STYLING INSPO FOR SUMMER PARTIES

The five prettiest Pinterest images making me smile into my screen this summer!

Simple natural beauty at the table
PC: Pinterest
Sweet girly brunch PC: Butterfly Party by Chickabug
Bright happy Moroccan feels PC: Camilla Styles
Always pick champagne PC: Champagne bucket and frozen roses
Beautiful natural place settings PC: Ruffled Blog

HOME COFFEE BAR ESSENTIALS

PC: Pinterest

I love this sweet coffee paraphernalia illustration! I take my coffee very, very seriously and I plan to acquire each of these implements one day.

BANANA STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE BITES

“Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day

My mother recently pointed out that she’d had two kids by my age. While I don’t have any plans to push any out in the near future, this lovely list of lessons from a mother to a daughter (read it here) inspired me to put together my own list of lessons learnt for any future female progeny.

1. If you can’t figure out why someone is doing what they are – look at what they’ve done in the past.

2. Learn to play a team sport.

3. Wear nice shoes and take care of your feet.

4. You don’t have to be a great cook but you need to be able to: (a) fend for yourself in the kitchen if there’s not takeout available, (b) feed the ones you love once in a while, and (c) have a signature dish that you do amazingly well.

5. If you can help, do it.

6. Sunscreen is for everyone.

7. If s/he is telling you someone else’s secrets then be sure they’ll tell yours to someone else.

8. Marriage is not the solution. You are.

9. Find a shade of lipstick that works for you and wear it when in doubt.

10. Travel. A lot. Often.

11. Carbohydrates, gluten, men, women and/or math are not the enemy.

12. If you take their money they’ll take your freedom.

13. Don’t stop dreaming but nobody promised you a rose garden.

14. Make mistakes, everyone does. Just be honest about them.

15. There’s nothing wrong with liking nice things but try to save atleast a little of your salary every month.

16. If he left someone for you, he will leave you for someone else.

17. There are some things we do for money and some things we do for love – know which is which and that both are valuable.

18. You should be able to wear/say/do what you want but the world is unfair. Make the most of what you’ve got. You’re better off than most.

19. Value old things. Half your story is where you came from.

20. Pick your addictions, friends and fights well.

21. Cleanse, exfoliate, condition, moisturize. That’s pretty much all of it. Don’t let beauty magazines tell you there’s more.

22. Don’t change for a man and don’t expect a man to change for you.

23. You need to be able to pay for your existence by 24.

24. Massages, bath products, great food, books and live performances are always worth it.

25. Diet pills, fairness products and cheap shoes are not.

26. Don’t believe everything you read.

27. Don’t believe everything you hear.

28. Don’t believe everything you see.

29. You don’t have to pick a signature scent.

30. Hydrate.

31. Call me if you’re in trouble. Any trouble.

32. Worry about the environment.

33. You have every right to pick your job, husband, religion, politics and wardrobe. Just remember all choices come with consequences.

34. Move abroad, if you like, it’s probably a better life but I’d like if you made a difference here.

35. Don’t worry about making people angry.

36. Life is only ever going to get busier. Learn to make lists.

37. Hobbies are necessary.

38. Vote.

39. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is get out.

40. When you feel overwhelmed, walk away, drink a glass of water and wash your face.

41. Your surroundings reflect who you are and who you want to be.

42. Keep a journal.

43. The curative properties of a hot bath are greater than those of alcohol.

44. If you have an option, choose handmade.

45. Do not sideline your friends for a relationship. This has never worked out for anyone.

46. Know the difference between how you look in crepe, chiffon, georgette and silk.

47. You don’t have to get along with your gossipy aunt, busybody cousin or chauvinistic uncle but you have to be polite to them.

48. Mentor someone.

49. Donate. Many in our country have very little.

50. There is a middle ground between what your heart says and what your mother says. Look for it.

51. Be kind to those who work for you, children and animals.

52. Learn how to tie a sari.

53. Your boss will lie to you. It’s part of the job description.

54. Everyone needs a good dentist, tailor, gynecologist, dry cleaner, financial advisor, dermatologist and mentor.

55. Firsts are overrated. This first love/job/apartment drama is a scam – some people only get it right in their 35th try and there’s nothing wrong with that.

56. “This is how things have always been,” “this is not our culture,” “what will people say,” are not valid arguments.

57. Don’t put up with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

58. This too shall pass.

59. Be ambitious.

60. Call your friends home often.
About 15 – 20 bites
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
What you’ll need:

3-4 bananas
Handful of strawberries
½ cup of chocolate (melted)
¼ cup of chopped almonds/ walnuts/ shredded coconut (whatever you have on hand)

How to:

1. Chop up the bananas and strawberries into the same number of pieces and make little skewers of strawberries and bananas.

2. Put together an assembly line to avoid getting melted chocolate and nuts all over the place with the bowl of chocolate first and then the bowl of chopped nuts.

3. Dip the skewer first in the chocolate and then quickly coat the melted chocolate with the nuts/coconut.

4. Sit the skewers in cupcake liners and stick them in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes.

 

INCREDIBLE IDIA AND A BOWL OF PEA SOUP

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
The idea of IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) was started by Shamnad Basheer (ex-Professor of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS)) as a movement to eliminate inequities in access to higher education. Statistics show there’s a shocking dearth of diversity amongst the students clearing entrance tests for most national law universities, the IDIA team was set up to help change these statistics. Their main aim is to provide access to resources required to crack the CLAT to students from marginalized communities and regions, who wouldn’t be able to get through the exam otherwise.

Local IDIA Chapters have been set up across the country which have started an intensive training programme for students who are interested in pursuing law as a career. IDIA also selects students for the training program through its exam called IDIA National Aptitude Test which is held every year in several centres across the country. Contact Diptoshree Basu (INAT Coordinator) at dbasu3@gmail.com to find out how you can contribute, that is through donations, volunteering or maybe even mentoring some of the students that IDIA is trying to help.

I thought an appropriate pairing for the inspiring work being done by IDIA was this nourishing but simple Pea Soup – they’re both good for you and good for your soul.

 
 Serves 2
Recipe Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

What you’ll need:

1 cup shelled peas
2 onions (sliced)
2.5 cups vegetable stock

Foodnote: I usually melt Maggi cubes into hot water for this but I’ve heard they may contain MSG. Explore other brands of stock cubes to find one you like.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 lemon (juiced)
Red chilli powder to taste
Oregano/Thyme/ Rosemary/ Parsley or whatever seasoning you prefer

How to:

1. Pop olive oil into the container you’ll be using. Heat the oil a bit and then add the onions, stir while they soften and caramelize.

2. Add the peas and stir till soft. Add the stock and the rest of the ingredients (except the lemon juice) and let cook for about 15 – 20 mins.

3. Puree the mix and check the seasoning. Adjust as per taste.

4. Add a squirt or two of lemon juice and serve.