Chat over Chai #1

Hi Everyone

The idea to start the Chat over Chai series, has been on my mind for a while now. In spite of sharing a lot on the blog, I felt a certain disconnect, so I’m going to try a bit of blogging like old times.

This is basically simply a catch up series ; to connect a little bit more, by offering a sneak peak into things happening in my life , to chat about things I’m really enjoying ; on the crafty side , slow living , cooking , current favourites – different things , I can share to make note of, look back on , enjoy and be inspired to grow and thrive.

You might want to grab a cup of chai (tea or coffee – whatever you prefer) for this one

This year, Autumn and Winter went by really fast and we are into Spring which is really like being in a whole new world.

It’s just so lovely seeing the world come alive with birds chirping , flowers blooming , there seems to be an aura of gaiety in the air.

While I have struggled a lot with the colder months, I have learnt that slowing down and doing a few extra things, that I normally never did otherwise during these months, helped me a lot to keep up my good spirits.

How did my version of Slowing down look like?

Slowing Down

This was pretty much my every day routine during the cold months. I’m sharing it on my blog hoping that it will help someone feeling down as the temperatures, daylight and sunshine go down

  • Making my cup of tea, taking time to sit down and enjoy drinking it , feeling the warmth of my tea , warm up my body
  • Look out my door , make note of the sunlight flooding the mountains with its golden glow or the clouds completely cover up the mountains
  • Send Steve off to school,
  • Snuggle with my baby Amber, listening to my favourite gospel music, reading the Bible and praying
  • Taking time to shower and get dressed in presentable clothes in the morning with care, put on my favourite perfume,
  • Go for a walk once in a while with Amber
  • Do a bit of skin care once a week
  • Gratitude Journal every week
  • Use Bargain box for dinner ( this way, I did not have to do much meal planning but still had the recipes and the ingredients ,had a chance to try something new and different.
  • In the evenings, I often lighted up some lovely scented candles, put on some dreamy jazz music , kept the heat pump on and cooked dinner.
  • I added fairy lights where every I could, added cushions and throws to create cozy and warm around me.
  • Once a week I went out for brunch with my friends, or invited them over to just chat over home made ginger chai, it felt good to have those little moments of just sharing and enjoying the friendships
  • I joined a low impact exercise class which helped immensely as well.
  • Some days when I just did not feel up to it, I just let go, ordered food from Uber Eats and spent time with my kids watching re runs of Castle lounging on the sofa.

Weekends were a little bit different. We slept in , cooked some delicious meals to last at least a couple of days so that when I felt uninspired to cook, there was something to heat up and eat ready at hand.

Amber

I’m sharing these here in the hope that it will help someone who needs it. However these are not set in stone things to do, do what soothes your soul the most .

How do you cope with the Colder Months?

If you also do some of these things please share them with me.

Or if you have some other things that helped you cope through the colder months, please share them as well.

Talk later

lots of love

Pearlin

Cosy Autumn and Winter Makes

I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.

First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.

Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.

A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.

Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.

What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.

By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!

I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.

I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly

I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .

Of course I had to knit face clothes for these natural powders. They are 100% cotton yarn and such a fun easy pattern to knit from. You can find the pattern on the Knit Picks Website called Slant Dishcloth

This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.

My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.

Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.

Autumn memories

Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog

It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.

I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.

I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,

Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter

dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall

greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden

some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop

Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.

The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.

Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.

We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water

While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around

This swan was so graceful in the water

Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.

Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.

Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.

Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)

Summer in Rotorua (2018)

Rotorua came on as a place of interest to visit ,when my brother asked about the place. We had visited Rotorua around 2013, and had a chance to visit the Geysers and the Maori Cultural centre, but we couldn’t remember much of the place. So we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Rotorua to have a relaxed trip and visit places things we did not see before.

It turned out to be a nice weekend away to enjoy some relaxed time with family and experience Rotorua , like a local.( well, almost like one)

As soon as we landed in Rotorua, we hired a rental car so that we could go everywhere easily together as a family. It also is a preferred mode of transport as J enjoys the flexibility and ease of driving his own vehicle.

We had booked a one bedroom unit at a motel called Rotovegas ; which actually consisted of a nice family room, kitchenette with all the utensils and gadgets ( we did not use them) toilet, bathroom, and two bedrooms in the upper level. And the best of all , our own heated Spa tub in an enclosed area. Their service ,rooms , the spa pool and the general swimming pool I must say were all good . We had a lovely stay here.

On the day we landed, with all the excitement of travel, we skipped lunch and decided to have an early dinner. Staying in Christchurch and not having many places to go for a South Indian vegetarian Dinner, we literally jumped with joy when we saw this restaurant called Steam

The dosa , sambar and chutney was as close to the authentic dosa sambar and it made me very happy.

The next morning , we got up early and bright , went to have breakfast .As we found a parking around Hinemoa street, we decided to park the car and take a walk around and we came upon this cute French Cafe called Le Cafe De Paris

Being a francophile, I dragged everyone in with me for breakfast.The ambiance was old world simple and cozy which I loved, the food was yummy and the service so good.The only thing I did not like at this place was the smoke filling up in the room , as the crepes were being cooked. We all enjoyed the crepes though.

After a scrumptious breakfast, first on the itinerary, we had the Redwood Treewalk . When we planned this walk, we had no idea what to expect but were totally blown away by the beauty of the magnificent redwood trees. The stroll on the 20 feet high wooden suspension bridge was an exhilarating

as well as informative experience with boards placed in strategic places.

Then we went to Rotovegas where the boys went on luge rides. We had our lunch and snacks here before heading to our last stop for the day.

Our next and final stop for the day was the 3D Art Gallery.We walked around leisurely, taking pictures , pretend playing and laughing around , it was not crowded at all . All of us enjoyed the gallery as it was so much fun!

