New Year’s Eve @ Bhandardara

Hi there. Well, I’m really not in the best of my writing/ descriptive self at the moment but here are a few snippets from bhandardara, where we went for the New Year’s Eve. I’ll write about the place and where we stayed in my next post.

Loved me some red. I was still alright.

one of my favorite subject for photography: clouds, sky and sunrays.

CR aka Saurabh Sharma and Rohan’s best friend. Ya, all these years i thought it was me 😛 You gotta see these guys together. The whole world fades around them. Saurabh Sharma possesses the innate power of going inside your brain and play with the calming nerves inside. If you do not know him it could lead to serious fights (i had one) but once you do, you’ll start enjoying his ramblings. I also gave him a dirty name 😛

This is my favorite pic of Rohan from the trip. He and his guitalele (A cross between a guitar and an ukulele)

The troopies. The one in green is john, The one on the left with his camera is Abhishek and the cluster of peeps gracing the center is CR, Charlie aka Sheryl aka Boozefairy and Rahul, her guy.

And I also loved me some bokeh. This is about 18 hours later from me going zombie. Y’all need to listen to that story. In the next post again.

The Rainbow Cake

We are thick as thieves, we two girls are. Me and Reema Banerjee! And I have to mention that she is a marvelous writer. She can juggle and mix, humor and sarcasm in such a beautiful balance that you just cant ignore her blog. Anyway! Lately we have been talking a lot. Talking and succumbing to a lot of whims; not to forget sleeping at dawn, almost every weekend. We just seem to find every thing funny and gossips just don’t seem to end.

Last weekend, giving in to one of our whimsies, we decided to bake ‘something good’. And, hang on, these are the words which followed. “Something different, something unusual, not sugar cookies, something special, something weird (that also came).” At one point of time, I actually thought of porcelain. Maybe bake porcelain or something! Oh, so many somethings came and went passed before we made this cake that speaks for our artistic grandeur. Tastes great too!

We wanted to play with colors , so we used, Betty Crocker’s Moist White Cake Mix instead of starting from scratch.

 

We used four colors.

Procedure

The procedure is very, very simple. Prepare the cake batter as instructed. Decide how many colors you’d want to use. And divide your cake batter into equal proportions equal to the number of colors you have chosen or plan to use. Grease a baking pan, we used a 9″ round, and start pouring the color, you’d like to see on the rim of the cake. If you want to see red on the rim, start with red. Follow the process with all of your colored batter, pouring on the top center of the previous color. The idea is to achieve a concentric layer.

Bake at 200 degree for 25 minutes. Go, trip!

Conclusion

We had to face a bit of cake rage at some point, but it came out just the way we hoped it would. And before we could actually sit and pat each others back, a big chunk was gone. Courtesy: The perpetually hungry Ria Banerjee. We heartily gobbled the trippy little cake the next day at work, with Irish Coffee. Our head also buzzed a bit but that’s alright! At least, now we know what’s hiding at the end of a rainbow!

~happy weekend~

A Home Sneek Peek

This blogland has so many ‘see, drool, swoon and wonder when I’ll have something like that’ houses that sometimes, it makes me feels jealous. In Melanie’s blog, I saw Lizzie Carney’s 1930’s bungalow. I have to tell you that I literally fell off my bed when I saw her home. In retrospect, I saw the mud room progression in Kristin’s Blog and the chandelier that she is planning on. I heart her mud room.

Well anyway, this is one home that I saw transform infront of my eyes. Today, I take the pleasure to take you through my sister, Ronita Mitra’s, home. The credit here goes to her husband who has a brilliant eye for detail and interiors.

Where the french windows stand, stood a solid wall! The front has been extended and planked with pine wood and a lower grill is added for keeping the flower pots!

The french window wall is adorned with dholpuri tiles. I love the stone wall and the cute white chair with planks with a worn off white color.

A sale mirror repainted, a painted square portion covered with bricks and painted and a chest repainted. All recycled!!!

**Note the black and white tapestry on top covering the beam. It is in real a ‘saree’ stretched and framed.

The ceiling is a must watch. My bro-in-law installed beams on the ceiling to give it a very country look! The chadeliers are his find too!

The photographs are not very pro- ly taken, yes, I know! But I seriously love this house! I wish I could show you what it was before!!!

Have a happy weekend ahead!

~X~

DIY: Make your own chic necklace!

This had been on my mind for sometime.

In my little craft drawer, I found a couple of supplies.

Here is what I found.

2 black chains

3 wire mesh ornaments

Discarded ribbons

Small rings collected from broken earrings

 

 

The gold & worn gold piece

A little bit of assembling is all it needed. As you can see, its so simple that it needs no explanation. All you need to worry about is attaching the ring. Work with precision and carefully. I’ll give you a close-up of the wire mesh ornament.

