Birthday Gifts 2015

Its been almost a month and I still haven’t posted about my yearly birthday gifts . This year is going so fast that I still don’t know what I did for the past 6 months. As usual, I had my list ready by March and I knew exactly what I was going to get.

First is my Sephora Haul, this year the birthday gift is NARS travel lip pencil set. I would never buy something as expensive as NARS. Can you believe that a full-sized lip pencil is about $26 . I believe that they are some good lip products in the drugstore and I don’t need to spend that much money on just one product. But when it’s free, then heck ya, I want to try it . So the products I got from Sephora are :

NARS lip pencil set – Cruella (Velvet Matte Red) and Rikugien (Satin pinky brown).
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil Duo – Timeless coral and Everlasting Honey
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Cream

Onto my Ulta Haul, the reason it took forever to post my birthday haul is that I went to Ulta only at the end of  April. Can you believe that they will send you the birthday coupon only on your birthday?  and so I had to wait for the coupon and then I had to go and get it. The things I got in Ulta are not a lot because they didn’t have the products I was interested in the shop and I didn’t want to order online. So the products I got are:

NYX wonder lip pencil in Medium
NYX matte lipstick in Natural
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Pencil in Voodoo (Ulta birthday gift)

 

And finally my one splurge of this year for my birthday is my Filofax A5 Saffiano in Pear  . As you all know, I have been obsessed about my Planner stuffs for the past 7 months and I wanted to get my hands on the A5 size and I loved this pretty green color. I am in LOVE with this filofax. I use this one for keeping notes on all the blog stuffs and Ideas for the blog, etc. I got them from Pens and Leather where it was 20% off retail price.

I have been loving my planner accessories and I think I need to do a separate post on the all the planner stuffs which I have been accumulating for the past 6 months. If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much planner stuffs I am obsessing over.

And that concludes my birthday gifts. What about you readers? Have you got your Sephora and Ulta birthday gifts? Do you like them?

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Gratitude Challenge Week 20

Week 20 topic is a friend.

I can’t think of just one friend to talk about. So I am going to talk about all the friends I made in my life. Sometimes you meet someone who you will think is your best friend but realistically they are just a friend. Who do you consider as a best friend or is there any best friend concept?

You know how hard it is to get a friend who has similar interest as you. Let’s just say I have a lot of interest in my life and not one of friends have all the same interest. I love meeting someone who has my own interest, be it may Books, Makeup, Food or Planner. I love talking about them to my friends. But how many of you can say that you have a best friend who has all your interest? My answer is that it is absolutely fine if you don’t have any best friend and have lot of friends.

I am grateful to all the friends I have made in my life and I think somehow they have shaped my life. You learn a lot from your friends and my advice to you is choose your friend very carefully for they are important in your life. You don’t even realize that your “friend” is always putting you down until it is too late. I have met someone like that in my life and looking back now, I didn’t realize she was making fun of me or putting me down because I thought she was making a joke of it. So my advice is avoid that kind of toxic people.

Let your mom or even your other friends meet that person and listen to their advice. Sometimes we don’t see what is in front of us but other people do. I am grateful for all the good friends in my life.

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Confessions of a Book Lover

As you all know that I am a hardcore book reader and book lover . I love reading books. I have always been like this. It started with comics in early school days and followed by Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys in my early Teens. Then in my late Teens I was reading Mills & Boon, Harlequin and Silhouette.

I think I loved the fact that it is a different world in the books. During my college days I started reading Historical Novels and some mystery novels. But somehow I always tend to move to the romantic novels and the reason is because it’s a light read and you always know that it has a happy ending. I am not a person who is into reading deep stuffs like autobiography or war stuffs. It just bores the heck out of me.

I want to read something light and something funny. If I read something too deep like once I read a story about a widow finding that her husband has another family. The whole book was deeply emotional and though it was a good book, it made me feel depressed the whole week. I kept thinking about it and I was heartbroken for her and I certainly didn’t like feeling like that .

I discovered Paranormal books in 2007 and there in started my obsession about the genre. The reason why I am fascinated by it is the imagination of the author. I think they are brilliant. And every author has a different imagination and some are over the top like the Lord of the Rings . Seriously I have not read that book and nor Harry Potter. I tried reading Harry Potter and by page 2 I was over it .

And one of my pet peeve is making a movie out of the book. They are never the same and I hate that. They take away half of the scene and I swear 98% of the time, the hero and heroine never looks the same as your imagination. The movie just kills the books for me.

I am so grateful that I moved to the wonders of ebook . I LOVE my ebook reader and I have 3 readers and one of them is not working properly. My first one was Nook Color Ebook Reader for my 2011 birthday and I absolutely adore it. I love the fact that I can add an SD card and I can load my own ebooks in it. I got my 2nd Nook (Black & White) for Mother’s Day in 2014. I used this to store my favorite ebooks. I sometimes read my favorite ones again and again .

And I got my third ebook reader in the form of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7.0 because the Nook Black & white has gotten slower and it takes at least 10 seconds to turn a page. So I needed a new reader to store my favorite ebooks. I will review it soon.

I have been using Good Reads for the past 4 years and I love them. It is a great platform to keep track on all the books you have read and the books you want to read too. I have made some good friends there whom I have never met but have the same taste in books as me  . I love their recommendations.

Even though I moved to ebooks, I still love paperbacks. I usually get some books from the library mainly non-fiction ones. I want my daughter to love books like I do but I guess it’s still early days because she is not into books like me.

On the fun note, If I sing a song it will be

It’s raining Books, Hallelujah It’s raining Books

 My dream house would have a library and a window sill seating and it will also have a huge desk where I will have my planner stuffs. And of course, it will have a pin code to enter the room and sound proof . Well, I can dream, can I??

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Gratitude Challenge Week 19

Week 19 topic is Health.

This is a tough one  . But I am grateful that I don’t have any major health issues or life threatening issues. Though, I do have some minor health issues like allergies and light asthma. I am grateful that hubby and my daughter and healthy.

P.S. Thank God I caught up with my week and from next week, there will be only one gratitude post a week.

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Gratitude Challenge Week 18

Week 18 topic is Weather.

I am really grateful for Seattle’s Weather. The thing about this city is that there is barely 1 day of SNOW . I really can’t tolerate the cold and the snow. Even in this city, I barely go out during winter so imagine if I am in New York. I am grateful for a full 3-4 months of sunshine  and a pleasant weather during summer. I am also grateful that though it rains  a lot in Seattle, It is not bad, at least for me.

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A year with my Polar Loop Activity Tracker

In this world of never-ending new activity trackers, this is one of the many. And you are wondering why I chose this one instead of the others. The reason is because it has H7 heart rate monitor which you can connect. Both of them retails for about $137 and it is a pretty good deal. On another note, they have different color bands now :( and  when I got them, they only had black. I want the misty blue color .

Lets begin, Last February I was researching about activity trackers because I wanted to check my daily steps. And the extras being how much I slept but the main reason I LOVE my Polar Loop activity tracker is because when I exercise, I know exactly how much calories I lost. Instead of the GPS apps, which just assumes my heart rate and calculates the calories I lost.

After a year, It still looks new.

It’s been a year and I have worn it everyday and I almost forget that it’s there. I love to see how much steps I have taken everyday. Let’s get real here, I am not saying that I am walking 10,000 steps everyday, more like 5000 steps on average . The website of Polar is pretty simple outlay on how much time I was standing, sitting or sleeping. It gives you graph and tell you how much miles you have walked.

On the other note, they have daily goals in their website and I absolutely hate it  . And the reason being, I never seem to complete my daily goals. I think in a year of my polar loop, I have completed them only 4 times  . I have tried completing 10,000 steps or doing fitness but at the most I only complete about 85% at the most. I don’t know how it is calculating but it’s very annoying and I stopped looking at it.

Polar Loop Activity Tracker

It is a simple watch which feels like silicone. I have had this for a year and I still haven’t gotten any marks on it. The Monitor is simple and it has a button to switch it on and off. You have the necessary lists to keep an eye on and it says waterproof. I haven’t tested it out exactly but I do wash my hands while wearing it and if there is water droplets on it, I just wipe it off. so far, no damage.

H7 Heart Rate Monitor

The fact that it connects to the polar loop and shows the heart rate is a major point for me especially if you are keeping on the heart rate during your exercise. You have to wear it in the chest so that it picks up the heart rate and it seems comfortable. It will be prefect for a devout fitness people.

Pros

  • Inactive alert – it alerts you to get up and move if you are sitting for more than an hour.
  • Digital display – easy to keep an eye on the number of steps.
  • Can be fit to your size – It come in one size and you can cut them into your size.
  • H7 heart rate monitor connects directly to the Polar Loop.

Cons

  • No GPS if you are going out on a trail
  • You have to wear the heart rate monitor if you need to know the exact details of heart rate and calories.
  • Apps is not so good.
  • Website still needs more option
  • Daily Goals – It is tough to finish a daily goal and I don’t know how it is calculating.
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Gratitude Challenge Week 17

Week 17 topic is something you take for granted. You don’t realize how much you take things for granted.

  • Family – You just don’t realize they are getting old until It’s too late.
  • Food – we have 3 good meals
  • House – no leaking
  • Mobile Phone – you don’t realize how much you use them until it’s broken
  • Health – not counting allergies and flu, etc,etc
  • Water
  • Good Weather – atleast Seattle doesn’t have 6 inch or more snow.
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Gratitude Challenge Week 16

Week 16 topic is Simple Things in Life. I am grateful for these simple things which I use most of the time in my life.

  1. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Pistachio, Chocolate Froyo
  2. Beach – Warm sand in your feet
  3. Lipstick
  4. Indian Chai – authentic one, not the ones made by Starbucks (yukk)
  5. Favourite Music – the ones you listen to again and again
  6. Laughter – simple things which makes you happy
  7. Game night
  8. Planner – just looking at my planner makes me happy
  9. Kitties in my lap
  10. Window Shopping
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Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cake

Tried and Tested Recipe

I have been baking this recipe for the past couple of months and every time we finish it of. I should probably call this as I found this recipe from one of my favorite blog Edible Garden and she calls it Flourless Almond Coconut Cake but I called them Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cake :) . She has some amazing recipes which I love testing. I get so many compliments whenever I bake this. The flavor of the almond meal with a crunchy coconut flakes just makes your mouth water for more. Hope you all try this cake and enjoy it.

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cake

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 inch

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 gm of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups of almond meal (almond flour)
  • 3 tbsp of desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (or a bit less)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • One pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds, chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F. Grease one 8" cake tray with non-stick spray or butter.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar with a spatula.
  3. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix again until everything is fully combined.
  4. Finally, add the almond flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. The batter will be quite thick.
  5. Transfer to the greased cake tray and use the top of the spatula to smoothen the top. Add the chopped almonds on top press into the cake gently.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. The cake won't rise much but the top will turn a golden brown. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out with moist crumbs or clean.
  7. Cool for 15 minutes in the cake pan and then invert onto a plate. Cool completely before cutting and storing in an airtight container.
http://www.charanzworld.com/gluten-free-almond-coconut-cake/

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