Tuesday, 13 November 2018

My Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj | Places to Visit, Transport, Cafes and More

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I travelled a lot in past few months...this one is another walk down the memory lane. I travelled to Dharamshala and McLeodganj knowing nothing of it and with friends who share the same love for mountains as I do.

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj-Naddi View Point

Transport:

As most of my trips so far, this one also was through public transport, we took a bus from Delhi to Dharamshala, an overnight journey and by the morning we were at Dharamshala bus stop. If you are going as a tourist, you will be taken aback as you enter Dharamshala because by the first look of it, places are far and transport during morning hour is less. Don't be dis-heartened, switch on your GPS and walk towards Dharamshala City, just few minutes away from the bus stop. There you will see hotels, lanes full of shops and accommodation.

my trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala

In transport we opted for bus(to reach Dharamshala), taxi (to reach McLeodganj), rented bike (to commute around town) and on foot while exploring cafes.

Funds:

For this trip thanks to my friend as it was funded mostly.

Places to Visit:

We stayed one day in Dharamshala mostly because of the heavy rainfall, then moved up to McLeodganj from there we rented a bike for 2 days and visited:
  • Bhagsunag Waterfall
  • Church
  • Tea Garden
  • HPCA Stadium
  • War Memorial
  • Naddi and Dal Lake
  • Chinmaya Tapovan
  • Karmapa Gyuto Monastery
I would suggest to make plans for Triund as well, ours was ruined due to rainfall and mostly we were bound to sit in our rooms.

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- War Memorial Museum
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala-HPCA Stadium
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Church McLeodganj

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery

Places to Eat:

Dolma Chowk in McLeodganj offers some of the best restaurants and cafes serving some of the best cuisines I have ever eaten. The 2, I am listing here are my best experience plus momos from the small shop in front of café Anonymous (I didn't like Anonymous that much) and fish fry plus bhuna chicken as street food from the same lane

Hotels and Accommodations:

We stayed in hotels, lodging is not that cheap in Dharamshala but in McLeoganj you get fair options and good deals. I am giving out the number of hotel we stayed in McLeodganj as it was nice and at considerable price with the cutest café on the ground floor(try their chocolate or banana desserts and don't try lemon-curd pie).

Plus I am attaching the visiting cards of taxi service we hired(he was a friendly guy) and cafes, make sure to try those as they serve really nice food plus Tibet Kitchen is doing good deed serving free of cost to ones in need and offers the best Tibetan food plus generous servings is another ad-on.

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj and placed to eat at and visit

My Experience:

My experience of Dharamshala and McLeodganj was full of rainfall, dessert in cafes, sitting for hours at some cosy location, enjoying lemon tea at Dolma Chowk(you should try it, it's a small counter shop which only serves tea and you will see monks sitting on the seat infront sipping on their tea, that's what inspired this chai lover) and near death experience with our confidence of bike riding. This place has so much scenic beauty to offer along the roads, I would suggest you to rent a bike(if you are pro as riding on mountains is a risky business and bikes on rents are really roughly used so it would take quite a skill to safely ride along the roads, we switched from Bullet to Scooty in a jiffy after almost escaping the fall into the valley) and then from McLeodganj come downhill to Dharamshala exploring places and uphill enjoy the scenery in every nook and corner. People here are friendly to talk to, mind your business and they will mind theirs.

Even though rainfall was really taking our case but whatever we explored, I enjoyed every bit of it. I could sit at Bhagsu Falls for ages(it was a feeling that clock stopped ticking and take every ounce of the location in), Church was a serene place as the route to it builds up the expectation wild and the church doesn't disappoint, Karmapa Gyuto Monastery was also a calming experience, so was scenic beauty of the location of War Memorial and Naddi.


Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Bhagsu Falls

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- War Memorial Location

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- a Chai Lover



I sat by the roads for the longest time enjoying the scenery, rains, watching clouds doing all kinds of crazy things, riding along the green mountains and this place didn't disappoint me at all.

My Suggestions:

There are many hotels available near Bhagsunag in McLeodganj but I would suggest you stay near Dolma Chowk as nice joints to eat are accessible and shops are open till late. For the roads if you are not a rider full time, avoid renting a bike as roads are steeper and curves are dangerous but if you are get your hands on the bike you are comfortable with and roam the hill station. If you are on the money crunch, spend most of it exploring eating joints as they really are worth it. Plan a hike to Triund and night camp there, have heard it's an amazing experience of which I was devoid due to heavy rainfall. Check for the weather reports prior to your plans as in McLeodganj, it pours crazy (I went in July end). If you are visiting in rain or snow season, you can buy those plastic overalls you get in shops there, its cheap and if worn/handled carefully lasts long. Mine saved me through my Agra trip and is still kept folded for the next season.


