Aham Brahmasmi

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Explaining the meaning of this tattoo stumps me a bit. You will find me ‘hmming and ahhhh’  because I am not sure where to begin. Or rather, want to understand how much time You’ve got, to wait for me to finish explaining it.

I know why I wanted and finally got it. I ‘get’ the meaning, ‘feel it’ inside me and needed it to stablise myself.  Explaining it, is just  (pardon my french) a mind-f.. Because it has a  multitude of meanings.  It comes from the Upanishads.

Very simply, and at the cost of sounding like a megalomaniac, it means I am Divine ( have divinity inside me ) or I am the Universe.

And… because its all fun and games and abstractions in Hinduism,  it means a few more, things.

Aham easy enough – Me or I am

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Brahmasmi – how much time have you got ?

I am a spirit soul, I am the highest truth, I am Totality, I am Infinite …and it goes on and on. The usual mind boggling meanderings and meaning within meanings of Hinduism.

(Brahma- God , God of Creation. Other words same root. Brahmand – universe, space, Brahman- Absolute……)

My tatt is bigger than me. When I got back from the Pacific Beach tattoo parlour, my sister looked it and said (VERY KINDLY) “you can always have it lasered, but I like it”

She has good taste so I was pleased. My poor husband initially looked a bit stricken at the propotion of the tatt compared to my arm, but then grew to like it.

aham brahmasmi – its huge on my arm and like my husband commented “…and very modest (meaning) too” .

LOL

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Curried Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji)

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There are as many ways to cook potatoes as there is to skin a cat. What a horrible analogy, I apologise.  In the ‘I do as I please’ cooking department there are two quick ways to make potatoes. For both you need

  1. just 1 spice powder. Turmeric
  2. curry leaves. a must
  3. Mustard OR Cumin seeds
  4. Green chilles OR dry red chillies
  5. Salt
  6. Onions- sliced lenghtwise and then halved.
  7. boiled potatoes
  8. Sugar is optional (see notes)

Method:

  1. chop potatoes in cubes
  2. Boil them. Consistency should be such that a few potaoes you should mash roughly, and some you leave whole
  3. Marinate them in a little bit of turmeric powder. So they are lightly coated. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil. this is where the slight variation happens

Option 1: burst mustard seeds ( with a spatter sheild!) add the GREEN chilles (chopped or sliced) and curry leaves

or

Option 2: burst the jeera, add the DRY red Chilli and curry leaves

Dont burn the seeds ! once they sputter,

5. add sliced onions.

6.Add the salt and turmeric ( again a light yellow colour) and brown the onions. They should be nicely brown

7. Then add the potatoes. Stir well so everything is well mixed. Cover ( to steam the whole mixture) and cook on low. Keep checking otherwise those potatoes can stick ..and burn.

Taste and remove from heat. Garnish with lots of chopped corriander leaves.

NOTES:

Curry Leaves : fresh are best. Buy a pot from a nursery and it thrives well in big pots in sunny spaces. Or Indian grocers will have them

Aesafotida: or Hing. a Staple in Indian cooking. It adds a great subtle flavour and works as a digestive. It  doesnt have a taste of its own so dont do a taste test. All you need is PINCH of Hing, never more otherwise it will make your potatoes bitter. It is added right in the begining. Ie Heat Oil add pinch of Hing….then the rest as per methodology

It works brilliantly with dishes like this that need very little spice and the taste of the vegetable carries it through. Buy from Indian grocers. I don’t have it in my method since I don’t have any, and keep forgetting to buy it !

Ginger powder: Fresh grated or ginger powder could be added in the Cumin variation but doesn’t need it. Experiment and see.

PS: I love you

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Dear Chanel mascara,

You are simply the best. Natural and voluminous. You are better than Maybelline ….and better than all the rest.

You are better than Benefit’s They’re Real and Bad Gal, better than Burjois’ comb applicator masacara. you are even, dare I say it, better than Dior.

And your new Prune colour for De Volume is to DIE for. But my only problem is the wand. Your Inimitable wand ROCKED. It was clumpfree and really added volume to the lashes. De Volume wand, I have to wipe off diligently before using.

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yours truly

PS: I love you.

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Dear Clinique Even Better,

I have tried some of your duds. Your All About eyes depuffing serum was ho hum. Not worthy of a repurchase. But you on the other hand with your brightening, tinted emollient cream make my under eye circles and tiredness vanish. I even suspect you have reduced my dark circles. Your tint is universal and suits my NC40-42 skintone so well !

You I will buy again,

yours truly.

PS: I love you

Cream on Left, Lotion on Right
Cream on Left, Lotion on Right

Dear Mac Strobe Cream and Lotion

I f**ing love you both. You both serve a slightly different purpose as highlighted (see what I did there?) by Dusty Hunter my fav makeup guru and I am glad I spent the cash on both of you. Even Paula Begoun has given you her nod, Strobe Cream. Need I say more ? You could frighten new users, especially Indian skin tones with your initial ‘white pearl’ glow but I would tell them to test you out before ditching you.

yours truly.

PS: I love you

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Dear Girl Meets Pearl,

I love your Champagne finish and your opalescent glow. You might be a bit too “gold” but on a tanned Indian skin you give a gorg glow.

your truly.

PS: I love you

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Dear Bobbi Brown Eye brightening,

You were such a pleasant surprise. You smell a bit funky , but you apply and brighten up my eyes like a dream. I would repurchase you if you weren’t so expensive. But you are definitely recommended.

yours truly,

PS: I love you

Dear Touche Eclat,

I am undecided about you. I sit on the fence. I can see what you are doing, but is it worth it ? You are lovely. You blend well and brighten up my brow bone and under eye but the rest of my face…hmmm

I am a shimmer, luminous kind of girl.  I prefer the Mac Strobe or Benefits Girl meets Pearl kind of effect so your subtlety bypasses me.

I love the fact I bought you but will not repurchase.

yours truly.

PS: however I do love you

Dear Dear Dear PoreFessional,

You are NOT a Benefit hype. You do hide the pores. We must not ‘wipe’ you on our face rather just dab dab dab. One day I can prove to the world on how FAB when I see your effect on hubby’s, umm, larger pores.  But currently he is afraid of makeup- silly boy and wont let me come anywhere near his face.

Anyway I am happy with you

yours truly.

PS: I love you

Dear Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre

There you are sitting in the midst of my adorable lovelies. I will mention you someday but not today. I am yet to see your full potential

yours truly.

Blush:Cream or Stain ?

As far as blushes go I prefer cheek stains and creams to powders. They  last longer and with advancing years I prefer the non mattifying effect, unlike a powder. (Bobbi Brown Shimmer blush is lovely though – again HIGHLY pigmented. ) Anyway back to stains and creams. The trick is application and speed. Always do one cheek at a time. My absolute favourites right now are Benefit’s Cha Cha tint and the NYX cream blush. They are both beautifully pigmented and gives my NC40 skintone a nice natural flush (a sunkissed look) Picture1 This NYX Orange is HEAVILY pigmented and very emollient. I use Fan brush to apply this product. Lightly, repeat lightly, touch the surface of the brush  (see my Applying Highly Pigmented Blush post on how) to the cream. Then blend it on. You can use your fingers, but again LIGHT touch. Blend it on the pads of your fingers first and then apply. It applies to a dry powder finish, but not powdery.  So for a cream it will dry up, so blend quickly. On lips its a nice opaque coverage but pretty drying. So always wear a lip balm.

The Cha Cha tint is GORGEOUS. The best ever coral tint for my cheeks. A beautiful Mango-Orange tint.  It has a thicker consistency than the Benetint. But beware ! You need the speed of a Ninja to apply. The best way to apply this would be to smear it on the pad of your finger (flat smear, not dots or streaks) and then dab-spread it on your cheeks. Best to have a layer of moisturiser or foundation so it has slip. If you dont blend it fast enough you end up with orange blotches and smears on your face. Do NOT dab dots on or make ‘cat’s whiskers’ like with Benetint. You will end up with streaks on your cheeks ! On the lips it doesnt last so not worth the effort. I do LOVE Posietint. I have a mini.  Nice pink tone.

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It has the same texture as Cha Cha Tint but not as mental to apply. Ie you can make cat whiskers and then blend it on. But be quick. I suspect the ‘spots and streaks’ might be noticeable on lighter, more porcelain skin tones. And ofcourse the classic Benetint. Benetint was my first EVER cheek stain and I remember I used to find it tedious to apply. Take brush out, make cat whiskers on cheek bone and then blend with fingers.

Creams and stains last and last and last. You can add highlighters on after, fade it out with a foundation or tinted moisturiser, add contours. Its doesn’t move. But remember they need technique. Master it.