Take a sad song and make it better

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This line from the famous song “Hey Jude” strikes a chord with me. Love how it inspires to improve whatever it is that’s not good.

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2017 so far has been an eventful year for me personally. It started with bringing in the new year in beautiful #Thailand. In case you have missed out on that post, you can check it here. I’ve even completed my swimming classes, have learnt enough to enjoy picnics at water parks and resorts. There’s still room for improvement though. Then, I’ve moved into a new challenging role on the work front. It’s something that keeps me occupied 12 hours on weekdays (which is why my blogging has taken a back seat, sorry).

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Call it growing up, getting mature, caring a damn or anything you’d like.. But I’ve even become calmer in my ways of dealing with life and it’s pressures. There used to be a time when I’d get hyper at the drop of a hat, but now I’ve learnt the art of letting go or simply ignoring all unwanted mess. ‘Keep calm’ is my new mantra.
In fact I’ve even reduced my social media usage altogether.

The travel bug has definitely bitten me and in fact I’m even open to exploring places as a solo traveller. Can’t wait for my next trip whenever and wherever that is.

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Of course l enjoy writing and that’s why this blog came into existence in the first place, but lately I tried my hand at getting poetic too. Here’s something I had recently put up on my Instagram account. In case you aren’t already following me on Instagram, follow @franchuadsouza now!
The intention is to get better at whatever I do and improve the overall quality of my life.

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay happy always.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza.

Take me home, to the place I belong

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Hellooo everyone!

I may be a little late, but wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year! Let’s make the most of 2017!

Firstly I’m super excited writing this post as I have recently returned from my Thai holiday. I’ve had the opportunity to see some wonderful places there, and I’ve soaked in everything I could. Can’t wait to share all the details about my trip.

In Thailand I covered Rayong , Pattaya and Bangkok. Each of them were visibly different from each other and most of the time I had some lovely experiences. Two things that I can happily cross off my bucket list now are Zip lining and sea walking. Both completely differ from each other, One had this whole adrenaline rush taking over while I was zipping through and the other that needed me to be calm under sea  while I walked in it and fed fishes. In  Bangkok, I felt all those happening city vibes and it reminded me of things back home (minus the pat- pong shows). Something I’ve gone a step further in, is eating Thai food. I did not experiment too much with street food but managed to try and enjoy the food at a few restaurants here and there (unlike Singa..).

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Of course I enjoyed my holiday and everything but the one thing I missed besides my loved ones was the food! The first evening after arriving in Bangkok, while walking down the Phloen Chit road, I decided to stop for dinner at this Indian restaurant Bawarchi Indian that served authentic North Indian food. Located at the Intercontinental , I knew there were fewer chances of disappointment. Plus, I really craved Indian food by then.

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It’s funny how when I introduced myself to the VP Mr. Vinay Chawla , he mistook me for an Indian girl who was to come in for an interview that evening. It did seem a bit off with the kind interview questions he put forward, until he realized his boo-boo. 🙂
*good luck to all those that interview here- I hope Mr Chawla doesn’t intimidate you*
Trust me, he was way too kind after that.

Now talking about the restaurant.

Firstly I felt at home, looking at the Indian staff around to greet us and offer the best service they could. The walls, painting, decor, ceiling, the swing, the music set up, the instrumental hindi music that played – everything made me forget that I was actually in Bangkok!  The staff (mostly Indian too) were quick on their feet right from our cocktails to dessert.

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The papadum cones itself along with their dips already set the quotient high. For starters, out of the Tandoor Jhinga (tandoor prawns), Stuffed wild mushrooms, Ajwani mahi tikka (red snapper- again the tandoor way), and murgh tikka (chicken tikka), my favorite was the huge Tandoor Prawn and the mushroom. The spices they used for the tandoor were mouth watering. Loved how it was very Indian, yet had an interesting twist.

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As a mushroom fan, I went on to try the Cream of Mushroom soup. As rightly described in the menu ,it is pretty much a classic creamy soup tampered with some Indian flavour. Don’t be surprised when you find some tadka to your soup.

When you’re in a restaurant that tells you straight that they’re full-on into North Indian kind of food, you must try the Biryani. Exactly the next dish I’m discussing.

