Monday, August 29, 2016

Posted On 8/29/2016 by Team iCynosure.

I’ve spent most of my growing up years in a pair of sneakers and I firmly believe that they are the most comfortable footwear and ideal for everyday outings. However, the once not-so-popular type of footwear when dressing up has now caught the fashion world by frenzy and has become a style statement. Stylists today are loving sneakers and creating stylish and trendy combinations with them for even a feminine look. Being inspired by celebrities and movie stars, girls and women all over the world are experimenting pairing sneakers with feminine dresses, flowing skirts, neutral sheaths and even casual outfits. 

Over the last few weeks I’ve been going through my wardrobe and am looking forward to experimenting with some of the sneaker-outfit combinations, and if you don not own one versatile pair of sneaker, get one from your favorite store today. 

One of the most basic yet very rarely tried outfit combinations would be to pair a LBD during the day with a pair of black sneakers, and a compact handback in a contrasting colour.  I’d love to play with the shoe laces to add unique twist to the entire look.

Another winning combination to try out would be a colour block maxi dress or a maxi skirt with a pair of checkered shoes. The most important aspect that I’d ensure is to keep the accessories to a minimum to let the sneakers do the talking. 

Sneakers have always been a hit when paired with shorts, however I’d love to pair a simple white pair of sneakers with a mini-dress or a mini-skirt. It would be a perfect daytime chic pairing that would stand-out in a crowd and create a dramatic effect. 

A tried and tested paring of ripped jeans and an over-sized sweatshirt has always been my go-to style statement when stepping out of the house. To add instant glam to my casual look, I add a huge wrist accessory or one of my many watches to the combination. 

Last but not the least, I’d love to pair my favorite pair of Nike shoes to go clubbing or shopping with a basic pair of leggings and a dressy top. I’d throw over a jacket in a nude color to look comfortable and trendy in any weather. 

Do you like any of these style combinations? Is there any of these that you’ve already experimented with? Tell us in the comments below. 
- Heena

Posted On 8/29/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Our homes are an extension of our personalities, sometimes complex while sometimes simple yet extremely beautiful and unique. Never have I till date seen two people with similar personality traits or two home designed alike. That’s the beauty of individuals, which the good folks at Westside have identified and thus brought to us Westside Home that offers patrons endless possibilities to style their homes. With a new collection launched last weekend, Westside Home is a gorgeous amalgamation of beautifully curated inspiration board of home and lifestyle solutions that help us turn our houses into homes.

During the Press Preview I has a chance to meet with the Category Head of Westside Home, Ms. Lyndsay Smith who is very passionate about transforming living spaces into homes that are classic as well as contemporary. While the discussion went on, I was surprised with her knowledge about Indian furniture silhouettes, furnishing fabrics and textures and above all the mind-set through which the generation gap décor needs could be easily bridged. One of the highlights was how Westside Home strives to provide easy home solutions which are aesthetically great looking which being functionally perfect for modern homes. 

While browsing through the entire new collection there were 5 distinct categories that stood out…§ Furniture: Living, Dining, Bedroom
§ Furnishing: Décor, Lighting, 
§ Soft Furnishing: Bedcovers and Sheets, Pillows and Cushions, Comforters
§ Bathroom Furnishings: Accessories and Bath Products
§ Kitchen Essentials: Gadgets, Cookware to Serveware and Table Linen

Apart from individual products, the team has come up with concept room décor that includes pre-designed living spaces across various rooms. This model is perfect as a lot of thought is put behind each room set-up including colours, textures, fit and look. I’ve particularly loved a few that were on display at the Kalaghoda store over the weekend, including a cosy corner that can easily be set up in any part of any home. 

The fact that Westside Home offers a wide range of products at affordable prices, offers more choice and more value, makes it a perfect place to head to whether one is doing up a bachelor pad or a family home, a studio apartment or a grand villa, a vacation resort or a palatial mansion. 

I absolutely love the latest #HomeDecor range by Westside, browse the collection online or head to the stores across the country and shop your heart out. 

- Heena

Friday, August 26, 2016

Posted On 8/26/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Just like every year I looked forward to the monsoons this year and was euphoric as the rains arrived in Mumbai in a timely manner. Not only did the waters bring in a respite to all the water shortage in the city but also pushed us city dwellers to take the much needed breaks during the weekends. 

Since the last weekend was an extended weekend due to the Independence Day, we headed out of the city to enjoy the celebrations. Unfortunately for us the resort rooms that we were allotted were terribly damp with a few corners screaming of water seepage. Inspite of a few requests our rooms weren't changed due to the resort booked at full capacity. We thought about adjusting as we didn't want to go out looking for another accommodation. While discussing the problem with the manager the next morning we realised that water seepage is not only a super annoying yet common problem faced by majority property and home owners but also a challenging situation to rectify for home improvement experts. Sometimes the problem is practically untraceable due to the varied factors of seepage such as cracks on external walls, honeycomb concrete, defective sealant and waterproofing membrane or faulty plumbing. 

The water seepage at the resort seemed due to multiple problems such as faulty plumbing fixtures, roof drain pipe leakage and poor plaster on external walls. What we failed to understand that when simple solutions to these problems are so easily available why don't people ensure freedom from dampness? Over the next few days we saw watermarks, blisters, bubbled wall paint on the walls that completely grossed us out. Apart from the visible wall deterioration, the seepage also caused fungal and bacterial growth on the walls which could cause health issues like allergies, respiratory problems and even an atmosphere of depression.

Once the weekend was over and we got home, we looked around the house and were thankful that we made the right decisions while building our home. We trusted only the experts; professionals who know their jobs and products that have stood the test of time. We ensured our #FreedomFromDampness by not only ensuring adequate wall thickness and proper construction joints but also using the right product for waterproofing the walls with Dr. Fixit Raincoat and the roof with Dr. Fixit Newcoat Ezee. Not only did we protect the exterior of our house but also the interior by using Dr. Fixit Dampguard for our internal walls & ceilings and Dr. Fixit Bathseal to negate any change of leakage in the bathroom tile joint or plumbing. 

My weekend experience taught me a simple yet powerful lesson, that water is beautiful when it falls out of the sky or when it gushes down the tap, not when it's leaking through fixtures or walls. So as a homemaker, vow to protect your family by protecting your homes with Dr. Fixit just like the intelligent lady in the video below. Watch, have fun and bring the doctor home!

A Happy and healthy homes leads to a happy family as well. Check out more tips and solutions for home building, renovation at The Happy Homes Blog.
- Heena

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Posted On 8/25/2016 by Team iCynosure.

My first tryst with the Reliance Digital Store was a couple of years ago when I was amazed with the store’s offering in both national and international brands. In less than a couple of hours I knew more about the major product categories, the price ranges, the discounts and the service. It was the first time I understood that technological solutions are categorised into Home Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications. So the visit was a great learning for me.
Last month when I moved into my new home I decided to opt for annual maintenance for all electronic items to set myself free from the day to day servicing hassle. Since I didn't want the chaos of contacting individual companies to register the products for extended warranty and service, I started browsing around for an all-inclusive plan. That’s when I remembered the Reliance Digital resQ After Sales Service that supports product installation, repair or maintenance and thought about connecting with them. 

To be honest when I requested a home visit, I wasn't sure what to expect, but professionalism was what I knew I'd get. After spending a couple of hours at home today, the Customer Service Representative Sachin understood my requirement and worked out a great deal. 

The annual maintenance contract has been just what I was looking for. I was amazed not only with the precision in which Sachin worked out the plan but also with his patience, product knowledge, positive attitude and commitment to delight the customer. He had.... 

Exemplary Communication Skills 
With technological advancements, brands have adopted newer digital ways to reach customers, however Reliance Digital still believes in keeping the human element present in interactions. Sachin, is a perfect example of how listening and understanding customer requirements and delivering beyond expectation always makes a great impact. He patiently heard all my queries, understood my needs, offered solutions and resolved my concerns with clear and precise information. 

In-depth Product Knowledge and Expertise
Brands brush off customer queries with product brochures and information leaflets when consumers seek more information regarding products and services. Sachin knew most of the information I was seeking, and apart from giving the information he also offered insights into the best products as per my usability and need.  He turned out to be an encyclopedia of product information, use instructions and service schedules. 

