A visit to Allmend, Frauenfeld

When Mike suggested we go for a walk on a warm lazy Sunday afternoon, I gave into the idea, but not without a tough fight, as I had to pull myself away from the book I was reading.

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But as we neared Allmend, I had to admit I felt glad to be out and about.

We drove from Dachsen to Diessenhofen, before stopping at Allmend. Located in the region of Frauenfeld (in the canton Thurgau), Allmend is a Natural Habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Hedges interlink different habitats like dry meadows and forests while the river Thur (which gives the name to the Canton, Thurgau) cuts through the landscape.

Different species of birds, amphibians and reptiles make this region their home. Apparently this area is full of Beavers. Though we couldn’t spot any, their presence was evident in many trees, which were gnawed upon so much that they were ready to come crashing down!  Some of them already had fallen, creating dams.

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According to some reports on the Allmend, between 1999 and 2005, more than 800 arenas (the size of 15 football fields) were restored. Some of the barren meadows were sown with native flowering plants, and the rest were planted with different species. However, sadly, due to the recent climatic changes, there has been a strong decline in the flora and fauna. But the Canton is doing its best to protect them.

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We walked around for an hour or so. There weren’t many visitors that day. I wonder whether they allow folks to have picnics or barbecues in the premises. It was very surprising to see the area so clean and well-maintained, even though there were no supervisors around.

Allmend is a fun spot where the whole family can have a great time walking, playing and exploring, while kids can learn a lot about nature. I highly recommend going there to enjoy and appreciate the tranquility and to soak up the beauty around….

Love,

Madhurya

“What we are ………….” Wednesday! (February 22, 2017)

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Reading: “Under a Cornish Sky”  by Liz Fenwick.
Watching: Nothing specific. Just Random comedy shows.
Eating: Pizza!!!
Making: Plans for our long weekend in March.
Wishing for: A beautiful sunny week.
Learning: To manage work and home efficiently, especially when it comes to cooking.
Thinking: That it is a wonderful life!
Listening: To all the adventures Mike had on his trip to Panama.
Loving: That the weekend is not too far!!
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading: “After the Night” by Linda Howard and enjoying the ride!
Watching: a movie tonight, any random movie, until whatever time it takes to finish it. There’s no need to get up early tomorrow as exams are finally over! YAY!
Eating: Cool Foods- mostly Cereal with lots of fruits and cold milk. Yummm!!! It’s getting so hot lately.
Making: Plans to go shopping.
Wishing for: a nice long nap in the afternoon.
Learning: to let go of things that are not on my top priority list right now.
Thinking: Of unwinding with my friends, sipping Masala Chai, while the kids have a good time with their own buddies.
Listening: To this and feeling strong and confident. The hymn invokes Goddess Shakti, calling her by different names, all the names given to girls of Indian Origin, including my name. And when I listen to this hymn, with the music given by none other than the maestro, A. R. Rahman, I feel like a Goddess myself. Now, please don’t laugh. Don’t get me wrong too. I don’t consider myself powerful or invincible or as good as the great Goddess herself. I simply am not. Period.
I just feel like we all have this Goddess within us, each one of us, who is mostly hibernating. And I think we need to nurture her, wake her up and bring her out, to shine some light on the World, Just as we chant prayers to invoke the true Goddess Shakti.
I hope this makes sense.
Loving: having long sunny days ahead with nowhere to go and nothing big to do.
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.

A Baby Shower for my Sister-in-law

Last weekend I held a Baby shower for my sister-in-law at our home.  It is not a typical Swiss tradition, but I thought why not? I’d felt bad that I could not  do it when she was having her first child, so this time I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.

We decided to make it a surprise party for her. So instead of telling her that she was going to have a baby shower, we simply asked her and my brother-in-law to join us for dinner!!

I’d planned to have a girls-only party, but since I knew very few of her friends, I decided to have a “Family only” gathering.

So after deciding on the date, I researched some online websites where I could buy the party materials to decorate our home. After a lot of searching, I found this , this and this.

I bought a pretty tableware, a banner, honeycomb balls, balloons, paper plates, cups and napkins and a few gifts. Mike and I had so much fun decorating our home.

We made Cheesy garlic bread for appetizer and for main course yummy enchiladas. For dessert we ordered a customized cake from this bakery (Trust me it was really yum!!).

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The best part of the evening was their reaction to the arrangements as they entered our home. It was a real treat to watch their surprised faces, full of smiles! Well, it was all worth the effort we put in! My Sister-in-law found it hard to believe that we’d worked so hard to make her feel special!

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I loved hosting this special day for my sister-in-law and  can’t wait for the arrival of this sweet baby into our family!

Cheers,

Madhurya.

“What we are ………….” Wednesday! (February 15, 2017)

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Watching: Kapil Sharma show and Koffee with Karan.
Eating: Some nice South Indian foods like “puliyogre” and “bisi bele bath”.
Making: Decorations for my sister in law`s baby shower.
Wishing for: My husband to come home safely from his trip.
Learning: To cook more easy and quick recipes.
Thinking: About ways to keep myself busy this week without my husband.
Listening:  to some old Kannada songs.
Loving: The warmth of the sun pouring through my office window.
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading: “Thea Stilton and the Journey to the Lion’s Den” to Medha and “Where Animals Live” to Madhav.
Watching: Medha try to read a book by herself. She’s getting better and better at it. Sadly, Madhav doesn’t like being read to by his big sister! He only prefers his mama’s stories.
Eating: Anything I can get my hands on, which isn’t a good habit, I know! But what to do!?! I’ve been feeling so hungry lately! Change of weather, maybe? Oh no no! It’s absolutely not what you are thinking!
I’ll have to prepare some healthy snacks for the whole family, so that we don’t resort to munching on junk, like we normally do!
Making: Medha memorize Multiplication tables! Oh God!
Wishing for: a Coffee and Cake Date with my husband.
Learning: how not to let anybody bring me down. Like I’ve said before, Meditation really helps. Plus,  a poor memory makes it easier to forget and forgive! 🙂
Thinking: about my new haircut and what my friends told me about it- “Please don’t let it grow long! You look so young with short hair!” How sweet! And I do feel like a new woman- a bit more confident about myself! 🙂 I wonder what it is about a haircut and the boost in confidence!
Listening: to this and wanting to have a good cry, not because I’m sad or anything. It just feels like the right thing to do, sort of like casting a burden aside. It is just so calming!
Loving: this blog as I’m spending more time with it. As they say, Long Distance Relationships are really hard; The longer I stay away from my blog, the harder it is for me to get back to it and show it some TLC. We hope to stay more connected…
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.
 

Grilled Eggplant Rolls

 

I had 3 large eggplants in my refrigerator (???) and I was not in a mood to cook a South- Indian eggplant curry. So I googled a nice recipe for a spicy eggplant dish.

Thanks to pinterest, I found many options, but I chose to make this.

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The recipe was quite simple; however I made a few modifications.

  • First of all, I am not an adept culinary artist, so my eggplant slices were thicker than expected.

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  • In the sauce, instead of fresh parsley I used dried ones as I did not have fresh ones at home, but it tasted amazing nevertheless

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  • For the filling, instead of spinach (which I did not have at home, of course. Now don’t you dare laugh wondering why I bought 3 large eggplants, of all the veggies! I have no clue myself!). I used other veggies like peppers, carrots. You can toss in any veggie of your choice. I mixed some cumin powder and chili powder to add some spice to the dish.

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  • Instead of rolling the eggplants, I placed one layer of eggplant slices at the bottom of the tray (as the slices were a bit thicker, it was difficult to roll them), next, a layer of veggie filling. I grated some parmesan cheese over it and again placed the rest of the eggplant slices on top, then spread the sauce all over and finished it off with another sprinkle of the cheese.

And guess what, it tasted really yum! Pictures don’t do much justice though!

Do try to make it at home and let me know if you liked it.

Love,

Madhurya.

 

“What we are ………….” Wednesday!