My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Temple

Don't underestimate the power of mountains, rest if you are going with friends and family or solo, this place will be worth in every aspect. McLeodganj has so much to offer, don't go for the norms but go for the extraordinary as it offers that if you know where to look. Enjoy nature in it's full glory.

Share you trip stories in the comment or have any query regarding trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj, ask me. I will try to solve it or provide you with the alternatives.




Monday, 5 November 2018

Trip to Lesser Known Peaceful Champawat

During all this break I took from blogging, I travelled. I travelled quite a lot, attended events, went on trip/s, visited home and much more. This post is dedicated to one such travel trip because this place and this journey etched it's mark on my memory. Champawat was not very well known to me but my cousin got married and is living nearby so after her grand wedding in my hometown, I went to attend her wedding reception. By the time I was there, plans to visit Kumaoni region was in making.

Trip to lesser know Champawat-Kumaoni Region

It's really amazing that India has so many beautiful scenic places and even if we travel each day of our lives, I feel there would still be some place left at the end. I never knew through out these years of my existence that there are these beautiful mountains few hours away from my place though I have heard of the places nearby. I am a mountain lover (though my stamina disagrees) and if there is one peaceful mountain I can cover then YES, I am all geared up.

Trip to lesser know peaceful Champawat-Kumaoni Region


Before starting with my experience of this place, I wish to tell you that so far I have travelled and relied mostly through/on public transport but if you are planning your visit to Champawat and further, public transport is not an option(or if it is. it's going to be really a hard one).

Road Trip From Sitapur to Tanakpur:

Trip to attend the reception was a sudden one and we were already so tired from the marriage but in the name of travel, I was all charged up. It hardly took 5-6 hours to reach the hotel venue in Tanakpur, there we got ready and headed straight to the wedding reception. Who knew the plans for next day would change for a trip to heaven?

Tanakpur to Champawat:

In past year or two, I have been to many mountains but let me assure you that the ones you see from Tanakpur are different ball game all together. As you go up the mountains it's a steep curvy ride to the first stop Champawat. This place is low on tourists and lowest on population, nothing like any other hill station. I would rather stay clear of the busy tourist places and spend most amount of time here, though the places to visit as a tourist spot are less but if you are one who enjoys nature more than anything then you are at the right place. Local cuisines are served at every corner and mela(fair) was the part of our one day stay here.

Trip to peaceful Champawat-Kumaoni Region

Champavat to Mayawati Ashram:

Another attraction of visiting Champawat is this ashram. This one is on the route to Lohaghat. Scenic beauty, serenity, calmness, cleanliness, garden and the view gives you positive vibes. If at all you plan to visit, go with free mind and enjoy some quality time away from the hustle and bustle of busy city. As I have mentioned earlier, public transport in this area are equal to none so make sure you are by your means.
My trip to Champawat, Mayawati Ashram- Kumaoni Region

Kumaon Region Champawat Mayawati Ashram

Mayawati Ashram to  Abbott Mount:

We moved further ahead to Abbott Mount, our initial plan before night was to see sunrise from the mountains but as we slept really late I only got to see an awesome sunrise from my room window(Yes I managed to get up that early). We visited the well made and curated cottages in Abbott Mount. This place for some reason unknown to me is vacant and without a soul nearby, even the caretaker was missing when we went. Himalayan ranges are visible from here but the weather wasn't clear to see them through clearly. Cottages are awesome experience in themselves and the place surrounding is quiet.

Cottages on Abbott Mount- Champawat-Kumaoni Region


My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region- Abbott Mount Cottages

Every minute I spent in Champawat has been one awesome memory, from morning walk to the mela, from road ahead to up the hill, from huge tree to tiny flower, I enjoyed every bit of this beauty. I really wish that roses are that red everywhere else too and vines are greener(Yes roses there were huge and popping red).

My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region- Sunrise

My trip to Champawat- Kumaon Region
My trip to Champawat-Kumaon Region


This journey was really short and the sweetest.

Plan a trip to lesser known areas, that ways you will enjoy the beauty of nature in its full glory and you might be the only one to do so at that moment. Share your best trip moments in the comments below, I would love to read your experiences. 😊





Thursday, 1 November 2018

Get Festival Ready

We sure are entering the festival season, one day celebration at a time and there is much more fun and festivities to come. In this post I will be covering all the nitty gritty of making sure that we are festival ready.

Getting Festival Ready this season

My advise for this festival season is to plan things in advance so by the time festival comes, you are all set to have fun and worry about nothing else. I am organised in most part of my life but this, my trips are sorted but everything else regarding it is un-planned though to my belief it's never too late to start anything. Am I  right or am I right?

Get festival Ready for this season

So without blabbering much I will get right to the business and you make a little check list along this read:

1). Book your Tickets:

In India, with Diwali season right upon us it's hard to get tickets for any transport medium at this point of time and any sorted individual would have already made sure that they have their tickets booked and in place but still if you haven't then get going with it. If you are asking the question that 'Why do we need tickets?' then my friends you are out of the few lucky ones who live with their family and you need not to worry about this struggle.

2). Manage your TIME in advance:

With festivals, we all plan our leaves in advance so it's really important to finish our work beforehand so that we are not troubled with work related queries during the holidays. Be supportive towards your sub-ordinates and be considerate as they are planning their work in advance too. With finally entering the Pre-Diwali weekend list down your tasks to perform and make sure to finish them before leaving for the final off.

3). Manage Finances:

Festivals do make you spend quite a lot than usual days, so make sure to keep your finances in check. Plan a small budget of what you have to buy for the house and family, put aside some money for it in advance so that while things go over the budget you are aware of it. Happy is the man who takes care of finances in advance than to cry over it later.

Now when the calculative points are taken care of let's come to less heavier ones:

4). Cleaning, De-Cluttering and Re-Organising Spree:

Don't procrastinate the cleaning routine anymore because if you keep everything for the last moment than there will be lot on your plate to finish by the time festival arrives. Get going with your de-cluttering routine by the weekend prior to the occasion because for deep-cleaning it takes more than the estimated time and while you are at it, re-organise your house for which you were planning for long. If in case whitewash is long due, than there is no better time for some germ kill and clean air.

5). Get your Mind and Body pampered:

Festivals are time to recreate, enjoy and have fun...what's the point of it all if your body and mind is involved elsewhere or tensed. Book yourself a salon appointment and treat your body with some calming massage or cleanse. This one is really needed after all the organising and managing you have been doing around the work and house.

6). Get your Wardrobe prepped:

This one is a biggest selling point of any festival season, we get our best attires out of our closet or best buy the new ones. Get your festival outfits sorted beforehand so that by the time festival comes, you are all prepped up for some glammed or muted festival look. Plan your makeup along the way as festivals are time for some great camera shots and selfies, you got to look your best for them and have some quality family time together.

7). Prepare Snacks and Food:

Festivals are time to chill with family so don't get busy with the kitchen whole day long, plan and prepare items for snacks beforehand so that by the day Diwali comes you have some leisure time. All my good festival memories consist of getting ready, making Rangoli, doing pooja and then hogging on some great homemade meal. Meal on festivals take the most of time as it's a special one so think and organise prior to the festival of what you are going to prepare and offer.

8). Gift and Packing:

There is lot you do on Diwali, you give gifts to your loved ones and give something to your domestic help too. I have made a list of some awesome Gift Ideas in my previous post. Plan all this prior to the festival as it's for everyone, if you give gifts and money in advance to your domestic help then they also will have something to look forward to this Diwali season. Plan and pack gifts for your loved ones in advance too as things kept for the last moment will already be too many.

Getting festival ready this season

Most of my post previous and coming are mostly festival related because I slowly am gearing myself up for the festival of lights so why not impart some wisdom along the way. Wishing you all the blissful festival in advance and try staying away from the crackers(burn but few. Stay alert and safe during this season, keep an eye on kids during cracker burning and be thoughtful towards any living being, your enjoyment might be hurting someone.

Getting festival ready this season

Be considerate and enjoy a ton with your loved ones, comment below your best festival stories and share this idea around. Show some LOVE this Diwali 😃.



Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Diwali Gift Ideas|For Loved Ones and You

Every year the festival of light comes with lots of hope, values and SALE.

Yes! With Diwali, offers come pouring in and it is the time when bigger things on monetary aspect happen. Bonus in office, gifts from friends and family, wealth from god and blessings are expected. As we expect, we prepare from our end too so here is some help sorting out the gift ideas this Diwali season, though I love some personal feel to my gifting ideas like the DIY handmade card/memory frames or hamper with homecooked eatables but I am keeping in mind that's not for everybody or some might have the time constraint preparing them.

Diwali gift ideas|Gift for loved ones

For me gifts have personal value to them so before gifting, know the person enough to get their likes and dislikes. Like if you give a chocolate box(most common gifting idea) to a person who doesn't eat chocolate, the gift won't solve the purpose so put some thought to it. 

I am as well putting up some ideas which are gifts to satisfy your soul, if this Diwali you are thinking to do something different.

1). Some Cash:

In my last post I talked about Minimalism and my idea of trying to live as one, this one gift as a Indian tradition is really at the top of my list. Cash comes handy in each and every condition so if at all you are being really thoughtful about the other person's choice to buy whatever they wish with it. With online transactions and e-commerce progress over the decade, you can just BHIM it to anyone's account(Yes! I am promoting BHIM more than any other e-wallet here because it transacts money directly to bank and not to some virtual wallet). If you prefer offline mode go with some wrapped cash, ain't no one minds some cash.

