DIY of the Week – Paper Snowflakes

December 12th, 2019

It’s almost Christmas, it’s definitely December, but cold weather doesn’t even seem to be on the calendar. Those of us in Mumbai are caught in heat, with an extra special dose of heightened humidity (WHY??). So we’re going to be a bit rebellious and just make our own snow to help put us in the mood. Don’t worry, we’re not at the “stick our head inside our refrigerators” stage (yet). We’re talking about paper snowflakes, of course. Of course. So let’s get started.

 

What You Need:

1. Paper (white, if you’re going for the pure snow look, or whatever else from wrapping paper, handmade paper, to even newspaper, if you’re going for a different vibe)

2. Scissors (small craft scissors would be better for intricate design cuts)

 

What To Do:

Step 1

Take your paper and fold over a corner to help you mark out an exact square, then cut off the extra paper, if any.

Image Source - Martha Stewart

Image Source – Martha Stewart

 

Step 2

Take the folded square, and fold over again, creating a smaller triangle.

Image Source - FirstPalette.com

Image Source – FirstPalette.com

 

Step 3

Imagine the twice-folded paper being in thirds, and fold one third to the front across the middle third, and the other end across the back of the middle third as shown in the picture below.

Image Source - Old Farmer's Almanac

Image Source – Old Farmer’s Almanac

 

Step 4

Trim the extra edges across the top of the folds. You can cut it straight across, at an angle, or in a circular cut, each type giving you a different general shape for your snowflake.

Image Source - FirstPalette.com

Image Source – FirstPalette.com

 

Step 5

Now comes the part for your creativity. Snip out little cuts here and there, creating your own design. Just make sure not to cut entire across. (To make it easier, you can trace out a design onto the paper before you cut, especially if you’re doing it for the first few times).

Image Source - FirstPalette.com

Image Source – FirstPalette.com

 

Step 6

Open open the paper folds to reveal your snowflake design. You’ll probably need to keep the opened snowflake under a heavy book initially to press out the fold, but once that’s done, you’re good to go.

Image Source - FirstPalette.com

Image Source – FirstPalette.com

 

These are great for decorating on windows and walls, or you could even hang them on floss string with a bit of glue at the tip. And they’re great alternatives to bows on your Christmas gifts too!

 

Happy Decorating!

 

Super 2020!

December 4th, 2019

With the decade drawing to a close, it’s that time of the year when movie fanatics start eagerly anticipating all that awaits them in the coming year. And for superhero movie buffs (read Marvel and DC fanboys and fangirls), 2020 is looking to be a grand year indeed! Here’s a quick peek at all the storyline arcs you can expect to continue on next year.

 

1. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn)

While Suicide Squad as a whole may not have been the greatest movie, it was absolutely impossible to walk away from it without being blown away by Margot Robbie’s fantastic portrayal of Harley Quinn. Having her stand out as more than just Joker’s girl took some great acting, and she impressed audiences so much that she’s getting her own standalone film!

Expected Release Date: 7 February 2020

Image Source - Comic Book

Image Source – Comic Book

 

2. The New Mutants

You thought Logan was the end? Absolutely not. Welcome to the world of powerful young teens being locked up for awful reasons, and trying to break free. And what’s the best part? Maisie Williams (Arya Stark from Game of Thrones) is part of the cast. Two fandoms couldn’t come together faster.

Expected Release Date: 3 April 2020

Image Source - Den of Geek

Image Source – Den of Geek

 

3. Black Widow

There was not one person who watched that wasn’t heartbroken towards the end of the Infinity Saga of the MCU. Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of the cynical and stoic, but deceptively soft-hearted Natasha through the earlier phases grew quietly into everyone’s heart, to the point that no one wanted to let her go. The good news? We start Phase 4 with a stand alone movie that promises fans ‘closure’.

Expected Release Date: 1 May 2020

Image Source - Forbes

Image Source – Forbes

 

4. Wonder Woman 1984

2020 is definitely turning into a year for female superheroes. And back to reprise her role as fearless Amazonian is Gal Gadot. Fans are eagerly waiting for the trailer that is expected to drop this month.

Expected Release Date: 5 June 2020

Image Source - Comic Book

Image Source – Comic Book

 

5. Venom 2

For fans of the comic books, to say that the Tom Hardy version of Venom took them a bit by surprise would probably be a bit of an understatement. Traditionally known as a villainous character that brought out the dark side of the human with which it reached symbiosis, this character arc with a bit of unexpected comedy thrown in certainly created an ambiguous atmosphere amongst fans, with many still not sure how they feel about it. It’s a good thing there’s a sequel coming up to help us finally make up our minds.

Expected Release Date: 2 October 2020

Image Source - Morning Picker

Image Source – Morning Picker

 

6. The Eternals

Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington. Yup. That’s the starcast lineup for this MCU movie. Like, why is this a year away????

Expected Release Date: 6 November 2020

Image Source - Reddit

Image Source – Reddit

 

We’re holding our breath, are you?

 

Quiz – Study of What?

November 29th, 2019

Remember when people asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? Remember the confusion as you realized how many options were out there on what career or field you could possibly choose to pursue? As you grew up and settled on a field (or two), you must’ve come to realize as time passed that all those options that you considered as a child were just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many fields of study, and each goes on to have even further classifications and divisions, and specializations, and whatnot. There are experts out there studying everything, from hair, to stars, to microbes, to even eggs. Do you know what the study of any of these fields is called? Take this quiz to find out!

 

1. Hepatology is the study of:

a. Hepatitis     b. Liver    c. Music     d. Fruits

 

2. Oncology is the study of:

a. Cancer    b. Birds     c. Eggs     d. Ears

 

3. Trichology is the study of:

a. Color    b. Eyes    c. Camera    d. Hair

 

4. Philology is the study of:

a. Philosophy    b. Films     c. Languages    d. Baldness

 

5. Oneirology is the study of:

a. Dreams   b. Birds    c. Numbers    d. Diseases

 

6. Pomology is the study of:

a. Sports    b. Fruits    c. Hands    d. Nails

 

7. Pedology is the study of:

a. Languages    b. Soil     c. Children     d. Feet

 

8. Ornithology is the study of:

a. Bones    b. Hair    c. Fungi    d. Birds

 

9. Cosmology is the study of:

a. Universe    b. Cosmetics    c. Stars    d. Comics

 

10. Nephrology is the study of:

a. Death    b. Toxins    c. Kidney    d. Night

 

 

 

 

ANSWERS:

Remember, no peeking!!

Image Source - Inc.com

Image Source – Inc.com

1. (B) Liver

2. (A) Cancer

3. (D) Hair

4. (C) Languages

5. (A) Dreams

6. (B) Frtuis

7. (B) Soil

8. (D) Birds

9. (A) Universe

10. (C) Kidney

 

How’d you do??

 

Playlist of the Week – Best of Tina Turner

November 27th, 2019

The great and legendary queen Tina Turner turns 80 today, with no signs of slowing down. Known for her powerful vocals, immutable style, and fearlessness, her songs set the charts on fire. Here’s a list of our favorites to sing along to as we wish her many more birthdays to celebrate.

 

1. What’s Love Got To Do With It

The track that kicked butt, and put her on everyone’s favorites’ list. Anger, frustration, and a strong spine, you hear it all not only in the lyrics, but the vocals too.

What’s Love Got To With It

 

2. Private Dancer

Soaring and heartbreaking, this song will always be on anyone’s top 5 when listing Tina Turner songs. Have a listen to find out why.

Private Dancer

 

3. Golden Eye

If you thought there could be nothing cooler than James Bond, then you obviously haven’t heard the title track of the movie. It’s strong, classy, and sassy.

Golden Eye

 

4. The Best

Because, you know, she’s simply the best.

The Best

 

5. It’s Only Love (ft. Bryan Adams)

This release set so many hearts on fire. The queen of soaring vocals, and the king of the guitar got together, and the fans’ hearts were forever changed.

It’s Only Love

 

Happy Listening!

 

Playlist of the Week – Ladies of Jazz

November 22nd, 2019

It’s moody, it’s complicated, it’s alive. Jazz has always been one of those genres of music that you will either love, or hate. There is no in-between or so-so with jazz. There is only a deep emotion (no matter in which direction). To pay tribute to a genre that created eternal classics and gems, here’s a look at some of our favorites from the esteemed ladies of the jazz world.

 

1. Feeling Good – Nina Simone

The ultimate queen of the style, Ms. Simone’s style is strongly linked to her husky voice and strong command of her inflections. She beautifully creates rises and falls that will sweep away with the music, and leave you exhausted.

Feeling Good

 

2. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

Norah gave the impression that she came out of absolutely nowhere, and quietly stole everyone’s heart. Her music is soft, like a warm breeze on a laid-back summer’s day. If she doesn’t make you want to take a day off and go on a picnic, what will?

Come Away With Me

 

3. Fever – Peggy Lee

You’ve probably heard various cover versions of this song, but there’s no argument to be had. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to the original. Peggy Lee’s voice is pure magic, and the song arrangement goes to show that even simplicity can bowl you away, if it’s done right.

Fever

 

4. I’d Rather Go Blind – Etta James

Strong, spirited, and to the point, Ms. James is what jazz is all about. You can hear the confidence dripping from each word, as you swing to the beat.

I’d Rather Go Blind

 

5. Cry Me A River – Ella Fitzgerald

Because a list about jazz is just incomplete without her. The sheer variation in her singing will throw you for a toss. Honestly, she’d be perfect even without any music accompaniment. A total gem.

Cry Me A River

 

Happy Listening!

 

Food Binge vs Netflix Binge

November 14th, 2019

Are you a foodie? Do you love exploring about new cultures and the foods that are associated with them? Do you love to travel too? Wouldn’t it be great to indulge in all those interests while curled up on your couch at home? In the age of bingeing, we bring you a list of Netflix shows that can whet your appetite for all things travel and food related, and ensure that you learn something new about all those things you love.

(Disclaimer – Watching these shows will probably make your mouth water, will probably create a travel itch, and will definitely leave you feeling hungry. Kindly proceed with full knowledge and acceptance of said side-effects.)

 

1. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Food, check! Travel, check! Celebrities, check! David Chang, check! What more could you possibly need? Head through various countries as David brings along famous friends and checks out some phenomenally great food. P.S. You don’t need a visa, we promise.

Image Source - New on Netflix

Image Source – New on Netflix

 

2. Street Food

Where do you find the best food? On the streets of course! This show brings to the front the true heroes for our taste buds, the people who struggle by getting up earlier than the sun, those who stand in the heat of the afternoon, and work long into the night, just so we can grab a quick bite that’s tasty, cheap, and fills our stomachs and hearts. Sail across Asia and meet the best of the best from India, Thailand, South Korea, and so many more.

Image Source - whatsnewonnetflix.com

Image Source – whatsnewonnetflix.com

 

3. Chef’s Table

With six whole seasons, this Emmy-nominated series is definitely binge-worthy. Featuring top chefs from across the globe, delve in to hear about their stories, their vision, their food. As you travel from Germany, to Russia, to South Korea, to Mexico, be prepared to be hit by a whirlwind of gorgeous looking food that will leave you breathless. Bonus, one season is only about pastry. Get your dessert game on!

Image Source - thewrap.com

Image Source – thewrap.com

 

4. Ugly Delicious

An interesting docu-series featuring favourite chef David Chang (again), this one is a must-watch for every single person who loves fusion food. David meets chefs bringing together cultures and flavor profiles in the most fearless ways possible. Whether its Arab tacos, or Japanese pizza, be prepared to have your preconceptions of what does and doesn’t go together completely shattered. Spoiler Alert – Season 2 is on its way!

Image Source - Facebook

Image Source – Facebook

 

5. Festive Foods

Take a trip across Asia with this show, with each episode featuring various festivals across the continent, and of course the scrumptious food it all brings forth. Whether it’s Diwali, or the Moon Festival, or Winter Solstice celebrations, prepare to drool.

Image Source - Netflix

Image Source – Netflix

 

Happy Drooling!

 

Playlist of the Week – Classical Classics (Part 1)

November 8th, 2019

Sometimes you just need to zone out, and we totally feel you. And you know what is the perfect accompaniment to zoning out? Western Classical music. The intricacies, the haunting beauty, the highs and lows, and the fact that there is absolutely no pressure to sing along, because well, there are no lyrics.

 

1. Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky

Sweeping motions, and the pure bliss that is Tchaikovsky.

Swan Lake

 

2. Fur Elise – Beethoven

Classical classic is a bit of an understatement with this one. EVERYONE knows it.

Fur Elise

 

3. Four Seasons – Vivaldi

Though technically these are four separate songs that have been combined, one for each season, each is a delight to listen to on its own. But if you’re looking for a bright happy tune, start with Spring.

Four Seasons

 

4. Waltz Of The Flowers – Tchaikovsky

From the famous Nutcracker Suite, this one is also an eternal favorite.

Waltz of the Flowers

 

5. Polka Italienna – Rachmaninoff

Fun to listen to, and fun to watch. Definitely one to tap your feet to.

Polka Italienne

 

Happy Listening!

 

 

Got Some Spare Time?

November 6th, 2019

No matter how busy our schedules, you’d be surprised how much of time you can find in little hidden pockets if you really pay attention. A half hour here, and hour there, and you’ll find a few hours that were playing hide-n-seek with you every single day. How do you find them? Pretty simple! Just write down what you do all day in a breakdown of hours (or better yet, half hours). Let’s say you get up at 7 am every morning, and sleep around 11 pm each night, write down your office timings, your travel times, your getting ready in the morning and meal times, and figure out just how much spare time you have left in the rest of the day. You’ll probably average about 2-3 hours every day at the very least. If you’re lucky, it might even go up to 4 or 5 hours (though that’ll probably be rare). Our point being, if you take those hours, and focus even one of those hours every day, you could do so much with it. Like what, you may be wondering. Well, that’s where we come in.

Here are some great ideas as to what you can do with one hour every single day and an internet connection (and maybe some tools, depending on what you plan on doing).

 

1. Learn a language

The world is way bigger than you can imagine it to be, and each country, and sometimes each state, comes with either its own language, or even its own dialect. With options from apps to online websites, to even books and audio recordings, the methodology options are as varied as the options as to which language you can start with first.

Image Source - Irish Times

Image Source – Irish Times

 

2. Take a course

You’ll be surprised to learn how many global universities offer online courses, and the pure plethora of course options that exist. Whether you want to learn management, gardening, or music theory, it doesn’t matter where your interest lies, you will definitely find courses that suit what you’re looking for. While some websites offer courses that you have to pay, there are endless options for free courses, many from some of the top universities (even Harvard has an online university option with free courses that you can register for). Time to go on the hunt, no?

Image Source - The Dimension's Edge

Image Source – The Dimension’s Edge

 

3. Learn an instrument

Ok, we agree, this will require that you either buy, rent, or borrow the instrument in question, but still, if this is what you’ve always wanted to do, why not? Who said time is the only thing you can invest in your interests. You’ll find numerous options to learn whichever instrument you want (even singing), and all you have to do is put in the time and practice, practice, practice. Piano, guitar, violin, cello, ukulele, harp, water glasses, djembe, the options are absolutely endless!

Image Source - msretailer.com

Image Source – msretailer.com

 

4. Pick up crafting

It might be considered only a “hobby”, but if it brings you happiness and peace of mind, it’s totally a worthwhile way to spend your time. And there are so many options within crafting too. And if you do it often enough, it can even turn into a nice little side business (in some cases, people have gone on to leave their jobs to pursue their so-called “hobbies” full time, as they had turned into such a revenue generator). You never know. So whether you’re into painting, quilling, miniature creation, jewelry making, or even origami, go for it!

Image Source - Relentlessly Purple

Image Source – Relentlessly Purple

 

5. Take up a freelance job

Ok, so we admit, this is probably suited to those who have 4 or more hours free each day, otherwise you probably just want to Netflix and chill after a certain point. But seriously, there are so many part-time job options available online that don’t even require much time, and the extra pay ain’t all bad either. Whether you’re translating documents, proofreading student assignments, creating graphic designs, or tutoring online, the options are pretty endless.

Image Source - Freedom Lifestyle Today

Image Source – Freedom Lifestyle Today

 

All the best to learning something new!

 

Playlist of the Week – Best of Linkin Park

November 1st, 2019

Linkin Park will always hold a special place for many millennials. With Chester’s soaring vocals, Mike’s rap, and the incredible lyrics that couldn’t possibly not touch a chord with every angsty teen listening to it, the music encompassed both the rage and confusion everyone goes through at some point or another. Here’s a list of our favs to headbang to. (Though it is extremely hard to pick just five).

 

1. Numb

Probably one of their biggest hits, it immediately struck a chord with every single listener and cemented the band as a clear favorite.

Numb

 

2. In The End

Any list of LP songs is incomplete without this one. You probably can rap right alongside Mike even if you are not a hip hop or rap fan. Because in the end, it doesn’t even matter.

In The End

 

3. Crawling

The perfect song to scream along to when you’re feeling hurt and frustrated. And strangely enough, a couple of listens, and you might just feel better, and strong enough to face off with whatever it was that’s bothering you. Give it a go.

Crawling

 

4. One Step Closer

Relentless pace, frustrated lyrics, and you know it’s a song that you will love. Another class piece by the band, guaranteed not to disappoint.

One Step Closer

 

5. One More Light

Because if you’re truly a fan, this song will probably mean a little something extra. And will probably make you tear up a bit too. But then again, we’re not crying, you are. We just have dust in our eyes.

One More Light

 

Happy Listening!

 

Spooky Watchlist for Halloween!

October 31st, 2019

October 31st might not be that big a deal here as it is in North America (though it certainly seems to be catching on), however, it still does bring about the perfect excuse to curl up with a tub of popcorn and frightful movie. And as total movie buffs, we need to revisit our favorites, and this definitely seems to be the perfect time for that!

Here’s a list of our favorites

 

1. The Conjuring

If you haven’t seen this one, then we seriously wonder why you’re reading this piece, because you clearly aren’t a fan of horror movies. With its exceptional acting, eery and near-perfect background score, and unexpected frights galore, it is a dream come true for all horror fanatics worldwide.

Image Source - Forbes

Image Source – Forbes

 

2. Jaws

Did you know more people die from car accidents, plane accidents, even crossing the road, than by shark attacks? No? Don’t care either? This movie is probably why. No matter what anyone says, after this movie came out, it was pretty much guaranteed that only killer ghosts would be considered scarier than a shark attack.

Image Source - The Irish Times

Image Source – The Irish Times

 

3. A Quiet Place

This is on our list purely because of stellar acting and completely different handling of the horror genre. Sound has always played an integral part in developing feelings of foreboding in any good horror movie, and this movie does the exact opposite of what you expect it to. With the characters having to keep quiet to stay alive, it is the complete silence that creates the foreboding. There are times you want to tell your pounding heart to lower its volume.

Image Source - IndieWire

Image Source – IndieWire

 

4. The Shining

Jack Nicholson is a masterpiece. There is nothing that needs to be said beyond this. There’s a reason this movie is considered a classic, and we are hardly fools to disagree.

Image Source - Esquire

Image Source – Esquire

 

5. The Exorcist

We’re not going to bother explaining this one. You know.

Image Source - Response

Image Source – Response

 

Have a spooky night!