Sibling Love

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We always have that one friend who never leaves. The one who stays through all your idiosyncrasies. The one who protects and shelters through tough times. For me, this person is my sister: My one and only. She is the one who has always been with me, through the darkest of days.

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I was a typical teenager: rebellious, the one who thought she knew everything there is to know. Sometimes disrespected my parents by doing exactly the opposite of what they told me to. I always wanted to do things my parents would say no to, just to irk them. Obviously, I was going through my teens. Some may say teens might not even be humans. I do agree a little bit. I was horrible myself. But through all of this; sneaking outside the house, giving me her pocket money, standing up for me, my sister has always been there for me. And I know, that I have ALWAYS taken this fact for granted.

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There have been times when I have disrespected her in public, only to make her feel bad about herself. When I think about it now I feel pathetic about the person I was to her. Being the older one, I should’ve protected her, been there for her. Now that we are adults, we are much closer than we were before. This is because I left home to be in the US, and distance made our hearts grow fonder. I am really lucky my sister stuck around to know me better, even though I wasn’t around much for her. I definitely am lucky to see the kind of person she turned out to become. I feel like I never really influenced much of her life. But it is great that she became her own person. The values and the standards she has set for herself are distinguished. I love her very much.

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If your sibling is estranged for some reason, reach out to them today, let them know that you still care. For every human, it is important to have that sense of belonging; whether it is family, a loved one or even a friend. You already have that friend, embrace them without question. Understand that, no two people are the same. The differences fuel the fire to move forward and why not take your sibling with you on this journey you can enjoy together? Some things I can never change about my sister, but the important qualities I would never like to change.

Welcoming 2017

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you have woken up from your drunken state and have dealt with the hungover state well. Energize with lots of fluids, cut down on greasy breakfast and coffee which will only make you dehydrated. Also, sleeping it off helps. It’s a been there, done that kind of advise. Lol.
I’ve mentioned before that New Years’ day always goes in reminiscing; also thinking about what I did achieve this past year, my immediate future goals and what I plan to conquer this year.
I must say 2016 surely breezed through but I did manage to learn a thing or two. I wanted to share those smaller victories that have made me more confident and allowed me to be a bit wiser this year.
I definitely learned how to live alone in an apartment and fight the little fears all by myself. I am terrified of insects. Any kind of tiny creatures really get me worked up. I surely had to deal with them myself. I think its safe to say that I’ve crossed this obstacle with flying colors.
Secondly, I can sleep all alone with the lights turned off. I know a lot of people who need a night lamp to be able to fall asleep peacefully. This definitely is a big victory for me. I know this was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with when I came to the US. You don’t realize how dependent you are on your roommate or friends when you live with them. You take these little things for granted only to realize that you did not know how to sleep without the lights. Or did not know how to make food from scratch. You always had a lot of help.
My friends always tell me that I am quite judgemental about people. This year has undoubtedly taught me otherwise. I am much more patient with people and have learned to give everyone the benefit of doubt they deserve. This has helped me to look at the positive much before the negative steps in. It makes the experience of meeting new people much better and fulfilling. At the end of the day, you want to like and be liked, right?
This year was also a little weird as it was mother’s 10th death anniversary. I guess it has been long enough to be okay. I do miss her a lot but i am at a happy place where I can talk about it and feel grateful to have spent the time I did with her. I am the person today because of her and my dad. I have realized our family needs us as much as we need them and we need to be there for them.

I have been keeping a one day at a time attitude. I accomplish smaller goals which helps me to draw a bigger picture. I know that I want 2017 to be even better in terms of personal and professional growth. Don’t be afraid to try new things and embrace change. It will only make you more awesome and different from the crowd. I plan to try a new thing every month next year and see where it takes me. I am optimistic about the future and about me!

Sending some love and motivation your way. Let’s fall in love. Let’s thank our parents for their love and support. Let’s be healthy and start afresh. Let’s conquer 2017!

My travel essentials

I am traveling for the NYE weekend and thought I should share my essentials with you guys! I hope this will help you in some way to plan out and not ruin your holiday thinking about what you left home. My friends tell me that I pack fast and pack well. But I know that I forget one small thing that definitely irks me.

So I have made a comprehensive list here (Note: This list might look like a little too much but trust me all of it will fit in your travel bag). So let’s begin:

