March Favourites

Hello, It’s time for my monthly favourites! March has been so slow paced for me and it feels like it’s going on forever but since we’re heading towards the end, I thought I’ll list out everything I have been using and loving this month, let me know your monthly favourites or your blog links on the comments, I’d love to read them.


1)  L’Oreal Paris Kajal Magique Bold:

I ran out of Maybelline Collosol Kohl liner, so I bought this instead and it’s so much better than the Maybelline Kohl liner, I have used their L’Oreal Paris Magique kohl pencil but this is their new edition to the range, I absolutely love both the liners but this is definetely darker and smoother, especially if you’re using it on your waterline. I have already mentioned I love eyeliners and kohl’s, this is probably my favourite liner.

INDIAN SHOPPERS-http://www.nykaa.com/l-oreal-paris-kajal-magique-bold-pack-of-2.html?root=customeralsoviewed_reco

2) Handmade Paper Journal:

My sister took a trip to Rajasthan recently and she bought me a cute little leather journal with handmade paper from there because I write and I just thought it’s thoughtful and it absolutely love it.
3) Maybelline Fit me Concealer- I have been using this throughout March and It’s really light weight and does not feel cakey or heavy on your face. It’s a mild conceale and it gives medium coverage but you can build it as per as your makeup look, I am in the shade Medium Beige Sand 20, it does not work great on red marks but it does a good job with undereye bags. It also comes with an applicator, so you can directly apply to your face but I do not recommend that.

INDIAN SHOPPERS- http://www.nykaa.com/maybelline-new-york-fit-me-concealer.html?&root=search&searchterm=maybelline%20fit%20me&type=product&ptype=product 
4) ‘Hello Beautiful’  Shea & Vitamin E body lotion By bath & body works 

I’ve been using this a lot lately because my skin tends to get a bit dry and this has a really subtle fragrance but it’s still lasts all day and keeps my skin hydrated. It’s non-greasy formula makes absorption quicker and leaves my skin soft and smooth. 

Shop it here- http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/graphics/product_images/pBBW1-23188829enh-z8.jpg

5)” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” 

I found this on Netflix and I binged watched the entire two seasons in a week. It is created by Tina Fey and at times it gets repetitive, frivolous and extremely boring but the unique storyline and the rawness of the characters makes it authentic and likable. 

Trailer-

6) ‘Catch 22’ by Joseph Keller.

I recently just found this on my bookshelf and I hadn’t read it for some reason but I absolutely love it. You have to re-read a couple of times to really feel the book but it’s one of the best books I’ve read.

These were my favourites of January, let me know what’s yours in the comments.

Yours, 

Praagna.

Send me hate/love/enquiries – praagnaprasad@gmail.com

Guest writer: “Inconsistent thoughts”

Some thoughts or images overwhelm me constantly. These feelings which bloom, in the depths of my ragged soul cannot be put into words at that moment. Simultaneously, my emotions are ambiguous. I become tiny in my mind, a speck in the world of endless possibilities or a waste of opportunities. I wander to a far away peace in my head. The sanctuary of mine where I am accompanied by only my failures and regrets. This gets me thinking about how human beings are such beautiful creatures capable of creating magic through art, words and creativity. 

When I get trapped in my imagination, I feel like I’m restless. I want to be in so many places at the same time and yet, I make no move to make that possible. Procrastination is the demon that sits on my right shoulder while dreams are the angels on my left. Maybe that’s why I don’t lose hope. Negative vibes are inevitable and it’s easy to talk the walk but when given an opportunity, insecurities surface. I see geniuses around me and all I want to do is to see them at work. The confidence and knowledge that oozes out through them gives me pleasure. This is what everyone should live for. The passion. The life. The joy. Nothing else is significant. 

Nevertheless, my mind baffles me. It amazes me to even comprehend the fact that my mind can think about so many contradicting thoughts at once but that’s the beauty of it all. The worst part of it all is that I can’t express what goes in my head because words do it no justice. Words are meaningless when compared to these goosebumps inducing feelings. 

