May 30, 2013

Coach Mini Tanner and Vacation!

Hello, my merry people! I blink my eyes and five days just rushed past me. I wanted to write a quick post to share something with you. The first is that, as a congratulations present for clearing board exams, my husband got me the Coach Mini Tanner!!!!!!!!


You guys know my love for small bags. I wanted a compact bag, that could be worn cross body and in a pretty cheerful color for the grey weather here. The robin blue perforated mini tanner is perfect and met all the conditions. It is a three-trends-in-one bag. I absolutely adore it and have been eyeing for a long time.  I bought it from Macy's on their 25% off of Coach.. so it was around $200 down from the original price of $270. I am so happy to have it for my upcoming trip. Which brings me to my second thing -

I'm leaving to Paris for a vacation on saturday. Many many of you know about my childhood obsession with France and though I have cooled off a bit as I grow older, I am still plenty excited. I promised some of you a ton of pictures.. And I will try my best to keep that promise. I will also be visiting Amsterdam in the trip.

Will be back to regular blogging when I am back in 10 days. Thank you for reading! Leaving you with a picture of my little french cookie!


May 25, 2013

Coffee - Choco Chip Walnut Cookies!

So its pretty established that I hate coffee as a drink. But I can eat it in every other form - ice cream, yogurt,  cake and cookies!And as much as I think coffee and chocolate are a match made in cookie heaven, no one else seems to think so. So I set out to make my own coffee chocolate cookies!



Ingredients - For 12 cookies

Flour - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - pinch
Baking soda - pinch
Chopped walnuts - 1/4 cup
Semi sweet chocolate chips - 1/4 cup

Method -

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla extract, instant coffee, salt, baking soda and an egg.
3. Add flour, chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Spoon about half tablespoon on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes till slightly golden and remove.
6. Cool and serve.

Tips -
The cookie is more like a thick batter than a dough. So don't shape it. Just spoon half tablespoon batter on the tray with even spaces between consequent spoonfuls. The batter spreads and forms a flat cookie.   Cook the cookies on the rack or with parchment between them. Otherwise they stick.

This is a very simple and very quick recipe and it can be easily doubled or tripled. Hope you have fun making it!

May 22, 2013

Crave/Save - Studded Crossbody!

Rebecca Minkoff's studded skylar min bag promises to be the next "it" bag. With a semi-circle shape and studded crossbody strap, it has a unique look while being practical and chic. You can buy this bag in several colors here for $225.


Rebecca Minkoff Mini Skylar - $225.

If you are looking for a similar look without forking out $200+, consider this option from H&M. Tehy have a similar shape with the differences being imitation leather and the H&M's version has studs on the body of the bag as opposed to the strap. Despite the differences, they share the same vibe and look! Buy the H&M bag at you local store for $14.95. Available in black and coral. 


Which one do you prefer? Are you looking to buy any "it" bags this season?

May 19, 2013

Madeleine!


I have been dying to share this news with all of you. Yesterday, we brought home our little furry bundle of energy and joy! 


Her name is Madeleine (named after those shell shaped French cakes!). 


Maddie's Story! 

So about six months ago, we put in an application with a wonderful rescue group called Motley Zoo. There is nothing wrong with going the way of a very reputed, cruelty free breeder but we wanted to go the extra mile and "adopt" a puppy. After some meet and greets and several rejections, we finally got approved to adopt this little angel. I feel like we hit the adoption jackpot with her. She is pretty small (about 15 lbs) and has been with the rescue since her birth, so there are no behavioral issues. They sent her first picture at about 4 weeks. And we got to take her home yesterday at 8 weeks. 

Excuse this post if it sounds garbled. I am both deliriously happy and sleep-deprived. Our first night at home was not at all bad. She was a good girl although she did cry a bit, missing her mommy and her three brothers. She is so affectionate, loves to chew buttons and does not like rain (a girl after my own heart). We look forward to spending many very happy years with this beauty!



With her blue blankie!


Our first glimpse of her!


The best part of this has been watching my hubby fall in love with her. She is already his little princess and has him wrapped around her finger. He willingly stayed up all night (while nursing a bad cold) and cleans up after her while I was hesitating.

