Monday, March 25, 2013

Pairing Stripes - Part One

How can one resist a classic striped tee? I am still searching for an answer (or not). All of us have worn it - when we dress up, when we don't, at school, when we run to the store or even the gym. It is a wardrobe essential. A classic.
Pairing stripes is so much fun without having to try too hard (or look like you did!). This will be the first of a three part series where I shall play with stripes. I wore a striped dress with tangerine accents in the past, but, in this series the outfits will use multiple pieces of clothing, so we maximize the potentional of the humble striped tee.
Here's the first look. I call it the Color Cave because the bold colors cave in on the striped tee. While the look is centered on the tee, the stripes become a canvas to the red and yellow pieces. I matched the shoes to the blazer which bind the whole outfit together. Try this look with other complimentary colors - how about fuchsia with lime green, or blue with orange?

Shorts: Forever21 (Similar at J.Crew)
Top: Banana Republic
Linen Blazer: Charlotte Russe (Other pretty options)
Shoes: Naturalizer (Similar option here)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Enoki stir-fry


Mushroom recipes are my go to on lazy days. They require little preparation, cook fast and are brimming with nutrition. 
While I am a sucker for the earthy flavor and chewy texture of Shiitake, Enoki is a close second thanks to its versatility. Use it sparingly with stir fried meat dishes or make it a meal in itself. It's mild flavor and bean sprout like crunchy texture make it a great choice for single bowl dinners.
Ingredients (serves one)
Enoki mushrooms - 2 stalks
Ginger - chop or shred about 1/2 inch
Garlic - a couple of cloves chopped fine
Green chillis - at least one; tone it up as per taste
Soy Sauce - about 2 teaspoons
Water -  sprinkle about 2 teaspoonsful just to bring all the flavors together
Butter/sesame oil - some (and, some more if you use butter)
Sugar - just a pinch (if that)
Salt and pepper to taste

Get started

Heat some butter in a wok; add the green chillies and garlic. Saute for about two minutes; make sure you don't burn the garlic. Then toss in the sliced ginger and mushroom. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and add soy sauce. Sprinkle the sugar. Continue to saute until the mushrooms are almost cooked (about four minutes) while sprinkling the two teaspoons of water as it cooks. Make sure you don't add too much water at a time, as that would soggy up the mushrooms while making the flavor bland.  Season with salt and pepper, and, garnish with chopped spring onion (IF you want to dress it up)

Try this on a bed of steamed jasmine rice or brown rice for a fuller meal.

You can also add bell peppers, julienned onions, shredded carrots and sliced bamboo shoots to make it a truly robust meal. However, those upgrades would disqualify this recipe from my list of lazy meals!

Suggested wine pairing - Fruity whites (Chenin Blanc, Riesling)



Friday, January 25, 2013

Sunny Winter Afternoons



Jacket: Thailand (Similar and running out soon!)
Sweater: GAP
Pants: Zara
Shoes: Old (Similar at ALDO and Steve Madden)
Bag: Zara

One of the perks of living in the Southwest - this is a January afternoon!

While I am still enthralled by snow (coming from hot hot India), I like the fact that I can choose to see the snow rather than being forced to shovel it every morning. I love pulling all my blacks out for the short winterish season we witness between December and February. Black definitely takes a back seat rest of the year when its either 'almost Summer' or Summer.

Wore this for a run to one of our favorite coffee shops - Cartel Coffee Lab. This place could easily be dismissed as another hipster coffee joint, but, they take their coffee so seriously you cannot have the Cappuccino to go. Why? A perfect cup of Cappuccino is to be served in a porcelean cup with a handle and a rounded base. Isn't that fussiness alone worth giving a shot?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Slipping into Fall

Fall is here. Well, almost here, in Phoenix. We have the luxury of a pre-Fall season when you can play with all those gorgeous Fall fabrics without having to drown yourself in them. It's a good time to summer up those Fall and Winter skirts without sweating it out or, worse, freezing.
This skirt has to be my best bargain yet at the Zara sale. When I saw it discounted by 75%, picking a color was the only task left unfinished! Mint happens to be one of my favorite colors (evident from the overload of the color in my posts, I am sure!), and, I ditched the modest cream for a piece of the sea.
Unlike the predictable mint and white combination, this fabric allows me to play with bolder shades like navy and black which usually tend to overpower mint.

WINNER of the Shawl Dawls contest is Stephanie of the fabulous blog Lam In Louboutins.

Blouse: Forever 21
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Zara

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shawled up!

How to wear a shawl a hundred different ways - all of us look up those videos once in a while. We like some, twitch at some, stick to some and forget the rest. End of the day, a shawl is shawl, right? Wrong.
Meet this versatile shawl from Shawl Dawls. A unique piece of clothing that transforms from a shawl to an evening dress, and everything in between, in seconds. Their tagline could easily be “It can also be a shawl”. This one shoulder sage green dress is one of their gorgeous shawls. Need I say more?

Shawls worn as a dress: Shawl Dawls 
Shoes: Old
Belt: Forever New (Old) Prettier option

I first met the vivacious duo behind this one size fits all fashion marvel at an emerging designers event earlier this year, and, their product stayed in my head long after they went back to LA. When I heard they were back in town for another event, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet them. Know more about them, and, show you guys this creative piece of clothing.
Catherine Rejano, Julie Cruz, Roshena Chadha, Jessica Koay (Missing!: Taniya Ahmed)
The chirpy Julie Cruz, and, the spunky Roshena Chadha, both first time entrepreneurs, spoke about how the idea sprung up during a casual shopping jaunt when Julie wondered how much you can do with a shawl, if only…and that is exactly the gap they have filled. From a one product start-up a couple of months ago, Shawl Dawls has already breezed into accessories, make-up and shawls for toddlers too! I enjoyed browsing through their collection of not just shawls but also cute little buttons that help hold the shawl in style.
Small Dawls
Over a delicious home cooked meal made by Roshena with the help of their sprightly interns, Catherine and Jessica, it is inspiring to hear them talk about how they quit their 9 to 5’s to work on this full time. The years they spent as fashion school is finally put to good use.
The cool caprese salad was a wonderful start to the meal that got better by the course - both, food and the conversation. They told me how they change their collection by the season, so their current Fall/Winter collection is stocked up with plaids and wool. In the summer, their shawls work great as sarongs or swim cover-ups.
 Caprese Salad
This colorful Summer salad served on a bed of greens and sprinkled with strawberries and oranges was spot on for a hot Phoenix evening, followed by the comforting vegetable rigatoni with bell peppers and broccoli.
Summer Salad
Catherine and Jessica all set for the meal
They definitely saved the best for last - the butterscotch fudge. As they serve it in a shot glass topped with roasted walnuts and drowned in caramel sauce, they tell me about the Shawl Soiree they can organize for your bunch of girlfriends where they offer discounts on the shawls purchased.

Butterscotch Fudge
As I was all set to bid goodbye, a couple of pounds heavier, I learnt there is more to look forward to, and, soon at that. I cannot wait to watch the wonders these girls will do with The shawl.
Want this shawl? You can win one! Follow these steps to enter the contest (Shipping within USA only)

(1)    Like Shawl Dawls on Facebook
(2)    Leave your email address in the comment box below, so I can let you know if you are the lucky winner!

PS. Contest ends September 06, 2012