Marriage proposals (rishtas) & rejection! Ouch!

Published August 4, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

What inspired me to write this blogpost was this tweet from a friend of mine:

Rishta rejection is more painful than a job rejection?

From there the conversation went on to how it hurts the one who is rejected and how its so unfair. From my personal experience, which means 20 rishtas that my family rejected, 6-7 which her highness herself rejected, and about 4-5 by whom I was rejected, I believe I’m fairly capable of making the following statement which I make very often these days when my friends discuss their rishta issues:

You should not worry about why they rejected you. You should worry why you are so worried about them rejecting you.

I will direct this straight to men because I believe men always take proposal rejection more personal than women, which reminds me of this guy from Pakistan Navy, engineering wing, who actually began to threaten me when I rejected his proposal, only to find out, I was way too ahead of him at his own game, and this banker who would not return my debit card stuck in their ATM machine because thanks to my unique name and my dad’s name on the ID card, he figured his proposal was rejected by my family and i was the same girl (Yeah i do have some exciting stories to share) but any way, here is what you people need to know.

Its NOT YOU. Its NOT YOUR FAMILY. Its not him/her or his/her family. It not as straightforward as that. Its more complicated. When two completely strange families meet, they have no idea how nice, kind, awesome, great you are. They do not see you as you see yourself or your friends see you. You might be a great guy, a very obedient son, a very helpful friend, but they do not know that. There is no way on earth they can establish that after meeting you once or twice. There are far more factors involved in an arranged marriage than people blinded by wounded ego can fathom. It can be something they saw, something they felt, sometimes parents reject proposals based on hunches  (specially if she is an only daughter, duh! trust me on this one) and sometimes its something that comes out after a little digging about you and your friends. But its not always what you think it was. Your height, weight, face, complexion, or least of them all, your financial status.

This paragraph is directed at both men and women who were at one point rejected by a particular rishta they believe was a done deal. Yes, we all have been there. You meet them. They suit you perfect. Their family likes you. They meet you again. You start imagining a life together, you even select the color for the bridal dress & then, there is a complete radio silence from the other party. It happens. It does feel bad, but it should not leave you bitter. Nothing should. For a good part of last year, every night before sleeping I kept wondering about all the great guys I had met in my early twenties and how I rejected each one of them without any proper reason at all, yes you may call me commitment phobic, but now I have come to believe that what’s not meant to be will never be. Reason, or no reasons. Explanations or no explanations given. There is NO WAY to decide how far the destiny played its role and how much of your own stupidity counted, but the point is there is NO WAY to know. There is no set ratio, so let go. Do not bother your head over this. You liked them, they did not like you or something about you, or your father, or your uncle, or your neighbour, or your cat, and it’s perfectly OK.

I will end this on one note, we all eventually end up with the spouses we deserve. Sooner or later, we all do. with exactly what we deserve. Do not be the person you do not want to marry. It is as simple as that.

x ZB

Product Review: Fitness DVD Break Free by Bipasha Basu

Published July 10, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

Break Free is one part of Bipasha Basu’s fitness DVDs she launched in 2012. The idea behind the fitness routine is “Dance yourself into shape”. The contents of the DVD are here:

Bipasha's Break Free

Bipasha’s Break Free

I will focus on the workout routine only. The thing I loved about this fitness routine is that there is proper warm up and cool down. You don’t jump right into difficult moves that leave you breathless.

  • The warm up is of 8 and half minutes and is enough to stretch your whole body.
  • The basic work out routine is of 14 minutes.
  • Water Break 1 minute
  • Bollywood dance routine 4 and half minutes
  • cool down/stretching 2 minutes

I have followed this routine for almost a month now and I love doing it everyday. Here is what I think about the fitness routine in this DVD:

The Good:

