FASHION

FASHION
FASHION

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BEAUTY
BEAUTY

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FOOD
FOOD

WHAT I WORE THIS CHRISTMAS:RED&BLUSH







Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas! It is officially that lull between Christmas and New Year's when many of us lose track of which day of the week it is. While I get ready for another round of scans for my husband, who just won his battle over cancer, I decided to sneak in a few moments, to write. As I always say, writing is therapeutic for me. New Year is officially more than 48 hours away. so it made sense to write about what I wore this Christmas. As promised, I had shared what my Christmas Eve outfit was, so here comes the next installment of all things festive, for this year.

I fell in love with this red skirt, when I had first seen it, almost 5 years ago. And I can assure you, that its a conversation starter. A full skirt is a favorite of mine, but with my petite frame, often it is a hard hunt, to pick out just the right one. I had first blogged about this skirt, when I had worn it for Kansas City Fashion Week, in 2015. I had paired this skirt with a polka dot top, and leopard pumps. I had styled this skirt with a Superman Tshirt for my daughter's Super Girl Birthday party, earlier this year. I love this skirt so much, that I pulled out this skirt again. Last year, I had paired it with a gunmetal glitter tank for Christmas dinner downtown.

This Christmas, it was all about letting the Red notes shine. I love playing up colors in a similar family. So a dusty rose silk shirt to off-set the textured red full skirt. Red statement earrings from Bauble Bar, Red lipsticks, black-footed tights, and nude pumps. The wind was mischevious, so the skirt looks fuller in some shots than it actually is. I fell in love with how festive and fun the combo is.
This red skirt surely is a classic in my closet, as I love how many ways I can style it. From Valentine's Day to Christmas, there are quite a few styles to rock with this beauty. A high waisted skirt is also very flattering for anyone of us with a mom bod. It helps me rock the festive colors, without having to force myself into a Spanx. Nope, bodycon dresses are happily retired from my closet, at least for now.

Thank you to all of you for supporting me in my blogging journey for 10 years in a row! Have a wonderful New Year.

SHOP MY OUTFIT:
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CANDY CANE CRUSH : CHRISTMAS EVE OOTD





Two days to Christmas! This year has been a roller coaster ride for sure, with my husband being detected with cancer and then finally beating cancer. Among the various things which got pushed to the back-burner, was also my content calendar for the blogs. But its the last few days of the year, and I wanted to make sure at least some of the seasonal content made its way to blog, and to all of you. So stay tuned for two back to back outfit posts on the blog.

Let's start with Candy Cane Crush! I was sipping on some hot chocolate, which had a candy cane stirrer when this outfit idea came together in my mind. Many of you who are regulars on my blog have seen how much I love dressing up for the holidays, and how much I love to shop my own closet, in creating new outfit combinations.

The top is a crop top with a beautiful faux-leather Peter Pan collar. Its a light knitwear, which makes it perfect for this time of the year. The Holiday touch to the outfit was surely my Pixie Ankle Pants in a beautiful red. When I had picked out this pair of pants, I knew I would wear to some Holiday event. Red statement earrings, and Red Lips, added a few more layers of a festive touch to the outfit. The finishing touch to the outfit had to be the Leopard Booties of mine, which can jazz any outfit!

Hoping all of you have a wonderful Holiday season! Stay warm, hug more, and keep smiling!



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STRANG HALL, OVERLAND PARK IS NOW OPEN


Strang Hall opens its doors to the Foodies of Kansas City, on December 20th, 2019. If you had missed my last post about Strang Hall, then you can read all about it here. Strang Hall is the latest entrant in the Kansas City food scene. Being a resident of the southern part of the Kansas City metro area, I must tell you, that it is great to have a food hall, in this part of town. Strang Hall is conveniently located in downtown Overland Park Kansas.

