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




H&M - Fashion Friday

Hey Guys!

For this week, I wanted to feature H&M! This has become one of my ALL time favorite places to shop at. Few years ago, this store was a hit or a miss for me. But lately, they have stepped up their game BIG time. They have their Memorial Day Sale going on right now, so a lot of the items below are on sale!! Plus, this store is very affordable.

Let's get to it...

1) Sleeveless Shirt Dress - $24.99 ( On Sale! Orig $34.99)

Can be dressed up or down! 

2) Patterned Maxi Dress - $19.99 ( On Sale! Orig $29.99)

Perfect to throw on for this weekend! 

3) Patterned Skirt - $24.99 ( On Sale! Orig $49.99)

Love the vibrant print! 

4) Denim Jacket - $19.99 ( On Sale! Orig $39.99)

Staple wardrobe item 

5) Patterned Tank - $ 7.99 ( On Sale! Orig $12.99)

Pair with the joggers on the bottom! 

6) Joggers - $ 9.99 ( On Sale! Orig $ 24.99)

Obsessed with matching co-ords! 

7) Men's Henley Shirt - $ 9.99 ( On Sale! Orig $14.99)

Casual wear 
8) Men's Linen Pants - $19.99 ( On Sale! Orig $ 29.99)
Would be great for this weather! 

9) Bangle Bracelet - & 7.99
How colorful! 
10) Ankle Chain - $9.99
Latest addicton - ankle chains! 


Like with most shopaholics, you guys know this list can go on and on right? I always have to restrict myself to 10 items for this post or this would be like a 20 page post. Also, you can click on the name of the item and it will take you directly to the page to purchase it!

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!!

Recent Posts 


Until next time...
-Dhara


Come with us to Cartagena, Colombia

Travel Guide - Cartagena 
Buenas! 

This post is being co-authored by my travel companion for this trip- Jenie! We just got back from a trip to the captivating city of Cartagena in Colombia!! We are going through some major withdrawals at the moment since the trip was extremely short! We cannot wait to go back and experience more of the Colombian culture!
For now though, we want to share our experience via this post!
Let’s get to it…
Located in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena will leave you enchanted!  The city displays a magnificent blend of cultural experience that creeps its way to make a place in the hearts of its visitors.


Cartagena – General Layout
( Included below are some of the places we visited)
El Centro/Old Town 
The core of the city! This area is filled with historical (and quite unchanged) churches, palaces and houses. You will also find many plaza’s, retail stores, street vendors, bars, and restaurants coveted in some absolutely stunning palette of pastel backgrounds. The streets take you back to the colonial times and Spanish influence is quite prominent!


Getsemani 
Street art swarms this area! You will find an abundance of colorful murals all over the streets and more gorgeous pastel colored houses. This area seems to be popular choice of stay for backpackers so expect to see hostels lining the streets as well.


Bocagrande/ El Laguito 
This is where you will see all the high rise hotels and beaches in Cartagena. Quite different from old town, this area houses all of the hotels and restaurants, glitz and glam of the shopping malls and upscale condominiums.

Things to See & Do
  • Plaza de Los Coches – This place used to be a market for the slaves but is now lined with stands selling sweets (day and night), rooftop bars, restaurants and local vendors. The clock tower (Torre Del Reloj) serves as the backdrop for this sight. You can also find a statue of the founder of the city. However, exercise caution at night time, as it does turn into a shady area that attracts sex tourists. 



  • Plaza de la Aduana - This plaza used to house all the administrative and government offices which is something that can be observed when you visit. The City Hall occupies this plaza which is also the oldest square in town.
  • Santo Domingo – The famous church hovers over this plaza that is surrounded by bars and restaurants. You will also find the dramatic bronze statue in this plaza of the Gertrudis. Great spot at night time!
  • San Felipe Barajas – One of the greatest fortress built by the Spanish that oversees the city of Cartagena. You can see the old town and new town (Bocagrande) all in one skyline at different altitudes from here. The tunnels within the fortresses are quite complex and provided strategic benefits to the Spaniards. Entrance fee is about $25,000 COP and well worth it! 


Rosario Island 
This island is a about 1.5 -2.0 hr speed boat ride from old city Cartagena.It is a small beautiful island surrounded by crystal clear blue waters. We were able to try amazing tropical drinks, fresh island food ( both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) and fresh fruits while we were there. The island had a serene ambience with day beds and tropical trees. Must visit!!



Old Town Streets 
Every nook and corner of old city Cartagena is architecturally intriguing. The colors are unique and a visual treat. The sun contributes to the city’s vibrancy by giving the colors a different hue during various times of the day. My friend and I would view the same place with a whole new perspective each time.  This town is the gem of this city.





* Many locals recommended that we visit the Island of Baru as well as a landmark called Popa. We did not have enough time but if you do, definitely check it out! 
Eat, Drink & Dance
Mirador Cafe  - This cafe is a Rooftop bar which is located in the center of the old city. This bar oversees the clock tower which is a prominent landmark in this city. This bar is definitely a place to checkout if you want to explore the local nightlife; however it is important to be cautious while you are here.
Babar (Bar/Lounge) 
This was our favorite place for an ideal night out in Cartagena. The positive note was that this place was air conditioned, unlike most bars there and had free wi-fi. They also had reasonably priced drinks. They played good Latin American and American music. This venue was spacious with multiple bars and had perfect lighting. Babar also has a strict dress code and were particular about who is allowed to enter there. It’s important to keep in mind that they do charge cover on Saturday nights.



Collage Charladero 
This place had a tasteful decor. This is where we had the opportunity to taste the most amazing drink ( La Nina Tulia - order that if you go!).  It is a definitely a place to checkout after a hot day of exploring the city. They have Wi-fi here!


La Paletteria
The most amazing dessert place in Cartagena. Please do visit! Totally worth the calories! So many options, we wanted it all.


Sunset by the Fortress 
Our last night in Cartagena, we witnessed the most beautiful sunset. Being able to watch the sun set into ocean from the top of the fortress- just a spectacular experience! Walk to El Baluarte on top of the fortress to enjoy the perfect breeze, beautiful music and amazing handcrafted cocktails. It was truly a beautiful and peaceful experience and highly recommended. The ambience is mesmerizing!



Colombian Coffee 
If you are a coffee drinker, please do not leave Cartagena without trying authentic Colombian coffee!! Soo good! It is different than what you might try in the states but it is a good way to taste how the locals drink their coffee.
Seafood
If you like seafood, definitely try the variety of options the city offers! Locals and tourists rave about the seafood in Cartagena.

Keep in Mind


Visa 

U.S. Citizens do not need a visa! Just your passport is enough to grant you an entry into the country.
Zika Virus 
Bug spray! Bug spray! Bug Spray! Please spray yourselves day and night prior to leaving your hotel and reapply as needed. Remember that bug spray doesn’t always protect you so travel at your own risk. If you are pregnant or are planning to have children within the the next couple of years, we would advise you to re-think about going on a trip here.  Zika virus not only has known to cause birth defects but can also bring on a neurological disorder called Guillain Barre in some. You can read more about Zika Virus here.
Heat 
We travelled to Colombia in May and the temperature was in the 90’s throughout our stay. It is important that you wear a wide brimmed hat and apply plenty of sunscreen. We have learned to appreciate the sun every chance we get as we live on the east coast but the heat can be overbearing at times, so be prepared and stay hydrated!
Personal Safety 
Please be careful out there. Just like every other country, no place is safe and it is important to be cautious. Hold onto your belongings. Be mindful of the people who approach you and talk to you. At night take cabs everywhere ( cannot stress this enough) .
Currency 
The currency used here is Colombian Pesos. 1 dollar is roughly 3000 Colombian pesos. Most places do take cards. Cartagena is very affordable!
Souvenir Shopping 
The one item that is a must -buy are their handmade bags. These bags come in a variety of designs and colors. Make sure you bargain and only buy souvenirs from the streets of old city as they are the cheapest there.



Language 
People primarily speak Spanish here and very rarely speak English. Communication was initially an issue but by the middle of our trip, we were able to understand some of the phrases they used and were more confident in communicating our needs.
Transportation
During day time, if it isn't in walking distance, cab it. At night time, cab it, it is just safer! Cabs are easily available from the airport into the city as well. Just be sure to decide the price before getting in! We recommend exploring old town by foot during day but at night again, please cab!
Stay
We stayed at the Hilton Resort and thoroughly enjoyed it! It was in El Laguito but the hotel is very well maintained and the service is excellent. You must try the breakfast buffet here! If you are looking for accommodations in Cartagena, check out this site for more information.






Colombia does have a reputation for not being safe for tourists ( or atleast this is what everyone kept telling us before we left) but as long as you exercise caution, use common sense and do not wander into the streets at night time alone - it can be wonderful experience!!

Overall, it was a fun and vibrant trip! As we look back, we are grateful that we had the opportunity to visit this beautiful city and look forward to returning one day!

Cartagena Look book : Click here
Have you ever been to Cartagena? Did you have a good time? We would love to hear about it!
Until next time,
-Dhara & Jenie

Cartagena Look Book

Hola Amigos!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I had recently made a trip to the colorful city of Cartagena, Colombia!!! You can read the travel post by clicking here. I have to say sorry for not posting in the past week but I could not bring my laptop with me to Colombia, so I had to put posting on hold. But I am back!

For this post, I wanted to share three of my favorite looks from the trip!
So, let's get right to it...

Look One 



   Dress : Ritu Kumar \ Shoes: Steve Madden \ Hat: F21 ( sold out similar here) \ Bag: Michael Kors

Look Two 


Beach Dress H & M \ Hat : Colombian Street Vendor ( Similar here) \ Shades : Dolce & Gabbana 

Look Three 



Top: H&M / Shorts: H&M / Gladiators: Macy's (sold out similar here; here) / Necklace :Old (Option 1; Option 2)/ Shades : Nordstrom ( sold out similar here


I hope everyone has a great day! 

S/O to Jenie for taking these pictures of me! 

Until next time...
-Dhara