Decor : Gulmohar Lane 1

It was while doing our Homes of the stars post that i came to know about Gulmohar Lane, a bespoke furniture label based in Jaipur. They have designed a lot of stuff for Parineeti Chopra’s home in Mumbai, which came as a big surprise as most star homes and their objects are completely opposite of anything unostentatious. So this was followed by some research about the brand’s ethos and then finally a wonderful interaction with the couple who owns this amazing brand.

Shweta Mewara and Saurabh Ailawadi, both NIFT graduates who worked with some of the leading brands in the fields of design, interiors, retail and brand management. During these job years they switched cities very frequently, every time styling a new space and turning it into their abode. This is when they realised the glaring gap between the demand and supply of simple, elegant and affordable furniture especially the one which is customised as per demand.

So the idea of Gulmohar Lane was born, with the aim of creating furniture that is comfortable, high on quality and adds beauty to a home. When I met the couple, the brand felt like a mirror image of their personalities : easy-breezy and quaintly charming. The duo is very clear on what they do not what to sell, you would not find any synthetic upholstery and only natural fabrics are used. Same rules apply to the wood being used. It’s amazing to come across brands which are conscious about their ecological impact.

Here are pictures from our visit to their store in Jaipur :

(All pictures were clicked during our visit to the Gulmohar Lane Store in Jaipur)

In the second part of this blogpost, we will be giving you a glimpse into some of their different collections of furniture and upholstery. Stay Tuned. 😊😊

Pop Up Couture : Funky Fish 2nd Edition

Funky Fish was our very first blogpost on the trend of pop up couture. It is a tad different from regular handicrafts and lifestyle expos. These events are not about promoting regional crafts or artisans, but primarily have designer/high-end labels showcasing their collection to people of a particular city.

Also, it is a pertinent medium for brands which only have an online presence as customers get to understand and feel the vibe of their products. “Enchanted Garden” was the theme of the previous edition of Funky Fish held at Hotel Hilton, Jaipur. This time the theme was “Dreamcatcher” , here are the pictures :

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Overnight Sleeping Masks : Sephora & L’Oocitane

As mercury increases and days get warmer, you need to up your game in terms of skincare , so that your skin stays moisturised and luminous. Overnight sleeping masks is a new category of beauty products that caught my fancy. Night is the best time for any kind of nourishment to the skin as the product stays for long. Also can you think of a more relaxing moment than this? A moment just for ourselves, with a mask on our face, soft music and a glass of wine or a piece of dark chocolate in your hands.

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These masks can help in detoxifying/ purifying the skin. Each of these masks is based on a different formula to suit different skin needs. They are easy to apply and do not feel greasy or oily on the skin plus there is no need to rinse. I decided to try sleeping masks from two brands : Sephora and L’Oocitane

Here’s the detailed review :

  • Sephora : I tried the rose sleeping mask which is intended to give intense moisturising and an instant radiance boost. It has a gel like consistency and feels very light on the skin. The mask is priced at 400 rupees and is for a single use but it has enough product to be used 2-3 times. I did not feel any moisture surge or radiance on my skin after getting up in the morning. The sheet masks are a much better alternative both in terms of quality and pricing.

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  • L’Oocitane: Pivoine Sublime Mask – This non-oily, light-textured gel-mask is aimed at reducing signs of fatigue like dullness and dehydration. This one too gets absorbed quickly and doesn’t feel greasy at all. I couldn’t notice much of a visible difference when I got up in the morning , as in my skin did feel a bit more soft, but it didn’t wow me. Given the pricing (390 rupees), I had more expectations.

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I ordered L’Oocitane one from Amazon and the Sephora one from their online store. Hope you find this post helpful, do tell us your experience with any of the sleeping masks that you have tried. Ciao ❤️❤️

Travel : Nainital City Guide

How to reach : A good traveler takes only memories and leaves no tracks. The same cannot be said about Nainital, a popular hill station located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Nainital is ensconced around an emerald lake surrounded by lush green mountains, but the amount of trash being emptied into the lake is ruining the beauty of this serene place. If we keep throwing garbage like this, there will be no mountains. All we will have are mountains of garbage.

Places to visit/Staying options : The place is great for a small rejuvenating break from the routine. Almost all the good hotels in Nainital offer a panoramic view of the mountains and the lake. The three best hotels to stay are : The Naini Retreat, Shervani Hilltop, The Manu Maharani. One can choose to just relax and enjoy the surroundings. For the more touristy ones, there are several options like : boating in the Naini lake, shopping and eating at the Mall Road or Tibetan market, Naina Devi Temple, Cable car ride to the snow view point and visiting the zoo.

Every blogpost that urges travellers to switch to eco friendly alternative counts. Every less plastic bottle used and disposed counts. Every voice discouraging their usage counts. Everything we do as individuals counts. Every responsible travel choice counts.

