Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the long weekend

 We did the Dubai tourist thing at the start of the Eid looong weekend. We battled the crowds at Dubai mall, seriously people, how did all of you coordinate to be there that day? We saw 5 shows of the dancing fountains.....E was ecstatic about them, so how could I resist! We had planned to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, but then remembered that they don't take reservations, and really who wants to wait for over an hour staring at the fish, and of course the thousands of people wandering aimlessly and also staring at the fish, so we went for the next best option, TGIF. Which turned out to be a nicer option, since one gets this great view of the fountains.

 And then they danced for us. I love the music they pick for the fountains. It varies from western classical to The Magnificent Seven (which I got on video) and some really emotional Arabian themes. When I watch them, I feel like I'm a kid again.

 Some weekend relaxation....and eating leftover Strawberry Buttermilk Cake that I had made for E's Eid party at school.

 Breakfast at The Lime Tree Cafe, our third try for a good breakfast. We'd originally wanted to have breakfast at a new cafe/culinary school in our neighborhood, but it was closed for the Eid break, so we went to Cafe Nero next door, but they only had pre-packaged stuff for breakfast, so we headed to Lime Tree instead. And this was our number!

Poached eggs on toast with hollandaise sauce. E and my breakfast. Not so keen on the slightly shaky poached eggs, would have preferred fried or even half-boiled, but for some reason one cannot choose anymore. Still it was a good breakfast, and E had plenty to play with after she ate, some books and puzzles and the best of all, some cats outside :-)

PS: Did you know that malls were open 24 hours for the Eid weekend! And the one before it as well!

oh those carefree days....

As much as I love being a mom and leading a settled life, I do sometimes miss the carefree days of college. Days where one didn't need to plan meals for the whole week, and schedule everything like a fiend. I really miss going out to concerts like did in college, enjoying the ambiance, the incredible feeling of listening to your favorite bands live and in person. I love how the bands would come and set up their equipment and create such an energy around them. Every little thing was taken care of to be just perfect, and I think having the right lights played a big part in it. When you see how complicated it can be, like for instance the dj lighting at guitar center, one realizes just how much work it was.

Monday, October 29, 2012

think big when it comes to art

I love my home and the cozy feel I have created, but every once in a while, I like to or rather I have to just change things up a bit. What usually happens, is that when one moves in, one sets up the house and that's how it stays for years. Sure, one moves around some of the smaller pieces, but on the whole it stays the same. I mean, who can really devote the time and money to change the curtains or reupholster the sofa's every year? Ok, maybe if your last name is Trump, you can do that, but I certainly don't bother.

To me, the impact of a new look is created by artwork and paintings. Just by thinking out of the box, one can make the room look dramatically different, and that's what I did a few months back, and quite frankly am itching to do so again. Large format art. It's incredible how it changes a room, just by using a custom poster, maybe some graphic or some of your own photography, and vioila, you've got a new focus area. The thing to remember about custom poster frames is that instead of going all wimpy about them, go dramatic instead. Sure, it'll cost a little bit more, but the impact is worth a lot more.

You've got to visit the site and see more at Shortrun Posters, so you can see what I'm talking about. The cost getting a custom poster is definitely less than what you're thinking it will be and they really do change the way a room looks. Last time around, I got some of my photographs enlarged and converted to black and white, and just like that they made such an impact. This time, I'm going to get them mounted and maybe even laminate a couple of smaller ones. In the end, it's all about being creative and creating a unique look for your home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

some photos....

 night time lights....

 fresh blooms in the park nearby....

just another day at home.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

movie and popcorn time :-)

There's nothing like a long weekend looming ahead isn't there? I love the feeling, the anticipation, the planning of meals, mostly eat out or ordered in, some baking and finally some time off to watch movies! I love watching movies on the weekends and since we upgraded to the dvr format, we've been recording movies and shows left, right and center, but have not been able to keep up with watching them. So, now it's movies every afternoon. And popcorn! There HAS to be popcorn, hot buttery popcorn, sweet caramel popcorn, cheese popcorn and so on, to go with the movie. It's a must. I usually make it in the pressure cooker, but having popcorn machines at home would be super cool, wouldn't it?

It would certainly create more of a movie feel right in the comfort of home. Earlier popcorn machines used to be large and cumbersome, but now there are many that are pretty cool for home use as well and very retro too, especially if you have a home theater room for the full effect. And if you can get theater style popcorn at home, what's not to like. If you'd like, View more here and see which one you'd like to get. My favorite flavor is a simple butter popcorn, but I do love cheese too. And this time of the year, it's all about caramel, isn't it. So bring out the caramel apples as well!

Although we don't have a dedicated theater room, I do like to close the curtains to create a darker, more theater like room. It cuts the glare and improves the quality of the picture as well. And of course, nothing like watching a movie in the theater and freezing in their chilled AC, right! So, I lower it a bit at home too, not to freezing standards, just enough to want to snuggle under a blanket! Ah ... now that's what I'm talking about!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Installing Disqus....and now removing it.

