Event: Singapore’s First Silent Piano Concert

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!

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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.

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Of course, you can play it loud like humanity has been doing since Bartolomeo Cristofori invented it in 1700. But you can choose to step into the future, especially for those midnight sessions. Your neighbours will perhaps be the happiest.

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With Marina Bay, lit up in all its glory, for a backdrop, a small group of men, women and children put on their SilentDisco headphones and experienced something entirely new. Once during the performance, I took off my headphones and heard absolutely nothing in a space full of people. It was beautiful.

If I had to describe the feeling, I’d perhaps compare it to that moment in Star Wars: The Last Jedi where Vice Admiral Holdo rams the Resistance’s cruiser right through Supreme Leader Snoke’s flagship at light speed. You almost stopped breathing, all your senses are at their peak and life itself seems like it’s in slow motion. Okay fine, the Silent Piano concert wasn’t exactly like the epic collision but it was a close. #RIPViceAdmiralHoldo

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Review: Flower Arrangement Workshop at A Better Florist, Singapore

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.

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Mine

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 A Better Florist, I pushed myself out of bed and skipped to their Clarke Quay HQ.

I love flowers and leaves (have you seen my #BaeLeafProject on my Instagram, yet?).
I’ve always wanted to learn how to artfully arrange flowers but never really got around to it. And although Elijah of A Better Florist makes it looks like a breeze, it’s hard work y’all. Just organically imagining a beautiful arrangement or symmetrically folding rice paper is no easy task.

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Elijah working his magic

Our instructor picked out a cheerful collection of flowers for us – some champagne coloured China roses (still can’t stop staring at them. they are glorious, I tell you), yellow roses, magenta gerberas, white eustomas and deep green leaves for fillers. He was patient and took time to give personal tips to each student during the 2-hour lesson. I think this class is perfect if you’re a first time flower arranging enthusiast like me and the 12 other girls that attended.

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Almost done!

I’m not going to disclose ALL the tips I learnt because I feel you have to be in the presence of an expert to get it right the first time. But I’ll share two things that I think are pure gold.

1. Flowers Need Food Too
At the end of the class, before we took our pretty arrangements home, Elijah gave us a little packet of flower food. Apparently, after you’ve transferred the flowers from the bouquet to a vase, you can still keep them fresh for weeks with a pinch of “food”. Simply cut the stems a little every day at a 45 deg angle and sprinkle this magic potion into the water.

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Trying combinations. It helps if you look at the flowers from the top.

2. Things You Need
This was one of the most important things that I took away from this lesson. To put together a beautiful arrangement, you need more than fresh flowers (duh). You need foam cut in certain shape, rice paper, crystal bag to keep the water in, tape, scissors, a beautiful ribbon and an eye for beauty.

If you want to attend a workshop, write to A Better Florist at kate@abetterflorist.com or give them a call at +65 8742 4030. One workshop will cost you $32.74 (early birds) and $42.99.

Disclaimer: This blogger was given a complimentary flower workshop in exchange of a review. All of the content and opinions in this post are my own.

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Shoutout to Champagne hued China roses. Look at these beauties!

 

4 Things I Absolutely Love about 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.

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1. IT’S CLEAN
Coming from India, this is perhaps the first thing we noticed and admired. Singapore is really clean. There are trash cans everywhere and people use them diligently. Even in movie theatres, everyone picks up their empty popcorn tubs and glasses on their way out to dispose of correctly.

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We eat at hawker centres and have often noticed them cleaning their workstations and stalls between orders. At public parks or spaces like Clarke Quay where people often chill outdoors with food and drinks, everyone cleans up after themselves (except maybe some tourists). I’ve even seen good samaritans pick up random garbage that’s not theirs and trash them in bins. It goes to show that as community Singaporeans work in tandem to keep their country tidy.

2. EVERYONE IS NICE
Almost everyone we’ve encountered in our daily life is, for the lack of a better word, nice. It’s contagious! Singaporeans are very polite and kind to each other as well as to foreigners. And somehow everyone is always smiling except maybe some stressed out hawker stall aunties.

When you’re taking a photograph on the street, locals will even wait out of the frame for you to finish.

 

3. FITNESS MATTERS
We stayed at our friend’s place in an HDB in Redhill for the first few days (Thanks always, J) while we house hunted. Well, HDBs are essentially Housing & Development Board complexes responsible for public housing in Singapore. Every single morning and evening, we’d see men, women, kids and grandparents spend time exercising.

From using the common exercise machines and running to walking backwards (it’s ridiculously difficult and effective) and yoga on the lawns, Singaporeans make a conscious decision to exercise every day. It’s incredibly inspiring and perhaps one of the reasons why #TheBoy and I are firmer in our resolution to get fitter.

And the Government creates PSAs to remind locals to treat their bodies with respect and lead a more active lifestyle. The Health Promotion Board has launched numerous campaign like the National Step Challenge and the Eat, Drink, Shop Healthy Challenge, both of which we’ve signed up for. These two campaigns have pushed us to lead a fitter life. We track our steps, cycle more and pick packaged food carefully by looking for the HPB healthier choice symbol.

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4. THE OVERALL THOUGHTFULNESS
Even as a tourist in Singapore, this one is hard to miss. A lot of thought has gone into the creation of this young, first world country. Most MRT stations open into a mall and most malls are connected via an internal bridge or underpass. Several areas have sheltered walkways for sunny/rainy days which means you can actually get from one end of the island to another without getting drenched.

You can use the same EzLink card to travel by bus and train. People with special needs as well as the old can go about their day without trouble as every building, mall, MRT station and bus have built-in provisions. These are only a handful of things that I can think of right now.WhatsApp Image 2018-01-15 at 9.19.16 AM

#Wanderlust: Travelling with an Indian Passport

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.

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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.

If you have an Indian passport, this post is going to make you really happy. It might even kickstart your next vacation like it did for us.

Below, find a list of 61 countries and regions where an Indian Passport holder can travel visa-free or with a visa on arrival. Print it out, stick it on your fridge, screenshot it, turn it into a desktop wallpaper – this right here is pure gold. This right here is inspiration times 100.

For more inspo, follow me on Instagram.

  1. Bhutan, Asia
  2. Macau, Asia
  3. Nepal, Asia
  4. Seychelles, Africa
  5. South Korea (only Jeju island), Asia
  6. Maldives, Asia
  7. Haiti, North America
  8. Jamaica, North America
  9. Dominica, North America
  10. Fiji, Oceania
  11. Thailand, Asia
  12. Mauritius, Africa
  13. Indonesia, Asia
  14. Micronesia, Oceania
  15. Cape Verde, Africa
  16. Ecuador, South America
  17. Guyana, South America
  18. Jordan, Asia
  19. Laos, Asia
  20. Saint Lucia, North America
  21. Senegal, Africa
  22. Trinidad and Tobago, South America
  23. Tuvalu, Oceania
  24. Saint Kitts and Nevis, North America
  25. Palau, Oceania
  26. El Salvador, North America
  27. Nauru, Oceania
  28. Djibouti, Africa
  29. Guinea- Bissau, Africa
  30. Bolivia, South America
  31. Burundi, Africa
  32. Cambodia, Asia
  33. Comoros, Africa
  34. Ethiopia, Africa
  35. Grenada, Caribbean
  36. Madgascar, Africa
  37. Malawi, Africa
  38. Marshall Islands, Oceania
  39. Mauritania, Africa
  40. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean
  41. Samoa, Oceania
  42. Somalia, Africa
  43. Suriname, South America
  44. Tanzania, Africa
  45. Timor-Leste, Asia
  46. Togo, West Africa
  47. Uganda, Africa
  48. Vanuatu, Oceania
  49. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Europe
  50. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  51. South Ossetia, Russia
  52. Svalbard, Norway
  53. Transnistria, Russia
  54. Réunion, French department
  55. Saint Helena, Island in the Atlantic Ocean
  56. Kish Island, Island in the Persian Gulf
  57. Palestine, Asia
  58. British Virgin Islands, British Overseas Territory
  59. Montserrat, British Overseas Territory
  60. Cook Islands, Island country near New Zealand
  61. Pitcairn Islands, British Overseas Territory

Mandatory New Year Post: Thank you, 2017!

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.

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Change is good

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.

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This Thank You card was given to my husband D.R.R TrollKill by his ex-colleagues. Sums up exactly what I feel about 2017!

Make like Meghan Markle: 3 Outfits Inspired by Suits Actor turned Princess

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.

Look 1: Pretty in Pleats
So effortlessly colourful, this outfit will make the cutest Instagram picture!

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Skirt: Kate Kasin Women’s High Waist Pleated A-Line Swing Skirt KK659 (pink the pink one)
Top: ROMWE Short Sleeve Summer Casual Striped Crop T-shirt Top Tee (pick the green color crop top) 
Handbag: Prettymenny PU leather Women Handbag Shoulder Bags Tote Purse Leather Messenger Hobo Bag

Look 2: Bring on the Blues
Power dressing like pro, this straight cut dress with starburst pleats is on fire!

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Dress: Ivanka Trump Women’s Printed Ponte Starburst (pick the blue dress) 

3. Raging in Retro
So old school Hollywood, this red sweetheart neck midi dress needs a stage of its own!

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Dress: DRESSTELLS Retro 1950s Cocktail Dresses Vintage Swing Dress with Cap-sleeves

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Amazon.

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5 Contemporary Wallcovering Trends to Heart

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.  

1. Jiggy with Geometry
It might not have been my favourite subject in school, but it sure is a helluva looker. Shapes have a tendency of resonating with a lot of people – it provides a sense of order and symmetry that many find comforting.

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I particularly love Qila from the Good Earth collection for its glamorous treatment. The much-loved chevron has been given a subtle glitz while the soft background colour lends a sense of uniqueness and elegance. If you’re near a Good earth in Mumbai or New Delhi, you can go see this darling collection at Good Earth for Nilaya Wallcovering Salon.

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Then there’s April Showers as well as Rain Dance from the Signature Collection that is incredibly modern, graphic and almost soul-stirring in their simplicity.

My picks are Good Earth for Nilaya Collection and the Nilaya Signatures Collection

2. Pretty Painterly
One of the biggest trends in graphic design has blotted its way to the realm of wallpaper and coverings. Smudged, imperfect and delightful, watercolours are here for the win.

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Inky, bleeding watercolour prints tend to look like hand painted murals as well as lend a relaxed, no-fuss atmosphere. I’m all heart eyes for Soak – Nilaya’s Wall Covering of the Year 2016 – for its unabashed boldness and contemporary look. A two-coloured covering, it looks like it has been tie and dyed to perfection.

My pick is the Nilaya’s Signature Collection

3. Forever Flowers
Big and bold or small and tenderly, flowers are an eternal, never wilting favourite. I love how there are countless ways to treating this motif – it can make your room look like an English garden or like a Japanese cherry blossom orchard. It can turn your home into a light, airy and fresh space or dark, moody and opulent one.

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Much like in fashion, current decor trends lean towards large oversized flowers in darker tones that are high on depth and sophistication. I’m particularly gravitating towards deep coloured Sea Floral wallpaper that’s reminiscent of 17th century Dutch Golden Age still life paintings – moody and magnificent.

My pick would be the Nilaya Sea Floral Wallpaper

4. Tropical Times
Are you a beach bum always in a state of wanderlust about your next sand drenched trip? If you’ve been paying the slightest attention to fashion and decor offerings in the past two years, you’ll notice a staggering number of products featuring tropical prints.

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From palm and monstera to every coastal leaf in between, tropical wall coverings are a breath of fresh air. Predominantly green and leafy, these patterns are sometimes peppered with tropical fruits and fauna like pineapples and parrots.

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Imagine having a feature wall in the living or bedroom filled end-to-end with Nilaya’s Bali Leaves or Fiji Garden covering, giving all new meaning to the concept of “staycation”. Also, can we take a moment to admire the detailing…

My picks are from the Nilaya Bali Wallpaper and the Fiji Garden Wallpaper

5. Water Works
Ask me where I want to vacay, Ill scream BEEACCCHH every single time. Confession: I cannot swim. Second confession: I love the water. Beach bums and water babies rejoice for the ocean is making waves in this season.

Drench those wall with coverings inspired by the sea and you don’t even have to fish for compliments. They’ll keep hitting you in waves. You sea what I did there. Okay, I’ll stop with puns now before you get crabby.

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Think intricate corals, seahorses prancing in your living room, starfish swimming through your bath in lovely shades of blue, coral and sandy beige. I’m totally onboard with this trend.

My pick is the Nilaya Sea Escape Story

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Nilaya by Asian Paints 

 

#HeckOfAHome: 20 Decor Secrets to Swear By – Part 2

Numero deux of a five part series for decor secrets to hold dear.
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    1. 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.
    2. Shimmer and shine away. Gold is back in a big way. A few accents will warm up a room.
    3. Nothing softens a lonely corner in a big room like a potted tree. Enough said.
    4. The most indestructible fabric for dining chairs is leather or vinyl, especially if you want white.
    5. 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?
    6. 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”

Who am I as a writer? 

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.

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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?

 

Poem: The Sweetness

 

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.

DNA India: Vintage is the New Gold

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.

 

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Image courtesy Pexels

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.


 

Journal: All In The Name

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.

Continue reading “Journal: All In The Name”

The 2017 Update of Slow Motion Thoughts

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.

Continue reading “The 2017 Update of Slow Motion Thoughts”

#HeckOfAHome: 20 Decor Tips to Trip On – Part 1

One of a five part blog series, these decor secrets will make you feeling rich… with information.

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    1. Quick and cost effective way of refresh a bedroom? Updating the bed linen and adding plenty of cushions and throws.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Furniture with mirrored surfaces bounce light around and make a room look larger than it already is.
    5. 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.

Continue reading “#HeckOfAHome: 20 Decor Tips to Trip On – Part 1”

How to Tidy Up your Home in a Jiffy

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

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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).

Continue reading “How to Tidy Up your Home in a Jiffy”

#Manspiration: The Genius of James Charles

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.

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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.

Continue reading “#Manspiration: The Genius of James Charles”

5 Project Wood designs to love + 20% discount code

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.

Continue reading “5 Project Wood designs to love + 20% discount code”

New Launch: Whisper Ultra Soft

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.

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DNA India: How to Travel like a Millennial by Aditi Gaitonde

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.

553092-travellers-030317
Image courtesy The Remote Life

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.

Photo Essay: Anish Sarai’s Winter Epiphany

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

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Journal: Making a Home

Couple in Indian wedding clothes

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.

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Look: Time Traveller

Girl in vintage ruffled lace dress

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 

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Recipe: Cinnamon Honey Whiskey Sour

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.

recipe whiskey cocktail drinks

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.

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Recipe: No Churn 3 Ingredient Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

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.

recipe easy ice cream homemade

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.
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Adriel George’s Playlist

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.
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Recipe: Super Easy 3 Ingredient No Bake Oreo Truffles

Ah, kitchen… we meet again. As much as I love eating, reading recipe books and watching MasterChef, the patience one needs to cook evades me. Up until now. I’d like to think I’m getting better. Maybe it’s age, maybe it was a just a slow Saturday. We’d never know.

This isn’t so much of a cooking recipe but more of an assembling one. If I can put this together, happily ace it and watch my biggest critic (See: D.R.R. TrollKill) pass out momentarily with glee…anyone can do it. And I mean ANYONE.

What I love about this brilliant recipe is how insanely easy it really is. It’s simple enough for kids to make too. Since it requires bare essentials when it comes to utensils or appliances, even young adults and college kids staying by themselves can give it a shot.
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Meet Biscoot & Rain’s Sirawon Khathing & Ben Ningtoutao

This one is long long long long looooonnnnggg overdue. I met Sirawon Khathing, one half of Biscoot & Rain, back in 2014 when we worked together at Elle Decor India. She’s been one of my closest friends ever since and one of my favourite Indian illustrators of all time. She has been the photographer for some of my fashion stories.

She runs a unique design and illustration studio along with her childhood friend Ben Ningtoutao. Professionally both of them are stellar designers… Sira works in Mumbai, India and Ben in Christchurch, New Zealand. A cross-continent collaboration, their sole source of inspiration and interest is North East India, especially Shillong, the hill station where they grew up. No ocean can keep this creative duo away from their one true love.
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Recipe: Garlicky Yogurt Dip

When Tupperware sent me their Speedy Chef, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh my gondola, I need make THE yogurt dip.” So, D.R.R.TrollKill‘s mom makes an addictive garlicky yogurt dip that I can eat by the bucket.

This supremely easy dip is so creamy and yummy, you’ll find yourself piling it on your chips, crackers or veggie sticks. Best part is there isn’t a microwave, oven or stove involved… just a cool mechanical kitchen appliance that will blend the ingredients effortlessly. Once you’ve aced the dip, give this super simple no churn ice cream a go.
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Journal: Bring It On

Warning: Emo post coming your way

Birthdays are miserable. And so are New Year’s eves. The build up to these two days, the days themselves and weeks following them are soul sucking. They are a painful reminder of what we haven’t done and what we will never do. Wretched are the seconds where the mind and heart dwell on the lost. Lost time, lost opportunities, lost experiences, lost fun, lost travels, lost conversations, lost anything that could’ve enriched your soul…
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Meet the Puppeteer behind Puppet Diaries

I’ve been out of action for a while trying to deal with a physical aliment. You know what they say… As you grow older, you slowly die inside. While macabre might be my mood of the hour, it is certainly on hold as I type this blog post. Meet the Puppeteer behind Puppet Diaries.
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