2014 is gonna be one memorable year in my life because of this blog. It's almost unbelievable that i started and been posting content for past 8+ months now. I am so glad i did it, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for my little corner in the internet here. I am beyond thankful for each and every person who drops by, you guys make my day, and motivate me to post more. Thanks so much for following along for these past months, and i hope that you guys will be with me in the next year as well.
I compiled some of my favorite posts on AGT from 2014 for today.
My first style post featuring my favorite dress from this year. And i totally forgot that i had super chopped hair this spring.



Open front cardigans are trending everywhere this season. I have been on the lookout for one since fall started, and i finally found one, on sale(sale is still on, link to the item at the end of the post) in San Francisco. Its a super casual piece and looks great for the laid-back or off-duty looks. This particular cardigan is fuzzy, soft and perfect for fall or Indian(or Florida) winters. As its the holidays i added some holiday red with a henley top and plaid scarf. And if you are a regular reader here or follow me on Instagram then you would know my love(pure genuine love people) for these slip-on shoes by now(seen here, here, here and here).



Holidays are almost here, well, already here, and the streets are all lighted up and santa stations are everywhere. The best part during this time for me is driving around after dark, and looking at all the front yard decorations and how each window is showing off its christmas spirit with the Christmas tree. I keep shouting to Tee, 'oh look at that window', 'ah look how beautiful this decor is', and i never get tired of it. This is my second holiday time here and i am loving it even more than last year, guess you never get used to this one. So i have the holiday gift guide for you all here, hope you find something for your friends and family or for yourself(we always do, don't we?) .
Gifts for him



I am the tallest! 
Hope all of you are gearing up to get out of the office, and have a great weekend. But i guess during the holidays, even the work place turns into a fun place to be. Today i am sharing stories about the last day of our California trip and it was in "drum roll" San Francisco. We were all so excited to be there, with Tee as our alleged tour guide as he had been there before. He gets so excited to show me the places he had been to before, just so i could enjoy the way he did, and he could see those places in a whole new light with me. Our trip to Vegas & Grand Canyon was another one he was so excited to take me to.



Napa, the vino tourism destination of the country, and its where we spent the second day of our California road trip sipping some fine wines(check out the first day, lake tahoe diaries here). Filled with acres and acres of vineyards and wineries the drive around Napa is just wonderful, looking at all the lands of cultivation, and each and every winery being so unique, the place is a dream. We went to two wineries, first Castello di Amorosa(Castle of love) in Calistoga and next V. Sattui winery in St. Helena. Both were very different and tasteful, unique in their own way. The wineries were filled with people, and the atmosphere was lively. The town of St.Helena and Healdsburg were like they were taken out of a christmas movie, full of cute little local shops and holiday lighting. We all had an amazing time driving around the country side, tasting some amazing wines, and admiring the beauty of this land. Here are some pictures from our day. I have added some pointers at the end of the post if you are looking for some more info about these wineries and tastings.



On our second day of the thanksgiving weekend road-trip we visited Napa, vinotourism destination of the United States. While lake tahoe (check here for the travel diaries & outfit details) was cold and chilly, i knew Napa wouldn't be as cold as tahoe, but not warm either at this time of the year. So i chose a pastel colored sweatshirt and black jeans and gave the jacket & boots a miss. I wanted to be comfortable as we will be traveling from lake tahoe to napa(3+ hours) that morning, and this outfit was perfect for both traveling and the Napa weather.



Hello everyone! I am back after a week long break.  Hope all of you had an amazing thanksgiving and a relaxing long weekend. I didn't celebrate thanksgiving per say but i felt a whole lot thankful for everything i have had and still have in my life, and Tee & I had a super duper fun long weekend in California. We went on a road trip to the west coast and this is part 1(of 3) of that road trip. First up was the almost-like-an-ocean huge and stunning Lake Tahoe.



