From Work to Day to Night: One Shirt – Three Ways

There are days where I have to quickly change between work, running an errand, and then going out, but don’t have a lot of time in between. Instead of picking out three different outfits to wear, I tend to switch out just a few things to change up the look throughout the day. In doing this, I keep one thing a constant—it’s usually a top because bottoms or shoes can easily be switched out.

Here, I’ve taken one of my easier tops and styled it in three different ways—a work outfit, a casual running around outfit, and something I can go to dinner in. Plus, this shows how easily a casual top can transition throughout the day, and how one shirt can be so versatile in your closet.

In the morning, I could start off with something like this—a top, blazer, slacks, and heels. It’s a pretty standard work wear outfit. I don’t know about y’all, but when I get off of work, I want to quickly change into something casual to bum around or run errands in.

Shirt – Marshall’s, Slacks – Banana Republic, Blazer – JC Penney, Pumps – Anne Klein

Which brings us to the second outfit. Here I’ve just thrown off the heels (thank god), taken off the blazer, and put on a pair of jean shorts and my favorite comfy studded mules. I’ll quickly grab my wallet, phone, keys, and cross body bag and head out the door. Oh…I’ll also give my hair a little fluff!

Shirt – Marshall’s, Jean shorts – GAP, Mules and bag – Nine West

Sometimes I’m super lucky and someone will want to hang out with me in the evening. In that case, I can just switch out jean shorts with jeans, put on some comfy heels, add a red lip, and I’m good to go!

Shirt – Marshall’s, High-waisted jeans – American Eagle, Wedges – Charlotte Russe, Clutch – DSW, Lipstick – Heatwave by NARS

I could have created all these looks with a simple black tank, but I thought the red and white stripes would bring a more fun detail to each outfit. If for some reason I can’t make it home, I can also quickly pack a pair of jean shorts or jeans, sandals, a cross-body bag, and a red lipstick in my car and change throughout the day. Boom—three outfits in 12 hours!

Isle of Dogs: Special Screening of Wes Anderson’s New Film

I love dogs (*cough* maybe even a bit more than people *cough*). Put them in a movie made by Wes Anderson, and you’ve basically made me crazy happy! Since Wes Anderson is from Houston (that’s right…we got Wes Anderson, Beyoncé, AND Whataburger), he always does a special pre-release screening of his new films at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) for his parents. Then there are a limited number of people who can go, and I was lucky that my friend invited me to his new film Isle of Dogs on Monday night. (I have to admit, when I left my job at the MFAH, I was a bit sad that I would miss these special screenings, because I absolutely adore his movies. We even got to hear from Roald Dahl’s grandson during the screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox!)

I’m not going to give away too much of the movie (NPR has done a great review of it, and in a more eloquent way than I ever could), but I really think it is an awesome watch! If you love dogs, dry humor, drum beats, Wes Anderson movies, sushi (!)…I could go on and on…you will enjoy this movie!

The attention to detail, the creativity (e.g. he uses cotton for the “dust” in the fight scenes), and the design work is just incredible. It truly is another unique and wonderfully created film by Wes Anderson—mixing the love dogs have towards humans and vice-versa, with politics, dog-activists, and Japanese culture—it all makes for a fun and intriguing storyline. Each scene had my full attention. The music is also different than his other movies—definitely with Asian influence and very upbeat—it really gets you going!

I love stop motion animation and to see the impeccable work he and his team put into creating the characters, the scenes, the placement, and every little detail in between is amazing. I dabble in stop motion a bit and I can honestly tell you that they take a lot of time, dedication, and patience to make. To see it being done on this scale is so inspiring. I wish I had even an ounce of that creativity!

Oh! How can I forget about the dogs?! They are absolutely adorable. You’ll immediately be connected to them, and fall in love with them. You can also feel how much they love their humans, and value being guardians. They truly are the most selfless creatures! (Yes, I know…I should get one. Can someone please tell my landlady?!)

The film opens up in three theatres today in Houston. I hope you like it as much as I did!

 

The Outfit My Mom Hates

Shorts, boots, and a long-sleeved shirt—the one outfit my Mom can’t stand.

Every time I wear some combination of this, my Mom always says, “I don’t understand this…if you think you’re going to be cold, why not just wear pants?!” Then she goes on to talk about how kids these day dress (I’m unmarried, so in her eyes, I’m still a kid), how she used to put me in the cutest, frilliest dresses because that was her thing, how the boots don’t make any sense, and a couple of other things—then I take her to JC Penney. Done.

Everything my Mom says is so true (she’s hardly ever wrong.) Really though—nothing about this combination makes sense, it’s just super comfortable. When the warmer days start rolling in, I have a hard time letting go of boots, but an easy time of grabbing shorts. So I guess I compromise with myself, and the weather. I tried to tell my Mom that one day—she just asked if I needed some new pants. Cool.

My Mom is also the one who convinced me to buy this light gray blazer. I was going to buy yet another pair of black workout pants, when she made a face at the pants and said, “Don’t you have enough of those. You always wear that. You’ll wear the jacket more…it’s so much nicer!” I was convinced. That woman really knows how to get to me.

The outfit with the blazer is something I’d wear out to dinner or something fun (if I could wear this to work, I’d be all about that life), while the second one is a more casual take on it. I’m a notorious tan shoe wearer, but these gold booties have easily become a “tan” pair in my closet. I was a bit hesitant to get them, thinking they’d be a bit too flashy for every day wear, but I’ve been swapping out tan for these, and it adds just a bit of fun to some outfits.

This sea green sweatshirt is made out of a light, super soft material. I haven’t been able to go a week without wearing it! If you are ever looking for light-weight, easy, comfortable wear—the GAP soft spun knits are awesome. You can mix and match pieces, plus they are great for layering. This gray top and skirt I posted last year is one combo, I also picked up a ¾ sleeve black top and matching shorts, and recently got this striped dress, which I can’t wait to bust out, with hot days ahead.

Today is also the first day of spring! I haven’t been able to enjoy our better weather at all because of allergies, but managed to survive through these photos. In case you missed it, I did a tutorial in my last post on how to get these waves in your hair. This is actually what my hair starts to look like when it falls for a good 30 minutes (in the video, I didn’t really let my hair fall, so it looks a bit more wavy).

I’ll be back next week to wrap-up March, and share a few favorites!

Sweatshirt – GAP, Blazer – JC Penney, Shorts and gray tassel necklace – Charlotte Russe, Boots – Old Navy, Tan tassel bag – Nine West, Loafers – DSW

My Experience Going to a Casting for The Bachelor/The Bachelorette

Well Bachelor Nation (yes…that is an actual term for groupies of the show), next week Rachel Lindsay chooses her guy, and her journey will end. As for me…well I had my own Bachelor/Bachelorette experience.

Last week, castings for the show were held in Houston (!) at the downtown Aquarium; because nothing says “love” like the smell of fish tanks, mixed with champagne, and hundreds of single people. One of my best friends passed on the message, and honestly it took me less than half a second to decide to go. (It takes me longer to decide whether or not to wear a light gray top, or another shade of a light gray top.)

Now I know what you’re thinking—that show is so awful—like BEYOND awful. Why?! This, I will not deny. For the record, everyone knows I’m a fan, and I also did not go in with the intention of getting casted—it was more of a social experiment. Basically, it came down to, why the hell not? Which was one of my answers to an interview question.

Let me just say, I was super curious to find out what this was all about. I’d never gone to a casting before…clearly. Even in junior high, the drama teacher would have done anything to cast me out of her adaptation of Snow White. (Ultimately, she felt sorry for me, and let me be the smallest dwarf—far far away—I’m talking like off the stage.)

I also wanted to see who would show up, how it worked, and what the whole experience would feel like. So, I grabbed my entourage—it consisted of my best friend and her husband, and went. If you’re wondering if I was nervous, the answer is, “no.” Honestly, I didn’t have any expectations (which could not be said for a lot of people in the room), so I just went through the whole process pretty nonchalantly.

As soon as we walked in, my first impression was, “whoa.” Please note that this is just my observation–but there was hardly any diversity in the room. I’m talking across all boards–girls/boys, various ethnic backgrounds, ages, etc. During the 2 ½ hours that I was there, not a single Indian or Asian girl walked in. Being Indian myself, it would have been nice to see that. Maybe they had come earlier? I can’t really tell because it had been going on for 2 ½ hours before I got there.

Yes, the show is all sorts of bizarre, it has always lacked diversity (until Rachel Lindsay fabulously broke that), and I can’t imagine a weirder way to find love–but there are still people from all backgrounds, who are hopeful, and would like a chance on the show. I really think that after being on-air for 15 (geez!) years, the show really needs to step it up, and learn how to appeal to all people. (Yup…definitely not getting casted now.)

Putting that aside, there were some really sweet people, others who were also there for fun, ones that were 100% completely serious about it, some were checking out the “competition,” and I’m pretty sure there were a few people who ended up going to dinner together (smart move). There was also a “hypemom” buying rounds for her daughter and friends…perhaps…?

The process was long. I had to wait in line for an hour to get my photo taken. I can’t imagine how cute those photos could even be, considering you had to hold a white board with your name and phone number—mug shot style.

While in line, I had to fill out a six-page application. SIX pages. (I’m surprised I didn’t have to fill out a HIPAA form.) It basically asked me to hand over my life, while wondering if I liked dogs, drinking, and dancing—the only 3 D’s you need in life. Kidding. Seriously though, it asked questions about dating, marriage, divorce, the type of guy I wanted (for all of this season’s Bachelorette fans, I took one for the team, and wrote down “Peter Kraus”), what I liked to drink (not kidding here), hobbies, etc. Where it asked why you got a divorce—it gave only two lines…come on now. (Not that I have gone through one, but I can’t imagine two lines is enough!)

After waiting in chairs for another hour, I was called in to meet a casting member. She was incredibly sweet, and I got to wear a mic. Which actually made me feel super cool! The whole interview was video taped and lasted about 5 minutes. She asked me basic questions—what I liked to do, what dating has been like (HA…HA…HA), and why I wanted to be on the show. Nothing too fancy.

That was it—I did it!

I am definitely not getting casted for this thing, but the whole experience of going was kind of cool, and I’m so glad I went—it actually turned out to be a fun time. While so many of us (me included) scroll through online dating apps, in the comfort of our own homes—judging each person we swipe by. This is a completely different ball game.

Here, you are putting yourself out there, in an unfamiliar setting, where you get video taped and judged by casting members and producers—who knows who is going to see you! I really have to give props to every single person who went. (Though, I’m sure there were some sneaky people with not so good intentions that go through.) It takes a little courage to do something like this. It may not be everyone’s favorite show, and it can be ridiculous, but you were hopeful, and you went. That still shows something. Also, you never know…

Oh and here’s me doing the “whoo girl,” as I walk into the interview room…

Double Buns

It’s been sweltering here the last few weeks, and honestly I can’t be bothered to let my hair down all that much. For the most part, it’s been a bun, French braid(s), or this double twist/bun do.

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Note: I decided to turn this into a mini-tutorial after taking these images, so hopefully my steps below make sense!

First start by sectioning your hair down the middle (I can never get this exactly right, so I just hold each section to see if they “feel” the same), and then spray a dry shampoo onto each section. (Dry shampoo is optional, but it helps with the styling. I use Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo.)

Starting from the top of the head (right where the middle part starts), take a small chunk of hair and twist it back a couple of times, then continue to grab small sections of hair and add it to the twist, and twist it back again.

Once you have twisted all of your hair in that section, wrap it into a bun, and secure it with bobby pins. I actually have to first pin it down with a couple of pins, then place a small elastic band over the bun, and then continue to pin it down with open and closed bobby pins.

I would say, “That’s it!” but it actually took a little practice before I eventually got the hang of it. It’s definitely worth trying if you want a different updo every now and then.

The belt here is actually a guitar strap my cousin brought me from Chile. Since I barely play the guitar these days, I really wanted to use the strap because I love the colors. I wasn’t sure where to add it into my apartment décor, but found a way to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I’ve worn it like this, and even with a simple gray t-shirt tucked into high-waist blue jeans, and heels.

I hear it someone’s birthday tomorrow…Happy Fourth of July!

Why I Don’t Mind Going to the Movies Alone

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So I don’t have to share my box of Sour Patch Kids with anyone! Kidding…sort of.

A few weeks ago, right before the Olympics started, I took myself out to watch Café Society. Which was enjoyable, but definitely not one of my favorite Woody Allen movies (Midnight in Paris…sigh). It could have been way better if it weren’t for Kristen Stewart playing one of the main characters. She has absolutely no chemistry with anyone who is warm-blooded. It’s like she’s still a vampire.

Half-way through it, I was a bit relieved to see Blake Lively pop up in a pretty decent role (but still, nothing beats Serena Van der Woodsen).

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To wrap my head around this whole Ryan Lochte fiasco (if you know me, I was like his #1 fan, so this is a huge disappointment), and to fill that Olympic void, I went to go see Don’t Think Twice the other day. Now, that was a great movie!

Anyone who has ever dealt with flailing in their careers or trying to find some kind of purpose, is going to appreciate this movie. It’s one of those “all-feels” movies, where you’re happy, sad, heart-warmed, content, and inspired—all at the same time. Plus, it helps you see what a great group of friends can do for you. I definitely recommend it. Seriously, Ira Glass (producer of the movie/winner at everything in life), can do no wrong.

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Sorry! I had no intent on turning this into a weird movie review–I’ll get back to the point now.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure why I don’t mind going to the movies alone. I’m perfectly content with what’s on Netflix or Hulu, and whatever bottle of wine I have at home. However, I tend to go after I’ve had a particularly stressful day and just want to relax—away from my apartment, or it happens to be a movie that many people may not want to see.

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For whatever reason, I just like to go—it’s kind of therapeutic. I feel better about things after I’ve gone, plus it makes a great date night, for one. I don’t have to dress up nor put on make-up. I can eat however much candy I want without anyone being there to judge me, and I can laugh as loud as I want. The biggest perk, I don’t have to sit across from some loser who is boring me to death. It’s kind of just fabulous!

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Dress: Ross (old) | Shoes: Charlotte Russe (old) | Velvet choker: ribbon from Joanne’s Fabrics

Where Did She Go?

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I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted anything here! The last time I did an actual style post–I had much shorter hair AND that was back in December. Ahhh!

The other week, I decided to go through my blog archives. Now this is going to sound weird, but I got a little bit jealous of my blogger-self from 5 years back. I know…who gets jealous of themselves?

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I used to post quite a bit–sometimes two or three times a week! I even went as far as posting recipes, and I am not a fan of the kitchen. Seriously, where did that blogger go?

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Honestly, I’m not sure if I will ever go back to being that blogger. Let’s just say, I’m feeling a bit more energized and inspired, so I’m here now.

I am ready to get some new content up, and I’m toying around with the idea of a blog name change. I’d also love to add guest bloggers. I’m not quite sure how that will actually play out, but I think it’d be a fun idea to look into! For now, it’s just baby steps and making more time to have a presence here.

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Over the last couple of years, I’ve become more conscious of what I’m putting into my closet, thus a lot of it hasn’t changed. But because of this, I’m always looking for new ways to pair the pieces that I have.

As a return to the blog, I thought I’d bring back two pieces that I’ve worn here before. I’ve always had fun styling this orange top (check out Bleeding Orange and Jackie O.), but the candy stripe shorts went with a simple gray shirt in the post, Girls at the Gym.

In the spirit of embracing summer, I thought it would be fun to pair the two, and throw in a red/orange lipstick (NARS Heat Wave)!

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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.

Girls at the Gym

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The other day, while I was at a yoga class, I realized that I have a few gym-related pet peeves, all centered around girls. Why is this? I’m all about #GIRLPOWER, but at the gym, I find some of them to be quite obnoxious. For example

1. A few months back, I built up the courage to venture to the front of a very popular Zumba class at my local gym. (By “front”, I mean 3rd row out of a 10 row class). Girls line up outside the door 30 minutes prior to class (yes, it really is that good), and then race in so that they can get to the front. Since I’m in the class before, I get to see this shit-show take place. It’s like a pack of hungry hyenas running to grab gazelle scraps. Most of them absolutely LOVE staring at themselves in the mirror and making pouty faces while dancing. From my usual place in the back, it’s quite entertaining. I never noticed the “social-gap” between the people in the front and those in the back until that day. It first started off with one girl yelling “Get out of my way! You’re in my spot!” to a new girl. Then continued to say that she couldn’t see herself in the mirror. (Ugh…if I was the mirror I wouldn’t want to see her). Poor new girl. Luckily, a nice girl allowed her to stand next to her in the front. To which the plastic huffed and puffed about, then turned around to ask us, “Did I do something wrong? Am I not right? AM I NOT RIGHT?!” Then I’m pretty sure she z-snapped us.

Also, before I knew it a group of much older women (who definitely come every week to release their inner-sexiness), somehow managed to dance their way into the teeny bit of space in front of me. How this happened, is beyond me. They even turned around and gave me dirty looks as if I had taken their assigned spot. Older women + their booties + death stares = I’m scared.

Not only that, I got yelled at a couple times by the girl behind me that said “You’re all up in my space. If you can’t keep up move to the back.” There was so much animosity the front, that I was eventually forced to the back and have never ventured up there again.

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2. There’s a girl in my Pilates class that comes in late every week and goes straight to the front of the class, next to the instructor. Then proceeds to pull out her cell phone and starts texting, surfing the web, answering e-mails, making phone calls, Instagramming, etc.—all the way through class. To make this even better, while doing the exercise she limply raises her leg or arm, while holding and staring at her phone. After that one set of exercises is done, she puts her phone down and then starts doing the poses that WE JUST DID, on purpose. She totally knows that while the instructor is teaching the next pose, everyone will be staring at her in the front. Therefore, she takes advantage of this time to show everyone how “awesome” she thinks she is at Pilates. WHY ARE YOU HERE? No one likes you…trust me.

3. The girl who places her yoga mat either RIGHT in front or RIGHT next to mine, every single week, and then proceeds to breathe extremely loud throughout class. Its common courtesy, in any yoga class, that you stagger the mats and place them a good distance away from each other. Not plop your butt down where you feel like it. Come on now…I actually care about yoga. I want to make sure I’m doing the poses right and you’re ruining my hour of Zen by breathing like a dinosaur in my space. Go away.

4. Girls that cake their make-up on for the gym. Like CAKE IT on. This is completely beyond me. One, you’re here to work out, not to win the Southern Belle Beauty Pageant. Two, you barely even exercise because you’re scared if you sweat, your mascara will drip down your face and make you look like a crack-addict. What is the point? Just wipe it off.

5. The girls who constantly strike a pose, after each and every single routine in Zumba. This isn’t drill team, no one is a football cheerleader, and this isn’t soul train. One or two times, after a really good song – I get it. But thinking you’re a Pussycat Doll – it’s just weird.

However, I’d like to give props to the girls who come in every week, try their hardest and are there for good reasons. I’m with ya – I don’t like them girls either. Ok, end rant.

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

Double Trouble

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It’s only my favorite thing to get when I make a bee-line to any Nestle Toll House café—2 large chocolate chip cookies…wait for it…wait for it…WITH a big dollop of icing/cream in the middle. Oh yes…oh hell yes. I’m a sucker for sugary, mall food. Sometimes if I’m being a good girl, I’ll get the Lil’ Bit o’ Trouble—a much tinier version of the Double Trouble. I figure if I get one in the beginning, by the time I’m finished walking around the mall, I would have burned off the calories from it. My logic is pretty amazing guys.

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On to something that actually makes a bit more sense when it comes to the word “double”. Here I’ve taken the same two basic items—jean shorts and a stripe button-down shirt and shown how I’d wear them both casually and dressed up (or from day to night). Each outfit is comfortable and pretty darn easy to put together. All you need to amp up the day-time outfit is a blazer, heels and a statement necklace—that’s it. Let your hair down, add a red lip and you’re ready to go. I don’t think it can get any simpler than this.

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I really like the cut and material of the stripe top. Plus, it’s extremely versatile. I found it at H&M a little over a month ago. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it online so I could supply you guys with a link. I’ve talked about American Eagle shorts in this post, but the one’s here were also a great find. These are bit more snug than the other ones but I really liked the wash and you can roll them up and down. You can find them here.

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Linked up on: I Would So Rock This, Myriad Musings, Penniless Socialite, Style to Inspire, Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday, Simply Just Lovely, For the Love of Fancy and Design Life Diaries.