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Who is a smart mom really? What qualities does she embody? If you ask me, a smart mom is an unstoppable force who powers through the day like it's no sweat (when in reality it was blood, sweat, tears, screams, and tantrums!). She's a juggle queen who despite all the distractions and challenges manages to stay centred and focused in her ultimate responsibility of raising her children to become self-sufficient adults whilst wiggling out some quality 'me-time'. How does she do that really? Well, it's because she's armed with simple and handy hacks, some of which I'm sharing here with you all coz it’s mommy’s day in a few days – Happy Mother’s Day in advance ladies!

1. Get your kiddo to do his/her own chores


Alright, you must think I'm crazy for expecting the unpredictable, little imps to do their own chores. But remember how our parents got us to do our own work? Well, of course, we knew what could follow if we didn't obey, nonetheless, we learned to do things on our own and also in the process understood the importance of participating in household work. There should obviously some incentive attached to it that will make your child want to do the chores. Something like an allowance or an extra hour of playing time.

2. Easy Clean paint


I can vividly recall the day my daughter held the crayon in her tiny hand for the first time, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed to explore her inner artist. What started with small wiggles and dots soon transformed into full-blown artworks with scuffs, pencil markings scratches, water colour splashes, oh dear Lord and what not! As much as I like to let my daughter have fun with drawing and painting, I love my walls clean and pristine. So what’s the solution for this? Berger Easy Clean, the ultimate hack! Its velvety-smooth appearance packed with Cross-Linking Polymers ensure that seemingly tough and stubborn stains and marks can be removed super easily from the walls! It’s durable, washable, and sustainable (something which I’m very conscious about) and I recommend it to all mommies out there!

3. Washing those soft toys!



No matter how many times a day you organize your kids' toys, they always somehow make their way into the places where you least expect them (I found a LEGO piece in the fridge the other day). But what is even more challenging, is how to get the toys especially soft toys cleaned. Aryaa’s soft furry friends always end up getting soiled and washing them is a Herculean task! However, I found out one simple hack that has been positively easing my work. All you need to do is to gather all those soft toys (avoid dolls and small toys), put them in a mesh bag and toss it in the washing machine! Fresh toys get served up for your kids in less than half an hour!

4. A saviour storage
  


Not only is this easy but is super time saving, especially when you are expecting guests at home and thanks to your little ones, your house is a mess. Storage containers are truly a boon to us mothers. Whether you have a big one or have them in an assortment of sizes - it's so much easier to dump everything in one place and have your place sorted in one go.

5.  Put those glossy pages into good use


I don't think there's anything in this world, more tiring and tedious than cleaning your mats and carpets! But when you have little hands that are prone to dropping food on the floor, you can't really help it. There's a solution for this - use glossy papers from magazines and newspaper supplements as mats (not the daily newspaper as it's very delicate). This will protect your rugs/carpets/mats from spills and stains.

These simple life hacks will help you keep things in order and in perspective. As you can see, all you need to incorporate a little discipline, structure, and goal setting in your family to lead a life that can be relatively fuss free.

Happy hacking! J


If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)
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I first came across the site My Gift Stop when I was looking for a last minute gift for someone, and let me tell you, it has now become my go to store for gifts in the USA. It is the place where one can  find premium and luxury brands at amazing prices, and is the perfect place online for last minute gifts(happens so much to most of us these days right), branded sunglasses, designer handbags, luxury watches, and so much more. Other than this, one of the main reasons why I shop with them is that they are dedicated to giving back to society, which is something that matters to me a big deal these days. They donate 5% of every sale to the global medical relief nonprofit, Direct Relief. Knowing that I am contributing in this way also makes me feel so much better about my purchases.

This Mother's Day, My Gift Stop is running some awesome offers on their site. For me the 25% off on all Citizen Watches for Women is what has caught my attention. This for a Citizen Watch Lover is a must-not-miss deal! To get the deal use my Personal Promo Code - RITCHA1 on the My Gift Shop Website!


I have had my eye on the Citizen EV1032-51D women's Corso Eco-Drive watch for a while now and the discount obviously makes a huge difference to the pricing. My mother too loves Citizen as a brand and cherishes their watcges. The best part about the Eco-Drive collection is that the watches are fueled by light, which can be any light, and so the watches never need a battery. Supports my take on sustainability too!


Check out the Citizen EV1032-51D women's Corso Eco-Drive watch here - https://goo.gl/TNs1ZE

There is another reason why you must head to My Gift Stop this Mother's Day right around the corner! Other than the offer, they also have the perfect giveaway - a $300 Gift Card that can be used on any of their luxury watches, bags, jewelry and more! Now who doesn't love giveaways! 😊


Head to the contest here - http://bit.ly/momsday25

Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. • One participant will win a $300 Gift Card to MyGiftStop.com. All other participants will receive a 10% off coupon via email good towards any products. • Open to domestic and international individuals aged 18 and older only; void where prohibited • Winner will be notified by email, so be sure to add mygiftstop.com to your safe list. • Prize unclaimed after 48 hours of notification is forfeited and My Gift Stop reserves the right to select another winner. • Winner agrees to allow My Gift Stop to publish his/her name as a giveaway winner and to promote future giveaways and promotions. • Participant agrees that his/her email will be added to our email newsletter to receive private sales, new product updates, and other marketing emails. Email is never sold or shared. • Participant may unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

Hope you guys get your hands on some cool watches too and surprise your moms this Mother's Day! Happy Shopping!

I have partnered with #MyGiftStop to bring you this amazing deal for Mother’s Day.  All opinions expressed are my own.

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
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LBD - Far East Plaza, Singapore
Betty Floral Slingback Shoes - Christian Siriano for Payless Shoes, USA
Lace Choker - Linking Road, Mumbai
Golden Bracelet - New York & Company, USA
Kate Spade Wakefield Lane Millie Crossbody Bag

An LBD (Little Black Dress) is every woman's wardrobe staple. Most women I know just like me, own multiple black dresses, as they are easy to accessorize and make getting ready a really simple process, not to mention that they can be worn, anywhere and everywhere. For me a black dress is a travel must-have and so for my Genting Dream trip which you read about last month, it was my perfect companion for one of the evenings.

This dress has been with me for nearly 6 years now but for some reason it never made it to the blog despite me having lost count of how many times I wore it, which tells you what a favourite of mine it is. I love the long ruffle look is has. It is a fuss free dress and I love the way it fits and flatters me. Plus it is comfortable and classy! It's travel friendly because it is made of a non-crush, easy care fabric, it's lightweight and of course being black, I am worry free about stains or anything. Also I love it's versatility because it took me from coffee to dinner to partying to the casino to just chilling on the cruise. I paired it with floral flats and not heels because you need to walk a lot on the cruise and you do not want to miss anything, which a pair of heels might just hamper. Also make sure on a cruise the hem length is a little longer so that the wind doesn't make it fly too high which is a big risk in shorter flair dresses. Please note that all cruise decks will be windy.

Stylish clothes which not only look good but also are comfortable while you feel your best, is the key idea to planning your travel clothes. I love how the pics turned out not just thanks to the dress but the vibe of the cruise, the gorgeous backgrounds and the wind in my hair, not to mention Pranshu Dubey's amazing photography skills.

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)
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The Indo Western fusion look has always been one of my favourites. Especially the combination of Indian accessories with Western wear. Making them work together is something that comes naturally to me, but I have always received queries from a lot of you on how it can be done. Most people haven't moved beyond the Kurti Jeans look, but trust me there is so much more that can be done. I am going to tell you 3 simple ways in which you can add the 'Desi' twist to your Western wear.

1. Ethnic Clutch Bags with Western Dresses


Now all of us wear dresses, and all of us have ethnic party clutches in our wardrobes thanks to the number of weddings we attend in the year. So if you are invited for a party, instantly add an ethnic embroidered clutch bag to the dress and voila you are set to go! You can add a metallic clutch to go with your accessories if your dress is in monochrome tones, or if your dress is bright in colour then go for a clutch that is in complementing contrast colours like I have done in the picture above. The colourful look of the clutch adds such a pretty and playful vibe to the whole ensemble. I am a hoarder of ethnic clutches and I buy clutches online as well as from local fairs and exhibitions.

2. Statement Juttis with a Basic Outfit


There is nothing like a basic outfit to complement special things especially statement Juttis! When it comes to picking up Juttis, my choices tend to gravitate towards embroidered, colourful, printed and embellished ones. As you can see above, my favourite pair currently are these bright colourful ghungroo juttis that I generally pair with a basic top and jeans. I usually pick up the Rajasthani or the Punjabi Jutti when I travel to those parts of the country or I simply just order my juttis online

3. Ethnic Jewellery with Western Wear



Pairing beautiful Indian jewellery with Western outfits is the easiest thing to do. I love pairing my beads and kundan necklaces with dresses and tops. They add instant glamour to my outfits and take them a few notches higher. I mean you don't need to wait for festivals or weddings to take your heavy necklaces out, you can just be smart and use them the year round this way. See how seamlessly I have paired my black onyx and kundan necklace with a red dress, and the ensemble looks so chic! Jhumkas are also just another way to add oomph to your outfit. See how they add awesomeness to my look above. However just make sure to not go overboard and add any more heavy jewellery to the face/neck area when you do this, as just one element is more than enough. Ethnic bangles are also a great way to add Indian-ness to your outfit. You can check out some beautiful ethnic jewellery online at Jivaana.

These tips will help you create multiple looks and add the Desi Twist to your Western Wear. For more such tips stay tuned as we have lots of interesting stuff coming up this summer for you!

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
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Time for Part 2 of  my two part series which tells you 10 Reasons Why You Must Sail The Genting Dream. I can't wait to share the 5 more awesome reasons with you! If you missed Part 1 then read it here - https://goo.gl/fCRghQ

Now let's get on to the next 5 reasons! 

6. Super cool partying options

Zouk Beach Club - Foam Party

Zouk Beach Club - Foam Party

Zouk Beach Club

You can start partying as soon as you hop aboard the Genting Dream, so do not forget to pack those dancing shoes other than your swimming costume. Well you must be wondering why I am saying both so let me clear that - Genting Dream hosts both the Zouk Nightclub (yes for Singapore lovers like me, you know how much awesomeness that means) and the Zouk Beach Club. The night I got on-board, I had the best Foam Party experience of my life at the Zouk Beach Club and I can't even remember what time I went to bed. Some nights it converts into an open air theater which I could not experience this time but hopefully will the next time. I mean for a romantic like me, watching a movie under the stars would be the perfect setting! 

Zouk Nightclub  

Zouk Nightclub - Glow Bowling

The second night we spent at the Zouk Nightclub where I tried some variations of rum and now I am hooked! Also in the middle of all the drinking and partying, we went and got a round of Glow Bowling which is crazy fun when you are happy high! For Bollywood lovers, the DJ also played some Bollywood tracks which was a bonus.

7. The Dream Palace




The Dream Palace is the most exclusive part of the ships. Everything here is exclusive! Be it the 142 suites or the clubhouse or the dining options, the provisions and service here is impeccable. Here you have your own dedicated butler service, and they promise to serve you whatever you can dream of. If your reservation are at any of the Dream Palace suites, then you automatically become their exclusive club members who enjoy privileged services that include priority access to all specialty restaurants, spa facilities and shows, and to make your reservations all you need to do is ask you butler! The packages here have a lot of inclusions, right from the select fine wines in your room to your dining options at the Dream Palace restaurants and up to 5 specialty restaurants aboard the Genting Dream, to a VIP pick up to a lot more!

8. Plethora of activities for the little ones

Little Pandas Club

Sportsplex


There's so much more than just the Waterslides Park for the little ones. The Little Pandas Club is where all the fun activities and video games are. It is an indoor play area where the kids can watch kiddie movies, indulge in art and craft, or just play with assorted toys. Here you have a babysitting options where you can leave your kids in the hands of certified Child Care Professionals while you take a break or head to an area where kids are not allowed. Other than this you also have the Arcade where they have the latest arcade games and kids technologies. If your kid is the more sporty type then you can head to the Sportsplex where you are offered basketball, volleyball and football. Otherwise just spend some fun time with your kiddies playing mini golf or giant chess. There is rock climbing as well. Now tell me with so much, how can your little ones not stay entertained. For Aryaa this would be like a dream come true!

9. Submersibles


Well I am sure you never thought that this would be one of the reasons! Well, hello! The Genting Dream has two state-of-the-art submersibles onboard, which can carry one pilot and four guests. The submersibles take you deep into the the ocean where the underwater world is waiting to be explored! Do not worry about safety, as these submersibles feature a full 360-degree acrylic pressure hull that offers unparalleled performance. I am sure this has gotten you really excited!

10. Casino

The Genting Dream is owned by Genting Hong Kong, a casino and cruise line conglomerate, so a casino on board is bound to be there! If you were starting to wonder why I hadn't mentioned it yet, well I was saving it for the last. Operated by Resorts World, the casino is spread over Decks 7 and 8 with a mix of table games and slot machines and this area is constantly buzzing. Those looking at making a buck over international waters, this is the place for you. Currency accepted is mainly HongKong Dollars. The Dream Palace has a separate VIP Casino. I do not have any pictures for you as we are not allowed to take any pictures in that area.

For me, the Genting Dream experience was something that is going to make me a plan another trip back with my family some day. The 10 reasons that I listed are the main ones that would make me go back, but trust me if I sat down to count all the reasons, there would be a lot more - the top decks, the health options, the spa, the duty free shopping, well I could go on and on! I constantly keep an eye on their itineraries, and there are some amazing itineraries coming up. Here is where you can check them out - https://goo.gl/FYyebY

As I come to an end of this 2 part series on the Genting Dream, let me tell you another good thing - A video will be coming up too very soon, so watch out for that! But for now, let me sail back in my thoughts to the awesome times I spent aboard of what dreams are made of - the Genting Dream!



If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)
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*Happy Warning - This is a picture heavy post!

I have been lucky enough to have sailed the Genting Dream cruise, but this is something I recommend everyone to experience. Such experiences stay with you for life, especially if the reasons are as mind blowing as the ones I am going to talk about in this post. I still can't get over the magnanimity of the vessel when I first saw the Genting Dream docked at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal at Hong Kong - it was like a ship out of my dreams and my excitement knew no bounds! I was going to sail the Hong Kong high seas for 2 days before returning back to Hong Kong, and having had heard so much about the Genting Dream, it was a trip I was totally looking forward to. Sailing on a cruise ship was not new to me as I had done it in India about 10 years ago, but this was just something else! From zip lining over the sea, to enjoying some great shows, to dining at some of the finest restaurants on board, the 2 days just whizzed by in a jiffy, yet gave me some of the most beautiful memories to cherish!

335m long, 40m wide and 18 decks tall, this beauty can accommodate 3300 passengers and 2,000 crew members in its 1674 cabins, thus bringing the crew-to-guest ratio to 1:1.7 which is ultra pampering, isn't it? With this and the offerings, the Genting Dream takes Asian Luxury Travel to another level. Genting Dream is the first ship of Dream Cruises, the first ever Asian Luxury cruise line. Their aim is to offer the comfort of Asian Hospitality combined with the finest experiences from around the world. Be it your room, the food, the activities you can indulge in aboard the ship, or just relax, there is the best of everything on offer! When you visit a luxurious resort, you feel spoilt for choice - this is exactly what you feel when you sail the Genting Dream, just that it is a lot more exciting doing it while floating on the sea! For me, who regularly needs a dose of 'Vitamin Sea', this was more than the perfect experience!

While I can go on and on about why you should sail the Genting Dream, here are 10 of the most significant ones!

1. They have the most amazing staterooms






The Balcony Stateroom on one of the most popular decks - Deck 9, is where I stayed. It was over 20 sqm of luxury with a private balcony that gave me the most beautiful view of the sea in the day, the stars in the night and of course the pleasure to enjoy the sunrise and sunset. The stateroom was spacious and good enough for a family of 3. The bathroom was really good sized too. A tea and coffee maker is provided in the room which is basically all that you need while in the room thanks to various dining options available aboard the ship. The bedding is super soft and every morning leaving the bed was one of the toughest things to do. I spent most of my time in the room either chilling in the balcony or sleeping for the few hours that I manged to grab a wink. I did get a chance to check out some of their other uber luxury accommodation options too like the Palace Suite and the Palace Penthouse and I am glad that the ship has a lot more other room options so that there is something for everyone depending on your budget! The stateroom is absolutely safe for travelling with kids. You can check out the other options here - https://goo.gl/iESmQv

2. You can zip line right above the sea


The ship is filled with so many activities that it is hard to choose what to do and what not to do. But the Zip Line is one activity that you have to do, because the experience is absolutely surreal! After crossing a rope zone filled with challenges that tests all your body parts, most of all your brain, the only way to complete it is by zip lining over the sea. When you do that, your head and heart goes into a tizzy especially when you realize that there is nothing between you and the sea. I was screaming through it all more so because I couldn't believe that I had pushed myself to do something which I thought I never would!

3. Eat all you can

Dream Dining Room Upper

Dream Dining Room Lower

Lido

Umi Uma Teppanyaki

Blue Lagoon with the rest of the fun group I travelled with

Stimulate your gastronomic senses with some of the most extensive lineup of food options onboard the Genting Dream - 35 to be precise. Included in everyone's cruise fare is The Lido, Dream Dining Room Upper and Dream Dining Room Lower. If not these then you can head to the other options to satisfy your palette. The higher your room category, the more restaurant option inclusions you have in your fare. Your options range from Chinese, Japanese, South East Asian or International cuisine which are served at the included restaurants or the specialty outlets. Feast on a Chinese set menu at the Dream Dining Room Upper, a Chinese buffet at the Dream Dining Room Lower, Umi Uma for Japanese Teppanyaki, Lido the all day dining restaurant where I loved the extensive breakfasts with a great view and also where you get Indian food in case you want to indulge in that. If South East Asian is your calling, then Blue Lagoon that is part of the international food court, is the place to be. On a holiday desserts are on everyone's list, so Breadbox and Gelateria is where you head to get the most sinful stuff. There are enough options for kids and Lido, Breadbox and Gelateria would be the most friendly options for them. To check out all the dining options aboard the Genting Dream, head to https://goo.gl/BneL6D

4. Captivating Live Shows



Live shows give me a real adrenaline rush especially when it involves high energy dancing and acrobatics. The 999 seater Zodiac Theater is where you can catch such captivating shows aboard the Genting Dream. I had been told not to be miss 'The Voyage of a Lover's Dream which is a magical story of a mermaid and an astronaut, and let me tell you - I was spellbound! The setting, backdrops and the talent of the dancers and acrobats was unbelievable! There are lots of more shows that keep happening through the day and each one of them is a blockbuster!


Other than this you can indulge in some easy music at the Lobby or some great performances at the Bar 360.

5. Waterslide Park for the thrill seekers





I mean can you imagine a Waterslide Park experience in the middle of the ocean? Well, the Genting Dream makes it come true! The thrill of sliding with water through enending slides high above is unbeatable. There are 6 slides with the with gentler ones for the kids and families and scarier ones ones for adults and the ones more bold.  Deck 20 AFT has the adult slides while Deck 16 has the kids and family slides. For those looking to just chill and swim, there are options of the pool and multiple jacuzzis. This according to me is what most kids will go for!

With having covered just 5 reasons so far, I am sure you want to know what more is in store! Well 24 hours is all that you have to wait to see the remaining 5 reasons, so just hold on!

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)
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"She's fire and ice. You'll fear the cold and crave the burn." - Jon Storm









White Shirt - ZARA
Gold Slingback Heels - Aldo
White Mini Bennett Satchel - Coach
Gold Loops - Forever 21

These pictures above started going live on my social media since the last few days, and I am honestly super flattered by the response. The look and feel of these pictures are different from the way I have showcased my outfits earlier, but I have been wanting to try out some new stuff and I am glad that you guys are liking it. Though some people did message me that while they loved it, they also missed my signature smile, be rest assured that my smile ain't going anywhere and it will make its appearances now and then!

Moving to the highlight of my post, finding these Palazzo pants has been quite a task. After having looked all over town and not being successful in getting what I exactly wanted, I saw these Belted Box Pleated Palazzo Pants on my favourite site Romwe and instantly ordered them. Sometimes I wonder why I put in so much effort, when it's all right there at a click of a button. These pants fit like a dream and you can see for yourself how amazing it looks! I paired it with a white shirt (I love styling white shirts with everything), for a pre-valentine Sunday date with PS and I am in love with how the whole look turned out - sophisticated, on-trend and comfortable. The flare and wide-leg pant trend is making a huge comeback, but I have been a little slow in embracing it this time. The late 90s and early 2000s saw me in nothing but them, but this time the skinny jeans me is in no rush. I have been particular in looking for the perfect pieces, since I already have a wardrobe fullllll of so much, and am glad about it. Being measured in my buys, is my new go to mantra. These Belted Box Pleated Palazzo Pants are one of those perfect pieces that have gotten added to my wardrobe.

Whether you are petite or tall, skinny or curvy, the wide-leg/palazzo pant trend suits everyone. You can just keep a few tips in mind to sort you out:
  1. Petite women need to take care of the length. An ideal pair should skim the floor with heels on to elongate your legs and make you look taller.
  2. To create the illusion of a slimmer waistline, a belt in the same colour/cloth is recommended, just as in my pants above.
  3. Pleated pants are perfect for women with larger thighs or hips.
  4. Depending on the time of the day, pair it will stilettos or wedges to add height if you are short, and if you are tall then a kitten heel or ballet flats will be just perfect.
  5. Wear fitted tops or tuck your shirt/top in as it gives the illusion of a taller you. If you are tall, then crop tops work well too.
  6. Pair it with singlets and formal jackets. Works for the boardroom too!

With these pointers in mind, you are absolutely set to take on this trend with élan. With spring/summer all set to show up, we are going to see a lot of the flare trend in full swing very soon!

If you like what you see on Ri(t)ch Styles and want to stay updated regularly, follow Ri(t)ch Styles on 
    
You can also email me on ritchstyles@gmail.com :)
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