Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mid-summer reflections

Hello, hello!  How is your summer shaping up?

the rain-soaked trees in our backyard

 It has been an unusual summer in the Midwest with several back-to-back rainy days but the sun is finally shining and we are not complaining. 

Nothing says summer like chilled lemonade!

I am currently on a break and in between jobs and that means I get to spend a little more time with my boy and that is always precious and super fun! My husband and I also decided to indulge in some home improvement projects and 3 months into it (I know!), we’ve finally managed to turn the last remaining unfinished portion of our basement into a gym+ closet (I know- strange combination that!) but it is exactly what we needed. We have also  (finally!) customized our master closet to suit our needs.  We’ve had contractors in the house for 3 months now and it was starting to get a bit tiring but the projects were long overdue and so we stuck it out! So, yeah after running at 100 miles an hr. for the first 6 months of the year, I am finally slowing down although temporarily.

Time to soak up some sun and enjoy the outdoors!

But enough about me! What have you all been up to this summer? I realized that we’ve never really done a summer post and this is after all such a gorgeous season – one that deserves to be celebrated!
I have always sired a passion for hosting and entertaining and the mid-western summers are ideal for a convivial summer gathering. It's always fun to take the party outdoors!

Purple velvet cake - recipe and inspiration from the sweetapolita, baked and styled by moi!

Hope you all are soaking up the sun and celebrating this cheerful season with inspired festive fetes of your own – outdoor barbecues, summer soirees, backyard bonfires and such? 

Uj works the grill!

Well, if you haven’t – no sweat! We still have over a month of warm weather and I hope these images will inspire you to plan your own li’l summer shindig and encourage you to entertain with confidence! Thinking about the food and the ambiance and making it all come together to create something memorable is something I enjoy.

We celebrated my sweet li'l tween's b'day this weekend and I wanted to capture his sugary sweet innocence as well as the impending transition to adolescence in a cool way and an image I had seen on Style me pretty living (a while back) was the inspiration.  So, a decadent chocolate and ice cream filled party served on my husband's convertible was my way of capturing this pre-teen to teen transition phase! I will perhaps do a full post on this sugary sweet b'day later but for now, I leave you with this image.

We hope you will allow us here at Aalayam to inspire your own celebrations. Sit back and enjoy these images  as we fill our glasses, crank up the speakers and get the party going!
A dressed up strawberry-banana smoothie for an afternoon date with my son!

I am often complimented for my ability to stylize things but never made much of that. However, with Aalayam and my creative pursuits and the regular feedback I am now able to recognize it as strength and have begun to enjoy sharing ideas and inspirations with friends who ask.

A simple parfait - another mid-week summer indulgence!

Even simple home made food and treats served in style can make you look like the hostess with the mostess – so don’t be afraid to glam things up! Paper doilies, pinwheels, pennant banners, chalkboard sign tags and of course fresh flowers are simple and easy ways to up the style-ante! Impromptu summer hosting implies you can go shopping around the house and reuse what you have to create stylish food vignettes! And don’t forget to cool things down on a sizzling summer day with some chilled favorites – desi style spicy buttermilk, a fresh fruit smoothie or even a no-fuss parfait!

Spiced up and cooled down - desi buttermilk, a summer staple!

Or if you’d rather take the celebration entirely outdoors- how about an old fashioned picnic? 

Our merry backyard blooms also seem to like the sun!

Remember this post I did a while back on a spring picnic? It’s time to revisit that if you are planning on an alfresco affair!

Hope the season and this post inspire you to eat, live, laugh, surround yourself with prettiness and be merry!

Don't let the sumer rains dampen your spirit - enjoy a plated street style snack!

At our end Supriya, me and a few other friends have been excitedly and rather (secretively) planning a (nother) summer gala (this time for a special reason) and boy are we determined! Supriya is visiting me next month and that can only mean good things for Aalayam! But shshshsh, we can’t talk about our party just yet. I promise, we will share it with the Aalayam family soon enough but for now we are keeping it under wraps!


p.s: all pics in this post are from my home and taken by my husband and may not be used without permission


  1. Such well dressed up cakes, summer drinks so much inspire me.. Have fun in the sun..

    1. Thanks Vasudha. This year has been a no -vacation year for us. Made the most of summer at home and in our backyard :)