Blogtober Day 21: 5 Must buy MAC lipsticks

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Hello lovelies! It’s day 21 of #blogtober and a lazy, balmy Sunday.

This is the time of the year when shopping becomes rather enjoyable. So if you’re looking to gift yourself something, how about a MAC lipstick. I don’t have an extensive range, but happy to share my top 5 MAC Lipsticks.

best MAC lipsticks
You can never have enough MAC lipsticks.

5 must buy MAC Lipsticks

1.Ruby Woo (Retro Matte)

Had to start with my all time favorite and the cult classic – Ruby Woo. The quintessential red that’s a must have in every woman’s kit. Wear this with absolutely anything to amp up the look. It’s the perfect red with warm undertones. Wear it with LBD, at a wedding, or for the festive season to make a bold statement.

Mac Ruby Woo
Red lips forever! Wearing Ruby Woo

2. Please Me (Matte)

This one is a blush pink color. If you’re not a fan of completely matte finish, try this formulation. It is matte enough, but doesn’t dry your lips at all. Pair it with a smokey eye look this festive/wedding season.

best MAC lipsticks India
These are single swipe swatches.

I have to say that since it’s a pale color, it might wash off people with light skin tones. But for beauties with medium and dusky skin tone, this’ll make a beautiful everyday nude color.

MAC Ruby Woo
I’m wearing Ruby Woo, and mumma is wearing Relentlessly Red.

3. Flat Out Fabulous (Retro Matte)

Next on the list of best MAC lipsticks is Flat Out Fabulous from the retro matte range. A beautiful cool toned fuchsia with purple undertone, which looks stunning on all skin tones. Its equal parts bold and sexy. Flaunt it for a party or a night out to add that oomph!

top MAC lipsticks in India
Perfect shade to add that pop of color!

4. Relentlessly Red (Retro Matte)

This isn’t red, this isn’t pink – it falls somewhere in between and makes the most stunning summer shade. The color is a mix of coral and red, with slight neon undertones.

As for the retro matte formulation, I have to say you need to prep your lips otherwise it can be rather drying. Exfoliate and moisturize your lips, and then apply this lipstick.

best MAC lipsticks
Love at first sight, thats Mac Relentlessly Red for you.

5. Mehr (Matte)

This is my new favorite. For days when you want a break from reds and pinks and want to go subtle, Mehr is a great pick. It’s a nude with hint of pink making it the perfect MLBB shade. The formulation is great, glides on smoothly, doesn’t dry your lips, and is comfortable to wear all day long.

MAC Mehr
Such a pretty pinkish nude shade this is!

This festive season try Little MAC, they are a great way to own a couple of lipsticks. So travel friendly and cute, you can finish ‘em up quickly and have a reason to buy more lipsticks.

If you have a favorite MAC lipstick, let me know. I’m ready to burn a little more money. And come back tomorrow for yet another exciting update in #blogtober. Byee!

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Blogtober Day 20: 5 Historical Fiction Books you’ll love

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Hi y’all!

How’s your day going? Mine was idyllic – curled up in bed with my book, had lots of adrak chai because sore throat, and gossiped with maa!

historical fiction book recommendations
Fall is the perfect season to read historical fiction.

And for day of #blogtober I thought of sharing my favorite Historical Fiction Book Recommendations. Fall/Winter for me is the perfect time to read historical fiction books. They’re dark, gloomy, and serious. You can delve deeper into the complex layers and have a fabulous reading experience.

Top 5 Historical Fiction Books to read this season

1.The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – by John Boyne

If this doesn’t make you cry, I don’t know what will. It’s set during World War II and has the backdrop of Holocaust, so be prepared. Bruno comes home one day to find all his belongings are packed and he with his family are moving to a new house far away. In the new home he has nobody to play with. He goes exploring through the backyard and finds an unusual friend across the fence, the boy in the striped pajamas. Their friendship grows but has devastating consequences.

the boy in the striped pajamas
Had to include the movie plug-in because heart says so!
Source – DNEG

The movie adaptation is so good and moving. I have tears while I’m writing this and thinking about the movie!

2. Homegoing – by Yaa Gyasi

Read about African history in this tale of slavery, bravery, and family bonds spread across three hundred years. Homegoing is the story of two half sisters – Effia and Esi born in different villages in 18th century Ghana. While one is wedded to a rich Englishman and lives a luxurious life, the other is sold into Gold Coast’s booming slave trade.

top historical fiction books
Certainly adding this to my list of 2018 Best Books.

The story spans across seven generations and ties the thread of family and love. The story is phenomenal. Each chapter is dedicated to one member from a generation. It is deeply steeped in history and culture. You can feel the pain of slaves and it does become depressing at times, but such an eye-opener in today’s world where caste, color, and race is being talked about a lot.

3. Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

Out of the list, this is my least favorite. But I think that a lot of people will like the story. It’s about a Chinese American family based in Ohio during the 1970s. One day Lydia, daughter of James and Marilyn Lee is found dead and her body is found in the local lake. Things take a turn from here as the readers discover family secrets and family dynamics.

best historical fiction books
Beautiful storytelling by Celeste Ng
Source – youth proactive

I like the way she adds elements of caste, race, and amalgamates it with culture to make it look like a pivotal character itself.

PS – I love Celeste Ng’s writing style. Have been devouring her second book – Little Fires Everywhere!

4. The Kite Runner – by Khaled Hosseini

You cannot go wrong with Khaled Hosseini. Out of all his books, my favorite is The Kite Runner. It is an emotional and heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant.

The historical backdrop of Afghanistan, the misery and hopelessness of war, yet the story outshines with hope, love, and family ties. Read it to fill your heart with warmth and sob, and watch the movie to bawl your eyes and heart out. Sooo good!

The kite runner
Keep tissues handy when reading this one.
Image Source – pbfingers

If you’re a sci-fi/ magical realism lover, here are some amazing recommendations.

5. Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray is the story of a 15year old Lithuanian girl, Lina set in the 1940s. She is just like any other girl happy in her small world, until one day when Soviet officers invade their home and Lina with her family and a thousand others are forcefully transported across the Arctic Circle to reach Siberia and work in some of the most inhumane conditions.

historical fiction book recommendations
Simple joys of life.

It is a story of courage, hope, and love that triumphs even in the most brutal circumstances. So cathartic yet the thread of hope ties you strongly. You empathize with the characters and can feel their pain. Death and disparity are overpowering, but you still feel hopeful about the characters. You’ll smile with them and surely cry a lot for them.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these. And if you have some historical fiction book recommendations do share them in the comments below. I’ll see you tomorrow! Bye…

 

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Blogtober Day 19: 20s – The decade of love and loss

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Hi everyone! Happy Dussera, and welcome to day 19 of #blogtober. As 20s come to an end, I’ve realized that this decade has been for love and loss.

Love has given me the strength to accept the loss. When I weigh the two, they seem to be equal. But then suddenly loss sinks and I understand that love always over powers.

Love and loss, both giving us strength for life.

20s has made me super strong, and I can vouch for it after losing most part of my family and my heart (Romeo). But it was their love then and now, that I and mumma are carrying on and giving life a tough fight.

Loss teaches you that when it all comes tumbling down, you need to sit there, wait, collect the pieces one by one – some might hurt, and start building the tower of hope again. I know it sounds whimsical, trust me it isn’t. There would be bad days, tears and snorts, heartache and headache, but it all passes. And what’s left are memories that always bring tears of longing and joy.

Happiest memories with my furball!

Collect those tears, drown in them once, build a bridge, and walk across to the other side. It’s always sunny and happy!

Hope the sun always shines on you and makes life bright and prosperous for you! Gotta go now! See you tomorrow

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Blogtober Day 18: 10 things I’m grateful for in life

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Hi from the hills! Its birthday eve and I write this with a heart full of gratitude for all the blessings bestowed in these three decades. Welcome to a rather emotional #blogtober Day 18.

how to be grateful
With papa’s blessings!

10 things I’m grateful for in life 

1.Romeo

The best part about life was getting this munchkin home. With tiny paws he walked into our lives and has left paw prints on our hearts forever. Cannot be thankful enough to have his love and companionship for the most amazing 8 years of my life!

With all my heart!

Ok – sobbed, saw a tonne of his pictures, sobbed a little more, and now I’m back.

2. Supportive Parents

My parents have always been supportive about all my decisions in life and we’ve shared a bond of friendship and open discussions. This transparency, encouragement, and support has helped me a long way! And I’m most thankful for ‘em rockstar parents.

Memories for life.

3. Freedom to choose my career

I’m a freelancer and a lot of people do not understand the concept. Yes, I don’t go to a physical work place, but the hardwork I put in is equal and on some days a lot more than a regular 9 to 5. I was lucky to be supported by my parents in this decision and thankfully it has worked for me!

Talk about perks – working in pajamas, freedom to choose your working hours, being on your own. But don’t forget you need to keep yourself motivated and there’s a lot of uncertainty.

4. Road trips with mom-dad

Growing up, my summer and winter vacations were for road trips. Traveling with parents is such a comforting experience, all the luxuries and all the fun! Those lazy summer evenings by the beach, or sun soaking on cozy winter afternoons up in the hills, roadside chai ki tapri, fancy candle light dinner at a machan…such heartwarming memories.

Happy times are like ice-cream; melt away so quickly.

The best would be road trip with Romeo (papa’s last and probably the happiest one)

Look at those happy faces 🙂

5. Friends who understand

You have the freedom to choose friends, so make them wisely. Some friendships stay, some fade away, some linger on, but they all teach a lesson. It’s never a one way journey. I’m thankful for all the friends in my life, the ones who’ve stood through tough times – you know I appreciate it so much, and the ones who weren’t there – good riddance, you weren’t worth the time.

Happiness in a frame!

6. Finding solace in books

Forever thankful for my nerdy genes! Finding solace in books is ultimate happiness. You can laugh out loud, bawl your eyes out, feel loved, feel scared, and do absolutely any and everything in this magical world. For me books are savior and a friend I can always trust.

Finding love in the aisles of a bookstore 🙂

7. Gyaan from grandparents

Cherish memories with your grandparents, because there’s nothing like it. The time spent with daadi (KD) at home gossiping and watching her favorite serials, with nani and daddy in Amritsar – there’s no match to that feeling. Filled with gratitude to have their blessings and now them watching me from heavens above!

8. Publishing a book

It was a dream to see my name on the cover of a book. And now that’s its done, I’m a happy soul. So grateful for ‘December Breeze’ to have happened. So grateful for the tough times when I didn’t give up! However naïve it may be, firsts are always special and so is my December Breeze.

December Breezy by Kritika Manchanda
Feels so surreal to see this every time.

9. Body Positivity

Everybody is conscious in some way or the other, even I am. But now I’ve learnt to accept it and work my way with a smile. Extremely thankful for all things good instead of focusing on how the virtual world deceives has helped me become confident and happy in my own skin.

10. Acceptance

I’m most grateful for having worked on the quality of acceptance. It has helped me wade through the tough times a tad bit easily. Seeing how mumma is a ‘Iron Lady’ gives me so much strength. Acceptance towards death, grief, moving on, and myself – a big thanks to God.

All the light left in my life now!

Gratitude is something we should all cultivate. Let me know something that you’re grateful for in life! And come back tomorrow for birthday post in #blogtober!

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Blogtober Day 17: Japanese Fiction Book Recommendations

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Hello booknerds! Welcome to #blogtober Day 17. Today’s book recommendations are something I haven’t done in the past!

Reading is like traveling, but a lot cheaper. You get to visit new places and have vivid experiences. For those of you who want to explore Japan but on a budget, I recommend trying Japanese literature, and of course there’s sushi!

japanese literature
Until you can visit this beauty in reality, there’s always the virtual world of books.
Image Source – sense of japan

5 Japanese Fiction Book Recommendations

1.Memoirs of a Geisha – by Arthur Golden

Find out what happens in the world of geishas, a world where appearances are pivotal, a girl’s virginity is auctioned in a bid, and how women are trained to beguile the most powerful men. It’s a shocking revelation about how this world exists parallel to our world. Emotional, dramatic, and hard-hitting, Memoirs of a Geisha is something that you cannot miss.

