curry tree

Amazing Natural Fertilizer For Curry Leaf Plant

I was looking for a safe to use, natural fertilizer for curry leaf plant. I love my curry leaf plant; and not without reason. South Indian cooking can’t do without the inclusion of green, fragrant curry leaves. These leaves are packed with medicinal magic. They’re good for your hair and aid digestion. These also help in keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. These leaves also top the list of herbs that facilitate anti-ageing.

It broke my heart to see an army of slimy slugs making a meal of my plant. I did get rid of the slugs, but my plant was reduced to a mere stick with a few leaves on it.

Natural Fertilzer For Curry Leaf Plant

curd - natural fertilizer for curry leaf plant

That’s when my mom came visiting. She loves gardening and is an expert at it. She made a quick solution of 3 teaspoons of sour curd in 2 cups of water. This was poured at the base of the curry leaf plant. “ Of all things CURD?”, I thought. This actually worked like magic. Two weeks later, my curry leaf plant grew taller, stronger and greener with lots of aromatic leaves.  The trick is to keep using the sour curd fertilizer for your curry leaf plant thrice a week, initially. Later on, once a week is more than enough.

Natural fertilizers are the best for your vegetable garden. Note that curd has so far worked only for the curry leaf plant. I am yet to try this on other plants.

I have since then given more importance to natural pesticides for plants as well. In case we have another aphid infestation or slug attack, I’m better prepared to handle it.

 

Photo Credits: Curry Leaves – dlanglois  CC BY-SA 3.0, text added
Curd – ji-elle CC BY-SA 3.0, text added

short_horror_stories

7 Nightmarish Short Horror Stories You’ve Ever Read

short_horror_stories

In the dead of the night, an eerie sound cuts across the silence and then the clock strikes twelve. Then what? Tired of similar stuff? It’s time for a nice, creepy horror story that sends shivers down your spine. Check out these short horror snippets submitted by users in response to an Ask Reddit thread for 2 sentence horror stories.

The response was good with lots of ghost stories in two sentences, that’s all.  Enough for you to turn on the lights in the middle of the night, today!

Photo credits:bigmacsc99 CC BY-ND 2.0 Text Added

7 Best Short Horror Stories You’ve Ever Heard Of

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short_horror_stories

Did you enjoy these? Do you have any more horror snippets that we could share here? Do let me know!

 

oil for hair growth

DIY Oil for Hair Growth – My Personal Favorite!

oil for hair growth

Gorgeous hair makes you stand apart. It makes you look and feel good about yourself. However, changing seasons, stress, poor hygiene and harsh chemical treatments, all contribute to frizzy, brittle and lacklustre hair.  What you need is a nourishing oil for hair growth that strengthens your hair from root to tip and conditions it evenly.

Check out this homemade oil for long, black hair – recipe handed over to my mom from her mom and so on. This hair oil recipe uses coconut oil as the base plus four magic ingredients that constitute a complete hair care package.

Oil For Hair Growth: DIY Recipe

homemade oil for hair

Fenugreek Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Holy Basil (Tulsi) leaves – 10-15
Henna leaves – 10 -15
Hibiscus leaves – 3 (pinch them into tiny bits)
Coconut oil – 5 tablespoons

oil for hair growth

Warm some coconut oil in a thick bottomed sauce pan. Do not boil the oil. Add the remaining ingredients to the oil. Turn off the heat immediately. Keep it open for an hour. After an hour, strain the oil and store it in a bottle. The quantity of ingredients specified above will be sufficient for a week.

How to use this oil for hair growth?

homemade hair oil

Oil your hair from root to tip every alternate day. Massage it into your scalp in circular movements, for 5 minutes. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with a shampoo suited to your hair type.  Working professionals can do this after returning home from work. You will see encouraging results in a month’s time.

Why is this oil good for hair growth?

This homemade oil is fortified with the goodness of coconut oil, fenugreek, tulsi, henna and hibiscus.

Fenugreek prevents dandruff and conditions your hair. Hibiscus and henna leaves strengthen the hair roots and arrest hair fall. They work together to prevent greying. Tulsi keeps your hair free from dandruff, nits and lice. It also reduces hair fall.  In case you’re unable to procure Henna or Mehendi leaves, you can use dried pieces of Amla or Indian Gooseberry instead.

Want long and healthy Rapunzel tresses? Try this oil for hair growth and let me know how it goes.

coconut oil for skin

9 Compelling Reasons To Use Coconut Oil For Skin

coconut oil for skin

Coming from a tropical country with diverse climatic features, I’ve been told about the numerous uses of coconut oil a zillion times and more by my mom. Women from South India sport long, thick, black hair that is not so common elsewhere. People here use coconut oil liberally over their bodies for overall skin protection. Coconut trees abound in plenty down south. Each and every part of the coconut tree can be used. We’ll save that for later…However, let me give you 9 convincing reasons why you must use coconut oil for skin. Read on to know some non-messy, beneficial coconut oil recipes for an amazingly soft and radiant looking skin.

Why Should I Use Coconut Oil For Skin?

The goodness of coconut oil is mainly due to its chemical composition. It is rich in saturated fats – making it an excellent moisturizer. It penetrates deep down to the innermost layers of your skin and retains the moisture content. Coconut oil has three important germ fighting agents for effective anti-microbial action – caprylic, capric and lauric acids. Next in line is Vitamin E that has anti-oxidant properties. It protects your skin from age spots, wrinkles and premature ageing. Proteins come last – These help your skin to rebuild injured tissue and reduce the noticeability of scars. No wonder coconut oil is used in so many skin care creams.

How to use coconut oil for skin?

It is not without reason that I like coconut oil so much. It is light, spreads easily and is readily absorbed. Unlike olive oil or other skin care creams, you will not find any trace of this oil after applying. It doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind.

Check out the numerous benefits of coconut oil with these time tested skin care methods.

Skin cleansing with coconut oil

Dab a small cotton ball with a few drops of coconut oil. Use it to remove makeup and dirt from your face. It cleanses your skin thoroughly. Incorporate this with your daily skin care regimen. Trash all those silly, expensive cleansing creams and lotions. For people prone to break outs, you can simply wash the oil off with a mild face wash after cleansing.

Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks

Pregnant women can rub their lower abdomen with a few drops of pure, virgin coconut oil twice daily thru pregnancy and nursing to reduce the occurrence of ugly stretch marks.

Coconut Oil for Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

This actually worked for me. Before you retire for the night, take two drops of coconut oil and rub it gently into the area surrounding your eyes. A circular motion with your index finger is preferred. You will notice an immediate difference in a week’s time. The wrinkle busting properties of coconut oil work wonders for dark circles, under eye bags and puffiness.

Coconut Oil as Insect Repellent

Here is a good natural insect repellent formula that you can try for kids.
Take 1 small cup of coconut oil in a small pan. Heat it lightly. Add a few basil (tulsi) or neem leaves. Keep it for a day and then strain. Rub a few drops of this mix on the exposed areas of your kids’ arms and legs, before they set out to play. This will keep pesky mosquitoes and other insects away from your kids.

Alternatively, you can add 2 tablets of camphor to some hot coconut oil. Allow it to cool, then apply on exposed areas of your skin. Mosquitoes will skip buzzing around you.

Coconut Oil for Cuts, Wounds, Insect Bites and Skin Rashes

In case of wounds, cuts, scrapes or insect bites, you can trust coconut oil to the core. My son either scrapes a knee or gets pinched sore at school or gets pricked by mosquitoes when out playing in the park. Coconut oil does the healing trick for him. You should see how fast a wound starts to heal with coconut oil. You may also use this oil to treat diaper rash in babies. Coconut oil soothes allergic skin rashes.

Coconut Oil for Eczema and Candida

This oil is anti fungal in nature. Of course you need to consult a medical practitioner for both these conditions, but using coconut oil externally on the affected areas provides instant relief from itching and pain.

Coconut Oil as a Deodorizer

This is for people who sweat a lot and end up smelling nasty. Rub a few drops of coconut oil into your arm pits. Use a very minute quantity though. It shouldn’t stain your clothes. It kills odour causing microbes, keeping you fresh all day long.

Coconut Oil for Moisturizing your Skin

People with dry and normal skin tones can use coconut oil as a moisturizer before going to bed. Make sure that you cleanse and wash your face before applying this oil. A few weeks of use and you’ll see encouraging results. Do not leave it on acne prone skin, though. This Works well on chapped, dry lips too.

Coconut Oil for Chapped Nails

Apply coconut oil directly over chapped, yellow nails and cuticles. This nourishes your nails and makes them look prettier. Keep your nails free of polish for at least a week’s time when trying this out.

That’s it for now.

Have you ever tried coconut oil for skin? Do share your thoughts and any tested methods using coconut oil for skin.

Image Credits: Chandrika Nair licensed  under CC BY 2.0/ Text Added to original

maid in mumbai

‘Maid’ or what in Mumbai!

What exactly makes up for the lifeline of the working population of Mumbai, especially working women? Local trains? Dabbawallahs? Yeah, maybe. However, spare a thought for your humble maid or ‘kamwaali bai’. The most underestimated yet the most important person who wields total control over your schedule. If she shows up on time, all is well. If she comes late or doesn’t turn up, all hell breaks loose.

maid in mumbai

A typical maid in Mumbai

She can be docile, attend to all your chores and keep your home spick and span. She can also turn tables, emotionally blackmail you or shower you with the choicest of abuses to get a pay hike or an extended holiday. She is quick enough to check if your house is clean before she agrees to work for you! Messy homes need more work and she can’t be bothered to spend more time at yours.

Those days when an acid tongued Sakubai turned up wearing a traditional ‘Kashta’ and hair in a neat bun with gajra are passé. Now a maid dons everything from a Punjabi dress and sari to jeans. The mobile wielding super maid of today can be relied upon to use your washing machines, vacuum cleaners and other gadgets.

She knows the knack of perfect time management. You should see how she handles ‘jhadu pocha’ and ‘bartan’ in a dozen households without a break and yet manages to get back home by afternoon.

Look at a Mumbai maid for brushing up your PR skills. A few treat maids as family, with kind words and financial help, if required. The other few take them for granted and are often unkind. But a Mumbai maid knows how to deal with different kinds of employers. ‘Mai aaj nayi aayegi memsaab’ and ‘Haa haa, aap jaao, mai saara kaam dekh legi memsaab’ is for different types of employers.

Can you imagine what would happen if maids form a union and go on a strike? Or even demand a pay hike every now and then?

Future maids..

Today’s maids work hard to give their children good education. They know the importance of sending their kids to school and college. For this reason, future generations may have to do without domestic help or hire help from agencies at high hourly rates. Maids may fade out just like the old mills in Mumbai.

In western countries, it is the norm to do your washing and cleaning yourself. Mumbaikars are spoilt for choice. If one maid leaves, another turns up almost immediately. Maids are aware of this. They never think twice before leaving your service at the slightest hint of dissatisfaction. Your equation with a Mumbai maid often depends on her mood and attitude more than money.

They have their own set of problems too –  from abusive husbands and pervert employers to ill health and an insecure future.  Offering a kind word is a major part of being human. Sometimes, it is all that we can do.

A maid in Mumbai is an important part of our lives. But, let us not totally depend on her. How about doing some work yourself? Keeps you fit, mentally alert and saves you some moolah too.

So will you be ‘Mad or What’ in Mumbai without a maid? What do you say?

Places to visit around Mumbai - Dahanu beach

Dahanu Beach – Places To Visit Near Mumbai

Weekends are just the time to put on your boots and set off to places seldom explored. Talking of places to visit near Mumbai, Dahanu  is a good bet. It lets you get away from the maddening crowds of Mumbai and goes easy on your pockets. Located in Thane district, Dahanu lies in the Vasai Virar belt, where Gujarat touches Maharashtra. A quaint old seaside town with sprawling beaches, the Dahanu-Bordi stretch is around 17 kms. Dahanu is famous for its fruit orchards especially sapodilla or chickoo orchards. The beaches with swaying palm trees are stunning, offering mesmerizing views at sunrise and sunset.

 Dahanu beach

 

Places to visit near Mumbai

Bordi beach, Aswali dam, Bahrot caves, fruit orchards and tribal tourism in villages nearby promise to add plenty of excitement to your Dahanu trip.

Mumbai Dahanu Distance By Road

Distance from Mumbai to Dahanu by road is 145 km. It takes roughly 2.5 hours to reach in case there is no traffic.

Mumbai Dahanu Map


View Larger Map

Dahanu Resorts

We stayed at Sea Shell Resort, located right on Narpad Beach. Drive along Narpad beach till you find a lane winding inside to your right. Read the sign boards carefully else you might miss this resort, as it is hidden well by trees and foliage. Directions to reach Seashell resort, Dahanu. The resort stay was comfortable. The staff was good. They offer fresh seafood on request.

The only problem was nobody working here had any idea on places to visit near Dahanu. We relied entirely on our GPRS and asking the locals for directions.

Places to see near Dahanu

Bordi Beach

 Dahanu beach

Bordi beach is approximately 18 km from Dahanu Beach. Aswali dam and Bahrot caves are near Bordi. This beach is cleaner and free of clutter as compared to Narpad beach.

Aswali Dam

Aswali dam, dahanu

To reach the dam, you need to reach the base of the mountains near Bordi. You’ll find a Marathi primary school here with vegetable farms on either side. Leave your car here and trek upwards for 5 minutes. The dam in on a lake surrounded by imposing mountains of the Western Ghats. This place is so peaceful and the view so stunning that it leaves you speechless. This dam was constructed by hand several years ago and is the source of water to several villages nearby. Make sure you go here in the morning as it is very hot later in the day. However, the Bahrot caves are at a distance of a good 3 hour climb from the dam. We had kids with us, so we dropped the idea of getting to the caves. It is said that in ancient times, Parsis escaped from Iran and hid in this cave to protect their faith from Muslim invaders for 13 years. There is a holy fire kept burning till date in these caves. Know more about Bahrot Caves, Dahanu.

Tribal Tourism

Dahanu is also home to the Warli tribe. While getting to the Aswali dam, we drove thru one such village. The Warlis live in ingeniously built mud and bamboo huts with mud floors covered in cow dung.

Warli village,Dahanu

These huts are very neat and tidy. A few have shops in front of their houses. These people are poor but clean and polite. We took permission before clicking a few pictures inside their hut.

Warli Art

Warli painting, dahanu

The Warli people are very artistic. Their paintings offer an insight into their daily lives. The walls of their hut are first smeared with cow dung. Red mud paste is then applied to provide a base. They dip bamboo twigs in rice paste to draw intricate patterns depicting people, birds, animals, rituals, trees and practically everything that they deal with during their life span. Every hut has a decorative warli painting on its walls.

Weekend trip organizers like The Blueberry Trails offer a wonderful experience of interacting with the tribals and learning their art forms. Tribal tourism is slowly gaining momentum in Dahanu.

Agro Tourism in Dahanu

Visit fruit orchards in Umbergaon and Gholvad to get a feel of agro tourism.

Kalptaru Botanical Gardens

Practically every travel site you Google out will have some information on botanical gardens in Dahanu. Be warned however, it is not near Dahanu. It is ahead of Umbargaon, inside Gujarat. If you are put up at Dahanu, you cannot combine all these places in your itinery. Keep the botanical garden visit for another day.

Best Time To Visit Dahanu

The best time to go to Dahanu would be any time of the year other than summers. Monsoons will offer scenic views of overflowing canals and lots of green foliage.

Dahanu was a refreshing experience. Overall, a nice weekend getaway to visit with family and friends. Check out other places to vacation near Mumbai – Ganpatipule.

how to do nail art at home

6 DIY Nail Art Designs At Home With Toothpicks And Tape

Nail art designs at Salons and Nail Spas are great if you have the time for it and of course money. What about getting some fabulous looking nail art designs at home with a few basic things like toothpicks and a simple adhesive tape like Sello tape. With these in hand, you don’t have to shell out money for a proper nail art stamping kit either. Toothpicks are good applicators for making intricate designs or simple stripes on your nails. Cello tape helps in color blocking patterns. Confused? Let us see how to create cute nail art designs with these basic things along with loads of imagination.

Nail Art Designs At Home

Things you will need

1 Neutral or colored nail polish for the base coat
2 or 3 nail polish shades
Toothpick
Sello tape
Drinking glass or a glass topped center table
Tissue paper or an old piece of cloth

How to do nail art at home

Nail art with toothpicks

Stripes and polka dots are the easiest designs you can create with a toothpick. If you are a good artist, go in for hearts, floral designs or anything theme based like a nice summery beach, a hat, butterfly, lettering  etc.

Paint your nails in the base color. Allow this coat to dry completely before taking up anything else. Next dip a toothpick in a darker color, wipe off excess with tissue paper or cloth. Proceed to draw stripes, polka dots or whatever you fancy. Check out these cool designs that you can make with a toothpick.

how to do nail art at home via Pshiiit

 

how to do nail art at home via  nail art 101

how to do nail art at home via Chalkboard Nails

Nail Art With Tape

My personal favorite, nail art with tape is a bit time consuming as compared to the toothpick thing. However, it gives you amazingly uniform striped patterns.

Cut off a piece of cello tape. Cut this piece into thin long strips or short fat strips. Allow these strips to adhere to the drinking glass or onto the glass top of your center table. Apply a base coat on your nails. Allow your nails to dry completely. Stick these strips of tape on your nails in horizontal, vertical or zigzag fashion. Apply another nail polish color to your nails over these strips. Allow to dry. Once dry, pull off the strips of tape. You’ll get some fantastic nail art patterns this way!

nail art designs at home via Isla Everywhere

 

nail art designs at home via Snobka

nail art designs at home via so nailicious

So what are you waiting for? Get going!

organic food india

Organic Food In India: Where to buy?

The demand for organic food in India is slowly on the rise. In fact before independence, farming was indeed organic in India. Fertilizers, pesticides, artificial growth hormones given to poultry and livestock were typically unheard of, back then. However, farmers started using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, bypassing traditional methods to get more produce and double profits.  This has invariably led to soil and water pollution along with a total disturbance of our biorhythm (Absolutely true, whether you realize it or not!)

organic food in India

Organic Food in India

24 Letter Mantra , Organic Garden and Farm2Kitchen are a few organic food stores that sell online as well. In case, these organic stores are not available in your locality or they do not deliver in your area, you can buy their products from other grocery shopping stores like Big Basket or LocalBanya.

Where to buy organic food online in India?

You can buy organic food online at   24 Letter Mantra, Organic Garden or farm2kitchen. In fact, 24 Letter Mantra has more than 200 organic food products including breakfast cereals, juices, cookies, spices, pulses etc.  You can buy your monthly groceries from here. Organic garden offers farm fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to other groceries. But they operate only in Mumbai as of now. Both 24 Letter Mantra and Organic Garden have been certified ‘Organic’ by ECOCERT. I haven’t tried out farm2kitchen, though. Check out their websites for quality guidelines and organic certifications before you buy stuff.

 Still hesistant?

