Thursday, April 30, 2015

Three Things Thursday: A Journey, A Fear, & A Community



One: A Journey

I didn't realize it but last Thursday was actually my blog's one month anniversary! Time flies when you are having fun! This blog is really about documenting my journey through this crazy life. I followed many blogs for years now and always thought about what it would be like to start my own. I was just feeling very inspired the day I wrote my first very blog post and I really didn't have any concrete idea in my head. I just wanted to share how I was feelings and things that inspire me in all aspects of my life. Like most people, I'm still trying to find myself (even in my 30s) believe it or not, but I guess the journey of self discovery is never ending.... otherwise life would be boring, am I right?


Two: A Fear

Besides overcoming the fear of starting something new, like this blog, this week I also over came my fear and posted my very first outfit post! I really appreciated the positive comments and tips I received. At first I was over thinking it all too much... my pictures didn't have the perfect lighting or the lack of my photography skills... and too worried about coming of as a 'silly wanna be model' or being criticized. But then I asked myself... 'Do I ever think that way of other bloggers, who post their pictures? No. I get tons of inspiration from others sharing their personal style.' So then, why was being so silly and over-thinking it? It was also nice to know that someone else related with how intimidating and awkward I was feeling about this post. It's not easy to put yourself out there, but honestly, I'm glad I did and all your positive and encouraging feedback truly means so much! Thank you :)


Three: A Community

This past week, I joined the South Asian Bloggers Network. This community was started by two inspiring women, Salma Dinani and Raj Thandhi. I had no idea that there were so many other South Asians bloggers out there! My blog doesn't have a set theme, like food, fashion, fitness or lifestyle... it's just a mesh of everything that I feel inspired to try and things that just make me happy. To me my blog is more like a public journal. Sometimes, it can be hard to find a sense of community in the 'blogsophere' when you're into a little bit of everything and still trying to find your blog's identity. I love the sense of community I have found through this network. They are all very welcoming. I'm still very new, but I've already discovered some amazing people through reading their blogs. Plus, I've come across tons of inspiring ideas from food, to fashion, to home, to self-help articles... there are so many different types of people and blogs in this community and that's what really love! I'm also excited to try, document, and share these inspirations and my experiences with you here!



So, those were my top three for this week. I would love to read what you've been up to and get to know you better. Please visit the hosts: SalmaRaj, or Nisha's blog, for all the details on how to join the linkup.


Are you interested in sharing your top three this week?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Limitless Dress

Looks like I'm a roll this week with two fashion posts back to back! I've been having fun playing with the new items I added to my closet last month and so I thought I'd share this 'Limitless Dress' with you today. 

Spring Capsule Outfits #1


Short sleeve shift dress / Black boyfriend jacket / J Brand frayed jeans / Zara skirt / Banana Republic white denim skinny jeans / Banana Republic slim fit black pants / Forever 21 pointed toe ballet flat / Forever 21 perforated oxford / Ted Baker pink patent leather shoes / Vince Camuto suede sandals / Converse plimsoll shoes, $96 / 3 1 Phillip Lim leather cross body purse / Henri Bendel foldover purse / Asos purse / Charlotte Russe layered chain necklace / House of Harlow 1960 14 karat gold jewelry / FOREVER 21 GIRLS Paneled Faux Leather Jacket

This dress from Sheinside is super affordable! I love the colors for spring and I think you could even easily layer it up for fall. I'll be honest, the material is super light and probably not the best quality. I'm a little scared to wash it... but overall, I've been pretty happy with it. I was a little skeptical about ordering from this site, but so far I've bought three items and I'm pretty happy with them all. I think if you are looking for trendier pieces on a budget then it's worth checking out. One thing I will say is that you have to be super careful about the sizing. I can't always trust the measurements listed. I tend rely more on the reviews posted from others when trying to decided on the size to order. The other thing I really like about the site is that people can post their own pictures about how they styled the item, which is how I got the inspiration to try this dress as a top! 

I think it's a genius idea! The length of the skirt and the light weight material is prefect to be worn tucked to jeans or a skirt. I like to tuck it in just at the front for a more relaxed look when pairing it with jeans. I think you could even wear it with tights and booties if you wanted to transition into fall. It totally changes the look and gives me a lot more versatility with this dress. 

It's so interesting to me... just like with everything else in life, if you change your perception of something and you may find that the possibilities are limitless! I envy people who have the imagination to think outside the box. I'm not always so good about it... but a little inspiration from someone else can inspire you to experiment and maybe even take the idea to the next level. I'm looking all my shift dresses in my closet now and trying to figure out how I can apply this same concept. A few things to keep in mind....the dress needs to be a fairly light weight material so that it's easier to tuck in and it helps if it's a tad on a the shorter side. 

I hope this inspires you to look at the items in your closet with a different eye and find limitless possibilities!


Have you ever thought of wearing a dress as a top instead?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Little Friendly Nudge... Outfit Post

Although I love seeing outfit posts from some of my favorite style bloggers, I have been very nervous (to say the least) to post any of my own! After this post to stay in line with my three question checklist, many of you asked for an outfit post with this skirt. I guess we all have to get over our fears someday and a little friendly nudge from my new blogger friends is just what I needed. So... here is my first outfit post! :)


Remember, this lightweight blush sweater they didn't have in my size? Well, I saw it on sale (plus free shipping) and just couldn't resist! So, I cheated on my April shopping fast this month... shhh!! I was hoping to wear it at a birthday party this past weekend, but unfortunately it was already 90 degrees in Dallas and it just didn't make sense. Spring is pretty non-existent here! So I paired it with this lace top instead. Unfortunately, the lighting is a bit off in the picture and you can't really see the lace detail of the top. Sorry! :/


This second look is from my experiment in the fitting room at the store. It's actually another one of my favorite ways to wear this skirt. I like of the casual vibe of the plaid button up. Although the orange is a tad bit on the neon side, I think this look would be perfect for the next time we're at a Tennessee football game or maybe a casual Sunday brunch with friends!

