Lifestyle, Fashion and Beauty

29 June 2016

10 Simple ways to improve your English Vocabulary

Being a blogger means Iam always on a look out for ways to improve my writing, vocabolary and grammer along with sparking off creative cells to present content innovatively.

Living in a city like Bengaluru has helped me have very english because you can survive with just english in here, you dont really need to know kannada or hindi. I still read some blogs or stories and find words which I have never heard of before let alone knowing their meanings. Reading more literary works is the best way to improve your vocabulary but here are more ways I use to explore new words .


Read a LOT

An avid reader has the best vocabulary, so start reading today. Read some classics like charles dickens, shakespear or even dan brown. I actually more interested in vocabulary after reading Manish Guptas English Bites which presents a fun way to explore and remember new words. In todays digital times reading is considered boring but if you are reading things which interest you it can be super fun
*Read books you can't put down
*Read ooks you want to read again and again
*Read books by authors that change the way you think

Indulge in writing

The best way to put the words you have learnt to test is by writing. You can write a short story, a blog post , tweet or just comment away on blogs, youtube videos, forums even facebook.

Watch documentaries

If you want to improve you spoken english you need to pay attention to pronunciations too, so i suggest you try watching documentaries . i have found that documentaries from channels like BBC has some amazing treasure of words and good quality english. If documentaries bore you try podcasts or even english songs and pay attention to lyrics

Get a Kindle

If you really are serious about improving your ocabulary I suggest you use Amazon Kindle to read because kindle has dictionary which you can access anytime while reading right from the page you are on. No need to look up for meanings elsewhere, underline or anything like that.

Discuss, Converse and interact

Conversing with people with similar interest in english can be amazing for you vocabulary. If you are not comfortable with verbal discussions start of with written ones on forums . there are gaming forums, TV forums, gossip blogs or any other space online related to your area of interest or hobbies. Then gradually hangout with people who interact in english which can help  you use new words you have discovered and learn new ones too.

Learn a new word everyday 

Try adding one new word to you vocabulary everyday . You can subscribe to word a day services on internet who will then send you a new word and meaning everyday to your email, whatsapp or sms. Words smith is one such service . Or better still get the Dictionary.com andorid app or vocabology for iphone.


Play word games

Word games like scrabble are a great way to discover new words and their meanings. You can even try solving crosswords or unjumble words in newspapers. This method works best for kids.

Try Root word approach

I have realized that tracing the root of a word or analysing it helps remember the word better.
Take for example words like Benevolent, Beneficent, Benefactor in all these words Bene is common, which in Latin means "well".


Install the Magoosh Vocabularychrome extention

this is an amazing ebrowser extension for people who really want to expand their vocabulary. When you you open a new tab, a new word pops up with its meaning and usage. You can try using some of these words when you type on your laptop, reply to mails or comment on facebook . Over time this extension can really improve your english skills.

Use flashcards:

This is another popular way to improve vocabulary. People tend to remeber images better than written words so this method works nicely. Use picture flashcards from sites like flashcardmonkey.

21 June 2016

#SariStyle: Pair a Shirt with your Saree

I am very obsessed with the idea of reinventing and modernizing traditional weaves. Blame it on the style diva Sonam kapoor for giving me these very unconventional ideas to look all fashion forward in indian wear. Sonam really nails all her looks and brings in a trendy different touch to her outfit .

The six yard saree is very versatile indian piece of clothing and can be styled in thousand different ways if not more.  Many indian celebrities have been turning up in  contemporary versions of the saree and turning eyes. There is offbeat masaba prints, different drapes and westernised louses. Pairing a saree with a t shirt has been quiet a hit with B town celebs being done a lot of times mostly for film promotions. Here lets talk pairing a shirt with saree.

'Shirting the saree' if you want to call it that is an interesting way to wear the traditional sari for an edgy glam look. This idea was sparked off on fashion week runway by designers like Payal khadwala, Satya paul and Ilk. A shirt paired with saree can easily be worn to work or even as festive with right styling.

Also Read : Modernizing the Saree: 10 new ways to wear the saree

Festive colour blast:

Pair your bright shirts or printed ones with earthy or silk sarees for a contemporary festive look. This look is super chic and works best foe festivals or weddings in winter. Since there is so much colour splash keep the styling and accessories minimal and finish off with subtle makeup.


Quirky neon:

A crisp white shirt is all it takes to quirk up your neon saree. This look is very easy to replicate and looks effortless too.


Formal fab:

Pair your checkered shirt with a polka dotted or plain saree of same colour family for chic office wear. You can even try color blocking for work, pair a crisp plain shirt .




Playful chic

For a playful fun look try colorblocking a saree with a sleeveless shirt, This look works well for a mehndi ceremony or a brunch  with friends.

The Dhoti drape:

The dhoti saree is in trend and you could give this trend a try with a shirt blouse too. a very hatke drape . Try it.

Unconventional drapes:

A lot of women are going in for unconventional drapes for the saree these days and if you are one of them try a plain shirt with an unconventional drape like a suspender saree, belt saree or cross wrap.


 

Catch Vidya Balan and Sona Mohapatra in their versions of shirt saree

Would you pair a shirt with a saree? If yes then where would you wear such a look? Tell me!


5 trendy ways to style kurtis this summer

20 June 2016

Introducing Affimity - The interest based Social Media Network

I am a social media maverick with a deep passion for blogging. As a blogger I am always in quest of ways to find readers who would be interested in the content I post and when I got a chance to check out affimity I realized it was tailor made for bloggers like me.



Affimity isnt just a home to bloggers , it is equally useful to readers too as it is actually a social network website dedicated to connect you with people with the same interests as yours. Isn't this concept just SO thrilling?! Signing up on this website was like opening the door to an exciting land where you had always dreamed to be. 

In these busy times of everyday madness, I find myself yearning for a break... for a getaway. ..and NO. My idea of a getaway is not a holiday in a secluded beach or a trip to the Himalayas.. Instead, I like connecting with people online, reading blogs, hunting for great content and devouring it all - That is what makes me happy.

Facebook is great for connecting with friends, but one can hardly find people with the same interests as yours there. There are a lot of groups dedicated with an intention to connect you with similar minded people but again quality content and real interaction is absent. Then we have twitter, the micro-blogging site which again is of no use for a blogger  especially becuas econtent is limited to 140 characters and your posts get drowned in a sea of tweets and clutter.


Exploring Affimity

I have been using affimity for a week now and I found it super awesome. The first thing it asks you is your area of interests and once you have chosen them, they connect you with people and content from all over the world with the same interests. You dont have to go hunting for good content of your interest, it just comes walking to you right on your Affimity home page. 


Connecting on Affimity

It is very easy to create your own profile and then you can get started with befriending bloggers. You can also follow channels of your interest to get  relevant content on your home page. You can friend as many people as you want to and unfriend them at any hour too.
It's like discovering a new world which shares the same passion as you, connecting with it, learning from it and doing just what you love to do!




The interface of both the Affimity website and the app are neat and quite user friendly. Affimity is not just about promoting your blog/website, not at all!! It's more about connecting with people with the same passion as yours and this is what makes this social networking platform so unique!

I know there are already a lot of social media platforms out there and you must be wondering why I need to join a new one. Updating a bunch of the existing social networking sites like Linked In, Google+ and twitter is already time consuming. I thought the same until one fine day I gave affimity a shot. It has been just a few days since I joined this platform but I have already got addicted. I have already connected to a lot of new people who share the same interests as me, some of which have already turned into my lovely readers. 
I am a blogger and I have tried every trick and networking site out there to find new readers and Affimity has helped me in this goal in the simplest and effective possible way. 

*I have used reddit and following their guidelines becomes a big pain and the upvote are fine but the downvotes drive me crazy.
* On twitter there is too much going on and everything I post gets dumped deep down. I myself follow a whopping 33000 odd people and I am easily missing 99 of content from people I follow.
*With instagram the problem is their non clickable links in posts. Only photo content allowed which is a bummer. 
* LinkedIn i feel isnt a place for fashion bloggers, it more like a professional network where fashion is an alien concept
*There are thousands of communities with lakhs of members on Google Plus but barely anyone is active. It is like teaching in a crowded clasroom where every student is sleeping.
* Bloglovin is more like a reader  and not a social network.
* I couldnt figure out head or tail of tribber. So, lets not even go there
* Facebook groups are a tricky game. There are some good ones but they are heavily moderated and only admins get to post. On groups where you actually get to post there is loads of spam. I have had to wade through a cluttered mess of irrelevant affliate links, web developers and small sellers in many groups.

Why Affimity?

~  Affimity allows you to post Text, Image, Video or just a question
~ Get connected to bloggers who share the same interests
~ Receive valuable feedback for your work
~ Increase the level of engagement on your blog
~ Use on web or on your phone. Affimity has apps for iphone and Android users 
~ Easy signup using facebook account or just your email
~ Useful for brands to understand target audience

So all you bloggers, it doesnt matter if you are a newbie or established, Affimity is The network for you , Join connect and share. 

Follow me on Affimity here

Stay connected

~KJ


18 June 2016

#SalutingSingleMothers this Fathers Day

Single moms have to take up the responsibility of being both mother and father to their kids. The journey is anything but easy, loaded with struggles, challenges  and additional duties.




On this fathers day Raymond decided to give an ode to these strong and independent single mothers 
In this heart warming tribute the brand Raymond spreads a beautiful and emotional message. 




All you single moms out there, a big Fat Salute to you . You are the real rockstars . Ditto for single dads.

Has your mom played the role both mother and father for you? Time to wish her Happy fathers day then!

8 June 2016

Tips to maintain radiant skin during Ramzan

The holy month of Ramadan has begun. Fasting during the month of Ramadan coupled with summer heat can be very harsh on your skin making it dull, dry and damaged. Less intake of water and dietary changes impact skin but a little care and pampering is all you need to maintain the radiance of your skin even during Ramzan.


Follow these simple tips and watch your skin glow in the month of abundant blessings

#1 Increase your fluid intake between dusk and dawn when you are allowed to eat. You should drink not less than 6 glasses of water. Water helps skin stay hydrated thereby retaining its glow. Try drinking 2 glasses an hour or eat your water by having water rich fresh fruits like watermelon.

#2 Avoid consumption of carbonated drink, caffiene or canned juices. These are unhealthy and also absorb minerals and fluids from body causing dryness. Opt for fresh juices and plain water instead.
Moisturize your lips to prevent them from getting dry and chapped. Use a good lip balm like baby lips of EOS balm.
#3 Let your skin breathe by avoiding makeup. Cosmetic have abundance of chemicals which isnt good for your skin especially when you are fasting because they make skin produce oil which causes dehydration. Just stick to kohl and lip balm during the holy month .
#4 Indulge your body in yogurt. It is not only good for digestion and quenching thirst, it also is amazing for your skin . Yogurt is rich in proteins helping you stay nourishes and ful for longer time.
#5 Since fasting can lead to dryness of skin it becomes compulsory to apply moisturizer especially if you have dry skin. Before hitting the bed pamper your skin with a nourishing night cream which will keep your skin hydrated all day.
#6 Skipping sehri is the worst thing to do. You maybe super sleepy or still feel full at 4 AM but you definitely need to get up and have something and never avoid sehri. A glass of juice, some rice and yogurt will keep you energized and your skin nourished.
#7 Eating to hydrate your skin isnt an option while fasting but you can still pamper your skin with face packs. Apply a mix of milk , lemon and honey on face or just stick to simple plain yogurt as a facial mask.
#8 In Ramadan even your sleep patterns change as you have to read taraweeh and get up for sehri. Make sure you get adequate sleep as not getting enough sleep can make your skin look dull and tired
#9 Sun Causes maximum damage to skin so make sure to stay sun protected. Avoid going out in the sun as much as possible and when you do have to go out use a sunscreen and carry umbrella and sunglasses.
#10 Your under eye area shows signs of skin dullness first so take extra care of area around your eyes. Use an eye cream or sleep with slices of cucumber and potato on your eyes. Also getting good sleep is important.
Follow these tips and you will have amazing skin on eid

Do you have more tips? share with me 

5 June 2016

7 Tips to make your perfume last longer

I have a sensitive nose so I stay away from heavily fragranted beauty products and perfumes. These days I have been splurging like crazy on cosmetics and skin care and then eventually I had to deal with vanity full of variety of products which iam finding difficult to finish off. Now I still feel like shopping so I decided to try something new like perfumes, body washes and luxury soaps.

I like fragrances which are light with a floral or a citrus note. Gorgeous perfume bottles from brands like Marc jacobs and elizibeth arden dont last long dispite being pricey. I wouldnt want to spend a bomb on a fragrance which cant last all day , I can use a talc or deo for the barely there lingering effect, cant I ?
Here are some tricks and perfume hacks I have discovered which help you smell fabulous all day long.

#1 Apply perfume on you pulse points

Heat revs up the fragrance making it more strong, so apply perfume on  pulse points of your body which produce more heat. The best pulse points for perfume are your wrist, inner elbow, back of knee, nape and behind ears.

#2 Layer it

I use the layering trick with makeup to last all day and there is no reason why you shouldnt use the same hack here. Start by showering with a shower gel, follow with some body lotion and then top wit perfume to make it last all day. Make sure you use similar scent of body wash , lotion and perfume. Like if your perfume is floral go for floral scented bdy wash n lotion. If you dont find similar matches in your vanity then go for unscented lotions which will still help increase longivity. You can also try layers with talc and deos.


#3 Choose a perfume which lasts long

How long a perfume stays depends more on the fragrance and its ingredients itself. So do your
research nicely, read reviews and buy only ones which are known to last all day.
The staying power of a perfume depends on the oil concentration it has. Eau de parfum ie EDP contains the most oil , see this info graphic for more


#4 Store your fragrances properly

sunlight and high temperature can spoil your perfume. even damp places like your bathroom decrease the quality of your perfume by breaking it down. Store them in clean, cool dry place.


#5 Spray into your hair

You hair also has a lot of heat and you can use it to smell good and leave behind a sillage. Just spray some of your fragrance on your hair brush and comb them normally. Make sure the perfume you use has less alcohol in it and use very less quantity so it doesnt dry out your hair. If you have really dry hair then you may not want to try this but if you heat style your hair you already gel in heal protecting sprays or creams which can act as a barrier when perfume is sprayed to hair. Try it I say!

#6 Choose strong notes

Perfumes come in a huge variety of scents and some of these scents last longer than others. Citrus notes vanish the fastest


#7 Spray on your Clothes

This is especially important for people who wear perfumes everyday. It isnt a very good idea to spray that much of chemicals on your skin daily. But many perfumes can actually stain your clothes so do a little test with your perfume on a waste white cloth before trying this trick.


More tricks to try:

* Take some body lotion and spray in some perfume on it and rub this mix on your nape or other pulse points to smell good all day.
* Apply perfume on properly hydrated and moisturized skin because it absorbs scent better making it last long
* You can even apply a little bit of sweet almond oil on your wrist and nape before spraying perfume to make it last long.
* Change the quantity you apply depending on the weather. you ideally need a lot more perfume in cold season than in hot season.
* Dont ever rub wrists after the perfume application. This breaks down the formula making it smell different, also not lasting too long
*For a light frgrance try the air spray method. Spray your perfume into air and then walking through it. This method will help you smell good from top to bottom.
* If you really like a perfume which doesnt last long then try this. Spray the perfume on cotton balls and put them in zip lock bags in your handbag and use this for touch ups during the day. slip it into your bras for maximum impact.

4 June 2016

Top tips to use Instagram to promote your blog

You get a hang of a social networking site and a new one emerges promising to be the next big thing. For me social networking started when I was in school. I used orkut then shifted to facebook and twitter. Twitter is probably the best thing that happened to me and I thought twitter was enough to keep me interested for the rest of my life. I was wrong instagram came crashing in and like most other bloggers out there I decided to give it a try and boy did I like it. I actually loved it!

 Few interesting facts about Instagram

  • Instagram is app only, you cant do much with its web version
  • Instagram has over 400 million monthly users which is more than that of twitter
  • More than 30 billion photos have been shared on instagram
  • In 2012 Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion
  • #NoFilter is the most popular hashtag on insta
  • Instagram is a networking site for youth. Majority of users are under 30 years of age and if your targetted blog readers are above this age group you cant get much out of here
  • Fashion, food, travel and lifestyle blogs are best promoted on insta
I have been using instagram (follow me here) for more than 2 years now and I have used in more ways than one. To promote my blog, to play some contests, to shop beauty, to stalk celebrities and to update to the world about my life in pictures. 

Here I bring to you some valuable tips to get most out of the photo based networking site.


Get a separate instagram account for your blog

Unless you are a personal blogger you should definitely consider having a separate instagram account for your blog. Choose your username and profile photo carefully and dont change it. This makes it recognizable among your followers


Post High quality images

Instagram is all about photos so make sure you post photos which are attractive and of good quality making users actually hit the follow button. Post creative images of upcoming reviews, what products just arrived, behind the scenes story or what you shopped. You can also Publish photos from your latest blogposts and tell your followers a new post is u on blog. 


Make hashtags your best friend

Twitter introduced the whole hashtag trend but it has equal importance even in instagram. You posts can get lost in a sea of images but intelligent hashtagging means you post will still be discovered by many. I always include 3-6 relevant and popular hashtags on my instagram posts, you can add more but make sure you dont clutter your post too much. I include some very popular tags like #beauty or #Fashion, some tags specific to my post like #flipkartshopping and then a unique one like #velvetbytes or #blingsparkle.

Post photos with text overlay

If you really want to say something to your followers say it with creative text overlay photos. You can post your blog genre related quotes or announce giveaways beautifully this way. To make this happen you can use simple apps on mobile like piclab

Write a nice quirky bio

A nice short bio makes your potential subscribers follow you in an instant. You can include your email Id also here to help brands or reader contact you easily. Unlike your profile photo and username, changes in bio are okay, so go ahead change it everytime you have a giveaway or have something specific to say

Link to your website

Instagram doesnt allow clickable link except  in the bio, use this option to drive traffic to your website. You can change this link everytime you have a new post up like we do at Blingsparkle. After a post is published, visit your blog from mobile phone, download a photo from the latest blog post on your mobile and upload the same photo on instagram, telling all a new post is up and a clickable link is in bio. 

Use the Geo Tag feature

Instagram has a geo tag feature which lets you add  location to your photos. Use this feature when you post photos live from blogger events or your vacations.


Link instagram to facebook and twitter

Instagram ofers an option to link your other social profiles which makes it easy to post a photo on all three platforms. This helps save a lot of time and I suggest all bloggers link their facebook and twitter to instagram

Connect with Brands you love

Almost all brands have an instagram page these days and it is always good to connect with brands you love. Follow them, like their photos and leave comments. When you post photos which feature products from brands you love tag them in it. Doing this also increases your chances of brands noticing you and this can result in future collaborations.

Do you have more tips on using instagram for bloggers? Share with me.

2 June 2016

Exploring the All new Datsun redi-GO

Dont we all love road trips? Taking off on a car with siblings or friends to enjoy the journey not focusing too much on the destination. Road trips make for the best family and kodak moments but I rarely go on road trips these days because well, super busy life offline! 

I remember trips when I was school which involved singing hindi songs and enjoying chatpati snacks both home made and store brought. I miss it all and I miss it so much. why this sudden rush of memories you ask? The upcoming launch of the peppy Datsun Redi-GO is the answer.

Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.
Datsun redi-GO a budget A-segment hatchback will be launched in india on 7th of this month. This is India's first ever urban cross and its stylish looks, power packed features and fun name caught my fancy. Living in a traffic packed Bangalore my love for compact cars is a given and if i had a chance to take redi-GO out for a spin then I would test it right in my city. I live in south Bangalore and I have recently discovered some picturesque localities along Hosur road where I would love to go with my hubby on a cool saturday evening. A small turning radius facilitates for easy manoeuverability in traffic laden Hosur road while I dive in deeper to explore rugged terrains of chikkathogur, basapura and bingipura.

Todays WTF (WhatsApp, Twitter,Facebok) generation are always open to explore new opportunities, try new things and test new career opportunities. In short they are ready to GO 24x7 and this Datsun car is named keeping just them in mind. The car comes in 5 colours ruby red, white, silver, lime green and grey. lime green is my favourite

Datsun redi-GO is an amazing amalgamation of stylish looks and performance, lets have a look at some features which appealed most to me:

#1 Classy Interiors

Redi-GO is a compact family car which can fit in five people and luggage. The interiors have a sporty look giving you an energetic vibe . The dashboard has a modern touch complete with a digital tachometer. Other features include power windows, 5-speed manual transmission, drive computer, Air conditioning and shift indicator . There is also an audio system compatible with CD, USB and AUX.

#2 Efficient performance

Affordable pricing doesnt mean there is compromise on performance. Redi-GO has an engine pumping out around 54bhp of power and 72Nm of torque which delivers smooth and efficient performance with an impressive fuel economy of 25.17 km/L. This car is equipped with i-SAT Engine which automatically adjusts spark timing in response to fuel quality and power requirement helping you enjoy knock free rides.

#3 Safety and security features

Datsun has made sure redi-GO is safe, secure and reliable with its superior suspension system , opti view and high strength crash protection shell. There is also the energy absorbing steering and airbag which is very important in a country like India where speed bumps n potholes are a common thing.

More reasons to love this sporty car

*Yukan design gives you impressive room and a sporty attitude.
*Datsun redi-GO's air conditioner has been optimized for Indian weather conditions
* Tail lamps are stylish and modern, sure to turn heads
* Redi-GO offers high ground clearance helping you enjoy a wider view of the road and the surroundings.
* easy-to-read shift indicator whoch allows you to shift for maximum efficiency and performance.
* Small turning radius of 4.7-metre
*Better Frontal Offset Crash performance.

For information on the Datsun redi-GO check this video



Does the Datsun redi-GO impress you? Where would you take it for a spin? Tell me in comments below.

1 June 2016

7 stylish ways to wear Maxi dresses

Maxi Dresses are so my thing. I love the easy breezy vibe they give and they are just so perfect for summers. Maxi dresses are flattering on women with all body shapes and can be worn both in the day and night with a little tweaking. Thats not all these comfortable maxi dresses will suit women of all sizes and they can be worn all round the year too.

Maxi dresses are easy to style and here are some genius and stylish ways to wear your maxi dress :


#1 Layer it with a jacket or shrug:

The best way to wear a maxi dress in winter is to add an overcoat. If you are weatring a printed maxi then add a solid coloured coat . If you want a classic and elegant vibe to your look then add a trench coat . For summer you can layer with a solid coloured cotton shrug.


#2 Maxi dress with Denim jacket:
Pairing your jean jacket with a maxi dress gives a very laid back relaxed vibe. Pair your faded denim jacket with a solid coloured maxi dress or even fun printed ones. This style works best if you want to cover up your not  so toned arms. For edgy young look you can knot the denim hem or fold up the sleeves a bit. if you have well tones arms then show them off with a sleeveless jean jacket.



#3 Go Edgy with a turtle neck

Turtle neck maxi dresses are quiet popular but you can actually pair your turtle neck sweater with your normal maxi dress for a edgy winter outfit. You can either wear your turtle neck above or below your maxi dress.

#4 Add colour with a scarf

The best way to add life to a plain maxi dress is to add a printed scarf . For a summer look pair your sleeveless solid coloured maxi with a colourful scarf. In winter scarf is a blessing and you can layer your maxi dress with a cardigan and a scarf.


#5 Maxi dress for office with a blazer

For a work place appropriate outfit you can pair your solid coloured maxi dress with a structured blazer.


#6 Pair with pants

Seen the latest indian wear trend of pair extra long kurtas with palazzo pants? You can do the same with your maxi dress. Pair a maxi dress with a contrast coloured pants but make sure your maxi dress has a slit in the side or in the front for this styling to actually leave an impact. You can pair any kind of pants, leggings, jeggings or even palazzos. Experiment away.


#7 For a chic look add a shirt

If you want to layer and add colour in summer this is the best option. Pair a light weight button down shirt with your maxi and dont forget to knot it at waist for a chic fun vibe.




Expert Tips on Styling Maxi Dresses:

*Dont let your floor length maxi dress clean the floor. Opt for platform heels or wedges instead of flats
*Pick the right maxi dress for yourself keeping you body type in mind. If are on the bulkier side go for breezy A-line maxi dresses.
*If you are slim then go for fitted straight cut maxis
*Even with print consider you body shape and size before buying
*Add a metallic belt to cinch at waist for more structured look

You all know I have recently delivered a baby and Maxi dresses are my new best friend . I used to wear breezy maxis during pregnancy and now I wear  front open stylish maxis or maxi dresses with a deep neck because I breast feed.

Which way would you style a maxi dress?

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