Category Archives: friday favorites

Friday Favorites – Post Partum Edition

I thought I’d ease back into blogging by writing about a few things that’ve been really enjoying since Rohan was born. I haven’t been able to do a whole lot since I spend the better part of my day breastfeeding a newborn, but here are a few things I am loving for Friday Favorites. These are vastly different than the Friday Favorites I’ve done in the past… here’s hoping I get to write about some of those things soon!

aden + anais for Target Swaddle Blankets. These were on our registry and we ended up getting two packs of them. My husband wasn’t sure what we would do with 8 swaddle blankets, but trust me, we’ve found uses for them now that baby’s here. Since E was born in December, the thick fleecy swaddle/receiving blankets would be way too hot in Texas in May. These linen blankets are just the right thickness to keep baby warm when the A/C is blasting. They’re super soft, but durable, and make a great surface to change a diaper or lay baby down. They’re great for swaddling, too!

Boba Wrap in Stardust. This has been a lifesaver during growth spurts, when Rohan wouldn’t sleep unless it was on me. Wearing him close to my chest in the wrap has been wonderful. I get to sniff and kiss his head, he gets to sleep and be close to me. Everyone wins. I had a different stretchy wrap when E was a baby, but I didn’t care for it. I never felt like I could get it tight enough. The Boba Wrap is very stretchy, which allows me to get it really tight. I’m not sure if it is actually longer than the other stretchy wrap, but I am able to wrap it around myself several times. I wasn’t able to do that with the last stretchy wrap I had. Plus the Stardust print is gorgeous!

In the midst of a growth spurt where someone is refusing to sleep.


Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
 and Motherlove Nipple Cream. Unfortunately, I did not buy these before I had the baby and was stuck using lanolin in the hospital for a few days. I’m not a fan of lanolin because it doesn’t absorb well into my skin and it likely leaves a film in baby’s mouth. The baby has a pretty significant lip tie and a tongue tie as well. As you can imagine, my nipples were pretty torn up before we even left the hospital. I prefer these to lanolin because they absorb into my skin and don’t feel slimy like lanolin does. I typically alternate between the two of them, even though their ingredient list is similar. I keep one in my bathroom and the other in the pocket of my nursing pillow.

What were your can’t live without post partum items?

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My Summer Beauty Top 10

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post on beauty products I’m using and really like. To me, the start of summer means vibrant colors, using my heat styling tools less frequently, and a natural look for every day.

  1. Batiste powder shampoo: great dry shampoo, it’s even available in tinted versions to match your hair color!
  2. RiRi Woo: this hot shade is from the RiRi Hearts MAC lipstick collection and was gifted to me by my sister. I’ve only worn it a few times, but received a TON of compliments on it.
  3. Josie Maran Argan Oil: I’ve been using this for some time now, but it works wonders for my hair, especially for my color damaged ends. I’ve tried lower priced argan oils, but they tend to have a strange smell to them that even my lavender essential oil can’t mask.
  4. BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium flat iron: my Chi died earlier this year, leaving me with wavy hair for months. I broke down and bought this iron after my good friend and hairstylist used hers on me. My thick hair stays amazingly straight for days and when used in conjunction with #1, I can make my at-home blowouts last for 4 days even in the TX heat without even having to touch up my hair.
  5. Essie’s Turqoise & Caicos: one of my favorite colors for summertime hands and feet. Looks amazing against bronzed skin and is a nice cool change from the corals and oranges I typically wear.
  6. Tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer: this stuff changed my life. Not kidding. The high end concealer I was using before would leave my under eye area dry and cakey by 10am. This stuff is very rich and moisturizing (a little dab covers a lot!), and stays put all day and night.
  7. Sephora Collection Cream Rouge lipstick in Mr. Lover: a bright fuschia that is perfect for a day or night pop of color.
  8. Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid eyeliner: it does everything its name says. While I used to use NYX’s Skinny Eyeliner for a perfect cat eye, it wasn’t waterproof and would start to drip down my face within a few hours. This stays put and is available in fun colors like mint, navy blue, and hunter green, in addition to black.
  9. Garnier Oil Free BB Cream: has a great matte finish and more coverage than the BB cream I was previously using. A little bit goes a long way for this big tube!
  10. Essie’s Mint Candy Apple: this is an all-time favorite color. I wear it year-round and always get tons of compliments.

What are your summer beauty favorites?

Things I Like

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I’ve been trying to curb my extra spending, so I haven’t been trying many new things.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to cut down time spent getting dressed in the morning. I discovered BB cream last summer, but didn’t really start using it until the winter. If you’re not familiar: BB cream is short for beauty balm cream, an all-in-one serum, primer, and tinted moisturizer, and some formulas also have sunscreen. It can be worn alone (usually how I wear it) or layered with powder, concealer, or foundation, depending on your coverage preference.

I love it because it evens my skin tone and helps hide marks. My preferred choice is Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Medium, which costs less than $10 and is available just about everywhere. I put it on as a base (no moisturizer) and then use concealer on top for my dark circles and/or dark spots. It lasts all day, but does rub off if I wipe my mouth or blow my nose.


