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  • Autism Speaks… Story of a mother's tryst with Autism

    April 2, 2013

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    January 9, 2014

  • Nikhil Thampi Love Through Nail Art

    January 27, 2014

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    March 4, 2014

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    June 13, 2013

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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Restaurant Review: Sammy Sosa, Mumbai

Hi Guys! I am back with a restaurant review and this time its a Mexican restaurant situated in the heart of Mumbai. I hadn't really sampled authentic Mexican food until a few years ago when I traveled to California for the first time.
And from then, whenever I ate Mexican food back home, it was never up to the mark.

So, a few weeks ago when I received an invite to review Sammy Sosa, I was tempted to try it. Because I really need to find a place in Mumbai that serves good Mexican food. And guess what I finally found an answer to my Mexican food cravings. 

Sammy Sosa is a decade old Mexican Restaurant located in Andheri, Mumbai that has reinvented itself and launched a fresh new menu, a new vibe and 45 types of international beer.
The menu consists of vegan and gluten free options and majority of the ingredients are sourced from fresh organic farms making it a delight for every healthy and conscious food eater. You have the option to customize your meal to make it healthy by replacing regular rice with low carb brown rice, and alternatively vegan/gluten free.
Did you know? Sammy Sosa's kitchen has no place for unhealthy ingredients like MSG, preservatives, artificial colors and frozen food products.

Their new beer menu features international imports like Spitfire (A Kentish Ale that was first brewed in 1990 to commemorate the battle of Britain which was fought 50 years ago), Schneider Weisse Original (A Bavarian original wheat beer, which has been brewed since 1872), and Tsingtao (A Chinese beer, that was founded by beer savvy settlers from Europe in 1903).

Now lets quickly move over to what we ordered and what we liked.

We started with the vegetarian Chacho Nachos , Mixed vegetables Mexi Skin, Sweet Fries of Mine (sweet potato fries) and Chicken Enchiladas along with a few fun mocktails like the Lemongrass cooler, Pink Paradise, Virgin Guava-chi and Morning Breeze.
The Chacho Nachos has to be the best dish dish of the evening. Crispy nachos, black pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, salsa and just the perfect amount of cheese makes it a straight winner.
The chicken Quesadilla was good, but I will rate it 3.5/5 maybe because the Chacho Nachos had set the bar really high.



The mixed vegetable Jacket Potatoes/Mexi Skin was interesting and I think the next time, I am definitely trying their spinach and mushroom version. What I loved about the jacket potatoes was that they were baked crisp; without overdoing the cheese. The Sweet Potato Fries is a good side dish to order.

The mocktails were all made from fresh ingredients and you just know it when you taste it.



We quickly moved on to the main course and started with the cilantro rice with peri peri sauce.



Garden green vegetables engulfed with the cheesy goodness of the spicy peri peri sauce served with cilantro rice is what dreams are made of. If there was one dish that could give the Chacho Nachos serious competition, it was this. The cilantro rice was flavorful, and the peri peri sauce hit the taste buds at the right spots. It was a marriage made in heaven.

Then it was turn for the Chicken Enchiladas and everything in this dish was perfect. The chicken was cooked right, the sauce creamy and delicious and the presentation was pure excellence.
By this time, we were more than full, but when Virat, the owner, himself described the dish he wanted to serve us next, we couldn't say no. It was Grandma's Lasagna. Lasagna in a Mexican restaurant?? Yup...Sammy Sosa also offers a select Italian dishes on their menu that are so delish that you wont complain.

Creamy, saucy, cheesy with a healthy dose of garden fresh vegetables.

We really didn't have space for desserts, but like every greedy foodie, we went ahead and ordered the mud pie with ice cream, New York style cheesecake and KitKat shake.
The cheese cake reminded me of my New York holiday when I had a cheesecake for almost every meal. It was perfect, just the way I like it.


The
KitKat shake was better than most
KitKat shakes I have tasted recently.


But the winner definitely was the choco mud pie with ice cream. This is a classic which is so easy to mess up. But Sammy Sosa just aces it and offers you what I call the nutty, chocolatey, lush and most comforting crumbled brownie topped with ice cream. This was just the perfect end to our foodgasmic journey.
This place is perfect to visit with friends as well as family and it has such a feel good vibe to it. The Staff is courteous and the Owner very generous and polite. Do ask for his recommendations if he stops by your table and thank me later. Sammy Sosa has such cool decor that it's perfect for taking selfies. Do not forget to ask for sombreros while taking pics.

I really want to rate this place a 5/5, but being honest and highly critical for the sake of my readers, I give it a 4.5/5.
This is a place I am going back to. So what are you waiting for?

Friday, 2 November 2018

Review: Yavana Signature Lash Lift with Tint

I was invited by Yavana Asthetics Clinic for an experiential of their lash lift with tint treatment. Having experienced their service before, I was really keen to go.


So, on a weekend, after wrapping up my mommy duties, I headed to their clinic in Mulund.

After the general meet and greet, I was escorted to their treatment room and made comfortable.
Then Dr. Madhuri Agarwal came over to talk to me about the treatment and answer my questions.
Q&A:
How long will this treatment last?
The treatment lasts for 3-4 months, which is the normal time line for old lashes to shed and new lashes to grow.

Does it have any side effects?

Negative side effects, absolutely not. Other than that you might find too many people looking into your eyes. ;)

Will it hurt?

There might be slight discomfort when the lashes are being curled, but it will not hurt at all.

What if the product gets into my eyes?
The products that are used for this treatment are all organic and not sold to regular salons, but only qualified dermats and are extremely safe for your eyes. The chances of the product getting into the eyes are close to nil, but even if it does, it does no harm.

After being thoroughly convinced I was escorted to the treatment room.




Since I wasn't wearing any makeup, the procedure started with cleaning my eyes, lashes and area around it with wet wipes and then the lashes alone were cleaned with a pre-treatment tonic.



Then eye pads were carefully placed under my eyes which covered the bottom lashes to make sure the treatment does not affect them.


Then curl sticks were stuck on my lids above the upper eyelashes and my lashes were curled and stuck on them one by one with their medicated glue.




This is where I experienced slight discomfort. My lashes were slightly pulled.

After that, began the actual procedure/treatment.

Step 1
: Lifting Treatment

Lifting cream was applied on the lashes very carefully and meticulously and left on it for 6-7 minutes. This process was very comfortable and I experienced no discomfort whatsoever.




Step 2
: Curling Treatment

The next step is applying a curling cream on the lashes. This again took some time, as the application has to be applied on every single lash separately without being too close to its roots. It was left on for another 6-7 minutes. The curling cream has a strong odour, similar to bleach, but other than the smell, the process was smooth and easy.


Step 3
:
Tint

And then the final step where the lashes are tinted as per the color of your preference.
The tints are available in Black, Brown and Blue.
I chose Black.




The tint is left on your lashes for 5 minutes.

Now, the lashes are cleaned with hot water and applied a growth conditioning serum.

When I opened my eyes, and looked in the mirror, I was in for a pleasant surprise.



My lashes looked like I had applied a mascara.

Dark and perfectly curled.
They do not, by any means, look the way when fake lashes are attached. They look very natural, curled and well defined.


After Care:
After the treatment you are advised to keep your lashes away from water and fire for the next 24 hours. Which means no washing them, no makeup, no moisturizer and no cooking in the kitchen too.
The treatment lasts for 3-4 months. So, you can go mascara free for that period.

The treatment costs Rs.3500 and can be done at Yavana Asthetics Clinic in Mulund and Bandra.
Isn't this a perfect thing to do right before Diwali?
And finally, the before and after pictures.























P.S. The service was provided to me free of cost but the opinions expressed here are completely mine and unbiased.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Navratri 2018 - Day 9 - Colour Pink

I’ll start by saying pink is my favorite color. Who would have thought a combination of 2 distinctive colors (red and white) would make such a beautiful color?The color pink represents everything sweet and beautiful. It’s the color most associated with cute, nice, romantic, feminine, babies etc.

Similarly pink color foods are the most beautiful and delicious foods, like Strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, cakes, cupcakes, ice-creams, marshmallows etc.

Picking a pink food for Navratri day 9 wasn’t difficult at all. Smoothie bowls are thick, creamy, satisfying and here to stay! I made a yummy Strawberry Smoothie Bowl a perfectly healthy and vegan snack/breakfast.
Protein
Fiber
Vitamin C
Healthy carbs
Antioxidants


Ingredients:
•    1 cup frozen/fresh strawberries
•    1 fresh/frozen banana
•    11/2 cup almond milk
•    1 cup Greek yoghurt
•    For toppings: sliced strawberries, sliced banana, chia seeds, granola
Recipe:
1.    Combine frozen strawberries,frozen banana, almond milk and Greek yoghurt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth and thick.
2.    Add more milk if necessary to make it smooth.
3.    Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add toppings as you like and enjoy the perfect bowl.




And here's my Pink Outfit.



Hope you guys had a lovely Navratri.
And Happy Dussehra to everyone!


-SOnali
 For So-Saree Canada

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Navratri 2018 - Day 8 - Sky Blue

As the name suggests Sky Blue color comes from the color of the mighty sky. Just like the name it is associated with stability and heaven. Blue is also considered beneficial to the mind and body as it is believed to bring a calming effect.

When it comes to natural blue foods they are the rarest of kind. The most commonly found natural blue foodsare blueberries, red cabbage, blue cheese and jamun. Since none of these have a natural sky blue color I came up with a preparation which has a bit of blue in it. Day 1 of Navratri was associated with Royal Blue color on which I made blueberry oats smoothie. I already used the most commonly found blue food and didn’t want to use it again. However, there’s another blue colored berry that has over the last few years gained the title of being a superfood - the Acai berries. Packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals makes acai berries a near perfect energizing fruit.No wonder acai smoothies and acai bowls are considered a wholesome and yummy breakfast.

Since acai berries are grown primarily in Central and South America and are highly perishable, fresh berries are not readily available in North America. But these are available in frozen pulped packets at only specific stores in Canada and are perfect for creating your own smoothies at home.

This is how I made my Chia Acai Smoothie:


Ingredients:
•    1 Frozen acai smoothie pack fromSambazon
•    Fresh blueberries, blackberries and figs
•    1 Banana
•    1 tbsp. Chia seeds
•    1 cup almond milk
Preparation:
1. Soak chia seeds overnight in almond milk. (This step is optional) Chia seeds can be consumed raw and added to the smoothie as topping.


2. To prepare the acai purée, in a blender, add banana, acai pulp, blueberries, blackberries and a splash of milk.
3. Blend until all ingredients have come together.
4. Add the blended puree to the overnight soaked chia seeds and top with your choice of fruits and nuts.


5. Enjoy as a bowl. If you prefer as a smoothie glass, add more than just a splash of milk to get the smoothie consistency.


And now my sky blue outfit.


-SOnali
 For So-Saree Canada

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Navratri 2018- Day 7 - Red

Red is the color of blood. It is also associated with love, passion, heat, fire and danger. It’s an intense color and is linked with intense feelings and gestures, both positive and negative. In India the color red has a special sentiment for married women and in the west the combination of green and red traditionally represents Christmas the most joyous holiday season.
Red foods are health heroes when it comes to a balanced diet. Packed with lycopene that protects our skin as well as reduces risks of cancer. Cherries, raspberries, watermelon, tomatoes and beets are the most easily available reds that can be included in our daily diet.
Inspired by the color red of day 7 of Navratri I made stuffed red pepper:
This is a very versatile recipe and can be modified as per your likes. I’m going to pen down how I made it this time.


Ingredients:
2 medium red bell peppers
1 tomato diced
1/2 red onion diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1 tsp salt, chili powder, turmeric powder
1/2 cup roasted cauliflower rice (variation: brown rice or quinoa)
Few cubes of paneer

Recipe:
1. In 2 tbsp. olive oil sauté onions for a few minutes or until golden brown.
2. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for another minute.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and cook for 5 – 6 minutes.
4. Add grated or finely chopped paneer and cook for the mixture for 2 more minutes and remove from heat.
5. Slice off the tops of each bell pepper, remove seeds and clean out the pepper thoroughly. Lightly grease the pepper with olive oil on the insides.


6. Carefully spoon mixture into hollowed-out peppers and top with grated paneer.
7. Place it in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes on low temperature, or until the peppers are tender. Alternatively you can cook in a non-stick sauce-pan with the lid covered.


And my red outfit for today is here..




-SOnali

 For So-Saree Canada

Monday, 15 October 2018

Navratri 2018 - Day 6 - White

The color whiteis the most positive colorof all. It is associated with purity, light, heaven, cleanliness, spirituality and perfection. As humans, we tend to typically portray the good guy in white and the bad guy in black. That’s the significance of the color white.
When it comes to food, we believe in eating the colors of rainbow. White foods are generally considered unhealthy because most refined and processed foods are white in color, like sugar, bread, rice, white flour etc. But the fact is there are many white foods that are good for our health.White foods contain nutrients that we need in our diets like anthoxanthins which help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and sulfur which detoxifies our liver and help with protein structure and skin health. White foods like cauliflower, cabbage, beans, onions, garlic, mushrooms, tofu are very healthy and can be easily included in our daily diet.
On day 6 of Navratri I decided to make a cauliflower preparation which I recently learnt to make and immediately became a fan. It’s healthy, it’s easy to make and can be easily paired with any other food you like. I made Cauliflower rice with pan-seared tofu and cottage cheese. (Tofu is the vegan option)



Ingredients:
2tbsp. olive oil
½ Cauliflower head
2 cloves garlic, minced or garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
100 gms tofu/paneer

Recipe:

1. To make the cauliflower into rice: Chop the cauliflower into florets, then place the cauliflower (in 3 or 4 batches) in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice. Do not over process it, you don’t want it to be mushy.
2. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray the baking sheet with oil. Combine the riced cauliflower, olive oil, garlic and salt on the prepared sheet, spread out in a thin single layer and roast in the oven for 15 -20 minutes.


3. Remove from oven, top with fresh lemon juice and parsley and mix it well.
4. Pat the tofu/paneer dry with paper towels to remove excess water. Cut into 1/2-inch slices.
5. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add oil and after the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu/paneer into a single layer.


6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and chili powder.
7. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes, or until sides are golden and crisp.




And
this is my White outfit. Hope you like it.




-SOnali
 For So-Saree Canada

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Navratri 2018 - Day 5 - Orange

Orange is the color associated with warmth, fire and energy. In Asia it is an important symbolic color of Buddhism and Hinduism. For me it’s the color of the current season, fall!
Every color is rich in specific nutrients that help make a well-balanced diet. The nutrient that is available in orange food is the antioxidant beta-carotene, which also helps support healthy skin, hair and vision. It’s important to make sure to have some orange on your plate each day. The yellow color in citrus fruits doesn’t contain a lot of beta-carotene, but is instead loaded with another antioxidant, vitamin C which also helps fight infection. While there are variety of orange foods available in the market I decided to go with the ultra-nutritious and versatile (to cook) Butternut Squash. It’s rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin A. It also protects your skin, keeps the bones strong and aids in weight loss. To save time I bought a pack of peeled and diced butternut squash. Since there was a lot and I wanted to make 2 dishes. So I made a Simple Roasted side dish and a curried soup.



Ingredients
:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced or garlic powder
Half onion chopped
Few carrots chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese and parsley for garnishing



Recipe for the side dish:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Toss butternut squash, onions and carrots with olive oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.
4. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. (use a fork to check if the squash is soft and cooked)
5. Plate the squash and garnish with cheese and parsley


Recipe for the soup:
1. Roast squash, carrots and onions as noted above
2. Let them cool and then blend it until smooth. Use vegetable broth to attain the desired consistency
3. Season with more salt and pepper (if necessary)
4. Garnish with cheese and parsley when serving


And here's my Orange outfit.




-SOnali 
 For So-Saree Canada

 

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