DIY Pumpkin Treats For This Halloween

Halloween is knocking on your doorstep and the tradition of having a Jack-O-Lantern must be maintained. But this year, you can add your own twist to these pumpkin decors. Traditionally, it has always been a glowing pumpkin with sinister- looking eyes and mouth carved out of it. With Change being constant in this world and everyone going through a transformation, this age- old Jack-O-Lanterns can also get a transformation. Don’t you think so? Have a look at these simple DIY Pumpkin Décor Ideas for Halloween this year.

1.Pumpkin Table Decors

You can have few small fake pumpkins. Make a cut halfway through both the sides. Take a black paper and cut out shapes of bat wings. Insert these shapes in the cut out edges of the pumpkin. Alternatively, you can try it with a huge pumpkin and present it to your guests (for dinner). Further, you can actually slice off the top of the pumpkin so that you get a hollow basket of sorts where you can put in some treats and chocolates for the children.

2. Shadow Pumpkin Bat Trails

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Take two pumpkins. Colour one white and the other black. Cut out some bat shapes from white and black papers. Paste black bat shapes on white pumpkins and vice versa. Now you will be left with Bats on a Pumpkin!

3. Painted Pumpkin House.

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Paint a house on the pumpkin with black paint and make sure you distinctly highlight the windows and doors. Fit in lights inside the pumpkin. Now you have your own Glowing House. You can also create few more of these painted house pumpkins and position them nearby forming your own Glowing Pumpkin city.

4. Mummy Pumpkin

(https://goo.gl/AKMUJL)

Take a Pumpkin and wrap it with white bandage so that it resembles an Egyptian mummy. Take artificial eyes and glue them onto the bandage. With a black marker draw a small mouth. Now your Pumpkin Mummy is all ready!

5. The Masked Pumpkin.

(https://goo.gl/u0XjYG)

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Take a magazine or a newspaper and cut out eyes in proportion of your pumpkin. Take a black cardboard / chart paper and cut out the shape of an eye mask. Glue the eyes on to the pumpkin. Then paste the mask cut out. Decorate the mask with sequins, stars, glitters, feather sticks etc. You can also paste elastic from the mask extending to the back to make it look like a real mask. Cut out lips from a magazine or draw them onto the pumpkin to complete your Masked Pumpkins.

I have personally tried some of these ideas. They are simple yet effective decors for this Season. This being my first Halloween , I want to keep it  simple yet something that goes well with the theme and off course should not consume much time and materials.

Do try some of these ideas and let me know if they worked for you.

More until next time!

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FRAMEROLLZ: A SCENIC BEAUTY

As told before,  every month I would try to publish a post which would have only photographs based on a certain theme. Well, this months post is based on the scenery of the city. These shots have been taken at different places and during different times of the day. The beautiful colours of the Autumn adds a special touch to the scene which , makes it look almost like a painting.

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Taken outside the City Council, Manchester , this particular empty bench signifies a lot of things. With cold winds blowing outside and the golden beige leaves of the chestnut lining the surroundings the empty bench signifies a vast space of emptiness amidst the hustle and bustle of the city life .

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To be very honest, this is a random photograph taken out of the window of a bus. I would probably not be able to tell you which place was it taken in, but all I know is that red bulbs in the green foliage adds colour to the mundane white and brownish background.

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Taken right outside the Museum of Industry and Science on a beautiful evening, this photograph captures the various colours of leaves (on and off the trees) amidst a residential locality.

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Chapel Street, is not only a historic place in Manchester but it is right outside the University of Salford. It is said that Chapel Street was the first street to inaugurate street lights in the city.

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Taken outside another random locality, the contrast between the sharp orange, red and brownish colours against a much lighter greenish-grey background stands up well in portraying the beauty of this place.

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A path that leads to somewhere (I am not sure where though). I just liked the way it curves around  at a distance making you wonder what it holds for you beyond the horizon on the other side.

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Life can survive anywhere in this world. This photo taken near a barren construction site reminds me of the beauty of nature and the power of life to be able to survive anywhere making the most barren place , a beauty to look at.

Invitations for Christmas Markets

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Christmas holds a special place in everybody’s lives. Preparation for Christmas starts at least a month before the actual date. A long list of gifts and presents to be bought for near and dear ones is prepared. Most importantly you try to take some time off from your busy schedules to visit the lovely Christmas markets which run for a month starting in November. These Christmas markets are a treat to the eyes. From eatery stalls to lovely home-made xmas décor stalls- everything is found under one roof. This year the popular Christmas Arts and Crafts market is accepting application for opening your own stall. Want more details ? Read on. . . . .

Where?

St. Clements church

When?

28 November 11 am -4:30 pm

How?

All you have to do to get a stall is write to the organisers with a purpose statement of putting up your items within 50 words. There is availability of stalls outside the venue too. However, the stall owners would be responsible for protection of their stalls against the uncertain weather conditions.

Deadline?

The deadline for submitting your statement of purpose is 23rd October 2015. All those submitting their SOP are likely to get a message of confirmation by the 31st of October and by 10th of November a payment of £30 per stall needs to be made.

Additional Information

  1. The products that are to be sold must be strictly hand-made or hand-crafted.
  2. Since only the ground floor of the church is available for the market, there is a space crunch. While it is easier to get a stall outside, those getting a stall inside will be decided after close examination of all the statements received. This is done to accommodate without compromising the quality and standards of the market products.
  3. Tables are not provided in this event. So stall owners should be ready to arrange for tables on their own.
  4. The proceeds of this event would be solely going to charity and for the next year’s event.
  5. For more information and additional queries you can always check their official site at http://www.chorltonartsfestival.com/news/christmas-arts-and-crafts-market-application/

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Christmas is a festival of joy and giving and it certainly would do some good to gift hand made items to near and dear ones. So all those youngsters out there who have artistic talent and would like to share some of it with the people to make this festival all the more special for them, this is your chance!

Four Cannot-Miss QuickMeals

Life in Manchester is very fast paced. In this tempo sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves and thus our daily balanced diet is disturbed. Of course, there are also those who want to diet and remain in shape. But that is no excuse for missing daily meals. That is why I bring to you four Quick Meals which can be prepared without much hassle and are tasty and long lasting. These meals are very healthy and contain a balanced diet which an adult human being would require. The ingredients are easy to find and always available in the kitchen.

KIMCHI SLAW

Requires you to only toss and mix red cabbage / green cabbage, vinegar and sugar. For those who want to include other vegetables like juliennes of carrots, potatoes, turnips, radish or even chopped potatoes are most welcome to experiment with it. It is recommended to garnish with some coriander/mint/parsley leaves.

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GREEN SALAD

Use toasted sesame seeds or toast the seeds instantly during your cooking time. Keep it aside in a plate until needed.  In a pan heat groundnut oil (or olive oil according to your choice) and garlic. Add the pak-choi and spinach with a little water. You can also put in more greens like broccoli, lettuce, cabbage and the like. Stir till the spinach has wilted and the pak choi is properly cooked. Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.

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MINI PIZZAS

Heat olive oil (or groundnut oil) in a pan. Add Kale, red chilli (roundly sliced), green chilli (roundly sliced) and fry for 1-2 minutes. Take pizza breads and layer it with sliced cheese or grated cheese. Put the kale fry on top of it. (Add more cheese if you want to) Put it in a pre-heated oven and bake for 5 min. Voila your mini pizzas are ready to eat!

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SPICED CHICKPEAS SALAD

Soak chickpeas overnight in a bowl of water. Take a bowl and add in olive oil. Put some paprika sauce, horseradish sauce, soya sauce to make it spicier (depends on your palette). Add in the chickpeas and give it a nice toss. Sprinkle sugar or add in a little honey if you think the chickpeas are too spicy. Now enjoy a nice chickpea salad by adding in cucumber, onions, tomatoes and lettuce. You can serve it in a bowl or even in little paper cones.

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These four recipes are very quickly made and does not need the knowledge of state of art cooking. Anyone who does not cook regularly can cook these meals. Moreover those who love cooking can experiment with these as and when they get time. If you are bored of seeing the same food in your canteen then you can try to get some of these cooked from home. Recipes like the MINI PIZZA and SPICED CHICKPEAS SALAD can even work well in a cocktail party or in a lazy evening when you boycott work and want to chill out with friends. These can also be made in bulk and carried as picnic foods.

If you have more such QuickMeals in your mind, do share them with us.

Signing off until next time!

Calling Photo-voters for the 2016 Calendar

Photography is a mixture of both art and science.

It is the capturing of a moment in time.

It is the reflection of one’s vision on digital frames.

It is also the beauty of time, space, people and place.

This very beauty has been reflected by the final photographs that have been selected by the Manchester Evening News as their finalists to make an appearance in the next year’s calendar. Some of the photographs are stunningly beautiful and define the very essence of the city. The images reflect the myriad hues that the city basks in every morning and night.

All these images are winners in themselves and each photographer deserves praise for their perfect capturing of the moment. But as a year has only 12 months, only the top voted pictures would make it to the final.

Wondering which images would be featured? Well, it is time that you stop wondering and start playing your part in the making of the calendar. Your vote can actually decide which photographs would feature in the calendar. Moreover, you could get a chance to get a free calendar by collecting tokens.

Voting lines are open only till the 22 of October 2015. So do not waste a moment and start voting for your favourite images at http://goo.gl/ZW3jlW.

I would end this post with a photo that was taken by me with the promise that more photos would be coming in the days to come.

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Manchester : City of the Youths

Every time I have heard people discussing about Manchester, football has remained the prominent topic. Manchester United Football Team is the most loved team amongst the youths all over the world. In fact, those waiting for me back home are probably more anxious to get Manchester United goodies than knowing about my life abroad.

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Although ManU is a privilege that most of my friends are denied of, I would not agree more to the fact that Manchester is beyond ManU. It is a city with a heart that is immortally youthful considering the young population of the city. The city lives for the youngsters and has been progressing due to the developments envisioned by them.

The younger lot of this city constitutes a cosmopolitan group making it a pot-pouri of cultures and traditions. With such diversity in the youngsters the variety of interests are also diverse. From music, literature, theatre, films to charity organisational events, food, religious festivals, youth festivals – there is a lot to catch up on.

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But with so many events it becomes really difficult to keep a tap on what’s going around the city. This blog aims and hopes to inform its readers about some of the events that would interest the heart of the city.

Do look out for interesting things to do in the future.