Bellpepper wrap

Serves:2; Preparation Time: 15min
 
Reds, greens, yellows, oranges ……which is your favorite? Very well…..You got me right. I am talking about the assorted dynamic colors of bell peppers that are esculent. The taste of the bell pepper varies according to the color. These bell peppers are packed with nutrients, fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin C & A, supportive sulphur compounds. Comparatively, the red ones are sweeter. Just as in the Oriental, Continental, international bell peppers make a zestful fusion, and so they cater a blast of flavors when used with other ingredients in the Indian Cuisine.
      Although I have a special relishing for the green capsicums, I wished to try bell pepper recipes with red, yellow and orange ones. I was drawn by the effulgent red color of the bell pepper and I tried a recipe that I presented as a salad stuffed inside a soft & fluffy Indian bread “Chapatti”. 
 
I am not going to make it very complicated ; rather handy stock of veggies and spices are added. Take a look :
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Red bellpepper diced – 1 cup ( 1 No. for 2 wraps)
  • Cucumber sliced long and thin – 1/2 cup
  • Coriander leaves chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Black peppercorns crushed – 1 teaspoon
  • Olive oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste.
veg wrap
bellpepper mixture spread on chapatti
 
As the dough of chapatti must be kept ready beforehand, I mixed wheat flour, salt & water as per requirement. I Kneaded the dough well and kept aside for few minutes. Then I made soft chapattis out of it. 
 
And here’s the Procedure for the bell pepper stuffing :
 
  • Heat Olive oil in a pan on a medium-high flame. Add crushed black peppercorns, a pinch of salt and diced red bell peppers. Stir fry it for 3-4 min on a high flame then turn it off. 
  • Take a mixing bowl, add sliced cucumbers, chopped coriander leaves, and the fried bell pepper. Drizzle little olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Toss the mixture just to combine the flavors (do not over mix it). 
  • Take a prepared Chapatti, spread the mixture vertically, squeeze little lemon juice and then wrap it up. Repeat the same with other chapattis. 
  • The bellpepper wrap is ready in just 3 steps. Serve it hot. 
veg wrap
bellpepper wrap
 

Genogram : The hope of preserving Family history

Family history

Genogram : The hope of preserving Family history

 

Who are you? From whom have you descended? Is it genuinely important to learn your family history? How would knowing about ancestors advice or help you indirectly/directly? If you have these questions in mind, then along with probing for facts, its essential to perceive how genograms are cognate to preserving histories of family.

I queried myself, I researched for justification. Now, I am able to sense “behind the scenes”, absolute reasons for acquiring erudition of the family’s history. Here’s what I ascertained:

How interesting is to know about your own family history?

Family

 

Grasping an insight of the history of your antecedents is as consequential as learning the history of World. Every gene has its own nature derived from their predecessors. No wonder that similar patterns of characteristic behavior are recognized in the kins of a family. Of course, we all have a vague idea of genealogy; responsible for the characteristics and features. Besides the fact, there’s something beyond just the study of genes. A thorough study of family’s history would avail in apperception of trends and many more that I would be verbalizing further.

What if you hadn’t known anything about your family ? How emotionally are you connected with your family? Why is it that you find kindred medical conditions in you as that of your forebear? The solutions could only be found when an intensive research is done on one’s own family history. Start discovering the hidden secrets, dark truths and bonding with the family members. The word “FAMILY”, is just not restricted to a family of 3 or 4 (nuclear family) in-fact, it also includes the person from whom one is descended.

What are Genograms ?

Genes

 

Before heading to execution of this idea, it’s recommended you know how exactly do genograms work. Genogram is the key to open the lock of an unmapped house that belongs to you. Have you ever seen how a tree develops or starts growing branches? Yes, Genogram is something similar to a grown tree that has branches, leaves & fruits that are depicted with certain symbols and relating them with the family terminology. To be precise, it’s a graphical representation of family relationships & medical history, it can be otherwise called as a family research diagram.

In 1985, Genograms were first developed by Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson through a book called “Genograms: Assessment and Intervention”. However, rebinding the history of a family is not only a solitary notion of these genograms but also, there’s a vigorous commitment of studying the hereditary perpetual patterns, inherited medical conditions, psychology, social work and others. Under the guidance of a computer software called “Genealogy software”, genograms could be made dexterously. The software works with in-depth details of you & your family such as birth date & place, marriage, death, relationship with others in the family, personal data like the events in life, media, character, behavior, health conditions, etc.

How a Genogram represents the history of a family?

The pictorial chart of Genograms have several symbols that illustrates the gender, family relationships, color codes showing medical conditions, emotional relationships, social relationships. The representation is framed in such a way as when viewed casually (after mapping family details) , a complete story of family flashes like a live histrionic stage craft.

Fundamental symbols:Genogram symbolsFamily relationshipsEmotional relationships

 

Which is the right time to start working on Family history?

Time????

In case you are waiting for the right time, hurry up and start with the most elderly living person in your family, provided there must be some agenda already prepared. For an instance, if you have a grand mother/father or great grand mother/father in your family (obviously, alive), probably there’s a prospect to know about their life history connected with their generation including siblings & cousins. If you are fortuitous enough and as long as they are mystically enchanted with good recollection, then you might get information of their progenitors additionally. I believe, there’s no right time defined to begin this thought-provoking project of Life history. While employed on this dynamic job, think practically and try to utilize the illimitable options of internet that direct you to carry on the work smoothly. I indeed mean the family tree or genealogy softwares that are available on the Internet.

