Have you realised how much trash you generate as just one person? I had never thought of trash or its consequences or the sheer size of it until very recently. In a bit to recycle and repurpose trash, I’ve been making small changes at home, hoping that someday it will all add up.
I started something new recently. For every birthday, anniversary and random celebratory day, I’ll DIY a gift for close family and friends.
No doubt, it shall be supplemented with a practical and useable store-bought gift. But I love the idea of spending the time to creating something with my hands for people who mean something to me.
And with Valentine’s day around the corner, I thought I’ll share a cute and romantic gift you could make for your Harry Potter loving partner.
I made this little artwork for my husband for his birthday earlier this month. Like every child of the late 80s-early 90s, he grew up reading books and watching movies about JK Rowling’s fascinating world of wizards. If you’re dating or married to a Potterhead, you know in your heart this little DIY will make their day.
Does anyone really use salt and pepper shakers at home? Well, we don’t and I can’t remember the last time I felt the need to either. But they sometimes come in RIDICULOUSLY adorable shapes and you have to have them!
I love pandas and general panda-shaped paraphernalia. And years ago when I collaborated with Flipkart for this outdoor picnic for one, I couldn’t resist picking up these panda salt and pepper shakers. Look how cute they are! I’ve been using them as random decorative pieces (one of them broke recently) around the house.
But the other day I finally found a massive value pack of incense sticks at Little India, only to realise I didn’t have an incense stick holder when I got back home.
As I looked around for a makeshift and had an ‘Ah Ha’ moment. My favourite panda head salt & pepper shaker can easily be repurposed as the cutest little incense stick holder.
It’s such a simple idea, isn’t it? It’s made of ceramic so it’s safe. Whatever little soot collects near the hole can be easily wiped off with a wet tissue.
Continue reading “#Hack: Best Way to Repurpose Salt & Pepper Shakers”
Tough day at work? Fight that urge to flip your desk and head to the nearest green patch for some fresh air and fresher perspective.
If you’re working in and around CBD, hang on to this list of nearby secret parks and patches to get your zen on.
Note: Ideally, I wanted to use Instagram embeds to show you the parks but WordPress is mean and won’t let me. Since I don’t have actual pictures, we shall have to make do with an assortment of random Singaporean park pictures I took last month.
So, it’s not even noon and the day isn’t going as planned? Take your lunch break at this green pocket sandwiched between two historical structures – the Nagore Durgha Shrine and the Thian Hock Keng temple. With a small water feature and shaded seating covered with vines, this little patch is perfect for quick pacing while you take deep breaths and strategise your next move.
Good for: Distracting yourself with a history lesson, practising presentations on life-size statues who won’t judge and some quick pacing
Ever since 2017, my life has been a series of firsts. And well, for lunch today I made my first savoury oatmeal recipe and damn it was gooooood.
I’ve always been oddly reluctant to try oats mainly because as a lactose intolerant human I cannot stand the idea of packaged sweet oats with milk powder. Totally gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Now I’ve had a big fat packet of plain, no flavour instant oats sitting in my pantry looking pretty for two months. We picked it up because it’s a healthy choice but for some odd reason, I always thought making oats without milk would be hard and might taste blaah. I’ve been trying to get used to drinking soy milk, trying being the keyword, and thought one day I’ll have sweet oats like regular people.
But today for lunch, I thought let’s give this thing a try for fun when no one is watching.
So I looked up a few recipes, saw how simple it really was, decided I’m pro at this and winged it. And I’m kinda glad I did. This recipe turned out so yummy and tasty. And it was so ridiculously quick and easy to make.
I’m so stuffed right now I can barely move. It’s been over 4 hours since I ate lunch now and I feel so full. I didn’t even need to snack at 4pm!
Endless night bullies my soul
Leaving me with qualms instead of hope
Quiver and gather courage to stand
Shoveling roads with my own two hands
In the pitch black dark I saw a ray
Bright enough to light my way
When the moon erased from the sky
The brightest star was in your eyes
This was my first event as a blogger in Singapore and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Yamaha Music with Silent Disco Asia and FabCafe held Singapore’s first ever silent piano concert on Dec 21, 2017. It was held at night at ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay. And we were there to witness it all!
Young and mighty talented pianist Li Churen played several pieces on Yamaha’s hybrid Silent Piano. As the presenter pointed out, it’s built for regular people like us who live in apartments. It’s fitted with a magnificent “Quiet Mode”. In this mode, you can play the piano and listen to yourself play live on a set of headphones attached directly to the instrument.
It started a few days before New Year’s Eve and it still hasn’t stopped. It’s been pouring or drizzling in Singapore for a little over two weeks now and the temp has dropped drastically. I’m not complaining or anything but wearing full-length pants is a pain.
Last Saturday was chilly and cloudy too, perfect weather for some long tau foo and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Since I was invited to attend a flower arrangement workshop at The Better Florist, I pushed myself out of bed and skipped to their Clarke Quay HQ.
Continue reading “Review: Flower Arrangement Workshop at A Better Florist, Singapore”
Apart from getting married to D.R.R TrollKill aka the Love of my Life, we made another life-altering decision in 2017. We moved from India to Singapore. And from the word go, we fell in love with this place.
Singapore is a tiny red dot on the world map but it’s big on everything else. This listicle isn’t about fun Singaporean facts or a history lesson (that will come later because who doesn’t love history). It is, however, a lineup of things that make living here truly amazing. We’ve been here for almost three months now and although we have A LOT of exploring to do, we have managed to set up our little nest from scratch. And here’s what we love about this city-state we now call home.
Continue reading “4 Things I Absolutely Love about Singapore”
My New Year Resolution (you can read bits of it here), like every year, is to travel more. But this year, we’re making extra efforts to see this resolution through. I’m writing this post for purely selfish reasons. I’m hoping that by putting abstract ideas into words, it will somehow magically make my resolve stronger and serve as a reminder of sorts. Because let’s face it… resolutions have a nasty reputation for dying a tragic death before the end of Jan.
If you’re anything like us, I bet you’re feeling a strong sense of wanderlust too (it’s a millennial syndrome). So this year, instead of hashtagging every other picture of your vacay from 2016 with #wanderlust, let’s do something about it. Let’s dream big, plan obsessively, book those non-refundable tickets and discover this third rock from the sun.
Continue reading “#Wanderlust: Travelling with an Indian Passport”
Ah. Once again, this year pulled a Flash and sped away. I cannot believe it’s going to be 2018 in 30 days. In 30 days and nights, kids who were born at the turn of the millennium (80s and 90s kids, remember the Y2K frenzy?) will be legally old enough to vote, drive and get married. To give you a scarier sense of time… As of January 2018, Donald Trump would’ve been the President of USA for a whole year.
It’s been a long year.
And what a year it has been.
A lot has happened to this little lifestyle blogger in 2017. Almost all of it was unplanned, crazy, fun and life-changing. There were hard days and I’m trying harder to forget about them. But the good times, they supersede. Officially, 2017 will go down in my history as the MOST MONUMENTAL year of my life.
We’re legally a team now, D.R.R TrollKill & I. We got married in May 2017 and we did it on our terms. We moved out of India, away from everything/everyone we know and love. We set up our little nest in less than two weeks in the island country of Singapore.
Professionally, I made some bold, risky and pretty often stupid choices. I don’t regret them one bit.
In the story of this insignificant human, 2017 was the Year of Adulting. Having said that, I refuse to act like an adult. Being an adult is bloody boring. You might as well be a toilet brush or the filter that covers the sink drain – dead inside but full of crap.
Instead, I’ll try my very best not to let stereotypes, hypocrites, cynics and conformers put me in a mould. Instead of staring at my feet like an adult, I’ll stare at the sky and play connect the dots with the stars. Instead of living in a box like an adult, I’ll dance with the clouds. Instead of doing things because “what will XYZ say” like an adult, I’ll do things depending on “what will my heart say”. Instead of being afraid of change like an adult, I’ll chase it down at the speed of light. Instead of mindnumbing 9-5s like an adult, I’ll try to live and love 24/7 x 365.
Thank you, Twenty Seventeen. You’ve been the greatest.
Hello, Twenty Eighteen. You better be a riot.
OMG. We’re incredibly excited about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their engagement and marriage make a massive statement and I couldn’t be gladder. The Meghan Markle from Suits, a mixed raced Hollywood actor and humanitarian, is soon going to be Princess Meghan. Now, that’s a fairytale worth telling! One that says a big in-your-face to the rigid world, nasty media, racists and elitists of the world. And have you seen their CNN interview yet? It’s literally the cutest thing in the world. Both of them are rather “real” and that’s refreshing for a change. If you haven’t seen it, here is the link.
I’ve always loved the way Meghan dressed – super feminine with #girlboss vibes & a whole lotta casual, chilled out outfits. So I put together three of my favourite Markle looks to steal like a pro.
Continue reading “Make like Meghan Markle: 3 Outfits Inspired by Suits Actor turned Princess”
Sure, wall paint is everyone’s go-to option. But the decor savvy people of the world have tapped into another pool of resource. Wall coverings have been around for ages but the past few years, the humble stick-on option has undergone a massive update and gained an even bigger following. From prints catering to every whim and fancy to iconic collaborations that will have you drooling, this is a revolution you cannot ignore.
With the plethora of options to choose from, you have the liberty of narrowing down on the right wall covering to suit your home, personality and identity. That’s one of its biggest perks -– it lets you show-off your individuality and describes you in more ways than one.
If you’re anything like me, picking one out of thousands of delicious wall coverings can be overwhelming. Luckily, design authorities have zeroed in on a few global trends that are here to stay. Out of them, I’ve hand-picked 5 of my absolute favourites that have timeless and trendy written all over them.
Continue reading “5 Contemporary Wallcovering Trends to Heart”
Numero deux of a five part series for decor secrets to hold dear.
- Ironically, throws are not meant to be…err… thrown around. Keep throws under control. Fold them lengthwise, then in half and tuck them into cushions.
- Shimmer and shine away. Gold is back in a big way. A few accents will warm up a room.
- Nothing softens a lonely corner in a big room like a potted tree. Enough said.
- The most indestructible fabric for dining chairs is leather or vinyl, especially if you want white.
- Mix up the seating at your dining table. Those days when all dining chairs had to be identical have gone with the wind. Ask Scarlett, if you don’t believe us?
- Headboards are the perfect combination of form and function and can be created out of every imaginable material including hardwood with wrought-iron inlays, illuminated acrylic and fabric panels.
Continue reading “#HeckOfAHome: 20 Decor Secrets to Swear By – Part 2”
A year and a half ago, I was asked to describe myself as a writer during a team writing workshop held by my then-boss. This is what I penned down.
I often find myself wondering if writing is all I truly have to offer to this world. Or maybe I’ve been asking myself the wrong questions all along.
Q: Who am I as a writer?
A: To be fairly honest and precise: Insecure. It is a strange sort of a relationship where writing makes me incredibly nervous. So, I know what you’re thinking, why would I pursue something that terrifies me? Well, because it’s the very thing that simultaneously brings me peace. And isn’t that what we are all eventually after?
The sweet smell of nothingness
I like it
But it taunts me
I crave it
But it pawns me.
The sweet sight of emptiness
I brave it
But it fought me
I fill it
But it locks me.
The sweet sound of hollowness
I welcome it
But it haunts me
I caress it
But it stabs me.
The sweet touch of bareness
I call it
But it mocks me
I want it
And it has me.
I am one half of a two member editorial and content development studio called The Short Staff. As a full-time freelance writer and editor, I contribute to a bunch of print and digital publications including DNA India’s DNA Money supplement. Here’s a article that was published on May 5, 2017. Here’s an excerpt and the link to the full article.
As fate of the Kohinoor continues to be a giant question mark, this April, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) announced the homecoming of over a hundred antique pieces stolen and smuggled out of the country. As the interest in Indian antiques surges, auction houses, dealers and stores dealing with antiquities, vintage items and collectables are garnering new-found interest.
International auction house Saffronart’s CEO Hugo Weihe points out, “It’s one area that has seen enormous growth in the past few years. But it’s quite undervalued, in more senses than one. India has an extraordinary heritage of 5,000 years or more and it has really been overlooked.” Saffronart holds live and online auctions of modern, contemporary and classical Indian art as well as offers services like art advisory, appraisals and valuations, and specialised art storage. Viewed on web and smartphones, their online auctions have seen sizeable activities and also exposes a larger, newer audience to the art of collecting rarities. Adapting to this democratic new medium makes auctions hugely accessible.
To read the full article, click here.
I’ve been cleaning out my closet… not figuratively, quite literally. I’ve been physically going through all the crap I’ve accumulated over 28 years of living. I’ll be moving out soon and I find myself holding on this aforementioned crap harder than ever. I haven’t even packed a little because the hoarding is a genuine problem.
Hoarding is also amazing. I’ve found so many forgotten things including a long exercise book. It’s hardbound and horrendous looking in green and yellow. Inside are meticulously number poems and self-pep talks from a teenage me. As I sat crossed leg on the cold floor of my lil’ bedroom, I flipped through pages of a young girl I don’t remember but somewhat recognise. It’s a fairly angst filled except I don’t remember the backstory/inspiration of each poem. I barely even remember who it’s for.
Want to hear the best part? It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s for me and now as I share this petite poem on this tiny blog… it’s for you.
I did it. I moved from the painful clutches of Blogger.com to semi-painful WordPress.com. I’m still not sure how right or wrong the decision was. All I know is right now, I’m not equipped to handle WordPress.org and the .com version allows me some time to concentrate less on the backend and more on the front.
This year is going to be epic. I’ve recently joined the Full-time Blogger and Freelance Writer and whatever-fun-things-come-my-way club. I’ve been in it for a grand total of 2 days and it’s been busy, liberating and even a little scary. As I mentioned in my recent Instagram post, this is perhaps the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. That’s part sad to think I haven’t done anything risky and also amazing because there’s always a start.
There’s a lot on the cards for 2017 – so many changes, so much evolution. For starters, I figured Slow Motion Thoughts ought to get a facelift too. Although I didn’t have the liberty to choose my own template from the web (WordPress.com doesn’t let you do that), I picked this particular pre-loaded theme Toujours. I love how it embraces negative space and totally resonates with my current fave aesthetic of minimalism.
I don’t have Photoshop or image editing softwares, so when I needed to work on the Site Title and Site Icon, I found myself on this web editor called Fotor. It has an odd URL with H5 in it but it’s totally legit. A few hours looking for free vector online (in jpeg and not ai) and chewing the brains of my Designer friends (Sirawon & Ayushi), resulted in this.
One of a five part blog series, these decor secrets will make you feeling rich… with information.
- Quick and cost effective way of refresh a bedroom? Updating the bed linen and adding plenty of cushions and throws.
- Measurements matter. Before buying any piece of furniture, check how much space it will take. To do this, take a piece of newspaper and make a template of the item. Place the template on the floor and fix it with masking tape to see if the dimensions work with your existing furniture.
- Accent colours can be used as complementary colours. Use bright and vibrant hues in small quantities for that “wow factor”. Try to keep most of your room in tones and shades of a single colour, then pick out a few objects that can be in the accent colour.
- Furniture with mirrored surfaces bounce light around and make a room look larger than it already is.
- Interior design books are full of huge sofas that look great but in a small room they can be very overwhelming and might make a room look and feel tiny.
Ah, the dread. A relative decides she wants to behold your beautiful face and says she’ll drop by soon or the husband calls and casually drops a bomb about his colleagues visiting or you entirely forgot that you called work friends over for tea. As you rack your overworked mind with all failed excuses you can use to get out of this predicament, a silent realisation sinks in. The house is in a complete mess. Panic, you will and rightly so but we suggest you keep the “why me?” wailing session short and crisp. A quick clean-up is on the charts and you are your own help. Good thing you have us to walk you through it.
THE BEDROOM TREATY
Start with reminding yourself the best news of the day: Your unexpected guests are not going to set foot in the bedroom. This realisation will set you free, calm those nerves and bring out the sly evil in you! You thought right, the bedrooms can be utterly ignored and utilised as temporary dumping grounds (Insert: creepy resonating laugh).
Remember when you were a 17 year old kid who thought it was so cool to skip class and hang out in the canteen? Well, James Charles is a lot like you… NOT. He is perhaps the coolest 17 year old around right now. An internet sensation, James is a makeup artist with skills that will put anyone to shame. More recently, an American makeup brand even signed him up to be their first male model, making history of sorts.
We’ve been following James on Instagram and YouTube for a while and well, we cannot get enough of his extraordinary skill. We love his ideas, his 100 km/hr talking speed, those insanely relatable tweets and the way he deals with haters.
It thrills me no end to see the product design scene in India is suddenly on an adrenaline rush. It’s like watching a garden bloom on Discovery channel time lapse video. I’ve been writing on design and interiors for five odd years now, so I’m constantly coming across new brands, labels, studios and designers to admire.
Recently, I came across a new furniture design studio called Project Wood. No brownie points for guessing that they love making things with wood. Run by Kanika Pahwa, Project Wood organically grew out of Studio Ezube, New Delhi based interior design firm.
|Styled and photographed by Aditi Gaitonde|
“As an interior designer, I’m constantly on the lookout for accessories that I can use for projects. Since I often couldn’t find accents to suit my requirements, I began designing and making my own accessories and furniture pieces,” explains Kanika about Project Wood, a 2-month-old product design studio. Most of their creations are handmade and almost all of them can be customised too.
Newer products are added every fortnight to the e-shop, I’ve already made a wishlist of my favourite five. Use the Code: SMT20 to get 20% off site wide discount on ProjectWood.in.
Let’s talk about periods. It’s as much a part of our lives as breathing and burping (yes, girls burp ok). Hormones are all over the place but then again that’s why we have chocolates. For me, I’m constantly worrying about staining my dress or the chair I’m sitting on for 8 hours straight at work. Did I mention overall discomfort that leads to general crankiness? Yeahhh… add that to the list right next to checking the pad every few hours. Why am I tell you all this?
Because I truly believe that periods are not the end of the world. It’s no reason for us to stress or worry and it’s definitely no reason to stay away from normal activities that make us happy. According to me, the one thing that makes periods a trying time is the discomfort – physical and emotional. And we must do what we can to eliminate this feeling. We have chocolate, wine, books and Zayn Malik to keep us emotionally upbeat. In a bid to reduce the physical discomfort, Whisper innovated and came up with something cool.
I am one half of a two member editorial and content development studio called The Short Staff. As a full-time freelance writer and editor, I contribute to a bunch of print and digital publications including DNA India’s DNA Money supplement. Here’s my piece that was published on Mar 3, 2017. Here’s an excerpt and link to the full article.
It’s safe to say that millennials have a perpetual case of wanderlust. The young Indian traveller has evolved from cookie-cutter tours crammed with “touristy” sight seeing. They want more from their holidays than just Instagram-worthy pictures and Facebook check-ins. They want experiences over luxuries, purpose over presentation and stories over stringent itineraries. They want to put to work, leave a mark, get inspired and take away skills and stories.
Online travel company Make My Trip’s India Travel Report 2016 revealed that young Indians are the driving force behind the changing travel landscape, and about 66% of the total trips on the website were made by travellers in the age group 18-35 years. Travel entrepreneurs across the country echo the insight but reveal an underlying trend that promises to turn into a movement.
To read the full article, click here.
I’ve known Anish for a few months now. And if there’s anything that can be said about him, it’s this – his passion for photography is as evident and blazing like the sun at the peak of summer. Professionally, he’s a fashion photographer who equally loves shooting portraits. Personally, he’s my favourite Punjabi.
The photo essay that you’ll experience in a few scrolls from now was shot a few years ago in his homeland. The words describing it are his. The perceptive will gauge the irony in the title of the essay. But they would also be right to think of it as gloomy. It is. In most parts, it’s hazy to a point of distorted. There’s a sense of longing and uncertainty that pricks through the skin. It’s cold, yes, but winter is more than the drop of temperature and the absence of warmth. It’s also a brutal reminder of death where the landscape mourns and come to terms with closing curve of life.
Photo Essay: Anish Sarai’s Winter Epiphany
Timeless thoughts of a winter’s stare;
eyes gazing over a landscape bare.
Memories drift on a blustery breeze;
dying light ushers in the freeze.
Reaching out for a grasp on the present;
stillness sets in, alone, and desolate.
Future unknown, outcome uncertain;
brilliance shadowed by a drawn curtain.
— By Michael A. Barron
As we inch our way towards our big day, date undecided, I find myself marvelling at the concept of marriage and making a home. We’ve had eight years to know each other as two separate entities. As we stand at the cusp of a new life stage, I guess I’m not mighty concerned about the legality of it all. A piece of paper, a few random rituals and a couple of signatures don’t make a marriage, do they?
In the “civilised society” it does. From where I stand, it makes a wedding, maybe a few nice photographs but certainly not a marriage. To me, marriage is more like the second definition thrown up by Google: “a combination or mixture of elements.” It’s an amalgamation by choice that riots against everything to continue to be an amalgamation. A coupling of the mind and heart and soul that cannot comprehend life as a singularity.
She believes she was born a century too late. For ruffles and lace make her swoon.
She dressed up in a vintage-esque dress for Race day on a breezy Saturday. She bet on a subdued fascinator, black tie-up heels and simple black clutch. #VictorianMuch
Ruffled dress: Koovs.com #SaleHaul
Floral headband: Accessorize
Tie-up black heels: Ajio.com #SaleHaul
CC creme: Lakme S# Bronze
Mascara: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara – 01 Extreme Black
Eye Shadow: The Little Black Book Palette from Elf– Volume II
Eye Liner: Maybelline New York The Colossal Liner – Black
Photographer: D.R.R TrollKill
Shot on: Moto G3
From the many things that bother me, migraines are somewhere on top of the list. This, much to my dismay, has resulted in several lifestyle choices. I cannot eat Chinese food with MSG, cannot drink alcohol as much as I want, cannot have too much chocolate, cannot deviate from a strict schedule etc.
Why am I telling you this? Because lately I’ve realised that the only alcoholic drink that doesn’t give me a headache is the good ol’ Whiskey Sour. Maybe it’s in my head (pun intended), but I’m going to stick to my chubby glass of Whiskey Sour for a while with lime and not orange. Orange is next level yucky.
So I figured I should learn to make this at home for emergencies like… Mondays or Wednesdays or afternoons. Most recipes online involved a sour mix which I don’t know where to find in Mumbai, mainly because I haven’t tried looking for it #LazyGoose. But this recipe is different. Not only does it not need a sour mix, it also combines utilises one of my favourite spices – Cinnamon.
I remember when I was about seven or eight years old, my ever experimental mom bought an ice cream maker from one of those teleshopping networks. I was forbidden to enter the dining room where she was attempting to make her first batch of homemade ice cream. Mom used to do all sorts of mad things back then. Despite having been given strict instructions to stay out of her way, I slowly crept up the long corridor in our old house and pushed aside the stiff door curtain to the dining room.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe it was because I was so little, but to me it looked like there had been an explosion. White powder, water and ice were all over the place… on the floor, the table and on mumma. She chased me out before I could enter. If my memory serves me right, that was the last time we used that wretched ice cream maker. We still have it though, tucked away on a higher shelf in the kitchen where no one can (and should) reach. I don’t really remember the taste of the ice cream but I’ll never forget that scene. We still laugh about it.
Continue reading “Recipe: No Churn 3 Ingredient Cookies & Cream Ice Cream”
I’ve been terrible these past few months. Ever since I’ve got that neck and back problem, I’ve been ignoring my commitments and promises and spending precious time writhing in bed with a cold pack. But enough. Enough of pity, enough of pain sensitivity, enough of ignoring my blog/friends/family/life. It’s 2017 dammit. My 28th chance to finally get it right.
So, meet Adriel George. I met him over nine years ago when we were studying in the same college. I remember watching him with my jaw on the floor as he danced during our graduation party. Although he studied IT, Adriel chose to string together his own path, note after note. He’s now a music composer (a damn good one at that) and producer for films, theatre and those Youtube ads that you sometimes can’t skip and end up liking.
|That’s our man on the keyboards|
A much sought-after piano teacher, he loves sneaking into hotel lobbies and malls with grand pianos and serenading late-night guests with his renditions of famous movie themes. Although I’m yet to catch him in action, I have heard him tune out the world and drown in chords at his studio in Santacruz (W), Mumbai.
Continue reading “Adriel George’s Playlist”