Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Year, New Look

New Year has started with a barrage of snow, wind and chills. So staying put at home is the smartest decision anybody including me could make. I have been venturing out only for absolutely necessary reasons (believe me going out at this time is one difficult thought!) and when I do its usually in yoga-pants, tee, hoodie, jacket, scarf and running sneakers. Rarely have I moved away from this dress-code; its become more like a uniform. This and an occasional change of bright-colored sweater/pullover (like the one below) and jeans so that I look socially-acceptable in this horrid weather.
Polar vortex, snow storms and what not, don't ask. I am just waiting (more so like hibernating) it out and hoping for more warmer days to come. On a brighter note, the days are getting longer and we have few mins of sunshine during after-office hours.

And hey, also I had a new haircut. More so like a new look. Most of the times in past, I have always decided to grow out my hair and by six months I am done and chopped them off. And that's exactly what I did this time too. I will grow them out in a single length this time (hopefully!).
What do you think of this new look?

Banana Republic pullover (on-sale) | American Eagle denims | 
MK Sunnies | Old Navy flats | New York & Company wristlet |

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Makar Sankranti Haldi-Kumkum

I hosted a Makar Sankranti Haldi-KumKum couple of weeks back. With the chilly weather upon us, we can hardly step out for socializing, and so Haldi-KumKum is a perfect occasion to call over the girls for snacks and tea/ coffee and some chit-chat. Traditionally, the ladies wear black dress, or sari for this occasion. Black is the color of this festival and usually it is not a color associated with any festive occasion in Hindus; but Makar Sankranti is one festival you are welcome to wear black. There is a more so of a rational reason to it which being, sankranti falls in winter and wearing black helps absorb the sunlight and warmth.

My mum hosted haldi-kumkums every sankranti and I remember as a little girl, I dressed up in a sari (my love for saris I tell you!) and helped my mum organizing the get-together. The tilgul ladoos made of sesame jaggery and groundnut were my fave. Sesame and groundnuts are yummy in taste and also perfect for winters since they help to generate body heat.

This is a haldi-kumkum thali consisting of - haldi-kumkum, tilgul ladoos, a cotton puff with perfume scent, The tradition is to apply haldi-kumkum on the forehead of the lady, apply perfume on the her hand, and then give tilgul and halwa (little sugary sweets) and finally gifting a small token of love.

I gifted these small packets to each one of my friends. The packet had a hand cream, two types of sesame sweets and some chocolates. I must admit it was fun preparing these little packets; reminded me of childhood days when we exchanged return gifts after a birthday party.

I made a couple of Indian snacks and tea and coffee to serve the girls. Snacks were Sabudana khichadi (yummy dish made from sago and groundnut powder), Moong-dal pakodas (fried fritters) served with green chutney and ketchup along with some store-bought savories. I served tea in these ornate cups and saucers I got from India. I love sipping tea from cup-and-saucer, reminds me so much of how it is done back home.

I followed my mum's recipe for Moong dal pakodas. Soak 2 cups of moong-dal with 1/2 cup of udad dal for 4-5 hours. Grind it coarsely with green chillies per taste, ginger and garlic, and some jeera (fennel seeds). Heat oil in deep pan and fry spoonfuls of dough for some crispy pakodas. I add few teaspoons of hot oil to the batter (dunno why, but my mum tells me to, so!) before starting to fry.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the food or us all ladies (except for this one). All of my friends did dress up in black and couple of them even managed time to change into Indian outfits (even though it was a weekday). I wore a black long skirt with a gold top and black and gold dupatta. Sari seemed tedious to wear with all the cooking and arrangements I had to make!

Well, it was a fun evening and only thing I regret now is not taking pictures :)

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Orange Accents

I have been in a lazy blogger mode for quite sometime now. But hey, this cold-n-windy winter season is to be blamed, ok? It takes a whole lot of motivation to get a task done these days. And if I have to step out of the house for that, then forget about it. I am sure, I am in a state of hibernation right now. 

Anyhoo, enough of weather talk and moving on to the outfit post. Owing to my sluggish state-of-mind, I am going to be in a throwback/flashback mode for a couple of posts there...well, excuse me for that, will you?

These outfit pics were taken in Diwali-Halloween period last year when fall was in full bloom (which is quite evident from the pictures). The orange-and-black combo suited well to the Halloween celebrations and the ethnic vest made sure that it was suited for desi occasion as well. 

