Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A birthday in Goa

A couple of weeks ago, the Hubby decided to take us all to Goa during the Diwali holidays. His reasoning was that we needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city ( don't even mention the noise of the firecrackers and fireworks) and go relax. The fact that it would also be during my birthday just was an extra incentive to go.

So we went, driving around 9 hours to enjoy Goa for three days. The drive was uneventful and very soothing. I was once again realizing how much I do love India and its landscape: the arid lands outside of Pune in contrast with the lush greens of the Ghatts.




Our lunch at Nishighand, the restaurant we always stop for bathroom break and food on our way. It has changed a bit ( under new management) but the food was still quite good 


Just after passing the Ghatts 

We arrived early afternoon in Goa, at the same hotel we booked the first time we went. It has not changed much in its simplicity but it was perfect for a few days. We just went to dine in a fast food joint that served one of the best Shawarma I had in India, the Rooster. Then off the bed we went.

The following day was my birthday that we spent super relax. We let the kids enjoy the hotel pool while we discussed grown ups plans. Then we headed to our favorite restaurant in Goa: Thalassa in Vagator beach. The place also has not changed much and the atmosphere was hip. We ordered pasta bolognese for the kids, beef kebab for the Hubby and mashed potatoes and beef stew for me along with a feta Salad. The food was delicious. The beef was tender but I regretted taking the stew when I saw my hubby's plate. I am more of a kebab and fries type of girl. Nevertheless it was a magical moment. My sons kept wishing me "happy birthday" every five minutes and telling it was my day to everybody they met. It was a bit embarrassing. After the heavy meal, we went to check the beach which was below the restaurant. It was barely packed with foreign tourists and locals sunbathing here and there. There were a few cows which were reaping havoc around fighting, stealing foods and such. It was hilarious.


Serene at 35?


View from Thalassa restaurant


The restaurant would be great for blogger pictures 


Feta salad!


My hubby's kebab platter


My beef stew! 


Vagator beach


Going on a little adventure as the kids say! 

Since if could not be a birthday without a cake, we drove all the way to the city Panajim to check our favorite Cafe Delicieux. Unfortunately the cafe had moved to another location. We headed home since we were all exhausted. As soon as we arrived in the hotel, the Hubby took a nap while the kids watched some TV. No one wanted to go out again so I went to buy shawarma at another place down the streets. That was a bit of a mistake because unlike the Rooster the people there were unprofessional and slow. I was this close to loose my temper but I reminded myself that it was my birthday and that I would not let total strangers ruin it. At the end of the day, I was so happy and grateful for such a magical day spent with family. I also checked my social media and received many messages from friends from all over the world. I felt really special indeed.

The following day, we decided to check Fontainhas which is an area with old Goan style homes. I am not sure we found the right place but we went strolling around taking pictures of churches and beautiful houses. I think :"owning a colorful house in Goa" is now on my bucket list. It was a very hot day so we did not linger.



A church and a mosque in the same vicinity ( a Buddhist temple was also located a few steps ahead)


I really love the colors of houses in Goa 



I think I want this house



Or this one.

We went back to rest in the air conditioning of the hotel. For lunch we wanted to go back to an old favorite Alua Restaurant for Goan food. But upon arriving at the restaurant we realized that the place had a makeover and did not stand for what we like: which is simple affordable Goan food.  So we went looking for another place which was not an easy task. We drove around for hours and finally settled on a place we never tried before called Starlight. We ordered fish Thali and the kids had Hakka noodles. The thali was yummy. Either that or I was too hungry to care. But seriously, it was good and at half the price of the one we considered eating at Fat fish (which was sold out). It was also very spicy. It has different curries with crabs, mussels, squids, a fried fish, a vegetable curry that was my favorite, a soup, salad, rice, roti and papad. The only thing that was lacking was sweets. And to remedy to that we went to the other location of Cafe Delicieux to have some cakes. We were so full so we had the cakes for diner. Mine which was an oreo cheese cake was a bit of a letdown but my kids and Hubby enjoyed theirs. It was our last day in Goa.


Late late Thali lunch at Starlight restaurant in Baga. 


Last Sunset in Goa 


As we were leaving Goa, I said a silent prayer asking God to make me come back to such a magical place. Everything there is amazing, starting from the colorful houses, the beaches, to the food. It is hands down my favorite place in India. But my heart was also heavy because that morning my husband told me that there were terrorists attacks in Paris. I look for more information on my phone along with checking for the safety of loved ones who live in the city while having breakfast. But the more I read, the more I felt anxious and angry. My heart was crying and the first part of the drive back home, I kept on searching for something to distract me, to make me forget. But this is the world we are living in now: a world full of hate, where even going to a concert can turn fatal, a world where even in social media people are fighting in the wake of such attacks. I did not want to have anything to do with that world.

