Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For Him​

Every year I am having the same confusion, what to get for him? I mean he is a romantic guy and doesn’t mind to celebrate Valentine but at the same time, it’s not easy to impress him. He wants to buy stuff when he is in a shopping mood and that, by the way, comes very rare, maybe once in a year. So, I have to dig a lot to find a perfect Valentine gift for my husband. Over the years I have learned that the most unexpected gifts often make him intrigued, and the most common ones like the flower, cards, and teddy bear only get one “thank you”. This year, I have quite a number of interesting finds for Men Valentines Gifts, and when Amazon is there to make the last minute shopping possible, then no doubt, I will share about those amazing gift ideas from Amazon.

My most favorite for this year V-day gifts are the Couple Journals, where one can share thoughts and feelings for the other one or there are journals for future life plannings, bucket lists, and many more. Sort of scrapbooking, and also the extensions of just a Valentine card.

 

Another great idea is personalized​ or engraved gifts-

And then there are some great​ gifts to​ relieve the stress like the neck, back and foot massager-


And for those coffee and tea lovers, coffee makers and tea kettles or milk warmer would be a great choice-

Next,​ are the gifts for those unique chefs who constantly delivers​ the most strange improvised cooking dishes from our kitchens-

And finally for the trending tech gift ideas-

It feels great​ when we find the perfect gift for our loved ones, surprise them and make them feel special. These are some of my favorite​ men gift ideas for this Valentine’s day and these products are great gifts for any occassion and for anybody.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

Happy Blogging

 

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CHEERS TO A GOOD START

Happy New Year to everyone. For quite some days I was wondering about what would be my resolutions in 2019. I am done with the dieting plans, done with exercising promises, done with meet up the deadlines, unable to save and also fails to keep everybody happy all the time. So, basically, I am done with all those disciplinary actions that I promised to myself on earlier years, and still not be able to keep up with them. I am sure many unfortunate souls have the same situation. So, I was thinking why should I follow all these disciplines which are not meant to be syncing with me and then regretting the rest of the year because I couldn’t follow it. Have I become the world’s most disorganized person? If I am not be able to take care of my routine how would I plan to take care of my family and my life? I felt guilty, frustrated even. Then, after cornering myself with these upsetting thoughts, I started to search for the best resolution that I can actually follow in 2019. And I have found it. My resolution is –A stress-free year.

To live a stressfree, ease out, a productive and relaxing lifestyle I want to concentrate on 3 Golden Rules- ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT, INNOVATIONS.

 When things are not according to our way, we can become frustrated, irritated and stressed out, then the need for ACCEPTANCE comes, it is a smarter way to deal the situation rather being defensive. A good example is, I often get stressed out on my time management skills. When I realized that I could not finish all of my dues in a day or a week, I become very frustrated, but being so much worried on not be able to complete tasks, if I can focus on the tasks that are already completed and accept that, these are all I can do in a day, and those things I can’t do, I can do it later or manage them in time accordingly, will definitely ease out my stress. I think this is the hardest step, to accept the situation and let go all the rules.

The next step is a little easier, ENJOYMENT– when I already accepted the crisis, then half of my stress is already gone. And to make it more sync with me, if I start to enjoy the situation, that will be a great help. Often, I get stressed out about my messy rooms. My toddler often plays with my kitchen stuff and loves to create a big pile of toy mess around the house. So, earlier I keep cleaning them and he used to mess around again, again I cleaned them, so it was going on a loop, and become so intolerable, but now, I started to learn that instead of getting the rooms clean again and again, if I start playing with him with those stuff and maybe sometimes, even pretend to play with him, then, slowly showing him how to keep the toys in the toy storages, then he also gets interested, he wants to be involved, in that way we both can spend some fun time together.

Now comes the third step, to make it more like me, to make the situation fully in harmonious with me, to make my enthusiasm more sustainable, I need to put my best efforts, my INNOVATIONS, my creativity. Like, to help with my elder one with her homework, I often opt for fun and different ways, or just give little twists in my daily cooking, or give my rooms a new look with decorative stuffs, do more DIYs, all these can make the everyday boring, not so challenging tasks, more accepting, more enjoyable.

And after all these, even so, the situation is giving me intense stress, then it is time to give up, then I need to get away or change the situation. Not to feel guilty or regret, because I would know I already have given my best efforts. 

To sum it up, this year I want to focus on more positive, productive, and enjoyable lifestyle.

I will keep an active life and put enough efforts to make my days fun and productive.

I will keep entertained myself with good reads and creativities that I want to do.

Every day I will do my breathing exercise and write my thoughts on my journal.

I will try to be more empathetic and try to understand my family’s needs.

I will find my ME TIME and do those pieces of stuff that I wanted to do for very long.

I will adjust my expenses according to my savings. and I will cherish all those things that I already have.

I will avoid all those people, who give me a negative vibe and keep my friends close.

I will do more traveling and I will keep remembering myself about all the good memories that I have and be grateful.

Let’s make this New Year a time to celebrate life, the time to achieve new goals, time to be the best of you.

HAPPY BLOGGING

Weekend Dinner Simplified- Chicken Meatballs with Rice Pilaf

Weekends are very special to my family, it starts with lots of planning for outing, gathering, shopping, and cooking, but, in reality, all we want is to take some rest and relax our mind and body over the weekends.  Now, who wants to cook in these summer weekends for the whole day and don’t want to have fun outside? I love to cook and I love to try different dishes, and simple dishes are always time-saving and easier to cook, so, many times I opt for a one-pot meal. My family loves to eat chicken meatballs, so, I try it to make it often, sometimes as an appetizer, sometimes for the office and school lunch, and this time I tried to mix the chicken balls with vegetables and rice, and make it a nice one-pot meal. This is also great with leftover rice and it is more nutrient than the just regular chicken dish. And it’s definitely an easy and quick recipe so that I don’t miss my summer outings.

It’s a very simple recipe, all you need are ground chicken, any kind of rice(I used jasmine rice), some of your favorites veggies, some spices and it’s done. In the first step I made the chicken balls, then I cut the vegetables and saute them, in the last step I added the uncooked rice and mix all the things and then cook it in the same pot.

So, first I made the chicken balls. Here I take half a pound ground chicken, then I add salt, sugar, egg, paprika, the five spices powder, black pepper for the flavor and then little bit cornflour and breadcrumbs to bind the balls nicely.

Next is to shape the balls. There is no need to be a perfect size and shape for each of them, as you can see mine are not.

And then shallow fry them until they are nicely golden brown and keep it aside. You can make the chicken balls earlier, and store them in the refrigerator, use it when you are ready to make the dinner. I fried the chicken balls on a Thursday evening and make the rice pilaf on Saturday.

Then in another pot, saute the vegetables. Here, I have green peas, sweet corns, and sliced carrots, these are my kid’s favorites, sometimes I also use different colours of peppers.

Then I add 1tbsp ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp tomato ketchup, mix it well.

Next step is to add the water. The quantity of water depends on the quantity of rice, usually, I measure a 1:2 rice and water ratio. When the water starts to boil, I add the washed and pre-soaked rice.

Cover the pot after adding the rice and check every 5 minutes until the rice is properly cooked. And in the last step, I mix the fried chicken balls, little butter and cover the pot. And then wait for 10 minutes before serving, this is important as this resting time will enhance the flavor of the dish and help to incorporate all the different ingredients altogether.

VOILA! CHICKEN BALLS WITH RICE PILAF is ready to serve.

Waterfalls -Nature’s Wonder

 

Water, I want to be like water: strong enough to hold up a ship, but able to slip through your fingers.

                                                                             MICHELLE WILLIAMS

 

I consider waterfall is the nature’s finest art, it is serene, romantic and full of life. From far, it can be a beautiful canvas to capture a perfect scenery, but once you go near to her you will hear her roar, you will feel her force, the spontaneity. To me, waterfalls are the symbols of the celebration of life.

Here are some of our family favorites, captured by us.

The gigantic NIAGARA FALLS, USA.

Horseshoe Falls Niagara

Arial shot of Niagara and American Falls from chopper rideimg_7302

Niagara at night, illuminated from Canada 

Looking Glass Falls, NC, USA

Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite, CA, USA

Sikkim, India

Yellowstone, WY, USAimg_7287

share your favorite waterfalls on the comments below.

Happy Blogging.

Hope

BUT… WHAT IF I STOP HOPING

I do not hope for my future anymore

I do not hope to see how my kids will grow up

I do not hope to become more successful

I do not hope to hold the hand of my loved one when I will be old

I do not hope to travel the world

I do not hope to wait and see what the life has planned for me

I do not hope to see tomorrow’s sun

I do not hope to live my life anymore

What will be the world becomes if there will be no HOPE? In this chaotic world around us, it is possible that we lost our faith in life, that maybe we stop hoping, we stop wanting to live anymore.

But if we think the other way, if we come out from the negative zone and enter a different zone with a positive mind and say…

I hope to be loved

I hope that all my dreams will come true

I hope good health and happiness of my family

I hope that my future will be bright and full of joy

I hope to overcome my fears

I hope the world will be peaceful one day

I hope to see what life has stored for me.

No matter what will be the crisis I will face, I will overcome every hurdle. I will keep my hope alive. With a positive mind and with joy in my heart I will celebrate my life and I promise to myself that I will live and enjoy it until life leaves me.

My Saturday Breakfast Dilemma​

Every Friday night is a night of making plans for the weekends, we plan that we will wake up early, will try to make a nice sumptuous breakfast, then get ready and we will do lunch outside, then we can go shopping or movie or something equally interesting. Well, like I said, we plan that on Friday night, and then we go to sleep. In my dream also I am making the sumptuous meal like Egg Benedict with Hollandaise sauce or chicken noodle or something decadent with egg etc. Where is in the reality, as the alarm is in silent mode and our precious children are in deep sleep, we got a chance to enjoy the sweet morning sleep a little bit longer than it should be. Results, we woke up a little after 10 o’clock and started to think what will we prepare for a lunch or a brunch? This is a kind of paradoxical situation for us, we want to get up and get started for the weekend but after a long tiring week, sleep is the only indulgence we want to have. So be it, just when I realized we have lost our nice morning breakfast time and started to give up hope for my continental or any kind of exotic breakfast, the husband came to rescue. Sometimes only the simple food is enough to start the day. So, on this Saturday morning, he managed the kitchen while I was helping him with the ingredients.

 It was a simple breakfast, Pancake. But that’s all I need to clear my head and to get ready for my Saturday outing.

Mother’s Day

Lara is very upset today, she was planning to go to a movie with her friends. She was so excited in the morning, she was waiting to have some fun with her friends. She is on the break from college just for this week, so wanted to make this time worth while. As the weekend started, she started making plans – shopping, dining and then the movie. She was busy on the Friday and Saturday, at last, on Sunday, she became free. So, today, since the morning, she was looking for the showtimes and when she got the perfect timing with all five seats for her and for her friends, she was so happy. She started texting on WhatsApp with the movie timings and all. But, everybody replied that they had other plans, isn’t that weird? All of a sudden, everybody got busy on the Sunday afternoon? Lara got restless, she started calling her friends, shockingly all of them had the same reason, they were all busy because today is Mother’s Day and everybody wanted to spend time with their moms, well not everybody, since Kiara’s mom was working today, so, Kiara went to her mom’s hospital to give her a surprise visit. And Lara’s rest of the friends also had plans with their moms, some of them were going for Mother’s Day special brunch, even one of them was going to the movie with her mother. Lara is very disappointed with her friends, what is the reason to celebrate Mother’s Day? Mother’s Day should be celebrated every day, she felt irritated. Lara refused to celebrate these special name tagged days, like Valentine’s Day, Friendship day, Women’s Day or Mother’s Day. She believes that these days are only to promote the consumerism, this is a very clever way of making marketing strategies. She is utterly against to celebrate these kind of days. She got angry with her friends to behave so stupidly like the others. After the lunch, she was feeling little bored, no video calling, no chatting, all she can see is her friends’ selfies with their moms on Facebook and Instagram. She lost her patience, she has nothing to do now, what kind of stupidity is this? As she is determined to go the movie alone, she started to get ready.

As she is almost ready to leave, suddenly she overheard her mother’s voice. Lara’s mom was talking to someone over the phone. Her mom was giggling and sounded excited, she was telling the other person, “yes, my daughter also made me silly cute cards when she was in school. Even one year, I remember, she woke up early in the morning and made breakfast with her dad. It felt so nice. And you know one Mother’s Day..”, Lara could hear her mom’s voice was rising in excitement as she was sharing her Mother’s Day memories with her friend, ” ..I think 5 years back, she was in high school then, she gave me one amazing in-home facial and pedicure. I was so pampered that day, it felt so special. My little girl was taking care of me as I used to take care of her when she was a baby.” Lara got little confused, does her mom misses those days? Is her mom expecting something from her for today? Her mom is so busy all the time, does she even know that today is Mother’s Day? Yes, Lara used to celebrate Mother’s Day, but that was a long time back. For last five-six years, she got so busy with her life that she almost forgot about Mother’s Day. She only realized this year, because of all of her friends, of course. Lara was feeling hesitated, should she wish her mom? or she can give a nice Mother’s Day card? she has time. It’s still Sunday, 13th May, it’s not over yet. She felt little embarrassed too, suddenly Lara got the feeling that maybe her mom was waiting for the last 5-6 years to hear Happy Mother’s Day from her, or expected a nice treat or just a hug. She felt guilty, she wanted to go to the Hallmark store to get a perfect Mother’s Day card. Then it would be little late, she wanted to wish her mom now. She started thinking, and quickly draw a rough portrait of her mother. It was not perfect but she could manage to draw her mom’s beautiful eyes, and then she wrote,”Today and always, I love you. Happy Mother’s Day”. Her mom was still talking over the phone, Lara softly patted her mom’s shoulder. Her mom surprisedly looked back to her. She handed over the portrait to her mom. The other lady was still talking on the phone, while her mom’s eyes were fixed onto the portrait only. Lara could see her mom’s eyes were getting wet, she looked at Lara and then she hugged Lara like never before. She kissed on her forehead, kissed on her cheeks and then hugged her one more time. Then mom said, “thank you, darling, I thought you will never give me any of your handmade Mother’s Day card to me. Thank you so much, it’s so precious”. Lara was relieved, she felt happy now, since the morning she was feeling very grumpy, she got nothing to do, her friends got busy, her planning for a perfect day out with friends got failed. Lara was so upset, but to see her mother’s proud face, Lara got so emotional. Lara decided to spend the rest of the day with her mom. It was a day well spent, in the house, Lara, and her mom only, remembering all those sweet childish acts of her.

Often we think that we are being stupid to celebrate these so-called days. Yes, agreed that there shouldn’t be only one specific day to celebrate love or only a day in the year to celebrate womanhood is not justified or no special day is required to show love and respect to our mother, every day can be Mother’s Day or every day can be Hearts day. But, in reality, is it true? Do we really have the time to celebrate every day as Valentine’s Day or do we hug our mom every day and tell them how much we love them and how much we are grateful to them for all their care and support? Do we really try to make everyday special for our mom’s? Well, let’s have this debate at some other time.

