Monday, November 22, 2010

Breathe away to good health

The past week has been quite eventful for me. By eventful I do not mean happening. I had been lying low for most of the time last week. My usage of the words lying low is intentional as I intend to covey multiple meanings through these two words (Don’t we just love the English language for that!). Firstly I was lying low means I was inactive on my blog – a single post in 8 days qualifies for a self –explanation. Secondly, I slipped off a staircase and lay low on my bed nursing the blue-black patches on my body and the last and final meaning of lie low is literal – I was undergoing The Art of Living course so I’d been lying low ‘breathing in and breathing out’ all of last week !

Few of my family members had undergone this course some time back and they did recommend it to me but being the lazy lump that I am, I lacked the drive to search, enroll and endure what they had to offer. However, there were a few concerns that were playing on my mind – like my ever-increasing girth on an otherwise lean frame and poor immunity (so poor that I catch cold when someone sneezes ever meters away) and even poorer stamina (I’m like a total zombie at the end of the day!). I knew the answer to all my concerns was exercising and activity but they don’t call sloth a working woman’s vice for no reason! :)

A morning of activity is often followed by several mornings of snoozing. A productive thought of practicing yoga is often greeted by several counter-productive ones. Without proper knowledge of warm-up and an experienced instructor, the effort ends before it begins. And the amount of variety of yoga available in market today makes the effort more daunting - Power Yoga , Baba Ramdev Yoga, B.S. Iyengar Yoga, Bharat Thakur Yoga, Shilpa Shetty Yoga, Kareena’s size zero Yoga and latest in the list Lara Dutta’s Yoga..phew!
A doc’s recommendation to follow the Art of Living helped me sort out the confusions in my mind. I had just a wee bit of idea that it involves breathing exercises and meditation but I decided to take the plunge (After all, we like to believe doctors are always right!) Oh boy! Was I in for a surprise! The Art of Living basic course that I enrolled for was a tedious, breath-taking (pun intended! :D) and enriching process spanning six days. It involved Yoga, Pranayam, Meditation, Detox, Diet Control, Stress Management and a host of other processes. Their most popular and proprietary process Sudarshan Kriya, is an immensely powerful healing process and detoxifies you completely and rejuvenates you in ways more than one. I’m not much of a religious person, I’m slightly spiritually inclined but my reasons for joining this course were far from spirituality. I was expecting health benefits and overall well-being from it and it did fit the bill completely.

Today, I’ve returned to work fully rejuvenated and recharged. Though the processes left me gasping for breath on a couple of days and with lack of sleep on others, I’m not complaining! Courtesy: the shine on my face and the vanishing inches on my waist. Detox did work and how !!! Now the only challenge is to inculcate the routine in my daily life which going by my past record looks like a Herculean task.

Just in case, this post has inspired you to be an Art of Living follower, go ahead and do it. It’s a sure shot way to health and stress-relief and to washboard abs too. May be shortly we can give Sheela a run for her money ;)
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Won! I Won! I Won!

A big thank you to all you lovely people who took time out to read and comment on my post which was my entry to the 'Wedding Week Blogging Contest' by 99Labels. Your good wishes and kind words of appreciation have earned me a prize in the contest! I am humbled! 
The reward is purchase credits for shopping (more!) at 99Labels and though I was keeping my fingers crossed for a first or a second prize for bagging every extra credit considering what a hopeless shopaholic I am, a third prize isn’t a bad deal either!

Just when a third prize was dampening my spirits a wee bit, along came another prize surprise. I've won a FIRST prize in 'My Kodak Moment Photography Contest' by 99Labels (again!). The combined reward looks quite delicious! Double delight, wow! SETE (Smiling ear to ear) :D
While not being a blogger, I love to try my hand at photography and this prize-winning picture was the outcome of a trigger-happy-me and some free time on a beautiful Saturday morning.
Thank God It's Saturday!
If you are wondering what 99Labels is, your curiosity ends right here. 99Labels is an online shopping site that offers private sales of high-end brands and labels –national as well as international – ranging from fashion-wear, accessories, lifestyle products, sports wear and gear, electronics to furniture. They are the pioneers in this innovative concept of ‘event based’ online sales for a limited time period and it’s a members-only community. Members are offered sales up to 70% off label prices!! There’s something for every taste and every budget, so you’re likely to find something worthwhile especially if designer label is your vice.

Membership is by invitation so if you’re game for some irresistible deals, here’s the referral link for becoming a member:

With the prize money in my kitty, the designer splurge will definitely be a rewarding experience this time around ;)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handbags : The Complete Reference

A close relative coming down from the US shortly has given me a relatively (pun intended!) tough task that I constantly try to evade – to suggest a gift for myself! Nothing beats the joy of unwrapping a surprise gift but some of such gifts have left me surprised in the past instead, considering the debacles they have turned out to be –like the dresses that are gathering dust in my closet ‘cuz two of my size can easily fit into them and the booties that remind me of the blisters more than how fabulously they team up with my denims. Such items end up being the major contributors to the mess I have garnered at home…I know, I know I must give ‘em away but I still hope they’ll fit me someday :P

So in an attempt to salvage my wardrobe from being further inundated with ill-fitting pieces, I chose a much safer option – a handbag. I call it a safe option for two simple reasons – one, there’s not much scope to go wrong unless its grossly printed or full-on bling and two, the more, the merrier. Just when I was sighing a breath of relief from the accomplished ‘task’, along came another one. I was asked to indicate my preferences by trolling the net. I was astounded (in a good way) by the ridiculous amount of variety those American shopping websites offered. After few days of straying all over, I restricted myself to the handbags section and in the process, picked up some gyan that I have been positively looking forward to share with you.

