Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Winning Morning Routine!

Late nights are so much fun ... but only until you have to hit that snooze button 8 times to drag your groggy self out of bed exactly 20 minutes before office starts. Lo and behold, all hell breaks loose! Unironed clothes, a rumbling tummy, a rush-hour madness on the roads and a grumpy you! Sigh, could mornings be any better than this? The answer is YES. If only you could squeeze in a perfectly trimmed out morning routine! Not just a simple "wakeup-shower-eat-go" type but the one to get your mental, physical and spiritual wheels churning and keep you more energized and self-fulfilled.

Here are 6 things you can do to ensure a great, healthy start to your day:

1. Wake up early

Allow yourself at least 2-3 hours of peace before you head out to combat the exhausting daily grind, because early birds do indeed catch the worm. Enough to burst our bubbles is the fact that none of those highly successful people we idolize sleep until late to eat their lunch as a breakfast, so why should we? ;)

2. Put technology away

That one unread Facebook notification or an email is more inviting than the heavenly aroma of a freshly cooked Biryani but let not the temptation make you a victim to passive browsing. Before you know it, an hour will be gone!

3. Prepare your body for the day

Exercise, walk, jog or dance whatever your heart desires - 15-20 minutes will suffice and get you on your winning feet like a ninja!

4. Feed your Soul

Try taking out 15 minutes every morning to start your day with some quiet meditation. Just let your mind relax and prepare itself for the day ahead. Alternatively, 15 minutes of morning yoga can also actually help reach a zen state and prepare you for the craziness that lies ahead.

5. Fuel your Mind

Nourish your brain with stuff that lights your fire and broadens your intellectual horizon like updating yourself with daily world news, reading a great book, jotting down your to-do list or simply taking out time to update a journal.

6. A Breakfast for Champions

Hide away those artificially flavored cereals, chocolate oozing waffles and Nutella toasts. You are what you eat, so eat for success and that you will be! Fibers, proteins and fruits will keep you fresh and full.

Most importantly, smile and be in your best spirits as you surprise your boss by reaching work before her! You look well rested and absolutely gorgeous. Have a nice day! ;)

Monday, 16 January 2017

6 Simple things to help you declutter!

With the ‘New year, new me’ mantra still reverberating in our ears, it's just the time to start new. And the first thing to hit the refresh button on is….your wardrobe? Nay! It’s that living space which sets a positive tone.

‘Decluttering’ helps regain your focus, kick off unnecessary stress and gives you a lot of room for newer, more exciting things.  Yayy! And cherry on the top is that being organized adds to your classy persona! So, let’s get you started with these six simple tricks that can work for about any family and in the tightest schedule.

1. Get everyone into the Groove

As you embark on a decluttering adventure, save yourself those hair tearing, nerve-racking moments by making sure everyone in the house shares your frequency. Yes, even that trouble maker who shamelessly dumps clothes on the floor, leaves dishes where they are and sneaks out before they meet your eye!

2. Delegate Tasks

Throw away your ‘super woman’ robe and stop being a sacrificial lamb NOW. ‘Division of Labor’ is the smartest way to go around as you can delegate tasks like sorting those ‘piles of files’ and that monstrous heap of clothes to dad and kids. Or hire help! Just be kind to your tiny fragile shoulders, please!

3. Involve Kids

Not only is it productive but it also inculcates some essential life skills in them. After all, if they can fiddle with those gadgets, they can pretty well make their beds too, right? Make it fun by having a game, a sibling’s competition or simply playing ‘Barney Clean-up’ song to get them on their toes.

4. Designate a place for everything

That jumble of newspapers, files, shoes, clothes and that useless collection of bric-a-brac sitting idly in your living room, need to have a dedicated place. Invest in smart organizers, spacious baskets, and portable closets to give them a home! 

5. Do little at a time

Decluttering will feel like a cumbersome task if you take it like one. Set smaller goals, focus on one area/ room at a time and make it a routine ritual to get more done in less time.  Little steps go a long way. 

