Trending on Instagram…But so NOT Trendy!

Hi Guys,

Welcome back to another one of my articles, this one all in the name of “fun”, not meaning to offend anyone or anything! Don’t we all just love browsing on Insta thinking ‘WOW’ most of the time and then suddenly you come across something so hideous…you don’t know if you should laugh or cry or maybe its just some kind of cruel, crazy prank, someone is playing on you!

I have been busy collecting some of these fashion “Faux Pas”, in the hope of making this entertaining read for you! Some of these ‘ideas’ defy logic and are simply impractical! I hope you have a good laugh like I did and concerning the people advertising these…WELL…they say ‘bad publicity is also publicity‘ (…Hahaha)!

So here goes…..have fun!

Photo by malcolm garret on Pexels.com

LOL…So btw this is supposed to be a shoe-bag! Please tell me they were kidding when they designed this “shoe on your back” thing! Maybe this is punishment if you bunk school, you get to carry this piece of work on your back? Who knows?

WHAT????…Need I say more! Are these different coloured Crab Claws? Like even her nail polish is chipped…this has to be a joke :)! Maybe I got this one wrong and this will be the next big thing?

🙂 Ladies…don’t we love glitter, but you agree that this is kinda overkill? I wonder if they are just stuck on…what happens if they fall into your food…would this be considered a choking hazard?

OK another nail one! Nice colours but…something’s wrong! The first two couldn’t possibly use a keyboard or a smartphone, I guess! Maybe they use it as a stylus? How do they manage to clean anything around them…like seriously LOL! No comment!

Ahem!…What are these even called? If you know, then please send me a message with its name! I seriosly think that this must be some kind of safety hazard, in the ‘Driving Law’ Rules and Regulations Booklet! Love the pink cat look…or is it ? 🙂

I love jewellry, especially rings, but this is what??? I mean like seriously, do the tassles go into your food, drinks, keyboard, etc… What about the normal things like writing, cooking or washing your hands…guess you either stay away from tasks like that or you don’t buy this!

Pretty as a picture, but….what happens when you open your eyes like the rest of us! 🙂 Maybe you can still see the details at the edge of your eye-lids, or you close your eyes again…just like in the pic and keep your nails close enough to show your attention to detail with the matching colours and all! Haha!

No comment here…I don’t want to offend…really! Hope they aren’t Swarovski!

Oh, this one had a video with it, showing the buckling of these “Cowboy thingies” on your pretty neat and normal ankle books! Maybe they add a bit of sparkle and a raunchy “Cowboy….sorry Cowgirl” look to it all!

Right! You better not eat, drink, kiss, nothing after you so nicely used all these lovely rainbow colours on your lips. Extremely artistic but…..! She started with 7-8 tubes of lipstick, quite handy carrying around 8 lipstick tubes with you everywhere, in your little handbag. I can’t find or mostly forget to carry even one tube… with great difficulty, imagine carrying around 8!

I saved the best for last…! Can somebody please tell me why this is considered trendy? It is repulsively disgusting! Maybe they love seafood? This probably was a joke gone wrong…!

That’s all folks for this round of “Trending but not trendy”! Hope to catch you around for the next one. Stay tuned and thanks for joining me :)! Take care…

By Chriselda Barretto

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My Top 5 Easy-Peasy Chocolate Delights

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

You know what I find really difficult? It’s keeping up with a recipe and especially those ones that go into 3-4 pages, or with difficult-to-source ingredients, or are just overly-complicated! I don’t think I could compete on “MasterChef”…forget it :)!

I love keeping things simple so naturally I go for easy recipes as well, that create just as stunning a dish within a couple of minutes. That said, something else that we don’t have the luxury of is “time“… we don’t really have all the time in the world now do we?

So here are my top 5 Easy-Peasy Chocolate Delights. Some I sourced online, while others were handed down to me or shared. If you are as lazy as me when it comes to baking, yet to the one eating your chocolaty dish…you are going to look like an absolute pro! Promise they taste divine!

Here goes and “Happy Baking”

  1. Home-made Chocolate Ice-cream

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

 2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

  • Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, and sugar to combine. The sugar and cocoa should completely dissolve. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract
  • Refrigerate the chocolate ice cream base for at least 30 minutes before putting it in your freezer, so it is completely cold. (This will help it freeze faster, improve the texture, and allow the cocoa powder to be fully hydrated by the milk and cream)
  • Give the ice cream base one more gentle stir and freeze

Store your ice cream in an air-tight container, to help preserve its flavour and texture!

2. Simple Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate

200g butter

225g sugar

5 eggs

2 tsp. of flour

Method

  • Melt the butter and chocolate. Mix in the sugar. Crack in the eggs one at a time and mix. Add the flour, mix
  • Cook at 180C for 25-30mins

*Thank you ‘Margot’ for this delight!

3. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

125g butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup caster sugar

½ tsp. vanilla essence

1 egg

1¾ cups self-raising flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup chocolate chunks or chips

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C or 160ºC (fan) and grease or line two baking trays with baking paper
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, caster sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy, add egg and beat until mixed
  • Sift in flour and salt, mix until combined before stirring in the chocolate chunks or chips
  • Roll heaped teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on tray, press down lightly with a floured fork. Bake for approx. 12 minutes

4. Chocolate Molleux Cake

Ingredients

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup flour

A pinch of salt

½ cup butter, softened

4 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat oven to 160°C
  • Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups or use any individual moulds that you have. If you are using ramekins, brush the insides with melted butter
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, flour, salt and eggs and stir briskly until mixed. Put the butter and chocolate in a double boiler and melt, stirring frequently until melted. Let cool slightly and pour into the first mixture and beat until blended. Stir in the vanilla
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling half full. Bake for about 15 minutes, but don’t over-bake. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack

5. Easiest Choco Mousse

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

3 large eggs, separated

50g caster sugar

softly whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Method

  • Place the chocolate and 120ml of water in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water – the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Heat gently, stirring, until the chocolate is melted
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks with a wooden spoon until well combined
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture
  • Spoon the mousse into individual dishes and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with softly whipped cream (optional)

Recommendations:

Most of these recipes are simple enough to do the whisking by hand, but what I use, and what makes it so much more easier is investing in a good hand mixer like the one shown below. It is so handy to have around and an extremely good buy!

KitchenAid – Ultra Power Hand Mixer

KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red

Thanks for joining me. Stay tuned for more of my upcoming lists and articles, especially for my follow-up articles around “Chocolate”. See you soon!

BY CHRISELDA BARRETTO

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Review of my book – “Must Love Poetry”

Chriselda Barretto
Independently Published (2019)
ISBN 9789463881104
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views

“Must Love Poetry,” by Chriselda Barretto is an eclectic collection of topics expressed in well written poetry. Topics range from Nature, Spirituality, the Universe…you name it and it is within these pages in some shape, or form. When I first saw that this poetry collection was 290 pages, I hesitated a little as this collection had only one author and other poetry books I have read of this size were always multi-author anthologies. I decided to read it like I read the anthologies…in different sittings without paying attention to the table of contents. I found that although I could identify the author’s voice in all the poems, each poem felt totally different than the next one. Each one was well written – some free style, some rhyme more than others, all spoke of different topics, and each expressed a distinct feel. Some of my favorites, to name a few, (although I loved the entire repertoire) are: ‘Soar,’ ‘From Mother to Son,’ ‘The Statue and The Tower,’ ‘Mind Me,’ and the one that really stayed with me, ‘Dark Pearl.’

Barretto has mastered multiple forms of poetry, but her talent of expression is what impressed me the most. To be able to share feelings and provoke thoughts about such a range of topics in one collection is remarkable. I liked the fact that she presented her work in no apparent sequence. This always kept me curious, wondering what the next one would be about, and how it would affect my mind and heart. Would it linger in my thoughts? Would it touch a moment within my life? Would it be about something I haven’t even thought about? Below is a short example to show how the author’s work is not only mind and heart stimulating…but also visually.

‘Dishonest

Living in an age

of dishonesty

Surviving a rage

of pre-occupational hazardry

Collect your thoughts

and reinforce your mental imagery

For this world is the biggest asset

of evolution for humanity!’

I loved “Must Love Poetry” by Chriselda Barretto and consider it a five-star book of poetry for this era. Definitely a must-read for all poetry lovers!

Link to “Must Love Poetry”

Artist Feature #5 – Natasha Lalla

ART-IS-IN by Chriselda Barretto

About Natasha Lalla

Natasha Lalla has been painting for over two decades. She has developed a distinct style of her own, which involves painting with her fingers. The artist has never owned a paintbrush and makes use of vivid colours to create stunningly abstract pieces that unleash a host of creative and universal energies.

Natasha’s use of colour and her unique style of painting is unmatched. She has a deep understanding of how colours impact one’s overall sense of well-being!

In the Artist’s own words: “Colours have healing properties and the method of treatment that uses the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases is called chromo therapy. A centuries-old concept used successfully over the years.”

Natasha Lalla

Hello Natasha, could you tell our readers a little bit about who you are?

I do not know where to begin about my journey.  I think it started as a child.  I just knew I was different and my unconscious would reveal to me what I should do and as I grew up I just learnt to trust it totally. Complete surrender is what gives me this unique gift to do what I do.  I have had no formal training in art but just a love for it since childhood.

I have never been a religious person but a spiritual being. I also believe there are no coincidences in life.

Horizon IV – 89cm x 94cm – Acrylic on Canvas

Tell us about your art style or process?

My canvas is my smorgasbord where I unleash a host of creative and universal energies.  Abstraction in acrylic is what I derive in my paintings which to a lame-eye can be summed up as exuberant harvests of blending colours and finger strokes. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

Painting in free form, stream of consciousness is a form of artistic meditation that reflects the style. I have a unique way of reflecting spiritual and sublime experiences by expressing images from my subconscious onto canvas by swirling finger strokes.

Horizon XXIV – 97cm x 143cm – Acrylic on Canvas

Natasha, are there other artists/role-models or books that have played a key role on your artistic journey?

Kandinsky, one of the first abstract painters, was keenly interested in colour in art and developed many theories on the properties of colour in art and how they are best used. Many traditions and cultures, such as Chinese, Ayurvedic, Theosophist and ancient Greek and Egyptians believe in the healing power of colours, based on the effect their vibrations have on the body and mind. I have a vivid use of colours.

My gallerist and curator Jalpa H. Vithalani draws a parallel of my art style to be something on the lines of the famed artist Rassoulli; whose work has been quoted as “The little realities we can’t see or the art that dances… without dancers”.

Artist Natasha Lalla with Jalpa H Vithalani, Creative Head and Director, Cosmic Heart Gallery

Wow! That is an impressive comparison. How did you learn/acquire this technique?

My technique is completely self taught and it keeps evolving.

How has art impacted your life?

For me painting is a form of artistic meditation. I feel it is important for people to see the artist through the works. Painting centres me and bring peace and balance into my life.

The recent most exciting development, was that Cosmic Heart Gallery was invited to participate in Art Bahrain Across Borders, Bahrain’s International Art Fair. This was under The Patronage of Her Royal Highness, Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife Of His Majesty The King Of Bahrain. Cosmic Heart Gallery was one of the 16 international galleries which had a presence.

My gallerist chose to commemorate the work of two Indian artists at this prestigious exhibition and I was one of them.  I understand that my work was widely appreciated there and is even with the royal family in Bahrain. 

Horizon XIII – 112cm x 86cm – Acrylic on Canvas

That must have truly been an unforgettable experience for you. An achievement actually! What is your current WIP?

I just got in a fresh lot of colours and expanded my pallete and created a beautiful blue and gold work. I always send in images to Jalpa, as I am in the process of creation. This somehow stimulates me and encourages me, to get to my next level each time. I value her feedback and input. She always remarks that this is my work and your gallery.

Horizon XXVIII – 234cm x 110cm – Acrylic on Canvas

What does the future look like for you and your art?

I am completely in the moment, but when you ask me this question I would say the future looks bright. Cosmic Heart Gallery and I share a common vision of bringing beautiful and affordable art into people’s homes. So many people can not only appreciate my paintings, but also afford to buy them. God has been kind and Cosmic Heart Gallery has hosted seven solo shows of my work and curated my art in twelve group exhibitions in a period of seven years. My work has reached people around the world.

Do you have any words of advice that you would like to share with aspiring artists?

Believe in yourself and trust the process. I have been lucky to find a gallery and curator who understands my work and believes in my talent. There is huge synchronicity in the way we work together.


*A remark from ‘Cosmic Heart Gallery‘ Creative Head and Director – Jalpa H. Vithalani on Artist Natasha Lalla!

“It is an absolute delight to watch Natasha create one of her signature pieces with her fingers. This is one in a million artists who does not own a brush.”

How can my readers contact you or find your art?

Readers can contact me on my gallery facebook page, my personal page or instagram handle @natashalalla

They can come and see my works at Cosmic Heart Gallery, New Marine Lines.

Readers can read more on – http://www.cosmicheartgallery.info/artists/NL/natashalalla.html

View artworks on – http://www.cosmicheartgallery.info/artists/NL/natashalalla_artworks.html

Natasha Lalla

An Artist Feature by Chriselda Barretto

USE THE CODE “CHRISELDA” & GET 15% OFF NATASHA’S WORK AT ‘COSMIC HEART GALLERY’

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Contact : Chriselda Barretto

Check out more projects by Chriselda Barretto :

Her Blog – chriselda.blog

Her Podcast – The 3 Pillars

Her Books

The Dig

ART-IS-IN