2017 | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

How We Fight: Now & Then

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com
        10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

We have been married for ten years plus one month (almost) now. I won't be boring you all with how wonderful if has all been or how he is my best friend (which he is!) or how madly in love we are (which we are) because honestly, that's all I read and see on the internet and after a while it is just nauseating. Because let's get real, it can't all be bed of roses all-the-time! 

Instead I am going to tell you about our fights and how they have evolved over the past decade. Let's start from the beginning ... the first year was miserable. We used to fight like cats and dogs. We both were (and are) independent and had our own way of doing things. We both thought we knew better. Sometimes we would get on each other's nerves so much that we wanted to kill each other. That's not a figure of speech. We really wanted to kill each other. But we stuck it out ... I guess we were both stubborn enough to not give up on each other either.

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

A couple of years passed and we reached a point where our fights got infrequent. But still fervent. A few more years passed and they got a lot infrequent and a lot less vehement. The only thing that remained constant at this point was how easily my husband was able to let go and forget about it all, and how I continued to hold on to the grudge and sulked for days.

Five years into the marriage is when we truly started to understand each other. We realized that it was not 'one against the other'. Instead we both were actually on the same team. We had each other's back no matter what. Nonetheless, whenever we did fight, I still wasn't able to get over it as fast as my husband. I needed that extra 24 hours to be truly myself.

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

Sometime in the sixth year of our marriage a light bulb went on in my head and I was like, "Why do I torture myself like this?" We both had more or less exactly the same life, yet he was in a happier state of mind than I was. And I thought that was not fair, in the name of equality to say the least (I kid!). At this point I bargained with my brain and said, "I am going to come around and forget about this fight sooner or later. So why not sooner than later?" I remember the exact instant when I was able to practice what I was preaching to myself. We both were in the car, unable to decide a place to go for dinner. We both were starving, hence were getting hangry. We got into an argument which was then followed by a few minutes of silence. Now my autopilot response would have been to go home, head to my room, change and call it a night .. and then sulk for a day or two. But instead I did something I had never done before. I asked him, "Let's bench this argument and go get dinner first?" My husband was taken aback. Usually this would have been this role, instead this time I beat him to it. I do not think we ever got back to that argument and today I can't even recall what it was about anyways. 

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

For last few years our fights have not been passionate enough to be described as "fights". They are merely either heated discussions or difference of opinions where one of us takes a step back before it blows up or gets out of control. We have both (on our own) realized that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is worth losing an hour or two of our lives. 

When something does matter to one of us we choose to re-address it later, with a calmer heart and tone. For example, just recently something was on my mind and it had been bothering me for a while. I spoke about it to my husband and instead of taking offense he said, "I see where you are coming from and I will try and change that." He had never said that before.

10 Year Anniversary Tanvii.com

It has taken us a good decade to learn each other's, preferred way of communication, habits, quirks, and trigger points. This is not to say that we will never "fight" again but we would find our way back to each other ... sooner than later! 

You can catch us in our live banter below. 

Photography via Drishti By Tania Chatterjee

Boutique Hotel In Old Town: The Alexandrian, Autograph Collection

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 1 

Usually, because we have the luxury of traveling anytime we want, we choose the off-peak season to travel around the world and spend the summer around the DMV area doing road trips and staycations. One of the things on my checklist this summer was to spend a weekend in Old Town Alexandria. 

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 2 

We decided to stay at the The Alexandrian, Autograph Collection. The Alexandrian is a wonderful boutique hotel away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is right on King Street, which makes it an ideal location. There is plenty of street parking available or you can park at the garage for $32/day. 

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 8

We were blown away by the decor and vibe of the hotel and it's rooms. It is definitely not your cookie-cutter hotel room decor. We stayed in the deluxe room which was spacious and the beds were comfortable. I loved the toiletries and the amenities available. There is 24/7 coffee, tea, and water service in the hotel lobby which was quite nice.

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 10 

On Saturday where is a farmer's market right around the corner from the hotel. We walked all around the old town, enjoying the brick roads and the colored doors. There is a free-trolley which runs up and down the King's Street from 10AM - 10PM but we much preferred to walk. 

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 11 

The staff at the hotel was exceptionally friendly and efficient. One of the evenings we were at the National Harbor and needed someone to feed the parking meter for us, as the App wasn't working for some reason. I called the hotel and they were kind enough to help me out as a favor. 

The Alexandrian Tanvii.com 12

We had the most wonderful weekend in the Old Town and the highlight was our stay at the Alexandrian. I cannot recommend this property enough. If you want great accommodations right in the middle of Old Town, this is the hotel for you.


Wise Beyond My Years

One of the re-occurring compliments I receive is that I am "wise beyond my years". It makes me smile. It makes me feel good about myself. Scratch that. It actually makes me thankful for having my parents, as my parents. They must have done things right and given me the tools to think for myself. I always share the compliment with them. My mom is often indifferent to it, but my Dad smiles along with me. But the purpose of this post, is not to praise my parents or to gloat about my compliments. It is about the afterthought I have post receiving the compliment.

I am 35. How wise am I supposed to be? What is the appropriate ratio of wise-ness to age? Who decides how wise a person should be at a given age? These are the questions I ponder over (but never ask anyone, of course). 

It is rather ironic that I should get wiser before the required age (which no one knows what it is supposed to be) because in all other areas of life, I have rather been a late bloomer. You see, I learnt how to do make up and style hair (besides blow drying them or wrapping the up in a bun) exactly two years back. I found 'my' style about a year back. I became the person I was supposed to be post 30 and I just got comfortable in my skin.

I often look back at my 20s and realize, 'O boy I was so naive!'. I am 99% certain that I will look back ten years from now and still think I was naive. I am still learning how to get 'smart' about people and how not to let people use me or take me for granted. Learning to say no (i.e. this) and choosing to spend time with fewer but kinder people has been step one in that process. And I have no idea what step two should be, but I will share with you as soon as I have figured it out. But as always, I digress ... what I am saying it that while I love the compliment, its meaning and relevance is lost on me.

Moving on to the outfit, this was one of my favorite days from our Malta trip. We spent the afternoon exploring the island of Gozo. I was wearing this stylish-light-flowing wrap dress from Yetunde Sarumi over a rather casual outfit. This layering made all the difference to my look. Do check out Yetunde Sarumi's collection. She is a DMV based designer whose trade signature lies in the delicate combination of elegance and class with bold African prints. I can't wait to incorporate this maxi in my looks this fall but for now enjoy the pictures and 

Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com
Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com Yetunde Sarumi Maxi Tanvii.com
Maxi - c/o Yetunde Sarumi // Same
Shorts - Miss Sixty // Similar
Shoes - Rackroom // Obsessed
Sunglasses - c/o Foster Grant // Similar



How To Fight Blah Days

How To Fight Blah Days

Right before my trip to Malta, I had one of the most distressed weeks. Starting with this saree, which everyone loved so much. It actually got spoilt the very same day as the shoot. After the shoot I had gone for a meal at a restaurant. The seat where I sat had been stuck together via duct tape and the glue and the color from the tape got stuck to my saree and in spite to several attempts refuses to come off. After the dry cleaner returned it to me, I legit sat in the car and cried for good 30 minutes for that saree

The following day, after lunch, I was working and needed to get some information off my back-up drive. When I plugged it into my computer it refused to load. After several attempts I gave up. I went to several tech-repair centers, all of which said that the information cannot be retrieved and even if they tries if would cost thousands of dollars. So as of now I have lost a decade worth of data and I am trying to not break down while writing this post.

It doesn't end yet ... keep reading! 

The day after the hard drive incident I received an email from British Airways that our flight to Malta had been cancelled and we would have to rebook for the next day. We were flying two days before our anniversary, so that we would be there ON our anniversary. Now taking the flight a day later would have meant that spend our 10th Anniversary in air and I was not okay with that. Thankfully my husband dealt with that crisis and after a million calls and hours spent on hold, we got our desired date of departure. 

[ Related: How To Cope With Stress

After 24 hours of long journey (door to door) we made it to Malta, but our bags didn't. Thankfully, they did make it the next day and things got back on track there on. But a person like myself, who suffers from anxiety it was extremely challenging to keep my sh*t together. I was trying to keep my head straight while making sure all my work engagements had been met before my trip.

I am not always successful at being patient, but with some tools at my disposal I have learnt how to deal with short-term adversity. Here's what I did to calm myself down:   

How To Fight Blah Days
Take A Bath
1. I was never really a bath person, until a few months back. I always thought the bath tub was such a waste of space. But now, whenever I am having a rough day, I take 20 minutes out of my day (morning or evening) run the bath, pop a bath bomb in and get inside while listening to music or an audio book. I keep a clock near by so that I don't lose track of time. Just 20 minutes make SUCH a difference. Now I love my bath tub!

How To Fight Blah Days
Read A Book
2. As I mentioned in my post last week, I have been reading like a maniac. I read everyday but if I feel I need a break, first thing I do is keep all technology aside, cut off from social media, grab a book (or magazine) and spend sometime like good-ole-days. Reading is hands down my best friend. 

Hanro of Switzerland Tanvii.com 7
3. Although, I am ashamed to say I have not been meditating regularly this year, but I do meditate for 10-15 minutes on a stressful day. There is no method to my meditation except set a calming environment, light a incense stick, close my eyes and try and remove all thoughts and focus on a single point behind my eyes. 

Fitness Tanvii.com
4. Working out is the answer to all my problems. That and drinking water. Good endorphins are my elixir of life. A strenuous workout is also a way for me to exhale all my stress, aggression and negativity out.

How do you fight the blah days?


Travel Logistics: Panama

Panama Tourism Tanvii.com

Before I visited Panama, I did not know much about the country. I have a college friend who is from Panama, but you know you never really talk about history and culture when you are in college. 

This year we booked a trip to Panama as my birthday celebration and decided to explore it without any pre-planned trips or itineraries. While we are glad we did that, I am certain not everyone travels on a whim. Should you require any tips on what to expect in Panama then this is the post for you. 

Seven Logistics To Plan Your Panamanian Getaway: 

You can also checkout my vlog, if you would rather watch than read. 

1. Expense + Currency 
Panamanian currency Balboa is US dollar equivalent, which I didn't know. Hence you do not lose any money in exchange and can use US dollars for all you purchases. Panama offered food and living at all price points, luxury and budget both. While you have options for street food as well as fast food, if you decided to go to a restaurant you could have a meal for two starting at $30 (one appetizer + two main courses).

2. Transportation
Downtown area has a metro, but it does not connect the whole city or the Old Town. As a visitor you would be more interested in checking out the beaches, Panama canal, and such for which you would either require a tour bus, a taxi/cab or rent a car. We chose to rent a car. Finding street parking can be difficult but you can valet for $5 for the whole day. 

[ Related : Metropolitan Nature Park, Panama

3. Language
Everyone in Panama only speaks Spanish, and english is not widely spoken or understood, except for at hotels and restaurants. While we were able to get by with a few broken sentences, I would suggest if you can then brush up on some basic Spanish.

4. Food
The Panamanian cuisine is mostly meat and seafood and since I am a vegetarian I did not eat any authentic food. Having said that, there were enough options from all cuisines around the city and I had no trouble finding delicious food. In fact, I had some of the best meals in that 3 day weekend.

5. Internet + Wifi
I do not know if this was unique to us, but we were unable to find steading internet anywhere in the city. Not via hotel, our own mobile roaming, or even Skyroam which I use everywhere I travel. 

[ Related : Colors of Casco Viejosho ]
6. People
Friendly people make the trip that much more memorable, isn't it? We found everyone in Panama to be helpful and kind even though we only communicated with actions (due to language barrier).

7. Safety
I had heard about crime in Panama, which I am sure it exists but we did not have any bad experience. There was heavy Police patrolling in Casco Viejo but that only makes me feel safer. 

Pictures were taken around the Old Town
Panama Tourism Tanvii.com Panama Tourism Tanvii.com Panama Tourism Tanvii.com Panama Tourism Tanvii.com Panama Tourism Tanvii.com Panama Tourism Tanvii.com
Cape - All Saints // Similar
Tank -  Another
Bralet - Nordstrom // Similar
Sunglasses - Ray Ban // Similar
Shorts - Free People // Similar
Slides - India // Similar



Personal Appearance Matters

Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com

Ever since I started blogging, I have come across my fair share of people who do not hesitate to tell me that they 'don't care about fashion much'. I usually smile and ignore. That is how I deal with most things in life, because I have learned that no one really cares for a response. But I digress. What I actually wish I could say to them was it's okay to not care about fashion or clothes. But you must care about your personal appearance. Not just for the external reasons or what others would "think" about you but because what you wear and the way you look affects: 
  1. the way you think,
  2. the way you feel,
  3. the way you behave, and then
  4. the way others react or respond to you.

If your appearance didn't truly matter to you then you would actually be roaming the streets naked (and that is fine too!). But if you choose to wear clothes then might as well make an effort.

[ Related: Travel Vlogs ] 

Moving on to the outfit, I am wearing a simple tunic dress. It was one of the many light-cotton-dresses I took on my week long trip to Malta. This was our first day and we were off to explore Valletta. More about Malta to follow in the coming weeks.

[ Related: Travel Outfits

 Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com Printed Tunic Dress Tanvii.com
Dress - Sold Out // Similar
Slide Ons - c/o Shoedazzle // Similar
Bag - Prada // Same
Sunglasses - Ted Baker // Another



Books I Have Read This Year

Books I Have Read This Year 2017 Tanvii.com

This has been a good reading year. I am having so much fun with books. I am borderline addicted to reading this summer. The best part is that I enjoy reading all genres. I have no particular favorite. It just depends on my mood. And now since I am capable of having different moods at different times of the day, for the first time in my whole life, I am reading three books at one time (who am I?). I have never done that before. I was always a one-book-at-a-time-kinda-person.

 I have started enjoying long commutes because that mean I can listen to my audio book for that much longer. I am so grateful to my mother for instilling the habit of reading in me from childhood because today books are my best friends. Till I have a book in my bag I can never be bored or lonely again. Sigh! 
Now enough with my dramatics, and moving on to the books I have read + heard this year in the sequence of when I read them, starting with January ...

1. The Golden Son - Shilpi Somaya Gowda

I really enjoyed this book. The author paints a picture which is both realist and yet makes for an entertaining read. You root for Anil and his friends. I could completely relate to his plight of not feeling at home both in India or America. For more watch my vlog here

2. An Unsuitable Boy - Karan Johar

This is easily a passable read. Poorly written and edited. For being a memoir it shares nothing that you already don't know barring a few pages. For more watch my vlog here

This was a heart-warming read. The first, Paris for One, is the length of a novella while the others are all short stories. It would be perfect to read on a trip, as it is easy to pick up and put down between the short stories. This is only the second book I have read of Jojo Moyes (first was Me Before You) and I found it extremely relatable. Can't wait to read her other books. 

4. What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty 

I was on a waitlist for this book t my library for forever. It was never available. Speaks to it's popularity. Once I did get my hands on it, I couldn't keep it down. I enjoyed the story, the pace of the book and the characters. It was humorous, uplifting and an enjoyable with the right balance of heartache and mystery.

5. Three Wishes - Liane Moriarty

One thing you might not know about me is that when I like a author, I end up reading all his/her present and previous work. That is what I have been doing with Liane Moriarty. This was her first book (written in 2005) and yet the characters seemed well developed and I could relate to all three sisters and had started to understand how they think and behave. This had a similar style to her other books, were a big public event happens, and the details are slowly revealed. The story is both funny and heartwarming!

6. Khullam Khulla - Rishi Kapoor

Sigh! Another memoir from Hindi Movie actor. I was expecting big things from this book, as Rishi Kapoor is known to be blunt and straight forward. While the book is quite unapologetic about whatever happened in his career, his personal life or in the lives of people around him. However, again it is a poorly written and edited book. And after reading these memoirs I am convinced that most people in the Hindi movie industry and self centered and all-about-themselves. 

