Under Cupboard Lighting Solutions

Under Cupboard Lighting Solutions

We enjoyed our kitchen in Mumbai and the rest of the house that we had redesigned to suit our tastes and needs. While we continue to live in a rented house in Hyderabad, it doesn’t stop us from reading about, researching and continuing to look for a forever home for ourselves. With home design solutions constantly getting better and the options increasing we looked at lighting – such an important aspect especially for the kitchen and study of our dreams.

Under cupboard lighting solutions to consider for your home

The under cupboard lights you currently have may have seen better days. Whether they look unsightly and old-fashioned, take an age to come on or have started making a noise, it could be time to replace them. You may also be thinking of fitting under cupboard lighting for the first time.

Whichever of these situations applies, you have options when it comes to which type of lighting to choose. Let’s take a look at three popular choices.

Fluorescent strips

You may shiver at the mere thought of having fluorescent strips fitted in your home. The truth is that the modern version of this form of lighting is much improved. There are none of those annoying buzzing sounds. You should also find that the light comes on straight away and provides a good shade of lighting. One important aspect of modern fluorescent strips is that they are far sleeker than their predecessors.

Puck lights

These lights look like a hockey puck. The best thing about this type of under cupboard lighting is that it does not need to be wired. These lights come with battery power and can simply be stuck on. This makes them a good choice as temporary lighting.

LED strip lights or tape

Technically two different forms of lighting, but both with the power of LED. The biggest benefit of LED strips is that they last longer than fluorescent strips. One thing worth pointing out is that the colour is sometimes a duller shade, so you need to make sure that you are happy with this before you buy. The other negative aspect of LED strips is that they tend to be more expensive than other options.

LED tape is only really suitable as a support to already strong overhead lighting as it does not emit as much light as strip lighting. The main positives of this type of lighting are that it’s thin, unobtrusive and flexible.

Which type of light should you choose?

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to choosing under cupboard lighting. The type that you choose will depend on your own situation and budget. If you want permanent lighting with a high colour intensity you may feel that fluorescent strips are your best option. If you are looking for longevity then you should consider LED strips. Puck lights enable you to be flexible with your under cupboard lighting. LED tape can be more suitable in areas where fitting traditional lighting is tricky.

The most important thing is to do your research, take your time and make the right choice for you. It’s also important to remember that if you have any electric lights fitted they need to be maintained.  Professionals such as Electrical Detectives can help with maintenance and make sure that the lights remain safe and in good condition. This is important, not just from a safety point of view, but also because you want to ensure you get the best possible life and performance from your lights.


Image of under cupboard lighting via Shutterstock

How to Maximize Comfort in Your Home

How to Maximize Comfort in Your Home

Our homes are often where we spend the majority of our free time. We make waffles there on lazy weekend mornings. We spend time curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a movie rental. We play board games, play hide and seek with our kids, relax in a bubble bath at the end of a long day or simply just sit and read while we sip a mug of hot coffee or tea.  While our home lives vary according to our interests and tastes, what we need to make our home comfortable to live in varies only slightly. In this respect, we all need the same things. Here are some tips to make your home as comfortable as possible for you and your family.

Tips for a Comfortable Home Life

Establish a daily cleaning routine.

We all love the feeling of relaxing in a clean home, but it can be challenging to keep up with cleaning a home, especially if you have children or pets. Breaking the chores into smaller chunks and tackling them daily will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed. When chores are done on a regular basis, they take less time to do, therefore giving you more time to spend on the things you enjoy.

Tame clutter.

Aim to reduce the amount of clutter in your home, whether it’s stacks of old magazines or items you no longer use or simply collections of items that are unorganized. You can do this in several ways. Start by donating items you no longer need or want. You’ll feel freer as soon as you drop them off. Trash or recycle items that can’t be repaired and no longer have a use. For the items you choose to keep, arranging like items with like can create a sense of unity and order. For items that are small and difficult to keep organized, consider a set of matching baskets or boxes with lids.

How to Maximize Comfort in Your Home

Keep your home pest free.

There’s nothing quite like a pest problem to make your home feel as if it’s being invaded. It feels less like your space and less like home. You want to be as comfortable in your home as you can be, so call pest control to take care of your pest problem. Rely on a professional exterminator to spray for pests, and the only thing you’ll have to do for your safety is leave your home while it’s being sprayed. Go out for a few hours. Grab a bite to eat or go to the park, and leave your home in the hands of professionals.

