Welcome back to my blog! Hope you enjoy reading my lifestyle blog as much as I enjoy writing it for you guys!
Lets talk about skin care and skin care products. I believe that its the perfect time to indulge in some self care routine as we have plenty of time in our hands while being in quarantine. So lets begin…
We all love them and its not gender biased anymore. Even guys love pampering themselves as much as we do. There are plenty of products in the market and we all love to experiment with them. Speaking about skin care or toiletries, I am a big time hoarder of these kind of products and love to experiment and keep changing my skin care routine as per different seasons and brands. Who doesn’t love to get pampered. And when it comes to skin care, I love to indulge myself in luxury beauty products for that extra luxurious experience. Because of their reputation and trust they have build over time for themselves, its even easier to splurge on those products every now and then.
So I’m going to share with you the secret to skin that glows with a luxurious sheen and it has to do with two luxury skincare products which I absolutely adore. They are very close to my heart as they are from one my favourite luxury brands Dior. “A new femininity, a total femininity that would lack nothing” was dreamed by Christian Dior and today from dresses to accessories, from fragrances to lipstick, up to the most expert skincare, the Dior House enhances the beauty of women, bringing it radiance and modernity.
To start off let me tell about my skin type. I have a combination to oily skin. It gets dull easily and I have an issues of discolouration and sensitivity.
Christian Dior Hydra Life Hydration Sorbet
Powered with Mallow and Haberlea leaf, this essence claim to offers 3 actions in 1 single step.
- The ultra-concentrated moisturization of a serum.
- The radiance boost of a gentle peel and the toning effect of a lotion.
- Offers a splash of freshness that instantly invigorates the skin with its translucent blue liquid texture
My Review – It feels super luxurious and light on the skin. As the name suggests, its highly hydrating and still very light. Its gel based and quickly absorbed by the skin. My skin feels super hydrated yet oil free. A light moisturiser excellent for combination to oily skin. Gentle fragrance which is very soothing.
I got it for – Rs 3500 50ml
Dior Hydra Life Lotion To Foam Fresh Cleanser
In just one pump, this fresh lotion transforms into a rich and airy foam cleanser. Highly concentrated in natural white tea leaf extract, it completely removes makeup and deeply cleanses and refreshes the skin. The skin looks perfectly clean and clear. Refreshed with moisture, looking revitalised. Highly concentrated in natural white tea leaf extract for toning action Infused with saponins, natural cleaning agents for purifying & detoxifying action.
My Review – Totally love this cleanser. The foamy and fluffy texture feels smooth and silky on the skin. it des deeply cleanses your skin from within and a visible freshness is seen without a drying effect. Its excellent for combination to oily skin.Gentle fragrance which is very soothing.
I got it for – Rs 2300/- 190ml
Here comes the monsoons and I feel happy again for no reason. A season which not everyone likes to enjoy because of the rains and restraints it brings to the daily life. But there is a saying- “One who says sunshine brings happiness with it, has never danced in the rain”. I am a pure pluviophile. I find myself smiling looking at the rains and with each shower, it brings so many emotions. Monsoons have their own charm and beauty.
As a kid, it was a hope of happiness because of the probability of a sudden holiday due to rains. Rain was nature’s toy for us – we would jump in that pool of rain water on the road on our way back from school knowing the fact that a thrashing from Mom would awaits us at home for getting that uniform dirty. Or have a boat making competition with friends and see whose boat sails longer and end up exhausting an entire book. Or cuddle up Mom at night because the thunder sounds were scary.
Then we grow up a bit and see the rains in a different way. This time it is not just rains, it is related to our emotions. Rains are not just fun, they have become our friends during that emotional and mental change that is going on within us. We feel like dancing in the rain because we are happy of a new found love and many a times I myself have danced like crazy as if the rains understood everything that I felt. Then there are times when we are depressed and the rains consoled us by soaking up our tears in its own water.
But now we see rains from a different perspective which is just beauty. The sound of the rains translates nothing but music and rythm. The waters are soothing and takes away all the weariness. The thunder reminds us to be humble towards nature and respect the fact that we are still getting rains which we may not if we continued to be indifferent. The sentiments still remain the same and sometimes I still dance like a kid and I think will continue to do that till the time it rains and until I can dance.
Monsoons are beautiful in itself and keeping in mind these beautiful aspects, Fida Jewellery has launched their new “Malhar Collection” celebrating the essence of monsoon. Fida is a unique and artistic jewellery brand which has made their mark in the fashion accessories market with its detailed jewellery for special occasions. They are available at 50 lifestyle departmental stores Pan India and e-commerce platforms such as Myntra, Jabong and Nykaa. They presented me with these two beautiful pieces of art which indeed match my monsoon mood. The silver and green combination looked amazing with silver and green reflecting the rain and greenery respectively with details designed as droplets of water. The moment I got them, the idea of styling it up crossed my mind and wanted to do it in the rains. I knew that the rain and these earrings would complement each other and make me look and feel beautiful. I indeed felt beautiful and loved the pieces and would look forward for the next collection. Thanks a lot Fida for creating such beautiful collection!
Sometimes the most productive thing one can do is relax. The stress arising from the rush that starts from the moment we open our eyes, whether we are at home or at the work place, whether we are alone or with a crowd, needs to be wiped off at some point of time. We need to stop, relax and refresh ourselves for the next go.
Coco Shambhala Goa is a place to get this rejuvenation in a luxurios way and I too needed a day off from my schedule. As the word “Shambhala” defines a peaceful mythical hidden kingdom, it actually is a place of peace, happiness and tranquility located in Goa. A collection of 4 luxury holiday villas set in the tropical gardens with a freeform swimming pool. The villas sync with the Goan lanscapes and cultural vibes to bring in an air of relaxation around. To provide the resident and non resident guests and experience of this luxury, they created a unique concept of ‘Spa Days at Coco Shambhala’ of which I chose to be a part of.
I reached the villa around noon and started the tour of the villa with a nice Curry Leaf Cocktail. It was my day to unwind and recharge myself and I knew I was at the best place. Everything around the villa was about luxury created by the most hospitable and warm people at the Coco Shambhala family. I checked in to one of the villas and settled myself before I started exploring the place and my shoot. Each luxury villa has a stunning tree top living pavilion, a private plunge jet pool, 2 large bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a kitchen and a complimentary car and driver.I quickly headed for my spa which was the prime reason I wanted to visit this place.
The Coco Shambhala Spa is designed in a way with different treatments and spa days which are curated not only to relieve you from your exhaustion but also to make you feel good about your self. Hidden in a part of the jungle styled garden, the spa is equipped with a steam room and massage area for guests. The different treatments designed are Jet Lag Treatment, Cellulite Draining Scrub, Firming and Toning Body Massage, Indulgent Crystal Rose Body Polish to name a few. While the Spa days package consisted of Special Day Package, Special Lunch Package, Regular Day Package and Regular Lunch Package. I opted for a specially curated Special Spa Package along with a relaxation spa. A very sweet lady named Rosy welcomed me and made sure I was comfortable. During that one hour session, I realised that she was a pro at her massaging skills as she kept in mind my pain areas while I felt all my tiredness just melt away. I can’t express how relaxing indeed it was and how much I needed it. I finished it with a quick shower and by this time I was hungry and headed for the lunch.
The menu showcases the best of Goan cuisines with fresh and local produce making it even better with their techniques learnt from the best of chefs around the world and their culinary practices. There was Raw Papaya & Carrot Salad, Beef Moussaka Timbale , a chicken version of it was made as I do not have beef, Chilli Chocolate Ganache , Spiced Beetroot Cakes for lunch. I just loved the food and it was indeed a taste that I liked of late and will remember for sure. I could not wait for the food to get digested so that I can go to the pool.
It is a huge beautiful pool to laze around amidst the tropical paradise. The greenery around was so soothing that I did not want to come out of the pool though it was a bit cold specially when it is monsoons in Goa and there is always a drizzle. Luckily I had an option of the private jet pool in my villa, so why not enjoy that as well. The staff made it better by serving a nice hot green tea by the poolside which again is my favourite mood enhancer.
What a day it was! A complete luxury experience with a revived, refreshed and rejuvenated myself. It was a fantastic idea of Coco Shambhala to curate such a package of Spa- daycation to unwind for a day. And as they want their guests to come back like old friends, I definitely want to come back for and splurge on this luxury.
