Thursday, November 26, 2015

House of the Month: Residence of Kaho from Mumbai

I am back after a small break from blogging and it's time for some home tour treat, my favorite segment!! I stumbled across this beautiful expat blog called Chuzai Living and Kaho the author, has made me see my home country in a new way. Kaho, born and raised in Japan, is based in Mumbai, loves to share her cultural experience through her blog and beautiful pictures. One of the best things about Kaho’s blog is that it doesn’t just revolve around her travel and cultural experiences and her life abroad, but also gives inspirations to design enthusiasts, fashion and food. And moreover her photographs attached to all her posts are beautiful, giving a gorgeous visual appeal to the blog and to the readers.

 And I particularly loved her home because her home is so inviting, warm with a lot of natural elements with a modern touch and minimal… I love the feel of that perfect balance of comfort, neutral tones and the rustic feel in Kaho’s home.
Here is what Kaho had to say about her inspiration to start a blog and decorate her home
What inspired you to start a blog?
Kaho: "Being an expat encounters a lot of challenges. Getting acclimated to a new country is a daunting task not to mention managing to survive in a city where people speak a different language from your is intimidating. Thus, I thought that I wanted my blog to be a place where people can come and grab the information that they need in order to make their lives easier.
With this blog, I want to become that person, a friend, who can refer places to people who are looking for recommendations because I knew that I could achieve it by using my passion for photography, interior design and food. I take pictures of the interior of a restaurant or store which I enjoy and take photos of the food or items that the restaurant or store offers which I find very intriguing."
What is your inspiration for decorating your home?
Kaho: "Scandinavian design… I love have a lot of natural light, white and natural woods in my home.  I am a fan of simple and modern interior design with a bit of rustic or industrial flare.  Since we are an expat family, we don't get to use our own furniture except for a few pieces we were able to bring with us.  It's been a challenge to show my style using the fixed furniture, but I try to be creative."

a living room that's highlighted with neutral tones and filled with comfort

a nice rustic table that goes well with grey and beige

Dining area that has a huge wooden cabinet with Kaho's collection that's arranged beautifully

my personal favorite - a huge chalkboard to write that has a happy quote

the dining area

a relaxing foyer

the girls room with blue pompoms and blue frames

a minimalistic living room style

Click here to visit Kaho’s blog, Chuzai Living for more inspirations. Thanks Kaho for sharing your beautiful space with me and my readers. I hope to meet you when I visit Mumbai!!!

Images copyright Kaho from Chuzai Living


Monday, November 2, 2015

Hallway Decor

Hallways are generally the most neglected area of a home with no design love. But actually, it deserves all the design love it needs because it’s considered as transitional space for the guest before reaching the other rooms of the house. One needs to set the mood right to welcome the guests as it gives the first impression of your home. The style and design of hallways must fit into the overall décor of your home.

If you have not given the required love and attention for your hallway, here are some ways to do so…

Light up
Hallways generally lack windows and the only way to enhance light is through large mirrors, wall lamps or hanging lamps.  And preferably a light paint scheme that matched the overall paint of your home.

Image via Vogue

There are different ways to hang art in your hallway. One is to hang a single piece that is captivating against the wall. Or hang a collage of art work or photos from ceiling to bottom by creating your own gallery display with bold frames to create a pattern.

Image via Lonny

If you have space constrain make sure you chose a console table that is narrow that fits in your hallway and place your favorite sculpture or a vase full of flowers to give a fabulous display to your guests. And if you have enough space you can add a book shelf or a small cupboard for storage solutions or a coat stand. But keep in mind it’s not heavily trafficked and cluttered. And make it as cozy as possible.

Image via Pinterest


Use potted plants with beautiful textured planters to uplift the tone of the house. And its also a great decorating potential. Moreover a little bit of green always livens up a space.

Image via Lonny

Rug and Tiles

Place a nice funky and colorful rug with beautiful patterns to give an extra impact. Or create patterns with colorful floor tiles.

Image via Lonny

Hope these tips have been useful for you. I think I am ready to redo my hallway at the earliest.... time for a change!!!... after all first impression counts. And I hope I can share the before and after pictures. Have a good day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jebel Sifah Resort

view from my room

My recent trip to Jebel Sifah Resort, with some friends and family turned out to be a wonderful getaway… The drive to this paradise was beautiful, serene and breathtaking views of mountains, roads and the sea. The resort is beautifully designed, well maintained, spread out and lies near the beach and has a beautiful view of the marina. What I loved about the resort was the calm soothing and earthy texture of the resort. And I would recommend staying for at least 2 nights if you want to explore the cruise and the beach. It’s also hub for yacht cruising, recreational boating and aqua sports. The rooms were good and spacious, friendly staff, well maintained pool and good food.

The only trouble we had in reaching this place was there was no proper signpost indicating the location of the resort. We had to drive around a bit to locate. Other than this our stay there was pleasant and looking forward to staying here again!!

the drive was beautiful



beautiful view of the mountains

Images are clicked by me


Monday, October 12, 2015

My Edible Garden

I read somewhere “Gardening is perhaps the most common and shared experience of nature”... how true!!
In the hope for the weather to get better and the heat to drop, I started growing my own patch of edible garden. Last year my harvest was good and I remembered the distinct flavour of my home grown vegetables... very different from the ones you purchase from supermarket. Its fun growing your own vegetables, relieves stress, therapeutic and it’s a great way to spend some outdoor quality time with my daughter.

 For the time being I have planted beans, spinach, green chillie, tomatoes, lady’s finger, brinjal and basil and I hope to add more. It’s best to start small and make sure you get sun, plenty of water and good quality soil. Space is never a constraint for growing your own vegetable garden. You can grow it in your own balcony, windowsill or terrace.
Imagine picking fresh salad leaves from your garden! Are you ready to have an edible garden of your own?


Images are clicked by me, from my kitchen garden

Monday, September 7, 2015

Baking Memories: Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

There was a lot to celebrate last weekend. It started off with our traditional harvest festival called Onam, followed by my wedding anniversary and my daughter’s birthday. Days are passing by so fast and our routine and lifestyle are getting hectic …And I keep reminding myself to slow down to make memories for my little princess, which will last for a lifetime. And she is growing up so fast!! I remind myself to take time and focus on life’s simple pleasures, which is just enough to create an everlasting bond with my daughter.

So last weekend we created some baking memories. My five year old decided to bake some sugar cookies. So we got down to it and decided to give away these cookies as a token of appreciation to the kids who came to celebrate her birthday. We ended up having a fabulous time and I enjoyed watching her excitement.
Baking these cookies are absolutely stress free… you just need to plan ahead… and get your ingredients ready! So here goes the recipe

Serves 20

  • 90g unsalted butter softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  •  egg      
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp Salt


In a bowl sieve together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl whisk butter and sugar till pale. And then beat in egg and vanilla extract.
Add the flour to the butter mix till dough is formed. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C. Roll the dough out on a floured surface

Cut out the cookies with different shaped cutters and transfer these on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Roll up the trimmings and repeat the steps above to make more cookies.
Bake these for 8 to 12 minutes until golden. And then transfer them on a wire sheet to cool before icing.

Sugar icing
This icing is super fast and easy and you just need two ingredients! It gives a perfect glaze for your cookies

·         1 Cup Powdered Sugar

·         4 tsp Milk

Method for Sugar Icing

1.      Mix the powdered sugar and milk with fork till smooth. If you like thinner consistency you can add more milk or thicker by adding powdered sugar.

2.      You can also add food colour to the icing and pipe in a icing bag and decorate the cookie or use a knife or spoon to spread the icing.

3.      Immediate after spreading the icing, add sprinkles right away as the icing will begin to dry immediately.

4.      Once the icing on the cookies is set, you can start to pack them in cute give-away boxes or store them for yourself.


