Tag Archives: tips

New Year: New Wardrobe by a Personal Stylist

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My personal Snob Box! Got a sequins top, poufy skirt,  golden clutch, earrings and necklace.

There is nothing better for a lady to begin her new year with some new and exciting outfits for the upcoming year. Now, if you are like me and A) usually don’t have the time to shop and/or B) end up the buying the same style clothing, you should try Snob Box!

What is Snob Box? Well, Snobbox basically is a personal styling service that sends you a box of 5 items (usually one complete set that includes a top, bottom, earrings, necklace and bag) that is personally picked up for you by a professional stylist. This service enables one to experiment with looks, latest trends, and styles all in the comfort of your house.

How does it work?

  1. Go to the website and fill out a quick style questionnaire about yourself. The service allows you to choose a price point as well for the box with the basic box and all 5 items being between Rupees 3000-4500.
  2. Select a date of when you want your box and wait to be surprised.
  3. When the box arrives, try on all the items and keep what you want and return what you don’t. The best part? The courier/shipment company comes back and picks up the box so you never have to step out of the house.

I ordered my first Snobbox a few weeks ago. I was so elated to see that this service had finally started in India, and I wasn’t disappointed. I appreciated that my stylist actually called me to talk about my personal style and preferences, and for the most part got my box quite right. I kept 3 out of 5 items.

The only draw back to this service was that I sent a few emails to the main email address regarding my return and never got a reply. It wasn’t  a pressing issue so I let it go, but it is something to think about for this startup as it expands to new cities (they current service Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune & Delhi).

Receiving my Snob Box was like giving myself a gift 🙂 I look forward to trying their services again when I need to add some new pieces to my wardrobe.

 

 

Non Resident Indian becoming a Resident

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So I have been in India now for three years! Can you believe it? Somedays it feels like the time just flew by but other days, oh did it drag. I will be honest, I have had my fair share (ok, more than that) of “why did I come here and what am I doing here…etc.” rantings and sobbing sessions which come with some of my biggest tears. Having been a NRI (non-resident Indian) for pretty much most of my life I suddenly find myself being a resident. But am I? Therefore I thought, why not do a post on somethings or idiosyncrasies of us NRIs that are finding ourselves becoming almost residents.

NRI

  1. No matter how many languages we may speak or how much our Hindi improves over time we will never ever master the Indian number system. Now imagine us trying to do our so called “haggling” with the vegetable guys and we come to the final price and are clueless. So how do we overcome this? We pretend to have a serious face so we give the impression that we are thinking of whether we are getting a fair price when we are actually having a mini panic attack trying to decipher the quoted number.
  2. Our accent will always be different or we will use different accents to talk to different people. Yes, we do speak in an Indianized accent to our Indian friends and will have our American/British/Aussie one for our other friends.
  3. Another thing that drives us crazy is how to write dates….is it the day/month/year system or month/day/year one? I can never figure this out so I always, always spell out the month when I have to write dates.
  4. We probably know more about Bollywood and Hindi songs than we would like to admit. Actually, we can probably win a game of Hindi movie trivia.
  5. Most of us will admit that we NEVER EVER (lemme repeat that…never ever) thought we would live in India. Let me just give you a real life example of my friends and I. We never ever thought we would be in India and 10-15 years later we are ALL here.
  6. Our understanding of our own Indian family tree is non existent. Who is chacha (uncle) and who is mama (also uncle but from your mother’s side…see what I am talking about) becomes a blur when we attend full family events. We can’t even master our own family tree so think about when it comes to our husband’s family. On such instances we just smile 🙂
  7. Coming back to the topic of buying vegetables. We somehow tend to know the names of vegetables in only one language or will forget how to say it in Hindi. True story: I was making a list of vegetables to buy for my help as I was busy, and while making the list I just couldn’t remember how to say Eggplant (Brinjal) in Hindi. So I wrote eggplant on the list and passed it along. My poor help went crazy trying to figure out what I wanted: an egg or a plant.
  8. We are obsessed with fitted bed sheets. I mean if you have to get bedsheets they have to be fitted ones. No questions asked.

So there is it. I am sure I can add a few more. But these mannerisms make our time in India quite interesting, confusing, and sometimes, ever so frustrating. If you want to add more idiosyncrasies to the list please share!

Mumbai: Monsoon, Malabar & Marine Drive

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I have been living in India for almost 3 years now (!!!!) and honestly have been the South Mumbai may be thrice or twice. Most of the time my time in Mumbai is spent at my parents’ place in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, which is different city altogether.  I always wanted to have a chance to visit South Mumbai more frequently and recently had just the opportunity. My mom’s childhood friend has a place in Malabar Hills and we decided that a trip to her place followed by lunch would be a perfect way to get over the hump Wednesday.

Enjoying the view from Malabar Hills

Enjoying the view from Malabar Hills

Traveling in any big city is a pain and Mumbai is no different. Even though South Mumbai is technically only 30 km away (approximately 15 miles), it takes pretty much an hour and half or longer to get there from Navi Mumbai. This time our travel had to be planned keeping my 3 month old daughter in mind. We decided to leave home around 8 to beat the traffic but as life goes with a baby we finally left home closer to 8:50. My daughter is getting accustomed to being in the car for longer distances and she was quite content till the last 30 mins when we kept hitting all the possible traffic signals. A few tears later we made it to my mom’s friend’s place in Malabar Hills, home to the infamous hanging gardens, in Mumbai. The Malabar Hills neighbourhood is quite picturesque with greenery, winding roads, hidden bungalows, and tall apartment buildings. We could see the entire Marine Drive from Aunty’s place! We feasted on a delicious breakfast while my daughter played. Taking advantage of being at a home, I decide to nap with my daughter so she doesn’t get too cranky later on.

Our nap and my mom’s catching up took us till around 2:00 PM when we finally decided to go out for a late lunch. Aunty had a great suggestion of going to Pizza by the Bay on Marine Lines. She said the restaurant would offer a beautiful view of the seaside on this rainy day. We went by her suggestion and weren’t disappointed at all. With breakfast still taking up quite the space in our stomach we resorted to ordering a veggie Pizza and a Chilli Cheese Sandwich to split between the three of us. The service was speedy and the food delicious. The view of the sea and people meandering around just added to overall ambience.

Pizza By the Bay

Pizza By the Bay

After our late lunch we decided it was time for us to make our way back to Navi Mumbai. So we bid adieu to my aunt, Mumbai, Marine Drive & the Monsoon. Till next time…

Marine Drive

Marine Drive

Fitness during and post pregnancy

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Fitness has been something that has always been of importance to me, probably because I struggled a lot with it for a good part of my life and only in the past 5 years was able to maintain a good fitness regime. When I found out that I was pregnant one question that did cross my mind was, “how much weight will I gain?” I have a tendency to easily put on weight and had heard stories of people gain 40+ pounds and post delivery were struggling to lose the excess weight etc.; honestly, I did not want to end up in the same boat. I had worked really hard to achieve a personal fitness goal and I was determined to have a healthy and fit pregnancy.

Stroller Time!

Stroller Time!

It was my mental determination more than anything that allowed me to achieve a fit and healthy pregnancy. Trust me, it was not easy and required a lot of discipline, but again, I kept saying to myself this is something I want to do. Luckily, my doctor provided me with a good and balanced eating plan. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my night meals were consistently salads, soups and a glass of milk. I would indulge once in a while, but 90% of the time stuck to this regime. Yes, now it did get a little bit monotonous, but then I would try to add different dressings or something to my salad to change it up.

Post Delivery

Post partum fitness has been a similar story. I had a c-section and therefore I knew it would be a good 6 weeks or even longer before I could do any sort of exercise. Upon getting the green light from the doctor at my 6 week checkup, I have started going on walks with baby. Today’s wide range of baby carriers has made this a breeze:) My baby absolutely loves being in the ring sling and snoozes off almost instantaneously. Yes, a c-section does come with its own aches and pains, but my rule of thumb was just listening to my body. If I felt good after a 15 minute walk, the next day I added 5 more minutes and so on. Being able to go on these walks has helped me mentally as well. The first month I was going crazy being at home constantly. Taking care of a newborn is exhausting and can get frustrating as well; there have been many a times that I have broken down. These quick walks have provided me with the much “me time” that I was so used to; furthermore they automatically put me in a better mood which enables me to take better care of the baby.

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

It is easy to say that baby takes up 24/7 of my time (which it does) and give a workout a pass. Just based on my experience, I just urge one to listen to their body and have a strong mind to give it a try….take the baby along with you and make these walks a good bonding time that breaks the monotony of being stuck indoors. I also acknowledge that each pregnancy is different and not everyone is able to stick to such a schedule, but if everything has gone smoothly pre and post delivery, I would recommend not giving up on adding these simple walks to one’s schedule. You will enjoy it and so will your baby 🙂

100 Tips for Avoiding Shocks & Surviving in the Motherland

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My personalized survival guide to India

My personalized survival guide to India

As part of our 30 day photo challenge (please visit our facebook page and participate), I had to take a picture of 13 things. I was completely perplexed, which 13 things will make an interesting subject? The answer is related to this post. As a wedding gift, my friends gifted me a survival guide for India. Basically, this guide had 100 tips to smoothen my  adjustment to India. I won’t give you each and every single suggestion here, but I will mention some of my favourites!

  1. There is a person for everything: someone to hammer holes, someone to drop your groceries, and even someone to pay your bills.
  2. You can get someone to come home and do your waxing, mani-pedis, facial, threading and even hair rebonding.
  3. Practice the head-wobble. It can be used to indicate anything from ‘of course, you moron’ to ‘yeah’, ‘no’, ‘I don’t know’ and ‘may-be’.
  4. Everyone you are family friends with is your uncle or aunty. And once you are married, you too are automatically an aunty.
  5. People will stare for no apparent reason. Learn to ignore.
  6. People pee on the side of the road. It’s normal. There is no need to stare.
  7. Learn the lingo, onion is called kanda and potato is called batata in Maharashtra.
  8. Only two sports are followed in India – cricket and anything that we are winning.
  9. While out and about, make sure you know the name of the area ACP/DCP/Head Constable (important designations in the police department). If a cop busts you, claim that Mr. ACP is your maternal uncle. And hope the person you name isn’t the one stopping you. In which case, God be with you.
  10. Patience is the biggest irony in India. You need it for everything, yet no one has it.

This list was prepared by my dear friends so you can’t find this golden piece of advice everywhere:) I have to say I have encountered each and every one of these incidents (apart from getting pulled over by a cop, but this might happen soon as I have started driving) in my four months here. I will continue to share these experiences. Thanks for reading!