• So-Saree
  • So-Nails
  • Manicure
  • So-Travel
  • Autism Speaks… Story of a mother's tryst with Autism

    April 2, 2013

  • So-Saree's One year of Blogging - A Journey Back in Time

    January 9, 2014

  • Nikhil Thampi Love Through Nail Art

    January 27, 2014

  • Saree Style Tips from the Royalty Rajmata Gayatri Devi

    March 4, 2014

  • Life's Lessons The Intriguing Case of Jiah Khan’s Suicide

    June 13, 2013

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Beauty Post: Timeless Beauty demands Timeless Products!

The virtual world of today is inundated with beauty products – open any site and you will be assaulted with pictures and promises of flawless skin which will not age, wrinkle or blemish. Cosmetic companies are making sure that we cannot scroll an internet page without reminding us that our skin NEEDS HELP! It is almost impossible to keep your head from swimming with this information overload on what is best for our skin/ body/ hair.
Although easy to blame them, the real problem is not in the multitude of solutions piling on every other day, but our ever evolving self destructing lifestyle. Yeah.. yeah, I know you have heard this as many times as you have flipped on your laptop and hit Google. But clichéd as it might seem, that really is at the root of all our skin/hair troubles. 

With our pollution stifled commutes, junk food overdoses to compensate for a fanatical and stressed work life and then as a cherry on the icing, our ultimate sanctity in nicotine, alcohol and God knows what else.
Our skin is supposed to be the mirror to our inner self – it is a reflection of whatever is happening IN THERE! So almost every one of us is now suffering from some or the other skin problem – acne, dullness, early onset of wrinkles, fine lines, to name a few. 

So what do we DO NOW? Now- that the damage has already been initiated. Now- that your once supple and glowing skin is already showing tell-tale signs of wrinkles and ageing.
NOW is the time to start sifting through the millions of products on the television and internet and give your skin a metaphorical time travel machine.
But how would you know which ones to pick and which ones to avoid? Wish I had a cross-your-arms-and-blink-your-eyes “I Love Jeannie” kind of solution for you, but it isn’t that simple. So let’s see how to try and simplify and zero in to your beauty mantra.

I kind of have a mental check-list when I go through the skin care products in the market (and yes, like any normal girl I am ALWAYS LOOKING for new stuff)

The first and foremost important thing is to look for ORGANIC or Non-Sulphate products for my skin as well as hair. Although it is difficult to find a product with zero chemicals, why not aim for a number closest to zero! Secondly, it is important to read all the ingredients and components on the package carefully to look out for any camouflaged chemicals. I also have a habit of going through the good and bad reviews of the product, just get a sense of what others are saying about the product.
But I guess the final testament lies only after your usage. It is very important to understand that any given product may not react exactly the same way it reacts on other people, even if they have similar skin or hair types. Each girl is unique and so is our skin!

So while I was on a mission to find an anti ageing/ skin firming product, I came across two fantastic products from TimelessHA Timeless anti-aging serums and their Ferulic acid serum.

Having an oily skin, I always prefer serums or water based products as opposed to creams. And Timeless skin care gave me exactly that! The product description says “Say goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles!” and given time, it definitely delivers on that front. It is brimming with bioactive active collagen peptides (very crucial for reducing wrinkles at an early stage), carrot seed oil, orange oil, grapefruit oil and other healthy nutrients, which keeps the skin very hydrated and a regular use helps in reversing your skin age! It is easy to use and keeps the skin non-greasy but yet soft. What else do you need from a skin serum!!

So next time you see a line on your face or just are in need of boosting your skin with some natural glow, I would highly recommend you to order the serum suitable for your skin type.

Hope this was helpful!

-Gauri Patwardhan
For So-Saree

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Outfit Post Featuring Brijraj Fashion

Why do people feel the need to show off?
Is it so difficult to keep your personal lives personal?
I agree it's tough in today's social media crazy world.
But can we all not make a conscious effort to keep it real?
I mean, how tough is that?

The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.
So next time when we feel like flaunting your branded merchandize, fancy dinner dates, swanky cars or even exotic vacations, let's take a moment to retrospect and work on our self, our inner beauty, our intrinsic strength and deeper conscience.

Am I preaching too much???
Then let's quickly move on to the outfit pictures.

Elegance never goes out of style, and this outfit oozes nothing but elegance.

I had picked this dress from Brijraj Fashion, and it proved to be a very good decision. 
The fabric is rich, the design is classy and the dupatta is a definite show stopper.

I can't wait to flaunt this beauty in the upcoming wedding season.
If you haven't checked Brijraj Fashion yet, head over to their website now. 
You can thank me later.

 As far as accessorizing was concerned, I paired them with statement earrings and ring from Confusion Fashion Accessories.

