Sugarfree Lovers

July 27, 2014

Fragrance from Napa Valley

Out of all our senses smell is one very powerful sense, which can makes us imagine things/ places which we have never seen before. Smell has a great effect on our mood. Right fragrance for the occasion is always needed to set the right atmosphere. I believe that I have very sensitive nose, which identifies smells very distinctly then others I know. I love to use nice fragrance at my home as that sets the right mood and spirit for me. So when I came to know that Godrej wants the bloggers to come up with a crowd inspired fragrance, I closed my eyes and started thinking of places I have visited in recent past.

Recently I came back from the USA, so most of the places which were coming in my mind were from there only. During my trip to the USA I wanted to visit all the places I missed in my last trip. The list was long and time was short, so I had to think over some places again, Napa Valley was one of them. Being someone who is not so much into wine I was suspecting what Napa Valley has in offer for me. But When I went to Napa Valley I loved it so much that I ended up going there twice.

Napa has this beautiful strip where you see vineyards on both sides of the road. All the vineyards offer wine tasting for their signature wines to visitors. As soon as you enter any vineyard you get to see grape plantations and lots of happy faces J  Every vineyard has a storage places where the grape juice is stored in wooden barrels. There are different types of woods used to make the barrels, and the wood used gives the distinct taste, texture and smell to the wine. The storage places always has this smoky, woody smell filled inside it which is enough to makes you feel like trying some wine.

Also in the tasting area the wine is mostly severed with different types of cheese and freshly baked bread sticks. The aroma of fresh cheese and smoky wine is something you get in every nook and corner of that room. This is a deadly combination of smells which makes you happy and hungry at the same time, if this smell is used in dining rooms or in any high-end restaurants I am sure all the guests will feel more hungry than usual. The plantation areas are usually big and open. It offers lots of greenery to your eyes and sweet ripe grape smell for your nose.

In totality Napa valley has a variety of fragrances inspirations to offer, from fruity to smoky, from woody to sweet. So based on my experience in Napa I suggest a Napa inspired fragrance which should have the sweet smell of grapes, with a hint of smoky + woody Oak notes.  This perfect balance of sweetness and woodiness will work perfectly for homes and cars of fruity smell lovers as well as for woody fragrance lovers. I would love to use this fragrance at home when I have guest coming over for a formal dinner or in my car when we are going to some lovely restaurant for lunch, this will work perfectly like a right mood setter. This is my fragrance idea which is inspired by the smell of Napa Valley, come enjoy the fragrance of the world’s largest wine growing region in the comfort of your home or car J

P.S: This post is written for the contest organized by Godrej and Indiblogger.

July 7, 2014

Drink for your eyes!!

Its summer time and to keep our self hydrated its must to have lots of fluid intake. I have been very reluctant to drinking water from childhood itself. I hardly drink 2 glass of water in one full day. As a child I drink only 1/4th glass of water with every meal, my concerned mom used to tell me the impotence of drinking adequate amount of water for human body. But for me the water always tasted so plan and boring I never felt like drinking it. So my mom came up with an idea, she stayed giving me all sort of fruit juices and flavored water to increase my fluid intake. This worked for sometime but once I got used to, I stopped drinking that too.

 Then My dad came up with a brilliant idea or getting me a nice bottle which was in shape of a bear, I stared drinking juices and water again because I was in love with my bottle. Any juice or drink filled in the transparent bottle used to look very lovely and appealing. There on I am a big fan of fancy looking glasses, bottles and tumblers. They actually make the drink look beautiful, just by looking at it you feel like drinking it.  

Just imagine your favorite mint lemonade is served to you in a steel glass, will you enjoy it as much as when its served in a crystal see-through glass? Seeing the pieces of mint leaves and ice in the glass with a ring on lemon on the glass rim improves your desire to have that lemonade and hence the same lemonade tastes better than the one in steel glass. Then it becomes not just a drink to quiche your thrust for you but beautiful feast for your eyes as well.

Tasty food is not always beautiful food, but beautiful food is mostly the tastiest food!!

P.S. - This post is written for the My Beautiful Food contest organized by Indiblogger andBorosil.

The Way to Man’s heart goes through his stomach but starts from his eyes!!

There are two types of people in this world, one who live to eat and others who eat to live. I fall in second category, I never cared about food. Anything which had proper salt as was available to me I ate. But I got married to someone who falls in a different category altogether. My husband is a foodie, who loves his food. He is someone who doesn’t believe in quantity but in quality of food.

After marriage the first and the biggest change happened in me was the improvement in my culinary skills. For his love for food, I stared reading food blogs and subscribed to many food channels to learn new recopies but I failed to get perfect 10 from him every time. I made his favourite breakfast Aloo poha, by following the same recipe which I learn from his mom. It tasted almost same, but he was not impressed. I made his favourite Daal tadka by following exactly same recipe from master chef Sanjeev Kapoor. It tasted good to me but he was not impressed. I went through tones of videos and made delicious Dum Biryani, he ate full plate but still did not praise my food. I was heartbroken and decided to give-up on cooking. I poured my heart to him and said I will not cook anymore, and he should better hire a cook. That was when he told me that he loves my cooking, my food tastes good and the effort put to learn all the dishes is something he adores but what my cooking lacks is the presentation skill.

I argued “Presentation skill?? I need to prepare a PPT for my food or what?”

He hugged me and said “Honey! As you see the cloth first and when you like the print on it then only you touch it and decided on buying it. Same way, when one sees the food it should be appealing, and then only one feels that desire to eat it.”

“What food should look appealing?” I jerked my shoulders

He came close to me and said “just close your eyes and imagine you have 2 plates of Aloo poha in front of you. One is just a plate full of pale Aloo poha and the other one is a steaming hot plate full of bright yellow Aloo poha, which is nicely garnished with fresh coriander leaves and deep fried green chillies with a piece of lemon on side. Which one will you pick?”

I opened my eyes “obviously the second one.” I said excitingly.

“You see, you tasted the food with your eyes and selected which one is worth getting tasted by your tongue.” he was smiling like a proud parent.

I got my most important lessen of cooking that day from my husband. I was already feeling hungry after talking of food and so I prepared Dum biryani that day. I served the steaming hot spicy Dum briyani nicely garnished with deep fried onion slices and mint leafs in a beautiful serving bowl. I served chilled Raita in a glass bowl with coriander leaves dressing on it and a plate full of nicely cut cucumber, onions and tomatoes followed it. My husband loved the way the food was presented and I felt proud of my cooking.

There on, I always try to present my food in an interesting and appealing way then just putting it as it is on table. Nice crockery is as important for a dish to look appealing as right amount of salt and spices for a dish to taste good. As the old saying goes that the way to man’s heart starts from his stomach, however for the modern cosmopolitan man the way to his heart goes through his stomach but it always starts from his eyes ;)

P.S. - This post is written for the My Beautiful Food contest organized by Indiblogger and Borosil.

January 12, 2014

Recharge Hair, Recharge Life!!

I am working in office and suddenly a mail comes. Oh, they finalized the day of our office annual party. I know what I am going to wear. Happy in my dreamland thinking about my perfect outfit and doom come the sight of my unruly hair and I get tens. Should I get my hair straighten or blow dry with big curls, Oh god I am so confuse. Yes, this is how I think whenever I hear of any big party or event. I have unruly curly frizzy hair, which never listen to me. Good hair days are very rare for me and on special days my hair being in my control is even rarer. Thank god that we have the ritual of covering head on marriage otherwise I would have ended up looking scary in my wedding pictures with my frizzy mane.
I wore my hair short during my childhood and when I grew up and decided to grow them long, they grew in a big curly jungle. People used to see them and say “wow, you have so much hair” but I silently prayed for silky manageable hair, which I can leave open and feel the wind flowing through them, which looks presentable even at the oddest hour of the day. It’s not like I didn’t do anything to bring my hair in the condition I love them to be. Even now also I keep searching the Internet for way to make hair soft and shiny and I have already tried everything from curd to clay and from banana to besan on them. These things give temporary relief but the amount of time and energy I give for using then is not worth the short term effects they have on my locks.

