March 2016 | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Pros & Cons of Resale Shopping

Ninety percent of my wardrobe is from retail and/or independent stores and designers. Five years back, I went to my first resale store in Texas. I wasn't sure what would I find in there or why would I even shop at a resale store. I started small. I picked a few belts - one was vintage Coach ($10), and a few were brand new from J.Crew ($3 each). I got a good wear out of them and didn't regret purchasing them. That is when I started making frequent visit to resale and consignment stores. 

I am in no way an expert. Neither am I a frequent shopper (in general) however over the years I have figured out the pros and cons of shopping at resale stores. If you are someone contemplating visiting one or would like to give it a shot but are hesitant, this post might be helpful.

First, the PROS

There are several pros:

1. Sustainability

I remember after my outfit first post from a resale store I had had several curious comments and remarks. This is a concept which is mostly popular in western world. In Asia (India, Middle East, etc.) this is not a popular shopping option, although it is beginning to pop up in second hand designer bags and clothing now. The pro is your reduced impact on the environment. When you purchase 'pre-owned' item you are saving them from producing another one, in turn reducing the negative impact on the planet.

2. Classic Styles

Resale stores mostly have pieces which are always going to be in fashion. It is not beneficial for them to have excessive inventory of "fast fashion" because it is already available at dirt cheap prices at the mall. At such store you find pieces which are classic, designer and have something extra. Also, they are often going to be different from what everyone else is wearing.

3. High end pieces at bargain prices

This has become my go-to-place to hunt for designer deals. You'd be surprised what gems you could find. A vintage Chanel jacket, a Valentino dress from the 70's, the list goes on. Going to the resale shop has become a treasure hunt of sorts. And if you know your designers and fabrics, you might benefit from knowing more than the people who price the clothing.

And now the CONS

There are definitely few downsides as well to shopping at a resale store

1. Impulse Buying 

There is a good chance you might get derailed from your list and impulse buy things due to their low prices. It would be a good idea to enter the store with a list and then stick to it.

2. No Sizes

Resale shops do not have multiple sizes. You have to find what you like and then hope it is in your size or at least fits you right. However, trying everything is a good idea. Sizes are never same across all brands.

3. No Returns or Refunds

Often purchases made at a resale shop are 'Final Sale'. And rightfully so. However, sometimes you might get back home and not feel 100% convinced about your purchase. At that point you the only thing you would be able to do would be to 'resell' or consign it to get a small percentage of your money back. 

There you have it. While they are some good upsides to resale shopping there are some serious things to consider as well. Personally, I like to mix things up. I suggest, get your retail fix, but also drop by a consignment store every now and then for that unique vintage piece.

Now as for the outfit, this is really a #throwback post. I wore this dress back in December. I found it on my treasure hunt at Reddz Trading at the Georgetown Blogger Crawl, brand new with it's tags on! Also, the below outfit re-emphasizes how the color black is growing in my closet. 
Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 6 Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 8 Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 7 Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 1 Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 2 Reddz Trading Tanvii.com 3
Dress - Theory via Reddz Trading // Another Option
Heels - Ted Baker // Similar
Bag - Art Meets Fashion// Other Option

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How To Wear Black In Spring


No, don't worry. I have not gone monochrome, or converted to DC fashion style of only black-white-and-greys. However, since spring it playing hide and seek no matter its officially starting date on March 20th, I thought it would be a good idea to show how to repurpose your black wardrobe while still staying in the color-tone of winters. (Brrr)

This happens to be my first fashion video. I am not sure how much I like it, but I aways want to push out of my comfort zone. Let me know if you find it helpful. 

Also, if you missed last week's video, check it out here: Decoding How To Find Your Personal Style. Below is a good representation of MY Personal Style :)


And as always, feel free to share your feedback or ask me questions in the comments below or via this survey /FacebookTweet / Email me.
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Pink Room

I am realizing that one of the hardest things to do in life is to follow your heart and passion. Most people feel that they are trapped in the web of their lives and if they had a chance to escape it they would be happier. But the truth is that people are often scared to pursue their passions, scared of the unknown, scared to get out of their comfort zone. And as they say, "success lies outside your comfort zone". Sometimes the success might take a while to achieve, but if you are enjoying the journey, success doesn't even matter as much. I talk from experience, once you find the courage to follow your passion, life only gets more exciting and fun. 

Serious Case of Pink Tanvii.com 1 Serious Case of Pink Tanvii.com 3 Serious Case of Pink Tanvii.com 4 Serious Case of Pink Tanvii.com 5 Serious Case of Pink Tanvii.com 6
Sweater - Nordstrom // Similar
Jeans - Zara // Similar
Boots - Wanted // Better

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Mini Home Tour & Art

Art Pieces Tanvii.com 4

I have always had a clear idea about how I want to organize my closet, set my kitchen and decorate my home. I don’t even need a Pinterest board. All the inspiration I see around me creates images in my head and then I try my best to find those pieces physically. I wish to create a space which is open, inspiring, cozy, and yet narrates the story of our life. 

Although decorating home is a life long project but in the past year, I have made some bid strides in finding the 'vibe' of den with art pieces. I had been taking my sweet time in picking art as I never wanted to buy things (art) just for-the-sake-of! I wanted art pieces to be design and color cohesive, but also have a story. There should be a purpose for everything we bring into our home. And I think I like what I have found so far. Take a peek into my home space and let me know what you think?

Art Pieces Tanvii.com 1
RUG from Morocco, converted into an art piece.
Some of the art is from our travels, some represents the cities we have visited and some is to bring calm and serenity into our home. Minted has been a one-stop destination for kind of the art I was looking to bring finishing touches my home.  

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SIMILAR
This was the first piece of art we bought for our home. The colors were just in sync with the color palette of our living room. It was like it was custom made for us. 

I love this art pieces by Renee Anne. At the moment I have kept it as a leaning art piece on the staircase so that it doesn’t over-power anything else in the house. It makes a subtle yet bold statement. 

We picked this art print by Baunbirdy for our bedroom. It goes really well with the vibe of this room. This is the stand alone on the wall. My husband, loves it.

I loved this balloon ‘letting go’. It is a good reminder for myself, to sweat the small stuff. It also adds to my eclectic dressing room decor. 

Unique Fishy - a) I am a cusp of Aquarious and Pisces. b) Being unique is my life's mantra! Hence, I just had to. Also, a good reminder to not be afraid to swim against the tide. #DoYou

We are still looking for a spot for this colorful, vibrant 'fleur'. Any suggestions? 


Art Pieces Tanvii.com 9

This post is in collaboration with MINTED
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How To Find Your Personal Style


You probably didn't know I work as a personal stylist, do you? Well, now you do. And if you live in the DMV area and are looking for someone to help you clean out your closet, go shopping with you, or help you create outfits out of your existing closet, feel free to email me

For now let's talk about today's video. I am sharing my tips on how to find your personal style. These were some of the suggestions I found worked for all my clients, no matter what their background, profession or need. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. 


And as always, feel free to share your feedback or ask me questions in the comments below or via this survey /FacebookTweet / Email me.
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Spring Time Means Maxi Dresses

Lately, honesty and kindness have solved all my problems. When I don't agree with someone, or do not wish to do something, instead of making excuses and taking back routes, I have chosen to say the truth but with kindness. And that has made everything so much better. So much more civil. So much more professional. Although, I know this means of communication is not possible with everyone (in my life!) but how I wish it was. Saying things as is, without any big discussions and arguments is such a blessing. 

Over to the outfit - This was shot on the West Virginia trip. I am in LOVE with this Maxi! The print brings a smile to my face. Although, usually I have started staying away from prints, as they seldom have repeat value but this just caught my attention. 

Prints For Spring Tanvii.com 6 Prints For Spring Tanvii.com 5 Prints For Spring Tanvii.com 1 Prints For Spring Tanvii.com 3 Prints For Spring Tanvii.com 8
Clutch on chain - Dior
Necklace - Uncommongoods

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Meal Planning 101



I have been procrastinating for over three years to write this post.  I just knew that it would take a long time for me to sit and break down the process and I got distracted or lazy or both every time I decided to write it. But I am finally doing it so Yay! for me. Hopefully you all will find it useful.


WHAT

Meal planning is a process, where you 'plan' your breakfast, lunch, dinner & snack options for minimum a week out. A common scenario in every household is the decision about 'WHAT TO EAT' and if there are more than one family members then longer the discussion. Meal planning would help you minimize the time of making those decisions and it would also help you stay within your budget.
I am not a nutritionist or a health expert. Everything I know is through books, internet and experience. But you don't need to be an expert to know that meal planning works. Whether you have a 9-5 job, or you are a busy mom, or you work from home, the time it would take you to make all your meals is the same. It doesn't change with your job.  However, a little planning will help you make sure you are making nutritious choices no matter what.