In what way do these family histories help you?

Sample chart

 

You may not be keen in digging the life histories of your family as you may think it of no use, but trust me …it is going to give you a lot, making you aware of unbelievable facts associated with life. Their experiences will be a guide for you while you face the most terrible hurdles of life. Their characters & behaviours will edify you rights and wrongs. Their advise and suggestions might make you become the most strongest. Odds and evens, good and bad, pros and cons, all the contrasts could be derived from their history.

Furthermore, there must be some evidence of your past to pass on to your future. Your children should be fed with all the required information that aids in framing their future. It is actually good to know biographies of people and it becomes remotely more intriguing when it comes to your own family.

Legends are “not to forget” and stories of Legend are to “remember always”.

Note down

 

To know your family history, prepare list of questions you think would suffice for knowing them deeply. Remember to carry a handy notebook and pen to quickly jot down the details and their story as and when they narrate.

  • You might be having their basic details, if not ask and note : age, date & place of birth, siblings, children, cousins, etc.
  • Ask them about the major events and memories they have had so far. It could be even linked with their EX-related or a dead.
  • Try to know about their past. Analyze the emotional status and nature of the person with whom you are conversing.
  • Their blissful and woeful moments.
  • Their social relationships and addiction like parties, religion related activities, gatherings, school, smoking, alcohol, etc.
  • Most importantly their medical conditions, diagnosis, ongoing treatments, cured diseases. etc.

Studying Genograms :

“There is a hope of preserving future generations from the risk of the diseases……….”

Apart from those moral stories, a particular pattern of medical history could be studied. Doctors and specialists utilize the information of hereditary medical conditions through several generations obtained from medical genograms and admonish the successor of the jeopardy he or she is liable to suffer. The pattern of medical conditions are studied to protect the further generation from falling prey to it. There is a hope of preserving future generations from the risk of the diseases that’s reiterating in the family as an interminable curse. Here’s where the genograms come to action, they provide all the necessary information beforehand which may be helpful in taking preventive measures.

Genogram symbols :

Health conditions

 

Mobile Apps :

http://bit.ly/1m01RT1

http://bit.ly/1Cs27fy

http://bit.ly/1PEI3O6

Image source: Wikipedia, smartdraw, scielo.br, news.softpedia, wisegeek, imgarcade, huffingtonpost, arrahmah.co

 

Singapore grocery

Grocery shopping

Singapore grocery 

Singapore, the Asian leading hub is tagged as the most facile place for business and the second most competitive country. Singapore presents wide range of grocery & departmental stores, supermarkets, marketplace, convenience stores. The trade economy of Singapore is a highly developed one. Singapore imports and exports products globally. The top exports are refined petroleum, chemical products, fuel, electronic equipments and major destinations are Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, and so on. The imports are mainly from China, Malaysia, UAE, Other Asia, South Korea, Japan, India, United States etc.

E-commerce platform remains empyrean-high, as it boasts (yet true) to be simplest way of approaching the diligent public. Today, e-commerce has elongated its wings to surmount the major sector of working population in the country. Not only the working public, also people like you and me perpetually adopt the effortless way of utilizing Internet for purchasing essentials.

Image : bit.ly/1Z7un38

 

Supermarkets In Singapore:

In Singapore, supermarkets are found in malls and local market areas. NTUC Fair price, Shensiong, Giant hypermarket are top ones having branches at sundry malls throughout and located at few local markets. Cold storage supermarket is known for its quality and the goods that they sell are not generally found in any other supermarkets. The NTUC fair price supermarket is based in Singapore and it is found with different names: Fairprice Xtra, Fairprice Finest, Fairprice Xpress & the Eco friendly fair price that runs on principles of reduce, reuse & recycle. Shen siong is located in retail locations of Singapore. It’s the 3rd largest chain of Supermarkets in Singapore. Giant hypermarket is a Malaysian predicated market ; has retail chains in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. Convenience stores like 7 Eleven, Cheers are easily reachable as they are at petrol station, train stations, near bus stops, near malls. Some of them are open 24 hours and this is an added advantage.

Ranking according to Price: (low to high)

These are rough rankings in my opinion, I’ve marked as per my shopping list. And it may vary depending on the quality and the type of product you optate to purchase.

  • Local markets sell daily needs, essentials, fruits & vegetables, grocery and so on. Food centers here have a number of food stalls that serve for an affordable price. I customarily prefer the local markets for vegetables and major heftily ponderous groceries (as the local market is near to where I stay)
  • Shensiong — I prefer going here when I have a huge series of shopping that includes home needs, grocery and veggies at a very plausible price.
  • Giant Hypermarket & Fair price Supermarkets — There’s a situation where I am in a mall and suddenly I recollect of something to purchase, it might be an exigent requisite or even a feel of indolence to walk out to local markets; I purchase in either of these two supermarkets.
  • Fair price Xtra & Finest — Quality of food does matter a lot, I don’t say that Low quality is being sold in other supermarkets, rather I optically discern more options of high quality products. I find it little expensive.
  • Cold storage — I prefer Cold Storage for international foods, mainly for energy rich ones. Though this is an extravagant option, I don’t mind spending few extra bucks for highly worth food products the supermarket offers.
  • Convenient stores — As the name itself suggests, the convenient stores are betokened for last minute purchase or urgent essentials. They offer basic essentials / needs, but seems a little high on price as compared to others (except high end supermarkets stated above). We tend to be generous when it comes to an emergency requirement.
  • Many other Asian grocery stores can be found in Singapore.
Image : bit.ly/1PPn7bJ

“According to Nielsen Global Survey of Digital’s Influence on Grocery Shopping, online grocery shoppers in the country surged 71 percent over 2010”

In addition to all these, there is much importance for e-commerce platform in Singapore; I believe this must be the scenario in other countries too.Fairprice, shen siong, Giant hypermarket , Cold Storage are also available to make a purchase online for door delivery.

