Thursday, 10 May 2018

Outfit Post: LookBook From Maldives

My previous post was based on my trip to the magnificent Maldives. If you're planning a trip to the tropical island soon, then you must check out my post about 5 Things To Know Before You Plan Your Maldives Trip.
It was one of the best family vacations we've ever had. We were able to tick off 2 things off our bucket list, visiting the Maldives and a Cruise trip. We had an amazing experience on the cruise as well as the best beach holiday ever. Apart from the fact that I  got to spend an incredible amount of quality time with my family, the next best thing about this trip was that I could finally wear bright and breezy outfits throughout the trip. After almost a year of wearing sweaters and cardigans in Canada, I finally had the opportunity to dress less, comfy and cool. 😉

I have put together a small lookbook of all my favorite looks from the trip. Hope you like them.




































-SOnali
 For So-Saree

Monday, 7 May 2018

Tulips of the Valley Festival, British Columbia

It was last year in March, when I first heard about the annual Tulip Fest that happens in BC.
The pictures looked so stunning that I instantly imagined myself singing to the tunes of
‘Dekha Ek Khwaab To Yeh Silsile Hue’ in the beautiful fields of tulips. I wanted to go and take millions of pictures but because of some reason or the other I couldn’t make it last year! It was on my bucket list for 2018 and until yesterday it didn’t seem like it was happening this
year either.
BUT due to a series of pleasant coincidences I was finally able to make it to the Tulips of the Valley in Chilliwack on the very last day of the festival. Of course, I was as happy as a fat kid eating cake! :)
The bright and vibrant colors of tulips spread across a 20-acre field, surrounded by the
Fraser valley and with a backdrop of snow capped mountains, transported me to a different
world altogether. It was better than I imagined! Needless to say, I took a million pictures
some of which I’m going to share today!























































































-SOnali 

  For So-Saree Canada

Thursday, 3 May 2018

When in Portugal, Eat like an “Abbot”



To say the Portuguese are “fond” of food, is like saying that the Indians are “fond” of Cricket. For the Portuguese, a meal is religion – to be savored and be faithful! But we Indians are not far off, are we? So, it was hardly surprising, when during my recent visit to Portugal, I was as enamored by the quaint and picturesque Portuguese towns as I was with the delectable and mouth-watering spectacle of the Portuguese dishes. Even if you are not a foodie like me, it would be impossible to avoid food in Portugal, as it is almost as reverent as the Romanesque or Baroque church!
Since I was so fascinated by the foods around me, I thought about doing a blog dedicated to the foods of Portugal. Although I have mentioned only the top five must try dishes on your next visit, I have also added some of my favorite pictures as well – random ones of the dishes that we tried and absolutely loved!

1. Portuguese Desserts:
I am aware that traditionally desserts come at the end of the meal, but what else is to be expected from a blog whose writer does not only have a sweet tooth, but an entire sweet mouth! So, I am going to begin my list with deserts! And at the top of the list is, most certainly, Custard tarts (also known as Egg tarts). The fact that they are the most popular sweet dish of Portugal is proven by the fact that no respectable café can be found operational without it’s proud display of Custard tarts. Good with breakfast, good with afternoon coffee, good as a dessert post dinner – basically good, period! So, do not finish your trip to Portugal without a bite into this delicacy. Like they say in Portugal – “You can never just eat one fig”.


 


 



2. Francesinha:


Originally from the Portuguese town of Porto, this is now a staple dish across the country. Although it may sound weird, it is a cross between a sandwich and lasagne. It has a layer of a local bread, wet ham, a steak or a roast meat of your choice, one or two layers of thick cheese and often topped with a fried egg and served with a tomato/ cheese sauce and potato fries. Delicious and an absolute must try dish when in Portugal, but my only friendly tip would be try this on an empty or near-empty stomach! Certainly not for light or healthy eaters!!


3. Bacalhau:
Literally translated, Bacalhau is Cod fish. And Bacalhau is essentially dried and salted cod. So, you are bound to find different interpretations of the cod fish in different parts of the country. Every café or restaurant prepares and serves this dish with their own style, so if you do like cod fish, try Bacalhau at least at a couple or more different places, you will be pleasantly surprised every time. Another friendly tip – just check with the waiter or server the kind of sauce and preparation used in that restaurant, so you are sort of sure what you prefer and what you don’t.
 



4. Sardines : Another local favorite, especially in the summers!


Like Bacalhau, there are various ways in which Sardines are prepared in different parts of Portugal. But the local favorites are pickled (a bit strong for Indian palette, though!) or pan-fried and served with potatoes. But as per your preference, you can try this fish in pasta, curries or even in Francesinha! Just make sure that the restaurant serves you the smallest fish in store. The Portuguese have a famous saying – “With a woman and a sardine, you want the smallest one”!!




5. Shellfish:


Whether it is the Portuguese version of the Paella, or their own plethora of shellfish-based gastronomy, they are an absolute must try. And like with most the Portuguese diet, it is best if you chose a dish which is simple but champions the local produce. The shellfish itself is so fresh and tender that it rarely needs too much embellishments! So, dig in those mussels and octopodes and enjoy a slice of fish heaven!!


We also visited a local fish market in Porto and the sheer freshness of the produce and the variety just blew us away!

 


Now that I have got you drooling, hope you do try at least a couple (if not all) of the local delicacies on your next visit to Portugal. Like they say there – “Guarda que comer, não guardas que fazer. (Save something to eat, don’t save something to do)!!
Till next time – Bom Apetite!!




-Gouri Patwardhan
 For So-Saree

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Review: VLCC's Belle Wave Facial

Hey everyone, I am back with a review this time.
I have always said this, and I say it again, one of the perks of being a blogger is being able to review products and services and share my experience with my readers.
Today I am going to share my experience about VLCC's Belle Wave facial.

When I was contacted to review their Belle Wave facials, I was told that Belle Wave facials are VLCC's premium facials that are a part of their international range of facials. The products used for these facials are Swiss made and are so fine that they easily penetrate into your skin to give you maximum results. This intro was enough to get my approval to try their facial.

Belle Wave Facials comprise of Stem Cellogist, White Nuerogist, Fermative Brilliance, Plaktonic, Seed Affinity and Outbreak Extinguisher. Depending on your skin type and problem areas, VLCC center suggests the type of facial for you.

When I reached the VLCC center, my skin was analyzed and we decided to do the White Nuerogist facial on my skin, as I complained about tanning.

So normally this facial does not include steam or use of any equipment like frequency or galvanizing machine. But since I had blackheads and whiteheads on my nose and chin, which were deeply rooted, the VLCC beauty team decided to skip the peel and add steam and blackhead/whitehead extraction to the facial.

So we started off with the cleanser, then the scrub, and then like I mentioned above, instead of the peel we did the steam and blackhead extraction. And then came the toner.
The real magic, started after this.
A relaxing massage with a cream from Belle Wave's range. The massage was firm, smooth and concentrated on pressure points; I felt like I was ready to doze off.
After the massage, they applied a cream based mask. and it was allowed to dry for 5 minutes. And after that a mousse mask was applied on top of the cream mask. This was given 15 minutes to dry.
Then the mask was removed and a sunscreen was applied on my face.

Then the beautician left the room, and while I was changing my clothes, I noticed my face in the mirror. I was pleasantly surprised, my face looked really fresh and so much lighter. The tan was definitely gone.
I was really impressed.
The facial is priced at Rs. 3,999 plus taxes.
My Review:
The massage was relaxing, the products really showed results, which impressed me. The hygiene level maintained at the the VLCC center was really high and the staff is polite and professional. I loved the fact that they customized the facial to suit the needs of my skin.
The price felt on a higher range, but for the kind of service you get and the after effects of the facial, it was totally worth it.
Would I do it again: Absolutely. Maybe not every month, but quarterly for sure.

Disclaimer: I was provided the service free of cost, but the opinions expressed here are totally mine and unbiased.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Outfit Post: Why I Love Kurtis

You already know, I am in love with sarees.

But apart from sarees, if there is an Indian outfit that I like and am very comfortable with is Kurtis.
Kurtis are basically a shorter and tighter version of a kurta. 
On an everyday basis, kurtis my go to outfit.

You ask why?

It's comfortable, stylish yet ethnic, very versatile and can be worn for every occasion.

Comfort: The long length of kurtis, comfortable fit and the fact that it can be worn without a dupatta makes it very comfortable. Plus, it helps you hide all the love handles. It is the perfect outfit if you are going for buffet luncheons or dinner.

Stylish and Ethnic: Kurtis have gone through a lot of transition and modern day kurtis are chic. But they still have that ethnic element or touch to it which just makes you feel pretty and stylish.

Versatile: The modern day kurtis are versatile. You can wear them with salwars, leggings, palazzo pants, jeans and sometimes without any bottoms, just like a dress. It is this versatility that makes it a favorite with all age groups.

Can we worn for any occasion: You can wear a kurti to college, you can wear it to your workplace, for grocery shopping and even for special occasions by throwing in a dressy dupatta and traditional accessories.Kurtis are perfect for every mood.

Also, kurtis have the vote of the conservative crowd too. Not that I care, but it's always good to know everyone is happy. :)
While I don’t have a preference from where I shop for my kurtis; I might pick them up from the malls or from the streets. But W Kurtis are by far my most favourite brand for kurtis.While I mostly pick them up from Lifestyle stores, I sometimes buy them online as well.Online shopping for women is totally a boon, as you sometimes find the same product that you buy from malls at much cheaper rates online.

Now, let’s scroll down to see how I wear my kurtis.










Which kurti style do you like?

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Saree in America

I love to travel! 
And I love my job, because it allows me to travel! 
In the past 4 years, I have traveled 5 times to the USA.
There's a lot of things I like to do there, which is naturally evident from my various US travel and food posts. But there's one more thing I so look forward to.
And that is wearing a saree in USA.
You never, I mean, literally never, fail to grab eyeballs and get compliments from total strangers. Plus they make up for such good pictures which I can post on my blog.
Now, isn't that perfect?
So, without much adieu, let's scroll down to see my various saree features on the American Land.

The first time I wore a saree in the US, was in Houston, Texas.
A quick lunch at a friends place and then visit to the Water Wall Place, the one that featured in this Sanjay Kapoor and Sushmita Sen starrer Bollywood song.
Saree bought from FashionAndYou
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The second time, I wore a saree in the USA was in Chino Hills, California. I was visiting the BAPS Swami Narayan Temple, and thought it was the perfect place to flaunt my bandhani saree. I also ate a taco at Taco Bell after the temple visit in my gorgeous saree, with plenty of customers staring at me.
Saree bought from Jaipur
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On my next trip, I wore a Khadi silk saree for dinner at a friends place. Unfortunately we don't go sightseeing in this saree, but the saree look was appreciated by the hosts and our friends.


Saree bought from a local shop in Mumbai
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This gorgeous saree that I bought from Limeroad, reached exactly a day before I was heading to yet another US trip. I didn't have time to stitch a blouse, so I simply pulled an old black blouse to teamit up with. I wore it for a lazy outing to Laguna Beach in California. I have already said that saree on a beach is definitely my thing. But when I wore this saree at Laguna Beach, I was stopped over by more than dozen of visitors to compliment me about my saree and the way I was carrying it. 
Saree bought from Limeroad
Now, that I have exhausted my self appreciation limit for the day(or may be a month), tell me; have you worn a saree in a foreign land? How was your experience?
Let me know in the comments below.

 

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