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colombo and last day at the best villa ever

I loved Colombo. at least the little that we saw. and specially the galle face hotel.

might go there again one day. and spend some more time.

places to visit: galle face hotel, the barefoot café and the ministry of crab.

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^^ galle face hotel ^^

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^^ more of galle face hotel ^^

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^^ the barefoot garden café from where I purchased by favorite coloring book. coloring is now new obsession and SO therapeutic ^^

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^^ this villa will forever be my happy place. and I am pretty sure we will end up going back there, soon ^

5 years today

how time flies.

today {which is a fairly light work day} I got several linked in pop up emails with some of my ex colleagues congratulating me  on my ‘work anniversary’. I clicked on the links out of curiosity – what work anniversary was this? it had only been 10 months since I joined Platinum. the link connected me to my work anniversary here {I had added the url of this blog  to my linked in page a long time ago}. then it hit me, I started this blog  5 years ago, today.

I still remember typing out my first blog post those many years ago. at a different desk on a different computer. I was so passionate about this little project. it was something I had been thinking about for so very long. it was like my very own online diary – noting down all the events, days and moments of my life which I didn’t want to forget. at some point I even wanted to make a career out of it {I still wouldn’t mind actually, if that could work ;)}

SO much has changed since. I’ve moved houses and jobs and met new people. I still look through the blog posts and feel so grateful for all of my experiences {a big reason I started this in the first place – is gratitude}

over time blog posts have appeared less often. but they haven’t stopped. haven’t let go of this domain name and don’t plan to.

my new year resolution for 2017 amongst several others was to blog more. and I plan to stick to it. even if it’s probably a little to late in the year. that’s okay…

life right now? is all about my new job {which is not so new anymore}, oscillating between being overly ambitious on some days and a wanting to be a  house wife on others, marriage {so much to learn, such a long way to go}, family {trying to spend more time with my old and making an effort to get to know the new}, my absolutely adorable niece {who we ALL obsess over} and the moments in between – traveling, hanging with friends and just being.

other random facts/things ..

my new favorite gift to give  – {specially when you have limited notice} – ellipsis bakery -  you can order their glutton-free or multigrain products on scootsy and they deliver it at your doorstep within 20 mins all packed up.

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my new favorite office snack – {albeit an unhealthy one}  I recently discovered my childhood favorite, Domino’s {Express Food} chocolate chip cookies on amazon and was ecstatic!

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my new favorite drink – mango orange green tea at café zoe

new favorite pass time – playing mono deal with the husband post work

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new favorite thing to do ever – watching leheir’s videos on REPEAT.

 

 

 

 

on vacations and Paros

Vacation is so often cast as a luxury now … a bourgeois game of Instagram tagging and food photos. But for me, in Sifnos, I came to know it as the time in the year when you find not only rest, but also the strength you need to meet your work and your life when you return to them. In the years since, it’s been hard to be an American writer and take vacations like this. But I would never want to live the other way — without them — again

excerpt from an interesting article on new york times I read the other day. its about a writer who visited a remote Greek island and on the writer ‘learning’ to take a vacation.

don’t get me wrong. I vacation like how most people do. Instagram tagging, food photos and the works.. visiting the most popular islands and making sure I cover them all even if I end up spending as little as two days in each.

no way of vacationing is right or wrong. but i would want to try it the other way next time. rent an apartment. for a month or two even. go some where unpopular. read books, draw, paint or cook. explore the city/island/village. like really explore. go to places that aren’t necessarily touristy.

the closest we came to doing that in Greece, was at Paros. Adi and I both read about the island online. we didn’t know of any one who had visited there, before we made our bookings. but the pictures looked stunning and so we took a shot at it.

and to be honest, before our ferry ride from Santorini to Paros we almost contemplated cancelling and staying back in Santorini for a few more days. all our friends were going to be staying back longer and we did love our time with them.

but the bookings were done {non-refundable} and so we went along.

boy, am I glad we did?! it was the surprise element of the trip. I still remember walking into the main street of Naoussa, Paros from our hotel up in the hill. I had to stop walking just sink it all in. everything was so picturesque in Naoussa. there were ducks, cafes, octopuses and boats. all of a sudden. out of nowhere. and there was this buzz. {not loud or touristy like in Mykonos but just quiet local buzz}

we ended up eating Italian that night {finally we had had too much of souvlaki}. after dinner we walked around the cute little town and then headed back to our hotel, sat on the deck and talked. a lot. under the stars. that moment, it was all SO perfect – that we made a pact to come back. maybe on our 10 year anniversary. but this time with family and friends.

the next day, I wanted to book a boat and explore the caves in anti-paros, but eventually we decided to stay in and explore the island instead. we took a local bus to parikia. walked around the town. prayed at some churches along the way. bought some nic nacs and then spent two hours eating brunch and chatting with a local greek at a bar in parikia.

