Deepika Blogs…

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Montreal , Canada – Jazz, Sewing and More…

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Ah Montreal… my love. You are such a tease. So close and yet so far.

It is where I discovered the first underground mall, and the loveliest of gardens. The fries covered with cheese and gravy – so gross and yet so delicious. The charm of your old city and the lovely people keeps drawing me to you and I keep going back again and again. And to honor you, I even dressed in your colors to celebrate Canada Day!       canadaday

You made me so happy in my recent trip that you inspired me to blog about my travels again! So thank you Montreal for a lovely weekend amidst Jazz and Sewing Friends and Gardens and Yummy Food.

This was not our first time in Montreal. Just for kicks I dug out a photo from 14 years ago which was indeed our first time in this city.

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This was our 5th but Dia’s first and this time we just decided to “hang out” and relax. We weren’t interested in doing any touristy things and that’s what was different this time I think. Coincidentally the International Jazz Festival was also going on so that added to the fun. Oh and if you’re driving to Montreal and Grantham NH is on your way, you HAVE to stop at Farmer’s Table Cafe for a wood fired Pizza! SOO good. What did we ever do without yelp? Beats me.

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On our first day there, we took Uber to The Botanical Gardens where we soaked in the natural beauty. If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend it. Especially if you have kids. Its a great way to educate them about nature. Dia was completely fascinated by it. The orchid section was my favorite as was the bromeliads! Look… a flower growing in a flower!

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Yes, Dia and I are wearing matching dress. Made by me of course! ( like you even needed to ask). This is my first time in public wearing matchy matchy and it won’t be the last. Thanks to dinagideon for encouraging me!

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From there we walked to the rose garden and then the Insectarium where Dia and Gagan really had fun. I was mostly taking pictures. I’m sorry but insects don’t float my boat :)

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Dia was a trooper. She walked so much that day.. so I let her have ice-cream for lunch :) We just ate at the cafe (meh.. )

IMG_0183and headed back to St. Catherine for some Jazz Fest Fun. We took the metro back. I love taking public transport wherever I can and I guess when you’re a 4 year old, everything is fun. Dia enjoyed the train ride.

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Back Downtown, we spotted a fountain and there was no going back. Lack of bathing suit didn’t deter this girl from having the most fun! Gagan and I sat on the steps listened to jazz (playing nearby) and it was one of the best afternoons ever.

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Back at the hotel, Gagan and Dia hung out at the pool while I freshened up. We went out to this vegan place La Panthere for dinner which was just ok. Why do all the vegan places smell the same? You know the “crunchy granola” type smell. Anyway… I am not a big fan of fusion cooking so whatever… Dinner was so.. so but I was craving crepe for dessert. Luckily we’re in Montreal so that’s not a problem. We had the best nutella and banana crepe at this little hole in the wall place on St. Catherine. I forget the name. Except that it was heavenly. Ok I found it. Paris Crepe. And its actually on St. Crescent.

Day 2: We took it easy, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at our hotel. Why do croissants taste so good in Montreal? Must be the butter ;)

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By the time we reached Jean Talon it was nearly lunch so we walked around eating lots of fruit samples, bought a bunch of cherries and strawberries and blueberry juice to quench our thirst and had the best buckwheat crepe of my life. I had remembered this crepe from 5 years ago when I was in Montreal last for PR weekend. And decided to re-live it. Dia loved it so much that we had to get her her own – with cheese. Its like Dosa mom! Yes it was. So yummy and delicious. Note to self – try at home. Creperie Du Marche

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This balloon spiderman lasted all of 5 minutes sadly… but it was fun while he was with us.

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From there, Gagan took Dia back to the hotel to hang out at the pool while I met up with some fabulous sewing friends and had another memorable evening! One of the best perks of starting and running PatternReview is the lovely people it connects me to, and I feel grateful for that.

I met up with Anne-Marie on St. Hubert and even managed to do a little fabric shopping at Tissue Marina (full review on PatternReview). From there I took another Uber to Gainzbar with Heather where we met up with about 15 other Canada sewing friends from PatternReview and blogging community.

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I have this annoying habit of getting photos taken in the same spot if I’ve been there before. This is in front of UltraTex.

