentary lifestyle.

Bonding Purposes

Cats love to chase and would not hesitate to use their claws to hurt others while playing. They could also exhibit behavioural problems such as inappropriate anger or health problems if their need for mental and physical stimulation is not properly met. If you help your cat meet their instinctual drive, you will be happy to live in the company of a happy cat who will bond with you effortlessly. One of the most important among 5 Reasons you should buy your cat a toy is simply to make it feel safe and secure so that they look at you as a comforting friend and not as a dangerous opponent.

Behaviour Modification

Cats love to rest for long hours, but thereafter they are ever ready to indulge in their natural instincts of hunting. Their need to seek and hide, climb trees and stalk their prey teaches them life skills, builds confidence and relieves stress. With the help of toys, you can not only help in their development, you will also be able to modify their behaviour positively and get a great pet in return.

5 Reasons you should buy your cat a toy

Image Credits : 1 , 2

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Cupcakes And More At The Boston Cupcakery | Food Review | Mumbai Restaurant Review

Mumbai. Traffic. 2 words enough to send shivers down the spine of any logical human being. The various members of our bloggers group reached here between 1-2 hours late and it was already dinner time by then. Now while the word cupcake is enough to send anyone to seventh heaven, especially someone like me with a sweet jaw, it is not expected to have much to do with meal options. So here we were, hungry and expecting nothing but desserts. Oh, how wrong we were!

The Boston Cupcakery

The Boston Cupcakery Bandra Mumbai Cupcakes & More

The Boston Cupcakery Mumbai Desserts Waffles Masterchef

While The Boston Cupcakery is definitely an abode of heavenly desserts, its savories are no less than a revelation either. We browsed through the menu and decided to try out a wide range of their specialties from beverage, salads, waffles and desserts sections. There are more than enough options for pleasing every tastebuds, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences nicely thought out. In fact,there are options for health enthusiasts too :)

The Boston Cupcakery

Started with Mint Mojito Green Tea with its potent fragrance and full flavors (not overwhelming, just right) turning out to be just the thing my mild flu needed to get well. Baileys Irish Green Tea had an even more potent fragrance and surprisingly, no bitterness. These strong beverages can actually wake up the zombies from the Thriller video (yeah,I am old :P)

The Boston Cupcakery Milkshake

For milkshake lovers like my sister, go for Cafe Nutella which is a thick shake with creamy spoonfull of nutella that needs to be eaten with relish! Cafe Caramel is equally luscious and heavenly, just a tad sweeter (for sweet junkies like me!)

My personal favorite is Cafe Medici which is basically coffee infused with hot chocolate syrup and orange zest. Now all you folks from the 90s raise your hands up. Remember we used to have a milk chocolate variety in orange flavor? That irresistible combination of sweet chocolate with tangy bitter zest of orange, try Cafe Medici to know what I am talking about :) 

The Boston Cupcakery Vegetarian Vegan Healthy Nutrition Gourmet Salad

The beverages made us hungry for more,literally! We went on to Veg Thai Peanut Salad which is a good meal option for a regular eater. Appropriately crunchy and wholesome with loads of bell peppers, carrots, peanuts, tomatoes, lettuce with Tofu (usually Tofu stinks for me but this doesn't, Yay :D) with mildly spicy dressings, this started our savories tasting on a good note.

I found the Asian Noodle Salad more or less identical with addition of earthy soy-miso sauce and Soba Noodles which I am not a big fan of but if you love noodles, you may like this. It does have a beautiful texture.

The Boston Cupcakery Vegetarian Vegan Healthy Nutrition Waffles

Now let's look at the stars of the night *drumrolls* - the savory waffles! We honestly had no idea how these were gonna be, but took a chance and were rewarded with infinite deliciousness. Started with Barbecue Mushroom Waffles with the lip-smacking sweet-spicy-peppery Barbeque sauce, softest mushrooms, salad leaves, chipotle dressing making us fall in love with it.

The Boston Cupcakery Vegetarian Vegan Potato Rosti Waffles Health Nutrition India

Potato Rosti Waffles with Red Velvet Hummus and House Salad were another star winner with crunchy waffles and velvety beetroot hummus making us fight each other for the last bite :D I cannot wait to try out their other salads on my next trip, especially Quinoa Salad :)

The Boston Cupcakery Masterchef Dessert Recipe Cupcake With Ice Cream

Even though we were almost full, we couldn't just end our highly surprisingly delectable dinner without some desserts right inside the Boston Cupcakery :D So started with Chocolate Cupcake with Ice-Cream, a combination that needs no further explanation :) Do share it with someone because it is dense with calories.

The Boston Cupcakery Signature Dessert Healthy Nutrition Gourmet Dinner Recipe India

Next came their signature cupcakes Caramel Sea Salt and Chocolate Orange Pine, the former with beautiful earthiness of sea salt cutting through the sweet caramel and moist cupcake effortlessly while the latter had the same effect on me as the amazing Cafe Medici, all you sweet-bitter flavor lovers do have this. The cupcakes here are definitely one of the best we have had, moist and flavorful through and through, a delight in every bite.

The Boston Cupcakery Nutella Masterchef healthy nutrition vegetarian dessert

Finally, we couldn't resist Nutella Well, the spongy chocolate dam containing a river of molten nutella and caramel inside, forcing us to lick the plate clean. Look at the picture, salivate, go and have it, it is even better than it looks :) Can't wait to taste all other pastries, cakes, cupcakes, croissants and brownies that were tempting us from the display shelf. 

Vibrant ambiance, youthful vibe, comfortable seating, very helpful and polite staff and excellent grub (the prices seem to be on higher side till one looks at the location and quality), The Boston Cupcakery is a must-visit destination for cupcakes & much much more :) 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Forest Essentials Lip Balm Sweet Narangi | Beauty Review | Luxury Beauty Brand

Forest Essentials Lip Scrub Cane Sugar proved to be a worthy purchase and I started using Forest Essentials Lips Balm Sweet Narangi right alongside. I was fed up of my dry,chapped and dark lips which no brand of lip balm was helping in heal and lighten. Forest Essentials products have been some of my best purchases in terms of their quality and claims fulfillment so I tried these 2 with the same trust and they have definitely returned the favor positively :)

Forest Essentials Lips Balm Sweet Narangi beauty review

Forest Essentials Lips Balm Sweet Narangi

Available in Forest Essentials outlets, website as well as on Flipkart, Amazon, Jabong etc. for Rs. 495 for 3 grams.

Forest Essentials Lips Balm Sweet Narangi review

Claims to repair dry and chapped lips with Ingredients like Kokum Butter, Organic Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Sweet Orange Juice, Vitamin E and Cocoa Seed Butter. Packaging is extremely elegant and travel-friendly and Quantity is enough to last more than a month even when used liberally twice or thrice a day every day!

Forest Essentials Lips Balm Sweet Narangi review

I have used lip balms from a variety of brands and invariably go back to Vaseline because no matter the brand (Lotus, Nivea, Maybelline, Himalaya), they only worked at superficially moisturizing the lips and after a while, the same arid feeling would return. Vaseline has been the only one where my lips felt healed from inside to some extent. When it comes to the moisturizing properties of Forest Essentials Lip Balm Sweet Narangi, it is just about as good as other lip balms. It gives good moisturization for about 4 hours and then I need to reapply. If my lips are really chapped then it does not really help in healing it.