at night we made reservations at one of the most famous restaurants in naoussa {or all of Paros, as we learnt later} called Yemeni. we got a table which was lucky because apparently they are always booked out and you need to make  reservations weeks in advance. we tried the beetroot truffle risotto, zuchhini flower balls and stuffed mushrooms. and washed it all down with a bottle of local white wine for dessert they got us a chocolate cake with ice cream {which we didn’t order, it was on the house}. it was by far our best meal of the trip.

we headed back to Athens the next morning with such a heavy heart. if I had to redo my vacation in Greece, I would have definitely spent a lot more days exploring Paros. this island,  there was something magical about it.

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^^ view from our room in hotel papadakis. the best part of visiting a non-touristy place are the hotel prices. ;)} ^^

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^^ some more hotel pics^^

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^^ downtown Naoussa^^

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^^ first Italian meal in Greece. I think my favorite thing to do during a vacation is walking from one restaurant to another, reading their outdoor menus and eventually choosing the one you liked the most :) ^^

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^^ brunch at acute bar in parikia ^^

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^^ greek goodies I bought at the local store in parikia. as you can see, anything with olive oil – and I had to buy it ^^

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^^ dinner at Yemeni, our favorite meal in Greece ^^

 

the big fat greek wedding

okay it’s not really big, or fat even. but it’s a greek wedding {technically}

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after monthsss {6 to be exact} of v. hard work at the new firm i am now working at  {which btw does not like being named}, A and i are finally off on a short but much needed vacation.

Two of A’s closest friends from his university days in london are getting married in santorini next week. and ofcourse, we had to be there for their big day.

since we had to fly down to greece for their wedding, we decided to make a trip out of it and visit a few other places around. we will be visiting athens, mykonos, santorini and paros.

i haven’t been before and have seen so many pictures, can’t wait to leave already.

bali (continued)

we sat in our beautiful hotel for almost all of day 3.

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^^ our beautiful villa…. when we first booked it, i was v excited about the thought of having our very own  pool right beside our bed, but we barely used in the six days we stayed there. ^^

we stayed at aria luxury villa and spa at seminyak.

the temperature on that particular day was upwards of 40 degree Celsius. we finally made our way out of the room just to grab a bite.

since potato head beach club was just only few minutes walk away, we decided to try their indonesian restaurant called Lilian.

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^^ our meal of grilled tofu in yellow curry, Indonesian chicken curry and fried catfish with some steamed rice.^^

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^^^ we had heard so much about rock bar before we left for bali but nothing could have prepared me for this incredible view. it was a 40 minute drive from our hotel and totally worth the ride.  also it helps that they whip up some of the best cocktails in bali. ^^

after having a few drinks at the rock bar, my husband surprised me with an amazing meal at this hip new restaurant in Bali  called cuca. he had done a bit of research before we left the hotel and come to know about it. the meal, which was fusion indonesian, was incredible and there was an indonesian wedding going on right by our table {it’s an indoor/ outdoor restaurant}. such a perfect date. it’s unfortunate we took no pictures !!

bali

we went to bali for our honeymoon.

we only had a week to celebrate, as we had to get back for our v close friend’s wedding in mumbai. so bali seemed to be the perfect solution.

spent 6 days 6 nights in bali. and 1 whole day traveling.

we flew via singapore {singapore airlines} but didn’t stop over as i had visited singapore just a few months before

{will go again someday with A, as i really liked the city/ country}

A and i decided to stay seminyak throughout the 6 days and 6 nights {best decision!} and seminyak happened to be one of my favorite places in bali.

it’s buzzing, lively and filled with cute little restaurants and bars all over. it is also home of the famous beach clubs {potato head, kudeta, mozaic etc}

an entire day was spent at potato head beach club. {we would end up coming back every day after…for lunch/ dinner or just a drink} also it helped that our hotel was a stone throw’s away from the beach club.

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^^ potato head beach club {i kid you not when i say that we spent an ENTIRE day here. We saw a beautiful sunset, swam a lot and  made so many friends with people who were from all over the world^^

to make up for the lack of traveling and sightseeing on day 1, we decided to fit in as many ‘things to do’ on our bali list as we could on the next day

the next day morning we scuba dived and para-sailed in nusa dua. it was one of most enjoyable moments of our vacation.unfortunately we forgot to take any pictures during this time.

after the water sports, we visited the famous luwak coffee plantations near uluwatu. the luwak coffee is said to be the most expensive coffees in the world as it is made from part digested coffee cherries which are eaten and thereafter defecated by an asian palm civet, the luwak! not being a fan of coffee i decided to stay awaybut A tried and loved the strong taste of the coffee.

