No. No? No! Nooooooo

In this age of live healthy, eat healthy, do good, be good, breathe deeply, exercise and the likes, I shouldn’t be doing any of the things mentioned below; ideally, but then the articles linked to, say otherwise.

– No egg yolks. But this here says they are good!

– No nuts coz they have fat! But this here says the fats are the good, heart-healthy unsaturated kinds.

– No other oil except olive oil. But this here says olive is good only when used cold, else use canola.

– No alcohol. But this here says “Moderate amounts of alcohol raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol)”.

– No bread. But this here says “Bread products can be the foundation of a healthy, low-fat diet.”

 

What should I believe in? How do you choose? Gut feel, trust the source, learn from friends and family’s experiences?

 

This post is a part of the Blog-a-Prompt week at Marathon Blogging. Today’s prompt is No.

Blogaprompt

 

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Day 26 – Daily list of Happiness!

In Pursuit of More is a blog I follow. Shira is a lovely lady who cooks really yummy food and runs a non-profit called Not So Fast. She has a beautiful blog and I love the pictures and quotes she puts up. One of my favorites is “More compassion. More acceptance. More middle ground.”. This could apply to all fields of life!!

One of her recent posts was about her daily bits of happiness. It is a beautiful read and it prompted me to write my own list of things that make me happy every day.

1. When I get up before my son wakes up and spend some time chatting with my husband about our plans for the day or about what’s going on in our current fave reality TV show or anything else under the sun.

2. A pit stop at my fave coffee haunt here in Wellington and catching up on the day’s news in the local paper.

3. Having some simple and flavourful food when I am really hungry (this one I share with Shira).

4. Getting my social media dose for the day.

5. Sorting or clearing something and getting rid of clutter.

6. Ironing clothes while watching TV – it does bring me peace of mind.

7. Talking to my mom and my sister. They complete my day. Love you both!!

8. Cooking a fresh pasta with veggies, olive oil and garlic. I love making and eating that.

9. Story time before I put my son to bed. I think I enjoy reading out the stories and discussing new things we discover, more than N.

10. My son’s genuine hearty giggles or laughs. They are so infectious and always always bring a smile to my face 🙂

11. Catching up with a friend via phone or in person. Friends are like therapy and we all need some!

12. Some music before I go to bed while I read an interesting book. I like discovering new songs and new kinds of music.

I should do one or more of these to keep my happiness quotient high for the day.

What’s on your daily list of happiness? Are you able to do any or some of them daily? Why not?

 

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Day 22 – Things to do before I die – Theme post day

This week’s theme post brief in the December 2012 Marathon Blogging event was – Let us lay our hearts open, and talk about our “Bucket List”, 10 things you want to do before you kick the bucket. It may be a plain and simple bucket list, or a contextual subset, 10 adventures you want to try, 10 foods you want to try, 10 holiday locations you dont want to miss, and the list goes on! Run your imaginations wild and entertain us all 🙂 10 is just a number, it will be easy for people to read and interact, else sky is the limit.

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I had made a sticky note for myself about things I wanted to do in the next 5, 10, 15 years here. This was almost a year and half ago.

I am listing the ones not yet completed on that list along with some new ones.

NOTE – This is a work-in-progress list.

– Travel within India – Leh, Jaipur (to get a bandhini saree), Agra (to see Taj Mahal – yes clichéd, but still), Gujarat, backwaters in Kerala (boat house anyone?).

– Travel internationally – Bora Bora Islands (this one is going to be a no-kid-with-the-spouse-only holiday), Italy (for an authentic pizza), London (this time a longer trip), Antarctica, Dubai (to buy gold, yeah right!), be a volunteer at the Olympic games.

– Read books, loads of ‘em and collect all those books for my collection at home. Here is why I love to read?

– Write a children’s book – this one is inspired by my son.

– Take a cruise to Alaska.

– Take N to Disney world. Just once! Before he outgrows love for all those characters.

– Do something that I REALLY LOVE and have natural passion for (money and time not being constraints) – something that makes use of my spatial skills (my friend A says I am good at these), my love for books, decor and photography.

– Watch plays at Ranga Shankara (as long as I’m in Bangalore) and else where too. Addendum to this one – See a broadway show -front row, center 🙂

– Learn to cook amazingly, fabulously, awesome-ly, stupendous-ly and some other -lys. I am such a foodie and love to try new things, eat visually appealing food but I want to be able to make those dishes or at least half of them. Some day!

– And the one dream that I have been harboring since a long time – Live in Manhattan, on the island, even a studio apartment will do or a loft overlooking Central Park (I know I know I am not that rich but it doesn’t cost anything to dream, does it?), walk to work amongst the teeming crowds, watch theatre on Broadway, take the subway, have a picnic in Central Park! – This has been partly fulfilled! I am living in Wellington downtown. The apartment is one of those modern, white, ceiling-to-floor glass windows wala thingies. I walk around to everywhere possible. I use the public transport when needed. The city has a waterfront that I really like and often walk down to. But I am still going to keep this one on the list for sentimental purposes.

What is in your bucket list? 

I am in love….

… with my grocery store!! Ah yes. I simply love Moore Wilson’s!!

I’ll not deny that I sometimes go there after dropping off N at school just to browse all that gorgeous produce! Seriously I do. Because it’s all so beautiful 🙂

The Fresh store has these beautifully displayed, clearly marked veggies and fruits, some lovely and a bit expensive organic produce. Freshly baked bread of a 100 varieties, ok well lots of them.  Pastries, scones, cupcakes – my favourite is a white chocolate vanilla cupcake, truffles, cheese. Fresh flowers. They have small recipe cards displayed throughout the store with recipes that can be made with the veggies. They even make fresh orange juice every morning to sell and freshly ground coffee too!

They keep putting out these Market Reports with interesting information. Like this week there were 2 articles saying “Why kids need bananas?” and “Are you achieving the 5+ a day goal? Don’t forget to mix the colours.” Very informative and fun!!

I like walking through those comfortably spaced aisles of exotic ingredients, quick and easy check out desks and even my Moore Wilson’s card 🙂

They have 3 segments –

1. Fresh – with veggies, fruits, meats, seafood, exotic stuff and bakery stuff.  They work directly with growers/producers.

2. Variety store – small appliances, kitchen ware, cookware, crockery, glassware, cutlery, plasticware, brushware, luggage, and a wonderful range of toys. They also have products in bulk for restaurants and trade so Masterchef New Zealand contestants come here to shop for their contests. Yeah!

3. Wine, liquor and other spirits.

Its been a great shopping experience – the store literally appeals to all the senses of a shopper 😉 And it has made me look forward to cooking in a new way! Here’s to shopping and cooking 🙂

The 4 remaining days of Learning-something-new-week

Ok so if the title seems a bit weird, read this post first which describes the new stuff that I learnt on days 1, 2 and 3.

Day 4 – On the 4th day, I added to my arty knowledge base and learnt a new story, that of The Stahlbaum home, Maria, her uncle Herr Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker, Sugar Plum fairy and the evil mouse queen. Confused? I went to see Nutcracker on Ice set to Tchaikovsky’s score and I was mesmerized! It was beautifully presented. The ice skaters were flawless and it seemed as if they were gliding across the floor. Also discovered a new venue the St James Theatre and Opera House in Wellington.

Day 5 –  Learnt a new way to tie up my hair. I am planning not to cut my hair short for as long as I can (could be a week, a month or a year!). So changing lengths of hair is bringing newer challenges on how to manage it and style it. I feel if its one thing which makes a big difference in how you look is your hair. If you want to focus on one thing which will bring a big change, then style your hair well! It makes a whole lot of difference. Followed by your shoes 😉

So I have almost shoulder length hair right now and I like tying it up in a high ponytail. But sometimes it is not nice enough to leave it open (yes, we all have days like that). I discovered an simple and easy high bun to tie them up. I tried but couldn’t explain how to do that so I looked for a video that could and this one from Miss.Erica is bang on and sooo simple! –  Enjoy!!

Day 6How to remove eye make up with an ear bud. I don’t do make up on a daily basis. But when I feel like I use a Mac Powerpoint eye pencil on the lower and upper rim of the eyes close to the lash line, a Body Shop blush on the cheeks and a lip gloss or lip colour in nude. That’s it for a regular, go out with a friend or for a weekend casual thingie!  The next step and used very sparingly, would include an eye liner, eye brow pencil, some mascara and a basic foundation from Estee Lauder on the face followed by blush and lip colour. Thats all in my make up repertoire 🙂

I recently started using a regular cotton ear bud dipped in water and a basic moisturizer to get off all the make up from the eyes. It works perfectly for the teeny tiny places around the eyes – the rim, the lash line the lashes etc. The small surface of the head of the bud makes it easy to control and for smooth cleaning. Try that instead of bigger cotton/make up removal wipes!

Day 7How to make Apple cinnamon muffins – Kicked off my muffin/cupcake baking with these apple cinnamon muffins. Check out the details in this post on my other blog.

It was a nice week of learning new stuff. Something to look forward to and do new stuff 🙂

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Have a great week ahead!!

Days 1, 2 and 3 of Learning-something-new-week

Day 1 – For the first day of my “Learn-something-new-everyday-for-a-week I learnt how to make Bengali Style Aloo Dum. Got the recipe from Archana’s Kitchen. It turned out to be a yummy dish. I added some boiled eggs to it to up the protein level.

Day 2 – I learnt the secret to get leaner legs and a firm butt in 8 minutes a day!! 😉 I swear! Read an article in a magazine for a 8 minute workout every day which will ensure leaner, fitter legs and a firm bum. Now only if I can stick to it and make it part of the routine :p

Day 3 – I learnt how to make rosemary and garlic flavored potatoes and onions. I cut the onion into quarters, chopped the potato into thin rounds with the skin on to get as many vitamins as possible. Put them onto a baking tray, drizzled some EVOO, some dried rosemary, chopped garlic and some sea salt flakes. Baked them in the oven followed by some grilling. Simple and super fast to satisfy that comfort food craving and avoid the fried food trap. Yumm!

Lets see what more I learn in the next 4 days!

The weekend is almost here, can you feel it??