These beauties are from my garden. Freshly bloomed and keep spreading the joy of Spring.
Happy to participate in this #FOTD challenge from Cee’s Photography.
These beauties are from my garden. Freshly bloomed and keep spreading the joy of Spring.
Happy to participate in this #FOTD challenge from Cee’s Photography.
“I glanced out the window at the signs of spring. The sky was almost blue, the trees were almost budding, the sun was almost bright.”
— Millard Kaufman
I have found some fruity and floral scents at Ulta, which are great for spring and anytime.
JIMMY CHOO FEVER
Beautiful packaging, elegant, fun and worth trying. It has a playful floral scent, which can be addictive and sensual too.
MARC JACOBS DAISY LOVE SUNSHINE
Undeniably feminine with a youthful yet sophisticated composition, Daisy Love has creamy florally smell of petals from the Daisy tree mingle with the warmth of cashmere musk. It is one of my favorite.
ESCADA MIAMI BLOSSOM
If you want to experience some fun, fresh, fruity-citrusy perfume then try this one. It is ideal for spring to summer, reminds me of Miami Beaches and Pool Parties.
PHILOSOPHY AMAZING GRACE MAGNOLIA
This is a new scent with a beautiful composition of Magnolia, Musk, and Italian Bergamot. Available at Ulta, price- Eau de toilette spray fragrance 2oz., $50.
STAY HAPPY AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL
Like the Ombre hair color? and now try the Ombre lip color trend or two-toned lip color. The two-toned lip trend got it’s popularity a few years ago, and now it is back in the trend and it is being hugely used by the fashion designers, models, celebrities, and for everyday looks. Ombre lips are basically gradation of colors, same color but fading from dark to light from outer lip to the inner lip or vice versa. Sure, it seems like a tricky makeup trend, but surprisingly it is very easy to follow. And the looks will be totally different, if try with the pink-orange shades then the lip will look like the stains we get after eating a popsicle.
THE STEPS OF OMBRE OR TWO-TONED LIPS-
The first step is the color selection. To decide the colors, I like to pick one color that will be my main lip color. Then I choose a color that is either lighter than my base color or darker than my base color. But it has to be similar in hue.
The main technique to do this lip trend is to use the gradient from outer most edge to the innermost part of the lips or even going horizontally across such that one corner of the mouth is lighter in color than the other corner.
The simplest form of ombre lips is to use the lighter shade on one lip and the darker shade on the other lip and then blending them in at the inner side of the lips. This technique is hugely popular on the runway shows.
Another technique of using the colors is to line the lips with a lip liner that is one shade darker than the base lipstick color. First, use the dark shades little thicker on the corners and gradually making thinner to the curves of lips. Then apply the base lipstick to the lips leaving out the innermost part of the lips. Finally, use the lighter lipstick and top off with clear gloss to even it all out.
Many brands have already launched some beautiful shades of two-toned lipsticks. I have tried the Laneige Two-toned lipstick, I am really impressed, it is a glossy one, and it gives me a bright stained lip.
STAY BEAUTIFUL AND BE HAPPY.
Every year I am having the same confusion, what to get for him? I mean he is a romantic guy and doesn’t mind to celebrate Valentine but at the same time, it’s not easy to impress him. He wants to buy stuff when he is in a shopping mood and that, by the way, comes very rare, maybe once in a year. So, I have to dig a lot to find a perfect Valentine gift for my husband. Over the years I have learned that the most unexpected gifts often make him intrigued, and the most common ones like the flower, cards, and teddy bear only get one “thank you”. This year, I have quite a number of interesting finds for Men Valentines Gifts, and when Amazon is there to make the last minute shopping possible, then no doubt, I will share about those amazing gift ideas from Amazon.
My most favorite for this year V-day gifts are the Couple Journals, where one can share thoughts and feelings for the other one or there are journals for future life plannings, bucket lists, and many more. Sort of scrapbooking, and also the extensions of just a Valentine card.
Another great idea is personalized or engraved gifts-
And then there are some great gifts to relieve the stress like the neck, back and foot massager-
And for those coffee and tea lovers, coffee makers and tea kettles or milk warmer would be a great choice-
Next, are the gifts for those unique chefs who constantly delivers the most strange improvised cooking dishes from our kitchens-
And finally for the trending tech gift ideas-
It feels great when we find the perfect gift for our loved ones, surprise them and make them feel special. These are some of my favorite men gift ideas for this Valentine’s day and these products are great gifts for any occassion and for anybody.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
What is BUBBLE MASK? Bubble Mask is a kind of face mask, which anyone can easily apply at home. After cleaning the face, apply it and wait for 15 minutes to activate the mask and then rinse off ( depends on the individual mask’s instructions). It’s a new trend in the beauty industry. Originally, it’s a K- Beauty trend, which now gets immense popularity among many countries. Especially in the USA, from the luxury brand to the mainstream companies, all are producing different versions of Bubble Masks. Also, in social media, Bubble Mask has been claimed a must try beauty product.
How does it work on our skin?
Yes, definitely you will feel a little weird and also look crazy while using this mask, but in reality, it’s more than a trendy beauty gimmick. It actually works. I feel it works better than the sheet masks for my skin. Because, the Bubble Mask, more specifically the Bubbling, oxygenating masks actually rely on other ingredients to preserve their bubble action until the right time. When you open them up, the bubbles are unleashed into the air gets to work and in just 15 minutes the mask starts to detoxify, oxygenate and fight against pollutants and helps the skin to achieve that pore-less, brightening and purified feel.
The concept behind Bubble Mask is fairly simple: The bubbling and fizzing action is meant to infuse the skin with oxygen and help the mask’s ingredients penetrate. Experts say, good ol’ oxygen can help wounds heal by increasing circulation, which gets more cells where they need to go to help you recover. As we get older, our circulation decreases so oxygen can make up for that. And in the process, it can up your collagen production for plump, bouncy skin.
I have seen many high-end brands as well as some drugstore brands who are producing Bubble Masks. Different bubble Masks for different targeted treatments, like Honey Bubble Mask for hydrating, Charcoal Bubble Mask for purifying the skin and so on. I like the fizzing effect on my skin, it’s kind of relaxing and I love the instant result. Try one today, it’s so much fun.
We visited Florida in the last week of 2018, it was a great 7 days family vacation and we enjoyed immensely. We spent the last day of 2018 in Epcot and what a fun 31st it was.
Like other Walt Disney Theme Parks, Epcot has also many different kinds of attractions, for little ones to the thriller seekers, there are activities for everyone. Epcot features two distinct park sections, Future World and World Showcase, both full of attractions, dining, and entertainment. Besides the rides, Epcot’s seasonal festivals like Flower and Garden in the spring and Food and Wine in the fall are very popular. But by seeing the New Year celebrations with the fireworks and live performances surely one can tell that Epcot is not just a theme park, it is a ‘Grown up’ Theme Park.
We started our day very early in the morning when the line was shorter. Our first stop was the Disney Character Spots, where you can interact with the Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Anna and Elsa, Aladdin and Jasmine and other Disney princesses and capture photos. It was a nice way to start your day with the little ones.
Then we headed to the rides. The most popular rides in Epcot are Soarin’, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Mission Space, Space Ship Earth. And for the little ones the best attractions are- The Sea with Nemo And Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Living with The Land.
My favorite attractions are mostly from the World Showcase, where you can visit 11 different countries’ pavilions and taste their foods, get to know their heritage and culture, shop authentic souvenirs from the gift shops and can enjoy some amazing attractions. One of my favorites is Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China Pavilion.
Another favorite is the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico Pavilion. Illumination: Reflection of Earth is one magnificent show, it is a projection show with laser and fireworks.
Another great activity for kids is the Kidcot Fun Stops, my daughter loves this, it is like exploring around the World. It is fun and entertaining for kids, there are different art supplies provided at each pavilion, to draw, color and collect activity cards from each Country. The Cast Members share rich stories about their native countries and kids make their special keepsake and pick up a memento from that country. Kidcot Fun Stops are located in every international pavilion at Epcot.
It was so much fun to visit Epcot on the New Year Eve, the food, party crowds, live performances, music, dancing on the roads and then the breathtaking fireworks, it was a perfect ending of 2018.
Like our skin, our hair also needs extra care in this winter season. Dryness, dullness, dandruff, frizziness, hair thinning, split ends and other many more hair problems can create unacceptable bad hair days. So, the time is here to winterize our hair routine. I like to keep my hair care simple yet effective.
As a mom of two, hovering among many daily activities, I really struggle to follow a perfect winter hair care. Still, I try to protect my hair from the dryness. I like to oil my hair twice a week, mostly with organic coconut oil or almond oil and I like to use very little oil just enough to moisture my scalp and hair. Because the more oil I use, the more shampoo I would be needed to wash away the oil. To prevent hair falling and hair thinning I use a mixture of oils (Castor oil, Coconut oil, and Almond Oil) and use it at least once a week. Tea tree oil and Aloe vera gel are also beneficial for hair fall.
And in the winter, it is best to use as little chemical as possible. Then, after the shampoo, I like to use a leave-in conditioner or Moroccan oil. Also, because of using hair color, I always use Sulphate and Paraben free shampoo.
Shea butter or coconut based shampoo and oil-based conditioners are always good for dryness.
Thick hair needs deep conditioning, once a week, hair mask is just fine and also I keep the conditioner away from my roots, again the less is good. For thin hair, the regular hair conditioner is enough, or the heavy conditioner can make the thin hair flat.
I also reduce my blow dry time and rely upon the good old towel drying technique. I always use heat protectant product before using any hot tools for hair, like the dryer, straightener or curling wand. And after the hair styling, I use this amazing hair styling product which helps me with the frizziness.
And for dandruff, I like to use a homemade hair pack, made with plain yogurt, lime juice, and honey.
Go natural and keep it moisturized- that’s my basic winter hair care mantra.
STAY WARM AND FEEL BEAUTIFUL
Happy New Year to everyone. For quite some days I was wondering about what would be my resolutions in 2019. I am done with the dieting plans, done with exercising promises, done with meet up the deadlines, unable to save and also fails to keep everybody happy all the time. So, basically, I am done with all those disciplinary actions that I promised to myself on earlier years, and still not be able to keep up with them. I am sure many unfortunate souls have the same situation. So, I was thinking why should I follow all these disciplines which are not meant to be syncing with me and then regretting the rest of the year because I couldn’t follow it. Have I become the world’s most disorganized person? If I am not be able to take care of my routine how would I plan to take care of my family and my life? I felt guilty, frustrated even. Then, after cornering myself with these upsetting thoughts, I started to search for the best resolution that I can actually follow in 2019. And I have found it. My resolution is –A stress-free year.
To live a stressfree, ease out, a productive and relaxing lifestyle I want to concentrate on 3 Golden Rules- ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT, INNOVATIONS.
When things are not according to our way, we can become frustrated, irritated and stressed out, then the need for ACCEPTANCE comes, it is a smarter way to deal the situation rather being defensive. A good example is, I often get stressed out on my time management skills. When I realized that I could not finish all of my dues in a day or a week, I become very frustrated, but being so much worried on not be able to complete tasks, if I can focus on the tasks that are already completed and accept that, these are all I can do in a day, and those things I can’t do, I can do it later or manage them in time accordingly, will definitely ease out my stress. I think this is the hardest step, to accept the situation and let go all the rules.
The next step is a little easier, ENJOYMENT– when I already accepted the crisis, then half of my stress is already gone. And to make it more sync with me, if I start to enjoy the situation, that will be a great help. Often, I get stressed out about my messy rooms. My toddler often plays with my kitchen stuff and loves to create a big pile of toy mess around the house. So, earlier I keep cleaning them and he used to mess around again, again I cleaned them, so it was going on a loop, and become so intolerable, but now, I started to learn that instead of getting the rooms clean again and again, if I start playing with him with those stuff and maybe sometimes, even pretend to play with him, then, slowly showing him how to keep the toys in the toy storages, then he also gets interested, he wants to be involved, in that way we both can spend some fun time together.
