Summer 2013 Trends: The Return of the 90s


You are a 90s child if you grew up listening to the sweet sounds of boy bands, reveled in the viewing of TV teen/family sitcoms, and adorned yourself with the clothing of the modernizing world.  The 90s did not only give birth to the many luxuries that we enjoy today, but it also birthed a new fashion movement. With the rise in media, fashion was not only something a select few could enjoy, which is quite ironic because the 90s also gave rise to the "anti - fashion" or grunge movement. Anyways, it was something any Tom, Dick, and Harry could embrace. Who can forget the famous Rachel Green's (aka the lovely Jennifer Aniston's) haircut? Or Brittney Spears school girl and leather ensemble in her hits Baby One More Time and Oops I Did It Again? Or the Tanner girls ubiquitous scrunchie, the ultimate hair accessory? Or the overalls that was a staple fashion piece in shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Or Sabrina's eclectic style? Or the Spice Girls' British invasion and all the Union Jack clothing?The 90s had it all from sporty to preppy, ultra chic to grunge, neons to pastels, plaid to florals. Whatever it was, 90s fashion has left an impact on our generation. And I'm glad to say, it is back, well at least for now.

So, let's get right to it!
Here are my 6 favorites that have risen back up from the 90s graveyard!

1) JELLYS! Ah who can forget these. Jelly shoes were worn and loved by all, and now a decade later, they have made a comeback - with a modern twist.
Ultimate T

These Stella McCartney heel sandals are my favorite.

A Blast From The Past: The Return of Jelly Shoes

The fabulous Kourtney Kardashian is wearing a pair of Givenchy jelly sandals.

2) Leather
Leather pants do not only scream N'Sync and Lunchables, but they symbolized the end of the 90s fashion trends. And yes my friends, leather is back! This season, my favorite way to wear leather is as short skirts and shorts - the girls from Clueless would drool all over them.
This model is also wearing jelly heels with this short blue leather skirt.

Not only is this model bringing back leather, but she is bringing back that 90s anti - fashion, grunge motif.

3) Florals and plaid patterns. TOGETHER. This season patterns are taking a leap into the unconventional and joining forces. Who can forget Kelly (from Saved by the Bell) and her awesome floral pants? And Cher's (from Clueless) plaid yellow ensemble?
Floral jeans - saved by the bell                  

This is the offspring of Kelly's pants and Cher's plaid outfit. I present to you an original from the Nanette Lepore collection.

4) Overalls. I can almost guarantee you that if you had met me in elementary school, one day out of the week, I would definitely be wearing my pink overalls. I was beyond ecstatic to see this trend come back.

5) Holographic Attire.
Remember those holographic bags and clothing like these.

Well the 2013 version of this trend has arrived.

These are  from the Jonathan Saunders's Spring/Summer 2013 line.

This is a Meile Bianco clutch.

This is a Miista Zoe Oxford Shoe, from her 2013 Summer Collection.

6) Lastly, the good ole' crop top. The 90s pushed the boundaries by popularizing the crop top. Although it lost its momentum into the early 2000s, this trend is back with a bang.

This is from the Tibi Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Hope you guys all enjoyed this flashback to the 90s. 2013 has been the ultimate throwback year.

Stay fabulous!

Comment below to tell me your favorite trends of summer 2013 and the 90s. Also, don't forget to follow me on all my social media sites.


Homemade Healthy Ranch Dressing


I am in love with salads. One would think it's because I'm a vegetarian, but no my friends, that is not why. I am obsessed with ranch dressing. Ever since I was little, I have taken to ranch to make my salads delicious. I blame my cousin for this obsession. Whenever the family went out to eat at Mexican restaurants, she always ordered ranch dip, so thank you Komal (if you are reading this) for making ranch dressing a weakness of mine. 

However, as I grew, I started learning how unhealthy ranch dressing is and that, even though the bottle may say fat free, it is defeating the purpose of a healthy diet. If you haven't guessed so already, I am really into finding homemade healthier alternatives to my meals, and I am glad to say I have found one for ranch dressing as well.

Let's get to it!!

Calories: Approximately 15 calories for 3 tablespoons
Preparation time: less than 10 minutes
Serves about 20 people

1 cup of fat free plain yogurt

1 tbsp of dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp of oregano 
2 cloves of garlic
0.5 of an onion
0.5 cups of chopped jalapenos
Nutribullet or any food processor

1. Place onions, jalapenos, and garlic cloves in the nutribullet and blend everything to a paste. 
2. Add the yogurt, parsley, and oregano. 
3. Blend until it is a creamy paste. 
4. Enjoy with a salad or as a dip. 

I enjoyed my ranch dressing with a salad, some tortilla chips, and a collard vegetable wrap (recipe for which will be posted soon).

Bon appétit!


Love for Makeup and Youtube Beauty Guru of the Week: GetglamwithLO


Hello beautiful people!
If you are like me and grew up in the technologically savy generation, then you certainly realize the importance YouTube has had on our lives. Going through those splendid years of puberty in the 2000s, I didn't have to succumb to embarrassment as often as I expected. If I wanted to learn how to put on eyeliner or do my hair, I no longer needed to turn to my mother for help. Instead, I took comfort in the cyber world. Via YouTube, I learned many of my beauty/hair tricks. Ever since I remember, I have loved makeup. This can be attributed to my mom's love for cosmetic shopping and many years of dancing, where I had no choice but to wear tons and tons of makeup. One of my fondest memories was when I was three years old and my sister was just born, I went through all my moms lipsticks and made myself and all my barbie dolls over. A disaster, nonetheless, but that was the day my love for beauty sprouted. Fast forward several years. I remember it was 2007, the beginning of my freshmen year of high school. I was not allowed to wear an extensive amount of makeup. Actually, I was allowed to only wear eyeliner, and that was about it. I didn't even know how to wear it correctly. My mom taught me a way to wear it, but frankly, the way she wore eyeliner definitely did not suit me. I experimented myself. I went from having raccoon eyes to looking like the poster child of an 80s sitcom. Clearly, I had no idea what I was doing. So, like any other good fourteen year old, I turned to google for help. I searched "how to wear natural looking makeup" and I was redirected to Michelle Phan's youtube video (the link to which is here). I was mesmerized. A year or two went by and I still could not get enough. Then, I received my first CHI hair straightener for my 16th birthday. Yet again, I turned to YouTube and discovered Andreaschoice 70s Angel hairstyle video (the link to which is here). Thus sparked the fire for my YouTube fashion/beauty guru addiction.
It was the summer of 2009, and I even recorded a couple of my own videos, but never uploaded them for fear of being ridiculed by my peers. I also was constantly being told by school administrators and teachers that colleges can search everything online that has to do with you. At that time, I thought having these videos would decrease my chances of having a future. So not true. Whenever I made those videos, I felt a sudden rush of confidence that was oh so foreign to me at that time of my life. YouTube and my videos were my escape, but as my high school years went by, so did the suppression of my passion. That has to be my biggest regret. I always told myself that the quality of my videos are awful, nobody would watch them. Now when you look at gurus and their older videos, they all started from the beginning. No one really knew what they were doing or what would become of their videos when they first started. They uploaded videos because they enjoyed it, and that should be enough. I wish I uploaded them when I did, but, I promise you, by the end of this year I will clear my regrets and upload my videos.

Anyways, although there is still some time for me to appear on the YouTube beauty scene, I thought it would be cool to share with you my current favorite YouTube gurus. So, every week I will share a new and upcoming guru. We all know and love the legends: DulceCandy87, Andreaschoice, MichellePhan, Blair and Elle Fowler, and MacBarbie07, but we often forget that there are others out there as well. I recently came across Lauren aka GetglamwithLO's channel (her youtube channel is linked here). I happened to click on her How To Wear Bright Lips video (link is here), and soon I found myself having watched all her videos on her channel. What I love about her is that she is very relatable. She clearly loves what she is sharing, and that is what makes watching her videos a pleasure. She is new to YouTube, but appears to be a natural in all her videos. Her monthly favorites videos truly carry some great advice. She shows an incredible amount of great potential; she will surely find success through her videos. My favorite video of her's is one of her Get Ready with Me|Glowing Skin and Coral Lips video (the link is here). I love the look she created. It is so chic and perfect for the summer/spring. From must haves to favorites, from hair styles to get ready with me videos, she has it all. So if you are the hunt for something new and enjoyable on the beauty/fashion front of YouTube, check out her channel! Great job Lauren, can't wait to see what coming next!!

Lesson to be learned from this: never put down a passion of yours for the fear of what others might think. Anyways, I hope you enjoy her channel and let her know I sent you her way. Please comment/share and follow me on all my social media sites.


Smoothie Series: Healthy Green Smoothie - A Tropical Summer Delight


Hello Beautiful People!

HAPPY JULY! I am back again with another green smoothie recipe. Like I said in my previous smoothie series post, I absolutely adore green smoothies!

 So, without any further ado, let's get to it.

This recipe calls for ingredients for one serving. Each serving has about 186 calories and the preparation time is about ten minutes.


1 cup of organic spinach
0.5 cups of chopped up mango
0.5 cups of blueberries
4 medium sized strawberries chopped up
0.5 cups of pure coconut water (I used the brand Zico)
0.5 cups of ice
A nutribullet/magic bullet or any other blender

I purchased all my fruits from the local farmer's market, and the spinach from Sam's Club. The Zico pure coconut water was purchased from Trader Joe's.
Remember, as stated in the previous smoothie post, half of the smoothie serving needs to be comprised of greens. 


1. Clean all the fruits and spinach thoroughly. 
2. Chop up the strawberries and unpeeled mango. 
3. Place the spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and mango in the nutribullet.
4. Add the a quarter of the Zico coconut water.
5. Blend the mixture until it forms a puree.
6. Add the remaining coconut water and ice.
7. Blend until it is the consistency of a smoothie. 


This is an excellent green smoothie option. I already told you about all the benefits of spinach and strawberries (which you can read here). So, let me tell you about the benefits of blueberries, mango and coconut water. 

Blueberries are rich with antioxidants, which are vital for good health, making this juicy blue fruit a super food. The antioxidant properties of blueberry have been studied tremendously and have shown to reverse and prevent heart disease and cancer, as well as a whole other slew of ailments. Blueberries are also abundantly full of manganese, vitamin C, and fiber - to name a few. Manganese aids in strengthening your bones and metabolizing proteins, carbs, and fats. The vitamin C in blueberries is shown to protect your immune system, keep your gums healthy, maintain the health of your capillaries, as well as aid in the absorption of iron. The fiber in blueberries keeps your cholesterol leveled, which in return keeps your heart healthy. Fiber also keeps your digestive system regular, which is key for weight loss. 

Mangoes are personally my favorite fruit. I guess that is because of my inner Indian. During the summer, I am always anxiously waiting to indulge in the juicy decadency of mangoes. Along with blueberries, mangoes are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. Additionally, they are full of several nutrients and vitamins that keep your body feeling fuller longer, which helps in weight loss. Mangoes are also a natural skin cleanser, clearing your pores.  They also have a low glycemic index (41-60), which helps in regulating diabetes. Mangoes also have vitamin A, which is essential in promoting good eye health. Mangoes have over 20 carotenoids that keep your immune system healthy. 

Pure coconut water is a natural sweetener. It is low in calories. It provides energy and a whole array of vitamins and minerals. Coconut water is a healthy alternative to any other juices or carbonated beverages. It keeps away fatigue. Coconut water contains no cholesterol. Also, it increases your metabolic rate, which proportionally speeds up weight loss. 

This is a great smoothie in boosting your overall health. It is quick to make and very delicious! 

If you try it, comment/share to let me know how it came out for you. Also, remember to follow me on all my social media sites.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and an even more wonderful month of July!

Bon appétit, mes amis!

Treat Mosquito Bites Naturally


Summer is here, and, along with the long fun summer nights, comes the more unpleasant gift of mosquito bites. Mosquitoes have often stood between me and my love for the outdoors during the summer. To escape suffering from the constant, annoying itch, I used to choose to stay indoors. However, in reality, that was never an ideal solution.

Through the years, I have tried a lot of home remedies to treat mosquito bites. Many have not worked, but a few have remained loyal in treating them. Today, I will be sharing with you four of my favorite home remedies to cure mosquito bites and one remedy to prevent them.

Remedies to Cure Bites -

1. Mix milk and cold water in equal parts. Take a paper towel or hand towel and submerge into the mixture. Apply the towel to the bite, in compressing motions. Milk soothes the bite and reduces the inflammation. It also decreases the itching.

2. Apply dabs of raw (unpasteurized) honey to bites. Honey is an anti - bacterial and anti - inflammatory agent. It prevents infection and reduces redness and itching.

3. Take tea bags soaked in ice water and pat them on the bites. Tea has several antioxidant properties. They fight off infection and prevent tenderness, itching, and inflammation. The cold temperature of the tea bag is also very soothing.

4.  This one is my favorite! Apply aloe vera to the bite. From an aloe vera plant, break the leaves to access the "juice" within the plant. Apply that gel like "juice" to the bite. Aloe vera is an excellent healing mechanism. It not only heals, but it reduces swelling and tenderness from the bite. It also reduces inflammation and itching. I also add 2 drops of almond oil to the aloe vera for some extra protection.

Remedies to Prevent Mosquito Bites -

1. Apple Cider Vinegar - Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent mosquito repellent. However, it takes a while for it to do its job. Apple Cider Vinegar has several beneficial factors that range from weight loss to curing ailments. However, when it comes to mosquitoes, the smell keeps them away. ACV has B complex proteins that make your skin smell different to mosquitoes, keeping them away. I usually add two tablespoons of ACV in one cup of water and drink it in the morning. It takes a while to notice it working as a repellent. I don't know if it is a mental thing, but I do notice a decrease in mosquito bites when I have been taking the mixture of water and ACV for a while.

If you try these out, comment and let me know if they work for you as they do for me. Also, follow me on all my social media sites.


Disclaimer - These treatments are concoctions from personal experiments and old family remedies. I am in no way an expert.  I am just sharing what works best for me.

Summer Outfit of the Night: Bold Prints and Colors || TSD Lookbook Chapter II


Hello All!

Last night was my baby sister's graduation party, and that obviously called for an outfit that was an original from my closet. One of my favorite types of clothing are patterned and bold colors.  So, I decided to include both of them in my outfit for the night.

Here's the look

Printed maxi skirt - Gap
Red top - Express
Silver Arm Cuffs - Aldo
Necklace and earrings - Forever 21

Comment and let me know what you thought of the outfit. Stay tuned for more posts and follow me on all my social media accounts for updates on posts.

Hope you all have a splendid day!


Healthy Vegetarian Lunch Recipe: Healthy and Quick Alternative to Pizza


Who doesn't love pizza? It is one of America's most consumed meals, but are we masking the unhealthy factors of pizza behind its deliciousness? Pizza is a very easy meal to get. If you live in New York City, you know that there are several pizza places that sell you monster size slices for a dollar. That's a great deal, but it's time to not sacrifice your health ALL THE TIME. Go ahead and enjoy that slice of pizza once in a while, but if you are a daily pizza consumer, this recipe is a must try for you.


This recipe is only 350 calories. Preparation time is about 10 minutes.


 1 tbspn of hummus (I used Sabra Red Pepper Roasted Hummus)

1 whole wheat/whole grain tortilla (I used a Mission Life Balance Whole Wheat Medium Tortilla)
1 cup of spinach
0.5 cups of chopped yellow onions
1 baby red radish
2 tbspn of shredded fat free Monterey pepper jack cheese (I used Great Lakes Monterey pepper jack cheese with Jalapenos)
0.5 tspn of oregano


1. Thoroughly wash the spinach, peeled radish, and peeled onion.
2. Chop up the onion and radish.
3. On the tortilla wrap, add the spinach.
4. Then add the onions and radish.
5. Following that, add the cheese. (I couldn't find my shredder. So I just cut some up to the equivalent of what the recipe calls.)
6. Place the tortilla wrap in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes.
7. Once you take the tortilla out of the toaster oven, add the hummus and spread it across.
8. Sprinkle on some oregano.
9. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this quick, healthy alternative to pizza! If you try it out, comment on this post to let me know how it came out! Also please share/like me on all my social media sites to get updates on blog postings! Merci beaucoup!
Bon appétit, mes amis!

Homemade healthy snack recipe: How to make homemade oatmeal bars


Today after taking a walk with my mom, I was searching for my favorite protein/granola bar, but knowing my luck, we obviously would not have any. We did however have oatmeal, so I started putting things together and I ended up with homemade oatmeal bars. 

1 serving has approximately 50 calories. This recipe makes about 10 servings. Preparation time is about 30 minutes. 

3 cups of oatmeal (I used Quaker's original, but you can use any)
1 cup of flax seeds
1.5 tbsp of honey
1 cup of cranberries
2 tspn of cinnamon
4 tbsp of almond butter 

1. Take the oatmeal, flax seeds, cinnamon, and cranberries and mix them together in a bowl. 
2. Add the honey and almond butter.
3. Mix all the ingredients together.
4. Place the mixture in a fridge. Allow for the mixture to harden. This will take about 20 minutes. 
5. Cut into squares and enjoy! 1 serving is two small squares. 

To store the oatmeal bars, place squares of them in a container and refrigerate them. They should last for about a week or two.

Also, if you don't want to eat this as a bar, it can be eaten with plain fat free Greek yogurt. To eat it like that, before you place the mixture in the fridge, put some of it in a bowl and then top it off with the Greek yogurt. 

You can also substitute fat free chocolate chips instead of the cranberries for a sweeter taste.

I enjoyed my oatmeal bars with a berry smoothie! This is a great snack if you are on a budget and/or diet. 
Remember to comment if you tried this to let me know how it came out. Also, follow me on Facebook, bloglovin, pintrest, instagram, tumblr, and twitter for updates on posts. 

Bon appétitmes amis!


Quote of the Day: Your Daily Boost of Inspiration


− Arnold H Glasgow

So, the next time you are about to give up on something or you are about to lose hope that everything will not be okay, just take a moment to relax. In the end everything will always be okay! If you go through life with a positive attitude, it will be much easier.

Everything will be okay!


Healthy Vegetarian Breakfast: Veggie Egg White Bread Bowl

1 comment

Hello again!

The most important meal of the day - breakfast - can be a struggle sometimes. Personally, I am not such a big fan of breakfast, only for the reason that I am not a morning person. On the contrary, I do adore breakfast foods any other time of the day. One of my favorite dishes to eat for breakfast are eggs. Not only are they tasty, but they are very healthy as well. Like I stated in one of my previous blog posts, I am a vegetarian. My friend's sister who is a doctor informed me that the egg whites are considered the "vegetarian" part of an egg, and not the yolk. The egg white is pretty much the chicken version of placenta. (My apologies for the gross analogy) Ever since then, I only eat egg whites and not the yolk. Plus, egg whites contain no carbohydrates, so it is an excellent addition in the diet of anyone who is trying to lose some weight. 

Eggs are extremely satiated with beneficial qualities. They are full of protein. Eggs will keep you full for a long period of time, thus aiding in the weight loss process. They will also maintain your cholesterol levels. If I haven't sold you on it yet, eggs also help sharpen your memory. This was found to be true when it was discovered that eggs have choline, which helps in brain development. Furthermore, leutin and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants present in eggs that help protect your eyesight from UV damage.

Now let's get to the fun part!

One serving has approximately 300 calories. This recipe calls for ingredients for one serving, and the preparation time is about 35 minutes. 


Whites of 2 large eggs or egg whites substitute (such as Egg Beater)

½ of a green bell pepper
½ of a red bell pepper
½ of a yellow bell pepper
½ cup of chopped onions
½ cup of chopped tomatoes
½ cup of black olives
½ cup of chopped spinach
½ cup of chopped kale
¼ cup of jalapenos 
 ½ of a whole wheat/whole grain kaiser roll
 ½ tbsp of fat free grated parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
½ tspn of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 nonstick pan
toaster oven

The veggies I chose can be substituted to personal preference.


1. Thoroughly wash all veggies and proceed to chop them all up. 

2. Once all chopped up, mix all the veggies together, adding the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix everything up. 
3. In the pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and turn on your stove to a low simmer. Let the pan warm up slightly.
4. Add the mixture of veggies to the pan. Sautée the vegetables until they are slightly brown. 
5. Take the roll, and remove the inside of it. In other words, hollow it out. Do not throw the bread pieces away. 
6. Take the sautéed veggies and place them in the bread bowl you just made.
7. In the same pan, add another tbsp of olive oil and allow it to heat up. Add the egg whites, and scramble them up. 
8. Add the scrambled egg whites and the inner part of the bread (which was removed in step 5) over the veggies in the bread bowl. 
9. Bake the bread in a toaster oven for about 15 minutes. or until the egg whites turn slightly brown. 
10. Once baked, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over it. 
11. ENJOY!

Hope you enjoy this egg white breadbowl! If you try it out, comment on this post to let me know how it came out! Also please share/like me on all my social media sites to get updates on blog postings! Merci beaucoup!

Bon appétit, mes amis!

LACE IT UP: OOTN || TSD Lookbook Chapter I


Just thought I would quickly share my OOTN! Tonight I went out to dinner with my family, and after spending most of my day trudging through MCAT practice tests, I wanted to get a little dolled up. Unfortunately, I hadn't unpacked my luggage from school. I didn't have any of my other nice dresses out, so I recycled an outfit from earlier on this week (from my sister's graduation). When it comes to recycling outfits, just call me the Kate Middleton of New Jersey...yeah, okay I guess not. 

Dress - Dress Barn

Cardigan (because it is always a little chilly in restaurants) - Macy's 
Watch - Kohl's
Pearl bracelet - Stole it from my mother 
Other two pearl bangles - Forever 21
Statement Necklace - Forever 21
Much like the rest of my wardrobe, my shoes were still packed in boxes, and me, being the lazy girl that I am, just couldn't walk over to unpack them. That is why, when I took this picture, I did not know what shoes I would be wearing yet. I ended up wearing wearing nude wedges, which are PERFECT FOR THE SUMMER!

^^FOTN. I opted to wear a neutral eye with a pink/fuchsia lip! Comment below if you want to see the makeup tutorial/post for this look.

Comment below if you want to see more OOTD/OOTN!

Much love to you all!


Poor Little Rich Girl

1 comment

Oh you don't have the latest Michael Kors watch or the newest smartphone upgrade? Please explain in more detail how much your life absolutely sucks.

Maya Angelou once stated, ''I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'' I cannot even begin to explain how profound this thought is. 

Yesterday, I was studying at a Starbucks when a group of girls who looked like they were the new and upcoming Regina George, Grethchen Wieners, and Karen Smith of 2013 walked in with smug looks. Needless to say, they walked into the Starbucks with their runway struts as if they owned the place, and as if by the sway of their hips they would have all eyes on them. They were complaining about how their lives would be over if they didn't go shopping for this party. (Yes, I am aware that eavesdropping is not virtuous, but what the ear hears, it cannot control. Frankly speaking, they were too loud to be ignored.) I guess I am ignorant, but I didn't know that it was possible to die if you did not go shopping. As they stood in line to order their cappuccinos, an elderly woman happened to bump shoulders with one of them. What ensued next completely infuriated me. The pretentiousness in their voices made my blood boil, and I am not one to easily be affected by outlandish behavior. The girls, so disrespectfully, started yelling and saying, "Watch where you are going you old (insert swear word) lady. Ughh poor people should just not be allowed in public, look how rude they are." Umm excuse me? In the words of Sara Bareilles, who died and made you king of anything?

I did not know how to react to this preposterous behavior. Should I have been an angry, upset, annoyed, insulted, or have ridiculed the impudence and presumptuousness that I was so gratefully able to experience. We live in a country and generation where, or at least where I would like to believe, our reputation and "class" lies within our personality and hard work. I  hate to say this but arrogance will get you nowhere in life. Whatever happened to humility? The negative effects of arrogance is something I have learned through horrible experiences, and I never ever want to go down that path again.

People often forget how lucky they actually are. We often find ourselves overlooking the important things in life because they are so small that we take them for granted. I am not going to lie to you, but I have been to that dark place of shallowness.  I am not proud of it, but I, Shipra Sharma, am glad to say that I am a recovered shallow b****h. I used to take all the things I had for granted and often found myself bragging about the things that I did have. However, unlike those girls, I never ever put anyone else down. Now, without getting into the mind of sixteen year old Shipra, I am happy that I now realize the importance of all that I do have. 

This realization hit me when I entered my first year of college. I started working with a charitable group called the Science Notebook. We basically organized science days and science lessons for  underprivileged children to raise an awareness and interest in science. Through working with these children, I soon started to realize how lucky I truly am. Many of these children could not even afford backpacks, and one little 7 year old boy told me how he wished he could buy a pack of Spider-man pencils and a book for his upcoming birthday because he never had his own pencils or books. I was in complete awe. Pencils were something I guess I took for granted. In the following months, along with a friend, I began a charity called Hope Smiles that raises money for the education of underprivileged children. Throughout my whole life, well up until college, I always fought with my parents when I didn't have the newest brand named pair of shoes or handbag. 
I frequently complained when my parents didn't take me shopping. In the end they always somehow managed to get my sister and I what we wanted, but they always, along with that, told me that I should be happy with what I do have and to never equate materials to happiness. That, by doing so, I will never be satisfied or content. My teen self always ruled that off as "they didn't really love me" or that they didn't understand how important it was for me to have those things.  I now understand what they meant by that, and they were so right too. That day, when that little boy told me what he wanted for his birthday, I reevaluated my whole life til date and was overcome with disappointment at myself. I never wanted to be the person that I had become. That day I had an epiphany and I swore to myself that I would never ever take anything for granted ever again. I am now happy to say that I am content and at peace with all that I have, and I honestly do not need more. I have a loving family, amazing friends, access to education and medical care, a roof over my head, clean water and food, clothes. That is much more than a large percentage of people around the world. 

Another thing that really got to me was when I went to watch a documentary called Girl Rising with my sorority sisters last semester. The documentary focused on the importance of equal educational opportunities for girls and boys around the world. It explored the world of young girls across the world and how, due to a lack of education, they were continued to be suppressed. At that moment, I felt like I had truly been blessed with a great life. I juxtaposed my life to what would have happened if my parents remained in India. I probably would not have the educational opportunities or freedom that I took for granted. I really am lucky for all that I have. 

Now, I am not saying to not indulge in luxury at all. If you are given the good fortune and capability to indulge, go ahead and do so, but be humble about it. My parents worked, and still continue to work, very hard for their money. That ideal is something I have adopted from them. If I want something, I will work hard for it, but now I will never brag about anything. Also, I will always remember to be appreciative about what I do have and be okay if I do not expand my materialistic closet. It might seem too unrealistic, or communistic/socialistic as some of you may say, but I really do hope that one day the world is a place where all children can garner the same luxuries. I hope that every child is given the opportunity to have a good education, clean water, food, a roof over their heads, a loving family, clothes to cover their bodies, and a long healthy life.

I have no right to criticize those girls because at one point in life I feel as though I was one of them, but for their sake, I hope that one day they realize what I have - that they have the same epiphany that I was graciously given. If they continue down this road, they will only end up in a ditch pervaded by loneliness and eternal dissatisfaction.

So, the next time you want to put someone down or complain about a luxurious item you do not have, just stop and take a moment to realize what you do have. Never let arrogance get to you. Be humble. Be appreciative. 

The sooner you appreciate all that you have, the sooner you will be content and at peace with life. 

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." 

-Antonio Smith


PS - If my parents are reading this, I just want to thank them for all that they have done. They came from another country with nothing and worked so hard to provide my sister and me with all the luxuries we do have. They selflessly only gave with never wanting anything in return, except our happiness. They only had one dream - to provide us with a better life and a better education than they had. So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. Thank you for spoiling us, but also for making sure that we realized the importance of what we had. Also, I am so sorry for being so annoying and a brat back in the day. 

Face Time Friday: Fight Aging, Acne, Stretch Marks, and Much More with Turmeric Masks


Turmeric has been used to heal many ailments for centuries. It is an ancient Indian secret, and boy were they smart to utilize such a beneficial spice. So what exactly is turmeric?

Turmeric is derived from the rhizome of plants from the ginger family. It is used for a variety of things, from cooking to curing several diseases. It has antiseptic, anti - inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant qualities, to name the least. Several studies have been performed in which turmeric was found to have the power to cure diseases, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. The power of this very inexpensive spice is a thousand - fold. However, since today is Face Time Friday, let's talk about what it does for the money maker: our beautiful visage. 

As I stated previously, turmeric is an antiseptic, anti - inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant agent. By using it on our skin, the anti - inflammatory qualities fight redness, blemishes, rosacea, and the tenderness under our eyes that cause bags and dark circles. It's antibacterial and antioxidant qualities disinfect the skin of all the dirt and residual "gunk" we expose it to on a daily basis. This allows for the prevention of acne. Turmeric is also a natural exfoliant. It removes dead skin cells to reveal a more brightened skin tone. 

In addition to the turmeric, the mask that I will tell you about has four other other key ingredients: milk, yogurt, gram flour, and honey.  Milk has lactic acid, which serves to exfoliate and rejuvenate skin cells. It also contains many vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, and E. These vitamins, together, provide the skin with hydration and moisture, which leaves your skin feeling like that of a baby. Yogurt, another dairy product, has some extra benefits than milk does. Yogurt is a substance full of proteins, zinc, and enzymes. These work together to provide a clearer complexion as yogurt is a lightening agent. It also has antioxidant properties that protect your skin, thus preventing acne. Yogurt also helps balance your pH level, which is vital for keeping your skin healthy and young! Yogurt also has soothing qualities, so it can be used to alleviate the pain from burns, while it heals them as well. Another very beneficial ingredient is honey. Honey is also an antibacterial agent, thus it disinfects the skin. Raw honey, which is what we will be using, also moisturizes the skin and restores pH levels as well. Honey also replenishes lost nutrients. Last but not least, gram flour is a common substance found in the kitchens of many Asians. When used on skin, gram flour tightens the skin, reducing wrinkles and stretch marks. It also removes dead skin cells, rejuvenating the skin. It is also a whitening agent. It clears the complexion and evens out your skin tone. It also lightens hair. So, it lessens the appearance of facial hair when used in face masks. 

Fun fact, for these reasons, turmeric has been used for beauty/cosmetic purposes in the form of a mask for brides and grooms before their weddings in Southeast Asia.

(Yes, I know I look creepy lol, but it is all in the name of beauty haha)

Now, let's get to the fun stuff.

How to make this mask.

1. Wash your face thoroughly, removing all makeup and any other products on your skin. Gently pat skin dry, but make sure to leave it a little moist. 

2. In a glass bowl, add 1.5 tbsp of turmeric, 1 tbsp of honey, 0.5 tbsp of milk, 0.5 tbsp of yogurt, and 0.5 tbsp of gram flour.  Make sure the honey that you use is raw (unpasteurized) and has a semi - liquid consistency. If it is hard, microwave the jar for about 10 seconds. The honey I use is Himalyan raw honey from Trader Joe's. 

3. Mix all the ingredients until the consistency of the mask is that of a paste. 

4. Using a clean foundation brush or the back of your mixing spoon, apply the face mask to your skin. Make sure the application of the mask is thick overall. Start from your chin. Apply it in circular motions, moving upwards. By applying it going up, you are prompting the skin to be lifted, which is ideal for the prevention of aging, sagging skin. 

5. Allow for the paste to harden, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Rinse your face using the same technique as the application, moving in circular motions going upward. Once the face mask is off, wash your face off with a gentle cleanser. I use Cetaphil.

6. Once your face is completely washed off, use a washcloth to gently PAT your skin dry. 

I usually apply this face mask twice a week at night. I then follow with a toner and moisturizer. By putting this on at night, it will allow for all the nutrients to be absorbed and the chance for your skin to rejuvenate itself. 

Now, a couple of disclaimers:

I am not a professional. All the information I have acquired is from my own research and what my mother/grandmothers have told me as I grew up. Many of the secrets that I have shared with you are commonly talked about and known in Southeast Asia. Also, there is a chance that turmeric and the other substances might not be suitable for your skin. If you know that these ingredients will not negatively affect you, then GREAT, continue as you were. However, if it is the first time that you are using these ingredients. Test it out on a very small portion of your hand to see how your skin reacts to it. Lastly, turmeric has very HIGH staining capabilities. That is why you should use a glass bowl when making the mask. Also, make sure to have your hair pulled back, and wear clothes that you wouldn't getting dirty when applying this, just in case of any spills. In case the mask does fall anywhere, immediately clean that area. 

So next time you are on the search of materials to help your skin, look no further than your kitchen. Remember, beauty is very simple. 

Comment below if you tried this out, and don't forget to share it!


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