Saturday, August 1, 2015

Heard of PepperTap?

At the onset, let me start with a disclaimer. I am not a very domesticated person and even though I take immense pride in the fact that I am an independent woman who sets straight her own affairs, domestic chores are something I steer clear from. All the 'didis' and 'ammas' have played a large hand in spoiling me rotten so much as that I have not had to lift a finger to buy mundane household groceries ever. Like they say, there is always a first time. I was introduced to this app called PepperTap by the lovely folks behind the same and as an enthusiastic blogger, I was happy to take it on myself to write an honest review about their services. 
As someone who had never bought vegetables, fruits extensively all by herself, the mere idea of having the option of almost every conceivable vegetable or fruit delivered to my doorstep by a mere tap is very exciting. I logged on to the website (there is also the app now) and started adding a few essentials to my cart and with three easy steps it was done. I entered my phone number and address and chose the option of cash on delivery and it was done. There was the live tracking of the order and according to me that is an added benefit.
After a slight confusion on the part of the delivery boy, my order was at my doorstep within two hours, as promised. Post admiring some good looking yellow peppers, I decided to jot a list of pros and cons of the app for you:
PROS:
1. Delivery made within the promised time of two hours.
2. Fresh looking produce, saving goofs like me the hassle of picking the good pieces from the bad in a supermarket.
3. Competitive prices
4. Great customer service
5. The best part is obviously the ease of access. You literally just have to move a finger.

CONS:
1. The app is still undergoing technical development so slight errors lead to confusion. Given that they are relatively young, I believe that those can be readily fixed.
2. A few things that I had placed an order for were not available.








Given that the list of pros far outweigh the cons, I am going to be ordering my groceries and other household care items from them often. Are you team PepperTap?

Disclaimer: The reviews on the website are absolutely honest and are entirely based on my opinions and experiences. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What do do in Singapore

I know what you're thinking. Really, who needs to know what to do in Singapore. We all have been there, done that. But that is where I come in. Everyone has been there, done that, yet there are places that remain unheard of, food that remains unexplored.  I got into a conversation with a lot of people who have spent an awful amount of time in Singapore and apart from a place or two, there weren't many places that I could find on both lists; mine and theirs. A travelogue for the uninitiated and a few fresh pointers for the regulars. Who could say no to that? 
With this little photo essay, I compile a list of ten things do in terms of where to eat, where to drink and where to shop for first timers and regulars. I am not going to wax eloquent about going to Sentosa or the Botanical Gardens because any guide for tourists would tell you that. So let's just skip the basics.

  1. Arab Street or Haji Lane: Definitely amongst my top favourite spots in Singapore, this area was primarily where the Arab exporters set up shop. From whole sale fabrics to design equipment, these shops sell everything. Once you cross that main stretch and are then on Haji Lane, that's where the hipsters are at. From large scale graffiti and wall art to the cutest concept bars and cafes, this place covers it all. Not to forget, the string of boutiques, some conceptual and others just plain vintage where you could strike gold if you looked thoroughly enough. The boutiques are slightly on the expensive side but there were few things that you could take delight in finding only there, like those Olympia Tan book clutches knock off but just much cuter. Blu Jaz Cafe would be my top pick from this locality.



     2.  Club Street: Imagine a street lined with bars and clubs on either sides that stretches for a good 500-600 metres and gives you everything from great heady music to the loud banging beats which make you wish you were 20 again. That is club street for you and everyone from college going teens to adults just grabbing drinks after work hang here for a slice of the fun. My favourite picks from Club Street would have to be the Rum Bar and Oxwells.



     3.  Tiong Bahru: This locality hosts a range of places to eat at, from local hawker food hot spots to some great cafes serving some delectable breakfasts and other such. My favourite find here, tucked in a corner was a bookshop called 'Books Actually'. The fact that this place gives a fillip to a lot of Asian authors is commendable and the fact that you find a Persian, who is a pet of the owners, calmly cascading across the billing counter doesn't hurt either. Tiong Bahru Bakery is great for breakfast but my other favourite would have to be the PS Cafe. The PS Cafe chain run all across Singapore and have some of the best properties. This one whips up some mean desserts and the best pepperoni Pizza.


      4.  Chinatown: This place might feature on many a tourist lists but Chinatown is where the locals head often too. Quaint markets that sell the oddest looking spices and dried meats (you possibly cannot identify half of them), that lead to the flea market and the open air food court which has stalls creating some amazing Asian delicacies. You can walk down the market to buy souvenirs, selfie sticks (yes, they do a roaring business in Singapore), hats, toys, chinese lamps, you name the most bizarre thing you can think of and they have it. There is also a TinTin store which you obviously don't want to miss. Grab a few bottles of tiger beer and some dumplings and maybe just sit and soak in the Chinatown feels.




      5.   Wild Honey and Toby's Estate: Two of the best breakfasts I had in Singapore had to be at these two cafes and I could not possibly create a listicle without emphasising on these. Both of these cafes have branches across the city. I ate at the Wild Honey  Scotts Square and they whipped up the meanest Norwegian eggs with salmon pearls. The Toby's Estate Coffee french toast with glazed bacon remains unmatched. I went to the one located at Robertson Quay but of course Toby's Estate is popular worldwide. If you get a chance, these two should be your failsafe breakfast/brunch options.



       6. St. John's Island and Kusu Island: A host of islands adjoining Singapore remain untouched by the wild commercial upheaval and many a locals head their via ferries to hit the lush green as far as the eye can see, dotted with picnic tables. St. John's houses wild cats and you also have the facility to barbecue while at the island. A little dipping of the toes in the sea and some rest and relaxation on a good day with a perfect picnic basket make these two my perfect Singaporean getaways. Not many a tourist guides or blogs talk about these and it would do good to explore these places a little more.



      7.  Orchard Road: From the tourists to the locals, everyone flocks to Orchard road to fulfil their crazy shopping desires. It is not an exaggeration to say that every nook and cranny in Singapore now sees a mall construction but this street in particular is where all the malls/shopping centres are at. Every conceivable international label and Singaporean label can be accessed here and Ion especially serves as my most favourite mall to shop at, given that it houses every possible high street brand there exists. I did not indulge in a designer label excess since it works out more expensive for me than say, shopping in Dubai or even Europe. Although, the SG 50 sale definitely helped matters and I could not resist a few of those flashing SALE signs. P.S.: Do not miss the bread ice-cream sandwich hawkers on the street which is such a Singapore gourmet food thing.
At TWG in Takashimaya, Orchard


       8.  Keong Saik Road: Another place full of the greatest bars in Singapore would have to be Keong Saik. Unlike Club Street, you do not hear thumping music from a mile away but when you cross the beautiful sushi bars and speak easies, you know there is a great vibe to it. The really bohemian Potato Head Folk carved out a place for itself in my heart with its great cocktails and the beautiful Naughty Fries drizzled some beautiful Spiced bernaise. The burgers looked phenomenal too.


       9.  Rooftop bars: This fact needs no reiteration but I'm still going to say it. One does not simply go to Singapore and not be seen at the right rooftop bars. Okay, maybe not the shallow reasons but you have to witness the beauty of the Singapore skyline which just glitters surreally as you stand at these beautiful rooftop bars. One Altitude needs no introduction, given that it is a tourist favourite. My favourite, however, would have to be Ku De Ta at the Fullerton Hotel. Your other great option, lower down on the altitude is Kinki. 

SG50 fireworks from Kinki

View from One Altitude
     10.  Boat Quay: Drink/Eat there for the views. Right next to water, the beautiful bars and restaurants just make for a perfect weekend spot. You can pick your fish/crab live at the restaurant and they cook the same for you. I would especially go back there for their Green Monster beer, which if you haven't already guessed is, *gulp* green.



You know what they say, make every holiday count. Welcoming all your questions, comments, remarks about this travelogue in the comments below.


x

Saturday, July 11, 2015

No one puts baby in the corner

This post is going up slightly later than I planned. Mostly because I am currently travelling and because I like to write my pieces at the exact moment that I plan to post them. I find it a little unsettling to write pieces in advance because technically they lose relevance by the time they go live since those aren't my thoughts at those precise moments. I also understand that it is not entirely possible to write posts at the moment I wish to post them so maybe I will try harder to strike that balance.
Nevertheless, I wrote this post when the horrible weather in Delhi was putting me in a spot and I was very inspired by my favourite Dirty Dancing reference of all times when I decided on the title for this post. Currently the sticky sweet winds of Singapore are sweeping me off my feet and this outfit might not be ideal here but it is definitely something I would wear in Delhi. Almost like a uniform. Nasty Gal is giving me life in this day and age of too many e-commerce competitors and little inspiration in the clothing. Not only do they stock multiple labels, they are also right up my alley in terms of my style inspiration. Edgy and chic with just the right amount of drama.
How would you wear this floaty dream of a shirt dress?








Wearing:
Shirt Dress: Nasty Gal
White pants: Zara
Peep-toe block heels: Forever 21
Necklace: C/O Miss Flurrty
Ikat print clutch: C/O The Meraki Project

Two big announcements:

  1. My collection curated and shot by me for Miss Flurrty is now available online right here and we are giving all my readers a chance to get a flat 20% off on all those pieces. Enter the discount code 'FTLOFAOT' at checkout.
  2. I am now a member of the POPxo Blogger Network and I am obviously truly elated. Check out my first piece, which is actually an interview right here.
Photography Courtesy: Riddhima Arora Behance or reach her on email at riddhimarora17@gmail.com

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Raymond Father's Day Contest

There is a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that I have, since time immemorial, associated with Raymond and all its Television Commercials. Maybe it is the fact that it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside because unfortunately, not a lot of brands have been able to maintain that kind of a solid buyer base or even have that kind of a brand loyalty in this day and age of global competition. That aside, Raymond has unfailing lived up to its tagline of 'The Complete Man' and all its marketing activities, at least to me have justifiably done the same. Father's Day might be over but it really never is a wrong time to make your old man's day special, is it? 
I can think of a gazillion reasons of what makes my father so special. Is it the way he embarrassingly still calls me 'princess'? Is it the way he melts every time I want something or want to undertake an activity that he would normally not be entirely comfortable with but doesn't know how to say no to me? Or maybe it's the undying support he has always offered me in whatever it is that I wish to do with my life including a huge decision to move from law to fashion without batting an eyelid?
Think back, throwback or whatever it is that you have to. Share your favourite father-son/father-daughter stories right here or on my instagram or just tweet it from your handle, using the following hashtags:

#RaymondILoveYouDaddy
#RaymondLtd
#Radio1Fathersday



and you can win some cool Raymond gift vouchers for the Daddy. It's as simple as that. Remember, entries without the hashtag would be deemed invalid.

Have you entered the contest yet?
x

Friday, June 26, 2015

Woodland Belle

The current weather in Delhi is mildly reminiscent of a sweaty armpit. Humid, sweaty and hot and needless to say, not extremely pleasant. Now that I have put this wildly vivid image in your head, I shall get on with my work. This shoot was not easy. Not just because of the aforementioned reasons but because the lighting becomes an issue when you live in the armpit. It's either too harsh or just not enough. Let's not forget how the sweat impacts your face in the photographs. I don't mind my make up melting off my face. There aren't five layers anyway. What I do however mind is looking like I stepped right out of the gym or splashed my face with water. It's not the sexy, sultry kind of a wet look, if you know what I mean. This look was specially hard given that we were shooting in a woodland and trying to create a blushing belle with the brambles and yellow flowers kind of a mood. It helps that the most exciting part of the outfit for me were the large gold jhumkas with the chunky domes at the bottom. Never one to shy away from a little masala tadka to your Parisian street style, I wouldn't wear my culottes without a beautiful piece of jewellery this season. How are you wearing yours? 
P.S: I might have broken a record for dabbing my face in order to rid it of the excessive sweat this shoot. Yay for small feats.
