HOW

The planning would start with Menu creation. You can download a free Menu Planning PDF here. Every week, I and my husband would take five minutes out and write down what we would like to eat this coming week. We would also take in account any prior appointments we might have. Once we have created our week long Menu, we deduce the grocery list from what ingredients we might need to cook what we have on the menu. Here we take stock of what is already in the refrigerator or pantry. We might also choose to alter the Menu at this point, if we feel it would be economical to buy one meat or vegetable in bulk and create two different dishes with it.  Some of the questions you should ask yourself while creating the grocery list are:
What all items are perishable?
Will I be able to use it all before it goes bad?
Can I create multiple dishes with ingredients which cost more?
And most importantly, do all these items provide me nutrition?

HIT THE STORE

Now everyone's budget would vary according to your eating habits, number of family members and your geographic location. In our case between the two of us, I am a vegetarian and my husband eats everything. Our grocery list mostly comprises of fruits, vegetables, chicken breasts, fish, eggs, almond milk, beans, grains and a few Healthy Choice meals. We especially like Healthy Choice because they are made with real ingredients and no preservatives so we don’t have to worry about sacrificing taste or freshness. Also, Healthy Choice is the only major brand in the frozen meals section that can call 100% of its products “healthy” as approved by the FDA.
Meal Planning Tanvii.com 1

Most important step while grocery shopping is sticking to the list. Do not venture out into the aisles and pick up bottles of sauces and jams just because you want to experiment or they look tempting. If you really need them, add them to your list next week and account for it in the budget. Picking up a few oranges and apples which were not on the list is not same as buying bags of chips or cheeses. Our average weekly budget is $75 and 9/10 times we are able to stay within our budget.
Meal Planning Tanvii.com 6
Unlike other frozen meals, Healthy Choice Café Steamers’ feature a unique tray-in-tray steam cooking method that delivers fresh-tasting meals with crisp vegetables and juicy proteins. It also gives you the chance to be a part of the culinary experience as you pour your own sauce, determining how much or how little flavor you want with your meal. With each meal containing a mix of vitamins, nutrients and protein, Healthy Choice Café Steamers are a delicious, healthy, convenient option, whether at work, home or on the go. Find Healthy Choice Café Steamers in the freezer aisle at grocery stores nationwide for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $3.29.

PREPARING THE MEALS

Now to the real work. So far it was all fun and games. Washing, chopping and preparing is where all the work lies. Now you bring out your Menu and start doing the prep work according to the cooking plan. Chop your vegetables and fruits, portion your produce according to the recipes (such as tomatoes, onions, lemons etc.).
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Depending on your liking you can either cook it all in one day (taking up to 3-4hours) or just to the prep work and cook every two days or as it suits you. Personally, I like to get all my cooking (well at least 90% of it in one go) and then I can relax knowing that I have a healthy option for every meal and do not ever have to wonder, "What should I eat?" when the hunger strikes.

PORTION & PACK

Now the fun part. Bring out all your fun little containers and portion the food according to the meals. The ones that require you to carry with you 'on-the-go' make them easily accessible so that you can literally “grab and go”. I usually store them in the fridge according to the day, so the food for Friday will be on the bottom shelf right at the back, and the food for Monday will be on the top shelf right in front (assuming I am doing all the packing on Sunday!)
Meal Planning Tanvii.com 4


MEAL IDEAS

Below are general ideas. 
BREAKFAST
Fruit parfait - strawberries, granola, and honey
Frozen fruit smoothie (berries, peaches, pineapple mixed with orange juice) with flax seed
 
LUNCH
Quinoa with raisins and tofu 
Green salad with tomatoes, avocado, red onion, cucumber and goat cheese
Panini on sourdough with mozzarella cheese, basil, pesto and tomato
Lentil soup and grilled vegetables
 
DINNER
The Healthy Choice Simply Café Steamers
Salmon with kale and grilled beans
Chicken with brown rice and brocolli
Egg curry and vegetable stri-fried brown rice 

SNACKS
Trail mix
Apples / Oranges / Banana
Fist full of nuts
Pepper & hummus
 
MORE meal ideas here.

Meal planning and preparing takes a lot of time and effort but it ensures that you will make good choices throughout the day. Incorporating the above steps into my routine, has definitely helped my manage my time better and maintain a healthy lifestyle too. 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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How To Make Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts, Tanvii.com

Welcome to another Wednesday! It is starting to be my favorite 'blog' day as I am thoroughly enjoying creating these videos. I cannot believe I didn't start sooner. Anyhoo, better late than never. Right? 

So, the segment I am enjoying creating the most is #FromTanvi'sKitchen There is something about photo+video-graphing food, that attracts me a lot. More than eating. If any of you wanna come over for a meal, you are most welcome but you would have to help me shoot the food first. Deal? ;) Now hit play below to see how I have been eating my fist-full-of-nuts this season. It is so simple and takes under 30 mins to prepare. 


And as always, feel free to share your feedback or ask me questions in the comments below or via this survey / Facebook/ Tweet / Email me.
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His Spring Style

Same scenery. Different person. The day I decided to dress pretty basic, is the day when my husband was pretty colorful. #PunNotIntended These pictures are from our weekend in West Virginia. If you have every been to WV you would understand. but if not picture these - everyone is dresses in really baggy jeans, plain T-shirts, sneakers and has a haircut from 80's. The moment I entered the resort I felt I had gone back in time. We definitely stuck out of the crowd, not only because of our dressing, but also we were the only brown people there. Later we saw another brown gentleman there. His wife was white. However, we didn't have any awkward experiences or anything. Everyone was kind and friendly. But I did feel out of place for the first few hours. 

Anyhoo, checkout my dapper husband below, who had been co-operating patiently that day, while I took these shots. It is rare. 

Men In Colors Tanvii.com 1 Men In Colors Tanvii.com 2 Men In Colors Tanvii.com 4 Men In Colors Tanvii.com 3
Shirt - J Crew // Another option
Jeans - Levis // Similar
Shoes - Aldo // Better
Belt - Tommy Hilfiger // Similar
Sunglasses - Ray Ban // Similar

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This Look Never Goes Out of Fashion

Earlier this year, I shared how 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear ' by Elizabeth Gilbert gave me answers to some of my creative questions. One post was not enough to express my love for the book, so here's another one. 

Back in the day, when I read a book and I like quotes/excerpts in a book, I used to note them down in my pocket book. Now I type them in 'notes' on my phone. I was reading through some of the quotes I have noted down the Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear today, and thought I will share them on the blog. If you are a creative, you would get 'em. 

All the below quotes are by Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear :

"Experience has taught me to be careful of meeting my Heros in person; it can be terribly disappointing." 
- This has been my personal experience too. People seldom live up to their 'image' and often let me you down. After a few such experiences, I too have decided to let the enigma of unknown sustain.

"Creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience."
- Hear! Hear! This is the sole reason why I do, anything and everything I go - for self-satisfaction. 


"If you are supporting yourself financially and you are not bothering anyone else, then you are free to do whatever you want with your life."- This is my reasoning behind making any personal decision. I do not like being answerable to anyone, and do not appreciate having to give an explanation either. 


"I want to live the most vividly decorated temporary life that I can; emotional, spiritually, intellectually. I don't want to be afraid of bright colors, or new sound, or big love, or risky decisions, or strange experiences, or weird endeavors, or sudden changes, or even failure."
- This is what I aspire to become. This is the goal. Sounds like a sweet destination to aim for, no?


"What happens if you never get anything out of this? What happens if you pursue your passion forever, but success never comes? How will you feel then, having wasted your entire life for nothing?

If you can't see what I'm already getting out of this, the I'll never be able to explain it to you."

- Enough said!


"Your own reasons to create are reasons enough."

- I should make this into a life size poster or something. :)

Moving on to the outfit. It is pretty basic as it gets. The only highlight is my hair. #PunIntended

Sweater and Jeans Tanvii.com 1 Sweater and Jeans Tanvii.com 4 Sweater and Jeans Tanvii.com 5 Sweater and Jeans Tanvii.com 6 Sweater and Jeans Tanvii.com 2
Sweater - Banana Republic // Similar
Tee - Marks & Spencer // Similar
Jeans - Rag & Bone // Similar
Socks - Tommy Hilfiger // Similar
Boots - Steve Madden // Similar

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