Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Posted On February 07, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had tons of money to fund all our expenses, without a care in the world. Unfortunately, that is not the case with most of us. Including yours truly! Sometimes I do go overboard with my expenses and end up needing to borrow, and the best possible solution is to get a personal loan. A personal loan is a diversified credit option that is easy to access, unsecured yet flexible and is offered at a decent rate of interest. In simple terms, a personal loan is a convenient solution when you are cash-strapped. 

Here are three situations when a personal loan is a good bet to get you sorted:

Debt Pay-Off
If one does have varying amounts of debts from creditors including amounts payable against credit cards, each instrument would have its individual rate of interest, varied due dates, late charges, etc. This may lead to mismanagement of payments, which may then incur higher interest, negatively impacting credit scores and a host of other issues. Taking a personal loan to consolidate your debt, pay off all outstanding creditors and be left with a single payment schedule to follow will ease out all your debt worries. 

Medical Emergency
Of course this isn't the ideal situation but when either your loved one or you are unwell and have a medical emergency it is best not to wait for the approval of cashless claim on your health insurance. You need money and you need it now, and taking a personal loan will prove beneficial to not only your financial health but also your physical wellbeing.

Launch a Start-Up
Starting a business or diversifying your work is all about initial investments. Taking a personal loan to kick start the process is a good way to show commitment as well as get the cash flowing. 

Personal loans are always favorable as they have a fixed repayment term, between two to five years and come with a fixed rate of interest. However it is advisable to compare the terms and costs of the loan and borrow within your credit limit.

Have you ever got a personal loan? What was your experience?
- Heena

Friday, February 02, 2018

Posted On February 02, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

The freelancing industry has seen an impressive growth in the past several years, with 82% men freelancing already and a record 48% women considering freelancing. Freelancing in India has improved on two counts - the number of opportunities and the commercials on each project. Freelancers make about $30,000 on an average annually. Being a freelancer today is a real good deal, especially since you can pick your own niche, work on your own time, work on your own terms and more importantly work for anyone in the world from anywhere in the world. The only two things you need to have as a freelancer is the skill and knowledge of your craft and an internet connection. However the one thing that remains the biggest concern for freelancers is payments, and the last thing one wants to do is go chasing for payments, after the projects have been completed.

As a freelancer, I’ve experienced first hand the growth in projects from both international and Indian companies. However payments have never been a concern for me since I have a PayPal account and invoice my clients using the inbuilt invoicing mechanism that PayPal offers. Since 4 in 5 freelancers work with international clients from Australia, UK and US, PayPal becomes a preferred choice that enables receiving payments in a timely, safe and secure manner. I strongly advocate PayPal for its many features including customised invoice creation, Seller Protection that safeguards from fraudulent chargeback, flexibility in receiving payments in over 26 currencies and cool features like a PayPal.Me, a link that can be sent for requesting payments. I also love the fact that payments received into my PayPal account are transferred directly into my bank account linked to PayPal. is a customised link to request payments.. You can either register with your own name or your business name to create your unique identity which also makes it easier for your clients to connect with you.

Seller Protection
Seller Protection becomes immensely relevant as most freelancers deal in intangibles and very few of the services are covered through protection. PayPal offers Seller Protection on consultancy and online services including but not limited to content development, web and mobile development, software development and much more. Of course the platform follows a strict protocol to identify whether your transaction is eligible for Seller Protection and check proof of service. 

So if you are a freelancer or a small scale merchant, PayPal Business Account is your way forward from today. There is no additional charge, just the transaction processing fees, backed by PayPal’s global risk capabilities. I’ve got my Business account, get yours today. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Posted On January 31, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

*Sponsored Post*

Apart from purchasing a house, the next big purchase any individual would make is that of a vehicle. While numerous purchases are made on an impulse, these two big ticket items definitely need a lot of consideration. The experience of purchasing both these items can be overwhelming and narrowing down the search for the one most suitable to your family and you will be huge financial as well as emotional decision. With our recent experience of getting our new car, I can assure you it is a huge task. My husband and I did a lot of research putting in several weeks of showroom visits, test drives and comparing costs to finally arrive at a decision. If you are in a similar situation, ensure you take each step after careful consideration as this purchase is not fully refundable. 

