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Monday, February 29, 2016

First Eat- Healthy breakfast app


                                             






















When I first got an email from FirstEat team, I wasn't sure how was the portal different from other app based food store.  Without knowing much about the portal, I agreed to attend the bloggers breakfast meet at Kitchens of the World in Gurgaon on 27th February, Saturday.

Launched in Nov 2015, FirstEat started with a philosophy of #PehleKhao, since this is what our moms remain concerned about. (First Eat is Pehle Khao in Hindi) Co founders Shitiz Dogra,  Mannat Wadhera, Saikat Bagchi and Rishabh Tickoo started with a concept of healthy food, primarily breakfast since it is the most neglected and abused meal of the day, especially for the corporate professionals who are pressed for time always. Find out about them here

First Eat app is available on Google Play and Apple Store android.
FirstEat is present in Gurgaon currently, wherein they target to deliver healthy breakfast or evening snacks to workplaces. The menu has listed healthy balanced items prepared in minimum or no oil and no fatty additions. It includes poha (Rs 65), vermicelliupma (Rs 65) ,aloo parantha box (Rs 85), veggie salad (Rs 125), sauteed idli salad (Rs 85) , omlette with sautéed vegetables (Rs 100), veg and non veg sandwich. They also have two fresh cold pressed drinks- Detox Juice of beetroot, carrot, ginger and Rejuvenating  Juice of Spinach, lemon, ginger each at
Rs 85.


Detox juice
Now that's not a bad deal. For people who end up paying Rs. 200-250 on high calorie unhygenic meals, FirstEat comes as a boon with healthy and economical meals. Not to forget the big portion size. I can vouch for it since this is how we were served. The meals are packed in hygienic, leak proof, microwavable bowls. The team does not compromise with quality.
Warm water with lemon honey

For the meet, dedicated areas with name tags were assigned to bloggers. That made us feel special. Not many bloggers were invited, which gave enough room for discussion and feedback. Hubby and I spoke at great length with Shitiz and Mannat about First Eat's business model, operations, plans of expansion and target group. The team also recently got covered by Outlook Business. Read here- http://www.outlookbusiness.com/enterprise/big-idea/now-a-food-app-for-the-calorie-conscious-2608

Healthy poha
We got to taste poha, omlette & salad with both the juices. As a health concious person, I give it 5 on 5 for freshness and no/less fat and oil in the preparations. Before the breakfast was served, we were treated with lemon honey warm water, as a reminder to cleanse your body and start healthy! Warm water also calms down the stressed nerves. Now that's a useful knowledge sharing, I must say.

We downloaded the First Eat app to know more about it. (Thanks to the free Wi-Fi. Okay no body can ever say
Garden Salad
no to free WiFi, so stop smiling, okay?) The drop down in the app shows delivery places in Gurgaon at major points like  Guru Dronacharya and MG Road Metro station, Cyber City, Udyog Vihar & DLF Phase 1,2, 3 etc. (Oops my workplace is not listed. Somebody please do something for the underdeveloped Gwal Pahari which is called BPL- Below Poverty Line area) In the next 6 months they pan to expand to whole of Delhi NCR. Desktop version and phone ordering would be available soon.


Users can place the order from from the app starting 8 am till 6 pm. There is no minimum order :-) Yay!

First Eat also has collaborated with Ola Shuttle. The passenger can place an order before boarding the shuttle and collect the order at the mentioned dropping points. What an idea sirji!

Fellow bloggers


Healthy discussion flowed in over healthy breakfast and the session ended with pictures & goody bags personalized with our name tags. Warm gesture that was!
Good quality + assured health= Happy professional , since a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. At least my life is sorted with First Eat!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Vedic Collection BB cream



Vedic Collection, a relatively new name in the skin care market has Tatha as one of its brands under its umbrella. The natural products without chemicals/toxins are made with organic ingredients that are safe and light on skin. As the brand focuses on skin care solutions, their only cosmetic BB cream comes loaded with organic goodness plus make up benefits.

The brand claims "The versatile skin care/make up hybrid beauty balm promises to do five or six jobs: moisturizer, primer, skin treatment, concealer and foundation. It hydrates and minimizes the appearance of blemishes and discoloration for more even complexion".

Source: Vedic Collection website- https://vedic-collection.com/fresh-face/bb-cream

The fact that this BB Cream has natural ingredients inspired me to try something different from the usual BB creams. When the first day I applied this, my face looked whitewashed with paint, since I has no clue on the quantity to be used. Post advise from the Vedic Collection team, I pumped out a little quantity and applied on my face. (Mind you, I applied a day cream first). The BB cream evenly spread over my skin giving it a natural look.

