Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Strolling around Cochin

The view from my hotel room
The church where Vasco de Gama was once buried
The Chinese Fishing Nets
Colorful schoolgirls
Our preferred mode of transport
Portuguese Colonial vestiges
Loving this color
Early morning activity at the beach

Random photos from our trip to Kerala, first up Cochin. Needless to say it was incredibly beautiful and more importantly to me the kids loved the experience of traveling to India. I can't wait to go back very quickly with them and explore more of the country. I think next up could be Pondicherry, but in the meantime will share more of our trip in the coming days. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jakarta Madness

Accompanied hubby and brother-in-law on business trip to Jakarta at the beginning of the month. Had never been to Jakarta and probably will never go back unless I really have to. Spent 4 hours in a car the first day just to get from the airport to hotel and to lunch. Traffic is hell, no other way to describe it. People seem to live in their cars or in malls - really not my kind of city, no greenery, no sidewalks and lots of pollution. Granted we were there for only 48 hours and their must be more to this city than I saw but where I don't know. Tips? However, major fabric score at the local market, Tanah Abang, and do need to say the people of Jakarta were amazingly kind and welcoming.  Ok so Jakarta is done now tonight we're off to Cochin, India another new place for us and very, very excited to be going to India and to explore Kerala with the Zoros and hubby. Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crazy for StickyGram

If you love your instagram pics than you'll love StickyGram.
StickyGram simply turns your pics into magnets.
One sheet of 9 photos costs USD 14.99.
Stick 'em everywhere. We have.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rawa, Perfect Weekend Escape

A little silent over here on zorogoeseast not for lack of doing fun things but have been busy over on the soon to be open zojora.com Feel like I've been saying that forever, but one day it will be online. Have also been working or wasting many hours on social media: Facebook, tumblr, pinterest and haven't even gotten into twitter.  Then there are the Zoros to look after. 3 kids with homework every afternoon is pretty much my new daily nightmare. Besides all that, we did manage to get away to Rawa. Incredible road trip destination from Singapore. 2 1/2 hr drive to Mersing, Malaysia then 1/2 hr boat ride to Rawa island: easy. Once on the island there are only 2 hotels to choose from: Rawa Island Resort & Alang's Rawa. Book ahead. Stayed at the 1st one & it has kind of retro vacation club atmosphere. Rooms are clean, not great food but who cares when you have Rawa's beach at your feet. Oh and the scuba diving is so much fun - saw plenty of clown fish. Loved our wkd escapade but now off to finish more homework.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Recap, Part III

Last part of our very long summer holidays: Provence
Top 5 things we enjoyed most whilst staying in Provence:
1. Reconnecting with friends and family. Thank you to all those who dropped by and hope you'll come back next summer.
2. Provencal food: tapenade, anchoiade, ratatouille, fresh tasty local produce topped off with our very own olive oil pressed at the Moulin du Calanquet and all masterfully executed by our favorite chef Nouna. Oh and let's not forget the rosé. Our favorite rosés of the summer were: Domaine de Valdition, Mas de la Dame and Château La Jeanette
3. Horse back riding for the kids at Le Poney Club le Rouget which included an epic camping experience.
4. Strolling through our favorite Provencal village: Saint Rémy de Provence and stopping off at our favorite haunts: Glacier Roma, La Maison de La Presse and Petit Duc
5. Tending to Lucky our 3 legged bunny who miraculously survived. Go Nurse Zoé!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer Recap, Part II

Much summer time was spent in the swiss Alps, bliss. 
Top 5 things we enjoyed:
1. Sleeping with no a/c (finally) and just breathing in the fresh air and staying warm with fluffy down-filled comforters.
2. Eating endless supplies of fondues, raclettes, viande séchée & chanterelles at some of our favorite places: Cabane de Mont Fort, Buvette de la Marlénaz. Total cholesterol overload, but who cares it was so good.
3. Picking wild flower bouquets along our walks in the mountains.
4. Trout fishing at the idyllic alpine village of Lac Champex.
5. Drinking fresh cow milk from La Laiterie de la Chaux, we felt like true Heidis

