Monday, March 28, 2016

Passage to porch

With sprouting signs of spring, hibernating in home will be over soon and we will be fostering outdoor pleasures where many breezy afternoons will be spend in poring over a book or fancy evenings might find you there as you sip away your sundown smoothies.
At a time of year, my mind races to speed up the spring by hatching new plans for some ideal outdoor projects. Bouncing off few ideas in today’s post for a functional and fashionable front porch to welcome the gradual transition of the season.  After all waking up with sunshine and green things around after surviving looooong winter definitely calls for a celebration.
Easy eye catching hues in bold colours can instantly enhance your outdoors. Adding a hint of bright accessories is another way to upstage your outdoors. Look for unique ways to use familiar accessories in a way that will surprise and delight the palate. Easy to wash and no fade fabric is an apt selection for our active outdoor needs.

A framed sun room with bank of big windows can block intense sun rays. With a good view of lush green trees this minimally decked sheltered porch brings comfort with a style.
Clever accents of orange and cheery pops of blue are incorporated brilliantly here. A side table to hold your drink and a basket to chuck away extra pillows are merged here to maximise the ease while lounging. Slip covered pillows are best to swap away according to your design needs or seasonal styling. 

With a space challenged porch, make the most of the space you have. A small sky light here welcomes the view of sky over head. An outdoor rug is always a good choice for adding color in your space; equally a lick of paint on floor can also inevitably brighten the floors. Candles and lanterns are must for me to add drama and romance to the porch.

Be your own mixologist and experiment with your favorite color combo. Blooms always make a big bang in any décor. Window boxes, hanging baskets and pretty flower pots are great addition in your color scheme. Ease into visual interest by adding art work, mirrors or cluster of few frames for an added bonus on the porch.

There are plenty more good reasons to head outdoors which we have been patiently waiting for. Until we meet again, stay connected, toodles!
Image Courtesy: BHG

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Holi - The colorful celebration

Puttering “Holi” pictures on the virtual world has sent me in the same vein as you, if you are also nurturing "Holi" blues with a twinge of envy just like me, for being detached from all the festivities back home. These festivals graciously allow us to remember old days especially to those who are far away from India, where any celebration of any festival is always at the peak.
Few thoughtful, few silly and few heartwarming honest moments evoke fond memories of my childhood. As I recall the days vividly, where the hurly-burly on the road and vivacious friends on the street play with colorful tradition ardently. 
Briefly toyed with the “Holi” idea, I have attuned a corner to celebrate Holi this year unlike last year's fanciful décor. Charming amalgams of my antique brass diyas and yummy colors have brightened a corner, which compliments the festival in our home. 
And for your dramatic finale of "Holi" I have got you covered with this light, fluffy and of course creamy "Thandai Mousse" to please any size of your party crowd. Certainly an impressive dinner party dessert here is delicately flavored with thandai that really brings out the spice when mixed with wickedly rich cream.



  • Whipping Cream - 1 cup
  • Regular milk - 1 cup
  • Water - 1/2 cup
  • Thandai masala & syrup (readily available, and if not, there are gazillions of recipes to make at home)
  • Shredded almonds ( Few drops of food coloring for a dramatic display)
  • Agar-agar powder (China grass powder or Gelatin) 1 spoon
  • Sugar ( as per your sweet tooth)

·         Whisk the whipping cream till soft fluffs are formed;   keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
·         Dilute agar agar powder in ½ cup water and cook on low flame
·         Add 1 cup of milk to this water and keep stirring
·         Add 1 spoon of Thandai masala and 1 spoon of Thandai syrup
·         Add desired amount of sugar (thandai syrup is sweet so taste and add sugar accordingly)
·         Bring the mixture to boil until everything dissolves and milk is wee bit thickened.  
Let this liquid cool down on room temperature. Once ready, place this liquid on top of an ice cube loaded bowl and mix vigorously, it will start thickening soon and to avoid any lumps, the mixing constantly is necessary. Add in the whipped cream and fold in until both are evenly combined.  Transfer the mousse in serving bowls or cups and garnish on top with colored almonds or any other dry fruit you desire. Refrigerate for about 4/5 hours and serve. The colorful array of almonds make it an enticing dessert. You may play with any flavor combo you may like to make this mousse.
(If you have opted china grass as a replacement for of Agar-agar powder, you will have to cut china grass into small chunks and blend it down into a coarse powder before using, you may also have to strain the liquid for left over pieces of china grass before mixing the whipping cream)

Okay party people hold on, as on the spirit of HOLI, Sonal Gupta, the culinary expert at Simplyvegetarian has rounded up with all sorts of deserts and snacks for you to toast your festival with. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of her festive collective.  To earn yourself more desserts and snacks head straight to her blog where she has oceans of other recipes to feed inspiration for your upcoming festive parties from rest of the fellow bloggers.

