CHUNKY LEMONADE (Beverage)

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Hello folks.

Hope you are enjoying your holidays and the last few days of 2016. When I look back at this year, its been crazy for me. Mentally, emotionally,financially, physically challenging to say the least. It has been the end of a lot of things for me, that’s for sure i.e end of giving way too much love to people who don’t deserve it or value it.

2017 will be the start of many new things, such as directing the love towards myself, valuing myself, learning to respect myself in every form. I know it doesn’t happen in just a day, but its a promise, lifelong promise to yourself.To keep working at yourself, for yourself.

All in all, I would say it has been a sweet and sour year for everybody.

Inspired from that sweet & sour feeling, is our last post of 2016, CHUNKY LEMONADE Yay!

It is this amazing refreshing drink, it first hits you on the sweet spots of your taste buds, then Bam! hits you with its zingy sourness. It is like eating candy only healthy and doesn’t give you a sugar high 😀

So let’s get started.

TIME TO PREPARE:

10 to 15 mins.

Makes 1 Jug.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup fresh berries (strawberries,blueberries,blackberries)

2 big tbsp Honey

2 big yellow Lemons

1/2 tsp Dried Mint

4 cups of Water

Jug

HOW TO PREPARE:

Wash and squeeze out the juice of the lemons. Be careful about the seeds.

Roughly chop/mash the berries with a fork.

In a jug, add in the lemon juice, the mint and the water. Mix well.

Add in the honey and ice cubes. Adjust taste according to preference. Add more water if needed.

Keep chilled in the fridge. Just before serving, throw in the berries.Smoothly mix and serve.

It is a great party pleaser, great for a morning routine drink or just to give you a wake-up buzz during those lethargic afternoons. Take it with you in those pretty to-go bottles with the attached straw.You can discreetly show-off your awesome new drink 😉

Enjoy.

P.S:

HAPPY NEW YEAR. HAPPY 2017 RESIDENTS OF PLANET EARTH.May this year be filled with positive thoughts and awesome experiences 🙂 😀

Share your love ❤ 🙂

 

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VOLKSWAGEN AUTO AD

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They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. Well for our AD post of the week, it does seem to be the case.

Hello Mi Compadres! I am talking about the advertisement by Volkswagen that I came across online. It could be a print advertisement, not sure about it, but I was amazed by it therefore it has made its appearance here on our blog 🙂

This AD according to me is one of those few simple but beautiful ads. This is truly that big ‘AHA’ idea that just magically appears after the brainstorming sessions are over. Simple but powerful and hard-hitting.

When the reader sees it, the eyes immediately go on the image. Power-packed and strong to say the least. A young couple/friends/siblings or even colleagues in the car dead or severely injured. Then you see the hand of the man as though holding a camera/selfie stick. You can see a car upside down in the background.  So automatically, a visual of the car crash is created in your mind and you can almost see/experience what must have happened. It gives the viewer jitters as suddenly it feels real and relatable. The copy below the image,’ Don’t selfie and drive.’ Just seals the deal.

The whole concept of a selfie has taken the world up by storm. At first it was a fun and cute concept, enjoyed by the self-lovers (as I call them), photography enthusiasts and people wanting to take entertaining pictures with friends and family.

As all things quirky and fun, there are users and there are abusers. Soon this almost narcissistic technique of taking innocent images was getting abused. People started taking selfies with and at the most inhumane and preposterous of situations.

Humans have started to risk their lives and lives of others, for a selfie, i.e. falling from buildings, doing adventurous stunts, sitting next to cheetahs and tigers, in between plane and car crashes, next to dead bodies of loved ones, it’s insane and ridiculous, you get it 😛

Keeping that in mind Volkswagen’s AD does full justice to the, (I can’t believe we are at that point in life) Anti-selfie campaign. It is amazing to see how it has moved from a quirky harmless concept to a dangerous and threatening one. I love how VW has elegantly addressed the problem through their AD messages.

I haven’t seen many brands talk about or campaign about anti-selfie or shall I say selfie-safety, so this AD seemed to be spot-on. Hard-hitting imagery, simple precise copy and brand logo, is all that is needed for a compelling AD from das brand (Das Auto, Das brand-get it 😀 )

If you guys know about other selfie campaigns and how have brands leveraged in on it, share thy ideas. Would love to know more about them or if you have any other ideas then, share thy creativity 🙂

P.S.- Lets not take a selfie and drive 😉

TITAN RAGA WATCHES

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Here is the link for the TVC AD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS1A5rBAvjg&index=1&list=LLJttaLl7mptifAMDY6fmgGA

Hey everyone. Top of the afternoon to you!

It has been some time since I shared my favorite Ads with you guys on this blog. I was searching for an AD truly beautiful and strong in its message. Then I had my big ‘AHA’ moment 🙂

So our AD post of the week is about TITAN RAGA WATCHES. This is a Television (TVC)advertisement that was aired last year but on Indian Hindi channels.It aired during prime time shows on popular Indian TV channels. It featured the then brand ambassador for the brand, Katrina Kaif, Bollywood film heroine/actress, apparently it is another Bollywood actress now as the brand ambassador.

There have been many Ads before this by Titan Raga, though this one really caught my eyes and ears. This particular Raga brand is called the Garden of Eden Collection.

The story line of the TVC goes like this, Katrina Kaif is getting ready for a special event. There is a lot of hustle and bustle going on around her, as her friends and family(could be sisters) are around her, helping her get ready. Everyone looks beautiful in their Indian traditional clothes. Guests/relatives are coming around Katrina to talk to her, greet/congratulate her as it is her engagement party or wedding reception.

In the midst of all of this, she thinks to her self (but is indirectly talking to the target audience) the reasons why a person shouldn’t get married. I wouldn’t just limit these reasons to only being typically Indian, I think they apply to every single woman on planet earth.

The reasons to not get married she says are: just because your friends are getting married, or because you are tired of aunties’ questions(relatives/XYZ people questioning you or putting pressure on you to get married), or because you feel alone on Valentines Day, because your younger sister is also waiting in line to get married, or you would just get some company when you are old, or just because when will it be a good time to be a mother then , or because your ex-boyfriend is getting married.

The climax of the TVC is when she says,’When is the right time to get married? When you find someone who deserves your time. Titan Raga, a new relationship with yourself.’ In this scene, she applies the traditional bridal bindi on her forehead with a certain surety and confidence, suggesting she is empowered and happy in her choice.

This according to me is a beautiful, awe-inspiring, truly empowering ending to a really meaningful AD. To me this is beautiful story-telling. All your doubts, fears, anxieties answered and leaving you with a confident smile on your face and a brand new thinking of SELF-LOVE.

Love and respect yourself and your time by not Settling for Less than what you Deserve. For every woman out there seeking love and companionship, this AD is for you. Let go of whoever does not deserve a single minute of your precious time.

Titan Raga, an established brand of watches across India, conveys their beautiful messages  I.e-‘Beauty is precious so is time‘, ‘you are one of a kind‘, ‘Build a long-term relationship with yourself first‘, ‘one size does not fit all‘, through their product as well. The watch at the end of the AD is very unique, beautiful and elegant in its design. Butterflies,flowers with precious stones.

If you think about it, butterflies are generally associated with strength, change, hope and beauty. So you are looking at single, strong, independent educated women wearing Titan Raga to regain back their confidence in their choices in life and love. As a member of the target audience, this AD makes me believe in myself and my choices again. So when I would like to buy something for myself, that would make me happy, I would love to buy a Titan Raga as it makes me feel empowered and beautiful (Call to action).

So these are my thoughts, I wish more products and services have thought-provoking messages in their marketing material that really connects with the target audience and makes us brand loyal to them, rather than limit it to occasional buys only.

Do share your thoughts about such kinds of Advertisements or you have something different, I would love to know. Share your creativity.

Share your ideas.

🙂

CHICK BITES (Snack)

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Good afternoon everyone! Hope everyone is doing wonderful, if not then don’t worry it will get better 🙂

As the weather is FINALLY changing a little bit here in Dubai, I am sure you will understand my cravings for some hot comfort food.Cooler weather means hotter food. Nothing better than some deep-fried pakoras or chicken popcorn or just the good old jalapeno poppers, right? I know I understand.

However we all know the harm that does to our body inside and out. Transfatty oil clogging up our arteries.You know, most of the deep-fried vegetarian food that I come across has potato as its base and there is no nutrition in that. That is why I let my creative juices on intense mode and came up with our recipe of the week, my CHICK BITES (quirky name I know 😀 )

They are mildly spiced chickpea & veggie fritters. Nutrition check, Craving check, absolute deliciousness check check.It is deep-fried but you can also bake them. Still great and yummy. You can add these to salads or sides to your main meals or just snack on them when those ‘munchie cravings‘ arise.

Makes 10-12 pieces.

TIME: 1 hr

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Chickpeas-wash them thoroughly

1/2 cup Carrots-grated

1 big tsp Garlic powder

1 big tsp Cayenne Pepper powder

1 tbsp Dried Parsley- you can use fresh if you have

2 tbsp Cornflour

1 clove Garlic-chopped

Coconut Oil for deep-frying

Salt(optional)

Indian Chaat Masala(optional)

HOW TO PREPARE:

Take a deep bowl and add in all the ingredients, except the chaat masala and oil.

Mash and mix well. Heat the oil for deep-frying on the side.

Take a little oil in hands and make balls, keep aside.(See image reference)

Make sure the oil is hot enough by adding a piece of the batter and see if it cooks. Deep-fry the chickpea bites till golden brown in color. Soak excess oil on tissue paper.

If you want to bake them, pre-heat the oven for 15 mins. Add in a little oil on the tray, add in the balls. Bake at 180 deg. for 30 mins. or till it turns golden brown. Once you start seeing the top getting colored, flip them on the bottom, so even that gets cooked.*Every oven is different.

For an Indian twist, sprinkle a little chaat masala before serving.

Serve with sauce of your choice. I love garlic so I ate it with some garlic mayo, you could also try sweet chili sauce.

You can add these Chick Bites to your salads,add them to wholewheat bread sandwiches, serve them as sides to your mains or just munch on them as tea-time snacks. You can take them to work, get-togethers or even for school as tiffin treats. Enjoy them with your family and friends.

Share your love.

🙂 ❤

SWEET POTATO BOWLS

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HELLO LOVELY PEOPLE!!

How art thou? Yes, I know I was missing for a few days. To be honest I was dying to come back. I am actually a mess right now, that is why I needed some time off to focus on dealing with stuff that I was procrastinating to do and just forcing myself to do it and get on with it.

I have a lot of major changes happening in my life, such as trying to remove toxic relationships out of my life(to do so is incredibly difficult and painful), extremely uncertain career changes, trying to control my ever so talkative, confused and fearful mind. Yeah, lots of fun 😀  -_- (*slowly starts to run away)

Considering I love sharing my ideas and recipes with you guys, I am back again. It is kinda soothing to do this with you lovely people. It is easy, certain and fun 🙂

So here we are for the new post of the week i.e my SWEET POTATO BOWLS. I think these are perfect as a side dish or even for mains if you have a light appetite, served along with a bowl of yogurt or organic coleslaw.

These are immensely flavourful, delicious and nutritious. I have to admit they do take some time to prepare, but a little bit of effort in advance will help you satisfy those hanger pangs later (See how I say, Hanger, I know That feeling). So here we go.

TIME: 1 hr

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 Sweet Potato- washed

7 Paneer/Cottage Cheese cubes-crumbled (keep the extra crumbled paneer for garnish)

1 tsp Dried Parsley

1 small Tomato

2 cloves of Garlic

a small piece of Ginger

2 Green chili’s

a pinch of Hing/Asafoetida

1/4 tsp Garam Masala

1/4 Coriander/Dhania powder

Salt (optional)

1 tbsp Olive Oil

a pinch of Dry Mango powder/Amchur powder-for garnish

Lemon juice-for drizzle on top

HOW TO PREPARE:

Step 1

Cut the sweet potato in half and cut a little piece of the ends/points of the potato, to make it bowl-shaped.See photo for reference. You dont want it to be a wobbly bowl, it should stand tall.

Cook the sweet potato on a pan, till it is cooked and soft. I check it with a knife, if it comes out smooth, its good to go. Remove it from the pan and let it cool.

With a small spoon or if you prefer a knife, scoop out excess sweet potato. A nice thick layer of the sweet potato pulp should be good. See photo for reference.

Step 2

In a food processor add in tomato, chili, garlic and ginger.Process all the ingredients for 2-4 mins. till the pieces are small enough but not completely minced.

In a separate pan add in the olive oil, add hing and the tomato mixture and cook on medium heat for 5 mins. till they cook. Add in the crumbled paneer.

Add in the coriander, garam masala powder.Add 1/2 dried parsley. Add salt. Mix well on slow heat. Remove from the pan.

Step 3

Add the paneer mixture to the sweet potato bowls. Press the stuffing at the back of the spoon, to fill as much as possible. Bake in oven for 5 mins on 180 degrees. Remove from the oven, let it cool.

Sprinkle crumbled paneer, dried parsley , dry mango powder and lemon juice. Serve with a bowl of fruit yogurt. Enjoy.

Share with family and friends for lunches/brunches/light dinners/breakfasts too! They can be great tiffin treats for you and your little ones.

Share your love.

🙂 ❤

BABY LETTUCE WRAPS

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Hey everybody! Happy Halloween!

I have never celebrated it, though I would love to someday. Till then cheers to some trick or treating happening around the world 😀

Hope everyone is doing great.

So todays’ food post is our BABY LETTUCE WRAPS. It is this incredibly healthy and extremely delicious finger food or party food as they call it 😉 . Considering it is still summer, here in Dubai, it is  a light and refreshing appetizer. Did I mention that it is also really easy to make ? Well.. Yeah it is! 🙂 So let us begin.

Serves 1( 5 pieces)

TIME: 10 mins.

INGREDIENTS:

Green Lettuce: washed and cut to 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup Red Kidney Beans: (you can use the ones available in tins, you just need to wash them thoroughly)

1/4 cup Broccoli: cut into tiny florets

1/2 cup Tandoori sauce

Salt (optional)

Ingredients for Tandoori sauce:

1 big tsp Ginger:finely chopped

1 big tsp Garlic: finely crushed and chopped

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Red Chili Powder

1 cup Fresh Yoghurt: well beaten to remove any lumps

3 tsp Tandoori Masala Powder: (you should have this as a staple in your kitchen as you can make many dishes with this, i.e fish, vegetables, meat etc.)

Salt (optional)

HOW TO PREPARE:

Take a big bowl, mix in all the ingredients of the tandoori sauce. Adjust flavors according to taste buds. Add in the red kidney beans and mix.

Take a serving plate, place the crisp lettuce leaves on it.

At the time of serving, take a spoon of the tandoori mix with beans and add to the lettuce. Do it for the rest of the lettuce leaves.

Garnish the broccoli florets on the baby lettuce wraps.

Serve.Enjoy.

Share with your family and friends. Great for snacking on something refreshing and crunchy!

Share your love.

🙂

 

 

 

TIPS & TOES SALOON

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To my fellow Indians, Happy Belated Gandhi Jayanti. May we bring more wisdom and truth in our lives 🙂

And the rest of Mi Compadre’s! How is everyone? (see new word 😀  there is hope!)

So today’s advertising post is the Outdoor Advertisement, that I came across some time back for Tips & Toes Saloon Dubai. It is a popular women’s salon, with many branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to its credit. I will be discussing about the advertising I saw at the Business Bay branch.

As you are walking down the lane, you can see the salon has a big chunk of retail store space to itself. They have creatively used the 3 big walls/boards of their store space, into something really quirky and unique.

They make use of bright, attractive colours to catch attention. The use of white text on a colourful purple and red background really does grab attention. They are very easy on the eyes and have a subtle and sophisticated vibe about them.

The first wall/board is the entrance to the salon. They have their salon products on display, in the same colour theme of white on red. The other door is what catches my eye, the copy “Opening Time-Call 04” , the use of simple typography conveys their message.

The creative use of Bold Text format for the ‘hook‘ words,i.e.- Times, 7 Days, For and Call, really makes the difference to what the customer reads and remembers. So while passing by, the potential customer reads up the main details and if interested takes a note of it (Call to action).

The 2nd wall/board goes on the same theme as well, using white on purple and red. This is more informational, as they are letting their target audience know the name of the salon and their Unique Selling Point,i.e. “Home to the largest nail haven in the Middle East”.

Over here they establish trust, credibility and success to their brand, with the use of simple words and bold formatting(Reasons to believe).

It is beautiful, straight-forward and precise in its brand messages, just like the personality of their target audience.

The 3rd wall/board is what I love the most and it is actually what caught my attention. The photograph that I have taken is the 3rd wall.(you can see me in the mirror, well sort of 🙂 )

I have never come across salons/spas for men or women or even kids, to have a mirror as their advertisement tactic. It is smart, quirky and genius to say the least. So on one side, the services they offer are listed and on the other there is a beautiful mirror placed with the copy saying “Time for a touch up?”.

The text doesn’t separate itself from the mirror, they both work beautifully together as a strong message for the customer.

It really shows that the brand is thinking about their customers as they value and are concerned about them. When a woman sees the text, goes up to the mirror, checks herself out and says ‘you know what, I actually do need a touch up’ , the door to the salon is right open for her.

It serves like a reminder to her, to love and pamper herself maybe treat herself for a change, instead of waiting to be treated, very empowering in a way.

It is clear that the brand wants to pamper and spoil you and make you feel loved again and stop you from neglecting yourself.

I love how interactive and approachable this tactic is yet you don’t feel it is trying hard to sell you something. You go up to the mirror and say ‘I’m having a bad hair day, maybe a nice hot-oil therapy should do the job, do they have hair care services, oh well yeah they do, let me just go inside the salon and check it out.’ Boom success!

It connects with their customers on a very emotional level, leaving the customer feeling rejuvenated, happy and loved, like spending time with family or a group of friends.

I feel their key brand promise should work around this , ‘We care to care about you’. You know what would be even more interesting, if they had the same message and advert for a print women’s or lifestyle magazine, with the attached mirror and maybe a complimentary sachet of one of the brand’s salon products.

At least I haven’t come across something interactive and collaborative like that.

So this is what I felt about innovative outdoor advertising like this one. Would love to know more thoughts about this.

Share your ideas.

🙂

 

P.S-2nd image credit:http://bien.ae/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_1594.jpg