WORKING MOM FITNESS TIPS

 

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As a working mom, there are a zillion of activities which fight to be on the top of your priority list. Constant pressure at work and never ending tasks at home can get really frustrating after a period of time. I get a lot of queries on fitness through my Instagram Q/A sessions which I do on Missvogueviolet . The answer to most of the questions on how to be fit after being a mom is very simple – MAKE TIME for it. It is important that you take advantage of every little time that you get towards a ‘healthier you’. Here are seven tips to help you out –

  1. Like any other Corporate professional, the first question I shall ask you is “What is your vision?”There has to be a driving factor to get you working towards your goal.It could be “Staying healthy to take care of the kids” or “Getting back in shape after losing the baby weight” or just plain “Want to look and feel good”.Every reason is justified but it should be strong enough to motivate you every single day.
  2. Take a small step at a time but stick to the routine. If you decide to set 15 mins minutes out for a workout, try and maintain it religiously for a week and then increase the time slowly. Taking big jumps on a single day wont reap any results and will demotivate you further when you cannot continue it.
  3. Make the most of your work time –  I am sure like most of us, you too would be lost in meetings and con calls through the day; and there are tons of calls when you are supposed to be the silent listener. So schedule your walks during these calls, put on your earphones and fix the 3 rounds around the premises when you can easily attend the call yet manage a physical routine.
  4. Get into the recreation room in the office and do a 15 minutes stretching. Get off that chair to walk around every 30-45 minutes.
  5. Make the most of Youtube. If you do not have the time to hit a Gym, watch online videos and start with yoga. If not anything, it will tranquilize your mind and make you feel better. If you have a toddler or  baby who enjoys music, you could dance together for a few minutes.
  6. Utilize the park trips on weekends. This is something that I personally loved to do . Baby V would come along in the stroller and I could easily go for a run(if the nanny came along) or a pleasant walk if I am alone. It absolutely refreshes the mind and body.
  7. DO NOT STRESS: Yes, these are in bold letters because stressing will only make it worse. Watch motivational videos or talk to people who have achieved fitness goals and keep going. It is not going to change you overnight and remember, any progress is improvement so you will get there sooner or later.

Lastly, this is not about losing weight, it is about keeping fit and having the energy levels to manage the hundred thousands things you do. Always remember, YOU ARE A SUPERWOMAN!

FOTD: FADED BURGUNDY EYEMAKEUP

Holidays are a fantastic time to create new looks and experiment with colors. I had shot this back in summers during our trip to Vienna but finally posting this with all the details. To think of it, it could actually be a great fall/winter look owing to the gorgeousness of this burgundy color.

The only eye shadow palette I had carried was this one – Electric Obsessions by Huda Beauty. Let me begin by telling you about all the products that have gone into creating this look.

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On the Eyes

Eye Primer – Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion

Outer corner – Burgundy/Dark Pink from the palette shown above

Inner Corner – Mix of the NYX White Jumbo Pencil and orange

On the top of eyelid, I used a mix of the NYX White Jumbo Pencil, orange and the burgundy blended carefully with a blending brush

On the water liner and Lash line – NYX Professional Makeup Retractable Eye Liner in White

Mascara  – Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Eye Brows – Benefit Big Brows Set

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On the Face 

Primer – Farsali Serum Unicorn Tears

Foundation – MAC Studio Fix in NC 25

Concealer – Benefit Erase Paste

Blush – Benefit Dandelion(The small travel pack I always carry)

Highlighter – MAC Mineralise Skin Finish

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Deep reddish brown and burgundy instantly add a touch of glamour to the look. On could easily use a pop of glitter to this for the perfect party look. If you want to make a statement, go create this look .

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More coming your way, Happy Holidays!!!

FOTD : PISTACHIO AND BURNT ALMONDS LOOK(GREEN BRONZE EYEMAKEUP)

Green eye makeup has been quite a thing on Instagram. Most people are unsure if green eye shadow could be carried off on a regular day but trust me you just have to choose the right shade and it would do wonders from an office look to a party look. If you are pale, you can could choose darker shades and if you are on the darker side, bright shades would look great.

In the look that I created, I was hesitant to use lot of green as I was already sporting the green lens. So, I used bronze and copper along with the green which was the base shadow and extended towards the outward corners.

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Face : 

Primer : Farsali Unicorn Essence

Foundation : Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation + Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation

Highlighter on the cheek bones and Nose Bridge : Becca Champagne

Blush : Benefit Dandelion

No Bronzer

MAC Prep+Prime Powder

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Eyes :

For my eye makeup, I used the TOO FACED Chocolate Gold Eye Shadow Palette which is made with 100% cocoa powder and real gold.

Eye Primer : Bobbi Brown Eye Primer

Base : Rollin’ Dough from the palette

Green : Money bags from the palette blended evenly around the outer corner of the eyes

Bronze : Old Money soft color used in the inner corner of the eyes and blended towards the middle.

Copper : Gold dipped in the middle of the eyelid, used it to let a light shade between 2 dark shade.

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Eye Liner : Colorbar Liquid Liner in Black

Eye Mascara : Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

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Hope you liked the look. Follow me on Instagram to get more such updates –

THE NEW JOHNSON’S BABYCARE LAUNCH

When I started my blogging journey, I was pretty confused on what niche to focus on. I have always loved to write on anything and everything but it was very difficult to decide on one particular category that I would love to continue writing about. Thanks to that phase of my life where all I could think of is my little one, I decided to focus on writing about all my experiences of being a new mother. Thus started my journey as a Mom blogger and my never ending hunt for everything that’s best for my baby. Historically,J&J has been the most trusted brand for babies and one of the few companies who has published more research than most other global skin care companies in the last five years. Their products are designed and manufactured keeping in mind the needs of baby skin. While they were already best at it, they have bettered themselves and re launched a whole new range catering to the ever changing needs of mums and babies and I was one of the few privileged bloggers who was invited by Baby Chakra to attend their launch event.

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Before I take you on a virtual tour of the whole event, let me introduce you to BabyChakra which has been a one stop platform for all kinds of queries that I have had since I conceived my little one. It continues to be a real time support to all mothers across the country.

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The event décor reminded me of everything that a new mum or baby would need. From a child care room, to fairytale décor of clouds and a kiosk filled with toys, it was so much fun. While the mums got to experience the all new products, there were numerous experiments and activities organized whose results stand testimony to the fact that they were the gentlest of all. The senior management had flown all the way from Singapore to Mumbai who unveiled the new line with great pomp and show. They were kind enough to answer all the questions the audience kept shooting at them during the Q&A session. Not to forget, we got to see the commercials before the rest of the world did and the experience was just exhilarating. In the end, it was clear that the trust of J&J baby brand continues to stand strong for years and shall continue to do so in future as well.

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The new products are all gentler than the previous range and claim to be as gentle as water. As a privileged one to have experienced this in the J&J event, I could not help but appreciate the following –

  • All new packaging with the convenience of a pump dispenser bottle and pastel colors.
  • The fact that they are free of Parabens, Sulfates, Dyes and Pthalates.
  • Interestingly what has not changed is the smell of the lotion which still brings in an air of nostalgia. After all, it is fun to be a Johnsons baby and a Johnsons mum, as gentle as the mother’s touch and smelling just like a baby – isn’t that the perfect combination.
  • They also meet the highest IFRA certified standard for fragrance, the only baby care brand to do so.
  • 8000 clinical assessments have been done on these products globally.
  • The products are also pH balanced and hypoallergenic.

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As a blogger, it was a great opportunity and I would like to extend my thanks to Babychakra, Johnson and Johnson and ITC Maratha for the great hospitality.

HOSPITAL BAG OF AN INDIAN MOM-TO-BE

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Pic courtesy : Quickmeme

I can still feel the excitement and anxiety of the day I was getting admitted in the hospital eagerly waiting for Baby V to arrive. Weeks of planning had gone into it and I would be happy to share the packing essentials for the big day.

  1. Photo ID, Insurance Info, Hospital Forms – First and foremost, important stuff to be filed in organized folders and kept ready at least a month before the due date. Insurance formalities can be a real pain if not managed properly.
  2. Cell phone and charger – You will need it to answer to all the wishes you get J
  3. Comfortable night gown – If you are someone like me who is used to wearing PJs and shorts, let me tell you that is not an option. Even mums who have been used to wearing sarees and salwar suits, you might like to choose comfort for a while J
  4. Headband – However trivial it may sound, it is an essential. Post my CSec I was asked to lie down without a pillow for straight 20 hours. I had taken just one clutcher which poked me all night through until the time I had to borrow a headband from someone else.
  5. Maternity Bra – Feeding a baby every now and then is no easy job. The only thing which can make things better for you is convenience. There are plenty of options in the maternity shopping section which can be explored.
  6. Hipster panties – CSec mommies will have to be extra careful with the stitches and avoid any friction on the incision. Hence, it is highly advisable to wear plus size panties which go all the way up to your upper abdomen.
  7. Breastfeeding cover – Indian friends and relatives do not hesitate to drop in generously once the baby is born. After all, our culture is such that we always rejoice and mourn together. For a new mom, it can get really hard and embarrassing to manage the crowd while she is still coming to terms with feeding a baby. So a good cover is a must (there are tons available which can be worn later in many different ways). P.S I still wear mine as a kaftan and sometimes roll it up as a scarf.
  8. Nursing Pads – Not everybody would need it right away but being prepared for leak protection will save you a lot of trouble.
  9. Adult Diapers – Heavy bleeding in the first few days comes as quite a shock to most moms but it’s all normal. Generally, recommend adult diapers which can manage heavy bleeding unlike the usual sanitary pads.
  10. Nipple creams – Sore nipples are going to be your friends for the next few months, applying good quality nipple creams could relieve some bit of pain.
  11. Toiletries and personal items: The must haves for every woman – Toothbrush, hairbrush, toothpaste, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, contact lens case and solution. Travel size packs recommended as they are easy to carry.
  12. Comfortable loose maternity clothes and flat slippers for the discharge day- I had swollen feet for the most of my maternity. While it magically disappeared just after the baby was out but I would still recommend very comfortable slippers/shoes as you are yet to gain complete stability and control over your body post-delivery.
  13. Food – Your doctor will best prescribe what diet you should be following post procedure. Also, Indian moms tend to carry Shatavari and other Ayurvedic supplements for lactation supply, make sure your doctor is aware and okay with it.

Soon, I shall come up with a packing list for the Indian baby to arrive.

BLUE SEA FOAM EYEMAKEUP : FOTD

Blue is such a soothing yet dramatic color for makeup. Blues and greens on the eyes actually look like watercolors on fair skin. With a tinge of metallic shade ,  they shine like jewels. I loved to experiment with some blue eye makeup and I can’t wait to show you the end results. I see so many makeup artists experimenting with galaxy and sea foam inspired makeup. They look lovely, so I decided to start with just one color – the very vibrant blue from Huda Beauty obsession palette.

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The color is so vibrant and intense that it captures the splendor of a bright blue sea  appropriately.

Here’s a step by step tutorial for you guys –

Step 1:

I started by applying Bobbi Brown eye primer and blended it evenly all over the eye lids and the area below the brows.

Step 2:

I used the concealer Eraser from Benefit and covered the under eye dark circles.

Step 3

I used a nude color from the Estee Lauder eye shadow palette and covered the whole area and then used the teal color in the outer corner slowly bending inwards.

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Step 4

I took a flat brush and used the concealer on the eyelids blending it uniformly and then used the metallic blue over it till it looked vibrant.

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Step 5

I lined my eyes with INGLOT black liquid liner(not a fan of felt tip though) and used NYX white on my water line. Finally, Benefit Roller Lash mascara and Ka Brow for completing the look.

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This is one of the easiest eye makeup to do which can up your glam quotient in no time.

 

SUMMER HUES : FOTD

They said yellow eye shadow is the biggest trend this summer. From mustard to neon, my Instagram feed was flooded with great artists experimenting with the brightest and sunniest shades of yellow. So when I set out to explore the streets of Prague on a very sunny day, I decided to experiment with the bright hues of yellow. Thanks to my Huda Beauty Electric Obsessions, the color pop was totally worth it.

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I would not even have to explain what I used if you would see the palette for yourself. I started with a Bobbi Brown eye primer for the eye shadow to show its true colors.Basically, I used a mix of pink and purple in crease and base which are evenly spread out. I used the benefit concealer on the inner corner and spread it to the middle of the eyelids for the yellow to be as bright as possible. Then, I tapped the yellow color on the concealer and slowly blended it across the lids to even it out with the purple.

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Interestingly I had left my INGLOT AMC77 gel eyeliner(which I generally use) back home and I had no option but to use a lip liner on the eyes. I used NYX Maroon lip liner for the same and it did not disappoint me at all.

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As always, I was a little too shy to use a bright lip color with bright eyes and a very bright yellow top. Hence, I chose MAC twig, an absolute subtle and everyday wear lip color . Benefit brows and Benefit Roller Lash mascara as usual to complete the look.

More such FOTDs on my Instagram stories. Follow http://www.instagram.com/missvogueviolet for more!

SPEECH FEAR IS NO FEAR!

Recently I came across this word called ‘Glossophobia’ meaning speech anxiety or fear of public speaking. Honestly I did not even know such a word existed to describe the anxiety which each one of us have experienced for years. Most of us as children have faced challenges in becoming socially comfortable.This is what turns into social anxiety and speech anxiety when exposed to a large crowd. While being a fearless speaker is very rare, your fear can definitely lessen with time if the following points are kept in mind.

     1.You are the winner

Preparing mentally minutes before speaking works really well for me, may not work great for you but what is for sure is a good audience engagement.Visualizing yourself at the venue and  looking your best through the eyes of the audience contributes greatly to your confidence.Believe that you are delivering your best, you are giving in your 100 percent and you are winning the show.

  1. Breathe

Nerve control comes from the breathing pattern. Deep breathing helps calm the nerves and gives more power to your communication . It gives a major boost to your confidence and credibility in the concerned forum.

  1. Rehearse , rehearse and rehearse

Rehearsing for a performance acclimatizes you to the environment of pressure. Research says it has a neurological impact which helps convert your thoughts to words and actions more clearly.

  1. Skill can be developed

Public speaking is a skill and like all other skills, it can be developed with practice. To be successful in developing a skill, it is important to not just devote time but constantly seek feedback from people around oneself. So, pick up topics and start engaging in group conversations with friends and colleagues.

     5.Focus

It is one of the primary tools as a speaker who knows how to engage audiences. It is natural for irrelevant thoughts to intrude into your mind, just let it float and move away. The more consciously you try to dissuade it on the stage, the more evident it becomes to the audience. Just let it be, that is the way to speak effortlessly.

  1. Body Language

If you stand still at one point, the pressure automatically builds. The stress hormones are dealt with movement. It is important to use your body movements to express your thoughts with animation.It helps you fight the pressure and makes you appear more confident.

  1. Be yourself

The last point but the most important one. Being natural gets you brownie points everywhere. You may choose to act but your audience can sense personalities. Hence, it is best and easiest to be just yourself.

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Image Source – Business-Superstar.com

COMPETITION AT WORK!

In the Indian society, the concept of peer pressure is seeded in our minds since a very early age. Whether you blame it on our education system or the fact that we Indians are born competitive by nature; more often than not, it does more bad than good. So, dealing with it is tough at times. Here are 7 ways how you can deal with such anxiety and juice out the positivism from it.

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Source Google

  1. Competition is ubiquitous – It is important to accept the fact that competition is inevitable. One must make peace with it and utilize it as a reason to strive to work harder and perform better.
  1. Channelize it into self-improvement – This is a great opportunity to polish and fine tune one’s skills. Taking a competitive colleague as a challenge is a good chance to leverage the strength areas and plan support and training to improve one’s development areas.
  2. Showcase the best: In the process of meeting targets and deadlines, we often forget the fact that selling skills are very important irrespective of the role one handles. Showcasing the best in you to the world is a mandatory skill that every professional needs. Hence, when one sees a competition flaunting his/her work, we must step up and exhibit our talent as well.
  3. Choosing a mentor: Mentor ship and professional guidance programs are extremely critical as one grows up the career ladder. When one feels down due to an aggressive competition at workplace, it is always good to take additional support from an experienced hand who can help pave the way forward for the individual. I have seen several mentor ship programs turning around the game for critical resources in the organisations I have worked for.
  4. High on Integrity – It is often noticed that when two employees at the same level have similar competencies and skill sets, integrity is a differentiation factor. So, one who maintains integrity is bound to score better than the one who does not. No wonder, most organisations have a very strict Code of conduct and compliance policy.
  5. Befriend the competitor: It is not easy to turn competitors into allies. It requires a deep level of empathy and a determined effort to build a new bridge. If it works out, you can really get to learn and appreciate some of the good aspects of his/her challenging behavior.
  6. Identification of critical influencers: Sometimes how you gauge your career has a lot to do with whom you measure yourself against. If one closely observes the competitor, one can choose individuals who motivate and possess skills that one wishes to emulate. This is the right opportunity to identify roles models and people who critically influence one personally and professionally.

 

Competition is largely positive if one looks through the right glasses. I have personally evolved quite a lot owing to the tough competition in the corporate world. I would also love to know more about my readers’ experiences.

 

FOTD: GOLD SMOKEY EYE MAKEUP

Smokey eyes bring up the glamour quotient in no time.

I absolutely love it and when it comes to a signature makeup look, smokey eye has always been my go to. It appears a lot difficult but is definitely not to hard to do. I have improved with time learning from my mistakes and here I shall explain the whole process in 7 simple steps –

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Steps I followed to get this look –

Step 1: Prepped and primed the eyelids with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow primer potion.

Step 2: Used Bae from Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette as a base.

Step 3: Used a tape at both ends to get the cut right.I used the dark brown bossy shade from Huda Beauty Rose Gold palette and applied it to the outer corner and then took it further into the crease to create the depth.

Step 4: I applied the shade Smog in gold from the Urban Decay  eyeshadow box to the middle of the lid and the shade blackout in the outer corner till I was happy with the intensity.

Step 5: I applied the gold eyeshadow to the lower lashline and followed up with black liner on the lower water line.

Step 6: Then I used Chambor kohl on the upper lashline as an eyeliner.

Step 7: Lastly, I loaded it with Benefit Roller Lash mascara.

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I have a more dramatic smokey look coming up very soon on the blog!Stay tuned!

FUSION WEAR : BELT TO THE RESCUE

Fusion wear is a rage that has taken over the fashion world since quite sometime now. People like me who love to experiment and dress up have a lot of options when it comes to creating fusion looks.If you follow me on Instagram – missvogueviolet, you would know my love for the most convenient accessory I sport with most of my outfits – the belt.While western clothes and belts seem to be the obvious choice, pairing belts with Indian ensembles immediately creates a quirky  fashion statement! I often pair belts with dresses which are loose fit(creates a whole new look) here is a one of the looks I adapted to nail this trend effortlessly.

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This is a pale gold Dhoti dress with a cape which I had bought right after my pregnancy. Needless to mention, I shed a few kilos and the fit looked nothing like it did before That’s when this belt from Label Life came to my rescue. This could be worn over the cape as well, I used it under though. Now, I wear this in 3 different ways with and without the belt 😉

PRINT YOUR MEMORIES:CANVASCHAMP

The first time I was awestruck by a picture was during one of our European holidays when I noticed a huge portrait in the center of the lobby with a unique texture. I was absolutely confused on whether it was a painting or a photograph – thus started my research on image prints and that’s how my obsession with canvas prints started.Contrary to my first impression and popular belief, canvas prints are not paintings, instead they are images printed on to canvas and stretched or gallery wrapped before becoming a part of your wall decor. They give a wonderful acrylic painting look, perfect to shoot up the standards of your interiors.

It had been months since we were planning to frame a couple portrait of ours for the photo wall. Thanks to the e – commerce boom, almost everything that we want can be delivered at our doorstep. So, we came across www.canvaschamp.in and found great options available at their website. They sent me a 16X20 inches of awesomeness wrapped in the perfect package and sent it home. here are a few pictures of this wonderful piece –

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Canvas prints give you an absolutely artistic feel to the simplest of pictures.  In today’s decor, it’s very common to mix framed prints and canvas prints. Framed prints tie into the overall  decor of a room depending on the style of the frame while versatile canvas prints blend in seamlessly getting along with any kind of decor .

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Few things that you must keep in mind before going for a canvas print are –

  1. The image must be of the best quality – Only great resolution pictures can convert into great prints.
  2. Perfect composition – Light, color, dimension and perspective are extremely important for the right canvas prints.
  3. Print style – One has to be sure of whether it is a single image or a collage. Collages styled properly can look absolutely great in canvas prints.
  4. Preview – canvaschamp.in offers the option to not just preview but also proof read before the final product is shipped.
  5. Spot for sporting it – One must find the perfect area where it can be highlighted appropriately. While, canvas prints can mix with any kind of decor, it is important to find a place where its beauty can truly be appreciated.

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Guys, you must checkout Canvaschamp and order your first one. They send you their products wrapped and packed with utmost care. I was so impressed with their product quality that I can’t wait to place order for the second one.

FOTD : SUMMER DAY MAKEUP

I love summers for many reasons – one of the many is how the daylight gives an opportunity for subtle makeup and perfect pictures but at the same time melting makeup, sticky lipsticks and smeared eyeliners can be quite difficult to manage. I go for fresh makeup looks and non-black liners for sunny days. Here’s one I created which is light, simple and very easy to do –

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Products Used –

  1. Neutregena Suncreen
  2. Smashbox primer
  3. Huda Beauty Foundation in Cheesecake
  4. Laura Mercier Makeup Finishing Powder
  5. Too Faced Sweethearts Blush
  6. Huda Beauty Lipcolor in Trophy Wife
  7. Benefit Brow Kit
  8. Estee Lauder Golden Nudes Eyeshadow
  9. Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Rich Ground
  10. Benefit Rollup Mascara

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Few things that one must keep in mind while doing a day makeup during summers –

1.Perfect Primer : Investing in a primer is a must. It helps you hold up the makeup in place when you are sweating like a pig 😀

2.Proper base : I prefer oil free foundation formula as oil based make you really sweaty in this sultry heat.

3. Matte : I keep it matte because shimmer in the daylight can make it look very blingy. Even when you attempt a healthy radiance, it shows up as over – the -top shine in summers.

4.  Sheer liner: I skip the conventional black liner and heavy eye shadows as deep colors look really heavy in summers.

5. As natural as possible : Keeping things light will help prevent the caking and creasing of heavy makeup on the face.

 

FOTD:Yellow & Blue Contrast Eye Makeup

As you would have noticed in my previous makeup posts, I have always been shy of using striking bold colors but with the new Huda Beauty electric obsessions palette in my kitty,I cannot stop experimenting with the bright colors. As it is already peak summer here and my wardrobe is filled with summery sunset and blue sky colors, I decided to show you 2 looks of eye makeup inspired by the bright sunny skies which I created recently.

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Yellow and sapphire blue –

Products used –

Urban Decay Eye primer

Huda Beauty Electric Obsession Palette- Electric Yellow in Matte on the eyelids

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Moonshadow on the crease and outer corner

Maybelline Waterproof Gel Pencil Eyeliner in Lustruous Sapphire in the upper lash line

Chambor kohl in the water line

Mimoso Eye Mascara

Benefit Brow Set

Bright yellow and turquoise blue

Products used –

Bobbi Brown Eye primer

Huda Beauty Electric Obsession Palette- Electric Yellow in Matte on the eyelids and Shimmer Blue in the outer corners and crease

Chambor in Aqua Blue in the upper lash line and water line

Benefit Roller Lash Eye Mascara

Benefit Brow Set

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I absolutely love the palette and will be coming up with more creations very soon

ORGANIC CLOTHING : BERRYTREEINDIA

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It’s been a while since I have been debating whether paying the premium for organic clothing is worth it. We always want the best for our kids and choosing safe clothing is no different.My initial thoughts while contemplating the same was primarily for the reason that in commercial farming methods used, ordinary cotton contain impurities which could trigger allergic skin reactions in babies and hence, organic cotton should be used to avoid that.In due course of time, when I got introduced to Berrytree India line of clothes, I got to know that there are many more reasons why we should opt for organic cotton only. Berrytree India has a wide range of products available for shopping online and I got this cute whale print sleep suit for V. It totally justifies the reasons I chose to opt for babies’ organic cotton clothing.

  • No issues with skin sensitivity – Since baby skin is very delicate, I always make sure the clothes are dipped in water before the first use and soft enough to be worn  but with Berrytree India sleepsuit, I was sure to go ahead the first time itself as organic cotton is not machine cleaned with chemicals which helps retain the quality as a finished product.
  • Soft and comfortable – The fabric was so soft to feel that I could notice how comfortable V was in her sleep suit. She had a good night’s sleep and woke up  counting the number of whales on her suit.
  • Bright fun prints – I absolutely love the prints Berrytree India has chosen for its clothing line. The one we got had multiple bright colors making it look fresh and beautiful. V loves the word ‘fish’ and she just can’t stop repeating it ever since she wore this for the first time.

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Besides being a happy customer and new consumer for organic clothes, I thought I must share few ways how we contribute to the environment  –

  • The main benefit of organic materials is that the toxins which are generated during pesticide treatments and genetically modified organisms do not harm the farmers or the wildlife ecosystem.
  • Organic cotton uses lesser fuel and energy – so less carbon.
  • It is a chemical free process, hence it prevents water contamination as well.
  • This could be our contribution to the environment. It helps the consumer to become a responsible citizen who is fully aware about his/her responsibility towards helping preserve a sustainable environment. Organic cotton clothing also serves as a reminder to everyone in the society that anything natural is healthier and also cost effective in a long term perspective.

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Hope you too make a wise choice to move to organic clothes and do not forget to check out the wide range of fun prints https://berrytree.in/ have to offer.

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DECIDING ON A BABYMOON?

If there was just one advice I had to give to an expecting couple, it would be to catch up on as much sleep as possible before the baby hijacks your days and nights for the rest of your lives. There’s no turning point in your life after you decide to become a parent and this is the time when you need to set your plans and priorities for the future. With the planning comes a lot of anxiety and anticipation as well. Hence, a vacation at this time helps you relax and transition smoothly to the next phase of your life. This is also a great opportunity to enjoy some ‘US’ time, hence it is important to not plan a power packed holiday but a lazy, relaxed and laid back one where you can catch up with as much rest as possible. We chose Udaipur, India as the babymoon destination and would like to share more about how and why this turned out to be an ideal location.

1.Togetherness  :  Travelling to serene locations can not just help cleanse your mind and soul but also  keep your spirits up and reduce negative emotions that you may be feeling during your pregnancy.In any case, once the baby becomes a part of your lives, it is difficult to think about anything other than him/her. So, this is the perfect time to cement the relationship with your partner and create happy memories that you can cherish for a very long time. Our first stop was at The Taj Lake Palace, a luxury heritage property which was earlier know as Jag Niwas built by Maharana Jagat Singh 2.The gorgeous views of Lake Pichola served as perfect evenings for spending some quality time with the better half.

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View of the courtyard in the middle of the Taj Lake Palace

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View of The City Palace and the Lake Pichola as we spent the whole evening admiring the beauty of the palace.

2.Fresh Air: One of the primary reasons I wanted to step out for a baby moon was to get some fresh air, away from the hustle bustle of the city and the stressful work life. So, our next planned stay at Udaipur was at the one and only majestic Udaivilas. The moment we entered The UdaiVilas, we were welcomed with a shower of petals and an absolutely grand royal welcome. The entrance had marble stones with fountains and I was at peace just inhaling the fresh air and looking at the vast green lawns with peacocks strolling in the gardens. I had heard a lot about this property and it truly defined luxury in the true sense. While, it is a fairly new property , it has left no stone unturned to bring in the royal feel to every nook and corner of the hotel

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Spotted the exact location where ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ was shot 🙂

3.Pampering yourself :After all, this is the main reason why you are going for a babymoon.The spa is an indulgence all on its own. Getting a massage and warm bath really helps with the sore muscles , after all pregnancy is a tiring journey. While, there are a lot of massages which are not allowed during pregnancy and most spas with trained therapists would be well aware of this, you still must look up on what’s allowed and what’s not. A comfortable massage bed and soothing music could really calm your senses.

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The Taj Lake Palace staff got my bath ready back in my room after my Spa Session.

4.Comfortable spacious rooms: Rolled back armchairs , deep seated sofas, grand mirrors and huge ceilings at UdaiVilas were such refreshers for people like us who live in cramped spaces. A sunny courtyard that looked over the pool and green lawns was just perfect for us to have the evening tea together. The rooms were light and airy, and the king size bed was heaving with pillows and that is such a heavenly sight for a pregnant woman!The room was done up so well that we actually borrowed few ideas and implemented it in our new room after we came back home.

5.Food : We all have heard of the weird food cravings women get during pregnancy right? While I am not one of those who has experienced a lot of this but I definitely believe that this is a great opportunity to eat anything and everything to your heart’s content because any weight gain during this period is always welcome. Just be cautious of anything that you might be allergic to and now is definitely not the time to experiment with food.

6.Less travel and sight seeing : Since rest was the primary agenda, we made an extremely leisurely plan with tons of boat rides at Lake Pichola, long chit chat sessions at the royal verandahs and short trips to the forts, City Palace and gardens.Thankfully, the weather was pretty nice with light showers and cool breeze in the evenings.

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7.Unique Experience : We were always sure that we wanted to experience something we haven’t before.No wonder we chose to spend our honey moon in the Wild at Kruger’s South Africa and here we were again thinking of a location which would provide a unique experience. Hence, the royal choice was made and it lived up to every bit of our expectation. The staff of both the properties made the stay extremely memorable extending the best of hospitality and bidding us goodbye with few gifts for our soon – to arrive baby.

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This trip has been etched in my memory forever and I am just so glad I chose to make this slow and laidback trip before I entered the phase of my life where time traveled faster than the speed of light.

INDOOR NEW BORN PHOTOSHOOT

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” – Source Wikipedia

So, Murphy has been my best friend since childhood, always making sure if I dreaded something would go wrong, he made sure it did. When we decided to do the first photoshoot for V, she was only 10 days old – we wanted a few pictures of her to be printed in the invitation cards for her welcome party. I was prepared for sleeping pictures but she kept wide awake all through the photo sessions getting really uncomfortable with the idea of clicking pictures. It was tough but we managed somehow. The second time we actually did a shoot, she was about 2 months old. I had many plans with props but little miss V decided to sleep through the whole session. So, we had to make do with available resources at home and get few pictures clicked. Here are few options that you can look at when you are not prepared or have to do a shoot with very limited resources.IMG_2640

We used a black fur carpet and a white fur one-sie , two red balloons with long strings and the picture was taken from the top. You could easily use few crumpled towels for making clouds around to giving it a feel of the baby floating in her dreams in the sky.

Onesie from NEXT UK

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White is my favorite color for pictures. It just makes everything look so dreamy.Here, I have used a white blanket as the base and this is just a candid shot while she is deep in her sleep.I regret some happy places few red flowers in the base, they would have created the perfect contrast.

Onesie – Carter’s USA

Hair band: Claire’s

Thanks to the filters these days, you can create the dreamiest of pictures from the most normal photographs. These are pictures from different angles while V slept peacefully.

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A basket came super handy when we thought of bringing in another element to the picture. We used the same black carpet, white blanket and placed V gently on the top of the basket which was covered with the white blanket.

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Sleep time is the best time to capture these tiny little feet. I have been obsessed with baby hands and feet for a long time ago. The first prints are always special and to be preserved for ever.

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The last picture of course, was shot after she finally decided to wake up and pose with us for a few minutes before she called it quits 🙂

SEVEN TRUTHS NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT MOMMYHOOD

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Motherhood is the most beautiful feeling in the world – We have heard of this since ages, haven’t we?  Even when you google maternity shoot pictures, you get photographs of beautiful women(with no dark circles) in white flowy dresses posing with absolutely quiet and angelic babies. This is the image which was stuck in my mind till reality hit me hard right after Little Miss V was born.

  1. Guilt is your middle name : I haven’t met a new mom yet who hasn’t felt this way. We are racked with guilt when our work commitment prevents us from spending enough time with our little ones. We associate almost everything in our lives with the way we are raising our kids. On most occasions, even the best doesn’t seem to be good enough. We always find faults with ourselves and when we don’t, people around us help us find few.
  2. Hormone dance is for real : When we were counting days to our pregnancy acne to end and sore legs to be back to normal, our hormones had different plans for us. The hormonal balance throws most of us off the track right after the baby is born. The mood swings, depressing thoughts and baby blues start to get worse and just when we hit the 3 month mark and start to get better sleep, we start to lose chunks of hair. Ever wondered, why is it just us women who get to go through all of it?
  3. Time moves incoherently: When we are away from our kids, the clock stops ticking and when we are with our kids, the whole weekend passes away in the blink of an eye. No amount of planning and prioritizing can get us close to being perfect time managers when it comes to spending enough time with our babies. We constantly feel that there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done and Monday blues get worse. The struggle is real.
  4. Stop shopping for yourself: Shopping was fun once upon a time. Remember, how window shopping and even scrolling through online shopping sites felt therapeutic. These days, we just pass through the apparel section and land straight in the baby care section. Baby dresses look way more alluring than the Little Black Dresses we wore all our lives (fitting into it or not is still a question though).
  5. Bye – bye to sleep : Honestly, this does not deserve to be on Point number 5. Sleep was my first and foremost priority for the longest period of time. There were enough number of articles to support my argument of direct correlation between sleep and a healthy life. Unfortunately, the dream shattered for me soon after V arrived in our lives. I lived like a zombie for months with a little less than 2 hours of sleep every night. I kept patiently waiting for that magical age when she would start sleeping through the night but each time she did, she made the following nights worse.
  6. Get used to a messy house : Until now,we thought leaving the wet towel on the bed and the shoes on the floor was called a mess. Say hello to the new idea of mess after having a baby.Kids and clutter go together like glitter and glue and we just cannot do anything about it. So, we have to make peace with a messy house. Good news is studies say, messy houses raise immuned, strong and independent children.
  7. All the parenting strategies go for a toss – Remember the last time we saw a wailing baby in the flight and gave the mother a frosty stare? Or the last time we saw a mom handing over a bag of chips to her kid while we smirked and wondered how she could be raising her child with junk eating habits? Well, now the whole universe is conspiring against us – it is all coming back, one after the other. The biggest thing I learnt as a mother is to “NOT” judge another mother. Everyone has a different way of parenting and sometimes we just give in to the whims and fancies of our child for the sake of peace of our minds. It is ok, everything is not going to be perfect all the time, it need not be.

These were the top 7 shocks motherhood gave me but the reasons to the joy of motherhood are infinite. I will be happy to know more about what shocks did my readers get post motherhood?

 

V’s VICTORIAN THEMED PARTY

I am one of those women who is inevitably drawn to the daintiness and feminity of the late 1800s’ Victorian style. I have always been fascinated with the corsets, big fluffy skirts and the curls. Well, this fascination has been with me for quite sometime – to the extent that I wore a corset with my wedding lehenga as well. I also did a post on Victorian look that i sported to a friend’s cocktail very recently. You can check out the post here –

FOTD:VICTORIAN LOOK

When we started planning for V’s birthday , we got loads of suggestions on cartoon character themes but we did not pick any of those solely because V was just about a year old and she had no friends of her own to be invited who could enjoy the party. The guest list was filled with our family and friends, hence we decided on a theme which would give a vintage and ornate feel to the whole setup.Though it seems like a Victorian-themed party might be hard to pull off, it could be a lot easier than you imagined.  Let me give you ideas and tips on how to prepare for that perfect party .

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First and foremost was of course the color code for the whole party and after a lot of deliberation, white/red seemed to be perfect for the evening. We picked the key elements that we wanted to highlight in the decor – Umbrellas, vintage frames, cages, candles, fur and lights. Of course you can make it as simple or elaborate as you may like. The picture above is the entrance filled with inverted umbrellas on the top and  candle stands on both the sides.

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The pathway was set up with Vintage frames of V’s pictures and small photo frames kept on table covered with fur mats.

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Photo booth was a tough choice as we kept shortlisting and discarding several backgrounds with Victorian themes. Initially we thought we could use a flex of a castle as background and few props in the platform but somehow it did not create the right effect. So we ordered a complete fabrication of a chariot with the horse. Few cages were hung here and there and the ceiling was covered with red and white helium balloons with the ribbons hanging.

Then came the cake table and background. I wish I had better pictures for these as we spent the maximum time and effort behind it. The V shaped light inside the vintage frame was made locally to create a 3D effect. I had a huge dilemma on what flowers to be used in the background as roses are the biggest elements of Victorian times but they looked too mainstream to me. So we got in touch with a vendor from another city who handmade flowers which looked something in between roses and carnations and got them sprayed in red, pink and white. The cake table was laid with a Victorian White Lace cloth as the base and lot of silver candle stands, carnations and one huge cake stand studded with crystals.

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The cake had to be a simple one, white fondant with red roses.

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Our performer for the evening – a Russian flutist was also dressed in a Victorian gown. So were me and V! Check out my Instagram posts and stories for more pictures of the evening at http://www.instagram.com/missvogueviolet

FLYING WITH A BABY?

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While vacationing with a baby might sound like an oxymoron, good planning and preparation can ease off a huge amount of load from the parents. Basically, if you are prepared ahead of time, it could be a smooth experience. I have traveled with V since she was 3 months and by the time she was 1, she had made it to her 18th flight. It was never perfect but it was never that bad to put my travel life grind to a halt. Here are few tips which can help you on those long flights that you are dreading –

  1. First and foremost, book the front seat with a bassinet – Lot of airlines do give you the option of pre – booking the bassinet seat online but some could  ask you to wait till you collect your boarding pass and request for a bassinet seat at the counter. In that case, it will be based on availability, so it is better to check with the airlines beforehand because once the baby is asleep, you can safely place him/her on the bassinet and give your arms some rest. The crew does not fit the bassinet during takeoff and landing, so you will have to manage that time on your own. Bassinet is quite a boon until your baby has reached the crawling/walking phase.
  2. Lots of extras – You have to forget the concept of travelling light when it comes to travelling with a baby. Layering is important as flights get very cold after they take off, also if you carry layers,you can take them off in warmer temperatures . I always dress V in light clothes which are confortable while travelling and layer her up as and when required.Hence, you should have space in the diaper bag to fit in those extra jackets. Extra outfits and diapers are a must – you never know when there is spilt food/water or for that matter even poop J
  3. Medicines – One of the most important things which I never forget to carry. I learnt it the hard way in one of the flights back to India when V threw up for no apparent reason and I did not have the medicine handy. Guess what, I went around asking a few mothers on board and no body had a sickness medicine in their handbags. It was a huge mistake and since then, I never forget to carry the whole set of medicines with prescriptions wherever I go.
  4. Food and fluids – If you are a nursing mother, chances are you will have a smooth flight. Baby should be hydrated at all times as airplanes can be really drying. If he/she has started to munch on few finger foods or other snacks, please do not forget to carry those with you. I noticed V got a lot more curious about food after we introduced solids at the age of 6 months – I didn’t mind giving her a bite of the food we ordered on the flight as well.
  5. Things baby associate familiarity with – It could be a favorite toy, a favorite blanket or even a favorite pillow. Anything that the baby is used to and is compact enough to be carried must be in your cabin baggage. I have a particular chipmunk soft toy that V relates sleep with. So it becomes a lot easier for her to be calm and comfortable hugging the toy.
  6. Plan your travel around baby’s sleep schedule – Fortunately, most international flights from India are late in the night. In the initial days, V used to be in deep sleep in the mornings only, so I used to prefer booking the morning flights for domestic travel. Gradually when she started to sleep well in the night, we planned our international trips with most of the travel happening in the night flights.
  7. Carrier or stroller – Each one has its own benefits, you got to make a choice. I used to carry V in the initial days but it was a pain to take the carrier off each time during the security Check-ins. Although it is the same for strollers as well but the biggest advantage of the stroller is you can let the baby sleep in a reclining position and keep your hands free. Typically, I use carriers during sightseeing and prefer stroller during flight travels.

Guys, come what may, your baby is not going to behave his/her best while travelling unless you are extremely lucky. Let’s understand it is a change of place and by all probabilities an unpleasant one for him/her. So you will get those smirks, frosty stares and unwanted advice from your fellow passengers but good news is it doesn’t matter. Remember when you traveled during college and there were babies wailing in the flight. Could you do anything about it?No!So do not bother with what others are thinking of you – just try to make the baby comfortable as much as you can. Hope you have a safe flight with your munchkin!

WHY CHILDREN SHOULD PLAY OUTDOORS?

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This winter has been very tough for me as far as V’s health was concerned. We struggled for nights with blocked nose, persistent cough and sore throat. I had to do an extensive research on how to deal with baby’s cough and cold , how to boost immunity and how to get rid of recurring flu. While I was not successful in the initial attempts, I learnt a lot through the failed attempts. One of the biggest myths that burst for me was that babies/kids should be kept indoors to avoid any kind of health issue. Contrary to this popular belief, there are in fact hundreds of benefits for kids who play outside regularly, it is also advised that kids should spend more than 3 hours outdoors each day. Some of the reasons why you should let your child spend time outside are listed below –

  1. Confinement breeds diseases: While rest is extremely important for the sick and we are perennially worried about our kids catching cold when they step out, the reality is virus is easy to catch in closed environments. In open areas, there are lesser chances of kids catching the virus and in open air.
  2. Emotional and social competencies: Outdoor play has brain-boosting benefits for kids, starting in infancy. It strengthens the language and communication interactions among children who play together in the park. The more they socialize, the faster their learning is.
  3. Vitamin D Levels : Vitamin D has several health benefits like strengthening bone health which is a key parameter for growth in kids. Since, most of our kids have minimum exposure to sun these days, we try to supplement through food and tablets but sunlight is the most natural and effective way of receiving Vitamin D. Ofcourse, the precautionary measures must be taken for children who get sun burns easily.
  4. Channelize energy and increase curiosity: Kids come with a huge amount of energy which has to be channelized in a productive way. Kids who are confident about their physical abilities tend to be more positive about their lives in general. When they are exposed to newer things, their curiosity levels rise up, their tendency to ask questions increases and all of this contributes to the overall energy levels of a child.
  5. Increased attention span : Green outdoor settings always appear to reduce Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms amongst children, that includes the exposure they get to natural settings through different outdoor activities.
  6. Concept of leadership and team work – Outdoor play is extremely important to the social development of children particularly for building self-confidence. In addition to it, children also get more empathetic through social play, and they develop more skills for coping with conflict. Group activities also help develop team skills and leadership/moderation skills at a very early age.
  7. Boosting creativity: Sensory inputs help boost creativity and imagination. It also helps with quick learning – we all know we learn to do by doing and there is no substitute to experience. So, if you touch the sand, you would understand the concept of coarse and fine and there is no other way to explain it by seeing or reading. Hence, we must encourage our kids to step out and enjoy the sun, grass and wide skies.

I would be so happy to receive inputs from other moms who are willing to share their experiences and tricks which have worked for them.

 

 

NO RIGHT OR WRONG TO ACCESSORISING

An accessory can make or break an outfit. You don’t really need a designer brand name or the aid of a stylist if you use the right accessories.You could rock a tee and jeans or even a plain simple dress would come off looking really stylish with the right accessories. I love to experiment with my accessories – I had recently used a hair accessory as a choker and it got me tonnes of appreciation. Here, I am using a long neck piece in a different way to brighten up my solid red dress .Neck piece on the neck is too mainstream, so you can see how I have used it differently.

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Since cinched waist is in, here’s a belt from Stalk Buy Love which is perfect for flaunting an hour glass figure. There you go  –

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No wonder accessorizing is almost an art now. It separates the well dressed from the boring ones. There are incredible accessories available that can fit any budget and the best thing about accessories is you could pair it with absolutely basic clothes.

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Dress – Westside

Neckpiece – Street shopping in Thailand

Shoes – KOOVs

 

Shoot Location – Museum of Ethnology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

FIGHT THE MONDAY BLUES

 

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Monday blues are for real.Period.Yes and it’s not just me saying this but thousands of other working professionals believe that they feel the lowest on Monday mornings. It might sound funny but I actually read a few statistics which proves the fact that the starting of work week might even be hazardous to our health if we continue to hate Mondays. Researchers say that most heart attacks happen on a Monday , most people do not smile till noon on Mondays and almost everyone feels groggy on a Monday morning. But, don’t let Mondays pin you down, fight back and here are 7 ways how you can do it –

  1. Avoid keeping pending work for Monday – Mondays will always be more stressful if there is a long pending list of tasks even before you start with something afresh. So,leave that unnecessary stress out by completing the work in the week itself and start Mondays with fresh tasks which you can look forward to.
  2. Stick to the Sleep schedule –  Do not over sleep on weekends, stick to a schedule through the week.Rather,go to bed a little earlier than usual on Sunday night so that you can wake up  early and allow your mind and body to relax and adjust to the Monday morning instead of feeling rushed.
  3. Don’t live for the weekends – If you are unhappy at work,you naturally tend to be much happier when you are not working on the weekends. So try to spread out the plans through the week like a dinner out on a Wednesday, a family time on Tuesday or maybe a movie on a Thursday?
  4. Plan your Monday- Plan and prioritize to create a clear plan to get more productivity. If you can, plan a gym session before you start the day or even an elaborate breakfast – either way, it will up your endorphin levels or add further energy to your day.
  5. Dress up and show up – We all know that if we look good, we feel good. So, save the best dress for a Monday and your confidence will increase manifold.
  6. Love what you do – If you love your work, you will look forward to go to your workplace. If you feel miserable every day irrespective of what you do to combat the feeling, you possibly need to change your career plan.
  7. Smile: Always carry an attitude of happiness with you. Be a source of positivity for people around you. Compliment someone at work, acknowledge your team’s efforts or thank someone for their contribution. A happy environment will not just help you but also make others feel better.

Happy Monday People!

PARO WITH A TWIST!

The ubiquitous bridal saree for a Bengali woman would be the white and red saree. The shades can differ from a bold crimson to a sizzling scarlet, from a subtle maroon to a girly cherry red but the red on white has to stand out just like the vermilion on the bride’s head. Since time immemorial, we have heard of the legendary Devdas and when Sanjay Leela Bhansali recreated the same in the grandest way possible, all I could think of is getting my hands on a gorgeous white and red saree very similar to the one Paro wore. So, this was one of the most priced possessions in my wedding trousseau. I have worn it umpteen number of times pairing it with different kinds of blouses but this time, I decided  to style it with a long jacket and thankfully, a friend of mine could recreate the piece just as I had imagined.

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The embellishment on my jacket was that of a bird and cage and the earrings I picked up from an exhibition was that of birds with wide spread wings. jacket 3

Hair accessory picked up from a local salon which I later used as choker as well 🙂

Makeup by yours truly !I must mention the 2 products which stand out in the pictures – Huda Beauty Lashes in Claudia and Stunna Red lips by Fenty Beauty.

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A saree will never go out of fashion and the good news is there are so many ways to style it that the same one can be worn several times without looking the same. Hope you enjoy recreating this look.

 

HAPPY HOLI WITH NO COLORS

Holi is the most exciting of all the Indian festivals, for adults and children alike. While the color blast is sure to lift your spirits, the celebration can get really messy! Also, with all the water conservation issues lately, I think people are looking at more options to celebrate Holi in a unique way avoiding colors in the first place. Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways in which you can have fun and celebrate the festival of colors in an eco-friendly manner. If you are not looking forward to Holi because of the colors, here are 7 other reasons you can create for yourselves to enjoy the festival –

  1. The Décor : Festive décor is a must for the right vibes around any festival. Go for simple props as a display e.g gulal in chai glasses – It will set the mood at the entrance itself. You can string up bright balloons and paper ribbons all around. Colorful flowers will further add to the life of the occasion.
  2. Food, food and more food : Holi is associated with food as much as it is with color. Well, that’s how most Indian festivals are J If you are fond of cooking, this is the time to make some lip smacking sweets, particularly gujiyas (Sweet dumpling made with flour and stuffed with khoya). If you are fond of eating like me, the choices are never ending. I always wait for Holi to get the best of food throughout the day gorging on sweets and savories in all the meals.
  3. Colors for the kids: I am sure there would be many over protective moms like me who wouldn’t want their kids to play with colors but I am definitely not averse to the idea of introducing the concept of having fun with colors. While V is too small to even understand the art and craft, I plan to help her with few splatter cards and coloring books. Looks like fun, let’s see if she really enjoys it.
  4. Photo shoot – What a wonderful occasion to get few pictures clicked. You can make it a day to remember using a blank wall and a variety of props such as rainbow wigs, outsized sunglasses, multicolored hats, and colorful boards. Also, don’t forget a pile of masks and pouts to add to the fun.
  5. Forgive and forget – Did you know the festival of Holi is actually a day to forgive and forget, and to try and end conflicts. So, make peace amongst your groups and people you do not get along with.
  6. Chance to dress up : The traditional dress code for Holi has always been white but if you want to celebrate the festival with colors on your clothes, you can dress up in the brightest of colors and enjoy the color blast.
  7. Go for a theme: Themes in parties are always fun. A good theme can take a boring gathering to a legendary party.Go for funky themes or a floral theme where the décor to your dresses, everything is filled with flowers. Never underestimate the power that bunches of colorful fresh flowers wield.

Hope you enjoy Holi the way you like.HAPPY HOLI , guys!:)

FOTD:VICTORIAN LOOK

Dressing in vintage style clothing for a themed event or personal fashion is always a fun thing to do. While the authentic Victorian look necessitates a full skirted dress and a corset fitted blouse, it is hard to carry it off unless the theme of the party itself is Victorian(After who wants to wear a women’s civil war dress). So, I styled it a little differently with the hairstyle and makeup going back to the 19th Century and wearing a gown which has enough flair and volume to make it look Victorian.

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On the face :

Benefit Concealer Boing Brigtening Concealer

MAC Studio Fix Foundation in NC 25

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder in Porcelain

The Balm The Manizer Sisters(Highlighter, Blush and Bronzer)

On the eyes :

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eye shadow Palette

Mimoso Eye mascara

Huda Beauty Lashes in Lana

Benefit Big Brows set

On the lips – Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in shade Trophy Wife

Outfit – Frontier Raas, Delhi

It was so much fun to style this outfit, wore it to a Cocktail!After all, there are so many ways to spice up this boring life 😀

DEALING WITH SEPARATION ANXIETY

As a working mom, dealing with V’s separation anxiety has been tough for me. Although I am well aware that it only speaks of an attachment and is a completely normal behavior, my heart breaks each time she cries her lungs out while I leave. With time, I learnt a few tricks and tips for surviving this anxiety. It demands preparation, brisk transitions and a lot of time. The fact is we parents suffer as much as our children do when we leave. The first time I stepped out for an overnight work trip without V, I kept mourning the parting whole night. While the next day I tried to keep myself as busy as I can to avoid the guilt and thoughts about her, I realized I will have to consciously work towards make it easier for both of us. And months down the line, after a lot of effort I could successfully stay away for a week last month. Here are few tips that worked for me and worth giving a try –

  1. Familiarity: Familiarity always breeds comfort. Sometimes, it gets difficult for adults to adjust to unfamiliar situations, leave alone the little ones who consider their parents to be their whole world. It is very important to keep one familiar person constant, be it one of the grandparents or a caregiver. It is inevitable that your absence is bound to make a difference in the mood of the baby, but good news is babies forget everything too soon if they are comfortable with the surrounding. So, if there is a routine around a constant person, it makes things easier. Also, keeping security objects close to the baby (any favorite toy, blanket etc) makes them feel secured.
  2. Reassurance : As a practice, I have played the game of “Peekaboo” with V right since she started being cognizant of her surroundings. The whole idea behind it was to reinforce the idea that even if she cannot see me for a while, she would know that I will be back. Also, when I am home and my husband is in office, I make video calls to him and let V interact with him(although she would any way get to see him in the evening) so that when I do the same while I am away on work trips, she doesn’t long for me and wouldn’t cry during the video calls.
  1. Good bye Rituals: Good byes should be kept short and sweet. If you linger , the transition time will linger too and make things more difficult eventually. As a practice, I try to keep my departure at the same time every day. So, we follow a ritual of her bidding me goodbye at the door and then she heads out straight to the bath. Gradually, she has realized that there is something to look forward to after Mommy is off to work.
  2. Keeping promises: We all feel heartbroken when promises are not kept, don’t we? These little darlings are no different and rather more vulnerable. So, whenever you promise that you will be back by 6 pm, try to keep it. If you promise to come back with a toy, then do it. This mostly makes a difference to toddlers because they understand what you say and actually look forward to your commitments. Keeping promises helps build trust and credibility with your child.
  3. Customized approach: Every child is different. What works for my baby may not work for you and therefore, you need to keep trying until you are successful. Lot of people insist on letting the baby sleep in a different room in order to build a sense of independence. It never worked with me and I never had the courage to let her be out of my sight through the night but if it does for you, go for it. I have believed in attachment parenting and I always ensure someone is around her at all times until she maybe learns to speak for herself.
  4. Practice distance: Even when you are home, try and practice staying apart while the baby engages in fun activities. I typically like to send her for playdates with other toddlers (of course under supervision of adults) or leave her with grandparents for an hour or so. This helps in adaptability with new faces and gradually they learn to enjoy some time off familiar faces.
  5. Do not impose the concept of “No crying” – According to me, crying is not a negative trait by any means. It is just a way of expressing an emotion and babies have every right to express their displeasure regarding something, The ability to be aware and express the feelings itself is a major milestone and an important emotional foundation. While, we mothers can’t stop feeling guilty about it, babies outgrow this feeling very soon(unless the baby is sick or has any other problem). So, next time the baby cries when you are stepping out, give her a tighter hug and say ‘goodbye’. She will be fine with the care giver, trust me. Just make sure she is comfortable with the care giver on normal days.

While I am no child psychiatrist, I can say that most of these things worked for me and the suggestion are purely based on personal experiences.

BABYWEARING X SOULSLING

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Although baby wearing is an old concept, it has gained a significant momentum in the recent times as researchers have validated the benefits of this timeless practice. The studies have confirmed that our children’s social, physical and emotional development are all affected by human contact. Like many other mothers, I too have been told not to wear the baby often as it makes them clingy but if I go by my personal experience, I and V thoroughly enjoy the whole process. I cannot even begin to express how wonderful I feel when she falls asleep so close to my heart. After all, she is a piece of my heart beating outside of it.

Coming back to the benefits of baby wearing, let me list out the 3 most important ones which have helped me immensely in my motherhood journey –

Bonding and emotional security: The intimacy associated with the baby and mother/caregiver is multiplied exponentially with baby wearing and is directly proportional to the understanding and communication between the two. When you have a strong foundation, it leads to a healthier relationship in times to come. Holding the baby close comforts him/her, this has been a boon for colic babies as well. So, the next time someone tells you that you are spoiling the child by holding/picking him/her, think twice.

  1. Multitasking: They say being a mother is a job where you get no holidays. It is true, we get no breaks, no leaves and no time offs – so basically every other task needs to be completed along with managing pretty much everything related to the baby. With baby wearing, I was not just able to do the household chores but also travel conveniently with her wound around me. V was not too comfortable in the stroller when we went on a trip in her first few months but wearing her made both of us comfortable.

IMG_00483. Eco friendly option: The third less thought about benefit of baby wearing is it offers an option to cut down on the plastics used in strollers and chairs. People have been making their own baby carriers since ages but now, even in India we get ergonomic carriers in the best quality with the ease of online availability as well. My favorite one being Soul Slings!

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Having said this, I must emphasize on the fact that baby wearing is a good experience only if the baby is worn correctly. So, while choosing the baby carrier, there are certain conditions that you will have to keep in mind, few of them listed below –

  1. Ergonomic baby carriers – An ergonomic baby carriershould distribute the child’s weight evenly and comfortably for the wearer while giving good support to the child. The safety of the baby and the wearer is of prime importance, so it should give proper support to the baby and not inhibit the growth of spine in any way.
  2. Carrier suitable for the age – One carrier does not fit all ages and weights. A stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the new born whereas a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. Soulslings has a droolworthy collection of Onbuhimo, wraps, full buckle carriers and ring slings in the most amazing prints and soft breathable fabric.Here you can see me using the Standard Full Buckle Carrier from www.soulslings.com

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  1. Purpose of babywearing: It is important to firm the purpose of baby wearing and then choosing the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. So, if you want to nurse discreetly you would probably opt for a wrap, if you want to go hiking with the baby, you would probably opt for a full buckle which is ideal for back carries.

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I personally have had the best experience with www.soulslings.com, you should definitely go check out their collection.

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For more such updates, click follow on the picture below –

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Look who has got my back!! I have been travelling a lot with V and it has been possible only because I decided to wear her weeks after she was born.Here,I am using the standard full buckle carrier from @soulslings_india one for the toddlers which is perfect for front and back carries.The best deal is it is perfect for fathers and other caregivers as well.When I started babywearing , I did not really have the best knowledge of how to evaluate a good baby carrier but now that I know,I thought I must list out 3 most important ones for you all- 1. Must go for ergonomic baby carriers as safety of the baby and the wearer is supreme. 2.One carrier doesn't fit all ages and weights-a stretchy wrap is ideal for a new born as it takes the shape of the spine while a stronger structured one is more suitable for a toddler. 3.Firm the purpose of babywearing (nursing discreetly,travelling,hiking etc) and accordingly choose the carrier which best fits the position suitable for the purpose. P.S : My Valentine V is having her morning chai on my back 🙂 #soulslings #soulslingsindia #vogueviolet

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You can follow soulslings on Instagram at www.instagram.com/soulslings_india

ONE SHOULDER FORMAL YET CASUAL

The one shoulder trend is at its peak.Most of the online shopping websites are flooded with varied options of one shoulder tops and dresses. I picked up this satin olive green one shoulder blouse and carried it to one of my holidays. I always thought I could only wear it to a formal party with a pencil skirt and high heels but guess what!I finally wore it to a day long excursion with my all time favorite ONLY skinny black pants and Silver Laceup Cupsole Trainers from KOOVS!Here are few pictures from this look –

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We had an open Jacuzzi with a plain white background in our hotel at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and it was just perfect for the shoot 🙂

On the face :

Bobbi Brown BB Cream

Bobbi Brown Illuminating Powder in Porcelain

On the eyes:

Benefit They’re Real Eyeliner

Bausch & Lomb Eye Contact Lens in Green

Mimoso Eye Mascara

On the lips:

MAC Lipstick in Twig

 

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I have such fond memories of this trip and this was the last day at Ho Chi Minh. A day long outing which ended up with a lot of shopping.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures!I can’t wait to pair this with something really abstract and experiment yet again!

DOES BEING A MOMMY MAKE YOU MORE EMPLOYABLE?

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We have heard enough of how motherhood is a big hindrance to the quintessential career woman. Well, to think of it, it is undoubtedly a very big challenge to manage a flourishing career with a baby yet being a mother actually necessitates a whole barrage of highly employable skills and competencies which can only benefit a career woman.

While we may not consciously acknowledge or recognize the ways we have up skilled ourselves, I think it is very important that the same should be broadcasted to the world. Who knows our potential future employers might be able to identify with our skill set better after reading this!  I am going to write on 7 most important skills that we develop as mothers that actually give us an edge over our colleagues at the workplace.

  1. Time Management: Yes, this is the primary skill which makes us superwomen. None of us feel we have enough time to complete all the tasks in a day but as moms, we have mastered the art of meeting deadlines and magically completing all the tasks despite the uncertain circumstances. Like many other moms, I too mentally scan the whole day in advance every morning and divide activities in neat slots nearly perfecting the ambition of task completion by end of the day.
  2. Planning and Priority Setting: Yes, even without a scheduler, we manage to feed, wash, clean and complete all the important tasks with no qualms. And when we’re able to mentally plan and juggle these tasks throughout the day, we’re adeptly sorting out which ones are priority to us and which ones can be postponed for later. As a trainer myself, I have done multiple sessions on planning and prioritization for the employees in my organization but lately I realized that post motherhood, I have found new effective tricks to manage gaps, assemble activities and schedule tasks.
  3. Crisis Management: How you deal with crises is a big deal in Corporate life. As a mother, we already are experts in being on top of situational awareness, adaptability and conflict management. These are the most important skills required to deal with any kind of crisis at work and having developed these can actually put us in a pedestal at the workplace.
  4. Negotiation: Any parent who has survived the baby is definitely a pro at convincing an unreasonable person to do what they want. While we get to develop this skill absolutely for free, there is no denying to the fact that it has been developed during the toughest of times. So, negotiating with stubborn people would be a cakewalk for us now.
  5. Change Management: With a baby, every day is a new experience. We cannot predict what is coming our way next but dealing with these uncertain requirements every single day makes us a stone wall ready to take any kind of hit. This is a huge plus for the Corporate employees and in the current scenario, something that should go right on the top of our CV.
  6. Problem Solving : If you have more than one child, you probably practise this every single day. Babies and children always present an endless list of problems that need solving and with multiple children, you possibly got an added flavor of conflict management as well. Starting with sleep training to fixing broken toys, our minds are programmed in such a way that we literally figure out a solution for every problem that crops up.
  7. Communication : The other day during a fun Friday at work, we were playing a game of Dumb Charades. Bam, I was a pro at it. Thanks to all the non-verbal cues I pick up every single day from my darling daughter. Dealing with a baby helps us realize that language is not a barrier. It makes us more positive, empathetic and effective in both verbal and non-verbal communication. It also brings out a great listener in us, after all listening to the endless blabbering and answering repetitive questions is a test of patience that we can pass only with experience.

Personally, I think I learnt better in my motherhood journey than all the management lessons put together during my Business school days.:D

I hope you mommies find this useful as well!

Retro dressing for Indian Wedding

Winters are almost fading out and spring is just around the corner but do you know which is my favorite season? Just like thousands of other women, I enjoy wedding season the most. No matter how cheesy that may sound, trust me we wait for the season of celebration, rejoicing and most importantly, dressing up. While most wedding parties do not particularly have a theme to follow, I would like to share a few pictures from the Retro look I created few days back.

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Makeup :

On the Face:

Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation in Beige

MAC Strobe Cream as highlighter

MAC Petal Power as blush

MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural

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On the eyes :

Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Eye Palette

Eden on the lids, Desert sand towards the inner corners

Saffron on the outer corners and on the crease

Cosmo on the lids

Angelic in the inner lids

Chambor Eyeliner in Peacock Blue on the waterline

NYX Purple eye liner under the lower lashline

Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Huda Eye Lashes in Claudia

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On the lips :

Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick in Trophy Wife

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Lehenga : Nivedita Saboo (This lehenga with a perfect fitted corset blouse is 7 years old which I had got done for my cousin’s wedding – Very light to carry and something that I would probably never do away with. I am just so glad I still fit into it)

 

For the perfect Retro look, I obviously created a generous amount of puff and bounce in the hair. I hope you would like to recreate this one!

 

 

KEEPING PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE!

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Keeping our personal lives private is such a difficult task. With the social media bang, it’s so flattering that people genuinely love to follow and comment on the lives we are living, the work we are doing, who we are sharing our lives with, what are our relationship moves and how we are getting to our life’s goals. We add fuel to the fire ourselves by the information we share on social media platforms and then have to face the repercussions. If you’re possibly looking for some ways to get off the grid , the next few lines might help.

Let’s talk about few points on why private life must be kept private –

  1. Low key profile – We live in a constant struggle to make our presence felt by people around us and to do the same, we try to share as much as we can. Well, I feel giving too much of yourself away in a way allows others to feel like they can define your personality and once they do, it’s hard to feel like you can ever deviate from not what you project but how they have defined you.
  1. Peer pressure – Social media has done this to us. We see the happiest of faces of people around us – a projection of life they DO NOT lead and guess what? Our brain compels us to share similar projection of ourselves to the world. We perceive it as a need to tell the world that we are happy because everybody else seems to be happy. We must not give in to such pressure because after all, it is just a part of someone’s life, not the all of it.
  2. Work life balance– Don’t let your professional life drive all over your personal life. Respect your personal relationships and schedule your personal activities so that you can dedicate specific time for personal activities. This way, you can ensure there is a clear demarcation between what the people at work can expect and what your family and friends can expect from you.
  3. Element of mystery – There is a theory around this. People who do not open up about themselves frequently are found to be more attractive. So, basically there is a constant curiosity in the minds of people to know more about the individual. So , next time you want to draw attention to yourself , do not just give away the whole of you 😀
  4. Move On – When you share your intimate details with everyone around you, it gets more difficult to move on. The other day, I heard someone share a story about how he got terminated at multiple workplaces due to unethical practices. The next I knew, the interviewer of the next job opportunity was someone who already knew of this history because he had made it public. This not just killed his confidence but also got him caught in his own trap.
  5. Opinionated world – Yes, the world will judge you, always. If you give people more opportunities to peek into your life, they will get more reasons to point their fingers at you. So, build your core group and value opinions of people who matter to you and trust me, they are the ones who will be a phone call away, not people who would be checking your social media accounts.
  6. Profession – As bloggers, we feel it is a self-imposed duty to share useful information from our personal experiences with the world. I agree, the best content comes from our own personal perspective and point of view but personally, I always draw a line. You will never see me dish out the nitty gritty details of my everyday life but just as much as required for people to understand and resonate with me.

I would love to get your comments on where do you draw the line!

PAKISTANI SUIT WITH WISHALLEY.COM

We all keep looking for that perfect Indian wear, don’t we? And Salwar suits never go out of fashion. Pakistani suits have taken center stage for most fashion shows lately and no wonder, the trend has been quite a hit. They have a regal, graceful look, with flowing silhouettes, intricate designs and artistic patterns being quite a norm. They come with a long kurta with full sleeves, straight bottoms or loose pallazos and a flowy dupatta.

Personally, I am a sucker for pastels. I always have been and when I saw this perfect combination of pastel pink and green, I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on them. The fabric is a breathable Georgette with ample golden and pink embroidery making it look no less than a designer outfit.

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To shop this look, please click on the link below –

http://www.wishalley.com/designer-light-green-and-blush-pink-georgette-suit-with-heavy-embroidery.html

I wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing ensemble and hence, paired this dress with silver and dull gold jewelry.

Details below –

Silver earrings from Tribe by Amrapali

Statement Silver Ring – Local shop in Langkawi

Dull gold Bracelet – Tanishq

You could easily pair it with a maangtika and wear it to a Sangeet or just keep it simple to a casual party. This is the beauty of a Pakistani suit – very high on comfort and wearable on all occasions.I could hold  the suit all day with absolutely no discomfort.

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WishAlley has a wide range of options to offer – from solids to prints and they swear by the statement –‘classy is always in’. You can pick from a mix of stitched and unstitched garments and with the ease of online shopping, you can actually browse through the collection and pick something for every occasion (weddings to kitty parties). The products are shipped within 3 days and you get the option of Cash on Delivery as well. High time to log on to www.wishalley.com and revamp your closet from a range of designer kaftaans,kurtis, dressy suits to add a dash of style to your persona, all at a reasonable price! They have very satisfied customers who have rated them 4.8/5!

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Learning from Homestay Hosts!

‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ is an ancient line that comes from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God. While this is practiced widely in India, we got to experience the flavor of it in our Paris Trip where we decided to stay with the host family through a popular home stay website. While the option is far more economic compared to a hotel stay, the experience is unmatched. In most occasions, you will find the hosts being extremely enthusiastic about letting out their place. They won’t behave like they are just temporary landlords who are handing over their keys to you. They are in the true spirit, cultural ambassadors proud of the place they’re from, sharing their homes and offering a unique experience in the city you have come visiting. We as a couple had a ball in not just Paris but different cities of UK and Europe staying in various apartments where we met extremely generous and fun loving hosts. We have been picking up our learning from each of the experiences.Here are few pictures from the home stay at Paris.

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Let me just share my top 7 points on being a good host and why you should consider hosting your space to guests –

  1. How to be accepting – No matter how different your cultures and languages might be, there is always something common to strike a chord with and this is a great platform to explore that. Similarly, you also learn to respect each others’ differences, either way it is a great way to improve the quality of accepting people around you.
  2. How to respect individual space – When you are letting out your house to strangers, you have to place hundred percent trust on them and it is not easy. So, that itself is a huge task to complete before you step out to become a host. As guests in our homestays, we felt completely at home particularly in the magnificent modern apartment of Paris only for the reason that the hosts gave us our space all through the day yet made sure to join us during the meals as one big family.
  3. How to be a cultural ambassador – As hosts, you can be an instant favorite if you give useful recommendations like the local pubs, the nearby restaurants, the must see places and the ones that can be skipped, the opera, the theatre and the list goes on. Funnily, it improves your knowledge of the culture of your locale.Hence, it is always wise to write to the guest beforehand and understand their interest and purpose of travel.
  4. How to exchange values – Hosting guests provides you with the opportunity to learn about a new country’s cultural and family values as much as it provides them with the same opportunity. Understanding other’s cultures teaches you to understand more about people’s personalities and attitudes towards many different aspects of life.
  5. How to make awesome food – I know it sounds funny but I have heard people say that some of the best foods they have had in their lives are with the host families they have stayed with. In our experience, the hosts would leave a generous spread of breakfast at the table every morning but they loved to cook food for supper every evening. We took this opportunity to introduce few Indian dishes to them and they absolutely loved it(minus the spices). Interestingly, one of them was Spanish, so it was a brilliant concoction of Indian, French and Spanish food that we had every evening.
  6. How to build professional network – Foreign language is a great plus for your resume if you are ready to take up an international assignment, this is a wonderful opportunity to grow your professional network .
  7. How to be passionate about simple joys of life – Hosting is possibly the most natural thing that comes to human beings, after all you must have hosted someone at some point of life – be it friends or family. Hosting a stranger can be a really rewarding experience if you leverage on this unique opportunity of making a new friend, getting to know about a new culture and possibly open a channel to your next travel to the guest’s city.

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Picture from a busy locale just outside the apartment, from fruits to flowers to pubs – everything a stone’s throw away!

The next time you think about letting out your space to a stranger, think from a positive perspective!

Happy Hosting!

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Atithi devo bhava is an ancient line from the Hindu Scriptures which speaks about how a guest is equivalent to God.While this is practised widely in India,we got to experience this amazing hospitality at Marc and Xavier's place in Paris. My top 3 learnings on being a good host comes from these gentlemen- 1.How to be accepting-No matter how different our cultures and languages might be,there is always something common to strike a chord with. 2.How to give space- When you are letting out your house to strangers,you have to place hundred percent trust on them.We felt absolutely at home in this magnificent house only because they gave us our space yet joined us for meals as one big family. 3.Being a good guide – As hosts, you can be instant friends when you give useful recommendations like the local pubs,the nearby restaurants,the opera,the theatre and the list goes on.Read full story on #vogueviolet-link in bio👆 Have you ever experienced such an amazing hospitality from strangers that you can't forget the hosts? #airbnb #homestay

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FOTD: Green Eyes with all things subtle!

I have been wanting to do this post for a really long time.I had worked on this look very diligently but I could not take the pictures in time(Thanks to the tight mommy schedule).So I recreated it again in my recent holiday at Vietnam. Honestly, I am not very comfortable with colored lens for the simple reason that I have never had to wear spectacles or contact lens ever in my life. So the feeling of having a foreign object in my eyes constantly bothers me.However, the kind of instant glamour a colored lens adds to the look just blows my mind away. So, I kind of brave the odds each time for that glamorous look 😀 Here are few pictures of the look – AirBrush_20180125162612AirBrush_20180125185222

On the face :

Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Shade Fair

Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder in Porcelain

MAC Mineralise Finish in Lightscapade – Soft Candlelight Beige in Multidimensional Shimmer

Too Faced Sweet Hearts Perfect Flush Blush – Something About Berry

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On the eyes –

Mac Burgundy Times Nine Eyeshadow palette –

Poppyseed in the inner corner

Haux on the lids

Noir in the outer corner and crease

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MAC Prolongwear Fluidline in Dip Down on the upper and lower lashline

On the eyelashes – Benefit They’re Real

Lens – Bausch and Lomb in Green

The below picture is just before I brushed off the glitter and did my final touch up!

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On the lips – NYX Soft Matte Cream in Rome

I had so much fun doing this one. I hope you do too , please share your recreations on the comments tab below or DM me on Instagram @missvogueviolet.

 

Night Market at Hanoi, Vietnam!

Night markets have a character of their own.I think we were at Hanoi on the perfect days(the weekend when the night markets run through the streets of Old Quarters) to have got this opportunity to get an authentic glimpse of the very colorful and vibrant market.The market stretches from Hang Dao street to Dong Xuan Market filled with seemingly endless line of stalls.From souvenirs to clothes to local craft, I just couldn’t get enough of it. The colors and lively atmosphere were a treat to the eyes. I captured some of the sights that really impressed me, no wonder I want to go back too soon 🙂IMG_0525IMG_0526IMG_0528IMG_0529IMG_0535 (1)IMG_0540 (3)IMG_0546 (1)IMG_0547IMG_0548IMG_0550IMG_0551

 

If you ever plan a visit to Vietnam, do not miss the night markets!Just walking by the street would lift your spirits. Happy travelling!

HOMESICK DURING VACATION?

So, I am writing this post in the middle of a holiday as I think of my darling little V who is having a ball of time back home. Generally, home is far from the top of my mind when I travel to a new place. I am always busy exploring and soaking in the experience yet I always look forward to going back when it is time to return.

A quote that I relate to –

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 I love coming home after being away. Do you feel the same way? Read on to find out 7 reason why –

  1. Family: Whatever said and done, there is no substitute to the warmth of a family and if you got fur babies, I know you just can’t wait to get back home and cuddle up.
  2. Comfort: I know all you fashionistas love to wear the best of clothes and shoot the best of pictures in vacations, but hey, secretly we all want to go back to our pajamas and slump in the couch, don’t we?
  3. Back on track: Yes, holidays are the time when all your new year resolutions, diet and workout goals go for a toss. So, coming back to home gets you back on track with clean eating and increased focus on health.
  4. Creativity: Sometimes you get so many fresh ideas in a holiday that you can’t wait for the surge of creativity to step out of you and implement them in your lives.
  5. Familiarity: When you are in a different country, after a certain period of time, you practically long to communicate in your own language, eat your home cooked food and feel your usual neighborhood.
  6. Routine: Yes, you went on a holiday to escape the usual but people like me long to get back to routine after a few days. A routine just makes life easy, you know exactly what you’re going to do next.
  7. Sleep: After an activity packed vacation and before you start going back to work, you would want to get some good sleep(and what better than your own bed). You can catch up on all the episodes loss of your favorite series. So, all you GOT fans, please don’t plan a vacation when Season 8 is aired!

Don’t get me wrong, I love vacations as much as you do but I also really do LOVE coming back home 🙂

 

Bloggers Liebster Award

If you are a blogger, you probably already know about the Liebster award. For all of my readers who haven’t heard of it,  it is a recognition by fellow bloggers to someone who is new to the blogging community. It feels great to be recognized by someone of your own and my heartfelt thanks to Joyce Osiange from www.thecozyme.com for nominating me for the award.

Liebster

Joyce asked me a few questions that helped me introspect further on my blogging journey. Read on to find out my responses –

  1. What drove you to blogging and what are the challenges you are facing as a blogger? How do you tackle them?

I have had a passion for writing since I was very young. As a teenager, I was very secretive about my writings and poetry. I would literally hide my diary and never let anyone touch it. Gradually, with age and more exposure to the web, I realized that there are so many like-minded people around who share the same passion and that it is best to share and learn from others. The biggest challenge I face as a blogger is to manage time. As a new mom and a full time working professional, sparing a slot for writing is a tough task for me. I’m trying to tackle it by scheduling my posts in advance and planning my day more effectively.

  1. Do you blog fulltime?

No, blogging is my hobby. I am a fulltime HR professional.

  1. Where is your next travel destination?

Vietnam – Yay!!

  1. What is the most extreme thing you have done?

Scuba Diving – I have been scared of water all my life yet mustered the courage to dive in the waters of Andamans, India,

  1. When you have a writer’s block what do you do to work it out?

Thankfully I have not been hit with the condition yet. I write on different genres, ranging from beauty to fitness and motherhood. Hence, I have enough and more to explore and share in the coming years.

  1. What advice will you give to those who want to start blogging?

Follow your passion. If it really interests you, go for it and the world will follow you.

  1. Do you interact with your reader?

I love to interact with my readers because they are my biggest source of feedback and constructive criticism.

  1. Name one thing that inspires you daily.

The fact that my hands are always full. I feel I can deliver better under pressure and when I am pressed for time, I am more motivated to deliver.

  1. If you had to give an advice to thecozyme.com what will it be?

I love the versatility of your writings and your motivation posts are really inspiring. keep up the good work.

  1. Are you a member of any blog forum/group? How does it benefit you?

I am a member of few. Still trying trying to figure out my way through.

So, the deal is we nominate budding bloggers from the community and ask 10 questions which would help the world know them better.

Please note the rules before listing the nominations –

  1. Thank the person who nominated you through your social media platform by sharing their blog post.
  2. Write a blog post about Liebster Award and make sure to add the logo.
  3. Answer the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5-10 bloggers whose blogs are of interest to you.
  5. List the rules in the Liebster Award blog post.
  6. Inform the nominees about their nomination for them to continue the chain of nominating other bloggers.

So, I nominate the following

  1. twomouthsfull.com
  2. fatimas.usana.com
  3. girlknowswhat.wordpress.com
  4. heelsdigest.com
  5. monicaepure.tumblr.com
  6. openroadbrokencompass.com
  7. adoremyskin.blog/
  8. suburbansocialite.com
  9. themintchipmama.wordpress.com
  10. outsidelivingtravel.org/

And my questions to them are –

  1. Describe yourself in three words.
  2. How long have you been blogging and what has kept you going?
  3. How did you choose your blogging niche?
  4. What is your biggest passion in life? Does your blog speak about your passion?
  5. What is your most prized possession?
  6. What is your favorite quote and by whom?
  7. What is your favorite post on your blog and why? (Please provide link)
  8. What is your favorite post on my blog and why? (Please provide link)
  9. What is the single most important characteristic of a person that you appreciate the most?
  10. What is your advice to the new bloggers?

Please don’t forget to click on subscribe and follow on the social media handles.Happy blogging!

 

Maternity and nursing style with Momzjoy.com!

Florals have been my favorite always. They bring in the feel of spring even on the gloomiest of the seasons. After living in neutrals all winter, I have been craving for some color and what better than this gorgeous blue with tiny tangerine flowers (just what would suit this kind of sunny winter brunch).

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This lovely maxi dress from www.momzjoy.com is ideal for a nursing mother (as it comes with concealed zips) or a mom-to-be who can use the detachable belt to flaunt that cute bump in style. The material is very soft crepe which lets your skin breathe in ease (just what you need at this time). Having said that, I think it is a wonderful maxi dress with side slits which can be worn even after pregnancy giving you a tall, elegant and confident look. Here are few more pictures of the look –

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Being a working mom myself, I know this would have been my top pick for dressing to work during maternity. I absolutely love the fluted sleeves and the linen fabric which gives a corporate touch to it. Extremely comfortable fit and front buttons make it ideal for a nursing mother. Generally, vertical stripes are to be avoided during pregnancy but the fall and fit of this dress makes you look effortlessly stylish!

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Momzjoy.com has a range of innovative designs that can be used during and after pregnancy. Go check out their collection at www.momzjoy.com and let me know in the comments section on how you style yourself with confidence!

Office Makeup Look: Brown and Burgundy!

Like every other makeup enthusiast, I too buy a lot of makeup products impulsively and then dump them away one fine day only to realize they have gone beyond their expiry dates. Lately, I have been consciously keeping a watch on what products I use more often and the findings are no surprises. They are the ones I use for my daily makeup to work. This is a challenge which many women face while selecting the right makeup for a corporate environment. You don’t want to overdo it yet want to flaunt a fresh natural face. There’s so much to learn about such kind of no makeup –  makeup that it can be overwhelming. My simple war cry is “Less is more”!Here’s a look which is very easy to recreate and perfect for the workplace –

20180115_120727Basic products used which are available in the same colors with almost all the brands.

I chose to keep the face clean – No blush, highlighter or contouring!

Products used

On the Face –

  1. Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Shade Fair
  2. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Light Plus

On the Lips –

MAC Taupe

On the Eyes –

1.MAC Burgundy Times Nine

PoppySeed on the Eyelid

HoneyLust in the inner corner

Sketch on the crease and outer corners

2.Eye Liner – MAC Fluidline in Rich Ground

3.Eye Lashes – Benefit ‘They’re Real’

4. Brows – Benefit KABrow

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Sweater and Dhoti Swag!

I know it’s the season of sweaters and you still don’t want to let go of your swag. Tired of the “Beta, sweater pehno” instructions? So am I but it’s the month of January and the temperatures have been dropping further. I cannot do without my layers , yet cannot do away with my comfortable pants. So,last weekend for a small lunch gathering I decided to pick my dhoti pants and kept wondering what I can pair it with; without letting go of the quirk element. I googled quite a bit on a sweater/sweatshirt and dhoti combination and found nothing to my liking . So, I decided to create a look of my own with my all time favorite fit of Tommy Hilfiger pullover. All those who have seen my post on Eye Makeup:Long wings and pixie dust!  This makeup look was done with this red and black outfit!

 

The aviators and me are inseparable. The fact that they go well with anything and everything that I wear makes me really happy!

I tucked it in because I liked to show the dhoti in its full glory 😀 It looks casual and fun when you leave it out as well.

Time for an indoor picture after the sunny shoot on a cold day!

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Outfit Details-

Sweater – Tommy Hilfiger

Dhoti Pants – Aakriti

Jooti – Local shop at Udaipur

 

Follow me on Instagram to get more updates on outfit styling  –

LEAP OF FAITH

The other day I was looking at a picture of me and V taken a few months back. It made me wonder how fast she is growing, adapting to the environment around her so effortlessly and learning new things every single day. Learning seems so easy to her now and little does she know that unlearning all of these things will get difficult with age. Today ,when I look at myself , I wonder when was the last time I accepted a change without questioning or started something new,embracing a new beginning whole heartedly. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith to experience the magic of a new beginning.

Here are 7 reasons why you must take the “Leap of faith “ –

  • Listen to your inner voice : Sometimes, we just need to sense our gut instinct and follow it because often it is the inner voice which leads you to the right path instead of the external advice that you have been seeking all along.
  • Regret and no regret : If you take up this lifetime opportunity, you will not regret it later. At the same time, for all the practical reasons you might realize later that you have made a wrong choice. Take a leap of faith for the choice that you truly want, so you will not feel the pinch of regret later. Sometimes the safer route is not always the best because once a decision is set in motion, it is likely to gain more momentum. I have seen infeasible dreams turning into reality merely through grit and determination.
  • Overcome the fear of unknown: There’s always an element of fear for what you can’t see and there’s always an element of excitement and a sense of desire to chase the unknown, to follow your passion. So, make your choice, let the passion overshadow the fear!
  • Celebrate the past and present: The pursuit to your passion will never be lucid until you pave your way yourself. Be grateful for your past , present and utilize it to carve your future. Gather your experience and pick the universe’s clues to take that leap.
  • Draw inspiration :Look around for people who follow the same passion. Do you want to move to a bigger city leaving behind your settled household for a dream job? How many people in your circle have done anything close to that, how many have been successful with it?
  • Money is not an excuse : I don’t want to sound like those zillion reminders you get on your social media on how you should drop everything and go travel the world. Money is very very important but don’t let money be your excuse. Plan your savings, take time to do it and if you really want to move and take advantage of this new experience, you’ll find a way to make it work.
  • It doesn’t work out : Come back and start again. You might lose time, but the gain is immense in terms of the experience. You learn new things from new people, new challenges, new places and most importantly the new ‘you’. The risk is well worth the reward.