Last week I took E to lunch with several other moms and some had brought their kiddos. One toddler was sitting quietly playing a game on an iPad that involved letters. E is obsessed with letters, so I had to ask about the game. Turned out it’s a free app called Endless Alphabet. It’s a great little app involving dragging letters that make sounds to create words. There are little monsters that act out the words after the kiddo has spelled them out. I showed E how to play it on the iPad and he was hooked: he sat quietly for about 45 minutes playing. I’m really into this because it doesn’t involve a meltdown or Dora the Explorer!

Spelling out exercise


I was fortunate enough to see Tegan & Sara in concert a few years ago. They recently released Heartthrob and I can’t stop listening to it. Great, poppy album. Their lead single Closer is incredibly catchy!

Friday Favorites: Leopard Print and Sparkle


Mossimo Black® Vianca Tuxedo Flat in Leopard

I initially didn’t care for the loafer trend. Way too preppy for me. Plus, my dad wore loafers with tassels on them and I will forever equate them with a business shoe. THen I saw these. I had to have them. For $20, I will be thrilled if they last until springtime. I’ve worn them a few times already and my only complaint is that there’s virtually no sole. I feel like I’m walking on the ground. I need to pick up some insoles so I’m gellin’ like a felon or whatever it is.

In the picture on the right, I paired them with mint skinnies for a night out and with dark bootcut jeans for work. While it’s a fun change from the ballet flat, I will be staying away from the ones with tassels. Sorry Dad.

 


Pave Pyramid Bangles from BaubleBar

I’ve written about these before, but I really like them just that much. As you can see in the picture on the right, they’re perfect for stacking, but pretty enough to hold their own. I wear these almost every day, usually just like this. BaubleBar has some pretty great pieces of well made, reasonably priced jewelry that I’m tempted to shop very frequently. Should you feel the urge to get something from them, please use my referral link.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are a few things I’ve been enjoying lately.

  • BaubleBar I am an accessories junkie. I especially love jewelry. The prettier, the better. For years, I’ve been buying junk cheap jewelry at stores like Forever 21. I’m lucky if it lasts for a season. This year, I’ve decided to upgrade a bit. My friend Hitha introduced me to BaubleBar.

    BaubleBar sells good quality, trendy jewelry. While the pieces cost more than F21, they are certainly better quality and look a lot more luxe as well. They also collaborate with designers for pop up shops.

    I’ve made a few purchases from there and have been really thrilled with their baubles. Included with each purchase is a hand-written thank you note. Who does that anymore? Their customer service is also very prompt and polite. Shipping is free.Interested in checking them out? Use my referral link.


    Pave Pyramid Bangles – $20 each


  • Rose gold Much to my mother’s dismay, I don’t wear yellow gold. Even though it looks great on South Asian skin, I don’t like the way it looks on me. I’ve been a silver/white gold/platinum/palladium person forever. When I saw rose gold, I was intrigued. It’s a departure from the cold look of silver. I think the blush tones are more flattering on my skin tone and make it more versatile. Below are a few of beautiful rose gold pieces that can be easily mixed with what’s already in your jewelry box. Because it’s so versatile, it’s mixes well with different metals and colors. Maybe it’s a gateway metal and I’ll be wearing yellow gold in the near future. I know it would make my mom happy!
    Make Me Blush

  • Mama Mia For the past several months, my skin has been going crazy. I get horrible hormonal breakouts each month: 4+ huge, deep, painful cystic acne-type pimples. It has been happening every month without fail. Since adult cystic acne runs in my family, I even went to a dermatologist to see if anything could be done. Since I’m still nursing, my options are limited and the doctor didn’t have any real suggestions.

    I ended up purchasing a Clarisonic Mia system, and have been using it nightly for a few months. Rather than using Clarisonic’s face wash, I use it with Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. It’s helped my skin significantly. While I still get a monthly breakout, I’m seeing fewer pimples. The ones that appear are not as deep either.

    There was some debate about whether I should buy the Mia or her newer sister the Mia 2. The only differences: the Mia 2 has 2 speeds and a timer. Not worth the extra $30. I don’t care about the variable speed, and I can keep count to figure out when to change areas. Plus the Mia comes in a ton of colors (I got the turquoise), while the Mia 2 comes in only pink and white.

    If the $119 price is a little steep, wait a bit. Many big cosmetics retailers have 20% off throughout the year. In fact, your best bet may be online. I got mine from drugstore.com for just under $100 with free shipping and no tax.

What are you digging lately?

Summer Style

Memorial Day has come and gone, which means we are unofficially into summer. Now that E is a year and a half, I am more comfortable leaving him at home while doing Fun “Me” Things (FMT). While I have been doing FMT for some time now, I usually feel guilty for leaving E at home. That feeling is slowly going away. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten over it or have gotten better at ignoring it. I’ll take it, whatever it is.

