Monday, November 30, 2015

Outfit - Fall Into Fashion

Since the weather has finally started displaying subtle signs of fall (after sunset only), I decided to upgrade my wardrobe with a few basic pieces in darker colors associated with this season. I went solo shopping recently and picked up a lot of goodies which I will be showing you in the next few outfit posts! As I walked past Forever 21, I fell in love with these gorgeous brown boots and picked them up without thinking twice. Since the outfit comprises of solid colors, I decided to throw in this printed scarf from Accessorize to add some fun to the look. And last, but definitely not the least is this amazing fringed suede backpack I got from NewChic.com, an online store I discovered recently which has a great collection of really nice clothes and accessories.  I also got an amazing fringed jacket from them (Yeah, fringe OD I know) which I'll show later this week.


Scarf - Accessorize
Top, Skirt and Shoes - Forever 21
Bag - New Chic

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

How do you like my look? Let me know in your comments below!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fashion Tips For A Beach Wedding


Nothing is more romantic than exchanging your vows on a beautiful beach with the sound of the ocean as your wedding soundtrack. However, there are certain practical points you need to take into consideration for a beach wedding, and finding the perfect beach wedding dress will obviously be one of your top priorities. The wedding season has just started in India and beach weddings are very popular here. I'm no expert at weddings but have a few pointers on what to wear if you are planning to have a destination wedding by the seaside.    


If you're getting married on the beach, you need a dress that compliments the calm ocean breeze and warm golden sunshine. A beach wedding is not the ideal milieu for a formal ballgown or chapel train. Whether you opt for a tropical island sheath or a demure slip-dress, take advantage of the heaps of stylish designs  available to set a coastal mood. A beautiful and flowing wedding dress is the perfect finishing touch to your dream wedding day at the beach. Light fabrics like sheer silks and chiffon have a nice fluid movement to them and are lightweight and dressy for the beach.  Not only are light fabrics very comfortable for the beach, they are also great because the bride can easily walk along the sand and march her way to the altar effortlessly.  Evenings on the beach can get chilly so don’t forget to carry a lacy shawl or cape which makes an elegant cover-up while keeping you warm.

 

There is always the chance of a strong breeze if you are getting married at the water front, so even if flowing open hair suits your free-spirited style, select a hairstyle that keeps the front of your hair off your face so that you don't have to deal with strands in your mouth or lipstick streaks on your cheeks. Loosely arranged up-dos are also a lovely choice. Since beach weddings are pretty much almost in the day, steer clear from loud and bright makeup and go for subtle pinks, corals and nudes which will keep you looking radiant and pretty in the bright sun. 


If you're in my category (which means the wedding bells aren't ringing for us anytime soon) and are attending a beach wedding, I've got some tips for that too. Steer clear from sequins, stuffy formal dresses and obviously skip high heels. This is a great excuse to find a beautiful flowing dress. You can go short or long but make sure that it is not too formal or constructed. Jewelry dresses up your wedding day attire, but dangly earrings can be uncomfortable on a windy day. You may want to choose bracelets or necklaces as your statement piece and stick to simple earrings. Save your beautiful heels for the indoor reception and slip on some pretty jeweled flip flops or wedges for the beach ceremony so that your shoes don't go digging into the sand. Flowers make a great accessory too, subtle flower crowns or headbands are great and even a single flower tucked behind your ear is a lovely and off beat option! 


