Reusing Indian Wedding Outfits: Reception Lehenga

There is never going to be a piece of clothing as special as your wedding or reception joda, yet so many desi girls just let their wedding outfits waste away in the back of the closet or under the bed. We’ve invested thousands of dollars into these pieces sometimes, and they only get one day in the sun? For years I’ve been itching to recreate some of my favourite pieces from my bridal trousseau but the timing has never really worked out. When my younger sister got married Zara was quite young and I just couldn’t imagine wearing these heavy pieces and carrying her around, but I finally got my wish to ‘be bridal’ again at my cousin Esha’s wedding.  I shopped my closet and pulled out two pieces that I thought could work together – my reception lehenga, and a net pink sari from my wedding clothes. My reception lehenga was one of the first pieces I bought when I started shopping for my wedding, and I still love the simplicity of all-over red. Initially I thought I would have the super heavy dupattta re-styled into a kameez, but I couldn’t bring myself to have it cut. Thankfully, seeing all my clothes out together gave me the idea to pair a kameez made from one of my saris with the lehenga! Here is a before shot of me in my reception lehenga, and the sari before it was re-invented … Sorry I don’t have a better full shot of…

We are Taking a Mother Daughter Trip!

Guys, we have big news –  Zara & I are going to Paris this summer! I have been dying to go to Paris for as long as I can remember, and Zara recently became infatuated with the Eiffel Tower and it’s twinkling lights so it’s kind of perfect. If you’ve been with me for a while you might remember that going to Paris was on my 35 before 35 list, what you probably don’t know is, I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Paris with one of my best friends Dale for the last 3 years running. Some how it never quite comes together. I had honestly started to feel a bit disheartened about getting to Paris, and then Zara floated the idea of going for her 10th birthday (that girl dreams big).  At first I laughed it off – a trip to Paris for a 10th birthday, crazy right? The more I thought about it though, the more it felt like the right thing to do. I’ve traveled a lot for work the last year, and work a lot of long hours, and have been feeling a bit disconnected from my kids. What better way to reconnect than with a week of one on one time exploring a European city together!  As soon as I started leaning towards the ‘just do it’ feeling I had two hesitations pop up. The first was my promise to my friend Dale that I would go to Paris with her. Of course…

My 3 Step Decorating Process {Video}

Ever found yourself with an empty space to decorate? Or maybe you have a tired looking room that needs a refresh? Whatever the case, decorating can be an overwhelming experience. I still shudder when I think of all the decor faux-pas I made in my first apartment, and how mis-matched my first house was. Over the years I’ve started to use a 3-step process for decorating a new room: Step 1: Choose your colour scheme. This includes accent colour, metallic and wood finishes. Step 2: Select an ‘anchor piece’ for your room. Step 3: Bring in a repeating pattern in various sizes. I’ve used this same method in various places I’ve lived over the years, and have also applied it in our office where we have a pink & beige colour scheme with white pine furniture, and lots of mandalas. If you are starting a decorating project soon and are looking for a place to get started, check out the video below where I’m explaining my process in detail.

What I Wore: Esha’s Engagement

If you’ve been following my Insta stories lately, you know that my cousin Esha got married last week. If you haven’t been following, I guess we aren’t friends anymore. (I kid). As you know, Punjabi weddings are all about clothes and food, so it’s time to recap what I wore. There were 5 days of events and a lot of outfits so I’ve broken them down into individual posts, and will share some details throughout. Excuse the photo overload coming up in this post… ENGAGEMENT PARTY For the engagement party I decided to go with a lightweight suit in a bold parrot green colour. I knew I wanted something that was easy to move around and dance in, but I also wanted something ‘fancy’. This outfit appealed to me because it makes a statement with the bright green and rainbow dupatta, and it came with a churidar pyjami – perfect for a payal lover like me! From: Made in India, Surrey BC Cost: $499 CDN The rainbow dupatta was the real selling point for me! I got almost all my accessories and the Punjabi jhutti from Prem Bangle Shop in Surrey. They a really are a hidden gem. He always has a great selection and is very reasonably priced. The tika is from a place called Barnala Fashions.  I did my own makeup, and for hair I went to the Blo Bar in White Rock for a blow out. It was totally worth the $40 because I carried the same blowout for…

Office Productivity Hack: Drink More Water + Giveaway

Am I the only person who struggles with drinking water every day? Forget consuming 8 glasses, just having one or two feels like a big chore. It’s not like I have to make the water, or it requires special skills to drink it, or it’s not readily available, so really there is no excuse. I just haven’t prioritized H2O until a few months ago. Surprisingly, my motivation was not clear skin, better immunity, or headache prevention (which are all needed in my life). I started drinking water so I could increase my productivity at work. I was reading some random string of health and wellness posts  and came across a study that showed even mild dehydration can have a significant impact on your energy level, clarity of thought, and productivity. I’ve literally spent thousands of dollars on productivity education, books, tools etc and never even considered that dehydration might have something to do with the 3pm slump! As soon as I decided to get on the ‘drink more water’ bandwagon I decided to push my new idea on my co-workers too. The tap water in our building has a funky taste, and we don’t have a community recycling bin so plastic water bottles often end up in the garbage (big no-no). We were considering a stand water cooler when the folks at London Drugs reached out to introduce the 7-cup PUR Water Pitcher. Since we don’t have much extra floor space in our office, we jumped at the chance to…

Embroidered Summer Kurta

We are just over a week away from my cousin’s wedding, and I’m already feeling tired from all the prep work. It feels we’ve been shopping for weeks. Between Zara and my desi clothes, and the boys needing to make multiple trips to the mall for suits, dress shirts, ties etc, my feet and my wallet are starting to feel the ache. The truth is though, I can hardly wait to get all dressed up and get my balle balle on.  Since next week is going to be all about bling and heavy makeup, I’m soaking up the simple beauty of this kurta from Armaan right now. (Armaan DBG the boutique, not my son – confusing I know.) [The soft shade of the kurta even inspired me to create a new lighter makeup look for summer] I picked up this sheer, hand embroidered kurta last summer but barely wore it. One because it’s not a colour I wear often and was really struggling to style it, and it was just too long for me. I wore it once at full length and it just didn’t feel right. A few weeks ago I finally asked my mom to hem it for me, and now I’m in love. It’s amazing how a little alteration can make an old piece feel new again. I’m loving how this piece pairs with these white denim capris, but I’m also planning on wearing it with white pantyhose style pyjami and a simple white dupatta for desi…

Why I Prioritize Coding & Technology Education for My Daughter

For most of my life I’ve been a princess. Not through my bloodline, but through my behaviour and beliefs. I grew up devouring fairy tales, romance novels, and cheesy Bollywood movies.  The problem with stereotypical princess mentality is it leaves you feeling the need to be rescued all the time. Something heavy to lift? Car needs to go to the shop? TV remote needs to be programmed? There has to be a prince around here somewhere to deal with that right? It also makes you shrink at work. You are less likely to push back in a high stakes negotiation or big board meeting. Thankfully I’ve outgrown my princess complex (even though I still love fairy tales and all things pink), and one of the major reasons that shift happened was Wordpress and web development. Just after my 30th birthday I started tinkering with Wordpress and building the bones of this site. Eventually I taught myself some coding and developed a little side business building basic websites. It was one of the most empowering experiences of my life, because I used be the girl that could barely use a TV remote. For years my husband had been in charge of things like setting up the DVD player, programming the security system, and even online banking, but all of a sudden I felt capable to tackle those tasks and more. Building websites gave me a confidence I never had before.  My personal experience has always been a motivator to encourage Zara to…

I’m a ‘Goes to the Office’ Mom Now: Feelings

This month marks my 13 year anniversary as an entrepreneur. I can still remember the day my 3 month old son was napping on my chest back in May 2004 and I had the realization that I just couldn’t got back to an office job. Even though there was the option to have my mom or mother-in-law help with babysitting, I just couldn’t do it. That day started a course of opening and closing two other businesses, and then finally landing on Pink Chai Media about 5 years ago. [Super serious work face & crazy curls] While my other business ventures were mildly successful, this blog and it’s namesake media agency are the ones that really took off. Today Pink Chai Media is a full service digital agency with 4 employees, kind of crazy right? Over the last 5 years we’ve gone from Mr. T and I working at our kitchen table and coffee shops, to a point last year where we would have 4-5 people around our dining table every single day. It was becoming too difficult to have the business based in our home, and I had zero work-life balance so we made the decision to move our business to an office space. It’s been 3 months since we set up our new shop (and one of these days I’ll hang up the art and take some pictures to show you guys), and I’m finally getting used to being a mom that goes to the office, and not…

Reinventing My Wedding Lehenga: Plan B

I was recently told by a client that I also consider a friend, that my entire personality is a dichotomy. She pointed out that many things about me are in total conflict. Like I’m very introverted, but I can also put on a big personality and speak to large groups of people. I married very young but I’m fiercely independent. I’m a creative person, yet I run a fairly successful business in a pretty organized way. I’ve thought about that conversation a lot over the last few weeks, and it’s a pretty true and fair observation.  Another contrast that I noticed in myself after that conversation is how I feel about sentimental stuff. On the one hand I love saving memorabilia, photographs, random movie stubs, and train tickets, but on the other hand I’m more than happy to turn old things into new things. This brings us to my wedding lehenga… {I feel I have to put in a disclosure here – because all my belongings are still in boxes after the move and I couldn’t find my wedding albums, I don’t have a full length picture to show you of my lehenga right now. I will update this post at a later date with a full length photo} There are a lot of women I know that wouldn’t dream of cutting or altering their wedding lehenga. I on the other hand have been itching to update mine for years! My lehenga is pink silk (it reads really purple in…

Moms 30 for 30 Week 2 Round-Up

I’m like four days late with my round-up post, but I’m giving myself mad props for even participating last week with the whole moving business. I did not manage to take pictures on the weekend during the move, so there are only 5 outfits in this post. However, I do have a special ‘mini photoshoot’ planned on the weekend so I can take a few extra pics and get caught up by the end of the week. There is no way I’m dropping out this time, nuh-uh.  If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t crazy in love with any of my looks last week, and I think the stress/tired is really showing on my face. What I am excited about is multiple different hair looks. I’m pretty impressed with myself for that people. My hair has not been super healthy since the botched dye job so I’m trying to avoid using the straightener and experimenting with different styles instead. DAY 8: Where: The office/prop shopping/errands By day 8 I’m starting to feel like this whole challenge should have been sponsored by Old Navy. This dress and long cardigan combo is so comfy, I think I’m going to live in it for the whole season  What: Cardigan: Old Navy Dress: Old Navy Shoes: Marshall’s DAY 9: Where: The office Skinny jeans, cute shoes, and a nice top is my go-to outfit for the office. In fact, this round of the 30 for 30 I’ve included a few dress pants in my…