Fix things that need fixing.

Chances are that when you read that line, something that needs attention popped right up in your head. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or a corner that needs a paint touch up, if it’s something you can take care by yourself, go ahead and get it done. It won’t be hanging over your head anymore. Peace of mind will be yours.

Follow these four tips and see your home life become more comfortable. You’ll have more playtime, more free time, more time to relax and do what you do best. Live comfortably. Live free.


Image of Beautiful modern living room via Shutterstock
A Whistle In The Plumbing?

A Whistle In The Plumbing?

How to solve the problem of a whistle in the plumbing of your home

If you have started hearing a whistle in the plumbing system of your home then you are probably wondering what is causing it. One thing you should never do is ignore the sound and pretend that it is not happening. This type of sound does not just start without a reason so you need to make sure that you identify the issue and rectify the problem.

Let’s take a look at what may be the problem if you hear a whistling sound in the plumbing of your home. Hopefully this information will help you resolve the issue and get rid of the whistling.

A whistling noise when a tap is turned on

One of the most common whistling noises in a plumbing system happens when a tap is switched on. If this is the case with the plumbing system in your home then you need to identify where exactly the whistle is originating from.

The easiest way to do this is to make sure that all the taps in your home are switched off and wait until the system is running quietly. You should then move from one tap to the next, switching them on and off one at a time; doing this will help you to identify which tap the noise is coming from.

You then need to turn off the water supply to the tap, or to the whole house. Checking the coriolis flow meter is a good way to see if the water is turned off. Once you have done this you should take the tap apart and replace the washer and the brass screw. The whistling noise is normally caused by a distortion to the washer or the brass screw loosening. Replacing both of these items should solve the problem.

How to solve the problem of a whistle in the plumbing of your home

A whistling noise from the toilet tank

Another common whistling noise that may emanate from your household plumbing system is one which comes from the toilet tank. If this is the case in your home you should remove the top from the toilet tank and watch the tank fill up. If the whistling stops as soon as the tank is full this usually means that the ballcock valve needs to be adjusted or repaired.

If the whistling does not stop when the tank is full you should check to see if the water is running into the vertical overflow tube. If it is then this is probably the cause of the issue and you will need to either bend the float arm slightly at a downward angle or adjust the ballcock mechanism itself if you are able to do this.

As you can see, there is more than one reason for a whistling sound occurring in the plumbing system of your home. If you have problems identifying the source of the issue it may be worthwhile approaching a plumber for help. If you do this you should be able to get a resolution to the problem and you should be able to return your household plumbing to a quieter state.



Image of woman and plumber courtesy Shutterstock

Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

Blogging is no longer just seen as a great hobby and creative outlet. It’s also becoming one of the best ways to start an online business that earns real income. Many bloggers have found that they’re able to quit their full-time day job and focus exclusively on blogging, giving them flexible and excellent earning opportunities.

Top Tips To Start a Home Design Blog

One of the most popular blogging niches that seems to be alluring to many readers is home design. From the high-end home design blogs to the minimalist and DIY design bloggers, it’s an excellent blogging industry, particularly if it’s something you have a personal interest in.

Despite the appeal of creating a home design blog, or any blog for that matter, it can be intimidating when you’re just getting started.

Below are some easy tips to follow, as you build your home design and décor blog.

Do Your Research

Of course, you’re going to want your blog to be original, and you’ll want to share your unique perspective and vision, but at the same time, it’s valuable to see what’s already out there. Before you start the actual work on your design blog, you want to see what’s popular in the blog and design worlds, and what resonates most with you. You can also look at the ways other bloggers have laid out their sites, how they interact with their readers, and whether or not they focus their blogging in one particular niche or on one specific design style, or it’s more of a general blog.

Share What You Love

If there’s one thing that no other blogger is going to have, it’s your unique perspective. Use that to your advantage. When you’re just getting started with your design blog, keep it simple and focus on inspiration. For example, choose online décor stores or designers you love, and share your favorite pieces of furniture on your blog. This can be a good way to start building up content and readers, and then you can determine the best direction to move in as you create more original content. This is also a good way to learn the specifics of your personal style. Many bloggers start out knowing they love interior design, but they’re not exactly sure what their style is, and they actually learn that over time and throughout the development of their site.

 Focus on Your Images

With a home design blog, images are really everything. You need pictures that are high-quality and beautiful. You may take your own pictures, or you might source them online. Just remember, the images should be high resolution, and you should also cite where they came from. Taking your own pictures is an excellent way to establish yourself as being a true original in a highly competitive market, and it gives you the opportunity to offer something no one else can, so it’s certainly an approach worth considering.

Becoming a home décor blogger is by no means easy, but when you are dedicated, passionate and patient, you can turn it into something you not only enjoy, but that either supplements your income or serves as your primary revenue stream.

Have you ever considered being a home décor blogger? If you are one, do share your journey.
Pic credits :  Modern Home – via Shutterstock

The Ache For Home Lives In All Of Us

The Ache For Home Lives In All Of Us

A few weeks ago we had a visitor in our kitchen, someone I almost missed and I’m so glad that our dogs missed him (or her) – a baby squirrel who fell out of the tree just outside our wall! I kept the dogs away, while José went off to see how he could put the little creature back on the tree. What we realized is that a big, fat cat was sitting right over their nest and there was no way we wanted to put the little fellow in danger of the cat. So we put him in a tissue box and José took off to the park opposite our house and left him on a tree! An hour later the poor little fellow was still in the same spot he had been left on. But with a little prod he took off and ran up another tree. We hope he eventually found his way home. Just yesterday, I spotted a small squirrel on the same tree and hoped that it was our little chap!

I thought of our little visitor when I saw this video, an advertisement from MagicBricks.

Home…only four letters in that word, but what a lot of emotions are packed into it. All of us have our own dreams of what home should be. I love Maya Angelou’s words on home –

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.Click To Tweet

Yes, home is the place where you can be yourself and know that you are loved. A place you can let your hair down. A space which you have lovingly created, complete with all your prized possessions (and naturally, your favourite people!)


Thanks to my Dad’s many transfers, I have called several places home. Only these were always my parents’ space to decorate and make to their tastes. When I moved to Mumbai, post-marriage, José and I poured a lot of time, money and ourselves into customizing our flat. But we still dream of a little house, customized to our needs and taste, with a garden to add to its charm. Since we spend most of our time at home, it must ideally be a reflection of us as a couple – simple, elegant and with lots of place to cook and various shelves to store our collections of books and artifacts.

Although we are nowhere near a decision about whether our move to Hyderabad is permanent, we are looking at housing options in the event that we do decide. Living in a rented house is never fun, you just can’t completely customize it to your needs. Whenever we see a cute house, we stop and take a picture!

House hunting is a lot of work. If you like the locality, you might not get a house there. If you like a particular house, you may not want to live in the locality. Sometimes it becomes a wild goose chase and you’re left feeling disappointed and exhausted. Which is why it’s great to have someone who can shortlist places for you based on your preferences of the kind of house, the locality and your budget. MagicBricks does just that.

At the click of a button you can search for properties for buying or renting. You can refine your search to add the locality, the kind of property and your budget. You can also select a verified property. I love the fact that you can choose a place based on travel time, specifying the mode of transport, from your place of work or your children’s school. For example, I clicked the area where we’re currently staying and opted for anything within a 20 minute travel time. The number of options that came up were amazing. House hunting on MagicBricks makes life so much easier.

I’m starting to believe their promise that Property Sahi Milegi Yahin and that our dream house might actually become a reality someday soon.

Trying To Brighten Up The Garden

Trying To Brighten Up The Garden

Perhaps you’re wondering why I’ve gone all quiet about our garden. Honestly, it’s been sad. Due to a severe water shortage a couple of months ago and our constant travelling, the front garden patch almost entirely wilted. We manage to salvage the potted plants and move them to the back yard where, I’m happy to report most of them are thriving.

In this severe heat, we’re touching 40-42 degrees centigrade, attempting to restart the garden during summer is a waste of time. What’s more the water situation in Hyderabad is somewhat ‘iffy’ during summer. So we’ve taken a conscious decision to wait until the end of June to get things back on track.

We’ve been thinking of various things we’d like to do to brighten up the garden apart from planting colourful flowers and plants.

Adding pretty planters and colourful pots

We’re planning to buy some pretty planters and also make some unique ones out of discarded crates and jars.  Like the saying goes, ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ so I’m going to be asking the extended family for discards like tea pots, old boots, bottles, tin cans and even tryes!  I’ve got myself some paint to make the earthern pots look colourful too. There are plenty of websites with some fantastic DIY ideas for these.

brighten up the garden 1

Adding some good outdoor lights

While we have good street lighting, we’ve decided to add some outdoor lighting to our little garden. This will mainly be in the corners to highlight some of the plants and my soon-to-be planters. We want subtle lighting and are on the look out for some simple solar powered light fixtures. We’re thinking of a few lamps like the one below among the flower beds and a couple of rattan solar powered lanterns under the awning.


Adding bird baths and bird feeders
There is such a variety of birds here that we simply can’t forget them. We’re planning on getting a couple of bird baths put immediately during the summer for birds to bathe and drink. Some pretty bird feeders to attract more birds and add colour to our garden will follow.


brighten up the garden 3

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space – a place not just set apart but reverberant – and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

This quote has got me quite inspired to do something unique with our garden. I’ll keep you posted on the progress as it happens.

Do you have any ideas for us to brighten up our garden?

Digging Deep

Digging Deep

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening
Updated 10th Anniversary Edition
By Fran Sorin
Braided World Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0990791928 (Softcover)

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening is a powerfully uplifting and transformative self-help book for the creatively and spiritually challenged.

Overflowing with tips, exercises, and resources, the updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep is even more vital in today’s technology obsessed culture than when first published. Fran shares the lessons she’s learned from gardening over the past thirty years to guide you in unearthing the innate creativity and joy of your own true nature.

If you’re yearning to get out of the rut you’re in and cultivate more meaning and connection in life, Digging Deep offers encouragement and the tools to make it happen. The 7 Stages of Creative Awakening will take you through the steps of removing the stifling inner voice that says, “I’m not creative,” and replacing it with strategies that will help you harness your instincts, ignite your imagination, open to new possibilities, take more risks, engage in play every day, create the garden of your dreams, and develop a deep connection with nature. The result? A life filled with creativity, joy, and well-being that’s a reflection of your most authentic, artistic self.

If you’re ready to discover the magic in your garden and in yourself, this book is for you!

digging deep

Fran Sorin is the author of the original and recently updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, a book inspired by her thirty years of playing and working in the garden. Fran a graduate of The University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, is also a recognized garden expert, deep ecologist, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach and CBS Radio news contributor.

fran sorin

Fran lives with a gaggle of dogs, 2 rooftop gardens, and is surrounded by family and the loving presence of nature and spirit. She loves rowing, is a cinephile, and can be found playing, laughing, connecting, working hard (and loving it), and creating wherever she is. She feels that every day should be filled with creativity, connection, play, kindness, and generosity. For her, these are the cornerstones of what constitute a joyful and meaningful life.

Connect with Fran on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Excerpt – You can read an excerpt from Digging Deep on Vidya Sury’s blog here.

My review


Fran’s style of writing is easy and engaging and yet has such a depth to it that made Digging Deep it such a wonderful reading experience. I savoured the book,  loved reading about all her experiences and quietly bookmarked tips to follow later.

Given my own recent interest in gardening, Fran’s book couldn’t have come to me at a better time in my life. I have been exploring my own creativity online and attempting to get my hands dirty offline, but still have a long way to go before the two worlds combine. Digging Deep is certainly going to help me do something I have been consciously working at – to bring these two worlds together.

This is one book I will be re-reading soon!

31 days of inspiration



15 Inspiring Quotes On Appreciating Nature

15 Inspiring Quotes On Appreciating Nature

Every day I am learning to appreciate Nature more. I’m enjoying my walks around our home – looking at the flowers, listening to the birds and even appreciating the smelly garden bugs! My time in our little garden makes me very happy too.

Today, I’d like to urge you to make time for Nature. It’s so important for our well-being. Let me share with you

15  Inspiring Quotes On Appreciating Nature

Every realm of nature is marvelous. — Aristotle

quotes on appreciating

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. — John Muir

My profession is to always find God in nature. — Henry David Thoreau

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. — John Burroughs

Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit. — Edward Abbey

“Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons: It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” — Walt Whitman

“Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.” — Karle Wilson Baker

“Keep your sense of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world.”— Catlin Matthews

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” — Rachel Carson

quotes on appreciating nature

“Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” — Rabindranath Tagore

“Land really is the best art.” — Andy Warhol

“How easy and simple it is to live enjoyably when the simple, interminable blue of the sky, with its long wisps of white clouds, become a pleasant thing to behold, a thing of beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward.” — John Schindler

“At some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough.” — Toni Morrison

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
— Henry David Thoreau

I hope you enjoyed these quotes and are inspired to visit and appreciate Nature more often. Let me end with a blessing:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”
— Edward Abbey

31 days of inspiration