Saturday, 10 January 2015

2014 in pictures

Hi Guys!!

Welcome to my blog. I hope you noticed the brand new look of my blog. You can now check out all my posts through the tabs on the top navigation.

I have also added the follow option on the left, you can just enter your email and get notifications whenever I post something new on the blog, so please do that :).

So, 2014 has been one hell of a journey for me. Its so special that, it'll be etched onto my memory for a long long time. I would have never, even in my wildest dreams imagined that so much is going to change.

Writing this post, I am so filled with nostalgia that I can't begin to think about how am I going to pen all these thoughts into a single post.

These are some of the best things that changed in 2014 in pictures....

My wedding ofcourse has been the biggest life changing event that happened in 2014.
I am sure you have all checked out my wedding posts, if not here is the link, do check them out.

After marriage I had to leave my home and move to Dallas. This was especially hard for me as was a total mommy's girl and this was the first time I was going away from home let alone to another country. Fortunately bae SJ has been so supportive and full of love that it made everything so easy. Life in Dallas has been so different from what I used to imagine it'd be like. I will be sharing more updates on that in coming posts. Here's a preview. 

 Okay, I am officially embarrassed about this one, but this has been a major lifestyle change and so I had to include it. I stopped being a vegetarian ever since I left India and I am not sure if I am happy or sad about it ..just kidding! Honestly I love chicken :P

 If you follow me on Instagram @manalidaydreamer I ll keep you up with my food journey!

Yes I am going back to school now

And I travelled to almost 15 cities in 2014, where I had never been before. The journey ha been fantastic, nothing less than a dream.

Check out more about the places I travelled.

I hope you guys like this post, do leave your comments and let me know your thoughts. I love to hear from my readers :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Heritage Farmstead : Living life country style

Wishing all my readers a merry Christmas and a very happy new year. I hope you guys accomplish your goals and be super happy and successful the coming year.

I have been busy enjoying my holidays the past week. Since this is my first year in the US, I am very excited to dive in the culture and experience the life here, so we decided that we will spend the holidays going around Dallas and visit places that we usually never go to and gather new experiences.
Yesterday we went to this place called "Heritage Farmstead Museum" in plano. Based on the reviews we figured that it is a farm/museum located in the heart of the city. I found that hard to believe at first but when we reached there I was pleasantly surprised to find this jewel quietly hidden amidst the hustle bustle of city life. Its a beautiful country style farm house and has every possible thing you could imagine at a farm.

There was a beautiful little pond surrounded by trees just behind the house.

Beside the lake there was a whole miniature animal farm. These cute little pigs were having a lot of fun in their sty.

There were these huge asses of the size of an Indian horse. This one was named Jack. ' pun unintended'

We got to feed chickens and turkeys. I saw a turkey for the first time in my life, I mean first living turkey of course.

There was a windmill behind the house and there were a lot of early century farming equipments that people used in those days.

And there was this scarecrow that I thought was super cute.

  We definitely had a day well spent getting a sneak peak into the old world country life.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Its Vegas baby!!

Hi guys. .

as promised I am back with my Vegas post !

So for my first thanksgiving in US, we planned a short trip to Las Vegas.... Although we were just there for two short days... It was one of the best trips ever.
It was me, SJ and my cousins who joined us there. We visited a lot of casinos, bars, the Vegas strip, downtown followed by hover dam and grand canyon the next day. The trip was so action packed that we didn't even realize when it got over.

I wanted to share the best pictures with you guys but there were so many of them, I didn't know which one's to share .. So I compiled this short video. Hope you guys will enjoy it....

Las Vegas Tour by Manali_Walvekar

Also, I need some help from you guys...... I am working on this new project right now and need some opinion.... here is a short survey... please take two minutes to fill it out and help us improve the whole "wedding invitation experience" for the 'to be' brides and grooms!

Take this 2 minute survey now

Sunday, 14 December 2014

DJ Night Wedding Celebrations

Hi Guys! I am back on the blog with the most fun part of my wedding, The DJ night. 

This was one part of my wedding that I was most looking forward to. It was one crazy memorable party. A lot of people from both the families performed including the both of  us ofcourse, which was then followed by a long night of dance masti when all the guests and our friends joined us. 

We had a a bunch of super fun and crazzy songs for our performance which included the likes of 'Gangnam style' and 'nakkamukaa' ...Which was definitely a shocker for a lot of people who couldn't imagine the bride and groom dancing on gangnam style.... It was a lot of fun looking at their reactions.

Initially, I planned on wearing a saree for this function. I even picked out a beautiful ombre Fuchsia pink saree with diamond like embellishments on it and got a nice halter neck blouse designed to go with it.
I was absolutely satisfied with my choice until one day when while speaking on the phone, SJ (hubby) just casually said... "ohh so you're wearing a saree.... naaice... just make sure you dont fall on your face while dancing" . I laughed it off then but the idea of falling on my own wedding just kept haunting me. I would put on the saree and try to dance in front of a mirror. I had already done all the shopping and didn't want to waste any I just let it go. But you know how a bride to be's brain work. Just a week before my wedding, I started thinking about the saree again and became super tense for no reason. 
Finally, mom came to the rescue. She said "okay fine If it is that important to you, go and see if you can find what you want" and me and my sister left for shopping immediately. I had kind of always wanted to include a gown on my trousseau so I straight away headed to this place which i knew was the best for it. To my surprise, as soon as I walked up the stairs to the store, I fell in love with this beautiful golden gown on display. I tried, it fit perfectly. I asked its price, in budget. All boxes checked. I bought the gown!

I wanted a sleek and glamorous look for the night, so I asked the MUA to give me smokey eyes and red lips.

Since this was a last moment change, it was a big surprise for him.

We ended up getting the best of the wedding pictures that night! I would strongly recommend brides to be to include atleast one gown or a western dress in their wedding events especially when they are supposed to dance. It looks very elegant and feels light and comfortable, huge relief after those heavy sarees.

So this was the story of my wedding. Please do share your views and comments with me. I love reading them and it inspires me to keep writing.

Stay tuned... Vegas trip Post coming up soon!!!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Wedding Day : part 2

For the first part of my wedding go to:

It was now time for the other half of the wedding. I was wearing a golden kanjivaram that my mom in law got for me. I was really looking forward to dawn it on my wedding. I have always fancied kanjivarams and especially those that Rekha always wears at award functions. So, when my mom in law asked me what kind of saree I would like for my wedding, my first instinct was "Rekha jaisi golden saree" :p . Thus began the search for the perfect golden kanjivaram. After days and days of going around shops, and exchanging whatsapp clicks of the sarees with me, my mom in law and sis in law finally found the one, it was just "love at first sight" for me, the feeling you get when you find just what you were looking for...ahhh.

Anyways, after the saptapdi, it was now time for some more rituals, the first of them was "soonmukh", when the bride is introduced to her new family and everyone welcomes her with a gift and sweets are exchanged.

 My mom in law showering me with gifts.

This is a unique maharashtrian tradition, where the bride and groom are made to sit on the mother in law's lap and all of them are supposde to look into a mirror. I don't know the significance of this, but it was sure fun!

All the ladies in the family, greet the bride and puts sugar in her mouth as a welcome. I had so much sugar that day, I almost got a high!

This is my grand mom in law, welcoming me to the family with gifts. She has an spirit and even danced with us in the evening.

Although it feels odd to say this, but I honestly had sooper fun at my wedding, I was with both of my families, receiving gifts, chatting with the guests, getting so much love, I was having a blast .... haha.... and looking forward to the fun filled dance evening.

DJ night outfit and pictures coming up soon...stay tuned!!

You can also follow me on Instagram @manalidaydreamer.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Wedding day : part 1

My wedding day had finally arrived. It was a beautiful sunny morning, I woke up at six with butterflies in my stomach. It was hard to believe how everything was falling together. I was very happy and excited. I would usually imagine how nervous I would be on my wedding day and what if anything goes out of the plan, however, I was shocked to notice how composed I was and how everything went on so smoothly without any hiccups.

I took a bath, and waited for the makeup artist to arrive. I could see the baraat downstairs from my window. Everyone was at their best moods, dancing like champions.

