Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We have moved.

If you are reading this, you haven't switched to our new site yet! Once Upon A Tea Time blog has moved to If you, like me, have been enjoying this blogging journey, you will want to continue with the fun. This is my last post here. I have moved the blog and the magazine to a one-stop website and I will be blogging as usual. I hope you will visit me there and that we can continue our conversation over that cup of chai! Come on, I have already started there...

PS. Did I mention all the old posts are there and that you won't miss a thing? See ya..

Image credit/copyright: OUATT

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Breaking news: the curated magazine website!!

I am so excited to share with you some amazing news! As of this week, the Once Upon A Tea Time blog and the curated magazine have a new home:
Please bookmark this as your new destination to keep up with the blog- it will take a few minutes to add it to your reader or bookmark list and you will be done. I will be blogging every day and in addition, there is the new magazine issue that will be out next week- so the new website will be your one-stop destination for all things related to the blog and the magazine. I hope to see each one of you on the other side! All the posts are there + the magazine issues, so just grab that cup of chai and head there!  Click here to go to our new home. Yes?

Image credit/copyright: the curated magazine

Monday, April 7, 2014

Over a cup of tea...Making friends

Hope your Monday is treating you well! I haven't written an "over a cup of tea.." post in a very long time and today's subject is perfect for brewing that cup of chai and asking friends  for their input. When you meet someone for the first time, what do you talk about? You know, you are introduced at a party and after the 'Hello, how do you do?'s', what's next on your list of conversational gambits? Do you talk about the weather/kids, if you or they have any/ books/ clothes etc.? Which particular one is your favorite topic to fall back on? As you may know, we recently moved homes. We live in the Bay area and we essentially moved 30 miles north of our old home. Call me incredibly naive, but I didn't think it would be hard to start over again in an area we were already familiar with and had friends in. What I forgot was that when you are new to the locality, every connection is new and has to be built from the ground up. You have to build your network again- be it new friends, school teachers and contacts, doctors, dentists, eyebrow threading ladies (!!) and hair stylists. Even the grocery store salesmen and women.  Since I am of Indian origin, I shop at 2 Indian grocery stores for my Indian staples. In addition, I also shop at the local farmers market, Safeway and Trader Joe's for items like fruits and veggies, pasta, soups etc. and Costco for those long-term bulk buys (paper towels etc.) - this means that my grocery contacts alone number in the double digits! And if you go to the same stores for more than 10 years, you get to know people, their lives and interests and get used to their warm welcome when you walk into the store. There is a comfortable familiarity and a sense of belonging. Since our move was a necessity, I didn't think too much about what we would do after we moved into a new community. But now that we are here, I find myself starting conversations and forming those connections and bonds with a new set of people. It's exciting but also very tiring- I wish we could quickly move past the 'new' stage into the stage where they know that I am really nice and I know they are too. I always talk about the weather and the kids and books I have read but if you have other trusted conversational openers, do share it with me. This wouldn't be the Bay area if the conversation didn't involve city/zip codes we live in, whether the kids attend public or private school, whether both parents work or not- a kind of mental slotting occurs and it's almost unavoidable. But on many occasions, you can get past that or skip it entirely and get to know each other at a more meaningful level and that's when you start making friends. Do write in with your thoughts and comments- it's always nice to know I am not the only one thinking these things.

Image credit/copyright: Once Upon A Tea Time. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chaikhana+ Blog HQ

Taking photographs and blogging takes on an even more wonderful quality on Saturdays. There is nowhere else that I have to be and nothing else that I have to be doing. Everyone becomes their better, more creative self on Saturdays, don't you think? So, today I was inspired by the changing light in our chaikhana to take pictures. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me first tell you that I took over a corner of the chaikhana, put a desk there and made it my blog headquarters. All I need is my laptop, some cherished and inspiring pictures and objets d'art, some flowers and lots and lots of creamy light mixed with green shadows thrown by the apple tree outside my window.

What do you think? Tea, anyone?

Image credits/copyright: Once Upon A Tea Time. If you use the pictures, please make sure to link back to my blog. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Storybook Room: Forever favorite

You may have seen this room before- it's the home of Windsor Smith and it is designed by her and is my all-time favorite. I am not too sure about the pink walls but everything else whispers bold elegance, femininity, friends, long tête-à-têtes, the greenery outside the window changing color as day passes into night- you know what I mean. It's also a great room for solitude, whether you are catching up on the latest research papers or your favorite glossies or just lounging with your cup of chai. I remembered this room when we found our current house- it has a room with similar dimensions and window placement and may have been one of the primary reasons I fell in love with it. I am loving the idea of lots of upholstered, mismatched chairs placed together. Let the good times roll! 

To see the rest of designer Windsor Smith's home, visit her website and/or House Beautiful's feature. To see more pictures of my home, see March's curated monthly here. 

Image credits/copyright: 1) Victoria Pearson for House Beautiful; 2) Once Upon A Tea Time.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Floral Inspiration/ Liberty of London

Some more inspiration from the other side of the pond today! I love floral chintz fabrics (and porcelain) and wanted to share these gorgeous prints from Liberty of London. From dresses for little girls (we had many of these when we were little) to sewing boxes and accessories, tea cozies and everything with buttons and bows- they are so feminine! I can't sew to save my life but there is something about a sewing box that is so appealing.

Find them all here at Liberty of London

Image credits/copyright: Liberty of London.

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