Have I told you that I’m the biggest procrastinator and good at doing things at the last minute? Well, working on this Halloween DIY on a night before this year’s Halloween and publishing this DIY post on the Halloween Day says a lot, doesn’t it? At least I can say I did it!
If I can do this DIY, you can do it, too. This Halloween DIY to make a spider web and spiders is simple, easy and quick using accessible materials. Even if you live in a country where you can’t get already-made Halloween goods at a store, you can at least make a spider web and spiders to give a festive Halloween look for your home, a party room or even a car for trunk-or-treat.
I hope you’ll enjoy it!
私は結構一夜漬けタイプで、何をするにも結構ぎりぎりになることがあります。このハロウィンのDIY(Do It Yourselfの略で、日曜大工や工作などをDIYと呼びます。）ハロウィンの前日の夜にハロウィンのDIYで蜘蛛の巣とクモを作り、ハロウィンの日にブログにDIYの記事を更新するくらいですから、皆さんには言わなくても分かられてしまいますね。
What You Need
Pipe cleaners (I used 2 packages)
Fluffy black string or black yarn
What You Need
Black craft fluffs
Easy enough, isn’t it?
Have a Happy Halloween!!
It seems that the security and safety overseas is one of the first and utmost concerns that people have when they first find out their assignments overseas especially for women and families with little kids.
Safety in Mumbai
From my own experiences, I have no hesitation to say that I have always felt safe in Mumbai. I cannot speak for those expats who live in other parts of India as I have never lived in other cities besides Mumbai. I have heard that Mumbai is a safe city for women and possibly the safest city in India and I believe it. I have gone out with my girl friends at night many times and we have never had any issues. I have never heard any first hand experience of my expat friends who had a scary experience in Mumbai. I would say, though, that foreign women should not let their guards down overseas at any point.
As an expat and woman it’s very important to learn about the city and its security to protect ourselves and our children. Unfortunately, as being expats, we sometimes don’t hear about all the local news that might concerns us unless it makes it to the world news. Thus, looking out for each other and keeping ourselves informed is important for expats so that we can be aware of our surrounding environment overseas.
As for Mumbai, I could only hope that it will continue to be true to the image as a safe city for women in India because Mumbai has so much to offer.
Have you had an experience where you said to yourself “well, that was naive of me”?
I had this experience over the weekend which kept occupying my mind.
I drove by Shakti Mills, an old textile mill in Mahalakshmi, Mumbai, India the other day. All the photos on this post are of Shakti Mills from a street. I was in the car in the mid afternoon with my kids and my driver was driving our car. I did not know about Shakti Mills and I was so fascinated by the mysterious appearance of Shakti Mills that I asked what the name was. My driver told me the name and added that Shakti Mills was the rape site of a photojournalist that happened a year ago. It didn’t really register with me at that point that it was the news that made it to the world in the previous year. My kids asked “mom, what happened?” and I replied “there was a scary incident that happened here.” I was mesmerized by the old abandoned buildings standing gracefully. For someone who loves photography, the buildings look amazingly appealing. It seemed like a painting or a scene from a movie.
The reason why I decided to write about it is not to raise any political discussion here. As a fellow expat, I would like to raise an awareness of the area of Shakti Mills for other expats and foreign tourists because I could totally see some foreigners getting drawn by the beauty and wanting to go out there without any precaution. (I must be talking about myself.) How many expats read local newspaper on a daily basis? I don’t know exactly, but I think not many. How many of us expats know about what happened in Shakti Mills in August, 2013? I’m not sure, either. All I know is that I have not heard any single expat bring it up in any conversation in the past one year.
Here is an example of an extent of my daily consumption of news. It is, by the way, probably and embarrassingly minimal. Please don’t judge me! I watch news when I get on a treadmill for 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. The world news I watch is on TV5 Monde, a French broadcasting program, to keep my ears familiar with listening to French. With the loud treadmill noise and my poor rusty French comprehension, I probably understand 20% of what’s said on the news. In short, I only know the headlines of world news if at most. That’s very little.
Taking Photos of Shakti Mills
A couple of hours later we were driving by the Shakti Mills again on the way back. At this point, I forgot about the incident that happened a year ago. Then I asked my driver to stop the car in a corner in order for me to take photos of the building quickly. There were many people, mostly men, and some boys hanging out there which is a very common site here. As soon as I stepped outside of the car, though, I notice that I immediately got an awkward attention from the people on the street, which again were men, and made me feel very uncomfortable. Being an Asian in Asia, I don’t stand out and get attention, but that time, I was definitely getting attention. I think I did because I was a woman (and wearing a knee-high dress didn’t help probably). On top of that, I looked like that naive foreigner who got a camera (just an iPod Touch) out and started snapping photos. (If you have never noticed, those tourists with a camera walking around in a city totally stand out (again, me?) with a sign on the head saying “hey, look at me! I’m a tourist!”) I stayed close to my car and took some shots. It only took me a minute or so. Then I hopped back in my car and drove off. It was around 5:30 p.m.
That night after I got home, I went online and looked up the incident that happened in Shakti Mills in 2013. I heard about the incident, but I never read articles concerning the rape before. I was appalled. For the most part, Mumbai is very safe. I even feel safer than many places I have lived in the past. It is shocking for many locals that the incident happened to a very safe city like Mumbai. Then I realized that a deserted area in Mumbai is not a play ground for the curious minds, photographers or even the professionals. If you would like to learn more, here is an article That Hashtag Was My Colleague on Yahoo! India which I found very striking.
Looking back after having learned that the crime against the journalist happened around the same time as I was there, my decision to stop the car to step out and take some photos even in a span of a few minutes felt that it was not the smart thing to do. Nothing happened to me. I was not going to go far away from my car, either. However, I feel fortunate in the situation.
It’s tragic that the gang rape of a photojournalist happened in Shakti Mills. It’s horrifying. My heart aches for the woman who became the victim. No matter how horrible it was, as the time goes by, the memory of the past incidents and tragedy starts to fade away from people’s mind. If there are any foreign photographers who will find Shakti Mills beautiful and want to go out there (I hope people don’t get a wrong ideas from my post…), I hope they will educate themselves before going and plan appropriately in order to prevent themselves from any tragedy. It sounds like the ruins are closed off for trespassers now, but even on the streets in the neighborhood, you will probably want to be careful when it’s getting dark. For women, being accompanied by a male person does not mean much in terms of security in this country which was the case at Shakti Mills as well. This is something very different from western countries.
In general and for the most part women are safe in Mumbai. For expats despite some challenges that they might face, Mumbai is an exciting and fun place to live. If you look up the city’s safety on the internet, you are more likely to encounter negative media coverage because that’s what seems to get more hits and comes up high on a search engine. If you are moving to Mumbai, I can tell you that it feels safe to live for a foreigner like me. I hope Mumbai can inspire other cities in India to be a safe city.
Since I moved to India, I have only worn a pair of shorts a couple of times. I have worn dresses that are knee length or above knee lengths, but I usually wear them to a functions and not to walk around in town. Mumbai is relatively liberal and less conservative than the rest of India. Still you see most women dressing more conservatively. The way Indian women dress themselves is so beautiful with their kurtas and leggings or saris that I don’t think too much about shorts and short skirts any more.
However, I saw this maxi skirt at H&M when I was in the U.S. this past summer and I fell in love with it. Whether this can pass as a conservative piece is quite questionable, and it is probably not conservative, but I feel more comfortable with the H&M’s sheer maxi skirt than a pair of shorts. It’s cool, light, pretty and comfortable to wear. It’s perfect for the weather in Mumbai and also for traveling and on vacation. I see a lot of autumn wear on the Pinterest sphere, but India is warm all year round. It just started to get cool at the end of October. The weather is going to be gorgeous from now until February. I am so happy to be able to wear a jacket!