But I use it in conjunction with Lip Scrub Cane Sugar which exfoliates and smoothens my lips and then putting on this lip balm makes a big difference. My lips stay soft and smooth. Most importantly, I can see a little bit of de-pigmentation happening on my lips! Regular usage of Vaseline over the years has darkened my lips. I should have paid attention to the fact that putting on vaseline and going out in the sun is not a wise course of action! Vaseline is effective but this is one side-effect that I can see being countered by Forest Essentials Lip Balm Sweet Narangi. It is not a miracle beauty product that will make my lips rosy pink overnight but over past one month, it has definitely lightened my lips a bit. This is the major reason I love it :)

YES
  • Forest Essentials brand, associated trust and purity of ingredients
  • Natural formulation
  • Travel friendly and Elegant packaging
  • Lasts a good time even when used liberally
  • Sweet Orange fragrance,makes me wanna eat it :D
  • Works decently for moisturization on its own and wonderfully in conjunction with Lip Scrub
  • Visibly lightens lips, not like a miracle rather slowly but surely

NO
  • Expensive for the quantity. But since it is the only product that has been effective on my lips in terms of de-pigmentation, I do not mind :D

Recommended - YES! Especially for de-pigmentation! Rating is 4.5/5 :)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

5 Reasons I Want To Own A Coffee Bike | Business & Entrepreneurship

Just the other day, I was watching a travel show and they showed a coffee bike therein! Just like there are food trucks serving cuisines from all over the world without a fixed destination, there are coffee bikes that actually can travel all over the place serving coffee and other knick - knacks to people. Instantly fell in love with the idea and haven't seen something like this in India yet but I am now dreaming of having my own coffee bike. Maybe this will be my dream job :D

 5 benefits of coffee bike

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world with the percentage of its consumption among general populace increasing per year, even in markets such as UK where traditionally tea has ruled the roost. Giant corporate are opening new coffee franchises and they are no doubt booming. But for those who are capable of looking at the big picture, a coffee bike is the way to go. Take a look at 5 benefits of coffee bike that prove owning it makes perfect sense:-

Boosting Entrepreneurship – It provides an opportunity to every individual to be their own boss. Instead of waiting for the customers to walk up to a coffee shop, here the whole shop is on wheels going up to the customer! With low investment and negligible monthly costs in a high-margin industry, coffee bike provides a steady source of wealth generation for those who work hard and smart. With their own chosen marketing and communication methods, they are in complete control of how they want to expand this business.

Work Life Balance- Among the 5 benefits of coffee bike, this one is the most appealing. Getting own coffee bike means being completely in control of when, where and how one wants to work. There are no set schedules and mandatory work hours. In fact, working on coffee bike itself feels like a vacation. Work 15 hours a day outside an amusement park on the weekend rush and then take 3 weekdays off, nobody is going to bat an eyelid.

 5 benefits of coffee bike

Immense Flexibility –It can be used to sell juices, ice creams, flowers and much more. Sky is the limit to how one customizes their offerings on a coffee bike, depending on public demand.

Caring for Environment- Make an effort to nurture the environment by getting coffee bikes made with recyclable, eco-friendly materials that offer sustainable products. A coffee bike does not produce pollution like other modes of transport either and can be solar powered too.

 5 benefits of coffee bike business entrepreneurship lifestyle job career

Enhancing Events- One of the 5 benefits of coffee bike is its versatility as in it can travel the city and serve the pedestrians with as much ease as it can be the centre of attraction at a birthday party, office convention or trade fair. With easy maneuverability and stylish novelty factor, they are an instant hit wherever they go.

Image Credits : 1 , 2 , 3

Friday, 21 October 2016

5 Ways To Buzz Up A Monotonous Office Day | Lifestyle Diaries | Tips & Tricks

So many of my friends often complain about horribly boring days at office. Sigh, this is the reality of 21st century! A job that constantly keeps us on our toes without a moment to unwind, a life full of deadlines and stress, late-night project work and early morning meetings, all of these can contribute to fatigue. Sometimes in fact, the excitement at the starting of a new job boils down to long hours of monotonous work after some time. It becomes very difficult to cope up with a monotonous office day. Here are some tips to go through such a day without feeling completely exhausted:-

5 Ways To Buzz Up A Monotonous Office Day

Get Official – A monotonous office day can be used as an opportunity to pitch new ideas to the boss whether it is starting a new work team, installing a new coffee machine or subscription to a new trade magazine. Additionally, if the office is already equipped with an in-house gym or sports facilities, use those for a while to get recharged. If nothing else, go to another department (such as IT) and learn a few tips and tricks that could actually prove beneficial later too.

Get Personal – One of the best ways to transform a boring office day to a perky one is to take a personal break and send personal emails, check social media, connect with old friends or even watch a movie trailer. Listening to music, indulging in some long-pending online shopping or even calling up family to chit-chat for a bit are all great ways to make sure that the monotony is broken immediately.

Get Intellectual and/or Competitive – Give some exercise to the brain and pump up the office day from drab to fab! Nothing beats a work routine faster than trying out crossword, sudoko or various puzzles, in fact there are many brain tests available online that provide perfect distraction to a monotonous day. If this is not interesting enough, try starting a friendly competition with office friends and play online games for a while with a round of drinks in the evening at stake! Another awesome way to get refreshed instantly is by reading an e-book.

Get Creative – A boring office day can be spruced up by indulging in some creative outlets such as painting or poetry. Why not get out of the office and just walk on the streets for 10 minutes? Health enthusiasts can take a break to do some exercises on their desk itself or maybe just walk up and down the stairs to get heart pumping. If feeling generous, make coffee for everyone and get brownie points from colleagues. Simply take a break for DIY mani-pedi which can be done within 15 minutes or indulge in a treat (maybe a big bar of chocolate). Keep scented candles around and let that be the soothing friend to banish monotony.

Get Insane – This is the solution when everything else fails. Break out of the rut by doing everything that can be termed ‘insane’. Examples include coming up with jokes and sending them to everyone via email, dancing, planning a harmless prank on a pesky co-worker, changing the screensaver on someone’s desktop or even doing astrology/ numerology/ psychic readings in the middle of the day for everyone.

Thus, there is no reason to suffer through a monotony day in office when there are so many ways to transform it into a fun day and recharge oneself to work better :)

5 Ways To Buzz Up A Monotonous Office Day

Image Credits : 1 , 2

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

10 Simple Rules For Healthier Happier Life | Lifestyle Health Tips & Tricks

Health Is Wealth.

Having been besotted with a number of health problems personally in past decade or so, this topic has become a personal platform for introspection and I wish everyone would take some time out from their busy lives to devote to those activities that solely contribute to our good health!

10 Simple Rules For Healthier Happier Life


With changing times, our lifestyles have changed too rapidly leading us down a path where health often takes a back seat. As a result, our news headlines shock us by speaking of children getting heart attacks and diabetes turning into sort of a plague in 21st century. It is however not all doomsday and apocalypse. Following some simple rules will ensure that we all lead a healthier life:-

·         Food occupies a vital space in our lives; make it count by ensuring proper nutrition in every bite. Our bodies need different proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals and it is by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, good grains such as oats and whole wheat, dairy products, eggs, nuts, legumes and lean meats that we ensure our bodies stay healthy. Proper nutrition is all about balance. Sugar, salt, starch must be controlled while indulgence in dark chocolate and a glass of red wine everyday is beneficial. Smaller portions eaten at regular intervals through the day is the right way to utilize nutrition. Cut out unhealthy and processed or packed foods such as refined flour, white breads, sodas and candies filled with nothing but sugar and go back to the ancient wisdom of incorporating natural, organic food in daily life. Eat less at restaurants and more at home. It is also by consuming food grown without the use of excessive chemicals or pesticides that we ensure optimum nutrition to our bodies which leads to a healthier life.

·         Talking of food, we have to give a special mention to its partner in crime –water. In fact, water is even more important for our bodies than food. There is lore that people can live without food but not without water, since 75% of human body is nothing but water! Hydration is one of the keys to ensure healthier life. Water helps in detoxification of our bodies, helps keeps our joints lubricated, regulates our body temperature and most importantly, carries the nutrients around. Without enough water, nutrition won’t even reach all parts of our bodies.

·         Exercise regularly, so goes the appeal of all doctors and health magazines nowadays, and for good reason. A sedentary lifestyle is an open invitation to a host of health problems from obesity to diabetes. Our bodies were meant for an active lifestyle and no amount of nutrition can overcome the ill effects of not exercising. This does not mean shelling out huge amounts of money to the neighborhood gym! Walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, cycling, swimming, simple aerobics and dancing are ways to positively boost mental and physical health. Get creative to get moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the office instead of taking the bus, start skipping the rope, just don’t be a couch potato!

·         After ensuring that adequate nutrition is being provided to our bodies, we have to turn our attention to providing nutrition to our brains on a daily basis. Just like sedentary lifestyle can turn our bodies into junkyard, a brain without exercise will start to degenerate. To eliminate chances of Alzheimer’s and degenerative nerve diseases as age progresses, provide brain with crossword puzzles, Sudoku and creative challenges. Take up a hobby such as painting, join a book club to read & review books, write a diary, send letters to newspapers, learn new recipes or learn a new language. All these and many more activities keep the various sections of our brain active which is just the nutrition they need to stay healthy.

·         One of the worst gifts our modern lifestyle has given us is –stress. Anxiety in itself gives rise to chronic diseases that are the bane of our lives. With increased stress, our brain goes in hyper drive, our hearts beat way too fast, our skin starts ageing rapidly and eventually it might even alter our DNA (so the latest scientific studies say!) After taking care of nutrition through food and water, regular exercise for body and brain, banishing stress has to be the first step taken by everyone for a healthier life. One easy way to do so is by simply stopping. Stop before comparing yourself with anyone else, stop before complaining about lack of money, stop before inculcating a pessimistic attitude towards life, stop before running after money just because everyone else is. Take a moment to relax and it will have an immensely positive effect on your health.

·         Meditation and Yoga are two weapons that propel us towards a holistic lifestyle, automatically providing us with healthier life. With simple breathing exercises, increase the amount of oxygen in body, decrease stress, improve heart health, boost digestion and make happy hormones flow out of the brain! Meditation has been proven to make people calmer and happier while Yoga is often considered world’s biggest secret to long life. Combine these two every morning to start the day on a fresh note. Add another tip here- smile or rather laugh as much as possible. Ignore the beautiful laugh lines and observe how a simple smile takes away years from your face. Also, indulge in good quality sleep to let every cell of your body stay fresh and energized. These are simple tips to provide nutrition to soul which provides inner peace, one of the most vital components of a healthier life.

·         Lean on relationships. When we talk about boosting brain and soul, nothing works as fast as a flourishing network of friends and families who we can count on. People with less money but strong family ties are often the happiest while many souls with abundant money and material successes end up on a psychologist’s couch. This is not to say that money and relationships are exclusive but to emphasize on the positive effect real relationships have on our mental health which in turn boosts our physical and emotional health too. Loneliness is the biggest disease nobody should suffer from.

·         Awareness is the key to winning the battle in favour of health. Be aware of your family history of diseases and make regular appointments with doctor for regular health check-ups. Many diseases and conditions ranging from type 1 diabetes to breast cancer can be detected early this way. Even more importantly, read health related news regularly, keep yourself aware of the progress being made in the fields of nutrition, exercise, preventive vaccines and discuss these with your doctor to make an informed decision about how to live a healthier life.

·         Be disciplined, make healthy decisions and stick to them, but no need to be dictatorial. Indulge in an ice-cream once a week but make sure to have healthy whole foods the rest of the time. Similarly, take a break from gym once a week but make sure to workout at least 1 hour rest of the days. Plan a chart with specific time devoted to hobbies, sleep, TV, exercise and stick to it by reminding yourself that health is wealth. Most importantly, stay away from tobacco, drugs and excessive alcohol.

·         Expand your circle of compassion and practice kindness. Join a volunteer program, start a philanthropic organization, donate to causes close to your heart, plant a tree or adopt a child. The random acts might seem insignificant in themselves, but they boost our health by increasing social bonding, improving outlook on life, decreasing anxiety and increasing the amount of happy hormones (Oxytocin) in our bodies. Win-win all around! 

