Thursday, 27 March 2014

Happy Days with My New Toy!

I've been a very happy girl over the last few days... the absolutely awesome hubby gifted me a Canon DSLR! After seeing me struggling with my point and shoot for so long, grumbling that my pictures weren't coming out the way I wanted, he got me my new, fantastic toy! And I've been clicking away ever since. A friend jokingly asked me if I was sleeping with it :) That's not too far off mark... it's so difficult to concentrate on work while it's sitting there on the table. I keep wanting to pick it up and experiment. Warning... with all the practising that I'm doing, you are going to be bombarded with a whole bunch of images:) So I hope you'll bear with me...

Yesterday I changed a few cushion covers in our living room. I had sort of grown bored with the old ones, which have been there for ages. I picked up these silk covers by Anshoo Nath from the Windmills Design Festival. I love the colors and the Nandi patchwork motif. They instantly brightened up the space. 

I also wanted to remind you guys that there is an amazing give away on the blog this month. A lovely decoupage tray by Design5. I hope that all of you are clicking away and I'm looking forward to seeing your fabulous images. 

[All images clicked by me. Please do not use any images without prior written permission]

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Last House, Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Happy Monday folks! How was the weekend? Do anything interesting? Or just enjoyed a chance to be a little lazy :)

Got a little bit of a treat for you. Some real eye candy. The hubby & I are planning a holiday to Sri Lanka and while I was doing my research, I came across this beautiful boutique guest villa in the town of Tangalle, Sri Lanka. This is a chic luxury villa that is contemporary, while still managing to stay true to traditional Sri Lankan architecture. Love the concrete floors, the colorful decor and the overall dreamy feel of all the spaces- embodies the idea of barefoot luxury. I can completely imagine my self sitting in the veranda, on those comfy cane chair, sipping on a chilled beer and doing absolutely NOTHING... what bliss! 


[All images- Mr & Mrs Smith]

[Please note that these images are via the Mr & Mrs Smith website, please do not reproduce without prior permission from the Hotel or the website]

Friday, 21 March 2014

Windmills Design Festival

I had visited the Windmills Design Festival a few weeks back and just wasn't getting a chance to do a post on it... Well I know it's a bit late, but better late than never right? So finally, here's my round up of the Windmills Design Festival...

For the past few years this festival has been held at, Aya Nagar, at the studios of Windmill Interiors and Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA), which has become a hub for the creative community. Designers, crafts persons, artists and even an NGO often come together to collaborate and ideate at Windmills and this is exactly what the Windmills Design Festival celebrates.

[Image courtesy Devika Sachdev]

This year a number of designers and partners participated... there was some modern, almost Bauhaus inspired furniture and accessories by Windmill Design Studio, beautiful metal work by Bowman Design, colorful textile bags by Pure Ghee Designs, Pottery by Dipalee Daroz and paintings by Shefali Upadhyay, to name just a few. There is a very long list and I don't want to go on and on... I manged to pick up some really nice silk cushion covers with a lovely Nandi motif and some fun little pencils from Jan Madhyam, an NGO  based in Ayanagar village that reaches out to the disabled, especially girl-child from marginalized sections of society.  

[Image courtesy Devika Sachdev]

[Image courtesy Devika Sachdev]

[Image courtesy Devika Sachdev]

Overall it was a nice experience made even better since one of my good friends, Vishwesh, is part of the PSDA team and was kind enough to give me tour of the studios and grounds. I fell in love with the exposed brick construction, with the colorful door and window frames, the clay tiled floors and the lovely outdoor garden spaces. A great day out that made the stressful drive worth it.

[All images by Shalini Pereira unless mentioned otherwise. Please do not use these images without prior written permission]

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Last Day to Vote in the L’OréalParis-Femina Women Awards

L'Oréal Paris and Femina have been honoring women who have inspired us all- talented and strong women who have achieved success in the fields of  art, music, education, business, film and various other fields. These fabulous women will be honored at the 3rd edition of the L’Oréal Paris Femina Women Awards on 27th March, 2014.

The L’OréalParis-Femina Women Awards, 2014 is all about felicitating women who have made a difference. Women who have stood up for a cause; whose efforts have brought smiles on faces of many, and who have helped others lead a better life.  Our list of nominees includes women who have excelled in their fields, stood by what they believed in and helped the society in general.
The aim of the L’OréalParis Femina Women Awards, 2014 is to honor these women. And your opinion counts. 
You can vote for the woman who has inspired you in the Reader's Choice category, either on your phone or your desktop.
To catch all the latest buzz on L’Oréal Paris Femina Women Awards, 2014 here.

So come on folks... let's support these ladies who have worked so hard, achieved so much and inspired so many. I've already voted and I hope you will too. Today is the last day so vote soon!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

1st Give away! What's your Fab 1?

I’m super excited as I write this hands are actually shaking and I can't seem to type fast enough! 

It’s the first ever give away 
on All Things Nice! Yay! 

This month I'm running a competition on the blog. I'm hoping that you guys are going to be as excited about it as I am...

