Tag Archives: lifestyle blogger

Friday Five 

24 Jun

Happy Friday everyone! This week went by in the blink of an eye and the realisation has left me with mixed emotions. Although I’m excited for what the future holds but I was having so much fun enjoying my vacations that their end is making me sad too!

However, bittersweet or not, I came across a lot many fun things this week which I’m too excited to share with you. Picking my top five was the hardest ever this time around but here they are, just for you!

1. These feminine lace-ups with the cutest details are available at the craziest (read:-ridiculously cheap) price! They are on sale though, so hurry up and get them while stocks last! (P.S. Express has an ‘up to 70% off’ sale going on so do check the whole sale out!)

 

2. This gorgeous H&M one-off-shoulder crop top that is on sale! And on trend too- we covered them in our June Style report in detail. (H&M has an ‘up to 60% off’ flash sale for today so hurry on over before you miss it!)

 

 

Kendra Scott earrings 

3. I’m in love with these Kendra Scott earrings! Honestly, they are cute but crazy, (just like my soul)! Get them here if they speak to you too!

 

 

 

J. Crew skirt

 
4. This ruffled skirt that I’ve seen on all of the best (and my favourite) fashion bloggers finally went on sale. And I couldn’t be happier!

 

Stella Sneakers

 


5. We all know white sneakers are here to stay, then why not add a little heel to them while staying comfortable and stylish? These sneakers by Stella do all that and more, giving any outfit an instant dose of edge. Get yours here!

 

Love,
Gull!

Weekend city guide-Miami edition

22 Jun

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am calling this guide a ‘mini’ one because I have only ever stayed there for two-three days max! The reason is simple, that’s the max amount of time I can spend doing ‘nothing’.

Don’t get me wrong, the endless ice-creams, the cutesy restaurants and cafes and the party scene there is pretty cool, and I love the quintessentially South Florida scene there, but as a tan person genetically, that is the max amount of sun bathing you will ever catch me doing. Ever. And when in Miami, you can not avoid the sun nor the beach-not enough, not at all!

So here is a Miami guide for anyone looking to do a small romantic getaway or a fun girls weekend there. (P.S., it is absolutely on my list for my bachelorette weekend though, like, duh.)

Where to stay

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Delano-a view captured by their own photographer

 

Delano

 

It might be one of the priciest places to stay at in Miami, but the experience will be worth the splurge! Since it is Miami, the scene outside is the real deal-its infinity edge pool and bungalows with rainfall showers are what draw many a tourist here and the Agua Spa is like the sweet cherry on top of this deal. The suites themselves are nothing short of incredible featuring a tranquil white-on-white design scheme that will calm you to your core! My advice-stay here for one night at least! You will not regret the memories you will make!

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The Standard (source: their website)


The Standard

If you are not looking to go overboard with your hotel expenditure (read:if you want to avoid bankruptcy), or if you plan to stay for more than a couple of nights, this one is a great choice! The Standard Hotel and Spa thinks of itself more as a spa with a few guestrooms rather than the other way round and has the perfect environment to help you unwind while you vacation. In between the outdoor soaking tubs, the 90-degree hammam, the cedar sauna and the on-site juice cafe-you will be addicted!

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The Sanctuary (taken by their photographer)


Sanctuary South Beach

This is the ideal place to book if you are on a budget and yet still want to feel like you are staying at one of the best spots in the city. Their pool specifically makes you feel like you got more than what you paid for and not only are their rooms spacious and comfy but the beach and several shopping options are close by! The trick though is to book a month or more in advance for which they offer multiple too-good-to-be-true packages.

Where to Eat

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Versailles


Versailles 

This place is one of the most iconic spots of Miami, called by some even ‘the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world’, and you definitely cant leave Miami before going here

Yardbird

 

 

If you are into Southern food and that too in a farm-to-table kind of a set-up, this is a must go for you! However, it was their brunch that stole my heart. (Available for weekends only, but too good!)

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27 Resturaunt

 

27 Restaurant

The interior has a colorful, beachy vibe (complete with picnic tables, bright shelving and catchy wallpaper). The menu is a mix of Caribbean, South American and Middle Eastern cuisines, and the food is divine!

 

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Ms. Cheezious


Ms. Cheezious

 

This place on Biscayne Boulevard is one of a kind for one special reason-it is dedicated to cheese. From mac and cheese to grilled cheese, they serve it all but with quirky twists and at amazing prices. Two words-must go!

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

Started by an actual firefighter, they offer some of the best pies in the city-and the serving size of their slices is easily good enough for two! Economical and delicious-what more could one want?

The Local house

One of the best spots for brunch in the city! Their caramelized banana pancakes with creme fraiche are amazing! Also a must try is their crab cake benedict.

 

Where to get Caffeinated 

Las Olas Cafe 

For me, leaving Miami without trying some Cuban flavor was a huge no so my trip to Las Olas Cafe was a must! And was I glad that we went there. Getting served fantastic cups of coffee in a laid-back setting is in itself worth the extra walk in the May heat but the first sip of my café con leche y azúcar made all the extra effort more than worth it!

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Panther Coffee

Panther Coffee 

The reason Panther Coffee Miami Beach is a favorite with both locals and tourists is that it has kind of a Starbucks vibe but with much much better coffees. Plus, while their indoor space is great for work and meetings the outdoor seating in the breezeway is great for a fun, relaxed hangout!

Cafe Demetrio

It is a quaint European style coffeehouse that has some of the best artisanal brews in the city! Housed in a 1920s building with a garden-like terrace, it also offers live music-an over all combination that gives it an old world charm and makes it perfect for an afternoon retreat! Tip-try their Cafe Leo!

Bachour

Bachour Bakery + Bistro

Bachour Bakery + Bistro

Not exactly a cafe, but their coffee was amazing. However, what made this place an instant favorite for me were their macarons and their pastries! After all, who doesn’t love freshly baked goodies with their morning coffee?

Entertainment

Other than sunbathing on the beaches, that is. 

Rent a bike and explore

Two reasons why I suggest this-one, because this is a much better option than renting a car and trying to get around because parking in Miami, especially close to the beaches, is far from fun-we spent fifty minutes looking for a spot to park and then ended up having to pay extra to a valet to park for us. Secondly, Miami is like one flat biking town, and there is not a more fun and easy way to get from one place to another. Plus there are so many cute hidden spots that you can only stumble upon if you are biking!

Shop at 

The Mall at Lincoln road
It is a pedestrian only strip of boutiques and designer shops that is a must go for anyone looking for a good shopping experience!

Boho Hunter
This place will make you feel like you came to the beach unprepared, but will kindly offer all that you forgot you needed to bring! From wrap headbands for lounging by the pool to cute woven totes to ruffled skirts, they offer everything you will need to buy and then some! (They have an online store too which is ridiculously good!)

Books and books and Taschen (the later is on Lincoln rd.)
These shops are must visits for book lovers, especially if you forgot to bring a book for your day at the beach!

Must See

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Art Deco District


The Art Deco district-
The colorful buildings here are world famous, and there reason is pretty obvious for the colors and ‘art’ in them will leave you inspired! It’s an especially good spot for architecture buffs!
Tip:– Head to the Art Deco Welcome Center to get a guided/self-guided tour of the district!

Wynwood Arts District
Home to plenty of art galleries, shops, bars and some really amazing street art, this area is perfect for spending a relaxed afternoon in Miami.

Little Havana-
You can’t visit Miami without a trip to the city’s famous Cuban neighborhood. Packed with cigar shops, galleries, fantastic Cuban food and Cuban coffee spots, it is an experience in itself!

Little havana

A piece of Little Havana

 

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Vicayza

Vizcaya Museum and Garden- It is a national historic landmark and once you see it for yourself you will know what the hype is about! The property reminds you of an Italian villa and is a perfect spot for walking around, taking in some beautiful views and escaping the city’s hustle and bustle!

Must do

Kayak at Oleta River State Park
If you want to experience part of the natural beauty in the area, this park is a good way for that! For a non-sport-loving person like me (no shame, girl) it was an amazing spot for picnicking but locals suggested that the real way to see the park’s beauty was via kayaking! So do give it a try!

Jet-Ski-
How can you not when you are so close to such beautiful waters? There are multiple rental companies to use for this ‘must-do’, though
American WaterSports is usually the safest option. (Full disclosure-I might know how to swim, but huge water bodies scare me so I didn’t even go close to any of the jet skis!)

Enjoy the sunset from the South Point Park-
It is honestly the best spot to catch the sunset, both picturesque (think walkways, benches, green spaces) and relaxing!

Visit Key West
If you have an extra day on your hands, spend it in Key West. The beaches are less crowded and the views even prettier! Plus its famous coral reefs are ideal for activities like snorkeling and diving!

 

For your sweet tooth

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Bianco Gelato


Bianco Gelato

For the absolute best gelato, you have to head here! Not only because of the taste but also because the owners are very quality conscious. Plus, they have so many options that it will leave you astounded-including even dairy-free ones!

 

Azucar-

Acuzar

 

Azucar ice cream

If you are amongst those who prefer their ice-creams to any gelato, this place should be on your list. Not only are their flavors incredible but they also make fresh ice-cream daily! It is located in Little Havana so try it out while you are touring the place!

Ella

This pop-up cafe is made for sugar lovers, or at least their buttermilk pancakes will make you feel so! A perfect spot for breakfast or for a grab-and-go sweet treat!

 

I hope next time you plan a visit to Miami, this guide will prove helpful to you! 

Lots of Love,
Gull.

Friday Five

17 Jun

Happy Friday everyone! Thank God the weekend is here-was said not by me because tbh I have been making such good use of my month off from med-school (i.e. I have been sleeping so much) that all my days have melted into one another and my Mondays have been as good as my Fridays!

Sorry, I get to feel this way only for three weeks once a year, hence I had to enjoy this/brag about it. However, I have also got five fab things for you today that I am sure you will love and will hopefully make you equally happy!

  1. The most gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff wrap around watch. 
    watch

    Rebecca Minkoff wrap around wrist watch

    Honestly, I was obsessed with it the minute I saw it! It is classy, with a twist and as it doubles as great arm candy it is perfect for travelling when you need accessories but also don’t have a lot of space for too many of them!

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    The “Go Naked” Urban decay perfume oil

  2. The new Urban decay perfume oil.
    Not only does it smell divine but it comes in a travel friendly bottle that fits in your purse, is easy to use and has the cutest packaging. It is limited edition though, so hurry and buy it while stocks last!

    jewelry

    Rings from Fervor Montreal

  3. Everything from Fervor Montreal.
    Especially their Chloe collection which is delicate and colorful at the same time.  And their statement rings! Each piece is so versatile, that it can go with almost anything-a quality I always look for when packing for over-seas trips because I want jewelry that can go with more than just one of my looks!
  4. This Furla travel bag which is everything!
    The best part is that it is on sale!! And I feel this bag (or one similar to it) is a must for every fashion-lover out there! It has length adjustable straps and can act as a backpack as well as a hand bag! (I love such flexible pieces!)
  5. This lash primer that has changed my life.
    Honestly, I always thought that lash primers were the most useless make-up item ever. Till I used this one and my perspective (and life) will now never be the same. One swipe of it on my lashes followed by my mascara and it feels like I am wearing the most natural-looking fake lashes. Does that make sense? I hope it does because I mean it-everywhere you go people will be commenting on your ‘brand new lashes’!

XO,
Gull.

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!

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Five Things

23 Jun

Coffee from our favorite cafe.

Going out for coffee with my sister at least once a week has turned into such a pleasant ritual, that I find myself praying that we never have to give it up. Which is an unrealistic wish, seeing that the probability of oceans separating us in the future is quiet high. So, instead I find myself making the most out of these hang outs, where we unwind, sharing our notes over how the week went, discussing everything from fashion to politics to (yes I will admit) people! We can enjoy these sittings anywhere, I suppose, but cute coffee shops somehow always add to their charm. 

 

 
 But we also make sure to dress up for the little meet ups. Make an effort, so that they don’t lose their importance. Maybe because both of us realise how precious these memories would be in our future. Maybe we both realise how temporary this set up is. Sow we both make the most of it. 

This wallet from Michael Kors is 😍!

  

Night time rituals that help me sleep

25 Dec

I miss sleeping like this.

I am an insomniac. But not really.

Starting from my O’levels till the first year of my med-school I was a through and through insomniac. I would go days without getting more than an hour or two of shut eye and four to five hours of sleep was my max.

And while as a med student it should have been a blessing. it really wasn’t. on fact-like any insomniac would tell you-it sucked.
You are tired all the time, but you cant sleep. ” I need to sleep, but I cant for there are three thousand things clogging my mind, yet I am not fresh enough to study for it wont even retain, so I might as well just lie here and stare at the roof…” and on goes the monologue.

It was apparent that I needed to do something, make a change, go to a doctor-anything, to be honest-which would help me sleep. So I began asking around, began researching, for tips and tricks to help me. I came across the worst of them, the funniest, the creepiest-but in the midst of it all, I came across tricks that actually did help me. Here are six of the best of them.

1. Put it away.
I used to go to my bed as I would go to an island I was about to be stranded on. Prepared. My mobile charged, my laptop revved, with snacks on the bedside and the novel I was reading that week with me.
I had a ritual of blogging in bed followed by some Insta-ing and then I would read till the words blurred-but I couldn’t fall asleep even then. But once I had gotten the same tip from every direction, to “not to take my gadgets to the bed”, I finally gave it a try. I began by leaving my laptop in another room, so I wouldn’t be tempted to reach for it. Then I stopped taking my novels to bed and began the habit of putting my phone on charging cutting it off before I felt too drowsy. And it has helped. All of it. All the gadget use was interrupting my sleep patterns, and the continuous retinal excitement was not letting my brain shut off. But without the added stimuli, the sleep takes over more easily.