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Served in cute little kadais, the portion is just right for 2.  The aroma itself screamed yum! The long grains, the fried onions, the spices in the biryani masala, the earthiness from that chicken in there were bang on! I’m glad this wasn’t a fusion kind of dish.
There cannot be a bigger compliment to a restaurant than for a person who is on holiday, staying at a hotel , is ready to take the food home and eat it the next day for lunch/ dinner, cold if need be, but will have it anyhow. Yes, I took the parcel, err 2 of them- chicken and the Lamb biryani (they get the lamb especially from Mongolia I understand). Did I say it’s yum??

It’s strange and funny how even though I claim I’m stuffed after eating a-lottt of food, I have plenty of space for dessert. It’s like I have a separate compartment within my tummy for it. Indian sweets are mostly extremely high on sugar and rasmalai is no less.But who’s complaining? I had it all. 😀 nuff said.

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I dined here on a Monday evening, the only day there’s no live Indian music. I strongly suggest if you plan on visiting this place, make sure you get to listen to some Indian music too.

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Hope you enjoyed reading my take on #bawarchiindian
If any of you have visited or plan on visiting this restaurant or any place in Thailand, give me a shout in the comments below! I love reading what you’ve to say.

Until my next post..

Lots of love,
The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

A thousand miles

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Hi all,

I’m so glad you’re back to know more about my Singapore Ventures!

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Starting from where I left off..
Singapore’s Changi airport is really big, bright and beautiful. It’s so big that when we made stops around to check for free WiFi, and at some duty free shops, we lost track of where we needed to collect our luggage from. While asking authorities around along the way, we still stopped here and there to take a few selfies.. ( err.. Why not? Who goes to Changi airport everyday right ?). After getting our deserted luggage from the luggage claim area, we were on our way to exploring this beautiful Country.

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The MRT! Our first and most widely used local transport for our Singapore trip. This is where that International feeling started creeping in; seeing the locals, and the tall city buildings everywhere. The one thing that immediately caught my attention was the locals’ Fashion sense. Singaporean women love dressing up, filling-in their eye brows and even wearing fake eye lashes.. Even their daily casuals are just so chic and comfy, I actually complimented a lady on the Mrt metro about the cute top she was wearing.

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Not wanting to waste any of our International time, we started exploring the place the very first evening itself. For the days we were there, we visited almost all tourist attractions, something I’m so proud of. We used to start our day at 7:30am and call it a night only after 2am! Night safari, River safari, Singapore zoo, the famous Universal Studios, the sea aquarium, Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands – the light & water show and the observatory deck, Gardens by the Bay and Altitude 1. We certainly made the most of our time and didn’t want our stay to come to an end.

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The Silent Hummer observations :
Singapore is a clean place. It’s maintained very well by the people. No question of pollution or litter.
Singaporeans love dressing up, and they do a good job. Women’s staple clothes are shorts and tees/tops.
They’ve got some amazing modern world architecture which makes for a fantastic evening skyline.
To relish the local food one will have to acquire it’s taste (something I didn’t quite adjust to).
The transport system is excellently connected. You’re literally shopping in a mall, the next thing you know you’re walking on the MRT Platform. It’s a safe country. As a woman you can walk alone on the street in the city at 1am and no one will bother you.
Most of the places – whether restaurants / parks / hotels / Gardens / airport etc have free WiFi.
Traffic rules are followed strictly. People wait for their turn to cross the road. Also no one eats / drinks / smokes in the MRT or at the stations.
Surprisingly, the locals aren’t really sure of directions or how to get to places. We depended on Google maps because people working in stores couldn’t even guide us to the famous Gardens by the Bay.
For souvenir shopping, China Town is excellent. Things are affordable and they’ve got great deals on. It just looks like a tourist place.
Don’t fall into the trap of those sweet old trishaw riders, just take a taxi. They’re cheaper and faster.

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Hope you enjoyed reading this post. As and when I compile more Singapore posts, they’ll definitely be shared here.

In the meanwhile, I’ve become super active on Instagram and Twitter. Follow me there and you will get to see all that is happening in my life.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer.
Franchua D’Souza.

Shine on

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I know my hair is in safe hands each time I visit the BBlunt salon, once every 6 months. Infact you must read how my hair lost it’s color virginity at one of their outlets. I’ve not only been a fan of their haircuts and hairstyles but also of all those fancy products they use for each separate hairtype. When they came up with their own line of styling products a few months back, to be honest I did have my doubts about how user friendly they’d actually be. I often thought these required expert hands only. The last thing I wanted was to buy a product I didn’t know how to use.

Today I’m going to share my thoughts and review BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish.

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BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish

When I laid my hands on the simple and sleek bottle of BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish, I couldn’t wait to try it. With this horrible heat here in Mumbai, my hair has indeed lost it’s shine.

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The instructions on the bottle clearly mention it’s to be sprayed on dry hair. However I really didn’t want to “waste” the product on unwashed and sweaty hair, so I played smart and washed my hair first thing in the morning. I made sure my hair was totally dry by early evening and then went all foos-foos with that spray! Unfortunately we do not yet live in that universe where like those shampoo ads on tv, your hair will suddenly bounce off shine. So expecting that is silly.

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I made sure my eyes were protected with one hand, while the other hand was spraying the hair polish. Using it was pretty exciting as I was interested in the instant result. After spraying it over my hair, I combed my hair so that the polish was evenly distributed across all parts of my hair.

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The result: Very impressive! It indeed makes your hair shinier than before. Unfortunately the shine isn’t captured here in my pics. But it really really does work.

150ml of this bottle costs about Rs 469/- on Amazon. It’s got this mild, pleasant and lasting scent which typically reminds me of that scent I usually experience after my haircut at the BBlunt salon. It doesn’t weigh your hair down or make it look flat at all. Infact I noticed a few hours after this shoot it even tamed some friz. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the product, there’s no reason not to be.

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Do I recommend it? Yes Absolutely!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Would love to know what products do you swear by.

Pics: Nolasco Alphonso.

Twitter handle: @thesilenthummer

Instagram : franchuadsouza

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

Sweet sweet smile everyday

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I’m not in favor of technology booming at this rapid pace, it’s scary to me. However the woman in me completely loves how online shopping has progressed over time, which has saved me loads of time, effort and money. I truly do not even remember the last time I went out shopping for myself.

Online shopping is super convenient now a days, provided you shop from a trusted site. To me one such trusted site is Jabong. I’ve had wonderful experiences with my shopping from Jabong so far, you may even read about it here.

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If you follow my blog or even my Instagram account you will realize my current favorite color is Royal blue. The color looks gorgeous whether you’re out with friends, or for a date night, a business meet or even a pool party! I think I’d totally rock a royal blue swimsuit too, if only my tummy would comply. Sigh!

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When I ordered this blue La Zoire number from Jabong, I didn’t have a doubt about the quality of the product. I even planned how I would accessorize it just looking at the image online. I was that confident.

 

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For someone like me, who loves dancing, it doesn’t take too long to twirl around, as the subtle flare of the dress just makes me want to do exactly that.

I’m totally party ready after adding a touch of bling with those silver shoes, clutch and bracelet. What I’d love now is for someone to just ask me to join them while “Sweet sweet smile everyday” plays in the background.

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As uploading too many pictures to this post would make it heavy, I suggest you should follow me on Instagram and Twitter to get a glimpse of all those lovely pictures Nolasco clicked of me.

*This post is in collaboration with Jabong, but the review is completely honest*
For any collaborations, you may contact me at thesilenthummer@gmail.com

Lots Of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Summer of 69

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Actually, Summer of 2016.

What is your ideal summer style? Ideally I would have loved to sport crop tops and hot shorts with my hair tied up in a bun/ high ponytail (nothing screams summer louder than that, right) , but my not-so-toned body won’t let me.

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That doesn’t deter me from going the Tank top way though. Tank tops are awesome. They’re casual, sporty, smart,and  can be dressed up or down accordingly. They even come in a wide variety of shades and prints. While stepping out to chill with friends/ going for a movie, or just an evening walk I prefer pairing them with jeans. However I make sure, the jeans are not low waist (I hate low waist pants).

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A great method to style a tank top so that you don’t look like you’ve not just stepped out of the gym is to accessorize it with beads or other forms of fashion jewelry. With the black tank top here, I’ve used my mom’s century old necklace, love that wooden looking chip there on the pendant. And on the green tank top, I’ve used mom’s.. err.. the whole green top is hers actually. She was quite thin and hep back in the day! 🙂

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For outings or social gatherings, since I do not consider tank tops wearable then, I prefer dressing in using all those lovely floral print dresses / skirts , and bring out all those bright hues that are in my cupboard. We’ll talk about that another day. Let’s just say my cupboard is a beautiful mess 🙂

What are your summer basics? And how do you style it. Let me know, maybe  I’d experiment over the weekend.

Aso, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Photography: Nolasco Alphonso

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

Dont worry be Happy

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Either I’m getting old, or life’s stress is catching up with me. For all you know it might just be the heat. Remember how I told you about the heat here in Mumbai in my previous post?

Anyway, since a couple of days my body’s been signaling to me that I need to slow down a little, maybe take a weekend trip or just simply relax and pamper myself. Keeping work in mind, telling my manager I need to slow down would not be a feasible option, and I’ve planned my next trip in June already. The other alternative left? Relax, and pamper myself. Sure, why not!

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Ideally I would have loved to get me some pampering done over the weekend, but the procrastinator that I am, I knew there were high chances that I’d just sleep and stupor, cancelling all appointments. Instead of letting that happen to myself, I decided to fix an appointment on a weekday itself after work at the Four Fountains De- stress Spa, Bandra. Why the Four Fountains De-stress Spa? Well, I’d been there previously (at the Pali Naka branch) and it was a lovely experience. Also, since I was heading there after work, it seemed close by and convenient.

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About the Four Fountains De-stress Spa:
They are India’s largest chain of affordable day spas with over 20 spas and 300 employees. Their mission is to create stress-free and healthy India. They’re operational in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Pune.

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Branch:
Bandra, Mumbai. (Note the nearest Station is Khar, not Bandra)

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Summer Splash:
This is the season’s refreshing massage with Lime extracts in Aloe-Mint gel. As the heat is getting to me, this particular type of Swedish massage seemed like what my body exactly needed. It’s a 60min massage that does not just help the body cool down, but also helps in replenishing lost moisture and leaves the skin supple.

Price of the Summer Splash massage:
INR 2,699/-

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My review of the overall experience:
My appointment was scheduled for 7pm on a weekday. About 45 mins prior to the scheduled time, I received a call from the spa to confirm my appointment. Knowing some last minute work had come up, I did inform them I’ll be about 10 mins late. As soon as I was on my way, I tried calling them to get directions but hung up due to the long hold time.
The spa looked alright. The man at the reception was courteous. Within 5 minutes of reaching, I was introduced to Urvashi, my masseur of the evening. Urvashi was sweet and polite while interacting with me. She was presentable in her uniform and during the massage I observed the well painted ox blood shade on her toes. Although I read about
the Summer splash massage, I asked her which oils were used, to which she explained these weren’t oils but extracts of lime, mint and aloe. Knowing mint’s cooling effect, she asked me to let her know when I’m feeling cold so that she could switch off the AC. Right enough 15mins later, I asked her to switch it off.
The instrumental music and the Summer Splash massage definitely kept me relaxed. I’m glad that the spa scored well on the hygiene factor as the room I was in as well as the attached Bathroom (although tiny) were in perfect condition. Brownie points for Urvashi as she got me a hair band and tied my tresses in a bun and later a shower cap as I didn’t want to wet it.

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A picture with Urvashi, after she was done with her shift

Negatives:
The common washroom at the spa could be better maintained. Also, I don’t like the idea of sitting on a pot and seeing a urinal less than 1 foot away from me.
A lesson I learnt was, if anytime during the massage you feel that the pressure of the masseur’s fingers is too strong for you or you’re not enjoying the cracking of your bones, you should speak up. Other wise, like me, you will end up with an ache that wasn’t even there before. Here’s hoping that my shoulders stop aching soon. Thankfully I’ve got the weekend to rest.

The Silent Hummer’s overall rating: ★★★☆☆

And now this is why I didn’t want to wet my hair. Just the previous day I had a haircut and my hair was falling so well, I didn’t want to touch it!
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Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know how do you de-stress yourself? Is spa your ideal way too? Also, how do you like my haircut? Waiting to hear from you guys!

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Note: This post is in association with Four Fountains De-stress Spa. However, the review is given in complete honesty. If you too would like me to review your product/ service on the blog, you may contact me thesilenthummer@gmail.com