2013 Favorites · 2013 Reads · BOOKS · Thriller

Inferno – Book Review

infernoBook: Inferno

Author: Dan Brown

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review: If you are an ardent fan of Dan Brown, I swear, he wont let you down!! This is a novel, similar to ‘Da Vinci Code’ , which you will not put it down!

Plot:  Robert Langdon’s breath-taking roller coaster ride through spectacular architectural museums, palaces and churches in Europe; exploring their secret passages, tunnels, doors, gates & gardens; en route encountering & deciphering mind boggling cryptic painting signatures, puzzles, poems & codes, along with his trustworthy & deceitful aides; having been followed & attacked by their arch nemesis!!
The plot is full of surprising twists & turns !!
“Cerca Trova” – “seek and you shall find”!! 😉

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2013 Favorites · 2013 Reads · BOOKS · Drama

And The Mountains Echoed – Book Review

and the mountains echoed Book: And The Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

My Rating: 4/5

Review: One Amazing read, which talks about everlasting bond of love,friendship & affection between a brother & a  sister; their tryst with destiny; how they seek answers; & finally,how fate mocks at them !!

Plot: Poverty leads to separation of affectionate brother and his baby sister during their childhood. They suffer their life in separation. Different people in their lives help the brother and sister to come together. But, destiny has it’s own plans!! 😉

P.S: This is the first ever e-version I read on my iPad (being a hardcore fan of ‘paperback’ version) and I absolutely loved it!!

P.P.S: This is the first ever book that I read of Khaled Hosseini, and I was so impressed that I immediately downloaded his older book “A thousand splendid suns”!

2013 Favorites · 2013 Reads · BOOKS · Drama

A Thousand Splendid Suns – Book Review

1000 splendid suns Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns

 Author: Khaled Hosseini

 Rating: 4/5

 Review: A heart wrenching story about the plight, and never-ending suffering, sorrow, misery & painful life  endured by women in Afghanistan !!!

 Plot: Mariam, a girl born out of wedlock is treated as a ‘harami’ by her own mother, who she succumbs to suicide. After her mother’s death, Mariam seeks shelter at her father’s house. But her father lets her down, by getting her married to a man twice her age, at a tender age of 14 years, in order to save himself from shame and embarrassment. Her painful journey continues with her marriage. Later in her life, she meets another girl named Laila, who has lost her family to bombings in Afghanistan. Mariam sees Laila as her companion, friend in need and confidant, due to the fact that have their sorrow and painful  lives running in parallel.

DIY · Furniture

DIY Garden Bench

An outdoor garden bench adds beauty to our backyard or lawn. It is also a great way to spend a relaxing evening.final

P had this long urge to build furniture and bought the necessary materials from Lowe’s and built an amazing ‘garden bench’ in just 4 hours!! Man, I am impressed! 🙂 Bench weighs 200 pounds.

Materials Needed:

2×4 – 8 qty

2×6 – 1 qty

Drill

Outdoor decking screws.

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Candles · CRAFTS/DIY

Scented Candles

20130710-205148.jpgScented candles fill the ambience with aroma and fragrance.They also work great at removing bad odor, cooking/ food smell. I always light a strong scented candle prior to cooking to eliminate bad odor.
I recently developed a fetish for scented candles. Having used scented candles from many years, I decided to give a try at making one. I watched few videos on YouTube to see how it is made. Then, I went to hobby lobby and bought the necessary materials for candle making!
Here, I will explain how to make “scented candles” in easy steps:

Materials Needed:

Candle wax
Fragrance of your choice
Candle containers
Double boiler
Wicks
Super glue
Clips for holding the wicks in place

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CRAFTS/DIY · Painting

Wall Mural

robin

I bought a groupon for ‘Wall Mural Painting’ class for 3 hours for our family of four. A friend of mine, also bought it, so that our two families could go together and have a blast, painting!

When we went into the studio, we were awestruck by plethora of mural paintings done on all 4 four walls of a room, by all the budding mural artists!

Our guide was a passionate painter himself, bubbling with enthusiasm and had abundant energy. He patiently explained us the process. Surfing the Google images, we were asked to select a picture, which we would like to paint on the wall. This is what we ended up selecting (1) Robin (2) Dove (3) Butterfly (4) Super moon (since it was ‘super moon’ that weekend) 😉

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CRAFTS/DIY · Painting

Monogram Pumpkin

Monogram Pumpkin
Monogram Pumpkin

During Halloween 2012, a ‘pottery painting’ studio offered a groupon deal for painting a ‘monogram pumpkin’, reflective of  ‘harvest’ season; and I seized the opportunity! 😉 It was a great experience to transform a plain ‘white’ piece of pottery into something vibrant, colorful, glazed and creative!

Upon entering the studio, I was asked to pick a plain white tile and choose few acrylic paint colors of my choice. Then I sat down with other enthusiastic painters and the instructor went ahead with her instructions. This was my end result! 😉

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CRAFTS/DIY · Painting

Tea for One

'Tea for Two' Pottery Painting

I shared my awesome  ‘Monogram Pumpkin‘ pottery painting experience with my friend. S was excited and wanted to try it too. Since it is always fun to paint with a friend/partner, we both decided to reach the studio at 6pm, one Friday.

We picked up our plain ‘white’ pottery pieces. S picked up a tile and I picked up ‘Tea for one’ pottery, because I had done tile, last time.

We were asked to choose paint brushes, acrylic paints, stamps of various designs, shapes and sizes, stencils, tracing sheets, sponges, pens, sharpies of our choice from the stack.

We chose a comfortable table and laid out all our painting stuffs and began to paint.

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Beaches · TRAVEL

Panama City Beach!

July 4th holiday is usually an animated day, with all the fun, furor, sparkling fireworks, holiday, etc. But unfortunately, July 4th was on Thursday this year. But, this didn’t dampen our spirits, as we applied leave on Friday to enjoy the scintillating and mesmerizing Panama beach from July 4th, thursday to July 7th, Sunday.

Road Trip: We hate going on long drives due to discomfort, backache, patience and pain involved. We usually fly every time. But this time, we decided to drive along with our friend’s family. On July 4th, Thursday, at 8:30 AM CST, we started off on a road trip to Panama City.  Driving through heavy rain,the whole day, our car followed our friend’s car and vice versa through amazing scenery, villages and  fields; taking pit stops, in between to refill gas and munch on some snacks and lunch.

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