Monday, 31 December 2012

Hooked On To

Hello all! I can't believe it's the last day of 2012 already. I won't say it was a bad year, it brought some pretty awesome moments for me, and most of it was spent amidst our extensive family, and when you're part of a nuclear one, nothing can top that.
Socially and politically, this year was an eye-opener. Most new year celebrations have been put off as the nation mourns the death of its brave-heart
"I want to live," the girl had told her brother and mother when they first met her on December 19, three days after she was brutally gang-raped and assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi. 
You may be no more, but your spirit and your courage awaken us to act, to speak out, to fight for a country where every girl, every woman is safe in the truest sense of the world. The government may have failed us, but I pray that the dawn of a new year shall bring with itself better sense and compassion for those that have been elected as our representatives. Intellectual innocence can no longer be an excuse for the dearth of laws for the safety of womankind.

And while every news bulletin brought gloomy news continuously, here are few things that brought me joy.

Cheap fairy lights in my bedroom- I love how this gives my haven a warm glow. Most nights, I just curl up with a blanket and lie awake gazing at the lights, till my eyes unfocus them to a pretty bokeh. Totally magical.

Getting adventurous with 5 blank canvases- There is a tiny element of rebel in following summer trends in the middle of winter. So I painted my nails with a cool mint shade from Colorama, and tried my hand at newspaper nails. Excuse the uneven application please.

Chocolate cookies- Me and milk don't exactly get along, but the cookies are awesome solo too. The flecks you see here are pressed oats which I added as a feeble attempt to pass these off as healthy. Recipe coming soon. I gave half the batch to my friend An on her birthday. She's a total choco-maniac. Love you An! :}

Pasta with mushrooms- This was an experiment, and I guess healthy because I omitted cream and cheese. Its tasted fine nonetheless, probably because of all the herbs. Looking forward to making it again as even Papa liked it, which is definitely a feather in my cap, hehehe! Recipe will be available on C&D soon.

Sunsets- This particular one was captured as we returned from a get-together via the highway. My camera didn't quite capture its beauty, but the view was phenomenal. The hills you see here are a part of the Dalma range, at the foothills of which my hometown is nestled. 

Snowy Santa Nail Art

Snowy Santa Nail Art

So, I bought this really bright cherry red nail paint in the happy high of Christmas (along with a cherry red lippie). I have no idea why I did so. Probably because I was seeing so much red everywhere for the past few weeks...lights, Xmas stars, tree ornaments, Santa outfits, streamers...All over. And they all looked so pretty! (I am usually the girl who keeps her distance from blazing bright in your face red).
Anyway, though the red lipstick does brighten up the face in seconds alone, I really haven't had the courage to walk out wearing it yet... Let's hope I do soon.
Hence, I was so determined to make at least the nail paint work!! And since it was Christmas and the whole holiday season I did something fun with it. (Also I was getting very bored at 11 in the night, sleep goddess wasn't visiting me and I had some time to spare). Hope you guys like it!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Maybelline Colorama Coral Chic

It is so bad living in a place that's just 5 minutes away from Health and Glow (its a chain of stores that stocks bath and body products, make up, chocolates, make up tools, scrunchies, clips etc etc etc.... You get the idea right?).  So, coming back to why its bad. There I am taking a stroll down the road when I pass by the store and sometimes I give in to my temptation and go in (saying firmly to myself "I won't buy anything but the essentials I need ! No no... Won't go near the make up counters!" But the store isn't too big and somehow you have to cross them on your way to the billing counter (clever H&G people!!) and you can't help a sneak peek.
Okay, I admit, I find excuses to look *guilty face* .

Maybelline Colorama Coral Chic, maybelline coral chic, colorama coral chic

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Rocking Little Christmas Concert!

For over 6 months, the students of "Wings school of Music" (where I go to learn the drums and the guitar....though I haven't been going for the drum lessons since a while now), were preparing to put up this beautiful christmas concert on the evening of December 15th .
The practices held every Saturday and Sunday, always managed to make my weekends special. And now that the concert is finally over, I am happy (since it was appreciated by all and was a huge hit) but I know I will miss those days of laughter, music, little kids doing crazy hilarious stuff, jokes and warmth.
I don't think it was an easy task though for the principal to prepare us all. I'm sure he got some grey hairs after the concert got over... ;) And thanks to him I played the bass guitar.... *Reasonably decently I hope*. It was a wonderful experience!
Anyway, why I am writing about this is mainly to share with you the songs we played. So here:
● Christmas time
● A King is born
● Santa looked a lot like daddy - Reverend Horton Heat
● Sing Mary Sing - Jennifer Knapp (this is the one I played for)
● Christmas once more
● Carol of the bells
● I Met an Angel on Christmas day- Celine Dion
● Mistletoe - Justin Beiber ( I know I know, don't judge, the girl singing it is a huge fan! It took a lot of convincing for the others to play the song. But it turned out to be pretty peppy)
● Santa Claus is coming to town
Now some of them are the well known Christmas carols, but the others are worth checking out and saving on your X-mas playlist! Give them a listen.
And there is one video that is worth checking out. "One Last Christmas" by Matthew West.
Make a difference this Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

What I've been upto...

Heya everybody!

It's been quite a while since I posted anything, and I miss blogging so much! But I've been having loads of fun in the meantime, so I can't really complain :)
We went all the way to Patna to visit my grandfather, who is now quite well and much like his former self. Most days, all of us just lazed in the sun, munching on kakdis and pistachios, and guavas, and chikoos, and cookies, and I had the time of my life hogging on mushrooms 3 times a day, for 5 days in a row, after which my very amused grandmother reminded me to eat greens as well. Hehehe, that was one fun week! With her birthday falling during our visit, a treat was in order, and we decided to check out the revolving restaurant of the city, Pind Balauchi. Cut off from the busy city sounds, admiring a bird's eye view of Patna was epic! Wish I could say the same for the food though. It really wasn't up to the mark, and considering it primarily offered Punjabi cuisine, I found the preparations bland.

 Back at home, I've been busy in the garden. My rosemary, basil, thyme, and bok choy plants fared well while I was away. Isn't it most wonderful to grow your own plants and see them thrive under your care? I haven't clicked any photos of them yet, so last year's darlings will be show cased here. Pretty no? ^_^

Lettuce, bok-choy, sage, red rubin basil (clockwise from top left)
And these are the winter flowers that have just begun to bloom. Nevertheless, our garden is still looking quite pretty. I can't wait to see it at its peak! The whole family is excited, like always, so no surprise there!

This year's blooms

Last year's garden in full bloom
This month's schedule is going to be quite jampacked. One of my nephews is turning one, and there's a huge bash planned. We've got relatives pouring in to join the fun. A whole lot of my cousins are arriving, so I'm looking forward to all the madness we always cook up :D

Tomorrow I'll be spending the entire day with my two best friends, catching up and participating in general goofiness. I've missed them loads

Lastly, I've been chewing these tulsi leaves everyday, to build up my immunity, but I caught a cold regardless. I will be switching to herbal teas now, hopefully they will bring some relief.

What all have you been doing lately, besides christmas shopping?

Until next time,

Friday, 14 December 2012

When the sky lit up!

The good part about being in Bangalore?
     ● We usually have clear night skies.
The good part about being in a hostel?
     ● You have the company of your awesome girl-friends, whenever you want to do something. (Especially when its at odd hours. And if i was at home, might have been labelled crazy, except perhaps by the li'l sis).
So, the night of 13th december (extending into 14th morning) saw us (we are a group of 5 girls, and one day I will ramble about them here *hopefully*) camping out on the hostel terrace for around an hour or so. And guess what for??


1o'clock in the night, we bundled up a bedspread and a shawl and made our way upstairs to see these brilliant rocks on fire. What we didnt foresee though were the chilly winds, lots of them. But hey, its not everyday you get to see a meteor shower right? So whats a little bit of cold? Moreover, we had each other to cuddle up against :) And each of us was so excited everytime we spotted one....that making a wish was just being forgotten. We did make a few of them finally! *putting all my faith in them now.. fingers crossed* (don't ask me what i wished for... You might find some of them crazily hilarious).
Lying down under the open starry sky, with a brilliant light streak shooting across the dark blue every 2 minutes, the Geminid Meteor Shower 2012 was spectacular! Do not even get me started on how beautiful the other constellations looked.. Mr. Jupiter was glowing like a light bulb last night! (A big thank you to Google Sky Map for letting us know the different stars.... What an amazing application! Do try it).
And even though some of us wanted chips and other munchies, no one was willing to go down and miss the show even for a minute! (Ofcourse, our juniors thought we had completely lost it, lying down there in the middle of the night shivering for just some stars! A few couldn't even see us, until we cried out "We are here!" to avoid being trampled upon in the darkness).

Overall, it was definitely one of my best experiences ever! And though the show was put to an abrupt end by unexpected cloud cover at 2:30pm... We still had fun guessing cloud shapes. I spotted a knight riding a horse, pinnochio, an elf and Goofy!

Did you guys get a chance to see the meteor shower? For people who missed it, do not worry, it comes every year in December (anytime between the 7th to 14th) so keep your heads up!

Palmolive Thermal Spa Crushed Coconut Body Wash

December and January are such wonderful months, don't you agree? Here in Bangalore, it heralds the perfect amount of chill in the air. It brings all my favourite things at once: warm fluffy cozy blankets (we do need a blanket all year round...but now I have the perfect excuse for my snubbing conscience to lie in late), soup, comforting mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, cute socks. And well, obviously..Christmas! So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I picked up this body-wash (ok,ok...also I was out of the Olay one I was using)

Palmolive Thermal Spa Crushed Coconut Body Wash

Palmolive Thermal Spa Body Wash in Crushed Coconut is SO sooo amazing.. I keep taking out the bottle to just catch a sniff of it throughout the day.
First of all, the smell... Imagine the cutest cupcake with melt-in-your-mouth vanilla and coconut frosting sitting proudly on top ( the swirly kinds... I like the swirl pattern in general...Looks cute). DIVINELY YUMMY! And this baby can give any of those high end (also read over priced) products a good run for their money.
It's really hard to say goodbye to it and get out of the shower once you are surrounded in the delicate, comforting, warm, fuzzy cocoa butter fragrance(I know girls in the hostel must be cursing me for keeping the bathroom occupied for such a long amount of time!) And even after I finish showering, (thanks to my hostel-mates helpful banging on the door,) my nose continues its olfactory treat. Why? Because I go all sniff, sniff, sniff like a hound, on my arms and hands to catch its lingering fragrance. (Don't judge me till you try it out! If your nose doesn't do the same, then we'll talk! )

Palmolive Thermal Spa Crushed Coconut Body Wash review

Now I haven't tried that many bodywashes...yet, but out of the few.. this one is a sure favourite!
The crushed coconut granules perfectly act as a body scrub, polishing away dead skin, and the creamy texture keeps your body moisturized pretty long. (And yes on lazy days, I skip the body lotion after this). The smell does linger on for a decent time (about half an hour to 45 minutes on me).
If you want a body wash that smells absolutely heavenly, and one that will ensure your bath times are longer then look no further.

Given how affordable this is, this is definitely A MUST BUY according to me!

Price: 125/- for 250ml

(Those who aren't particularly fond of cocoa butter and coconutty fragrances might want to stay away from this one)
Let me know how this one worked for you all. Was it yay or nay?
Until later.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Hooked Onto # 1 :)

What I've been loving lately...

1) Palmolive Thermal Spa Skin Renewal (crushed coconut and jojoba butter extracts)

It's warm, comforting, cocoa coconut fuzzy smelling. Like a yum cupcake! What's not to love?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Maybelline The Falsies

Believe me when I say I have NEVER been more excited for a product. Oh, the number of times I have stared at pictures of it, and envied girls abroad for flaunting it on their peepers! Humph...! And each night I used to send up little pleas to the makeup gods, whining and begging for it to no end.
Well, it seems I successfully irritated them into granting my wish and *plonk* they chucked The Falsies into India. Next morning was something along the lines of *AAAAAAAH! Omg, finaaaaally! (Fainted)*

Okay, this didn't go exactly like that, but yeah, it was sooo good to see it finally launched in India.

Maybelline The Falsies mascara review

So TA-DA! Folks, meet the newest member (wrt India) of Maybelline's Volum' Express range of mascaras, The Falsies! *Happy jig*  Calming down and moving on, here is what the brand claims...
  • More visible lashes
  • Fills in gaps
  • Instant volume
  • Spoon brush
  • False lash effect
  • With Pro-Kera+ fibres
False lash glam, instantly! Patented Spoon Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping. Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, fuller lashes, no gaps from any angle. Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested. Waterproof, also available in washable formula.
 Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara- Waterproof retails for 425 INR for 7.5ml. I got it for 400/-

The breakdown...
  • Packaging- Plump plastic tube in a magenta that I can't stop admiring. The cap screws on tight. Overall, quite sturdy.
  • Wand- Curved and bristly, long and a little on the thin side. If the Colossal wand poked you endlessly, Falsies will not. Still, don't make the flexible brush do the samba near your eye. Just sayin'.
  • Formula- I got myself the one in Very Black/Noir Intense, as it suits Indian skintones well without looking OTT, and it lives up to its name. The mascara isn't too runny, or too thick. The gods have been good! ^_^

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Smile Files: Orangutans for minty breath

Brushing. It's a routine, something we do everyday.

For all those oral hygiene aware's twice a day. *well, usually I brush just once a day (I know I know... Do not judge me here). I will just cover up with a lame excuse of lack of time.. it's only on those days when conscience strikes that I go for a second round in the night, and even flossing.*

But it's something most of us have associated with humans right?

Now, imagine my astonishment when I open today's newspaper and see this article about an orangutan who loves to maintain her pearly whites. This is worth sharing...
Siswi, in Tanjung Putting National Park, Borneo, Indonesia, demonstrates impeccable oral hygiene. The 34 year female apparently loves to remain minty fresh and is spotted brushing her teeth (toothbrush, toothpaste and all) nearly everyday after tucking into her meals. *All those who are lazy bums when it comes to cleaning and polishing those chewing tools...LISTEN*
She even shares bowls of noodles with her keeper... Okay this is a bit off the topic, but worth mentioning I think. :)

Anyway, the point here is: If Siswi can be all aware and do her bit to maintain her smile zone, can't we do our bit? And since we are the evolved species, let's not limit ourselves just to brushing. Go one step further, be aware of the things you can do and the things that are going wrong. Get things looked at and fixed if required. After all you won't be all ok with amputating other parts of the body right? Why be casual about your teeth then? It's not like they grow back! Take care of those pearls!

(Curios and Dreams does not own the photo featured here. It can be found on Google Images)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

As the winters come

Dear frangipani blossoms,

Thank you for brightening up our garden the entire year. Your delicately fragranced, unblemished white petals, finely tinged with sunshine have no equal. I'm gonna miss you so!
Laut ke phir aana*


*In hindi = Do come back again.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Click-click-click, clack-clack-clack-clack

