Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Venice under Water

I have always been a big fan of Europe. And travel to europe is unthinkable if you have missed the romantic city of Venice. But Heavy rains and high tides have brought some of the worst flooding to Venice, Italy in years. The "acqua alta", or high water, is common this time of year and Sunday's level of 149 centimeters (4 ft, 10 in) was below the 160 centimeters (5 ft, 2 in) recorded four years ago in the worst flooding in decades. The bad weather and torrential rainfall will continue through Tuesday, forecasters said. Collected here are images from Venice as it endures this recent acqua alta.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am grateful...

Happy Thanksgiving, loves. I just want to take a time-out before the wedding festivities begin to count my blessings and express my gratitude for a few things on this earth...

  • The tiny closet that Kunal Shah has help me build in a place i call my new home. 
  • My fiance sitting on the sofa right next to me with our feet propped infront of the tele.
  • My blog that builds in intensity. 
  • My grandmother's life lessons.
  • The pounding rain, the crispy cool winters, the Mumbai sunshine all in perfect harmony. 
  • My parent's healthy purrrr.
  • The openness of strangers. 
  • My endless curiosity. 
  • The warmth of my bed in the morning.
  • My DiDi's exuberant giggles. 
  • The dusty scent of old books.
  • My besties' love.
  • The wonder of the moon.
  • My hot hands around a cold cup of coffee.
  • The remembrance of dreams. 

  • And I cannot forget you. My readers, friends and support. Thank you for always coming by.

    Did you Have a wonderful long weekend ? Kuks and I are waiting for Dec 7 when we can finally not have anything in our to-do list... actually Dec 10 when we are off to Peru and Ecuador.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Turning 26 !

    So my Happiest 26th Birthday weekend just went by. And in the true DD sense i had a fulfilled week of celebrations !!! Ofcourse it wasn't possible without a whole lot of love from my family... and the MAN in spotlight was my beau Kunal Shah... I am so so very amazed by how this person functions. Ofcourse he had the whole build up to my birthday... countdown... get together... dinner planned etc. 
    It started with the Keys to my new Post-Wedding House !!!! Oh yeah... this is actually the very first time i own a key. The Keys of my mothers house are always in a secret location which we all use. So i am for the very first time responsible for my own KEY !!! Wooohoooo... !!

    The Cake... I had 2 Cake wise celebrations. One was this fine print from my blog and the other one was a giant cupcake with a bag and camera with globe trotter written on it. How very appropriate wishes he made for me... 

    Of course we cut the Wilderness at the stroke of Mid-night followed by a little poker session and a few drinks with some of my closest friends ! It was perfect. The next morning I woke up to a surprise. I was staring at 26 bouquets of Carnations with a note from him... yes 26 for the no of years this world has survived me ;) Carnations are my fav flowers..! They just give me a happy feeling..

    Then we spent the better part of the day being pampered. We checked into MYRAH.. which is a day spa we had visited and loved a couple of months ago.. What fun it was. We were relaxed rejuvented and then headed for a late Sanchos Lunch. Mexican food and US have always been a winning combination.

    After which my poor Kuks was stuck in a krux. All the gifts ordered by him were running a little late. At some point in the afternoon he was a little disappointed that he couldnt make it in time with no fault of his own. It was jus the universe conspiring against us.. He was exhausted with all the plotting and the planning. My sister in law Hiral who was helping him all along couldnt have been more apologetic for the delay.

    We were on our way to Vapi when I found these amazing gifts all boxed and packed in the back seat of his car. The wait was all worth it. Every gift was so well though of... and reflected how much care and patience this man has... it makes me want to fall in love with him all over again. He is a little puppy waiting for me to open the bags all the way.

    I got these book marks from my favourite book EAT PRAY LOVE... Such profound writing and what better day that to revisit them all. I can walk a 1000 miles of my life and still want to be reminded of them.

    I found this Pen with my initials on them..

    A set of 4 Wine Glasses with my name on it too.. to enjoy the fine wine and the amazing company Kunal has been... its been close to 11 months that I have known him and there has not been a moment of dullness or despair.

    For a sweet dream sleep there were also these 2 pillows with my initials on it with pastel butterflies all over... Arent they so cute ??

    A Lap tray with a pictue of Venice on it.. :)

    And my fav gift of them all was saved for the last... a Travel Box. It contains pictures cards of the 206 countries of the world with a little space to scribble the notes at the back of each card. The box itself has 3 slots which says places visited, places not yet visited and places planning to be visited. The box itself is a master mind of my beau ..:)

    My love... my life... Thank you for an amazing Birthday !! What do you think of all the gifts ?? 

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Spinach and Feta Cheese Lasagna

    This wonderful recipe was given to me by 3rd host mother who's from Belgium. I've never made this but eaten it several times now and how i miss it !!!  I want a deep dish full of this heavenly food right now after this extremely stressful day !! 

    you'll need:

    600 g / 20 oz frozen chopped spinach
    1 leek
    1 tsp salt
    1 pinch black pepper
    2 pinches ground nutmeg
    1 400-500 g / 14-18 oz can crushed tomatoes
    1 1/2 cups white cheese sauce (see recipe below)
    12 no-boil lasagna sheets
    75 g / 3 oz feta cheese

    Set oven to 225 C / 425 F. Thaw spinach in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Halve, rinse and finely slice the leek. Add the leek to the thawed spinach. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add crushed tomatoes. Set aside. Prepare cheese sauce. 

    Cheese Sauce

    2 Tbsp butter
    2 Tbsp flour
    1 3/4 cups milk
    1/2 cup / 4 oz shredded Swiss cheese (or cheese of preference...gruyere, cheddar...)
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    1/4 tsp salt
    pinch of pepper

    Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Whisk in Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, salt, and red pepper, whisking until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth.

    Layer your lasagna: begin with tomato/spinach mixture, then cheese sauce, then pasta. End with cheese sauce. Top with crumbled feta. Bake in middle rack of oven for 20-25 minutes or until pasta is not firm inside. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad. Enjoy!

    Wedding Decor Inspiration

    Dr. Seuss Wedding Inspiration

    Color, color, color — it seems like we can’t get enough of it these days! So when this styled shoot from Sean and Amanda Photography landed in my inbox, I knew we were hooked right away. An all-star team of Atlanta vendors, including Juli Vaughn DesignsJulia’s Poppies Design, and Atlanta Cake Studio jumped on board to pull everything together, and we’re gobsmacked by their creativity!

    Ofcourse, all this is a whole lot different from my wedding decoration Finalisation. It all seems so so very tough. First setting a date with both the fathers, making sure the decorator is there in time. Ofcourse all this has to be arranged in between the distribution of cards etc. I literally had to come back from a holiday by cutting it a little short to run errands of every sorts. 

    Result being that I am a little tired of travelling, plotting and planning. Maybe thats why they recommend you to take a HONEYMOON !!! Did I tell you... it is the amazing Peru & Ecudorian terrain that i am dreaming off !! Till then enjoy this one... Do you think you can every have such nice things at your wedding ?? 

    A Wood Fire Place

    When it's chilly outside, one of my absolute favorite things to do is warm my toes in front of a wood burning fireplace with my imaginary Dog and a good book. Over the weekend, I went out to Aamby Valley on a family "Diwali Holiday" What fun it was ! After the sveltering heat of the Valley we experienced some really chilly - ofcourse for Bombay standards - a good 17 degrees !! Swiss Chalet and my beau Kunal Shah to snuggle with !! What more could I have asked for ?? 

    Roaring flames plus crackling logs equals one happy DD. Oh just btw -- this also means in a matter of less than 3 weeks i will no longer just be DD ; ) The wedding countdown has set in and HOW !! 

    If you don't have fireplace in your home, here's the next best thing!

    {Images via: 1. Gessato; 2. Evermotion; 3. Interior Design Magazine; 4. Arkidesi; 5.Desire To Inspire}


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