6. Get rid of things you don't need

Being a hoarder never helped anyone! Toss, Donate, hand them down or Olx – create a breathing space for you and your house by getting rid of those extras. And for next time, buy only the utterly essential items. 

So folks, roll up those sleeves and get started already!
Best of luck for Mission Decluttering!!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

6 Goals to add to your 2017 Resolutions!

It's that time of the year when we slip into our party heels and celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Also the time to get a bit haunted by that weight machine index which has remained unaffected despite all our year start promises. But we love making them because what is a new year without some renewed annual vows, right?

Here are six simple and smart goals which are a must add to your 2017 resolutions list.

1. Opting for a healthy lifestyle

Pretending those 1000 calories per meal or that daily dose of a big fat juicy burger can help in achieving health targets will never work. And those size zero dreams should be buried where they belong i.e fashion magazines or runways. Thanks to all those gazillion food raids this year for tactfully diverting us to ammi kay hath ka khana again. 'Healthy' is trendy!

2. Sticking to your personal style statement

Did that designer monogrammed bag that you paid an arm and a leg for work any magic? Were you fidgeting all day in those ‘oh so trendy’ cut-out sleeves? Do you feel like a fashion fool while donning a certain style? Time to come out of the whirlwind of fashion trends and identify your personal style statement. 

3. Organizing yourself

Much to some people’s dismay, ‘sanu key’ is not the key that works to beat the competition, but ‘organizing right’ does. Plan your daily activities, prioritize right, stay away from distractions, figure out your triggers, bury that sloth six feet under and get set go. 2017 is about getting your act together. Period. 

4. Facing your Fears

Say 'Bye' to that comfort zone and do stuff that intimidates the hell out of you (except for facing a lizard of course :p). Swim with sharks or jump from a plane, confront an annoying person or try out that venture you always thought was too risky. This year, walk the less traveled but 'magical' path and do things that have scared you. 

5. Giggle and Laugh!

Laughter is not only therapeutic, it is contagious too. So spread some smiles, crack up whenever you can no matter how silly you look and be a source of joy for others.

6. Spending time with Friends and Family

Last but not the least, the daily grind of work life can brush aside our loved ones. Having witnessed some tragic losses last year, let's commit to spending quality time with those who really matter. The bonus outcome: no more taunting by friends for being snotty, biwi kay nakhrey over a forgotten special day or mama ki chappal for always being late! 

Happy 2017 folks! :)

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Top 5 Picks to make a 'Colour' Story!

Colours are a power tool that can make or break your entire look and a ‘less is more’ fashion philosophy makes it easier to look stylish with the use of flattering cuts, patterns, designs and colours. Use our picks for the ‘it’ colours of the season to help you create a wardrobe that is up-to-date and chic. So is orange really the new black? Go through our TOP 5 colour picks below to find the answer ;)

1. Nifty shades of ‘Blue’

‘Blue’ is the talk of the town. Whether you are struggling through Monday blues or baby blues, there is a shade of blue just meant for you. To make a strong style statement, opt for Riverside, airy blue, cobalt blue and navy to give your wardrobe a whole new perspective.

Click here to purchase 'Leaf of Gold' and here for 'Snug Bug'.

2. Paint me ‘red’

Nothing lifts your look a notch higher like red does, even if it’s just a dash here and there. Powerful, mystical and classic, it’s a match made in heaven for our Asian skin tones. We just got lucky here! So flip your adventurous side up by going for Pantone’s ‘Aurora red’ which is a true fiery one with warm undertones, and paint the town red.

Click here to purchase 'Paint the town Red'.

3. Go ‘Green’!

Ladies, putting the patriotic connotation aside, we have all the more reason to wear forest green as we get a ‘green signal’ from leading runways. Time to dump those good old mints and pastels! Show your wild side by donning the colour in a shade inspired by botanicals, lush meadows and foliage. And let’s give this one a brownie point for playing soul-mate to all our favorite neutrals. Yay!

Click here to purchase 'Leafy Greens' and here for 'Beachy Waves'.

4. A pinch of ‘Mustard’

We have always counted on yellow to brighten up a dull, boring outfit and taking the ‘yellow fever’ a step higher now is this very exotic, spicy and zesty ‘gainday ka phool’ sort of shade. This ‘spicy mustard’ is so vibrant it has literally set the runways ablaze. Go head to toe or reflect in separates like a mustard bag, nail color, jacket or scarf; either way you won’t go wrong!

Click here to purchase 'Keyword'.

5. Neutral shades of ‘Taupe & Grays’

Remember that neutral friend in a conflicting situation? How reassured and comfortable they make you feel, in a classic, timeless manner! This gray area is exactly where this season’s favorite ‘warm taupe’ and ‘sharkskin’ fall. We can’t just help but love these as they are so easy to wear and easy to pair. For instance, how potent is the contrast of 'cobalt blue/ gray' or a 'taupe/ maroon'!

Click here to purchase 'Cover Story and here for 'Over it'.

So which of our top picks are you planning to indulge in this season?

Monday, 7 November 2016

Welcoming the Winter Wonderland!

Winters in Pakistan tend to be gloomier as compared to other parts of the world. We don't go through that exhilarating feeling upon seeing the entire country lit up with Christmas lights, embellished with glitzy ornaments and buzzing with melodious jingles wherever you go. We are also deprived of the luxury of 'centrally heated' homes and the ever-present 'gas shortage' takes its toll as well.

So amidst this entire dilemma, how does one ensure a fun-filled, rocking December? Here are 5 things you definitely should be doing!

1. Gear up for the 'shaadi' season

Our flashy and flamboyant 'shaadi' season which kicks off as soon as the last spell of heat diminishes, is nothing less than a grand Bollywood movie. A perfect answer to the holiday season celebrations. So how do you tackle that 'shaadi' mania?

Plan your mehndi/ shaadi joras at least 2-3 months in advance to avoid your darzis' and designers' tantrums. 

Source: Rahim Pardesi

Confirm your salon's bookings in advance as this is the place where hordes of women will flock in hope to look perfect for the wedding season.

Lastly, expect the unexpected i.e the guests from all corners of the globe. Get the deep cleaning of guests rooms done, hire some extra help, stock up on grocery and toiletries to avoid last moment embarrassments.

2. Flaunt it while you have it

Winter season comes, chills you to the bone and is gone by the time you adjust to it.
So without further ado, flaunt those ultra-trendy designer coats/ jackets, chic capes and smart ankle boots, before they find a place in a hidden corner of your wardrobe to be taken out only for a trip up north.

Source: Google Images

3. Focus on your skin care regimen

Winters are not only chilly, they are also very dry. Cracked lips and flaked skin is not a very pretty sight especially when you are already feeling super cold.

Source: Google Images

Your best bet is to invest on good moisturizers, sunscreens, humidifiers, socks and gloves, chap-sticks, lip balms and vaseline. Staying hydrated and eating power packed warm stuff will also keep you alert.

And lastly, as sad as it may sound, restrict those luxurious warm baths as they only add fuel to the fire when it comes to your dry skin.

4. Enjoy that 'layer of fat'

Because it wouldn't show underneath those multiple layers of clothing. One more reason to simply love the winter season! :D

Source: Google Images

Winter is just the right time for some cheat days or possibly even a cheat month! Also, the fact that you will be feasting on those delicious wedding meals, will make those diets fruitless anyways. So ditch those diets while you can, and embrace that secret layer of fat. After all, what is it that a smart-fit jacket can't hide? ;)

5. Savor those wintery delights

Source: Google Images
Winter is the right time to munch on all that ' comfort food'. Picture yourself nibbling those roasted peanuts, being snuggled up in a warm and cosy blanket with a huge mug of freshly brewed coffee/ hot chocolate on your side table! Sounds divine right?