Can u tell a tote from a satchel or a hobo easily? If you often find yourself lost in the purse lingo (like I do, too!), here is a ready reckoner that I have tried to put together. Though there are many types of handbags, all handbags, more or less, fall under 10 broad categories that I’ve listed down in the alphabetical order below:

1. Backpack

2. Clutch

3. Crossbody

4. Hobo

5. Messenger

6. Satchel

7. Shoulder

8. Tote

9. Wallet

10. Wristlet

Backpack - a bag that is supported by the shoulders with double handles and lies across the back. Backpacks are supported on either one or both shoulders.

A Backpack
 Clutch - a small, yet long (rectangular), bag with no handles that must be carried clasped in one hand or under the arm.
A Clutch
Crossbody - a bag with a long strap to be worn diagonally across the body; great for those times when you don’t need or want to carry a ton of stuff with you
A Crossbody
Hobo - a soft, large bag that has a zip top and shoulder strap. Tends to crunch down when carried or laid down. It's defined by its crescent shape and small handles which are just big enough to carry by shoulder. These are popular for their ease of use for any occasion, while still looking great and is one of the most popular styles out there today.

A Hobo
Messenger - a type of sack, usually made out of some kind of cloth that is worn over one shoulder with a strap that winds around the chest resting the bag on the lower back; increasingly becoming an urban fashion icon.
A Messenger
Satchel - a bag with a wide, flat bottom, zippered or clasped top, two handles or straps. This is a kind of handbag which can also be used for carrying books. The satchel style was inspired by a piece of luggage (briefcase) and can be various sizes such as the doctor’s bag which is very much in trend these days.

A Satchel
Shoulder - any bag with a shoulder strap; a shoulder tote is a massive tote to be carried almost exclusively by shoulder.
A Shoulder Bag
Tote – a large handheld bag that is used to carry things, such as books, papers, or everyday items ; usually has long handles and often has a strap and some totes come with a zipper compartment that divides the bag into sections. The tote bag style is the perfect variety for someone on the go yet wants to look trendy and fashionable. It’s the largest bag among those different fashion handbags and is quite a rage for many years.
A Tote
Wallet – a small pocket size purse, hard or soft, with zippers or snaps, has compartments for coins, bills, credit cards etc.
A Wallet
Wristlet – a small handbag quite similar to clutch; with wrist bands or removable straps that can be secured to the wrist. Wristlets are usually the size of a large wallet.
A Wristlet
Not all handbags are created equal, they say – some are classics, some are trendy, some are practical, some are simply arm candy. A handbag for every occasion is the least any fashionable girl can ask for! It is also necessary to know the differences of these different handbags in order to carry the right handbag for the right occasions. So I hope this post would have helped you with that to some extent.

Armed with this information digest on handbags, I told my relative seeking my gift suggestion, “I would prefer a tote, not a hobo or else a crossbody would do but pl ensure it does not look like a messenger “: P I guess this suggestion will keep those ‘tasks’ at bay for next time :D

P.S. Which one’s your favorite?

Image Courtesy:
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

My wedding shopping spree!

17 years and still going strong, that’s precisely how long my love affair with weddings has lasted. It triggered at a cousin’s wedding just when I had barely entered my teens when I realized there so much more to weddings than my childhood game of ‘gudiya ki shaadi’. I was left completely smitten and I knew the fascination was gonna last life long. That shows in the scratches of my favorite DVDs which happen to be all wedding movies - 27 dresses, Bride Wars, Father of the Bride, The Runaway Bride et al. With such a sound foundation in mush, no wonder I grew up to become a sucker for weddings.

Love for shopping was natural but that assumed deadly proportions with each passing year. Being hopelessly romantic at heart and shopaholic by passion was enough to throw me in frenzy when my wedding date was announced. Getting married to my boyfriend was comforting enough for me to channelize all my energy in shopping. And out I went like an untamed Bridezilla ready to devour anything and everything that even had the remotest possibility of being of any use in my wedding. This Bridezilla also spit fire occasionally on those who tried to talk her out of that frantic shopping spree. After all, it was MY wedding and like every bride, I also felt that I’m the first and the last bride on the planet!

Six months of gap between engagement and wedding was a good time frame to stock up my regular dope of shopping. With due regard to the countless spa & salon treatments I endured, a retail therapy was a far superior way to soothe my senses and satiate my soul. Living in a city that is a shopper’s paradise threw up endless avenues for loosening my purse string at the drop of a hat for anything that could be a part of my bridal trousseau.Everything had to be perfect and of course, the best!

My shopaholic alter ego in an overdrive ran berserk piling up goodies from an endless list of must-buys - bridal accessories, jewelry, lingerie, makeup, fragrances, toiletries, bed linens etcetera etcetera, although I knew that most of those will never see the light of the day a second time – but then “my wedding and reception outfits are special to me”, my mind would trick me! After blowing up the booty kept aside by my parents for my wedding shopping, I resorted to my credit cards. Credit card payment cheques departed as soon as the salary cheques came in. After bringing home the most expensive labels I’d ever worn (and the most blingy accessories too!), my bank account hit rock-bottom but that didn’t deter me from further shopping. I transformed into a bargain huntress on the prowl!!

The four-lettered word ‘SALE’ had a hypnotic effect on me and gave me an excuse to accumulate stuff for post-wedding times as well. The choicest Victoria’s secrets for the honeymoon, the itsy bitsy dresses for beach vacation on Valentine’s, the LBD for one of the many candlelight dinners to come, the killer stilettos for clubbing-dos, the ethnic chic for first diwali… the list was endless and so were my excuses. My wardrobe was on the verge of bursting at seams but my shopahol hangover refused to get over easily. The eclectic mix of designer wear and bargain buys offered me a little solace when a bit of sanity set in.

The D-Day tiptoed amidst this madness. It brought the curtains down to the days of hysteria I endured for those six months and the atrocities I subjected to my family and BFFs by those crazy jaunts and numerous dress rehearsals and ushered me in the next drama titled ‘The big fat Indian Wedding’! I put my best foot forward in my handpicked outfit and makeup. The admiration I garnered as the blushing- beautiful- radiant bride made me feel so much better for my feet gone sore from those endless shopping spree. The effort seemed to have finally paid off well!

Three years into marriage, I can’t really recall if each item of my bridal treasure has got a chance to venture out of the closet even once. But whenever it does, it sure grabs some attention. A compliment or two on that wedding special collection item –a pair of chandelier earrings or an ornate outfit or flashy footwear or a bright clutch, lessens my guilt for the sinful indulgence. As I sit flipping through my wedding album today, I walk down the memory lane and re-live each moment of the shopping frenzy that has become a part of these wonderful memories. I feel that’s the best wedding gift I could have given myself! And to all the brides waiting to walk to aisle, my two cents – you get married only once (ideally!), so go splurge!!!

P.S. This post is my entry to the 99lables's Wedding Week Blogging Contest. (Category - My wedding shopping spree!) is a members only 'event based' online shopping community. To become a member, click on the referral link below:

Rules for participating in the contest:

  1. Become a member of 99labels (If you are not a member already) by clicking on the referral link at the bottom of this post. (You get Rs 100 worth of credit free to shop!) .
  2. Create a log-in preferably using the email id attached with your blog. This is to protect the anonymity of some bloggers as the referral link (read rule 2) displays your email-id.
  3. Post your referral link on the post (This means that whoever becomes a member clicking on the link gets Rs 100, and whenever you referral buys an item you get Rs 500). To find your referral link
    1. Log in on
    2. Click on “Invite friends” on the top menu.
    3. Go to bottom of page and look for “Copy and paste your personal invitation link” and paste the link at the bottom of your post E.g . My Referral invite –
  4. Copy and paste all the rules in your post.
  5. Leave a link to your post in the comments section of the contest page of 99labels
  6. Copy and paste this image at the end of the post and the category under which you have posted.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Body Shop Grapeseed Glossing Serum : Product Review

By and large, the reaction to my post on my hair woes was unanimous – TBS products will do you good and waiting for the product review. Though its too early to judge a product in which I put so much trust in, I just couldn’t wait to post a review.

It would give a reason to cheer for the hopefuls – The Body Shop’s Grapeseed Glossing Serum is an instant hit! Honestly speaking it hasn’t really improved the pathetic condition of my long-ish straight-ish brown-ish hair but it does make the mess on my head look quite presentable. A couple of pumps of the serum and few gentle strokes is all I need to get sorted before stepping out. Now isn’t that good enough?

The product claims to add great gloss and shine to the hair and I quite agree to that. It also helps to moisturise the hair and can be easily washed out.

It also protects hair from heat styling as claimed and unlike Livon, does not leave hair looking oily.


Though I have really liked this product , the only thing about this product that mildly puts me off is the fruity smell. I don’t really dig fruity fragrances –floral is my type but then its not so strong that you cannot bear it.

Ingredients: *

Grape seed oil - Is very rich in essential fatty acids. Helps to protect the hair shaft from moisture loss by coating it, which also helps to smooth the hair.

Sesame Oil - Moisturises and helps condition the hair, aiding combing and adding non-greasy shine.

A high performance formulation - Contains oils which do not cause build up on the hair. Does not contain silicon found in many competitor products, which with regular use can coat the hair making it dull and lank.

*Source: The Body Shop Website

Price: Rs. 545 for 75 ml

So the TBS Grapeseed Glossing Serum gets a seal of approval from Pink Diaries. I would definitely replenish it when it runs out of stock !!

P.S. Pl share your experiences if you have tried this product.
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