Hi folks! Am I glad the sun is back and shining bright in Bangalore? You bet, even if only for a little while, after Nilam brought in much gloom over the past few days.  So, are you done with Diwali shopping or is it looming large on your weekend to-do list?

This Friday’s shopping list on dress your home is a bit different. I loved these two images in October’s issue of BBC Good Homes and kept wondering what you’d need if you had to create this look under a budget. Some you may have at home like colorful saris or stoles which could double up as drapes and curtains during the festive season.

I tend to use my various glassware as tea light holders with flower petals floating in them and serve ware across the house. To bring in color and cheer into your home, do you really need to spend a fortune? Nah.

I know it’s not Friday yet but Navratri is here. So I’ve created a few of my favorite/essential picks like haldi-kumkum set, wooden dolls for your golu and such. Overwhelmed by the options available these days? You bet! Image courtesy: Pretty Summer Lights fr Rs.235 from It’s Handmade Flower design rangoli  for Rs. 275 from It’s Handmade Haldi Kumkum set for Navratri from Varnam – Rs. 510  (Shopo) Wooden toys for your golu Cooking set for Golu

This post is a curation of kolam and rangoli pictures I have clicked on the streets of Tamil Nadu during the month of Margazhi culminating in Pongal / Sankranti. The designs are typically made with dots and filled with colored rangoli powder.  We’d been to Trichy for the Pongal weekend. Pongal marks a new beginning and end of margazhi – a month I fondly remember for the huge colorful kolams adorning the streets. There was a time when I used to leave for school on my cycle a few minutes early, a few minutes to revel in new color combos and twists to age-old rangolis. The dexterity with which the ladies draw kolams never ceases to amaze me; it seems so easy but you realise the intricacies only when you soil your hands with colors. The perfect intersection of lines and the angled curves comes with years of practice. It’s…

It’s late Sunday afternoon. I’m sure most of you are excited and exhausted by Diwali preparations and shopping. Making sweets is not a very elaborate affair here. So, I just made a couple dozen gulab jamuns and lemon cake (for a change). Will be making rawa ladoo, coconut barfi and some savory tomorrow.

Have you picked up this month’s edition BBC GoodHome yet? It arrived in mail earlier this month, and one look of it felt like it was a collector’s copy. Beautiful in every way and packed with hundreds of ideas. I haven’t seen such a idea-filled copy in a really long time. Every page is worth devouring (I know not the right choice of word) , but that’s exactly how I felt. The staging, styling of home and ideas were very creatively executed. Don’t know if they have any images online but check out their FB page.

I usually look for Rangoli ideas a day or two before and assumed you must be doing the same too. Some rangoli ideas for you from GH Diwali contest: