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A 30 something housewife blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....and travelling and food!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gifts!

One good thing about going home ( a part from enjoying the family, eating local food, and sleeping late) is that I receive gifts. My family ( on both sides) pamper me and the kids. It is mostly clothes but am not complaining. I got these dresses pictured below from my Mother in law. I was happy about it because I wanted to get some new ones tailored back home. The red one is perfect for running errands while the longer one will be reserved for lazy Sunday brunches. 



The sleeves on the red one are a bit tight ( and weird) so I am thinking about removing them.


New sandals with silver beads





Not really a fan of the ruching but still an easy dress to wear.

I am at the age where I do not receive much gifts so getting them always makes me giddy! No matter what the presents. I also got dresses from my Mother, my Sister in Law, a perfume from my Brother in law. I could not be happier. 

Do you get presents from your family often?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

DIM: Kimono

I hate sewing but I love it also. For a long time I always dreamt of making my own clothes ( because I could never find exactly what I wanted at the mall). This year, I stopped dreaming and decided to learn. It is such a pain, plus it takes so much time that I have a room full of unfinished projects.  However, I am not discouraged. The thing is to keep on going. Even the world greatest seamstress did not become one overnight.

Today I decided to try making a Kimono ( or what I call Summer coat) after reading a fairly easy tutorial on the net ( check it out here). I used some sheer fabric with golden printed flowers that I had purchased at Clover center a while back. I wanted to make a skirt out of it but there were not enough yardage. Yet, it was perfect for the Kimono.

The entire task was very easy. And it took me roughly less than 2 hours to do it. Yes, the fabric did pucker a lot and the overall look screams beginner. But I am pretty content with the result. I think I will repeat this task as soon as I find the proper fabric that does not pucker. I can see myself reproducing this.
So what you think?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Goa, finally!

On an impulse, we went to Goa for a long week end, stealing two days of the busy week. We took the car and the driver because it would be easier.  So early on Thursday we set off. It took around 10 hours to navigate from Pune to Goa. It was a pleasant drive and we stop a few times just to enjoy Chai, relieve our bladder or simple lunch. We spotted a new lunch place called Hotel Nishigandh where we had Butter chicken, Bhindi ( Lady Fingers) Masala and Masala rice something I never had before but quite enjoyed. 


The restaurant banner 

The road to Goa had many hills, some waterfall and lots of greenery that made for a beautiful landscape.
We arrived at our hotel located in Porvorim. It is a bit far from the beach, and not luxurious at all. However it is quiet, far from tourist traps and proper. We settled down and then headed to Candolim beach where I read there was the best beach shack of Goa. Candolim was busy, packed with tourists drinking and eating at local overpriced restaurants and shacks. But for some reason the shack that called itself Alex was empty and did not look good. We decided to run away from the tourist site and find another restaurant a few kilometres away. We settled for Riverside which was a bit isolated but packed nevertheless. We order butter garlic kingfish, battered prawns and prawn sizzler plate. The battered prawns were tasty but tiny compared to the picture offered in the menu so it was a bit of a letdown. The kingfish tasted way better but the sizzler took the prize. On the plate was prawns in a dark and sweet sauce, grilled veggies, roasted potatoes and a smoky saffron rice. Diner was late but good and the service was excellent. Our waiter who looked like Jacky Chan was attentive and respectful. Afterwards we went straight back to the hotel to enjoy some shuteye.

On the second day, we had breakfast at the hotel. There was not a lot of variety for a buffet but it had my favorites like Upma and Masala omelette so I was satisfied. Then I took the kids to the pool for fun. We then headed to town to look for a Mosque since it was Friday. After the prayer we headed to Thalassa restaurant in Vagator beach. The place was beautiful, just on a hill in front of the beach, which made for a gorgeous view. The restaurant was all white and blue with wicker decor. We ordered seafood salad, boneless stuffed chicken and chicken casserole. 

 Chicken Casserole

 Stuffed chicken

The salad was fresh and succulent, the stuffed chicken to die for but the casserole was just okay. I would not mind going back just for the ambiance, lazying in those comfy chairs and watching the sunset. After late lunch we went for fruit Juice at Jai Ganesh fruit center. The place was tiny and packed with tourists, mainly Russians.The whole area near the fruit center in Vagator reminded me of a scene from the movie the Beach; Caucasians wearing short shorts, Sankrusti printed shirts, colorful sheer kaftan over swimsuits, heavily tattooed, pierced or with dreadlocks, hanging around. Let us just say that it was not my scene but I enjoyed people watching while waiting for my pomegranate juice which took forever. But it was sweet. We finished our drinks and headed back to the hotel for some rest. Later that night we went to eat at an Italian restaurant in the neighborhood called Kudos. Our female waiter was so nice and attentive, she made our diner experience very enjoyable. We ordered seafood pizza, ravioli pasta and seafood pasta. The seafood pizza  was nice but a bit chewy, the seafood pasta lacked a bit of salt and the ravioli was okay.


Ravioli

  The garlic bread was fantastic, by far the best item of our diner and the chocolate vanilla ice cream we ordered for the kids was excellent. Frankly I had better Italian but the great service made me overlook all that. We just headed to bed exhausted from our day.
Day 3, we spent a lazy morning at the hotel then headed to Baga beach for lunch. The place was packed with restaurants, souvenir shops and tourists. We wanted to try Bristols restaurant but we were told that all the tables in front of the sea were occupied. We were ready to settle for another table but after seating for 10  minutes without even a waiter looking at us, we decided to leave. We settled for another restaurant on the same street that was so peaceful it was hard to believe that we were still in Baga beach. It was called Banana Republic Calaba, a bar, restaurant with a nice pool and beautiful garden. We sat in the garden and had a quiet lunch of Goan curry for adults and lasagna for kids. The food and service was good. And the location was so nice I wanted to stay longer. After lunch we checked the Tibetan market that had some nice jewelry but was too overpriced for me. I think that the shops around the beach are all overpriced for I tried to buy plastic shoes at one point since my sandals failed me and the lady gave me a 650 rupees quote. I was like: " Are you crazy? I live in India. I am not a tourist. I know how  much these cost!"  I was so disgusted I did not feel like shopping, which is sad because there was a lot of nice stuff like printed Kaftan, tie dye maxi dress. Meh! I really do not need it though.!
After the market we headed to Cafe Chocolatti in the same area for dessert. I had two scoop of chocolate chip ice cream that I ended up sharing with the kids for it was too much. 

   
  Chocolatti Sundae

The kids had Chocolatti Sundae ( brownie topped with chocolate ice cream and whipped cream) and the hubby had Muesli Frughurt. I found the brownie of the Sundae a bit hard but the ice cream was scrumptious. The place is very nice, we ate in a garden, and it was breezy. It looked like an oasis in Baga beach crazyness. They also provide free Wifi which made the bubby stay longer that he normally does at an eatery.  We went back to the hotel for the kids to enjoy the pool before the Sunset. For diner we tried a local restaurant recommended by the staff at Kudos restaurant. It is called Alua, and it located barely minutes from the hotel by car. The restaurant is a huge rustic house with heigh ceilings and white walls. It reminded me of my Grandma's old house, I felt right at home. We went crazy and ordered several Goan dishes: Prawn Caldin, Prawn Baljao, and Shark Emboti with roti and fried rice. The prawn Caldin was a green soup that had a hint of cilantro but tasted so sweet. I was not really hungry but you should have seen me almost licking the bowl, that thing was so good. The prawn Baljao was a thick tomato gravy that was sweet and spicy at the same time. And the shark Emboti was also tasty. I was eating shark for the first time but it tasted like meat. Our experience at Alua was great but that diner ruined my diet.

The next day we drove back home to Pune saying goodbye to Goa. I think we found our Hawaii in India for Goa was fabulous. I loved the food, the ambiance, people are more laid back, the colorful houses, the melting pot of religions ( churches, temples and mosques everywhere), the big trees and flowers, the beach ( seen from afar), even their radio station ( Indigo). I really can't wait to go back and stay for longer....

Goa in Pictures




Pool view from our hotel


Beach view from Thalassa restaurant


"Can't wait!" Stuffed chicken and fries at Thalassa


Grounds at Thalassa, rooms with names of Greek gods



Church



Colorful house


Road that reminds me of my Gambia 


Beautiful Bougainvilliers at hotel



Nice and simple restaurant


Absolutely serene


An oasis in the hustle bustle of the town


Decorated table


Finally, Goan shrimp curry


Pool at Banana Republic


These lamps were everywhere in Goa, want them for my garden one day


Best local restaurant in town (or at least the only one we tried)


Check table cloth, reminds me of my Grandma's house


Exteriors of the restaurant



Brick benches


Best food in Goa: Shrimp Caldim (I wanted to lick the plate it was so good. Actually, I did)


Can't remember the name of this dish but it was spicy, sour and sweet and the same time


Shark Emboti



Lounging by the pool at sunset


Sugar cane transporting cart on the highway




Interesting vintage car

Saturday, April 5, 2014

This is where I stand!

Any fashion blogger who tells you that they are doing it for fun, is lying. She or he may have started it for fun or to push her\himself to be more adventurous but once she or he realises what could be at stake, their attitude changes. With blogging comes all kind of perks: popularity, endorsements, being invited to fashion shows, collaborations with fashion designers, book deals, launch of career. It can be very lucrative to be a fashion blogger.
I am not going to lie, I did dream of getting all that once I realised the odds. Unfortunately for me I am not popular. Yes, I am read in places I would have never imagined ( Hi Ukraine and Iraq) but I do not have a lot of traffic on my site. I tried to improve things and started putting my blog on social medias. But I am not there yet.
However from time to time I get emails from casinos wanting to advertise on my blog or asking me to write an article about "what to wear for a night in a casino" for a nice fee. Although the money is very tempting, I always answer no. I may not be the best person ever ( I have flaws and vices) but I can not promote something I do not believe in. I do not even allow myself to gamble with my life, let along with money. I have never visited a casino and I do not plan to anytime soon. 
Does that make me noble or plain stupid? Do we have to sometimes sacrifice who we are to get ahead?  I am sure some of you would answer yes. But it is not even about values and religions. I realise that I am not that hungry. I want to be successful someday in life but not the extend where I have to sell my soul. Because there is one thing I am sure of is that once you sell your soul, what is stopping fron selling the rest of you?
Now this is not to criticize bloggers who endorse casinos or other things I would not. You do you! Everyone is entitle to do what they think is best for them ( as long as it does not hurt anyone around them). But as for me this is where I stand. You want me to endorse a brand I love ( hey H&M! Where you ate?), review a new label? Write about a boutique or even blog about fashion in general, I am your girl. Anything else that deals with gambling, alcohool, drugs ( even medecines) is not for me and my blog. I hope I made myself clear enough.
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