Of course there are many other small scale markets that are present physically as well as online, but I am listing out only the major ones. There’s an online store called Redmart that is exclusively designed for the customers who shop online.

Here’s the statistics

Image : bit.ly/1tVquDp

 

Image Source: Image : bit.ly/1kO68JW

 

Photography as a hobby

Photography

Photography as a hobby

Photography being one of my hobbies, What do I think about it?

Photographs have now become a necessary possession not piled up as hard copies; rather a soft copy collection is maintained handily on the global internet. Convincingly photography has won hearts of millions of people over the years, standing out as an undeniable hobby. The same hobby or leisure activity, if becomes a dedicated practice could even escort to professionalism. These days everyone owns either a camera or a smart phone. Statistically there are several people who initiated photography explicitly as a hobby and turned out to be proficient. Photography being an affordable & enjoyable hobby, it offers hours of happiness filling the hearts of people with enthusiasm.

Is it really essential for a common man to know about Photography?

Although you want it be a pleasurable pastime, it is substantial to capture the moment or whatever is the aimed target, with utmost precision. This exactness when reviewed later, would definitely flashes back the same feel that you were experiencing then. Who does refuse getting a closer look of such an entertaining hobby of Photography? So, I suggest to start looking for elemental online guidance videos that will enable to capture pixel perfect pictures.

Remember Photography isn’t my profession and I am not going to suggest any camera settings. I do set my camera with some basic ones that I learned from couple of Youtube basic camera setting videos. Here are the links of the videos I referred :

At first, I started taking snaps indoors with my Canon DSLR camera . Most of the time it was trial and error method until I obtain an absolute result. This way I came to know the list of elements to be considered while taking photographs. When working outdoors, I could figure out the difference in camera settings between day & night modes and soon bought a tripod to catch the night views in order to avoid the pixel breaks or shaky outcomes. I was not trying to become an expert rather it was a struggle to see flawless pictures when viewed onscreen. Because, the clock cannot be backtracked once again to glimpse the same moment, I wanted to know the tricks of photography to certain extent.

Indoor , Outdoor & Night photography :

For clicking pictures whether it be indoor or outdoor, one thing that has to be particularly kept in mind is the “Light & Focus”. As a beginner, I learnt it by reading photography articles, Internet explanations, videos and of course implementing it. Focussing on the subject is the foremost as the amount of light would be less indoors and the camera fails to focus. It does not mean that you cannot take pictures in low light; rather ISO settings are to be taken care. Here, a question arises about the different modes that are already available on the camera. Yes, we can as well use all these modes, in-fact they are helpful when time becomes the major constraint. However, it’s thrilling only when you explore odds & ends on your own and this is possible when you start using the Manual Mode setting instead of Auto.

It is essential to grasp the techniques of shadow & mirror escaping. For example, If it is a sunny day and you wish to carry on a photo shoot in an open area, watch out carefully whether the scene is interrupted by your shadow. Stand in such a position that there is no hint of the shadow on the subject or in the frame. And in case of mirrors, glass, or any shiny materials do not show up yourselves anywhere on it. These are the principal factors to be concentrated while capturing pictures.

Night Photography is another towering mission that involves contribution of various settings depending on the amount of light available. The menu settings of any camera consists aperture, shutter speed, ISO, shooting mode and exposure control that are adjustable. The maximum & minimum aperture varies with the type of lens we use.

Type of lens and modes:

Refer the link : http://bit.ly/1IApYnr

Which one is appropriate …..Smartphones Or Digital camera?

Waiting for the photos to be processed i.e developing the film, desperately waiting for the clueless outcome, limited photos per camera roll, are no more. Today, we have reached that position which was not even foreseen or thought. We now have terabytes & gigabytes of space available as SD/memory cards to store the pictures incessantly. Endless hard work by the worldwide tech team has finally paid off. The technology is still developing and hope there would not be any need to put a full stop to it. People in this ultramodern world use artificial intelligence of “Drones” for photography. Smartphone cameras are robust and they are gaining popularity in fashion industry as people have started using it for a professional photo shoot. Speaking of Smartphones, these are not only portable but an ALL IN ONE device that works both as a camera reproducing high clarity pictures and mobile phone as well. It totally depends on the necessity, time and convenience whether to use Smartphone or a Digital camera for photographs. According to the requirement I decide the gadget. I love traveling and so I expect my memories to be pixel perfect; I use DSLR mainly for this purpose.

Best phones of 2015:

 
 

Backup of photos:

What’s the use of photos, if they are not secured with a backup? We click snaps relentlessly, until the maximum limit of a card is reached. Over a period of time, it may happen that the phone or camera hangs because of oversized photos or overfilled photos. This usually happens in smartphones. There arises a situation, when you need to safely shelter the photos somewhere. Several providers Online offer storage facilities. A couple of them are free of cost to a certain limit of storage, later they charge a reasonable price per year/month.

Not only the photos, but also backup of the documents and other files can be organized online.

Here you go:

A safe place for all your files:

 

Unlimited cloud storage from Amazon:

The home for all your photos:

 

Photo Editing :

Editing photos for astonishing end results, could be done using several mobile apps for hobbyists and online tools that are exclusively designed for deep & thorough editing works. Usually these tools are used by professionals to showcase their photography skills in an attractive manner. Photo & video editing apps are fascinating as they have a wide range of collection of filters, balances , color splash, black & white etc. In addition to all these, the mobile apps also have optional sharing tie ups with Facebook, whatsapp, Google plus, twitter and many other social networks.

There are photography groups and communities available online. Join and follow them and stay in touch with the creative world of photography. If you are honestly interested then take a glance of all the articles, magazines that are easily accessible online. We must be so grateful to the high tech world as the ocean of knowledge could be gulped with zero or less investment.

“Learn, Click, Edit, Share, Save, Backup ” — A complete bonanza of photography.

Apps & tools :

Memorable Gift ideas with photos:

With the escalation of digital maintenance, printing photographs have become occasional. Despite this fact, a hard copy does hold some value and we use it either as gift or as a personal journal to keep the collection alive. We do feel delighted to see the photographs hanging on the walls of our house that reminds us of cherishing moments of life.

One spectacular gift that creates euphoria is the indelible photo in any of the following forms:

scrapbook

 

 
Photo calendar

 

Coffee magic mug

 

  • T-shirt, pillows, candles, cakes, Photo frames, Photo album and lot more.

Website links:

http://bit.ly/1MGppn4

http://bit.ly/1Jfiw11

http://bit.ly/1R7DEYf

A great saying : Your Photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. — PAUL STRAND

This is so true 🙂

 

Stress Management

stress

Stress Management

Stress & tension issues are gradually hitting the zenith, thereby leading a person to the ultimate depression state. Stress is a mental tension/ disturbance. Stress in a human’s life is inevitable ; yet preventive measures could be taken. The minimum stress levels could be manageable which might have less or no side effects. It is our responsibility to keep our body fit, healthy and energetic by avoiding extreme levels of stress / tension.

Victims of stress, could be of any age group right from a school going kid to a retired elderly person. Here are few instances I have personally come across — Before writing this, I made a petty research of lives of various age groups of people around the world. ( the people were my family , relatives, friends & local people). We presume the life of a child as a very joyful phase but, it is factual only to certain extent. The present generation children are facing difficulties, that turns out to be harmful to their delicate brains. Few out of the children I met, were worried of their school grades / scores as pressure being imposed constantly, couple of them were on pin and needle situation of poverty & criticism, that has led to serious health issues. However the teenagers I came across, were comparatively better than other age groups, though with little minor stress issues. Furthermore, middle & old age group were on a risk of attaining high blood pressure. The reasons they mentioned were related to work/job, family issues, assets, money related problems, etc. The point I could grasp from their lives — “STRESS”.

Health cannot be overtaken by anything on this world!!!

“Be engrossed in thoughts & works that promote your health.”

I insist on making a strict schedule that divides time equally between work and life.

Here I have shortlisted the outstanding practices that keep you away from stress:

  • Food-Diet plays a key role in a person’s life and this has to be given a top priority. As I am a vegetarian, I would only be able to state a vegetarian diet chart. Fruits, vegetables and water ought to be included in the daily diet chart. Cereals, legumes, fresh juices could be taken on alternate days. Narrow down intake of white sugars instead opt for natural sugars. Intake of fried foods & fat foods should be limited depending on age and body conditions. Always eat fresh foods thereby avoiding preservatives. Avoid sugary, carbonated drinks. Restrict intake of coffee (it has high caffeine content). Restrict or eliminate alcohol & smoking.

Follow some health tips : http://bit.ly/1Yqop2x

  • Meditation has an immediate effect; relieves from stress and makes your mind calm. Alternatively, breathing exercise could be tried which is equally effective. Our primary aim is to reduce stress either by diverting with other significant thoughts or calming our minds with no thoughts by following relaxation or meditation techniques. Changing surroundings & environment could be propitious at times. For example, we feel frustrated if the surroundings are clumsy, some colours could be unpleasant at times. Prefer to be at an eye-pleasing room / space of your house whenever you feel over-stressed.

Know more about meditation: http://bit.ly/1UTWLoZ

  • It is highly recommended to be involved in some form of physical exercise. There are hundreds of exercise options depending on the age. There are training centres/ classes in all the major countries / states / cities across the world. Additionally, in this internet-era we can learn and follow interesting exercises on daily basis right from our comfortable zone i.e, our residence. In this way, physical health could tracked conveniently thereby saving the commutation time. Aerobics, walking, jogging, cardio, Zumba, indoor cycling and numerous options are available online, from which you can commit to the one that is perfectly suitable for your body and start following it.

Track your activities with this mobile app : http://bit.ly/1yGU92w

  • Hobbies and passion might make you feel comfortable & jubilant. Always remember to stay engaged. Every individual have undiscovered interests and talents. Go deep inside, get hold of it and start implementing the ideas. This way you will be able to get in touch with the fields other than specifically career oriented, besides you will feel light with reduced stress levels. Listening songs, traveling outdoors, social service, community works etc, could act as stress buster.

Ideas for creative hobbies : http://bit.ly/1TYGf6a

  • Follow the path of healthy lifestyle living. Work-life balance is extremely cardinal. Learn to prioritize and customize tasks accordingly. In the first place, take good care of the priceless asset i.e, your “health”.

A good one:) — http://bit.ly/1ZjQpSs

Happy healthy living !!:-)

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes with spinach & cheese
Serves: 2 ; Preparation Time: 25min
 
Have you got bored with regular potato fries? I can suggest an exceptional form of potato snack, in fact a healthy one that is filled with a high iron content of that of spinach and lot more ingredients added to it. Every dark leafy vegetable is rich in iron that boosts up the red blood cells, successively increasing the hemoglobin production. I think this a quite convincing benefit that drives us follow a standard leafy vegetable routine.
          Surprise your guests with this delicious Baked potatoes. This certainly is a quick appetizer / snack ; saves your time and in return you might even receive compliments as potato is everyone’s favorite. Hey …do not forget to save few pieces for yourself,  else you would be seeing an empty plate within seconds. ;-P. I have a small story here, how I got the idea of potato & spinach.  On a casual dinner, me and my husband wanted to taste the Arab or Turkish Cuisine and stepped into a Turkish restaurant nearby. We were new to the names, clarified it with the staff and then decided to order starter, sides and one main course. The starter/ appetizer was called “Armut Patates” – potatoes stuffed with spinach and baked, garlic bread as a side and a Falafel shawarma in main course.
The potato dish was so scrumptious that I was deliberately waiting to give a trial at home (though I made my version). check it out:
Baked potatoes with spinach
 
 
Be it any cuisine, I have an insatiable appetite for potato dishes. Of all the potato recipes I have tried so far, this one ( baked potatoes with spinach) stands first on my potato dish list. 
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Potato boiled – 4 No.s (medium sized)
  • Spinach blanched – 1 cup
  • Onion chopped – 1/2 cup or 1 No. (small)
  • Cheese ( cheddar or mozzarella) grated – 1/2 cup
  • Black Pepper crushed – 1 teaspoon
  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup
  • Salt – as per taste.
  • Olive oil – as required
 
Procedure : 
 
  • Peel off the potatoes and boil. Boil the potatoes until they are 80% cooked.
  • Meanwhile take a mixing bowl to prepare stuffing. Add blanched spinach leaves, chopped onion, crush peppercorns and salt as per requirement. Mix them gently, drizzle 1 tsp of olive oil and toss it until just combined. Wait for the potatoes to be cooked.
  • Once the potatoes are done, take each one and cut horizontally. Scoop off the middle portion of the potato to make it like a small cup/bowl. Fill the spinach stuffing. 
  • When the filling is ready, roll them over a bed of bread crumbs. You can even roast the bread crumbs just before rolling the stuffed potatoes. 
  • The potato cups are ready to be baked. Bake them in the oven at 200 deg for 10 min first. Then pullout the baking tray and add grated cheese on the potato cups. Bake again for 5-8 min. The oven temperatures and times might vary for different ovens. Keep monitoring and turn off the oven knob once the potato cups turn brown.
  • Baked potatoes with spinach is ready to serve. Serve them hot with white sauce, ketchup, thousand island sauce or mustard. 

Baked potatoes with spinach

 
The baked potatoes are yummy when had with any spicy sauce. I like a little Indian twist of flavors so I had it with coriander chutney/ sauce. Coriander sauce is made with fresh coriander leaves, cumin powder,  dry mango powder, green chili, salt and chat masala. 😃 

All about shopping

All about shopping:

Looking for emerging trends & design, becoming owner of priceless assets, creating a modernistic style haven’t yet perished but conquered the hearts of umpteen people. There’s always a discovery of long forgotten patterns or invention of meticulous designs in the industry of fashion & lifestyle. To attune with the prevailing fashion that captivates all with its quaint features, there should be continual attention towards it that probably lands us into becoming addicted.

Shopping is now a way of relaxation, which remained occasional until few years in the past. Internet plays a key role in grabbing attention of millions of people around the world, allowing people to shop effortlessly. Adverts have a grip on the Internet to expel in every aspect. Eventually, there’s an immeasurable traffic on online shopping rather in physical stores, regardless of goods that are being purchased. Online shopping has reformulated the total idea of shopping. Planning strategies, priorities, standards of lifestyle are on gradual shifts relying on the technology.

Shopping stuffs doesn’t just include a person’s interest or liking towards it, instead there must be a consideration of the convenience & comfort levels.

“Online websites are cautious of their products’ description and take care of every single term framed to illustrate it…….”

How do we choose between Online & Offline shopping?

A simple mobile app or a website of shopping has a tremendous impact on the shoppers who now prefer shopping with an ease from wherever they are. Online retailers are very considerate and are open to put up a sale, exchange/return of specific items purchased online for a duration of time in case of any damage. And this, is a great advantage for shoppers who can check the items bought and if not satisfied could even return it with no extra charges incurred. Online websites are cautious of their products’ description and take care of every single term framed to illustrate it, successively leading to doubt-free shopping.

On the other hand, shopping on websites or mobile applications are not favorable every time. In addition to it, one cannot feel the product online except moving ahead with a positive assumption. As a result, people adopt the custom of picking up things or goods themselves directly from stores. There are people who love to check and feel the product beforehand to be sure enough if it is worth every penny that’s going to be spent. Offline shoppers first make a thorough research on the accessible Internet regarding the availability, price, seasonal sale. Once unconditionally pleased by the product, they walk-in the store to check them in person subsequently comping up with a decision after a detailed observation & survey. Of course, this criteria varies from person to person. People who are very much obsessed with shopping, purchase goods/products at the very first impression.

“The retailers awaken the thirst of shopping…….”

How frequent do we shop?

