February 29, 2020

Polka Party: One Dress, Three Ways

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When I started this blog, I LOVED the thought of sharing my style stories with like-minded fashion-lovers out there. I would get excited about photo-shoots, I would work on fun outfit styling and new looks, I would look forward to blogger events and mingling with the rest of the community, and I would enjoy writing long blog posts on trends, fashion shows, personal style, re-wearing etc.

But, over the years, the blogging scenario changed. There were "bloggers" or "style influencers" mushrooming everywhere. And the excitement of sharing my personal style and thoughts on fashion with readers slowly lost its charm. 
I still love fashion as much, and I still try to share my enthusiastic style stories - but more on Instagram. But, off late, I felt like reviving my fashion blogging days and adding some fashion content to my blog.
That's when I remembered about this little, fun shoot of mine that Anusha from The Small Town Blogger had done last year! #facepalm
Somehow, due to some trouble I faced downloading these images from Google Drive, and then my laptop which had the images crashing, these never made it to the blog at all!

So, after a loooooonnnggggg hiatus, I'm back with a post on what made me start this blog in the first place - fashion!


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Those of you who have been following this blog since its early days (almost 10 years ago), might remember my blog pseudonym at that time - Polka Princess *cringe* :P
Thankfully, I got rid of the name, but my love for all things Polka Dots is still as strong!
And coupled with my recent love for yellow, this dress is favorite number from the wardrobe right now. So, when Anusha suggested an impromptu photo shoot on my terrace, then I thought of doing a how to re-style a maxi dress post for you all!

Look 1

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As you all know, I love layering. And when it is not yet jacket weather, this black lace top makes for a chic layering item! I paired my yellow polka maxi dress with the black lace top for an interesting juxtaposition, added a statement necklace, a pair of yellow-tinted sunglasses and block heels for a fun & flirty look! You can wear this kind of a look to a brunch party or an artsy event to stand out in the crowd!

Look 2

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Of course, one of the best ways to pair yellow is with denim! This denim jacket was a thrift buy, which I had funked up with quirky iron-on patches on one side. It makes for a fun layering option when it comes to dresses. I have paired this trusted denim piece with most of my dresses, and I knew it would be a great combo with the yellow. A pair of oversized pink glasses added a bit of fun to the look! This can be a cool, laidback look for a movie date, a holiday outfit or a lazy day out with the girls.


Look 3

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Longline shrugs or jackets make for great layers on long dresses. The trick to layering long pieces together is to put complementary silhouettes together. Add a belt to cinch in the waist, if you are layering two flowy styles. This can be a chic outfit for a fancy evening look or a family dinner party.


I love re-styling my clothes in various ways...it's a great way to get more wear out of them, without looking like you are repeating clothes! There are a few quick tips you can follow if you want to re-style your maxi dresses:
  • Layer up with a contrast-colored top/crop top for a fun take on your dress. You can knot the top up at the waist for a chic twist.
  • Layering with jackets is a great way to give a new spin to your dress. Go for cropped jacket, easy-breezy shrugs or even long coats for a smart layered look.
  • Use a printed scarf to spruce up solid-colored maxi dresses, or go for print on print if you are feeling bold. 
  • Cinch in the waist with a belt - you can go for thin ones or broad belts with stylish buckles to amp up the look.
  • You can also pair your dress with different kinds of footwear to create unique looks.
  • Try pairing different accessories - sunglasses, statement necklaces or fun earrings - to give your dress a chic makeover every time you re-wear it.
  • You can even try wearing the same dress in a slightly different way each time - roll up the sleeves, tie a knot on the hem, or just scrunch it up one side to give an asymmetric twist.
The key to re-styling garments is to go all out and have some fun, while being comfortable in your own style statement. 

Do let me know in the comments below if you try out any of these re-wearing tips!
Follow me on Instagram for everyday looks...and do re-style more, if you don't do it already! Trust me, it's a lot of fun!!


Love,
Anupriya

February 04, 2020

Coffee Cadu Estate Stay: A Perfect Stay For Your Coorg Getaway

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Coorg (or Kodagu, as it is called in the local language Kannada) - a gorgeous little hill station in Karnataka - is known as the Scotland of India, and for good reason! Though it's not very high up (around 1000 mtrs from sea level), but it is indeed picturesque - with rolling blue hills, lush greenery, winding roads and vibrant wild flowers! Famous for its local coffee plantations, this district in Karnataka is a must-visit for all coffee-lovers out there!

Coorg is a pleasant 6-hour drive from Bangalore and a perfect weekend destination if you are looking for a laidback, relaxing holiday!
We had booked the Coffee Cadu Estate Stay for 2 nights & 3 days, after reading reviews on MakeMyTrip and TripAdvisor. Since we did some sightseeing at the Namdroling Monastery in Kushalnagar on our drive up to Coorg, we reached the resort around 3pm in the afternoon, and it was love at first sight!


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Rustic wooden cottages in a row

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Gorgeous firs & birches flanking the edges

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This view though <3

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Rustic wooden cabins clicked with rustic vintage filters!

The property consists of 5 quaint wooden cottages which have 2 rooms each. The rustic wood & iron aesthetics is enchanting and I loved how the color palette & theme is maintained throughout the property. The path that runs through the resort is flanked by the 5 cottages on one side and 5 little gazebo-type sitting areas on the other. The picturesque view is added on to by the presence of gorgeous tall fir trees, wild bushes, bamboo clusters and loads of greenery all around!
The property also has a small kids playground at the end of the path, with a great view over the hillside. The silence of the hills, interspersed by the calls of nature - birds, insects - and the picturesque view made it an enriching weekend spent in the lap of Mother Nature.


