Safavieh Console Table Makeover

Safavieh Console Makeoever

For reasons I do not know of, one of the pieces of furniture I was most excited about purchasing was an entryway console table. I’d scoured Pinterest for entryway inspiration and couldn’t wait to get started! However, I had to practice patience and wait until our sectional sofa arrived. We had customized the colour (a pastel teal-grey) and the fabric. I didn’t want to wing a console table purchase before seeing the sectional in person since our entryway leads into our living room very quickly.

My criteria for the console table were pretty simple, clean straight lines, and no bottom shelf – more difficult to find than it sounds! Since I was working with a small entryway space, I wanted to keep it as open and decluttered looking as possible.

I purchased the Safavieh Ann Ash Grey console table from Wayfair. I really liked the colours and variation in the wood. While the comments in the reviews did warn me the colour was more green than it appeared in the image, I thought more green would not be a problem given our living room accents thus far. And so, I patiently waited, excited for our console table to arrive.

This is what I was expecting.

And this is what arrived.


Ummm? The table was more green yes, but it was also A LOT darker than I was expecting. While I didn’t think it looked bad and liked the table on its own, it just did not transition well into our living room. I tried to live with it for a couple days to see if I would feel differently, but ultimately I decided this Safavieh console table needed a makeover! Post paint job and a hardware change, here are the results! Excuse the dismal tabletop decor, after all that excitement binging on Pinterest, the entryway has been a slow work in progress.



Ahh so much better! If you prefer the after to the before, then save yourself some paint and time! This particular console table can be purchased in many colours including white at Target, Wayfair and Overstock to name a few. Painting it was just an easier option for me over the hassle of shipping it back and putting in a new order.

Rajwadi Emporium Review : Kurtas & Anarkalis

RajwadiReviewLet’s face it, with a few exceptions, finding Indian/Pakistani clothing which you like, which also fits or could reasonably be altered, and has a price tag that does not make your jaw drop to the floor is a struggle in Canada and the States. What’s a girl to do? The struggle is real, and so when I did find a miracle that checked off all these boxes, it would have been a sin to keep it to myself and not share with my fellow brown girls! Hence, this Rajwadi Emporium review of my latest order!

Earlier last year, I learned about Rajwadi, a clothing boutique based in Valsad, India from relatives who had shopped there during a visit to India. They liked this boutique particularly for their large range of styles and great prices. Rajwadi had a user-friendly website through which online orders could be placed. Normally, I’m quite wary about purchasing Indian/Pakistani clothing online from vendors based in India or Pakistan for a variety of reasons from the lack of good customer service to ambiguous delivery times. Conveniently, my aunt-in-law who lived not too far from Valsad was planning on visiting us in the States in a few weeks, so I decided to test the waters and see if the quality of their product was to my liking. After browsing the website and choosing a simple ready-made kurta pajama for the hubs who was in need of one anyhow, I gave the product code and size to my aunt who purchased the kurta pajama for us in person and brought it with her when she visited.


Priced at $35 USD I figured there wasn’t much to lose even if we didn’t end up loving it. Luckily, we did love it. In fact we couldn’t think of any cons. It looked like the product shown and described online, it fit well, the quality of the fabric was really nice, and the work and stitching on it was neat and well done. Oh and did I mention the lovely price of $35?! I think in the GTA we’d have easily paid anywhere between $100-150 for this.

The online experience

Recently I decided to purchase from Rajwadi again, ordering two anarkalis and a maang tikka for myself as well as a kurta pajama and a pair of mojri/shoes for the hubs. This time however, I placed the order online through their website, and given all three outfits were made to measure, I entered in our measurements in their detailed and well-explained forms versus choosing a standard size.