10 Simple Rules For Healthier Happier Life

Image Credits : 1 , 2

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Future Of Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Industry | Overview & Musings

Not that I am a huge fashion or beauty blogger but these topics indeed are on my radar. Fashion and Beauty are at the core of at least half of humanity’s existence. Most of our existence is geared towards improving our self-confidence, shining our personalities and plain old boosting of our egos by showing a beautiful face to the world. With the latest fashion trends and help from the modern makeup techniques, even ugly ducklings can transform into exotic swans, so the traditional wisdom goes. The advent of 21st century however has led to a sort of topsy-turvy situation in this most beloved industry.

Future Of Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Industry

Once upon a time, fashion and beauty brands were neatly categorized. There was the lower end for teenagers and college goers, middle market for married/professional women and high-end luxury brands for the upper echelons of society. There was a neat symmetry in the race, age and kind of models used by various fashion brands whose fashion shows were hallowed grounds where only a chosen few were invited while the general public had to wait for the next edition of their favorite beauty magazine to peep into the latest collections. The big brands seemed to overpower the industry as everyone below them would eventually copy their work for mass production while they served the rich and the famous.

Not anymore.

The fast changing times have almost completely changed the rules of the game. Consider this – many fashion brands are now planning on drastically decreasing or completely eliminating their fashion shows to focus on creating shorter lead times in creation of a fashion line and selling it instantly. The average consumer today is much more well-informed and raring for instant gratification than a couple of decades ago. The advent of social media has brought about 180 degrees change with Instagram influencers and YouTube beauty superstars dictating the next big fashion trend. These superstars (Kim Kardashian comes to mind) sometimes command even more recognition as experts in this industry than the biggest actresses of tinsel town. Trends no longer stay in place for months; rather brands have to be on their toes 24/7 to predict the next big thing. Online shopping has changed the expectations of consumers. Their loyalties are so much easier to shift, based on how innovative and cost effective their shopping experience is. Brands (such as Estee Lauder) that traditionally focused on high-end spectrum are now shifting their sights to the middle and lower ends as that is where profits reign. Not to forget, the industry is facing absolute cut-throat competition with a new brand being launched every second day.

This pace of change is just going to accelerate in coming days. Wearable technology is going to make bigger inroads. Children are maturing much earlier and entering the world of fashion & beauty with their peers via social media. The debate over skinny models and photo-shopped images on our beauty magazines is not going to die down anytime soon. In fact, as the world gets smaller, the demand for increasing diversity and real portrayal of real people (plus-size models show the way) is going to make real noise. At the same time, increased concerns for ethical fashion and beauty products made without any harmful ingredients are boosting real changes to how brands source, process and present their offerings, which in the long run, can only mean a better future not only for the fashion and beauty industry but the consumers and planet too. Interesting times are ahead!
Future Of Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Industry

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Friday, 14 October 2016

Family Dining Redefined At Family Tree Thane | Food Review | Restaurant Review

Universe works in delicious ways :D Thane is a tad too far off from my residence but it was Dussehra, my family had a much needed holiday to spend with some friends who happen to live near Thane and the whole plan came nicely together so we could land at Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane for lunch. 

 Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane


Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane 

Walked in to a large inviting family home veranda-style set up followed by an elegant yet funky and very homely proper restaurant set up, both filled to the brim with happy families. The d├ęcor and ambiance scream comfort and elegance, with cute family portraits, grandpa clocks, books, teapots and such knick-knacks giving it all European bistro look yet an inherent Indian vibe intact! Even the menu has been designed like a photo album which can easily take hours to stare at. The cute chairs have smiling faces of different family members at the back, signifying the tradition of our whole families sitting down to dinner together, with each member having their own reserved place. Ladies & Gentlemen, a family that eats together stays together, hence proved :-) 
 
Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane
 Family Tree Pure Vegetarian Restaurant at Panch Pakhadi, Thane

The menu has something for everyone, selection of choicest Vegetarian as well as Jain preparations in Indian, Chinese, European, Mexican over Soups, Salads, Main Course, Desserts and Drinks. We would have to make 4 trips just to try everything out on the menu! We wanted to try different dishes so we asked them to provide us with only half portions because their quantity is quite awesome, especially in main courses where we saw almost every table asking for leftovers to be parcelled. Absolute value for money with a family of 4 spending about Rs. 1700-1800 for a Hulk –level meal! 

