BEST DRESSED at BAFTAS 2014!

BAFTA Awards 2014 were held at the Royal Opera House in London on Sunday, 16th February. The red carpet was a star studded event, dominated by smoke eyes, bold lip shades, flamboyant evening gowns and elegant hair styles.

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I am no fashion police or a ruthless styling critic but having carefully examined what everyone wore, I have my favourite, Brangelina!!!

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Valentines Special! Fashion, Food & Gifts…

pittsburughmagazine.com2 Valentine’s day is around the corner. Over the years, it has shaped into one of the most commercialized days of the year, much further away, from its essence of being the most romantic one.Whether you are a single or a couple, V- Day has something to offer for everyone. Love truly is in the air…ALL AROUND US! 🙂

I’ve just seen a face, I can’t forget the time or place Where we just met, she’s just the girl for me And I want all the world to see we’ve met Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm mmm mmm (more…)

Shahzadi – My First Pet

 

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Image Courtesy: Studentbeans.com

My family has always been warm-hearted towards animals. As I grew up, I witnessed my Grandfather’s passion for dogs, my father’s interest in deers and my elder brother’s love for peacocks. We have lived with them all! Truly it’s all about my family and other animals! 😉

In fact, one of my cherished memories is that every time the female peacock laid eggs, we would get a hen to sit on them, till they hatched. Baby peacocks, similar to chicks in their initial phases would follow the female hen all around the back garden, thinking that she was their mother. For some odd reason this always makes me smile. Amazes me and makes me wonder if the hen was also as alienated from truth as were baby peacocks and thought she actually was their mother.

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Image Courtesy: flixya.com

Days, months and years passed. We moved to a different city and I was finally old enough to set my feet in London as a post graduate student. Living away from home and family is never easy. You are like a child who’s growing up and learning something new every day. This was the time in my life when I met my first pet, a goldfish.

I happened to attend a family friend’s son’s birthday where they had a placed a fish bowl on every guest table. At the end of the party, these were given away to the guests and I was lucky enough to be a proud owner of a goldfish.

As typical as it might sound, my first worry was what would I call her and it took me less than an hour to figure that out. I decided to call her Shahzadi which literally translates to Princess in Urdu. My late aunty used to affectionately call me that so there was definitely an emotional connection with the name.

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In an Asian family, when you are new to something, expect advises and suggestions to pour in from everywhere.

Don’t feed her too much, she might die! Don’t feed her too less, she could die! Clean her bowl often or she could die! Don’t put her in the windowsill or she might die! Don’t put her away from Sunlight or she could die!

You get how I felt?

My motherly instincts took over me. My day started with feeding her and cleaning her water and it ended with feeding her and cleaning her water. In between, I would just sit and talk to her. Almost every day! Watching her swim through the bowl, sometimes calmly, sometimes ferociously was a great therapy. There was a connection, it seemed like she was understanding my stories and reacting with her swimming speed.

It was a different feeling, something I had not experienced before and it made me happy. Very Happy.

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Image Courtesy: worldof90iqblogspot.com

It was all perfect until one miserable sunny afternoon when the entire London was celebrating 29 degrees temperature. I turned on the tap to change her water and my eyes caught her floating on top of the water surface in the bowl. I knew it. Instantly.

I shut the tap and dipped my finger in water. It was hot because of the weather and even till date I believe she died because of that. Losing her, like getting her was a different experience altogether. It pained a lot. Shahzadi was gone…

I cried a lot for her that day. It made me think of all my friends who had lost their dogs, cats and parrots. I felt the agony, it stung like a bruise from a deep injury that pierces through. Associations with first pets are very different. As mad as it might sound but she was in my life at a time when I need that affection and sense of ownership the most. I was really sad when she left and even though my family got me another goldfish after this, it was never the same. That feeling was gone with Shahzadi.

May my Shahzadi rest in peace in her big kingdom – blue waters of the mighty ocean.

xxx

Note: Shahzadi died in 2011

Media Discovery – SCAM ALERT!!!

IT'S A SECRET! Image: Venture Galleries
IT’S A SECRET!
Image: Venture Galleries

Hello my beautiful readers!

Hope you all are having a rocking 2014 and acting upon all your New Year resolutions 😉

I recently received an email to sell advertising space on Cheeni Thoughts from Media Discovery. Like always, a bit of digging up on good old Google led to some fascinating ‘discoveries’.

Media Discovery – What is it?

It is a scam company trying to lure bloggers into sponsored writings without informing the readers, that it is in fact a sponsored post!

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Please see emails below for reference

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What do they ask you?

