Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Phaltan with Jakson Inns | Satara, Maharashtra | Weekend trip near Mumbai and Pune



Weekend trips are even more fun when you have had a hectic work week. My weekend at Jakson Inns, Phaltan gave a glimpse into the village life. Just a 5 hour drive from Mumbai, you shall find yourself in Phaltan, Satara district.

The drive to this place is pleasant; the roads are nice thus making sure you enjoy your drive. Jakson Inns is India's first LEED green platinum rated hotel, the service is fabulous, they have a pool and a spa to help you relax better.

We started off from Mumbai at around 9.30 am and reached the place at around 2pm. We were welcomed with a glass of fresh sugarcane juice, the check-in process was quick (I appreciate that) and we were in the room in 10 minutes flat.

The room service is quick as well, we called for some black coffee and it was in our room in a matter of minutes.

The rooms are clean, neat, spacious and comfortable. The bed is relaxing and comforting. They have also installed video cameras at the door so you can check who’s at the door – I like this added security feature. They offer free Wi-Fi and I must admit that the speed is really nice, not once in the entire trip did I miss internet.

The good folks at Jakson Inns offer various kinds of activities and also provide with you a list of places you can visit around Phaltan. They are kind enough to arrange those for you, do ask at the reception for the same.

I decided to visit the Windmills for a Picnic, visit the Phaltan Rajwada, Sugarcane farms and Nira river.

Day 1

After reaching the place at 2, we headed to the room for a quick nap. They offered us lunch but we had had McDonalds on the way and thus not hungry.  In the evening, we left for the windmills; they are around an hour’s drive away.

The drive takes you up a ghat and you are surrounded by pretty fields. You can see the windmills from far but the thrill of being right under one is totally different. Once you reach the spot, you are surrounded on all sides with hills, windmills and farms. We had a nice quiet little picnic here, watching the sunset over the horizon.

We returned back to the hotel and headed to our room. I had a foot spa scheduled while he decided to hit the gym. The spa offers Foot, Head and back massage, although they don’t have a full body massage, the foot massage was quite relaxing. The spa is managed by a visually impaired person but he does a fabulous job. The masseur got chatty during the massage and I was intrigued to know how he learnt the skill.

I paid a visit to the 24hour gym, they have all the necessary equipment and he spent almost 2 hours working out. I however, headed to the room to sink in the bed and watch television.
We headed to the restaurant for dinner; we had a Veg and Non veg starter platter and chicken Biryani.






Day 2

I woke up around 9.30am and after getting ready, went for breakfast at around 10.15am. They had a number of breakfast options at the buffet counter. I helped myself with some chicken sausages, watermelons, idli, eggs, chocolate donut and croissant. We also tried their Maharashtrian Breakfast tray which consists Misal Pav, Batata Vada and Pav Bhaji. Needless to say, all the things were yummy.

We then headed to the Phaltan Rajwada, the former home of the Royal Family of Phaltan. The first wife, Saibai, of 17th century emperor Shivaji was from Phaltan. The Phaltan Rajwada is Sai Bai's maternal home. This was named Mudhoji Manmohan Palace, who ruled the Phaltan State from 10th February 1860 to 17th October 1916. Mudhoji Manmohan Rajwada, an old palace in the city of Phaltan in Maharashtra, India, was once the maternal home of Sambhaji Maharaj, son of the founder of the Maratha Empire, who succeeded the realm after his father's death.

You need special permission to visit the place, Jakson Inns can arrange for a tour.

The place is stunning and takes you right back in history. The architecture is marvelous and would make you want to not leave the place. You can also go upstairs to the actually living and dining room along with a ton of other rooms and take a walk in history. They have maintained it and have kept it furnished so that it feels like it was just yesterday that this place was busy with Marathas.
If you are in Phaltan, a visit to this place is a must.

After the tour we headed back to the hotel, a quick lunch and it was time to relax in the room. In the evening we had a riverside tea session planned. We again made our way through the fields until we arrived at the banks of Nira River. There was a beautiful canopy arranged for us and some light snack along with tea.





A post shared by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on


A post shared by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on

A post shared by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on

A post shared by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on
I had enquired about sugarcanes; my driver said he would get one for me on our way back home. he suddenly stopped the car, got off and ran towards the field to get me one sugarcane. The experience was thrilling – I had just got fresh sugarcane right from the field.

We had planned to leave the same day, so after getting to the hotel we packed our bags and headed back home.

A 5 hour drive later I was back home with some amazing experiences to cherish.




Friday, November 17, 2017

Things to consider before planning your first trip with your boyfriend / girlfriend



A new relationship always comes in with new experiences, you get to explore each other’s likes and dislikes, quirks, guilty pleasures, food preferences etc. it’s always fun to learn new things about your partner and one thing that helps you understand the person even better is to travel with them. It gives you a glimpse into their daily life – what do they do first thing in the morning or what last thing at night, how much time do they take to get ready etc.

However, if it is a new relationship then you need to plan your vacation carefully, the following pointers may help,

Choose a destination you are both interested in

Talk with your partner and decide a place where you both want to visit. This way you both are looking forward to the trip and are equally enthusiastic about it.

Plan or maybe not

Understand what is it that you like – a planned vacation or a spontaneous one? Do you like being organised and plan every details of your trip or do you want to visit the place and then decide that you want to do there.

There are pros and cons for both; a planned trip ensures that you have nothing to worry about as everything is taken care of in advance. You get to chill and do things at leisure. As you get to plan everything in advance, you can plan your off days as well (days where you do nothing but relax and rejuvenate).

A spontaneous trip allows you to surprise yourself; you get to figure out activities to do, places to visit etc. once you reach your destination. You get firsthand information from the locals which helps you really understand the place better. This also ensures that you don’t indulge in mainstream activities that others who visit the place have participated in.

However, I’ll still suggest that you figure out your accommodation in advance just to avoid any last minute complications, also booking in advance helps you get discounted rate.

Talk about the Money

It is unlikely that both of you are at par financially, one of you will be earning more than the other or have more responsibilities than other. You need to discuss your budget and how much you wish to pay. It is unfair for one person to do the major chuck of spending but talking about it can help. If you are not comfortable talking about the money, be considerate about how much the other person would be willing to spend. If you wish to indulge in an activity that is a little expensive or out of budget – discuss it with your partner.

Try something new and Compromise

Both of you will have different likes and dislikes, don’t be rigid. The point of travelling is to get out of your comfort zone and learn and experience new things and cultures. Try something new, try something your partner enjoys and at time compromise. Just because your partner wants to do something that you generally don’t like doesn’t mean that is a bad thing – that’s your chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something new – it’s an opportunity you should grab.

How much time together?

A vacation together meaning you’ll be together for a long time. You’ll be together 24x7, are you ready for that type of closeness? If it’s a new relationship, this may be too much. You are not used to be around this person all the time – you may not get your “Me Time”.
Going on a road trip or camping means you’ll be stuck together in a small space for a long time, are you ready for that?

If this is your first trip together, I suggest you try a weekend away first before planning a full-fledged vacation.

Keep your cool

Things are not always going to be hunky-dory. You are at a new place and a few ups and downs are bound to happen. It is thus advisable to keep your calm and manage things with a calm mind.



Picture courtesy: Photo by Yuri Catalano from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/city-landscape-sky-people-127420/


Monday, November 13, 2017

Are we happy being upset?

I see a number of posts and listicles and articles on social media, all communicating that the strong independent woman that you the Millennial women are these days are actually either broken or upset or healing or wishing for someone to love her or secretly wish to be taken care of and the list goes on. 

Take note, I am not generalising here. I am just pointing out something that I have noticed around me.
I wonder, if you really really want love, why not go get it? If you are broken then why pretend like you are not? You are upset then why pretend to be happy?

I understand that you will not want to share your deep dark secrets with the world, but at least share them with someone! At least don’t pretend to be something you are not. Doing something about it rather than just cribbing, that is what is going to make a difference.

I want to have a discussion about feminism as well. Feminism and what the word has now ended up meaning, maybe that’s a post for another time.

I know times have changed, things have changed – love is not like how I imagined it would be but the victim card cannot work all the time no?

Like a guy? Go tell him that!

