We had the most wonderful time in Turkey recently – Istanbul and Cappadoccia were just as beautiful as we’d imagined and more! Turkey was a delight indeed. Here we share with you our week-long adventure in pictures:
Every morning the sun rises along with around a hundred hot air balloons
The sunsets here are just as spectacular
Cave dwellings are scattered all over the Cappadoccian landscape among the unique natural rock formations. 
Some of these ancient cave houses continued to be occupied up till the 1950s

Don't let the pigeon-hole like exterior fool you, the interior of these caves can be so mindbogglingly amazing, like the hallway of this ancient cave church
Local vendors hawking spices, nuts and nectarines - love their choice of words to entice customers!

We can strike one more item off our bucket list 
now that we've visited the Aya Sophia

  No tour of Turkey is ever complete without going to the Blue Mosque either 

The interior of the Blue Mosque is awe inspiring, to say the least 
We haggled for spices, sweets and souvenirs and busted our budgets at the bustling Spice Bazaar
The Old City skyline from atop our Sultanahmet hotel terrace at sunset
Decorative boats selling yummy fish sandwiches (balik ekmek) at the Eminonu dock on the Golden Horn
Close-up of a fish sandwich boat - too nice not to post
The Bosphorus Bridge connects the European and Asian sides of Turkey
The Ortakoy waterfront which directly overlooks the Bosphorus was the perfect place to wind down as we concluded our activities-packed trip


Not surprisingly (and we totally saw this coming), response to Jovian Mandagie’s Aidilfitri collection must have been so good that recently on September 17th, despite being barely out of the month of Syawal, he’s already launched a Jovian RTW Aidil Adha Collection which is available for pre-order now on Thepoplook.com! Prices range between RM360-400, which is pretty decent compared to what he would normally charge for his bespoke and couture pieces. So those of you who missed out the last time, here’s your chance! According to the website, items will be shipped out by October 21st. You’d better hurry though – many of the designs have already sold out!


Just a little Public Service Announcement for our readers:

Not one but two H&M outlets will open in Malaysia very soon!

The Lot 10 outlet will officially open its doors in all its 36,000 square foot splendour on September 22nd 2012, followed suit by a 17,000 square foot outlet in Shah Alam's latest shopping hotspot Setia City Mall in the last quarter of this year.

“We are excited to finally open H&M here in Malaysia and to be expanding within the South East Asian market. H&M has always been about making fashion and quality at the best price and we look forward to bringing something new and exciting to Kuala Lumpur,” said Lex Keijser, Country Manager for H&M Greater China, Singapore and Malaysia.  Mr. Keijser, all we can say is that we're extremely excited too, and from the utmost depths of our hearts, thank you!

The Swedish retailer's debut collection in KL will be from their 2012 Autumn/Winter collection and we're really loving the value proposition of their items. Check out http://www.hm.com/my to see what we mean. Definitely a great place to get good deals on trendy and basic separates. And oh, now we have at least a better chance of  being able to get our hands on H&M's hugely succesful capsule collections by famous designers such as Lanvin, Karl Largerfeld, and Versace rather than just reading about it on the internet.

   Lana Del Ray fronting H&M's Fall/Winter 2012 campaign

Mark your calendars ladies!

This weekend, ChiChi and I will be off to Turkey for some holiday time with our spouses sans the kids. This 'minimoon' of sorts is something we've been wanting to do for many years but have not had a chance to until now. We are also particularly excited about this trip because this will be our first-ever visit there. We will be visiting Istanbul and Cappadoccia in the central Anatolia region and we are really looking forward to experiencing the spectacular sights, the famous Turkish hospitality, the glorious food and the shopping, of course!
Given my tendency to overpack, I always give myself a few days to put together the ideal packing list for a versatile and appropriate holiday wardrobe (gotta look good for 'em precious Kodak moments now). For me at least, it takes time to whittle down selections and edit stuff out. The good news this time around is that it’s going to be easier to pack a little lighter since we won’t be travelling with the little ones and all the paraphernalia that come with them. The not-so-good news is that for packrats like me old habits die hard, but I'm confident that there's hope for me yet. Whatever the case, the following items will definitely be coming with me to Turkey:

Hermes Evelyne GM - this cross-body bag is a relatively recent purchase, or rather, investment, and it is just perfect for sight-seeing trips: keeps the hands free, weighs practically next-to-nothing yet can hold everything including the kitchen sink with room to spare. Ok, so I may be exaggerating on the kitchen sink bit but you get the picture. Major love!

Brooks Brothers cashmere wrap - I've had this seasonless light-as-a-tissue cashmere wrap forever and I hardly ever leave home for my travels without it.  It accesorises outfits, acts as a warm blanket on the plane, takes hardly any space in the handbag and doesn't wrinkle! It's also gonna be useful as a headscarf when visiting the numerous houses of worship in Istanbul.

Tom Ford aviators - for when it's bright outside, baby!

Timberland Earthkeepers Maeslin wedges - I imagine we'll be exploring on foot a lot so this  weatherproof walking attire with  its leather uppers and lightweight wedges (style and height? check.), treaded rubber soles and anti-fatigue technology (support and comfort? check.) seems like a sensible choice for a sightseeing shoe. These wedges have been a part of my warm weather travel arsenal eversince I bought them. ChiChi's got a pair too! Btw, Timberland's Earthkeepers collection, which only recently made it to our shores, is an eco-friendly line where products are made with natural and recycled materials. Totally worth checking out your nearby Timberland outlet for.

...and last but not least, the Ipad - primarily for precious Facetime sessions with the kids.
Reese Witherspoon's casual style is my go-to for inspiration as I continue to deliberate on wardrobe choices for this trip. Her classic, practical and emulate-able chioces have given me plenty of great ideas: