#BlogAlong in March is all about travel. Our love for travel and of course your love for travel too.
Being an Army kid, as cliched as it sounds, travelling is in my blood. It’s what keeps life exciting, right? And every time I get extremely nostalgic about returning to India, Arjun always reminds me that I am a fauji bacha. ‘Ours is not to question why, ours is but to travel, and keep life on the fly‘
Excuse my extremely bad rhyme, but you know what I mean eh!
It’s December already? Wasn’t it the start of this year just a teensy while back? I feel like a goldfish, purely because I’m trying to remember what all I got up to in the past year, and I just am unable to. It all flew by in a whiz. Pffffft.
I do know where some of my last few months went; being so caught up with work and home that the blog was ignored. But see how loyal I am to our monthly #BlogAlong, that Upasna, Pooja and I host every first Sunday of the month. It’s pretty much the one thing that I make sure I post to the blog lately. So much to share with you and so little I actually am. I am not going to jump the gun and start spouting my New Years resolutions, not just yet. However what I do want to share is my favourite memories of the year that was 2015.
Lately, Arjun Singh and I are saving all our moolah and energy for our trip to the Great Barrier Reef for New Years Eve, so most of the weekends go by binge-watching The Walking Dead. So when I sat down to write this post and recapped some fun times, all I could picture were zombies running after me. Ugh. Not good. So flash-backed a bit more, and realised it wasn’t all zombies and lazy time. 2015 was special in so so many ways, and the following are just a few of my favourite blog posts of the last one year.
The Hobo Road Trip: 5 friends, one car, 6000 kms, and some epic memories
We drove all the way from Melbourne to the Gold Coast and back, meandering here and there, and created memories to last a lifetime. Along the way, we discovered this trippy little town Nimbin, the story of which I shared with you all a while back. What a trip. haha.
Starting my #MarketsofMelbourne series for the blog
I love markets, and Melbourne has a gazillion of these. Ranging from farmers markets, to art and craft, to food festivals, its a crazy smorgasbord here. Just another reason for me to get up and go market-walking every other weekend, but hey it’s all for a good cause, innit. (Albeit I am behind on the posts, but too many markets, one little me: Hold on for 2016, it’s going to be market heaven here :) )
A vacation which consisted of wine-tasting, lazy strolls in wine-yards, and lots of me and him time. Do I need to list out any other reason at all why this made it in here? :) Yes, there is so much more to do in Barossa other than wines, and which you should definitely experience them when you are there. But the wines, oh the wines, I swear it’s like it’s literally in the air up there.
When My Recipe Got Featured On Buzzfeed
What a win! And it was a Himachali recipe of mine, to boot. It’s not like I am super creative or a hyper-perfectionist or pull out all stops with the food styling and my food photography with the blog. All I want to get right is the detail and the colors. And then one day I wake up to tons of traffic on the blog, directed from Buzzfeed, and you just smile to yourself, knowing yes, that’s a Win for today!
2015 is also special because this is the year I started my blog link up party with two absolutely delightful blogger gal-pals and we LOVE it. Every month, we get alarm-clocked by the enthu-cutlet (you know we heart you Pooja), and then we put on our blogger hats and come up with our topics for that month. It’s pretty much an endless discussion on food, and travel, and then some more food. The way to our hearts is ALSO through our gluttonous stomachs. And eyes.
We hope you are enjoying the #BlogAlong as much as we are. This is as much your link up party as it is ours, and we want you to tell us if you have any exciting ideas for us to #BlogAlong about in 2016.
Phew. I did manage to get up to a lot this year. No wonder I am so tired. Haha. The last month of this year and I are going to continue to make some wonderful memories, and ring in 2016 with its wonderful delights. Am glad I had a chance to recap some of my favorite blogging memories with you all, and I cannot wait to read a round up of yours.
It’s #BlogAlong time. 2 out of the 3Girls have already put their posts up this week and the 3rd one is finally ready with her story too. By the way, love the snapshots of Russia and Turkey, girls! Have you all seen them yet?
This month’s theme is a Photo Essay, and we aim to please you by writing less and visually trying to blow your mind. In a small way maybe.
While I haven’t been to anywhere as exotic as where the others went gallivanting, Melbourne does have some delightful festivals up its sleeves. Recently we visited the Dandenong Night Lantern Festival, where 30+ chinese silk lanterns were on display in the evenings, and what a sight that was. What amazed me was that each display was bigger and brighter than the previous one, and none of it was shoddy. Gorgeous and brightly lit pieces were such a highlight of the night, pun intended totally.