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And this is from 5 years ago at PR Weekend Montreal :)

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Left to Right… Anne-Marie, Me, Rhonda (in the back), Carmen (in front) and Kay

Time flies when  you’re having fun doesn’t it? I relived some old memories and definitely made a few new ones. I had asked for a source for African Wax Print fabric before our meet up and ReneeB and Caroline gifted me some! Monseratt showed us how to needle a thread the way her granddad showed her and it is a life changer. Here’s a video I took of her showing it to us.

I missed Renee(miss celie’s pants) just by a day. Darn it. She blogged about her trip here. I also finally got a chance to meet Carmen Bouchard. And she is as lovely in person as she is online. What a small world we live in!

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Gagan and Dia were having a blast in the hotel so I decided to stay for dinner. Heather recommended this el salvadorian place for pupusas  and Vicki was kind enough to drive us there in her car. The food was to die for! I ate a LOT!

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The late night commute back to the hotel was enjoyable because Caroline and Claire accompanied me. We talked about schools and retirement and sewing and how to get the best view of the city :) Which we tried out the next day at Mont Royal Park.

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We drove there on our way out from the hotel and checked out the lake before driving up to the highest point where there was a short hike up the mountain. It was really lovely and the view was terrific!

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And because we’re foodies and I started the post with food, I feel obligated to end with food also. If you are in Montreal and are vegetarian, you must go out of your way to eat at-least one meal at Lola Rosa We ate at Rue Milton so can’t say about their other location. But hands down the best burrito ever! and I don’t even like burritos.

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Drive back was uneventful and except for the 1.5 hour delay at the border we didn’t hit any traffic.

You want to know the best part about traveling? You get to come home with a lifetime of memories! And that night as lie down in your own bed, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t fall asleep. You are after all still mentally in Montreal  :)

Me Made May Roundup

If you are not familiar with Me-Made-May, it is a month dedicated to wear and share your makes. More details here.

Even though I didn’t “officially” take the pledge this year, I decided to do it anyway. Taking photos everyday is kind of a pain but it had become a routine… I did enjoy getting dressed every morning and paying a little more attention to what I am wearing. I even wore makeup some days which is so rare for me.

Here are the things I realized…

1. I don’t like to wear pants.
2. I love making and knit wearing tops and dresses
3. Even though Dia is only in 9 out of the 31 photos, she probably wore clothes I’ve made for her 60% of the time and that makes me so happy.
4. PR Exclusive patterns are some of my favorite TNT.
5. I sewed 10 separate things in May! MMM was definitely a good motivator. As was some recent fabric acquisition.

When I look at the outfit photos they make me happy. So why then am I hanging on to some clothes which I haven’t worn in over 5 years? Time to let go of some things…

Things I need to make more of
1. Some “frosting” would be nice. i.e. some nicer, more dressier pieces.
2. Jackets and perhaps pants (who am I kidding.. I hate pants)

That said, knowing who I am I rarely follow a plan. I sew from the heart and enjoy the process. Fabric really inspires me as does looking at everyone’s outfit photos. I’ve had a blast perusing my daily feed on instagram at everyone’s me-made outfits and sharing mine. I have to admit this year, it was more fun because of miss D! she enjoys wearing her mommy-made clothes as much as I enjoy making them which is such a win-win isnt it? And most days she would jump in to the photos with me and those are the ones I will cherish forever.

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The BIG 4…0…

When I was 15 years old FORTY sounded so… well OLD! You know how it is when you’re 15 right? I was on top of the world (my own world) not a care in the world.

And here I am 25 years later turning FORTY! And guess what? I still feel on top of the world and that’s not half bad I say. Granted that this past year has been a record number of FIRSTS. Like having to jump up a size! But listen one size in 15 years is not bad at all. At least that’s what I am telling myself and I am ok with it. I also started working out, YIKES!!! Need to keep up with my VERY energetic 4 year old. <rant> And what’s up with Carbs getting a bad rap? Man I love Carbs… Unfortunately for me, they don’t love me back!!! SOB!!! </end rant>

Can I tell you what the best thing about turning 40 is? It’s the 40 years of wonderful experiences that I now have under my belt. My lovely family and fabulous friends who have been there with me and see it all. All I need to do is close my eyes and relive those memories whenever I want. I may not be in the best state of health, but I sure am in the best state of MIND!

Someone interviewed me a while ago asking me about my Goals. What’s that? Don’t ask me what I am doing in 10 years when I don’t even know what I am doing for lunch!

Does that mean I am cruising through life? Maybe so, but, I am cruising along with REALLY good company and that’s what matters the most to me.

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I believe LIFE is a PRIVILEGE. To be born and living in a FREE WORLD is something to be grateful for and I am not going to waste any minute of it. So bring on the 40s, let’s see what the fuss is all about!

And to these two wonderful people who brought me into this colorful world, I only have one thing to say. “Mom and Dad, thanks for putting up with me for the last 40 years! I LOVE YOU!”

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F.R.E.E.D.O.M

F.R.E.E.D.O.M.

A 7 letter word, we toss around almost every day.

As we board the plane for our vacation we post on Facebook, “FREEDOM for a week! No dishes, no cooking no chores!

Last day of school. Kids tweet “FREEDOM from school. Hello Summer Vacation

Moms night out! FREEDOM from kids” – We share when we enjoy a nice meal withour girl friends.

After a few tearful months, empty nesters plan to travel the world now that they finally have “FREEDOM” from their kids.

When the boss is away, the employees enjoy a long lunch and think “This is what FREEDOM feels like, when there is no one watching us“.

Yes, we talk about FREEDOM a LOT. But only a handful of us really appreciate the REAL meaning. Yes, I’ve read my history books and memorized the facts and figures and watched the movies but I certainly do NOT know what it feels like to be NOT FREE. Growing up in India my grandmother used to tell me stories of the time when they would huddle in their homes in the early evening with all the lights off. What it meant to not be able to voice your opinion on anything.

I shudder to think who I would be if I had not been born in a FREE Country and to live in one.

Today I enjoy freedom of speech (the biggest freedom of all), Freedom of religion, freedom to WORK! And last but not the least, sleep in peace knowing that I live in a FREE country. A country so great that I fail to find words to describe it. A country where I discovered and re-invented myself. Where I found friends for life and mentors who will always guide me. A country I call HOME.

My friends, I may talk about freedom loosely every day, but I know that FREEDOM is a privilege which is denied to many. And today, on July 4th, 2014, As I take family portraits and bake a Red-White and Blue dessert, I salute all the brave men and women who have made it possible for people like me who enjoy the FREEDOM all day every day.

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My Dad

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My Dad didn’t read me princess stories. He didn’t ooh and aah over my every word and accomplishment. Despite being an award winning photographer he didn’t take 1,001 pictures of his first and only daughter. He was never present at any of my school events or even award ceremonies. We didn’t go on many vacations either. He never took me shopping! Or even a movie. I don’t remember if he ever took me to school either. Heck… he wasn’t even in the hospital when my mom gave birth to me, or so I’ve been told :)

He was never around… At least not in the traditional way. I remember those nights when my brother and I would sit up waiting for him to come to us and perhaps read or even talk. He would come… but he would be too exhausted to keep his eyes open and my brother and I would take guesses on how long it would take him to doze off. It sort of has become a family joke now :)

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Us again… 33 years later!

While other dads were taking their daughters to plays and movies, my dad was on his scooter driving more than 100 miles in the sweltering heat to his factory… working.

Other dads would spend a nice Sunday afternoon with their children in the playground or take them for a picnic. Papa would not be there, because a phone call the previous night at 3:00 AM changed his Sunday. The furnace broke down and he needs to take the engineer to the factory to fix it, otherwise the production would get delayed.

Mumbai, 1987. One of the few vacations we took.

Mumbai, 1987. One of the few vacations we took.

Why can’t Papa ever be home?” I would ask Ma. “Why doesn’t he take us on vacations?” Mom would make excuses for him. Or try to distract us with her yummy cooking. I didn’t understand then why sometimes her eyes would get moist. She missed him too of course.  But never said anything.

1973 – Mom and Dad on their honeymoon!

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1998, My Parents' 25th wedding anniversary. We celebrated at home.

1998, My Parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. We celebrated at home.

 

Yes, My Father is a businessman. To most people having a business directly equates to having boat loads of money and a comfy life. Far from it! Because you see… having a business means you have to work for everything. You need to start from the bottom, even scrub toilets if need be. It means you are responsible for providing for not only your own family but the family of those who are employed by you. So we didn’t take many vacations. Because Dad had to be at his factory. In the 24 years I lived with him, I think I remember that he only took time off when he was sick. And sometimes even then he would not.

No he didn’t make a bed of roses for me. But he did teach me how to smile and survive when it gets rough.

For my 12th birthday, he gave me a gift of 100 Rupees in an envelope which had the picture of Rose on it. Dad wrote “I smile among the thorns. Can YOU?

2005 "Smile among the Thorns"

2005 “Smile among the Thorns”

He taught me how to drive a car! But how many Dads teach their daughters how to change a flat or check the oil? Mine DID!  As he was teaching me he realized that I was afraid of driving with trucks. So that’s where he taught me! “Anyone can drive fast. Show me how you can drive slow in 1st gear”  He would say. When he visits me in August in the States, I’ll return the favor by teaching HIM how to drive my car :)

He taught me how to appreciate and learn from our experiences. When we did go out, he made me write an essay about the place we visited! Now I blog about my travels..

2010. Dad and I took a road trip to Jaipur, India. The only way to spend time with him, was to get him in a car!

2010. Dad and I took a road trip to Jaipur, India. The only way to spend time with him, was to get him in a car!

Dad and I don’t agree on a lot of things. I always reasoned with him… He would say “I don’t have it in me to reason with my parents.” For him, his parents are everything. Guess what? I have a payback child, whose favorite question is “Why do I have to do this?” And “Because I said so” isn’t cutting it anymore :)

Vermont, 2004. Dad and Mom visited me in the States.

Vermont, 2004. Dad and Mom visited me in the States.

We did go on walks every once in a while, and I would say “Papa, you need to change with the times. Things are different now“. To which he would say “Dear, the world can change, but there are some things which will always remain right and others which will always be wrong.” And then he would go on to elaborate… He is a very principled man and I love that about him. And yet, he always wants to learn. He was the first in our family to embrace technology. He never bought me a dress but he did buy me  a computer so I could learn! I wrote my first computer program to help him track his inventory. I hope you’re not still using it Dad! The other day he told me “Whatsapp is great! Now I take photos of the samples in the factory and send it to my vendors“. Its never too late to learn he always says.

But the best advice he ever gave me was on the eve of my wedding. “Dear Deepu” he said. “Remember beta, respect is not something you demand. It is something which needs to be earned. And the ONLY way to do that is to GIVE respect. You are not just marrying a man. You are getting another family, and you have to embrace them as your own and love and cherish them for the rest of your life.”  I hope I’ve made you proud Papa!

March 1999 with Papa on my wedding day.

March 1999 with Papa on my wedding day.

I don’t like to talk about this but when I was 23, despite everyone else’s advice, he took a bold step and got me out of a terrible engagement which would have crushed me and my spirit completely. He faced the world for me and helped me bounce back. He. Saved. Me.

Today I am married to the most wonderful man who is my best friend.

Gagan, my husband, my soulmate and my Best Friend.

Gagan, my husband, my soulmate and my Best Friend.

I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that there are times when I wish I had more memories of “normal girl” childhood but then again, my dad is not just a normal guy. He is an extraordinary man who wants his children to be the same. Would I trade my childhood for anyone else? Never in a Million Years!

My Dad didn’t raise me to be a Princess. He raised me to be a Real Woman, who can face the world with a smile on her face. Someone who knows how to pick herself up and dust herself off. And for that Papa, I LOVE YOU. And I wouldn’t change a thing about you,  not now, not ever. You’re one in a million!

In 2009, Papa became a Dada (Grandpa) when my nephew was born. He taught me to laugh like you don’t have a care in the world.

 

2011 he became a Nana when Dia was born.

2011 he became a Nana when Dia was born.

With both Grandkids. He was present for both their births!

With both Grandkids. He was present for both their births!

And today, when I see you with Dia and Aditya, I feel blessed that you are not only my Dad but also their GRAND DAD, touching their lives just like you continue to touch mine. Love you Pops!

 

 

 

 

In Just One Day…

Sometimes….
In the midst of a chilly spring,
despite the weatherman’s best predictions…

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If you’re willing,
and you have faith,
and good company,

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There comes a DAY, so PERFECT, a TOWN so picturesque

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Where everything is magical.
Where you make friends on a busy street.

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Find treasures where you least expect

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Shop for trinkets with a good friend

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Even the Pizza is out of this world!

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And that perfect scoop of ice-cream

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You even learn a new sport

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Enjoy a warm embrace

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You even find time to reflect

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And then, a winding road leads you to a perfect beach where the breeze is so good…

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And the sun warms your soul and puts a smile on your face.

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You feel you’ve lived a lifetime in
JUST… ONE… DAY….

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5.25.2014 was one SUCH Day.

Years from now when I look at these photos and read this, it will remind me of this special day I spent in the magical town of Newburyport!

 

 

Me Made May Week #1 and #2

I realize this is the most narcissistic post (can you stand to look at so many photos… ARGH I can’t.) I’ve ever written, but it needs to be documented so here I am, doing it.

So Me – Made – May, is about wearing something handmade every day and and loving it. It is really not an effort for me because most of the clothes I wear are me-made anyway but I’ve taken it upon myself to not repeat an outfit. So I am digging out things I have not worn in a while and its kinda cool. We’re half way there and its starting to bother me a little bit because I am wanting to wear some of my favorite RTW pieces but I am going to stick it out :) Here’s what I wore last couple weeks.

 

Day #1

I was on my way to the airport (what a nightmare of a flight!) for PR Weekend. Wore RTW pants and Jacket with Oversized Olivia T-Shirt. Perfect travel outfit.

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Day #2

At the PR Weekend, so of course that means more than one outfit.  Color blocked Faux Leather Skirt (review here) and Pinterest Inspired Dress (review here)

 

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All about PatternReview. The dress, the event.. everything! In the Morning for shopping day I wore Summer Street Dress bodice with a circle skirt attached (no review yet) and in the evening for cocktails I wore The Winter Street Dress.

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Day #4

Back home on the plane from Austin. I didn’t get to take a photo (too tired) but I wore Plantain top with RTW pants.

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Day #5

Missed taking a photo again! So cold back here in MA! Perfect for my Drape Drape Top.

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Day #6

I dug out the first Summer Street Dress. I didn’t wear it all winter because I don’t have tights which work with this. But yay for warm weather. Loved it. I really should wear this more often.

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BTW I got tired to ask Gagan to take photos so I installed this fantastic app called TimerCam on my phone and it works like a charm!

Day #7

Still so cold here but at-least I can go without wearing tights now. This is a self drafted half circle skirt from a gorgeous blue ponte knit. Love it! RTW tank and cardigan (Loft).

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Day #8

This is hands down the most worn garment in my wardrobe. Its the same Summer Street Dress pattern ( I can’t help it, it fits me so well) in ITY knit. Reviewed here. The yellow/green cardigan looks a little too bright in the photo but in real life it goes well with this dress.

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Day #9

I totally don’t remember what I wore this day, but I do know it was me-made.

 

Day #10

Saturday. Usually I don’t care about clothes on the weekend, just pull out whatever but this Saturday I made an effort. I love this outfit. I wear this a lot actually. Maxi skirt and Tonic T-shirt (note to self, make more!)

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Day #11

Mother’s Day. What a glorious day we had. In honor of Mother’s Day, I dressed myself and Dia in matching dress. Some may call it creepy, but I call it cute. I dont know if I have the courage to go out in matching outfit though. But here we go. Winter Street Dress for me and Anywhere Dress for Dia.

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Day #12

Monday Blahs….  Forgot to take a photo, but this is the outfit. (Ugh.. I hate my hair, and what’s up with headless photo?).

New Look Top and Burda Skirt.

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Day #13

Ok I feel like myself again. I usually don’t wear white tops, but I love my lace plantain. RTW Pants.

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Tired of looking at me yet? I am! One last photo and I’ll let you go.

 

Day #14

I dug this one out. I love this top. Only took me a year to knit this. Its a freaking t-shirt! I can sew one up in 45 minutes but I still love it. Later that day, I found this in hot laundry pile. Now I either need to shed a few lbs or wear a super tight split neck tee. Don’t wanna talk about it… too depressed. Skirt is Boot skirt I made ages ago, but still love it. Why haven’t I made this again? I have no idea.

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See you next week when I do another round up and we’ll see if I stuck it out or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me May May ’14 – Taking the Pledge

May is beginning to be my one of my favorite months of the year. Too many reasons…

1. PR Weekend (http://www.patternreviewweekend.com)

2. Its finally spring here in New England

3. My Best Friend’s Birthday

and this year I am super excited about Me Made May! I’ve seen the excitement over the years in the blogosphere and this year I am taking the pledge!

 

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I, Deepika (www.deepikablogs.com), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavor to wear one handmade item (sewn/knitted/jewelry/painted) each day for the duration of May 2014

A heart circle skirt for a cutie

No, this is not for my cutie, and Yes, this is my second post in a week on my blog which has been feeling a little neglected lately. Nothing like  party planning to bring you out of your blogging rut right? Anyway, since I am sewing a lot for kids and it is after all Kids Clothes Week, I decided why the heck not!

This cute valentine’s day inspired skirt is for a 4 month old cutie pie. My friend’s daughter… She is precious I tell you and primary colors look good on her. Actually any color looks good on her. And since I am  a polka dot fan and I had this fabric in my stash, I decided to make a quick circle skirt for her.

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I used the free pattern Dana provides here.

I’ve made this skirt half a dozen times before but never for such a small girl. She is only 4 months old! I can’t wait to see this on her. The whole sewing took me one evening and it was so enjoyable. Valentine’s day is coming up so I decided to add a little something special for the baby. I know I know, I must be going soft in my old age. I never used to believe in any valentine’s C.R.A.P. (yes we’re so used to spelling bad words now, half the time its not even worth saying them anymore). Having a 3 year old in the house is cramping my style!

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I’ve never done applique before but I had felt lying around from making a head bands for Dia, so I figured why not. And I think it turned out so darn cute. I sprayed the heart with temporary adhesive to stick it to the skirt and then carefully and slowly sewed it on. Since felt doesn’t fray, a simple straight stitch was all that it needed. I have no idea how craft felt does in the washing machine, but its very easy to just rip out the heart if it doesn’t work out. I just had to do it.

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It just love the black polka dot and red combo. I was lucky enough to find this red elastic at Joann’s the other day. Also added a label in the back, just like Dana does. It also tells the front apart from the back. As if the red heart wasn’t a dead giveaway.

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I am meeting the cutie’s mom  for tea this Sunday, I am so excited to give this to her. I know she will love it. I just hope it fits the baby girl. I bought a red onesie and made a matching felt headband too. I think the baby is ready to celebrate her first Valentine’s day. Don’t you?

Dia’s Lego Birthday Party

You guys, it feels like yesterday when I was gushing over becoming a mom and its as if I blinked and she turned 3!

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With 3 younger brothers growing up, I’ve planned my share of birthday parties but January in New England… Brrrr…  The party has to be indoors. We decided to host it in our basement. First things first, I had to come up with a theme. Not only are themes fun, it makes planning easier.  There is something you should know about me. I am a Pinterest junkie. And here’s another thing…. I love making and creating all sorts of things. Not just sewing. Since Dia is really into legos and they appeal to both boys and girls I decided to throw a lego party.  Upon research on Pinterest, I found tons of ideas. A month before the party, I started collecting them on my “secret” board on Pinterest and started making notes on what will and will not work. I only had limited time given that I work full time and take care of a 3 year old when I come back. But then again, she is my daughter, she loves to create too! So Mother and Daughter team got to work…

In this day and age when children have pretty much everything, how do you teach your children the value of money and things? You teach them to MAKE ’em. I want her to learn to enjoy the process of making and not just the end result. And she loved every minute of it. She was involved in every stage of this party. It was kind of cool actually. We started prepping for the party 2 weeks before the party so it gave us plenty of time. I’ll add the resources at the end of this post, so read on.diaage3

Party Favors

We made lego men chocolates in white and milk chocolates. Dia watched as I melted the chocolate and poured it carefully in the molds. This was super easy but each round only made 8 little men so we did a lot of rounds! I think we made about 60 lego men. I wanted to use them as cupcake toppers also. I bought the molds here.

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We made lego crayons too. This was a little more involved. We soaked the crayons, took the paper off, broke them into small pieces (Dia helped with that) and placed them into the molds. Then we baked them in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. A quick rest in the refrigerator and they were perfect!

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collage_crayonsI didn’t take photos but I made barrettes for girls. I bought “Bricks and more” Legos from Amazon.com and used some of the pieces for decorations (to follow) and used the square legos for the barrettes, Super simple, just hot glued them on carefully. Speaking of bricks, how cute are these! I got the ideas of these boxes from deliacreates.com Actually a lot of the ideas for this party came from her blog. Thanks Delia! These did take a while to make but that’s what evenings were for. So fun. For boys, I ended up buying minifigures. I couldn’t figure out what to make,, so I gave in..

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Decorations

I bought this banner PDF from Etsy, printed it and hot glued it to baker’s twine.  Gagan wrote DIA on lego plate. Cute right!

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I set the table the night before the party. Juice boxes were wrapped in lego printables and I added lego men stickers on the plates. Dia filled a couple mason jars with legos and we used them as balloon weights.

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Lego (actually mega blox) utensil holder. This one was a favorite with adults :)

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We even had lego soap. Hey, the kids need to wash their hands and what’s more fun then lego soap. The moms got a kick out of it too. And of course, Miss Dia helped with this too. She filled the soap dispenser with legos.

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I didn’t do paper invites but I did make thank you cards. I simply took a photo of a girl Lego on top of a base plate. Added a speech bubble in Photoshop  and got them printed at Costco as a 4X6 photo. Wrote the note on the back of the photo. Cute ha! Not my idea again. Delia rocks!

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Food

I kept it very kid friendly, I made mac n cheese in muffin cups for kid sized portions. I used the fun wheel shaped pasta and the kids loved it. We also had a few snacks like veggie straws, hummus, chips, cheese and fruit skewers (another favorite). Gagan made the skewers. They were a huge hit. Put anything on a stick and they’ll eat. We also ordered pizza and asked them to slice two of the pies into 16 slices instead of 8. Adults had coffee, pizza and salad.

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We also made graham cracker legos.  I put frosting on the crackers and Dia decorated them with M&Ms. She made all of these!

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And then there were the cupcakes! I made 48 chocolate cupcakes using my go-to recipe from cooks illustrated. Yup, I don’t think I will be eating cupcakes for a long time. But the kids ate them and we had like 4 left over! I tried to color the buttercream frosting red and blue but it was pink and sky blue. Does anyone know how to get deep red color from food coloring?

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Don’t they all look cute?

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Games

It was hard to come up with games which would appeal to 3 year olds so I created “stations”. We had a lego building station. I put dia’s foam mats down and put some of our legos and other games so children could play on the floor.

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I also put a small coloring station where I put a big box of crayons and lego coloring pages. That table got a lot of attention!

IMG_8258Pin the head on the lego man. I thought of this last minute and once again, Pinterest to rescue. I found a template here. I already had the cardstock from the boxes, all I needed was foam core and we were ready!

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Finally on the day of the party, my friend got the kids to play musical chairs. It was hilarious. They obviously did not follow any rules and kept running around the chairs. Hey, at least it got them moving. And it brought back some fun childhood memories.

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THE DRESS!

And last but not the least, I made Dia’s dress. As I always do on her birthday. I wanted to tie in the lego theme and red looks good on her. I bought these handmade buttons on etsy. The seller was so sweet. When I told her it was for my daughter’s birthday dress, she rushed them to me.  I will totally buy from her again. Since I wanted the buttons to be the focus, I selected a solid fabric and added a ruffle to showcase the ruffles. I’ve written a full review on PatternReview.

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buttonsI also made a felt flower headband and added a tiny white lego piece, just because!!! Yup I’m crazy that way.

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My favorite moment from the party? When she was blowing out the candle and everybody was singing happy birthday to you, Dia was smiling from ear to ear. Totally loved the attention. Another one.. when I was frosting the cupcakes that morning, she came to me, kissed me on my cheek and said “I love you Mama”. AWWWW I love you too Munchkin. Happy Birthday Sweetheart! Now that the party is over, I am a little sad… Valentines anyone???

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