Dapoli Photo Diary – Day 1

dapoli, mahabaleshwar, Travel
This was another of those places that was discovered quite by accident. While looking for the nearest beach from Mahabaleshwar, we stumbled upon Dapoli – a name that I’d never heard of till before that. After a couple of hours of intense review-reading (I am obsessed about reading every traveller’s account of the place, stay and food on every travel website available. Bit of an OCD), we decided it would be perfect for lazing around for a couple of days.

A couple of hours drive from Mahabaleshwar later, we reached Dapoli by afternoon. The drastic change from deliciously cold mountain air to hot and humid Dapoli was not taken very well by us me. So very grumpily I proceeded to have lunch. Aryawarta, the place where we were staying was a cross between a home stay and a hotel. It’s a bunch of independent villas and apartments, complete with a kitchenette and a huge balcony, and a common ‘cafeteria’ style eating area where you don’t have any menu, except for the delicious home cooked Konkan style dishes that they serve.

It almost reminded me of my days of eating in my hostel cafeteria, except that hostel food sucked and this was yummy! After a delicious lunch of *insert-konkani-food-item-names-that-I-don’t-remember-and-can’t-pronounce* we took a much needed nice long nap. In the evening we went to Ladghar beach, which according to our hotel guy was the cleanest beach, but he was so wrong! Nevertheless got to witness a beautiful sunset so, no complaints! ūüôā

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Put a cape on it!

capes, Fashion, Look of the Day, oasap, Styling
Who says capes are only for superheros and magicians? Capes, long shirts and long cardigans are the new trends in town, making us feel like we are all superwomen! Although I don’t really follow trends, I’m totally loving capes and how dramatic they look on any simple outfit. They seem to be everywhere, right from the ramp at fashion week to high street retail brands. Personally I feel there are so many possible ways to style them, given the kind of variety you have in the lengths, fabric and silhouette.¬†
For this look I picked the most basic long cape/shirt dress. After a burst of colorful outfits on the blog, I wanted to keep it muted in black, grey and white with hints of gold.¬†This can be styled as a shirt dress with a belt over it, under a printed maxi skirt, over shorts and a tee to name a few ideas. So show me how you would style a cape by tagging me on instagram (@thegirlatfirstavenue). Meanwhile I’m off to superwoman things!

Jeans: Recap | Tshirt: Splash | Shoes: Catwalk | Cuff: Forever21 | Cape & Spike earring: oasap(buy here and here)
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Max fashion festive collection

diwali, Fashion, Indian wear, Look of the Day, max fashion, trends
With festive season and the wedding season nearly upon us, we can expect to see quite a lot of people dressed in their traditional best. I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with MaxFashion and style two looks from their latest Festive Wear collection. Now, if you have been following my blog long enough you will know that Max happens to be one of my favorite low budget brands. Almost every other post of mine has something from Max. What started out as a pocket friendly shopping experience during college days, continued to be a much loved and regularly visited store for me.¬†It’s one of the best places to buy casual tshirts and casual kurtis, the kind of ones that you can keep buying every couple of months without hurting your bank balance!¬†What I tend to love about Max is that you could give your whole wardrobe a makeover and still be within your budget. They have always been known to make excellent traditional wear but since the past couple of years they have stepped up their game by incorporating almost all the latest trends in their western wear section.¬†
I decided to put together two looks in complete contrast to each other. Diwali gives you an option to experiment with you style choices like no other festival. You could be dressed traditional and demure or go all out with a bling-bling saree for the night (after all it’s the festival of lights!) or try something eclectic and fun, at the same time giving it a traditional twist.
Look 1
The moment I tried on this black kurti I knew I had to have it! After walking around the store twice and not finding anything to pair it with, I was still not ready to let it go. I decided to channel the inner flower child in me, and pair it with a bright red crushed cotton skirt. I love how the simplicity of both the pieces brings about such a pleasant and unique combination. If you to stand out from the crowd this Diwali, try this look and load on the jewelry. 

Look 2

I love the bright orange kurta and the simplicity of this look. If I was going to spend time at home arranging the decorations, sprucing up the place, lighting diyas Рthis would be the outfit I would pick. Comfortable, bright and easy to move around in. 

Look 1: Kurta and skirt РMax fashion 
Look 2: Churidar set & shoes – Max fashion
Let me know which look was your favorite! 
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Chained to you

Destiny, Fashion, Look of the Day, oasap
This October has been a busy month and I’ve thoroughly been enjoying it! Exactly two and a half months more and 2014 comes to an end. Time flies! Have I achieved everything that I wanted to this year? Not really. Everything that I planned has been set in motion but it hasn’t quite reached where I would like it to be yet. But I am surely and steadily getting there.. one step at a time. There are days when you get side tracked with everything going on around you and question yourself if you really are on that ‘path to success and happiness’ that everyone claims to be on. Just because everyone in your age group is getting married, popping out babies and working in their comfy 9 to 5 jobs and ‘settling down’, doesn’t mean you have to do it too. I catch myself agreeing to that mindset way more that I would like to admit, but then am jolted back into my senses.¬†Frankly I dislike the very word¬†settle.¬†It might be used with good intensions from time to time, but lately settling down has become synonymous to stagnation.¬†Just the thought of settling makes you complacent about your life, when there is so much out there to explore, desire and achieve. What you need is stability in life, not settling, and it’s high time the word gets replaced!¬†
As for me, I shall always remain chained to my free spirit and I refuse to “settle down” for anything lesser!¬†Now that my little rant is over, let’s move on to the pictures!¬†

Trousers: c/o Lifestyle | Shirt: oasap (Buy here) | Shoes, rings & Body chain: Forever21
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Mahabaleshwar Photo Diary – Day 2

mahabaleshwar, Travel
The second day started bright and sunny – perfect for a day out. Mahabaleshwar has unpredictable weather, specially during September-October. It’s sunny and warm until afternoon but during the evenings the mist and fog sets in and it starts raining.¬†Nevertheless we spent the morning going to the Krishna temple (the place where River Krishna originates) and also had a little photoshoot there (click here if you haven’t seen it). Spent the day admiring the architecture and the abandoned, neglected feel that the place had, which only added to it’s charm. It was such a peaceful location with an amazing view. They say inspiration strikes you at the most unexpected time and place, and I probably had a zillion creative ideas rushing through my mind for the kind of photo-shoots and videos that could be done at this place. Definitely coming back here for that if not for anything else!

Finally we ended the day wandering about the resort and exploring all the little corners. It was too cold to go for a swim but the sunny weather was perfect for a little lie down by the pool!

Soothing my sore throat with a hot cup of tea!


When it’s too cold to swim, you snooze!
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Mahabaleshwar Photo Diary – Day 1

globetrotter, holidays, mahabaleshwar, road trip, Travel
There are some destinations that are never on your ‘to-be-visited’ radar only because, for reasons unknown, you have sorely underestimated the place. Mahabaleshwar was one such place that I never expected to find myself in because I honestly din’t think it was my kind of place. So when I got the chance to go there for a couple of days, am glad it proved me wrong in many ways!

We (me & family) went by road from Pune and reached in about 3 hours. The moment we entered the hill station we were greeted with an amazing view of the road, greenery and chilly mountain weather.

After a brief rest at the Bella Vista Resort, we set out to explore the place. The best way to see the sights and sounds of a new place (according to me) is to avoid the overtly touristy spots. So basically the ‘points’ were something we were keen on avoiding. Well every point has the same spectacular view but from a different angle. So we din’t want to be rushing to all the nine (or maybe more) points and pushing through crowds and trying to avoid monkeys grabbing our bags (And there were so many!)

So we decided on Kate’s point, which was nearest from our resort, had almost zero crowd and of course offered a breathtaking view of the Deccan traps.

After a couple of hours of frolicking around the mountain streams, enjoying the fresh green view and worsening my cold (sniff), we decided the time was perfect to go for a boat ride in the famous Venna Lake. It’s one of the major tourist attractions of Mahabaleshwar. It’s a man made lake where you can enjoy a boat ride in a row boat (no electric boats allowed). Ten minutes into the boat ride, a huge mist descended upon us making it impossible to see beyond three meters of our boat. Typical hollywood movie thriller where you except some sort of alien sea monster to jump out of the fog and swallow your boat whole.

Unfortunately all we managed to spot was a spooky looking tree branch and of course my cold got worse. After the boat ride, it was back to the resort, piping hot food while it poured outside and snuggling in bed with a hot lemon tea!

Holiday so far so good.. eh?

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Monochrome in Indian

creativity, Indian wear, Look of the Day
A long break from the blog was just what I needed to come back refreshed and full of ideas! Creativity cannot be forced, no matter how artistic or creative you are as a person. After struggling to get out of a rut that I’d somehow gotten myself into, I finally feel recharged enough to take up new projects and brainstorm new ideas.

With Diwali soon approaching, I felt the urge to infuse a bit of traditional Indian fashion into my outfit. I’ve always been fascinated by Indian clothing and have worn it countless times on the blog. Monochrome will always remain a favorite classic trend for days to come, so I decided to incorporate the ever popular¬†black and white with a pop of color¬†into my Indian outfit. A simple white kurti, black leggings and a 20 year old tie and dyed bright pink dupatta with gold detailing (that was dug up from my mom’s closet) made up my outfit for the day. We were staying at the Bella Vista Resort in Mahabaleshwar, which was a treat to all my senses. Clean, green and spacious – it was a pleasure to soak in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and landscape at this place. I had clearly underestimated this little town prior to this!

The resort provided a perfect backdrop for my understated, no-makeup, no-hassle traditional look. But it wasn’t until I visited the charming little Krishna temple that I realized I simply had to click a few pictures against the rustic, stone pillars. For me a temple doesn’t necessarily have to be a religious place but rather any place where I can feel at peace with myself. And in the midst of mountains, following a trail through a forest, with tricking streams of water, in a rustic stone structure, with moss covered walls, that almost looked abandoned – that’s exactly what I found.

Kurti and leggings: Max Fashions | Earrings and bracelet: FC road (Pune) | Dupatta: Old
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