  1. Clothing: I don’t judge people who over pack this section. I get it, you never know what you might need. But if you plan smart you might get away with a few pairs. For example, I am going for 3 days, 2 nights. So I am bringing a pair of jeans, a pair of sweatpants, 2 tops and my NYE outfit. Also one pair of nightwear that I will be wearing both nights. Undergarments- I do not want to curb you on this. But take as many or as little as you like. I won’t judge! LOL.
  2. Cold weather: 2 pairs of socks for two days and one I will be wearing when I leave. This is because I know it will be snowing and I will have my boots on. I dislike wearing old socks. I am carrying one beanie, one coat/ jacket, one pair of gloves which I will be wearing all three days. With my boots, I will be carrying a pair of heels for NYE.
  3. My handbag essentials: I have talked about this in my previous post and I hardly ever change anything in it. Except for may be tampons (Let’s get real). These are must haves.
  4. Accessories: I will be wearing a pair of ear studs, carrying one pair for NYE, one necklace and that’s it.
  5. Things you forget and might need: Bobby pins, hair elastic, safety pins, Q-tips, bandaids for those nasty blisters because of new heels, toothbrush and toothpaste- I hate buying these everytime I am on a holiday. I will definitely need an anti-perspirant, mouthwash and ibuprofen. I know it sounds like I am taking my entire apartment but all of this really will fit in a cosmetic pouch. I suggest getting one of those mini emergency kits that you can throw in your handbag so you don’t have to make your own. One of my soon to be married friends recently visited me from Dubai and she bought one for brides. It is quite practical to have one. Also congratulations to the happy couple and wishing you both all the very best!
  6. Make-up, skin & haircare: This takes most of my luggage space. And you’ll see why as you read on! I really enjoy my skincare and make up when on a holiday. Like I indulge in a sheet mask or a face mask while watching TV in the hotel room while curling up in the comfy bed. With makeup, I can really take my time to create the look I want. This is the best part about a holiday, time is on your side. And I make the most of it. Sorry I digress, while I sip on a glass of wine. Make up- take one of each. I repeat, one of each! Here goes- primer, foundation, concealer, setting powder, brow gel, eye primer, eyeshadow palette, eye liner, mascara, lip liner, lipstick, blush and highlighter. Not much into contouring, I go for the more subtle look. Now for skincare- face wash, body wash, body lotion, moisturizer for face and eyes, serums or any treatment products you are currently using, toner, and sunscreen. Haircare- I like to carry samples of a shampoo and conditioner. And the travel size of my Oribe dry texturizing spray. I also use this as a dry shampoo. And some heat protectant spray for styling. This does sound like a lot but if you are an enthusiast like me you will want all of it. I suggest using all of the sephora samples you have accumulated or take it from a friend who has. So that you don’t overdo it. LOL!  I know this list varies for every person but make sure you carry only one of each. If you do not wear one of these then you get to carry one more of the other category. How does that sound!? It is only fair.

Some of these items are add ons just because its NYE. And that I wouldn’t normally carry on a holiday. I like to sleep and eat while I vegetate in my sweatpants on a regular holiday.

I hope you guys are having a great holiday season, are looking and feeling the best for NYE. Wishing you guys a fun-filled evening/ night. Cheers!

What is success

I have been very lucky to be surrounded by very inspirational individuals. It is really important that people help you grow and motivate you to be better, to be more than what you are. My friends and I always play this “question” game where we have hypothetical situations and we have to understand where we are and what we are capable of. It is such great way to break the ice or just understand the people who are closest to you.

I always think about the definition of success for me. It is so hard to define success.Everyone has some kind of definition. I think it has to do with the unachievable. I think for some people it’s buying a high end car, or owning a 4 bk apartment in San Francisco. Why not? I think. When you dream big, you reach half way, right?

I admitted to adopt a child some day and so did my friend. Or may be own a restaurant. I always tell my friends that I want to be a waitress in my own restaurant. Wouldn’t that be awosome? I think it’s important to understand what success means to you. Whether it is money, mending relationships or even not knowing what to do next after achieving set goals. I think, for me, it will be the day I am satisfied and I feel that it is going to be never. At 27, I feel I cannot define it. But, someone once told me that success to them is looking forward to a new goal, something more than what they have and want. Today, I think I am happy but not satisfied. So should I feel that I will never experience success? Should I think that I will never be satisfied?

I get up everyday thinking about something that I want more. That there is more to look forward to. What is your definition of success? I know that this is too early but do you know what it is?

Lipsticks I’ve been loving this fall

Hey guys! Saying that its been a while is getting old. But with the holiday season coming up I am hoping to post a LOT more. I hope everyone has been enjoying the fall as much as I have. I took my yearly trip to Vermont. The foliage was gorgeous. I felt like I fed some superfoods to my eyes. Do you know what I mean? I am sure you do. Who doesn’t love fall. And make-up?

Let’s get to the lipsticks I have been loving as fall began:

1) YSL ‘Rouge Volupte Shine’ Lipstick: Shade: 48 Smoking Plum- This lipstick is the most expensive lipstick I own. Lol. It is $37, but it is so worth it! It is a sheer, shiny wash of plum tone on your lips. My lips are quite pigmented but the color shows up perfectly. I recommend this for the holiday season if you are not looking for the classic red lip. Also, it smells like candy. Who doesn’t want that, right? You can buy it here

2) Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips: Shade: Secret Salma- This shade is not just a fall shade. It is an all-season shade. It is a pigmented mauvy-pink which goes with anything you wear and is flattering for all skin tones. Perfect everyday shade to work for the fall season. And the packaging just like the YSL is absolutely stunning and luxurious. You can buy it here

3) Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel: Shade: 36 Indian Sari- This is in the high shine finish. The lip gels also have metallic and shimmer finishes. I love this shade for an evening out when I don’t want to do too much. This is just a perfect mauvy tint to my lips with some oomph. I feel like its slightly balmy and feels great on my lips. I’s one of my favorite glosses. You can buy it here

4) Glossier Generation G lipstick: Shade: Jam- Let me start by saying I am a big fan of Glossier. Especially their cleanser and both face masks. This lipstick is matte, balmy and no non-sense. It is great for everyday. I love this shade because it skews towards a purple-y tone. And as the name suggests it reminds me of berry jam. I love it! I like to apply a tiny bit of their coconut balm dotcom before I go in with the lipstick. Works well this way for my dry lips. You can buy it here

5) e.l.f matte lip color: Shade: Berry Sorbet- e.l.f has really great matte lip color. They are not your typical matte lip pencils. They are quite comfortable and do not dry your lips out. This shade is a reddish berry shade perfect for night and day. I have even worn this for a day out in summer without going all out on the eye makeup. It looks really beautiful. Also e.l.f is so friendly to your wallet that buying a few at a time will not depress you later 😉 You can buy it here

Swatches of my fall favs!

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Top to bottom: YSL Smoking Plum, Charlotte Tilbury Secret Salma, Glossier Generation G Jam, Sephora Collection Indian Sari, Elf Berry Sorbet

10 Ways to be positive and happy

I have been recently brawling with being positive and looking at the “brighter” side of things. I am sure most of us struggle with this every day. And if you don’t you are very lucky my friend or you might be living in denial. So I thought I could share a few things I do to make myself feel better through the somber times.

  1. Take a good nap: Sleep is really important to induce positive thoughts and rejuvenate your mind. I won’t go into the science of things but I try to sleep for 7-8 hours daily.
  2. Enjoy a drink/ Listen to music: Whenever I am alone over the weekend or during the week I like to turn on some music I enjoy or videos I like to watch. I do this with a glass of cold juice or wine for weekends.
  3. Read something motivational: I know not many of us like to read but there are some motivational books that are perfect for pick me ups during the day or read motivational quotes online.
  4. Make a list of short term goals: I love making to-do lists!! This helps me to be focused on my current tasks and also make short term achievable goals. This is important to understand your own capabilities and strengths.
  5. Love yourself: I know a lot of people who find flaws in themselves and forget to embrace who they are. It is really important to accept your true self to move forward without being hung up on what is wrong. It is always good to know your weaknesses so you can work towards mitigating them.
  6. Take up a hobby/ exercise: I cannot stress enough on the importance of having a hobby. This will help to keep your mind active no matter how old you are. Another important key to being positive is exercising. The blood flow in your body will help you clean out your thoughts and help you sleep well at night.
  7. Worry less: Everyday I remind myself to not worry about the things that are out of my control and just concentrate on my priorities. This can be really difficult but it does get easier once you make a conscious effort to do so. Just take a deep breathe and move forward!
  8. Eat healthy: Ayurveda describes beautifully how the food you eat affects the formation of your thoughts. Some foods can make you lethargic or even stressed out. Learning more about what you consume and making conscious decisions can go a long way. You need to be fit mentally and physically to have a healthy and happy life. It’s not to late to start today.
  9. Smile: Every time you smile your mind will automatically take you to your happy place and make you feel better. It doesn’t take much to smile at a stranger at a store or even your colleagues on a hard day’s work. It definitely will get you through a tough day.
  10. Give your 100%/ This is your life: You worry less, give your 100% from the time you get up and things will always move in a positive direction. This is your life so don’t worry about making mistakes and enjoying every second of it. You only live once!

Oh, you little thing, you inspire me..

As a part of growing up, I liked the little things to inspire me in a way that the vital ones didn’t. A kind act by someone (not necessarily for me) or even someone sharing an article they read. It makes you believe that people do think about you in the day and that you did make a difference to them. I am quite self motivated and usually don’t get dispirited. I take delight in bringing energy among a group of people I am a part of. I appreciate every deed a person has done for me. Although I do want to learn how to be less critical of a person or a situation and see the light behind it.

I really enjoy my ride to work. There is something about early mornings, the fresh air even if its so damn cold! I like seeing the roads, shops by the side, slowly getting busy. I enjoy seeing little children being dropped off to the school bus by their parents. Something about the mornings also inspires me to do better, do much  more than I can. Sipping a warm cup of coffee, listening to music; I mentally make a to-do list for myself. I feel like the coffee helps register things better.

My recent inspiration has been travelling and being on the road. It has given me time for myself and also helped me enjoy food of different styles and people of different kinds. Good food and good conversations are my fuel for life. Whenever I feel down, I read. I enjoy playing with my never ending collection of stationary. So I write back home to my family and friends. It makes a difference to me and to them. My friends from India have told me that my posts have reached them at the correct time or when they were least expecting it. It makes me so happy.

The most trivial things help you to make so much sense of every situation. I bask in the joy of somehow knowing it all (at least I feel I do). Doesn’t everyone want to feel that way? I suggest you give importance to the less valued things, emotions and gestures. It makes life simpler and gives you an edge. Then you start noticing that people around do appreciate you for it.

Someday I want to be a person who is strong emotionally and who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I want to make a difference in multiple lives. Motivate them when they need me the most. I want to move forward and take all my loved ones with me.

Have you made a difference today or changed anyone’s life?