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Pita Pocket Falafel

Paneer Makhmali Tikka

Hara Bhara Kebab

Shanghai Paneer

We started with Creamy Broccoli soup, so dense and flavourful, I never wanted to stop slurping it (and yes, I slurped it, just like I do at home :-D) For starters, we had the softest Shanghai Paneer in mildly sweet-spicy sauce along with soft yet succulent Hara Bhara Kebab and hearty,creamy Paneer Makhmali Tikka. But the absolute star stunner, unexpectedly so, was Pita Pocket Falafel Wrap with the crunchiest veggies and most delicious mix of Falafel, cream, hummus inside. I love Falafel anyway but my mom doesn’t and here she was going for seconds!

Corn Shots

Jalapeno Potatoes

Corn Shots and Jalapeno Potatoes came in packing quite a punch too and am glad we decided to try them. At one glance, these do not sound like extraordinary dishes but tasting them made us happy about the burst of flavours and textures. 

Cold Coffee

Jamun Shikanji

Lemonade

We also enjoyed Jamun Shikanji, Masala Lemonade and Cold Coffee alongside. True to its name as the ultimate destination for each family member, they have a wide variety of drinks too to offer and some of these are mini meals in themselves. Do keep the Dessert Shakes for the end, they are pieces of art in themselves. When it comes to coffee, both Mocha Chip & Roasted Almond are among the best we ever had. EVER!

Navratan Korma

Stuffed Kulcha and Lachedar Paratha

Veg Dum Biryani

Navratan Korma, Stuffed Kulcha, Lachedar Paratha and Veg Dum Biryani made up our main course which would be more than sufficient for a family of 4 to eat before going on a fast for next 2 days :D Navratan Korma was sweet as expected but I like sweet things and I cannot lie. The Kulcha and Paratha were succulent and good enough to eat on their own. My mom says it is very difficult to find good places with authentic Lachcha Paratha and this is one of those rare ones she has loved, so there. Dum Biryani was flavourful, very mildly spicy and very light on the stomach too, no heaviness normally associated with Biryani. 

After a long loooong time, we all binged on hearty Indian food, replete with spices and gravies, yet not a tinge of heartburn even hours later, a mark of how fresh everything was and how only quality ingredients were used in preparing them. Otherwise, ask anybody who has binged on Indian food in most restaurants and they are running around for Eno 4-5 hours later! These things matter when one goes out to eat with family, we want to enjoy delicious food without any health hazards and we appreciate when we find a restaurant providing us just that :)

Pan Ice Cream

Banoffee Pie

Raspberry Cheesecake

We ended our meal with Paan Ice cream, Banoffee pie and Raspberry Cheesecake dessert shake. I am not a Paan fan but this ice cream is a must have for everyone, same goes for Banoffee Pie which my mom doesn’t like much but couldn’t stop herself from polishing off here! Raspberry Cheesecake dessert shake is the meal every 10 year old would love to have, in fact parents would have a hard time trying to convince them to eat anything else once they have tasted this, that’s why I recommend that you order it in the end :D 

Splendid is the word for everything at Family Tree-be it the menu with massive choices, the wholesome inviting ambiance, the quick and helpful service, the down to earth price points when compared to quality and quantity of food or the hands-on approach of the owner himself who takes feedback from all visitors. Not a single false note anywhere. Pure bliss is finding a perfect family dining place that motivates us to travel over and over just to dine there and Family Tree is certainly that place for us :-)