Thursday, May 21, 2015

SPRING 2015 KC BLOGGER MEET UP AT HOTEL SORELLA


I had been Blogging for over 6 years in Kansas City but had no clue that the city had such a lovely network of bloggers. I have been guilty of over sharing and it was great to know, that there are others, like me. So when the evite for a Meet Up reached my inbox, I wasted no time, in clicking on Yes for the RSVP.


As it was my first event with the Kansas City Bloggers, I wanted to make sure that I reached on time, despite the snarly long lines at the Highway. Traffic moves snail slow when you have an important plan.

I am one of those people, who spend many a weekends at the Country Club Plaza,but somehow, I had missed that this Hotel even existed. Hotel Sorella's Roof top Bar Rosso played host to us and we were literally spoilt rotten.


Cocktails and Mingling by the pool side on an otherwise grey Midwestern afternoon is what makes it all pretty awesome. I have always prided myself to be a connoisseur of cocktails and it was great to see that the Bar Rosso's collection of Cocktails was really good. The bart tender could always whip up the classics but to venture out and have new and creative cocktails on your menu,is surely something which is going to pull me back.


I started the evening off with some Rossetini.



Then reached out for the Parisian Tart.

If you blog a lot about Food, then you will not miss an opportunity to chat up with the Chef,who had laid out an amazing array of appetizers.











Which later made way for bite sized desserts. The lemon curd filled mini tarts stole my heart.


Some more mingling and some more posing.






So many creative minds at the same place makes for one great evening.





A Huge Thank You to our Hosts and all the lovely ladies who made the evening so memorable. Cheers ladies !!! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

OOTD : DENIM-LEATHER- LACE : VEST SIDE STORY

Vests are all over the Spring -Summer Fashion scene. From the runways to the streets, you can spot some avatar of the Vest on women of all ages.  And the sheer diversity of styles, is what makes it very versatile. From denim vests, to super floral ones, from Moto styles to lacy versions, you can find something for everyone. I am a big victim of this trend as I have stashed a lot of vests in my collection over the years. So I decided to start a series on the VESTS in my collection and aptly call it VEST SIDE STORY.

One of the latest trends this year, is Denim on Lace. I jumped on the bandwagon and picked up a vest in this combo myself. But that post is for another time and day. As I admired the new vest, I suddenly remembered that I had another Vest which had Denim and lace on it, but I had not used it in years. Thus began the search for the old vest. And there it was discarded right at the back of the closet with some old Size 0 clothes of mine.

This Vest is perfectly en pointe with the current fashion scene ,as it combines two current Fashion Rends: VESTS & DENIM-LACE


This denim and lace vest I had picked up years back, in Kolkata(India),from a quaint little boutique. Its dark wash and almost like a cropped vest. Or maybe now that I am a size 4,that's how my pre-pregnacncy size 0 clothing looks like. Its got black leather tie ups at front which kinda complete the Holy Trinity of Lace,denim and Leather together.

I decided to pair with Light Wash denim Jeggings from American Eagle and a basic solid color Tee from Target. I wanted to underplay the rest of the outfit, so that the focus would be on the Vest.

For my footwear, I opted for my Buck Skin Steve Madden Boots. I had rolled those down, to reveal the plaid inside.

Where my Make up was concerned I was trying out a new red Lipstick .Denim, leather and Red lips, usually doesn't fail when paired properly.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

NAKED PALETTE 3 : REVIEW AND TUTORIAL : BEAUTY


I had mentioned in my ULTA HAUL that I had picked up the NAKED 3 PALETTE. I had been blown away by the NAKED 1 years back, so it took me some time to get over it, and venture into another NUDE palette from the same brand. I have skipped NAKED 2 for now.


Lets start with PACKAGING AND FREEBIES.  Unlike the NAKED 1 with its single brush, NAKED 3 contains a dual ended synthetic Make Up Brush, with an impressive rose gold body. I am a sucker for Rose gold packaging and rose gold anything. It also comes up with 4 samples of URBAN DECAY PRIMER POTION in ORIGINAL, EDEN(nude matte), SIN(shimmer), and ANTI-AGING. While the NAKED 1 came in a cardboard and velvet packaging, the NAKED 3 is stronger in an all metal rose gold packaging with a pretty large mirror. Which makes it not only a perfect size for travelling,but also sturdy enough.


Coming down to the actual product, we find that there are 12 Eye Shadows. If NAKED 1 was golden brown, NAKED 3 is more ROSE TONED in its choice of NUDES. The colors are super blendable and very highly pigmented. As the colors are lighter toned, the fall outs being visible is less of an issue. But fall outs is a problem with Urban Decay Eye shadows in general.

The colors range from pale pinks to  purples and shimmers,but what caught my eye and attention the most was the color called BLACKHEART. Its a deep matte black with red micro glitter in it. It somehow reminded me of MAC'S BEAUTY MARKED. I haven't come across such a color in many years. Among the Matte Shades NOONER is surely a winner in its own right.

