Category Archives: How To

Make-up & Jewellery Organization

Here are a few things I have learnt about make-up and accessories organization:

· Make-up and jewellery looks pretty. So they need to be displayed, not hidden away in drawers and cabinets.

· They also need to be displayed because you need to see your entire collection every time you dress up. If you are a shopaholic like me, which you probably are if you are dealing with storage problems, you won’t even remember what all you own. So, it is important that everything you own is laid out in front of you, so you can choose justly.

· Innovative storage solutions can act as decor! Baskets, cute boxes, vintage chests, DIY storage – wonderfully satisfying ways of organizing things make your room artsy and add that personal touch.

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After years of dealing with broken, lost, tangled up jewellery and cosmetics, I decided to bring them all out. I love baskets and when I saw so many cute baskets at the Dollar Store, I decided to change the way I did things. And I am so happy! I have everything organized and laid out in front of me. I do not repeat things and give other items ‘a chance’. That also gives me the satisfaction that I am using all the stuff I have and have not merely wasted money on things I am never able to use.

What are your storage problems? And ideas?

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Magic Potion For Diet

After organic skin care, I am back with yet another Health & Beauty post. This time, I will be talking about diet. Personally, I am not someone who can diet. I hate raw greens. I love food. I love cheese and chocolates. So pure dieting is out of option. But by changing a few habits in my lifestyle, I have been able to reduce my weight a bit and then maintain it.

The magic potion.

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I swear by it. It has worked for me in the past and still does. Right now, my routine consists of a good mix of exercising and balanced diet. But earlier, when I was not into exercising, this mix helped me reduce weight on its own.

So, the first thing this mixture does is assist in reduce weight. Or, expedite the process. I am sure it doesn’t do anything on its own. Exercise and diet control has to accompany it.

Honey, lemon and warm water – each have their own benefits. Imagine what happens when you mix them together? It is indeed magic.

Warm a glass / cup of water for 35 seconds in the microwave. Drop in 5-6 drops of lime juice and one to two teaspoons of honey. Mix well and drink it up while it is still warm. Never have it hot. Just warm.

Have this concoction the first thing in the morning.

It is excellent for blood purification and stomach performance.

You can also have warm green tea with honey. But if you want something quick, hassle-free and equally healthy, warm water + honey + lemon is good enough.

Here are some other small diet changes I will recommend. However small these practices may be, they go a long way in making you fitter.

– Milk is a difficult thing to digest. Do not have milk later than 4 pm. Assuming you even sleep at 10 pm, 6 hours is sufficient time for it to break down.

– Eat at regular intervals. Avoid large meals. Eat little every now and then.

– Be careful about what you eat between meals. Make sure it is healthy and fibrous. Good options are nuts, multigrain biscuits, dried berries / fruits, fruit or cereal. Farsan and namkeen are NOT healthy and fibrous!

– Put in a decent mix of butter, cheese also in your diet. Your body needs them!

– Ban deep fried items like samosas, pakodas, chips and kachori completely! Keep them for special occasions, festivals and social visits.

– Use not more than 1 tablespoon of oil for every dish you make. Use water or steam to mix spices and veggies, not more oil.

– While preparing dishes like Omlette, Upma, Khichdi and Pulao try to put in as many vegetables you can. For example, my omelette has onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, grated carrot and capsicum. In Upma, I put in peas, potatoes, beans, carrots and sometimes, capsicum.

– If you exercise, eat not less than 3 hours before exercising. This way, your body will use up stored energy for exercising. And you will actually end up losing weight.

Do you have some easy tips for healthy diet and weight loss? Put down a comment!

Skincare In Your Kitchen

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A good intake of raw fruits and vegetables is no doubt good for your skin. But what affects your skin directly and faster is applying those fruits and vegetables to your skin directly. Try them before you rule this option out or consider it tedious. It may look time consuming on the outside but once you begin following certain practices and enjoying the results, it will come as effortlessly as eating or watching tv.

I have been applying only natural ingredients on my face for quite some time now. I do not use face wash at all. And the difference is apparent. More than anything, I enjoy the whole process because of the results and the experience. The feeling of sweet smelling fruit pulp on your face is just too good.

These are some fruits that I have been using and would recommend –

Tomato

I use tomato on my face almost every day. It is perhaps the easiest and most handy ingredient because tomatoes are usually always available at home. Apply a piece of tomato directly on face and leave on for good 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water or ice. Tomatoes contain anti-oxidants that fight acne. To turn this into a routine, just chop some tomatoes and store it in the fridge. In the morning, pick up a piece, rub it on your face properly (you may use the juice or pulp), leave on while you go ahead with your others tasks and wash off after 15 minutes.

Papaya

This tropical fruit is rich in Vitamin C and, like most fruits, antioxidants. It has exfoliating properties. While eating papaya, just take a piece and mash it with your fingers or spoon. If you want to store some of the paste in the fridge for later use, blend a larger quantity in a mixer; you will obtain a better consistency. Apply on face for 10-15 minutes and wash off with cool water. There you are!

Cucumber

Cucumbers reduce swellings and restore facial tissue. You may rub a slice of cucumber on your face or do what I do. I grate a portion of cucumber and refrigerate it. When a cucumber is grated, it tends to release juice. It is then easier to apply. I like to apply it for 15 minutes and then rub ice on my face. Washing off fruit juice with ice is a feeling you MUST try. It is rejuvenating and radically refreshing.

Avocados

Avocado has a creamy texture (and, oh, don’t I just love how it tastes) which is excellent for dry and ageing skin. Just mash up a piece (mashing an avocado is real easy; we all agree to that?), apply on face and wash off to get baby-soft skin. You don’t need moisturizer after this. Avocado is naturally moistening. You can achieve the same results with banana too.

There are lots of other fruits that you can just mash with your hands and apply – like oranges, mangos, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupes and so on. When you eat these fruits, don’t forget to set aside a few pieces for your skin.

You can apply them alone or mixed with honey or olive oil (olive oil mixed with tomato juice heals sunburn). If you find yourself lacking in time, forget honey or olive oil and apply just the fruit. Results will be equally good.

Whether you are a full-time mother or a career lady or a student – you must allot some time everyday towards good skincare. Make a schedule for yourself. It may be difficult initially, but once it becomes a routine, you will love getting to your skincare regime and will follow it come what may.

I totally vouch for natural ingredients. They cleanse and moisturize your skin equally well or better than face wash, which is nothing but a mixture of chemicals.

Do try some of these organic measures and let me know, will you?

Monsoon Special: How To Look Stylish With Shorts

Summer has gone away giving way to lashing sheets of rain. But shorts are here to stay. Do away with thick jeans and cotton pants. It’s time to stick with your trusty shorts. A pair of well fitting, good looking shorts doesn’t need much styling. You can wear shorts in a variety of ways to make your monsoon as stylish as summer. Here are some ideas.

1. Tough with delicate

Wear denim cut offs with delicate textures like lace, eyelet and croquet. Create a boho look by putting on some chunky silver jewellery. If you want to go simple and quick, throw on a catchy t-shirt and you are good to go.

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2. Experiment with other textures

Denim shorts never fail. However, do not ignore the variety available. There are khakhis (my favourite), wool, linen (another favourite), lace and polyester. There are plains and there are printed ones. Look for unique prints like block prints, quirky prints or embellishments like embroidery and mirror work. Add color and spirit to the grey weather.

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3. Try different styles

Skorts, long shorts / Bermudas, flared shorts, balloon shorts, high waisted shorts or shorts with pleats. You can be overwhelmed with the range. Select a style that suits your body and personality. I totally vouch for long shorts. They are a bit conservative because they are longer. You can create a semi formal look by pairing them with a smart shirt and a belt. Try Wills Lifestyle or Allen Solly for these.

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4. Accessorize

Spruce up your tee-and-shorts with accessories like scarves, statement necklaces and large earrings. Scarves and earrings are my favourite combo. Make a messy bun when you do this combo, will you. Moreover, a scarf will protect you from the chill that is inevitable in the rainy season.

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This post has been featured on Blogadda as Tangy Tuesday pick.

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Be Stylishly Different

Fashion is extremely dynamic. Trends change every other week. Users are exploded with pictures and information through all kinds of media. There are fashion bloggers in every street who give you outfit ideas. Pinterest amazes with stunning pictures. Global brands are available anywhere at the click of a button. In such a scenario, how does one maintain their individuality? It is very tempting and easy to reproduce latest looks and get lost in the crowd. It also brings about monotony and is hard on your bank account.

Here’s how you can dress differently from others and yet be stylish.

1. Sometimes classy is trendy

White shirt and light denims. Printed maxi skirt and tank top. Skinny jeans and high heels. Pleated plaid skirts and tee. These are some classic eternal combinations that have not and will never go out of fashion. It is always good to have some classic pieces in your wardrobe that you can turn to when you don’t want to be a part of the crowd and yet look fashionable.

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2. Mix textures and patterns

You will find a variety of patterns and textures in your collection – lace, stripes, plaid, abstract, jacquard, suede, boucle, floral. Mix them randomly. Lace with plaid or floral with stripes. Try unconventional color and pattern combinations.

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3. Bring in ethnic accents

India has abundance of ethnic designs – block prints, tie-dye, unique silks & embroidery. We probably take them for granted because they have been around since forever. We are also used to seeing them in Indian wear. Look at them differently and you will find that they can be incorporated in western casual wear. Add at least one of those elements into your outfit. Use a block print dupatta as a scarf. Wear a gota border skirt with a tank top.

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Keep Glowing

My skin is glowing these days. Of course I love it. I love the compliments even more. Every time I wash my face, I tilt and turn my head so that light falls on different portions my face, showing the glow and smoothness.
I have just been following a simple regime, use good effective products (natural and cosmetic) and am disciplined about it. So here is what I do –
Morning wash: Body Shop Tea Tree oil face wash
Morning moisturizing: Neutrogena oil free moisturizer
Afternoon: Wash with water a couple of times and once with Himalaya face wash followed by Body Shop Vitamin C daily day moisturizer
Evening: Himalaya Cleaning Milk, Nivea or VLCC Toner & Biotique Morning Nectar moisturizer / Johnsons baby cream. Sometimes I just use Vitamin C face wash by Body Shop followed by face cream.
Additional:
Wednesday: Ayur Neem face mask / homemade besan + honey + milk mask
Friday Night after cleansing: Aloe Vera Hyderating Mask by Body Shop
Sunday: Body Shop Papaya scrub
To sum it up, use a good face wash in the morning and follow it with a non sticky oil free day cream. Cleanse-tone-moisturize your skin in the evening. Scrubbing and applying a face mask once a week is a must.
A few tips here and there:
– A good night cream is a MUST. Going off to sleep without applying a layer of nice smelling, soft cream on your face is a crime!
– Scrub only once a week. Use one of the fruity flavours The Body Shop has.
– Minimize use of face wash as much as possible. Though not as hard as soap is, face wash is still made up of chemicals. Use cleansers and toners instead. They clean the skin equally well and don’t snatch away all the moisture.
– Scour the kitchen to make natural masks / mixes. Some ingredients like tomato, papaya or honey act like mask in themselves.
– Cover your face with a stole / dupatta while travelling on road.
I may be a little obsessed with skin care but I love it. I love the aroma of papaya scrub and the feel of my skin after I wash off the besan + honey mask. How could I let laziness come in between this beautiful feeling!
Is there anything special you do that makes your skin feel heavenly? Is there an aroma that your skin loves? Tell me!