Thinking back in the past, we used to shop only on important festivals, major occasions or family parties that are calculable. And now, the scenario is quiet different. We shop engagingly as and when we like to. Every so often it happens that we are forced to shop without an acceptable gap, as the retailers awaken the thirst of shopping by notifying us of “SALE” with a tagline of “ending soon or last day”. Business tricks and tactics are very influential ; they are well versed with human (especially women’s) psychology.

Shopper & Seller point of view:

Every single person’s thought is different from the other and so, they have their own theories of shopping considered to be impeccable, which is unfortunately not. Intermittently, there arises necessity of buying things that cannot be neglected; they shop. And some are very desirous who constantly yearn for purchasing anything that attracts; they shop. On the other hand, there are also people who always depend on others’ ideas & liking without any prior knowledge of the products / goods and cluelessly end up shopping.

Now, speaking of the trade persons/ sellers / retailers, they are on the verge of making profits 24×7. They set up the price of a product with maximum possible profit level ; Sale / discount on a product isn’t always genuine. Products nearing their expiry date are moved out on the name of “offer” “buy 1 get 1”, of course we are all aware of these things ; we shop 😃 (as per our needs). I find this as a balanced act, because buyer and the seller both are absolutely right on their own strategy of money making / saving. Buyer is mentally satisfied to having been benefited, while the seller always being able to make at least minimal profit margin.

“A well known ploy to fascinate people is to design the shop with elegant and…….”

Shopping Websites on full swing:

The website design has completely transformed the experience of offline shopping with a way more interesting added elements to that of an Online one. A well known ploy to fascinate people is to design the shop with elegant and alluring interiors whether it be an online website or an offline one. Shopping websites are well-designed according to the customer’s ease of using the website. Furthermore, they are creative, with similar shopping options as in any existing real store. All the minute points are well taken care of to get a flawless website design.

Websites designs that impressed me so far :

https://chiyome.com/catalogue/

http://www.canali.com/en/homepage

https://www.scotch-soda.com/global/en/home

From where do we get ideas of fashion & style?

I usually refer fashion blogs online prior shopping, as it keeps me well connected with the current trends. Online marketing / services are in a boom and they keep everything updated as soon as a new fashion or trend is introduced. Internet seems like a spontaneous answering system, anything could be found just within a tick of the clock. Fashion blogs, fashion & style E-magazine, E-books of fashion & trends always help us take a right decision in shopping. The adverts on Television make a greater impact on us, especially Celebrity commercials are ideal & inspiring as they showcase the fashion in a stimulating way and sometimes be even influential.

What’s happening in Fashion & style ?

I am sharing my list of sources that keeps me aware of Fashion( upcoming & current trends) :

https://flipboard.com/search/fashion

http://bit.ly/1OhcysL

https://medium.com/search?q=fashion

Shopping streets across the world:

Here are few shopping streets across the world I have been so far.

  1. Hyderabad, India,

Shopping street / area : Charminar

Popular : Very famous for Bangles, Pearls & other jewelry

 
Charminar, Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad is my hometown. It is called city of Pearls. There are so many shopping streets as well as historical places; prices remain affordable & reasonable even today. Picture shows the most recognized structures of India; known as Charminar. Shopping on this street is amazing as it filled with colorful glittering jewelry.

2. Singapore

Shopping Street / area : Bugis street

 
Bugis street, Singapore

Singapore is my second home. I live in this beautiful island country. Shopping experience in Singapore does seem like a heaven. Bugis & Chinatown are the right ones for shopping if budget is the main constraint.

3. Singapore

Shopping area : ION Orchard (Shopping mall)

 
ION Orchard, Singapore

ION Orchard has a stunning architecture; and is a place best suitable for photography. Panoramic view of the city can be seen from ION sky. The mall has all the major branded shops, wide variety of tasteful food from different cuisines.

4. Bali, Indonesia

Shopping street / area : Tanah Lot

 
Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

5. Amsterdam , Netherlands

Shopping Area : kalverstraat

 
kalverstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands

6. Siem Reap, Combodia

Shopping area / street : Angkor Night market

 
Angkor Night market, Siem Reap, Combodia

7. Paris, France

Shopping area : Champs Elysees

 
Champs Elysees, Paris, France

8. Venice, Italy

Shopping area : Rialto Bridge

 
Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

9. Rome, Italy

Shopping area: Piazza navona

 
Piazza navona, Rome, Italy

Pistachio Cookies

Serves: 2 ; Preparation Time: 20 min
 
Dry fruits are power pack snacks, keeps the health system on a right track. Sometimes, we are fatigued by eating them as it is. This is where we tend to look at other better options that helps us eat the dry fruits on regular basis, without feeling bored of its taste. We can combine these : Almonds, raisins, nuts, pistachios, walnuts, fig, apricot, with other elements to intensify their original taste. Dry fruit Nutri-bar, chocolate dry fruit balls, Dry fruit & peanuts with jaggery, Dry fruit cookies are few of my picks.
 
This time I made some Pistachio Cookies sprinkled with icing sugar. It works like an energy booster when had as snacks during tea time along with a cup of Ginger Tea. Once the ingredients are mixed, cookies could be baked within few minutes. I have also tried oats cookies and chocolate chip cookies earlier, but I think, Pistachio cookies have a different long-lasting flavor.
 
