Sri Lanka has been on my Bucket List for a while now, and I’m so happy that I finally had the chance to visit.
Although our trip was shorter than I would’ve liked, I think we got a pretty decent taste of the Southern cities of Sri Lanka. Our trip was – all in all – 5 days, but it was absolute perfection from start to finish and I can’t wait to share our itinerary with you!
We set off from sunny Abu Dhabi and a short 4 episodes of Family Guy and 4 New Girl episodes later, arrived in Colombo.
We hired a taxi to drive us to Midigama from Colombo. The entire ride I was told should be about 3 hours long, but we got lost along the way so it ended up taking double the time. Just make sure the taxi takes you through the highway! The taxi ride cost us about 7000 Rupees which is about 175 AED + tolls.
Our first order of business was to visit Ebb and Flow Jungalows in Midigama. About a year ago, one of the only fashion bloggers I’ll ever follow, StyleDrifter, featured these lovely Jungalows on her blog and ever since I’ve been lusting over them, in the hopes that one day I’ll get to check out the place. And I did. And it was glorious.
We pulled into the driveway a good four hours later than anticipated, only to find the wonderful Chef Indika had been waiting for us all along with a full-fledged dinner of incredible Sri Lankan curries galore!
Each Jungalow comes with its own special Jungalow Manual. A manual with all the information you’ll ever need. How to order food, where to get the best surf classes, the best-priced massages in the area, how much taxis should be charging you–I mean, this little booklet was a testimony on how much love end energy Verity and Garrath put into the jungalows. No detail is spared. They even give you a mobile phone along with their numbers so you can contact them whenever needed.
After getting the good night’s sleep we so desperately needed. We woke up nice and early for a very eventful day planned out meticulously. First, we were going to have breakfast with Chef Indika then we were going to get our swimwear and head for our first lesson in surfing…ever
I won’t lie and say that I was a natural, but I did thoroughly enjoy it even if I wasn’t ever able to get off my stomach! Garreth (owner of the Jungalows along with his wife, Verity) set up our class with a local instructor and I’m glad he did. This guy was an excellent teacher–very safe and very cautious while still giving you plenty of room to play:)
After our surf class we headed back to Ebb and Flow Jungalows and found that chef Indika had prepared a lunch fit for kings. So every morning after breakfast, you choose what you want for lunch and chef Indika scouts the local markets for fresh produce,
Here’s how the halfboard option of the Jungalows go. Every morning after breakfast, you choose what you want for lunch and chef Indika scouts the local markets for fresh produce, fish and poultry, comes back to the junglaows and prepares lunch/dinner. I don’t think I’ve ever been as spoilt as I was on my last trip to Sri Lanka.
After lunch, we finally got to meet half of the brains behind these wonderful Jungalows. Verity stopped by and told us everything we needed to know about the area. She asked what we enjoyed doing and we hoped to gain from our stay in Sri Lanka.
Before my tour with Verity, Mohanned and I decided to chill in the private pool in our villa and enjoy the lovely weather.
Her and I later decided to go on a famous Tipple Tuk Tuk Tour. You can find information on the tours on this link. So the cool thing about a Tipple TukTuk tour is that Verity and the wonderful Talak have you hop on their tutktuk and take you to all the coolest spots for drinks, snack, sunset views and dinner. You can hook up your phone or ipod to Talak’s tuktuk and enjoy your favorite tunes on the road.
The beauty of this tour is that Verity takes you to cool hangouts that you probably wouldn’t have found without her. She takes you off the beaten path, to enjoy wonderful experiences like catching fireflies by the beach.
Then she took me to meet her friends at Bedspace Hotel for an amazing dinner experience. Malcolm, the owner and chef, is also an expat living in Sri Lanka. The food, conversation and music just make for a perfect night out.Verity is also a life coach and I could honestly say I had very heartfelt, one-on-one
Verity is also a life coach and I could honestly say I had very heartfelt, one-on-one conversations with her without ever feeling awkward or judged in any way. It truly is an experience not to be missed. I mean, it’s not every day that you have the opportunity to roam a city with a local, right?
Sadly, our third day in Sri Lanka was our last in Ebb and Flow Jungalows and it was time to set sail to our next destination in the Southern region of Sri Lanka, Koggala Lake.
We really enjoyed hanging out with everyone after dinner and I feel like we made friends in Midigama that I’ll never forget.
Sweet Tallak (he is the sweetest person on the face of this planet and the best hugger ever) was waiting to take us to Koggala by tuktuk and a short and very scenic 25 minutes later we were pulling up to the drive way of Tri.
On the way, Tallak stopped and showed us some wild sea turtles splashing about in the ocean and we got fresh coconuts. I mean that right there is my idea of heaven.
I’d really recommend reaching out to Tri before arrival as the hotel is a bit off the beaten path and it will make your life a lot easier if the hotel staff talks directly to the taxi or tuktuk driver–it’s a little far out and could be tricky to find, but once you get there your life will never be the same, I promise.
This. Place. Is. Unreal.
It’s like something straight out of a dream.
Minimilist. Beautiful. Inspiring.
We were greeted by the lovely Imesha and a nice cold papaya smoothie and I knew I was in love. I still hadn’t seen where we’d be staying, but at that point, I didn’t care if I stayed on the grass and slept the night. This place is unbelievably beautiful. I cannot even explain.
After check in, Imesha guided us to where we’d be staying, the Water Tower room.
And as if I weren’t gob smacked before, I was informed by Imesha that multiple-course breakfast and dinner were included with the cost along with free yoga classes with the owner of the estate.
I can’t even call this place a hotel. It’s much, much more. Every inch of this place is so well thought out. I mean, the water in the pool is chlorine free, it’s ionised water.
The positioning of the water tower rooms follow the Golden Ratio which is said to promote harmony and internal balance.
I know most of you may be skeptical, but there’s something about this place that just has you at ease.
You will not want to leave. I promise you.
Please do not miss the spectacular sunset view over the lake on the terrace upstairs.
The soothing sounds of dawn prayer at the monestary nearby along with the lake breeze will wake you up with a smile on your face.
Then it’s time to head to breakfast.
Everything they serve at Tri is locally sourced and organic. And each dish is a work of art.
After breakfast we sat at the infinity pool and soaked in some sun.
Then we contacted Imesha for help booking a boat trip to the nearby Cinnamon Island and a couple’s massage for our 3rd year wedding anniversary.
The boat ride is equipped with a cooler full of cold beverages and fresh coconuts for the ride.
The island itself is a tour on how cinnamon is grown, harvested and prepared along with some other local spices and herbs.
My only piece of advice would be not to take on the tour guide’s challenge on eating chilis. I thought I was okay with the heat, but my stomach didn’t agree. At all. Don’t do it.
When we came back to the hotel, Imesha had put together a very romantic dinner for Mohanned and I in celebration of our anniversary. Along with a custom made anniversary cake.
The estate is breathtakingly beautiful, but the staff are amazing. They will literally bend backwards to make sure your stay is as comfortable as possible.
I was heartbroken to leave, but it was time to thank the Universe for giving me the wonderful opportunity to visit Sri Lanka. We headed back to Colombo airport and right back to overly sunny Abu Dhabi.
Two months later, and I’ve already booked another trip back. I can’t wait.
So I’m an avid fan of all things pumpkin spiced and ’tis the season, my friends. ‘Tis the season.
This recipe is perfect as a healthy breakfast or a healthy dessert option. It’s super simple and ridiculously quick to put together. Another of my favorite things about is that it requires frozen very ripe (almost black) bananas that would have otherwise been thrown away!
Ingredients (for one bowl:
2 frozen bananas (as ripe as you can get them)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (either canned or homemade, doesn’t matter)
1/2 cup of Greek style coconut yogurt (you can use regular yogurt, just make sure it’s got some probiotics/live cultures)
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ginger powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
A splash of soy milk (to get the food processor moving)
Throw everything into your food processor and blitz till nice and creamy
Top with anything you’d like. I’ve added salted coconut chips, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
I kid you not, this stuff is as good as ice cream of frozen yogurt ANYDAY! Give it a try, it’s the perfect healthy breakfast or dessert option.
Since you’re here, check out my Instagram account–purrty paleez?
After almost two weeks of being ill, I am finally back in the kitchen and couldn’t be happier.
After hours of thinking of new recipes to feature on my blog and without the will power to put pants on and go out to get some groceries, I rummaged through my cupboards and fridge and decided to test something out…luckily it proved to be one of the most successful recipes yet…no joke.
They’re crazy simple, really quick to make and are healthy as hell!
The beauty of this recipe is that you can just store in a container in the fridge and you’ve got a chewy, fudgy snack ready for you at any time.
So I may or may not have cheated just a tad. Last Ramadan Mohanned made an impulsive purchase of date paste. Which is basically dates that’ve been pitted and formed into a paste. I don’t know why it took me so long to venture out and make a dessert using them, but they save LOADS of time. I actually cut the block (which is 1 KG) into fourths and will use one fourth each time I make this recipe. And I will be making it, many, many times. 🙂
I think the beauty of this recipe is that it’s so easy and really versatile. I mean, I literally threw whatever I had in the food processor and so can you (as long as you feel the flavors go together).
1/4 of the packet of date paste (about a quarter of a KG)
1 handful of toasted coconut
1 handful of granola (or toasted oats)
A sprinkle of goji berries
1 handful of banana chips
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)
1 tablespoon of tahini sauce (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon of almond butter
3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
A pinch of sea salt
2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons of carob powder
How to make it:
Throw everything into your food processor
Blend together till everything is nice and crumbly and you can easily form it into a ball with your hands
Line a container with parchment paper
Throw the mixture into the container that’s lined with parchment and press down until firm
Refrigerate for about 20 minutes and then cut them into small squares
As long as you keep these babies in the fridge and properly covered, they’ll be chewy and wonderful for a long time.
Check out my Instagram account, since you’re here 🙂
‘Tis the middle of the week and I neither have the desire, nor the stamina to drive all the way to the grocery store and buy provisions to keep me from dying of the hunger. A little rummage here, a chop there, a can opener in the middle and I’ve got this lovely soba noodle tuna salad. I’m slurping. I’m happy. I’m no longer withering away from hunger. Life is grand.
It’s so ridiculously easy to put together and you can add or remove any ingredient that you’d like basically. It’s one of my go-to recipes when I’m completely out of food inspo!
1 pack of soba noodles
1 chopped spring onion
1 grated carrot
2 cans of tuna (canned in water is best)
A handful of broccoli florets (frozen works perfectly)
¼ cup of sesame seeds
A handful of crunchy mixed greens
3 tablespoons of sesame oil
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 grated clove of garlic
The juice of 1 orange (or lemon)
In the large bowl, put together all the dressing ingredients, mix well and leave in bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the soba noodles according to the instructions. Usually 7 minutes is enough. (Do not overcook the noodles)
Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
Once the noodles are cooked, rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
Throw the cooled noodles and broccoli into the bowl with the dressing.
Grate in the carrot and add the rest of the salad ingredients.
Mix noodles into dressing and enjoy!
Since you’re here, why not head off to my wee little Instagram page–I’d love to have ya!
It’s for some settling down, I reckon. I’ve been traveling and jumping from one event to the next like a headless chicken–all the while keeping my precious startup afloat and running.
I can with all the confidence in the world say that quitting my 9-6 was the best jump into oblivion I’ve ever made. I can also say with all the confidence in the world that it is NOT easy. Some days are gloriously productive and you feel like every inch in this beautiful Universe is mustering up the absolute energy to help you shine indefinitely…other days, I don’t have time to brush my teeth, the gas on my cooker finishes right in the middle of a shoot and my clients just aren’t happy with the copy they’ve gotten.
At the moment, I’m trying my best to harvest all my energy into making those seemingly ‘crappy days’ tolerable. I try to remind myself that they’re but inevitable snags in an otherwise tight-knit sweater with all the trimmings that I’ve ever wanted.
I’m not quite sure if my verbal diarrhea makes any sense to anyone that is not inside my head, but what I’m trying to get at is that I’m trying desperately to teach myself that life isn’t only about waiting and anticipating to experience one cool thing and then desperately wait for the next, it’s about taking in that exciting new trip, harvesting it, letting it soak in, letting it change you in some profound way and then channeling that energy, that change into something that translates and permeates your life so that the days of mundanity are also glorious.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, what a bunch of bull crap, where’s the recipe for the banana bread I was promised…and to that I say, hold your horses, it’s coming right up. It’s simple, quick, vegan and healthy. It’s full of fiber, no added processed sugar. From start to finish, in an hour you’ll have gloriously spiced banana bread–but more importantly, the most pivotal ingredient in this recipe is that you need overly ripe bananas. So essentially, you need something you thought you didn’t. Something that’s shelf life you thought was over. Something you no longer found importance in.
Just like everything you’ve ever had part of your life, not everything you no longer see importance in is garbage. Let’s you and I, work together, to find out what it is in our beautiful selves that is worth keeping, worth growing, and worth discarding.
3 ripe bananas
¼ cup of organic maple syrup
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of ginger
A pinch of sea salt
1 cup of almond or coconut milk
1 cup of oats
1 cup of oat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of milled flaxseeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water (set aside for 5 minutes)
Preheat the oven to 150°C (approximately 300°F).
In a large bowl mix together the oats, oat flour, cinnamon, sea salt and ginger.
Add the mashed ripe bananas, maple syrup, flaxseed mix, milk and mix well.
Add the baking powder and baking soda and mix just until incorporated.
Let the mixture set for 5 minutes so the baking soda can start reacting with the mixture.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour the mixture into it.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until knife runs clear.
Let cool and enjoy J
Oh and since you’re here, follow me on Instagram, por favor! ❤