Wednesday 21 November 2018

Travel Post: Things To Do in Ganpati Pule

A few years ago, somewhere in June, me and husband planned a short trip to Ganpati Pule. For those who aren't aware, Ganpati Pule is a small town located in the Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra in the sub-continent of India and is about 375 km away from Mumbai.
The purpose of this trip was relaxation and not sight seeing.
But when we reached here, we had too much fun. So I decided to pen this post in order to give you a  gist of things you should do if you ever visit Ganpati Pule.

Ganpati Pule Temple and Beach:

Ganpati Pule is famous for the beautiful Ganpati Temple which stands facing the ocean.

The Ganpati idol in the temple is 400 years old and is Swayambhu meaning self originated. Unlike most deities in Indian temples, this idol faces the west instead of the east, and is believed to safeguard the western gates.
When my parents had visited this place a decade ago, they were mesmerized by its beauty. But when I visited it last year, I was a little disappointed.

The temple was beautiful and very well maintained, but the beach was in a sorry state thanks to thousands of irresponsible tourists.

Aare Ware Beach:

Around 2-3 kms away from Ganpati Pule Beach is the Aarey Warey Beach. And I am so glad, we explored it. It reminded us of the beaches in California. Isolated, clean and beautiful. Husband and I spent 3 hours just walking on the sand, splashing water and watching the sunset on the horizon. It was the most surreal experience ever.

Jaigad Fort:
Around 35 kms away from Ganpati Pule is the Jaigad Fort, which was built around 14th Century and has a very interesting history. Though it is mostly ruins, this fort still has some stairs that take you over elevated platforms and give you breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and Shastri river. Since we had visited it around monsoon, everything around was lush and green. And I also convinced husband to take some outfit pics for my blog. Win-Win I say!

Also, the drive from Ganpati Pule to Jaigad Fort is very scenic, so keep your cameras ready.

Prachin Konkan Museum:

This is a national museum and if you are interested in studying the history and culture of Konkan, this is a must visit.
The entry fee is Rs. 30 per person, and Rs. 20 if you want to take pictures inside.
We went here with zero expectation but had too much fun. Right from the story of how Konkan came into existence, to the lifestyle of people leaving in Konkan, the wild life in Konkan and the sealife of Konkan; this museum had it all covered. The guides in this museum are school students who work here part time. I was impressed by their knowledge and zest for life.

The place also has a Shell museum where you get to see some really rare and beautiful varieties of shells. At the end of the tour, they have a souvenir shop, where you can buy jewellery, accessories and toys made from wood and shells.

Birla Ganesh Temple:

This spot wasn't recommended on any travel site, but we stumbled upon it on our way to Jaigad fort. It looked so beautiful, that on our way back we stopped here. This is a beautiful Ganesh temple built by the Birla Group of Industries who have factories and staff quarters near Ganpati Pule.

Tarang Restaurant:

This restaurant is very close to the Ganpati Pule Beach. It is an MTDC restaurant and is a part of the MTDC resort of Ganpati Pule. I am not a fan of MTDC restaurants, but I think this is the best one I have visited. Their Punjabi cuisine as well as Malvani cuisine were perfect and reasonably priced. I recommend that you try their Paneer Kadhai and Kaju Malvani. Both the dishes were so flavorful and good, that we went to this place for at least one meal a day during our stay in Ganpati Pule.

Have you guys been to Ganpati Pule? What did you like more?
Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Restaurant Review: Sammy Sosa, Mumbai

Hi Guys! I am back with a restaurant review and this time its a Mexican restaurant situated in the heart of Mumbai. I hadn't really sampled authentic Mexican food until a few years ago when I traveled to California for the first time.
And from then, whenever I ate Mexican food back home, it was never up to the mark.

So, a few weeks ago when I received an invite to review Sammy Sosa, I was tempted to try it. Because I really need to find a place in Mumbai that serves good Mexican food. And guess what I finally found an answer to my Mexican food cravings. 

Sammy Sosa is a decade old Mexican Restaurant located in Andheri, Mumbai that has reinvented itself and launched a fresh new menu, a new vibe and 45 types of international beer.
The menu consists of vegan and gluten free options and majority of the ingredients are sourced from fresh organic farms making it a delight for every healthy and conscious food eater. You have the option to customize your meal to make it healthy by replacing regular rice with low carb brown rice, and alternatively vegan/gluten free.
Did you know? Sammy Sosa's kitchen has no place for unhealthy ingredients like MSG, preservatives, artificial colors and frozen food products.

Their new beer menu features international imports like Spitfire (A Kentish Ale that was first brewed in 1990 to commemorate the battle of Britain which was fought 50 years ago), Schneider Weisse Original (A Bavarian original wheat beer, which has been brewed since 1872), and Tsingtao (A Chinese beer, that was founded by beer savvy settlers from Europe in 1903).

Now lets quickly move over to what we ordered and what we liked.

We started with the vegetarian Chacho Nachos , Mixed vegetables Mexi Skin, Sweet Fries of Mine (sweet potato fries) and Chicken Enchiladas along with a few fun mocktails like the Lemongrass cooler, Pink Paradise, Virgin Guava-chi and Morning Breeze.
The Chacho Nachos has to be the best dish dish of the evening. Crispy nachos, black pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, salsa and just the perfect amount of cheese makes it a straight winner.
The chicken Quesadilla was good, but I will rate it 3.5/5 maybe because the Chacho Nachos had set the bar really high.

The mixed vegetable Jacket Potatoes/Mexi Skin was interesting and I think the next time, I am definitely trying their spinach and mushroom version. What I loved about the jacket potatoes was that they were baked crisp; without overdoing the cheese. The Sweet Potato Fries is a good side dish to order.

The mocktails were all made from fresh ingredients and you just know it when you taste it.

We quickly moved on to the main course and started with the cilantro rice with peri peri sauce.

Garden green vegetables engulfed with the cheesy goodness of the spicy peri peri sauce served with cilantro rice is what dreams are made of. If there was one dish that could give the Chacho Nachos serious competition, it was this. The cilantro rice was flavorful, and the peri peri sauce hit the taste buds at the right spots. It was a marriage made in heaven.

Then it was turn for the Chicken Enchiladas and everything in this dish was perfect. The chicken was cooked right, the sauce creamy and delicious and the presentation was pure excellence.
By this time, we were more than full, but when Virat, the owner, himself described the dish he wanted to serve us next, we couldn't say no. It was Grandma's Lasagna. Lasagna in a Mexican restaurant?? Yup...Sammy Sosa also offers a select Italian dishes on their menu that are so delish that you wont complain.

Creamy, saucy, cheesy with a healthy dose of garden fresh vegetables.

We really didn't have space for desserts, but like every greedy foodie, we went ahead and ordered the mud pie with ice cream, New York style cheesecake and KitKat shake.
The cheese cake reminded me of my New York holiday when I had a cheesecake for almost every meal. It was perfect, just the way I like it.

KitKat shake was better than most
KitKat shakes I have tasted recently.

But the winner definitely was the choco mud pie with ice cream. This is a classic which is so easy to mess up. But Sammy Sosa just aces it and offers you what I call the nutty, chocolatey, lush and most comforting crumbled brownie topped with ice cream. This was just the perfect end to our foodgasmic journey.
This place is perfect to visit with friends as well as family and it has such a feel good vibe to it. The Staff is courteous and the Owner very generous and polite. Do ask for his recommendations if he stops by your table and thank me later. Sammy Sosa has such cool decor that it's perfect for taking selfies. Do not forget to ask for sombreros while taking pics.

I really want to rate this place a 5/5, but being honest and highly critical for the sake of my readers, I give it a 4.5/5.
This is a place I am going back to. So what are you waiting for?

Friday 2 November 2018

Review: Yavana Signature Lash Lift with Tint

I was invited by Yavana Asthetics Clinic for an experiential of their lash lift with tint treatment. Having experienced their service before, I was really keen to go.

So, on a weekend, after wrapping up my mommy duties, I headed to their clinic in Mulund.

After the general meet and greet, I was escorted to their treatment room and made comfortable.
Then Dr. Madhuri Agarwal came over to talk to me about the treatment and answer my questions.
How long will this treatment last?
The treatment lasts for 3-4 months, which is the normal time line for old lashes to shed and new lashes to grow.

Does it have any side effects?

Negative side effects, absolutely not. Other than that you might find too many people looking into your eyes. ;)

Will it hurt?

There might be slight discomfort when the lashes are being curled, but it will not hurt at all.

What if the product gets into my eyes?
The products that are used for this treatment are all organic and not sold to regular salons, but only qualified dermats and are extremely safe for your eyes. The chances of the product getting into the eyes are close to nil, but even if it does, it does no harm.

After being thoroughly convinced I was escorted to the treatment room.

Since I wasn't wearing any makeup, the procedure started with cleaning my eyes, lashes and area around it with wet wipes and then the lashes alone were cleaned with a pre-treatment tonic.

Then eye pads were carefully placed under my eyes which covered the bottom lashes to make sure the treatment does not affect them.

Then curl sticks were stuck on my lids above the upper eyelashes and my lashes were curled and stuck on them one by one with their medicated glue.

This is where I experienced slight discomfort. My lashes were slightly pulled.

After that, began the actual procedure/treatment.

Step 1
: Lifting Treatment

Lifting cream was applied on the lashes very carefully and meticulously and left on it for 6-7 minutes. This process was very comfortable and I experienced no discomfort whatsoever.

Step 2
: Curling Treatment

The next step is applying a curling cream on the lashes. This again took some time, as the application has to be applied on every single lash separately without being too close to its roots. It was left on for another 6-7 minutes. The curling cream has a strong odour, similar to bleach, but other than the smell, the process was smooth and easy.

Step 3

And then the final step where the lashes are tinted as per the color of your preference.
The tints are available in Black, Brown and Blue.
I chose Black.

The tint is left on your lashes for 5 minutes.

Now, the lashes are cleaned with hot water and applied a growth conditioning serum.

When I opened my eyes, and looked in the mirror, I was in for a pleasant surprise.

My lashes looked like I had applied a mascara.

Dark and perfectly curled.
They do not, by any means, look the way when fake lashes are attached. They look very natural, curled and well defined.

After Care:
After the treatment you are advised to keep your lashes away from water and fire for the next 24 hours. Which means no washing them, no makeup, no moisturizer and no cooking in the kitchen too.
The treatment lasts for 3-4 months. So, you can go mascara free for that period.

The treatment costs Rs.3500 and can be done at Yavana Asthetics Clinic in Mulund and Bandra.
Isn't this a perfect thing to do right before Diwali?
And finally, the before and after pictures.

P.S. The service was provided to me free of cost but the opinions expressed here are completely mine and unbiased.


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