Now comes the third step, to make it more like me, to make the situation fully in harmonious with me, to make my enthusiasm more sustainable, I need to put my best efforts, my INNOVATIONS, my creativity. Like, to help with my elder one with her homework, I often opt for fun and different ways, or just give little twists in my daily cooking, or give my rooms a new look with decorative stuffs, do more DIYs, all these can make the everyday boring, not so challenging tasks, more accepting, more enjoyable.
And after all these, even so, the situation is giving me intense stress, then it is time to give up, then I need to get away or change the situation. Not to feel guilty or regret, because I would know I already have given my best efforts.
To sum it up, this year I want to focus on more positive, productive, and enjoyable lifestyle.
I will keep an active life and put enough efforts to make my days fun and productive.
I will keep entertained myself with good reads and creativities that I want to do.
Every day I will do my breathing exercise and write my thoughts on my journal.
I will try to be more empathetic and try to understand my family’s needs.
I will find my ME TIME and do those pieces of stuff that I wanted to do for very long.
I will adjust my expenses according to my savings. and I will cherish all those things that I already have.
I will avoid all those people, who give me a negative vibe and keep my friends close.
I will do more traveling and I will keep remembering myself about all the good memories that I have and be grateful.
Let’s make this New Year a time to celebrate life, the time to achieve new goals, time to be the best of you.
Feeling festive yet? No, then try this Christmas Fruit Cake, this rich aromatic cake will surely raise your festive spirit. As I recollect my oldest most memory of Christmas, fruitcake has always been there. I like fruitcake all year round, but it tastes special when I bake it in my house, surrounded by my family. In the winter, the warm flavor of cinnamon, orange, nuts and dry fruits create the most magical scent.
This recipe will make a 4-pound cake. I like to use dry fruits, soaked in brandy, which is optional. This time, I soaked them for one month. It took me 3 hours to bake the cake on 300 F. Let’s go through the ingredients.
All purpose flour- 275g
Brown sugar- 275g
Ground Almond- 75g
Nuts- Cashew, Pistachio, Walnut- 80g
Orange zest and juice of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Spices- Ground Cinnamon-1 and half teaspoon, ground cloves- 1 teaspoon, ground dry ginger- 1 teaspoon, ground nutmeg- 1 teaspoon.
Roughly one and a half cups of dry fruit soaked in 3/4 cups of Brandy. The dry fruits I used- red cherry, dates, dried apricots, black raisins, candied ginger, candied orange peel, tutty- fruity.
Now the mixing-
In the first step, I whisked the softened butter and brown sugar. Then I add the eggs, one by one, mixed it until I got the smooth texture.
Then I add the ground almond, spices and orange zest, mixed them lightly. Then I sieved the flour, and incorporate nicely with the mixture.
In the next step, I add the freshly squeezed orange juice.
Then I add the nuts and dry fruits, and I folded them with a spatula.
The batter is ready. I buttered a 9-inch loaf pan. Then I cover the inside of the pan with parchment paper, leaving some extra paper on the sides to pull up the cake later.
Baking time- This is going to be a rich dense cake, so baking with low temperature and for a longer time will bake the cake perfectly or the outside of the cake would be burnt and inside would be raw.
My Cake was ready after 3 hours and then I kept it in the pan until it cooled down completely.
Next step is to cut it slice by slice. And then I like to store it in an airtight container. Feeding the cake- It is optional. Sometimes instead of cutting it right away, I store the cake in the airtight container and poke some holes, and feed the cake with brandy or orange juice. This feeding time can be deferred from 1-2 weeks. This process will make the fruitcake more moist and flavourful.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE
It’s Party Time, yes, winter holidays are here. Christmas Eve, New Year Eve, lots of occasions, party, and so, in this last week before Christmas, we better prepare ourselves to celebrate the last few days of 2018. I gathered these party looks, based on the trending winter fashions. I categorized them in 5 different party looks – Hollywood, White Christmas, Glittery Glam, Classy Little Black Dress look and Casual Party looks.
Enjoy the festival time.