Product Review – Spice Rack

I am a complete home organization freak. The moment I see clutter in my house, I literally go crazy. But I’ve made peace with it now, since I have a kid who is exploring each n every corner of our house!!

Cooking is one of the stress-busters for me. The aroma of spices just makes me smile. And when the prepared dishes turn out awesome, my day is made!! Kitchen is the place where I can literally sleep. So, obviously, I need my kitchen items to be perfectly organized. I am still juggling with some of them, but I can definitely say that spices in my kitchen are now sorted, that too with an extra edge!!

Being an Indian, there is a numerous variety of spices we use in day-to-day cooking, like, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, coriander seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, etc etc. The list is endless. Apart from this, I also love exploring and playing with different herbs like oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme etc. So, the spices in my kitchen needed an organizer which could not only fit in this huge variety, but also add a little sparkle to my kitchen.

Well, the hunt started. And I stumbled upon hundreds of different organizers. I didn’t want the wall mountable ones, so the research narrowed down to the stackable or tower organizers. To be honest, initially I had thought of ordering the revolving tower organizer, since my mom and sister use the same. But, I kept looking for something different.

And after some more research, there I was. Tada!! The Kamenstein Criss-Cross 18-Jar Bamboo Countertop Spice Rack Organizer. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It had enough spice jar bottles that I need on my countertop (I store some inside the drawer as well) and it looked really attractive. The bonus was that it came with pre-existing spices. Plus they give free spice refills for 5 years (which I am not sure I’ll be going to use or not). But the variety of spices they offer is great. I am now playing with a lot of herbs now, which I wouldn’t have bought any day otherwise. This is how it looks in my kitchen.

 

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The glass bottles are of pretty good quality and size. The shaker openings are decently large enough. The lids closure has never been a problem. I have refilled some spices from the rack with the ones that I use more often. I have used new round labels and they also stick perfectly on the bottles. This rack can fit different brands of standard round and square spice glass bottles like McCormic, Spice Islands, Trader Joe’s bottles etc, so its easy to reuse in case you lose or break the existing jar. Also, the rack is wall mountable, so its an added bonus for those who want it.

Last, but not the least, the bamboo adds a different element to the kitchen. It looks really stylish yet conservative. Overall, five stars to this product. Here is the affiliate link to the product:

https://www.amazon.com/Kamenstein-5085178-Criss-Cross-Countertop-Organizer/dp/B005PP2LCU/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

I have purchased this product from amazon and am really happy with it.

Adios amigos.

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The day the earth stood still – A tiny tale

“I love you”, he said. She blushed. He smiled. Love was in the air. Sparks were flying. When suddenly, Kabir feels a pat on his face. “Stop daydreaming, you moron!! Go and say it to her before she leaves.”, said his friend Roy.

She was standing outside the cafe. Kabir rushed towards her, but something stopped him. A very handsome man came towards Ayesha and hugged her tightly. He gave her a kiss on the forehead and hugged her tightly again. Kabir knew it was over.

Time flew by. Two years later, Kabir went to attend a wedding function with his wife. Suddenly his gaze got fixed on someone.

Yes. It was Ayesha. She was still the same. Beautiful and full of life. Their eyes met. She came towards him. But, the same old handsome man appeared again and hugged Ayesha. “This is Kabir, my classmate. And Kabir, that’s my elder brother. Good to see you. Bye!”, says Ayesha. Kabir was speechless!!

He stood there feeling like a fool when Ayesha and her brother turned around to go. But then, Kabir unknowingly overheard their conversation.

Brother: Ayesha, isn’t he the guy you always had crush on? You could never gather the courage to tell him in college. Why didn’t you tell him today?

Ayesha: Forget it brother. I got to know from a friend that he’s married now.

That day, at that very moment, the earth stood still for Kabir!!

New Year Resolution 2019

 

It’s the time of the year once again when everyone is posting about their new year resolutions. And it made me think hard about what mine should be. Well, I was ready with a long list, but then I realized there are lists that are made every year, which are also forgotten by the end of the year. Then again a new list is made, and the cycle continues. So what’s the whole point of new year resolutions?

If I think deeply, the list is almost always the same for many people every year (for example, losing weight, regular exercise, yoga, pursuing a hobby, eating healthy etc etc etc). But if we notice carefully, there is only one missing link here. That missing link is ROUTINE. We all set goals, but don’t stick to those goals.

The funny thing is that we give up on them one by one, and we don’t even realize when that happened. So, that explains the importance of the fact that sticking to a routine is what matters.

And that’s how my New Year’s resolution got its form this year. Sticking to my routine, not giving up on my goals. Be it fitness, be it skincare, be it blogging or be it healthy eating. Yes, there can be few misses here and there, but what matters the most is coming back fast. Happy New Year to all the beautiful people. Till then.

Adios Amigos

The fitness journal

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It all started as a joke between me and my sister, the 30 days fitness challenge (actually, #30dayfitnesschallenge as I love to call it), but it has become an important part of our daily routine now. We had put on some weight in the last few months, so this is how it all began. It has been few days, but I have already started feeling the difference it has made to my body and mind.

The benefits of working out are known to everyone, so I won’t go over them, but here’s my bit for all the people who give up continuing the routine, especially the stay-at-home-mommies. Since I was in the same phase, I couldn’t even think of going to the gym. So, doing workout at home was the only option.

I researched a lot before starting my journey, watched a lot of videos on the internet and finally bookmarked what would work for me.

The most important step was maintaining a journal. Noting down what exercises I did each day and for how long or for how many repetitions of each. This simple buy (small notepad) from dollar store has proven to be a life changer for me!! With each passing day, I am getting better and better. My stamina has improved and I try to push my limits every time. There were few no workout days as well, but the journal inspires me to start again. Keep the journal at an approachable place, I usually keep it by my bedside so that I check it every night and every morning. Just browsing through the pages gives me a push to start the day’s fitness hour. I am sharing a snippet of my journal in the picture.

We women tend to ignore our health as we become mothers. But I think that’s the best gift we can give ourselves and our families if we can maintain our health.

The move from Pune to California was very big for us. Being a Punjabi, our life literally revolves around food. The conversations start from food and end on food too. So, the move made sure that we gobbled up everything on our favorite list in India, since we were gonna miss that in California. And after coming to California, we were overwhelmed by the variety of food that this state has to offer. So, of course few more extra pounds got welcomed on our bodies. But I’ve realized that maintaining good health shouldn’t be a priority, it should be a part of life, part of daily routine.

Journaling has become a lifestyle for me now, as being fit is. I will be sharing my workout videos/posts in the coming weeks. So, get up, get going and push your limits. And write it down too. Give yourself the journal inspiration. Till then.

Adios amigos.

The famous Indian curry paste

This is the most versatile curry paste used across many Indian dishes. The smell of onion, ginger and garlic is hard to resist at almost every other Indian household. The sprinkling of dried masala powder along with turmeric lends a fresh aromatic flavor to any Indian dish!!

But then, preparing this takes time. Sometimes, when we are having time crunch, because of office work, deadlines or if we have small kids at home who just demand our time and attention, then it becomes difficult to prepare everything from scratch. So we look for other options like instant noodles or ordering something from a restaurant. While sometimes this is doable, but not too frequently.

That time this pre-prepared curry paste comes to your rescue. Prepare a batch over the weekend as per your requirement and use it across the week two-three times as per the quantity.

Most of the Indian ladies would find this post too simple to share, but those who have never tried it and are looking for such alternatives should definitely give it a go.

 

******       INGREDIENTS       ******

Onions (Big) – 2 1/2 (otherwise take 4-5 if using medium sized ones)

Garlic cloves – 7-8

Ginger – 2 inch piece

Green chilies – 3 (or as per spice level)

Tomatoes – 4-5 (medium sized)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – To taste

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

 

******       METHOD       ******

Start by adding oil to a skillet. Add green chilies, roughly chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté till they turn light brown. Add in the onions, and sauté for 5-10 minutes, till the onions start turning light brown. Add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder (you can prepare at home or use the readymade garam masala). Sauté for 5-7 more minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes to the mixture. Sauté for 5-10 minutes more. Turn off the stove.

Let me mixture cool down. Once cooled, make a fine paste of this mixture in a blender/mixer. Sauté this curry paste in the same skillet for 15-20 minutes or till the oil separates from the gravy. Once oil separates, turn off the stove, cool the curry paste and store it in the refrigerator and use through the week, this can suffice 2-3 gravies/curries.

You can now use this paste to prepare chickpeas, black chana and kidney beans  as well. This can also be used as a base for watery curry (matar paneer, aaloo matar etc) or cream based gravy (paneer makhani, butter chicken etc).

So go ahead ladies and give it a try. Trust me, with work pressure and also kids at home, this will definitely turn out to be a savior!! Till then.

Adios Amigos

Father – The unsung hero

 

Fathers, unlike mothers, are the unsung heroes to their children. They stand through the thick and thin, without anyone knowing that they are doing a lot in the background. A father and a daughter especially share a beautiful relationship.

A relationship beyond words. A relationship beyond time. He treats her like a princess, yet makes her a warrior too. He helps her build a castle, yet makes her capable of building one herself too. He protects her from bad men, yet gives her the freedom to choose too. He reads her fairy-tales, yet wants her to be the knight in shining armor herself. He wants her to fall in love, but also wants her to get back to life if she gets heartbroken.

He is her first hero, her first love. The father is the person she looks up to on how a lady should be treated. If her nurtures his wife with love, love is what is seen throughout the family. His relationship with his wife, if beautiful, paves the way for the daughter to have positive outlook on relationships.

No matter what happens in life, the daughter will always have a special place in her father’s heart ♥️

A bond, oh so special, oh so beautiful!! A bond of lifetime. The light shining between them, is the light that keeps me alive.

The puzzle

There are so many milestones that we, as parents, keep on waiting for, for our kids. The first word, the first walk, the first tooth etc. But this was one of those that I was not waiting for, rather it just happened, and made me realize, “Oh, another of her milestones!!”

Myra loves to play with puzzles. The ones that are the easiest to play are her favorites. She spends hours in library fixing the numerous puzzle games for kids there. So, we brought her some at home as well. She was able to solve many of them. But few which she found complicated, she wouldn’t even try. Well, but a game is a game. And when the kids want to play, they will play it, no matter how. So, she found her momma to her rescue for those puzzles.

Until one day, when she chooses to do it herself. Since mamma needed her time to cook biryani, the baby doll decided she wanted to try the complex puzzle.

An hour passed by, it was silence from her side. Another half an hour passed silently, and finally there was a loud shout, “I did it!!”.. I rushed towards her thinking what on the earth happened. And to my surprise, the puzzle was complete.

Well, it was just a game that she played. But for me, this was something she tried, which she never wanted to do till that time. I was really feeling proud of her, but it also made me realize that she’s growing up. And there will be many such phases or incidents which will happen in future, which might not count as milestones for some people, but for a mother, they are some of the biggest ones.

I really want to tell Myra that no matter what happens in life, never ever give up. Also, failing is not losing, you lose when you never try. So, keep trying the puzzles, keep connecting the dots, keep learning in life. Just like you did now!!

Do you also have any such milestone(s) to share about your kid(s)? Please mention in comments and let us know!!

Adios amigos!!