The other is silver. I attached a small grey satin ribbon for a very girly effect. This chain is going to a very special friend of mine. Reema Banerjee from Reethebee.

The pretty little silver thing.

I hope you all have a very creative weekend!

Roy

~X~

Vanilla & Orange Zest Cake with Rum-n-Orange Glaze

This cake’s been on my mind for some time now. An aromatic and dreamy cake, with a splash of vanilla and hints of tangy citrus freshness, this cake is a perfect breakthrough from the usual cakey affair. A full textured warm vanilla cake with soft and fragrant hints of orange and glazed with rum, orange juice and orange pulp, this cake actually does take the cake!

It was the night before my birthday and I was very kicked about making this cake. Since R is out of Town, I didn’t expect my birthday to unfurl surprises. Thought I’d make a cake and take this to my two little niece and nephew and celebrate my birthday with the two of them.

Well, the cake was made. The glaze was poured. It smelt wonderful. And before I could appreciate its beauty further, at the strike of 12, with the advent of my friends, (SURPISE!!!), it never saw the light of the day. A compliment in itself that is though, I would have loved to take few more photographs of it in the day light.

R is away on a business trip but he called me at 11:45 sharp, saying that, he called me 15 minutes prior to 12 as he can’t take the chance of being the second or third one to wish. What if my phone’s already busy at 12! He wanted to be the first one to wish me. And so he was.

This is our thing. We have to be first in wishing each other on each other’s birthday. This is totally our thing. And by far R has always been the first one to wish me. The boy in him is amazing, “Am I the first one to wish you?” I say, ‘yes’. He says, “Amazing. Good I called you early. I couldn’t take the chance”. This is what makes him so special. He is somewhere still a boy.

 

Anyway, here’s the drill

Ingredients for the Vanilla Cake

1 cup white sugar

½ cup butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tbsp orange juice

1 teaspoon of grated orange zest

1½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder

½ cup milk

 

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Okay, now ideally, it might call for creaming the butter and all. But for this, and for me, everything goes in the blender except the zest. Mix everything else and pour in a bowl. Now slowly add the zest and pour in to a baking pan.

3. Grease a 9” baking pan, (go on, use the shape you want) and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.

 

For the Glaze

2 tbsp of dark rum

A handful of orange pulp

4 tbsp of sugar

½ cup orange juice

2 tbsp butter

 

Directions:

In a flat, heavy bottomed pan boil everything till it reaches a sticky consistency. Let it cool for some time and pour it on top of your cake.

 

Try it! It’s totally worth it.

 

A Valsey and Me Giveaway

Hello there!

This is my first post about a giveaway and a very, very special one too, from a person who is equally special to me.

Kristin has been one of my sweetest friends and I adore her blog. More, herself. Visit her blog for this extraordinary giveaway that you simply, simply cannot miss. Just go to her blog, follow her instructions and there you are. A qualified candidate for a wonderful giveaway. See how, HERE

For What, keep reading!

It’s from “Valsey And Me“, who manufactures boxed hand soaps for guests, individually wrapped with custom messages, for each guest to have a brand new experience.

Valsey And Me is generously giving away 1 large box to one lucky winner with all the 5 assorted scents of soaps valued at $85!!! Wow, now isn’t that wonderful. Nice folks Valsey and me!

All soap from Valsey And Me are olive oil based and are handmade using natural essential oils. You can find them in 5 wonderful fragrances- Cinnamon Orange, Lemon Ginger, White Grapefruit, Milk, Almond & Honey, and Lavender Oatmeal

Valsey and Me is also featured in Modern Bride, In Style & Oprah.

Honestly, this is a gift that’s totally unforgettable! Im in!

Fingers crossed! Come back and tell me which one you have chosen!
~~X~~

Oolong Tea: A gift that counts

Is it a bad idea to show your gifts? Well, what does one do then, if one is too excited about it! I, for sure, can’t help but write about it. My thankfulness goes half-hearted if its not in my blog!

Tea is undeniably the love liquor of my life. I do not really enjoy coffee save at times when my mood calls for it. Honestly, going beyond rituals, I’d rather stick to instant coffee than drinking a cup of Kopi Luwak, which actually is gathered from the feces of the Luwaks, after they eat the fruit and excrete the seeds. It is the digestive juices in their gastrointestinal system that gives this coffee its distinct taste and flavor; or so have I heard. Kopi Luwak! No. Definitely not.

R had been to Taiwan for a month again. And this time he got me boxes of “drool worthy” Oolong tea, in Chinese, from Taipei.Amongst them, one is locally made and the other is from Starbucks. Yeah, Starbucks!