So, whether you're planning to get married by the beach or are attending one, these points should help you out with your fashion queries! By the way, the dresses I have featured in this post are from http://www.instyledress.co.uk.  If you have any additional tips for a beach bride/guest, please share them with me in your comments below!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

MyGlamm - Salon Services At Home

Remember, last month I spoke about at app that provides salon services at home? Well, I just found one more and they're even better than the last! This one's called MyGlamm and they provide bespoke on demand hair, beauty, spa & salon services at your doorstep. It has been launched by the Glamm team of the French L’Occitane Spa, New York based Warren Tricomi Salon, and the fashionable ELLE Spa & Salon, ensuring that customers get an international standard salon experience at home. What impressed me the most is that they use premium brands like Forest Essentials and Moroccanoil, which I use personally on a day to day basis so this increased my comfort level with the entire experience. They recently started services in Pune and provide a wide range of salon and spa services like beauty, hair, spa, nails and bridal makeup. I think its awesome that they also do nail extensions so you can get your nails done sitting at home. How cool is that? Check out all their services hereYou also have the freedom to choose your price point so if you're low on budget you can pick a junior artist and if you're in the mood to indulge you can request for a senior stylist.


I chose to get a Forest Essentials advance facial and a Morroccanoil hair spa ritual and was very very impressed with both. The therapist, Sunita was extremely polite and professional and explained each step of the facial and hair spa to educate me about its importance. Like I mentioned in an older post, I am a huge fan of Forest Essentials products. I use their shower gel and it smells so divine and leaves my skin so soft that I feel like I'm in a spa every day. The Forest Essentials advance facial consists of cleansing, scrubbing, steaming, blackhead removal, product penetration using ultrasound along with 20 minutes of a face massage followed by a 10 minute back massage and finally face pack application. Now to be honest, I find the face massage part of facials extremely boring. I never found it relaxing and always wanted it to end as fast as possible as it bores me to death. So naturally, I requested the therapist to cut it short before she even started but (thankfully) she denied saying that it is a entire process which uses different techniques on certain pressure points so the whole process must be followed. And within five minutes, I was thanking her because it felt so great. Kudos to her because for the first time in about three years I actually enjoyed the face massage. This was followed by the back massage which was just uber relaxing. By the end of it, I felt totally zenned out and was actually feeling sleepy. And that, my friends, is the sign of a great massage! 

I actually had this conversation 
Moving on the hair spa, I had just reviewed two Moroccanoil products in these posts, so was glad that the same brand would be used on my hair. The hair spa ritual consists of a 60 minute hair spa session with steam and 15 minutes of a relaxing massage. She instructed me to wash my hair with the Moisture repair shampoo to cleanse my hair and scalp and prepare it for the hair spa. Now I already use the Moroccanoil Intense Hydration Mask, and since I complained about how damaged my hair is, she used the Restorative Hair Mask which she applied to each strand meticulously following which she gave my hair some heat for the product to penetrate. This was following by a back and shoulder massage and thankfully I did not fall asleep this time because I was sitting upright! After this, I washed my hair and she applied Moroccanoil treatment to it and blow dried it. Well, what can I say, my hair was just so soft and silky! The best part was that my hair had that fabulous Moroccanoil smell for more than 2 days. Full marks to them! 


A notable factor with the way both the facial and the hair spa were carried out is the incredible level of hygiene. The therapist was equipped with everything that was required for the service and when she wrapped up, my room looked exactly how it was before we even began our beautification process.  So all you need to do to get glamorous at home is download the MyGlamm app! Just choose the service you wish to avail, select a date and time, check real time availability of artists, provide your address and you're ready to get Glammed!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lunss.com - Custom Made Dresses Online

Okay so I'm going to be blunt about this one but haven't we all come across gazillions of sites for wedding/prom/special occasion dresses online? And if you're a blogger, you've probably posted about it too. But the reason I'm writing about this site is because it stood out to me as they specialize in custom design as well as custom designed reproductions. So, if you have a photo of a dress, they can reproduce it for you and also make personalized custom changes that fit your sense of style.  Check out some of my favorite wedding dress designs from their site -


Many of us are fortunate enough to fit the standard dress sizes available on the High Street, but when it comes to women who aren’t conventionally shaped, it’s a real treat to have items that fit. Take me for example, my top half is a small while my bottom half is a medium so even though I can get away with most outfits, when I order a bikini, a small sized top fits perfect but the bottom is too tight and tiny, and when I order a medium, the bottom fits perfect but the top falls off! Lunss is a savior in this case as they make the dress according to your measurements so seams contour your body and you get the perfect fit in the design you want. 


Their site has a handy guide which gives you information and examples of silhouettes, necklines, back designs and lace patterns. They only use top-quality fabrics like Taiwan soft mesh, French lace, US organza that are the foundation of a high quality dress which is made by hand. Their communication system of online customization allows you to design your own dress to your heart's content, and keep communicating to make it better until your dream dress comes true. Moreover, their private designers offer design consultation and hand-paint a finalized design sketch for you. All their products are hand tailored and delivered to any part of the world within 6 weeks.


How it Works

Step 1 - Inspiration
You provide them with ideas of your dream dress - from photo inspirations, your wedding theme, Pinterest pins, other designer's works. You might receive a brief questionnaire to help guide them in this process and narrow down your preferences.

Step 2 - Creation
At your personal consultation, you'll meet a designer online to discuss the details along with sketches based on your ideas by a private designer for preview. You can browse assorted fabrics and embellishments tailored to your dress preferences within your budget, and have your measurements taken.

Step 3 - Production
After confirming all details and receiving the payment, their dressmakers will start making your dream dress. When the dress finished and they send you the photos of the dress for confirmation. They also have an Exclusive Bespoke Service where you will receive a mock of your gown to view its overall shape and fit and if everything's fine, they start the production process.

Whether you want a show-stopping wedding gown or a gorgeous evening dress,  Lunss can create it and customize it according to your needs. So check out their site now if you're looking for a one of a kind, bespoke gown for yourself!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Outfit - Chill Vibes

Sundays are perfect to enjoy a brunch and chill and laze by the pool. And that's exactly what I'm doing at Level 12 - the rooftop resto lounge at DoubleTree By Hilton, Pune. You can take a dip at their rooftop pool, sip on your favorite beverages and relish scrumptious food while enjoying a panoramic view of the city. If you love to sit under a moonlit sky and enjoy a stunning view, this place will win you over! Moving on to the outfit, this fun look is from Lovelywholesale. This crochet crop top and printed pant combo was made for the poolside or the beach and I think its perfect for Sunday chill vibes. 



Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

How do you spend your Sundays? Let me know in your comments below!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Restaurant Review - Miyuki At DoubleTree By Hilton

I recently dined at Miyuki, an exclusive 7 seater Japanese restaurant in the DoubleTree By Hilton hotel in Chinchwad, Pune. Miyuki offers a teppanyaki-style dining experience where the food is prepared on a hibachi grill directly of you.  I've had sushi a few times before but this was the first time I had a 6 course Japanese meal and got to learn so much about Japanese cuisine thanks to Chef Amarjeet's vast knowledge about it.  As you enter the dining area, the setup in front of you prepares you for an authentic Japanese dining experience. 


Chef Amarjeet and his team do a fantastic job as utmost attention is paid to sourcing ingredients thanks to which each dish is as authentic as it can get. Cooking every dish to perfection is also a typical trait followed by all Japanese chefs, and he has followed the same throughout his career. For our meal, we were accompanied by Patricia, the Marketing & Communications manager, who is incredibly sweet and friendly. She made us feel very comfortable and at home. It was delightful to watch the chef prepare each dish as he told us about its ingredients and technique of cooking.


We started off with the Wafu salad, which is a Japanese salad made of mixed lettuce, radish, tomato boiled egg, cucumber with sesame onion dressing. Wafu (和風) means Japanese-style. Wafu dessing is slightly tangy refers consists of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds and vegetable oil. This was a refreshing change to every other salad I've ever had in my life and was really good.


This was followed by chicken nigima and chicken tsukune yakitori. Chicken nigima skewer is made of with chicken breast and white part of spring onion. Tsukune (つくね) is basically Japanese chicken meatballs that are skewered and typically grilled over charcoal served in yakitori restaurants. Tsukune is usually seasoned with salt or sweet soy sauce – yakitori “tare”. Ingredients for “tare” are similar to teriyaki sauce, but “tare” is much thicker and saltier. Both were delicious and I particularly loved the Tsukune (pictured left).


This was followed by a mixed Tempura, a really popular dish in Japanese restaurants which is made of seafood or vegetables that have dipped in batter and deep fried. We had squid, prawn, carrot, lotus stem and eggplant tempura which was served with grated radish, ginger and tempura sauce along with green tea salt (I never knew that existed). Chef explained to us that we could either mix the grated ginger with the tempura sauce and did our food it it or sprinkle the green tea salt and lime on the tempura and eat it. I loved it both ways. Though I'm a staunch non vegetarian, the lotus stem tempura was really really delicious and worth a mention!  


This was followed by Buta No Kakuni (角煮) which is Japanese braised pork belly, and it literary means “square simmered” referring to the shape of this dish. It’s made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in sake, soy sauce and sugar/mirin. The pork is cooked for a long time over low heat and the meat becomes moist and extremely tender.  And tender it was. The meat was melting in our mouth and was just so good. Since, the dish is on a sweeter side, it's served with mustard sauce to balance the flavors. 


Next up waas Grilled salmon (さけ) with lemon butter sauce.  The marinade is classic Japanese flavours – soy sauce, mirin and sake. It doesn’t get anymore “Japanese” than that! The fish really needs to be marinaded overnight (or 3 hours at the absolute minimum) because it’s not a “saucy” dish – all the flavor is in the marinade and it needs the time to infuse into the fish. This was again really good as the mild flavors of the marinade go perfectly with the fish and don't overpower its taste at all. Absolutely heavenly!


Last but definitely not the least was a bowl of mouthwatering Ramen (ラーメン) - a complete meal by itself. This version came with pork belly, cauliflower, boiled egg, broccoli and noodles in a slow cooked chicken and pork stock. I wish I wasn't stuffed so that I could have finished the whole thing. The hearty broth had a subtle pork flavor which I absolutely loved. The pork belly was tender and chewy at the same time and was just perfect with the ramen. If you love Ramen, you cannot miss this!


Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

I had a wonderful time at Miyuki and loved the delicious food and amazing hospitality of the staff at the hotel. Though it is situated a little far from the heart of the city, if you're a true foodie or a lover of Japanese food, the drive is totally worth it. Also, since the restaurant only seats 7 people, prior reservations are recommended. Please note that larger groups will have to sit in 3 Spices, the multi cuisine restaurant next door, due to space issues. 

Address -  
Miyuki - DoubleTree By Hilton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoDoubleTree by Hilton Pune-Chinchwad
C32, Tata Motors Road, Midc, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Maharashtra 411019

Phone: 020 6731 3333

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Outfit - 3k Unlimited Challenge

Unlimited is a family fashion brand that offers affordable clothing and accessories for every age. Part of the reputed Arvind group, Unlimited has over 50 stores nationwide that give you unlimited options to express your style. I recently took their #3kUnlimited challenge where I styled a look under Rs 3000. 

I decided to do an urban sporty look which is perfect for all you college goers out there. As I entered the store, this cropped sweatshirt immediately caught my eye. I like the message on it and it fits nice and snug and looks great. For those of you who don't want to bare your belly, you can wear a tank top or vest inside.  



I'm more of a comfort over style person so you'll never see me in skinny jeans. This pair is oh so soft and comfortable and I just love the light wash.




A backpack is the perfect accessory for college fashion so I threw on this cute printed one from the brand to complete the look.
  

Sweatshirt, Jeans, Belt and Backpack - Unlimited

To participate in the #3KUnlimited challenge, DM @UnlimitedStores or Message fb.com/unlimitedstores. All you need to do is walk into an unlimited store, and create your own look for under Rs.3000! I visited the Unlimited store in Phoenix MarketCity Pune. 

To find a store near you, check our their store locator 
      

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Outfit - Peace

White is the color of peace and it also happens to be one of my favorite colors. Peace is obviously lacking in many parts of the world as of today thanks to all these acts of terrorism in multiple countries. While there's nothing we can actually do about terrorism, lets pray for peace. Moving on to the outfit, here's another addition to the army of kimonos I own. I got it from Dressgal and love the aztec print on this one, and its nice and flimsy so it can also be worn during the perpetually hot and sunny days in India.   





Kimono - Click here
Shorts - Banggood.com
Bag - Promod
Shoes - Forever 21

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

How do you like the look? Where would you wear this?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Restaurant Review - Dezio

Dezio is a fine dining authentic Italian restaurant in Kalyani Nagar, Pune. Owned by executive chef Dario Dezio, who has been running the acclaimed Italian vegetarian restaurant Dario's in Koregaon Park, this restaurant specializes in Sicilian food and satisfies the taste buds of all you carnivores out there. Spread across three floors of a building, the restaurant consists of  a rooftop bar, a fine dining restaurant, an exclusive dining area for private parties and a bistro-like outdoor seating area.   


I dined there recently with a group of fellow food bloggers and we had a wonderful time over some great Italian food and wines. We started our evening on the rooftop - the lounge section where they only serve tapas and drinks. We were served an assortment of vegetarian and non vegetarian tapas in platters but what I loved the most was the Tuna Carpaccio which was fresh, healthy and delicious. 

After we were done with the tapas, we moved to the fine dining area (pictured above) where we were served a decadent 5 course meal. We started with the Gamberi Incazzati, a dish with pan seared prawns with white wine, garlic and chilli flakes in a tomato sauce base. If you like a tomato base, you will love this one.


We also had the Carpaccio De Bietola which consisted of liced beetroot with homemade cheese, rucola and caramelized walnuts in a balsamic dressing. This is particularly delicious because the caramelized walnuts add a kick of sweetness along with the crunch.  

We were served two pizzas out of which I had the Caltagirone, a wood-fired pizza with mozarealla, parma ham, rucola and parmesan. I loved the saltiness of the parma ham which was balanced by the two types of cheese. 

Pasta is one of my biggest weaknesses and I make it very often at home but I'm quite bored of eating my own cooking and I have never made Gnocchi, so it was a delicious change for me to try the Gnocchi Con Pancetta which combines home made gnocchi with bacon, basil and sage and cream sauce. This was creamy and delicious and was infused by the delicious flavors of bacon. 

There was a vegetarian variant to all these dishes too but since I'm a hardcore carnivore, I decided to skip reviewing them. However, I was tempted to try the Risotto Al Funghi and it was just so good! This creamy rice dish with mushrooms, wine and cheese was what I would call the perfect comfort food. If you love risotto, you must try this one at Dezio.




Another notable mention from their menu is the La Tagliata - Grilled tenderloin strips served on a bed of rucola topped with parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction, served with cherry tomatoes. The tenderloin was really tender (haha) and juicy is definitely worth a try! 


Moving on to desserts, we had an assortment of Lemon tarts, Yogurt Tarts and salted Caramel Chocolate tarts to choose from and all three were delicious though the chocolate tarts emerged as the undisputed winners. 


I was too full to try the Tiramisu, but needless to say, it was fantastic considering that it was wolfed down by the others in no time. 


The cozy outdoor seating area is situated amidst a tranquil and green set up and is open all day. Its perfect for a casual meal with friends while you can watch their chef work away on delicious pizzas at the wood fire oven.


Overall, I had a wonderful dining experice at Dezio and if you love Italian food, do give it a try! All photos are courtesy Megha Chhatbar who I had the pleasure of meeting at the event, and since you can see how awesome they are, I decided to use her photos. You can check out her blog here.

ADDRESS-
Dezio, North Avenue, diagonally opposite ICICI bank
and next to Mars Society, Kalyani nagar 411006, Pune


Dezio Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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