Blogmas X: 11 Best Books of 2018

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Hi!! How’s everyone doing….

In high spirits today because guess who’s writing about her favorite books of 2018! Finally that time of the year when I let my emotions flow freely and ramble about the best books of 2018.

best books 2018
Books make me happy!!!

Here are 11 best books of 2018

1.Turtles All the Way Down – by John Green

Started 2018 with Turtles All the Way Down and I haven’t regretted one bit. The anxiety rep is so good, you have to read it for that! One of the best YA books on anxiety and OCD representations, I’ve read in a long time.

It is an own voices novel where John Green has taken pieces of his OCD and anxiety and moulded them into this beautiful and poignant story.

book blogger
Turtles all the way Down has a special place in my heart and bookshelf.

2. The Astonishing Color of After – by Emily X.R. Pan

This was such a stunner! The story is about Leigh Chen Sanders, who’s certain that her mother has become a bird after she commits suicide. She travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents and finds out her mother and her culture.

It is magical realism mixed with YA and the amalgamation is seamless. You get all the feels, the writing is lush and lyrical, and the characters feel so real. Loved the way grief and sorrow is depicted in the book through colors. It’ll break your heart and then heal it in the most wonderful manner.

best YA books 2018
Looks super pretty!
Reads prettier….
Image Source – expan.tumblr

3. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

I read this in the beginning of 2018, and haven’t stopped gushing about THUG ever since. This is one story that everyone needs to read because it’s so relevant in today’s time. The story is inspired by #blacklivesmatter movement.

The story traces Star’s journey as she is the prime witness to her friend being shot dead by a police officer. It teaches us all that each of us have a voice that matters and can make a difference, we just need to speak up.

The Hate U Give
If there’s just one book you want to read from this list, make sure it is THUG.

4. When Breath Becomes Air – by Paul Kalanithi

OMG, if I cannot even begin to tell how much I cried while reading this book. It is a memoir of a doctor who’s diagnosed with stage 3 of lung cancer. From being a doctor to a patient himself, it talks about his strength and feelings. It touched me at a personal level because my dad passed away from cancer and I could feel that pain and every little nuance.

Also a special mention about the epilogue of the book. The words still resonate with me and are so moving, you must read it for that brilliant epilogue.

best books 2018 non fiction
I couldn’t function after reading the Epilogue, that’s how powerful it is.
Image Source – adventures of yoo

5. Still Me – Jojo Moyes

This one’s the third installment after Me Before You and After You. The story continues with Lou as she moves to New York to start a new life. She meets Joshua, and sees hues of her past in him. But is she brave enough to take on this new life and let go of the memories. You need to read it to find out!

book blog India
Jojo Moyes never disappoints.

When you’re craving something mushy and romantic, yet deep Jojo Moyes is the best pick. I loved all the books by her, and this one was also heartwarming and super cute.

6. Illuminae – by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

If you’re a sci-fi fan, then the Illuminae Files Trilogy will be your jam. The book is in the form of mixed media – emails, transcripts, interviews, coded messages and a lot more. This is the first book in the series and it gets you hooked. The story is fast paced and full of action. Loved it and cannot wait to continue with the series.

best sci fic books 2018
Reading in the garden – pleasures of Delhi winter.

7. Little Fires Everywhere – by Celeste Ng

This one’s a strong female centric book that revolves around a family who moves into a small house of a close knit neighborhood. When one of the families tries to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle begins and the entire neighborhood is divided into two parts. It talks a lot about family secrets. Loved the writing style, the story, and the strong female characters.

best books of 2018
Little Fires Everywhere, a strong literary fiction!

8. Girl Made of Stars – by Ashley Herring Blake

If you’re looking for a YA book that moves you, this is what you should be reading. Girl Made of Stars is the story of twins Mara and Owen. Mara’s best friend Hannah accuses Owen of raping her, and Mara is torn between believing her best friend and twin.

Its emotional, heavy, and moving. After a long time a YA with a heavy topic struck a chord and I highly recommend this one!!

best YA books 2018
Keep tissues handy while reading this one..
Image Source – howling libraries

9. Homegoing – by Yaa Gyasi

For all you historical fiction fans, Homegoing is one book you cannot miss. The story is about two half sisters, Effia and Esi in 18th century Ghana. One is sold as a slave and the other is married to an Englishman.

The story feels a lot like a non-fiction memoir, and it’s evident how much research the author did. Tracing three hundred years of Ghana through history, Homegoing is beautiful, heartbreaking, and empowering all in equal measures.

best fiction books 2018
Historical Fiction is becoming my new favv!

10. Sadie – by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers came out and suddenly became a phenomenon on booktube. It’s Sadie’s story as she goes on the hunt to find the truth when her younger sister is found murdered. Trigger warning for – Sexual abuse, drug abuse, pedophilia

The story is told podcast form and I highly recommend the audio book. It was a wonderful experience listening to it.

best books 2018
Sad, compelling, and so moving, this is a must read/listen.
Source – thebookishdeer

11. Darius the Great is Not Okay – by Adib Khorram

A coming of age story of a Persian American boy who’s travels to Iran to meet his grandparents. A beautiful story about family, love, friendship, and identity. I heard the audiobook and it touched my heart in so many places. Its character heavy and transports you to Iran. Read it to restore your faith in friendship and for a feel good book!

indian book blogger
Such a heartwarming story this is!
Source – novelnovice

Special Mentions 

Also had to share some honorary mentions. I liked them a lot, but a tad bit of something was missing. Consider them 4 star reads.

  • Leah on the Offeat – by Becky Albertalli
goodreads best books 2018
Queer romance, body positivity, and YA feels, what’s not to love.
  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • The Inexplicable Logic of my Life – Benjamin Alire Saenz
top 10 books of 2018
My new favorite author of 2018.
  • History is all you left me – Adam Silvera
  • Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner

Hope you got some great recommendations to add to your 2019 TBR.

Let me know the top 3 books that you read in 2018 and share this with all your book lover friends. Also come back for the last installment of #blogmas! Bye for now.

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Blogmas IX :Christmas Cracker Book Tag

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Hello there you lovely people! Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season…

Its Christmas time and we booknerd always wish for books as gifts under the tree! Now whether you buy them for yourself, or bae spoils you, or your parents treat you, its ultimate bookish Christmas cheer that we’re celebrating.

Christmas book tag
Missing my Santa!!
But I know he’s always with me 🙂 
winter book recommendations
Sangria and books making my Christmas merrier.

Spreading joy and happiness with this Christmas Cracker Book Tag

A book with wintery cover.

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts (by Lucy Dillon). I need to gather courage to read this one soon though, because I know its going to be a sob fest.

Indian book blog
The warmth of winter sun and Romeo’s memories keeping my heart warm.

Pick a book you’re likely to buy as a present.

It’ll actually depend who am I buying this gift for, but the two picks are – The Hate U Give (by Angie Thomas) and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (by Benjamin Alire Saenz)

blogmas ideas
This one has a piece of my heart. I love it so much!!

Pick a festive themed book

I’ll say The Forty Rules of Love (by Elif Shafak). Its heartwarming, takes you on a journey of discovering love, and celebrates the biggest festival – LIFE.

book blogger
Mornings at home!

Pick a book you can curl up with by the fireplace.

Well, it can be any! But from my current TBR I’ll pick Sleeping Giants (by Sylvian Neuvel). Its sci-fi, thriller, perfect for a chillin’ cozy reading session.

book tag
This is the first book in the Themis Files trilogy!

Pick a book you want to read for the festive period.

Let’s choose a happy romance one for this – The Kiss Quotient (by Helen Hoang)

book blog India
It’s always a good time for a steamy romance.
Source – booksfortheliving

Pick a book that’s so good it gives you chills.

Second Chance Summer (by Morgan Matson). It’s a summer contemporary, but I could relate to the story on such a deep personal level that it left me sobbing and emotional!

Pick a book going on your Christmas wish list.

Its on my wish list since a couple of months now – A Little Life (by Hanya Yanagihara). Cannot wait to read it and get my heart broken into a million pieces, or so I’ve heard.

book blogger india
Finds a place on most of my TBRs.
Source – the travelling bibliophile

Share your picks in the comments section below and let’s celebrate a bookish Christmas together virtually. Hope you have a great day! Love…

And yes, come back for more amazing #blogmas posts. See you soon.

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Blogmas VIII: 7 Most Disappointing Books of 2018

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Hello y’all! It’s that time of the year when I share the highlights of my bookish journey of 2018 on the blog. For this edition of #blogmas I’m sharing the most disappointing reads of 2018.