Sharing with you some of the pictures Arjun Singh took. And kinda showing off his some work too. Two birds. One stone.
The theme this month is … A Photo Essay!!! So come join the party guys. Show us your photos, take us on a visual journey; your favourite city, a romantic restaurant, picnic by the lake…we’d love to see it all!
To #BlogAlong with us, here’s what you have to do:
Publish a new post or share with us an old post, if you will, on the monthly theme
Link for posting remains open from the first Sunday of the month to the following Sunday, till midnight
Don’t forget to include the #BlogAlong badge in your post. In order to get the code, click on the 3Girls and a #BlogAlong image in the sidebar on my blog or here itself, and it will lead you to the image URL
We would also appreciate if you link back to your hosts, and follow us too. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and ofcourse on WordPress :)
Join the party by clicking on the inlinkz button below any of our posts, and adding your post to the blogroll
Comment on each others posts and spread the love
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The link-up will remain open from Sunday, the 4th of October till the following Sunday, 11th October!
Hello there, lovely people. I realised that in all the absence and then some action, my Markets of Melbourne feature has been very badly ignored. And I feel horrible. Truly, I do.
So keeping you all as witnesses, this I solemnly swear that henceforth, I shall not ignore this series. As promised, every 2 months, I shall take you all on a jaunt around Melbourne via its charming and vibrant market life.
The weather hasn’t been all that great these last few weeks, and try as I might, I hadn’t been able to make a trip to the market that I really wanted to share next with you all. However, the gods were kind, and finally the week before last, the sun shone through and I ran to get my fill of the Esplanade Market.
With a location that adjoins St Kilda beach on one side, and the bustling Acland Street with its cafes on the other, the Esplanade Market couldn’t be a more fun experience for a Sunday morning. So read on for some of the things that make this market different from some of Melbourne’s other markets.
Esplanade Market, St Kilda
Established in the year 1970, the St Kilda Esplanade Market was originally known as the Art Bank, serving as a showcase venue for art and craft. The market is held every Sunday from 10 am onwards, and is one of the best places in Melbourne to source curios and souvenirs which are different from regular commercial establishments. Being purely an arts and craft market, you are bound to find interesting knick knacks as people showcase their super creative talent. Seeing all those wonderful stalls, I was quite amazed that there are such myriad ways of showcasing your talent to the world. Just goes to show that no idea is too big or too small.
Read on for the things that caught my eye at the Esplanade market. There were tons of delightful things but these were the ones I found the most unique. Head on over to the market in case you feel curious enough to discover the other quirky curios.
Creative artist Imbi makes these cute and super quirky pieces from natural material like wood, gum nuts, and seed pods. She fashions these raw materials into cute little animals like owls, rats, or even little fairy huts, and mushroom homes.
How cute are they? And in case you’re wondering how the heck do I pronounce the name of the shop, just wood will do real fast and you are there my friend. thatoldo too.
Aah, the pets my dreams are made of.. Dogs. Whenever I come across anything pooch related and cute, I feel so happy. And the Jolly Wagtails (how adorable is that name) stall at the Esplanade market offers a myriad of all things nice, and all things bright for our pet pooches. Described as a Moroccan bazaar for dogs, the stall offers customised collars, pet coats, pet soaps, and the like. But what caught my eye was this colorful holdall that actually serves as a bed AND carry-all for your pet.
Simply lay it down for your precious (and tiny) dog to lie down in, and when you want to stroll down the market, just pick ’em up. Brilliant. And so pretty!
III. The Timber Shack
Enlarged photo prints on recycled wooden frames. How ingenious is that. And environment friendly too. Plus looks quite vintage too. And that is all the rage nowadays.
I want the one with the superheroes on them. How old am I!
IV. This yummy looking Banana Milkshake candle
V. Anatolian food
Are you thinking what I was thinking? What is Anatolian food?? Well, I had no clue too. But there was a food truck there called Kurbside Kravings specialising in Anatolian food and I was curious. One look at the menu and I knew I wanted some. They were serving Anatolian street food with a twist, and the options were a good mix of lamb and seafood with the middle eastern type yogurt based sauces that I really love. I got me a grilled fish sandwich with tons of salad and a sauce that was very much like tsatziki, while Arjun tried a chicken and cheese burek from another stall. One bite of the sandwich and I was hooked. Anatolian street food has a new fan, me!
The market website says that these mugs are Lord Of The Rings inspired but you know what they made me think of? The little tea cup in Beauty and the Beast. I know I am definitely picking one of these up in my next saunter to the market.
