If you have been following me on Instagram, you would know that I have dedicated this month to fitness and all the aspects related to it. After having my daughter, fitness has become even more important to me. Mind you, it is not about fitting into a certain size or thinking (wrongly) that it is all about starving oneself and being thin. For me, fitness means physical, mental and emotional strength. It makes you an overall better person. You can check the below pictures on how far I have come in a span of two years.

And if anyone tells you that you can become a small size overnight or drop 5,10, 15 kilos in a matter of days or weeks, they are clearly lying. There are also no shortcuts, it is determination, hard work and knowing what works for you.

black on black

Four months postpartum (2014)

The Athleisure trend

Present

When we are talking about fitness, how can we forget a very crucial aspect–food. I must also confess that I am a foodie through and through, so if anyone even mentions the word: dieting, I run  in the opposite direction. When I was younger, I rarely thought of things like meal preparation and organising. Today, this is an integral part of my days. My friends always ask me how I manage it all (at least seemingly)–home, toddler, work, blogging, fitness etc. Like many of ordinary women, I also DO NOT have an army of help in terms of nannies, cleaners, nutritionists, regular personal trainers etc. So, how do I do it? Two words: Meal preparation. Plus, I also have the wonderful hubby, the man of the house who goes from board room to kitchen to gym with ease.

Meal preparation tips

When anyone says meal-preparation, sad images of rice and bland chicken comes in mind. But it could not be far from truth. So, without further ado my handy tips are:

  1. Make a plan: I generally list out things/recipes for the whole week on a Friday and note it down. Noting it down is important because otherwise we tend to forget things and from get go things can go haywire. List out things you want to eat in the coming week. List out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
  2. Grocery shopping: List out the ingredients you want to buy from your meal list. Stick to this whilst grocery shopping. Also, try and go grocery shopping with full stomach, most of the time when I shop in empty stomach, I end up having the snack aisle in the kitchen.
  3. Think Macros: Your macros are carbs, protein and fat. Everything essential. Whilst planning out your recipes, try and get a good mix of these macros. Add condiments and spices to make it delicious.
  4. Snack Simple:When you’re cooking everything for the week at once, it’s important to keep things simple. Save time by choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time. Think fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus, nut butter with fruits, greek yogurt and smoothies.
  5. Take short cuts: Cut and keep veggies, marinate your protein and use the fridge/ freezer to store these ideas.
  6. Mix things up: No one likes routine, mixing things up is important to keep the momentum on and for your sanity.Plan on making two or three different dishes that you can alternate or mix-and-match throughout the week by adding different marinades/sauces, spices, different combinations/variations of the same thing you have prepared.
  7. Make ahead meals: Certain things can be made ahead and stored for a week. My favourite make ahead breakfast options are: overnight oats, bircher museli, egg muffins whilst favourite snack options are: fruits with greek yogurt/cottage cheese, homemade nut butter with bananas, protein bars and shakes.
  8. Relax: Do not think of meal preparation as a chore. If you feel that way take a break from the cycle, and get back to it when you are ready. It is important to understand that in fitness (and in life) you might fail but important thing is to get back at it without letting failure get onto you.

I hope these handy tips will help you get a better grip on fitness and allow you some time to yourself. Hey, it is not selfish. Often as women, we have been told that if we put ourself, our time and our wishes as a priority then we are being selfish. Let me tell you this: it is not. Heck, it is even important because happiness should be everyone’s right.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week? Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Money talks, style doesn’t have to: Rue Lala

Victoria Beckham has done it. Jourdan Dunn has done it. And  so has Hadid sisters. I am of course talking about the athleisure look. The trend took baby steps way back in 2014 (remember my Sports Luxe maternity style post?), kept its head up in 2015, grew stronger in 2016 and now in 2017 does not seem to be dying out. Athleisure, as the name suggests, means combining athletic and leisure apparel that transitions seamlessly from gym to post workout plans and if carefully executed even work.

Obviously, this does mean you take your tatty t-shirt and short shorts and hop around the town. What it means is combining sporty elements to your everyday repertoire. It is about giving your unassuming athletic wear a certain je ne sais quoi charm.

Adidas and British designer Stella McCartney are often touted as the brainchild behind this trend because they had a long-term collaboration long before the term athleisure entered the fashion dictionary. It has grown stronger each year, partly because fitness has become a bigger and more democratic niche and if all the green juices recipes on Instagram and Beyonce’s Ivy Park are anything to go by, fitness is now a very fashionable topic.

The Athleisure trend

All this is very fine and dandy seen from the filters of Insta perfection but how does the athleisure look translate in real-life? I have been toying with this idea for long but every time I felt like styling this look million questions crossed my mind: I am NOT a young celebrity model, I am a mum, I am working mum with 1000 things on her mind, yes, I love fitness (and even burpees) but would I really want to walk around the town in my gym wear?

After a lot of thinking, brainstorming the idea with my friend, I decided like any trend athleisure is also all about personalising it. Whilst I do want to channel my “post workout zen/cool look”à la Gigi Hadid, I also feel the obsession with sweat-wicking leggings, bright sports-bra-cum-crop-tops and white sneakers is definitely not hot news. 

To give this trend, my signature feel I have paired my Adidas legging with lace-sleeve sweatshirt, I have added a statement silver necklace and dainty earrings to keep it simple but I have gone way out of my comfort zone with my make-up and hair—double bun and bold lipstick—to seal the deal. Lastly, I have added heels to give it some added oomph. My variation to keep this look strictly casual is to add sneakers, a varsity jacket and a colourful bag.

The Athleisure trend

The Athleisure trend

In the beginning, I have mentioned that this trend can used for work. How? Add a nice, dark blouse, delicate jewellery, blazer, ankle boots/heels and nude makeup to finish the look and voila from slaying that burped you are ready to crash that glass ceiling in one powerful move.

The Athleisure trend

The Athleisure trend

Last but not the least, do not forget the fearless girl stance because ultimately everything boils down to those two things—fearlessness and faith. 

The Athleisure trend

The Athleisure trend

Leggings: Adidas, Sweatshirt+Pink bag: Guess (similar), Trainers: Adidas, Heels: Next, Jewelery: Street shops India. 

Photos by @tsaiki

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week? Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Who run the world? Girls — Beyonce 

If the American Presidential elections have proved anything it is this: that women no matter how experienced, how passionate and how hardworking she is, she has to work double the amount than any man to get the same position.

Work Wear Fashion

Women, have been constantly told that they have to be strong but not strong enough, clever but not clever enough and dare if she has an opinion about anything she would become “nasty” instantly.

Work Wear Fashion

You do not need Presidential elections to show you that gender issues especially in the work place are, for a lack of better word, skewed. Women, by nature, are incredible: we are strong, powerful, versatile and most women I know handle several million things without battling an eyelid with a charm only we possess.

Unfortunately, even in 2016 this does not get translated into equal opportunities, equal wages and an over-all respect for woman kind. I can only wish and hope that the future generation does not have to wage the same battle.

Work Wear Fashion

However, despite all the challenges thrown at women, we continue to rise up to it, not even bothering about the glass ceiling. And it is really heartening to see some men joining her and strengthening her.

What has all this got to do with fashion and clothes, you wonder? Well, a lot. With so many challenges already present why should sartorial work choices become another dilemma? My work wardrobe has few essentials: skirts, blouses in various hues, dark jeans (because it is allowed) and some well-fitting trousers. I also like to inject colour every now and then to my work wardrobe via accessories, shoes and subtle prints.

Here, I am wearing a white blouse (which every woman should have) with a knee length skirt featuring spiffy, tiny roses. I like to keep it simple for work. So, I have used minimal accessories: a delicate chain with owl pendant and owl earrings and my favourite coral pumps. Keep it chic and simple, I say.

Work Wear Special

Skirt: Dubai (also like this one), blouse: Next, Pumps: BHS and Bag: Kate Spade (gifted)

For my face, I have used primer from Barry M, concealer, CC cream from Bourjouis and finally dusted it off with some powder from Revlon. On my lips, I have used Mac’s Chatterbox and baby lips lip balm from Maybelline.

But the most important thing you need to carry at work is confidence (fake it, if you must) and do not forget: who runs the world? Girls.

Undoubtedly.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a fab week ahead and do not forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

” It takes balls to be a woman”

Ever since, I can remember I have battled with this idea: can I call myself a feminist despite loving all things fashionable? Do not get me wrong but there are umpteen misconceptions surrounding both these topics. In my case, from being told that I am “too pretty” for serious journalism (or anything serious) to being told that feminists are a bunch of ugly, man-hating, bra-burning women, has created a minefield of confusion. Both notions are, for lack of a better word, wrong!

Today’s International women’s day and I would like to put all doubts to rest. Feminism is about equality in every sphere of life: personal, professional and social. And this might surprise some: feminists come in all forms and like all things awesome cannot be put in a single box. They are big, small, working and home-makers. They are strong, they build each other–women and men and they can love or hate fashion. They can like me have particular affinity for pink and still have a mind of their own:a case I am trying to prove here in this fuchsia prom dress.

I wore this for my birthday (which I celebrated in Tenerife, more on that later). With a deep V-neck and proper A line skirt; it is exactly thing you would want to wear when you are growing older.

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With its spiffy butterfly motifs, velvety touch and jacquard skirt it spells sophistication and old-world charm. Hence, I decided to pair with minimum accessories. A crystal bracelet, swarvoski rings and dangling earrings.

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Dress: Debenhams, Footwear: New Look, Earrings: Wish app, Bracelet+Rings: Swarvoski

Whilst I love heels, here I have opted for lace-up flats because I am a bit of a badass who likes to shake things up (and also running behind a toddler with a mind of her own is aa exercise in itself). It is the kind of look that’s bold, unique and with a dollop of charm (just like most women I know).

And if you have any doubt about the awesomeness of women, here is a humbling thought: even at chromosomal level men need one of our fabulous X chromosome to their Y one just to exist. Hence dear women, whether fashion loving or not, go on be fearless.

We owe it ourselves.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

I never thought I would write this post so early in my journey as a mom. But because there’s a fresh debate on sex-selective abortion in UK, I am beginning to ponder what it means to be a girl and how should I raise my daughter in a world where even now women are considered as weaker sex and a liability of sorts.

Abortion is a contentious and divisive issue however as a feminist it mortifies me that even at this age and date we live in a society where girls are not even given a chance to live and are killed before life itself solely because of their gender. This blog very succinctly explains the whole dilemma with sex-selective abortions in UK.

Image Via Google Images

Image Via Google Images

Many in the UK are scared to openly discuss about this issue for the fear of seeming like a racist. I firmly don’t think it is a race or culture issue, female feticide is oppression of the worst kind and it transcends the boundary of race and culture. Coming back to my dilemma; here are few things I wish to tell my daughter in the hope that she doesn’t feel like an unwelcome gender.

  • Never underestimate yourself. Throughout life self doubt may plague you but do not underestimate yourself.
  • To quote Aibileen Clark (from The Help), “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
  • Life will get you down sometimes. Get up, breathe and move on.
  • Be a feminist. They are not man-haters or people-haters as they say. Be a feminist, wear the damn high heels, that lipstick, that awesome dress but do it for yourself not for anyone else.
  • People would always try to put you in a box. You don’t have to be in a box you are a person not someone’s pet.
  • Travel. It is the best education you will ever get.
  • Mix with people from all races and backgrounds. Each one will teach you something.
  • Never be afraid to use your voice.
  • Always be yourself.
  • Take pride in your gender. Men and women are different only biologically. Don’t let social differences shape you.
  • Read. Move. Dance. Love.
  • Make mistakes. It’s okay, that’s how you learn.
  • Learn one sport.
  • Never shrink yourself; never make yourself smaller.
  • You are second to none.
  • You matter. Every Girl Matters.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great mid week.  Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me.     🙂

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