I had planned to go for a traditional look for the wedding. Also, Its customary to change the saree amid the ceremony, so I was going to wear a royal purple silk saree that I got for the morning and then change it after the saptapadi to a golden kanjeevaram for the afternoon that my mother in law had brought for me.

For my hair, I wanted tradition white flowers and a braid. I also had to wear a pearl string on my forehead and a nath that every maharashtrian bride wears.

I'd been listening to stories by brides about how tired and frustrated they got on their wedding, so I was very concerned and made sure it doesn't happen to me. I went to the lengths of fighting with my mom over cutting down the wedding rituals to 2 hours which would usually go on for half a day and I am so glad I did.

For the first out of the many rituals, the "guru ji" used a thread to tie both of us together. It was fun and we were both looking at each other and giggling, while my mom was busy giving me these looks, asking me to keep quite and be a shy!

Couldn't help but show all my teeth !

After a whole lot of mantras, the next step was the saptapadi or the "feras" .

and the Varmala! which is supposed to be a lot of fun but the guruji was a spoilt sport and so he decided to announce that if anyone tries to pick up the bride or the groom, he will leave the wedding and we had to listen to him like good obedient kids. huh! wheres the fun in that :-/

Another unique maharashtrian ritual is that after the wedding the groom takes the bride outside to show her some weird constellation, I don't actually remember what they called it.. but yea.. apparently looking at extraterrestrial stuff on your wedding brings good luck... no harm ..right?

We just took it as a chance to pose for pictures :P

and this is how I got married and it was time for the second round.. so I went up to my room to change and get the loads of turmeric and rice out of my face and hair.

Wanna know what happened after this.... stay tune and follow me!!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Wedding Day 2 : Engagment

Finally the day had arrived... I was getting engaged. All the planning that I did for months was taking shape. The day started as we moved to the hotel where we were supposed to stay for the next two days. Everybody was super excited and anxious at the same time, especially me. I was going to see him after a long wait of six months. 

By the time I reached the venue, the baraat had already arrived and everyone was sent to their rooms to get ready for the lunch. I finally got a chance to see Mr. "to be" and it was a magical moment. While everyone was busy settling in their rooms, I somehow managed to steal away some alone time with him.

It was lunch time now, filled with a lot of meet and greet and the who's who among both the families. For the lunch, I was wearing a red Anarkali that I had designed myself from a vintage kanjeevaram saree. Unfortunately, we didnt click any pictures that time.

Anyways, after the lunch it was time for me to go to the parlour and get ready for the evening. I had pre booked the makeup artist whom I knew from before. Since, I had been planning for this for forever, I knew exactly what I wanted for my look and the makeup artist did a fab job, I was very happy with his work.

For those of you who don't know, I had a maharashtrian wedding. The groom is a maharashtrian and I am kinda sorta! Actually my mom's family moved to MP from maharashtra long time back and my dad's family is from karnataka and I have never lived in those states and neither do i know the language... and being the progressive person that I am, I like to feel free from these boundaries. But due to the majority of maharashtrians involved, the wedding was maharashtrian style.

For the main wedding, I planned to go for a traditional look. So, I wanted something sort of trendy and bollywood for the engagement. I wore a neon lehenga saree with flares. It was so light and comfortable, I could move around and enjoy the whole function. I don't like to wear a lot of heavy jewelry so I tried to keep it minimum. For the hair I got a messy bun with some curls. For the makeup I trusted the MUA and left it to him.

Here I would like to clarify, that traditionally maharashtrian weddings involve a whole lot of poojas and are not meant to be parties unlike the north indian weddings. I, on the other hand had big plans to have fun and enjoy at the wedding. Fortunately my husband, mom and mom in law and in fact both families are some of the coolest people you'd come across and they gave me total freedom in terms of what I wanted to wear and do at my wedding. I can never thank them enough for that. The con however is that the pooja's couldn't be skipped.

Both the rings were shopped by my husband from US, I was blown away when he put it in my finger.

After the rituals and the ring ceremony were done with, we went outside to pose for some pictures.
They have turned out amazingly.

So, this is how the day came to an end. I will be sharing stories on all my wedding events stay stuned and follow me... do share your comment, I d love to hear :) :)