Friday, 29 April 2016

Resort Wear : Saree

Did you know, that resort wear was originally meant only for the affluent class of people who headed to destinations of warmer climate, post Christmas or during their holidays?

I guess for people like us who live in warm climates all through the year, resort wear is just a term and our everyday wear can very well be termed as resort wear.

And the saree fan that I am, I feel there's no other garment as stylish, as comfortable and sexy than a saree.
I also feel it can double up as resort wear too.

The exposed mid riff not only keeps you cool but adds the much needed oomph to your outfit.
The pallu looks like an elegant trail and can work as a scarf as well, if you mount it on your head. Also, the flowy drape of the saree adds to the cool quotient of the outfit and highlights your curves at the right places.

If these aren't reasons enough to pick saree as resort wear than what are.

Like I do on most of my vacations, I packed a saree on my Goa holiday too.
And I teamed it with my flip flops and shell jewellery to sink in the flavour of Goa.
Let me know, what you think about this look.

Outfit Details:
Saree: Borrowed from MIL
Flip Flops, Bracelet: Thrifted
Watch: Fastrack
Shell Necklace: Colaba Causeway
Sun Glasses: Macy's
Earrings: Amazon
On my Nails: Revlon

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Spa Review: Aristo Spa At Four Points By Sheraton, Navi Mumbai

Driving in crazy city traffic, hours of siting on the computer and a sedentary lifestyle can take a toll over our bodies as well as spirits.
I am no different.
Though I try to balance my sedentary lifestyle with a good workout at the gym 5 days a week, I sometimes feel, my body needs more.
More pampering, more relaxation and more peace.
And it is at such times, I decide to visit a spa.
Because if "YOU" don't pamper yourself, who will?

I was invited by the Heaven on Earth Wellness (HoE) centre, to visit their spa and experience their services.

Heaven on Earth Wellness is now one of the largest wellness houses in the country. The INR 20 crore-company, was also the first to introduce the concept of spa & art in India.

Consumed by the idea of providing a wellness space for people who struggle with balancing work and leisure time, the HoE team committed their time to create the ultimate wellness experience for guests.

With the mission of “offering a harmonious mix of Indian and International holistic techniques to enhance overall wellness.” Heaven on Earth today delivers wellness experiences in 40 spas across 4 countries in airports, resorts, hotels, hospitals and high streets.


For my review, I chose the Aristo Spa at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Navi Mumbai.

Located on the third floor of the Four Points by Sheraton hotel, the Aristo Spa is a compact spa with eclectic decor and relaxing vibes.

Once I got comfortable, I was introduced to the different therapies and their benefits, that Aristo Spa offered and believe me I wanted to try all.

I was so tempted to try their Red Rice massage where they used a mixture of red rice soaked in home made yogurt for massage, but I finally decided on the Deep Tissue massage which is apt for people who work out at the gym.

I was taken to the massage room and I absolutely loved its setting.
The massage room had an inbuilt Jacuzzi and steam room.

The massage started with the therapist wiping off my feet with wipes soaked in warm water.
I was instantly relaxed and ready for the massage.
The therapist used fragrant aroma oil for my massage.

The massage began from my feet and moved to my upper body. With each stroke the therapist asked me if i was comfortable with the amount of pressure she was using on me. I reaffirmed she was doing a good job.
The therapist also, stretched my limbs from time to time, just like fitness instructors do after a heavy workout at the gym.

Post 60 minutes of bliss, it was finally time to go for Jacuzzi.
After a relaxing Jacuzzi session I proceeded to the steam room.
The steam not only opens the pores of your skin, but relaxes your muscles too.

I was a happier and relaxed person when I walked out of the massage room.
I recommend, after a hectic week, this is one way you should definitely unwind.

The 60 minute Deep Tissue massage costs Rs. 3,500 and the steam and Jacuzzi Rs. 540.

I rate this spa 3.5/5.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Restaurant Review: Niche Cafe, Dahisar East

Located on the quaint streets of Dahisar east, Niche Cafe is an cozy little restaurant with cool vibes.

Niche Cafe hosts you over authentic Mexican, Italian and Continental cuisine, along with wood fired pizzas which promise to titillate your taste buds and turn you into a loyalist for life.

I visited this cozy little restaurant on a lazy and hot Sunday afternoon.
The first thing that made me happy, was that the restaurant provided free valet parking service, so you don't have to worry about finding a parking spot near the restaurant.

Once we were seated at the restaurant, the first thing I noticed were the beautiful paintings on the wall. The decor of the restaurant is modern and stylish and has a seating capacity of 80.

On the right hand corner of the restaurant I spotted the wood fired oven where the chef was crafting handsome wood fired pizzas. I was impressed by his skill, expertise and presentation.

Within a few minutes of being seated we were offered complimentary bread with salsa sauce and garlic butter. Since we were fried in Mumbai's afternoon heat, we decided to start with mocktails... Virgin Pina Colada, Cindrella and Fruit Punch.
Each mocktail was unique in presentation and flavour. The Virgin Pinacolada and Fruit Punch were a bit on  the sweeter side but hey, I wasn't complaining at all.

Next arrived the Cream of Mushroom soup.
So I have to tell you the cream of Mushroom soup is my favorite soup and I order it everywhere I go. I have my reservations as far as this soup is concerned and hence this soup did not match up to my standards, and that is only because I like my cream of mushroom soup with a generous flavour of garlic and chunks of mushroom thrown in it. The cream of mushroom soup at Niche Cafe, though yummy lacked these two elements and hence did not excite me too much.

We decided to order appetizers next. But we were so confused. These place has endless appetizer options and we finally decided to go with stuffed mushrooms and Tex Mex Loaded potato skin.

The stuffed mushrooms, were delicately spiced with a generous helping of spinach and cheese stuffed in it. The mushrooms were juicy and flavourful till the last bite and that's exactly how I like my grilled mushrooms.
I could have done without the wasabi mayo, dribbled over the salad that accompanied it. But it complemented the mushrooms well.
The next appetizer was my most favourite dish in the entire meal that we devoured that day.
If you ever visit The Niche Cafe, you just can't afford to miss this dish.

The Tex Mex Loaded potato skin reminded of the famous Maharashtrian delicacy Potato Kaap, just that it was so much better and interesting.
Sliced skinned potatoes spiced and seasoned to perfection, deep fried and tossed with onions, parsley and sour cream; served with Mexican Salsa, sour cream and cheese fondue.
I loved it too much. I especially loved the portion of this appetizer. It can be easily shared by three.

We ordered watermelon and feta cheese salad for main course.
This is great choice for people who want to eat healthy yet tasty food. It was flavourful and presented really well.

Now it was time to order the wood fired Pizza. This place has such interesting options in Pizzas that it was tough to pick one.
So we decided to customize our Pizza and combine two pizzas in one.
We had the Burrito Pizza on one half and the Braziliano on the other.

The Burrito Pizza was interesting, because it combined two cuisines, the Italian Pizaa with the Mexican burrito. It was topped with Mexican black beans, jalapeno, corn, onions, tomatoes and yellow cheddar cheese. It reminded me of the Mexican Pizza that I eat at Taco Bell in the USA.
The Braziliano Pizza again was very different. It was topped with french fries, corn, sauteed onions and green pepper salsa.
I was too happy with our choice of Pizzas and I appreciate the innovative menu that Niche Cafe has come up with.

For dessert, we went with sizzling brownie and baked Philadelphia cheesecake, but mind you they also have the very yummy Tres LesChes cake, Chocolate fondue and Red Velvet Cheese cake which happen to be their most popular desserts.
The desserts were on point and hit our taste buds at the right spots.

In spite of the cool ambience, the strategic location and the innovative and yummy menu I was surprised to see that most items at Niche Cafe are priced under Rs. 300.
It is a great place to spend your weekends with the family and also chill with your best buddies.
Oh, and did I tell you they have free Wi-Fi for customers, so feel free to upload endless pictures of you and your friends having a good time at the Niche Cafe.

My Verdict:
Niche Cafe is a place you definitely can't ignore. Its biggest USP is their unique menu, superior ingredients, authentic taste and good portions.
They are most reasonably priced and have a very hospitable staff who are eager to help you with the menu and ordering.
I rate this restaurant 4/5.

Have you visited this cafe yet? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. We were invited to sample the food for free, but the opinions expressed are completely mine.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Good Times at Viviana Mall, Thane

Malls are no longer a place people go only to shop.
They are a place where parents take their kids for a fun time, couples walk hand in hand, movie buffs catch the latest movies, foodies indulge in a variety of cuisine and fashionistas shop their hearts out while taking endless selfies all under one roof.

There's no dearth of malls in and around Mumbai, but there are only few that have stood the test of time and continued to be a favorite with the aam janta.
Viviana Mall in Thane is one such mall that has managed to become a favourite in a very short time.
Built on a 13 acre plot, Viviana Mall is spread over a million square feet and houses around 240 stores which include some of the biggest brands like Satya Paul, Zara, Splash, Reliance Trends, Forever 21, Bata, etc.

The Bata store in Viviana Mall is their biggest outlet in the country and is spread across 20,000 square feet.
Viviana Mall's major attraction is Cinepolis.

With 14 screens that feature 70 shows a day and a seating capacity of 2400 people, Cinepolis in Viviana Mall is one the largest multiplexes in the country. Viviana has partnered with Cinepolis to introduce India's first 4D Theatre which offers audience real simulation of effects like motion seats, water, wind, fog, lightening and scents that enhance the viewers overall movie experience.

It is currently showing the Jungle Book in 4D and I had the opportunity to catch it over the weekend.
The Jungle Book 4D experience was a memorable one and I recommend that you catch it before it goes off.
Viviana Mall has a sprawling food court spread over 40,000 sq.feet with a seating capacity of 2,400 people.

