Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Return Of The Jeans

Yeah, jeans were banned from my kingdom of closet for this summer. 
'Enter colored denims, Exit regular denims'

It’s been super-hot these days and I dare not wear those jeans for the fear of dying all sweaty and from the heat. I mean it’s not just the colored denims to take the credit (or blame?!) - that can be equally shared by shorts (both colored n printed), skirts (short n maxi), summer dresses, maxi dresses, leggings, crop pants, capris. phew! Do I own all these? Really!? Oh well, I do. Guilty as charged!
But the denims did make a come back last week. How come, you ask? Well, ‘cause when you are out for a driving class, you hardly care what outfit you put together. 

Yes my friends, I am learning to drive!!!! 

Finally! hallelujah! about time! way to go!...is what my friends and family would be saying while reading this post. Five years in the states and not once behind the wheel. Now you know, main kiske dam par itna ghumti hun ('who takes me around everywhere')
Well no shame here, I never wanted required to drive – worked in downtown Boston and took T (metro train) every day, husband drove around for shopping, groceries and everything in between. But moving to Virginia my very beliefs about not-driving were shaken to the core. I had had had to learn driving. (repeating a word 3 times is enough emphasis, right?). But true to my character I procrastinated another couple of months before I actually got behind the wheel. Well, now I have been learning to drive since a month and feel pretty confident about it. So much of driving around I have realized one thing, Practice makes Parking perfect! Hoping to finish off the license and road test in a week. 
In between all this, I have learning permits in two states, drivers permit in India and heading to get drivers permit in US.

Back to the outfit, so yeah denims back with a plain baby pink sheer aka see-through top and I was good to go for my daily dose of driving. 
Bee-tee-W, for first time ever, I matched by accessories with shoes, looks pretty cute, eh? 

Pink is my all time fav color so much so that I have to consciously make effort to stop trying/buying tops in pink. The best part of the sheer top is its comfort and flowy; perfect for summers! (and especially good when I am out on a hogging trip :P).

But did you know sheer tops work for Fall and Winters too?? well for layering. of course. I did a couple of impromptu looks on 'How you can Layer a Sheer Top.' Layer the sheer top with a printed or plain tee - Sheer top Remixed n Recycled! 

Paisa vasoool (worth the money), isn't it?

Outfit details:
Pink Sheer top - ESPRIT Outlet store
jeans - Levis
over-sized sunnies - American Eagle
Beaded Jewelry - street shopping in Puerto rico
bangles - F21
Shoes - Mossimo @ Target
Watch - Fossil (Gift from a friend)
Purse - Coach
Both Tees below - Ann Taylor Factory Outlet

P.S.: Linking this post for the InFB Remix - Sheer. I am glad the team chose such an innovative theme!
Linking it to #YOLOMondays @ Still Being Molly!

P.P.S: On an totally un-related note, I am on a month ban of meat (chicken, fish, shrimp) and drinks. Its quite difficult dining out I must say. Well, I will keep you updated hows that going and maybe some tips too :)

Linking this post to 
Back To School | Everybody, Everywear

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blogger love and motivation

Back from the break with a bang! I am so thrilled to receive 'the Liebster award' from the gracious Mehak at The Double "M" Life! And to top this excitement, Kavita from Chic-ilicious featured me on her lovely blog this Saturday.
Wow! Four months and so much of blogger love! I am touched, happy and feel blessed!

Kavita is from India and is a management student, has ‘chic’ sense of style, shopaholic and fun to talk to, just like me ;) Thanks to blogging I am able to connect with like-minded people like Kavita who are spread across the globe. I think this is definitely one of the best aspects of blogging.
Kavita has started a new feature called ‘Saturday F Slave’ where she will feature a blogger every alternate Saturday. I was on cloud nine when she chose my blog to start with on this feature!! Thank you so much Kavita for the feature and such a well-written post! Kudos to you gurl! Do check out her blog – Chic-ilicious and the feature post here

Another award for blogging, am I dreaming or what! Pinch me please!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The Meaning; Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcoming.

The lovely Mehak from ‘The Double "M" Life’ has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Mehak is a fellow Indian blogger, residing in the US, charming and warm person and easy to approach. She’s a master of many trades – artist, avid reader, fashionista, foodie, traveler and a blogger above all! Do check out her blog – The Double "M" Life where she writes about all these topics and her weekend adventures – it’s such a pleasure to read her blog.

The rules for receiving the Liebster award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
5. Go to their page and tell them.
6. Remember, no tag backs!

11 things about me:
1)   By starting this blog, I have realized a dream of mine and it just feels so right and awesome! Koi kuch bhi kahe (say what you may), but writing this blog has been so fulfilling and satisfying.
2)   I have a fetish of collecting coffee mugs; if I see something interesting I need to buy a pair of it. I now have 4 different pairs of coffee mugs for everyday use; every pair is unique in color and shape.
3)   I have been always talkative in my childhood days; so much so that once my kindergarten teacher mentioned to my mom that “your girl is so very talkative in class” (imagine my mom’s reaction to that!) As I grew up, that trait has disappeared (many reasons), but in this break I have taken upon me to become more chirpy, spontaneous and talkative of course!
4)   I think I mentioned this in earlier post, but for some silly reason I always took pride in my unique name – I was the only person with my name (that Google’s servers knew about) in the whole wide web world!
5)   I am an Engineer by education, Business Analyst by profession and a fashion, food and travel lover on weekends.
6)   I never drove a car in this country for the past 5 years I have been here. Call it phobia, procrastination, or anything else, but I never was required (??!!) to drive around neither for school nor for work. For everything else, there was and is Husband!
7)   I have trained for Indian classical dancing (Odissi and Bharatnatyam) in my school days. But after an accident I suffered fracture, I stopped dance classes for a while and never took them up again. Another dream of mine, is to start dancing – any kind that may be.
8)   I love to collect little tit-bits/tickets/passes from our travels. I put them together in our travel scrapbook to create a personal memoir for J and me to browse through after many many years.
9)   I never cooked a meal or even entered the kitchen when I lived in India with my parents. That ways I was a spoilt brat (even though I had a working mom). But since moving to the US, I have developed this new hobby/interest in cooking. I cook Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Thai and different types of Indian cuisine of course. I don’t know how I made this sudden 180 degree turn towards the kitchen; guess, necessity is the mother of learning to cook :P
10)   I never ever loved chocolates in my childhood. No chocolates, no cookies, no sweet for me; weird, right? Well, I just despised the way the chocolate stuck between the teeth when you eat it (yeah, I hated chocolate for this reason!). That saved my teeth from cracking up :P But now I have grown up to be a very different person, I enjoy eating chocolates and everything else in moderate to small quantities.
11)   I am inspired by real-life success stories – be it adopting the healthy way of eating, working out, starting blog or learning to make rotis (Indian bread). When I watch my friends do it excellently, I am motivated to give it a try. I believe in real-life role models rather than reel-life ones.

Questions posed by Mehak as part of this award:

Q1. What was the inspiration behind your blog?
Ashy: I have been reading blogs for two years now (!!) so when the time was available, I wanted to start writing my blog and share the anecdotes of my life.

Q2. Which one would you prefer : A vacation trip to the Mountains or Islands??
Ashy: Vacation trip to islands please!

Q3. What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Ashy: Latest crazy thing was jet-skiing on the rough waters of Atlantic Ocean in
Miami. The waves were so bouncy I don’t think we ever sat properly on the seat At one point, I admit I was scared for my life: P

Q4. Who is your favorite blogger?
Ashy: It has to be Kendi from KendiEveryday. I don’t think I will ever tire from reading her blog or looking up her pics. She looks just angelic and is a natural when posing.

Q5. If you were given a chance to undo one thing from your life what would it be and why??
Ashy: My fear of driving car. Though I am learning to drive now, I think I should have done that way before.

Q6. What is your idea of a perfect breakfast?
Ashy: Hot Ginger tea a la’ desi style and hot Poha (flat rice snack) made by J, he makes delicious poha. When we were dating in India that was the first dish he had made for me (he specially got up early in the AM to make it so he can give it to me for breakfast when we meet in the office)

Q7. What quality do you most like in yourself and why?
Ashy: I am fiercely loyal to my friends, family or my team at work; that quality helps maintaining relationships for a long haul.

Q8. Have you accomplished any goals recently.. tell us about it..
Ashy: yes, starting a blog and maintaining it was a long time goal since past year or so. It was a risk I took, but have survived very well until now. I think it can now be ticked off from my list of goals in life ;)

Q9. What do you prefer: Heels or Flats??
Ashy: I love heels but occasionally. For every day wear I go with comfort and so vote for Flats.

