Tag Archives: shopping

My little Fashionista

We went out shopping this weekend and Chhori had the most fun. Chhori ran around the shopping centre making friends with anyone who would stop to say hello to her.

chhori

I think she gets that from me, shopping = happiness 😉

Here are some photos of her happily picking clothes from the rack.

chhori (1) chhori (4)

I am sure she is a little fashionista in the making.

We had a great weekend, hope you did too.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Online shopping is so addictive

I am sure everyone here knows my love for fashion and shopping. I look at shopping as a fun activity and most of the time AS is a great shopping partner. I really value his input when I want to buy anything as he knows my likes and dislikes. It goes the other way as well. So a long, long time ago when we were not parents, we used to go to malls once in a while to shop and have fun.

my shoes

But after the baby, in the first few months it was hard to go shopping. The first 6 weeks, we didn’t go out much unless it was absolutely necessary. That is when I truly discovered online shopping. Almost every brand sells stuffs online and on top of that I discovered eBay as well.

chhori (3)

Since then I have started buying many stuff online including things for Chhori, myself and AS. It seems so much fun and they are delivered to your doorstep. How much better can it get? But after a while I discovered that I was buying a lot more that we needed. As it is so easy, a few clicks and that’s it. I have to admit, I was buying things that were unnecessary.

After looking at my credit card statements for a few months, I decided that I should stop my shopping and I did. But when you shop online, they automatically include you in their mailing list. So these days I get emails form the websites when they have sales or new arrivals. Sometimes it is so hard to resist items on sale. I have spent so much money buying things when they are on sale thinking they are a bargain. I won’t say they are unnecessary but maybe I wouldn’t have bought all the items if I was at a physical shop as I could see all the items physically in the basket.

Prabal Gurung Dresses

Anyway, these days I have started to call AS just to check again if we need the items before paying and have managed to cut down on impulse buying. But I am still shopping online from time to time. I mostly buy items for Chhori and her wardrobe is full of new clothes which she won’t wear for a while. I guess items for girls are so cute that it is hard to resist and if they are at a good price, I say why not.

I definitely do not go out of control shopping online but I do shop more often than when I used to go to the mall.

Do you shop online a lot? What do you mostly buy? Do you like it or do you prefer going to the malls?

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story – Honeymoon Trip To Vietnam – Part 49

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

When we were planning our honeymoon, me and AS had different ideas on where we wanted to go. I always wanted to go to Greek Islands (Santorini) but AS wanted to go to Hawaii. But as AS couldn’t take more than a month off from work and our wedding took so many days, we couldn’t go to either of the places.

Anyway after a few discussions we decided on Vietnam as it would be on our way back from Nepal. But honeymoon was off to a rough start. Read about what happened even before we land in Vietnam here.

When we got off in Ho Chi Minh airport it was very hot and humid. We took a taxi and went to our hotel. I was praying for rest of the holidays to be incident free as the headache we had before we reached Vietnam was enough for one holiday that as well on our honeymoon.

Ho chin min (9)

The room was nicely decorated and we had a buffet breakfast every day. They had lots of things to choose from like toast and cheese or rice, Pho, noodles, varieties of eggs, salads, yogurt and all kinds of pastries. Ho chin min (10)

We booked trips that took us around the city and we went to churches, a Presidential palace, and museums. We also took a trip to the Mekong Delta, Cu Chi tunnel, and Cai Dao temple.

Ho Chi Minh city

Ho chin min (17)

Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) is a fast paced city with a unique mix of French colonial architecture, Chinese influences, a modern entrepreneurial spirit and numerous temples.

Ho chin min (1) Ho chin min (2) Ho chin min (3)

During this tour, in the morning, we visited the historic Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. The tour continued to Ho Chi Minh’s finest examples of French colonial architecture with a visit to the Notre Dame cathedral and Post Office.

Ho chin min (4) Ho chin min (5) Ho chin min (11) Ho chin min (12)

We had a local lunch before visiting Giac Lam Pagoda, the bustling Chinese district of Cholon and Ben Thanh market.

Ho chin min (13) Ho chin min (15) Ho chin min (16)

Overall we had a great day and we loved everything we saw.

Ho chin min (18) Ho chin min

Cu Chi Tunnels

The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.

Cu Chi Tunnels  (6) Cu Chi Tunnels  (3)

We decided to do tour of the tunnel and it was a great place to visit.

Cu Chi Tunnels  (2) Cu Chi Tunnels  (4)

The Cu Chi tunnels were built by local fighters during the Indochina conflict as a base from which the Viet Cong could operate from close to the Southern Vietnamese capital. Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks and by 1965, the Cu Chi tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200km’s of tunnels.

Cu Chi Tunnels  (5) Cu Chi Tunnels  (7)

It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants and to protect against outside intruders bobby traps were laid throughout the complex.

Cu Chi Tunnels  (8) Cu Chi Tunnels  (9) Cu Chi Tunnels  (10)

We started the day with exploring the Cu Chu Tunnels and learning more about the courage & ingenuity of the inhabitants. We also learned about the conditions the Vietnamese people lived in, the hardships they faced and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels  (13) Cu Chi Tunnels  (12) Cu Chi Tunnels  (11)

Mekong Delta Discovery

Our day started with 2.5-hour journey, by air-conditioned mini-coach to the Mekong reason. At times, I thought I was in Nepal when I saw acers and acers of green fields with rice paddy.

Mekong Delta Discovery  (1) Mekong Delta Discovery  (6)

The Mekong is the region in south-western Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of south-western Vietnam of 39,000 square kilometres (15,000 sq mi).

Mekong Delta Discovery  (2) Mekong Delta Discovery  (3) Mekong Delta Discovery  (4)

It is a water world where boats, houses, restaurants and even markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals and streams that flow through the region like arteries. At times you can quite simply lose sight of land.

Mekong Delta Discovery  (5) Mekong Delta Discovery  (9)

On this tour we were lucky to explore the villages and islands in a private long tail boat ride along the Mekong River.

Mekong Delta Discovery  (11)Mekong Delta Discovery  (10)

We loved our lunch at Diem Phuong Restaurant where we had one server on standby to peel our prawns and make us fresh rich paper rolls. We also tried fresh coconuts water other exotic fruits.

Mekong Delta Discovery  (8) Mekong Delta Discovery  (7)Mekong Delta Discovery  (13)Mekong Delta Discovery  (14)Mekong Delta Discovery  (16)

After lunch we were taken to another Island where we learned about cottage industry and the process of making coconut candy.

Mekong Delta Discovery  (12) Mekong Delta Discovery  (15) Mekong Delta Discovery  (17)

Cao Dai temple

Just outside Tay Nihn and 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City is the Great Temple or Holy See, the center of the intriguing Cao Dai sect. Cao Dai is a syncretist Vietnamese religious movement that incorporates aspect of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and even Catholicism.

Cao Dai Temple, Vietnam

Cao Dai Temple, Vietnam

The Cao Dai Temple (as it is more commonly known) was begun in 1933 in a unique architectural style that reflects its blended traditions. Most people visit on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City.

The trips were fantastic. Once we were out of the city, there was more greenery and less traffic. There were acres of rice fields with lots of people with Vietnamese hats. I really loved it.

Constructed between 1933 and 1955, the Great Temple of Cao Dai closely resembles a Christian cathedral in its architecture – two square towers, a long central nave with upper gallery, and side aisles. The altar, an apse and ambulatory are at the opposite end from the entrance, just as in  a typical church.Cao Dai temple (1)Cao Dai temple (2)

The exterior and interior of the Cao Dai Temple are both extravagantly decorated, incorporating symbols, abstract designs and images of saints. The high ceiling is painted sky-blue with fluffy clouds and the floor tiles have busy patterns. The dragon-encrusted columns that run the length of the nave number 28, representing the 28 manifestations of the Buddha. Seven-headed cobras represent the seven human emotions.

Cao Dai temple (3) Cao Dai temple (4)

One of the most memorable sights at the Cao Dai temple is the sea of worshippers who dress in flowing robes and assemble in orderly rows during a ceremony. Men sit on the right and women on the left.

Cao Dai temple (5)

Shopping

As usual my holiday would not be complete without shopping and I was so glad that we had a good one in Vietnam. We went to the Ben Thanh Market as well as shopping malls.

I was glad that Vietnam is not as commercialised as Thailand and it was easier to shop.

I went to Zara and Mango stores where things were cheaper than Australia and bought heaps of dresses. Also at the market we bought some souvenirs.

I would have done more shopping but couldn’t as we had already brought lots of stuff from Nepal.

Photo-shoot

We also did post wedding photo-shoot there and we loved the end result. Here are some shots from the shoot.

Photoshoot (4) Photoshoot (3) Photoshoot (2) Photoshoot (1)

But the best part of the trip was the massage. It was very affordable and it was so good. We went for a massage every day. It cost us around AUD$15 for a whole body massage with aromatic oil and hot stones for over an hour.

The next best thing was that we felt like millionaires anywhere we went. We booked a private tour so we had the diver and the guide to ourselves all the time. The car they got for us had leather interior with air con. AUD $200 is equivalent to a million Vietnamese Dong so you are always paying in hundred thousands or millions.

Vietnamese 100,000 dong

Vietnamese 100,000 dong

Art

I found the people friendly and the staff of the hotel very helpful. Like most of the Asian countries I have visited, they always had a smile on their face.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

25 ways you can save money

A while ago, I wrote a post, Not Spending A Cent For A Day, because I believe in saving. Of course, everyone wants to earn more money and it might not always be possible to get more. However, it is possible to have more on your account by saving more. Here are some more simple steps I am taking to get more value out of my money. Hope it will be helpful for you guys too.

  1. Switch off light and power point whenever not required.
  2. Use energy saving blues (CFL or LED) and water efficient appliances to save money on electricity. They may be a bit expensive to buy but will save money over the long run.
  3. Choose a credit card with a low interest rate, especially if you are paying interest. Over years, you will save heaps of money on interest.
  4. If you have many credit cards, consolidate and you will save in annual fees and other administrative fees.
  5. Buy a car at the end of the financial and calendar years and do not forget to ask for discounts.
  6. Make a list of what you want to buy before going grocery shopping and stick to only those items stop impulse buying.
  7. Try the 30 days list idea and stick to it. It will save you heaps of money.
  8. Double the quantity of recipe when cooking which saves you time and money. I cook for lunch and dinner.
  9. Reuse the 3D glasses in cinema. It costs $1 every time you buy them.
  10. Always use discount pharmacy and generic medicine. They are always cheaper and have the same active ingredient.
  11. If you are thinking about a holiday, try to go away outside the school holidays if possible. You will get cheaper deals on flights and accommodations.
  12. If you are flying, try to fly midweek as Fridays and weekends are more expensive. In addition, mornings and evening flights are expensive than afternoon flights.
  13. Premier cuts of meats are very expensive like a kilo of lamb cutlets are $40/kg while if you buy secondary cuts; they are cheaper and taste the same.
  14. Always buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, as they are cheaper and tastier.
  15. When getting insurance, shop round and if you see the cheaper options, tell your insurance company. As the market is so competitive, there is a higher change that they will match the price otherwise you can always switch to the cheaper ones. Do make sure that you are getting the same level of coverage though; or you may end up paying more money later.
  16. Always open an offset account for your home loan and it will save you lots of money on interest saved over the lifetime of the loan.
  17. If you use certain brands/ shop more, subscribe to their newsletter and keep an eye on the specials. I have saved heaps buying things on discount.
  18. If you are going to dine in expensive restaurants for special occasions, check their website for early menus or fixed menu rather than á la carte. They are cheaper and you can enjoy the same food and quality.
  19. If you use your mobile a lot, look for plan options like cheaper calls or data only plans depending on what you use a lot and it will make a difference on your monthly bills. Avoid plans if possible and stick with prepaid, as you will have control on how much you are spending.
  20. Use cold water for the washing machine and it helps your clothes last longer and also save money on electricity.
  21. If you live in a country where tap water is good for drinking, stop paying for expensive-bottled water.
  22. If you have cable, check how often you watch it. As all of us are so busy, it might be worth buying the movies/ series online rather than subscription for the cable.
  23. Exercise is very important but you don’t have to pay for a gym subscription instead run in the park, practice yoga in front of the TV or pay as you go for swimming.
  24. Skip the delivery and pick up your meals. For us we save $8 every time we order pizza if we choose to pick up rather than get it delivered.
  25. If you have a big family, shop in bulk and save.

I am sure some of you already do most of these but of course you could always do more. If you google, you will find lots more tips and tricks online to help you save. My logica is if I can’t make more money, I will cut my spending and as a result the savings in my bank will increase. Be money wise and good luck.

Friday afternoon already so looking forward to the weekend.Have a great weekend and Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

30 Days list

How many times has it happened to you that you buy something and as soon as you come home you realise that you don’t like it or you don’t need it. Sometimes you can return them but others you are stuck with. It happens to me a lot and I get annoyed for not being smarter with my buying.

