Month: February 2017

Safe Travels In India: Our Top Tips For First Timers

unspecified-949 unspecified-948 unspecified-947 unspecified-945 Breathtaking, beautiful, bamboozling India: a country where we spend many glorious weeks each year, meeting with our suppliers and discussing our various product ranges. Spring is such an amazing time to visit India, so just in case you’re heading off there for the first time sometime soon, we thought we’d share out top five travel tips which have been so helpful to us over the years. It can be an overwhelming, sometimes daunting place to visit..but it’s magical too. Read on..

  1. Be realistic about what you can achieve during your trip and don’t try to cram too much in to your visit. Seeing places slowly means you’re less stressed and you’ll gain a far greater, deeper understanding of the land and its people.
  2. An iron clad constitution you may well have, but remember the tap water is never ever safe for drinking. Bottled is always best ( avoid singing in the shower too). And play safe by only eating fruits that you’ve peeled yourself. Avoid salad and ice cream too. And if you do have issues..and need to rehydrate.. remember it’s half a level teaspoon of salt and 6 level teaspoons sugar to 1 litre of clean water.
  3. Hand sanitiser is a great idea and use frequently particularly after climbing in and out of cars and tuk tuts or after handling money.
  4. We always stick to a pure vegetarian diet when we’re in India. Not only is it unbelievably delicious but undercooked veg is never going to be quite as harmful as undercooked meat. If you’re eating out head to the restaurants or street stalls that are heaving with locals (always the best barometer as far as hygiene standards go)
  5. Be courteous and always ask permission before taking someone’s photograph. More often than not the subject will be extremely jovial and highly delighted with your request..but not always. Frustrations boil up easily in India.. but so often can be avoided.

So there we go! And our final tip: check out Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. We live by them. Each book is cloth bound and hand made in India and is essential reading for any visitor planning a trip to India. These guides detail all manner of local recommendations far from the tired tourist path. For those who search for the authentic.

Fiona’s Love Travel guides are available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

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Fiona Caulfield’s ‘Love Travel’ guides. Essential reading for those heading to India.

 

 

 

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Go Colourful

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Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:

  1. Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos:  take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
  2. Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
  3. Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
  4. If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
  5. Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!

There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.

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A Good Night’s Sleep. Not As Easy As It Sounds..

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It may be essential for energy, health and a lifetime of happiness but getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. When it comes to proper shut eye, we all know we’re supposed get plenty of good sleep and avoid snoozing, but sadly for most of us it’s not always easy.. and often, the harder you try to still your mind and count the sheep, the worse it gets. So read on: perhaps some, or all of the following, may just help you get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Sniff lavender: the calming scent will help you relax and bring on the zzzzzs by decreasing your heart rate and your blood pressure. And keep it dark: if your bedroom’s not a pitch black place then find a comfortable eye mask and block out any annoying light
  2. Limit your caffeine intake after 3pm and if you can, steer well clear of it after 12. Easier said than done!
  3. Eat 3 hours before you plan to head to bed. Sleep’s not easy if you’re too full or too hungry
  4. Meditate: still your mind, switch off your brain
  5. Switch off your screens too: no phones, no laptops. Light emitting from screens apparently can disrupt the production of melatonin and ruin your sleep
  6. Exercise: it will definitely help you sleep more soundly
  7. Read a good book to still your mind: let your brain know it’s time to unwind
  8. De stress, stretch out, try some yoga or simply try some progressive muscle relaxation once you’re tucked up in bed: clench your muscles for a few seconds then relax. Start at your toes and work your way up!
  9. Keep fluffy pets out of the bedroom..not easy for some..but the fewer late night disturbances the better..
  10. Last but not least: have a hot bath before bed: raise your body temperature  a degree or two and then keep your bedroom cool (around 60 degrees is ideal). Throw the window open, keep your hands and feet warm (wear socks if necessary) and keep the bedding light. A cotton sheet and a cotton quilt is great..it keeps you more comfortable and feels fabulous against your skin too.

Sleep well… And Happy Valentines Day!

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All ibbi pure Indian cotton hand block printed quilts and throws are now 25% off until Sunday 19th February 2017.

ibbi block printed eye masks arrive this Spring.

http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk