The Tie – Dye trend is strong this season and I am totally here for it. I am not going to lie when I saw this 70’s trend making its comeback I had my doubts but I am loving how easy it is to style it and add a pop of color to the wardrobe.
What was once only a school arts and crafts project is now making a serious comeback. The new trend has been embraced both on and off the runways in a more elevated and fashion forward way. It is one of those trends that quickly moved from the runways to the streets.
The new elevated Tie- Dye trend feels bohemian but tailored and nostalgic but contemporary. What I love most about this trend is how easily accessible it is and so many different ways to style it. The Tie – Dye trend today is not restricted to t-shirts alone but is seen on jackets, coats, jumpsuits, dresses, swimsuits, skirts, scarves, bags, shoes, bedsheets, pillow covers, cushions, and so much more. The options are endless.
This trend has literally something for everyone. If you find the loud colors not your style I highly recommend going for muted colors to tailor this trend to suit your requirements.
And the best thing is you can even DIY if you are looking for a fun project. It is easy, fun and can we done by anyone kids as well as adults. My husband and I created our own Tie- Dye T-shirts (His and Hers) and a baseball cap as a part of a date night idea where we got messy and had some fun. I am going to try doing a few other things as well. These are fresh out of the dryer so haven’t ironed them yet.
We used this Tie – Dye Kit which includes 12 squeeze bottles contains dyes, 16 protective gloves, 40 rubber bands, a reusable surface cover and a project guide. Since this kit already has bottled pre filled with powdered dyes all you need to do is add water to the bottles and shake to mix it up making it super easy. This kit can dye upto 36 projects. There are many small kits available too for someone who is looking for only a project or two. The best thing about this kit is it includes all the essentials you need to get creative and create unique pieces and it works on cotton, rayon as well as silk. Additionally, you will need a white t-shirt (got ours from Michaels) or any other fabric you are dying, plastic bags (to keep the tie-dyed fabric in place without disturbing it for the fabric to pick up the dye colors).
Happy experimenting and having a fun time! Feel free to share your Tie- Dye DIY projects or fun tie dye ideas with me.
This weekend my husband and I decided to do something different, something that screams summer while exploring the outdoors and maintaining social distancing. We decided to explore the Sunflower Picking and Blueberry Picking at Tangerini’s Farm.
Approximately 30 minutes from Boston located in Millis, Massachussets this beautiful 60+ acres of farm land currently has the option to pick your own Sunflowers, Blueberries and Wild Flowers. We opted to pick our own Sunflowers which are often associated with the carefree days of summer and the plump, juicy and sweet blueberries straight from the farm.
We made our reservations for UPick a day prior and selected our time slot of 3.00 pm for Sunflower Picking and 4.30 pm for Blueberry Picking. Due to the pandemic it is essential to make an online reservation ahead of time. They usually open up bookings one to two days at a time and all the bookings are live. There is free parking available at the farms. Here is a link to the farms where you can check the schedule and make a reservation.
As we walked towards the fields they had placed disposable masks and sanitizers for anyone who needs it just outside the farm stand. As soon as we entered the fields we checked ourselves in with a staff member sitting under a tent at the bottom of the hill. when you are checked in you will be asked to wash your hands with soap and sanitize them too just before you enter the farms. Since we were doing sunflower picking first we were also handed sanitized clippers to select and cut the sunflowers of our choice.
You have the option to pick from one, three and seven stems each while making a reservation. We had selected picking three sunflower stems each.
We headed into the fields to explore the beautiful happy sunflowers – A feast to the eyes! After all how can you not smile when you see something like this. It is indeed a bountiful display of bright cheery yellow something I love. We handpicked our own sunflowers using the clippers provided to take back home to make our own flower arrangement. Remember to carry a bucket of water with you to keep the flowers fresh till you reach home.
There is also an option to do a professional photo shoot at the sunflower fields. Also, there next sunflower fields will be ready on August 1, 2020 in time for the next weekend.