These books weren’t bad, but for me they were meh! Or maybe my expectations were so high that when they came tumbling down, the crash was heard louder than what I expected.

book blog India
Listing the top 7 disappointing books of 2018.

So here are the Top 7 Disappointing Books of 2018.

1.Genuine Fraud – by E. Lockhart

I read at the beginning of the year and it was such a disappointment. Had heard some nice reviews, so my expectations were high, but sadly Genuine Fraud was no good. It’s a mystery thriller about a girl.

I wasn’t invested in the story and was so not interested about the characters. It is told in a unique format, like it starts at the end and goes in reverse. Maybe that was a major reason I couldn’t understand it.

disappointing books 2018
Made a fraud of my emotions and fell flat!

2. The Serpent King – by Jeff Zentner

I read Goodbye Days by the same author and kinda adored it, but this one on the opposite was so bad!  It is a YA story about friendship and bonding, but I just couldn’t connect to any of the character or the plot. Add to that that the protagonist’s father is a snake handler and there’s a lot of mention about venom and snakes makes it awful! The writing was lush and lyrical, but it was too long.

book blog India
All my expectations crashed!
Source – the wonder life

3. Not if I See You First – by Eric Lindstorm

This one’s supposed to be a contemporary with a deep emotional touch. For me though, the story and the characters didn’t strike a chord. It’s the story of a blind protagonist, Parker and her life. There’s a love interest and a love story mixed with teenage drama. Just didn’t work. The story lacked feels and dragged in many places.

most disappointing books in 2018
Don’t go by the bright poppy cover, the inside is so bad…

4. Sometimes I Lie – by Alice Feeney

The only thing I can say after reading this one is – what just happened? That ending leaves you with so many questions in your head. I loved the premise, it is based on all lies, but the ending is so confusing. I remember finishing this one late into the night and scanning the internet for opinions to match mine.

The story is about Amber Reynolds who’s in coma, her husband doesn’t love her, and sometimes she lies. All the characters are in the grey spectrum, which I liked. The build up was amazing, plot twists on point, and then boom – the ending just nosedived.

sometimes i lie
It was all good, until that ending! Arggghhh…..

5. After the Crash – by Michel Bussi

Why have I made all the wrong choices this year?? This one’s a thriller and starts with a bang. In a plane crash out of 169 people, 168 die and the only survivor is a 3 month old baby girl. Two families claim the girl as their grand-daughter and there begins all the action, or not really.

The story sounded so interesting and was going at a great pace, some amazing revelations were made throughout the book. But the ending was like soda, all fizz and at the end no taste. The ending just fell so flat that I felt my time wasted after reading this.

most disappointing books of 2018
Crashed right at the end!

6. Big Little Lies – by Liane Moriarty

Do we see a pattern here?? I and thrillers didn’t have a cordial relation in 2018. I hardly read any good ones this year. Big Little Lies was also highly recommended and talked about, but for me something was missing.

I always have an issue with the pacing of Liane Moriarty’s books. For me personally, they are too slow as a mystery thriller. You’re never on the edge of the seat or in a nail biting tense situation.

worst books of 2018
Slow and uneventful, that’s how I’ll describe this.

7. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – by Jonathan Safran Foer

I never DNF a book, but this one changed that for me. Had to DNF it at around 55% because nothing was happening in the story. I felt los and couldn’t connect to the protagonist at any level.

The story is about a boy (a prodigy) named Oskar. His father is killed in the 9/11 attacks and he sets out to discover the secret of the keys that he found in his father’s closet. I had such high hopes and seeing people rave about it on goodreads, I was sure to love this. But on the contrary, I was on the other end of the spectrum!

worst books 2018
This one didn’t strike a chord so added to DNF pile.

Let me know what’s your most disappointing read of the year and if you’ve read any of these and out opinion differs, do share your thoughts in the comments below.

And come back for more posts in #blogmas. I’m planning a best of 2018 series for the last week, so stay tuned for that! Bye…

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Blogmas VII: December Favorites

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Hi y’all! Hope you’re having a great day.

So it’s the last month and last monthly favorites of 2018. I love reading monthly favorites, have got some amazing recommendations. You guys also seem to love them, so here’s presenting December Favorites as part of #blogmas.

monthly favorites December
Find some amazing beauty recommendations in this monthly favorites edition.

1.Huda Beauty Liquid Matte

My first Huda liquid lipstick, and I now know what the hype is all about. The formula is beautiful. Matte but doesn’t dry your lips at all. Supremely pigmented, great color pay off, and soft velvety texture – all that you need in a lipstick!

