August 2012 | - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Fitness Friday: Decision Time!

Lately, since I have had my plate full, the first thing I think of cutting off from my schedule, I am ashamed to say, is often workout. It is so easy to make excuses when you don't have enough hours in the day. I wake up by 6:00am so the only way to add few more hours would be to wake up sooner. But that is not possible as I only go to bed by 10:30pm nowadays and I need my 7 hours of sleep, no matter what. I am the most productive in the morning. I can achieve 5 hours of work in an hour in the mornings, and as the day goes by my productivity decreases. Hence, I am more inclined towards implementing my creative ideas and ticking everything off my to-do-list as early as possible in the day.   

So why I am telling you this mundane-boring-anecdote? Well, because I have had to dig deeper and try harder to hit to gym and stay active. By 2pm when most of my work is completed, I have cooked the food, cleaned the house, I have a decision to make - either I can call it a day or I can put on my workout gear and still make it to the gym. My husband's work starts at 7:00am which means he gets back 4:00pm, hence I need to get my workout done before that. I literally talk to myself (like a crazy person), "Tanvi, this is a do or die situation. Get your derrière to the gym or soon you will be fat again!". All my motivational tips stop working on me, after one point or another. I don't know about you, but tough-love always works on my psyche. Also, trying new activities and workout helps. My current love is Hip-Hop & Bootcamps. And yours?

His & Hers Style Diaries - August

After all this time of outfit blogging, I have finally convinced Dr. Fab to let me take his outfit shots too, but just over the weekends. Clearly, asking him to pose everyday before going to work is not gonna happen for more than one reason ;) Now, I can't promise how long this weekend style diaries would continue but I sure will try to keep it going! 

As for our weekend style mantra - I would describe it as casual and comfortable. There is no other way you could survive 105ºF in Texan summers. 

P.S. I do no take any credit for his everyday dressing, except that I have infused color in his wardrobe and life, of course! ;)


How to dress for skinny bodies?

We all have a friend who can eat unlimited amount of unhealthy food without being fat and we are jealous of them (if you are someone's that friend, hold on for a second). So the general notion around is curvy=fat and skinny=anorexic. What curvy people don't realise that if it's difficult for them to wear some type of clothes, it's also difficult for skinny people to style up things without looking like clothes hanger. Here are few do's and dont's for the skinny people:

• Jeans is a wardrobe essential and selecting one to suit your body type is very important. Naturally skinny people should usually avoid skinny fit jeans as it will make you look more slender, instead shop for straight fit jeans it will balance your silhouette. Pair it with sheer shirt, blazer and nude heels for office casual look. Nude heels will make you look taller. If you have a favourite pair of skinny jeans you love putting on, wear it with oversized shirts/tees or the latest obsession, cropped tees. Palazzo pants are also one of the tempting options available, very much in trend right now.

• Another wardrobe essential is a dress. Everyone should have one dress that compliments your body and can be dressed up or dressed down as per the occasion. Go for a-line dresses in your favourite print, preferably in a colour which is not too loud. It can be structured with the help of wide waist belts. Layer the dress with a light cardigan or a jacket to complete the look the take the focus away from the 'skinny' waist. 

• High waist trouser/skirt/shorts are available in plenty of variety in the market and these are the perfect option for you. It makes your waist look little fuller. Printed and bright hued bottoms worn with the horizontal stripes will give you a perfect look.

• Accessorising is very important to instantly glamourise your look, as well as to give a finish touch to your outfit. (Post on How to accessorize, here) Experiment with all the jewelry pieces in your wardrobe, layering is the uber stylish option. Stack bracelets and big bangles. Invest in big bold statement making pieces. 

This was another one of Reader's Requests. 
( I hope you found it helpful! )


How to plan outfits for a holiday?

First things first, make a packing list! Once you have answered all the questions here we can move forward. 

With the perpetually increasing baggage costs, I try my best to travel light and maximize on getting as many outfits my mixing and matching. 

Clothes to pack:
  • Separates e.g. tops, blouses, shorts, jeans, skirts, etc. 
  • Flats/Wedges (comfortable footwear)
  • Light-weight dresses (depends on the location & occasion)
  • A Stole (shawl/scarf)
  • Light Jacket (depends on the weather/location)

Let me explain with examples from my recent trip:

Jeans & Sneakers - These are my travel jeans. They are light weight, loose fit, comfortable and dark wash. Hence, perfect for travel. As you can see I often wear sneakers while traveling, as I have to change planes, rush from one terminal to another and the last thing I want is, my feet coming in the way to my holiday! I might not look cute, but thats not my priority here. 

Light weight dress - I prefer light weight dressed while traveling, preferably which do not need to ironed. As you can see I wore it on two occasions, once as a dress and again as a top. One cute look and another one comfy! 

Shorts - I like to carry neutral color shorts which pair up well with any color top. You can dress them up or down with accessories and footwear, as need be. 

Leggings - Most comfortable piece of clothing, while traveling. Now I wore is the same one, thrice on this trip. Paired it with a tunic and then again with a short dress below. And again with a chambray shirt (if you scroll down). They are a good companion to have when it is not warm enough for shorts, and neither cold enough for jeans. 

Polka dot/Striped Blouses - I am a fan of over sized tops/blouses. Now I picked up this from Banana Republic Sale this spring and it is "large" in size. Two of me could fit into one, but since I like the slouchy fit, I can pair it over anything and/or tuck it in to give it some definition. A gem to carry, while traveling. 

Chambray Shirt - Same rules apply as the Polka dot/Striped Blouse above. The first look is with the leggings (as seen in 2 different outfits above as well) and the second time I am wear the shirt over a (light weight!) lace dress to create a day look. I could easily wear the same dress, in case I needed to at night and just remove the shirt and swap my sneaker for high heels.  

Comfortable Jeans - These are separate from the travel ones. A pair of light and comfortable jeans for all those times when nothing else works. Wear them with tee, blouse, shirts or just wear a dress and tuck it in, like I did. There are truly no end to how may outfits with you can create here. 

I could have easily created 10 more outfits just out of these same pieces! So the mantra here is - 

I hope this post helps you travel light on your next trip. 
And if it does, don't forget to tell me about it! :)


Caught Reading

One of the things that I look forward to while traveling nowadays is reading! I know, right? Can't I do it at home? As it figures out, I can't. I am bit of a scatter brain at home. A bit too easily distracted. As soon as I pick a book to read, I realize I have to put laundry for this week, and from there I would go to the kitchen and start preparing for the next meal, and then go check my email, just in case something urgent came in (which never happens, by the way!) and so on and so forth ... 

But when I am on a holiday, I have nothing on my mind. I have a book 24/7 in my hand. Every time we would take a break (from walking or driving) I would go back to my books, while Dr. Fab would go take pictures of the scenery and what not. And it just so happens that he caught me reading (via his lens) more than once. 

I love these pictures, specially 'coz I they are candid (not staged!) and now I know how I look while reading at random places. Also, they make me nostalgic of my teenage days, when in spite of all the exams, assignments and million other academic books to read, I had enough time to read my fiction too. I really need to stop being such a distracted soul and commit to a book on weekly basis ... I really should ... But I won't ... 'Coz I can't ... But I should ... Agrh! Such a vicious cycle. 



I happen to be extremely planned in some areas of my life and extremely spontaneous in the others. And I can promise you that it is not on the basis of priority. Often, where you might assume that I must be super-planned and organized, chances are that I would do things according to my whims and fancy there and vice-a-versa. So when people ask me questions like, "How do we start a blog?", or "How to start a community?" or even, "How to start our own business?" - I have no clue how to answer that! I never planned any of these things. I got an idea and I acted up on it. It is as simple as that. I do wish I have an elaborate step-by-step plan which I could share with everyone, but I don't.  
... Example of things that I do plan for:
  • When is my next holiday?
  • What am I having for dessert next time?
  • What is my shopping budget for next month?
  • What TV Series will I be OD-ing on next?
... clearly I haven't got my priorities right! But I have never regretted any of my decisions. In the end, I do figure it all out. 

Moving on to the outfit ... On Saturday I had a blast at the #FABBSocial, a get together for all San Antonio Bloggers, organized by SAFABB. It was lovely meeting all the ladies. 

Seen below with Tyesha & Sarah 

...and this is what I wore!

Dress - Fashion Street [Bombay, India] [11']
Wedges - Dolce Vita via TJ Maxx [12']
Necklace / Cuff / Bracelet / Earrings / Ring - Crazy & Co. [12']


Five Ways to Style Orange Flats

 You'd think orange footwear wouldn't go with many outfits. As it turns out, one of the most worn purchases (circa 2010) till day!


Reader's Spotlight (XX) - Upasna

Dear Tanvi,

There's a lot of inspiration and positive energy I draw from your blog. I've worn dresses like tops and skirts and spared a thought at 'what could be the five ways I could wear the same thing', something I take from several of your posts.

Today I want to share something that made me think of our mutual (!) love for sarees and finding the right kind of red lipstick which is for you. Needless to say, I rarely wore sarees to office- out of complacency really, and I never wore a red lipstick that was so bright. And then I decided create an occasion to do both. 

I always found it quite intriguing that except in the state of Kerala (white saree with gold border, perhaps the replacement of the white gown), Indian wedding wear does not quite include the shades of white (not for the bride atleast). However, it fits my colour taste pallet quite well, especially with threaded-in gold, and those greens. So since I weren't the bride here, I decided to wear my cream with the-red-I-found lipstick. I wanted it to be really simple, so just paired very basic gold/cream glass bangles, and long earrings silver/ gold. Apologize for the picture quality- you have to excuse my packet with a bear who decided not to move. I liked how it turned out. Et tu?


Upasna, firstly I find it so weird communicating with you here, with our conversation open to the world. Thank you so much for such kind words, but you know that the admiration is mutual. I cannot wait for our next coffee date, and discuss the people sitting around us. :P

About the look, I like how it turned out too. Side-swept hair, red lipstick and saree with a hint of green - 
très belle! I truly like the simplicity of the look. Less is more, more often that not (right?). And now that you mention it, I realize that I do not own a single white/creme saree, and after seeing you wear it so well, I kinda want one. Now! ... On next India trip for sure.  

For those who are new here: This is a segment where my readers get to share their style or ask for suggestions (if they need any!) from all my readers. So if you have been inspired by my blog then Email me your outfit pictures for this feature. If anyone wishes to stay Anonymous just say the word. post this feature every alternate Friday.


Solace in Dislike

Most people would agree (at least to themselves) that they are people pleasers. Its human nature to want to fit-in, to belong, to be part of the 'in' crowd. I, however, realized early on that I could not please people. I just didn't have the energy within to please them, hence I was okay with being dislikedIn hindsight, I believe 'coz people never liked me much (as I was pretty blunt and straight forward) it worked in my favor and allowed me to live up to my full potential. I must have (sub consciously) decided early on to beat my own drum and do my own thing as I have never felt the need for anyone's approval and have been undeterred by people's opinions of me. I am pretty clear about what I like and dislike, the kind of people I would want to meet and not meet, etc. And I have no intention of wasting this short presence on earth, living the diplomatic life. There are so many better things I can do with that time, you know?  

Can I tell you a secret though? Now when those 'same' people turn around and say that they like me, I'm not so sure how I feel about that. There was a certain solace in being disliked. I had made my peace with it. I don't want things to change between us. Please don't love me! ;)  
"If everyone likes you, then someone is definitely lying to you!" - Tanvi
"You CANNOT be afraid to not be liked. That fear limits you from being ALL of you." - Dusk     

Dress - Vero Moda [12']
Vest - Banana Republic [11']
Shoes - via Lulu's [11']
Necklace & Ring - Crazy & Co. [12']
Bracelets - Crazy & Co. [12]
Bangles -  InPINK [12']


Once a year, lunch date

Every year we (Dr. Fab & Me) decide we will go for lunch dates during the week, but we never end up doing it more than once a year (2010, 2011), wonder why that is. And it just so happens all three mid-week-dates have been in the same vicinity. *hmmmm* Life is weird that ways. 

Anyhooo, we are back on track with my outfit posts, although this one is from last week. If you have been catching up my Facebook updates, you'd know I have been craving fall already, but since I live in Texas, it ain't gonna happen up until mid-November (if I am lucky, that is) but that isn't stopping me from virtually curating fall outfits. Dreams are all we have sometimes, isn't it? :o)

Top - via TJ Maxx [09']
Skirt - French Connection [05']
Shoes - From Amritsar [11']
Designer Sunglasses - Juicy Couture [10']
Arm Candy - Here & There [07'/11'/12']
Choker - Necklace c/o AliExpress by


Home is where the heart is!

India, Independence Day.

A friend from initial blogging days wrote this on her Facebook a few days back. I read it and felt someone had penned my thoughts succinctly ... I think it is worth sharing with everyone. N.B. It was Indian Independence Day on 15th August. 

Home is where the heart is! 

Who am I kidding?! In all honesty, I don't even know if I understand the sweet freedom of independence. It's real worth. I mean, come on, I was born in independent India, in an independent family, and did every
thing independently—eat, breathe, did you! I was taught to love the independence day. And republic day. And Gandhi jayanti and so on. And I obediently loved them all. We are all aware of the power of teaching on an obedient student. Therefore, since the time I can't even recall, I've been very very proud and happy and excited about, especially, independence day.

But do I really really cherish it? Probably not. Not at least in a way I'd perhaps be expected to. Its like, you don't realize the true worth of something until you have worked hard for it. Like finally being able to run 10 miles at a comfortable pace; or obtaining a piece of data after hours of toil in the lab; or finding true love after being crushed more than once. Suchlike. A ten year old me used to ask my grandfather–the only link to my bit of pre-independence India–"what was it like during the British Raj? Did the Britishers harass y'all a lot?" And unlike what I expected—and I expected a furor, uproarious rebellious elevation in tone and stories of fiendish torture and deliberate discrimination—contrarily, I heard a simple, almost nonchalant, "yeah, it was a little different. Not much. Some of us youngsters were very bloodshot. But life was normal. Always.". Correct. Boring. A ten year old me would wonder and go back to playing. Probably kids played the same way under British Raj too. My grandfather never lies, whatever the circumstance. So, somehow, I never really really got the idea of how cool it was to be independent.

I had to sit myself down. Apply reverse psychology. Hypothesis. Control. Or whatever it is called. And had to think, what if we still were under the British Raj? To such questions, then again, are no definitive answers. We all can make a table with pros in one column and cons in the other. Speculate. Sometimes, getting what is yours is all that matters. Independence, to me, is sort of like that. India is mine. What makes it mine? I was born there. The world is mine. But we divided the land into pieces anyway because water wouldn't listen. A raffle. I got India. Everyone around me got India and we became Indians. And we did certain things in a certain way which made us one. The things we did differently, we decided to bear and called it unity in diversity. We grew. Amidst the recycling, the uplifting, the decay, the rot; the variety, really; we grew. It's an inexplicable feeling to call something your own. Like India. She's mine! She's my mother! I played pakda-pakdi (tag) on the dust of her earth; watched little orange fish swim in her little streams of water where I put my little paper boats; flew paper planes in her atmosphere(so what if it was during the class!). Much more. Much much more. And she allowed me to. She allowed it all. Perhaps that is freedom. Of course, the fact that hundreds laid their lives down for me to think about this today, is something I can never think of undermining. A zillion salutes. However, I just took to respecting independence for what it really means to me and not just because it was forced upon me by history and teachers. The homage to the heroes comes automatically. Still working. Still wondering. Still pondering. Still enjoying every moment of realization. India's independence!

It's one thing to think about true love and another to smile, on catching a glimpse of it. Millions of miles away. In America. The kind of smile, involuntary; the swelling up of unidentified emotions inside your chest; on seeing the Empire State Building in saffron, white and green. Oh the joy! Be it from Park Avenue or coast of Jersey City. The feeling that today, the crown of one of the world's tallest structures, is MINE! Totally mine.

- Author, Tamanna Sheikh (You have met her before, here & here)

P.S. On the occasion of Indian Independence Day, Rivista di Moda had featured me in their first edition of online magazine. You can read it here


How to create your own Peplum top?

If you are a blogger or follow fashion trends religiously, you are well verse with the peplum trend, which has taken over the fashion world by storm. Now I happen to not own a single one of those, unless you consider this as peplum, and haven't found something worth purchasing yet either. So unless, that happens, here is how I created my own peplum top. Take a body-hugging dress which has an A-line skirt -> tuck in the skirt part in your bottom -> Voila! You've got your self a peplum top. Easy. Peezy. No?

Last outfit post from Montreal/Canada! *phew*

 Dress worn as top - ASOS [12']
Jeans - Miss Sixty [09']
Shoes - Nike [10']
Ring - Givenchy [12']
Earrings - Bauble Bar [11']


Five Ways to Wear Polka Dot Ring

Sometimes, you find such gems while random browsing 
and then you are glad that you bought them!

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