Oh yes, I have a list ready. It's a few days too late but I'm just as excited to be sharing it with you :)
I'm sorry I have been MIA for a while now, but if you read my previous post, you'll know why. I haven't had the time to go looking for new and interesting things but that doesn't mean that I haven't enjoyed all the lovely things that simply happened to cross my path this past month. So here goes.
Book - The Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith
This is a crime fiction series set in London following the story of Cormoran Strike, a private detective who previously lost one leg in Afghanistan, and his temporary secretary turned assistant Robin Ellacott, as they solve bizarre and often gory murder cases.
The series currently comprises of three books - The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career of Evil. The next book, Lethal White might come out sometime in 2018.
Even if you're not a fan of crime fiction, I'm pretty sure this series would convert you. Oh, and by the way, here's a little titbit for Harry Potter fans - the author Robert Galbraith is, in fact, J.K Rowling who continues to write the series under that pseudonym.
Book - Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I've been meaning to get my hands on this one for a while now and I can finally say that I've read it and I love it. This book made me laugh during a very scary phase of my life but it also broke my heart in equal measure.
It's the story of an extremely socially handicapped thirty-one-year-old woman who is suddenly jolted with the need to go out there and be "normal". I feel like I know and love Eleanor, that I'd very much like to be her friend and that I'd love to squeeze her in a tight hug and never let go. I hope you enjoy it!
Movie - Phillauri
I watched this movie on the flight home and it was only meant to be a distraction from the reason why I was on that flight. I can now say that for the 2 hr 18 min duration of the film, not even once did I get distracted by anything except the need to nudge Shane and ask him to watch this movie too.
Be it the concept, story-telling, acting or direction, this movie stood out to me. The comedy was meant to be slapstick most of the time and I'd say it missed the mark there. But apart from that, everything else was pretty well done. Kudos to Anushka Sharma for producing and acting in it.
Earings - Max
When I hurriedly packed my bags and left for India a month ago, I forgot to wear (or pack) my go-to earrings that go with pretty much everything I own. My mother, who hates seeing my ears bare, kept pointing out this fact to me so I quickly popped into the nearest Max store and got myself these beauties.
The tassels that hang from behind the earlobes are removable so these earrings can be styled with almost every outfit in my wardrobe. The price, moreover, is another bonus as is often the case with most accessories at Max.
Face Mask - No7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Clay Mask
This has been a life-saver. I've been struggling with problematic skin since November of 2017 and it was upon arriving home that my mother pulled out this face mask that I'd gifted her the last time I was here.
This is unlike any other mask I've tried before as it goes on my skin smoothly and then starts burning in all the right ways. Because by burning, I mean literally burning as if someone was pressing a warm washcloth against my skin. You have to leave it on for just about two minutes and when you wash your face, it magically turns into the consistency of a scrub. My skin has been feeling squeaky clean ever since I started using this and all traces of problematic skin seem to be disappearing slowly. Here's me completely bare-faced and sweaty after a workout, with most traces of breakouts gone:
My mum and I totally recommend this product :)
Shampoo and Conditioner - Matrix Opti Black Shampoo & Conditioner
The theme of this post has to be - I left in a hurry so forgot to pack most of the things I'd need for a long trip - OR - My mum's a life-saver.
This shampoo and conditioner duo is another thing recommended (and graciously given to me) by my mum when I realized that I didn't pack any suitable for colored hair. It gives my hair shine and softness, and is suitable even for dry hair as long as you don't get over-enthusiastic and "rinse and repeat". I have noticed a considerable difference in my hair fall situation as well, although, my mum's hot oil head massages every few days might also be responsible for that.
This is another duo that I'm currently in love with. For someone who's been drinking close to three mugs of black coffee per day in the past two months, the need for a whitening toothpaste starts becoming apparent within a few weeks. That's when I read about the Oral-B 3D Luxe collection.
Shane and I have been using both these together twice a day and can swear to visible results.
OurMy coffee consumption has gone down a lot in the past few weeks and maybe that's a contributing factor too, but as they say, so far so good.
Pill Storage Organiser - Superdrug Pill Box Weekly Organiser
The one thing I popped out to purchase before boarding my flight was this weekly medicine storage/organizer that I'd seen my grandmother use for the longest time. I knew that my dad was going to be on high medications following the surgery and the best way to manage everything would be with the aid of an organizer of this sort.
And boy, have we been using the shit out of it! All his pills are colourful and of different shapes and sizes so it's hard to mix them up. That said, there are so many on a daily basis that it's a huge pain in the ass the sort out before and after each meal. We're very glad to have this organizer in our lives and I'll be sure to post a picture of it soon.
Until then, if you're wondering what to get someone who might be going through a medical emergency that might involve pill-popping, look no further. This is it.
Fitness - Squash
Our time spent at the hospital proved to be weeks of inactivity for us. So when Shane's parents who are members at the Travancore Gymkhana Club offered to take us along to try out some of the many facilities there, we decided to try our hand at squash. This made my dad very happy as he has played the game for over fifteen years of his life and used to be very good at it. Being addicted to a sport does that to you sometimes.
We're still self-taught amateurs who started out with a double yellow dot ball, which, if you're new to the game is what you should most definitely not start with. It's what professionals play with. But it was the only ball available there so we thought, meh.
To say that it has been challenging would be an understatement. Shane seems to have a natural flair for it but I lack hand-eye coordination on even normal days so imagine what it must be like when someone fits me up with a racket as big as my arm and a ball that refuses to bounce. I struggled to even serve on the first day although now, after almost ten days of practice, I manage to return shots without my arm falling off.
Oh, and also, everything hurts. We love it!
Food - Kings Restaurant Trivandrum
I can't end this post without talking about some of our best food adventures in Trivandrum. Food in Kerala is great. Period. And there are only very few places where you could wrong.
Some of my best memories from my childhood are of holidays spent at my ancestral home in Kollam. My grandmother used to order Kerela parottas, mutton curry and beef fry from this specific restaurant that I remember till date to be called Kings. When Shane's brother ordered Shawarma for us from a certain Kings in Trivandrum, I didn't think much of it. But upon realizing that this Kings was a branch of the same one back in Kollam, I've been ordering from them almost every other day.
Like I said, there are only very few places where you could go wrong while getting food in Kerala and Kings is certainly not one among them :)
Food - Kerala Style Nadan Egg Roast
I don't personally know even a single person who doesn't like this dish. From the day I landed here, I've been consuming this dish every now and then with an assortment of sides. That's the beauty of this dish - it goes with everything. Be it bread, chapathi, appam, idiyappam or sometimes even plain rice, you cannot go wrong with an egg (mutta) roast. It's fairly straightforward to prepare and very hard to mess up. This video should be a good introduction to the concept"
And that's it for my December favorites. I hope you found it useful.
Once again, I'm very sorry for being MIA. I shall be getting back into the groove soon :)