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How Self-Care Is Changing My Life One Step At A Time!

Reason 1:

I am a working woman with a 4-year old kiddo. I have no time. If I’m not working, I’m with kid. If I’m with kid, I’m desperately getting back to work to deal with unfinished business. Little windows of time go in managing a home – damn, Surf is over again and the clothes are piling up. How people before and around and after me manage to do all three beautifully is perplexing for me.

Reason 2:

Laziness. Lots of it. After gathering motivation for aforesaid activities, doing “productive” or “purposeful” things is out of question. I’m no Rocky and “Eye of the Tiger” isn’t that effective after dealing with a 4-year-old all day. Forget eye of the tiger, I need some shut-eye. So, my new motto aptly called “Whatever!!!!” takes over. Yes, that word comes out loudly and rather forcefully. With chips, a wine glass and a frown. With exclamation points.

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That my dear friends is how I found this little spot in my life called “Negligence”. Things suffered. They are:

My home:

It isn’t Pinterest-worthy anymore. It’s a mess. Clothes piled up and toys strewn around. Those pretty homes I see on Insta? Best left on Insta. But also, I thought, I’ll let go coz things are great in other depts. Home can suffer.

My skin:

It looks dangerously like I’m morphing slowly but surely into a crocodile. Post 30 life isn’t helping. Skin is dry like Gurgaon in summer ( I just moved there so you might see G-town refs left, right & centre).

My body:

It’s got a life of it’s own and Hypothyroid is the outfit it wears nowadays. Yep, that explains the weight gain. And all the other things that come with it – Fatigue, Moody behaviour, definite dry skin, weight gain etc etc. I can deal with everything on this list except fatigue. It’s a nightmare.

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My style:

I don’t know for sure what my style was before I had a baby. It was electric maharani because I wore colourful outfits and went berserk. But now, my style is mainly “Wearing clean clothes – ironed ones, even better, spotless, I attained nirvana”.

My hobbies:

What? Do people have those anymore?

Food:

I ate anything. It has to be food. My kid and husband fall in the same logic. Husband is tall and hardly needs exercise – he looks great. Metabolism dammit. Kid is eating healthy and good – with a side of fuss which is normal I guess. But we don’t know what’s good food for us?

Sleep:

I am shamelessly addicted to Instagram. And reading quora. And other time-wasting things people set up so you click on the net. I hate click-bait, but I’m curious. So, basically sleeping at 1 am and waking up for my kids school at 6 am = chaos.

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And so, according to me these 7 were just not important. You see, I am a practical gal. I know there’s nothing called work-life balance. There is something called “Prioritising”. That means, you pick 3-4 things that most make you happy and make sure they are in a good place. So, my list goes: Baby – Husband – Job – Small Business. You could add Travel into this – I’m getting there but it’s still a fledgling. Rest, falls into the “whatever” box.

I was content until last month. We moved to Gurgaon and I suddenly had to start afresh on things. And that’s when it got confusing. Who am I? A mom, wife, a decent employee and an okay-ish Entrepreneur ( for my sweet label Buttermilk). But who am I?

I STILL DON’T KNOW.

But I knew I had to tackle the unimportant stuff to know the truth. My little windows need to accommodate things. So I shook up my space and let in some fresh air and started small. I’m still at the starting line.

And in this journey, I discovered ideas and labels that made my life easier. So far, my apple cart is not lopsided so am guessing it’s ok.

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Home

Home needs a makeover. I did love some of the nicest stuff I bought at Urban Ladder and this little furniture market in Sector 56 where I bought crockery for as cheap as Rs 35. A good beginning. I also discovered that Amazon.in delivers some great coffee stirrers and this cute kitchen essential. Chumbak gave me new crockery like this cute green plate platter.

Skin

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I started reading up on my skin type and stopped buying cosmetics because I liked the packaging or the idea of it perpetrated by Fashion bloggers and ads. I realised that I need some Hydration in my life. A bit of Retinol. Maybe some Vitamin C goodness. All great (post coming up soon). For starters: I started with this amazing Spanish facial mask called Rosoil  (Rosehip oil #forthewin) and went ahead with a good skincare routine that included my current favourite Clinique Moisture Surge.

Body

Just got all my tests done. Started working out. Realised that Yoga + Body Pump with a healthy dose of strength training is what I figured I liked.

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Style

I am still figuring out what fits me and makes me smile. But bags were my constant love these 4 years – my trusty Marc Jacobs bag. My hard-earned Ferragamo tote. An interesting cutie I bought on a sale at Koovs that makes for a great holiday bag. It was touted as THE vacay bag for women.

Hobbies

NAHI! Does watching GoT fall in this category? WIP.

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Food

Now here’s where I made a leap. I don’t have a cook because both my husband and kid eat in their office and school respectively. So that leaves me to deal with ONE MEAL. And I finally made a menu and bought some great things (All homegrown labels, I love that bit) – The Cambray Tiger Basa Fillet, Bacon Bits from La Carne. A kickass Epigamia breakfast – Jalapeno with barley puffs. And some nice Bananachip-infused chocolates from Daarzel.

I made some great smoothies – Spinach, banana, chia, kiwi, almond milk was one helluva thing. I’m trying to eat mindfully because there’s temptation all around.  I made a menu and I’m trying to stick to it.

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Hot Restaurant Alert: Shophouse Kylin and it’s chilli basil chicken bowl. H-E-A-V-E-N.

Sleep

Getting into a routine of shutting eye by 10:30 pm. Tough, but switching off lights and looking up into the ceiling helps. I’m still wonky on that. Damn you, Insta Stories!

And that’s really where I am now. Today. Nowhere close to perfection. But closer to sanity. I hope to keep my blog updated from now.

Big dreams.

Look Book Love:This Shoot Reminded Me Of The Beauty Of Heritage Bungalows! *Le Sigh

It’s Thursday. Probably the most boring day of the week. And what’s worse? It’s the day after Trumps win – that terrible aftertaste that the world is experiencing, like a bad hangover, like a feather from a pillow stuck in your throat. And I decided to move onto things that make me happy. And one such, is this pretty pretty shoot by a friend of mine, Kanika Karvinkop, ace stylist and all round sweet girl. It’s for the Nylon Singapore magazine, November issue and it’s so haunting and oozing with awesome.

So I asked Kanika to give me the goop. The shoot had something beautiful – it was shot inside a heritage bungalow and that belonged to Mumbai designer James Ferriera. Now if you know Ferriera, you would know that his home is a reflection of his personality – Goan, Vintage, Relaxed and Nostalgic. Mi Casa – those two words fit right in like poetry. And with that as inspiration, this shoot showcases style that’s modern, edgy and sophisticated against a laid-back vibe. The trend was clearly pantsuits.

Of course, I asked Kanika all about it and this is what she had to say: 

“Right in the centre of the all the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, stands a a beautiful heritage bungalow that dates back almost 200 years and seems to be a complete misfit in the 21st century. Just the same, we’ve added a modern touch with what’s heritage and show you how the Pant Suits have broken out of the formal office cubicles are now more relaxed, fresh, cool, and effortlessly chic. To put it one line, we wanted to show something modern in a vintage setting.

James Ferriera ancestral was obvious choice, since its a 200 year old house and has a great history behind it. From the interiors to the decor everything has a very vintage touch to it and worked perfectly for us. The styling leaned towards a insouciant, effortless, minimal look, giving it that borrowed from the boys feel but still keeping it feminine at the same time” she adds.

Here are the pictures that I loved!Though I wish I could see more of that pretty bungalow 🙂

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Photographer: Vikas Vasudev; Stylist Kanika Karvinkop; Hair & make up Kritika Gill 

Label To Love: The Cooling Glass Company Is Just The Thing To Carry To Burning Man!

I’ve known Pavitra online. Strictly online. Because there are very few blogs I follow relentlessly and her blog Masala Chai was a delight. Too bad it isn’t functional now and I missed her banter and discoveries. We met by chance online and kept at it – we’d often Skype, just talk and give each other virtual hi-fives.

Then she got married, moved to the US and I was pretty sure she’ll make it big there. Some people have the drive, you see it in their soul. And one fine day, something cute popped up on my timeline. A neat pair of sunnies, totally approved by MIA. Certified for Burning Man.

The name struck me as the most creative: The Cooling Glass Company. These glasses are hand-made and hand-crafted – and so unique.

So since it’s a venture I truly love, I decided it’s time to give it all the attention I got this week. Presenting to you….The Cooling Glass Company on Etsy. Over to Pavitra. 

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A bit about you:

I am a person who needs to be engaged creatively at all times. I have a background in art management and curated a blog called MASALA CHAI for 7 years. I loved it but it was time to move and thats when ‘The Cooling Glass Company’ happened. It was all organic and not planned at all. 

