August 2016 | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

How I Got My Acne In Control

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Untouched. Unedited Photo from earlier this month

Something happened earlier this year and I started breaking out again after five years of being acne-free. I was not stressed, but having acne started to stress me out. I did a juice cleanse to figure out if it was my diet (it wasn't). You could totally see my acne in this vlog. It was flaring up one after another. I went back to my the lessons I had learnt in my twenties. I applied each one of them. 

Two things I am extremely serious and dedicated to are, my fitness and skincare. The reason for my skincare obsession is so that I can live without make up, and get compliments like, "Gosh! You don't need make up!" :) 

Vanity aside, after four months of discipline and diligent regime, I finally have my skin back and it is better than ever. I still don't know what worked, but in this week's video I am spilling everything I did. 

Please note that everyone's skin is different and I would suggest you see a dermatologist before you apply any of my suggestions. 




Please feel free to share your feedback or ask me questions in the comments below or via this survey /Facebook/ Tweet / Email me.
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Tote Bags Options

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I had been researching a travel tote for a cousin of mine, and thought will convert the research into a post. She is looking for a tote and her requirement are pretty high: 

1. Must have zipper to close the top
2. Must have the option of a shoulder strap and cross-body both
3. Large enough to carry a tablet, wallet, phone, passport, cosmetics pouch, small bottle of water, reading material, and a lightweight stole.
4. Construction should be lightweight but tough material.
5. 
Should be flexible to fit under the seat in front of you. 
6. Must look stylish.
7. 
Dark color
Bonus: If it is constructed to slide on to or attach to your carry on suitcase.

Now the Longchamp sounds like a classic option, but it does not have the option to convert into a cross body bag. I also found a similar Samsonite version which fulfills her 'bonus' requirement but not sure about it's construction. Most of the bags that do look stylish and seem to have sturdy construction (like, this & this) do not come with a cross-body variation. While I do like the Tumi option (it fits most of the requirements) but it comes with a hefty price tag (for a travel tote). After looking high-and-low I am surprised that there is still not a very practical yet stylish travel-tote option out there. Personally, I traveled with a backpack this past trip and I was pretty happy, but I would still like to have an option of a tote (just like my cousin!) 

Below are a few of the totes that did catch my fancy, but didn't blow me over.

In case you have a suggestion, do let me know. 
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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Magic Gardens, was truly magical! If you have seen the travel vlog you know that it was bit of a challenge to make it here but I am so glad we did. 

Magic Gardens is an outdoor art installation which covers almost the whole block. Isaiah Zagar, a local artist who began tiling South Street in the 1960s and never stopped. "... Zagar created the space using nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. The site is enveloped in visual anecdotes and personal narratives that refer to Zagar’s life, family, and community, as well as references from the wider world such as influential art history figures and other visionary artists and environments." via

It is definitely a unique place to visit. I was amazed to see the intricacies of the mosaics and the use of bicycle rims and toilets in the 'garden.' You can spend hours analyzing all the different walls and pointing out the unique elements. Magic Gardens was truly an amazing experience which you have to see for yourself. My words and pictures are not doing it justice. 

Insider's Tip - Purchase the ticket online and skip the line. The tickets are sold according to the time slot to it is never gets too crowded inside. Also, they are sometimes closed for private events so check their website before hand. 

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Dress - Lucky Brand // Same
Shoes - From India // Better
Necklace - Lou Lou Boutique // Another
Earrings - Lou Lou Boutique



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Healthy Snack Ideas

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Snacking! Another challenge in my healthy living. The moment I feel I have my eating under control, life throws a curve ball and I am back to make changes. Lately, snacking has been my vice. Trying to pick healthy options and having them in moderation has been a struggle. As always, going back to the drawing board and making a plan of action has been been my strategy. 

I decided to fill my pantry with numerous healthy options, which then I packed in invidual size portions (unless they already come in single serving). 

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- Bowl of Fruit
I either go for a bowl of mixed fruits or one single fruit (e.g. apple, orange etc.). Having this as a mid morning snack helps me keep my energy levels up and sweet cravings at bay. 

- Glass of Water
I know water is not a snack. However, often in my experience, the body is not hungry but is giving mixed signals, due to past bad eating habits. Instead of going right for food, having a glass of water helps your brain process whether it is truly hungry or not. And luckily, a glass water does not have any calories. 

