Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Water water everywhere...

Yes, Chennai is flooded everywhere. It has been raining everyday ever since 6th November, and it's not mild showers!! Schools have been closed for over 15 days now.. all lakes full and overflowing.
On one of the days when there was a dry spell, V and I were so bored that we drove down to the marina beach to see how it looked.. there was water till the road.. here's a snapshot

We took this picture from the footpath!! We could not make out the beginning of the sea or end of sand!!

Thanks to being stuck at home, I tried my hand at some of the recipes that have been on my to-do list for quite a while

Egg-less quiche. I could not believe how simple it is to make. I substituted spinach with corn. Here's the recipe

V's bestie had come down to visit from Mumbai and it happened that her birthday is just a week later. V and I baked this cranberries-cherry cake to celebrate her birthday in advance

Thanks to all the time I got at home, I made quite some progress on seashells
This is a picture taken last week, I made little more progress since this was taken. As I get closer to the end am just unable to put it down!!

So friends, that's the story from my end today. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Yes.. the festival that everybody looks forward to the most all through the year is over!! Some parts of India celebrate Diwali today. Wishing all my friends here a very Happy, prosperous Diwali

I do not know how many do this, but as soon as the annual holiday calendar is released, first thing I check for is Diwali. This is one festival that I look forward to each year from the beginning of the year. Even thinking about Diwali brings so much joy and happiness. And just like each year, Diwali is over in the blink of an eye.. sigh!!

I tried a new sweet this year - Maalpua. It's a north Indian sweet dish. These are basically crisp pancakes made out of refined flour and milk, soaked in sugar syrup. I wanted to make this a diabetic friendly sweet as majority of my family members are diabetic - the husband, dad and mil. I got the basic recipe for Maalpuas from here. For the sugar syrup I used Sugar Free Natura and used the recipe from here. It was a big hit with everybody - except me :( I did not like the taste of sugarfree, but the hubby, mil and my dad just loved it!! I thought it left some kind of a bitter after-taste

On the stitchy front, I have a picture to share my progress.

With only a month a half more to the year, I am sure I cannot finish this project in 2015. But I am pretty sure that the day is not very far when I share a 'completed' post!!

So, till next time.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir

Friday, October 16, 2015


Festival season has begun here. The first is Navrathri (nine nights translated literally). The significance of this festival is to drive away the ignorance in us and win over unwanted characteristics like ego, selfishness, jealousy and such..

The air is full of cheer and happiness - little girls dressed up in Paavaada - chattai (traditional south indian costume for girls), ladies in sarees adorned with their fineries. This is a time to visit friends and relatives. This is also a good time to start on any new activity - education, new craft, pick up on pending crafts etc

We were unable to have a big golu the last 2 years primarily due to my work hours. This year though, I somehow managed to work around that and have setup a simple golu

V is all set to invite people home, to visit our golu and take vethala paakku

Now, as you all know, my stitching has taken a back seat over the last few months. I won't say that I did not stitch at all, but much much lesser than I would have liked to finish. Post Navrathri, I plan to start with all the vigour again and try to complete seashells by the year end.

With that I say bye today friends.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stash.. Stash..Stash

The subject says it all!! Yay, I have more stitchy stash, which I ordered from the US

1. The limited edition 'Sweet Summer' pattern from Lizzie Kate. This is my first ever Lizzie Kate.
2. One Winter pattern by Myrtle Grace Motifs
3. Bluebird Out my Window by Blackbird Designs
4. Classic Orientals pattern book which I bought from Meari's Stash sale. The patterns are all so beautiful

Am totally excited now and super motivated to complete seashells soon and start on one of these..

That's from me today friends. More updates very soon..

Till then.. Take Care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Monday, August 3, 2015

A visit to my birthplace..

It's been a continuous line-up of celebrations in the family.. 60th birthdays (2 uncles turned 60 recently), baby shower, cousin's engagement.. it's been a busy 2 months

The function hall where one of the 60th b'days was celebrated used to be a house earlier, where we lived back in 1985, and has been converted to a hall now!! It was such a nostalgic trip, recounting olden days, mischief... This hall was 2 blocks away from the house where all of us were born (my cousins and I). Our grandparents lived there for almost 30 years, and we used to visit them here every summer vacation. We could not resist the temptation to at least walk past that house and take a picture in front of the gate. The current tenant was very kind and allowed us inside!! Oh, we were all so emotional and nostalgic.. there was absolutely no change to the house, except that it was painted recently

That's some of us who were there in front of the house. The kids were totally delighted to see the house, most importantly because there is such a huge area to play around the house. Lot of open space for the kids to run around, a huge open terrace... sigh what times we had as kids

Here's a coffee cake I tried - Classic nutty coffee cake with browned butter topping
I got the recipe from the book Classic home desserts by Richard Sax

V and I got down to some serious beading last weekend

She - preparing for her birthday, which is coming up.
I implemented this design which has been eating my head for a while now

I did a very teeny bit of progress on seashells. Will post a picture with my next post

Till next time folks.. Take Care.. Be happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back to routine!!

