Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Scarf Wraps

Hi All!

It has been quite some time since I wrote to you all, and I have missed it terribly. Unfortunately, I have been down with cough and cold again which is so annoying because they don't even sound like a serious illness but surely feel like it. Last year was the same you know. I had caught a bad cold just before New Year's Eve and had lasted for over two months. This time it was kind of my fault though. The great big brainiac that I am, I went running when I had a scratchy throat and let the cold air worsen it and I am in bed drinking soup and tea now. The good news is, we are leaving for SFO tomorrow to celebrate New Year's Eve and despite a sore throat and a runny nose, I hope the trip is, otherwise, great fun!

I bought this skirt around ten days ago and wore it immediately, just for the shoot. I am so glad I did because currently, I am not getting out of my sweats, at all. This scarf is one of my favorite pieces of accessories, although it is not at all fancy or expensive. I guess I love it so much because it works with almost everything.

I hope you like the outfit! And do drop me a comment...

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Skirt - Banana Republic (similar here)
Sweater - Banana Republic (worn here before)
Scarf - Old (worn here before)
Booties - DSW (here)
Clutch - Van Heusen (worn here before)
Keep Spreading Smiles!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cold Shoulder!

All ready for the upcoming parties and get-togethers?
If yes congratulations on your gorgeous new outfit. If not, no worries. There are already pieces in your wardrobe that you can work into a party outfit.
Don't believe me? Ok...let's see -
Got a pair of black/white/nude/red shoes?
Got a black/red/sparkly/white top or dress?
Got a black/grey/white/sparkly pair of pants or skirt? Or even a pair of blue denims?
I believe most of us have most of these items. So all you need to do now is put on some bright lip color (think red or orange or plum), and some mascara. Now add a piece of bold jewelry, just one would do - a cocktail ring, a pair of dangling earrings or a statement necklace.
You are all set to rock that party!
However, if a totally new outfit is what is on your mind, buy it by all means. The shops and boutiques are laden with sequins and fringes and velvets this time of the year. Those are so glam and gorgeous! But for the minimalists, there is something too. So for the latter, I decided to put together a real simple outfit that reveals just the right amount of skin for winters (wink). 
Hope you like the outfit!

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Top - Express (here)
Skirt - Banana Republic (similar here)
Boots - Aerosoles (worn here before)
Bag - Aldo (worn here before)
Shawl - Banana Republic (similar here)
Gold Hoops - Saks off 5th (similar here)
Happy Holidays everyone! Keep spreading smiles!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Skirt OOTD!


Have you ever been to a dinner gathering where most people don't know each other? Well, if you have, you would have spotted at least one person who behaves the following way.
While everyone is sitting in awkward silence, nibbling their little potions of food with uncomfortable yet ambitious grace, this person, as if suddenly possessed, starts to fill the silence with any ridiculous sound in the world. This person talks and talks and talks some more, even if he/she gets only half-hearted, hesitant responses from other guests. Well, I am totally that person and if you are like "....aaaaaah.." after reading this description, may be you too, are that person.
Anyone who knows me, knows too well that I talk way too much. I am so uncomfortable with silence that I would rather make a fool of myself saying things which are better left unsaid, than sit quietly in a corner. To top it, I can not curb my instinct to speak up for what I feel is right (I may not be right all the time, but I do try to side with what I feel/sense is right). Unfortunately, in my case, all this is coupled with a desperate need to please people. I am quick to jump into a debate but in a debate no one can please everyone. If you are anything like me, you too would have spent countless hours going over recent conversations, during which you might have inadvertently said something that could have hurt someone (chances are no one was actually hurt and you are making all this up because you have a vivid imagination), and then you reconstruct a hundred scenarios in your head, finally picking an impossible one wherein everyone could be happy. It is a painful psychological problem...right?
So, to those of you who are like me, I say - "Goodluck!" and do sleep at peace tonight 'cause no one is upset with you (hopefully...). Meanwhile, check out my outfit of the day!

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Skirt - Banana Republic (here)
Sweater - Banana Republic (worn here before)
Necklace - Banana Republic (similar here)
Bag - Forever New (similar here)
Boots - INC International (worn here before)







Saturday, December 12, 2015

Another Day

Hi All!!

Hope you've been well and are enjoying the drowsy winter days.

I am on a cooking spree these days and today I landed on a "health" website while looking up a recipe. Now, I use the double quotes because it should actually have been categorized as a "be skinny or starve" website. Really, if you go by what the website says, every person who is a pound above his/her ideal weight, should starve to death. It is sad and surprising that even after various attempts by various organisations to raise awareness against the notion of one ideal body image, most people still feel that being even a little overweight is outright criminal. It is also a major myth that skinny is always healthy. I know many skinny people with zero stamina while many so-called overweight people are running marathons. Despite that, there are so many people who follow absurd diets to lose that tiny little flab around the waist. Of course, if getting rid of a few pounds makes someone feel good, he/she should surely do it but that should not become a mandate for everyone. In fact, I am trying to lose a few inches myself because I don't want to throw away some of my pants but if I don't...who cares! Don't get me wrong, it is not that I don't believe in staying fit. I know perfectly well that it is important to eat healthy and exercise. However I can not bring myself to understand that whole faux-health obsession. It is like the world now stands divided between ceaseless salad-munchers and perpetual pizza-gorgers, whereas, the middle ground of mild proportions, has vanished.

Now, I am not really fond of deep-fried/oily food and I am not too enticed by cheese, butter or dessert. I also like fruits and am a vegetarian by choice so I mostly eat quite healthy. My two weaknesses are rice and potatoes (oh yeah, that's a whole lot of carbs!). 'Cause I wanted to make a healthier diet change, I tried replacing white rice with brown for a week. You know what? Brown rice sucks. It tastes like glue and feels like paste. After a rotten week, I am so happy to find that unhealthy, polished rice on my plate again. To hell with perfect health. While it may be different for someone else, I, find more happiness in my satiated tummy than in my shrinking waistline. To each his/her own. Gently nudging a near and dear one to eat healthy or exercise is a different matter but deriding them and making them feel guilty, just because they won't kill themselves over it, is not very nice...and not even fashionable anymore.

Anyhow, dropping all that weight aside (aaaah..by the way I feel really clever when I use a pun), let me show you today's outfit - it was one of those days when I didn't want to put any effort into anything. One of the lazy, hazy winter days. So I just grabbed a pair of jeans and a shirt and then I noticed this blingy sweater that has been lying in my wardrobe since last year. Oh! And I also found this cute headband with crystals. So here I am. Hope you like the outfit.

Photographer - Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Sweater - Loft (similar here)
Shirt - Gap (worn here before & here)
Headband - Ann Taylor (similar here)
Jeans - Levi's (worn here before)
Bag - Coach (worn here before)
Boots - INC International (similar here)

Drop your suggestion or questions about fashion and its fixes!
Keep spreading smiles!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Furry Fridays!


So, I just finished watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S for like the zillionth time. Since I remember every sequence, every dialogue and every screenshot of every episode, it is not so much watching as just having it run in the background while I do whatever I consider to be work. Anyhow, the last episode still leaves me teary-eyed and depressed. Isn't it surprising how a TV show is more adept at bringing out our human side than a real tragedy.
Anyway, while I was watching back-to-back episodes of the show all week, Monica's boots caught my fancy again! As uncomfortable as they were presented to be, they did look gorgeous. I was so tempted to wear my own new pair of boots that I did so even though I had no intention of going anywhere. Fortunately, we got some pictures for the blog, so all that dressing up was put to good use after all.
These boots are a part of my huuuuugeeeeeeee Black Friday haul. As I had promised a few posts ago, I am staying away from all leather and fur fashions. After a lot of looking, I successfully found economical yet stylish alternatives to both - a super comfortable pair of faux leather boots from Aerosoles and a faux-fur hat from Nine West.


Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Dress - Banana Republic (similar here)
Polo Neck Sweater - Banana Republic (similar here)
Cloche - Nine West (here)
Gloves - INC International (here)
Boots - Aerosoles (here)


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Winter Crop!

Hello All!

I was just cleaning up my wardrobe, one final time before winter strikes its mighty blow. Now, by "I was cleaning" I mean that I was reading a book on the couch, with my feet up on the centre table, while my husband toiled in the other room. I am such a slob, if it was up to me, my house would be a modern day forest (it sure looks like that when I am in charge). Anyway, I realized that my shopping sprees have, once again, made my little wardrobe space wobble under pressure. So, I now have a stack of clothes, shoes and household stuff that I must part with. Of course, the best way to do that is by offering it to someone who might find use for it. Enjoying the little worldly luxuries may not be criminal but wasting anything, really is, be it food, clothing or energy.
"There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use."
- Mother Teresa
Back in India, I knew of NGOs that collected such donations and hence, it was quite easy for me to drop such items at their offices. However, having been in the USA for just over two years, it took a little Googling to find such organizations (apart from Goodwill stores which don't sound like such a great idea to me). From what I've found, these organizations are very convenient for such donations -

Of course, there are many more. The only important thing to do before donating used items is to make sure that those items are usable and clean. A little rinsing and ironing before donating clothes, goes a long way. As for anything that is less than hygienic for personal use, the trashcan is a better place. I have seen people donating clothes with blood stains on it and that is really humiliating and disheartening, both for people who receive it, and for the volunteers at the NGOs who work hard to get it to them.
In the ever-changing world of technology, there is also a need for reusing old hardware. Free Geek is a great place to give any used, functional or non-functional electronics like laptops or mobile phones, in Portland. So if you live in or around Portland, do visit their website before you throw out any old piece of hardware. I am sure there are similar organizations almost everywhere.
Now, for the outfit that I wore last weekend! I bought this skirt at Nordstrom Rack at a clearance sale and loved it. Also, luckily, my old crop jacket gives  it a fresh, vibrant look. Honestly, I was a little cold in this without a pair of leggings or boots but I so wanted to wear it with pumps. However, I can easily add a pair of black, high-heeled boots and a throw, and I will be ready for colder days.

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi

Skirt - Halogen (similar here)
Crop Jacket - Bebe (worn here before)
T-Shirt - J.Crew (worn here before)
Clutch - Forever New (worn here before)
Pumps - Banana Republic (worn here before)

Let me know what you think of the outfit! Keep spreading smiles!!