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3 DIY masks for healthy hair

22 Apr

My mother (and hers, and hers before her) have always had gorgeous hair and always get compliments for how healthy and lush they look!

I believe almost all of the credit goes to how they take care of their hair! I don’t remember a single weekend, growing up, when my mother wasn’t putting on one home-made hair mask or another on her hair. And she always tells me that it is their use that has allowed her hair to remain soft and shiny till now! That, and eating healthy!

Here are three DIY masks that I have seen her using a lot, and that I love the results of when I make the effort of using them too!

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For dry hair!

  1. For when your hair feels dry:-

    This one is a favorite, because after this mask my hair feel so good to touch and are so silky and smooth that I don’t even have to style them. They look perfect as they are!
    What you need:
    -7 strawberries
    -1 egg yolk
    _1.5 tbsp Olive oil
    How to:
    Blend all the ingredients and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes before washing your hair. Not only will you be able to skip your conditioner but your hair will smell delicious!

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    Turmeric hair mask

  2. For when your hair needs that extra nourishment:-

    I use this when I feel very guilty of how (badly) I have been treating my hair! I feel like this gives my hair the perfect pick-me-up, and says a little “I am sorry” from me!
    What you need:
    -1 tbsp turmeric powder
    -3 tbsp yogurt
    -1 tbsp oil (olive or coconut)
    How to:
    Mix the ingredients together well, leave on for 30-40 minutes and wash off. You might need to shampoo twice to get all of the turmeric out!

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    Avocado mask

  3. For when your hair feels too dull:

    This mask will give your hair both a nice shine and the right amount of softness. Plus it uses one of my favorite ingredients-avocado!
    What you need:
    -1 ripe avocado
    -1 tbsp oil (coconut or olive)
    -1 tsp honey
    How to:
    Smash the avocado, and mix in the other ingredients.
    Leave the mask in your hair for 15-20 minutes and then wash it out. You can add more oil if you feel the need, but remember that might mean shampooing your hair twice to get all the oil out!

I hope you try these masks out and they are as helpful to you as they have been to the women in my family.
Lots of love,
Gull!

Tasteful Thursdays-Black coffee

15 Jan

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It’s drizzling outside, you don’t have just a long day ahead, rather a long week. Because, oh snap, it’s Monday. And you have to drag yourself out of your warm covers and plunge into the wild, viscous world out side. Drench yourself in the cold knocking on your windows. But the very though of it all sends you shivering deeper into the covers and as you close your eyes against the horrors awaiting you, you send out a little prayer. A hopeless wish to help you survive it all, to give you the incentive to get out of bed and face the nightmares.
And then it hits you. The answer to your prayers. The perfect mix of “rev-you-up for world domination” and incomparable paradise-for-your-taste-buds taste. Your personal Monday-pick-me-up.
Black coffee.
They say you need time to acquire the taste for this coffee, that and guts.
I disagree.
You only need a well prepared cup of this mysterious drink, the rest would be taken care of by it’s own irresistible aromas and the rich flavor of freshly ground coffee shining as it’s brightest star. If it’s not done just rightly, if the aroma or the taste or even the color fails to rise above a minimum effective level to bombard your reward/happy-making centers, then, duh you won’t be able to gulp it down.
No matter how big a coffee-holic you are.
Why do I say this? Experience.
I was a born coffee lover, yet no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t develop a “taste” for black coffee (not even the long black) till I realized I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The coffee was. And it was doing all sorts of wrongs. How? By falling short in one or more of the areas mentioned above.
In short, I was buying second class black coffee. And trying to fall for it. Until I stopped trying, and then God led me to not just the love I craved but the reason why I couldn’t get it, in the form of the most perfect cup of black coffee I had ever had. I came across it by forced chance, sheer circumstantial lack of choice, which had me ending up at one of my favorite cafés in Lahore. And, somehow, the friend I was with persuaded me to give their black a shot (pun not intended). Timidly, reluctantly, I gave in to her and giving up my black-coffee boycott, I ordered a cup.
And never did I regret that decision. From the time since I first glimpsed the rich, deep, utter blackness of it, smelled it’s mind numbingly amazing aroma, tasted it’s tongue tingling bitterness, I remained a fan of CTC black coffee for a long time.
Until I got up the courage and tried a couple of other places whose black coffees were even more unforgettable (especially now when CTC’s is no more that good). And which proved that black coffee needs only to be made with enough love to make it easy for one to love.
Which places were those? Here is a list of my favorite cafés for black coffee.
1. Stumptown cafe, New York.
2. Mocca, Gulberg, Lahore.
3.At the risk of sounding highly cliched-Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
4. Ninth street espresso, New York.
5. Greyhound Cafe, West Lafayette, Indiana.
6. Butler’s chocolate cafe.

There are other cafés too, whose black coffees are fat better than just good, but if you want to get acquainted to the taste of them or just like getting the best of the best-then it doesn’t get better than this. Of course, Gloria Jean’s (especially the Islamabad outlet) gets an honorary mention. But I wouldn’t call them black coffee experts, even though they offer the best in some other areas of the coffee “dynasty”.😉
And, to be honest, all this coffee talk has made me crave another cup myself. So, as I quickly wind this up to rush to the kitchen and treat myself with one, let me just leave you on the warning-black coffee isn’t just addictive, it can wind up becoming the centre of your universe.
Just kidding. Not really. 😜

Until next time,
Gull.

