Isn’t it intriguing how some people make a song and dance on their birthdays while some just hideaway on that day? What do you do? Do you celebrate your birthday or keep it a secret since you are another year older?

So, often we treat ourselves inessential – which is what the world has taught us. As adults, I think we get really occupied in work and life. We have families, careers, finances – among a plethora of stress on our plates. Alas! Celebrating our birthday seems, well, a bit much. We’re either too tired or not in the mood, don’t want to make it a ‘big event’, hate surprises, or we hate getting older, so why celebrate at all? But yes, we should celebrate our birthdays.

To this I say, no more.

Today, at this moment even, you should write yourself a love letter. You are precious, and that there is no one better suited for the task than you? I know it might sound a little weird, but let me ask you this … who better knows what you need to hear?

I believe, we should celebrate our birthdays to mark another year of getting through our life and surviving! And lucky to be surrounded by people who praise us and celebrate with us.

It is time to give that loving and caring soul of yours the words she’s been longing to hold onto. Have faith in the process, and cherish whatever comes because your heart will not lie to you; you’ll know just what to say.

Grab your favorite drink, pull out your diary, and that artistic stationery you’ve been longing to use, as this is what you’ve been looking for.

With the advent of social media, it seems that the whole world knows when it’s anybody’s birthday. Pamper yourself with some great tips, which I have shared below:

    • I prefer a handwritten note over typing down – I prefer cursive for love letters; those twirling letters make my letter seem attractive.
    • Start on a happy note and pat your back for taking out time to pamper yourself by writing a heartfelt love letter for yourself in the hustle-bustle of life.
    • Mention your most cherished memory in detail with the imaginary of events.
    • Give yourself a cute name that makes you feel delighted and happy.
    • Point out the notable characteristics, brilliant character flaws, charming habits, and lovely quirks that you enjoy.
    • Embrace yourself with words of encouragement in the second paragraph and remind yourself whatever pain you are going through is temporary.
    • In the end paragraphs, remind yourself how strong you are, your goals, and something you’ve been holding back for too long.
    • Give exciting and eloquent closing like ‘All my love to you precious woman, more power to you.’
    • Finally, fold the letter in an envelope and send it to yourself in a way that lets you know the contents are both secret and extraordinary.

Nirjary’s 40 Favorites

As I turn 40, I want to highlight my top 40 favorite things in my life. Without order or priority, here is a list of things that I love and inspire me every day. I hope that you can incorporate these things into your daily lifestyle and even organize your next indoor party.

FOOD & DRINKS

  1. Cooking

“A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

I love that cooking gives me a chance to be creative and indulge in some ‘play’ time – something we adults could do with a lot more. I adore losing myself in the rituals of chopping, stirring, and tasting.

Spending 30-40 minutes in the kitchen preparing dinner will put me in a much calmer, less frazzled mood than sitting on the couch for the same amount of time. When you’re cooking, you get to choose what you make AND what goes into each dish.

Nothing beats a home cooked meal to share with your friends and family.

  1. Cuisine

My favorite cuisines are Thai, Indian, and Mexican. Whenever I travel, I prefer to land up in such restaurants wherein I can get such dishes. Moreover, these cuisines can light up any indoor party and inspire guests with delicious dishes from around the world.

  1. Spices

Add tasty spices to your recipes – Spices can say a lot about a culture’s cuisine and are used in a wide variety of savory and sweet foods. Spices can add new flavors and aromas to your cooking without added fat, sodium, or calories.

  1. Desserts

In desserts, I like anything chocolate, both British and Swiss chocolate. Desserts are just cherry on the cake for a fabulous indoor house party.

  1. Cocktail

Pinot Noir Willamette Valley from Oregon is my favorite cocktail, I would say. It’s the best wine in town! Any house party is incomplete without a rich wine in hand.

  1. Staying hydrated is a Must!

I always keep a bottle of Smart Water in my bag; no matter how busy I am running with my schedule; I ensure to drink nearly 2.7 litres of water in a day. No matter what kind of party you throw, it is important to always have water and keep your guests hydrated.

  1. A Quick Meal to Prep 

We are bored of Maggi – 2-minute noodles. Don’t you think we need some quick meal to prepare when guests suddenly dough in your house? I always keep some easy to prepare meals in my fridge. This also helps me when I spontaneously plan some small indoor party.

MAKEUP & BEAUTY

  1. Huda Beauty – Lady’s Night lipstick

Lipsticks can never go wrong in slaying any occasion, turning all heads towards. No doubt, this is why Huda Beauty stands as my favorite in setting any dinner party on fire. A highly pigmented matte lipstick with exceptional color payoff and slaying comfort.

Dressing up for your indoor parties in pastel-colored gowns, shimmering accessories, and combining unrivaled pigmentation with incredible comfort designed to flatter every skin tone. 

What’s so unique?

With hyper-pigmentation at the core of its development, each shade was created with a custom formula that delivers consistent, full-coverage application. The plush matte formula is enriched with nourishing sweet almond oil that allows the color to glide on easily, without skipping or dragging, and leaves lips feeling hydrated and smooth.

  1. Concealer

The only concealer I rely on is ‘MAC Pro Longwear’; it gives medium coverage with a natural finish and up to 15 hours of wear. Specially treated micronized pigments help give a smoother, more flawless, natural matte finish with stay-true color that will last the entire duration of your party.

  1. Eyebrow filler

Another product which is always present in my bag is a ‘brow kit’. A must-have set featuring two complementary shades of powder for defining and filling in brows, plus a mini brush. I love a clean brow look to help

  1. Threading versus Tweezers for Brows

I prefer threading over tweezing my brows. I love a well-groomed brow as it acts to frame the eyes and shape your overall appearance. The practice of threading originated in India and Central Asia, and has become very popular in the States over the last few years. It’s a chemical-free process, quick to be done, and lasts just as long as waxing.

  1. Skincare

I love a good skincare routine especially as I get older! I make sure my skin is always plump and hydrated by applying some of my favorite products such as vitamin E oil, vitamin C serum, rosewater toner, and hyaluronic acid. I also love to use tools like a jade roller and ice roller to decrease swelling and puffiness, stimulate collagen, and rejuvenate my skin.

  1. Face Wash

I believe it is homemade ubtans more than artificial ones. I remember how my grandmother used to explain to me the benefits of turmeric for health and skin. 

That’s why I always kept a tube of Vicco turmeric in my handbag – as there is nothing natural than home remedies for skin. These days, people mix Vicco turmeric with regular turmeric for ‘Haldi ceremonies’ in India.

 CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES

  1. Crossbody Handbag

Handbags are a must when I step out of my house, adding style and adds fullness to my lifestyle. When you are running errands all day and preparing for your party, a crossbody handbag makes your life a whole lot easier.

  1. Cute Headband

Another favorite accessory is wearing cute headbands – lively colors, prints, styles. I love a statement headband that can even turn a bad hair day into a stylish look. You can also set this as a part of your dress code for indoor house parties.

  1. Favorite Indian outfit

Embracing and celebrating my Indian culture is important to me. My favorite attire for a special event is an Indian dress; when I see Indian brides dressed up in such beautiful bright-colored outfits, it’s so overwhelming.

  1. Everyday Outfit

As an event planner, I am always on the go. I feel most comfortable in casual outfits – nothing is better than a comfy top and pair of leggings. Instead of a traditional party, try setting an extravagant pajama party in leisure outfits that will make your guests happy and cozy.

  1. Sunglasses

When you throw a party during a sunny day, a good quality pair of sunglasses is a must! I have been wearing my favorite Gucci sunglasses for a bold and trendy look that is perfect for everyday wear.

  1. Shoes

I am always on my feet and traveling to several destinations. My favorite and most worn shoes are my sneakers that offer support and comfort all day.

HAIRCARE

  1. Round Brush

Round brushes are ideal for creating that volume and body in your hair. I have thick hair, so setting my hair gets easier with a round brush with me. Moreover, I love wavy hair, so I can easily set curls with such round brushes.

  1. Hairdryer

Adding more to my hairstyle regime, a good hairdryer is a must after washing hair for less frizz, more overall volume and shape, and fast results. Blow drying causes a “flash drying” effect that removes the surface moisture and removes water that is bound to the hair, which is called water of hydration.

  1. Curling Iron

When you have a retro theme for the party, curls look fabulous with those polka dot outfits. Invest in a good curling iron to cut your styling time by a few minutes and leave you with a long-lasting curl.

  1. Dry Shampoo

During the days I don’t wash my hair, I like to use dry shampoo to absorb the oil and freshen up my hair. My favorite drugstore brand is the Dove Dry Shampoo. If you want to splurge a little, the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo does wonders for me and leaves my hair feeling nice and clean.

GO-TO STORES

  1. Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite affordable grocery stores with a diverse and cultural selection from around the globe. Some of my favorite products are the lavender hand sanitizer, tea tree oil pad, and sofrito seasoning.

You can make so many quick, cheap and easy delicious meals with Trader Joe’s meals and recipes. Notably, they also have a great selection of snacks and appetizers that are perfect to serve at your next party.

  1. Target Store

Trendy and comfortable pajamas, workout pants, sweaters, dresses, home decorations – you name it, and they have it. Some of my closet staples are from Target, and it is my top place to find home decor to spruce up any space. I always find myself getting lost and spending hours roaming around the aisles.

  1. Costco

When you want to buy in bulk and save money, Costco is the place to go. Shopping at Costco does require a membership with a membership fee, but it is so worth it! From groceries to household goods, they have it all for discounted prices. My favorite brand of face masks from Costco are the 32 Degrees Face Masks. They are reusable, soft, and comfortable for everyday use. Nowadays, it is so important to use masks to stay safe and protect yourself from COVID-19.

VACATION & TRAVEL

  1. Favorite Destination

I absolutely love to be by the water and visit beaches around the world, but also love a good city and vineyard with wine tasting. Fun Fact: My wedding was on the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico.

  1. Hotel

When I travel, I often book my stay at the Marriott and InterContinental Hotels and Resorts (IHG); the most luxurious and serene hotels with excellent quality customer service. You also can get the best of rewards and exclusive memberships!

HOMEGOODS & TECHNOLOGY

  1. Blanket

A cozy throw blanket is an essential for those cold nights especially now during winter time. You can also set a fine romantic dinner under sparkling stars with a cozy blanket, tent, music, delicious food, and aromatic candles.

  1. Room Spray & Candles

Target has one of the best collections of room sprays and candles to fill your rooms with a fresh and lovely scent. For a small indoor party, you can always select the warmest welcoming and aromatic fragrant candle to create a cozy and inviting environment for you and your guests.

  1. Technology 

In terms of technology, I rely on Apple products to stay connected and organized all the time. I don’t know what I would do without my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone.

  1. Label Maker

I stay organized with my handy dandy label maker to make life easier. Label makers are light, portable and those labels help us identify items quickly–saving us time and energy. Label makers are beneficial to those who have illegible handwriting, too.

PERSONAL LIFE

  1. Family Comes First

Well, “blood is thicker than water” – spending time with my family is again at the top of my list. No matter how much I travel or where I go, coming back home is bliss. I am forever grateful for my family’s love, support, and encouragement throughout my life. I can truly say my family has shaped me and made me into the person I am today.

  1. Husband

My husband is my strength, and from where I get the determination and balance in life. We both grew up with Indian Immigrant parents and made our way to the USA (via Gujarat, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda, England and Canada) working hard and cherishing our Eastern & Western values. We met by chance, got married, built a home, bought a dog, and are thriving in our careers. We recently celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, and I don’t know anyone else I would rather be with – Check out my Instagram post.

  1. Zeus

Zeus is my pandemic puppy that I absolutely love and adopted in August 2020 with my husband. He is a YorkiePoo and is the cutest little thing that always gives me unconditional love, an infinite amount of kisses, and follows me everywhere I go since I got him. He is SO spoiled and has brought so much joy and madness into mine and Amit’s life! If you have been thinking about buying a dog, here is your sign to get one!

  1. Children – Charities & Organizations

My team and I donate our time to combating childhood hunger. We are partnered with Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry, and dedicate time to fundraising, community education, and meal-packing.

A champion for women and people of color, I work with women nationally and internationally and devote much of my free time to community building and mentorship.

  1. Flowers

My favorite flower is the Phalaenopsis Orchid or also known as the ‘Moth Orchid.’ It is a monopodial orchid, which means that it grows from a single stem. It does not have the large water-storing pseudobulbs found on sympodial orchids, although its leaves can store some water. Decorating orchids on any occasion will amplify the beauty of any place.

  1. Evil Eye

I like to carry an evil eye with me at all times. The evil eye is a talisman that is meant to protect you from these evil spirits. The evil eye is a ‘look’ or ‘stare’ believed to bring bad luck for the person to whom it is directed.

  1. Ganesh Statue

Since my junior year of high school, I have kept a small statue of Ganeshji with me. I have believed Lord Ganesha symbolizes wisdom, understanding, and a discriminating intellect that one must possess to attain perfection in life. Lord Ganesha is believed to bring good luck, and thus he is worshipped before anything new is started.

  1. Favorite Color

 I love the color black! It is my favorite color to wear because it is sophisticated, chic, and timeless. It suits all occasions, complementing any outfit. 

Hope my list of 40 favorite things has inspired you to reflect on your favorite items and give you ideas to organize your next indoor party. If you want to set a marvellous event, feel free to contact us!

And now, in closing, can I ask you just one more thing? If you love yourself this much, how can the world not soon follow suit? Lead the revolution of your own undeniable worth.

Yours Truly,

Nirjary