A special mention to the movie, its equally gripping and a piece of art.

most popular japanese books
Pick this one for an insightful reading experience.
Image Source – husna who

2. Norwegian Wood – by Haruki Murakami

A Japanese books recommendation list is incomplete without Murakami. Out of the ones I’ve read, this one is my favorite. And yes, a long overdue re-read is awaited. It’s a love story, but in Murakami style – whimsical and philosophical in its own ways.

I won’t say much, read it to experience the magic of his writing!

Murakami books
Current color – Red
Current Mood – Murakami

3. The Devotion of Suspect X – by Keigo Higashino

The Devotion of Suspect X is a murder mystery that’ll keep you highly engaged. The story traces Yasuko, a single mother who thinks she’s escaped her abusive husband – Togashi. But one day he lands up at their door to extort money. The situation goes out of hand and Togashi is dead. Yasuko’s next door neighbor, Ishigami decides to help her in disposing off the body and plotting a fool proof cover up story.

But is the story really fool proof, or are Yasuko and Ishigami making a fool of the police department? Find out in this brilliantly crafted thriller.

popular Japanese fiction books
For all you thriller lovers, this is a must read.
Image Source – megsblogged

4. In the Miso Soup – by Ryu Murakami

In the Miso Soup is a psychosexual thriller! If you’re looking for something dark, gruesome, and engaging, this will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s the story of Frank, an American tourist who has hired Kenji, a local tourist guide to take him through the alleys of Tokyo. But there’s a lot hidden in these alleys, and Frank’s behavior is so strange that Kenji thinks Frank is the serial killer that the city police is hunting. It’s quite graphic and disturbing in places, so be warned.

Jbest apanese fiction books
Weekend looks lit!

5. Salvation of a Saint – Keigo Higashino

I read this way back in 2013, and the plot is still fresh in my mind. It was so engaging! Salvation of a Saint is a murder mystery. Yoshitaka, who’s about to leave his marriage and his wife, is found murdered with poisonous coffee. His wife, Ayane, becomes prime suspect. But she was a hundred miles away when the murder happened. So who did it?

Keep guessing through the twists and turns, and trust me you’re in for a shocking ride. Loved it!!

Japanese fiction books
One of the best Japanese thrillers I’ve read!
Image Source – alphagirl review

If you’ve read a Murakami that you adore, please share it in the comments below. Also any more book recommendations are welcome. I’ll see you tomorrow for something heartfelt, so do come back! Byeee

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Blogtober Day 16: Move on in life with these 6 ways

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Hello! Welcome back to #blogtober and my second post.

The journey on the road of life is a mixed bag – smooth at times, satisfying at others, and sometimes a rather bumpy ride. The art of happy living lies in taking the rough with a smooth! All of us come across rough patches in life – emotional, physical, mental, or social. You have to be really strong to pull yourself out of these phases, whether all by yourself or with the help of others.

how to be positive and change your life
Moving on in life, one step at a time.

6 ways that work towards bringing positivity and moving on in life.

1.Maintain your calm

However tough or disturbing the situation may be, maintaining your calm is the first step to pull yourself together. As cliché as it may sound, try to follow your routine – personal and professional. Trust me, it goes a long way in bringing mental stability during the troubled times. Try being as normal as you possibly can with everyone around.

how to move on in life
Take a deep breath, sleep it over, this too shall pass.

2. Mediate and talk to yourself

Meditation, even if it’s for five minutes a day, will garner strength. Introspection or even loud talking to yourself will help you analyze the situation and list your priorities, thus, bringing a semblance of peace to you.

3. Interact with people

Talking your heart out with someone you trust is a great way to take the load off your heart. Even if its idle gossip or just a routine discussion about something as casual as shopping or Big Boss, works to make you feel happy. Something as simple as an evening out or coffee evening with friends is a great idea.

how to move on in life
Coffee and Scarbble kinda day!

4. Exercise

Feeling lethargic and fatigued is natural during tough times. Don’t fall in that trap, get your body moving and indulge in some exercise. You don’t need to do rigorous training, little exercise and stretching at home, climbing a flight of stairs a couple of times will do wonders.

If you’re an early riser, enjoy the morning breeze while walking and some yoga, for a healthy body and mind. I, at least found solace in this.

tips to move on in life
A walk in the hills, our version of vacay exercise.

5. Eat well

Nothing is as comforting as food. Cook it up or order in, serve it to yourself in fancy plates, and enjoy it. During times of despair we tend to not eat, but force yourself to eat. It’ll give you the strength to be brave and battle it all out.

how to stay positive
Believe in the superpower of food!

My comfort food is a bowl of soup, while Kritika’s is upma. Enjoying comfort food at home, or going to a fancy restaurant, it uplifts the soul and is a great way to feel good.

how to stay positive
Pajama Life!

6. Follow your passion

Yet another way to soothe yourself when the mind is restless! Follow your passion, and if you don’t have one, look for things that you always wanted to do –cooking, gardening, singing, mountaineering, music etc.

tips to move on life
Painting the world my way!

For me painting has been therapeutic, you choose your option. It’s such a stress buster and diverts your mind. Try it once, and you’ll surely enjoy it.

how to move on
Dreams do come true!

Hope these tips help you cope with loss and come out of grief in a positive and strong way. Let me know what you thought about it, and keep coming back for more in #blogtober journey. See you soon!

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Blogtober Day 15: Top 5 affordable face packs for glowing skin

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Hii! Slowly making way through #blogtober and today is Day 15.

We all want naturally radiant skin. But with our packed schedules taking time out for a salon session becomes a hassle. Trying homemade DIY face packs is a great idea, but if you’re lazy like me these face packs will come to your rescue. Listing a few of my favorite face packs that work well for all skin types.

best affordable face packs in India
Dont have time to go the salon, try these face packs for glowing skin.
Image Source – india.com

Top 5 affordable face packs for glowing skin

  1. Loreal Paris Pure Clay Mask Detoxify

This one is a recent discovery and its on my face as I write this post. Comes in a fine creamy texture, easy to apply and wash off. If your skin is feeling rough and tired, try this detox face pack. Will rejuvenate your skin, unclog pores, and give a natural glow.

best affordable face packs in india
Pamper session. at home.
best charcoal masks in India
This one is a great charcoal mask!

If you have dry skin type this might be too drying. You can use it as a multimasking option for your oily T-zone.

Price – 750/- for 50g

2. Innisfree Capsule Recipe Pack

These are super handy and convenient. Come in a small tub, you can use it a couple of times. There are many variants – green tea, aloe, tea tree and bija, honey etc. I’ve tried two variants – Volcanic Cluster and Rice.

Volcanic Cluster is similar to the charcoal purifying mask. Great for summers when sweat and dirt clogs your pores. Since this is a clay mask, it extracts gunk from your pores leaving your skin squeaky clean and fresh.

innisfree capsule recipe packs
That tiny tub of face pack is good for a couple of uses.

Rice variant is a sleeping pack and has a creamy consistency. You apply it at night after cleansing and toning your face, and the next morning just wash off your face. Use it a couple of times and you’ll feel your skin will softer and more radiant.

best face packs in India
For lazy af days, sleeping masks are the best.
Image Source – Innisfree

Price – Rs. 150/- for 10ml

3. Himalaya Purifying Neem Face Pack

If you’re searching for an effective and affordable mud pack, then try out the Himalaya Neem face pack. It is enriched with the goodness of neem, turmeric, and multani mitti. Cleanses skin from deep within and unclogs pores. Dries off quickly and is easy to wash off as well. It does dry your skin so apply a generous amount of moisturizer.

Price – Rs. 70/- for 50g

4. Khadi Natural Sandal & Rose Herbal Face Pack

This comes in powder form and you can mix it with rosewater, aloe gel, or milk to make a smooth paste. It’s enriched with multani mitti, jojoba oil, and sandalwood oil, all natural ingredients which work very well for your skin.

My mom particularly likes this one a lot. It has helped her reduce blemishes and dark spots. Use it regularly to even out skin tone.

best affordable face packs
Rose and Sandalwood, two great ingredients for your skin.
Image Source – amazon

Price – 125/- for 50g

5. The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask

How can I not have a TBS product? And how I wish, TBS was paying me to say all this. This one doesn’t fall in the affordable category, but it’s worth the money.  If your skin is feeling and looking dull and lifeless, use this pack. It adds an instant glow. The combination of ginseng and rice works well to clarify and polish your skin. The mild exfoliating action makes skin soft and supple. Love it!

The Body Shop rice face mask
Love the texture, slightly exfoliating yet not too harsh on the skin.
Source – Shop Up

Price – Rs. 1995/- for 75ml

Read The Body Shop favorites before leaving…

Make sure you do a patch test before using any of these. And if you have a favorite face pack, do share it. Come back  for more such interesting posts on books, lifestyle, and beauty! Bye…

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Blogtober Day 14 : My Ambitious Fall/Winter TBR

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Hi everyone… A warm welcome to Day 14 of #blogtober. It’s officially fall, okay not in India, but the rest of the world does celebrate this magical season.

Autumnal leaves, overrated pumpkin spiced latte, the whimsical rusty orange hues, and that slight nip in the air. It’s the perfect weather to curl in bed with a big cup of chai and have an extended reading fiesta.

Fall/ Winter TBR
Enjoy this glorious weather with some amazing reads!

So here’s my Fall/Winter TBR with a happy mix of historical fiction, spooky reads, and some romance.

1.Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

A story about race, ethnicity, and how every individual chooses different paths in life, Little Fires Everywhere is a great story about strong female characters. If you’re in the mood of something deep, this seems to be a beautiful story.

best books for fall
Have heard nothing but praise for this one!

2. You – Caroline Kepnes

This is a creepy one and I’m most excited for. ‘You’ is the story of a guy, Joe who starts obsessing over a girl, Beck. It’s the story of Joe and Beck and how he transitions from a stalker to a boyfriend. Told in third person, this one is said to make you quite uncomfortable making it a perfect Halloween style read.

fall book recommendations
We all that need some spine chilling reads in fall.
Image Source – depop

3. Gemina –Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The second installment in the Illuminae files trilogy. It’s sci-fi mixed with fast paced action, what else can we ask for. Oh, and did I tell you just like the first book this one is also told in an unusual format of – interviews, coded intercepts, military files, emails etc.

gemina
Sci-Fi plus a lot of drama!
Image Source – acourtofcrownsandquills

Here are some other amazing sci-fi book recommendations. 

4. The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak

This one is a lyrical story of a forty year old woman, who’s in an unhappy marriage. When she takes up the job of a reader for a literary agent, things are bound to change.

best books for winter
Mornings at home!

An unusual love story that’s backed by philosophies of Rumi and has a rustic charm, I think this will be a great birthday read. Deep, meaningful, and touching, that’s what I’ve heard.

5. Lying in Wait – Liz Nugent

You can never have enough thrillers for this season, so here’s another one. Have read so many good things about this one. It’s the story of a wealthy Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are revealed to create havoc.

fall/winter tbr
Adding yet another thriller to the list!
Image Source – mini adventures

6. The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

There’s something about the weather that I’m in the mood for historical fictions. Also the high rating of Goodreads are just the added push.

The Nightingale is a heart wrenching story of two sisters set in the 1940s France, when Nazis invaded. The two sisters are battling their own fears while the world outside is burning. I’ve heard nothing but praise for this one, so keeping my fingers crossed in anticipation.

the nightingale
Prettiness galore.
Image Source – parchment girl

7. Girl Made of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake

I needed a tear jerker, so added Girl Made of Stars. It’s a story of twins Mara and Owen. Mara’s best friend accuses her twin brother of rape and her world comes tumbling down. Mara is torn between her best friend and her twin brother in what seems a rather emotional situation.

best books for fall/ winter
Keep tissues handy while reading this one..
Image Source – howling libraries

8. What If It’s Us – Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

We all need some LGBT romance to devour! And what better way than amalgamation of two amazing LGBT authors? Becky Albertalli’s writing which is full of sarcasm and wit, and Adam Silvera is known to unleash all the feels – this is going to be an amazing concoction. Eagerly awaiting the release later this month.

what if its us review
Two of my faavvv YA authors.
Image Source – Scorpio book dreams

9. All the Missing Girls – Megan Miranda

If you’re in the mood for a goth thriller, All the Missing Girls is the perfect pick, or so I’ve heard. The story traces the disappearance of two young women, a decade apart. And the best part, it is told in reverse.

all the missing girls
Supremely excited for this!
Image Source – donnajostone

10. Far from the Tree – Robin Benway

After all the historical fiction and thrillers, I needed a heartwarming family tale and Far from the Tree sounds apt! It’s a story of three siblings who’ve been adopted into three different families and backgrounds. And now as teens they meet for the first time to find their biological mother and develop a beautiful bond.

fall/winter tbr
There’s always place on my TBR for a family drama.
Image Source – wbur.org

Let me know what’s on your Fall/Winter TBR or if you’re interested in buddy reading any of these books. I’ll see you tomorrow with yet another post, until then – happiness and peace….

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Blogtober Day 13 : Forest Essentials Favorites

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Hello lovely people! Welcome back to #blogtober – daily blogging journey all through October. Today is Day 13

Forest Essentials is a brand that I’ve adored since quite a few years now. It is a luxury Ayurveda brand and most products that I’ve tried have won my heart. Listing a few of favorites from the stash!

forest essentials
Hello prettiness!
Image Source – elle

Top 5 Forest Essential Favorites

1.Body Mist

I have the Iced Pomegranate and Kerala Lime variant. You get that lime kick and undertones of pomegranate!

Forest Essentials body mist
Love the fresh fragrance….

I’ll agree for a body mist, it is steeply priced. But then sometime you like to splurge. Comes in a convenient and travel friendly plastic bottle. The fragrance is strong but will not last you the entire day, especially in summers.

Price – 1675/- for 100ml

2. Velvet Silk body Cream

With winters approaching, you need a body cream that’s richly moisturizing. If you’re on the lookout to try a new body cream, I highly recommend the velvet silk body cream range from the Forest Essentials. Mine is from the Madurai Jasmine & Mogra range.

Forest Essentials cream
Thanking mumma for her plants – making all pictures look super pretty.

It’s thick and creamy, perfect for colder months; doesn’t leave your skin greasy, and the fragrance lingers on for a long time. And the best thing, it’s a huge tub and will last you a long time making it complete value for money.

Price – 1695/- for 200gm

3. Cane Sugar Lip Scrub

Okay, I have to admit, this was an impulse buy and it is kinda overrated. But then, sometimes you have to give in to temptations at the store. The lip scrub is quite good. The sugar particles aren’t course, just right for mild exfoliating. The fragrance is great and the biggest plus – it is made of all natural ingredients.

Forest Essentials lip scrub
This tastes so yummm!

Price – Rs. 525/- for 5g

4. Facial Ubtan

I have thoroughly enjoyed using the Roop Nikhar Gulab ubtan from their range. I was told at the store that this particular variant is perfect for normal skin type. I’ve almost finished two tubs and it is a great skincare investment.

Forest essentials skincare routine
The unmatched happiness of being in a Forest Essentials store.

You can use it as a cleanser, scrub, or as a ubtan face pack. Makes skin super soft and gives a natural radiant glow. Will also make a great gifting option this festive season.

Forest Essentials ubtan
Works well, smells great, what’s not to love?

Price – 1025/- for 70gm

Read some of my other budget beauty recommendations.

5. Sanjeevani Beauty Elixir

It’s a fancy name to a facial moisturizer. The formulation is an enriched version of natural sebum. Gets absorbed in the skin instantly to give plump and supple skin.

Love the consistency, bouncy and light. You can use it on its own as a moisturizer, or as a primer. The price is high, but needless to say its premium quality. This is one luxe skincare product that you’ll not regret.

forest essentials sanjeevani beauty elixir
If you like to invest in skincare, do give this one a try.
Image Source – Forest Essentials

The next time you’re in the store, ask for samples. It’s a great way to test products before investing in them.

Price – 3495/- for 30g

If you have a Forest Essentials favorite, then share it in the comments below. Or if you know someone from their PR team, feel free to share this post. And if you’re thinking what to gift your friends or family this festive season, try some of these products.

And I’ll see you tomorrow with yet another post for #blogtober! Ciao and happy weekend…

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Blogtober Day 12 : 5 easy instant dessert recipes

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Hi everyone! Finally my first post in #blogtober.

Come October and the festive season begins, and what’s a festive celebration sans delicious food. So here I am bringing you a few quick, easy to make, and delish dessert and mithai recipes to greet your guests and enjoy with your family.

easy mithai recipes
Try these easy mithai recipes at home

5 instant dessert recipes for festive season

1.Coconut Ladoos

Coconut makes an auspicious beginning for joyous occasions, and it is the main ingredient of the first recipe.

easy coconut ladoos recipe
Yummy coconut ladoos, so easy to make.
Image Source * sonisfood

Ingredients –

  • Powdered coconut – 250g
  • Condensed milk/ fresh cream – Half tin/ 1 small tetra pack
  • Powdered sugar – as per taste
  • Sherbets of different flavors – few drops
  • Silver wark (for decoration)

Method –

Take powdered coconut in a big bowl. Add condensed milk or fresh cream/ malai and powdered sugar. Mix well to turn into kneading consistency.

Add rose, khus, pineapple, mango sherbets for flavor (it also gives beautiful colors to the ladoos). Make into small balls. Decorate them with silver wark or coat them with desiccated coconut and serve these sweet delights!

2. Caramel Makhanas

Sweet indulgences during the festive season are more than welcome. And when you know its homemade and healthy, you don’t mind binging a tad bit extra.

caramel makhana recipe
Sweet yummnes…

Ingredients –

  • Foxnuts (makhanas) – 100g
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1tbsp
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp

Method –

Heat 1tbsp ghee in a deep kadhai. Add sugar and cardamom powder. Let the sugar melt over medium heat. Keep stirring till the sugar turns golden brown. Add roasted foxnuts and stir well. Serve when cool and crispy coated with caramelized sugar.

You can also caramelize popcorn in the same way.

3. Instant Kheer

Guests dropping in suddenly and you want to serve kheer? Gone are the days when grandmom took hours and hours to prepare delicious kheer. Try this instant kheer recipe and you’ll surely get lots of compliments for your amazing cooking.

best mithai recipes
Instant kheer for instant happiness!

Ingredients –

  • Milk – 1.5l
  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Khoya – 250g
  • Sugar – 1 ½ cup
  • Saffron – few strands
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
  • Dry fruits of your choice

Method –

Boil rice in a cooker till its soft (you want thick khichdi like consistency). Add milk and let it come to a boil, add grated khoya. When khoya dissolves add sugar and keep stirring. Add saffron and cardamom powder and mix well. Remove from heat when you get required consistency. Garnish with dry fruits and serve hot or cold.

Serve kheer with a fruity twist – layer it with mango puree, cut strawberries, or sweetened pineapple! This is a great way to serve the same old dessert in a new style.

4. Day and Night

Giving your leftover mithai a novel touch with this super recipe! All you need are some ladoos, gulab jamun, and creativity.

Ingredients –

  • Boondi ladoos –500g
  • Gulab Jamun –500g
  • Almonds and pistachios – for garnishing

Method –

Break the ladoos and layer a bowl with this boondi. Put a few gulab jamuns on top of boondi. Repeat the layers once again. Top layer should be boondi. Sprinkle shredded almonds and pistachios. Heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and your yummy unusual dessert is ready!

5. Roasted Makhanas

And after all this sweetness, just a hint of savory delight! Foxnuts are such a healthy snack option. You can munch on them without the guilt of extra calories.

makhana recipes
Guilt free snacking!

Ingredients –

  • Makhana – 100g
  • Ghee – 2tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Mixed herbs and spices

Method –

Take makhanas in a bowl and sprinkle salt, chilli powder, black pepper, mixed herbs. Pour 1tbsp ghee over them and toss well. Try different flavors – Maggi masala, oregano, peri  peri, gunpowder, etc.

Heat a non-stick pan or a wok with 1 tbsp ghee. Roast the makhanas over medium heat until crunchy golden.

Do try these easy festive recipes at home and tell me which one did you like the most. Also let me know if you’d like easy snack recipes! See you soon.

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