Huda liquid lipstick
Hello new favorite! You have my heart.

I have the shade Video Star, a beautiful bright raspberry pink color. Its intense pigmentation gives opaque color in one stroke! Trust me, you need to have one to know what an amazing lipstick this is.

Price – 1650/- for 5ml

2. Forest Essentials Soundarya Ultra Rich Body Lotion

If you’re someone who likes to invest in skincare, then this amazing body lotion is a must have. Enriched with the goodness of 24 karat gold and SPF 25, this one’s a great for all skin types. It comes in a handy pump packaging which is a big pro!

Forest Essentials Soundarya lotion
Smells yummy! (Just like all Forest Essentials products do)

True to its name, the consistency is ultra rich but gets absorbed quickly leaving your skin moisturized for hours. It smells of saffron and almonds, and an undertone of sweet turmeric – a lot like kesar kulfi!

Price – 2075/- for 200ml

3. The Body Shop Mango Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub

To smell as delicious as mangoes all through the year, you need this sweet sugary scrub in your life. I have to be honest, it smells a lot like peaches!

The consistency is the star – thick and granular, but not harsh. You can see the oil that deeply nourishes your skin. It’s a must have shower essential especially for winters when hot water makes your skin dry and flaky. Use it once or twice a week for super smooth skin. It comes in a huge tub that’ll go a long way, so total value for money.

The Body Shop mango scrub
TBS Mango Scrub is like Summer in a jar!

Price – 1195/- for 250ml  

4. Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist

If you’re a fan of sweet fruity fragrances, then ‘A Thousand Wishes’ is perfect for you. Even though it’s a mist, it stays for a pretty long time. The fragrance lingers on but isn’t overpowering.

Will make for a perfect gift! That’s how I got it and am lovin’ it ever since! The size is perfect to fit in your bag and be the perfect travel companion.

Bath and Body Works mist
Kinda obsessed with this fragrance 🙂

Price – 595/- for 88ml

5. Nykaa wedding Collection Nail Enamel

I have two shades from the collection – Lovie Dovey and Pink Bloom. While the first is a bright poppy pink, the latter is like a dusty rose. Both are supremely pigmented and the staying power is great. Perfect for the wedding and party season. They’re affordable, good quality, and don’t chip easily – just what you need in a nail polish.

Nykaa nail polish
Bright and poppy colors – perfect for the wedding season.

Price – 199/- 

Let me know what you’ve been loving through December. And don’t forget to come back for more #blogmas updates. I’ve got my chai and am not lagging behind for sure!

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Blogmas VI : TBR Book Tag

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Hello y’all! The weekend is almost here and its time to cuddle up in bed with chai and book (well, when am I not doing that). For this installment of #blogmas I’m doing a book tag!

Book tags are so much fun! You get to know a lot about your fellow booknerd friends and sometimes the questions put you in a spot. It is pretty much the Rapid Fire of Koffee with Karan, but bookish version.

blogmas post
TBR Book Tag for #blogmas

So brace yourself and here’s the TBR Book Tag.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Thank god for Goodreads (a booknerd’s faavv app)

If your TBR mostly print or e-books?

It’s actually a mix of both (whatever I get sasta)

A book that’s been on your TBR for the longest.

The Sense of an Ending – by Julian Barnes

A book you recently added to your TBR.

A Little Life – by Hanya Yanagihara

book blogger india
Cannot wait for my heart to be broken into a million pieces by this one!
Source – the travelling bibliophile

A book on your TBR that you never plan to read.

Insomnia – by Stephen King

It’s way too long and the last couple of Stephen King books didn’t click, so this aint happening.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

Children of Blood and Bone – by Tomi Adeyemi

Have heard so much on booktube that I want to see what the hype is all about. Its fantasy, so I’m kinda skeptical going into it, but this needs to happen in 2019.

children of blood and bone
How stunning does this look???
Source – Goodreads

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

There’re so many. To name a few gems –

  • Unexpected Everything – by Morgan Matson (It has cutesy doggies on the cover)
  • A Spark of Light – by Jodi Picoult (those pastel hues have my heart)
  • Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends you.

The Nightingale – by Kristin Hannah

A beautiful historical fiction based in France during World War II. And this one has been praised no end, so he expectations are high!

TBR Book Tag
One of the most anticipated from the TBR Tag
Image Source – parchment girl

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.

