Tag Archives: fun

Weekend city guide-Miami edition

22 Jun

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am calling this guide a ‘mini’ one because I have only ever stayed there for two-three days max! The reason is simple, that’s the max amount of time I can spend doing ‘nothing’.

Don’t get me wrong, the endless ice-creams, the cutesy restaurants and cafes and the party scene there is pretty cool, and I love the quintessentially South Florida scene there, but as a tan person genetically, that is the max amount of sun bathing you will ever catch me doing. Ever. And when in Miami, you can not avoid the sun nor the beach-not enough, not at all!

So here is a Miami guide for anyone looking to do a small romantic getaway or a fun girls weekend there. (P.S., it is absolutely on my list for my bachelorette weekend though, like, duh.)

Where to stay

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Delano-a view captured by their own photographer

 

Delano

 

It might be one of the priciest places to stay at in Miami, but the experience will be worth the splurge! Since it is Miami, the scene outside is the real deal-its infinity edge pool and bungalows with rainfall showers are what draw many a tourist here and the Agua Spa is like the sweet cherry on top of this deal. The suites themselves are nothing short of incredible featuring a tranquil white-on-white design scheme that will calm you to your core! My advice-stay here for one night at least! You will not regret the memories you will make!

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The Standard (source: their website)


The Standard

If you are not looking to go overboard with your hotel expenditure (read:if you want to avoid bankruptcy), or if you plan to stay for more than a couple of nights, this one is a great choice! The Standard Hotel and Spa thinks of itself more as a spa with a few guestrooms rather than the other way round and has the perfect environment to help you unwind while you vacation. In between the outdoor soaking tubs, the 90-degree hammam, the cedar sauna and the on-site juice cafe-you will be addicted!

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The Sanctuary (taken by their photographer)


Sanctuary South Beach

This is the ideal place to book if you are on a budget and yet still want to feel like you are staying at one of the best spots in the city. Their pool specifically makes you feel like you got more than what you paid for and not only are their rooms spacious and comfy but the beach and several shopping options are close by! The trick though is to book a month or more in advance for which they offer multiple too-good-to-be-true packages.

Where to Eat

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Versailles


Versailles 

This place is one of the most iconic spots of Miami, called by some even ‘the most famous Cuban restaurant in the world’, and you definitely cant leave Miami before going here

Yardbird

 

 

If you are into Southern food and that too in a farm-to-table kind of a set-up, this is a must go for you! However, it was their brunch that stole my heart. (Available for weekends only, but too good!)

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27 Resturaunt

 

27 Restaurant

The interior has a colorful, beachy vibe (complete with picnic tables, bright shelving and catchy wallpaper). The menu is a mix of Caribbean, South American and Middle Eastern cuisines, and the food is divine!

 

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Ms. Cheezious


Ms. Cheezious

 

This place on Biscayne Boulevard is one of a kind for one special reason-it is dedicated to cheese. From mac and cheese to grilled cheese, they serve it all but with quirky twists and at amazing prices. Two words-must go!

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

Started by an actual firefighter, they offer some of the best pies in the city-and the serving size of their slices is easily good enough for two! Economical and delicious-what more could one want?

The Local house

One of the best spots for brunch in the city! Their caramelized banana pancakes with creme fraiche are amazing! Also a must try is their crab cake benedict.

 

Where to get Caffeinated 

Las Olas Cafe 

For me, leaving Miami without trying some Cuban flavor was a huge no so my trip to Las Olas Cafe was a must! And was I glad that we went there. Getting served fantastic cups of coffee in a laid-back setting is in itself worth the extra walk in the May heat but the first sip of my café con leche y azúcar made all the extra effort more than worth it!

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Panther Coffee

Panther Coffee 

The reason Panther Coffee Miami Beach is a favorite with both locals and tourists is that it has kind of a Starbucks vibe but with much much better coffees. Plus, while their indoor space is great for work and meetings the outdoor seating in the breezeway is great for a fun, relaxed hangout!

Cafe Demetrio

It is a quaint European style coffeehouse that has some of the best artisanal brews in the city! Housed in a 1920s building with a garden-like terrace, it also offers live music-an over all combination that gives it an old world charm and makes it perfect for an afternoon retreat! Tip-try their Cafe Leo!

