With Love From: Mykonos

mykonos19Last month we spent a wonderful week on the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos.

BEAUTIFUL is the only way to describe it.

We stayed at the stunning Myconian Utopia Hotel & Spa where we spent most of our days just sun bathing, and taking in the views of the coastline from the gorgeous infinity pool.

We would then spend the evenings exploring the cute little cobbled streets and boutiques in the town centre.

I will be writing a separate post on the hotel next week, but for now, I will share some of my memories of Mykonos Town.

P.S. You have NO idea how I hard it was to stop myself from Instagramming the crap out of our Mykonos trip- I’m so excited to finally get round to sharing some images!

mykonos1

It’s ridiculous how gorgeous Mykonos Town is. The pictures just don’t do it justice. AT ALL.

As we walked through the streets, I was completely mesmerised by the whitewashed buildings, cobbled streets, the coastline, and the little doors.

Oh the doors!

I have so many pictures of Myconian doors! Maybe I should do a separate post on them…can you believe that even the doors were just stunning! Myconian doors totally crap all over my front door any day!

mykonos2

It does tend to get a tad bit windy in Mykonos Town-not too great for the hair!

mykonos3

So many little streets in this little town, we took a long walk, taking random turns, often accidentally ending up in resident’s front gardens- but they didn’t mind!

mykonos4

Look at the size of them! We had one of the best meals at Koursaros-it’s an open air restaurant, filled with tall trees and candles- the meal was incredible- THE best seafood I’ve ever had.

I did take some pictures of food, but often we were eating in candlelight, so those pics didn’t turn out great! Food was often variable in the town centre, but another great place where we ate at was Eva’s Garden- another cosy and seriously romantic restaurant- I did feel like we were on honeymoon again!

mykonos6

For this trip I invested in the selfie stick- best buy ever! Yes, we looked like idiots, however, we got some good selfies together without the double chin factor! – you know what I mean!

mykonos7mykonos5mykonos8 mykonos9

This is Little Venice, it’s right by the famous Windmills- I love this place, it’s lined by bars and the waves smash against the sides, often splashing on you as you walk along the edge. It really is the perfect place to watch the sunset with a couple of cocktails.

mykonos10 mykonos11 mykonos12 mykonos13

Every corner you take you are guaranteed to see an elegant church which glimmers in the sunlight. One thing I loved about the town was all of the shadows that fell beneath the buildings-I really was able to appreciate how light falls, and how it makes something look so different as the day goes on.

mykonos14 mykonos15

This front porch. I die. SERIOUS porch envy over here!

mykonos17

mykonos28mykonos16mykonos18 mykonos21 mykonos22 mykonos23 mykonos24 mykonos25 mykonos26 mykonos27This is just a tiny glimpse of Mykonos town. I seriously would recommend you get yourselves here, whether it’s with your partner in crime, or a bunch of friends- it is gorgeous!

Mykonos, you are beautiful beyond words and any pictures…I will see you next year!

Recipe: Mrs B’s Diwali Ras Malai Chocolate Truffles

rasmalai8 copy 
rasmalai9rasmalai6 rasmalai5 rasmalai3 rasmalai2 rasmalai1

Every year the whole family gets together to celebrate Diwali. We’ll often start the evening off with loads of hugs, sparklers in the garden with Rav’s grandma, and some Pooja.

I love Diwali time, the candles, the cold weather, and of course the food!

This year I’ve been trying to come up with alternatives to the traditional Indian sweets, mainly because we don’t have a decent shop near us, but also because I always prefer homemade.

I know the term ‘homemade’ can make some people’s hearts sink, because anything Indian AND homemade often means a lot of time spent slaving away in the kitchen.

Not in this case! AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!

I work full time, have to fit in revision for an upcoming exam, phone calls to my family and also my workouts and yoga. I have very little time to invest in fancy homemade Indian sweets. Which is why I’ve come up with a quick, easy, and foolproof recipe which incorporates the flavours one of my all time favourite Indian desserts in an easy truffle recipe!

Are you ready for it?! It’s got serious flavour! Here is Mrs B’s Ras Malai Chocolate Truffles!

This recipe makes around 16 truffles or more, depending on whatever size you want them.

What You Need:

- 150g Green & Black’s white vanilla chocolate bar, broken into pieces (I LOVE THIS CHOCOLATE BAR- it doesn’t last very long in our household! Do try to buy this brand, because it basically craps on all other white chocolate. I speak only of the truth, friends!)

- 80ml double cream

- 15g unsalted butter

- 1 pinch of saffron

- 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom

- 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground almond powder

- 50g lightly toasted pistachios, blitzed to a crumbly texture

- 50g dried sweetened grated coconut

- Ideally a pair of plastic gloves for when you mould the truffles

What You Do:

1) Pop the Green & Black’s chocolate in a glass bowl

2) Heat the double cream in a pan with the butter, cardamom, saffron and almond powder until it comes to a boil

3) Pour the milk mixture over the chocolate in the glass bowl and leave alone for 2 minutes

4) Give the chocolate and milk mixture a good mix with a spatula, and leave for 1 minute before mixing again. (after this if you find that the chocolate hasn’t completely melted, then stick the bowl over a pan filled with simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, mix until the chocolate has entirely melted- you need a smooth mixture)

5) Let the mixture cool to room temperature, cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for minimum of 2.5hours

6) Place the crumbled pistachio and coconut in two separate bowls

7) When the Ras Malai flavoured mix has firmed up, use a teaspoon to scoop some into your gloved hand, roll the mixture to make a ball and place it in either the coconut or pistachio bowl.

8) Roll the ball around in the coating of your choice, ensuring all of it has been covered, then place on a plate.

9) Repeat with the rest of the mixture. If you find that the mixture is softening too quickly, then stick it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

10) You can either put them back in the fridge to firm up- ensure the plate is covered with cling film, or, if you’re like us, stuff your face with them!

We will be making another batch for gifts for Diwali day itself and for next weekend’s get together- so don’t worry family!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you happen to make these gorgeous truffles, do take a picture and tag me in it on Instagram or Facebook!

Indian Wedding 101: Yay! You’re Engaged! Now What?!

indianwedding101

Aaah, the feeling of being engaged! Nothing quite like it! Nothing quite like how I expected it to be- remind me to share our engagement story with you sometime!

By the time the whole idea of being engaged settled in, I was willing to tell every and anyone- including the postman! ha!

Anyway, often people don’t really know where to start when getting engaged- venues? photographer? dress shopping? No, not yet, take it easy and get a few basics done!

1) Insure your ring! The sheer number of people who don’t get their engagement ring insured (which their fiancé has worked his socks off to afford), really annoys me! My husband bought my engagement ring with his first ever pay packet plus his savings, that alone made it ever so special. The minute you get your ring, just get it included in your home insurance policy- and make sure the policy covers loss outside of the house (read the sneaky small print!).

2) Announce your engagement- whether it’s via phone calls/face to face/texts. Think about how you want to announce it- the most memorable engagements I’ve been told about are ones which came via photos of couples tightly squeezing each other, with the ring shining in the corner, all so blissfully in love.I will never forget these pictures and excitement on my friends’ faces. I will also never forget where I was, how I was screaming, and jumping up and down in response to receiving these wonderful out of the blue messages! We, on the other hand, announced our engagement accidentally at the end of a pub crawl!-CLASSY!

3) Sort out an engagement party-PRONTO. It doesn’t have to be a lavish affair and doesn’t have to break the bank- all you want is just a get together with your closest friends and family. I say do it pronto because from the minute everyone finds out that you’re engaged, they will be SUPER excited, so catch them at the peak of excitement before your engagement becomes old news!

4) Do NOT let anyone dampen your excitement about getting engaged. If you are unfortunate to have some negative people in your life, from experience I will tell you, do not let them get you down. Whether it’s a friend you’ve known since the age of 6 or close family members- just let the disappointment go. If people can’t be happy for you then just let them be. We all naturally want everyone to be happy especially when we’re very excited ourselves. Some people just can’t get over themselves be happy for others. Don’t lose any sleep over it.

5) Enjoy this period of being newly engaged. Don’t jump straight into wedding planning because the minute you do that you will be living and breathing wedding details. Enjoy your time being smitten and just appreciate the calm before the storm! ha!

6) Get a Pinterest account. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest- what on earth have you been doing?! No bride/groom is a bride/groom without Pinterest! This is where all of the inspiration and dreaming happens people! Personally I think this beats any wedding magazine hands down. Also find some good wedding blogs-they’re free and more up to date than any magazine. *I will do a separate post on some of my favourite wedding blogs, but in the mean time I will be added various Pinterest boards on my Pinterest page- this week’s one is on Engagement Announcements.

7) Be a bit old school and put pen to paper with your ideas about how you envisage your wedding to be in terms of actual details- What do you want the ceremony to look like? What do you want the atmosphere to be like? Do you want it to be intimate, lavish, chic or dramatic? Think long and hard about the vibe of the events.

8) Where on the ‘Traditional to Western Spectrum’ do you both want your wedding to be? Discussions need to be have with your partner about this as views may differ. Also being Indian, have a chat with parents to get their views and see if you want to go along with it.

9) Put pen to paper again and both write down what this wedding and marriage is about and what it means to you. Keep hold of this and look at it when you’re stressed out and feel like cancelling the wedding because it’s all getting to much- this will keep you grounded!

10) Once you choose to knuckle down and get planning, this is the time to get realistic and talk about MONEY. Indian weddings cost a bloody arm and a leg. Normal working folk like yourself and I, have a budget. If family members are helping to pay for the wedding- be frank and ask what they can afford. Are both families going to contribute and how are you going to split it? Will you split the cost of certain events? How much have you saved for the wedding? Are you looking to buy a house afterwards too? All I can say is that you need to be realistic, honest with yourself, and don’t get yourself into debt for a week of partying. Yes, your wedding is important but your future is more important. I’ve heard so many stories about how people have completely drowned in paying back their wedding debt after the big day- what is the point?! You can only afford what you can afford! And don’t ever think you can’t have a big beautiful fat Indian wedding without millions. You’ve just got to be smart about it. *I will be doing another post on how to save money on the wedding day.

11) You may notice that aunts and uncles may try to advise you about wedding planning. If you want to be in charge of your wedding (why wouldn’t you?!), then either make it clear to people that you will be running the show, or if you don’t fancy being confrontational, then just nod and smile and avoid wedding chat in front of them! I just about let my parents get involved with the planning (and that was challenging enough!), but I was glad I didn’t involve others because I wanted the focus to be on the fact that me and Rav were getting married- and not about ‘oh no, you can’t do that because that uncle’s sister’s dog will get upset!’.

12) Breathe. Remember it’s just about you and your partner coming together and celebrating the start of you future together. If you focus on that then you can jump over any hurdle which comes your way during wedding planning. Don’t worry, you will enjoy it!

 

 

WELCOME TO INDIAN WEDDING 101

indianwedding101

Picture taken during our wedding ceremony, courtesy of Rima Darwash (www.RimaDarwash.com).

We got married almost two and half years ago now, and I’m still getting messages from brides-to-be asking various questions about day- in particular about our suppliers, decor ideas and how we organised this, that, and the other.

It’s now got to a point where I can’t message everyone back with the info they need because I’d be there all day… so instead I have decided to just do a mini series to address these questions.

By no means was our wedding the best in the world, nor are we expert wedding planners. But  we are real people, with real full time jobs, real budgets, and we do have real life experience of the drama that comes with arranging a 600 guest Indian wedding, so we should be given some kind of medal for that!- and with that I won’t be sugarcoating the planning process of it like many sites/magazines do.

I’ll be doing regular posts over the next few weeks on our suppliers etc. If you want to hit me with any dilemmas or questions that you have, then just drop me an email and I will do a full Q&A post for you!

Happy Wedding Planning to those who are newly engaged!

x

 

Travel Bug

IMG_8333

I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t like travelling. I LOVE exploring new countries, their fashion, their history and most importantly their food!

We’re getting closer and closer to that point in our lives where we said we would take some time out to travel- like, PROPERLY travel- not a couple of days here or there like it’s been for the past 4 years! I mean weeks and weeks of jumping from one country to the next. We’re still a year away from doing it, but when I’ve been waiting 9 years already, this, to me is my light at the end of a very long tunnel!

I wanted to take a gap year before starting Uni, but, my mum being my typical Indian mum said ‘NO.’- she was afraid I’d fall out of the habit of studying which I think is actually quite fair. I then wanted to take a gap year after 2 years of working- this was purely to have a break and find my grounding again- this was not an ideal time as we had to concentrate on our wedding, changing jobs, moving down south and buying a house.

The time has never been ‘right’, which is why I threw a big ass tantrum and said if we don’t go travelling before we have kids then there will be no kids! HA! Yes, I have WOMB POWER! But seriously, I just want to have a good few months of QUALITY time with my favourite person experiencing the wonders of the world before our lives get taken over by children! I long for that feeling of feeling free and not worrying about the ironing, the packed lunches, the early nights before work. I want to be a beach bum before life gets REAL.

