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The month that was

It's June. May flew by - but I guess I say that every month. It's summer in Dubai and it's monsoon back in Kerala. So while I reminisce the warm rain back home, I'm trying to also enjoy every bit of the summer.
I did something I have wanted to do for a long time. As simple as it sounds, I just haven't. I finally went for a swim in the warm waters at JBR. As I swam, I wondered why I hadn't done it earlier. Also, the sunset looked spectacular.

I tried this amazing pizza from Pizzaro. I have a soft corner for all pizzerias that have more than just the 'veggie deluxe' option for us vegetarians.

Went to this cute little eaterie called Tamarind Terrace. Have the tender coconut pudding and any other delicacy you so prefer.

Of course a few selfies. I have always struggled getting the perfect pair of jeans and then voila - I landed these from Topshop. They fit so well.

Also, stripes are my favourite.

As it was holy month of Ramadan, I decided to volunteer with Dubai Cares. The initiative was called 'Back to School' - in which we all helped to pack 50,000 school bags for schools kids in under privileged countries; Tanzania and Senegal. I must say, the whole experience was truly humbling and satisfying.

I watched a tonne of stuff on Netflix (obviously). Always be my maybe - though it belongs to the Romantic Comedy genre - did a great job inspiring me. Ali Wong (Chef Sasha) has done a marvelous job - so much will power and aspiration to achieve greatness. Did you watch the movie yet? I also watched a few episodes of Street Food and Conan without borders. Oh, and Chopsticks - an offbeat and quirky Bollywood movie - the good kind of Bollywood.

My obsession with plants is going strong - unlikely to fade away any time soon. These are my avocado babies bathing in indirect light.

Oh, before I forget - I visited the Pet mall in Dubai. It's a complex with several pet stores - selling puppies to iguanas to birds and pet food. I think it's a great way to spend a few hours - especially if you have kids.

I'm really looking forward to June - we're finally going on a holiday! I mean - after so long. How was your May? 

A Gift Guide for Moms

It's always a good idea to surprise your mom. Surprise her with a random hug, may I say - call her for no specific reason (that's a surprise right? - in this social media slash whatsapp world), or give her a gift for no real reason. Mother's day is a reason - but you can always gift your mom - you don't need a reason.

I've put together some gift ideas in different price ranges. 

Gift your mom a spa voucher. There are plenty of options - you can buy a Taj Experience card on Amazon or even a digital voucher from Urban Clap for spa services.
Range is quite varied. 500 INR upwards.

If bold neck pieces is something your mom is fond of - you should check out Tesoro - The Trinket Box's collection. The artist conjures up eclectic jewelry which can be worn with a saree, indo-western or even a simple white salwar. You can see the designs and order via their Instagram profile.
Range : Around 2K INR

Gift her a clutch or two. Every mom has a collection of these clutches - I know my mum does. I came across this small boutique online store - Cannish Pitara - that creates unique clutches, potlis, slings etc. You can see the designs and order via their Instagram profile.
Range : Under 1K INR

Gift her a tiny version of herself. This young artist makes imitation Bhauli dolls from photos - with the details and all - which I think makes great gifts. This is her online Etsy store.
Range : Around 2K INR

Gift her a chikankari saree. I remember a long time ago, a friend of mine got his mom a designer printed saree - cost him INR 13K. His mom apparently gave it to their maid. If you're ever wondering what kind of saree to gift your mom, a chikankari saree is a safe choice. You can get a nice collection on Lucknowi Andaaz.
Range : 3-4K INR upwards

Or. Buy her flowers. They're not over rated. Gift her a wild flower bouquet or just a bunch of lilies - they last longer. You can order from Ferns and Petals.

I hope the ideas help inspire what to gift your mom. And to all you mothers out there, Happy Mothers day ahead of time. 

The month that was

So - since I received a good response on my previous post - I thought of doing more of these.
Alright - so April is over - it flew by. Is it me or is 2019 going way faster than the previous years? A lot happened last month. I went home - to Kerala. It was so hot that I have made a mental note to try and not go during summer again. Every time I go home - I miss staying in India. It's like in the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Melanie loves the city - but when she goes home - she misses home.

A few pictures from my trip home. I love visiting my dad-in-laws farm - I mean there's little not to love. Families of peacocks and peahens, lush greenery, mango and coconut trees.

Product review - Travel Accessories from Urby

I love to travel. My bucket list seems to be always longer than my grocery list - which is also always long. So when Urby reached out to me a couple of months ago to review their travel accessories - I gladly said yes. I am always looking for niche smaller companies to talk about - I genuinely think so many of them deserve a wider audience.

I received the cutest package from Urby last month. A black box. For me, packaging speaks a lot. Was it plastic wrapped? Paper? Jute? Urby sent me two of their limited edition customized 'Dexter slim travel wallet - Gunmetal' and they sent it to me in lovely drawstring pouches. I waited a bit before doing the review because I wanted to use it first. I'm still old fashioned that way.

The month that was

March went by too quickly. And with it, the subtle winter. Lots happened. I thought of sharing some of the stuff I enjoyed.

If you know me well, you know I love dessert. My husband too - but mostly - I finish it. We got this Magnum Classic - I personally enjoyed it, but I don't know what the fuss is about. Though I did love the chocolate bar. A lot.

Statement neck pieces I'm obsessing over

I don't know if you have watched Grace & Frankie - I did and I loved it. Watched a few episodes twice over. I have always liked Jane Fonda but I fell in love with Lily Tomlin a.k.a Frankie. Her character resonated with me - and so did her accessories. Boho , hippie, statement & bold. I would pause and stare for a while at most of her neck pieces and in some sense - her character inspired in me a love for bold neck pieces. I found a few online stores and I thought of sharing some of the designs that I liked here.

A still from Grace & Frankie

Shampoo bars from Lush : Worth a try

Lush is definitely one of my favourite brands. Their soaps smell like heaven. If you have ever used any of their products - you'll agree with me. But I never got around to the idea of using a soap as a shampoo. It felt like a step backward. I mean there's a reason that most brands have liquid shampoos and not a soap to wash off grime from your hair.

A few months ago, I had coloured my hair an ombre. But that incident messed up my hair so bad. To somehow get my hair to be manageable I would run a hot iron through my hair just to look alright for that day. My hair became so dry and damaged and that I had to chop off the ends twice in just a few months.

Foreign language love on Netflix.

So I watched 2 Spanish movies back to back and I absolutely loved both. What am I doing only watching English movies when Peru and Spain and Mexico are coming up with some amazing stories? The most recent movie I watched was 'How to get over a break up'. Now I know that the title is really cheesy, but the movie is really well made. All the characters are well developed, the setting is beautiful - I mean you can watch the movie just for the house, and the story is well written and it leaves you inspired.