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, 'Errr...as 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

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Best Hair Stylist In Mangalore: Fringge Elite Unisex Salon Review

If you have been searching for the best hair stylist in Mangalore, guys and girls, your search ends here. Trust me, when I say I have been searching and been through so many hair dressers in the city who have always chopped off my locks and zipped it in a poly bag(I guess they used to sell it), I've had all kinds of nightmares happen to me, that I used to fear going for a cut in this city.
I used to either fly all the way to Pune or Bangalore or Dubai and wait till vacation to get my hair dressed. That was up until I met Santosh Kumar. Now this is the point where you drop chewing gum, reduce the volume of your tv sets and tell your dogs to stop barking because you are going to take notes from here. And take them well because you won't find this information anywhere on the internet. Believe me, I've tried. You want a stylist who is kind, concerned and ever-willing to listen to your hair issues? Are you looking for someone who knows hair and has been doing hair all his life? He knows intuitively what you want and what is good for you. I swear, you guys, I was sweating thinking of giving my precious locks in the hands of a stranger but from the minute I entered this salon, it felt like I had landed in the right place.


When you enter, make sure you ask for the head stylist, Mr.Santosh Kumar. I know he cuts hair really well and I was very particular that he took care of me. He was already working on another client, so I had time to snoop around and get to know the place. I actually had a little bit of a hard time finding the place, initally, because I could not see a board outside the building, only when you enter do you even see an arrow pointing into the lift, then you go up and land here. This miracle of a little spa hole which I wouldn't have imagined while I was coming up.


While I waited, their very sweet staff handed over some awesome magazines to read. On any other day, I would have dived right into it being an avid reader but today, I was more into browsing the place and checking out their lovely interiors. The place was spanking clean, styled in all white with black plush furniture. The seating was very comfy and atmosphere was really relaxed. The ambience and music was really lovely. Great care and a good amount of thought was given to building up this place. Well, it definitely shows.

Fringge Elite Unisex Salon Mangalore Review
This parlor is unisex and it has both male and female waiting staff. I was taken in for my hair wash by a trained female staff. She knew exactly how to do her job, she was trained to perfection, I have very thick hair but she didn't tire of washing and conditioning it. They have fresh towels to wrap up your hair. Did I already mention how hygienic everything was. Score full points for that.


It did not take all that much time as you are given an appointment and based on that, you get to your hair styling station quite soon. Santosh apologized for making me wait, like just for 5 minutes, he was so sweet. I immediately tried to talk to him about how concerned I was that my hair didn't get chopped off in an unsightly manner and that I wanted to keep some of my length. He absolutely listened to me patiently and he analyzed my hair. It was the very first time that someone understood my concerns of thick hair which was very heavy to tie in a ponytail. He gave me a cut, before which he went on to explain how it would help give some lightness to it while giving it some movement. I don't know hair the way he did but he sure knew what he was talking about. He was the first stylist who took the time and pain to explain to me the cut that he was going to give me and what purpose it would serve. He was quick, he knew his job, he was passionate about his work, his clients mean the world to him, he got talking and I don't talk to just about anyone. I just felt such an instant connect with him. I asked him where he was all my life!!! And why there was no board outside. He told me that most of his customers came by word of mouth and he wanted to give a personalized experience to each one of them. But I seemed to be the only one who didn't know of this place. I bumped into three of my friends while I was waiting. And I wanted to hit them on the heads for not telling me about this place. Wow, people keep secrets like this!!!


I must tell you I was so impressed at how elated I was to have met him. He was not trying to sell me stuff. Why I mention this is due to  my previous experiences with top notch parlors here in Mangalore went like five minutes into cutting my hair and their stylists would be trying to sell me a whole range of Loreal shampoo, conditioner and hair waxes I would never use or need. The experience was never relaxed unlike at this wonderful place. He was just doing his job and that was giving me the cut that I wanted.


How did I finally find this place? I asked around many groups, friends, online, googled and finally found out from somewhere that Santosh had a certification from Toni n Guy. That made my eyes pop. A Toni n Guy certification, in Mangalore!!! How did I miss this?


He has trained all his staff members to be excellent. They provide a wide list of services. There were people from all age groups visiting the salon while my hair was being worked upon. Usually you tend to see mostly youngsters here but even the elderly were very comfortable and made to feel at ease here. I could totally see myself getting my dad here when he is in town next. Guys, this place does not just pamper girls, you will get awesome hair cuts. Come here!


He asked me what products I used for my hair. He liked that the hair was really thick. I told him I used mainly organic products and did test out the new stuff out in the market as I was a blogger.  But I still stuck with only what worked for me in the end. He was advising against using chemicals and unwanted treatments.


I was so comfortable. After my hair was cut, it was styled and blow-dried by a lovely assistant who did her job to the T.



There is also a wall here where you can read all the comments and thank you notes from the lovely clientele that frequent this place. I got to add my note on the wall too. I think it's such a cute gesture and the wall is for everyone to see.

 I went there with limp and heavy hair and came back with lovely, gorgeous locks with lots of movement even with keeping the volume.


The salon has a whole range of services if you would like to explore, I will list out their website and further details at the end of this post.


This is me signing off with my latest experience and would love to review and see more professional and amazing places like this one here in Mangalore. Do give this place a try and let me know your favorite places in the city.

You may contact the parlor at :
Fringge Elite
2nd Floor, Essel Centre
M.G. Road, Mangalore,
Phone : 0824-4274044
Mobile : +918971014323
           +919880824044
Email : fringgeelite@gmail.com

SERVICES

Women

Hair Care
Face/ Neck /Back
Senior Stylist
Shampoo & Conditioning and blow dry (Short, Medium, Long, Curls)
Spiral Curls
Color Application – Root Touch-Up
Natural Hair Coloring ( Short, Medium, Long )
Global Coloring ( Short, Medium, Long)
Inoa
Root Touch-Up Coloring
Natural Hair Coloring ( Short, Medium, Long )
Global Hair Coloring (Short, Medium, Long)
Hair Streaking
Crown
Full
X Ten So ( Short, Medium, Long )
Henna ( Short, Medium, Long )
Perming ( Short, Medium, Long )
Ironing ( Short, Medium, Long )
Hot Roller ( Medium, Long )
LIGHT MAKE-UP
Bleach
Face
Neck
Full Body
Front
Back
Manicure And Pedicure
Normal Manicure
Normal Pedicure
Aroma Manicure
Aroma Pedicure
Paraffin Manicure Spa
Paraffin Pedicure Spa
Studio Manicure Spa
Studio Pedicure Spa
( A Truly Fantastic treat for the feet , it penetrates skin moisturizers and removes fine lines and wrinkles and bends a miled lightening effect )
French Manicure
French Pedicure
Cut, File and and Polish ( Fingers and Toes )
French Nail Polish
Cut and File ( Fingers )
Cut and File ( Toes )
Nail Art
Temporary Nail Extension
Permanent Nail Extension
Treatment
Hair Spa – The Studio Pick ( Short & Medium Hair )
( Includes a deep cleansing scalp massage coupled with International deep conditioning treatment that stimulates Circulation to the hair follicles adds bounce and controls Dandruff a fine panacea for dry brittle and falling hair )
Power Dose
Aminexil ( Advanced double action anti – hairloss Programme )
Pro – Keratin Shine Bond ( Hair is repaired deeply hydrated & shiny, feels soft & healthy )
Frizzy & Unmanageable Hair ( Smoothing Hair )
Hair Repair ( Damaged & Dry Hair )
Power Dose Color Hair
Anti Hair Fall Breakage
Skin Care
Face Massage
Zap e’m
Fresh Fruit Face Spa
Classic Face Spa
Chocolate Facial
Classic Aroma Face Spa
Great Classic Face Spa
Skin Lightning
Great Classic Twin Spa
Studio Fringge Face Spa
Waxing
Full Arms
Full Legs
Half Arms
Half Legs
Under Arms
Midrid
Back
Front
Shoulder
Full Body
Threading
Eyebrow
Upper Lip
Chin
Chin & Neck
Forehead
Full Face
Head Massage
( For blowdry Rs. 100/- Will be charged extra )
Mint Magic (15min)
Basic Bliss (15min)
Almond Affair (20min)
Olive Overture (20min)
Drastic De-Stress The Studio Pick (30min)
( A wholesome neutralizing package that includes deep scalp cleansing, a massage and a custom made hair cocktail with essential oil for stressed tresses )
Bridal Makeup
Bridal Package
Hair Cut and Styling, Studio Manicure and Pedicure Spa, Studio Facial Make Up, Full Body Herbal Bleech, Full Body Waxing.

Men

Hair Care
Hair Cut ( Inclusive of Shampoo & Conditioning )
Senior Stylist
Shampoo & Conditioning
Shampoo, Styling & Setting
Moustache / Beard Trim
Moustache Beard Art
Beard Coloring
Natural Hair Coloring
Global Hair Coloring
Treatment
Hair Spa – The Studio Pick ( Short & Medium Hair )
Hair Spa – The Studio Pick ( Long Hair )
( Includes a deep cleaning scalo massage coupled with International deep conditioning treatment that stimulates Circulation to the new follicles adds bounce and controls Dandruff a fine panacea for dry brittle and falling hair )
Power Dose (Per Bottle)
Aminexil (Per Bottle)
( Advanced double action anti- hairloss Programme )
Pro – Keratin Shine Bond
(Hair is Repaired deeply hydrated & Shiny, feels Soft & Healthy)
Manicure And Pedicure
Normal Manicure
Normal Pedicure
Aroma Manicure
Aroma Pedicure
Paraffin Manicure Spa
Paraffin Pedicure Spa
Studio Manicure Spa
Studio Pedicure Spa
( A Truly Fantastic treat for the feet , it penetrates skin moisturizers and removes fine lines and wrinkles and bends a miled lightening effect )
Cut and File ( Fingers and Toes )
Fingers
Toes
Inoa
Natural Hair Coloring
Global Hair Coloring
Highlighting
Henna
Kids Haircut (below 10 Yrs)
Straightening – Beginning
Smoothening – Beginning
Ironing
Make – Up
Out Station
Bleach
Face
Neck
Back
Full Body
Skin Care
Face massage
Zape’m
Fresh Fruit face spa
Classic Face Spa
Chocolate Facial
Classic Aroma Face Spa
Great Classic Face Spa
Skin Lightning
Great Classic Twin Spa
Studio Fringge Face Spa
Head Massage
Mint Magic (15min)
Basic Bliss (15min)
Almond Affair (20min)
Olive Overture (20min)
Drastic De-Stress The Studio Pick (30min)
( A wholesome neutralizing package that includes deep scalp cleansing, a massage and a custom made hair cocktail with essential oil for stressed tresses )
Bridegroom Package
Hair Cut and Styling, Make-Up, Coloring, Studio Manicure and Pedicure Spa, Studio Facial



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TRESemme Smooth Salon Silk Conditioner review

Hey blogger bees :)

I am back with a review of this conditioner which took me forever, almost all of this year, to get through. Finally, I am in a great position to be able to review this product. First off, to be all fair to this review, I would like to let you know about my hair type. It is luscious, very thick hair which is prone to frizz when exposed to humidity. I have very long hair and recently got a cut. I will review the salon that I visited lately and would like everyone to check the place out as I believe it's one of the best salons in Mangalore. Great stylist, you guys!
TRESemme Smooth Salon Silk Conditioner
I require a heavy duty product to condition my tresses as they weigh in really strong and I need something to give it some lift and airiness.


This is a white coloured cream conditioner, it is satiny texture wise and has a nice floral smell.
Not too strong and the smell does not last after the wash, leaving your hair quite netural.
It is not too thick, the consistency is slightly runny.
You leave the conditioner in and you can feel that it gets absorbed into your hair.
It leaves your hair quite sleek after rinsing it off.
It says that it has an advanced smoothing system with vitamin H and silk proteins.
Vitamin H is Biotin. I have heard that it can cause acne for most folks, I've had a slight bout of acne all through this year. Won't say that it could have been caused by this product but since I have stopped using it now, will update if it clears up.
My frizz does not get properly managed by using this particular product. Sorry to say, that claim does not hold good here.
Maybe it would work better for lighter, thinner and hair that is not as heavy as mine.
If you live in a humid climate zone, you will need something that is stronger in duty than this baby.
It doesn't help with my tangles all that much, but I am not complaining. It does what an average conditioner would do. No great shakes about it.


How do you use this product?

1.Apply an adequate amount of product from mid-shaft to ends first (like you are making a ponytail) on wet, shampooed hair. Depending on your thickness and length, you want an amount that coats all your hair.

2. Work anything that's left through roots and crown.

3. Run a wide-tooth comb from roots to ends to detangle hair. This is the safest method for detangling without causing breakage as the conditioner adds a protective barrier.

4. Leave on for 3-4 minutes. 

5. Rinse thoroughly.


All in all, it's quite ok but I have already moved on to another product for conditioning purposes.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Coping with an impatient world

I am an adult and there are times I am treated like a child. Well, most of the time. I don't look my age and people think I am in college and there are times when people think I am still in school. Probably on the days that I eat less. Even my parents treat me like an insecure being most of the time. I assure you that I am totally not.
If I go to charge my phone in a power socket, my dad starts panicking like I was a 2 year old who was blissfully going to stick their finger in there and get electrocuted. He seems to have ignored the gain in structure and size over the years, not to mention the rapid development of my grey matter. *sigh*

There are the good sides to it too, they pamper you with affection, sweet treats and the best food but they won't let you out of the house when they come on vacation to stay with you and they impose rules on you that you had to adhere to when you were in your teens. Eghads!!!

Though I thoroughly enjoy all the undue attention, there have been times that people have driven me over the edge. For instance, there are uncles who still chide me for things I don't think are wrong. Everyone has their own personal opinions on certain subject matters. If I tend to opine what I feel, I instantly get struck by some personal insults. I usually do not say anything back, I just sit and listen. Because I was raised to be an obedient child. I have never used harsh words against elders even if I knew they were lying or trying to take advantage of me many a times. So I felt I have to write about some coping mechanisms.

Perhaps, you have gone through similar situations because I know that I am not the only one here. It is common in India to be treated like a child even if you are 50 years old with 4 kids. I am not 50. I don't have kids. But I am just recollecting what I have seen. lol
The Gaslight Effect ~ That would be most of my childhood & older childhood. Countered by the love showered on me by my mom & grandma.


So how do you cope with it?

If an elderly member of your family is trying to make you feel small and passes a random insult at you or screams their lungs out for apparently no fault of yours, then instead of taking it all in, just look at them like they are the crazy ones. You do not have to say much but by just looking at them like you can't comprehend their behavior itself is enough to shift the emphasis on to them and not the person being tortured. It should be a look of startle and apprehension giving them the message that, 'How much more crazier can you get?' or like, 'You are the most ridiculous person I have ever met'. Don't say it but try to look it. It's quite easy when you are put in the position. It's saves you than making you feel terrible about yourself and that is where they draw out your power from you. In this way you are not carrying the insult on your person. This will make them feel unsettled and make them realize their folly, if they have some common sense. Do not let them feel that they have bothered you, how much ever bothered you really feel. Be calm. Do not stoop their level though you are allowed to crack a joke if you find it befitting the situation.

If you feel like the situation is building up on anger, walk away if you do not want to be absorbed by a lot of negativity. Avoid them as much as possible even if they are trying to irk you.

If you can stand up for yourself, do so but do not stoop to their level and use bad words like they do.

Try to let it go from one ear to the other. They know no better.

If you feel you have a close friend around you who can support you, then speak to them and get around to understanding how to deal with it.

If the person who is insulting you is someone that you really look up to and if he has stated a fact, consider the truth in it. If there is a grain of truth in it and you require the correction, take it. That makes the insult not an insult anymore. It's just a statement of fact. It may prove to be of help to us.

What if they are constantly reminding you that you are worthless and non-existent and such and such?
How can you believe such a statement, in the first place? Do not ever EVER consider even a single grain of truth in that. No one is useless. It is a negative statement and an even more negative belief. Even if someone else has said it, it does not make it true. You can only make that statement true, if you believe in it. So just do not believe it. It's as simple as that. You are NOT worthless. You have to start believing that. There is no other way around it. No one has the right to tell you who you are. You are your own true definition. I keep telling that to everyone and myself. It is a statement I have made for myself from the time I was a child. I have been through years of childhood abuse but whenever I was told that I was as good as dead or why was I ever born, I would tell myself, even at that very young age, 'You are your own true definition'. Perhaps, the higher self must have fed that into me before I was even born but I have always believed in it. I believe in myself. I know no truer human being than me. I am not saying this out of pride. I know who I am so I can say it without a single iota of doubt.

We live in a world full of opinions, the minute you enter a room people are judging you or trying to squeeze out the best from you. No one appreciates a person who is still. Do not get lost in a swirl of negativity, shift your focus and save your self. Keep your heart well guarded and learn to protect oneself from harsh realities. Face it, learn to go with the flow and learn to let things be.

Most importantly, save yourself to be able to save and help others.











Monday, November 24, 2014

Sulfa Allergy

If you are one of those who have always had an adverse drug reaction to sulfonamide group of antibiotics, then this post is for you, my friend.


We are basically going to talk about foods that you may have to avoid if you have been classified as someone who has sulfa allergies. You very well know that when you go to your doctor for a checkup or have to get admitted for some illness, you have to HAVE to disclose and tell them to mark you as a patient with SULFA ALLERGY on your case file in bold red letters.

Time and again, despite doing that when I was younger, my doctors had given me some drugs that would lead up to sudden allergies after a procedure was performed. And I had always wondered why they forgot. It has serious consequences if not taken care of.

There was also this one time that I had a procedure done for my recurring sinusitis. This was when I was quite young. Maybe in eighth grade or so. Right after the procedure, I was given coffee. Or something that tasted like it. I can't tell. As soon as I had the drink, I broke out and my tongue got so swollen that I swore off coffee completely. He had to ask me to lie down and I spent a few days home.I still do not know what it might have been. But I can take coffee now but not so much. It does give me some gastro intestinal disturbances.

So I decided to investigate what foods need to be avoided if you are allergic to Sulfa.

This is not a consolidated list, this just happens to be a list that I compiled keeping some common allergens in mind. You  may or may not be allergic to the items on this list but you can keep them in mind.

Shrimp
Certain kinds of fish eggs, caviar
Crab
Wine
Lettuce
Packaged green leafy vegetables
Cabbage
Grape Juice
Pickled food
Eggs
Corn
Gluten
Peanut Butter

I am not allergic to most things on this list but I know that I cannot tolerate some of these foods if taken over a certain limit. You may not be allergic to them too but you can keep a watch out if you have any trouble eating them.

Exciting giveaway at Heart Bows and Makeup's First Blog Anniversary!

Hi, Everyone!

Hope you enjoyed your Sunday. I would like to extend my congratulations to Lisha who has really worked her way to making Heart, Bows and Makeup a huge success in blogosphere. It is the first anniversary of her lovely blog, on account of which she is hosting an amazing giveaway.
 Be sure to check out heartbowsandmakeup for more details and also for great reviews and style tips. She rocks her fashion.