Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bye 2013

Saying bye to a fantastic 2013!
So many memories, joyous moments and celebrations...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chocolate Fudge

A month of sweet treats continues in the office -- and everyday there is a new tray of cookies/ cake/ fudge to try out! So hard to resist! :-)

Here is another recipe from Pam - Chocolate fudge - and this one is really easy to make...

All you need is:
- 3 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 small can (5 oz.) of evaporated milk (not the sweetened milk)
- 12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 jar (7 oz.) of Kraft's jet-puffed marshmallow creme
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecan pieces
- 1 teaspoon of  vanilla extract

Add the sugar, butter and evaporated milk in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. After it starts boiling, continue to keep the mix on medium heat for 5 min.

Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, vanilla extract and the walnuts/pecans. Stir and mix well.

Pour the mix into a 9x13 baking pan and let it cool. I refrigerated it overnight and cut the fudge into thick pieces the next day.

You can also pack this in a mason jar and wrap it with tissue for a home-made Christmas gift!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas in Chicago

It feels like Christmas when you are walking around a crowded Christmas market in the cold, shopping for ornaments and gifts and taking a break only to sip on some hot wine!

A big moment!

Attended the little brother's graduation convocation this weekend - A big happy moment!  :-)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday blog!
It's been an year since I started this blog and this past year - I have learned a few tricks on my camera, discovered amazing photography blogs to browse, learned a trick or two about styling, created a few beautiful things and found a new way to keep myself busy on weekends! So, all in all it's been fun! :)

P.S. - The above pic was taken at my nephew's b'day party a few weeks back. Love the layered balloons! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013


The French quarter in New Orleans is a beautiful place and every nook and corner is worth a click. Here are a few of my favorite clicks from this weekend.

1. Window shopping is fun here and each store has something unique to capture your eye.

2. Bourbon Street was insane on Friday night. But a calm stroll on early Saturday morning tells quite a story about the previous night.

3. Hauntingly beautiful and colorful walls of this old city!

4. The French architecture.

5.  Fountain in front of the St. Louis cathedral -

6. While the city is cheerful in the morning, it has an eerie feeling in the night (except at Bourbon Street - That's just plain crazy and might even scare the ghosts away!).  Makes you believe that some of the stories from the haunted tours around the city might be true.

8. Of course, the local food is amazing and seafood is the best I have ever had. When we travel, T refuses to go to any place that has less than 500 reviews and 4 stars on Yelp. So he can be totally trusted with good food options and from all the awesome places we ate at, my favorite was Acme Oyster House. The 45 minute wait for a late lunch at 3pm was worth it!

9. Finally, the local bands, musicians and street entertainers make the city come alive!

Anyone with a love for their camera, great food and music would definitely love this place!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Apple Sauce Cake

Last week my co-worker got this most amazing apple sauce cake to work for the whole team to share with the afternoon cup of coffee. It is so awesome to be surrounded with co-workers like her! :-)

Pam also shared her recipe (passed on by her mom), and I tried it out on this lazy, cold and rainy weekend afternoon.

For the cake:
21/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
11/2 cups apple sauce
11/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup crushed pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups powdered sugar

For the cake: Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Sift flour and spices together. Alternate the flour mixture and applesauce into the butter mixture until all is added and mixed well.  Add the pecan/walnut pieces to the batter.

Pour the mix into a well-greased 9x9 pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the icing:
Melt butter and brown sugar together. Heat to a boil for 2 minutes. While stirring constantly, add milk and return to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn-off heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.

Once cooled, add the powdered sugar. If the icing is too running, add more sugar (little at a time). When the icing is a little thickened pour onto the cake and let it cool. Sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on the top.

The icing was the best part of the recipe. I couldn't stop tasting it every few minutes. 
So yummmm! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fig tree update

I got this fig tree in March after being overly obssessed with it (see here).
It was half the height when I got it with about 7-8 leaves - fingers crossed; think it is doing great so far!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This time last year

Weddings are always fun! Looking back at this time last year and reliving the fun through the photographs...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Virtual happiness

Recently I found this blog online and ever since, I have been revisiting the site everyday for my 5 minute dose of virtual happiness!


I am sure you will agree.
Btw- I dont like the iphone interface for this blog, but it looks fab on the desktop!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Purple and green

Some purples...

and some greens.

Enjoy the lovely fall Sunday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


A few weeks back, T's friends visited us and I made these mocktails for them.

The red one is just rooh afza syrup in water and the other one is Orange juice with some peach flavored soda with a red cherry dropped to the bottom of the glass. Adding some color to the weekend!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall get-togethers!

While I just sit on pintrest.com and browse for hours and feel creative, this girl actually does things that are creative and beautiful!

Like these monster cake balls that tasted 'oh so delicious' and a fall bouquet of flowers in a fresh pumpkin! Kudos Apu!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The world is a beautiful place

One of my favorite pastimes is to browse photos and it always makes me very happy to see a well composed photograph. One of my favorite photos of recent times is this pic captioned 'The world is a beautiful place' by T's sister and shot by Mr. A.

So aptly captioned and I so love this pic - couldn't be a more perfect shot!
All credit due to T's sister and Mr. A (posted here with their permission ofcourse!).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Can't believe October is here!
I haven't shed my weight from the previous holiday season, and the next one is here already. Time for Pumpkin spice latte indulgences at Starbucks! :-)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Alaska - 7 day itinerary (Part 2)

Day 5 and 6 - Denali.

 Six million acres of wilderness and we only covered 12 miles of the park accessible by car.  

Everything pales in comparison... 

Day 7 - We drove back to Anchorage by the end of day 6. On Day 7, we spent some time visitng the local book shop, coffee shops, and took a short drive back on Seward highway with stops at Beluga point and Girdwood before catching our flight back home!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Alaska - 7 day itinerary (Part 1)

Alaska is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. The ocean, mountains, wilderness and the vastness of the place is overwhelming. Here are a few of my favorite pics from our journey to cover a small part of it in 7 days.

Day 1 - A long time back, T read about the Seward highway in 'National Geographic - Drives of a Lifetime' and that was the first time Alaska popped in the head as a possible vacation spot for this year. So when we landed in Anchorage, that was the first thing we did. The drive was magical...

We were just in time to catch the guided tour to 'Exit glacier' by the National Forest ranger at Kenai Fjords National Park. The knowledge dump from National Forest rangers was very much appreciated.

Day 2 - Exploring Alaska by rail is a whole new experience and Alaska railroad passes through places not accessible by road. Its such a wonder how they built those rail tracks along the steep mountains. The journey from Anchorage to Whittier and the glacier cruise in Whittier were lifetime experiences.

We were very lucky to see an amazing show of the Blackstone glacier calving too!

Day 3 - We stopped at Wasilla, AK  enroute Denali for an overnight halt. Hatcher Pass near Wasilla was not on our initial plan, but I am so glad we drove the scenic 12 miles and did the short hike to get panoramic views of the mountains.

Day 4 - Talkeetna has an old-time rustic charm and it was a perfect place to stop for lunch before reaching Denali. Lunch at Talkeetna Roadhouse was the best food I had in the trip!

 To be continued...

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Happiness = A no-agenda weekend and enjoying the faint sound of the wind-chimes.