Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This year I'm dressing as a lobster.  I found a lobster hat at a thrift store for 69 cents and it was too cute to pass up.  Originally I wanted to be Minnie Mouse, but I think a lobster is a little more original.  When I told my husband I was dressing up as a lobster I suggested he go as butter, but thankfully my friend came up with a better idea, a chef!

All three pieces i'm wearing thrifted from Thrift Town and my husbands shirt! Chef hat I already owned.

For a halloween party last week I used my old costume, Mrs. Incredible. Since it was a family friendly event I decided a skirt over my tights and not the classic super hero underwear over tights look was more appropriate.

What I love about both costumes is, with the exception of the lobster hat, all the items are totally wearable outside of Halloween.  I have never bought a pre-assembled Halloween costume.

Today I'm linking up to Rules are Lame and Thrifters Anonymous! Be sure to check out other halloween costumes and thriftyness.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Trends Redo

So if you've been following along this week, you know that was partaking in the Fashion Challenge Fall Trends edition.  I really enjoyed doing the challenge, but felt two of my outfits needed a redo.  The first being Mondays "Snake or Leopard" and yesterdays "Fall Brights".  And, since these are two of my favorites for this fall, it fits with today's task of fall favorites.

Need to leave for a Halloween party soon I'm cutting my rambling short.

Top:H&M-Leopard Print top-$12 (Previously worn here)
Skirt:Anthropologie-Tomato Picking Skirt-$70 (Previously worn here)
Sweater :Francesca's Closet-Teal Open cardigan-$4
Shoes:Mervyn's-Square tow wedge heels-too old to remember

I bothered to part my hair today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sometimes you feel like brights

and sometimes brights just hate you.

Today's fashion challenge was to wear "Fall Brights" one of the current trends that I love. I woke up this morning ready to wear a colorful outfit, but everything I had put together in mind FAILED.  I even arranged my skirts in ROYGBIV order this morning, when I realized I had enough range in color to do so! I was so ready for the challenge.

Had this idea to wear hot pink and cobalt blue together.  Saw it on a blog yesterday (cant remember which one).  Its a color combination I haven't tried before.  Unfortunately it didn't work out.  One hot pink shirt was too long to wear over my skirt and too baggy to wear under.  The other has thin straps and is a layering piece...I can't do spaghetti straps giant bra straps show and strapless bras aren't my friend :(.  So I decided to throw on my khaki dress and wear my dress as an over shirt. Didn't like that either. Where the skirt hit my waist and the waist of the dress didn't mesh.  It was too much of a bother to pin it SO I just wore the dress with my favorite scarf as a belt.

In conclusion, I more mostly neutrals for fall brights day.  Maybe I'll try hot pink and cobalt again another day.
I just like my hair in this picture

Dress: H&M: Khaki shirt dress-$35
Shirt:Express-Pink lace layer tank-$10
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack-Not Rated Oxfords-$25
Scarf-From Turkey, a gift from a friend-FREE!
Approximate Total Cost~$70
 And, you should really check out what the other lovely challenge takers wore today! I feel like a failure.  But a cute failure.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Today's fashion challenge is to wear stripes or polka dots.  I went with stripes even though I love polka dots.  This is supposed to be a challenge so I may as well challenge myself and not take the easy way out.  My blog friend Ki at Dressing up for life decided to go for polka dots today, and I can't wait to see what the other challenge takers will be wearing.  Still not to late to join the challenge, tomorrow is "Fall Brights"!  I think this will be my favorite, I just love bright colors.  Can't you tell?

This is also Shopping Ban outfit #8.  The yellow blazer is new...I think it arrived in the mail after I took photos of my shopping ban items. So, this brings the total to 27 items and I've got 17 items to go!

Top: Target:Xhilaration Striped Tee with poofy sleeves-$10
Blazer-Stilletos &Diaper Bag Blog Sale-Yellow short sleeve blazer- $10 (including shipping)
Pants: Nordstrom Rack: Black Cropped Dress pants-20
Belt: From some other shirt or dress....not sure
Shoes:Ross-Black Flats with flower-$14
Approximate Total Cost ~$54

And I spotted these Halloween questions over at You, Me & Anthropologie and thought i'd be fun to answer them.  

1) What is your favorite Halloween candy?
Those red cinnamon fireball things.  And chocolate.  But chocolates my favorite year round.  My favorite as a kid was definitely milkway...i think they taste the best in mini or fun size. The ratio of carmel to chocolate is wrong in the full sized candy bar.

2) What's your favorite Halloween movie?
Don't  have one.

3) At what age did you stop trick-or-treating?
High School I think.

4) What is your favorite Halloween costume that you've worn?
Fairy princess when I was five.  My mom made the costume.  I remember her sewing it and me bugging her all worried it wouldn't be done for the Halloween party at school.   I later used that costume in a school play were I played the fairy in The Velveteen Rabbit.

5) What is your least favorite costume that you've worn?
For a party while in high school I went as a housewife. I wore my fuzzy slippers, a ripped over-sized shirt and my sisters ratty bathrobe.

6) Have you ever repeated a costume? If so, what was it?
I've repeated lots of costumes.  Recently I was Mrs. Incredible for Bay to Breakers last year, halloween last year and a halloween party last week.

7) What are you going to be for Halloween this year?
A lobster.  I found the cutest lobster hat at a thrift store for 69 cents! Its probably meant for a toddler or small child since I found it in a bin of kids costumes but luckily I have a small head so it fits!  

8) Do you like going to haunted attractions?
No.  I'm afraid of the dark.  I will turn on every light between me and where i'm walking to in the house at night. 

9) Vampires or werewolves?
Werewolves.  I love Alcide.  

10) Do you decorate your house for Halloween?
Yes.  Not very well as you can see, but I tried!

Question thingy started over at TheGridMonster and JoeyGraceffa.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is celebrated by Indians across the world.  An interesting thing about holidays in India is they are often celebrated regardless of religion or region.  The same day will be celebrated in a variety of ways commiserating different events or ideas. So Diwali has different meanings for different people. You can read all about Diwali on wikipedia.

Today's outfit is Shopping Ban Outfit #7.  I was wearing my cream colored heels with bows on them but while taking photos I stepped through a wet patch in the yard and lost the little plastic piece on both heels!  Well, that will teach me to thrift shoes :P

I'm also participating in the Fashion Challenge of wearing a midi or maxi shirt. I think with my petite frame wearing a midi skirt can be challenging and so does Sage at Sweet and Sage who blogged about the same issue today.  I personally like the fit of a fuller midi length skirt and shy away from something that clings to the body or makes my bottom half look slim and straight.  I look for something that shows a good amount of calf otherwise I feel like I'm drowning in material or look stumpy.

Also, since it is Diwali I wanted to wear something Indian but still follow the Fashion Challenge. This skirt was made in India! But bought at Ross.  I like printed skirts especially Indian or other ethnic designs but always have a hard time figuring out what top to wear with them.

Skirt:Ross-Black and white print skirt-$7
Top:H&M-White Sleeveless top with bow-$13
Shoes: Cream peep toe kitten heels with bow :( -$3
Approximate Total Cost~23 
Ok so since its Diwali I've decided it would be nice to share some Punjabi music with you guys.  If highly repetitive upbeat music that makes you want to dance is your thing then go ahead and play them.  If not that's okay, I won't force you to listen or like it.

I just love Juggy D. His dancing makes me smile and laugh.  I don't know if any of you spotted him, but Jay Sean is in this video. Its from back when he sang more fusion songs.

Neither of these songs are very recent...I add to my collection of Punjabi music slowly and rarely get sick of songs.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What to wear for "Menswear"

I think today's Fashion Challenge of wearing menswear or over-sized pants was the hardest for me to figure out.  My style and wardrobe is pretty girl and feminine so I had to explore the depths of my closet and dresser for colors and items that could be menswear.  I'm really happy with the look I came up with. I love the combination of olive green and charcoal grey.  I added some tarnished metal bangles I got as a gift and have never worn before.
Top & Belt: Ross-Olive green button up with braided brown belt-$10
Underlayer: Forever 21-Charcoal Grey fitted T-shirt-$4
Jeans: Macy's-Levis Curve ID Bold Curve-$58
Shoes: Target: Converse One Star sneakers-$20
Bangles: Gift from relative in India

I'm definitely going to check out the other menswear inspired fashion from this challenge.  So far I love Keely's plaid vest and mustard yellow combination over at Casual Chic Kiki!  Its also not too late to join the challenge either! Tomorrows is Maxi or Midi!

The last time I wore this shirt my therapist said it really brought out the green shades in my eyes and I agree.  And, I just really liked the light in the photo on the right.

Argyle Socks! From Target.  Went a little knee high sock crazy when I bought knee high boots.  The converse sneakers I bought for Halloween two years ago.  I went as Lucy from the peanuts and couldn't find saddle shoes anywhere! This was the closest I could find in a reasonable price.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shopping Ban Outfit #6

Shopping Ban status update:
I'm enjoying the challenge and the added benefit of my personal checking account balance staying relatively the same.  I've worn nine of the challenge pieces out of 26, though I haven't photographed all of them.  Unless it makes it to the blog it doesn't count which makes my true total 6.  I went to the thrift store today to find some halloween decorations and my husbands costume and it was hard not to browse the clothing for myself.  I tried on one thing and lucky the fit was horrible otherwise my challenge may have come to a quick end.

I also have a little wager going with my friend.  She has banned herself from something as well (yes, i'm going to be secretive and not tell).  Whoever breaks their challenge first has to buy the other Pinkberry yogurt.  Either way I get yogurt so its a win-win situation.

I wore this outfit last week, just didn't post it in a timely fashion.
Wearing Shopping Ban item #11, Blue ruffle button-up shirt

Top:Express-Blue Button-up with frills-$15
Pants:Nordstrom Rack-Black cropped dress pants-$20
Shoes: Macy's-Style Co. Grey kitten heels-Gift from Mom-FREE!
Coat-H&M Black and White patterned-$20
Approximate Total Cost-$55
I think I need to work on looking less confused in pictures...its my default expression.  In college I'd have professors stop lecture to ask if I had a question or were confused. Nope, its just my thinking face. 

Chunky Monkey

Ever put on an outfit, look at yourself in the mirror and think you look alright only to photograph yourself and hate it.  That's today for me folks.  I decided to try two challenges at once and maybe that's where it started to go wrong.  Today's Inspiration Monday photo is of Sarah Jessica Parker and I tried to recreate her look while doing the Fashion Challenge of wearing leopard or snakeskin.
Sarah Jessica Parker
 I think my first problem was I only have two items that are leopard or snakeskin. The second is I only have two grey sweaters and no chunky sweaters at all.  And the third is the weather.  Yesterday was in the 80s here and today should be in the 70s...not exactly sweater weather.

So this is what I'm wearing...

Top: Hand me down from Tiny-FREE!
Pants: Clothing Swap find-FREE
Belt: Oakland White Elephant Sale-Snakeskin belt-$1
Shoes: REI-Brown Merrell Mary Janes-S24
Approximate Total Cost-S25

This weekend was full of DIY projects for my husband and I.  We powerwashed the deck, took down the bright orange plastic mesh from the back fence, planted some flowers, fixed two gates that were sagging, put up wire mesh on the back fence, and sealed the deck.  My husband also installed under cabinet lighting in my kitchen which shows off the pretty black granite countertops.  Its also highlights when the counters are dirty so I have a major incentive to keep my kitchen clean.  We also cleaned the kitchen, dinning room and living room from top to bottom cause I hate having a messy house when people are coming over.   No wonder I didn't want to get out of bed this morning....we accomplished a lot this weekend.   Oh and I got my haircut!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Frugal Friend Friday, Vol. 4

Today's frugal friend is my husband's best friend and the best Groomsmaid at our wedding. I coined the term groomsmaid for my husbands side of the wedding party.  All his close friends are female so he had 5 groomsmaids at the wedding and I had five bridesmaids.  You should have seen the chaos of getting 9 non-Indian women into saris for the ceremony!

Shirt: Forever21-Dance with me shirt-$12
Jeans:Kohl's -$24
Um...thats all she told me in terms of prices
Shoes-Black wedge flip flops
Under layer: Black halter top
Bag: Silver...uh I don't know how to describe bags

She came with us to Tahoe last weekend so you get to see more of the beautiful lake!  She planned all her outfits for the weekend in the same black, grey and silver theme so she could where her grey boots. Unfortunately she packed for cold weather and there was none to be found so the cute boots went unworn. Do you pack with a theme or color scheme in mind?

Right now she's really into slouchy clothing, like this shirt....its not a look I've really tried but after this cute number on her I may purchase a top post-shopping ban.

Aren't the sleeves nifty? Almost looks like a braid.

If you would like to be featured on my frugal friend friday post, please send me an email to with some photos of your frugal under $100 outfit or a link to your blog.  Be sure to include how much you got each item for and where.  I tried the link up thing two weeks ago and it was an epic fail.  Maybe I'll try it again later if I get more followers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shopping Ban Outfit, #5

First and foremost I want to say thank you to my readers, followers and commentators.  Today I reached 1,717 page views.  My favorite number twice!  My last post, Fairly Beautiful I guess, also crossed 17 views today as well and I really appreciate everyone who stuck around on the page long enough to read my post and even comment with their own views on beauty.  I wrote it almost two weeks ago and hesitated to post it.  I wasn't sure how it would be perceived.

Today is definitely a day of favorites.  I'm wearing my favorite color, green. I have on one of my Big Bang Theory shirts.  Yes, I have multiple.  I love the show and Sheldon.  He's a physicist just like my husband. I'm a nerd, I love a nerd and I can wear a nerdy shirt if I feel like it.  And, a new episode airs tonight! :D

We had gardeners come this week and clear out a lot of plant debris from our front and back yard.  Somewhere in the mountain of pine needles this little Mickey was found. I'm keeping him as a yard gnome.

When Sheldon is feeling sick he asks Penny to sing the soft kitty song.  Since you can't read it too clearly it goes,
 " Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr"
Top: Amazon-Soft Kitty shirt-$18
Skirt: Good Stuff Thrift Shop-Lime green skirt-$6
Shoes: H&M-Kelly Green sneakers-$12
Approximate Total Cost:$36
The Good Stuff Thrift Shop in El Cerrito, CA is a volunteer run thrift store.  The proceeds go to ARC Contra Costa County, an non-profit family based organization serving disabled clients in the county.  Its shopping for a great cause!

This post is linked up to Thursdays are for Thrifters!  Check out other thrifty bloggers :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fairly beautiful I guess...

Coming from an Indian family and growing up in America I was exposed to two different views of beauty.  Indian ideals of beauty can be illustrated, without much disagreement, in Aishwairya Rai Bachan a Bollywood film actress whose fair skin, light-colored almond shaped eyes and hourglass figure captivate audiences in India and around the world.  She is without a doubt gorgeous and beautiful.

Aishwariya Rai Bachan, Image from

Other ideals of Indian beauty include long, thick dark hair on your head of course but hairless everywhere else.  This ideal drives many Indian women, myself included, to pluck, thread, shave and wax...cause in my experience if you have thick lush hair on your head, you most likely have some on the rest of your body, too.  Probably one of the first ideals of beauty I gave any real thought to.  As a little girl, long black hair especially in a single braid was a symbol of being an Indian women to me.  When I was eight years old I spent the summer in India (had a miserable, sick, lice and mosquito ridden time and swore me off all things Indian for a long time).  At the time I had long brown hair to probably the middle of my back, I had never really cut it because until i was 3 years old I was pretty much bald so my mom didn't bother cutting it when it finally grew in( My nickname for the first years of my life was Anji Ganji which is the feminine cutsy term for bald).  Unfortunately the lice situation was so bad, I had to chop off my hair into a short bob!  I remember how shocked and upset all my relatives were that I cut off my beautiful tresses.  And, to this day my aunt swears that my hair came in black and super thick after that!  I've never grown it long since, its just too heavy and voluminousness to deal with.

Indian Barbie Dolls.  Note the fair skin, long black hair, light-colored almond shaped eyes, long pointed nose, full-lips.  The barbie in the green sari I got as a gift on that same trip to India. Prior to this Barbie, my 80's punk rock barbie looked closest to me.  She had black hair and looked kinda Asian. Found photos here, here and here)

 In India fair skin seems to be desired by women above all other things.  While here in America a healthy beautiful glow is advertised as tan, in India women are told by the media, social pressure and what not that they need to bleach or lighten their skin to achieve a healthy glow.   My aunt sent me an Olay Cream from India called "Natural White: healthy fairness night cream".  Personally, I'm afraid to try it exactly is it going to make me fairer?  I suppose there could be an equally confused woman in India right now who received self-tanner from a relative wondering how it works and why she would want to be tanner.   I've been fed both sides, that tan is beautiful and fair is beautiful.  And that's just it, plain and simple.  They both are.  I like my skin tone. Yes, I was "lucky" enough to inherit light skin from my parents and yes, I'm naturally tan by American standards but I deal with acne and blackheads on a daily basis so really I'm not that thankful for the skin on my face...whatever color it may be.

 The ironic thing is, I fit quite few of the stereotypes of "ideal" Indian beauty (if I do say so myself, you are free to agree or disagree how you like preferably to yourself...i don't need my bubble popped). I'm hardily ever recognized as being Indian.  Many a Desi has asked me if I'm really Indian, if I'm half Indian or how the heck I got green eyes.  Its pretty simple I say, my dad has blue eyes and my mom has brown and according to Mendel I had a chance of getting green eyes and what do know, I did!  People hardly ever guess I'm Indian. I've had people ask if I'm Italian, Greek, French, Mexican, Persian, Jewish (didn't know you could look Jewish!) just to name a few. And maybe this makes sense in the US.  We’re a diverse nation with people of all ethnicities and various mixed heritage.

Aishwariya Rai Bachan on the left, yours truly on the right.

The photo of Aishwariya was taken at Hong Kong International Airport.  Her and her husband were on the same flight to India as my mom once and she clicked a pictured with them.
The problem is, it doesn't just happen in the US. In India they charge extra at tourist attractions if your from out of the country.  Of course, being cheap, my family tries to get away with saying we are from India.  We are all lined up outside Qutab Minar in New Delhi and when it comes my turn to pass through the gate I get stopped by security and they insist I'm not Indian and a foreigner (which is true, but not the point of my story)!  I try my best to respond to them in Hindi and insist I live at my cousin's address.  Eventually they let me pass.  Meanwhile on the other side of the gate past the guards, my sister and my best friend, who is Filipino American by the way, are laughing their "Indian" butts off.

So where does that leave me?  Racially-ambiguous, exotic, American, Indian, foreigner, tourist, citizen?  Beautiful?...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shopping Ban Outfit #4

My friend Ashley, pictured above, straightened my hair with her professional hair straightener.  It looked really nice in person and photographed pretty well too.  The last time my hair was straightened it was at a kiosk in the mall you know the one where they attack you anytime you pass by.  They totally fried my hair and I had to do a hot oil treatment for a few weeks to get it back to normal.  So far my hair seems okay...a little less curly but not damaged.

Top: Old Navy-Blue with a large floral print-$10
Skirt: Burlington Coat Factory-Yellow flared bottom skirt-$8
Bracelet-Friendship bracelet made by Olivia-Free!
Shoes....I don't remember and you can't see them anyways.
Approximate Total Cost~$18
I didn't gamble at all but I did spot a slot machine with a picture of an Indian woman. 

Tahoe Blue, Shopping Ban Outfit: #3

This weekend my husband and I went to  Lake Tahoe for the GSKA Martial Arts Championship Tournament.  My husband is a martial artist and volunteers year round for the GSKA.  I like to say I married into the GSKA family.  I'm not a martial artist, but I do volunteer at any tournament I can make it to.  And, a yearly weekend trip to Tahoe in October is nothing to complain about.

The weather Friday was picture perfect.  While my husband helped set up for the tournament, me and my friend ran off to beach at Zephyr Cove and enjoyed the warm sunshine, blue skies and spectacular views.

One thing I love about Tahoe is that you can see a juxtaposition of things usually not related.  Such as pine cones on the beach or ducks in the snow.  (The only snow on this trip was on the distant peaks)

I wore my third shopping ban outfit on Friday consisting of a lovely colorful tunic, a pair of jeggings, gold wedges, danging earrings and one of my favorite purses.   I don't really like wearing jeggings or skinny jeans. They aren't very flattering on my short legs.  These bunch at the bottom and I don't wear them often enough to bother hemming them.  And, apparently my hair was super poofy and voluminous...and excuse the wrinkly top, my husband likes me to do the long distance driving.

Top:H&M-Floral print tunic top-$10
Shoes:Nordstrom Rack-Gold Wedge Heels-$25
Purse: Kohl's-Mustard bag-Gift from my aunt-FREE!
Earrings: Gift from my cousin-FREE!
Approximate Total Cost-$57