Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dealing with a Plaster!

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For the first time in my life, I have a plaster/cast on my left foot. The reason? A sprain that didn’t completely heal due to slight negliance on my part. Common sense tells us that rest is the cure to a sprain…and did I give my foot the required rest? No! This has resulted in me having to wear a plaster for the next three weeks.

It’s been a day (not even) of having the plaster on and all I can think about is getting it off. I was so used to running around the entire house, school, etc and now I am tied to the bed. Even removing jeans, which I can say goodbye to for the next 3 weeks, was a excurtiating process. The orthopaedic doctor painted an extremely grave picture of what could happen if I don’t rest my foot….to the extent that I might have to undergo surgery, etc.

As I try to cope with life with a plaster, I am sure I will encounter several frustrations and few joys (everyone working for me;)). For now, The hardest part is the acceptance-that I will have a cast on and won’t be able to do all the things that I enjoyed. I know it’s for the better, if my foot doesn’t heal I might not be able to run consistently…which is an issue for me, but wrapping my head around it is hard.

For those who have any tips…please do share 🙂

Sephora Haul

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Over the holidays I placed an order online with Sephora since my cousin was coming down for a visit to India. Buying makeup from the US turns out cheaper as is, but since I placed my order around Christmas I managed quite a bit of discounts as well.DSC00475

My order consisted of seven items, in addition to samples and a free Lip Lines Clutch with contained 12 samples.

Smashbox Blush Rush in Heartbreak: I absolutely love this color on myself, and have been using it for a few years. Since I have run out of it, this seemed a perfect purchase. The color is a dark bronze with slight shimmer, and looks great with dark eyes and pale lips.

DSC00476L’Occitaine Hand Cream in Cherry Blossom: I always carry a travel size tube in my bag since I am very OCD about moisturizing, and I have almost run out of my favorite Soap & Glory. Anyone who has ever used L’Occitane products know that it produces some good quality products. I have been using their body lotions over the summer for a while now.

nailsincNails Inc Autumn Winter Collection: I am not exactly sure why I ordered this other than it having six nail colors, making it convenient. I do like the colors though, and they are one that I would use on a regular basis. Plus I have read some really good reviews about their nail colors.

Nails Inc Feather Effect: This did look quite good online, but having tried it I am disappointed. To achieve the desired effect you need to put in excess of five coats.

DSC00478Nails Inc Beaded Polish: I have been dying to try to caviar/beaded nail colors since they were launched and I just could not find them here in India. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally try them for myself, and as with the feather effect this was a disappointment. The bead are actually pretty tiny, and instead of a beaded effect it just turns out like badly applied nail color.

smashboxglossSmashbox Wondervision Lip Gloss Set: I absolutely love Smashbox! And their holiday gift packs are always worth purchasing. You can never go wrong with their glosses-the color is perfect and it does not leak when you close the cap. No one wants a sticky makeup bag. This is a set of five, from pale pink to blood red.

DSC00480Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream: I have been using the travel size I received with some duty free purchases and it’s excellent for daily use. I am an all out Clinique fan when it comes to my face. I wash off with the Clinique face bar for combination skin, follow it with the scrub, toner, and finally the moisturizing cream. I hardly ever deviate from their products and the couple of times I have tried experimentation my face has broken out.

liplines clutchLip Lines Clutch with 12 Samples: Sephora usually has daily or weekly gifts that you can choose if your purchase hits a minimum amount. Some of the items I received were Bumble and Bumble oil, Desire by Dolce and Gabbana, and Floral by Gucci.

Finally I had the option of using three free samples with my purchase and I opted for Especially Escada by Escada and Desire by Dolce and Gabbana. And I am in love with Desire-definitely purchasing a full size the next I am at duty free. It’s extremely similar to Allure by Chanel, which is one of my all-time favorite scents.

I used to shop so much back in Bangkok, but since moving back to India I kind of miss the whole experience associated with it. The options are quite limited, and the malls are terribly tiny. So, it’s mostly online shopping now or waiting until I make my trip back home. Or I ask my brother to shop for me-he is amazing that way!

Sula Vineyards

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Once I got the college beer drinking days out of my system, I become a fan of wine. It is still my drink of choice. Ask me which wine I prefer and I will immediately reply saying white wine, preferably a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Now, did I have any clue what went behind making these wines and how does one even tell if a wine is of good quality? NOPE!

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Well, all of that changed this past weekend. We took a day trip up to the infamous Sula Vineyards just outside the city of Nashik. We left Pune at 6:30 AM and reached Nashik by 11:30 AM (we made good time considering our stop for breakfast as well).

The first thing that struck me about Sula was just its layout and organisation (you will know what I mean by this in a minute). I half expected just some shabby vineyard with a restaurant to the side. Sula Vineyards offered a nice and excellent wine tour of their factory and informative tasting session. It was comparable to several of the microbrewery tours I took in the US. Our guide was fun, knowledgeable and left us with some neat trivia about the company and its’ owner. Did you know that before they grew grapes, the land used to be used for growing mangoes? Or that the climate in Nashik and some parts of California is quite similar and therefore they are able to sustain a vineyard there? Last fact…Sula actually is an eco-friendly company by trying to reuse their products/waste. I was quite impressed.

Factory Tour

Factory Tour

During our wine tasting session, we learned about the 4 S of wines….see, swirl, smell and sip. The tasting reaffirmed my choice…I definitely am more of a white wine person. From the offerings at Sula, the Champagne Brut and Riesling were my favourite. For those with families, there are also two restaurants, one Indian and one Italian, at the Vineyard that offer some delicious food.

In the tasting room

In the tasting room

I also had a chance to met up with Pallavi, my blogging partner, and her adorable 9 month old son!!! We had a lunch together at La Pizzeria at Sula and it just felt so good to be able to see your childhood friend after so long!

Bloggers Reunited

Bloggers Reunited

It was a wonderful day at Sula. I would highly recommend a day trip to those close to Mumbai, but for those traveling from Pune…may be try finding accommodation near Sula as the drive might be a bit strenuous. Sula does offer their own housing as well, you would just have to plan your trip well in advance.

I am not sure when I will get to visit Sula again, but will keep sipping on some delicious and fruity Riesling till then 😉

Posing against the interesting architecture at Sula

Posing against the interesting architecture at Sula

Matrimonials: Bride/Groom Wanted

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Two of my cousins just got married in the last 15 days, my husband’s cousin is getting married over the weekend, and family friends are getting married left, right and center. It is officially wedding season in India!

For those with children of marriageable age (22 for girls and 25 for boys) this is also the perfect time to find potential partners. There is always a friend of a neighbor who has a cousin, who has an uncle, who has a well-qualified daughter that would be perfect for your son.

And, so and in the spirit of the season I have decided to impart advice through what I have learnt about the marriage process while living here in India.

The Grooms-to-be

  • This species can range in age from their mid 20’s up until late 40’s. And so their marital status also ranges from single to divorced.
  • They are also 8 times out of 10 listed as handsome.
  • They are always looking for a bride who is fair.
  • She also needs to be homely, well-educated, and working. Basically, an Indian Superwoman.
  • Also, she should be in her early 20’s.

g6The Brides-to-be

  • They are usually looking for engineers or doctors. The MBA fad is so four years back. And if you have a government job, you are golden!
  • They need to also be “suitable”.
  • If the groom is in the private sector, it is preferred that he is residing in the US. Oh, and you have a Greencard? Consider the match final!
  • They should also be smart, which is not the same as being intelligent.

If you are about to start your arranged marriage quest for a boy or a girl, I hope you will see the funny side to this as well. Your special someone is out there, right after you sift through all the twisted and shocking characters first.

Teaching: Magicians of 5B

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It’s February! In two months, my first school year as a teacher will come to an end. In a month’s time all my 5th graders will be giving their final exams and gearing up for 6th grade. Wow, where did the time go? Back in June, I thought I had an endless amount with the students, and now I am constantly wondering where did the time go?

Term 2 of the school year really just zips pass you-with all the extra circular activities, Sports Day/Annual Day/Republic Day, etc. time spent in the classroom is minimal. I was so worried about finishing required content with my students, that I actually overlooked some of the change they were displaying. It was not till a close friend and co-fellow pointed them out that I actually stepped back to notice them.

P.T. Time

P.T. Time

My kids might not be displaying the best math mastery or reading fluency, things that I am not undermining, but they are showing signs of embodying more important characteristics.

Science Class experiment with magnets

Science Class experiment with magnets

The magicians have started forming groups themselves for P.T. without any fights (back in June I would have the whole school complaining about my class in P.T.), coming to decisions as to who will be team captain, ensuring everyone gets a turn, skipping their own lunch to help a team mate, to talking about which values will help them achieve their long term goals, and asking about colleges and new topics beyond the borders of the textbooks.

Vandana Chavan visits the class and shares her knowledge of being a global citizen

Vandana Chavan visits the class and shares her knowledge of being a global citizen

These might be small and inconsistent changes, but they are glimmers of hope. We all know that everyone is much more beyond what a grade shows, but sometimes when you constantly pushed for high mastery, you overlook these small but powerful developments. I am having fun in the classroom with the magicians and I hope I continue to step back and notice the students beyond just the marks.