I believe, these days people are more inclined towards keeping themselves fit, following a strict diet plan. I am quite sure that all your kitchen pantries must have dry fruit stock. So, take a glance through the ingredients required for Pistachio Cookie:
 
Ingredients:
 
  • Pistachio – 60-80 grams
  • Water to boil pistachios – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Plain flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Butter – 2-3 cubes (depends on size)
 
Procedure:
 
  • Heat  2 cups of water on a medium flame and turn off once the water starts boiling. Add pistachios to the boiled water and cover it with a lid for 3-5 mins. Drain the water. Peel the skin of pistachios and keep them ready. There’s a trick to peel off easily. Take a kitchen towel/ napkin, place the pistachios on it, cover it and rub gently to peel the skin.
 
  • Take a blender, add peeled pistachios and sugar. Blend it coarsely. Do not make it a paste.
 
  • Take a mixing glass bowl, put the sugar & pistachio mixture. Sift a cup plain flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add softened butter. Mix them all until just combined.
 
  • When the mixture is ready, apply oil to your palms and make small rounds out of the mixture. Keep the baking tray ready with a baking sheet placed on it. Arrange the pistachio mixture rounds at equal distance on the tray.
 
Note: Mixture should be in such a way that small pistachio granules are visible.
 
  • Place the tray inside the oven and start baking. Now, the baking time varies according to the oven and its temperatures. My oven bakes perfectly at 170 C ; 10min. Keep monitoring the cookies, turn off the oven if the cookies start turning dark brown.
 
  •  Green-brown colored pistachio cookies are to be cooled for about 5 min. Sprinkle them with icing sugar. I used a mesh filter to sprinkle the sugar. These cookies could be served either with icing sugar or with a drizzle of honey on each cookie.
 
This is how it looks with icing sugar:
Pistachio cookies.png
 
Pistachio cookie
 

Eating Rich – Healthy Diet Chart

Diet chart

Sprouts, Legumes, Lentils, Grains & Seeds

The weekly diet chart :

People are consuming lot of junk food which is actually leading them to suffer some sort of disorder or obesity. It is therefore suggested to have a control over the cravings for junk stuff. People choose junk food as they taste yummy but with late side effects, there are several equally tasty and healthy options to slide on. “Now better than never”, Start practicing a fresh and healthy diet, In addition to the taste you could also gain proteins, vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous and what not?

Diet chart

I would like to start with a couple of basic tips that can make wonders on your overall health grade.

Drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day. This helps in digestion, keeps the health system clean, works as a natural purifier, keeps the skin fresh and flawless.

Eat fresh. Some people prepare and store the food for next day usage, while some store the excess and consume it the next day. This routine is totally unhealthy. Have an eye on the quantity you consume and prepare accordingly using measuring cups/spoons.

Do not skip your breakfast.

Have a fruit routine. For further details on this, check my previous post in “Healthy living”.
Less white sugar, Less fatty foods, Less spicy, Less oily foods, Less alcohol – are highly recommended to stay super-healthy.

Vegetarians need all the contents equivalent to the ones obtained from an animal food. I have stated the Weekly routine based on a veggie diet.

Sprouts & Legumes:

Weekly Routine for sprouts : 2-3 times
Weekly Routine for legumes : 2 times

Sprouts are Rich in : Minerals, Proteins
Legumes are rich in : Proteins, Carbohydrate, micronutrients, fiber

Sprouts Type : Bean sprouts, Root sprouts
Bean & Legume varieties : Adzuki beans, black eye bean, Canellini beans, chick peas, Garbazo beans, Kidney beans, Soy beans, black beans, etc.

Sprouting method:

Sprouting can be done at home. Soaking the bean (legume) in water for 30 min – 10 hours depending on the type of bean used. Once it has soaked well, water is drained and beans are tied in a wet cloth for about 3-5 hours for sprouting.

Sprouts with Add-ons:

Sprouts mixed with nuts have a high nutritional value.
Sprouts with a pinch of salt.
Sprouts tempered with mustard & cumin seeds.
Sprouts garnished with desiccated coconut, lime juice & chopped onions.
Sprouts salad – mixed with other bean or root sprouts with a dash of lime juice.

Legume in different forms (brief ideas) :

Legumes in Indian cuisine – soaked & cooked with whole spice powder , tomato & onion , garlic & ginger paste, green/ red chilies, fresh cream drizzle , garnished with finely chopped onions & coriander leaves. The dish goes well with both rice and indian breads.

Soaked, cooked and mashed legume – mixed along with other finely chopped veggies like carrots, bell peppers or any other mashed veggies such as potato, sweet potato. They can be made as cutlets by shaping them into rounds; slightly flattening and toasting on both the sides or deep-fried in oil.

Soaked, cooked legume – mixed with rice flour ( rice flour makes the croquettes crisper), shaping them, rolling on bread crumbs & deep-frying in oil (or) toasting on both the sides. The croquettes are then placed between buns with lettuce, tomato slice , cheese and sauce to make it a Veggie legume burger.

Lentils, Grains & Cereals :

Weekly Routine for lentils : 4-5 times
Weekly Routine Grains & Cereals: 4-5 times

Lentils are rich in: Micronutrients (phosphorous,folate,iron) , proteins, fiber.
Grains are rich in: fires, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrate.

Types of Lentils : Chick peas, black lentils, split peas, green lentils, pigeon peas,red lentils, etc.
Types of grains & cereals : Wheat, quinoa, barley, oats, brown rice, white rice, millet, rye, sorghum, maize, etc.

Method:

Lentils and grains are cooked along with water in a pressure or electric cooker. Few grains & lentils needs to be soaked first and later cooked.

