My Guilty Pleasure
With Spring behind us and the first week of summer here, I figured I'll share a summer drink recipe for you. While Cherry blossoms and May showers are signs of Spring in Washington, DC, my family knows the season is here when the mangoes arrive in their fruitiest of aroma. As the weather warms up, mangoes begin filling the homes of all my relatives. Although this King-of-Fruits can be found year-round, their true taste peaks in the Spring season as they start to really ripen up as summer weather nears. Mango becomes the perfect ingredient to add to your tropical smoothie recipes, summer drinks, and fruit salads. Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of chilled mango lassi. Okay, there are other refreshing drinks out there too, but this mango lassi is way up there! And my mom's authentic mango lassi recipe is not only the best... it's oh. so. gratifying! If you're thinking of summer wedding ideas or drink ideas for South Asian weddings, this fresh fruit beverage can surely add personality and bring a seasonal flare to your wedding drink menu.
It’s not your restaurant style mango lassi, this recipe is homemade, includes fresh mangoes, and comes straight from my mom’s kitchen to yours. It’s not the traditional Indian yogurt lassi that some people are used to. I prefer making lassi without the yogurt as to avoid adding too much tartness to the flavor. This ultra-sweet and juicy tropical fruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Although mangoes have high nutritional value, their sugar and calorie content is also pretty high. Naturally, this mango lassi recipe is high both in nutrients and in sugar. So, you be the judge. I'm going to add some links at the bottom if you are curious about the benefits of mangoes.
Mangoes come in varieties of shapes and kinds. Although there isn’t a huge difference between the kidney shaped mango and the larger mango, the latter has a sweeter taste when mangoes are in peak season, but when the smaller ones tend to be sweeter in the off season. My mother prefers using the in-season larger mangoes for this lassi recipe. My dad picks out the mangoes, so we often seek his advice/expertise on choosing a ripe one out of the bunch. He, too, vouches for the larger ones, but also adds that every kind tastes delicious when they’re in season! So, you can use any kind to make lassi smoothies. Now, how do you know if a mango is ripe?
You know a mango is ready to eat if you get two answers. My dad says the trick to choosing one at it’s best (sweetest) stage is to gently feel the fruit with your fingers for its tenderness. It should slightly give under your fingers without causing it to bruise. Next thing is to smell the mango at the stem. (Don’t worry... no one at the supermarket will be judging you for smelling the fruit. In fact, judge a mango… not by its color but by its tenderness and aroma). The fruit should have a very sweet and strong fruity smell. I’m still not an expert, like my dad is, at picking out ripe mangoes, but I manage and pretend to be an expert smelling them mangoes.
I’ve seen mango-trees up-close and spent days living next to them whenever I visited my grandparents. They used to own and nurture a few tropical trees around our grandparents home, and that was a rare find in the city. It was quite an experience as a child, being able to go up on my grandparents' rooftop or simply extend your arm out the window, and pick out a mango straight from the tree. My grandmother would have the caretaker pick them out while they were still slightly unripe and store them in a large wicker basket under her bed, allowing them to ripen. Room temperature and warmer weather allows for quicker ripening of mangoes. Whenever a bunch would ripen, she’d have them served to the whole family. We’d eat them peeled and sliced… we’d mix ‘em up with rice and milk… we'd eat them naked and plain... we’d eat them however we liked. We even dried them out and enjoyed dried strips of mango (fruit roll-ups). She even made mango chutney and mango pickles out of them.
An iced mango smoothie, in the summer heat, would be one of the perfect drinks to satiate your thirst and any need for a sugar rush at that too. Without further ado, I present to you… my. Mother’s. Mango Lassi. Recipe! Tah dah! Okay, goofiness aside. Here’s the recipe and now you too can claim to know the best mango lassi recipe… ever. I reaaaaaally hope you'd give this easy recipe a try, and let me know your thoughts: Yay or Nay.
Side note: have any of you read The Mango Season book? It randomly popped up on my Amazon list. I'm wondering if I should give it a read? If you've read it, please let me know. Now back to the recipe:
10-min Mango Lassi Recipe
Serving Size: 2
Prep Time: 5
Make Time: 5
Whole Milk: 2 Cups (If you want to make a healthy mango smoothie, substitute whole milk for nonfat or soy milk. you can add yogurt as well if you prefer to have that in your diet, but be aware that it'll totally change the taste of this recipe.)
Ice: 1 cup
Sugar: ½ cup
Salt: a Pinch
Peel and dice the mangoes using a vegetable peeler or chef's knife and a cutting board. The pieces don't have to be perfect at all.
Put all the mango lassi ingredients (except the ice) in a blender or fruit mixer, and blend until all mixes together into a smoothie.
Now add ice - blend again for 20 seconds.
Pour it in your preferred glassware and serve it chill. If you want to be extra festive, use a seasonal or bold glass to serve in style. Hope you enjoy this recipe and feel free to write to me if you have questions.
For garnishing, drop in a few small slices of mango on top of the drink. Enjoy! If you have leftover, store it in a pitcher and put it in the refrigerator for the day.
How to Stay Motivated and In Love
Hello, my people! It seems forever that I’ve been out of social media. Let me explain. I’ve been on a short-term sabbatical and paused on social media as I sought out to achieve “perfection” and a well curated visual appeal. You know, what I do comes from a place of love and appreciation. It’s truly a labor of love. When it turns to just labor, I like to take some time out to hit that reset button and really focus. And, then refocus: ensuring it’s all about the love. And it keeps bringing me back to you. Thank you so much for your messages (I love them!) and for getting in touch with me. I promise to you… I’m here, and I am okay. I hope you are too.
Spring Showers Bring Mother's Day Flowers
Mother’s day is here, my people. I have a list of the best mother's day gift ideas for you to enjoy the weekend with the important ladies in your life. In fact, there are some outdoor activities that can be enjoyed throughout spring and all the way to the end of summer season. Now tell me: do you spend weeks searching for the best mother’s day gift ideas or are you a procrastinator, who also loves mom dearly? I usually start thinking a month in advance but still find myself struggling at the last minute to choose from one of many gift options out there. At whichever point of planning mode you might be in for this mother's day, I'm sure this list will get your creative juices flowing. Blogging for me comes from a very personal space, and I tend to often draw inspiration from my own life. This list of mother's day gift ideas is no exception and was shaped by my personal experiences with my own mother. We have not indulged in all that's included here. It was built from similar experiences we have had or I would have liked to have had as a mother and/or daughter.
Cherry Blossoms Peak Bloom is here!
The big question this time around - are the cherry blossoms in full bloom? Flowering of the cherry blossom tree somehow marks the beginning of spring in Washington, DC. With the weather fluctuating every week, we didn’t really know what to expect. Although the Cherry Blossom Festival have started since March 13 and will continue till April 15th, the National Park Service had revised (twice) Washington D.C. peak bloom forecast to April 8-12. And this time... it worked! Although I'm not big on Cherry Blossom in DC and there are snow showers expected on Saturday, I’m hoping they can survive their already short span of life.
Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty
The cherry blossoms have bloomed
I usually dread going to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, because it’s usually still cold in early spring and the weather fluctuates a lot. This year I’m thinking about paying them a visit, because our little cherry buds struggled hard last year and never got to bloom. The recent snow this year hadn’t affected them much, but the cold had pushed back their blooming time. There’s an overwhelming amount of hype around Cherry Blossoms, especially, in DC. I appreciate the new blooms, but after a few visits over the years, I had stopped feeling the need to be a part of all the hustle and bustle. This year, I do want to make an effort to go to DC and maybe share some pretty pictures with you. So, you see… the blog has helped me grow interest in things I had lost fascination for before. I’ve decided to easy in to the season and just make a random visit to the city one sunny day.
Spending Long Weekend in MD + DC
Good Friday and long weekend is here with some sunshine and warmer days. Who can complain! My little niece has been running around the house... making everyone hunt Easter eggs that she hid under and around all the furniture. She made some easter craft and played egg hunting games with other kids in school, so she brought home a pretty little Easter basket to continue the fun. She got me excited to explore some of the events that are taking place in the community. There are lots of Easter Egg hunt events and activities taking place in Maryland + Washington, DC this weekend. We don’t celebrate Easter, but in terms of decor for your Easter brunch or activities to do right at home, here are few pretty things that caught my attention:
How gorgeous and creative is this Easter-inspired Centerpiece sitting pretty on Southern Living? I have two fish bowls, from my own wedding, that I occasionally use to create centerpieces for my parties. So, as soon as I saw this garden centerpiece made of fresh produce and flowers, it immediately got my attention.
Showcasing Earth Tone Color Palette + Jewel Tones in Bridal Photography
I partnered up with Michelle Whitley Photography on a simple bridal portrait session, inspired by a bohemian lace wedding dress and a simple boho chic wedding photography in the park. I've realized that I kept waiting on the perfect time to blog about this winter wedding inspiration, so it just sat there. This last minute photoshoot was planned within forty eight hours with few of my sweetest friends. One of my projects had been cancelled, and in order to make use of the precious time, I'd put together a small team to create this inspiration. The weather was still really cold and windy outside, so we had to take frequent breaks to warm up! Lighting the candles were out of the question. Despite all the hiccups, we were able to create something pretty. This inspiration board is meant to display an earth-tone color palette, mixed in with jewel tones and various textures for a boho chic flare. Wedding photographer Michelle did a beautiful job with capturing the bridal portrait details in film. As a wedding coordinator and event planner, I strive to cater to brides who appreciates artistically styled details and fine art photography.
Travel adventures, cultures, weddings, and family
Aaaahhhhhhhhh hello.... Hello, my people!! I’m so excited to be writing to you today! It’s been too long, and oh have I missed you all! Have you missed me? I sure hope you did! I’ve lost a few followers during this time out, but there are many of you who stayed with me. So many of you were so sweet to check in on me! Thank you so very much for sticking around! I wasn’t joking when I said I’m still trying to get a hang of social media feed and consistent posting habits. I don’t layout or plan my Instagram or my Facebook posts ahead of time (I'll try to get better!). I tend to do it authentically and as I go. And, my life is pretty simple. I also wasn’t joking when I posted once that I tend to fly away to tropical lands during the end or beginning of the year. During late December or January I tend to travel to escape the freezing cold or just the winter itself, only to return... rejuvenated and motivated! Excuse this summer girl, won’t you?
Featured on Wedding Chicks!
When tradition meets romance, born is a wedding inspiration the likes of which dreams are made of. It’s bright, modern, and filled with a color palette so airy, it provides all the necessary feels. The mix of deep, warm and cool colors will make your heart sing, and the fine art film scans are so incredible, it will make you weak in the knees. This multicultural, South Asian wedding inspiration at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, Maryland, was a total stunner in every aspect. Thoughtfully-curated details brought in culture, custom, and a whimsically modern element to the table. This editorial was also a solid proof that no matter the obstacle, set the right team behind a scene, have contingency plan in place, and on your big day, you will achieve your dream! It’s a love story of a multicultural, modern couple, who bonded over music and the arts. It's a perfect inspiration for the newly engaged couples and the bride-to-be who are in their wedding planning process and making that wedding planning checklist!
This fine art photography or film photography has stunning wedding photo ideas for your bridal pictures. If you or someone you know is in the market for wedding vendors, wedding decorations, wedding reception ideas, Indian wedding traditions, or even wedding invitations, this wedding inspiration will definitely come handy!
Deals, deals, deals...
Every year, for the last decade, I'd wake up Friday morning at sunrise and go Black Friday shopping. This year I decided to skip the malls and all the hustle of shopping that sadly started the day of Thanksgiving. Instead, I'm planning on scoring deals on Cyber Monday from the comfort of my home or my cell phone! I mostly shop for shoes, accessories, and clothes on sale, so I can stock up for the following year. I don't actually spend on new clothes as often anymore. I maintain my clothes pretty well and have items from over a decade ago that I still rotate throughout the year. Which is why whenever I shop, I look for items that are on sale or will last the test of time. With the holiday season upon us and a growing holiday shopping list, I've put together a list of items, retailers, and small businesses to support during this major shopping time.
A neutral color palette with a pop of red brown
The week of Thanksgiving is here! Are you ready for tomorrow? All the tablescape inspirations I've shared this month were prepared months in advance. Now that the Turkey Day is actually here, I'm realizing I've yet to prepare my own dinner table! So, if you've been super busy with shopping and prepping for the ultimate feast, and now scramming together last minute ideas for a simple dinner table decor, I've got you covered!