Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Time to Give Thanks !!!!

Hello Everybody!!!!
Thanksgiving is just round the corner. Putting this post together made me feel blessed in soo many ways. Our fast paced lives seem to throw us off track and we tend to take soo much for granted. But Thanksgiving sure puts things in perspective for me and let's me count my blessings and be thankful for them. 

My biggest blessing is to have a wonderful family to support me through  a journey called life. A support system that you can fall back on no matter what and  love you for who you are.

I'm thankful for a place called home. A place that makes me feel secure, a place to call our own and helps me create memories. A place that I wrap in things I love. And in turn, my home reminds me of the important stories and things that I may tend to forget as life trudges us on.

This year has been incredible for me. I'm thankful to be able to answer my true calling.......my creative side. Through my online boutique and my blog, I fill my creative void constructively. Being able to interact with people and touch peoples lives in my own little way is very rewarding. I've also met some wonderful friends through both these ventures, they know who they are;) 

Count your blessings, you always have something to be thankful for !!!!! 

If you like what you see and want to recreate this for your loved ones, I've got you covered. It takes less than 10 minutes to get this together. Turn an empty wine glass, a trifle bowl and a mercury glass votive holder upside down. Voilà !!!! You've got yourself candle holders in varying heights.  I've used potpourri vase fillers to fill up the wine glass and trifle bowl. Pop some candles on them and we're good to go. Tie on some raffia and loosely tuck in fresh berries from  the garden. Some faux pumpkins and votive holders add to the thanksgiving theme. The entire setting has been done on a wooden tray so as to be able to quickly move it out for the food to take center stage later in the evening. This is a perfect little vignette for the coffee table too.
Thank you for stopping by here at TECD. I'd like to wish my lovely readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful fun filled holiday with  family and friends !!!!!!  
With a long weekend coming my way, I'm not going to be able to drop in as often as I like. So I'll see you'll next week as we tour the world over scouting for exclusive global finds and more.

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Little Girl's Retreat (Bedroom makeover Reveal)

Hello lovely readers !!!!
Today's post is special...........I'm finally done with tying up all the loose ends of a bedroom makeover that I've been busy designing. It's for 5 year old "Shrika" and the whole experience has been a pleasure.............

With Shrika turning 5, her parents wanted to give her, her defined space and room and that set off the whole bedroom makeover process. Vijaya Bandi (a reader of TECD) Shrika's mom, had seen my work for "The Yellow Bamboo" and TECD. She approached me with the request if I would take on the designing task for her daughter's bedroom. I was as pleased as Punch could be. Vijaya was extremely easy to work with and was open to ideas and possibilities.

We started by asking what would Shrika like for the theme of the room??? Secondly, what colors was she drawn too??? The theme was clear from the start and butterflies it was. As for the color palette for the room, I thought I would get pink or purple as an answer. But this time around, it was a little different with the word HOT Pink stealing the show. So to please the five year old, we gave her hot pink alright but in subtle ways throughout the room as an accent color.
We got the ball rolling, with us zeroing in on the low poster charming bed with the scroll detailing.We also went with the matching night stand and dresser to keep things cohesive. Then came the artwork. What can I say???I was at the right place at the right time and this wonderful butterfly artwork was love at first sight. It was ideal for the room with everything I wanted incorporated in it - optimum size and price, sparkle and a blend of the butterfly and paisley design. I was completely sold.
Our next stop was shopping for bedding. We looked high and low and finally found our beautiful bed ensemble at PB Teen. We thought the marriage of Paisley and polka dots would make an interesting combination. The paisley adding a sophistication to the space and the polka dots adding the fun factor. The artwork and the bedding were made for each other....... the colors were bang on.

Next we tackled the issue of lighting in the room. A pretty butterfly themed night light and a chandelier in a hot pink hue solved our lighting woes. Don't you love the chandelier??? It's the icing on the cake for me as it adds the glam quotient to the room. Every girl needs that extra special bling don't you think;) 
Above the headboard the spotlight is on Shrika's name. Easy peal and stick polka dotted letters did the trick. Whimsical acrylic mirrors placed playfully around the name echo the theme of the room.To make the butterflies pop, I hand painted the outline around the mirrors and the effect is dramatic.
The night stand sits between the window and the bed  and is topped off with the butterfly themed night lamp and Shrika's bedtime story books. The night stand also provides storage and we made sure that all the furniture in the room had rounded edges for the child's safety. Windows dressed in hot pink ruffled curtains add texture.  A fresh rose from the garden adds a touch of greenery and livens up the corner.
A little chair to plonk into, creates a cozy nook. Shrika enjoys reading in here to her soft furry friends. On the dresser a little treasure chest gifted by a friend stashes Shrika's collection of jewelry and her other prized possessions.
The dresser and the little storage basket marked as"Stuff" provides for easy organizing/storage  and accessibility. 

And finally the color on the walls was a piece of cake. I picked up some shade cards from Home depot and had marked off my favorite. But I did not want to influence the families choice of color and wanted to see what they would come up with. And you guessed right.......we had the same color choice at both ends and it was a light lavender pink shade called Rosewater from the Martha Stewart collection.

Now a quick look at the focus of the project and a drill to see if I met the specific client requests:
  • Most importantly, it is about the child. So if they are big enough to give an opinion, do consider it. And in this case we gave Shrika hot pink and butterflies.
  • The place has to be fun and functional - we brought in bright peppy colors to make the place feel energetic without overwhelming it  and comfort being the key for a good night's sleep, a full size bed with sumptuous bedding.
  • The room should grow with the child - the main furniture pieces in the room are a longtime investment. So we went with a full sized bed(so that Shrika is comfortable as she gets bigger) and a dresser with a mirror (for the little fashionista to be).
  • Accessorize the place within a budget and not make it look like it was from a catalog - added a few key pieces and worked with what we had.
  • Provide additional space for future wall decor projects such as a clip board or a picture collage - haven't filled the room upto the brim, just functional pieces have been added as of now.
  • Creating a cohesive space - By sticking to a color palette but keeping it exciting by introducing fabrics in the same color family in different patterns and textures - here we combined paisley and stripes in pastel hues and for texture we have the ruffled curtains.
  • Storage to be provided only for basic toys as there is a separate playroom. I did not have to worry about a study or activity table either for the child in the room as a designated area already exists for the child for this purpose.But should they wish to change that in the future, there is enough room to swap the chair out for a study table.
  • Lighting - I added mood light(chandleir) and task light (night /reading lamp) 

So a final before and after picture to show you how the transformation came about: 

Here's one final shot:

This makes it so worthwhile as I have a happy little girl whose willing to say goodnight and sleep tight in her new retreat. I'd like to wish the Bandi family all the very best and thank them for their support and trust in my creative spirit through the entire makeover process. 

Hope you'll enjoyed the post as much as I did sharing it with you'll. Do drop me a line and let me know how I did:)You'll have a wonderful weekend and see you next week for more on my exclusive global finds. You don't want to miss this;)

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright

For those of you interested in putting this look together, I've provided the following links of the products:
Paisely Duvet cover and shams - PB Teen
Sheet set - PBTeen
Bed, Night stand and dresser - Legacy Classic kids collection
Chandelier - Diapers.com
Curtains - Target
Chair - Target
Butterfly Mirror - Amazon
Wall Art and table lamp - Home Goods
Wall Decal - AC Moore
Wall Color - Martha Stewart Rosewater

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lebanese Green Lentil Lemon Soup

Good morning lovely readers!!!! It's the start of a new week and  new posts here at TECD!!!!!

It's been a while since I did a post for the "On the Plate" segment. And with winter here, I thought the timing was perfect to share a healthy soup recipe.

My family loves Lebanese food. One of our regular haunts to eat at is Lebanese Taverna. The fresh baked breads, shawarma wraps and the hummus is to die for. Have you ever tried the "Lentil Soup" on their menu ???? I loved the soup and tasted every single spoon with the intention of replicating it at home. And I have my version for you and it's packed with flavor and nutrition. The green lentils give it a hearty rustic  flavor and the lemon adds  a nice fresh, clean twist to the soup. And to top it all the super food spinach adds it's healthy quotient to this recipe. I'm one content and worry free mommy when I get my son to eat this bowl full of goodness.  
Lentils are said to be the "culinary all star" as it has protein, fiber, it's heart friendly and the easiest of all legumes to cook. There is no pre-soaking required. Wash, drain and if you've got a pressure cooker about 5 whistles is all it takes.
I usually serve it for dinner. I make a big batch and once dinner is over, the left overs get packed off for my husbands lunch the next day. 

Lebanese Green Lentil Lemon Soup:
Prep Time:20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves 4
11/4 cups dried green lentils (Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup cooked lentil water) 
10 oz bag of fresh spinach roughly chopped (Swiss chard could also be substituted)
1 medium sized onion - chopped
1 medium sized potato - chopped into 1cm cubes.
1 green chilly - finely chopped ( could add 1 more if you like your soup spicier)
3 pods garlic - finely chopped
2 cups chicken/vegetable broth ( I like my soup fairly thick. Could add more or less broth as per your preference.) 
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon (Could add more or less lemon juice as per your preference.) 
salt to taste

1. Wash and drain the green lentils. Add enough water and pressure cook until soft ( I need 5 whistles in my pressure cooker). Once cooked strain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooked lentil water.
2. Heat oil and add onions. Saute until translucent. Add garlic and green chilies and saute for a minute.
3. Add cubed potatoes and  1/2 cup reserved lentil water. Cover and cook until 3/4 done.
4. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts and is cooked through.
5. Next add cooked lentils, chicken/vegetable broth and salt. Let simmer for 10-12 minutes until the broth is completely boiled.
6. Switch off the stove and stir in the lemon juice.
7. Serve hot with pita bread and hummus on the side or just simple bread sticks .

Give this filling and heart warming soup a try and Enjoy!!!!

Wishing you a wonderful week ;)

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright

Friday, November 15, 2013

Not My Usual Cup of Tea

Hello Lovely Readers !!!!

For those of you who are flinching and wondering if your on the right blog, YES you are. I just happened to change the header of my blog yesterday. It was something that I was toying with for a while now and I finally took the plunge yesterday.....Do let me know how you'll like the new look.
Now for today's post.Winter is here for sure and makes it's presence felt, as the wintry breeze gets to me even  with my polar bear like gear. Winter has it's beauty but the bitter winter cold is something I don't think I could ever get used to.

The urge to have a good cup of kadak (strong) chai increases ten fold for me in winter. The urge is so strong........I desperately look for ways to keep myself away from a caffeine overload. Solution : what if my tea cups are preoccupied sporting my collection of  succulents....... 
Seriously, these look so cute.....I think it's a wonderful way to use up any tea cups that don't have a pair or vintage tea cup finds from a flea market. (Quick Tip: Much to the contrary belief, succulents need pots with good drainage. So make sure to pot the succulent in a smaller container with a drainage hole at the bottom and use the tea cup only as a decorative container if you intend to extend the longevity of your succulents.) Paired with my Thangka (scroll painting from Nepal) and a teal necklace, the Boho vibe I get from this vignette is refreshing enough to keep me off another cup of tea.These would look perfect on your kitchen window sill too. (Quick Tip: Avoid harsh direct midday sunlight).
Signing off for today and wishing you'll a wonderful weekend. Coming up next week on TECD are some exciting posts you don't want to miss;)  

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Good Morning lovely readers !!!!!

It's color inspiration all the way today. These vibrant images from PLUMO caught my eye and I thought I'd share it with you'll. PLUMO is a UK based company that sources it's product line from Africa to Asia working with artisans and co-operatives.

From their product range, this bright and eclectic peacock inspired painter's jugs is something that drew me in. The styling was equally attractive - plumes randomly placed in the jug together with a few dry branches makes for a lovely display. 

You all know how much I love Kantha work. These two Kantha inspired seating options with their unusual shape and color would make a splash in any room.

I hope you'll found your daily dose of color inspiration here at The East Coast Desi. And let me tell you that when see a product it does not have to be about owing it. You could draw inspiration from the color, styling or a DIY idea from it.

You have a wonderful day and take pleasure in being "YOU" cause

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”                   --------  Steve Maraboli

Images: PLUMO

Monday, November 11, 2013

There's Nothing a Hot Glue Gun can't Fix

Good Morning Monday!!!! As the weekend draws to a close, I yearn for another extra day to laze around. After listening to my to-do list, tell me that I'm justified for wanting to extend my weekend.........

The home front is a little overwhelming right now with me deciding to pursue my Masters. So it's been a number of assignments that I have to put together for it and a whole load of late night studying. Not to mention the cooking (Indian style which is a long tedious process), cleaning and laundry, getting my 6 year old to finish his home work, driving my son to his various after school classes, volunteering at my son's school, entertaining and socializing, blogging, my online shop, finishing up a bedroom makeover project for a 5 year old (more on that coming up soon) and........ the list is endless....... I'm not complaining, just venting there is a difference between the two you know;) So are you with me when I say that I need an extended weekend???? Thank you for taking a moment to listen to my venting.....Let's get on with today's post shall we???

It's a Bali inspired container for today's feature. I picked it up on my very first trip to New York (8 years back). And as you know by now, every piece has a story to tell at my place............so this is how it goes......... 

My husband and I were walking around taking in the pace and buzz of NYC, when I noticed a little boutique in one of the corner lanes, not even sure where now. The window display looked interesting and the inquisitive me walked in. There in the remote corner of the boutique was this nifty little Bali container. My husband noticed that the container had caught my fancy and before I knew it, he had billed it and we were out of there.
I was conjuring up an image as to where I'd place it when we got home, when I heard a thud sound behind me.......I turned around and found my prized find was shattered to pieces........No points for guessing who dropped it.......I've never seen my husband run faster in his life. He disappeared into the shop and inquired if they had another piece. And to my delight, after almost an hour of combing through their stock, they managed to find a similar piece for us. 
I held on to the container for the rest of my trip as if my life depended on it.
6 years later when my son was practicing his taekwondo, I heard the same thud sound. My little honey pot was in tears.............he had kicked the container right off the coffee table. I picked him up to see if he was OK and told him that there was nothing that a little hot glue gun can't fix. So after patiently piecing it together, I have it here, gracing my home. This time I've paired it with a few stalks of the Russian Sage.

Though it's broken and pieced together......I love it, as it reminds me of my wonderful trip to NY and the trouble "G" took to replace it. 

Thank you lovely readers for taking the time to stop by The East Coast Desi. 
Have a wonderful day !!!!

Images:Clicked by me. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Postcard Perfect .........Shenandoah Mountains

Good Morning !!!!
Friday Bliss knocks on my door.........that means I can slow my pace down and maybe sip on an extra cup of tea;) 

Today I have a few clicks from our drive to the Shenandoah Mountains last weekend. The fall colors were at their peak and the mountain views absolutely breathe taking. As we made our way up, the cold mountain breeze whispered sweet nothings into my ears. Picturesque mountain views greeted us at every turn.The air was clean and pure and had a magical effect on me.......I felt rejuvenated in so many ways.Imagine on a cold autumn day, with mountain views like these, a good cuppa hot cocoa and the company of people that I love. What more could anyone ask for.

On our way back we stopped at a horse farm.The autumn colors complemented the country charm of the farms. My husband loves horses. Some day he wants to own one..... But for now, he's happy just looking at these magnificent animals. 
One particular horse was very friendly and quiet the poser.
Once we bid adieu to our new farm friends we came home tired and crashed straight into bed. I hope the mountain views had  a calming effect on you too. Take care and have a great weekend. Stop by next week for more coming up in the home decor section.......................
Images:Clicked by me.  Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Feather Your Nest with Nature's Bounty !!!!!

Good Morning!!! How are we doing today ????
Last week was hectic with Diwali and Halloween coming together in the same week. To top it all, my son's school was off on Monday and Tuesday. So with a six year old to entertain and the outdoors getting chilly, how did I entertain him you ask???? We made loads of Rainbow Loom bracelets for him and his friends;), cuddled and read stories, did a little boxing (I don't have a choice you know) and took long drives to catch the last of the Autumn colors.  
Autumn seems to be fading away..................the trees almost looking bare. My ears longing for the sound of the leaves, as they sway in the autumn breeze bidding good bye.....
But while fall lasts, I wander outside taking in the fall colors and digging into Nature's bounty. I tuck a few branches of the maple into an empty vase and see my fall vignette come alive. Seasonal fruits like apples and oranges are a great way to add color to a buffet or the kitchen island. 
As good as the clementines look in the basket, they'll be gone soon. And I like it that way......a healthy grab and go option with the dual advantage of providing instant color gratification;) Combined with some mood light (glass votive holder), the vignette is all set to brighten a gloomy fall day. Seasons sure have an impact on my decorating style. How about you'll?????

Have a wonderful day and stay tuned for "Through my lenses" segment coming up next...... 

Images:Clicked by me. My home. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Warm Diwali Wishes !!!!!

