Pink Chai Book Club: The Golden Son

[Our first book club pick: The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda] Hi I’m Raj –  chai lover, blog writer, and reader of books. Wait let me rephrase that, I don’t just read books, I consume them, sometimes I feel like I actually become them. Depending on the quality of the writing and the season of my life, I’ve been known to inhale a book in one sitting, or spend weeks slowly unraveling the words of a sensitive or challenging read.  I can’t remember the exact moment books found me, but I know they’ve always been there for me. Whether I was hiding out in the library because I was the only brown kid in my grade 2 class and loosing myself in the riveting chronicles of The Mouse and the Motorcyle, or the years I spent rereading every Babysitter’s Club book ever because those girls were my friends when no one else would be … books have always had my back. Over the years I’ve read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Classics, trilogies, historic fiction, romance, poetry, you name it, I’ve read something in it’s genre. Of late, I’ve become quite interested in fiction created around South Asian characters or based on the subcontinent – especially when it’s written by a woman. Maybe it was all the years I spent trying to see myself in the characters written by Judy Blume, Anita Shreve, and Sophie Kinsella, or maybe it just has to do with the…

Day 8 & 9: It’s Feeling Like Winter!

Guys … did you know? Complaining about the cold is a national pastime in Canada, and I’m ready to partake! It has been so cold and wet lately that even taking photos has been a bit of task. Nonetheless, I promise you that I haven’t been cheating on my 30 for 30 wardrobe and more pictures are coming! With that, let’s break down Day 8 & 9’s looks and share some style secrets… PS: If you’ve just landed on this page and are curious about the 3o for 30 challenge, you can start here, and all of my looks so far are available on the round-up page. Day 8: Sometimes a basic outfit comes together so well. I love that these are all pieces I have in my wardrobe but have never thought to put them together before the 30 for 30. If I wasn’t doing the challenge I probably wouldn’t have worn the scarf, and I definitely wouldn’t have dug around the shoe closet for something other than converse. But for a day at the office, I love this outfit! Outfit Details: Sweater & Jeans: Old Navy Shoes: Sam Edelman via Marshall’s Scarf: Indian market STYLE TAKEAWAY For me the takeaway from this outfit was the matching sweater and scarf. Usually I wouldn’t layer two of the same colour in the same outfit, but this works so well. It’s something I’ll be trying again for sure! DAY 9: As always, I went overboard with dresses when I was selecting…

Day 6 & 7: Comfortable and Stylish

Okay, so I fell behind a little and am bringing you another 2 outfits in 1 post. The last couple of days I’ve had zero motivation to get dressed. The weather is a bit cold and I have been in the office all by myself most days – no meetings, no human interaction. However, because I believe so strongly that how I’m dressed affects my productivity I forced myself to pull these two looks together.  Looking at this images now, I’m really happy I decided to get dressed! Neither of these outfits took much more effort than leggings and a long sweater, or jeans and tee shirt (in fact, one is kind of jeans and a tee 2.0), but they looked good and made me feel like I was in ‘work mode’. DAY 6: Such a deceiving outfit. Standing here like – check me out I’m a fashion girl and being super comfy and relaxed at the same time! (My favourite kind of devious!) Outfit details: Sweater – Old Navy Skirt – Reitmans Shoes & Necklace – Spring STYLE TAKEAWAY For me, this outfit is all about the statement necklace. A long, layered, or blingy necklace can take the most basic sweater or dress and elevate the whole look. I am in love with this piece. It was the only necklace I packed for Paris and it was not a mistake.  DAY 7: Sometimes a girl just needs to wear jeans and a tee shirt. It is my life quest…

Spicy Sweet Potato Pulao {Recipe}

There are two ways to approach cooking – by the book, or by heart. I tend to lean towards the second option. Many of the dishes I create, like this spicy sweet potato pulao, are a mix of experimentation, inspiration, and food memories. This makes for a really great time in the kitchen, but a lot of stress when you are trying to write out a recipe! Last month we had some friends over for a tandoori turkey dinner and I was having that last minute feeling that there wasn’t enough food to feed the crowd, so I decided to do a quick rice dish. On a grocery trip earlier that week I had found some purple Indian sweet potatoes – shakarkandi – and brought them home with no idea of what I would use them for. Savoury serendipity!  Since our photographer Aziz was already hanging out in the kitchen documenting the turkey process, he shot the spicy sweet potato pulao too. The reason it’s taken me so long to share the recipe? I didn’t document the ingredients! I’ve since made this dish twice and have nailed down the process and ingredients.  Sweet potatoes are not something that I use regularly in my cooking, in fact, I can’t remember if I’ve ever cooked with them before this! Surprisingly, this pulao falls in my top 5 favourite recipes  I’ve ever created. This is one of those rare recipes where I believe you really need the heat. There is something about the…

30 for 30 remix

Day 4 & 5: Cozy & Composed

Let’s talk about weekend looks in the fall and winter. First off, weekend looks are all about comfort for me. Whenever possible I avoid zippers, buttons, or anything else that restricts my movement (that’s what weekdays are for). On top of that it’s really cold this time of the year and I’m basically living in layers. That being sad, for the #Moms30for30 challenge, I wanted to push myself to try and create a few new go-to weekend looks, which I can also use on casual office days. I find that I’ll either get super dressed up for the office, or show up in jeans, t-shirt, and converse with zero effort. Hoping this little weekend experiment will result in some better options for casual Fridays (or Wednesdays) at the office too. Since I missed posting yesterday, I’m combing two looks today. Be sure to scroll through as I’m sharing a Style Takeaway after each outfit that you can use in your own looks too! (PS: If these takeaways are working for you, please let me know, and if there is something else you want to see I’d love to hear your suggestions!) DAY 4: This look is totally deceiving, because it actually came together pretty polished, but this is my coziest jersey dress – it feel like wearing pajamas. I decided to try the socks and boots trend here and totally loved it. The only thing I would have changed; I should have worn sheer tights! I was freezing the day…

Day 3: Colour Blocked Dress

This look is basically my alter-ego. Curled hair, black stocking, high heels – this girl means business! When I imagine myself as a boss babe making moves and building my business, this is the girl in my visions. In reality, this girl and this dress come out like two times a year at some business dinner or networking event. This year, I played dress up and brought my favourite (but rarely worn) colour blocked dress out for the 30 for 30 remix.  When I was choosing this dress I knew very well that it was going to be the hardest piece for me to work with. This is one of my ‘fancy’ dresses. It hangs around in my closet and waits patiently for a fancy event. Adding it to the remix was a personal challenge. Now that I’ve shown you how I would wear this as a business look, I have to figure out how to wear it in the everyday – just because. This dress itself has a very summery feel because of the bright colours and blush pink top, along with it being sleeveless. In the style take away below I’m sharing how you can bring a summer dress into your winter wardrobe mix. (I realize it doesn’t look summer here, but when it’s worn without tights and with nude heels like I normally style it, the feel of the dress is very different.) Outfit Details: Colour Blocked Dress: Calvin Klein – the official name of this dress…

Day 2: Grey Jeans for Fall

The weather is really starting to turn in BC, and it’s wet and grey today, and my outfit kind of matches. I’ve never been much of a grey person. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I owned anything grey. If you haven’t noticed, colour is my jam. A few weekends ago I went to Old Navy to use up my super cash and saw these grey jeans. Normally I avoid light washes in jeans because I have ‘mom hips’ and they kind of draw attention to them. However, I’m trying really hard to love and accept myself lately so I thought, to hell with the hips, let’s try something new! That’s how these grey jeans (and some how the matching grey sweatshirt) ended up in my tote bag.  Outfit Details Grey Jeans: Old Navy V-Neck Sweater: Old Navy Boucle Coat: Old Navy Heels: Target (Old) Hat: Sears (Old) Yes, I’m totally aware that I’m kind of obsessed with Old Navy, but their clothes fit me, the sizes are easy to figure out, and it’s affordable.  On the same trip to Old Navy I realized I actually had two Super Cash coupons (yes, as stated above, I know I spend too much at this place). I used my second coupon to get this warm and super cozy baby pink boucle texture coat . This coat is my everything right now. Pretty sure we are soul mates.  STYLE TAKEAWAY  What can you take away from this outfit and apply to…

The Best Budget Friendly Lipstick for Desi Skin: Wet ‘n Wild

You know what a good girlfriend does – she shares her beauty finds with her friends. When you find an amazing budget friendly lipstick at the drugstore, you immediately whats app all your girls to tell them about it (or write a blog post), it’s the girl code! Ladies, I’m your new best friend. Not only do I have a budget beauty find to share, it’s desi skin tone friendly. BFFs for life right?! So many times I’ll read about some amazing drugstore beauty store product and go to search it out but it will only have like 3 colour options. None of which are appropriate for my skin tone. (I consider my complexion, wheatish brown – average North Indian girl.) Recently I was at a Target store in Bellingham and came across some Wet ‘n Wild lipsticks that were on sale for $1.99 and I couldn’t resist. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much of them so I only bought two shades. Big mistake! This the THE BEST budget friendly lipstick I’ve ever come across. Even when they are regular price ($2.49 USD) they are a steal. And…the colours actually look really good on my skin, even the light pink. Currently regretting skipping out on the other shades. This red shade called Cherry Picking is my new favourite lip colour for fall. Megalast Lip Color Wet ‘n Wild Shade recommendations: Mauve Outa Here (907C) & Cherry Picking (965) Finish: A little glossy when you first apply the lipcolour but…

30 for 30 Remix: Day 1

Hello November! New month, new 30 for 30 remix challenge. Guys, I gotta be honest, I haven’t been this excited about a 30 for 30 in a while. In fact, I haven’t been this excited about clothes and getting dressed all year. I’ve shared with you before my struggles with grief & weight gain, but I’m happy to report that the Ideal Protein diet gave me the kick-start I needed, and I now fit into most of my clothes again!! With my renewed sense of confidence, my love of clothes and playing dress up is back full force, so let’s do this 30 for 30 remix thing. In case you’ve missed the earlier posts on this series here is a quick recap of how the challenge works: 30 for 30 Remix Challenge {The Guidelines} Choose 30 pieces of clothing from your wardrobe, create 30 outfits in 30 days. Shoes, accessories, and outerwear don’t count towards your 30 pieces Have fun! Try new looks. If you feel like it, share your pics on Instagram with the tag #moms30for30 or #30for30remix If you want to see the 30 pieces I selected for the challenge, you can watch the video here. This season, I’m going to share my looks daily on the blog, along with a style takeaway – something that you can apply to your own wardrobe and create a new look. With that, here’s the Day 1 breakdown: This is kind of my perfect fall outfit. Skinny jeans + plaid shirt and…

Paris With Kids: A City Guide {Part 1}

Writing a post about visiting with Paris with kids. A couple of years ago this would have seemed like such a crazy dream. Guys…. I went to Paris!! As far as travel bucket lists go – mine was full of Parisian dreams, and this summer they finally came true! What made my first trip to the city of romance even better was the fact that it was a mother daughter trip. It was Zara’s first international flight (and the first flight that she remembers), and it was our first time taking a trip together – just the two of us.  We spent 5 days in Paris and made note of some of the places that you’ll definitely want to visit if you find yourself in Paris with your kids one day. Now before I dig into where to go, I do have to say – Paris is not a city for kids under 8 in my opinion. The metro lines are old so there are limited or no elevators, the public washroom system is not the best, and I didn’t see a single change table on my trip except in a McDonalds. If you really must take your little ones, don’t go in high-season. We saw so many kids having meltdowns while waiting in lineups and parents losing their cool with each other – not worth it. Even at 10 years old, Zara struggled some days with all the walking, the jet lag, and the general busyness of Paris. Unless you’ve…