7 Personalized Gift Ideas for special people in your life!

20141212_2156001 Who doesn’t like personalized gifts? Many a time I come across these wonderful posts about thoughtful gifting ideas that I thought it’s only fair I too compile a list of ideas, for I know that they can make the person receiving the gift really, really happy. Today’s Friday’s List is about just that, few gifting ideas that will make someone cry with happiness:

  1. A diary full of 365 (366) days: I am so proud to admit that this is entirely my idea, I did not hear about it or read it anywhere but it completely occurred to me :P, if it is a famous thing, then I am not aware of it. I cannot stop shouting that I thought of it on my own, hahaha! Annoying habits aside, the idea is to make a diary for someone where you write something for them or generally write anything on each day of the year and gift it to them on their birthday or any other special day. I don’t think I need to explain how overwhelmingly beautiful this would be, right?
  2. Birthday postcards: For example, someone is turning 22, so you make 22 postcards with each postcard mentioning a quality about them or something like that. You can also call it making mini greeting cards. This can obviously be customized for other occasions as well.
  3. A personal calendar: A cousin of mine loved me for suggesting this to her, that was sometime back. I think this is pretty popular by now? Many printing websites and local stores like the ones who print pictures on coffee mugs offer these calendars. You can get a table calendar made for each of the months with pictures chosen by you and you can also put certain quotes, special marks etc on certain dates of your choice. I have never seen a wall calendar of this sort but that would be a great idea! I got one made from Printvenue.com and due to some offers, it came out to be extremely cheap, while the quality was really, really good.
  4. A letter: Irrespective of how clichéd this sounds, if you have given a hand-written letter to someone or received it, you know how cherished it is, no seriously, if you haven’t done this till now, do it. I received this as a gift and even the envelope was personalized, I can’t begin to describe how good it felt.
  5. Treasure Hunt: This is actually what triggered this post. I have had the idea of doing this post a long while ago but forgot about it. Today I came across this post where she organized a treasure hunt on her husband’s birthday with every clue leading to a gift. I think it’s a wonderful idea and wanted to share it with you guys right away.
  6. Explosion Box: Ok, tell me, how many of you did not know about this? 😀 It’s basically a box that you make (or get made) which is tied with a ribbon. It’s made in a way that when you untie the ribbon, it opens up like a flower blooming or like an explosion happening and goodies are revealed from inside the box. Here’s a blog post for your reference. Now the downside with this is that it requires a lot of effort if you decide to make it yourself, there are also professionals who make this. Also, I would like to add that if you are planning to gift this, consider the personality of the person. Most of the explosion boxes that I have come across are very frilly and elaborate, many people are not into that, mostly guys, if you are getting this for a guy, consider going easy on frills and fancy stuff and fill the box up with things important to him.
  7. Sweet gestures: I am leaving out the obvious yet thoughtful gifts like the book someone wants to read, handmade greeting cards etc because everyone knows their importance anyway but I did not want to leave out on sweet gestures. For example, preparing an elaborate meal for someone. For example, my blogger friend Shruti Di’s husband surprised her with a donut name. For example, getting gifted with a completely surprise party. For example, preparing a Rangoli with flowers for someone who’s into Rangoli and flowers both in the night so that they wake up to that. I think there are many such little things out there that will totally make someone’s day.

I consider myself lucky to have gifted or have been gifted most of these except point 5 and 6, and since I really like thinking about innovative ideas for gifting, I am definitely going to come up with some more, either myself or from amazing posts that I come across. Tell me about yours. 🙂

Life Instagram-ed #12

Hi everyone 🙂

I have nothing to say right now, so I’ll just directly move to life snippets that I managed to capture since the past two months:

1. I tried this recipe from The PinkTrends here and I have one thing to say to you all: try it. 🙂

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2. This is from a restaurant, Abbey Road in Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. I liked the fun vibe at this place, extremely good ambiance. However, I reached late here for someone’s farewell so I did not eat anything. Oh, by the way, they give you cupcakes when you leave. 🙂

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3. Eating maggi with a sprinkling of Amul Mozarella cheese and Ching’s Secret Schezwan chutney. My dreamy and unhealthy life. :’) Just kidding, you should totally avoid maggi! I am trying too.

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4. The Navratri festivities in our society. This is the ‘prasad’ after the kirtan. For non-Indians, Navratri is a Hindu festival of nine days where we worship Goddesses. Some people hold events in which they sing hymns called Kirtan and prasad is like sweet little things given as gifts/favours after the event. Like, candies on Halloween? (Oh my God! this was difficult 😛 )

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5. The Goddess idol from the same Kirtan in my society.

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6. I spotted these beautiful earthen wares at a roadside seller’s stall.

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7.  Then, I tried this recipe from Suraksha di’s blog.

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8. I went to Monkey Bar in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. Frankly, from the newspaper coverage when it inaugrated, I expected it to be a huge place. I was a little disappointed. I liked the food and I’ll definitely go again because there are many things on the menu that I want to try. It’s not exactly a value for money place but let’s just say it is not as pricey either as Delhi’s food scene overall is. :/ Overall, I had a great time (because I got to play foosball for the first time).

I don’t know if I have mentioned, but I am not good at any sports (except running?) so I am embarrassed to try games anywhere because I feel like a loser. As I was with people in front of whom I am never embarrassed, I finally went ahead. 😀 Now I’ll probably start using the foosball table in my office finally. By the way, this not being good at sports is one of the very few things that make me different from Monica of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. 😛 Why I am writing so much random stuff is beyond me as well. 😛

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9. The book that I was reading. I know that you know which one it is. 🙂 (If you don’t and are curious, feel free to ask in comments).

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10. Sam’ cafe in Paharganj.

Now, most people find this place overrated. I quite enjoyed my meal. I am definitely going here again. I tried the Lasagna (not in picture) which was very good, these fries and chocolate milkshake. These fries were a little bland for my taste but nothing a little salt on top can’t fix. The milkshake was super yummy. Plus, they have a rooftop seating as well. Paharganj is anyway one of the places I love going to, I am definitely heading here again. Did I mention this place is quite easy on the pocket? MUST TRY.

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11. Rangoli colors on Diwali.

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12. Rangoli part-1

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13. Rangoli part-2

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14. Ching’s Secret new soups that we tried. I liked it but maybe most people won’t. There was nothing exceptional to it but I enjoy all kinds of soups. I try to consume less of these instant ones though. However, they are easy to have and tasty too.

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That’s all! Tell me what all you liked or hated. 🙂

What Ghar Wali Diwali means to me

Do you remember this post from 2013? I keep telling people how Diwali isn’t the same for me any more. For the first 20-21 years of my life, I have seen the Diwali of only one city. All of us cousins live in different parts of India but on Diwali, we all used to gather at our grandfather’s house to do the Puja together. It used to be the highlight of my entire year. We looked forward to meeting each other on Diwali every year. This tradition is slowly fading away. Although the bond among us cousins is as strong as ever (touchwood!), it is not a mandate now that we meet every year on Diwali. I am not even exaggerating if I say that each one of us wants to meet on Diwali still. However, now we are ‘mature adults’ or in the process of becoming so. 😀 We understand how we have our own houses now where it should be taken care of that we light earthen lamps and worship Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali.

For me, Diwali would always mean that. What we had in those years. I am so lucky to have experienced that. I really, really thank God that he gave us the chance to experience those wonderful Diwali years. My grandfather’s house is in Churu, a place in Rajasthan. Trust my words on this, the commercialized Diwali of the metro cities doesn’t even compare to the beauty of the Diwali of these small cities. Especially when we are talking Rajasthan where the people are so, so innocent. Although I am a Punjabi, due to the interactions with my neighbors from my grandfather’s place, I have learnt that the people are very innocent and nice. I would always miss my beautiful Diwali years and they will be written in my mind forever. This is what Ghar Wali Diwali means to me. This would always remain my favorite, close-knit Diwali. 🙂

I would always remember the laughter we shared, the lipsticks we put on as kids to seem dressed-up, the chants we sung together during the Puja as one big family, the toy guns we played with, the judgement we passed on other people’s Rangoli and clothes and most importantly, I will always remember when at the end of the Puja, my grandfather used to light one fire-stick (phooljhadi) in front of the Gods and we all held his arm and sang Diwali-Diwali till it burned. This memory is one of my most cherished treasures. 🙂

This post is written as a part of Indiblogger’s happy hours campaign of #GharWaliDiwali. You can check out further details at https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/. Here’s a video of PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali  film:

PS: Although I wrote this post when I got to know about this campaign, this is one post I wanted to write since forever. It is a very heartfelt post and I am so glad that I finally managed to write it. 🙂

Diwali 2013

Ok, you must be like, why is she posting about Diwali after 2 months! I am sorry, for a post that clearly belongs to a different time slot. However, I wanted to share my Diwali clicks anyway. 😀

For the uninitiated, Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in India. It was primarily a festival celebrated by Hindus to celebrate the return of Lord Ram with his wife and brother from exile of 14 years and to celebrate his victory over evil, as per our Holy book, Ramayana. It is also believed among us that on this auspicious day, our Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth enters our houses if they are clean and well-maintained. So, we clean and prep-up our houses for her welcome. 🙂 These days, Diwali has become such a huge festival in India that it is celebrated by people of almost all religions. People clean their houses, beautify them, light them up, gobble up amazing food and burn crackers (not a huge fan of them, they cause so much pollution)! Anyway, I wanted to share my clicks from this year’s Diwali on the blog, better late than never. 😀 Have a look!

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Look how the city is decked up in Lights! 🙂

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And we are ready for the Pooja (prayers)

DSC_0449 DSC_0458 DSC_0478  Rangoli – an art that we do on floors using colors, colored rice or flowers etc DSC_0482

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Rangoli Colors

DSC_0479  DSC_0505  This candle was the bomb! It kept on burning for more than 24 hours. Phew!

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This Diwali was quite different for me and my brother. I am 22 and for the first 20 years of my life, I have celebrated Diwali in only one way, being at my grandparents’ house in our hometown. The whole family used to gather there and we cousins used to have a blast. Diwali used to be my one of my favorite days of the year. With my grand dad passing away, things started to change a bit. Now our elders feel that it is ok to celebrate Diwali in our respective homes. However, last year, all my cousins visited us on Diwali as per my mum’s request. She told them that year that they should come to our new house to initiate the tradition of Diwali at this new house too. So, although, last year’s Diwali in a different house after all these years was a big change, it did not feel all that bad because the people who made that day awesome for me were still with me. However, this year, we all celebrated Diwali at our respective homes. Wow! What a change! It doesn’t mean the same to me. Probably, that is why I clicked a lot to divert my attention from this fact. Well, Diwali isn’t going to be the same anymore.