Outfit Details:
Dress (Unstiched): Brijraj Fashion
Footwear: Some shop in Bandra
Clutch: Colaba Causeway
Earrings, Ring: Confusion Fashion FA

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Travel Post: Danau Toba – Interlaken of the East!

"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine”
Read this quote a while ago, but it’s kind of stayed with me, because I think it sums up my life quite precisely. I was telling a friend the other day that if I am not actually traveling, you can assume that I am planning my next travel – as that’s my only motivation to brace my gruelling corporate day job!
So when in September my husband wanted to plan for a short holiday within Asia, I got excited as I had Indonesia on my travel radar for quite some time now; and when I got my “Google Cap” on, I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have to limit our destination search to Bali or Bintan in Indonesia. Whilst looking through various options, I came across this small article on Danau Toba in North Sumatra; and some voice in my head made me zero in on this location. Also, since the flights were quite affordable, we thought why not!
Since the nearest airport to Danau (Lake) Toba was Medan, we decided to spend couple of days here.

Let me try and give you my version of the travelers’ guide to this mystical place.

To begin with, I would urge you to include Medan as part of your itinerary in case you are planning to visit Danau Toba, despite the not-so flattering descriptions on some of the popular travel guide sites.

Now back to Danau Toba. After extensive research we booked 3 nights in Taman Simalem Resort (highly recommended for the facilities, hospitality and the food!) with www.traveloka.com and had rented a car to move around. Here are some of the fun things that we ventured into:
  • Lake Cruise – The cruise takes just over an hour; it took us to the middle of the huge lake and our local guide gave us valuable insights into the amazing history of the nearby villages. There is also the option to drive around the lake and soak in the culture by shopping or having a hearty meal in the bazaar area
  • Visit to the Hot Springs – Not the most pleasant of journeys, but an interesting visit. Reaching the source of the springs is apparently only possible by a bike, but nevertheless we made it till Panguruan (island opposite Tuk-Tuk) and it was worth a visit, even if just for another glimpse of the Lake.
  • Ambarita – This is an ancient village around an hour away from Tuk-Tuk, where we could soak up the mesmerizing culture and heritage of the local tribes. I would recommend to hire a local guide (do bargain for the rates though!)
After having our fill of the mythical lake, we moved to the next leg of our holidays – Medan. The journey between Danau Toba and Medan is approximately 4.5 hours by car. We stayed for 3 nights in Medan and just about managed to visit a few exciting places in the city.
My recommendations in Medan would be – 
Mystic Waterfall


A two and half hour trek into the depths of the Sibolangit jungle took us to the absolute highlight of our trip – Dual Colour Waterfall!! It is an experience beyond words and if you are up for the walk, a complete must visit.

Half day City tour – The local guide tour took us to the Dutch colonial–era buildings such as the Old City Hall and the Medan Post and Telegraph Office,  the Great Mosque of Medan, the royal palace Maimoon Palace and Asam Kumbang Crocodile Park.

Shrine of Annai Velangkanni

It is a unique Indian-Catholic church; a perfect merger of the Hindu and Catholic cultures. And it is so gorgeous, that I am falling short of words to describe it.

I hope I have convinced you to pack your bags and jump onto the next available plane to Danau Toba!!
Since I began with a quote, let me end with one too..
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by. -
Robert Frost

-Gauri Patwardhan
  For So-Saree

P.S. We do not own images used in this post.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Shades of Grey featuring Zaful

A few weeks ago I had written about my fall favorites from Zaful, a site that is most favored by bloggers because of its exclusive fashion forward collection, fast delivery and affordable prices. Zaful is a brand that consists of upcoming new designers who are as individual and unique as its discerning customers. From clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, they have it all.

Lately, my crazy work schedules and unhealthy binging has been having an adverse effect on my waist line. So I pick clothes that look flattering on my frame. Long sleeves and layers is what I choose, as it helps me hide all the bulge and makes me look chic at the same time.
That was the main reason for picking this dress from Zaful and the other reason being my love for polka dots. Also the neck and sleeves have a very Victorian feel to it and I was totally floored by the fall of its fabric.
As far as the clutch was concerned it was love at first sight.

Since the products are shipped from an international location, I was expecting atleast a month for the goods to arrive. But I was so surprised when my goods arrived within 15 days, nicely packed and looked perfect, just as they were shown on the website.

For this look, my inspiration was 50 Shades of Grey. ;)
I decided to play with grey and pull off a monochrome look.
I kind of liked the final effect. What do you think?

These earrings are a gift from my sister. They were bought from P.N.Gadgil Jewelers. They are American diamonds set in silver and I think they make a good gifting option.