Once we were done with picking our own sunflowers we checked ourselves in again to return the clippers and to pick our own blueberries. They gave us a pint each to collect our blueberries. Currently as the fields were not having UPicks at capacity they are happy to accommodate you a little earlier too if you have a reservation for multiple picks and get done earlier from one a little before time for your next reservation.
We walked in to our assigned rows and started foraging for ripe and plump blueberries. Packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium blueberries are one of the most popular fruits here as they are also native to North America. The best thing about blueberries is they can be enjoyed in multiple ways such as pancakes, jams, jellies, pies, muffins, salads, cobblers, smoothies, ice creams, tarts, on their own and so much more. The options are unlimited.
We started filling our respective pints by handpicking our own blueberries and we picked up some really big blueberries. A tip to pick the best sweet blueberries is to check that the blueberry is deep blue even near the stem and not red or green near the stem.
Once we were done picking our own blueberries we headed to the Ice Cream Shop and got the Purple Cow (Blackberries, White chocolate and Dark Chocolate) and Watermelon Sherbet icecreams. After all what beats the summer heat better than an Ice cream.
Before we left to go home, we visited the farm stand and also got some amazing farm produce like sweetcorn, lettuce, spring onions (the biggest I have ever seen till date), blackberries, mini carrots, and a few unique soda drinks. All the produce was so fresh.
We were wearing masks the entire time but got extremely lucky as we were alone in the fields for sometime and just for a split second removed the mask and got a couple pictures.
All in all a great way to enjoy the outdoors and a fun experience! And the best thing is it is something that can be enjoyed with the whole family, friends or even by yourself.
Mount Watatic, a 1832 foot tall monadnock is located on the Massachusetts – New Hampshire border and is definitely one of the most popular hikes in Massachusetts. Mount Watatic is a worthy destination for all hikers as it offers easy, moderate as well as hard trail options to explore. Formerly a ski area, Mount Watatic is now a protected land used for hiking and bird watching with clearly marked trails and offers rewarding views.
Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes from Boston, this hike can definitely be covered in a day. We explored this trail last Saturday and took the moderate trail going to the summit and the easy trail on our way back. I recommend taking the moderate trail going up and the easy trail on the way back as even though the trail is longer than the easy trail it gains elevation steadily not making it very steep while climbing upwards. However if you prefer taking the easy trail it is great as well.
Here is a link to the start of the trailhead. There is free parking available at the trailhead and if the parking is full there is additional parking available on the opposite side in the lane or along the road which is a short walk from the trail head. This trail gets busy during the summer weekends but nothing so busy that you cannot maintain social distance and explore.
Remember there is a small deviation for the easy trail if you plan to take that otherwise you will be headed in the moderate trail direction. The moderate trail is 2.8 miles gaining elevation of 711 feet and the easy trail is 2.2 miles gaining elevation of 643 feet. If you are looking for a hard trail explore the Wapack Trail.
It is a shaded trail almost throughout leaving aside some open spots making it easy to explore at any time. We ourselves started hiking around noon on a sunny day but found it extremely comfortable. Once we reached the top it was breezy even on a hot summer day making it easy to sit and soak in the beautiful views.
This trail is great for new hikers, or even experienced hikers just starting out for the season or to get a good workout while enjoying the scenic panoramic views. Dogs are also allowed on this trail and must be kept on leash.
On a clear day you can see the Boston skyline from the top of the summit. You can enjoy views of Northern Massachussets and Southern New Hampshire from the summit. It is also a great place to catch the sunrise from the summit with beautiful views. Along the trail we saw many different kinds of wild mushrooms.
All in all a great hike with breathtaking views but not breath taking!
Mount Greylock, the highest peak in the state of Massachusetts has an elevation of 3491 feet and is one of the most scenic mountains in the United States. Last Saturday we decided to explore one of the trails Mount Greylock has to offer. We decided to pick a short trail with stunning views of Mount Greylock – Sperry Road to Stony Ledge Trail located near Adams, Massachusetts. It takes approximately 3 hours to reach the trail from Boston but is so worth it.
On our way my husband and I stopped for breakfast at On a Roll Cafe which is on the way to the hike to Sperry Road to Stony Ledge Trail from Boston. I cannot recommend this place enough. The food is amazing and the outdoor seating is absolutely amazing to soak in the summer with the lush greenery and a small manmade pond around it. We got the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Breakfast Burrito, a side of home cut fries and some juice and they were delicious. At the corner there is an Antique store called Route 7 Trading Post which we explored until we got a table as there was a wait time of approximately 20 minutes and they have some great pieces for anyone interested to get antiques.
After some breakfast we continued on our drive until we reached the 2 mile trail. The trailhead starts at CCC Dynamite Trail and there is parking available right at the beginning of the trail.We parked the car and headed on to the gravel road leading us to the Sperry Road to Stony ledge Trail. This trail is easy and is great for all skill levels but offers some magnificient views. Definitely will be a great place to come back to in order catch the beautiful fall colors.
On the trail we saw some beautiful butterflies, cranberry trees and some beautiful wild flowers.
There is also another diversion which takes you to the March Cataract Fall Trails, something we plan to explore the next time we visit there. The best time to visit the falls is definitely when it has rained as otherwise it will not be the same.
The 2 mile trail is an easy trail to soak in the beauty of the mountains without hiking all day and gains approximately 1500 feet in altitude. The stony ledge delivers panoramic views of the foliage and wild forest. After soaking in the views for sometime we started walking back down towards our car as we decided to drive up to the summit.
One great thing about Mount Greylock is that you can drive all the way up to the summit and explore the view as well even if you do not plan to do the summit hike. As we started driving back again from our trail to the summit there are a couple of lookout points on the way offering some dynamic views.
There is parking available at the summit and once we parked we explored the splendorous views by walking around to explore the Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern views.
At the Summit, there is a 92 feet tower Veterans War Memorial Tower built to honor the states dead from World War I. On a clear day, visitors can view as far as 90 miles to the north from the top of the tower. The tower’s beacon is possibly the most powerful light in Massachusetts intended to shine each night to honor the memory of the fallen heroes except for a few weeks in Spring and Fall to avoid confusing the migrating birds. Currently the tower is closed due to Covid-19 however the views are spectacular just by itself without having to actually climb the tower.
The Bascom Lodge located at the summit serves weekend warriors and hikers. It is currently closed due to the pandemic but can be seen from the outside as you walk around.
All in all a great easy trail to explore with spectacular views. Highly Recommend it!
Social Distancing and staying at home has definitely taken me back to my old days where I made it a point to remove at least sometime to do the things I really enjoyed. Reading is one of those things for me and I cannot get enough of it. In these uncertain times I find normalcy in books and love how I switch off from everything happening around in the world for sometime.
Here is a list of books I have been reading. Would love to hear from you guys about books you have been reading and would suggest reading.
Normal People – I decided to pick up reading this book only after the adapted show came up on television (Hulu). I find this book extremely well written, compelling and enthralling though I think you will either really enjoy the book or hate it. There is no in-between with this book. This book touches on so many important things and there is so much to analyze in the class differences, first loves, friendship, physical abuses and family dynamics explored here with nuanced skill. This is a coming of age story.
2. American Dirt – This book has definitely received mixed reception. This novel is about a Mexican woman who has to leave behind her life along with her son and escape to the United States as an undocumented immigrant. This book has controversy written all over it but when read as pure fiction I found it absolutely engaging. I think it is one book you have to pick up yourself and decide if you like it or not. For me, I found the story chilling, tense and gripping.
