Hope you guys are having a wonderful day. I’m sitting at my desk, sipping chai, enjoying the rains, and sifting through Turkey photos and reliving all the memories. Sharing all the fun and madness we did on Day 2 in Istanbul.
Braving the cold, packed in woolens, we were ready to take on the day!
So we drove from the Europe side of Istanbul to the Asia side. Visited the beautiful Beylerbeyi Palace. This was the summer residence of the Ottomans and epitomizes grandeur and opulence.
The best way to get back to Europe side is via a cruise over Bosphorus. You can choose different kinds, we chose the 2 hour cruise and it was so stunning. The chilled breeze, seagulls chasing us, and the beautiful views – it surely made honeymoon diaries a lot more memorable and instagramable!
The people in Turkey are so warm and amicable. I met this uncle on the cruise. He was serving tea, and when I said thank you in Turkish he was so impressed that he offered me a free tea! People appreciate your efforts to speak even a few words in their language, and it’s such a heartwarming experience.
Lunch was at one of the many restaurants at Galata Bridge! They have an amzing selection of sea-food, Turkish delicacies, and meats.
Post lunch we went to Spice Bazaar for some shopping. Bought Turkish delights and Baklava for friends and family, tasted lots of Pomegranate and Apple Tea (bought some as well), enjoyed roaming around in the bazaar, and of course made lots of Insta Stories!
Spent the evening chillin’ in a local café with some delish coffee. SM enjoyed photography and shopping.
Hope you’re enjoying this virtual journey with me. Will see you soon with snippets from our next destination!
It’s been a month to the wedding and am slowly settling into the new life. I always do a monthly favorites post, but for March the best part was Turkey Honeymoon. It was such an amazing experience and I thought it would be a great idea to share my memories with y’all!
So here’s the first of hopefully a couple more parts of Turkey Adventures. We were in Istanbul and Cappadocia, and both have their own unique charm. Let’s begin with Day 1 in Istanbul.
Istanbul has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history geek, foodie, photography enthusiast, every corner is like a living museum. The people are so warm and welcoming, which totally adds to the overall travel experience.
After a lot of sightseeing it was time for a scrumptious lunch. Turkish delicacies and local food is so delishh! Hummus, the local bread, fresh pomegranate juice and orange juice, lots and lots of variety of cheese, local rice, and the highlight is meat. I had so much beef, it was so yummy.
Stuffed and happy after a great lunch, we were ready to explore the most iconic shopping destination of Istanbul – The Grand Bazaar.
The best way to travel is to take public transport. Cabs are easily available all around the city. And if you stay around central Istanbul – near Taksim Square, or Spice Bazaar area, you can easily walk around. Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, because most day tours would be walking tours.
Time runs so fast when you’re on vacation. Day 1 was fun and fulfilling. Beautiful places, yummy food, lots of shopping – what else can you ask for!
Come back to see all the excitement that we did on the rest of the trip! See you soon. Tesheque Aderim (Thank You) in Turkish……
Welcome back to #blogmas. December – the harbinger of winters – is here and December by default means Christmas season. It’s the time to party, for family to sit together and celebrate, and good food is an inevitable part of all celebrations.
Here are 4 amazing and easy Christmas Recipes from my kitchen.
A favorite among kids and adults alike! It’ll be a super hit for parties and is super easy to make.
Vanilla sponge cake
2 cups Assorted fresh fruits
4 tbsp Dry fruits (finely chopped)
2 cups custard sauce
Make thin custard sauce (preferably vanilla flavor) and let it cool. Cut assorted fresh fruits into small cubes – apples, pear, peach, grapes, banana, pomegranate etc. Mix them in the custard when cool. Cut the sponge cake into rectangular cubes and line them in a shallow dish. Pour the fresh fruit custard over it. Garnish with dry fruit and serve chilled!
Take your festive feast a notch higher with these delicious mutton chops. Follow this easy recipe and you’ll know its no rocket science to cook mutton chops.
500gm mutton chops (ribs) (flattened)
2tbsp cornflour/ maida
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
2- 3 green chillies (finely chopped)
1 onion (cut into rings)
Wash the mutton chops and drain them (be sure that the flesh on the chops has been beaten well to flatten them).