Wearing:
White crop top: Zara
Striped culottes: C/O Stalk buy love
Earrings: Amethyst by Rahul Popli
Bracelet: C/O Miss Flurrty
Nude wedges: Random shoe store (Australia)

Photography by: Sohail Singh. Instagram (@sohailsingh)


x



Thursday, June 4, 2015

Less is more

If less is more, what is more? You could pose this quasi-philosophical question to yourself and still receive no clear answer because there clearly isn't one. One day we are all about the emblazoned jackets and the other, it's all about trading everything dressy in your wardrobe for the 'homeless but has money for pizza' look, a.k.a the wave of normcore. The other day I read a tweet by Bryanboy about how normcore was dead and I am all like, is it time to fish out my sequins and fish nets yet?
But keeping up with the trends is becoming harder than keeping up with the Kardashians (and Jenners, if I might add). So I do what I do best. Cool, airy linen jacket and shorts co-ordinates with a side of flatforms and a slightly risqué crop top to show off those pizza-base with toppings, abs. 
Take a cue from this look: Less is more. Air as much of yourself as you can while the sun shines. I don't want too many long, heavy things to wear this summer. Unless it's a perfectly good man-repelling summer trench.









Wearing:
Linen jacket and shorts: C/O Stalk Buy Love
Crop top: Nasty Gal
Flatforms: Charles & Keith
All jewellery: C/O Miss Flurrty

Photography Courtesy: Riddhima Arora Behance or reach her on email at riddhimarora17@gmail.com

Monday, June 1, 2015

The style divide

Continuing from where I left, regaling you with my tales from the holy and sightly town of Banaras, I shot a blog post with the locals of the city. Travel is pointless if you do not come back with memories of strangers and experiences of how the unknown is not always strange. It is only befitting to sit by the Ghats, talk to the local sadhus who perform holy ceremonies and all kinds of Hindu rites there to see life from another spectrum. A city bustling with diversity in human life, everybody has a unique story to tell. I donned my comfortable white Gap India tee and swiped my red lipstick to get ready for a 'style divide' shoot with the locals. India has not always been a country that has seen too kindly over allowing FDI in the retail sector. We are lucky that as of today, the Indian Government allows for FDI in the retail sector up to 51%. While the debate still rages on about what opening up the FDI does to the Indian market and its retailers, I am of the opinion that allowing foreign players only exposes the market to healthy competition, more employment opportunities and more options for the people at large. It is not such a bad idea after all to make it a largely organised sector. Given how the Indian market has taken to foreign brands like Zara et al, it was only some time before Gap found its way here, soon to be followed by the likes of H & M and Massimo Dutti, I hear. From long before I took off on this soliloquy, I had thought about what the real street style heroes of India wore. I possibly cannot emphasise it enough but style to me will always be as style does. I spoke to four starkly diverse individuals in Banaras and took a crack at their story here. The real street style of India remains unfettered by the FDI policy and there in lies the beauty. The style divide as is highlighted by the images, shines through as I create the 360 degrees effect while my muse stays put.

This is Shanti. Clad in her polka dotted saree, I saw her at her make-shift shop set up under a tarpaulin cover of not a very large surface area. She sells trinkets, arms and amulets by the Dashashwamedha ghat of the river Ganga and has been working hard at her job for forty years now. It's no mean feat given the blazing sun and the soaring temperatures of Varanasi but she was still a sport and even smiled for us. I also told her I had her name tattooed at the nape of my neck. She smiled in response, hopefully not thinking that I was cuckoo for cocoa puffs.



Just by the way he poses you can tell that the man is a natural in front of the camera. Rajesh is a devout priest who has taken to this as his calling for five years now. We caught him right between his work and the myriad shades of saffron in the picture just speak to me as the colours of Banaras.



One of the brains behind the widely popular, 'Baba Lassi', Akash Yadav runs the place with his uncle. To claim that the lassi he hand makes each time is magical would be putting it mildly. An entrepreneurial drive that has made this joint hugely popular with international tourists makes Akash one of our street style heroes. He ensures that you scribble a message or a note for Baba Lassi on the large yellow walls which are already covered to every inch in ink by tourists from all across the world. We sat and had long chats with him over lassi.



This emerald green dhoti, amongst other things is what sets Lachhu Sahni apart from all the other boat owners and oarsmen at the ghats. He has his hands full with two fool proof business models of Banaras; a paan shop and the ownership of a boat. He was sporting enough to tether his boat to where we were so that we could shoot with him on it. The next day he also waved to us when we crossed the ghat yet again.


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