3. Ask again yes – This book grabbed my attention from the first page and never let it go. A powerful, thought provoking beautifully crafted family drama that explores love, forgiveness and the ability to move on. This book is well written and the writing has great depth and complexity to it and the story flows effortlessly. This is the first book I read of this author and absolutely enjoyed it. A great read.
4. There There – I got this book a while ago planning to read. This is the authors debut novel and a strong and powerful one at that. Beautifully written, creatively and skillfully structured with the stories of multiple characters, each one important and affecting on their own, but when meshed the connections that unfold blew me away. This story is told from 12 widely different perspectives of Native communities from Oakland, California in a way which is both exciting as well as heartbreaking. A gripping read.
Halibut Point State Park located in the town of Rockport, MA is a small trail that spans approximately 2 miles but offers great views. This State Park is approximately one hour to the north of Boston and sits along the Atlantic Ocean featuring the 60 feet deep water filled granite quarry and the relaxing rocky ocean coast.
My husband and I visited this Park on Saturday at around 10.45 am however entered the park only at around 11.30 am as it is a very busy park and had to wait to park the car as the parking was full. Will highly recommend visiting before 10.00 am as once the parking lot is full you might need to wait until another hour to get parking.
Admission – There is a $5 parking fee for all Massachusetts residents and a $20 parking fee for all non Massachusetts residents.
This State Park is a perfect blend of great history and stunning views and is accessible all round the year. The sheets of granite that makes up Halibut Point are around 440 million years old and the quarry ended its operations in 1929 with the collapse of the Cape Ann granite industry.
Just like Massachusetts, this State Park has history under every rock and on every corner. Highly recommend this loop for Instagram worthy photos, the rich history of the granite quarry business and also to visit the watch tower in the visitor center from the WWII era which protected Boston and Portsmouth from attack by the sea. The watch tower offers great panoramic views. Currently the visitor center is closed due to Covid however there is so much more to explore and enjoy.
On a clear day the view stretches from Crane Bridge in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus in Maine and the Isles of Shoals off the Coast of New Hampshire.
My husband and I spent sometime exploring the numbered self guided tour understanding the evolution of rock quarrying and the significance. On weekends from Columbus Day to Memorial Day they offer quarry tours and on every Saturday morning the tour includes a granite cutting demonstration. Currently they are not offering these tours due to Covid but it is fun exploring yourself too. We definitely want to take the tour once it opens to experience and see for ourselves the demonstration of the granite cutting.
This would be a great spot for a picnic with family and friends to enjoy some snacks while taking in the ocean views which make you feel so calm and relaxed.
After we were done exploring this beautiful loop and trails we headed to grab some lunch at Markouk Bread which is a tiny spot serving Lebanese and Mediterranean food. They make the breads fresh to order which makes it so delicious. We absolutely loved the Manoushie Special and Mohamara flatbreads, hummus and the falafel wrap.
Some other spots on my list to explore around Halibut Point State Park are Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach. This can all easily be enjoyed in a day and is great for taking a day trip from Boston.
Kayaking is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and gives us a front row seat to the best shows Mother Nature has to offer . It is a great way to destress and a great outdoor activity for all ages.
On my trip to San Diego, I had a bucket list of things to do and kayaking in the ocean was at the top of my list especially since I had never done it before. Even though my husband had done kayaking before neither of us had done it in the ocean and we decided to take on a new adventure, which brought us to the pristine waters of La Jolla.
We booked our experience Kayak in La Jolla (Sea Caves and Marine Reserve) around 10 days before our travel with Michael and were all set to take on this experience. On the day of the tour in March 2019 we arrived 30 minutes prior to gear up and receive some instructions. The place offers lockers to store valuables and also sells phone covers though I recommend leaving it back in the lockers unless it is waterproof as it will definitely get drenched.
Once we were all geared up in our wetsuits and our group was ready our guides led us to the ocean where they gave us a quick paddling tutorial. The distance from their store where we assembled to the ocean is just a few blocks away.
My husband and I quickly hopped onto the two seater kayak and paddled our way into the water along with the group. Along the way the guide made various stops to provide us with some history. Kayaking in La Jolla is an amazing experience, one that I highly recommend especially because of the La Jolla Underwater Park – a marine sanctuary full of seal life and clear water.
While Kayaking we saw sting rays, fishes, whales, sea lions, seals, sea turtles and leopard sharks alongside with us. This was quite an experience, one we never had before. If the weather permits, they also take you inside the Clam’s Cave which is the only visible sea cave from land. Tip : Our group was fairly small which really comes in handy especially if you get to do inside the caves as there is a limit for the number of kayaks that can go in together at once. A big group would just mean you would have to wait that much longer. We went on kayaking further to other sea caves and then explored more sea life along the way.
After spending time near the sea caves we paddled back towards the shore and as we neared the shore we were sent towards the beach one kayak at a time so that the helpers could pull out the kayak and you don’t get toppled by the waves. It was a great experience and even though I was initially scared to kayak in the ocean especially when I do not know to swim I had an incredible time. It is a great way to experience the pristine La Jolla waters and the sea life.
And the best part is, you can even get some exercise done without even actually trying and enjoying the beautiful landscape.
What to Wear?
You can wear a swimsuit or a tank top with shorts. On a cold day I highly recommend renting the wetsuit to wear over the swimsuit from them as once you are inside it gets a little chilly. Definitely wear a sunscreen. If you get sunburnt easily I highly recommend wearing a fast drying cover up or a wetsuit. They will provide you with helmets and life vests to be worn too at no additional cost.
If you haven’t done this yet I highly recommend it when in San Diego!
I love how candles instantly make your house look cozy and add the same time add the perfect ambiance to any room. They are a great addition to coffee tables, book shelves, mantel, in the dining room as centerpieces, or also in the bedroom.
Today, I wanted to share with you a quick and easy DIY Candle holder which can add to the decor of the house. You can easily make as many of them to use as centerpieces on the dining table or as you please.
Tumbling Tower Game (A mini one)
Black Spray Paint
Led Candle – Pick one that fits inside the cylinder glass.
The first thing I did is washed the clear bowl with warm soapy water to ensure that there are no prints on it and remove any stickers.
Next, I took 4 tumbling tower pieces and using the wood glue stuck them forming a square as per the photo below.
Later I took another 4 tumbling tower pieces and created a cross sign as per the below pictures.
Once you have created the cross sign add some wood glue to the centre of each tumbling tower piece of the cross and stick the square created above diagonally on it as per the picture below.
Once you are done with this, you will need 4 more tumbling tower pieces and stick each vertically on the edges as the below picture using wood glue.
Let it dry for sometime and spray paint the entire piece using a black spray paint in a well ventilated area. Do not miss to spray paint the sides. Let it dry completely.
Once the holder is dry, simply add some sand to the cylinder glass and place the LED candle inside it. It is ready to use.
Thank you for visiting the blog today and hope you enjoy creating this DIY Candle Holder.
Social Distancing has got me try so many new things I never did before. Recently, I tried my hands at sketching and absolutely enjoyed it. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am extremely passionate about Arts and Crafts – I have my Mother to thank for that. I inherit all my creative skills from her.
Here are some of the sketches I created. Let me know what you think of them.
Date Nights have been so much easier until now to simply go out for a dinner, movie, concert or anything fun. But with staying at home we needed to get more creative to spend some quality time with each other especially to unwind from everything going around.
But who says you cannot make At-Home Date Nights fun and exciting? My husband and I tried these At Home Date Nights during the lockdown and had such a fun time. Here is a list of some fun ideas we did together until the pandemic settles.
Tie – Dye Date Night – The tie-dye trend is so strong right now and we thought why not try and do it ourselves. We ordered the Tie-Dye Kit which included all the tie dye colors, gloves, rubber bands and plastic bags and a tie to secure your tie -dyed things. What we enjoyed the most about it was there is no correct or wrong way of doing it. We just let our creative juices flow and created some fun his and her styles tshirts, a baseball cap and even a travel pouch. It was such a fun night of creating something together and spending some quality time. Here is a picture of what we created.