What's it all about? Well, remember the Fab Five Series that ran through December- February? You know, the one where your favorite design bloggers did guest posts on their top 5 decor must haves. Well it was a really popular series and I got a lot of positive feedback from it. And it sort of gave me the inspiration for this competition.

So after seeing all the eye candy that made up the Fab Five Series, I hope you were inspired, and now, it’s your turn! 

All you have to do is click images in the form of 2-3 vignettes of your absolute no. 1 decor must have. Make it pretty & bold and make sure it represents you! Along with these images send in a brief 2-3 sentence text describing why this decor 'must have' is something you cannot live without. 

Whichever amazing reader sends in the best, the most fabulous image, is the winner! It’s that simple. So get your creative juices flowing, pull out your cameras and start clicking.

Here is the reward... a beautiful blue 'Lotus Tray'

This beautiful decoupage tray is designed & handmade by Molly, the brain behind Delhi based Design5 Studio, who is sponsoring this give away. I think it would absolutely wonderful on a dresser or a coffee table...

This small, boutique style design studio specializes in making handmade wooden decoupage home decor products, under the label Design5. Molly takes items that others may consider to be junk and creates products that she considers 'whimsical and fun.' In Molly’s own words, “My designed products reflect my belief that a good design touches you, tickles you and at times, hopefully, even leaves you amazed.” All of Design5’s products are handmade by Molly herself! So every piece is unique and made with great care. You can find out more about Molly & her label Design5 here. 

Please send in all your images by 31st March. I will be announcing the winner by 15th April. Get clicking guys!

Email me  your images and text to  The winner and their image will also be featured on All Things Nice!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Great Long Weekend

I know doing two posts in a day is a bit much even for little ol' obsessive compulsive me, but I have a feeling work is suddenly going to pile up towards the end of this week, so I think it's best I post this today. Beside a big announcement is planned for tomorrow and I don't want anything distracting from that. So here is a round up of the amazing weekend I had.

How was your long weekend? Did you guys celebrate Holi in a big way? Unfortunately both the hubby & I have been a bit under the weather so Holi was a relatively quiet affair at home this year. But that doesn't mean the weekend was dull. Far from it... in fact it started off with me attending my 1st ever menu launch on Firday night... you can read about my entire experience here.

[Image courtesy Punjab Grill]

Saturday we got up late and I was in the mood of making a special breakfast... so made some French toast with macerated strawberries and maple syrup on the side. We guffed this down with strawberry, banana yogurt smoothies... great start to the day. There is something about making a special breakfast and sitting down and enjoying it together... 

Look at the prettiness... I made this :)

Monday was Holi and although we didn't celebrate I we did get into the spirit a bit by having a nice lunch. Made sambar from scratch and we enjoyed a nice, simple South Indian thali lunch. Someone was mighty pleased :) 

This year St. Patrick's day coincided with Holi. Now I know we not Irish, but for some reason we always celebrate St. Patrick's. It's fun... what other time can you have green beer! I even made some parippu vadas (a kind of dal vada) that are my husband's favorite... and while it didn't come out as well as my mother-in-law's (who makes the best vadas in the world) he was quite impressed at the first attempt :) They went down well with the green beer (normal beer with some green food coloring added). We sipped out beer and watch the Indian-Sri lanka warm up match, which India sadly lost :( Guess the luck of the Irish wasn't with them :)

You'll have to forgive the silly pictures... I think we were both a little 'happy' after the green beer... but I kinda like silly pictures :) 

Well that's my round up of my weekend... I really hope you all had a great day celebrating with family and friends. Oh and make sure you guys tune in tomorrow, I'm announcing the 1st ever competition & give away on All Things Nice and tomorrow's post will have all the details.

[Unless mentioned all images are by Shalini Pereira. Please do not use these images with out prior written permission.]

Attending My 1st Menu Launch - The Chakhna Menu @ Punjab Grill

I started reviewing on Zomato because I have an ongoing love affair with food and I can be quite opinionated when it comes to the things I eat. So after eating out with the hubby I’d go on and on about the food. Finally the hubby said “You know you should start reviewing on Zomato!” possibly because he was so sick of me blabbering on non-stop :)And once I started reviewing on Zomato, I couldn't stop. And while I’m no expert chef or food connoisseur, it’s nice to know that my opinion does count and is appreciated.

So when I received an invite from Sonali Kapoor of Lite Bite Foods to attend the launch of the Chakhna menu at Punjab Grill, I was over the moon, especially since I have wanted to visit Punjab Grill ever since I shifted to NCR. But for some reason or the other I've never made it there. The icing on the cake was that I’d be getting to rub shoulders with so many noted food bloggers as well as people in the food industry.

I've said it before, and I’ll say it again, the thing that I love most about these sorts of events is the opportunity it gives me to meet new people whose passion for food equals if not rivals mine! It’s so stimulating to be able to talk to people in the food industry and pick their brains about their thoughts on food- it’s almost amazing and sometimes even comical how much we can talk about it! And it’s also nice to be able to chat with the people behind the food, in this case Chef Gurpreet Singh, about his thoughts and the inspiration behind this interesting menu which was inspired by the concept of Tapas, or small plates of food accompanied with drinks.

[Chatting with Chef Gurpreet while the hubby digs in!- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

What Chef Gurpreet wanted to do was to take this concept and give it a North Indian twist by coming up with interesting ways to serve old classics that have deep rooted associations to growing up, college and life in the North of India. It was quite an interesting idea, creating a North Indian Tapas menu and not just with food, but with a few cocktails as well, and I was really intrigued. How successful was it? Well there were in my opinion some real stars that I would go back for again and again. 

[Image- Shalini Pereira]

[Ganne ka Margetita- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

[Rasbhari ka Margetira- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

From the drinks, there was one stand out for me and that was the Ganne ka juice margarita. It was basically a desi take on a classic- unabashedly Indian and proud of it! I was blown away. A perfect drink for summer that looked beautiful and tasted amazing- an absolute must try if you visit Punjab Grill. Another drink that I found interesting was the Rasbhari margarita. This had to be one of the prettiest drinks I'd ever seen- top marks for presentation. It was another very desi take on a margarita, but one that was much more complex and one that I'm still on the fence about.

[Small Bitings that included delicious onion pakodas- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

When it came to the food, there were a lot of things to be tried. I enjoyed the prawn tikki, masala mattra, however I would have liked a few more prawns because I felt the taste of the prawn was getting lost. 

The stars of the evening in terms of food? Well, I had two out and out favorites- one was the tawa chicken keema with fryums which provided an explosion of flavor with every bite, and the other was the sunny side up tuk tuk khameeri roti which was a really interesting combination of caramelized onions and soft eggy goodness encased within a soft, fluffy roti... so good, just think it could have done with a tad more seasoning. 

[Tawa Chicken Keema with Fryums- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

[Sunny Side Up Tuk Tuk Khameri Roti- image courtesy Punjab Grill]

This was a really interesting idea by Chef Gurpreet and Punjab Grill. Some really delicious food, and it's definitely worth a visit to try out this menu, but I do think that that more could have been done with a few things and if you want to read more about the food, you can see my detailed review of Punjab Grill’s Chakhna Menu here.

Overall though, a great night out with great company and a nice chance to taste some interesting and delicious 'tapas' with a North Indian twist. Do head out to Punjab Grill to try their Chakhna menu which will be there until March 31st. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Happy Holi!!!

I love the bright colors in this image- the saffron yellow and the deep orange that contrasts so perfectly with the deep shades of pink. I've been wanting to post this image for the longest time, but have been saving it just for Holi:)

Wishing you all a 
very HAPPY 
a very COLORFUL 

*Images above are the property of Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission

Friday, 14 March 2014

My Hummus Recipe

Friday's here once again! And today I'm sharing one of my recipes with you! It's my recipe for hummus. This is my go to recipe when I'm having guests over and it is a real favorite! In fact a lot of them ask if there is going to be hummus when I issue an invite:) Now don't get me wrong... I'm sure there are way better recipes for hummus out there, but since this is a favorite among family and friends, and a recipe that I'm asked for most often... well I thought I'd share. 

[Images- Shalini Pereira]

1 cup dried chick peas (soak overnight & cook until soft)
1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)
2 tbsp olive oil + a little to drizzle
1 tsp cumin powder
tsp salt
2-3 tbsp yogurt
1/2 small lemon (Indian lemon which is about 1 1/2" in diameter)
2 tbsp tahini
sumac (optional)

To make the tahini dry roast 2 tbsp of sesame seeds until very lightly golden. Cool and then grind this in a pestle with a 1/2 tsp of salt until it becomes a powder. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and mix until a smooth paste is formed.

To make the hummus add all the ingredients including the tahini to a food processor. If you are using a Sumeet, you will have to do this in smaller batches, or it will not grind up well. Blitz in the processor until a smooth paste is formed. You may need to add a small amount of water. The consistency of the paste should be soft and smooth, but not runny. It should hold its form. Taste and add salt if required. 

Place in a serving bowl and use the back of a spoon to create tracks or channels in the hummus. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sumac. If you don't have sumac, you can sprinkle with cumin powder or kashmiri chili powder. 

Serve with pita bread or even with vegetable crudites. I like using carrot and cucumber. 

Have a great weekend everyone and I'll see you on Monday when I'm going to be announcing the details for a small competition and All Things Nice first give away! 

*Images above are the property of Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission

Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Home Full of Beautiful Antiques!

Hello, it's me again:) I'm back again today with images of a lovely family home in Johannesburg. The couple who own this house, a traditional old Transvaal farmhouse with beautiful high ceilings, are in the antiques business and their love for all things old is reflected in their home which is filled with beautiful antique pieces from Indian, China and Africa that made me green with envy :) So many beautiful pieces, including art, furniture and artifacts that work so well together... everything seems to be in perfect sync.  

After seeing this home I feel like packing my bags and heading off to far away, exotic places to add to my tiny collection of knick knacks :) I'm sure you will want to as well...

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