fashion

The Versatility of a Leather Skirt.

I am HUGE leather person! In fact, I would wear leather jackets year-round if I could. But a skirt is different. I found this 15-year-old skirt of mine after ages and decide to try and style it in different ways.  Leather skirts are sexy, stylish, and are actually quite versatile. Today, leather skirts can be worked into virtually any wardrobe. They can be made to be sophisticated, sexy, edgy.I also wanted to incorporate leather into professional setting. With some clever styling and my easy to follow tips you will be good to go.

Look 1

Casual day out with a simple T-shirt

Look 2

With a Chambray shirt. I loved pairing this shirt with the skirt. Makes for a stylish brunch look

Look 3

With a crop top. Another simple casual look

Look 4

A stylish night out. This top that I picked up at exchange room is the perfect accompaniment to this skirt

Look 5

Work-wear. With the right top and accessories, you can even wear a leather skirt to work.

PS: Sorry about the awful poses. I’m terrible at posing for pictures.

Thank you Akanksha for taking these pictures!!

fashion

1 Dress – Multiple ways!

I started the blog to come up with creative ways for corporate dressing. I have spoken about my love for solids in this post. They are simply so versatile. You can wear them from day-to-night and style them in a number of ways. Another solid look in a more creative way this time. This solid dress has been my blank slate which I have used to create multiple looks. Some of these are below. I find it easier to use solids so I can play with different silhouettes.

Look 1

The dress just by itself with different accessories. (Neck piece and shoes)

Look 2

With a shirt under it. As the material is a little this I used a sheer shirt with pussy bow layered under the dress. You can also use a collared shirt. That also will give it a nice preppy look

Look 3

With a top layered on top of the dress. Crop tops are your friends for this look

Look 4

With Blazers. I’ve tried it with 2 different blazers. A lighter, short material buttoned and a longer one left open. Loved both looks.

And there you go. 1 dress 6 different looks.

Thanks to my lovely friend Akanksha for taking these pictures and bringing my vision to life during this lockdown.

Food · Recipes

Roast Pork

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After a whirlwind of posts at the beginning of the lockdown, I hit a roadblock. With no inspirations striking I decided to look further at my cooking experiments.

I have never cooked pork before. Just eat the Vindaloo that mom usually cooks. My brother doesn’t really like that so when she cooks it, only I have to finish it. So, thought about coming up with something that we both can enjoy. After a bit of experimenting came up with this recipe that we both now enjoy.

This disk is Absolutely incredible. Roasted pork look beautiful, taste amazing and create their own sauce when cooked in the oven, mixing through the flavours.

This time I used the cooker. Next time I’m going to try roasting it completely in the over and see if there is any difference on the flavours. I tried the recipe out with both ribs and normal cut pieces and both turned out amazing.

Ingredients

  • ½ Kg Pork cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5-6 pods of Garlic finely chopped
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Method

  1. In a bowl, mix the cinnamon, pepper, chilli powder, soya sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Marinade the pork with the mixture above for about 1-2 hours.
  3. If the meat is tough, then you can put it in the cooker for 2 whistles. Otherwise 1 is fine.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  5. Arrange the cooked meat in a single layer along with half the juice from the cooker on a prepared baking dish.
  6. Add the garlic, onion & red pepper slices on top and roast in the hot oven.
  7. After 5 minutes, baste with half of the reserved juice and continue roasting for 5 minutes till the pork turns crisp.

 

Life

10 THINGS I’M GRATEFUL FOR!

-We have never been as connected or as isolated as we are now!

Just a few weeks ago I was reading an article about the novel coronavirus, and there was a line that really struck me. It said, “It’s only a matter of time before you know someone who has it.” That scared me because I knew it was probably true. Since then, I have been stress-scrolling through social media, my eyes gobbling up every single corona-virus update possible. And then I caught myself: There are better ways to cope. So, I thought about writing a post on things that I am grateful for. I see the sad stories of the migrants and am feeling more and more grateful for what I have.

Family time – We as a family haven’t really been spending too much time together off late. All of us were busy in our own little worlds. This lock-down has given us time with each other. We are watching movies, playing games and eating together as family. Of course we still have our fighting matches and do drive each other crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Sometimes I do feel like I’m going crazy, but having my family with me is something I’m incredibly grateful for.

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Catch-up with the team – At office, we are all so busy and running around like headless chickens most of the time. During the lock-down, we have daily morning catch-ups that started to give us updates on what is happening but now has become a time for all of us to catch-up and have a laugh, share ideas on how to entertain kids, tips on which delivery app is delivering etc. I really cherish this time that we have together.

Reading – I love to read but with the new job I haven’t had much time and the books have been piling up. I have had time to catch up with my reading and now I’m running out of books!

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Cooking – As I said in my previous post, I love to cook but don’t feel like cooking after I get back home. Now as I am home all the time, if I feel like eating something nice, I just go in the kitchen and whip it up. Thai Chicken, Chilli Beef, Mug brownie, Chicken salad have been my go to lately. So easy and quick to make.

Hair Care – I oil my hair about once a week but this is not enough as I have very dry hair. I don’t have the time or inclination to do this during the week so I’m using this time that I have to oil my hair at-least twice a week and I have seen the texture improve a lot. Trying out DIY hair masks with Methi seeds and that’s working too.

Skin Care – I read all these beauty blogs and have bought all these serums, creams, face masks, sheet masks but hardly use them as I’m either too busy or too lazy. During this lock-down have been making good use of those. Also trying out some DIY face masks. Hopefully, I’ll come out of it with better skin

Declutter – I have been slowly decluttering one drawer at a time. Giving away clothes and building a sustainable wardrobe has been great. Also, have been rearranging furniture, getting rid of unused stuff at home

Hanging out with my pet – I love my dog! I take her on walks, cuddle with her. Working with her sleeping near my feet has been great. I have to just look at her and feel my anxiety levels come down

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Sleeping in – Not having to dress up and travel to work has given me time to sleep in. I am so grateful for the extra 1 hour that I get every morning

Blogging – My creative juices have been buzzing and I have already written 3 posts since I have been home

Exercise – I really wish I can add this to the list but sleeping in has been taking precedence, but I hope to change it

Food · Recipes

Chilli Beef

I love experimenting with new dishes. Especially Pan-Asian ones. This one is simple with very little ingredients and overall taste is so so good. The chilli oil in this recipe gives the dish that extra element of taste. I tried this out with beef, but you can use any meat really. You can serve it over rice or have it as a side. It works both ways.

Ingredients

  • ½ Kg beef
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • 1tablespoon brown sugar. Can use normal granulated sugar too
  • 2tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1teaspoon chilli sauce or more if you like it spicy
  • 1teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3cloves garlic minced
  • 1red bell pepper chopped
  • Garnish (optional): spring onions, sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Boil the beef in a cooker. Add it to a skillet and fry it till it Brown’s a bit. If there’s a lot of excess fat, drain it.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sauce ingredients (chilli oil, sugar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, ginger, and garlic).
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and return the pan to the heat. Add the red pepper pieces. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, until the peppers are tender-crisp. Add the garnish as desired.
Food · Recipes

THAI CHICKEN

My love for Thai food spawned from the time I visited Thailand and since then there is no going back. I have always preferred dry dishes to curries/gravies so while I enjoy the Thai curry, I always longed for something else to go with it. I scoured the internet looking for something that would appease my taste buds and came up with a hodgepodge of recipes to make my own. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about documenting it earlier so I have only one picture. But it’s a simple tasty dish to try out. You can skip the Thai herbs if you don’t have them on hand and it will still come out good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of mixed Thai herbs (I bought it from Big Basket)

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or any other chilli sauce that you have, or more, to taste

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the sauce, whisk together chili sauce, soy sauce, garlic, fish sauce, ginger, lime juice and Sriracha in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until cooked. Add the mix Thai herbs and saute it for about 2-3 mins.
  3. Stir in chili sauce mixture.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with peanuts, if desired.

Let me know in the comments if you try it out.

Life

Working from Home

Currently working from home but dreaming about the days when I could go around without any worries. So uploading those pictures of happier times.

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I didn’t realise how much of a social creature I was until I was forced to stay at home. I always thought that I’d be comfortable with it and love it. But, I actually miss going to work!! Who would have thought that working from home would be such a struggle?!! It makes me feel so isolated even though I live with my family. I get a stir crazy need to see other people. There’s absolutely no perfect balance when it comes to working from home but here are some things, I’ve learned that are working for me. Some of these may seem a bit obvious but they need to be said! There are some tips here that may seem contradictory, you can always pick what works the best for you and go from there.

Know your most productive times – We all have our most productive times of the day, and often they aren’t 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. So, pay attention to the times when you’re really in the zone and then structure your day accordingly.

Have a start and finishing time and stick to it – I feel starting early is better. I feel good when I end earlier and get a little me time

Make a to do list – This always help me prioritise better and stress less. Putting those tick marks against completed tasks gives me a feeling of accomplishment.

Do the most painful tasks first – When you have done these, tackling the rest of the day will be so much easier.

Always get dressed, do some light makeup — Never work in your pajamas, this is a slippery slope to feeling terrible. You’ll feel so much better and in turn be more productive. Psychologically, what you see in the mirror matters – a well dressed self inspires productivity.This helps some people have a mindset shift too.

Create a designated work space – Carve out a space in your home that’s entirely dedicated to working. You need a place where you can work, take phone calls, and feel professional on a daily basis.

Switch up your work environment — Whenever you’re feeling like you’re suffering from lack of motivation, switch up your environment! Also, maybe it just means switching up your “home office view” from day to day (if you have the space). Moving from the desk to a table near a window etc. Not the bed!

Take breaks but keep them timed – Coffee breaks, lunch breaks can go on and on if you let it.

Notice your distraction and keep them at bay – If you’re tempted by WhatsApp, the continuous stream of forwards then, keep your phone away or on silent mode. Stay away from the bedroom or you might be tempted to take a nap.

Talk to people – If you feel like you need company, you can talk to a like minded colleague or friend for a bit.

Commit to shutting off at the end of the day – The one downside to working from home? It’s hard to know when to shut off, it becomes a blurry line of when to stop. Sometimes it’s necessary to shut down the computer and be present. The work will always be there tomorrow. Scratch down a few notes if you’re in the middle of an idea, take care of any pressing deadlines, and then close the laptop.

Lastly, Take advantage of being home – Yes, there are some perks. We save the commute time, spend more time with family, workout. I like to cook, but after coming home from a long day at work cooking is the last thing that I want to do. I take some time out to cook during the day or after I switch off in the evening and it feels so good.

Travel

Thailand

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After an absurd amount of procrastination, my post from my tour of Thailand is here!

Thailand has been in my bucket list for ages now. Plans have been made but have fallen through multiple times. This time we didn’t take too much time. In a month’s time tickets were booked, itinerary made and we set out. Did a lot of reading so I could cover most of it. But as it often happens with well made plans.. this went awry quite fast. So we had to make a lot of changes in plans on the go. We landed early in the morning and the hotels weren’t okay with early check-ins so I booked a trip to the Floating market and the train market.

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It was so hot there, the little puppy was sitting inside the fridge

The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic experience despite its increasingly touristy atmosphere. Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by, each laden to the brim with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. Food vendors fill their vessels with cauldrons and charcoal grills, ready to whip up a bowl of ‘boat noodle’ or seafood skewers upon request

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Maeklong Railway Market – This was an interesting experience. I have seen videos online but it was quite pleasant to have experienced it first-hand. Took a much needed nap in the afternoon and then set out to explore the malls. Finished the day with a foot massage.

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Pratunam Night Market

We came back from Phuket in the afternoon so set out to experience the Pratunam Market. Most of the shops were closed by 4 PM. So though we didn’t see much, the sheer size of it was quite mind boggling.

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Kept the last day to see the palace and the Emerald Buddha. However, it turned out to be a Buddhist holiday so the temple was closed for tourists. We just got to see the palace. Having been inside the palaces in India & Europe, I was expecting the same here. But we just got to see the exteriors so was quite disappointed with that. The heat also really got to me so explored it really fast and made a quick exit.

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Had heard a lot about the Chatuchak weekend market so was excited to see it. It was huge! Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees – this is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. Would need all day to explore it. They mostly had touristy knick knacks. So didn’t really catch my fancy. Given a choice I’d spend more time at Pratunam.

How to Get to Chatuchak Hop on the skytrain (BTS) to Mo Chit station, take exit no. 1 and follow the crowd until you see rows of canvas stalls selling clothes. Turn right while continuing to follow the crowd and you will see a small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section). Another option is to take the subway (MRT) to Chatuchak Park station (exit no.1), then follow the crowd until you arrive at the small entrance that leads into the market (clothing section). For the plant and flower section, get off at Kampheng Phet MRT station (exit no. 1).

The highlight for me in Bangkok was the amazing food and the daily foot massages

  • Where we stayed at Bangkok

The Key Sukhmvit – Was pretty decent. We got upgraded to a bigger room on the first leg of the journey. Got to experience the actual size of the tiny room in the 2nd leg of our journey.

  • Where we ate – Since we stayed in Sukhumvit, we mostly ate around this area itself. There was quite a selection of cuisines.
  1. Baan Khanitha Thai Cuisine – My very first experience with Thai cuisine. I know, I know
  2. Green Garden – One of the best food experiences. The crab curry was to die for!
  3. Izakaya Hanako – Japanese Cuisine. Again first venture into Japanese cuisine. The salmon was very good. Loved the Kobe beef and garlic rice too!
  4. Banjoo Korean BBQ – Korean food. This was a barbeque at the table. Loved the accompaniments more than the actual barbeque!

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Yellow Crab curry at Green Garden – My favourite meal there

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Kobe beef at Izakaya Hanako

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Banjoo Korean Barbeque

Krabi

After researching a lot, settled on staying on Railey Beach and it was a great decision. Booked a sunset cruise from one of the locals. It was a bad idea. They broadcast it saying 7 islands sunset cruise but took us to only 3-4. The reason I booked the cruise was coz I wanted to see the bioluminisent Plankton but I didn’t get to see it. They said too much light and what not. So, that was disappointing. Thought we’d do the Phi Phi islands tour from Phuket.

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Chicken Island

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Morning Glory – I don’t usually like greens. But I loved this dish. Ate it almost everyday

  • Where we stayed

Booked ourselves in Railay Bay Resort & Spa and it was an amazing experience. The restaurant was right on the beach and it really had a breakfast with a view.

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Railay Bay Resort and Spa

  • Where we ate
  1. Railay Bay Restaurant – Though I ate prawns at many places, this place had the best.
  2. Treehouse bar – Amazing live music. The vocalist was very good. Had a great time and we were among the last to leave.
  3. Lucky Restaurant & Last Bar – Caught a fight unexpectedly.
  4. Skunk Bar – A cute little bar on walking street where we had our last cocktails before leaving Krabi.

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Treehouse Bar

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Skunk Bar

Phuket

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Ferry ride from Krabi to Phuket. An amazing thing to note here is that we had mobile network throughout the journey and on all the islands that we toured.

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Patong Beach

We took a ferry from Krabi to Phuket and reached quite late in the evening so couldn’t do much on day 1. The ferry was supposed to start at 2:00 PM but came only at 3:30 PM and we reached Phuket around 6:00 PM. It was raining on and off so canceled the Phi Phi island tour. Will leave it for the next visit. The constant travelling and heat finally got to us. So we just explored the Patong area a bit. Tried out Parasailing for the first time. It was exhilarating. We paid 2K Baht for 3 kms. Forgot to take pics in the rush. Lazed on the last day and set out to the airport. Back to Bangkok.

Where we stayed – Bandara beach villa – we had booked ourselves in the resort but took one look at the villas with the private pool and upgraded to it. Best decision ever!! The video of the room is above.