Puff pastry dough is useful, isn’t it? Everyone needs it once in a while for baking! Puff pastries can be used to make pigs in blankets. They are an easy snack and especially great for kids parties. I’ve been looking for non-spicy sausages in Mumbai and tried a bunch of different kinds. I thought that this one in the photo above looked promising, but as soon as I took a bite I knew it wasn’t the right kind for my kids. They were “picy!” as my son said.
I have been hearing about this “puff pastry shop” on Hill Road from different expats. No expats really knew the name and how to explain where it was located. Then one of my friend’s gave me more detailed directions recently. Even though I did not take notes, it sounded like an easy way to find, so I gave myself a try. I love discovering a new place recommended by my friends!
I stopped my car after I passed Holy Family Hospital sign on Hill Road which looked like this in the photo below.
Only things I remembered were these.
1. There is no sign for the pastry shop that you can see from Hill Road. (Great. I have to smell it out.)
2. You have to go into a gate to go to a pastry shop. (A gate? Sounds intimidating…)
3. The gate is on the Hill Road next to the Holy Family Hospital gate.
4. Once you go inside the gate, you’ll have to walk towards the back and the shop looks like a house.
I got off the car and there I stood with the view like in the photo below for 15 seconds. Suddenly I spotted a few people with white plastic bags coming out of the black gate with “no parking” sign. I thought “Bingo!” That might be it!
I crossed the street and walked into the gate that looked like below.
I passed the building and came to the open space where I saw a house looking building that kind of looked like a store.
I found it!
It was packed full of customers. There were probably 20 people squeezed in this tiny space and people kept streaming in.
I purchased 1/2 kg (500 g) of puff pastry dough. The dough costs 140 Rupees (US$2.5) per kg, so I only paid 70 Rupees (US$1.20) at Hearsch Bakery for the puff pastry dough! Score!
I should make an apple pie next time I get the puff pastry.
What would you make with puff pastry?
Hearsch Bakery / J. Hearsch & Co.
Door No. 90/ A
Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050
*Near Holy Family Hospital
PHONE:022 2643 5361
This Le Petit Society tribal dress is my very first matching dress with my kids. It was fun to wear something that matched with my girls. My husband would not wear anything to match with me, not even something that suggest the smallest resemblance, so the only way for me to wear a matching outfit in my family is doing so with my kids.
This Le Petit Society tribal dress was perfect for our summer vacation not only because it’s fun and pretty, but also it is really light. Since it folds well and small, it is easy to pack, which is very important for me when I pack for 4 of us: myself and 3 kids. My daughters love the dress shirts so much that they have been wearing it quite often. They air dry very fast, too, which is really nice for a trip especially in Japan as my family hang clothes to dry more often than using a dryer.
These photos remind me of our fun summer holiday memories. I went to Kamakura for 3 days with my two sisters and a nephew. We took our kids to the Enoshima Aquarium in Kamakura. It was a hot summer day. The walk was not easy, but once we got to the aquarium, it was worth it. My kids loved seeing everything especially my son who was excited to see everything “sakana (fish in Japanese)” and it was cute to see him exclaim “sakana!” even during the dolphin show (ironically).
In a cooler weather or in Mumbai, I like to add a denim jacket as an accessory. It covers a little more skin to be respectful for the local culture. It’s hot outside in Mumbai, but inside many buildings, it can be cold, so having a jacket is very handy.
Thank you, Le Petit Society, for the pretty dresses!
If you would like to see my other photos of Le Petit Society, please click the links below.
Le Petit Society Posts
Le Petit Society Safari Boy Shirt & Tribal Girl Shirts
Le Petit Society Lady’s Gray Safari Shirt + Mia Tui Purse
Le Petit Society Boy Outfits ☆ My First Le Petit Society Post!
The dresses were provided by Le Petit Society. Thank you! All words in the post are mine.
Zanaaya Couture is one of those places that I, as an expat, would have not been able to find unless my friend, Camille, had taken me. Zanaaya Couture boutique is in the area called Kemp’s Corner. Kemp’s Corner is known for an upmarket neighborhood in South Mumbai and there are beautiful boutiques where many expats like going shopping and it hosts some beautiful boutiques. I love South Mumbai for its beauty with old colonial buildings and the energy and excitement of the mega city of Mumbai.
Normally I’m not a boutique shopper because I know that I cannot afford it. I have three kids and I don’t have an income of my own to justify extra spending for myself, plus I don’t have many occasions to wear fancy outfits. Therefore, the budget I have does not allow me to shop at any boutiques and boutiques in Mumbai are not exceptions. However, when I got an invitation to accompany my friend to visit Zanaaya Couture, I took it. I thought visiting Zanaaya Couture would be a cultural visit. Plus, I have always admired what Camille has worn. She’s always very stylish and well put together when I see her.
These photos below are of my friend, Camille, wearing a beautiful ear jewelry piece that is sold at Zanaaya Couture. Isn’t this gorgeous? I love her necklace and the back piece (her own) as well.
This is me wearing my favorite dress at Zanaaya Couture. I love white, so I was drawn to that. I realize that I need to start wearing more colors because I live in a country with rich colors. I think this dress was the only white dress at Zanaaya Couture. I also love the design of this dress which I find very contemporary and stylish. It’s a type of dress that I can totally see myself wearing at dinner functions and parties back in the U.S. or Japan. You might not be able to see well in those photos, but the bottom of the dress has sparkles. It’s so darling!! However, the price was much more than I normally pay for my own dress that I may be able to wear a few times a year at most. I could not stop thinking about it after I went home, though. What would you do?
I fell in love with this bracelet, but I normally don’t wear gold. I wear white and I love it and I thought since it’s a white bracelet with just a sliver of gold, so I could wear it. For some reason, I decided to not buy it even though I could totally afford it. I don’t know why?!?! (Sometimes when you have a mental block that you can’t afford something, you may not think straight to make a proper judgement? I felt like that is what happened to me.) Then the price went up after a couple of weeks later. I really regret that I did not pick it up back when I was there.
This is the talented designer of Zanaaya Couture, Shouger Merchant Doshi.
You can read about Shouger, the founder of Zanaaya Couture, here. She’s a lawyer by trade, but with her passion for design and fashion and with her talent, she achieved to become a designer of her own brand, Zanaaya Couture. Zanaaya means beauty in several cultures according to the Zanaaya Couture website. Shouger produces beautiful dresses for women to help them find their inner beauty “zanaaya” and curates the accessories that is sold at the store as well.
Zanaaya Couture can be visited by appointment only.
PHONE: +91 9833 537 306
I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of Zanaaya Couture. Since I still think about this white dress and the bracelet, I might have to go back to Zanaaya Couture in the near future.
Have a wonderful weekend!!
I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I’m an expat living in Mumbai. I’m a blogger.
When it comes to work space, I’m a domestic nomad.
What I mean by “domestic nomad” is that I work at home and I have many spots I use at home as my work space. I might not have a job that pays me, but I proudly say that I work. Along with taking care of my children, managing home, and networking/socializing with friends, corresponding by email, editing photos, blogging, and managing social media accounts for my blog have been part of my daily work. One of the best things about having work you can do at home and having a laptop computer is that you can pick your work space depending on your mood. Therefore, I have several places in my home where I can call my work space and I move around with my dearest laptop from a spot to spot.
Here are the 4 spaces I use for work as a domestic nomad in my home.
We have a study in our home in Mumbai. I often sit there and work. I share this space with my children. My children use this desk to study, use a computer or do crafts. This is also a desk where my oldest daughter works on her homework.
I painted the wall with the black chalkboard paint a long time ago. Since I painted after I had already posted my post on the study, I was not motivated to take photos to create a post just to show the after look. Until now. The reason for painting the small strip of wall to a black chalkboard wall is that my kids can play and draw on the bottom half. I have this chalkboard which I don’t want my kids to draw on as it is more of a decorative wall in our foyer. It works because my kids know that they are not supposed to touch that wall and they do use this wall in the study to draw. The top part is for me to write notes, reminders or quotes.
I recently did a small DIY on the back cover of the study desk which I have been wanting to do for month (actually it’s been over a year). It was done thanks to a new campaign by WeWork called “Show Your Work Space”. I’ll tell you more about WeWork in a bit. This desk belongs to the landlord, and when we first moved in, this ugly brownish fabric covered board was standing on the desk to cover its back wall. You can see it in the photos below. Finally and finally! I recovered the board to give a fresher look. Please scroll down for “before & after” shots.
I also tidied up the desk and shelves. I could not stand having clutter on the desk, but I have procrastinated cleaning for many months. I didn’t find the look of the shelves inspiring, either, so I got rid of some stuff, organized, hid some books in other places and I feel much better! Without Sarah of WeWork contacting me for recruiting me to join their new campaign (written below), my office would have looked as ugly as before still now! Thank you, WeWork!
I was approached by WeWork to participate in their new campaign called “Show Us Your Work Space”. So, the first question I had was who is WeWork? It is a co-working company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love. It is probably easier to go to this page on the Wework website and look at their stunning banner photos to instantly understand what WeWork is about.
When I was back home in Tokyo, Japan this past summer, I saw my uncle, aunt and cousin. My aunt told me that she left her previous job and started working with her colleagues from the previous company who started up a new business. They rent a space, more like a cubical, in an office building which is leased by the city government for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. I thought that the concept was really cool. For start-up businesses to rent an office space albeit small, with internet services, shared equipments, conference rooms, and places to get coffee and snack is probably much more economical and easier than leasing a room, buying all the furniture and gears that are required to run a business.
I think WeWork is just like that, but it’s geared toward those entrepreneurs who do creative work. Not only does WeWork provide office space and other amenities, but it also offers networking community for the creators, which, as we all know, is very important in any business. When you work for yourself, I imagine that it can get a bit lonely, too. It would be nice to have a place where you can socialize. If you want to meet others in the same industry or even in different industries with whom you would not have opportunities to meet otherwise, there you have it within your community at WeWork.
Living room is probably my favorite place to work. I love it because it is open and bright with lots of natural light. I usually sit on the yellow couch, with my chai or water on the side and work. My husband likes to spend time in the living room at night usually watching a British football game (by the way, he’s American) or a movie while working on a computer, so I bring my laptop and that way I can spend time with him while I work on my computer. And I IM to my husband who’s sitting next to me. Just kidding.
KIDS PLAY ROOM
KIDS PLAY ROOM
When my kids watch a movie on weekends, they watch in our kids room. When I want to be with my kids any time when they watch a movie or play in this room, I either bring my laptop or use our old laptop computers that we leave in this kids play room. It has missing key caps and a little messed-up touchpad, but it’s good enough to email, surfing internet and write a blog. I sometimes sit in one of the denim bean bags and work. In fact, that’s where I worked on part of this post late at night after my kids went to bed. Then I fell asleep while I was working. In the bean bag. I do that. Quite often. Don’t you?
Lastly I also love to bring my computer and work in our master bedroom on my bed sometimes. It’s quiet and peaceful. When I need a calm relaxing time to filter my thoughts especially in the afternoon, I go there.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of my work space.
I received one question from WeWork.
“What would you add to create the ultimate dream office environment?”
Well, if only one and I could say this, then I would add a well-calculated stylish design aspect. Functionality plays a big role as well, but I would put design on top of that. If you are in a work space where you feel happy, invigorated, inspired and excited, that must help work efficiency and satisfaction.
What would you add?