Monthly Favourites – June

As I was rewinding the past month to make a list of my Favourites, I couldn’t help but think that 2016 is exactly halfway over. The weeks seem to be flying in and each day passes by in the blink of an eye.

And as we settle into the second week of the second half of 2016, I thought I’d quickly squeeze in some of my Favourites from June and tell you about some of the products and thing I have been loving. Before I begin though, I also want to tell you that although June ended on a good note, the month in itself was a rocky one for me. With a bunch of things not going the way I had planned, the enthusiast in me saw a big down time. Time and again, I had to tell myself that nothing lasts forever and if at the moment I was facing unexpected storm, I had to learn to embrace it and learn to dance under the rain, for the sun would shine through soon enough.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I also learnt how important it is to practice kindness, mindfully, every single day of our lives. Kindness does not have to be going out of the way in doing something for strangers and friends. Kindness lies in the simplest of things such as listening while the other person is talking and really listening and not just listening to reply. Kindness lies in taking a moment to tell people how much you appreciate their presence in your life. Kindness is about being aware of other person’s feelings and not being lost in our own world of wants and needs. Kindness is to give without hoping to receive. Kindness begins with being kind to yourself and while all of this might be easy to say, in today’s world it is also difficult to practice. I remind myself of these things every day and as I practice, I’m certain I’m going to master it soon. And I hope you do too. We all could do with a little more kindness in our lives.

Anywho, enough banter. Now without further adieu, let’s jump right into the fifth edition of my Monthly Favourites blogpost.

Smoothies
I love love love smoothies.
Why?
Because I think they are incredible way of giving our body a good dose of nutrients and the extra boost that our day needs. If made well, smoothies can also be a great meal replacement. If you are someone who struggles to prepare breakfast in this morning, smoothies are for you. They take 2 minutes to whip up and a minute to finish, taste delicious and end up nourishing your body with all things good. What’s not to love? I had a ton of smoothies this summer, but these one below is my favourite. The Kale Smoothie or the Green Warrior Smoothie as I like to call it.

IMG_1063copy

1 cup diced mango, 1 cup kale, 1 banana, 1/2 milk or nut milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter – Blend all of it!

Coconut Bowls
On the topic of smoothies, I want to introduce you to my most favourite find of all times aka Smoothie Bowls made out of coconut shells. The first time I saw these bowls in Bali, I went (coco)nuts over them! Amongst everything else, what I truly loved about these bowls was that they were 100% natural, eco-friendly and also extremely versatile to use. From breakfast cereal to salads to smoothies – you can pretty much serve anything in these. Not to mention, these bowls are made from hand-picked coconut shells and hence each bowl has it’s unique shape and appeal.

I ordered mine from cocobowls.au and they came with beautiful wooden spoons! :)

IMG_1168copy

Mango Salsa
As far as fruity salsas go, Mango Salsa is easily my favourite. It’s sweet, spicy and absolutely delicious. And oh, really healthy too. And guess what? You can make a fantastic version of Mango Salsa with just 5 ingredients!
Sure, if you’re feeling fancy, you can go in and extra fruit or avocado, but the basic 5 ingredients definitely hold their own.  You just need fresh mangoes, onion, fresh cilantro, red bell pepper and lime juice.

Toss all of it together and …..voila!

IMG_1185copy1

Favourite Outfit
I love basic outfits. A simple grey t-shirt and blue denims, a blue sweater and black jeans, a plain blue dress – I can live in these things. And lately I find myself drifting towards white on denim.
A lot.

Although it’s difficult to maintain white especially given this wet season, my love for white has remained constant. Here’s one of my all time favourite outfits.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Favourite Song
I discovered this song through a friend about a month ago and I instantly fell in love with its sweet melody and angelic feel. If you know me, you would also know that I always imagine songs around situations and in this one, I imagine myself sitting on a wooden bench, maple leaves strewn all over with a cold breeze touching my face.

Give the song a listen, if you will and tell me what it makes you feel in the comments section below. :)

And that’s about it on the June favourites front, you guys!
I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would love to know some of your favourites from the month, so do make sure you share them with me.

Have a lovely day <3

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

FTC Disclaimer: All items have been purchased by me with my own money.

Monthly Favourites – April

Hello and welcome to my ‘April Favourites’ blogpost, everyone :)

Packed with lots of shoots, a beautiful trip to Bali and some fantastic culinary experiences, April has been by far the best month for me. I especially want to tell you about my Bali adventure, but maybe I’ll save the details for another blogpost and jump straight into the overall experience bit for now.

I can try all I want, but to be able to put my time in the beautiful island into words won’t ever do it justice. The moment I landed in Bali, I knew I was in for a treat. The air felt clean, the people wore big, beautiful smiles and the vibe in general too, was incredibly positive. The thing I loved most about Bali is that it offers something for everyone. Hike trails, unique shopping experiences, meditation & yoga resorts, clear blue water beaches and for the foodie, fantastic restaurants! And for me, well, I was lucky enough to experience all of these things in good measure.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

My travel there also served as a good reminder of how important kindness is. The locals are so gentle and helpful that it’s difficult to have a bad day in Bali. Someone or the other is constantly making you smile with their politeness and clear soul.

I could go on about Bali and the plethora of great things it has to offer, but maybe I’ll do another blogpost on it. So let me know if you would like me to write about it :)

For now, without further adieu, let’s get straight to my April Favourites!

Ballerinas from Topshop
A 7 month long search (I kid you not!) ended when I chanced upon these beautiful pair of ballet flats on the Internet about 3 weeks ago. The soft hues, the style, the tiny little bow with gold detailing was what I fell for and although the intention was to buy just one pair, I gave into temptation and bought both the pink and grey pair.

IMG_9639copy

The best part about these shoes is that they fit like a glove and go with all kinds of outfits. Be it a summer dress, a pair of boyfriend denims, shorts, a floral skirt, they blend in seamlessly with everything and I for one, love such versatile items. They help keep the wardrobe minimal without compromising on the style.

What’s not to love! <3

Shelter Cafe
Right in the heart of Seminyak, Bali we found Shelter Cafe serving the most delicious breakfast and lunch fare amidst lush and tropical surroundings. In a new place where you want to keep exploring new options for food, me and my sister found ourselves coming back to Shelter almost every other day. They have a hearty menu of home-style dishes ranging from freshly tossed salads to gourmet burgers to smoothie bowls and a ton of options for the visitors with specific dietary choices.

My personal favourite at Shelter was their Smashed Avocado with cherry tomatoes and a side of mango smoothie. Oh-so-refreshing and absolutely perfect on a hot summer’s day!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

White Shorts
I bought a pair of white shorts right in time for my beach vacation and as much as I would have loved to flaunt them everyday, given how comfy and non-fussy they are, I wore them in our first day in Bali and a couple of times after and all the apprehension of wearing white has now been put to rest!

They fit so well and again, are extremely versatile.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Madeline Lu
Being a food stylist and photographer, I’m constantly in search of inspiration. I love to see how other photographers play around with light, the colours, the background and this always helps cure a certain block and gives me more direction on how to make use of the things I have at hand and style each picture differently.

I discovered Madeline’s Instagram feed a month or two ago and I’m head over heels in love with the variety of photographs she creates. Her pictures are full of colour, contrast and good lighting coupled with some really nice captions and I don’t think there is a single picture on her feed that I haven’t doubled tapped.

Sunday+Belgian+Waffles+-+www.madelinelu

Food stylist or not, you have to see what she creates! It’s beautiful and I’m hooked.

Favourite QuoteQuotefancy-18999-3840x2160

This quote says it all.
We live in a world where everyone has a chance and platform to voice their opinion on a variety of issues and situations, thanks to social media. But who cares about these opinions? The sad truth is, NO ONE does. Your opinion on anything does not change much. There are billions of people in this world with billion of opinions on environmental change, political issues, social media – you name it, they have something to say about it. But what truly matters and what truly makes a difference is the action you take. To see the world become what we imagine it to be, we must lead by example. You want to see more kindness in this world? Start by being kind to yourself and the people you cross paths with everyday. Do you want to see a better and cleaner environment? Learn to recycle things, not litter and make judicial uses of resources available to you.

People around you will be inspired by your actions and not by your opinions. It’s never too late to begin :)

And on that note, we come to the end of my April Favourites!

I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would love to know some of your favourites from the month, so do share them with me in the comments section.

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

FTC Disclaimer: All items have been purchased by me with my own money.

Monthly Favourites – March

Hello and welcome to yet another ‘Monthly Favourites’ blogpost, everyone :)
It’s safe to say we are almost one quarter into the year and I thought this would be a good time to squeeze in my favourites from this month and tell you in detail about some of the products/things I have been enjoying.

Before I begin, I want to mention that this month for me has been extremely busy with lots of movement happening on the personal + professional front. Even though everything has turned out great, all the planning/scheduling has kept me on my feet and hence, I have not been able to find time to explore newer brands and products, like I usually do. That said, I have revisited my kitchen shelf + closet only to find out that there are certain things that are so invariably a part of my life, they never found a mention in my favourites blogpost.

And so with that, here’s presenting to you, the Unsung Heroes!

Breakfast Toasts
Last year for about 3-4 months, I would religiously have toasts for breakfast before leaving home for work. With a shift in surroundings, smoothies + staple indian breakfast dishes found their way into my diet, up until a few weeks back, when I saw few loaves of bread, an avocado and chilly flakes in the same frame. And, Voila!
There has been no looking back, ever since.
IMG_8817copy
Apart from avocado toasts that I have with a topping of cherry tomatoes and chilly flakes, I also enjoy crispy toasts with dollops of raw, natural peanut butter or almond butter and freshly cut fruits.
Both of these combinations are full of nutrition and if had with a side of smoothie, give the body a perfect kick-start.
IMG_8872copy
Although not everyday, I usually find myself munching on these toasts over the weekend. Easy to put together and oh-so-good for the body!

Turmeric Milk 
I honestly have no clue what took me so long to write about this amazing drink. Warm and comforting, this beverage has been my cup of calming “chai” over the past 4 months.

Turmeric Milk is not only soothing to have at night, but is extremely nutritious too. For those of who you do not know, Turmeric contains loads of nutrients especially antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds which make this a win-win in my book.
Everyone’s book.
IMG_8929
Another benefit, it simply tastes delicious! Turmeric has this warm, slightly spicy, bold, and earthy flavour and when mixed with a hint of sweetness it makes for the perfect night cap beverage. (sans the alcohol, haha!)

The benefits of it are many and you can read them here.
For now, I will tell you a couple of things to keep in mind while brewing this drink.

Whether you make it with cow milk or plant milk, make sure you let the milk, turmeric, ginger and honey simmer for 5-6 minutes on low-medium heat. This helps all flavours to marry together in their own time while still allowing you to reap complete benefits of all ingredients added in. Also, after you pour the turmeric milk into a mug/glass, add in a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and give all of it a good mix. Ground pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin (the main component found in turmeric) in our bodies and you want that!

The significant changes turmeric milk has brought along with it to my body are extraordinary. Let’s just say I would not mind calling it a magic potion either. I have been highly recommending my friends & family to try it and I would definitely recommend for you to have it too.
Do let me know what you think of it, if you give it a go. And if you do, make sure you use only Organic Turmeric.

Next up on the list is,

Bucket Bag from Zara
I bought this faux leather bag last year around mid-May and have been loving the versatile nature of it, ever since.

The bag goes well with pretty much all variations of everyday, casual to semi-formal outfits and I love how  easily it can fit in all essentials such as my wallet, a hair brush, lip-balm and other things, that I always carry with me. Even though I do have a couple of other sling bags, I always find myself drifting towards this particular one and for obvious reasons!

Processed with MOLDIV

This picture pretty much sums up my love for it.
<3

Turquoise Ring
For those of you who know me, you also know that I’m not too much of an accessories person. I have 4 basic earrings, 2 rings and one bracelet and the latter has not seen the light of the day ever since I bought it. What I mean to say here is, unless ofcourse I ABSOLUTELY love something, I won’t bother buying it. In a nutshell, my relationship with accessories is inversely proportional to my relationship with raw chocolate. You can ask me for raw chocolate anytime, and I will always have enough for the both of us to eat till our heart’s content.

Coming back to the ring..
Ever since I have brought this beauty home, I have always accessorized it with my traditional outfits. With its beautiful teal colour positioned between dark metal it always look striking brightening up the look of the entire outfit that I’m wearing.

IMG_7742.JPGWhat’s not to love!

Favourite Song
This song has been a personal favourite for a long time now. Back in the day, when I was in the UK, I used to go for really long walks, earphones plugged in and I would walk for hours in the beautiful cobblestone streets of Leeds braving the chilly air that had the smell of fallen leaves and pine trees with soothing Tora, playing on my phone.

IMG_3565copy

I love all the music created by Tora, but this one tops the list!

I listen to it while working on my laptop, on long walks, on long drives; this song has stunningly beautiful vibes to it. If you give it a listen, let me know what you think!

And that’s all for this month’s favourites, you guys! I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would love to know some of your favourites from the month, so do share them with me in the comments section.

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

FTC Disclaimer: All items have been purchased by me with my own money.

P.S. – Next month’s Monthly Favourites is going to be a really exciting one, so do subscribe & stay tuned! I cannot wait to reveal more. :)

Monthly Favourites – February

I cannot believe we are almost two whole months into the new year.
The weeks are flying in and each day passes by in the blink of an eye. I started a new job back in January and before I even knew it, I finished a month there.

I’m not complaining though.
I like it when I have super busy days and weeks. It fills me with some sort of hope, that things are happening at a dizzying pace and somehow, its all pushing me towards achieving my goals & dreams.

February has been great so far. Challenging, yes, but rewarding in many ways too. You guys know me by know. Even the littlest of good things make me grateful and like always, in this month too, I’m filled with gratitude for both things that worked out and things that did not.

Anywho, enough banter. I’m back with the second edition of my Monthly Favourites and even though we’re sort of half way through this month, I have a bunch of amazing things/products to share with you.

Let’s gets started..

Natural Nut Butters
Ever since I have been back from the U.K., where natural butters could be found at almost all supermarkets, I have kept an eye out for finding similar tasting butters here. Until one day, thanks to some midnight Instagram browsing, I found The Butternut Co. and ended up placing an order the very next day.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

To say that I was pleased would be an understatement. I was ecstatic.
The butters with their great taste and lovely packaging turned out to be right up my alley. I loved the fact that they do not use any preservatives or sugar or oil in their butters. They are in fact unprocessed, full of natural goodness and come in the cutest jars. I ordered Almond Butter & Cocoa Almond Butter and apart from eating them right from the jar (guilty!), I also add them to smoothies and oat bowls. My personal favourite is their Classic Peanut Butter & Almond Cocoa Butter.

For those of you who are new to healthy food and are looking for something decadent to satiate those sweet cravings, definitely try The Butternut Co.
You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Raw Chocolate from Earth Loaf
After having told by my skin doctor to stay away from Cocoa (which I LOVED), I switched to eating raw cacao. I thought the switch would be difficult, but being someone who enjoys earthy & natural tasting products, I almost immediately fell in love with raw chocolates.

IMG_8743copy

I bought two of Earth Loaf’s chocolate bars – Cacao Nib & Palmyra Sugar and Smoke Salt & Almond Chocolate and needless to say, taste and health-benefit wise, they ticked all boxes. On a side note – I wish more and more brands paid attention to their packaging. It just goes on to better the brand value by showing the customers how every little detail from sourcing to selling is taken great care of.

For those of you who do not know, ‘Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter) thus making it a delicious source of antioxidants full of nutritional value. Google the benefits of Raw Cacao and you will know what I am talking about.

Cocoa, on the other hand looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value. Thus making it only a sugar filled source of nothing-so-great.