They agree to pay influential bloggers an upfront annual sum of $100 to publish articles on a blog/website with a link to their client’s website. As a result, you will receive yearly payment (which is not a lot at all) until one of you decides to terminate the contract.

SCAM ALERT!
SCAM ALERT!

Where is the catch?

Selling space on blogs in such a manner is termed as Black Hat SEO.  This in layman’s terms is using unethical means to boost a website’s ranking on search engines especially Google. It takes on average five to ten of these articles/posts before search engines catch them. Sometimes it can even be more than that but yes, there is no running away from it! Once caught, Google demotes the website and blacklists it. As a result, 80-90% of traffic is lost straightaway and the website in penalized. Media Discovery can easily terminate the contract with your website once Google spots this unethical advertising and move on to target fresh bloggers to splash up their websites.

LOVE FO MONIES
LOVE FO MONIES

Media discovery does not inform you about the risks associated with this sort of advertising on your blog. They are only using your website till it benefits them and their clients and then conveniently spotting other new blogs once search engines catch up with this activity. Media Discovery (New Web Ltd) is encouraging blogs to run paid for advertorials redirected to their clients website, without disclosing to followers that the content is an advert. This is in breach of the advertising industry’s code of practice.

Monies
Monies

Always research! Think! Don’t be fooled into a couple of $$$

xxx

My Winter Wardrobe! Trends: Fall 2013/ Winter 2014

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Hello Hello Hello!!! Yes, I know it’s been too long since I last posted. Was super busy with moving countries and settling in my new residence. But now, I’M BACK! 🙂  Hope you all are having a great winter break!!!Happy Holidays once again! Joy O Joy 😛

I am not an idiot (or so I like to think ;)). Spending all your hard earned money on the same winter wardrobe every other season is the silliest thing one could do. Especially, when fashion is always repeating itself. Here is my quick insight into the HOTTEST Autumn/Winter delights (2013/2014) that would rock your ‘Baby its cold outside’ LOOK!

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Fur

Fur is ever-green; often termed as the most HOT way to stay warm! It is a part of every woman’s wardrobe in the chilly season.

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Tartan

Tartan for me is synonymous to winters. Check tartans and plaid have been storming fashion shows this season…YET again!

As seen at: Saint Laurent, Mulberry, Versace

Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Mulberry
Mulberry

Punk Funk

Punk get up has dominated catwalks and fashionistas all over the globe this current season as well and often reminds us of late 80s and early 90s!

As seen at: Versace, Isabel Marant, Saint Laurent, Haider Ackermann, Chanel

Versace
Versace
Isabel Marant
Isabel Marant

SKIRTalicious!

Skirts are an integral part of our winter attire – whatever the length! 🙂

As seen at: Victoria Victoria Beckham, Carven, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, House of Holland

Burberry
Burberry
Jonathan Saunders
Jonathan Saunders

Oversized & Baggy

Oversized coats, loose pants, baggy trousers are back in the fashion scene!

DKNY
DKNY

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Boy Zone

Masculine look has made a comeback yet again after 2009 when baggy shirts, manly trousers and moccasins were the IN thing!Masculine

Emporio Armnai
Emporio Armani

Religious & Cultural Touch

Embellished fabrics with jewels and fine embroidery along with clothes depicting the ‘Church & State’ have been an inspiration for fashion designers this current season.

Valentino
Valentino
D&G
D&G

Mini Bags

Who doesn’t get tired of big totes that we carry everywhere? Its time for a change this winter with these ‘mini’ treats.

Giorgio Armani, Carven, Chanel and Simone Richa produced some excellent ones!

minibags_ as seen at Giorgo Armani, Carven, Chanel and Simone Rocha

Low Heels

Yes, I said LOW! haha. For starters, give your feet a break! 😉

These, low heels are super comfortable and a quiet a favourite this season. Designers from Tommy Hilfiger to Emporio Armani have all come with some awesome designs.

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Last but not the least, as always not every style is meant to suit you and hence adopted! Always believe in a little bit of DIY look! Cut yourself some slack and where what brings out the best in you. Even if it’s a green xmas jumper with jeggings, complemented by boots and a string of pearls!!!

Jumper - ZARA Pearls - Present
Jumper – ZARA
Pearls – Present

Stay Beautiful. Stay Stylish. Till we meet again…xxx

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Halloween 2013!

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Halloween is amongst the oldest festivals of this world, dating back to the ancient pagan times. As per legend, it originated with Celtic Festival of Samhain where people lit bonfires and wore terrifying attires to scare of roaming ghosts.

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Centuries later, Halloween today, has evolved into an event of celebration. People dress up in all sorts of characters, children indulge in trick or treating and the whole community comes together to participate in the festivities with great fervor!

