Sunday, 31 January 2016

Project 365 2016: Week 4!

Hello! 

This post is a day old but my internet has been a total bitch this last week. Working haltingly and then not at all. Also I was in a terrible mood yesterday and didn't feel like blogging on a day when I wasn't feeling the best. So this weekly recap comes a day late. 

This was a decent week. 
Colours. 
My parent's wedding anniversary. 
Yum food. 
Lots of colouring. 
The end of January. 

Let's see what I got upto this week. 



Day 22 of 366: Roses! A bouquet of red roses at home from family friends. I love having fresh flowers at home. 


Day 23 of 366: Pages, rather pages of my ebook. Process is messy. :) 
The page is from Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. 


Day 24 of 366: Kismi Toffee! Remember these? I love these elaichi flavoured delights. And of course they remind of my childhood and how much I used to look forward to these treats. 


Day 25 of 366: This has been a week of colouring and finding it endlessly relaxing and soothing. Love it so much. I highly recommend getting a nice colouring book, playing some music and just ignoring the rest of the world. 


Day 26 of 366: Dried flowers stuck in my journal. 
I want to put some leaves, flowers and wildflowers in my journal this year. Take a nature walk and collect samples and stick them in my journal. This is just a little beginning. 




Day 27 of 366: A tall glass of cold coffee. A caramel iced-coffee is so good for the soul. I've always enjoyed the coffee at McDonalds. Especially the McCafe range. 


Day 28 of 366: Raat ki Raani. 
Frangrant. Heady. Simple and so innately Indian. :)

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Monthly Favourites/// January 2016.

Hello! 

Instead of sharing some Friday Favourites this week I'd share my monthly faves given the month is nearly over. It went by quickly didn't it? But for some reason January felt like a long month...but not in a bad way. 

There are several things I loved about January. 

New beginnings. 
Resolution making. 
Winter nights. 
Reading.
Journaling.

Let's see some of my favourite things from January.


Adult Colouring Books/// This brought me so much joy and calm and moment s of Zen. I love spending time colouring and zoning out. I highly, highly recommend you try this out. I have always loved colouring and all these years have had to make do with children's colouring books--which I didn't mind terribly. But these are so intricate and detailed and lovely.


Winter Nights & Tea//// January was also a chilly month in Bombay. The winter Gods finally smiled on my sea side city and we got enjoy the mild winter chills. I for one was overjoyed and grateful for the winter chills. My idea of doing winter right involves Tea drinking, wearing socks and being cosy and comfortable.


Beauty Favourites/// I have just two beauty faves this month.

Above: Two of the solid perfumed we got from iTokri. Rose and Lavender. They are made with natural ingredients and smell lovely. Not super long lasting but wonderful nonetheless. I also love the little tins they came in. Gorgeous all over.

Below: The Forest Essentials  Velvet Silk Body Cream in Madurai Jasmine and Mogra has been a winter must-have for me. My skin has been super dry and this luxurious cream..body butter..helps hydrate it and leave my skin smelling divine. If you haven't sniffed any Forest Essentials things before...do it! You'll fall in love.



Favourite Pens/// These floral ink pens are everything. I am loving them. The design and illustration reminds me of Rifle Paper Co, which is so my aesthetic and they have a small nib which I really like. These were a gift from a friend, and I am so glad to have them in my life. Aren't ink pens/ fountain pens just delightful?!


Reading Life/// I had a really nice reading month in January.
I re-read 2 books.
I read 3 non-fiction titles.
I read a mix of physical and ebooks.
Re-discovered Tagore.


Journaling/// I have journaled so much in this month. I have written almost every day and this makes me so happy. I hope, I really hope that this trend continues throughout the year and doesn't fizzle out.

TV Favourites//// 

I have a few TV faves this month.



The first is Death in Paradise, a BBC show about a group of cops in a tiny Caribbean island solving crimes. First of all, the locations are stunning! The team of cops solving these cases is really sweet, quirky and adorable and the cases themselves are quite interesting! I love this show!

 ****

The next is, quite literally, an oldie but a goodie- a Doordarshan children's sci-fi show from the late 80s called Indradhanush! This show is just so cute and fun and just goes to show how interesting and amazing DD's content used to be in the 1980s! Truly the golden age of Indian Television! The episodes are on YouTube, so, if you're interested, you can go check it out.


Last, but CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAST- my utter favourite TV event this month was the Sherlock Special- The Abominable Bride! The Baker Street blokes in Victorian England, a ghost bride killing various men and the fantastic dialogues, performances.. really.. everything! This episode was worth waiting for!

That's all for my January 2016 favourites! 

I hope your month was lovely!

See you soon!  


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Review: Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.


Book: Show Your Work!

Author: Austin Kleon

Pages: 224

Read On: iPad

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 hours

Plot Summary: In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by stealing from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey getting known. Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time networking. It s not self-promotion, it s self-discovery let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive. In chapters such as You Don t Have to Be a Genius; Share Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity what he calls the ecology of talent. From broader life lessons about work (you can t find your voice if you don t use it) to the etiquette of sharing and the dangers of oversharing to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age." 

General Thoughts: I heard so many amazing things about this book and it's author when this came out last year and I made a mental note to read it. I got around to this book only now, I want to read more non-fiction this year and I wanted to do so in the first month of the year. 

Things I Liked: 

1. I loved the writing style and more importantly the tone of this book. It was so conversational and easy to go through and never once felt preachy of heavy handed in it's advice. 

2. The book is full of inspiring quotes from creators in various fields--- writers, musicians, artists, painters and actors. I loved seeing so many inputs from so many creative folks. 

3. This was such a light and easy and quick read. I read it in under 3 hours and could all of it's advice in, in those 3 hours. 

4. The advice in this book is so doable. Nothing in this book is so out there that everyone ordinary person can't do it. In that sense this is a useful book, a very useful advice giver. 

5. The book talks of so many relevant things in today's digital world-- having a useful online presence, building communities online, what to share on our social media and having a blog or a dedicated online sphere. I found all of this very useful. 

6. The book also have a section dedicated to dealing with trolls and I found this especially interesting. 

7. There was so much positivity in this book, it talked about sharing your knowledge and spreading learning. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

Overall this was a good book and I felt very motivated and charged on finishing it. But as I put the book away and thought about how I felt about it...I realised overall I was a little underwhelmed. While there are several things in the book that I liked and that I took away from it, this wasn't a book that blew my mind. Also so much of the advice and tips and ideas of this book weren't 100% original or ground breaking. It was largely very commonsensical and things most people....experts or not would tell to do in aiding your creativity. Things like read more to be a better writer. Things one has heard before. 

It was still a good book and one I enjoyed but it didn't blow my mind or tell me something that I haven't heard before. But it's worth a read. 

Rating: 3/5 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Review: The All Bengali Crime Detectives- II, The Mysterious Death of Probhat Sanyal by Suparna Chatterjee.




Book: The All Bengali Crime Detectives- II, The Mysterious Death of Probhat Sanyal

Author: Suparna Chatterjee.

Pages: 256

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: A ghost that was ostensibly spotted in eerie Makaibari—one of the oldest tea gardens in Darjeeling—finds its way to modern-day Calcutta, to the home of Probhat Sanyal, the erstwhile manager of the tea estate. ‘The ghost has returned!’ exclaims a horrified Sanyal, whose sudden death raises questions. Was the phantom-sighting merely a figment of his imagination? Or was it connected to solid facts? In The All Bengali Crime Detectives-II, an eclectic mix of four retired Bengali men return to solve this new mystery, and recreate what might have happened one night in Makaibari, so many years ago.

Even as our crime detectives forage for clues, a colourful array of characters demand attention—from Poltu, the roadside Romeo, who works on his romantic advances; to the local lass, Piya, whose parents are convinced they have found her the perfect groom! To complicate matters, the rivalry between Milonee and Sabuj Kalyan clubs intensifies, making things uptight and personal between the two.
With so many diversions, will our four intrepid investigators piece together Sanyal’s secret life?
General Thoughts: I read the first instalment of this series in January of 2014. It was in fact my first read of 2014 and I just fell in love with this book and it's people and of course the detecting.  You can read it's REVIEW HERE. 

