New Room! // Room Tour 2016

Hey guys,

Let me begin by apologising for being MIA! I am so, so sorry but my health has not been by my side at all recently! Nonetless, I wish you all a really, really HAPPYY NEW YEAR! <3

So here’s a post that I knew quite a few of you have been waiting for.As much as I would love to do this post in a video format, I wanted to make sure I post it up as a blog post. Better late than never right?

For all of you who didn’t know, my room before it was completely re-done was bright orange and hot pink since this colour combination was my absolute favorite in my teenage years. I grew up over the years and hence going in for all white bright room this time around was a no brainer for me. Though most of the furniture is not new, it looks really different since it was dark wood that’s been painted white!

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Full Study Console with the chest of drawers: Alex Davis (The Indi Store)

Flowers: Home Centre

Frame: All from London-Covent Garden

All Candles: Home Centre

Buddha: Im not sure!

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(PS: the open drawer in the first picture was killing me so clicked  another one. Little did I know the chair would decide to rotate itself. Oh well, hope you get a thorough idea now!}

Bed, side tables- Alex Davis (The Indi Store)

Lamps: Kapoor Lamp Shades

Chair: Furniture Wala

Standing Lamp: Furniture Wala
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Vanity/Dressing table with the mirror: Home Centre

White Side Table: Home Centre6

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All cushions: Good Earth

Chandelier: Good Earth

Bag Rack: The Indi Store (Alex Davis)

 

Incase you want to know about any specific pieces in my room or have any queries about it, please email me or comment on my Instagram and Ill surely reply!

untill next time

love youuu <3

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

Hey guys,

I’m so sorry for being MIA! If you’ve been following me on social media, you would have seen that I have been living out of a suitcase in a hotel room for the past 2 weeks since my room (+the rest of the house) was getting painted. It was a fairly big process and since paint and I don’t go too well when it comes to allergies, I decided to move out. It was definitely not easy not living at home and I must admit that I wasn’t really motivated to post. I shifted back home last night and cannot be happier! I would love to do a room tour post once everything is all done. Untill then, here’s a Q and A post. A while back, I asked you guys to ask me anything you like, and you did! So here are your most of your questions answered! If you like such posts, Ill make sure to do more. Tried keeping this one as compact as possible 🙂

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What exactly is your source of income and what do you work for?

I work full time in NDTV GoodTimes and hence that’s my main source of income. Other than that, I do earn a little from blogging but not enough to do it full time.

What do you prefer? Waxing or shaving?

I prefer waxing, and specifically chocolate waxing (better for sensitive skin and removes super small hair easily). However, if I am on a long vacation, shaving just works out easier!

A brand approached me for a collaboration and told me to send a media kit… as a new blogger I am really new to this collaboration thing.. dont know how to go forward.. please help

First and foremost, make a media kit if you don’t have one. It is basically a list of the rates that you charge for each post/tweet/instagram post that you can offer. Along with that, the kit should include a small brief about your brand and following. I will go ahead and do a full post on this. Since you’re new to blogging, check out my entire series on Blogging Tips under the “Blogging” section of my website.

When did you start a blog? What inspired you to do so? and do you earn a decent amount from blogging?

I have answered all of these questions in my recent post: Confessions of a blogger. Do check it out to know more about my blogging journey!

What’s that lipstick shade? Next birthday gift for me Also how that beautiful? Want to friendship? Yah?

This is what it feels like when you have your best friends asking you questions. Madhavi, all I have to say to you is ” but did you die?”

Do you want to do your phD after your masters?

I completed my Masters in May this year (2015). I don’t really have any plans of doing a phD. However, when it comes to me, till date nothing has gone the way I have planned. So, you never know

Please suggest best winter night cream from India

To be very honest, I don’t have a specific night cream/day cream. However, my mom uses the night cream by Estee Lauder and it works really really well. I, on the other hand, like the products by Kiehl’s

What do you prefer: Hair oiling or deep conditioning?

I’d say I prefer hair oiling since that’s what I have been doing since I was a kid. I also really like using hair masks since they really, really work! You can check some of my tried and tested recipes here.

When will you be making your youtube channel?

Okay, this has got to be my most asked question, EVER. The answer is: very soon. Very, very soon infact. I tried starting one last year but things just didn’t work out. I don’t want to make any false promises, so when I start even, I’ll make sure it’s flooded all across my social media haha

Are you growing your hair long? If yes, please dont do it . You look super cute in short hair

Thank you, but yes! I am growing my hair long. I have had short hair from March till now and to be very honest, I miss my long hair now. I am trying my best to grow it out and maybe a couple of years later, I may just cut it again!

Skin Care routine please

I have many versions of my skin care routine up on the blog. You can check them out here and here.

That’s all for today folks! If you want to know more about me and read about some super interesting blogging secrets, you can check these posts:

My most frequently asked questions

How I take my Instagram photos

How to make money from blogging

QUICK LAST MINUTE DIWALI DIY GIFTS

IMG_2563Hey guys!

In today’s post I am sharing with you super easy and quick Diwali gift ideas. You can gift these singularly/ all of them in a little gift basket or even keep them for your self! hehe! I would personally love to gift all of them together in a little basket since they all compliment each other so well. We have some cinnamon scented diya’s, vanilla and coconut body scrub, salted caramel sauce and sweet & spicy mixed nuts. I just love how every single one of these DIY’s turned out! If you try any of them out, please do let me know and tag a picture of them on Instagram. Happy Diwali lovelies 🙂

1. Salted Caramel Sauce

I absolutely love salted caramel and what can be better than having a whole jar of it at home? This makes for a lovely gift since the sauce has a fairly decent shelf life and can be put to many uses. Whether it’s just drizzling it over vanilla ice cream for that amazing butterscotch flavour or pouring it on cakes, breads, brownies…anything really!

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Time: 10 mins

Yields: 1 cup/small jar as shown

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons of butter/ butter cut into 6 cubes
1 cup sugar/200 grams of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Recipe:

1. Heat the sugar over a saucepan on medium heat constantly stirring it with a wooden spoon. The sugar will start to clump and turn into a brownish liquid. Just make sure to keep stirring so that nothing burns.

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2. Once the sugar is melted, add in the butter. The liquid will bubble really rapidly but don’t worry. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes till the butter is completely melted.

3. Very slowly stir in the heavy cream. Keep in mind that the cream is colder and the liquid so it splatter/bubble rapidly.

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4. Let the mixture boil for a minute and remove from the pan.
5. Add in the salt and stir.
6. Cool the salted caramel a little and pour into a jar.

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 Each time before re-using, simply put the jar in the microwave.

It lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge. If kept at room temperature, it’s okay for a day or so, so you can make it, pack it up and gift it. Just tell the guest to keep it in the fridge.

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 Sweet and Spicy Nuts Mix

These sweet and spicy nuts are as addictive as it can get. I don’t have a pure sweet tooth so these are perfect for someone like me who lives that hint of spiciness. These nuts are amazing to even munch on during drinking at a party or simply can be served with tea.

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Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 3 cups of mixed nuts

Ingredients:

1. 3 cups mixed nuts (You can use as many or as little.Just modify the recipe accordingly I used 3 cups according to my jar size). I used Almonds, Walnuts and Cashews in equal proportions (about 1 cup each)

2. 1 teaspoon Salt

3. 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin (Zeera Poweder)

4. 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper. I used Kashmiri Lal Mirch Powder. If you dont have either of them, you can use normal Red Chilly Powder

5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6. 1/4 cup water

7. 1  Tablespoon Butter

8. Cooking spray/a teaspoon of oil

Recipe: 

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with butter paper/parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray or a teaspoon of oil.

2. In a large  bowl, combine all the nuts with salt, black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper/red chilly powder/Kashmiri Mirch powder.  Mix all the ingredients together.

3. In a saucepan, heat sugar, water, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.

4. Slowly pour this mixture mixture over the bowl of nuts and stir to coat. Make sure all the nuts are equally covered.

5. Transfer nuts to the prepared baking tray and spread into a single layer. Bake nuts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

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6. Take them out of the oven and stirn them around in the tray to make sure that nothing is burnt and the syrup is evenly coated.  Spread into a single layer, return to the oven, and bake until nuts are sticky and roasted, about 5 minutes.

7. Take them out of the oven and place the nuts in a cooling tray. Don’t cool them in the same tray that you baked them in or they will continue to cook. Once they’re cool, put them in a pretty jar and they’re ready to eat/gift.

Sugar and Vanilla Body Scrub

If you love soap and glory scrubs, you would absolutely LOVE this one. Vanilla is one of my favorite scents so of course I had to make a body scrub using the same. This scrub is super cheap to make and works really, really well! It’s also really safe to use since you know you’re not putting any chemicals in.

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What you need:

1. 3 cups White sugar and 1 cup Brown Sugar. {It depends on the size of your jar. My jar was huge so I needed 4 cups of sugar in total}
2. 1/2 teaspoon of pure  Vanilla Essence
3.2  cup Coconut oil {The amount of oil is exactly half of the sugar. If you use two cups of sugar, use 1 cup of oil}
4. Any Essential Oil. I used Vitamin E oil {Optional}
To make:
1. Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
2. Pour the liquid into an air tight jar.
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3. I tied a pretty white bow to the jar to add a personal and femine touch.
4. To use, splash water on skin and gently scrub. Rinse and pat dry. Enjoy your super soft and silky skin!
Cinnamon Scented Diyas
These diyas have got to be the easiest DIY in this whole post. It included more of simply using your creativity rather than actually creating something from scratch. I went to the market and bought two diya’s: One bigger than the other. The bigger diya was empty without any wax/thread and the other one had the wax and thread ready to light. In the big diya’s base, place 5-7 cinnamon sticks and then place the smaller diya on top of that.
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When you light the smaller diya, there would be a lovely scent of cinnamon that is to die for! It’s such an easy thing to do and takes no time. If you want you can even glue the cinnamon sticks to the larger diya to ensure that they don’t move.
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 I hope you try out these DIY’s! Untill next time xx
Notes: Recipe of the salted caramel is from Sally’s Baking Addiction and the recipe of the mixed nuts is from All Recipes

You’re are trying to lose weight the wrong way

weighing scaleHi guys!

In today’s post, I wanted to share with you the common mistakes most people make while trying to lose weight. In fact, the very term “losing weight” is fairly flawed since losing weight and getting fitter may not go hand in hand.

To begin with, let’s talk a bit about the muscle versus fat myths. MUSCLE IS NOT HEAVIER THAN FAT. IT IS SIMPLER DENSER THAN FAT. What this means is that if you’ve been working out consistently along with  training hard but don’t see a difference on the scale, it is because along with losing fat, you are gaining muscle. You will see a huge physical change in terms of looking more tone, losing inches but on the weighing scale, your kilos wouldn’t dramatically drop. In fact, chances are you may even gain a couple of kilos due to “muscle gain”.Hence, DITCH THE WEIGHING SCALE. Get your fat percentage and muscle percentage calculated. It’s worth the effort since you would actually get a true idea of the internal stuff going in your system. If you can’t,  just measure your self using an inch tape once a month, if you must.

NOTE: I am not a fitness expert/dietian/trainer/fitness coach or anything on those lines. Everything I am talking about in this post is based on a few years of research and tons of reading. I have some personal experience too and would share my fitness journey with you all in a future post, but just for giving you an idea, I lost approximately 20 kilos in past (I know I just said not to count kilos, but this is to give you a rough idea about my fitness journey).