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A bit about the brand:

I went to a music festival this year and decided to “bling” out a couple of sunglasses, and it was so well-received and I loved the process so much. So I decided to just make a few pairs for fun. What I learnt was that it helped me relax and put me in a meditative state of mind, while also engaging my creative side. And it was so much fun, coming up with quirky ideas.

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What made you think of these fun glasses as a business?

All of it was very organic. Just made a pair one  day and the idea stuck. So, I made it my business. 

A super cute name, how did you come up with that, rockstar?

Well, nostalgia is a big part of my creative process and I wanted to play into that. When we were kids growing up in Madras, we would call those cheap plastic shades you got at Marina beach ‘cooling glass’. So when my husband reminded me of that, I immediately thought of naming my venture ‘ The Cooling Glass Company’. It’s playful.

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What is so different about these glasses?

They are embellished by hand and each piece is unique .I think everybody should feel like a queen (or king). I want these sunglasses to make you feel soooo fly – like a queen.Also 15% of all proceeds will go to Shankar Netralaya Trust, they carry out eye surgeries for those who cannot afford it. http://www.supportsankaranethralaya.org/heartfelt_stories.html

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Your inspiration…

The free spirited people around me. This venture is completely inspired by festival culture. A mish-mash of unabashed self expression.  Ultimately it comes down to being authentic to yourself and when you are, you can be loving and empathetic to other people. Having fun with dressing up can be a catalyst for one of those things. It makes you feel good about yourself.

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Tell me a bit about why this matters to you, this label?

Well , donating a part of it to a cause I believe in, is the most motivating thing.  The second motivation is that I love to express my creativity and being able to have someone wear something I created would be amazing. I think people will have fun with it for sure. It will be a part of some good memories.

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And finally, what’s the future for the cooling glass company?

I do not know yet, It’s not something I have put pressure on myself  about, I’m not trying to grow it and crunching numbers and so on. I am happy to have it be in this scale and if it gets bigger and better, I would love that.

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Here’s a peek into the coolest thing from The Cooling Glass Company. And buy them here. Priced between 16 USD – 23 USD, these are a riot!

And don’t forget: 15% of all proceeds will go to Shankar Netralaya Trust, they carry out eye surgeries for those who cannot afford it. http://www.supportsankaranethralaya.org/heartfelt_stories.html

My Beauty Shop: What I Shopped For In Spain! (*Psst, some Spanish, some universal, many awesome)

I am a firm believer that when you travel, you need to pick up stuff that is…

  1. Local (That’s a given, I know. But I have been guilty of shopping high street stuff even while traveling…)
  2. Small enough to not have your husband panic and
  3. Something made with local ingredients / maybe a local label / just something exclusive to the country. That for me, means clearly, beauty products.

So when I landed in Madrid, my eyes were peeled for anything great packaging, fancy-schmancy ingredients and just general airport duty-free stuff that I can splurge on. Here are a few observations I made and a few products I bought!

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P.S that’s me on the first day in Spain looking as gleeful as a bunny rabbit on fluffy bed! 

  1. Well, I saw a lot of French products at all cosmetic stores. Bioderma (That Sensibio H2O) – Vichy EmbroylisseLa Roche Posay, even Caudalie. I even saw a lot of Nuxe (that shimmer oil is so so tempting and the lip balm) and  hella lotta Avene. But not any Spanish brand that was advertised. I wonder why. But well, the Spanish do have some amazing products that I heard about later!
  2. So off I sauntered off to the Spanish pharmacies to take a look. Again, too many French products but nothing too different. There were three important stores to buy all the skincare and makeup you can ever buy in Spain. One, Herboristeria –  a place where you do get some amazing organic skincare. But apart from some neat yogic fare I saw, there was nothing that I particularly liked! Two, Cortes Des Ingles, a departmental store that had some real cute makeup and Three, Primor, my favourite that had most of the stuff you wanted. Even budget stuff and high-end stuff and everything. Pricing-wise too Primor was the best, they had sales and offers and for a budget Indian traveler, that was so refreshing!
  3. I went to Sephora and went crazy like the mad woman I am. Finally bought those Korean Sheet Masks by Tony Moly that everyone is talking about. The coolest mask I know, GlamGlow that I am literally raving about.
  4. I walked into Kiko Milan and found that it was on sale and bought every liner I could get my hands on. Every liner, guys. From Infinity Eyeshadow to Daring Look Eye Marker. From Double Dare Eyeshadow to Kajal Pencil. I’m a crazy eyeliner-person!
  5. Also, I spent most of my time browsing Pharmacies because they seem to have a bunch of good Spanish brands and interesting European brands inside.
  6. So one day, I took some time out to really check out Spanish labels and interrogated the good lady over at Cortes Des Ingles. After much brain-picking, she gave me a list of labels: especially of Skin care. Here you go…
  1. Sesderma ( Their C-vit liposomal serum is supposed to be the shizz and helloooo, it’s now available in India)
  2. Esdor
  3. Atashi
  4. Isdin ( This one apparently has the best sunscreen you can ever ever try)
  5. Lavadi Macchio ( Products made with olive oil)
  6. Endocare / Heliocare
  7. Dercare
  8. Segle Clinical
  9. Sensilis ( The makeup is known to be super smooth)
  10. Cum Laude ( clinical but cool packaging)

So here’s what I ended up buying:

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Not everything I bought is Spanish. But I bought stuff I was lusting after for months. Plus, most of my shopping was budget and I splurged on one or two things, that’s all. Some I bought for the packaging and some, for one reason only: Sephora minis. The concept of minis is not so much there in India (I’m not talking Sephora) and I think it should be there because smaller products are easier to try before you buy the whole bottle!

  1. Isdin Maskream: This one was supposed to work wonders on your skin – the hydrating mask is for parched skin. Loving sheets masks at the moment.
  2. BodyShop Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover: Amazing buy and I bought a travel pack so it was so handy.
  3. BodyShop Cocoa Butter: Well, need I say how dry-skinned people just love this shit?
  4. H & M Powder Blush: I bought it coz the packaging looked cute. Really!
  5. H & M Nail Laquer: It was midnight purple with shimmer inside it. Yep
  6. H & M Rose Reverie Lotion
  7. Caribbean Crush Lotion: Both Cute neon bottles
  8. Rosoil by Sesderma: Perfect for those with dry skin and marks on skin.
  9. Body Shop Green Apple Shimmer Lotion: Wanted to see how much it shines? Not really, I never really tried it but thought, am on holiday, why not?
  10. Glam Glow Mud Mask: Been dying to use it for a while. But let’s admit, it’s a tad expensive so I bought a mini version of this – #hailsephora. I already used it and it is so so good!
  11. Kiko Daring Look Eye Marker: Perfect for a cat-eye! But one misgiving, it rubs off easily.
  12. BodyShop Strawberry Hand and Nail Cream: Perfect for carrying in bag. Period!
  13. Kiko Double Dare Eyeshadow and Eyeliner: Fat pencil, good finish! 
  14. Kiko Fine Art Eye Pencil: The pencil looked amaze at the store, will have to try it.
  15. Tony Moly I’m Real Tomato Mask
  16. Tony Moly I’m Real Rice Mask 
  17. Tony Moly I’m Real SeaWeed Mask: All three because I’m currently trying ourt Korean stuff. If only there was a Peach & Lily here!
  18. Kiko Infinity Eyeshadow: Coz this year, am planning the perfect smoky eye!
  19. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Mascara: I don’t really get any cool Rimmel products here. The duty stores have them but gawd, dunno how long they are on the shelf and every best budget buys story online starts with Scandal eyes.
  20. Kiko Art Pencil: Another gem!
  21. Kiko Ultra Sheen Lipgloss in Soft Hydrangea: The gloss looked natural and nice!
  22. Benefit They’re Real Mascara: Because it’s iconic and it’s found in a cozy travel shape!

Now, they’re not all Spanish products but they are my buys from Spain with a few authentic Spanish ones thrown in. 🙂

 

Vintage Shoot, Indian Wear: Loving The Contrast!

Pretty backdrops? I’ve been lately all over them. The fact that I write for this super blog called Wed Me Good is one thing but also, I have started to appreciate the beauty of nature recently. Ferns, bougainvilleas, roses….really, maybe it’s the fact that I’m in my 30s and on my way to being domestic goddess ( am so gonna have a greenhouse soon) that is totally making me love this shoot by Shyamal & Bhumika. New lookbook, new outfits and a new backdrop to weddings. A big applause for the new-agey outfits – that peplum blouse with a ballerina skirt. Enjoy this lookbook, coz I’m making mental notes on how this wall will look at a party. Delish!

Rungg Shoes: Fit For Modern Day Nefertiti If You Ask Me!

