It's been a while since my last Jordan update, so here's something from one of the coolest and most chilled out days we spent in the country. Our fourth day was spent in Aqaba. After previously getting wowed by the light show at Petra by night and after sleeping under the starry skies in Wadi Rum (more on that later!), we had a day of leisure planned in Aqaba which is the only coastal city and a port in Jordan. When I read the itinerary, I merely thought a cute little boat ride meant a chance for me to relax and unwind and sip on something chilled.
It's gotten to that stage where most of my friends have been tying the knot for years now, and it's an epidemic that may never stop. But I cannot be happier, I get to be a guest at wonderful weddings and share memories with close friends on what is one of the most important life events that they might have. I also get to make new clothes and bury my head into Pinterest to find perfect outfit ideas for myself and my friends who ask for help. And of course, if I'm close to the bride (or groom) then I'm slightly more involved if they'd like me to be, and will be there to brainstorm, plan creatives and curate secret Pinterest boards with photographers and friends.
I had never really been into traditional Indian outfits at the start, which is somewhat of a pity. It's painfully obvious how gorgeous Indian textiles and designs can be. While growing up, my Indian wardrobe was a handful of pieces that were squashed into the back of my cupboard that only ever came out during Diwali and sometimes for Hindu weddings. I however became appreciative of ethnic wear while I was learning about fashion. Since my projects involved researching and actually making samples of different embroidery and printing techniques used in different states in India, I had scrapbook after scrapbook filled with pages torn out of fashion magazines that had editorials with the most extravagant Indian clothing in them. I was awed and there was no going back.
Boots! Boots! Boots! Boots! That was the voice that first sounded in my head or my "inner child" coming to life, when I first gazed eyes upon all the shoes that were to be featured in the upcoming (then) Jeffrey Campbell lookbook. And I couldn't even bring myself look away; or touch them. I may have sat stroking the furry boot while Sheehan got her hair and makeup done. It really sucks that Mumbai is not very cool-boot appropriate and more rain-boot friendly. Sure, I love my gumboots to death but it wouldn't kill to rock a pair of platform ankle/calf high boots ever now and then right? I'm no stranger to ankle boots; but these were a little more beyond them. A lot more. But I can think of a time and a place and even an outfit (or gazillion) to wear them with!
My excitement for my Jordanian getaway peeked when I entered Petra. Don't get me wrong, the first day in Amman was great. I enjoy Greek and Roman ruins and basic architecture, and Jerash had plenty to keep me occupied, still there's nothing like actually visiting an ancient city which is not only one of the new 7 wonders of the world, but also a city that's not fully discovered and is an archaeological destination as about more than 80% of the city is still to be uncovered. It doesn't get any exciting than that! The city after all is referred to as/a Lost City, since it was rediscovered just a few centuries ago. Of course the thought that one might stumble onto something and may actually unearth something new from the ancient civilization that once lived there, is somewhat thrilling, even though it's unlikely. Still, a girl can dream!
Well of course I had to do themed shots for my personal most awaited movie of the year! When it comes to superheros, my heart belongs with the DC universe and Batman triumphs everyone. Unless is comes to the bad guys, then I can't pick, because they all are my favourite! But I had to pick 5 for this post, so Sheehan and I took our pick. While we planned, executed and aimed for this post to go live just in time for the movie, due to a crashed hard drive, that wasn't possible. But here we are again. We picked picked the Joker, Harley, Deadshot, El Diablo and the Enchantress and carefully planned to add their essence and colours into each shot.
We're quite a funny lot aren't we? When it's peak summer season, we crave for the rains and suddenly when we're hit with the monsoon, we cross our fingers for a non-rainy day. It's only natural to want what's currently not available. While I love how the temperature has sort of dropped and the weather is much bearable, I don't exactly welcome the idea of picking my outfits based on what might get sheer when wet, or which dress goes better with my old gumboots. It's almost a nuisance and more than half of my wardrobe seems redundant during the rains.
Here's one of the quickest recipes with homemade ingredients. Since it's mango season, my kitchen has been overloaded with the fruit. They've come from all over; Ratnagiri, Goa, the local markets and even our door to door mango guy, and the aroma in the kitchen is always very strong. So strong that one evening when I was thinking of making a cocktail, the only fruit I could think of using was a mango. Now I'm not a huge fan of mangoes and you'll never catch me eating one, unless of course it's raw and backed with spices and vinegar. But this was too good of a drink to pass. Not to mention easy as well. It technically is a mango mojito, but with a spicy element as well (because that's how I prefer my mango). The contrasts of the sweet mango and a hint of spice make it perfect chilled drink during the hot "almost" done summer.
One of the other amazing cities we visited on my family road trip, which won over a another amazing city (Idukki) was Munnar. When I was 16, we visited Sri Lanka and while driving through the tea plantations, my parents mentioned Munnar then and claimed we needed to visit. Well here we are, a full decade later, driving through tea plantations, stopping to look at flowers, searching for places that served alcohol legally, while trying to get used to the long winding roads.
Why Jordan? This was a question that befuddled me, pre-trip, especially when I was subjected to it almost twice a day, from different people after I announced I was going to Jordan. I never truly had an answer. I just shrugged and said "Just, you know?" The follow up question was "Is it safe?" to which I honestly had no reply. Is anywhere safe for that matter? Cut to: landing in Jordan and meeting/getting introduced a group of bloggers, photographers and media experts, all sharing their past experiences while embarking on new experiences all while discovering Jordan.
Some time ago while we were as Asado, shooting this post, Sheehan and I were also invited to sample the menu and try out a few cocktails. Since Asado has some pretty amazing concoctions, I was very eager to do so as this place was on my "visit-list" for a while and I had heard positive reviews and great feedback from my foodie friends. To my pleasant surprise, the folks there were cool enough to share the recipe of one of their cocktails, straight off their menu just for us. So we got to observe and get tips from their bartender, as he made the Candy Cane cocktail for us.
Some time last year (or way before, I can't really remember), Sheehan and I were looking at an online list of creepy places in the country and while most were eye rollers, one stood out among everything else. A tiny little ghost town towards the south eastern tip of the country that's known as Danushkodi. The google search for this place looked mighty fine and very interesting and we both exclaimed "we have to go there", like we do for every single other fancy looking place we see, be it in China or Brasil. Little did we know that this trip would happen very soon!
A lot has happened in the past month. I grew a year older and finally completed 27 years and I'm kind of excited. I don't feel old at all! 27 has always been my "lucky" number whenever I've been asked to pick a number between 1 to 100, so I have a good feeling about this. Then of course I've slacked off and not posted anything. I'm kicking myself for that, but in my defense, the post that I wanted to share was all very meticulously planned out and was in my diary, which got misplaced for a while. So that might come up later or next month. Sheehan shifted back to Mumbai while Patrick moved the join the cruise line, so while I got one of my photographers back, I lost the other. Of course Patrick is going to be sailing in Hawaii and some other places and I'm just jealous. And finally I took a chance with shady online shopping. Shopping from Chinese clothing websites has been the talk of the town and everyone's been sharing their misfortunes and ill-fitted clothes. And here I picked two dresses from a very questionable sounding and looking website - DevilPlus, just to see what I would get. Since I'm such a handy DIYer, I was ready to modify my purchases to fit my liking (and size)
So there's this thing I always do. When there's a plan to go to a buffet restaurant, a place where I know I'll be pigging out and devouring till I can't devour any more, I always search for the most roomiest dress in my wardrobe. Or a blouse with the same qualities. This happens rarely. Think birthdays or anniversaries or random special occasions. I don't think there was anything particular here. It was more of almost all of us have a free day, and we should go eat some good food.
A couple of days ago, I was invited to experience and celebrate womanhood at Novotel Imagica Khopoli, a special package that's been curated to accommodate ladies for this Women's day. Admittedly, I'm more of an Airbnb "rent an apartment" kind of person, and the only time I stay in hotels is when I'm travelling for work. But everyone needs some deep relaxation period and a place where you can get room service and fresh towels at the hit of a button.
