Hello everyone,

New week means new post. This time I am extremely excited because this post is about the Blogger Recognition Award. First of all, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Grace Bevan for nominating me for the Blogger recognition award! I am honoured to have been chosen by you and super excited 😀

Blogger Recognition Award

 

The Rules:

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story on how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to nominate for this award.
  • Comment on each blog to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Provide them with the link to the post you created.

How my blog started 

I have loved writing right from school days. My high school ambition was to become a journalist/writer. And I was fortunate enough to fulfill this dream. I worked in India as a journalist before moving to UK. Moving to UK, was a bit of a shock, not culturally mind you but because wherever I went with my job application, I was mostly judged for my colour. I am not implying every industry in UK is like that, it is not. But Media is a tough place and at least I found that it is impossible to continue here without a God father or God mother. Now, I do not have any.

All I had (and have) is my grit, determination and the loving support of my family. I started and following various blogs like Girl with curves and decided to start one of my own.  I started this blog few years ago mainly to keep my love for writing alive. This is the reason, why you won’t find me only discussing a certain niche but a plethora of subjects. Whether it is a long term success solution or not, I do not know. What I know is this: find your passion and give it your sweat, blood and life. Style with Substance, has gone through several changes and like me it is ever evolving.

Blogging has also helped me in my career. I got lot of writing gigs through this platform, an opportunity to work for some of the finest magazines in UK like Time Out, London. I also eventually became an assistant editor with a start up magazine and after my maternity break blogging helped me to delve into the world of digital marketing. So, if you are one of those who want to know what blogging entails, just grab your laptop and delve in.

Advice to new bloggers: 

To all new bloggers out there I would say stick at it and not give up. Even today, I have days when I just want to give up. When I feel who will ever read this? But I try to shake those negative feeling and keep prodding along. Don’t give up; the best things come to those who don’t give up.

Be consistent, when I had more time in hand I used to post 3-4 times a week. Now, I have way less time in hand but I still make it a point to post at least once a week. I know it is not always possible but I try and fit this in no matter what.

My third nugget of advice would be to be friendly, speak to other bloggers, get to know them, follow them on social media and learn from them. Blogging has given me some really good like minded friends and acquaintances. Now, for the best part.

My nominations: 

Here are the wonderful people I have nominated for the recognition award! Check them out!

  1. Styleovercoffee
  2. Styleofterry
  3. Admirablylegal
  4. Beachwalkmuse
  5. Chicpudding
  6. Kavsarena
  7. Sustainabledaisy
  8. Helloscarlettblog
  9. Abbiosbiston
  10. Maisonbentleystyle
  11. Dayindreams
  12. Sonya Kassam
  13. Bluechickenninja
  14. Indahs
  15. Lifenstyle

I am also adding a bonus blog Quaint Murmurs, a new kid on the block, a blog about medicine, philosophy, literature and life.

Thank you so much Grace for the award and please continue to spread the love everyone 🙂

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.

I have been hemming and hawing about the much coveted ESPA facial. As I mentioned here, I have been having a lot of issues with skin. My skin is not only prone to spots but also tends to look tired and dull if I miss out on TLC. Hence, when the man of the house, Mr. Husband, gifted me a spa day at Blu Radisson, London along with ESPA facial I was beyond chuffed.

On my birthday, I reached Blu Radisson and quickly slipped on to the robe and headed for a well-deserving pampering and relaxation session. My first stop was at the really, really hot sauna hot. I could barely be there for ten minutes but I soldiered on. Regular sauna has several benefits: it flushes out toxins, strengthens immune system and helps in muscle recovery (a must for gym rats and sports people). What makes the Sauna at Blu Radisson special is the ice fountain next to it. You can use it in conjugation with the steam/sauna or alone at the end. The hot and cold cycle of sauna and ice (on my skin) really rejuvenated my skin and opened all the pores making it supple and brighter.

Once this was done, I was taken to the relaxation room. Now, relaxation is a must for busy mums like me. Have you heard of a relaxed and calm mum? I bet not because it is an oxymoron. To help me in the relaxation process, I was green a hot cuppa of mint tea and some tasty (and healthy) snacks. I was left alone in the room with a meditative music playing in the back ground. Now, any health nut worth their carefully cultivated Himalayan salt would agree this would relax even the haywire mind (like mine). Before I knew it, I closed my eyes and drifted to a zen like state (which was certainly new to me).

My honest review of Espa facial and skin care range

Next came the Holy Grail of pampering—the ESPA facial. My therapist came and took me into another room. All the ESPA facial products were kept there and for a fleeting second I tried to look nonchalant about it. However, I miserably failed as I was extremely excited to try this facial. My therapist asked me about my skin concerns and acknowledged it all with a smiling face. Next thing I know I was plopped on the bed and she took the scrub deftly starting the massage.

This facial is designed to brighten under-par skin, and bring it back to life using lots of ESPA’s new Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial serum. The relaxing massage soothed my perpetually frayed nerves and unblocked the stress knots on my forehead, neck and back. Finally, the therapist applied a cellulose mask which sets off like a jelly and once you peel it off you would get a happier, hydrated and healthier skin.

I can honestly say ESPA facial would be one of the best facials you would ever do. Even two days, my hubby and friends commented how hydrated and fresh my face looks. And any busy, tired woman would tell you that is the best compliment you can get ever. 🙂

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.

Being deeply loved gives you strength, loving deeply gives you courage~Lao Tzu

On Monday morning, I rolled out of the bed with a sudden realisation that I have officially grown up, that one more candle would be added to my birthday cake and that the carefree abandon of youth are things of the past. I did not know whether to laugh or cry or just let be. Honestly, the realisation shook me a bit but then I decided instead of brooding about age, I should smile and celebrate the life I have created for myself.

Off Shoulder Top Fashion

Most of us fear ageing and I am no different but one thing I can assure you: never have I felt so sure of myself. And that is speaking a lot. I was your typical awkward kid with no confidence in herself to speak her mind, shy, reserved and always unsure. At the same time, I was strong-willed and determined but my two personalities were in perpetual conflict with each other.

Off shoulder top fashion

My mentor-friend wrote these lines once: And destiny shall rip you into pieces to show you what you are made of. This is true for each one of us. Destiny and the fearful thing called age has shown me my inner strength, my vulnerabilities, my sense of adventure and my most important quality: the ability to not let failures and haters take me down.

How to style bodysuit

Transitions can be liberating as well as gruelling. It is a double edged sword which will make you but only after breaking you several times and there is a certain beauty in anyone who time and again make themselves whole again from the broken pieces. It takes audacity and lot of courage.

How to style bodysuit

Bodysuit: New Look, Jeans: DIY, Belt: Asos, Earrings: Individual designer, Boots: M&S, Red lipstick: Clinique

So, here’s to the broken pieces, the ones you pick to make yourself whole again. Here’s to the ability to transform and mostly here’s to the love that you give and you get despite all the negativities in the world.

Here’s to growing up.

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.

“You call it madness, but I call it love”–Don Byes

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“Sometimes, my mind battles with my heart. And often my heart loses the battle. Because what’s winning when we haven’t known a little love or loved back?”

I know you probably came here expecting my weekly fashion post and even assuming that I would have some date-night outfits or other such inane stuff. The truth is I just do not get Valentine’s Day-a day apparently to celebrate love, wear sexy underwear and prance around with fluttering eyes (really, only one day in 365 days???) Do not get me wrong, sometimes I do get sucked into this giant marketing ploy and in my head make elaborate plans for the day.

But when the St. Valentines arrives, knocking mightily on my door, instead of it warming the cockles of my heart the whole thing sends me into a WTF frenzy!! Admit it: Valentine’s Day is one HUMONGOUSLY overrated day in which we are expected to show our love by exchanging a string of undesired gifts (because we are material people living in a material world and all that )and fancy surprises (because love is nothing if does not come with a huge price tag). It’s not reality. It is  another commercialised facade and we are expected to conform. 

And conforming is something that does not come naturally to me.

