Shorts for Summer!

Shorts and skirts have always been synonymous with summer. They are comfortable, cute, airy, makes it so much easier to ride a bike, sit, stand, run and do absolutely anything inspite of the heat. Also you get to show off a gorgeous summer tan from your most recent beach vacation.  As the temperature gets soaring higher and higher, I have started packing away my jeans and trousers and replacing them with printed shorts, lace shorts, denim and so on! From the time Myntra has launched their shopping app, I haven’t been able to resist browsing through all their summer collections every day.

Style has always been a way to tell the world who you are without having to speak. I always believe that any outfit you wear is an extension of your personality. For someone like me who relies heavily on visual stimulation, playing dress up everyday according to my mood is the best way to project how I am feeling. If someone had to look at my pictures and put my style under a category they would say its simple, casual and experimental. Those words pretty much sum up my personality as well!

Come summer, I tend to go the same route again – casual, simple and experimental. A lot of people restrict their options for styling just because they think certain types of clothes have been stereotyped for certain types of personalities. You can look simple and elegant whether you are wearing a full-sleeved dress or hot pants or a backless blouse and saree. It all depends on how you style and carry the outfit. Similarly you don't need mile long legs to wear shorts and look good in them. You just need to pick the right style for your body type and wear them like you own them (not the other way around!)

Myntra has stocked up on more than 2000 styles of shorts and skirts on their app for you to explore. Here are some of my favorite picks and how you can style them for different occasions! 


 Active shorts from Only: Summer is no excuse to skip on your workout. Yes, the heat and the sweat might make the thought of walking away from your air conditioned bedroom unbearable, but that's the reason you have cute options like these right? Priced at Rs.747/- there's nothing like a bright cheery pair of workout shorts to get you moving and grooving. Plus you need to have those legs ready to flaunt them all summer!

Printed black shorts from Tokyo Talkies: They've got some really good options in both plain and printed shorts. The plain ones can easily be paired with a bright tee and maybe a blazer if it's not too hot. I've always been a fan of printed shorts, and these black ones are a steal at just Rs.524/-

White lace shorts from Only: You can't do summer without at least one option of white. With a pretty lace hem, these can be dressed up with a summery top, fancy flats and a pair of sunglasses for an evening dinner. Only has always been one brand that's up-to date on the latest trends and they have some really good pieces for the summer. This pretty number is priced at Rs.2495/-




Blue and white skort from Belle fille: This brand is a new discovery of mine. And I have just one word to say about their collection - amazing! I literally couldn't choose which ones I liked more. The options are endless, for every occasion, mood and body-type. The blue and white skort was something that attracted me instantly. The stripes make it look all the more cuter and this can be style in many different ways. Priced at Rs.1079/- it's totally worth it!

High waist printed shorts from Belle fille: For a slightly bohemian look, this pair of high-waisted shorts priced at Rs.1079/- would be a perfect pick. Whether you pair it with a crop top or a long, loose white shirt half tucked in, it won't fail to make a statement. Belle fille is one brand with endless options specially if you are looking to update your summer wardrobe with plenty of shorts!

Denim shorts from Only: Your shorts collection can never be complete without a pair of well worn denim shorts. When in doubt, always go back to classics. Invest in a well fitted pair of denim cut-offs, and you are set for almost any occasion!  This pair is priced at Rs.2295/-

If you are still looking for options and inspiration, have a look at the below video on ideas for how to style your skirts & shorts for this summer! 

Garnier #TwiceAsNice

The first time I had used Garnier was when they came up with the Love Long hair range of shampoo & conditioner with a new formula, sometime last year. Until then it wasn't really a brand that I had paid much attention to. Although I tend to keep changing my hair products every few months, I used Garnier constantly for almost six months or so. I was never much into beauty products but with the launch of Garnier's new Summer cleansing skin care routine, I decided to give one my favorite brands a try again. I have combination skin and it's a nightmare to manage it all through the year. It's moody and I can almost never get it to behave properly. Recently Garnier had come up with an interesting challenge for their new launch, where you could team up with your blogger buddy to create looks based on the theme TwiceAsNice.

One of the best aspects of blogging is the chance to connect with like minded people and fellow bloggers. For the longest time Rohita from My Faded Denim and I had been planning to meet up and collaborate.  When she contacted me regarding this I jumped at the chance of doing something interesting with the concept. After a lot of messages back and forth over a period of two weeks, we finally decided to embrace the ever popular summer trend of crop tops and slouchy trousers. Although, because of time constraints and other personal commitments we couldn't manage to shoot together, we did manage to put together looks that complemented the theme perfectly!

I love using scrubs during the summer! I usually use a lot of home made scrubs as my skin tends to get dehydrated very quickly due to the dryness and heat.
Garnier Neem Pure Active facewash: This was so refreshing to use and so light on the skin. The consistency is very gel like and tt cleanses like a dream and I've been using it regularly!

Garnier Apricot exfoliating scrub: This feels quite soft and even. Exfoliates well and is not harsh on the skin (which is a must for me!). Although the smell is yummy, it's does get a bit too strong for my taste.
 





Trousers, Crop top, necklace - myntra.com | Shoes: Max fashion

Check out the post on Rohita's blog as well here!

Shop through an app!

My day typically starts with my phone and ends with my phone. Whether it’s for a quick check for new emails, a browse through instagram or facebook, or reading the news and interesting articles while having breakfast – I don’t think I can live a second without my phone. I use it for everything right from replying to mails, chalking out to-do lists, scheduling meetings, scanning documents, browsing videos, being up-to-date with all my social media accounts and last but not the least – shopping!

As a blogger, my work schedule can sometimes get crazy with no time to sit and breathe. There are days when I am at an early morning shoot, followed by a quick breakfast, rushing to meetings, making calls while in the car, planning the next shoot, jotting down ideas for posts – all while I am on the go. Needless to say, shopping happens when I am on the go as well. I like to keep myself up-to date on what’s new and what’s on sale on my favorite shopping sites. You never know when I might need to source something for the next shoot or when I might spot something that I love on sale or when I might come across something so quirky that it instantly gives me an idea for the next shoot.
With more and more retail stores like Myntra coming up with exclusive apps for shopping, the need to open your laptop keeps decreasing day by day.



Access from anywhere, anytime
Like I said, my whole professional and personal life is run from my mobile (sounds dramatic I know, but it’s true to an extent!). I need to be connected 24x7, and there are many instances where the thin line between using social media for recreation and for work keeps getting blurred. Spending additional time on my laptop is something that I try to avoid, more so because my shopping urges tend to hit me at the most unexpected times – while in the car, when eating at a restaurant, or when am simply too lazy to walk three feet and get my laptop while am on the bed. Why go to all that trouble when I can shop from the comforts of an app, from literally anywhere!

Stay logged in all the time and faster checkout
Shopping through an app is definitely way faster than trying to browse through your laptop. Just one click to access the store, another couple of clicks to select your products and you pay in an instant. Personally I hate logging in to my account each time, and since I have too many accounts to even remember them in the first place, this works for me! Instead of typing in every mail id that I could have possibly registered with, or trying to generate a new password every time, I can actually breeze through the checkout process in a matter of minutes.

App-only discounts and offers
I am a huge discount shopper, and am always on the lookout for coupons and deals while shopping. Apps like Myntra usually provide exclusive discount coupons which are not available anywhere else. So there’s your chance to snag that dress you’ve been eyeing for so long or a pair of heels that you’ve secretly been hoping will go on sale so that you don’t have to break your account over them.

Sharing is easy
Social media, email, and instant messaging – with an app for everything on your mobile, sharing your finds with friends and family (or your readers if you are a blogger!) is so easy. Each time I find something that I like, or I put together a look with products from a website that I feel might inspire someone; I tend to share it on my social media channels, sharing is caring after all!

With the ease of shopping through an app and the convenience of selecting any product that you want, app shopping (yes I just made up that word) is here to stay!

Hyderabad's best cab services

Most of the time, when I need to travel within the city, I take a cab. Although I work from home most of the time, any work related meetings, client meetings, events to attend as a blogger all happen on the other end of the city as opposed to where I live. Moving around the city in some of the best cab services in Hyderabad is the only way I get to any place on time without getting tired of driving around in traffic.

