Beautiful Morocco: My Holiday Trip to Marrakesh

A very happy Friday to everyone! It has been a few days since I have posted and my online absence can be blamed on a long and lovely family vacation. I had never been to Morocco before and I have recently returned from spending a blissful week in Marrakesh.

I found Marrakesh to be a charming city that was a perfect blend of the old world and the new. The old city within the walled medina was something out of a storybook.  After the first day of walking back and forth to the main square from our riad  – I told my husband that Marrakesh reminded me of Ludhiana (Punjab, India)! The small by-lanes in the medina resembled the lanes behind my grandmother’s house in Ludhiana that I remember exploring as a child.  Little shops selling dry goods, cobblers, electricians and even the people reminded me of childhood vacations long gone.  The best part – I got to Marrakesh a lot faster than I would get to Ludhiana.

What endears me to a city when I visit?  Good food, great shopping and friendly people are always a great start and Marrakesh offered all of these in abundance. Moroccan food was tagines and couscous galore and I loved all of it.  My sweet tooth was particularly indulged with all the pastries and biscuits on offer everywhere.  At the top of the fabulous list was Morrocan tea – a delicious blend of tea, mint leaves and sugar.  Sitting in a cafe overlooking Jemma el Fnaa Square and drinking tea, without any rush, was one of the many relaxing things we repeated often on this vacation. Marrakesh was a great reminder of the charm of going on holiday with no planned itinerary what so ever!

Marrakesh is a shoppers paradise with winding souks selling everything from carpets, lanterns, leather goods, clothes, food and much more.The souks are very entertaining, where bargaining is encouraged and guessing your ethnicity is a sport – even the kids had a great time! The carpet and rug stores were my favourite and the offerings were phenomenal. Of course, I bought a berber rug, some leather poufs, leather boxes, a necklace, a lantern or two and still had to drag myself away before I bought anything else that I could not carry back without leaving a child behind!

We were keen to stay in the heart of the medina and stayed at the ‘Andalla Riad and Spa’ for the entirety of the vacation. The riad was beautiful and the employees deserve an A+ for their impeccable hospitality and helpfulness. Andalla Spa offers a few family suites (including one that sleeps six) that allowed us to stay in the same room with our two lovely children.  This turned out to be a blessing and we really enjoyed spending time together as a family.  The riad also had a lovely spa with a hammam that was a wonderfully relaxing experience.  The scrubbing, bathing and massaging were a heavenly combination that I would be happy to repeat any time of the day.

There are many excursions on offer close to Marrakesh and while we did not attempt anything too bold, lest we take time away from relaxing, we did do a hiking excursion in the Atlas Mountains that was great fun. Marrakesh offers that perfect blend of winter sun and exotic travel that is easily accessible from the UK. It was a great vacation and I would heartily recommend Marrakesh for those that may be considering it as a holiday destination in the near future.

I hope you enjoy my holiday photo lookbook and as always, thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Hotel:

Andalla Riad and Spa 

Clothes and accessories:

White tiered dress – ASOS, Similar ASOS

Floral tunic – ZARA

Viva Las Vegas: My Latest Finds In Sin City

Who are ‘best’ kind of best friends – the kind that live in Las Vegas!  My best friend has done what really should really be the duty of all best friends  – she has settled in a place that I love visiting  – Las Vegas.

Growing up in Southern California, Las Vegas was always the long weekend destination in the backyard and one that we visited often. If you are a first time visitor to Las Vegas, the city can be overwhelming to say the least.  There is so much to do and see that trying to do it all can leave visitors completely exhausted after the first 72 hours. However, if you are not a Las Vegas virgin, you quickly learn that enjoying a few select things every time you visit Sin City is the best way to optimise your time there.

In this blog post, I am going to stay away from providing a comprehensive tourist guide to Vegas as it is too vast a subject.  Instead, I wanted to share some of the new and exciting things that I did on this trip to Vegas:

