Month: July 2021

Using old CDs to make a mosaic on a plain tray

How to Cut Old CDs and Make a Mosaic Tray

The CD Mosaic is a unique corner wall display for your home that provides an old CD with new life. The simple, yet beautiful design allows the disc to be appreciated for what it is: just another item in your collection. Remember when we had drawers full of cassette tapes? Some originals bought from the store, some blank ones with recordings from the radio, and a whole bunch of mixed tapes. Then came the CDs and DVDs. They saved a lot of space, but were soon obsolete. I haven’t had, or felt the need to have, an optical drive in my home for over eight years. So now what to do with all the CDs? There is a lot of clutter in our homes that we don’t use. We donate it to a general recycle bin and hope that tomorrow it will be replaced by something new. I saw this trick somewhere and knew I had to try. Yes, it repurposed some of my CDs, but it also looked awesome. This is the simplest and …

Baby, sitting on a high chair, eating eggs on his own and smiling

What is Baby-led Weaning?

Teaching good eating habits is a skill that’s important to learn. If you’re a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, you’ll want to encourage your baby to try different foods as soon as possible. Not only will this build their appetite for mealtime, but it’ll help them identify new tastes and textures as young children. Wherever I’ve lived in India, I’ve always seen babies being chased by their caregivers with a piece of food to stuff down their mouths. Homes, playgrounds, and even in restaurants. Whether it’s the twentieth bite of rice and dal, or a cookie (which makes me think if you’re going to force-feeding your child why not just make it a healthier fare?), there’s a child running away from it.  I was sure I never wanted to do that. There had to be a better way. My research saved us all. What is baby-led weaning? Baby Led Weaning is a gentle but effective approach to teaching your baby to eat well. Baby led weaning basically means you follow your baby’s cues while introducing solids. …

Old suitcase up-cycled to a bedside table with storage

DIY Suitcase & Vanity Organiser

Making do has its rewards, and the satisfaction that comes from re-purposing an old suitcase or some other found item is priceless. You don’t have to break the bank to add a little rustic chic style to your home’s decorating scheme. In fact, you don’t even have to spend money at all. In this post I will show you how I took an old hardcase vanity box and an old suitcase and turned them into custom storage. The best thing about the finished piece is my only outlay was some elbow grease and a can of spray paint. My mom doesn’t like to throw things till she absolutely must. Over the years we have found interesting things from her collection, and given away a lot of the rest.  Two of the things that were languishing in the corner were her hard case Samsonite suitcase and Aristocrat vanity case from her wedding. They have stood the test of time. There’s a metaphor somewhere there I’m sure. Both the items can no longer be used for their …

covers of biographies by Mariah Carey, Barack Obama, and Anthony Bourdain

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Biographies)

I fell in love with biographies after I read  Jay-Z’s Decoded. It’s one of the best ones I’ve read. Not only does he talk about his origins but also about rap music. I was one of those who didn’t understand it or like it but he completely changed my perception. Now at least I appreciate it, and realise good rap is poetic. He admits a lot of the new music just caters to what’s expected out of the genre instead of being true to it. You need to pay attention.   It made me understand the power of stories, and good writing. Unfortunately a lot of good stories get lost because of bad story-telling. Indian greats like Milkha Singh and Mary Kom have such a powerful story to tell but their writers have let them down. And the movies made on them have let them down further. This year I read some good biographies. The Meaning of Mariah Carey: I loved her music as a teen but never knew her struggle. She’s portrayed as such a …

Travel Before and After Having Kids

Before having kids I used to travel for pleasure quite often. Trips were organised around my interests and hobbies, but not defined by them. After having kids, I had to change the way that I travel and the things that I look for when in a new place. Now it’s all about “quality time” with the family, which is pretty cool actually. What kind of a traveller are you? My husband and I love to visit new places. He was the type to want to pack as much in a trip as possible, see everything, do everything. But I’ve converted him to my style of travel. I prefer to do a handful of things in a relaxed manner and enjoy it. Then our son was born and he changed both our travelling styles to, let’s just go relax on a beach somewhere! We started travelling with him when he was about six months old. Our first trip was to Goa because I needed to relax without any sight-seeing. Having been to Goa before, we had …

Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader with the cover of Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Paper Books vs E-Books vs Audiobooks

If you have ever tried to decide between getting a paper book, ebook or an audio book then you understand the challenge. While they all contain the same information – there are differences. If you’re trying to cut your reading expenses and make reading more efficient I will explain the differences and help you choose a format that works best for you. A few years ago, if you asked any boomer or Gen Xers if they’d switch to e-books, you’d probably hear them gasp and scowl in horror at the thought. E-books are so impersonal. I could never give up the touch and feel of REAL books. It’s blasphemy to even think of reading on a screen. I know because I was one of those who turned their noses up at the thought of anything apart from a paper book. (We shall discuss book snobbery in another post.)  Physical paper books have been around from centuries and will never go out of fashion. But they are not the only option anymore when it comes to …

Kid making a decoupage bowl from scratch

A Decoupage Bowl You’ll Love To Do

If you are looking for some fun decoupage activity with kids, we’ve got the perfect project for you to try! This vintage bowl turned into a fun decoupage makes a great gift as it’s so easy to make.  You might have heard the term Decoupage, or even seen decoupage products. Do you know how easy it is to try this technique on your own? Learning how to decoupage a glass bowl can be a fun activity for kids and it’s cheaper than buying bowls. This post will show you how to decoupage a bowl with tissue paper. The result is a unique decorative bowl that your friends will envy again and again. You could opt for store-bought materials and decoupage kits, or just use stuff lying around the house. While eating at a restaurant one day, I noticed their really pretty paper napkins. So instead of using them, I kept two of them in my purse. It’s not stealing if they give it to you.  You get decoupage napkins that are colourful and in a …

Mom looking lovingly at her new baby in her arms

Does having a child ‘complete’ you?

Short answer when I want to avoid further discussion: Yes Long answer: Yes, but only if you really wanted one in the first place and have some sort of a support system that will ensure you retain a basic level of sanity at most times, and at other times they will take care of you and the baby, because MY GOD the tiny things can be loud and deprive you of your most basic needs and make you want to leave everything and sleep peacefully for just one hour. But look how cute they are when they sleep…awww.  A new adventure, a new world to discover! That’s what becoming a parent has meant to me. I never knew I could love someone so much and that becoming a parent would change my life completely. I knew it was different and expected it to be difficult but nothing prepared me for it. When I was a kid myself, I loved babies. Then as I grew I understood it’s not all chubby cheeks and cute gurgles. By …

view of the city below from a flying plane with the airplace wing showing

Travel Pains

Do you love to travel? I’m not talking about seeing new places, I’m talking about the actual travel to get there. I love being in different places as much as I hate getting there. Doesn’t matter if it’s by road, rail, water, or air – I’d opt for instant transfer if it ever became a reality. Beam me up Scotty! I envy people who think of travel in a romanticised way: Enjoy the journey not just the destination. I’ve just never learned to do that. Impatience and inconvenience are big obstacles in my quest for enjoyment.  I’ve gone on road trips in and outside of India. I love the views, especially travelling in the hills with some heavenly music playing. But pretty soon you’ll get bumpy roads, traffic and dirty loos. It doesn’t help that I get motion sickness on those gorgeous mountain roads.  I’ve travelled by the Indian railway system countless times. In Mumbai locals and between cities. The longest I’ve travelled by train is from Delhi to Kerala – about two days. The …

mug with coffee and strawberry on opened books

Reading Challenge: 2019 (Non-Fiction)

The Power of true stories cannot be underestimated. Stories and facts that we have not considered come together to make non-fiction a staple in your reading lists. Here are some great ones I read this year. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly: The first thing that comes to mind is the amount of talent and knowledge that has been lost (and continues to be lost) because of barriers to education and employment. Such a criminal waste. That said, this book brings to light the contributions of women, especially African American women, in the space age. Well researched and told. A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa: A disturbing look into some of the lives of people living in North Korea. The words barely begin to describe the true horror of the starvation and oppression being faced by so many in secrecy. The ending of the book is quite heartbreaking and since there’s not much information available on the author online, we don’t know how the story ends up. Homo Deus By Yuval Noah Harari: The …