Dragons Love Spices Too! (Filling Your Masala Tiffin)

Sometimes you just need a little help filling your masala (Indian spices) tiffin! Song: Fireball – by Pitbull

Dragons Love Spices Too from Jyoti Patel on Vimeo.

Snow Leopard

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These pants were definitely one of those “I really don’t know if I should buy these, but I think they’d be really fun AND I’m feeling a bit feline-ish today, so I’ll just buy them”-purchases. I’ve had them for a couple of years, but they are just now stepping onto the blog.

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Surprisingly, they are not a pair that just hang around in my closet. I’ve worn them dozens of times, but only in a couple of ways. Usually it’s just with a plain top, like this gray t-shirt, or if I’m feeling a bit more pattern-adventurous, with a red/white stripe shirt. Here, I threw in the faux fur scarf to bring out the “leopard-ness”. While I don’t think this print is work-appropriate for everyone–I do think there are prints out there, like stripes, polka dots or plaid–that can spice up a work wardrobe.

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Linked up on: Style to Inspire, What I Wore Wednesday, Design Life Diaries, Penniless Socialite, Style Swap Tuesdays and Pumps and Pushups.

 

One Girl / New Year’s Resolution for January

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To kick-off my New Year’s Resolution of donating to one non-profit organization a month—for January, I chose One Girl!

Every day I tell myself that nothing in my life would be possible without my parents, who worked so hard to provide me with an amazing education. Unfortunately, there are thousands of young women and girls who will never get the opportunity to experience all the joys of education. Thankfully, there are organizations out there that are striving to turn this around.

I came across One Girl while doing some research for work and was immediately drawn to their mission and powerful messages. They aim to ensure that women and girls have access to education in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

While I could go on and on about One Girl, I think the images and statistics from their website will have a much more powerful impact.

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Another aspect of One Girl that I really like, is that funds go towards specific channels:

Business Brains—helps young girls build their own entrepreneurial skills by providing them with little bit of funding to start their own local businesses. Which in turn allows them to buy food, water, and other necessary items all on their own.

School Awesomisation—building safer, more comfortable schools for students to attend.

Scholarships—provide full-funding, uniform, school books and stationary for students.

Launchpad—We take feminine products for granted, while hundreds of young girls struggle to even get their hands on something as simple as a sanitary pad. Through their Launchpad program, One Girl partners with other organizations to provide girls clean, biodegradable pads. Thereby, making it so they don’t have to miss school for a week every month.

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No girl should be denied an education and with tons of awesome ways to help out, just one person can ensure that one girl goes to school.

If you have a few minutes, check out One Girl—play video, click on their stories, maybe give a “gift that doesn’t suck” (!) If anyone knows of any similar organizations, I would love to hear about them.

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All images are from the One Girl website. 

As If

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Back in the 90s, my Mom used to swear by the JC Penny catalogue. That woman would get such a thrill from flipping through the catalogue, going up to the registry desk to order items, and opening up the packages. These days, she just visits the store…pretty much every weekend, if not multiple times in a weekend – 10% coupon and JCP credit card, in hand (sometimes I drive her there).

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I’ll never forget the time she let me order my first item from the catalogue – it was a plaid shirt, in pretty much the same material as the scarf here. I loved that shirt! It was flannel, soft and a little too big (but that was the style back then). I wore it with black pants, white pants, jeans, wide-leg jeans (not JNCO wide-leg, but Unionbay wide-leg), pretty much until it had holes all over it.

It made me feel like one of the cool kids. Though, if you read my post a couple weeks back about dark green socks, supposedly I was not a cool kid.

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Then Clueless happened, and plaid went buck-wild. When Cher (aka Alicia Silverstone) is wearing short plaid “business suits” in one of the best 90s movies ever made, how could you not want to wear it?

If you haven’t gathered it by now, I’m a huge fan of plaid. I decided to finally post one of my favorite dresses, that I picked up from a store in Madrid, Pull & Bear, a couple of years back. I love how the dress can easily be incorporated into my wardrobe all year-round. I had bought the plaid material with the intention of turning it into a thick, fleece-lined scarf like I did last year with this one, DIY: Fleece-Lined Scarf, but never got a chance to. So it’s become one of those blanket scarves that wraps around your neck a few times. (Which if you think about it, is another totally easy DIY).

This outfit is pretty much as close as it’s going to get to the short, plaid business suits worn by the girls in Clueless. I don’t think I could ever pull of anything like that…including, knee-high socks, Mary Jane shoes and scoring a guy like Paul Rudd (!)

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Linked up with: Style to Inspire and Design Life Diaries.

 

Plaid Pixie

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I hate work-pants-shopping as much as I hate shopping for jeans (for pretty much all the same reasons). However, there are a couple of stores where I’m able to find nicely-fitting pants – Anne Taylor and Banana Republic – without having to throw cash around. Plus, they carry petite sizes, which really helps. I recently tried on the Pixie line of pants at Old Navy and I have to say, I actually really like them (!)

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While some people may not think “Old Navy”, when shopping for nice, work clothes. I’ve actually found quite a few staple items from there, that I’ve worn multiple times and have lasted. I do like their Rockstar line for jeans and now these Pixie pants are also a favorite. The pants fit great, look nicely-tailored and don’t break my bank. They carry them in quite a few different colors and styles, see here.

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Some of the styles are sold in petite or ankle-length. However, I bought these on sale a couple of weeks back and ended up having to tuck the cuff in once, so that it would be a more flattering length on me. If you do end up with a regular size, you may not have to sew or hem it because the cuff will actually stay tucked in. I paired the pants with a light gray cable-knit sweater (from Old Navy as well), for a simple office look.

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Linked up with: Pumps and Push-Ups, Celebrate Southern (Bless Her Heart Ya’ll), Style Swap Tuesdays, Sophisticated Style, and Style to Inspire.

The Ocean-Inspired Spring 2015 Collection for Warby Parker

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Being a huge fan, I was thrilled when Warby Parker asked me to help unveil their new Spring 2015 collection, coming out today! Back in first grade, my dad bought me my first two pairs of thick-framed glasses—one brown and one light pink. Those have and always will be my favorite. These days Warby Parker is coming in at a pretty close second.

With that, I’m excited for their new ocean-inspired spring collection! There are eight new shapes and six new colors, with nautical design details borrowed from the open sea. They will definitely make you want to yell “ahoy!” I’m in the market for a new pair this year and have already picked out the first five I want to try-on. I’m really into the blues, purples and sandy brown colors they’ve chosen. These colors mixed with the shape of the frames—give off a pretty cool and sophisticated vibe. The tones definitely make me wish it were beach-season and I can see why warm, ocean waters would inspire anyone.

I designed the above and below layouts to show you guys what’s in store. Some of the styles actually have more than one color, so check their site for additional options. The pairs in my first try-on will be Cass, Chalmer, Finch, Newton and Theo, in the same colors as shown. I’m really hoping Newton in Aurelia Tortoise works out for me, since I love the colors and think they’d be a fun addition to my collection.

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I admire Warby Parker for quite a few reasons. My last pair of glasses came from them and I couldn’t be happier with what I received. First of all, their staff is incredibly nice and helpful. Not only did they make the whole process as simple as blinking your eyes but they also shaved my thick lenses down, so that I didn’t look like a blind, super geek.

Secondly, they offer a free Home Try-On service. You can select up to five pairs of glasses to test, they’ll ship them to you for free, and you can try them on at home. Send them back within five days and either try some more if you didn’t find one you liked or go online and order the ones you did like. I’m a fan of this…like a huge fan. I always have the hardest time determining which ones work for me. This way I can compare multiple ones at home and poll (aka bug) the people around me. Below, I already ordered the five I want to try-on from the new line and it’s being processed as I type. 

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Glasses can be expensive ya’ll, so the best part of WP is that for every pair that you buy, they donate a pair through one of their partner programs (e.g. VisionSpring) to people in developing countries. Which makes everyone feel a bit more warm and fuzzy inside.

This ocean-inspired spring collection is available online to both men and women starting today, January 13 and also includes a new line of sunglasses. Most pairs of eyeglasses start at $95 (frames included)! To shop the new collection or to find out more information about Warby Parker visit, www.warbyparker.com/spring-2015.

Layout 1 – Top image: Chalmer in Striped Beach. Layout 2 – Image 1: Cass in Blue Slate Fade, Image 2: Carnaby in Blue Coral, Image 3: Sullivan in Saltwater Matte, Image 4: Daisy in Aurelia Tortoise

All images and some wording provided by Warby Parker. Layouts created by Jyoti Patel.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid or compensated, either monetarily or with merchandise, to review Warby Parker’s Spring 2015 collection. All opinions are my own. 

Dark Green Socks

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Back in junior high, I had one of those this is traumatic, but it’s really not traumatic, you only think it is because you’re a dramatic 11-year old-situations…which made me hate the color dark green.

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Awhile back I wrote a post on how my Mom has always been a fan of matching colors in outfits. Something I hated for a really long time, up until about a year or two ago. One time in junior high, she picked out a mustard shirt for me with an embroidered flower. To match the leaves of the flower, my mom thought it’d be cute if I wore dark green socks. I really didn’t care what I wore back then, so I relied on her. (For the record, she is probably still a way better stylist than the chick I mention below).

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During English class that day, our teacher wanted us to play a game on a mat, no shoes. While standing on the mat, in the middle of the classroom, I swear one of those so-called “popular” girls snickered and told me my socks were not cool and white socks were the coolest. Really? Like who are you…the fashion police? However, being the shy, easily embarrassed kid I was, I wanted to pull my socks off immediately. That afternoon, I told my Mom I wanted white socks for all my outfits, which she thought was okay but told me the green ones were cuter. She was right…as mom’s usually are. However, I was already traumatized and refused to wear the socks and dark green pants she had bought me. I know…SO dramatic.

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Twenty years later, I really do appreciate my Mom’s taste for matching colors because it can be cute if done the right way. This just happens to be one of my favorite outfits–two shades of green tops, dark jeans, and boots. Now, I wish I could just go back and tell that girl “buh-yah…now look at what’s cool.” (I know…I’m also really awesome at comebacks).

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Lipstick: Revlon – Wine Not

Here is a recent pre-fall take on this outfit. For a monochromatic purple look, see here.

Linked up on: Bless Her Heart Ya’ll, Style Me Wednesday, Style Swap Tuesdays, Cappuccino and Fashion and Style to Inspire.

2015 Resolutions

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I’m trying to pace myself a little bit this year, so here goes:

  1. Research and donate to a different charity each month.
  2. Learn to properly get into various yoga postures, and focus on the yoga headstand again.
  3. Learn to make HD microvideos for Instagram, Vine and Vimeo.
  4. Stop fearing the kitchen! Make a savory dish, bake something sweet, become a bar tender, actually buy a recipe book…anything—just get in there!
  5. Adopt a dog.
  6. Explore Houston and Texas more.

2015 Goal: I need to learn how to work hard and be smart, without beating myself up.

That’s it, let’s see if I can make it the best year yet!

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If you’re interested in learning (or bored) and want to know more about the above 6 resolutions, continue reading. Or you can just skip it, and enjoy your first day back after the holidays. I won’t be offended. 

1. I want to spend time researching various charities and missions around the world. Based on my findings, I’ll pick one to donate to. Then write up a short blurb about my findings for the blog, in case anyone else is interested.

2. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for quite a few years. My problem is that I want to rush into more advanced postures without focusing on the basics or foundation of it. Therefore, I end up straining myself, not properly aligning my body, quit focusing on my breathing and every now and then…hurt myself. I want to try and slow it down a little and get it right. Also, my goal in 2013 was to learn to do a forearm headstand. I can kinda-sorta do it, but I need the help of a wall. With some more practice and proper positioning, I want to say bye-bye to the wall.

3. Every now and then, I post 15-second microvideos. They help keep me creative and I absolutely love doing them. I have to admit, I like them a bit more than doing outfit posts. My goal is to create better ones, in high-definition, and hopefully get enough to post on my website, Design Bash. Which is hidden, but I want to resurrect again.

4. The kitchen. Ugh. I’m the worst. I don’t even know how to explain it, so I’m just going to try it out and see what happens!

5. I love dogs and begged my parents for one when I was little (I may or may not still do that). Of course, all Indian parents ever say is “I like dogs. I just don’t like them in my house.” Now, I have my own place (kind-of), and am finally in a place where I really want one. So, the dog-hunt will begin!

6. I’ve been living here for a very long time. Since moving into the inner-loop of Houston, I’ve noticed how much the city has to offer. However, you have to look for it and make the commitment to take some time out of your day to go explore it. I also want to venture out into Texas – go hiking, visit small towns, take road trips – just be more active. Texas is huge (this is kind of an understatement), and just like with Houston, you have to carve out time to do these things. Stuff is far here, so you actually have to drive quite a few hours to get to it. Hopefully I can do that, but I do want to focus on Houston first.

Images via my Instagram: jyoti_patel.

First image: “Les Femmes” desk calendar – Anthropologie (sold out); available at PaperSource, 2015 Monthly/Weekly Planner – Office Max/Office Depot, Hot pink desk calendar – Homegoods. 

Second image: Bruce Munro’s “Field of Light” at Discovery Green (Houston). On view through February 22, 2015. 

2014 Outfit Round-Up

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Hey ya’ll! So, I don’t have that many outfits for 2014…that I actually caught on camera. However, I do have to say, this has been one of my favorite years so far when it comes to dressing myself. I found myself buying less stuff and focusing on investment pieces or things that I already had. Maybe it’s because I’m finally paying rent or maybe it’s because I’ve learned to shop smarter…I don’t know. Regardless, I’m happy that I got my lazy butt up at least a dozen times out of the 365 days to get these outfits documented.

To see each outfit and it’s corresponding post, click on the drop-down box under Going Back on the right-hand side.

Have a great new year!

2015…Brought to You by My Swedish Fish

Can I get a high-five 2014? What! What!

Amongst a couple of hiccups and the “what the F am I doing with my life” moments—2014 still came out to be one hell of an incredible year. I don’t know if it’s cheesy to say, but I’m a lot bit proud of myself for some of the things that I have accomplished and decisions that I made. From making the leap to move out of my house, switching jobs after 6 ½ years, booking last minute flights—it’s almost like I’m me…but not (I mean, I could be Batman).

I got the opportunity to do and experience such amazing things this year – take adventurous trips with best friends, celebrate fabulous weddings, welcome new additions, coordinate craft nights, party like I’m 22, fall in love with…s’more cupcakes, drink a lot of red wine, become an all-Apple user and most of all, spend lots of fun-fun time with friends, family and a few dogs. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system and the drive to make myself a better person every year.

Everything is awesome! – The Lego Movie

Now, with just a little help from some friends – we bring on 2015!

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