Turn Off the Lights! The Earth Hour

We were settled well before 8:30pm, to sit in the porch… to be a part of the Earth Hour this year. Gazing at the night sky trying to find stars (I couldn’t see any) amidst the city noise, my mind raced back to memories of my childhood when my parents would take us for an after-dinner stroll. My sister and I would delightfully run and catch fireflies!(I haven’t seen any in ages).

Our home was in a military base, on the outskirts of a town in north India. Unlike the city that we live in now, it was a tranquil place with miles and miles of forests. It was fun chasing the goat’s beard seed (aruncus), butterflies, frogs, dragonflies, crickets, chickens, hare and what not!

Collecting round pebbles, plucking wild berries, playing with mimosa waiting for it open again, climbing trees… the memories are endless…

We do plan off-beat, adventure holidays (yeah, it’s called that now!) but nothing to beat the real experience which seems like a thing of beauty… almost disappearing. The one hour that we spent out in our porch was actually our contribution to The Earth Hour- an annual global one-hour occasion to drive the message of saving energy today-29th March 8:30pm till 9:30pm. It was a fun hour.

Although, it wasn’t pitch dark because of the street lights and since there weren’t any stars for my children to count, they decided to light some candles in the porch; they struggled in doing that, as it was pleasantly windy.

They continued with their struggle to light up the T-lites all at once (about 20 of them) but couldn’t! And my trigger happy finger went on clicking away to glory!

It was a good hour well spent, away from TV, Cell phones, laptop, out in the open, explaining my daughter about why we need to do it, even if it may seem hardly anything.

After an hour when we moved back inside, my daughter wanted to display the T-lites in our living room (till they died out). So we extended our ‘Earth Hour’, by another hour!

So she placed them around the living room and once again I couldn’t help but take a few more pictures 🙂  🙂

She says we should do ‘The Earth Hour’ every day! I couldn’t agree more with her…an hour away from all gadgets, out in the open is definitely fun!

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Spring Inspired Decor

Inspired by my Spring Mood Board and also since I am done with my spring cleaning I am re-decorating our home to incorporate the charm of Spring season, I just want to hold-on to this season. I decided to create a little corner for some ‘me time’! As bright colours are popular choices for springtime decorating, I scouted my home for all things bright and cheery; by the way tangerine and neons are this year’s fun trending colours. Here is my quick and easy Spring inspired decor…All I did was swap some cushions, changed the covers and reshuffled a few things from here and there. I did not buy anything except the lilies 🙂 I added a touch of greenery by making this simple lily arrangement. Once the flowers start withering I will replace it with a potted plant. To make some simple flower arrangements for your home Click Here and see how I do it.

I picked-up these T- lite holders from Crawford market in Mumbai long time back; they were for Rs. 5 only!

The green cup is from my kitchen which I have placed here to work as a little ‘catch-all’ for my keys, pendrives, trinkets, pencil, eraser etc. It adds a lovely green touch to the table. The ceramic coasters are ‘Azulejo’ tiles from Goa.

The dilapidated off-white side table is about 30 years old (it belongs to my in-laws). It is wobbly on its own but having added the heavy round granite as its top, it doesn’t wobble anymore (unless of-course it is pushed or moved!). A cheat’s decorating secret! The round granite is actually the cut-out from the round sink bathroom counter at my in-laws place. It was being used as a base for a potted plant. I had to rescue it! I washed and scrubbed it clean, got the edges smooth and rounded. Doesn’t it make a lovely top?

A book to read and a hot cuppa tea, what more do I need to be happy! This is my newest favourite corner in our home 🙂

This season is a great time to bring the colour green into your home and use other bright hues as accents to create a happy and cheerful home. So what are you waiting for?!



Linking up with: The Tablescaper, Nifty Thrifty Things, The Foley Fam, Sew Many WaysGirl Creative,

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DIY Flower Arrangement for Home

The beauty of the Spring season lies in the myriad colours it brings along…in the form of flowers and foliage. North India experiences more clement climatic conditions, the states in this region witness two more seasons – spring and autumn. Conventionally, we experience six seasons in a year and each one spans for approximately two months. These seasons are Summer (grishm ritu), Spring (vasant ritu), Monsoon season (varsha ritu), Autumn (sharad ritu), late autumn/fall winter (hemant ritu) and Winter (shishir ritu) …okay that was the teacher in me taking over! 😉 😉 Coming back to the Spring season or the Basant ritu / Vasant ritu, it is the best season to indulge in some over-the-top flower decorations for home… I just love this time of the year! Early this month I created a Spring Mood Board  for colour inspiration, to bring in changes in my home decor to welcome the season, Click Here to read about it.