There aren’t any renowned hotel chains in Nainital, we would be covering the best hotels to stay in Nainital in subsequent blogposts. Here are the pictures from our trip :

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Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into Nainital, do like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for more such stuff ❤️❤️

Wedding & Lifestyle Exhibition : Lagan Mandap 2nd Edition

It is very gratifying to cover the new edition of an expo, which you have covered before. It’s like a journey that you have completed as an experience collector and nothing can be more rewarding. As the name suggests, Lagan Mandap is all about the glitz and glamour of wedding shopping. Here’s the link to the previous edition of this blogpost . This time the exhibition was held on a much larger scale with lots of participating stores and beautiful fresh flowers based decor.

One could find everything needed in a wedding under one roof. There were a plethora of semi-precious jewellery stalls, embellished clutches, sarees, Indo-western gowns, lehengas, footwear and a lot more. Also they had some very eclectic gift wrapping and packing stuff, which is a very important part of wedding preparations.

Enjoy the pictures :

Travel : Clifftop Club, Auli

We have done a series of blogposts about Auli – capturing the landscape in both its pre and post snow glory. Head over to the travel category and click on Auli to check all the previous posts. We mentioned about the lodging and boarding options in Auli in the very first blogpost. Uttarakhand government’s GMVNL guest house is a reasonable option and has basic facilities. For luxury seekers, Clifftop Club is the best available option.

About the property : It is located at more than 10000 feet above sea level (second highest resort in the world), making you feel literally at the top of the world. The view from the resort is something that you cannot understand virtually. You need to witness, breathe, experience and feel for yourself. The best part is that Clifftop is located right at the skiing slopes, adding to the thrill.

Dining options : The resort is entirely made of wood, which now has turned rustic owing to the vagaries of the weather. Accommodation choices are either the standard rooms or the suites. There is a single restaurant serving limited but delectable food. It would be unfair to expect multiple dining options at this height and terrain. The main activity is skiing, though I would say it is to soak in the beauty of the place 😃.

Coming to the pricing, it is between ten thousand to fourteen thousand during the peak snow season. The pricing is high compared to the amenities offered but, once you witness the challenges of running the resort in such daunting conditions, it feels justified. Also remember to check the weather prediction before making a booking as snow has become a rare commodity.

Travel Tip – The best way to reach the property is either by your own vehicle or via cable car from Joshimath.

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Nature is so totally awesome. It deserves our adoration, our reverence, our applause. Take care of the world around you. Celebrate its resplendence, never take it for granted ❤️❤️

Hidden Treasures : A Lifestyle Show

Being a blogger, I have had the privilege of covering so many wedding and lifestyle expos. Apart from the collection showcased by the participating brands, one thing that really stands out in any such event is the decor. It makes shopping feel like an artistic experience, renders luxury unintimidating and big-brand browsing feels refreshingly fun. Hidden Treasures was one such expo which was held at the  Diggi Palace, Jaipur. The whole outdoor area was done up with white paper lamps, artificial flowers and soft lighting, giving the place a very graceful and dainty vibe.

The exhibition had clothing, shoes, bags, precious & semi-precious jewelry, lifestyle accessories & artifacts, paintings & furniture, organic products & more from all across the nation and overseas. I don’t know which i like best : wearing jewelry or photographing jewelry 🙂 . There was also a live band and some cafes to enjoy in the beautiful settings, making this lifestyle show a perfect experience for all.

Here are the pictures :

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After The Snow : Auli And Beyond

Head over to the first part of this blogpost here. This post has pictures of the same location after the snowfall, where in everything was engulfed in white. The very fact of snow is such an amazement. There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special. Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Enjoy the pictures :

Before The Snow : Auli And Beyond

These are some photographs from our travels in and around Auli, you can have a look at our previous blogposts on Auli here. These pictures were taken before the snowfall happened, after which the entire area seemed like a white paradise. In Auli, there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, and snow is exhilarating.

Witnessing your first snowfall is a magical feeling and Auli is a place where Mother Nature rules supreme in all her glory. All good things may not be free, but all the best things of life are definitely free.

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Narsingh Temple at Joshimath near Auli

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Kailash Kher : Musical Night @ JLF – 2018

We gave you a glimpse of the glitterati and the literati attending the Jaipur Literature Festival  , here are the links to the two blogposts – Part 1 and  Part 2. Apart from the sessions at Diggi Palace, A musical night is held every day during the five days of the festival. These happen at Hotel Clarks Amer and the entry charges this year were 600 rupees per person per day. Among the lineup of performers, day one had a performance by Kailasa – Kailash Kher’s music band. It was a great musical fiesta but again like the main event at Diggi Palace, there was too much crowd which was not commensurate with the seating arrangements made at the venue.

