Saturday, May 16, 2015

Gap Blue No. 655 Eau de Toilette for Her Review

Gap Blue No. 655 Eau de Toilette for Her 
It is definitely after a 'gap' that I've been publishing on the blog (no pun intended).
I had to take a break not just from the blog but also from the monotony of my daily routine.
There was this feeling of wanting to break free and run. And so I did. I packed the bare minimum and got away as I fast I could before minds were changed. There was no planning, there was no making lists, just pure basic fun of traveling and getting away. I've returned with added enthusiasm and a zest for doing what I always do.

I've always needed a perfume in summer as it tends to get really hot and muggy out here in Mangalore. The humidity is so..what's the word....UGGGH! And I have to work for long, hard and painful hours which leaves me a mess. A stinky mess, I would like to avoid saying but hey! Well, that's what it is. And so the summer perfumes come out of my collection which when it comes to scents is very minimal. I have maybe 2 or 3 which includes essential oils because I do not favor the strong smells that the eau de toilettes impart. It gives me migraines that make me want to shower and get the smell off of me or from the person who is standing next to me wreaking of it.

This was definitely a gift from a very special person. I wouldn't have chosen it for myself. But after a few tries, I beg to differ. It's definitely what I reach out for currently.

They have a version for the boys, too, of the same perfume and I have not tried that out.
It comes in very clean and basic packaging, all white which is something that I really like.

On un-boxing, you get this beautiful crisp bottle. Simplistic in design and very basic. Just like the way I like my perfume bottles. I don't like fancy, freakish designs with girly bows, glitter and odd shapes.
This perfume was launched in 1997. It is a very green and floral fragrance.

It is sort of citrus smelling, musky and fresh all in one go when you just spray it on.
The fragrance has mandarin, orange, green leaves, cyclamen and bergamot in it.
It is not too heady or strong. As the day wears, it starts getting milder and for me, more pleasant.
Very casual, summery and easy going scent.
I've heard that it is a little hard to find so I am not sure if it has been discontinued as some of my friends who used to use it earlier have had a tough time getting it.

I quite like it for the day time and can easily find myself finishing it off this summer itself.
Not too sure if I would re-purchase it though as I would still go for something milder. Yup, that's my nose.

There will be more reviews in store. Slowly but surely. I just love to write and I can never grow tired of blogging. It's really a wonderful passion and I have connected to so many of you lovely people out there. It's liberating. So until my next review, stay fresh and keep the comments and mails coming. I love to hear from all of you <3

Monday, April 27, 2015

My mechanism of surviving as a highly sensitive person- So far

Protecting yourself requires a certain set of skills. When you are born, you have your parents take care of you, nurture you, shelter you and nurse your wounds. Some of your close family may also shield you as you start growing up, say your sisters, brothers, uncles and friends.
As time passes on, if you have been brought up living in a shell, a highly protected one with security radars that are switched on 24 hours, you tend not to understand certain kinds of people and situations. The ones that call others names, degrade or try to run people down and such.
Slowly as you are released to the world, your outer shell giving away, it may certainly give you a positive jerk. Before you can get a foot hold of the ground, you will find yourself hurtled through galaxies of experiences far away from what you thought was home and no earth to support you.
By then it's usually way too late for the shell to cover you up again. Too much damage too soon. Resuscitation services yielding nothing.That's kind of what my situation was. And sometimes, still is. Though I think I have gone through a lot, I still know that I have much more to learn.
I used to keep telling my colleagues that when I was a child, I had nerves made of steel, I could not cry and I would not even if something was hurtful. Inside my shell, there were hurtful things happen to me too but the harm came from only the inside, never from the external world. But now that I have passed through years of torment, exposure and the external environment, as have you all, it's safe to say that I am eternally wounded.

With no coping skills or incapable comprehension levels, what was a 17 year old to do at the time.

Nothing much, I'd say. Just moved on from one experience to the next. But my visual memory of those teen years was particularly exceptional, almost par with photographic memory. So hurt and abuse would just stay impacted in my visual memory field for a very long time to come. Eventually, even more experiences positive and negative would overlap and take over the visual images of the previous ones.

As time passed, accumulation just dealt a severe blow to the immune system and one day, I collapsed. Physically, not even emotionally. I found myself in the emergency ward of a hospital and blacked out with regular intervals of time.
The doctors quickly scanned my X-rays and passed a diagnosis that was absurd to me, I'd never been that ill in my life.

Six months later, I had started to recover. Till then I was bed-ridden with a mind full of doubts. There was even one night, that I even thought that I was dying because I was unable to breathe. It was such a scary experience. And only I could help myself, if there was any way to be helped. I just did the only thing I could do. Deep breaths in and out, very slowly. It gave me time to think. It also broke me completely from the inside. Only because I was in bed with nothing else to do or create overlaps of the painful experiences I had till then. Everything kept repeating in my head.

Slowly, I started to become emotionally vulnerable, the tears that never appeared before made a guest appearance. More often than I needed it to be.
I am talking about something that happened a very long time ago. This is just a sequence of events that's leading to the living, breathing person that I am today.

After recovery, I started to search. Not for doctors or hospitals. But for meaning to life.
If you keep searching, they said you will reach some form of understanding. It's been many more years after and what I have learnt so far is the more you search, the more you dig a tunnel. It seems to be a blind tunnel because it's so dark and so expansive. Sometimes there are moments of light. But it's so easy to lose the light. People come in and make you stray far away from the path with their own experiences. I've learnt following someone else will not take me where I need to go. The path is always different.

Finally, after all of this what has helped me survive is acceptance. Not defeat, just acceptance helps you to overcome pain, hurt, losing love and also finding how beautiful life really is. A new day.
My mechanism of taking care of my sensitive nature now is to stay away from loud noises, loud people ,which also lead to removing childhood friends who were extremely nasty(even meant severing a 28 year old friendship), doing what I think I am capable of doing, pushing my limits to do somethings I think I can do, trying to eat natural food and getting a good night of sleep.

The thing about people you love is that sometimes they can get aggressive, they lose it, they sling mud all over you, they kick you and they throw you out of their lives forever. These are the ones that you need to be careful about because they are already in your heart. I have learnt that lesson the hard way. But life is very interesting and I have received so much love from strangers :) God bless their souls.

 I have my my own shell now. I do not need anyone else to support it or take care of it. I experience what I need to experience and I have started to build my own survival mechanism. I am happy, I work hard and I live a very good life. I feel taken care of. There is no recipe for survival as a highly sensitive person. You need to take care of your diet, your surroundings, check what's required and what's not, delete, re-use, get rid of the clutter and just get some rest. Also, a very important lesson, if there is one thing you get to take away from this post- No one can make you do anything YOU do not want to do.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunsilk Natural Recharge Shampoo Review

Sunsilk Natural Recharge Shampoo Review

This was the shampoo I was using for the past two months. I was attracted to it because the products said paraban-free. I didn't think twice as not many shampoo options are available at that price point in today's market.
And it was also a long time since I was testing out a Sunsilk Shampoo and Conditioner range. I am currently using another conditioner from the same brand and it's almost over, I will be reviewing it very shortly. It's a product I love but can't find here in India. Stay tuned for that post too.
Sunsilk Natural Recharge Shampoo
Strong and Abundant are the two other words that caught my eye.
The packaging is pretty sleek and I like the light sea green bottle. They match with the interior of my bath. :)
This shampoo comes infused with ginseng root and oil. I used up all of the shampoo and was surprised it got over so quickly too. Not that there is any less of it, I just think I used up more of it as it lathers less. I just need a good ol' lather to keep me thinking that my scalp is being stripped off completely. ;)
The product is a pale sea-green, shimmery, lotion-like consistency. Not too thin, just right.
I really love the smell, it's very fruity and fresh.
Even though it does not lather all that much, it does give you a green, clean feel.
I already have full, thick and heavy hair so I did not find any difference in terms of fullness of hair. Hair fall seems to be just about the same as I normally have. So I don't know how much it would help you from preventing baldness.

The good thing is that it kept my hair moisturized because now I am using another shampoo and boy have I got to tell you how dry it has become now. This shampoo did well on terms of keeping my hair moisturized.

The does contain SLS and silicone. More green and organic shampoos for us next time, Sunsilk?

MRP Rs.64/80ml and Rs.132/180ml

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Paper Boat Drinks Review

Paper Boat Golgappe Ka Pani

Long drawn summers are about to begin and what better time than to review these very Indian drinks. I don't see other brands featuring flavors as special to the Indian palate and so I find the brand very unique.

I am checking out three of their flavors in today's post and let's start with Golgappe Ka Pani!

It is very sweet and tangy, most of their drinks are a mix of sweet, salty and sour. So if you are like me, if you like both in combination you will enjoy most of their flavors. The taste of lime juice, tamarind juice, black salt, sugar, cumin and a dash of ginger tickle your tongue. A look at the ingredient list and you will be quite amused to find lal mirch, coriander, pepper, nutmeg, ajwain and amchur powder all peppered in there too. Wow, I wouldn't have guessed. :)

They stress on the packaging that there is no junk in here. 

Next up is Imli Ka Amlana! The names are also as unique as the flavors.

Paper Boat Imli Ka Amlana
This one was quite a bit of a surprise, it started off with a nice amla-cola flavor but has a slight medicinal after taste. It is quite interesting in flavor. Sweet, tangy, cola-ish for lack of a better word.
I found this quite interesting among the ones I tried this time round. There is a lot of sweet in here, along with tamarind, black salt, ajwain, ginger, cinnamom, fennel, black pepper, cumin,

It also looks like cola just without all the fizz.

I also tried Jaljeera. Let me just start off by saying that I am not a Jaljeera person. I like regular jeera water but I do not like Jaljeera. I mean the regular kind of Jaljeera, that you get at restaurants.
So I was not sure if I could review this wholesomely. But I will give it a try.

There's some strong jeera in here peppered with the usual spices you see in the other two drinks with a dash of lemon juice. It's sweet and , uhmm well, it's tastes like Jaljeera does. lol ;) Those of you who love jaljeera might be going, 'Who is this bloody girl that hates freaking Jaljeera, man?' I know, I know. You love it!

What I do have to say about these juices is that they do give you a much needed electrolyte kick if you are in the hot sun and you really want something refreshing, just get it chilled and slurp it down. It will definitely replenish all the salt you have lost.
Not to mention, with all those spices and stuff in there, must be really cooling for the body in summer.

I think these drinks along with the whole packaging will be a sure hit this summer. Some of you may have already tried these out because they have been in the supermarket shelves long enough for you to let me know what your comments are about these products. What flavors do you enjoy?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Review: Shattered Dreams, Ramayana: the Game of Life, Book 2

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the much acclaimed bestseller, The Rise of the Sun Prince, by noted author Shubha Vilas. It is the powerful chronicle of a super human effort which one can relate to this day and age of human struggle. Never have I read such a remarkably written version of Rama's exile. The book gripped me from the get-go that I finished it in one sitting. Beautiful depiction of an epic tale that most of our generation are most likely to not have read, if maybe, just pieces and parts of. This book is a very adaptable version that works for our times.

You may really find the foot- notes of most pages very insightful and mind blowing as have I. I have felt the need to highlight them and some of the text in the book as it felt that I could go over them for re-reads. Extremely spiritual and in depth thinking has gone in to this piece of work.

I, personally, love reading the dedication at the beginning of each book and was to delighted to see Shubha Vilas so lovingly dedicate this book to his grandmother who used to narrate to him bedtime stories that planted the seed for the emergence of this book.

The book has nine chapters and 386 pages.

This dramatic story line unfolds with King Dasaratha frantically trying to escape his past which finally leads to his announcement of his heir; an aging king craves for repose which was met with jubilant acceptance. But it made him plunge into self-doubt. Now, that is the complexity of the human mind. It gets overshadowed to feel instability in place of pride, sadness in place of happiness. There are numerous accounts in this book of the complications we face in our relationships if the management of the mind is not understood or dealt with properly. Also within this book are six solutions to overcome obstacles of any nature to our ambitions and goals in life. It teaches us how to manage reversals in life efficaciously.

How wittingly the author takes on time and winds the story deep into the labyrinths of our thoughts especially when you come across a nightmare that cannot be chased.

The footnotes are exemplary lessons
I am stating some of my favourite ones but I will not put all of them down here..

-How long can one go with a smiling face and a crying heart?(I have left it incomplete as it would kill the joy of reading the entirety a second time)

-The easiest way to forget your limitation is to shift focus from self absorption to active facilitation.

-Damned by despair and buoyed by hope. Isn't that what life is about? Life is a combination of hope and despair. The one that dominates you, carves your personality.

-Calamity in friendship is absence of a person during sad times. ( I had to pick this one from the rest of this footnote as it just related to me so much with my friendship with someone I truly love and genuinely care about but the friend just turned around and put up a wall against me when I needed them the most. For no apparent reason. That's life, huh? I guess you really can't depend on love from a friend you've known for over a decade when you need them the most. I think it's wrong to even expect and think you need it. I really learned an avalanche of lessons there and these footnotes are mind-blowing. MIND-BLOWING, I say!)

- Resistance to inevitable change is a result of nature's painful unpredictability of the consequence of change. (There is such an amazing few pages written on change and how many of us really need to read this part, you must get this book just to find out what is written about this, it's explained so beautifully how to conquer your six inner enemies)

So after Rama's coronation and most of this story revolves around this, there was another coronation. That of Dasagriva, to the magical throne of Lanka. Dasagriva? Who is he? Ravana!!!
No sooner than that, the throne is threatened by his own blood. How will you tolerate someone possessing something that you yourself lost? Shiva please by Dasagriva's prayers decides to release him from his pain and named him RAVANA; along with the promise of a boon which was happily and certainly misused making the universe squirm. After upsurping Kubera's kingdom, he toured the world subjugating all powerful warriors creating fear among the controllers of the universe.