We, Torontonians, are spoilt here with many friends and this festival fever of Holi has gripped us firmly, hence, we are going to mark the day noisy way in our own neighborhood. If you celebrate sober way or smudge the beautiful colors on your loved one's faces, enjoy every bit of it as these simple pleasures of life light up our world, signing out wishing everyone very happy festivities at your end, until we meet again, stay connected on facebook or instagram, toodles!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lakshman Sagar - A boutique Hotel

As I stay afloat in the midst of spring arrival, one look at Lakshman Sagar is all it takes to be carried away. Get on board with me to tour this quirkiest place bathed in sporadic splashes of color and charmed with old world touches.
Feeling of having stepped in another era has been remarkably created using the “ZERO KILOMETRE DESIGN” concept by Sahil and Sarthak Interiors, where all the furniture and accessories are inspired through an understanding of local products and conveniences in this eco-friendly luxury.  Rajasthan, being a craft weighty religion the design inspiration is laid down with an ease. You will be nodding in full agreement with my statement, once you explore this place with me :)
Lakshman Sagar, an environmentally friendly luxury by Sewara group, is excelled by exquisitely ethnic interiors. Scattered on over 32 acres of picturesque village in Raipur, Pali district, Rajasthan Lakshman Sagar is adjacent to Lakshman Sagar lake where centuries old Marwad traditions and eras of time gone by is encapsulated brilliantly.  

Lakshman Sagar’s décor approach thrives with an abundance of accessories easily found in the village. The side table here (a “matka”(pot) with few dry hays set on a few wooden branches) is the best example that strikes out the rural living in this mud stamped room.
Psychedelic and bright sitting arrangement is effortlessly mixed by scattering glimpses of local culture and locally found accessories such as terra-cotta pots, brass-copper utensils and hand embroidered cushions.
Zanana (female) and Mardana (male) mahals are detached on this property, which harks back the old times of “Thakurs” where they used to retire and entertain themselves after a busy hunting day in woods. Thakur Lakshman Singh, who possessed the place as a hunting lodge, is now converted into a eco-friendly heritage hotel Lakshman Sagar, which still recaps the know-how of rural life and old world charm. Windy white and blue dining space in Mardana (male) place is dotted with many zarokhas (arches) for overlooking beautiful surroundings of Lakshman Sagar. 
“Farm to fork” principal is applied when you savour yourself in Rajasthani cuisine here in “zanana” (female) dining room which is sprinkled with mild pink theme. Every prepared meal is cooked from freshly home grown spices to home grown vegetables in the village.
Now, who wouldn't want to unwind with a book and a big glass of freshly churned "lassi" to cool down on this beautiful terrace, where the good view is a real plus. 
For now, I am going to rain check that thought and wait for actual spring (which is brutally slow) to arrive soon in my part of the world, so we can enjoy heading outdoors again. You stay connected with me as next will be "Holi" post. Until we meet again, toodles!
You may read more about this heritage property right here.
Image courtesy: Sahil & Sarthak Interiors

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Budhha Love!

As our life changes, we go through several stages of life, where work and pressing demands are on a constant move. Our home is a free-wheeling place where we shed our burden, where we seek peace of mind and stillness, where we leave all cares behind by the end of the daily grind. And to build an atmosphere of well-being and calmness at home, my mind cliques on none other than the most iconic character Buddha. His emblematic personality and our plentifully grown mild obsession have urged me to croon the subject without investing in much thought.

Beside his gently closed eyelids and his sly smirk, I look for different "mudras" of Buddha before fetching any additional piece for our home. His every mudra or hand gesture epitomizes different symbol, different quality or an important episode of his life while spreading serenity in the atmosphere. 
Vitarka Mudra portrays constant flow of energy and information.
As and when I storm myself to Home Goods, I have raided aisles in search of the perfect Buddha. And this splendid stone sculpture posed in Vitarka Mudra, is a result of one such quest. Glamour, spark and sophistication are blended together in this vignette. My all-time favourite votive candle holder not only add the small burst of colour but also lighten up the glow.
Buddha Head
Classic, timeless and stylish Buddha heads never go out of the trend. I proudly own three of them. The next 2 Buddha heads are also darling hunts from Homegoods, where an affable vibe naturally drawn me towards their calming features. This particular Buddha head with his meditative face and partially closed eye lids speak of elegance while spreading warmth and zen like calmness. 

My inner décor demon was harder to tame when my eyes landed on this wooden Buddha head. Again his smug look and modesty on his face urged me to pick him up and bring him home. Intermingling the modern Buddha head with my antique brass made both stand out. 
Buddha Head
Richly paired white Buddha head here with bold red statement connotes regal attention on this setting.
Abhaya mudra which dispels terror and unites one with divine protection and bliss.
Jade green, hand carved Buddha is a gift that we received many moons ago. Sometimes these long forgotten treasures that you have had for years completely gives you a surprised new look blending in with your new scheme. Buddha's calm, controlled and determined look in this Abhaya Mudra posture looks divine every time I call him on my coffee table.
Calling The Earth to Witness posture is the moment of enlightenment for the Buddha
Latest and new addition in our Buddha collection with "Calling the earth to witness" posture is mostly found in Thai temples. The twinkle in his eye and chuckle on his face are absolutely heart warming. His styled pose with elongated earlobes and golden clump of hair radiates magical aura wherever in the home he is placed. 
Resting Buddha or dreaming Buddha illustrates Buddha being in one of several deep dreams
The sleeping or dreaming pose is believed to portray the Buddha in deep dreams about peace in the world and living a happy life. Dreaming Buddha was love at first sight at “Bombay” store. The most marvellous find is an ultimate in grace. His existence on the coffee table transmutes everything from functional to fanciful. 
Reclining Buddha symbolizes his last moments on earth
Can't really complete the post without tossing in my brass, can I? Here is the brass galore with my only brass reclining Buddha. This particular lying down gesture represents his last moments on earth. A very well-known of the same statue is enshrined at Wat Pho in Bangkok. This pose is believed to be his last pose before entering "Nirvana"!
Buddha cheering our front doors 
On the onset of spring days, pulling one more count of our outdoor Buddha from my Instagram archives. He has been placed right by the front doors to spread the calmness to everyone inflowing our doorway.  

With these handful of enliven Buddha scores, our home is alive and engaging. For me, it usually takes one glance to please all my senses or calm my nerves. His arresting charm, inimitable wit and delicious affection have urged me to freely exchange my thoughts on our small collection of Buddha at home, which I hope truly inspires you to bring him home to sense warmth and calmness in your life as well.

Until we meet again, find me on Facebook  or Instagram feeds, toodles!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sanskriti Lifestyle - Featured Shop

Some antique sniffing landed me knee deep to a treasure trove of carefully picked unparalleled collection of obviously beautiful and timeless pieces of furniture at Sanskriti Lifestyle. The store that's grown up in its place being a well-loved brand for furniture and home décor is a classic lover's dream where the stockroom is spilling over with comprehensive collection of retro odds and ends.
Poised among the breathtaking one acre property with four colonial style bungalows in Pune, Sanskriti Lifestyle is standing with landscaped gardens and koi-fish water features. Conquering the motto of offering unique shopping experience, this landmark furniture shopping destination is the key to build up a loyal following of customers whose taste runs more toward traditional Indian allure and modern clean line.

The family affair store dates back since 1995, when a mother (Sonali Pingale) and daughter (Devika Bashani) duo honored their creative spirit and followed their common ground in vision by unveiling brand Sanskriti Lifestyle. With the crew of skilled carpenters who have practical and artistic standpoint, Sanskriti Lifestyle offers most comprehensive collections of furniture pieces based on your personal taste. The active imagination of eco-friendly equation is also served well in their creations as they blend in recycled wood to lease a life to new design elements.
Their massive, ever-changing selection of furniture is all well-stocked and clustered together under one roof. Unparalleled custom made collection in their store is truly inspired by the past, incorporating stylist details with the hint of Indian touch. Sanskriti Lifestyle offers completely made to order furniture as Devika phrased, "We have contemporary reclaimed wood in modern styles as well as teak wood in classic colonial designs. A lot of our pieces are genuine antiques but these were made for large homes. So we started custom building furniture to meet our customers' style and size preference."

Your hunger for antiques, brass or art pieces can also be served well with scouted up trendy home décor accessories by Sanskriti Lifestyle. Their wide range of outdoor furniture, lanterns and often thrown in trendy jewelry, scarves and bags from local designers will beckon you to park yourself around for longer.

No wonder, this strategy to sync in with the tailored order has paid off and shoppers seeking customized details are welcomed here. Being the nature of the beast Sanskriti doesn’t offer online sale but as a bonus, they do ship worldwide. If you are a traditional collector or a contemporary aficionado, you will easily bag away with something that grabbed your interest. Next time when you see your feet in Pune, draw yourself at Sanskriti Lifestyle or simply connect on their website, Facebook page or Instagram feed for more updates on their products.

Until we meet again with another décor saga, stay connected on facebook page of Pinkz Passion, toodles!
(Image credit/copyright: Sanskriti Lifestyle)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March Musing!

As I sit comfortably with a brew and my smile, I am so thinking about sweet smell of spring, warm sun and cool natural breeze. When longer days and warmer weather signal a seasonal switch, we know that we are giddily making our way to March. Unlike my many spoiled readers who don’t have to wait for arrival of spring as eager as I do, as they have perks of being in warmer weather throughout the year.
As we ring in spring, tulips have started to take little areas of gorgeousness around my home, which of course, I can’t wait to share with ya’all. My social calendar is also beginning to fill up with a long list of chalked out plans. On the blog, we will capture the essence of spring through few wonderful lined up posts on the blog. Along with spring changes at my end, the admittedly overdue Buddha post will also find its way out.
This month we also celebrate an official leap to a teenager year for our baby, who is in a big hurry to grow up. And here I am, consoling myself by scrolling back to the old baby albums to cherish those childhood moments.
Signing out today, with spring musing in my mind. Trusting my infectiously happy spring mood will help you to kick start your month with an equally happy note. Though, as I am belting out herald of spring, Toronto is declared to be buried deep down under more snow, which I am not looking forward at all.

Until we meet again, stay connected, toodles!