Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 14 - Happiness is

Happiness is... Fandom!!

I love Harry Potter and totally, entirely love the fan-art and fandom that comes along - the books, the movies (yes, yes not as good as the books) , the memes, the drawing, the trivia, the clothing, the accessories!!

One of the major reasons I started creating clay charms was so that I could make harry potter miniatures..
And I did try one, but it tells me I need more practice... (It's leviOsa, not levioSA!!)

Do you follow any fandom? Are you a Harry Potter lover?
All hail Harry Potter!!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 13 - Happiness is

Happiness is...  being mad together!!

We have supper really late, around 10pm, which is early by Punjabi standards but late given I want to take up a healthy lifestyle. So, we have been taking this EFFORT to stay healthy and dine at least 2 hours before going to bed...  But what do you do when, you cook a healthy meal with spinach, cottage cheese and fenugreek leaves, eat it at 8pm and the boy is hungry again at 10pm? You have a small portion of vanilla ice-cream (yeah!! what healthy!) with chocolate chips... and then the boy is hungry again and craving for pizza!! He disturbed the artist in me (who was lost in the world of water colors) to ask which pizza to order!! It was post 11 and we knew it would be difficult, besides I wasn't hungry for a cheese burst pizza... but we ended up baking a pizza... from scratch, yes count the pizza base too! So, the dough was folded, the veggies cut, the cheese grated and 5 mini pizzas made - which were supposed to take 15 minutes at 180 degrees but ended up taking 25 minutes!!
Talk about madness!! The pizza base turned out to be soft in between but had a perfect top and bottom crust... I have no photos clicked coz it vanished in no time!!
Pizza Love!!

Talk about being mad together!!

Leaving you with the watercolor magic I tried for the first time!!
Christmas Cards!!

Snowman - watercolor on card stock!

Ornament and Christmas Doodles!! - Watercolor on card stock!

Insides of the card - Water color on card stock!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 12 - Happiness is

Happiness is... a mystery... I like seeing ancient monuments.. Read history, try to know the occupants and then imagine the life they lived... Most of the times, they carry mysteries...

Chandbibi ka mahal, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra


Day 11 - Happiness is

Happiness is... drawing on the office white board :D


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 10 - Happiness is

Happiness is... A yummy tempting chocolaty thick shake with little heart biscuits!! A happy tummy = a happy me!!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 9 - Happiness is

Happiness is... Random watercolor drawings!!


Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 8 - Happiness is

Happiness is... a friday evening, some yummy chocolate shake with cream, friends and a game of Jenga!! Thank God it's Friday!! Friyay..


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day 7 - Happiness is

Happiness is... your morning routine making you feel like a dessert!!
A strawberry shower gel, a cocoa body lotion, a peach milk moisturizer, a vanilla body mist and a honey lip balm -- Feels like heaven or a dessert... heaven actually, isn't dessert synonyms with heaven?

Welcoming winters...

What is your morning routine like?


Day 6 - Happiness is

Happiness is... Crafting..

Always loved all things elephant - be it cuddly soft toys or drawings or key-chains..
Work in progress for this cute little elephant!!!
Will turn it into a fridge-magnet or maybe a wall hanging, how about a badge!!
Need to decide!!
Clay work in progress!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 5 - Happiness is

Happiness is...

How do you write a Happiness post when you really aren't happy, when you are feeling low and want to hide in the blankie and never be seen again?
What do you write about when you do the everyday chores just for the sake of and march off to work just because you have to!

But then on days like these, the blog helps doesn't it...
Now, just for the sake of this blog, I am thinking about what made me happy, so that I can write about it..

Happiness is.. my blog - which gives me a platform to express.
Just like a full box, which when tried to stuff more, will explode or overflow, so does the heart when filled with emotions and then tears flow. It is easy to keep my feelings to myself than to pour my heart out when I know I won't be heard and if heard I'll be ignored and if not ignored, I'll be told that I am bothering about things I can ignore...

Happiness is... the smell of hot coffee and that yummy chocolate cookie to go along with it..
Happiness is... the smell of rain..
Happiness is... trying a new craft and not failing miserably in it..
Decoupage for the first time!!

Happiness is... hearing a good song..
Happiness is... learning new words..
Happiness is... liking the sound of a word!!
Zephyr - a soft breeze.. I like the sound of it!!


Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 4 - Happiness is

Happiness is French Fries and citrus drinks!!


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 3 - Happiness is

Happiness is mushrooms.... not 1, not 2 but a bowl full of mushrooms...
Watercolor love!!

Mushroom Love. Watercolor on paper!!


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Day 2 - Happiness is

Happiness is drawings of love...
Wall e and Eva!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Day 1 - Happiness is

Starting December 1, I will write 31 "Happiness is..." posts!!
I might write another post to crib... Feel free to take up the tag blogger friends!!

So, for today's post -

Happiness is a bowl of steaming hot cheesy pasta!!!


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Happy Endings!!

Do you believe in happy endings?
Does it always end with  happily ever after?
How do you know that this is the happy ending?
How do we define these terms?

Acrylic on canvas. The original painting courtesy google. I call this "The Wait".
Wore that red dress you liked on me,
Adorned my ears with red rubies,
Sprayed our favorite perfume...
But you keep me waiting too long?
Is our love not for keeps?
Are we never going to be happily ever after?
The fragrance is wearing out,
My feet hurt in the heels,
But you still aren't here?
Is our love not for keeps?
The wait - don't make me wait too long,
Don't make me so independent, that I don't need you anymore.

I, frankly do not believe in a so called 'Happy Ending'. Yes,we see and hear that people are happy. But I do not know how do you know that this is the happy part of it, if you aren't happy? I mean, we are not actors in a Bollywood love story to have this lovey dovey , high profile life. We struggle every day, the struggle isn't just professional, it is personal too. People judge, people expect and no matter what you do, it is never enough, until you give up one day.Guess the day we give up on trying to make others happy, is the day we start living. They say keep on giving without expecting anything in return, but I do not even understand how does this work. I mean, how can I keep on loving without being loved in return. Till when I continue helping someone, if all they do is turn their backs to me when I am in need. If at the end, I end up with only expectations and longing, then why not redirect my effort in making myself happy, helping myself. If not a happy ending, atleast I will sleep like a satisfied soul. But why is it so difficult to implement this? Why don't we learn from our sufferings? Top this with an OCD and the ticking biological clock and what are you left with ? A mundane life, studies, job, marriage, kids, death - only to realize you went with the flow and weren't happy throughout.

Leaving you with this beautiful Punjabi song playing non-stop on my playlist - Qismat..

Je hun tu vi badal gya,
Mai te mar hi javangi..

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Beach, please!

“You can never have too much beach, can you?” Beaches are awesome. The infinite sea, the welcoming sand, the sun – what more can you ask from life. I love beaches. I love the sound of the waves hitting the shore. I love seeing the ships afar; waiting to come back to loved ones. The sea for me signifies infinity. There is no end, everything seems small – all the worries, all the troubles… so small compared to the gigantic water body. I can stare at the waves all day, all night. So, when I wanted to take a much needed vacation, all I could think of was the beach and the water.

The late planners that we are, when we checked Goa, it was all sold out. Then we checked the beaches on the Konkan stretch. The photos were beautiful, the beaches looked serene and the reviews were good. But there were constraints - we had two days in hand, wanted a driving difference not very tiring for the hubby (Yes! Me cannot still drive L) . While I enjoy the peace and calm, the hubby is the guy-who-loves-his-beer. So, finally we narrowed down on Diveagar, and I am such a happy beach bum that I did….

The journey –
I ordered these cute Superman and Supergirl T-shirts from The Souled Store, coz #CoupleGoals.
#CoupleGoals Superman and Supergirl Tees from TheSouledStore
 We started off our Saturday morning wearing our matching tee’s, 8ish in the morning with a flat tire. After the puncture repair and the petrol refill, we started our journey. We took the road from Hinjewadi – tamhini ghat – mhasala road – diveagar. The road is bad… too many potholes, too much of broken road. There were repairs going on along the way, causing more traffic. But the view is scenic. We were hungry so stopped at “The Paradise CafĂ©” for breakfast. It was early and they were still opening up. We ordered our share of cheese omlette and scrambled eggs. The place is pretty and gives you a vacay feeling. So, we were glad we stopped by. The breakfast turned out yummy, just the ketchup – it was too acidic for my tongue and I avoided it totally.
With our tummy full, we moved ahead the bumpy road on our journey to the beach. After a total of a five hour drive, we reached Diveagar. We had booked the Exotica Sea View and after the tiring, back-aching journey, we were glad to see the hotel.

The stay –
The cottage
There are two hotels by Exotica – The Sea View and The Beach Resort. The Beach resort has been leased to MTDC and the sea view is managed directly by them. We did not get reservations for the beach resort, so we booked the sea view hotel via Make my trip and it couldn’t have been any better.

The bedroom
It is a wonderful place. They have cottages- eight on them built on machans and four built on ground. The ones built on the machans(raised platform) are old, while the others have been constructed a month back. We were offered the cottage 109.
The sofa room.
The only difference is that you cannot view the sea from these cottages as they are built at ground level. The cottages are very pretty.

The white lotus shining in its glory
 There is vegetation planted around – we saw baby spinach leaves and cauliflower and lemons and coconut trees and lotuses. I loved the rectangular parallel lotus ponds , three of them with white, purple and pink lotus.
The purple lotus.
There is a swing in front of every cottage and a lot of parking space. It looks really beautiful. 
The ponds and the parking area
  There is a tiny lobby in front of the room and you enter inside to a small room with a sofa and a center table. The bathroom was clean and spacious, with a geyser. The bed room was spacious and nice.
The back balcony with the coffee table.
There is a back balcony from the bedroom where there are two chairs and a table. We enjoyed both our mornings here with the chirping of birds and the sound of the sea. You'd see a variety of colorful birds here.
View from the reception.
 As you enter from the gate of the resort, you cannot miss the beautiful reception area with the restaurant. I liked the beautiful dining area – the huts and the coconut trees! They have these nice tiny hut like lamp covers which run throughout the hotel. I also absolutely loved their garden speakers which were spread out everywhere and played soft instrumental music throughout the day. So ten on ten for the place.
Dining area
The rooms were spotlessly clean and tidy. The room service was quick. A special call out to Rupesh and Sudarshan. Mandar – who was at the reception played his role well. He arranged for the bonfire, put on some really good music, told us about the cake shop and the beach and resort options. So again a ten on ten.
Food!!! Happy breakfast times!
Coming to the food, the breakfast spread had poha, upna, idli-sambar, sabudana khichadi and mango juice. We weren’t really fans, so we requested for an omlette. And our request was duly honoured. The mango juice was tasty and we also liked the poha and idli. You do not get roti, so have to be satisfied with the chapatti – but the chapatti was good too. The chicken wasn’t tender but apart from that everything else was tasty – the dal, the Manchurian, the breakfast menu. So overall, I’d recommend everybody to go to this hotel, provided you have a car, else it is better to stay at some hotel at a walking distance from the beach.

The beaches –
The beach was around two and a half kilometers from the hotel, let me requote, the nearest beach was two and a half kms from the hotel. It was like staying on a stretch, where no matter which right turn you took, you’d see the beach. This is life!! We were hungry, for both the beach and food, so we went to the beach first. And it was mesmerizing – pristine, clear, sparsely crowded. Then the hungry tummy called for some food. But alas, this was a difficulty. It was 3pm and nobody wanted to serve us any food. We finally landed in a small home stay and requested them and they accepted to serve us. We got some yummy hot dal tadka with chapatti. It must have taken them more than double the time to cook, that we took to finish the meal. Wow! It was tasty.
Dal roti - comfort food!!
We then went back to the room for some rest and then went back to the beach. We went to two of the other beaches on the same stretch. There were water sports and food stalls. You can actually drive your car right to the beach. We enjoyed the setting sun. By 6:30, it was very dark and we decided to stop for the day. We retired back to the hotel, enjoyed the breeze while hearing the waves hitting the beach. We had a yummy dinner at the hotel, which again was dal and chapatti as we were not very hungry having gorged on some onion bhajiya at the beach. The food at the hotel is tasty, so we enjoyed the simple food too. A special mention to the freshly cut onions wherever we had our food.

The waves and the beach...
Next morning, we enjoyed the sunrise from our room window, we were too lazy to go to the beach. After a yummy breakfast – omlette, bread, poha, coffee, idli-sambar and mango juice, we went to the beach and had an awesome time. We started walking on the stretch. There weren’t many people, we could count them on our finger tips. We enjoyed till we were totally drenched with water and happiness and went back to the hotel. We went to the Exotica beach resort for lunch. Wanted to check out the location. It is good.
The hammock
There are two hammocks, but the sun was shining bright and it wasn’t much fun sitting on the hammocks. They do not allow beer in the restaurant area, so we ended up just having lunch. They have swings, a carom board and a pool table for recreation. The food menu is similar as at the Exotica Sea view. The chicken kadai turned out tasty and the hubby enjoyed the food.
The never ending sea and white beach on the right when you travel across the stretch
We spent some more time at the beach after lunch and then proceeded back to the hotel, where the receptionist informed us about another beach at a 10km distance. So, we went on a long drive to Velas beach. The view is scenic.
The Velas beach.
You travel with the beach and the never-ending sea on your right. It was too beautiful. Calling it a day, we went back to the hotel. We wanted to get a cake and were told about the Densh bakery. They charge a 100 rupees to deliver the cake at the resort. As we wanted to checkout the cake before ordering, we went to the bakery and got ourselves a black forest cake.
And the bonfire is lit!
We had requested the hotel staff for a bonfire, which they happily agreed to. They also offered to set up a candle light dinner, but it was too windy for the candles to be lit. The weather was cold, so we enjoyed the bonfire. Again, a special call out to the staff for setting everything up. We enjoyed our yummy Manchurian with soft music playing and the cold wind. It was too good to be true. We had a good time – the kinds you see in movies. The cottage we stayed in had three rectangular pools with white, purple and pink lotuses and what a sight! We had dinner at the bonfire too, but the chicken was disappointing, the only negative in our otherwise perfect stay. It had become cold and was almost twelve when we moved inside. We cut the cake at 12 ushering in the fifth year of our married life and slept satisfied.
Leaving footprints on the sand
The next morning, we got up to the chirping birds and the rising sun. After a tasty breakfast, we went to the beach again. Monday morning, the beach felt like a private beach. There was nobody but us. We didn’t wanna go back, but we had to checkout. And so with a heavy heart, we went back to the hotel, packed our stuff and left back for home.

The return journey –
For the return journey we took the alternate route via the Mumbai Banglore highway. We took almost the same time to reach back, but the road still wasn’t good. The journey was still tiring. But the route from Kolad was scenic. So, overall both the roads are equally bad, and be prepared for a bumpy ride. We stopped by at the German Bakery Wonder Bar at Lonavala for a quick food break.

German Bakery
 We ordered some noodles and a pizza with a chocolate shake. The food was tasty and we quickly finished it and came back home. I am still carrying the sea in my heart and want to go back. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Happy Birthday !!

      If you'd be with us today Dad, it would be your happy 55th birthday. You always said you had a steel body and that you will always be young. Little did we know that you'd leave us so soon that the memory of a young you would be etched in our memories. Had you been here Dad, we would be hosting a grand party. We would sit together and call everyone who hadn't yet called to wish you a happy birthday. We would decide on a menu and then get our hands dirty and kitchen messy cooking with mummy. But alas! Dad you aren't here with us today and I am such a plethora of emotions right now, that I do not know how to react.
      I agree that the best flowers get plucked the first, but it is so much easier said and heard. When it you who is experiencing it first hand, it is just an inconsolable sorrow,  something time cannot cure and a void which can never be failed. If I could, I would rewind my life and relive all the moments we lived together. Till date , I do not remember even a single day in my life when I haven't thought about you... I could never have imagined my life without you, yet I am here - living it.
      Every situation makes me think what I would have done if you were with us. I want to share my happiness with,cry with you about the things that make me feel bad, but I can do nothing of it. Dad, the void is too big, it stretched beyond borders and no amount of time gives respite. It is very difficult without you. But we try, we try to live, we try to smile, we sob... We miss you loads.. Every moment is incomplete.

      I hope you are happy where ever you are, sharing a drink with the Almighty. So, Cheers to your birthday Dad.. Happy 55!! And no matter what, you'll always be young, just like you wanted.
      "Kehne ko saath apane ek duniya chalti hai 
      Per chhupke is dil mein tanhaayi palti hai
      Bas yaad saath hai..."

I lost my Dad in a tragic road accident. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loved one. Please do not drink and drive. You'd never know that what might seem like a third party insurance to you, might actually break a family and break many dreams. Please wear seat belts. Please wear helmets. Better safe than sorry.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Workplace updates!!