Now, that we have that out of the day, here are a list of things you are doing wrong and what you can do to fix them.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WRONG?

1. You’re only doing Cardio

This sad, sad habit is seen more popularly amongst girls who want to “lose weight” without bulking up. Doing cardio is great! But it doesn’t make any sense if you’re not supporting with it strength training. Yes, you can throw your success stories to me about losing 10000 kilos by only running everyday, but I am not too sure if that’s the best way to keep you FIT. You need muscle and that is formed via strength training. The more lean muscle mass you have, the less fat you will have. The reason for this is that muscle actually burns fat. Muscle helps the body burn calories for hours after a workout. Read more about this here.

2. You don’t eat Carbs and Fats

You have completely eliminated full food groups from your diet- especially carbs. This is such a bad idea. A no carb diet is an absolute passé. Let’s break it down a bit- There are good carbs and bad carbs; good fats and bad fats. Good fats include monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oils, peanuts and other nuts, peanut butter, and avocados. They in fact help in weight loss as compared to bad fats which are saturated fats such as butter, donuts or fried foods. Similarly, good carbs or complex carbs are really important for a diet: such as brown rice, quinoa etc. Besides being packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, good carbs take longer to digest and work really well to aid in your fitness journey.

3. You Skip Meals- Especially Breakfast

A lot of people may have told you this and it’s for a good reason. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should just not be skipped. Let me simplify why. A car has an engine that needs fuel to kick start. Similary, the body needs fuel, ie energy to kickstart its metabolism. This will only happen if you give your body a well balanced meal in the morning when its waiting for the fuel to burn down the fats.  When it comes to the other meals in the day; instead of having 2-3 monstrous sized meals, have 6 small healthy meals. Engage in portion control where throughout the day you eat at a gap of about 2 hours between each meal. This will ensure you metabolic rate is high throughout the day. When I say you should be eating 6 small meals, I dont mean that you should have a burger as one meal, sadwiches as another, a heavy lunch as the third and so on. A handful of almonds may be one meal or even an apple with a cup of green tea may be another meal between your main ” lunch’/ “dinner”

4. You’re on a “Diet”

This is one of my biggest pet peeves- fad diets or the “YO-YO” weight lifestyle. Let me spell it out for you- DIETS DO NOT WORK. The worst ones are that put you on liquids only, no sugars, no fats, no carbs, etc etc. As I said earlier, you just cannot cut out complete food groups from your body. Cutting off certain food groups may suddenly jolt your body and this so called detox will work for a month where youll lose a whopping ridicilous 10 kilos- but that’s honestly the worst thing you can do to your body. Even if you lose weight using any diet, no matter what it is, how long will you be on it for? 1 month? 3 months? 6 months? Till your contract with your dietician lasts? What happens then? Youll be back to eating normal human food even something as humble as dal and roti will make you put on weight. That’s cause your body is in shock and was on starvation mode for so long that it’s literally waiting for any normal food that it could get. What you need to opt for is a lifestyle change. Replace bad fats with healtheir fats. Bad carbs with healthier carbs. Skip the soda, have natural sugars and excrise daily. The only way for weight to not bounce up and down is if you adopt a different healthier and cleaner lifestyle rather than taking on a short term diet.

5. You don’t have any cheat meals and instead Binge when you go out

This is as obvious as the title. If you’re on a diet and you don’t have any cheat days, chances are that when you go out, you go absolutely crazy. When I say it’s important to have cheat meals once in a while, I mean, eat a little piece of cake that makes you happy. Or a well made burger. Just cause it’s a cheat meal doesn’t mean that you completely forget the idea of portion control. Also, A CHEAT MEAL IS NOT A CHEAT DAY. Just cause you didn’t eat clean for one meal does not mean that you should eat badly through the day!