The boys were too tired for the day to go out for dinner with us so they requested that we get them McDonalds . Which we did , as it was not very far away from our motel.Later J and I went back to Steam restaurant ordered the same dosa sambar , went for a walk in the empty streets and wound down for the day.

Our flight the next morning was late in the afternoon so we went out with a boys for a leisurely walk around the city centre admiring the street art and getting a feel of the place.

We then had breakfast at a cafe called Capers Epicurean where the food was good but I felt it was not the place to go if one was in a rush .It was quite busy when we went and took a while for us to find seats and settle down before we could order.

With this trip we found out that taking short trips away from home and just enjoying a change of scene was immensely refreshing. We felt that doing a few things together with out rushing around made us appreciate the time we spent sight seeing around Rotorua and each other’s company better than the busier travel schedules we have had before.

We had left Amber with a dog sitter, by the end of day two , we were all missing her like crazy. So we were are all so ready to come back home.

Trip Iternary:

How We got there :

By Flight : Air New Zealand direct from Christchurch to Rotorua.

How we got around Town :

Rental Car

Where we stayed : Rotovegas Motel

What We Did :

  1. Whakarewarewa Tree Walk
  2. 3D Trick Art Gallery
  3. Luge

Where we ate :

Bobble Cowl

The thought of knitting with two colours of yarn was somehow intimidating to me , that I never attempted to even try it. Then I saw one of the ladies in church wearing a similar looking cowl in lovely earthen colours that I was tempted to give it a try.

It always takes some time for me to work up the courage to try new things. Once I start,I always realise that it was not as hard as I thought of it in my head! (Over thinker alert right here ). Sometimes , simply just doing it is best.

When I went searching for an easy -ish free pattern on Ravelry , this pattern came up in the search. I decided to make this pattern only because it came with the tip to look up ‘Blister Stitch ‘on You tube ,which proved to be super helpful.

I decided to use the scrumptious Nunnaba gradient and Naturally Tweed I had in my stash . Once I got an understanding the stitch pattern down, it was a pleasure to work on and proved to be a quick finish.

I made a few additional rows than the pattern called for as I wanted the gradient yarn to come through.

I couldn’t however, figure out how to do the jobless join in this cowl . Its ok I think ,as when I’m wearing it, it may not be that visible .

This cowl is so so soft. I love it.

Surprisingly for this project ,I did not use up all the yarn in the gradient yarn like I wanted to.I also have a little more of the brown tweed left over as well.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Bobble Cowl by Ina Aleksandrova

Needles : US 7 – 4.5 mm Chiagoo Needles

Yarn :Nunnaba Artisan Yarn White Gum Wool 8ply in the Shabby Rose Colourway

Pointy Coasters

In an attempt to organise and decorate everything, I have been quietly working away on adding in little cozy corners around my home ,for me to feel inspired and be creative.

So with the help of J, I put together a little blogging nook for myself. I’ve always liked to have a little desk in the corner of our bedroom to read ,write , plan and contemplate.

It is not at all fancy, the table is a hand me down from Steve and the chair is a thrifted gem from the Eco store in Christchurch. But I was extremely happy with how it all came together to serve my purpose.

When we finished working on the space,I was doing my morning devotion with my tea in hand and realised I did not have coasters that went with the space.

So I went stash diving and found this lovely Egyptian cotton my friend Jessyz had gifted me , at one of our meet ups, a very long time ago.

I had tried making many things with this yarn, but nothing made me happy . Each time I would make something, not feel the project, and then frog it and wind it back into the ball.

The best thing about this yarn is that, in spite of the several making and frogging I did, the yarn held its shape without pilling or losing its sheen.

This time, when I tried making these coasters , it made me very happy with how it turned out, that I decided to make a set of four.

I used Laura cotton for the edging which made it go perfectly with my space.

Project Details :

Pattern :   Pointy Coasters by Carmen Heffernan Boho Crochet: 30 Gloriously Colourful Projects

( I do not have the pattern. I saw the picture of the coaster online and kind of made up on my own from the picture and assumed the pattern was by Marinke Slump! Funny thing is, I just now discovered that I made a mistake of who the designer was,as I was writing this post! )

Hook : 3.5 Addi hook

Yarn : Egyptian Cotton ( Gift from Jessyz)

Laura Knitting Cotton in the colour 894

Boneyard Shawl

This shawl started as a knit along with my friend. We both decided to use Rosewood Wool , mine is 12 ply while hers is 8 ply I think.

Soon after , she started working at a school and I left for India, our knit along kind of took the back seat.

Coming back from India dealing with all the change in weather and home sickness, I started knitting on it  with  Amber sitting on my feet for company acting as a little smooshy cushion  , listening to podcasts , munching on Nagercoil banana chips….

(  I mention Nagercoil chips in particular because ,there is a huge difference between Lakshmi Vilas Nagercoil Banana chips and Banana chips available in other parts of the country. Nothing comes close to it and it is one of the those comforting taste of home food)

Also because knitting on this shawl was more like eating chips, cannot stop with one.`And before I knew it I had finished  two  of the three skeins I had, along with my stash of chips I brought back with me from India..

Then I had a chance to go to an afternoon to Handy Dandy craft group at the library and in the almost two and a half hours I was there, I had reached the end of the third ball and only the border was left to be done.

Back home, little more knitting and   just like that this shawl was done. Much like the  packet of banana chips that finished before realisation came about! (So regretted not getting more of this taste of home , and now that I write about it, I’m craving for some ) 

Project Details:

Pattern : Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West

Needles : 4.5 mm Chiagoo Fixed Circulars

Yarn : Rosewood wool Romney Aran in Shepherd’s Delight Colourway.