Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Girl Power - Leadership and Beyond

We may live in a man's world where we are known as the fairer or weaker sex but if you take a proper look around, one can clearly see that women are superstars in today's age. Whether its politics, business, sports or entertainment, there are numerous examples of ladies who have achieved success and worldwide recognition for their talent and hard work. While the specifics of their career paths vary, each shares the goal of making a difference in the wider world.  These women are passionate, know their strengths and are never afraid of learning. This is how they turn challenges into opportunities and have reached where they are today. In this post, I'm going to talk about a couple of fabulous women I admire.

Being a fashion blogger, I had to start with Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the LA based online fashion retailer Nasty Gal and author of a bestselling advice book #Girlboss . Sophia created Nasty Gal in 2006 as a vintage shop on eBay curated to her personal favorites. Over the years, her fashion sense attracted a set of 20 something female customers who were looking for unique and edgy fashionable clothes. Operating exclusively online till last year, Nasty Gal has a powerful presence on social media, with more than one million followers on Facebook and Instagram. It also gave Amoruso a target audience for her motivational book “#GirlBoss,” which was published last year and currently ranks in the top 500 books on Amazon. I've read it and its hilarious and inspirational, like the badass and outspoken Sophia herself.

Then there's Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice, one fifth of a notoriously cheesy girl band we all grew up listening and dancing to. However, how many of you really noticed her during her Spice Girls stint? I sure didn't. Even after her wedding to football superstar David Beckam, she has just known as one of the Spice Girls who had married Beckham. But look how she moved on to reinvent herself as a respected and sought after fashion designer. She has risen above endless criticism to become her own force in the fashion industry, dressing everyone from Hollywood celebrities to ‘normal’ women all over the world. And along with all this, she balances her life being wife to a doting father and husband, and mother to 4 kids. So, as a loving wife, originator of Girl Power, career switching entrepreneur, mother of four and survivor of pop star fame, Victoria Beckham is one helluva role model. 

Moving on to the line of beauty, Bobbi Brown first arrived on the scene in 1991 with the launch of her self titled makeup line which consisted of a handful of brown-based lipsticks created to bring simple, flattering and wearable makeup. Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder bought the Bobbi Brown brand in 1995, just 4 years after the company’s inception, and today Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is a global brand that has expanded beyond lipstick to a full range of cosmetics, fragrances and skincare products, with a presence in more than 57 countries. Bobbi Brown retains creative control of the brand.  Her brand has A-list admirers including L’Wren Scott and Oprah Winfrey and her business is valued at more than $1 billion worldwide.

Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Director. Remember the fact that her low-budget war based film, The Hurt Locker, also beat her ex-husband James Cameron's blockbuster, Avatar in the same year? This sure made me beam with pride because I think Avatar had a cheesy Bollywood movie-like story while the whole world would agree with me that the Hurt Locker was a serious, realistic and brilliant movie. On accepting her well-deserved award, she said: 'I hope I'm the first of many. I'm ever grateful if I can inspire some young, intrepid, tenacious male or female film-maker and have them feel that the impossible is possible and never give up on your dream.' In the words of Game Of Throne's Lena Headey who plays Cersei Lannister - "I look at someone like Kathryn Bigelow, and I have so much admiration. She's playing in the boy's sandpit, and winning." Enough said.  

Moving on to politics - a field I have barely any interest or knowledge about, I adore this quote by Margaret Thatcher. Known as the Iron Lady, she was first and only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and her strong will and determination deserve to be admired. Leaders of course, come in all age groups. Another honorable mention here is the youngest ever Nobel Prize Laureate, 17-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai who was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her campaigning work for the rights of the education of girls in her native Pakistan.

Being an avid reader, I had to mention J. K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. It is a known fact that the Harry Potter books and movie franchise have captured the imaginations of children and adults all over the world. The books have sold over 400 million copies and have been translated into dozens of languages. Being a Twihard, I also had to mention that its no secret that Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga was no less popular. After all, Twilight was powerful enough to divide everyone from young teenage girls to women in their late twenties like me, to choose between a vampire and a werewolf. Another notable example of its popularity is the fact that it is the very basis and inspiration for E.L James' hugely popular Fifty Shades Of Gray franchise.