6. You don’t sleep enough

If you probably don’t sleep enough, atleast 6-8 hours a day, most likely your body is always in an exhausted zone. Sleeping has a powerful effect on your metabolism. In fact, lack of sleep can also give signals to your brain of false hunger! Read more about this here.

I hope these little facts help you in any way possible! I am definitely not at my fittest state but I am on the journey and that’s what’s important. If you want to get fit, have a goal but don’t break your self over it. Your goals should be challenging yet achievable and practical in such a way that you don’t bounce back!

My favorite Apps {Most helpful}

Hey guys!

I am back with a new post and today I will be sharing with you a list of my favorite apps! I am the kind of person with a million folders on my phone with hundreds of apps- you can easily call me an app junkie! This list is no where close to even half of the apps that I use but instead is some of my absolute favorites. I haven’t included any photography related apps cause this post would end up being WAY too long then. The apps I used to edit my instagram photos/other photographs deserve an entire post all together! If you have any more app suggestions, please do let me know! I have also not included apps that I would use on a daily basis such as Instagram, Zomato, Uber etc! 

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PRODUCTIVITY

Expense: This app works really well if you have to manage your finances and also create a budget for your self. It has a calendar where one can add a total income amount, amounted credited, debited and categories of how much is spent on what. Stats

Sign Easy: If you have a job that requires your signature very often but don’t want to go through the pain of scanning documents, this app is one of the most convenient back ups. It will make you sign (using your finger) and save that signature. Next time receive a document in your email, you can choose to open in it via sign-easy and simply click on insert signature!

Followers + : In a nutshell, Followers + lets me track my social media stats.One might think that downloading this app is a little self absorbed but lets think about it this way- If I am losing a good amount of readers after posting a particular image, by going through my stats of how many people have unfollowed me and who all- it gives me a fair idea of the fact that I need to re-work on my content. Followers + helps me do that where it gives me a list of my daily followers, unfollowers etc.

Speed Test: Do you constantly face wifi issues and don’t know why the internet is working so slowly! This app will help you tremendously to get a better idea of what’s the strength of your wifi signal. Simply click on the app and it will track your wifi’s download and upload rate! So next time you are wondering why you can’t load your instagram pictures, just open this app and test your signals and then you can call the service provider and tell them the exact issue rather than wondering what’s going on.

 

MEDIA:

Sound Cloud: Honestly, this app needs no introduction. From exploring new artists, finding some great re-mixes and listening to tracks in spite of closing the app, this app has it all! Sound Cloud has got to be my favorite music app. Though I do love 8 tracks since its convenient with ready made playlists, sound cloud is definitely a great app to explore new artists.

Shazam: Just like sound cloud, this app is a really well known app. When I was kid, I used to wish for something like this and voila! Technology has won. When you hair a song and have no idea what it is, simply open the app – click on touch to lisen and it would tell you the name of the song and the artist playing. It’s defiantly more convenient than writing na na na lal ala la on google.

 

HEALTH:

P.D (Period Diary): One of the most helpful apps for us girls. PD as the name suggests is an app where you can keep track of your menstrual cycle. Feed in your last period dates, usual cycle length, sexually active days etc and it would lay out an approximate calendar for the future too! This is really helpful if your periods aren’t on time or if you find it really hard to keep track.

Nike Training Club: I have raved about this app earlier too simply cause this app deserves it! This app can be your fitness best friend. Choose your goals (get lean/ get toned etc) , choose a workout using minimal equipments, and you’re ready to go! With over hundrds of workouts available, this app can get you really motivated to workout! The more you use the workouts on the app, the more points you get, and you can further unlock more workouts.

My Fitness Pal: If you’re trying to eat healthy and don’t know where to start, this app is absolutely amazing for a quick start. Eating clean is important but to see whether you’re eating right for your body is important too. We all need specified amount of proteins, carbs and fats to be healthy and this app basically helps in counting this macros. Forget basic calorie counting and shift to macro counts! My fitness pal would really help you do so

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