New Year: New Wardrobe by a Personal Stylist

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My personal Snob Box! Got a sequins top, poufy skirt,  golden clutch, earrings and necklace.

There is nothing better for a lady to begin her new year with some new and exciting outfits for the upcoming year. Now, if you are like me and A) usually don’t have the time to shop and/or B) end up the buying the same style clothing, you should try Snob Box!

What is Snob Box? Well, Snobbox basically is a personal styling service that sends you a box of 5 items (usually one complete set that includes a top, bottom, earrings, necklace and bag) that is personally picked up for you by a professional stylist. This service enables one to experiment with looks, latest trends, and styles all in the comfort of your house.

How does it work?

  1. Go to the website and fill out a quick style questionnaire about yourself. The service allows you to choose a price point as well for the box with the basic box and all 5 items being between Rupees 3000-4500.
  2. Select a date of when you want your box and wait to be surprised.
  3. When the box arrives, try on all the items and keep what you want and return what you don’t. The best part? The courier/shipment company comes back and picks up the box so you never have to step out of the house.

I ordered my first Snobbox a few weeks ago. I was so elated to see that this service had finally started in India, and I wasn’t disappointed. I appreciated that my stylist actually called me to talk about my personal style and preferences, and for the most part got my box quite right. I kept 3 out of 5 items.

The only draw back to this service was that I sent a few emails to the main email address regarding my return and never got a reply. It wasn’t  a pressing issue so I let it go, but it is something to think about for this startup as it expands to new cities (they current service Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune & Delhi).

Receiving my Snob Box was like giving myself a gift 🙂 I look forward to trying their services again when I need to add some new pieces to my wardrobe.

 

 

2015 in Review

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2015

As 2015 winds down, I just wanted to take a minute to recap and reflect on the year gone by. I thought it would nice to reminisce over the wonderful memories of the past year. So while we countdown top songs, movies, personalities, events, etc., I thought I would fun and apt to recount my personal memories.

  1. The year started off with a bang with a trip to Bangkok. It was so special to show my better half all the joints and food I grew up around.
  2. My two year stint with Teach for India came to close in April. You may recount, I had many ups and downs with this journey but I always look back and say “I am glad I did it.”
  3. BIGGEST thing of 2015: blessed with the most adorable and loving baby girl. I can go on and on about having the opportunity to be a mother to such a wonderful child, but I won’t. But it is the BIGGEST and best thing to happen to me.
  4. Speedy recovery from C-Section (anyone who knows anything about undergoing surgery knows how important and special this is).
  5. Got back into running and completed a half marathon! Running is a part of me and right now it’s the only thing I truly get to do for myself, so it definitely is a highlight for the year.
  6. Three years of waking up to an awesome partner. I don’t say enough but he is really too good for me.
  7. Having a great family that I got to see quite often.
  8. Goan ki Goris and Hiram Girls! My girlfriends from across the globe that keep me going.
  9. Finally, but not the least, having the opportunity to continue to write. This blog has been a part of our lives for the past 3 years now and while we might not write as often as we should, it is a true joy being able to share our thoughts and voice.

Life is made of the small moments. The days might seem really long, but the year is short. Make the most of it. With a fabulous 2015 closing out, I look forward to an even more exciting, fulfilling, and loving 2016!

Food Trucks in Pune

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One of my favorite shows on Food Network is Eat Street; and I just sit there and drool over all the greasy, juicy and creative food served. The show always leaves me hungry and raiding my kitchen fridge. Over the past few years, food trucks have been popping up all across the globe. The food truck trend was just catching up in Cleveland before I made the move to India. But, one might say that India was probably one of the first countries to have food trucks because we have many vendors serving delicious food through their mini stalls or thellas (as we call them in Hindi). I think what makes the current scenario of food trucks stand apart is that most of them are run by budding entrepreneurs and culinary artists who set out to serve new, inventive and delicious dishes to the more food conscious and aware customer.

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Cajun Chicken Pita Wrap


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The awesome guys at Street Meat

So, again thanks to social media and how its become the new way to hear about new and upcoming places, I heard about “Street Meat.” I stalked their Instagram page and realised that they were officially launching their food truck this weekend with a simple menu and pay what you think the food is worth offer. Hello! What is not to like about this? I couldn’t contain my excitement and texted my husband at work about this. I told him that we “have to” try this place and he, being he, simply agreed.

So come Sunday, we strapped the baby in the car seat, hopped into the car, braved the mini downpour and crazy traffic and found ourselves at this neat little food truck. Street Meat’s menu was of the following 1) Thai Stuffed Gol Guppas (pani puris) 2) Goan Chorizo Bra Pao 3) Cajun Chicken Pita Wraps and 4) Korean Pulled Pork Burger. The Indian twist on these international cuisines was refreshing and mouth watering. We ordered one of each and couldn’t stop raving from the first bite. Yum, yum, yum!  The two partners running the place were friendly and nice to chit chat with and that made the entire experience more fun. For my first official food truck experience in Pune, I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

This weekend was a foodilicous (yes, I made this word up) weekend for me. From stuffing face at a family friend’s wedding to trying out a brand new food truck joint in Pune, the weekend left me feeling happy, satiated, adventurous, and a bit more snug is usually good fitting jeans.

