Sunday, October 31, 2010

Make your own colors for your Rangoli

Made from flowers and leaves only. Is it not beautiful?
Rangoli is an integral part of our festivals. While in North India, people generally make Rangolis only during festivals where as it is a daily routine in South. Every morning you will find ladies waking up, cleaning their porch and making a beautiful Rangoli with rice flour. Of course, they do not bother to color it every day but yes, we do love colors. Right?? Diwali is almost there and of course, your designs for Rangolis would be improvising day by day. So, have you decided on how will you color your Rangoli. No, not the Holi colors please!! They are chemically processed making them unhealthy not only for the skin but also they can cause asthma and cancer. Skin allergies from Holi colors is nothing new. I stopped playing Holi because of the very reason and many of you must have too.

So, how do we go about making our own colors? I am sure many of you must already be aware of it. But, for those who do not, I'll recount certain things and your own imagination will also give you exquisite results on the D-Day. Lets start with things already available.
  • Turmeric - yellow. Mix turmeric with rice flour (off-white in color) or even maida (all purpose flour) and create different shades of yellow. Besan can be used for pale yellow too. 
  • Orange peels are already lying for your daily scrubs. Use them for orange color.
  • Sindoor can be used for maroon. The orange shade of tika is also available. It will do beautifully for orange.
  • Beetroot - shade of magenta. Dry the peel or a single beetroot cut into pieces and then grind them for a beautiful and vibrant shade of something ranging from pink to magenta. You can vary the color using the white flour.
  • Pomegranate - something between red and orange. Dry the peel and grind it. 
  • Carrot - Peel it, cut into pieces and dry and then, grind. Carrot red.
  • Rose Petals - which ever color is your rose. General colors are pink and red. Dry the petals and grind them or you can use them as they are.
  • Marigold petals - a vibrant orange. Petals can be used as they are.
  • You have a wide array of choices for green. Go for mint, spinach, fenugreek, corainder leaves or leaves from the plants from your garden or you can dry the peels of your green veggies from the gourd family and powder them. 
  • Blue is a difficult color. You can go for small blue flowers which is the best bet. Or, if you can get indigo, you can create blue color of your own. But, this would be rare. So, I am giving this a miss!! You have lavender flowers. They would do beautifully and impart fragrance too. 
  • Hibiscus flowers - would again give red. 
  • You can use cinnamon and other spices for brown. I would go for cinnamon because it has a fragrance too. 
  • Use mustard seeds (rai) for black. I know black is not used or preferred but using mustard seeds in the middle or small pockets of your Rangoli would give a different look to it.
  • Jasmine flowers, jasmine buds, rose buds can also be used (as in the pic). It is just made of all the flowers you can get at the florist shop. Why not use them? The green color is made form the ferns stems.
I am not able to think of any more colors but I am sure you can make out some from your own imagination and kitchen and beauty ingredients. There are some tips which I can give on your Rangoli decorations:
  •  Mix rice grains with the respective colors to make them look more appealing. My mom had made a complete Rangoli from the rice grains mixed in different colors and believe me it was fabulous. It was in a competition she participated and won the first prize!! Using rice grains makes your Rangoli stay for longer. 
  • Do not have the time to dry the ingredients and powder them. Just crush the things, make a paste and mix with rice. You will need more quantity and little patience to mix with rice because it takes time.
  • You can use essential oils in your colors to make your Rangoli smell exotic. 
  • Use the diyas for decorating and illuminating your Rangoli strategically.
  • I do not have to tell you this but make Rangoli at a strategic place where it is visible to all but not in anyone's way so that no one disturbs your hard work.
  • You can place small Ganesh ji's in your Rangoli. That looks chic and will utilize the numerous Ganesh ji's coming your way. (We do get lot of Ganesh ji's during Diwali and I love it!!)
Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!! May it bring you and your family all the prosperity and happiness you wish for.
[Do you have any tips on Rangoli decoration or color making?]

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Miss World 2010 Crowning Photos

Reduce air and sound pollution this Diwali

Diwali is one of the favorite festivals for almost everyone due to various reasons but the most due to the crackers. But, have you ever realized the amount of pollution which can be caused just in one day? Of course, I know that the tendency to burst crackers has reduced to a large extent and year by year, Diwali is getting greener but still efforts must be kept up by every body and those who have not yet realized should become aware of the harm they are causing to the environment. 
"On a personal level, my experience on a Diwali day is like why is it so loud and deafening? Oh, I can not breathe. It is so suffocating."
"How much smoke comes from igniting just a single anar!!"
Imagine this on a scale of every house in the country. My God!!! Its just preposterous. So, this is my humble request to all those who love crackers and wait for Diwali just to burst crackers that please reduce or do not at all burst crackers. I will definitely understand if you can not completely give up because even I have not given up completely. I still love phuljhadi, pencils, anar, charkhi even though I have given up on rockets. Yes, not much contribution but definitely, I have reduced the amount of crackers I bring home. Not buying crackers can be devastating for kids. So, as a solution, you can at least opt for crackers which do not make noise on a huge scale. 

For those who think that Diwali is just about crackers, it is not so. Diwali is a festival of lights not sound. Decorating your homes, making sweets, taking part in buying gifts and then exchanging them, all contribute to the festival. Frankly, it is the excitement of a festival which I enjoy more than the particular day. On a further note, I would also add that crackers have really bad effects on animals. So, please be humane and think about their plight too. And, as far as my resolution goes, I'll buy even less crackers this time and will enjoy the festival in more greener ways.

Miss World 2010 Result of Winners

MISS WORLD 2010 - Miss USA (Alexandria Mills)

FIRST RUNNER UP - Miss Botswana (Emma Wareus)

SECOND RUNNER UP - Miss Venezuela (Adriana Vasini)

Venezuela, Botswana, United States, Ireland and China PR

TOP 20

Norway - Top ModeL
Puerto Rico - Beach Beauty
Ireland - Talent
Northern Ireland - Sports
Kenya - Beauty with a Purpose

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Detox your home this Diwali

Diwali is just a week away. And, I am damn excited about it :) It is my favorite festival in whole of the year. And, it is a age old custom to clean our homes inside out before Diwali. I have seen that this custom has lost its importance over time due to our busy lifestyle and hectic schedules. But, there is more to this custom than just being a tradition. You can call this 'Detox your home' to make a more specific effect on people. In a sense it is what we do, removing all the junk piled up in the house over the course of year, taking the house inside out, buying new things for the house to welcome the new year. So, what all can be done while doing the detox of the house: 
  • Start with the entrance of the house. Do you wash your door mats regularly? They becomes so dirty due to constant usage and dirt being accumulated. They are potential source of infections in the house so it is advisable to either wash it regularly with an antiseptic solution using a vacuum cleaner or you can even replace it with a new one every year. 
  • Do you place door mats in front of your bathrooms? I know most of the people do but do not know how regular they are in washing it. So, same goes for washing these bathroom mats.
  • Now, lets go for bathrooms first. We do wash bathrooms really regularly. But, do you remember to wash the walls of the bathrooms, the shower head, the taps, soap holders and other cabinets in the bathroom. Do not forget it this time. Oh, by the way, do wash the shower curtains too if you have one. Of course, toilet rims are most prominent places to wash but do you wash inside the commodes? Then, again the buckets and mugs and other things we use. 
  • Lets move to the bathing accessories. The flannels, loofahs, scrubbers, dry brushes, combs, hair brushes, makeup brushes and any other accessory which you use should be washed regularly and kept in sunlight for some time every week. Even 15 minutes is enough. That kills the bacteria in them. And, dry them every day before storing. 
  • Do not forget to dry the tooth brush with hair drier or in sunlight before storing it to prevent molds and bacteria growing in it.
  • By the way, do you open the windows in your bathroom if you have any? Do open them at least once a week for a complete day to allow fresh air circulation. It also allows sunlight to come into your bathrooms.
  • Now, let us go to laundry. You wash clothes then put them in the drier. Today's automatic washing machines give you fully dried clothes which you can simply put on and go. But, drying them in shade once a while or even in sunlight for 15-290 minutes helps them smell fresh and last longer.
  • Same goes for bed sheets. Change the bedding every week. And, if you suffer from acne and other breakouts, change bedding in 3 days at max making sure to use clean pillows almost everyday. 
  • Do you launder your carpet? Do not forget to expose it to sunlight for a day this Diwali for a clean floor. Removing the carpet also helps the cleanign of the floor properly and removing the dirt in the carpet.
  • Same goes with the mattress. You can not launder your mattresses so keep them in sunlight for a day or two at least twice a year or once in three months.
  • Lets move to curtains. Curtains are ones which go completely beyond attention unless one day you are trying to remove it and find a plethora of dust settled on it. Change the curtains once in three months. That brings freshness to your rooms also in matters of look. You can use dark colored curtains or double curtains for bedrooms and light curtains for drawing room. 
  • Now, cupboards are one places which are dark and become smelly quite easily. So, take out all the material from the cupboard, clean it nicely once in three months or every season change. Use a disinfectant with water while cleaning. After cleaning, leave the cupboards open to let lot of air inside. Then, after half a day, you can replace all the things inside the cupboard again. This way you can get the unnecessary junk out of the house regularly too. And, do not forget to donate the things which you do not need. 
  • Place moth balls inside your cupboard every month. Always try to keep the cupboards in an orderly way but I know it is very difficult because I face the same problem. The more I try to be methodical, the more messy the place becomes.
  • When you remove the things from your cupboards whether it is clothes, suitcases, blankets, simple accessories, keep them in sunlight too for a day. This is again a nice way to freshen up things.
  • Before winters, always keep your winter clothes in sunlight for a week to freshen them up. This also includes the blankets and your jackets and other stuff too. 
  • Open all the doors and windows in the morning to allow maximum natural light inside. Do this daily to reduce the usage of artificial light and hence, electricity. 
  • Avoid using air fresheners as they have chemicals which are not good for you. Instead, keep your houses clean by using dried neem (margosa) leaves or homemade potpourri from rose petals and jasmine flowers. Also, keep lots of plants outside the house. Plants purify the air. If you can keep some inside, you should do that too.
  • There is a tradition of using mango tree leaves int he houses before any festival. The reason for this is because mango tree leaves are considered auspicious and control the evil elements for one and the second is because they are anti-bacterial and prevent the insects from entering the houses. 
  • Use soap nuts or baking soda to clean your homes instead of any chemical detergents. You would be surprised by the results!!
Thus, detoxing your home is as good an idea as detoxing your body. Obviously, it is the basic hygiene which should be observed. A weekend is a perfect time to do this. So, happy detoxing and do share with me your own tips for cleaning out your houses.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to protect skin this winter?

Autumn is giving way to winter. By the time Diwali would come, winter would officially declare itself. Its time to change your beauty routines to accommodate the change in climate and lifestyle. Whether you live in tropical, dry, temperate or cold climate, the air in winter is drier as compared to that of the summer in the respective areas. Thus, you need to lavish more pampering on to your skin.

Your skin care starts with taking baths. Remember what I said about bathing too much. A must follow advice or you will see the repercussions soon enough. And, an advise from me would be to couple your baths with oil massages. That would prevent your skin from drying. In case oil massages become too much time taking and demanding, you can pour 2 teaspoon of your favorite oil to your bath. The oil will keep your skin moisturized. Follow with moisturizing your body on the damp skin. Keep the temperature of water low. Do not take long baths in any case how so ever tempting they might be.

Do not stick to the heaters and blowers in winters in case you live in cold climate. Exercise well to make your body tolerant to cold. That would also bring a pink glow on your face. Wear a lot of clothes to protect yourself from cold. Heating equipments burn the oxygen in the room and deprive you from all your moisture.Always avoid extreme temperatures as they simply lead to cracking of your skin and trust me you do not want to see the worst of it. People living in hilly regions would be knowing about that.

The air in the winter is really drying for the skin no matter where you live. The dryness generates a lot of static electricity in the skin and wearing woolens worsens the situation. So, invest in a good humidifier.Or, place a mug full of water in the room.

Drink lots of water. No one feels like drinking water in winters. But, that will surely lead to dehydration. Compensate with drinking fruit and vegetable juices instead of just plain water. Add lots of fatty acids and oils to your diet. That will keep your skin moisturized from inside. 

Moisturize the skin a lot. In  the instant you feel dryness, apply moisturizer or oil immediately. At night, you can also compensate with milk cream or white butter. Coconut oil is the best if you go for oils. Buy heavy moisturizers. look for products rich in shea butter and cocoa butter. In case you do get pure unrefined shea butter, nothing is better than that. Pay special attention to your elbows and knees otherwise the skin around them would get rough and darker.

Cleansing and exfoliation are two things which should be done properly in winters. Anything excess would make your skin dry and less would make your skin dull. Go for homemade products in exfoliation. Do not exfoliate more than twice if you go outside regularly and once is enough if you rarely venture out. For cleansing, either stick to your favorite cleanser or go for homemade ones. Oil cleansers are good idea in winters even for oily skin.

In winters, you would find sometimes (especially at very low temperatures) that you feel like scratching your skin. I have seen my mom do it many times. That is because of the excessive dehydration of your skin. At that time, apply a moisturizer or oil and massage it slowly into your body. Oil is always better as it gives fatty acids into your body and keeps it nourished from inside instead of outside. And, improve your diet as indicated. Food is the only thing which can keep you well in winters. Eat lots of eggs and fish if you can. Otherwise, depend on lots of seeds of every kind. Do not forget nuts, any kind of them. You can go on a binging spree without any qualms.

Skin tends to get darker in winters. There are various reasons for it. The first on my list is excess exposure to sun. People love to bask in the heat of sun in winters. Do not forget a sunscreen if you are one of them. The second is dry air. It sucks out the moisture from your skin. You can do nothing except keep the water levels inside your body at a high and nutrition very controlled. Avoid junk foods which we do binge more in winters. Do not go for bike riding or long car drives in open. The third is obviously the friction and static electricity which I mentioned above also. This can be avoided by wearing cotton clothes first and then covering with woolens. Wearing multiple layers of clothing also helps prevent cold than a simple jacket. The fourth reason is excess exposure to heat. So, stay away from heaters, save electricity and keep yourself in check by exercising regularly. Use more blankets. The last reason is over application of moisturizers. If you just keep on slathering moisturizer in layers on your skin, the pores will get clogged and your skin starts to look dull. 

[These tips are for everyone no matter what climate you live in. I am sure you would be able to relate to something or other here. I would surely love to hear any ideas which you might have for winter skin protection.]

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Honey as face cleanser

Happy Karwachauth to all of you :)

Well, I did nothing innovative today. I was just feeling like pampering myself and the only thing I had was honey. So, tried to use it as a cleanser. Today I used it after my scrub but a few days before, I used only honey to cleanse my face after a very long day. And, it worked so wonderfully :)

You do not have to do anything except take a little honey in your hands and rub it into your face in upward massage movements. I did the massage for around 15 minutes and then left it for 5 minutes. You should apply honey even on the eye area. Do not miss it out. It is good for wrinkles. After waiting, I washed it off with warm water followed by water at room temperature. My skin was amazing. It was glowing and had perfectly even skin tone. 
Note: Try to use organic honey

My blackheads did not disappear though. But, I did not expect them to. They need a little more work than simply working honey into your face. So, happy cleansing with honey and do share your experiences :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to wash your hair with soapnuts (reetha)?

I had bought soapnuts (they are environment friendly and natural detergents) and shikakai a year back with the resolution that I would use only these things to wash my hair. Well, as you might have guessed, it never happened!! (till now) But, yes, I was successful in making homemade shampoo with soap nuts and shikakai and other ingredients. 

A few days back one of my friends informed me that she has bought soap nuts to wash her hair regularly. And, I remembered my long forgotten lot of soap nuts and shikakai. Now, the reason I could never use soap nuts was because I never knew how to use them. I had asked a lot of people and they told me correct procedure but still I could not bring myself to use them. So, there was no harm in asking one other person, right? I asked my friend how to use soap nuts to wash hair. And, she told me. Strangely, you have some people in your life who assure you of things without really doing so. She is one of them and I decided to follow here advice to the letter.