We haven’t planned exactly where we will go but just for today I’ve compiled a few of my bucketlist destinations for ya!

1) French Polynesia- I have been banging on about french polynesia, in particular Bora Bora for YEARS. Rav is sick of hearing about it. I’m convinced I must have been an island person who lived there in my previous life- I have such a hunger to learn about the their history and culture. I NEED TO GO HERE!

2) Bhutan – I cannot imagine how beautiful Paro, Thimpu and Bumthang (what an awesome name!) will be, I can’t wait to sit in a white kurta and meditate amongst the beautiful hills and inhale the clean mountain air. This resort just exudes COMPLETE. UTTER. TRANQUILITY. YES!

3) China- oh how I long to visit China! Especially after falling in love with Lisa See’s books, the history, the art, the traditions- love love love. I especially LOVE this place! OH, AND THE FOOD.

4) Galapagos Islands- isn’t this just on EVERYONE’S wishlist?!

5) Alaskan Cruise- we took a Caribbean cruise back in 2010. Everyone we met were seasoned cruisers and they all said the same thing- you must do an Alaskan Cruise! The thoughts of warm wooly jumpers, the cold breeze and a mug of hot chocolate whilst looking out at the glaciers just makes me so excited! And then you might have the opportunities to do a bit of whale watching, see some bears and puffins! It just looks amazing!

6) Mykonos- the sun reflecting of the white painted windmills with amazing views of the sea- yes please!

7) Norwegian Fjords- ideally by cruise to really get the best sights of nature’s beauty

8) Lake Louise, Canada- The views- that is all!

9) Ananda Spa, a spa and wellness retreat in India- how better to get grounded again and just exist in the moment

10) Eastern and Oriental Express train journey- what better way is there to explore Southeast Asia?

11) Switzerland- breathing in the fresh alpine air whilst sat in a hot tub with views of the snow topped mountains, or riding bikes in the mountains in the summer making time to stop off to stuff our faces with some swiss chocolate or cheese-yum!

12) Kaklauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland- how romantic is this place, especially if we’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

13) Bahamas- away from it all!

14) Safari- yes, one of my husband’s dreams. We will do this at some point- it might actually be fun when we’ve got our children. This definitely makes me want to book it now though!

15) The Maldives- we’ve gotta see some of it before it sinks!

This is just a tiny smidge of all of the places in the world I have bookmarked and saved in my travel folder! I’m pretty excited to be crossing off one of these destinations in the very near future!-and I’ve got Lisa See’s latest book to take with me! I love a bit of vacay reading!

Keep an eye out on my Instagram to see if you can guess where I will be!

We haven’t made a travel itinerary for our big trip yet- have you got any recommendations for me?

x

What’s Going On?!

IMG_8288

Hello there!

I’ve been very quiet on the blog recently- let’s just say life got in way- which I’m not complaining about!

Me and Rav changed jobs in August, so it’s been a bit hectic getting a routine sorted out- especially since we haven’t had a routine for 4 years! We’re really enjoying the change, and it’s so nice to eat dinner together every single night!

We’ve come to the end of the wedding season for this year. Since June, it’s been non stop weddings- which is super fun, but also very tiring. We’ve been to some BEAUTIFUL weddings this year and it’s so nice to see our friends and family finally getting hitched. That being said,  I’m glad to have a bit of break from weddings for now- hopefully two of my favourite girls will be getting married next year so I will definitely need to rest up so I’m ready for their wedding fun!

Recently my weeks have really been jam packed with catching up on home decor, ironing and fitness. We’ve started our office makeover- which is another reason why I haven’t blogged- it’s been quite nice just having my computer unplugged for nearly 3 weeks- and surprisingly I haven’t felt guilty about it for once!

As for fitness, I’ve just completed week 5 of 12 of Kayla Itsine’s workout programme. OH MY WORD. This is tough, but I’ve never felt so good! I decided to do Kayla’s workouts after realising that I needed to do more cardio, upper body, and core strength training to progress further in yoga. I’ll be doing a proper post on this soon! (I haven’t got the balls to do full on progress pics yet, so I think I’ll see how I feel about this when I complete week 12!).

So that’s all I’ve been up to really. It doesn’t sound like much when I’ve written it all up in front of me, but somehow all of the above has managed to consume all of my time since August!

I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things again so keep an eye out for some more posts soon!

I hope you all have had a lovely summer! Dark nights, bitterly cold winds, thick chunky cardigans and wellies here we come!

x

1 2 3 16