Tasteful Thursdays

8 Jan

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I am a caffeine junkie.
Anytime now, I will be the first certified coffee-o-holic in my country.
I can down more than a pint of any kind of coffee, if not in one go then at least in a day, and still be craving for more.
The proof of it lies in my insta-feed. And with my mother who bickers over this fact with me all day long, every day.
All of it? True story. But why am I going on about it? Because, almost every day, without break, I have at least one coffee from a cafe. Or a restaurant. Or a hotel. Or whatever crosses my path which is selling a fresh brewed cup of coffee. So, at least in my city, there would be hardly any place from which I haven’t tried coffee at least once.
For wherever I go, my “eccentric” urges make me have to try the best and the worst of coffees from the worst and the best of places.
So, I might not be qualified enough to pass my judgment on much of the else in the list of eatables, but I hope my word on the topic of coffees after so much coffee-gulping holds some weight.
Having shown off enough for a day (totally not-I can brag all day, buuuuut…) let’s get down to more important things. So why the huge build up? Because for January and February, through my ‘Tasteful Thursday” posts, I will be sharing my favorite coffee houses to date-each it’s best for a particular kind of coffee- with you, both in Pakistan and elsewhere.
But it’s Thursday you say, and I am telling you about everything but a good coffee place.
Already there, hyper-birds, already there. 😉
So, what’s the flavor of the day?
Toffeeccino from English Tea House, Lahore (duh I would start with my hometown.)
Cappuccino is probably one of the most loved of coffee types, the most popularly acclaimed and, although it will never be my favorite, it will always be perfect for the kind of rainy winters heading to us. And it’s one of the few cappuccinos for which I would ditch a latte or mocha. Yes, it’s THAT good.
For when it’s the toffee flavored “-ccino” from ETH, believe me you will have your lips smacking for quite some time after the festive flavor of it has left your mouth and will be instantly craving for more. Be warned though, I have gotten many friends not just hooked onto it, but they are now proudly addicted to their Toffeeccino. Even the ones, who like me, agree that most cafés in this city don’t offer even a passably good Capp. So, if you feel like trying something new in the cappuccino department (or have always ignored it and are willing to give it a chance now), this flavor is for you. And so is the place. It’s not just the added toffee flavor that makes it stay in my top ten list. It’s the basic brew of the cappuccino itself. It’s the aroma, with the right amount of bitterness, the umami. The smooth milkiness without the useless froth. It’s the laid back, understated mugs the coffee is served in.
It’s the experience itself. And what an experience it is.
The cozy, yet not closed in interior with the welcoming staff and the quaint English furniture. The warm, welcoming ambiance, the mesmerizing antique paintings and the cute cutlery that all seems to take you to the old English restaurants-as if you walked right into a classic novel, and Mr. Darcy is just a couple of tables away waiting for Elizabeth, sipping away in his tea Queen Elizabeth cutlery. The lighting, down to the casually placed books and the big windows in both the outlets, make for a perfect place for your coffee-meet. And that’s probably the best part, for whatever I said above, stands completely true for both the outlets, though each has some points over the other. For example, while the view from the one in DHA is much better (the busiest cafe square in DHA), the outdoor seating in the one in Gulberg makes up for it’s lack in as good a view. And although the noise from the kitchens is slightly louder in the DHA branch, their mock-library interior makes up for it.
But, whichever branch you choose, the quality of both the coffee and the experience is equally rich and enjoyable.
Plus, both their main menus have enough finger licking-ly good options in the entrée and main course that they will surely satisfy any non-coffee lover who happens to tag along for that caffeine date. And will help you avoid any cribbing. 😜

So, although there are high chances you have already fallen in love with ETH, fall in love with it again while you sip away at one of the best things they offer.

Till next time,
Love,
Gull.

Tasteful Thursdays

1 Jan

I love series.
But even more I like adding positive adjectives to the days of the week to make it easier to last each one of them.
How?
Be allotting a special fun aspect to each one of them, so that in the haze of my mixed up, overly busy life I can take a moment and enjoy something I love. Like Feminine Fridays, to embrace my inherent femininity. WTF Wednesdays, to search up some cool new topic or place or fashion or even a clothing item to share with you guys.

And now, Tasteful Thursdays.
The concept is pretty simple, each week, I’ll share with you either the best destination I have personally come across for a particular food item or a personally tried and tested, sure-to-amaze-your-taste-buds recipe that will woo your heart. I might diversify this series, because the adjective ‘tasteful’ can have such wonderfully diverse connotations. But for now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And stick to food.

This week, to keep this post from getting too long, I’ll just share with you pretties something a little different from what I will be sharing in the future Thursday food posts.
The link to one of my favorite food blogs-Honestly Yum.
In fact, if you haven’t already, rush to the sure or at least it’s Insta page as soon as you can, not only to inspire the foodie in you, but (hopefully) to lure out your inner chef. It’s one of the branches Honestly WTF spread itself out into when it was spreading it’s wings, and not only the recipes there are divine and original, but they aren’t very hard and the added tips and tricks are a must-see for amateur as well as for practiced chefs-defined excellently to be understood by both and all the classes in between.

Head there and wet your appetite, but know that the best is yet coming, so that you are ready and prepared for my post next week.

Until then, loves, stay sexy.

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