Recipe : Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with red bell peppers, baby corn and button mushrooms.

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With the weather getting cooler, cold raising its head everywhere, it’s time for some fabulous soups! And what better than a spicy, creamy soup full of nutrition to open your blocked nose and whack your senses awake! πŸ˜€

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It all starts with a creamy base made up of coconut milk. So we’ll be needing a teacup of coconut milk. For the flavoring,I used 1 onion, a bunch of corriander leaves, 1 red dried chilli, 3 cloves of garlic and a knob of ginger, juice of 1 kaffir lime and a little of its zest to perfume the paste as I had no lemongrass.Grind this mix into a paste.
Start sautΓ©ing some chopped up red bell peppers,sliced baby corn and mushrooms. Once the vegetables begin to wilt slightly, add the paste and fry well.
Once you notice that the raw smell isn’t there any more, add water enough to make a broth. Let it boil for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stir all the ingredients. Turn the heat to super low simmer and then let it cook for 5 minutes.See to it that the coconut milk doesn’t boil furiously!
Season with salt and well pepper if you’re brave after that chilli. πŸ™‚
If the soup is too thin, use some cornflour slurry to thicken it as I did. It also gives the soup a velvety look.
Sprinkle a tsp of corriander leaves in every serving bowl and enjoy!

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Sunkissed or tanned, either way you’re gonna love Accessorize’s bronzer in Laguna!

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Funny how words can prod, twist and finally manipulate us into thinking that the same idea is perhaps part of two different ideologies. We tend to perceive the same thing as two different entities, one good and the other bad..simply because of the words chosen to represent either!
Before you get confused as to what you just started reading and go back to the title of this post, let me help you out here- yes,you are reading the start to a review of a bronzer and my dear one, I have a reason for lecturing about ideologies and perceptions in the earlier para for I am about to bring you to realization, that tanning and being sunkissed are perhaps the same idea, yet perceived to be different due to words! Haha caught you, didn’t I? πŸ™‚

Let me help you again at this point- tanning which is essentially getting darker is treated as a no-no in India (with the fairness bug biting folks continuously for centuries, maybe millennia! ) but being sunkissed or bronzed is now being accepted in our society! Why? Aren’t the two same? Whether you tan or get smooched by the sun, you are getting darker and yet why is being sunkissed accepted more than being tanned? Words! See the point?

I too jumped onto the tanning/bronzing bandwagon sometime ago. I’m pretty much Indian and maybe to the rest of the Western world, we folks are gorgeously tanned all year round, but I tend to go a little pale and colorless in the face, which I’m not liking of late.
Contrary to popular belief, I like a slightly shimmery/sheeny bronzer as opposed to matte as I like the glow, the former brings about! And there I bought my first ever bronzer! A baked one from Accessorize, aptly named Laguna! Whether you associate it with Laguna Beach or lagoons, it’s a great sunkissed idea! Lol πŸ˜›

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I am obsessed with Accessorize and keep purchasing lovely bags and clutches and earrings from them whenever I find myself with money to spare. For me, this purchase is a double whammy since it’s my first makeup product from Accessorize and also my first bronzer! Laguna retails for Rs.750 and is a gorgeous duo color bronzer with a dark, peachy toned color on one half and a pale pink highlighter on the other. It’s got this beautiful marbling characteristic of baked products. The container is plastic with a very pretty detailing on its lid. Lovely dainty butterflies!

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I apply it with a fluffy powder brush and it works beautifully in giving me a bronzed glow with 2 light handed applications. Go heavy and you’ll risk looking like a sun baked baboon!

Tips : Powder color products like blushes and bronzers usually go deeper on the skin due to body heat. So majority of the times it takes minimal application to get the desired look.
When using powder bronzers, always powder your face after foundation to maintain the same surficial texture for easier blending. Powder color on cream or liquid will go patchy and not merge.

The shimmer is fine and not at all gritty and this helps give a great healthy glow!
My only grouse with this bronzer is that it has a lot of fallout when swirling the product in the pan! Lots of powder falling off and flying here and there! Thankfully, once on the skin, it doesn’t transfer. Phew!

Quick details :

Product Name : Accessorize baked bronzer in Laguna.
Catering to skintones that are : Medium Light to Wheatish
Price for Quantity : Rs.750 for gms.
Pros :
Great starter for those new to bronzing.
Lovely quality and no chunky shimmers.
Does not cause breakouts and fine for oily pimply skin.
Baked hence can be used wet or dry depending on intensity.
Lovely color payoff and buildable with less pigmentation and this my dear ladies is the biggest pro for a bronzer, remember the baboon!
Cons : Lots of fall offs! Can stain clothes if not careful when applying the powder which has a loose hold despite being compressed!

I guess all in all this is a good purchase and a lovely color that compliments my skintone. However fairer and/or duskier ladies in my comparison can opt for Bondi(lighter) or Bali(darker,much intense) respectively from the same brand! Hope this review helps! πŸ™‚

See you’ll soon with a lovely warm, spicy Thai coconut soup recipe for the chilly winters! Take care y’all πŸ™‚

Update : I have removed my fotd due to security reasons. If I ever change my mind about how comfortable I am again to show my pictures, I surely will add them back. Hope you’ll understand!

Haul part 2 featuring MUA, Accessorize, Colorbar, Maybelline and LakmΓ©

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I am officially broke. I have shopped too much in the last few months..but it’s not saying much considering that the stuffs that I bought are only the very basic of my makeup needs that finally got fulfilled! With this, I end my makeup purchase for the next 6 to 7 months..Fair? Hehe I know you guys agree!Read on! Here’s what I got :

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1. MUA Undress Me Too eyeshadow palette : coz a girl’s got to have a neutral eyeshadow palette! And what better than Urban Decay’s Naked 2 dupe! πŸ˜‰

2. Accessorize Laguna bronzer : My first bronzer ever! Fabulous bronze glow this one gives! Very natural, very sexy!

3. Pond’s Flawless White deep whitening facial foam : I’m not mad about whitening products but this one I read somewhere that it is good! I have tanned a bit and thought this would be a great time to try it out! It’s really non drying and keeps my fCe smooth and soft. And smells lovely too!

4. Colorbar Stay The Day fixing mist : Pretty much India’s affordable and working answer to MAC’s Fix+! It gives a fabulous glow and makes my makeup stay put! Yayy for that..I feel it sets my makeup better than MUA pro spray, but these 2 make it to my wonder list for being a fabulous combo! Want to know why? Well that is for another post!

5. Maybelline Color Show nail polish in Coral Crush : Lovely coral pink!

6. MUA KissProof lipstain in Fruitlicious : Dark, intense fuchsia lipstain with a feltΒ tip marker!!

7. Colorbar Glitter nail paint in Disco Gold : My first glitter nail paint ever! It is a lovely mix of both dull and sparkly gold glitter that is not chunky yet dense! Love β™₯

8. LakmΓ© Skin Stylist CC cream : It’s a great daily wear tinted moisturizer with SPF 20.

9. Vaseline Total Moisture Body Lotion : Without doubt the most intense body lotion for me.

10, 11 and 12 : Colorbar brushes and sponges!

13. Health and Glow cushioned paddle brush: Got this for blow drying my hair straight. Does a good job!

14. Colorbar Moss Green eye pencil : FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE πŸ˜›

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So here’s my humble haul for you’ll πŸ˜€ Do lemme know in case you’ll want anything reviewed first! Except the CC cream, coz I’m prolly the last one to buy it after the whole world has tried, reviewed and finished a tube! Lol πŸ™‚

And I was typing this post while in office..haha this is my way of sweet revenge for making me work on a festive weekend! It’s Diwali, for heaven’s sake, tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Review : benefit cosmetics Watt’s Up soft focus highlighter..love at first glow!

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Benefit..weird name for a cutesy brand that has taken the vintage oath to make all things charming and cute! And if is vintage, then how will I not want it? Fortunately my cousin was just returning from the US and I had decided to ask her to get me atleast 1 Benefit makeup product! I was thinking and thinking and the only product that kept on “highlighting” itself to me was the Watt’s Up soft glow highlighter! I had to get it πŸ˜‰
You remember what I’d said long back, if it’s a cult product, I will not only dupe it but also get it!
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It’s got this lovely soft ombrΓ© orange carton packaging with lovely early 20th century looking bulbs as the main design element.A soft blue colored cursive font for the writing is just there! Lol omg, vintage stuff really gets me cracking, doesn’t it? Lol anyway..

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Hey! Wait! Did I tell you how much I loveeee this silly bulb like tube container? πŸ˜€
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The product is a champagne colored creamy stick that has a cream to powder finish. Looks beautiful!

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It is a lightweight highlighter and I love how sheer and flattering the shade is! It just melts onto the skin but holds on long enough for you to blend it out. I use it over my foundation+powder and it goes on so smoothly! I love how it gives that lit from within sheer glow! It works even better on my bare skin where the finish is surreal! By now, you’ll must be knowing how much I love this product for I’ve used the word love many times over! πŸ˜›

Left- swatched, right- blended

Left- swatched, right- blended

Although it’s a love affair for me, what pinches me apart from its $30 price tag is that the sponge shown in the photo below is a complete waste! It blends superbly with the fingertips and the damn sponge just blots out the champagne shade and the leaves behind just the shimmer! Pfft!

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All in all, it’s a great, must have and fabulous product to own in your vanity! I mean why not? Didn’t you just see hiw lovely the swatches look above? You have to, have to get it! πŸ˜€

A tiny makeup haul : Rimmel and MUA

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I’ve always wanted to try out cult makeup products, expensive or cheap, rwhere I tend to bend more towards cheap πŸ˜‰

I bought three products totally; 2 from Rimmel & 1 from MUA.

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Rimmel Stay Matte compact powder : This product was something I wanted to try since long as my skin kept getting more and more oily by the day! It works a miracle, this! I have been wearing it everyday since the past one month and it takes a good 5 to 6 hours before I can see the oil creep in! The shade I have is 009 Amber and it matches my skintone perfectly.

Rimmel Long Stay lipstick in Undressed : This happens to be my first nude lipstick and I love its creamy, milky nude pink shade. It is a shade that washes me out when worn from the tube directly, but after blotting it ona tissue, what remains is a matte, yet creamy pink beige that looks great for everyday wear!

MUA ProBase fixing mist : My first fixing mist ever!! And I cant believe my concealer stays put underneath this! Full 9 hours! The finish is a soft matte and I like that it settles down my powder and soothes the dryness that usually accompanies compact powder. It gives a nice soft look and keeps my face fresh for about 6 to 7 hours after which my face does not look as fresh but not a trace of my makeup disappears!

I will do individual reviews of each of these products! But just in case you want me reviewing anything in particular first, please do let me know! πŸ™‚

Icecream Adventure : Coconut, Lime and Vanilla..flavours reminiscent of faraway Polynesian tropics.

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If I could ever realize one of my multiple dreams, it would have to be opening a cutesy little icecream shop in a cozy cottage on a buzy street! Really vintage and laid back..waffle cones stacked with delicious scoops of icecream in soo many flavours!
What would really dominate my icecream boxes, is coconut..followed by fruits and nuts and then chocolate and other experimental flavors..
So keeping with my coconut trend, here’s a recipe for a delicious coconut, lime and vanilla icecream, the flavours of which, will delight you like a little private trip to the Polynesian islands where coconut, lime and vanilla would probably be a way of life!

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Take 200ml of cream and keep it ready in a whisking bowl or jar. In the meantime, chop up the flesh of 2 tender coconuts and blend them to a paste. Squeeze the juice of 1 big lime into a bowl.Zest the lime, about 1/2 a tsp would do.
Now start whisking the cream with 1/2 a cup of sugar, slowly adding the lime juice, a tsp of vanilla essence and the coconut pulp.Keep whipping the cream until fluffy and soft peaks begin to form on thw whisking wire.Add a pinch of salt as it enhances sweetness. Taste the mixture for sugar and keep adding until you think it is sweet enough. Remember that after freezing, the flavours and sweetness reduce. So it is safer to keep it a bit on the sweeter side, add a bit more of lime juice and a dash of vanilla. Whip it one more time and store it in an old icecream tub or any airtight container and throw it in the freezer.
After 3 hours, it should look like this..

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Take it out once again and whip it one last time and set it for another 3 hours..So at the end of a total of 6 hours, you have the creamiest icecream with perfectly balanced sweetness and flavours!

Do try this and also I have 2 recipes for fresh fig fruit icecream and a coconut mango icecream, in the archives! Enjoy!

Review : donebynone.com [Done By None]

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Can I please end this post by saying I’m officially addicted to the online store & there’s no turning back now that I’m in madly in love?! What? No? Oh..OK..I’ll post some pics of the things I bought in that case. πŸ˜›

(Alright snap out of the madness girl!)

M addiction in question is this fabulous online store catering exclusively for women with all sorts of in trend tops, bottoms, dresses, anything & everything..plus great great great footwear and bags and accessories! I’m literally too spoiled for choice!

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All that glitters flats : Rs. 1299
I’m hopelessly obsessed with glittery accents on shoes. I was always on the hunt for great pairs of flats or heels with glitter dusting! I found one pair online from Aldo’s but fricking 5 grands for that? No way! That’s when I came across donebynone.com by chance & when browsing through their shoes I found glitter flats!!! Can you imagine my joy?? Unbelievable!

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Yin and Yang tote: Rs.1599
Next up, I wanted a great bag for work that’s both trendy & functional. I came across this tote in tan and cream with metal fastenings and zippers. Looked super chic with both shoulder straps and sling. Spacious too.

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Points to be noted :
When you subscribe to their site thru. email, you get a Rs.250 off code mailed πŸ™‚
With every purchase you get at least 3 coupons which make you eligible to avail either Rs.250 off on the next purchase or 20% on the price of any product over Rs.799. Snazzy right? Evil too, coz it makes you want to empty your cash πŸ˜›

Making of an outfit : I love how these people come up with such co-ordinated bags, shoes and dresses that end up making an awesome outfit when put together!

The neon whoosh satchel (I think) : Rs. 1499 but I bought it at Rs.1249 using a 250 off coupon.
Love it. Period. Tan satchel with a neon yellow strip to act as a closure for the bag. It conceals the zipper and has these amazing old time twist to lock, untwist to open fasteners.

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Athena’s Neon Flame flats : Rs. 1299. I bought for Rs.1049 on 250 off woot!
Super flaming, eh? πŸ˜‰ I wanted to but this pair to wear it when I’m carrying the neon satchel!

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A fabulous monochrome, tribal printed top with a cutout back with a neon beaded strip connecting the ends (sorry I forgot the name!! and it’s not available online now, maybe out of stock!) : Rs 699 but again I got it for Rs. 549 on 250 off..yawn..

Pics please..

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Great thing about this site : affordable, great quality,great variety, keeping in tune with the latest trends(inspired!), delivery within 2 days , anti-leather : all bags and shoes are PU and such materials,fabulous size and fit range, quick response to issues and queries.

Not so good : I had to unfortunately give up on a fabulous patent PU pair of color blocked heels due to a wrong size and the reverse pick up, although quickly initiated, took close to 10 days to happen and when it did, the size I requested was not sent as it had failed quality checks..Not really their fault, more of the courier service’s..but felt it could be included..

As you are reading this post, my lovely reader, I shall be scourging the site for more as I have a couple of coupons to go through and I just spotted a fabulous bag and peachy flats! πŸ˜€

Recipe : Tangy, saucy stewed sweetcorn kernels.

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Steamed sweetcorn kernels mixed in a variety of sauces was the “in thing” a few years back. Every mall or eatery on the road seemed to have a delicious version or two of this wonderfully addictive snack. In fact, there was a period where I went hunting for the best eatery that offered the best steamed sweetcorn in the city!
Many years later, I’ve tried my hand( and luck) at replicating the same sweetcorn kernels in a saucy gravy and what do you know! It came out brilliant and just like the ones sold in the malls! You’ve gotta try this out! πŸ™‚

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A serving of sweetcorn kernels (uncooked)
Water just enough to cover the kernels whilst steaming and stewing
Spices : garlic chilli seasoning, oregano, dried chilli flakes
Seasoning : sweet chilli sauce, honey, salt

Heat the water in a pot and bring it to the boil. Throw in the corn kernels & let it cook in the water for 10 minutes.
By this time, the kernels are tender yet not mushy.
Add your seasoning and spices and let the kernels stew in this delicious liquid for about 5-7 minutes. Cover the pot and let it cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Tip the contents into a serving cup and enjoy it, steaming hot! πŸ™‚

Amazing Thai green curry, made vegetarian.

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I made this delicious Thai green curry completely at home, yes, absolutely nothing was pre-packaged, even the coconut milk was freshly squeezed! And fresh, homemade coconut milk and curry paste make a world of a difference!
Stay tuned! Will be posting the recipe soon πŸ™‚

Makeup Tutorial : Acne covering routine.

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Finding the right shade of foundation, powder or concealer fit for my part yellow, part pink skin undertone has always been a chore for me. Even then, I have always managed to find shades that are of the closest match. However,there are days when my “perfect” concealer seems orange on me and the foundation too pink/gray!

And to add to it all? Acne. It’s so.damn.irritating. But amidst all this, I have found a routine that makes my face look less yellow, less pink, my acne less red and my damn oily skin more matte! So here’s a quick look at how I conceal my acne and the products used!

Method :

After cleansing my face, I apply a light, oil-free moisturizer. Following which, I apply a clear gel based primer to smooth out my bumpy skin. I then apply my foundation or like in today’s tutorial, a BB stick with good coverage to eliminate the need of a concealer as much as possible. I then spot apply the concealer after, on pimples that are visible.

Please ignore my super dry skin.

Please ignore my super dry skin.

Products Used:

20130829_162359Colorbar Perfect Match Primer, Maybelline Clear Glow BB stick, MAC Studio Finish concealer, Johnson’s baby powder to set the concealer (haha yea! no translucent powder nonsense for me. This is the best bet and it’s cheap!)

So that’s my super easy routine for covering acne. Hope it helps! πŸ™‚