Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Get yourself some fragrance therapy today




You're probably wondering what industrial-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner have got to do with fragrance therapy. Let me explain. As you know, I'm not very high maintenance. Like a friend of mine once said- not like those girls who have to go to the salon even before they go to the toilet for a poop. I'm not fussy about what shampoo and conditioner I use. After years of washing and conditioning my hair, I know that ALL shampoos and conditioners are the SAME. But also, after years of washing and conditioning my hair, especially since I grew it out, I've noticed that I go through a lot of shampoo and conditioner. Almost every forty five days I'm buying another bottle of shampoo and conditioner, and though it's not very expensive, it still adds up. I know, still nothing to do with fragrance therapy, but stay with me.

So I chanced upon these 5 litre bottles of shampoo and conditioner {let's call them S & C for brevity's sake}, a few weeks back and promised myself I'd buy them once the ones I had got over. This week my S & C finished, so I went to the shop. I had a headache and I wasn't in the best of moods when I entered. I told the saleswoman I wanted the 5 l bottles of S & C. That's when she made me sniff the one in the pic. AND OHMIGOD. Blast-from-the-past-twilight-zone moment! It was the same shampoo with which my hairdresser used to wash my hair! {I had been going to her for years and years before I stopped, to let my hair grow out.} I would always love the almond-y smell of the S & C she used on my hair. She was brilliant with the hair wash and always gave me a long, gorgeous head massage during.

So you see, all these memories came flooding back in the microsecond that it took me to sniff the shampoo. And the most amazing thing happened- the headache and fatigue I was feeling when I entered the shop, disappeared! I felt amazingly cheered up for almost an entire hour after.

It's crazy how something as simple as a smell can trigger memories and completely change your mood. And it convinced me to use aromatherapy more often. {I lit a scented candle before I sat down to write this post.}

So maybe try some fragrance therapy for yourself today- maybe light some scented candles, go to a bakery to smell freshly-baked bread, cook something with cinnamon in it, or spray your favorite perfume on... whatever makes you feel happy... while I go wash my hair.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Of juxtapositions and the impending doom of cold


Top: H&M, Pants: Own design, Necklace: Jane Norman, Bangles: Forever21, Watch: Gifted, Shoes: New Look, Clutch: Aldo. Photos: Arif Feroze.

You know how I love the juxtaposition of teal with pink. So obviously, wearing these pink pants for the first time, I had to team them with this teal tank top. {Try saying those last four words fast.} And if you've been reading me for some time, you've probably guessed that it's also a desperate attempt by me to wear my summery clothes before winter truly kicks in. Right now it's very breezy, with the temperature having gone down to give us a wonderful respite from the blaze of the last three months.

 I love this weather, and though it should have become cooler than what it is now {the morning peak times are still pretty hot}, I'm not complaining. You know me and my love for winter. And before I know it these breezes will become colder and the nights will become longer and I'll be weeping into my tea everyday waiting for the sun to blaze again. But ah. C'est la vie.

So, tell me, are you dreading winter or looking forward to it?





Sunday, 26 October 2014

From natural light to street lights



Just a few pictures from a beautiful evening spent with Anceeta watching natural light being replaced by street lights. 



xoxo


Saturday, 25 October 2014

I WANT HIM!



Mr.Tea Infuser. He's SO cute!


Psst.. don't forget to enter my giveaway!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I'm doing a giveaway!


 It's my 4th Blog Anniversary next month and I'm giving away these beautiful items to one lucky person! 

The items include:

2  photo frames from Zara Home F/W '14 collection, silver plated, 4 x 6 in.
1 tea candle holder from Zara Home F/W '14 collection.
1 woven trilby hat from I Am.
1 triple hearts necklace from I Am.


To participate in the giveaway, all you have to do is:

1. Like my Facebook Page.
2. Follow me on Google+.
3. Leave a comment on this post with your full name. Preferably the same name you've used to follow me on the above two accounts.

That's it! Easy, right? And on November 11th, I'll reveal the lucky winner and he/ she will be contacted! Unfortunately the giveaway is restricted only if you're in Bahrain. So Bahrain readers, what are you waiting for?


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

How To Manage Your Money When You Start Working



When you start working, you may make a lot of money, or you could just be making ends meet. If you're a 20-something who's just started out, here are a few tips on how to save and spend money.

1. Spend but put a limit on it.
When you start earning your own money, the urge to spend is overwhelming. You don't need to ask mom and dad for pocket money anymore. You have your own money and you want to buy yourself nice things. This is normal. But just so you don't spend all your money, put a limit on it. For instance, say you'll spend BD 100 on non-essential items that make you happy. Try not to spend more than that every month. Once you've crossed the limit, only if you're really craving something, then buy it.

2. Save at least 10% of your salary every month.
I'm sure you've heard this advice before. It's popular because it's doable and pragmatic. Put away at least 10%, if not more, of your salary every month. This will come in handy when you suddenly need a dental operation or you have to get your car fixed.

3. Save money towards a goal.
Set a goal and save money for it. It could be a dream vacation, a beautiful piece of furniture, or the latest phone. Doing this will create a good habit of getting used to delayed gratification, and help you move away from the problem of wanting something 'now'.

4. Save using a fixed saving scheme.
In one of my first jobs I opened an account where my bank would automatically pull BD 50 from my savings account every month into a fixed saving scheme. I signed up for a 2 year contract and if I wanted to break it, the bank would charge a fee. I didn't make much interest on it but I knew that I wouldn't save money unless I did this. So every month, without fail, BD 50 would be debited from my account to another saving account. After 2 years I used that money to go on a dream trip to Italy. Giving someone else control to save money for you can sometimes be the best thing.

5. Save 3 months salary.
Put away money equivalent to 3 months salary. If you lose your job or decide to quit, this saving will be a good back-up and you won't be desperate to get another job quickly just because you're broke.

6. Be careful who you lend money to.
There will be times when a friend or family member requires money urgently. You want to be nice and help them out, but be careful. Don't put yourself into trouble trying to help them. Also, lend money only to people who you implicitly trust and who you know will give it back dutifully. You're not a bank.

Money can't buy you happiness, but it can definitely make you feel more confident and secure. It's an important resource and needs to be well taken care of. Manage your money so it never ends up managing you.


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Of colored blazers and missed guest posts




If you have a colored blazer, it's a good idea to wear a printed top underneath which has the same color in the print as the blazer. I matched the red in the floral print of this top to the red of the blazer. I kept the rest of the outfit neutral so as not to look too bright. Great for the office, and after work you could replace the blazer with a bright scarf to transform this into a casual evening look. The best part about wide pants is that they're so comfortable, you don't need to change to relax. 

On another note, I realized I had written two posts for Anceeta's blog Being Awesome but forgot to tell you guys about them. So I'm linking them both in this post, lest I forget again.


There's a saying 'No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.’ One morning I wasn't feeling well. Physically I was fine, but mentally I wasn't ready to face the world. Did I want to show up? At work, or anywhere else I was obliged to? Hell no. Did I have to? Yup. And I hated it.

Everyone has days like these. And according to me, you should NOT get up, dress up and show up "no matter what". According to me, you should take a day off, stay in bed or do whatever it is that relaxes your mind and helps you to go back to being your normal, confident self again.

We are so used to blindly accepting the things that society and famous people or books tell us, that we don't... continue reading.



I used to be the kind of person who would never confront anyone. Anybody could hurt me, make me mad or upset me, and I never had the courage to go up to them and tell them that they made me feel this way. Until I realized that this was damaging all my relationships. I was holding in feelings of... continue reading.


Hope you enjoy those and wish you a great week ahead! 
xoxo


Thursday, 16 October 2014

5 Tips To Survive This Crazy Life


Anceeta Martis is my bestie and a blogger herself. She occasionally contributes guest posts for my blog. {In other words, I beg and annoy her to write something for me and she finally does.} Here's today's post from her.



I think this is the most frustrated I have been. I have 593 days to finish with my university. That seems so close and yet so bloody far. Every day is spent yearning for when I will be done with studying and get a full time job so I can be in control of my own life. But while I am trying not to feel frustrated, I spend my time doing various things: having a part time job, driving my mum around to run her errands, doing university work and spending time with friends. Yesterday, I was so bloody exhausted, I dropped on my bed and went out like a light. But I digress! Below I have written down 5 tips to keep your sanity intact and get things done no matter where you are in life:

1. Write down everything that needs to be done. Sometimes I just get so very overwhelmed by the things I need to do, I get a headache from keeping track of them in my brain. The moment I write my thoughts down, I relax. At least then I don't have to keep them memorized. After writing, I also prioritise them which further helps me not panic at the last minute.

2. Use the calendar app on your phone. I have forgotten to do so many things and when that happens, I honestly want to kill myself. Forgetting to turn in some work or meet someone is the most excruciating thing for someone like me who arrives 15 minutes earlier than everyone else. Set reminders and keep an online diary of all your appointments.

3. Don't forget 'Me Time'. At the end of the day, I simply have to read my favourite blogs and websites to relax before I sleep. I have read countless articles about how you should not use gadgets before bed but how else will I calm down after hectic days? Either read or write or do whatever it is that you love doing every single day.