What is Strang Hall, you might ask? Well, Strang Hall is a chef-collective. Not one, not two, but six different restaurants by six different chefs under one roof. A full-fledged bar and a coffee shop complete the picture. Strang Hall had a series of previews whereby the chefs were introduced to select media/food lovers across the city. I was fortunate to be able to cover the previews and also finally attend the soft launch, prior to the grand opening on December 20th. It was wonderful to see the new space. I loved the wood details and the industrial touch. It is like trying out fine-dining, in an extremely modernistic-casual space.

While the preview events saw the chefs presenting a selection from their menu, the soft opening saw each Chef presenting one signature item from their menu. Let us start our culinary journey of the evening with a stop at Anousone by Chef Anouroum Thompson. You can see how my Asian roots were ecstatic to taste comfort food with South-Asian flair. A fusion of Lao and Thai home-cooked cuisine that will transport you to a home far away.
I am a huge fan of his Khao Phoon. Chef presented Forbidden Rice Pudding at the soft opening. Purple rice and coconut with a creme brulee batter topped with white chocolate ganache and caramel sauce. Flambed to perfection just before you dig in. Its always a good idea, to start your meal with dessert, right.
Our next stop was at another favorite - Nida by Chef Remy Ayesh. A wonderful fusion of Lebanese-Spanish flavors. If you love tacos, then Nida is surely your taco heaven. Carnida Taco: braised pork, refried black beans, Oaxaca cheese, grilled pineapple salsa. Chef Ayesh knows how to pack a flavor punch in a tortilla.
 Third stop for the evening was at Basabasa by Chef Joe Ponzer. Asian fusion and fried chicken seem like a culinary match made in heaven, right. Presenting Crispy Chicken Sandwich: dijonaise, shaved Napa cabbage, sweet pickled cucumber.

Who does not love a good pizza? I know I do, and so does my 6-year-old, who had accompanied me, as always. You might have had your pizza favorites, but one bite into Chef Chad Tilman's pizzas and your pizza loyalties will change. Norcini, by Chef Tilman, is an Italian-inspired concept that will feature pizzas and sandwiches. We tasted Italiano Pizza, which is a Tuscan-style soppressata(head cheese) pizza with a thin layer of tomato sauce and sweet peppers.
While I am not a huge fan of salads in general, I was bowled over by Chef 's Grilled Citrus Salmon: ancient grain mix, arugula, avocado, fennel, grapefruit, pomegranate. Chef Erin Bassett's restaurant Solstice will highlight seasonal produce and her passion for healthy food.
Last but not least, it was a stop at Chef Mark Dandurand's Fond, which is a concept that will serve familiar dishes to make something wholly new. ncept that will serve familiar dishes and inject them with exciting flavors to make something wholly new. Arancini: beet risotto croquette, blue corn, spinach puree, cave cheese.


Hopefully that got you excited to venture out and try out the newest kid of the KC foodie scene. Strang Hall in Overland Park, Kansas. We ate our way around this wonderful chef-collective and came home with our hearts and bellies full.  
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CHRISTMAS DECORATING: EXPECTATION VS REALITY

 
 Its mid-December and everyone is counting days till Christmas! I am sure all of you have finished decking your halls. I had meant this post go live in the first week of December, but it got delayed. What didn't get delayed though, was my plan for decking my halls. We usually decorate our home for Christmas, just after Thanksgiving, and were able to accomplish that. But when it came to documenting it all, that's where the deadline flew out of the window. Better late than never, right.
So when it comes to decorating, there's always a clash of expectation versus reality. What you want to do, and what you finally land up doing?
Let's start with my list of expectations first:
  • I(f things had been normal at our end(read: no fight with Cancer), I would have wanted to change our Christmas tree to a flocked one. I and our daughter have had that on our wishlist. 
  • Change up the color scheme of our decorations from red, green and gold, to something more whimsical, maybe. I was thinking of peacocks and jewel tones associated with it. 
  • Maybe even going to a Christmas Tree Farm, and get a fresh tree, versus an artificial one. 
  • Have holiday decor in all of the rooms in our house. At least a touch of holiday decor. 
  • Maybe add a Second Tree! 
  • Matching holiday Pjs(though its technically not home decor). Followed by 50 attempts to get cute photos with the camera on a tripod and timer. Did I mention trying to convince both human and furry kids to stay still and maybe look at the camera? Struggles of a mom's life, I tell you. 
  • Make Mulled Wine and enjoy it too. 
  • Load the refrigerator with EggNog, for the Holiday parties. 
  • Get Christmas Crackers before they are sold out everywhere. 