Problem-Solving Attitude
The most important thing that customers seek is a problem solving attitude, however most brands keep customers on hold and revert with half-baked information that does not help. Sachin was fantastic in this respect, he offered numerous solutions to my service concerns, sometimes even connecting to his manager to ensure he provided the information that is accurate and verifiable.

With such a positive attitude, professionalism and commitment it wasn't a surprise that I signed up for the resQ Care Plan to #BootUpYourLife. To know more about Reliance resQ click here.

How do you manage products in your home? 
- Heena

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Posted On 8/24/2016 by Team iCynosure.

India has a distinct cycle of seasons, however what remains constant across seasons is the harsh sun and the curse that the hot temperatures bring with it. The heat, sun rays and humidity are just one part of the problem while the other part is skin darkening, dark spots and severe tanning. Even though I know the importance of skincare, I lack the zeal and enthusiasm to follow a routine on a day-to-day basis; sometimes even skipping the sunscreen, which ultimately shows on my skin. 

Bare skin invites hordes of skin related issues, the worst of which are caused by the harmful UV rays from the sun. The only trick to stay protected is to use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and more importantly a PA++. Another option to restore the natural glow of your skin is to cleanse, moisturise and protect it with natural and herbal products. One such product is Himalaya Herbal’s Fairness Kesar Face Pack; that is a unique natural formulation of turmeric, walnut, aloe and kesar to rejuvenate and cleanse the skin of impurities and reveal a natural glow. 

Since I’ve started using Himalaya Wellness products, I am amazed with the gentleness of the products and Himalaya Herbal’s Fairness Kesar Face Pack has exceeded all my expectations. The natural ingredients turmeric, walnut, aloe and kesar not only do the most important task of enhancing the complexion but also add elasticity and firmness to my skin. You can check the complete range of Himalaya Herbal natural products here. I prefer to use the pack twice every week to add softness and a natural glow to my skin. 

Here’s how you make the most of Himalaya Herbal’s Fairness Kesar Face Pack: 

§ Apply Kesar Face Pack evenly over face and neck, avoiding the area around the eyes and mouth. 
§ Let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes and then remove with a wet sponge or towel. 
§ Rinse with cool water. 

Have you used Himalaya Herbal products? Do let me know your skincare routine in the comments below. 
Follow Himalaya Herbal across on Facebook to stay updated on the products and offers. 

- Heena

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Posted On 8/23/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Image Credit: CPA Blog

After reading about Canada, I’m starting to love the place. In fact, I don't think there could be any reason not to want to visit. Canada is a little world in itself with so much to offer every traveller, from mountains to glaciers, from lakes to forests, from cities to towns. Add to that list the amazing food options, the wildlife, and the hospitable people, and you'll want to pack your bags and visit the land of the Maple Leaf.

Every traveller will surely have a must-do list while travelling to an exotic location such as Canada, so I'm not going to speak about the places you must visit or experiences you must have during your trip. Instead, I'm going to talk to you about some of the places you must stay in Montreal and Vancouver. 

View Montreal from the Marriott Chateau Champlain
Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, a province that's French at heart and American in appearance. Known for its unique blend of traditions and influences, the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain is also famous for its French cuisine. In addition, the hotel boasts stunning panoramic views of historic statues and nearby parks.

Swim on the Rooftop of the Hotel Bonaventure 
Montreal boasts of some of the most breathtaking hidden swimming spots, one of which is the Hotel Bonaventure Montrealan urban oasis offering a rooftop sanctuary. The stunning rooftop pool is one of the many facilities that travellers can enjoy, along with a full bar and a complete dining menu. The hotel allows night swims, where guests can have a magical experience soaking in the pool and gazing at the gorgeous night sky. 

Sight Cruise Ships at the Pan Pacific
When visiting the bustling West Coast seaport of Vancouver, the Pan Pacific Vancouver s an ideal place to stay. Situated at Canada Place, the hotel is in the middle of all the action and the cruise ship hustle and bustle. Travellers who enjoy spotting cruise ships can even get lucky, with three berths full of ships docking at Vancouver's ports. 

Relive the Roaring Twenties at the Rosewood Hotel
Travelling back in time to the 1920s is possible at the Rosewood Hotel GeorgiaThis five-star hotel has been meticulously restored to reflect the grandeur of the Roaring Twenties, and it transports vacationers back in time. The hotel also boasts live musical entertainment that create an intimate, sophisticated ambiance reminiscent of the era's speakeasies.

Experience Europe at the Sutton Place
The oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver is set against the majestic backdrop of mountains and seas. There, the Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver brings a taste of Europe to travellers. The hotel is also on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List and Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 List, making it one of the best places to stay in Canada.

I want to stay at all these places. Where would you want to stay? 
- Heena

Monday, August 22, 2016

Posted On 8/22/2016 by Team iCynosure.

I keep reiterating about how important skincare is for me, however I’m going to let you in on a #DirtySecret. I am super lazy about skincare even though I know it is the only thing that’s going to keep my skin healthy and beautiful. I am at times even guilty of stepping out into the harsh Indian Summers without any sunscreen. Yes I do that too. 

However, I have seen the effects my laziness has on my skin in the long run; my skin looks jaded, listless and completely oozing with skin issues. And that’s when I realised that a few precious minutes every day of skincare could save me from long term damage. And thus I began a religious effort of my skincare routine that begins with a face scrub and ends with face pack and what can be better than Himalaya Wellness products that are natural and herbal; perfect for all skin types. With Himalaya Herbal, my skincare routine has found the perfect companions to work with; you can check their complete range of skincare products here

Especially since my skin is a combination skin type, I need to ensure that the products I use give me the right balance of purifying and energising features. Ever since I’ve started using the Himalaya Herbal Purifying Neem Pack twice a week, I’ve started to see a visible difference in my skin texture. The Neem Pack brings together the goodness of Neem, Fuller's Earth  (Multani Mitti) and Turmeric, which are great antibacterial and purifying ingredients which work together to regulate excess oil secretion, clean clogged pores and prevent the recurrence of pimples. I also regularly use the purifying Neem Scrub to cleanse my skin. 

Here’s how you make the most of Himalaya Herbal’s Purifying Neem Pack: 

§ Apply Neem Pack evenly over clean face and neck, avoiding the area around the eyes and mouth. 
§ Let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes and then remove with a wet sponge or towel. 
§ Rinse with cool water. 
§ Use along with Himalaya Herbal's Purifying Neem Scrub. 

Have you used Himalaya Herbal products? Do let me know your skincare routine in the comments below. 
Follow Himalaya Herbal across on Facebook to stay updated on the products and offers. 

- Heena

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Posted On 8/20/2016 by Team iCynosure.

One of the most importance steps in my skincare routine is using a face scrub followed by a face pack. Hence, picking a product that is just right for me is a really crucial step, as it will either make or break what I’m trying to achieve. Over the years I have tried quite a few products, but none of them have given me satisfactory results as per my expectations. Thus I resorted to the next best option of making my own scrub to ensure it would suit my combination skin-type whilst exfoliating it to give it the freshness and glow my skin deserved. 

I continued my routine until very recently I chanced upon Himalaya Wellness, a range of products that promise to infuse the natural goodness of herbal ingredients into skincare routines, you can check their complete range of skincare products here. The last few months with the Indian Summer scorching down my back I’ve completely depended upon Himalaya Herbal's Purifying Neem Scrub to keep my skin clean, hydrated and nourished. 

Himalaya Herbal's Purifying Neem Scrub removes impurities and dead skin cells while cleansing excess oil from the skin's surface, reducing the occurrence of acne and blackheads. The scrub is blended with the goodness of Neem; that has purifying and antibacterial properties, Apricot; that has hydrating properties and Turmeric; that has regulating properties to control the production of sebum the oily substance produced by skin glands. The scrub is specially formulated to give clear, problem-free skin by not only scrubbing away the blackheads, dead skin cells and embedded impurities but also nourish and moisturise the skin to make it soft, fresh and radiant. 

Since the time I’ve started to use the scrub regularly I’ve noticed an improvement in the overall health of my skin as well as reduced occurrence of pimples and blemishes. I use the Neem Pack along with the Neem Scrub that gives me an added benefit of regulating excess oil secretion and cleaning clogged pores. To add to my happiness, I’ve been complimented on the natural glow of my skin and even skin tone.

Here’s how you make the most of Himalaya Herbal’s Purifying Neem Scrub: 

§ Apply Purifying Neem Scrub in a circular motion on the face and neck. 
§ Massage it gently into the skin for a couple of minutes, rinse with water and pat dry. 
§ Use at least once a week for clear, acne-free skin.
§ Seal with Himalaya Herbal's Purifying Neem Face Pack once a week. 

Have you used Himalaya Herbal products? Do let me know your skincare routine in the comments below. 
Follow Himalaya Herbal across on Facebook to stay updated on the products and offers. 

- Heena

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Posted On 8/11/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Streetwear Color Rich Smoothies Lip Balm Review

Streetwear from the house of Modi-Revlon launched a new range of Color-Rich lip-balms that are formulated to offer dual benefits of nourishment and sheer color. In four trendy shades the balms claim to turn chapped and flaky lips into smooth, shiny and add color. Being high on shine and a soft gloss, they are perfect for everyday application. Launched in the hues of pink, peach, plum and coral the hoarder in me picked the newest shade of plum to review. 

Streetwear Color Rich Smoothies Lip Balm Review

The first thing that delighted me was the gorgeous color that the lippie came in, but it just doesn’t show as much on application. I did however try to apply a couple of times but then it starts to bleed and spread beyond the lip line. I like the texture that is pretty smooth and creamy and gives a gorgeous shine to the lips, giving an overall nude gloss effect. 

Streetwear Color Rich Smoothies Lip Balm Review

The balm does the job of cooling and moisturising but nothing to hydrate the lips. All in all it is a decent product, but due to the fact that even the staying power is not as much re-purchase is not on the cards. Given the price point of INR 150 it is an average buy. The best way to use it would be to layer it with a lipstick, like I did with the Sugar Cosmetics in a similar shade.

After using and reviewing so many lip balms as my lipcare routine I do have a favorite one, which brand is your must-have for lip care? 
- Heena

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Posted On 8/10/2016 by Team iCynosure.

We all know that even though we fight with our siblings like real enemies but we are still the best of friends when life hits us hard. Your sister has always loved you and will never threaten to leave you. She has seen the worst and the best of you which makes her a wonderful person to have your side. Siblings are always the one who genuinely understands the kind of person you are and the special connection that you share with her is simply inexplicable. Even though, you might not share constant chats with her but you always know that she is there with you. 

She is the one who knows your likes and dislikes. Remember the times that you were glued to the TV screen watching Chhota Bheem, Doraemon and even Captain America and she shopped for Chhota Bheem rakhi from the rakhi for kids section, just to make sure that you are happy. You can get multiple range of gift options to make your choice from and you can shop for other interesting rakhi gifts for kids and get them delivered to your home. 

She is the one who mostly pulled you out of trouble in school. Actually, most of the time it was because of your sister that you got landed up in trouble and maybe that is the reason why your parents never got to know about it.

If you have a crush on the boy that sits next to you, then it is your sister who will first come to know about it. Just by a mere glance at your face, she would know that you have a crush on somebody. She is the one who will encourage you and push you to achieve all your desires and goals. No matter whether it is the weirdest dream that you, she is the first person to rise up and support you.

Your sister has seen you going throw every phase of life be it the phase of your shy boy to being the macho man. She knows every bit of you and how you are really as a person. All the good, bad and ugly is laid out on the table since your childhood because of which your sister has always loved you the way you are. You have done some weird things together which quite often led to people staring at you.

She very well knows you inner strength and weakness. And the moment when you sell yourself short, she knows it very well how to boost your motivation to make sure that you achieve higher goals. She knows it very well where you hide your videogame which has been a real treasure for you. Although she might steal it to annoy you or make you angry.

About the Author Reena Rawat: 
She is not one of the finest writer since slice bread but words sound melodious to her than any other jargons. She is a perfect movie buff with a seat reserved in cinema hall every weekend which makes storytelling more of an art and less of a rocket science for her.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Posted On 8/08/2016 by Team iCynosure.

