29 October 2014

Atulyam Spa, E and G Green Valley - a photo essay

My new cam(Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera), arrived just two days before I left for E and G bloggers event. I tried to experiment with it at the spa at E and G Green Vally resort. The spa named Atulyam, which means incomparable, had a traditional yet so contemporary look. Here is a photo essay of the same,




How are they??

21 October 2014

Diwali - The Festival of Lights

Diwali is celebrated for five days in North India, starting from Dhanteras(13th day of Aashwija/Ashvin month in Hindu calender) and ending on Bhau-beej(2nd day of Kartik month), when sisters visit their brothers and prey for their long life and happiness. Diwali in South India is from Chaturdashi(14th day of Aashwija/Ashvin), celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi and ends with Bali Padyani(1st day of Kartik), which commemorates the victory of Vamana(one of Vishu's avatar(incarnation)), over demon Mahabali.
Today is Dhanteras, Dhan meaning money and Teras meaning 13, Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth is worshiped on this day. Its said, this day is auspicious to buy gold and precious things. 
People lite their homes with lights and gift friends and family, through the five days of festivity. And so are markets full of lanterns, diyas(lights), sweets and gift packs. Here are few of the clicks from market,
Of all the one which  tops my list is this Suwarna Mitai, a sweet meat with gold foil, which costs Rs. 9000/kg, the costliest of all I have come across.
And these packs of dry fruits, which range from Rs. 400 to Rs. 10,000 per pack depending on the packing and weight,

 Few Chocolate gift packs,

Then are these colourful lanterns, which you find at each and every store here in Mumbai,

And variety of diyas and candles,
 Wish You all a Happy Dhanteras!!!

My Journey as a (Travel)Blogger

It was 2 years back during my search for Navratri Bombe themes for celebration at home, did I come across Anuradha Shankar's blog. The blog inspired me, it inspired me to start a blog of my own, to showcase and share my thoughts. I got in touch with so many people from different walks of life, travelers, bloggers, activists, naturalists and on. Then were few from across the globe, who commented on my work and the treasure I shared, on my blog with them. The treasure of India, its heritage, culture, festivity. Their comments, changed my perception towards travel, exploring places and made me get close to my own culture and realize how stupid we are, when we run behind international trips, while we have lots and lots to explore in or own country. 

You need to remember that people travel halfway across the world to see parts of your country or State, and I guarantee there are exciting attractions and areas you are yet to discover. We’re so quick to jump on a longhaul flight to get to that exotic destination, but what about the National Park down the road from you? The pristine white beaches an hour away? Short escapes are often the best kind!” – Megan  (Courtesy http://www.drinkteatravel.com/dont-quit-your-job-to-travel/)

And then I came across those people, who had explored India much more than me, even not being an Indian. One such person was Sharell. An Australian by birth, Sharell first visited India in 2000, after her several visits, presently she is married to an Indian and settled in Mumbai. If not on any other blogs, you would definitely find a blogpost on every Indian festival on her blog. This is what she has to say,

"I've managed a guesthouse in the beach town of Varkala in Kerala, worked on the set of a Bollywood movie near Manali, driven an auto rickshaw from Chennai to Mumbai, ridden a yak in Spiti, and dined with the royal family of Udaipur at their palace. I've also survived getting bitten by a monkey in Rishikesh, a bout of malaria, and numerous encounters with the infamous Indian bureaucracy, with sanity kept (mostly!) intact. In addition, I fell so much in love with all things Indian that I even married an Indian guy"

Thats Sharell at City Palace, Udaypur

Don't these instances, make you sit and think for a while, should we run behind visiting busy metros or visit the treasures our own country has to offer.

This is part of More Indian Than you Think by Indiblogger and Lufthansa http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger

PS: Thank you Sharell, for all your support, to make this post so wonderful.

18 October 2014

E and G Green Courts, Koroli - A home beyond home

Sick of the busy metro routine, all of us are in a verge to escape into the greens for weekends. So are the popularity of second homes and resorts growing rapidly. Recently few of we lifestyle bloggers we invited by E and G group to visit their property in Koroli. Me and Nandini joined other bloggers at McD, at Lodha Mall in Thane, packed breakfast from McD and started by 9.
Koroli is a hill station, in Trimbakeshwar Taluk, Nashik district of Maharashtra. The drive from Ghoti to Koroli, is quite tiring because of the road condition, but the greens and the cool breeze of Vaitarna lake keeps you stuck with its beauty. Reached E and G Green Court project by 12 and had the tour of the site,
The Property:
Nestled amidst the greens at the backwaters of Vaitarna lake, E and G Green Courts property has 2 and 4 BHK villas presently for sale. The property is fabulously furnished by Fab India.

Kingsmead - 4BHK Villa
4 BHK luxury villa, one facing the other, opens to a cluster of green environs and an uninterrupted view of bosom shaped mountains.
Lawn Area: 700 Sq.ft
Parking: 350 Sq.ft
Swimming pool area with 800 sq.ft deck

Silver Springs - 2BHK Villa
An elegant abode, a stand-alone 2BHK villa is open to a view of green hills from both the sides.
Lawn Area: 450 Sq.ft
Parking: 200 Sq.ft
You have an option to use the property as a second home or rent it out  to E and G group, and they maintain your property.
Other facilities in the property include,
  • Gate Community
  • Passive income option
  • 24x7 Security
  • Uninterrupted water and power supply
  • 90% open land
  • Other Privilege facilities, which include
    • Resto-bar
    • Clubhouse
    • Spa
    • Boating
    • Horse riding
    • Hill view coffee shop
    • Library
    • Swimming Pool
    • Putt and Pitt Mini-Golf course
    • Conference hall
After the tour of the site and light refreshments, we left for E and G Green Valley, which is around 15km from Green Courts. Had lunch, few of us got pampered at the spa, while others rested at one of the villas. After tea, left for Mumbai.

My take on property as a travel enthusiast:
As a travel enthusiast, the best part of the E and G property is the beautiful landscapes it offers and the nearby travel attractions(check it out here http://www.koroli.in/thehillstation.html). Just 15mins from Koroli is the first trekking institution of Maharashtra, which is still under construction.

Contact Details:
For rates and bookings of the property you can get in touch with E and G Green Courts at below details,
E and G
+91 77100 77521/22

By Road: 30mins from Igatpuri on Mumbai-Nashik NH3 highway
By Rail: 40mins from Igatpuri station, 2:30 hours train journey from Dadar TT
By Air: 45mins from Nashik airport

PS: Special thanks to Aditi of So Saree, for hosting #DiscoverGreen blogger event.

17 October 2014

Garnier BB Cream Review

Recently, I received Garnier BB Cream for review by Indiblogger.
How is it a Miracle Skin Protector?
The Garnier BB Cream just not moisturizes but also gives you a Fairer looking and healthy glow to your skin. Its properties of reducing lines and imperfections, maintaining smoothness and even skin tone, makes it a miracle skin protector. The Cream has SPF 24 UVA/UVB Protection, which acts as a perfect sunscreen.
How does this miracle work?
The Garnier BB Cream contains Vitamin C derivative known to have antioxidant properties, which helps boost skin glow and brightness. The mineral pigments, of BB Cream beautifies your skin. It instantly spreads evenly for a flawless finish. Its light-weight and comfortable texture blends perfectly into the skin and lets your skin breathe. It is a 8H moisturizing formula with Almond extract. Its SPF24 filter protects skin from UV.
How to Apply:
Spread the BB Cream like your regular moisturizer. Apply with light circular strokes from the middle of your face outwards on perfectly cleansed skin.
My take on Garnier BB Cream: Having an oil based skin, all that I look for in my daily cream is, which moisturizes my skin, while maintaining my face oil free. Here is how Garnier worked on my oily face for my routine,
For daily routine: Just a small amount of Garnier BB Cream blended perfectly, worked as a daily moisturizer.
For my travels: I used the cream for a day long blogger event to a near by hill station. The cream maintained my skin's moisture, while protecting me from the day long soak in sun(literally). I used it in the morning and applied a layer after a face wash in the afternoon.
Soaking in the sun at the backwaters of Vaitarna Lake
For my parties: And if you are a person like me, who doesn't like using foundation for your party make-ups, Garnier BB Cream with a perfect compact gives you a glowing party look. I used for one of the parties the other day teaming with my compact powder. The cream perfectly blended into my skin and gave it a fairer and healthy look.

The pack of 18g comes at Rs. 119(introductory price of Rs.99), which is just a perfect travel pack and handy to go in your hand bag.

PS: The BB Cream suits almost all skin tones. Garnier uses, active natural ingredients which have been carefully extracted to preserve their quality and purity. And their products are dermatological tested to ensure respect to skin.

This is part of a Champaign by Indiblogger and L'Oreal India Private Limited.

13 October 2014

Canon EOS-M Mirrorless Camera - My new Gadget

I hardly fall for sales, but this looked Big, something Big to save for. But never thought of logging in at 8AM, to check for the deals.
Hubby called me at around 8:10 in the morning, while driving to office and says, log in to Flipkart immediately, some great deals on mobiles and electronic gadgets. Only to my surprise I found Samsung Galaxy tab 2 at Rs. 1290 and other best deal which I was interested was Canon EOS 1200D kit for Rs. 15k. But all it showed was out of stock, hubby calls me again and asks me to check Snapdeal, for a similar offer on Canon cam. But even Snapdeal had no stock.
With nothing from my shopping list available under sale, I just logged off, been reminded by hubby, to check once in a while. I logged in again after 30mins, came across Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera kit, at an offer prize of Rs.17k + 10% off on select bank cards. This cam was all new to me and I was not sure, if I had to go with it. Checked with few friends and they guided me, it was a great deal and I shouldn't miss it. I ordered it immediately, just before it could slip off my hands. I kept on browsing Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon till afternoon and finally picked three from my shopping list, including cam.
My Cam reached home in two working days. The Canon EOS-M(EF-M 18-55 IS STM) kit comes with a 18-55mm lens(and complimentary 8GB card and Carry case), though some other offers had Speedlite-90X Flash along.

Key Features of Canon EOS-M Mirrorless Camera

  • 35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 29 - 88 mm
  • CMOS Image Sensor
  • f/3.5 - f/5.6 Aperture
  • Full HD Recording
  • 3 inch Clear View II TFT LCD
  • 18 Megapixel Camera
The camera is really handy, just like a digital camera and a great gadget for a beginner to DSLR, like me. So, I am all experimenting and you can find some upcoming posts with photographs clicked with this. I have also received a complimentary photography training by Canon along with the pack, which I will soon attend and keep you all posted.
So if you still have not checked festive offers on Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, do check them out today.

7 October 2014

#Wordup blogger's meet powered by BigRock and Indiblogger

Date: 20 September, 2014
Venue: BlueFrog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Website: http://www.bigrock.in/ 

Indiblogger meets are always fun, but this was different, a day dedicated to blogging, talks about blogging, vlogging, SEO, Monetization, creative writing and more.
The event was at BlueFrog in Lower Parel, oh man one of the most happening places in Mumbai and when I told hubby about the venue, he was like, THE BlueFrog!!! The event was a full day event scheduled for a Saturday. Left home early to reach on time, registered for the early 50's, yes they had a Moto G for one of the first 50 registers. Joined few of the fellow bloggers. Then was the official registeration at the Indiblogger and Bigrock registration desks, where we were handed over a bag full of goodies.After the breakfast, the event started off with a rock band by Inditeam, to break the morning blues and gear us up for a packed day full of talks on blogging.
Rock band by Inditeam
We were introduced to Bigrock the sponsor of the event. Who else is familiar to Domain, hosting and websites than bloggers. As a blogger we are always behind traffic to our blog and yes we know a blog with domain name always attracts more traffic.
Here is what Bigrock has to say,
"BigRock is a leading provider of web-presence solutions to small-businesses, professionals and individuals. We provide our clients a complete suite of products that help them establish & grow their online presence. Our product portfolio includes - domain registration, business-class email services (including anti-spam & anti-virus features), web-hosting services, website builder products, e-commerce solutions and digital certificates. Our product platform represents 10+ years of investment in technology R&D and powers over 6 million domains."
The talk session started with Mr. Vinit Goenka. Mr. Goenka a National Co-Convener for the BJP’s Information Technology Cell, who has been working to create synergies between the industry and government, spoke on how BJP has been using technology in including public in policy making and governance.
Amit Agarwal, the blogger's guru gave us blogging tips. On how to play with our content, blog template and more to get more hits.
Anshul Tewari, founder and editor-in-chief of YouthKiAwaaz.com shared his journey from blogger to journalist. And how to promote our blogs on social media.
Lakshmi Rebecca's session started off with a short documentary from her talk show, 'Chai with Lakshmi' on planting Urban Forests adapting Japanese Miyawaki method, the video was so thought provoking and made us think of our environment.
After her brief intro, Lakshmi had her talk with Sunit Singh, the master mind behind the design of cleartrip.
Lakshmi Rebecca's talk with Sunit Singh
Next session was by Varun Krishnan, imagine a person ending up buying every phone which makes to the market, yes, he is such, the Founder of FoneArena.com, on his mission to find the perfect phone. FoneArena.com has been delivering latest news and updates on mobile phones. Varun Krishnan spoke on blog monetization, on how you can turn your writing into earning.
Shree Krishna Chepuri spoke on the Legal aspects of blogging. On how you could play safe with your words legally, especially when in comes to leaders and politics.
The post lunch session started with Harsh Agarwal. Harsh Agarwal, who blogs at ShoutMeLoud, spoke on SEO, how key words, tags are important in your blog posts to guide the search engine to your blog.
Speakers busy clicking selfie
Next two sessions were by two gorgeous bloggers, Scherezade Shroff and Snigdha Manchanda. Scherezade Shroff, manage her Youtube channel, uploads beauty and fashion videos, make-up and hair tutorials and DIYs. Snigdha founder of Teatruck and Story Ninja, is a creative writer and an entrepreneur, providing people with good quality tea. While Sherezade Shroff, shared on how a simple video with your heart out, could get you a huge subscribers, Snigdha kept us engrossed with her story weaving skills.
Then was the stand-up comedy by Bhavish Ailani.

The day which started with a big bang by Inditeam's rock, ended with a rock band and group photograph. 
Hey, the goodie bag had a Free hosting and a .ME domain coupon valid for 1 year too. Can't wait to get my blog a domain name soon.

5 October 2014

Durgashtami and Durga Pandal visit

After our day tour of dasara bobme arrangements(check post here), night was the tour of Durga Pandals. With Navmi and Dashami fallen on the same day this year, we had only two days to visit Bengali Durga pandals, as the pandals were up for just last three days.

While few pandals have the idol of just Durga, the Bengali Durga Pandals have the idols of Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ganesha and Kartikeya along with Durga as Mahishasur Mardini. Durga who is considered as an aspect of Parvati is the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya.

The next Durga Pandal(off GB Road Thane), always had rich pandal with replica of temples or heritage sights of Kolkata. This year's replica was of Shobhabazar Rajbari of Kolkata.

The Shobhbazar Rajbari or Shobhabazar Royal Palace is among one the oldest Royal houses of Kolkata aristocrcy. Built by Raja Naba Krishna Deb, it is famous for its annual Durga Puja celebrations started by Raja Naba Krishna Deb in 1757. 
This is all for this year's Navratri celebration. Wishing Ma Durga, Chamundeshwari bless us all with happiness and prosperity in the year to come.