Pink eye shadow is pretty tricky to wear, as it can give an impression that you are sick if not used properly. Moreover this Palette has many frosty shimmers which can make you look dated if not used in conjunction with Mattes or a good Transition Color. You don't want to look like you have stepped out of the 80's with frosty eye shadow. While NAKED 1 was targeted more for Warmer skin tones, and NAKED 2 towards Cooler Skin Tones, NAKED 3 is better suited as it works well with everyone.


So I decided to go ahead and give the colors a spin for a special night out. It was the anniversary of when we got our Marriage License and a special Date Night called for unboxing of the magic called NAKED 3.





DATE NIGHT SMOKEY EYES TUTORIAL WITH NAKED 3: 

I started with my BASIC FOUNDATION AND CONCEALER ROUTINE as outlined in my EVERYDAY SPRING MAKE UP TUTORIAL

I prepped my eyes with URBAN DECAY PRIMER POTION in ORIGINAL.

I picked up BUZZ(Metallic Rose shimmer with silver microglitter) on a flat shader brush and used it from the inner corner of the eyelid to the middle of it.

Then I opted for NOONER(Medium Pinky Borwn Matte) with a fluffy crease brush and used it on the outer corner and crease in circular motions. Go light handed when you are dealing with Matte Shades. You can always build up as you go. I went ahead and increased the intensity by packing in my favorite shade of the palette, BLACKHEART on the extreme outer corner. This lent in that extra smokiness and sultriness.

Then I used NAKED from NAKED 1 palette as a transition color to blend out any harsh lines. the key to a great looking eye make up is to blend blend and blend your eye shadows.

Finally I sweeped DUST(Pale Pink Metallic Shimmer with iridescent mirco glitter) as a subtle highlight below the brows.

Used  MAC GEL LINER in BLACKTRACK to line my eyes and MAYBELLINE FALSIES MASCARA in Black(waterproof).

NARS ORGASM BLUSH on the Cheeks and MAC'S KELLY YUM YUM Lipstick. Its a matte hot pink Lipstick from the limited Edition collaboration of Kelly Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne last Summer. Its basically CANDY YUM YUM with a bluish twist. The idea was to play up the pinks of the eyes with a bold Pink Lip. My Outfit of the Night was all black and I had a multicolor Pink Bag from Coach to bring it all together.

This is just the first of the looks that I tried with this Palette. Many more to come.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS POST: 

ULTA HAUL: http://journotalk.blogspot.com/2015/03/ulta-haul-and-make-up-gifts.html

MASTERING GEL LINERhttp://journotalk.blogspot.com/2015/04/mastering-gel-liner-step-by-step-guide.html

EVERYDAY SPRING MAKE UP TUTORIALhttp://journotalk.blogspot.com/2015/04/everyday-spring-make-up-step-by-step.html

FOUNDATION AND CONCEALER BASICS http://journotalk.blogspot.com/2015/02/foundation-and-concealer-basics-make-up.html

Sunday, May 10, 2015

BEING A MOTHER



Recently my friend Bhawna, who blogs under Yellow Mellow Life, asked me to share my thoughts on the challenges of Motherhood,for a post she was compiling. In my crazy weekend schedule, I manged to scribble in my honest thoughts, while trying not to provide an ideal answer. As I went through her post,and read about a few other Mothers and their journeys, I knew a post on my own Blog was surely due.

I am a Mother to a beautiful toddler girl Riona, who is my rainbow baby. I had missed being a mother years back. And that scarring was too deep for me for quite a few years. Then came the brilliant journey of pregnancy for the second time, and we had our Queen with us.


Bhawna's post got me thinking on all that I have learnt along the way being a Mom or what exactly were my memories with my Mom.

As a student in school, I remember how we would all draw up our Mother's Day cards in our Crafts Class a week before Mother's Day. I still remember what I had drawn one particular year. A simple hand made card and a big Hug for my Mom. Its fresh in my memory how happy she used to be very year. And now I get to see my Mother every few years,given that we stay in two different countries. So Mother's Day usually means an extra long phone call, or even a Skype Session if internet networks don't get jammed on that Sunday. Last year we were beyond lucky as three generations got to celebrate Mother's Day together. And did I mention we even color co-ordinated our outfits without so much as consulting each other. Great ladies think alike, I guess. Its this memory which I shall hold on to be the best Mother's Day memory for me,so far. Not often will three generations get to celebrate such special days together.


My Mother is my idol.I have learnt all my life and continue to learn every day from her. Even a simple phone call from her, can make my day wonderful, even if we are stuck in two feet of snow for the Nth day here in the cold Midwest US. She is my biggest Diva and she will always remain so. She is a lady who has perfectly balanced her career and family life with perfect elan. She has always made sure that we had our weekend outings as a family. we never missed any fair, or any circus which was visiting town. And she dressed us up in the most stylish of outfits. A few days after she had given birth to my younger brother, she was out with my Dad, picking up new outfits to wear for the upcoming Bengali New Year. Now I know how diffilcult it is to even stand on yor own feet after giving birth, leave alone go out in the hot summer in sultry Kolkata to shop. But trust my Mom to do it all in her signature style with a big smile on her face. My Mom always smiles,and thats something I try to imbibe every day. A smile can win a thousand battles and it makes you stronger.


