Thursday, 22 June 2017

2017 Mid year Catchup

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

So.. I have gone missing from my log for about 6 months. And I do understand that there may be a bit of confusion of what had happened to me.

Well, I do want to firstly clarify that I am in my education years now. 2017 is a crucial year for me to concentrate and to make sure my examinations are well written. I am very glad for the support I have been given and I am proud to say that I have now added my official blog page on facebook and instagram! So do check it out and follow!

I will put up a blog post or two for this year but do not expect it to be of regular timings. But once my examinations finish (in November) I will be posting more often on all my social media platforms. SO do stay tuned and keep your ice cream cones dripping!!

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @vanilliandynamicss [please show love and follow!]
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla

Friday, 9 December 2016

Vanilla round the globe #1: Sichuan, China!

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here,

It is December and the winter season is brewing in, if you want any winter posts do comment and I'll get to them. But then, I wanted to post about my trip to Sichuan, China. Not lie-ing, this was the furthest I have ever traveled from my homeland. I was very excited as I was with my besties and the trip did not disappoint! I will be posting about the beautiful places we visited, my attire and the amazing food we had. Of course, about the souvenirs bought.


On the way to Sichuan Earthquake Ruins from Chengdu

On the first day, we came from the airport, exhausted but managed to make way to the Sichuan Earthquake Ruins which commemorated the lives of people who died in the Sichuan Earthquake in 2009. The tour guide I had spoke only Chinese (and I could not speak Chinese obviously) so I had to get my friend to translate it for me all throughout the trip [except at times he was kind enough to speak in broken english for me]. I learnt a lot from the mini trip as well as found out a nice railway at the back where I took this photo.

The beautiful railway at the back which still works but it too beautiful to not take a photo 
and risk my life for it.
Attire: Jacket: Ralph Lauren (similiar here)
Jeans: Robinsons
Bag: Adidas (similiar here)
Gloves: Macy's (Get here)


The next place we visited was the next day. we went to do some fun opera mask painting then toured San Xing Dui Museum. The museum showed a lot of beautiful parts of Sichuan culture. This was my most favorite place from the tour.

We managed to have some time to go souvenir shopping, and right after that had a magical moment. The scenery outside the museum was explicit and breathtaking. Like I was not kidding and I really felt mystified (and took many many photos).

One of the breath taking picture I took outside of the museum, which 
displayed the beauty and elegance China was able to offer.

One of the most breathtaking photos and sight I have captured in China. This can 
be found right outside the museum. 

The greenery and the fog during the pre-winter season had a beautiful effect
on the evergreen trees found between the towers located.


After a delicious lunch, we proceeded with some educational visits and cultural immersion to be more knowledgeable in Sichuan Culture. On the fourth day, we went to the Giant Panda research center as well the very famous mask changing show of Sichuan.

We had the opportunity to have a sight of adorable pandas 
chowing on bamboos.

Visited the famous Sichusn Chinese Opera and 
Face Changing show

This was accompanied by a visit to Wu Hou Shrine on the final day, where I saw a beautifully decorated garden cum memorial to the famous Chinese Poet; Zhuge Liang.

One of the beautiful sights I have visited at the shrine
which featured Zhuge Liang's house

Our last stop was to the National Sichuan Museum.. I learnt so much from the museum and saw many good artifacts as well an amazing aztec-designed notebook. as well as artifacts about the various types of people living there such as Buddhists and Tibetans. I realized a lot of the paintings were similar to Indian culture.

This was one of the portraits available that shows a Buddhist adorned with 
various scarves and jewelry, similar to Indian gods such as Lord Shiva

There was more to the museum that I enjoyed. The main part was the AMAZING views I had throughout the tour and learnt so much about Chinese culture and food (which was very enjoyable).


I do hope you like this post as it was very different from my usual posts as well as the fact that 2016 is coming to the end and I wanted to end the year in a bit of an unique manner (and compensate for the missing posts and late timings!). Comment for the support and hope this blog gets better soon!
Until the next post, keep your ice cream cones dripping!

Don't be a stranger!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram:  @itsmeevanilla
Wattpad:    @itsmevanilla


FYI; I was not sponsored for any of these products (or tours) k.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Vanillian Diet #5: Eggless Blueberry Strudels

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Its been a rough year in general. I've never been away from home so many times and have a stressful education year. It has been atleast 2 days since my trip to China and just before that a gruesome physical camp so I decided to get off my butt and post. I've also realized how much my recipes (especially eggless ones) are trending and enjoyed by you guys so I decided to get another eggless recipe for you peeps to enjoys!

Lately, I've been able to bake more often and came up with many tasty creations. Let me know in the comments which ones you want me to create and I'll be up to it! I will keep continuing to try my best when it comes to posting more often as I am still getting adjusted to the whole education routine.  I've just been through a bad time but yet determined to post and let you guys have more insight to my (not exactly famous) baking experiments and definitely be trying to post my trip to Sichuan, China  as well as my new year reading list plus literary round up of 2016 (The end is here already!)



Ingredients Required:

For shortcrust pastry:

1.5 cup butter

3 cups flour (a.p)

Salt

0.75 cup sugar

Milk (for brushing)

Cold Water (as required)

For Filling:

2 cups blueberries

1 Orange's juice

1 tsp confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar or icing sugar)


Paraphernalia/ Ingredients required:

Rolling pin

Silicon brush

Knife

2 bowls

Cling wrap

Your hands (tough huh?)

Procedure:


1. Make the shortcrust pastry by mixing the dry ingredients together.

2. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub it into the dry ingredients until it reaches a breadcrumb               consistency.

3. Make a well in the middle and slowly add in cold water and mixing it into the dry ingredients.

4. Using your hands, bring together the ingredients until a dough is formed.

5. Wrap it into cling film and chill it for 15 to 30 minutes.

6. While the dough is chilling, make the filling by slicing the blueberries into halves.

7. Maserate the berries in sugar and orange juice {A form of marinating. Just add the ingredients and     let it have some time to sit and infuse the flavors.}

8. Once the dough is cold and chilled, roll out bit by bit and form into a rectangle.

9.  You can fill it like a normal strudel and brush with milk on top before baking it or you can braid it      [as pictured above]

10. Let it bake at 180 d.c for 20 minutes or until it is well cooked. [Vanilla Note: You can dust with           icing sugar on top after it is cooked]

To braid the strudel: After you rolled the dough into a rectangle, use your knife and slowly slit the                                         sides of the rectangle horizontally, leaving a gap in the middle to put in your                                         filling.
                                 Fill the middle aisle with the blueberries and use the long strands from the side                                       over to a criss cross formation on the strudel and repeat until you reach the end.
                                 Twist the end to break off excess dough and make sure to do it fast if not the                                          dough becomes sticky.





So guys hope you enjoy this recipient and do share photos that tag me if you ever made or recreated them. I have posted for this November (yay let out the confetti!) and I will keep on trying to post and plan more for you guys. This year has been great and terrible at the same time. We have also reached some cool records on this blog and hopefully it will continue.
Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!

Don't be a stranger!:

Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla


Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Winter Reading List 2016!! (#3)

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Daaaammmnnn, its been long. I do have to say when it comes to exams, everyone forget time flies. I am extremely happy as my final exam is finished today, which means I can live freely like it is the 4th of July.

So, I have actually made a target for reading 15 books this year on goodreads app (an amazing app in my opinion). You might wonder whaaat?15 books only, what are you, a jock?
But please do understand that I am not (nor will ever) be a jock but the fact I have important examinations this and next year (My O's!!) So I already knew it is difficult for me to dedicate my time into reading. (though now with my EOY over, I can read so much more! DO tell me if you guys want a New Year reading list or something!). You can consider this to be my annual well-known November and Winter Reading list which I posted darn late but now I am a month early. Hooray? It also made me realize that today marks officially 3 YEARS of VD!! Holy Figs on a stick! I am extremely proud for where we have come today (though it is still a very boring and always-late updated blog). I don;t really take this as seriously so yeah... but anyways, this is the compilation of the rare times I have managed to cheekily slipped in a book or two in midst of studying.