These days, I've become very picky when it comes to adding new items into my wardrobe.... and this skirt was no exception! I get a great deal of inspiration as well as practical advice from some of my favorite style bloggers. They have really helped me come to a better understanding of my "personal style" and how to dress so that I feel more confident in my own skin. It's still all a learning process and I'm sure my sense of style will continue to evolve as I get older. As for this skirt, I think the shape of it really works well for my body, the material is really great quality, and the pop of color simply makes me happy! Win, win... wouldn't you say? :)



What has a little friendly nudge inspired you to do today?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Three Things Thursday: A Drink, A Plant,& A Birthday



One: A Drink

This weekend was super chill for us. We ate Indian food, watched a movie - Wedding Ringer - it was pretty funny, went for a run together, and Chirag also got me to the driving range somehow! Needless to say, I am pretty pathetic when it comes to golf. But the entire weekend was beautiful weather, and I just wanted to be outdoors. On Saturday night, I was craving this Jalapeno Margarita drink our neighbor, VJ, had made for us the previous weekend. Him and his wife had actually gifted me a bottle of Solorzano Tequila for my birthday last month and we just so happen to have some jalapeno, limes, and simple syrup around. So my personal mixologist - my husband - looked up some recipes on how to make the drink. But some how we still ended up missing one or two ingredients from the different recipes he found online. So, he just created his own with whatever we had and let me tell you... it was delicious!!
1 shot glassful of tequila
1/4 shot glassful of simple syrup
1/4 shot glassful of triple sec
1/4 shot glassful of lime juice (or less)
1/2 jalapeno seedless muttled (or less)

Mix all the ingredients together, add ice, shake, shake, shake... pour & enjoy!


Two: A Plant

I wrote in my previous post about how I wanted to learn to garden, however I wasn't born with the green thumb at all. So far, I've killed a basil plant, an aloe vera plant, and some other herb plant - I don't even remember what it was. But I've been determined to grow some beautiful flowering plants in our patio this season. So, we went to Home Depot - totally clueless! I had no idea which plant would be good for us. Some need full sun, some need shade, some need to be watered often, some don't, some need to be pruned, some don't... my head was starting to spin. Then I saw this beautiful hydrangea plant! It already had some flowers that were blooming, which is great because it meant I could still enjoy the plant while learning to take care of it and hoping for more flowers bloom. I've been watering it daily and keeping it slightly in the shade. The only thing I'm still not sure of is when and how to cut the flowers if I was ever to want to display them in the house. There is all this talk about new wood and old wood... it's confusing. If you have any tips... please do share! For now, I'm really trying to do my best to take care of it and just enjoy it on our patio. It makes me so happy! :)


Three: A Birthday

It was sister's birthday this past Monday! It sucks to live far away from family and I miss her, especially at times like these. I haven't always been the best older sister. We use to fight a lot when we were younger. But as we both get older and wiser we have both gotten a lot closer to each other. We pretty much talk everyday. She is always there for me. I'm definitely a lot more out-spoken and she's typically shy. Lately though, she's really come out of her shell and I hope her confidence continues to grow. She's definitely way more mature and beautiful than me! :) I know this year is going to be very big for her and I wish her lots & lots of love and success!


I've started to look forward to Thursdays now... just so I can pick my top three things from the past week. If you're interested in joining the link up. Please visit the hosts: Salma, Nisha, or Raj 's blog, for all the details.


What were your top three's this week?

p.s. The recipe has been updated!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Happier Earth, A Happier You

I don't consider myself to be a very "Earth-friendly" human being. Throughout my life, I have done my fair share of hurting Mother Nature. However, on my pursuit for happiness, I am realizing that a happier, healthier Earth actually results in a happier, healthier person (me).

Think back, to when you were younger, watching Disney movies. At the end of any fairy tale, you see the prince and princess living happily ever after in a beautiful kingdom with lush green grass, beautiful flowers, and birds singing. Whereas the villain in ends up banished from the kingdom, somewhere dark, smelly and polluted. It's a scientific fact that your surroundings can have an effect on your happiness.

I absolutely love being outdoors, especially when it's sunny! We live next to two beautiful parks and enjoy running, having picnics, going to outdoor concerts or simply enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature truly makes me happy. I am lucky to live in a country where we have many resources readily available to help us take care of mother nature. Regretfully, I don't take full advantage of them in order to do my part. Since today is Earth day, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how my actions impact the Earth's health and happiness.



Ways I'm hurting Mother Nature:

  1. Wasting electricity. 
    • Chirag is constantly telling me to "Turn of the lights!". He is probably giving me a stink eye as I type... this is his #1 pet-peeve with me. I have to say he has definitely helped me be better about this. In all honestly, it's just laziness and there is no excuse for it. We also switched out light bulbs so they use less energy and save us money as well. Win, win!
  2. Wasting water.  
    • Just the other day, I started to realize how much water I was wasting while doing the dishes. I had the water turned on high while I rinsed them, then put some of them in the dishwasher to wash and continued to wash other pots and pans by hand. I left the water running during the entire time I was doing the dishes! Even with the best dish washing soap, you can't avoid having to rinse them first. But, maybe I could have the water on a lower setting and just be more conscious of how much water I'm wasting doing the dishes. In addition, I need to work on taking shorter showers. I think I've gotten a little better about this, but I could do better. Hopefully both these efforts will help save more water.
  3. Wasting food. 
    • I use to buy tons of produce thinking I was going to make all these wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, half the time I was either too lazy or too tried and didn't end up using half of it. Sadly, it would have to go in the trash once it would go bad. Although, I've made a few changes, I could do better. Now, I buy less and buy more often. I know buying in bulk is cheaper, but for me it just doesn't make sense if it's ending up wasted in the end. Another great idea is to sit down and plan our your weekly meals, like Salma. Check out her weekly menu for inspiration. That way you know exactly what to buy for the week and nothing goes to waste!

Ways I'm helping Mother Nature:

  1. Recycling. 
    • When we lived in our apartment, we didn't have a recycling center near us. So we would load up boxes and crates of recycling and usually drop it off 2 to 3 times a month. This has definitely turned up several notches after moving to our town home in Dallas. We are enough lucky to be provided with a recycling container and we simply put our recycling out once a week and they pick it up!
  2. Donating. 
    • I donate a lot! My husband and I both like a clutter free home and I typically don't have a probably getting rid of stuff. So we donate clothes, house-hold items, books, etc quiet frequently. This makes me happy in two ways: 1) I am happy to get stuff out of the house that no longer serves a purpose for us. 2) I am happy knowing that I was able to give it to someone who truly needs/wants the item. If you live in the Dallas area, then you must check out Half-Price Books. It's a pre-owned book store where you can donate or sell old magazines and books. It's a little far from us now, but I start a box and add magazines as we finish them and drop it off every few months. 
  3. Planting. 
    • I do not have a green thumb at all, but I think planting your own flowers, herbs, or vegetables is also a great way to help mother nature. Plus, you get to enjoy the benefits by using what you have grown! So far, I haven't kept a plant alive for more than a couple of weeks! :( This is definitely, one area I would like to work on this year. But another way to help save trees and plants is to help reduce paper waste! I try my best to following up on all the junk mail we receive. I call to unsubscribe from it all or switching everything over to electronic mail if possible. A really cool app that was mentioned on tv the other day that suppose to help you do this is, PaperKarma. I'm excited to try it out.
Sometimes just one simple act can inspire many more! It's taken sometime for me to form "Green Habits" and it's always a work in progress. However, after I get into a certain routine and follow them consistently, they become second nature to me. In the end, I feel a lot happier when I do my part to keep the Earth happy.


What's something you do to keep the Earth happy that brings you happiness in return?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Settling Into My Happy Spot

Most of the time if you hear of someone "settling" on a partner, a new job, or a new home, one might automatically think of "settling" as something negative. As if the person didn't try hard enough to get a job they really wanted, they didn't spend enough time and energy researching for that perfect home, or compromised and settled on a partner that wasn't equivalent to let's say, Brad Pitt or [insert your favorite Bollywood actor here]. I'm sure many of us have seen or heard quotes like these: "Life is short, never settle" or "Settling is giving up, don't ever settle" -anonymous. Lately, I'm not sure that "settling" is necessarily a bad idea. Hear me out...

I consider myself to be a highly motivated person and although, I've spoken about my indecisive nature several times, I can also be very stubborn once I put my mind to something. But as I get older, I'm learning that there are a lot of things I'm willing to settle on and I'm much happier doing so. For example, I'm happy settling on a house we can afford that I know meets 80% of the requirements on my checklist. This allows me and my husband the luxury to travel around the world versus spending more time an energy searching for that "perfect house", which will probably end up being way above our budget! In the end we wouldn't have any time or money left to do the things that really make us happy. I guess this same analogy can be applied to any other area in our lives as well. So, is settling a bad idea?

Pondering on this question a little longer then brought me to my next question: What is the difference between compromising and settling? Interestingly, when asked Mr. Google for an answer (as I go to him for answers to everything), I was brought to this article. And I think the following statement I read in the article is really helped me clear things up: "You compromise on your wants, but you settle on your needs". For example, I don't know of any relationship that has worked without some compromise on both ends of the parties involved (business or personal). Because everyone has their own set of wants and since everyone can't get everything they want, there is always a need for compromise. In the long run, one can be happy without all of the wants on the list, because in the end they are just wants - not necessities! However, one can not be happy with a majority of one's needs. In terms of a relationship, I think it's important to remember, that there is no "Mr. Right" or "Mr. Perfect". There is only the "Mr. Right for you!" or "Mr. Perfect in your eyes!" and that's all that matters. I don't think anyone should "settle" for someone who may not meet majority of characteristics on his/her checklist. However, if you forget to differentiate between your list of wants and your list of needs, "Mr. Right for you", might just pass you by. I think this quote below really sums this up nicely.


I think in my eyes, Life is too short, not to settle. And settling doesn't have to mean that you've given up. I think settling and compromising is a part of life and are important steps to helping one find inner peace and happiness. Don't get me wrong, however, I also think that doing so shouldn't keep you from striving to reach for your goals/dreams. If your goal is to strengthen your relationship with your partner or someone important to you, I think you must first settle and be at peace with where you are currently and then work on taking steps to make it better. If your goal is to get a better education and go further in your career, you can still be settled and happy with your current job, while working towards that goal at a pace that works for you. If you don't find happiness in the present, then the negative thoughts or feelings make it harder for you to be positive and work towards your goals. Just because you are settled in your most appropriate spot right now, doesn't have to mean that you are stuck in that spot forever!


What are your thoughts on settling?