Hence, this year instead of even pretending to celebrate it, I am going to throw caution to the wind and concentrate on the rest 364 amazing days of love, laughter and friendship because at the end of the day it is the little things that matter. And if you are in mood to celebrate then here are some ways that WILL warm the cockles of your heart no matter what.

Cooking: 

When the husband man without expecting or being told cooks a scrumptious meal. Cooking, is the new candlelight dinner for most parents, add a lit bit of wine and a lot of chatter and you will have a memorable recipe in hand, no matter what is cooking. Any man worth his charm would know that a way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach.

Re-creating the first date: 

Valentines Day unique ideas

Anyone can go to fine dine dating place but why not add an extra zing to it by re-creating your first date atmosphere. This is especially true for those couples who have been together for a while and know everything about each other. This is guaranteed to warm anyone’s heart and give you more than one reason to smile and be thankful for.

Go Outdoor:

Valentines Day unique ideas

No one said Valentine’s Day has to celebrated in an expensive place with expensive shit around. Get out of your comfort zone and go adventurous and pick up an activity you love: be it hiking, a long walk, skydiving or bungee jumping. Outdoor activities take out the pressure of perfection and you would end up having more fun than anticipated and speaking from experience there is nothing more romantic than getting lost up in a mountain or in a woodland.

Get physical:

Valentines Day unique ideas 

And I do not mean the Fifty Shades kind but something more fun (and perhaps less painful) if you and your partner are gym rats or fitness lovers then why not bond on that? Pick a really interesting challenging, head to the gym, compete and see who wins.

Dress Up:

Valentines Day unique ideas

Now this is an activity you can do whether you are single or celebrating the day with your friends. Dressing up is an expression of self-love and self-love is the foundation of any kind of love.

I hope now you realise that it is not about soppy gifts and pricey experiences but little things that go a long way to fill you with love and happiness. I wish, all you people Happy Valentine’s Day.

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.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who used to rush to the salon every first week of the month to get a pampering facial done. Then the girl became a mum, went back to work and realised the only luxury she could afford was—sleep!

Welcome to the world of busy mums and working ladies who are spinning several different plates and often have no time to take off for themselves. The girl in the above story is me (no prizes for guessing) and like most of busy mums I hardly have time to go and get a proper facial done but that however does not mean I cannot take care of the situation. Like any resourceful mum, I would say the answer is home bound facials. Perhaps not as pampering as it sounds but definitely worth the effort.

L'oreal Paris Clay Mask Review

 

Few days ago, I tested the pure clay mask from L’oreal Paris. The range comes in a pretty glass jar and has three varieties: Purify & Mattify Mask (Green mask), Detox & Brightening Mask (Charcoal) and Exfoliate & Refine Mask (Red). I opted for the Red one due to my skin issues but you can use all three together as well. The masks are made of three mineral Clays: Kaolinite, Montmorillonite and Ghassoul. The mask with red algae is heaven sent for oily skin.

My skin is also prone to breakouts. This helps in gently exfoliating it and giving it a nice natural glow. My skin also starts resembling an oil field after few days hence this is helping me in balancing it and giving it a sheen without any fuss. It also passed the husband test–when you test something and your busy husband sees the difference without you a dropping a hint! This is not a made-up test but a great litmus test for major products in my home. Lol! Needless to say, I am ecstatic about finding this product.

My second favourite is Indian healing facial clay made of fuller’s earth (taken in a different pot in the photo) Fuller’s Earth is an age old beauty/ facial ingredient from the sub-continent and is known absorbing excess oil, removing scars and treating acne. I mix a small amount with rose water, apply for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. The result is clearer and healthier skin in minutes.

Last but not the least is the Ultimelt by Soap and Glory. This creamy mask comes with a towel. For getting the maximum benefit out of this, apply some of the cream and massage it. Next, warm the towel a bit using warm water and keep it on your face. Leave it for five minutes and gently take the cream off. If you wish, you can also steam your face before putting the towel on your face.  For £10, this is definitely a good value for money.

So, you see ladies so what if you are crushing it in the boardroom as well as the drawing room with your kids. There is definitely no reason for you not to feel and look like million bucks even though you feel shattered and exhausted for most part of the day 😉

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