After a tryst with a couple of short term projects, I have finally landed into a long term one. Well it has been going on from a long time, so hoping it continues. This workplace is different, there is neither a cubicle nor a designated desk space. Instead, there is a huge table and people sit around it. Well, it is really weird, and given that I do not know anyone around it becomes more weird. I feel out of place and am taking my sweet time to adjust. Not only is it weird sitting next to each other, but the very feeling of not having any personal space is driving me nuts. Besides my handbag now has to rest on the floor, if all the chairs are full. Not happy. My desk accessories have moved base to my wardrobe at home and the lone cute giraffe roams around the table. She has got more friends than I do :D The good part is that there is a human size window and I can stare outside when I do not have work. This stand and stare time is reducing day-by-day with some days being busy enough not to pull blinds off the window, but when I do get time , I pull the blinds and stare outside. I was lucky to see a huge parrot one morning. It was so serene though that I couldn't muster using my cell to click a pic. Wednesday afternoon, it was a bit cloudy and this is what I could see from the window..

Spare the picture quality.. It doesn't look green at all.. but it was. Greenery and clouds and the temple standing in all its glory.. Can you see the tiny bird flying away from the frame ??? What can you see from your workplace?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another lazy bum post!

As much as I love drawing, painting, claying and crafting, I have a lazy bum which doesn't move at all on weekends. It rests and rests and rests, this couch potato resents any change of state. And then there is this severe lack of motivation!! So, I decided that this weekend all I'd do was draw, paint and craft, all I did was cooked, ate and binged watched the television. It wasn't until midnight that the artist in me woke up and wanted to craft something - So here it is -
Wanted to make roses - check, wanted to make clay with blended color and sparkle - check, a customized fridge magnet - check, a 4th anniversary keep sake - check!!!
I am happy at how it has come out :)

Did you like it guys?

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Book Lover’s Tag

I found A Book Lover’s Tag on Shilpa's blog - A Rose is a rose is a rose. And I am happily taking it up to write about my books :) If you love it as much as I do, feel free to take it up too.. 

My book worm charm!!

Say hello to my handmade bookworm and here we go -

1.Do you have a specific place for reading?
No... I can read almost everywhere. I read at the library, at my work desk, in bed, anywhere in the house, in the car while travelling, at the beach on a holiday.. 

Here I am reading in the train!!

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I loveeee bookmarks, so definitely bookmark!! I have a lot of them..
And I keep on losing them...

3. Do you eat or drink whilst reading? 
Noooo... I'd rather stay hungry, but I cannot, at all eat or drink while reading. Cannot spoil my books.

4. Music or TV whilst reading.
Wouldn't mind both, but don't prefer any!

5. One book at a time or several?
Depends on the book... If interested in the book or been on my to-read list for too long, then one book. If I find a book too heavy to digest, I pick up a lighter read along. Also depends on the size of the book, if too heavy for my handbag, I carry a lighter one along.

6. Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?
Prefer reading at home, but can read anywhere.

7. Read out loud or silently?
Am a silent reader... Sh..

8. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
Have skipped pages on only two books till now, the pages just wouldn't end and the story just wouldn't move ahead. Otherwise, no skipping at all!

9. Break the spine or keep it like new.
Keep it new, sparkling and happy :)
Book charms!! :)

10. Do you write in books?
No!!! I like them sparkling new. Though when I find difficult words, I prefer writing the word and meaning on tiny notes and keep them inside the book, between the last and second last pages.

11. What books are you reading now?
Just completed "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" and "Small Great Things".
Books I am reading currently

12. What is your childhood favorite book?
The problem with me and books is the one I read becomes my favorite unless it is really crappy. But to point my most favorite - it is the one and only, Harry Potter. I loved Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys too as a kid.

13. What is your all-time favorite book?
My all time favorite book, books include the Harry Potter series, Jodi Picoult books, The fault in our stars.... and a lot many more.. I have re-read them and loved it every time!!

That’s it for now! 
Please share your thoughts and take up this tag... 
Drop a link here for me to know...

Day 14 - Happiness is

Happiness is... Fandom!! I love Harry Potter and totally, entirely love the fan-art and fandom that comes along - the books, the movies (...