Our stay in Kumarakom - Aveda Resort

I am not a fan of writing reviews, it really does sound like I am endorsing the place - but the resort we stayed in recently was nothing short of spectacular. When I packed my bags from Kuwait to come home, that one trip every child looks forward to, I had in mind a small weekend getaway so we could spend some quality time as a family.
We chose Kumarakom for multiple reasons :
The place is only a couple of hours away from the city, yet is totally isolated from the noise and pollution.
The only traffic jam you may find is of 2 house / fishing boats coming close to each other.

Kumarakom is so lush, paddy fields and water ways intertwining magically with coconut trees, that you're tempted to say out aloud, "Kerala is so beautiful".

What to pack in your carry-on for a long flight

I know that a lot of people are already done with their holiday, it being February and all. But, I also know quite a few of you who are planning your trips for 2017 already!!!! While I am not going to be traveling for a bit, I am going to be doing some travel related posts, some outfit posts (yaaaay!!) and some design posts.

I took my first long haul flight from Addis Ababa - the capital city of Ethiopia to Bangkok. It's easier said than done to sleep throughout the flight. My feet get numb and swollen and I have to keep my feet up which is difficult because, well, flight. I have other issues - my attention span is negligible, my skin becomes dry and that makes me irritable for reasons beyond me.

I have put together a list of all those essential items you should pack - especially on a long flight.

Essentials for the long flight -

I've added the details of the items at the end of the post.
I like to carry warm socks to keep my feet warm. The moment I get comfortable and settled in on a long flight, I take my shoes off and put my socks on. I got my pair from La Senza - I know the brand is synonymous with amazing lingerie - but they have the most comfortable pair of socks !

East Georgia - Trailing the Wine Route

Georgia is one of those countries that offers an entire platter to tourists. Winter? No problem. Summer? Even better. Every month is special - from grape picking to cultural events. We went in December, and had the time of our life.

We stayed in Tbilsi the whole time, in a lovely airbnb owned by a Georgian architect and his wife. Every alternate day, we would explore the city. And every other day, we would take day trips to villages, towns, cities around Tbilsi. We took 2 tours - one to Telavi - via Sagarejo, Signaghi and Gurjaani and second to Kutaisi - via Ananuri and Gudauri. Both these trips were in different directions.

This is a post on our day trip to East Georgia, and our first stop, to be honest, was before we stopped at a vineyard. It was to get us some breakfast - we got some fresh bread with delicious raisins.

When we were traveling to Georgia, a few friends who'd probably been there, asked us to definitely try the local wine. We drove by Sagarejo, a town in the Kakheti district. Kakheti is famous for its vineyards. Even in the winter, these lovely vineyards had a beautiful charm. We drove through miles and miles of the 'wine route' - and both sides of the road offered this view. 
Eat: There are small stores on the way that will make excellent Nescafe coffee for you and from where you can buy warm fresh bread. 

Nature stop. By the wineyard.

The instax mini 8 camera review

A couple of years ago, I had a Facebook friend who had posted a photo of his new polaroid camera. Ever since I wanted to own one. I love the idea of having an actual photo that you can hold. I mean, I take hundreds of photos on my phone every month and probably have an entire hard disk of photos - but to be honest, I have no clue what's where.

Recently, my husband gifted me a polaroid. It was impromtu. We were browsing for camera accessories and I found this polaroid camera sitting on a shelf just looking at me. And before I could figure out whether to buy it, or read reviews first, or perhaps ask around, it was getting billed.

The polaroid:

The polaroid camera is called instax mini 8 and is by Fujifilm - a trusted brand in all things photography. The camera is easy to hold, has a plastic body and seems sturdy enough. It isn't as lighweight as you'd hope, especially considering it is, after all, a toy camera, but it has a vintage feel to it, which made me overlook the slighly bulk nature of the instax mini 8.

We came home and quickly unboxed the instax polaroid. It comes in 7 colours - and I chose sky blue. I always thought the decision whether to buy one would be tough - but it was challenging to actually select the colour. All the shades are nice - yellow, light pink, black, white, grape, raspberry and sky blue.

The front.

Holidaying in Tbilsi, Georgia

I have always loved the summer, and it would be fair to say that I would prefer 50 degrees of sveltering heat to 5 degrees of, what some people call, pleasant cold. As I grow older, I still prefer 50 to the 5. So when we thought of where to travel to in December, I quickly said Egypt without much thought. I knew Egypt (especially the coastal city of Sharm El Sheikh) would be nice and warm. But as luck would have it, my Kuwait residency had less than 6 months validity remaining, and hence, we could not apply for the Egypt visa - which was a huge bummer - becasue Egypt could really do with some tourism inflow.

Anyways, with maturity (not) I put aside my dream of diving in the Red sea, for now, and looked at other places. We were already late as it was mid November and we could only have managed a Visa on Arrival now. We then looked up Georgia, which I did not know much about. I was quite skeptical - the average temperature in December was 0 degrees much to my dislike.

But remember, someone famous once said - 'Do something new every once in a while and conquer your fear'. So with a lot of courage, and winter clothes aplenty, we took our flight from Dubai to Tbilsi. Flydubai has introduced affordable and convenient flights, and the flight was really nice. No freebies, but it was only a 3 - 4 hour flight.

#Stylefile Styling the Palazzo: in Monochrome

It's been a while I posted something on my blog. I usually post about travel, and recently, a couple of lifestyle posts too. I stay away from fashion, becasue, honestly, there are a tonne of great fashion bloggers. But recently, I have started to enjoy documenting what I wear, and what better way to document than to blog about it.

I think style is a way of expression, and minimalism, monochromes, simplicity, pastel, feminine, affordable and comfortable are words that you'll hear often. I am excited to be doing these posts - but beware, I am a terrible poser and also, quite camera shy. My wonderful husband makes me look a hundred times better than I am.

I have always been a fan of palazzos, those stylish yet comfy wide legged pants, that don't stick to my legs! On one of my recent shopping hauls, I found the perfect palazzo; the black and white one.
Vertical stripes make me look taller, I shall never complain about those few extra inches of perception. And to make a complete look of it, I have paired it with a short, well fitted black top, with an interesting neck. Palazzos go well with crop tops too.

It's been 6 years !

I just realised this is my 100th post. (Hundred !!) I started blogging in March of 2011, when I was a wedding planner. It seems like a hundred years ago. That was a time when my meetings used to be in Le Meridian or Ramada. Or my favourite, Taj Malabar, overlooking the water. I don't mean to show off, but I am reminiscing a part of my life that I am surprised I experienced. Most people, at 22, wouldn't have taken the risk that I took - of chasing a dream.

Of chasing dreams.
I wanted to be many things as a kid, most of all a vet, I thought there was nothing better in the world than to spend time with animals and take care of them. But for many reasons, that never materialised. Though even today, if I had to spend time in an animal shelter or a farm, I would be more than happy.
When I graduated as an engineer, I had an offer to join Infosys, at the time considered 'amazing'. And a person in the right frame of mind, who did not want to do a Masters or who had no clue what to do in life, would have taken that offer up. (The Mysore campus of Infosys was apparently world class)
But I chose to do wedding planning. I remember when I took that decision, there were people who I did not know cared for me, who told me to think twice.

Ladakh, through his lens.

I have always wanted to travel to Ladakh, but for some reason or another - that magical trip never materialised. Sometime in June this year, just before we left for Thailand, my husband was planning what he called 'a dream trip' with a couple of his friends - he was planning a road trip to Ladakh in September. I knew I wasn't going to get leave, in fact - for once in my life - I did not even have the required 'days off'. Yes, it is a real problem - a lot of my friends have asked me how I travel so much - well, there you go, I sat this one out.

I was a little bummed - it would have been amazing I was sure. A couple of years ago, when I was working in Delhi, for some reason or another, Ladakh did not happen. Plans would be made, plans would be cancelled. The place now seems jinxed.

Anyhow, my photographer husband, came back a couple of weeks ago, and I was excited to have him back. But he literally seemed disoriented. I was initially confused, but then I realised once you've seen something so beautiful, lived a dream and then have to come back to reality, it takes a toll for a few days.
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