Makeup mistakes that can add 10 years to your looks…………

1)      Too much foundation – foundation that is too thick will settle into fine lines & sap the luminosity from your skin. Avoid buying the matte, velvet & long-wearing ones. Go for the sheer liquid formulas

2)      Concealer – a thick concealer will draw attention to fine lines since your skin is delicate under the eye. Use instead a brush-on highlighter pen with illuminating particles rather than opaque color

3)      Deep, dark lip colors – to make your mouth look fuller & youthful go choose bright lipsticks & glosses in vibrant pinks, peaches, reds

4)      Finishing with powder – powders prevent light reflection & magnify lines. Switch to sheer powders & then let go off powders totally by blotting the T-zone for oily skin

5)      Black eyeliner – you want to define the eyes with softness not strict lines so try brown eyeliner instead to make the eyes seem more open & less heavy

6)      Lipliner – the lipliner should match the color of your lips & not the lipstick. Too dark lip liners can make the lips look tight & pursed

7)      Liner & mascara on lower lashes – can make your look droopy & draw attention to fine lines. Instead volumize & define the upper lashes only

8)      Blush – a rosy flush on your cheeks brings instant life to your face. Don’t skip it. Smile & find the fleshiest part of your cheek & apply the blush just above it, blending outwards towards your temples in circles


Try on your make up when you have the time at home before an event or a party so that you are confident of how it’s going to look & feel. Always do a dress rehearsal. First impressions…………………..

Restaurant review – Saravana Bhavan, Southall, UK

We finally found it 🙂 A place to have all the South-Indian staples for breakfast which we love so much. Right in the heart of Southall, UK. Michael & I are fond of idli, vada, dosa & other south Indian breakfast fare on the weekends and along with their filter coffee, you feel like you are in heaven


What are these yummy things? Well let’s begin with:


Idli – steamed white rice and lentil patties

Vada – deep fried lentil flour savory doughnut

Dosa – thin crispy rice & lentil crepe

Poori Masala – fried fluffy whole wheat bread served with potato mash & spicy vegetable gravy

Rava Khitchidi, Uppama – roasted semolina cooked with vegetables & herbs

Uthappam – thick rice & lentil pancake


Most of these staples have varieties to them like masala dosa, tomato onion uthppam, kaima idli etc. & all of these are served with a white coconut chutney, a green coconut chutney, a red tomato chutney & sambar which is a lentil & vegetable gravy.


The food is served within a few minutes & steaming hot & fresh from the kitchen. The place opens at 10:30 am & is crowded in a few minutes by loyal customers & large family groups.


Try it, have some of the staples mentioned above & you will see why this place is so popular.

It will tickle your taste buds & you will want to eat some more. So when you are in Southall or Dubai, Frankfurt, Kuwait or Chennai; there is a Saravan Bhavan everywhere. Go in, get fed, come out satisfied & smiling 🙂



Restaurant Review – Jamie’s Italian

The starting point for Jamie’s Italian was to re-create what Italians are most proud of – fantastic, rustic dishes using recipes that have been tried, tested & loved over the years.


It was designed to be accessible, affordable no matter how much you spend or how long you stay.


I think they may have achieved all of that.


We visited the Reading branch of Jamie’s Italian for lunch yesterday & it was raining so we were kind of hungry & cold.

We went directly to main course & ordered Ravioli Primavera, a Crab Risotto which was the day’s special & an Apple-Fennel salad.


The Ravioli Primavera is stuffed with mashed peas, mint & ricotta in an asparagus sauce with mascarpone Amalfi lemon – delicious & as true Italian style – you taste with your nose first the flavours emanating from this dish


Crab Risotto – made with the finest Acquarello rice has a creamy texture with crab meat on & flat leaf parsley on top – spicy, smooth, tempting flavours & colours


The food was great no doubt. It’s a gourmet restaurant after all. What was a little disappointing was the portion sizes. For a restaurant-café type setting on a riverside by a mall, the portions were like appertizers instead of being a full main course size.


Also, what most Italian places do is they serve a complimentary bread basket with herb butter to keep you going till the food is served but that was missing as well for a place that bakes its own fresh bread.

It does not need to be done but then when the portions are small, they may as well be accompanied by salad or bread.


The experience was good & left us hungry for more but only to wonder if we would visit again.

I would like a hearty Italian meal, bread & all with tummy filling portions of their age-old secret recipes to warm me on a cold Autumn day


The food was delicious, the ambience warming & the staff polite. Try it for an experience of Jamie Oliver’s craft. He would make Italy proud.

Comfort food…………….

When I am down, its raining or its cold outdoors, I prefer comfort food. Some of my favourites are:-

1) Dal & Rice with pickle, papad & fried fish

2) Chicken pulao

3) Aloo parathas with curd

4) Jeera rice & Rajma

5) German Sausages with mashed potato

6) Fish & Chips

7) Lasagne

8) Thai curry with Jasmine rice

9) A grilled sandwich with tons of veggies

10) Samosas, idli, bhajjias with tea

Most of these are Indian specialities, the recipes for which I will include in my blogs to come. Till then hang on in there and have a great day

Cheers 🙂

Decorating your home, quick & easy………….

1)      Couch – get a couch in a neutral color, that way you can always change the cushion colors according to the season – apple green for summer, deeper reds, burgundy for autumn & winter

2)      Mirrors – soften a room & add light & expand the room as well. Place a tiny vase with dried flowers in front of it or drape a velvet throw over it to give it a warm feeling

3)      3 second scan – shout your eyes & open them & note down the things that you see that bother you. Use that as a starting point to start re-decorating. You will have a theme in mind & some objects do not fit in. Remove them

4)      Plants, Flowers – no matter what your color scheme, green plants in a white pot, lilies in a transparent square vase can add a touch of life to any room, making it more friendly

5)      Play with Yellow – add a bowl of bright lemons in your kitchen for that instant spring feeling. Adds color to the space & also easy accessible for use when cooking

6)      Keep it airy & light – replace heavy drapes with sheers & lace for the summer to welcome the natural sunlight

7)      Placemats – a simple change of dinner table accessories like placemats to brighter colors of red or orange can add that extra feeling of the season. Add a tiny transparent vase to the table with fresh cuts of flowers & wild leaves to give it that touch

8)      Photo frames – instead of decorating a wall with photo frames of the same color & size, you can mix & match the sizes while keeping the frame colors neutral like black, brown, wood & even white

9)      Crockery – mix & match the colors. Get 2 plates in brown, 2 in green, 2 in a white background with bright yellow flowers on them. Same for the cups & bowls. No need to be uniform here if you are having fun J

10)   Candles – all shapes & sizes are fun to decorate with. Keep a bunch of fragrant ones in your bathroom. Fill a bowl with water and out tea lights & flowers in it; place it on the coffee table

11)   Books – accessorize with books. Stack books of your interest on a table

12)   Display Children’s art – frame the drawing, artwork & hang them in the living room, kitchen to give it a homely feel


Whatever you do, check what you already have that can be recycled like painting old furniture to make it look new or just changing your linen to brighter shades. Work on a theme or season with neutral shades to begin with which can then be enhanced with the color of the seasons or your moods.


Have fun 🙂


Ohn No Khao Swè – Burmese Noodles

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp turmeric, depends on taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • ~ 1 1/2 cans coconut milk, about 600 ml
  • 2 cans chicken broth, about 600 ml
  • 2 small packages of fresh Asian egg noodles
  • 3 cups fried egg noodles
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters or smaller, depending on      taste
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • chili flakes for light garnish

In a large heavy bottom pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté until golden brown, translucent, and no longer steaming. Make sure that the only moisture left in the pot is from the cooking oil, this should take around 10-15 minutes. Stir constantly and do not let mixture burn or stick to pot. Add turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add in cubed chicken and stir till thoroughly coated. Cover and let cook for about ten minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and chicken stock, stir, cover, and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While ohn no is cooking, boil egg noodles then drain and rinse with hot water to keep the noodles warm and to keep them from sticking. Serve broth over a handful of warm egg noodles. Garnish with fried noodles, onion slices, chili flakes, and lemon juice.

5′ 4″ or under – fashion tips for the “little” woman………………

1)      Vertical Pinstripes – add to enhance your figure vertically, giving length to your structure

2)      Large Clutch – keep oversized bags to a minimum, reducing the risk of looking like you are carrying a suitcase. Replace with a large clutch instead

3)      Stretch your legs – make your legs look longer by matching shoes, hose & skirt

4)      Denims – dark-wash denims serve to elongate the legs & are dressier as well

5)      Monochromatic dressing – one shade, head to toe is always flattering. Do not try to chop your body up with different colours

6)      Empire waist dresses, gowns – raise the focus to bust level so that your torso & legs look much longer than usual

7)      Shirts, tops – a tucked in shit cuts you in the middle. Instead wear a blouse, top that goes over your pants & a short bolero kind of jacket over it to draw attention away from the waistline

8)      Shoes – avoid ankle strappy shoes or short boots that cut the leg line. Go for open strappy heels that elongate the calf & leg


Keep in mind to wear what makes your comfortable while enhancing your curves a bit & making the most of your body structure. Comfort & class are the key to getting it right otherwise the most expensive of clothes can make you look drab. Experiment, try-on & look in the mirror & see how you feel before you buy. So get moving & check out your wardrobe before you go shopping.