7. Essentialism - Greg McKeown

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.

This book convinced me that I am on the right path. Earlier this year I changed the way I see and do things and after reading this book, I am more than committed to stick to my new principles. If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, if could benefit from this book. The book itself though, could have been a lot shorter to be more effective. 

I am not an Amy Schumer fan, but I have always appreciate her honesty and straight-forwardness. While this is definitely not a 'must-read' or anything path breaking but I enjoyed listening to her life anecdotes. I better understand why she is, the way she is. If you are looking for a easy audio book, for while you are out on a walk or a driving, this would do. 

9. Year of Yes - Shonda Rhimes 

I had heard good things about this book from everyone who had read it, so I decided to give it a shot. I found the book and Shonda's perspective positive and encouraging. She tries to show a small change in behavior and trying new things can open doors to new possibilities and opportunities. Her writing is funny and gives food for thought. She is very honest about herself and the choices she makes in her life. Having said that while I liked the message behind this book, I didn't quite enjoy the writing. It was repetitive and I wanted to to get to the point already.

10. Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari 

I found it to be a complete waste of my time. All I gained from this book was the relief that, "Thank God! I am not dating!" It sure sounds quite a lot of hard work now. Other than that this seems like an essay (rather a long essay) on the ups and downs of dating in this decade.

11. My Not So Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella

Hit play here, to hear my views. 

12. Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This is the only book I have read twice. Voluntarily. Hit play here, to hear my views. 

13. The Rumor - Elin Hilderbrand

This is the book I am read right now and I am on the last chapter. It is an easy breezy summer read. Nothing that would stay with you, but intriguing enough for you to keep going. I cannot wait to checkout other books from this author. 

Another book, I am listening to while driving (and or waiting). Will keep you posted on what I think. 

15. First Comes Love - Emily Giffin

I have loved most of Emily's work. I started reading her books back in 2007 and have read them all ever since. I am three chapters in and so far so good. 


What is everyone reading? I would love to know! 

If you are on Goodreads, you can follow me there and we can keep up with each other. I am following everyone who follows me back because I am hungry to know what everyone read. 


What Is In My Weekend Travel Bag

Renew Life Tanvii.com
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Thank you Renew Life® Digest Smart Enzymes for sponsoring this post.

This summer has been all about weekend getaways. Luckily the weather over the weekends has been warm and sunny which is ideal for exploring and activities. However, what comes before these frequent weekend getaways is frequent packing and planning. If you have been around for a while you know my love for both - packing AND planning. In today’s post I am sharing with you - what is in my weekend travel bag.

Travel-size sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. I always have this stocked at home. If I run out of something on a trip, I refill it as soon as I am back home to avoid last minute errand runs.

Renew Life Tanvii.com

Of course this changes with season but right now I am all about maxi dresses, flat slip-ons, swimsuits and hats.

Renew Life Tanvii.com

As a blogger and social media influencer I rarely ever travel without my laptop and camera. Along with them comes cords, batteries, and such.

First Aid Kit
I always carry a small first aid kit which has band-aids, cotton swabs, a few pain killers etc.


Books are my constant companions. While I have embraced audiobooks for road trips, I still prefer a physical book when it comes to ‘reading’.

Renew Life Tanvii.com

Vitamins and Medicines

I try and not let being on-the-go affect my daily habits of taking vitamins and supplements for skin, hair, and health. One other thing I carry with me is Renew Life® Digest Smart Enzymes. Traveling means often eating too much processed food which leaves me feeling uncomfortable. Occasional bloating and indigestion are definitely not good travel companions.

Renew Life® Digest Smart Enzymes contain 25 plant-based, raw enzymes which help provide powerful digestive support when you need it most. They are available at health food stores, grocery, and drugstores. You can learn more about Digest Smart Enzymes and the full line of Renew Life® supplements here.


Thank you Renew Life Digest Smart Enzymes for sponsoring this post. * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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