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LETS ALL CHEER FOR SOME CLEAN, HARMLESS AND SPOOKY FUN TIMES! :p

Boo! 😉

Here, I am sharing some Halloween-ish memories from my friend’s party!!!

We had quiet an eclectic mix of frightening characters: Devils, Cats, Zombies, Black Angle, Witch on a broom stick, Dead Red Riding Hood and many many more! And yes, this is not the end – the decor and food fully complimented the spook-tacular theme! 😉

Hope you enjoy!!! xxx

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The Gentleman’s Guide To SHOES!

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Hello all you fashionistas!

I have been flooded with emails to highlight men’s fashion and hence here I am 😉

This post is about providing an insight to the different varieties of men shoes available and making use of them adequately! Most of the men in my life are either in  Oxfords or Trainers. 🙂

Boys, its time to experiment!!! Have a look below and diversify your SHOES wardrobe.

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Walk in STYLE! 😉

xx

Platform 6.

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The train came to a halt on a dimly lit platform, as it poured outside

Purposelessly gazing out of the doors, I saw anxious faces

Running, walking and splashing – in all directions

Serenly lounged in my seat, as more passengers boarded

Lost in my thoughts until a sharp knock on my window

Instantly pulled me out, back to the present world

Just like the shriek of an alarm on a Monday morning

A station attendant in a neon jacket pointed

At my newly cut fringe, shielding my rectangular forehead

Her ‘thumbs up’ sign depicting her absolute nod of approval

I saw her lips curl as I read them

B E A U T I F U L!

Instinctively, my eyes radiated with life

I beamed, bowed and muttered back

T H A N K Y O U!

As the engine ignited and the train moved away

A perfect stranger had made my day

Who I might see again, on a different platform

Till then I fondly hold onto this memory and smile a little more…

xxx

Mmmm Macrons…

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Whenever somebody would say macron, a rainbow of colours would flash in my head. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to set on my voyage of macron discovery – all thanks to a stranger that I bumped into…Cheers Macron Man! 🙂

Macrons have been around since 1533 – introduced by Chef Catherine on the time of her marriage to King of France. They are made of sugar, egg whites and almond flavour – very little has changed in this basic mixture throughout the years. It wasn’t until quite recently i.e beginning of 20th century that a chef, Pierre Desfontaines experimented with the colours and added flavouring in the middle of both the cookies. His idea of filling the cookies with chocolate ganache popularized macrons immensely. God Bless Him!!!

Now, I am sure after all this sweet talk you would be wondering where to get a flavour of this tempting and succulent goodie?! I knew it!

Here is a list of the best macron places in London – let me have your feedback if you have been to any of them already!

Laduree at Harrods 

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With only 12 tea places around the world, Laduree at Harrods is the safest bet to indulge in the authentic Parisian macrons. Flavours include: vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, rose, raspberry, coffee, salted caramel, liquorice and orange blossom. They have special flavours for Christmas & Easter: passion fruit and dark chocolate, raspberry, dark chocolate and lime, and dark chocolate.

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T: 0203 155 0111 E: salesuk@laduree.com

Brompton Road, London, SW1

Pierre Herme

pierre herme_macron

Pierre Herme is also referred to as the macron man – the master of macrons!Every creation is unique and a key to activate those taste buds, instantly.

Be it Mogador (milk chocolate and passionfruit) or  Arabella (milk chocolate, banana, ginger confit); or Métissé (carrot, orange, cinnamon) – all these fancy delicacies are worth a try!

T: 020 7730 3663 W: reservations@yauatcha.com

Knightsbridge tube. Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford St, W1U 1AT.

 PAUL

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PAUL is a French bakery that began as a family business in 1889 and had expanded into over 2000 shops all around the globe. Any French bakery is incomplete without a range of macrons to dig into!

Paul has 2 different sizes of macrons and various flavours that include: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pistachio, raspberry and lemon flavours.

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T: 0207 491 8957 E: rdewan@paul-uk.com

22 patisseries across London / 277-278 Regent Street, W1

Yauatcha

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Yauatcha in Soho has been in demand for devising their menus on the lines of Wagamama and Busaba Ethai. It focuses upon Asian cuisines such as dim sum, tea, cocktails and customised Asian macrons. The flavours include: hazelnut, passion fruit, milk chocolate, yuzu chocolate, blackcurrant, earl grey, coconut, raspberry and lemon

T: 0207 494 8888 E: reservations@yauatcha.com

15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1

Try one of these and do let me have your much valued feedback.

Happy Nibbling 😉

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xxx