Now here's a look at reality:
 














  • The tree and the halls were decked on December 1ts, but didn't manage to blog about them, till now. 
  • Didn't manage to shop for ornaments in a different color scheme. So it was back to red, gold and green, for another year. Switched up things a bit though, while staying in the color scheme. I tried my hand at decorating with gold Deco Mesh and I am loving it. Got a bunch of larger ornaments. The tree that we use is more than 5 years old and is starting to get sparse in some places. But I fluff it like there's no tomorrow. The deco mesh and larger ornaments were a good idea in hiding gaps. Another hack that I love, is to add green ornaments inside the tree, which also cheat the eye, into hiding gaps. Evert year I change up, what I use as a Christmas tree topper. This year, I used a bunch of gold and red picks/sprays. I love using sprays/picks throughout the tree, in general. 
  • I didn't manage to go and visit a Christmas tree farm. Cancer takes its toll, and its a slow and steady pace to get back to normal life and activities. 
  • We have an open-concept floor plan, so I made sure that we had holiday decor in the various parts of the living floor, to tie it all in. The tree beside our fireplace and the mantle are also decked up. We have the same arrangement of pine cones and candles on the center table, as I had for Thanksgiving. For our formal dining table, we have a smaller tree and the quintessential red truck, carrying a fresh-cut tree. We decked up the hutch behind the dining table with bottle brush trees of varying sizes, to give it that whimsical, woodsy feel. The kitchen table has a silver deer, with a couple of bottle brush trees. The silver goes well with the stainless steel appliances of the kitchen, yet ties in the holiday decor. 
  • No mulled wine or egg nog yet, but we still have time. 
  • No Christmas crackers yet.

Hoping all of you have a wonderful holiday season! 


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GOING BLOND-ER : MY HOLIDAY HAIR

Many of you wrote back that you'll love my new hair color, which you'll have seen in my last Outfit post on the blog. I try and chronicle my hair color journey, whenever I can. I have been my hair colored since I was 16 and I can tell you I have enjoyed my journey so far. From browns to caramels, to various shades of blonde, I love to change up my hair color routine, every now and then. And all of this has been possible, as I have always had the wonderful hairstylists taking care of my hair. Amanda Pogue, of Studio A Salon KC, has been taking care of not only my hair but that of my human family, for the last decade. We love you, Amanda!

Before I go on to what we did this time, let me share a bit about my regular hair color routine. I get my greys covered every 8 weeks or so, and we refresh my existing highlights, or change them up, every 16 weeks or so. Not to forget regular trims, as well. As far as hair care goes, for chemically processed, textured hair, I will soon have a detailed regimen typed up in another post, so stay tuned.
Now let's talk about how we got my hair ready for this year's holiday season. I had my appointment just before Thanksgiving, and needless to say, I am in love with the new color. My stylist Amanda is wonderful as she not only styles your hair brilliantly, she explains everything so well. She always gives me an unbiased answer of what can be done, and in which case will the chemical breakage be high.

And going Blonde is a journey. If you wanted to go blonde, in one sitting, then you need to do your research well. I have been Honey Gold, I have been Super Blonde, I have had Chunky Higlights, and I have had Balayage, many times in the past, and we have also trimmed away all of that, to ensure the health of my hair. So when I had chopped off my existing blonde locks, last October, it was a journey going back blonde again We started with Caramel Toffee Highlights and went lighter with every succeeding appointment. This time for my highlights, Amanda used Pravana Ultra Lightener to balayage pieces. We were able to get a little lighter, as Amanda was highlighting the previously lightened pieces.