2. Cut off the caffeine.
No, I am not talking about decreasing your cups ( I haven’t much yet mastered the art of that), rather I am suggesting to avoid it later in the day-along with heavy dinners-right before you go to bed.
I try not to have anything that’s stimulating after 7pm (for me that includes coke and energy drinks too) and try not to go to bed with a full stomach, for both make sleeping harder and the former keeps my neuronal circuits too jittery for me to feel calm.

3. Take a soothing bath.
This is one of the few things that you should do before going to bed, but I used to do the opposite. However, the habit of bathing later in the day has helped me a lot. I don’t know if it is the warmth of childhood memories (being put into a warm ironed night dress after a long bath) or if it’s my tiring bathing routine, but either ways, it feels nice and relaxing getting into bed after a bath.

4. The bed is for relaxing.
We associate things with not just past memories, but the emotions we were undergoing when we were interacting with them or when we were in particular environment. Prepare for exams enough in your bed, and it stops being inviting despite its soft warmth. Instead it entices tension in you. Stay lying awake thinking through your problems, and anxiety will become your most frequent bed partner. So next time, you are thinking through something hard, preparing for a test or just fighting off a bad mood, this is another reason why you shouldn’t take any of it to bed. Your bed is just for relaxing, let it stay so in your subconscious.

5. Keep the clocks away.
Staring at the time or checking it every ten minutes isn’t going to be any help, rather it will make it all worse. It does for me, for it is either too late and it seems pointless to sleep then or it is too early and sleeping then seems ‘childish’.

6. Tailor you therapy.
Some things work for you, some don’t. So you need to ensure the final therapy is specific for you. For me a welcoming environment grew essential and I looked to through the rooms of my favorite get away for inspiration. I got bedding that was comfortable, easy on the eyes and tugged at my heart (and which I always spritz with me favorite perfume). I added some lighting that reminded my of the said rooms and added some scented candles (aroma therapy is the best) which are just brilliant to wake up to. And lastly? I try and go to bed happy, which works like magic.

Happy sleeping.

Love thyself.

22 May

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When I was a young girl, I read a line in one of my favorite books that has somehow stuck with me since then, or rather the last words in it have-“love is hard”.
I though I understood it, but I was wrong. Only age and experience really tells you how hard love is. Really tells you the depth of those words.
And it’s not only the romantic kind we are talking about here. No.
Love in all it’s forms-that for your friends, your siblings, your parents-is at the end of the day a strenuous task. And, as it is such a part of our daily lives, it’s neither inevitable nor abhor-able. It’s bittersweet in its pain. What the question ends up being is, if the bitter overpowers the sweet or vice versa.
The answer to that can only truly help you finally decide if it’s worth trying for more or should you give up.
But that’s the catch. You can never really give up, you can never really move on. What you can do is leave a piece of yourself behind and try to repress the need to go rushing back to that particular part. Repress your longings, your memories.
And hold with two hands, in fact your whole body, the door to that part closed forever.
So, no matter how easily we tell each other, “Give up. Move on. They aren’t worth it!”-both parties know that is not just hard, it’s partly not possible.
You might give up on a relation, but you can’t hold back the longing of the “what if”. You might move on, but a part of your mind is still mingled in what was, what you tried to make it be. And as you turn your back on it, your battered feelings will mourn what they lost and the hollowness in you will whisper that maybe it was worth it. Maybe you gave up too soon. Maybe…
But we can either let ourselves be stuck in relationships destined for doom, keep showering our love where it isn’t deserved and keep ourselves open to the hurt of being rejected in those million ways which people who have power over our hearts have mastered the art of doing.
Or we can accept the truth. What is that? It’s the fact that although our love for them will never be eradicated from us, although even the bitter moments with them our heart prizes and even though our mind keeps conjuring up the “what if” scenarios, it’s best to walk away with the little self respect we still have, with the little good in our relationships still intact rather then letting it all be marred by the darkness of pain and failure. To give up before the rejection is our undoing.
For when we do so, when we walk away before the tsunami of emotions was to destroy one or both of the parties we leave with a better chance of it working sometime in the future and most importantly we leave with some of our self love intact.
Because no love is harder then self love, none more scorned and bad-mouthed by the society.
None more important than it.
So protect yourself, your emotions, your sanity and walk away before it’s too late.
When you do, with the pain will be hope of another maybe.
Maybe in future we will be better, and till then you will be happy that you respected your own self.
If you can’t say those last words to yourself, the damage will be much worse then can be imagined. And you would have lost upon the most necessary love of all.

Love. Yourself. Be happy.

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