Once again we got lucky in that hubs’ cousin was traveling from India to the States soon. After confirming he would be able to bring our package with him, I called the customer service number on Rajwadi’s website to confirm that it was possible for me to place an order online, but have someone come pick it up instead of it being shipped. The employee was friendly, reassuring, gave me clear instructions as to what to do and was able to answer my questions. Disclaimer: I did speak to him in Gujarati which I imagine made communication easier. As per his instructions, along with my order I submitted a note with the name of the relative who should be contacted to pick up the order once it was ready along with their phone number.

A few days later I received a call from Rajwadi to inform me they could not stitch the Kurta to the length I had written in the measurement form because the cloth was only a maximum length of x inches. Given it wasn’t too much of a difference and I knew the Kurta would still look fine at that length, I gave them the green light. However, I really appreciated that they had made an effort to call and confirm if I was ok with the new length instead of just going ahead and making it.

Despite being given an expected delivery time of 15-20 days, the order was ready in less than a week! A relative picked up the purchase for us and shortly after I received an email from Rajwadi’s customer service updating us on the status change. The process could not have been smoother.

Fast forward to hubs cousin and of course our order arriving.

The Verdict

Rajwadi_mojriMojri/shoes: I had measured hubs size according to the instructions given on the website. This was one item I thought could go either way with sizing and was a bit of a gamble. However, they fit well, so if you follow their measurement instructions you should be all set. The plus point was that unlike most mojris that tend to saw off the back of your feet, hubs found these ones to actually be comfortable, and the comfort level was truly tested as he wore them while running around at my brother’s wedding. Price: $8.75 USD.

Rajwadi_tikkaMaang tikka: I loved it, I had assumed it to be medium sized from the image online which it was. I’m satisfied with the quality, it is not flimsy or cheap-feeling at all, and all the stones have remained intact. Price $6.00 USD, no longer available.

Rajwadi_SherwaniKurta pajama: This is by far my favorite purchase, and of course it isn’t for me! I think it looks even better in person than it did online. The material is rich, the color was true to the online image, and the fitting was perfect. Price: $72 USD with stitching, no longer available.

Rajwadi_Red_AnarkaliRed anarkali: When I first saw it, I absolutely loved how vibrant it was, and the embroidery on it which I couldn’t see in detail online was gorgeous in person. I absolutely love intricate, subtle, and neat embroidery. I had also asked to have a back zipper added which was done. However, the fitting was slightly loose, mainly in the waist area and the width of the sleeves. Luckily that is something that I can fix! A few of the white half moti/pearl pieces that were glued on did come off while I was trying on the outfit, but I think this is bound to happen with any outfit which has glued stones/pearls, albeit maybe not on the first try. Price: $ 60 USD with stitching, unfortunately it is no longer available.

Rajwadi_Anarkali_PurplePurple anarkali: This outfit compared to the red anarkali had a more quiet elegant look. Again, I had asked to have a back zipper added in which was done. The color shade appeared a bit different than in the image which was slightly disappointing, but the website does have a disclaimer stating that colors may appear slightly different in images. Once more the fitting was slightly loose requiring the waist and sleeves to be taken in. However, aside from that little snag I’m quite happy with it and now have a lovely elegant addition in my wardrobe. Price: $80.00 USD with stitching.

Has anyone else ordered from Rajwadi or have had experiences with other online South Asian clothing vendors? Thoughts, reviews? Post away!

Ikea Kragsta Coffee Table Makeover


When I was envisioning our living room, I knew I wanted a round coffee table. The majority of the furnishings in our living room consisted of straight lines and 90 degree angles, further accentuated by the striped entryway wall. An Ikea Kragsta coffee table makeoever was ideal for adding some variation. Being inspired by so many painted coffee table makeovers I had seen on Pinterest, I knew from the get go I wanted to paint some sort of geometric pattern on our coffee table to tie in the accent colors in our living room.


This being the first DIY project in our new home, it came with its challenges from feeling panicked when my topcoat kept drying with white streaks to pulling my back while moving the table. Don’t let that scare you off though, it’s really an easy and inexpensive way to update any room and with the tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way, you will hopefully avoid the mistakes I made. Oh, and remember to bend your knees when lifting coffee tables, duh!

What I used:

  • Benjamin Moore Fresh Start primer
  • Minwax water based polycrylic
  • Two inch angled brush
  • Small roller
  • Artist’s brush
  • Frog tape

And here are the paint colors that I used from Sherwin Williams in a satin finish from left to right, Embellished Blue, Daydream and Surfer in a satin finish.

Embellished Blue, Daydream, Surfer Paint

Since the coffee table would be getting a lot of use, I begin with a coat of primer all over the coffee table  using the roller and an artist’s brush for the corners. The primer was a bright white and it was also going to serve as my base colour. If you’re satisfied with the current color and the surface of your table is sealed or primed already, you will not need to do an all-over coat of primer. Simply painting primer in the taped off areas in the next step is enough.


Once the primer was dry, I taped off the largest shape, the triangle using frog tape. I painted two coats of SW Daydream using a roller and peeled off the tape once the last coat had dried. I repeated these steps for the the remaining shapes.



Now comes the last step, and in my case it was the most frustrating step, the topcoat. I used an angled 2 inch brush to brush on the polycrylic topcoat to seal the surface. I ended up doing five coats and here’s why. After the first coat dried, I was left with white streaks and transparent streaks that were especially apparent when light shone on the table. The polycrlyic dries incredibly fast, and one of the mistakes I had made during the first coat was going over areas I had already covered – I ended up dragging the bristles through areas that has already begun drying . I also tried to put on thin coats, and while you shouldn’t lay down a very thick coat, due to the fast drying time, I learnt it was better to put a generous amount on to the surface which allowed the polycrylic to cover more surface area quickly.

Following some suggestions I read online, I lightly sanded down these areas with fine grit sandpaper before the second and third coat. While this helped remove some of the white streaks, it did not completely remove the problem. At this point, I was really bummed out because the table had looked fantastic right before the topcoat.

Since sanding was not helping, and at least the majority of the white streaks were gone, I decided to cut my losses, skip sanding and brush on the fourth coat keeping in mind what I had already learned regarding the thickness of the coat and dry time, and that, ladies and gentleman, did the trick! Almost all of the streaks disappeared! I followed this up with a final and fifth coat to seal the deal. You can still see some streaks if looking at the table at eye-level when the sunlight streams in, but honestly who’s going to do that aside from myself?


If I had to do this all over again, I would explore other polycrylic topcoat options however. The Kragsta table had a laminate surface, but if you are painting over a wood coffee table, or do not need to worry about white paint yellowing, I would suggest using a polyutherene coat. One of my favourites is the General Finishes polyurethane top coat which I used to seal the stain on my bathroom cabinets. It was much easier to work with and left me with a beautiful streakless finish. Have you previously used the Minwax polycrylic, have any other topcoat recommendations?

Quick and Delicious Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This past Eid, I decided to bake some cupcakes and though I did cheat and use box cake mix due to time constraints and well – exhaustion really, I did whip up some homemade chocolate buttercream frosting using cocoa powder. It is surprisingly quick and easy, and best of all it does not require a million ingredients to taste amazing.


  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks softened butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 3 cups cocoa powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons of milk



  • Electric mixer
  • Piping bag and tip for frosting (optional)



In a mixing bowl add in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and sticks of butter along with two tablespoons of milk.

How to make butter cream frosting

I like to place the mixing bowl in a plastic bag to make sure the none of the mixture will fly out on to the countertop

Mix on low speed for 45 seconds to a minute. At this point your mixture may be a a bit dry, add in the additional milk and mix on medium speed for another 30 seconds making sure to occasionally scrape the sides.ChocolateFrosting

Once the frosting has reached a creamy consistency, stop mixing.


How to frost cupcakes

You can always smear the frosting onto the cupcakes or a cake using a spatula. Alternatively you can also pipe the frosting on.

To do this, you will need:

  • Piping tip of your choice in a large size, I used an open star tip
  • Disposable or non-disposable piping bag. You can just wash out the disposable ones and reuse.
  • A tall glass

Secure the piping tip in the piping bag by inserting in from the top of the bag and pushing it through the opening on the other end till it is tightly secured. I used an open start piping tip.

Place the piping bag in a glass, rolling over the bag around the edges of the glass and spoon the frosting in, gently patting it down. Once the bag is filled, lift the bag up, squeeze the bag to push the frosting down.

How to pipe frosting

The type of frosting method and design you will be able to create will depend on the type of piping tip used. The open start tip can be used to create a “rose” design as well as the classic cupcake design that we are use to seeing. In the image below, the cupcake in the bottom left corner was done in a rose design – begin frosting from the center, creating circles moving outwards. The cupcake next to it was done in the classic design, start from the outer edges creating circles which slightly overlap and and move to the center. How to frost cupcakes

If you will not be serving the cupcakes the same day, seal them in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. Remove 30 minutes to one hour before serving.

How to Paint a Striped Wall

How to paint a striped wallWith Ramadhan ongoing and busy work schedules, we had been too worn out to take on any big house projects, so this past weekend we decided to tackle one of the smaller ones, painting a striped wall in our entryway. This was a fairly quick project, taking a total of perhaps 4 hours not including drying time, but wow did it have an impact! Each time I walk through our front door now and see the stripes it puts a smile on my face. I love how it acts as an accent wall and also really brightens up our room.

If you’d like to know how to paint a striped wall and how we created these beauties, keep on reading!

What I used:

– Quart of Sherwin Williams Divine White in a semi-gloss finish
– Frog tape
– Measuring tape
– Pencil
– Scrap piece of paper
– 2 inch angled brush
– Roller
– Level tool

Sherwin Williams Divine WhiteFirst step, I measured our walls from the ceiling to the top of our trim to be 87.5 inches. Since our ceilings are not very high, (87.5 inches), I didn’t want the stripes to be any thicker than 6 to 7 inches. Unfortunately dividing 87.5 by a number between 6 to 7 does not result in a whole number and the last thing I wanted to do was measure stripes to a crazy decimal point. In the end we decided to go with 87.5 inches wall/ 7 inch stripes = 12.5 stripes total. This meant that we would have half of a stripe at the bottom of our wall – fine by me. One suggestion I would recommend is to try and paint an odd number of stripes, this way the stripe at the very top and very bottom will be the same color giving a more cohesive look to your wall.

Next, we measured 7 inches on a scrap paper and used it to make a pencil mark every 7 inches down the wall. We did this on both the left and right ends of the wall and down the center. Using these marks as guides, we taped continuous strips of frog tape from the left end of the wall to the right and checked with a level to confirm the lines were straight. We made sure the tape covered the pencil marks (by a few mm) so that they would be painted over. We also taped our trim, around the closet doorway, and outlet covers.

For each stripe that you are painting, you’ll put the tape above the pencil mark on the top edge of the stripe, and below the pencil mark at the bottom edge of your stripe. This will result in what appears to be a thick stripe followed by a thin stripe down your wall. Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. It only looks like this because the tape is covering part of the stripe that you will not be painting. This may sound complicated but take a look at the picture below to better understand. We put a small piece of tape in the middle of each stripe we would not be painting as reminder.How to paint a striped wall tutorial

Once this was done, we cut the left and right edges only of each stripe using an angled brush and followed with a roller for the remaining area for our first coat. We put on our second coat about four hours later using the same method. As soon as we were finished painting the second coat, I begin pulling off the tape slowly while the paint was still wet, and angled it away from the freshly painted areas.



Striped wall before and afterThere were a couple areas that required minor touch ups with an artist brush, but overall the result was clean straight beautiful stripes! We were moving around furniture and our newly painted Ikea coffee table snuck into that last photo, tutorial on that coming up soon!

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