It’s the little things!

Right. Okay. Before we begin. Let’s start with everything ever.
Like the whole entire universe. The cosmos and all it comes with. In fact, no. Wait. Let’s encompass the whole damn multiverse, even. Just to be sure.

The big, large, gargantuan collection of all things that have ever been.
So there we have it: the exact opposite of a Little Thing.

Except, actually, it’s not. What you have here just so happens to be every Little Thing, all crammed together.
Small fragments, tiny pieces, all stitched into the entire fabric of the universe.

A lot of people out there — hell, all of us at some point — have been so focused on the bigger picture, so intent on reaching some kind of destination that it takes over us completely.
A goal. A dream.

Something that we have been aiming for ever since our hearts were handed our first bow and arrow and told to choose a target. Which is great. It’s brilliant to want something so wholeheartedly that it makes the air taste a little sweeter because suddenly, it’s infused with hope. With determination and giddiness. It becomes your life’s mission.

And yet, everything big is a collection of all things little.

Which is why we need to grab the Sky remote that has been wedged down the side of the sofa, and press pause for a moment. Allow ourselves time to notice them. To appreciate them. To live them and love them and become them.

Being aware of the little pockets of happiness that are dotted all throughout your day. Like savoring the taste of your favorite hot-chocolate. And having your dog snuggle up against you.

Because happiness itself is not just one big, overwhelming thing. It’s bits and bobs of the things you love, the people you love, your favorite foods and books and cities.
It’s the new season of your favorite show starting.

It’s grabbing a bite on the way home from a long day.
It’s your hair falling in waves across your shoulders after plaiting it overnight and it’s your old school friend being in town for the weekend.

It’s the little wins, like rewarding yourself for finally managing to fit in that morning run. Woohoo! Sounds horrendous to me, but well done you!

Give yourself as many of those little victories as you can. The little moments that evoke the large emotions, that leave the lasting and large marks on the universe.
If you let yourself live in the moment — which is actually all we have anyway — then you’ll see.

If you’re mindful, you will see that the Little Things are everywhere.
You’ll see them in things that once appeared daunting. Things that seemed too much, too sudden, too overwhelming, like big tasks that whir around in your head, too fast for you to get a hold of. But everything big can be divided into it’s littles. If you think about it, the Little Things are, in fact, every thing, really. You just need to let yourself see them. Embrace them. And live everything little thing that you can.
In the end, in the grand scheme of the grand universe, our lives are only little things themselves. Teeny, tiny and tremendous. But just because they’re small, just because they’re a story wedged into a corner of a phenomenally-large library, surrounded by infinite others, that doesn’t mean they’re not important.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Our lives are the ultimate Little Thing. Delicate. Brilliant. Abundant. And part of a weird and wonderful whole.

After all.
You can’t make the universe, without “U”.

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Mirror mirror on the wall, this is self-reflection.

Do you ever wake up, look in the mirror, and appreciate what you see?

I don’t do it enough.

It’s one of my 2021 goals to do it more often (not only for my confidence, but to appreciate myself). Mornings are when I take a moment to set my intentions for the day. I take it slow, do some things I love, and I think of a few things that i’m appreciative for.
if I start my day by picking apart things I don’t like about myself (physically or mentally), I know my day will be filled with negative energy and low confidence levels.
If I start it off in a mindfully positive way, it makes all the difference. I’m not telling you to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say something super cheesy.

When we sit and reflect on what we have experienced in the past, our reaction to those events, we tend to understand how we have reacted to the situation good or bad and how it has effected the person you connect to. If a change is necessary in your actions by word or deed, it is important that you Rectify it for your own peace of mind. What you want to implement is what you say to yourself when you see yourself in the mirror.

Have a great weekend everyone ❤️

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Spinach Rice with vegetables in Paprika Sauce 🍛

When Continental calls, one does not say no! This yummiliciouss recipe is a worth try for those of you would love to explore different tastes.

The bright green Spinach Rice enhanced by the Vegetables in Paprika Sauce delighted all my 5 senses of taste, Color, feast, aromas and Satisfaction. Believe me, my digestive juices started running when the garlic hit the oil during the cooking itself!!!

It was excruciating waiting for 30 minutes it took to get this dish ready. But it was well worth the wait when it was set on the table.

For spinach rice Ingredients:

• For blanching Spinach:

1. Spinach 1 big bunch

2. A pinch of salt

• Fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp

• Fresh coriander 1 tbsp

• Green chillies 2 nos.

• Ice cubes 1-2 nos.

• Butter 1 tbsp & oil 1 tsp

• Garlic 1 tbsp

• Red chilli flakes 1 tsp

• Cooked basmati rice (5 cups)

• Salt to taste

• Black pepper powder a pinch

• Lemon juice 1 tsp

For paprika sauce: Ingredients:

• For sautéed veggies:

1. Oil 1 tsp

2. Garlic 1 tbsp (chopped)

3. Red chilli flakes 1 tsp

4. Baby corn 1/3rd cup

5. Carrot 1/3rd cup

6. Zucchini 1/3rd cup

7. Mushroom 1/3rd cup

8. Mixed bell peppers 1/3rd cup

9. Broccoli 1/3rd cup

10. Salt & pepper to taste

• For paprika sauce:

1.2 tbsp butter

2. Refined flour (maida) 2 tbsp

3. Milk 600 ml

4. Paprika powder 1 tbsp (red chilli powder)

5. Salt to taste

6. Black pepper a pinch

7. Nutmeg powder a pinch

Method :

🥬Set water for boiling, add the cleaned and washed spinach leaves and blanch for few seconds, remove and immediately transfer to ice cold water. This process helps in retaining the bright green colour of spinach.

🥬Now, transfer the spinach in grinding jar, along with fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies and few ice cubes, grind to a fine puree and keep aside.

🥬Set a wok on medium heat, add butter & oil, garlic and red chilli flakes, cook for 1-2 minutes on medium flame, now add the spinach puree and cook for 4-5 minutes.

🥬 Now add the cooked rice, salt to taste, black pepper powder a pinch and lemon juice, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir gently without breaking the rice grains. Spinach rice is ready, serve hot with hot paprika sauce.

Method :

🍛For sautéed veggies, set a wok on medium heat, add oil, garlic and red chilli flakes, cook for 2-3 minutes.

🍛 Now, add baby corn & carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes on high flame, further add the remaining veggies, salt & pepper to taste, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, sautéed veggies are ready, keep aside to be added later in the paprika sauce.

🍛 For paprika sauce, set a sauce pan or wok on low heat, add butter and flour, mix and cook for 3-4 minutes, now add milk in 3-4 batches, make sure to whisk well while adding milk to avoid lump formation. Cook the sauce until its thick and creamy.

🍛Now add paprika powder, salt to taste, black pepper powder a pinch and nutmeg powder, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes, further add the sautéed veggies and cook for 1-2 minutes, now add the paneer and mix gently.

🍛Paprika sauce with sautéed veggies and paneer is ready, serve hot with hot spinach rice.

Oriflame, Smile & Confidence💄

Colors that never get boring, Shades that brighten your life, Shades and textures from Matte to Glossy – Something a woman cannot and should not do without as Shades of colours brighten up one’s life.

Essential to Make-up from nude to bright they help add a smile to your face.

Even though I now work and study from home, looking good is my right, looking good is my way to start a day and looking good is ofcourse my birthright!

Along with adding color, our lipstick today have SPF, lip-protectors, Creamy effect, matte finish, long last, waterproof,and the list goes on and on and on……
There are somethings one should not have to compromise on and I feel a good lipstick is one of those things that fills you with utmost Confidence and Joy.

I Confidence boosters come from the shades of Oriflame. I love their textures and the ability to mix and match shades and create a spectrum of my own.

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The bright light.

“Without dark clouds in our lives, we would never know the joy of sunshine.” ~ Billy Graham

Why do we often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude the most? We do this with both people and possessions. The problem is many people do not realize this until the situation has come and passed. We take things for granted on a daily basis, always with the assumption that whenever we need something, it will be there.

Too many times people don’t realize what they have because they are out there looking for something better. The problem is that when they do realize it, they will come crawling back. Everyone falls into the trap that the grass is always greener on the other side. People make mistakes, it’s part of human nature. If you really love this person it may be in both people’s best interest to give him or her another chance. Sometimes space makes people appreciate things they once had. You need to make it clear that you forgive one time, and one time only, and if this is what you truly want.

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I am bursting with self-confidence.

I have a clear understanding of how I am. I am strong, I am beautiful, I am fearless, I am wise, I am a lover and I can laugh. Thus, self-confidence overflows in me.

My weaknesses tell me that I am strong, my flaws tell me I am beautiful, the way I segregate reality from illusion tell me I am fearless, I learn from my mistakes because I am wise, I am a lover and I’m always will be, I may be sad or I may not be, I will always have a smile on my face.

I have a purpose and everyday I fulfill it. I listen to others opinions but I live by my values. I remain true to my believes and I am happy with myself.

Having self-confidence is about loving myself both when I succeed and also when I stumble. I am always proud of myself as long as I know I have done my best.

I understand the difference between my values and my performance because we all have days when we are disappointed by ourselves. However days like those make me stronger because I choose to learn from anything that my not quite the way I wish.

I burst with self-confidence because my inner voice is filled with love. My inner voice is overflowing with words of affirmation. if and when I fail I always boost my self confidence by remembering my strengths and the lessons I have experienced and I learn in the process.

I pursue new interest with passion as I can cover new talents with them myself. I have in overflowing self-confidence fountain which helps me overcome the fear of failure.

Today, I know how to separate my values from my performance. I look Deep inside myself and see the person I am destined to become. Today, I make the choice to move in a positive direction.

I have a clear understanding of how I am. I am strong, I am beautiful, I am fearless, I am wise, I am a lover and I can laugh. Thus, self-confidence overflows in me.

Here are a few self-reflection questions :

  1. How can you separate your values from your performances ?
  2. How do you react to your failures ?
  3. What new talent do you want to pursue ?

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Aapam & Stew 😋

Yumminess comes in many shapes and sizes, here is another southern speciality of Aapam and Stew.

The combination of Bland and Spice, simple clean and clear taste of rice and coconut in the Aapam with a hot Spicy peppery Cabbage Stew that leads the taste of fire and ice in the mouth.

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups regular white rice (any variety)
  • 1 cup parboiled rice or boiled rice
  • a fistful of poha ( parched rice) or cooked rice
  • 1 to 1.5 cups grated coconut or 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • water or as required for grinding
  • oil as required

Instructions :

  1. Rinse both the rice varieties together for a couple of times.
  2. Soak both the regular rice, parboiled rice in water for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Drain and then add them to the grinder. Also add the grated coconut, cooked rice or poha (or flattened rice), dry active yeast, salt and sugar.
  4. You can also proof the yeast separately and then add. Just take about 2 to 3 tbsp warm water. Add a pinch of sugar and dissolve it. Then add the yeast and stir. Let this solution sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 mins till it becomes bubbly and frothy.
  5. Add required amount of water and grind all the ingredients to a smooth flowing batter
  6. Pour the batter in a large bowl or pan. Cover and keep aside for fermenting for 8 to 12 hours, depending on the temperature conditions.
  7. The batter will rise and increase in volume the next day.
  8. Heat a kadai or an appam pan with handles. Smear some oil on the kadai. If using non stick kadai, then skip smearing the oil.
  9. Spread a ladle full of the batter. Turn and tilt the pan so as to spread the batter.
  10. Cover the pan and let the appam cook. The base would become nicely light golden.
  11. Make all appam this way.
  12. Serve the appam hot or warm with vegetable stew or sweetened coconut milk.

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Some Mindfulness ✨

Few thoughts on being still, acceptance and our perception:

✨ Taking away everything that you think defines you or that you percieve to be important, being with your pure self.

✨How do you feel? Do you still feel okay, happy, worthy, calm? Can you identify what things you percieve to be determine you as a person!?

✨What if each time you experienced an emotion, you acknowledged it, accepted it, and became curious about its message for you (instead of trying to make it go away or make it last longer)? Imagine how this could change your life. Imagine how heard, loved, and honoured you would feel if you really listened to yourself.

✨When nothing is certain, anything is possible What do you take for granted?

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Banana and Chocolate Oatmeal🥣

Do you like to eat something sweet for breakfast?
Oh good, I just knew we would be friends! 😉

I love sweet breakfasts. It can be a fruity sweet or chocolate sweet, however it’s sweet doesn’t really matter, I just love a sweet breakfast.

I made Banana and Chocolate Oatmeal for my breakfast today 🥣😋

Super creamy, naturally sweet, with good-for-you oats and mashed banana, this high fiber and protein filled healthy breakfast is one to make over and over again.

🥣 To begin, to a medium-sized pot add your water and milk and bring them to a boil on high heat.

🥣 Add oats and mashed banana, and reduce the stove to medium-low heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The oats should be tender enough that they aren’t hard to chew, but they will be a little chewy.

🥣 Take your pot off the heat, and add your cinnamon and vanilla. Stir till everything is well combined.

🥣 Serve plain or with chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or a scoop of peanut butter. Devour!

I love this recipe because not only is it gluten-free but it’s also dairy-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened with banana (sugar-free!). If you prefer, you can add a little maple syrup into your oats after they cook (a few tablespoons). But, I think the banana gives them enough sweetness themselves.

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Perception vs. Reality

Perception :

Perception refers to a few processes that we use to make sense of all the stimuli we encounter every second, from the glow of the computer screen in front of us to the smell of the room to the itch on our ankle. Our perceptions are based on how we interpret all these different sensations, which are sensory impressions we get from the stimuli in the world around us.

In other words, Perception is the organization , identification and the interpretation of the stimuli in order to represent and understand the present situation, information or environment.

“Perception is what you think, see, feel, taste and hear – it’s all you”

For example, upon walking into a restaurant, you enjoy the ambiance, food and the service , so you perceive that it is a good place and hang out. You also give recommendations to your friends. Now that you like the place and have referred it to your friends, it does not mean that everyone feel the same. Hence it’s all you.
Understanding Your Perception

There are some questions you can ask yourself to better understand your perception, thoughts and feelings, in any given situation.
Ask yourself:

  • is the magnitude of my emotion matching the reality of the situation?
  • what are the facts of the situation?
  • what does this situation remind me of?
  • how have I felt in a situation similar to this one in the past? Is that why I’m feeling this way now?
  • what emotions I am hyperaware of? and extra sensitive to?
  • is how I feel a reaction to the past or the present?

What’s also helpful for me, is to put myself in the mindset of each person involved. What is their point of view? Also, don’t forget that communication is key. Almost all interpersonal issues can be solved by communicating clearly. Ask people or players in a situation, how they’re seeing things. We all internalize everything so often, we forget that most of our wondering can be eliminated by asking a simple question. For a more accurate picture, build your reality based on reason and perception, try to strike a balance.

Reality :

Reality is the way things actually are, not the way you might want them to be. Reality does not change to adapt to our viewpoints; reality is what it is: Reality is fact. Reality is truth.

The picture in front of your eyes. No imagination, no feelings, nothing. It’s just in front of us.

Perception vs. Reality :

We often confuse perception with reality without appreciating that our perception is the lens through which we view reality of ourselves and others.  We must also be mindful not to confuse the lens with that which is being viewed through our perception. As people, we misunderstand and entertain our thoughts and feelings to believe that what we perceive is real to us, thus conclude that they must be true, therefore, how we look at a challenge may be of the challenge itself. We all believe that our perception is reality. 

Our perception creates our thoughts which creates our reality. The reality on the other hand, is the true state of things – how things really are, whether we perceive them to be as such or not.  It is important to note that it is we who supply the perceptions and build our beliefs with them.  How our reality appears to us says a lot about our perceptions.  What is pertinent is that we be mindful not to allow our perception to self-destruct.

Bridging the Gap Between Perception and Reality

The best way to bridge the gap between what you perceive and what things actually are, is by checking in with yourself to understand fully. Use a dialectical behavior skill called “check the facts”— which basically is a mental checklist of the viable facts of the situation. What is unequivocally true in the situation? Then, take a look at how your experiences are shaping your perspective of the situation. Just because something is your reality, doesn’t mean it is the reality.
For example:
Say you just made a new friend, and had plans set which they cancelled on last minute.
If your past experiences include feeling left out or not important, if you have abandonment issues, or had friends who turned on you in the past, you may automatically jump to conclusions that this new friend has no interest in being your friend and cannot be trusted.
The reality of the situation, the fact, is that you don’t know why they cancelled. You don’t know this person very well, maybe something came up or maybe they just didn’t want to go out. The way you can remedy this is by examining the facts, finding out why you feel a certain way that it happened, what past experience this situation reminds you of; take a look into the way your past experiences are influencing you right now.

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