Packed in small gift bags

and packed in good bags that I made from brown paper bag, ribbon and doily

I hope you get to create some baking memories with your loved one!!! And I would love to hear about your baking adventures.
Images are clicked by me

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lisa Corti Home Textile

Even when I am on a tight budget there are a few things that I don’t mind splurging… no no ... not jewelry… its textiles and handlooms. I always had a soft spot for textiles that beautify interiors like bedspreads, table cloth, quilts, and table-runners, because it gives life to any home décor. Last night while browsing on the internet I came across this beautiful store that swept my feet away. It’s called Lisa Corti Home Textile Emporium, based in Milan, by Italian Textile Designer, Lisa Corti. Her designs and prints are eye popping, unique and beautiful mix of colours that strike a balance with interesting combinations.  She mainly draws her inspiration from different cultures and from her travels, especially India. Her store is an eye candy for sure to a textile-lover and I hope to visit some day.

Click here to browse through her store and products…. Wishing you all a happy and dreamy weekend!!

Image copyright Lisa Corti

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ria's Collections

A great food blog requires tried and tested recipes, beautiful photos that will make you drool and good writing skills that will keep your readers engaged. Ria’s Collections is one such popular blog that has all these goodness. The author, Ria Mary Mathew, is a busy mom, a cook instructor, an award winning blogger and a student once again. She is from Kannur, Kerala and based in Minnesota. Five years back I accidentally found her blog as I was searching for a good cake recipe and then there was no turning back for me. Her blog has simple and exotic recipes of cake, savory and other global dishes and she speaks for her passion for cooking through her stories and memories. I have been chasing her to reveal her inspiration with us and she was so gracious to take some time out from her busy schedule for us to share her blogging success story with us.

Ria, Tell us something about yourself.

To make it short, I am a person who believes in quality over quantity. I am a severe case of OCD and I repeat doing the same thing over and over again until I get it right. Even though I love to cook and bake, there are so many kinds of food that you will never see me eating!

When did your passion for baking and food begin? And what was your inspiration to start your food blog?

I started cooking from when I was 3 years old. Cooking and baking is in my blood. It’s the first thing that I turn to when I am happy or sad. For me, food plays an important role in creating memories. So, kitchen is my happiest place in our house.

I used to have a recipe diary from when I was a little girl. Every recipe that would capture my attention with its photographs or description would find a place in it. Therefore it was natural for that diary to grow bulkier as the years went by. My cousins and I would exchange recipe notes via emails and when my little brother saw me frantically typing recipe after recipe, he asked me why I didn’t start a food blog which would make things easier. The rest is history.

Have you taken any formal training in baking/cooking? And do you experiment in baking and cooking?

 I was trained under the watchful eyes of my mother growing up. I experiment a LOT in my kitchen and almost all of them have been delicious. Now, after all these years of cooking and baking, I can easily figure out if a recipe is good or not by just reading through the ingredient list and quantity. So disasters are very few.

Currently,I am a student at Le Cordon Bleu specializing in Baking and Patisserie.

Your food photography definitely stands out. Have you had any training in photography? Any tips in photography for fellow bloggers?

Thanks! No, I am a self taught food photographer (if I can call myself that way!). I always shoot in natural light and try to keep the props to a minimum so that the food is the main focus.

Browse as many websites as possible which focuses on food photography. See what they do to bring their food to focus and then try to develop a style of your own. In a photograph, food looks good in smaller quantities and on smaller plates/bowls.

What is the most gratifying aspect for blogging?

It is the network that I’ve built over the past 7 years. I have readers all over the globe and I am in constant touch with them. When they try out my recipes and write to me to tell me about their experience, it’s immensely satisfying. It helps me realize how wonderful it is to share something good with others.

Do you have any other passions apart from blogging and photography?

Family, of course! It is my first priority any day!

What are your future plans? Can we expect a cook book?

Once I graduate, I want to gain experience from working under experienced chefs and then maybe a few years down the lane,when I am confident enough,I will start something on my own. I don’t know if it’s going to be a bakery or a café .It will be something that will give me enough freedom to take a vacation whenever I want to!

Cookbooks…hmmm. I would love to write one but that needs a lot of dedication,focus and hardwork. I don’t know if there will be one in my near future as I am literally drowning in homework and test papers from school!

Here are some of her popular recipes and pictures... please click on the caption of each picture for the recipe

Thanks Ria for sharing your story with me and my readers and wishing you all the best with your current course. And I do hope to meet you in person in the near future!

 Please click here to hop on to Ria’sCollections and enjoy her recipes.
Images via Ria