Gifting Made Easy with IGP.com

 

Guys, I literally cannot contain my excitement right now. I’m like a confetti balloon that’s about to burst and shower the world with all kinds of goodness. Why, why? Ok, so my bestest friend and soul sister is getting hitched in exactly two months (yelp!) and we’re off to Goa tomorrow for her bachelorette!! While I can’t reveal all the plans here (it’s a surprise), I will let you in on something that has a whole lot of shopping involved *wink*.

While I was in the midst of getting married, I was a lead character from a horror story. True story. I feel the shaadi-stress gets to even the most chilled out brides. Back then, when things got a little too much to handle, all I wanted was to have some chai, sit back and relax, and enjoy some at-home pampering (cause obviously my dadi didn’t let me out of her sight). That’s when I thought that when Lekha gets married, I’m going to make sure I put together a care-package for her. Fast forward a couple of months- the plan to curate that care-package didn’t materialize cause I was being lazy and life got in the way. But just like a silver lining in the grey murky clouds of my head, Indian Gifts Portal (IGP.com) came to the rescue and the shopping-fundamentalist in me was back in the game (woohoo!).

IGP.com is pretty cool website that deals with all things gifting. What’s awesome is that you can sit in your pajamas and shop for anyone, from your mum to your geeky teen nephew right at the comfort of your home (or bed). Known to be one of India’s largest online gifts store, IGP.com helps curate gifts so that it’s easier for clueless boyfriends and last-minute friends (like me) to order gifts online in a jiffy. I absolutely love how they go beyond “gifts for occasions” and have “gifts for recipients”. Also, they have a cool section on personalized gifts, the kind where you can print personal messages or pictures on cushions, cakes and mugs (so kewl!).

For Lekha’s care package, I went to the “browse by categories” link and scrolled through the gifts in the “fashion & lifestyle” section. I know she’s already following a strict skin care regime (bride-y in the making) so I decided to skip on the skincare products and opt for this bathing & spa accessories’ basket that is soo cute and totally bride-friendly.

Indian Gifts Portal

Since I was ordering gifts online from IGP.com for the first time, I’ll admit I was a teeny tiny bit nervous to receive the package. However, let’s just say I was presently surprised and I’ve already scrolled through their website a handful of times on the lookout for gifts for mother’s day and a small care package to send to the hubby dear (who’s all the way in Dubai!).

If you’re stumped about gifting solutions, then IGP.com could be your savior (their delivery is super duper fast too!). If you’re a newbie to online shopping for gifts, then follow the steps here on how to navigate around the gifts discovery platform. It’s pretty easy and convenient- nothing that’ll make you break out in a sweat.

Oh! One last thing, did I not mention that I love receiving presents too? Hmm… chalo, no problem, you can easily order something for me from IGP.com. Flowers will do too (just saying!).

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Label Love: Project Wood

project wood rope light

Hello hello… I’m back!! I took a two week break from the blog only cause I was having the time of my life in Dubai with P. I feel like we make guest appearances in each other’s lives, but it’s something that I know is temporary and worth the wait (hang in there girl). Anyhow, just before I left Kenya, I was strolling on Insta (as usual) and came across Project Wood. First thoughts… for how long was I hibernating to not have found this awesome brand? I also felt like kicking myself in the butt because I absolutely love their product range and now I have no space in the house to adopt some of their precious furniture *teary eyed*.

Maybe, I can treat myself to The Rolling Lamp which I absolutely loooove. The lamp has a macrame rope that gives it this cool 80s’ vibe while the bare buld knocks in a industrial look that’s still making rounds in the decor world. What’s cool about this lamp, is that there’s a gazillion ways to style it up- I know a sweet spot in my house where I’d rope this up.

I’ve also been admiring the Hexagon Tables and the Sandune cabinet which both have minimalist aesthetics with bold dimensions that give it a contemporary yet oh-so-classic look. Also, the pieces are quite unique for anyone whose looking for anything but run of the mill stuff. Do check ’em up and read their story here.

project wood indiaproject wood cabinet

I can’t wait to see what more Project Wood has to offer in the future. Gonna keep a tab on these guys.

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36 Days Of Type & A Beautiful Journey Through Indian Crafts With Hiral Patel

36 Days of Type

Typo geeks and craft nerds, have you seen anything more beautiful than these alphabets?

This has legit been my most favourite thing on Instagram this whole year! I remember thinking how sad I’d be when we got to Z and wished for the sake of this project that there were a gazillion letters in the alphabet. I wonder if the brain and insanely talented designer behind this 36 Days of Type project Hiral Patel thought so too.

Before we find out, let me quickly fill you in on the project itself. 36 Days of Type is an open project to designers and illustrators to express themselves or their view through 26 letters followed by the numbers 0-9 making it 36 days of typo heaven!  I was following the hashtag #36DaysOfType on Instagram and it was Hiral’s passion and truly unique representation that really spelt out W-O-W for me.

If you haven’t already guessed yet, her letters represent different crafts of India; from A for Ajrakh to Z for Zardozi (common, repeat after me!). Personally, it was a beautiful recap of what we learnt in our “appreciation of indian textiles” class and also, I got educated on a handful of new crafts like Q for Quitabat (did you know?). From the letters to the impeccable styling to the write-ups on each post, it’s clear that Hiral put in a whole lot of time and effort into this project, which I truly truly admire. Kasam se.

When someone truly inspires me, I can’t help but reach out to them. So over a few quick messages on Instagram, Hiral so sweetly answered my questions (like a true pro). Here goes…

Designer, artist or both?
I feel every designer is an artist and has his/her own unique style and way of thinking. One cannot be a successful designer if one is not an artist at heart.

I’m passionate about… Painting. Food. Sleeping. (lol)

36 Days of Type taught me to have faith in an idea and execute it. As most of the times I would chuck an idea due to fear of being unable to execute it.

I’m obsessive about folk art & crafts of the world. There is so much that history can teach us that we can never learn otherwise.

My favourite letter from 36 Days of Type is D for Daboo

Also, she said coming to the end of the project was bittersweet (read: same feels). If you want to admire more of her work or share a virtual hug with her, you can follow her on Instagram or checkout her portfolio here. I highly recommend both.

And in her own words, she shares a little something about herself.

“Hi my name is Hiral. I’m a Mumbai based freelance graphic designer (formerly working at Good Earth India). I believe that crafting your heart out makes room for your soul; and that creativity is contagious- one must pass it on. I love to paint pretty things and fallen flowers. What can I say Arts and Crafts keeps me sane!”

 

Psst…Don’t you just love her?

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Grab A Tasty Bite At These Top 10 Restaurants In Mombasa

cafe mocha mombasa

My trip home is almost coming to an end and I have just a few more days of truly being able to just “relax & chill”. Also, my hogathon comes to an end *sniff*. I spent one whole month training my mind and gut to devour every bite with no guilt, only because I knew that this wouldn’t last forever and I should just enjoy it before I go back to eating clean. But before I leave home, I’m going to take your through a mini gastronomical journey of what I ate in Mombasa. For all home cooked meals head to Mayuri’s Jikoni (she spoils me silly) and for the rest, follow along.

Sham E Bahar
Located in Kizingo, this restaurant is our go-to takeaway place. With quick service and some of the most delicious rolls in town, this restaurant is perfect for anyone who likes their barbecue and grill. We generally order paneer tikkas, egg chapatis and chicken kabab rolls which come with three different sauces that are seriously yum. I’m so glad it’s close to home.

Mnkafe
Right next to Sham E Bahar, you’ll find this quaint little cafe that serves up some delicious waffles with some very exotic twists. On this trip, I’ve gone to the cafe twice with mum, and both times we had coffee and waffles. Even the cupcakes look really divine. My favourite waffle so far is the Arabian one which comes with nuts, dates, whipped cream and ice cream (guilty pleasures). So naughty but sooo yummy. Also, try the ginger coffee and saffron tea.

Find them here.

The Moorings
We’ve been going here since we were kids and each time I go, I still find myself oohing at the beautiful location. The Moorings is a floating restaurant nestled in the Mtwapa Creek that comes with the most spectacular view and a fairly relaxed vibe. Generally the pizzas and seafood dishes are to die for here, but last time we had an ok-ok experience which I shared here. However, because it’s an old favourite of the fam, I’m still going to make a visit on my next trip home. The view is worth it all.

Find them here.

Aquadrom Yul’s
If pizza is what you seek, you’d most likely be directed to Yul’s.  This beach-front restaurant has been around since we were kids and it’s still one of the most popular joints in town. It has the beach, water sports and some really tummy-and-heart-filling firewood pizzas that make the perfect setting for beach-goers. They serve up a huge menu filled with seafood, steaks, gelatos, pizzas and pastas. However, in all these years, I’ve only ever ordered pizza cause I love ’em. The greedy monster in me awakens here.

Bollywood Bites
When you want some masala in your life then you head to Bollywood Bites. From chaat to dosas to maru na bhajia, this place is your quick fix solution when you miss all the yummy food of India. Also, they do a fab job with the meals and twice a week they have offers on their dosa- buy one get one free. For a perfect weekend, I would say, go fill your tummies here and then go watch a Bollywood movie at Nyali Cinemax.