I like something in the shop after trying it on and checking it properly so I happily give my credit card only to be disappointed in it after I come home.

So I and AS made a pact, if we are spending more than $100 items doesn’t matter what it is, we will keep them in our 30 days list. After 30 days if we still feel like we want that item then we will go and buy it.

We read it somewhere and thought it might work out for us and save us some money in the process.

I have a few items in the list already and waiting for the 30 days to pass.

Looks like I might buy one of the item but the others I can easily give them a pass.

What do you think of our 30 days list idea? What do you do to stop yourself buying things on impulse? Please share your ideas here.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Shopping from Nepal

How can I go on a holiday especially to Nepal and not have a post on shopping, so here I am writing about my experience and showing off things I got in Nepal.

Firstly, I have to say that shopping is Nepal is not at all cheap like it used to be 10 years ago. Every time I go back, the price seems to have doubled but the quality seems to have gone down at the same time.

During most of the shopping I went with someone who lived there and I am so glad I did. Otherwise I would have paid almost double for everything as I am not so good at bargaining. Here is a simple example of bargaining in Nepal.

Customer: Looking at the Rs 3000 price tag, how much can I get it for?

Shopkeeper: There is 20% discount now, so it will be Rs 2400.

Customer: Rs 2400 is too expensive for this shoe. I know it can be better. What about Rs1500.

Shopkeeper: Really sorry but Rs 1500 is too low. Since you like it so much I will give you a further discount. Ok it is Rs2200 just for you, I have never sold it in that price for anyone else. (Of course not telling the truth)

Customer: Come on I am not asking for too much discount, OK since I like it I will give you a few hundred more.

Shopkeeper: Sorry, I can’t do that price. OK my last best price is Rs 2000.

Customer: Come on dai (brother), I am sure you can do better.

Shopkeeper: The price is already cheap. Look at the quality and the stuff.

Customer: Ok, my last price Rs 1800. I don’t have more than that.

Shopkeeper: Ok only for you am I agreeing at this price. I promise you will never find this price anywhere else. Please do come again and shop here.

It was like you needed to have patience to bargain otherwise you’d end up paying higher price for everything. I am glad to say that I have learn the skill after a few shopping trips I still always questioned myself when the shopkeeper gave an item easily at the price I wanted :). I guess unless I live in Nepal for long time I will not master the skill.

Despite all this and the fact that I was so busy, I still managed to buy a few things for myself. Of course, that list included shoes. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I am addictive to shoes and to everyone who reads my blog regularly it should come as no surprise. AS has made me promise that I will throw out old pairs of shoes when I come back if I was going to buy so many pairs in Nepal and I agreed.

I think there are only a few shops in Kathmandu selling good quality shoes and I am lucky to have found some such shops this time. I was actually looking for winter shoes when I was there but as it was the end of winter there, It was hard for me to find what I was looking for. I still managed to buy some boots, not exactly what I looking for but close enough to spend my money on. I also bought a few high heels, wedges, flats and scandals.

Here is the entire collection from this trip. Now I have to make room for them in my shoe rack. I’m just waiting for an opportunity to wear them soon.

IMG_7306IMG_7304

Apart from shoes, I really didn’t buy anything else for myself. I got a few saris from my MIL and mum so I didn’t have to spend any money on them. In addition, I have so many saris here that I decided it will be wise this time to invest my money on things I need for home.

Thus we spent lots buying carpets, decorative handicrafts and a painting. I am so happy with the end result.

Like every time, AS didn’t buy much either as he prefers cloths from here. Moreover, according to him I have converted him to be like me that he has too many jackets, pants, t-shirts and shoes that he doesn’t have to worry for a few years.

Hope you liked my new shoes collection. Till next post, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

His t-shirt /shirt

I am sure I have seen this in movies a lot but wondering how many of you borrows your partner’s shirt/t-shirt to wear around the house.

Once we started living together, I got into wearing his t-shirt. I have tried shirts as well but I love t-shirts more.

It started one summer when it was so hot that I couldn’t wear my clothes and borrowed his t-shirt for a day as it is loose and very comfy. It is long enough for me not to wear any pants and it also kind of smells like him even though it has just been washed.

But one day has now turned into every day. 🙂

The great thing about this is that he loves it that I love his t-shirt and now has a special pile in his wardrobe where I can go anytime and pick a t-shirt.

Just checking that I am not the crazy one here.

 Do you wear your partner’s clothes? Do share.

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

M from nepaliaustralia

XOXO