Pop Up Couture : Funky Fish 3rd Edition

Think of a plush five star banquet, high-end brands and an eclectic theme based decor : that’s Funky Fish for you. After the first two editions of Enchanted Garden and Dream Catcher, this year’s theme was “Patakha Pop”. The brands were a mix of apparel, jewellery, footwear, skincare and sweet treats.

What made this couture event unique was the fact that most of these brands had options for customisation like personalised footwear, chocolates, soaps and food hampers. Also loved that they tried to make it a holistic experience by adding a stall from Tarot Tales. Some of the participating brands were Outhouse Jewellery, September Spring, Weave In India etc.

Enjoy the pictures :

DSC_1425

DSC_1427

DSC_1428

DSC_1429

DSC_1439

DSC_1440

DSC_1445

DSC_1452

DSC_1453

DSC_1456

DSC_1459

DSC_1461

DSC_1431

DSC_1447

DSC_1457

DSC_1441

DSC_1443

DSC_1446

DSC_1449

DSC_1458

DSC_1460

DSC_1462

DSC_1430

DSC_1432

DSC_1435

DSC_1444

Beauty Review : Chumbak’s Skincare Range

Chumbak as a brand is all about joie de vivre. Their stores are so vibrant and eclectic that every visit fills you with zest and delight. I love their motto of #makehappy 😊. Recently, the brand came up with their skincare range, something very different from their usual categories. The packaging is aesthetically pleasing and the nomenclature is quite artistic. The products are devoid of any parabens and carcinogenic substances. And the best part, they are all hand processed and Chumbak is against animal testing.

Here we are reviewing the shower gel, hand sanitiser and lip balm :

Good Things Shower Gel :

– priced at 395 rupees/250 ml.

– very mild with a subtle floral fragrance. The fragrance reminds me of a soap i used as a kid though I can’t recall the name.

– not very effective for cleansing and doesn’t lather much.

I am a big fan of shower gels from The Body Shop, there are so many to choose from different skincare ranges and each has a special purpose. I hope Chumbak comes up with more and better options in this category.

DSC_1094

DSC_1097

DSC_1098Good Things Hand Sanitiser :

– priced at 195 rupees/50 ml.

– floral fragrance similar to the shower gel.

– gets absorbed quickly.

Sanitiser has become an essential thing given the number of germs and viruses in the environment, but I always dread the smell of these. This is a great product from Chumbak , you get clean hands without that pungent smell.

DSC_1104

Tangerine Tales Lipbalm :

– priced at 195 rupees/8 ml.

– light texture and quite moisturising.

– can be a perfect base for matte lipsticks.

– tantalising aroma of tangerine.

This is my favourite out of the three. I do not prefer glossy balms as they ruin the matte effect. This one is not heavy and yet very hydrating for the lips.

DSC_1109

DSC_1110

DSC_1111

So the sanitiser and the lipbalm surely won my heart. I will definitely be reviewing other products from their skincare range soon.

Love For The Handwoven ❤️

When you buy something made by a person, there is something special and you do feel it. The consciousness with which a thing is made is often more important than the things itself. Handmade things are so aesthetically pleasing and even the imperfections in them add charm. I never leave a chance to attend any of these expos as it is a sheer delight to witness the rich handcrafted art forms of India.

Look at the beauty of these stitches : whether it is the vivid Phulkari or the intricate Kantha or the graceful Chikankaari, It feels like the colours, fabric, thread and myriad patterns are weaving a story. And each story is unique because a different storyteller weaves it. Enjoy the pictures :

DSC_1131
Kantha Work

DSC_1134DSC_1135DSC_1139

Phulkari

DSC_1140DSC_1141

Phulkari

DSC_1142DSC_1145DSC_1146DSC_1147DSC_1148

Kantha Work

DSC_1150DSC_1151DSC_1152DSC_1153DSC_1156DSC_1157DSC_1159DSC_1160DSC_1161DSC_1163DSC_1164DSC_1165DSC_1167DSC_1168

Chikankaari

DSC_1171DSC_1173DSC_1174DSC_1177DSC_1178DSC_1179

Chanderi
DSC_1180
Banarasi

Travel : Pithoragarh City Guide 1

How to reach : The way to experience real India is to be away from the chaotic tourist towns and pages of the usual guide books. This real India : inspires and humbles, is artistic yet genuine, simultaneously incredible and heartbreaking and surely takes a little effort to find. One such place is the quaint little town of Pithoragarh. It is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and is a seven hours tortuous journey from Nainital, passing through the picturesque hills of Almora.

The typical ‘Indian’ tourist, who once wanted to visit every place given in a travel guide, is now evolving. It is not about ticking off things in a list anymore, but to find a place where you can get some much needed “me” time and places like Pithoragarh are perfect for that.

Here is a glimpse of this beautiful town followed by snapshots of two of the must see places :

dsc_0536

DSC_0393

DSC_0404

DSC_0414

DSC_0411

DSC_0401

Kamakshya Temple : Sun-kissed peaks and a panoramic view of the entire city is what you get from here. The temple has a unique history and was set up by a soldier of the Indian Army and it is still being looked after by his family.

DSC_0392

DSC_0491

 

DSC_0478

DSC_0497

DSC_0489

dsc_0581

DSC_0527

DSC_0536

DSC_0544

DSC_0513

On The Rocks Cafe : This mountain cafe surprised us as we did not expect such quirky decor in a small town eatery. Loved gorging on the delectable chinese food with views of the valley.

DSC_0476

DSC_0451

DSC_0455

DSC_0453

DSC_0462

DSC_0457

DSC_0454

DSC_0463

DSC_0456

So this was part one of our Pithoragarh itineary, more to come in the second part! Remember it is only when you go off the beaten path that you encounter such uninterrupted views of Nature. Cherish every bit of it.

Wedding & Lifestyle Exhibition : Jhalak

“Jhalak” : A Hindi word which means ‘glimpse’, and a glimpse into lifestyle and societal trends is what I get at these expos. This one was held in the plush banquet of hotel Holiday Inn, Jaipur. With the festive season coming up, it was the perfect place to shop for ethnic outfits, jewellery, accessories, shoes and a lot more.

These exhibitions with their colourful textiles, beautiful ornaments and quirky accessories give you a chance to witness the real India that comes alive in her streets. There were shoes with Ajrakh and Kalamkari prints, Meenakari done on fabric jewellery, Phulkari embroidered bags and so many traditional crafts conceived in a contemporary manner.

Exploring India is incomplete without food and this is where these expos should work on. Jaipur has so many traditional delicacies to offer, adding them would make it an amazing experience.

Here are the pictures :

 

DSC_0897

DSC_0894

DSC_0895

DSC_0899

DSC_0901

DSC_0902

DSC_0900

DSC_0903

DSC_0906

DSC_0904

DSC_0908

DSC_0910

DSC_0913

DSC_0915

DSC_0917

DSC_0921

DSC_0922

DSC_0924

DSC_0925

DSC_0927

DSC_0928

DSC_0930

DSC_0931

DSC_0933

DSC_0907

DSC_0916

DSC_0932

DSC_0909

Travel : Saturday Night Market, Goa

My favorite way to get to know a culture is by getting lost in the markets of the locals. It is the best way to see how people really live, how they eat and interact, and in what they place value. Goa has two such markets, which are held once every week : Anjuna Flea Market and Saturday Night Market at Baga. While the former has more of authentic Goan stuff (new and old), the latter is an amalgamation of people and crafts from all over the country.

This post covers our experience at the Saturday Night Market, which is a panoply of myriad forms of craft, food and music. There were umpteen stalls selling Tibetan jewellery, jute/straw handbags, Goan spices, Tribal silver ornaments, Beachwear, wooden decor and a whole lot of other stuff. For food lovers, the fare ranged from Tibetan momos and Chinese to authentic Goan delicacies and yes lots and lots of alcohol.

Take shopping as an experience of finding a great product from a treasure trove and you will be enchanted. I loved rummaging through the stuff to find that one perfect piece to carry home as a souvenir. And more than shopping, it was a great way to discover Goa and its people beyond beaches.

Travel Tip : The market is usually very crowded so for commuting prefer two-wheeler over four-wheeler.

Here are the pictures :

DSC_1073

DSC_1097

DSC_1079

DSC_1099

DSC_1095

DSC_1089

DSC_1093

DSC_1096

DSC_1140

DSC_1127

DSC_1131

DSC_1116

DSC_1123

DSC_1126

DSC_1129

DSC_1143

DSC_1139

DSC_1137

DSC_1134

DSC_1110

DSC_1085

DSC_1086

DSC_1100

DSC_1102

DSC_1107

DSC_1109

DSC_1111

DSC_1119

DSC_1124

DSC_1135

DSC_1136

DSC_1141

DSC_1113

DSC_1077

DSC_1117

 

Decor : Anantaya

Anantaya is a lifestyle design studio that is centered on the philosophy of using traditional crafts in a contemporary style. The gamut of products designed include home decor, textiles, lighting, furniture, gifts etc. The store is located in the beautiful environs of Narain Niwas Palace, a place that provides a perfectly apt background for such eclectic products.

What I love most about Anantaya is the fact that there is a deep-rooted tradition behind each of their products, whose relevance has been so elaborately explained and then the product is designed in a completely unconventional way but nowhere losing on the origins. Whether it is the Cresent serve ware or the Lotus mirror, each item has been conceived not only from the beauty perspective but their being conducive to the overall well-being of a house.

There’s also a separate section dedicated to organic skincare with things like soap, lip balm, aroma oils, candles etc. The overall vibe of the store is very calming and uplifting. Visit Anantaya to buy things for your home or gifts for your loved ones or simply to witness the amazingly designed stuff 😊.

Here are pictures from our visit to Anantaya :

DSC_0773

DSC_0759

DSC_0758

DSC_0736

DSC_0729

DSC_0768

DSC_0762

DSC_0690

DSC_0709

DSC_0702

DSC_0694

DSC_0722

DSC_0698

DSC_0735

DSC_0737

DSC_0718

DSC_0716

DSC_0695

DSC_0701

DSC_0708

DSC_0726

DSC_0739

DSC_0743

DSC_0746

DSC_0747

DSC_0750

DSC_0754

Travel : Shervani Hilltop, Nainital

I never tire of the hills. The wide open spaces and star-filled skies inspire me, define me. In the mountains, there’s always something to learn, and I feel like I am capable of so much more than I imagined. This was me reminiscing about my trip to Nainital, here’s the link. Then we did another blogpost on The Naini Retreat , a great place to stay in Nainital.

About the property : This post is about Shervani Hilltop, a boutique hotel located in Mallital. The wooden interiors, manicured lawns and lush green surroundings give an old world charm to the place. If you want to escape the crowd and have some time to yourself, it is an excellent option. You get a panoramic view of the mountains from any place in the property, but the Naini Lake isn’t visible from the hotel.

Dining options : Coming to the dining options, there’s the Courtyard bar which serves cocktails and mock tails and a restaurant for all day dining. Both these places have been done up in Victorian style and are very much in sync with the overall decor of the place. Though the view and the food options at The Naini Retreat are much better.

Recommendation : For people who are visiting Nainital for the first time, Naini Retreat is a better option as it is a beautiful heritage property located close to the Naini Lake and the Mall Road. For those seeking tranquility and an escape from the mundane city life, Shervani Hilltop is a good choice.

Travel Tip : Get your bookings done online as pricing is lower than what you will get at the hotel and this applies to almost all the good hotels in Nainital.

DSC_0209

DSC_0210

DSC_0211

DSC_0260

DSC_0245

DSC_0240

DSC_0239

DSC_0251

DSC_0212

DSC_0213

DSC_0241

DSC_0243

DSC_0257

DSC_0242

Hope you enjoyed our Nainital experience 😍. Do follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Bookchor’s Lock The Box Sale

It was the name Bookchor (Chor = Thief) that fascinated me into finding more about this company. Their aim is to make reading affordable by selling second-hand books at reasonable prices. You get to buy as well as sell books on their website, so increasing reading base without spending too much. Their quality inspectors ensure that the books are in decent condition.

These pictures are from their recent event held at the Birla Auditorium in Jaipur. “Lock The Box”, so all the books that fit in the box are yours. There were three different boxes : Odysseus (priced at 999 rupees and could fit 9-10 books), Perseus (priced at 1499 rupees and could fit 15-17 books) and Hercules ( priced at 2499 rupees and could fit 28-30 books). So you had the option of browsing the entire collection and then deciding which box to go for.

The reader in me was quite excited at the idea of buying so many books at low prices and i was pretty sure that i would end up buying the Hercules box. The exhibition hall was filled with thousands of books and so many readers browsing through them. Alas, most of these were fiction books meant for school/college students and I decided not to buy any of the box. But seeing so many children filling up their boxes enthusiastically was a wonderful sight. More power to Bookchor.

DSC_0769

DSC_0770

DSC_0779

DSC_0772

DSC_0778

DSC_0780

DSC_0771

DSC_0773

DSC_0775

Wedding & Lifestyle Exhibition : Urge

Another expo in the pink city, but with a very elaborate and eclectic decor. Shopping is such a great experience amidst such vibrant spaces and with so many unique things to choose from. It was an amalgamation of apparel ranging from gotta patti to block prints, embellished footwear and quirky juttis, handbags and ornamented clutches, mobile covers, semiprecious jewellery and even some organic cosmetics.

Enjoy the pictures :

DSC_0083

DSC_0111

DSC_0112

DSC_0113

DSC_0115

DSC_0090

DSC_0114

DSC_0087

DSC_0116

DSC_0117

DSC_0118

DSC_0122

DSC_0129

DSC_0119

DSC_0135

DSC_0138

DSC_0139

DSC_0146

DSC_0147

DSC_0136

DSC_0134

DSC_0137

DSC_0133

DSC_0125

DSC_0140

DSC_0130

DSC_0143

We have a separate category for all the expos that happen in Jaipur, here’s the link . Do follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Beauty Review : It’s Skin Mask Sheets

When it comes to giving much needed nutrition to the skin, nothing beats sheet masks. Dearpacker sheet masks are my absolute favourite, Sephora ones didn’t impress me much and now it is time to review sheet masks from another Korean brand called It’s Skin. The masks are priced at rupees hundred each, there was an offer going on so I got one mask free on purchase of two. These are available on Nykaa and also on Amazon.

Here’s my experience with the three masks :

1. Aloe : Moisture & Calming

Aloe Vera is the epitome of all things salubrious, so I decided to try this one first. It is intended to provide moisture and to soothe the skin. It did have a smoothing effect on my skin. Though it didn’t have a cooling effect, which all aloe infused products have generally. So I would say it is moisturising but not calming.

2. Pomegranate : Clean & Vitality

This was a disappointment as I didn’t notice any discernible changes in my skin. I expected it would remove impurities and will make skin more clear, but it failed. The only good part was its fragrance.

3. Olive : Nutrition & Firming

This was better than the pomegranate one, it was moisturising and also imparted a bit of glow on the skin.

Overall, I will rate these masks as moderate. I like them more than the Sephora ones owing to their affordable pricing, but Dearpacker still has all my heart.

Hope you found this review helpful. Do follow us on Facebook and on Instagram , it means a lot 😍.

Travel : The Naini Retreat, Nainital

If you remember our very first blogpost on Nainital , we did mention about covering the best places to stay as there are no renowned hotel chains in Nainital. The three best hotels to stay are : The Naini RetreatShervani HilltopThe Manu Maharani. Here we are reviewing our favourite out of the lot, The Naini Retreat –

About the property : Historically referred to as the residence of the Maharaja of Pilibhit, The Naini Retreat Hotel is among the best heritage hotels located in Nainital near the lake. The hotel is situated on the picturesque Ayarpatta Slopes, providing a breathtaking view of the Naini Lake at an altitude of 1,995 meters. The hotel embodies an old-world charm along with visible impressions of contemporary luxury.

