Food, Travel

Getaway : A Cabin Experience and Escape from Boston

I know this post has been long due and I apologize for the long break without posts. 2020 had been a difficult year to say the least and my husband and I decided to end the year detaching ourselves from technology and soaking ourselves in nature. I started university back in Fall 2020 to pursue my MBA and at the end of my semester I was exhausted and ready to spend sometime off from the computer and I could not be happier. Personally, we did not want to take a flight and travel unless absolutely necessary due to the pandemic and also wanted to maintain social distancing while enjoying sometime off. We travelled to the Getaway house towards the end of December for three days two nights and picked the Escape from Boston which is located in New Hampshire. This New Hampshire Getaway House fulfilled it all for us!

The Getaway house is located at various locations throughout the country such as NYC, Atlanta, Washington D.C, Dallas, Houston, LA, Portland, etc. Use this link to receive $25 off your stay.

If you are someone who has always wanted to try camping and enjoys the outdoors but cannot go without a hot shower or a bathroom like me then the getaway experience is a perfect balance that offers the best of both worlds. It provides a comfy escape with the most relaxing views.

What is a Getaway House ?

For anyone who does not know what a getaway house is, let me explain it simply. A Getaway house is a container converted into cabin to provide a simplified glamping experience even for people with no camping experience. There are number of such cabins at each getaway location. The various cabins are spread in wooded areas approximately 150 feet apart from each other such that there is privacy and no one can see inside your cabin but also not too scary leaving you completely alone in the many acres of the wooded area.

One thing I really liked was all the cabins are named after the grandparents of the staff to honor their services and care they put in to ensure we enjoy a seamless experience. Our cabin name was Rose as it was beautiful.

What the Getaway is equipped with?

The getaway is equipped with all the essentials we needed for your stay and nothing that we didn’t making it a minimalist but amazing experience. Do not be fooled by the small size of the cabin. It is packed with literally everything you will need to make your stay so much more enjoyable. It is equipped with AC, heat, AM/FM radio, wireless speakers, toilet, hot shower, a private fire pit, grilling area with a picnic table and chairs, stove top, a mini refrigerator, salt, pepper, olive oil, utensils, a comfortable bed, etc. Check out the complete list of what is included in the house here. We also thought that the staff was extremely helpful and only a text or call away.

There is no WIFI at the getaway house and limited cell phone service depending on your provider which forces you to embrace the nature, enjoy the simple things in life and take a real break. They also provide a box to lock your phones away and enjoy yourselves without any devices. We actually thought this was a blessing after the crazy Zoom overdose we had. The Zoom fatigue was real and we could not think of a better way to completely switch off. We even put our phones in the box and locked them away for the weekend to enjoy a quiet time without any distractions. Trust me you will love it even if no WIFI and limited cell phone service sounds daunting at first. They provide some books and games at the cabin and we took our own books to read as well. It is was great way to shrug off the stress of work and detaching ourselves from the internet.

Safety and Security

Every Getaway house has a digital lock on the front door and a unique code which was texted to us on the day of check in with the name of your Cabin. This allowed us to securely lock our cabin while we explore around without worrying about your belongings.

Stay Options

The Getaway house offers two different kinds of cabins. One for two people (where we stayed) and one which can accommodate a maximum of four people(bunk beds) which is a great option for anyone traveling with kids. All the cabins have the bed located right next to the big glass window so we had the perfect view to wake up to. This is a great experience for anyone who wants to unplug and get away from the hustle of the everyday life. I thought it was a great place for even a solo traveler who loves to get inspired by nature and write a book, music, or any fun creative project on their mind.

Waking up in the morning with the perfect backdrop of nature was such a surreal experience. We absolutely loved the seating area created right next to the window and enjoyed sipping hot chocolate and reading a book in the cold. Could not think of a better way to start the day looking at the snow covered trees and enjoying the nature. Cannot wait to go back and try the other Getaway Houses at the other locations!

What to Pack/Bring ?

  1. Carry your favorite games, books or a creative project you would like to work on.
  2. Carry a bug spray if you are visiting during the summer months.
  3. A grill pan is optional not necessary.
  4. Grilling Food – Corn, strawberries, pineapple, ingredients to make kebabs, paneer/tofu, potatoes, bell peppers, onions, marshmallows, marinades, burgers, Maggi, etc.
  5. Snacking or any other Food items.
  6. Wine, champagne or anything you like to drink.
  7. Hot chocolate.
  8. Comfy clothes.

There are grocery stores nearby but I highly recommend planning and carrying what you need to save yourself a trip to the grocery store. The cabin also offers a survival kit if you like which includes food options.

Things to do Nearby

  1. Blasty Bough Brewing Company – If you want to check out some local brewery and try some local beers with beautiful views and live music check out the Blasty Bough Brewing Company. Check the link here for all the details.
  2. Pawtuckaway State Park – Located around 30 minutes from the cabin this state park offers hiking trails and boulders to climb. We did not do this during our stay but would love to check it out another time.

Things to do at the Getaway

  1. Movie/Game Night – We also did a movie and game night with popcorn and wine which we enjoyed a lot. We took some of the DVD’s of movies we wanted to watch and games we enjoyed. This was so much fun and I dont remember the last time I used a DVD before this experience. This was a great way to leave behind the reliance on Netflix and other streaming services.
  2. Grilling outside the cabin – Grilling under the stars, with a firepit was a perfect way for us to enjoy our nights with some music, wine and amazing food. They gave us a kit for grilling marshmallows, making s’mores too which was perfect to enjoy the fire pit outside during the cold month of December. They also provide fire wood, fire starting materials, a lighter and instructions on how to light a fire. They charge you at the end of your stay for the fire wood and the fire starting materials you used. It was our very first time to start a fire and the instructions were easy to follow. We enjoyed grilling kebabs, pineapple, strawberries and marshmallows, corn, paneer (an Indian version of tofu), and toasting s’mores and relished them. We loved it so much that we barely used the stovetop for any cooking even when it was freezing outside.
  3. Walk in the woods – If you are not in the mood to get out, the backyard of the Getaway House has nearby hiking/walking trails you can explore. We enjoyed walking around the trails nearby and collecting pinecones on the trails for the house.

Highly Recommend trying the Getaway House for a unique experience and coming home rejuvenated from the day to day stress of life. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and leave a comment! Use this link to receive $25 off your stay

Lifestyle

How to Create a DIY Hula Hoop Photo Display

Looking for fun and creative ways to display pictures for your family, birthday parties, bridal showers, maternity display, graduation parties, theme parties, weddings or even as a gift to your friends? I think Hula Hoop Photo Display is a great way to instantly add to the decor while also compiling your favorite memories. I created a beautiful Hula Hoop Photo Display recently for my husbands birthday.

Materials Needed

A Hula Hoop (There are 2 sizes available – I got the slightly smaller one but you can pick any)

White Spray Paint (Any color of your choice. If you are planning to display for your wedding gold would be a great color option too to add some glitz and glam)

White Satin Ribbon

Faux flowers

Faux greenery/leaves

Hot glue Gun

A small wooden Block (Optional – If you want to make it stand)

Pictures (I printed ours using the Printic App)

Scissors

Directions

Step 1: Shortlist the pictures from your phone or social media which you would like to use for creating this beautiful photo display and send them for printing. I got mine printed using the Printic App. All you need to do is select the pictures you want to print and they will pop and print polaroid type pictures for you and send them in your mail. They did a fantastic job and I was extremely happy with the quality. If you want you can even have them edited to a black and white version for a more vintage look on photoshop before getting them printed. You can also print these yourself on Photo Paper if you like too.

Step 2: Next I took my Hula Hoop and wooden block and spray painted it white in a ventilated area. I gave them around 2 to 3 coats to ensure they were completely covered. I also coated them with a topcoat to seal the paint. You may skip this step if you like but I highly recommend it. Set them aside to dry completely. I kept them to dry completely for 24 hours. I did it in the summertime so it dried fairly quickly.

Step 3: Once they have completely dried, I cut 4 satin ribbons measuring the hula hoop and where they will be placed and secured them with a glue gun. If your pictures are fairly smaller than mine you can add a thinner satin ribbon too and add more ribbons to add more pictures. This is completely your choice. I started with cutting and sticking the center ribbon to be as symmetrical as possible.

Step 4: Next, I started to add the faux greenery. I first laid them out to decide how I wanted them by laying the leaves first and adding some faux flowers and faux buds around it. Once I was happy with the arrangement I secured everything with a hot glue gun. You can add as many or ass little of the faux greenery or faux flowers as you like. Remember to add enough hot glue to secure everything in its place.

Step 5: While everything was drying, I started laying the pictures on the satin ribbon until I was happy with the display arrangement and then secured them with a glue gun.

Step 6: Finally, I took the Hula Hoop Photo display and using a hot glue gun stuck it to the wooden block. Remember to hold it for a couple of minutes to give it support until the glue dries and can hold it easily. Ensure to apply enough hot glue in order to secure it in place. If you wish to hang them you can easily hand them too using ribbons and skipping the wooden block.

Hope you enjoy creating your personalized Hula Hoop Photo Display. If you do create one using the directions feel free to share it with me. I will be happy to see what you come up with.

Fashion, Lifestyle

The Tie – Dye Trend – A Fun DIY

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.

Travel

Kayaking in the Ocean at La Jolla – My First Experience

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!

Lifestyle

11 Stay At Home Date Night Ideas

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.

  1. 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.

Lifestyle

DIY Jewelry Organizer Tray – In less than 30 minutes

Jewelry Trays are so fun and colorful to create using Sculpey and a fun way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe. From solid colors, to interesting patterns, different shapes and more, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few tips I would like to share with you to create a jewelry tray in no time. Seriously, its fun, useful, easy and addictive!

Materials Needed:

  • Sculpey soft clay
  • Clay Roller/ Rolling pin
  • Butter Knife
  • Cookie/Clay cutters – Different shapes (not necessary – made this one without any cutters)
  • Thick paper or Ceramic tile (to keep your work space clean)

Step1: Working on the ceramic tile or thick white paper, roll your sculpted clay using your hands to form thin ropes of all the different colors you want to use.

Step 2: Twist all the ropes together interlacing the colors into one large rope.

Step3: Continue to twist and turn the rope and fold on top of itself, mixing and swirling the colors together.

Step 4: Using your hands, make the rope in the shape of a ball and flatten the ball using a rolling pin. Avoid it being too thin or too thick; you will want to get it to about the thickness of a quarter. I selected a mix of 2 colors here but you can mix and match as many colors you like or use only one solid color. I used a piece of white and a piece of violet.

Step 4: If you want to make the shape more natural like me just use your hands to give it the shape you like or use clay/cookie cutters to give it any shape you like. You can also use a bowl to give it a round shape.

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit . Transfer your tray on a parchment paper, and bake it for 15 mins for a tray having thickness of a quarter inch. If your tray thickness is more it will be needed to be baked for longer. Follow the instructions on the clay you are using for baking instructions. If you feel the clay does not fold the shape you can even put the tray over an oven safe bowl and put it to bake.

Step 6: Let the tray cool. Once completely cool, paint the rim for detail or leave it as it is. Place your favorite jewelry inside.

These trays are so easy to make and can be made in various shapes, colors and styles. They also make a great gift to give to your friends or simply enjoy yourself. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!