Sunday, November 2, 2014

Till we meet again.

I know I have been missing from here for way too long. Yes, the last post was in March this year and I owe you an explanation and I have some something to share.

It was November 2007 when I started writing here and decided to call it purplehomes for the simple reason that purple happens to be my favourite colour and doing up my home was and still is an obsession. What started as a little scrapbook of sorts soon became a place to meet all of you equally design and décor crazy lovely people, a place to share, learn and inspire and a place I began to “show up for work” everyday. This month I complete seven beautiful years of doing that.

Happy seventh purplehomes! Seven years of sharing the celebrations in my life, the DIYs that I attempted, my other love studio pottery and more. If someone had asked me back then in 2007 if I would be doing this for seven years I would have said no ways. I didn’t even stick to a job this long in my past life :)

Along the way many wonderful opportunities came up… working for a cause, starting artprints by purplehomes, writing for magazines and beingwritten about , being declared the BestBlog by BBC GoodHomes and so much more.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now for the explanation bit; like with everything in life with time new things take shape and for me it began with my sister conning me into going for MasterChef India three years back which was followed by the birth of my second blog, Orange Kitchens, writing for foodmagazines, conducting food workshops and demonstrations and very recently becoming the Food Revolution Ambassador for Dubai.

Managing two blogs along with all the other wonderful work and opportunities that began to pour in got a little difficult. If I was active on one blog the other would suffer which is exactly what happened here.

So (insert deep breath) for the moment I have decided to go for a long break here at purplehomes and focus entirely on the food love in my life. The next one year is looking promising with a couple of professional and personal goals, all revolving around food and children and I want to give it my hundred percent. I am really really hoping all of you who have given me so much love in the past seven years will be there cheering for me, supporting me and showing up to say hello :)

Till I decide to come back, please savour the old posts on the blog, see what I've been cooking, join me in my quest for food education, say hi to me (I am on facebook, Instagram , twitter and pinterest) and keep being the awesome awesome people you always have been.

Till we meet again, a little recap of all these beautiful years. 
You were there through my numerous color crushes
My totally mad fetish times
You enjoyed the Go Green series
With you I met some insanely creative design bloggers
And most importantly you were a part of my happy times and not so happy times. Be it Sara's first birthday, our anniversaries, celebrating festivals, going with me to handicraft fairs, seeing my get potty about pots, appreciating my work, encouraging me when I made my Because it makes me happy list, and so much more.

A BIG Hug to all you lovely readers.

Leaving with you some decor mantras I try to live by.

Images : Original posts have all the credits mentioned

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beds for little girls.

We have been thinking of getting a new bed for Sara. She is still using the cot-bed we got her when she was born. It is essentially a cot that is a wider and longer than a normal cot and can be turned into a bed once the child outgrows the cot. The railings come off and the height can be decreased to make it into a low level bed. One can easily use it for five years or even more. And now I think is the time to get her first proper bed (I turned the cot railings into an art gallery. Read all about it here).

These are some that I came across. Which ones do you like? 
A cubby bed for your little one to climb into
A bunk bed with a hiding spot underneath to read books or to play "house"
Over the moon...umm....over the top...Moon bed for your little one to dream in. 
A white wrought iron bed with all the necessary curls and curves 
and a dreamy canopy to finish it
A playful bed complete with a bunting,bamboo and a canopy

Or a simple classic bed for your elegant little star.

Which one do you heart?

Image: 1,2,3,4,5,6,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sara turns five.

Yesterday a close friend messaged me asking, “Is there something wrong with your blog, it isn’t showing any posts after the 18th of December.” I laughed (sheepishly) and told her well that it is because I haven’t posted any!  “Really? For almost two months you haven’t posted a thing!” she seemed shocked.

I too was shocked that I had been away from my favorite place for this long. And so I am here today to correct that. Correct that with a post that I love to write here each year. Sara’s birthday post. Yes, ten days back she turned five. And I still find it hard to believe that four years ago I shared her first birthday right here.

Over the years, I’ve shared with you lovely readers all of her birthdays (sans the last one when we were to vacate the house the next day for our entire home was to be shipped to Dubai and I couldn’t post but I promise to share that pretty soon) for doing that allows me to make all of you a part of our happiness which is what I love about blogging the most.

The girl has been obsessed with garden fairies for over two years now, so much so that she even wears her wings while sleeping and pretends that she lives in a toadstool! So the theme was pretty much pre-decided and like always we had a small get together at home just the way my mom did. Handcrafting everything right from the invitation card to the décor, cooking every little morsel and keeping it sweet and really small; sharing the day with six of her “best friends”.

Pink just had to be there was the little girl’s request and pink there was. What is a garden fairy party without some green and ofcourse the fairy and that was the starting point. 
We had very simple pink invitation cards for each of her friends with lots of sparkle and doilies with a short and sweet message inviting the fairies into the enchanted garden (Free printable from here).
I didn't really have to buy anything for the party decor because one there was enough to “shop” from Sara’s room and two, I handcrafted the rest.
At the entrance we had Sara’s blackboard with the line, “Do you believe in fairies?” and fairy lights from her room. She also had a pinwheel that had a cute flowery print which added a whimsical touch to the vignette.
I must mention here that each time Sara passed by the blackboard (before and after the party) she read the question and declared loudly to no one in particular, “Yes, I do!” and then broke into a big smile :)
Each of the little fairies were handed over their wings upon entering the home and I have to say that with seven little girls fluttering away I really didn’t need any décor because all eyes were on them.
For a while they enjoyed playing in Sara’s room, post which I had two fun games planned for them.

One was a garden fairy version of the musical chairs. Musical Toadstools. I cut out several red circles out of thick handmade paper and then pasted smaller white circles on it so that they resembled toadstools. They not only looked cute on the green carpet (once again from Sara’s room) for they looked like toadstools on grass but also I didn’t have to worry about arranging seven chairs!
And the little fairies looked so cute standing around/on it. Each fairy was given a magic wand when she had to leave the toadstool to go to her Fairy Godmother (their respective mums). It worked for we had seven happy faces because everyone won and it was not a competition where only one took back the prize. The wands actually came with the wings that I had given earlier (sorry I don’t have pictures but they were just like the pink wings). 
For my little birthday fairy who was in her white wings I handcrafted the wand that would go with her dress and the invitation card. Some twine around a chopstick, a doily, a handcrafted rose and some pink and green strings (left from her third birthday) and it was ready. She loved it and that made me very happy.
Post that we had a treasure hunt of sorts where the girls sat on their toadstool mats and I handed them over pink bags to collect their little treasures that were hidden in the living area. I used small pink gift bags and simply pasted a doily cut in half to maintain the theme.

Each one got a turn to open the little box that contained the clues and their mums helped them to read and solve. Each clue took them to a little goodie box which had seven goodies each and the little fairy had to share her treasure with all the other fairies. It was really cute watching them all wide eyed and surprised and also sharing the goodies with their friends; making sure they didn't miss anyone.
The hidden treasures were:
  • Fairy dust (Bottle containing glitter)
  • Shiny rocks (M&Ms wrapped up in some foil and made to look like sparkly rocks)
  • Pixie kisses (Hershey’s kisses)
  • Fairy clouds (little bags of popcorn)
  • Gold coins (Chocolate gold coins)
  • Sparkly hairbands (the set of wings that the girls got upon entering came with the magic wands (which I distributed during the musical toadstools game) and the fairy hairbands. So basically I used each of the three elements separately through the party. Once again for the birthday fairy I handcrafted her hairband. I used some tulle from an old torn tutu of hers and some beads I had on hand and handmade flowers; all on an old hairband of hers which she instantly recognized and said but this is my old headband! Kids I tell you!)
And finally the last clue that led them to the birthday cake itself that I carried to the table at the end of the treasure hunt

By now the fairies had played enough and were famished and so where their mums. Except for the cake that I never make for her birthday for there are just too many things to prepare and look after that day and also I don’t think I can ever match up to what Aya did for us I made everything at home.
Aya from Aya Cupcakes did a fabulous job on the cake. I had sent her picture of what Sara and I had selected and what a fabulous job she did. It was like my little girl sitting there.

Too pretty to touch?
We couldn't make ourselves eat that pretty fairy and once the party was over we made Sara hold her and clicked away.
Next to the cake is my alarm clock which I took the cells out off and got the needles to represent her time of birth. A tiny easel with the card (a little variation of the invitation card, can you tell or is it just me!) that doubled up both as décor and a wishing card of sorts which we used to capture the lovely wishes from the guests and this AWESOME garden fairy terrarium that a dear friend made herself and gifted to my little girl.
It was a gift that was shouting handmade, creativity and gorgeousness. You guys know me well enough I am sucker for handcrafted goodness and I wanted to give my heart away in return.

Just check out that mini pinwheel, those little mushrooms and ofcourse the fairies. I had half a mind of stealing it away from Sara for my room! Actually to be honest I still have intentions of doing that. Don’t kids get bored of things after a while, please tell me I am right:)

But I digress. Coming back to the food the menu was garden fairyish, had to be.
  • Pixie punch (apple & orange juice for the kids and homemade mint lemonade for the mums)
  • Snail sandwiches (cream cheese & grated carrot sandwiches with cucumber for the antenna)
  • Toadstools (Cherry tomatoes sitting on cheese)
  • Garden veggies with yogurt dip
  • Butterfly Pasta (For no party is completed without pasta in the words of Sara. A simple farfalle in homemade tomato, carrot and red bell pepper sauce)
  • A patch of grass ( Sliced baguette with labneh, dill, mint, coriander, cherry tomatoes and cucumber silvers and chilli flakes for the mums)
  • Gnome bites with three kinds of dips (Falafel wraps with hummus and pickled cucumbers. Once again more for the mums than the kids. Though to my surprise the kids liked it as well)
  • Fairy clouds (Store bought candy floss)

And doilies once again for food labels.

We had a fun evening and we thanked our little guests with a pretty pink noteback and a magic wand pen (Just my luck that I saw it at a stationery store and had to pick those for party favors for they went so well with the dreamy fairy theme).
I used simple brown paper (my favorite to wrap all kinds of gifts) and made these little green gift tags with doilies and some sparkly nail paint for some shimmer.
The notes read, "Thank You Fairy Much!"
Also, I used a recent snap of Sara that we took during the holidays when we visited a garden here for the table that carried the wings, wands, return gifts and the treasure hunt bags. It was so appropriate and it made me super happy seeing her as the “I” amongst the colourful and vibrant words happy birthday. All made with flowers. 
I used an old frame that we didn't need any longer and painted it white, distressed it a bit with sandpaper and used a thread to hang her happy-happy birthday picture.
And like each year I wanted Sara & us to look back at the heartfelt wishes from each of the guests and we asked the guests to write down a little note for her. It sure will be both nostalgic and enjoyable years later when Sara and we sit down and go through it all.
I, of course needed something on the lines of an annual leave after her party but I had so much fun putting it all together. I told my sister may be that is the reason we decided to have a baby after all; to throw cutesy birthday parties!!

Each year after her birthday party I think to myself that I will now have to wait for one whole year to do this again and that kind of makes me sad. However this year my little girl who is not so little anymore but who enjoys putting parties together just like her mum, came to me the very same evening and asked, "Mamma, How many days for my sixth birthday?! "

And I laughed. My daughter!
"365", I said.

Images : Personal Album. All images belong to purplehomes and are subject to copyright.