Although one does get the usual cut flowers throughout the year but the Spring variety has an absolute different charm to it. Years ago I did a two-week course in Ikebana style flower arrangement in Bangalore; it’s been long since I practiced it…really long. I am afraid I may have forgotten what I learnt, I’ll have to dig out my diary ( if only I remember where did I last see it!) but it hasn’t stopped me from arranging flowers in my home. I guess I have developed a free style which is a mix of western traditional and Japanese! And honestly speaking, no one needs any course for it! One can never go wrong with flowers even if you tried your best!

Last weekend our home looked like this! I have been busy trying to incorporate Spring accents to our home, Click Here to read about it.

The things I use; shears, thorn stripper, pin holders, containers, florist’ foam/oasis, stem supporters (I use galvanized wire).

Here is my simple guide to DIY flower arrangement…

A slant cut in the stem of the flower gives a  larger surface area for water absorption and changing water every alternate day helps in longevity of the cut flower.

Seriously, you just can’t go wrong with flowers. There have been occasions when I have bought flowers and didn’t have time for arranging them; all I do is bunch it up in a vase just the way I brought them home and they still look pretty!

No matter how tired I come home, flowers always pep me up 🙂

So are you ready to try your hand at flower arranging, Click Here for a site which has some great information on flower arrangement.

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Indian Spring… An Inspiration to Creative Freedom!

It amazes me to no end when I see the dramatic contrasts nature has to offer…almost unreal

The spectacular sunsets makes me want to paint the vivid hues on paper, fabric, pots, glass… on just about everything!

Think about colours in nature and the immediate response would be- a Rainbow… nowhere else in nature does one get to see something as grand and majestic as a full stretch of rainbow.

While enjoying that beautiful sight one is constantly aware of the fragility of the moment, and as a result rainbows are also linked to emotions and thoughts that are temporary, or of passing nature or maybe plain utopian;  and something that is not guaranteed each time or cyclic either. Almost as if understanding our plight, nature gives us another bounty of colorful explosions…the Spring season!

The world over, in all cultures, throughout history, Spring and the riot of colours in the flowers, leaves and blooms have always signified gaiety, hope and regeneration. The tenderness of new leaves, the flowers… from flaming reds, flirty yellows to soothing whites, there is a shade for every mood…an inspiration to create beauty around you… to hold on to it forever. The contrast from the barren cold and dry winter to the balmy and comforting spring air is noticeable in the joyful burst of life from the seemingly dead wood!

The trees in full bloom to the flower beds, all seem to tell us the eternal nature of the cycle of life. Hope is renewed…

The importance of one’s frame of mind, to its effect on the task at hand cannot be overemphasize! Ask any home bug! To keep the environment at home happy and cheerful I love to bring in various elements associated with Spring. Creating a mood of choice with lessons from nature is the creative freedom that I love… no rules, no colour theories… just sheer joy in the riot of colours that one sees all around in this season. While sorting through the photos I felt inspired to put together a mood board for Spring season, also as a participant at Ambika’s Weekly Art Journaling, to inspire each other creatively:-):-):-) Over the next one month I will try to incorporate these colours in my home. With little changes in accessories, a dash of spring inspired colour/paint here and there, some placement and displacement, a lit bit of DIY… all to welcome Spring. I guess I shall start with changing the cushion covers (to more floral ones) to fresh-cut flowers in my home.  My next, few,  posts will be dedicated to Spring…oh how I love this season and the joy and inspiration it brings!

I am almost done with my spring cleaning.. all set to welcome the season of colours! I am sure all home bugs must be feeling the same! To see how I am updating my home to welcome Spring Click Here and Here.

I’d love to see how you welcome Spring at your home, in your part of the world!



Linking up with- A Sunny Yellow Window,  Sew Many Ways,  Nifty Thrifty Sundays,  The FoleyFam,  The Table ScaperI Should be Mopping the Floor,  The Dedicated HouseCreating My Way to SuccessSkip to my LouThe Heart of Your HomeDIY Showoff,  Making the World CuterSugar Bee CraftsThe Recipe CriticNap Time CreationsA Bowl Full of LemonsCooking Mimi, My Uncommon Slice of SurburbiaGinger Snap Crafts, Sew Much AdoOh My Creative, House on the Way, A Blossoming Life, Someday Crafts, The Newly Wed Pilgrimage, Beyond the Picket Fence, 733 BlogA Glimpse Inside Blog, Krafty Inspiration, My Romantic Home, Nancherrow, Thirty Handmade Days, I Heart Nap Time, Today’s Creative Blog, Angel’s Homestead,  Six Sisters Stuff, Be Different Act NormalGirl Creative.