2. Cocktail Making Contest – If both of you enjoy drinking this is definitely a fun idea for a date night. We had so much fun creating our own cocktails from ingredients we already had at home. We were surprised at how creative we got and the result of which was some really amazing concoctions using spirits, fruits, and spices. Even if you don’t come up with the best cocktails you will definitely have a great time.
3. Candlelit Dinner – Convert the experience of cooking at home a fun one by planning a fun Candlelit dinner. You can make it extremely fancy by having a three course meal – Appetizer, Main and Dessert or keep it simple by cooking just the main dish. But who cares as long as you are having fun. Put on some romantic music while cooking and then enjoy your meal at the dining table by lighting a few candles and having a romantic candle lit dinner with your favorite drinks. I love to dress up and use this time to dress up a little to get the whole experience but it is completely up to you.
4. Movie Marathon – A fun things to do is doing a movie marathon. My husband and I are Harry Potter fans so we did a fun Harry Potter movie marathon while binging on some popcorn and tortillas with salsa and guacamole. But literally you can pick anything you have been waiting to watch or love watching together and go with it. To make it feel like we are watching a movie in the theatre we turn off all the lights.
5. Game Nights – If you enjoy game nights then it is definitely a fun date night idea. We enjoy playing board and card games like Sequence, Code names duet, Ludo, Phase 10, Monopoly, etc. Recently I also learnt playing Chess on one of our date nights and was so much fun. Another fun game is the Newlywed game or Not So Newlywed game.
6. Bucket List Theme Date Night – Have a list of countries you want to visit or had been planning to visit if we were not in this pandemic? Why not convert it into a fun experience and make the most of it.
For Example – If you were planning to visit Mexico – How about make some tacos, nachos, quesadillas, etc.
If you were planning to visit India – How about making some Indian curries, biryani or some chaat?
If you were planning to visit Italy – Cook some Italian dishes like spaghetti, pizza, gnocchi, etc.
If you were planning to visit Japan – How about trying to make some sushi or ramen?
If you were planning to visit China – How about making some noodles, stir fry, fried rice or dumplings.
The options are unlimited depending on the country you pick up.
7. Karaoke Date Night – If you have a karaoke microphone great but even if you don’t just put on you tube and select song with lyrics you like and sing your hearts out. Better yet no one is watching you so you don’t need to care how you sing and just have fun.
8. Sip and Paint Date Night – Have some canvas, paints or brushes handy ? How about painting while sipping your favorite drink and also create some fun wall art for your home at the same time? Even if you don’t have a canvas and just have some drawing paper and colors or pencils you can sketch together and frame them and create your own wall art for your home. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated it can be something simple too. We created some fun frames.
9. Watch your wedding video – Now may be a perfect time to sit back, relax and binge on some snacks while watching your wedding video and photos and reliving those moments together. You can also surprise your partner by swapping your wedding DVD with another movie DVD so he/she will not know till you are actually watching it together. At the end if you want you can also make a small cake/cupcake and enjoy it like you did on your wedding.
10. Picnic in your Backyard – If you are looking for a fun date idea during the day you can also have a picnic in your backyard. You can take a blanket to sit on and some snacks, chips and sandwiches with some sangria/mimosas/wine or any beverage of your choice and play some music on your phone and play some board games as well.
11. Make a playlist of your favorite songs – A fun date night idea is creating a playlist of all your favorite songs. You can pen down all your favorite songs and create a mix tape so the next time you fit the road you are all set and have your favorite songs ready to play and groove. We had got a mix tape long ago to create our playlist and finally created one during the social distancing time.
Do you have any fun date night ideas that you enjoy? Feel free to share your thoughts and what you do on your date nights. I would love to hear about them.