Dec 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012!

A very complicated year is coming to an end. If this post turns into ramble, feel free to only take this away - Wishing you a very happy, safe and prosperous new year!

As we all know there have been a few tragedies in 2012 -More recently -  The school shooting in Newtown and the Delhi rape incident. I have been terribly saddened by both and my heart goes out to the families affected by these horrifying incidents. As much as I go about my day, putting my mind to other things, I still end up thinking about this when I go to bed at night.

I truly hope the coming year will see changes in the legal, political and more importantly, social mindset to prevent these things from happening.

On the personal front, an advice I frequently hear from happy people is to be thankful for the things I have as opposed to whining about goals I hope to achieve. So I'm going to try and do that.
I suggest you do the same and lets meet up here and discuss the results next year.

Again, I wish you all a very happy new year!

 - Vidhya

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!  :)



Dec 16, 2012

Introducing the P&G eStore!


Hello Y'all! As you all know, I am a dentist but I have never really spoken about teeth on this site. I'm going to remedy that today. As a part of BlogHer and P&G stocking stuffer promotion, I was asked to review a P&G product I have tried. I hunted around the house looking for the brand's offerings and almost everything that I use on a regular basis seems to be from P&G - Always, Charmin, Downy, Duracell, Tide, Olay, Old Spice, Prilosec, Vicks. And the best one of all - Oral B and Crest
As an Indian dentist - I was taught that whitening is totally unnecessary unless you are a heavy tea drinker. But since coming to the US, I do feel like having bright white teeth definitely freshens up your appearance. I wanted to try something at home so that I could recommend it to many many patients who wanted to maintain the professional whitening that they had done. After some trial and error with whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes, I finally found a product that works very very well - Crest 3D white strips. 

The product is very easy to use. There are two strips - an upper and lower. The lower is smaller in size. It looks a little like clear tape. You take it off the backing slip, place it on your teeth in the front and fold over to the inside of your teeth. It covers only the front six teeth but that is enough. After thirty minutes, you peel it off, discard and rinse your mouth. 
I used this once a day for ten days and my teeth have never been whiter. Crest contains the same hydrogen peroxide used in a clinical setting but in a lesser concentration. So over time, you may be able to get satisfactory results with the white strips. Alternatively if you have undergone whitening treatment and you want to maintain the effect, this is an easy way to do it.
A few tips based on personal experience - 
1. Don't imagine you can eat and drink during the procedure. There will be a bit of foam action going on.
2. Try to do this late at night after eating and drinking is done for the day. Eating a nice red cherry or berry or drinking coffee right after treatment dulls your teeth.
3. Do it everyday over the course of a week or 10 days for truly dazzling results. 

Now to the fun part - P&G's estore is a fantastic way to save some cash while stocking up on the usual detergents, soaps, shampoos etc. 
You get free shipping oveer orders of $25.
You get free samples in every order.
AND
The store is offering a 15% off for your first order with the code - A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA

 I love that you can buy product bundles and get free gifts like the CoverGirl Mascara. I like being rewarded for my brand loyalty. Feel free to check out the estore and tell me what are your favourite P&G products. 

Dec 9, 2012

Holiday Shoes - Gold Edition

I'm totally loving the little peeks of gold that I see between all the red and green. I can never resist picking up something sparkly and I'm looking to buy a nice gold shoe that I can wear unabashedly everyday till Christmas and once in a while after! Check out some of my favourites!

Target's $19 and Forever 21 $16.80 ones are the cheap and fun option which you can always discard after getting good use out of them. I love the dressier pumps and sandals for the more daring ones who don't mind wearing something shiny on a regular day. The Sperry Top-Sider is my kind of shoe - a no-nonsense gold shoe (oxymoron).
What are you wearing specially for the holidays? Is it red,gold and green?

Dec 2, 2012

Fossil!

A quick post to update on some last minute shopping! I bought the Fossil Mini Stella watch. Atlast. I got the rhinestone studded one as opposed to the plain one because they ran out of it in the store. I bought it from Macy's. They have a 25% off sale on everything so I got the $125 watch for about $100. Still pricey but its very pretty and I heard the rose gold does not fade at all compared to the less expensive ones that I found. The watch is not available in the online store but you could get it from a Macy's store. If you want it online, buy the watch from Fossil here. Mine is the 30mm case for reference.


After hunting for comfortable underwear and trying on every style in the store, I am in love with the Body by Victoria bra wirefree version which is so soft and comfortable. A must try if you are on the hunt too. Any other suggestions are welcome as this one is pricey at $40. I got a $10 off with their reward card promo, so it cushioned it a bit.

Lastly, I bought a cute "LOVE" bracelet from a shop called Icing. Their website doesn't offer any shopping or a look at their products but if you come across the store, you should check it out. They have really inexpensive accessories that are very cute and trendy. I added a link to Amazon incase you wanted to buy it since my bracelet is very similar and the same price! Buy it here.



I will try to tweet a picture of my new "arm party" soon. In the meantime, keep the comments rolling in. I want to know which brand of underwear you think is the best. Also what did you purchase for Black Friday and for the holidays?
Oh and I am tweeting and pinning a lot more these days. So feel free to check out those pages. A lot more fun with more people around!

Dec 1, 2012

Good Bye SFO, Hello Seattle!

December is here and I'm loving the holiday spirit and the festive mood everybody seems to have. It is also time to bid good bye to my second favourite city in the world and head to hopefully a new favourite. I look forward to living in Seattle but I will tremendously miss this oddball city that was love at first sight. See you on the other side!






My hubby has the same expression as the kid nearby. That's what this place will do to you!


This is the place I loved the most in SF -  The California Academy of Sciences. Once a nerd, always a nerd!

Nov 23, 2012

Karthigai!

Karthigai is celebrated in November in Tamil Nadu to wish a very happy birthday to Lord Murugan. He happens to be my favourite God and it always cheers me up tremendously to celebrate his birthday by lighting diyas. This time however, I will be in a hotel room so though I look forward to burning some BBW candles, I will still miss the diyas. If you are here in the US and are looking to celebrate this festive season, you can find some hidden gems in unlikely places. Here are a few of my favourites from Etsy-


I really admire this creative cookie cutter. And the icing is brilliant. I always marvel at how simple an idea is and how much of a visual impact it has. Click here to buy this cookie cutter for $12.


Diyas are so pretty by themselves. But place one in the middle of this readymade rangoli and you have a masterpiece in your door step. Buy this rangoli pattern here for $28.


Worli painting is so great on a votive holder because, a painting based on silhouettes will look absolutely gorgeous when lit within, right? Buy it here for $8.23


Flickering fire on a glass lotus floating on water is just a beautiful sight to behold. Multiply it by five and you have quite the show. Buy them here for $14 each.

I'm sure you can find the traditional Indian goodies in an Indian store but I love mixing and modernising the old and new. How do you put a foreign twist on your desi traditions?

Nov 15, 2012

Just right!

Since I moved to the US, the prevalence of gigantic grandfather clocks on delicate lady wrists has always been baffling to me! Maybe I am exaggerating a bit but the boyfriend style watches are really not my thing. Still my funky watches never look great when I'm attempting to layer bangles and bracelets. So for the longest time I have been hunting for a perfect sized watch. I found not one but two watches that suit my needs perfectly.

The first would be the Michael Kors mini "Runway" watch 

The mini has a 33mm watch face which is perfect for my small wrist. I am a yellow gold type of girl but this watch looks best in rose gold one me. So if you have similar colouring to mine, I urge you to try out a rose gold watch. It looks beautiful. Buy it here for $250

This is a comparison of the mini, mid size and regular "Runway" watches. 33mm, 38m and 42mm watch faces.

The other watch that I loved and most probably am going to buy is this one - 
Its the Fossil mini Stella watch with a 30mm case. Buy it here for $115


Both watches are really beautiful and look great on darker sin tones too. And the rose gold looks great with yellow gold and silver accessories, in case you were wondering!

I would very much like to know, what watch do you have right now? And what watch are you coveting?

Nov 14, 2012

Warming up!

Hello! Hope you had a fantastic Diwali! If you follow me on twitter, you might have noticed my scented candle diyas. Its just a small indication of how much into scents I am recently.


I wanted to list a few of my favourite Bath and Body Works candles. I have walked by the store many many times always plugging my nose because the scent is just so strong. Then along came a Facebook offer for a free mini candle. And once I went in to claim that, I was flooded with more offers. So it was very clever marketing on their part. They turned me from a hater to a maybe fan.
I really love medicinal smelling or woodsy or very mild floral fragrances for the home. I absolutely hate the cranberry, cupcakey, "smell and get diabetes" ones. (Unfortunately that's exactly what my husband likes.)  If you have a preference similar to mine, you might like these  -

The stress relief eucalyptus candle is my hands down favourite. It has a strong smell and I find it so calming. On a cold day, with this scent, you can close your eyes and almost feel like you are in the Ooty hills. I swear, this is the exact scent you get. The spearmint serves to keep the eucalyptus from getting overwhelming. Buy it here for $19.50


A lot of people say Fresh Balsam smells just like a christmas tree. I don't know about that but it does smell so leafy and fresh. Definitely a must try! Buy it here for $20.00


Do you like woodsy scents and your hubs likes sweety sweets? This is the solution. The cranberry is not overwhelming and neither is the woodsy undertone. I'm still not a huge fan but its the perfect compromise! Buy it here for $19.50

And just to be different - you guys probably know that I don't drink coffee but I love, love, love the smell.  This candle was made for people like me -

Absolutely amazing coffee fragrance. Buy it here for $20.00. You can buy any of these candles in a smaller size for $10 each or minis which are 2 for $5.
I'm really curious as to what are your favourite home scents. Not just in BBW. Please tell me whatever fragrance you like. I'm eager to give it a sniff!

Nov 13, 2012

Happy Diwali!!

A very happy Diwali to all of you! Have fun and be safe on this beautiful day!


Nov 9, 2012

Crave/Save - Neon striped top Take 2

Do you guys remember the J.Crew neon top for which we found an Old Navy look-alike tunic version? Well, what do you know, Gap - Old Navy's richer cousin released a very similar look but as a sweater.

So this is the original - Its now sold out in J.Crew.


Here is the Gap version -

The Gap version has light grey stripes as opposed to black It is also a sweater with 67%acrylic and 33%Nylon. The Gap sweater also comes in blue and hot pink which feature black stripes and are available for purchase here for $49.95 with a 30% discount with the code GAPFRIENDS.
The sweater is so much better for fall/winter and the colour would just be bright enough to liven up a dreary day! I always wonder - Do you like to wear colours like hot pink and bright yellow in colder weather or do you prefer to go more muted?

Update: Thanks to Meenakshi for this tip. JC Penney has a simlar t-shirt for $16. Availabe in hot pink, neon yellow and blue! Click here to shop!


Nov 6, 2012

Home purchases!

I visited TJ Maxx for the first time this last week. They have so much pretty stuff that I had to make some  quick purchases though I had planned not to buy anything.



Both are tabletop sized and so adorable. They had the usual patterns of pink, polka dots and paris but I chose to go with these poppy patterned ones. I plan to keep our gifts and souvenirs in the chest and store my jewelry in the cute pullout drawers. The chest was on clearance for $7 and the draw were $12. Pretty cute storage options for under $20 IMO. What are your favourite haunts - online/offline to find unique stuff? I would love to find some more home stuff! Thanks for reading!

XO
V

Oct 31, 2012

OWL-nighters!

How have you guys been? Missing me? I have been rather quiet on the blogging front lately but I'm back for a bit. So lets get down and look at some shopping love before we get busy again, shall we?

I have been obsessed with owl print lately. With my chronic insomnia, the print seems apt and when my husband catches me looking at sales at 3AM, I can simply point to my tee shirt! Here are some of the pieces that I love!

The Lipstick Queen $19.50

Lovebirds - $9.99

Shady! - $9.99

$19.50

$6.80 
$12.80
Which ones do you love? Which creature from the animal kingdom has captured your imagination recently?
Also prayers for you guys affected by the superstorm Sandy. Please take care!

Oct 24, 2012

Crave/Save: Stella McCartney Damask Blouse

I love the damask patterns seen on many Stella McCartney pieces this season. This crisp white poplin shirt with a vibrant embroidered electric blue panel stuns with its drama potential!


You can buy this gorgeous shirt here for $1495. I don't know a single person who would buy a shirt for $1495 so I'm guessing, if you love this, you will also love this inspired version by H&M.


The H&M shirt is chiffon and has a print pattern as opposed to a damask embroidery but it features a beautiful blue printed collar. I do love the H&M version but the beauty of the Stella McCartney is undeniable! You can purchase this shirt for $29.95 in your local H&M store.

Most bloggers I know are taking a break and even I have cooled off a bit. Is Fall your lazy season too? I wonder how I will be in winter!

Thanks for reading!
V

Oct 17, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Remember my last attempt at making bread? Since that attempt, I have steered clear of bread since then. Last week, I at last gained courage to try out this recipe I had bookmarked. And I am so glad I did. It turned out amazing. So moist and flavorful! Some hints and ideas after the jump!




I followed the recipe by Ina Garten.

Some hints that made the job easy:

Hand mixed all the ingredients. You don't need a stand mixer.
I put the dry ingredients in a non stick kadai and then added the wet ingredients. Mixed both with a spoon with a very light hand.
As soon it forms a dough, spread a cling wrap and dump the dough on it. The dough is ridiculously sticky and this is the easiest way to mould it into a roundish shape.
After forming the ball, place it on a greased pan and flatter. Bake for a couple of minutes and then put the criss cross on the dough. It is not possible in the sticky dough.
I substituted currants with dried blueberries.
Again, I cannot stress how simple and easy this recipe is. Specially for newbie bakers like me. So let me know how this turns out if you try it.

Thanks for reading,

V

Oct 15, 2012

Outfit Post: Bleeding Blue!

I found this lone fuzzy outfit photo from when I was trying to come up with a look for the InFB Double Denim Challenge. This was not the final outfit that I had in mind. Still, this is the only picture I have of the comfy and casual denim on denim look.

Halogen chambray shirt (similar)
Jeans - Forever 21 - $10.80
Shoes - Target - $19.99
Belt - $4.80 (similar)

My look consisted of a Halogen chambray shirt with Forever 21 skinnies paired with a sunflower embellished black belt and Target leopard loafers. As I said its a casual throw on kind of look without too much fuss or dress up. I loved it and have since repeated it many times by varying the accessories and shoes. Would you do a denim on denim or in my case chambray on denim look? How would you break the all over blue?

Oct 10, 2012

Etsy Magic: Fall Themed Jewelry

Since we are surrounded by pumpkin spiced lattes and spider web  manicures in the blogging world, I wanted to share some beautiful fall themed jewelry available on Etsy. Fall themed jewelry could be a subtle way to celebrate the changing seasons without looking tacky or "jump on the trend". Here are some of my favourite pieces.

Maple leaf necklace - $55
Pumpkin necklace - $19
Pumpkin earrings - $25
Pine cone necklace - $13
Would you wear themed jewelry? Do you think that is not your style? Let me know the comments. I really want to know how many adult women would love to embrace this idea. Thanks for reading,

XO,
V

Oct 8, 2012

Pleats two ways

I put together this outfit for a visit to the zoo. I layered the neon striped tunic from Old Navy under the Jason Wu for Target pleated black skirt. I chose to wear tights because it was freezing and wore simple black flats since there was a lot of walking to do. Please excuse the dusty shoes as I had been chasing after a goat trying to brush it for half hour prior to this photo.

Far away in south bay my friend Meenakshi looked fantastic in a pretty yellow pleated skirt paired with a simple black tee and fierce leopard cap toe shoes. I love how we are both wearing the same trend and color scheme in two different ways and wanted to share it with you guys!

Old Navy striped tunic - $24.94
Black pleated skirt - Jason  Wu for Target - sold out - similar
Yellow pleated skirt - Forever 21 - sold out - similar
How are you dressing up your spring neon purchases for fall?? What other colours work great with neon?

Oct 7, 2012

Crave/Save - Quilted Boots

Hello!! How has the last week been? After a sudden couple of hot days ,its back to oh so cold here in SF and I'm, thoroughly enjoying it. This is my boot buying season and I have been looking for a twist on the classic black boot. I saw these really cute Steve Madden boots some time ago. I had two reasons to hold back from buying them - They are $199 and leather. Buy them here.

$199.95
I was very happy to see Forever 21 introduce a similar boot made from faux leather and retailing for a very reasonable $39.80. Buy it here.


Which one will you go for? What are your thoughts on buying leather as opposed to faux?

Sep 30, 2012

Marchesa nails!

An easy manicure with Julep Oscar gold glitter and E.L.F Dark Navy nail colours. Pain the nails with a dark blue shimmer and then colour only the tips with a glitter polish. Though the dress looks silver, I prefer gold. After painting the tips, drain out the polish from the brush and dot your nail with a few of the remaining glitter.

Julep Oscar - $14/E.L.F Dark Navy - $2 (similar)/ Marchesa - $7998

Sep 28, 2012

Fall trends: Jungle Chic

I'm always so excited to write these trends post. I try to keep ahead of the pack so that I can tell you guys what pieces to invest in for the coming season. FYI, I'm not going to write about "Oxblood". I mean.. what the hell is Oxblood? What happened to good old colour descriptions like "garnet red" or "wine red"? Did you know oxblood is brownish red? Blood that is brownish red - sounds appealing? sexy? As Tim Gunn said in last week's episode - "Its like a homage to the menstrual cycle". Go ahead and bust out your maroon or deep red or garnet clothes.. Its still fashionable, I assure you! No need to go looking for oxen or blood!

Coming to today's post - Jungle chic and safari chic is always in for fall. The best way to not look like a Kardashian and look sophisticated in animal print would be to pair it with with khakis and deep greens. I have included a few of my favourite pieces from Zara to show you what I mean. I have to say how much I love Zara. They know how to make a collection.  Go ahead and check out these pieces. You will love them.

Jungle Chic = Animal print + Khakis
$199
1.$59.90 / 2.$59.90 / 3.$49.90 / 4.$59.90

1.$49.90 / 2.$89.90 / 3.$99.90

Are you loving this trend as much as I am? What do you feel about "oxblood"? What else trends are you looking forward to? Leave a comment and in case you wear one of these trends, I would love to see a picture, be it a blog post or FB page. Leave a link down below!! Thanks for reading, V.

Sep 26, 2012

Crave/Save - JCrew Cece studded ballet flats

Hey all!! How is the week going? I have a new Crave/Save J.Crew item for you. I guess I have to stop trolling J.Crew website, still - this is a great find, you guys!

This is the J.Crew Cece studded leather ballet flat retailing for $138- Note that it has an upper made of Italian leather.

Steve Madden has a similar styled flat with a synthetic upper for $49.95. I think the J.Crew one alternated big and small studs while the Steve Madden are all the same size which I prefer.


Apart from black and blush, these are also available in browngold glitter and  red and green suede. If you love this design, you have a lot more choices of fabric and colour from Steve Madden. Hope you find this useful. Which one do you prefer and why?

XO,
V

Sep 24, 2012

Cupcake for one!

Hello!! Its Fall Y'all!! How are you liking it so far?? As promised, more recipes are coming up for people with only two people to feed. Today I'm posting a cupcake for one recipe. I think its infinitely tastier because its only one. You love every bite.


Recipe -
Ingredients -
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of baking soda

Easy to remember too huh? Mix everything and bake at 350F for 15-20 mts. I used some out of the can frosting and a premium vanilla wafer to decorate. Simple and easy. Please share any recipes for one that you might have. I'm in a desperate need.. Have a great week ahead.

Thanks for reading,
XO,
V