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for shoes. My theory: you can put on weight and your outfits might not fit you anymore but shoes my darlings, shoes fit you the same no matter how much you change in shape and size. Though honestly, I used to wear 5-inch heels 2-3 years back because it was habit you see. I was a short-ish person so it was part of me. I spent money on designer shoes, had 2-3 colours of the same shoe and wired my brain to run after a new heel every 3 months or so. But really, after the baby, you know one cannot wear heels and run. OMG with the baby, a baby bag and tired feet, it was an impossible thought. I desperately wanted to be that mom on Park Avenue running with heels, catching a cab, holding a baby in arm and winking away to us – the kind you see on book covers in pink. Yeah, not me at the moment.

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And so while I gave away all of my heels to cousins and friends ( some BFFs borrowed and promised to give them back someday), I kept a few for myself. One day, I told myself, one day I would wear them again. My nice ASOS boots I bought to fight Delhi winters (ah, Mumbai makes you look wannabe in boots, not Delhi, Delhi makes you look like you have business to take care of!). My sweet Guiseppe Zanotti with the zebra-print and the pencil heel (which I bought when I was most broke, I saved up like mad for it) and the sweetest Zara powerhouse heels I found in the likeness of a certain Jimmy Choo. And as I thought about shoes today, I realised that when it comes to Indian wear, I hardly know which shoes to step out in. I have my trusted gold slinky Manolo-inspired stuff I bought at South-Ex and my nice jhuttis. While they fall on the two ends of the spectrum, I don’t know if there is another luxe offering wedged right in the middle. The one you wear to a party, or a Mehendi or for a formal-ish dinner. You know a sort of Kate-Spady range of Indian shoe that structures itself right between Monolos and Hill Road.

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And one day, as I casually bouncing off websites and putting a few things on virtual carts, I found a glimpse of something that resembled a beautiful slipper with such pretty embroidery – fit for a modern day queen. Jewel tones, handcrafted feels and so chic. Little clicks and a lot of snooping led me to RUNGG. The place Aladdin and Jasmine go for a spin, I guess before they attend a wedding.

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So I reached out to the guys over at Rungg and got to know all there is to know about their design philosophy, their passion and those pretty little shoes with a story to tell. Well, there’s something special about these shoes too: they are cruelty-free and vegan. As a person who is slowly moving towards a more slow-paced fashion life, this one’s an interesting fact. I spoke to the founder, Ekta Sethi and here’s what she had to say.

RED VALENTINE BY RUNGG (1) - RS 5950

Why Rungg?

Rungg means color and our design philosophy is pretty simple – create that, which has life far past the current trend, that, which is timeless. 

Mi Amor By Rungg (1) - Rs 6100

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration in nature – be it color, form or pattern. A Rungg shoe cannot be possible without color and rich embroidery.

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Tell us why Rungg is such a delight to wear?

When you purchase a Rungg shoe, you’re not just buying a Shoe, you’re buying a piece of art. Our shoes are completely handcrafted, with each pair being hand embroidered with age old craftsmanship on cruelty-free vegan materials.

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What’s unique about Rungg?

Our designs are unique and no two shoes are the same, variations in color, make and embroidery ensure a one-of-a- kind product for the wearer. Our double-padded insoles are designed to provide superior comfort and our signature wedge heel provides an ergonomic posture for your lovely feet.  

Red Valentine by Rungg (2) - Rs 5950

How did this idea come about?

Having lived in USA for over a decade, I wondered why there can’t be a shoe that is stylish yet comfortable, that marries the present and the past; that is majestic yet relaxed and Rungg happened.

Mi Amor By Rungg (4) - Rs 6100

What are your new collections?

We recently introduced stilettos/scarpin as a totally new silhouette and will be  launching new designs with metal sequins by the end of this month.

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Favourite popular shoes – from your collection?

Most of our shoes are buyer favourites 😉 Depending on your mood, there is an option for either the rich traditional, fun and eclectic or the night out.  Two of our signature designs are the Gold bloom and Red Valentine. Both a marvel of artisan craftsmanship – the embroidery alone on these shoes takes around 14 hours to craft.

With Gold Bloom, our artisans have taken the needle and thread to another level with this design – lovely blooms fall across the front and around. Colours of gold, burgundy, and pink come alive on the velvet satin material.   

Love, Passion, Power and Romance are some of the emotions that have inspired the Red Valentine. The black base illuminates this wonderful artwork in red threads and white beads.

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As for my favourite – it’s the grey velvet shoe with that beautiful red and gold work – The Gold Bloom and the Pink Flamingo isn’t for the faint-hearted either. Sigh! And these babies are priced from Rs 4000 onwards and available here.