So, what did she advice me? Quite simple: Soak soap nuts and then use the liquid to wash your hair. When the liquid gets finished, use the soap nuts to lather a batch of water again and use it again and again as many times as you want. No details, nothing. But, still, I decided to go with it. So, what did I do? 
  • I put 3 soap nuts and 2 shikakai fruits (vary according of the length and thickness of your hair, my friend said it is very less, she has shoulder length hair - shorter than mine and she used 10 soap nuts so you can go for 15 too if you have waist length hair) in a cup and covered them with boiling water and left them overnight. I deseeded the soap nuts before soaking them. You can throw away the seeds or grow your own soap nut tree.
  • In the morning, during my shower, I shook the soap nuts in the water and then put them in little water in another mug. (Do not throw away the soap nuts.) 
  • Now, I took the liquid (it has very less foam in it) and applied on my scalp and started massaging. It does not lather at all in the starting. So, you have to just work your way through your hair very thoroughly. Then, I dipped my hair strands into the liquid and shampooed them as well as I could. Yes, the whole procedure is a lot more messier than using a shampoo. And, it might tangle your hair. (There is a surprise there!!) Then, I rinsed it off. 
  • Now, I took the other mug in which the soap nuts were transferred and used that liquid for the second round and simultaneously, transfer the soap nuts into the first cup in some water. Shake the soap buts a bit to bring out the lather. Again follow the same routine. This time your hair might lather. Mine did not because I had oil in my hair. The time soap nuts will take to lather depends on the oiliness if your hair so it might lather for you int he first time also if your hair is not very dirty and free of oil. 
  • So, this way, I followed the shampooing of my hair six times though I could have probably stopped at third or fourth. Well, that would come with experience.I would aim for less times the next time I shampoo.
  • I did not condition my hair. I wanted to see the results without the effect of any conditioners and such.
The results: 
  • Soap nuts are also washing agents. Though they are natural, they also clean your scalp. So, excessive washing is not recommended. If you do try this, stick to three. That is enough to clean the oil from your hair also. I overdid in my naivety.
  • My hair was shinier and softer without using any conditioner.
  • Now comes the surprise!! There was minimal tangling of the hair which was easily resolved in a minute which is really less as compared to ones I get while using a normal shampoo. 
  • There is no frizz in the hair even though I overdid my shampooing.
  • Manageable hair.
  • There was less hair fall in the bathroom as compared to using shampoos.
  • Completely natural and non-toxic.
  • Soap nuts and shikakai condition the hair very well and promote hair growth. They also help stop hair loss and treat scalp infections and dandruff.
  • If you use organic soap nuts, I think the results would be even better.
  • Do not throw away the soap nuts after your hair wash is over. There is a lot of lather left in them. So, use them to wash your utensils or put them in a cotton bag and throw in a cycle of laundry. You can give your detergent a miss. Clothes come out really clean and bright if you use soap nuts.
So, I have decided that I would use soap nuts whenever I do not have to rush anywhere. I will keep a bottle of shampoo for emergencies. You really need time to wash your hair with soap nuts. Be careful not to get the liquid into your eyes or it stings the eyes pretty bad. I'll give an update the next time I'll wash my hair. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Miss World Top Model 2010 is Miss Norway



Prepare your skin for Waxing

Waxing might seem like one of the easiest ways of getting rid with the body and definitely more safer than using hair removal creams or shaving or any other hair removal methods except for laser. But, laser is out of budget for most of the people. But, waxing can be extremely painful for many people with sensitive skin. Some can not resist pain and some are highly sensitive to the hot wax. And, many of you might be susceptible to boils and red patches which appear after the procedure. While I would definitely recommend waxing over other techniques, you should never forget that you are literally peeling one or two layers of your skin even if you are getting it done by the best of the professionals. And, in case you land up with amateurs, there is no saying that there would be bleeding or not. So, when you are exposing your most sensitive skin out, you can definitely expect your skin to react in various ways and boils and irritation is just mild of the symptoms. Though you can never get rid of these problems, you can at least strive to reduce them by following a proper before and after skin care.

Before Waxing
  • Always make your appointment two weeks after your periods. Skin is less sensitive then.
  • Before you go for waxing, always make sure that your skin is not injured or burned in any way. If you have allergies, cuts, open wounds, sunburns or warts, get a treatment before going for waxing.  Waxing can aggravate the situation otherwise.
  • Skip exfoliation, saunas and steam baths on the day prior to waxing. 
  • Do not drink coffee on the day before or on day of waxing as caffeine makes you sensitive to pain. Avoid tea also as it also contains caffeine even though it is less.
  • Take bath immediately before waxing. This would help in removing the oils on your skin and any grease or dirt which might cause hindrance while waxing. 
  • Do not apply and moisturizer or sunscreen or even deodorants.
  • In case you are going for professional service, wash your hands and other parts of the body where you intend to get waxing done with water once more. This ensures easy removal of the hair and so an area does not need to be waxed more than once or twice.
  • If you are sensitive to pain,  pop a pain killer 20 minutes before waxing. It will ease the pain. 
During Waxing
  • Make sure of the wax temperature. If it is too uncomfortable for you no matter the temperature, tell the girl attending you. Do not let her do what she wants.
  • If the girl attending you is too rude or does not listen to you, complain at once. Trust me it is lot better than enduring pain and not going back to your favorite salon. It happened with me.
  • Do not let the girl attending you keep on waxing your skin two to three times at the same place unnecessarily. Sometimes best of the salons have such people. That makes your skin sore and painful in the extreme especially at sensitive places.
  • Do look around for hygiene. Better carry your clothes instead of changing into ones provided by the salons. Salon hygiene is very important to look for before you become a regular there.
After Waxing
  • Now that you have endured all the pain, you would feel a lot of itching after waxing. Do not itch your skin. I know it is uncontrollable but it made big red boils on my skin and then left ugly scars. Itching also causes a lot of ingrown hairs which in turn irritate the skin. So, do not itch at any cost. 
  • If you are at home, immediately go and place a cold water shower head on the areas waxed. That will soothe you well and relives the itch. 
  • Still feeling like itching, run a soothing hand over the area instead of clawing your fingers into the skin. Endure for a moment and it will be fine in the next.
  • Then, take a leaf of aloe vera and scoop out all the gel. Apply it on your skin but do not massage.
  • Do not use very hot water for bathing. Warm water will keep your skin in better condition.
  • Avoid exfoliation for a week after your waxing. Your skin does not need exfoliation as it has been stripped off a layer of skin literally.
  • Moisturize your skin well as long as your skin feels sore.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Look fabulous this Karwachauth naturally

I know its going to be a very rigorous day for you all married ladies and ladies who are keeping the fast without the mercy of even a drop of water. Ok, I do not want to sound cruel. I find it to be a great tradition and a beautiful day for a married woman. And, since it is the day dedicated to your husbands, it is the day you should look your best and make sure your husbands do not get time to look anywhere else :) So, how do you accomplish looking fabulous when you are starving and dehydrated????? Well, take care of yourself the days before. I know my post is a lot late and I am really sorry but you can still make up to it. (I meant posting this at least a week earlier but it completely slipped from my mind.) 

Dedicate your three days starting from today to yourself completely. Relax, enjoy, pamper. Well, yes, I know it is hell for working ladies and with families. But, you can always steal an hour for yourself somewhere in your schedule. Even if you can not, I do have tips for you.
  • Make sure you follow this routine to look fabulous during occasions.
  • In the evening, wash off your face with this makeup remover even if you are not wearing makeup.
  • Wash your body (yes complete body not only face) with either besan or 'sunnipindi' (as called in Telugu) mixed with raw milk (real cow or goat if you can get).
  • Every night you can pamper yourself with a face mask according to your skin type. A clay mask would be best as it detoxes your skin well. Mix it with honey for dry skin and with rose water for normal, oily and combination skin. Sensitive skin can go with either.
  • Do not venture out in sun for three days. Wear SPF 15 sunscreen even when inside.
  • You can massage your body before bath as it makes your skin extra soft.
  • Drink as much water as you can. Literally fill yourself with water.
  • Drink a lot of vegetable juices and fruit juices. Make smoothies of different veggies and fruits but avoid mixing both. Do not make a combined smoothie of fruit and veggies. It would not provide any nutritional benefits as the enzymes of both nullify the benefits.
  • Eat a lot of sesame seeds in these days. You could also ingest a table spoon of sesame oil, coconut oil or olive oil, whichever you prefer. I would go for sesame. It would give the much needed fatty acids.
  • After showering at night, massage your skin with any oil. For people with oily skin, you can go with aloevera and rose water mixture. 
  • Make your diet as regular and nutritious as possible. Eat a lot of fruits. Mix a whole lot of nuts (almonds, walnuts, raisins, raw cashews and raw pistachios) and snack on them. Do not add salt or roast them. They lose their nutrition. 
  • Moisturize your hair with natural aloevera in these three days. If you can use yogurt or egg on your hair, use them. Or, simply apply rose water. That does a lot of good to your hair. 
  • Sleep well in these days. Take complete 8-9 hours sleep whichever makes you feel more refreshed. And, take a 10-20 minute walk early in the morning in fresh air. It would make you look fabulous.
This list can go on and on. So, my advice would be to think of beauty and health in everything you do. If you are stepping out of the house, do not forget sunscreen. After coming back, wipe your exposed areas with cotton pads dipped in chilled rose water or with ice cubes. Use gloves while doing the washing. Take baths with either honey, milk or salt in your baths as they soften your skin. Literally make beauty a part of every aspect. Not only for Karwachauth, but for life :)

[Do share what you are planning for Karwachauth]

Six Spices to boost brain

Alzheimer's is an incurable disease at present and can be onset even in your childhood but can not be detected until very late. So, take care good care of your brain as your children's. Our kitchen is full of simple and powerful remedies. So, here's is a list of six spices from the kitchen shelf which are strong anti-oxidants and keep you or your brain from getting aged. Make sure you include them in your subsequent meals.
  • Garlic: Brings a different flavor in the dishes and protects the nervous system. Promotes the growth of neurons (nerve cells), increases learning and memory capacity.
  • Rosemary: Lowers pulse rate and anxiety levels. May also help in improving memory performance.
  • Sage: Protects against injurious affects of the toxins on the brain cells. Can be substituted with basil leaves.
  • Clove: is the best source of anti-oxidants so you can start taking a clove or two per day.
  • Turmeric: Promotes removal of toxic metals from the brain.
  • Cinnamon: Promotes effects of insulin and lowers blood sugar levels preventing diabetes which might trigger Alzheimer's.
In India, you do get four of these condiments pretty easily. Start sprinkling them in your food from today and enjoy the benefits. And, before I forget, let me again remind you, they are anti-aging agents too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sendha Namak - Indian Rock Salt Beauty Benefits

I do not know how many of you are aware that Sendha namak is the pure rock salt of India and is a little costlier than the normal salt because it is found in very less quantities in the Indian sub-continent. The commercial salt available is iodized where as the rock salt is pure from nature, is more granular, has less salty taste as you would have already noticed and is not chemically processed. It is rich in lot of minerals and if used in regular cooking as a substitute of common salt, it can control all the health problems posed by common salt like high blood pressure, puffiness in the body or the eyes, is cooling for the body, helpful in digestion, relieves gas and soothes heartburn and helps in weight loss.

Not only health but many beauty benefits can also be acquired from rock salt. 
  • Rock salt can be used as a body scrub. Since high in mineral content, it is a perfect substitute for spa standard products made at home.
  • Drop a table spoon of rock salt in your bath every time and enjoy a relaxing bath. It also detoxifies your body externally as well as internally. Eases stress and body pains.
  • Can be used as a teeth whitener or a mouth freshener. Also clears a sour throat if used for gargling.
  • Can be used as a foot soak, foot scrub or a hand scrub too. It is not drying on the skin.
  • Removes the yellowness under the nails and makes your nails shine beautifully.
  • Use it to cleanse your skin at night. Mix a table spoon of rock salt with your cleanser or face wash and rub it gently into the skin. Make sure to remove make up before this routine.
In Pakistan, there is a salt range of Himalayas, called the 'Himalayan Salt Range', which has the purest form of rock salt in the whole world. It is sold as 'Himalayan salt' but it actually is just a rock salt too. The only specialty of this salt is that it is pure and does not need any kind of filtering. So, those who have easy access to Himalayan salt or Pakistan rock salt, make sure you use it regularly in your food and beauty routines.

Do not forget to differentiate between Epsom salt and Rock salt. They have different mineral contents and Epsom salt is the best for skin. If you have access to Epsom salt, you can use it for
You can read about more uses of Epsom salt here.
We have always heard that salt is not good for hair but it is not so. The common salt is not suitable because it has many chemicals in it where as naturally occurring salts are as good for hair as they are for other parts of your body.

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Departure Photos: Miss Canada International 2010


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