Personalized Paper Bag

Personalized gifts have special significance. They show, you took out time and made efforts to make someone feel special.

Personalized Paper Bags for gifting

Gifting store-bought things are always an easy option. However, doing things by hand and personalizing pulls heart strings.

Having said that, personalizing gifts doesn’t need to be too fancy. It can be simple as well, and if done neatly it looks good. Also, it will be much more economical than any store-bought personalized gift.

In this post, I will show you how I transformed a boring-looking brown grocery bag into a cute gift bag.

Plain Grocery Bag for personalization

Since the occasion was baby shower I chose clothe string concept.

Step 1:

Measured the required diagonal length of red ribbon and cut it accordingly.  Applied glue and stuck it as shown.

Personalized gift bag - step1

Step 2:

Drew the desired shape on any paper and cut it. Then used that paper cutout to trace the shape on felt, and cut the required no. of shapes.

Personalized gift bag - step2

Step 3:

Pasted the felt cutouts on paper bag. As I had used small-sized (7″x9″) bags, therefore I chose three different shapes. If you have a larg bag you can accordingly plan for no. of shapes. Basically, all boils down aesthetics of the finished bag.

Personalized gift bag - step3

Added detailing to the shapes with a marker pen. I drew nozzle of bottle, wheels of carriage and buttons on dress to add prominence.

Step 4:

In order to further highlight the shapes, I then outlined the cutouts with silver glitter.

Personalized gift bag - step4

Originally, I had envisaged the personalized paper-bag till this stage. However, on completion I felt it wasn’t looking that lively and colorful as a baby shower gift bag should look. There was still some space left for adding creativity.

So, the idea of painting some stars clicked to me, but then I realized it would require too much time painting each bag, and due to time crunch it was not feasible to complete them in time.

Then I suddenly saw punch-craft tools on my table and an idea popped. I thought, small shapes (like – star, apple, leaf) in different colors when stuck on brown bag will look colorful.

Step 5:

So, without wasting any time I punched quite a no. of shapes from different colored sheets. It was fun punching these shapes, and my daughter enjoyed it too – calling out color of sheet and then giving it to me to punch it. 🙂

Personalized gift bag - step5

Step 6:

Randomly pasted the punched-out shapes on bags. Then tied red ribbons to make handles to hold the bag.  Addition of red color makes the bag more colorful. Finally, my personalized baby shower gift bags were ready to be delivered on time.

Personalized gift bag - step6

I hope this would have given you an idea how anyone can personalize a paper bag according to the occasion. Feel free to ask me questions in case of doubt. I will be more than happy to help.

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Suji and Gond ki Barfi

Third day of chaitra navratri (teej) marks the occasion of  Sindhara. It’s the day when females in the family enjoy tons of pampering by elders. It is celebrated twice in a year – around April and August (according to lunar calendar).

Suji ki Barfi

Females wear new clothes, apply heena (mehendi) on palms and enjoy their favorite food. Basically all efforts are made to make daughters and daughter-in-laws feel loved by indulging them in their favorite things.

Since, I am fond of suji and gond ki barfi, my grandmother (or maa as I call her) often makes it. She makes sure it’s made especially on the occasion of Sindhara.

Magical thing about any food preparation is they taste different when made by different people. For example, even my mom follows the same procedure, but barfi made by her tastes different from what my grandmother makes. However, I love both the versions and would anytime go overdose.

When away from our loved ones, we realize the way they shower love on us. Cooking the person’s favorite food is one of the natural ways to reflect affection. So, last week when my mom called up early in the morning and said, “beta sindhara pe kuch meetha le aana” (get some sweet from market), I missed her so much.

While I was missing her, I decided why not recreate her magical suji ki barfi. It came out pretty good, but as I said earlier different hands bring out different tastes. So, here I am sharing the confection that’s made in every Marwari household.

However, it will be apt to know something about gond (go pronounced like go) before we proceed further.

What is Gond?

Gond (or edible gum also called Tragacanth gum) is a resin that’s extracted from tree bark. It is available in crystal form of different qualities with color ranging from transparent to pale orange.

Raw Gond for Suji Barfi
Raw Gond

Being easily available in Rajasthan, it has made its way in variety of Rajasthani sweets.

It’s very healthy and preferred more in winters, as it gives warmth to body. It also helps in lactation, therefore specially given to lactating mothers. It has numerous other health benefits that you can easily find on web.

Now, let’s start with the preparation.

Ingredients

  • Semolina (suji): 1 cup
  • Mawa: 3/4 cup
  • Edible gum (gond): 1/4 cup
  • Ghee: 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom: 1 tsp
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbsp

For sugar syrup

  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • Water: ½ cup

Procedure for Sugar Syrup

  • Take sugar and water in a heavy bottom vessel, and put on medium flame. Sugar will dissolve and syrup will start boiling.
  • Let it simmer for around 15 minutes and take it off the flame and keep aside.

Procedure for Barfi

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium flame, add gond and fry on low flame. Gond will puff and turn into beautiful golden color.
Fried Gond for Suji Barfi
Fried Gond
  • Keep it aside. I like the crunchy effect. However, if you are not so fond of its stand-out taste, you can also crush it before using.
  • In the same skillet roast semolina (suji) on low flame. It will take around 10 minutes and you will notice the nice smell filling your kitchen. It means roasting is almost done.
  • Add mawa and roast for another 10 minutes. Roasting the mawa increases the shelf-life of barfis.
  • Add fried gond, cardamom powder and mix well. You will get a dry mixture as shown below.

Dry mix for Suji Barfi

  • Now add the sugar syrup to this mixture and bring everything together.
  • On a greased plate spread this mixture and with the help of ladle make it even. Sprinkle almond flakes and let it cool for some time. On cooling it will harden and you can cut it into desired shape.

Suji Barfi - Mixture spreadShould I tell that it’s ready to be served! 🙂

Suji barfi ready to be servedDo visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest.

Stopping Planning Life – Live The Moment

We are in such a habit of planning our life, that we forget that there is no surety that we would even wake up the next morning or not. Still we are always so busy planning life ahead!

Digital artwork - courtesy my husband
Digital artwork – courtesy my husband 🙂

By saying “stop planning your life”, I am not advocating being unorganized or living a reckless life. All I’m saying is, we shouldn’t spoil our present by getting too obsessed with our future.

Things happen as they are supposed to happen. Or should I say Anything can happen at anytime in our life?

Usually, disappointment and negativity creeps in our mind if wishes get delayed to become reality. However, we simply forget that wishes do become true – it’s a fact. It’s just the matter of “when”. It can happen anytime – now, tomorrow or anytime later.

Actually, most of us are aware of this. But, because of being caught-up in too much of future and imaginary thoughts, we simply overlook this fact of life.

Everything is already planned by God. My personal belief is that nothing at planning level is in our hands. All we have in our hands is our karma and we should do that sincerely.

If we are kind and good to others, good things follow us. It’s just about having faith! Let Him unfold his plans for you at the right time. In the meanwhile, love your loved ones and be affectionate towards others. Do things that give you inner peace – be it spending time in gardening or reading a good book.

What you have in your hand is your present, so live it the way you want. If you are smiling in present you will definitely keep smiling in future. If you cringe about future in present, there are hard chances you will find joy ahead!

These are just my thoughts. Do you agree with me that we should live in present?

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest.