Friday, August 30, 2013

FALL STYLES 2013

Cooling temperatures is equal to hot fall styles. No matter where you are, fall is nearing and the stores raging with fabulous sales and offers. While you begin to sift through the offers at the stores, here is a look at some of my personal choices to wear this fall. Wardrobe essentials as I call it, to get your autumn arsenal in order.



FALL COLLECTION 2013





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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coconut Cookies

These simple and easy to make cookies are not only delicious, but rich and flavorful. I adopted the version by varying proportions and spices according to taste. The basic structure of the cookie depends on the way you cream the butter and sugar. 

Here's how to make these beautiful, tasty coconut cookies that can be enjoyed with a nice cup of chai.



Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
Pistachios for garnish

Method:

  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer till creamy. Add sugar in little proportions for better texture.
  • Add nutmeg and cardamom powder to the mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, add the flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.
  • With the electric mixer running on low speed, slowly spoon in the flour mixture in small amounts.
  • Combine well to form a soft dough. Do not over mix this to prevent obtaining very dense cookies.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and set on counter for 20 minutes to rest.
  • Pre heat oven to 300F
  • Knead the dough and spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Attach the pistachios to the cookie balls and bake for 20- 25 minutes at 300F.
  • Cool the cookies completely before consuming. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.



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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

THE IMPEDIMENT OF UNCERTAINITY

Mathematics is certain. There is always a solution to a problem. Finite and distinct, you pursue the challenge until you find the solution. Free enterprise is different. There are no definite set of solutions to bind the problem set, only infinite ways to contemplate and arrive at a decision. Even worse, the path keeps varying. 

In today’s workplace, uncertainty is a plague. It incalculably looms over us, changing situations in the blink on an eye. It keeps us on our toes all day and sometimes painfully taunts us and toils with our peace and calm. We have no choice, it is a phenomenon in our industry, and if embraced, uncertainty makes way for greater results and better entrepreneur skills.

It is a contest for anybody to start something afresh. It requires one to have adequate processing time, speed and creativity. Every solution is indeterminate and every path chosen is accountable to become congested by unforeseen predicaments. But the greatest challenge is against uncertainty. While you can overcome almost everything, it is always an issue to unplug from uncertainty.

Uncertainty disrupts every plan in place. It eats away like gnawing bacteria that is never satisfied. The worse part of any challenge is the unknown. There is no map for direction and it feels like you should never lose sight of the compass.

We always remember instances where we have successfully fought for survival. It is a tactical approach we apply to dwell on some confidence, at least for a short period of time and that is until a solution is met. While we overcame obstacles and unforeseen circumstances, looking back and dissecting the plot only points out to those unpredicted situations that tipped us to lose some part of ourselves. Frustration and submission finally plays out and we battle on our last aching nerve to emerge victorious. 

Only the strong survive uncertainty. It is a learning process for us to master the art of equivalent processing and to delegate at all levels. Compartmentalization is the key. Learn to dispense and you will become a better lead.

Let go of the obvious. Focus less on things that don’t gain momentum, things that are time consuming for you and find somebody who can invest on it. As for the uncertainty, admit to the fact that it will weigh you down, receive it, there is no short-cut no matter what your creative endeavor is. It lingers around every nook and corner of your day. Embrace it and channel it, use it to increase your confidence and lead.



To create what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is. It won’t be such a burden ever again.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Red Apple and Cabbage Coleslaw

Snacking does not necessarily mean consuming junk all the time. For me, snacking is an innovative way to consider the ingredients in my fridge and put them to use. I took the quintessential American picnic salad and made it into a perfect snack for two.

Salads are rich in nutrition and can be put together by combining heterogeneous ingredients. Make a delicious dressing and there you have it a healthy option for a snack.

Here is my simply Apple and Cabbage Coleslaw with a neat tangy, creamy honey mustard dressing. This whole thing comes together in a snap and what is great about it is that it retains the crunchiness of the apples and cabbage while adding a bit of sweetness to the salad.