Outfit Details:
Dress, Triangle Clutch: Zaful.com
Sandals: Payless
Earrings: P.N. Gadgil Jewellers
On my Nails: Sally Hansen Insta Dri 370-Show Steel-er

Saturday, 26 November 2016

BAPS Swami Narayan Temple in Chino Hills, California

After our weekend trip to SFO, we set out to explore the Swami Narayan Temple in Chino Hills, California the next Saturday.
Chino Hills is about half an hour's drive from LA, and we experienced the most pleasant climate on our way to the temple.

I admit I haven't seen every single Swami Narayan Temple in India, but this one in Chino Hills has to be the best one I have seen till date. This is also where I shot an outfit post wearing my Bandhani Saree. A few of our American friends had joined us and they were so awestruck and mesmerized by its beauty, that they were already making plans to visit India.
So if you are visiting Southern California or are near LA, make sure you add this place in your must visit places.

The property was huge, the temple had intricate carvings and we took an elevator to enter the temple.
It was a very beautiful experience.
If you thought the exterior was beautiful, wait until you enter inside the temple.
No cameras are allowed beyond the elevator.

We had visited this temple the weekend after Diwali and the temple still had the Diwali decorations.
The interiors have intricate carving on white marble and the statues of Swamis and Gods are breathtaking beautiful and in gold.
I spent majority of my time, explaining the relation between Radha and Krishna, the elephant head God and the Jain concept of not eating garlic and onions to my American friends.

After the Darshan, we moved on to check out the cafeteria. We sampled some lip smacking Khasta Kachori, Sev puri and Chai there and our friends were delighted as they hadn't tasted Indian Chaat ever.

All in all, it was a lovely evening spent, and I wouldn't mind visiting this place again and again.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Pub Crawl at Viviana Mall, Thane

Viviana Mall hosted the second season of the Pub Crawl from the 18th-20th November 2016 after a tremendous response to the first one and what a fun affair it was.
5 Beers in 5 Pubs at just Rs. 350 was a total steal.
No wonder Viviana Mall was thronged by thousands of people during the past weekend.

This year the mall had roped in 7 seven restaurants to participate in the Pub Crawl:

Soda Bottle Opener Wala, Irish House, British Brewing Company(BBC), Jugheads, Slice of Lime, The Beer Café, The United Sports Bar and Grill.
Customers could choose any 5 restaurants from these participating ones and enjoy a mug of beer in each one at a total price of Rs. 350.

If these does not signify "Acche Din" then what does? ;)

However, this year the major attraction was live performances by bands like Indian Saga and The Burp Symphony at the Mall.

I had the pleasure to be a part of this gala event with 4 other cool bloggers and we had such a great time. Being a non alcoholic person I stuck to my Virgin Pina Colada, but the rest of the blogger brigade went all down and crazy.

It was such a fun and relaxing affair catching up with like minded blogger buddies over food and drinks.
I want to make a special mention of the restobar British Brewing Company which serves one of the best foods I have tasted lately. So guys, next time you visit Viviana Mall make sure you visit it and try their Shephard's Pie and Veg Kheema Pav.

Until then, keep it cool guys, coz Desh Badal Raha Hain..!!!

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Gharchola Chronicles

Hey Guys..
Today I am finally putting up a post that has been work in progress for the longest time.
After I wrote about the Panetar Saree, I was keen on writing about the Gharchola. 
For readers who have no idea what I am talking about read this.
Finally I was able to compile a post on Gharchola, which will not only educate you about it, but would want you to rush to a nearby Saree store and buy one for your self. :)

Gharchola is a Wedding saree most popular in Gujrati/Kutchi and Rajasthani Culture and has Zari grid patterns with Bandhani print inside each grid. To make it richer and expensive, it may be hand-embroidered or attached a heavy border.
The name Gharchola is made of two words: Ghar+Chola. Ghar mean Home and Chola means Clothing. So literally the word Gharchola means Home Clothing or an outfit that you wear at home. However, the word Gharchola has much deeper connotations than you would think.
Ghar refers to the Bride's new home/Husband's home and Chola refers to Wedding apparel.
When the new bride enters her marital home post marriage wearing a Gharchola, it means she enters the new home with everyone's blessings and good wishes.
Since it is a wedding apparel, it is most commonly available in red/maroon colour. However, it is also available in green/yellow colour.
Contrary to popular notion, Gharcholas are hardly made in silks.
The most authentic ones are made in Vankatgiri cotton which is soured from the South of India. This particular type of cotton fabric has silk like sheen to it, but since it is cotton, it absorbs the colour during the tie and dye process properly thus rendering the saree a richer and deeper hue.
However, nowadays Gharcholas made in silk are also available.
not sure why but Gharcholas are always draped in Gujrati style.

I had the opportunity to wear my Gharchola for a cousin's wedding recently and I made sure I took pictures so that I could use them on my blog. :)
Scroll down and let me know what you think.


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