Wednesday, August 31, 2011

there is no end to wanting!!!

Its Eid time...a time for gifts and best wishes...
with my Eidi (Eid Gift Money) i was wondering what to buy...and with the amount of options available dint know what to zero on..
Does it happen to you guys as well???
that you go shopping and you enter a store where you want virtually everything...
sadly either you backoff before you end up spending your whole month's salary or you buy one or two things and then keep thinking about the others and.....should I, shouldnt I??
In this age of internet shopping there are sooooo many online stores that are complete treasure troves...
and like me if you bookmark them and then keep going back again and again and saying to yourself...
should I shouldnt I???
you get my drift?
Just happened across some reeeaaally adorable stuff online that I thought I'd share with you...

and you can tell me which ones you liked the best!!  As for me-I want them all  :-)
the most colorful magnetic pin holder  

can you believe what this is?  a cookie car... how cute is that??

you guessed it right...a snail tape dispenser..

isnt the porcupine the cutest???

different character magnets!!

vegetable peeler...have you seen anything like it?
another peeler :-)  ladylike!

full marks for guessing what this is......a soap dish!!  hahaha!



a mushroom stool...takes me to my fairytale filled childhood!

two peas in a pod...salt and pepper shaker!

this is a dish scrubber...:-)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

month old...so new look!

hey guys...its been a "little" over a month since i started this new blog diary of mine and i have kinda got tired of the "look" already!!
so in lieu of the second month of my blogging fever...i am changing the face of my blog and a new lady is going to smile down on you...hehehe
i dont promise this every month, but i think i do get bored quite easily....and you might see a new facelift quite often....
so enjoy the new look  and say goodbye to this lady    :-)
p.s.   still waiting of lady Irene Hurricane to hit us...
will keep you posted!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene...

"All indications point to this being a historic hurricane," says President Obama
Hurricane Irene is everywhere......
On the news, in conversations...in notices on our building notice board and elevator...
This is the biggest natural disaster waiting to hit NYC...in fact New York City has not experienced anything like this ever!!
We can see terrifying pictures and videos on the net and the news which we cant seem to tear our eyes away from!
Low-lying areas might get flooded...waves might go very high...not high as tsunami, but high enough to be really scary....
The public transport is supposed to stop functioning from mid day tomorrow and all the places near the harbour/ beach/ riverfront are being evacuated...
People are being told to stay indoors and avoid moving anywhere over the weekend...
A quarter of a million New Yorkers have been ordered to leave homes in low-lying areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as authorities are preparing for dangerous storm surge and flooding on Sunday in the city and farther east on Long Island......and btw....we are living in Queens!!!
"We've never done a mandatory evacuation before and we wouldn't be doing it now if we didn't think this storm had the potential to be very serious," NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference,today.
And so we have also done our preparation....
  • 1- candles (check)
  • 2- fully charged torches and batteries (check)
  • 3- crate of mineral water (in case there is water shortage)-check!
  • 4- bathtub filled with water for emergency usage. (check)
  • 5- necessary eatables...so that we can stay cooped inside for 2 days! (check)
  • 6- DVDs all ready along with popcorn packets...books in case the electricity goes   (check)      :-)
  • 7- a bag full of extreme necessities (passport, money, phone, camera and yes-diapers) on the ready in case of evacuation.....( check)
Have I scared you guys enough? hahaha...I know I shouldnt be so gleeful and I feel like kicking myself for not feeling more panicky....but you know what- I am enjoying all the hoopla!!!
hehehehe...cant help myself...getting to experience this too in good ol' America!!!
Will keep u guys posted once all this gets over!
WATCH THIS SPACE......  (you might even get live coverage...hahahaha)





Thursday, August 25, 2011

ethnic melting pot!

this place is like a haven for a foodie like me...
i have always been the experimental kinds and i love to potter around in my kitchen with a new recipe downloaded from the net/read in the latest issue of good housekeeping...
dont get me wrong- i am not the kinds to love cooking the everyday dal and vegetables
(get me a maid for that,pleeeeaaaase)
though my blog headline says otherwise,hahaha
....but give me a new ingredient...and i am just itching to try it out!
and in that matter the U.S. has all the ingredients that you can think of and more!!
esp. the place where we live...New York...is so cosmopolitan that whichever way you turn....you will hear a new language...whichever direction you look...you will find a different ethnicity...
there are mexicans, spanish (i didnt know they were so different in looks coz i had termed them loosely as just latin americans-but they have completely different features)
then you have all the different east asians-from china to taiwan to japan to malaysia... and i have started to make out the teensie bit of facial difference that they have with each other!
even with the caucasians...the Europeans look so different from Americans..
then there are a lot of Russians where we live- lots of jews (and even among them there are so many kinds-who dress differently-behave differently)
and the various cuisines....mindboggling!!
so like i said for a foodie "family" like ours..its heaven!
and i am slowly trying out various flavours and cuisines in my tiny kitchen....
on top of that i give it an "indian" twist and voila.....you have a new recipe!
so i am thinking..... just thinking out loud if there would be anyone out there who would be interested in "not my recipes" actually-but maybe my twist on the existing ones that i am trying in my kitchen???
anyone??
to start with is the new chicken marinade that i tried...
i tried with the store bought duck sauce (not made of duck  heheheh-but i guess a sauce to marinate a duck...asian style) to know more about the reason behind the name click (here)
but it was a little tooo bland and sweet for my indian taste so i tried turning the recipe a little fiery to suit my taste....

Home-made Duck Sauce

  • 5 cups coarsely chopped mixed fruit (apples, plums, and pears)(i used only plums)
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vineger
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper (red pepper flakes) or even tabasco sauce if you want a bit of zing!
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions

  1. Place fruit in a stock pot over medium high heat. Add water, apple juice,vineger, soy sauce, apricot preserves, brown sugar, garlic powder, and dry mustard. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve brown sugar. Reduce heat, and continue simmering for 40 minutes, or until fruit is completely soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Blend sauce in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, adjusting consistency with additional water, if desired. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
another shortcut that you can apply is that instead of the fresh fruits you can also use thier preserve or jams...apricot,plum, and even applesauce- in these you wont have to cook-just mix and blend and store.


you can use this with chicken( fried chicken in batter works very well)...as a good stir fry base and also with chinese fried rice...awesome!!
just adding a picture that i took of the dish...topped it with mango salsa and served with steamed broccoli and beans on the side....mmmmmm...


 For more tried and tasted and slurrped over recipes, please click here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the India Day in NYC!!

Hellooo everyone..:-)
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend....
We had a chilled out weekend- didnt do much-just a bit of Eid shopping for the kids (want to make it slightly momentous for them-being away from family), watched a couple of Harry Potter movies and had loads and loads of popcorn!
and on Sunday went for the India Day Parade....
I didnt know that India had such a presence in New York that a week after 15th August...we actually take out a Parade annually showcasing India and its color and music and that also in the middle of Manhatten!!!
the roads are cordoned off,  with immense NYPD presence and lots of shor sharaba(typical indian ishtyle)! hahaha...you can hear the dhinchak dhinchak from faaaar away...
there are all the various channels like Sony,Times Now, lots of Indian businesses, all taking out thier own show on the road.
many of the stalls were giving out freebies as well as droves of desis turning up to cheer thier country on!
there is bhangra, gujarati and rajasthani dances...as well as a lot of filmy bollywood dances...
most of the NYPD policemen patrolling the roads are all Indians...and they are interviewed and photographed by everyone...so they get to feel really important on at least one day of the year!
There is of course the celebrity factor also-last year was Preity Zinta, this year it was Rani Mukherjee!!
hahaha...and it was becoz of these celebrities that the parade was one and a half hour late to start!
We indian will continue to keep to the "indian standard time" even here in a foreign land!
but it was fun...the weathergods were also kind and though it was cloudy(thankfully) it didnt rain...
there were a lot of youngsters who were all into the current topic raging in our homeland...the "ANNA" factor-complete with the white gandhian cap and the pro anna slogans.
there was old gentleman standing near me who kept chanting and occasionally yelling bharat mata ki jai and anna zindabad in the same breath!  :-)
there were indians dressed in all thier fancy desi clothes complete with the gota lachka and all!
It was like one Big Indian Mela in the middle of Manhatten with the NYPD band actually playing our national anthem with full flair!
It was awesome to watch and brought out all out patriotic enthusiasm and we sang and clapped along with full josh!


the tagline says it all!

Bhangra in the middle of Manhattan

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Savage Beauty!

alexander mcqueen
“It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”
-made of black duck feathers


When I was younger I didn't know which direction my adult life would take me but one thing I was very clear about…it would be somewhere creative…
With the little exposure that I had while growing up in a hostel, I didn't know that art actually had any avenues…. I didn't want to be a penniless painter or a signboard artist because thats what I thought artists eventually became…
So the only thing I knew while growing up that involved sketching was to be a fashion designer….
and I soaked in as much as I could about them through smuggled in books and magazines and I sketched and I sketched and I dreamed….
I knew all the designers of that time (Indian and international)-thier individual styles and inspirations,muses and even their scandals by heart….
I recognized most of the models-what were their best ads and their drawbacks…
In other words, I was obsessed.
Its another matter that i eventually got my calling as an animator and a children's book artist but fashion still fascinates me…
So I live the glitz and the glamour and the colours and the textures through the fashion illustrations that I do…
and though I cant hope to be in sync with what is hot and the latest in the fashion circuit now-but there have been a few designers who have fascinated me…
heck, fascinated the whole world…and the name that is predominant is of Alexander McQueen!!
I loved his sense of daring and the element of shock that most of his designs had....
the drama and the theatrics had nobody to equal it!!
He didn't play it safe, he was flamboyant and amazing but behind all that "in your face" attitude he had incredible solid sense and skills of execution…
All his designs were worth a second…third…fourth look!!
His passing away is a loss that cannot be defined and many a page has been written about it…. I cant hope to compare.. just that...may his soul rest in peace!
So I was naturally ecstatic when I came to New York and learnt that the Metropolitan Museum of Art was showcasing Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty…
It was a huge success-much more than they had imagined or hoped and an example of the record setting attendance was that since it opened in May 2011, the museum has extended its hours to midnight at least thrice!!
They have had a footfall of around 661,509 which has placed this exhibition in their Top 10 list of most popular shows that they have had in their 141 year history!!!
And this was when the waiting period for entering the hall for the Savage Beauty was anywhere between 3 to 5 hours!
Sadly it closed last week but I am hoping that it might come back again before my two year stint in New York ends….:-)
like I said-seeing it once is not enough!
here are a few of my versions of the Alexander Mcqeen classics...some that I just couldn't resist drawing...
there are a lot more sketches that are half complete which I promise I will put up once they are done.





This corset was inspired by the coiled necklaces of the Ndebele people of southern Africa. "Its a beautiful piece in my mind because it looks quite like armor, but then it’s very flattering to the female form, and it’s a really beautiful silhouette of the female form"-Lee Mcqueen.





Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Crafty Avtaar :-)

holding the pride of place on my fridge....
Hello people!!!......
thought I'd update you on some arty crafty stuff i have been upto.  Been trying to keep my hyper active elder son gainfully occupied in his summer break and in the process learning a lot of new things!!
The latest obsession is playing with polymer clay...
first I am trying my hand at somewhat weird looking fridge magnets... hopefully they will get a little better with practice and then I can come up with better things to show you.
most of them are animal magnets as per my son's request
Hope you guys like my humble efforts-enjoy!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a little bit o' food anyone?

I know I have been neglecting my blog for a few days...
ramadan busy-ness what can I say? and after fasting for the whole day your mind kind of becomes a little numb..
you stop thinking rationally.....just that glass of ice cool water seems to float in front of you...beckoning you but just slightly out of reach  :-)
so to think of something to write out of the blue seems like a herculean task....
hahaha..I am a mornings person-fresh as a daisy in the morning as my friends have had the misfortune to experience!! but I cant seem to take out time in the morning to blog...household chores are toooo many, the day seems to short and I just have two hands!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The heart wants what the heart desires!!

I dont think that I am so far removed from my son's fantasies as I like to believe...
He fantasizes of becoming a superhero to a rapper...and he is just seven...
I am inching towards the mid thirties and I still fantasize...
I dream of the time when the house will be silent and both the kids off to school and I can really sit down and have my cuppa tea in peace...without someone wanting that piece of bread and not this one!
Without my little man wanting to to go the toilet just when I bring my cup to my mouth!!
Without my big man wanting to know where the cellphone is coz he is getting late for office  and the hunt for the cellphone begins and my hot cuppa tea is all but forgotten...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wave...craft paradise!!

can you believe this shoe is made of papier mache?
In America hand made,hand crafted and painted things are in big demand....
There are lots of sites that only sell american hand crafted souvenirs and home decor stuff and I have been having many wonderfully inspired mornings going through them one by one....
these sites and design stores sell beautiful american patchwork quilts,scupltures,pottery,handcrafted jewellery, papier mache souvenir and what have you...
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