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Reading: I just finished Eleanor and Park and started reading my favorite, Agatha Christie`s murder mystery “Taken at the Flood”.
Watching: the weather get better slowly, the “Big bang theory series” when i need a laugh and the pictures of my nieces and nephew.
Eating: whatever possible 🙂
Making: my next crochet project. I guess I will finish it in 2 weeks.
Wishing for: a stress-free work life.
Learning: to be more patient and relaxed. And to be thankful for what I have in my life.
Thinking: about my next visit to Dubai and meeting my entire family 🙂
Listening: to the “tap tap” of my computer keypad and the “yakety yak” of my colleagues talking.
Loving: my husband, my parents, my sis and bro, my very sweet nieces and nephew, and my life 🙂
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading:“The Woman on the Orient Express”, by Lindsay Jayne Ashford on my e-reader.
Watching: Madhav looking at his baby pictures and giggling away.
Eating: A slice of eggless Banana and Chocolate cake I baked.
Making:a list of post ideas, so I can be more consistent in posting.
Wishing for:a bit more time from our busy schedule to visit a store called, Chunari, an Indian Wear store, about which I’ve heard such good things!
Learning: more about myself with each passing day, as I’ve committed to meditating and journaling every single day.
Thinking: about how my sister and I would study all the time and our mom had to ask us to stop!
Listening: to MS Subbulakshmi’s Vishnu Sahasranamam on Gaana.com
Loving:my busy, everyday life.
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.

Chaplin’s World, Vevey

I don’t know if it was the love for his movies or the charisma he brought into the film industry or just the sheer romance for the classics (which I inherited from my dad), that when I read the news that a Charlie Chaplin Museum, “Chaplin`s World” had opened in Vevey, in the French part of Switzerland, I decided to go.

After Charlie Chaplin presented his film, “Limelight”, on a European tour, he was denied re-entry into the US because of McCarthyism. And so, he decided to settle down in Vevey, along with his fourth and last wife Oona O’Neill Chaplin and their children. The family stayed in the Manoir du Ban in Corsier. It was in this mansion, built in the neoclassical style and set in a vast park that Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life. He died there at the age of 88 in 1977. It has now been converted into a museum.

It took us almost 2 and a half hours to reach Vevey from Winterthur by train. From the train station there is a bus which takes you directly to the Chaplin Museum.
The entrance to the Museum costs – 24CHF for adults (from 16 years) and 18CHF for children (from 6 to 15 years).

The mansion and the 14-hectare park with unobstructed views of the Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) provide insight into the everyday life of the Chaplins. An exhibition hall has been built nearby as a mock-up of a Hollywood studio focusing on Chaplin’s movie work. Apparently this museum took around 15 years of planning before it came into life.

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As you enter the mansion, a wax figure of Chaplin warmly welcomes you inside. A Family tree of the Chaplins and their lives are depicted on the walls. Visitors can walk throughout the huge mansion into the living room, dining room and library, where Chaplin used to write his autobiography and prepare scripts.

Chaplin’s World features (both inside the mansion and the studio) around 30 wax figures created by the Grevin wax museum in Paris. These include lifelike models of Chaplin, his wife Oona, actors and actresses from his films, and friends like Albert Einstein, as well as artists inspired by his work such as Michael Jackson, Woody Allen and Federico Fellini.

Out of all the rooms, I loved best the library (Ofcourse!). Big wooden shelves carried immense number of books. I could imagine myself sitting by the window with a beautiful view outside and enjoying a nice cup of coffee while reading. A second room next to the library was decorated with clippings about Chaplin`s achievements and stories from newspapers. It just seemed like the design of every room was thought through carefully and each furniture setting and the decorative item was handpicked with care. After walking around the mansion, we took a stroll into the beautiful garden soaking as much sun as we could.

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Inside the studio, we were shown a short movie about Charlie Chaplin and glimpses of scenes from his best movies. By the end of this film, the screen opened itself for us to walk through. Walking through the 16-metre-high studio, fans can learn about Chaplin’s early humble beginnings in London and his meteoric rise to become one of the biggest names in the film industry at the age of 26. With the recreated sets and embedded film screens inside the studio, visitors can experience what it was like to stroll down “Easy Street” or be in a cabin teetering on the edge of a cliff, like in Gold Rush, or sit on the barber’s chair from “The Great Dictator” or view the restaurant where he dined in “The Immigrant”.

In a narrow room resembling a Swiss bank vault, some of the iconic objects associated with Chaplin’s work are on display, including his bowler hat and cane of his Little Tramp character, the certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II when Chaplin was knighted in 1975 and his awards.

I think this has been one of the best experiences I have had so far in Switzerland. I was so in awe the first time that I decided to bring my parents along when they visited. And guess what, they too had a great time!

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Love,

Madhurya.