World Oral Health Day 2017: Turning the frown upside down!

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James Brown, the legendary singer once said, if a man has teeth and hair, he has it all. And to a certain extent, I agree. While baldness (voluntary in particular) is deemed acceptable, being toothless is just unforgivable. That is because it is the duty of every man, woman and child to maintain proper oral care hygiene.

Unfortunately in Pakistan, that is rarely the case. Chewing tobacco, eating paan, having chai, are some of the things many Pakistanis live for. And these substances all leave a lasting impression of their love on their teeth. The fact that brushing twice a day or visiting a dentist regularly is an alien concept to them doesn’t help either.

So on this World Oral Healthcare day, Shield, the leading oral healthcare brand in Pakistan took matters in its hand. The #ShieldYourSmileCampaign was a countrywide campaign held on March 20th to spread awareness about the importance of oral healthcare. Free dental checkups were performed at numerous hospitals and dental clinics across the country and people were given guidance on how to take better care of their teeth and gums.

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My guilty confession is that, I consume three to four cups of black coffee almost daily. I also tend to skip out visits to my dentist. The closest I have been to a dentist in a while was when my dentist cousin came over the other day for dinner. And the importance of oral healthcare was far from the topic of discussion. You see even she charges for advice now.

Anyway, World Oral Healthcare Day got me thinking. I remember reading that teeth related problems are usually related to some serious illness and diseases. A small example is mouth cancer. The symptoms include icky sores near your gums, loose teeth that eventually drop and of course bleeding. This however is worst case scenario.

A milder yet equally disturbing outcome of poor oral hygiene is halitosis. See I could have just said bad breath, but typing in the scientific term without even googling it makes me feel better about myself. Back to bad breath. The first sign of poor oral hygiene, yet the most deadly, for other people that is. Forget to brush your teeth today? Go say hello to your mom, you’ll know what I am talking about.

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Shield is doing great work, but it cannot be successful unless everyone, including you and me do out share too. Shield is out to educate us. It is our job to take oral healthcare seriously and implement the steps in our daily routine!

For more details visit the facebook page of Shield:

https://www.facebook.com/ShieldMuskurahat/

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Paramount Fine Foods: Authentic Lebanese Food in Karachi?

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The food business in Karachi is thriving. There’s a pizza parlor and burger cafe at every corner, each boasting the tastiest, crispiest and being the best in the city. But to be very honest, my palate is now bored. While names may change, the taste more or less remains the same. Having similar kinds of food again and again, my tastebuds lost all excitement. Then I received some hope. A chance to escape from the usual and taste authentic Lebanese food at Paramount Fine Foods!

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Hardly surprising I jumped at the opportunity. Paramount Fine Foods Pk recently opened its doors in Karachi, and just at the right time. Located on main Khayaban e Shamsheer, the quaint little place offers a whole different world. The minute you enter, you are transported into the heart of Lebanon.

From the decor, to the Arabic music in the background, you feel like you are no longer in Karachi.

THE FOOD AT PARAMOUNT FINE FOODS

Now let’s get down to business the food. The meal started off with a massive serving of Salad and Hummus. The salad was incredibly fresh and gets the highest marks a salad can get. The Hummus was just the right texture. I tried my best not to fill up on these two as plenty more awaited. Priced at Rs. 345/- the Hummus is one of the best I have had in the city so far.

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Then came the Manakeesh. I’ll be very honest here. I have never had anything quite like it before. Confused between which to order, I got the Za’atar and Beef Cheese Manakeesh. No meal is complete without some fattening melted cheese on top. And the Beef Cheese Manakeesh hit just the right spot. The Za’atar Manakeesh was a crispy bed of pita bread with toasted herbs and thyme on top. I was surprised at how good it tasted. May I say I had the ‘thyme’ of my life. Ok yeah too much maybe.

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For mains I had a hard time deciding what to order. So the host recommended the Mixed Combo Platter which consisted a little bit of everything on the menu. For a group of three people, this was the perfect thing. A layer of pita bread, laden with Kafka, Shish Tawouk and BBQ Beef skewers, Falafel, Chicken and Beef Shawarma and Tahini sauces. My favorite thing on the platter was the crispy brown Falafel. Word of advice, only order this platter if you are in the company of three or more people. You alone cannot finish this no matter how big a foodie you are.