(Oolong tea from starbucks)

I do have to confess this batch of tea is nothing like something that I have had before; both of them. Highly aromatic tea with floral hints, the more I try, the clearer I get in perceiving the taste. So subtle and yet with so much individual character that you will but note the difference. So, mild and yet so distinct. These two are so alike and yet so different.

(Jasmine Green Tea. Note the leaves)

One more feature that I have noted is its packaging. It is indeed unlike any ordinary. No square box, no wood, no tins. Plain, soft cardboard packaging, cut, looped and designed to make it look like a show piece! Can you believe this? The paper in the base is wrapped like an ‘Obi’. I was marveled to see this.

(The locally made tea. Unfortunately I could not decipher the language, hence I do not know its name. If some one can read this, would you be kind enough to let me know the name in English?)

We are a tea-loving family. And by far I have been drinking only the best Darjeeling tea; of course you know all about its woody and light flavor that ranks it amongst the world’s bests. But tea, from Taiwan, is certainly exquisite. I will testify for this tea, if there happen to be a Taiwan Tea Festival, ever. By the way, for sipping on this heavenly liquid, R also got me a starbucks sipper. And its pretty brilliant.

I’m so used to drinking Tea that’s only from Taiwan; feels like a princess. “My tea comes from Taiwan”. Lol. R, the sailor, bless you..

~~X~~

The Gift Galore: She sells sea shells on the sea shore

She has been on a holiday, Mrs. Roy. Of course with Mr. Roy. And I get a sea-shell curtain! Yay!!!

I hung it against a white chiffon curtain. The best part are the little conchs that holds the tiny shells together.

Im amazed to see the textures on the tiny sea shells. I must say, this man called God is a thorough genius. Look closely, scrutiny, and not one mistake. So, little and yet so perfect. So beautiful.

My mom’s the best mom in the world. I love you mom. The pudding beckons!

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead

~X~

A New Year! Happy or not

A very happy new year to you all. What an year it has been! A year of so many firsts, so much fun and so much to share, I hope 2011 brings forth the same. Some brilliant times to remember.  Cheers.

 

But I have my misgivings about that as the first three days of the new year was perhaps the worst I have ever spent. My loved ones were away, my friends were away, I was alone, I even cried a couple of times, my pudding went bad and I almost started to feel that I’m a lousy cook. I tried to make myself happy but in vain. I tried to concentrate but I couldn’t with so much fun flowing out on the streets.

I’m not a pub person at all, do not have a wrong impression. I just didn’t want to be alone. I also caught a cold and drank coffee and sulked. Oh, what a horrible time I’ ve spent. Sometimes, staying alone can be very difficult. This is the first working day of the new year; and I’m so glad to be back to a state that’s normal.

I think I felt awful because none of whom I know were at a state like mine. If you are knee deep in mud and you have company, it doesn’t feel that helpless than when you are alone with no one around you. Everyone was busy and happy. My girls were out with their guys, my guy was with his guys, my parents were 3000 miles away from me and I thought drinking alone makes no sense. I really could not make myself feel great, although I tried my level best.

The worst part was, every moment I hoped unnecessarily. I hoped that maybe someone will drop by, maybe some thing surprising will happen, maybe some plans will come by…Nothing happened. There I was at 12, making my bed, ready to go off to sleep.

And then something happened. I wrote 3 articles, at a stretch. I kept writing till my fingers were sore. And at the end of it all; after 5 hours of writing, I finally felt that I have accomplished something, I did something. The dawn was breaking, my articles were ready and I slept in peace. That’s exactly why I chose this as my profession. I am an editor for a digital advertising agency, just in case you didn’t know.

In general, a big discussion over tea followed this morning in our office pantry. Back from the holidays, people had so much to share. Of course except for me who had nothing or very little to contribute to the discussion.

I thought I’ll forget those dead hours as soon as possible, how I solely believe that they are not worth remembrance. But surprisingly, after my  CEO threw a new light on the supposedly sad way of spending the new year by commenting, “spending time with one’s self” is a very sensible way to spend the new year, I did re-visit the dreadful day. And coming to think of it, maybe it was not so bad after all to not join the gang. Or maybe, the boss is indeed always right. A little philosophical too, in this case.

Happy or not, this is the new year and we can but only hope for the best. But, this new year, I have taken two resolutions.

1. To learn the guitar more seriously

2. To stop secretly hoping about something that’s not going to happen. Hoping is such high action adrenalin, its very bad for my heart. Count the disappointment too. After all, “losing all hope was freedom”, remember? Maybe I’ll not give up on hope so rigidly, but at least try to be a bit more practical. I can be very dreamy and its not doing too good to me. Btw, the quote is from Chuck Palahniuk.

~x~