Handmade with Love – ft Happy Flowers


Hey,

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I am on a continuous quest for natural and handmade products. People spend much more time curating them for you, and they are filed with so much love! Products that are natural are the best for your skin and hair – they might not show immediate results – but they help heal your skin. In the long run, your skin will be healthy and you will glow inside out.

I recently stumbled upon a brand called happy flowers on instagram, and I am thankful for the same! Their page looked very promising. It is owned by 2 sisters Dr Aanal and Dr Anjali Kangad who brew these skin and hair solutions. I got the Hair mask and the Charcoal Blackhead peel off mask from them.

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Just how cute is this?

Charcoal mask :

I was always in search of a good blackhead mask, but it seriously is a pain! Getting a steam facial in the parlor twice a month is not the solution for this. I have tried a number of face masks/sheet masks and none of them really seemed to treat this problem, which is why I was looking forward to this mask, by Happy flowers. This can be used for the entire face, but for me, my blackheads were the target.

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The charcoal mask!

How to apply?

Wash your face with a mild cleanser, and then apply a thin layer of this mask on the areas with blackheads/whiteheads. Some people might prefer to use this on the entire face, but honestly I would just apply it to the specific areas to avoid pain as well as to see if this gives you the desired results. Let it stay till it hardens (about 25-30 minutes) and then gently peel it off. Check this quick video on their page about how to use it!

How did it fare?

So I cleansed my face and then applied this on my nose. Left it for around 30 minutes. I was apprehensive that it would pain, but to my surprise, it did not.

PROS:

  • I did see some blackheads come out with the first use.
  • Easy to use.
  • One tub would last for quite some time.

CONS :

  • The fragrance was a little weird.
  • The blackheads deep within, still seemed to be there.

Hair mask :

From the past few months, I have tried to maintain a natural hair care routine, without dumping chemicals on my hair. I have used pure oils, natural shampoo’s, skipped conditioners most of the time (none of them really suit me) and then apply pure argan oil as a leave on serum. Dry hair has been one of my concerns, since I don’t apply any of the high end chemical laden conditioners that add instant shine to the hair. My go to hair mask was to whip together curd and lemon or curd and honey and leave it on for an hour before washing my hair. So again a natural hair mask was a great option for me to explore on.

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The hair mask. Half the tub is already done! 😀

How to apply?

After washing your hair with a shampoo, squeeze all the excess water from your hair and then apply this mask on your  hair. I usually avoid using any of the store bought masks to my scalp, since it is extremely sensitive! Let it stay for a good 5-7 minutes and then rinse off.

How did it fare?

This did moisturize my hair, and more to it, is that it the no chemicals part. The smell was mild.

Pros :

  • Hair mask without having to spend a lot of time
  • Chemical free
  • Visible results!

Cons :

  • A suggestion is that the fragrance could be better

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Here’s the instagram link to their page, do DM them for their product list, go ahead and find the products that you would need and show them some love! 🙂

Till the next one,
~The Crank!

Natural skin care ft Aaranyaa


To take care of your skin naturally and nourish it with goodness is an art. I have been in the quest of discovering such brands and products that really deliver what you need. I recently stumbled across the brand called Aaranyaa, and I would put forth my honest reviews on their products today. Their products are all paraben, sulphate and cruelty free, which is the first check before using any product.

Neem and Tulsi Face Wash :

We all know how beneficial neem and tusli (basil) are for the skin. Neem has anto bacterial qualities, which helps prevent acne and pimples. This face wash has a faint fragrance, which is slightly herbal. It lathers really well, which means a little would go a long way. I use this as part of my night routine. I complete the routine with my toner and moisturizer. You can check this product here.

Cost : Rs 195 for a 110 mL tube
Verdict : 4.5/5

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Tea Tree Face Wash :

The first thing about this one is how awesome it smells. I use this as part of my morning routine. Again this one lathers great, so it makes the face completely dirt free. Tea tree is great for your acne as well as is effective in curing dry and dead skin. It is very gentle on the skin, and does not cause break outs or make the skin dry. You can check this product here.

Cost : Rs 195 for a 110 mL tube
Verdict : 5/5

Pros :

  • Paraben and sulphate free – what more do you need? (At least you are not causing more damage to your skin everyday! )
  • Has the best of ingredients and a wide range depending on your need.
  • Very pocket friendly.
  • Does not have chemicals in the products.
  • Is available online
  • Smells great!

Do check out other products of this brand and show them some love! You can also follow them on instagram for quick updates and some great products!

Till the next one,
~ The Crank

Hong Kong – day 1


Finallyy, we were at Hong Kong. (How did we plan the trip? Read it here) It was almost 12 by the time we reached the airport. In 15 minutes, we had a guide waiting for us in the arrival hall. It took us like half an hour to reach the hotel. We got adjacent rooms for us (one room for parents and one for my sister and me). So problem number 1. We are pure vegetarian. And no one in the hotel understood what that meant. Like, Really? My mom was extremely skeptical about eating anything there. Thankfully we had packed a few packs of cup noodles and ready to eat stuff. So though we were extremely hungry, that’s all we had to eat. Anyways if you are vegan, at least carry some packed products like that. Also, get some seasonal fruits in the market.

We took a nap for 20 minutes, and by 4, we had to start for the evening city tour. Problem number 2 : The predicted weather was warm (32 degrees max), but it started raining, by the time we started for the tour. We did not have an umbrella. Thankfully, the rain stopped after a while. We reached Victoria Harbor, and had a cruise ride for 45 minutes. This was HEAVEN. Do not miss this one. The view from the cruise screams Vacation. The traces of rain added to the beauty of the scene. Sit back, sip a drink, and you are sure to be mesmerized. Check my insta page for pictures.

Next we went on the Tram to the PEAK, and visited Madame Tussades, which is a wax museum with famous personalities from all over the world. We had missed this in Singapore, and didn’t want to miss it here. This was too good as well. Finally, we visited the Sky terrace which gave a view into the whole on HK. This one was okay, in the sense, it was crowded with too many people, and they could have organised this better by regulated the crowd and forming a queue. We were extremely tired and hungry at this point, but again, the veg options were less there. So we took a taxi from there and went to Saravana Bhavan (an Indian pure veg restaurant). The Taxi was pretty expensive, but considering that was our first proper meal for the day, we were happy that we went there. Finally, we just prep’d the clothes and accessories for the next day and had a good sleep.

So where did we go the next day? Keep guessing, till the next one! 😀

Planning a holiday!


I had always been the kid who was extremely lazy to do anything. But when it came to travelling, I would be the first one to get ready and pack my essentials. Travelling excites me. Come March, my family and I start jolting down different places and check the feasibility of visiting it, keeping in mind factors like weather, places, cost and so on. And then, we would have a week or two of short listing that to one. This was always the most difficult part. We would google away experiences, ask people we know, check the places of interest and we finally come up with the name of one place. This year, it came down to Hong Kong.

The next task in hand is to google the different travel agencies and find the package that is most suitable. Now a days most of them offer customized packages, but some how I find their standard ones the best, because they know where best to take their customers.

So we choose the 5 nights, 6 days package with 3 days in Hong Kong and 2 days in Macau – which is an island nearby, and is known as the Vegas of Asia (famous for it’s casino’s.) Since gambling is prohibited at HK, Macau attracts a lot of people from inside and outside the country. We had options of the air+land or just the land package (you’ll have to book your air tickets yourself), but we choose the air+land, as the prices didn’t seem to vary much, from what it would’ve been, had we booked. The package took care of everything – our flight tickets, hotels, entry tickets to places of visit and pickup-drop. It was extremely comforting.

So having all this ready by April, we planned the trip from the 13th of May. Again, being a travel-crazy person, I jolted down separate lists with the things to carry, things to buy (there), apps to download (for easy navigation there) and did some of my own research about the places.

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At the airport! 😀

So there we were all set to fly. How was it there? Was it as seamless as it seemed in the package? Or did we have glitches. Well, wait for the next part of this series (Well, told ya, I am lazy!) Mean while, check some of my clicks in my insta page.

Oh, and do you guys have any suggestions for the next trip? Maybe 2017 could have one more international fly! 😀

Till the next one,
~The Crank ^_^

New year resolutions – DOA?


A month back, we celebrated the new year with a lot of pomp. Though, we all say, that resolutions do not really happen, don’t we secretly wish for something? Mine revolved around turning to healthy eating habits and organic food, instead of junk. But healthy food cannot mean bland food. (Fine with me? No ways.) So, featuring a set of brands that have launched healthy tasty snacks, as alternatives for the junk. They strike the chord between nutrition and taste. This is the first of a set of posts.

Ambroto

They are a brand aimed at combining the concepts of a balanced diet and great taste. Theey have a variety of snacks – including chips, nuts, cookies, dry fruits and so on. They have recently launched a “Detox Oats” which is nothing but oats+ dry fruits+ berries. They taste amazing, and will definitely suffice as a meal/snack. All you have to do, is add milk or water ( my case milk and sugar 😛 ) and enjoy your meal. This has a tri-motto of burning fat, purification and regaining strength. The snack tasted yum, and is nothing like bland oats. It also looks so good, that it attracted both my grandmother as well as my nephew! My nephew eating this since it looked “colourful” made the job so easy for my sister 😉 You can check out this product and buy it here.

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The packaging

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My kind of snack!

Stay tuned for the other posts of this series.

Till the next one
~The Crank

Wake up trouble?


Hey,

The festive season is in the air, with the new year around the corner. It’s becoming chill day by day, so much that I’ve started ignoring my alarm clock every morning. After a million snoozes, what really inspires me to get up is the thought about my morning ‘filter’ coffee. A sleep walk to the kitchen (sane enough to make a good coffee 😛 ) and the aroma of the coffee, half wakes me up, and the first sip makes me thank my existence. Such is the importance of coffee in my life.

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I totally heart coffee ❤

Recently I shifted to a new city (away from family) and so I could not get access to the usually coffee powder that my family used. That was exactly when I found the brand called BeanStalknLeaves which was created by people who shared  a similar love story with coffee. I’ve tried three of their variants and this is my honest feedback about it.

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Enjoying a cup of coffee! 🙂

  • Velvet Dew is a not so strong variant of coffee, which is perfect a quick sip when you need a drink after dinner, before leaving for a quick task, the perfect coffee to offer guests, when you aren’t very sure of how strong they like their coffee. It definitely can’t go wrong there.
    My rating : 4/5
    Price : Rs 355 for 250g
  • Shot Gun is a very strong coffee variant (I ❤ this one) which helps my brain wake up in the morning and do my work right. This often goes on my afternoon to-do lists, so that the rest of the tasks on that list get done too! 😛 (win-win situation)
    My rating : 4.5/5
    Price : Rs 335 for 250g
  • Smooth Operator is the mildest variant of the three. Perfect for lazy days, where you don’t have too much to do, and want to chill.
    My rating : 3.5/5
    Price : Rs 295 for 250g

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    Beautifully packed, travel friendly.

I’m waiting for more variants from this brand. Visit their official site for more on each of the variants or head to amazon to shop them. You could also gift these to a coffee lover, this festive season and pass on a few smiles. Happy spreading joy 😀 Let me know how you guys start your day. Mine is incomplete without coffee! 🙂

Till the next shot of coffee
~ The Crank!