Gemina – Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff

This is the second book in the Illuminae Files Trilogy, and I cannot wait to see how the story progresses and all the sci-fi action.

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

185 and adding more almost every week!

TBR Book Tag was originally created by Coffee Cocktails and Books.

Tell me what are the top 3 books on your TBR. Comment down below and you’ll make me super happy! Also guys do follow #blogmas journey. I’m posting 4 blogs a week!

I’ll see you soon with another post, until then – have a great day and happy reading!

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Blogmas V: Top 5 Nude Lipsticks you must have

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Hi lovelies! Long time, no lipstick post! So today let’s talk lipstick love.

I always say that you cannot go wrong with a red lipstick or a fuchsia lipstick, but with a nude lipstick there are high chances of going wrong. Choosing the right shade and undertone is crucial.

best nude lipsticks in India
Can never have enough nude lipsticks!

A couple shades lighter can wash you out, and a shade darker might not be the perfect nude for your skintone. The best way is to swatch and test, and another way is to take my recommendations.

Here are my favorite top 5 nude lipsticks.

1.MAC – Mehr

The favorite gets the top spot and I cannot express enough love for this beautiful shade. It’s like dusty rose meets nude, perfect for all skin tones. The texture is matte, but not like MAC Retro Matte lipsticks, so it doesn’t parch your lips. A great day wear shade that you can totally carry off to work as well!

best nude lipsticks
Such a pretty pinkish nude shade this is!

Price –1650/-

2. Maybelline Creamy Matte – Touch of Spice

If you’re someone who likes pinkish nudes, then this gorgeous lipstick is your perfect match! As the name suggests it’s a comfortable creamy matte finish. Glides easily and gives great color pay off! It isn’t transfer proof and will need touch ups.

best budget nude lipsticks
Such a pretty shade! Will suit all skin tones.

Maybelline is a great drugstore brand and the quality is amazing. The price is quite affordable, so you don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket. Also I’ve read this shade is a close dupe for Mac Twig (Cannot vouch for it, because I don’t have that shade of MAC lipstick).

best nude lipsticks in India
Affordable and beautiful, that’s Touch of Spice!
Source – amazon

 

Price – 299/- 

3. Nykaa Matte to Last Liquid Lipstick – Madras Kaapi

Madras Kaapi was among the first shades launched under the Nykaa liquid lipstick range. It’s a beautiful brownie nude, which will look super flattering for deep dusky skin tones. For light to medium skin tones this will be a light brown, something not too intimidating.

nykaa madras kaapi
Love this darker nude shade!

The formula is great, intense pigmentation, light on the lips, doesn’t smudge or budge, and is pretty comfortable. Also for the price, it is total value for money.

Price –599/- 

4. Lakme 9 to 5 Weightless Mousse – Coffee Lite

One of my favorites from the list and in the drugstore category. Have talked about this one in a couple of monthly favorites as well.

lakme 9 to 5 weightless mousse lip and cheek color
Ignore the drawing, focus on the creativity 🙂

It’s a beautiful MLBB shade, perfect for everyday use. The tear drop shaped applicator picks up the right amount of product. It’s a lip and cheek mousse, but I personally think it works best as a liquid lipstick. The formula is pretty comfortable, doesn’t dry your lips. Just make sure to moisturize your lips well, or it might settle into lines. The color pay off is amazing, its supremely pigmented, and is affordable – so what else can you ask for??

best affordable nude lipsticks
Coffee Lite – perfect everyday shade!

Price –600/- 

5. Maybelline Lip Gradation – Muave 1

Clearly Maybelline gets a lot of love! Well, this stunner comes in a twist up form and is a great nude for almost all skin tones. Its beautifully pigmented, glides easily, and looks stunning. For the affordable category, this is a must have. You can even mix this with your dark berries and burgundies to lighten them!

top 5 nude lipsticks
Maybelline’s lipstick game is always strong!

It isn’t transfer proof and the staying power isn’t too good. So if you don’t mind touching up your lipstick, give this one a try!

best nude lipsticks for Indian skintone
Has my heart! Quite literally.

Price – 550/-

If you have a favorite nude lipstick, do share it in the comments below. And I’m hoping you’re following the #blogmas journey.

There’s a lot more amazing content planned, so do come back. And have a wonderful week ahead. Bye!

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Blogmas IV: Mom’s Special – Christmas Recipes

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Hello everyone!

Welcome back to #blogmas. December – the harbinger of winters – is here and December by default means Christmas season. It’s the time to party, for family to sit together and celebrate, and good food is an inevitable part of all celebrations.

easy recipes for Christmas
Follow these easy Christmas recipes and have a feast!
Source – Betty Crocker

Here are 4 amazing and easy Christmas Recipes from my kitchen.

1.Truffle Pudding

A favorite among kids and adults alike! It’ll be a super hit for parties and is super easy to make.

easy christmas recipes
Sweet Delight – Truffle pudding!
Source – food to love

Ingredients –

  • Vanilla sponge cake
  • 2 cups Assorted fresh fruits
  • 4 tbsp Dry fruits (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups custard sauce

Method –

Make thin custard sauce (preferably vanilla flavor) and let it cool. Cut assorted fresh fruits into small cubes – apples, pear, peach, grapes, banana, pomegranate etc. Mix them in the custard when cool. Cut the sponge cake into rectangular cubes and line them in a shallow dish. Pour the fresh fruit custard over it. Garnish with dry fruit and serve chilled!

2.Mutton Chops

Take your festive feast a notch higher with these delicious mutton chops. Follow this easy recipe and you’ll know its no rocket science to cook mutton chops.

Christmas recipes for parties
Always a yaaayyy for mutton chops!

Ingredients –

  • 500gm mutton chops (ribs) (flattened)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp cornflour/ maida
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2- 3 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 lemon

1 onion (cut into rings)

Method –

Wash the mutton chops and drain them (be sure that the flesh on the chops has been beaten well to flatten them).

Beat the eggs, add salt, chillies, garam masala, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, and cornflour to make a thick paste. Marinate the chops and keep overnight. Cook them in a non-stick pan with 2 drops of olive oil on medium heat.

You can also bake/ grill them as per your taste. Serve hot with lemon juice squeezed over them and onion rings.

3. Spiced Vanilla Coffee

Whether its conversations, cuddling up in the blanket to watch sappy Christmas movies, or to just enjoy it with a book, coffee is a constant companion. It’s the season of being merry and this spiced vanilla coffee will be perfect for cozy evenings and lazy afternoons!

easy Christmas recipes
Try this yummy coffee!
Source – copy me that

Ingredients –

  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • Sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh cream (optional)
  • Powdered mix spices

Method –

In a thick pan, boil milk with a pinch of mix spices (star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves). Put coffee powder, sugar, 2-3 drops of vanilla essence in a mug. Pour hot milk and mix well. Add fresh cream if desired (and if you don’t mind those extra calories). Your yummy coffee is ready to be relished with some delish cookies!

4. Puplet Cake

It’s Christmas time for our furry friends also. So treat them with a special doggie cake which they’ll love and the wagging tail will be proof enough!

dog cake recipe
The cake was Romeo’s faav! Look at that happy face 🙂

Ingredients –

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Assorted fresh fruit (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp tutti-fruti

Method –

In a bowl take eggs and beat them well. Add fruits and tutti-fruti. Mix baking powder with wheat flour and slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Grease a mould with some oil and pour the batter. Bake it for 10 minutes on 180 degree C.

Once cool, de-mould and feed it to your beloved! See the glee on their face and the twinkle in their eyes as the aroma of this yummy Christmas treat fills the kitchen!

I hope these Christmas recipes make your festive season all the more special. Do let me know which of these are you going to try! See you soon for #blogmas!

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Blogmas III: Best Audiobook Recommendations

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Hello there! Welcome back to #blogmas. Today we talk about one of my new found love – audiobooks.

Audiobooks are a great way of getting considerable amount of reading done if you’re always on the go or find hard to concentrate while physically reading a book. Also audiobooks do count as reading, so let’s just end the debate.

blogmas 2018
Sharing my favorite audiobooks for #blogmas
Source – panmacmillan

My top 4 audiobook recommendations of 2018

  • Sadie – by Courtney Summers

This latest release is generating a lot of buzz, and for all the right reasons. The audiobook is narrated by full cast and it is a surreal experience.

The story traces Sadie, as she goes on a hunt to trace her dead sister Mattie. Sadie has always had a rough life and her only solace was her sister. But when she dies, Sadie’s world comes crumbling down and she’s determined to find the killer even if it means risking her own life.

best fiction audiobooks
Sad, compelling, and so moving, this is a must read/listen.
Source – thebookishdeer

This one’s dark, grueling, and content warning for – abuse, pedophilia, drug abuse, murder. Pick up when want to read something impactful, and it’ll not disappoint.