  1.  Visited ‘The Laundry Room‘ – which is a ‘speakeasy’ bar which was highly recommended by my brother. It is located in downtown Las Vegas on Freemont street (which be aware has a different vibe to the strip) within a bar called the CommonWealth. For those of you who may not be familiar with a ‘speakeasy bar’ as I wasn’t – a speakeasy bar was an illicit establishment that sold alcoholic beverages. The word ‘speakeasy’ was first used in the US during the prohibition era, when the sale of alcohol was generally illegal from 1920 to 1933. To avoid police trouble, bars that sold alcohol knew they had to keep a very low profile. Therefore, customers were told to speakeasy about them and avoid publicising them. The Laundry Room is a small room featuring a few strict rules such as no photos, a two-hour maximum stay and others listed on the menu. This is a great place to go for cocktails and they do not serve any beer or wine. Tell the bartender what kind of flavours you enjoy in a cocktail and let him come up with a drink for you – mine were spot on!
  2. Ate chicken and waffles at ‘The YardBird Southern Table and Bar‘ – I am a huge breakfast fan and make it a point to try a new place whenever I visit Las Vegas. Again, this was a recommendation by the supreme foodie that is my brother and it did not disappoint. The YardHouse is a traditional southern eatery serving chicken & waffles, grits and much more.  It was beautifully decorated, had a great vibe and the food was fabulous.  I tried the house special and I was full for the rest of the day.
  3. .Saw the show ‘Absinthe‘ – Absinthe is a live show that is an ingenious combination of acrobatics, cabaret and very adult humour.  It had me in fits of laughter and gasping in disbelief as every time I though it couldn’t get cruder – it did! Be warned that the show is not appropriate for people who are easily offended or do not enjoy adult themes.  Also, do not sit in the front rows if you do not want to be picked on and take a jumper as I was freezing thanks to a very powerful air-conditioning system.  Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the show and the acrobatic display was truly magnificent to behold.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and thank you for visiting my blog.  Have a great week ahead!

Clothes and Accessories:

Green Dress – Ted Baker (Similar) 

Black Sandals – Aldo

 

In and Around San Diego: In Holiday Attire

Going home to California is always a pleasure. One of the reasons California is nicknamed the Golden state  is because its modern day avatar can be attributed to the discovery of gold in 1848. It is an apt nickname name for me as spending time with my family is golden and spending time in the Golden state is precious.

One of my favourite places to visit in California is the city and surroundings of San Diego. Between glorious beaches and countless water activities, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Sea World, Gas Lamp District, shopping malls and outlets, parks and of course another amazing country right across the border – there is something to do for everyone in this part of the world.  To further enhance my enjoyment, San Diego enjoys a mild and sunny climate throughout the year.

San Diego is home to a thriving craft beer culture and multiple breweries both large and small.  I had the pleasure of visiting the Belching Beaver Brewery in one of their open to the public working facilities. It was a lovely laid back atmosphere in the early evening where we enjoyed some fine beers and the kids loved the tacos from the Taco Truck that had parked in the facilities for their dining pleasure.  All the beers were fabulous but the Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter was my runaway favourite. I had never done this sort of beer tasting before and I would highly recommend it to people visiting san Diego, especially with families as everyone was welcome.

We also spent a few days in and around Mission Bay and I cannot wait to go back. Mission Bay Park is the 4,600-acre aquatic playground known as San Diego’s Water Wonderland.  It is 27 miles of shoreline, with a variety of waterways, inlets and beach communities to explore. If you love water and water activities – this is a must visit!

I know that many of my readers can identify with the lovely feeling of ‘going home’ to where your family lives and where you grew up.  It is truly the best kind of vacation as you are ‘home away from home’ and the whole family has a great time!

Have a fabulous weekend and thank you for visiting my blog.

 

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Warehouse (similar)

Tan Sandals – Karen Millen

Jeans – Zara

Yellow top – United Colours of Benetton

Ending The Summer Vacation: In A Blue Embroidered Jacket And Jeans

After many lovely weeks of summer vacation spent with my family in the USA, I am home! In the last few days of my vacation we attended a family wedding.  I met many relatives I had not seen in a while and they were all keen to know what I was doing since our return from India. I was a bit reluctant to talk about the blog as I did not want to be seen as one of those people who only talk about themselves and their latest endeavours.  My brother must have sensed my hesitation and later  gave me a pep talk about how I must tell people about my blog and promote my creativity and hard work.

Landing at Gatwick, it was lovely to see the lush green English countryside and feel a surprising warmth in the air. As I waited in the immigration queue at the airport, I couldn’t wait to get home and have a nice cup of tea.  Finally, it was our turn and we were called up to the desk of the next immigration officer. She checked our passports and then asked the usual questions like where we were coming from and how long we had been out of the country. She then asked me, “What do you do?”

My mind darted back to my brother’s pep talk and suddenly I decided to take the bull by its horns.  “I am a fashion blogger”, I said confidently.  As the officer looked at me (possibly wondering what kind of fashion blogger I was as I looked like I I had stuck my finger in an electric socket), my younger son piped up and said, “that is not a profession mummy, you don’t make any money doing it”.  I looked at his little face, still in shock at his statement, when he continued with his pearls of wisdom for the officer.  ” At the moment, she is a house…house…what do you call that thing – yes she is a house keeper!”

Highly embarrassed, I looked sheepishly at the officer who was trying very hard not to laugh.  “Housewife, housewife – is the word you are looking for darling”, I said wondering what the chances were of the ground opening up and swallowing me  – or preferably him! By now, the officer looked like we had made her day, so I quickly picked up our passports and rushed off mumbling my thank yous.

Once I had retrieved our bags and some of my dignity, I asked him why he thought house wife was a profession as I didn’t recall getting a formal pay check in that line of work either! He didn’t have an answer but I assume he learned the word ‘housewife’ at school. It is now high time for him to return to school and learn that very important lesson of not talking to immigration officers unless he is spoken to!

On a different note, I have definitely been having a ‘jacket moment’ throughout the last few months.  They lend themselves so well to creating an ‘effortlessly chic’ look that works for everyone, from housekeepers to housewives. These ‘boho’ type jackets are perfect for the transitional weather we will experience in the next few months and they add a layer of warmth without suffocating you. They can be paired with so many tops and jeans and I find that they have a synergistic effect in that the sum of the whole outfit is greater than the parts that make it up.

Now that I am back, I am looking forward to ‘lookbooking’ autumn/winter looks as the weather gets colder.  Please do let me know if there is a particular kind of look you would like to see on the blog. As always, thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Jacket – Zara, Top – COS, Jeans – Gap, Sandals – Dolce Vita)

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Viva México: Vacation Wardrobe In Cabo San Lucas

First and foremost – I apologize for the longer than usual time period in producing a fresh post. Transcontinental travel has slowed me down but I have learned in the last week that determined fashion bloggers must never let time zones and lack of sleep interfere with the frequency of fashion posts!

I have spent the last week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on a family vacation.  While I have been to Mexico in the past, I have never made it to Cabo before and I am so glad I got to visit as I loved Cabo and can not speak highly enough of the Mexican hospitality we experienced.  We stayed in a Diamond Resort International property called Cabo Azul.  Cabo Azul is a stunning resort property that was rebuilt in 2014-2015 after the hurricanes that hit the Mexican coastline.  My parents had been pre-hurricane and spoke very highly of it and I am pleased to report that it exceeded their descriptions in every possible way.  The sprawling resort is located right on the beach and I plan to cover the key highlights of Cabo Azul in my next blog.

Publishing photographs in swimwear can be a daunting prospect, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that swimwear is a confusing fashion category for so many women.  Regardless of body shape or size, I am always curious about what other people choose to wear to the pool, so I figure others must be as well. I don’t wear bikinis, not because of modesty or age concerns, but simply because they do not suit my body shape and do nothing for presenting me waterside in a flattering manner.  I have always felt that the two most important  factors for me in buying swimwear include finding swimsuits that suit my body shape as well as make me feel comfortable in and out of the pool.  So please no jeering or sneering (not that anyone has ever been unkind) – it has taken a bit of self-persuasion to publish swimwear fashion so endearing comments would be greatly welcomed.  I plan to feature my vacation swimwear, along with other outfits, in my next few posts and I hope that ‘lookbooking’ my swimwear choices are beneficial to my readers in some way.

This vacation made me realize that like many people who live in relatively cold climates, I often develop ‘temperature amnesia’ in terms of just how hot ‘hot’ can be! I end up packing clothes for warm tropical weather but I always throw in jeans and ‘long sleeve things’ in case it gets cold in the evening or some other opportunity to ‘freeze’ arises.  Well,  it never did get cold in the evening but the ‘long sleeve things’ came in great use as I managed to burn my shoulders despite applying copious amounts of sunscreen. The long sleeves were a godsend in protecting my already burnt shoulder blades from the unrelenting intensity of the sun. I loved the coral print on this loose fit dress and thought it was perfect for a resort vacation by the sea.

As always, thank you so much for reading and I look forward to sharing my next installment of  Mexican vacation fashion in my next post.

(Clothing and Accessories: Blue Swimsuit – Profiles by Gottex, Blue Coverup – TJ Maxx , Dress = And Other Stories, Pink Hat – Banana Republic, Sunglasses – Tom Ford, Blue Bangles – Amarsons, Mumbai)

 

 

 

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