I love wooden boxes. And especially wooden boxes with carvings. Reminds me of the stuff I used too buy with my mom in the markets of Srinagar, or the ones my aunt and cousins would buy for me from Lakkar Bazaar in Shimla.
But at the Esplanade market, I discovered a whole new type of carving on wooden boxes. Flamin’ carvings, made right there in front of you by Mick, based on a design you want or customised to any of the multiple stencils that Mick has to offer. The designs are carved on to the boxes and signs by using a hot wire, so we have a bit of the theatrics happening as designs are being made too. Quite unique, I must say, and definitely a good idea for a birthday or going away gift. Mental bookmark made.
VIII. Flattened Glass Bottle Art as Cheese Boards
I saw these flattened bottles way back in 2012, in a craft market at London, Camden if I remember correctly, and went crazy about them. Got them back for friends, got one back for my future house (unfortunately that broke :( ). However, at the Esplanade market, I saw them being used in a novel manner: as a cheese board.
Looked gorgeous. My only concern was how functional were they really. While Arjun Singh was more curious about how they managed to remove the labels so neatly off the bottle and then adhere them back to the flattened bottle. (yeah, my husband has a thing for taking off bottle labels and pasting them all over the house. He was just trying ti get more professional about it!)
So there you have it. My trip through one of Melbournes favorite crafts market, the Esplanade Market at St Kilda. If you liked what you saw (and read), and are curious for more, head on over there one of these Sundays.
Have any of you been to this market? What did you like the most? What all did you buy?
If you liked this post, please do let me know by leaving a comment below or sharing this on social media. I might be lazy but I do make it a point to acknowledge your appreciation.
#BlogAlong April 2016 invites you to share food stories. This post has been one of my most favourite ones to write and got so much love so I had to share it again with everyone. Come along and #BlogAlong and share your FOOD stories, no limits or holds barred :)
You know the feeling of time flying, well, that’s what I think I am a little guilty of. It’s been a year since I started sharing bits and pieces of my life with you all and I can’t believe how much fun it has been. So much fun that WordPress had to actually remind me ‘Hey Missie, it’s your one year anniversary with us, good job!‘ Yayie..
And what an opportune time it comes at because apart from all the fun stuff I keep wanting to do with the blog and hopefully I am doing, I am adding a new chapter to the Blogroll. A super-fun blog link up party with my friends, which has been in the plans for a while and is finally starting this month.
The #BlogAlong will be a monthly feature where we will be posting on the first Sunday of every month, on a common theme for that month, and inviting you all to share your stories too. The link up remains open from the first Sunday to the next Sunday. As this is the first post of our #Blogalong, we just wanted to celebrate the first month with a fun party. We want to know you party stories, party secrets, party recipes, party crazies. The theme this month is, simply put, A Party. Tab’s on us. haha!
It’s A Party and everyone’s invited!
For this post, I thought I would take you on a trip with me to Dan Murphys: my one-stop shop for all things party liquor-ish. After all, what is a party without the all-important ingredient alcohol, madira, liquor, booze, you get the drift. Every month, Arjun Singh and I head over to the mecca of alcohol in Melbourne, AKA Dan Murphys, to stock up our bar supplies. We go with a set list for the month, and because the variety is so crazy, we end up a) picking up more than what we come for and b) planning our next months visit already. :D
The other thing about spirits; we love adding fun bottles to our collection. Our old Absolut bottles serve as water-bottles on our nightstands, empty wine bottles are used as water jugs around the house, and we have actually reused the Lucky Buddha beer bottles as flower vases.
So, here’s sharing My Wishlist at Dan Murphys. The bottles I need, I crave, I want, I desire. And of course the alcohol that comes along in them. That goes without saying ;)
Okay, not so much as the bottle but just the super fun logo. The kangaroo and the man boxing, and the word play in the brand tag line. Yeah, I am a fickle buyer. Get swept away by puns and boxing gloves on kangaroos. But this drink here could be a good way to get the pals into drinking game mode.
We are talking butterscotch people. How yumm-azing does that sound? Imagine pouring this into a hot chocolate, or freshly brewed latte, and the kick it will give to an iced coffee or iced chocolate. insert drooling emoji
Best sipped after dinner, this drink could just replace a post-dinner coffee or cigar. If you are the cigar sorts. Otherwise, when I hear Moonshine, for some reason I picture a barn, music from Footloose and lots of Dirty Dancing. see what I did there
A mixture of Belgian chocolate with bourbon vanilla, fresh cream, cocoa butter and cocoa solids, this, right here, is the chocolate liqueur my dreams are made of. I am just going to pour it over a scoop of chocolate ice cream and go crazy. And you are all invited to this choc-alicious party
Hpnotiq is a liqueur with a distinctive blue color and tropical fruit flavor. It’s made from premium vodka and cognac and fruit juices. Should be like a bubblegum party in your mouth, eh. And the pretty bottle just helps win this case so much. There is even a purple bottle, Hpnotiq Harmonie, that isn’t available in Australia now. But it’s okay. I can wait.
Phew. I think that’s enough of a wishlist for one day. There’s always more trips to Dan Murphys to add to the wishes. And the stacks.
So which one of these are you adding to your party shopping list? :)
This post is a part of the 3 Girls and a #BlogAlong monthly link-up party. This month’s theme is A Party and everyone’s invited!
The Rules are:
1. Write and publish a new post around the monthly theme; include the #BlogAlong badge in your post
2. Follow your hosts
3. Link back to the party
4. Comment on each other’s posts and spread the love
5. Promote yours and others’ posts on Social Media using #BlogAlong with the 3Girls
6. Link remains open from the first Sunday of the month to the next Sunday
Hello Hello, and welcome again to my monthly feature on the Markets of Melbourne
Last month, I took you sauntering around Prahran Market, which is mostly a fresh produce market.
This month, I am rewinding the clock back a little and taking you along to this wonderful market that I visited last year, when the days were long and the residents of Melbourne didn’t lock themselves indoors post 6 PM. A fairly new market on the Melbourne scene, launched in 2013, this is an annual event market called the
Night Noodle Market
When I first heard about it, I honestly thought that there are going to be gazillions of noodle vendors on display, and it is going to be ramen heaven. However, this market is basically a giant picnic venue for the entire city to enjoy in. When I visited, in November 2014, it was set on the banks of the Yarra river and the bright summer days were just the perfect setting.
I am so looking forward to the 2015 edition, but it’s a long wait. Until then, you can relive the experience via my post. And hopefully, line up a Night Noodle Market must-do list
Things I Discovered at the Night Noodle Market
1. Mr Miyagi’s karate-chopped Fried Chicken
Haha, just kidding. Mr Miyagi has not abandoned the Karate Kid to find his life’s calling in fried chicken. A popular Japanese food restaurant in Prahran, Mr Miyagi’s specialty is supposed to be their succulent fried chicken. Finally got to try it at the market, and boy was it juicy and just the right amount of spicy. Plus you get a free life lesson with your purchase. Hai-Yaa!
2. Ramen Burger
Ramen noodles can be used for making an almost cold-sticky-Maggi-like burger bun. Innovative, hell yes. Easily eat-able, hell no. Just eat it as 3 separate pieces in a dish; bun, burger, bun
3. Not just Noodles
There were like 3 noodle stalls and tons of eateries from all across Melbourne CBD. And not just oriental, but Indian, Sri Lankan, Australian etc. So if you aren’t a noodle fan (sacrilege!), fret not, there are tons of other options
4.Melbourne-ians love their food
.. and long summer days. Check out the crowds. If you ever wondered where are all the people in Australia, I found them for you. They are all at the Night Noodle Market. (or any such market, haha)
5. Some of us come to these markets to eat, drink, and be merry. While some of us just want to get a good tan
Thanks a ton for reading. Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour. Now I am off to find the next market to explore for you guys. And myself, of course.
I joined a gym. In fact, Arjun Singh and I both joined a gym together. Kind of a first for him, and a first for us together. I am not one of those gym freaks, not even close. But with the right company, and the right incentive I can be a gym regular. Right company:him; right incentive: eat whatever I want to without guilting myself into denial.
For him, it was a first since he has never joined a gym. He is more of a run in the park, play football kind of a guy but I needed company and he was IT. He always is :)
So onward to the gym, ahoy matey!
The only class I am truly super excited about are the Zumba classes. All that dancing, the grooving, the funky songs, the Latino beats and moves… Aaooooo….
But tell me what is it about sexy dance moves in the confines of closed doors, or maybe it is the guise of exercise that brings out the inner pole dancer in all women, and makes us all feel like Dita Von Teese but the men, my oh my.. It’s like they are auditioning for Robocop 2015….
It’s kind of cute actually. Watching them try and do the shimmy, the Cha-Cha.. But the funniest are those who actually stop dancing right at that instant. They will do the full dance routine and right before the shimmy.. Full stop.. And then carry on with the rest of the routine. Dance, pause, dance, pause, dance…
To these men, I think you are awesome for coming to Zumba sessions. Kudos. But go on; do that shimmy, jiggle that hip, no one is going to make fun. Do you not see me dancing uncoordinatedly to the hip hop routine, trying to be super cool. But failing or just flailing. Ha ha!
You know that feeling of a kid in a candy store? Well I feel something super akin to that when I visit farmers markets. It’s like I go crazy with the wondrous possibilities of the tons of fresh produce I can buy. And not just vegetables and fruits, there is an abundance of other stuff too; olives, cheese, dips, spices, sweets, meat, poultry, seafood, yada yada yada.
And one of the best things about Melbourne? It has an endless variety of markets in and around town. There are the old behemoths like the Queen Victoria Market and the Prahran Market, and then there are the seasonal ones like South Melbourne Night Market which happens during the bright and endless summer nights here. Every town that I have visited in and around Victoria has a special Farmers Market where everyone gets together to enjoy the sun, each other’s company, and take back with them a variety of produce and goods.
It is this variety of markets plus my over enthusiasm for them that has made me want to start a monthly series Markets of Melbourne. It is my aim to cover as many of these markets as I can and share them with you too. Arjun Singh thinks it’s just another excuse to visit these markets, and well, if it means fun for me, and content for you, who’s to complain.
So, presenting the first post in my Markets of Melbourne series, in which I am going to introduce you to
A lot of people, including me, might have believed the Queen Victoria market to be the oldest market in Melbourne. But na-uh, I present to you Prahran market, which has been an ever-present steadfast favourite in the South Yarra area since 1864.
Much like a typical spacious farmers market, Prahran market has it all. The fresh produce stalls selling countless varieties of vegetables and fruits, the meat, seafood, and poultry stores and delis, the million-varieties-of-olives stores, the fresh pasta shop, and the ever-present German sausage cafe. The unique thing about Prahran market is that it has a dedicated market square that allows for visitors to eat, catch up some live entertainment, have a coffee, and generally relax around the venue.
7 Things I Discovered at the Prahran Market:
Chicken Gozleme: To the Indian in me, it was like eating a crispy chicken paratha, but to the finer tuned palates, Gozleme is a Turkish treat, made with pastry dough brushed with egg and butter, stuffed with a variety of toppings, and cooked on a griddle. The classic fillings are spinach and feta (*sigh*), and minced lamb/beef/chicken. I opted for the minced chicken stuffing, and it was satisfyingly yummy.
Tequila and Lime Stuffed Olives: How good does that combination sound? If you are thinking that great, let me get a pack for those and my Friday night high is taken care of, let me stop you right now. These olives are more suited to the snacker who likes a little bit of tang combined with the sour-brine soaked olives.
The Essential Ingredient: A treasure trove of cooking ingredients, accessories, and equipment. That’s what this store was for me. I spent a good half an hour here just browsing around the endless aisles of seasonings, bamboo chopping boards, sauces, pastas, the cooking pots and pans, serving dishes *sigh the serving dishes*, the knives, etc etc. There were like 20 types of Balsamic vinegar available in house. I know where to stop when I need any exotic Champagne Vinegar, in case I ever do. (doesn’t hurt to know my options)
Chocolate Gnocchi: I discovered it exists at The Fresh Pasta Shop and it is on my HAVE TO HAVE eat-list for the year
Prahran is a relatively expensive farmers market, if you compare it to Queen Victoria market, and even your local grocery stores. Could be the area it is located in, the South Yarra area is definitely not known for affordability, or could also be that unlike the QV market, there are only a limited, small group of suppliers (9-10). Just guessing.
Closing Hour Deals: However, even though it is an expensive market (I bought a small box of olives and a small box of feta cheese for 20 dollars!), if you stick around until closing hours, you might just end up going home with a bargain or more. The sellers just want to get rid of their produce for the day so they start offering you 1 dollar deals. Whatever is on certain tables, goes off for 1 dollar. I actually got a box of fresh Zucchini flowers (6 to a box) for a dollar and a kg of strawberries for 5 dollars. Yayie! (now if I just knew what to do with them)
I am not really adventurous:Okay, so it’s not a discovery and alright, so there is nothing super adventurous about picking up a camera and deciding to photograph a market to add to your blog. However, I think I just get a bit conscious and shy. It took me a while to get the courage to ask a few of the shopkeepers if they were okay with me taking a few pictures, and they actually didn’t mind at all. So I got a few normal shots of the market just to give you an essence of the market. Hopefully, with each post I get a bit more confident. (and click better shots!)
Hope you enjoyed this post on Prahran market. If there’s something that you would like to know more about this, or other markets in and around Melbourne, do drop me a note below.