Thursday 28 May 2015

Picker at Pace Turns 1

My journey as a blogger began on 28th May, 2014 when I first posted a poem that I wrote for my sister on her birthday. My aim to start writing a blog was nothing much more than just creating an e-book for my friends, to read some poetry that I wrote (also for them). 

I didn't take blogging seriously, more because I felt lazy typing so much on a page which was hardly read by anyone. I stopped posting after the second one. Then, one day all of a sudden I landed on one of the blogs by this girl called Aayushi Bangur (of Styldrv) who is a blogger herself, to be true she is one of the most amazing bloggers I've ever come across. The next day, while searching some more blogs I landed on Bombay Bubble by Anushka Hajela who is again one of the best bloggers in the country. While reading their blogs, I just felt I already have that trait inculcated in myself and I should give it a try by writing about fashion & beauty tips. After writing about 2-3 posts, I started getting feedbacks & I was overwhelmed with the response. It encouraged me more. A lot of other bloggers like Trushna Parekh, Gauri KulkarniAakriti RanaMalvika Gupta and many more to name, in the country, have been my inspiration in this field of blogging & have always helped me clear my doubts & suggested how to improve on my writing & pictures & everything for that matter. I just can't thank them enough!

Started with poetry, added fashion & then built an interest in writing about the recipes I cook at home, reviews about some books I read & sharing my travel experiences, I wanted to write all of it. And that's the reason I have so many categories on the blog. Also because I wanted to keep something for each one of you, in case you visit my blog, you shouldn't turn back without smiling!  My first year as a blogger has been an experience tale and I've learnt a lot from different bloggers & readers. I just feel there's a lot of information for free on the internet and one should always lay hands on it, most of it is on the blogs, just a click away. As a blogger, everything I do, flows from understanding my audience and seeking to help them as much as possible. After all, Blogging is a conversation, not a code. 

Today, as I complete one year of writing on this blog, I want to thank each one of you out there for the constant love & support you've shown towards me. This video message is only a small token to say thank you to all of you. Hope you like it. :)

Note : A very special Thanks to the Think Totka production team for helping me make this video so that I could connect with each one of you personally. And not forgetting my photography team without whom this journey wouldn't have been possible at all.

I hope all the coming years be as enjoyable as the first one. It was a complete joy ride. Stay tuned for more posts that are coming up on the blog very very soon!


Tuesday 19 May 2015

My Summer Skin Care Routine with POND'S

In childhood, summer meant year end vacations, weeks and weeks of free time to do as one pleases, but sadly, everyone has to grow up, and go to work even when the sun is beating down on us.  We all fear that we’re not quite equipped to deal with the season, and need a helping hand to breeze through the summer months. Strappy shirts and short shorts are pulled out of the closet, but our skin doesn't feel ready! In this season where extreme environmental factors prevail, the sun can actually take a toll on our skin. Our face gets the worst of the impact of the sun, because of the constant exposure to the same. Dirt, pollution and sweat clogs pores and doesn't let our skin breathe in this scorchy weather. All the heat makes us lethargic by the end of the day too! Now, here comes POND'S to the summer skin care rescue with its amazing products. POND'S is a brand which me and my family has been using/observing since years and I have witnessed some fabulous miracles happening to my skin, which is why I refuse to even try any other brand. In last couple of weeks, I developed a particular skin care routine this summer season with the products which I'm sharing with you in this post.

Starting with the cleaning of the face, I use POND'S Tan Removal Scrub (with the pink-white packing) both in morning & night to get rid of all the flakiness, dead skin cells, blackheads, whiteheads & daily tan, which also helps unclog pores, makes my skin breathe and expedites fading of obnoxious scars only to restore a rejuvenated supple skin. It is very gentle and can be used daily. Try as you might, you can’t escape the wrath of the sun, and as a result, tanned skin. Everyone is quite attached to their original skin tone and not a fan of patchily tanned skin, so the suntan needs to leave your skin any how, right? Regular usage of this product helps remove the layer of dead skin cells, dirt and grime from our face. This exposes a fresh layer of skin which can absorb nutrients and moisture. This scrub  has actually revived my skin and also given me a fair, radiant touch.

After the scrub, I use the POND'S Daily Face Wash (with the green-white packing) and every time I use it, it turns my dull tired looking skin into healthy glowing skin. This product from POND'S is suitable for mostly all skin types. I use it twice, daily, which makes my skin soft and smooth, cleaning the remains from the scrub. Irrespective of my hectic schedule and exhaustion, I make sure that I always clean my face twice a day – morning and night. Doing so removes all external impurities and provides a clean canvas to start off. TIP : Always take adequate amount of the scrub or facewash and apply it on the face in circular motion and wash off with plain or lukewarm water.