As the grim drama played out, Brahma watched in disdain and decided to mediate with the causer of worldly troubles by praising him no end. Now praise can melt a mountain and so it did the evil king. Ravana's sins took shape as the grey hair on Dasaratha's head. The shadowing loom is narrated seamlessly. This is a saga of ultimate sacrifice of the self and service to fellow men.

A wife does her duty and carries it on no end. A dutiful brother follows his sibling and leaves no stone un-turned in serving him righteously. A son who is completely devoted to his parents even if it meant exile into a forest and leaving his comfort behind accepts it as years of learning. Each character represents an official form of learning. If Laxman represented righteousness, then Urmila did faith.

Sumitra, Kaikeyi, Bharatha, Manthara, Urmila, Shatrugna, Kausalya, Guha, Anasuya, Sage Vasistha are all so graphically depicted. We all know the story but we do not know it this way. From Ayodhya to  Chitrakoot to the Dandakaranya jungles, a journey awaits. The author takes you through it like a spiritual guide and you the seeker need to find your path, It is a highly recommended reading for one and all. I urge you to pick this up and gift it to your friends and family.

You can follow the author Shubha Vilas here
You can learn more about Valmiki's Ramayana online

A foot note to my review:  I really enjoyed receiving this book and I thank BlogAdda for giving me a chance for the same. I have read many books over the past year and this has got to be the best by far as it really taught me some things that I would like to go over again. Definitely a great, soulful read. Do check it out.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Hazelnut Latte at Barista Lavazza Cafe in Dubai Festival City

Me and coffee have not always gone well together. Don't get me wrong, I love the smell and the flavour but it just does not sit well with my digestive system. Friends find me weird, especially when they say they want to go for coffee and I'd think, ' long as they have other options at the cafe, I am game.'

So this time, it was just Dad, mom, sis and me at Dubai Festival City when the parents wanted their tea break. We'd just gotten out of Ikea and that had already run everyone down. Have you seen how huge the Ikea is there? And how wonderful! I love going there every visit. We needed to fill up on fuel.

We found the Barista Lavazza Cafe on the 1st floor. It was a more outdoor-sy setting than an inside a cafe feel. I loved it. The counter was up front and the chairs and circular seating behind it. We chose a quiet corner table. Unfortunately, the waiter took a very, very long time to attend to us. They were packed. Finally when he did turn up, he was very sweet but most of the items on the menu were over. I had no plans to eat so I just chose the Hazelnut Latte. I love Hazelnut flavour and thought it might oust the caffeine trouble I always have.

Our order, too, took ages to materialize. And when it did, we were disappointed that the beverages were all lukewarm as opposed to piping hot. Such a tragedy. I mean who likes to drink coffee at such an odd temperature. Not me!

But it did taste nice. Not perfection. Just nice. I wouldn't order it again if that's the way they make it.
It also came with a lovely almond biscotti which was perfection :) So that kept me happy.

I have had Lavazza's coffee earlier and I found their espresso blends to be smooth and a true blend with a rich flavour. The coffee at this place, for what reason I do not know, was simply not at par of Lavazza standards. I would not ultimately recommend this place for your caffeine fix.

For those of you who are still curious, Yes I still had tummy pains after coffee. Which was as expected. No disappointments there.

Located at
Level 2, 
Festival City, Deira, Dubai

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015: The year I make it happen!

I am very positive that this is the year that I get in touch with what I have always wanted to do and achieve in my life. I am all pumped to start this year with fresh energy, faith and love.
The year for exercise and getting charge of my body. The previous years were just a testing out phase but this year I am going to make it happen. I got my fitness gear ready and setting up music for working out. We always need music, don't we? Else work out will just be a good ol' bore.

It is also a year for very hard work. With the hard work I did last year, I was able to take care of myself and family in many more ways than I was able to do before. That has given me a sense of self empowerment. 

It was also a year for goodbyes. Goodbyes to a most precious loved one, friends who could not see me for who I was inside and situations that I just could not understand, better left not understood.

It will also be the year for cleaning up and getting organized, now this is the part I like and I loathe. Both at the same time.

Here's to renewed cheer and hopefully a slower, relaxed year even with the things that I need to get done. A year of study, hard work, fitness, friends, love and family. Wish you all the best life yet! Live free. Love. Laugh

ps- Send me some of your favorite workout playlist songs so I can add them to my playlist too