Crush: Inspiring Illustration Quotes

Quotes. I can oh-so put lots of inspiring illustrations all over my home right now. In the kitchen, home office (that happens to be in my bedroom) and the main living area. Looking at them moving around the house all day can juice up my imaginations and creative senses. I can always use great words of wisdom ( and that too in pretty typos and colors) first thing in the morning when I wake up to get a kick start for a whole new day. I so feel resonating with so many illustrations that I see over at Pinterest. They are so simple, funny and happy but a lot more thoughtful. They keep up your thoughts on the right track, making you feel that there still is happiness and positivity around us. There are lots of petty things that can make us live the dream that we see every night. Inspiration can bring us the life that we want to lead for the rest of our lives… When the days are long and the times are hard, they can fuel you up and tell you it’s not the end of the world anyway. Happily ever after is still here!

Inspiring illustration quote


Inspiring illustration quote


Inspiring illustration quote


Inspiring illustration quote


Inspiring illustration quote


Inspiring illustration quote


Random Thoughts: Early Morning Melodies

Songs. I hear them everyday first thing in the morning. When I wake up, the first sounds that indulge my senses are these beautiful birds chatting their hearts out. Thanks to a lush green tree right outside my window. It serves as their meeting point everyday where they gather up and share their experiences of the day passed and their plans for the beautiful brand new day. I wish I could understand them and listen from behind the curtain and giggle with them on all those chats. Become a character of some Walt Disney animated movie, go out and sing with them early in the morning, feed them, dance with them, hold these little birds in my hands, love them. Spring is coming up after all. I can see it in the air. It’s coming. Warmer days. Green lawns. Blooms and their scent. Bees dancing above them, humming and floating around. Pretty birds are not just outside my window, they have inspired my heart and made a place within.

Spring living room


Bird wallpaper in living room


Blooms and books


Spring entry way


Pretty wreath on a door


Color inspiration: Sun-Yellow Couch

Sun-Yellow. Yes, you can make a statement with a gorgeous sun-yellow couch. If someone would have told me this any other day, I would have replied, “A yellow couch? Eww!”. Sorry, I am not very good at imagining things instantly. It takes me a while to imagine few beautiful pieces of fabric and decide which one would look the best on those dining chairs. But when I saw this yellow couch with my own eyes, it was an instant wow! I believed my eyes.

I was actually watching a Turkish soap opera on TV last night. They were showing Turkish era from 70’s in it and the whole decor was designed accordingly of course. There was this scene shot in a living room and there it was; the gorgeous piece of furniture. A yellow slipper sofa in leather furnishing surrounded by equally beautiful dark wood furniture. I was moved.

Though, there are hundreds of images on the internet that give a great idea about how a bold color makes a dramatic effect, but still never did it resonated with me before like it did today.

I normally go for lighter shades; for a brighter and happier look. That makes me think twice before deciding on bold and dark shades. I love lighter spaces; and that is chiefly because we get eight long months of summer here, so dark shades in huge amount become a second choice. Less is more, as they say.

But this sun-yellow sofa is inspiring me. I can imagine it in a small living room with large windows and light patterned pillows sitting on it. A plain throw in a neutral shade would do too. How about a pair of slipper chairs, and that too upholstered in a beautiful printed fabric. (Let the spring come in!). I’d like to bring that 70’s charm back with some amazing brass accents and warm wood. There is so much that I can think of about decorating with a bright yellow couch right now. It’s one of those moments when something momentarily inspires you and then sparks ideas that never end…

Living room with a yellow couch


Etsy Goodies: I heart more

Etsy. Have you ever imagined going to a home of a big lovely family of hand-crafters? That’s what I feel whenever I visit Etsy. It’s like a beautiful place with amazingly creative people who have a vision and a great eye. They start from scratch and build gorgeous things with their hands. All with love, care and affection. And then they see them off to new homes where their creations spread joy and happiness. They are welcomed in other people’s lives making their places prettier and their lives more personal and attractive.

I so enjoyed doing the Etsy Goodies I heart posts on this blog for last two months that I guess it’s going to become a monthly column for this year. And this post is the third in continuation to that. You can find the last ones here and here.

Here are, without a delay , my favorites for this month.

Etsy Goodies

1. A beautiful little planter perfect for a little balcony outside your kitchen.

2. This geometric patterned pillow is perfect for a summer living room.

3. Gold accents are a favorite with every designer these days. This beautiful ornament would love to sit on a book shelve, right?

4. A gorgeous personalized gold bracelet with initials on it.

5. Interesting tableware always fascinates me. Mismatched plates and bowls add personality and color and they always make you happy like this bowl with little hearts on it.

6. I’m so moved by this wooden iphone case with pretty colors and flower print.

Jaggery Rice (Gur kay chawal)

Gur. Or jaggery as many of you may know it. It’s a natural form of sugar used across Asia in raw form or recipes and is really really tasty. We are one family obsessed with gur. Last month some friends presented us with fresh jaggery they brought from their home town (totally organic) and imagine how much we were in love with traditional taste. Since we are cutting down on white sugar as much as we can (though it’s hard) so we’re getting more used to gur.

Confession: When I’m stuck with a thinker’s block, I eat! Yes, that’s true. And I usually go for a one-bite-snack in such cases. So, gur works perfectly well for me; being healthy and light at the same time.

Since I had good quality gur at home, it seemed like a perfect time for me to try out gur walay chawal! It’s how we call jaggery rice in Urdu. So, I went brave and tried it in my own way. Luckily, they turned out perfectly delicious. Psst…I took the photo with my phone, so please ignore the quality.

Gur kay chawal -- Jaggery rice

Please note: Traditionally rice is half cooked before adding in gur, but I used it raw.

Okay, here goes the recipe;


Rice (uncooked):              1 cup

Jaggery (gur):                   1/2 cup

Ghee:                               1/4 cup

Water:                               2 cups

Cardamoms:                      3-4

Fennel seeds:             1/2 tsp

Coconut flakes:                 2 Tbsp

Almonds (crushed):           2 Tbsp


1. Soak gur in water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it is dissolved and set aside.

2. Soak rice in water for about half an hour.

3. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cardamoms.

4. Add gur and water to ghee and bring it to boil.

5. Add drained out rice to it. Also add almonds, fennel seeds and coconut flakes at this time.

6. Set the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

7. Check if the rice are tendered, if not then add half cup of more water and cook until rice are done and water dries out.

8. Viola! Dish out. Love the aroma and enjoy the treat.

Image: Sheneela Akram

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