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Sunday, 5 August 2018

Divided by distance, united by hearts!

8/05/2018 0 Comments
Hello loves!

Happy Friendships' Day! Today's post, as you might have already guessed, is about friendship, a little something dedicated to these two ladies who are my constants! In a class of eighty kids of an all-girls convent school (yeah, my school is weird like that and they like to over-accomodate!), you can kinda feel lost. You could say that I was a bit of a loner back in the day, but after precisely three friendship breakups, trying to form a girl gang of eight in high school and failing miserably at it, the three of us spun off and I found myself stuck with two crazy girls I call my besties now.

DPD Forever and Always!

We've known each other for over twenty years now and although we are literally in three different continents right now, our friendship grows stronger with every passing year. From our first drinks to our first heartbreaks, gaping over the awesomeness of the friendship shared among Aamir Khan and his entourage in Rang De Basanti and hoping we'd give up our lives for one another (we'd probably just kill each other instead, just for fun!) to playing 'Hansa', 'Praful' and 'Komolika' in school plays that were major flops to living together in a shady-ass, cockroach-infested house in Bengaluru, I think we have done it all and can safely say that these two are my go-to people for everything!

Annual rituals!

Dimple aka Wimbly aka Mint Babe aka Dimz

Dimple is the sober one among the three of us. She has always aimed to be a good student and academics was of utmost importance to her. When we were ten and we spoke for the first time, she proudly told me that she's never been hit by a teacher before and BHAM! The teacher spotted her talking to me in the middle of a class and slapped her wooden ruler against Dimple's back - sad story, but that's how we ended up becoming friends. We are quite similar and have always had the same things happen to us at the same time (we were ever born ten days apart!) and it did not amuse us at all when we were once asked if we're twins! From getting tattoos together to wearing similar outfits and flaunting it with joy to finding our husbands at the same time, it's uncanny how we are always walking hand in hand. Dimzie is now a hi-fi techie in the US, always gives great advice about life and is an empathetic human being. She carries herself with much poise and is one the most fashionable women I've known. But underneath all that grace and elegance is a goofy person who's effortlessly funny and is constantly entertaining us with her spontaneous jokes. I love you loads and I really hope we have kids at the same time! :p

When this cutie threw me a bachelorette party in Vegas!

Frama aka Deepthi aka Depthi aka Deepti aka Depz

Well, yeah, she had no idea what her actual spelling was until recently. I still don't know how her name is spelt to be honest. Depz and I started being friends in eighth grade when we ended up being bench-mates. I was this super snobbish nerd and she was a total tomboyish goofball and as years passed by, she somehow managed to bring out the prankster in me and well, I will take credit for encouraging her to study a little bit! :p My favorite passtime in school was to poke her, pinch her and distract her in class and eventually get her in trouble with the teachers. Luckily for me, she was always unsuccessful in taking revenge despite multiple attempts and was a great sport. We were so different that it amuses me how we ended up being such great friends! She has now grown into a responsible, career-oriented woman who is also a caring mother to a beautiful baby girl. Every time I whine and complain about the world being a pain in the neck, she always plays the devil's advocate and tries to challenge my opinion, followed by an insult and a gaali. I guess that's how it has always been and probably always will be. Much love to you, b@#%$ (that's what we fondly call each other!) and I hope your daughter doesn't read this! :p
My girl and I on her wedding day!
I don't know how one would get through the day without having best friends and I am super lucky to have these two morons in my life. And when the three of us are together, it's absolute madness! They've taught me so much and are always making me laugh. I could actually write like a 450 page book (and also like a part 2 and part 3) on these two and all the insane things we've done together, but I guess that's for another time. Also, I've been spending days together hunting for a single normal picture of the three of us and it seems like an impossible task, so please make do with these goofy ones! :D

We all have our "fashion disaster" moments!

Plotting Frama's murder in Snow City!

Well, that's as normal as it can get!

Aah, here's a better one!

And nope, back to being weird!

True friends don't need to converse everyday, as long as you know that you're in their hearts and they are in yours, it's a relationship that won't ever die. On that note, I hope you have a delightful friendships' day and make sure you let your girls know how much you adore them.

Hand On The Hip

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

30 staples that every girl should have in her wardrobe

7/31/2018 0 Comments

Welcome back to my page! I know I have been quite irregular here because it has been a crazy couple of months. Well, I am back now and my new post is going to brighten your boring week right away! But before that, I wanted to share some good news with you guys since you have been my support system all these months. I finally got my work visa and I am flying back shortly to kickstart my career and my marriage in Oz Land! Yayyyie!

After spending the first quarter of this year in India, the second in Australia, the third in India again, I have realized how different the fashion scenario is over here and down under. If you guys remember (and have been following me on Instagram), when I left for Sydney back in March 2018, I was obsessed with ethnic dresses (and gave Ajio some good business! :p), but it has proved to be absolutely useless in Sydney and I certainly don't wanna feel out of place. I could probably wear them to brunch or for walks along the Darling Harbour, but it definitely doesn't qualify as something I could wear to work or a fashion event. Because I did not carry a lot of stuff, I ended up wearing basics most of the time and that's when I realized the importance of basics. I've put together a list of outfits, shoes and accessories that every girl needs to have in her wardrobe and they're some things that won't go out of style ever. Let's get started!

1. Basic white/black/yellow tee
Basic, plain tees are often underestimated and you don't know when they could come in handy. They go with literally anything and on days you don't wanna make much of an effort, you could always just throw in a plain tee and some denims. Invest in some basic colors and you'll be surprised how often you'll end up wearing these pieces.

2. Blue denims
I am honestly not a major fan of black or gray denims. All of my denims are of the color blue! I think a pair of well-fitting denims can go a long way. They're super casual, can also be worn with a blazer to work, accepted in almost all countries across the globe and look really chic. Ideally, I choose to go with skinny jeans because they suit all body types and accentuate your figure.

3. Ripped jeans
Not everybody is comfortable sporting a pair of ripped jeans, but this is one of the most stylish things I have in my wardrobe. I've worn ripped jeans to a casual day out with a basic tee and I've also worn the same denims with a crop top and some heels to a club. Ripped jeans are extremely versatile and have their own charm. But of course, if you're uncomfortable, then you can stick to regular jeans.

4. Black/white leggings and palazzos
I am really going to miss wearing kurtis to work! Ugggh! But while I was working in Bengaluru, I'd pull out my dusty old Indian clothing probably once in two months and wear them to office. If you're not much of a kurti fan and don't want to use up all your storage space with leggings and palazzos of all colors and patterns, just pick up some basic black or white ones that go with every kurti! I also end up wearing these leggings are thermals or sometimes on tunic tops.

5. LBD/any black dress
An LBD or a little black dress NEVER goes out of style! I have around ten LBDs and feel like
I can never get enough of it! When you don't wanna look over-dressed, yet classy and sexy, an LBD comes to rescue. If you are concerned about the L in the LBD, then you can also opt for maxis or dresses that come below the knee.

6. Statement neckpieces
When your outfit is too plain and boring, just add a nice statement neckpiece to give it that glam factor. You can do a little bit of layering with subtle chains if you'd like. You can also invest in oxidized metal and wear them with your kurtis or ethnic dresses. But a nice neckpiece can light up your otherwise dull outfit.

7. Boots
I've been obsessing over boots since I was a teenager. Back in the day, I did not have any money to throw on some footwear that I'd never wear (well, you'd die in a pool of sweat if you wore boots in Mangalore!) and decided to wait for a while when it would actually be useful. Ugg boots or gum boots or those pretty ones with heels - just get at least one of them and you'll see how they make a simple pair of jeans and a tee with a jacket look extremely badass!

8. Sneakers
Sneakers are so trendy right now and the amount of comfort they bring into anyone's life is immeasurable. You can pick up some printed sneakers, but personally I stick to white or black as they go with any outfit, a dress or denims or practically anything. But also ensure that you buy something that are uber comfy to walk in!

9. Printed cotton dresses
Printed dresses are always my go-to outfits in summer, winter, spring, for parties, for brunches, for a trip to the grocery story - well, I practically live in them! I usually hunt for florals or stripes because they are my fave kinda prints, but you can also find something else that you might like. I also like cotton dresses because my skin needs to breathe.

10. Black skirt
A black skirt, long or short, is yet another piece that needs to be a part of your closet. When you're in no mood to wear trousers or jeans, a skirt like this comes in handy. Black skirts go with tops of any colors, prints or patterns and sometimes, they end up making the outfit look like a one piece.

11. Red/bright pink lipstick
It doesn't matter whether you have a tonne of foundation on your face or not, but a bright red or pink lipstick is all the makeup you need to look like you've made an effort. Lipsticks are always multi-purpose and if you don't believe me, check out my video on Instagram where I used a lip gloss on my eyelids, cheekbones and lips here.

12. Black camisole/tank top
This is something I can't live without! I have worn them with practically everything I own! I don't think twice before I pick up a printed skirt that I have no matching top to wear with. Why? Black tankini to the rescue! I am a hoarder of shrugs and I always pick up those with crazy patterns. Why? So that I can flaunt them with a black cami underneath. They also serve as body warmers or something to wear underneath a see-through top.

13. Denim jacket/shirt
Not a big fan of sleeveless clothing? Pair your floral dress with a denim jacket and you'll be at ease as well as look stylish. A denim shirt also helps you achieve this. Also, if you have printed pants or palazzos that go with nothing, a denim shirt is a great way to style them pants.

14. Black/grey shrug
Shrugs are another amazing way to wear sleeveless dresses without any discomfort. While jackets or blazers are not very summery, shrugs are a great alternative. They look very classy and save you from the embarrassment of exposing your unwaxed underarms. And of course, a basic black one or a grey one that goes with all your outfits is worth investing it.

15. Blood red nailpaint
Too broke for a manicure? Paint those nails red! Red is a color that suits all skin tones, all nail lengths and women of all ages and never goes out of style. They look good with dresses you can party all night in or lehengas you might wear for your cousin's sangeet ceremony. It's a must-have in your grooming kit!

16. Black/brown sling bag
Sling bags are a woman's best friend! You can dump your whole world in a teeny-tiny sling bag. It's good to have a basic, sturdy black sling bag or a brown one if you like which goes with all your outfits. But do ensure that it has enough room for your wallet, lipstick, keys and some breath-mints.

17. Golden/silver saree blouse
If you've been living abroad for years together and have to fly down to India all of a sudden for a wedding ceremony, then keep aside a basic golden or a silver blouse that would go with most sarees. You can buy a saree accordingly at the last minute and still look like you've prepped for the event for months together!

18. Hoodie/oversized sweatshirt/t-shirt
A hoodie or a tee, preferable oversized, is such a blessing for those who hate wearing a bra :p When I have to run to the store or go downstairs to pick up mail, I quickly slip into one of these and walk outside my door confidently. They're also something you can wear on your denims when you're in a very lazy mood and don't feel like waxing or dressing up.

19. Colorful scarves
Scarves can help the same outfit look different each time you wear it. You can buy a couple of them in different colors, of different patterns, with tassels or with embroidery. They look really cool and also a great element to add to your Indo-western ensemble. They're widely accepted in almost all countries, so I am definitely going to pick up some for my stay in Australia.

20. Hoops
So if you don't know already, I LOVE hoops! I have them in every possible color, shape and size. Hoops are minimalistic and at the same time, the epitome of elegance. It's the perfect accessory for someone who likes to keep the accessorizing to it's bare minimum. I am definitely one of those people!

21. Metal strapped watch
A watch is yet another accessory that changes the whole look of an outfit. A metal strapped watch is a timeless beauty. Hehe, see what I did there? You might be shabby from head to toe, but a simple silver or rose gold watch can change that from crass to class. I am not much of a watch person, but on days I feel like looking sober, I wear a simple watch and that truly makes a difference.

22. Shimmery flats/pumps
Although bling isn't everybody's thing, it's the perfect footwear for any party! No matter how boring your outfit may be, shimmery footwear makes the entire outfit look peppy and bright. Golden flats work well with Indian as well as western outfits. A pair of silver bellies can look snazzy with all your plain dresses.

23. Sunglasses
Sunglasses can be quite tricky to choose with so many options available. It's always a good idea to invest in one pair that fits you perfectly, looks smashing on you and is of a reputed brand. For my face structure cat-eye, wayfarers and round frames looks pretty good. You can also buy some funky cheap frames that you can wear every once in a while.

24. Black stockings/tights
Wearing short dresses or dresses for that matter aren't everybody's thing. Apart from protecting you from the cold, stockings also can be considered a major style statement. Buy a basic pair of black tights that go with all your dresses and skirts. You can also opt for some trendy printed ones.

25. Night dress
Nighties are something our mums would swear by even now. We are the "shorts and tee" generation and I've come to notice that it's awkward to be found lazing around in shorts while an unexpected visitor walks in. A t-shirt dress or a knee length night dress is the perfect outfit to chill at home in.

26. Black/brown belt
Adding a belt to your outfit not only helps you look slimmer but also adds a certain charm to your look. Even when sporting a shirt and some denims, a tucked in shirt with a belt makes one look more confident and formal. A belt is an accessory you can't not have in your wardrobe.

27. Denim/khaki shorts
If you're not a very feminine person and not a big fan of skirts, then denim or khaki shorts are perfect for you. Pair it with a simple t-shirt and sneakers while traveling and you can also wear a nice lacy crop top in the night as you set the dance floor on fire. Denim shorts are way more versatile than you think and are fun to wear.

28. Jhumkas
I am an ardent fan of jhumkas and try to collect them in every possible color or metal. They go really well with any Indian outfit and are perfect for weddings, Diwali parties, ethnic day at work and more. If you've settled abroad, then you should probably buy as many as you can while you visit India and probably try wearing them with your jeans as well?

29. Checked shirt
Shirts with checks have multiple uses. If you tuck it in, it looks more formal and if you wear it with the buttons open, they act as a jacket/shrug. Black and red, black and white, black and blue are some of the color combinations that look simply amazing when it comes to checked shirts.

30. White/black shirt
White shirts are something normally you'd be bored of considering you've worn it all through school. However a white shirt or a black shirt is yet another piece that can be worn with formal skirts or denims. It's always fun to style basics and every time you wear 'em, you can style it differently.

With that, I think your wardrobe has all the things you need to look good, feel good and not spend too much on clothing. These pieces that I've talked about have not gone out of style for centuries. They will continue to reign the fashion kingdom and you can always be the queen. And remember that you don't need to spend too much on fashion, you can always create new looks with whatever little you have.

Hand On The Hip

P.S. I have multiple photographers to thank for these wonderful images, unfortunately, due to time and space constraints, I can't mention each and every name here or even the brand names for that matter. Do send me a message or comment below if you're interested to know the details of any photo.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Best Breakfast Places in Sydney and Melbourne

7/25/2018 0 Comments
Hey everyone!

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I could not agree more. Add a cup of coffee to that and my day is just perfect! Australia is one country in the world that has some really cool cafes with the most delicious breakfast options that one just can't resist. I have noticed that sourdough bread and banana bread are some things that are really popular in Sydney while Melbourne is known for good coffee. My husband and I are almost always ordering bread and eggs, coffee and banana bread and I have listed a few places I've tried in Sydney and Melbourne that I'm quite sure you'd love to go to when you're here.

Chimichuri, Sydney

Chimichuri is always going to be my most fave breakfast place in Sydney. We ordered a French toast and ended up with a beautiful plate of French toast with exotic fruits and cotton candy that looked like a unicorn. I've also tried their fried eggs with sourdough bread which is pretty amazing too and of course, their coffee is heavenly.

Bao Shop, Sydney

This cute little cafe in Sydney has some really fabulous breakfast. They're open even on public holidays and that's how we ended up discovering this cafe. They've got some decent stuff on the menu that is worth trying.

Bello The Shelter, Sydney

We happened to stop by at Westfield in Burwood one day and decided to have some bread and eggs and the food here caught us by surprise. We really enjoyed their eggs and sourdough toast.

Charlie & Franks, Sydney

This is my husband's fave place to eat at and they also seem to have some smashing coffee. I wish I had a picture of the banana bread you get here. It's ridiculously soft and delicious. I've also had their veggie burger and it's quite delicious.

Brother Baba Budan, Melbourne

If you're looking for a cafe with a funky, hippie vibe, then this is the place! The ceiling has chairs and stools stuck to it giving it a very artsy feel to the whole place. All I had time to eat here was the Nutella croissant and it is to die for!

Self Preservation, Melbourne

This cafe has some really good coffee and if you're in the mood for a heavy breakfast, you should try the fruit bread. It's quite filling and is a great way to start your day!

The Prishub's, Sydney

If you want some great home cooked breakfast, then don't hesitate to drop by :D My husband and I tend to sometimes make some great breakfast on weekends.

I hope your mouths are watering after looking at all these pictures. I never cared a lot about what I used to eat until I moved here. After all, you only live once, why not make the most of it? Eat well, eat great food and live life to the fullest. Don't hesitate to walk in to any cafe while you're in Australia. You never know how amazing the food could be unless you try it!

If you like what you see, don't forget to follow me on Instagram on my food account as well!
Here's the link - Do Waqt Ki Rotii

Hand On The Hip

Note: You will find the same post on Purni's Food Blog where I've been featured as a guest author.