Friday, January 30, 2015

Sari Style Dares for the Winter

I have a confession to make. As much as I love the sari, I haven’t broken out one for this season. In our part of the country, the winters are severe and central heating is that thing we read about in magazines and books. So, to shuffle around the house, to pop into a party, to drive out to a restaurant, a pair of fleece-lined leggings, sweaters, a coat and a pair of boots seems more practical. And when you’re already swathed in 5 layers of woolens, you feel a tad lazy to slip into 6 yards of summer. You get it, right?

And having said this, I can well imagine what you might be feeling, if the sari is already an occasional wear for you. Something you lug out of the closet for weddings or prayer ceremonies or the occasional party. Something that you kind-of grudgingly wear, muttering about the amount of time it takes to wear this garment and the pleats that seem to have a life of their own.

So, to shake things up a bit in this gray season and to give those leggings a rest, I thought we could pretty-up in silks, combine them with winter accessories and marry two so very different schools of style. What say?

So, here’s a clutch of #saridares. Use them as ideas to rev up your #saristyle or as dares to take that garment an extra mile in this season of coats and boots, or just as a way to add variety to your personal look.

Here we go.

Dare 1: Pair up your sari with those gorgeous coats. Whether you have a luscious red Nehru coat or a charcoal gray long overcoat, wear your sari like Sonia Gandhi and pair-up your coats with your silks. I used to do this years ago, teaming my saris with my woolens. But haven’t tried this with my new bevy of coats. So this one’s a must-do for me. What about you?

Dare 2: Once you’re done draping your sari, slip into a pair of boots. Oh yeah, boots are all in vogue this year and what better than pairing up your sari with a pair of high-heeled boots!

Dare 3: Create your sari look with a leather jacket. I remember seeing someone do that years ago, but couldn’t try it out myself as I didn’t own a leather jacket. But this year, I have to give this edgy combo a go.

Dare 4: Wear your shawl with style. Our moms always wore shawls with their saris during the winter months. But with so many options in the coat closet these days, shawls are just about becoming as redundant as our saris, aren’t they? 

Dare 5: Team up a polo neck sweater or top with your sari. When you live in a cold place and want to don a sari, you have no choice but to wear a fitting polo neck sweater like a blouse. It’s the only way you can walk out of your house in a sari with temperatures plummeting to minus (unless you want to brave the cold, flaunt your sari + blouse combo and take the risk of falling ill the next day). But whether you live in a cold place or not, try this dare on a whim.

So, let me know how it goes. And I’ll try to post some pictures of me in my winter sari style.

#saristyle #winterstyle

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What we've been up to lately...

Hello you!

How was the weekend (and the week before) for you?

We did: After two very long, cold and gray months of single parenting and waiting for my husband to come back from one tour of duty to another, we finally got a short weekend together as a family. We travelled to Chandigarh to be with family friends or rather friends who’re so much like family to us. We spent endless hours chatting over hot home cooked meals and mugs of strong coffee. Time like this…is like a warm hand-knitted blanket, like the mellow pool of light from a lamp, like a rain-filled morning spent reading curled up on the armchair. Times like this and love like this wraps your heart in comfort like a hug. You know that home is where a good friend is…

I read: I just completed this fantastic book called Perfect Health for Kids by John Douillard (John also happens to be my teacher from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied to become a Certified Health Coach). It’s so practical, so DIY, so comforting. Based on the recommendations, I’ve purchased a few herbs that might do a word of good for our family and am all set to try them out.

I played: With the sun peeking out every few days, Neel and I have been splashing around in the sunshine, soaking up every sunny ray, storing the yellow gold in our cells for the cold gray days.

We watched: We’ve been watching a lot of animated movies lately. On days my husband’s home a wee bit early, we pop in a movie and settle under a warm quilt to enjoy movies like Brave, Smurf 2 and How to Train your Dragon.

I cooked: I’ve been cooking a lot of stir-fries and soups this winter. Packed with veggies, seeds, eggs and chicken or meat, these are versatile, nutritious, quick to prepare and so nourishing. Just the food I crave during this season.

I’m learning: Yoga, both the theory behind the yoga lifestyle as well as the postures. I now realize, there’s so much of difference in practicing yoga for your daily dose of exercise and learning yoga so you can teach others. The latter challenges you physically and mentally; it makes you pay attention to detail; it gets you to slow down.

We celebrated: Our 9th Wedding Anniversary was on January 22. We celebrated with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. And thankfully, Neel enjoyed the ambience, so we did get a few moments to really chew our meals and soak up the evening.

I’d love to hear what life has been like lately for you.

#familylife #bookreview #dailyliving

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This is why…

Almost every time I hop onto my blog, I’m writing an apology, an explanation, rooting for a reason. But then some seasons of life are like that. Choc-a-bloc. Full of the minutiae of daily living and single-parenting.
Packed with uncertainty (if you are a military spouse, you have LOTS of days like that). Etched with a sense that something is amiss. Painted with helplessness, the kind where the dailyness of living is pulling you into its quicksand.

I like to stay content and grateful for what I have, but a stack of these kinds of days rob me of my joy for the simple. After mowing through days like this, I often wonder if the ‘me’ is hibernating for this season. If it’ll ever get to sneak out. If the only chance I’ll ever get to make time for what I love, what I need to do to fulfill my aspirations, will come many years later, when my son grows up and the husband retires (‘coz with the military comes a stack load of Stepford wife duties, long months of single parenting & an even heavier load of uncertainty).

But really, I can’t wait for that long. I can’t wait to be an empty nester before I find time to nurture some of my passions.

And I can’t be that gal who laments the loss of joy or grudges others theirs.

I’d rather be that kind of person, who grabs a few hours every day (if I’m lucky, if I’m disciplined) to nourish her soul and her body, and then be joyful for her family. I know the word balance is overrated, but I’d like to offer something to myself – time and knowledge and words, so I can offer a whole lot more to my people.

I know a lot of women parent their children and look after their families without tanking up, but I can’t do that. I can’t function on an empty stomach or on an empty soul.

My needs are more than meager. I need enough time to exercise when I wake up and then again through the day. I need to cook and eat nourishing meals. I have to write and create and learn. That’s a long list for a mom with a small child. It even sounds selfish. But If I don’t squeeze out that time for nourishing, the quality of my interactions with my family is anything but happy.

So with a lot of effort, I’m pulling myself out (again!) from the all-engulfing nature of daily living and slicing out tiny slivers of time. To tank up. To recharge. To energize. I’m studying and practicing yoga. I’m writing this blog post. I’m reading about healing.

Yes, it’s a struggle everyday to snatch those minutes to make time for what I love. And it’s with relief and gratitude that I lay my head on the pillow…on those days when I manage to grab that time to learn and write and exercise. (And it’s a war with time and chores and routine all over again, when I wake up the next morning).

But I’m going to soldier on.

I’m going to continue seeking out inspiration from those moms who do manage to make time for their own nurturing while being the primary caregivers to their kids.

I’m going to be true to myself without kowtowing to the painted image of a perfect mother.

I’m going to do what I need to do for myself without comparing myself to others (it’s so easy to feel that other moms are more successful, more have-it-all, more efficient…).

I’m also going to accept (or at least learn to) that maybe all my plans and my mile-long to-do list cannot be fitted into this season…this season with a small child and a husband who’s often away from home on call of duty. But that also doesn’t mean that I have to keep my gray cells in the freezer till I’m on the other side of menopause. It’s a little bit of give and take. Maybe even a lot of give and little bit of take ;-).

But every single day I’ll endeavor to put self-nourishment on the blueprint. Every day, I’ll wrestle with the routine to tear out snatches of time. Every day, I’ll do something to fill up my soul, nurture by body, buzz up my mind.

How do you make time for what nourishes you?


Friday, January 2, 2015

What I want to strive for in 2015...

Hi Folks!

Happy New Year! 2014 went in a blink or it seems that way every time we step over the threshold of a brand new year.

So while I don’t do resolutions in the true sense of the word, I create a few goals to work on or roll with every New Year. Here’s what I want to strive for in the next 12 months.

1.Learn new ways to stay healthy and fit naturally as a family. I started using some of the principles of aromatherapy this year to keep illness at bay. I aspire to deepen this practice in 2015 and add the ‘tapping cure’ to my natural remedy tool kit.

2.And, I will drop those last few pounds – the baby weight that has been stubbornly clinging on to me.

3.I will complete my Yoga Teacher’s Training this year and offer up classes for those who want to explore yoga as a way to stay fit.

4.I also wish to work on more professional assignments, be it for magazines and websites or through natural living workshops.

5.I am finally declaring myself as an ILLUSTRATOR, instead of a closet one. I will open up that door of possibility for people who wish to work with me to develop illustrations for posters, cards, websites and blog banners.

6.I wish to explore more ways to live naturally with my family.

7.I pray for peace and joy for us, and for the world.

What are your goals for this year?

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