Thursday, April 30, 2015

Personalization of my passion for social media thanks to my smartphone!

I am a social media and internet addict. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone for notifications. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger, Hangouts and of-course good ol' emails. After all, what happens on social media, stays on the internet forever! And I love to shop online too, lazy that I am it works wonders.

I also love to enter contests and competitions. It's been a thrill and passion since childhood days when I would play contests on Cartoon Network or Tinkle magazine. Today, I play contests on twitter, Facebook etc and have won quite a few of them too!

Though of-course, I can view updates, notifications, contest alerts on desktop or laptop, it's not always there with me. When I'm traveling, when I'm too exhausted to switch on my PC or when I'm multitasking; my phone's to my rescue!

I own an Android smartphone with the latest OS update and configuration. I try to make the most of my passion for social media by personalizing it on my phone. 

I have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Pinterest all installed on my phone and have turned on notifications for my fav pages / brands or people. So the minute someone updates or tweets I get an alert. That was missing on the desktop sites as I would get notifications only if I'm logged in. On phone, I'm ALWAYS logged in!

Not to boast, but I have won contests as small as brand merchandise or t-shirts, to shopping vouchers and even nailed a couple of big ones like smartphones and a laptop! But that would definitely not be possible if I did not have the access to the contests straight from my phone. When I'm traveling in the Mumbai locals, commuting 3+ hours a day in all, entering contests is my favorite pass time! Oh the thrill of knowing you're a winner!

(This picture of a couple of T-shirts I own describe my all my passions – love for clothes and shopping, love for internet and love for contests since I won one of them on Myntra).

I'm also all in for online shopping. Getting saved from my mad crown, heat and pollution in traveling, the awkward moment when the salesperson asks what size and things like that. Plus I get great deals and discounts! Flipkart & Myntra are my two personal favorite shopping destinations. Even better is their app versions! So I can literally shop ANYTIME ANYWHERE! Lazing on my bed or while in a boring meeting, I can be putting things in my wishlist and buying them anywhere anytime! Basically, online shopping gives me a reason to live for another 3-5 business days.

I also get to blog on the go on my smartphone. So basically, my phone is my source of entertainment and work both! I hardly get on my laptop or desktop apart from office thanks to my personalized mobile experience. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Say yes to healthy living!

Family is like music, some high notes, some low, but always a beautiful song!

I am blessed to have the gift of a beautiful family in my life. In-fact, not one but two families if I am to count my maiden family too.The newest and most adorable addition to my family is my 5-month-old baby, and I love him to the core!

All that matters is the assurance that the people you love are healthy and happy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae. With our desk jobs, little physical activity,and a helping hand to manage work at home, I have realized that having a healthy lifestyle is really important for a family. After all, prevention is better than cure, isn't it?

I never compromise when it comes to my family’s health. And I am always dedicated to practice healthy habits which my parents taught me. These are simple, basic things like brushing teeth twice, washing hands frequently, and drinking adequate water, inculcating a balanced diet and regular exercise regime.

Those who think they have no time for healthy living will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
Today’s small, everyday moments become tomorrow’s precious memories. And in this uncertain life in a metro, you never know what’s coming next. It’s a scary thought, and I myself have had a couple of near-death experiences. The mere thought of losing my loved ones gives me goose bumps! Living in a metro is already costly, with the rents, bills, expenses of the day-to-day life. I feel it is mandatory to have a health insurance policy for your family so that if and when the need arises, you get timely medical aid for you and your loved ones.

Health insurance is one that we pay for but hope we never need it. However, just having an insurance is not enough. Just like we give time to research before we invest in property or automobiles, we should choose the best plan as per our family’s requirement. These days, the information is very easily available, and there are so many customized plans to choose from. Whether a big family or small, newly married or with a baby on the way, there is a different plan for every family. Without a proper health insurance in place, we might delay the necessary medical treatment or be compelled to take a loan, which would only add onto the woes.

When we got married, my husband and I vowed to protect each other and look after one another. When I got to know about my baby’s arrival, I promised that I will always be there and look after him. Family is a gift that lasts forever. My parents have always sacrificed their needs and wishes in order to fulfill mine and my brother’s. That is the kind of unconditional love of a family, and I now understand. After all, for me, all that matters now is my child’s health and well-being.

I feel blessed to be born and brought up in the era of change. Today, healthcare facilities in India are way better than what they used to be. Factors such as rise in the number of hospital chains, new age technology and medicines, and getting any doctor’s information online, truly make things easier and faster, especially in times of need. With such evolution in healthcare facilities and Royal Sundaram’s Health Insurance at hand, I can truly rest assured. 

I love my family, we may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ASUS Zenfone 2 - Beauty AND a Beast!

ASUS has been an established player in the laptop segment, but with the Zenfone series, it has marked it's name in the smartphone territory too! They have recently launched the Zenfone 2, a Marvel of Craftsmanship and Engineering , in the Palm of Your Hand!

5 reasons on why I feel the ASUS Zenfone 2 could redefine my smartphone experience:

A lady's got to have a smartphone that looks beautiful too! After all, it's an accessory that needs to match my personality right? ZenFone 2 has incredibly-slim 3.9mm edges. This is more than an impressive engineering feat, it’s a marvel of design and ergonomics, making the ZenFone 2 incredibly comfortable to hold.

2. Single-handed PRO!
Unlike all the other huge phones in the market currently, which require two hands to operate it; the ZenFone 2 is made smartly, keeping user experience in mind. ZenFone 2 has a highly-intuitive control layout, incorporating a physical rear key as part of the new Ergonomic Arc design. Snapping selfies, adjusting the volume and retracing your steps now feels completely natural, regardless of whether you are right- or left-handed. The elegant new shape feels secure and extremely comfortable to hold.

3. I'm UNIQUE, just like everyone else.
I definitely am bored of the blacks and whites of a normal common smartphone. The Zenphone 2 has back covers named as the Transfusion series and the Illusion series, that make the phone look enchanting! I simply cannot stop staring at 'em! Add to this a personalized UI thanks to the Zenphone's ZEN UI, you can customize your phone as per your needs!

4. Beauty AND a BEAST
Just because it is slim and beautiful, does not mean there is compromise on performance! It's like talking about a Miss India or Miss Universe beauty pageant winner, looks and intelligence both to seal the deal.
ZenFone 2 is powered by a 64-bit 2.3GHz Super Quad-Core Intel® Atom™ Z3580 processor, and is the world’s first smartphone with 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 RAM. The ZenFone 2 gives you power beyond your imagination.
It also has an awesome BoostMaster technology that charges the battery much faster than in traditional devices. With ZenFone 2, you can recharge your battery up to 60% of capacity in just 39 minutes!

5. A CAMERA that does justice to what you see through your EYES
Any lifestyle, beauty and fashion blogger like me will know and understand the need of a great camera, both front and back. The front 5mp and back 13mp take care of this requirement beautifully! Zero shutter-lag, light adjustment and a unique feature called as PixelMaster make sure that every image you capture is award-worthy!

Can't wait to get my hands on this beautiful phone!

#BringHairAlive with Himalaya Herbals

Good hair days make me feel like I can take over the world! What if I could have a good hair day everyday? Last Saturday, a few of us bloggers were invited to Asif - The Salon, Lokhandwala for a hair spa experience by Himalaya Herbals. What better way to spend the weekend after a hectic week at work!

After travelling for a couple of hours we reached the venue where we were welcomed with a red carpet! There was a team of stylists, photographers and a team from Himalaya awaiting our arrival. I was so not expecting that!

That's me, all hesitant about what is going to be done to my hair. :P 
I'm  a new mom, and my latest hair woes have been hair-fall due to postpartum hormonal imbalance and repeated bouts of dandruff due to climate change. I know I could totally use a hair spa and rejuvenate!

I have been a fan of Himalaya products since years now. I swear by their face packs and scrubs. Specially the walnut scrub and neem face wash! And now also using their baby care range. So I had no doubts in trying their hair care range now.

The Himalaya Herbals Range On Display

Their range was showcased on the shelves and their team explained to us how the hair care range has gone through a re-branding and how they're constantly researching on what's the best way to use products. They thus have come up with a regime, if followed fortnightly would give great results! They have a anti-hair fall, anti-dandruff and damage repair range.

The Regime To Be Followed

You start with massaging your scalp with oil for 10-15 minutes. Now he used a cotton swab to apply oil on my scalp, and I was like, why have I never thought of this? It gets so messy otherwise and never reaches the roots properly. He also said that there really is no need to leave oil overnight, half an hour is more than enough. 

Oiling my way to happy shiny hair!

Next step is to cleanse the hair with a shampoo, not condition, just wash to get the oil out. I asked him if one needs to shampoo twice in order to remove all the oil? He said that if you leave the shampoo in for ten minutes it will take care of that. So, Yay!

Time to snooze for a bit. :P
You next apply hair cream on the scalp, roots and tips all. Leave this for another 15 minutes so that it can work it's magic. 

Don't laugh now, okay? :P

Next you take steam for ten minutes to allow deeper penetration of the hair cream. At home you can use a really hot towel and wrap it around your head. 

Steam in process.
Follow this with washing your hair again with the shampoo, and finishing of with the conditioner. 

This entire regime takes an hour if followed religiously, but the results are amazing! I'm sure we can spare an hour every 15 days to take care of our mane? I'm definitely going to start doing so! The best part is no need to visit the parlor or she'll out a lot on hair spas!

I'm happy and I know it!
We clicked a few pictures with our happy hair on! It felt like we're celebrities and they're the paparazzi! My hair felt shinier, smoother, bouncier; Himalaya wanted to #BringHairAlive? I can safely say, mission accomplished!

The happy bloggers after their spa session!

The goodie bag Himalaya gave us consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, hair cream and hair oil.
They gave us all a goodie bag with their products! In-fact I now remember that I had once bought and used their Anti-dandruff hair cream but was not happy with the results, but I did not know how to use it then! I now do!

I'm definitely going to follow this regime every fortnight, and suggest it to all the females I know! You should absolutely follow Himalaya Herbals on Facebook & Twitter and stay tuned with the latest happenings! Sure, my life isn't perfect, but at-least now my hair is!

Disclaimer: This Spa session was sponsored by the digital team for Himalaya Herbals, but my thoughts are not biased.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Raise the volume: Cool Car audio systems!

Some days, nothing beats a really good drive. And a good long drive is incomplete without good music! When I say good music, it's not just the kind of songs, but also the music system. Crisp clear treble, deep powerful bass and the latest offerings like a USB flash drive reader, bluetooth, etc is a must!

I really like listening to music in my car. Sometimes when I am in a mood to ponder over life, I like soothing music. And when I am with my friends and in a mood to party, it's time for some rocking music! At times we enjoy partying in the car more than the club itself!

So I thought I should upgrade my car's audio system from the basic default one that comes. I searched online for what is available and what are the prices. A cousin who works at Pune said he got really good deals online for car sound systems in Pune. He is very informative about everything to do with cars, so I totally rely on his knowledge and information. We often go for long drives to Lonavala or Pune so thought why not ask him to suggest the best deals.

I really like listening to music in my car, and was looking for the best brands. I searched for JBL or Pioneer car audio in Pune, both suggested by my cousin. I got a list of automobile shops, dealers, garages etc who deal in automobile auto system. And I thought it would be difficult finding shops! In-fact I can even check ratings and reviews of each shop and go for the one that has the best ratings. That means, no more getting cheated by the shop-keeper or garage person!

Inspired by friends and Hollywood movies, I wanted a car with an awesome pair of sub-woofers, so that the bass could play really well! No one can stop me from dancing in my own car now, can they? I searched for car subwoofer in Pune and was bewildered at the range and brands available. In-fact I can also opt for under-seat sub-woofers, saving space and probably giving a surround sound effect. Most of the Pioneer audio systems start at Rs.5000 and go on till Rs.20000 or so.

Now all I need to do is get the system fixed in my car, have a list of "Yo Yo Honey Singh" songs ready and we're ready to rock and roll!

Monday, April 6, 2015

L'Oreal Skin Perfect - Customized for your age!

So L'Oreal has introduced this new range of skin care products called 'Skin Perfect' customized as per your age - 20+ , 30+ and 40+.

What they have to say about the product:

L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfect is a revolutionary skin care range that caters to the specific needs of your skin at every age. It consists of a separate range for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s making personalized skin care easier than ever. The range is backed by 10 years of extensive research at the global and Indian L'Oréal Research and Innovation Labs.
With high performing active ingredients L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfect offers a unique sensorial experience with visibly beautifying results. Each product from this range is scientifically crafted with the most enriching ingredients that can fortify and replenish the vitality of the skin.

By dividing into these three age groups, it is easier to tackle skin problems specific to that particular group, and one need not use a product they don't really require! 

The 20+ range takes care of imperfections and has a whitening element to it for flawless, glowing skin. This is the product for me, being in my twenties. Too old for teenage BB creams and too young for anti-aging creams.

The 30+ range takes care of fine lines, fighting the first signs of aging and gives whitening too. This I gifted to my sister in law who is just turning 30 this month!

The 40+ range is also anti-aging + whitening, resulting to visibly less wrinkles and giving fairness at the same time. This one is for my mother-in-law, who is still young in her forties.

Love the elegant royal packaging this trio came in!

A personalized message by Miss Kaif!

The three creams, 50g each.

A close look at the product packaging.
Overall, I was pretty impressed by the packaging and how it looks and feels, and can hardly wait to test and try the 20+ cream. Shall also ask my sister in law and mother in law to tell me how they found their respective 'magic pots' too! Stay tuned!

If you have used it, or are looking forward to buying it, please share your experience/thoughts/questions in the comments section. 

Wow'd by WOW Popcorn!

So I happened to visit WOW Popcorn Store at R City Mall, Ghatkopar last Saturday. I love popcorn, and well, who doesn't? Movies are incomplete without popcorn! I was really curious to find out what would they have in an entire store dedicated to just popcorn!

WOW means World of Wonderful! The store is situated next to Starbucks and well made. They have 6 flavours of popcorn, all fresh and served in three sizes. They actually have 8 flavours, but this particular store has only six of them; Cheese, Butte Salted, Spicy Cheese, Caramel, Pudina and Mexican.

Most of us have already had salted, cheese, caramel, tomato flavours at multiplexes or at malls, so I was more interested in trying the Pudina, Mexicano and Bombay Cheese. They have these adorable small shot glass kinda containers in which they let you try any flavour you want, kinda inspired by how gelato stores let you try their ice-cream flavours!

The popcorn were fresh and you could get the flavour in a single popped corn! I liked all the flavours but my two favourites were Pudina Popcorn & Caramel (I am a sucker for caramel popcorn).

They also have a gift jar in which you can select flavours and gift it to someone! Comes with a gift bag too and I found the concept pretty innovative. For instance, a guy can totally take this over to his girlfriend's place when they have a movie at home date! *wink wink*

Me with their Mascot!
Their mascot is so cute! They also have this photo booth in one corner where you can wear props that they have and click selfies or pics! Love the concept!

Me & my bro Chirag fooling around with the props!

All in all, I think coming up with different flavours makes it interesting! The pricing is pretty competitive too. I would love to try more flavours, and maybe they could have chocolate pop corn fondue, or even add steamed corn, corn on the cob etc to their stores? WOW!

The best part was this so-not-expected customized popcorn tub for me to take away with my favourite flavours of their popcorn! I of-course shared it with my entire family, and it got over in no time! Everyone loved the caramel popcorn for sure! Thanks WOW Popcorn for the amazing gift.

Follow them on Facebook & Twitter for latest updates, offers and contests!