Images:Clicked by me. My home. Please do not use without prior written permission.
Images are the property of Sruthi Singh and subject to copyright.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Peelirohini (Featured Shop) - Diwali Inspiration Day 5

Women and jewelry have known to have a long standing love affair.......and with seductive jewelry like this, I think you have to give in to the temptation.
Indian women consider jewelry to be auspicious and on an occasion like Diwali, the jewelry just adds to the ostentatious celebration. With the home front taken care of, we've got to look great too.This Diwali, I bring to you "PEELIROHINI" - a jewelry line retailing via Etsy, offering exquisite "hand crafted" jewelry in brilliant hues and globally inspired designs.
Peelirohini is the brainchild of Priya a Computer Engineer by profession backed by a Masters in Physics and ElectronicsSignificance of the name Peelirohini originates from Priya's daughter's nickname "Peeli" meaning Peacock feather combined with her daughter's star sign "Rohini".

Working out of her home studio based in Connecticut (USA), Priya says, "Most of the best and greatest things in my life have been beautiful and unexpected happenings". Her jewelry line being one of them. Priya works with a variety of materials ranging from polymer clay, 14k gold, silver, brass, copper and precious gems, creating jewelry that reflects the personality of today's woman and her life - "fun, colorful, unpredictable, vibrant ,strong, sometimes complex, but still so very feminine". She always fostered the aspiration to create and own her very own boutique. It all became very clear to her while responding to a question from an interviewer from a reputed IT company. When asked what she wanted to do 10 years down the line, without a moments hesitation she had replied "I want to be Owning and Managing My own Boutique ! "
The above response, her growing stash of finished jewelry, a little coaxing and support from family and friends and the discovery of Etsy, as a place to showcase her talent and share her creativity resulted in Peelirohini
When asked where does Priya draw inspiration for the unique jewelry that she creates, she has this to say, "My designs evolve from color palettes.That is my first priority. Anything colorful and vibrant, from the filtered sunlight on my favorite jade plant ,the raindrops on my garden flowers, a painting my little one makes ( she is quite a little artist, oh sometimes she paints the sun in her pictures with splashes of yellow orange and purple, I try so hard to get it in clay but fail so miserably), an image that may have flitted across the TV for just a second, a beautifully laid out room (here is where your blog influences me Sruthi;), an antique piece of elaborately wrought jewelry in a museum, the beautiful fabrics and textiles of the world-India, Europe, Mexico.....There is no lack of inspiration around us in our daily lives.We just need to be on the lookout for them."
Priya goes on to explain,"Once I decide on the palette, I choose a setting from the vintage or brass pieces I collect and go from there.I start with an initial sketch on a notepad, but more often than not, they form on their own.....my latest designs have been more and more instinctive.
I also have noticed that my best work (in my eyes) have been such instinctive ones...I do undertake custom work,but feel very much more at ease doing my own thing, my own way. There is an inherent stubborn streak in my art(and me too) that doesn't want to go the way its expected to, it'd rather go the way it wants to:)
I have been influenced greatly by my dad who passed away 2.5 years back.. He had a zest for life and for learning about new things that still amazes me. He continues to inspire me every single day..
There are many days where my designs take most of my day and night and there have been many burnt dinners that my dear husband and daughter have had to sit through.... But they continue to inspire me with their never flinching, never wavering support and acceptance of me and my art , and their love for me as I am - burnt dinners and all, helps me continue be what I am."
Priya says that her online boutique shop has brought her joy in ways that she did not expect. Being contacted by total strangers about how they browse through her store even though they do not wear jewelry. Hearing from sweet customers about how they loved her pieces. Having her jewelry go to all the amazing corners of the world like Athens , Egypt and Lugano......But the one note that touched her was from a sweet lady who wrote to her saying, "I don't wear jewelry and I cannot due to allergies, but, I stop by your site every day, to soak in the colors, to energize my day." Priya's reaction to this," It made me all teary-eyed, because having that kind of influence on someone through my art is so humbling...it really makes life worthwhile."

With that said, you now know the effort, thought, creativity, emotion and time that goes into creating every single piece that Priya designs. Her genuine attitude to life and art is ingrained in every piece that she brings to life with those dexterous hands. Priya does what she does for a sole reason - "Doing what I love,with the people I love:) Peelirohini lets me be what I am and am grateful for that..."

I'd like to thank Priya, for her enthusiasm to share her wonderful jewelry line with us at The East Coast Desi. Wishing her and her family all the very best !!!!!

To see more of  Peelirohini jewelry, click here

Images: Courtesy Peelirohini