California--just its name makes one dream big. California captures the heart and soul of every traveler who ventures into the most populous western U.S. state. Oozing with a dramatic terrain, cliff-lined beaches, redwood forest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Valley farmland, and the arid Mojave Desert encircle California. The main cities include the sprawling Los Angeles (home to the Hollywood entertainment industry), San Diego with its outdoor Zoo Safari Park, Furnace Creek in Death Valley, and San Francisco--the road to the Golden Gate Bridge.

With so much on offer to "Fuel Your Dreams," the state has some outstanding travel-friendly stay options to pick from. After scanning loads of hotels and resorts, here are five boutique hotels that make my list:

Image Credit: Caliente Tropics Hotel

Caliente Tropics Hotel 
A Tiki and Polynesian-style tropical hotel built in 1964, the Caliente Tropics Hotel has recently undergone a contemporary and modern makeover to suit the new-age traveler. Through the remodelling, the hotel has managed to keep its retro feel intact to offer the best location, recreation activities, and atmosphere in Palm Springs.

Image Credit: Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs
The unimaginable design of a new Fender Stratocaster infused with the laid-back attitude of a reggae band, the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs delights the music sensibilities in every traveler. A one-of-its-kind music program, "Sound of Your Stay," enables guests to produce a personalized soundtrack of their stay in the hotel.

Image Credit: V Palm Springs

V Palm Springs
The desert inspired theme of V Palm Springs emulates the natural, soulful spirit of the open-air hotel. The mountainous backdrop offers breath-taking views to travellers who can even opt for the hotel’s ‘Strip Down Promotion’ that encourages travelers to embrace the tantalizing desert playground while staying undressed and getting a room.

Image Credit: Pismo Lighthouse Suites

Pismo Lighthouse Suites
The Pismo Lighthouse Suites is the only all-suite hotel in Pismo Beach that has a beautiful oceanfront view whether travelers opt for suites with either a private patio or a private balcony. With easy access to the Pismo Beach as well as multiple activities, the hotel is perfect for all guests. A life-size game of chess is the highlight of the outdoor activities the hotel offers, which people of all ages enjoy.

Image Credit: The Cliffs

The Cliffs
The Cliffs is all about "living in luxury," whether a guest prefers sweeping mountain vistas or an idyllic lakefront home. The full-service resort with amazing views and world-class amenities boasts amazing golf courses and wine trails along with exceptional guest experiences. With a perfect mix of seclusion when travellers want peace and entertainment when travellers want fun, the Cliffs has the best of both amenities.

So while you check out these amazing stay options don't forget to make a check list of all you want to do. One of the easiest ways to make sure you don't miss anything important is to take the celebrated, cost-hugging drive that begins in San Diego, at the southern end of the state, and ends in the San Francisco.

Get travelling.
- Heena

Posted On 8/08/2016 by Team iCynosure.

New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, is a great attraction to travellers thanks to its rich culture, history and the outdoors. With a tagline of ‘Pick Your Passion,’ the city invites travellers to indulge in their interests ranging from food to fashion, adventure to entertainment, and much more. The best way to get to know Louisiana is to see it like a tourist, taste it like a local and experience it like a traveller. 

Just as there are endless options to help travellers experience Louisiana, there are numerous hotel options where you can unwind and relax. Hotels and lodgings ranging from glorious casinos and full service resorts to scenic park cabins provide diverse options New Orleans. 

Image Credit: Hilton Garden Inn, Airport

Hilton Garden Inn, Airport
One of the most economical hotels in Kenner, the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Airport, is just a few minutes from the airport.  With the Pontchartrain Center and downtown New Orleans just walking distance from the hotel, it is perfect for both business travellers as well as holiday-makers for being conveniently located. Apart from its location, the hotel has great amenities including every room fitted with Garden Sleep System that adjust the bed to gently cradle the body, ensuring pressure-free sleep while maintaining comfortable body temperature. 

Image Credit: Sheraton Metairie 

Sheraton Metairie 
Nestled between the French Quarter and the New Orleans Airport, the Sheraton Metairie - New Orleans Hotel is located in the heart of the business district. The convenient location along with its upscale design, comfortable rooms and Cajun-American dining options make the Sheraton Metairie a great place for stay. The highlight is the Social Hour organised at the hotel that offers patrons a chance to compare wines from the Sheraton Selects menu.

