FROZEN DELIGHT

If you've been in London this past week, you would have witnessed the weather succumbing to bipolar tendencies - bouts of wind, rain and hail interspersed with intense sunshine. As if decision making wasn't already hard enough, now there's another factor thrown into the process. Do I wear a turtleneck sweater or a linen shirt? Should I carry an umbrella or sunglasses? Am I going to order a soy chai latte or an iced lemon tea? Choices, choices, choices... One thing is crystal clear to me, though; the perfect dessert or snack, be it rain or shine, is undoubtedly ice cream. Chilly, stormy night? Hop under the duvet with an army of pillows, your favourite chick-flick and a tub of chocolate gelato. Humid, blue skies? Run over for a lemon-lime popsicle when you hear the ice cream van's jingle echo in your neighbourhood. There never isn't an appropriate time for this frozen delight, that must be why we all scream for ice cream. And in case you didn't already know, I'm crazy for ice cream. My flavour of choice alternates between Cookies & Cream and Strawberry Cheesecake. Albeit rather vanilla*, they are sinfully indulgent. I found it pretty funny (and a tad bit sad) that I've never actually thought about making my own ice cream, especially considering that entire tubs get cleaned out in the span of a few days. That is, until I came across this recipe by Mimi Thorisson for strawberry ice cream and got inspired. I never realised how easy it was to make ice cream at home, that too without any fancy equipment. All you need to make your base is double/heavy cream,...

GRANADA, TE AMO

  On my last trip, I was reminded that magic exists – and it’s all around us. For ten days last December I travelled through Spain for the first time, finally getting a glimpse of the country I had wanted to see for many years, especially since I started learning Spanish in school.* The cities I visited had their own flirtatious charms, effortlessly courting my wide-eyed heart, but the three days I remember most vividly were the three days spent in Granada. From the fog-veiled dawn that welcomed me, to the fading pastel sky that bid me farewell, there was not a moment that passed without wonder. It was different in every way possible to home, yet something in the air felt like I belonged there.   The first day was spent walking around, as I always do in new places when vacationing. It sounds pretty boring and unexciting, but for me, the opposite is true. The most interesting way to get acquainted with a place is on foot. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the people and (most importantly) the food – everything is boundless and unrestricted, waiting to be discovered. After a few hours of getting delightfully lost, I somehow found my bearings and managed to make my way back to my hotel. Neighbourhoods with their distinct façades, narrows alleys thick with colour and scent, whitewashed walls adorned with pottery and paintings, conversations en Español fluttering through the air, trapezoid courtyards fountaining with vendors, cobblestone roads that seemed to want to trip me at every opportunity, the pace of life that moved far slower than I’m used to –...

CONQUER COMFY-CHIC

Dressing comfortably has never been a priority for me when deciding what to wear. 35°C and sunny outside? Let me throw on a cashmere sweater. Going to be walking long distances all day long? I think I'll wear my most uncomfortable pair of shoes. We're going skiing? This t-shirt would look really good with the snow.* When it comes to clothes, more often than not I put style before substance. However, it doesn't always have to be like this. I'm slowly discovering that looking good and being comfortable don't have to be mutually exclusive. Crazy right? Is it really possible that you could look good and feel good? And I don't mean the confidence-boosting, high-morale, you-can-conquer-the-world kind of feel good on the inside. No, my friend, you can look like a star and not have to deal with physical discomfort. Not without a little effort on your part though. Don't expect to throw on sweatpants and look as fabulous as Regina George. The secret to conquering comfy-chic lies within basics. Plain tees, tanks and shirts, unfussed shorts, trousers and jeans - basics are building blocks of a good wardrobe. You could play it up and wear a white t-shirt under a suit, or you could keep it simple and pair two basics together for high ease and effortlessness, as I have done with this blue-jeans-white-shirt** combo. Picking out essentials are where people make mistakes. I avoid loud colours, any kind of print or pattern and wordings or logos***. Colours that are easy to match, like black, white, greys and pastels of sorts are a good start. Remember, less is always more. And once you've found the style...

WHITE PURSUIT

In dire need of some reprieve, it was time to de-stress and de-clutter - visually, that is. Shooting an editorial is always the best and my favourite way to momentarily escape reality. I can't, or rather, don't want to clean up around me, not until I'm done with finals atleast.* I'd rather waste my precious free time doing something that makes me happy. Let me set the scene of what the last few weeks have been like, because what you see in these photos are nothing but a zen fantasy. It's four o'clock in the morning and I'm surrounded by a pile of notes and textbooks, only second in size to the growing stack of dishes in the sink. The floors' cries to be vacuumed and mopped are muffled by the mounds of clothes waiting to be washed. Exam prep is not a good look for me (or my apartment), never has and never will be, not with the onslaught of binge eating and my body clock migrating to another timezone. This external mess is a good indicator of how hopelessly messy it is inside my head at the moment. It gets bloody suffocating for a neat freak like me to be encompassed by so much clutter, but at times it can be a good and inspiring thing. A quote by Nita Ambani comes to mind, "the lotus comes from the murkiest water but grows into the purest thing", and as such is how these photos were born out of chaos (and a little bit of planning). Now that you get an idea of the disorder I'm living in, let's not digress too much and return the simple joys of...
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