Non Resident Indian becoming a Resident

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So I have been in India now for three years! Can you believe it? Somedays it feels like the time just flew by but other days, oh did it drag. I will be honest, I have had my fair share (ok, more than that) of “why did I come here and what am I doing here…etc.” rantings and sobbing sessions which come with some of my biggest tears. Having been a NRI (non-resident Indian) for pretty much most of my life I suddenly find myself being a resident. But am I? Therefore I thought, why not do a post on somethings or idiosyncrasies of us NRIs that are finding ourselves becoming almost residents.

NRI

  1. No matter how many languages we may speak or how much our Hindi improves over time we will never ever master the Indian number system. Now imagine us trying to do our so called “haggling” with the vegetable guys and we come to the final price and are clueless. So how do we overcome this? We pretend to have a serious face so we give the impression that we are thinking of whether we are getting a fair price when we are actually having a mini panic attack trying to decipher the quoted number.
  2. Our accent will always be different or we will use different accents to talk to different people. Yes, we do speak in an Indianized accent to our Indian friends and will have our American/British/Aussie one for our other friends.
  3. Another thing that drives us crazy is how to write dates….is it the day/month/year system or month/day/year one? I can never figure this out so I always, always spell out the month when I have to write dates.
  4. We probably know more about Bollywood and Hindi songs than we would like to admit. Actually, we can probably win a game of Hindi movie trivia.
  5. Most of us will admit that we NEVER EVER (lemme repeat that…never ever) thought we would live in India. Let me just give you a real life example of my friends and I. We never ever thought we would be in India and 10-15 years later we are ALL here.
  6. Our understanding of our own Indian family tree is non existent. Who is chacha (uncle) and who is mama (also uncle but from your mother’s side…see what I am talking about) becomes a blur when we attend full family events. We can’t even master our own family tree so think about when it comes to our husband’s family. On such instances we just smile 🙂
  7. Coming back to the topic of buying vegetables. We somehow tend to know the names of vegetables in only one language or will forget how to say it in Hindi. True story: I was making a list of vegetables to buy for my help as I was busy, and while making the list I just couldn’t remember how to say Eggplant (Brinjal) in Hindi. So I wrote eggplant on the list and passed it along. My poor help went crazy trying to figure out what I wanted: an egg or a plant.
  8. We are obsessed with fitted bed sheets. I mean if you have to get bedsheets they have to be fitted ones. No questions asked.

So there is it. I am sure I can add a few more. But these mannerisms make our time in India quite interesting, confusing, and sometimes, ever so frustrating. If you want to add more idiosyncrasies to the list please share!

Tips to survive Indian Parties

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Mini Lettuce Wraps

Mini Lettuce Wraps

Mushroom Bruschettas

Mushroom Bruschettas

So parties in India have their own charm – something that sets them apart from what you might find in other cultures.

Having attended and hosted a few of them over the past years here is my take on what happens at them. Fair warning though, you might not agree with my opinion.

  1. No party starts on time. Even if you tell people to come by 7 (when ideally you want them to show up by 7:30), no one will come before 8:30/9 PM
  2. Food is the most important thing at the party. You can have great drinks, music, games, etc. But everyone remembers just the food. So don’t be surprised if while deciding on a party menu you get into arguements with family 😉
  3. Aunties invariably always find or “help themselves” to the kitchen of the hosting house. And while some do help, most do a great job in highlighting your shortcomings. On the bright side, this makes for a great practice in self control and patience.
  4. There will always be the one guest who decides that they can make their entrance felt way past the standard 1.5 hour delay.
  5. There will, also, always be the one that decides the party can just keep going on and on. On such instances, take turns heading up to your respective bedrooms and hope the guest gets a clue.
  6. Definition of good hosts  = make sure everyone eats and don’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to second or third helpings.
  7. If you have babies, wait for it, guests will think it’s their right to wake the baby up because they came to see the baby. It doesn’t matter that they came way past the baby’s bedtime. Yoga comes to the rescue again 🙂
  8. There will be the one guest who will sulk till they get their fair share of attention. Please be ready with topics that are of great interests of these guests.
  9. Good party guests means you smile continuously, speak with everyone, and don’t complain even if food is served past midnight.
  10. In Indian parties there will be a clear divide between the gents and ladies of the parties. They have their own separate corners and dare you make the mistake of sitting on the other side. However, this custom is slowly changing 🙂

All this apart, these parties are fun and if you can pull off one as a good host, then KUDOS to you. Can you resonate with any of these party trends?