- String Cheese
If you are like my you might swing between salty to sweet cravings every other hour. Hence, having options for both those categories in your pantry is important. Weight Watcher's Light Jalapeno string cheese is one of the many options I found at Giant Food. It comes individually packed and is smooth and creamy with a kick of jalapeno peppers.

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- Popcorn 
This is my go-to-snack while working. I choose the individual size option which is low in butter and salt but high in fiber. I definitely cannot resist the hot-yummy-goodness. It’s a perfect snack for one of those busy days when you just want sometime to munch on with least amount of effort. 

- Ice Cream 
I have a sweet tooth, and I cannot lie! Especially in summer, I cannot stay away from ice creams. Luckily, I found Weight Watcher's Snack Size Double Caramel Swirl Ice Cream Cone. It is not only my favorite flavor but also only 90  calories, making it a perfect post-meal snack. 

Stop by your local Giant Food between 9/1/16 – 9/28/16 and when you buy any (5) FIVE participating Weight Watchers products (excluding Heinz SmartOnes & Meeting Room Products) you'll Save $3.00 instantly while supplies last!

Pin It!
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This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Weight Watchers, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #WWMarket  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
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How To Shop Anarkali Suits For Your Body Shape

The art of looking stylish and confident starts with knowing your body shape and clothes are flatter and fit the body. Often it is easier to shop for western clothes as there is a lot of information on cuts and body shapes available. However, it is not impossible to apply the same tricks to Indian wear as well. In this post I am sharing the most common Indian body shapes and which anarkali suits' style would suit them. 
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Pear

Majority of Indian (south-asian) women have pear shaped body. Pear shaped women have wider thighs and hips compared to their waist and shoulders. They would look perfect in A-line Anarkalis with more kalis or flare. They can also choose floor length anarkali. Wear boat neck, v-shaped, plunging or mandarin neck pattern to highlight the upper body. Kurta with collar and/or heavy details around neck looks great on this shape. Try to wear two toned dresses: light on the upper body and dark on the lower body to create an illusion of a balanced structure.


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Rectangle

Rectangle shaped women have the bust and hips about the same size. The waist is slightly smaller compared to the bust and hips. Women with rectangle body shape can wear short, frock style, layered, jacket style, long Anarkali suits. But, anarkali suit with lots of kalis and a huge Ghera will add volume to the look and create some curves. When it comes to neckline, go for wide, deep necklines.

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Hourglass

Women with hourglass body shape have hip and bust of same size with a narrow waist. Women blessed with hourglass figure can opt for any kind of anarkali suit, preferably tailored to enhance the beautiful curves. Although, avoid heavy fabrics as will add extra weight.


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Apple

Women with apple-shaped body have a large bust, broad shoulders with rounded abdominal area and narrow hips. An a-line anarkali suit with v-neck and wide border around the hem, would be most flattering for this shape. Another option would be to choose an anarkali suit, in which flare starts at the empire line instead of the waist. Drape dupatta over your shoulder to divert attention. Avoid boat necks, high necklines, heavy works around the neck and fabrics like brocade or tissue.

I hope you find these tip helpful for your next anarkali suit shopping. Do share what you bought on your shopping haul! 


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48 Hours in Philadelphia, PA

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We (husband & I) have realized, not only do we like our bi-yearly vacations, we also love frequent weekend getaways. Living the same life, gets quite monotonous for us. Taking a plane ride to far-forsaken-lands is not always a possibility, but a few hour road trips to neighboring states and cities can definitely be done. 

Two weekends ago we made our way to Philadelphia. I have already shared my accommodation information here now let's see what all we did while we were there. 

Friday

We left home around 11:00am and after a pit-stop at Starbucks for a coffee run we made our headway to Philly. The drive was smooth and easy, filled with conversations and music. We reached the hotel in about three hours. We checked it and put on our travel shoes and went straight out to soak in the culture and history. Thankfully everything was at a walking distance from The Windsor Suites. First we walked to the Philadelphia Town Hall. That's where the famous "LOVE" sign is where people continued to take pictures one after another. I took mine from a distance! Soon after we were starving because we had a light lunch before leaving home and the drive had exhausted us. 

We walked to the Rittenhouse Square, which has so many options that making a choice was proving to be hard. Being Friday evening the wait was quite long too. Finally we settled on having some delicious Italian food. 

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After a filling meal we walking around the neighborhood which was buzzing with people. Thankfully the weather was on our side and it was not too humid. While walking we stumbled upon the sign for The Observation Deck and without thinking twice we went for it. Luckily there was a deal on Groupon and we were able to save a couple of bucks on the ticket. We spent a generous amount of time enjoying the top view of the city's skyline. We stayed back sunset to witness the stunning sunset.

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We walked around a little more, stopped by a bar where I had sparkling water and husband had some beer, and we both had some interesting conversations (with each other!). Haha

Saturday

We started the day early and went for a jog along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. We were headed to a trail but we made so many stops on the way that we ran out of time. There were many landmarks and parks to view along the jog. We finally made it to the Rocky statue and the "steps". I even did a couple of laps on them. After an eventful morning we made our way to have some breakfast. We were recommended Sabrina's Cafe and it did not disappoint. My tofu scramble was off-the-charts. 

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We showered, and without wasting any time went on to explore the city more. We checked out the Cathedral Basilica, Eastern Penitentiary, Spring Garden neighborhood, had some delicious meals throughout the day and crashed tired, but enriched with our day's experiences. 

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Sunday

Before heading back home, we decided to enjoy the breakfast at the hotel and went to checkout the famous Magic Gardens, which turned out to be the highlight of the weekend for me. We also tried to visit the Liberty Bell, but the queue of tourist was a couple of miles long, and we had no patience to stand in the heat for that. Luckily I had seen it upon my first visit to the Philly. 

Satisfied, and elated with our weekend, we drove back in the afternoon and made it to DC by 3:00pm, still having the evening to unwind and prepare for next week. 

If you are interested in the exact locations and information about the places we visited hit play on the Travel Log below in which I have tried my best to cover the highlights of the trip. 


Hope you enjoyed virtually coming along on the trip with me!
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Weekend At The Windsor Suites in Philadelphia, PA

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Summer in the city! As much as I like my global travels, one of my passions is exploring cities (and hidden nooks and corners) in the U.S. itself. Recently, we made a trip to Philadelphia for the weekend, courtesy Modus Hotels. It had been more than fifteen years since my last visit and the memories were a little hazy.

But they aren't any more. Tomorrow I will be sharing the city guide and deets about everything we did in the city however, today it is all about the hotel! The Windsor Suites are right in the heart of downtown Philadelphia and walking distance to almost all the attractions and eating. Now husband and I enjoy exploring the city on the foot, so this property was truly perfect for us. 

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Statement making hotel entrance! (p.s. couldn't agree more with the quote!)
Right when you enter the hotel, after parking your car, you are greeted with this fabulous quote and the inviting couch. I was lucky to get a shot of this without a soul in sight as it was hard to find a moment without people around this couch and rightfully so. Who wouldn't wanna sit and relax here? 

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Our spacious bedroom with a city view
Our check-in process was swift and efficient and were give the room on the 14th floor, which had an amazing view of the city and near by attractions. Now since it was unbelievably hot, we couldn't enjoy hanging out on the balcony, but I sure enjoyed the ample natural light. The room has a small kitchenette and a dinning table, which would be perfect for small families or people who are in the city for a longer stay. 

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Welcome treat from the hotel management
On Sunday, before checkout and heading-off to explore the city a little more, we decided to enjoy the breakfast at the Con Murphy's Irish Pub which is at the hotel property. While they didn't have many vegetarian/vegan options but they had enough to fill me up. Although, my husband really enjoyed his omelette and rye toast. 

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Breakfast at CON MURPHY'S IRISH PUB
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Chocolate Milk to go with my Breakfast





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Business Center / Reading Table - In case you want some alone time! :)
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These fabulous quotes by Benjamin Franklin could be found all around the hotel!
Philadelphia is under three hour drive from DC area and a perfect city break for those who enjoy a little bit of history, culture and good food. The Windsor Suites were an ideal place for the weekend getaway and I would highly recommend the city and the hotels both. 

The Windsor Suites: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



The stay was sponsored by Modus Hotels
All opinions mentioned are my own. 
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Travel Regrets

I have been traveling ever since I was a toddler. I have my Mom to thank for that. She made me confident, independent, and adventurous. She sewed the seed of wanderlust which has been in full bloom lately. 

One of my only regrets is that I didn't start documenting travels early on. I have had this blog for seven years and I have travelled a lot in those years but only started documenting for the past year or so. So many good blogging opportunities lost. But ... even if I had started travel blogging seven years ago, I would have still had the same regrets as there are so many places I visited before my blogging life. And I never took pictures before I started blogging, so I have no proof. Only memories. 

Oh well. Whatever happens, happens for a reason right? I am just glad that I am doing it now. Better late than never. The weekend before I was invited to stay by Modus Hotels at their property in Philadelphia. I will be sharing more about my stay and the weekend city guide in the coming posts, but for now below is what I wore there. 

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Use the code: TANVIIDOT to get 15% off your next (or new) Daniel Wellington Watch!
Top - Urban Outfitters // Similar
Shorts - Target // Similar
Shoes - Adidas // Same
Bag - Louis Vuitton // Similar
Watch - c/o Daniel Wellington // Same

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Friday Fitness: Five Commandments

Today I am sharing my 5 Gym/Workout Commandments, which in my experience a lot of people ignore but are important in order to get an effective workout. The basic idea is to make the workout as efficient and comfortable as possible. Small twitches in habits and wardrobe options can make a huge difference. Starting with:

  1. Make Up - Personally I would never wear make up and head to the gym, besides the fact that I think that looks ridiculous, it is also not good for your skin. As you start sweating it would clog your pores (and probably start running down your face?). I usually just apply my moisturizer and sunscreen and am ready to go. 
  2. Hair - I always tie my hair back in a pony tail, plait or a bun. Trying to keep them away from my face (especially eyes). Having your hair all over your face is not only unattractive but also not a efficient way to work out. 
  3. Deodorant - I do not think I need to explain this any further, but just in case - Please use deodorant generously before and after your workout. People around you will Thank you! 
  4. Clothes - Workout gear need to fit your body, not only to avoid accidents (getting stuck in machines, stumbling, etc) but also allow you to get an effective workout. Over sized tee shirts and loose track pants are a BIG NO!  
  5. Undergarments - I am talking about sports bras for women and cotton underwear (briefs) for men. You don't want your girls to be bouncing around too while you bounce, now do you? Cotton is the most absorbent material, hence ideal for all sweating condition.







Below pictures are from 2012 - A glorious evening at St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.
Tank - Bershka // Another Option
Shorts - Rachel Roy via Macys // Similar
Flip Flops - Old Navy // Another Option
Pendant - ASOS // Similar
Cap - Puma // Another Option
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Cera Wax Studio in Bethesda

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With co-owners and sisters Monica and Anna
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Photography courtesy: Jai Williams
One of the interesting facts about Cera Wax Studio is that it takes 49 seconds in the elevator to get to this premier salon. Cera Wax Studio is located at at 4866 Cordell Ave. Bethesda, MD specializing in hair removal, specifically, full body wax treatments for women and men. 

The studio was started by sisters and co-owners Monica and Anna, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the event, organized and hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Angelica. 


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Treatment Room
At the event, I was pampered with a full legs and hand waxing treatment. To ensure timelines (I suppose and appreciate), I had two waxers (Ime and Jasmine) who worked on me - one on legs and the other on the arms. I had a wonderful experience. They both were friendly and yet professional and put me to ease immediately. As someone who has been getting waxing done with the crack of puberty, it was not a painful procedure for me. It took under 45 minutes for the whole process and bam! my hand and legs were smooth as silk. It has been about 10 days since, and I am still enjoying the hair-free legs (and hands!). I will definitely be going back for my hair removal needs.

This event was also to kick-off the launch of Angelica's new blog: Angelia In The City, and to celebrate she brought together who's who of the DC blogging world and social influencers. If you are on Instagram, you might have heard me mention that it was one of the best blogger hosted, events I've been in the DC area. All credit to the fabulous and friendly host, Angelica. She is a people's person and it shines through. Not to mention there were several giveaways, a darn-cool Cera Wax swag bags, snacks and champagne!

If you live in the Bethesda (or neighboring) area you must check Cera Wax Studio out: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook 
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