Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The year gone by...

2014 has been an ordinary year compared to the other years in the past. There were a lot of memories made, but there were no major events like in the years past (when we had home purchases, marriages to attend in family, aai-baba's visit, big travels etc.) and because the year was so mundane, I think this year went by a little slow. However, there are always memories being made and looking back, here are some of my favorite memories of 2014:

1. T&I kicked off the year on a right note by running the half-marathon together in January. I probably ignored running for the entire year after that, but I am getting back into the groove now.

2. T's roomie and my roomie from college visited us - nothing like meeting old friends and talking about the wild stories from the past!

3. We vacationed on beaches (Puerto Rico) and among the mountains (Colorado). Two places struck off the list.

4. T's sister and my brother setup their abodes in new cities. Exploring new pastures :-)

5. My dream and plans of having a fairy garden were turned to reality and I think the garden did very well  - I even changed the decor with seasons! Hopefully, I can expand it further next year.

6. And there are always some bad memories too. It was such a nightmare when T got bit by a dog. Somehow, dogs and I never get along. But now that it is all over, we laugh about it and have an interesting story to tell when we meet peeps!

7. Dad turned 60!

8. T started a new hobby of playing racquet ball and he is ever-ready for a game - Good vibes!

9. I invested and planted a bunch of bulbs in the yard - hopefully, I will get some good returns in the future. I think that's a major milestone for my small yard.

10. And to end the year on a high note, I bagged a new role at work! Really excited to start the new job in 2015!

So adios 2014, and see you all in 2015 with a clean new slate and a few good vibes! :D

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nine days of vacation

I blinked and my nine days of staycation are over! Looking back, if I were to sum up the vacation at home, I spent all my time doing either of these five activities -
  • eating 
  • working out 
  • catching-up with office work
  • shopping
  • meeting family and friends

I think I am ready for a busy December now! :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dump Cake Recipe

This dump cake is so perfect for fall dinners and get-togethers and super easy to make. Life is all about fancy short-cuts! ;-)

All you need is:
  • One can of cherry pie filling
  • A box of cake mix (I used french vanilla)
  • One stick butter 

Now follow these 3 simple steps -

And just like that - dessert is ready!! Serve it slightly warm and top it off with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit for the extra oomph!

P.S. This recipe is egg less so is perfect for anyone with dietary restrictions too.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy November!

Happy November!

What a lovely chill in the air today! It's time to get the plants indoors for the winter. Also, time to plant the Paperwhites to force them to bloom just in time for the holidays.

Forcing Paperwhites is easy and they bring so much joy and life to holiday decorations. I love them when mom plants the cheerful flowers around the house. They make really nice hostess gifts too. 

So today I hunted down all the jars and decorative containers I had bought at various sales, the extra pebbels I had from two years back when I made an attempt at the succulent garden (btw - that was a failed attempt!) and I bought some Paperwhite bulbs.

Now all I did was fill the container half-way with pebbles, then placed the bulbs firmly in-between the pebbles with the pointed-end facing up. Then I filled up the container with water, keeping the water level just below the bottom of the bulbs and added a little moss on the top. 

Hopefully, they will bloom in 4-6 weeks.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Spring planting

 I made a huge investment this year and bought a bunch of bulbs for Iris (in blue, yellow and pink shades), Crocus (the flowers that produce saffron and look really pretty) and Hyacinths. Hope I get some good blooms in spring ..... patiently waiting now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yard sale

Although I have been reading all my favorite bloggers always boasting about the awesome finds that they picked up at yard sales and antique stores, I have never had any such luck.... until this week.

I randomly found a yard sale on the street and my eye caught these two clay suns that would be perfect for my yard. And then I also found another unique face to hang on the fence - totally made my day/week!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014


My top 5 highlights of Colorado trip:

#1 - Driving through the Independence pass at an elevation of 12,095 ft:

#2 - Spending a quite evening admiring the spectacular maroon peaks near Aspen -

#3 - Hiking on the hanging lake trial and having countless arguments with T on why this was not his idea of a vacation -

But I think, and T agrees, that the view of the emerald green lake was totally worth it!!!

#4 - The gandola ride in Vail

#5 - The trees, the fall colors, the golden aspens....

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Desert Rose

This is my new obsession!

From what I have read, these plants are low-maintenance. They need direct sunlight and cannot tolerate over-watering. So, I plan to water it just once a week.

From spring to fall, they need fertilizing once a month using a liquid fertilizer. This is the tricky part, as I never fertilize my plants. Need to call help/mom for that.

They become dormant in winters. They will retain their leaves in winter if the temperature is above 60 deg F. It is advisable to bring the plant inside for winters or atleast cover their roots if they stay out.

In the long run, I want to grow it as a bonsai. Repotting it in a shallow pot (using coarse potting mix) might be a good idea - but I think I will wait on that till next year!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Balcony update

From the winter rags to the bright summery patio...
And here are the finer details of my happy corner!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Puerto Rico

I (rather we) are so in love with Puerto Rico! I think it is definitely one of the best vacation spots in US packed with adventure, history, exotic beaches, tropical rain forests, delicious cuisine, tropical warm weather and budget-friendly vacation options. Here is a brief summary of our trip and pictures. Enjoy!

Day 1 - We visited the historic 'El Morro' fort built by the Spanish in 16th century. We followed that with a drive across the island to a local beach (Playa Sucia) near the Cabo Rojo lighthouse.

Day 2 - Lush green tropical plants, interesting hikes, endless chitter-chatter of the birds, gorgeous waterfalls and friendly forest staff await you at the El Yunque rain forest. All that minus any bugs and snakes - It can't get any better!

We did the Mt. Britton hike which was uphill that leads to a small lookout tower with stunning views of the forest extending in front of us. And we did the La Mina trail which was downhill and led to amazing waterfalls!

Day 3 - We did the night-time kayak adventure to the bio-luminescent bay. Unfortunately, there are no pics of bio-bay but the experience was worth it and we will be talking about our kayak adventure for a long long time!

Day 4 - All that trouble to get to Culebra (to wake up at 5 am and stand in the line in the hot sun to get ferry tickets) was worth it! This was the most exotic part of the trip - driving around the mini island in a jeep and taking a dive in one of the top 10 beaches of the world! Flamenco beach - Absolutely worth it!

Day 5 - A no-agenda day. We drove along the coastal line - stopping randomly to sip PiƱa Coladas, and to hog on the local cuisine.

Day 6 - I wanted to take a pic of every house and every street in the Spanish influenced Old San Juan city. We walked the entire Old San Juan before we caught the flight back to reality!

And that was Puerto Rico - one of the best vacation spots in US!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Excited! I finally registered for a photography course online after contemplating about this for the last 2 years. This is also the first time I will be taking an online course. Hope to learn something new...

Happy Sunday!


Sunday, June 8, 2014


This weekend went-by so quick - and I could hardly complete half the things on my to-do list. Playing catch-up during the week now....

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

DIY - Hostess Gift

Hostess gift - using fresh herbs from the garden and a few treasures from the dollar store:

DIYs are fun when they turn out right!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lemonade Day!

Chip-out 50 cents for a fresh glass of lemonade to celebrate Lemonade Day and encourage the younger ones to become better entrepreneurs! This was so much fun to celebrate with the niece and nephew...

And lesson for the day - Balloons always cheer-up people and bring in more sales, specially cause it attracts the kids (and their parents) to your stall!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mom's spring garden

Here is a peep into mom's gorgeous spring garden... 

Waiting for the red lilies, pink roses and white petunias to bloom next... hurry up lovelies!