Saturday, October 29, 2016

Posted On 10/29/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Fall is almost here and we are actually experiencing some great weather here in Mumbai for a change. Its not too cold, but there is a definite drop in the air. I’ve started moving things around in my closet to accommodate some definite items that I will need.

Most of you know how much I love my basics… more often than not you will see me in a t-shirt and denims. I’d sometimes generously thrown in a few accessories and some trendy footwear, but thats about it. However as the climate gets a little cooler outside these days, I still prefer to stick to my favourites with a bit of a twist that makes me stand out. As the temperatures drop I layer my look with some amazing coats for women that simply work their magic while letting me be me. 

I am obsessed with outerwear, and I think it is the one piece of clothing that every woman should invest in. I wear coats in and out, especially during the winter months and so I ensure that my outerwear is both warm and stylish. So if you have to raid my closet today you will see it with innumerable options of outerwear including plaid flannel button downs, light jackets, dressy shrugs, trench coats and winter coats. 

Every girl should have a Trench Coat. I’ve attended a few launches for the Autumn-Winter brand collections and I want every single piece in all the collections. I highly recommend a Solid colour Lapel Breasted Coat for some one who wants to get their first Trench Coat. To have a closet full of options that you can never go wrong, you must invest in an elegant Quilted Jacket, or a super comfy Bomber Jacket or a luxurious Camel Jacket. With numerous options available, do not get blogged down. Choose wisely and play with a hint of colour, or experiment with interesting patterns and textures. This year I didn’t go window shopping, but picked my absolute favourites from the comfort of my home. I've discovered a huge selection of women's clothing, outerwear, spring coats, spring jackets and more at FashionMia, here are some of my favourites. 

So are you ready to face the dropping temperatures? If not, visit click here to visit FashionMia.
- Heena

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Posted On 10/26/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Clothes come and go, but Denims remain a staple in every wardrobe. With numerous styles available, no matter what denims make you rock .....skinny, boyfriend, high waisted, wide leg; there are countless ways to style them. I absolutely love my skinny jeans that are not only a flattering fit to compliment my silhouette but these super slim pants are an essential in every colour possible. My go-to pair feels like second skin, the fabric is something I’ve fallen in love with and I can think of a hundred ways to style them everyday. 

From some fun ways, to a few classic ways, to some experimental ways; I’ve curated a few looks for you with my Levis 711 to take clues from… 
Double Trouble

Double Trouble: Considered a fashion Faux Pas for the longest time, the denim-on-denim look is now one of the safest style bets. The trick I follow is to mix denim pieces in a way that they don’t compete with each other and to add minimum accessories as Denim-on-Denim is statement enough. I paired my Levis 711 with a B:Kind sleeveless shirt and contrasting FGali bellies. 

Mix Juxtaposition

Mix Juxtaposition: Go experiment with a fitted pair of denims with a structured blazer to project a easy professional look. I love to flaunt this combination that infuses street style with office chic to seamlessly blend into both the environments. I rolled up my Levis 711 to flaunt my ankles with a Chitwan Mohanlal Kitten Heels a gorgeous SheIn Floral Blazer. 

Statement Classic

Statement Classic: Styling denims with a pair simple cotton shirt is a great, effortless everyday classy look. I repeat this style combination as I feel I cannot go wrong with it. I like to add a little bit more drama to my look and so I included a double deep collar shirt from Yoins to the classic Levis 711 look and topped it up with a huge men’s Gearbest time-piece.

Sporty Chic

Sporty Chic: Whether out for a simple jog or to play light games, a stylish combination of denims and a gorgeous t-shirt is the ideal. I stepped out to stroll around in a mall and indulge in some fun activities at Planet Sports by adding a beautiful Punarvi top with my favourite Levis 711 and crocs loafers for a casual chic and sporty look.  

Indo Western Twist

Indo Western Twist: Camouflage your denims to layering with an over-powering outerwear such as shirt dress, tunic or gown. I experimented a hardly used style combination to stand out from my regular style of dressing. I kept my look simple with a Buzzaria thigh high-slit dress and added fine jewellery from Shoppers Stop with my Levis 711 as an under-layer and it looked magic. 

Which look would you want to try? Let us know in the comments below!
- Heena

Monday, October 17, 2016

Posted On 10/17/2016 by Team iCynosure.

Like many women I too was afraid to layer my clothes for the fear of looking a couple of sizes bigger than I am actually. While most experimentation would make it true, but if you master the art well, the style will be most perfect to compliment your figure and give you a flattering silhouette. 

Since I was equally concerned about layering, I tried a lot of variations and chalked out some simple tips to help you get started. 
§ If you have never layered before, start with solid colours, neutrals or striped. 
§ Keep the under-layers fitted, to keep and maintain your natural shape. 
§ Mixing length and proportion will be the key to the final look. 
§ Keep the accessories minimum, just sprinkle a few on. 

For my first brush with layering I picked a Sleeveless Flare Maxi Dress with an Under Dress Twinset from Zaful. The dress has a gorgeous Vintage feel to it and is perfect for the summers and the fall. 

Since it is made in linen-cotton blend it is a great buy for the Indian weather too. You can see it on the website here. I kept my look simple with the outerwear loose and drapey, but with a structured shoulder. I used colour blocking to create an illusion of layering without actually adding layers of clothing and most important I ditched the sleeves. So basically the dress did the layering for me.

#WhatIWore Dress: Zaful, Heels: Catwalk, Bag: StalkBuyLove, Watch: Titan, Sunnies: Tommy Hilfiger 

Now, layer to look your best. Head to Zaful, your one-stop online shop for today’s most daring, exciting and edgy fashion apparel. The affordable collections are all about redefining trends, design excellence and exceptional quality to satisfy the needs of every aspiring fashionista. Pick a product you would like to style from the brand and leave me your choice below for a chance to win it for yourself. 

Get layering,
- Heena

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Posted On 10/16/2016 by Team iCynosure.

The iconic cutlery brand Kishco, which has been a household name, since 1950 is India’s leading maker of exquisite cutlery, tableware, hotelware and gift items available in stainless steel, silver-plated and gold-plated ranges. The brand is constantly evolving with time – changing designs, adding new products and upgrading standards, using the best technology.

The brand has launched a new range of high quality cookware, Kishco Innochef. This cookware is made of food-grade surgical steel, using high technology which is suitable for stove tops, electric plates, ovens and induction. The Kishco Innochef is a unique, tri-ply cookware range designed to be super efficient, sturdy and long lasting.

We caught up with Namita Jain - Managing Director, Kishco Limited at a recently held Dining Etiquette Workshop and got questioning. 

Team ICynosure: Right off the bat, what are the three words that describe Kishco and the aesthetics?
Namita Jain: I think the 3 words would be : Timeless, elegant and luxurious.

Team IC: Tell us how Kishco came about?
NJ: Prior to 1950, there was this landmark store ‘Kishco’ , in marine drive that sold cutlery. Back then, we were looking to acquire new brands to expand our business interests. The brand ‘Kishco’ which stood for quality, is what captivated us, and we decided to procure the store and the brand. The rest is history; we worked on the brand, revamped the heritage store, and made it luxurious and contemporary. We expanded our product range –we sell cutlery, flatware, hotelware, gift items – both in stainless steel and silver-plated metals. Our products stand for quality and elegance. 

Team IC: What can your clients expect from you?
NJ: Our clients know that Kishco is a brand that they can trust. Besides the classic range we  also constantly manufacture new designs and products  - we use the latest technology in manufacturing without ever compromising on quality. They know that Kishco is a name synonymous with quality and fine craftsmanship.   

Team IC: Tell us about your retail shops.
NJ: We sell pan India in major stores. Also we have our own retail shop - Kishco showroom at Marine drive. We sell through reputed distributors in major cities across India, and are available at well-known retails shops pan India. 