Research Information
The first thing to do when you start the process is research research research! When we first thought about getting a new car, we looked and looked for options that would suit a family of six, that would have plenty of boot space, that would have the features we needed and most importantly that would be in our budget. We spoke to friends, visited showrooms, looked up reviews on automobile sites like and went on test drives too, to find the right product for us. 

Calculate Budget
With easy access to credit lines, one is often swayed beyond their budgets. An important aspect we kept in mind while looking for a new car was not only the maximum amount we were willing to spend on the vehicle but also insurance, maintenance and other miscellaneous costs associated with it. 

Driving Capabilities
Prior to deciding, test drive a car for a minimum of 15-20 minutes through a familiar route. Hubby made me drive both the versions of the car we were planning on purchasing through light and heavy traffic to ensure my comfort. We parked and remarked not only en-route but also in our parking lot for surety. 

If you are looking for help choosing your very own new vehicle or you have a great tip that will help make the decision feel free to drop them in the comments below. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Monday, January 29, 2018

Posted On January 29, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

The changes in the environment and the constant travelling have taken a toll on my skin, combine that with my erratic skincare routine which I follow sometimes and skip at most times. I’ve tried and tested a few one-in-all creams costing me an arm and a leg, but to my utter disappointment those haven't worked for me at all. When I was ready to give up, my mother-in-law quietly handed me a bottle of Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream In Oil Base and my first reaction was ‘this really?’ 

The product instantly reminded me of the Vicco advert that says that the company doesn’t believe in chemical products but vouches for its ayurvedic formulas and I thought why not give it a shot. With my combination skin type, there are only a few products that actually work for me the way I want them to. And to be honest I had a very low expectation from this one. The product is an Ayurvedic medicine that moisturises dry skin, and is enriched with turmeric that helps restore the skin’s natural glow and treat uneven skin tone. It nourishes the skin, improves the tonal value and makes it healthy. Sounds perfect, now for the experience. 

As a rule of skincare principle I did a patch test, and the first thing I noticed was the prominent fragrance which took a while to get adjusted to. On application I felt a cool soothe wipe over the area, with flawless absorption and visibly radiant skin within minutes, the skin instantly felt nourished and looked healthier. Over next few days as I continued to use the lotion I began to feel a difference not only from the outside but also within. Within days the consistency and oil-based formulae of the Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream In Oil Base helped my skin feel softer and more even toned. 

I would definitely recommend the Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream In Oil Base for its natural Ayurvedic formula that is chemical free and works across all seasons, its smooth non-greasy application that keeps the skin moisturised all day and its definitive results. I’m writing a #LetterToSkin with the trust of VICCO thats is nurturing, protecting and rejuvenating medicinal products and remedies since 1952.

Have you used VICCO products? You can buy Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream In Oil Base here.

Let me know your skin care routine in the comments below. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Posted On January 18, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

Born in a business family has its perks, one of which is never to worry about funds you need to achieve your goals. For most of my growing up days, I never envisioned my long term goals and thus failed to plan my investments accordingly. For every rupee that I made, there was always something that I wanted to spend it on, the very same day; and of course whenever a larger need arose, my go-to fund would be my parents. However over the years I realised that many of my friends were saving their earnings, but in the most traditional manner without any systematic or logical plan. And that reinforced my belief in the fact that saving is good, but not connecting it to a goal is a bad idea.

As much as I love the tranquility of our farm house, I don’t see myself retiring to it in the near future. I see myself doing over a dozen of things before even contemplating retirement. Travelling the world with my better half, raising my children, buying a house, publishing a book, starting a charity, are just a few #LifeGoals I want to accomplish before hanging my boots. However these goals will remain merely dreams if I align them to the traditional mode of investment, those that are safe but do not do anything with my money and provide returns which are negligible.

With my lack of knowledge in the field of financial investments has pushed me to understand the field a little better. Although I prefer to rely on the experts, I also want to be knowledgeable and thus I made my way to Bajaj Allianz’s Blogger Meet held in Mumbai earlier this month. The concepts of investment, goals and the power of staying invested that I learnt, were nothing that can be taught in any classroom. The most important factor that drives financial planning can be viewed in two parts - planning and investing. Planning requires goal identification, time duration and frequency while investing requires plan identification and resources in hand. Yes, it does sound pretty heavy duty, but once you align your goals with your resources it becomes very easy to achieve what you want. 

Since the meet, my aim has been to categorise and prioritise my goals into short, med and long term goals, so that I can identify the most suitable investment product to help me achieve them without much difficulty. As Tarun Chaugh, MD & CEO of Bajaj Allianz put it in very simple words during his address at the meet, it is important to know what you want to do with your money and how you want your financial future to look like, and these two things are completely in your own hands. Instead of working hard, set goals and plan your investment so that your money can work for you instead.

Taking advice from the best in the business, I’m going back to the drawing board to chalk out a plan and build on my long term #LifeGoals with Bajaj Allianz ULIPs. The investment tool is a non-participating, individual unit-linked, regular or limited premium payment endowment insurance plan that also provides security and ensures growth to meet all my future financial goals. ULIPs help me #InvestBefikar as they play a vital role not only as an investment tool but also as an insurance cover. A part of the premium is parked in risk protection while the other is invested in generating funds. Over the years the way the financial community has offered ULIPs have undergone a huge change beginning with the ease in diversification as per the investor’s risk appetite and preferred choice of tool, the Fund Management Charges that are now as low as 0.95% to the flexibility to change payment terms and frequency. 

Yes, its a lot to plan for, and I shall share with you my investment roadmap and the products I’m opting for in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for the next instalment of my investment plans. 

Until next time, 
- Heena

Monday, January 15, 2018

Posted On January 15, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

The very first time I argued with my mother-in-law, was a few days after #PrincessHeer was born and it was about whether or not we should let a wrinkly old lady massage my two day young one. I was dead against those rugged hands coming anywhere close to my baby’s tender frame and delicate skin. I was however willing to learn how to massage my baby myself, but with a C-section delivery I was confined to bed rest for at least a few weeks. So unwillingly I let the seemingly old lady with leathery hands massage my daughter and I realised that she had the most gentlest touch ever. The way she massaged with the right amount of pressure, the perfect strokes and with such precision reinstated my belief in the fact that massaging a baby in the initial months is a traditional ritual that new-age parents are opening up to. 

As a mother, my experience with creating and following a routine for massaging #PrincessHeer during her growing up years has been great. I strongly recommend immense care while choosing the massage oil for your baby’s skin, especially as it is sensitive during the initial days. One of the most important aspects that I looked into while selecting the right massage oil were the benefits of natural ingredients and moisturising capabilities! Choose an oil base that is mild and non-greasy, as it shall glide more easily over the baby’s body making it easy to absorb into the skin and not cause allergies or indigestion if the little one sucks on his hands or fingers. Another important thing is to always test the oil for potential allergies or reactions by dabbing a little bit on a small section of the leg. I did choose my massage oil very carefully.

As Dove, my favourite skincare brand ventured into baby care products - Baby Dove, I couldn’t wait to try them and ended up absolutely loving the products and vouching for them as I've had a chance to experience them. The Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Massage Oil is everything you want for your baby with it’s specially designed lock-in moisturising feature to soothe normal to dry skin. Additionally the light, non-greasy and fast absorbing formula keeps baby’s skin feeling soft and moisturised all day long. 

Massaging definitely has a lot of benefits for babies. So, if you are looking  reason to massage your baby, against some expert opinions, here are a few to begin with. 

