Wednesday, February 28, 2018

My Envy Box February 2018

On the last day of February, I bring you the review of the February edition of My Envy Box! Better late than never! I usually receive the box sometime around the 15th-18th each month, but I prefer using the products before I can write a fair review for them. This month’s box was feminine and pretty with pink and lilac roses all over. 


It came with a bunch of products for skincare, hair and fragrance!



Seer Secrets Raw Mango, Paprika & Mint Lip Plumper SPF 12

This Lip Plumper with Raw Mango, Paprika & Mint enhances the natural color and shape of the lips. It has a light reddish maroon tint and is quite tingly which I find bit annoying but that's the main purpose of a lip plumper after all as it increases blood circulation in your lips and makes them look more plump. It helps in lip tissue regeneration and lightens the tone of lips thus curing blackened lips. It soothes dry lips, calms and heals irritation leaving lips smooth and soft.

Seer Secrets Rambutan, Dates & Liquorice Lip Scrub

 It is packed with  natural ingredients like Raw Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Almond Oil, Beeswax which nourish your lips. It is embedded with liquorice which conditions the lips, removes tan and pigmentation resulting in a bloomed softer Lips. I really like this scrub and use it all over my face too in fact!
 

Tjori Treasures Virgin Coconut Milk Shampoo

This organically formulated virgin coconut milk shampoo nourishes your hair by giving natural moisture from roots to ends. This shampoo cleanses the scalp deeply without stripping the natural moisture from the scalp. I've used it a few times and think it's quite decent when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing hair. 

Tender Intense Payal Singhal For All Good Scents
This fresh and floral scent gets its dash of musk from its base of honey, vetiver and musk. My mom loves it so I gave this sample to her.


The Nature’s Co. Vanilla Vitamin E Face Cream

Enriched with vitamin E, vanilla extract this cream effectively restores your skin. It also contains natural oils and butters which helps to enhance blood circulation. I have read good reviews of this cream but haven't had the chance to use it yet. Smells lovely though!

Votre India Under Eye Cream
I am quite fond of Votre products and have used quite a few thanks to My Envy Box. This one is a pleasant refreshing cream with goodness of botanical active and herbal extracts that relax fatigued eye muscles, minimize dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. I've used it a few times and really like the non sticky and non greasy texture which gets absorbed instantly. 



Overall quite a decent box with products worth way over the Rs 850 it costs! I've been a fan of My Envy Box for over 3 years now and totally recommend it to all my friends and readers as it has helped me to discover loads of amazing beauty brands which I now swear by!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Top 5 reasons to bird watch while on vacation

There’s a saying that says, “vacations are what we make of them.” Whether we have a planned itinerary or not, we make the most of what is presented to us on our destination to enjoy everything. If you want a chill and relax type of vacation but do not want to stay in one place, the best way to make the most of it is by joining tour packages that will allow you to stroll around the place you are visiting. An activity that a lot of vacationers enjoy is bird watching. Wherever you are in the world, it is easy to find parks and sanctuaries where you can enjoy watching birds.


Here are the top five reasons to bird watch while on vacation.

1. It is educational.

Not only will you get a chance to see the beauty of different bird species, bird watching on vacation can also be an excellent educational tour for you. You get to learn a lot from the origin and daily life of the birds living in the place you are vacationing. You will also get to observe first-hand on the behaviors of different birds as well as their activities. This will also raise more awareness to you about the environment you are living. Going to places like Costa Rica or Galapagos Islands will allow you to experience this type of activity. You can find information on bird watching tours in Costa Rica at costaricafocus.com

2. It will give you something to think about.

When you get to learn a thing or two about birds and witness their behavior, you will be able to process information in your head like never before. Learning new things gives you time to think about life and eventually start a conversation with others about it.

3. It will encourage you to explore the world.

We would often wonder how it feels to live like a bird, to have that kind of freedom. Knowing that there are still far too many kinds of birds all over the world may encourage you to explore more of the world and look for different species that can pique your interest.