  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

For all you historical fiction fans, this one is a must read. I started reading it and was casucally browsing through my audiobook app and there it was. And OMG thank heavens, it was such a wonderful experience. To read and listen to it side by side.

all the light we cannot see
Perfect weekend scene – read some, listen some!

The story is about a blind French girl, Marie Laure and an orphan German boy, Werner Pfenning during World War II. When she was twelve, the Nazis occupy her hometown and she had to fled with her father. The story traces these Marie and Werner, and then how their paths converge. It’s a beautiful story of will power, how people do good, and the spirit of life.

It is a tad bit slow and reads a lot like a classic, so I highly recommend the audio book.

  • Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire

Magical realism mixed with fairy tale vibes, that’s what Every Heart a Doorway is about. The story traces children who’ve returned from fantastical worlds like Narnia etc. and are now finding it difficult to adjust in the real world. These children go to a special institution and that’s where this story is based.

It is the first book in the Wayward Children Series. The other two books are Down among the Sticks and Bones; Beneath the Sugar Sky. The good thing is that they’re all available, so enjoy binge reading/ listening.

audiobook recommendations
Finished the first one, and diving straight into the second book.
Source – spoilers may apply

Although the books are short, they’re enticing and so engrossing. The world building is impeccable and so are the characters. They’re flawed, grey, yet seem so real! You’ll love this series.

  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea – Tahereh Mafi

This is a memoir/ semi autobiographical novel by Tahereh Mafi, who is the author of the super popular Shatter Me Series. This one is the story of Shirin, a 16 year old Hijabi Muslim girl who has to go to a new high school just 2 weeks after 9/11. She’s fighting the world and finds solace in break dancing.

best audiobooks 2018
For YA with a lot of depth this is a great choice. Source – epic reads

It traces her struggles against racism and Islamophobia. Although the book deals with heavy topics, there are a lot of fun elements. Strong friendships, bubbling romance, and a very strong female lead makes this a powerful read. I could imaging Tahereh Mafi all the time while I was listening to it (go check her Instagram to know what I’m saying).

Hope these audiobook recommendations help you and you pick one up soon! If you have a favorite audiobook, do share it in the comments section below.

And don’t forget to come back every week for 4 posts all through December for #blogmas! See you soon.

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Blogmas II: 5 Winter Skincare must haves you cannot do without

winter skin care products
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Hi everyone! Welcome back to #blogmas

The temperature is going down and winter is here in full swing. That time of the year when fun and festivities are laden in the air. But, also that time of the year when your skin becomes ultra dry. Whatever be your skin type, winter means extra love and nourishment.

winter skin care products
You cannot miss these winter skincare must haves.
Source – prettifulblog.com

Switch to an easy winter skincare routine and try these 5 winter skincare must haves.

Here are 5 winter skincare must haves

1.Body Butter

The thick body butter is perfect to slather up in winters and make your skin super soft. Choose one as per your skin type and give your skin extra nourishment and moisture. If you’re from the oily skin type and think body butter is too heavy a formulation for you, then try body yogurts or lotions.

winter skincare must haves
TBS body butters are great value for money and work wonders!
Source – the body shop

2. Lip Scrub

The harsh weather can make your lips dry and flaky. A lip balm will not be enough, you need extra hydration. A lip scrub is excellent to scrub off dead skin and leaves your lips soft and kissable.

winter skincare for oily skin
Tastes yumm and makes your lips so soft!

You can also make a lip scrub easily at home. Mix 1tsp olive oil + 2 tbsp sugar + few drops vanilla essence and there you have it, an easy peasy homemade lip scrub.

3. Hand cream

Our hands are always doing something and we tend to overlook them when it comes to moisturization. A hand cream is a winter skincare must have. Keep in your bag to apply it on the go and keep your hands soft and supple.

winter skincare routine
Vanilla mixed with hazelnut…aaah that delicious fragrance.
winter skin care products
My faav hand cream!
(This is the old packaging though)

4. Facial Oils

Facial oils are a boon for people with dry skin. They are packed with intense goodness of natural ingredients and can be used as an extra step in winters to lock in the moisture. You can use an oil-in-serum, or a facial oil targeting particular needs like pigmentation, dryness, or anti-ageing.

winter skincare for dry skin
Include a facial oil in your skincare routine and you’ll see difference.
Source – beattheboredom

Make sure you always do a patch test before using any new product.

5. Body Scrub

The cold harsh weather and hot water baths can make your skin dry and flaky. To get rid of dryness and dead skin, a body scrub is indeed a winter skincare must have. They’re available in so many variants! You can choose one with mild exfoliating granules if you have sensitive skin and a body scrub with oil is great for extra dry skin.

the body shop mango scrub
It smells more like peaches, but nonetheless moisturizes your skin pretty well.

If you have a winter skincare staple that you cannot do without, do share it in the comments below. And come back for many interesting posts on fashion, books, and beauty! Byeeee

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Blogmas Day 1: Rapid Fire Book Tag

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Hi everyone! Hope y’all are having a fantastic weekend..

After such a fulfilling experience of #blogtober, I took a break and now back with the holiday spirit. Time to get going with some more blogs and this time its #Blogmas.

#Blogmas is a series of blog posts till Christmas, although I’m extending it all through December. So for day 1, I thought of doing a fun bookish tag. Usually these posts have to be Christmas theme, but I’m tweaking them somewhat.

blogmas
Welcome to day 1 of #blogmas!

Rapid Fire Book Tag is a set of 21 bookish questions that you need to answer rapidly and keep them super fiery! So let’s go.

Rapid Fire Book Tag

E-books or Physical Books?

Both! Kindle and Chill is a thing for booknerds

Paperback or Hardback ?

As much as I want to say hardbacks, my wallet and bookshelf will curse me no end, so Paperbacks.

Online book shopping or In-store shopping?

Online book shopping – because sasti books and sales! Okay, sometimes in-store shopping, coz posin’ with books for the gram!

blogmas book blogs
Finding love in the aisles of a bookstore 🙂

Trilogies or Series?

Trilogies – lesser commitment.

Heroes or Villains?

Heroes obvio!

A book you want everyone to read

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

It’s so relevant and is based on #blacklivesmatter movement. Talks about race, identity, police brutality, and community in such a beautiful way.

best hyped YA books
If there’s just one book you want to read in 2018, this should be it.
Image Source – black and bookish

Recommend an underrated author

Benjamin Alire Saenz. He’s the author of two of my most favorite books – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe; The Inexplicable Logic of Life. I think a lot more people should read what he does with words and how he weaves magic! Surreal and blissful are the best to describe his writing.

blogmas ideas
This one has a piece of my heart. I lobe it so much!!

The last book you finished

All the Light You Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark

Spectacles, Romeo’s tail (munchkin I miss you), my phone…. The list is endless

book blog India
Insta love at its best – both for the book and Romeoooo!

Used books – Yay or Nay?

Yay! when they’re in good condition. Remembering all the book fairs I’ve visited.

Top 3 favorite genres

YA Fiction

Contemporary

Historical Fiction

Borrow or Buy?

Buy because Imma rich gurl! Hahaha! No buy book buying is like a therapy and makes me so happy.

Character or Plot?

Both please!

Long books or Short books?

Short ones,  but not too rushed.

rapid fire book tag
For all you Japanese literature fans, this is a must read.

Name the first three books you think of right now

Every Heart a Doorway (Seanan McGuire)

A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara)

Starfish (Akemi Dawn Bowman)

These are the next three on my latest TBR

Books that make you laugh or cry?

Books that make me cry – sob with all the feels, happy tears thanks to cute romance, or weeping when the dog dies! I’ve done it all.

Our world or fictional

Fictional forever

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Always! Cheers to impulse cover buys and regretting later.

book blogger india
Thankfully didn’t have to regret this buy! One of most favorite reads of 2018.
Source – expan

Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Hell Yeah!

I’ve discovered the joy of audiobooks recently and they’ve become an absolute favorite. It is so calming and you can get a lot more reading done.

Series or Standalones?

Standalones, because that commitment for a series isn’t happening!

Book to movie adaptation that you loved

I haven’t seen many this year, but from last year I totally adore Me Before You and Room!

books made into movies
Cuddle up with bae and have the perfect romantic movie night with Me Before You. 
best book to movie adaptations
Falling short of words to describe how good this is!

Rapid Fire Book Tag was originally created by thebibliophilegirl.uk. If you’e a booknerd like me do this tag and tag me! Also come back all through December for some amazing blogs! See you soon.

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