Is it too early for this kind of a post? 2015 has been such an interesting year that the moment December started, my blogging itch was in full force. I usually do one year end post but I wanted to break it down in parts this time around to cover more ground. So, this post is going to be a list of random things I loved (love is a strong word, but I am going to use it liberally in this post) in 2015.
I can’t remember the last time I flipped through my TV to watch a show. If I am bored or am in the mood to watch something, I just go on Youtube. From music videos to chat show interviews to make-up tutorials to funny gags – the quality of content can be consistently better depending on what you choose to see. Plus, it is entertainment on demand – you can watch it anywhere, any time as long as you have Wi-Fi. Here are some of my favourite YouTube channels
- Yoga with Adrienne – for single handedly getting me to use that yoga mat which was lying in the store room. I started off with her 30 days of yoga challenge and really enjoyed it.
- || Superwoman || – Seriously, who doesn’t love Lilly? She is all kinds of cool and awesome.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – For some straight up, ballsy humour that tackles issues I am ashamed to admit I sometimes know very little of.
- The Ellen Show – I have laughed and cried hysterically watching Ellen’s show. It is tough to find genuine kindness in today’s day and age so a little bit of Ellen goes a long way. Plus, those adorable kids who come on her show are goals!
- Kaushal Beauty – I often stumble around youtube trying to find Indian beauty gurus so imagine my delight when I found this channel. Although Kaushal is a British-Indian, she does plenty of Indian wedding, festival make up tutorials to have me hooked.
- Zoella – Great beauty, lifestyle channel all around. And Zoella is the cutest!
- KathleenLights – Insightful and sometimes hilarious – Kathleen is one of my favorite youtube stars. Check our her channel for drugstore makeup options.
I can read blogs all day long if I had to. Is there a job somewhere that would pay me to just read and comment on blogs? Trust me, I would be great at it. This year I ventured out of my comfort zone of reading travel or personal blogs to more community-oriented websites. Here are some of my favorite finds
- xoVain and xoJane – These sister-sites are bloody brilliant. xoVain is centred more around beauty and makeup whereas xoJane covers a wide spectrum of issues. I have found so many interesting articles and viewpoints on these sites that I am worried I might run out of reading all their stuff quicker than they can post new ones.
- ViviannaDoesMakeup – While Vivianna also has a fairly popular YouTube channel, I find myself reaching out for her blog more. She writes effortlessly and beautifully about everything , even candles and perfumes which are hard to put across in words.
- Caroline Hirons – I have spoken extensively about how this blog changed my skincare game in an earlier post but I can’t stress enough how much I owe my vastly improved skin to simply following Ms. Hirons’ rules. Every girl/woman should bookmark this site.
- The Blogess – Straight up, one of the funniest writing on the internet.
- Crusoe – The Celebrity Dachsund – Travel and dogs, two of my favourite things in one place.
So, I am quite late to the podcast party (In my defence, I wasn’t really invited), but thanks to a post from Pioneer Woman, I decided to take the plunge with ‘Serial’. Little did I realize that it would consume an entire weekend and force me to make a pitch to my husband to listen to it too. In fact, I re-listened to some episodes with him just to see how he would react to some of the things.
Serial got me researching on what else existed in the podcast universe and after a bit of trial and error I found some really good ones
- Serial – (mentioning again for the record) Do go and give it a listen. It is sad and disheartening at times, but like everyone else the facts of the case kept me thinking for a long time. I can’t wait for Season 2.
- Call your Girlfriend – Two long-distance besties talking about everything under the sun is the perfect idea for a podcast. It reminds me so much of the conversations I have with my sister (who is also my best friend and my unofficial first-born – she will always be a kid to me) that starts on one topic and before we know it we have covered everything from tennis to fashion to Bollywood gossip. Thank you Whatsapp voice call 🙂
- This American Life – I have a lot of catching up to do because this show has so many episodes but I started off with this list and thoroughly enjoyed learning about everyday American things.
- The Mystery Show – Slightly offbeat mysteries are uncovered in each episode. It isn’t a standard ‘here’s a crime, here are the facts, let’s investigate’ sort of a show but more about getting to understand the story behind why some things mystify us and capture our imagination unlike other things.
- Criminal – I recently started listening to it and so far I am liking it. It doesn’t have the depth of Serial but if you are into this genre, this is worth giving a listen.
I would love to get some more suggestions – I commute for an hour every day and I am tired of listening to my playlist, so hit me up with recommendations in the comments below.
I am an above-average cook, I have always been. But, over the past one year cooking has become therapeutic to me. I feel stress-free when I get into my cooking, especially after ‘one of those’ days at work. The one site that has changed my life is Veg Recipes of India. It is the next best thing to calling your mum for quick recipe breakdown! I have also been loving the BBC Good Food website for non-Indian food inspiration – their baking section in particular is amazing.
A new addition to our kitchen has been the Nutribullet. I had read so much about it that when we visited the electronic store, I bought it on a whim. This bad boy has literally changed our life. We eat so many more fruits and vegetables thanks to the blending magic of Nutribullet. It preserves nutrition and fibre from your fruits/veggies much much better than a mixer grinder or regular blender. My mother loved it so much when she visited us for a week, that she bought one herself too.
I am thinking of doing a post exclusively around my adventures in the kitchen but am resisting it since I seem to be veering into some serious domestic life territory here, but I just might!
Hikes and walks
It is easy to quickly run out of ‘traditional’ things to do in Singapore given the size of the place but it is equally amazing to find new things to do in the Lion City as long as you keep an open mind and/or Google a hundred variations of ‘cool stuff to do in Singapore’. One of the best parts about living in Singapore is that if you like the outdoors you will never get bored because there are beautiful parks near every neighbourhood. They are full of greenery and water bodies and well-marked walking trails. Whenever we feel like we are being too lazy, we just explore a new walking trail or hike and it instantly lifts up our mood. We do it at our own pace and ensure our mobile phones are tucked away so that
we I am not instagramming the hell out of every flower. (on a side note, how is instagramming not a word yet? )
It might not seem like I have been writing a lot given the status of my published posts but I have an overflowing drafts folder that I need to clean up. Between working, laziness, distractions, reality television etc., I have not finished a lot of pieces. Some of them might not even be relevant any more but I need to attend to it. On the bright side though, I have written more consistently on my travel blog – The Round Trip Ticket, which you should check out, if you haven’t. If you prefer pictures to text, then you can follow our travel adventures on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/theroundtripticket/
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The stunning St. Stephen's Basilica – perfect example of #neoclassical architecture. Did you know that this church also contains Hungary's largest bell? #travel #europe #budapest #hungary #vacation #holiday #instatravel #travelgram #church #beautiful #iphone #bbctravel #wanderlust #lonelyplanet #traveling #travelblog #tripitpic #expedia #expediapic #travelblog
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The "Statue of Brothers" outside War Memorial of Korea – a poignant image that captures the dream of a unified nation. #korea #seoul #travel #travelblog #nofilter #instatravel #wanderlust #singapore #expediapic #trip #thought #lonelyplanet #bbctravel #natgeo #statue #expedia #expediapics
I have also written a lot of mails this year. A lot! That counts too, you know.
So here are some of the new things I (re)discovered and enjoyed in 2015. Would love to hear what you were enjoying this year in the comments below. Happy December!
PS: I have started a draft of my favourite movies/tv shows/music of 2015 and am realizing there weren’t a lot of good movies this year. Am I missing something?
PPS: It is super hot in Singapore. In December. This should not surprise me but with Christmas trees and lights and snowflakes – yes snowflakes, being put up everywhere, the irony is not lost on me.