Bachour

Bachour Bakery + Bistro

Bachour Bakery + Bistro

Not exactly a cafe, but their coffee was amazing. However, what made this place an instant favorite for me were their macarons and their pastries! After all, who doesn’t love freshly baked goodies with their morning coffee?

Entertainment

Other than sunbathing on the beaches, that is. 

Rent a bike and explore

Two reasons why I suggest this-one, because this is a much better option than renting a car and trying to get around because parking in Miami, especially close to the beaches, is far from fun-we spent fifty minutes looking for a spot to park and then ended up having to pay extra to a valet to park for us. Secondly, Miami is like one flat biking town, and there is not a more fun and easy way to get from one place to another. Plus there are so many cute hidden spots that you can only stumble upon if you are biking!

Shop at 

The Mall at Lincoln road
It is a pedestrian only strip of boutiques and designer shops that is a must go for anyone looking for a good shopping experience!

Boho Hunter
This place will make you feel like you came to the beach unprepared, but will kindly offer all that you forgot you needed to bring! From wrap headbands for lounging by the pool to cute woven totes to ruffled skirts, they offer everything you will need to buy and then some! (They have an online store too which is ridiculously good!)

Books and books and Taschen (the later is on Lincoln rd.)
These shops are must visits for book lovers, especially if you forgot to bring a book for your day at the beach!

Must See

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Art Deco District


The Art Deco district-
The colorful buildings here are world famous, and there reason is pretty obvious for the colors and ‘art’ in them will leave you inspired! It’s an especially good spot for architecture buffs!
Tip:– Head to the Art Deco Welcome Center to get a guided/self-guided tour of the district!

Wynwood Arts District
Home to plenty of art galleries, shops, bars and some really amazing street art, this area is perfect for spending a relaxed afternoon in Miami.

Little Havana-
You can’t visit Miami without a trip to the city’s famous Cuban neighborhood. Packed with cigar shops, galleries, fantastic Cuban food and Cuban coffee spots, it is an experience in itself!

Little havana

A piece of Little Havana

 

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Vicayza

Vizcaya Museum and Garden- It is a national historic landmark and once you see it for yourself you will know what the hype is about! The property reminds you of an Italian villa and is a perfect spot for walking around, taking in some beautiful views and escaping the city’s hustle and bustle!

Must do

Kayak at Oleta River State Park
If you want to experience part of the natural beauty in the area, this park is a good way for that! For a non-sport-loving person like me (no shame, girl) it was an amazing spot for picnicking but locals suggested that the real way to see the park’s beauty was via kayaking! So do give it a try!

Jet-Ski-
How can you not when you are so close to such beautiful waters? There are multiple rental companies to use for this ‘must-do’, though
American WaterSports is usually the safest option. (Full disclosure-I might know how to swim, but huge water bodies scare me so I didn’t even go close to any of the jet skis!)

Enjoy the sunset from the South Point Park-
It is honestly the best spot to catch the sunset, both picturesque (think walkways, benches, green spaces) and relaxing!

Visit Key West
If you have an extra day on your hands, spend it in Key West. The beaches are less crowded and the views even prettier! Plus its famous coral reefs are ideal for activities like snorkeling and diving!

 

For your sweet tooth

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Bianco Gelato


Bianco Gelato

For the absolute best gelato, you have to head here! Not only because of the taste but also because the owners are very quality conscious. Plus, they have so many options that it will leave you astounded-including even dairy-free ones!

 

Azucar-

Acuzar

 

Azucar ice cream

If you are amongst those who prefer their ice-creams to any gelato, this place should be on your list. Not only are their flavors incredible but they also make fresh ice-cream daily! It is located in Little Havana so try it out while you are touring the place!

Ella

This pop-up cafe is made for sugar lovers, or at least their buttermilk pancakes will make you feel so! A perfect spot for breakfast or for a grab-and-go sweet treat!

 

I hope next time you plan a visit to Miami, this guide will prove helpful to you! 

Lots of Love,
Gull.

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10 books to take on your vacations

5 Jun

For some holiday trips are more than just a time to have fun and sight-see, for some it is the only time they get to unwind and the only time they can fit all the the things they have been missing out on, into.

For us book lovers, the knowledge that vacations are the only time for guilt-free book reading (because lets be honest, when has a dead line forced us to give up on reading completely) is both daunting and challenging-more so because finding books that are both scintillating and yet can be called ‘light reads’ is hard. However, not all of us can take up long autobiographies as companions for our beach days (no matter how intriguing they might be) and for those who prefer an easy-going book to take to their vacation spots with them, here is our list for you! Take your pick, kick back in your beach chair and let yourself get lost in the wonderful words of these writers!

For the cafes

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The Goldfinch


  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt-You will hear people that will urge you to read it because of how well it has been written and those who will cast it away as a ‘children’s book for adults’, but while for the latter you need to remember they cast away Harry Potter in the same way, over all just know this-it is one of the most talked about books of this past decade, even in the literary word and at the same time it is an easy book to read through. And, though many dissent, it does have that Dickensian feel to its writing that keeps you enthralled throughout. If it is one book you can read this summer, read this, it is worth it!
    (Buy here.)
  2. The Twilight wife by A. J. Banner-The book takes us on a journey with Kyra as she unravels the memories she lost to a diving accident, uncovering truths about people she thought were her friends and discovering a past that comes back to her like a terrifying nightmare. An immersive thriller, the twists will keep you involved till the final, shocking discovery while every page leading to it will keep you on your toes!
    (Buy here.)
  3. 13 reasons why by Jay Asher-The book behind the popular Netflix series of the same name, read it if you prefer books to their on screen adaptations. While the season itself is by turns moving, horrifying and enthralling, the book pushes you to question your own actions even more, causing a much needed introspective in its readers! Plus books are always better than their on-screen adaptations, no?
    (Buy here.)

For your favorite cities

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  1. It started with Paris by Cathy Kelly-A once in a lifetime moment in Paris starts a chain of events that nobody could have predicted as a young man’s proposal to his girlfriend up in the Eiffel Tower sends ripples throughout their families. A fun read, easy to get through for even the most reluctant of readers!
    (Buy here.)

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    I heart New York

  2. I heart New York by Lindsey Kelk- This book is as light heart-ed as they get (without getting annoying, cheesy or boring) and will especially be an instant hit with any SATC lover! First in a series of books on Angela’s quirky adventures, this book introduces us to a cheated-on heroinne running away from a horrible marriage and into the arms of new possibilities and even new love. By turns both cute and funny, it will be hard for you to not to finish it!
    (Buy here.)

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    The little Paris bookshop

  3. The little Paris bookshop by Nina George- A protagonist who calls himself the literary apothecary, astutely prescribing the exact books needed to mend broken hearts and souls, yet the only heart he has failed to mend via literature is his own. Haunted by a heartbreak from his great love’s disappearance, he finally gets the courage to open the one letter she left behind-the contents of which take him on a South of France and finally to his own healing. If you’re looking to be charmed right out of your own life for a few hours, this is the book for you! After all, who can resist floating on a barge through France surrounded by books, wine, love, and great conversation-even if comes to you only in written form!
    (Buy here.)

    eat pray

  4. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert-This is one book that can teach you something new every time you read it, therefore don’t shy away from re-reading it. And if you haven’t read it yet, well-why not? An intensely articulate, sensible and by turns funny memoir of a woman’s journey to self discovery, it shows what can happen when you take charge of your life and your own happiness!
    (Buy here!)

For the beach

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  1. The forty rules of love-Elif Shafak-A book that needs no introduction, a book that so many have fallen in love with and so many have drawn inspiration from! At forty when Ella receives her first assignment at her new job, she is introduced to Rumi and his works and as she reads more on him she begins to realize his life is starting to mirror her own and, as such, she finds inspiration for her own life in the most unlikely of places!
    (Buy here.)
  2. The unfortunate importance of beauty by Amanda Filipacchi-Centered around two women at the opposite ends of the beauty spectrum dealing with one common problem-finding a love that can overcome their looks. Add a murderer to the mix and you have a perfectly ‘thrilling’ modern-day fairy-tale.  Part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, it is a book made for lazy beach days!
    (Buy here.)
  3. After you by Jojo Moyes-So many times we read a book that changes our lives forever but also leaves us with the nagging question-‘what happened after’. Jojo gives us that in a book that is almost as impactful as ‘Me before you’ as she shows how life for Lou Clark is after Will, how she dares to fall in love again and how two families, as real as our own, can make us feel their joys and pains like our own. Fall in love with Lou all over again as she tries to get her life back together in a post-Will world.
    (Buy here.)

 

Counting my way to the next sunrise

15 Feb

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Some days start,
their end comes so smoothly,

Like the blink of an eye,
a smile on a sunny day,

Some mornings they begin,
you count till it is dark,

The lights dim out,
the way they have inside you,

and the seconds are years,
never ending, yet instantaneous when they end.

Planning the perfect NYE

30 Dec
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Celebrate it with those who love you.

I am a big fan of planning parties. God, the high I get out of planning and hosting them, I earnestly believe in another life I was an event manager. If my college routine wasn’t so demanding, I probably would still have started it as a side business.But as the latter isn’t possible, I make do by throwing parties for friends.

And NYE seemed like a perfect occasion (ahm-excuse-ahm) to host another. But as I sat there making a list of ideas, I thought of how I celebrated last NYE and although the memory put a bittersweet smile on my face I realized something.

Of all the people I had rung in the new year with last year, fifty percent don’t matter to me any more, in fact I haven’t talked to some in a long while and the others I don’t think I want to talk to ever. (Is there a way to say that without sounding like a hater?)

And that’s when epiphany of all epiphanies hit me.

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Celebrate it with those you love.

I don’t want the main events of my life to be crowded by people who will sooner or later become so insignificant that I wont even think of them in weeks or months at a stretch; but more, I don’t want any of them to be marred by the memory of people whose reminder is stressful or hurtful in any way. Or just plain disgusting (again I say this at the risk of sounding like a harsh, cold person but I am not one, honestly).

In fact, I want only those there who are and have been constants in my life, who have remained by my side year after year, accepting the best and worst in me and still loving me, supporting me. Sticking to my side and being there for me when I needed them, giving a kind word as required, pushing me to give my best.

I have nothing against fair weather…people(?)-but on milestones, on big days, on the memorable events of my life, I want those there whose memory wont be hard in any way, those who will lift me up rather than bringing me down, those who bring me flowers when I am sick and tell me to straighten my shit out (excuse the language) when I am in a rut.

So this NYE, try doing it all a little different. Reach out to the ones who really matter, more-reach out to the ones who mattered five or ten years ago and who you think will do so as many years later too. Most importantly, this NYE, reach out to the ones to whom you matter and ring in the new year with them. 

At least that is what in my head is the perfect way to celebrate NYE this year and what I am planning to do.

I want only those people around me who won’t judge me, those I can let my shields down around, the ones who make my life better by just being there, those who never fail to be there when I have turned to them.

The ones I believe at times that I am not even worthy of to have in my life (yup, I am talking about those special ones).

These are your real family. No matter if these are your childhood friends, your highschool best friends,  your cousins, your ‘bae’, your siblings-they define family. This holiday season hold on to them just that much tighter and welcome the new year with them-call them over, go to them and if they are too far off, use Skype, use Facetime-virtually or not, celebrate it all with them this year. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Afterall, what could be better than to get to celebrate it with your ‘family’, no? Question is, are you up for it?

In the end I will only say this-happy holidays, you all.

P.S. If I don’t get to post over the weekend, cheers to everyone out there.

And a Happy New Year.

Hello world!

2 Nov

Hello world!.

Hi
Friends, lovers, fashionistas, photographers, stylists-whoever you are or whatever you consider yourself to be-I welcome you to the start of a journey of a lifetime revolving around dreams, aspirations, as much mine as yours. This blog isn’t going to be just a daily diary, nor an outlet of just my thoughts but it’s going to be a combined effort of all our dreams and all our views. This is our time, and I want to make it all the more so.

Why, you ask, should we be interested in this blog when there are billions other there? What makes this one any different? Well other then the obvious that everyone is special and different and hence their blogs must be too let me state a couple of other reasons-one being that this is not going to be just about fashion tips and latest street styles nor is it gonna be stuffed with book reviews about the latest best sellers, rather it’s going to be everything in between and more. And second, because love, you just don’t wanna miss out on this sh….!

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