Month: August 2021

Handmade Paper Tutorial

Making handmade paper from paper scraps is a very satisfying process. It makes use of some of the scrap paper you have lying around and gives you beautiful usable paper. Handmade paper craft is a good rainy day activity for kids as well.
This tutorial shows how to make paper without a blender or any other fancy paper-making tools.

DIY Necklace Storage

It’s fairly easy to organise earrings and finger rings. But, if you’ve tried storing necklaces and chains in drawers without getting them all tangled up then you are made of magic. I am not, so I had to think of a makeshift arrangement I could use without any damage to the rental house we were in. Here’s what I needed: MDF Board Pushpins that can hold a necklace (I used wooden ones because they look awesome and you can colour them if you want) Decorative paper Hammer Glue 3M Command Strips How to: Cover the board with decorative paper. Hammer in the pushpins. You might have to flatten in the pins at the back of the board if they’re jutting out too much.  Use command strips to hang them wherever you want. Easy peasy! Note: Some of the links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

Pickled Veggies

Pickled in the Indian context is very different from the Western one. I have never tried making Indian pickles because they are so readily available that I don’t feel the need to make the effort. I’m going to just list things you can pickle with a sugar and vinegar brine to be used in salads and sandwiches. Fermented foods are also a great source of good bacteria that aids better digestion. Ingredients for the brine: 1 cup water 1 cup vinegar (white or half and half with apple cider vinegar) ½ cup sugar ¼ tsp salt Method: Boil all the ingredients together and let it cool. Things you can pickle: Onions (cut into thins strips) Radish Jalapeno peppers  Cabbage (or purple cabbage shredded) Carrots (grated or sliced) Ginger (thinly sliced) Anything else that won’t turn into mush Method: Put the slices/strips into a lidded container and pour the brine enough to cover all pieces. Store in the fridge. It will last a few weeks. These taste great in salads and sandwiches, but also on cheese …

Book Review: The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. We follow the Tran family across generations, as narrated by a young girl, Huong and her grandmother, Dieu Lan. Throughout the book, we come across the human cost of conflicts. While we come to realise how some people are self-serving, we also see the true power of kindness and hope.

Vegan Cauliflower, Peas, and Saffron Risotto

You know how all recipes start with a story. I won’t do that here. Recipe first, stories later! Note that this is a vegan recipe. You can substitute for non-vegan options if you prefer. Options are given below. Ingredients: Serving size: Makes for 2 adults (or 2 adults and 1 child) White sauce: 10 medium sized florets of cauliflower  15 pieces of cashews Salt & Pepper to taste Risotto: 1 ½ cup Arborio Rice 2 cups vegetable stock (I use stock powder if I don’t have fresh stock handy) 1 large onion 2 Tbsp olive oil 5 cloves garlic ½ cup peas A few strands of Saffron Salt & Pepper to taste Toppings: Garlic Chips* Nutritional yeast Parsley (optional) Method: White Sauce: Boil the cauliflower, save half a cup of the water and drain the rest.  Once it cools, grind the cauliflower and the half cup water with the cashews. Season and keep aside. Risotto: Heat a large pan or skillet on medium heat. Add butter then chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.  …

Entryway Inspirations

Your front door is the first impression of your home. Your front door design may not always be alterable, but how you present what you have is up to you.  Entryway ideas Simple entryway ideas work best for any set up, whether it’s a small apartment or a large mansion. Entryway decor needs to be uncluttered and functional.  Small entryway ideas include artwork on the door or walls, vintage knockers or bells, and hanging planters. The idea is to use the vertical space instead of the floor space. For larger front door entryway ideas can be varied. From proper sit outs to a minimal look. Many use it to keep shoes, cycles, and plants. While others prefer to have their shoe cabinets indoors. Check out some Paintings, botanical art, and mandalas to inspire your decor. Entryway furniture ideas There are some furniture pieces that could be placed outside your door, given the space.  Entryway bench for visitors you don’t want to invite inside, or to just sit while putting on your shoe. Entryway shoe storage …

Repurposed Wooden Box

I love getting surprise packages…even the ones I’ve ordered for myself. I don’t like shopping in crowded places and trying out stuff at the malls.  Unfortunately that means I also have a lot of packaging that collects at home. Fortunately, where I live, people are very serious about waste segregation and recycling, so I know they are not ending up in a landfill. I’ve also previously mentioned how I reuse cardboard boxes.  A while ago, I ordered a piece of art that came in a wooden box. The box looked beautiful on its own but I didn’t know what to do with it. I took my time to figure out my options. I could add some legs and tiles to turn it into a coffee table, but it was getting too expensive; I could turn it into a display shelf, but I didn’t want to add more planks to it and it would be a pain to dust; I could turn it into a miniature dollhouse, but that too would require a lot of effort …

Book Review: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Kindred by Octavia Butler takes you back in time. It is not just historical fiction, but one that involves some time travelling (not the sci-fi kind).  For Dana, a regular night is turned upside down when inexplicably she travels back in time to save a young boy from drowning. Then just as mystifyingly, she’s back at her home with a time lapse of just a few seconds. If her husband wasn’t there to witness her disappearance, who would have believed her? She keeps going back and forth to the same place and realises how her own life is linked to the people she meets on her ‘travels’. “As a kind of castaway myself, I was happy to escape into the fictional world of someone else’s trouble.” It’s not easy to do a Kindred book review. Slavery in the antebellum South of the United States was a time of unspeakable horrors and dehumanisation of an entire race. It was perpetrated not just by the White men, as most often portrayed, but also by the White women …

Travelling with Big Expectations

Do you have a travel bucket list? What are the places on it? What is your dream destination? Have you ever been to one of the places on your bucket list? Or to your dream destination? What was your experience? Did it live up to your expectations or did it leave you underwhelmed? Dream Destinations via Social Media The prevalence of social media and photo sharing apps have no doubt increased in our lives. The temptation to visit picturesque places only to be able to share them on social media is strong. These pictures in turn tempt other travellers to add it to their travel lists.  Many a times, the narrow framing of a photo doesn’t give you a full picture. The beach picture someone’s posted looks aweome and serene. What you don’t see is the pile of rubbish nearby or the hoardes of people crowding around and making a ruckus. Dream destinations that have let you down! The Eiffel Tower of Paris is a fixture on many travel bucket lists no doubt. It was …

Glam it Up!

We collect so many items throughout our lives. Some we keep because of their sentimental value, some we actually like, and some only because they were gifted or expensive.  Home decor tips All home decoration ideas start with a bit of clearing up. I’ve learned to declutter with a heavy heart. A lot of pieces I had collected during travels had outgrown their purpose. I gave them away to people who might appreciate them more. However, there are some decorative pieces that could be given a new lease of life with just a little effort. Repurpose memorial cups into planters, or decorate old boxes to use around the house. A touch of Gold I love gold highlights across the house. It adds a touch of sparkle and shine in unexpected places. This wooden deer was a souvenir from a Kenya trip but the dark wood was eating up all the light. So we turned this into a fun afternoon project and layered it up with some gold acrylic paint. I didn’t feel the need to …