Ingredients to serve 2:
1 red delicious apple julienne
1 cup sliced cabbage
2 tsp chopped parsley

For the dressing:
2 tbsp mayonnaise (substitute with low fat yogurt if your worried about the calories)
1 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp honey
few drops of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 
Chop the cabbage and red apple and keep aside. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk to get a smooth creamy dressing. Pour the dressing over the chopped apple and cabbage, mix them to incorporate and garnish with some parsley if desired. Serve chilled or at moderate temperature.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY Trendy Zipper Pouches

I'm always trying to sort out my cosmetics, stationary etc and when in a hurry, I never seem to find what I am looking for. If you also have the same problem like me, do something about it as scrambling is just a waste of time.

I like how easy and simple it is to make little pouches that help organize my stuff around the house. I found this really cool tutorial on punkprojects.com that have inspired me to make these smart looking zipper pouches.  So, I figured I will just follow the tutorial and make these pouches which undoubtedly is a really awesome way to organize my stuff. 

All you need is some material and 20 minutes of the day to make these chic and trendy zipper pouches. Try them as given in the tutorial and have fun with this totally fun craft work.






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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How To Be Proactive At Work


The adjective “proactive” is used to describe a person who can get things finished. Controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens is being proactive. If you are preemptive, you make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you.

Active means “doing something”. The pre-fix “pro” means before, so if you are proactive, you are ready before something happens. The opposite of proactive is reactive. Reactive people respond to a situation rather than creating or controlling one. In reactive development, one solves matters as they arise whereas in proactive development, you solve matters before they become an issue.

At the workplace, your actions regulate what kind of a person you indicate to be. Do you counter the events happening around you or do you take initiative to prepare for, participate in and/or control the event itself? Do you like to play an active or a passive role? There is no right or wrong in being active or proactive, but in my opinion, proactive people are more valuable in today’s world. They don’t just sit and watch events unfold; they take a stand, chase problems and find answers. 


Proactive people are constantly moving forward at the workplace and are successful in the pursuit. Pro-activity in an individual is a reflection of the way these people think and act, rapidly adapt and flexible to change. Managers are looking for more proactive people or at least those who demonstrate a high degree of proactive mentality.  

Here is my 5 step system to help you become more proactive at the workplace.


Plan: Plan for the future and think on your feet as if the future was right in front of you as your present. 

Predict: Develop foresight and anticipate problems and events. Understand how it works; recognize routines, daily cycles and practices in the business. Use your creativity and logic and determine patterns that are anticipatory of the situation. Be alert and smart at the workplace.

Participate: It is not good enough to know the logic; it is also vital to get involved, take initiative and become part of the solution. 

Perform: Taking ownership of your performance means holding yourself accountable. Stand behind your decisions and have the conviction to complete the work now. Don’t procrastinate, it just loses the focus completely.

Prevent: Undoubtedly, there will be obstacles that exert untimely stress and needs to be overcome assertively. Don’t allow these obstacles to become roadblocks. Take control and confront challenges before they overwhelm you.


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Minted Raspberry Lemonade

Nothing screams out summer more than lemonade. A glass of fresh mint and raspberry lemonade is sure to get you in the relaxed mood after a hot and tiring day. 

With total experimentation, I managed to find the perfect recipe for an instant lemonade to refresh and soothe my senses back to being. I happened to have raspberries and some mint which always works well flavor wise and viola!! I made some fresh minted raspberry lemonade. 

To make 2 servings you will need :

1 cup fresh sweet raspberries mashed and forked
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Ice

Method :
In a blender, combine all ingredients and adjust sweetness according to taste. Once blended, strain the mixture into tall juice glasses and serve chilled with a sprig of mint, slice of lemon and some fresh cut raspberries if desired as garnish.








Monday, August 19, 2013

ANTIQUED ACCENTS

In the pursuit to accentuate my home space, I always turn to vintage accents to elevate my already furnished home. I never fail to keep my eyes open for antiques that go well with my decor  I wish I had time, to spend a whole day, at the flea market excavating beautifully crafted antiques and in the process learning about them in detail. Indisputably, that would be a totally awesome day for me. 

The proposition of discovering and investing in celebrated antiques and charming accents will surely embellish my space and in turn give me that ingenious fulfillment of a well-designed home.

The degree of craftsmanship for any collectible is noticeable and appreciated when accented and preserved. Antiques bring warmth and love into your home and there is always something unique in discovering an antique accent.  As Nate Berkus puts it Your home should feel collected and assembled over time”


Here are some options I am eyeing from Joss&Main only if my budget allows of course. Nonetheless some really cool stuff to purchase if you like cottage chic finds that add a touch of charm. Hurry before the offer ends!!



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yosemite National Park


This summer I had a chance to revise nature and I took it. All I had to do was visit Yosemite National park and enjoy a trek, hike and the summer sun in the lush green meadows of the Sierra Nevada. This breathtaking natural splendor will surely make your visit an unforgettable one and awaken your spirit as it did mine.

Yosemite, the great California valley and a monument to human premonition, the supremacy of glaciers, persistence of life and the calmness of the high Sierra Nevada, promises never to let you down during a visit to the grand Yosemite National Park. Located within a few hours from San Francisco, Reno or Los Angeles, this 1200 square miles territory is truly one of nature’s marvels. 

The park brags of lush meadows, amazing wildlife, deep valleys and ravines, beautifully crafted waterfalls, towering mountains to the ancient sequoias, all paint an artistic picture of profound wilderness. 

At Yosemite, the signature landmark is no doubt the half dome. At about 8000 feet above sea level, it is known to be a hiker’s extreme ordeal. This classic granite dome is an indisputable monarch of the Yosemite National Park. 

Tuolomne Meadows offers a different view of Yosemite. It is the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada. The meadows are a beautiful spot to take some great clicks of the park.

The mist that wafts a spray of fresh spring water is from the Bridal Veil Falls which is another hiker’s dream. It is an awesome spot for pictures due to the scenic surroundings. Climbing the rocks is tough so make sure you have really gripping shoes to avoid a nasty fall. This is a great way to get up close and personal with a waterfall.

From the shuttle stop, a paved trail leads directly to Mirror Lake. At the stone bridge, you can turn right to take the five-mile loop or remain on the paved trail to continue to Mirror Lake. Mirror Lake offers beautiful reflections of surrounding cliffs. This can be a good place to spot wildlife or just enjoy the splendor and tranquility of the surroundings.

And don’t forget to explore all the other things that Yosemite has to offer. Visit the website for more details and plan a safe and enjoyable trip soon.



Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR. post signature




Links to learn more about Yosemite :
Yosemite National Park

The Glory of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite


Saturday, August 17, 2013

DIY Chevron Picture Frame

Inspired from Pinterest and Etsy, I loved this idea and no doubt it is quickly catching up as an elegant wall decor for any wall. I decided to make my version of this nice photo frame to enhance my living room. I am not one to hang bold color frames, so when I get an opportunity to find some contemporary decor, I always go with it.

Here is my new photo frame that are subtle and elegant for any wall. 



You will need 

A stiff board of any size (but not greater 20 x 20 inches).

A piece of chevron or any cloth of your choice to form the background (Pay attention to your walls and choose appropriately. I went with a nice gray chevron piece)

Board pins to secure the cloth firmly onto the stiff board

A photo frame (I picked a light weight frame dollar store)
Photos that you can fit into your frame easily

Instructions :
Secure the cloth tightly with board pins around the stiff card board. Make sure to even out the edges so that they appear clean and crisp.

Attach the photo frame to the board and secure it.

Hang at your convenience and enjoy.
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Low Fat Chocolate Milk Shake


Did you know that milkshakes got their name from being served in bars. If the customer enjoyed the milkshake, he shook hands with the bartender. If not, the bartender didn't get a tip.

Chocolate milkshakes can be made in different ways. The best way I do it, is as follows. Here is my simple, light and creamy chocolate milkshake under 90 calories guaranteed.

Ingredients to serve 2 :

1 cup low fat milk
2 scoops of light and creamy chocolate flavored ice cream (i used double fudge brownie light and creamy 50% less fat than regular chocolate ice cream)
Chocolate syrup (optional)

Directions: 

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and serve chilled.


Enjoy!!!!!!

Tips :

A pinch of Vanilla extract enhances the flavor.

Try white chocolate for a variation.

For a more rich tasty milkshake, add chocolate shavings or whipped cream after you finish blending and serve.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Big Picture

Decorating your home is an ongoing process and in my house it happens once a month. Thanks to a fantastic idea from bhg.com, I started my latest project to give my favorite room a better look.

These gorgeous photo frames are the highlights of my wall. The distinct positioning of the photos in an oversized frame gives it that crisp elegance and class. Here's how I chose to give my favorite photos prime placements in my room.

Surrounded in a striking black frame, the placement of these photos on a crisp white background emphasizes their beauty and texture remarkably. Here are my samples, you can design your own and display for a better looking home.





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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Blooms

Pink Club

Bloom Bloom Bloom

Dahlia in Bloom

Pretty in Pink

Rose Succulents

Bright Summer Blossoms in Orange and Purple

Clovers in the woods

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Have A Great Week


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8 Tips To Natural Pink Lips

Are you envious of girls with pink lustful lips? Do you wish you could get soft, supple and beautiful looking lips? If yes, then read on and find out tips to get your lips naturally pink and lusciously beautiful.

As lips give a very distinctive appeal to the overall features of your face, dull and dark lips can make a dark spot in your beauty.But there is nothing to worry about as dull and dark lips can be turned to pink and soft lips.

Every girl wants those rosy, shiny lips with minimal usage of lipsticks and gloss. With every exposure to the sun, the chances of lips darkening increases and like our skin, it is up to us to protect our lips from excess use of products. After all, lips are the most important part of a girl's charm. Here are 8 ways to get pink fresh looking lips using homemade remedies that are sure to work.


1) Scrub your lips.
Forget spending on expensive lip gloss or lipsticks, scrubbing is the best way to exfoliate the dead skin, remove chapped skin and keep it soft and supple. Every night just before bed, spend sometime to scrub your lips with a soft toothbrush. This is sure to make those lips regain their beauty and charm.

2) Massage your lips.
Massaging lips lighten dark lips quickly. Just make a lip balm out of almond oil and lemon juice and apply on your lips every night before bedtime. The results are sure to satisfy.

3) Moisturize your lips.
Dry and chapped looks are always unpleasant. It is very crucial to keep your lips moistened and hydrated all day. When stepping out in the sun, apply some petroleum jelly to protect your lips. At home, cocoa butter is a good option to use.

4) Lighten your lips.
One of the best home remedies of lightening dark lips that are chapped and dull is to crush some pomegranate seeds and mix with milk cream and apply on your lips. A slice of cucumber can also be used to rub the juices onto the lips. An orange peel can also be used to lighten dark lips. Gradually this results in lightening dark lips and preventing further damage.

5) Stay hydrated.
For beautiful looking lips always remember to keep your body hydrated. Drink lot of water and include fresh fruit juices in your diet to get really healthy and supple pink lips.

6) Never lick your lips.
Its a common practice with men and women to lick your lips whenever they dry out. But the best thing to do next time is to hold that tongue back in as licking your lips is only going to make it more chapped and dry. Instead grab a lip balm and apply generously.

7) Remove lip makeup.
Use a soft cotton ball with a drop of almond oil or olive oil and gently rub your lips to remove the makeup before bed. It is unhygienic to sleep with lip makeup as it leads to darkening lips and increasing flow of bacteria that should be prevented.

8) Cut out caffeine.
Excess caffeine and beverages like soda and coffee leave your lips dull and dark. Avoid these and drink loads of water instead for soft pink lips.

To conclude, by following these above mentioned simple and easy tips you can make your lips soft and pink. So, put these tips in action and see how your lips start blooming and highlighting your charm.


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