Yet I am grateful. I am a year older. The world is bleak, the future is uncertain but as long as I have people to lean on, and people leaning on me, I have to keep on fighting. I have to keep on loving...

PS: my outfits during the stay:

Three days ( well technically four), four outfits 
( red scarf, denim jacket, floral top, red pants, tennis shoes, studded bag, pink scarf, maxi dress, metallic sandals, sunnies, white Kurta, printed palazzo pants. Is it too much?)


Monday, November 9, 2015

Closet cravings : Birthday Month

Hello.

We are now in November which happens to be my birthday month. I will turn 35 this year and I guess I am too old to be this excited but I can't help. However, I am not planning to go on a shopping spree to celebrate. As a matter of fact, I have decided to stop buying stuff as soon as this month is over. My closet is bursting and I am not even maximizing the use of the clothes I already own. But before I go on a shopping diet, this is what I crave this month:




1- Sarees

Ever since I attended my first saree party, I have been obsessed with sarees. The ongoing festive season with Dandiya, Dusshera and upcoming Diwali has not helped at all. Everywhere I turn women are sporting sarees that compete in elegance. Last week I took a friend of mine to buy sarees for an upcoming Saree Party. And I fell in love with two. One is a Saree in salmon color with gold embellishment and the other one was a skirt type ( lehenga) saree. I did not buy them because I already had my saree. But they have been haunting me ever since. It would make no sense to buy more sarees at this point but the heart wants what it wants.

2-  Golden headpiece

This craving will be blamed on all things related to Belly dance. While shopping at -Chandan Nagar market for a Maang Tikka, I found a beautiful golden head piece like this one. It was so cheap I should have snagged it but I could not really see where on earth I would wear such a jewel. I still do not know but I have been postponing this buy for months. Since It is my birthday and all, I will go get it. With my  luck though, it may be sold out (it was the only one in the store) and it will haunt me forever.


3- Yellow maxi dress

It think it is about time I got myself a yellow maxi dress. I have been lusting over it for a while now and even started making one. But since it did not turn out the way I wanted, I refashioned it into a vest. I want a maxi dress the color of the sun and very flowy. If I do not find it, I will make it.


4-  Tassel Pom Pom coin necklace

Blame it on Gujarati or Banjara Embroidery, but I am.having a craving for all things with tassels, coins and Pom poms. I was never a big fan but now I go on the hunt for it. I want to be able to refashion a jacket by adding those elements to it. But more importantly I want to be able to make their Gypsy like jewelry. If only I could attend Rann Utsav.

This month list is really short. It is not that I am having less cravings but I want to scale back on the shopping. In the following months, I intend to get things made or do them myself. I will not buy anything new. Well, unless it is on the List.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I dream of Mules

Hello readers!

Today I am going to share another shoe trend I am willing to give a try in my endless ordeal of dressing like a lady: Mules.

Technically, they have been trendy since last Spring. But I live in a place where Fall, Winter and Spring do not really exist so I can wear whatever trend I like except for coats, leather and boots (although I saw some who tried it!!!)

Anyway, I was never a big fan of mules. I considered them to be the kind of shoes older ladies wore with their traditional outfits back home. It screamed "dated" to me and I wanted to stick to young trendy styles.


How Senegalese women wear mules


Yet, I still purchased three pairs over the years just because I wanted something to wear with my traditional outfits. I was never sold on the thing until recently. Mules being trendy this year,  I discovered that they could be very young and still add a definite class to any outfits even the most casual ones.

Here are some I am dreaming of:


Mules


1- Patent black with two straps:

When I was a teen,  my mother had a pair of black patent mules with two straps. The heel was over five inches and super skinny but she wore those heels like they were tennis shoes. I was so fascinated that when she wasn't around, I would try the shoes on and walk around the house. I never quite managed to walk in them properly. I am not sure what my Mother did with the pair (knowing her, they are probably somewhere hidden in her closet). But now I want a pair just like them. Call me sentimental or even nostalgic. I do not care. If I see the exact pair with the right price, they are mine. Also the same pair in rose gold would be perfect for a fabulous party (not that I go to fabulous parties anyway but...)

2- Flat:

Since flat shoes are really the kind of shoes I wear on a daily basis, I would not mind getting a pair. But I would splurge on the details because I want a pair with bling or embroidery like the Moroccan sliders or beaded like Indian Khussa.


Available at Baggout.com


3- Block heels:

When it comes to heels, block heels are more my cup of tea. I would like them to be in real leather and in basic colors like black, white and nude because these types will be fashionable for years to come. Did I mentioned that they go with everything?


Available at Koovs.com 


4- Suede:

Just because I am the kind of gal that thinks that (almost) every shoe looks better in Suede.

Available at Zara



5- Colorful and Pastel

By now you know that I am obsessed with a colored shoe. A colorful mule will go perfectly with any muted outfit and elevated my minimal chic styling (that is when I start dressing minimal chic). I would go for bold hues but pastels colored mules would also be a great addition to my shoe collection.

I am not sure I will find all the kind of Mules I am lusting over for an affordable price. And truthfully, I just need a pair or two: a chunky heeled one and a flat one. Thankfully I come from a country where mules are always in style so If ever I do not get lucky in Pune, I will just get some back home or steal my mother stash (she has several).

So, are you into mules as well?


I leave you with some of my favorite mules rocking style:



Dina Torkia of Lazydolls.com 



Veronica Popoiacu of Bittersweetcolours.com


Sandee Joseph of Curveenvy.com 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Closet cravings: In preparation for colder days

We are in October already. The year 2015 is slowly coming to an end. In Pune, it has rained less, and mornings are becoming chillier. I am looking forward to colder weather so I can layer again.

In the meantime, here is what I crave for this month:


closet cravings october


Open toe ankle strap booties

I have never been a fan of booties. I have never even thought about buying them until I saw a pair one sale at Payless. I tried it and I looked bad ass in it. However, it was in a size too small, aka too small to be comfortable in it. So I did not get them. Now they are haunting me.

Greek style sandals

It never gets too cold in Pune so I can still wear sandals even in Winter time. I saw this pair in nude at the market and even though it look great on my feet, I still wanted the gold version. The coral version was also to die for. Would it be crazy to buy them in three colors?

Garba outfit

Dandiya is around the corner. Every year I attend a Dandiya dance at my kids school but I never dress up for it. This year,  with some friends we decided to go all decked up. So I need me a Garba outfit. I saw some at the mall that were too die for. Yet I do not want anything too folkloric because I intend to wear the outfit again (amid deconstructed). Therefore a simple Bandhej (tie dye) will be more my style in blue green color or yellow orange. Or since I already have a fantastic blue gold skirt, I might just add an embroidered long kurta, or a embroidered jacket and call it a day!

Black dress

I own a little black dress, now I want a maxi black dress with long sleeves. Enough said!



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Closet Cravings: All about the shoes!

It is a new month so here I am delighting you with tales of all the things I crave this September. Last month I just managed to score black pointed toe pumps,  a grey men's Kurta used as a shirtdress and pink cotton pants all on sale.

This month is all about the shoes. During the end of season bargain, I wanted to go on a shopping spree, trying to score all the things that I thought I really needed in my closet. But I ended up browsing shoe stores instead. I realized that I am and will always be about the shoes because clothes may fit you one day, and be too tight the next. But the right pair of shoes will never let you down.

Anyway, I will not rest till I get these babies below. I give myself a year to score them all.  Some of them I plan on diying (making them myself) like the laced up shoes.


Closet Cravings : All about the shoes

1- Laced pointed toe ballet flats

2- T straps pumps

3- Studded heeled sandals in red

4- Laced up heels in royal blue

5- Perforated white pumps

6- Mules

There you have it. I really, and I repeat really should not buy anymore shoes but life is too short. I will buy the shoes....Let us just hope I will have the funds!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

What to wear for date ( or what not to wear for a date)

I recently received an email from an underwear company representative asking me to write about clothes men and women should not wear for a date. He asked me to focus on underwear but we did not find an understanding as to how we would proceed. However I thought that the topic was too interesting to ignore. So today I give you : What not to wear for a date!

There are several things one should never wear for a date. And they all differ according to the situation (whether it is a blind date, a first date or a date between married people), the location,  the weather and so forth. But no matter the situation, these are the basic rules you have to follow :


Put a little effort into it!

I am talking to myself mostly and other women and men who have been married for years. You cannot be bothered to be dolled up and handsome every day for your spouse. But when you go on a date, even for a casual one, make an effort. Ladies, wear heels, make up, do your hair in a different way that he is used to see. And Men,  groom yourself, wear a nice shirt and good perfume. Do not go to the date wearing sweats or clothes you hang around in the house.

Be yourself!

It is a first date and you want to impress. Your girlfriends tell you to wear that sexy cut out dress that you purchased on impulse. But the dress does not represent your style. My advice: do not wear it. First of all,  if you wear it you will feel very uncomfortable and it will show. Second,  you do not want to give the person a false impression of yourself. And you have only one chance to make a first impression. I suggest you wear something that you are comfortable in it but that looks good on you. Moreover it has to be an upgraded version of your style. For example if you are a tee and jeans kind of girl,  go for a jeans but with a pretty blouse.

Dress accordingly!

If you are going to a beautiful park for a laid back date,  wear casual shoes that would allow you to walk without having blisters. If you know you are going outside on a chilly night,  grab a jacket.  Men might pretend to be chivalrous and lend you their jackets when you are cold but most of them do not like it that much. Do your homework in order to be ready. If the location is the surprise,  ask for a small clue so you would not end up wearing a cocktail dress for brunch. Men,  this goes for you as well. Being overdressed or under dressed still makes you look silly on any occasion so do your part.

It is all in the attitude!

You do not have to show all your personality at once during the date. And treat your party with respect. Men, be a gentleman: open the door for her, let her go first, offer to pay for the coffee or meal. Ladies, always be prepared to pay whether or not your date offers. Be tasteful and classy. Moreover, avoid all dangerous topics on the first date such as previous relationships, religion and politics.

Now that you have the basic rules,  let us dig deeper into the subject.

First date

The first date can be the start of something amazing or not. But you are going in it with high exceptions. If it is for a coffee,  wear casual with a twist. Men,  a simple nice shirt (in prints like gingham or stripes) that shows your personality paired with jeans or cotton pants that are neither baggy nor skinny will do. Try experimenting with colors, but think about colors that either compliment or contrast with each other. Do not wear wrinkled shirts or distressed jeans. Add sneakers or loafers as footwear. Do not forget to wear dark socks with the shoes.Take care of your hair (facial also if you have it), cut those long nails. Remember you want to make a good first impression.


Casual dates outfits for men

.
Ladies, for a casual first date, opt for a sundress with a simple jacket and some sandals. You can also try on fitted jeans and a nice blouse with heels. Your hair should be done and your nails manicured. I recommend a simple and natural make up. Keep your accessories to the minimum as not to scare off your date.


Casual dates (woman)




Formal date

For a formal date at a fancy bar or restaurant, you can go all the way. Women can put on sexy dresses that are either fitted or flirty. And remember the rule about revealing too much. You can either show cleavage or legs but not both at the same time. Plus a blazer is a good way to look demure even when sporting something sexy underneath it. Since the date will probably be at night, you can up your make up game by going with a smoked eye or shimmery eye shadows. Also, wear heels, strappy or pumps, anything that you can do a sexy walk in without falling down. Do not forget to add a little sparkle with baubles or earrings.



Formal dates



As for you my men, a formal jacket is a must with a white or colored shirt underneath it and well ironed slacks. You can wear a tie but it is not obligatory. Think about classic attire.Try to smell good by putting on some after shave or cologne.


Formal date outfits for men



What not to wear at all:
For Women:
- Flip-flops (unless you are at the beach)
- Too revealing dresses ( unless you want to be treated like a whore)
- Distressed denim ( even if it's the trend,  it still does not look good.)
- Wrinkled clothes ( you end up looking unkept)
- Heavy make up ( you want him to touch you without having all your foundation on his hands)
- Too much perfume (some people are allergic)

For Men:
- Showing underwear (you are not a rappeur)
- No baggy or skinny jeans
- Long nails
- Unkept hair and facial hair
- Colorful suits (you are not a pimp!)
- Too tight tee shirts (this isn't Jersey Shore!)

 I hope this was helpful.

I am always open to suggestions on this blog. If you want me to talk about a particular fashion topic, send your inquiries to michellethiongane@gmail.com. I would be happy to help.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Wrap draped skirt

I have found a new thing to obsess about. It is the draped or wrap skirt or draped wrap skirt.  I fell in love with it for the first time while watching the movie Friends with benefits.  Mila Kunis's character was wearing this grey draped skirt that made her legs look divine.


Mila Kunis in the draped mini skirt


 I immediately wanted one but since the skirt was short (I do not wear short clothes)  I put my feelings aside and let it go.  But when you have only trendy fashion related feeds on all your social media, you are bond to come across similar skirts that will ignite the obsession.

So here I am daydreaming about a wrap draped skirt.  Unlike those I saw online I want mine to be long, not too tight and not too revealing. I would love to find one in jersey fabric but any other one will do. I like this kind of skirts just because it is feminine and sexy. The drapes and/ or wrap make the body looks curvier so it would be perfect for ladies who are a bit flat. You would think that it is something curvier women should also avoid but one look at Kim Kardashian in those skirts,  we know that it is also perfect for us "bigger" girls.

Here are some skirts I found  that look interesting even if they do not meet all my requirements:




New Look t wrap Jersey maxi at koovs.com



Koovs.com wrap front pencil skirt (at Rps 270  it is a steal but it going fast right now)



Crepe woven wrap skirt from forever21.com




Mango wrap long skirt



Alia Bhatt for Jabong Grey wrap skirt

My favorite ones are the two below but their price tags are hefty.



Doo ri long draped skirt with leather trim




Three dots draped maxi skirt

Luckily, a draped or wrap skirt is very easy to diy. And I made my first ever just this week. Read about it here.

I do want to get one in Jersey though so I am still on the hunt for it.

Some celebrities in wrap draped skirt


My favorite : Beyonce in Burberry Prorsum wrap skirt 


Olivia Palermo styling her Wrap skirt with a military jacket 


Rihanna' s draped skirt oozes sexyness 



Sunday, August 9, 2015

5 tips to dress stylish this Monsoon

It is Monsoon in Pune. It rains almost every day: sometimes heavy showers,  other times sprinkles. If you are like me,  you may like the rain but hate dressing up under it. But here are a few tricks that will help you stay fabulous under it.

1- Invest in waterproof shoes

There are all kinds of waterproof shoes,  shoes made with rain in mind. You have the rain boots,  the jelly sandals and other rubber shoes. While rain boots can be very stylish and protect your feet and legs,  rubber or jelly shoes have been known to be tacky in the past. However,  nowadays they are becoming cuter. Even Crocs have a range of cute sandals any wannabe Fashionista can sport under the rain. And in Pune you can find a wide range of cute shoes that will protect you from getting wet. But, if you are more of a stylish girl,  get some jelly sandals with heels or some kind of platform. They are very comfy but at the same time they are high enough so you can walk on puddles  and never get wet.  Personally I prefer wedges sandals with rubber heels.  In the end,  just avoid shoes like espadrilles, those that are in suede, sateen and leather because they will be ruined.
Crocs Huarache sandals


I saw a pair of platform jelly sandals in Thailand similar to this one above but it was not my size. Sniff!


Steve Madden X Iggy Azalea High top Jelly sandals 


2- Ditch the cheap raincoat for the trench coat

There are plenty of raincoats out here in Pune. They are cheap and very useful when you are caught under the rain. But from the color and design standpoint, they are not very flattering.  If you want to up your style quotient,  try trench coats. They are a tad more expensive than plastic raincoats but they have the same use and can upgrade your outfit.  I like mine in the traditional beige but any color or print that looks good on you will do. However, if you really want to go for a raincoat, try the chic kind that is also very modern.


Pastel colored trench have been trending this year.


Go for colorful Fisherman raincoat that is stylish and can also keep you warm. 



If you want to try plastic raincoat, at least go for the nicer version like this one above.

3- Avoid floor length clothing

I love me some maxi dress and skirts but they are not very practical under the rain. You do not want the hem of your skirt to get dirty while you walk under the rain. Therefore if you must wear a dress or a skirt,  stick to the midi or mini version.



Don't wear a dragging to the floor maxi skirt!


Go for a midi skirt instead!


4- Do not shy away from colors

Monsoon season tends to be gloomy because the skies are always covered. This could lead to a shift into a dark mood. Turn your mood all around with bright colors and pretty prints. Try colors that suit your skin tone and are vibrant such as yellow, orange and bright blues.  Go for bold prints if you think you can pull it off, anything to get away from the boring routine of rain.


Even the Queen does not let rain damper her style.


Rihanna in bright red.



Floral prints will do!


4-  Pump up on accessories

Accessories are always a great way to upgrade an outfit. Do not stop wearing them just because you are afraid they may get wet. Just make sure that the ones you wear are waterproof or that the rain will not damage them. But you can wear as much accessories as you want: necklace,  rings, earrings. Moreover, there are lot of rain accessories that can help you stay cute like umbrellas,  hats and such.

A PVC clutch to keep all your things dry. 


Do not forget to add colorful baubles.


A rainbow umbrella can brighten your outfit and your mood. 


5- Pay extra attention to your grooming

Do not overlook your skin and hair care regiment. In fact you need to pay extra attention to both to avoid small problems. Moisturize your skin and keep the make up to a minimum. Nude make up,  lip gloss, a waterproof mascara,  a little blush should be more than enough. As for your hair,  if it tends to frizz up,  use anti frizz products to keep it flawless. And if ever they get too unruly scarves, turbans and hats can become your best friend.



Interesting hairstyle for Frizzy hair!

There you have it,  simple easy tips to keep you fabulous during this Monsoon. They are very easy so anyone can try them. Will you?

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