Monthly Favorites | January

I talked about my impulse to share about some things I am loving here & got some really good suggestions on how I can make it interesting.

One of the suggestions by Moksha was to do monthly favorites like the YouTuber Sherry Shroff. A little interesting fact – I have loved Sherry’s monthly favorites videos since a long time. In fact, they are some of my favorite videos on her YouTube but I find doing monthly favorites myself scary. My reasons are no doubt petty, but they matter to me. πŸ˜€ First of all, I am not someone who goes through a lot of products to make a good enough monthly favorite products list. However, I am now seeing this as a boon – it means my monthly favorites will be a good mix of experiences & how the month went, instead of only ‘products‘. Secondly, I also fear getting too much into the groove of tracking your favorite stuff throughout the month which may take away the joy of just being, but I hope that doesn’t happen, and, therefore, I am just taking the plunge here.

I now present to you my monthly favorites for January ’22. πŸ˜€

RiteBite protein bar: Ritebite is my new favorite snacking brand. You will know when you read my favorite #2. I keep trying a lot of snacking brands and I think food will always be a feature in monthly favorites one way or the other. The biggest reason I like RiteBite is because of favorite #2. Chips is a food category where its difficult to make a healthier alternative for regular chips that just tastes as good. I love their chips & if I go by their claims, one packet of their chips has ~10g protein. As for their protein bar, I like it for a very straight forward reason. It tastes good & is not as expensive as other protein bars available in the online space. Just to be clear, I don’t consume these products as any supplement or meal, its just that I snack a lot and I understand no packaged food is as good as home made, but I just look for healthier alternatives to the regular snacks I am addicted to.

RiteBite chips: I have already explained this.

Crax: Do you remember this brand we grew up eating? This particular variant is very tasty and a good snack for chilled out things like watching a movie. You know, like popcorn.

Cheesecake from ‘Salt & Sugar’: Its a cloud kitchen in Gurgaon that you can easily find on Swiggy/Zomato. We recently got their blueberry cheesecake for our friends’ wedding anniversary & it was a hit. I have had better cheesecakes, but it was a good mix of everything – product, price, promo & packaging. πŸ˜€ The taste was such that four of us demolished a full cake in half an hour.

Himalayan Ciders: We recently went on a trip to Shimla & again had the famous Himachal Ciders. Its a lovely drink to try out if you like trying out new things in alcohol. The apple one which is the most common is not that great for me, but I love the ginger ale variant.

Kurkez: There is a famous bakery on Shimla Mall Road called Krishna Bakery. I am not sure what their claim to fame is although most of the stuff I tried, I loved. They have this specialty item called ‘Kurkez’. I really can’t explain what it is. It is such a desi colonial hangover dish. It is a completely Indianized cutlet but looks like a seekh kabab. Just have it with the ‘white sauce’ they give the next time you are there. I don’t know whether you will love it or not, but I for sure miss it!

My new Kaftan: My massi (maternal aunt) gifted me this Kaftan which is a traditional Kashmiri dress & I love it to bits. She is selling Kashmiri clothes until 28th of Feb after which she would move to another handloom product that is seasonal for the North India. In case you want to buy what I am wearing in the picture, please reach out to her – +919216745142

Kindle Cover: This has nothing to do with January and I got it a long time ago last year but its one of the best purchases ever! I was very torn for the perfect Kindle cover and I was being too critical of all the options I had. Finally, went for this one and its so sturdy but also feels good to the touch. I love it!

Aroma Therapy sunscreen: Sunscreen is one thing I am always experimenting with. Reason? I am yet to find a perfect one, but this one’s close. First of all, it smells amazing to me, a fresh herby smell but nothing overpowering. (I have a very sensitive nose). Secondly, it glides on my skin so smoothly and while it may be light for parched skin, but I also have normal to dry skin and this is decently moisturizing for me. To me, the texture seems like it would work for most skin types.

B&BW Vanilla Lavender Candle: This is my first ever Bath & Body Works candle and its a bit controversial that this product is on my favorites list. Let me explain. I have used some of their cosmetics in the past & they are known for having amazing fragrances. This also means that most of their products are heavily fragranced, I have ended up loving some of those fragrances, but the fact that they are heavily fragranced made me feel uncomfortable about using them a lot. Same goes for the candles. They smell amazing and the fragrances are very long lasting. However, no doubt they are overpowering and in this age of soy candles which are more environment & inhaling friendly, they continue to be made of paraffin. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing these any time soon but there are 2 reasons why its on my favorites list – 1) I love this fragrance & since its long lasting, I use it very, very often to create an ambience. this itself is a good enough reason, but 2) I have tried a couple of Indian newer brands for candles and my experience hasn’t been even decent, forget being good. So, if you are completely satisfied with any soy candles that smell amazing & are available in India, please share your suggestions in the comments.

Trip to Shimla: We recently did a cousins trip to Shimla which was a lot of fun. This trip came with its own challenges due to the friction of finalizing plans, this and that. However, Shimla is one place I always love to be, no matter how crowded and commercialized its getting. The weather was chilly but with that sweet sunshine and we also got to witness snow at Narkanda (although not snowfall). However, the biggest highlight of this trip was the place we stayed at which brings me to my next favorite.

Marley Villa: This was your typical villa with a swing, tiny garden to play cricket in, wind chimes, creaky floors and a colonial interior. So heritage feels, such beautiful bar glasses. They have a functioning kitchen from where two caretakers & a cook serve all meals. The view from the garden is top-notch. The best part – its located slightly away from the mall road so you don’t witness the typical crowd but its close enough for an appetite building walk up the mall road. My favorite part was the garden. If I had to find cons with this place, one is that its not completely private. It is basically a set of two villas that are connected to each other, which didn’t bother our group in any way by the way but parking gets tricky up the hill. The other con is that we stayed in a 5-room villa as we were 9 people and there are two rooms in that villa which don’t have a door separating them, only a curtain. Depending on who you are travelling with, this may matter with regards to privacy.

So, these were my monthly favorites and I would love to know some (or all) of yours now. Please comment your favorites or leave a link to your blog if you do similar posts.

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When to find time to read?

Read in metro queues

Read in passport renewal lines

Read on your way to work (if you aren’t driving or else listen to an audio book πŸ˜€)

Read while on solo dates in cozy cafes

Read while waiting for someone

Read when you are out on a lunch date with self

Read in book fairs in stalls that have chairs

Read before napping in afternoons

Read right after napping

Read before sleeping

Read in parks sitting on cute benches

Read on weekends

Read when soaking sun on the weekends

Read when you can, as that is what matters. Not how much or what you read.

Need a petty suggestion! | Monday Mumbles

This is probably my most impulsive post ever. I was reading some new posts in my feed when a thought caught me and I wanted a suggestion from readers of my space. Incidentally its also Monday. So, its a Monday Mumbles post in its truest sense. πŸ˜€

If you don’t know what this Monday Mumbles series of mine is, you can read old posts here and this post on what it is.

So, here’s the thing – I love reading all these low-buy skincare posts and, in general, product empties kind of posts. I realized I would love to do these myself, but the thing is I am not a product hoarder, so I don’t have a lot to show when it comes to empties or low-buy. I am anyway on low-buy. πŸ˜€ I am definitely considering doing an annual empties post but that also means keeping bottles etc with me till the end of the year. That thought isn’t too exciting. I wanted your suggestions on how I can incorporate these fun product opinions kind of posts in my blog and, actually, what you as a reader, would also enjoy? To seed your thoughts –

  1. Would you like reading single product reviews of something I am using? If that seems interesting, I can even considering food products, something I actually use a lot of. πŸ˜€
  2. Maybe a monthly favorites? This seems really interesting, but, of course, requires effort and keeping an eye out for what you are enjoying.
  3. Time to time just reviewing my stash of things – lipsticks, books, coffee – the likes?

Do leave in your comments, even if it means you saying I don’t care or enjoy any of these kind of posts. πŸ™‚

If you want to share or ask something in the next Monday Mumbles, please drop me an email atΒ srish.myblog@gmail.com.

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Is it too late to write about 2021?

2021 sucked for me (and a lot of others). I didn’t know how to frame it, but i have been meaning to write about it since long.

It sucked in more ways than one. Of course, the obvious one. The second wave of Covid hit India and how. Left us scarred for life. Lost family member and many known ones. I honestly have nothing but gratitude for all of us who recovered. It was the worst, most difficult time for a lot of people. The medical infrastructure in India crashed badly, people were struggling for hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and this is India’s that population who can afford to. The biggest blessing at that time was not to see a hospital. And, therefore, blessed i was. My parents, Rahul and I, all of us got Covid. My brother had antibodies from the first wave I guess which is why he didn’t get it.

Apart from Covid, what really hurts me this year beyond limits is that I had two goals for this year (that i won’t be sharing at this point) none of which I could fulfill. Here’s the deal – it hurts not because they didn’t get fulfilled but because the onus for these two was completely on me. So, you can say that I was in a huge self-loathing or self-hatred phase this year.

Actually one of the goals is super personal and ideally it shouldn’t even be a goal, it should just happen as a regular thing. But it didn’t. The fact that I couldn’t take a move on this made me care so less about the other goal (which actually is a goal, something i have to do as a life goal that will make me extremely happy for myself).

Now I feel like I should also do a things i was thankful for in 2021, but yeah, i am sorry for starting this year’s posts like this.

I hope it only gets better and happier from now for you and me! Wishing you all a wonderful start to the new year ❀️

4 Things I’ll Never Buy | Blogmas 11

Remember this post? I talked about things I love collecting. An antithesis of this post is here now, primarily due to the motivation to consume less and not collect stuff. I don’t know which of the two posts i thought of first but here it is for you to enjoy:

Well, never say never but you get the gist, right? I am vary of buying these things:

1. Vases: i do buy other things that serve as vases. Like ceramic pots that can also serve as water jugs? You know what i mean? However, I desperately steer clear of buying actual vases from a shop. In my head, that’s just too basic a decor item. Why not use unexpected things as vases that set your house part? I love the idea of using alcohol bottles as is for home decor too.

2. Balloons: i have loved balloons for as long as I can remember. My mom tells me I used to be scared of them as a toddler, that’s why I said for as long as I remember. πŸ™‚ But, but, they are non biodegradable and create a lot of unnecessary waste. Just beware if you were to put me in charge of planning a party, i can assure you though that I’ll get a mean party setup without them!

3. Dusting clothes: i dont understand why people feel the need to buy these. Maybe i am missing something here? How come people don’t have clothes that are discarded and can be used as dusting clothes? Or its not good to use them?

4. Storage boxes: unless they are furniture. I don’t like the idea of ‘buying’ boxes that you would use for storage. In all likeliness, I’ll figure something out from existing boxes like delivery packages. But this may lead to piling up a lot of stuff, again something i truly despise. But it’s just lesser of the two evils. I cannot even begin to tell you just how hard I cringe when movers & packers come over and insist on using their own fresh new boxes, instead of the boxes you already have handy.

My top 5 favorite Kajals | Blogmas 9

Kajal or Kohl, the quitessential South Asian makeup product, is so assimilated into daily culture that most don’t even consider it makeup. In some parts of India, people (women mostly) wear Kajal from a very young age, however, where I grew up, it wasn’t the case. In fact, it was very much considered makeup. The first time I wore Kajal after growing up was in class 9 when I started getting into dressing up from being tomboyish. It was quite a big change for me.

Cut to 2011, I was discussing with a friend in college how much we both love Kajals. Then, we started searching online about the best kajals in India and so on. This is when I got introduced to the world of blogging and hooked I was! The earliest of all the blogs I read were beauty blogs. Eventually I started writing my own blog in 2013. πŸ™‚

Now that 10 years have passed, there is a lot that has changed with respect to my preferences and, therefore, this list will be reflective of my choices for best kajals in India.

A word about my preferences – I no longer give a flying f*ck about smudginess, I think smudged Kajal looks good on me and as long as its not a lot, I am fine. I don’t want “super staying” Kajals. I also don’t want a precise line, I go for slightly thicker lines. All I truly want is a super dark, jet black color in my regular Kajal. So, that’s what this list is about.

{Disclaimer: The images below are affiliate links. If you are thinking to purchase any of these, please click on the image to purchase so that I earn a comission too}.

Now onto the best Kajals in India based on my preferences starting from least preferred to most –

  1. Biotique Kajal: Most people won’t like it because it is super smudgy & anyway people are moving away from lipstick shaped Kajals as the pencil shaped feel more comfortable. I love this one to bits though simply because of the color pay off. If a dark, rich black color is what matters to you, this is the one. And its super cheap!

2. Faces Longwear Eye Pencil Solid Black: This would have easily been my most favorite had it not been for one major issue. This one stings. I thought its only me, but I have read reviews of the same online too. Its my favorite color & finish – rich, jet black & matte. It doesn’t smudge even a little bit. Its not cheap for a Kajal but considering it stings & doesn’t budge, it seems it has a lot of chemicals, so I would only recommend it for special occasions.

3. Lakme Eyeconic Kajal: Another favorite largely because of the same reason. Love the color, super rich, jet black. One brownie point – it is kind of a matte finish, not too much though. So, if shiny black lines are not your thing, you will love it. Oh, also, this one doesn’t smudge. πŸ™‚ For the quality, it is extremely cheap! In fact, I have used Lakme Absolute as well, which is their premium range, but that one is not going to make it to this list. πŸ™‚

4. Faces Magnet Eyes Kajal: I may not have put this on the list because there is nothing unique about this, except its very similar to the one above & cheaper too. The only reason I consider it second to the one above is because it doesn’t have that matte finish. If you would rather have a smudge free, jet black, pencil shaped kajal that doesn’t settle into a matte finish, this is the one! I should also mention that #2 and #3 both stay very well on the waterline without getting removed.

5. MAC Technakohl Graph Black: I don’t have a proper affiliate link for the one I loved using the most. If you want to buy it off Amazon, you can do so by clicking on the image below, but I would suggest buying it from an authorized seller. The one I see on Amazon I am not sure of. I recently got this and I had never expected it to be so good. Not only the color pay off is what I love – rich, dark black & matte, but it also glides so smoothly on the waterline, a very buttery finish, which is what sets it apart. I understand its expensive for a Kajal but I am yet to come across a Kajal I loved as much as this. I am on forever the lookout & will update this post then.

To summarize, I usually repurchase the Lakme one and I would definitely consider repurchasing the MAC one as well. Although, I am always experimenting with new Kajal brands ranging everything from Maybelline to Givenchy!

Bonus: Some more recommendations that I like, but I won’t count them as best kajals in India for me. The reason I am mentioning these is because people prefer different things. So, read to know if you would rather buy these:

Plum NaturStudio Kajal: Its color pay off is very similar to the ones I mentioned above as my favorites. The difference is that it needs sharpening. I know some people prefer that as they consider it more hygienic, so if that’s your thing, you will love it! Bonus points for the fact that this is cruelty free!

Lakme Absolute Kajal: I told you already that this doesn’t make it to best Kajals in India for me. A very simple reason for that – I hate sharpening, its too much effort for me when in hurry. However, in one way its even better than the Lakme Eyeconic I mentioned above, it is somewhat buttery, not as buttery smooth as the MAC one I mentioned but smoother than all others.

This is it for today and if you read it till the end, I am so, so grateful. πŸ™‚ Do leave your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.