Team IC: I can definitely appreciate your love and focus on luxury pieces — a piece that is authentically designed is so much more powerful. But luxury comes at a price.
NJ: We have always maintained international standards, used food grade metals, maintained superior quality and moved ahead with the times. Kishco is a ‘make in india’ brand which gives you the best quality comparable with any in the world, at highly competitive rates. Our range of products starts Rs 1000 upwards making the brand affordable for all

Team IC: Its great to hear someone so passionate about what they are doing and what they can bring to other people's lives. Where do you seek your inspiration from?
NJ: Kishco is a family business, I got immersed in the brand when i realized my contribution was critical and would make a positive contribution to the growth of the brand. It’s been an exciting journey and a challenging one too! I have to add that I never turned away from my fitness profession, I just balance and manage my time so that I can do both. When I am constantly learning, embibing, interacting, inspiring and contributing, I feel productive and happy.

How often do you revamp the designs?
Once or twice a year

Team IC: What advice would you offer others looking to enter the field?
NJ: Do your homework well. Keep your promises. There are no short cuts to quality. And it takes dedicated effort to maintain reputation. Most importantly – hang in there.. Don’t give up!
Team IC: Tell us something about the new cookware range.
NJ: Kishco has recently launched a premium brand of cookware. The Kishco innochef is a unique tri-ply cookware range, made of superior technology, designed to be super efficient, sturdy and long lasting. The Kishco Innochef is envisaged to be the pride of every kitchen. This product will be launched in August 2016, and taken to Major cities pan India. The main features of the products are: 
§  It is multi-usage; suitable for stove tops, electric plates, ovens and induction cookers. 
§  It is easy to handle; the unique technology keeps handles cool and food - hot!
§  It has a total thickness of 2.5 mm; therefore food doesn't get burnt and is cooked evenly.
§  It is safe and hygienic; made from food grade metal which is rust-free.
§  It is made from sturdy, finest quality, three layers of superior metal alloys bonded together. 
§ Due to the combination of alloys, food continues to cook even after the stove is off, thereby making it healthy and fuel efficient.

Check the collection for yourself, and bring in luxury in your kitchen.
- Heena

Friday, October 07, 2016

Posted On 10/07/2016 by Team iCynosure.

When she saw the dark clouds of expressions mirrored on my face, she smiled a little, consoling me, "Let the cloud burst, let's dance in the rain together." And that was the beginning for us. 

Meeta and I grew up together; as different as chalk and cheese, yet as similar as the beauty of emotion. She was a quiet mouse, I was the wild monkey. Our differences brought a balance to our relationship, at the same time testing our patience being with each other. Like any other friends we too have our share of memorable times with each other that we cherish and remember in small doses until we meet again to create new memories. Living is different cities has not taken a toll on our relationship, it has intact made the 'girls night out' more exciting and fun. Our time together is so precious, it feels like we just pick up from where we left off last time, much to the amazement of our hubbies. 

The last time we met was when Meeta was in transit and we caught up in Goa. Reminiscing our times in the land of sun and sand, we drifted into #YaaronKiBaraat trying to actually count the number of times we sneaked away from home to land in Goa. Though we failed to arrive at a number, our memories did bring back a funny episode....

The year we were officially declared teenagers by everyone, we twisted our ways into getting approval for an all girl-trip to Goa. It was beautiful, the beach was fierce, wild and inviting. As we stepped out of the hotel straight into the the beach we saw a line of docked Jet Skis. I suggested we go for a spin while Meeta cautioned me against it. 

“Since when did you learn to drive a BIKE?” she demanded. I hadn’t, but how different would it be than riding a cycle, I thought? 

Confidently I strode ahead and asked about renting the ski for half hour. After a zillion questions, a double deposit and a little verbal training, we started our voyage. Meets looked back and shouted for two life jackets. All ready we began to move, I was cautious at first and then we relaxed a bit and we enjoyed our time in the water. As the time to head back neared, I saw the attendant waving at us. 

Meeta mentioned how much fun we had while I was trying to remember how to stop the beast. I looked ahead and could literally see the shore approaching faster than what I has anticipated, and I panicked. "How to stop this?" I screamed, and all Meeta could do is look at me in the eye, stare for what seemed an eternity and whisper a prayer. "Switch the damn thing off as soon as we hit the shore." she yelled. As soon as I hit stop I could see explosions in my head, but all that really happened was that the bike nose-dived into the sand and we were flung into the air, to land on the sand. 