Dining options : Coming to the food , there are 3 options : Lake View, which is their multi cuisine restaurant serving Indian and International delicacies. It is the perfect place to enjoy you meal with a panoramic view of the lake. Next is Stella Bar, which offers choices of the cocktails and mocktails. And then there is Garden Cafe and Grill for a quick breakfast, brunch or a dinner.

Recommendation : It definitely is the best place to stay in Nainital as it excels on all the prime parameters : location, food and luxury. Coming to the pricing, it was at a lower rate per day than both Shervani Hilltop and The Manu Maharani. Valley view rooms at The Manu Maharani were priced at fourteen thousand rupees approx, which is exorbitantly high compared to the facilities offered. Overall, a highly recommended place for your stay in Nainital.

Travel Tip : Call the hotel for exact directions as the route given by GPS isn’t appropriate for four wheelers.

DSC_0208

DSC_0161

DSC_0207

DSC_0159

DSC_0164

DSC_0203

DSC_0205

DSC_0199

DSC_0166

DSC_0193

DSC_0202

DSC_0204

DSC_0181
Mint leaves in drinking water

DSC_0170

DSC_0183

DSC_0196

DSC_0175

DSC_0200

Decor : Gulmohar Lane 2

If you haven’t read the first part of this blogpost, quickly head to this link . Gulmohar Lane website is like a decor journal in itself, there’s a dedicated video explaining the genesis of each of their collection and even a visualisation of their furniture in different kinds of spaces. There’s even more stuff like lots of ideas on home decor, furniture care and thousands of pictures to take inspiration from.

Gulmohar Lane furniture in Veere Di Wedding.

I absolutely love the way in which they have taken inspiration for their multifarious collections. Whether it is the Udaipur armchair or the Samode pond cushions or the Persian garden print, there’s a vivid evocation of the place in the designs.

Adorning Parineeti Chopra’s home in Mumbai.

Veere Di Wedding

The best part has to be their bespoke feature wherein you can choose a fabric online and a sample swatch is sent for you to witness and understand the feel of it. This is life made really easy, choosing furniture and fabric of your choice sitting in the comfort of your home.

Parineeti’s home.

Veere Di Wedding

Veere Di Wedding

(Please Note : All images taken from Gulmohar Lane’s website)

Wedding & Lifestyle Exhibition : Aspiration 2nd Edition

Aspiration was one of the first lifestyle expos that we covered for the blog. The decor was vibrant and there were a lot of stalls selling some amazing apparel and accessories. I could not resist the temptation and did buy some chic accessories. This year’s expo had an even elaborate decor and a wide variety of participating shops, though most of the stuff was all about the bling with ornamentation and embellishments. Since there is no wedding that i have been invited to in near future, i did not buy anything thankfully 😉

Here are the pictures :

DSC_0025DSC_0027DSC_0029DSC_0030DSC_0034

DSC_0035DSC_0037DSC_0039DSC_0041DSC_0042

DSC_0053DSC_0055DSC_0061DSC_0064

DSC_0067

DSC_0058DSC_0060DSC_0062DSC_0063DSC_0079

DSC_0045DSC_0046DSC_0047DSC_0049DSC_0050DSC_0059

DSC_0065

Travel : Artificial Lake & Chairlift, Auli

The artificial lake in Auli is perched at an astounding elevation and is one of the world’s highest man made lakes. It was created to help in providing artificial snow on the ski slopes in event of scanty rainfall. This also helps in extending the skiing season in Auli. The lake is located right next to Clifftop Club  and we did cover some of its pictures in our very first blogpost on Auli.

The snow-clad mountains, skiing slopes and azure-blue water make for the most amazing scenery. The fact that it is a man- made lake does not dampen the magic and beauty of the place in any manner. Nature truly holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.

DSC_0196

The rope way connecting Joshimath to Auli is 4 kms long and offers magnificent views of the Himalayan landscape. If you really want to have a rendezvous with nature, the chair lift is the best available option. It starts from near the ITBP base camp and goes up till the lake. The fact that the chair lift is completely open and runs just a few feet above the ground adds to the thrill.

DSC_0128
Cable car from Joshimath

DSC_0125

DSC_0230
Chair Lift

DSC_0233

Do follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more travel related stuff.