Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Turks and Covid-19

I needed a break. I needed the sun and relaxation, so when we decided last minute to book Turks and Caicos, I was ecstatic. Traveling during Covid can produce a plethora of emotions, some of them being: fear, joy, and judgement. Fear because you are putting yourself and others at risk of catching the virus and joy because dammit, you finally get to go somewhere that isn't your backyard. Judgement because you feel that someone is going to place a judgement on you for traveling and increasing the nationwide risk. But at the end of the day, to each his own and as long as you are safe and taking necessary precautions everything seems to turn out okay. I recently had the privilege to travel to Turks and Caicos to escape from the daily plunders of life during a pandemic and let me tell you, it was great. 

The first plane ride from Newark to Miami was stress-inducing and not enjoyable. There was a loud woman who wouldn't let the others take a nap during the 8am flight and everyone was packed like sardines. Fast forward to a mimosa in the American Express Centurion Lounge and things were looking up again. The flight to Providenciales was sublime. Practically everyone had their own row, the sun was shining, and everyone had a feeling of happiness about them. Touch down and the airport was showing off their enhanced safety measures with social distancing markings and hand sanitizer galore. I felt safer there than in a grocery store back home. Luggage and humans packed into the van and off we were to Beaches, yearning to get into the pool with a rum-based drink in our hands. 

Let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with an all-inclusive resort. I, for one, love knowing that everything is taken care of without a worry on my part. Some people need that adventure and love to guess where their next meal is coming from, but I only want to guess which restaurant I will be attending that night. Of course this is only with certain vacations, normally I am all ready for adventure and early mornings but once in a while, a resort vacation with no worries is just what the doctor orders. 

Beaches is just that resort for relaxation with great amenities. We were kindly upgraded to a beachfront room with bunk beds and it was perfectly close to everything. The resort is well situated with each area having enough resources to fully enjoy. We pool hopped from one of the Caribbean villa pools to the bustling and open Italian village pool in the main area. The ocean was sublime and we even grabbed a pair of readily available snorkels to swim further out. 

I haven't been scuba diving in three years so I was happy to see that the resort had scuba diving included for all travelers. They had morning and afternoon dives and the dive masters were extremely nice and knowledgeable. 

Now, the food. I have not been this impressed at a resort's food and my belly was full and satiated most days. There was a day or where we missed lunch because of dives, but there were many smaller fast food places for pizza and burgers so that was always good. The variety was great and the a la carte breakfasts were a breath of fresh air from the sometimes overwhelming breakfast buffets. I never felt like I wasted food or put too much on my plate which tends to happen to me at buffets. 

Overall, I had a marvelous time. This could have been one of those vacations where I needed a back-up trip for recovery, but the last day of pure relaxation was just what I needed to recharge my spirit to come back to the real world. Of course, there were some worries on the overbooked flight back from Charlotte, but nothing a few days of quarantine couldn't fix. I would go to Beaches for an upgraded all-inclusive that has a bit of everything for everyone. I thank my parents for taking us with them and for the opportunity to travel during this trying time for the world. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bakes of 2020

 This year has brought much clarity to my life (and to others lives too, I am sure) about what I enjoy and do not enjoy. One thing to me is clear, I love to eat and create. I am in my zen zone when I'm in the kitchen and I love seeing the faces of my family and friends when they bite into something I have made for them. I also love to eat so it's a win-win situation for everyone. 

Pumpkin Madeleines and Apple Cake


Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Blueberry Pistacio Friands

Blueberry Pistachio Friands

New York Cheesecake

Pumpkin Madeleines

This year I've made many items, most of them are not pictured (we ate them before we even got pictures.) love to put on some music, or a funny movie or show and bake. I do get stressed in the kitchen sometimes, but this year I have really pushed myself forward. I learned how to make ciabatta and focaccia bread and even tried to work on my piping skills. 

Orange Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

Tres Leches Cupcakes

Normally every Christmas I tend to take over dessert at my family's holiday party and always present a wide array of desserts that I worked on for almost a constant two to three days before the party. This year Covid has changed how we are celebrating and I am still baking, but at a much lesser volume. I have been looking for new recipes and have catered the menu to the few family members that are attending. I hope that 2021 will bring more wonderful bakes and I hope that it will allow me to grow as an amateur baker.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Times of Covid-19

 Hello Everyone, 

It has been over a year since my last Instagram post and even longer since my last blog post. The only reason behind this absence is the lack of motivation and inspiration. I will be honest, I have not had any itch inside of me to go out into the world to take pictures of my outfits or food or anything really. This feeling was present before Covid-19 was even a possibility. I was shopping less at the time because I was not finding any pieces that really spoke to me. It was hard to go into a store and shell out $100-$200 dollars on a dress that was not going to interest me in a year or so. I started thinking that I should invest in pieces that will last me a long time and can help build a wardrobe that will function. I also got caught up in school and my personal life and found that blogging was becoming a chore for me, which it never used to be. I used to truly enjoy going out with my sister in our town and creating unique outfits. I decided to take some time off to think about what direction I wanted to take this blog. I even thought that I could change the theme of the blog and make it more open and just about life and travel and food. Even that did not entice me at the time. 

Fast forward to 2020 and there is a pandemic at large, taking the lives of millions and changing the way us humans think about life. During this time I have been able to think about what is truly important to me. I was blessed enough to have a house to come home to, while my apartment in Philly was not the ideal situation for a high-risk individual like me. During the early days, I took my dog Captain for walks and played outside with him. I baked my heart out and learned that baking is truly one of my passions. I am an amateur for sure, but I take pride in my bakes and enjoy it because I get to share something that gives me and the recipient joy. I baked cakes for my family members birthdays and experimented with breads and sweet treats alike. This time was definitely a way for me to better know myself and become confident in the small things I do. I learned that I am very good at following a routine and can get many things done in a day which makes me feel accomplished and happy.

As horrible the pandemic is, I am grateful and blessed to be able to spend this time with my family. My family did movie marathons, ate good food, and had meaningful conversations about everything and anything. It is not often that a pandemic occurs, but I managed to look at the positive side to all of the negative parts of the pandemic. I worried though, about my parents and grandparents and all of the other people who had family friends affected by the virus. It made me appreciate the world I live in and the education I have. I am thankful that I am educated enough to understand the pandemic and how important safety was. 

As the year is coming to a draw, I want to reflect on the good and bad times this year presented. Times such as these provide for a great reflection on how we as humans live. I can look back at how much we rely on being able to go outside and have a drink at a bar or being able to go to the grocery store for a forgotten ingredient. I also learned that life is most definitely not the same for people around the world. The holiday season always makes me grateful for the life I live, but this year has been a constant reminder to never take my existence for granted. I hope next year brings happiness and health to everyone but a continuation of the gratefulness that I have now adopted. 

Enjoy some photos of my time during this year!

Love, Aashka 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Pop of Pink

Hello, long time no see! Its been such a long time since I've blogged and I really missed it! I was busy with my internship and being in DC, but now I am back home until the end of September and I am hoping to get more blog shoots in! To be honest, I really have not been shopping that much. My new mentality is to buy things that I can wear forever and that can go well with all of my clothes and accessories. I have so many pieces that never get used and so I am starting to sell some stuff on Poshmark and hoping to give it to someone that can actually use it. An outfit like this is definitely more versatile and something that can I wear everyday and even at school. I bought this black vest from Zara and it was the perfect buy, because I can wear casually or even more professionally. Outfits like these are perfect when I want to look edgy and cool and are easy to put together!
Tee // Vest // Skirt // Shoes // Bag (color not available but same style) // Sunnies