Bhim or cash as gifts for loved ones


2). Coupons/ Gift Cards:

If you think cash is impersonal, opt for gift cards and coupons depending on you beloved's shopping choices. Like if he/she likes to shop for clothes then go for Shopper-Stop's Shopping e-cards where your beloved will receive the promo or voucher code in their mail and utilize it for shopping anything of their choice from store or voucher provider's site. You can also opt for personal delivery of the card, where the card will be delivered at your doorstep. If your beloved loves to shop from the e-commerce sites like Amazon then opt for their Amazon Pay - E-mail Gift Card where you can decide the amount and send the voucher directly through mail or they also have their at door-step service with Amazon Pay Gift Card, here also you can choose what amount card do you want to purchase. If you are choosing one for a movie lover then go for BookMyShow Digital (E-Mail) Voucher/Diwali Greetings Mail Vouchers or order at door-step card BookMyShow Gift Card. For the décor lover you can opt for Pepperfry Gift Card .This again is in regards to give preference to your beloved's choices and it surely will bring smile on their face.

Cards and Vouchers as Diwali Gifts


3). Hamper of Dry Fruits and Namkeens:

Too much sweetness is not healthy so don't just gift what's expected...mix a little touch of  'YOU' to it. Dry Fruit by nature are rich and healthy, add a touch of saltiness to it by making a mixed hamper of your favourite dry fruits and namkeens. In my experience, the pre packed dry fruit packaging you get from market are not always of very good quality so what I prefer to do is to make pouches of hand picked dry fruits and then put pre-packed namkeens along in a fancy basket. You can wrap the basket in clear cellophane and ribbon or just leave it like that. I have some take out boxes and little dishes, so I plan to pack dry fruits in those little dishes and put clear cellophane on it, then further do the same with namkeens, stack 2 on each side, close the lid and put a bow on it with a personalised message tag.


Festival gift packaging ideas


4). Hamper of Cookies, Coffee and Tea:


In this life of hustle and bustle we all need our calm moments, give your loved ones a goodie package full of calming treats. Place in some delicious baked cookies (try putting in different flavours like cranberry, oats, chocolate, caraway, cumin and butter) along with nerve calming flavoured tea sachets and coffee sachets. For the tea ideas go for jasmine, chamomile, herbal, lemon, masala or ginger flavours and for coffee put in some filter coffee and beans. This one is going to last long in memories and taste of your loved ones.

5)Hamper of Scents and Fragrances:

Come what may, good fragrances are everyone's sweet spot and this again has to do a lot with calming the nerves of your loved one. While preparing this Diwali hamper, keep in mind of their choices and the spirit of Diwali. Bring them some soothing fragrances, curate together a hamper filled with little Itra or Perfume bottle, some light scented candles, some essential oils and to add a personal touch to it put in some homemade potpourri pouches mostly of citrusy fragrances as it lasts long and helps killing the germs which is basic Diwali mantra/ritual of every Indian household.

Diwali gift ideas for loved ones

The above list is for what you choose to gift to your loved ones but what about making yourself happy and your soul feel content, this Diwali do something ir-regular along with your loved ones as a Diwali gift to society or less fortunate. Make this Diwali full of light, love, laughter and joy for the ones who are in need, you can opt for the following:

1). Go to Orphanage:

This Diwali choose to spend the festival with the kids who don't have parents sure you can not fill the void completely but your presence is sure going to reduce the loneliness. Take some clothes, toys or Rangoli colours along with your kids/family members to the orphanage and have fun with the little ones.

2). Go to a Old-Age Home:

Family is missed by everyone, young and old. So, what about those elderly people who are there in the old age homes holding hands of each other and still missing their loved ones, this Diwali bring smile on their faces with your presence. Don't need to do anything big or small, just your presence there will make their faces lit with joy and happiness...isn't that what 'Diyas' in Diwali signifies.

3). Plant a Tree:

This one is not particularly for others but for the mother nature. Isn't She giving us most of herself each day, this will be our little effort to give something back. Go into some remote region  or choose the sidewalks of your daily morning session and plant a tree in the hopes that it will grow into a bigger one. Amongst all the pollution we create during this festival, lets make sure instead of doing that we will be more thoughtful towards mother nature.

This Diwali trest your sould with these gift ideas
Have a blissful festive period, enjoy a ton with your loved ones, be alert and safe this Diwali season. Go low on crackers so we all can breath some healthy air the next morning. 

Comment below your ideas of gift giving and tell me about your Diwali preparations. Share these ideas around and do tell me if you plan to do any of these gift ideas this festive season😃.



Saturday, 27 October 2018

Minimalist Indian|Exploring the lifestyle myself

Never thought I would be writing an article about this topic as I never thought myself to be a minimalist rather I have always been good at collecting junk. As Indians we are bred to optimize the utilization of whatever we have or whatever we get. We are never taught the art of returning, giving away, de-cluttering until the item breaks(our status has nothing to do with it, I will come to it later).

Living minimalist lifestyle in India


If I go into understanding the major cause of why I collected unwanted items over the period, there is no answer but one because 'It's in good condition, It might come handy some day'(like seriously😕). Parting with things in good condition has always been hard for me but I as well have started getting agitated with the things not coming to their full usage and eating up my storage.

Understanding Minimalism:

I have seen the idea of minimalism getting mis-understood on many occasions when I myself was trying to get acquainted with it. For me its not about having equivalent to nothing or a particular décor style throughout your house (It might be if that's what you prefer as your lifestyle). Minimalism as a lifestyle is a choice to opt for items which add value to your life.

Acknowledging it:

In India, it's tradition to pass on heirlooms to children which I admire being from the apparel background. To my understanding fabric in good condition should never go to waste specially the older ones but do we really need all that set of clothes hanging for ages in our closet, that heavily embroidered saree which we have worn only once or twice.

No.

Alter it, make it into wearable attire like a suit or anarkali, sell it, donate it. Give your not so worn clothes a new home. For selling there are site like Elanic, OLX or Quikr and for donating there are organisations like Goonj or if you are searching locally there are Kusht Ashrams in every locality.

Realisation:

Feeling of adding value to life not objects as a minimalist

I am from a middle class family, so most of my buys earlier or the buys at home are very old-fashioned and un-organised(in terms of choices). Like most Indian households no 2 furniture sets at my home matches and I have grown this old seeing all that but with time I have come to realisation that I am a being who loves to make most out of her possessions and make thoughtful choices than the tentative ones.

Story Time-As an Indian, our weddings are grand affair and with it comes many rituals and with rituals comes the dresses(one hardly repeats dresses during weddings). With my second cousin's marriage my wardrobe was all set for glitz and glamour and since then 2 more of my cousins got married but the budget spent on the next two was limited and choices were mostly fusion from the first wedding outfits plus most of my attires I can wear otherwise/casually too. For a girl in me this was an achievement and a realisation that LESS(if chosen wisely) IS MORE.

Working towards being A MINIMALIST:

Still a long to go Minimalist as an Indian


Recently enough, I came to acknowledge that I am very organised person but not a minimalist.I yet don't count myself to be a minimalist but I am learning one day at a time and being an Indian only makes it harder. With number of traditions, chaotic approaches, different mindsets, various buying choices I still have a long way to go. I am a bachelor living away from home, am a master of my choices at this point of life so when I decide whether to keep or bring an item in my room I measure it only on 2 parameters:

  • Value Addition: From clothes to utilities, I evaluate whether or not it will add value to my life. With winter coming I was tempted to buy some new winter clothing but then I already have so much of it from the last season. Since, I already have prepped up my winter wardrobe and buying list I will be sticking to it.
  • Usage: Winter remains hardly for 2 months in most places in India, the clothing remains buried inside the trunk through out the year. Is it really wise to spend all that money on those expensive sweaters which you already have 5 of? My whole winter wardrobe is limited to a one travel suitcase in my apartment and I am not even planning to buy. Rather if you see my travels they are mostly to cold mountains, I have managed successfully.

Minimalist Lifestyle:

Being minimalist doesn't mean I am living on a rug , I love greys/whites, have no decorations in my room or just have one colour in my wardrobe. Sorry to disappoint but I have multi colours, I love vibrancy and find pleasure decorating/organising. I am really new at this but sharing this experience is going to document it  and as well might help others make a conscious decision. Now when I am going into it knowingly, I keep these things in mind:

  • Travelling Light
  • Experimenting with my attires
  • Fusion with my outfits
  • De-cluttering from time to time
  • Evaluating duplicates and expired products
  • Making list of things to buy in advance
  • Finding proper utility items, utensils and multi functional appliances
  • Buying loose products or to re-use the plastic packets I already have(working hard on this one)
With Diwali cleaning of my apartment, I recently de-cluttered all that which was sitting under the clothes away from eyes, reach and dust for ages. I am making conscious effort to either sell, donate or find new home for the items in good condition and the items which were no more usable have already been thrown out. I live in a rented apartment and keep hoping from one to other more often than others so this is also an effort to make the moving process simpler. I only will be buying things which are of utmost importance and make my daily chores simpler.

If you want to be a MINIMALIST:

Recently, I have read somewhere, ' We are advertisements.' and this stuck to my head.

In India, often more than to please ourselves we buy things to please others. For example-If we are office goers, how can we repeat outfits so often, what will others think of my wardrobe or if there is a family function how can we repeat attire more than once(I have been told this many a times and by none other than my family members). How can we invite friends to our houses if we don't have beautiful furniture? or time and gain we question our living status by the amount of things we have.
This behaviour on the other hand makes others jealous or forces them to get into same action and the loop continues.
First and foremost we need to get rid of this mentality, it's not easy to get out of it but buy things which make you happy and add value to your house.
Second is to understand that it's really easy to say 'YES' to things than to turn them away. Minimalism will only happen if you learn to look, evaluate and if not required turn it away.
Third is to understand your idea of success, is it to get a degree, then a career, then earn money, buy a big house(dream of many in county like India), buy fancy things for that house or is it to get successful by your measures, have a big enough house to accommodate you and your loved ones, buy the things which make you feel happy in the house you created together. 
Fourth is to not to give into the judgement. With every change, people have a tendency to judge but soon they will learn to respect your choices or as well might be inspired by your idea.
Fifth is to understand that sales are not  always your best friend. Bring an item after a thoughtful process, stick to your list and spend on quality than quantity.

Pros of living as a minimalist:
  1. Everywhere outside my room,is chaotic enough at least my house is free of it
  2. Its a budget saver
  3. With fewer things on list, I have fewer things to take care of
  4. Open and clean spaces makes mind feel at peace
  5. Focus on things that make me happy
Cons -
  1. If you aren't in it with all your heart, you will always feel deprived
  2. Possibility of being judged for your choices
  3. Forced by others to maintain lifestyle otherwise
Living a minimalist lifestyle in India


Happily inspired and promoting this lifestyle, try it if you are keen to and I am sure this is only going to help you. Don't let yourself fall into the category where your status is judged by the amount of things you have and money you spent on fancy items for showcasing.

This is my story of learning at my pace and following minimalism as a lifestyle in India, what's yours? Do share it in the comment section and show this one some love by sharing it.



Monday, 22 October 2018

Get your wardrobe WINTER ready

Hello Pom-Poms!

With Durga Pooja passed by and Diwali approaching, we Indians soon will go into a deep house cleaning mode. So,while we are at it why not incorporate few extra steps to bring out the all year hidden winter treasure off of tin trunks into our lives once again. Climate here otherwise is so hot that I wish to enjoy every coming second of these 3 months of coming winter (I am totally a winter person but my body is not, the season didn't arrive yet but my cold has😷).

get your wardrobe winter ready


It's really a sad affair that we don't enjoy fall as much as other countries because the weather here changes quite dramatically than slowly transitioning. What exactly is the point of writing this post, it is that we already are turning off our AC's and soon enough we will be hunting for shawls and blankets to keep us warm so why not prepare our wardrobes for the same. With these few steps, I am sure we are going to be:

Get-Prepared-

Lets be assured that this cleaning/organising ordeal is going to take some time and for sure will tire you, if at all you are planning to do it in a day or two. Prepare the meal before hand, keep some tea ready and put on some wipes at disposal. Divide your chores, plan it with family for helping hands and if you are single who lives alone in a apartment or PG, then leave it all as it is(Just kidding)...you will as well be saved by the less amount of stuff you have and if not divide you chores between days.

De-Clutter-

Let's start with the basic one, first de-clutter your already existing wardrobe. Sort your outfits between categories at this point itself before keeping them back in.

Categories for already existing summer outfits:
  • To keep for layering in winter
  • Still to use for remaining days
  • To keep away for winter already or repair then keep away
  • To giveaway as you won't be wearing them again in next season
Preparing Winter Clothes-

My winter clothing is tucked away in a travel suitcase for last 8 months or so literally.I live in an apartment away from family hence the travel bag and not the tin trunk as many other Indian households so my clothes need some sunlight to get rid of that our favourite disinfectant's smell before going in that wardrobe. Keep in mind that the sun is not very harsh as it might fade away the colour, if that's the case keep your clothes in little shade if possible.

Prepare your Storage-

Now, when you are sorted with your thoughts for what to keep back in and what to toss or tuck away, clean up your storage unit properly with wipes and get going with your organising. I being a bachelor and living without family, prefer to keep things organised on not so festive days either ways so for me the cleansing part is short and simple.

What you never wore -
Before putting things in your closet, just think once what in it is that you never wore last season. If there are couple of items that you think will fit you nicely but you still prefer reaching for the one you wore thousand of times already then make sure to donate away the used one as it's high time now. If you can't make yourself do that than find the re-selling sites/apps like Elanic, Etashee or Coutloot, sell and make some money out of your non-wearable closet.

Accessories-
I have realised that accessories in winters are equally important to safeguard you from cold penetrating in. Give them their easy to access place in the closet, don't mind those scarves hanging and gloves sitting quietly. Make the most of them this winter.

Making Storage-

Winter clothing by logic is bulky and eats a lot of space in the closet, we all know that. So how to make most out of existing closet space? Space between my keeping area and the hanger is quite less so hardly ever I hang the clothes but what to do when winter jackets are around, stacking them up doesn't make sense so I hang them up neatly and keep the ledge empty. I keep my accessories like caps, socks or gloves in buckets or hang my scarfs on the hanger too. 



Make List-

While putting back your clothes, just make the list of necessary needed items so that on your next shopping spree, you are clear of what to buy rather than indulging into unplanned shopping.

With warm coffees and cold breeze winter is approaching slowly but hardly it stays, so embrace every moment of it. Be prepared with clothes and closet as you never will know when it is right upon us. The most awesome winter trip I had is to Patnitop, the details of which I have posted here . Just in case you wish to explore your vacation options or check out my travel story😇.


Comment below your favourite winter story or how you prepare your house for this season.





Monday, 15 October 2018

Don't wait for NEW YEAR

Hello Pom-Poms!

Its been ages since I wrote my last post, totally not fair as I did promise myself that I won't lack but I did. So, what should be my punishment? Let it be a tight watch on making sure I write even more helpful content for you colourful souls and be more creative with my ideas.

So, here I am with a weirdest title possible and an awesome idea behind it-
Don't wait for the NEW YEAR
Do not PROCASTINATE

Yes! You read it right in the title and now when it's in the quotes, it's way more clear but why do I say it?

With every new year, comes our RESOLUTIONS.

Oh!I know it and been guilty of at times to bring out my shiny pad and brand new stationary to make some promising statements on the very first page of it but by the end of any year how far do we go with our lists, really?

In most cases - Not very far

One HELPFUL tip: Get going with your ideas/resolutions/promises now and today, it seems like a very promising day if only you can motivate yourself enough to not procrastinate it as then the idea will be lost in the pool of thoughts and never come to life. I have made some observations to why do we do this and what can we really do to avoid waiting for the New-Years and work on our business today:

Stop doing that 'Will start tomorrow' thing

Why? What's in tomorrow which is not in this very minute that we have to procrastinate it for the better future. Understand one-thing my friends, if you have not given your 100% for a thing to happen this very minute, there will be no better time for that thing to happen at all for many reasons like: you loosing that fire for the idea, loss of resources, you being low on energy, what seems good today may not seem wise tomorrow etc.

Start accepting:

First and foremost, start accepting to the fact that you have been procrastinating for quite some time now and take responsibility for your actions like I just did in the beginning of this blog that for years I waited for me to start spreading wise words through my writing and I failed big time. You just don't do that mistake and defend yourself by saying, 'but I will seriously start working on it as it's my dream project.' because then that's all it's going to remain 'A Dream'. Don't be in denial

Where to start:

When we are to try something new or out of the way, we are never sure of where to start from. Story time (Yayyy!!)- When I started this blog or the Youtube channel, I didn't know how far will I go as I didn't take in any of my known accounts for most part of it where I had friends and family so to achieve even this handful of audience seems like a great deal at this point. It wasn't a silly idea after all, I wouldn't have come to know this if I didn't start it in the first place.

It's OKAY to Shut-Down:

It's really okay to have your moment when there is too much on your plate to start with. To our dismay, we are not a robot to keep working 24*7(even the machines need charging) so do we but once you are sorted with your choices get going again with the new found energy and a goal to achieve.

Too hard to take on:

We have seen history made time and again, man has found galaxy that was far fetched dream before it really happened. So don't even think for a single second that some goals are too hard to achieve. It's only difficult when you stop working towards achieving them.

It's okay to fail:

Humans make mistakes and those who say they don't ain't human 😉. It's okay if you failed with your resolutions in the past, if are not afraid to go for it once again...you are good to go. Smoking is a bad habit still we see people having fags even after continuous health hazard warnings, many of us have made promises to cut back on it with every coming year but we relapse back to our regulars till one day your body gives sign that it can't take the smoke anymore and you are left with no choice to stop it all together. If you can stop on the road to death, you can as well stop now but you got to keep trying every second.

Make a list:

Recently, I have understood the importance of documentation, if something is in your head only you know it but if it's written somewhere, there are chances of you being more determined about making it a possibility. This trick works for me very well, I have kept planning 'n' number of things in  my head in the past but failed to deliver. Now I make sure that the ideas are just not thought of but are written somewhere for me to go back and see it as a constant reminder. Currently, I have 2 major things 'Blog' and 'Exercise' written on my front wall and from the day I did that, I just missed exercising 1 single day.

My RESOLUTION list:

  • Once again being regular with my Blog, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms

  • Include exercise in my daily routine

  • Follow early to bed and early to rise mantra

  • Not get involved with social media first thing in the morning or until 11 a.m.

  • Travel for inspiration 


Now, when I have given you quite an understanding of how I am performing following my resolutions two months prior to New Years, get going with your list too. Start with an easy one and gradually dust away the whole pile.

In between you and me, I am a queen of PROCASTINATION, if I can make myself start and do something regularly so can you.


Saturday, 3 February 2018

Makeup Kit Essentials | On being a MAKEUP HOARDER


Hello Pom-Poms!

Makeup has expiration dates.

Yes! You read it right and in your head you know it. Would you be able to complete whole lot of lipstick in a year or two if you have like 100s and 1000s of them, I am sure you won’t be but every time there is some new shade launch, our hearts goes for it if the reviews are good. The whole beauty industry is thriving on this fact but ladies STOP, think on it for a second. Don’t be a makeup hoarder, you aren’t a Beauty Influencer who you see in those videos on Youtube or Instagram. It’s her job to show you all those beautiful shades and they sure are tempting but do you really need that many shades of red and pinks in your vanity.

NO!
It’s Ok to be JEALOUS of theirs’ though

I won’t be a saint here and tell you, I don’t feel like buying them all but I analyse the set of makeup I already have and what’s missing from that when the occasion comes. Splurging on good makeup is ‘EVERY WOMEN’s BIRTHRIGHT’ but splurge in the luxury you will be able to finish up or else it’s a waste of your hard earned money. Invest in attempting fusions with your makeup as well, like you don’t need a huge trunk of eyeshadow palette to create smoky eye look. A kajal pencil and quartet palette will do fine job if you try your hand on it a couple of times.



Start with Essentials

Instead of hoarding up on makeup, know what is needed for what purpose and the benefit of it on your skin and in the process of creating a look. In today’s video world, product usage is pretty much clear to almost everyone but fundamentals of it are still hazy. Sometimes in process of looking good, we harm our skin beyond repair. 

One more thing I want to make clear guys, I know good branded products are costly and most of the time hard on pocket but refrain from owning a hoard of cheap cosmetics. Have 2 lipstick shades but have them from good reputed brand>>>Thank me later for this tip, your skin will bless you.


Moisturiser or Primer:

Create a healthy base to apply your makeup on and this job is hell lot simplified if you have a help of good moisturiser in your kitty. Oily skin Pom-Poms, be sure to search for gel or water based moisturisers which only gives you added nourishment and doesn’t produce extra oil underneath all that makeup or else acne and spots won’t be far away as your pores will be clogged with all the makeup on the face. Dry skin beauties can go for the nourishment through oil, no fear.


Concealer and Foundation:

Just like the name suggests, conceal your blemishes and even out your skin colour. I am not a big foundation fan if my concealer is on point but you do you. Test your foundation and concealer on your skin in order to find your match. Know your requirement with concealer, is it for highlighting, concealing or contouring? Yes! I can do all that with my L A Girl HD Pro Conceal (in different shades) , sure you can find your suitable match. I use L'Oreal Paris True Match Concealer to conceal my spots and blemishes, one of the best product out there.

Kajal Pencil:
Eyes makeup can do wonders for the look and sometimes all you need is a dark kohl eyes. I love my kajal pencil, no matter how much effort I put in my makeup but it never seems put together if I don’t have Kajal on. I am using Lotus Herbals Color Kick Kajal, smooth to glide on and stays for long (atleast for me). Find yourself a good kajal pencil and you are good to go on daily basis effortless makeup look with kajal in eyes and tinted lips.

Eyeshadow Palette:
Eyeshadow is not a part of daily makeup routine for many but sure if there is party to go to or some look you are going for, eyeshadows play important role. My kit holds 3 eyeshadow palettes with four shades each, I am no makeup artist on daily basis so the usage of a big palette is almost useless for me but I am planning to buy one which holds both warm and cool tones in matte and metallic like the ones from Maybelline New York Gold Nude Palette or Nyx Professional Makeup Ultimate Shadow  


Lip Colour:
I am guilty of being a pop colour fan when it comes to lip colours but keeping in mind that my Pom-Poms are multi shade beauties, I will suggest having one pop and one nude shade in your vanity on all get ready occasions. Try the shades on and then decide which one to go for as they might seem really great on review but when you put them on, they might not suit you that well and one tip guys don’t try to be all matchy-matchy with your outfit and lip-colour.

Blusher and Bronzer/Highlighter:
If you are afraid of getting washed off look with your concealer/foundation, blusher is to your rescue in every case.  Just swoop a stoke or two across the apple of cheeks and freshness of your look is revived. Highlighter or bronzer is to give dimension to your face and highlight the high points of your face.

Mascara and Eyebrow Kit:
For me these are still secondary options if it comes to essetials, maybe because I have fuller eyebrows and quite grown lashes but I hear you sisters who don’ t have liberty to take these products lightly, own a thickening mascara and good eyebrow kit/pencil. I swore by Maybelline Hypercurl Mascara, this makes your eyelashes 2 times thicker and visible.


Cleanser and Toner:
Yes! These are as essential as any beauty product as before and after makeup, it’s necessary to clean all that makeup off your face for healthier skin. Do keep your trusted cleanser in your vanity along with some cotton pads.

Take this as challenge ladies, less product means more room for creativity in finding out ways to do the looks differently. Don’t be a makeup hoarder, rather invest in some good products and make the heads turn without burning a big hole in your pocket.
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