Tuesday, September 12, 2017

a Journey to Sweden!


                          Thank you for including me and my blog in the journey to Sweden!



A well planned and meticulous trip to Sweden. Perfect relations planned the entire journey amazingly and it was wonderfully executed by India travel Desk(fcm)and thank you Nivedita. There were ten  of us from different backgrounds, different places. It was a wonderful bunch of us travelling all the way crossing oceans and seas  to the wonderful place called Sweden. Nivedita  from IKEA and Neena from Perfect Relations  for accompanying and giving us a wonderful journey of togetherness.There is so much to see and so much to immerse in.What we saw was a glimpse and we all hoped it should have been a little more days more..but good things need an end.Short and Sweet ,as we just got immersed in Almhult..The fairy land of IKEA...Love you IKEA for the love...A flight from Delhi to Munich ,to Copenhagen  and then by train to the lovely beautiful lady like town of the south of Sweden called Hasselholm.



Hasselholm you were too pretty to be captured in my lens,in my eyes. Your beauty is forever in my heart,body and mind. There was something so romantic about this small European Scandinavian place.The small town was so pretty with flowers everywhere,the amazing match box sized buildings,overflowing plants and colourful bounties on the window sills. It looked straight out of a Pinterest Board.


There's something so beautiful in all corners,the cafes all decked up in its own beauty,the earthy and rustic style and down to earth people is what I loved the most. People here know how to take care of this gorgeous country.The scenic beauty is at the best,the sun sets at midnight,the inside of the shops lit in the night,very different from what we see in India.

There's something so wholesome and healthy about Sweden from its scenic beauty to its edible bounty,no day was complete without a long walk on the forested trails around where we lived in Hasselholm. If I close my eyes I can feel me happily wandering in the streets of Hasselholm.


we landed first into munich



beautiful country side,amazing train journeys

small european windows


stacked beautifully,flowers


lovely mauves 



the beautful cafes 
the lovely light falling into the room





beautiful mauves




Images and Ideas :Lakshmi Arvind.
Please ask permission before you use the images.







Saturday, July 29, 2017

Its all about going Global ,Celebrations Decor in Almhult,Sweden,IKEA!


So far so Good..Thank you Celebrations Decor!

The humble journey with Celebrations Decor has been a roller coaster ride.

We travelled far and wide with kids in our hands to get materials for the blog, travelled to see places,enriched our knowledge,read about places and wrote about what we saw.

You have three choices in life,give up,give in,or give all..

I always remember the golden words, Do not be afraid to succeed girl,your hard work will payoff, stay focussed on your goals and yes you can do it.

I am happy that I gave  all my ten years in to my small little blog.

The year of 2017 has been so far kind to me and full of surprises.

How dreamy about getting Invited by IKEA to Sweden?

Yes it was like waking up from a dream to walk in to reality to the amazing headquarters at Almhult, Sweden to attend the Democratic Design Day 2017.

IKEA  welcomed a team of ten from India to a world of Inspiration. I was too  happy to be part of the media.






There isn't any introduction one needs about IKEA. IKEA started retailing in the woods of Sweden 70 years ago. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad was born and grew up on the farm Elmtaryd, Parish of Agunnaryd, in Småland, in the south of Sweden. As a young boy Ingvar Kamprad knew that he wanted to develop a business. Various events during his upbringing gave him a strong drive to create his own resources and to be independent.


The IKEA concept has evolved during many years and is still evolving. Everybody  involved works together to create a product range that is simple and straightforward, with products that are hard-wearing, easy to live with and affordable.

  DEMOCRATIC DESIGN

 The golden principles of IKEA is that Good design should be available for the many, not the few. All IKEA designers design every IKEA product starting with a functional need and a price.Designers Creativity is tapped to create functional products and large volumes are purchased to push prices down even further.

                  and It is one of the world’s strongest brands today.

IKEA creates homes  to love, touch, try, explore and dream. IKEA is a place where one can  actually can go from inspiration to involvement by getting inspiration from solutions in the store, searching, finding and choosing the products needed, picking them up, buying them, bringing them home, putting them together and enjoying them the same day.

and the greatest news is IKEA is finally coming to India!

IKEA has been sourcing from India for nearly 30 years but they received approval to open retail stores only in 2013.The  first store is all set open in Hyderabad in December in 2017,a huge store spread over 35,000 sq ft of built up area.They are also looking put opportunities for opening stores in Mumbai,,Bengalure and Delhi...

The good news is we can find a lot of India inspired stuff like pressure cookers and tawas..

READ about more news for IKEA here..

Monday, May 22, 2017

Vintage Props and Food Styling Backgrounds!



Tastefully done backdrops and great vintage finds at Madras Pop Store.

I have personally come across vintage props being sold online ,but I think this is one of a kind keeping the food bloggers as well as  home decor  in mind. Never seen such wide array of Awesome vintage finds and food styling backgrounds. The photography has been done keeping in mind the rustic backgrounds that keeps us attracted to the vintage finds.

Madras pop store by Joby Abraham from Tamilnadu provides one of a kind props and backgrounds for food styling.They can also be doubled up as decor items in your home.The rustic backgrounds does the trick and attracts  one  to the vintage pieces. I also notice  the different kinds of backgrounds available from textured to wooden to coloured ones.They are even named as beautiful as The Shore,Dusky Moon,Withered timber,Grey Beauty textured and Grand Galaxy beauty.

There are a wide variety of props available too .They vary from brass vintage to enamel trays to glasses to bottles to bharanis to ladles.The cutest of the lot is the 5 inch diameter copper ports to coffee filters ,rustic enamel containers,cups,plates and yes  there is so much more:)-If you have something in mind ,i think they will try help  sourcing it for you too.

Cherished vintage beauties




chai:love

how old,how lovely!



enamel canisters

Coffee is an emotion. It's a token of joy. 

Brass platters and happiness

props used in food styling by simijois

All photographs courtesy:Madras Pop Store.
Please ask permission before the images are used elsewhere.
connect with them https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadrasPropstore

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Retreat,Bhimtal


The Kumaon hills winds and winds till the   Bhimtal lake and we see it shine in its emerald greens.A winding road to the side of the Bhimtal lake takes you upto the Retreat. Its all part of the Jones Estate.Retreat owned by the Smetaceks family. As you climb up the steep mossy green steps,the green tin sheeted roofs could be seen from far. I fell in love at the first  glance of the long verandah and the sundappled corners of the home.

It has a lovely old world charm to it..To see it is to believe it.

The Retreat,in Bhimtal is a lovely colonial,19th century built, old-world oozing beautiful cottage.The mud-and-stone walls,glass panes in the doors,wood and tin roof, antique furniture and ancient knick-knacks lend beauty inside. The forests and wilderness around are kept protected.The pines and conifers which lend the spaces an effect of a deep forest.The rustic lime-washed mud-plastered walls and wooden ceilings keep the rooms warm even in winter.

The windows of the rooms overlook the wilderness that surrounds the home and you could wake  up to the sweet chirping of birds.

The common lounge area of the house features a sitting area around an old fireplace, complete with books and antique décor that has been in the family for generations. The outdoor sit-outs are great for relaxing in the sounds of nature.

The place is run lovingly by Padmini (Paddy), her sons and daughters.

One of the blessed spaces to be in monsoons,I always thought i could weave stories and my frames could bring magic to the place.I am yet to see Bhimtal in Monsoons and i think this monsoons  i could be there..When your minds seeks loneliness and inner peace,I always thought this is the right place to be :)-

































Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Maranat Mana:)- Splendour and Simplcity!



Each trip to the native land ,encompasses us in warm splendour. Each visit intrigues us to know better of the place we were born. We are also letting that to be an eyeopener to our children to make them rich with life's experiences which will take them along way. Only when we move away from our native land do we realize the value of the  experience down south we have,we had and what not,living close to the parents too!

We are always  undecided upto the last moment,this was one of a kind of its trip to the Northern most part of Kerala,,the Malapurram district.

A travel in to the heart of the Malabar region, the famous  Maranat Mana,a 170 year old house managed and maintaned by a family of brothers for generations.

We were just in awe as the car went past their wide compound road.Totally excited on seeing the rich red loamy soil,red hand cut bricks on the boundary walls,lush green colocasias,trailing lush green violet flowered creepers on the walls,the huge old house emerged as if it was from an old vintage era,Mangalore tiled roofs,the inhouse ganesha temple,pretty corridors,the huge granary,the wooden steps,the huge mango tree the nagalingam tree and lush green yellow flowering hibiscus shrubs all over,green moss wherever you could see,..and lots more!

This home is a "pathiraukettu" which meant it had 4 courtyards,and so can we imagine the boisterity of the house,we had a glimpse of their house which even had the nagar kavu(snake temples) in one of their courtyards.I hear this house and surroundings had been in many a regional movies shot in the yesteryears.

It was a  feel,which we could never get elsewhere,living in their century old home, to see them hold strong their  part of the traditions. It was always wonderful to see a family strongly believing what the ancestors believed at a  time, still living and practicing it to the chore.When we struggle to make our children understand the values of our culture and traditions,the Mana stands as a testimonial to the past.This isn't a story of the past,but this is the  present .This visit and stay made for a lovely lesson in why traditions begun in the first place – possibly just to bring people together. Praveen and Vidya were the hosts,as the  stay were arranged by them above the granary which is theirs.


It was an absolute wonderful  experience, of yesterday intertwined with today, of splendour encased in simplicity. It was a lesson in warmth and togetherness in this increasingly isolated world. It was simply beautiful.




a lesson in simplicity









as it rained


a walk in the rains











crowded colocasias

thinking about the simplicties of life






as she sat like a painting

as he cycled 


.
All images courtesy:Lakshmi Arvind

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