Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fruitive, Washington DC

      If you follow me you might know I was in Washington DC for Assam Convention. As a foodie, my travel won't be complete without exploring good the food scene.

      My absolute turn on in life is good food and books. When I entered Fruitive it clearly hooked me in no time. The chic urban cafe has so much to offer. A beautiful entrance-self full of books definitely got my heart.

      When we talk about good food, it should be easy, sustainable, transparent and straight from nature. Fruitive is the first certified organic fast food restaurant in North America and the menu embody all natural plant-based ingredients such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.

      A few barstools by the window and also outside sitting arrangement, Fruitive all vegan menu consists smoothies bowls and sandwiches wraps.

      I started my day lunch in Fruitive with a pressed juice called Immunity - green apple, lemon, ginger, and cayenne pepper.  Even though Indian origin is widely known for eating spicy food, I never had a spicy cold drink. If you are ready to give a spicy kick on your taste bud then immunity is your drink with the garden freshness of green apple and lemon.

      Then for the main food, I opted for Southwest wrap which consists of whole wheat tortilla, romaine lettuce, corn salsa, wild rice, grape tomatoes, cucumber, onions, avocado, spicy hummus and cherry on top sea salt and black pepper.  I love this innovative take on healthy food and is quite filling and must say, so yummy.

      My 9 and half year had Roasted red pepper panini in flax and spelt bread, roasted red pepper, spinach, cucumber, sriracha aioli, cashew cream, cayenne pepper and black pepper. The power pack and the nutrient dense sandwich was super succulent.

      Then hubs went for Mediterranean wrap which was on a wholewheat tortilla, spinach, Romanian lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, kalamata olives, garbanzo beans, original hummus and basil vinegarette.  The innovative and healthy sandwich oozed deliciousness in every bite.

      And then my little one had Almond banana toast flex and spelt bread, almond butter, banana, maple syrup and cocoa nibs. My five year old ditched the banana that day. The one good part of Fruitive is you can add or substracts ingredients. Some people add more power pack ingredients and some like my five-year-old ditched healthy option like banana even when you are in a healthy restaurant.  By the way, the smooth peanut butter and crunchy cocoa nibs made the toast decadent and delicious.

  Fruitive was a fruitful visit with all the good food which made you feel good, not guilty.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Outfit of the day Kunal Kaushik, Sabyasachi in Assam convention

Designer: Kunal Kaushik an acclaimed designer and a born artist, Kunal designs resplendent and redefining Assamese tradition elusive weave that lures one into his signature rhythm and rendition that merge relevant global sensibility. A dream cream color mekhela chadar warp and weft assamese motifs dhulia and nasani (the drummer and damsel dancer)  with Kunal's quintessential use of color shocking fuschia pink and periwinkle purple in mina. After wearing Kunal, I felt like a modern princess. Kunal designs are not just to wear but cherish and celebrate. No doubt why Kunal is seen as an avant great designer.
Event: Assam convention -Assam convention is a celebration of the assamese diaspora in North-America where the assamese community gets together to showcase Assamese culture, food, tradition talent, and invited artists. Every year it is celebrated on July 4th weekend around North America in different cities. This time it was celebrated in Washington DC and the 39th Assam convention.

  A gorgeous Kunal Kaushik Mekhela chadar does not need much yet going to a formal event, I added a few accessories from my side. As it was a signature assamese event, I don't want to add anything that takes away all the charm. A gold choker to team up with the mekhela chadar. I decided to wear a hair bun that was a little unusual for me and took a risk as hair up always make my rounded face little more rounder. I wanted to give the Assamese look a touch of the southern part of India by wearing jasmine in my hair bun. Wearing flower always enhances the beauty and smell of fresh jasmine personify peace and purity.  With the traditional look, I added a final touch with classic Sabyasachi box clutch jaguar in it. Let me know your thoughts and have a fantastic weekend.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Keeping it simple-random things about me

Hello my dear readers, how are you all doing? Summer vacation has just started here on the east coast. My kids are having a gala time. I can't tell you how time is flying. My time is all occupied by them. Taking to them, playing with them, take them to the library, reading stories and most importantly cooking their favorite food. Hence thought, I'll keep it simple and straightforward. It has been more than a year now, and I have shared so many things about my life, travel, fashion, etc. Today I'll share a few random thoughts about me.

1. My favorite color - Navy blue, peach and off-white. Not that I don't wear any other color, but those colors are readily available in my wardrobe.
2. My favorite outfit - In western I love to wear a crisp white top and blue jeans. I know very casual. In Indian, I love sarees. Mostly, I love handwoven and handwork ones. I love salwar kurta too. You will find more solid colors then prints or patterns in my wardrobe.
3. Am I fitness freak - Not really but, I watch what I eat. Try to eat healthy and clean most of the time. But, I do indulge once in a while.
4. My favorite tourist destination - I love any place that has a unique position with rich cultural influences then commercial tourist places. I like the ocean but, if I have to pick, I'll choose lake and mountain.
5.  My favorite accessories - I am a colossal accessory person. Love handbags and can't think of any outfit without accessories

Saturday, June 23, 2018

LOV, Montreal - A culinary delight

A delicate, delightful food fare with a definite conscience, a chic place what is called  Lov Montreal.
A vegan plant-based homey affair with a twist of creativity, culinary brilliance acute interior, terrarium, hanging swing chair LOV instantly cuts a pretty picture.

Beginning with A French onion soup piping hot cheese drizzling on the top was a delicious sight even before tasting it. A warm treat for a cold Montreal night. A gooey cheese in the soup in every spoon makes you take spoon after spoon.

Then we had assorted appetizer the Mediterranean inspired plater was applause with an array of colors and flavor. Delicate avocado puree, Creamy beetroot hummus olives with oil, vegan mayonnaise loved the silky texture also came with multigrain bread.

Then I had coconut curry with  Coconut Curry-Bed of basmati rice, squash, kale, carrot and crispy cashew with a hint of lime. A must try and most comforting of all with a delectable taste. A rich creamy, coconut curry and delicately cooked rice go well with carefully baked squash and freshness of kale and nutty cashew with a great crunch.

Then we had Mushroom Gnocchi  - sweet buckwheat potatoes gnocchi with hemp basil pesto, arugula, and almond parmesan. The savory and slippery gnocchi was right on the spot with basil pesto and authentic arugula and almond parmesan. I am not a vegan, but it was difficult for me to differentiate the taste between almond parmesan and regular parmesan. As the motto of Lov is food from local and less travel and the taste surely endorse that motto.

     Then we had Mushrooms Risotto -arborio rice oyster mushroom, cashew cream and almond parmesan. Warm Risotto with a tint of buttery flavor deliciously paired with moist mushroom and creamy cashew.

 And we ended our day with vegan cheesecake. Rich nuts and dates based cake was scrumptious and garnished with berries.
 I am always intrigued by a restaurant like Lov who offers not just nutrient-dense food for your taste but food for your spirit as well. Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or not, you inevitably will fall in love with Lov.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My favorite pieces of Assamese jewelry

My grandmother's thuria, age-old and heirloom jewelry, of course, not part-able 

      A piece of jewelry echoes a region's rich heritage, aesthetics and sensibilities and Assamese jewelry does not differ from that. A piece of jewelry not just enhances the wearer's beauty but identity as well.

      A land of flamboyant rivers engulfed in exotic flora and fauna, birds, musical instruments Assamese jewelry is highly inspired by that. Sharing a few assamese pieces of jewelry from my personal collection.

      An Assamese bride's dress up is incomplete without Assamese jewelry. Traditionally Assamese jewelry is purely handmade. The main frame is made out with 24-carat gold and lac is used as a filling material. Stones are studded on the top.  The creatively and meticulously studded stone craftsmanship resembles with pomegranate seeds. The color and texture of the stone are opulent and lurid just like pomegranate. Nowadays imitation Assamese jewelry are also found in silver with gold plating called Kesa Sun (raw gold). The main manufacturer of Assamese jewelry is divided typically in three reasons Jorhat, Nagaon, and Barpeta. Every reason's jewelry has its own specialty. Jorhat and Nagaon jewelry are more stone embedded and Barpeta jewelry is intricate gold work with just one stone or no stone.  Red is the predominant color in Assamese jewelry but the modern Assamese jewelry can be found in any color you want.

Thuria : A pair of stone studded earring a flower of the top and a cylindrical shape on bottom attach called it as old woman jewelry because you order to have a big hole to wear it.  Today modern thuria can be partable and you can easily wear it without a big hole or no need to grow old.

 Golpota: Assamese choker or golpota probably my favorite piece of assamese jewelry. Statement and elegant and totally worth it.

Bena : This piece of jewelry is very close to my heart. Got it from my parents during my wedding. A moon shape and sides are twisted yet again stone studded. The traditional version is red, this is more modern green in color.

Suna or Xuna : A statement Assamese earring with intricate gold work, a chain on the side, a red stone to enhance the beauty. Handmade pure gold manufactured in Barpeta and can be easily found in imitation as well.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Majuli - rhythmic rejuvenate retreat part 2

Cool things to do in Majuli

1. Satras - Visit the Satras and experience the socio-cultural institution of Assam and the institution of Art, Music and culture pioneer of the neo-vaishnavite movement and experience the abundant spirituality.

A. If you get a chance, enjoy Satriya dance in the Satras, the classical dance form of Assam.

B. Visit the award-winning mask making in Samaguri Satra where the mythological characters get alive in the hands of artists.

C. Visit the museum of Auniati Satra; however, you are not allowed to take pictures yet get mesmerized by a collection of art from the history.

2. Food - Majuli does not have typical restaurant cultural. Depending on where you stay, you will ultimately get a chance to indulge in local assamese cuisine. Mild yet delectably cooked assamese food.

3. Wear a Mekhla Chadar- It is not mandatory to wear the traditional outfit in Majuli.  When you visit Satras, you see most people in their traditional attire. You can enjoy wearing mekhela chadar and amalgamate with local people.

4. Nature - After all, Majuli is a natural enigma with numerous wetlands, an abundance of rare birds, blooming mustard fields, squeaky bridges and the tribal huts in the horizon. Personally, I enjoyed the sunset in Majuli. It's magical and ethereal how the sun sets the day in this mystical place with the golden glory.

5. Culture - Last but not the least experience the diverse culture. Majuli is a land of unity in diversity with different community like Mishing tribe, Kosari to Deori community.

6. ShoppingShopping in Majuli is entirely different experience than a typical touristy place, yet you have plenty of things to collect.
1. You can buy pottery and mask wholly different from a regular mask. It's associated with mythology.
2. Majuli is known for small handicrafts, to be precise a part of the population survive on a craft. You can buy handcrafted lamps, shoes, and bags, etc.
3. Unlike handcraft, handloom is also something that provides bread and butter to one of the population. Colorful and vivid designs are something you want to buy weather on a traditional Assamese mekhela chadar or scarf or vest etc all in the indigenous fabric.
4. I don't know whether you consider it on your shopping spree, but Majuli is undoubtedly one fertile land. Local grown veggies and fruits or locally produce oil or jaggery is something you can definitely considering to buy.

In the whirlpool of time, Majuli has not lost its aura and ethereal charm. Majuli is a true witness of human creativity and perseverance after many natural disasters,  yet it not only survives but crusades. Majuli is a spirit and a hope that nothing can take away. Do visit Majuli and lose yourself in the old world charm and yet find yourself again.

Majuli - rhythmic rejuvenate retreat part 1

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Invitation V, Montreal

Chic and charming and a few feet away from the Cathedral Invitation V was inviting at the first glace. Lots of natural elements and soothing decor with a little mix of modern contemporary interior, Invitation V was worth a visit.

   Inspired by global cuisine Invitation V's menu is raved up with locally grown food that is not only nutrient dense but also healthy and sustainable. Sassy Vegan Invitation V's service was quick and friendly, and we opted for a piping hot soup. We chose the soup of the moment, a french onion soup, caramelized onion on top and garnished with sunflower seeds. It was delectable thick yet right consistency. Then hubby opted for Quesadilla with Mexican sauce. I love the succulent taste of vegan cheese, and the salsa was quite refreshing.

   For the mains, I had ‘’Butter chicken’’ (Vegetables, fried tofu, and jasmine rice).  As an Indian origin, I have an apparent inclination for thick creamy butter chicken. Invitation V hooked me entirely with the vegan version of it. Love the silky curry with distinctive tomato flavor and delicately cooked on a bed of jasmine rice. My hubby had chickpeas burger that came with salad and fries. It was delicious with luscious garden fresh vegetables and golden crispy fries. When coming to price, it is on a little higher side so to match the high level they keep.

No meal would be complete without a sweet note. Here we had in invitation V vegan blueberry cheesecake and triple chocolate cake. Unlike all other entries, the healthy twist was evident in their desserts as well.  When great taste and nutrition meets it take food to another level. That's what we felt after visiting Invitation V. Succulent, sweet and a nutrient dense nutrient experience.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Easy breezy Indian summer outfit of the day

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” 
― John Keats

      This year in east cost winter was way too long. After feeling like a decade of hibernation, spring/summer finally arrives. When you step into something after long anticipation, it certainly feels precious.  Here we are not just enjoying the beautiful weather, but amping it up with summer fashion.

     Just the other day I visited a friend and wore this easy breezy suit. One might not like the fitting as it is little loose fitted. Sometimes I prefer easy breezy suit in summer days, it gives you more comfort than the fitted one.  A neon pink silk kurta which I team up with a neon green sharara and a parrot green banarasi georgette dupatta. For accessories, just a pair of earring and a cocktail ring. The colors were quite statemented so you really do not need many accessories. I wore this kurta several times with different sharara/salwar/skirt and dupatta. A solid color always gives you so much option to wear it in different ways as well with different looks. By the way, how do you like the earring? I love the contemporary twist on Indian design like camel and lotus. Let me know your thoughts. Have a great long weekend.