1st Book: City of the Beasts   by Isabel Allende
                 Adventure/ Fantasy

The fantasy queen is back at it again! I have always made fantasy an important part of my life. Like no joke. If you have seen my wattpad (link at the bottom of the post), I started out and still do write and create fantasy books throughout my pastime. I have enjoyed the genre growing up.
So, I was very hyped when I heard about this book and it did not disappoint me!! It talks about a boy travelling with his grandmother t the Amazon due to a dramatic turn of events that is very emotional and I loved it. He goes on an adventure, meeting a girl from the local village and shares his similarities with her. Both of them go to discover not only the Amazon Forest but also about themselves. They see a side of the jungle no one can and the book brings about some of the most important and serious messages through a simple tale of a complex world. This book does not only have random characters flying and stuff (the stereotype people tend to have about fantasy) but instead the writer is able to describe a world of magic and discovery through the eyes of a young boy as well as put in enough detailing to make it seem you are there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you are an avid fan of either genres, this is a MUST for you to read.
3 ice cream cones out of 5


2nd Book: 7th Heaven    by James Patterson
                  Mystery/Thriller

I think I might just make a combined review of the whole woman murder club series one day. If you have seen my blog at least once in your life, you will be aware of 2 things; I love food and I love James Patterson's works more than any writer. 7th Heaven is the 7th book in James Patterson's WMC Series which you can know more about via my previous posts and here.
This book is about a series of fires that get solved alongside another case Detective Lindsay Boxer has to deal with. And throughout the series (f you have read it), they don't only touch about the mystery and action part of finding the killer and blah blah but it also tugs on your pathos by having Lindsay's personal life involved. So this book does have a fair share of drama. I kind of enjoyed this book more that the 6th target and I am pumped for the next book which is the 8th confession. A little secret: I have never finished a single book series till date. I know.. I'm pathetic but it is true. I tend to  lose interest in series quite fast due to the fact the turn of events is just unlikely and absurd or it loses the magic it once had. My hope is that I would be able to finish WMC as my first series but I'm not so sure now.
7th Heaven is another really good book by James Patterson and I believe you should check it out.
2.5 ice cream cones out of 5


3rd Book; Snow White Read-Handed    by Maia Chance
                 Historical Fiction/ Fantasy(sort of)

I heard so much about this book on pintrest which hyped up my interest. I also searched for this book for more than a month or so in which I came across it in my local library in June-July. The synopsis of the book was very promising, talking about a mystery twist in a classical fairytale. However, the writing style and the main character was just out of sync as well as the fact that the story progresses very slow, making it uninteresting and boring to read. I quit about a few chapters into the book as the whole characters are confusing which made me both disappointed and upset.
1 ice cream cone out of 5


4th Book:  Digital Fortress   by Dan Brown
                 Mystery/ Thriller

Obviously, when you (or I) hear Dan Brown, we squeal. It has been quite obvious that I have been a big fan of Dan Brown ever since the Da Vinci Code era, so upon finding this book, I was beyond excited as well as heard many positive responses from my friends (whom I have turned into Dan Brown fans as well).
But however, when I read the book, I was initially upset that the main character was not Robert Langdon and that it is a woman ( not being sexist) It is not that I don't like female leads but in mystery and action books, it is more difficult to write in their perspective and handle situations without looking like either a sexist or feminist. The book was rather bizarre and I just hated some of the main characters as they are explained and crafted in a way very unappealing. Midway the book (or more), I gave up because it was really boring and the writing style was rather messy.
No joke, this is the most disappointing book from Dan Brown I have ever read and obviously this is my personal opinion.
1.5 ice cream cones out of 5


So this is my Winter aka November and December reading list for 2016. I do apologize not all of the books in this series are really good books to read and I have yet to reach my goal of 15 books this year. I have purchased another Dan Brown book and am crossing my fingers this is not terrible if not I would be writing a rant post soon.

Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Vanillian Diet #4: Eggless Cheesy Pinwheels!

Hey Guys!
Vanilla Here.

Its not been too long as I decided to abandon my homework to write this post. A lot has been happening and I am extremely grateful for you all.

If you have not followed me on Snapchat yet (username is at the end of this post), I have recently hit more than a 1000 page views for VD which is crazy! I am really happy that people from different regions of the countries are looking at my blog and hopefully enjoying it. I do urge you guys to not be a stranger and follow me on social media sites if you want to know how I look like and please do subscribe and comment.

I do not even want to continue on explaining my posts' timings because honestly I am a busy woman and I have so many other things that always grabs me. Even though at this point I have so much to do I do not want to have zero posts for this month so definitely I will be trying to do something about it. If you guys really want me to speed up, please comment because it does make me happy and I will put in more effort.

Onto the real deal. I love cheese. Everybody loves cheese in general. So my original plan was to make some pizza pinwheels which failed terribly because I had no pizza sauce. I decided it was awesome to just have cheese because CHEESE! *remembers fond memories with cheese*

This is once again a super easy, eggless and vegetarian friendly recipe. If you want to make it vegan, feel free to substitute the butter with coconut oil and the cheese with any vegan cheese.




    Ingredients Required:

    For Flavored Pastry:

    1. 1.25 cups plain/all purpose flour

    2. 0.5 cup butter [Vegan: Coconut oil]

    3. Nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and dried parsley flakes

    4. Approx. 1/3 cup cold water

    For the Filling:

    1. CHEESE (you can never go wrong with chees) [substitute for vegan cheese if going vegan]

    2. Black Olives (chopped and pitted)


    Paraphernalia/ Equipment Required:

    1. Large bowls

    2. Rolling pin

    3. Oven

    4. Cling wrap

    5. A surface to roll on (that sounds hilarious but yeah..)

    6. Refrigerator (huh? you might say)


    Procedure:

    1. For the puff pastry, rub in salted butter (or coconut oil with a pinch of salt) into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs consistency

    2. Add in the spices and dried parsley flakes

    3. Mix the dry mixture slowly while adding in the cold water and kneading it into a dough.

    4. Once it barely forms into a ball of dough, smoothen into a disc and wrap tightly in cling foil.

    5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    6. Once chilled, roll it into 0.5cm thickness and slab over all that delicious cheese.

    7. Press the cheese into the dough if needed. (Vanilla Note: Remember to work fast as the longer you take with the dough, the stickier and more difficult the dough gets as the butter will start melting.)

    8. Add in olives or any other vegetable (or even cured deli meat) if you want and start rolling it like a log/ cinnamon roll or whatever you want to imagine as.

    9.Slice into 1.5cm slices and place flat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

    10. Bake at 180 d.c for 10 minutes



    I hope you guys enjoy making (and eating it)! See, once you read the instructions, you realize it is extremely easy to make them! Like seriously, even a person using the oven for the first time can do it, You can make it a group project and do it with friends or your children! Please comment and pin this post to voice out yourselves! Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!


    Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
    Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla

    Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla


    Sunday, 26 June 2016

    Vanilla for thought #3: Tea flavors to try!

    Hey Guys!
    Vanilla Here,

    About two months back, I was an EDM freak and now it has died down though I still listen and enjoy EDM. I realized this is a nice sort of series to update you guys on my up-to-date obsessions with random things consumers like me will have.

    This month, I have been back in the obsession towards teas. It is not that I have just started to drink tea or something but I have been back to drinking tea, in huge amounts. This might have been due to the fact that at the first week of June, I got an extremely bad sore throat after a course that required alot of smelling. My brain was overwhelmed by the smells and the top notes reached my throat, irritating my skin. I have a sore throat and bad cold now as well but not too strong.
    I've ended up with a big, and I mean BIG box of tea packs inside and quite hilariously have even more tea packs lying around everywhere in my house.

    I decided to show you guys some of my most favorite tea flavors although I personally enjoyed every tea flavor I have ever tried in my life. If you are a tea freak like me or a coffee addict (also me) wanting to step out of your comfort zone, do try out these flavors to get yourself hooked.


    English Breakfast Tea

    This is my most favorite flavor of tea. The depth of flavor and the intensity if the brew was what captivated me to teas and food. The fist sip is heavenly and till this date, nothing can be more comforting than a cup of English Breakfast with a good book in an air-conditioned room during the summer. The beauty and taste of this tea is really nice as it has an earthy and slightly acidic undertone to complement the more fragrant and delicious taste of the tea.
    Its a mix of blends from Assam and Kenya and best known to eat with an english breakfast (which I don't really do but I should try sometime!) I've grown up loving this tea and flavor so I do highly recommend this tea.
    For me, I usually drink handmade brews when outside or this Twinings's Tea, which is obviously my most favorite tea brand of all time.
                                            
    Product featured: Get Here


    Earl Grey Tea

    So from the first flavor I introduced which is my most favorite, one can tell I am into very strong tea blends. I really enjoy strong tea flavors but if you are looking for a more lighter and heartier tea to genuinely drink during tea time with a Victoria sponge cake, this is it.
    Early Grey has a very light, fresh and slightly minty flavor. It is extremely aromatic and has a weird office-vibe to it. The taste is refreshing in a formal way and it gives you a nice breath. If you are also planning to have some tea bags in your office, Earl Grey is the one.

                                                
    Product Featured: Get Here


    Darjeeling Tea

    This is another amazing flavor to try. It is slightly similar with earl grey as it is also another very light and aromatic tea that is absolutely delicious with some gingerbread cookies or even some funfetti cookies which you can make here.
    It is originated from tea fields of Darjeeling, India and also has a slight star anise aftertaste. It will also be suitable as a tea to serve during high teas and get togethers with friends.
                                              
    Product Featured: Get Here



    This is all I have for you guys! I apologize for it to be very short but I came back from a very physically strenuous and scary camp. I even ended up getting body pains and bled my knees . This will be my last post for the month and I obviously have a lot of homework to do yet ended up writing for you lovelies! Please bear with me for the next few months and you can always follow me on my social media platforms! Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping! (I do apologize if there are typos I am having a major headache as I type this!)  

    Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
    Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla

    Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla

    Thursday, 9 June 2016

    My Summer Reading List of 2016

    Hey Guys!
    Vanilla Here.

    I am extremely happy to be posting on time! However, this may not last for so long as I am known to mysteriously disappear and come back with no legitimate reason. So I am crossing my fingers I can at least update twice this month or even thrice as I cannot guarantee posts July on wards. I already have tones of events this June and it has been quiet hectic already. Back to the post, I'm here once again with another bookworm post!

    This summer, I have compiled some books that I thoroughly enjoyed and would want to recommend to grab your hands on this summer. If you are bored for the summer and would want to engage in some bookworm action or as a bookworm you suffer from one of a bookworm's nightmare and that is being completely unsure what to read, don't fret as Vanilla's got your back! These books for once vary in genre and do not all have the same genre.


    No. 1: Scat            by Carl Hiassen
               Fiction/Thriller
    I was totally obsessed with this book back in February when I first picked it. It was a really engaging and fun book. This story is about two students who are in the class of an infamous Biology teacher named Ms Starch. There were nasty rumors spread around about her and she has a background very few were aware of. One day, a notorious boy by the name of Smoke agitates her until an incident occurs. Soon enough, the kids go on an excursion to a swamp to get caught in a sudden fire. People doubted Smoke to set it as Ms Starch goes missing. So, both these students (Nick and Marta) must uncover the reasoning behind the strange happenings and find out whether Ms Starch is alive. Though most students were happy of her not returning, the substitute teacher proves to be a wacko of some sort. Its quiet funny and very nice. It once again gives us an eye opener on certain global issues of this world in a fun and understandable way. Definitely 3 out of 5 ice cream cones despite being a bit cliche.


    No. 2: Inferno          by Dan Brown
               Mystery/Thriller
    I know, I know I am completely late to the Inferno party but I cannot help it. I featured The Da Vinci Code in my top 5 of 2015 but I could not find Inferno then. I was searching for Inferno since 2014 but only found it this year at a book fair with the hardback edition. The bookworm inside me emerged and I got it.
    I am very happy that it was worth the buy and has re-read value in my opinion. Once again Dan Brown has done his homework about the deep cultural and symbolic meanings of the beautiful city of Florence ( and a bit of Istanbul). Professor Robert Langdon from Harvard is once again in hot water as he gets chased by radicals who follow tranhumanism and finds himself in a hospital, shot in the head and unaware of what had happened. As he tries to understand what led him to Italy, he encounters many issues and gets hunted down.
    Da Vinci Code was focused on the works and everything about Leonardo Da Vinci. However, Inferno focuses mainly on Dante Alighieri and if you do not know him; you will be well aware on almost everything about him by the end of the book. Solid 2.5 out of 5 as the some parts of the ending was upsetting and not too interesting.


    No. 3: The 6th Target      by James Patterson
               Mystery/Thriller

    I hope that by now, I do not need to emphasize on my love and admiration on James Patterson and his works. He has been one of the first and most inspiring authors I was exposed to when I started reading YA. Once again, this shows how difficult it was for me to get his books of the Woman's murder club series. One of my first posts was about 4th of July, the 4th book in the series. Yet now I'm only at the 6th book in the series as it was difficult to get hold of it in my local library.
    Lindsay Boxer has to face a killer and kidnapper at the same time. A shooter suddenly comes abroad on a cruise and shoots 6 people, one of them being her closest friends. As the fight for justice on the crazy shooter is held within the hands of law, she also needs to face kidnappers who kidnap children and their nanny's, killing off the nanny and not asking for ransom of the children.
    As Lindsay struggles with the crazy happenings around town, she also needs to sort out her personal problems with her former lover as well as deal with mysterious cases of death in her friend, Cindy's apartment.
    Alot of thing occur in this book and it is quite messy to be honest. Yet James Patterson is able to harmonize them though the book gets a boring here and there, the messiness is very evident throughout the book until the ending, where everything is actually properly sorted out with a cliffhanger to end with. Sadly, this gets a 1.5 out of 5 ice cream cones :(. [Its still a great summer read if you ask me!]


    No. 4: Remembrance    by Meg Cabot
               Romace/Paranormal

    The weirdest genre combination if you ask me. However, I have not completed the book and therefore will not rate it. There are 2 reasons to it. Firstly, I had almost no time with my busy schedule (Add me on snapchat @itsmevanilla to know more about my life this June!!) and secondly, the book just weirder and more complex as I read it. I would not exactly say it is a bad book. I was just confused as it was a part of a series I have never read so I had no clue of the information and plot of the preceding books.
    Some women loves a ghost and she is getting engaged with him. She reunites with some other guy she used to be close with and finds out about him wanting to sell her old house (the one the ghost died in). Its quiet confusing as I explain. But it is not too bad as it has some humor and sarcasm to it. It is a great pick for the summer if you are feeling adventurous to try out something new.



    So that's all I have for my summer reading list. Not a lot I agree but I promise to pick up some new books this sunday. I do hope you guys subscribe to my blog (the box is at the top right hand corner) and you get to follow me on my journey of life and such!! Until next time, keep your ice cream cones dripping!!


    Snapchat: @itsmevanilla
    Instagram (request to follow please!): @itsmeevanilla
    Wattpad username: @itsmevanilla