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The inner voice!

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Eye Makeup:Long wings and pixie dust!

“With brave wings, she flies”

 

I have been obsessed with dramatic eyes off late yet like most others, always a little shy to do a dramatic eye makeup and step out during the day, So, today I tried something very wearable yet a look that gives most attention to the eyes. So, let me show you few pictures which you can easily recreate with similar products that I am going to show you at the end – 20180107_181235

On the eyes:

  • DIORSHOW Fusion Mono in Shade 661 Meteore on the eye lids(One of my all time favorites, it will never let you go over the board no matter how much you apply)
  • Chambor Smokey eyes Intense Kohl on the water line
  • Benefit They’re Real Push up Liner in Black on the lash line
  • Benefit They’re Real Mascara on the eye lashes
  • Benefit Ka Brow on the eyes brows

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On the Face – 

  • Forest Essentials Soundarya Radiance Cream(Free samples from nykaa)
  • Benefit Dandelion Blush (from the travel packs)

I did not use any highlighter or powder to keep the look light and dewy.

On the lips:

  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Amsterdam

Picture of the products used below (Just look at the pigmented DIORSHOW Fusion Mono, just awesome)

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I would love to see your recreations using the same products or their dupes 🙂

Extroverted Introvert’s Guide

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Source :Inpathybulletin

Like every other corporate employee, the thought of Friday evening delights me. This Friday is no exception. The only difference is I am torn between wanting to go party and staying home spending some “lone time”. Although after Little Miss V arrived in our lives, there is no such lone time that exists in the schedule yet the thought of curling up inside the blanket in my pajamas, reading a book , staring at the ceiling and doing nothing(after she sleeps) kind of comforts me. Well, I cannot say that I am an outright introvert person because I might lose my job if I say that. After all, I am a Human Resources Professional and it’s my responsibility to socialize with human beings and manage them professionally. So, I found a term for myself which justifies the imbalance between being gregarious and unusually quiet – extroverted introvert. Now, let me explain this with 7 typical characteristics of an extroverted introverts –

  1. They are not the most talkative in the group but can be great conversationalists if interested in the conversation.
  2. Love to be alone yet feel lonely.
  3. Seek attention yet want to go hide in a shell when they get it.
  4. Operate on “ON/OFF” mode – Appear very sociable when out in groups yet rush home to recharge in solitude.
  5. They have 1112 friends on social media yet 2 they can actually depend on. They can make friends easily but find it difficult to maintain friendships.
  6. They crave meaningful conversations and are not interested in small talk.
  7. Others perceive them as extroverts while they are constantly conversing in their head like introverts.

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Source : boredpanda

No, we are not schizophrenic !!!We are just people constantly chasing the company of solitude in the midst of crowd. If you identify yourself with these characteristics, feel free to subscribe on my blog and follow on Instagram @missvogueviolet to view more such posts.

 

SAY “YES” TO “NO”

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Picture Source: businessinsider

All my life, I have been constantly working on this area of “Saying NO tactfully” yet I have not mastered the same. As simple as it may sound, saying “NO” is probably one of the hardest things to say to people we deal with in our daily lives. When I started out in my HR career, I realized I am getting into a habit of saying “Yes”, often in haste which gives me absolutely no time to evaluate, align or calibrate the options I get. Slowly, I tried to work on it and a lot of introspection is what it took to arrive at the 7 reasons where I found a solution in “NO” as an answer.

  1. The clichéd reason: Be yourself – Yes, everyone on the internet and in your real world has already told this to you. It is the single most important reason why you should learn to say “NO” because nothing deserves more attention than your priorities and personal interests. Do not lose yourself in the battle to win hearts.
  2. Balance: The universe demands a balance, so does your mind and body. It is impossible to strike a balance if you have your hands full at all points of time. So, you must know what to accept and what to clearly reject in order to lead a less stressful life.
  3. Being assertive : It is a myth that saying “YES” to everything makes you a popular person, a team player or a go getter. Often, employees take all instructions from the manager in order to project themselves as superheroes who can “do it all”. Well, as Indira Nooyi said “you can’t have it all” and you should not strive to have it all as well. God forbid, you might even be perceived as a submissive person and this may lead to other free riders exploiting you for their own benefit.
  4. Command respect: Respect is a virtue which cannot be demanded. A strong personality is one who has the cognizance of his strengths and areas of development. He/she knows which task will help him leverage his strength and which one will help him overcome his weakness. The world respects such people and they are definitely not the ones who pick everything that comes their way.
  5. Set your boundaries: When you have your priorities right, you have fewer unwanted intrusions and even fewer distractions. Setting boundaries by saying “No” makes your intentions firmer and is one of the most important skills required for personal and professional growth. When you are saying “No” to things that do not interest you, you are creating a space for things to say “Yes” to.
  6. Deal with confrontation: Most people prefer not to say “No” to avoid an unnecessary conflict. They feel the relationship might stagger with a negative answer. Believe me, dealing with confrontation shapes you more as a person because a conflict helps you improve your resolution seeking skills. So, muster the courage and explore seeking solutions by confronting the people and issues you have been hiding from.
  7. The truth : Saying “no” shows that you won’t succumb to pressure and you abide by the truth. While it might make you feel vulnerable, once you make it a habit it actually helps you evolve into a more liberated and stronger personality.

Goa Travels and Property Rentals

If you are craving sun, sand and sea; Goa is the ultimate destination. While most people consider Goa to be a beautiful beach holiday destination, what amazes me even more is its colorful culture and delicious cuisine. A great mix of the Indian and Portuguese culture, the churches, fairs and festivals are quite a delight to watch. It is amazing how Goa is a travel destination for all types of travelers, be it budget or luxury. I have visited Goa in almost all phases of my life starting from luxury family trips to college trips on a very tight budget. Having done that, I know how the quality of stay and travel matters to most Goa travelers. Looking at the recent trend of non Goa residents buying properties there for holiday homes, I did some research in the same field to figure out the current property rates. If you are also looking at something similar, I must recommend you to go visit https://www.goavillaestate.com/ . Goa Villas Estate is actually a rapidly growing and ever developing real estate Brokerage Company since 2009 that provides all kind of real estate services around Goa.They help you to find any type of villas for sale in Goa, buy or sale cottages, houses and villas in any part of state. The realty offers that you can find at this website have been carefully selected by their professional realtors and brokers which means that all villas for sale in Goa are presented in their online catalog which are of the highest standard and are located in the beautiful, picturesque and environmentally pristine parts of Goa.

Non Residents are investing in Goan Villas for many reasons.

  • First reason is obviously the idea of a holiday home in a serene faraway land which has great connectivity to all major cities as well.
  • Renting out in peak tourist season can really fetch some good money.
  • Reselling at a higher price is always a good idea for an appreciating property.
  • A retirement plan for most couples and what better than the land of Goa.

Going by my personal experience, North Goa being the party place is always a great option for investment homes which can be rented out to tourists but South Goa is the place to be if you are looking to soak in leisure and harmony. The advantages of investing in North Goa are popularity among the Indian tourists, numerous clubs and great night life which ensure a steady rental income from these villas. On the other side, South Goa is filled with pristine beaches and stunning properties which are available at a remarkably lower price. To know more about which location to invest in, please follow the link https://www.goavillaestate.com/buy-villa-in-goa.html

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Browsing through the available villas, this caught my sight. To know more about the same, please click on this link https://www.goavillaestate.com/property-2335.html. So convenient that one could avail the laundry and maid services from the nearby hotel as well.

While any one (Indian, NRI or foreigner) can buy a property in Goa, it is important to get complete clarity on the taxes. GoaVillaEstate has enough and more information on that as well – https://www.goavillaestate.com/purchase-taxes.html

Some of the stunning pictures of Goan villas –

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Enough said, while I cannot wait to drool over some of these stunning pictures, please go check out the website and book your next luxury villa in the dream destination of Goa, the sunshine land of India.

If you are dreaming of a life in sand between your toes and delightful cocktails on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon, Goa is the place to be.

TISSURA: LACE FABRICS FOR BRIDAL GOWNS

Tissura is a huge global network of fashion fabric shops and showrooms located in Hong Kong, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. For the rest of the world, they are widely available on a global scale  for its online shop Tissura.com where they ship the world’s greatest textile chef-d’oeuvres to any part of world.

While they cater to a large audience whose taste vary from classy, affordable fabrics to the most luxurious ones, my eye caught the bridal lace which is beyond outstanding. They have a large repository of lace clothes that are full of tenderness and delicacy. Lace is widely preferred for the wedding gowns and Tissura.com provides the most amazing options. Lace is the absolute perfect timeless accent which compliments any silhouette and makes you look very elegant walking down the aisle. I found some amazing variants in corded lace, lyon lace and Chantilly Lace which in my imagination would make the most romantic and graceful wedding gowns.

Bridal Lace

There are different patterns ranging from stripes to floral to even geometrical and sequins all over the fabric. Manufactured in Austria, Italy and Japan they are made with the utmost perfection and highest quality.

Embroidered lace fabrics are my personal choice which define the significance and grandeur of a wedding. As proven always, lace has absolutely no limits as to which season it is acceptable for. From spring to winter, alluring lacy gowns are trending every year, every season. So, check out Tissura.com and go for the amazing bridal laces to pick your dream wedding gown.

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Represented by HOH, Riechers Marescot and Marco Lagatolla, decorated with sequins, silver bugles, beads and faux pearls, they are created to bring a touch of glimmer to your bridal dress, turning it into one of the most exciting attributes of your big day.

Tissura works with most trustworthy suppliers who are renowned for the reference quality of their fabrics.

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Tissura has been selling the best luxury couture fabrics for almost twenty years. Head to the website and buy fabrics by the leading European brands and enjoy their international delivery at Tissura online fabric store.

USE YOUR EARNED LEAVES!

Despite a fixed holiday entitlement  as per company policies stipulated by organisations, most of the employees in India often refrain from taking leave mainly due to stereotypes attached to it.A survey conducted by British Airways says “2 per cent are often concerned with the mounting load of the work while the other 26 per cent are unable to find the time to disengage from the official responsibilities. Close to 30 per cent are unable summon the courage to ask for leave, as a large share believe that two-week holidays are frowned upon or discouraged by their workplace”

Here I shall address the last reason which is traumatizing 30 % of the employee population and their families(since work life balance of the individual directly impacts the family).

Here are seven reasons why you must muster courage to take leaves at work –

  1. One must take a break from the drudgery of work. Be it a holiday or a relaxed day off at home, the rest truly makes a difference to the productivity of an employee.
  2. Some of us actually believe in accumulating holidays so that we could avail leave encashment at the time of exit. Guys, let me tell you most leaves accumulated lapse beyond a certain period of time and unless you exit in the same year before they lapse, you won’t get much benefit out of it. Additionally, a paid holiday is a day where you earn the whole amount where as in case of leave encashment, you get only basic and DA(if applicable).
  3. Often employees believe that not taking leaves will ensure the employee stays in the good books of the boss. This is the biggest myth – leaves are employees’ right and exercising a right should not depend on anyone’s perception on you.
  4. Employees burn out at a very early stage these days. This is primarily due to outrageous workloads and no worklife balance. This leaves the employee not feeling valued for all the hard work they do.
  5. Personal health and relationships is priority. It is above everything else. While most of us realize it only with age, it is better if the realization dawns sooner in our lives.
  6. Focused attention is directly proportional to higher efficiency.Dedicated hours at work ensure complete attention to the job , similarly focused attention to home and family ensure strengthening of the family bonding and personal relationships.
  7. Fewer health problems – Stress can cause a variety of issues, personal health topping the list.From the overall health and well being to serious respiratory and digestive issues, it could pose a serious threat to one’s life.

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