To see people who are superficial, makes me want to shake them and pour some sense into them but at the same time, I do nothing because as selfish as it sounds, I like enjoying the magnificence of the world through my own eyes without any corruption from others’ opinions. I feel like I’m a different person inside my physical body and for sure, no one I meet in my life will meet this person. I hate what I am outside. Too rash. Too rude. Too inconsiderate. But circumstances make people what they are. 

I wait for the time I can say that I’m a grown up without petty problems, yet, I want to be a carefree child with silly worries. I dread the responsibilities the future holds,I dread the future itself.

Written by my friend, Reshma Ram//

Cook with me: Vegetable Samosa

Hi, guys! I hope all of you are having a great week, I have been extremely busy this week and I thought for today’s blog post, I’ll share with you the recipe of Samosa, it’s one of my favourite Indian snacks and I love making it just as much as I love eating it.  I love Indian food more than anything in the world, it’s so easy yet flavourful.

INGREDIENTS:

This is a two part process, first is making the dough after which we have to prepare the stuffing for the Samosa.

FOR DOUGH:

Flour( maida)    –        1 cup

Carom seeds( optional) – 1/2 tspn

Ghee/oil             –         3 tblspn

salt                     –          as per as taste

For stuffing:

Shelled green peas    – 1/2 cup

Oil                                – 2 tblspn + for frying

Cumin seeds             – 1tspn.

Chopped ginger       – 1tspn

Chopped green chillies – 1tspn

Potato cubes( 1/2 cm)   – 2 cups

Red chilli powder         – 1tspn

Dry Mango powder     – 1tspn

Garam masala powder  – 1tspn

Chopped Coriander leaves or cilantro – 1tblspn

  Method of Preparation:

  1.  Mix the dough ingredients. Add water slowly, little by little and turn into a hard dough. Keep the dough under a wet cloth for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Cook green peas in salted boiling water until it turns soft. Refresh in cold water and drain out excess water.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds to the boiling pan, once it starts to change it’s colour to a darker shade, it starts splattering and that’s when you add chopped ginger, chopped green chilli and diced potatoes. Add red chilli powder, salt, dry mango powder, garam masala and stir well.
  4. Sprinkle water and leave them to cook until potatoes are done. Add shelled green peas and mix well.
  5. Divide the dough into sixteen equal portions and roll them into balls. Apply a little flout and roll them into four inch diamter elonagted diskettes.
  6. Cut into half, apply water on the edges. Shape them into a cone and stuff it with the potato and peas filling, seals the edges and deep fry in a medium hot oil till crisp and golden brown.
  7.  Serve hot with Green chutney or Tomato Ketchup.

    I hope you all enjoyed the recipe, it’s easy and extremely delicious. Let me know, if you liked this recipe in the comments below.

     

    A procrastinator’s guide to studying:tips and tricks

    Hi, guys! Hope all of you are having a great weekend, I thought about writing this blog post because over the years, I have picked up some tricks on how to study efficiently and if I can do well, academically anyone can because I’m the most absent-minded person and I hardly paid attention in school which is why I had to put more effort at home. I’m no way an expert, everything I know is because of personal experience of TEDx talks. I have linked some videos and articles along with it, to help you understand the science behind what I’m saying.

    So, if you’re a procrastinator or you just hate studying, this should be useful to you. Let me know, if this works for you and your tricks and tips in the comments below.

    1)  MAKE TO-DO LISTS: 

    This sounds lame and cliche but the first step to get work done is listing out what has to be done, you don’t need to open a fancy planner that has cool stickers, you can write it down a post-it or just anywhere. This helps your brain in getting a clear idea of what you have to do and by putting a deadline to it, your more likely to perform it. It’s also important to set realistic tasks, if it’s your first day back at school after a vacation, or your starting a new subject or anything for that matter, start slow, do not burden yourself with more than 4-5 tasks a day unless you can execute it, once you have set the pace, take it forward and eventually push your boundaries.

    I have linked an article from Forbes Magazine on Five Best TO-DO LIST TIPS -https://www.forbes.com/sites/vanessaloder/2014/06/02/five-best-to-do-list-tips/#44a030c2651b

    2) Offer to tutor: 

    I do not recommend this to everyone but teaching others what you have learnt is a great way to retain as well as well strengthen your concepts, My  explaining it to someone your breaking down the concept into easier bits, which your brain can hold on to and when someone poses a question, you learn from them. It’s a win-win for everyone, I do this all the time with my friends because sometimes a friend explaining the concept of Magnetism is better than the teacher or that YouTube channel that uses big words.

    3) Switch it up:

    Don’t stick to one topic; instead, study a bunch of different material in one sitting. This technique helps prepare us to use the right strategy for finding the solution to a problem. For example, doing a bunch of division problems in a row means every time we approach a problem, we know it’ll require some division. But doing a series of problems that require multiplication, division, or addition means we have to stop and think about which strategy is best. Also, don’t sit the whole day and cram just one subject unless it’s the previous day of you exam. Eg: Do one chapter from Math, then switch to a language or a social science or an elective. Switching up makes you belive you have done a lot more and since you’re constlatly learning new rhings, your mind gets sharper and absorbs better.

    4) Learn what works.

    Some people are early birds, some are night owls; some prefer to study with a pal, others need complete and total silence. There is no right method or a right way to follow, figure out what works best for you and do that. My mother always forced me to study early in the morning then late at night but I cannot study in the morning, I’ll sleep through my alarms.

    5)Work smart, not hard:

    This is so important to understand, especially if you’re in a higher grade or college when you have loads to study but work efficiently. One of my friends, write’s down everything neatly and spends hours in doing that and she studies three of four times the same concept again and again which is not wrong but if you put the same number of hours understanding the concept rather than cramming it up, you will remember better. I study 10 percent of what she does and I’m able to answer the paper better because I understand the concept, this works well if you’re  a science student but when you’re studying arts, social studies and management subjects you have to visualize what you’re studying, only then you can retain it and remember it. I was really good at History, I always scored well in History even though I dropped it, I remember most of  everything I learnt in school because I was so fascinated by it, I used to google the topics in depth and learn more than what was  syllabus required.  Watch YouTube videos, you can get ton of information on any topic in the world through Youtube, I have learnt half of C++  programming through YouTube than from my textbooks.  I love Khan’s academy, whether you’re in highschool or college, you will find everything you need in there.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy

    6)Make Notes effectively:

    When I say make notes, you do not have to write down everything in the textbook. Use the writing space freely, make pop-ups, use colored highlighter, colored-post its and make up acronyms to remember better.  Write down only the key words, so when you come back to it, you should be able to connect the entire topic with the keyword.

    7) Keep some munchies next to you:

    Always, have snacks while studying and I don’t mean potato chips and oily food, keep something healthy, like some flax seeds, diet-biscuits on high fibre, fruits, almonds, yogurt. Avoid sugar and heavy meals.

    8) Take Study Breaks:

    I  take mini-breaks between subjects, half hour or 15 minute breaks in the middle of your session is not bad for you, it’ll motivate you to finish your studies quicker.

    9)Meditation:

    Not a lot of people know this about me but I have been mediating for a while now and it has made a complete difference in the way I approach anything in life. Mediation helps you build concentration and calms your nerves, you learn faster  and quicker while eliminating frustration from your system. If this is not you thing, play sports preferably that helps build your concentration as well as gives you a recreational break while burning calories.

    These were my tips and tricks that I use everyday to help me study better, let me know yours in the comments.

    Yours,

    Praagna.