Hope you all are happily working through the short week, just one more day people, lets do this! For people who are wondering what i am talking about, this thursday is thanksgiving here, ergo a long weekend. Long weekends are almost common in India with so many holidays and festivals to celebrate(love 'em, miss 'em), but its hard to come by on this side of the world. So lets make hay while the sun shines and start having a great holiday weekend already. Happy thanksgiving to all who are celebrating. Happy feasting as well!
I have said goodbye to birchbox and cancelled my subscription. I may subscribe again some time in the future, but for now i am done with samples. I am ready to indulge in some well reviewed full size products. So one more review(november) and we will be done with this series(time to start a new one? Thinking hat's on!). Lets get this started.



Trying new things is fun, and i am always up for some fun. Tee loves that i am ready to join in on his spontaneity, and its vice versa i must say. But most times i like to stick to my routine, love to be in my comfort zone, and regarding clothes i tend to repeat comfortable outfits often. Today's post is one such basic, in my comfort zone outfit, that i have been repeating this fall.



I am hoarder. Hoarder of all my old stuff. I still have the skirts i wore in my middle school(6-8th) days back at my parents place(my mom is kind enough to keep them for me), and i was wearing them until 2 years ago. We regularly give away my clothes, bags, etc to the less fortunate girls in our neighborhood, every few months me and mom discuss about what needs to be given away and what stays, but i make sure to keep a few. I still have the colorful hair ties(they are different in India) i bought matching my outfits back in my teenage years, i hardly used those then but i still have quite a few of them. I still have all the hand painted and drawn greeting cards i got from my school and neighborhood friends for every b'days and festivals, i am sure everybody keeps the cards and gifts, but hair ties? I know, but thats just who i am!



Fall/Autumn is my favorite season for so many reasons, and one of the reasons is taking out my fur collared vest for a spin around the city. I feel snuggled with that cozy fur around my neck. I love the tan color, and leather(again faux) texture of this vest. To complete the look i opted for a taupe tee, black skinny jeans and my beloved (we may or may not have a relationship) ankle boots. 



Imagine there is a twig of fresh mint leaves in the center as garnish ;)
If you are from India, or if you love Indian food, then you would, by default, know about the one dish everyone loves, Biryani. I don't think any Indian could and would live without eating biryani, vegetarian or non-vegetarian doesn't matter. There are many varieties, lamb biryani, chicken biryani, egg biryani, and for those who want the flavor but not the meat go for mushroom or an all vegetable biryani. But no matter which kind, there is always a bowl of Raita beside a biryani. The taste of eating those masala soaked rice with that flavored yogurt is ineffable, true story of over a billion people! 



Hope everyone had a fun halloween weekend. Daylight savings ended this sunday, hope all of you are adjusting well to the change. Today we are opening my september birchbox, I know its super late. October box will be up sooner, i promise.



Autumn weather is perfect around here if its not raining, which is almost never. Yesterday was one such perfect day. We played tennis, rode Tee's mountain bike(bicycle), to my surprise, its not difficult to ride a guy's bike for a petite self like me, walked around our community park, we had full on outdoorsy fun. And this perfect weather made me think about some fall styles to sport on such days for various events. Combining that with my never ending wish-list, we have 3 different looks. 

Pastels in fall for brunch or shopping

Incorporating pastels in fall, chic & trendy.MANGO short sleeve top / Vero Moda skinny jeans / Chinese Laundry peep toe flat / 3 1 Phillip Lim Blush Bag Mini / Sole Society bracelet / St. John stud earrings / Pearl ring / Arrow necklace / Infinity scarve / Sole Society panama hat / J.Crew sunglasses

Blush bag, never seen one which i didn't like. And this Phillip Lim Pashli Mini is my favorite, if only it was affordable(hashtag someday). My take on wearing pastels for fall is with just few accessories like this bag and scarf. Pearls and tan go so well with this blush tone, and the rest of the outfit is super casual with simple tee and jeans.



For today's post i have partnered with the folks at eShakti.com, an online fashion apparel shopping website which caters to women of all sizes(0-36W). They are based out in India(with design teams in NYC & California as well), and currently ship only to USA & Canada. The best thing about eShakti is, all the items in their website can be customized to your fit. You also have the option of changing certain styles like altering the sleeve length, changing the neckline, pockets or no pockets, length of the dress, etc. No more size or fit issues. Choose the dress, select the size or enter your custom measurements, alter the design options, and you are done. My order got delivered in a week 's time and i had chosen custom measurements. Dress looked exactly as it appeared on the website. As for the fit, the dress was a little roomy than i expected, and the neckline was little low as well.



This diwali, i didn't do any shopping, at all! Although i wanted a special outfit as badly as ever, i just couldn't bring myself to spend money on a traditional wear that would simply end up in the corner of my closet for the next year or so. But not shopping for new stuff didn't stop me from dressing up colorfully. I decided to mix and match what i have in my closet. So a colorful top, a maxi skirt, and a draped dupatta, my outfit was ready. I love the neon pink, the color combinations, the embroidery in this dupatta, its one of my favorites. To make the dupatta stand out, i went for solid colors with self-pattern in the top and skirt. Accessorizing with some bangles, and drop earrings, i was ready to get festive. It was raining non-stop the whole day, so we did the outdoor shots in under 2 minutes. Glad the pictures are not so bad.



My hearty Diwali(festival of lights) wishes to everyone who is celebrating! Sweets, dashing new clothes, joy, and most importantly being with family, may you all have all this in abundance this Diwali! 

To me, Diwali is being with family, wearing new clothes-"Diwali dress", gobbling those gulab jamuns(yummy Indian dessert), checking out which new movie is getting released, meeting all the cousins, comforting Juno, our German Shepherd, he must be running frantic right now (sad face), lighting some sparklers at the end of the day. I miss wishing(more like shouting) happy diwali to all the friends at college/work before leaving to hometown, miss being at home, miss watching Diwali special programs on TV, miss looking at the joy and festive mood in everyone, miss sharing Diwali sweets(desserts) & snacks with the neighbors, miss being pampered by my grandma and aunts, miss being surrounded by people i love, and who love me.



I recently took a cookbook from the library, you know to replicate those fancy dishes(I kid!). Its Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Kitchen". You can buy the book here. Readers in India can get it here. I first got to know about Nigella in Masterchef Australia few years ago, when she was the guest judge in one episode (I am a great fan of the show, Gary is my fav judge!). I wanted to try some of her dishes in this book. I wanted to start with something familiar, so i chose this tomato curry, an Indian recipe, no better place to start right. This recipe is very simple, so simple you guys. I did make a few changes with the kind of ingredients and the order of adding those. Lets get into it.



Mango Studded Sheer Shirt and SYLK Floral Pencil Skirt
This studded shirt is a gift from Tee(one of his first gifts to me), its a little too big for me (yes, i have forgiven him), and ever since i got this shirt, its been a challenge for me to pair this for an outfit. Its unusually long(petite girl here!), flowy & structure less, sheer, and studded. This is the only studded item in my closet right now. But when i came across this pretty little floral skirt when we were in Las Vegas, i knew i was ready to face the challenge, finally! Its a fashion rule of thumb to pair loose fitted or oversized tops with structured bottoms, and thats basically what i have done here. This pencil floral skirt is so soft, i could live in them. Throw in the heels, and neon purse, i am all set to rock the partay!



When it comes to reading, i like reading novels now and then, i love reading blogs(duh!), love staring at those glossy pages in magazines(you don't? Gasp! I thought we were friends?), and i find myself interested in reading local newspapers like metroplus in The Hindu when i was in India (and that reminds me i should pick that up again) and our community newspaper now.



Hope everyone had a fun first october weekend, and a not so bad monday. We spent this weekend hanging out with friends, finding new places to eat (we are going vegetarian for a month, its almost over, just two more weeks to go), its quite surprising to see how many good vegetarian places are out there which we didn't bother to notice before. We had an awesome dinner at an asian restaurant, everything we ordered was so delicious, i see future dinners there pretty soon! For locals, its the teapot vegetarian house. Speaking of restaurants, have you read my review of Araya's Place (vegan thai restaurant) yet? Okay, enough chit chat, lets start dissecting(this word is totally not influenced by a thriller movie i watched this weekend) today's outfit.



