Forest Green

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I swear it feels just like yesterday, I was stepping out as a chocolate frosted, sprinkle donut and my roommate as mac & cheese for a Halloween pub crawl. Now, it’s almost the end of freakin’ November! This month has been crazy and it is so far from over. I don’t have much time to write a full length post with me bantering on and on about whatever, irrelevant thing is going on in my mind, as I’m headed on a bit of an adventure, involving tapas and t-shirts that say “Czech Me Out” (!)

I thought, I’d talk about the 5 things I’m obsessed with right now:

1. The SERIAL podcast by the producers of This American Life

2. This is all. If you haven’t started listening to it, I suggest that you do. It is A-ddicting…storytelling at it’s best!

There…short and sweet. I’ll be back after Thanksgiving!

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Dia de los Muertos / Sugar Skulls

I have a slight fascination with sugar skulls – the designs, colors, patterns, and what they stand for. So in celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) this upcoming weekend, I thought I’d try my hand at making them. I picked up this “little packet o’ fun” from Paper Source a few weeks ago – Sugar Skull Mask Kit – and wanted to make a tutorial out of it. Also, why does Paper Source smell so darn good?

The kit actually makes 6 masks, and comes with pretty much everything you need. I totally felt like a 6 year old kid sitting on the floor of art class making these, and I have to say, it was fun. I’ll definitely be making a couple more to add to my collection. Here’s a close up of the two that I did:

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Half & Half

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For most people, half & half is simply something they put in their coffee. For me, it is so much more. I have somehow managed to turn this dairy product into a few bad habits (and honestly, I have no desire to break them). This stuff is pretty much up there on my list, next to queso, of course.

1. I use half & half instead of milk, eggs, or water to make my pancakes. I swear, it makes them much more fluffier!

2. I talk half & half shots. (Yes, you read that right). I’ll take those little cups, pour a little sugar in them and then start downing them, just like shots.

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3. When I buy iced coffee, I pour half of it out. Then fill it right back up with a mixture of half & half and a bit of milk.

4. I buy the CoffeeMate Sweet Cream creamer, and take swigs of it right out of the canister. No shame here.

5. Every now and then, if I don’t have enough milk for my cereal but just happen to have half & half…well, let’s just say I do not run to the store.

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Now, that everyone officially thinks I’m gross, let’s answer the following question, “How can I dress up my jean shorts?” That’s easy, with sequins. Also, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that my standard outfit is jean shorts, a blazer and a top. Here, I’ve dressed it up a bit more, these two looks are a bit more casual: one and two. There are quite a few more, just click on the “My Style” icon to the right.

Have a great last week of October!

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Home “Remedies” (Because All Parents are Doctors)

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If you’re Indian (actually this probably applies to most people), when you came down with a cold as a kid, your parents most likely gave you some concoction of lemon, honey, and ginger. As you got older and experienced other sicknesses—flu, sinus infections, stomach virus, bronchitis, strep throat (things that clearly require antibiotics)—your parents still insisted that lemon, honey, and ginger was the answer.

Thanks to Udey, Mali and the auntie that threads my eyebrows, I’ve recently come to find out that castor oil will cure everything that lemon, honey, and ginger can’t. Say what?! Yes…the stuff used for constipation. By the way, I should tell you, my dad really thinks he’s a doctor. It’s what he actually wanted to be. So if he says it works…well we’re all supposed to believe it does.

For example, I’m in the midst of growing one of my eyebrows out because some other auntie botched it up months ago. I finally got an auntie who knew what she was doing (this is rare). She did them, I was happy and then told me to rub castor oil on the messed up one for a month and said the hair would grow back. Okay…

That same day I go to my parents’ house and my mom insists that I rub castor oil on this small bump I have on my neck (don’t worry, it’s just a deposit of fatty tissue…sexy). I have been to four doctors about this, they have all told me it will not go away, and I would need to have it surgically removed. However, Dr. Mali insists that castor oil will reduce it. Okay…

Later that day, I walk in to find my dad rubbing something onto his knees. He then proceeds to tell me, he’s rubbing…yeah you got it…castor oil to ease the joint pain. Okay…

Now I have to admit, I didn’t actually throw this idea out the window. For the past few weeks, I’ve been using it. Yes…I have. My mother is convinced that it’s working on my bump (I don’t have the heart to tell her that it’s because it isn’t inflamed that day), my dad insists his knees are better (he could be right, but I think it’s because he actually relaxed that day), as for my eyebrows—my hair is growing back (but isn’t that kind of what hair does?). I have yet to try it on any stomach issues, though.

So does this magical, mysterious, unicorn blood-infused oil actually work or is it just another weird home remedy of our parents? Seriously, I have no idea. I’m going to file it under “Windex Solves Everything” – Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and take a swig of lemon, honey, and ginger the next time I get pink eye.

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Linked up on: Style to InspireCappuccino and Fashion and Bless Her Heart Ya’ll.

High Waisted

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I am not a fan of shopping for jeans. Sometimes, (if I’m lucky) I’ll run into a pair that works but I tend to always have a problem with them:

  • They are too tight and if I go up one size, they fit everywhere but the waist.
  • I buy what I think is the right size and fit, but after one wear, the material stretches out. Then I need to wash them so that the material shrinks back, and the cycle starts all over again.
  • That horrid “gap” in the back between your lower back and the top of the jean (that may or may not be solved with a belt).
  • Low-rise jeans (my worst nightmare).
  • I settle on a pair that works but I usually end up having to hem them because they are way too long.

I have 2 pairs of go-to jeans. With fall/winter approaching I figured I’d need a couple more to add into my rotation. So began the hunt.

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After a lot of huffing, puffing, squeezing into, squatting down, and jumping up and down, I finally decided to try one more store, American Eagle. (My roommate recommended it. Plus, I loved their shorts, so I thought why not?). I tried on at least 10 pairs and with a help of a friend who was like “No girl.” “No.” “Absolutely not.” “Take those off.” “Don’t even try.” “Those are weird.”…I was able to pick out two pairs—one black and one high waisted (!)

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So I have to admit, I initially thought these high waisted ones were definitely going to be “mom jeans”—I’m going to take that back. I love them. First of all, AE sells them in long, regular and short (thank god). Secondly, they fit nicely—I can move in them, squat and breathe (holler). Plus, since they pull up a little higher on the waist, they smooth out that weird hip-area. I think they’re great and if worn properly, look sophisticated and put-together.

So for now, I think I’m done in the jean department. (Small victory).

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Here are a couple other outfits I’m into with the high waisted-look.

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Images via: one, two, and three

 Linked up on: I Would So Rock This, Style to Inspire,  Cappuccino and Fashion, and Design Life Diaries.

Insta-Whaaat / August Re-Cap

August_Instagram Recap

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (let’s face it, I can’t really bake), El Real Tex-Mex Restaurant on Montrose, Hot Pink Pants & Chambray, Colored Trees at the MFAH Mixed Media Event, Car Selfie, Spy Store on Montrose (aka: the place where James Bond shops), Splattered Top, Whataburger (does this really need an explanation?)

You can find me here: jyoti_patel (Instagram)

Bubble Wrap

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This skirt makes me feel like I carefully wrapped (and pleated) some kind of comfy, bubble wrap-like blanket around my waist and walked out the door. I don’t often buy skirts; mainly because I feel like most of them are too tight, too short, are so long that I look stocky, rise up when I walk, flow up in the wind…you get the drift. Plus, I have to think a little bit harder with them because it requires pairing it with a top (something I don’t have to worry about with dresses).

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So when I saw this one I picked it up, put it down, picked it up, put it down and then I just stood there. How often am I going to wear a comforter around my waist? Do I really want to walk around wearing something that people might mistake for bubble wrap and want to pop? Then I thought, I really like to sleep and I always use a blanket when I sleep, and I really enjoy popping bubble wrap, so why not? (My logic is always so on point). In the end, I loved the versatile length of it (it can be worn high-waisted or a little lower for a knee-length or below-the-knees look. Plus, the dark mint/sea green color of it is so pretty; I don’t own anything like it. So this blanket-bubble-wrap skirt came home with me. I got it from H&M a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t find it online. Here are a couple of similar items: one and two.

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Linked up on: I Would So Rock This, Myriad Musings, Cappuccino and Fashion,  Style to Inspire, Friday Frills and Penniless Socialite.

Insta-Whaaat / July Re-cap

July_Instagram Recap

Morning Run Around Spy Pond in Boston, Taking a Ferry to the Boston Harbor Islands, Book Club on the Beach of Georges Island, Exploring Fort Warren on Georges Island, Getting Salt Water Taffy Stuck in My Teeth, Subway Art in the T, Boston Skyline, Me, Jenny and Joanne at our Friend Frank’s Wedding, Fresh Veggies from Udey’s Garden, Double Trouble, Palm Trees on W. Gray Street in River Oaks, Houston

You know you want to follow me: jyoti_patel !

Hot Air Balloon Ride

I’ve always had this habit of either playing with my food or leaving bits of it on my plate—two things that drive my mom insane. I just can’t help it! What she doesn’t know is what happened to me once in third grade. I was playing with my food during lunch period (a questionable “burrito” from the school cafeteria and a Dr. Pepper), when the boy across from me, told on me to the lunch monitor. Like who are you and why did you even care? (I hate boys) The monitor came over, told me she was going to throw up and went on to say “proper, young ladies do not play with their food.” I’m really not sure where she got the word “proper” from. The next day, she made me sit apart from my class…alone…at a small desk…to eat my lunch…facing a brick wall…at the front of the cafeteria. It was harsh times.

Now, I play with my food a bit differently.

If you follow me on Instagram (at jyoti_patel), you’ll have seen this short video. The other two involve Skittles and Whoppers.

Insta-Whaaat / May & June Re-cap

I tend to forget that I have an Instagram account, which is weird because it’s my FAVORITE social media platform. To bring it more into the spotlight, I’m going to try and do a monthly re-cap. Since I’m quite a few months behind (I did a First Quarter Re-cap in May), I’ll do May and June this week, then July and August over the next two weeks.

May-June_Instagram Recap

Houston Skyline at Discovery Green, Leather Pants & Flowers, Chocolate Croissant at Common Bond Café, Homemade Masala Burgers, Craft Night – Painting Pots, Completed Jar of Nutella, Texas Pride, Morning Sunlight in My Bedroom, Hiking Down to Hamilton Pool in Austin, Floating the River in Austin, Strawberry-topped Pancakes for Father’s Day

You know you want to follow me: jyoti_patel !

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