Where we ate – Since Panwa beach is quite off the beaten path, we had dinner on both days at the in house restaurant and it didn’t disappoint. Had Lobster on the first night and it was awesome!!

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Leaving you with this lovely view from our room at Bandara Villas.

Do let me know what you think in the comments!

Food · Recipes

Thai Yellow Curry

This quick Thai yellow curry will both impress you and leave you craving for more. It’s so easy, and you don’t even need any paste.

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Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil

10 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 green chilies, thinly sliced

1 tbsp curry powder (yellow curry powder from Thai store)

⅓ tsp turmeric powder

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper or red bell pepper

½ head of broccoli, cut to 2 inch pieces

1 cup cut carrots

1 cup cut baby corn

Sauce:

1 cup thick coconut milk

1 cup thin coconut milk

3 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp vinegar

⅓ tsp chili flakes

½ tsp sugar

2 tsp fish sauce

Thai basil

Dried herbs (Mix of lemongrass, Thai ginger, chilies, kafir lime leaves)

Instructions

In a large pan, add oil and let it get hot. Add the garlic, green chilies and curry powder. Keep sautéing to toast the curry powder for about a minute. Then add the turmeric powder, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, broccoli, carrot and baby corn. On medium heat, sauté and cook for a few minutes. Stirring it continuously until the vegetables have slightly lost their rawness, but still has a bite, add the thin coconut milk and bring to simmer. While that is cooking, mix everything for the sauce.

In a bowl, add the add the thick coconut milk, soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, chili flakes, sugar and mix it very well.

Add all of this to the vegetable mixture. Add lots of Thai basil & the dried herbs and mix very well. Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with some steamed rice and extra basil for some added fresh and tasty curry.

PS: This recipe is adapted from www.foodfashionparty.com

This is a very versatile recipe. You can make it with vegetables that you already have in your pantry. I use whatever veggies I have on hand when I make this curry. Sometimes I add mushrooms, others it’s only carrots & bell peppers. Doesn’t really change the taste much but adding more veggies make it a nice wholesome meal. You can also add some grilled chicken from this recipe. I use the dried herbs that I picked up in Thailand but you can use the fresh herbs. In fact it would be better with the fresh herbs. The heat of the chilies also makes this dish perfect for the cooler months coming.

I hadn’t really tried Thai food till I visited Thailand in May. And since then, I’m a big fan. I’ve yet to find a good restaurant that would take me back to those days here in Bangalore. So, for the days on which I’m hankering for a good Thai curry, I make this and in half an hour I’m transported right back to Thailand. Hope you enjoy it too.

Do let me know if you try it in your comments.

fashion

Stripes on Checks! Don’t mind if I do!

Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life said Bill Cunnigham.

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And he was right! As I have said in an earlier post, I have always been afraid to mix prints. But, when I saw this top, I immediately thought of pairing it with this skirt. Now that I work at a place where I don’t have be conservative in my dressing anymore, I’m really enjoying myself coming up with different looks and pairing different silhouettes. Another thing I have tried out here is midi skirts. I have always worn skirts that are knee length or long. Somehow, the midi length was not something I was ever drawn to. A cousin of mine recently gave me a whole bunch of midi length skirts and since I’m in between sizes (My trousers don’t fit L) I started wearing then and I love it! I have even bought midi length skirts and dresses since!

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Why this pairing works – If the colors look good together, more often than not the prints will look good together too. In general, mixing any patterns together is tricky, but it is a great way add a ton of new variety to your daily outfits! You just have to make sure you are careful when putting the two patterns together. Mixing these two patterns will give you a chance to make your clothing more personal and individualistic. If done correctly, the two patterns will look absolutely AMAZING together!

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Why I think my look worked – The checks on the skirt was small so it didn’t clash with the stripes of the top. The accessories were simple. I had on simple earrings & shoes in burgundy which matched the top.

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What are your thoughts on this? Let me know your thoughts! Is it truly a fashion no no or is it now a fashion yes yes?