Archive | July, 2013
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Photography-6 tricks for great self-ies.

24 Jul

5 tips to great selfies.

“Everyone nowadays on Facebook appears to have a boyfriend or best friend more than happy to click their gorgeous high-definition pictures, while I am stuck here with my mirror and my digital camera. Have you ever suffered through that? What can I do to improve my pictures?”

Have I ever suffered through that?
A. Only like a million times or so.
B. I don’t personally call it suffering.

First up, I agree, it might be easier to get your photos taken by a good photographer with a great DSLR. But waiting for either of those to come your way, might make you miss good opportunities to take great pictures.
I put the picture above to show you that even the best bloggers, who so many times have pockets full of other people willing to take their picture, don’t shy away from taking selfies. Rather, they utilize it to their advantage. You see, when you have control over the camera you have better chances of producing what you had in mind rather than making your photographer understand your idea. Plus, it shows your self-confidence.

Having said that, there are more ways to taking selfies then using the mirrors in your powder room. Here are some tricks to get you started!

1. Get a tripod stand. Yes, digital cameras now do get their own stands and it produces ten times better pictures because our hands will never be as stable as them (unless you are an expert, that is).

2. Use a timer. Most digital cameras come with this option now. Coupled with the tripod, you can pose in front of anything at absolutely anywhere and end up with great shots!

Side note: the idea of using these both together works only when you make every arrangement in advance-set/choose the back drop, check for the lighting via your LCD-just like you would want it to look if someone else was taking the picture.

3. Use the “burst photo” option. Again, most digital cameras come with this option and it’s a life saver. For example, if in the first picture you had your eyes closed, you wouldn’t have to run to the camera and reset the timer, you can just stand there and wait for the camera to do its magic.

4. Improve picture quality. Invest in a camera with at least 8 mega pixels resolution. 12 MP though are just more than enough. Basically, experts say 6 MP are fine in a camera but I believe self-photography needs that extra boost!

5. Photo editing is your best weapon. And there is more to it then cropping, use it as an assistant that made your picture come out perfect by giving you an extra hand post-photo-session. Download trials for editors like Adobe’s light-room, and then invest in the one you feel most comfortable with! Or get an amazing free one, like PhotoScape.

6. Natural lighting will be your safe bet. This way you will mostly not need any reflectors etc., get much more interesting backdrops and enjoy the outdoors at the same time!

Can’t afford a tripod? Use a stack of books or even a shelf to get it at the height at you want and snap away!
Can’t go out to take selfies? Use chairs, a table or even your back yard hammock as a catchy prop. Or do what everyone is doing right now; just lie on the grass, put the camera on a book also on the grass at the angle you wish and voila. Perfect selfie.
In short, sky is the limit!

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The Mag Eight

21 Jul

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Here is a list of the best eight things (that I just absolutely loved) in the world of glam, books and entertainment this past week(more or less :-P)!

1. The leather-black jeans-this hot item happens to be aiming for the official replacement of our LBDs(little black dresses). At least they have the latter running on its toes, watching its back while the jeans calmly wait for a chance to claim the title of “LBD”. My wardrobe is in the middle of this war too. What about yours?
If willing to look HOT, get yours here! πŸ˜‰

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2. Marc by Marc Jacobs edgy earrings– Geometrical non-cluttered patterns are here to stay awhile. Simple reason? Designers who are making drool worthy items with the theme in mind. These Marc Jacob earrings bear proof of that! Hold on a second while I max out my credit card. πŸ˜›

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3. Mini Skort-Zara did it again. They launched an item putting the fashion world in frenzy. The skort (minis from front, shorts from behind) with its amazing cuts and great options of colors can be worn with absolutely anything-and it still lets you look stylish. Wear it with a tank, a crop or even a tailored jacket and look sexy, casual and professional by turns. Though my favorite would be wearing them with graphic tees and sleek stilettos.

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4. Bang Bang-This song by Will.i.am, it’s just so mad CRAY that you will inevitably love it! Honest.

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6. Inferno-yes, I got around to reading it in more time then ever, so I am quite late on this one but I have to say, an excellent read. Where Brown lacks in his flow of writing his research and plot make up for it!

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7. Rio, Brazil-If I had some more vacations and a little more “stash” in that elusive credit card of mind, believe me I had be on my way to this place. And Shea from Peace Love Shea is the main reason behind it. Her daily snaps from that wonder of a place have made me swoon a little too much. And the fun she is having is just unbelievable. Till I can’t go there, I will just keep going through her pictures. Again. And again. AND AGAIN!

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8. Victoria by Victoria’s Secret-All I have to say about this wonder of a perfume is that it’s not one to be missed on. Just imagine, subtle rose fragrance with a touch of creme brΓ»lΓ©e. OH MY GOD!

P.S. it took everything in me not to put coffee up there. I guess it always will be hard to make a “best things” list without coffee on it! πŸ˜‰

Love,
Gull.

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DIY-Let your creativity do the talking

20 Jul

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I told you that I would be coming up with some easy DIYs. And here is the first of them.
An easy step-by-step for making personalized business cards.

What you will need:-
1. Two sheets of card paper-I chose one with a rustic print on it and one plain in off white.
2. Craft Scissors
3. A template card-for the size you want for yours.
4. A black fine-writing pen.
5. Pencil-I used a 2B.
6. Super-glue i.e., craft glue.

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Note:- I wanted to make my cards completely personal, completely me, so I was prepared for them not being identical. If you dislike the idea, then I suggest you get them printed and craft yours on the multitude of card designing and printing sites available on the Internet. For the rest who are interested, read on.

Directions:-
1. Choose your template card. Remember that you have to put the plain paper on it too for writing which would have to be smaller than the main’s dimensions to add that cute border. But make it too large and even after writing your card will look blank. On the flip side, you can keep changing the look of your business cards once you get the hang of it so you don’t need to worry much about your decision.

2. Use the template card you chose and draw out its margins precisely on the card paper with the print. I drew and cut out each individually which made it easier to nibble them out to exact same sizes.

3. When all of them are cut, take the plain sheet, which is the one you will write on, and draw on it the same template size. However, then mark a point 1cm inside all borders and cut out this down-scaled version.

Note: You can also use another card as a template that is as much shorter than the main size as you want.

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4. Now carefully put the blank paper in the centre of the one with the print leaving equal space on all sides, then use the glue and stick it on!

Tip: Make sure that you have the writing side on the front rather than that it being the one you put the glue on. πŸ˜‰

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5. Let the glue dry. Then use a scale and draw horizontal lines as shown in my picture. One for the base of the title of your business (or anything else you want most emphasis on). One for the max height of your letters. Then more double lines such for all the other extra text you want on it. Also, if you want anything in italics, draw vertical lines at the angle you want to have your words at so that they stay at the same tilt throughout.

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Note:The writing part is completely up to your creative juices (you can even add a handmade logo).

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6. Once you are completely satisfied with your pencil work, outline all that you have written with the pen. Though be careful that the ink doesn’t spread with your hands if it’s too wet. Again, let it dry.

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7. Et voila! Your cards are done and you are ready to do business. Put them in your card case or your wallet and they will be forever handy! πŸ˜‰

Extra: you can get them laminated at a local store or punch a hole in one corner to add pretty little ribbon ties. In short, sky is the limit!
I hope you try this, and have as much fun with this DIY as I did. If you make blunders, remember it’s just your first time! πŸ˜‰

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Not weird, complicated!

17 Jul

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” I planed to be sophisticated and elegant. A total lady, I suppose. But then they turned the music up. It’s not my fault that my favorite song was on.”

I read this quote somewhere in my fifth or sixth grade, and have loved it since then. But it took me a little time to realize that the “lady” wasn’t just talking about dancing like she had forgotten herself, what she meant was that all her inhibitions disappeared as soon as she found her own tune-her own calling.
And I feel she was a genius to know so well where her heart lay and followed it with passion without giving a damn about the world.
Which brings me to what my dad always says,

” the world will never be completely satisfied with you. You can either try to make them happy, or live.”

I for one have always chosen to live, sometimes even when I probably just should have not.
More like, when I should have slept in late at home and avoided the opportunity to make a fool out of myself.
But come to think of it, even those misconceived or badly handled ideas that ran a “little” awry for me, in hindsight, I am glad for. Not only because they add breadth to my life but make it colorful, bright, interesting.
Though sometimes all that I do and say, I can see, forces these wheels start to churn in people’s minds with the “she is weird” expression barely masked on their faces.
I get it. I have done pretty “out of the norm” stuff.
Starting a blog on fashion not being the worst of them although I believe in my city most people gave me the stink eye for at least a month for stepping out of the box.
Those who don’t find me creepy anymore are those who have their own blogs now, or already did at that time.
But I can’t blame them. I was one of the first few people from here to start a blog.
And that too on fashion. ( The atrocity, what was I thinking!)
And then I started offering my styling services.
The criminal that I was!
Shame! Shame!
I could see people putting quarantine tags around me mentally, and though it haunted me when I saw the calculatedly judgmental looks in some of their well known faces, I shrugged it off and helped them dislike me more.
How?
By joining hands with my sister in her dress designing business.
And although the last one I have had to put on hold due to all else I have got going on, it doesn’t matter because now I am officially the “unknown”.
The alien, I suppose. ( Hello, earthlings!)
πŸ˜€
And if yesterday you had asked me if all this bothered me I would have said yes.
But today, it doesn’t. Maybe I am having my own “Lindsay Lohan stint”. Or maybe because I see how temporary everything is. Including my life.
And I can’t spend it worrying over who would think what of me when I did something.
Instead, I choose the “‘infinite’ lightness of being.”
So, let’s raise our proverbial glasses or cups or even saucers (I suppose) and toast to being ourselves from now on, through and through.
Even if that someone is too complicated for people around us to get.
Maybe one day they will.
Hence, what the heck, let’s toast to that day too.

Kisses.
Gull a.k.a. Lindsay Lohan
πŸ˜‰

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Running-Every damn day, “Just do it”

8 Jul

The line above from Nike, it always powers me, along with the famous saying “You earn the body you have.”

So here is the million dollar question, how am I going to earn the body I want?

The answer is quite simple, I take action. And via my changed eating habits and my evolving cardio routine I now can happily say that I am taking steps to my destination every day, and I may be yet a little away from it but every night when I sleep I dream happy dreams for I know I just got that much closer to my goal.

It is not easy though-at least not for me-to figure in time for any form of exercise into my busy schedule. But I had been planning since some time to get back to my running, I was just finding all forms of excuses to delay starting it.

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However, this morning when I went out for a walk, reacquainting myself to one of my favorite vacation spots, I looked at the sun-kissed track and thought, “why the hell not.”

And I did it, I “just did it”.

Thus, here I am, an hour later, tired and yet refreshed. The adrenaline is even now running through my blood keeping me powered and ecstatic and I am here sharing my experience with you before this power hype burns out.
Moral of the story, don’t put it off to next week, tomorrow or even to an hour later. No matter where you are, just grab your joggers, go out and do it.
And you wont be one for regret.

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But mind you, if you want to really get something out of these runs I suggest you make out time for it more than twice a week and not to chicken out if you get cramps. Which you are bound to if you have been lying around even half as much as me. In my experience, the best way to make the cramps go away and to let your muscles retain their power is to keep exercising till the acid has been removed by your body. But do help it in doing so by taking fresh vegetables, foods rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins. And, don’t skip on your milk and eggs.

Here is what my diet plan for today is. It is for any one out their who needs a guideline to tailor their own plan around. It’s both human and easy to follow and even easier to add your own eating habits:

Breakfast- An Americano with some whole grain cereal.
Brunch-(which would be more like a snack) a sliced cucumber.
Lunch-grilled vegetable salad with mushrooms and beans.
Afternoon snack-If I am hungry, then some berries or a handful of nuts.
Dinner-A cup of milk with honey and two dates.


The last time I lost weight this was more or less my routine diet, and I need to go back to it for this coupled with running and cardio twice a week is my fool proof way of weight loss.
If you want to join me, what is stopping you?
But I had like to know, what do you do when you want to lose some pounds?

Stay tuned for more on how my journey back to my toned body is going.
Love you all.

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Losing weight-a guide?

2 Jul

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Nope.
The question mark up there is not by mistake. I actually am asking you, since when did losing weight become limited to step-by-steps and guide books? And how do those even work?
Move your left leg up and right leg down and eat while breathing through your nose. Do everyday for ten minutes and lose 5 stone.
More or less, I think this is all that these guides boil down to. But their worst part? They have got too many people fooled and even more people off the track.
Losing weight is a lifestyle, till you adopt it there is no success.