Dig out and try different recipes of soups, fish/ seafood and steaks. Oh and did we forget garma garam gajjar ka halwa? And that basket full of oranges on a bright sunny 'picnic' sort of day? Annar ka juice overload?

Last but not the least, throw a bonfire bash with a live BBQ served with some pink tea and some amazing melodious music to turn it into a perfect wintery night to remember.

Here's to a wonderful Winter season ahead!
Stay warm guys :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Ramzan Favourites

With Ramzan right around the corner, we feel it's the perfect time to look at some of the things that makes us appreciate this holy month the most! 

1. Shorter Work Hours

What's not to love about those three beautiful words? Yes, we know the day starts earlier than normal but it's still bearable when you know you can be home and down for a refreshing nap while the sun is still up and still have half the day left to be productive!

2. That scrumptious feast

Pakoras, samosas, chaat, fresh juices- everything we love but don't really have unless there's some special occasion, and of course Ramzan is that perfect occasion! With a great feast laid out to chomp down on (and gain a few extra pounds too!), it really makes us count our blessings and feel grateful, after all that's what this month is all about!

3. Sense of Community and Belonging

That feeling when the whole family sits down for a meal together? Priceless! Everyone is feeling thankful and appreciative to have the chance to share a meal we've been looking forward to the whole day, and that feeling is what captures the true essence of Ramzan!

4. Countdown to Eid!

And of course, Ramzan is the perfect reminder that our favourite holiday is just around the corner!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

5 Great Books For Your Summer Reading List!

What better way to avoid the killer heat this summer by staying indoors with a cool glass of lemonade and settling down with a great book! We've combined a list of books from different genres to make sure you get the best of everything, so knock yourself out!

1. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

Although it might not be a novel and nor is it written by our beloved J.K Rowling, the announcement of this stage play was a dream come true for all Harry Potter fans worldwide! The play is set to air in London this summer, and the script of the play is to be released in a book form the very next day, i.e 31st July 2016. Knowing the crazy fan following of the Harry Potter series, it's easy to say that this is  probably the most awaited book of the year!

 Set 19 years ahead of the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and based on the life of Harry and his youngest son Albus, this upcoming book just gives us Harry Potter lovers yet another reason to re-read the entire series again while we wait for the release!

2. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee


Even though it was released last year, this novel should definitely be on your reading list for it's a sequel to the classic  'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Although it was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, this book was published last year and revolves around the life of the beloved characters of Atticus and Jean-Louise "Scout" Finch, who is now in her late 20s, and their complicated relationship as Jean sees her fathers work interfere with her view of his morals and tries to grasp the world and its cruelties.

3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


Of course it's important to explore different genres, since reading is all about looking into a whole different world beyond yours! The Power of Habit is another best selling self-help book which looks into scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and why some people struggle to change them and some do not. The author makes his case by presenting entertaining stories and case studies. All in all, the book is an entertaining read and presents the readers with good advice, backed up by factual evidence, on how to change their bad habits and why. 

4. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


Who doesn't want to have an insight on the life of one of the smartest and  most successful men of our time? Written at the request of the man himself, based on over 40 interviews with him, and more than 100 interviews with his friends, family members colleagues etc, the book was released eleven days after the death of Jobs. Perhaps it was the timely release of the book that made it a hit, or simply
the brilliant writing as well as a detailed view of the life and achievements of Steve Jobs.

5. A Game Of Thrones: The Winds Of Winter by George R.R. Martin


Here's another one we can barely wait for! The sixth book of the series was set to release before it's season airs next month, but much to everyone's disappointment we were recently told that the great author has not yet completed it. So even though we have close to no idea when we will get to read this much awaited book, it should be on your reading list anyway for being super awesome!

A Game of Thrones has become a huge hit as a TV series as well as book series, with a great combination of fiction, action and thriller, these books have everything! While some are die hard fans of the show and others prefer the detail and thrill of the novels, it's close to impossible to not finish the series once you start, as well as anxiously wait for the next season/book!