Once I'm done with the cleaning of my face, I apply POND'S White Beauty Cream, which is a fairness cream mainly for those who have dark circles and a dull skin, like me. This cream helps in the reduction in both cases – lightens, brightens and fades dark spots, while providing instant radiance to my skin. It also helps to cover up uneven patches on my face. Suitable for all skin types, blends with the skin tone naturally making me look a little fairer than my original skin color. The best part about this product is –  1.) It has SPF 15 which is a bonus in all cases. 2.) It has a mousse like fluffy texture which feels incredibly soft and doesn't make my skin feel stretchy or dry at all. 3.) Even though the cream is white in color, it does have a pink tone running through it. TIP : Always dot your face with cream (any cream for that matter), taking small amounts and blend it in the direction of your smile on the cheeks and downwards on the nose.

Now comes the most miraculous product by POND'S which I just fell in love with. It is the All-In-One BB+ Fairness Cream with SPF 30 PA++. Many of you already know I'm not a make-up girl at all. Running away from makeup has been my habit since always, still wanting to look all beautiful and glamorous and this product saves me from using different beauty products like foundations, concealers, etc. saving me from skin problems. As the name suggests, POND'S BB+ (where BB stands for Blemish Balm) cream is an all-in-one product which means it has sophisticated skin lightening cover formula and advanced sunscreen protection, which not only improves my skin texture and effectively lightens skin from within but also provides natural looking instant glow that stays all day long. Being on a duskier side of the complexion scale, I always try finding products that will enhance my complexion and this cream just does that. I use it on a daily basis before stepping out of home, even if I'm not applying the white beauty cream, this one blends with my skin perfectly, also protecting me from the sun (UVA and visible light) just like a sunscreen, while I'm out.

Finally comes the time for moisturizing, and this is the part which I like the most. Some people believe that oily skin does not require moisture. Well, as per my opinion, this dogma is false! Since childhood, I've been using the same body lotion/moisturizer which is by POND'S (even the packing hasn't changed for years now). This product from the POND'S range has provided me with almost 20 years of nourishment and skin smoothening. All summer, all winter, every season! No day of mine passes by without using this lotion on my hands, legs and everywhere (except for my face). It contains triple vitamin B3, E, and C which are the added benefits. It is really thick and creamy, which keeps my skin hydrated and moisturized for good 5-6 hours. It does takes some time to get absorbed in the skin due to its thick consistency but doesn't feel greasy at all. The fragrance is soothing and lingers for long. The updated range of this lotion has UV protection benefit which is the best part now!

Skin pampering is a drudging experience, yet the after feeling of soft and smooth skin is a heavenly outcome. Getting flawless skin is an easy task. It does not require that much hard work but it does require consistency. It’s been a month since I have started following this skin care routine, and I am already noticing the difference. My skin feels more hydrated, pores seem to have reduced a bit and I can barely see any blackheads/whiteheads on my nose or blemishes on my face. I love how skin reprieves from those pimple scars, and invigorates into a soft supple texture. My summer skin care routine with POND'S is going really well and if you ask me, this is something I would highly recommend to all of you as well. POND'S is one of the most trusted brands since years and has launched various products in the recent times. The ones mentioned in this post are my personal favorites, also because they are so handy that I can carry them everyday with me in my bag, to work or outings and keep touching up whenever I get time; specially the All-In-One BB+ cream which is a must have, so you don't need to buy a sunscreen, then a fairness cream, then a foundation, then concealer, etc. which saves a lot of money too. Well, I hope you liked this post and will gain something out of my skin care routine so as to adapt it in your own routines, and yield benefits.

Photographed by : Rhea Ghosh - My senior from school. She is such a sweetheart that she made me so comfortable while posing for pictures in a public cafe, also convincing me so sweetly (with a pinch of strictness) to put that red lipstick on and tie my hair back which I'd always been so shaky about. She turned me into a glam doll and I just can't thank her enough!


Sunday 10 May 2015

Newfound Love - Plaid and Plain

Do you think it’s true, or is it just me? Are we smitten with the maxi skirt or what? Easy to style, versatile, super feminine and a camouflage weapon for those days when, as hot as we may look, we feel quite the opposite, but (being fashionistas all the way) we still can’t give in to a sloppy look. Maxi skirts are not just for tall and skinny figures. These are classic pieces that many of you are wary to try on. The "it suits her well but it will never work for me" attitude may hinder you from sporting what could be an all-time subtly sexy but not showy outfit. All you need is to convince yourself first that you, too, can rock this outfit.

shirt, bangles : Shopnineteen | maxi skirt : Stalkbuylove | heels : Factoryrush
bag : Hill Road (Mumbai) | neckpiece : Lucknow Mahotsava | rings : Flipkart

I am not as slim or tall as I may look (some of you know me too well though). I'd never wanted to wear a maxi skirt thinking I am too bulky and petite for one. But, coming across this beautiful pink high-slit skirt on stalkbuylove, I strongly felt I should buy it. Now the question was, "how to style it"? So, I opted for this plaid shirt from shopnineteen (which my friend gifted me last year) and it went with the plain maxi skirt accurately. To reduce the length of the shirt, I knotted it up from the end which enhanced the length of the skirt, giving it a structure. Since the color of the shirt was dark I thought of jazzing it up a bit with the silver polished neckpiece to give the emptiness at the neck, a break. To add a little more punch into the accessories section, I put on some gold plated bangles and stacked up a few rings too. There's no day without a bag, so I pulled out the monochrome vogue-printed bag from my wardrobe to match it up with the monochrome snake-printed heels which are my favorite & you've seen me wearing it with most of my outfits, if you follow me on instagram. BTW, Just to let you all know, I did put a little lipstick too (as you may see in the pictures) for the first time to bring out an eye-catching summer look!

Style wise, a maxi skirt goes with absolutely anything, hence its versatility and the fact that you can take it to a dinner, a date, a cocktail party or even to the beach. Most styles are full of volume, so it's important to balance out the silhouette by pairing the skirt with a tighter, closer-fitting top. This will give your look more edge and help highlight your waist beneath all of that flowy fabric. Try tucking in a tank or tee, or adding a cropped jacket or blazer. The beauty of a maxi skirt is that it can be dressed up or down, worn with flats or heels. For a more casual look, choose a pair of embellished gladiator sandals or flats. For a fancier vibe, opt for high heels, wedges or espadrilles. 

1. A high-waist maxi skirt will make you look slender giving an illusion that you have longer legs.
2. Choose a skirt length that reaches just across your ankles, otherwise the skirt can make you trip. 
3. Opt for slim or narrow skirts because a skirt with too much volume will make you look shorter.
4. Don't mix patterns. A patterned skirt works best with a solid color top and vice versa. 
5. Wear a tucked-in top or a cropped top that stops just above the waistline.
6. Choose a top that matches the fit of the skirt otherwise the overall look can be dowdy.
7. Wear heels or wedges to cope with the length of the skirt and pair it up with right accessories.

According to me, investing into some maxi skirts would be the wisest thing to do, especially because you can stretch it out, all summer. Yep! It is literally the best staple these days.  Now, I don’t know about you but I am in love with this trend and I do hope it still stretches out into the cold season, because there are so many looks and styles to don with these type of skirts that I feel one season would never be enough. We’re just getting started for God’s sake! Well, now that you too have got a good idea about styling a maxi skirt, you should start planning a skirt shopping trip to this amazing website 'stalkbuylove' as they have the best maxi skirts I'd ever want anybody to rock! 

Photographed by : Shishta Maurya


Monday 4 May 2015

DIY chocolates

It seems Halloween has arrived quite early this year since I was so tempted to get this cute looking skull & bones mould tray from propshop24 to prepare some chocolates for my friends, family and of course myself. If you follow me on instagram you already know I am a chocolate craver and many of you have also gone ahead calling me a choco freak! Just to prove it right, I though of doing this DIY post for all. Its really simple and less time consuming. So, lets get started!


1. Silicon mould tray (available at propshop24)

2. Double Boiler (Just put a glass bowl on top of a steel shoo)

3. Plastic Spoons

4.  Dry-Fruits
(I've used almonds & cashew but you can use any type of dry fruits you want)

5. Chocolate Bars (I've used AMUL chocolate, but you can use any brand)



1. Break the chocolate bar into pieces and put them in the double boiler to melt. 

2. Check consistency of the melted chocolate on a spatula or with spoon, should be thick & smooth.

3. Once completely melted, remove the glass bowl from the shoo.

4. Add the dry fruits/nuts and mix well.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the mould tray.

6. Fill the moulds completely & clean the sides of the tray. 
(Tap the tray from bottom to remove bubbles)

7. Keep the mixture filled in the mould tray in the freezer to set for about an hour or two.

Till then, look at these owl magnets on the fridge door, also from propshop24. Cute no?

8. Un-mould the chocolates from the tray, arrange them on a plate.

The wait is over. Your self-made chocolates are ready to serve!!! Oh they look so scarily cute!

PS : A note of Thanks to my dear friend Lavita Malik for helping me out do this post & licking away the remaining chocolate from all the spoons and plates and bowls. 

Hope you all liked this quick and interesting DIY! As mentioned above, the silicon tray that I used is from propshop24. It looks so cute that I couldn't resist ordering some more trays of the same kind in different designs though! Their website is all about cool & trendy products, ranging from house stuff to office & chic sunglasses to party props. You should go ahead and check out their stuff! Happy propping! And, don't forget to follow me on instagram & twitter for more updates!