We hung in there for a while, literally kissed the earth and hugged each other in dramatic theatrical expressions while the poor attendant looked on. 

As we recollected our moments together, not only did we Celebrate the Taste of Togetherness From A to Z, Faster than Faster to ensure Ummeed se Saje Zindagi. And thats what Zee TV's new chat show Yaaron Ki Baraat is all about; friendships put to test through a series of fun challenges and tasks. 

I'm really excited to watch the series; especially with the line-up of super celebrity friendships and the crazy hosts. History will be created, as the show brings together two living legends of Indian cinema for the very time on a television. Sharing sepia-toned memories and heart-warming anecdotes from a friendship that spans over four decades; that fans haven’t had enough of. Recreating the magic from films like Dostana, Bombay to Goa, Naseeb, Kaala Patthar and Shaan, Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha will spill the beans on their friendship. Tune in to ZEE TV at 8 PM on 8th October to witness the magic.

Until then,
- Heena

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Posted On 9/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

With the number of stories, I hear about Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya these days, I’m very scared as a parent. Not only am I a mosquito magnet, but also is my daughter. If there is a mosquito around, it is sure to find us from a zillion people present. And leave us with ugly large skin bumps that will itch, get hard and sometimes cause mild fever as well.

I’ve learnt to be safe than sorry when it comes to mosquito borne illnesses and hence I’ve always mosquito repellents. Two thing that I really hate about mosquito repellents is one that the lotion/cream is be directly applied to the skin and second is its terribly pungent fragrance. Most repellents are infused with chemicals and hence using them on my little one’s skin always seemed a terrible idea.

Recently I came across Buzz Off! Mosquito Repellent Patch that offer a 12 to 18-hour protection from mosquitoes. Each 3"x3" patch claims to be infused safe, natural mosquito repelling Citronella Oil along with Eucalyptus Globulus Oil and Natural Plant Extract that forms a protective shield around your body. The patch is to be applied either on the clothing, or furniture or any place but not on the body. 

The brand also offers an After Bite Itch Relief that gives instant relief from mosquito bites, insect stings and other minor irritations. Buzz Off! After Bite Itch Relief subsides the itchiness, redness and inflammation of the skin right after an insect bite. A pen shaped roll-on, the product to be dabbed on directly on the bite or sting and rolled on gently for instant comfort. 

My Experience: 
The patches totally worked for us. The patches are available in two variants, one for children; patches with the cutest animal faces from lion and tiger to pig and cow, from monkey to koala and more. The other is an adult pack that has no-show camouflage solid colour patches. The fragrance is light and lasts for over 18 hours, ensuring no mosquito bites even when we spent an entire evening outdoors during the Mumbai Monsoons. I highly recommend the product for its non-toxic and 100% safe and natural formula. Though we didn’t really get a chance to try the After Bite, my sister used it, and announced complete comfort on application. The packaging is great, with a set of two in each sachet that makes it convenient to use as well as carry. The price off-hand seems a bit on the higher side at INR 220 for a box of 20, however on use it makes sense completely. Same with the After Bite roll-on, that is travel friendly size at a reasonable price of INR 199. 

Both the products are a must not only in your first aid box but also in your handbag and your child’s diaper bag. Have you used repellent patches or itch relieving products? Share your experiences in the comments below.
- Heena

Posted On 9/28/2016 by Team iCynosure.

You'll know you're in Washington when the rugged scenery of snow-capped mountains and forested islands unfolds before you. Washington is quite diverse, with a blend of natural and manmade attractions, traditional and urban outlooks — something to fit the needs of every traveller. With monuments and memorials, local flavour and eclectic neighbourhoods, and a coffee shop at every corner, travellers will feel at home in Washington. 

For me, it’s time to plan a getaway and opt for accommodations that are hidden gems, places that seem off-beat but offer something very special for every guest. I've found some of these rare, yet unique options for you to choose from. Enjoy this guide on what to do and where to stay in Washington

De-stress at the Cave B Estate Winery and Resort
Image Credit: Cave B Inn

Stay surrounded by vineyards, fragrant orchards, and thought-provoking natural beauty at the Cave B Inn a one-of-a-kind, back-to-nature stay facility. The Inn offers four different accommodation options to choose from, ranging from private Cliffehouses, to Cavern Rooms, to gorgeously designed Inn Suites, and rugged Desert Yurts. The resort is perfect for a variety of experiences alternating from relaxation and pampering to fun and adventure.

Stay connected at the DoubleTree by Hilton
Image Credit: DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

In the bustling city, stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport a hotel that connects every traveller across the city to the majority of Seattle's connectivity points and major attractions within record time. The hotel's proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Sound Transit Light Rail Station makes the entire city accessible to travellers. With a full-service business centre, a fitness centre, and multiple dining options, it is a perfect home away from home. 

Shop by the Inn at the Market
Image Credit: Inn at the Market

Stay right by the most popular tourist destination in Seattle, the Pike Place Market, at the Inn at the Market. The Inn at the Market is a tranquil stay option that offers modern style and comfort amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Pike Place Market and the Seattle Waterfront. Laze on the rooftop deck enjoying the panoramic view of ferries crossing Puget Sound into a glistening sunset. 

Book convenience with the Cedarbrook Lodge
Image Credit: Cedarbrook Lodge

One of the finest hotels in the city, Cedarbrook Lodge is not only popular for its proximity to the airport but also for the value and comfort it offers its guests. The lodge is built on 11 acres of lush green wetland, and is a visual delight with its stunning views of landscaped lawns and flower gardens. The culinary program inspired by the Northwest is one of the most valued aspects of the lodge that makes guests choose it above the other available options. 

Experience extra-ordinary at the Marriott
Image Credit: Seattle Airport Marriot

Travellers opt for the Seattle Airport Marriott for an experience beyond the ordinary. The magnificent interiors welcome travellers with its warm stone fireplace and wood-beamed atrium that spells luxury and comfort. The hotel offers an ideal setting for families with its spacious guest rooms equipped with the latest technologies and upscale amenities, a gorgeous indoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness centre. 

Are you ready to visit? Pack your bags now. 
- Heena 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Posted On 9/26/2016 by Team iCynosure.

My list of must-visit places while researching for my dream holiday in the U.S. is getting longer each day. I've unearthed Virginia, known for its slogan "Virginia is for Lovers," and decided it is everything I need to make my adventure unforgettable. 

Virginia is perfect whether I want to take a romantic trip with my better half or plan a fun-filled getaway with my entire family. The state offers numerous options for holiday makers to choose from, whether you want to explore its rich history with a modern twist, its breathtaking natural beauty nestled between mountains and beaches, its manmade adventure parks, or its local produce and award-winning wineries. Virginia has a something to offer to every traveller. My itinerary for Virginia is chalked out, however I'm researching stay options and have narrowed down my search to the following hotels. 

Experience Luxury at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel
Image Credit: Omni Charlottesville Hotel
One of the more luxurious properties in Virginia, Omni Charlottesville Hotel is a perfect blend between the city's unique history and expected modern luxury. The accommodations boast contemporary comfort and offer a host of amenities designed to make the stay unforgettable. The concierge service offers guided tours as well as admission tickets and passes for guests to the local attractions. 

Experience Convenience at the Richmond Marriott
Image Credit: Richmond Marriott
One of the largest hotels in Richmond, the Richmond Marriott is a property complete with modern facilities in the lap of natural beauty. The hotel connects with the Greater Richmond Convention Centre via a skywalk, putting guests just steps from all the local attractions. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to numerous dining and entertainment venues. 

Experience Heritage at the Linden Row Inn 
Image Credit: Linden Row Inn 
A unique historic urban hotel situated in downtown Richmond, the Linden Row Inn is a heritage hotel of seven row houses built in the mid-1800s and restored over the years. The hotel is conveniently located just a few minutes away from the local attractions in the capital area. Decorated with antique pieces, the guest rooms are perfect for romance of an era gone by. 

Experience Modernisation at the Omni Richmond Hotel 
Image Credit: Omni Richmond Hotel 
To enjoy the true refinement of Southern luxury paired with contemporary design, guests must consider the Omni Richmond Hotel. The Omni Richmond is a perfect choice whether you're travelling for business or pleasure. The hotel boasts timeless architecture, first class dining options, and numerous entertainment facilities that are sure to engage guests and leave a remarkable and unforgettable memory of their stay.

Experience Beauty at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel 
Image Credit: Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel 
The Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel situated at the end of the Virginia Beach, offers majestic panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The highlight features of the hotel are the rooms featuring private balconies with sweeping ocean views and contemporary amenities including complimentary internet connection and room service. 

Have you stayed at any of these hotels? Tell me in the comments below which hotel would you choose for your stay? 
- Heena

Friday, September 23, 2016

Posted On 9/23/2016 by Team iCynosure.

This post was originally published on 'Hipmunk's Tailwind Blog' on March 4th, 2016 by Kelly Soderlund.

As a travel expert, TV host, and writer, Brandon Presser is no stranger to life on the go. Presser, who has visited more than 100 countries, has penned over 50 travel books, and is a regular contributor for such publications as Afar, Travel + Leisure, The Daily Beast, and National Geographic Traveler. And while he may be well known in the travel industry, he’s about to experience a whole new level of recognition: Presser is the lead host of Bravo TV’s new travel-based reality show, “Tour Group“, which tags along as 11 travelers search for the ultimate vacation. (10 p.m. EST/PST on Bravo.)  We got Presser to stay in one place long enough to give us his best travel advice, his favorite places to go, and the items he can’t leave home without.  
Hipmunk: So, tell us. What’s in your carry-on?
Brandon Presser: A dopp kit with some small essentials like eye drops, moisturizer, a travel toothbrush, Advil, and Ursa Major face towelettes; a small pouch with some lucky charms (a few pebbles I’ve collected from different beaches around the world–I’m a little superstitious!); a good book (that I never finish); an iPad fully loaded with some of my favorite movies; Bose headphones; and Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Granola Bars.

H: Carry on bag of choice? 
BP: If I’m hauling some serious carry-on luggage and want the flexibility of bringing more things home, I go for the Dakine Over Under bag, which can grow and shrink in size. For quick trips I’m obsessed with Fjallraven’s safari duffle.

H: How often do you travel?
BP: I’ll travel through roughly 15 countries a year, which has me on one or two large trips a month. Last year’s highlights included everything from Tahiti to Portugal, and leading 11 strangers on a world tour through Africa and Asia while making “Tour Group.”

H: First, business class or coach?
BP: Each travel project I work on has different travel parameters–sometimes I’m in coach, other times I’m in first. I can tell you that it’s super hard to do a long-haul flight at the back of the plane after being treated to the flat beds up front.

H: Ok, now that we’re warmed up, let’s play a game of favorites. Favorite city to visit for work? Why?
BP: Tokyo is the best canvas for my work–whether it’s researching and writing articles and guidebooks or leading travelers through the incredible neighborhoods. The city is an endless well of oddities and curious fads. (Read Brendon’s articles on Tokyo’s oddities and fads here).

H: Favorite city for play? Why?
BP: Luckily, my work life and play life are closely intertwined. And Tokyo never stops inspiring me to get out there and explore with its thousands of cool restaurants, bars, shops and public spaces.

H: Favorite hotels?
BP: I’ve stayed in more than 2,500 hotels worldwide, so this is definitely a tricky one to answer. In the last 12 months some of my hotel highlights have included: Four Seasons Bora Bora, Twin Farms in Vermont, and Roch Castle in Wales.

H: Favorite airline? Airport? Airport Terminal?
BP: I’m really loving JetBlue’s newest aircrafts right now–the entertainment system is bigger and better than ever, the coach seats really aren’t bad, and there’s an endless supply of snacks. Portland’s PDX wins domestically for making a promise to its traveler to not price gauge on snacks and supplies. And Hong Kong wins internationally for Cathay Pacific’s awesome business class lounge with delicious food and state-of-the-art shower facilities.

H: Any travel tips before you take off?
BP: Change your place; change your luck.