End of summer vacation always evokes mixed feelings in me. On the one hand I am relieved that life is going to get back to routine after 2 months of absolutely no system or discipline, nothing but fun and relaxation. On the other hand I will terribly miss my little elf V - she literally being my tail and following me around, having to tell her 'V can you please be quiet for atleast 5 minutes'!! Sighhhh anyway, school has begun and life is back to machine like routine.

V baked one more absolutely yummy cake from scratch and all on her own - a spiced oatmeal raisin quick bread

The recipe is from my Williams Sonoma Baking book. We halved the recipe and replaced egg with flaxseed powder

Each year I attempt to bake a mango cake, but never succeeded. I found a recipe and finally succeeded this year

The recipe is from TicklingPalates.com.

And guess what, after about 2 months of no stitching, I have picked up seashells again. Here's where I am now.

I have completed exactly 50% of the chart. The stitching in the second half is not as dense as in the first half, so hope to finish the project soon

This is it from me today friends. You are going to hear more frequently from me from now. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Trip and Summer Lessons

We got back from a wonderful vacation about 10 days back. This year we picked Singapore, a place very close to my heart for many reasons. My first trip to a foreign country was to Singapore in 1999, my husband and I began our journey here and V was born here as well. So, very close to my heart. We went back there after 10 years.. to see our old haunts and visit people and new attractions. What a lovely vacation this was.. my most memorable one

This summer, V and I discussed how to keep her occupied and decided that we would do something different and not the regular summer camp. So we rounded on daily life skills - baking, basic sewing etc.

First was a cake that V baked from scratch. She has been my little elf all along.. mixing the batter, stringing beads etc. This was her first ever cake baked from scratch - an orange chocochip cake

It turned out very moist and soft.

I have not been stitching on seashells the last 2 months, but I have reached the half-point. The first page of the chart is complete and I have begun the second page, yayyy!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Start of summer vacations - 2015

Oh my god, end of another academic year!! I know, each year it's the same reaction, very cliche.. but it really feels like I just got the new books and uniforms for last year

I always feel as excited as V does when it's vacation time for many reasons:

1. I get to re-live my own vacation through hers
2. I get to sleep for a little longer in the morning (if only for an hour more)
3. The air is generally very relaxed during vacations - no early morning rush

CBSE board have been following this crazy system the past 2 years - close school for 10 days after the final examination, then re-open school to kick start the next academic year and close again for the whole of May, which is the actual vacation. School then re-opens in the 1st week of June. I have been trying to understand the logic behind this crazy system ever since, but have not been able to understand. Anyway, V is done with class 5 and is on vacation for 2 weeks. Then there's school again all of April!! We are enjoying the brief 2-week vacation now before she starts off her next academic year

Summer is synonymous with beaches and cold desserts and all things fun. That's precisely what we have been doing the past week. We kick-started the vacation with a visit to the beach with cousins

V bought a new bi-cycle for herself. Yes, for herself, because she bought this with her own pocket money that she's been saving up for over a year.

I took a ride on it.. rode a bi-cycle after years.
What a wonderful feeling.. one of freedom and liberation.. I have always loved to ride a bi-cycle.

We kick started the vacation with this cheese cake

It's a dulche-de-leche cheese cake topped with carrot halwa, home-made caramel sauce and butterscotch.

I do not have a stitchy picture today to share. Will share my progress next week

Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Feb Tusal

Yeah yeah I know it's March and the subject says Feb.. but in my defense, new moon was in Feb ;)

So here goes the TUSAL

 For those who are wondering what a TUSAL is, you can find the details here

And here's my progress on seashells

Doesn't she look pretty.. Love the chubby little arms

I have been trying to bake healthy. So, using jaggery instead of sugar in most of my bakes. Here's a Feta cheese and apple muffin I baked

This is a little low on sweet, so tastes absolutely yum with a li'l bit of cheese spread. The mildness of the muffins and the slightly salty cheese spread compliment each other beautifully.
Here's the recipe:
1.5cup flour - I used 50-50 whole wheat and plain flour, 1/4cup oats, 2tbsp sugar - I used jaggery instead, 1 large Apple, 2tsp bkng pwdr, 1/2tsp bkng soda, 1/2tsp salt, 3/4cup milk, 2 eggs - used flaxseed substitute, 1/4cup butter- used oil here, 3/4 cup cheese. 
Method is the same as for any cake

V has been quilling away. She made a pair of jhumkas, which I simply love

Love the colors she has used

That's all from me today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Craft away to glory.. Au Revoir

Friday, February 13, 2015

Belated TUSAL post

Wow, we are already a month and a half into the 'NEW' year!!! I know this sounds soooo cliche, but time flieeessss

I took this picture of my ORTS way back (in time for the new moon post), but never got to make that post. Better late than never, so here goes

For those who are wondering about what the TUSAL post is all about, you can get the details here 

I have been working diligently on seashells daily after work and made good progress

Stitching is such a great way to unwind after a hard day working (at home and at work). I can't wait to finish seashells and start off on a new project

Well, that's it from me today. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir