Thanksgiving Table Decor : Rustic-Glam Edition


Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! While food takes center stage on TG, a pretty table is a must. Is that where all the action happens anyway? So add a couple of thoughtful decorating details to your place settings that elevate the experience for everyone. Here are a couple of tips that you can easily recreate in your homes.





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1-3: Created by Manvi for BrightBazaar

4&5: Created by Manvi for HGTV

6&7: Created by Manvi for HGTV, Photography by SweetTea Photography 

Holiday Movie Night Party


For movie buffs, nothing beats watching holiday favorites amidst friends and the comforts of home. A festive and glam private screening with cinema-style snacks is sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Gather your friends and family for a fun holiday movie night party. DIYers take note: You’ll want to start crafting the budget-friendly decorations for this bash right away.



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From our Holiday Movie Night Party feature for Styling and photography by Manvi Drona. Paper goodies by Little Bit Heart.



Ombre Ornament Centerpiece

DIY this delicate and show stopping #holiday #centerpiece for under $25 by filling inexpensive glass ornaments with ombre paint. I used the multi-surface satin acrylics from Deco Art. Suspend ornaments using fishing wire alongside strings of sequins above the table.

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From our 5 centerpieces under $25 for Photography by lovely Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography


Yappy Hour


As most Labs tend to be, my dog, Dexter, is very social, and loves to be around people and other dogs. He especially enjoys QT with his fav dog-buds in smaller intimate settings. To facilitate this, I like to host “yappy hour” gatherings for Dexter’s doggy buds and my human friends with treats for the four-legged guests and happy hour bites and sips for us. An apartment dweller, I dont have a yard where the dogs can play, so finding a venue for such an event is challenging.



Dog parks are impersonal, you cant bring treats, (unless you want every dog there jumping all over you), lack control over the guest list, and have laws against adult-beverages and human food. Which is why I am thrilled about the new pet store in my neighborhood, Fido and Kitty’s World.

Not only is it a stylishly designed store, they carry most of the organic pet-food brands, the owner is a lovely lady doing what she loves, but they have a FAB dog play-area in their backyard! Perfect for small dog-human socials!! They have done such a good job with the space. It even has a water fountain for dogs. It didnt take me long to talk the owner Samar, into letting me host a “yappy hour” and introduce the store to my puppy-parent friends.

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A fun social hour, we had a yummy spread with a cheese platter, eggplant dip, salsa and crudites for humans, and Fido and Kitty’s World had organic treats for the pooches. And if wagging tails and happy barks are any indication, the pups had a great time!




The lovely folks at Modgy sent us these portable pooch hydrator pouches which we used to serve treats and water to the pups. And each guests got to take a twin pack home as a gift!  I cant wait to host the next one.



Cin Cin to more “yappy hours”.


images: manvi drona

4 Easy-to-make Halloween Costumes

Homemade costumes are far more appealing than store bought ones. Invite a few friends over for a fun-filled MYOC (make your own costume) party. Here are four costume ideas that even a non-crafter can make in a hurry.

1. Mac and Cheese 



Instructions and materials to create a mac and cheese costume.

 2. Hot Chocolate


Instructions and materials to create a hot chocolate costume

3. Minion from Despicable Me


Instructions and materials to create a minion costume.


 4. Burrito


Instructions and materials to make a burrito costume.


Instant Update: Area Rugs


Constant exposure to amazingly decorated homes, via shelter mags, blogs and Pinterest boards, can make our own spaces look drab and blah in comparison. I find it hard to not “add-to-cart” each time I fall in love with a beautiful piece online. While most of us would love to give our homes a decor makeover often, in reality, a complete redo is impractical and, well, excessive. Also, upgrading the look of any room can often become overwhelming and demotivating with nothing more than frustration and, holes in walls and wallets as a result.


A more practical, and budget-friendly approach to decorating is….patience. Yes, wait it out.  If you long, lust and still love that piece a month, three months, and even a year later, go for it. Except for a few small accessories, anything you are going to love forever, and would want to see everyday, needs to be not just a “Summer-fling”.


Design solution? One high-quality purchase at a time. Adding just one upscale collectable item, such as an area rug, can instantly transform and upgrade the look, and feel of the space. Luxurious-looking handwoven rugs, in pretty prints and patterns, are like works of art, bring warmth and a cozy feel to the room, and are tasteful design solution to tired rooms looking for an instant upgrade.


I have wanted a light-colored, handwoven Persian handwoven rug from the day I had my own place. I even tried talking my mom into giving me one of hers, and failed.


So, when Medallion Rugs asked if I would like a rug from their handpicked selection, I had the biggest smile on the block. An “At last..” moment.  I selected a 10′ x 13′ semi-antique Persian rug with a lovely blend of colors and pattern. It is even more beautiful in person. It ties all my eclectic finds together and makes my living-dining room look cozy and sophisticated.


As you can see, I am not the only one in love with it.


More pics soon.


From the Archives | Monochromatic Halloween Bash

My Halloween projects for DIYNetwork have been making me feel a little nostalgic about the monochromatic Halloween Bash look I created for Bright.Bazaar a couple of years ago. (has it really been that long??)

To refresh your memory:

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While not particularly fond of Halloween, mostly because it shadows my birthday, I really enjoyed designing and crafting this tablescape.

How do you feel about Halloween? Are you working on any spooky craft projects?


Happy Monday + Berry Tart Recipe

Happy new week! A reader sent me a sweet email asking if I ever made it back from Graceland, or if Elvis’s ghost was holding me hostage. She was genuinely concerned as to why I was MIA. It made me laugh and realize how I have been way too wrapped up in my styling projects and neglected my blog in the process. Sorry about that. I will try to get back in to a more regular blogging schedule, I promise!


Last night I had my friends over for dinner and made this berry tart. It was so easy, I wondered what was holding me back from baking with blueberries and blackberries before.  I wanted to use most of what I already had in my fridge and didnt follow any particular recipe. It took me less than an hour to from start to finish. The fresh berries from farmers market make the tart a delectable party in your mouth.

Here is the recipe:


2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 (pre-made ) pie crust, room temperature

2 eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Grand Marinier


Preheat oven to 400F. Line pie pan with flour and spread crust dough evenly. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor combine butter and sugar using whisk attachment for about 2 minutes. Add in flour, and then eggs one at a time. Let process on medium for 3-4 minutes and then add cream cheese, lemon juice and grand marnier.

Use a rubber spatula to spread filling evenly on crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add berries.

Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden and filling looks set.

Let cool completely.

Optional: Serve with lemon sorbet.