IMG_8772copy

That way, Earth Loaf – home to Raw, Artisan Chocolates is guilt-free and it’s a dessert you can have at any time.
What’s not to love! :)

Food Styling Inspiration from Chocolate Basil
The same way writer’s hit writer’s block, food photographers can too hit dead end once in a while. Which is why inspiration is a must. Thanks to apps like Instagram & Pinterest with their bunch of amazing photographers from all over the world, finding inspiration is usually a tap away.

Recently while looking for something, I discovered chocolateforbasil’s striking Instagram feed. One look at their colourful, contrasting and vibrant pictures and I knew I HAD to tap follow. Jerelle & Eric, the founders of ‘Chocolate for Basil’ do an excellent job in getting the lighting right along with just the right amount of shadows to get the overall mood on point.

chocolate for basil

Food stylist or not, you have to see what they have created! It’s beautiful and I’m hooked.

Favourite Top
Winter is pretty much over ( insert thousand sad-face emojis), which means it’s almost time for summer and in one way or the other, I find myself drifting towards floral dresses and light-weight tops. I bought one such top from Forever21 last week and I am head-over-heels in love with it.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

I had been looking for an off-shoulder top for quite sometime and I found just the right one after a REALLY long time of scouting. I find off-shoulders to be cute and feminine and not to forget, they’re also perfect for spring/summer.

Favourite Song
For those of you who know me a little bit, you also know that I have a penchant of drifting towards songs with hippie vibes. Infact, all songs on my most-played list are some what hippie-ish, happy and have a beautiful underlying meaning. This month’s favourite song is no different.

It’s Rahh by Pepa Knight!

On one hand, this song makes me think of mountain hikes on a wintry morning and of bright, colourful beaches on a summer’s day, on the other. Eitherway, it’s got a joyful vibe to it and you are left to your own interpretation and imagination. Do share with me what you think of the song. Personally, I find myself listening to it at the start of my day and also at the end of it. It puts me in a calm, relaxed zone. :)

So, that’s about it on the February favourites front, you guys!

I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would love to know some of your favourites from the month, so do share them with me in the comments section.

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

FTC Disclaimer: All items have been purchased by me with my own money.

 

Food Photography + Styling – Yogisattva

A glimpse of some amazing, plant-based raw treats from Yogisattva made with utmost love by the founder and, the ever-so-lovely, Raveena.

We collaborated last month to style and shoot a few items on her menu and I am thrilled to be able to share these images with you. Mostly because they are for a person I adore and for a brand I truly believe in.

Hope you enjoy!

IMG_0674copy
Banana Chia Porridge
IMG_0691copy
Gluten Free Oats in Almond Milk
IMG_0744copySignature Raw Cacao Bliss Balls
IMG_0816copyRaw Chocolate Ice-Cream
IMG_0761copyMatcha Green Tea Bliss Balls
IMG_0823copyRaw Chocolate and Orange Ice-Cream
IMG_0842copyPlant-Based Smoothies

Would you believe me if I told you that all the products you saw above are completely free of refined sugar and dairy?
Not really, right?

Well, that is exactly what Yogisattva aims to do. They aim to celebrate food in its purest form and encourage everyone to indulge in their health. It’s only true when they say – It’s time to stop counting your calories and instead making the calories you put in your body – count.

If you wish to order from Yogisattva or in general be informed about plant-based food, then do follow them on Instagram at – Yogisattva.

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

Monthly Favourites – January

Hello and welcome, everyone!
Doing a ‘Monthly Favourites’ blogpost is a first for me and I sincerely hope to be regular with it month-on-month.

I am very thrilled about starting this new series as there are quite a few things/topics I would like to discuss at length with you and although I try to do my best to share my favourite food, clothing item, app, restaurant through my 10-second vlogs on Snapchat , this blog will definitely give me more time and space to go into the details. These favourites will be quite personal and I sincerely hope that in one way or the other you benefit from the things I list here.

So without further adieu, let’s get started.

Peppermint Tea
I love tea and I constantly keep trying herbal teas from different brands. My friends and family have also been kind enough to bring me tea and tea accessories from their travels and this peppermint tea too, was given to me by a friend who bought it from Dehradun.

IMG_0607copy.jpgApart from being plain delicious, peppermint tea also comes with numerous health benefits of helping one deal with stomach discomfort, providing relief from sinus, skin-clearing and most importantly, by preventing the body from getting sick by building a good, defensive immune system.
For me, it’s health in a cup.

I brew myself a cup every night before bed and it instantly makes me feel calm and relaxed. The tea is from the brand S.O.S Organics.

Hand Cream from Roger & Gallet
My friend, Aditi bought this hand-cream from her trip to Paris last summer and I never found much use for it then, but now during the winters, I use it every day. It’s all natural, has this cute, lovely packaging and not to forget, also does its job of leaving my hands hydrated and nourished very well. IMG_0595copy

Favourite Dress
I love no-fuss dresses that do not require copious amounts of prepping before you wear them and this dress here, fits right into the category. I bought it from Jabong in November and have been wearing it once every week ever since. It’s cute, has a great fit and is really, REALLY comfortable.

IMG_6605.JPG

Favourite App – Headspace
I had been toying with the idea of meditating for a long, long time, until recently a series of events set me on a downward spiral and I found it absolutely necessary to regulate my emotions and calm my mind. I will talk about this is detail in another post if you would want me to, but for now, this App right here was my saviour.

headspace-app-images

Headspace, in simple words is a gym membership for the mind and it teaches you how to treat your mind right. It does not ask you to sit upright for hours and imagine a blue sky. Not at all.
Instead, a voice-over (British accent, if that helps) guides you through the process of mindful meditation in all of 10 minutes. 10 minutes everyday is totally manageable, especially for something that leaves you behind feeling calm and less stressed. I have been practising it 5-6 days a week and the result has been great so far.

Most of my days end with a cup of peppermint tea + 10 minutes of Headspace.

Favourite Food – Cacao Bliss Balls
I can never thank Raveena enough for making and introducing me to these bliss balls. They are yummy and oh-so-good for you.

IMG_0207copy.jpg
Raveena is the founder of YogiSattva and is also the brain behind these delicious, plant-based, guilt-free chocolate balls amongst other raw goodies. I have one of these every day as a part of my breakfast and I must say, I am completely addicted to them. They are chocolaty and nutty and completely free of nasty sugars or dairy. An absolute 5/5 for me.

And that’s all for this month’s favourites, you guys! I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would love to know some of your favourites from the month, so do share them with me in the comments section.

Love&Hugs,
Alisha

P.S.- This favourites list is from December. In February I will feature my January favourites and so on. (Incase the title was deceiving, haha!)

Food Styling + Photography – Hungry Monsters

After a month and a half of discussing the shoot and all of it’s related elements over the phone, me and Alisha (Baker & Founder of Hungry Monsters) got down to executing the shoot a week back. I woke up one morning and received two boxes full of baked, yummy goodies sent by her and instantly my house transformed into a patisserie. If you’re familiar with the comforting, soul-satisfying aroma you get when you enter a bakery, you definitely know what I’m referring to here. IMG_0284copy

As a food stylist & photographer, I have finally have come around to resisting the urge of looking at food, getting swayed and digging right into it. The practice and my will-power here is immense, you guys. And with reference to the Hungry Monster, we are talking about an irresistible Banoffee Pie, dense and buttery Red Velvet Cupcakes & melt-in-mouth, gooey Brownies.
Yes. 
IMG_0311copy

Doing a shoot for Alisha was not only fun in terms of styling, but also the creative freedom she gave me to style the pictures as per my liking was immense and I’m indeed grateful that she believed in me.

IMG_0400copyIMG_0277copyIMG_0339copyIMG_0419copy

All of Hungry Monsters bakes, from classic eats to custom bakes are made with love and this very much reflects in their flavour and texture.

This shoot was done keeping in mind her upcoming dessert truck which will kick off with a crowdfunding campaign. If you wish to support her, then do follow her Facebook Page and in general, feast your eyes!

Love&Hugs,
Alisha