Diwali Lights

Online shopping websites are stocked to the brim with decorative lights for this year’s Diwali. From serial lights to lanterns and wall light, we bring you unique lights from the online world.

Antique Style Lanterns:

Hanwood has a full range of glass and metal antique style lanterns on sale in flipkart. This yellow lantern with wrought iron leaf ornaments are eye-catching. Prices range below INR 500.

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Paper Quilling Diya:

Hand made paper shilling fits a look like a platter with an ethnic clay diya surrounded by colourful paper shilling patterns. They come in bright colours, cost low and look great on table tips and as Rangoon center pieces. This colourful diya is from suni handicrafts. They are sold online at Shopclues.com

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Golden Colour String Lights (battery operated):

Fancy string lights that throw a rich hue and are battery operated for ease of use. These lights are sold by multiple sellers across many online shopping sites. Magideal at E bay lists them at INR 700.

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OM Wall Bracket:

This OM wall bracket will lighten up your house, and bring in a spiritual aura to your Diwali celebrations. It is on sale at Amazon.com by Inglow. It is priced at the steeper end at INR 1500.

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Ganesh Diya Lamp:

These lamps are hot sellers this Diwali season. The are metal diya tea light holders that throw a beautiful shadow of Lord Ganesh. They are available all over the internet with many shopping sites. There are also versions with Lakshmi Ma. This one is sold by Divya TantraDivya Tantra at Shop Clues with a good discount.

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We wish readers a happy diwali, with loads of fun filled shopping.

 

 

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Easy tips to cook for your family

Cooking for family can be a challenge for many. Heirloom recipes might not satisfy your family’s tastebuds unless it is modified to suit their preferences. Here are a few tips that make cooking easier for a family.

1. Understand personal taste preferences of the family.

Some people prefer subtle foods, many prefer spicy and tangy foods, other might prefer healthier low fat foods, while a few others prefer classic traditional dishes. So, understand what kind of food is preferred by your family.

2. Striking a balance if individual tastes clash.

Often, in large families, individual tastes clash. One person might prefer red meat while the other cannot have it daily. One might have a craving for rice or pasta while the other might prefer juice and salads. The solution here is to strike a balance in the daily menu. Introducing new dishes on a regular basis would encourage family members to appreciate and accept a wide variety of tastes.

3. Plan your menu the previous day.

Planning your menu the previous day gives ample time to make sure all ingredients are available without frenzy last minute shopping.

4. Adapt your cooking to suit digestion problems of your family.

Ensure your cooking is adapted to suit your family’s digestion problems, if any. Choosing the right kind of oil, meat and vegetables will help ease digestion problems and take care of your family’s health.

5. Change recipes to suit personal taste preferences.

Remember that recipes are only guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Change recipes and ingredients to make it your family’s favourite.

6. A generous hand and mind make your dish taste good.

A common mistake of newbies is to follow measurements given in recipes and cookbooks to the letter. Trust your eyes and mouth more than the recipe. Add oil, toppings and sauces after frequent tasting of the dish. Trust your tasting during cooking instead of strictly following recipes.

7. Serve in style to make every day dinner enjoyable.

A clean table, simple menu and generous helpings make family dinners fun and enjoyable. Many dishes but moderate or limited in quantity will remind the family of formal dinner outings. Simple menu with personal favourites and generous quantity is the mark of family dinners.

Regardless of what you cook, how you cook and serve matters when it comes to cooking at home for your cherished family. Happy cooking!

Corner sofa sets

Corner sofa is a popular choice of living room furniture. It consists of separate sofas (sectional sofas) that look like the letter L when arranged together. L shaped sofa attracts attention in a room, and becomes the point of focus. It easily enhances the look and functionality of a room.

To make the right choice of L shaped sofa, it is important to understand the nuances of it.

Loungers vs Sofas: Loungers are designed for sleeping or idling. They lack the traditional back support that sofas have. An L shape sofa with lounger has sofa seats on one side of the L, and lounger on the other.

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L shaped sofa with loungers look casual. They make the perfect choice for a cosy living room for a family that likes to idle time away on the sofa.

Balanced vs Extended: Balanced L shaped sofas are of equal length on both sides. A seven seater sofa with 3 seats on either sides, and one center seat is a balanced L. Extended L sofas have more seats on one side of the L shape. Balanced sofas give a formal look to the room.

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LHS vs RHS: Left Hand Side (LHS) sofa is a L shape sofa with the long side on the left. RHS sofa has long side on the right. 

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LHS sofas make the user focus on the right side of the room and vice versa. LHS sofas are the perfect choice for living rooms with  art display or entertainment unit on the right side of the room.

Leather (or PU / faux) vs Fabric: Leather sofas are expensive and require special maintenance. On the other hand, they are long life and give a rich look. Faux leather or PU (Poly urethane) clad sofas try to mimic the look of leather at a lower cost.  But, they are not suitable for long stretches of usage ad they heat up easily.

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Fabric sofas are comfortable and friendly for long stretches of usage. They lack the expensive look of leather or faux leather sofas, but give a cottage feel and cosy look. They are easy for handling.

Seating capacity: Traditionally, L shaped sofas come with 3 seater, 5 seater, 7 seater and 8 seater options. Length of the sofa depends on the seating options. Dimension of the sofa also depends on additional ottomans, or display units that come attached with some L shaped sofas.

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L shaped sofas can raise the look and functionality of any space, be it a house or office or hotel.With its wide variety and price range, these sofas are appealing in both looks and functionality.

If you have been searching for the perfect furniture for your living room, look no further. It will be worth the time and money to opt for a L shaped sectional sofa.

 

Image source: decoist, wooden street, pepperfry – rio sofa, highwayswest, The English Sofa Company

DIY – Birthday banner

This is a simple and easy to make DIY banner using paper board.

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Things needed:

Card board / kraft board / any paper board

Paints / colour paper

Satin ribbon

Adhesive / fevicol

Doing:

1. Cut the paper board into equal sized pieces, with rectangular slits on top.

To make the slits, fold an inch of the paper board at the top. Make two slits on the fold, 1 cm apart. Make a cut, joining the slits to cut away the board between the slits. Open the fold, and you have a small rectangular slit.

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2. Paint the sheets with plain water colours / fabric paints. A coloured background with simple shapes painted on top works well.

Or, stick coloured art paper or hand made paper with pretty patterns.

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3. Paint alphabets on the coloured boards, one alphabet on every board. Words like HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CELEBRATIONS or the birthday child’s name will look good on the banner.

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Alphabets can also be traced on to coloured art paper, and cut out to be stuck on the boards.

4. Take a good quality satin ribbon. Thread it through the slits on the boards. Apply adhesive or fevicol on the boards, and stick the satin ribbon to the boards.

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The banner is all set now to be hung or stuck on your wall.

Living in the country side

In India (and most of Asia), country side has 2 meanings – 1. Rural villages, 2. Lonely farmlands. Villages offer a close knit community where every knows and watches you. Lonely farmlands offer ample of solitude and nature.

We relocated to a lonely country side a few years back. Till then, I have lived in many cities across countries. I had always dreamed of living in the country side. Yet, nothing had prepared me for the real country side. Life in the country side is completely different from city life. From small aspects like cleaning and shopping, to financial and economic aspects, my entire view of life has undergone a drastic change.

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At first, beautiful scenery and wide open spaces were mesmerizing. Once I got used to the landscape, the next thing that caught my attention was the variety of life around – lush farmlands, cattle, goats, hens, dogs, and a wide array of birds.

Then we updated our modest little home into a spacious cottage. I spent a wonderful time exploring the world of Eco-friendly materials and design of open spaces.

Living in wide open spaces gives one the opportunity to read nature. Passage of seasons is beautiful and rhythmic. Everything in Nature, from soil to animals and birds are aware of the change in seasons. They change beautifully and adapt graciously to nature’s ways.

It is only us humans who find it difficult to adapt. Living far away from civilization presents a whole host of difficulties. Adapting graciously to this place has been a constant challenge.

The nearest grocery store is at least 6 km away. If I run out of sugar or salt mid way during cooking, I cannot buy supplies immediately. So, I have to keep tabs on my grocery usage and buy well in advance.

On the other side, the generosity of open spaces is over whelming. If I take a walk, I mostly return home with something to cook. In the rainy season, we get a never ending supply of wild mushrooms. In addition, there are plenty of beans, greens, curry leaves, coriander, yam, sweet potato etc growing around. Farmers around are generous and share their harvest easily.

It is easier to stay fit and active in the countryside. Reason being, you end up doing all the work around the house! Garbage disposal is a multi step process. You segregate your wastes, bury kitchen wastes, pack all plastic wastes and take them out to the trash can in the nearest town, burn dry leaves, paper wastes etc. We do minor plumbing, wiring and repair works, modifications around the house. It does sound like a lot of work.. Is this not enough to keep one fit and active?

The best advantage of living in the country side is about cutting down on unwanted spending. We do not get lured by window shopping. Clothes are brought when they are needed, not when the store has a sale. We rarely eat fast food, instead cook up snacks more often at home. We buy furniture after months of searching for the design and price we have in mind. Online shopping is difficult as home delivery is not available to remote farmlands.

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When spending decreases, savings increase. So we could afford frequent trips and explore places. No impulsive purchases during our trips.. except when the travel destination offers something that we need.., at a better price or quality.

Every minute is quality time spent with family. Views and scenery are beautiful. Life is slow and peaceful. I have become a different person since I started living in the wide open country side.

I am at peace now.