As of now, let’s celebrate this Mother’s Day with gratitude, respect, and love, let’s show our moms that how privileged and lucky we are that we have them in our life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all beautiful moms around the world.


Around the park

We like to go to the park, especially our kids like to go there, and I get a chance to just enjoy the time without worrying about the mess. Sunday afternoon is the most heightened time when my kids are in the disastrous mode. After the heavy Sunday lunch, when I and husband are all set for our most desirable Sunday nap, some extraterrestrial superpower got into our kids’ blood steam. They got supercharged and started doing all the naughtiness. All my magazines were spreading on the floor, the showpieces have been split into halves, cushions were used to make the imaginary fort. The little chair climber dropped every little thing from my kitchen platforms and when we saw that my elder one started doing science experimentation with food, we canceled our much needed afternoon nap and headed to the park.

As spring is here, afternoon stroll in the park is quite a relaxing one. Last Sunday we went to a park. The park is very beautiful, a lot of kids were playing and their parents were watching them from the bench. I saw parents faces and could identify their reasons behind the park visits. Those poor souls were as tired as I was. They were also relaxing while watching their kids. I got a job there too, as my husband was busy to look after our kids, my job was to look after the stroller. After spending some time in the park, I felt that I have become the sole protector of the stroller, not only it is a must needed baby gear, it also carried the jackets, water bottles, snacks and most importantly diaper bag, which can’t get lost. The rest of the afternoon went very well, there, for some time I also enjoyed with my kids, as they were jumping, running, giggling around.

The job of a parent is definitely a tough one, one has to be more patience, responsible, had to give up time for the little ones, it’s a 24/7 tiring job. But when I remember my childhood, I could see myself playing in the local park and running, sliding, bouncing with my friends, I could felt that little park time made me so happy. Then I realized it, even I have to settle down with my priorities, its worth it. Childhood is the most precious time we have in our life, and as a parent, it’s our privilege to nurture it.

.

Death

What is death? Is it a death of a body?

Is it the death of senses? Is it the death of the cells?

Is it the death of a life? What is life? Is it the opposite of death?

Is life more beautiful than death?

Is a peaceful death more beautiful than a life?

Is the end of life means the end of relationships? Is it the end of promises? Is it the end of a journey? Or the journey is still on?

What is a memory? Will memory be with us till our death?

What will happen after death? Will we still be alive after death?

Will I still be alive in my kid’s memory after the death?

Will I still remember my journey after the death? Or will I continue my journey? Will it be a journey to another life or it will be just a journey after death?

Bengali New Year

I am a proud Bengali, every year on 15th April we celebrate our New Year. Bengalis love their language, we love our heritage, we love our poems and songs, we love our politics, we love our culture, but mostly we love our food.Yes, Bengalis are one of the greatest foodies. We think that our Mutton Biriyani is the best in the lot, we think that we are the only one who can cook prawns and other fishes to its perfection. We are by born the rice lover, rice without a day means something is missing. Like food and politics, we love Rabindranath Tagore, the famous poet, lyricist, artist, writer, and Nobel Prize winner.Our celebrations are incomplete without Tagore.Bengali New Year is a very emotional celebration for me, it’s been almost 10 years that I am away from my city.But I didn’t stop celebrating, now I celebrate with my kids and husband. It has been changed though, but some traditions remain the same.We still call our parents and elders to get blessings and wishing our friends and family for a great year ahead. We still like to wear new dresses on this day, clean our houses, cook our authentic Bengali dishes and we still remember Tagore. No matter where we are or where we will be, the tradition will be continued, from my parents to me and then to my kids.

Take a glance at my collage and you will understand how we celebrate the Bengali New Year. We start our traditional feast with fried flatbread and potato curry, then on the entree, we have vegetable, lentil soup, Bengali yellow sweet fried rice, fish curry, mutton/chicken curry and we finish it with our very famous sweet yogurt and sweets.This year also I am planning to do the same.Wishing you A Happy Bengali New Year.