Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fall in love with Melbourne - The most liveable city!

G'day mate!

This blog is a part of Indiblogger's contest in association with Tourism Victoria.

When we think Melbourne, we think cricket, right? But there is soo much more this beautiful city has to offer. Tanmay & Rohan's escapades to Melbourne helped me find out how!

I love to travel, and though I am not that well traveled yet (travel is expensive after all), I like to have knowledge about all the places, adding to my bucket list,

I loved going through Tanmay & Rohan's Melbourne videos, funny that they are, they seemed to have a blast out there!

Few of my fav videos and places from their travel tales-

1. Loch Ard Gorge

This place is nature's treasure indeed, so scenic so beautiful! I wouldn't mind staring at it for hours to go! Take a look at Rohan & Tanmay's video.

Just one glance at this scene reminds me of bollywood movies romantic songs! Would love to go take a selfie out there!

2. Great Ocean Road

Whether driving through this helluva scenery, or walking down the beach. Being a driving enthusiast,  I would love to try that! Take a look at Rohan & Tanmay's experience here.

3. Melbourne Cricket Ground

If you happen to visit Melbourne, and happen to be an Indian and happen to be a cricket fanatic, YOU MUST NOT MISS THIS!

There just my top three reasons. Apart from this there is so much more this beautiful city has to offer. Fine dining, Shopping, Partying, Sport Events, Architecture and historic tours, nature trails and what not.

Take a complete look at what you can do in and around Melbourn here. And all the videos from Tanmay & Rohan's Melbourne Escapades here. I wish I get to OZ soon!  

Readers, you stand a chance to win a shopping voucher worth INR 500 too. Simply comment why you love Melbourne and win! (Last date to enter 4th January 2015).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein!

This post is a part of Indiblogger's campaign for Kinley - Boondh boondh mein sachai.

Before reading ahead, do take a look at this short and simple video, an instance most of us have been through in our youth:

Indiblogger asked to tell them about a time in your life where telling the truth was the right thing to do. Though there must be many instances, there is this one particular instance that I remember clearly till date.

This was when I was in the 10th standard, the last year of school, the year when we all students become rebels, because there is not much the teachers can do right! :P

I have always been a good student, class monitor, completing homework, being the teacher's favorite and the sort. But in the last year of school, I also got a little slacked. I also wanted to enjoy like my classmates and friends from other schools.

I had these 3 friends, one from my school and 2 boys from another school who used to bunk school very often and roam about. They would go for morning movie shows, go to marine drive or juhu beach or worli sea-face. Basically enjoy, and then tell me the stories and make me super-jealous. I simply did not have the guts to bunk. What if I got caught?

But one day, the three of them encouraged and motivated me and I agreed to bunk. Left from home in my school uniform, carrying casual clothes in bag. We went for a movie and then did time-pass in the mall till it was time to go back. Changed back into uniform and went home , all smiles , thinking that this was totally awesome! My friend tagged along with me, just to make sure I didn't goof up.

On reaching home, my mom had this deadly expression on her face. She asked me, where was I. I quickly hid my fright and made a surprised expression. "Where was I? I was at school mom! Where else would I be!" I said.

She asked me the same question again. Now me and my friend both knew we were in trouble. My friend backed me up and said that we were both at school. My mom lost it and said that she got a call from my teacher saying that I had not come to school. Now I knew she was lying, because why would my teacher call to say that, I was a loyal student after all. Lie after lie, confidently I told my mom that I know my teacher did not call and I was very much at school.

My mom was terribly upset now, in shock at the number of lies I came up with. She finally told me the truth that a classmate of mine called on the land-line to speak to me regarding some homework doubt he had. When my mom told him that Avantika is not yet back from school, he said, "But aunty, Avantika did not come to school!".

I did not give up yet. I made another string of lies stating that this classmate who called had gone for some basketball match and did not know that I was at school. He must have not seen me at school. My friend again, added her own 'masala' to this lie. My mom lost her cool, yelled at my friend to go to her home and gave me one slap.

I had to finally confess that I bunked school. I told her where we went. She asked me why did I not tell her? She told me it is okay if I do not feel like going to school but I should not lie to her. How would she trust me all her life?

Believe it or not, I still bunked school after that. But always told my mom about it. No more changing uniforms or being scared. I enjoyed chilling even more (of-course I did my studies too). Telling the truth is really a big relief. And when you lie, you need to have such a sharp memory to remember all the lies!

Thank you ma for understanding me, and thank you Kinley & Indiblogger, for making me recall this episode of my life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas & New Year's Giveaway #SpreadCheer

Ola Amigos!

Tis the season to make merry! There is joy and happiness in the air and everyone is spending time shopping, partying, taking vacations!

I am a avid contest player, and certainly know the joy of winning!

So, inspired by a fellow blogger friend, I thought, why not I #SpreadCheer this festive season and giveaway something cool too!

All you need to do is enter this easy-peasy giveaway and wait for 1st January i.e. New Year's Day to know if you won!

The prize is a damn cool 'Lisolette Watkins' limited edition bag by oriflame, and that's not it, it will be filled with goodies that I won't mention as I want it to be an surprise element!

Take a look at the swanky handbag:

Girls, play to win it! Guys, play to win it for the special lady in your life!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 22, 2014

Noble Faith Green Maxi Dress Review

So one of my favorite online shopping portals Myntra.com recently launched a new brand, Dolly Sidhwani's Noble Faith. They have a nice collection of casual and party wear outfits for both men and women.

I really liked the green maxi dress (ID 540825) they have, and being the festive Christmas season, the colors red, green and white make me happy! Everyone usually goes for red for Christmas, but I thought green would be a nice change!

Product details - Green knitted maxi dress, has round neck, long sleeves, layered panel on the front with gathers and a knot detail, a slit on both the sides that extend from knees to the hem.

I am not a fashion blogger, in fact I am a new mom, so please spare if I do not know how to take nice images. :P In-fact this dress totally works for me because the material is so soft being 100% viscose, that my baby would not get irritated. :D

For an elegant Christmas-Eve dinner, you can pair the dress with white accessories ! I went for a pearl necklace and ring, along with a white watch.

For a casual look you could even pair it with black accessories! It's all up to you!

I love how this maxi is full sleeved so no need to pair it with a jacket for the winters. It is priced at Rs. 1799 and is available at a whooping 40% discount on Myntra! Woot woot!

Decided to keep make-up totally minimal as I did not want to take the attention off the bright green colour. So kohl decked eyes, and a bright red lipstick and voila!

And, of-course a selfie is must!

All set to rock this Christmas, only with Myntra & Noble Faith!

Do check out their other maxis and jumpsuits, crop tops too!

Outfit: Noble Faith Necklace & Ring : Zaveri Pearls Watch : Casio Sheen
Makeup: LO'real Magique Kohl and Colorbar Matte Lipstick

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teddy Travelogues #TravelWithKids

This blog is a part of Indiblogger's #TravelWithKids activity by Club Mahindra.

I love to travel, visit new places (and revisit places I loved). I am excited right from planning the trip, packing the bag to the actual travel to the destination. Till previously, I used to travel carefree and Goa used to be visited at-least once a year. Goa means parties, chilling, beaches, water sports.

Now I have a 2 month old infant, and all my travel plans next year (and the years to come ahead) will revolve around his needs and comfort.

Kids see the world differently. A kid won't relax on a hammock or enjoy sunbathing, kids want to run and create havoc! I remember trips as a kid, some that bored me and some that I was thrilled about. I remember my parents taking me to Tirupati and I being like "what am I doing here?". I also remember going to Bangalore without my parents with a friend and her family when I was just 5-6 years old and having the time of my life!

When going for a vacation with kids, we need to first check the travel duration and climate at the destination. I can't think of visiting USA or Canada till my child is at-least 4-5 years old because long flights and long hauls are sure to make him cranky! It is best to start with weekend getaways at nearby places and then see how it goes along. Make sure the climate is suitable. Extreme cold or heat might make children ill, and that is the last thing you want when you are on a vacation.

