Unboxing- ‘Blend the Beauty’ Fab Bag Dec’17

Hey wanderers, how is the weather treating you? Well, in Mumbai it finally feels like winter and we have got some rest from the scorching heat. Can’t believe it is end of 2017 already. With this I have received my final Fab bag for the year. The theme for this month is ‘Blend the Beauty’.  I received this bag on 5th of the month. I received a copper bag along with five products. Let’s see them one by one.

The bag is metallic copper in color. It is an envelope textured bag, making it perfect for this party season.  This is one of the best bags I have received from Fab bag this year. Let’s see what’s in the bag.

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SUGAR Blend the Rules Eyeshadow Quad – 15 BOOTYLICIOUS- Rs.599/- (Full size):  This is my favorite product in the Dec Fab bag. It is from the newly launched eyeshadow range ‘Blend the Rules’ by Sugar. I assume the theme of the Dec Fab bag is also inspired by this product. I received an email from Fab bag to choose the color palate of my preference and I went ahead with ‘Bootylicious’. This color palate is a collection of cream, subtle mauve, metallic smokey teal and light coral. I simply loved the way the packaging is done. The product is well pigmented and the application is easy. It comes with a small sponge applicator. Here is a swatch of the shades.

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Alanna Desicated Coconut and Saffron Skin Brightening Scrub- Rs. 340/- for 20 gms: This is my first time trying the Alanna product. It is a natural and organic skincare brand. This particular scrub primarily contains coconut and saffron. It aims at reducing wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin. It also protects the skin from the UV rays. The size sent to me was a deluxe sized sample.

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Bella Voste Premium Nail Enamel- Rs. 249/- (full size): I have tried a few products from Bella Voste and I quite like them. This particular nail paint is a shimmery shade of brown. The enamel is easy to apply and it spreads well. But it is absolutely necessary to top the this nail enamel with a transparent coat to intact the shimmer effect against any friction.

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Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Body Cream- Rs.26/- for 10 gms:  I use a lot of cocoa butter, especially in winters. It keeps the skin nourished and smells like a bliss. I was happy to receive this product in my Fab bag but so disappointed with the size. I mean 10gms is barely anything. I will just use this product as a hand cream.

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Bliscent Peppermint Foot Soak- Rs. 200/- (full size):  This product came in the box outside of the bag since the size was quite generous.         This product contains baking soda, Epsom salts, essential oils and peppermint. All these sound quite rejuvenating. I am just waiting to go home and soak my feet in warm water with this foot soak.

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Over all, the bag is quite good and the total cost for this bag is Rs 1414.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished

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Title: Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished

Author: Anand Neelakantan

Pages: 504 pages

Plot: The epic tale of victory and defeat… The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence.

But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana has never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed castes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak.

“For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victor’s tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.”

“I am a non-entity – invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama – the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.”

The ancient Asura empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour – Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With a will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed from them. It is then that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.

Favorite Quote: “I had lived as Ravana and I would die as Ravana. I did not intend to become Rama, the perfect man and God. There was no dearth of gods in my country. It only lacked men.”

Thoughts: This book has been on my TBR for a long time. I love reading retellings of old age epics from different perspectives. It is always intruding to read a story from the voice other than the one popularly heard. ‘Asura’ is a retelling of Ramayana from Ravana’s point of view. I was sold by reading the premise itself. I had to read it.

In this book we follow two protagonists, Ravana, the great evil king, savior of Asura race and Bhadra, a loyal servant of Ravana. The book is narrated from both their perspectives. We follow Ravana from the time he was an angry child to the time after his death. We follow Bhadra from the time his village was attacked by the Deva warriors until the end of the book. The story is something that every Indian has been hearing since the childhood. But what sets it apart is the perception and a little twist added by the author.

The book justifies Ravana’s action and treating Asuras as the oppressed and Deva’s as the oppressors. I must say the author to quite an extent achieved this. There were parts where the plot of original epic is really challenged so brilliantly that it is almost believable. I am talking about the part where Ravana’s and Sita’s relationship is concerned. (I don’t want to give out spoilers so this is all I will mention) It is well narrated with an explanation that actually makes sense.

I literally had a love-hate relationship with this book. There are parts that I absolutely loved reading and parts that I didn’t. My favourite part of the book is where Ravana having ten heads is explained and the part which proves that Ravana is more human than Rama. I thought the book was too lengthy and at times the dialogues and descriptions too. I had to read this book taking a lot of breaks because it was difficult to read it at a stretch. The flow of the book was patchy and writing inconsistent.

Overall, I would say the premise was well carved but the writing could have been better. I would suggest you to read this book in breaks and only if you love reading retellings where villain is portrayed the hero and his actions are justified.

PS: I loved the cover!

Ratings: 3/5

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Book Review & Giveaway: 21 Days to Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: 21 Days to Happiness: Increase Your Happiness, Productivity and Happiness

Author: Ingrid Kelada

Pages: 230 pages

Plot: Struggling to find work-life balance? Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated or just want to increase your happiness, you can learn how in just 10 minutes a day!

For some of us, feeling busy or stressed has become the new normal. Others feel okay, but just want a boost to productivity, energy and motivation.

Instead of hoping for happiness, what if happiness is something you DO, something you CHOOSE every day? The good news: it is and the solutions are simple.

Psychologist and happiness expert Ingrid Kelada provides a practical, step-by-step guide to help you increase your personal happiness and feel more motivated. You can learn how with simple 10-minute strategies. Each day of the 21-day journey focuses on one key area of your life, including:

Time: how to break the cycle of chaos and manage your time effectively.

Body Language: exploring the surprising links between body language and happiness.

Relationships: how to make the most of the number one predictor of happiness.

Work: how to use your strengths and talents so that you are engaged and motivated.

Money: what you should spend your money on to feel most satisfied.

The book is interactive. Each chapter features resources like apps to try, videos to watch for deeper understanding, or tools to help you master these new habits. At the end of three weeks, along with increased happiness, you’ll find you’ve become more:

• productive

• focused

• patient

• energetic

• healthy

• motivated

• positive

Happiness is a choice. A daily decision to choose happy can be easy, fun and rewarding. With this book, in just a few minutes per day, you can practice one new happiness habit, add resources to your arsenal, and jot down your notes in the journal section.

Thoughts: With our over whelming life, we often tend to feel frustrated, angry and stressed. These feelings lead to a lack of happiness in our daily lives. What if we choose ‘Happy’ as a lifestyle? What if we make it something that we actively ‘Do’? 21 Days of Happiness is one such book which guides you step by step, undertaking each activity a day to improve your happiness quotient.At the start of the book the author recommends to read one chapter a day and implement it on daily basis. At the end of each chapter there are 5 questions to analysis how a particular activity worked for you and made you feel. There are 21 happiness tips to undertake for 21 days in a row, till the time that happiness becomes a habit.

The book is well divided in chapters further divided into sections. I prefer reading non-fiction books with subdivision since it makes it easy for the reader to process information easily and understand the information in the best possible way.

The author has often referenced a lot of tips, techniques and examples from the best selling non-fiction books while explaining her concepts. Hence, this book becomes a plethora of all the best tips mentioned in these bestselling books.  Anyone who is a non reader or someone like me who is not into reading much non-fiction can just read this book and reap the benefits of reading all the non-fiction books mentioned in this book.

Apart from the ease of reading and well divided chapter, I also liked the way the author has given her own examples of undertaking these techniques. It makes it easy for the readers to relate to. I read one chapter each day for 21 days and it made a huge difference in my lifestyle. The book give practical tips and suggestions which don’t require a major reform in the way one lives but has a huge impact.

I haven’t been able to inculcate everything the book has to offer but I have made a start and it is already showing results. I would recommend this book to everybody who realizes the need of choosing happiness as a habit.

Ratings: 4/5

Watch the trailer:

Meet the Author: Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world. People find her to be pragmatic, inspiring and funny! She has an online personality questionnaire store to help people identify their talents and interests. With over 25 years experience, she offers her expertise to a wide range of clients. She is bilingual and a member of the professional association of Psychologists of Quebec. Visit her online at http://www.keladacc.ca

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn ~ Instagram

 

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