Doing FMT means that I can have more fun with my style than I do during the work week. I put together a few outfits I would wear for weekend with FMT activities featuring items from Pondicherry, a great online shop that features Indian inspired apparel and accessories. I had included some gorgeous accessories from them in a previous post about South Asian inspired jewelry. They have recently expanded their product lines and included designers such as nOir Jewelry and Emerson Fry

My FMT weekend would start with a bite to eat with my girl friends. This is the perfect outfit for an outdoor (boozy) Saturday brunch with BFFs. Summer white looks great with summer skin and this breezy tunic would be forgiving if I went a little overboard at brunch.

Easy Breezy Brunch

That night would be date night with my darling husband. I’m a huge fan of the LBD and this is a great way to work it during the summer. The statement necklace and clutch add pops of color, while the ring adds an extra touch of sparkle without going overboard.

Date night

Despite wanting a full weekend of FMT, I know would miss the heck out of the kiddo. I imagine my Sunday to be spent with my family. I’d wear my usual weekend uniform of jeans, a t-shirt, and flats, but spice it up a bit. Regular blue jeans would be traded for a pair of colored skinnies and my solid tee would be switched out with a unique graphic shirt. Add some fun jewelry and a bag big enough for some diapers and a sippy cup, and I am set!

Mom on the Go

Weekends are a great time for a mom to change up her style by trying something new, like the gorgeous gauzy tunic. If you’d rather stay within your comfort zone, it’s easy to look at favorite pieces in a new light by adding some bold accessories. While it’s normal to lose site of your pre-baby fashion sense (I know I have), mixing style elements from your past with your current wardrobe usually leads to a great new look.

Did you see something above that you liked? Pondicherry is generously offering a 15% discount on all full priced items using code APPRECIATE15. Hurry, this offer expires on Saturday, 6/9 at 11:59pm PST.

In My Diaper Bag: East Meets West

I know that I don’t actually keep jewelry in my diaper bag, but I’ve been wearing some of this jewelry while carrying the diaper bag. That counts, right?

One of my fondest memories growing up was seeing my mom get all dressed up for parties and weddings. Most times she would wear a sari and her ensemble would not be complete without a trip to the bank vault for the jewels. Emeralds and rubies and diamonds, oh my! Some would be sets given to her by her parents, others were given to her by my dad. I loved watching her put them on and remember her saying, “When I die, you’ll get this.” I know it sounds really morbid, but I hope my Desi ladkis will understand it. She still says these things every now and again.

I don’t go to enough fancy parties or weddings to justify wearing a sari, let alone all of her jewels. I’m also more of a costume jewelry kind of girl. It’s more in my budget and I feel it can be incorporated a little easier into a western wardrobe. Plus, if I lose an earring or a bracelet, I’m not losing a lot of money.


Much to my mother’s disappointment, a lot of my wedding jewelry was fake.

I usually keep an eye out for Indian inspired pieces on flash sale sites like Gilt, Ideeli, Rue La La, Zulily, or Haute Look. I’ve been snagging some great pieces by designers like Amrita Singh (my favorite!) and Chamak by Priya Kakkar. My #TeamMasalaMommas crew recently introduced me to Pondicherry, which I am sure will become a fast favorite.

I usually end up buying a great pair of statement earrings, but I’ve started venturing into necklaces as well. I got a pair of Chamak by Priya Thakkar Crystallized earrings from a Gilt warehouse sale for cheap.

My favorite pair of turquoise earrings are Amrita Singh’s Rosaline earrings that I purchased last year. They were one of my favorite things I bought last year. Here I am wearing them at an impromptu date night. As you can see they add an exotic air to whatever you pair them with.

Sadly, they’re no longer available, but they are gorgeous! Luckily, these Nello earrings are similarly styled and are available in a number of different colors.

Amrita Singh’s new POP! necklace was a featured item on a Chicago TV show a few weeks ago. To celebrate, the necklace was 75% off(!) with a discount code. You know I got two. The crescent moon shape makes it slightly different than typical stone bib necklaces. It is sure to add a nice POP of color to any spring or summer ensemble. I bought it in Turquoise and Fuschia, but it is also available in Coral and Black.


Amrita Singh’s POP! necklace in Fuschia


Amrita Singh’s POP! necklace in Turquoise.

Zulily recently had an Amrita Singh sale where I picked up these gorgeous silver bangles using a referral credit. I paid about $5 out of pocket to cover remaining shipping costs. They’re perfect for the upcoming warm weather season and can easily make any outfit feel a little fancier.

The similarly styled Jenny Bangle Set is available for $20.

I have not yet shopped with Pondicherry, but have spent the past few hours drooling over looking through their online store. They carry everything from shoes to jewelry (AKA my weaknesses) from a number of different brands including Sir Alistair Rai and my favorite Amrita Singh. Here are a few of my picks:


Mumbai Disco Earrings by Taara


Sunstone and Pearls


Princess Jasmine Sandals in champagne


Opal Clutch in Navy Multi

Tip: My favorite way to wear Indian style jewelry and accessories is with a low key outfit. The jewelry is typically very ornate and colorful – an over the top outfit would take away from its elegance. Unless you’re going to a Desi function; then all bets are off!