The first time I learnt to drive a car was when I was in the ninth grade. Of course I didn’t have a license and I couldn’t drive myself around, but I still did practice with my dad in an empty ground for a while. I did drive once in a while when we went on a family outing, on the highways or empty stretches of road before I finally got my license and started driving around properly! Since then I have almost completely stopped relying on public transport for going anywhere. As much as I love driving, as much as I enjoy the freedom that it gives me, I still do crib about the roads, the traffic, the maniacs on the road who have no clue how to drive, because, well this is India after all, where each person follows their own driving rules, resulting in utter chaos.

With traffic just increasing day by day in every city, and parking being the biggest headache of all, booking a cab seems like the easiest option. Especially on occasions where I know it’s going to be a late night, or if I am already stressed for a meeting, or if I just want to relax with music in my ears or by reading a book instead of inching through traffic.

Ola
Ola cabs have become my go-to service each time I need a ride. They services are open round the clock, whether it’s a short trip, an airport drop or a taxi for holidaying. The booking process is simple, the app is easy to use, the response time is very quick and you can expect a cab to be there within two to ten minutes. You get to pay by the meter and it’s a hassle free payment process. Also, they have a GPS tracking system where a family or friend can keep track of your route as well while you are traveling.
And lately they have introduced Ola Autos as well, which are just as convenient!

Meru
Meru in Hyderabad is always my first option specifically when am traveling from the airport. It’s just so convenient and such a smooth ride that there’s no second thought before choosing this option.

Uber
Uber was one of the first on-demand cab services and it still remains a popular choice. It uses a dispatch service to send the nearest driver to your location, and its easy no-cash payment that charges the ride directly to your card is one the most convenient solutions when you are in a hurry!

With easy booking options, and GPS tracking, hiring cabs has become very easy. Whether it’s a late night or early morning, most services offer instant pick-ups and drop-offs. Avoid the stress of traffic, the time taken for searching for a parking spot and the worry that you might have a drink or two in the evening and would have to drive back home alone. Book a cab, ask a friend to tag along and be safe wherever you go!

Bloom

Orange has never been one of my favorite colors, rather it's been one of those 'ignored' colors for some reason. But with each progressing day of summer I'm turning to shades of orange, coral, peach more and more. I know people always say white is the color of summer but, for me, bright has always been the color for spring and summer. This orange high-lo dress has been waiting to make it's debut at a possible beach side summer vacation, but seeing that as usual, my vacation plans have been postponed, I decided to wear it already. I am currently obsessed with pairing dresses, slit dresses, t-shirt dresses etc. with jeans, and I went with the same style for a coffee date! I know that at any time of the year and day I would be up for traveling, and in fact that's one of the main things that I keep on talking about on the blog (and complaining some times) but right now, I wouldn't mind if my travel plans, dreams get postponed a bit more. I am in one of the best phases of life professionally and personally. April has been a roller coaster of a ride with extreme highs, and am really excited to be working on some of my dream projects that have been in the pipeline for a long time, and I can't wait to reveal more about all of that! The title of this post is exactly how I am looking at my life right now. Blooming in every aspect and every direction. All that's left to do is work my a** off, never lose focus and take time to stop and smell the flowers!






Dress: Code | Jeans: Levis | Bag: NewLook | Shoes: Catwalk | Earrings: oasap.com

The workplace Diva

When I was working in the corporate sector, my mornings usually started with staring at my wardrobe for a good ten minutes and wondering if I could just walk in to office wearing a leather pant, a flow-y white top and get away with it. When you dress up everyday, you might as well make it interesting right? That’s always been my mantra and my motivation to dress up everyday. Work place dressing up is a bit tricky especially when you work in a formal environment that requires you to stick to formals. That being said, you don’t need to stop being a workplace Diva. Check out the following options for your most essential workplace item – laptop bags!




For the professional Diva

Black is the color of elegance, power and sophistication. It would without doubt be the first choice for a professional look. A soft textured (faux) leather bag with plenty of space inside for your laptop and all your essentials. Pair this with a formal pantsuit for a polished look!











 


For the artsy Diva

If your work environment is the creative and chaotic type, like a media company or an advertising agency, then show-off your personality with something unique and trendy. Bold colors, graphics, silly quotes – it could be anything that describes your personality, or your workspace. Since your dressing too would veer more towards business casuals, you can get away with almost anything here!











For the casual Diva
 
This unisex laptop bag keeps it casual yet professional. Whether you are meeting with clients over a cup of coffee, or working as a freelancer with no fixed office space or timings, this tan brown leather laptop bag is your friend. You can pair it with a simple blue jeans and a crisp white shirt for a classy look!











 For the girly Diva

Simple, pink and cute. This pink canvas laptop bag is perfect for the girly girl. Whether you team it with western formals, traditional wear or casuals, this is one bag that would go with them all!



7 best pizza delivery places in Hyderabad

Italian happens to be one of my favorite cuisines and any city that I go to, I never fail to explore the options it has to offer, for some of the best pizzas and pastas. When I went to Italy a few years back, I had a chance to try out authentic Italian dishes and that obviously set the bar pretty high up when it came to searching for options back home. But over the past couple of years, I did manage to find many tiny places that offer their own version of Italian and although it can never match up to what I had in Italy, they come pretty close in second place!

The best part about all these places is that they have home delivery in Hyderabad! So next time you are faced with the "Hungry Kya?" question, you know where to look.



Flying spaghetti monster
Away from the main road, and almost invisible, this place serves some of the best Italian cuisine in Hyderabad. It is easily one of the places that I frequent the most. The ambiance is great, the staff are friendly and the food is yummy!
Place: Jubilee hills
Most popular: Sicilia pizza, blueberry cheesecake
Price: Rs.1650 for two people

Italian Pizza
A tiny place on the Old Bombay highway and almost looking like a shack, this place offers a totally different pizza experience from the regular chains like Dominoes and Pizza hut. It's easy on the pocket and though they have a small menu, they have some delicious toppings.
Place: Kondapur
Most popular: La-Provincale - Roasted eggplant, mushrooms and capsicum
Price: Rs.450 for two people

Pizza Den
This is one place that you will find to be always crowded. It's been there since years, although they have shifted locations frequently. It is definitely a hidden gem which I stumbled across years back and since then it has permanently been on my frequently-visited list. They have yummy tasty pizzas in a slightly Desi version and friendly service. 
Place: Trimulgherry
Most popular: Mexican hot pepper
Price: Rs.250 for two people 

Lazzio - the pizzaria
This is one of the only all vegetarian pizza places that I know in Hyderabad. It is a cozy and small space with the feel of a roadside eatery/cafe. It is definitely value for money and you get good food for that price. The ambiance too is cute and well decorated. 
Place: Madhapur
Most popular: Thin crust gourmet pizza. Pasta in pink sauce.
Price: Rs.400 for two people

Viva Italia 
Located in the popular white house building, this is another budget friendly place that's a must visit. It is most popular for the live counter and the thin crust pizzas that they make. The ambiance is not great but the moment the food arrives you'll soon forget the surroundings. It is also one of the best places to be ordering home delivery from. The only regret about this place would be as to why you finished the pizza so soon!  
Place: Begumpet
Most popular: Pasta aglio olio, chicken salami pizza
Price: Rs. 500 for two people

Over the flames
Another place for casual dining, and tasty thin crust pizzas. This is sort of an underground place tucked away in a building, but any conclusions that you draw from the appearance is going to fade away once you taste their wood fired pizzas. Every pizza on their menu is good! Specially the thin crust ones. 
Place: Gachibowli
Most popular: Every pizza on the menu is good!
Price: Rs.700 for two people

Mama Mia Italia
Saved one of my favorite places for the last! This tiny place is easily one of the best and most authentic in the entire city. The crust always feels fresh and soft, the staff are friendly and even give you a little tour of their wood fire oven, for which this place is famous. The prices are on the affordable side and it's a must do if you are in Hyderabad!
Place: Sainikpuri
Most popular: Veggie delight, arabiatta, Italian chicken pizza
Price: Rs.500 for two people 
 

Share your frequently visited places in the comments below! 