Then we did a shadow root/gray coverage. I have always been a huge fan of shadow roots, as it has always helped anchor my light-colored hair. Love love the contrast. After rinsing the hair, Amanda used the L'anza Silver Brightening Shampoo to tone the blonde. If you are a blonde, then you know all about the importance of toning. You have to use a product to counter the orange/brassy tones a blonde can achieve. I continue to use a Silver/Purple Shampoo for every alternate wash, to tone the blonde. Purple is the exact opposite of orange on the color wheel, so that helps the blondes from staying fresh.

We decided to style it straight for the final blow out, coz sometimes I am too lazy to sit with a straightener at home and do it myself. So I enjoy the treat when I am in my stylist's chair. Amanda styled my hair with Amika First Base mixed with L'anza Keratin Healing Oil. This air color looks equally good whether I style it straight or curly. I have received compliments for both. If you didn't know, my natural hair is curly, and I plan to pen down how I take care of my curly hair, in an upcoming post.

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MUSTARD SWEATER- LEATHER SKIRT - MY THANKSGIVING OUTFIT


Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful Friendsgiving at our home.  At this time of the year, I wanted to make an extra effort, in thanking all of you, who have supported my blog, over the last 10 years. Yes, this blog just turned a decade old. I couldn't have done it alone. I continued to write when I was happy, I continued to write when I was devastated. All of you as my readers continued to read. Together we just completed 10 beautiful years. This year is also the year when my marriage had completed ten years.  But this is also the year when my husband was detected with an aggressive form of cancer. And this is also the year when he beat Cancer. So it has surely been a year of milestones.
Who is ready to talk about some Fashion in this new post. Yes, I know, outfit posts have been less this year, as my favorite photographer was incapacitated. But now I have a brand new post, for all of you. My Thanksgiving outfit. An I had mentioned earlier, we host Friendsgiving at our home, every year. I always say that friends are the family we choose. And since my family is away oceans apart, friends mean so much more. We are so thankful for all of our friends in our life and all that they do for us.

Since I am the hostess, I try to pick out outfits that are comfy yet dressy. Rather than buying new clothes, I decided to shop my closet. I had picked out this beautiful Mustard Sweater, a few years back. And I had always wanted to feature it in an outfit post,and never did. So finally I decided, I had to feature it, as I was bringing it out of hibernation for Friendsgiving. Mustard has been on trend for some time now and is still going strong. I am sure you'll remember my Mustard Dress post from a  few years back, which I had worn for one of the nights for KCFW. Mustard is one of those colors, which is a fall staple, in my books.

I decided to pair it with a Leather Midi Pencil Skirt. This skirt is one of my investment items, as I can always style it for Fall-Winter, and it is always a good idea. I always believe in investing in some wardrobe staples, and you can pick pout budget-friendly items for super trendy pieces. The slouchy sweater and the fitted leather skirt are a perfect balance of proportion.

For accessories, I decided to go with Pearls. Not something, I usually do right. An old friend of mine, and a fellow blogger babe, back in India, had been posting about these fabulous Pearl Hoops which she had picked up from H&M. So I took the cue and the next time, I was at the mall, I picked something similar. Thank you Rebecca - of Project Style for the recommendation. Pearl is another element that is super trendy now, and you can find some great options everywhere. If you didn't want to do pearl earrings, you could also opt for pearl clips. Hair accessories like barrettes are really having a moment.

For shoes, it was Leopard Pumps. I pulled the leopard theme further in my cute graphic purse. Warmer themes galore in this outfit and I love it. If you enjoyed my outfit, then I will line up some similar picks for you to browse through or maybe even shop. Thank you once again for supporting me in my blogging journey.

SHOP MY OUTFIT :
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