These were a few women whose success stories are worth reading about and learning from. This post is an entry for the #EveryWomanIsALeader blogging competition held by www.shethepeople.tv. You can win an all-paid expense trip to an exciting destination and other goodies. You can read more about the contest and participate here : http://shethepeople.tv/leadership-contest/

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Outfit - Summer Style With Lavie Bags

I've been using a Lavie bag on a daily basis right from the beginning of year so I'm a great fan of their designs, durability and quality. When they reached out to me to style an outfit with a bag from their new Spring Summer 2015 collection, I was more than happy to do so. I love black and white, so I chose a chic striped bag in these colors. I've done three different looks featuring the bag. Check them out-

Look 1 - Corporate Chic

I have a fairly large amount of white shirts and tops which I wear with black pants. Its kinda like my personal uniform. Whether I'm at work or out for dinner, you'll find me wearing the white top black pants combo frequently. I don't like simple officey looking white shirts so I buy ones with a twist like you can see from the sleeves of this one below. And by the way, I actually wear this outfit to work.

Shirt - Forever 21
Pants - Zara
Shoes - Forever 21

Look Two - Pretty in Pastels

Besides my love for monochrome, I also love pastels so I decided to do a cute and feminine look featuring a skater skirt, a fitted top and a chiffon blazer. The striped bag adds a pop of brightness to the soft color palette of this outfit,  This one's perfect for a lunch date.

Top - Forever 21
Blazer - From Hong Kong
Skirt - From Bangkok
Shoes - Forever 21

Look Three - A Formal Affair

An elegant jumpsuit is the best alternative to a dress for a formal occasion. This jumpsuit is one of my favorites because its chic, sophisticated and has a retro vibe. By now, I guess you've realized how much I love the combination of black and white!

Jumpsuit - From Bangkok
Shoes - Forever 21

These photos were taken by my friend Akshat Bhatnagar. Check out his amazing work here

 Which one did you like best? Let me know in your comments below! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Envy Box - April 2015

I was pleasantly surprised to receive this month's My Envy Box because of its wonderful contents. For those of you who don't know, My Envy Box is a luxury product sampling service that gives you five sample sized beauty products from some of the best brands in the world at Rs 850 per box. If you like what you've got, you can buy the full sized product from their website. Fantastic concept, isn't it? This month's box is a pale orange box and came with a single card bearing all the information about all samples in the box. I'm glad they did away with multiple cards as this change saves paper.

This month's box had one full sized makeup product, Catrice Long Lasting Lip Pencil. I got a beautiful shade 030 Berryson Ford. Cute name for the shade!

I had just smelled Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs a few days before I got the box so I'm glad to have a sample of this. This is a delightful floral fruity fragrance and I might just purchase it very soon.

Another sample I loved was the Avene SPF 50+ Dry Touch Emulsion. I already have the full sized product and reviewed it here so this sample is perfect for my bag as I drive long distances in the sun every day.  

There are two cute lip balm sized tubs of Kama Ayurveda Rejuvenating & Brightening Ayurvedic Night cream. I'm saving this one for when my skin needs some extra pampering.  The winner of the box was the ZA True White Exfoliating Clay which came in a generous 30 gram tube. I've used the face wash and day cream from the True White range and this clay has the same baby powder like fragrance (which I loved) as the other two. I've used it once and my face looked and felt much cleaner after use. My skin felt really smooth too!

Overall, I think this is one of the best boxes I've got in the past couple of months and look forward to what comes next month. My Envy Box is a fantastic concept at a really good price and I recommend it to everybody. Subscribe now!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lakmé School Of Style

Lakmé School of Style is India's first fashion-beauty video magazine. This unique show brings you the latest fashion news, views and events from all over the world through new videos that are released daily. This fashion brigade is led by Editor-in-Chief, Karan Johar - a filmmaker who is known for his glamorous and stylish movies.  The channel is hosted across the #fame network which is available on all leading digital and social platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, WeChat, and leading content publishers. #fame is not just a business and a brand, it is a talent led digital entertainment network that allows individuals to join and share what they love the most with the world in the form of videos. Video is the new text and talent is the most powerful currency in this digital age. So, with #fame, one can launch an idea, grow their skills, build a community, find an audience and prosper. From the most imaginative chefs to awe-inspiring musicians, from comics who find humor in almost everything to fashionistas who are on the top of trends, from celebrities to the kid next door, #fame is home to everyone. If you’ve got it, #fame can help you flaunt it. Fame has videos covering a variety of topics like fashion, food, music, comedy and more. 

Lakmé is one of the pioneers in the beauty industry in India.  Inspired by backstage fashion, Indian beauty expert Lakmé continuously innovates to offer a wide range of high performance and world-class colour cosmetics, skincare products, and beauty salons. They also sponsor India's oldest fashion week which is known as the Lakmé Fashion Week.  As things keep changing in the fashion and beauty industry all around the world, Lakmé is striving to bring these trends to the Indian masses via its Lakmé School Of Style.

There are a lot of useful videos available in #LakmeSchoolOfStyle.  These short and sweet videos feature bloggers and vloggers who share interesting fashion, make up, beauty and lifestyle ideas. I particularly liked this video as it is helpful for all bloggers and social media enthusiasts. It has some great tips on how to manage your online presence and get the most out of your social media channels. All these tips are given to you by the popular celebrity blogger Miss Malini and I learned some great fun facts and tips and tricks after watching it. For example, did you know that twitter now allows video and allows one to put up 4 photos in a post? Well, I didn't! Another interesting story I came to know about through this video was a friendly twitter exchange between Oreo and Kitkat when chocolate-lover Laura Ellen tweeted that she was following both on Twitter. This lead to the chocolate-bar getting a little bit competitive, and challenging the cookie to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. But while Oreo could have just played along, it reacted in a pretty amazing way - by complimenting how great Kit Kats taste, via one of its signature images. Watch the video and then google it! Check it out below -

For much more on fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more, make sure you subscribe to #lakméschoolofstyle

Monday, April 20, 2015

An Aperitivo Evening By Peroni Nastro Azzurro

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to an exclusive Aperitivo evening by the stylish beer brand from Italy, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, at Olive Bistro Pune. The evening saw Peroni bring the age old Italian culture of Aperitivo to Pune. Aperitivo is an authentic Italian tradition, a popular occasion that brings friends together to relax and socialize after a busy day. Started in the 19th century, the Aperitivo was first introduced in the fashionable cafés of Italy for people to socialize over, enjoy their drink with and to enhance the whole experience of going out. Numerous bars all over Italy host an apertivo  typically from 6 pm to 9 pm, where they serve a wide variety of complimentary bite-sized snacks along with a drinks. Every bar that serves a respectable aperitivo will feature several different varieties of snacks to its patrons. And as usual, Olive Bistro did it with style. 

Acclaimed Chef Riccardo had created a range of exclusive scrumptious Italian dishes to accompany and compliment Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Peroni, crafted with typical Italian care and designed with the Italian and Mediterranean palette in mind, is crisp and refreshing making it a wonderful accompaniment to Italian food. There were lots of delectable vegetarian and non vegetarian appetizers but since I'm a carnivore, I skipped all the veggie options. I'm kinda crazy about smoked salmon so I loved the Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon rolls. Tender slices of Norwegian smoked salmon paired beautifully with sour Mascarpone cheese. Another outstanding dish was the Parma Ham wrapped Figs which was served with an onion marmalade. This was probably the first time I ate figs in my life and I loved the amalgamation of its unusual flavor with Parma ham. I also had the grilled shrimp with Romesco sauche which consisted to charcoal grilled prawns swerved on a bed of smoke coarse Romanesco and chives. Besides Peroni, the bar was also serving an iced beer cocktail that was pretty intersting. Ending the event on a sweet note was the traditional Italian dessert Tiramisu which was once again heavenly. 

I had a wonderful time at the event and look forward to more Aperitivo evenings in the city over great food and Peroni, of course! Have you tried Peroni? Its a refreshing and crisp beer! If you're not a beer drinker, what's your poison? Let me know in your comments below!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Outfit - Festival Fever

I just realized that I haven't done an outfit post like in forever! With week two of Coachella starting in less that an hour from now, I am in a festive mood and decided to show you another outfit featuring the festival style staple kimono! My love for all white/beige outfits is not going anywhere and you can see it in this look. I teamed a white bustier with crochet lace shorts and threw over a lace paneled kimono. If you don't want to look like every second girl at a music festival, skip the flower crown and go for a simple headband like the one I wore. 

Kimono - Blackfive
Bustier - From China 
Shorts - Banggood

These photos were taken by my friend Akhil who does a fantastic job every time. Check out his work here. How do you like my festival inspired look? Let me know in your comments below!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Restaurant Review - Nawab Asia

Nawab Asia is a renowned restaurant in Pune which serves North Indian cuisine. Their menu offers a wide range of vegetarian and non vegetarian kebabs that leave you spoilt for choice. Of course, that's not all, they have an equally wide range of main courses so trust me, going through the menu and deciding what to eat can be one helluva long task. My mom loves Indian food so she and I decided to visit Nawab yesterday where we enjoyed a lavish lunch. The restaurant is very dimly lit with chairs and cushions for a cozy feel. They also have a beautiful outdoor balcony seating with lots of greenery all around but sadly, that section was closed when we went. 

My mom is a hardcore Bengali who was born and raised in Calcutta so she always places seafood above chicken and lamb unlike me. So for starters we chose a prawn dish and a fish dish of course. We had the Jheenga E Jaitooni which had char grilled prawns that were marinated with olives and other spices. This is a beautiful combination. The olive marinade is really mild in flavor so it blends wonderfully with the taste of prawns.  

Jhinga E Jaitooni at Nawab Asia
We also had the Fish Peeli Mirch Tikka which consisted of chunks of fish marinated with yogurt, spices and peeli mirch (yellow chilli) from Lucknow grilled in a tandoor. In spite of the use of yellow chilli, the fish was not spicy at all but was delicious.

Fish Peeli Mirch Tikka
Moving on to main course, being the meat lover, I ordered the Balti meat which had tender pieces of mutton cooked in a spicy gravy served in a balti (bucket) and to go with it, I chose Jeera chawal, a mix of basmati rice, onions and cumin seeds. This dish was a slight disappointment to me I didn't really like the gravy much either though my mom did. I guess I should have chosen other specialties from the menu instead.  

Jeera Chawal and Balti Gosht
Even quantity wise, I felt there was too much gravy and too little meat. The portion of rice too felt a bit small. 

Since Nawab is famous for its Biryani, we also decided to try the Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which is a preparation in which raw meat and rice are cooked together with aromatic spices so that their flavors blend in perfectly. Thankfully this dish made up what the previous dish did not deliver. The Biryani was really nice. Not too spicy, not too bland and had a decent amount of meat. 

My mom loves selfies so here's one we took between courses! After our superb meal we went shopping after together after ages and had a blast so it was a really fun day. 

Click to add a blog post for Nawab Asia on ZomatoWe had a great experience at Nawab and for the number of dishes we tried, their pricing is not too steep. I used my handy CouponDunia app again to get a discount at Nawab. So make sure you download it to find offers and discounts in top restaurants in your city.

Address - 1st Floor, San Mahu Complex, Opposite Poona Club, Bund Garden Road, Pune

Monday, April 13, 2015

Unconventional Jewelry

Much to the dismay of my jewelry obsessed family, I'm not much of a jewelry person. I have a tiny collection you'd probably laugh at and I don't wear them very frequently either. In fact, you might have realized that by now if you've seen any of my outfit pics because I've never worn a necklace, earrings or even a ring in any of them. As much as I love and admire jewelry on others, I don't like wearing it myself. I've never liked earrings with my face so I stopped wearing them over a decade ago and one of my ear piercings has closed. So when I go to a traditional Indian family function or wedding, I actually just wear one earring! When it comes to the rest, a major contributor to me not wearing jewelry is the fact that I find it uncomfortable. I don't like bracelets dangling on my wrists, I hate the way long earrings feel, necklaces are tolerable to an extent, but I'll still take one off the moment I get into my car. The only things I can wear without a care is my belly ring because I can't feel it at all. So if I'm going on and on about not wearing jewelry, why am I doing a post on it? Because like I mentioned, I love one of a kind stuff! Give me unique jewelry like ear cuffs, body chains or anklets and I'll wear it all! Check out these fabulous pieces I found. Which one do you like the most?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lenskart Eye Popper Sale

Remember I recently told you about India's top eyewear site Lenskart's Sunglass Carnival? Well, the good folks out there are being very generous to us and are now having their Eye Popper Sale 11th to 14th of April! Yup, that's tomorrow! They have some fantastic deals on eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, prescription lens and powered sunglasses by various brands all across the world for men, women and children. 

Make sure you make use of these offers during this sale -

1. Flat 50% Off on Latest Eyeglasses (*On purchase of Rs 1500 & above)

2. Kodak Lenses worth Rs 2290 Free with Eyeglasses

3. Reading Eyeglasses at Rs 149 ONLY

3. FLAT 70%  Off on Complete Eyeglasses - With prescription lenses

4. Get Your First Frame Free (*Lens Package Start from Rs 799)

5. Flat 35% Off on Power Sunglasses (*T&C apply)

6. FLAT 25% Off on Premium Brands (*T&C apply)

So go ahead and take advantage of this sale. I ordered contact lenses from Lenskart a few days ago and they will be arriving today. But now that I know about this sale, maybe I'll get a new pair of glasses. What are you planning to get? 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Restaurant Review - Mad House Grill

You all know my love for good food so I'm starting a new section on the blog where I will review a different restaurant in Pune each week and share my dining experiences with you. There's only one Steakhouse in my city, and it's called Mad House Grill. I went there yesterday after many years and had a great time and a very satisfying meal. Situated in Koregaon Park, this is cozy restaurant is the perfect place to spend a lazy evening with good food. 

Credit - Tripadvisor
We were starving when we got there and the menu has a lot of options for appetizers, steaks and grills and everything sounded so delicious that we had a hard time choosing what to eat. Since, this is a steakhouse, its obvious that their steaks are fantastic but I wasn't in the mood for any. So, ironically I did not order steak and was surprised to discover that they are really good with seafood too!
We started our meal with Beef Chilly, a Chinese style appetizer which consists of wok tossed Beef strips with green chilly and capsicum. The beef strips were soft and tender and blended with the soya chilly sauce perfectly. Since we were really hungry, as the piping hot dish appeared, we wolfed it down like a pack of hounds till I remembered that I should take a picture so here's what I scraped up for you all to see.

Beef Chilly
Me and my bae are love seafood so for the second appetizer we ordered the Spiced Grilled Prawns from the Indian Grills section. These were literally made right in front of us as I saw the prawns being skewered for the grill. They were ready incredibly fast and tasted like Tandoori Prawns. What made it fantastic was that the prawns were fresh, juicy and tender. They came with a serving of house salad and a potato preparation we couldn't get enough of.  

Spiced Grilled Prawns
I have a huge weakness for mutton so, for main course, we ordered the Mushroom Lamb. This preparation consisted of sauteed onions and mushrooms topped with brown sauce served over a bed of herbed rice. Again in this case, the lamb was really soft and tender and went perfectly with the brown sauce and rice. The portion is huge though so even the two of us couldn't finish it.  The only downside is the fact that I love spicy lamb preparations so this was a bit too bland for my taste. 

Mushroom Lamb
Since the prawns were so good, we decided to go for them in main course too and ordered the Mustard Prawns. This dish was the undisputed winner of the meal. It consisted of juicy succulent prawns that were marinated in a delicious Mustard and Herb mix, grilled and topped with a cheese sauce served with house salad and potatoes.The mustard and cheese sauce was to die for and it was so good that we wiped the plate clean! Definitely try this when you go there. All their seafood preparations have an option of prawns or fish so you can try this is fish also.

Mustard Prawns
Click to add a blog post for Mad House Grill on ZomatoThough the food is priced slightly above affordable, Mad House Grill is totally worth it because of the quality they offer. Oh, and I totally forgot to mention that they serve alcohol too, so you can enjoy your meal along with a drink or two. I used the CouponDunia app that has lots of coupons for restaurants so I got a discount too! If you're planning to go to Mad House Grill, make sure you use one of these coupons to get a discount! I'm definitely going back real soon! 
Address- Pingle Corner, Lane No 6, North Main Road, Koregaon Park, Near Cosmos Bank, Pune, Maharashtra 411001

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