§ Massaging deepens a physical and emotional bond with the baby. 
§ Massaging should be either done an hour before bath-time or bed-time.
§ Massaging helps enhance bone strength and assists weight gain. 
§ Massaging helps soothe the baby and encourage restful sleep. 
§ Massaging can be either with oil or cream, or use both alternatively. 

I chose to massage my little one until she was completely weaned and transitioned from a baby to a toddler. You should choose a massage routine after a few days of trials with your little one. Pick the right massage oil, choose a comfortable space, begin with gentle strokes, follow massage steps that your baby enjoys and share with me in the comments section how your experience with massaging a baby is. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Posted On January 10, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

With over 5,000 years of history, the six-yard of unstitched piece of elegance, a Saree is still one of the most loved attires. A saree is either passed down as an heirloom from generation to generation, or used as a functional garment worn everyday. Still ubiquitous, the saree can be seen even today at leading fashion shows, in bollywood movies, on every street in India, entrenched with the Indian culture. Over the years, the area has evolved, with many contemporary designers in India are experimenting with drape. Even though the Indian design community feels the debate of traditional versus modern that surrounds the attire, it is equally important that we are aware of the important shift in the garment aesthetics. 

The saree has definitely come of age and below are three styles that every contemporary Indian woman must dabble with at some point in time or another.  

Cape Saree
A woman's power to recognise herself overshadowing that of a superhero, is what a cape saree does for her. Capes have transcended from western wear to traditional wear and finally have made their presence felt with a saree too. Cape sarees are the simplest way to add fusion to your traditional wear without going overboard. Cape sarees give the larger than life effect and make the wearer stand out in a crowd. 

Saree Gown
A woman's go to attire to feel like a princess is the gown and what better than to bring together a saree and a gown to ensure traditional royalty. A perfect mix of traditional and modern clubbed into a drape that is half saree and half gown, giving her the elegance of a saree and the serenity of a gown, while making her look flawlessly agile and delicate, making her the cynosure of all eyes. 

Half Saree
A woman's resolve never to let go of the girl within her, has inspired the half saree. The half saree has been interpreted in two ways either as a three piece attire with a choli, lengha and a dupatta saree or a half and half combination saree put together with two different patterns. The half saree breaks the monotony of the drake with a fresh and stylish look. 

If you have tried any of these new modern saree styles then leave me comments about what has been your favourite, else browse though the latest sarees online and pick the best suited for you.

Until next time,
- Heena

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Posted On January 04, 2018 by Team iCynosure.

It’s 6:00 a.m. and the alarm is blaring. I reach for my phone, and swipe off the horrid noise and snuggle back into the quilt. In less than a minute I straighten up and get out of bed, knowing well that I’m already fifteen minutes behind schedule. I get dressed, head to the kitchen, make and pack lunches and start to get #PrincessHeer ready for school. As I wave goodbye and see the little flying kiss from the school bus, I head to work. Within minutes of reaching office, I start the grind of emails, designs, narrations and more. Yes thats practically me every day, Monday through Friday!

In all of the routines that I've created for myself, I have somehow lost the one thing that I loved the most, a nice cuppa! Its been ages since I sat peacefully sipping a cup of green tea looking out into the beautiful sky, enjoying its natural goodness. 

No one needs to really tell me how good natural green tea is, to improve my heart health, aid in weight loss, and prevent some serious ailments. But did I know that the antioxidants in green tea play a huge role in enhancing skin health, eliminating dark circles and treating puffy eyes while exhibiting anti-aging effects. Not only that green tea also helps improve scalp health and consequently strengthens hair. Of course I did! But did you? If not these reasons should be enough for you to add a cup of green tea to your daily liquid intakes. 

To my surprise, over the holiday season as I worked from home, DH made me a nice cup of warm green tea. It was perfectly flavoured, at a near accurate temperature, tempered with a few tulsi leaves and sprinkled with cinnamon dust. What I loved about the tea was that it was clear of any added flavour and was not bitter at all. It was one of the best green teas I’ve tried. Every sip was infused with the natural flavours of green tea, Tulsi and cinnamon. When I asked, DH introduced me to TE-A-ME Teas, a brand by Madhu Jayanti International Limited - a 70 year old company with a legacy of producing fine teas. The company serves 10 Million cups every day, across 42 countries, developing specific taste profiles to offer to a variety of choices. The product portfolio ranges from regular Black Teas to Aromatic Spice Teas and Fruit and Flower Infusions apart from the Natural Green Teas and the Wellness Infusions.

With such a huge palette of flavour that the brand offers and a house full of green tea lovers, I’m now experimenting with the ways I can make green tea. I’m addicted to Tulsi Green Tea and I'd prefer the normal preparation method that is green tea infused in warm water, while DH loves the Natural Green Tea as iced tea. 

For a little one who loves green tea as much as her parents do, I add a little twist to the preparation for her, I'm going to make Green Tea Ice Cream for her. How? Dip 3-4 bags Green Tea in a few spoons of hot water and let it cool. Whip one cup of heavy cream until it stiffens and add 1/4th cup of condensed milk and cooled green tea to it. Add the mix to a popsicle tray or ice cream pan and freeze as appropriate. Enjoy your Green Tea Ice Cream. 

So don’t let any excuse keep this miracle product away from your daily food intake. Give your health its benefits, give you pocket a break (To avail a 20% discount on use discount code HEENA20 during check out) and come back to thank us later. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Posted On December 24, 2017 by Team iCynosure.

Anyone who knows me, would definitely vouch for the fact that I’m super addicted to reading and television is actually last on my list of priorities. In fact I even restrict our cable TV subscription to the basic version because we hardly ever use it. 

But I guess all of this is going to change! Last month, I was invited by Netflix India to be part of an exclusive global community - the Netflix #StreamTeam to experience everything that the network has to offer. After much deliberation, and a humungous push from DH who practically lives on Netflix, I excited moved into #StreamTeamIndia. 

I'm sure you all know that Netflix is the world’s leading Internet Television Network with over 109 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of shows and films each day including original series, documentaries and feature film. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere on nearly all Internet-connected screens. members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Netflix also makes finding content that you might like really easy, through their best-in-class recommendation engine. 

It really intrigued me that DH made the most of his gruelling hours to and fro work in the crazy Mumbai traffic watching series after series on Netflix and I cannot wait for make a list of shows that I would want to catch. Another factor that I’m looking to explore is the Kids entertainment on Netflix. As most kids, #PrincessHeer is glued to television and online media, without much parental control which is a constant worry for me at work. Netflix promises some great options from educational cartoons to heartwarming dramas and even classic comedies, of which many have multiple seasons available, and absolutely no exposure to adult content. It sure is a good idea for me to establish some screen-time rules for Princess and chalk out the content that would be right for her to watch. 

Just on Christmas eve, I received my Netflix Stream Team Welcome Kit. And what a welcome it is!

Thank you Netflix, for the 32GB iPad that will help me remain glued to the network on the go!

Apart from the iPad, I also received a compact backpack, a notebook, a universal adapter, a portable speaker, a tumbler, a mug, a hoodie, a pillow and a year-long Netflix Subscription Pass.  

For the very first time, I'm eager to WATCH, DOWNLOAD and BINGE, ANY TIME - ANY WHERE with as part of #StreamTeamIndia with Netflix. If you are keen on trying Netflix, you can avail of a free one month trial here

Until next time, 
- Heena

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Posted On December 19, 2017 by Team iCynosure.

Your bedroom is the place where you come to rest and sleep after a long day, so it’s no surprise that the ‘cozy’ factor is something that ranks high for many people when it comes to putting their perfect bedroom together. Whether you’re redesigning your current bedroom or have recently moved home and want to make your new place cozy and welcoming, there are several things that you can do to create a more comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Here are some of our top tips for putting together a cozier bedroom space.

Tip #1. Hang the Right Artwork
When it comes to choosing artwork for the walls in your bedroom, the type of pictures and designs that you go for can have a big effect on how cozy and comfortable your room turns out overall. For example, paintings using darker colors can add to the ‘coziness’ of a room, whilst abstract designs tend to add a relaxing aspect. If you have a lot of open, unused space on the walls in your bedroom, then adding wall art such as paintings, posters, and photographs is one good way to fill and use up the space and make your room look cozier and more compact. 

Tip #2. Get the Lighting Right
If the lighting in your bedroom is too bright, then it’s not going to look as cozy as you probably want it to. The use of lamps or adjustable spotlights in your room is a much better choice than just one big main light since you can turn the brightness up or down depending on the mood. For example, have the lights bright in the morning when it’s time to wake up and leave them on lower during the evening as you’re relaxing and winding down. Fairy lights or string lights above your bed can add a nice touch, too. 

Tip #3. Use Blankets and Pillows
The more softer furnishings that you have in your room, the cozier it will look and feel. So, don’t be afraid to go to town on your bed when it comes to decorating it with blankets, pillows, throws and other soft furnishings. Even if you don’t use them all at night when you’re asleep, this can surely add a very cozy feel to your room and it’s always nice to know that you have extra blankets there if you need them. 

Tip #4. Get the Color Scheme Right
Lastly, if you’re currently redecorating your bedroom, then getting the color scheme right can add to the cozy factor. Dark colors, such as red, purple, dark blue or even black will make your room look and feel smaller, which can be great for a cozy and compact vibe. Or, if you’re hoping to open your room up but still want it to look comfortable, pastel colors such as light blues, pinks, cream and even yellow can all create an airy yet cozy effect. 

If you found these tips helpful for decorating your bedroom, we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. 

Posted On December 19, 2017 by Team iCynosure.

Embracing motherhood 7 years ago for me was more about welcoming the unknown rather than giving up on the known. The frustration, the joy, the fear, the anxiety, the nervousness and a million other emotions were playing havoc with my already super active – raging hormones, and add to that numerous unanswered questions that popped into my head every second, I was a certified pregzilla. But once #PrincessHeer arrived, my life changed from a crazed roller coaster ride to a luxurious relaxed drive.

Sometimes I sit and ponder what would have put me at ease during those crucial months and the one thing that surely makes way to my mind is a more approachable maternity team. Most traditional hospitals, including the one I was consulting with, treated me as a patient and I now know that being pregnant is not an ailment or an illness but a time for joyful celebration. Hence the most important thing that would put most pregnant ladies at ease would be a comfortable environment, attentive staff and medical expertise.

There has been a huge shift in the mindset of expectant mothers, who are now looking at pregnancy as a celebratory experience from the moment they test positive to the moment they have their babies in their arms. This thought process has put the industry too is regrouping and recognising this gap to cater to the ladies with world-class services and facilities. One of the pioneers in the segment who recognised this need early on, have gone on to set up Cloudnine, India’s leading chain of out-of-hospital, specialty maternity clinics. Since 2007, the team have launched its numerous clinics across India with the latest one being inaugurated by actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra and renowned neonatologist Dr. R. Kishore Kumar in Navi Mumbai, #NaviMumbaiOnCloudnine.
At #CloudnineHospitals, the team believes that a child is life’s greatest gift and pregnancy is one of the most magical experiences nature can offer. This gift deserves to be nurtured and cared for, not just at birth, but for the entire duration of your pregnancy. Which is why, they ensure each expectant mother the three C’s essential for embracing motherhood…. Clinical Expertise offered by the best in class technology and facilities, Celebration of the joyous occasion and Customer Satisfaction by constantly being available and attentive pre, during and post childbirth. Since inception the chain of specialty clinics have delivered more than 50,000 babies across India, emerging as a torch bearer in managing pregnancy from conception to delivery. Apart from the regular pregnancy, gynaecological, neonatal, paediatric care they also offer advanced infertility care and numbers other workshops that will help prospective parents take a step closer to embracing their bundle of joy. 

To know more about Cloudnine's facilities and services, click here

Until next time, 
- Heena