  • The music is catchy and very precisely matched to the moves. Once you have learnt the moves, you do not even need to look at the screen. You already know which move goes when this bit plays.
  • The box appears in the bottom left corner for what’s coming up next so you already prepare yourself for the upcoming move without standing there clueless.
  • If you love dancing and you enjoy moving while enjoying yourself, you will love this workout routine.
  • The moves are specifically designed in a way that you feel like you are enjoying a party instead of working out which sometimes feels like a burden if you have been doing the same routine everyday.
  • The instructions along with the moves are not very clear but they are there. The moves do not just change from 1 to 0 to 2 to 5 to 8 and back to 1 while you stand there annoyed and agitated. In some moves she first teaches you the footwork and then adds arms which makes it easier to follow.
  • Most of the moves are easy to learn, there are no complications. If you dance or are fond of dancing, you will find it very easy to learn and remember the moves.
  • There are many breathers in between the complicated moves. Nobody likes leaving a workout routine in the middle just because they are tired. These few second breathers are helpful in catching your breath and going to the next move with full energy instead of doing three moves fast in 3 minutes and then lying down on floor breathless for next 5 minutes ( I know, it happens to all of us).
  • The moves are so simple that you can make them easy or harder on yourself as you wish. You may want to squat lower to make it harder for yourself, or just bend the knees slightly to make it easy for yourself. I like having this choice because not everyday we all have same level of energy.
  • Bipasha is in great shape and has a constant encouraging smile on her face which shows she is genuinely enthusiastic about her workout.

The bad:

  • The instructions are not very clear. For the bollywood routine, there are NO instructions at all so for the first few times, you might just be clueless. But the moves are easy to learn with time.
  • There is too much focus on arms and chest (hammer fists, heart beat, chest thrusts, pumps etc) and little or no focus on legs and thighs area at all. Even though you are moving your legs all the time but there is no particular targeted move.
  • You might want to alternate this workout routine with another harder routine after some weeks because once you are tuned, these moves seem very easy.
  • Not even once in the whole routine, she mentioned you must keep your abs contracted and “sucked in”, for better results and shape. However, in other dance workout routines, this important point is reminded again and again.

Looking at these, you may tell that I’m very fond of this dance routine.

I would like to mention one more thing; most of the moves in this fitness DVD are copied from Ministry of Sound- Pump It Up, The Ultimate Dance Workout, only that MOS’ Pump It Up is way harder and difficult than this one.

For starters however, people who have just started incorporating dance workouts to their fitness routine, I would highly recommend this DVD before you move to more difficult dance fitness routines.

x Zb

Summer Probs; Acne Vulgaris, Factors & Treatment

Published July 9, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

I had dealt with mild acne vulgaris in my teen years and since I turned 22, it settled on its own. However, acne made a come back to me a few years ago and then again, this summer when I was out and about constantly in heat. After one visit to the dermatologist and several antibiotics later, most of it has cleared while making me more conscious about what I use on my face and how I clean it off.

What is Acne Vulgaris: Acne has several forms but the most common type is acne vulgaris. White heads, blackheads, inflammed pores, clogged pores, cystic acne,papules,  these are included in this term. Pimples, zits, blemishes, white heads, black heads, appear on skin when the skin is constantly shedding dead cells, and constantly producing oil (sebum) in pores. The bacteria on skin starts reproduction in that very pore and bam! the white cells rush to fight the infection, resulting in inflammation, painful swelling, redness and white pus.

Photo Credit: vox.com

Photo Credit: vox.com

Factors in acne:

So we have established the factors that are important in forming a pimple, now we will go over them one by one as to how we can manipulate those factors to prevent trouble:

  1. Pores: The skin is shedding dead cells and keratin through pores. Exfoliate to remove these dead cells so that there is less and less debris inside the pore. Next, thoroughly cleanse the pores. Find a cleanser that suits your skin, preferably with salicylic acid 2% for thorough cleansing of the pores. Salicylic acid helps remove the dead cells. When you are cleansing the face, take your time. Take full 60 seconds to gently massage the cleanser into the pores. Never leave your make up on before going to bed. Wash your face every day you come home after work. In summers, be extra careful. Cleanse twice daily. DO NOT USE makeup that clogs the pores. Too heavy foundation can sometimes lead to more blemishes, to hide which you will use more of the product. Use clay and mud masks to cleanse the dirt and oil from the pores (check review of my go-to clay mask by Freeman here). Baking soda has been my best friend in this regard. It thoroughly cleanses the pores and shrinks the red spots. Make a paste of gel toothpaste and baking soda, apply on wet face, massage for few seconds and leave until its dry. Wash with water and pat dry. Clean and smooth skin!
  2. Oil/Sebum: People with oily skin know how hard life can be. There are so many problems in their lives just because they have oily skin. Control the oil production on your face. If you wash your face and after 1 hour your face is greasy, your skin needs oil control. Check your diet. Are you eating fries or oily stuff too much or on daily basis? This can be one big cause behind white heads on your face. More oil = more trouble. Use clay or mud masks to control the oil. I have also observed the baking soda face exfoliate I mentioned above also helps in controlling oil on face. Use of a toner morning and night is also great for controlling oil on face (Check this post for an amazing DIY toner). Use a good face wash for oil control formula. Use oil-free moisturizer. Use light tinted moisturizer instead of heavy foundation for make up. Garnier’s BB cream (check out the review here) is a great oil-free tinted cream which provides good coverage without clogging the pores.
  3. Bacteria on skin: DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE. I know the impulse is great, but you do not want to do that. Wash your make up brushes after every 3-4 days. Specially the foundation, blending and the contour brushes because these brushes touch your whole face. Use good anti bacterial face wash in morning.

The topic is so vast I can go on and on about what to do and what not to do but the more you care for your skin, the healthier it stays. Eat right, use right products and stick to a strict morning and night time routine. These three factors are most important to understand your acne, and once you treat all three of them at the same time, your skin will become more clean & clear.

Also read my Summertime care routine for oily skin here.

x Zb

Product Review: Parachute Gold vs. Dabur Amla Gold

Published July 8, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

I have written a separate post on benefits of coconut oil and since the only brand of coconut oil I’ve ever used is Parachute, please read this post 20150708_004005for complete list of benefits.

Note: My hair texture is typical south asian kind; thick, dark black, straight and oily. Even though my scalp does get oily, I still prefer oiling my hair before I wash them because I absolutely HATE dry ends and hair that look like they have been fried. Please also mind that I do not use hair straightener, curlers and hair dryer in my hair during summers when hair lose most of its moisture due to sweating scalp. I will write a separate post about my self-invented alternatives to these. These oils will give you maximum benefit when you are not damaging them with anything mentioned above.

First and simple set of observations I have established about both oils:

If you want super straight hair, use Dabur Amla Gold.

If you want your hair to grow super fast, use Parachute Oil Gold.

Even thou Dabur Amla does claim that it promotes the hair growth but I have not seen any change in my hair growth since I started using this oil about 2 months ago. I oil my hair every time I wash them, about 30 minutes to 1 hour before I step into the shower. This is really disappointing because using the same number of times the Parachute coconut oil, I had noticed a surprising increase in my hair length. I went from 16″ to 26″ in a span of 3 months and after that I stopped using coconut oil & switched to Dabut Amla oil back in May 2015. But the Dabur Amla Oil Gold has its own pros and cons:

The package says: “Makes you hair long, strong, soft and shiny, For dry, damaged and chemically Treated hair.

Amla – nourishes and strengthens hair from the roots to make it long, strong and beautiful.

Almonds: moisturizes and softens hair.

Henna: coats and conditions to give shine.

How to apply: Use your fingertips to gently massage Dabur Amla Gold hair oil into the scalp and the hair roots. Regular use nourishes the hair roots and strengthens hair. Apply Dabur Amla Gold hair oil to make the hair silky, shiny, easy to style and pleasantly fragrant.

My Review:

Pros: 

1- The smell is delicious. Some people may find the smell too harsh but I love the sweet aroma left in the hair after you have washed them.

2- I already have really straight hair, but this oil leaves them silky smooth and pin straight. After leaving the oil in scalp for 30 minutes to 1 hour, I wash them with my usual Vatika Garlic shampoo and after towel drying them for 5 minutes, I comb them with a thick comb, however you must skip this step if your hair tangle a lot, because when you comb wet hair, it breaks them easily. My hair never tangle, so I comb them straight and leave them to dry. There! straight hair, smooth and silky without having to use conditioner, blow dryers or hair straightener.

Cons:

The only reason why I will not use this oil is because I have noticed no increase in my hair length or in volume of my hair while I noticed this a lot with the coconut oil, but the kind of smoothness you get with Dabur amla, coconut oil cannot give you that.

x Zb

My top 5 post-breakup songs

Published July 6, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

musicRelationships go wrong. People do you wrong. Music and time heals. Sometimes music is the only thing left behind when people change.

1- littlest Things by Lily Allen

The song from one of my favourite movies, Love, Rosie. If your lover was your best friend too, there are so many reasons to feel sad when they are not your lover, and your best friend, anymore. 

2- Someone Like You by Adele

Adele actually cries on stage while singing this at  MTV awards. The lyrics are really strong and only music instrument which is piano makes great composition for a song like this.

3-Chasing Cars by The wind and the waves

I know Snow Petrol did the song enough justice but if you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, this is one song you will never forget. The wind and the wave turned the song into a heartache.

4- Possibility by Lykke Li

Twilight series second movie “New Moon”  How will we forget what Bella goes through when Edwards leaves.

5- Grace by Kate Havnevik Again, if you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, this song depicts Meredith’s feeling when the love of her life dies in her arms and she is left with three kids, having to face life alone. The last 15 seconds of this song are everything!

X Zb

Miracle eye brows regrowth formula (ta-da)

Published July 4, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

How much of brow powder or brow pencil do you use in the morning? Check that routine because the more of these products you are using, the more you need to continue reading this,

I have inherited really thick eyebrows from my mother. But over-tweezing (sigh, we all have done it) and teenage desire to have really thin curvy eyebrows led me to lose a lot of eyebrow hair. Even though they still grow nicely, back every two weeks which is an overhead, but there is an obvious need to use lots of brow products.

Last month while I made third attempt to wax the extras out, I ended up making haste and not realizing the wax strip had somehow attached itself to the hair right ON curve of my eyebrow. Yes, this is what happens when you are hasty, you do not pay attention to what you are doing and you end up losing the parts to the gorgeous frames to the windows to your beautiful soul.

Now obviously I could cover it up with brow pencil, which I did for two straight weeks, but I needed to grow them back because I’m usually very careless with touch ups. This was where the Colossal Kajal came in very handy BTW. This is too thick to be used as eye brow pencil, but for this few cm patch, it worked really well because it did not smudge all day long.

Anyway, back to the story, I needed to regrow them so I asked my friend with perfect, no-brow-product-needed eyebrows about it. She mentioned using castor oil, WITH A BROW PENCIL every night right where I wanted to grow the brow hair.

This is something I have herad from a girl at the salon too so I decided to give it a try and within 1.5 weeks, 50% of teh damage was recovered. The brows grew back fully in four weeks and not only that, I have to use VERY little eyebrow pencil now in the morning as compared to the time I didn’t use castor oil on them.

Here is how to do it:

What you need:

  • any eyebrow pencil/kohl pencil/eye pencil
  • Castor oil

What you have to do:

Just take the pencil, determine where you need to grow the hair, e.g you might want a higher arch so you need hair on top of the curve, or you want longer eyebrows so you need hair to grow even below where your eyebrows end now. Dip the pencil in castor oil and then apply the pencil where you need to grow eyebrow hair.

Basically just fill in the brows like you do every morning, except that this time the pencil is dipped in castor oil.Leave it over night and make sure the oil is not dripping otherwise you will ruin the pillow case. Within two weeks you will begin to notice how you use lesser and lesser brow product each morning.

I do not know what the reason or logic behind this might be, but castor oil alone does not work this quick. May be its the kohl ingredient in pencil that quickens the process because in our culture, I have seen grandmothers and mothers putting black pencil on new born’s eyebrows so that their eyebrows are fuller and thicker.

Give it a try. I know we all want full brows :D

x Zb

Taking care of oily skin in summers!!

Published May 24, 2015 by zzdreamerzz

While there are tons of reasons to love summers, for people with oily and blemish prone skin, there are tons of reasons to hate the season as well. One thing that definitely helps in having a great summer with skin in great condition is keeping it as clean as possible without drying it too much. The cleaner the skin and pores, the lesser are the chances of any blemishes appearing.

Another thing to worry about in summers is heat pimples and heat rashes, specially in south asian countries where the temperature goes as high as 42 degrees Celsius or higher in some cases. The only way around these is to keep your system cool enough. What goes in your system appears directly on your face (trust me I have learnt it the hard way). Drink plenty of plain water, or add cucumbers or mint in water if you are craving some taste. Avoid lots of spicy and sweet food or juices with lots of preservatives.

Here I would share my skin care routine to have a great summer with clean and clear skin:

Products I use

Step 1: Cleanse:

No matter how expensive or effective a formula you are using, it will not give 100% results if you do not start with a clean slate… err… face I mean. Clean before you start. The product I use for deep cleansing my face is OIL. Yes, I have oily skin and I use OIL to cleanse my pores on weekly basis. Here is the logic, your brain orders the glands to secrete more oil to your skin when it has reasons to believe the skin needs oil. This happens when you are using so called oil cleansing face washes which actually dry the skin out, resulting in more damage than good. This is the reason I do not use cleansers for oily skin. I rather introduce oil from outside so that there is lesser oil produced inside the skin. The oil I use is either coconut oil or castor oil mixed with any other thinner oil like almond oil. Both have ability to penetrate deep into skin when heated. In summers there is no need to heat the oil because while you massage your face with the oil, it will actually penetrate your pores because of the heat from your hands, and will remove any dirt in the pores. After few minutes of massage, you will actually be able to see black and white heads on your fingers, YES YOU DO and that is when you realize why this product is better than any other cleanser in stores. I keep massaging my face until I do not feel any more black or white heads coming out and the skin feels smooth under my fingers.

A word of caution here, please do not get carried away and start massaging your face like you do laundry. This is your face, not your enemy’s so go gentle and smooth and press on the skin while going slowly, alternatively clock and anti-clock wise. The areas I mostly focus on is my jawline, because this is my vulnerable zone since I last got tested for PCOs and got positive results back. The cheeks are also more vulnerable.

After 10-15 minutes, depending how deep cleansing your face needs, take a facial wash cloth and dip it in to bearably hot water and start wiping the excess oil off the face. By now your cheeks should be rosy pink or red and your face would actually look cleaner and fresh.

Step 2: Exfoliate:

I have been using this scrub by St. ives which is actually for blemish prone skin. I will be writing a review for this product separately but you can use your daily or weekly scrub whichever suits your skin the best. I have used sugar scrub too for this step and ubtan at times too.Gently scrub the face for few seconds and clean your face with plain water.

St Ives apricot scrub

Step 3: Massage:

I use another massage cream for skin glow and production of collagen in skin but you can skip this step as well since you already massaged your face in the first step. However, if you are liking the glow resulting from the step 1, then take any other massage cream specially for face and gently massage in upwards and outwards direction. This increases the blood flow to your freshly cleansed skin and makes your skin glow from inside.

Step 4: Toner:

I wrote a post about the importance of toner for oily skin. I have been using this toner twice everyday for my skin without any problems like over dried skin or skin allergies. You may use the toner that suits your skin.

Step 5: Face mask:

Mud masks have their unique properties when it comes to oil control and pores cleansing. You may use any face mask from using the veggies in the fridge to using the mud mask, but my favorites are the green clay mask, comes in Freeman Clay mask with avocado and oatmeal or the fuller’s earth mask which is available under different brand names like saeed ghani’s or soft touch etc. These clay masks have ability to cleanse your pores and absorb extra oil from the face however I do not use them very frequently because I do not want to over dry my face.

Step 6: Peel off mask:

This is also an optional step. I use again the Freeman’s cucumber peel off mask because cucumber is soothing for skin and the product is good for peeling off any dead skin or blackheads or white heads which I might have missed in earlier steps.

freeman masks

This routine can be carried out weekly or monthly, depending on how often your skin needs cleansing. The freshness on your skin will be evident in coming weeks once you pay little time and attention to your skin. Take care of your skin and your skin will take care of you.

x ZB

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