Choose resorts / hotels that are kid friendly. Hygienic and clean, giving you options for kid's meals, having a play area, kid's swimming pool, activity for kids, indoor games etc are some of the things I would look at when booking the place.

I would make sure I have packed all the things required by my child, weather suitable clothing, footwear, medicines etc. Would take along toys like frisbee, inflatable pool ball, sand and beach toys (if visiting a beach), even a couple of indoor games (in case it rains and we have to stay indoors) so that my child does not get bored and makes the most of the vacation!

Once your child is big enough, do make it a point to visit Universal Studios (Singapore or USA your pick) at-least once. I visited as an adult and was thrilled, a child will definitely go mad with excitement.

If you're going on a road trip, make sure to take many stops as kids might not be able to sit in one place as we adults can.

Another cool thing to do would be study and research about the place you're visiting in advance, check all the cool facts that you can share with your kid (he/she will be so proud of you!). Also check in advance for all the kid-friendly sight seeing you can do. After all we're always short on time and want to make the most of it.

Being a member of Club Mahindra would surely take care of safety and kid-friendliness, plus would ensure you take a vacation at-least once every year and spend quality time with your family!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

First 24 hours with the OnePlus One 64 GB Sandstone Black Smartphone

I received an invite for purchasing the OnePlus One 64 GB Sandstone Black smartphone, just launched in India on Amazon.in.

I initially was not too sure if I want to purchase a phone by a new company (after bring an Iphone user followed by a Nexus user).

But then I saw the configuration and pricing. 64 GB space, 3 GB Ram, Snapdragon 801, 13 mp camera, 4G, all this for Rs.22,000/- Looked too good to miss. I also sent out a tweet asking for opinions, and everyone was positive that I should go for it (and if not, share the invite with them, lol).

My one hesitation was it not being pure vanilla android. Customized ROM means late updates, unstable apps and the sort. But this was a risk I was willing to take.

The invite is valid only for 48 hours, which creates the urgency to quickly use it. I gave in to my impulse and bought it, using the credit card EMI facility that too. Since I did not want to wait too long I chose the one day delivery option at an additional Rs. 99/- (Gadget lovers will understand and empathize with my excitement).

Next day i.e. 5th December 2014 afternoon, the package was in my hands.

The packing is really different and fancy, with the beautiful combo of red and white. Along with the phone comes a charger separately, and a USB cable, sim pin and sim tray (and manual). Wish they included earphones too, but that simply is not a trend with phones these days. 

There is a small sticker on the temporary scratch guard, which I had to remove to see the keys to type. And since that left the surface sticky, I had to remove the entire guard itself (which I usually don't do till I have purchased a scratch guard and case). Wish the sticker was not there.

Anyway, setting up the phone was pretty standard. Only difference, along with a google account it asks you to create or log into your Cyanogen account. 

Please keep in mind this is a review on using the phone for just 24 hours and not a week in which I could check all the features. This review should simply help you figure if the phone is for you or not.


1. The config, as mentioned before. I was tired of the battery issues and 16 GB (That went down to 12 GB after 2 years of use) on my Nexus 4. Hence a powerful battery and a horse-load of space was something I was quite thrilled about.

2. I do not have much knowledge about custom ROM and rooting, but am sure it means endless tweaking possibilities which I will look into soon.

3. The camera looks decent, check out this quick image I took to check the quality: I am pretty happy with the colours, details and textures.

4. It claims that the battery lasts through the day, it has been 24 hours and my battery is now on 26% with fair usage on wifi (mails, social media, chatting, clicking pictures, playing candy crush). But am not too sure if the battery will last all day on 3G.


1. The size. Now this is my mistake. I thought the phone would be slightly bigger than my nexus 4, as I do not like phones the size of phablets that you cannot operate with one hand. This unfortunately is long, and you can use it with one hand only if you have a big hand. :P It also does not fit into my pocket, which is usually a requirement for me.

2. The back panel has a sandstone rough texture, which I personally did not like. Maybe it gives a better grip, but every time I touch it it feels rather weird. (Maybe I got too used to the smooth back glass on my Nexus 4?)

3. The phone heated up when I played candy crush for 15-20 minutes. I wonder what will happen if I play a heavy duty game like Asphalt?


For the price, the phone is definitely a nice buy. I guess guys would like it more than girls. But I am not 100% satisfied, the amount of excitement the invite only purchase mode creates, the product itself disappointed me a little. (Will give it to my brother mostly!)

Airbnb Wishlist Contest by Indiblogger

So Airbnb is a new website to list or book accommodations all over the globe. Signing in was pretty easy, as it lets you log in via facebook or G+.

I love the homepage and how it says WELCOME HOME- Rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries.

You can click on 'How it works' and check out the easy steps-

I got so excited, and have 2-3 travel plans coming up next year, so thought I should totally check out the listings!

This is pretty close to the entire 'foreign exchange' program since you can stay as a house guest too!

My first search was for Goa, thought I should check Indian listings before anything else.

You can apply filters like whether you want the entire place or just a room (or even if you are a hosteler and ready to share the room). Put in your dates, budget, etc and choose the area from the map. Such a wide variety of homes and pretty places for rent, why would you want to check-in to a typical hotel?

My next visit was Jaipur, where I plan to go next year too. So amazed to see vacation homes for rent in a small city like Jaipur too! P.S. Do take a look at my wishlist!

Next I checked listings in London, Maldives and Dubai, three places soo on my wishlist to travel sometime soon. The low pricing has really encouraged me to even consider and give it a serious thought. All the travel agencies always show hefty pricings for vacations at exotic places like Maldives, so I was thrilled to see such reasonable options!

So my top 5 fav listings are Goa, Jaipur, London, Maldives & Dubai. Why, because these are all beautiful travel-worthy places! I love to travel and am sure my wishlist is only to grow. I hope to travel to all the places in 2015!

Every listing has a complete detail along with original images, space, accommodation, amenities, house rules, pricing and availability. What more can you ask for?

My only concern probably would be safety when you travel alone and stay at someone's place. But then to answer that, most of the listings have user reviews, which you can take into consideration before planning the trip!

You can also contact the host, and who knows, be great buddies once you meet 'em!

And before I forget, if you have multiple properties, or a huge place with rooms to sublet, you can totally list your property and start earning!

Also, do register on Airbnb using my referral link to get a flat credit of Rs. 1545/-! That means you could actually have a 1 night stay complimentary! Could it get any better?

Monday, December 1, 2014

#BlogToFeedAChild and eliminate classroom hunger!

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda. So should you!

Honestly, when I heard the term "Classroom Hunger" I was clueless what it means. Being blessed with a decent upbringing in comfort and availability of all facilities, I thought, does it refer to how we used to get hungry before recess and try to sneak in a bite during class?

But no, after taking a look at the video I understood that there are children in our country who cannot go to school and get a proper education because they have to work to feed themselves. They do more labor than we must have ever done in our entire life for one decent meal per day. Why is that? What can we do to get rid of this issue?

Today when we go out to a nice restaurant to eat, the bill is never below 2-3 thousand rupees between 2-4 people. What if one day we decided to skip going out and eat at home, and instead donate that amount to Akshaya Patra and feed 3 CHILDREN FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! Yes, no kidding, they are feeding 3 kids for an entire year for just Rs. 2250/-. You can also avail tax benefits on that.

Apart from that I feel that food we order at office or home, sometimes there is spare left, and the sort. We should never throw it out (unless it has gone bad of-course.) Instead give it to your maid, she could feed herself and her kids? Or if there are beggars in your locality you could give it to them? At my home we always give leftovers to our maid. It feels good to know that someone will not sleep hungry that day.

Every child in this country has the right to education till 10th standard. But still there are so many who are either unaware of this or are forced by their parents to work and earn their own meal. Such parents need to be educated too, that if their child studies, one day he can earn a decent salary and provide for the entire family. Also, the people who hire children to work i.e. practice child labor should be stopped from doing so. Punished even, if needed. If children won't be hired from errands and jobs, their parents will automatically be left with no option.

Hope this change comes soon. Readers, do contribute. Let's eradicate classroom hunger and make our country's future brighter!