COME WITH US TO HANOI, VIETNAM

Hanoi | Travel Guide

Overview 

Hanoi is known as the cultural capital of Vietnam. A mix of modern with ancient treasures hidden through the city, where you can see the heart and soul of the bustling Vietnamese life on foot. The city is very friendly in terms of walking and accessibility.

The Royal Palace 

Inside a Pagoda

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas | 2016

Hi there!! 
If you are suffering from the syndrome of waiting till the last minute to buy gifts, then take a look below for some great last minute holiday gift ideas that will be at your door before Christmas Eve! 



Christmas Gift Guide 2016 | For HIM



 Holiday Gift Ideas 
For Him

Hiiii! I hope everyone is having a good and successful holiday shopping season! I love the feeling of Holidays and that is in full swing right now! Something about christmas lights and decorations just makes me feel all warm and cozy on the inside (Even though it is freezing af outside!). If you need any last minute gift ideas for the MEN in your life, see below!!! Some great items and even better prices. <3 



Love the color! 

Southeast Asia Look Book

Hello! 
Today, I want to share 4 of my favorite looks from my Southeast Asia Trip to Vietnam, Laos & Thailand!! All of these are items I know I will be wearing again. Best part, they were all super comfy to wear. Many items were remixed so that I didn't have to pack my entire closet for 11 days. 
So, let's get to it...


Look One | Ha Long Bay, Vietnam 
In love with this top! 

Christmas Gift Guide 2016 | For Her


 Holiday Gift Ideas 
For Her

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Thanksgiving with their loved ones!!
  
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in full swing, I thought what better time than now to get an X-mas gift idea list up! Most of the gift ideas are reasonably priced with some items being an absolute steal!! 

Happy Shopping!
As usual, click on the name of the product to be taken directly to shop. 


  Clothing 



           
             Zara Embroidered Jumpsuit                                 Aqua Lace Tiered Dress   
 



                    Northface Puffer Vest                            Faux Leather Moto Jacket

Come with me to Montreal, Canada

Foodcation
Where do I start? I am pretty sure I gained 5 lbs over the 4 days I was there.  The city emanates quite the English-French cultural mix. I have not been to Europe (yet) but I have seen pictures of the streets and the streets of Montreal exhibited extremely similar aesthetics.

This trip was easily one of the best foodcation's I have ever had. The variety was delectable!! Old Montreal and Mont-Royal areas of Montreal were filled with restaurants and cafe's! I read somewhere that Montreal has more restaurants than NYC per capita and I can definitely see that in these two parts.

It was pretty cold the last two days but there is something about the cool crisp air of fall time that I just love!


Fall Essentials | Shoe Edition

Fall 2016 - Must Have Shoes 

Fall is in full swing and that means, warm, cozy, cuddly feelings all around!! Today's post is about the fall shoes that YOU need in your life (I know I do!).

I love fall everything, I really do but shoes are probably my favorite fall essential! Below are my favorite Fall 2016 Shoe picks! Most are VERY affordable ( s/o to target for making some seriously kick a$$ shoes at amazing prices!).

Let's get to it...

1) Steve Madden - $99.98
Click Here to Shop

Mini Look Book | Miami

Happy Fall!

I rang in fall with a trip to Miami (fitting right?!) !!! I just really needed to escape the routine for a little bit. I LOVE fall but I just needed a dose of warm weather + breeze + beach + palm trees. I have been to Miami before and every time, I feel as if I get to experience the city in a different way.

I went with one of my best friend (s/o to Jenie) and we had a great time!! We were talking about how we expected the trip to fly by but it didn't. We felt as if the three days we spent there actually were just right!

Below are a few pictures from the trip and a mini lookbook! 

     LOOK ONE 
Photobombed by the Wire  

Monochrome - Casual OOTD

Casual Street Style - Monochromatic Edition 

Comfy and Casual is my go to style on any given day. This past weekend, I wore this monochromatic look and am so obsessed with every single piece! The bomber jacket is a great summer to fall transition piece. It also seems to be quite a popular item this fall, so it is very easy to find one that suits your taste. 

I wear these things several times a week (no joke!). Once I like something, I literally wear it to the ground. It is probably not a good habit but it is a habit that I can't break (what is a girl got to do!). 


This picture was taken right after I ate at Little Nonna's in Philadelphia for the restaurant week. If you are ever in the Philadelphia area, I highly recommend trying out this little nook in the corner of a restaurant. Service is a bit slow but the food is really good! 

Pistachio Cannoli

My favorite part about the look was how it easy it is to wear. The shoes are so comfy and great if you are having a day out in the city that involves a lot of walking. I love me a pair of wedges and/or heels but a lot of walking warrants comfy shoes. For a night out version, simply switch out the shoes for some heels, tie the jacket around the waist and add a red lip! Voila!! 


These are hands down my favorite pair of jeans. They are super easy to wear, form fitting and will not break your wallet. I have been on the hunt for skinny high waisted jeans for some time and bullhead denim nails it.

Outfit Details 
Bomber Jacket : H&M 
Shoes : J.Crew ( Limited sizes; other options here and here
Bag : Kate Spade ( sold out but similar here and here)


What is your go to style?? I would love to know!

Photo Credit for the look : Jibin 

Until next time...
-Dhara 






The Pursuit of Happiness

Stop Chasing Happiness

Yeah, that's right! No, you didn't read the heading wrong. When I first was thinking about this concept, I was a little hesitant to put my thoughts into words. However, I want this post to be an important reminder that chasing happiness just makes it go farther away. 

If you haven't heard of the saying that happiness is a journey not a destination, then let me ask you what are you doing with your life? Don't you have Pinterest? Don't you spend hours searching through quotes? No? Why not? Jk! ( p.s. some days I do spend hours that I do not have on Pinterest reading quotes, FYI)

Real talk though (s/o DJ Khaled)...

I am one of those people (like many) who has always believed that people should always be happy or try to be happy at all times. Now, I look back and realize that was a waste of energy and time on my part. I am not saying you should try to be NOT happy but this notion of always having to be happy, always being in this state of happiness is unhealthy. This chase may have you looking for happiness in the wrong places and it may actually make you less happy because all of a sudden not reaching this certain level of happiness you have created in your mind is causing disappointment and in turn unhappiness. 

 It has taken me a few years to realize that it is OKAY to have a bad day. It is OKAY to feel unhappy at times. It is OKAY to feel as if you don't have your life together or feel as if you are not where you thought you would be at a certain point in your life. Don't get caught up thinking that one bad day means every day is going to be a bad day. Don't get caught up thinking that you have to be at a certain point in life to be happy. Just say "Bye Felicia" to that type of thinking. 



The drive to constantly be happy can be destructive because this hole that the chase creates may just keep getting bigger. The desire to want more keeps growing. Think about it, when we get a salary increase, we want more because we think that will make us more happy. If we get an apartment, we want a house. If we have an iPhone 6, we want an iPhone 6s plus. If we get a Toyota Camry, we want a Lexus. Heck, people even say that getting one tattoo means you are going to want more tattoos. Nothing wrong in having #goals but getting that higher salary, that house, that better phone or that better car etc., does not guarantee a lasting state of happiness.  Materialistic things aside, even things such as completing a degree, mastering a skill, crossing an item off your bucket list and so on and so forth, do not guarantee a sustained state of happiness. 

Once you achieve those things and you have achieved that state of happiness, you may end up going back to the chase to achieve a higher state of happiness. But when does that stop? When do you finally realize that all this time you have spent striving to be happy, you have actually lost time being happy? Why not recognize that happy moment in life, live it, enjoy it and move on. Move on knowing that the next day may knock you off your balance but it will be okay and you will experience that moment of happiness again. Don't chase it, live it. 

The more we wish for things to be a certain way, the more disappointment we are creating for ourselves because not everything will be the way we want it to be. That is not guaranteed! It's life, we will have good days and we will have bad days. Do not center your life around this idea of - if I do this, I will be happy and if I do this, then that means I will be sad and I shouldn't do it. 

Do not settle around this concept that there will be a point in life from which on you will ALWAYS be happy. Don't wait to live in the moment of happiness that is in front of you, for this imaginary level of happiness that may never arrive. 

I am learning to accept that there will be days that bring me happiness and days that bring me sadness. I am learning to accept it all as it comes. Rather than chasing happiness and putting it on this pedestal, I am just throwing out the pedestal all together. 

Let go of this idea of happiness as being something you have to arrive at and just learn to enjoy it where you find it as you travel through this little thing called life.

Until next time...
-Dhara 


Miniature Masala Patties

Hellooo!

Today I want to share a recipe with you! I made Masala Patties today as I was craving something zesty, warm and easy to make! These patties resemble the popular street food found in Gujarat called Ragda Patties. I am learning how to make Indian food and when something comes out right, I feel like I need to share and that is exactly why this post is happening.

Let me know how you like it if you give this recipe a try!



You will need: 

  • 3 Boiled Potatoes
  • 1 Cup Boiled Peas ( Save about 1/3 cup of boiled water to add into the mixture)
  • Handful Chopped Cilantro
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Red Chili Powder (use less or more according to preference, the more you use the spicier)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 Tbsp Canola Oil - to pan fry in

Let's Start: 

1) Roughly mash the boiled peas, potatoes and the saved boiled water together (use a potato masher or hands).

2) Add in the rest of the ingredients and mash everything together until you form a dough-like consistency.



3) Roll the mixture into small balls and flatten them out to form a patty shape.

4) Heat the oil in a pan. Turn the gas to be on medium-high heat and place the patties in the pan.

5) Pan fry until both sides are golden and crispy.

4) Remove from the heat and serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Serves 2-3 people. Pair with Cilantro Chutney and/or Tamarind Chutney! 
Feel free to adjust the spice proportions per your preference.



Do you have any quick and easy recipes?! 
Until next time...
-Dhara 



Nordstrom's Nsale


The N Sale 

If you don't know what the N sale is, then allow me to tell you! N sale is when Nordstrom marks down brand new items on their website ahead of the next season! The deals are actually really good and you can have all of the upcoming items beforehand at a lower price!! 

If you have their credit/debit card, you can start shopping today. If you don't, then the sale opens up to the public on July 22nd.  The price drop for lot of major brands is significant and the quality is great! 

Below are my picks from the N sale! (Just click on the name of item to shop) 


Happy Shopping!


Women's Shoes


1) Tom's Bella Espadrille - $47.96 ( after sale $63.65)
2) Vince Camuto Barsha Lace-up Pumps - $79.90 ( after sale $129.90)
3) Adidas Superstar Sneakers - $59.90 ( after sale 79.95)
4) Steve Madden Claara Block Heel Sandal - $79.90 ( after sale $119.95)
5) Steve Madden Eternul Over the Knee Boots - $112.90 ( after sale $169.95)



Handbags

1) BP Tassel Crossbody Bag - $29.90 ( after sale $45.00) 
2) Rebecca Minkoff Love Jumbo Crossbody Bag - $236.90 ( after sale $355.00) 
3) Rebecca Minkoff Large Regan Satchel - $263.90 ( after sale $395.00) 


Women's Apparel

1) BlankNYC Faux Leather Moto Jacket - $64.90 ( after sale $98.00) 
2) Halogen Cardigan - $49.90 ( after sale $78.00) 
3) Cupcakes and Cashmere Plaid Shirtdress - $76.90 ( after sale $115.00) 
4) Topshop Fit & Flare Dress - $98.90 ( after sale $150.00) 
5) Caslon Skinny Jeans - $45.90 ( after sale $69.90) 
6) Cole Haan Belted Scarf Front Coat - $169.90 ( after sale $350.00)
7) Zella Leggings - $37.90 ( after sale $58.00) 
8)  Bobeau Blouse - $37.90 ( after sale $58.00) 
9) Topshop Mixed Stripe Layer Top - $49.90 ( after sale $75.00) 
10) Rip Curl Plaid Flannel Shirt - $32.90 ( after sale $49.50)


Men's Apparel




1)The North Face Fleece Pullover - $39.90 ( after sale $55.00)
2) Nordstrom Men's Classic Pants - $38.90 ( adfter sale $59.50)
3) RVCA Stealth Puffer Fleece Jacket - $58.90 ( after sale $89.00)
4) Threads for Thought Hoodie - $32.90 ( after sale $50.00)
5) AdidasTraining Shorts - $ $22.90 ( after sale $35.00)


Beauty


2) Beauty Blender Set - $35.00
5) Elizabeth Nirvana White Set - $100.00 


Accessories


1) Gorjana Beaded Necklace - $39.90 ( after sale $60.00) 
2) BP Jacquard Scarf - $22.90 ( After sale $35.00) 
3) Hinge Wool Round Crown Hat - $28.90 ( after sale $48.00) 
4) Precious Metals Stud Earrings - $29.90 ( after sale $48.00) 
5) Mondaine Evo Watch - $199.90 ( after sale $325.00) 

Money saving tip - If you plan on shopping online at Nordstrom, be sure to sign up for E-bates. If you don't know how it works- click here. Right now the E-bates cash back is at 6% for Nordstrom and all you have to do is shop online! That easy!! 

Do you have any favorites from the N sale?! 

Until next time...
-Dhara 

Summer Dresses

Ten Summer Dresses 

It's July already!!! I cannot believe how fast this year is going by! With summer in full swing, I wanted to feature a post on Summer Dresses I have been eyeing! I love being able to just throw on a dress and calling it a day when it comes to planning outfits for the summer time. They are so easy to dress up or down.

Many online and department stores have such a great variety to offer this season however, it can be overwhelming and not so easy on the wallet when thinking of what to buy. Which is why after going through tons of my favorite websites, I have compiled a list of dresses that are perfect for summer and most are easy on the wallet :)

FYI-  I want them all!! Per usual, click on the name of the dress and it will take you directly to the website.

1) Blue Dip Dye Dress from Lulu's - $27 ( a steal in my opinion!)



2) Striped Dress from Lulu's - $38



3) Print Maxi Dress from Lulu's - $39.75 ( major markdown!)



4) Patterned Dress from H&M - $24.99




5) Embroidered Smock Dress from Topshop - $ 35.00 ( on sale!)



6) White Midi Dress from Nordstrom - $68.00



7) Dandelion Mini Dress from Dailylook - $129.00

8)  Floral Dress from Forever21 - $24.90



9) Navy Slip Dress from Forever21 - $18.00



10) Floral Print Dress from Mango - $29.99



Are there any dresses you are eyeing? I would love to hear back! 
Hope everyone is enjoying the summer heat! 

Until next time...
-Dhara 

Utility Vest + LBD

Keeping it Casual 

I love Little Black Dresses! There is something about them. I was in target not too long ago and I saw this one and fell in LOVE! I love dresses that have sleeves and/or little intricate details. This one is still in select stores. It is sold out online but I have linked several options below!  The beauty of this type of dress is that it can be dressed up or down. I chose to wear it for day occasion so threw on a utility jacket ( which are easily available nowadays). You can definitely wear some statement earrings or a statement necklace with a red lip and heels for a night occasion.





Details
Utility Vest : Target ( sold out! it went by so fast! I could not find the link online but this may still be available in stores. Very similar options here and here 
Dress : Target ( Option 1 ; Option 2 ) 
Bag : Express 
Shades : Dolce & Gabbana
Other LBD Faves : This one from Express ; this one by Vince Camuto and this one from Asos.

Have a great day! 
Until next time...

-Dhara  


Monthly Favorites - May 2016

Hey Guys!

I have been slacking this past month! Shaking my head at me :( .
I was in the middle of a very important transition with my career and had to focus on getting settled in. I am back and am working on establishing a routine with my new schedule. Excuses aside, let's talk favorites!!


Favorite Skincare Item (s)

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser - $45.00

I have been using this for about 1.5 months now and I love it! My pores are SO much smaller and the blackheads are gone!! I have been using this 1-2x a day and the need to use my Biore Pore strips has gone down from twice a week to once every two weeks!! It is an expensive cleanser but it does clean the skin really well. You can always get a sample at Sephora to give it a try before you splurge. I have super duper sensitive acne prone skin and this did NOT break me out which is a major plus! A little does a go long way as well.



Tree Hut Moroccan Rose Shea Sugar Scrub -
$7.69

This stuff is amazinggg! It smells divine and leaves my skin feeling baby soft! It is gentle enough to use on a daily basis but I like use it 2-3x a week to exfoliate my body. Give it a try!




Favorite Beauty Item (s) 

Beauty Blender - $20.00

I have been using the pink one on and off for about 3 years now. Last month, I picked up the Black Beauty Blender and oh my lord! I have no idea what the difference between this and the pink one is but I have not put this down since I got it. I like the pink, I love the black one. The pink one is good, don't get me wrong but I felt as if it accentuated my pores but this black one blends products out so seamlessly. Def give this a try.



Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner - $24.00

I have been on the hunt for a good quality eyeliner for few years now. I am glad my search has ended with finding this one. It is a two in one, so one side is liquid eyeliner and the other is a pencil form. Both work great, lasted throughout the day in the hot humidity in Cartagena and are so easy to use! I like using the pencil one to tight line and the liquid side for the wing. Great price, great quality, great product!


Nyx Powder Blush in Desert Rose - $. 5.00 ( On Sale for $2.50 right now!)

Another item I have used every other day! Love the finish of this product, color pay off is excellent and suits the olive/tan skin tones very well! This is the only blush I took to Cartagena and it went with all my outfits and different makeup looks!



Favorite Moment 

This definitely had to be my trip to Cartagena. It was the perfect escape for me. You can read the blogpost here.



Favorite Fashion Item (s)  

Steve Madden Sandals - $79.95

I have worn these shoes almost every other day for the past month and half ! They go with so many different outfits and are SO comfortable! The quality is great because despite me wearing it every other day, they still look brand new. They go well with jeans, skirts and dresses! Check out this look book to see them in action.



Striped Boatneck Tee -  $12.00

I have lived in this shirt this past month! It is so comfy and so affordable!! I love the boatneck neckline, I think it is very flattering. I am going to back to get more colors once the target near my house stocks up on my sizes.

Favorite Music 

This song has been on replay for the past month! I love how fun it is, makes me want to just get up and start dancing.




Favorite Show 

Game of Thrones!!! If you don't know what I am talking about, you need to get with the program and start watching this show like now ( jk, maybe?). This season thus far has to be my most favorite season of the series!




Well that's it for this month's favorites!
Was there anything you loved this past month?!

Until next time...
-Dhara