Category Archives: Lifestyle

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.

 

 

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?

Bloggers & Friends Meet

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Bloggers & Friends Meet

Remember last year when I said that Pallavi and I had a chance to meet up after a year and a half? That was the sad state of our meet ups. However, this year things have been different in the very best way. Pallavi and I have had the chance to catch up multiple times. Most recently, we have caught up 3 times in 3 months and thats a HUGE improvement from our previous state.

First meet with the kiddos

First meet with the kiddos

Being a stay at home mom, I have had the opportunity to come to my parents place in Navi Mumbai quite frequently, and Pallavi, for the weekdays, stays may be 20 mins away. We alternated between meeting up either at her place or mine and I cannot describe how wonderful it felt to be able to do that. Whatsapp allows us to be updated on each others’ lives but nothing can replace a face to face meeting.

Our meets took me back to our childhood in Thailand where we spent countless afternoons, evenings and nights at each others’ places gossiping, reading, napping, eating, watching movies, etc. Parents wouldn’t worry about our whereabouts because they knew we had the company of each other. Our talks would be on the most random topics that would make just perfect sense to us. It was similar this time we talked about anything and everything. It’s surreal that we still talk the same way even with our kids around. I think when it comes to childhood friends, you immediately let go of all your inhibitions and become the same kiddo again.

Proof of poor Selfie skills

Proof of poor Selfie skills

I hope to make my visits to Navi Mumbai more frequently and that those trips involve a meet up with Pallavi. Once a chaddi buddy (childhood buddy) always a chaddi buddy. 🙂

P.S. Please excuse our pictures, we, suddenly, have become the worst picture takers.

Wednesday Evenings

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A bit delayed, but this is my version of a typical mid-week evening/night. I consider my evenings starting from the time Vivaan wakes up from his nap (around 4:30 pm) until he goes to sleep at night (around 10 pm).

Usually by the time my son is awake, the maid also shows up to do the dishes. In the meantime, I get my son to either have a glass of milk or have a snack, and we play for a while and do some reading. Once, the maid leaves I get dinner ready before we head out to the playground (around 6:30 pm) at the condo complex next door for around an hour. If my husband gets home around this time, he comes along with us, or then he tries to join us when he gets back.

Reading a fav: Gingerbread Man

Reading a fav: Gingerbread Man

Today however my husband was back early, but our son just did not want to go to the playground. So, we played with blocks, read a few books, and got him drink his milk. I got dinner prepared, and we decided to go for a drive instead and pick a few eatables. It usually takes us a good 20 minutes to get Vivaan to dress up and brush his hair. Comparatively, today was relatively quick, with him just picking out one tee shirt and a single pair of pants.

On the way back from the supermarket however, my son changed his mind and wanted to go play so we headed to the playground. He absolutely loves going on the swings, and walking up the slides and coming down on his stomach.

Slide time

Slide time

Once we got back, my husband got my son cleaned up and I baked a quick microwave cake. I was thinking of trying a vanilla but my son wanted chocolate, so chocolate it was. Plus, he loves cutting cakes and having everyone sing Happy birthday for me. Today was probably the 10th time this year.WP_20150715_029

Vivaan skyped with his grandparents for a bit, which we usually do once a day and then the three of us sat down for dinner. Vivaan is getting better with his meals, and I don’t have to entertain him or distract him in order to get him to eat. So, we can all finally eat dinner at the same time!

And since he woke up from his afternoon nap early, Vivaan was ready to sleep earlier and was dozing off by 9:30, which is completely rare for him. But, gave me time to post. Good night folks!