Beat the eggs, add salt, chillies, garam masala, coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, and cornflour to make a thick paste. Marinate the chops and keep overnight. Cook them in a non-stick pan with 2 drops of olive oil on medium heat.
You can also bake/ grill them as per your taste. Serve hot with lemon juice squeezed over them and onion rings.
3. Spiced Vanilla Coffee
Whether its conversations, cuddling up in the blanket to watch sappy Christmas movies, or to just enjoy it with a book, coffee is a constant companion. It’s the season of being merry and this spiced vanilla coffee will be perfect for cozy evenings and lazy afternoons!
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Fresh cream (optional)
Powdered mix spices
In a thick pan, boil milk with a pinch of mix spices (star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves). Put coffee powder, sugar, 2-3 drops of vanilla essence in a mug. Pour hot milk and mix well. Add fresh cream if desired (and if you don’t mind those extra calories). Your yummy coffee is ready to be relished with some delish cookies!
4. Puplet Cake
It’s Christmas time for our furry friends also. So treat them with a special doggie cake which they’ll love and the wagging tail will be proof enough!
1 cup wheat flour
Assorted fresh fruit (cut into small cubes)
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp tutti-fruti
In a bowl take eggs and beat them well. Add fruits and tutti-fruti. Mix baking powder with wheat flour and slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Grease a mould with some oil and pour the batter. Bake it for 10 minutes on 180 degree C.
Once cool, de-mould and feed it to your beloved! See the glee on their face and the twinkle in their eyes as the aroma of this yummy Christmas treat fills the kitchen!
I hope these Christmas recipes make your festive season all the more special. Do let me know which of these are you going to try! See you soon for #blogmas!
Hey everyone! Welcome to #blogtober wrap up. It’s been such an overwhelming journey. A month ago, I decided on whim to do #blogtober, i.e. one post a day all of October. With apprehensions and anxiety, I started and thankfully things went pretty well.
The best part about October has to be my birthday in the hills. It was whimsical, filled with lots of sunshine and good food, just the way I wanted.
Have a look at Mcleodganj Diaries – part I and Part II to have a closer look at the celebrations!
A month of churning content and sticking to a schedule has made me feel so productive and happy. And true that, it’s not the journey that’s intimidating but that first step. Gathering courage to take that first step is the most difficult, and I’m so thankful to y’all and especially maa, for being such a support!
Hello y’all. Its Day 28 and just three more days left to #blogtober. Enjoying a sunkissed lazy Sunday before the hustle of a new week begins.
Last Sunday this time I was in the mighty mountains. A week back into the life, but the vacay hangover refuses to fade away. Mcleodganj has a special place in my heart, and this birthday made it all the more memorable.
For my birthday this year I thought I’ll celebrate it at Paa’s favorite mountain destination – Manali. Efficiently we planned and booked well in advance. But due to the recent floods, the plan got cancelled. His second favorite place was Mcleodganj, and that’s how birthday in the mountains came to life.
Hi y’all! Welcome to the last weekend posts of #blogtober. And Happy Karvachauth ladies.
After a day of fasting, a stay in Saturday night with chilling and movie marathon, sounds a good idea. For all you movie buffs and booknerds, I got something special today – books to movies that you’ll love.
7 book to movie adaptations that you’ll love
1. Me Before You
If there’s one love story you want to read, then watch, sob, and get all the feels, Me Before You is the perfect pick. I’ve lost count for the number of times I cried while reading and watching the movie. It’s super cute, emotional, and so romantic. The chemistry between Emilia Clark and Sam Claflin is sizzling. You need to watch this on those shitty PMSing days to make life better.
The story of a mother-son duo that are held captive in a room. The story of their escape and the story of courage and hope, Room is such a deeply moving book to movie adaptation. If you haven’t read it or seen it, I highly recommend it. But don’t blame me if it leaves a void in your heart. I cried re-watching the trailer, so you can imagine. Brie Larson as the mother and the little boy Jacob Tremblay are beyond exceptional.
3. One Day
For all you romantic buffs, One Day reminds you of old school charm. Both the book and the movie have that vintage vibe! I have to admit that I was a tad bit biased towards the movie. The story traces Dexter (Jim Strugess) and Emma (Anne Hathway) who decide to meet every year on 15th July and see where their life is heading. Spread over 18 years the story is funny and emotional in a seamless way. Watch this with bae tonight and let the romance soar.
4. 7 Years in Tibet
It is based on Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer’s life experiences in Tibet during World War II. How he escapes Chinese prison and reaches the holy city of Lhasa where he’s employed as an instructor for 14th Dalai Lama. Soon their bond kindles and they become friends and close confidants. Watch this for the brilliance of the story, visuals, and of course Brad Pitt.
5. The Girl on the Train
Based on Paula Hawkins bestselling psychological thriller, the story traces an alcoholic woman who somehow becomes involved in a missing persons investigation. Things take a turn and become messier with each turn. Emily Blunt in the lead role is so convincing, loved her.
I can clearly say that the movie as better. The intensity, that chill, and psychological thriller feel was kept crisp in the movie.
6. If I Stay
If I Stay is the first book in a duology and is followed by Where She Went by Galye Forman. The book to movie adaptation of If I Stay is phenomenal. The drama and tension of the story comes alive in the film and is so enjoyable.
The story is about Mia, who meets with an accident. Although she slips into coma, she has an out-of-body experience wherein she sees life differently and has to make a life altering choice!
7. The Silence of the Lambs
The movie is based on the novel ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ by Thomas Harris. The story traces Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee who seeks help of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an extraordinaire psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer to help find another serial killer.
It is creepy, horrific, and gut wrenching. Read it to get the feels and see it for a visual treat that Anthony Hopkins is!
If you’ve read and seen any of these, let me know what you thought of these book to movie adaptations. Also please share your recommendations! I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a great weekend.
Diwali is just round the corner, and while we all love the dressing up, meeting friends and family, eating delish sweets, and festivities, the one thing that most of us dread is deciding upon Diwali gifts.
Gone are the times when you could recycle gifts and give boring mithai boxes as Diwali gifts. This Diwali get creative and gift something useful and practical. Something that’ll make the other person genuinely happy and they can use it in their day to day life.
So here are 5 practical Diwali gifting ideas
Let go of the unhealthy mithai and snack packs this Diwali. Instead you can curate a special health hamper for your loved ones. Homemade cookies, nuts and seed mix, quinoa crackers, kale chips, herbal tea, makhanas, protein bars, etc. there is plenty to choose from. Pack an assortment of items in a beautiful basket, or pick a hamper online.
You can also gift tea hampers or coffee gift baskets. Customize a hamper with different kinds of roasts and teas, and trust me it’ll be a cherished Diwali gift. So this season gift the goodness of health and wellness.
A luxury fragrance is something is a foolproof way to impress anyone! You can pick one as per your budget and it’ll make for a perfect Diwali gift. And if you know the person is a huge fan of a particular fragrance, you can also gift a fragrance set!
3. Organization Kits
Space is always a constraint in our modern homes. And what better way than to gift someone a chic organization kit to make their vanity look super classy. Brush holders, organization trays, jewelry boxes…the list is endless.
Amara Accessories is a Noida based brand that has a huge variety of amazing organization kits. From brush holders to bath sets, marble finish trays to stunning jewelry boxes, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Great quality and amazing service, do check them out and get your Diwali gifts sorted. Check out their Facebook page for more details.
Gifting memberships, be it Netflix subscription for your beloved bestie, gym membership for your fitness freak cousin, or bookstore/library membership for your nerdy sibling, is such a great and useful idea.
You can also gift your family and friends subscription boxes, there are so many options to choose from – beauty, health, tea, snacks, books etc. Gifting membership cards is also a great option, something like Body Shop, Forest Essentials, Lifestyle, or PVR membership.
5. Beauty/ Skincare Gift Boxes
The festive season means lots of parties to attend, and sometimes amidst all the fun and celebrations, you might not get the time to visit the salon. Gifting your loved ones a beauty or skincare hamper will be an ideal Diwali gift.
You can customize one as per the person’s choices and skincare needs, or pick a readymade gift box. There are many available online from brands like The Body Shop, Kama Ayurveda, Forest Essentials, Bath and Body Works, Biotique, Clinique etc.
Hope these Diwali gift ideas help you choose better this year! And wishing you a happy festive season ahead.
Hi everyone! Happy Dussera, and welcome to day 19 of #blogtober. As 20s come to an end, I’ve realized that this decade has been for love and loss.
Love has given me the strength to accept the loss. When I weigh the two, they seem to be equal. But then suddenly loss sinks and I understand that love always over powers.
20s has made me super strong, and I can vouch for it after losing most part of my family and my heart (Romeo). But it was their love then and now, that I and mumma are carrying on and giving life a tough fight.
Loss teaches you that when it all comes tumbling down, you need to sit there, wait, collect the pieces one by one – some might hurt, and start building the tower of hope again. I know it sounds whimsical, trust me it isn’t. There would be bad days, tears and snorts, heartache and headache, but it all passes. And what’s left are memories that always bring tears of longing and joy.
Collect those tears, drown in them once, build a bridge, and walk across to the other side. It’s always sunny and happy!
Hope the sun always shines on you and makes life bright and prosperous for you! Gotta go now! See you tomorrow
Hi from the hills! Its birthday eve and I write this with a heart full of gratitude for all the blessings bestowed in these three decades. Welcome to a rather emotional #blogtober Day 18.
10 things I’m grateful for in life
The best part about life was getting this munchkin home. With tiny paws he walked into our lives and has left paw prints on our hearts forever. Cannot be thankful enough to have his love and companionship for the most amazing 8 years of my life!
Ok – sobbed, saw a tonne of his pictures, sobbed a little more, and now I’m back.
2. Supportive Parents
My parents have always been supportive about all my decisions in life and we’ve shared a bond of friendship and open discussions. This transparency, encouragement, and support has helped me a long way! And I’m most thankful for ‘em rockstar parents.
3. Freedom to choose my career
I’m a freelancer and a lot of people do not understand the concept. Yes, I don’t go to a physical work place, but the hardwork I put in is equal and on some days a lot more than a regular 9 to 5. I was lucky to be supported by my parents in this decision and thankfully it has worked for me!
Talk about perks – working in pajamas, freedom to choose your working hours, being on your own. But don’t forget you need to keep yourself motivated and there’s a lot of uncertainty.
4. Road trips with mom-dad
Growing up, my summer and winter vacations were for road trips. Traveling with parents is such a comforting experience, all the luxuries and all the fun! Those lazy summer evenings by the beach, or sun soaking on cozy winter afternoons up in the hills, roadside chai ki tapri, fancy candle light dinner at a machan…such heartwarming memories.
The best would be road trip with Romeo (papa’s last and probably the happiest one)
5. Friends who understand
You have the freedom to choose friends, so make them wisely. Some friendships stay, some fade away, some linger on, but they all teach a lesson. It’s never a one way journey. I’m thankful for all the friends in my life, the ones who’ve stood through tough times – you know I appreciate it so much, and the ones who weren’t there – good riddance, you weren’t worth the time.
6. Finding solace in books
Forever thankful for my nerdy genes! Finding solace in books is ultimate happiness. You can laugh out loud, bawl your eyes out, feel loved, feel scared, and do absolutely any and everything in this magical world. For me books are savior and a friend I can always trust.
7. Gyaan from grandparents
Cherish memories with your grandparents, because there’s nothing like it. The time spent with daadi (KD) at home gossiping and watching her favorite serials, with nani and daddy in Amritsar – there’s no match to that feeling. Filled with gratitude to have their blessings and now them watching me from heavens above!
8. Publishing a book
It was a dream to see my name on the cover of a book. And now that’s its done, I’m a happy soul. So grateful for ‘December Breeze’ to have happened. So grateful for the tough times when I didn’t give up! However naïve it may be, firsts are always special and so is my December Breeze.
9. Body Positivity
Everybody is conscious in some way or the other, even I am. But now I’ve learnt to accept it and work my way with a smile. Extremely thankful for all things good instead of focusing on how the virtual world deceives has helped me become confident and happy in my own skin.
I’m most grateful for having worked on the quality of acceptance. It has helped me wade through the tough times a tad bit easily. Seeing how mumma is a ‘Iron Lady’ gives me so much strength. Acceptance towards death, grief, moving on, and myself – a big thanks to God.
Gratitude is something we should all cultivate. Let me know something that you’re grateful for in life! And come back tomorrow for birthday post in #blogtober!