Since most people were interested in attending Kailash Kher’s performance, tickets for day one were sold beyond the capacity of the venue. Barring the mismanagement, it was an awesome show. Kailasa is a great band with some very talented artists. Also there was a panoply of mouthwatering delicacies prepared by the Clarks Amer catering team, though there were very limited options for vegetarians 😒.

Here are pictures from the musical night :

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Lagan Mandap : Wedding Exhibition

Continuing with our wedding season series, here are certain pictures from another wedding expo – Lagan Mandap held at the SMS convention centre, Jaipur.

Shimmer : Wedding & Lifestyle Exhibition

The summer season is here and so is the wedding season, the latter calls for endless shopping trips to prep for various events like mehandi, sangeet, wedding, reception etc. A wedding exhibition/fair gives you the option of having everything under one roof. There are numerous boutiques/labels, which take part in these events to showcase their collection. It is also the perfect place to shop for accessories like clutches, footwear, hair adornments, jewelry due to the sheer variety and competitive pricing.

Shimmer is a wedding and lifestyle exhibition, which took place at the Birla Auditorium in Jaipur. There were some amazing stores selling all wedding related stuff. Here’s a look at the pictures from the exhibition –

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Jaipur Literature Festival : Part 2

Here we are with the second set of pictures from the Jaipur Literature Festival – 2018. You can have a look at the first part of this blogpost here. This year’s festival had a centrally located bazaar which had handicrafts, jewellery, apparel etc from various parts of the country. The mode of payment for any product or food item was completely cashless in the entire festival, giving an impetus to digital India.

There was a book store by Full Circle , which had books of all the authors who were participating in the festival. There was a Penguin store selling some quirky books based articles : Think rustic, gilded memo blocks, handmade paper, thread-stitched notebooks, souvenir maps and stationery that is kitschy, vibrant and just plain cool. Such stuff motivates you to write more and type less.

Coming to the food part, there was the special Diggi chai, samosas, kachoris, gol gappas etc. There were food stalls from Subway, Burger Farm, Chayyos, Fat Lulu’s, Fumo Attico and a whole lot of other stuff to try.

Here are the pictures :

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Hope you enjoyed our coverage of the Jaipur Literature Festival – 2018, we will soon be doing a collection of memories from the previous editions of the fest ❤️❤️

Travel : ITC Maurya, Delhi

About the property : ITC Maurya needs no introduction. Located in the preeminent diplomatic enclave, it hosts almost all the foreign dignitaries who visit India. Inspired by the grand Mauryan dynasty, this luxury hotel expresses the refined courtliness and majesty resembling this mighty empire. It also reflects the many intriguing facets of the Mauryas and is a tribute to the dynasty. ITC Maurya houses a priceless and exquisite collection of art by Krishen Khanna, M.F. Husain, Tyeb Mehta, Yusuf Arakkal, A R Ramachandran and more.

Dining options : The hotel houses some of the country’s most popular dining destinations like – Bukhara and Dum-Pukht. Unfortunately, both these restaurants were completely reserved for the evening so we did not get a chance to savour the delicacies. Leaving that for the next time 😊

We were there for a weekend getaway as we did not have time for a proper vacation. The aim was to clear our minds and to simply pamper ourselves. The hotel is absolutely flawless when it comes to hospitality and it is a perfect choice for public officials or businessmen who visit Delhi, but not an ideal destination for a staycation or a rejuvenating holiday.

Recommendation : There are a plenty of resorts/hotels available in the similar price range, which are better suited for recreational purposes. ITC Maurya is definitely a premier hotel of the country,  but it is important to have a clarity about our requirements before selecting a place. There’s not an iota of doubt on the facilities offered, but it is located in a such a prime part of Delhi that you can’t expect sprawling gardens or infinity pools.

Here are some pictures from our visit –

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The key to life is to make it fun, to a raise a glass to the everyday and to make small moments the most memorable. Do like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram 🙂

Jaipur Literature Festival : Part 1

Jaipur Literature Festival is undoubtedly the most prolific and the most diversified literary event in the world. I still remember the first edition of the fest in 2008, there were barely a hundred book enthusiasts who attended the fest. Within ten years, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds. The five days of the festival are like immersing in an ocean of books wherein you get a chance to witness so many talented authors and hear their words of wisdom.

There is one thing that I would definitely want to convey to the festival organisers. Over the years, JLF has become more of a glamour parade for people. There is no denying that there’s a great lineup of authors and it requires meticulous planning on the part of the organisers. But the audience attending the festival should have some understanding or appreciation of these literary geniuses.

The festival gives you the option of either a free registration or a delegate registration worth 22000 rupees. There should be something for people who have a serious interest in literature and are okay paying a moderate amount for it, so that they at least get a seat and hassle-free access to the sessions.

Here are pictures from JLF -2018 :

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