Have you tried Disqus yet? I've commented on many blogs that use it, and I liked the way that one can keep better track of comments in a cohesive manner. It keeps all the comments I make together so that I can go back and visit them again. This is especially important when you hop, skip and jump over to a new blog and then forget what its name was. Using Disqus means that all your comments are kept together and that you get notifications when you get a reply to a comment you made. Would appreciate your feedback on it. Do try it out.

Edited on Nov 6th, 2012: Removing Disqus since I just didn't like how it worked. Plus it's an extra step for me to moderate, from a different platform, so more work. Plus, I don't want to have your email, just your blog url, so I can visit you. Sorry Disqus. And so sorry for the few comments that got lost in the way. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

our days....

A new week and a short one at that. The holiday weekend is coming up, so it's going to be a short countdown....just mon, tue and wed! And then a four day weekend! Happy days!
 Afternoon light streaming into the room, all the way across the bed and to the wall on the opposite side. I love it. It's such a treat to enjoy the sunshine inside the house. We get a lot of it, but when it's too hot, it's not as welcome as it is these days. But I do have to add, I love the angle our apt faces. Firstly we're on the corner, so not only do we get lots of light, we get to see the sunrise as well as sunset. But best of all, we get very little sunlight in the house from April to Sept, but lots and lots of it during the colder months. We moved into this house 2 years ago at the beginning of October, and I was so happy to see the sun streaming across the rooms, but dreaded the onset of summer, but I was so happy to see the sun go overhead instead.

 Little blooms that make a difference....a sprig of a flowering hedge and some bougainvillea surrepetiously plucked as I walked back home from school. And an old handkerchief, probably 50 years old, bought by my grandmother. I have it in several colors and only use them as props or when I wear sarees. Then it fits in, instead of looking costume-y.

Hard at work coloring away. It's become a daily activity now, she loves it so much, and I love it even more! I try to time her coloring session with my cup of tea/coffee :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the little things

The weeks and months go by without us even realizing, but the days we notice, don't we? We notice how long they are, how tiring they are, how repetitious they are, and are glad they're over. Here are some of the things that made me happy this week. Another thing that is making me happy.....it's Tuesday already....only Wednesday and Thursday to go, and then it's the weekend. And next weekend, we've got the holidays to look forward to!
 Friday morning baking for the weekend. I like having simple recipes at hand, so that I can mix up something, pop it into the oven, sit down to have a cup of tea and by the time we've had breakfast, it's baked and cooled enough for us to dive in! That's what a weekend is about....eating dessert at 915 in the morning :-) Oh, this was a raspberry cobbler, by the way.

 Working on making a 3D letter for my daughter. It started out as a cake box from a local cafe, then covered with a couple of layers of papier mache, using a mixture of flour and water. Really, that simple. Only a bit messy, so spread those newspapers. Not sure how I'm going to finish this....designwise, since I've suddenly gone blank on it. So will probably go really simple on it....just a coat of paint after sandpapering a bit.

The newest kid on the block, a little succulent that I picked up at the grocery store. Doing ok so far, but I need to repot it, and am floundering a bit....potting soil, hole at the bottom of pot or not, line with pebbles at the bottom or not and so on. Oh well, might as well enjoy it while it lasts!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

on my way back

 Walking back home after dropping E to school. I find it liberating to stop and take photos. I can let my guard down, I don't have to be on alert. It's so freeing!

A neem tree near the playground. I miss the neem tree behind our old house. It was lovely to be able to see it from bed itself, to walk out and pluck some leaves and flowers. Nostalgia :)

keep calm....it's the weekend!

So, it's the weekend! Whew, I'm glad it's here. It's been a hectic one and I'm so ready for just chilling and relaxing. The weather's getting better, although it's a lot more humid all of a sudden, a result of the dense fog we've been having every morning. And of course doing some shopping! Nothing as wild as Shoei RF-1100 Diabolic Feud helmets, but maybe something just as graphic. I'm leaning towards some calligraphy, maybe our names or a nice motto to live by, or maybe even just something as simple as "keep calm and carry on". Gives it a nice twist right! I thought so too.

Monday, October 08, 2012

at the metro station

Waiting for a train at the metro station, happy for the opportunity to take photos. E loved it too since she wasn't in a stroller!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

in the neighbourhood...

Out and about in our neighbourhood, seeing how everything is looking so beautiful again. But I really do have to say, despite the horrible heat and humidity of the summers, the gardeners really do make everything look nice all year round. I just don't like how they trim everything so far back each time. We wait for the trees to grow, and they come and lop them off so drastically. I know, they're training them to be taller before they let them spread sideways, but it's just not nice to see them bare all of a sudden.
 Bougainvillea before the blooms arrive.
 Love this grass and how it sways in the wind. And it always looks fantastic in the evening light.

Heading to school in the morning....as we come down the stairs to the lake level.