First time decorating the Christmas Tree

DĂ©cor, Events & Experiences, Lifestyle

Hey Loves, welcome back to my BLOG.

This was definitely the most challenging XMAS scene I have ever directed, staged and starred in 😄😄, BUT it’s the one I will remember forever. First time decorating a Christmas Tree. We wish all those who are celebrating a magical day filled with love, happiness & lots of presents Xxx

 

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BUSINESS INQUIRIES Email: sanchali@sancsuum.com ♄

Meditation and Stillness – How to create the perfect Zen Space

DĂ©cor, Lifestyle, Menu

Your home should really be your one safe space – the place you feel safe, relaxed and calm, like a haven of tranquility that you can escape to after a long day. Erratic and stressful times make it increasingly difficult to find stillness and relaxation in our lives, one of the few options left is to create a peace haven in the comfort of our own home.

Motivating yourself to stick with a home practice can be challenging. With an inviting zen space, however, you may be more likely to sit down and find your breath for a few minutes each day. This space could be a room, or simply a corner, where you can meditate, practice breathing techniques, or just take some quiet me time – listen to some soothing music, read your favorite books/magazines, sip a quiet cup of coffee or just breathe.

If you have an empty corner in your home, you’re just a few steps away from creating a space that will encourage home practice and daily meditation, allowing you to be more relaxed, balanced and stress-free every day.

In this post, I’ll be giving you my tips on how to create a Zen space in your home and sharing some products from my zen space that will optimize the corner for your complete mental repose. Here are a few things to look for:

Mermaid Goddess Shrine/Altar

Keep your space minimal: This is the one space in your house that you MUST leave clutter free and tidy. It is really important that you never feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that’s in there. Keep it tidy, airy, and don’t put anything in there that you don’t feel is necessary for your sense of calm and relaxation.

Set the Mood: When you step into a yoga studio, a sense of calm immediately washes over you. That’s not by accident — typically, a studio has turned on soft-playing music and adjusted the lighting to enhance relaxation. Bring these same ideas into your zen space to create a peaceful ambiance. When choosing the room, pay attention to natural lighting as well. For instance, a room that has a lot of natural light will instantly enhance your mood.

Nature: Bringing nature into your space will optimize your relaxation so much – being surrounded by natural elements has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety as it helps to ground us back to the earth. Firstly, you can invest in some houseplants for greenery. It’s also a good idea to incorporate some woven products or decorations, which is also a key element of nature. Lastly, you may want to invest in some kind of water feature like mine (Mermaid Goddess Shrine/Altar with beach sand, stones, shells, coral, candles) – they are calming to look at.

Fragrance: A must-have product for a Zen space is fragrance or aromatherapy. Candles are a great way of incorporating aromatherapy into your Zen space – the glow creates a feeling of warmth and again by choosing scented candles such as lavender and lemongrass, you get to feel all the aromatherapy benefits. Diffusing some essential oils can make a huge difference in your mood and feeling of wellbeing. The diffuser will also help clean and purify the air in the space which will help it feel airier.

Make it comfortable: While it’s important to keep your Zen space free from clutter, it’s important to make it feel as comfortable as possible for you. Invest in some throw and cushions – play about with their texture, opt for fluffy ones, velvet, whatever will make your space feel Insta-Hygge. You can also incorporate some blankets, either for decoration or to wrap up in. Weighted blankets are proven to reduce anxiety, and they feel like a hug in a blanket! Rugs or mats can really complete the space and make it feel more cozy, especially if the floor in the space is a cold laminate or tile.

So there is your ultimate guide on how to create a Zen space in your home! I hope I have been able to offer some inventiveness and ideas. Let me know if you have a calm space in your home, and if so what makes it calm?

Enjoy your Zen moment!

Lots of love

Sanchali x

Eat Well, Travel Better – Photo Gallery

Travel and Food

All my photos organised and easy to find..

Shared some of my favorite shots taken in the last twelve months. These may not be the best shots I’ve taken but they are a small selection of my favorite ones. Got more photos in the external hard drive, will continue to update them. Click on “Eat Well, Travel Better – Photo Gallery” for the photos.

Xoxo

CafĂ© CHANTILLY – the French experience in Bahrain

DĂ©cor, Travel and Food

CafĂ© CHANTILLY brings a little piece of France in Bahrain with a charming, modern and contemporary space. Located in Sar area in Bahrain, to the west of the capital, Manama, this place makes you feel like you are in an actual cafe in France. The menu is no exception, with dishes and desserts that are so artisanal, they’re almost too pretty to eat.

From the moment you enter CafĂ© CHANTILLY, there’s no denying the French touch. The antique French contemporary furniture, plush textures, pieces, creative patterns and glistening lamps and chandeliers are artistic and inviting.

Highlights of my visit to the cafe:

CafĂ© CHANTILLY is the kind of place you’ll meet old friends and catch up over an artisanal cup of coffee. Inspiring, calming and beautiful; the space appeals to creative and passionate individuals.

The interiors of CafĂ© CHANTILLY are a whimsical curation of contemporary, modern and Provençal pieces. It’s evident SĂ©golĂšne (Director & Owner, CafĂ© CHANTILLY & CHANTILLY Food) has added her personal touch to the more traditional items, reinvented them and given them new purpose. With the music and splashes of color and patterns, the space is full of life and happiness.

More about the Cafe:

Address: Villa 1842, Road 3374, Block 533, Al Markh, Sar, Bahrain

☎ 33310987 – 17200071

Hours: 

Wednesday 8AM–10PM
Thursday 8AM–11PM
Friday 8AM–11PM
Saturday 8AM–10PM
Sunday 8AM–10PM
Monday 8AM–10PM
Tuesday 8AM–10PM

Instagram: www.instagram.com/chantilly_bh/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chantilly.bh/

 

North East at its finest, Vivanta By Taj – Guwahati

Hotel, Travel and Food

THAT’S A WRAP. Thank you all for your support! I loved this blog. Loved shooting it, loved writing it, loved coordinating, contributing, and loved reading it as it held an emotional aspect – going back to the place you grew up in is a really weird mix of feelings. But truth be told, it was a lot of work, I was on the road a lot, daily keeping up with the motherhood tasks all while trying to post 1 fortnightly article and update the older ones.

On this vacation, I wanted to make the most of my time exploring the luxury destinations and dishes in my city. So, I bring to you my lavish and exclusive experience at the dreamy Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati. Taj group of hotels epitomize royalty, luxury & elegance and Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati offers a unique flavour of hospitality with world-class refinement while remaining deeply rooted in its local heritage.

I visited the hotel on the very busy Saturday afternoon. Upon arrival, I was welcomed with the offering of a Gamusa/Gamosa/Gamocha (a white hand-woven piece of cloth of cotton or silk, with red woven patterns or motifs on two sides and red stripes on the long border) that holds a unique identity of the Assamese Society and the trademark aarti, tikka of a Taj Hotel.

This is an incredible honor and the equivalent to getting a HermĂšs scarf imo..not a bag though (hint hint to hubby ;))

After the welcome tea and a sumptuous lunch at one of the grand in-house restaurants, SEVEN (an ode to the seven sister states of India, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh) it was time I took a tour of the hotel and its highlights and luxury services. Ms.Indranee, Public Relations Consultant, accompanied me for the blog tour. Her knowledge and passion for the Taj was evident and she answered all of my questions pertaining to the Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati (I ask a lot of questions…as Google can attest).

Menu that shows Northeast India at its artistic best

Highlights of my lunch at SEVEN.

-Salmon khorika with bambooshoot chutney.

-Penne Mandhania Pesto.

-Traditional Assamese Thali.

-Masor Tenga (fish in tomato gravy).

-Amita (Papaya) Khar.

-Black Rice (Manipuri) Kheer.

-Pork leg with bambooshoot and laai xaak.

-Assamese style mutton leg.

-Siddho Chicken.

-Rich pastry dessert from France called “Opera” (Butter cream
Almond sponge based on almond powder, egg white, flour ,vanilla essence, icing sugar, Coffee liquor, Black rice pudding, Ginger Belgium Chocolate Veloute)

(Special thanks to the kitchen and catering team Chef Biswarup, Pastry Chef Toufique and Debraj for all of their efforts in creating a truly special traditional full course meal with authentic dishes from Northeast India).

The other in-house restaurant UMAMI (do you guys know what that means? I didn’t….it’s the savory taste on our taste buds. One of the five basic tastes) serves a wide range of international cuisines including contemporary Chinese and Japanese.

Along with SEVEN and UMAMI, the property also has a lounge bar, OCTAVE. This place is well known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere as well as a convenient meeting spot for friends, families and work colleagues. All the restaurants can all be accessed from the Hotel’s lobby.

Akash and his team at Octave are awesome party starters. You will get a fantastic show combined with high quality cocktails/mocktails

Stunning range of Decanterlights at Octave

Photo Gallery

The architecture and experiences at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati pay homage to the local culture. The entire experience revolves around the landscape, the local knowledge and folklore. The hotel weaves those characteristics to make our stay unique and fosters a sense of belonging immediately.

My tour included of one of the Deluxe Delight Rooms on the 6th floor. It had all standard amenities that you expect of a luxury hotel. The rooms boast of traditional carved wooden and bamboo furniture, royal interiors, abundantly stocked mini-bar, sleek workspace and picturesque hill and pool views. Can anything get better than this? (yes a week long stay!….on my wish list) I loved everything from the textured walls, to the elegant bed linens, everything was masterfully styled with motifs that symbolise the Ahom dynasty and is a beautiful amalgamation/confluence of all Northeastern tribes and generations. The perfect blend of modern with traditional roots.

Some More Highlights of my Room Tour

I have a great admiration for those hotels that provide Forest Essentials Bath & Body products so if the Taj group could get any higher in my opinion, they just did.

Apart from the easy accessibility and brilliant interiors, another major selling point of the hotel is the tranquil Jiva Spa (Taj’s award winning Indian and all-natural Spas) that offers soul stirring Ayurveda and Spa treatments. For an ultimate rejuvenating experience, treat your love and yourself with a “Sangam” (couple) Jiva Spa experience.

Look at these positive notes instead of looking on the floor during your spa treatments. How exotic!

If you are at the Jiva Spa, ask Esther for a detoxifying Vishuddhi chai (a lipsmacking yet calming concoction of lemon juice, jaggary and holy basil) before and after your massage.

Jiva treatments and therapies are inspired by the very meaning of the word Jiva (‘inner force’) which, for centuries, has been deeply rooted in India’s rich heritage of wellness.

WELLNESS AMENITIES AND DETAILS

-A large spa reception lounge
-1 Couple treatment suite & 2 Single treatment rooms
-A large fitness zone
-Wet and dry areas
-Experience shower
-Beauty zone for face, hand and feet, hair
-Dedicated manicure and pedicure zone

Tel: 0361 710 6710 (The spa is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm)

Email: jivaspavivanta.guwahati@tajhotels.com

This culturally rich hotel is a wonderful venue for artists and art lovers. Hastakshar’ artwork collections (a unique art gallery initiative by ‘First Hand Foundation’) are displayed around the hotel premises on the first floor next to Jiva Spa.

The works of these artists reflect the region’s diversity and its rich cultural, spiritual and natural heritage.

The Fitness Centre at Vivanta by Taj, Guwahati has everything you need to meet your health and fitness requirements on the go. The in-house gym has a trainer and a yoga instructor.

The gym setting is spacious, clean and provides a friendly atmosphere catering for all levels. Including the child in me ….who wanted to bounce on the exercise balls…what? It’s a valid form of exercise!

The spacious lawns, gardens and pool area on the hotel grounds offer a good walking opportunity. The hotel is tucked in vegetation and its gorgeous gardens greatly enhance the look of the place, especially the Halicornias, (also popularly known as yellow orchids, lobster-claw, wild plantain or false bird-of-paradise) the colors of which are an important source of attraction and are used for interior arrangement in the hotel.

This hotel has already become a landmark in Guwahati city. It is located in Khanapara and very close to the Secretariat in Dispur, the Capital of Assam and is conveniently situated near Guwahati-Shillong highway. The distance from the Airport is covered within an hour through the expressway, after taking a right turn from Jhalukbari crossing. The hotel is hospitable for both business and leisure travelers. It is a proven international business and conferencing destination as well as a great place to stop by –enroute to discovering the Northeast India.

 

I left the hotel with a sense of pride at my heritage and deep appreciation for a chain that is providing International modern standards of service but has not forgotten Indian standards of hospitality and roots. Oh I also left stuffed! The food was amazing!

If you enjoyed reading this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Come back here and share your travel and getaway stories.

Love love love

~Sanchali

MORE DETAILS ABOUT VIVANTA BY TAJ, GUWAHATI

Location: Nikita Complex, GS Road Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam – 781022 INDIA

Website: https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/guwahati-assam/

Email: Vivanta.guwahati@tajhotels.com

Tel: +91 361 7106710

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Vivanta-By-Taj-Guwahati-1460485220652281/

Instagram: @VivantabyTaj

Twitter: @VivantabyTaj

 

Photography – Food on Wood

About, DĂ©cor

As my appreciation and interest in food photography began to grow, I looked for ways to get better. One thing I realized was how important the presentation of the entire picture was.

Aged wood backgrounds really bring character to a food photograph. They seem to have an incredibly weathered look that’s capable of taking an ordinary bowl of mac & cheese and making it look insanely sophisticated, elegant, and even rustic.

I had a job with a major client last week and they had this amazing wooden interior. Their modern design with wooden furniture, flooring and ceiling, wooden dining furniture and shelves not only enhanced my photographs, but also helped me get some magical clicks!

Are you thinking about creating a wooden background for yourself to take food pictures on? Well, if you happen to be a DIY person (or know someone) then I highly recommend building your own reversible food photography table top.

I also recommend investing in a set of Lowel EGO lights. They give off a nice soft light that will elevate your photo quality even more.

CafĂ© Amsterdam – Enjoying the Summer Sunshine in Bahrain

DĂ©cor, Events & Experiences, Travel and Food

Located in Adliya alongside its sister restaurant La Vinoteca Barcelona, CafĂ© Amsterdam is based in a cozy and cute Dutch canal-style building reminiscent of the back streets of Amsterdam. The european architecture shouldn’t mislead you, this restaurant is located in the bohemian neighborhood in Manama, Bahrain.

In the heart of Bahrain’s fine dining neighbourhood, CafĂ© Amsterdam’s menu is built on modern European and New American cuisine. The menu includes innovative gastronomic creations, decadent desserts and original beverages. The award-winning CafĂ© Amsterdam offers a dining and nightlife experience under one roof with a sleek, state-of-the-art lounge, a bright and spacious glass conservatory and a lovely garden for al fresco dining.

Begin the day with breakfast in the light filled conservatory, lunch in the lofty dining room, after work in the snug and dinner on the expansive balcony overlooking the garden. Plus, catch all your favorite games in the sleek sports lounge!

I had my 9th brunch at CafĂ© Amsterdam, whose kitchen is now purring along at a consistently high standard. Stand-out dishes at this outing were dazzling Barley Salad, Risotto al Pesto with cream pesto sauce, parmesan cheese and charcoal grilled chicken and their Passionfruit Cheesecake. A technically demanding (for heat in the summer) pineapple, coconut cream and kiwi mocktail ”Prince of the Middle East” was superb.

Buzzing at nighttime with regular live music events in their garden area, this is the perfect venue to enjoy a fantastic atmosphere and unwind with friends. So whenever you feel a craving for a true Dutch experience, you know your place in Bahrain.

The entrance from inside the restaurant

Wanderlusting: contemporary restaurant design, so bright & pretty

With its wooden panelling and beautiful orange bricks, this interior gives a very welcoming image of the place.

Restaurant or Gallery? Art is served up

The European Landmarks

The Mesmerising Fireplace

My favorite click – Loving the wall mirror

Up the stairs to the bar

The live music section in the restaurant by the railing for best views

Enjoying my healthy Barley Salad with pearl barley mango salsa and thai dressing and my Prince of the Middle East (Mocktail) by Bartender Tanmay

My main course – Risotto al Pesto with cream pesto sauce, parmesan cheese and charcoal grilled chicken by Chef Rahul

My Dessert – Passion fruit cheesecake by Pastry Chef Ajith

Full of modern elegance, CafĂ© Amsterdam’s design and decor is a tasteful combination of cozy-chic art-deco reminiscent of the late 1920s period.

Family-friendly Friday Brunch at Cafe Amsterdam

Checking the chicken for my risotto. This was my first attempt with charcoal. The flavor was exactly what I had imagined: smoky

It was another hugely successful day with brilliant, tasty & professional looking food. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

Restaurant Info

  • Serves Alcohol
  • Good for: Brunch and Dinner
  • Separate Smoking Available
  • Outdoor Garden Seating
  • Good for Groups and Business Meeting
  • Good for Bloggers and Writers
  • Private space for Reading
  • Live Music

For booking & info: Call 0097317007404

Website: http://www.cafeamst.com/

Instagram: @cafeamsterdam

Facebook: CafeAmsterdamBH

Hashtag: #cafeamsterdambh

Restaurant Hours

Sunday: 12pm-2am
Monday: 12pm-2am
Tuesday: 12pm-2am
Wednesday: 12pm-2am
Thursday: 12pm-2am
Friday: 8am-2am
Saturday: 8am-2am

Restaurant Menu 

Light and DĂ©cor

DĂ©cor

Dress up any corner in your home with these subtle elegance display of t-light or sphere candle holders. These simple accessories can really defines and add to the styling of a space within your home.

Code No. SANDW1 Rs. 3,150

 

The Yellow Door Buddha Lamp Golden

Rs. 3,150

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANDW2

Code No. SANDW2 Rs. 3,999

 

Jalicut Brown Candle Holder

Rs. 3,999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW3 Rs. 1,664

 

Glass T-Light Lamps Set of Three Pieces

Rs. 1,664

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANDW4

Code No. SANDW4 Rs. 1,499

 

Grill Wall Art

Rs.1,499

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW5 Rs. 1,199

 

Beautiful Lotus Platter

Rs. 1,199

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW6 Rs. 2,449

 

Angel Wings Candle Holder

Rs. 2,449

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW7 Rs. 1,899

 

3 Monks Candle Holder

Rs. 1,899

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW8 Rs. 1,799

 

Beautiful Five Arms Candle Holder

Rs. 1,799

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW9 Rs. 1,495

 

Froggy Tea Light Holder

Rs. 1,495

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Code No. SANDW10 Rs. 990

 

Bird Cage Candle Holder Pink

Rs. 990

Prolong The Life

Artist

Friends, this post is about sharing my experience as an Art Collector and how to preserve these fine artworks to make them long-lasting and durable. The Paintings you see here are by Dhananjay Mukherjee, a contemporary artist from India. He participated in more than 110 Group shows and 24 solo shows in India & Abroad. His paintings are basically a judicious mix of the abstract and realistic forms. His thoughts stem from unique imagination, which combines the real natural world with the artistic & creative world.

DSCN9732

Krishna @ 16, Acrylic on Canvas, Size 24 x 24, Price on Request

As mentioned earlier, I am going to share a few maintenance tips which will help you keep your artwork alive for a longer period of time. Owning an expensive painting for your home or office is a matter of pride. But to make this long-lasting and durable art a part of the family for generations it needs proper care and handling. And preserving an artwork is not at all a difficult task provided you follow all the guidelines.

Capture

Buddha_4, Acrylic On Canvas, Size: 12″ X 15″, Price on request

Art always represents something unique and beautiful deserving of special care. Artworks may be masterpieces or done by upcoming artists, the support used may be paper, canvas or cloth, whatever the medium involved all artworks need to be cared for in a special manner. Paintings require and demand care if one wants them to keep giving the viewing pleasure for many years to come.

Like the setting for a diamond, the frame around a work of art is the finishing touch, the element that completes and elevates a painting, presenting it to the viewer in its best possible light. Framing, however, is an art in and of itself, and just as a good frame choice can greatly enhance the appearance of a work, a poor frame choice can drastically diminish a work.

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Santhal Lovers, Acrylic On Canvas, Size: 34″ X 32″, Price on request

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Shiva3_1, Acrylic On Canvas, Size: 12″ X 15″, Price on request

Key Facts to preserve artworks:

-Avoid direct light, frame artworks using a UV-coated or no-reflecting glass.
-Do not place paintings near a heat source or air-conditioning vent.
-Mitigate the effects of pollution by framing all works using acid free mounts and boards.
-Never spray insecticides near or on stored artworks.
-Regularly inspect and clean stored artworks.
-Place paintings flat in a crate while storing.
-Never spray cleaning agents directly on a painting or frame.
-Remove mold using a soft brush and low suction vacuum cleaner.
-Be very careful while moving artworks.

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The Tree Of Life, Acrylic On Canvas, Size: 22″ X 30″, Price on request

Potential threats to artworks:

-Light: When placing lights make sure that it does not reflect on the artwork, this is the ideal distance to be maintained. Also avoid direct sunlight by not placing the works opposite windows which not only could fade the paint but also discolor the paper.
-Humidity: It is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Fluctuations and extremes in temperature and humidity levels can have a detrimental effect upon the preservation of archival materials.
-Pests: Regular inspections of stored collections provide the cheapest and safest method of safeguarding against infestation. Screening on windows and doors will aid in keeping out larger pests. In addition, fresh flowers and plants should be inspected before being placed in the vicinity of your artworks.
-Mold: Areas of high humidity and damp are highly susceptible to damage by mold growth. Any appearance of mold must be immediately removed; the best way is to use a soft brush and low suction vacuum cleaner.

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Mayavi 20, Acrylic On Canvas, Size: 16″ X 16″, Price on request

 

This post is dedicated to Art lovers and upcoming artists. Please send me a mail at email2sanchali@gmail.com along with a link to your blog/website/online portfolio if you wish to put up few more key facts to preserve artworks. Any feedback, critiques or comments are welcome. You can purchase our paintings by simply popping me a PM or leaving your comments below. Until my next post take care everyone.

XOXO

~Sanchali

Decor ~ Birdcage Muse

DĂ©cor

There is something exceptional about adding a bird cage into the ornamentation mix of a room – it’s like informal bohemian vibe, the Victorian flavour, kind of steam-punk match. Here are some ideas to use a bird cage for dĂ©cor.

  1. For lighting. House candles or stuff a bird cage with a strand of string lights.
  2. Just dĂ©cor. You can find a gorgeous vintage bird cage, and it would be a great dĂ©cor piece in itself – next to a potted plant or a vintage mirror frame. Maybe you can put some antique books inside a large bird cage – it’ll be a great idea.
  3. There are also stands and flat racks that are in the shape of a bird cage. The flat ones can be used to hang up photographs, or to hang and organize your jewelry in your bedroom.
  4. Birdcages make great housing for plants – no matter, natural or artificial ones.
  5. if you are looking to create a centerpiece arrangement, a bird cage can be used as an elegant accessory just like the table centerpiece.
  6. Outdoors, a bird cage can be used as a hanging planter or bohemian decor piece.

a c d e

I have been really busy lately, so I haven’t had a chance to go out for leisure and shopping but I truly enjoy handpicking a couple of them online. Although even just skimming through them, I found so many pretty cages I want to own to add to my collection.

I tried to order two Birdcages off of one of one of my favorite online stores that sell Vintage products, they were about Rs. 2900 each (I wanted to order 2 cages), with shipping, the cost came to over Rs. 6000! That is insane! 33 (3) bb

Now you know why these cages made me so happy.
Is there anything that has made you happy lately?