How to remove stains from a mug

My  mug I used in office had a lot of coffee and tea stains along the walls. I remembered reading somewhere that these stains can be cleaned by all-purpose-cleaner-baking soda. I thought I could try it over the weekend. Many articles recommended scrubbing the stains with baking soda. I did not want to put in much effort and added a spoon or two of baking soda, some detergent and filled the mug with water and let it be for 2 days. 

Ta da! All the stains are gone and my mug is clean. I was not sure how well it would work and I did not take a before pic but I do have an after pic.  So, here it is.

Clean mug without stainsTry it with your mugs if they need cleaning!

Review: All Things Lavender – Lavender Chamomile Soap

I have been using this Lavender Chamomile soap I picked up from a stall at Pike Market Place, Seattle.

Pike Market Seattle


All Things Lavender - Lavender Chamomile Soap

Ingredients: Clean which is why I picked it.

All Things Lavender - Lavender Chamomile Soap IngredientsThe soap is quite a good size.

All Things Lavender - Lavender Chamomile Soap

Quite a good size for my hand.

All Things Lavender - Lavender Chamomile Soap

This soap does not dry your skin much. Foams well. What I loved the most was the scent – it is so soothing and nice. It reminds me of a sleeping baby  (in a nice way). A very gentle smell but really nice.

Overall: 4.5/5


Bread Making

I got an oven very recently because I have wanted to bake for the longest time and most of the places I stayed in had no space in the kitchen. This flat had space and I got an oven. I started making breads and it feels awesome!

I have made bread using the no knead 5 minutes bread making techniques and it is quite easy. I got 2 books from the library on this – one by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François  and another by Jim Lahey. Both the recipes are good and similar. I made bread only once by Jim Lahey’s technique so far but 3 times using JH’s and ZF’s recipe. I prefer Jim’s book because it has more photos, especially step by step and requires less yeast. I try to decrease my intake of yeast because it worsens dandruff/ seborrheic dermatitis.

This is the bread  I made using “Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day” recipe by JH and ZF.

Olive and Cheese Bread

Olive and Cheese Bread

Olive and Cheese Bread

I made a simple plain bread form Jim Lahey’s book and U told me it was my best to date.

Plain Bread

Jim Lahey BreadI am quite glad I got an oven and making my own bread.

The transformation

I was waiting out the exam hall for the entrance exam to start.  I heard someone call my name in a very soft voice. 

A girl clad in burqa walks towards me and says “You are Boiling, right?”

I could not recognize her. She was covered in a black burqa head to toe. Wore glasses.  Was soft spoken.  

“I am Ada. Remember me?” she said. 

I was shocked. Before, I could react, they called us in for the exam.  

Ada! She was my classmate in Primary School. Ada whose family females did not wear burka. Ada who did not wear glasses. Loud mouthed and bossy Ada. She used to bully me.

I slunk away after the exam without talking to her because I could not reconcile with the transformation. She was not the Ada I knew in my childhood.

It is amazing what growing up in a traditional society can do to a woman. They rob them of their personalities and make them into drones – obedient wives and daughters.

Hola señorita

S always tells me I can pass off as a latina  but I never believed that because I feel I look like an Indian.

This happened in a mall in San Diego.

Note – There are many Mexicans in San Diego due to the proximity to the border.

When I walked in to shops, the shop assistants would say ‘Hello, welcome!’to the Caucasians + others but say ‘Hola!’ to me.

One shop assistant spoke to me in Spanish and gave me perfume to smell.

In another shop, I was walking towards a door which was locked. The security guy told something in Spanish & I assumed he was not talking to me. Then, he told me in English that this door was locked. As I passed by I overheard him telling his colleague ‘looks Mexican but understands English only. Maybe she is American.’

Maybe, I look like a latina after all.

15 Reasons why I don’t like weddings

My feelings about weddings have always been the same as far as I can remember – I do not like them.

This does not seem to go down too well with a lot of people. People react with emotions ranging from mild surprise to disbelief. Some argue. Is the idea of a simple wedding so revolting? Most people launch into a lecture when I say I will not have a big wedding.

Note – This is a kind of a rant. Also, if the post sounds angry, it is because most people tell me I cannot feel a certain way. I can feel anyway I want about weddings, right?

Their argument:

1. People will get offended if you don’t invite them for your wedding.

Honestly, who cares? From all the people who attend your wedding, how many do you think genuinely care for you? Besides, if they really cared for you and your views, they should respect that fact that you did not have a big wedding.This is like having 2000 FB friends but you are close to 5 of them.

2. This is once in a lifetime event. You will regret it for the rest of your life.

Who says you have to marry only once ;) There are so many things one can spend a lifetime regretting, weddings being the last. I would worry more about the marriage than the wedding.

3. You will be tired of fighting for every little thing and you will just give up.

True. If the guy’s side wants things a certain way, it is very hard for the girl to get her own because you will have 200 aunties and uncles breathing down your neck. They will break your will slowly. You give an inch and they take a mile. Which is why, I am not budging even an inch from the start. A little compromise here for their happiness, a little there and your entire life ends up becoming a compromise.

4. Who cares about what you want. Your parents will do whatever the guy’s family wants. 

This pisses me off big time. I have heard this way too many times from all & sundry including my family. It is my wedding and I do not have a say in it? Why would I be interested in marrying any guy who does not take who I am and what I want into account?

Another bullshit reason people add in is that though the guy may agree with me, he wants a big wedding because his parents want it. Again, why would I want to marry a guy who cannot stand up to his parents and explain what he wants? How can you believe he will stand up for you when your views differ from his parents views?

 My argument:

1. Crowds – I don’t like crowds & Indian weddings are huge crowds. Even the simple ones.

2. Noise – With crowds, come noise. I do not like noisy places.

3. Clothes - Okay, someone is getting married. Is it not enough to dress nicely? No. weddings require you to wear appropriate clothes and for women that means sari or salwar kameez. It HAS to be silk [after killing a million silk worms]. It has to be GRAND. You have to wear jewellery. You have to wear pottu. You have to put flowers in your head. In short you have to sweat it out. I don’t see the point.

If you are the bride, it is even worse.  You wear a sari that adds 10 Kg to your frame. Then, they make you wear 5 garlands which is another 5 Kg around your neck. You cannot even turn your neck.  And loads of jewels.

And I don’t get why you HAVE to wear a Sari in  a wedding? Does a wedding cease to be wedding because the bride did not wear a sari?

4. Comfort – Weddings and comfort do not mix in general. Comfort is sacrificed in the name of tradition and pleasing everybody else.

If you are the bride, you get up early in the morning. Spend 2 hours getting ready. You can’t pee. So, you don’t drink water. You can’t eat. They stuff 20 hair pins in your hair and give you a headache. You are sweating it out  in front of the fire. You have 3 garlands around your neck and it hurts.  People are constantly yelling around you. The priest chants stuff & you don’t understand anything he says anyway. All you know is you are pouring stuff in the fire when he tells you to and repeating chants when he tells you to. Who wants to be tired, nervous, stressed and not pee on “the happiest day of their lives?”

5. Money – We spend way too much money on weddings and all that follows before and after. Even, if we can’t afford it.  Most people are forced to due to societal pressure.  I personally feel it is a huge waste of money. And, in most cases, the girl’s family foots most of the bill and that makes me so angry.

6. Waste – We not only waste money but we waste lots of food, paper and so many other things. 

7. Clutter – This is an extension of waste. Most people give unnecessary gifts and you end up with a gazillion photo frames + cups sets. Clutter & more clutter. They buy so many useless things for wedding ceremonies like dolls, combs, mirror, umbrella etc which nobody will use again.  

8.  Too much focus on the wedding – Tell me, how many people who attend your wedding really care about you and your spouse? Most don’t.  We don’t spend enough time focusing on the couple but spend more time on the wedding + gossip + mean comments about other people’s clothes & jewels.

9. Show off – Weddings are more of an occasion to show off your wealth than to celebrate getting married in most cases. Most do it because society expects them to.

10. Cameras – How many photos does a couple need? Everybody who comes to the wedding gets to take a photos with the couple. Smile until your mouth hurts  & feet hurt from all the standing.

11. Parents – No wedding is complete without parents being directly involved.  It makes me so irritated when I see the amount of pressure put on girl’s parents.  Their daughter getting married is not only about her getting married – it ends up being so much more. Having to please the groom’s side. Soothing disgruntled family members ego. Listening to criticism about the wedding arrangements. Stress about the money.  Parents are worried about retiring if their daughter is not married by the time they retire.

12. The after wedding – The drama does not end here. There will be a dozen puja’s in your husband’s house. That & all the aunties instructing you to “serve your husband”, “clear his plate” & “make coffee for the entire family.” You still have to wear traditional clothes.

13. Getting grilled by aunties – Aunties asking you all sorts of questions & you have to give the appropriate answer every single time. One wrong answer and they will go complaining to your parents about you.

“What does your mom cook for breakfast?”

“Can you cook?”

“Can you sing?”

“When do you wake up in the mornings?”

“What are your marks in exams?”

14. Prospective bride situations – When you reach marriageable age, weddings become a hangout for aunties looking to match make.

“How old is your daughter? We know this guy, very qualified. Working in …. His parents are here. Maybe you can exchange horoscopes.”

15. First night -  Everyone pretends sex does not exist but they make a big fuss about first night. Excited old aunties chattering away and getting excited about it more than the couple. Basically stress out the already very tired couple and set the stage for very high expectations. No access to contraception.