On the second level of the Viviana Mall is the family Entertainment centre - FunCity which has dashing cars, bowling alley, 32 arcade games and entertainment for toddlers and lots more.
On the rooftop of the first floor is a football court which can be booked for a fun game of football with your buddies.

Did you know that Viviana Mall is the only mall in Asia which is Visually Impaired friendly?
That's the sticker with the brail code-besides the black dot
Each store at the Viviana Mall has a special brail coded sticker at the entrance for visually impaired people to identify the names of the stores.
Also, each restaurant carries a  specially mechanized brail menu card  which reads the name of the dish on the menu, along with its ingredients and price, when you scroll over the menu card.

As a part of their CSR Activity, Viviana Mall has tied up with Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged (XRCVC) who conduct free computer classes and workshops for the visually impaired at the Viviana Mall itself. The purpose of this centre is to make blind and people with low vision participate actively and confidently in various educational and professional fields.

My visits to Viviana Mall have always been fun filled as I get to experience the best retail brands under one roof. It's two level ramp parking at the basement can accommodate 2400 cars and you never have to waste time finding a parking spot.

Have you been to the Viviana Mall? How was your experience?

Let me know in the comments below.

Upper Basement, Eastern Express Highway, Beside Jupiter Hospital, Thane West, Mumbai.

11am to 12 am

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Beauty Post: Home Remedy for Acne

Hey everyone...
Today I wish to share a simple D-I-Y remedy to get rid of pimples. I used it during my teens.
But overtime I kind of forgot about it.

Exactly a year ago, I suddenly got pimples all over my forehead.
I tried a number of medications, home remedies but they simply refused to die out.
After a month or so, of failed fine day a very kind lady at the gym I work out, casually mentioned to me that I should use nutmeg to get rid of the pimples and it was a deja vu moment for me.

How could I forget about this remedy?

The moment I reached home, I searched our spice box for nutmeg (jaifal) and found my sahaan (tool used to make chandan lep) too.

I started rubbing the nutmeg on the sahaan adding a few drops of rose water to it.
Within a few minutes I had the right amount of nutmeg paste ready to treat my pimples.

Apply these preparation on the pimples only and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.
Then wash off with normal water.

Normally this pack has helped me to get rid of my pimples within 3-4 days.
But this time, my pimples refused to budge, after all they had been sitting on my forehead proudly for as long as a month.

But persistence is the key to success and after 12 days of continuous application, twice a day, I finally bid farewell to the nasty stubborn pimples on my forehead without leaving a mark.
It's damn effective and doesn't have any side effects, so I recommend everyone to use it.

Do let me know, if you  have tried this remedy and it worked for you.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Goa Holiday 2016

Salt air, cool breeze, swaying coconut trees and long stretches of unadulterated beach… no wonder living in Goa seems like a 365 day vacation. However, for the less fortunate mortals like us, we have holidays, and that’s when we try to get a piece of this paradise. Living in Mumbai has its perks, because a vacation in Goa is only a few hours away and it hardly needs any planning.
Last month, I went on an impromptu trip to Goa.
7 days of unadulterated fun on the beaches of Goa is something dreams are made of. And that is exactly what we had planned for.
Having seen and done it all in my past trips to Goa, my agenda on this holiday was simple. Take long strolls on the beaches, play in the sand, indulge in some water sports, hog at the tiny beach shacks, watch the sunset and simply relax.
And that is pretty much how we spent our holiday. Scroll down to see glimpses of my Goa trip.

I bought new flips flops for my Goa Trip. Aren't they cute?

We stayed at two resorts, during the 7 days holiday. But the first resort, the Emerald Palms Resort at Varca, was my favorite. It was comfy, compact and beautiful. I especially loved the decor of this hotel.

I completed the So-Saree ritual that I follow on each of my beach holidays.
Left So-Saree's imprint on the sand. :)
We all know, Goans are colorful in spirit and being, and that clearly reflects in their houses too. Aren’t these houses gorgeous?
I went Scuba diving in Goa for the first time, and it was a beautiful experience. Pin drop silence surrounded by clear blue waters and beautiful colorful fishes. For me it was a very spiritual feeling. I was surprised by the safety procedures and the professionalism of the scuba diving companies in Goa. I totally recommend it to everyone who visits Goa.
Sipping on fresh fruit juices watching the beach and sunset gives me a different high. Whoever said you need alcohol to get high, needs to revisit their statement.
The food at the tiny beach shacks is something you should never miss on your Goa trip. The food is yummy and has different flavors. 
Sunsets in Goa are a treat to the eyes. Every evening, when we walked towards the beach, the sky appeared different. Thank God to technology, I could capture these moments and preserve them for lifetime. 

And then I found some time to play dress up and take pictures.  
Did you know that the Indian epic Mahabharta has a reference to Goa and refers to it as Goparashtra or Govarashtra, which means a land of cowherds? How cool is that!!!

I am sure you guys are craving for a beach vacation, because I am already. :)


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