Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Primp // Six Favorite Essie Polishes


File under "neutral obsession." I can't help but be drawn to these pretty muted shades.  I, of course, have my bright colors but honestly, I find these easy to wear and, as someone who works with my hands, more practical.  Any amount of chipping is glaringly obvious in scarlet red than it is in nude.  As far as formula goes, Essie does tend to chip on me unless I use this combo base coat and top coat.

"Blanc" -- a creamy, snowy white perfect for chic white manicures
"Vested Interest" -- a cool, grayish teal
"Lady Like" -- the most elegant soft mauve
"Just Stitched" -- a warm pink with a pearl finish
"High Class Affair" -- blush nude
"Birthday Suit" -- flattering delicate nude

Lookbook // Hot Tropics


S.O.S--I'm NOT somewhere tropical, sipping a fabulous cocktail.  Please send help!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

EAT // Coconut Ladoos with Jaggery

 I didn't have much of a sweet tooth but India has converted me.  The making of Indian sweets is truly an art form and secret recipes are handed down from generation to generation.  Recipes for these truly decadent confections often range from complicated to more complicated.  One of the only ones I've dared to make at home, without adult supervision, are these coconut ladoos.  It's a simple recipe that only requires few ingredients but the result is a rich dessert with aromatic coconut and cardamom, lightly sweetened with jaggery.  Jaggery is basically unheard of in the States, mainly because it's the sap of palm trees, like date palms or coconut palms.  It tastes delicious and by adding it to water today, we can make a simple syrup to add it to our ladoos.

You can find jaggery at most Indian grocery stores (where it's called 'gur') and I've also spotted it at my normal grocery store in the "Goya" part of the store.  If you can't find any, you can omit and use sugar.  You just won't get the same color.

  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)

  1. In a pan, add jaggery with a little water and bring to boil.
  2. Heat the ghee in another pan and add grated coconut until toasted.  Make sure to do it on low heat and stir often to avoid burning.
  3. Add jaggery syrup, salt, cardamom powder and mix well and cook it until the mixture becomes thick.
  4. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool.
  5. Apply some ghee to hands to avoid stickiness. Shape into small balls. You can store these in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. Optional garnishing: roll in un-toasted coconut and top with chopped nuts.

These are one of my favorites to make (and eat).  I like to make them on special occasions and wrap them up in boxes to give as gifts but there are no hard and fast rules that stop me from enjoying them for no reason at all.  I hope you enjoyed this recipe!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

INSPIRE // Being Happy in 2016: A Reminder to Myself

Since I'm rubbish at them, I didn't want to label this as my New Year's Resolution.  I think quick fixes will get you quick results that vanish quickly and I much prefer and try (keyword: try) to make healthy lifestyle changes that become second nature so it's long-term and permanent.  Makes sense, right?  Something I struggle with is staying positive and happy, especially in the moment.  Sometimes it's due to stress or anxiety and other times I'm afraid I'm losing my mind when I get sad for absolutely no reason.  Self-help authors and Pinterest quotes alike say happiness is simply a choice.  Easier said then done. I often wondered how certain people can always, always be happy.  Are they genetically predisposed with it?  Since that's not me, I've had to figure some things out on my own.  I've come to the conclusion, with a lot of experience and the help of loved ones, that you have to rule your mind or it will rule you.  To be content with who you are, where you are and what you have takes practice. I've got a good feeling about 2016 and the potential it holds (not just because my birthday this year will be 06/16/16, I promise.)  So in an effort to make this a life-long habit, I choose to be happy.  To remind me should I get lost, here's a few things to get me back on track:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

TRAVEL // Five Things I Learned From Living in India

Oops, I did it again.  I can't believe how long its been since my last post.  I confess that I'm not a blogger with lofty ambitions of gaining this many pageviews or followers per day.  I really just want to start writing again for my family and friends, who are wondering what the heck I'm doing with my life.  And it was never my intention to stop blogging all together.  However, I greatly underestimated just how long it takes to get settled in a new place.  I don't mean a new house but a new COUNTRY.

Because I did it.  As of September of 2014, I've been in India (read this blog post if you're confused).  Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can't believe I actually had the guts to do this.  I'm no daredevil nor adrenaline junkie.  I can't even watch scary movies without asking my little brother to bunk with me that night (and every night that week).  I like to play it safe, stick to what I know and be in bed by midnight.  I'm so incredibly happy I got to do this because it's astounding how much you learn about yourself when you are taken out of your comfort zone.

As today marks India's Republic Day, the day the Constitution of India came into force, I wanted to write down a few realizations I've had since moving to india.  Afterall, India is a teacher and travellers are its students.