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DIY Folders from Scrap Paper

I was pleasantly surprised last weekend, when I woke up after my siesta (I sometimes get to do it!), my lil’ one had made some lovely folders from scrap paper! She had to submit a few projects as part of her assessment and she wanted similar looking folders to present them in. She borrowed some of my tools, before I hit the bed and two hours later (yeah, that’s how long my siestas are!) when I went to her room she had six folders ready! Aren’t they lovely?

She used two A4 coloured sheets to make one folder, she cut and paste a contrasting strip (4 inches) of A4 sheet (brown) to join and make a folder out of the two green A4 sheets. Clever idea! Since she had already made them all, I put together these photos to replicate her steps of construction.

She cut very small pieces (almost confetti like) of scrap paper to decorate her folders. How resourceful!

To paste the bits of scrap paper, she painted the desired pattern, on the folder,  with PVA glue and sprinkled the bits on it!

I am so happy with my lil’ DIY Princess’ handywork! She has given me a great idea with the ‘bits of paper’ trick.

DIY Folders from Scrap Paper @ Hooked on Homes!

DIY Folders from Scrap Paper @ Hooked on Homes!

And since she was at it, I gave her more paper to cut into bits, for the idea running in my head! Am I horrible mom or what?! Anyhow, I couldn’t stop admiring her work and didn’t feel like parting with them! But had to 🙁

You know what? She makes a great companion for all my DIY ramblings! Try involving your kids into fun stuff, craft, art , cooking etc. you’ll be surprised what they may come up with. What fun stuff have you tried with your kids? Do share! I’d love to try!

Linking up with: The Tablescaper, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, The Foley FamThe Dedicated House, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Your Home Based Mom, DIY Show Off, Mom’s The Word, Making the World a Cuter Place, Lines AcrossSugar Bee Crafts, The Recipe Critic, Naptime Creations, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Cooking Mimi, Not Just a Housewife, Frugal Crafty Home, The House on the Way, Sew Much Ado, Ginger Snap Craft, Beyond the Picket Fence, 733 Blog, A Glimpse Inside, Krafty Inspiration, The Newly Wed Pilgrimage, Thirty Handmade Days, Today’s Creative Blog, Angels Homestead, Be Different Act Normal, Six Sisters Stuff

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Photography Styling Challenge #9- Fashion

I can’t believe that we are already in the third month of 2014! The Boards are on! You may find it annoying that I bring up Boards every time, but that’s what we have been living, breathing, eating and, sleeping since the beginning of this year! The situation happens to be the same not only at School but also at my home … this time the professional hazard has trickled down to home as well since our son is taking the Board exams this month. No respite anywhere… We all are waiting for mid April when life shall return to normalcy. We are longing for those stress free ‘phari’(flea market)shopping sprees, mindless outings, family holidays, entertaining, movies, malling, picnics, road trips, ice-cream long drives or just do-nothing and stay-in-bed-all-day!  Oh BTW did I mention that our daughter, too, is taking her Annual Exams? Can’t wait for this month to get over!

Coming back to the post, I always look forward to is the Photography Styling Challenge by M, every month. Practice interior styling and improve your photography in the Photography Styling Challenge. Participants welcome! | Redesigned By MI really enjoy this little interaction and have learned a lot from all the members of this Photograpphy Styling Challenge. This month’s challenge is Fashion. I wish I had a model to work with… everyone whom I approached refused, including my own children and hubby! So I had to improvise… while cleaning & organizing my dressing table I hit upon this idea of going all ‘girlie’ for this month’s challenge! And why not, 8th of March is around the corner! Here is my take on Photography Styling Challenge #9-Fashion… a few of my favourite things… including the flowers and the peacock feather! Inspired by the glossy fashion magazines!

Another shot of big girl play things!

My all time favourite dressy things!

This rose ‘attar’ (concentrated perfume) is a gift from a friend in Dubai, it is heavenly. I love the shape of the bottle too! I tried to make some perfect droplets for this pic , tried the glycerin trick but failed in my attempts… any tips?

It took me a while to find this pair of white sandals, almost a year-long search!  It’s been three years since then, they look new don’t they? Because I do take good care… also, I’ve just worn them twice!:-)

That’s it, from me to M’s PSC…do hop over to these other amazingly talented members of this challenge, you would will love ‘em all, I promise! And happy to know that this group is growing!

To check out last month’s Photography Styling Challenge #8- Patterns ‘click here’.

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