Tea Stall Style: Dining Room Dreams

These photographs are from a tea stall in one of my favorite neighborhoods of Chennai, George Town. This shop was just opening, milk was heating and shelves were lined with pastel pink and blue insulated pots. A color palette too good to be true- one I’d like to make live on- in my everyday even though I’m no longer in Chennai. As I sort through my thousands of photographs from India now that I’m home and simultaneously settle my family into our new home in Northern Virginia, I’ve been thinking... Read The Rest →

Featured // Condé Nast Traveler

  Earlier this year I spoke with the editors at Conde Naste Traveler on what it means to be a mom who travels with style. In the hustle and bustle of life (that same crazy life of being a mom in the world), I missed the article in print. Classic, mom move, right? Well, I discovered it on Pinterest yesterday, where most great things can be found. Without further ado, here’s a fun interview I gave with two other traveling mom’s that I’m honored to be interviewed alongside, Emily Harteau... Read The Rest →

WANDERLUST STYLE // INDIA

It never fails that travel changes us from the very depth of our souls outward.  I always adore hearing that the fashion lines of some of my favorite designers and the work of some of my favorite artists were inspired by a place or a city. With a background in design I seek all aspects and genres of design to add to my photographs, art work and the interiors of my home. So the other day when I went searching for a new dress, something that melds my love of... Read The Rest →

Sweet Cakes // Funfetti

  I always love an excuse to bake a cake, especially when it means that I don’t have to eat that cake all by myself. When our beloved housekeeper, Mrs. Rita, asked that I bake a cake for her grandson’s 2nd birthday last Friday, I was on the job. This is one of my favorite cakes for kids parties and if we’re being honest, I baked it for Paul’s 40th birthday party, too. One is never too old for funfetti. This recipe is just like the original Funfetti of your... Read The Rest →

Unawatuna + Galle // Sri Lanka Travel Guide

  Stay  //  Shalini Villa A modern hideaway in the rolling, tropical hills of Unawatuna built by the assistant of the Godfather of Tropical Modernism, Jeffery Bawa. A short walk to the beach and a short tuk-tuk ride to dining, shops and to the historic city of Galle. Complete with a full staff to cater to your every whim, swimming pool, board games and tropical wildlife right in your backyard. You cannot not stay here. (Photos and details here from my recent “Where we stayed” post.”) Unawatuna, Sri Lanka www.flipkey.com... Read The Rest →

Kerala Travel Guide Part Two // The Backwaters

Imagine a highway of rivers, where rush hour brings two or three houseboats silent slipping by one another, wide lanes, casual waves, and families relaxing about long leisurely lunches. Rest stops require tying up and include shopping for necessities-freshly caught fish for your dinner and sips of coconut water-freshly plucked from trees lining the highway and the rice paddy beyond. Life on the banks feels virtually untouched by modern India; women wash clothes, men fish and children skip about the jetty at play and catch water taxi’s to and from... Read The Rest →

Kerala Travel Guide Part One // Fort Kochi + Biennale

Kochi, a small port town on the Arabian sea, was once (like most enticing towns of India) the hot potato of European rule. Passed from the hands of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British the town formerly known as Cochin, is now firmly nestled into the hands of Mother India and is still hot hot hot. As the mercury rises, so does the tourist count as the city arranges it’s galleries, hotels, restaurants and public spaces with contemporary art installations from around the world. The city itself is a work... Read The Rest →

Red Pearls of Goa // With Magnum Workshops

Stuffed, smoked and laid out in the sun to dry seems a popular Goan theme. The sausages of this tale, however, are more firmly rooted in the colonial Portuguese lore than in the modern-day, summer holiday-fest that Goa has become. Stuffed in the tradition of their Portuguese ancestors and relegated to sales in only certain areas of the city, the reign of the swine still lives in the farthest corners of restaurant menus and street-side vendors alike.   I recently had the honor of attending Magnum Workshops in Goa, India, with mentors, Stuart... Read The Rest →

Anatomy of a Tiffin Box

  As the school year draws to an end and expertly designed bento box lunch-boxes turn into a granola bar and a juice box, I thought we could all use a little lunch inspiration. Have you seen this? I laughed so hard I nearly cried. I began to wonder what other culture’s first day of school to last day of school lunches look like, so I asked Mrs. Rita what the “peanut butter and jelly sandwich and potato chips” of Chennai was. The preferred mode of lunch transport in India... Read The Rest →

Vada + Tea

    I’m working with Tea Collection this month to bring you South Indian inspired recipes in honor of their Indian-inspired spring & summer’s children’s clothing line. Check out their blog for my Savory South Indian Donut recipe and more treats and tours from the Subcontinent. Then stay tuned for more South Indian delights from me, right here in Chennai.

Mehndi Easter Eggs

  Mehndi or henna is a popular dye used in India, Pakistan and surrounding countries. The most beautiful and intricate designs are applied to the hands and feet of both men and women and while it is most commonly for weddings and Hindu ceremonies it is also perfectly acceptable for the everyday. Mehndi is made from grinding the leaves of the henna plant and is applied to the skin and left to set for 20 minutes or more until the paste dries, cracks and eventually falls off leaving a brown or... Read The Rest →

Mango // A Season

  Some of my favorite places on earth experience all four seasons. It is one of the things I miss most about my home in the Pacific Northwest, but the life we lead often takes us to exotic places around the planet that know only a season or two. Instead of mourning the loss of my sweet winter, spring, summer and fall, I began to instead embrace the different types of seasons in their place. In Brazil we had only a dry season and a wet season. The dry season... Read The Rest →

Mumbai // Travel Guide

Like splitting cells create a mass of flesh, the city once called Bombay is now as complicated and rich as the blood that runs through its veins. With DNA from both the British and the Portuguese, the most populous and most wealthy city in India offers up some of the simplest and most extravagant pleasures, a popular juxtaposition in India which never allows one to forsake the other. From ice cold cocktails in gold gilded hotels, along twinkling, carriage-lined promenades to the most sizzling street food scene, you can’t truly experience... Read The Rest →

Madras Fish Curry // Mrs. Rita

If you are anything like me, you are a little intimidated by cooking Indian cuisine. It seems complicated, but really is as simple as the ingredients themselves. Each serving an aurveydic purpose, there isn’t an ingredient that is added that is added without reason. Still I was nervous to pick up the spice dhabba and get started. Enter: Mrs. Rita All one really must do is express an interest in anything in South India and there will immediately be one (or more!) people willing to share their knowledge. It is... Read The Rest →

Pondicherry, India // Weekend Guide

Think of Pondicherry as the little pearl and South India as the swirling hologram of a shell that houses it. Toted as “The French Riviera of the East” by some, this former French colony sits quietly along the Bay of Bengal. Made up of small enclaves, the former “White Town” is a slice of French architecture, design and chic sensibility next to it’s Tamil brother Chennai, known always for the color, spice and beautiful chaos.  The charm lies deeply in the interconnection of the two. From the city of Chennai,... Read The Rest →

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