4. It can give you a sense of accomplishment.

When you get to identify different bird species or spot a certain bird that is known to be difficult to find, it can be a very rewarding experience. Spotting certain birds, especially rare ones, can be a little challenging for one’s eyes, so it gives us a sense of accomplishment when we get to do it. It can sharpen your eyes to see more of nature.

5. It is a great social activity.

Bird watching is something you can do all by yourself, but it is also a great opportunity to meet other people while on vacation. Most bird watching tours are arranged by a group so you get to meet people that may have the same interest as you. It’s a good way to interact with people who are also on vacation and have something interesting to talk about.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

5 Fun Ways To Wear Leggings

Leggings are fun, comfortable and trendy clothing pieces that are easy to dress and are quite comfortable and affordable. I personally prefer leggings over pants because they are more flimsy and  comfortable and hot weather friendly. You can get leggings at any store like Shop LuLaRoe and get some cool stuff according to your size and taste. Before you shop though, here are a few tips on fun ways to wear leggings.


1.    Pair them with a long shirt

It is best to pair leggings with a long shirt in order to cover up a bit. This will ensure that you are decent and that you do not show too much of your backside while walking around in the streets. You can choose various patterns for your shirt such as polka dot or stripes since they can go well with your leggings which are often in dull colours such as black or dark blue. You could also wear a bulky cardigan if it's chilly, and complete the outfit with knee-high boots. 

2.    Wear the right fit

In order to look fun, stylish and classy, ensure that you wear the right fit. Leggings can be snug and can fit any body size and shape, but that should not give you the excuse to wear too tight leggings. On the other hand, wearing leggings that are too loose will create an unflattering appearance. Therefore, ensure that you wear the right fit that is comfortable and snug.

3.    Pair them with the right shoes

In order to complete the leggings ensemble, you have to wear them with the right shoes. You can wear leggings with flats since leggings are often worn casually. If you are attending a formal event, then leggings can be paired with some classy heels as well as with a blazer to create a more official look. You can also wear leggings with ankle boots, knee high boots or flip-flops. All these will look great and stylish and most importantly, they will be comfortable.

4.    Wear your leggings with a skirt or short

One fun way to add some zest to your outfit is to pair your leggings with a fun flirty skirt or shorts. On a chilly day, you can wear your short skirt with leggings in order to keep warm while at the same time look cute and stylish. The same goes for the shorts. Pair these with a plain t-shirt and top, since you do not want to look too extra. To complete the look, pair the outfit with a pair of simple flats.

5.    Try the patterned leggings

Leggings come in all sizes, prints and materials. Get adventurous with your outfits and try out various patterns on your leggings. Stripes and polka dots are a good way to start, and you can also try animal prints such as leopard prints which create a cool, foreign look. Always make sure that you wear patterned leggings with plain tops so as to avoid creating an outfit that is too busy or that has too much going on. You could also try various materials such as leather in order to create a bold, sassy look.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Restaurant Review - The Dokk

Hello everybody! I'm back with yet another food review and this time it's The Dokk, which recently opened it's doors in a new location at Boat Club Road. This was probably the first Sunday brunch I attended in a very very long time (because I'm usually hungover AF or sleeping till real late on sundays) and it was totally worth it!


The first thing that struck me as I entered The Dokk is the dockyard theme. The decor has lots of elements are perfectly appropriate for the name. This resto-bar has an outdoor section along with a large inside section which has a stage where they have live bands and performances on a regular basis. 


The brunch menu has a huge variety of options for all foodies and I started my meal with the prawn cocktail salad which was made of juicy succulent and flavorful prawns in cocktail sauce and fresh lettuce and olives. Simple yet delicious! 


Following this, we ordered the Honey Glazed Chicken! This dish is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy and was so good that I had to have a second helping! Totally recommended. 


I also loved the peppery spicy Lamb Chops and couldn't get enough of it! The best part is that everything is fresh and grilled live in front of you. 


There are ample options for vegetarians too and they can choose from the charcoal grilled veggies which are as delicious as they look! 


A very unique dish here which is a winner for vegetarians is the Rajma Galouti. Soaked in desi ghee, this hearty appetizer is a must for all rajma lovers!


For those who don't drink, they have a great variety of  delicious mocktails. Pictured here is the fresh fruit punch which is really yummy and refreshing. 


We ended our meal on a sweet note with the Old Monk Chocolate Mousse which has a heady blend of everyone's favorite rum with creamy chocolate mousse.


Overall, I loved the food and ambience at The Dokk and totally recommend you to check this place out. Besides the Sunday brunch, they also have a variety of offers and events happening throughout the week so make sure to check out their social media pages for more information. 

The Dokk - Community Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, February 02, 2018

Malaka Spice | Vallonné Vineyards Nashik

Those of you who follow me on Instagram or know me personally definitely know that Malaka Spice is my favorite restaurant in Pune and that I've been going there for over a decade! Malaka Spice serves inspired South-East Asian cuisine with delicious dishes influenced by food from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Cambodia. Around 2 years ago, they opened a branch in Nashik and I finally managed to cross it off my wish list and went there last weekend! 

LOCATION

The lake-facing restaurant is about a 40 minute drive from Nashik city center and is situated in Vallonné Vineyards, India’s first boutique winery that produces premium French-style wines. The property also houses a boutique hotel making it a perfect place for a vineyard stay and wine tourism.

  The scenic location of the vineyard, overlooking the tranquil Mukhne Lake and Sahyadhri hills, make Malaka Spice the most scenic spot to dine in Nashik wine country. And what makes it all even better is the delicious food at Malaka and the refreshing wines by Vallonné. 


FOOD

Since I've been going to Malaka regularly since 2006, I know the menu in and out and ordered some of my classic favorites. I started with the Salt and Pepper prawns which are tossed with freshly crushed whole garlic, lime wedges and pepper, cooked in a wok over high heat till the succulent prawns absorb the flavors. Seafood lovers must try this!


Their Thai Mutton Chops are the most succulent mutton chops you can find in Pune. So I had to try them here too. Soaked in a peppery flavorful marinade grilled, this is heaven for every mutton lover.


Even though I'm a staunch non-vegetarian, I love many of the vegetarian dishes here too and went for Pumpkin chips which are tossed in a delicious batter and come with a topping of crispy basil, and is too good to miss! All the food went perfectly with Vallonné Chenin Blanc which is a refreshing white with a clean finish. 


I also had the Prawns with Moringa leaves which consists of stir fried prawns tossed with fresh Moringa leaves, lemongrass, Thai chilly and garlic. Delicious and healthy since Moringa is a superfood and has lots of health benefits. 


Last but definitely not the least, I had the Burmese Curry Noodles aka Khow Suey which is a noodles medley with rich creamy curry-on-the -side accompanied with fried garlic, onion flakes and a garnish platter.


SERVICE

The restaurant was packed to the brim with a constant waiting line from 2pm-5pm as it was a long weekend and the previous day was a dry day, yet the staff managed the rush at ease and finesse. Service was prompt and each dish arrived swiftly which shows how well the staff is trained. Here is me with the restaurant manager Firoz who was a great host and managed the place efficiently and explained to us how that day had three times the usual rush because of the republic day long weekend. 


WINE TASTING & TOUR

The property has a cellar below where the winery is and in the tour, the guide explained the entire wine making process to us and made us try each variety produced by Vallonné. You can buy wine at subsidized rates here so make sure you are well stocked up!


To put it in a nutshell, Malaka Spice and Vallonné Vineyards are an absolute must visit if you are planning a trip to Nashik. Since it has a boutique hotel too, it's the perfect weekend getaway destination for Mumbai and Pune people! I loved the food, wine and place and am sure you will too!

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