T’was such a beautiful drive
On the road to the cape
Hearing the songs of birds flying by
Lost in the beauty of the world
There a far on the ocean
A Magnificent bridge hangs by
As we drove up the steel mountain
Sight to behold, underneath
In the season of fall
The dance of the leaves mesmerize
Sadly I can only think
Are they running away from me?
Oh! There! hoots the horn of the ship
That could have sailed the mighty seas
But here it is, sitting gently
To ferry us 3 miles out to sea
As we landed, the world changed
From chains of shops to mom and pops
Then came a sigh of content
Wish I could, right here, live
Recently, I noticed that, the more I follow blogs, the more I am inspired to be creative. I have recently started following craft blogs and in that this bi-fold wallet looked very impressive. So I sat down and started making it. I love to stitch. My favorite pastime as a kid was to sit at the sewing machine making bags and dresses for dolls. As I grew older, I even stitched dresses for myself. But when I started to work I lost the time and lost touch with sewing. Now that I am forcing myself to be creative, I am getting back fond memories of sewing all day. This purse is inspired from this website. This tutorial is so easy to follow. The biggest problem with my sewing capabilities is that I can never cut and stitch to the exact size. As a result, I made the purse bigger than it should be. Hence the cards are sliding out. Turns out I didn’t have enough patience to read the instructions. If you follow the instructions word by word, it turns out perfect (I did make a second one, but it isn’t pretty too. Maybe third time could be a charm?) . Enjoy!
Per Wiki, Shenandoah National Park is part of the blue ridge mountains in Virginia. But from what I have seen, it’s a wonderful place to relax, enjoy and get your hiking appetite satisfied. We had planned to visit couple of “Touristy” places and then hit the mountains for hiking. The moment we drove in to our hotel, we were blown away at the sight of rolling hills. Miles and Miles of hills. Cows grazing, horses running about. I was transported in to another land where time stood still. At that point I just wished I lived in those hills for forever. Since we drove in , we took rest of the day off and just relaxed.
The next day, we went to the Luray Caverns. Most of the people I spoke to said its not that interesting, but I found it fascinating that the rock formations were formed over millions of years ago. Just makes you wonder at the power of mother nature.
In the afternoon, after a good hearty lunch, we hiked on the Rose River Loop, a 4 mile hike along the river and you would also see couple of waterfalls. Here is a good description on the trail. By the end of that hike, we were so tired, but the good kind of tired. We then parked by one of the view points and watched the sunset. It was so beautiful
On the third day, we hiked up the Lewis Falls trail. You cannot really get up close to the falls, but there is a scenic viewpoint from where you can see the falls down below. The trail goes across the face of the mountain and looks easy, but it is really not. The good thing is the trail is situated close to the visitor center. We came back to the parking lot by 6.30 PM, but went back out a mile in to the trail to catch a perfect spot to watch the sun set. The spot was two boulders in the shape of a sofa opening out to the entire valley. With the sunset, the breeze and sweeping mountain views, it was gorgeous. Enjoy!
>>View of the Shenandoah Valley
>>Entrance to the Shenandoah Park
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I do not know why I waited so long to do this dish. I do love peanut sauce. Oh Wait! I do know. The funny thing is, whenever we buy peanuts at home, it just vanishes. We keep munching on it so much that there is hardly anything to cook with. So this time we bought unshelled peanuts, so I guess its just slowing the munching down. So that’s when I decided, its now or never. Incidentally I had other ingredients as well. What are the odds??!! Well, when the world gives you peanuts, you make peanut sauce…I adapted the recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor’s. Enjoy!!
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This post has been in drafts way too long. Hence without further ado, here is a very small product review. Canned Tomatoes by Tuttorosso. The team at Tuttorosso contacted me about a contest promotion they had. This was back in November ‘12. But then I was away for an extended period, so I couldn’t participate. When I did become available, I inquired with them to see if I could do something, and they offered to send me a gift basket of Canned Tomatoes, just like that!! This was my first gift basket that I received since I started writing this blog 3 years go! When I finally received the basket, I was like a kid on Christmas. Inside the box were three beautiful canned tomatoes, a cup sleeve, oven mitts, recipe cards and measuring cards. I thought the way they had packed the box was itself very beautiful. The best part was, of course, was the canned tomatoes. Tuttorosso product line is owned by the company Red Gold, a family company, since 1929. The moment I opened the box, my instinct was to immediately do something Italian, but then, I thought these would be better in a soup. Hence I tried my Tomato Basil Soup with the “peeled plum shaped tomatoes”. I would say that these are, by far, the best canned tomatoes I have used. There was no discernible taste between this soup and the one made with fresh tomatoes. On the whole, I am really satisfied with the product. These are available in all major grocery stores. So next time, pick up a can of Tuttorosso, and try it. Better yet, try it and leave a comment on my blog. Enjoy!
psst : I really, really loved the oven mitt, so much so that I use them daily to handle my stainless steel pans
I had vowed that I would, one day, stitch cushion covers to my cushions that has been, bare naked on my sofa for, oh so many years. Now the time has cometh!!! I went to “That &1.99 Fabric Store” to get me some fabric. Seriously, the store is called that. I am not making it up. Every yard is $1.99. That’s a steal. Plus if you shop in the clearance section, you can come away with 2 to 3 yards for $1.99. That’s just plain wrong, if you don’t seize the opportunity. My Mom also embroidered two covers for my cushion which had been sleeping in my cupboard. So, this weekend, I embarked on the cushion saga.
I just had four cushions, but I had material for 6. So I got some stuffin’s from the same store. $1.99 per bag of sponge. I also got a white fabric off the clearance section to make the two extra cushions.
For the rest of the four, I found mix and match fabric, bright yellow and orange. It looks good, I must say and brightens up, my rather dull looking sofa. So glad I finished it all in one weekend. Enjoy!
Close up of my Mom’s Embroidery. Its so beautiful!!! Thanks Mom!
Here is my second labour of love. Oil on Canvas. I thought this would be an easy painting and I could be happy just painting without any inhibitions. Oh boy was it wrong. The first couple of layers went smooth. But just when I was finishing the painting all sorts of things went wrong. I could not get the lines on the cutting board to go straight!! Plus the trick is to not blend it in so that the grains show it, but I could do that either. Then the vegetables were all flat and not realistic. So I had to find ways to “round” them. Next the shadows were just an ugly black mass. I had to find a way to blend that in so its not conspicuous. You would think the easiest part would to paint the black background on the sides. I did paint it with black but it felt flat. I couldn’t understand why. Then I remembered the cardinal rule by Kathy, things are never just black in nature. So I had to blend in some colours. The moment I did that, it popped up. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Lesson truly learnt. I was almost ready to sign, when I realized that I didn’t really like the highlight on the tomatoes. Oh boy, it took my two classes (4 hours) to fix it. I put on paint, I took it off, put it on. I put in different colours until my eyes went cross. I was so frustrated. In the fury, I applied Cad Yellow Medium and suddenly it clicked. ahhhh.. Sigh of relief. I although I feel that I didn’t nail it, its better than what was before. So there you go, my second official painting. Started work on a landscape next. Enjoy!
Last year my neighbour’s dad made beautiful Mediterranean green beans, using beans from his garden. I have been eyeing on planting some this year but It totally slipped my mind. My helpful neighbour remembered my comment and gave me some green bean seeds. I was overjoyed, but then lazy that I am, never planted it. Then in June I got off my couch and planted some seeds. To my joy, they came up pretty fast, and before I knew it, I was planting them in my garden. And Now, within months, I have harvested some beautiful Green beans. I cannot take my eyes off them, too beautiful to eat. So I did what I do best. Got my camera out and clicked some. Here you go. Enjoy!
P.S. Will post some recipes soon.
Full circle by Yamini Vijendran, a dear friend and wonderful author, is a romance novella that is set in multiple periods. The book churns out a variety of emotions for you to sample. On one hand, we get a glimpse of a perfect, loving family who are so attached to each other, and on the other hand, we also see a different kind of family that is the exact opposite. The story spans 60 years and Yamini has brought out the perfect emotion in every age. In the beginning the story builds up a suspense for us, and then starts to slowly unravel in the later chapters. I especially loved the spot on narration of early lives of a typical Brahmin family. The Novella is strong because of its strong characters and once you finish it, you would feel completely refreshed. In short, full circle is definitely a rollercoaster ride that leaves you wanting to read it all over again.
*Picture courtesy Indireads
Here is the second edition of Grillin-Sunday. My neighbor really wanted to do kebabs, although she had a different idea of a kebab than me. But since I manned the grill, I think my way won!! We had so much fun slathering the marinade on to the veggies and making them in to a kebab. We had it with a simple salad with mint dressing and iced tea. Enjoy!
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