My Spring Beauty Essentials

Let me start this post of by first stating that I am not a beauty guru by any means. I look to my sister, my friends, and beauty bloggers as well as youtubers for advice on the best products on the market and how to use them correctly. Since like knowing what others are using I thought it would be fun to do a post my current essentials.  So, here it is!

Spring Beauty Essentials

1) Clean and Clear Cleanser: This is just a simple cleanser, nothing fancy. It wakes me up in the morning and gets the job done. I've pretty much been using this since I was a teenager.
2) Clarisonic Brush: I was really on the fence about this. It got it on a great sale and wanted to give it a try. I think it really makes a world of difference! 
3) Clinique Moisture Surge: This is definitely an expensive moisturizer, but for me it's been well worth it. I've started to see a lot of dry patches and did a lot of research to find a product that does the job and was within my budget. This is the only product that has really made a difference. 
4) Clinique All About Eyes: I never used two different products for moisturizing before, but as I get older I'm starting to see those crow's feet around my eyes. This product is a little heavier and works really well under my concealer so it doesn't crease up as much. I'm not sure if I'm 100% sold, but so far this is the best one I've tried.
5) Vaseline: This is a must have in my book! I mainly use it on my lips, but it's also great to use with a Q-tip as a gentle eye makeup remover. 
6) Friedman's Clay Mask: Super affordable and I really feel like it does the job to pull the dirt from deep down my skin. I try to use it once a week, but sometimes I forget... so more than 2 to 3x a month.
7) Oil of Olay Total Effects 7 in One: I know what you are thinking... why in the world would I have 3 different moisturizing products on my list?! But SPF is a must in my book! Unfortunately, I have yet to find the perfect spf product for myself. I learned through trial an error earlier this year that any spf product with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide makes me break out. Pretty much every spf product on the market tends to have either one of these two as the spf ingredients in them. So this product works "ok" for me. If you have recommendations, I'd love to know!
8) MAC Studio Fix: This is the perfect foundation coverage for me. I'm wear the color NC42. My sister has been trying to get me to switch to a liquid version, but for now this one works perfect for me.
9) MAC liquid concealer: I use this under my eyes and for spot correction for special occasions only. It doesn't crease as much under my eyes versus other products, especially if I use the Clinique All About Eyes underneath.
10) Clinique Free Spring Gift: I got this as part of a free gift when I purchased the moisture surge from Macy's recently. I'm usually not a fan of these free gifts because the colors usually don't work for me. They are currently offering this kit in Nudes and Pinks. I chose the Pinks and really love it! The colors are perfect for day to day look and you can build on the eyes and lips for a great evening look as well. It has everything you need for a complete look! The only thing I do not like is the original Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer - it just doesn't work for me at all. On the other hand, it also includes a really good mascara, a travel size of the moisture surge, plus a really cute spring bag... on top of all that it was free with a purchase!

I'm sure these "essentials" will change over time... but for now these are the products I find myself reaching for the most often. There are still two main products I'm on the look out for: a great night time serum and a great spot treatment for those random blemishes I still get from time to time.


What are your beauty essentials this season?

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Fireplace Update

One of the main reasons we chose our town-home was because it was move-in ready! My husband and I are not good when it comes to making decisions. It is very hard for us to agree and we are both very opinionated at the same time. When we finally came across this home, I was pretty exhausted and ready to just finally make a decision! We had several offers that had fallen through in the past and house hunting had been a crazy emotional roller coaster ride for us both.

Just like with anything in life, we did compromise a few things here and there, but overall we loved home! It's hard to believe that it's been a little over a year since we moved in. There is still a lot I would like to change and add in terms of decor, but I'm taking it pretty slow. One of the first major "renovations" we did was adding a mantle to our fireplace. We looked at several different design ideas in our search for the perfect mantle. One thing we both definitely agreed on was that we wanted it to look sleek and modern. We went through several ideas online, in store, and through other contractors. But in the end I kept being drawn this mantel that Stephanie and her husband had built themselves! Can you believe it?! All under $200!! It looks so sleek, so modern and still very inviting. I just fell in love with it!

I love the color white and I had really wanted a white kitchen, but since that didn't happen we thought  it would be a good idea to do the mantle in a white color to help lighten up the room against our dark hardwood floors. Chirag and I are in no way as handy as Stephanie and her husband. We get frustrated just trying to assemble furniture together! And neither one of us is licensed to use a power tool! So there was no way we were going to be able to do this in under $200. We decided to hire a contractor and showed him the picture. We needed our mantle to be slightly higher and although I would have loved to re-tile the surround, it just didn't make sense in terms of our budget. 


In the end, we are both so happy with how it turned out! Although it wasn't as inexpensive as $200 for us, it still fit in well under our budget. And for us it was much easier and well worth it to hire a professional. Stephanie and her husband have done many more projects around their home. Another one of my favorites would this Covered Greenhouse Garden. I would definitely recommend checking out her blog SwingNCocoa for inspiration and step by step instructions. If you are handy enough to do it yourself, then more power to you, sister! :)

Have you done any home updates lately?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Three Things Thursday: A Glimmer of Light, A Power(ful) Day, & A Precious Relationship



One: A Glimmer of Light

I won't bore you with all the details, but these past several months I've been in quiet a rut. I know people all around the world have way bigger problems than my own, so I really can't complain! I'm very blessed, but I'm sure everyone can relate to a time in their lives when they just couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Overall, I've tried to think positively and not let it get me down, but it had been getting harder and harder this month. Until this week! I'm final saw a sign and a slight glimmer of light at the end of that tunnel.. and I'm sure that soon everything will work out for the best! I just need to continue to stay patient (not my strongest attribute). I'm not totally out of the woods yet, but sometimes you just need a sign to give you hope when you're down so you can continue to stay strong.



One: A Power(ful) Day

I've mentioned about a podcast series "Happier with Gretchen Rubin" in my very first blog post.  Listening to her little tips on living a happier life has really helped me. Although I may not implement all her tips and ideas, she does motivate me to do just a little something each day. This past week I heard Gretchen & Elizabeth talk about having a Power Hour once a week. I usually listen to the podcast before falling asleep and I'm not sure if she some how hypnotized me, but the following morning I woke up and literally had a Power Day! From the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, I was so efficient with my time. I knocked things off my to do list that had been on there for months! I think when you read a motivational book or something like this, it somehow sticks with you even if you don't realize it. Surrounding yourself with positive people and reading or listening to a positive message and can help motivate you to be a more a powerful and positive version of yourself.


Three: A Precious Relationship

Just last night I spoke to my grandparents (Nana & Nani) from India after almost 3 months! My mom's parents live in India and my dad's parents live(d) here in the states. I say lived because I just lost my grandfather this past November, so now it's just my Ba (dad's mom). I think overall, I did my best to make sure to call and visit him and my Ba as much as possible. Although, it never seems like it is enough once you loose someone. It's harder however with my Nana & Nani just because of the distance. But I feel like in this day and age, it's not a good enough excuse. I typically go to India every 3 to 4 years at the least. They use to come visit us too, but now with older age they don't care to travel much. My Nani (mom's mom) was telling me over the phone how 3 of her relatives had passed away just this March. It just made me realize now precious time is and how I need to make more of an effort to call, video chat, and see them more often. I can always tell that even a 5 minute conversation with them makes their day and even mine. I definitely need to make more of an effort to treasure and nurture my relationship with them. You never realize quickly time slips away until it's gone.
This is one of my favorite pics from my parent's wedding. 
This is both of my grandfathers signifying the two families coming together as one.


What are three things you'd like your share from your week?

If you're interested in joining the linkup with Salma, Raj, and Nisha, visit their blog for full details.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Sweet Potato Fan

I'm been a vegetarian my whole life, but I rarely venture out to try new veggies. I tend to stay in my comfort zone... onion, bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach are a must on my grocery list at all times! No matter what I'm making one of these three veggies ultimately ends up in my dish. Lately, I've been trying to make sure pick at least 1 to 2 different veggie and try a new recipe. So, recently I was inspired to make these "Sweet Potato Patties" by Chef Pri from Recipris.

I have been following Chef Pri's blog for sometime now and I would definitely recommend checking it out. She has delicious and easy recipes for some of my favorite types of food like Italian, Mexican, Thai, and of course Indian! Her recipes are not super complicated at all and I really love that. I have tried several of them with great success and this one was no different.



I sometimes like to experiment with recipes when my husband isn't round.... just in case it doesn't quiet turn out right. Typically, it's something I did wrong following directions versus the recipe's fault. I love sweet potato fries, but that's about as far as I have ventured out with this root vegetable. So, I tried to make these Sweet Potato Patties one day when I was bored in the middle of the  afternoon. The recipe was super easy and really didn't take much time at all. It turned out so good that I ended up having two of them for lunch. My husband also loved it! It's served with coconut cilantro chutney (my favorite) and has a kick from the Indian spices.

This recipe definitely made me a sweet potato fan! I also used an extra potato I had and made a "baked sweet potato" with green onions, light cheese, black pepper, and sour cream for a simple lunch later in the week. Another idea I had was to substitute for these patties in "Vada Pau" (mini Indian street sandwiches) usually served with a chili/garlic chutney. I'll post and update when I try this idea out. It's perfect to make a small batch a little ahead of time. Like most Indians, my parents love chai/snack time in the middle of the afternoon. I think these patties are going to be perfect for just that when they come for a visit this summer! Be sure to check out Chef Pri's post for the full recipe details and beautiful step by step pictures on this recipe and more!

Are you a sweet potato fan?

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Little Spring in My Closet

My how much my style has evolved over the years! Three to four years ago, I would have never in my wildest of dreams purchased an item this bright! When I first saw this skirt at the store, I originally grabbed the navy/black version and paired it with a same navy plaid shirt below. The combination looked good and it was "safe" for me. But I never ended up purchasing either item that day.

I kept my eye out for the skirt online and was waiting for a good sale. I figured the navy/black skirt was a perfect basic that I would be able to pair with anything. But I think this Spring time weather really inspired me to think outside the box and so I originally put a neon yellow color in my cart and was ready to check out. Then at the very last minute, I realized that I had previously bought a long yellow maxi skirt and although it was my favorite color, I had only worn it once. Maybe I wasn't as adventurous as I'd like to think, so I went back to the navy/black color! I went back and forth in my head for a while... Pisces... I tell ya! haha. Then I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to do this... but I purchased both a navy/black and this "neon papaya" color at the very last second!

Spring Capsule Outfits #4

I guess I was determined to put a little "spring in my step" or at least in my closet! :) I had no idea what I was going to pair this skirt with besides a white top (the obvious choice). So, having to stay true to my three shopping guideline questions, I decided to jump on polyvore to experiment with this color. I like having my virtual closet online. I pretty much own each item in the sets or something very similar. For example, I do not own earrings that are $32k, or nude heels that are $500 bucks! yikes. Nonetheless, I love playing dress up without the hassle of trying on each outfit. Per my guidelines I had come up with at least three different ways I could wear this skirt. It already fit well into my monthly budget since I bought it on a 50% off sale + an additional 20% off. When it finally arrived, the fit was perfect and so I decided, why not?! 