When I was in grade nine and fat enough to get all those “how do you fit in through that?” jokes cracked at me, even then I knew how to get out of the rut. And I did.

The process is simple;
1. You get your head out of the refrigerator (pun intended) and your butt in the gym.
And when I say in the gym I don’t mean that dainty half hour run in those oh-so-sexy shorts (even though they might be helpful otherwise), I mean hardcore exercise that makes you sweat enough to turn your face into a tomato and till your legs feel like jelly. And than you push yourself to do more.
The best part? You can indulge here in any activity that you love and which simultaneously helps you “work out”.
2. Along with that, remove processed foods and too much sugar from your diet plan and add a lot of water and some vitamins.
3. Don’t listen to beautifully shaped celebrities because all of them have personal trainers, chefs and nutritionists, so what seems like easy-to-cook dishes and easy to follow exercise regimes to them maybe both are strenuous and, in the later case, dangerous for us.
In fact, if you are one of those 89% whose lifestyle isn’t like theirs I suggest you look at what your means are and utilize them for a healthier you.
So, next time you watch a how-to on a difficult Pilates routine, rather then being put off by it, just go do a fast dance routine or a 30 minute cross body. Simpler, more effective, more do-able for you.

There. That is it. The whole secret to losing weight.
It all sounds too much? It is! The thing about losing weight is it is no piece of cake. And like everything else in life, it needs commitment and actual strife to be achieved. There are no shortcuts to losing weight. Those who tell you there are, they are just using your weakness to their advantage in one way or another. Trust me. And most of these “tips and tricks” are short term solutions with long term consequences.

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Side tip; if you believe that your body only needs toning do the the “twice in a week” routine otherwise add 1 more day for how much more you want to lose-yes that means the whole week if you want to lose “a lot”.
As far as which exercises work for what muscles, I will provide a detailed post on that later this week. Till then here is a rule: if you want to lose fat from the inner part of your leg or arms, pull in against force towards your body, and push out away from body for the outer parts.

Lastly, why the sudden post on weight loss? Because I grew complacent along the way here somehow and have started gaining a bit again. But I can’t go back there-that is my motivation and it has pushed me finally to start my exercise routines and rearrange me eating habits. If you want to follow both or either of these things as I go through the process of toning myself again, feel free to follow me on facebook, though for more summarized parts stay in touch here.

Love-
Gull.

P.S. my Facebook page is “The Magfique way by Gull Hasnat”! πŸ˜‰

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Forget him-6 easy steps

2 Jul

Well, whining, bitching and hoarding on ice-cream is going to take you only that far. Now you need to take the next steps. Here is my fool-proof guide to help you with just that. Once you do all these things, there is no way you will find yourself moaning over his loss anymore. πŸ˜‰

5 steps that will help you forget him

1. Learn to take selfies-Accept it, isn’t that why when you miss him the most.
” Darn it, look at her pictures. If my boyfriend was here he had taken hotter clicks of me then hers ever could.” You have already thought some version of that line, which means that if you give up this dependence on the boyfriend, you wouldn’t need to bother yourself with his thoughts anymore.

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2. Practice standing in at the queue-you did it once, you can do it again. Even if you didn’t before, believe me it’s not rocket science. If there is no queue and people are overflowing at the counter-brave the storm. You wont even think of him once you return. At least not with love. πŸ˜›

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3.Get a pillow-Well then you wont need to miss spooning him-hug the pillow. And get movies, and seasons, and chocolates. The nights are better spent when swooning over swoon worthy hotties then at his not-any-more-loveable face.

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4. Invest more budget in take-out-If its his cooking you miss, believe me it could not have been better than restaurant chefs. So why cry over what was mediocre when you can get the best.

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5. Hire a man-he should be hot, sexy and must work in skimpy clothes. Pay him extra now and then when you want to be complimented. πŸ˜€

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6. Hire a cheap masseur-Or ask around in your friends-there is always that one person who aspires to be everything and being a masseur is sure to be on his list. Those kinks your guys used to work well on, might be better worked on by this new recruit.

Well now that all he used to do has been taken care of, you don’t need him or his memory anymore. Hell, you don’t even need a new boyfriend.

Warning-this is not in actuality a guide if any of this offended you or didn’t make sense to you. To those who thought it made sense, do practice this all but not in front of kids.

hahaha.
kisses.

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