Valentines Day – Do You Participate?

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day. I have a pact with my husband, we don’t “do” Valentine’s Day. I’ve always said, Valentines is just a day invented by Hallmark to help slumping sales and get people spending again so soon after Christmas! Now that is the cynical woman in me talking, and I’ve been married a while now, and have a beautiful baby. We don’t need to have a special day assigned to declare our love… we have our anniversary! When we first got together all those years ago, our engagement anniversary, our wedding anniversary, the birth of our child…. the list goes on!

I feel if you want to buy a gift for your loved on, or want to show them how much you care/they mean to you, a surprise present (just because) works so much better! So on the theme of presents here are a few ideas:

An experience gift        

Experience Gifts

These are my favourite gifts to give and receive. It’s a gift for both of you! It doesn’t have to cost the earth, a trip to the theatre followed by a nice meal or takeaway. Or if you were feeling particularly flush then an afternoon driving around a racetrack experience or skydiving? Either way having an activity you can do together I feel is so much more personal than a material gift.

Physical objects are great, but nothing beats creating memories that last forever.

The classics

IOU Coupons

Chocolates, flowers, perfume/aftershave, IOU personalised gift vouchers (something along the lines of “this voucher entitles the user to one free hour long massage)

Amazon Echo Dot/VR Headset

Amazon Echo Dot

I think pretty much everyone got an Amazon Echo at Christmas this year, or a VR headset. If you or your other half were one of the few that didn’t, then it’s a nice novelty gift to give!

The Amazon Dot is a nice gadget to have, it doubles as a speaker, and you can get very advanced and connect it to your heating and lights – commanding its switch them on without having to lift a finger.

The VR headset (not the expensive PlayStation one) ranges from around £10 to £50-60. I wouldn’t go for the really cheap ones as I’ve found they have a tendency to flip open and drop your phone on the floor. Could end up costing you more in the long run!

Wine/Champagne

Champagne

“Alcohol, the cause and solution to all life’s problems,” as Homer Simpson once said. We don’t think he was talking about possible presents for Marge, but nonetheless, this is a staple for alcohol drinkers.

Obviously you can enjoy this gift too 😉 so make sure it a nice bottle. 🙂

Spice Grove Hotel

Spice Grove Hotel, Thekkady (Periyar), Kerala, India
Room: 205
Stay: Jan 2016

I really enjoyed our stay at The Spice Grove Hotel. It was a nice clean room, with a loverly soft bed.

The staff were very attentive, and remembered not only who we were to stay hello to, but also our room numbers, so we never had to remember ourselves or get asked. It was automatically charged to the room.

Upon arrival our bags were immediately taken off us and was waiting for us in our allocated room. The guy who took it up, did not hang around for the awkward tip moment, which was a refreshing change.

The room was a little cold, and there was no heater in the room. Just an AC unit (which we could have set to hot i suppose, however there seemed to be no remote control…) I guess having spent some time in the warmer parts of South India, the spice grove felt cold! But it wasn’t a deal breaker. We had a little balcony, with views of trees. It was lush and green. 🙂

If there hadn’t been this view, we could easily have been in a premier Inn in England! The room was finished to a great standard. There as adequate tea and coffee making facilities in the room, as well as crisp clean sheets and a comfy duvet.

We went straight for food after checking in, a long journey made us very hungry! Dinner was a buffet of a la cart. I found it a little annoying the way they pushed us to have the buffet @500/ each. We were really hungry so gave in for the speed at which we could start eating! The food was nice, more starter/salad options then main. And as we had arrived towards the end, there were items that weren’t replenished. The wait staff seemed to be nice, although lacking in English made it difficult to determine what we were eating 🙂

We charged the food to the room, and service charge was included without permission. Overall it was a loverly place to stay for the night, and I really enjoyed waking up in the morning to the sounds of cockerels and cows. No need for an alarm clock, nature is the best alarm clock! J

Illikalam Lake Resort

Illikalam Lake Resort – Kumarakom, Kerala, India
Room: 119
Stay: Jan 2016

Lady: and how was your stay ma’am?
Me: well….

The hotel itself is in the middle of nowhere. No walking distance shops or sight seeing. I guess that’s what you are coming here for? Peace and quiet and sanctuary.

We got there a little after 11, so understandably the room was not quite ready. We waited in the bleak reception room whilst we were handed a couple of forms to fill in. A welcome drink was offered, which tasted allot like a mixed fruit cordial?! I gingerly sipped it, unsure as to whether it was made with filtered water.

A half an hour later we were led to our room. No porter to take our bags, my husband carried them both back towards the car park behind some buildings to a small door. This was our room.

The view was a white wall. Inside the room was two single beds pushed together, a small desk and a wardrobe. It looked nothing short of a prison cell.

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Sanctum Springs Beach Resort

Sanctum Springs Beach Resort – Varkala, Kerala, India
Room: 301
Stay: Jan 2016

Unlike other hotels in India, there is no one (cooli) to take your luggage to the room. unless of course you are a woman (like me) where the man who checked us in helped me with my bag upstairs. No lift.

It was very abrupt. No passport copy was taken, no mention of where things were, timings for checkout etc. He literally showed us to the room and then left without so much as a goodbye. No tip needed.

The room itself (301) upon first glance was a decent size. Two chairs a small table with a double bed. Pretty big wet room with a toilet and sink. And a decent balcony with two loungers.

The bed is your standard Indian hard mattress with a sheet. A decent TV on the wall – all Indian channels of course and a powerful air conditioning unit (which is so cold I had to switch off after a couple of hours (it was like a freezer in there!) there was also a handy plugin in the wall to switch on for mosquitos.

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Dreaming of New Things

Having just got married, money is tight! The wedding and honeymoon was amazing, so can’t complain, money well spent in my eyes. 🙂 I’m still getting round to writing all my posts on the crazy adventures, and my reviews on the places we stayed and ate at… (trust me there was loads!)

But now we are back to reality, and need to start thinking about finishing “doing up” the house. It’s never ending!

So to take a break from the essentials like paint and flooring, I decided to browse for more of the fun things like home accessories and came across some great finds!

There’s definitely more than a few things I’d like to buy from one particular site and when I saw they were asking people to put together their wish list… I thought what the hell – I’ll do it!

I’m definitely into the more country/vintage feel as opposed to modern, so you might see a running trend! Without further adieu here is my wish list:

 

Emma Duck Egg Tub Chair

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The Start of Something Beautiful

So I’ve been blogging for a good few years now, but on various other sites. I figured it was about time I started one for myself!

Why now you ask? Well I’ve recently realised that I am nearly 30… the dreaded big 3-0, and I need to start thinking about leaving a legacy, or at least start to get my thoughts, musings, reviews, opinions down somewhere so I can read back in years to come, with the hopes that I have helped someone somewhere with something!

I am also about to embark on a little travelling holiday. Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Family and friends back home have all asked to be updated on my travels, so what better way than to point them to my blog. 🙂

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