Every morning when I get ready for work, it takes me more time to style my hair then doing everything else. My husband feels that I take too long to get ready for work and no other girl ever takes this long to get ready. This irritates me to the core, as it’s not that I stand in front of the mirror and dream, I stand there struggling with my hair, pleading to them to behave. And husband someone who is blessed with silky shiny obedient hair will never understand my pain.
Whenever I have to go for any function, my work on my hair starts from the morning itself. One can see me roaming at my home with some hair mask on my head, or spending big bucks in some hair salon to make my hair presentable. And with all this hassle by the time I reach to the party I feel so tired that I never get to enjoy it with my full energy. I spend all the time making my hair look perfect and then I spend the time adjusting them or feeling tired.

I love going to theme parks and enjoy doing the rain dance with friends but the effect of that chlorine water on my hair makes me hesitant at times. Last year we went to a beach resort for New Year celebrations. I go crazy whenever I go to the beach. I went in the water and played a lot. At night during bonfire when other girls were flaunting their beach wave locks I had no choice but to tie my mane in a bun. Next day I was not entering the water because I was worried about my hair. I saw people playing in water and cursed my curls.
Recently we went for a jungle safari and while seating in the jeep when I started covering my hair with a scarf to protect them against wind and dust, a friend made fun of me saying "we are not going to the temple babe, why you covering your head?". I felt bad and angry but I had no choice. I too wanted to leave my hair open and go carefree but my hair won’t let me do that.

I am so much tired of my unruly hair and the efforts I have to make to keep them in place, I pray to god to do some miracle for my hair. I want something which is easy to use, and whose effects last long on my hair, something which can recharge my hair to new life. Something which can save my hair from the entire chemical and heat abuse it has to go through to stay presentable. Something which can reduce the time I give for styling my hair. I will save the time I spend on styling and adjusting my hair and will get to do things I love doing. Then I will be able to go to the beaches, theme parks, jungle safaris and enjoy myself to the fullest without worrying about my hair or looking untidy in the pictures. With recharged hair I will also be able to get ready for office in half the time I take now and will be able to make my husband speechless (I love this reason the best) :P With the hair which is recharged with life my life will get recharged with happiness :)

PS: this post is written for Sunsilk’s contest on Indiblogger.

November 21, 2013

My Immune India

I have been a religious person all my life. Someone who lights a lamp in front of god every morning and asks for “Sadbudhi or Sadmarg pe chalne ki shakti”(English translation “Wisdom to know what is right and power to act right”)  every day. But in recent years I have seen a change in my prayers, now with wisdom and power I also ask for good health for me and my family. In past few years I have met and read about people who are suffering from some health issues, and after seeing how their health problem affected their family emotionally and financially I am petrified. I want no such thing to happen with my loved ones or say with anyone for that matter.

If we go by the different survey reports, in recent years the longevity of human life has increased due to advancements in medical field but the health standards saw a fall. I remember my great grandfather was fitter in his 90’s compare to my dad is in his 50’s. Elders say that this was the effect of pure food and fresh air which they used to get in their time. Now time is different, lifestyles are different, eating habits are different too. If I talk about myself, as a kid I used to be very fit and active. I never bunked school due to poor health, but when I started working and started living on my own, numbers of sick leaves increased. I used to feel tired and lousy, and fell sick many times during the first 2 years of staying away.

Consequently with time I understood that it’s my deteriorated immunity which was resulting in frequent sickness and tiredness. In layman terms, Immunity is the resisting power of the body to different diseases. An individual with stronger immunity is less likely to fall sick in same environment compare to other individual with weaker Immunity. There are many internal and external factors that affect our immunity system, and if we work on these factors we can improve our immunity.

Talking about making India Immune, there are many things which we need to do for ourselves (that is the present of India) and for the younger generation (that is future of India). So based on my own experience (by comparing my lifestyle during childhood and later) here are the things which I feel makes the difference to our immunity system.

·         Eating healthy: Some 20 years back when Pizzas and burgers were not very common in India best snacks we used to have been fresh fruits, fruit chats, sprout bhel etc. Home cooked food and a glass of milk morning and night used to keep our tummy full. Now cola has taken over milk and with more junk food than fruits and vegetables in our plates, we are going low on essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Increasing the intake of leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts will help one improve the immunity.

·         Adequate sleep: Whoever Says sleep is waste of time must not be aware of the importance of sleep. Sleep is like a scheduled servicing for our body and mind. When we sleep our body generates new cells, and heals damaged tissues if any. For kids specially, timely sleep is very impotent for their healthy growth. Nowadays when parents stay glued to their gadgets till mid night kids tend to be awake with them too. Set an example for them; be early to bed and early to rise, and you will be healthier for sure J

·         Physical Activity: Now majority of us stay glued to our gadget most of the time and physical activity is almost zero. Even kids love to play video game more than going out and playing. Actually such physical activities are very important for the body. It makes the body fit and active. For better immunity we should try to incorporate some physical activity in our routine and we should encourage kids to play outdoor as well.

·         Personal Hygiene: Imparting habits like washing hands before food, taking bath when come back from outside and using sanitizer when using water for washing is not available is must. Adapting healthy habits like using kerchief while sneezing and coughing will also help us and people around us stay healthier. Personal hygiene should be part of our day to day routine to achieve better immunity.

·         Clean and Green Environment:Cleanliness is next to godliness” we all have read this as kids but we often tend to forget this. I was born and brought up in a township, which had plenty of trees (trees on sides of the roads) and was very clean too. Authorities there used to take care of the cleaning of the town very well. But when we see the other big and small cities in India cleanliness is a big concern. Piles of garbage on roads are a frequent sight, which gives shelter to mosquitoes and lots of diseases. Just keeping our home clean is not sufficient; we should extend it outside our home too. There are many communities and NGO which are working in this direction; we should try to help them in places of just cursing government for not taking care of things. Planting more trees is also important for us to have fresh air.

·         Go Stress free: Increasing stress level also invites many health problems. In today’s busy and stressful life going for yoga and pranayamas will help a lot in controlling the stress. With increasing competition and pressure to perform today even kids have more stress then we used to have before. Childhood is very precious time of life so we should motivate kids to perform but should not pressurize them to fulfill our dreams.

·         Go the Organic way: With all the above things I can’t forget the important part of natural remedies and supplements in my childhood. My mom never used to make me swallow tablets for every problem. Turmeric with milk, honey, ginger etc were some of the common home remedies we used to use for cough and cold. I have seen my grandparents eating a spoonful of Dabar chyawanprash (mixture of herbs and spices, which claims to improve immunity) every morning after the breakfast. Even we were fed the same every day, especially during winters having chyawanprash in morning and night was a must. After my marriage also when my mom visited me first time she got a big jar of Dabur chyawanprash with her. My husband catches cold very easily and giving him chyawanprash was a common suggestion everyone gave me, and it really worked. Now also I believe a lot on the natural remedies and supplements. They do improve our immunity without having any side effects like medicines.


With all these small-small lifestyle changes we can make our life healthier. Kids, who are the future of India, will make the future brighter only when they are healthy. And to stay away from diseases having strong immune system is must. I request everyone to impart such healthy habits in kids so that they and the future of India get stronger immunity.
PS: This post is written for #ImmuneIndia contest on Indiblogger for Dabar chyawanprash. And I strongly believe that a healthy kid can only give a healthy future to India.

Image Source: Google



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