So when it came to my own journey of being a Mother, I have learnt every step of the way from her. She could not be physically present when I delivered my daughter, but she was there with me in spirit all the time. She taught me always to be tough and suck it up and face all that life threw my way. So when I had to pull my PJs exactly 48 hours after pushing out a baby, I remembered her words that I could do it. I had been in labor for 18 hours, pushed my baby out, had third degree tears, and it was snowing heavily. My daughter had high bilirubin levels so had to be taken back to the Hospital for a simple blood test. But a simple act of pulling your pants up can be so difficult when you have trouble standing up. Not to forget you have to walk through snow to get to your car.

As I mentioned in the post in Bhawna's Blog that you can read all you want on what Motherhood is, but you can never be fully prepared.


For years I have had many critics tell me that I suffer from the incurable urge to be a winner at every step of life. Yes, I completely agree to that. I like to win. Even with my Motherhood, I wanted to win every challenge that came my way. But to be honest, I may have managed to fare not so greatly at some of the challenges that Motherhood brought for me, and super succeeded at others. So its been a great balance. I have learnt to take things in my stride and go with the flow. That's whats helped me out all these 2 years of Motherhood plus the none months of successful pregnancy.

So while I had milk soaked Nursing Bras, I dabbed on some bright red lipstick and loads of mascara, and shook a leg at party with my baby in my arms. My mom used to dance with me and my brother,when we were younger. That was one of my favorite dances ever. She used to hold us in her arms, do a Waltz with us. Did I mention that she is a trained Ball Room dancer and I have never been able to match a step with her when she hits the dance floor. So the simple fact that I could dance with my baby in arms in exactly the same way, as my mom had danced with me and my brother, are the memories I cherish. We carried on the tradition of dancing with my Mom, even on the morning of my wedding. And we hope to continue the tradition of dancing together among every other fun thing we do together.

Happy Mother's Day MAAA !! Love you !!!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

HARYALI LAMB CHOPS



If you live in KC,then you will have a fascination with all things Barbecue. Its the same with us. we just look for an excuse to either fill our plates with some good local barbecue, or better still, grill it ourselves. Summer is almost here and that means its time to crank up the grill. We have had a few not so cold weekends so far in KC, and did I mention we have already managed to go ahead with two full on Barbecue Sessions at the local park. Yes, you're right,this winter has been pretty long for us.




The Man created one of his signature Grilling Specialities on both occasions on Public Demand. The first time we grilled it, this season, it was so good that we didn't even have a picture of the final product. No one could wait for the picture to be taken,before they lapped it all up within the shortest span possible. So when a friend recently asked me from the Smoky Green Picture as to what it was, and if there was a recipe on the blog, I knew it was time to pen it down. So here it goes Payel for you.



Lamb Chops usually need a great marination,as they can have an overbearing aroma at times. The man decided to go the HARYALI route but with a  twist. He created the Marinade with a  Healthy touch to it. Why you might ask? Well, for one, he likes to switch up classic recipes and secondly he had opted for Triple Cut Lamb Chops. So in order to balance out the extra large helpings of meat, he made the marinade healthier.

Haryali Kebabs generally refer to a marinade made of Cilantro, Mint and Yogurt . Its one of the iconic Kebab recipes of India and can be tried with mostly all kinds of meat. Its most commonly used with Chicken as my friend Garbita had done at a past Barbecue session. Debashish, my husband, added Spinach, yes you heard that right, to the marinade. Mom would be really happy. Not only are we eating our eating, we are adding our Greens to it. And a dash of Lemon Grass. He stuck to the green theme of HARYALI KEBABS and added two different green elements. The Spinach added more body to the marinade and the Lemon grass was a great compliment to the Mint and Cilantro. the yogurt works a great meat tenderizer. If you're dealing with lamb and you want to marinate it for at least 24 hours. When the meat hits the grill, and if its not tenderized through out with the marinade properly, then the exterior can get charred while the interior can remain raw.

So go ahead and give these HARYALI LAMB CHOPS a try. If you don't want to grill them, then you can bake them ib your oven at 350F till they are cooked through.

HARYALI LAMB CHOPS: 

Ingredients: 
Spinach : 1 lb
Lamb Chops: 2 lbs
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves: A small Bunch
Cilantro: Two large bunches
Lemon Grass Paste: 2 oz
Salt: To taste

Procedure: 










Make a paste of the items except the lamb in a blender.

Trim off excess fat from the chops.

Marinate the Lamb Chops for at least 24 hours.

Grill them till they are cooked through.

Bon Appetit !!!