Its festival season in India, and you would have to be in India to know how this festivity truly feels, each state celebrates this differently(beauty of India), and the whole country is filled with the festive mood. All the readers who are celebrating Pooja / Dassera / Navratri today, my hearty wishes guys, and you probably made this recipe a million(i like to exaggerate a little) times already, so feel free to take quick nap! Others, lets get into it, today i am sharing one of the easiest yet healthy snack my mom makes every year(every single year) on this auspicious day. So this year when i was making this by myself, with so many wonderful memories of family and fun times, listening to "jodi" movie songs (its our mom-daughter favorite), i almost felt like i was back at my parents' place. Festivals always make me miss family, i guess its the same with everyone. Oh, i am nothing if not the queen of digression, let me stop here and focus on the yummy recipe.



Before we move onto October lets get something off of our plate, the august month birchbox. I know its way late, but i got great products at good sample sizes this month, i was just enjoying them and didn't realize that i haven't posted the reviews yet. So, with no further delay lets open the august month's birchbox.
One good thing about this box is there are no sample sachets, i don't like those, cause there is never enough to use and no way of knowing the results. So i was very happy seeing the following products with good sample sizes in my box.



Lets get this season rolling with a restaurant review on AGT. We are planning to spend our cold days either snuggled up at home with movies & madeleines, or eating out at restaurants. So lets get started, one restaurant at a time.
Araya's Place - Vegan Thai Restauranthttp://www.arayasplace.com/
Yup, its Thai and Vegan. So now you know that this is a one of a kind restaurant, and why i chose to review it here. Being a non-vegetarian myself i was skeptical but Tee kept singing praises of how the food here is so good. So we gave this a try on the eve of Tee's birthday, dinner date and celebration, two in one!



Happy first day of autumn/fall everyone! As we all welcome the new season, i have set myself some goals. Starting and posting regularly on this blog has been my one main goal the past spring/summer season, and it has inspired me in so many ways to write & share more with you all. There have been some other goals which were equally challenging and inspiring in my life. These goals help me keep myself motivated throughout and eventually when i do achieve these goals there is nothing that makes me happier.
But this season's goals are nothing big or fancy. This season, its just simple goals that will help me learn new things, appreciate the life i live with Tee, and be happy this holiday season.



Today i am sharing details about my(Tee's as well) most favorite room in my SIL's house in Florida, the family room. We all had the most fun decorating this space and the whole family just loves spending time in there. The highlights of this room are the floor length arch windows over looking the pool in the backyard. I love Palladian windows, they give such an elegant yet grandiose feel to any place. Also the windows bring in the much needed natural light, the room always feels bright and lively. I am sure this room is what ultimately made them sign on this house.



Hope you all had a great weekend. We tried(emphasizing a lot on the word "tried") to clean up our guest bedroom although its totally not in a state to accommodate any guest at this point, did some furniture shopping(yay!!), had an awesome brunch (pancakes, hash browns, waffles, the whole shebang) outside after a long time(last was in port angeles during our trip to Olympic national park, read more about that here), and did a movie night.
Today's outfit is perfect for all the activities i mentioned above, for a casual day out shopping, or sunday brunching, or to the movies, but definitely not for cleaning up your guest room aka store room;) Sun is still blessing us around here, but it does get cold sometimes, especially at night. So opting for something bright and colorful(its still summer y'all), and adding jeans and closed peep-toe shoes(to battle the chill) are just perfect for these inconsistent weather days.



It is the summer's great last heat,
It is the fall's first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

This is my second year in Seattle, away from India, although my second summer was great, i am more excited for my second autumn/fall here. Fall excites me for so many reasons, the autumn leaf color, the pumpkin spice latte, the holiday mood among people, the perfect weather, and of course the new arrivals in stores. One more reason to love autumn is the outerwear, I have quickly developed a love for outerwear of all kinds, trenches, coats, parkas, puffers, i love everything! And this month, i am loving the tops and dresses in dark orange, oxblood(love!) and army greens. And its also the perfect time of the year to go for blues, blacks and grays. Here are some my current favorites.




I have been pestering Tee for quite sometime to take me to the discovery park and finally on the labor day weekend he did! Discovery park is one of the largest parks in the city, it has some properties that are part of the military, you can see old houses and buildings which probably housed some men of the army/navy before. We just covered a part of this park on that day, the famous west-point park. The west point park is on the shores of the puget sound and has a lighthouse. There is a shuttle service(only on weekends i guess) from the visitor centre to the west-point park. You either have to take the loop trail(don't forget to pack your shoes for this one) to go to west-point or take this shuttle. There is a parking permit available for people with disabilities, senior citizens or family with kids, they can drive to the west-point with this permit.



Hope you all are chirpy this monday, because after a sumptuous lunch at a friend's place yesterday, and having a friend over today, this monday is all but blue for me and i have something fun and colorful to share with you all today. 
I have a cute little DIY (do-it-yourself) project for you all. Its very simple, and simple totally does it for me. If you have couple of wooden spoons and left over paints lying around in your home, then this project is what you need, and it takes just a couple of hours. If you don't have the supplies, you should go get them, because this project is just fun, and you will have something unique and colorful on your kitchen counter in the end. There are probably a million other painted wooden spoons DIYs out there, but i tried it myself for the first time, and thought i would share(in detail) how i went with it here. So, lets dig into it, shall we?



Hope you all are having a relaxing weekend. Today i have a little video i made of our olympic national park road trip we took during the july 4th weekend, its super short. If you are in the pacific north west or planning to visit, then this national park is a must visit. You can read more about the trip here and here.

Subscribe to my youtube channel here if you are interested to see more such videos in future, i promise to improve the quality :) Enjoy the rest of the weekend. xo, Hems



Lately i have been thinking a lot about changing my look with a new hairstyle. While the change is still in my thoughts, i decided to work with what i have for now, and try something basic. This particular day i decided to try the top knot with proper tutorials, not my usual "pull-all-the-hair-up-and-pin-it" one. I watched some videos, grabbed my comb, hair tie & bobby pins, began twisting and turning my hair, in the end ta-da, i had a decent top knot without using a lot of products. Its not perfect obviously, i plan to practice while i binge watch new york fashion week live at http://newyorkfashionweeklive.com/ for the rest of the week.



Hope you all had a fun filled long weekend. I didn't want it to end, but here we are into september, back to school, to decorating the dorm rooms, to changing up the closet, to taking out those scarfs and ankle boots. Here's to a new season, let it be an epic one!

Usually in large houses, there is a formal living/front room, mostly near the entrance which is widely used to receive and entertain guests, for reading, etc., and a family room, usually adjacent to the kitchen where the members of the house hangout everyday. Today I bring you the formal living room or the front room, and its workaholic neighbor, the home office of my SIL's house.



Its "opening my birchbox" time people. I signed up with birchbox(monthly subscription to sample size makeup and skin care products) to begin experimenting with some skincare and makeup products without spending a whole lot of money on full size products which might end up not right for me. I thought i would do a post on the products i receive every month, read the product reviews of my june box here.



Who watched the Emmys? I am watching the re-telecast as i am typing this post, and wondering how Julia Roberts can be so beautiful (were you too? up-top!). This weekend was totally laid-back for me, with some homemade food and lotsa scrabble and movies. Tee is on a cooking spree these days, and we are spending most of our time in the kitchen, but i cant complain, cooking together is fun. Also it helps in learning to adjust with your partner and work as a team, who knew a day in the kitchen together can teach you so much about relationships, huh?

Today's post is about a few things that caught my eye recently.

Inspiring post by Meghan Markle(one of the Suits ladies) about how she feels on her recent birthday.
image src- thetig.com 



A fun fact(in Ted Mosby's voice): "Up until last week, I have not tasted fresh blueberries in my life". I have had it in the muffins, ice creams, flavored yoghurts...but fresh ones, nah, nope, nada! First of all, fresh blueberries weren't available where i grew up, strawberries yes, but not blueberries. When i had access to fresh ones eventually, i didn't wanna try them because i always had this notion in my mind that they tasted sour, boy was i wrong, and gone are those blueberry less years of my life. Thanks to Tee and his visit to the grocery store the other day, i had a chance to try them berries. And once i tasted them(it was like summer in my mouth), i couldn't wait to bake something with those tiny blue amazeballs. I wanted to try something simple to begin with, so i decided to make a cobbler, whats a summer to fall transition without a cobbler, right? I decided to go kinda healthy with it and use one part whole wheat flour. Prepare this cobbler before dinner, and enjoy them as a post dinner sweet treat. 



