Wednesday, December 19, 2012


If I could.............


I would whirl away the demons, and make it right.


If I shut my eyes tight and,

wish with all my heart,

it will.

Sending out a wish for peace in random acts of kindness today.

Comments for this post are closed. (If you can, please pay it forward.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


......for the friendships we have forged here in this little city, tucked away in the mountains. This day is for you my friends and neighbors, who have lent me your ears and your shoulders. For those lazy summer afternoons we have sat chatting in the sun. For sharing those oversize umbrellas with us. For those impromptu potlucks. For listening. For understanding. For sharing. For cheering with us on the soccer fields. For those ready smiles. For holding doors open. For the abundance of summer produce from your gardens. For those bottles of honey and maple syrup, those bushels of blueberries. For those candles you made and shared. For that hand you placed on my shoulder. For making it alright. On this day dedicated to gratitude, I am thankful for you.

And on this day, I am thankful for you, dear reader who has stayed with me through my errant ways. For those emails and comments and the constant support. You bring sunshine into my life. Thank you for being there. :)

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving!

{We just finished a batch of the best idlis ever (batter courtesy a friend) and sitting here with two of my favorite people in the world, I can't help feeling a little emotional..... we're keeping it quiet this year, no parties, no driving, no being stuck in airports.....just our little family and some good food.}

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shivani Dogra Interiors: Transforming spaces with her love of color.

In my obsessive trawling of the internet for pretty homes I've come across and written about countless gorgeous spaces. In all these rooms, while there are always some elements that appeal to me, there are some features I would tweak out if I actually had to live in them. Not so in the spaces designed by Shivani. Her style really resonates with me--perhaps it's because she's a Delhi girl like me, perhaps it's because she's traveled India extensively, perhaps it's because she has that deep-seated appreciation for Indian design. Whatever the reason, her spaces (and words) really speak to me--she manages to infuse traditional Indian design into contemporary settings without making it appear over-the-top or kitschy: real spaces for living in, not set designs for a photoshoot, to put it bluntly. Do you see yourself living in these rooms? Take a number, because I'm moving right in! (I wish!) :)

I can totally see myself curled up on that chaise lounge with a good book!

Shivani had this to say about her style as an interior designer:

"I love colour and the dramatic effect it has on moods and space. For every project that I undertake, it’s important for me to wander around its environs a bit, explore the space I’m redoing, learn about its inhabitants –their stories, its story. Much like a good novel, the space becomes a world that I inhabit for the length of a project and miss when it’s over. I love taking rooms from drab and unexciting to full of life. I’d much rather source locally and draw inspiration from India’s rich arts and crafts traditions, with their unabashed love for colour. I usually incorporate the outdoors as part of an interior scheme, matching and harmonizing colours with the natural surroundings."
 Love the clutter-free bedroom. Those colors and textures are all I need! 

Sigh. Can I admit that I'm at a loss for words here? I'll take it all, Shivani, thank you!

In case you're as impressed with her work as I am, please be sure to check out her Website and Blog for more!  Shivani's work has already received some great press, including features in BBC GoodHomes India, DNA and on one of my favorite blogs of all time, An Indian Summer. Shivani, thank you for sharing your story and work with us. I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of your work on the web. Keep inspiring and all the best!

Shivani can be reached at:

Website | Blog

Color and Personality: Shivani's Stylish Apartment in Delhi.

Hello my loves! Do I have a treat for you today--you're absolutely going to love this home tour. It's full of style and  loads and loads of vibrant, mouth-watering color. We're traveling to Delhi today to catch up with interior designer Shivani Dogra and peep into her gorgeous one-bedroom apartment. There are so many things I love about her apartment, the foremost being that her color palette was inspired by the lush bougainvillaea growing outside her window. That has to be the best source of inspiration I've ever heard of. I also love that she transformed the space on a budget (her blog is named shoestring style! :) ) and a little (okay, a lot of!) elbow grease. And truckloads of style. 

I'm actually going to turn this space over to Shivani now, because, as you'll see, interior decorating is just one of her many talents. It is a pleasure for me to read her eloquent description of the process behind decorating this apartment, and I'm sure you're going to enjoy it just as much.

(We're going to start with the grungy "before" pictures, because I feel  that you can't truly appreciate the beauty of her space before you've seen them! I'm sure you will excuse me if I only post the smallest version of the pictures available! Magic is what this girl has brought to this space.Take it away Shivani!)

"This was the state of the flat when the landlady first showed it to me. It fit my slim budget and, though completely decrepit, its potential shined through. In my long search for rented accommodation, I’d seen many places that some might call more appealing than this one. Yet I chose this flat over the rest.  I was somehow certain that hidden under the neglected eye sore before me at the time, was a wonderfully inviting home."

"After clearing the place out and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, I got down to the fun part. The first step was choosing a theme for the space. I wanted something cheery and inviting at the end of a long work day. And it was imperative that the theme went well with the surroundings outside. I had a large, shady jamun tree just beyond the window by my bed and masses of vibrant bougainvillea all along the back of the building.  A crisp green and cool white combination seemed perfect for the bedroom – vivid, but not too loud, soft enough to blend in gently with the outdoors when the windows were open.

The furniture came in bits and pieces. I didn’t have a ‘plan’ all sketched out, but worked from instinct and feeling whenever a piece came my way. The futon was bought reasonably (Rs 6000) from someone leaving the country.  The cupboard came with the apartment, but in a mousy brown, so I used the left-over paint from the doing up the walls, bought a couple of tins more and repainted the cupboard, giving it a distressed finish with wax and some sandpaper. The side tables were bought at a thrift store and the desk was my grandmother’s. I reupholstered a dusty chair with an old bedcover, using what remained to cover a pinup board just above it so they matched.

The windows needed curtains, but the ones I tried at first—striped in blue, green, and purple—didn’t look quite right to me. I replaced them with colourful grass mats that I could easily roll up for more light."

"The Jahanara poster came from Daryaganj on an early morning visit to the book bazaar one Sunday. The chest of drawers was from another thrift store in Okhla. The blue door was the result of a long summer afternoon that had me locked indoors. And the pictures are from a work trip when I travelled down the Ganges. What I love about this space is that it tells my story. I like a good adventure and the jobs I’ve had have given me the chance to do just that—travel across the remotest corners of this vast country, exploring and discovering people and places. Almost everything that I displayed in my flat was picked up on one of these journeys through dusty lanes of forgotten towns or the bustling markets of one of our great cities."

In my brief interaction with her, Shivani's personality came off as warm and cheerful. I think this space really reflects her "aura". Lime green+Prussian blue+Rani pink. Did someone just say "cheery and inviting"? :) Isn't it amazing how color can transform a space? Also, love the open shelving. Why hide those pretty lentils in a closet? :)

I'm going to leave you with a pretty vignette that ties together the colors in her home so beautifully (you know me--I'm a sucker for colorful glass bottles!) 

If you loved her space as much as I did, please be sure to check out her Blog and Website. I'm hoping to do a follow-up post on her work as an interior designer, so please stay tuned! Post coming soon....


Monday, November 12, 2012

May this Diwali bring you...

      ....Peace and,
     ......Light and,
....Happiness and,
 .....Laughter and,
a pinch of magic, some sparkle, and a whole lot of joy!!!
(Um, did I mention ladoos? yup, those too ;) Go on, you only live once!!)

From our home to yours.........

Happy Diwali!

Stay safe. Stay warm. Sparkle. Laugh. Shine. Eat a ladoo. Eat two. (Pass on that third one though!) Most of all, have fun! (Bonus points for coming back and telling me all about it.... )


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A home filled with art and cherished memories: Kamini's Seattle Home.

You and I have been waiting a long time for this post, which only makes it that much sweeter, don't you think? This home tour brings me back full circle......Kamini's was the first home I ever featured on P&P.  I mentioned that day that Kamini was a person I'd love to know in the real world (and even though we still haven't met in person) she's since become one of my closest friends, and that in itself can justify the existence of this blog. :) This home tour also celebrates Kamini's return to a city she loves, so full-circle on that as well. ( I actually have a lot to say here, but it's threatening to get super-emotional, so I'm going to zip it save it for another post.) I'm sure you've already read about the epic move, but in case you've been on sanyaas, anthills and all, here are a few links to bring you up to speed!

Okay, enough talking for now, let the drool-fest begin! We'll start with the entry, with it's stunning rug and painted table--we've seen the entry table before, but I think it looks right at home in it's new space, don't you? Love those turned legs--they remind me of those lacquered wooden toys that we used to play with as kids.

As Kamini describes it, this floor of their home is one long rectangular space, with an open floor plan; it houses the kitchen, the dining space and the family room. There's also space for a perfect sunlit reading nook. I love the way  Kamini has created functional "rooms", with the skillful use of (her gorgeous collection!) of rugs. The warm wood, paired with those stunning rugs really cozies up the space!

The dining room and kitchen island--love love love those block-print bar stool covers. The dining table with more stunning legs on display. You can see portions of the reading nook in the background. And you've just got to love all that gorgeous green growing in the backyard.

The reading nook, with her father-in-law's favorite chair, a comfy footstool, a fireplace for the colder months, plenty of natural light, and her little "temple" which holds cherished family heirlooms like her grandfather's ivory box and bell, incense holder, water jar and a set of wooden spoons that have been used by the family priest for over 50 years. A frankincense holder hangs next to the window, completing her little sanctuary.

The family room is nestled right between the reading nook and the kitchen. It's full of color! We see a lot of old favorites, including the treasure trunk she painted (major talent!). There's the daybed, with it's jolt of vibrant color, a gorgeous lamp to read under and the huge copper pot that holds extra cushions. And then there's the coffee table with it's beautiful embroidered tapestry providing the perfect backdrop for amber glass and lacquered wood. Sigh.

The formal living room is set off the entryway, boasting more reading nooks, and  a cozy grouping of poufs  and traditional chairs to get the conversation going! I can just imagine this house full of laughter and animated conversations! Oh the parties that you'll have! :)

Love that mirror frame! And those poufs look so inviting.....

Another reading nook, featuring Kamini's favorite new chair! You can read all about it here. You can also see the edge of the coffee table and the coasters she mentions in her post in the picture below.

And of course, there's the art. Oh the art. Most of the paintings you've seen on the walls of Kamini's home are her own work.The sandblasted glass artwork you see next to the silver lamp in the picture above was made by her as part of an assignment for design school.

Her home is full of colorful, thoughtful little vignettes, touches that suggest that this home is loved, and lived in.......

Her colorful collection of glass bangles, as much a work of art displayed on the wall as they are on the wrists.

The spice corner, there's a story behind the traditional spice box, I'm sure!

All lined up! Her tiny succulent garden!  :)

Gentle reader, I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! Kamini has only just settled in, she hasn't lived in this house for more that a few weeks and already has it looking like a home. :) Knowing her, I can only imagine how much there is still left to uncover. I hope she will continue to inspire and the posts on her home (and on her blog!) will keep on flowing.....

Kamini, thank you for opening your beautiful home to us. It was an honor to feature your home here.

Kamini's previous homes have also been featured here, here, here and here. You can find Kamini here:

Blog | Travel Blog | Facebook | Tumblr

Monday, July 9, 2012


Hear that? that's the sound of me opening the squeaky doors to this poor neglected blog. That's me in the corner (no, not losing* anything, really) just fighting off the cobwebs, throwing back the curtains, and *aaah-choooo* lifting off the dust-covers. Careful with that dust, it'll get in everywhere! Holy $^!*.  About time someone stepped back in here and cleaned things up. Grumble. I blink my eyes for one second and this blog's going to ruins.... let's just fix it with a pretty picture or two, shall we?


There. Much better. :)

Yup, I'm back. From where you might ask? the not-so-glamorous answer: nowhere in particular.  :(  I just had a bad case of blogger burnout so be gentle with me, please? It really has been ages (okay, closer to four months. five.), and I missed blogging. I know I should probably give some explanation, but why go there now? maybe later?

Right now, presuming there's still someone out there (hello? anyone?), why don't we get the conversation started? It's really been ages I have so much catching up to do.........I hope I'll see you here on the blog. Do drop in and tell me how you're doing. :)


* A not-so-subtle reference to this song. Anyone else remember them?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting rusty......

Reaching for some color in my wardrobe today..........Rich, full-bodied, rust. The earthy color of bricks. A hint of sparkle.........

Join me as I ogle these works of art? Image sources: 1/2/3

Happy Monday!

{you're welcome!}


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday brunch......

Mouth watering pizza, photographed by Dietlind Wolf; picture found here
Pinned by me on my Tumblr this morning. :)

Found this picture this morning, while trawling Tumblr........that potato-rosemary pizza looked so tempting, I decided to make it for our saturday brunch. As I type this, the pizza dough is in the oven, rising. The pantry has been raided, I had baby red potatoes and fresh rosemary on hand. Two garlic cloves have been crushed and doused in olive oil and are sitting in a small bowl next to the pizza dough....In about an hour's time, I'll be ready to assemble the pizza. :)

There are several recipes and many iterations of the potato-rosemary-garlic pizza out there. I'm pretty much eyeballing everything and going with my gut, but in case you're interested, you can find some good ones here, here and here.

On the weekends, I like to keep things simple, opting for a quick brunch for the day and a nice dinner at night. My brunch favorites: parathas top the list, in every possible permutation and combination; some days it's upmas of various types (semolina/cracked wheat/bambino noodle) loaded with veggies, with a side of hard boiled eggs; sometimes it's sandwiches (panini-pressed or cold) served with salads....

Do you cook on the weekends? (I know many families in which the mom takes the weekend off! :) ) Does brunch figure in your weekend plans? What are your favorites?

Hope you're having a good weekend,


Update: Thought I'd add a pretty picture of the you go! There's blogging in real time for you, LOL! :) (PS: the pizza's already vanished.)

Rosemary and potato pizza

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Some thank yous and a shout out to Aarohi's Poonchh Collection....

The past couple of weeks have been brimming over with good tidings. In the space of these two weeks, we celebrated our ninth anniversary and my birthday(!) and there were many happy little surprises in store for me....I received the news that my little blog had been featured in an article in the latest edition of Khabar magazine. I was in very distinguished company, and I'm extremely thankful to Girija for inviting me to be part of it. You can read the (very well written) article  here (Girija, you rock!). 

Indian decor

Earlier, I'd received a boxful of goodies (I'd won a giveaway) all the way from Atlanta, courtesy Ally of From the Right Bank. Thank you Ally, I'm really enjoying the latte bowls and journals. (Do you follow From the Right Bank? If not, you really should, it's one of my favorite blogs and I'm totally in love with the new series on Living La Belle Vie; it's thoughtful, inspiring, and brimming with eye candy!)

My birthday came complete with sweet flowers, birthday cards and gifts......and... sunshine! really, now what more can a girl ask for? Here are some of the goodies.............and thanks are due to the two adorable men in my life, who make each day a celebration....


 Lego R2D2 (the most -adored of the pack!) and a sincere attempt at spelling! Seriously, what mama's heart wouldn't melt.

That was the pretty extensive thank you section of the mail. 

Now on to the case you follow Aarohi's blog, you must be aware of the exciting new project she has been working on. She has teamed up with the not-for-profit organization, The Voice of Stray Dogs (VoSD), to launch a new line of home- and personal- accessories that will benefit the management and care of stray dogs in India. Many of you may be well aware of the plight of stray dogs in India; they are often victims of neglect and abuse. VoSD has come up with an actionable plan that offers animal birth control and road-hit/accident attention and recuperation services. Aarohi will be donating half the proceeds from the sale of her new line to the VoSD animal birth control and recovery efforts. You can read more on Aarohi's blog here. 

On a personal note, I have to say I am totally in awe of Aarohi's zeal and determination in carrying out this project. Working within the limitations of several personal challenges that she has been facing, she has devoted weeks of her time to this (almost) lost cause. If you are an animal lover, a dog lover or even simply a civic-minded person, I'm sure you must be excited to see what the Poonchh collection has to offer. (Translation: poonchh is tail in Hindi. Think happy, waggy tails-- saying thank you for all your help!!)

The following excerpt has been taken from her press notes; I hope it will lend some insight into the Poonchh Collection.

"Talking about the collection, Aarohi reveals that every piece in the Poonchh Collection has been hand-crafted using the best quality products, not mass-produced on a factory floor. As a matter of principle, she did not haggle with any of the craftsmen along the value chain. “Since this is for a good cause, I wanted the ‘vibe’ associated with each piece to be positive,” she smiles. 

Through the edgy, hip and very stylish Poonchh Collection, Aarohi hopes to make stray dogs hip and stylish too, a fashion statement in themselves. “I want people to carry the products around, and for the products to become a talking point,” says Aarohi. “Hopefully, that will set off a ripple effect, leading to increased awareness about strays, and translate eventually into better and more humanitarian care for the dogs.” It is for this reason that the Poonchh Collection is priced as reasonably as it is – almost every piece is available for under Rs 2500. The paintings are priced at Rs.5000."
I couldn't have said it better. You go girl! She's holding an exhibition from the 10th-12th of February. Further details here..... I do hope you can attend!

I LOVE the functional aspect of her collection; she's put the Poonchh stamp on phone sleeves and pouches, laptop/iPad sleeves, stylish clutches, and pillows and totes--there's something for everyone! So what are you waiting for, go get your wag of approval!

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