COMBO

To drink I got the Paramount Special (Rs. 395). That was a mistake. Only because this drink is a full meal on its own! With so much to eat alongside, I could not finish this fine combination of strawberry and mango juice, topped with pineapple, kiwi, almonds, pistachios, cream and honey. As delicious as it was, the ashta cream made it a little bit difficult to drink.

My meal ended on a highly sweet note. I chose a selection of the finest Bakhlavas. Truth be told, I am a huge fan of Bakhlavas. Once a year on Eid we receive a great assortment from some relatives. Apart from those, I cannot find any good ones here. These were simply delightful. Carrying the right amount of sweetness, the bite sized Bakhlavas made the entire meal worthwhile!

Paramount Fine Foods is highly recommended if you want a break from the usual.

This post originally appeared here.

Basic tips to Organize School Supplies

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School’s starting and it’s stressful but equally exciting. Everyone is busy with preps, finishing up with shopping, getting done with left over homework and projects and getting ready with all the cool school gear to meet friends.

When it comes to preparations, it is really important to stay organized, maintain a list and don’t go overboard with shopping. Shopping for school supplies can be a major hassle, with too many options at times and very less time. It’s time, get organized, make the most of this!

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Make a list: Map it all out. Make a list of what you want, what you need, what you already have and what’s not so important.
  • Buy things in bulk: Get your stuff in large quantities so it all lasts you a year or at least a semester. Spare yourself several trips to the stationery stores during the year and save yourself from spending too much.
  • Map out the store locations, make an itinerary: Uniforms from one place, stationery from one and shoes from one. Or you can get everything online with com now!
  • Time yourself!

Do all this and you’ve got a great chance at acing the school supplies shopping spree! Or just order online with Yayvo.com!

 

*This is a sponsored post.

 

Yayvo’s Get Set School is a new talk of the town

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Ever since its launch, Yayvo.com has been setting benchmarks for the ecommerce industry in Pakistan. The TCS brand has managed to stay a top of mind and sight on digital with their campaigns and offerings.

This year, capitalizing on the Back-to-School time, Yayvo has come up with the first ever Education E-Store, providing the utmost ease for parents and students to shop from the comfort of their homes as they get ready for yet another year of school.

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The new campaign has become the talk of the town and has been able to turn eyeballs towards the brand’s approach to leverage ecommerce in Pakistan.

Yayvo’s Get Set School campaign lets you shop for your uniforms, books and all other school essentials online while saving a ton of time and effort.

This surely has opened up new avenues for experimentation and conversations in terms of growth of ecommerce in Pakistan and digital media marketing.

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After fashion, groceries and technology, Yayvo brings Education to the arena of online shopping. Seems like great things are in pipeline and the brand isn’t shying away from experimenting!

 

*This post is sponsored by Yayvo.com.

Jobs for Women in Pakistan – Unilever Career by Choice

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Women in Pakistan, regardless of what field they choose to study, often are forced to settle down and leave their careers one they attain what elders call ‘suitable age’ for marriage. Old aunties are often on the lookout for well educated young girls to marry them to their sons – only to then sit at home and not utilize any of the skills and knowledge the girls spent years learning.

Societal pressure makes many women hesitant to pursue the career of their dreams. At times an opportunity leads them away from home, maybe to a distant land. Just the idea of living alone and working is enough to earn a no from their family members.

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If you have succumbed to a similar fate, there’s hope for you yet. Unilever Pakistan has taken an initiative to help capable women find work that allows them to work at their convenience. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 3 out of every 5 women bow down due to familial pressures and give up their careers in favor of domestic life.

Unilever’s Career by Choice (CBC) Program aims to be a pathway that allows all such women to reenter the professional world. CBC is a platform which through which they can be employed for various different projects ranging from 6 months to a year, all on very flexible terms.

All the women who decide to participate in this program get the opportunity to update their skill-set, grow their business network, and move to a more permanent position within Unilever if they wish.

Eligibility for Participation

All participants must have at least a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification.

A 2 year experience in their respective field. A career break ranging from 1 to 8 years.