I am back with the second installment of decorating my SIL's house in Florida. Moving into a new house, first project one would like to strike off of the list is repainting the walls, because it changes everything and makes you fall in love with your home a whole lot more, because it screams your style now. Although i am all for repainting, sometimes you just need to work with what you have(for the time being), or sometimes(okay, rarely) the already existing wall is something beautiful, you just don't wanna change anything. There's a wall in my SIL's house which falls into that rare category, and its none other than the princess castle in the girl's room. The previous owners had it painted by an artist for their daughter's room.



15th of August is the Indian independence day, my wishes to fellow indian citizens. Jaihind! From cotton kurtas to colorful bags, here are some cool pieces that are worth flaunting this patriotic month, all picked from amazon.in and jabong.com, two indian e-commerce websites where i have shopped while in India.

 Lavie sling bag Peperone sling bag Cherokee bag
I can never say no to sling bags.



Hope you all had a fun weekend out in the sun, cause its not gonna last much longer now. Soak up that sun, jump in that pool, kayak in that lake, barbecue in that backyard, and go on that picnic. Today's post is inspired by a simple and colorful summer picnic. We didn't go on picnics very often in my childhood, but whenever we did it was total fun with huge set of friends and family, those are some of my favorite childhood memories. So i wanted to do a picnic post to share my happy memories here on the blog.
Our picnics usually take up the whole day, we start early in the morning (we go to places like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Valparai, Yercaud), and come back home late in the night. All the moms pack some good food, and snacks for the road. We rent a huge van just for this trip, there will be music, games, antakshari all through the journey. Once we are there, we run along, play some games, munch on those home made food, pose for some pictures(cameras with film rolls, ah those times) while the parents get to relax and enjoy with their friends. Its always the happiest day for everybody, and we all come home with a relaxed mind and great memories to cherish forever.



"Home decor", probably my two favorite words, okay may be after "b'day cake" (my thoughts may be clouded by a yummy cake i had yesterday;)). The feeling of finding the one piece that will make your house, a home, and finding its perfect place, taking a step back and admiring at the finished look, ah nothing can't beat that, do you agree? So when i went to Florida to help my SIL, i was so happy and excited to do some decorating. Like i said before, there is gonna be a series of home decor posts of my SIL's place in Florida. If you didn't already know, i am a foodie, so naturally i am gonna start with the dining (i am all about eating than cooking ;)).



Hope you all had a relaxing weekend. This weekend was very fulfilling for me, and i am gonna tell you all why through my Instagram pics.

On friday we saw Snoqualmie falls (about 15 miles from our place) up close. This was the first tourist spot Tee took me to when i first came to Seattle. But we couldn't go down close to the falls then, as there was some construction work going on, and the path was closed. We heard that it's open now, so we drove down there this friday. The falls was breathtaking and refreshing up close. Later that night, we went to a movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. We both didn't like it,  gladly there was slight humor throughout the movie and thats the only thing that kept us awake.



I have been in Seattle for more than a year now and although i still have a lot to explore in this city, i guess its safe to say that i am a local now. Today's post is about one of the Seattle's famous tourist attractions. It's the Pike Place Market, one of the country's oldest farmers' markets.

Pike place market is the home for lot of small business owners, and local farmers who sell fresh fruits(i had the tastiest pear ever, and of course the rainier cherries), flowers, and some amazingly fresh seafood. There is the world famous fish market, where fishmongers sing and toss fishes back and forth(mimicked as flying fish), entertaining the crowd while doing business. Although market's usually crowded with tourists, lots of locals regularly visit the market to buy fresh seafood and fruits or veggies.