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Today is my Birthday and I just entered in my 30s. Seems like dooms day when I woke up in the morning. Am I really that old? I became nostalgic remembering the time when I was young, cheerful and less haywire which I am today. Not that I hate my life, but it’s just I miss being more chirpy which I used to be.

So, being a typical “Sardarni”, I decided to practice a few things starting from today to be more active, happy and young (by heart) every day.

  • Start Green: I pledge to start my day with cup of green tea. Thanks to my lovely friend Shivani, I got monthly stock of herbal tea which will help me to cleanse my body from inside. Best thing to happen every morning.
  • Kill the Calorie: I pledge to kill all the extra calorie which I get from “Daal – Chawal” with Ghee on top and not to forget piece of  chocolate after that. I want to loose all that flab not just to look slimmer but become healthier. Thanks to my best friend  Rajeesh… who keeps this mantra locked in my head. Today I promise you… I will exercise and stop taking shortcut route (you know better what I am talking about).
  • Eat with Delight: Now, that’s what I do all the time… just watch me eating dark chocolate ice cream and you will know. I pledge to enjoy all the fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts which will give my body strength. Thanks to sweet, sexy, handsome Kunjan for keeping our fridge packed with all the healthy stuff with not so healthy supply of cheese, butter and of course Ice Creeeeeeeammmm….
  • Pat your Back: I pledge to think positive at every step of my life. Sometimes, I find myself  pulled in different direction, mostly between professional and personal life where invariably I end up hurting someone close to me. Thanks to Kunjan, Rajeesh, Dhara, Mom, Dad for never ending support when I am down. Also to my lovely balcony where I can stand and start complaining to God about my life.
  • Take A Break: I pledge to take a break (not on weekdays…. Rajeesh) and go where my heart desire. We may take an off on weekend but that never actually refresh our mind and body. So, take a break from your regular life and enjoy some moments with the person you love. My wish is to spend some quiet time on the Beach of Somnath, Gujarat. Heard that its the most serene place to let all your worries go and get connect to God.
  • Start Dreaming Again: I pledge not to dream of loosing tooth, standing naked, falling from height and so many other weird stuff. Jokes apart – for me, dreams are something that motivates me achieve new heights. Thanks to my “Sardar” dad who always say “Sky is the limit, if you dream right”.
  • Piece of Chocolate as Antidepressant: I pledge to control my intake on Antidepressant dark chocolate. Well its not really bad thing, the only problem is I eat that a lot. There are days when I have fight with clients, friends (mostly Rajeesh), even with the person standing next to me on traffic signal. Beat such days with a piece of chocolate which contains a special chemical which soothes your angry mind, it does to mine.
  • Love Yours: I pledge to love myself even when my butts refuse to get into my favorite jeans. Loving yourself for what you are is the most difficult  yet important thing to do in life. A research shows that more than 90% people in the world are not happy the way they look. My mantra is start loving yourself and people around will start loving you for what you are. For those who don’t …. show them the middle finger.
  • Have A Hobby: I pledge to learn something new in my life. I haven’t actually decide but would love to learn belly dancing for sure. Having a hobby will give your thoughts a new direction and make your thinking more positive.
  • Fall In Love Again: I pledge to fall in love again and fall head over heels with Kuku (my cat). As the time pass by , we take the emotions of people closed to us for granted. Hope to change that and rekindle the love for every person close to me. I am deeply sorry to Kunjan, Rajeesh, and Mom whom I hurt most with my word or silent treatment.

So this is it, my resolutions for the new year and a new beginning. But one thing which I think every person should do is to keep that little brat child alive inside you.

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To honor, the symbol of courage, Nirbhaya who passed away last year on 16th December, Whistling Woods International (WWI), an institute for studies in film, media and fashion, release a YouTube video on the same day this year to drive awareness on Women Empowerment. The video titled ‘Dekh Le’, which has been issued in public interest by WWI has already picked up quite well among the online viewers who watched the video over 349k times in just 5 days of its launch.

Already it has been a year since that horrific gang rape case in Delhi, but till date we hear news about rapes, sexual assualt, molestations cases almost every day. Specially in India, men look at women in public places as if they are watching a display item, as though women exist on a television screen. But, in reality, these women do see the men staring at them, and those stares make them feel not only uncomfortable and objectified today, but downright unsafe as well.

This short film ‘Dekh Le’ produced by WWI alumni, Ketan Rana is a film on ‘Women Empowerment’ has four different scenarios setup in traffic, on a bus, in a train and in a cafe where women are subjected to ever-pervasive male gaze while going about their daily lives out in the public. But then a reflective surface, be it sunglasses or a necklace, turns these gazes back towards the men.

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Have you ever faced embarrassment when someone looks at your heels and comments “Ewww”? 

Do you often try to hide your feet from others to see when in public?

If your answer to the above questions is yes, then don’t worry you’re not alone. Almost every person have dry skin or cracked heel problems which tends to get worse in winter. There are many people especially women who wish to carry on with that good looking dress with matching sandals. But they couldn’t do that because of their cracked heels. They often try to hide their feet with socks or longer feet covering dresses or sarees. Such long sarees or dresses often make it difficult to walk or you may also lose balance and injure yourself. So if you have cracked heels don’t try to hide it instead try to understand the causes of cracked heels and heal them.

The main reason behind cracked heels is the result of ignorance towards foot care, lack of moisture and over exposure of feet to dry weather and dust. Continuous pressure on the soles make the feet expand sideways resulting skin to crack.

Common reasons for having cracked heels are:

  • Cold or dry weather in winter
  • Dehydration of skin or Dry Skin
  • Lack of moisture in feet
  • Soaking feet in hot water for longer time
  • Hot bath
  • Excessive usage of harsh soap
  • Scrubbing feet till the skin gets chipped or dry

 Home remedies to tend cracked rough heels:

  • Massage your heels with sesame oil before you hit the bed. Sesame oil is apparently the best remedy for cracked heels.
  • Massage your heels with warm coconut oil. Rinse it in the morning to get soft heels.
  • Mix glycerin with few drops of rosewater and apply the mix on the heels daily. This will soothes cracked heels and reduces the pain in heels.
  • Take 1/4th bucket of warm water and squeeze one lemon in it. Soak your feet for 10 minutes and wash it with pumice stone. You can use raw salt instead to get natural pedicure for your feet and this will exfoliate dead skin too. If your cracked heels tend to bleed, avoid putting lemon in water or scrubbing feet with pumice stone.
  • Prepare a mixture of lemon juice and papaya; apply on the cracked heels. Let it be there for 20 minutes at least and wash off.
  • Apply fresh aloe vera on your cracked heels to make them softer naturally. You can also prepare a mixture of aloe vera gel, ½ tsp. of turmeric, ½ tsp. of Tulsi paste and pinch of camphor; apply daily on your cracked heels before sleeping. Rinse in morning.
  • Take a ripe banana, mash it and apply on the affected areas. Let the mixture be there for 15 minutes at least and wash off.
  • One can also create foot scrub at home. Mix sugar with any oil (coconut oil, sesame oil or oil of your choice) and scrub your feet in regular motion. It will not only cure your cracked heels but also remove dead skin from your feet.
  • Last but the most important tip; drink lots and lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Other Tips to Keep Your Heels for Longer Time:

  • Wear shoes of exact size. Thin sole shoes expose your feet to dust resulting into cracked feet.
  • Scrub and Exfoliate your feet regularly.
  • Moisturize your feet regularly especially heels.
  • Wash your feet when you come home from outside
  • Use good creams for your feet.

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Winter is the most pleasing season to me as I have to bear less heat as compared to rest of the year. But the biggest problem of living in the plains is your skin becomes too dry in winter. As the winter has arrived, my skin becomes super dry and wrinkled which I absolutely hate it.

Main Cause of Dry Skin:

Dry skin problem occurrence cannot be because of one single reason. The causes can be due to external and internal reasons. External factors are the most common cause of dry skin problems among women which include factors like cold temperatures, low humidity, bathing with too hot water, over use of harsh soap and improper use of moisturizer on skin. Sometimes, even certain clothing can also affect dry skin. Materials such as wool or synthetic fibers tend to irritate the skin and worsen dry skin problems.

When you have flaky, itchy, dry skin – you wish to have a faster relief and that too for a longer time. Cold creams give soothing effect to your skin but it only last for 3 to 4 hours. To lock the moisture on your skin for longer time, use natural products that nourish your skin and rejuvenate the dead cells of skin.

This year I have decided to save money by not investing so much on skin creams and use homemade packs which gives a good amount of moisture to my skin throughout winter. All the packs are really easy to make and made from easily available ingredients

Face Packs for Dry Skin Problem

  • Cream – Honey Face Mask: For those who have super dry skin, mix a spoon of milk cream and honey. Apply this mixture on your face and neck and let it there for about 15 minutes. Wash it off with cold water and dab your face with clean towel gently. Milk Cream moisture your skin while honey will gives glow to your face. You can also use rose water in this mixture.
  • Almond Oil – Milk Face Mask: Mix a spoon of almond oil with two spoons of raw milk and apply on your face for 10 minutes or so. Wash it off with cold water. Almond Oil – Milk Face Mask is wonderful if your skin looks dull.  This mix contains goodness of milk and the hydrating properties of almond oil which restores the softness in skin. Also, almond oil penetrates your skin and restores the moisture content in your skin.
  • Rosewater – Strawberry Face Mask: This time save few strawberries for your face before you relish them. Blend few strawberries and mix it with rose water. Apply this to your face for 20 minutes and risen off with cold water. Strawberry is rich in Vitamin C as well as omega-3 fatty acids which helps removes the dullness of skin making it softer.
  • Banana – Rose Water Face Mask: Banana contains moisturizing properties. Mix a spoon full of mashed banana with rose water. You can add few drops of honey too if you have dull skin problem. Apply the mask and wait for 20 minutes, then rinse off. You will get a smooth, soft and radiant skin in just few minutes.

For the best results, you should apply the face pack at least two times a week. Choose the face pack as per you skin type so that it gets required nourishment. If you are allergic to any to the ingredients, avoid using that face pack as it might aggravate acne problem on your skin.

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Chapped lips and winter always go hand in hand. I tend to lick my lips when they are dry and most of the time in night, I breath from my mouth resulting into chapped lips in morning. The biggest problem with the chapped lips is it gets sore because of bleeding and you just can’t hide them even with the best lipstick. I have tried loads of lip balm to get softer lips but in vain. So, this time I have decided to save my money and try some of the grandmother tips.

Remedies for Chapped Lips:

  • Honey contains moisturizing properties. Apply some honey on your lips several times a day. It will make your lips softer and heal the cracks. Also it tastes good when you lick them.
  • Mix together one tsp. each of glycerin, few drops of lemon juice and castor oil. Apply this on your lips and leave it overnight. Wash with warm water in the morning. This will restore the softness of your lips.
  • Apply Ghee (clarified butter) on your lips whenever you feel they are dry. Ghee restores moisture and gives soothing effect on chapped lips
  • Make a paste of honey and Vaseline and apply on the lips for 10-15 minutes. Remove it by using a cotton ball dipped in rose water.

Lipcare: Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Always apply sunscreen on your lips before stepping out to avoid getting dark, dry and patchy lips
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water. People who do not drink sufficient water are prone to have dry skin problem.
  • Never peel dead skin from your lips as your lips will bleed more.
  • To get rid of dead cells on your lips, use a soft tooth brush every day in the morning. Apply ghee after this to restore moisture on your lips.
  • Avoid licking or biting your lips as it causes more chapping.
  • Include Vitamin A rich food, like, carrots, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
  • Apply lip balm or ghee every night prior to sleeping.
  • If you have cold, make sure your nose is clean so that you can breathe easily in night while sleeping.

So, here you have all the tips to have fuller and softer lips this winter. Don’t forget to comment and share your tips to treat chapped lips in winter.


Benefits of Swimming

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Recently, I started taking swimming lessons and all could I wonder was why I didn’t start it earlier in life. Swimming is undoubtedly one...