Saturday, July 31, 2010

What is your Sunday plan?

Yay its Sunday! Even though I don't work, there is something relaxing about a Sunday! So what am I doing today? start with, for lunch I am making Rajma/Chawal (Red kidney beans and rice)....
Soak 2C rajma overnight. Wash and pressure cook the rajma. Keep aside. Heat 2T oil in a pan, add 1" piece crushed ginger, 5 cloves chopped garlic and 3 chopped green chillies. Fry until they turn brown. Add 1 diced onions and 3 chopped tomatoes. Cook until masala separates from oil. Add salt, a pinch turmeric powder and mix well. Add the cooked rajma, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and stir. Simmer the flame and cook until a thick gravy is formed. Remove from fire. Garnish rajma with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.
Along with that I'll have some Aloo Gobi (Curried potatoes with cauliflower)
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1tsp cumin seeds + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder + 1" finely chopped ginger. Fry & stir for 10 seconds. Add one medium size finely chopped onion and fry until translucent. Add 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped). Cook on medium heat until the potatoes are half done. Stir occassionally. By this time the onions should be nicely browned. Add one cauliflower (broken into florets by hand) + 1tsp garam masala + 1 tsp chili powder + juice of 1/2 lime. Mix well. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is done and the potatoes are soft.
Than after lunch, sit down with the Sunday crossword with coffee, or.....
......Moroccan mint tea in my Moroccan mint tea set bought last year in Granada.
Then if I have time, a spot of gift wrapping
And then finally head to the gym to burn off those calories...!

What does your Sunday hold for you??? Whatever it is, enjoy the day!

Images are via flickr photo sharing and mine!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wedding shopping sneak peek...

OK so many of you reading my blog know I have been blabbing about a wedding..yes, my son in DC is getting married to his partner Andy on the 5th of Sept. Even though it is not a traditional is still a WEDDING...and I have to do my share of shopping :-) I cannot obviously let too many details cos then it wouldn't be fun for those attending AND reading this (even tho that may be a very small number)..but I have been buying bangles up the wazoo. Bangles are great - they are colorful, the metal ones are beautiful, unbreakable and travel worthy, all girls big and small love bangles, they come in a gazillion varieties and sizes and colors, they make for great gifts naturally I have gone a bit bangle berserk and living in a city like Hyderabad where even your local paan wallah (street vendor) or mochi (cobbler) sells bangles, its easy to go berserk! I also have been buying gifts...for relatives, cousins, nieces, nephews etc! So all you inquiring minds that want to know - and I want to share - here are some pics of my purchases. For the same reason mentioned above.... can only show a few, but you will get the general idea!
Bangles for the big girls.....this is about a tenth of what I bought!

Bling bling for the little girls.....

Saris for moi! Just simple silk ones with little mirrors on them. I am not at all into grand heavy saris so this is about as dressy as I will get! The shopkeeper was aghast that I would wear something so simple for MY SON"S WEDDING! Kept shaking his head sadly and my mother shook her head along with him in commiseration!

Of course Jaipuri jutis to go along with them!
Fab India shirts for the young nephews!
A lovely turquoise blue/orange half sari for my 17 yr old niece!

Silver and stonework jewellry for the young nieces and female relatives...

Toe rings...
And there you have it....a sneak peek of all the shopping I have been doing! I get more fun shopping for others than for myself, and when you find that perfect gift for a person, its really very rewarding! My mother has been my partner in crime...!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marrakech Design

Marrakech...the very name conjures up images of an exotic, distant city, of hot desert winds blowing in from the Sahara, of magic Carpets and snake charmers, and of spices and perfumes brought in by camel trains, rose-colored walls of the medina, a labyrinth of winding streets that open onto lush green gardens and dark alleyways leading to bustling souks.

For us as designers it translates to interiors with deep orange, pink and saffron colors, tiled mosaic archways and doorways, latticed walls, courtyards with fountains, wrought iron furniture and roses spilling over, romantic lighting cast by lamps and lanterns, armoires and couches, camel bone mirrors, tea glasses and painted ceilings!!!

Here are some stunning images of a home created by Jeffers Design Group in Pacific Heights, California, epitomising Moroccan style through vibrant color, graphic motifs and extensive hand crafted elements. Some of it is a bit over the top and too flamboyant for me I will admit, but nonetheless absolutely gorgeous use of color and ideas to inspire us. There are lots of pictures to scroll through even I had the hardest time deciding which ones to post....tell me what your favorites are, mine are the bookshelves in the 6th picture, the pink and white paisley bedspread, and that the swing!

Images via

Malaysian designer Peter Lam

I was surfing the net looking for some inspiring design ideas....when I stumbled upon an article mentioning a designer named Peter Lam, a Malaysian born Chinese designer and his design company called Hot Dog Decor!. Intrigued by the name I visited his website and almost did a double take...not just for his fun attitude to design, but that he has 2 dogs exactly, and I mean EXACTLY like mine, a black and a red doxie. So of course, being the dog crazy woman that I am,  I had to contact him and let him know....I mean here was another human being on the planet as nutty about the 3D's as I am - Design, Doggies and Dachshunds - in that order!

Peter was nice enough to respond - within 10 minutes -  to my e mail and sent me some pics of his work. We even exchanged doggie pics! What a great guy! The interiors designed by him tend to be wildly minimalistic - spare, white and monochromatic punctuated with outrageous and dramatic pops and zings of color by way of funky furniture, bight artwork and accessories.

But what I liked best about Peter was his philosophy towards residential design..."I’m best at creating homely spaces that do not feel overly-designed. The space should feel like it’s been arranged by the owner to suit his or her personal needs. And decorative objects should feel like the owner has curated the objects over the years.
I believe it’s also important that the space say something about the owner of the space; that they amplify the personality of the occupant. Rather than just creating a space that looks nice, we should create one that really represent the homeowner’s character.
I’m not that interested in fads that are “in” today and “so yesterday” tomorrow. What I enjoy most is making classic elements look fresh. I get a kick out of taking something with its own history and making it relevant for today. It may sound a cliché, but good decorating really is about creating a twist on the classic look to give it a contemporary edge.

As you will see from my work, I try to create spaces that do not have a rigid style. I don’t like it when everything matches perfectly. I prefer designs that are kind of eclectic. Architectural details that are not typically seen together look surprisingly good when matched. Decorations appear to have been collected over time and from different places - vintage pieces matched with contemporary pieces, metal used together with velvet, Shanghainese paired with European etc. However, it’s also obvious that there’s a central theme that holds everything together. The spaces feel organic—whatever elements work well together are used, which means that the resulting space doesn’t look overly-designed. Mixing different styles and elements together to create a unique look that will be completely different from others. And this clever mix of eclectic elements usually results in a surprising feast for the senses…"

Peter - I couldn't have said it better myself! Peter is currently working on his own furniture collection are pics of Peter and his doggies followed by pics of his work!

To see more of his beautiful commercial spaces visit his website at