We are so happy and blessed to have this little one in our lives! I hope you dont mind if I share an occasional update about her on the blog. I will upload some videos of her. As you can imagine, she provides constant entertainment :)

Hope you had a weekend as wonderful as ours. Thanks for reading!

May 13, 2013

Vegetable Noodle Soup!

Yesterday was a momentous day. It was the first time my hubby and I were sick at the same time since we got together. And we celebrated it with some amazing vegetarian noodle soup! 



Recipe -

Onion - 1
Carrots - 2
Celery - 2 stalks
Garlic - 2 pods.
Vegetable stock - 4 cups
Sweet and sour sauce - 2 tablespoons
Noodles - 1 Package
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt
Pepper

Optional - 
Green Onion
Mushrooms
Beans



Method - 

1. Saute onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil.
2. Add the carrots, celery and optional vegetables and continue sautéing.
3. Add the noodles and sweet and sour sauce and mix them.
4. Add the vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste. 
5. You could add any other fresh herbs that you love.
6. Let the mixture cook for abt 10 minutes. 
7. Add more water if the soup thickens up. 

I served it with some toasted sour dough bread. It was a completely filling meal and heavenly for our scratchy throats and inflamed sinuses. Perfect winter food and sick day food! Let me know if you try it. 

Thanks for reading!! 

Home Updates: DIY Ikea Hack

This project is just an example of how much I obsess over the small details. We got this Ikea table when we moved in to his house. I need to keep a hundred things on my bedside table so I needed something that was big and had wheels. Who doesn't love wheels on furniture? We got the brown-black standard issue on and though it was perfectly fine , it just sat there nagging me at the back of my head. It just did not match the bed.
My first idea was to sell it and of course my husband gave me a good lecture. My second idea was to cover it in wooden planks so it looks a bit more rustic but that would increase the table's height and who am I kidding about the extent of that DIY?
So I finally settled on this idea.. Can you even guess what it is? Its wood grain printed contact paper. I got it for $4 at Fred Meyers. It was so easy to apply. We cut it into strips to resemble planks (didn't work) but went ahead and stuck them to the table neatly. I also covered the sides so it looks like a block of wood on a black base.

Flowers, box to hold lip balm and night cream and my friendly turtle who shows me the stars!





I absolutely love the effect and might do the same to the coffee table as well. Yes, its also from Ikea and it has wheels! This couldn't be a simpler project and once you open your eyes to the world of contact paper, there are innumerable options to play with. Printed, patterned, plain - leather effect, marble effect, wood effect. The possibilities are endless. I'm going to stop talking now as I sound like a contact paper commercial but hope you enjoyed this little DIY.

May 8, 2013

Crave/Save - Gold Studded Top

I saw this gorgeous Michael by Michael Kors top at Macy's. The gold studs on the cream top is so versatile. I could pair it with coloured denim or a pencil skirt and it would not look out of place. The price is marked at $49 down from the original $89.50. You can buy this shirt here.


If you love the look but not the price, you could try this tee from Forever 21. The studs are rounder while the MK one is flat but it still looks pretty close to the original. Buy it here for $15.80. Also available in mint!


May 6, 2013

Black Bean Polenta

I was on the lookout for more recipes using polenta. I made fries successfully here but I wanted to cook them in a different way.  I made this super quick and super easy recipe yesterday and it turned out so yummy! I think this makes a great weeknight meal IF you combine it with a little bit of brown rice. Alone, I'm not sure if its filling enough unless you need a light lunch/dinner.



Ingredients -

1 package cube polenta
1/2 can refried black beans
1 tomato
1 red pepper
1 onion
1 tsp cumin
1/2 lemon
Salt


1.Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch discs and pan fry them.

2.Saute the onions and when they are a little browned, add tomato and red pepper and saute till they are mushy. You could add spinach or any other vegetable you prefer, just see that they are cooked well.

3.Mix the beans and add the cumin and salt.

4.Assemble the polenta discs and spoon the bean mixture over the polenta. Add a squeeze of lemon for some fresh flavor and voilà - done!

I know many of you don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen after a long day at work.. hope this is a fun easy dish for you to try on days when you want a little twist to your food!

I will keep my eyes peeled for more "5 steps or less" recipes!  Do you know any creative ways to use polenta? 

May 3, 2013

I Love Spring Tag!

Hello! Been MIA for a while but I'm back. I love watching tag videos on Youtube and wish the blogosphere would pick up on it as well. Tags are where there are a list of questions and after you answer them, you tag someone else and it goes on. They are super fun to answer, hope you have as much fun reading!

1. Favorite spring nail polish?

 I have been loving my lilac nail polish for spring. Its called "Lilac" from ELF($2). I honestly want to throw away my ELF polishes and buy the 4-free ones from Butter London but finding the time to go and match the colours is just so hard. If you know of a similar shade in Butter or a 4-free brand, let me know. 




2. What is your must-have lip color this spring?

I have been loving the "Rose of Attraction" from Maybelline Color Whisper line ($7.49). Its a soft mauve-pink that can be worn everyday and thats exactly what I have done!



3. Show us your favorite spring dress!

Ok, I will have to show three things. The first is of course the green khakis that I got from Old Navy. I have been wearing it atleast once a week. Its so versatile and I look forward to pairing it with a few more daring colour combos in summer.



The second would be this 100% cotton polka dotted top that I got from Banana Republic. After 40% off, the price came to $21 - the same price as a Forever 21 polka dot top but the quality and the material is so much better. It goes perfectly with all my coloured and blue khakis and jeans. Its not available online .. sorry :(

The third would be this beautiful striped (on trend) dress that I got, to wear for a future trip. I got it for $20 from Old Navy when they had their 30% off promo. The dress sold out pretty quickly but is still available in a white and brown stripe.




4. What's your favorite flower?

I am not a flower person but I always love seeing peonies and orchids and cherry blossoms.

5. Favorite spring scarf/accessory?

I love my Kate Spade Bond Street wallet. I get compliments whenever I take it out at checkout. (similar)




6. What spring trend(s) are you most excited about this year? (Makeup, fashion or both!)

I love the Pantone color of the year - Emerald. I see it everywhere in clothes and jewelry and makeup. Its a rich, beautiful color and perfect year round!


7. Favorite spring candle?

I am obsessed with the Gardenia Lily soy candle from Target ($10). I am not even kidding when I say its the best thing I have smelled in a long time! It has a beautiful sweet jasmine smell that is not too overwhelming.





8. Favorite body spray/perfume for spring?

I absolutely LOVE the Cartier Baiser Volé Eau de Perfum (meaning Stolen Kiss). At $100 for 1.6 oz, could you blame me for guarding my sample pack and sniffing it only occasionally? 
I am also loving Florabotanica by Balenciaga. Its a beautiful plant-leaf smell thats not for everyone but I adore it.


9. What is spring like where you live?

This is my first spring in Washington state and I can tell you that I am totally blown away. After the incessant rain in winter, spring just burst forth. Its so green and tranquil and beautiful everywhere. Its the most beautiful place to live in. I am also lucky to live right next to a park, trail and lake, so I get to see so many puppies playing! So far Seattle spring >>>>> SF Spring. 

View from my patio!


10. What's your favorite thing about spring?

Mostly, I love that I can go out without getting drenched.. lol..  I love that I can walk in the trail and I absolutely love the smell of spring. I never knew how distinct it is till I moved here. 

11. Are you a spring cleaner?

I am a post exam cleaner. Now that my exam is done, I have been enthusiastically cleaning and clearing stuff.


12. Any plans for spring break or an upcoming vacation?


Yes! I'm super duper duper excited to go to Europe next month. I have wanted to go to Europe for so long but finances and money never aligned. This year, we managed to pull everything together and I cannot tell you how excited I am to go there at last. Less than 30 days to go!!!!!

Hope this was a fun tag! Tweet me if you find a fun tag! I would love to play along. And tweet me if you decide to do this tag too.. Would love to read your answers!