It's that time of the year again, whether you look forward to it or not. Instead of creating another outfit post, I decided to make a yummy cocktail instead, since it's also been a while after my last one. This cocktail is perfect for date night which involves a DIY dinner, and also is perfect for a girl's night in. My Valentine's Day cocktail is an easy to make drink, and doesn't need a lot of ingredients. The only spirits used are vodka and Cointreau. If you cannot manage to use Cointreau, you can use either Grand Marnier or Triple Sec.
Tans. Pools. Sunsets. Fried fish. And sick views. Can a Goan getaway be any better? While Goa would have not been my first choice for a trip, I did have two different weddings in Jan, and I had to make sure I was there for at least one of them. So I got into it and decided to make it a fun one. Based on the locations of the celebrations, I searched Airbnb to find a nice rental for my parents and myself. And then I found this place with an even more amazing pool, where I spent most of my time and managed to get a very nice tan! Seriously, if I wasn't at the wedding or sleeping or eating, I was in the pool!
I've always been a fan of the whole Pantone colour of the year concept. While I don't necessarily believe in going on a shopping spree and modifying my wardrobe to accommodate the latest colour, I still like to see who wore what and how. It's fascinating and funny how a certain colour would seem so "out" and then suddenly a year later its completely "in" and in vogue. So every December, since Blue iris, I've been always eager to get on board with the newest colour. Not to mention it's fun to learn a new term and relate it to a colour - mimosa, honeysuckle, marsala and radiant orchid, and I really do hope we can now stop abusing the word marsala and go back to saying maroon or burgundy instead!
Living my teenage years was never easy. I was part tomboy who always preferred to play sports, outdoors, instead of sitting in a classroom and I faced the brunt of the harsh sunlight. So I've had my fair share of bad skin days. You have to be a real special kind of girl to have a very happy carefree life during that period of your life. For most of us, at our earlier teenage years, that's when puberty fully kicks in. Apart from filling out our clothes and other physical developments, one of the most daunting experiences is very visible skin changes where the pores on a young woman's skin will produce more oil, which means hello acne and breakouts! The most common quick fix to a scenario like this is to stay hidden until it clears and then make a public appearance.
I never thought I would be a tab kind of girl, because I have multiple laptops and a fully functioning smart phone. But it was only in the last year or so I realized the full potential and perks of using a tab. It's the best companion when you have to travel and can replace your laptop, if all you plan to do while travelling is check your social media, watch movies or procrastinate on YouTube and click images. It also works well for smaller presentations, so that you don't have to carry your laptop along everywhere. It's much easier to charge and almost everyone will have a charger (if you forget yours at home!). It works as an e-book reader from time to time and is easier to hold as a hand-held device. And for someone like me, it's great for blogging on the go, as well as attending to multiple emails. For the record, I'm an Apple girl, not doubt about it. I traded my Blackberry and Zune (yep, I had one of those) for an iPhone 5 and an iPod touch. Currently I use a Macbook as well as an iPad, so I have the entire family. My love for Apple purely exists on customer service and system design. I know there are a ton of non-Apple devices with better cameras that the latest iPhones but most Android devices don't carry the same apps that I pay for and use on my Apple devices.
Firstly, happy 2016 and a great start of the year to everyone! Last month (or I should be saying last year), a wedding celebration took me to Ratnagiri, and spelled out a fun road trip for all of us. I think the duration of the trip, both ways, was around 7-8 hours and of course the most important things during road trips is comfort. Especially if you get motion sickness (like me) or are a bit claustrophobic (like my mum). Both of us wear very relaxing clothes so that we're comfortable throughout. Now I'm no big road trip expert, but I've traveled by car from Mumbai to Bangalore and even Chennai (multiple times) and from Delhi to Ladakh. Okay fine, I am a bit of a road trip expert then! My usual outfit of choice are sweatpants/joggers or leggings with a t-shirt or a tunic along with a shawl or a hoodie. Unfortunately, I under packed for this trip, and ran short of a set of clothing and had to make do with whatever I had.