Archive for November, 2011


Do you recognize the Indian instruments in the Google Doodle above?  It was created by 7-year-old Varsha Gupta – a Class III student from Ryan International School in Greater Noida.  It appeared on the Google India homepage today and was the winning entry in a Google Doodle competion in celebration of Children’s Day (Nehru’s birthday).

The theme was India’s Gift to the World.  In Varsha’s words, “India is a land of different cultures.  In India, music plays a very important role.  India has given many musical instruments to the world. Goddess Saraswati plays Veena, God Shiv plays Damaru.  According to our mythological stories musical instruments used to be played on all the occasions.  Even during war musical instruments were played.  Lord Krishna’s flute is known in the whole world for its magical music.  In modern days Mr. Zakir Hussain is world famous as Tabla Mastro and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma is known as a great Santoor player all over the world.”

Here are some of the other finalists – selected from over 155,000 entries.

Developing Excellent India and World
Shibajyoti Choudhury (Group I), Little Flower School, Jamshedpur

India’s Contribution to the World – Tradition
Abhinav R (Group II), Stanes AI Higher Secondary School, Coimbatore

India’s Gift to the World – India Itself
Nishi Bordia (Group III), The Emrald Heights International School, Indore

Congratulations to all for the wonderful creations!

Images via IBN Live


We’ll be doing Food Week on the Blog in 2 weeks and so I’ve been thinking alot about cooking and organizing my kitchen.  My rule of thumb is to store in the kitchen only those items that we actually use at least twice a month (the rest go to the garage).

But some things fester in the garage for so long that I have to just “call it.”  Here are 5 that top my list of the most useless kitchen gadgets that I have owned:

1.  The Mesh Quesadilla Grilling Basket (pictured above) takes the cake here.  It looked so adorable in the Sur La Table catalog and so I had high hopes that it would make quesadilla-making on our grill effortless.  Well, it helped with the making, but I wasn’t prepared for the cleaning:  the cheese seeps out, gets stuck everywhere and it’s a supreme excerise in patience to remove the cheese from those tiny little squares.  (Incidentally, I failed the patience test and promptly put it in the trash.)

2. A relative gifted me this Crepe Maker to use for dosa-making.  This thing is huge and bulky and so it was just easier to grab an ordinary skillet for making dosas.  However, I hosted a French-themed play date once and brought out the crepe maker (for making actual crepes), but neither I nor the other 6 moms could figure out how to use it.  So we abandoned it and made the crepes on the (above-referenced) skillet.  Another one for the garbage.

3.  The Asparagus Steamer:  a lesson in redundancy.  Note to future cooks:  asparagus is really not special enough to deserve this.

4.  The Garlic Press:  I think this thing actually makes the garlic taste bad – bitter, in fact.  Not to mention it’s hard to clean.  You could spend that time learning to mince with a chef’s knife.

5.  The Smoothie Maker:  My husband came home with this one day – in hopes of commencing a health kick.  I told him he could just use a regular blender, but he said this is my baby and it was to stay in the kitchen.  I gave him 2 weeks (and then it mysteriously disappeared).  I told you so.


What’s on your list?


You asked, you got it!  Our 2012 Wall Art Calendar are selling fast – with many buying more than a few for loved ones on your list (and inquiring about quantity discounts).

For a limited time, buy 3 calendars – and shipping is on us!  Enter code SHIP3FREE at checkout (discount will appear on Payment page).

So team up and treat your near and dear.  And remember, Continental US orders over $125 always ship for free.

Click Here

(If you’d like to revise an order already placed, just email us at orders[at] – before the calendars ship out on Nov. 14th)


I drool over the chance to pamper my little girl in beautiful dresses.  So when she requested a Pinkalicious Party for her 3rd birthday (based on the book, Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann), I was so very excited to find her a perfectly pink dress.  I thought  I could recycle one of my done-with-it pink sarees into a fabulous custom dress, but of course, procrastinator me never got around to getting to a tailor.  And so began the online shopping marathon:

Pictured up top – a close contender – Tulle and Sequin Rosette Dress by Lipstick Girls.
From France – 100% cotton voile with pleated bodice and flower appliques from Cyrillus Paris:

Simple and stylish by Jcrew: Tulle Drop Waist Dress (left) and Peggy Dress (right):

Taffy Rose Dress by the amazing Luna Luna Copenhagen:

Not sure if this is too sophisticated for a 3-year-old, but it did catch my eye. Looped Hem Dress with Faux Fur Shrug by Biscotti:

Sparkle & Sequins, again by Lipstick Girls:

So what was the final choice?  This amazing Paparazzi Dress by Luna Luna.  The dress was gorgeous beyond belief and the pictures do not do it justice.  She wore it with the satin sash tied in the back, coordinating Tulle Ruffle Ballet Flats I picked up at the Gap and a pink tikka and bangles. She looked perfectly adorable and perfectly pink.  Happy Birthday to my sweetie!


We couldn’t wait to unveil this one!  For the first time ever, a gorgeous, modern calendar bridges the true multi-culturalism of the South Asian diaspora.  Our 2012 Wall Art Calendar highlights US, Canadian AND South Asian holidays – Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Jewish, as well as Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan National Holidays!

So we can all be “on the same page.”

Originally designed for the Brooklyn Museum by acclaimed animator Nina Paley (director of Sita Sings the Blues), the stunning images of Lord Vishnu and his 10 Avatars remind us of traditional Javanese shadow puppets.

The calendar is sized at 11″x17″ and lithography printed in the USA on recycled heavy cardstock with soy based inks.  At the end of the year, the images can be cut to fit into standard 8″x10″  or 8″x8″ square frames.

On sale now for an special introductory price of $24.50 (through November 30th).  Ships November 14th. 
Click here to read more.



So I was in the Disneyland LEGO store last week purchasing a much-coveted LEGO train set that we promised our son for Diwali (under condition that he build it entirely by himself – though to date he’s only put together 1 car – but that’s another story).  At checkout, this store lady says to me, “For spending so much today, you get a free gift.”

It was a little LEGO Christmas Tree Set.  At first I thought it was cute – the kids could at least use the parts or we could give it to one of their friends.  But then I got annoyed with LEGO – do they just assume that everyone in the world (country) celebrates Christmas?  Were they trying to push Christmas on everyone?

Granted, many regard Christmas trees as secular.  But we don’t put one up in our house.  And if they offered the Christmas tree set to a Jewish or a Muslim person – would they be offended?

Maybe I’m making too big of a deal about this – but it’s the principle/mentality/assumption that everyone assimilates and celebrates Christmas that irks me.

I politely refused.  What would you have done?

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