Lifestyle is not just the way a person lives. It reflects a list of other attributes of the person – taste, mood, emotions, love, weakness and we try to find them in the things we get at our homes. Inspired by such thoughts, a lot of furniture and home furnishing stores have emerged and one such amazing store which is getting all the attention in the Goan market is the not so recently launched “And So” in Porvorim.
And So is a store for furniture and furnishing designs created by Anjali Mody whose vision was to create a house which lets new and upcoming designers showcase their skills with their creative pieces for everyday needs while being at non designer prices. It collaborates with a lot of designers, artists, craftsmen and curators from different fields who bring out their best with a modern twist for an everyday life.
The store is unconventional with its unique designs and the looks curated by them . You can pick up individual pieces of your choice or if you are in a mood to give a makeover to your room or your entire house or like to replicate a specific look, you just simply need to ask them to do it for you. Right from the furniture to the lighting to the upholstery get everything shifted to your home the way you like at just Rs.3,00,000. This is actually the best part of the store that you do not have to visit different stores as everything is available and you will surely like each own of them. I loved everything about the store, rather was confused with what I like more. A simple wooden bed which looked so unique with its unevenly shaped wooden headboard, a large coffee table resembling the bark of a tree, the carpets, the wooden candle stands, the hanging lamps etc. are a few of my favourites.
And So joins hands with few other designer brands who specialize in their own area of work and collectively create the looks. To name a few are Josmo whose pieces are a blend of age-old artisanal techniques and new age design focusing always on functionality. The Lohasmith who are known to make statement pieces with their clean lines, bold natural finishes and colours. Another brand is Twisty which aims to design furniture that is portable, easy to use, and goes well with any setting. And there is Botl who brings out these lovely planters, glasses and lanterns from recycled glass bottles. There are also The Art and Found, Studio Wood, The Wooden Story, Loomshed, Kaanchi etc. to name a few. The store also keeps changing these designers so that everytime you visit you have a fresh new look.
And So is a definitely a one step destination for all the quirky, stylish, contemporary, traditional, artistic looks that you want to have for your home at an affordable budget. Go check out the store in Porvorim and recreate your space.
Hey Everyone! A warm welcome to my blog again.
If you are a bollywood buff and have seen Kangana Ranaut’s movie Queen then you have a fair idea of the backpacker life and hostels in Europe for those who travel on budgets and like to make friends on their holidays. And now the concept of hostels in India has been increasing since the last six or seven years and Goa is leading the scene with a number of backpackers hostels springing up.
Recently I happened to visit one such place. SturmFrei, near Vagator is the brainchild of four good friends, from different fields who after years of the rat race decided to pursue thier own dream instead. Setting up a decently sized but comfortable hostel, they now meet people from all over the world and learn about other countries without stepping out of the doorstep so to speak! In a short time Sturmfrei has become an extremely popular and in-demand hostel accomodation and needless to say i was very excited to be heading there to check it out though I wasnt sure how different from a hotel a hostel would be. I was unsure about what all I could pack with me. Anyway I reached the place at around 11am in the morning along with my friend and though it is not very difficult to find the place, it IS a bit on the interior side…but have we really worried about finding places since Google maps entered our lives?
The place does not look like a hostel at all…it felt like a home we were visiting. A friend or a relative’s maybe. And the hospitality was exactly like that as well! I was happy as there was enough space to park my car, as one of the biggest headaches of today, I’m sure you will agree with me, is finding a spot to park. A warm welcome by the owners was made extra special as they happen to be from my hometown. The hostel was set up in an old Goan house with a large open area and some greenery surrounding the borders. Like i said before, the feeling of being inside a home prevailed – a seating area which looks so much like home with wooden furnitures and curtains to match, a cupboard full of books for the bookworms, a television where the channels get changed frequently as guests vied for the remote to watch an array of different programmes! A board of carrom was set up at the center of the room from which a healthy amount of boisterous noise would waft forth at regular intervals. The walls were done up pretty nicely with stickers with interesting quotes that were sure to find resonance with the steady stream of globe trotters who stayed here. One wall had a collage of pictures of guests who had passed through the hostel and another collage of all the countries from where they travelled to Goa. In just six months of its opening, the board already had 40 countries on it. Impressive indeed!
Inside there were three more air conditioned rooms which had bunk beds set up so each room had 6 beds. I occupied a room which had a small wooden staircase inside to climb up to small loft kind of a space with two more beds. The rooms were clean with nicely done beds, the bathrooms were well equipped with the basic soaps, shampoos and clean towels. So all that stuff that I carried was not really required! A small luggage room is provided in case you have too much of baggage with you. Complimentary breakfast is also provided. Also, the food menu called the “Sturmfrei Hunger Solver” offers both veg and non-veg options a la carte and in case you prefer something else you are free to cook in the kitchen helped by a very sweet lady who cooks there. You must, of course, clean up and do the dishes yourself if using the kitchen.
I started exploring the surroundings with a cup of tea and did not feel at all that I am in a hostel. There were a few guests who had been staying for a couple of weeks and some who were regular visitors. The conversations started over a game of carrom and I almost forgot that we were strangers just a few minutes ago! The camaraderie of hostel life is unmatchable ! Outside there were three more rooms made with cane which apparently is favoured by foreign guests over the air con ones. Many of them have volunteered to decorate and do up the place and have made it really beautiful with different paintings, artefacts, quotes and have left a part of them behind for others to enjoy. The front yard is a big open area where you can play some sport or workout. It has a small but cute set up specially in the winters where you can soak up the sun or sit for evening tea or play a game of cards. We sat in the backyard which had nicely laid mattresses and a delightful bar called Sau Bar (“sau” means “hundred”) because every drink was for just a 100 bucks! Some sound boxes and speakers in case you are in a mood to groove after a drink and a hammock at the corner added some more fun to the place.
I absolutely loved the way the entire space was decorated with the simplest of things yet making it so interesting. I continued with my shoot and discovered more about the place as I went along. Strumfrei is the brainchild of four friends – Pratyush Neog Manikial, Kaushik Baishya, Dipjyoti Brahma and Bhavik Vaghela. The name Strumfrei comes from the German words “Sturm” and “Frei” which mean “storm” and “free” respectively. So basically Sturmfrei here refers to a place which is free from all mental storms in your minds. Oh…there is another fun meaning to this word…but why not visit the place and find out for yourself? Let me know in the comments section of this blog if you do!
So the idea behind Sturmfrei is to become a new age hospitality company which caters to the needs of millennials and centennial travellers and looking to build a network of trendy and cool hostels in India as well as South Asia. They told us stories about how this place has been a hub of varied socially and culturally different people coming and staying together and sharing their experiences and ideas. It opens up for different activities initiated by the visitors, be it a workout challenge or a cleanliness drive at the beach or a lunch or dinner out together or a happening party.
Before I realized it, lunch time was upon us. We all sat together and not for a moment I felt that I was not at my own home. The food was fresh and delicious and I may be a bit biased here to appreciate these guys who made me feel so much at home since we came from the same State. Hence all our inside jokes that only we understood, our childhood memories, finding common friends, our common habits and lifestyle made it all so nostalgic. After lunch, I took a short nap as the room was really comfy and I was too exhausted. I woke up and had another cup of evening tea and spent some time with Jerry who is an adorably playful four legged member of the house. It was time for me to say goodbye to all the lovely people that I met though I wished I could stay overnight but I had to get back. It was a great change for me as I travel a lot but most of my stays are in impersonal star hotels and resorts spread over vast acres of manicured lawns. Cosy close knit hostels like Sturmfrei are indeed a perfect place for people who are always on the go or who love to meet interesting people from around the globe.
I would love to come back again when I have more time in hand so that I can fully participate in the exciting and activity filled life of a backpacking hostel . Meanwhile I wish Sturmfrei all the success and hope to see it grow bigger and find a Sturmfrei in every city I visit
Open your eyes in the morning and you realise you are in a place which looks no less than a palace and you feel no less than a princess? Sounds like a dream right? Well, sometimes dreams do come true. There are times when I truly cherish the perks of being a travel & lifestyle blogger. And being invited to stay at the beautiful and luxurious places like Fairmont Hotel, Jaipur was one such time i counted myself among the privileged ones! Who would not want to have a taste of royalty for two nights? I headed off in excitement and was eager to see what’s in store.