Image Credit: Hilton Garden Inn, Convention Center

Hilton Garden Inn, Convention Centre
The Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center, at a walkable distance from the New Orleans Convention Center, is a home away from home. Contemporary décor with separate living areas, pull-out sofas, outdoor patio and a convenience store, the hotel is equipped with multiple facilities, making it every traveller’s delight. Similar to the other group hotels, the rooms are fitted with Garden Sleep System beds that ensure pressure-free sleep whilst maintaining comfortable body temperature. 

Image Credit: Hyatt French Quarter

Hyatt French Quarter
The Hyatt French Quarter is a beautifulyl modern, fully restored and completely renovated luxury hotel with historical references that is located in the heart of the French Quarter. In spite of its central location, the hotel offers affordable rates and wonderful amenities. The hotel is within walking distance of popular attractions on the French Quarter including Bourbon Street, Audubon Zoo and Aquarium, Jackson Square, House of Blues, clubs and galleries, the Riverwalk and the French Market.  

Image Credit: Bourbon Orleans Hotel

Bourbon Orleans Hotel
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is a classic hotel overlooking the French Quarter. It's just few minutes away from the Jackson Square Park if you're traveling on foot. The hotel maintains its historic relevance through the décor while offering modern amenities for comfort. With its beautiful balconies, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel is much in-demand especially during Mardi Gras, when travellers want to be in the middle of all the action. 

If you’re in Louisiana, do check these hotels for your stay.
- Heena

Posted On 8/08/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Suicide; is such a powerful word, even the sound of it resonates courage. But is this courage positive? I'm not so sure. 

When I first head about ‘the Story of a Suicide’ I wanted to overlook it as if I had heard nothing. Isn’t that exactly what happens when one looks away, even when they know someone is vulnerable and needs that special attention. Why does one shy away from being that single ray of hope that could make the difference between life and death. Thats when it hit me; I had to read about Hari, Charu, Sam and Mani….. four unconnected people whose lives got interconnected in a web of love, passion, revenge and deceit leading to one of the main characters intentionally causing his own death.
An online novel, ‘the Story of a Suicide’ broken down into 31 crisp chapters; touch every topic that is taboo to progress the story further interweaving the paths of the main characters. Though the characters are very well defined, they are difficult to relate to or understand due to the complexities of the situations they find themselves in. With twists and turns akeen a feature film, the plot thickens and takes new directions every few minutes to unfold an unlikely episode that becomes the crux of the story. The author has beautifully narrated how a single opinion, a few harsh words from a loved one become a tipping point that takes a human being from hope, aspirations and dreams to despair, shame and suicide. What I felt was missing, was a positive light that would naturally guide a person and free him from the negativity. However reassessing the plot made me realise that most youngsters today are easy yet self-absorbed, independent yet unsure, fearless yet oblivious. The only thing that I could relate to were the feelings expressed.... from Charu's friendly concern to Sam's lust, Alex's casualness to Mani's ambition and Hari's fear. 

The Story of a Suicide is a relatively dark novel that will leave the readers with numerous questions that will remain unanswered, that will stay with them long after the last chapter is read.

Over the years I've read about things that drive a sane logical person to take his own life. 

The point to think is how does a person full of dreams give up on life so easily? Trust me, I've seen a person from such close quarters that I know thoughts about suicide are not easy or random. 

Suicidal thoughts are like fungus; they grow from a single cell into a self-feeding monster that eats away at the person's soul and cripples them mentally. As time goes by, this fungus grows into a humungous form that leaves no room for breathing, choking the person into submission with only a ray of hope in the distance. 

Most people will argue that it would have been so easy for the victim to have reached out for help and confessed about their predicament. 

However how many people actually sit back and think, 'how could I have helped avert the situation'? Trust me, none.

A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn't mean help isn't needed. Most people who want to commit suicide don't want to die they just want to stop hurting. Suicide prevention is equally the onus of people around the victim as much the victim himself. As family and friends suicide prevention begins with recognising the warning signs, talking about the feelings openly and getting professional help. 

Don't turn your back, be that ray of hope.
- Heena