Recipe(brief) ideas:

Lentils are best eaten with hot steamed rice, or any indian breads (wheat roti, naan, paratha, kulcha, poori).
Cooked lentils – tempered with green & red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds.

Lentils cooked with chopped tomato, onions & garlic (optional). Then tempered with mustard and cumin seeds.

In india, “Sambar” is made with pigeon peas (tuvar dal) usually. Any vegetable including leafy ones could be used to make Sambar. Boiled or fried veggie added to tamarind water and allowed to boil until the tamarind smell is gone. Adding “Sambar” powder and cooked lentil, it is further allowed to boil. Once it starts thickening, the Sambar is tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Organic Lentil chips are available in few stores that are baked in oven. These are absolutely Oil free and gluten-free.

Grains & Cereals:

Brown/white rice combined with lentils ( pigeon peas or split gram) and veggies, cooked and spiced up. White/brown rice goes well with any dry / wet curry, gravy, liquid side dishes, a thick chutney, pickles, yoghurt. Also by blending the rice well, it can also be used to make chips/ rice crackers by drying the mixture during sunny days.

Few grains like oats, quinoa, barley can be fried along with choice of vegetables and then cooked by adding water to it.

Store bought Cereal mix could be had with a cup of milk, honey, nuts, fruits.

Seeds :

Weekly Routine for seeds : 2 times

Seeds are rich in : Vitamins, phosphorous, Omega3, antioxidants, iron, and so on.

Types of seeds : Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc

Ideas :

Flax seeds could be used in numerous ways

Roasted flaxseed powder could be mixed along with the roti dough, flattened and made as regular rotis.
Flax seed could be roasted for 2 minutes in a pan (without oil). Other spices like coconut, red chillies, pepper, cumin seeds are roasted and then blended along with the roasted flax-seed. This powder could be eaten along with hot steamed rice, clarified butter and a pinch of salt.

Other seeds like store-bought sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds could either be eaten as it is or it could be roasted for a minute in microwave with a teaspoon of butter ,1 teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of salt.

Flax seeds and chia seeds can be used in muffins, puddings, made as crackers/chips, pancakes.

I hope these quick one line tips & ideas might help you recreate a healthier daily diet schedule. There are many more to come in “Healthy living”…..stay tuned !!

Happy healthy living !! 🙂

Banana Chocolate chip cupcake

Serves: 2-3 ; Preparation Time: 40 min

I am into baking these days and going crazy breaking all the sugar limits. Once in a while that is absolutely fine, of course accompanied with my Yoga & Zumba routine at home to stay fit ;-P

When you bake for the first time & the outcome is great, the feel is just awesome. I had recently bought few basic baking tools. I am overwhelmed to showcase my first baking experience. To start with, I chose a very simple Eggless Banana Chocolate chip cupcake. Until I tried these banana cupcakes I was not sure of baking as I have not looked upon it before. First time bakers are really excited & try different combinational recipes with an utmost dedication, until they are perfect ; I am doing the same. 🙂 After the successful first attempt, I tried two more bakery recipes that would be updated soon. Below is my First ever beautiful & flavorsome Banana chocolate chip Cupcake:

Eggless cupcake
Banana cupcake

Basic Baking tools for cupcake :

Muffin / cupcake mould plate
Whisk
Mixing Bowl
Rubber spatula
Hand Mixer
Icing Nozzles and piping bag in case of frosting

Ingredients for Banana chocolate chip Cupcake:

Banana – 2 No.s medium sized
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Butter – 4 cubes
Sugar (brown or white) – 3/4 cup
Baking powder – 1/2 tablespoon
Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Milk – 1/2 cup (small)
Chocolate chips – 1/2 cup

Procedure :

In a mixing bowl, beat 4-5 cubes of butter and brown or white sugar using a whisk / hand mixer until fluffy. For this recipe, I added caster sugar. Remember, the butter must be at room temperature so that it blends with sugar easily.

Take a plate, mash the bananas using a fork , little chunks would be fine. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and milk to the sugar-butter mixture. Mix it well using a rubber spatula or a whisk.

Sieve all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda using a wired / mesh utensil. Add these to the wet mixture and blend well using a hand mixer. Finally add chocolate chip and mix it using a rubber spatula carefully until it is combined. Do not mash the chocolate chips while mixing.
Note : Store the chocolate chips in refrigerator until you prepare the mixture to avoid it from melting.

Preheat the oven for 5 min at 150C. The temperature or time varies with the type of Oven. While the oven is heating, take the cupcake mould plate/tray and place the muffin/ cupcake liners. I did not use any liners here though. If you do not have one, then you can pour the batter directly onto the butter greased muffin tray.

The cupcakes are now ready to go into the oven. I baked them for about 20 min on 170C.
If you are not so sure about your oven temperatures, just set the timer for 15 min first and keep monitoring the cakes. To check if they are done, insert a knife into one of the cupcakes, if the knife comes out clean then your cake is perfectly cooked.

Also check the upper crust color. If the color is golden brown or little darker than that, turnoff the oven as it might burn and taste bad. Turnoff at right time and take out the cupcakes using a wooden spoon or a fork.

A cupcake looks good with frosting. If you want your cupcakes to be more creamy, then prepare a quick cream cheese frosting and frost the cakes using your choice of nozzle fitted to a piping bag. Usually cupcakes are frosted and decorated, but as this one was my first try, I did not frost my cupcakes.
Note : Frost your cupcakes once they are cooled down completely.

Banana chocolate chip cupcakes
Eggless banana cupcakes
Banana cupcakes