Want to get back with you ex? Go tell him that, let him decide what he wants to do
Feeling upset? Talk to someone, consult a psychiatrist, talk to your parent





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

She said Yes! – ages ago!


The age gap meant they both were at different in different phase of life at every step, when she was young and stupid – he was coming off age and brushing shoulders with responsibilities. When she was figuring out how to manage life – he was dealing with his first job so it is understood that they were not in sync even when it came to all the major life decisions.

When he was ready to get married, she was worried that it was too early for her.

When he decided to move abroad for a job, she decided to write him a few letters. You know the ones which he can read whenever he is missing her or when he is feeling lonely or when he is angry etc. the last letter envelop read “Open when you think of marrying me”. She had already written a “Yes” in the letter.

But life is not that easy, is it? The distance led them to drift apart and before they could realise what went wrong, they were not together anymore.

He never opened that letter. All the letters were forgotten.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

Tips to start reading again | How to inculcate reading habit




 In a world that is obsessed with social media, keeping up with reading is a task. We are always hooked on to our screens that we don’t have time to read anything beyond what social media throws at us.
If you are have lost your reading habit and want to begin reading again, the following tips may help.

                One page is better than no page, commit to reading at least one page or one para or one line every day! Make sure you do not miss out on this. It is late at night and you didn’t get enough time to read? Just read one para before hitting the bed.

                Keep a book handy – needless to say and I am sure a lot of you already do that but always keep the book handy. This way whenever you have some time, you can read.

                Switch off your phones and gadgets. I have noticed that most of the time I am not able to read is because I am interrupted by my phone. The anxious me doesn’t allow me to switch off the phone (always worried I might miss something important) I thus, switch off the wifi and keep the phone on. This way, if there is an emergency, people can still call me.

                Keep track of what you are reading and how much you are reading. Goodreads helps me keep up with my reading habit, this way I am motivated to finish reading a book. Goodreads also has reading challenges that you can take up. Hindustan Times Brunch also has a Twitter challenge running every year that you can participate in.

Reread your favourite book, at times when you read a book that you love and enjoy, you’ll not want to put the book down. After you finish that book, you would crave for another book and the cycle begins.


I hope these tips helped. If you have any more tips, please let me know in the comments below.




Monday, October 2, 2017

Day Trip To Alibaug | Weekend Away Near Mumbai and Pune




I went to Alibaug yesterday, it was an impromptu plan. It was a day well spent. We drove to Alibaug, on second thoughts – should have taken the ferry. Taking the ferry would have been faster and since we ended up only going to Mandwa, ferry would have been a good idea. As it was a sudden plan, we didn’t really figure out where to go so took the car. I had been to Alibaug a couple of months ago and the roads were much better! The roads are horrible now and it is one long wobbly ride to reach there.  
We left from Mumbai at around noon and after two stops on the way reached Mandwa at 5pm. We took our first stop at this one Nursery on the way – they rightly call themselves ‘Plant Mall’. It is this one big plant shop where you will find more or less every indoor and outdoor plant along with equipments to take of it. I loved the place and would love to go there again. They have a number of sections to cater to your needs – outdoor plants, indoor plants, aquatic, medicinal, kitchen etc. I bought four plants, Curry Leaves, Lemon Grass, Bamboo Plant and a Climber. I asked them to pot the plant and gave me so that I don’t have to do much once I get them home.









We then stopped for a quick bite at a small restaurant on the way.

We reached Mandwa and decided to take a stroll on the beach. Remember to carry a mat if you are planning to sit on the beach. I forgot the carry something to sit on. Since we reached the place in the evening, it was perfect! The sun was low, the breeze was perfect, it wasn’t very hot – perfect for a picnic. Next time, I shall make sure I have a picnic basket and a mat to make this place perfect.





I had heard about this one restaurant at Mandwa and decided to go there for dinner; it is called Broadwalk by Flamboyant. The place is nice; I suggest you go there in the evening so that you are able to click some nice pictures.  I’ll do a proper review on it in another post. Although, if you are planning to go there do make sure you reserve a table. They are generally full.

We left from there at around 9pm and after long wobbly ride we were home at around 1am.

(The government does need to fix the roads ASAP!)









Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Morning Routine – Products



Taking care of my skin and hair is of priority today, I won’t deny that there are times when I am super lazy and sleep with my make up on but more often than not, I am generally taking care of my skin the best way I can. I am listing down all the products that I use every day in the morning, I have been using them for ages and they are absolutely brilliant.

Moisturizer
I moisturize my skin everyday without fail! Post bath, I sit down and moisturize my entire body. I love using Nivea and Vaseline. I keep alternating between these two. They are affordable, lasts for around 3-4 months and keeps your skin feeling nice and soft.
You can buy them here:

BB Cream
Doing a proper full face make up every morning is not my cup of tea. A BB cream does the work for me and works like a charm! I have been using the Maybelline BB Cream for the longest time now and I love it.  It easy on the pocket and does a fabulous job. I however recently did try out a CC Cream by Oriflame, although it is a bit on the expensive side, it is totally worth the cost. You require a very little amount, thus it will last you a long time – totally worth the money.
I have already done a review of the Oriflame product, you can check that out here: http://poojamahimkar.blogspot.in/2017/08/oriflames-giordani-gold-cc-cream-spf-35.html

Powder
I use powder after applying the BB cream, only to get a matte finish. I use the good-ole Lakme. It does the job and I makes my matte in seconds.

Mascara and Kajal
 Again, I am Maybelline Loyalist. Have been using these for ages, and they have stood the test of time. These are one of the basic products and they have stayed with me for everyday use. I have heard that some people don’t like the Colossal range much, so do you research before you buy this – for me personally, they work amazingly well.



The lipstick honestly keeps changing, but a pop of lipstick and I am done with my morning routine! :D

Click Here to go to my Instagram to check out how my face looks like after all this J




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2 Minutes Self-Irrigation System For Your Home Plants





I have made a quick and easy self-irrigation system for my potted plants. This enables the plants to water itself whenever required and thus you don’t want to worry about your plants drying out.
I like plants; I like them even more in my house. I think I got this green thumb as a hand me down from my mother. I soon plan to grow an herb garden and build a compost bin at home.

Materials needed
  1.  container ( could be anything you like, depending on the water you need to water and the size of the plant)
  2. Cotton string
  3. Stand


Step 1: Keep your container on the stand; make sure that the container is higher than your plants. We are trying to use gravity here

Step 2: Insert one end of the cotton string in the container and insert the other end in the soil in the pot

Step 3: Try to keep the string as straight as possible

Step 4: Keep this as is without disturbing. The capillary action is in force here and the water will automatically get transferred to the pot whenever the plant requires it. Your plant is now taking care of itself and is watering itself whenever it requires it.

You just need to refill the water once is 2-3 days depending on the size of the water container and your plants.



This system will also come in handy when you are going on a vacation and cannot water your plants. Just remember to put a large container of water.

I did this as an experiment for my indoor plants; I shall wait until monsoon is over and then use the same system for the bigger plants in the balcony

( If you have a herb garden, please do let me know in the comments how you went about it. I would really like to gather some tips and hacks and advice to get my herb garden started )













Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Why it’s important to take a day off from work




It is not just about being a workaholic; working week after week without a break can take a toll on you. That’s exactly the reason why a number of people prefer to go for weekend away, vacations etc. I did this exact thing a couple of day ago and it did help me, that’s what inspired me to write this post.
I took a day off, sat home, binged watched series, did absolutely nothing and it felt really nice.

Here’s how it helped me and here’s how it helps,

Helps you focus better
Working nonstop can lead to a burn out. You need to pause and take breaks. The day off can let you calm down and keep your stress in control, this leads to you work better and focus better when you get back to work the next day.

Back with a bang
With that stress gone and after you spent a day doing things that you wanted to do you are more motivated the next day. You get to work with a positive attitude, ready to win that project and finish all the pending work.

Allows you to calm down and take care of yourself
Mental health is as important as physical, unfortunately you cannot call in work and ask them that you need a mental break. Calling in sick and explaining that you have a flu is still acceptable, but calling your boss and saying that you need a mental break is not acceptable. It is not a bad thing to want to relax and calm down, but relaxing equals to ‘chilling at the beach’ in today’s dictionary.

Have you ever taken a day off just to relax? Tell me about it in the comments below; you can also share what you did that day J