When I went to the store return the navy/black color. I came across this light weight sweater. Suddenly, I started to see fireworks! I decided to experiment yet again and tried the orange skirt, the blush sweater, and a white statement necklace together. I absolutely loved the pairing! It was a perfect spring outfit and I already had an event in my mind to which I would wear it to. But sadly, they didn't have the sweater in my size. :( I'm keeping my eye out and hopefully it will go on sale again soon online.  

I'm learning to have fun  with my style and not take it so seriously. In case you are interested in trying the monochromatic trend, I ironically just read this post by Marlene from Messages on a Napkin. She has six great ideas on how to ease in and give it a try yourself!

I love to read your comments/feedback. Which look is your favorite?





Sunday, April 12, 2015

From a Place of Abundance

I tend to like workouts that are pretty fast paced, really push me, and get me super sweaty. Mainly because by the end of my workout, I want to feel really accomplished and as if that 1 hour was totally worth it! I typically like to run, do the stepper, elliptical machine, or weights. But this past week, I was inspired to try something a bit different.

One of my friends had a free guest pass and invited me to try Gaia Flow Yoga. I had been telling her about how stressed I had been this week and really needed a massage. Instead, she said how about yoga?! She told me how she was loving the new yoga class she had join. I have heard a lot of people rave about yoga and how great it is for the body as well as the mind. My Dad and Mom do yoga pretty religiously at home. My Dad swears by it and is always telling me "You MUST do yoga, Reshma!"


I had previously tried YogaX as part of the P90X program. I did feel a difference after doing videos, but honestly... it was a bit boring for me. It was a little too repetitive and certain moves I just couldn't do! Plus, 1 & 1/2 hour was just too long for me. So I slowly started skipping those videos as part of the series. I am not sure what I was expecting to be different with this class, but something about doing with it a friend really inspired me give a try!

We decided to go to an early afternoon class since we both work from home and the evening classes are quiet large. Our class had only seven people plus our instructor, Katie. Before we got started, I realized that I was the only one with socks and tennis shoes on! I'm sure everyone realized I was a newbie! haha. I quickly took my shoes and socks off and settled in towards the back of the room with my friend. The room pretty hot. I started to wonder if I had just signed up for "hot yoga". I came to find out later that it was 95 degrees in the room and that "hot yoga" is usually 105 degrees! yikes. I was expecting it to be so easy and relaxing that I completely forgot to bring water and a towel.

Katie first started with about 10 minutes of ab/core moves. I was quiet surprised and pleased by this. The moves were quiet tough and I could feel my core quiet a bit. I liked really getting into it from the get-go. Then we took a short break to stretch and Katie went around the room asking students what was something they were happy or excited about today. It made the class feel a little more personal. I really like that! Katie went on to help us clear our minds and to "come from a place of abundance". She talked about coming from a positive place. Whether we were coming from a place of abundant happiness, abundant energy, abundant exhaustion, or abundant stress. You have an abundance of something. I have never thought of it this way... the word "abundance" put a positive spin on everything!

It was really nice to get into the rest of the "practice" (as Katie called it) with a positive state of mind. We then went on to stretches, deep breaths, and Om's. As the class went on, it started to get more and more challenging. Katie gave me a little more attention and really helped push me a bit further than I could go. As I stayed in the downward dog position, I noticed sweat dripping down from the tip of my nose onto my mat. I was sweating so much!! I was amazed at how challenging, yet also how relaxing the whole hour had been. I didn't get bored at all! Katie really kept the class interesting and really didn't repeat any of the moves.

At the end of the class, I laid there with a clear mind, relaxed, yet feeling accomplished! I was very pleased with my experience and the next day my triceps and thighs were pretty sore. The music, the smell of the essential oils, and the vibe in the room...the whole experience had been quiet amazing!


What is the place of abundance that you are coming from today?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Three Things Thursday: A Letter, A Trip, & A Goal

I enjoyed linking up with Nisha, Salma, and Raj last week on 3TT, so I decided to do it again. It's nice to take a little time to recap the week for myself as well as as see what others have been up to.



One: A Letter to Future Self

I was inspired to do this after reading this post by Kristian and Priya also mentioned it on this post. This year I have a couple of very specific career and personal goals in mind and this seemed like the perfect idea! So, I actually just sat down wrote a letter to my future self! It's been a long time since I've put pen to paper. I'm use to typing everything and my handwriting is really horrible these days. I'm glad I did it though. It was nice take a little time to think about what really matters to me and where I hope to be this time next year. I really hope that when I open the letter that I will be a healthier and happier person than I am today and will have a reached majority of my goals.



Two: A Trip to Houston

This past Sunday I took a quick trip down to Houston to interview for a possible job that could really be great for my career. I'm really not sure if I will get the job or if I want to move again, but just the opportunity to interview for such a great position was something I couldn't pass up! So I decided to take it one step at a time and see what happens. I'm quiet the planner, but so far nothing has gone according to plan in my life... yet, I'm still happy and everything always works out in the end! Anyways, while down there I looked up Fusion Taco in downtown Houston. It's a pretty cool taco joint. I had the agedashi tofu and crispy tofu masala tacos (they had me at tofu! ;)). The flavors of both tacos were really good, but pieces of tofu were a little to thick and large for my liking. I also had the kale and mango side salad and it was probably my favorite! If you ever go to Houston, I think it's definitely worth checking out!


Three: A Goal for the Week

I will be taking a important exam one month from now and I really want to pass! It has been a goal of mine for quiet some time now to get this certification. It will really help me grow and open new doors in regards to my career. Sometimes it's very overwhelming with the amount of material there is to study. I work from home right now and it's great. I do like the advantages it has to offer like a flexible schedule,  but that also means less structure in my life. And like I said I'm a planner and I crave structure. So, this week I sat down and made a specific schedule for myself to make sure I work, study, exercise and relax all in a timely fashion. I'm trying to start with a small goal for this week. My goal is to be in bed by 11pm even if I'm not asleep and to wake up by 7:30am. So far, I'm getting in bed but I still working til about 12:30-1pm. Hopefully I get better at this goal as the week goes on.


Did you try anything new this week or take a trip somewhere?




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Inspired Style on a Budget


I mentioned in my previous post that I have been spending a little extra attention to my wardrobe and trying to make better decisions on how I spend my money. So, I thought that it might be a good idea to join the Monthly Budget Link up on Franish.

I have been following Franish for quiet some time now. She is super relate-able, real and down to earth. Even though she is a super busy medical student, somehow she finds the time to keep her blog updated with really good content at all times. Besides fashion posts, she also writes on various other topics. Like her post on Medical School Dating and Studying in Medical School. My favorite are her Sunday posts were she also mentions some Medical Tidbits. Being is the same field, I enjoy the little random facts she posts.

I've been keeping track of my purchases on a word document for well over a year now. I started simply to keep track of my spending and return dates on items I wasn't sure about. You see, I had/have a major problem. I tend to buy items, especially when they were on sale... thinking that I absolutely "love it" or "it's just such a great deal!", only I realize a few weeks later that I am NOT interested in the item at all! Sometimes, I have no idea how to style an item. Other times, I have returned a classic, timeless piece, thinking I'll never wear it, when it in fact it was a closet staple that I end up missing when I actually needed it to complete an outfit! I end up regretting my decision, yet again! Over 50% of my purchases go back to the store (sometimes more!). It was/is a vicious cycle and even if I remember to return items in a timely manner, in reality it's just a such a waste of time! I blame it all on being Pisces and being extremely indecisive! :(

So, my goal in 2015 is to work on being more decisive and making better decisions in several areas of my life, including my wardrobe! I've learned a lot from the some of my favorite style bloggers. They have really inspired me to try things outside of my comfort zone and helped me learn that classic, well-fitted, staple pieces at a must! So, I've come up with a plan. From now, on when I purchase an item I have a simple three question checklist the item must meet.

1) Is it a classic piece that fits me like perfection?
2) Is it a "trendy" or "expensive" piece I would actually wear at least 3 different ways?
3) Can I afford it as part of monthly budget?

I think my purchases for February and March are about 90% on point with this checklist. I did venture out of my comfort zone quiet a bit in March! Spring/summer is when I were pretty much live in dresses. And I do have several trips coming up so I'm sure I'll get good wear out of them. But, I still think 5 over the course of 2 months is a lot, so I still need to work on refining and sticking to the guidelines better. Overall, I'm pretty happy with this round up! :)


Feb-March Purchases

Old Navy white dress / Short red dress / Red cocktail dress / Old navy dress / Crochet top / Raglan sleeve top / Old Navy white vest / H M jacket, $37 / J Crew red skater skirt / H M mini skirt, $37 / Old Navy blue bathing suit / Old navy activewear / Old navy activewear / LOFT

In addition to these items, I also got a simple long sleeve stripped tee and sleeveless black sparkly top classic items - both for $7 total @ BR. A few of the items that I purchased at the end of the month haven't come in yet, like this orange skirt. What was I thinking, again? haha... but I did come up with 3 ways I'd wear it before I purchased it online. Unless I absolutely don't like the fit, I do plan on keeping the late arrivals.

Total $327. It a bit scary to put all these numbers out there for everyone, but I hope that this just allows me to hold myself more accountable for my decisions.

April will be a "Shopping Fast" month. I do this every few months. I don't open any sale emails and pretty much avoid the mall completely. It always feels good at the end of the month for two reasons 1) a sense of accomplishment 2) having more free time for everything else in my life... and a bonus, extra money in the bank! :)

Do you keep a monthly clothing budget?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tofu-rific!

I'm pretty obsessed with Tofu! So it's only appropriate that my first food-related post be on none other than tofu.

I have been a fairly strict vegetarian my whole life and even though my mom tired to get me to eggs when I was younger, I didn't really start eating them until after I started dating my husband. I mainly started as a way to increase my protein in-take, but I'm still pretty picky about my eggs overall.

But I love tofu! I know some people are totally turned off by it, but I promise you, that when marinated and cooked properly it's actually really delicious. And it's an excellent alternative to meat in many dishes. Plus, these days you can use tofu in so many different ways... sandwiches, tacos, and curry or noodle dishes just to name a few! I always have tofu on hand and pretty much make it 2 to 3 times a week. I typically get the firm or extra firm kind. I'm not a fan of the silken tofu, but I know several people who use it in their smoothies and love it too.


In case you haven't tried it yet, then the Loaded Crispy Tofu Tacos by The Woks of Life would definitely be one of my top 5 recommendations! It's super flavorful, plus and all the fresh ingredients really make these tacos refreshing and healthy to eat... so you can feel good about having 1, 2, or maybe even 3?! It's Tofu-rific!! I tend to change up the recipe a little depending on the ingredients I have on hand, but I would definitely say cornmeal is a must. I have tried it with bread crumbs before and it was good, but I think it's more crispier and better with cornmeal. My photography skills don't do these tacos justice... so make sure you check out The Woks of Life.

Are you a tofu fan or have a favorite tofu recipe?





Friday, April 3, 2015

The Fringe Skirt

Lately, I've been making more of an effort to explore my sense of style (or lack thereof!).
Growing up, I guess I told myself that if I cared too much about my clothes and appearance that I would come off as if wasn't smart and more materialistic instead. But as I'm growing up I'm realizing that just because you care about your outward appearance, doesn't have to mean that it's all you care about in life. I'm finding that it's actually quiet the contrary. People in general who tend to spend a little more time on their outward appearance have more of a presence out in the world. Other people are more willing to listen to what they have to say because they "look" the part. And that your outward appearance has a lot to do with your beauty and self-confidence on the inside. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the pendulum can swing to both sides of the extreme too, but life is all about balance! And if spending a little extra time on how you look on the outside makes your feel better and happier on the inside, then you're definitely smart to do so in my book! :)

And last month, I picked up this cute skirt from H&M. I was excited when I first saw it in the store! I didn't have anything like it in my closet. I wouldn't say my style is totally boring... ok, maybe borderline... but I'm trying to make more of an effort these days. Anyways, I bought the skirt home and then it laid in the corner of my closet for weeks! Every time I looked at it I just remember thinking "I can't pull that of! It's not me... what was I thinking?" I have items in my closet right now that I loved in the store, but never actually ended up wearing. I was too scared of what people would think as I mentioned above. I was too concerned about all the wrong things! It's just clothes for crying out loud! And if it makes me happy to try something new... I should!

However, I had literally made up my mind to return it the next day and then I saw this post on PPF. It was my skirt! I loved how Kimberly styled it and gave it a little more of an edgier yet relaxed look. I would have never thought to pair it with a jean jacket and those shoes! That's what I love about blogs, pinterest, and instagram... inspiration is just a click away and you never know who will inspire you to think outside the box next!

I've been following Kimberly from PPF for well over a year now. I love her sense of style and she is so good at making affordable pieces look like a million bucks! I always feel as if I'm looking at a catalog of some expensive brand and then pleasantly surprised to find that... hey, I can actually afford that! Plus, she seems like a genuinely sweet person and it's definitely shows through some of her more personal posts.

One of my resolutions for 2015 was not to spend money on clothes that I know I am not going to wear, but love the "idea of wearing it someday". Or go crazy and buy everything that's on sale just because I feel like I'm getting a great deal. I'm not very good with being creative on the fly, so I've been using Polyvore to help me explore my "style". When I buy a new item I add it to my "Spring Capsule" on Polyvore and play with different ideas on how I'd style it. It's great because these exact pieces or something very similar to these pieces in my closet currently. So I don't have to spend money on buying additional items to complete the look. Might sound a little time consuming for some people, but it's become a fun little hobby for me. Plus, it's helping me make better decisions when shopping and budgeting my money on clothes.

Spring Capsule #3

I decided that I was only allowed to keep the skirt if I would for sure wear it at least three different ways. Now, I know 3 of the outfits have similar white tops, but I cheated and still counted them as three different "safe" looks. I'm really not sure if I could pull of this skirt with converses but I'd like to think I'm "cool like that"! ;) And in case I'm really not... I gave myself my everyday safe shoes, the pointed toe flats as options! :)

I ended up wearing this look out last week when we went out for dinner with friends. I was venturing out of my safety zone and it was actually nice for a change! I'm glad Kimberly inspired me to keep the skirt and gave me a little push to "pull it off" in my own way. I wore it with a white cami (#2 top row) and added the black blazer... I know, not too adventurous... but I do plan on wearing it with a chambray shirt or a gray tee next time... maybe for brunch?!

Looks like this post got a little too long... 

Do you have items in your closet you loved at first, but then felt too self conscious to wear? 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three Things Thursday

I'm still new to the whole blogger community but I've already discovered some great blogs and started to really get to know some amazing ladies! So today I've decided to linkup with Nisha, Salma and Raj for Three Things Thrusday. I think that it's a great idea so here my three favorite things from this week.



One

Dallas has some amazing places to eat and one that I've visited twice this week has been VBB (Village Burger Bar). We use to live right above a location when we lived in the city and now they have opened up another location 5 mins away from our new townhome! My absolute favorite is the portebella goat cheese burger and their shoestring fries - they are seriously addictive with the chipotle ketchup! They have a great outdoor patio so I have a feeling I'm going to be going there a lot to enjoy this great spring time Dallas weather before it gets scorching hot!!

Two

Yesterday was my SIL, Avani's birthday! We share the same birthday month so March is always an exciting month for us both! Her birthday is on the 31st and mine is the 3rd so we pretty much find a reason to celebrate our birthdays all month long! It was a low key birthday since it was a weekday, but we did go out for dinner at a really nice Turkish Cafe. This birthday is extra special for her, but I'll  expand more on that on a future post ;)

Three

This past Monday marked one whole week of blogging for me! :) I was pretty intimidated in the beginning, but now I think I'm settling in well into my little corner of the blogger world. I wanted to share the blogs of two sweet ladies I've been following this week - Priya from Perfectly Priya and Parita from My Inner Shakti. I have really enjoyed reading their posts and getting to know them better through their blogs. Below is one of my favorite posts from each of their blogs.

Priya's 2015 resolutions are really cute and fun! I love the one word motto... and this post kind of reminds me not to take life so seriously and pay attention to the little details - like writing a letter.
Parita's post on Know Your People really stuck with me because it really took me awhile to find "my people" after moving to a new city, but when you know... you know! Now I have a small but close group of friends who I really care about and can be myself around.

What were your three favorite things from this week?

Oops! I'm not sure I "linked up" correctly :(