Bachelor’s or equivalent qualification

Project will revolve around 5 key areas

Brands

Consumer Development

Finance

HR

Supply Chain

 

The program allows a great deal of flexibility with work hours and paid leaves.

 

For more information please visit our website:

https://www.unilever.pk/careers/career-by-choice/

 

My Ramadan MadeEasy with National Foods

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So a good fortnight has passed since Ramadan began. And while I promised myself, this year, I would stay away from food that makes me happy, and stick to a diet, I failed (so far anyway).

Ever since Ramadan began, I found myself stuffing myself with all kinds of delicious food I could find. And while it is slightly difficult for me to list down everything I have had (Thank God) here are the top 5!

  1. Biryani

Ok, I can cook yes, but managing a biryani on my own …. not really no. This thing of beauty was prepared all the way by my mum and therefore was safe to consume. Her secret? The Biryani masala by National Foods.

2. Pita Bread Pizza

So the next thing on this list, I made myself, and yes, I survived. In the mood to have something delicious yet effortless, I searched online and came across this easy to make paratha pizza on madeeasy.com. Not being a fan of parathas, I swapped them for a Pita Bread, and lo and behold.

3. Watermelon and Peach Sorbet

So after the success of my Pita Bread Pizza, I wasn’t letting anything stop me from taking another bold step and this time with my own recipe attempt to make a sorbet! Yep, I dared. Using the Peach flavored Fruitily and fresh watermelon, I made this highly refreshing sorbet.

4. Lasagna

My love for Lasagna cannot be explained. It is perhaps the one thing I know I can make well. I have had other people eat it and say so too. My own recipe takes a lot of time and dedication on my part, and having none in Ramadan, I went for the easier version found on Madeeasy.com and made this. The picture isn’t too great, but trust me it was.

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5. Peri Bites

My love for green chilies is very new. But since it has developed, I enjoy having the sharpness in my otherwise bland food. I am a fan of the peri bites and chili poppers many fast food cafes serve, and so when mum made these scrumptious things at home, I went insane. Yes, she surfs the internet too! Find the recipe here: Madeeasy.com

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You can find plenty more easy recipes simply by visiting https://www.madeeasy.com.pk/. Do let me know which recipe you tried!

 

Ramadan 2016: Iftar Deals for Karachi

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Even before they started people could be heard complaining how difficult Ramadan this year would be. It is too hot, the days are too long, were just some of the issue people had. However, no one is complaining now. Mainly because of the awesome deals and discounts almost every restaurant and cafe is offering. As always, here is a list in no particular order of the deals currently available,

As always, here is a list in no particular order of the deals currently available, along with a short review of the cafes offering them. You are welcome to try them out on their own and leave a review if you like!

I will keep updating the list throughout this month. If you know of a cafe I’ve missed, do let me know. Happy Ramadan.

BBQ Tonight

BBQ Tonight has always been kind to me. Whenever I visited with family (trust me it has been a lot) the food has been good giving me no reason to complain. Be sure to give this deal a try though.

bbq Tonight SidraRizviSays

Tavern Grill

Since I was there for lunch just a day before Ramadan started, I know for sure the food is good. The deal looks good too.

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Lals

I had the good fortune of trying out their Iftaar last year. And while this year’s offering doesn’t look much different from what I had, I just might stop by to have some once more. Plus they are the only ones I know who have chocolate covered dates 😀

Lals SidraRizviSays

Bella Vita

Anyone who has had the fortune of trying out the cookie at Bella Vita can no longer say no to a chance of visiting the place. Their Ramadan deal this year looks good, even though it doesn’t include the above mentioned cookie.

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Ginsoy

No matter what time or day of the week you visit Ginsoy, it is always full. And so the only time I tried out their food was when we ordered it at home. It arrived a little cold and I didn’t enjoy it much. Maybe I’ll get lucky and actually get a place to sit there for iftaar ( Yeah, with 50% off I know that’s not happening).

Ginsoy SidraRizvisays

Chatterbox Pie in the Sky

It has been a while since I ate at Chatterbox. The food then was good. I am not sure how it is now. If you happen to be a fan, do visit. Their Iftaar deal starts from Rs. 950/-

 

Chatterbox Sidrarizvisays

Kaybees

If Kaybees were to dig deep into its call log, the most call received number will be mine. There was a time we loved its fast food, but lately it has been disappointing us. That said, its desi food it still our favorite. We frequently order brain masala and chicken handi. Therefore, Kaybees is on definitely on the list.

Kaybees SidraRizviSays Kababjees

Sadly this is a place I have not yet tried. So I cannot tell you how their food is. You must dare to visit at your own risk.

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Big Thick Burgerz

They are big, they are thick and they are Burgerz for some reason. Visit them in Ramadan and get a 50% discount.

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Broadway Pizza

I kinda love Broadway Pizza. I have ordered a few times and they have never disappointed me yet. I just might order from them for iftaar.

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Pizza Hut

I would be extremely surprised if you told me you still go to Pizza Hut. Their’s is the saddest story in the history of sad stories. Go ahead if you want, I for sure won’t be, even for the free cornetto -_-.

Pizza Hut

Subway

There was a time I kinda lived off Subway. Being the only deliverable option to my workplace that wasn’t greasy burgers and pizzas, I have had my fair share of subs. There I am skipping their deal this year. Subway SidraRizviSays

KFC

Yes, yes. No list can be complete with good old KFC. If this is the reason you are here, well the wait is over.

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McDonald’s

Following behind KFC, McDonald’s is just as much loved as the former. I have no idea why. Here is their Ramadan offer.

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Gloria Jean’s

Still a fan of Gloria’s? Good for you. Here is their Ramadan deal. I for one won’t be going.

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NewYork Coffee

New York Coffee has its days. It sometimes serves you really good food. Their new cafe in Sindhi Muslim is a pleasant place to be. Plus I love their mushroom and spinach pizzas and chicken strips! I just might stop by.

NewYork Coffee Sidrarizvisays

Cafe Zouk

While their food quality dwindles, their customer service is always top notch. Cafe Zouk is offering:SidraRizvisays

Rosati Bistro

I have heard conflicting reviews about this place. So far I haven’t tried it out. Their Iftaar deals look promising. If someone visits, do let me know.

Rosati Bistro SidraRizviSays

Rakaposhi

A visit to this restaurant is long overdue. It is on my must visit list this year.

Rakaposhi SidraRizviSays

Pranzo

If you have come to my blog truly looking for my review and not just the deals, I love you, and please skip this one. My first and last visit hopefully was not pleasant at all. Pranzo

Cafe Aylanto

I for one cannot make out a word of their Ramadan offer. That said, their food is good, so if you have a magnifying glass and can understand what they are serving, go ahead and visit.

Cafe Aylanto

Koffie Chalet

With the new branch now open at Sindhi Muslim, Koffie Chalet is now on my to visit list.

Koffie Chalet

 Nando’s

Now celebrating their 15 years in Pakistan, Nando’s has kept us entertained with their witty taglines. Their food however has its moments. Nandos

Johnny Rockets

Dear o’ dear. Erm, fan of their food? Go ahead and visit. But be sure to take some air freshener along. Oh and you still have to buy one to get the other free. Johny Rockets

TGI Fridays

Never been here even though it’s always a Friday there. If you have, do leave a review.

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Bombay Chowpatty

My shopping trips to Dolmen are always incomplete without having a plate of dahi puri from Bombay Chowpatty. If you are out Eid Shopping and thinking what to have for iftaar, this should be tried out for sure!

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Pizza Max

The deal for Pizza Max. If you have the strength to stay up till 2am you can enjoy a sehri deal too!

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Del Frio

I have had good days and bad days at Del Frio. The good being the nutella brownie I can’t forget and the bad being the strong hit of undissolved chicken cube in the spinach soup. That said, their Ramadan deal doesn’t seem too tempting this year.

 

Delfrio Ramadan Deals

Steak Escape

Depending on your mood, Steak Escape offers you a variety of deals that range from burgers to steaks to burritos. The price isn’t too much either. A good deal for Ramadan.

Steak Escape

Dunkin Donuts

While their coffees are awful, I love the Omwich and Bologna sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. Yes, they are very heavy. Yes, I eat them still. On a day when I am not sure what to eat, I’ll order from Dunkin!

Dunkin Donuts

NewYork Pizza

Had pizza from NewYork Pizza twice, didn’t like it either time. Needless to say, this deal I am skipping.

Newyork Pizza