I wore this outfit to a pumpkin-carving party (what fun that was..simply amazing!) and then for a annual Diwali dinner at one of the best places in Washington, DC. I was looking forward to styling the mojaris from a long time now. I got them from a shop in old town Udaipur a couple of years back. They are not one of the the most comfortable shoes I own, but they are surely one of the cutest and talk about colors..simply brilliant, aren't they?

So tell me, do you repeat an outfit between different occasions, if you loved it wearing once? 

Express denims | LOFT black tee | Vest from Crawford Market (as seen here) | Aldo bag |
Inpink pendant necklace | Ring from Langford Market |

Homemade red-velvet cupcakes for the pumpkin-carving party

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chic in Chiffon

For long as I remember, I have been in love with donning a saree. I still vividly remember being a four year old, draped in mom's saree and flaunting it around. My mum owned quite a few chiffons but my eyes always were on the graceful, golden-border sarees. I would wear them during Diwali, the most celebrated festival in India, and then Haldi-kumkum ceremony in Makar Sankranti. I remember, during college times, all of us friends would get together at my best friend's place to burst crackers and I would be the only one adorned in saree, jewelry and all that. Guess dressing up has been in my genes since long :) 

And as you can imagine, as I grew older, my love for saree grew stronger. I would look forward for every small occasion to wear it. I had matching blouses stitched for mom's kanjeevarams, and heavy border sarees. I got a hang of draping the saree from quite early one. I can drape a saree in less than 10 minutes, and chiffons and silk sarees are the easier ones to drape than the heavy kanjeevarams or brocade sarees. 

Coming back to recent times, I don't get to dress up in saree as much as I would. Living in the US, there are really one or two times in the year when you can dress up in your Indian fineries. Its usually during Diwali or Dassera or a Marathi Mandal celebration. I miss wedding seasons in India, so dearly I tell you! 

Anyhoo, my taste in sarees has moved past the heavy kanjeevarams to more subtle and soft and elegant chiffons. The pretty pink saree I am wearing in the post today is one of my recent loves. I actually got it cut and done up at a cloth store in Vile Parle (a suburb in Mumbai). When I first laid my eyes on it, I must admit, I wasn't it's biggest fan but my mum-in-law egged me on to try it. The sales guy helped me drape it and voila..gorgeous did it look! 

The neonish hue looked in-vogue and the material felt light-n-easy on me. Finding and stitching the right fit blouse is always a challenge when you visit India for less time. Well, good for me ready-made blouses were so in-trend in India and I gave in. The fit is great for a ready-made blouse and there are so many options available that stitching a blouse looks like a passe. I wore this saree for laxmi-pooja last year with the perfect traditional accessory there can be - a Maharashtrian Nath

Well, here's to many more occasions to don the most graceful attire in our Indian wardrobes...Saree!

This is a picture-heavy post..don't tell me later that I didn't warn you ;) Also, keeping with the tradition, sari post is my first outfit post of the year!

Blouse and sari - shops near Vile parle station (Mumbai) | Express gold necklace and earrings | Catwalk sandals | Bangles and clutch from Hill road, Bandra | Nath from my mom's closet

P.S.: I have shared this post on my blogger friend Aditi's blog So-Saree. It's her first blogiversary this week and as part of the celebrations she asked me if I could do a saree guest post. Show some love to her, will ya?

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Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Outfits in Recap - Q4

Happy New Year y'all! Hope you had a rocking NYE with your loved ones!

Well, last installment from the Recap series is here, capturing my looks from fall and winter seasons. And yeah, a festive looks from Diwali celebrations too. I hardly blogged in December, so I guess you would see more of the winter looks here and of course in the New Year. One of the favorite parts of dressing up this fall, was flaunting my new purchases during my India trip.

The colored blazer made a comeback for one quick look, and so did the denim vest. Out of all, I absolutely dig my Indian outfit look in Anarkali. The feeling's absolutely different when I wear one of those extravagant Indian dresses; just feels so elegant and out-of-the-norm!

Links to the individual posts are below..Enjoy!

P.S.: As like the last year, I would been starting the outfit posts this year with a bang, A Sari post from Diwali..I am so excited to share it with you all!

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