Monday, January 29, 2018

Bose at every step - Everyday Companion

Keeping up with blogging and a full time job can get tough, today was one such day. She woke up a little late and missed going to the gym, she did a quick calculation in her head and realised that going to the gym now means getting late for work again. She hurriedly got ready for work and stormed out the front door. Just as she reached the elevator she realised she had forgotten her Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II. Quickly dashed back home, grabbed her headphones and made it to the elevator in under 15seconds.

As soon as she got into the elevator she used the built-in Google Assistant on her headphone to find out the traffic situation on her way to work. When google informed her that there in fact is not much traffic on the way today, she decided to take the bus and save some money by ditching the cab.

The Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology in her headphones drowned away the traffic noise making sure that she enjoyed her music on her way to work.  She never worried about using her headphone out and about around the town as they are made with impact-resistant materials, glass filled nylon and corrosion resistant stainless steel which ensures that they live a long long life.

As she reached work, she quickly grabbed a cup of coffee, asked her google assistant to remind her of a conference call at 4pm and got to work. She reduced the level of noise cancellation to make sure that she still is able to hear her colleagues and her office landline ringing. The Volume-optimised EQ made sure that the music played in high quality. She even uses her headphones to answer calls, the phone calls are clear and audible even when she is in a noisy or windy place.

Although she was using listening to music all day, she need not charge the headphones. A single charge can last her for 20 hours. Still she quickly charged the headphone during her lunch break; a 15-minute charge gives you another 2.5 hours

The headphone notified her about her conference call.

After a long day at work, it was time to head home. The plush ear cushion made sure that the headphone did not irritate her all day.

As she reached home, she charged her everyday companion for a new day tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The beauty of not caring

If you look around you’ll notice that a number of people around you are stressed or dealing with anxiety. It is not only common but scary when you notice its rapid growth. I deal with anxiety at times, it was after I noticed that this was a growing concern I began to divert my mind and honestly Just Stopped Caring!

Not caring can be associated with a negative quality, but at times, that is all you require to lead a happier, carefree and positive life.

Less stress
The biggest and the best benefit of not caring is that it immediately cuts down on your stress levels. The minute you stop caring, you do not have anything to worry about!

Only people who matter, matter
Not caring doesn’t mean you withdraw from everyone and not be available to them during tough times or when they need you. Not caring also doesn’t mean that you don’t empathize with your closed people.
Make sure you have a clear idea about people who matter to you, people who are important to you. People other than your close knit circle is not your concern and you should worry less about them.

More time to focus on important things
When you stop worrying about, you have more time to focus on good and more important things in your life. It frees up sometime for you to indulge in an activity that makes you happy.

Continuing the above topic – free time means you can finally take up that hobby you always wanted to. You can learn to play an instrument, read or listen to music or binge watch a series. Anything that makes you calm down, relax and take your mind off everything else.

Always happy
The Biggest perk of not caring is that you tend to be a happier person, you are in your own Lala-Land and that’s just perfect for me. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Grow curry leaves at home in 5 easy steps| How to save your dying curry leaves plant

I recently got into growing herbs and edibles at home; I am still learning myself and thus experimenting one plant at a time.

Tip: For beginners, I would suggest to buy an already potted plant from a nursery. Growing plants from seed can take months or even years. Having an already potted plant is easy to take care of and is generally sturdier than the one which is just growing from seed.

I had got my curry leaf plant from a nursery but after buying it, I realised that it was dry, unhealthy and wasn’t growing at all. I tried providing it with fertilisers and nutrients but all failed. The only option I had was to prune it.

If you have a curry leaf plant which is not growing or is unhealthy then you can do the same thing.
            Step 1: harvest all the healthy leaves (if any)

Step 2: cut off the branches at the nodes. Node is where a plant grows from. Make sure you make a clean cut.

Step 3:  water it everyday in the morning. Curry leaf plant loves water but do not over do it. Watering once a day is enough.

Step 4: add fertilizers, I personally add some tea leaves every week. If you have a healthy and nutrient rich soil, you can skip this step. If you do not have a nutrient rich soil and wish to use organic fertilizers then you can add some tea leaves and cut up organic kitchen waste in the soil. This will decompose naturally and turn into rich manure for the plant.

Step 5: keep watering the plant and a few weeks later you’ll notice new leaves growing.

You now have a healthy green curry leaves plant. You can use the leaves in your food preparations.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Camping at Bhor – weekend getaways near Mumbai and Pune

This was my first camping experience and I am glad it was a pleasant one. A friend recommended this place; it is situated on a private property and is surrounded by water and mountain range on 3 sides.  Tourbugs arranges camping weekends here; they take care of everything for you so you don’t have to carry anything with you. They provide you with comfortable tents, Veg and non veg barbeque and dinner. Since it’s a private property, there is no one around expect for the people camping there. 

There is little to no mobile network there, giving you a much needed digital detox.

They generally organise weekend trips but going there on a Saturday was not possible for us thus we requested them if we could reach on a Sunday and leave on Monday, he agreed. Since we went there on Sunday, there was no one camping with us, the entire area was just for us.

We left from Mumbai at around 10am and reached the place around 4pm. We did stop on the way for lunch. The place is stunning; we took a round around the property while sipping on tea.

We soon started prepping for the bonfire and the barbeque. The chicken was juicy and yum, it was magical to sit under the moonlight with only a bonfire and yummy food.

The place is clean, had clean washrooms as well. There are absolutely no mosquitoes here.

The owner of the property lives around 10minutes away and the food and tea is made there only. 

They sent over our dinner around 9pm. With some light music in the background the evening was spent sharing stories.

It was a cloudy night but the moonlight was enough to light up the place.
We woke up early next morning and after some breakfast we went downhill to the catchment area. As I mentioned earlier, it is a private property thus it was just us in the middle of the water in the middle of nowhere.

We actually could spend hours there. I don’t know how to swim so I chilled in the water with my lifejacket on. After I was done just floating around in water, I decided to go lie down on the little boat that was anchored there. I got my last night’s wine bottle and finished the little wine that was left.

Soon it was time to head back home; we decided to have lunch at the owner’s home. Their kitchen has a few tables and a sitting area. They served us yummy home cooked traditional Maharashtian food. We ate it all :D and then left the rural calm place to enter the urban concrete jungle.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Himalaya youth eternity - night cream review

I have been using Himalaya Youth Eternity Night cream for around a month now and honestly I love what it does to my skin. I apply it after thoroughly cleansing my face and removing all the makeup.
The company claims that the product will help,
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles in 4 weeks
  • Improves and evens skin tone
  • Improves skin elasticity and hydration
  • Smoothens your skin

I take around 2 dollops of the cream on my palm and apply it on my face and neck; I wake up with super moisturized skin. It’s winter right now and my skin tends to dry out but with this product that hasn’t happened even once.  

The cream is thick and has a sweet fragrance – the product vaguely reminds me of Lacto Calamine except that this product doesn’t have a gritty texture.

It is easy to apply and spreads on your skin easily and evenly. I love the fact that it is not sticky, after 5 minutes of applying this product you wouldn’t feel like there is anything on your face and yet your skin will be moisturized. You’ll wake up with a healthy glow.

I have been following the below mentioned winter routine:
I alternate between using Himalaya Youth Eternity Night Cream and pure Aloe Vera gel.
I keep the aloe gel on my face all night and wash it in the morning.
I have an aloe plant at home and I cut a leaf from it and keep using it. A big juicy leaf lasts me up to 2 weeks if used on alternate days.

I had recently developed some acne marks on my cheek; they have visibly reduced after following this routine. I have noticed that my skin has also got a little tighter (in a good way)

You can buy it here:

Monday, December 4, 2017

You’re moving on for you

What is that thing that holds us back? Doesn’t allow us to break free and move on? moving on was always a little difficult for her, she got close to only a couple of people, cared for even few and was happy being in her own small little group of friends.

Not totally an introvert but she didn’t let the world at large affect her – except, for a few she really loved.

She loved someone for close to a decade. Nope, she loves someone even now and it’s been almost a decade that she loves the person. Next year, 2018, would mark the completion of a decade.

But things have changed of course, they are not together anymore but her love for him hasn’t changed.

She recently learned that he has moved on and is dating someone else; this made her wonder for how long should she wait for him.

Is it time for her to move on as well? Should she push herself and consider dating again?

Difficult yes, but not impossible.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Phaltan with Jakson Inns | Satara, Maharashtra | Weekend trip near Mumbai and Pune

Weekend trips are even more fun when you have had a hectic work week. My weekend at Jakson Inns, Phaltan gave a glimpse into the village life. Just a 5 hour drive from Mumbai, you shall find yourself in Phaltan, Satara district.

The drive to this place is pleasant; the roads are nice thus making sure you enjoy your drive. Jakson Inns is India's first LEED green platinum rated hotel, the service is fabulous, they have a pool and a spa to help you relax better.

We started off from Mumbai at around 9.30 am and reached the place at around 2pm. We were welcomed with a glass of fresh sugarcane juice, the check-in process was quick (I appreciate that) and we were in the room in 10 minutes flat.

The room service is quick as well, we called for some black coffee and it was in our room in a matter of minutes.

The rooms are clean, neat, spacious and comfortable. The bed is relaxing and comforting. They have also installed video cameras at the door so you can check who’s at the door – I like this added security feature. They offer free Wi-Fi and I must admit that the speed is really nice, not once in the entire trip did I miss internet.

The good folks at Jakson Inns offer various kinds of activities and also provide with you a list of places you can visit around Phaltan. They are kind enough to arrange those for you, do ask at the reception for the same.

I decided to visit the Windmills for a Picnic, visit the Phaltan Rajwada, Sugarcane farms and Nira river.

Day 1

After reaching the place at 2, we headed to the room for a quick nap. They offered us lunch but we had had McDonalds on the way and thus not hungry.  In the evening, we left for the windmills; they are around an hour’s drive away.

The drive takes you up a ghat and you are surrounded by pretty fields. You can see the windmills from far but the thrill of being right under one is totally different. Once you reach the spot, you are surrounded on all sides with hills, windmills and farms. We had a nice quiet little picnic here, watching the sunset over the horizon.

We returned back to the hotel and headed to our room. I had a foot spa scheduled while he decided to hit the gym. The spa offers Foot, Head and back massage, although they don’t have a full body massage, the foot massage was quite relaxing. The spa is managed by a visually impaired person but he does a fabulous job. The masseur got chatty during the massage and I was intrigued to know how he learnt the skill.

I paid a visit to the 24hour gym, they have all the necessary equipment and he spent almost 2 hours working out. I however, headed to the room to sink in the bed and watch television.
We headed to the restaurant for dinner; we had a Veg and Non veg starter platter and chicken Biryani.

Day 2

I woke up around 9.30am and after getting ready, went for breakfast at around 10.15am. They had a number of breakfast options at the buffet counter. I helped myself with some chicken sausages, watermelons, idli, eggs, chocolate donut and croissant. We also tried their Maharashtrian Breakfast tray which consists Misal Pav, Batata Vada and Pav Bhaji. Needless to say, all the things were yummy.

We then headed to the Phaltan Rajwada, the former home of the Royal Family of Phaltan. The first wife, Saibai, of 17th century emperor Shivaji was from Phaltan. The Phaltan Rajwada is Sai Bai's maternal home. This was named Mudhoji Manmohan Palace, who ruled the Phaltan State from 10th February 1860 to 17th October 1916. Mudhoji Manmohan Rajwada, an old palace in the city of Phaltan in Maharashtra, India, was once the maternal home of Sambhaji Maharaj, son of the founder of the Maratha Empire, who succeeded the realm after his father's death.

You need special permission to visit the place, Jakson Inns can arrange for a tour.

The place is stunning and takes you right back in history. The architecture is marvelous and would make you want to not leave the place. You can also go upstairs to the actually living and dining room along with a ton of other rooms and take a walk in history. They have maintained it and have kept it furnished so that it feels like it was just yesterday that this place was busy with Marathas.
If you are in Phaltan, a visit to this place is a must.

After the tour we headed back to the hotel, a quick lunch and it was time to relax in the room. In the evening we had a riverside tea session planned. We again made our way through the fields until we arrived at the banks of Nira River. There was a beautiful canopy arranged for us and some light snack along with tea.

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I had enquired about sugarcanes; my driver said he would get one for me on our way back home. he suddenly stopped the car, got off and ran towards the field to get me one sugarcane. The experience was thrilling – I had just got fresh sugarcane right from the field.

We had planned to leave the same day, so after getting to the hotel we packed our bags and headed back home.

A 5 hour drive later I was back home with some amazing experiences to cherish.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Things to consider before planning your first trip with your boyfriend / girlfriend

A new relationship always comes in with new experiences, you get to explore each other’s likes and dislikes, quirks, guilty pleasures, food preferences etc. it’s always fun to learn new things about your partner and one thing that helps you understand the person even better is to travel with them. It gives you a glimpse into their daily life – what do they do first thing in the morning or what last thing at night, how much time do they take to get ready etc.

However, if it is a new relationship then you need to plan your vacation carefully, the following pointers may help,

Choose a destination you are both interested in

Talk with your partner and decide a place where you both want to visit. This way you both are looking forward to the trip and are equally enthusiastic about it.

Plan or maybe not

Understand what is it that you like – a planned vacation or a spontaneous one? Do you like being organised and plan every details of your trip or do you want to visit the place and then decide that you want to do there.

There are pros and cons for both; a planned trip ensures that you have nothing to worry about as everything is taken care of in advance. You get to chill and do things at leisure. As you get to plan everything in advance, you can plan your off days as well (days where you do nothing but relax and rejuvenate).

A spontaneous trip allows you to surprise yourself; you get to figure out activities to do, places to visit etc. once you reach your destination. You get firsthand information from the locals which helps you really understand the place better. This also ensures that you don’t indulge in mainstream activities that others who visit the place have participated in.

However, I’ll still suggest that you figure out your accommodation in advance just to avoid any last minute complications, also booking in advance helps you get discounted rate.

Talk about the Money

It is unlikely that both of you are at par financially, one of you will be earning more than the other or have more responsibilities than other. You need to discuss your budget and how much you wish to pay. It is unfair for one person to do the major chuck of spending but talking about it can help. If you are not comfortable talking about the money, be considerate about how much the other person would be willing to spend. If you wish to indulge in an activity that is a little expensive or out of budget – discuss it with your partner.

Try something new and Compromise

Both of you will have different likes and dislikes, don’t be rigid. The point of travelling is to get out of your comfort zone and learn and experience new things and cultures. Try something new, try something your partner enjoys and at time compromise. Just because your partner wants to do something that you generally don’t like doesn’t mean that is a bad thing – that’s your chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something new – it’s an opportunity you should grab.

How much time together?

A vacation together meaning you’ll be together for a long time. You’ll be together 24x7, are you ready for that type of closeness? If it’s a new relationship, this may be too much. You are not used to be around this person all the time – you may not get your “Me Time”.
Going on a road trip or camping means you’ll be stuck together in a small space for a long time, are you ready for that?

If this is your first trip together, I suggest you try a weekend away first before planning a full-fledged vacation.

Keep your cool

Things are not always going to be hunky-dory. You are at a new place and a few ups and downs are bound to happen. It is thus advisable to keep your calm and manage things with a calm mind.

Picture courtesy: Photo by Yuri Catalano from Pexels