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Rising sun glinting behind treetops

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That golden glow!

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The day slowly coming to life

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Shining through the foliage

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Wood, bamboo, iron - harmonious aesthetics

On Day 2, I woke up at around 6.00 am in order to experience a calm, peaceful morning in such beautiful surroundings. I sat in the wicker chair outside our room and watched the rising sun cast golden beams from among the firs & birches. Slowly, the wooden cabins were bathed in a warm, golden glow...birds chirped their morning greetings to each other, the trees swayed in a cool morning breeze and I felt the most refreshed in a very long time. 


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Woodgeekstore bamboo notebook with bamboo pen

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Starting 2020 with some travel journaling

I enjoyed the warm sunshine on my face and wrote a bit in my gratitude journal, finally started travel journaling in my treasured Woodgeekstore bamboo notebook (which has the coolest quote engraved on it) and even read a bit. I'm totally not an early morning person....but I'm glad I started that day on such a gloriously relaxing note, basking in the glow of the rising sun, in the lap of nature!


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Wooden walls, comfy bed, much-needed cooler

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Spacious, well-lit, airy rooms

The rooms in the cottages are spacious, high, well-lit and rustic with full wooden & iron interiors. The bed is spacious enough for even 3 people. They gave us a water-filled cooler in the room as it was quite hot that weekend. The bathroom (sadly I didn't click any pics) was also big, with stone flooring, wooden walls (with plastic lamination so that there's no damage from water), high iron beams and good quality fittings. Definitely a comfortable room to stay in on a lazy day, or come back to after a tiring day of sightseeing!


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Breakfast with a view

Breakfast was served in a open-plan wooden structure right at the start of the property. Sitting at one of the tables by the edge, looking at the lush green hillside & eating crisp toast, yummy omelettes, idlis, and drinking multiple cups of piping hot filter coffee was my favorite morning ritual that weekend. 


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Vibrant yellow jeep - one of two

The property also has two of these vibrant yellow jeeps that flank the entrance, which are used by the staff for quick runs to & from the resort down to the main Mysore-Madikeri road. It's a rough, rocky  path from the main road to the property, and the jeeps are just the kind of utility vehicle that can regularly survive that terrain.
Of course, the jeeps also made for great photo-ops! ;)


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Warm & wonderful bonfire evenings

As you know, in the hills, there's nothing to do once the sun goes down. So we were prepared to spend the evenings indoors with books or TV (internet was very slow in the evenings, so we couldn't connect to any streaming apps for entertainment). But, Coffee Cadu Estate has this stone gazebo where the staff light a roaring bonfire every evening! We spent the evening sitting on the stone benches surrounding the fire & basking in its cozy, comforting warmth. The crackling wooden logs kept the fire up for a long time, while the amazing playlist the staff had put on set the mood completely. We sat under the canopy of a night sky lit by a thousand stars (oh, glorious twinkling stars! You don't get to see them at all in city skies nowadays) and thoroughly enjoyed the slightly chilly bonfire evenings!


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Take me back!

The location is quite good too, it being around 10-12 kms from the main town & all the tourist spots in Madikeri. All in all, it was a lovely stay and I would definitely go back to this property on my next trip to Coorg! 
Rounding up, listing some pros & cons of Coffee Cadu Estate Stay, in order to help you all make a better decision if you are looking at booking this property for your trip. Hope it helps!

Pros:

  • Good location, right on Mysore-Madikeri road
  • Sprawling property with rustic wooden cottages, lots of trees & plants, kids play area, ample parking space
  • Big, well-lit rooms, spacious bathrooms, porch outside with sitting arrangements
  • Amazing bonfire evenings with nice music, creates quite an ambience
  • Good food, nice choice of menu at in-house restaurant (the crispy corn is a great snack option for the evening!)
  • Courteous, polite & efficient staff - we loved how a group of women staff handle operations in the daytime, while a group of men take over after evening
  • Nice, friendly owners who stay at their own bungalow at the end of the property and have conversations with the guests when they are around
  • Option of booking cabs, cars or rentals for sightseeing through the property (though we had our own rental car with us for the entire trip, but we saw other guests availing of this option)
  • Well-constructed, aesthetical property, perfect for a relaxing, laid-back stay in the hills

Cons:

  • Even though there were hooks at the back of doors, I felt the need of a closet/wardrobe in the room 
  • The breakfast spread was pretty small & limited. There were not too many guests at that time, so maybe they don't want to make too much food that can go to waste. But, for the kind of tariff they are charging, one should expect a better breakfast spread
  • WiFi connection can be better, but of course, being in the hills, I'm not sure it is entirely in their hands
  • Also, for the kind of money I paid, I expected the basic electric kettle & tea/coffee provisions in the room
  • The most unimpressive thing about this property is the path leading up to it from the main road. The uphill drive to the property is rocky, wobbly, rough and pretty dangerous, specially difficult for smaller cars or sedans. When the property itself is so nice, they should make an effort to repair that road as much as possible, so that it's a smoother & easier ride for the guests.


But, in spite of these few shortcomings and the slightly higher tariff (than other similar properties), it's a place that impressed me and I would be open to visiting it a second time!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post in any way. I booked this property on my own and completely paid for my 2 nights stay at Coffee Cadu Estate and liked it so much that I thought of sharing this review with others who might be looking for an accommodation for their trip to Coorg.

Hope this review will help others in their pursuit of a good property while planning their trip to the Scotland of India!

Stay tuned for more posts on Coorg coming up soon!

Keep travelling!


Love,
Anupriya

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