Fall Wishlist: Shoes

Fall always brings with it a certain amount of joy with the promise of the soon-to-come holiday season, wonderful food and the fabulous hot coffee drinks. But, switching up your look could be a little bit of a problem in towns where it gets really cold really quickly. In these situations, shoes are a great way to add some style and panache to your look while being buried under layers of coats and sweaters. Here’s my wishlist for this season.

FallShoes

 

  1. Zara Leather Pointed Moccasin – $ 129
  2. Shopbop Soft Lace Up Booties – $144
  3. Aldo Leather Ankle Boot – $100
  4. Topshop Strap Boot – $80
  5. Topshop Pin Stud Boot – $76

Recipe: The Perfect, Healthy Banana Bread

I can still remember the first time I had banana bread. It was in 2007 and I was on vacation in Goa, a quaint little beach town in Western India. We were staying at a luxury hotel (Taj Exotica) and the breakfast buffet there is what dreams are made of. The lavish spread included banana bread. I remember the enticing smell and the melt-in-your-mouth texture and I also remember not having it again till last week simply because I was sure making something that amazing would be unimaginably complicated. But, boy, was I wrong?

 Like most people, I starting looking for a banana-based recipe because I had a few overripe ones. That’s when I found a super quick and easy no-butter banana bread recipe and it just so happened that I had all the ingredients that it asked for.  I made it on a rainy afternoon. The day turned even more perfect when my husband, who was down with a bad cold, woke up to the smell of freshly-baked banana bread. 

However, I soon realized that if I wanted to make this on a regular basis, I had to find a healthier version. That’s when I found this other recipe that I’ve made twice in the past four days. It is just as easy to make and comes with a lot less guilt. Again, it uses oil instead of butter and has a few other adjustments and substitutions that make it more healthy and it is just as moist and scrumptious as the regular version.

Whole wheat banana bread

Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour – 1 1/2 cup
Overripe bananas (mashed) – 2 to 4
Sugar or honey – 1/2 cup
Egg whites – 2
Canola or vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Toasted walnuts – 1/2 cup (optional)
Makes one, 9×5 loaf 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. In a large bowl, whip together the oil and sugar or honey. Once blended well, add the eggs and mix well. 
  3. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract. 
  4. Next, add the salt and flour. Mix well and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  5. Dissolve the baking soda in half a cup of hot water and add to the batter. Fold in the toasted walnuts. 
  6. Grease a bread pan with a little bit of oil and pour in the batter. Bake for 25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  7. Let the bread cool for 15 mins and serve. 

Banana bread slices

Tips: 

This batter also works well for making muffins. 
I use egg whites to cut down on cholesterol. You can use the yolk and it doesn’t affect the taste at all. 
Use this to make baked french toast. 

Beauty Review: Clinique Wash-Away Gel Cleanser

Like every girl, I am constantly on the look out for a great, reasonably-priced face cleanser. A good cleanser is essential for keeping skin problems at bay. If your skin isn’t clean, you will have breakouts and your makeup will not go on smoothly. Also, if a cleanser makes your skin excessively dry, you’ll need a bunch of other products to rehydrate your skin. Needless to say, we all wish to have that one no-frills, dependable product, that does the job just right.

Image

Clinique Wash-Away Gel Cleanser is that one product. It is true to its name and is really effective as a makeup remover. It works on eye shadow, eye liner and mascara, all of which can be difficult to remove even with some really high-end makeup removers.

You only need two drops of it at a time. It lathers up beautifully and leaves your face feeling clean and smooth. You do need quite a bit of water to rinse it off, though. But, I’ve noticed that with most Clinique cleasers. I follow it with a dab of moisturizer, since I have combination skin. It also has a slightly medicinal smell that many Clinique products have. It does not bother me, but it might be something to keep in mind before buying it.

Pros:

  1. Cleans the skin effectively.
  2. Allergy free.
  3. Removes stubborn makeup.
  4. Does not dry out the skin.
  5. Two drops go a long way.

Cons: 

  1. Expensive at $20.
  2. Not entirely fragrance free.

Overall: 

4/5. This product is now a permanent fixture in my daily skin regimen.