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^^ at the luwak plantation… where along with luwak coffee we tasted several other flavours of tea and coffee. my favorite was the lemongrass tea. ^^

after visiting the luwak plantations, our driver took us to a hidden beach called the padang padang beach. the path to the beach is rocky and cumbersome, but you are in for a treat once you get there. the water in the beach is beautifully clear and the beach is almost deserted. it has great waves and is a popular surfing spot for surfers from around the world.

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^^ patang patang^^

we ended the day with a visit to the ulawatu temple at uluwatu which is around a 30 minutes drive from seminyak. it is built a top a 70 mtrs cliff over looking the sea and is a balinese sea temple. in the evenings they have a traditional balinese dance show called the kecak and fire dance, depicting the ramayana. i’m glad we made it just in time for the dance show and the sunset!

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at night after we got back to the hotel, we went for a late dinner at what would turn out to be one of favorite restaurants in seminyak – the motel mexicola cantina. it is such a fun place. with an elevated dance floor, the restaurant turns into a mini club post 9 pm. and it helps that the mexican food was amazing.

Pre – Wedding Shoot

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finally received my pre-wedding shoot pictures today. after a whole 3 months.

i don’t even want to guess about when i will get my wedding pictures at this rate ;p

we did the shoot at juhu beach and the location looks much better in the pictures than i had expected it too.

we also did part of the shoot at my house {to-be-husbands house at that time} and part of it at our friends salil’s beautiful house by the beach.

i remember being so unprepared {had not done my nails or hair either!} and by the time we got done (7 am to 7 pm!) we were exhausted!

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^^ do you see the way he looks at hugo?? i don’t ever get that look just by the way ;)^^

okay the few of them refuse to get uploaded and the rest i’m not willing to share!  i’m afraid the rest of the pictures don’t really go with this blog theme ;)

now can’t wait to post my wedding pictures next.

excuse the wedding overdose going on here. it shall stop very soon. once i’m fully back into the work grind

ellipses (saturday brunch edition)

diwali was a lot of fun this year. it felt much more festive than usual. my sister’s in the city and that may have had a lot to do with it.

plus this year A gave me a diwali gift. and got one for my mum too. which was cute because we don’t really do diwali gifts at my house. suddenly with just one day to go, i was left thinking about what i should give him.

so on new years day i went to three different shops all over town looking for the FIFA15. because that’s one game i knew he really wanted {he’s a play station fan} but unfortunately it wasn’t available in any of the stores. {which was great because later when i told him he said his play station wasn’t working anymore, see there’s always a reason why things don’t work. we just don’t SEE it then ;)}

so then i settled for the next best thing on his list of favorites: FOOD!

we went to ellipses on saturday for brunch. as we had heard so much about their brunch menu {my previous post on ellipses here}

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^^ he had the animal burger {which is a double patty beef burger} and he claimed that it was the best they serve in town^^

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^^ ever since i watched the movie chef  i’ve been wanting to eat grilled cheese. so that’s what i ordered. and it was melt in your mouth good. without being too cheesy or boring. it was perfect ^^

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^^ we shared the chicken tacos. which were soft tacos and really juicy and delicious.^^

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^^ after we met with the chef {who is adorably sweet} and he suggested these deserts c/o ellipses. we loved both the chocolate chip pancakes and the parmesan cheesecake and even though i’m not too much of a desert person i finished my pancake entirely in a few minutes ^^

so all in all it ended up being a great idea for a diwali gift.

BURMA BURMA

we tried out the newly opened burmese restaurant, burma burma, at fort the other night.

up until then the only burmese dish i had ever tasted was the khauswey.

which was as good as burma burma as any other khauswey i’ve ever had.

but a shout out to the samosa soup and the mushroom steamed buns!

they were absolutely delish-ous. we finished ours in a matter of few minutes.

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^^ we loved the decor. it’s so well done. almost like you’re in burma ^^

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^^ this is how they served our khauswey, it was already prepared. i liked that. sometimes i get lazy making my own bowl, also i’m not always correct about my proportions ^^

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^^ the mushroom steamed buns ^^

things are a bit dull lately

because really ALL work and NO play, makes jack a dull boy.

and that’s STILL applicable today.

yep…. work still sucking.

Generation Y + some other good reads

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this article about why generation Y is unhappy got me thinking. it’s way accurate. don’t you think so too?

i love the writing style too.

also this new york times article made me realise how important it is to pray for others.

 

and last but not the least this commencement speech by J.K. Rowling always motivates me when i’m inspiration-ally drained out.

 

also it’s friday! my favorite day of the week. and my twin comes to India this weekend for a holiday.

and we all leave for goa next weekend for another fun wedding. can’t wait for the good times ahead!