Q10. If given an opportunity to be on the cover of a magazine.. Which one would you choose and why?
Ashy: In-Style, for their easy, comfortable styles that I can relate to in my everyday life.

Q11. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words.. what would they be??
Ashy: Amiable, Stylish and Honest.

Here's my list of blogs for the Liebster award:

Lastly, thank you to all my readers that pour in support and love via emails, Gtalk chats, comments and social media. This blog wouldn’t have been successful without you. And thank you to my friends, family and dear husband who encourage me day in day out ;)
You all motivate me to give my best and try harder!

P.S.: next up – outfit post and couple of ways to wear a sheer top. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

My First Blogger Award!

Partayyy time ladies and gentlemen, ‘cause yours truly has won her first blogger award! Woohooooooooo!! Dhan-te-nannnnnn *expressing excitement in Hindi*

The gracious Emily Brewer from My Inspired Life with Fibromyalgia presented me with the Sunshine blogger award yesterday and I am grinning like a Cheshire cat since then :D
This is my first ever blogger award and my heartfelt thanks to Emily and to all my readers and well-wishers out there. You guys have kept the blog going, inspiring me to do my best and give my best to the blog.

And very special thanks to the photographer behind 'The Zing of My Life' - Mr. J! He motivates me, pushes me to do by best and also does give me a reality check (which I def need) from time to time.

Thank you thank you thank you soo much everybody! and thank you so much Emily!
Over to the award formalities now, 

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules
1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog page.
2. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
3. Nominate 10 other fabulous bloggers.
4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.
5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

1.     If you could live anywhere, where would you live? 
Ashy: that would be my home town Mumbai, there’s something magnetic about the city that keeps pulling me back there. And oh did I mention, my family lives there who I miss every single day, so it’s gonna be my obvious choice :)

2.   If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Ashy: Being a traveler, I have been to really amazing places and its so difficult to decide this one but I would tie it between Miami (Official party Capital of US) and Puerto Rico (gorgeous weather, beaches and food, now what more do you need in a vacay spot)?

3.   What's your favorite part of blogging?
Ashy: fueling my creativity and getting to know so many fab and like-minded people

4.   Coffee or hot chocolate?
Ashy: not much of a sweet tooth there, so I am going with Coffee

5.    What kind of coffee do you drink?  What do you put in it?
Ashy: Coffee with milk and sugar. Love the cinnamon dolce lattes and pumpkin lattes in winters.

6.   What do you do to relax? 
Ashy: eating comfort food relaxes me like nothing else, and if you have 'Sex and the City' running on the television, I am in heaven!

7.    How do you keep calm in a very stressful situation?
Ashy: These are some of the tip I tried when working in the corporate world - take deep breathes, switch off and take a 5 min break, try to think coolly and get a better perspective of the issue at hand - now get back to work!

8.   Beautiful clouds or clear sky with stars?
Ashy: beautiful clouds

9.   Dogs, cats, or fish?
Ashy: I don’t have pets but if I had one, dogs are my fav!

10. Be honest, which last name do you like more, maiden or married?
Ashy: Maiden name - The only reason being my maiden name is very unique (I was the only one that came up in Google search results!) and that’s what I love about it.

So now here's the most difficult parts of accepting the honor - choosing only 10 blogs to present the Sunshine blogger award. All the blogs I follow have Sunshine in abundance - there are food blogs, fashion blogs, lifestyle, home décor, travel blogs and I have learnt a lot and continue to be inspired from each one of them.anyways, here are my nominees:

1) Mehak @ The Double M Life
2) Kavita @ Chic-ilicious 
3) Renu @ Renew It
5) Catherine @ Not Dressed as Lamb
7) Juneli @ Fashionably yours
8) Jess @ Js style
10) Heather@ Pearls & Paws

Congrats to all of you and here is my list of questions for you:

1) If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?

2) whats your memorable moment/fav memory since you became a blogger?

3) what do you do to relax after a hectic day?

4) when are you most alert morning or night?

5) would you rather be by yourself or with lots of people?

6) your favorite fashion magazine and blog?

7) are you active or quiet/silent person?

8) how many hours do you spend on blogging in a week?

9) Pink or black?

10) whats your favorite place to shop in this world and why?

Now go spread some cheer and blog love, wont you? :)

Well, its Friday and staying true to the Filmy Friday theme, there is only one movie to talk about. 
The Dark Knight Rises – Go Watch it!
Awesome! Thrilling! Mesmerizing! tad long but all worth for the oozing charisma of the Dark Knight and his action scenes!
Bee-tee-W, this was my first Batman movie and now I can’t wait to go back and watch the others.

I have one of my college friends coming down from Rochester to meet me this weekend:) so excited! we have known each other for literally ages - 14 years that is! so its going to be all girly girl weekend - loads of gossip, yapping and just plain fun! 
Well, the better half is going to have his me-time aka soccer-time after ages. See, girly-girl weekend works both ways :)

Have a great weekend y'all!

P.S.: I have got a big time crush on Christian Bale, did you too?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quirky prints

I love skirts, I really do. And I love skirts even more if they are printed – quirky prints, is what I am talking about. 
I got this Geisha-printed yelllaaww skirt from Anthropologie; it was 100 bucks originally but when it went on sale, it was mine :) I never owned a quirky skirt before...before when I didn't know fashion blogs existed, when I didn't know to take fashion risks, when I didn’t know I could rock a printed skirt. Yeah, that’s the 'before' I am talking about :)
So back to present, with a fashion blog, with fashion risks and printed skirts neatly tucked in my wardrobe, I confidently say – Buy printed skirts, even better if it has a quirky print coz you ‘can’ rock it!

I love the cute little Geishas on the skirt, that its cotton (best fabric ever!) and that the skirt has pockets (yay!) The first time I wore this skirt was on our annual anniversary vacay to Puerto Rico in 2011. The black tank top just paired safe good with the skirt, no fancy accessories and I was good to go. Well to my credit, I was just getting on to the 'fashion-blog-reading' bandwagon :)

Cut to present in 2012, I am quite confident of mixing prints and this is my latest spin on styling it - a la’ risk-taking-fashion-blogger style :).  I styled the look by pairing the skirt with a B/W stripe top; I wanted to break the monotony from the yellow-black-white colors with the turquoise beaded jewelry and watch. The belt adds the right amount of definition to the look (since reading/following blogs, I have started believing in belts too!). All this thinking and effort in putting together a great outfit was well worth it - one of the visitors at the museum actually said that she loved my look! Now don't you just love when a stranger compliments you :)

This was a comfy outfit for a day out in Washington DC when J's best friend from college and his wife were visiting us from India. We had a fun day out with them; it was also the first time we were visiting DC after we moved here (Though I have been to DC twice when I was in Boston). We took them around to all the historic monuments in DC, the Smithsonian Museum and to the happening place called Adams Morgan (a suburb in DC).
It was so much fun to hang out with friends you knew from college time; getting all nostalgic, trying to catch up with each others lives and just being yourself. I quite frequently miss doing it, now that we are in the States, I miss all my college friends *sob* 

Well, last but not the least here are three tips to style a printed skirt: 
1)  Pair it with a tank top or plain tee. Select the primary color from your print. If you can’t point one primary color, go ahead with any color on the skirt. You just want the tee color to be in contrast to the skirt.
      2) Pair it with a striped top. Stripes are a safe way to mix prints and instantly enhance the chic quotient. 
      3) Pair it with polka dotted tee. If striped top is here, can the make polka dots be far behind? Polka dots are a sure way to fire up that outfit.

If the printed skirt is a mish-mash of varied colors, even better! Just pick a different color plain tee/top/tank each time and the number of looks you can create is just limitless ;)
I can see that this skirt will pair great with browns, cream/white tops, polka dots..totally worth the $50 I say :)

Which of these is your favorite look?

Outfit-1 details: 
Skirt - Anthropologie
Black tank and watch - American Eagle
yellow beaded necklace - Colaba causeway, Mumbai
black sandals - Catwalk, Mumbai
cross body bag - DSW
sunnies - Guess

Outfit-2 details: 
Skirt - Anthropologie
B/W striped top - Espirit outlet store
Brown belt - NY and Co.
Blue beaded necklace and earrings - JC Penney
Turquoise watch - Swatch
White Flats - GAP
brown beaded bracelet - street shopping in Puerto Rico
Oversized sunnies - American Eagle
Clutch cum wristlet - Burberry

P.S.: For readers in US - if you haven't visited Anthropologie, then I would suggest that you should indulge in at least window shopping there. I love their skirts;  top-of-the-line material and the print is always one of its kind! I would definitely recommend combing through their sale racks every now and then.  

P.P.S: Linking it to 'What I wore Wednesday' here and here

Monday, July 23, 2012

Color-blocking 101- Part 2

So moving on from my 2 cents earlier on Color-blocking 101-Part 1, I am ready to spill out some more...Incidentally, part-1 continues to be my 'TOP-blog-post-viewed-and-read', you can check it out here if you haven't already. 
To recap, the Part-1 focused on getting you ready for color-blocking, keeping accessories neutral and intro to the world of color-blocked accessories. 

1. Add deep, rich-colored tees to your closet; the ones that fit you perfectly (without a jacket) and are comfy to wear. I would go ahead and say - do splurge on them as they are absolute closet essentials.
See colored denims, skirts, shorts everything can go out of trend or bore the hell out of you (I am just saying!) but a tee in a pure rich color will be your best friend forever!!  I have seen that tees usually go on sale sometime or the other. And when they do, don’t be hesitant to grab them in multiple colors. This is not the time to think that I will get another tee from a different shop. Colored tees are versatile, you can dress up (for office-wear) or dress down (on denims/shorts) and hence the rule above.
Quick Tip - If it fits, don't be shy to buy in bulk.

2. Give the colored blazers a try – not the usual navy, blues blacks or greys, try a colored blazer actually. Last summer I just did that and now I am hooked on to my pink blazer I must say. It might be too much of color for the office, but hey if you can carry it off with confidence and panache who’s to stop you wearing that (well, there’s HR but they wouldn’t mind it on Fridays I am sure ;))

3. The easiest and chic-est way to try this trend - go for a color-blocked sheath dress, like the one here.
With some metallic jewelry and pumps you are ready for a day at work or a night-out.

In part-1, I did a color blocked outfit for office/formal wear, but now its time for 'Color-blocked Casuals'. I got these coral shorts a couple of months. Man! Coral is the color, the new color for summer, the new color for fun.
I have always seen coral capris at Gap/Banana Republic but never had the guts to buy them. But when these shorts were on sale, I just had to grab them.

This outfit is also a tribute to my polo neck tee. I wore it as a part of an office-casual outfit usually on Fridays and that was about it. I just couldn’t find any creative ideas to remix it – the drab, old polo tee.
Well, polo tees are super comfy and come in rich deep-colored hues – so they perfectly fit the bill of a color blocking must-have. So here is one of the polo tees I have, back and rocking the color blocking trend. 
When color-blocking I usually prefer to go nude with my shoe-color, but you can always try some fun colors if you are in the mood for it :)

Outfit details:
Purple Polo Tee - Tommy Hilfiger Outlet store
Coral Shorts - Banana Republic
Cuff and Ring - Forever 21
Earrings - NY and Co. 
Pendant Necklace - Sears
Aviators - Tory Burch
Watch - Casio EDIFICE Chronograph (Husband's)
Nude Pumps - Payless
Bag - Coach Store, Puerto Rico 

Linking up this post with #YOLO Mondays at still being Molly and GFC Blog Hop at Life on LeRoy

P.S.: We found this awesome spot for taking pictures – greenery, a cute pond with a fountain and a bridge – now what more does a fashion blogger want, eh?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Filmy Friday - 4

I would say it was another disastrous week for me, managed to catch a couple of Indian flicks and they were just average!
I watched the recent releases - Cocktail and Teri Meri kahaani
First up, Cocktail – And it was a very impulse decision to go watch it in the theatres (boring-weekend bug had bit us, I guess) The trailer looked promising here...a story of youthful n vibrant trio and their 21st century story. 

But alas! nothing‘s 21st century when it comes to Bollywood story lines – they just like to go back to their cocoon of known and gheesa-peeta (dunno a better English word for this) themes and endings.

The film started out ok (abrupt scenes, no real character development or background). I am not even sure how Diana’s character decides to go home with a stranger (Deepika) just after their first meeting in a restroom of a random diner. I wish they would just have spent more time on Diana’s character a bit. When you showcase the background/history, why only show the main hero's. I mean Deepika makes references to her family but they don’t even turn up when she’s battling for life n death in the hospital! Strange is life and so are our films!

The start was rather wishy-washy of some random scenes, but it went ok till the interval. Boman as Saif’s mama (maternal uncle) was a great character – I mean thank God! He wasn’t cast again as the hero’s father. I felt Dimple Kapadia, as Saif’s mother, had some reminiscence from Abhishek’s mom’s character from Dostana (played by Kiron Kher). But then Dimple’s version was much toned down and classy ;))

Saif was ok in some parts and ridiculous and childish in other. He was shown trotting around with some really cool jackets. So guess I had something to focus on while getting bored!
Deepika’s makeup was top notch, acting was ok, guess I was more attracted to her clothes, eye makeup and gait. Kudos to her stylist and makeup artist!
Diana Penty is a revelation, the gal acts well, looks good n is tall – wat more do we want in an actress! Well let’s hope it wasn’t the first film charm.

Overall cocktail was plain A-ok. I some how compared it to Zindagi na milegi dobara. It was a very chic movie, good actors, great locales, based in modern mindset – but somehow the character development was complete. I never felt like I had to ponder over unanswered questions or loose threads. 
I suggest watch cocktail when it’s official DVD print is available or when it comes on TV.

I am not doing such an elaborate review for Teri Meri Kahaani – ‘cause it was quite average and boring to watch online so I pity the people who went to watch it in the theatres.
Teri meri kahaani had a good theme – couples are meant to be together in every janam (birth). And guess I truly believe it too for some reason. The movie started from a 1960’s couple in Bombay then moved to 2012 couple in London n then again went back to 1910’s couple in Lahore before partition.
All the couples were played by Shahid-Priyanka.
Acting wise there was nothing to complain. Shahid n Priyanka are top notch actors, n they know what they are doing. I loved to see the 1960s Bombay, that part of the story was my fav! The 2012 couple story was boring for some reason and the 1910 one just dragged on for eternity. 
Can u believe each era in the movie had 2 songs!! I mean really! Why lose focus of the story and have random naach-gaana? Why waste time and the audience attention on such frivolous things, just make clean concise and a smart movie and showcase your point?
The climax was a mish-mash of the three love stories – tad confusing sometimes.

I am drained reviewing these average movies, so I will just leave you with a good trailer:)
Son of Sardaar - excited to see Juhi Chawla!

I liked this video on 'Breast Cancer Awareness in India' and thought of sharing with you. The video is done very sensitively and is directed by Zoya Akhtar. It features Shahid, Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar and Ranbir Kapoor talking about the women in their life. 
I do feel there needs to be more awareness in India about Breast Cancer and I support this cause!

Anyhow, back to reality - its Friday again ! So let ‘relax, unwind and chill’ be the mantra of the hour ;))
Have a great weekend y'all!

P.S. Next up – outfit post (it’s been long since I did an outfit post here, and I am missing it already. Did you miss it too? ;))

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More colors in my home

Continuing from the home décor series here, I am back with some more decor things I added to our place. 
Lately, we (J and I) have been watching a couple of home decoration series on HGTV (man, is it addictive or what!) and now we are completely smitten and haunted by the idea of decorating our place such that – “it suits our character”! 
Add to the fact that, I have more time on my hand and we are starting from scratch at this new place, we have become very (read extremely) picky about the décor pieces we want to add to our home.
So after careful deliberation and long long talks about how each piece will represent us in every small way, I present to you another series of summer add-ons!
(Note: HGTV is a TV channel in the US dedicated to all aspects of home - from buying to selling to decorating and everything in between!)

First up, an embroidered and artistic wall cloth hanging that we picked on our trip to Jaipur, Rajasthan (located in North India) this year. I love the fact that it is so colorful and so intricately done; it adorns the wall over the fire place. 
Note - I always wanted something that defines from where we are - India. This wall decor does complete justice to that fact!

Cheery yellow again; the flowers and the brass metal pot are from our old apt décor, and they just aptly fit in here (nooo, I swear, we are not on a freaking-yellow spree ;) )

So I am 'not' completely in love with the ‘fireplace’ in the living room – only only ‘cause it’s in a really weird place in the living room. I always feel that place could have been used for something much better. But anyhow, moving on, this is how sparked up the gloomy fireplace with more flowers. I have put my own twist on it. Do you think it’s a single flower pot there?

Go Green – yes that’s the theme! I have never,I mean never, had a green bed sheet, green pillow, or anything green for the bedroom. So when I – actually both me and J :P – spotted this greeny green bed sheet set in IKEA, we were totally bonkers! And then we found these striped duvet cover and pillow covers – so perfect, just like match made in heaven. Nothing like a cool crisp new bed sheet and pillow covers, sight to behol’ and relax on to ;)

No words to describe this – it was the perfect contemporary art piece for the living room! Vibrant color palette, flowery and clear lines - it was like love at first sight for J and me. Dang!! It right went with us home and hung itself above the sofa! 
Note - J and I love contemporary art and this art piece suits the bill!

Last piece ladies and gentlemen, is very elegant – never owned anything like this one. Stunning tri-colored work of glass art. We picked this from trip to West Virginia (WV). I love the fact that its a piece from local art in WV. 
I actually liked it for the mantle above the fireplace, but I think it looks better against the pristine white background of the side table. In the night when the side table lamp glows, it looks stunning with the red, orange, yellow, clear glass color tones and the glass ripples. 
Note - we love individual and original pieces and local art - this glass vase is a perfect marriage of these two qualities.

How do you decorate your home? Do you look for any particular theme/color? 

P.S: linking up the post, here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Party favors

So I am bit of procrastinator (sounds more like the terminator :P) when it comes to responding to emails, FB posts and the list goes on. But since writing this blog, I have come to realize that I have to own up to everything - and that includes the recipes that I promised to share on my blog :)

So after what seems like eons after the post on heat and the best drink to beat it, I present you the recipe for my fav drink of all times.  (Yes, I wrote an entire post on the heat quotient, sizzling temps and my fav drink..guess I was really delirious from the heat et. al.)

Well, here’s the perfect recipe to the fav drink of all times. I have adopted it from here

   Home-madey Lemonade\nimbu-pani

Ingredients: lemons, sugar, water, ice, saffron/ginger (optional)

Quick summary of the process (for quick readers): To sum up, it’s really boiling sugar and water together and mixing it with the lemon juice and water. Serve chilled over ice and that’s it to the lemonade.

For an elaborate description, read on for the steps with a sprinkling of tips here and there :)

1. I made a ‘simple syrup’ using same qty sugar and water (yes the same syrup that you would soak Gulab jamuns in case you didn’t know). I put together ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan on med-high gas
Quick Tip - you can also microwave the mixture too till the sugar dissolves in the water.
2. I added 4-5 saffron strands just after I turned off the gas and when the syrup was still warm. Saffron gives a nice hint of orange-yellow to the lemonade and a sweet aroma.
Quick Tip - I have also tried switching saffron to ginger sometimes. Take 1-inch cube of ginger and grate it or pinch between a pair of tongs to bring out the juice and flavor the syurp. Lemon-ginger combo has a unique taste.
3. I squeezed out juice from 3 lemons.
Quick Tip - Sometimes I just preferred limes over lemons ‘cause of the supremely tangy taste of limes, but then be mindful of the sugar qty if you are not going for the tangy taste.
4. In a pitcher, stir together the saffron syrup, lemon juice, 4 cups water. I skipped on the cardamom powder.
5. Serving Tip- I served the lemonade in tall glasses; it just brings a zing to the presentation. I dipped a rim of glass in water and coated it with salt (regular salt is fine if don’t have a margarita salt). 
6. Serve the lemonade chilled over ice. Add one or two lemon slices to the drink. 

When the salt and lemonade mixture hits your mouth, it’s pure bliss :)

I have another quick-fix recipe for lemonade – but I will keep it for another post.

While I am at food blogging, I wanted to post another recipe for a quick party favor - Paav-bhaji crostini
Paav-bhaji, a street side food served in Mumbai, is a spicy-n-buttery mixture of mashed veggies served with toasty bread. For Paav-bhaji, I usually trust this recipe

Yes, it’s as it simple as it sounds, of course when you have left over paav-bhaji sitting in your fridge. Instead of just having it regular style, why not jazz it up Italian style, eh?

As you may remember from here, I had friends over one Friday. And that led to left over paav bhaji for the next day. What did I do then? I made Paav-Bhaji crostinis :)

1. Take a paav/bread ( or a regular sandwich bread is fine) and cut small circles out of it using a cookie cutter (or a small sharp edged bowl). 
2. Apply butter on one side and toast it on a hot sizzling pan. 
3. Spread one table spoon of paav bhaji on it, sprinkle it will with some finely diced onions, tomato, coriander and some red chilli pwder for added kick. 

Tats it, my friends, your quick party favor is ready. 
We all love paav bhaji, so why not try it in a different avatar? I bet it will surprise the guests with your creativity. Hey and you can always use fresh paav bhaji, just let it come to room temp before serving (don’t want it to dampen the crispy paav crostini, do we now?;) )

So that was desi food served with an Italian twist, do you try such quirky twists in kitchen?


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