Difference Between High Tea, Afternoon Tea And Cream Tea In Britain

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

If there's one thing I love more than books, it's tea. Ok..fine..not more than books but definitely as much as books. And my idea of heaven is me cozying up in a library full of books with copious amount of tea. So, it's no surprise that I was more excited about tea when we visited the UK more than anything else. During my research to find the best afternoon teas in the UK, I realized not all afternoon teas are made equal. And that, High tea is not afternoon tea. 

   Thomas Oken Tea Rooms' Cream Tea, Warwick
I have done the research, so you don't have to :) You are welcome?


This tea is what comes to our mind when we think of British tea time. Those delicate finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other nibbles. That's called afternoon tea. So, if you don't want to come across as a tourist, you wouldn't ask for English High Tea in the afternoon, when you are in London.

So, what is High Tea?

High Tea has all those nibbles and a lot more savoury things like pies, potatoes, vegetables or omelette. Think of it as a meal to keep you from dying of hunger before your actual dinner. High Tea is normally taken around 6. These were mainly for working class in the industrialized Britain, who had to wait for their tea until after work. They were called high tea because they were eaten at a table. And the rich made it more fancy-schmancy and brought in the culture of High Tea.


This is the tea we have come to know and love from Pop Culture that is quintessentially British.  Those delicate finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other nibbles. And this is served normally around 3 till 5, at most restaurants. These are also called low tea because they were taken in low chairs and sofas as opposed to at a dining table.


This is what I had almost every single day I was in the UK. A) Because it was pretty much available at all times unlike Afternoon teas, that were only served during a specific time. B) It was just the right amount of everything and I wasn't wasting any food.

So, Cream Tea is served with a pot of Tea, scones, clotted cream and jam. And I want to take a moment and describe this deliciousness called clotted cream. It's like this perfect room temperature mix that's like whipped cream and whipped butter. Yum. And a little shout out to the best Cream Tea I had:

Thomas Oken Tea Rooms
20 Castle Street Warwick
CV34 4BP
Tel: 01926 499307

A small, independent local business in Warwick, located right behind the Warwick castle. If you are ever there, please visit the place. It's worth it.
Scones, Clotted Cream and Jam 
I read somewhere that non-britishers confuse afternoon tea with High tea so much so that, some hotels use the term "High Tea' to advertise their Afternoon Tea. Now, we don't want to be one of those tourists, do we? ;)

Movies On Netflix: Wildlike

Monday, October 30, 2017

Wildlike is a 2014 movie about 14-year-old Mackenzie, who is sent to temporarily live with her uncle in Alaska. 

It is difficult to tell initially what's going on in the beginning, but then the story unravels and it is revealed soon why she runs away from home. She finds herself with little money and attaches (stalks) herself  to hiker Rene Bartlett, in the hopes that he will help her reach Seattle. 

The dynamics between the two are endearing. Bartlett, on his way to hike through the Denali National Park , makes it convenient for the cinematographer to show the gorgeous landscape of Alaska (which might want you to take your next vacation there). Some movies skimp on the substance of the story by compensating it with beautiful scenery. But Wildlike does not and it balances the beauty with a solid story beautifully. Not once does it falter in its story-telling. 

The actress who plays Mackenzie (Ella Purnell) is amazing and I hope to see more of her in the future. We sure need 20-year-olds that are actually talented and whose last name is not Kardashian.

This movie is not just a good-enough-for-a-friday-night-movie-on-the-couch, but it's truly a well-written movie and will make you root for the characters. 


British TV shows To Watch

Monday, October 23, 2017
British Tv shows To Watch
Ok, before I go any further, let me get this out of the way, I am a certified Anglophile. Maybe, it has to do with the fact that as a student of Literature, you read a lot more of British Lit and end up falling in love with this little country. Or, maybe it's just the gorgeous british accent, I don't know. Now that you know that I am totally objective when it comes to British TV shows, let's look at the tv shows that you should absolutely watch.

Here's the list and I haven't included the usual suspects (Downtown Abbey, Sherlock etc.) because everyone and their mother know how great these shows are.

DOC MARTIN: It's about Dr. Martin Ellingham, a big city surgeon who moves to a small village as a GP after developing a fear of blood. He is grumpy and has zero people skills, much like Dr. House. You'll fall in love with the Doc and the villagers of this beach-y little town. I really want to visit Port Isaac after watching this show. The eighth and the final season airs in 2018. So, you have seven seasons to binge-watch and I say that as a good thing. It's available on Netflix.

BROADCHURCH: If there's one thing I have learnt form watching these shows, it's that the British do crime shows really well. And this is no exception. The show is about two detectives investigating the murder of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer in this quaint, small seaside town of Broadchurch. It has everything you need: drama, suspense, great acting. It has 3 seasons in total and the first two seasons are available on Netflix. 

DOCTOR FOSTER: It follows Dr. Gemma Foster, who suspects and later discovers her husband is having an affair. It's a great drama and sometimes, it gets borderline soap-ish, but since it only has 10 episodes, it gets away with it. The first season is available on Netflix. 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: As the name suggests, this is a series that takes a look at the British Legal System, from the moment a person is charged with a crime to the verdict. It has two seasons, 5 episodes each, so it's not too long. The first season follows Ben Coulter, who is charged with the murder of a girl, and who has very little memory of the night. The Emmy-award winning HBO show, The Night Of, is based on this show. The second season follows housewife Juliet Miller, whose husband is found stabbed in the bed. Now available on Hulu.

APPLE TREE YARD: It's a four-part series and is based on Louise doughty's book of the same name. If you like courtroom drama, this is definitely for you. 

MARCELLA: And last but not the least, Marcella is set in London and is about Det. Sgt. Marcella Backland, who's been out of the police force for the last ten years raising a family and who gets called in when there's a copy cat murder, from when she was still in the force. You will like it, if you are into police procedural. It's available on Netflix. 

Hope you like the list and you find a new show you can watch. Also, are there any other british tv shows you enjoy watching? I would love to know.


Local Business Spotlight: Meet Cris, The Owner Of Santo Brigadeiro, Columbus

Thursday, October 19, 2017
I met with Cris at her home and we talked about her life before Brigadeiros, her passion and what made her start a business making chocolates in Columbus.

Outline Of The Show: 
  • What brought her to Columbus
  • Reason why she thought Columbus was great place to introduce Brigadeiro
  • How do you pronounce Brigadeiro and the story behind these iconic chocolates
  • How is it served
  • Why Brigadeiros make for great party favors
  • What she is working on right now 
Where to find Santo Brigadeiro: 

The Yacker is also available on iTunes :) If you like it, please subscribe :) 

Cris - Owner Of Santo Brigadeiro

The Best-Sellers: Coconut, Chocolate and Creme Brulee
Newly Introduced Banana Nut Bread


Jerry Before Seinfeld: Netflix Review

Friday, September 22, 2017

I grew up watching a lot of re-runs of Seinfeld. I adore the show and Seinfeld - the character Jerry Seinfeld. I didn't get to know the real Jerry Seinfeld until I started watching his amazing self-explained-in-the-title show Comedians In Car Getting Coffee (Please do watch it!).

I was excited(obviously!) when I heard that Netflix had made a deal with Seinfeld. The one-hour stand-up comedy special is set in The Comic Strip - the comic club where his career started in 1976. Seinfeld takes you through his childhood, his twenties, stand up comedy culture in 70s, 90s NYC. There are scenes where he takes us to his childhood home. The special is a is throwback on his life through old photos and old videos (which also include his appearance on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in 1981).

The special is filled with Jerry Seinfeld's observational humor. He has stayed true to his style. Some people might argue that he hasn't changed his humor with the times. But, at a time, when stand-up comedy has almost become synonymous with political activism, Seinfeld's comedy is refreshing. He managed to make me laugh even when he was talking about the cliched and now forgotten men-women differences observational comedy and  the-lost-sock comedy.

A lot of his jokes are written in the first five years of his career. There's a scene where he is sitting with rows and rows of his hand-written jokes ever written from 1976 "to today". That captures the essence of the person behind Seinfeld.

I would recommend you watch it, and watch it only if you know-know Seinfeld. Because, this is truly a tribute to his Seinfeld-ness.

Information Overload And The Art Of Decluttering

Thursday, August 31, 2017

This year, I have been consciously moving towards minimalism. Before I go further, a little clarification - when I say Minimalism, I don't mean it in the 15-pieces-of-clothing-in-the-wardrobe kind of minimalism. Mine is more of I-will-work-with-what-I-already-have-in-the-wardrobe kind of minimalism. My quest for thus started at the corner of convenience and style. I realized I am not even utilizing 40% of the clothes I have in the wardrobe. Once I was in a happy space with my wardrobe, I realized I am not even utilizing 40% of the information I have stored in my brain.

A little background, I have always been an information gatherer. I am the happiest when I am reading about something. Little did I realize that - what was once considered a great habit- would turn to be the bane of my existence. I have a hundred tabs open on my laptop, a thousand bookmarks of articles I want to read "later", at least 140 liked videos on YouTube that I want to go back to and watch, 45 podcasts I have subscribed to, 200 recipe pins on Pinterest and don't forget all the files and folders I have stored in my brain.

What is the point of it all, if I can't find the information I need when I am in the middle of a conversation with someone. I realized I usually end up with "Sam, What's the name of the movie with that guy from that TV show we watched last Saturday"? My brain is so overloaded with information that it doesn't have the time to absorb and process it.

So, here's what I have decided to do to de-clutter:

- It is OK to miss out:  I was someone who simply had to be on top of every new Tv show, movie or the latest bestseller. it took me some time to realize that it's ok to just say "Oh..I haven't watched that one". Pick a TV show that you enjoy and watch it. It's OK to not know about trending topics on Twitter. And don't worry, you"ll always have other topics to talk about.

- It is OK to not have read every single article on a topic:  I hear about B. I want to know more about B. I look up online about B. Don't go overboard with reading about B. We live in a world where there's too much information (TMI is an acronym we use often for a reason), too many opinions, too much noise. Just say NO to it and stick to reading, maybe just 3 articles on it and let go.

- Have one expert to follow on every topic: For movie reviews, have one expert that you follow. For political opinions, have one or two experts to read on. For makeup videos, follow a couple of bloggers on YouTube. You get the drift. This saves a lot of time.

I am still learning. Instead of 20 tabs on the laptop, I have come down to 5 :p It's a start :) Let me know how you declutter?


Write Like No One Is Reading

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Every single day, I sit in front of my computer and wonder what to write about, and I come up with nothing.  

Should I write about this, I wonder, but, what if someone takes offense? What if my writing isn't good enough? And who would want to read my blog anyway when there are a million other blogs out there? 
Should I write about this topic? I am not qualified enough to write on this topic. And what if they think I am being vain? And what if that person thinks it's about them. What if they judge me based on my writing? What if I'm not as funny as I think I am? Will people find me boring? 

These are the things that go through my head. Every single day, when I sit in front of my computer and wonder what to write about.

Dance like nobody is watching, they say. Maybe that applies to writing too. Write like nobody is reading. Twirl. Throw your hands up in the air. Twirl some more. Get on the table and dance.

Finish all the blog posts that's in the drafts. There might be someone who relates to it. There might be some one who may not agree with what you have to say. That opens a door for a conversation. And who doesn't love good conversations. So, it may not be a bad thing after all. When you write like no one is reading, you don't edit out or filter your voice. And that's what words are for. To put your thoughts on paper. Jut you and words. 

So, here I am, writing like no one is reading (maybe because there really IS no one reading?) I kid..I kid.. 


Local Business Spotlight: Mrs. Mita Shah Of Mardi Gras Homemade Icecream, Columbus

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For more pics, follow me on Instagram. 

On this podcast, I sit down with Mrs. Mita Shah of Mardi Gras Homemade Icecream right here in Columbus. She talks about her journey to the US from India as a newly wed, her story, the story behind the name of the store and of course, the new summer flavors she's working on. 

The Yacker is also available on iTunes :) 


Local Business Spotlight: Chef Wycliff Nduati of Wycliffs' Kitchen, Columbus

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
                                 For more pics from the podcast..Follow me on Instagram :)

I love trying out new restaurants and cuisines. Food, I feel opens your mind as much as travel and books do. It makes you think about the origin of a dish, the cultural impact it has on a country and of course, the most obvious one, it tastes delicious.

On this podcast, I sit down with Chef Wycliff Nduati of Wycliffs' Kitchen right here in Columbus. I met him at his restaurant after work and after the last customer for the day had walked out, he greeted us (husband and I) with a smile still fresh, even after a long day. And we talked about his childhood, his journey as a chef and Kenyan food.

I have tried to transcribe the podcast here, if you are into reading more than listening :)

Is your name pronounced Y-Cliff or V-cliff?

It depends on where you come from. If you speak American English, it's Y-cliff and if you speak British English, it's Wicliff. But it doesn't matter. I am fine with it, either way.

Could you tell us a little bit about your family, where you grew up?

I was born and raised in Kenya. I grew up in the rural areas of Kenya. I was fortunate enough to be raised by a dad who was an entrepreneur. He was a restaurateur as well. He had a restaurant, a shop and he was a butcher. So, growing up, he treated me and my siblings as his workforce and he trained. So, for me, cooking and being a restaurateur is natural.

But for the most part, my dad wanted me to concentrate more on the business side and he wanted me to keep out of the kitchen. But, I admired how people could turn ingredients into something amazing, that people can eat. And I learnt most of my cooking from just watching. And because of my interest, I would try things out and I would always impress people with my cooking.

And when did you come to the US?

I came to the US in 2006. I came here for school. I graduated from Franklin University
with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Forensic Accounting.

So, completely a different field from what you are in right now.

Yes, That's because cooking and restaurant is a way of life for me. When I migrated to the US, I was in Indiana before I moved to Columbus and I was very disappointed that I couldn't find the food that I loved and was used to. And I would go to parties and would have Kenyan food and would say "This is not Kenyan food", even though, it was made by Kenyans.

I knew I could cook better than that. And then, my friends would tell me to cook Kenyan food for them. And that's how I found my way back to all of this.

Your friends kind of pushed you into this?

Only because, they knew my background in restaurant and cooking. They would request me to make something for their parties and they would be amazed at how authentic the food was. They started ordering more quantity and would offer to pay for the food. And that is how we started.

Then we started making baked goods from home. And my wife, back in Kenya, had a lot of training in cooking Kenyan food. She's one of the most amazing chefs.

So, it was a perfect match.

Yes. We enjoy cooking and we are both passionate about food. our concept is to keep it fresh. That's the things about Kenyan food. There's no shortcut to it. If you try to do that, the food doesn't taste as good. All our spices are from Kenya.

We take our time with every dish. All our meals are made from scratch. We try to cook as less as possible and try retain all the nutrients of vegetables.

And it reflects on the food. It's delicious.

Thank you.

And your restaurant is the first Kenyan Restaurant in Columbus?

Yes, and in Ohio, Indianapolis and in this area. I think the next one you'll find is in Maryland and the DC area.

It's the only East African restaurant, in terms of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Because we share our cuisine, 95% of it.

If I were to go to Kenya, would I get the same flavor as I get here or do you Americanize it a little bit?  

We try to keep it authentic. We try to bring the memories of Kenya into our restaurant. This has turned out to be more of a destination. Whoever has traveled to Kenya, whenever they hear about us, they want to come to our restaurant as soon as they can. And when they come here, they are never disappointed.

It's like being back home. 

Yes, and that's what our intention is. When you walk into our restaurant, we want you to feel like you are right in Kenya. We keep it authentic. We don't try to americanize it. But we make sure it's comfortable to everyone's palate. So, our food is not that spicy but we can add spice if you want it to be spicy.

And for anyone who hasn't tried out Kenyan food, what's the dish you would recommend. Sort of a gateway into the world of Kenyan food.

I don't want to give a generic answer because all of us have different taste. Our menu is not that big. We specialize on a few dishes that are signature kenyan dishes an we concentrate on them and do them very well.

When you leave this restaurant, you'll definitely leave thinking "huh..what should I try next?" So, it's a little tough to tell you what you should try, but going by the numbers, beef stew and our fish is very popular.

So, you can do beef stew, combine it with pilau rice, which is rice made in natural spices and not hot spices, add chappatis, which is flatbread, and these will go well together.

And definitely try our samosas, if you are visiting us for the first time.

What's the biggest misconception people have about kenyan food? 

That african food is hot and spicy.  But african cuisine is varied and it has a lot of subdivisions, depending on the region it comes from. East Africa where Kenya is, food is not spicy.

So, you use a lot of natural, non-spicy spices like cardamom?

Yes, coriander, cloves...So, our food is very welcoming to a new palate.

And if you go to the western or the northern part of Africa, the food is supposed to be very spicy. That's how you are supposed to enjoy that food.

Kenyan food is not spicy?

It's not spicy but if you request for the food to be spicy, we can make it spicy.

And where do you see this restaurant in the future? 

We are closing in on three years of Wycliffs' kitchen and we are happy with the way it's going. We keep growing every year. And we are very thankful to God and our customers for choosing us because there are so many restaurants in Columbus.

Our motto when we started this restaurant was to make sure we don't deprave Columbus of our amazing Kenyan food. We plan on serving Columbus for a very long time.

I am so glad we have an authentic Kenyan restaurant in Columbus, everyone should definitely try this amazing cuisine.

Yes, infact,for people that are planning on visiting Kenya, the organizers bring their groups to this restaurant to introduce them to kenyan food before they travel.

And also, the other way around. Kenyans who come to the US and who are looking for homemade, authentic kenyan food come here as soon as they hear about this place. They get a taste of the food that they are used to and have grown up eating.

This place is the best cure for home sickness as well for other Kenyans.

Yes, for sure. And we are happy that we are able to offer something so valuable to them.

Three fun, quick questions: 

- Favorite restaurant you go to on your days off :

        Taqueria Guadalajara - Great mexican food
        Ted Montana's Grill - Love their burgers

- Favorite Food from childhood: 

      Beef stew, ugali (mashed corn flour meal) and collard greens . That's a kenyan staple and my comfort food.

- If we were to impress our friends with our knowledge of kenyan food, what's that something we should know about? 

     Nyama Choma (grilled goat) with Kachumbari (salsa) We serve this every saturday at our restaurant.

Wonderful. Thank you so much for taking out the time for this podcast interview. 

Thank you for having me.

Connect with Wycliffs' Kitchen on Facebook 


5 Things Dr. Seuss Taught Me About Life

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Today is Theodor Seuss Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss' birthday. I didn't grow up reading Dr. Seuss, well I guess that's true for a lot of Indian kids because we read a lot more of British children's books. But I did read Dr. Seuss' books as an adult and I fell in love with them. His books are perfect for kids and adults.

   "On and on you will hike,
    And I know you"ll hike far
    and face up to your problems
    whatever they are." - Oh, the places you''ll go

 This book is one of my favourites. Every WORD is quotable. He talks about the place called "The  Waiting Place..for people just waiting, waiting for a bus to come, the mail to come, or the rain to go  or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow, or the waiting for the Yes or No, or waiting for their hair  to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
 Lesson Learned: Stop waiting for things to happen and don't be stuck in "the waiting place" but  move on and on you go, even if you fail, you keep going and you will succeed in the end. 

  "Today you are You, that is truer than true! There is no one alive who is You-er than you." 
  - Happy Birthday To You 
 Lesson Learned: Just be yourself. I know this phrase has been over-used and done to death, but it  doesn't make it any less true. 

"And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along, you'll start happening  too!" - Oh the Places You"ll Go

 Lesson learned: Sometimes we get stuck in life comparing ourselves with others. Don't stew, just  shake it off, take a deep breath and keep doing what you do and you'll get unstuck.

 "The Lorax: Which way does a tree fall?
  The Once-ler: Uh, down?
  The Lorax: A tree falls the way it leans, Be careful which way you lean." - The Lorax 

 Lesson learned: Know what you believe in and stand up for it. Don't be afraid to voice out your  opinions, just because it's not the popular one.

"You ought to be thankful for a whole heaping lot, for The places and people you're lucky you're not!" - Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are

 Lesson learned: Be grateful for the present life. No matter how bad you think your situation is,  there's someone who is worse off than you. 

Have you read his books? Which ones are your favourites? 


Columbus Paczki Guide: Where To Find It?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's funny how you come up with content for your blog. It's Fat Tuesday and as I was driving somewhere, this lady on the radio mentioned Paczki. And I had to find out what it was, how it looked like and most importantly, does Columbus have it.

Pronounced (Poonch-key, if it's many and Poon-chek, if it's single), it is a giant polish creme or jelly-filled donut. Areas like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago that have a huge polish-american population, Paczki for Fat Tuesday is a tradition.

Here are the three places in Columbus if you want to indulge in Paczki before Lent begins:


Oscar Winning Classic Romantic Movies List

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ahh.. The Oscars - these awards are so special because they encapsulate the universal emotions of love, betrayal, passion and hope. Sometimes, it does feel like all the oscar winning movies make you want to lock yourself in the bathroom and never come out. But, who says Oscar winning movies have to be necessarily sad and depressing. Here are my top 10 Oscar winning romantic movies. These are classics without an expiry date on them. Enjoy :)

It Happened One Night(1934)- Nominated for 5 and won all 5

The quintessential romantic movie made in 1934, it has everything a die hard romantic would want in a movie. Apparently, this movie didn't do so well financially in the early days, but caught up through word-of-mouth. Also, it has the iconic hitchhiking scene which was later replicated (along with the movie), in Bollywood with Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi.

TCM Fun Fact: For the rest of his career, Clark Gable would insist on wearing a trench coat in every picture, claiming it was his lucky coat because of the success of It Happened One Night

Gone With The Wind(1939) - Nominated for 15 and won 8

One of those few film adaptations that had the same quality as that of the book. I'm looking at you Gone Girl *ahem* Made into a movie in 1939, just three years after the book came out, this movie has everything, the effects of war, race, class and of course, love. I, personally love how imperfect and human Scarlett is. And of course, who can ignore Scarlett and Rhett's sizzling chemistry.

TCM Fun Fact: The iconic "Tomorrow is another day" almost didn't make it into the movie. Before Selznick wrote that speech, the film ended with Mammy comforting Scarlett with the line "He"ll come back. Didn't I say the last time? He"ll do it again. I always know. Mammy always knows."

Casablanca(1942) - Nominated for 8 and won 3

A classic war time romantic movie, it has stood the test of time. This movie has something for both men and women. Not to be sexist, but it has guns, gangsters, war and romance. I am not sure if Ingrid Bergman or Bogart ever did another movie together, but I am happy we"ll always have Casablanca. Come on, I had to use it somewhere ;)

TCM Fun Fact: Did you know that "As Time Goes By" wasn't an original song and was not even eligible to be nominated for Best Song in 1943? It was a much older song, written in 1931, for a Broadway Show called Everybody's Welcome.

Annie Hall(1977)- Nominated for 4 and won 1

Who can forget Annie Hall's clothes in this movie. So 70s and so effortlessly french! Question ..Are you even a Fashion Blogger if you don't make Diane Keaton's Annie Hall's references one in a while? Nope.

I love Woody Allen's movies because those are the kind of conversations I would like to have in real life too. It all seems so real and natural. Like, sometimes I wonder if  his movies have any real script at all? I digress. This movie is truly a romantic movies because the entire story is about this guy analyzing why his relationship with her failed. Seriously, go give it a watch.

TCM Fun Fact: Did you know that Diane Keaton was born with the surname Hall. She later changed it by adopting her mother's maiden name in order to avoid confusion with another actress named Diane Hall.

The Apartment(1960) - Nominated for 10 and won 5

Any movie that is set in NYC wins my heart. And this movie is no exception. Shirley Maclaine as Fran was in every sense the cliched Manic Pixie Dream Girl.This was before the term was even coined. After realizing that her boyfriend would never leave his wife for her, she overdoses and is taken care of by Jack Lemmon. He falls in love with Fran's carefree approach to life (Manic Pixie Dream Girl much?) and they live happily ever after.

TCM Fun Fact: Movie's Advertising Tag Line : There has never been anything like it - laugh-wise, love-wise, or otherwise-wise!

What are your favourite go-to classic romantic movies to watch?


Best Chocolate Shops In Columbus,Ohio

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I went around Columbus looking for the best chocolate shops, "trying" out chocolates because well, somebody had to do it! All four of these shops are locally-owned. So, these are as unique as they come. I love shopping local because it always leaves me with a good feeling and a happy smile, knowing that I am helping someone fulfill their dreams.

Here are my picks:


How To Hygge Like You Know It

Monday, February 6, 2017

I love words. And especially words that encapsulate a feeling, like the inuit word "Iktsuarpok", meaning the sense of anticipation as you wait for someone's visit to your house. So, how could I let go of a beautiful word like Hygge without sharing it with everyone.

Hygge(n.) a Danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures.

It's a Danish word. And as everyone knows, all things good and stylish come out of the Scandinavian countries. Think white interiors and minimal, uncluttered furniture. Yup! So, is it even a surprise that Hygge is a Danish concept?

Hygge is a lifestyle. Scandinavian countries have really long, cold winters and the Danes don't let that get them down. They just Hygge.

What is Hygge? Contentment. Happy thoughts. Watching TV under a  cozy throw. Reading a good book. Conversations with friends. That long phone call with your best friend, Hot cup of tea in the morning. It's that feeling of coziness, when everything feels right with the world.  Anything that gives you that warm, cozy feeling is Hygge. Encapsulating all these things is the concept of Hygge.

How To Bring In Hygge Into Your Life: 

Less Technology = More Hygge. Play your favourite music while making dinner instead of having the TV on in the backgound. Hang out with friends, call someone, read a book.


                                                Buy candles and light them. The dim lighting helps to soften the home and the surrounding and gives you the right amount of coziness in your heart.

                        Going out to restaurants and eating food that you cannot pronounce is so overrated. Hygge is simplifying your life and finding joy in uncomplicated things.

                           Hygge involves being with friends and family. Just enjoy the company by sharing a simple meal or just a cup of coffee.

Winter can be tough, do the things that bring warmth and joy to your heart. Slow down. 

Hygge is about finding the extraordinary in the mundane  ordinary things of life. And the Danes must be right. Isn't Denmark the happiest country, according to a recent survey? 


Favourites Of The Week

Friday, February 3, 2017

Favourites Of The Week

Here are some of my favourites that I have curated for your weekend read. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy :)

  • Social Media is good, but sometimes, I have to admit, it takes away my designated reading time. But what if, you could read 200 books in the time we spend on Social Media each year. Would you do it? Read about it here.

  • Friday Nights at our home:
          Me: So, what do you want to watch?
          Him: What do you want to watch? 
          Me: Thriller? 
          Him: Nah..Let's watch an action movie?
          Me: Nah..Let's do horror?
          Him: Nah...
          Me: So, what do you want to watch?
          Him: What do you want to watch?

You get the drift...

And this, right here, is a life-saver. Not only does the website give you suggestions based on genres (it even has a 90s themed genre) and mood, it also tells you where it is currently streaming or where you can rent it from. Go, take a look. Seriously, you will not be disappointed. 
  • How american malls looked in 1989. Read here for a dose of nostalgia. 
"Malls are not the center of our cultural sphere anymore. They're not new and shiny. We've moved on, and now we have the Internet." - Michael Galinsky

Hope you enjoyed reading them!


Granola: 4 Ways To Use It

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
You just found an awesome recipe online and made the awesome-st Granola at home. Well, now what? Here's a tried and tested recipe I love btw.  I, personally use it as a snack to kill  shoo away my late night cravings. But, it's still a lot of Granola left over. So, what do you do? Here are four ways to use your Granola goodness.


How To Organize Your Kitchen, The Marie Kondo Way

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I kicked off 2017 with one thought, well actually, one word, and that was to DECLUTTER. And it almost seemed like a sign when I came across this documentary on Netflix.

Reasons to declutter/organize the kitchen  :
  • It saves a lot of time. 
  • It'll make you want to cook more, because it cuts down on the looking-for-stuff time. 

The kitchen was first on my list, because my kitchen is  was the most disorganized and the messiest. Well, I even have a magnet on my fridge that says something along those lines. 

Here are some of the tips, that have worked for me on my quest for a de-cluttered kitchen. These tips are from Marie Kondo's first book "The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up". Her tips were mainly for clothes, books etc,but they fit perfectly well with organizing the kitchen too. 

                  She says in her book that storage methods do not solve the problem of how to get rid of clutter. Instead, look closely at what you have in the kitchen. Go through every single thing in the kitchen and choose what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Open that dreaded shelf, the shelf that contains everything you have never, ever used and some more. We all have THAT drawer or THAT shelf. Open it, pull everything out and spread it on the floor and look at it. In Marie Kondo's words, you are supposed to look at every single thing and ask yourself "Does it spark joy?". Well, you can't really look at your 5 year old unused spice jar and ask if it sparks joy, but try? Donate or get rid of things in the kitchen that you have never used in the last one year. 

                    How do you decide which ones to donate? Well it's simple. If you are looking at something and thinking, you are going to use it "sometime" soon, it's time to donate it. Is it that waffle maker sitting in the kitchen, taking up space, in the hopes that you'll throw a brunch party one day? Well, if it hasn't happened in the last one year, it probably is not going to happen in the near future. 

                      Sounds easy, right? But, there have been so many times when I haven't bothered to put things back where it belongs. I didn't realize how much time I was wasting by just looking for things. 

                    Things that are spread out are harder to find and if your memory is like me, then good luck trying to remember where things are. Grouping like things together, makes the kitchen more organized and makes things easier to find. Like, I store all my spices needs for Indian cooking together and spices for non-Indian cooking together. Same goes for baking. Group all-purpose flour, sprinkles, icing dispenser and tips etc together. 

"Happiness is a place between too little and too much" - That's a good motto for life and the kitchen ;)

Have you read the book?


Favourites Of The Week

Friday, January 27, 2017

Favourites Of The Week

Here are some of my favourite things I have curated for you. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy :)

  • I have the attention span that lasts about 5 minutes and then I am officially bored. If you are like me, then we have hope. I am serious, go ahead and read about it here,
  • I love everything about the seventies, from hair and clothes to home decor. And I came across The Mary Tyler Moore Show on one of the afternoons when I was looking for something to watch. And I was hooked. If you get a chance, please do watch it. Mary Tyler Moore passed away at 80, yesterday. And here's an article about her that I loved reading.
  • Ten things you can do with rotten bananas. Banana Fosters recipe looks super easy and doable and there are three rotten bananas staring at me. So, yeah..

Hope you enjoyed reading them. 


Less Of this, More Of That

Monday, January 16, 2017
It's a new year..I guess it's kinda obligatory to write something about New Years before the regular programming (blogging) begins, right? Or, should we just skip the first five dates and go straight to Netflix & Takeout? Let's be old-fashioned and talk about the plans for 2017, shall we?

Less Talk, More Do
Less judgement, More try-to-walk-in-someone-else's-shoes
Less binge-watching, More books
Less Things, More Cherishing/using things I already have
Less pop culture, More..Well.. who am I kidding...Let's be realistic ;)

Less over thinking, More Nike
Less stress, More joy
Less I-don't-have-anything-to-wear, More Gratitude
Less sleeping-in, More sunrises
Less negativity, More yay-let's-do-it kinda vibes around me
Less editing, More writing

Less looking-for-the-keys, More organized
Less getting-news-from-socialmedia, More actual, unbiased news (if that still exists!)
Less complaining, More so-what-do-I-do-about-it (refer to 1)
Less I'll-have-what-she's-having (I love When Harry Met Sally), More standing my own ground
Less wikipedia-ing, More Let's-just-not-know-ing

Also, I'd like to know about your lesses and more(s)... Drop me a line, if you'd like to share yours :)

PS: Photo taken on one of our drives from NY (I think!)