Indian August

Summer breeze in the air, long drives into the sunset, open fields, lying on the grass and reading books, long maxi dresses, the golden hour of sunset. I love clothes that inspire you to come up with themes and Indian August is one such brand that does exactly that. Something about the name Indian August makes me think of summer rains, old rickety swings, getting blown away by the wind while the sky thunders above you - a very bohemian, care free vibe that inspired me to come up with this look. A chance happening brought us to this quaint little park that formed the perfect setting for this shoot. So much so that I think I quite enjoyed just sitting around and becoming engrossed in my book, while my photographer did all the work!

Indian August has a range of products that includes clothing and apparel, home textiles and decor. With a focus on Indian contemporary designs, they have under their roof more than 25 designers and master craftsmen who bring to you the most elegant and contemporary designs. The eclectic use of traditional fabrics like chanderi, mangalgiri for Western outfits like ankle length pants and trousers was something right up my alley. The Khadi and kalamkari skirts were another favorite of mine. They also have an enviable collection of the cutest, quirkiest home decor. When I move in to my own place, you can expect it to be a mini shrine to this store! Another favorite of mine is of course their jewelry - exquisitely handcrafted dokra necklaces and earrings that I could wear every day. For my look I chose a comfortable and bright cotton maxi dress perfect for the weather here. Instead of going for the obvious choice of black accessories, I chose this pink Dokra necklace/earrings set which I think compliments this outfit perfectly.

This had to be the laziest shoot ever (well for me!) where all I had to do was walk around, settle down on the grass with a good book, and prance around during the golden hour of sunset!








Dress, bag, earrings, necklace: eindianaugust.com | Shoes: Steve Madden

Photography & Editing by: Divya Medikonda


Summer footwear - embelishments!

As the temperature has slowly started to soar, I have already begun my whining and complaints of how hot it is and how I feel like I am melting into a gooey puddle just after a couple of minutes in the sun. I am all for summer and tropical weather and beaches but sometimes it gets too unbearable, and there is nothing much that you can do about it. When summer comes I turn nocturnal, venturing out only after sunset. Rest of the day is spent being holed up at my desk with work, accompanied by a constant supply of cold drinks, and editing and researching for articles - which is just a fancy term for mindless browsing over various blogs, magazines and shopping sites.

Clothing during summer has to invariably be as comfortable, airy and minimal as possible. There is absolutely no intention of stacking up on accessories either. Just the thought of layering anything, even a simple necklace, makes you want to peel off the layers. The only accessories I have fun with are shoes! You must know by now, that I am a hoarder of shoes and happily so! A girl can never have enough! Embellished shoes are all the rage this season. They add a little sparkle to your otherwise hot and humid day, and they are also the easiest way to add an extra something to your simple summer dress/skirt/shorts. Since I've already committed the sin of not shopping for the longest time ever, I didn't waste any time in putting together a wish-list that would help all you guys with some inspiration as to what style you can go for as well!

Gladiators
  • Consider the shape of your leg before buying gladiator sandals
  •  Knee-high gladiators for long legs and ankle length for shorter legs
  • Also, wear chunkier styles with pants rather than dresses
  • Decide if you want flats or heels. T-strap looks great for flats!
  • When wearing knee-length or calf length, don't overdo the clothes and other accessories



Embellished Sandals
  • Evaluate your wardrobe before deciding which pair to purchase
  • If your wardrobe leans to the casual side, you can go for heavy, colorful embellishment
  • If you wear a lot of dressy pieces, go for neutral solid color
  • Embellished flip flops are a more casual alternative that you can consider
  • If you don't want to spend big bucks, buy some beads/studs/stones and do your own DIY!




Embellished Pumps
  • Perfect for a night out where you sparkle in your best
  • Go for quality and make sure the embellishments don't fall off! 
  • Subtle colors with delicate embellishments are your best bet
  • A six inch heel + striking color might be a little too much sometimes, so opt for a shorter heel when going for bolder patterns