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Recap, Part I

Summer recap, where to begin? Eight weeks is a long time to be away, but then again it was so good to be back home with family and friends and needless to say that time flew. For starters, week one was spent in Geneva and was all about reconnecting with old friends and then some work too. Candice and I held our first Zojora Pop-Up Store event at her home. Response to our Zojora products was great, napkins and ikat sarongs from Bali were bestsellers. Very exciting for us to have our first Zojora clients and happy clients too. Thank you to all those who dropped by. Now that holidays are over, Candice and I are eager to complete our website, work on our Tumblr and Facebook page and most importantly source other Zojora products from accross the globe. Looks like this Fall will be all about new destinations. Can't wait. 
Happy to be back here, missed you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Rosie

 My sweet baby Rose is 9 today. Luckily we had a fun party for her last week with all her friends because today is mostly about packing, packing and more packing. Haven't quite figured how we're going to bring it all back, but somehow we will. Heading back to Europe for the summer. I can't quite believe that my Rose is 9 already and I also can't believe that we've now been in Singapore for 2 school years. This year has been great, lots of amazing traveling (definitely still my favorite aspect of living her), kids are really settled in, love their school, do a bunch of fun after school activities and I'm loving working on Zojora. Really all good, but sometimes we do miss home and that is why we can't wait to be back. Ok just need to bake some cupcakes, pack some more and we should be ready. 
Happy Summer to all of you.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Saigon this week

Quick trip to Saigon this week. I was bringing fabric to the locally based NGO "Fair Fashion Trade," picking up finished table linens, scouring the markets, eating Pho for breakfast and snapping up embroidered nightgowns for future ZOJORA clients. Loving, loving my sourcing / business escapades. Zojora should be shortly online and in the meantime check out our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zojora/172657192864611.
Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bali Escapade

Flower offerings at Kumbassari Market, Denpassar
Sourcing Ikat fabric in Sukawati
Royal Palace in Ubud

Taking a break from all that shopping at Kudeta beach, Seminyak
Impromptu sale at home with goodies brought back from my trip

Escaped to Bali for 3 days this week. Purpose of this trip was sourcing, basically non-stop shopping. Working on a project of "travel inspired" accessories and table linens, that should be launched very soon and in the meantime looking for unique accessories that hopefully will have you lusting for. Went around to a bunch of local handicraft markets and met some great local jewelry designers. Can't wait to show you all the things that I picked up along the way. 
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Up and Around Chinatown

Took a quick stroll around Chinatown this afternoon in search of buddhas and beads. I love getting lost and wandering around Singapore. Definitely one of my favorite aspects about living here is discovering all these very typical and different ethnic neighborhoods. In one day, I can "travel" from India to China via Malaysia and then back in my hood which is know here as "Little Paris" or the Goon for others.
PS. If like me you're in the search for beads & trinkets head to People's Park Centre, a treasure trove.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo 101

Recently took a 2 day photo class at Ojectifs and have finally understood, more or less, the basic differences between shutterspeed, aperture and ISO. I now take my pictures in manual mode to the great regret of my kids who complain that I'm way too slow. Anyway, loving my newly learned skills. Think the colors are great, never use my flash anymore and learned how to shoot still lifes. Would definitely recommend their classes - check out their website as they have classes for all levels.
Fishermen in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
Paper napkins in Ambalangoda
On the road to Galle, Sri Lanka
My overexposed Laguna shot that I'm in love with

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekend Movie Crush

For a lot of you out there it's a long weekend and just in case the sun isn't shining head inside and go see "The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold." Cast is incredible, colors are beautiful and some great funny lines. I think part of me is still in Sri Lanka and also longing to go to India so this just hit the spot right.
Enjoy the show

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kikin back in Ambalangoda

More pics from Sri Lanka. SwissMiss wrote a great post about our stay there. Check it out here and read about our favorite new drink Kik
Happy Friday. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Next stop: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Basically unpacked and repacked. Grandparents offered to look after the Zoros and since I'm still celebrating my milestone birthday (any excuse to travel is good) we escaped again. This time round we met up with friends (thank you again for all) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Had never ventured to Sri Lanka, so very excited to explore and discover. Spent our first day traipsing around the city by tuk-tuk, definitely my favorite mode of transportation these days. Wandered around markets, buddhist temples and the coastline. Vesak was going on and everywhere in the streets there were beautiful paper lanterns. Even managed to do a little shopping -if in town definitely don't miss out on the very cool Barefoot. I would also definitely recommend the Park Street Hotel an old colonial home now converted into a boutique hotel, located in the heart of Colombo. From Colombo we headed south but more about that next week. Til then Happy Weekend. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

48hrs in Bangkok

Travel whirlwind in the past couple of weeks, so dismal blogging, but then again who's complaining. 
First off, we spent 48hrs in Bangkok and managed to see all the major sites. Our main mode of transport were tuk-tuks and boats, definitely the most relaxing way especially considering the heat and my children's refusal to walk more than 30 min. Definitely do not miss out on seeing the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha just next to one another. Kids also loved hanging out in Koh San Road and catching all the  backpacker action. In no time, the girls bought tie-dye pants and ate pad thai from street vendors. I had fun searching for my old guesthouse and reminiscing my own backpacking days. Cruising along the Chao Phraya River is also a great way to discover Bangkok and see how people live along the river banks. Just go down to the public jetty next to the Oriental Hotel and negotiate a private tour. Then once we were absolutely exhausted from our sightseeing, we all loved to head back to the amazing Sukhothai Hotel, a treat from the grandparents and one I would highly recommend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

So I've been told....

"Life begins at forty."
Well I sure hope that the author of this quote, W.B. Pitkin knows what he's talking about,
because this week I hit the big 40.
Off to Bangkok to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Club Med Convert & Fan

Normally when traveling we love to just book a plane ride, first night hotel and then basically just play it by ear. However, this time round the kids are off for 2 weeks, hubby couldn't take time off and I didn't see myself traipsing to temples and pagodas alone with my Zoros. Instead, we opted for the super easy solution...Club Med, Bintan and I was voted best mom, that easy. This is my kids favorite holiday destination. I think they feel free and grown up roaming around alone, ordering drinks and hanging out with the GOs. We meet up for meals and the rest of the time we each have our own agendas, plenty to choose from. Bintan is a mere 45 minute ferry ride away, Club Med beach is surprisingly beautiful, water is super clear, colorful fishes abound, so really doesn't get much easier than this. My advice go during the week, a lot less crowded, cheaper, and less singing and dancing around the pool. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bye Picnik

A couple more days and my favorite photo editor picnik will be gone forever. I'm hooked to picnik, so needless to say very sad to see it leave. I've never learned photoshop, so picnik was my easy photo editing solution. I could pretend - guess its time for me to learn. In the meantime, I've done one last picnik collage, basically a hodgepodge of pictures from the last couple weeks. Lots of golf, birthdays, visitors and some sightseeing. All good fun. 
If anyone out there knows of a good replacement for picnik please pass it on.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Luxe Guides

At heart I'm a true Lonely Planet kind of girl but in the past few months I admit that I have strayed: I've discovered Luxe guides. What I love most of all is their small light weight pocket sized format. Really who needs all that guide book information when you're just visiting a city for a day or a weekend. Luxe's condensed opinionated selection of places to stay, eat, shop & see is great and funny too. Love that they only offer the best of each place, huge time saver when you only have 2 days to visit a city. For those travelers who wish to go completely paperless you can download most of the Luxe city guides on your iphone. Happy traveling. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Crush on Bill

Truth be told I bought my first Bill Granger cookbook only because of him on the cover looking so yummy. Then, I tried the recipes and that was a whole set of new yuminess. Bill's recipes are simple, unpretentious, delicious and not too time consuming - my kind of cooking. I love all his fusion recipes and abundant use of coriander and lime. Personal favorites are his chicken noodles soup, salt and pepper squid and his fish cakes. Whilst in Sydney we went to his restaurant in Surry Hills and it was by far our most delicious dinner in Australia. We literally tried every dish on the menu. Definitely go out and by yourself one his books and then don't forget to invite me for dinner.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Up in Borneo

Made it to the top of Mount Kinabalu!!!
Going up was beautiful, well the vegetation was, although I did miss the monkey's cup, the not so beautiful part were the countless stairs, exhausting and painful those were. Spent a very short night in Pendant Hut before heading out at 2am for our summit climb. Sunrise at summit overlooking Borneo was incredible. Our climb down was another story, exhausting. Took us as long to get down as it did to get up, but in the end we all made it. Whew. Needless to say that 3 days later now I still scream whenever in sight of a flight of stairs. Should you want to go up here's the company we used http://www.x-trekkers.com/
Oh, and should you need to rest after your climb you can always check in at http://www.shangri-la.com/en/property/kotakinabalu/rasariaresort. Needless to say, that our 24hrs there were bliss.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving on & Moving up

Enough with our Australian road trip, I'm off this time to Borneo, with a couple of girlfriends, in the attempt to reach the summit of Mount Kinabalu. Don't really know what to expect, especially since I haven't worn my trekking shoes since a trip to Kilimanjaro 5 years ago. All I can say at this point is when I see the above picture our climb seems very daunting and why we didn't instead opt for a girl's weekend at the beach remains a mystery to me. 
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Til next time Australia

Ended our road trip in sunny Melbourne running along Brighton beach admiring the colored beach huts and Melbourne skyline. We all loved our road trip. Bottom line is that I think we just love to be in Australia. We love the people, super friendly and relaxed, the countryside is incredibly beautiful, the beaches are out of this world and according to my kids nothing beats spotting koalas in the wild. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Great Ocean Road

Southwest of Melbourne lies the Great Ocean Road. What a drive. The scenery is incredible including endless beaches with dramatic limestone cliffs, giant eucalyptus trees with hordes of koalas and cool trendy seaside towns our favorite being Lorne. Not to be missed along the drive are the Twelve Apostles, debate over how many there really are but who really cares, the scenery is pretty much breathtaking. The kids couldn't believe their luck at seeing so many koalas in the wild. How many times did I have to tell them that "no" they could not take one of them home. Unfortunately, no pics - camera died, that always seems to happen at the wrong moment. 
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On the road, Australia

Post Sydney, we headed South, direction Melbourne. Passed thru countless dairy farms, cattle farms (there's a difference), and coastal towns, but most of all it rained, so much that pretty soon the highway was under water. We spent a couple of nights close to Jervis Bay and Hyams Beach which boasts the whitest sand in the world. Unfortunately everything looked pretty grey to us.
Some of the fun things we did along the way included:
cuddling baby wombats at the Nowra Wildlife Park
running along the Seven Mile Beach, a favorite surfing spot when not raining
spotting kangaroos in the wild whilst driving around the Kangaroo Valley
and just hangin' with friends at their very cool "cabanas" in the quaint town of Berry

but most fun of all was celebrating Z's birthday and seeing her smile.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our Australian Road Trip

First off on our road trip was a couple of days exploring Sydney. We loved the laid back sunny Sydney,  but all of us for different reasons. Here are our personal favorites:
For JD, it was without doubt hanging and eating at the Fish Market.
For Z, it was checking out the skaters at the Bondi Skaters Bowl and hanging out at Bondi beach.
For R, she loved strolling the streets of the Rocks.
For lil' O, his highlight was spotting a platypus at the aquarium.
and as for myself, I loved our dinner with friends at Bills, so good that it may deserve a post of its own.
Our stay in Sydney was definitely too short but the road was calling...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back from "Down Under"

Just returned from our 10 day road trip that took us from Sydney to Melbourne and along the Great Ocean Road. Loved it, although we had total crap weather. Never ending rain meant no surfing for us. Still sorting through my photos, so for now a small collage of pics taken in & around Sydney, included is the iconic Sydney Opera house, dah, Bondi beach, we never wanted to leave this has to be the coolest beach, the harbor at the Fish Market, remember Finding Nemo and the Bondi Skating Bowl where we checked out the cute Aussie boys. Promise a full report of our trip in a couple of days.