How to use- Squeeze out very little on your palm and dot over your face and neck, blending downwards gently. Apply more on dark spots or blemishes for fuller coverage.

The ingredients-
Aloe vera, green tea, sunflower, cucumber, ashwagandha, jojoba besides other basic components. The blend of these ingredients together give a cool effect, balanced moisture and even base to skin.

What's cool -
-Covers dark spots evenly.
-Evens out complexion, reduces skin discolourations after prolonged use
-Moisturises face well.
-Acts as a base or primer before you apply foundation for more coverage.
-Looks very natural and not made up.
-Feels weightless. Skin breathes free.
-Skin gets a pearly glow
-Sleek, leak proof, travel friendly bottle. Smart packaging with golden cap.
- Paraben free, not tested on animals, 100% natural and the bottle is recyclable! (These are on the product label too)

What's not cool-
-No SPF (Organic products don't have SPF) . Advisable to use day cream or SPF lotion before applying Tatha BB cream.
- Just one shade available. May not be a good match for all skin complexions.
-Not suitable for oily to combination skin. Skin feels oily after wearing BB cream for few hours. Not the best bet for summers!
-Shelf life of 10 months (For obvious reasons. It is organic without preservative)

15 ml bottle costs Rs 1025.
Not summer friendly and tends to make face oily. Yet is organic, safe on skin, gives a natural look and causes no breakouts.
An overall rating from my side- 3.5 on 5

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Maybelline BabyLips: Coral Flush

Going by the fad, “Orange is the new black”  coral shades are making statement everywhere! Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm storms the market with “Coral Flush” which is an absolute delight! Here’s my candid review on the lip balm.







Maybelline has always lived up to the market expectations in personal care products. Baby Lips created sizzles around with its dual benefits of lip balm and glossy sheen. The new variant Coral Flush is another feather in the cap. You can carry the travel friendly balm stick in your handbag. A little rub on the lips gets you ready in few seconds. Lips feel quenched and healthy for hours!

The product claims-
  • Infused with “Pure Color System”
  • Formula contains Vitamin E and Jojoba oil that sheds away dryness for supple lips
  • Dermatologist and allergy tested
What I loved-
  • SPF16- That’s a must have for me in my lip balm. Lips too need protection from Sun, don’t they?
  • 6 hours moisture- Yeah, I feel my lips shiny and moisturized for hours. The lip balm stays for long time.
  • Lips feel smooth and soft, making them ready for lipstick application. Lips don’t chap.
  • Strong moisture care and sun protection gives lips a perfect weather defence in strong sun, wind or cold. That’s an all weather care!
The downs- 
  • Color base isn’t strong. Since it is translucent, pink or orange isn’t of much significance.
  • No fragrance or aroma from the lip balm. Its just the color. Perhaps these are the only two downs. Lip balms ideally don’t have aroma, yet I expected a tangy fragrance looking at the delectable color)

To use- You need to turn up the base of the lip balm a little and apply the tube.












The packing is sleek and leak proof.
The price- 4.5 G tube costs Rs 150. You can get it a lower cost from other online portals. Totally worth the price!
I would rate it 4 on 5. I even apply at night before sleeping, for smooth and cushioned lips in the morning. Go grab the lipbalm today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Barbeque Nation, Sohna Road


Barbeque Nation never fails to live up to expectations of foodies.  And this valentine’s day, they do it again, winning hearts, and etching sweet memories in mind forever. The visit was to BBQ, Sohna Road.


This was my second visit to BBQ, post the first one with colleagues in 2014 at Sushant Lok, Gurgaon. The day was special- 14th Feb, calling for a lunch celebration with hubby. Free parking for BBQ guests and valet parking service by BBQ staff relieved us from the parking woos. (Mind you, parking space in Gurgaon is a nightmare). 

We spend around 10 minutes in the waiting area for our table and the manager apologized to keep us waiting. Apologies were not required, but it shows the level of professionalism and hospitality (Unlike TAMASHA in CP where the staff or manager were least bothered to inform us about the technical fault that caused delay in serving). The accurate height of tables and chairs is suitable for all age people, which shows a great planning by the BBQ team. Commendable job! Perfect lighting and spacious place it is!

The entire staff attended all guests courteously, paying full attention to every detail, to the point of customizing dishes. Viku, the amiable and energetic staff served us with a cheerful smile on his face. Before the snacks arrived, a heart shape cake was presented to mark Valentine’s Day. A pleasant surprise it was.

We began with complimentary drinks of lemon ice tea and lemonade coupled with grilled malai paneer, crispy corns, cajul potato among veg for me and fish, chicken among non veg for hubby. The live grill of mushroom, capsicum, tomatoes, juicy pineapple, peri peri chicken, tandoori tangri and moroccon seekh kabab along with a variety of sauce is very enticing. All items were superbly marinated and well cooked. The chefs asked for feedback or weather to customize the spices. They cared for the guests, making them feel at ease and any complain or discomfort was taken seriously. Full points to hospitality!
The impressive starters was followed by a large spread of main course. Among vegetarian items I had- Paneer lababdar, dingri makai keema paneer masala, paneer methi masala , matar kofta and salad.


With almost full appetite post snacks, I had little portions of all above along with plain rice. I had no space to accommodate daal makhni, veg Manchurian and noodles so skipped them. The meal was worth it! Dishes had the perfect balance of spices and I could taste every flavor. None of the gravies tasted similar. Hubby enjoyed his non veg course of Chicken Dum Biryani Masala, Burani Ghost, Nimbu Makhan Ka Murg, Fish and Hot Garlic Sauce.  
Phirni

Pan Kulfi with khus and gulkand





















The heavy lunch left us with no space in our tummy. However Indians NEVER say no to desserts! From a single plate we tasted bites of mango pastry, chocolate brownie with peanuts, vanilla ice cream and gulabjamun. We repeated phirni since it tasted so good. Desserts were not loaded with sugar, unlike the usual Indian sweets. The best among sweets were phirni and PAN kulfi with gulkand and khus syrup. We ended having two helpings of each.

While paying the bill, the manager took a picture of ours, which we assumed for their wall display or guest book. As we waited for our car to arrive, the manager gave us the framed picture. What a lovely memoir to take home! We also got the half finished cake packed for home.

Cost for two- 1600 (One veg, one non veg pus service tax)
Service- Excellent- 5 0n 5, Staff was quick, polite, well mannered
Food: Variety- 5 on 5, (Ample variety for vegetarians like me) Presentation- 4 on 5
Ambiance- 5 on 5, Superb décor, lighting, seating
Hygiene- Good- 5 on 5
Repeat visit for us? Definitely YES



Friday, February 12, 2016

India Fashion Interface Bloggers' Convocation

This was the first fashion bloggers meet for me. Seeded by MyFashionBay, the bloggers convocation was in association with Pearl Academy and ROPOSO on 6 &7 Feb’16. Venue partner- Indigo at One Golden Mile, New Delhi.
Panellists of India Fashion Interface 2016
The fashion interface is a platform to bring fashion designers, bloggers and fashion brands together. A panel of 5 members from fashion fraternity were brought on stage. Among them were Bubbles Sabarwal ,well known for her role in blockbuster No one killed Jessica, Komal K a top fashion blogger who blogs at http://thedelhifashionblogger.com/,  Meha Jayaswal, faculty at Pearl Academy of Fashion, Sunil Raisinghani, VP Vcloud Luxury, and Payal Jaggi, founder Kinche.

The event kicked off with an opening speech by Gaurav Banasal, co founder MyFashionBay.com Rachna Singh, Founder MyFashionBay.com.  They shared valuable insights from their experience and industry expertise.
Rachna- Founder My Fashion Bay
and moderated by
The first of its kind, IFI2016 was also focused on initiating unique networking strategy through events, a trend which is still picking up in India. Topics covered in details were-
  • Importance of social media for bloggers as well as brands and their collaboration.
  • How to increase traffic on blogs and make it known
  • Running digital campaigns for self or involving with a brand
During the session, Meha Jayaswal quoted that bloggers do an incredible job and write informative pieces. However blogs are not credible sources of information and hence not included in books for bibliography. This trend will change slowly if information credit is mentioned on the blog, plagiarism is filtered out, original pieces are produced and topics are well
Fashion blogger Komal
researched.  A point well made. Bloggers too should follow code of ethics!

Komal emphasized on bloggers’ social media presence and networking skills. Brands are also likely to collaborate with bloggers who have good content and prove to be good social media influencers. Getting paid by the brand comes later when the blogs achieve that standard of being “highly influential”.

As correctly stated by Sunil Rai, there are not fixed parameters for brands to choose bloggers. There should be an equal importance given to blog traffic and content simultaneously, which is debated many a times and the gap needs to be addressed.
A serious issue was pointed out by Payal as she said blogging is still naïve in India. The market is saturated abroad where blogging is taken seriously and brands pay well to bloggers, unlike India where after so much efforts bloggers still struggle to charge for their pieces they write.
The convocation had good take way points for all. Few among them were –
  1. Bloggers should not write for free (after all there are loads of efforts involved in writing a post)
  2. Attending bloggers meet or networking is very important to make your presence felt
  3. Balance all your social media properties. Readership should be at par on all places lest they should look fake.
  4. Keep learning new things (technologies, tools) to upgrade yourself. Come out of comfort zone and explore the “new”
  5. Be original. Don’t plagiarize. Keep things organic. Buying likes will only hamper your image (as brands can easily figure that out)
  6. Including pictures/videos will beautify your blogs and get attention/traffic. Remember all words and no picture will make your bog a dull baby! Display your profile picture to begin with.
On the verge of closing, IFI awarded bloggers on winning the blog contest. Fellow blogger Ridhima and I were the winners of the same. Read my winning blog post here

Payal and me
The event closed with hi tea and scrumptious snacks. Along side was POPBAZAR where designers and entrepreneurs across the country had set up their stalls of trendy apparels and beautiful accessories. From everyday fashion to designer wear, all patterns and colors on display were a visual treat. All the  talented designers who showcased their work deserve a huge round of applause for their efforts and design execution! The event was a great success.

For more pictures and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/myfashionbayblog
Anything that you feel comfortable and good in can be a fashion statement for you. All you need is an eye for detail and good marketing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tops Selfie Contest by Foodiye.com


Baked, fried, toasted, roasted, boiled, steamed, raw and fresh or prepared and preserved with the harmonious mix of love and culinary talents ; if this is how you prefer your taste buds to be treated, then you fall under the hearty category of “foodies”. For this bunch of food-lovers, dishes and cuisines are not merely a regular, cumbersome affair; rather a flavorsome ritual, where each morsel is cherished and every bite touches the sensitive cords of the heart. Not for nothing has such a love for food been celebrated daily by thousands of people around the world, but also quite aptly its joy and pleasures have been referred to as “food porn” by the netizens. Welcome on board the journey to the center of the heart – food!

One of the highest points of this food-some journey is the fact that it  it takes into account the eccentricities of its various patrons; the health conscious ones, the mid-night bingers, those with a nose for the junk and even the plain old homely food lovers; there’s something for everyone. As varied and wholesome the community of foodies around the world is, there’s a dedicated platform, a social network connecting people for the love of food. Foodiye.com is a unique online space that allows food-lovers to connect, share and express their mutual affection for scrumptious, delectable and tempting savors.

Foodporn by Foodiye

Above all, the divine reason, why foodies around the world should connect and contribute to this amazing food archive is an exciting contest that assures the winners fun and happening prizes and hampers. The #TopsSelfieContest became the ultimate contest for food lovers that needed the participants to click a selfie with their favorite Tops Pickles and upload it on Foodiye.com. With several enthusiastic participants posing with their choice of Tops pickle, the contest soon gathered pace with a hoard of pickle selfies flooding the food-social-network. Better still, the winners of this fun and simple contest were treated with exciting gift hampers and prizes.

Over a period of three decades, the well-known FMCG brand has spread its wings not only across the length and breadth of India, but also in as many as 25 countries around the world. And all this, under the skilled and visionary guidance of its founder, Brij M. Seth. The dream of acquiring the position of popular provider of high-quality processed food was fulfilled marvelously over this tenure of evolution and progress by Tops. Apart from supplementing most of Indian homes and eateries with 21 delightful flavors of pickles, Tops has been smart in its product choices. Today, this food-giant supplies several other processed foods like Jams, Jelly, Tomato Ketchup, Instant Mixes, Custard Powder, Vermicelli, and Culinary Sauces among others. In the truest terms, Tops has sufficed every need of a modern household to become the most-preferred brand providing convenience food.

As Shaw proclaimed that there is no sincerer love than the love for food; remember to have fun and make merry on your next eating experience. Who knows, another exciting contest could be waiting for you foodies? Having said so, on your next trip to that favorite restaurant of yours, do not forget to click beautiful pictures of those flavorful dishes you try. Till then, happy eating!