    Document my week: DAY 2

    Hi guys, I’m sorry I’ve been super busy and not been able to update my blog or complete this post. Anyway, I thought I’ll write about a day in my life, my summer holidays have now ended and I have classes so this what is like on most days.

    I woke up at around 5. 45 am today, I got class at 6 am, it’s really close to my house so they commute takes 4-5 minutes, I just brush my teeth and wear pants, pack some cereal to eat in the car and move. It’s so hot in the place I live in, my institution does not allow shorts or skirts so I have to wear full pants everyday which I thought was sexist but the guys aren’t allowed to wear shorts too, so basically everyone is just sweating and half-asleep in class. My mother drives me everyday, we pick up my friend and we go, I reach about 6.05 am and I have class till 8.00 am after which I literally run home(I sit in the car and the driver takes us back home but whatever)

    I have been working out lately but I don’t go to the gym, I do some abs and leg workout at home from the 30 day challenge app that I downloaded from my phone. I basically eat and waste time until noon, my cook arrives around then and she makes something for lunch and dinner, It’s usually rice, Indian Bread with Dal or some curry. I study from 12.30-2.30, I try to atleast, some days I’m productive some days I just cry about it and watch stand-up comedy on YouTube. Since I get up early everyday, I take a nap in the afternoon, usually but I tend to go out otherwise, I went out for lunch the other day and I’ll be going for a movie tommorow but if I’m at home, I sleep which is odd because I used to hate napping and I used to pride upon myself that “Afternoon naps are for sick people or unemployed people” but I guess, I have to take that back.

    I have evening class at 5.30 pm and it goes on until 9.30 pm, so I get home around 9.40pm completely exausted and sleepy, I go for a walk after that and crash. This is what my day looks like, it’s pretty boring but I need to work hard to be able to enjoy the rest of my life.

    Let me know, how your day is in the comments, leave your blog links and I’ll read them.

    Yours,

    Praagna.

    Watch with Me: Netflix Originals

    Hi guys, I’m back with my ‘Watch with me’ Series and today’s post is all about Netflix originals, I have already mentioned in my previous blog posts that I am not the biggest fan of Netflix but the their original content is outstanding and I have been watching a lot of Netflix in the past two weeks, which I thought were worth mentioning and for those of you unaware of what ‘watch with me’ is, I basically list out movies/tv serials etc that I have watched and loved.

    The Fundamentals of Caring:  Created by Rob Burnett, starring Paul Redd, Jennifer Elhe, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez in the lead. I stumbled upon this on Netflix and it had a solid 5 stars on its review and instantly made me watch this. The movie touches upon dark human emotions like guilt, loss, anguish and conceals the depth of these emotions with dark humour. The movie essentially is about a boy, Trevor who has paralysiscm and his caregiver, Ben who is a damaged retired writer looking for a new job and the dynamics of their relationship. It’s heart-warming, witty and effortlessly funny.

    Rating- 4/5 stars             

                               Trailer- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXn-lIs4Y0

    ONE DAY AT A TIME:  Am I the only one who sings the hymn “One Day at a time, sweet jesus” every time I see or hear the phrase, 12 years of convent education has rubbed on me anyway this a Netflix original series and it’s absoluetely one of the best shows I have watched in a while, it has every element for a great family show, it’s a remake of Norman Lear’s classic 1975 sitcom revolves around a Cuban-American family headed by a recently separated military mother who’s navigating a new single life while raising two children with the ‘help’ of her own mother and a building manager named Schneider. It’s highlights real-life issues of homophobia, racism and various other aspects of an Immigrant’s life with warmth, humour and love. I binged watched the whole series in 2 days because it’s that good.

