fashion · Life

My favourite Bloggers

I have been thinking about doing this post for a while now. In this age of Instagram, I still voraciously read blogs and have been reading them for years now. While I love fashion and the beautiful pictures, the way a blogger writes is what catches my fancy. In fact, there are times I just skip the pictures and go straight to the writing (hides my face in shame… Some fashion blogger I am!!). I have been thinking & procrastinating for years on how to start a blog myself. I had the ideas but still made many excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. No tech skills, no camera, no photographer were my excuses. Finally, one day just decided to do it. Had a friend click a few pictures on his phone and hit publish. Was such a great feeling of accomplishment.

These are a few of the bloggers who have inspired me and whose posts I never miss.

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Krystal: The inspiration behind my blog. Love her stories. The way she followed her passion. Right from Reno to SF to NY. Made me finally sit up and just go ahead and start. Have been following her blog for years now. I just love the way she writes.

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Tanvi: The first blog that I came across years ago and fell in love with the world of bloggers. I started reading blogs after I found hers and some others through her. I like the way she thinks, her attitude towards life and her love for travel. She also is a huge inspiration. I have even tried her recipes.

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Wendy: Love her sense of humour, quirky dressing and darling dogs. Inspired me to do a post with my dog. Even when she uses few words something about the way she writes resonates within me.

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Alicia: Her styling is amazing. The party ideas, DIYs, home makeovers. All of these are so classy. Waiting to incorporate some of her ideas in party planning. To me she epitomises Bohemian Chic.

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Devyani: A friend who has ventured into this journey around the same time that I started. Reading her blog inspired me to start again after I stopped in between. Her make-up posts also made me venture into the world of make-up. Till now all I used is a compact, some eye liner and on rare occasions some lipstick. I have now started investing and experimenting with make-up. May do a post when I’m confident :).

Who are your favourite bloggers? Do let me know in the comments…

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Food · Recipes

Chicken in Creamy Sauce

I had a lot of Chicken breasts left over and have been looking for recipes to use them up. I like cooking but try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. Therefore, I look for recipes with either fewer ingredients or shorter cooking time. By mixing and matching recipes & ingredients came up with this recipe. There was a bit left over. Thinking about chopping it up & making a pasta with cream sauce for another night’s no fuss dinner.

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Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 6 Chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

FOR THE CREAM SAUCE:

  • 4 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 200 grams diced bacon
  • 400 grams sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use half a maggi cube mixed with half cup of warm water)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • Fresh shaved or grated parmesan , to garnish

Method

  1. Arrange chicken on a plate. Combine the olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a jug. Rub the oil mixture over the chicken to completely coat.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry breasts on both sides until golden browned and completely cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets). Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
  3. Once the chicken is done, remove from skillet; set aside. Pour out HALF of the chicken juices left in the pan.
  4. Using the same skillet the chicken was in; fry the garlic in the reserved chicken juices over medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the bacon and fry until just beginning to crisp. Add in the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to soften.
  5. Pour in the cream, chicken broth and Parmesan; allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Season with pepper. Taste first before adding in any extra salt, as the bacon will add the salt.
  7. Add the chicken back into the pan; allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream to take on the flavours.
  8. Garnish with shaved or grated parmesan, if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, or steamed/grilled vegetables.

Note: The bacon I had was very fatty (From Bangalore Ham shop), so I cut off the fat & used it instead of oil. It made the dish even more tasty..

Do let me know in the comments section if you try any of these recipes.

Thank you for reading

fashion

Polka Dots at work!

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If I was asked what three things do I love right now when it comes to fashion, it is definitely animal print, bold solids and polka dots. Polka dots especially is having it’s moment lately, and I for one am very glad about it. I have been trying to find new ways to incorporate it more in my work wardrobe.

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When I think about my personal style, I don’t follow any particular rules at all. I wear what makes me happy. Nevertheless, what I do often love wearing is a statement piece that elevates the outfit a little, either with accessories or in this case the polka dots pencil skirt. I usually wear it to work with a white shirt or blouse. Decided to experiment a bit here.

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Mixing prints is something that I’m not very good at. But, something about this combination called out to me. Did not think that this top could be so versatile. I liked the result. Will try to do it more. Especially to work.

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I last wore this top here. It was an impulse H&M purchase. Will try to incorporate it more in the corporate look. With high waist skirts of course!

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Also, Look who joined me in this shoot. She was very curious about what was happening and I decided to just let her be. Love the way she has been captured in these pictures.

Until the next time!

XOXO

Photos edited by George Chiramal Davis

Beauty

Skin Routine (Day)

I spoke about my nightly skin routine in this post. Thought I’d share my morning routine as well. I don’t really have much time in the mornings. I’m not a morning person and my mornings are usually rushed. Most of the days I follow all these steps but sometime I skip a few. The only constant is sun screen. No matter how rushed I am, I always use sunscreen. So, here goes…

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VLCC Rose Water Toner : My skin feels good & refreshed. It gets absorbed fast. I really love the smell of rose water.

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Aroma Treasures Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil: I have used the body shop’s tea tree oil in the past and was impressed with the results. I thought I’d try out something new and bought this oil. Don’t see any results. Definitely not buying this again.

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Innisfree Bija Trouble Lotion: The texture of my skin has gotten good with continued usage. It’s a watery moisturizing lotion and gets absorbed into the skin when massaged well. The breakouts have stopped. Occasionally, get some during my period.

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Olay eye cream: Started in December. I haven’t really noticed any difference in my skin yet. It has a bit of a golden tint, which makes the under eye area look brighter. Will continue and see.

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The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Power Long-Lasting Sun Cream: I usually used to use Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-in-1 Matte-Look Daily Sun Block. Since it was out of stock, I thought I’d try out something new. This sunscreen had good reviews and most of the reviewers said that it gave out a matte finish. Decided to try it out but not very impressed. It has a very oily finish. Makes my oily skin oilier. Will finish it & go back to my usual Lotus Herbals lotion.

Have you tried any of these products? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thank you for reading!

Food · Recipes

Garlic Tomato Chicken with Grilled Veggies

While I love food with a lot of different spices & flavours, there are times when a simple meal, with few ingredients, is very satisfying. Mix tomatoes with some garlic and pan seared chicken breasts, and you have the best buttery, tomatoes and garlic flavours in this recipe! I added less tomato when I first prepared this dish so the tomatoes were charred when I reheated the leftovers. But, the charred tomato added such a wonderful flavour to the meal the next time I prepare it I will add more tomatoes and char it to begin with. This is an easy peasy summer recipe. You won’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups tomatoes cubed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic or 6 large cloves of garlic

Method

  • Lightly pound chicken breasts until they are all the same thickness. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of butter in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Fry breasts on both sides until golden browned and completely cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets). Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
  • Heat remaining butter and oil in the pan. Fry garlic until fragrant (about one minute). Add the tomatoes and cook for two minutes, or until they just begin to soften. Turn off the heat.
  • Season with any extra salt and pepper, if needed. Add the chicken back into the pan, and spoon the pan juices and tomato/garlic mixture all over the chicken!
  • Perfect to serve with a salad, garlic bread, rice or pasta!
  • Another variation to this dish would be to add some Italian spices or veggies like mushrooms or brocoli.

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Grilled Veggies

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or 3 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 3 teaspoons salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°C | 390°F.
  • Cut each potato in half lengthways, then cut each half in half lengthways again, and then cut each half in half lengthways again until you have 8 wedges. (Make sure they are about the same thickness and size).
  • In a small jug, combine the oil, garlic, salt and paprika. Place wedges onto the baking sheets. Pour the oil mixture over the potatoes and toss together to coat evenly. Arrange potato wedges in a single layer on a large baking tray, skin-sides-down. Bake for 35 minutes, turning wedges half way through baking time, until golden, crisp and cooked through when tested with a fork.
  • You can use the same method for carrots, mushrooms or any veggies that you want to use.

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Travel

Rome

Rome

She had always been fond of history, and in Rome was history in the stones of the street and the atoms of sunshine.

-Henry James

This quotes describes me to a T. We travelled to Rome from Venice and stayed near Roma Termini railway station. The Trevi fountain & Spanish steps were walking distance from there. Warning you guys well in advance that this is going to be a photo heavy post!

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The history of the Roman Empire started fascinating me after I picked up my first play of Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. My English teacher’s passionate “Et tu, Brute” is still a very vivid memory. If you ignore the hundreds of tourists buzzing around the city, Rome still has an old world charm, which makes it appear as if it is frozen in the times of the kings. The Colosseum – one of the major sites a tourist would have most definitely been to – looks as if it is work in progress, left to be finished another day, another era. The Colosseum is a 1st century AD amphitheater that was used for gladiator games and is surrounded by other historically rich sites like the Roman Forum and Palatine hill.. We spent almost all day looking around in wonder.

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The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films. We went there twice both in the morning and evening. The experience was unique at both times.

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An obligatory selfie moment captured 🙂

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The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs”. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian column. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same. It is one of the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings, in large part because it has been in continuous use throughout its history.

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Ofcourse had to had to have pasta & wine in Rome. For some reason this was the only picture that was documented. Tried it at different places but didn’t find anything to write home about.

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The Scala Santa are a set of 28 white marble steps. The Holy Stairs, which long ago were encased in a protective framework of wooden steps, are in an edifice that incorporates part of the old, Papal Lateran Palace. The Holy Stairs lead to the Church of St. Lawrence, which was the personal chapel of the early Popes. They are currently closed and inaccessible to visitors. Replica stairs flank the original staircase for 5 staircases, and one of these is accessible to pilgrims to climb on their knees.

According to Roman Catholic tradition, the Holy Stairs are the steps leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during his Passion. The Stairs reputedly were brought to Rome by St. Helena in the fourth century. For centuries, the Scala Santa has attracted Christian pilgrims who wish to honor the Passion of Jesus Christ.

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The Spanish Steps are a set of steps climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.

All in all had a great holiday. To me, burnt foreheads is a sign of a holiday well spent 🙂

fashion

My Love for Polka Dots

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There is something delightfully childlike about a good polka dot print. It reminds me of my innocent childhood days. But, there are ways to wear dots without looking like a child. I have been looking for something suitable ages. Keeping your outfit simple is the key.

When I saw this Avirate dress in Pantaloons, I was over the moon. I just knew it would be perfect. I’ve been seeing ruffle dresses all over the place. The ruffle details add the perfect feminine touch that can be worn for a more feminine look or a more edgy look with a leather jacket come colder months or for that matter even office appropriate with a good blazer & heels.

Paired it here with my favourite pearl bracelet & white sandals from Lifestyle.

Photos by George Chiramal Davis