Saturday, January 20, 2024


Greece definitely was an impromptu vacation trip in September 2022 but as they say last minute plans always work the best and it did... in our favor as well. Out of few of our bucket list destinations Greece during the fall season seemed to fit all the bills for our historical, cultural and culinary experience. 
Chora Town, Mykonos
Once the destination was selected, we started boggling around the island hopping options for this trip. Our main aim was to have a relaxing, no-fuss couple trip hence we decided to cover 3 cities/islands on this visit to Greece. 
Chora Bazar Mykonos 
We flew with Air Transat from Toronto to Athens. However the 9 hours long flight with the time difference of 8 hours didn't started well at first as we had to catch another flight from Athens to Mykonos. Our all fatigue disappeared when we arrived at our first destination Anax Resort and Spa at Mykonos. The view of white washed buildings, blue skies and unique architectural structures 
were screaming of us having a great time ahead!
Anax Resort Mykonos
We wanted to try boutique and luxury hotel experience this trip  hence Anax Resort and Spa was selected as our first stay - an ideal destination with warm and signature hospitality indeed. The resort is about 15/20 minutes walk from the town. However they offer the shuttle service to and from airport or town. 
Anax Resort Mykonos
The resort has its own beach with pool and sea view rooms. The breakfast and the overall experience was great here.
We rented a scooter from the town to visit the famous Chora town in Mykonos (you may need to validate your license in order to drive the scooter in the country here). The drive around the shore and the old town would not have been the same without that memorable ride.  
The Chora town is a mostly pedestrian maze of narrow streets with cubic whitewashed houses. It’s essentially a traditional Cycladic village, with bougainvillea, small white churches, and colorful windows, doors and balconies.
The place was overcrowded with boutiques, bars and restaurants + souvenir shops. Famous windmills on top of the island and former fisherman's houses in Little Venice were quite attractive. Walking around the town felt like a maze and at the end of the every street we ended up being at the waterfront. 
Day 3 we took ferry to Santorini. The only way to reach there is either by a flight or by a ferry. These ferries fit thousands of passengers with their cars and belongings. There is a restaurant + bar on the ferry. Wi-fi is paid and the hard copy of the tickets to the ferry was mandatory. The only piece of advise I would suggest is to travel light. With big bags and heavy belongings your trip can ruin the entire experience. Less is more works in our case whenever we travel.  
The main attraction of the trip was the island Santorini and after visiting, I must confess that it is one of the most beautiful place we have ever visited. It is ideally positioned at the most mesmerizing spot on the island. The drive from ferry to our hotel was enough to understand why Santorini is the most popular destination. 
Santa Anna Luxury Resort - Imerovigli (Pic from Google)
Breakfast at Santa Anna Luxury Resort
Our next boutique hotel was Sant Anna Luxury Suites in Imerovigli....I had to learn to speak this name ;). The hotel was quite far from the hustle and bustle of the city Fira. However, the city was about 10/15 minutes cab drive from the hotel. And the famous sunset of Oia was about half an hour drive from the place.
The hotel only has a small number of suites, so it had a very personal touch. The main attraction of the place has to be the breakfast, it was delivered to your room at a time to suit yourself.

The walk through the narrow streets of Fira felt like a typical representation of the Cycladic islands, the small shops packed one next to the other, the pebbled streets, the traditional houses with the small blue and sun-burned verandas and of course the amazing view which distinguishes Santorini from every other island. 

We took a trip to Oia to witness the famous sunset. The city has not only great views but also a different perspective than Imerovigli. However the place was overly crowded and cramped even in September month. Once the sunset beckoned, hundred of other people crowded the place and it all felt like too cramped. We were literally squeezed in a corner to watch the sunset. There are also cruises that take you to see the sunset up close. However, if time and budget permits, I would highly recommend to stay in the town Oia with a caldera view to make the most of your trip. 

The highlight of the trip has to be our photoshoot (especially in a flying yellow dress) on these beautiful spots. There are quite a few choices of photographers who you have to book in advance for the photoshoot. There were quite a few wedding, anniversary and proposal shoots going around. Ours was entirely and purely for fun but turned out an experience that we will cherish forever.
With another ferry from Santorini to Athens we concluded our trip. We kept a day to explore the historic and capital city Athens before our flight to home. It was just another city with ancient civilizations with attractions like Acropolis and Ancient Agora. A day or two would be enough to spend in the city. 
Ending this post, with some mouth watering Greek dishes for you all. Being vegetarian, we had plethora of choices in Greece to spoil our taste buds in every café and restaurant spotted. The best has to be the Greek Salad with the big chunk of Feta Cheese. 

Planning to document many more destinations in near future so stay connected on the feeds of my social media (Instagram, or Facebook). Until we meet again, toodles! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Chettinad Inspired Villa (Home Tour of Deepak & Swapna)

The rise of social media seem to have replaced my blogging journey but after my typical “Yes-Yes” & “No-No” thoughts I finally decided to open my blog for this home tour, which deserves to be here and cherished for long just like the other showcased several homes previously.

Subtly accentuated rooms with splendors of classic architecture and discerning aesthetic strokes of designer Nehal Shanghavi at Caasa Mia are just a few of the many highlights of Deepak and Swapana's cultured and curated home.

Easy going yet undeniably stylish home today is a vision of designer Nehal, who is drawn to things that have history, character and soul. And while reading this please don’t take your eyes off the images. 

Interior Designer Nehal has rightly converted her passion of decorating into work through her design. Nehal’s work is powered through reflecting her love and passion of traditional Indian décor that she was secretly harboring. Nehal strives to push the creative envelope when it comes to providing her clients the best. So far it has been a surreal and exciting journey for her filled with tremendous experience.

Nestled on the outskirts of Bengaluru, away from the hustle and bustle of the city's chaos, is this Chettinad inspired villa which is an embodiment of tranquility and chic design sensibilities. Designed by Nehal Shanghavi @caasa_mia, the home owners, Deepak & Swapna's 3,800 sq.ft. home is lovingly named ‘Kamala’ translating to mean the seat of Goddess Lakshmi. 


A pair of rustic and gigantic 100 year old pillars spotted in an antique store at Pondicherry was the starting point to their design idea. The pillars bring in a Chettinad touch and paved way for other ornate design elements like the hand crafted teak wood swing, couch, bench, coffee table and a unique triangular 2 seater sofa. 

A good beginning with a focused mind led Nehal championing a fresh and an unconventional approach to those pillars. Her wit of using these traditional pillars in a modern way very much sums up the core of her style. 

Enticing display of silk cushions along with brass idols and green planters accentuated the overall look. Every detail draws the eye and creates the flow. The colors and accessories compliment one another adding a bit of a zing to the interiors.  

The architectural quirks of those pillars are well extended in the dining room. Through careful research and with love for every detail Nehal has merged art and luxury together. A unique round dining table with cane work under an eclectic chandelier was placed alongside glass doors that opened up to an intimate green sit out.

Nehal's stylistic touch runs through out the house. The collage of rustic frames, rustic storage shelves and the rustic looking handsome yet chic desk here simply compliments the entire surroundings. 
To lighten up the walls and accentuate the overall look, a mustard wallpaper with a clay like finish, a blend of ethnic stone plates, wooden carvings and a Ravi Varma art on the feature wall were used. 

The doors of the pooja room in their home has a welcoming vibe and strengthens the point of focus here. Pooja room, being a powerhouse of divine energy, they decided to retain the charm of an old temple with intricate carving along the doors and stone work inside. Meticulously designed traditional pieces like this door never go out of style. The door here breathes elegance and simplicity.
To keep the game going, visually weighty swing is inserted with well-edited elements in the background. The careful placement of each and every piece infuses every square inch here with whimsy and glamour. 
Chiseled to perfection pieces are sited and placed in the most unexpected places. The confident mix of modern and antiques are conversed brilliantly by Nehal creating an impactful effect in her interior choices. 
Each corner around the home has gone through intelligent and deliberate design process by Nehal. She brilliantly inserted this cozy reading nook along the stairway put the space to the best use.

In Swapna's words - "Thanks to our designer Nehal Shanghavi, we were able to style our home to perfection and have a space where we can relax, meditate and introspect after a hard day’s work. A few minutes at the swing with spiritual music at the backdrop, catching a book at our nook or coffee at our sit out with occasional conversations over the dinner table is our idea of a day well spent."

I agree with every word you narrated here Swapna. Your home is 
an innately nourishing space with a remarkable visual appeal! Nehal has nurtured every corner of this home lovingly and filled with things that Swapna's family will treasure for long. 

Concluding this home tour, wishing Nehal many more accomplishments and accolades for her artistic designing journey further. You can connect with Nehal on her Instagram feed right here.

Stay connected on my social media feeds for the upcoming festive decor, unitl than toodles!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Last Year Diwali Decor Round-up (Diwali 2019)

Hope that festival preparations have started at your end and you are brewing up ideas for this Diwali. Oh yes, I have started to lighten up the glow of Diwali by small bursts of twinkling diyas and overload of brass. After all, putting on a play of lighting and swapping out accessories in every corner is a full proof formula to beckon the festival ;). 
It really gets busy during diwali so instead of taking time out for a blog post with a busy schedule of Diwali, I had decided to share all the Diwali posts on the social feeds of Facebook & Instagram only last year. However, before I kick start this year's Diwali preparations, I wanted to give you a round up of Diwali 2019 decor we did at our home. 

Taking you along with our last year's Diwali decor. Brass, as you all know, still reigns supreme in my all décor and our entry way is a perfect winning location to display all...after all the first impression does matter. Welcome to our grand entryway. However, this wall has been transformed totally. As this year we tweaked this powerful bold gold to another color (cedar green) by swapping, switching and adding few wall frames around.

This wall has always been festive ready in our home but decorating with special touches adds the thrill at the entry for the atmosphere of a celebration. Hope you enjoy your stay here and take some inspiration along for your own Diwali decor this year.

I don’t know about you but the festive season always seems to sneak up on me every year (24 hours aren’t enough). Suddenly I am knee deep in to-do lists with limited time. It definitely takes a certain amount of planning (read stress) to have a successful Diwali ready home but frankly that’s part of the fun.  Taking you forward to our under the stairs setting where I usually place our rangoli. Until I put up rangoli (coming up soon) here, the setting constantly reminds us of the glorious touches of the festive season. The irony of using brass cannot be missed when it comes to power game of festive décor.    

Diwali makes me go an extra mile and throw in some clever touches with glamorous effects to be a total show-off. Here are the portraits of our living room with diverse style, colors, accoutrements and ambience that exemplifies how small personal touches can bring charm to make your home look welcoming and festive ready this season.

Wanted to draw your closer attention to the pieces I received from Divine India Each piece is exquisite and perfectly falls in the rhythm of my decor style with ease. I also wanted to point out to that big brass pot (that I acquired from Facebook marketplace) is used as a side table by placing a tray atop. With the pieces from Divine India, it was quite easy for me to pull the overall Diwali look in our living room last year.

And we ended Diwali hubbub last year with a wonderful "Annakoot" celebration at home with friends and families who joined us from far and wide. 
Here are the decor pictures of the celebration. For someone like me who believes in a traditional approach it was just perfect to inject some "desi" touches with blissful colors to support the occasion.
It was an eventful yet equally tiring the way, the bell decor is a DIY. I married Christmas bells to marigold strings for this look.  

Red and gold are the Diwali classics and can easily kick up a notch in any décor. I also sizzled up the foyer console table here with some exciting changes by mixing modern and vintage pieces. Staging of small pieces in a bunch can give you a power of a large display. 
As I end this post with our last year's Diwali celebration wishing you all that may the beauty of Diwali fill your home with happiness and may the coming years provide you all that brings joy in your life. Here is the last year's rangoli made with rice and food colors. The making of the same is up on my Youtube Video here. 
This was all about last year. Get ready to absorb all the eye candy coming your way this year also, as I will be sharing more videos and pictures of Diwali styling on my social feeds. Stay connected there until we meet again here, toodles!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Splendors of Classic Traditional Accessories - Featuring Crafts N Chisel

When a business is powered through reflecting love and passion of Indian handicrafts that we all evolve in....brands like Crafts N Chisel is borned. With roots in India and wings in USA, Crafts N Chisel will be your one stop shop for the next level up in decorating your home. Learning from the trend of globe, collecting with an appreciation for the unusual and gathering from the diverse sources - Crafts N Chisel will help you bring the much-needed aesthetic stroke to your home via their extensive range of home décor products.  
Introducing Craft N Chisel
Indian handicrafts are making their presence felt across runways and have created quite a stir in home décor industry. Thankfully, we have sources like Crafts N Chisel at our fingertips, resulting in a much wider choice. This e-commerce website will leave you spoilt and show you the ropes and pave the way for your home advancement. Art and objects at Crafts and Chisel begs exploration that echoes splendors of classic traditional accessories.  
Marble Tile Diplays
When Megha got married and moved to USA, she was majorly missing the traditional touch in her décor. Raised in a tightly knit Indian family where Megha’s mom is an architect and brilliant artist, Megha was fed with the love of handicrafts, paintings and murals. Inspired and instilled by her mom’s artistic direction Megha had hard time meeting the pleasing and practical needs of fulfilling her dream home here in USA. To give free run to her more adventurous design inclination, she managed to ship home décor products from India for her home here in USA. Admiration of her choices in home décor by friends and guests let Megha unfold the dream of the brand Crafts N Chisel with a motto to bring Indian handicrafts to homes away from home. 
Carefully Handpicked Collection 
When it comes to your home décor – making sure it has layered collected feel means tons of tough decisions. Often what gives our home an authenticity is the visual stories of our home décor...our artfully edited collection with colliding eras and styles of our roots. Keeping the same in mind, Megha cherry picks the best of the authentic and quality pieces via collaborating with multiple artisans in India.  
Dizzying Array of Wall Decor
Let Crafts N Chisel relieve the stress and restore the fun while introducing you to their extensive collection of home décor products from the most sought-after collection. Quality and Customer Satisfaction being the success mantra behind this brand, Crafts N Chisel value customers and their needs more than anything. Keeping the assurance that customers are really happy with the product and service, they go the extra mile to fulfill it.  Their masterly vision brings not only best of the products but they offer free shipping and free return. 
Traditional Touch of Brass
 Megha has converted her passion of home decor into work through Crafts & Chisel by taking along many creative souls behind the brand to bring it together. She points out: “We are a team of young enthusiasts trying to bring rich Indian art easily to people. Here at Craft N Chisel we don't just sell products; we sell ethnic decor ideas. Every day we try to build new collections and styles around our products, keeping it interesting. With every product styling, we bring a little piece of us to people, our customers."
Classic Brass Decor
Crafts N Chisel has rightly won to bring the boldness in home décor via big and little strokes of their products. Their business breathes on about bringing unique and luxurious Indian art to homes in abroad. Apart from collaborating with artisans, they also design a wide range of products in-house which brings uniqueness in their products. 
As they embrace success …..they take great pleasure in their creations of Crafts N Chisel along with the love and smile they bring to their customers. 
Traditional Brass 
While focusing more on their dedicated collection, Megha coins: "The heart of our brand is detailed oriented and proficient handcrafters of India. We realized the reach is the primary issue for artisans to bring their art on a large scale. We are the bridge bringing the Indian traditional art from artists to the world, and also help artists create new products around their traditional style. We explore, curate and collaborate with artists specializing in different Indian handicrafts, and design and experiment in-house products."
Pleasing palette of Dokra Art and Leaf Frames
Indian Handicraft is nourishing in every sense of décor. But with Megha’s masterly vision and never-ending curiosity she brings in the best of both the worlds in her décor brand. Along with traditional she also injects a touch of bit contemporary in her products. Crafts N Chisel by all means embraces its roots but the products are also designed for a new generation look. 
Global Decor Accessories
Giving her creative persona its freedom Megha’s ability to see the light beyond dusky horizon has resulted in this brand. Now she has come full circle as a president of Crafts N Chisel. Result of her vision and courage to see differently has crack open the decorating choices for many homes across the globe.  If your home deserves a playful mix of these easy going yet undeniably stylish products, scroll into their website here and you are sure to be assured of quality and standardized services. 

Décor accessories always go on a long way ensuring our home possesses character and life. As we sign off, wishing Crafts N Chisel all the very best for all future accomplishments. Do visit their website here for more inquiries or product search. 

Their shipping and return is free worldwide for a limited period. 

Follow along Crafts N Chisel on 

Instagram here
Facebook page here
Pinterest here 

Until we meet again, stay connected on social feeds of Pinkz Passion on Instagram and Facebook, toodles.