Monday, September 29, 2014

Prakash Handicrafts Sisters Bazaar, Landour

Outside Prakash Handicrafts

It is unbelievably bizarre how time flies. The weekend just bid goodbye and somehow I still cannot get over the weekend before the last one I spent in Dehradun with my husband. I have already mentioned in a post earlier how special Dehradun is to my husband. Ever since we got married we have visited Dehradun a number of times however it had always been with the family. So last to last weekend my husband and I made an impromptu plan and reached Dehradun, just the two of us. However this post is not about Dehradun. This post is about a little shop we discovered during this trip that made it all the more worthwhile (I will deviate a little from the shop here and there, please do not mind; the hills and the dun does that to me :p)

After spending a lazy Saturday, on Sunday we started for Landour. Landour is a small cantonment town contiguous with Mussoorie, and is about 35 km from Dehradun in the northern state of Uttarakhand. The twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour, together are a reflection of British Raj-era hill station in northern India. While we were exploring the town we walked up to the nearby Sisters bazaar also known as the nurses’ dormitory.

The stroll to Sisters bazaar was a beautiful experience. The surroundings, the cute little houses and the whole feel of the place reminded me of my road trip to Lake District in the UK. It was postcard perfect, so pretty and so romantic! *lovestruck*

now who wouldn't fall in love with this place?

My adorable darling

Once we reached Sisters bazaar it was hard for us to fathom the fact that it was a market for it had shops less than the number of fingers in one hand. We had to confirm from the locals if that was it and they were affirmative. We were just about to take a U-Turn when we noticed this dainty handicrafts shop on the main road. I saw a board outside it that read “Prakash Handicrafts”.

With a slight chill in the air we were glad to have found some cosiness in that little shop which offered a LOT! From silver jewelry to Tibetan wind chimes the range was diverse.  There were bed covers for the house to stoles, warm jackets and kurtas to update the wardrobe for the winters.  The jackets and the kurtas are the shop’s forte. They are hand woven in yak wool and pure wool.

now this looks warm

The shop was promoting all things natural. There was this adorable little tortoise made out of pine needles which one can decorate at home or use for the coming Diwali celebrations. However one thing that caught our eye was the range of natural cosmetics this little shop was selling.

These personal care products are manufactured by a foundation called SOS Organics. Parul, the beautiful owner of the shop threw some light on the products and the foundation.  She informed us that the foundation manufactures a wide range of products from food to herbal infusions and cosmetics at a village industry based in Almora, Uttarakhand. The range reminded me of “Fab India” products.  The SOS Organics’s products are all organic, grown in the Himalayas and free of pesticides. The specific environmental conditions of the Himalaya, its unique weather, rich and diverse mineral content of the soil and cosmic radiation are such that the indigenous crop packs a multitude of medicinal properties. I was simply fascinated listening to her.

Her face lightened up while she was telling us about the authenticity of those products which mirrored how she believed in them. She asked us to give the products a try since there aren’t any side effects, so my dear husband asked me to buy a few. Let me tell you they are brilliant.

SOS Organics' Products and the cute little tortoise i mentioned (pic courtesy: my dear husband)

I enquired if these products are available online and a smiling yes came as an answer. The products have the Foundation’s website link on them so one can easily visit the site and read more about their vision and other products (I did and it is quite interesting). Here is a link to their website

Parul was very honest when she asked us to buy the herbal infusion. She agreed that it will not score too high on taste however it will do wonders for our body. I chose to buy the Tulsi Rhododendron Herbal Infusion (I still have to try it though, maybe post navratras). The packaging of the Cometic gift box that I bought was ripped apart right when I reached home. I absolutely love the Geranium face cream that I am using at night these days. Its fragrance is absolutely refreshing and it keeps my skin so supple without making it oily.

We were a bunch of garrulous people so we did not realise that we had spent almost an hour and a half in the shop talking about nature, organic food, politics and ofcourse Mr. Modi! I took a few pictures of the shop to share my experience with you all. Parul was too shy to get clicked hence she remains the mysterious pretty woman from the hills until you visit her (haha!). She was sweet to offer us a cup of tea/coffee but it was getting late so we settled with chocolates.

It was wonderful to meet a lovely lady like her amidst the utmost serene surroundings. Afterall very few people take the onus of spreading awareness about a good cause and going organic is definitely one of them. Not just for the nature but for your own body too (I mention the latter because we humans are selfish beings and if being a little selfish can indirectly do good to Mother Earth then I say why not?).

Do visit this cute little shop on your next trip to the “Queen of Hills” to buy something handmade crafted with love. The idea of this tiny place is to give back a lot to the society and underpriviledged in its own little ways. I will definitely make another trip.

While the west is already embracing the idea of organic products and the awareness is slowly increasing in the east too, it is time for us to give them atleast a try. Little efforts and small changes in your own simple ways can make a big difference.

P.S.: If you have visited Prakash Handicrafts at Sisters Bazaar in Landour earlie or have used SOS Organics’ products, do share your experience. Also if you buy something in the future and like it, do leave a comment for the readers. Your feedback means a lot to "my little diary".

Monday, September 15, 2014

Yummy Oats with a Twist

image source: google

While I have always loved oats when it comes to choosing an option from usual the breakfast menu, like my dear husband many people are averse to the idea of choosing this healthy option for the first meal of the day.

Some do not like the taste and the others are strictly against it plainly because it is healthy! (Count my husband in the latter category *eyes rolling*)

But there are many of these people who are willing to try oats provided they taste better. While there are many variants and flavours already available in the market none has stood upto my expectation. So in this post I am going to share some quick and easy twists that you can apply to your oats and I bet they will be no less than a treat. All these options are sweet and I mean sweet literally LOL.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Eggless Choco-Raisin Oat Cookies

midnight craving
There is something so mischievous about midnight cravings. First they make you dream about that particular food till you die of salivating. Then it leaves you with no choice but to kneel down and surrender to it (read: rush to the kitchen). Arghhhh!!!

I was a victim of one such teasing midnight craving the other night. The crime took place at 1:30 AM, crime scene being our kitchen. My husband and I had just returned from our friend’s place and I had a full tummy yet I wanted to have some cookies and tea.