Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shawl Season

Nothing much to talk about these days, other than the cold weather and I don't want to start my 'how harsh this winter is' rant, 'cause I know by now, you and I, have been bored hearing about it! One good thing about this weather is that, I have started putting in a lot of thought in dressing-up. Basically, different ways to perk up the same old sweater, pull-over look and also staying right on track of my shopping ban and reinventing theme. There are not a lot of occasions these days to go out and seriously speaking, I am not in a mood to shop in this dreary weather. So well, saving money has been a pro of this harsh winter season (same cannot be said for the heating bills, I am sure :))

Anyhow, cold weather calls for cozy accessories. A floral shawl is a perfect accessory to the same old sweater-and-jeans look. I bought this shawl from my trip to Dalhousie last year. The shops there are stocked with luxurious pashminas in vibrant colors, right enough to ban the cold-weather blues. For all you based out of India, there are pashminas available readily in department stores these days. Throw on a supple cashmere scarf for a polished pop of color.

Well, in today's post I wanted to style the pashmina, and show different ways to wrap it. The second one - over the shoulder- has to be my fave.....what's yours?

Van Heusen sweater | Express jeans | Payless pumps | Shawl from Dalhousie, India

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Blogger Meetup

Shruti and I met up one of the weekends for a late brunch (more like late lunch but since it was a Sunday we decided to call it brunch). Shruti teams up with Richa, her sister, to write at Urban Mantra, which is one of my favorite lifestyle blogs. The sisters describe their fashion, food, travel and their experiences from two happening cities on the east coast - NYC and DC!

We share similar interests in food, travel and fashion and so majority of the time was spent filling in each other about travels to home, travels in US, Doonya fitness, Bollywood, best places to eat in DC, brands, fashion, and weather of course :) All this was in between gulping down fresh margaritas and savoring authentic Mexican food at Oyamel in Penn Quarter part of DC. If you are in DC, do take a trip to Oyamel for yummy Mexican food served tapas-style. It's part of Chef Jose Andres group of restaurants, and they are quite famous for their appetizer servings (another fave is Jaleo that we visited for J's birthday dinner).

Anyhoo, weather being so fickle and cold these days, I opted for tights, booties and a printed dress to give myself a cheery-feel! A bubble necklace and statement ring completed the look. Though most of the time I was wrapped in the black wool-coat and scarf around my neck, but that doesn't stop me from sharing my outfit of the day with you, right? :)

Target Dress | Bubble necklace from Groopdealz | Booties from TJ Maxx | Ring from Francesca's  

Shruti and I on the colorful sofa at Oyamel

Margaritas, Tacos (chicken, fish and mushroom) and Garlicky shrimp

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter Cravings

Today I decided to give you an insider's look into what eating-in in winter looks like. It mainly comprises of carbs..loads of them actually, and some hot chocolate and doses of caffeine in between and then more carbs again. Adding on to the winter-weight, blame the weather!

There's something about this weather that makes you super-hungry without stepping outside. And when you are in snowed-in for days, nothing warms up the heart like a big bowl of soupy deliciousness.

So here goes my winter-food diary!

 Nothing more comforting than digging in a bowl of Spicy and Garlicky Dal-Khichadi! Also, it's easy to make and with ingredients right at home. 

 Some left-over paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and potato mixture stuffed in-between two loaves of bread and toasted to perfection with generous amounts of ooey-gooey cheese..lip-smacking to say the least!

 Good ol' Idli, sambar and chutney..breakfast and lunch rolled into one big bowl! I used to think making idlis is a lot of work and preferred making dosas over them. But this time around, my views changed. Idlis are actually easier to make and both of us can sit down for the meal at the same time (and not when one of us is busy at the stove top making dosas) 

A bowl of hot and warming Potato chowder! Yes. More. Carbs. It's been a harsh winter, people! 
This soup was actually a last minute idea. It's a pot with some spices, potatoes, cream and all of it blended together. I do add brocolli or cauliflower if it's available. I serve it with toasted baguette or bread sticks. 

And to keep me going in the day, copious amounts of caffeine. I am drinking Hot Italian Mocha (my absolute fave) in an actual ceramic cup at Nordstrom Cafe. Starbucks is so over-rated, I tell you! 

So..what have you been gorging on? 

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow and The City

We are having a really harsh winter this year and it's been all over the news lately. Right from people in cafe shops to grocery stores, everybody's chanting the 'How we hate the winter' song! I mean it's making headlines all over the world..almost all of the US is snowed in every weekend or the other (and I am not talking about the Calfornians here).

As a fashion blogger or let alone as a normal person, stepping outside house has become a cranky task. The cabin fever is real people! And it has hit everyone of us on the east coast. Other than binge TV-series watching on Netflix or HBO GO, and gorging on some much-needed carbs nothing keeps going on the weekends.

Well, lucky me, this weekend we met some of our friends for lunch. Much needed socializing in this snowy weather. I took inspiration from one of my fave fashionable TV-series and now a movie - Sex and The City. Carrie Bradshaw dresses up in this somber colors with a pop of scarlet red around her neck. A sweater and a scarf is pretty much the uniform now so getting more creative in it, is an added bonus for dressing up. Booties, neon-striped gloves and a puff-coat completed the look.

P.S.: Shooting in the snow was fun until I took of the puff-coat. Then it was like, let's just get it over and and get in the car :P

P.P.S.: My neon-striped gloves and techno-friendly. What it really means is that, I can access and use my iphone's touchscreen without taking them off! Whoever thought of it and made them is simply a genius!

V-Neck sweater and Puff-coat Banana Republic | Red knitted scarf LOFT | Booties TJ Maxx | 
Techno-friendly gloves TARGET

We went on a stroll by the frozen lake on our way back; scenic as it looks it was super-windy and chilly. But we had some fun pelting snows-stones on the lake and seeing them slide by!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mixing Metallics -- NYE Style

Lately I have been thinking of a vision for my blog. It started out as a more of personal style diary to document my experiments with daily wear fashion. How-I-wore and what-I-wore were my go-to elements in the blog post. This has immensely helped me in re-defining my style and upping the ante for my personal office and weekend style.

But now I want to consciously move on from daily personal style to more about to reinvent the wardrobe. I am going to hit the pause button for this month when it comes to shopping for clothes (let's see how that goes!) Lately I have realized I have some good tops/dresses just waiting to paired newly to make a fresh outfit/look. You can say this is a result of playing dress up one fine Sunday afternoon (I highly recommend if you want to reinvent your wardrobe). I have some clothes in mint condition with tags on. So well, that's the end of story, stop shopping and start reinventing!

And since we were talking about clothes hanging in the closet with tags on them, the bright beautiful burgundy colored sequin top was one of them, and so was the skirt. I got them during the Thanksgiving sale in 2012. The sequin top was definitely for the 2013 NYE dinner which I did not end up wearing...well, which meant it was up for 2014 NYE party. I have mixed metallic shades here - Gold and Silver - which is again a first for me. I think if done rightly, it just looks fab.

This is one of the last posts from my throwback mode. I gave a shot at styling my ever-straight hair. I used a flat iron to curl the ends so that they don't fall flat and a cute gold clip was perfect hair-accessory to keep the hair away from my hair while I was grooving to the bolly-hits.

The Limited Top and Skirt | DKNY Watch | 
| J.crew Belt (seen here) and Bracelet | Necklace Gift from Mum-Dad |

On my Face: MAC Studio Fix (reviewed here)
On my Eyes: Eyeconic Kajal, REVLON Diamond Lust eyeshadow, NARS Mascara
(all products reviewed here)

I am eager to start a segment on the blog that will help me and you to see if a top/dress/skirt/bottoms can be styled multiple ways. I am sure there can be many more ways but lets keep it to a limit of five, hopefully that's a number I can reach for every item in my closet.

Additionally, I would love to lend a helping hand to my readers. If you have any styling questions, please feel free to shoot me an email. I hope to decode them for you. You can write to me via email, Tweet me, Facebook me or leave your questions here right on the blog.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Manicure Moods

Nowadays I have been more creative how I paint my nails..I mean put more thought into it more than ever. I have quite like experimenting with colors, manicure styles and sometimes I do a nail art on my ring finger and forfeit that 5$ bill. 

Sometimes my mood dictates the colors I want to play with - its all bright and colorful in summer, sparkly in the holiday season and sometimes I play with the blues and browns when its morose outside.

So here you go, some of successful experiments with nails and colors..

 Manicure inspired from one of my summer outfits

 Feeling the 'blues'!

Black and Orange: Nail-art for a Halloween partayy!

Bright colors are perfect for nails in summer!

Pastels for a subtle manicured look! Sometimes less is more, no? 

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Emerald Tones

We celebrated J's budday with pomp last month. It was a weekday plus a cold and chilly one; but that did not stop us from having some fun. Actually lots of fun!

The birthday evening was spent in three parts, first up was tapas style early dinner at his fave Spanish place - Jaleo, followed by Whiskey tasting at a pub that stocked the poison from around the world and then ended the evening at a fancy lounge club with another cake-cutting, compliments of the club. It was a fun night, and for one moment we forgot the cold, and windy weather outside while we collected the warm fuzzy memories of the night!

I wore a bright emerald dress; was kinda looking forward to buying one and got a perfect one at Target. The blazer is from Target too. I was happy that finally I got to flaunt my new watch! The Birthday-Boy looked dapper in a Banana Republic blazer and a Van Heusen shirt.

Makeup wise, I tried something different. I got a eyeshadow palette with green tones, and went with nude-colored lips. I am so used to trying on a dark color, mostly in red or pink tones, on my lips that it kinda felt different to me. I don't know if it suits me, what do you think?

Target Emerald Green Dress and Blazer | J. Crew Necklace and Belt 

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Monday, February 3, 2014

'Make-up' your face - Part 3 - Lip-sticks and Lip-care

This is the third installment of the 'Makeup' your face series. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for reviews on foundations/primers and eye make-up products.

Well, today it's all about lipcare, lipcolors/lipsticks and lipgloss. I am not much experimental when it comes to lipstick shades. Maroons, dark reds, dark pinks are my go-to colors. I must admit though that, inspired by Snighdha's beauty and makeup related you-tube videos, lately I have started to try out bright pinks and reds. I wasn't sure if the bright colors would suit my Indian skin tone but after giving them a dry-run, they are now one of my favorite lip-colors. The brighter hues instantly add a fresh dose of color to the face; they are a quick and easy way to look fresh without all the layers of makeup.

My lipstick-n-lipcare collection is a fair mix of drug-store brands and high-end brands. The expensive ones are definitely feel more luxurious on the lips and the hues are dark and rich. The drug-store brands are quite competitive when it comes to colors and texture but the best part is that I get to try different colors without stretching my budget.

So, moving on to my lipstick collection, Black cherry (477) from REVLON SUPER LUSTROUS lipsticks range, is my current fave. It's on the darker side of lip-color, but the rich pigment and moisturizing quality of the lipstick is one I vote for.
I absolutely love the hot-pink (Sorbet) color of the REVLON ColorBurst Lip Butter, but I am not a great fan of the texture which is sorta grainy and uneven. It doesn't stay on longer too. I am quite looking forward to trying a different brand in the same color.
The Extreme Spice in the L'Oreal Endless collection, is another favorite of mine, mainly 'cause of the beautiful red color. It's not too bright of a red and not a dark maroon; somewhere in between which goes well with my skin-tone.
The Chambor Maroon-plus (315), that I got during one of my trips to India, is one of my go-to lip-colors, and I am quite in love with the moisturizing balm-like feel of the lipstick.

I am not much into using lip-glosses daily. The ones I have used in the past, were super glossy, and sticky! And to add to my woes, when the wind blows, my hair usually get stuck with mess I tell you! I don't like the shiny-lip look, better go with just plain old lip-balm instead of all the glitter on my lips. 

But, not a long time ago, one of my ex-colleagues gifted me an Estee Lauder Pure Color gloss in Impulsive Coral. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a non-glitter lip-gloss for day-time use; it's smooth and non-shiny plus, no sticky business.

The LAKME Aqua shine lip color is something I swear-by! The color is so rich, shiny but not-over-the-top, and luxurious on the lips. I got it a couple of years back, and then again this last time on my trip back home. It is my go-to lipstick for party or night-outs, simply gorgeous I tell you!

I am also trying out the MAC lipglass and the REVLON ColorBurst lip-gloss in Hot Pink (010) color. Both of them are not super glossy and sticky and so are very much to my liking!

For lip care, I use the regular lip chap-stick in the day and Nivea cream, before going to bed, as a moisturizer. More recently, I tried the Clinique chubby stick in strawberry which is more like a lip-stain. It is absolutely a must-have and highly recommended; the soft balm on lips with a hint of color is what I use daily, while grocery shopping, working out, or if I am going out for a quick dinner-and-drinks, etc.

These days I am also giving a go at REVLON ColorStay Ultimate Suede in 085 color; basically it's a bright-red hue. I am not sure yet if I like it, need to give it a couple of more tries. Also, in my try-out list is the LAKME Absolute LipTint in the Wine Punch color. Lakme came out with this line last year as part of the Lakme Fashion Week.

So there was my lipsticks and lip-care in general, do you have any favorites or recommendations? Do share them in the comments below.

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