Merry Christmas (from last year!)

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas with pictures that were meant to be sent out last year… I had the best intentions of sending out a New Year card then a Chinese New Year Card, then maybe just a card, and well, there never was a card! These are a few of the family pictures we took during our trip to India last Christmas. Oh, it was such a fabulous trip! We started in Bombay meeting up with old friends which was so special. Then the magic started happening once we got to Rajasthan. These first two pics were taken on Christmas Eve in Udaipur.

A trip to Rajasthan wouldn’t be complete without a little safari action. We actually saw a snow leopard on this excursion. It was wicked cool! The animal just sat perched up there on his rock, chillin’. It was quite a sight. And typical of an India excursion, we stopped for chai and biscuits.

Another magical moment to be had in Rajasthan is staying in an old havelli. This havelli was ancient–very rustic too, but it was a very cool experience.

Finally, our trip was completed in Jodhpur’s Red Fort where we zip lined across the canyons. It was a phenomenal experience, one that won’t be forgotten!

Our family is very blessed. Kevin and I have somehow created this life full of travel. It’s exciting and fun, and we all have a really good time together. Now, today we start our three week vacation for winter break. We’ll be spending our time in Thailand–with my sister and her family!! We can hardly wait! It’s going to be so fun to share our special Thai times with our family members!

Merry Merry Christmas from the Krembs!

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife
I knew for my two week trip through Rajasthan that the perfect book to read would be The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. I had already read this book while living in India–and the sequel too, The Feast of Roses. Both are so beautiful depicting the life of Mehrunnisa and the love story–no triumph might be a better word–she experienced with the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. All the descriptions of life in the harem, behind those intricate laced walls, depict women as quite powerful, especially Mehrunnisa. She set her sights on her conquest and didn’t stop until him and her goal were captured. Mehrunnisa was the the last empress of the Mughal Empire, and she was Jahangir’s last and twentieth wife. For an exciting, political, cultural, and romantic story that transports the reader to a sultry and mysterious place and enchanting time in Indian history both of Sundarresan’s books, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses, are definitely worth reading. I love them both and feel like a MaharAnnie myself while reading them–especially while traveling through magical Rajasthan where all the history happened.

How do you choose books for when you travel? Can you recommend a book to me?

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

The Twentieth Wife

*This post has been linked up to #iwillwearwhatilike.

Blushing MaharAnnie

Blushing MaharAnnie 8One of the best outfits is pairing winter with spring. That’s what the weather was like in India, and soon around the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll all be pulling out our cutoffs to pair with our blushing sweaters. I promised this week on the blog would be filled with this blushing pink color, and I’ve held to it. First I paired leather and lace in the blush tones on Monday; then on Wednesday I styled my holiday velvet blush dress with a denim tuxedo. Now here’s another round of pics where I play the part of a blushing MaharAnnie. Oh, the palaces in Rajasthan–they just don’t quit! They’re everyhwere, and I am not kidding. Here, I matched my setting and tried to emulate one of my favorite style influencers, Shalice Noel. She’s been forever taking her baggy sweaters and pulling them to one side. I told her I’d give it a try, and I have to say, I like the effect very much. So did my Instagram followers when I did the same in an every day life pic found here. When I asked Shalice if she simply just stretched out the neck of the sweater and pulled it to the side, she said, “Yep!” Give it a try….

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Wanna Be Blushing Too?

I found some very pretty (and rather economical) options for you if you two would like to be a blushing rani!

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PS Here’s a link to my blushing velvet sandals if you would like those too! (They are only $25 USD!)

*This post has been linked to Not Dressed As Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike.

A Must Stop in Rajasthan: Rawla Narlai

Rawla Narlia 1There is one place we always tell travelers to India that they must go: Rajasthan and in particular, Rawla Narlai. Rawla Narlai is a heritage hotel in the village of Narlai, and it is the old hunting lodge of the king of Jodhpur. (In fact, while we were there, the owner of the lodge, who is considered the king of Narlai, came by for a visit. See below for evidence.) It is rare to make a hotel an actual destination, but there are so many magical experiences at this hotel that make it worth a vital addition to any Rajasthan tour. First, it’s location is perfect: it’s situated between two other must visit cities, Udaipur and Jodhpur. Car is the mode of travel in this area, so any way to break up the trip is gratefully accepted. When you arrive to Rawla Narlai, you really feel like you’ve stumbled onto an old, Mogul home. Everything about this heritage hotel is serene: the lush landscape, the quintessential rooms, luxe sitting areas everywhere you look, and impeccable treatment by the hotel staff. Ask for Lala. He will take you on a village tour at dusk, and you’ll have a chance to really see how Rajasthani folk live. If you want those silver anklets that the village women wear, he’ll take you to the local silversmith (I haven’t taken mine off yet!). The moment we arrived, humble Lala even remembered us and still had the picture of him carrying Gigi all around when she was just a little toddler. When we were deciding where to travel in India for our three week tour, returning to this magical spot is what steered our vacation to Rajasthan. I love Rawla Narlai–so much! I hope one day to mimic a courtyard just like their’s and spend my days reading and drink nimbu pani (sweet lime water)!

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Rawla Narlai
Village Narlai, Rajasthan, India
Tel : + 91 2934 260443
Fax : +91 2934 260596
Email : crs@rawlanarlai.com

*Aside of the dusk tour through the village, there are other options in this countryside stay. But I’ll leave that for a later post….

Blue Velvet and Blue Walls

blue-velvet-8Blue velvet with blue walls….awww, fixes everything–at least this blue velvet shirt does. This velvet shirt was on pretty constant repeat during our family trip through Rajasthan, India. The temps wavered in the morning and at night; plus there’s constant shade from palace and fort corridors. This particular velvet shirt is now gone, but I’ll tell you what: I am not through with velvet. I love the material, so therefore I have been stocking up. I already posted my black velvet suit with plaid and a black velvet dress, the crushed red velvet dress plus the blush wrap dress, yet I’ve got more up my sleeve–both literally and figuratively. May I give you a shopping tip please? Now that the holidays are over, all the velvet options are on serious discount, so stock up now. I know I am!

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Now let me tell you about this alleyway filled with blue walls looking like blue velvet because it is very special to me. When we lived in Inida, there was a repeat tour, much beloved like this velvet shirt, that we took many, many times. We’d start in Udaipur–which we had done on this trip to celebrate Christmas in the Lake City. From Udaipur we would always go to Rawla Narlai, a hunting lodge in the village of Narlai. Like years before, Lala was there to meet us, and he still remembers Gigi. He mentioned the treasured picture we gave him of the two of them. At dusk, Lala would always take us on a village walk, and when we requested it for this visit, he didn’t hesitate to take us. The village is the same, as if it has frozen in time, with the villagers being as kind as they’ve always been. Some things have changed like the renovation of their Jain temple, but that was about it. When I saw these two blue walls just outside the hotel, I felt inspired to match it. I grabbed the blue velvet shirt and my Indian tee with two elephants and a peacock. I pulled out my gold skirt and sparkly boots. I figured these were all the magical colors I saw in the walls and in the village. It wasn’t too hard to try to match one of my favorite spots in all of India: Rawla Narlai. (I’ll make sure to post an actual hotel post eventually–especially since it’s always the must stop that we tell people to make when they ravel to Rajasthan!)

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*I linked up this post to Not Dressed as Lamb’s #iwillwearwhatilike twice! Catherine has been named as the best blogger in the 40 year age group by Who What Wear! That’s somethin’!! I also linked up to Pleated Poppy‘s What I Wore and Elegantly Dressed and Stylish‘s Turning Heads.