4. Don't ignore what your body is telling you. If you have a bad headache, stop working. The work you do with a headache will never be as good. If you have any kind of pain, do some light stretches, have a relaxing bath and go to bed. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Always keep a bottle of water with you. (Avoid popping pills as much as possible.)

5. Don't ever be hangry (angry because you are hungry). Most of the time, I am irritated, annoyed or snappy because I am hungry. This is not fair to people who do not know why I have my panties in a twist. Keep some sort of food with you always. Healthy cereal bars or a piece of fruit is great for when you are on the go. Have at least three meals a day. (I try to do this as much as possible.) Try to reduce eating chemicals and sugars. 

Remember that work will always be there but you do not need to do everything and not everything is "urgent". Pace yourself. Keep your mental and physical health in mind. This is what I have learnt in my 20 years of life experience. Do tell me what keeps you going and what tips you have picked up to hang on to your sanity in this busy life.


Anceeta's blog: Being Awesome


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Green all over


Dress: Karen Millen, Clutch: Gifted, Shoes: Miss Selfridges. Photos: Arif Feroze.

There's just something about a dress that fits well. The something being that you never want to get out of it. Haha. This dress is very easy to dress up but I wanted to keep it a bit casual today. So I added a few bangles, a black clutch and my beloved quirky Mary Janes. I'm not big on ruffles or polka dots, and don't really own anything with those on it, but I love how both the ruffles and the dot print on this dress are very minimal. They don't make the dress too girlie. Just elegant. This is one of the dresses I got just before going on holiday, as I mentioned in the last post. The way it fit me when I tried it on, I was head-over-heels in love. The cut is perfect. Like I always say, quality shows. And lasts. So yes, I'm definitely wearing this again and again and again...


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Okay I WILL say it


Hat: Forever21, Top: from Bangkok, Jeans: Bershka, Bangles: Mango, Shoes: Steve Madden. Photos: Arif Feroze.

I have too many clothes. But WAIT! Before you get all judgy and say that's why I can dress well, let me finish that sentence- I have too many clothes and not enough days to wear them. 

It frustrates me so much that right now I have clothes and accessories that I haven't either worn yet, or not worn enough. I keep promising myself that I mustn't buy anything else before I've worn ALL my clothes and accessories at least once, but who can resist an absolutely gorgeous item at a great price? Sigh. Obviously not me.

For instance, just before going to Thailand I bought a couple of beautiful dresses and a top, and then, of course, I bought a few things in Thailand. But don't get me wrong! I'm not regretting buying anything. All I'm saying is I can't wait to wear everything.

And I'm only bringing this point up because sometimes it may feel like I'm always wearing new things on the blog and inadvertently sending a message to you to constantly get new stuff too, to stay well-dressed. But NO. That's absolutely wrong. I definitely don't spend ALL my money {or even a majority of it} on clothes nor do I buy clothes only to show them on this blog. {That would be completely contradictory to why I write this blog in the first place}. I have a wardrobe with the basics, and I occasionally add pieces to it, always making sure the new pieces go with everything else. That's also why you see me repeat many pieces.

For instance, in today's outfit, only my top is new. Everything else is years old. I needed loose t-shirts that I can throw over skinnies and just GO, so when I saw this top, I knew it would be a great addition to my wardrobe. And I don't buy something unless I love it. I'm absolutely in love with this t-shirt. And the jeans. And the hat. And the bangles. And the shoes. And I'm going to probably be wearing all those things until I get completely sick of them, or until they fall apart. Whichever comes first.

So don't go crazy trying to build your wardrobe. There's no need to hoard tons of clothes nor is there any joy in it. Buy pieces you love and then wear the hell out of them. As I plan to do with the beautiful things in my wardrobe. And if time and my photographer permits, wear and show them to you too.

xoxo


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Tips for travelling to Thailand




So if you've been following my posts recently, you know I was recently holidaying in Thailand. I visited Pattaya, Koh Samui and Bangkok.

I had a brilliant time, but now I know many things that I want to do more of the next time I visit, and many things I wish I hadn't wasted my time on. And if you're planning on visiting soon, these are the tips I'd give you:

Pattaya

Pattaya is a sin city. It's known for its cavalier attitude to everything considered taboo. Which is a great reason to visit. Although I'd advise not more than 3 nights, as that's plenty to see and do everything.

DO:
  • Go to the Tiffany's Show. Performed entirely by ladyboys and men, it's well worth the money and time. 
  • Take a walk at Walking Street, the strip of road that has all the bars and strip clubs.
  • Visit a few bars in Walking Street that have live bands. Some have singers that are exceptionally good.
  • Visit the Sanctuary of Truth. Take a guide to show you around.
  • Get lots of massages! They're cheap and great in this city!
  • Eat at local Thai joints. They have amazingly tasty local cuisine.
DON'T:
  • Take a hot air balloon ride in the Ripley's balloon. They just take you up and then bring you down again! I wouldn't do that for free, let alone the 1000+THB they charge for it.

Koh Samui

'Koh' means island in Thai. I was here for 3 nights, and belatedly realized that that wasn't enough. There aren't many things to see and do here, but there are gorgeous beaches and waters to just relax in, as well as many other islands around that you can visit just for looking at their natural beauty.

DO:
  • Stay at a resort that has a beach front. It was such a convenience that I had a personal strip of beach, where the resort provided chairs to relax in. 
  • Go snorkelling to Koh Nang Yuang and Koh Tao. Do it in this order since they start you off on a small beach at Koh Nang Yuang, so you get a feel of the snorkel on your face, and life under water. Then they take you to Koh Tao, where you're snorkelling in the deep ocean, which can be overwhelming if you started off with the ocean first.
  • Get a massage on the beach. Such a novel experience!
DON'T:
  • Go on the island safari. It cost me 1500 THB and it was a terrible waste of time and money. Everything they took me to see and do wasn't amazing or unique, except for the Hin Ta and Hin Yai rocks, which I could have visited myself. 

Bangkok

Bangkok is a busy city, known for its shopping. I found it to be very similar to Dubai, just with more buildings per square meter. I was here for 3 nights and trust me, if I were there longer, I would have emptied my bank account!

DO:
  • Check out the local shopping malls like MBK, Pratuwan and Platinum.
  • Bargain! 
  • Visit any roof-top bar in a high-rise. The view of the city at night is stunning.
DON'T:
  • Buy too many Thai products. The quality isn't great. 
  • Keep a check on how much you're spending in the malls, or you'll finish your money. I kept a check by making a note in my phone of how much I spent and on what, so I always knew how much money I spent in total.


General DO'S and DON'Ts:

DO:
  • Wear a LOT of sunscreen. SPF 50. Waterproof. And carry a hat.
  • Eat at Sizzler. This franchise lets you order a steak and then gives you unlimited access to its huge salad and soup bar. The food is out of this world, and very cheap! Don't forget to order the carafe of iced lemon tea. It's the best I have ever tasted. 
  • Share food. Thai food comes in large quantities. If there are two of you, I'd advise ordering one dish and sharing it. For example, order one soup, and one main course, and then see if you want to order more. I ended up wasting a lot of delicious food because I was greedy and couldn't finish it all.
DON'T:

  • Visit any animal shows, especially if you're an animal lover. The animals are drugged and made to do unnatural things. Such a disgrace. Read more HERE.
  • Finish all your money in tips! Everyone expects a tip here, but don't be too generous or you'll have emptied your pockets.


That's all! Enjoy your holiday, and come back and let me know what Do's and Don'ts you'd add to my list. xxx


Monday, 6 October 2014

I was in Bangkok!


Continuing my travel blogs on my recent trip to Thailand- after Pattaya and Samui, I flew to Bangkok, from the gorgeous Samui airport, of course. 

In Bangkok all I did was, you guessed it, shopped, shopped and shopped some more! Well, I didn't go crazy buying too many things, {you know I'm an ex-shopaholic}, but yes, since this is a shopper's haven, I did visit a lot of malls. Thankfully, window shopping doesn't hurt your purse!

I was staying at Grand Centara Hotel, which is inside a mall- Central World. This area is packed with malls everywhere- from the ones that carry all the branded shops like Zara to Armani and the other local Thai malls like Platinum and Pratunam which are bursting with local products.

One thing common in all the malls, though, is that they're bleeping huge! 7-8 floors of merchandise! 

Anyway, I'll shut up now and let the pictures do the talking.


Cherry blossoms in Central Festival

Car showrooms! On the second floor! In a mall!

Met this cutie while shopping!

Other than mall-hopping, I walked around the city and caught some pretty sights. I think that's the best part of going on a solo vacation- walking around alone, in a new city, observing and absorbing the culture, and getting lost in all the smells, sights and sounds.

Ferries on the canal.
View from the 57th floor of my hotel.


The thriving, bustling city, as seen from my hotel window.
The cute little temple nestled within green, a part of my beautiful view.

A bustling metro outside, quiet serenity within.


The weather was amazing- it rained all the time! Which also explains why I spent so much time inside the malls, haha! Of course, all my shopping wasn't window shopping, I did buy some really gorgeous stuff, which you'll see in my style posts, coming up soon! I can't wait to wear everything and show you the things I bought!

xoxox


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