Bali Packing List

Bali Packing List
1 month countdown until we leave for Bali! I am beyond excited to say the least! We hope to spend a few days in Uluwatu – exploring different surf breaks and zipping around on motorbikes. Then upwards and inwards to Ubud – jungle trekking, hanging with monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest, a sunrise hike, swimming in waterfalls, walking along the rice fields, coffee tasting at plantations, cooking lessons and much more. The last leg of our trip we’ll be spending time in Canggu to meet up with some friends who live there. Surf, surf, surf, snorkel, explore cafe’s, babi guling shacks, fruit markets and then… doing absolutely nothing 🙂 I can’t wait! I’ve heard Bali is paradise on earth. Here is a packing list I put together for a 2 week trip.
Bali
Bali Packing List
1. Sleeping case. Perfect for those hotels with questionable/no blankets.
2. Playing cards. It’s a looooong flight. Dan and I like to play cards to pass the time.
3.SD card adapter. I use this to transfer my pictures from my camera or GoPro to my iPhone or iPad. Super useful! Bring and SD 32GB or bigger to take lots of pictures and videos.
4. Camera. I use the Canon Rebel T3. Durable and easy to use (bring your charger too).
5. Passport, wallet (cc, cash in both currencies home country and Indonesian rupiah), money-belt, travel docs, important papers, copies of passports, international drivers licence, itinerary, phone numbers and medical information in case of an emergency (and in case your electronics run out of juice/ are stolen/ break)
6. Day pack.  Canvas bag that is easy to roll up and stick inside your larger pack. Something smaller that you can use during the day while you leave your bigger pack locked up at the hotel.
7. Flashlight and extra batteries
8. GoPro for capturing water pictures and videos (bring your charger too).
9.Travel Pillow. Great for the airplane and your lower-end hotels that don’t provide pillows.
10. Small thin towel that will dry fast.
11. Mini speaker for playing tunes in your room or at the beach.
12. Digital waterproof travel watch with multiple alarms for catching sunrise hikes and waking early etc. This one has multiple time zones so you’ll know what time it is back at home. Pretty cheap too!
13. Hat
14. Sunglasses and/or Rx glasses
15. A few dresses: Tobi olive & toast knit dress -I like this one for the beach. It has a cute low back, but still modest enough for a cafe or Tobi Magdalena black shift dress – perfect for a night out at Single Fin or Kubu. Tobi has a bunch of cute affordable outfits. It’s fun to pick out a few for a trip.
16. A few blouses, bodysuits, tops (mixed up). I  like this this Alley Rose Ribbed Bodysuit. Remember to cover up if you’re visiting a temple or a sacred place. This suit is best for lounging by the pool or around your hotel or rental home.
17. Cover ups. Thin shawls or light kimonos to cover your shoulders. It will keep the sun off as well as the mosquitoes.
18. Tanks for the beach. It can get hot and humid so a comfortable tank is perfect for keeping cool. Oh and undergarments. You can’t forget those! I’d say bring 1 weeks worth and do laundry half way through.
19. Flips, flats and one pair of sneakers and socks (for riding your motorcycle or scooter).
20. Mosquito net to keep the mozzies at bay. I’d also suggest bringing insect repellent with deet
21.Calculator for those moments that you don’t want to use your phone –> calculating currency exchanges. Double check everything and learn how to haggle.
22. PJ’s or 2 or 3 shirts that are comfortable to sleep in
23. Shorts about 3 pairs  – 1 jean, 2 lighter material
24. Long flowy pants. Similar to the Thai style. 1 or 2 pairs
25. Sarong. Keep it in your day pack and whip it out if you need to cover your legs while visiting a temple. Also great for the beach and around the house.
26. Swimsuit (2 or 3)
27. Backpacking Pack – Store everything in this baby!
28. Hairbrush, clips, pins and bands
29. Earplugs earplugs earplugs! They will be your best friends – the only way you’ll be able to sleep on the airplane or in the jungle. Those cicada bugs party all night long.
30. It’s a 10 – hair detangler. A bit of splurge and one of my luxury items, but boy does it do the trick.
31. Shaving razor
32. Carmex is the best for lips and errrr your nose! OK this might be TMI, but the inside of my nose gets super dry on long flights (hurts to breathe through it), so freshen up in the bathroom – put a little carmex on a Q-tip and coat the inside of my nose. It works wonders me…feels so much better for hours. OK done being gross.
33. Eye drops
34. Make up essentials (concealer, powder, eyebrow pencil, tinted lip balm, waterproof mascara, bronzer) toiletries (mini shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, paste, floss, face wash, face cream, nail file, feminine products, small Dolce Mia Tuberose lotion – smells so good, any personal products you’ll be needing.
35. World power adapter
36. A scarf! One of my favorite items…so useful! Use it as a blanket, a head cover, a towel or tie-strap etc.
37. Jacket with hood. Semi-waterproof for staying dry on land and toasty in the plane.
38. Multi tool knife. Don’t pack this one in your carry-on! Leave it in your checked bag. Comes in handy while traveling…cutting food, ropes, getting out splinters, protection etc.
39. Tissues (for your nose and…your bum). If carrying your own T.P. Roll is too big, then take a bunch of these tissue packets with you. T.P. is not always available in every bathroom so bring your own.
40. Basic first aid kit,  hand sanitizer, band aids, tape, scissors , alcohol swabs, iodine, gloves, Rx medication, Aspirin, Imodium, Pepto,  tweezers, extractors, tourniquet etc.
41. A Pen (and small note pad while you’re at it)! You’ll be scrambling to find one when you fill out travel forms.
42. Not necessary, but I love bringing watercolor brushes, pencils or a mini brush kit to paint in my travel journal. A bit silly but it’s something that makes me happy!
43. Travel Journal. I love writing down bullet points, ideas, things we did, places we visited etc. you can make it as elaborate or simple as you want. It’s fun to look back on.
44. Sunscreen! Put it on everyday!
45. Chargers. FOR EVERYTHING! iPhone ✓ iPad ✓ camera battery ✓ music speaker ✓ gopro ✓
46. Phone. Preferably with wifi capability or a travel plan. It will help you plan your trip along the way.
47. Travel lock or bike lock. If you’re planning on using a lock on your checked baggage, make sure your locks are TSA approved. I usually like to bring a bike lock with me so I can lock up my scooter, or lock my bags in a closet when we’re out and about etc.
48. Travel Mug. Great for keeping drinks hot or cold. Fill it up after the security check in the airport.
49. Dry bag and ziplocs. I like to bring a bunch of bags with me to help compress my clothes in my backpack. They also come in handy when you want to organize clean vs dirty for laundry day.
50.Wet Ones anti-bacterial wipes.

Other items that could help you out.

clothesline or rope( if you plan on doing your own laundry), scissors, small sewing kit, zip ties…
Bali Bali BaliBali Bali
Picture credit: 1,2,3,4,5,6


Indian Butter Chicken

FullSizeRender (3)
Last week marks 1 year since our wild trip to India! I’m hankering for another adventure! We’re currently hashing out the details of our next trip (new destination). I can’t wait to share it with you when everything is finalized! For now, I’ll spend today reminiscing about this magical place. I give you Indian Butter Chicken at it’s best!  It’s just like the one we had in Delhi! So many lovely spices.

Ingredients
6 tablespoons butter (cubed)
2 lbs chicken breasts (cut into bite size chunks)
1 sweet onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves (pressed)
3 tsp garam masala
2  pieces Cassia Bark (regular cinnamon sticks will do just fine too)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
14 oz tomato sauce
2 cups cream
salt & pepper
cilantro

Instructions
  1. Use 2 tbsp of your butter to brown cubed chicken in a skillet. Cook until the outside is golden and the inside is still pink. Scoop out the chicken into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using the same skillet as before, add another 2 tbsp of butter to the rendered chicken fat. Add diced onion, and cook until caramelized. Add all the dry spices, garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute until the spices become aromatic. Add tomato sauce. Stir. Stir. Stir.
  3. Let simmer for five minutes before adding the cream. Stir again. Add the partially cooked chicken and let simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Cover with lid (that sauce will stain)!
  4. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Serve over jasmine rice, top with fresh cilantro

FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (4)TajTaj Delhi IndiaKerala IndiaKerala India
A few of my other posts from India if you care to read more…
How was India
How to Book a Rice Boat
Kolkata and a Beautiful Indian Wedding


Our Trip to Nashville, Tennessee

FullSizeRender (41)
Dan and I hopped on a plane a few weeks ago to visit our friend Evan for his White Coat Ceremony. Evan just got into Pharmacy school and we’ve been dying to visit him…so this was our opportunity to support Ev and check out his new town. We had so much fun, eating, drinking and partying our way through the city!
Here we go
^^^Taking-off from SNA our local John Wayne Airport. It had been raining all week – we flew above those grey clouds and burst into a gold n’ pink fluffy sunset. It’s fun to get a bird’s-eye view of your neighborhood. We even spotted our house!
Nashville Lights
We arrived in NASHVILLE! Poor Ev had to wait at the airport all evening…first picking up Dany and then us a few hours later. We all spent the night in his apartment and then woke up early the next day to explore the city, search for good coffee and peruse through antique shops.
Coffee TN
Headquarters Coffee & Tea
4902 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 386-6757
It may be small, but this Charlotte Avenue shop acts as a caffeine oasis in the West Nashville coffee desert. It also offers baked goods from locals such as Dozen Bakery and Vegan Vee. The coffee is superb! Smooth as silk. I ordered a cortado and Dan got a honey latte. Both were fantastic.
Coffee
FullSizeRender (37)
Cool Stuff Weird Things
4900 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 460-1112
Coffee and antiquing…right up my alley! We stopped at Cool Stuff Weird Things to look at antiques and vintage items. They have lots of jewelry, signs, records and clothes. Dan found a funky plaid jacket. Score. It’s right next-door to Headquarters Coffee & Tea! You can grad a cup of joe and walk over to the vintage shop to be entertained while you sip.
antiquing
Danny
Antique Archaeology
1300 Clinton St., Suite 130
(Marathon Village),
Nashville, TN 37203
Dan is obsessed with the American Picker’s TV show, so we had to stop at Antique Archaeology. Danny loves finding old things and making them useful again. You should see this man flip stuff on Craig’s List. It should be his job. Any who… this place is one of the locations where Mike Wolfe stores and sells some of his American Picker’s items. It’s located just a few blocks away from downtown Nashville, you can find them in the old Marathon Automobile car factory dated from the early 1900’s right along I-40.
Antiquing in NashvilleBritt Bryce Dan
^Our adopted son.
Nashville TN Home
The houses here are ri-dic-ul-ous. Huge, gorgeous houses on acres of land. Open lawns, friendly neighbors and trees for days! I would love to dig up this land and transplant it back at home. All of our friends and family can pick a house to live in 😉 wishful thinking. Ev drove us around a few beautiful neighborhoods so we could creep on the houses. Would it be weird if I knocked on a door and asked for a tour?
TN houses
1734688-residential-1mrperg-m TN Houses
Broadway Night Life
Later that evening we headed down to Broadway…because that’s what all the first timers in Nashville do. It’s like Vegas…but country themed and no gambling. Haha. The people watching is fantastic. At one point we saw a tractor pulling a trailer-full of boozed-up-bachelorettes and a few sidewalk squabbles between lovers. Perfect country music lyrics in the making…
Acme Feed and Seed
Acme Feed & Seed
101 BROADWAY
NASHVILLE, TN 37201
615.915.0888
Way happenin’! It’s located towards the end of Boradway a 3 story – cocktail, culinary and music venue with an open rooftop bar. The first floor at Acme plays classic honkytonk. The second floor has a lounge and bar and the third floor is home to The Hatchery, the largest one-level event and music venue on Broadway. Their open-air rooftop bar overlooks the entire downtown area. I really liked the concept of a multi-level bar and music venue…if you don’t like the vibes on one level, head to the next. It was the perfect place to spend our night out with friends.
Acme  Broadway Nashville
^^^These ones are classic too!
Friends
^^^Evan’s support team during his White Coat Ceremony – sitting quietly in the balcony. Go Bogard!
Pharm Ev
^^^The Next day we had lunch at The Pharmacy. It seemed most appropriate to celebrate the new pharmacist at The Pharmacy…we should have made him wear his jacket!
pharm
The Pharmacy
731 Mcferrin Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden serves 100% Tennessee-raised beef for their legendary burgers. It’s located in a residential area 10 minutes from downtown. They have a fabulous selection of beers that you can enjoy while sitting in their beautiful biergarten.
Jeni's Ice Cream
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
2312 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204
I first heard of Jeni’s in Los Angeles (although I think it started in Ohio) and made it’s way to Nashville. Gawwwww this ice cream is the best. Dan and I ordered a scoop of Bangkok Peanut and Bramble Berry. I love their creative flavors. It’s by far my favorite ice cream shop. All natural, no synthetic flavorings, dyes, or off-the-shelf mixes, stabilizers and emulsifiers. Some of their fun flavors include gooey butter cake, sweet potato eclair, juniper and lemon curd, goat cheese with red cherries, brown butter almond brittle, whiskey and pecan, wildberry lavender, hot toddy and pink grapefruit buttermilk etc. the list goes on and on!
Jenis Ice Cream
Urban Grub
2506 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204
After Ev’s ceremony, we celebrated with a fancy dinner at the Urban Grub. Wowza this place is amazing! Their menu is a combination of southern traditions with a “flavored up tweak,” fresh fish, seafood and smoked meats.
Urban Grub
Urban Grub
^^^Miss Thor and I shared an order of their famous shrimp and grits with tasso cream and smoked gouda and Dan had a braised Andouille pork shank with celery root puree, smoked creamed mustard greens, chili butter. Their popover biscuits and strawberry honey butter were a crowd please too!
Over OC
Home again home again. So much fun and so much foooood! OK roll me back to the gym 😉

Here are few other spots for eats, drinks and sight seeing that were on my list:
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Fido
Grand Ole Opry
Colts Chocolates

Epice
Old Glory
Pinewood Social
Two Ten Jack
Holland House Bar & Refuge
The Crying Wolf
LA Jackson
Frothy Monkey
Crema
Bastion
Biscuit Love
Sunflower Cafe
Belmont Mansion

 


A weekend in Los Angeles

Daniel and I had to work in Los Angeles over the weekend.  We we’re busy most of the time, but had a few hours off during the evening for surfing in Malibu, exploring restaurants and a meet up with my cousin Emily and her main man Ben in Venice. It was a nice change of pace – a fun little get away.  Here are our pictures from our weekend away.
LA
^^^Malibu Farm has been on my bucket list for quite sometime. I heard great things about it…fresh food, healthy, great location right on the beach where Dan wanted to surf. We found $5 parking in a lot right next to the restaurant and spent the evening surfing and grabbing a bite to eat at the Malibu Farm Cafe on the end of the pier.
LA
LA
LA
Fresh kale Caesar salad with watermelon radishes, apple spinach juice and a Steven Tyler on the side!
LA
It’s beginning to look like fall! Look…not feel (like fall). It was 102F in the city today. Super Uggggh nasty.
LA
On our way to work work work…
LA
LA
We picked The Butcher’s Daughter as our meet-up restaurant with my cousin – it happened to be the same night of the Abbot Kinney festival. Lots of vendors selling homemade goodies and vintage finds. Great people watching!
LA
What a gorgeous place! The decor was A+! Fantastic vegetarian dishes, drinks and coffee.
LA
LAfullsizerender-12 LA
^^^The Queens Tea – earl grey infused Lillet Blanc, pressed lemon and egg white
LA
^^^Rosemary’s Cup – Contratto Rosso, rosemary, pressed ginger, cucumber, strawberry & mint
fullsizerender-4 fullsizerender-3 fullsizerender-5 fullsizerender-2


Jewelry for a Good Cause By Soothi

Soothi
When Krit, the creator of Soothi Jewelry approached me for a collaboration, I couldn’t pass it up. I love learning about companies that empower women and give back to their community. Soothi is all about natural yoga inspired jewelry made from coconut shells, sandalwood and such. 5% of earnings are donated to Help Animals India to save puppies as well as providing flexible and safe work opportunities to disenfranchised women.

“Women who come from poor families, often don’t have access to education and means to gain financial independence. They are often also from conservative families that don’t allow for women to work. It’s a patriarchy. Since Soothi partners with a non-for-profit they are able to position themselves as a community center where women can come to learn. Within this center they offer work opportunities, along with education opportunities. They also offer total flexibility for these women, so they can come and go as their family situation allows.”-Krit Creator & Curator

Soothi’s Ethos:
All the wealth in the world can’t help people, if people are not taught to help themselves. With Soothi, we try to educate people, so that they may learn to be self-sufficient. By providing an approachable and encouraging work environment, we empower women and underprivileged artists. Offering opportunities to achieve financial stability and self-reliance can help individuals feel secure and content. It all leads to a sense of stability, which eventually helps move society forward.

I traveled to India a few months back — witnessing this country first hand makes me thankful for companies like Soothi who provide healthy work environments for women and artisans in India. Way to go Soothi!

Soothi
Yoga Zen Braclet & Amethyst Mala
Soothi
Rudraksha & Sandalwood Mala
Soothi
Pure Earth Teal Mala & White Tassel Bracelet Set
SoothiIndia