A Grand Welcome
I was greeted by the Five Senses Welcome which is a small performance by the traditional Rajasthani folk singers and dancers, a surprise shower of rose petals and a cool drink. Best welcome ever! Someone actually performed for me and I loved the drum beats and the song – “Kesariya…balam aayo…padharon mhare des” I kept humming the hook line as that’s all I knew. I finished my welcome drink and checked into my Fairmont Gold room. Barely containing my excitement I entered the room and the first thing I fell in love with was the romantic four poster bed. The curtains and upholstery, the furniture, the decor and the small personalised welcome note all felt grand yet warmly hospitable. Out of sheer habit I checked the bathroom and my first thought was…which one do I love more – the bed or the beautiful bathtub? I arrived late and hence missed my breakfast, so quickly dressed, grabbed a snack and left to take a tour of the hotel.
As I walked, I looked around the hotel and was amazed on how beautiful it was. A huge door that’s more then 350 years old takes opens into a Mughal inspired geometrical garden. The hotel had the look of a fort from outside and inside it was a palace. The carvings on the walls tell us about the Mughals and the Rajputs and the grand interiors were a mix of both traditional and modern architectural designs. The Rang Mahal which is kind of an art and entertainment center near the entrance lobby was decorated with hand made paintings with natural colours extracted from fruits and vegetables. The ceiling had 64 dance poses carved on it depicting the cultural heritage of our country. I was just awestruck by every detail and story behind each section of the hotel reflecting the skills of the artisans and their hardwork.
A Royal Lunch And A Live Performance
Feeling ravenous by now, I decided to make it on time for lunch. The hotel has a number of restaurants serving from the royal Rajasthani cuisines to Mediterranean inspired delicacies. I tried the traditional Rajasthani Thali which consisted of the typical flavours of the state like the Gatte ki Sabzi, Marwaari Aloo Pyaaz ki Sabzi, Rajasthani Daal Bati Choorma, Laal Maas, Baajre ki Roti etc. to name a few. After relishing all these, I had to take a stroll to digest my lunch and also leisurely found myself indulging the shutterbug in me and clicked a few pictures of the beautiful spaces around me. The pool at The Fairmont Jaipur is amongst its great attractions. I happily gave into its allure and spent the rest of the afternoon in the cool blue water enjoying the stunning view of the hotel. It was evening by then and the sunset view from the rooftop is indescribably beautiful . A lovely bonfire was arranged outside after dark and the evening was brightened up by another lively performance by the folk artists. I too tried a few steps along with the Kalbeliya dancers trying to learn their form. A specially curated traditional dinner was arranged which again was a lavish affair. I was too tired by then and the bed in my room was still waiting for me to sink into it dreaming of palaces and princes!
The Next Morning – Breakfast | Lifestyle Shoot
I woke up early and hit the gym not just to check it out but also out of guilt of indulging in the delectable cuisine of the night before and knowing there is more to come! Post workout, a quick shower and it was time for breakfast. A wholesome breakfast of everything I love – cereals, toasts, eggs, fruits..an excellent start to the day.
I decided to cover the rest of the hotel and also carry on with my lifestyle shoot. Have shared some really nice shots that I got with wonderful backdrops of the hotel view. Every corner of the hotel looked so elegant and magnificent that it takes you back to that royal era that we have read in books or have seen in movies.
And now for some shopping. I was ready to splurge on some traditional wear and accessories . It is a one stop solution for people who stay there as you have stores for clothes, jewellery , paintings and other artefacts. If you are on a holiday, a visit to the spa is a must. What interested me in Ruhab, the spa is its extraordinary treatments as per zodiac signs which I kept it in my list for my next visit as I had some other things to be covered. The next day I had an early morning flight and hence had an early dinner and went to sleep.
Early morning, I reluctantly got ready for my flight, had a quick breakfast and checked out of the hotel. Obviously with a heavy heart as I couldnt stop thinking about what an amazing experience it was. My two days at The Fairmont Jaipur was like a Royal fantasy come true and a memory to be cherished and I really hope to visit it again. Soon!