Yesterday, we had one of those perfect autumn evenings. Crisp cool air, pink and sienna sky, birds creating a real bedlam. And I stepped out into the veranda, only to find that geckos had stealthily taken over it already.
You know that irritation when someone invades your personal space without your consent? Now imagine that, with the culprit mockingly swishing its tail at you.
Yes dear chipkilee, I loved Stevie in Madagascar too, but you grooving to 'I Like to Move It' doesn't really compare. Sorry.
To those who are wondering exactly what geckos are, read on.
Geckos are found in every home in India. Never be so naive so as to think you're the first to move into your new house- the geckos will have already graced it with their presence. What? Drive them out, you suggest? Well, one could try, but with a single beady-eyed look, the geckos will establish that they are here to stay. Specialising in living rent-free on your premises, geckos disguise themselves as the ultimate friendly guests by swallowing up moths and insects ocassionally. Such a social service!
They also have a weird penchant for falling on the heads of unassuming victims. I'm not sure how that fits into social service. Maybe it's in the name of giving your cardiac muscles some exercise. Jumping out of your skin, and scrambling 30ft away from the lizard, screaming your lungs off will definitely get your heart pumping. Trust me :)
Did you know their tails can drop off? I kid you not reader! When you're chasing a gecko out, brandishing brooms and uttering all sorts of primal war cries that haven't been used since we stopped living in caves, its tail is the only part of it you will succeed in finding. And even though it's all twitchy, and floppy, and completely eww, you will find yourself staring at it with morbid fascination. Got a bawling toddler in your house? Show him the tail- it amuses kids to no end. See? It's all part of their social service. Geckos take their role of being your guest, albeit self-invited, very seriously. Aren't they lovely creatures?!
And since 7 years of environmental education has ingrained in me the importance of food webs and every species' right to live, I put up with them. No matter how exasperating they are, no matter how many evenings I have to spend inside (I'm mortally afraid of them, you see). Love thy neighbour? Trying to...! :)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Simply Meow

cats, kitten

Today, as I was browsing through some recent photographs, I found these adorable pics of a ginger tabby nursing her young. We often saw this playful kitten frisking about in the lawn, and it was adept at keeping everybody on their toes in an attempt to keep it out. Including my very old Gran' Ma!
Now before you judge me ("How could you not succumb to the obvious charms of this tiny ball of fur?"), in my defense, we have a tank full of tropical fish, and a parakeet who would simply not approve the company of this feline, however cute it may be. Boo the parakeet!

cats, kitten

When I left the camera alone and went out to soak up a bit of sunshine, this little guy (girl?) was already there.

cats, kitten

Talk about competition! Naturally, I squealed in delight, interrupted its snooze, jogged back to the house to grab my camera, and snapped this bleary-eyed photo of the kitten. Now mister here obviously did not find the sight of me prancing around to get a decent shot of His Highness very amusing (unlike my family- they were chuckling in the veranda), and decided to roll over and promptly return to dozing. I think I was just rejected by a tiny cat! Ouch!

cats, kitten

A few minutes later, its Mom came along. Check out her eyes! And her pose! I almost believed she was curling up on a satin cushion, hehe.

Queen of herself

The two were gone within the hour, but I'm hoping for a comeback. Meanwhile, I'll just tell myself they had better fish to fry.

cats, kitten
"Playtime's over"

cats, kitten
"Who're you looking at?"

Bye kitty!

The photos of the ginger cats was snapped on 16 June, 2012

Sunday, 7 October 2012

"Because dreams are more precious than gold"

Hello everyone!
You'd think that Sunday is one day in the entire week for relaxing & unwinding & some self pampering... Well, Miss Fate didn't have that planned out for me though - with getting up at 5 a.m, doing some last minute cramming (sluggishly, with cups of coffee) for a test scheduled at 10, getting ready for once on time... Only to find out later that my friends were all set for a lazy sleepy snugly wrapped up in a blanket day instead.. so not fair!! Fate are you listening?
Anyway, since I woke up early and the day seems so long , I thought I might as well share something here.
Legend has it, that long ago and old spiritual leader had a vision, where Iktomi (a searcher of wisdom) appeared in the form of a spider. As the spider spoke, he picked up a hoop from a willow tree and began to spin a web. He spoke about life, the good and bad forces and where each can lead. If one believes : the web's perfect hole in the centre will filter and let only the good thoughts in while the bad ones will get trapped getting perished in the light of the morning.
I never thought they worked in the real world though, until some time ago when a fabulous friend of mine (a one-of-a-kind, awesome"est" person) gifted me one. Apprehensively I put it up on the window next to my bed (yes, I always grab the bed next to the window in the hostel room. Poor roomies of mine. How they put up with me is still a mystery). Now, I never expected the cute li'l thing to work, but let me tell you, it sure does! Not that I don't have the not-so-good dreams anymore..that's impractical. But teeth falling or getting late hardly counts for much right? I have my share of weird dreams, but nothing bad or scary so far. And the good dreams? Plenty of them! Yaay!
It also worked for the few friends I bought the catcher for.
Willing to give it a try?
You can find beautiful handmade ones at :
Raaste, 90 D'costa square, Wheeler road extension, Bangalore. (Thats where I got mine from)
There are some pretty ones you could buy online too.
Until later,
Happy dreaming!

10 songs to brighten up your Sunday

Greetings, everybody!

It's bye-bye to dancing in the rain, as Lady Autumn spreads her cloak over my hometown. And with the leaves proudly maturing to shades of gold and rust, warmth is in the air.


You'd think the temperatures would have dropped, but at 34ºC and 84% humidity, even your hopes will melt away.

Moving away from all the whining....IT'S SUNDAY!! Yes, I know you have a pretty functional calender, but I'm just that excited! And now for the lazy-day feature -

  • Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson - Mellow, fun, romantic, catchy, and enjoyable. What's not to like? It's perfect for chilling out on the patio with friends, or your loving dog.

  • Give a Little Love by The Mostar Diving Club - I came across this song on an episode of Castle, and my, how cute is this song! It will get stuck in your head, but in a good way. Oh oh, oh-oh-oh...

  • Island in the Sun by Weezer - Paste a sappy smile on your face and let the tune whisk you away to sun, sand, surf, and fun. Piña Coladas, anyone?

  • Bubbly by Colbie Caillat - This one will get your heart singing. With sweet guitar rhythms, and Caillat's warm, folksy voice, Bubbly will give you a taste of effervescent joy.

  • Hey Soul Sister by Train - The uplifting beats coupled with great vocals will grow on you. If it hasn't already, that is.

  • The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars - Does this even need a reason? It is Sunday, afterall! (Just in case you missed me the first time.)

  • 1, 2, 3, 4 by Plain White T's - A quirky song to make you go "Awww." Yes, it's that good. But if you'd rather listen to banshees screeching out of your speakers, feel free to skip this one.

  • Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison - A classic 60's hit, this song will tempt you to sway and dance along to it, and will succeed too! And yes, the uncensored version is way better because that's how the artist intended the song to be.

  • Fools Like Me by Lisa Loeb - Dance to this with your coffee mug. Put it on repeat and bob your head along because it truly is addictive. Bittersweet, yet innocent, the song will resonate with the tune in your heart.

  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield - The inspirational lyrics and gospel infused pop music will stir your soul to celebrating an uninhibited approach to life's moments yet to come.

~ ~ ~

That's all for now. Have a great day!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Come, before evening falls...

Come before evening falls review

So, before I begin, let me tell you that I live in a hostel. Its tough. There are so many things I hate about it, but 5 years of being in one has given me four wonderful friends. We share all the good and bad things that come our way. And this is how I came across "Come, before evening falls". Tuesday evening saw my friend, Komal,  thrust the book in my hand with one firm word "read!".. and I LOVE her for doing so :)

Thursday, 27 September 2012


When love went Bananas

I truly cannot describe my love for snacking. There's something about the salty crunchiness that just keeps luring me back. Wouldn't you be delighted if you found out that your favourite snack loved you right back? :)
Here's what I came across while eating (cough *shamelessly hogging* cough) banana chips.

Made my day!