Saturday, February 28, 2015

My Favorite Chinese Restaurants In Pune

Who loves Chinese food? Well I definitely do. Its been a couple of years that I eat a Chinese meal at least once a week. In fact, in my previous workplace, I used to order Chinese food so often that my colleagues used to joke and call me a Chinese spy pretending to be an army kid as my dad was serving in the Indian army at that time! Indian Chinese is very popular in my country. It's a combination of Indian tastes and Chinese flavors so its it's way spicier that authentic Chinese and has a bunch of its own dishes like Manchurian and Triple Schezuan that are extremely popular and probably only available here! Authentic or Indianized, it's always going to be one of my favorite cuisines, so here a post about my favorite Chinese restaurants in Pune -

Chinese Room Pune
Chinese Room is one of Pune's oldest and best Chinese Restaurants. I've been going there with my parents for over a decade now and have never been disappointed. The restaurant has a cozy indoor seating and I've tried a large variety of dishes here, all of which were really delicious. When it comes to the cuisine, you can't go wrong with anything you order. Chinese Room is one of the few places in Pune that serves Pork and Duck and they do it with perfection. 

Tucked in a quiet residential neighborhood, Suonmoi is great for a quick meal, no frills meal. They serve generous portions of fairly Indianized Chinese and Thai food and offer a variety of starters, main courses and specialties. They can definitely improvise on the ambience but the food makes up for it. The place is clean and tidy and very reasonable. The staff  is well mannered and service is very quick. I go here every couple of months so would definitely recommend this place.

Royal China offers authentic Cantonese cuisine with a royal ambience, mouth-watering menu and an extensive wine list. They offer a fine array of dim sums, a variety of appetizers, main course and desserts. Local favorites include dishes like crispy aromatic duck served with paper-thin pancakes and Cantonese specials like flaming prawns. The vegetable lettuce wrap, barbecue pork puff, dim sums, mud cake with ice-cream and toffee banana are a few signature dishes and trying them out is a must. The kitchens of Royal China, across the country, are handled by chefs from countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, along with Indian chefs who have all been trained by Royal China in Mumbai. 

Whispering Bamboo in the Taj Vivanta is a nice fine dine Chinese restaurant that offers an extensive menu of Chinese delicacies and numerous options for drinks.  The place lives up to its name as it is done up with bamboos surrounding the walls and the decor is soothing to the eyes. The restaurant is never over crowded and is perfect for a relaxed evening with friends and family. What makes the experience even better is the beautiful presentation of the food and the cutlery used. The staff is warm and courteous and their service is great. 

Do you like Chinese food? If not, what's your favorite cuisine?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Schwarzkopf - My Hair Heroes

My hair is a blessing and a nightmare. The good thing about it is that it's fine, soft and grows pretty fast. The bad part? Its a weird kind of wavy so I need to permanently straighten it every six months. And to top that, I have TONNES of grays so I also need to either color it darker or get lighter highlights to mask them. Because it grows pretty fast, I need to get color touch ups frequently and use a straightening iron for a couple of months every year till I get my hair chemically straightened again.
 Thanks to all these, my mane gets regular servings of heat, color and rebonding chemicals making them porous, coarse and unruly at times. And that's where my hair heroes from Schwarzkopf come into picture! As I mentioned in my previous posts, I use their BC Bonacure Repair Rescue range shampoo, conditioner and nourishing treatment and the Moisture Kick Beauty Balm. Besides these, I also use the Q10 Plus Time Restore Rejuvenating Serum and Volume Boost Perfect Foam so let me tell you a little more about these fantastic products. 

The first thing I must tell you about the Q10 Plus Time Restore Rejuvenating Serum is that this is NOT one of those silicone infused serums that instantly tame frizz and make your hair smooth immediately. Instead, it focuses on the scalp to restore elasticity, combat hair fall and stimulate the production of keratins to strengthen hair and repair signs of ageing. It has a water like consistency, is extremely light weight and needs be massaged over your scalp and hair.

It has a delicate floral scent which I've read is because it contains peony extracts. It also controls frizz, makes my hair soft to touch, but not the way silicone based serums do. I don't know if you knew this before, but silicone coats the hair shaft for a temporary sleek shiny finish, but prevents the real nutrients from conditioners to penetrate the hair shaft. So even though silicone based products make hair look and feel good, they aren't really doing anything to nourish it. 

Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Volume Boost Perfect Foam is a de-tangling mousse that adds body and stability to fine hair. It features a nozzle that allows for easy application to the roots or lengths of hair. The formula lifts the roots when blow-drying, and leaves hair feeling fuller and looking shinier. To be honest, I use this product sparingly as I don't blow dry it very often. However, every time I've used it, I've had fabulous movie star like volume which is fantastic. 

This foam is incredibly lightweight so it won’t weigh your hair down and it’s completely silicone free so it don’t leave your roots looking greasy. It smells fabulous too, with a mild powdery fragrance. It sprays like white foam and goes transparent after a while and does not leave a white residue on hair.  Hair feels little hard to touch as the alcohol evaporates, but once you are comb it you won't feel a thing. I particularly recommend this product if you want more volume and frequently blow dry your hair! Its amazing!

I wish I could show you what my hair presently looks like as I am in dire need of a color touch-up but then again, I'd rather not! I've been contemplating going lighter than I last did (you can see my highlights here) but I'm pretty tanned right now because of my Goa trip, so I'll probably wait for my natural skin color to come back and then decide what to do! Which shade do you think I should go for? Do you have any suggestions? Also, let me know if you've used any of these products and what you think of them!

Thanks for reading! Come back soon! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Outfit - Valentine Roses

I was supposed to post this look on Valentine's Day but I ended up going for a totally unplanned trip to the beautiful Goa immediately after shooting these photos. For those of you how don't know about it, Goa is India's little slice of hippie paradise known for its swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters. Filled with beautiful beaches, delicious sea food, laid back beach shacks, psy parties and people from all around the world, Goa is definitely my favorite place in India. I went there after many years (and I also took a holiday after many years) so I had a blast chilling by the beach, swimming in the sea and pigging out on fresh prawns and calamari! Anyway, here's a very late Valentine's day look featuring a beautiful lace dress from Chicnova.

Dress : Chicnova
Shoes : Forever 21

These photos were taken by my stunning friend Natasha! Check out her blog here. We had a blast shooting! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 Budget-friendly Valentine's Gifts For Him

Buying gifts for men is tough. Isn't it? They either have everything they need or don’t have any ideas on their wish list (sigh). We can't get them makeup, jewelry, accessories or sweet smelling beauty products and to top that, Valentine's Day is just around the corner. To help you navigate the issue of gift giving for the men in your life, I've put together 10 foolproof guy gifts that are sure to please. These manly gifts are great as they're stylish and functional so your Valentine will definitely be very happy! I found these budget-friendly Valentine's gifts for him on Askme Bazaar and the best part is that they are all below Rs 3000 ($50) Take a peek and if you have any other ideas to add to the list, leave them in the comments! Be sure to shop for your favorite items by clicking the links below.

Clockwise from top left: 
Clockwise from top left: Floid Shaving GelFloid Shaving Foam Philips AT750/16 ShaverPhilips PQ202 ShaverBleu De ChanelKenneth Cole Black , Bvlgari Aqva Pour HommeRay Ban WayfarersSony Power Bank 10000 mAhDior Fahrenheit 

Floid Shaving Gel
Floid has been a name in Spanish shaving products since the early 1930's. This shaving gel is a non-foaming brush less option for when you need a quick shave or something for travel. It can be used as a pre shave preparation to soften the growth, or in place of a shaving soap, cream or foam. Transparent in color, it allows you to see where you are shaving.

Floid Shaving Foam 
Floid shaving foam has an creamy formula that hydrates skin and delivers a perfect shave. Skin is remain smooth, soft and without irritation. It moisturizes skin and leaves it soft and pleasant. Made in Spain. 

Philips AT750/16 Shaver
This shaver features an aquatec seal for a comfortable dry or wet shave. It can be used dry and wet with gel or foam for enhanced skin comfort. It It has rounded low-friction protection heads to glide smoothly over the curves and contours of the face offering enhanced skin protection and comfort. Its dual blade system enables it to give you a close shave. 

Philips PQ202 Shaver 
The Philips PQ202 Shaver For Men gives a nice close and smooth shave. This electric shaver has a close cut shaving system with floating heads which ensures you get the shave that makes you look your best everyday.

Bleu De Chanel 
Bleu de Chanel is a sophisticated and contemporary fragrance from Chanel  The fragrance is dedicated to freedom—endless, deep and boundless. The woody-aromatic composition follows the original path but goes down into a sensual and oriental amber territory. This perfume is available at a whopping 70% off so its a steal!

Kenneth Cole Black
This is a Woody Aromatic fragrance for men with a citrus manly smell. This fragrance is perfect for everyday use all through the year and works for both day and night. A true must have for fans of aquatic or light woody scents. 

Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme
This aromatic aquatic fragrance gives energy and refreshment with its marine notes. Its great for a man who loves fresh and aquatic fragrances. Aqva Pour Homme starts with fresh aromas of petit grain and citruses. The heart of the fragrance features Posidonia Oceanica seaweed. The base is extremely masculine due to mineral amber and woody notes.

Ray Ban Wayfarers 
Whether you're a sneaker-collecting hipster, or you've just been wearing these for 20+ years, wayfarers are perfect for everyone. This classic style of sunglasses is versatile and suits all face shapes. This original Ray Ban pair is available at a whopping 75% off so its a steal!

Sony Power Bank 10000 mAh 
A power bank is a necessity nowadays thanks to a gazillion apps we use on our smartphones and tablets while we're on the go. This power bank has a high capacity of 10,000 mAh which makes for a perfect device to keep your device charged. With a Sony-manufactured Li-Po rechargeable battery, ultra slim aluminium body and enhanced output of up to 3.6 A, it is extremely effective. This Sony portable power bank features 2 USB ports that allow for rapid charging, compatibility with smartphones and tablets, charges through computer's USB port or AC/USB adapter and 1000 cycle time. 

Dior Fahrenheit 
Fahrenheit by Christian Dior is a Woody Floral Musk fragrance for men. Top notes are lavender, mandarin orange, hawthorn, nutmeg flower, cedar, bergamot, chamomile and lemon; middle notes are nutmeg, honeysuckle, carnation, sandalwood, violet leaf, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and cedar; base notes are leather, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk and vetiver.

Most of these products are heavily discounted so you get good quality at a steal. So go ahead and order something fast! What are you gifting him and what are your Valentine's Day plans? Let me know in your comments below!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Outfit - Barbie Girl

Ever since I watched Jeremy Scott's Barbie themed collection for Moschino Spring Summer 2015, it reminded me of my childhood love for Barbie. I've even mentioned that in a blog postIts no secret that I used to be a Barbie fanatic (I'd rather play gory violent video games now) with so here's a very Barbie inspired outfit! This top was gifted to me by my friend Natasha a long time ago but I hadn't worn it much because I couldn't find an interesting piece to pair with it. I recently found this skirt on Romwe and realized that I could finally achieve that Barbie look so here it is!

Skirt : Romwe 
Blazer : From Korea
Shoes : From China

These pictures were taken by my friend Akshat who shot my previous post too. Check out his amazing work here. How do you like my look?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Outfit - Casual Pastels

I've had color phases throughout my life. There was a time when I only liked wearing red and white, a time where I was partial to light blue and pink and then another when I wore mostly bright colors and so on. However, in the recent couple of years, the colors that appeal to me the most are pastel shades of beige and blush pink and the quintessential black and white. Of late, almost everything I have bought in the past year or so has been in one of these colors. After all the years of wearing bright colors, I really like these for a change. I was in Delhi (the capital of India) last month for my BFFs wedding, and every time I go there, I make sure I shop till I drop because the stores there have the best stock in the entire country! So during this shopping spree, I found this romper and these nude wedges at Forever 21 and this lovely bag at Promod, all in my favorite kinda shades!  

Romper - Forever 21
Shoes - Forever 21
Bag - Promod (Item link here)
Watch - Born Pretty Store (Item link here)
Sunglasses - Vogue Eyewear 

This is a nice casual and comfortable look for a hot and sunny day. Which pretty much defines every day in India barring the rainy season :) 

These pics were taken by my friend Akshat who also shot my Skeletor look. Check out his work here

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Anne Semonin Express Radiance Ice Cubes Review

When it comes to beauty products I believe in less is more. I use very few skin care products and this is definitely the most indulgent and unique of the lot. Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Ice Cubes have been formulated with marine spring water, red micro-algae and trace elements and mineral salts that boost skin radiance and improve its elasticity. The cubes use the technology of cryotherapy, a therapeutic method that uses low temperatures thanks to which the constriction of blood vessels accelerates the draining of damaged cells, toxins and other metabolic wastes from your skin. 

You get 8 individually packed cubes along with little gauze pouches to hold them while application and an information booklet in the box. You need to freeze these cubes and apply them on your face, neck and décolleté. To use, remove one from the freezer, turn it out of the mould and wrap it in the gauze provided. Pretty cool, right? I had never heard of such a product before. When a cube is applied to skin, it reduces puffiness, brightens up the eye area, and reduces dark circles. It even eliminates toxins and gives the skin added ability to absorb other topical products. These cubes also prepares skin for makeup and act as a radiance booster.

Now something I have noticed is that each cube is quite big so you don't really need to use the entire thing at a time. And these are really expensive so you don’t want to waste even a drop. The instructions say that one must not re-freeze a cube but I do so. I have used the Radiance Cubes a couple of times and they are a great pick me up to give your skin a bright and fresh glow.  The cubes are expensive – $80 for 8 – so you might want to save them for special occasions or emergencies. They also work wonders when you're hungover or jet lagged so its a good idea to carry them when you're traveling or need to look fresh and pretty after a night of shenanigans.

Tephrosia Purpurea (Wild Indigo): to stimulate the release of ß endorphins, relaxes skin distress.
Marine Spring Water: hydrates, revitalises and remineralises the epidermis.
Red Micro-Algae and Evening Primrose Oil: moisturizes, improve skin elasticity and forms a surface tensing film.
Azelaic Acid (found in wheat, rye and barley): provides moisturizing and dark spots lightening properties. Helps control, absorb excess sebum and provides a matte finish.
Lysine: an amino acid to tone and help with fine lines and wrinkles.

They are available on Luxola. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Luxola has a wide range of skincare and makeup by numerous brands worldwide so you must check it out! If you're buying something, don't forget to enter code BLX-JUNE at checkout to get 15% Off on your first time order! This code is valid till the end of April so you can share it with your family and friends too! Happy Shopping! 

Please note that the promo is not applicable on the following brands - Dercos by Vichy, Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare, Real Techniques, SkinCeuticals, Sigma Beauty, Vichy, ZOEVA, Origins, Sachajuan, Koh Gen Doh, Laneige

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Outfit - Skeletor

When I was a kid, I had an arsenal of Barbie dolls but along with them I also had a skeletor figure which was gifted to me by someone who had never seen me. My name is extremely uncommon in India and till date, people get confused about how its pronounced or if it is really my name, especially when I call restaurants for home delivery in the month of June. Once I won a drawing competition in school and the teacher announced - The first prize goes to Master Ju-Ne (pronounced Joonay) Biswas. So its no surprise that a lot of people assumed from my name that I was a boy and hence I got Skeletor.  

The moment I saw this sweater on Romwe, it reminded me of my beloved Skeletor. As evil as he was in the He-Man show, I was amused to find lots of really funny positive memes featuring him! Check them out here. I always wanted to do a tights with shorts look so I'm glad this winter gave me the opportunity to do so. Even though I love bright colors, I have a weakness for all black looks so this is one of my all time favorite outfits.

Jumper - Romwe
Shorts - Forever 21
Tights - Chicnova
Shoes - Pieces
Bag - Lavie

These photos were taken by my friend Akshat, who I worked with for the first time. It was fun shooting with him and he's definitely done a great job because at this time I was actually terribly sick with a bad cold, cough and fever! Check out his amazing work here.

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

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