Trying out organic food in India will give you a better idea. It all depends on your experience.  For instance, I tried using organic garden wheat flour. I was disappointed with the way the rotis turned out. They were far from soft. However,whole organic wheat turned out to be so good. I got it ground from the local flour mill and the rotis seemed to melt in my mouth.

Check out powdered spices like turmeric, dried red chilly etc. from 24 letter mantra. Compare them with other brands like Everest. You can feel the difference immediately. Spices from the former have a fresh aroma and taste better.

Yeah organic food in India is expensive! So what?

Organic food is slightly more expensive that non organic brands. But then, don’t you end up buying so much junk on every trip to the supermarket. Packets of cheese balls, ready to eat meals, fried potato snacks and the like. Doesn’t it make sense to allocate a budget for some healthy organic food rather than mindlessly opting for food loaded with Trans fats, preservatives and what not? So either you pay the farmer or your doctor – the choice is yours.

Why organic food?

People are generally not convinced to buy organic food as they are unaware of its benefits. I love the fresh aroma of organic spices, especially spices from 24 Letter Mantra. Organically grown wheat gives you soft flour and even softer rotis. I have been opting for organic produce since a year.  Try to understand why organic food is good for you.

Benefits of organic food in India

Strict Quality Guidelines

Unlike  conventional farming, organic farming requires adherence to strict quality guidelines. ‘Organic’ certification indicates that the produce meets strict quality regulations for organic farming. It means the produce is completely free from toxic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones, sewage waste or even genetically modified organisms(GMOs). In India, every organic food store must be certified ‘ORGANIC’ from an organic certification agency accredited under the National Programme for Organic Production (INDIA NPOP). Check out this list of organic certification agencies in India .

Environment friendly

Conventional farming methods use pesticides and fertilizers indiscriminately. These chemicals leach into the soil and pollute water resources. Eventually we are affected by way of direct consumption of such produce as well as via supply of drinking water among others.

Organic farming nurtures the soil and makes it fertile. The farming methods used are energy efficient. Good soil filters water passing thru it which means no chemicals affect potable water.

Tastes better

Organic food tastes better. Be it spices, pulses, sea food or meat, organic food tastes better than produce cultivated using conventional farming methods.

Organic Meat is healthy

Organic livestock are not administered artificial growth hormones. Organic livestock are kept in healthy living conditions, fed well and given more room to move about. Unnecessary antibiotics are not administered either.  These chemicals can cause digestive disorders and allergies on entering our blood stream.

Advantage for traditional farmers

Organic producers keep a direct relation with rural farmers in India. Farmers can bypass middlemen. Farmers get to earn better. By buying organic produce, you help these farmers indirectly. Organic food farmers market is held at many places in India.

In case you have no organic food stores nearby or if online stores do not deliver to your area, you can still try to eat healthy. Check out how to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables right at home.

Organic food lovers do share with our readers, your choice of online organic stores and organic food products, in the comments section.

chuddy buddy - best friends

My chuddy buddy story – Whats yours?

Ever had ‘chuddy buddies’, the ones that stick with you, no matter what ? Well, I consider myself lucky to have such wonderful friends. Some from kindergarten days, some from college times, a few workplace friends and friends from the ‘mommy gang’ – thanks to my son’s friendship with other kids.

My first chuddy buddy

chuddy buddies

Image Credit: gracewong

My first chuddy buddy was a little girl, my kindergarten friend and neighbor. We turned into fast friends when our moms walked us home after school, everyday! Together we were involved in some eye popping horrid episodes, horrid by the standard of any kindergarten goer.

Hair raising experience

hair raising experience

Image Credit: swambo

Way back in 1985, we stayed at my father’s office quarters. This area was kind of huge with several three storey buildings and vast, green spaces for kids to play. Borivili, back then wasn’t as crowded as it is today. There was this crematorium a little away from our quarters. It had huge, shady tamarind trees. We had seen elder children go there and collect ripe tamarind from the trees. One afternoon around 4 pm, the watchman on duty went on some errand and we went out of the main gate of our quarters. We trotted along for a few feet more, turned round the corner and entered the cemetery. Imagine two little girls hanging out, collecting tamarind in their frock pockets on a peaceful wintry afternoon at an eerily secluded spot! These two little munchkins went further ahead and found a few white pieces of what looked like calcified stone. They collected these ‘stones’ for playing ‘tipri’ or hopscotch, did some more exploring and went back home.

Imagine our mothers’ horror when they saw the white ‘stones’ that we had collected! Those were pieces of human bones from the crematorium! Her mom, the more superstitious kind, did a few evil – eye removal mumbo jumbo techniques before scolding us both. As for my mom, she spanked the life out of me!

Candies are not so sweet…sometimes 😉

chuddy buddies

Image Credit: mauren

My friend had a grumpy old granny who was distantly related. She would come visiting every month. She was strict and my friend didn’t like her much. This lady always carried a pouch containing yummy sugar candies. And no! The candy wasn’t meant for kids. The grumpy lady that she was, she kept the entire stuff for herself! Once when she was asleep, we took the pouch, finished the candies, filled it with some pebbles and kept it back. Though we got scolded, this incident put off her visits for a few months. My friend – was she glad? Yes!

Every day was an adventure for us. We played, laughed with not a care in this world. One day we had to part ways, though. We moved into a new residence which was quite far. We were too small to write letters and stay in touch. I’m sure she still remembers these funny incidents and laughs at all the fond memories , wherever she is.

Friendship – Cradle to the grave kind

chuddy buddies best friends

Photo Credit: Randomthoughtstone

Some friendships go way beyond name-place-animal-thing, tic-tac-toe, silly doll games and make believe kitchen games. It feels as if you are together right from the cradle to the grave. This is the kind of friendship that I share with my best friend of more than 15 years. We shifted to a new place and I found a good friend at school, the very first day.

Small things like sharing your lunch boxes at school, having petty squabbles as in ‘who has the best looking shoes’, mindless chatter and silly jokes were a good part of our school days, especially the lunch boxes…Mmmmm… Being a Malayalee I loved what her Maharashtrian mom made, spicy vangyache bhareet (roasted, mashed brinjal side dish) with fluffy bhakris, sabudana khichdi and what not! She loved my mom’s Idli – sambar, mixed grain dosas and tamarind rice.

Culinary attempt gone awry

cooking disasters - Tips to overcome Image Credit:  Dollen

Summer vacations were fun. We read books, played and ate away to glory. Once we decided to try out new recipes. Our moms encouraged us. Of all things, I have absolutely no idea why we decided to make some khatta meetha mango pickle that day! We got all things necessary, asked her mom how to make it and bingo we made some 1 kg of mango pickle. Her mother had warned – Make sure you girls use a dry mango jar and smoke some camphor over it so that the pickle doesn’t get spoiled. That was one overzealous attempt at making pickle! So we did not bother about smoking camphor and all that. 3 days went by and we decided to take a look. What happened next was so disheartening that I did not attempt to make pickles till the time I got married! Our sweet and sour pickle had turned black 🙁 . We realized that good things often came to you, the hard way. That was one of the many lessons we learned from life together!

College life

Soon we were ready for college. We joined different streams of education. I had to study away from home. Hostel life was fun. She made her own gang of friends while I had mine. We still made it a point to meet during vacations be it summer, Diwali, Christmas holidays or whenever I was home. Juicy gossips, heartbreaks, silly infatuations, hanging out together and shopping till we dropped were a part and parcel of our life whenever we met.

I know she will kill me for mentioning this here – We had gone to watch this super flop movie –‘Pyar me kabhi kabhi’ and there was this scene where a girl’s boyfriend is dying. While we waited for the movie to come to an end, my best friend sobbed her heart away. She used her handkerchief, then mine and a few more tissues. The rest of our gang started laughing and she bawled all the more. To this day both of us laugh when we remember this.

And it goes on…

Post graduation, we took up jobs. We made new friends. We still remained the best of buddies. Marriage and kids have failed to separate us. She took leave from work and was at my bedside when I went into labor to deliver my son. We may not talk or meet every day. But we know that we are there for each other always. And as luck may have it, our sons are good friends too.

chuddy buddies

So you see, chuddy buddies are a must in our lives. They’ll be there to share your joys. They’ll offer their shoulders for you to cry on. They’ll also be good punching bags for you to vent your frustration when things go awfully wrong. To maintain a lasting friendship you need to get out of the virtual world, though. Meet whenever time permits, call up instead of  typing out SMSes by the dozen. WhatsApp is nothing as compared to catching up in person, either. Life and time fly by real fast…

what to do with old coffee mugs

What to do with old coffee mugs – 7 Smart Tips

You get so many coffee mugs as gifts – Tall ones, cute ones, personalized travel mugs, glass coffee mugs, photo mugs – you name it! Or you probably end up buying an entire set as return gifts for birthdays and think of what to do when you have so many of them left. Rather than throwing them away or donating them, why not reuse old coffee mugs and turn them into something more trendy and useful?  Think of  transforming all those mugs into stunning pieces of art or simply change their basic functionality. Check out what to do with old coffee mugs for home decor.

Reuse Old coffee mugs – Cool ideas

Coffee mug planters

what to do with old coffee mugs - recycle?

Photo Credits:sweetnothingbj.blogspot.in

Use those cute coffee mugs as herb planters. You can also plant cacti and other succulents in your coffee mug. Keep them near window sills or on your center table. Plant tiny shrubs in mugs with similar design. Arrange them in a row on a shelf or on top of a cabinet.

what to do with old coffee mugs - recycle?

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Tie a few coffee mugs with beautiful braided nylon strings around them. Hang them on walls. Use these as hanging wall planters.

Candle Holders

what to do with old coffee mugsPhoto Credits: prudentbaby.com

Glass coffee mugs and tiny coffee cups can be filled with perfumed wax. Use these as candles. Use vintage coffee mugs, glass mugs or tall coffee mugs as candle holders for designer candles and aromatherapy candles.

Pencil – Pen Holders

what to do with old coffee mugs - recycle?

Photo Credits:mirandaceleste

Use old coffee mugs as pencil holders in your study, office or kids rooms. Use a second one to store office supplies like paper clips, stapler pins and the like.

Decorate picture frames

Break an old coffee mug. Simply put the mug in an old cloth bag and hit it with a rolling pin or heavy stick to get the shards. Paste the shards onto the edges of an old picture frame with some super glue. You get a funky photo frame with a ceramic mosaic border.

Coffee Mug Pin Cushions

what to do with old coffee mugs - recycle?

Photo Credits:paula pue

Take a long piece of felt or cut out a long piece from an old sweater. Roll it till you get a roll large enough to fill the coffee mug. Paste this roll at the bottom and sides of the mug. People who love to sew can use this as a pin cushion. This coffee mug pin cushion can also be used at office for all sorts of pins.

Coffee mug wind chimes

what to do with old coffee mugs - recycle?

Photo Credits:www.craftychica.com

Use an old coffee mug for making a lovely wind chime. If it is chipped, paint it in a color of your choice. Take a piece of strong colored chord and stick it on the bottom of your mug with a super strong adhesive. Now turn the mug upside down. Use another piece of cord to tie together some simple chimes or tiny bells which are light in weight. Stick this cord on the base of the coffee mug, inside. Now you can hang the mug turned wind chime on your front porch or window. Make sure that the adhesive is strong enough.

Coffee mug pot pourri

Add scented pot pourri to a coffee mug. Keep it on your desk, a corner piece or on your center table. Feel fresh with scented petals and flowers in your coffee mug.

I loved these thrifty ideas for recycling old coffee mugs. Do you have any more tips? Do let me know.

 

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