I couldn't wait for the next book in the series, in fact, I was hoping this would be a series! :) Finally, last year I got a message from the author telling me of the release of this book.  I was so kicked and meant to read this book as my first read of 2016. But December was crazy busy and I just didn't get around to ordering this book. But I ordered it in January and I read it on the very day it arrived. I was soooooooo freaking happy to be back in this world and re-visit the people in this fictional world. :)

Things I Liked: 

1. My favourite aspect of this book were it's characters. The members of the ABCD group and their families. But most of all I love this elderly gentlemen! They are so life-like and really read like blood and bone people. They remind me of my dad and his motley group of friends and it just warms the cockles of my heart. It was so good to meet them again and see what they were upto.

2. The setting of this book--Calcutta-- holds a special place in my heart. It's a place of childhood memories and of course Calcutta is wonderful all on her own. Old world charm and a lot of heart and kindness and intellect reside in this old city. Any book set there is something I am most likely to enjoy.

3. The Bengaliaana is this book is outstanding and so damn accurate! The fear of cold and layering on woollens like there is no tomorrow is shown so well in this book. I was nodding along and laughing out loud on multiple occasions. So much of the Bengali way of life is captured within these pages and will resonate with any Bengali.

4. The case and the hint of a ghost was also spectacular.

5. There were some ghost stories (unrelated to the case) that just made to so happy. I love me some ghost stories.

6. Parts of this book were set in Makaibari, a place very close to my hometown and where my family Tea Garden is situated and a place I love a lot, so it was great to read about it.

7. The book is set in Calcutta winter and it made the winter season leap out of the pages and come alive. Lep (quilts) and gorom cha (hot tea) and monkey caps and sweaters and cold mornings all convey the sometimes severe Calcutta winter.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. You must read the first book in the series to read this book. Or you'll be very lost.

2.  The case itself wasn't the most complex. It's easy-ish to guess the culprit. But seriously, in this book the case is almost inconsequential to liking the book.

3. At some time I felt like this book was more a general fiction book and not even a mystery thriller read. There was very little of the case and investigation in the book, which was a little disappointing.

4. There was so much of the para (locality) club and it's people, the youth of the locality in this book. They were there in the first book as well but they are overbearingly there in this book and I honestly didn't like these bits. I don't see why so much of the narrative was devoted to them?

Rating: 4.5/5

I immensely enjoyed this book and I loved the time I spent reading this book and even though the case and the investigation aren't the very best bits in this book, it honestly didn't take away from the charm and simple elegance of this book. I highly, highly recommend this book. It was a delight :)


General Whimsy: Happy Republic Day + Some Favourite Indian Things :)

Hello! 

And a Happy Republic Day to my fellow Indians :) 

My post is a little...a lot late in the day but I did want to put a post up on this day. 
This day---January 26th is also my parent's Wedding Anniversary and thus even more special to my family. So I spent most of today with my parents and doing low-key chilled happy things and didn't get to my laptop till well after midnight. :) 

For today's post I want to share some of my favourite Indian things..things made in India and things that are intrinsically Indian. :) 


Indian art...which is a mix of many different schools of art. I love Mughal Miniatures, The Bengal School of Art and the subliminal work of Raja Ravi Varma. I love this bag of mine, which I am using at the moment which has a Mughal painting reproduced on it. 


Places...mountains. Beaches. Places of historical importance. India has something to offer to everyone. This is Darjeeling, on a cold, crisp winter day. :) 


Indian traditional gold jewellery. This cuff/bracelet is my mother's and it was a gift from her mother. These traditional pieces are so intricately made and show such amazing craftsmanship. 


Blue Pottery...colour and print and pattern. Works of art! 


Indian fashion...block-prints, handmade and handcrafted fabrics and handlooms. They bring me so much joy. 



Our festivals. Light. Colour. Devi-shakti and seasons and the triumph of good over evil...all things we celebrate in India. 


Indian history. So many years of living history and so many gorgeous monuments--palaces, forts and temples and minars and tombs. So much loveliness in one country. 



:)

There is of course so much more to love...

Indian Food! 
Indian Writing---something I love dearly and really appreciate. 
Indian music and dance. 
Indian values and culture.
Indian humour. 
Indianness...all the things that make us who we are. 

:) 

Monday, 25 January 2016

Monday Moods: Washi Tape Love/ Haul!

Hello! 

I've known and loved Washi Tapes since 2012. My sister was the one to discover Washi Tapes and we soon had started our little Washi Tape collection. 
We use Washi Tape for a bunch of things..

Put up art prints and post-cards on our walls.
To decorate our planners. 
To add colour to our journal pages. 
To make gifts look pretty. 


Washi Tape is wonderful and there are so many pretty colours, prints and patterns in Washi Tape. 

These are some of the new Washi Tapes we've added to our collection from Tabiyo. A great place to get stationery bits and bobs. 

Let's look at our Washi Haul..








A Washi sampler page in my sister's Midori Traveller's Notebook. A way to document all of the new Washi Tapes we've bought and to see how they look on paper.




Florals, polka dots, graffiti and gingham.
Such pretty prints.
:)

Stationery Sunday: LetterNote Haul

Hello! 

We recently got a few goodies from LetterNote, so I thought I'd share what we got. 



The first thing we got is this A5 spiral bound notebook, which says 'Stay True' on the cover. This is a 2016 planner and has monthly spreads as well as daily sections for writing to-dos and what nots. My sister will be using this as her gratitude journal for 2016. 



A quick look inside this planner...



Some pretty and inspirational messages... 






The next couple of things we picked up were these cute buttons/ badges. 




Love the little VW van and the vibrant yellow of the 'Enjoy the Little Things' button. Much cuteness! 




FYI- this pattern is also a cover for one of their A5 notebooks. Looks really pretty, too. 



The last thing we picked up is this really minimalist A5 sized notebook, which says 'Dream Big'. The paper quality seems nice and the notebook is lined, too. What I liked about LetterNote is that they give you the option to pick 'Lined' or 'Blank' pages as an option. I prefer lined, so that's what I got. 





That was our little haul from Letternote

Will be back soon with reviews and such. 

Have a great week, guys! 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Project 365 2016: Week 3.

Hello! 

Another week is done and it's time to see what I got up to in this 3rd week of the year. 
This week was a mixed bag...
I wasn't feeling the best...health-wise.
I read such nice books..re-read my first book of 2016.
Enjoyed winter!
Spend time with my folks. 
Coloured to my heart's content. 
:) 

Let's see my week in pictures. 





Day 15 of 366: Peppermint Tea for my sister.
Cold winter nights are perfect for Tea and reading.
Love this Peppermint Herbal Infusion...a great way to soothe your tummy if it's feeling unwell.


Day 16 of 366: Washi Tape Haul.
We love us some Washi Tape and these new loves make our collection very lovely.


Day 17 of 366: Winter induced dry skin is made so much more bearable with this heavenly Body Butter from Forest Essentials. Love how great this smells...and how it leaves my skin silky smooth and well nourished for an entire day. I highly recommend it.


Day 18 of 366: My reading material for this gone week. Very Bengali-centric reading. Loved both of these books immensely. A very satisfied reading week! :)


Day 19 of 366: A slice of orange.
A delightfully cute magnetic bookmark from Kikkik that I love. I also love oranges and the Nagpur oranges that we get in the winter are so tasty.


Day 20 of 366: A page of my journal dedicated to Tea and quotes about Tea.
This is another of my favourite Teas..The Fabindia Black Fruit Tea. So delicious, I like to brew a batch and chill it and serve it over ice in the summer.


Day 21 of 366: A ring I wore all week long. This was a gift from my mother for my birthday couple of years ago. I love the little fish and the etched details of the ring.

See you again next week! :)