Art of making Thai Iced Tea

I am obsessed with Thai Iced Tea and I think it’s more to do with the flavor. They have a distinct flavor which I love and it is also very addictive. I always get these in Thai restaurants, Though I love it, I still don’t like the sugary taste of it since they do add a lot of sugar. So I decided to try it at home. I researched online and found that Pantai Thai Tea is a good brand to use. I found them on Amazon and it as like $7 so I decided to see if I could find it in Asian Market. And I did find it from our nearest Asian Market and it was $3.99 and I was like :yay: and I was so freaking happy I found it.

When I opened the package the first thing which I noticed is the smell. It smells flowery but I just can’t hit on the exact smells. After lot of research (yes, I wasted my time doing it), I found that they add Dok Nom Maew which is a flower found in Thailand. But today they add artificial flavoring which taste like that. Also a thing to keep in mind is that it has food coloring which gives it a distinct orange color tea. Personally, I don’t mind it. I did find a recipe but I did find it too sweet. So with trial and errors I finally found a recipe which works for me :) .

16 oz/500ml Water
1/4 cup Thai Tea Mix
2 tbsp of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of Half & Half
  • Boil the water and switch it off.
  • Add the tea leaves to the water and leave it for 5 min
  • Strain the water and leave it to cool off till its in room temperature
  • Then mix the agave and the half & half.
  • Serve it with some ice cubes.

Travelling to New York with a Preschooler

I have never wanted to travel to New York. I have this view of New York as seen on TV :) (I know) . But when we wanted to meet some family and friends we decided to go and see it. I wasn’t crazy about the flight with Preschooler and if you don’t understand what that means, then let me give you a picture. Miss. A is an active girl who constantly is on the move or talking non-stop. She also gets bored very quickly and you can imagine how I was dreading the 4.5 hrs flight to NY.

On the Flight

On the day of our flight, I still had the feeling that I was forgetting something. We had to leave home by 8 and it was actually not bad. She was on her best behavior. We had our breakfast in the airport and once we were on the plane, she started asking questions non-stop and then she had some snacks and surprisingly she slept for an hour :D . The flight was very smooth and she was good. Once we reached New Jersey where we stayed with family, she was confused since she was still on the west coast time zone. East coast is 3 hrs ahead of us. We had dinner and then she went to sleep at about 10.30 pm.

Things I got for the flight

  • snacks (cheerios, graham crackers, grapes)
  • Story books
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons, markers, pencil, eraser

Going around NY

Since we stayed in NJ, we took the path trains to NY and then subways in the NY. I didn’t realize that it was getting expensive since you have to pay about $2.50 every trip. But the best thing about it is that you don’t have to pay for children under 4 yrs old :cool: . I just wish they had a day pass because they only had weekly pass. My advice is to get the metro card and refill whenever you want.

Talking about travelling with a preschooler, the best decision would be taking an umbrella stroller. We have a city mini but decided not to take it since it is big and we had to walk down the stairs most of the times in the subway. It is a bit heavy and it would have been difficult to travel up and down with it most of the time.

We also got Safe Rider travel seat for her and I found that it was the best decision ever, best money spent :D . It is a replacement for those big car seat. We knew that we would be travelling in the car for visiting friends and family so we decided to invest in these. They are so easy to carry and we just carried them in our hand luggage. But the problem is, she didn’t like it. She found it constraining and not able to move freely. But I thought it was a great idea instead of travelling with a bulky car seat.

Safe Rider

Miss. A didn’t like NY much. She was overwhelmed by the crowd. We did take her to some kid friendly places and she did like it. The places she enjoyed are

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • American Museum of Natural History (loved the dinosaur bones)
  • Bryant Park (loved the carousal)

As for her food, we took her to lot of Indian restaurants and she was happy with rice, idli’s and roti’s. We also went to lot of french bakeries and she did have lot of desserts.

At the end of the day, it was an experience but I don’t think we would repeat that experience again. She was tired most of the nights and she was cranky about the time change and she didn’t have 11 hrs of sleep every day. But maybe next time I would plan it better. We didn’t visit most of the places and I really wanted to take her to the Central park but we were so tired.

I hope some of you readers with kids learn something from this article. At the end of the day, if our kids are happy then we will be happy as well. So take whatever is necessary to try to keep them happy.

Skin Care for Winter

As I have told you before, I have a dry/combination skin. During winter, it gets so dry that i have dry patches on my face. Last year I researched for some good care and decided to try these two products. I got them in Sephora.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

I know this says mask but it is perfect for my dry skin during winter. It keeps it hydrated and my face looks good the next day. It retails for about $33 and it has about 3.4 oz of products and that is a lot of them. I still have little bit left over. After the winter, I use it when I feel like my face needs an extra moisture.

The best this about this product is the packaging. It is a squeeze tube which I love. I hate dipping my fingers into the jar since there is a change of cross contamination. It is a real thick product but not greasy. My skin absorbs the product quickly and I really like it.

My Verdict is that I am definitely going to stock this for my winter.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

I have read some good reviews and wanted to try this. This retails for about $25 for 2.5 oz and it comes in a pot which I am not a fan of. On a first glance, the consistency of the product looks like a thick petroleum jelly and it smells strongly of camphor. Camphor has lots of medicinal properties and I am not opposed to that smells but not everyone will like it. The consistency feel like a petroleum jelly but the ingredients doesn’t mention them. It is thick and when you apply it in the skin, it does take sometime to sink into your skin. It doesn’t feel greasy. Apparently it is a popular Japanese skin product and that is why I decided to try them.

I do like it but it is definitely is a deep treatment for my skin especially during December. I did use this at least once a week, I do feel that the products leaves a layer on the skin. It feels as if it is sitting on top of the skin after a small amount is absorbed by the skin. And I do feel the need to wash my face in the morning if I need to go out. It looks greasy by the morning. But I do like it. I have not even made a dent in this pot. I think this will last me for a long time.

Tale of making Idli batter

My mother always say that the taste of the food always depends on the hands it make :D and it is so true. My mother is the Queen of South Indian foods and whatever she tries will end up tasting good whereas myself, not so much. Somehow it never tastes like my mother’s cooking even though I follow the recipe. WTH ??? :eek: . Somehow it never tastes the way I imagined it to be. I know that most of the ladies will agree with me since it happens to them as well. All these questions fill up your mind, What did I do wrong? Should I have added more salt/water? Is it hot enough in the oven? And you will never find that answer :) .

My relationship with idli batter is a long-standing love-hate one. In all the years of trying the idli batter, I got the perfect one barely twice or thrice and it is frustrating. Because being a south indian, am I not suppose to make the perfect idli? My most important hate with it is that it won’t rise :roll: . Even though I have kept it aside for more than 24 hrs, it will barely rise an inch :roll: . This happens even in the summer. I have tried everything and somehow it is always a fail.

Things I have tried changing:

  • Got a new whole urad dhal
  • added 1/2 tsp salt for every cup
  • added methi seeds to urad dhal and poha to rice while soaking
  • keeping it in the balcony during summer :roll: (WARNING : don’t do this, this doesn’t rise the batter, it spoils it)
  • mixing 1 cup idli rice to 1 cup basmati rice.
  • And the one tip my mom gave me. Mixing both the rice and urad batter with your hands.

And every time, I get disappointed with my not so soft idli’s. I want to make like the chettiar idli/kushboo idli :D . The way it is so soft that it just glides into your stomach. Do you want me to describe my idli? When it is hot, it is good but when it gets cold, it gets heavy. If you eat mine while cold, it just gets stuck in your throat (you know what I am talking about) . Today was one of those frustrating days where idli batter is just sitting in the oven, barely risen an inch. Why do I get the feeling that all my mother have to do look at the batter and it will rise like a sun :roll: ?

Is anybody out there who experienced the same thing? And this also happens to me when I make Indian sweet. None of my tries has ever been good. I have a feeling that I will even mess up a simple kesari :oops: . Rantings over my readers :D . See you next time.

Bare Minerals Go for the Glow Set

I think I got this last year, maybe during Christmas time. I really can’t remember when since I had this for a long time and let me say, you can’t beat the price for $10. I didn’t have any Bare Minerals products and I thought it was a fantastic time to try it. I got this Ulta. The reason for this purchase was the moxie lip gloss. I have heard good things about it and I really wanted to own one. No way was I going to pay $18 for just 1 lip gloss :roll: .

The outer packaging is very attractive with the pictures of the product. It has a full-sized lip gloss which retails for about $18 and then 2 small-sized blush and all over face color. The small-sized product has about 0.02 oz which is seriously a lot, at least for me anyway. The products are:

  • Moxie Lip Gloss in Smooth Talker which is a peachy with gold shimmers.
  • Blush in Exhilarate which is a deeper rose shade
  • All over face color in Clear Radiance which give you a glowy look

I have used the lip gloss a lot because I love the tingly feeling it gives and I use it under a natural color lipstick especially my Milani lipstick in Pretty Natural. I love this combination. It gives this fabulous sheen to the lipstick. It is little bit sticky but not enough to stick your lips :) . I have used the blush and radiance because I am not a fan of mineral powders on my face. I tend to look powdery or maybe it’s just that I don’t know how to use them properly :D .

From L to R : Smooth Talker, Clear Radiance, Exhilarate

Overall, Just for the lip gloss  I think the price is totally worth it. I hope they introduce just lip gloss set for Christmas this year. I will be all over it :D .

Nail #54

I have been not in shopping mood ever since I returned from our Vacation in May. So most of the products I am going to review from now on are purchased a while back and has been sitting in my collection. I am into blue and bright nail polishes this summer :) and I think I have a lot.

Sally Hansen Nail Polish in Pacific Blue

This is one of the ever popular color of this brand and they announced that they were going to reformulated and rechange the color and suddenly everyone wanted to get their hands on this color. The reformulated one is more of a cobalt blue rather than this color. Why do brands do that? If it is a popular color then they should just leave it like that.

Color – Soft deeper sky blue. Can’t describe this color. It’s gorgeous.

Finish – Glossy

Formula – Creme, Opaque

Packaging – Simple round glass bottle with black cap

Coats – 1 coat

Price – $2.99 but sometimes you get good offers in the drugstore.

Verdict – I love this color. I don’t know why I didn’t buy it for a long time. I wore this twice this summer and it looks so pretty on my toe nails. I think this one you should have it in your collection if you are a nail person.

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Loreal Devil Wears Red

Loreal Nail Polish in Devil Wears Red

I got this last year on a clearance and I forgot where I got it.

Color – True cool toned Red

Finish – Glossy

Formula – Creme, Opaque

Packaging – Square shaped bottle with Gold cap.

Coats – 2 coasts

Price – $4.99 or so. I think I got it in clearance for $1.99 or so.

Verdict – It is nothing special. I have lots of red polish and I do prefer others. It’s a classic red and I don’t reach for this.

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, Loreal Devil Wears Red