    Ratings- 4.5/5

    TRAILER- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNFFleycS8k

    MASTER OF NONE:

    Aziz Ansari’s Master of None is a post-racial dating and relationship sitcom about millennials. Like the better dating sitcoms of the past, the series still manages to capture the anxieties of dating, of new relationships, and of settling down, only it successfully brings in texting and social media into the mix naturally and without calling attention to itself. It also explores intimacy without resorting to gender stereotypes or relationship clichés and to be honest at times, I was slightly bored but It’s new, and unique, and most of all, it is kind. It’s a good series about genuinely good people, and the chemistry between Ansari’s character and his love interest (Noel Wells) is electric. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny and some scenes were poorly executed humour but Master of None is funny in its observations, clever in its writing and honest in the depiction of its characters. The story picks up as the show proceeds and forces you to come back for another episode and they’re coming back for a season 2 realizing this April, so stay tuned.

    Ratings- 3/5 

                         Trailer- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bFvb3WKISk 

    ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK:

    Jenji Kohan’s knack for social commentary mixed with humor is perfect for a prison story. Orange Is the New Black is as funny as Weeds in its early years.  The diverse, engaging ensemble cast is chock-full of fan favorites, and while Orange is the New Black traffics in stereotypes, it also challenges and complicates them. The acting is superb, the writing is brilliant, and the storylines are addictive. More importantly, it forces us to root for people who make poor decisions and appreciate the fact that we all make poor decisions because we’re human. The series will make viewers laugh and think, and every once in a while, it will break viewers’ hearts. It is a smart show, but most of all, it is good, in every sense of the word.

     

    Ratings-3/5

                     Trailer-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY0qzXi5oJg 

    House of cards: 

    House of cards was a game changer for Netlfix, it put Netflix on the road map to Emmy awards and it’s the longest running show on Netflix.It’s a drama about a ruthless congressman and his equally ambitious wife who navigate the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. I just finished season 1 and I am obssesed with it. It’s well acted on fronts and engrossing in all of the right ways, House of Cards Season 1 brings a dark, twisted and addicting character piece to life with confident direction and a great visual style, pretty much every character is detestable and slimey as you can possibly imagine but House of Cards is a darkly evolving, superbly written and complex political drama, with bits of dark comedy gold and a scary look at what goes on int the white house. Every actor is at the top of their game here but some episodes tend to get a bit repetitive on their formula.

    Ratings-4/5

    Trailer- https://youtu.be/ULwUzF1q5w4

    These are my top picks from Netflix Original Series, there’s a long list of things that I should yet watch and I will be back with more reviews and favourites. Let me know, what I should watch next and you’re favourites in the Comments.

    Send me love/hate/enquiries- praagnaprasad@gmail.com

    Positivity & letters

    I did not want to write about this because it’s pretentious and unbearably preachy but I also think it’s a very relevant topic and I want to try be and as real as possible.

    To understand the depths of human relations, I have always played close attention to people and how they treat others but most importantly, themselves. How you treat people is a facade, it’s not completely who you are, your either pretending to be someone or hiding your true self to avoid judgement or both but you can tell a lot about people from how they are with themselves, which is completely transparent to their soul. Most often, negativity and hate is rooted because of neglect of own self or unhappiness that is derived from within, the external environment plays a huge role most time but not always. It’s subjective as to what is an ideal environment and what is not but the feelings are internal, the non-ideal situation just builds and adds weight to those feelings.

    The people you hang out with and interact with play an important role in your mental health, by default. The loss or deviation from those relationships affect our mental health.  Most people I meet are extremely pessimistic for no reason at all, there are people dying and some countries are still on War against each other and if you gained a wider perspective about the world you would realise how infinitesimally small most of our problems are and that it’s normal to feel negative emotions as long as you have the ability to snap out of it and positively move on  from it.

    My father, is by far the most positive and resilient person I have met while my mother, the most timid in the household agrees that I get my positive nature from my father and I have always been that way, I see the world through an innocent eyes which is why I can never see the bad, I always presume the best of people but I can identify ill-intentions immediately which works out fine most times but there has been times where I am completely engulfed in my self-absorbed misery due to my first world problems and I went through this phase in my life where I started writing letters to myself and I would put it in a white envelope that I made and throw it in a bag. These weren’t complaining statements or  a letter describing what devious thing that had occurred, it’s just a letter that I wrote when I was sad about how I should not feel that way or self motivational talks, to myself by myself. I started this when in 2013 and my most recent was in January, I have a handful of letters by now and I cannot begin to explain how helpful or influential it has been in the past few months and looking back and re-reading those letters gave me an insight on how I’m always dealing with petty problems no matter if I’m 14 or 18 or 89.  The nature of these letters is such that it does not remind of what I was going through when I wrote them or the incidents in my life in those timelines, it simply motivates it.

    You can put 1000 quotes plastered all over your house by famous dead people but only you can control how you see, feel and behave to things and people. Positivity is not something that can be thought, it’s contagious but not necessarily transferred. Self-love and self-understanding is important and read a book, watch a film or travel around and experience how diverse the universe is, Depression, Anxiety etc is not cool, stop glamorizing it.

    My journey to  quitting social media

    On my last blog entry, I spoke about how I was trying to make some changes in my routine where I did not mention one of the biggest lifestyle change that I was making, quitting social media.

    I have been on social media even before puberty and over the years I’ve literally been signed up for everything from Snapchat, Vine to Twitter and Orkut(90’s kids can relate) and by now I was completely caught up in the virtual dynamics these applications offer and it’s a shame how my entire life revolved around Snapchatting that funny joke my friend made or taking an aesthetically pleasing photo of the fancy food I’m eating. Whenever I’d go out for a vacation or even a simple dinner, I’d think about the content value it offers to my social media platform. I would get up in the morning and check my Instagram or Facebook page and count on my followers and I’d repeat the same process before I go to bed. Without much effort, I’d programmed my body into creating every memory or experience into virtual content to  please and be socially accepted by random people I don’t care about and this was affecting my social wellbeing in ways I could not understand.

    As a generation obsessed with the maximization of technology, I find it very hard these days to sit down and have a real conversation with someone who is not trying to Instagram it for likes with #deeptalks. I’d be hypocritical if I said I despise social media because I don’t, I love scrolling through my feed aimlessly or the feeling of validation you get when you receive a certain amount of likes you recieve on your picture or a tweet but  it’s exhausting and kind of sad, if you think about it. The idea that someone else’s life is better than yours not only depresses you but also you develop feelings of hate, jealousy and bitterness and eventually lead to social media depression .

    Initially, I only thought of quitting social media to fulfill  my academic commitments and that being an excuse I tried to delete Facebook during my exams and then would immediately re-activate it as soon as I would finish my exams and I made a habit of it, soon I got Instagram which I only got addicted to after I gained more followers and I would carry out the same process of activating and re-activating and by default I had trained my mind that if I wasn’t studying I should be on social media and any chance I got I’d use my phone. If I saw something funny or if I was at a party and I did not Snapchat it, I would be miserable as if I fucked up an interview for my dream job and this is not even an exaggeration. All of this excessive trash I knew from stalking various people from social media made me more bitchy and bitter and I started to analyze this change in my conversations from movies,politics, sex to “what was she wearing in that photo?”

     

    Somewhere towards the end of 2016, I deleted Facebook because I had mid-terms the following month but this time after I had finished my exams I did not re-activate it, which I would consider the tipping point in my whole “quit social media” conquest and that time I did not or understand how dependant I was on it and this was completely a spontaneous decision but I was still supremely addicted to Instagram and I would post four-five times a week and it was only until the beginning of 2017, I was exhausted both physically and emotionally from the excess usage of social media and I would be so annoyed by people or just generally so unhappy. This past year has been incredibly hard on me and I would go through with my day and return home by 9.30 pm completely exhausted and I would waste my entire time On my phone right through dinner and sometimes I’d be on it till mid-night and I’d use my stressful day and hectic routine as an excuse for my addiction but I decided for good that I was going to quit social media recently and it was extremely tough decision to make because all my friends are still on it, I would be the last one to know who’s dating whom and who’s going where but I can finally have conversations, go to a party and actually experience it with my own eyes rather through my phone. At times ,  I get up in the morning and I reach for my phone but I don’t find anything and it’s a nice feeling. I have been using my phone comparatively less without being excluded from any conversation and it has not affected my social life on bit, I still do the same thing with the same people , attend the same places and sometimes I do feel bad when I’m in a really fancy vacation or a  restaurant and I can’t let random people feel jealous about and the only positive is that is you’re not able to feel these emotions about others when they’re posting the same things. Quoting The Breakfast Club “You  ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people”

    I would not say social media is a terrible thing and should be banned and other pretentious things like that and I know so many people who are on every virtual platform who does not make it the centre of their lives. This detox has had a positive effect for me and since I have been dependant on it for years and years together and It’s time I take  a big break from all the bullshit chaos that surrounded it and not knowing where XYZ is having coffee with the cute bearded senior or which Vogue cover Kendall Jenner is on feels so liberated in a weird sense and I will mostly be back on either one of the apps, whatever is cool and trending then, in a few years or right after I join college or maybe never but it’s time I start experiencing things and truly enjoy being in the company of my friends and family without, in the truest of forms.

    For anyone giving up social media or feel similarly, try deleting one platfrom at a time and slowly decrease your dependance on it.

    Send me love/hate/enquiries – praagnaprasad@gmail.com

    Lifestyle Changes: Turning Vegetarian,college & weight loss

    Over the past few months, I have been dealing with a lot of unwanted stress and negativity that I brought upon myself for no reason at all and it got me thinking about a lot of my habits which eventually led to re-evaluating my choices but I was waiting for an oppurtinity to implement it into my day-to-day lifestyle. I am currently enjoying a break from academics but I have to start attending classes from the 20th of this month and it will be senior year in junior college before I go to university next year, so it’s quite a crucial year for me. I have had some time and I’ve been thinking of all the things I fucked up during the past year and how to make up for it, both professionally and personally. I have also had to deal with gaining weight and body issues, the past year. I’m not obese or fat but I’m not as fit and healthy as I was or would like to be. Since, it’s still the beginning of the year, I thought about set some goals to change the way I function in order to be healthy and use my time productively.

    As, I mentioned above I start classes from 20th, March and I have about five-six classes a day just thinking about it stresses me out but I’m hoping I plan well in advance and stick to it in order for me to get through it efficiently. I’m really hoping that I study enough these three months and makeup for sleeping through eleventh grade.

    So, the first change that I want to make is to be able to devote four hours everyday to study and prepare for my Engineering college entrance exams. I will come up with a time-table and go through my syllabus in a couple of days so as to understand where I stand and in what direction I have to work in order.

    The next thing I want to implement is to quit eating meat. I have tried being a vegetarian and at times I have very come close but I always give in, in the end and this time or at least this year, I’m making a conscious effort to stop eating meat. I would only eat chicken or occasionally fish and nothing more so I guess it shouldn’t be that hard to give it up.

    From a past couple of months, I have been falling ill quite often due to which my stamina and metabolism isn’t as strong as it used to be. Growing up, I played a lot of sports and was physically very active but over the past couple of years I have just gotten really unfit and I began gaining weight and I secretly dealt with or rather didn’t for a long time now and every time someone suggested I excersize, I’d make plans but I was to lazy to actually carry on with it, so I gained more weight. However, I have been hitting the gym and exercising for  a couple of days now and I feel so much better and I want to continue this during college and in between classes. It’s going to be really hard because I barely get the time to eat or talk to my family some days let alone spare time to go the gym but the after effect of gymming is something I can’t even begin to explain, there was a time when I was really frustrated and would just go around yelling at people but the gym harnesses all these negative energy into a powerful workout not only liberating your thoughts but also helps lose weight. Everyone’s problems would just go away if they went for a run, it’s one of the best medicine for mental and social health.

    I hope I continue blogging as consistently as I am right now along with exercising, following a vegetarian diet and studying. Hopefully, I’ll be able to achieve everything I have set for myself his year and the following year I could look back at 2017 and not cringe to death about my life choices.

    Let me know what you want to change in your life, why and how in the comments so I can learn from all of you as well.

    Yours,

    Praagna.

    Summer Must haves

    As summer is around the corner in most parts of the world, I thought I’d list out my Summer must haves. I live in a temperate zone so my summers do not drop less than thirty-five degree celcius and we experience rainfall quite often so it’s a pleasant summer.

    Beauty/Makeup must haves!

    1. Sunscreen: For obvious reason, you need to wear sunscreen at all times and it is important you do not skip these especially during summer, your skin needs protection from the harmful UV rays and use a sunscreen that suits your skin type and requirements. I use two, one for my face and the other for my entire body.                                                                                                                                                                            Face- sunmate gel by Palsons, I brought this product from a pharmacy in my neighbourhood. I absolutely love this sunscreen, it’s a gel based formula but it gives a matte finish which was it is the best part about this product because I have oily skin and most of the cream based ones are moisturizing and my T zones tend to get really oily which is why I prefer to use this.                                                                                                Body- I use a sunscreen in the form of a spray because it is way easy to apply and I’m just a really lazy person. I use the Avene very high protection spray spf 50 which is a great product, it’s waterproof and it does not feel heavy on your skin.                    Indian shoppers can buy it here :                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -http://www.nykaa.com/avene-very-high-protection-spray-spf-50.html?&root=search&searchterm=sunscreen%20spray&type=product&ptype=product             worldwide shoppers-http://www.avene.co.uk/suncare/sunscreens/sunscreens-sensitive-skins/very-high-protection-spray-spf50

    2) Heat Protection Hair spray: I did not believe in using a heat protection spray until very recently when I was introduced to the Toni & Guy Heat protection spray and I can not even begin to tell you how much of a difference it has made, I use it regularly before I blowdry/airdry my hair or before I use any hair appliance. It does not make it greasy or oily, it gives a very anti-frizz look and I absolutely love this.

    3) Razor: You obviously need a razor so you don’t have to wear full sleeves when it’s 45 degree Celsius.  So, like most people in India, I was very apprehensive about shaving and almost never shaved until I learn that it does not make you hair grow back thicker and all the shaving myths were busted. You have to use a shaving gel or a hair conditioner works fine to shave but you have to exfoliate or else it does cause in-growth.  I use the Gillete Venus Breeze razor and the shaving gel with it.

    Worldwide: http://www.gilletevenus.com

    India : http://www.nykaa.com/brands/gillette/gillette-venus.html

    4) Face Mist: I get really sweaty during summer and I need something that can cleanse my face but still hydrate it and with a good face mist or rose water you can have your face looking fresh throughout Summer. It really does rejuvenate and wake my skin up, plus I’m lazy to reach out for a wet-wipe or a face wash hence, I prefer just spraying the mist directly on to my face. Now there’s various ranges of face mists, ranging from thermal water to hydrosols and fruitbased. I use the AVENE thermal spring water or the Clinique Moisture surge face spray thirsty skin relief both of which you can buy through the links below.

    Avene Thermal Spring water: India-http://www.nykaa.com/skin-care/face/face-mist/clinique-moisture-surge-face-spray-thirsty-skin-relief.html?root=catg&ptype=product

    Clinique Face spray-http://www.nykaa.com/skin-care/face/face-mist/clinique-moisture-surge-face-spray-thirsty-skin-relief.html?root=catg&ptype=product

    Let me know your summer essentials and how you’re enjoying your summer down below in the comments!

    Yours,

    Praagna.

    Follow me on Instagram-@shutuppraagna or write to me at praagnaprasad@gmail.com