Dec 28, 2015

My New Hobby

Hello hello!!  Sorry, it's been a while.I've got my hands full with this baby of mine. She is a delight, I tell you. Always on the go. Most of my new recipes are baby food recipes and I don't want to bore you with that. So let's talk about my new hobby - crocheting. A couple of months ago, I told my friend that I wanted to make some stuff for the baby. Her mom offered to teach me crocheting. She taught me to do a half double crochet and I did five stitches and let it sit for a month! I was so intimidated. Luckily, once I get an itch to do something, I research the hell out of it. I decided to approach crocheting the same way I approach my studies. So, I read all about it first, then I watched countless video tutorials. Youtube is a treasure trove!

I started practising with some spare yarn and tried out a bunch of stitches. Finally, I was ready to make my first piece. I first made a very very easy hat with a pompom. It looks cute but there was no technique involved. Just a bunch of DCs and a pompom. For my next piece, I wanted to make a little play mat for her to sit on. There are play mats that have dolls and textures built into them but I just wanted a simple one. Most baby blankets and mats are rectangular with the same stitch repeating all over. I found that a little boring, so I decided to challenge myself with a beautiful star pattern. I improvised the pattern from this video here.

I used the Bernat blanket yarn and 10 mm crochet hook, if you're interested.

The center looked a little plain, so I added a magic circle to the middle to liven things up a bit. I also added a single crochet border to the blanket. I absolutely love how the blanket turned out. It is the size of a tummy time mat with a little extra on the sides. The baby sits and plays with her toys on it quite comfortably. I've also covered her with this while she naps and I'm next to her. Keeps her warm without restricting airflow.

It gives me such joy to make these things for her. I feel like I've always avoided learning anything that doesn't help me in my career. I'm glad I stopped that thinking and learned something creative. I love that I get to be creative and make something useful with minimal expense. Bonus - it keeps me from buying even more baby clothes, haha.

I wanted to learn a new skill in 2015 (other than balancing a baby on my hip and a bowl in my hand, haha) and I'm glad I accomplished that at the very end :of the year) For my next project I've planned this beautiful granny square blanket with some gorgeous colors picked out. It will be a while before I finish it but I'll make sure to share here when I do. Feel free to follow me on instagram if things are too quite here. I post there more often because it's private and quick.

Wish you all a wonderful, amazing, prosperous new year and see you in 2016!!

Dec 5, 2015

Caramel Chai Latte

More simply, how to make flavored chai with tea bags. My friend from Canada gave me this awesome tea sampler which I've kept since last Christmas because I couldn't drink it while pregnant. I finally opened them up and yum, so many flavors! The only problem is that I find hot water + tea bag combination to be too weak for me. Maybe my palate will eventually get sophisticated but for a tea beginner like me, I need milk and sugar.

I googled a lot looking for a recipe but couldn't find any, so here is my recipe. It's not really a recipe but it might help you out if you love flavored tea but are looking for a thicker consistency.

Mug - buy here

Milk - 1 cup
Black tea leaves - 1 heaped teaspoon (I used Chakra Gold)
Flavored tea leaves - 1 heaped teaspoon or 1 tea bag ( I used Caramel Tea from World Market)
Sugar - 2-3 teaspoons (depending on taste)

Now if you don't have flavored tea leaves, you can add your own flavors. A few mint leaves, ginger, cardamom, vanilla, caramel, pumpkin spice - endless possibilities!

Method -

Boil the milk, add the tea leaves and simmer for 4-5 minutes. I used a saucepan and whisked briskly to get more flavor from the tea leaves.

Add sugar and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Strain and serve hot.

I know some people boil tea leaves in water and then add milk. I'm not a big fan of that because the tea tastes watery to me. I also add sugar to the saucepan because it melts better.

This is also a great way to drink fruity teas. Some of them are so sweet that the black tea nicely balances out the flavor.

Like I said, this is a super simple recipe and can be customized to your preference. Hope this recipe gives a little twist to your evening chai. 

Nov 11, 2015

A new favorite - Brazi Bites Review

Hi!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Diwali!! May love and light fill your life this coming year. If you followed me on instagram, you saw my "from a box" wedding anniversary cake and my store bought Diwali sweets. Actually just sweet. We only got Rasmalai. I want to do so many things in the kitchen but I rarely get time other than to rustle up three quick and simple meals a day. Now that we incorporate  more store bought food in our diet, I've put in a lot of effort to find the ones with no artificial preservatives and that are really really healthy. Trader joes and Costco are my go-to stores for these finds. Today I want to talk about one such product.

Recently, I was approached by Brazi Bites, a cool new food company based out of Portland. I love to support companies from the Pacific Northwest and companies that pride themselves in putting out healthy products. And I love to support up and coming businesses. These guys are going to be on Shark Tank, ABC's show on November 20th, featuring entrepreneurs and their start ups. So obviously, they are brand new!

A natural food company that's just starting out. Sounds great but what did the goods look like? I took a look at their ingredients.

Cheese, tapioca flour, water, milk, eggs, oil. 

That's it. With these, the couple behind the company created these soft pillows of air called Brazi Bites (it's a very popular snack in South America, where the founder is from!)

There are four flavors, three of which are vegetarian and I got to try them out. You get a frozen pack of dough balls that you simple bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes. 

Baking mat

What you get are these little puffy balls that are so light and amazing. They make a wonderful snack. They are gluten free and soy free and vegetarian. You could do a little peanut sauce or sriracha/mayo on the side. I wanted to but once I ate a couple, it was so addictive and light that I didn't need a sauce. My favorite is the jalapeno pepper jack. What can I say, I like my spice!

You can use these to make little sliders. You can sprinkle nuts and seeds on top.You can eat them with soup. The possibilities are endless.

Brazi Bites will be available for purchase at Costco in the freezer section by the end of this week. I hope you try them out and I hope you love them like I do.

FTC disclaimer - I was sent the products for my honest opinion and honestly, I love it! I was not compensated otherwise.

Oct 29, 2015

Halloween Makeup 2015

Hello! Halloween is here. I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween! I'm very much into makeup looks rather than costume because costumes can get expensive. And I have a ton of makeup that I'm itching to use. Win-win! The year before last, I did a part sugar skull- part siren makeup. Last year, I was in the throes of morning-sickness so I was so sad to miss the festivities. This year, I co-ordinated with my baby. She went as Harry Potter and I decided to go as her patronus - a stag. There are a ton of doe inspired makeup tutorials, so I just improvised from there.

Steps -

1. Wash and moisturize your face and neck.

2. Using a black eyeliner (I used Nyx), draw an outline on the outer edges of your nose. Connect it to the eyebrows and darken your eyebrows with the same eyeliner.

3. Color the nostrils and the tip of your nose with the same black eyeliner.

4. Apply a black eye shadow all over the lid. I used the black from the maybelline nude palette.

5. Blend towards the crease of your eyelid with a clean brush dipped in a matte brown eye shadow. I used the shade "chocolate cookie" from the Too Faced matte palette.

6. I added false eyelashes just to enhance the big eye'd effect. I used the ones from Katy Perry. This is a great starter kit if you're just getting into false eyelashes.

7. I applied black eyeliner over the band of the false eyelashes and added multiple coats of mascara to blend the lashes with my natural lashes. I used Benefit they're real. It's an amazing mascara!! I'm on the hunt for a more volumizing one but this is the best one I've tried so far.

8. Now onto the lower eyelid and lash line! I lined the waterline with a nude pencil. I used Rimmel Scandal Eyes in nude. Now using the same pencil, draw on the lower eyelid below your waterline.

9. Now draw an outline with a black liner on your lower lid, far from your actual waterline. Because you added the nude liner, it's seem like your eyes are way bigger, like a deer.

10. I tried my best to cover my lower eyelashes with the nude liner but it wasn't very successful. You could also draw some lashes below the lower lid liner but I skipped that.

11. Now to get the velvetty brown skin, I used a very deep bronzer, from NYX. Apply some thick lines on the forehead and below the cheekbones on either side. Then blend, blend, blend.

12. Add a highlighter, I just used the other end of the Nyx contour stick and highlight above the brown in the cheek and below the brown in the forehead.

13. Using the nude eyeliner, mark some spots on your cheeks and forehead. (Not all species of deer have spots but some do, I checked, lol). Using the same nude eyeliner, shade the region between the two black lines in the bridge of your nose. Blend the shading on the nose a little.

14. I applied a brown lipstick with shimmer. Some people color the upper lip all black. I decided to do a glamorous deer with lipstick, haha. I used a brown lipstick from Maybelline in Crazy for Coffee (great nude lip color for everyday!!) and layered a coppery bronze Covergirl lipstick over it.

15. I added a headband with reindeer antlers that I got from Amazon. That's it.

It sounds like a long process but it took me maybe 15-20 minutes. I love makeup looks like these where I can go dramatic because most days I tend to skip makeup or keep it really simple. I also love the idea of adding in fun accessories and makeup to denote a character as opposed to going with a costume. It really keeps down the cost and let's face it, if you have the time, it's a lot of fun to dress up.

I hope you enjoyed this look and the post. Do you love halloween? Do you love to dress up? I have a few friends who hate halloween, which so alien to me. What about you?

Oct 17, 2015

Kate Spade F&F Sale

A quick post to inform you that Kate Spade is having its Friends and Family sale and there are some great deals on the site! I ordered the Cobble Hill Devin for myself. It's a bigger cross body than the Philip Lim for Target and I definitely need a bigger bag to help with the baby stuff.

Here are some of my favorite picks!

The coupon works on all things on the site, so you can get home goods or jewelry for a solid discount especially from the sale section.  If you order something, do share it with me. I'll post pictures of my bag once I get it. So excited!

Oct 8, 2015

Fall Trends 2015 - Bucket Bags

Bucket bags. They are everywhere, including high end designer lines. They are definitely the "it bag" of the season. If you've read this blog for a bit, you know how much I love structured and small bags.

With a baby, the small bags aren't cutting it for me anywhere. I don't want to lug a giant diaper bag everywhere but I don't want to cram my tiny bags with diapers, wipes and sanitizer.  I'm wavering between getting a slouchy satchel or a bucket bag. Yes, you read that right. This structured bag freak just said that. My, my, how the times have changed.

Bucket bags are in trend right now but most of them look so similar. And boring. I love bucket bags that have a little jazz to them. Here are a few refreshingly unique pieces that I'm eyeing!

I adore this minimalist design of this bag. Thin straps and clean lines make this a very stylish bag. The tassels add some interesting detail to an otherwise plain bag. I also love the beautiful mustard yellow color. Perfect for fall! Shop this bag from NastyGal.

Vegan Bucket Bag

If you want a non-boring black bag, consider this bag from Deux Lux. The inside of the bag is bright teal felt. I love the pop of unexpected color. The bag has a beautiful chain detail on its adjustable strap. Love it! Buy it here.

Deux Lux faux leather bucket bag

If you are a "go bold or go home" kind of girl, check out this gorgeous BCBGeneration Patchwork bucket bag. The geometric design should go perfectly with the aztec inspired Fall pieces.

BCBgeneration Patchwork Bucket Bag

Edgy girls, I've got you covered. This MBMJ bag has a biker vibe to it, thanks to the moto inspired zip detail! I love the black and silver but I wish the bag was available in a lot more colors :(

MBMJ Bucket Bag

I wouldn't be a very good blogger if I neglected to mention the other big trend this season - Fringe. It's on clothing, it's on bags, it's on shoes, it's on everything. I LOVE this gorgeous Burberry fringe bag but that's too high a price range for me. It's so beautiful though, the suede, the mustard color, the beautiful fringe and the discreet classic burberry check underneath. (heart).  I also love this (much more affordable) Mercules Fringe Bag. I love the embellishment on it! And the black color with the navy fringe.

Burberry Fringe Bucket Bag

Mercules Fringe Bucket Bag

Here are a few more of my favorite bucket bags. Some bag eye candy for you ;) Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great weekend!!

Oct 2, 2015

Mom Makeover

I'm featuring a very special person on my blog today! My mom was here the past few months to help with the baby. We were too caught up with baby stuff to just have fun, just the two of us. One day, the baby decided to bless us with a two hour long nap and I decided to give my mom a makeover. And then take artistic pictures :) We had so much fun!! My mom had a great time getting glammed up and I had an even greater time practising all the makeup tricks I've learnt. Without further ado, here are the pictures!


Milani Blush in Delizioso pink
Revlon Lip Stain in Smitten

My mom is a "wash face and go" kind of person, so I doubt she's going to maintain a full face routine but she was quite taken by the UD mascara. She loved it so much that I sent it with her to India :)

Hope you enjoyed this little makeup adventure of mine! See you again next time. Have a happy weekend!!

Shop this post easily right here!

Sep 25, 2015

Postpartum Bodies and Some Recommendations!

I'm back today with some chitchat about my postpartum body and a list of clothes that you MUST buy if you are a new mom.

Truth is that I'm still several pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I don't fit into any clothes I had before and this led me to wear my now-baggy maternity clothes everywhere. I felt fat and frumpy and  just not very good. I ordered at least 20 items from Old Navy and Gap and had to return them all because nothing fit well. Even the cashier must have known how bad I felt because she commented on how hard it is to dress your post-partum body.

Then one day recently, I read this - stop focusing on "going back" to your old weight and instead try to "find a new normal". I thought this was a refreshing way to look at post-partum weight loss. Why should I try to get back to xyz number? I've carried and given birth to another human being. Of course my body is going to be different! Why the mad race "to get my body back"?? I want to find a new number that I'm comfortable with, works with my new lifestyle, makes me look and feel great. It doesn't matter to me if the new number is higher or lower than the new number.

While I work on finding my new number, I realized that I could spend just a little money to make myself look good. I bought a couple of tops and pants in my current size. Nothing too expensive or fancy. Just enough so that I look good and put together while I head out. Well fitting clothes (even in a bigger size) make me feel way better than trying to stuff myself into ill-fitting pants in my older size. I strongly recommend these pieces because they are SO forgiving of my mommy tummy and are quite slimming.

Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans (40% off now)

These jeans are so comfortable and they fit so well. They sit a bit higher than the usual low rise, so they help keep my c-section bulge contained. The denim is really soft and just a tad stretchy.  

Old Navy Mid Rise Harper Trousers

I adore these pants. I got them in the leopard print. It's not too crazy. Pretty muted! I love the comfortable mid rise, the soft and stretchy material and the extra length on the "tall" size. Must buy, for sure!! I definitely want a couple more colors.

Old Navy Pixie Pants

I have a love-hate relationship with these pants. While I love the cute designs, the comfortable material and the cost, I hate that they are so short. I bet they look cute on others but it's not a good look on me. On a whim, I ordered the tall size (I'm 5 ' 4.5") and now they fit perfect!! The black polka dot one is going to be very versatile , I bet.

(pictures above)

I tried on a number of tunics but they weren't flattering at all. This is how horizantal stripes should be done. I have these in navy and white and I love them both and wear them all the time. SO flattering. The only thing I dislike about them is the boat neck. Nursing bras have pretty thick straps and the boat neck doesn't cover them perfectly but I don't even worry about it because this is the only top that looks good on me now. I can't wait for Gap to release this in more colors and designs!!

Old Navy Soft Pants

I don't know why I never got these last year. I found them in clearance this year and I'm in love. These pants are so soft and so cute. And I love that they don't have an elastic hem. Love them!! Just get these soft pants in a neutral color and you're good to go!

Old Navy Loafers

Lastly, not a post-partum related purchase but I love these new loafers I got from ON. They are very much in style right now and I was getting a little tired of my leopard loafers from Target two years ago. Loafers and burgundy are all the rage for fall and it's fun to indulge in a current trend without spending too much! 

That's it for now. Hope you have fun with these clothes and they make your post-partum dressing just a little bit easier. And remember, aim for a new normal!!

Sep 3, 2015

Crave/Save Saint Laurent Classic Sac De Jour

I've been obsessed OBSESSED with this Saint Laurent Sac de Jour. Look at those lines. SO beautiful. Sigh. If I could just have one bag for the rest of my life, I'd pick this. Wait. Scratch that. I could never live with just one bag. Could you? Anyway. Back to how gorgeous this bag is and how unaffordable it is (sad panda).

I do not have $2750 to spend on a bag. Do you? (If yes, go buy it and send me pics)

If you love the design , check out this beautiful Kate Spade bag - the Holden Street Olivera.

The base of the handles are inside rather than outside. The KS has extra gold hardware. But I rather like the simple lines. The gold hardware brings a dose of elegance of this bag. I think it has a beautiful "inspired-by" feel to it. Definitely check this out if you're looking for a classic satchel inspired by the Saint Laurent!

Aug 31, 2015

Recent Beauty Favorites!

A beauty post after quite a while! If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I like no-fuss products. This has become even more imperative with a newborn at home. Here are a few products that have made my life easier and more colorful!

First up, I saw this EOS body lotion at target. How cute is the packaging!! I could not resist. I got the berry blossom for my mom and the delicate petals which is a more lavender scent for myself. This is a very lightweight body moisturizer that works for summer. Mostly I just love how it looks on my nightstand, haha.

These are not available online yet. So check out your local target store!!
Purchase at your local target store!

A friend gifted me this Aveda StressFix creme cleansing oil. This is supposed to be a body wash but it's pretty pricey. Also, I've been reading about cleansing oils, so I experimented using it as a face wash. Let me say, it is amazing!! The smell is deep and herbal. It has a real lavender scent that just smells like it's good for you! It's completely non-greasy and cleanses my face well. No breakouts either. Strongly recommend!

Aveda Stress-Fix Creme Cleansing Oil

I've also been reading about co-washing i.e. washing your hair with just a conditioner. I wash my hair twice a week. Once I use a clarifying shampoo and a deep conditioner but the other time, I just needed a quick way to wash. The answer is this Herbal Essences naked cleansing conditioner. It leaves my hair clean and soft. Fast, one step process!

Herbal Essences Cleansing Conditioner

The last two are color cosmetics! I've completely given up on painting my nails but I still love painting my toes. Sonia Kashuk's Violetta is a beautiful fuchsia pink. It brightens my mood on days where I spend all day in a spit-up soaked t shirt, haha.

Not online. Find it in your local target!

I went in to Sephora to get my birthday gift (Nars lip pencils which I'm yet to try). I've been seeing teal liner on a lot of youtube beauty bloggers and I really like the look. So I totally impulse-bought this Sephora wink-it liner in Blue Moon. While I love the look, I'm not the best at applying eyeliner, so it's time consuming process. Also, I like to layer this over a black eye-liner. Otherwise, the color doesn't really stand out on my tan skin tone.

Sephora Wink It Liner in Blue Moon

Hope you enjoyed this little collection of my favorite beauty items. See you next time!

Aug 27, 2015

Nursery Tour!

I got a little superstitious in pregnancy, hence the delay in sharing the baby's nursery pictures! We moved into a new home sometime in my second trimester. Before I knew if the baby was a boy or a girl, I wanted to do a gender-netural nursery with chartreuse green accents. Once I knew I was having a girl, I was suddenly obsessed with this vision of a beautiful peach, pink nursery. I had pinned a lot of inspiration nurseries but practicality and budget dictated my final design. So without further ado, let's jump in!

This baby blanket and crib skirt set was my first purchase. Both are from a discontinued line from dwell studio, so I picked them up for a big discount. I based the nursery's color scheme around them because the blanket had all the colors that I loved. A pale pink, a peach with green and gold yellow accents.

The crib is the Charlotte crib from Fisher Price. It's available in a beautiful blush, grey and pale blue colors also but I went for a soft white finish.

A rocking chair was one of my biggest head-scratchers. I tried out at least fifty of them. While I would have loved to have a huge big recliner, it was impractical in our small home. The Ikea poang caught my eye because of it's small footprint and easy portability. I absolutely love it because it's so easy to move around. The only con is that my baby loves to kick and often hits the wooden arms. I just insert pillows all around to address that problem.

Instead of a changing table that has open storage, I opted for a Ikea Hemnes chest for a changing area. I also got drawer dividers from Ikea, so I keep her diapers, hair bows, grooming things, lotion and a hundred other things in the top drawer. I strongly recommend getting a chest instead of a changing table.

A closer look at some details -

Aug 22, 2015

I'm a mom now!

Words cannot express how thrilled I am to announce that I'm the proud mom of a gorgeous daughter now! We welcomed our little munchkin in May this year, right after I wrote the last post on the blog. Motherhood has been a beautiful mosaic of happiness, gratitude, awe, fatigue and back to happiness :)

Maddie has taken her role as a big sister pretty seriously. She is always behind the baby. Loves to look at me reproachfully if I let the baby cry for more than two seconds, haha.

I'd love to share some baby related posts including my baby's lovely nursery. I'll have them up once the baby lets me :) See you all soon!

May 14, 2015

Crave/Save On A $10k Dress

As I near my due date and spend my days in clothes that could double up as tents, I've been looking online for inspiration for some post partum shopping. I came across this Delpozo dress on a website and loved how fresh and light it is.

Of course at a price tag of $10,000 , this is one of those, "derive inspiration and make your own" kind of dress. So I hunted a bit and found these beautiful separates that give the same look and feel. Together, they ring up for less than $50!!

This is what I put together.

kensie Daisy Brocade top $24.97

Asos pleated mini skirt - $15.50

The top has a delightful floral pattern in brocade. The skirt is light and airy and works perfectly with the top. I've shown a mini skirt here to make it closer to the original but personally, I would pair it with a midi skirt. Remember all those pleated skirts we got two years ago? One of those in a peachy or coral color would work perfectly here!!

I think this is a great way of building outfits. There is no need to steer clear of websites like net-a-porter. Though the clothes are super expensive, you could derive a lot of inspiration and find pieces to create a similar look! Hope you enjoyed this post! 

Apr 1, 2015

Crave/Save - Steve Madden Radlee Sandals

I no longer fit into closed shoes, so I decided to go ahead and buy myself a nice pair of sandals that I can wear all through the summer. I came across these pretty beaded sandals by Steve Madden at Nordstrom. They are the footbed style sandals which seem to be all the rage right now.

Nordstrom is price matching and selling these sandals for $63.96 right now!!

If you love the design but don't want to pay that much, Target has an exact dupe but in silver beading for just $23.99. You can buy them here!

What do you think of these footbed style sandals? Comfortable? Stylish? Not your thing?

Mar 28, 2015

Skincare Recommendations for Spring!

I wanted to share two products that I've been obsessed with recently! The first one is the solution to my hate for body lotions. I know a lot of bloggers and vloggers who LOVE their body butters and body lotions. They often talk about it as a relaxing ritual. I tried to get into it but really, I hate them. They don't absorb fast enough for me and my fingers are all sticky , so I can't play with my phone. Ugh, annoying!  That's enough reason for my lazy self to ditch moisturizing. Unfortunately, my skin does not respect my sentiments and decides to get all lizard-like and scaly, the moment the weather dries up. Enter the AMAZING Nivea in shower body lotion.

I'm on my second bottle now. I get the "very dry skin" blue bottle. It's so easy to use. Shower with your regular shower gel/ body wash. I switch to a moisturizing body wash like Olay during the winter and spring. After that, apply the lotion all over your body. I focus more on my baby bump, legs and elbows where I have the driest skin and get itchy. Rinse it off after a couple of minutes. Boom. Done! No greasy fingers. No waiting. No residue. I use it in the shower everyday, so I can tell for sure that it keeps skin moisturized at least for 24 hours.

Oh, one tip - don't apply it on the soles of your feet. It can get slippery.

This is a must buy if you are lazy about moisturizing but have skin that desperately needs it!! Strongly recommended.

The second one was sent to me by Influenster which is good because I was waiting impatiently for the product to show up in my local Target.Before this I was using Clinique's Moisture Surge. The Neutrogena Hydra Boost water gel is an amazing dupe for the Clinique. It keeps my combination oily-dry skin hydrated and moisturized, without getting greasy. No breakouts and no redness. This is great because my skin has gotten even more sensitive in pregnancy!

The gel-cream works great under makeup, so you can use it as a day time moisturizer! Don't forget to wear sunscreen though.

If you have an oily T zone and dry cheeks like me, definitely give this a try!!

FTC disclaimer - I was sent the Neutrogena hydroboost gel by Influenster. I bought the Nivea in shower lotion with my own money. All opinions stated are my own!