Find them here.

Cafe Mocha
After the movie, if you need to discuss how completely stupid the story was but you still loved it, then head to Cafe Mocha which is also in Nyali Cinemax. Here you can sit and enjoy some coffee and also hookah- if that’s your thing. I went here yesterday on a lunch date with mum and Daxa aunty, and we ordered a bean salad, paneer tikka and veggie lasagne. It was all yum. We also sneaked in a chocolate tart. Oh! And I highly recommend their passion fruit and tree tomato juice (read: tropical at its best).

Find them here.

Caffesserie
If cafes are your scene, this place is a must visit. From coffees to salads to pizzas to desserts, it pretty much has it all. I love the general vibe of this place and the food is really good. I haven’t been here too often, but next time I’m going to try really hard to not order a pizza and instead call for the salmon steak that looked so damn good (spotted on the next table). They also have some divine-looking gelato, which we skipped because we’d already stuffed our faces. I heart the creme brûlée is also yum.

Find them here.

Regal Corner
For me no trip home is complete without having some Mombasa mix and a handful of samosas with some mabuyu or passion fruit juice. This is one combination that I know I wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world and it counts as a milestone of my trips home. Dad takes us to Regal Corner which is in Aga Khan. We generally order exactly this with a side of kebabs. Quick story- when I was a youngling, every Friday I used to go for ballet classes (I know, I know) to the Little Theatre Club here in Mombasa. It was dad’s parental duty to pick me up after class and he’d always always come with a bag of samosas which we would sit and eat in the car. It was our little secret- a pact between our guts and soul.

Forodhani
We went here for mum’s birthday and then again when the big bro was in town. I quite liked the food here and the view is just spectacular- it looks out at the sea. The restaurant offers swahili cuisine, seafood, kebabs and more hunger-inducing dishes. We ordered fish tikkas, egg chapati and peri peri chips which left our tummies happy and full. Next time, I’d like to go for lunch and maybe order the fresh catch of the day with local flavourings, cause I hear it’s pretty good.

Galaxy Chinese Restaurant

For my entire life I have always compared any Chinese grub to the dishes I’ve had at Galaxy. Again, this is an old favourite of the family. We’ve had so many family dinners, parties and get togethers here whilst we were growing up. Two things I highly recommend- the spring rolls and the pepper fish which I love with a side of noodles. In recent years, they moved and nabbed the best spot in Lighthouse, where you can sit and watch ships go buy while you eat. Nice, eh?

Phew! So here are my top ten Mombasa restaurants that serve up some pretty awesome dishes. I know I’ve missed out on a few, but there’s only so much my tummy can handle. Saving the leftovers for my next trip home.

Until next time.

P.S. I live for pizzas.

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Weekly Finds

What’s my favourite all-time pastime? Finding stuff (duh!). Sometimes I believe that I really should have considered a job in crime scene investigation or opened up a detective agency of my own. Who knows, maybe someday I will and you’ll hire me. Till then Google is my bestest friend who tells me mostly everything I need to know and more. Even how to become a detective *wink*.

Till that happens, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite finds with you weekly. Be it

1/ My garden goals look something like this *dreamy eyes*. Guys, did you know that moss isn’t always green and you get it in brilliant shades of pink? Like seriously, why has no one ever told me about Hitsujiyama Park in Japan? Why, why? If you’re planning a trip to Japan then go during April-May because that’s when this beauty blooms.Hitsujiyama Park

 

2/ I love kolhapuris. Add tassels and I love them more. These cuties are from Aprajita Toor’s new collection of footwear. The collection has some brights and metallics that would look so fab with summer dresses and stuff. I’m a huge fan and have been since this post.aprajita toor

 

3/ Lisbeth Salander is back and I just want to skip to October 2018 to watch “The Girl in The Spider’s Web”. However, I’m not too happy with the no-show Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig *bummer*. Rumour has it Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson might be the new Salander. Who would you pick?

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist

 

4/ I think I first came across these crazy-but-cool shrines on Pinterest a while back and I absolutely love them. These quirky little shrines called nichos are mostly made of mixed media and act as devotional niches for anything from religion to pop culture. I absolutely adore them. Kind of want to make one with Ganeshji- what you think?Frida Kahlo Nicho

5/ Have you ever wondered how lipsticks are made? Today, I did. Google led me this way to good ol’ Refinery29. I really want to get a customised lipstick- any leads?

 

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