Bottoms Up-graded!

Diamonds and Denims are forever, literally!

Hey! Welcome back!

Isn’t summer cleaning almost a ritual? It’s that time of the year when most of us are busy getting rid of our winter layers and unused clothing items. But, hold on to that pile of bottoms that you’re about to give away, for a little longer!

No, I’m not encouraging you to hoard them but instead suggesting to give them a sassy and unique upgrade. Because, that’s exactly what I did and I’m super thrilled with how this pair of Kraus jeans from my 1st year of degree college turned out.

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I’ve been loving the trend of statement hem bottoms, from ruffles to frayed ends to adorable fringe hems. But yes, I must admit buying some of these can cost you a fortune!

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Okay! Not a fortune, but you know what I mean right?

So here’s how I upgraded my 8 year old pair of jeans with only a pair of tweezers, scissors, a nail file, embroidery patch work, a loving grandmother, sewing thread, chalk and a needle.

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Step 1 – Cut off the stitched hem of your jeans horizontally, now measure how long you’d like to have the fringe and draw a line parallel to the hem with a chalk. Now, cut off the sides as well.

Step 2 – Use a nail file to fray the ends and pull out some threads.

Step 3 – This is the most tedious step, but trust me it’s worth it. Use your tweezers to pull out the horizontal white treads. Keep doing so all the way up to where you want the fringe to end. A few hours later, you’ll be the proud designer of your very own fringe hem jeans.

Step 4 – I was lucky to have my grandma stitch a few embroidery patches onto my new fringe hem jeans, but if you want an easier way out, iron on patches will work just fine.

Step 5 – Go on and flaunt the newest addition to your summer wardrobe!

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Styling this one is super easy as it’s already so dressy by itself. I love how bodysuits work wonders with low waist bottoms. I thus wore my sheer lace bodysuit from H&M for a sleeker look with a black bralette from Forever 21 underneath.

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I put on a pair of wine stilettos from Zara to match my lip shade. Tip: Always try and match any two colours in an outfit to pull it all together. I also threw on a bracelet for bling sake.

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If your creative instincts are already kicking in and you decide to give this a shot, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see what you create!

Don’t forget to share this with your girlfriends, after all it’s more fun when you have company, isn’t it?

Until next time,

Iona

Nine To Dine! | Valentine’s Outfit Transition

An employee first, a valentine later.

Well Hello there, again!

This one’s for every woman who’s going to have to deal with a day job first before she slips into the valentine’s mood today. Unless, you’ve taken the day off!

As for me, I most often head out straight from work, be it Valentine’s or any other night out. I thus wanted to create a Nine to Dine outfit transition for today’s blog post. You’ll see below , how a simple shift in accessorizing and styling the same red dress makes it so easy to go from ‘The corporate scarlet’ to ‘The dreamy romantic’.

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To begin with, I chose this perfectly red lace body con dress from H&M. I picked this up on my trip to Bali. I love how detailed the lace is and it fits like a dream! Not too sheer for work yet sassy enough for a date night.

The Corporate Scarlet

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Black and red is a timeless combination and you can hardly go wrong with it. For this look, I layered the dress with this sleeveless 90’s pinstripes trench dress. I stole it from my Mum’s closet and wore it unbuttoned as a trench coat.

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I really like how the length of the sleeveless trench covers up the length of the dress, making it work wearable.

I prefer having my hair off the face at work, so I simply twisted it away for this look.

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I chose to wear my black court shoes from Zara. I like to match metals in my outfits, I thus completed the look with a simple layered gold necklace, bangles and a couple of rings from Forever 21.

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The Dreamy Romantic

As sassy at it can get! For this look I chose to swap the bold black and red for a softer palette of rose gold and red. Rose gold works beautifully as a neutral colour and goes with almost anything.

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I got rid of the sleeveless trench for this look and let the accessories do the talking. The layered necklace is replaced with a gorgeous rose gold and beige choker from Koovs.

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To further bling up this date look, I wore my rose gold Michael Kors watch.

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I clearly went all out with the rose gold tones, and why not! I further swapped my black court shoes for these gorgeous rose gold block heel sandals from Koovs and carried a rose gold sling bag from Mango.

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I left my hair to it’s natural air dried state and wore my favourite Mac Ruby Woo lipstick to match the mood

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Which of the above two Valentine’s looks did you like the most? I’d love to know! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Until next time!

Iona

 

 

 

 

LOVE In A Bowl | Valentine’s Breakfast Idea

Cheesy for most, romantic for some.

Hey There!

The month of love has engulfed romantics all over the world, if your’re one of those mushy romantics like I am, this one’s for you. 🙂

What’s better than waking up to love? Waking up to love in a bowl!

I’ve been fairly obsessed with smoothie bowls since months now. And what’s not love about them? They’re easy to fix and too pretty to eat! Considering this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, most of us would be too busy to care about love, especially in the morning. But! A couple of minutes (spare some from that luxurious ‘Me time’ ha ha!) and a little effort (trust me, it’s worth it) could make you the best valentine one could wake up to.

If I had to describe ‘Love in a bowl’, it would be this. 🙂

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Disclaimer: No cooking skills required.

Makes two smoothie bowls.

Smoothie ingredients: 

  1. 10 Strawberries
  2. 1 Pear
  3. 2 small Bananas
  4. 50 ml Almond milk ( Regular dairy milk works fine too)

Toppings:

  1. Granola
  2. Dried berries (I’ve used dried cranberries)
  3. Greek yogurt (If you’re feeling artistic)
  4. Cacao nibs (Guilt free chocolate)
  5. Some extra Banana and Strawberry
  6. Heart shape cutter (Easiest shape to find)

Blend all of the above smoothie ingredients on low speed till combined. Add a couple of ice cubes if you’d like to have your smoothie bowl cold. Crank up the blender to crush the ice cubes and voila your gorgeous pink smoothie is ready!

Now to make it a Valentine’s special. 🙂

Smoothie Bowl 1

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Start by creating the border of your heart with some dried berries, this will ensure you create a masterpiece. 😉 Now, fill your berry neat heart with some granola. To finish it off, cut out two little hearts and place them in the center. Doesn’t it look lovely?

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Smoothie Bowl 2
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This one’s for the artistic valentine. Sprinkle one side of your smoothie bowl with cacao nibs. Cut out a couple of fruity hearts using the heart shape cutter and place these over the nibs.

Fill a piping bag with Greek yogurt and draw vertical lines on the other side of the bowl. Now, create swirls by simply drawing horizontal lines over these with a tooth pick. Easier than you thought, huh? 🙂

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I hope you give this a try, even if it’s just for yourself! After all, remember to love yourself first. 🙂

Until next time,

Iona

Under 14

Not all who wander into the kids section are lost!

Hello there!

With the biggest fashion brands of the world setting foot in India, getting your hands on the latest runway trends isn’t a hassle anymore, if you have the monies to splurge that is.

What about the rest of us?

I still want that bomber jacket, those gorgeous boots and those skinny embroidered jeans, but not at that price. Where from then?

The kids section! Yes, you read that right. 🙂

The kids section often has the same designs and fabrics as the adult section, but at surprisingly lower prices.

The first question that comes to mind is, do they fit accurately? Hell Yes!

Kids clothing sizes in most European and American brands go up to a size 13-14 years of age, which is equivalent to a UK 8/ US 6/EUR 36! Surprised?

That’s not it, so do their shoe sizes! They go up to a EUR 37/ US 6.5. Perks of small feet!

Still hard to believe?

No worries! In today’s blog, I’ve put together 3 looks straight out from the kids section of Zara, H&M and Forever 21.

Look 1: Brunch ready

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I’ve been hunting for embroidery jeans for the longest time, either they were priced highly or I wasn’t happy with the design, until now!

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I got this adorable pair of embroidery jeans from the kids section of Zara, (size 11/12 years) for a steal of INR 1390!

I styled it with a sequined pastel see through blouse and baby blue stilettos from Zara TRF. For accessories, I went with chunky silver rings from Pipa Bella and Bangles from  Forever 21. (INR 99 only on sale)

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Look 2: Bomber Chic

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There’s something very effortless and chic about bomber jackets, you can hardly go wrong with it. Then again, finding one at an affordable price was almost impossible.

I fell in love with this one from the kids section of H&M (size 13/14 years) and paid a price of INR 1000 only. 🙂

I simply layered it over my previous outfit and voila I was ready to go.

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Look 3: Girl next door

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This is a look you’re most likely to see me in on a regular day. Cardigans are my thing and I’ve stocked up multiple colours over multiple sale seasons at Zara.

This basic black cardigan from the Kid’s section at Zara (size 13-14 years) is a must have. And believe it or not I got it at a steal price of INR 690 on sale.

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To complete this look, I chose a pink skater skirt from the kids section of Forever 21 (size 13/14 years) and my favourite glitter pink ballet pumps from H&M.

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With the maddening sale season on, now’s the best time to get yourself the trendiest items at further discounted prices, in the kids section.

Happy Shopping!

Until next time,

Iona

Image Credits: Hely Haria and Priya Francis

Think Goa, Go Bali.

That’s how I landed up holidaying in Bali!

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Double six beach, Seminyak, Bali.

There’s absolutely no reason to doubt why Goa is India’s favourite most tourist destination, and being a Goan girl raised in Mumbai, trust me I know the ‘Goa, never get’s old!’ feeling.

But, what if I told you; You could enjoy a luxurious Goa experience, plus turquoise waters, baby blue skies, lush paddy fields, breathtaking sunsets, awe worthy architecture, all under 60K?

Changed your mind? Read on my friend… 🙂

If you’ve followed me on Instagram/ Facebook you would have known of my trip to Bali this July 2016. Considering I was going to pay for my holiday, it was REALLY important to stick to the budget! To my surprise, all it took was 3 months of advance planning, and we had Bali on a Budget!

Did we go via a travel agent? No! Here’s how we planned it.

Today’s blog should help you get the Bali Basics right!

Weather

There’s never a bad time to visit Bali, but it is best visited during the summers. Apparently, April to September is the dry season while October to March is considered as the wet season.

But with global warming, who can predict tropical weather anymore? We were welcomed with heavy showers on the first two days in Bali and were blessed with sunny days there on!

Flights

Skyscanner.com is everything!

Believe it or not, this is the only thing that’s going to pinch your pocket. Yes, even a low-cost airline will cost you anything from INR 25K and above. We traveled with Malindo Air transiting via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Besides a delayed flight on our return (due to the generous Mumbai monsoons), we had no complaints!

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Tip: If you agree a little alcohol hurt no one, pick your booze while in transit! Bali could burn your pocket if you prefer anything other than Beer. 

Visa

Bali loves India! It’s Free Visa entry & Visa on Arrival.

Extra money for Bintang! (Local Beer)

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Touchdown Bali! A little drama at Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Hotels

Expect to get unbelievable villas, hotels and resorts at unbelievably low prices! You can book a 3 star hotel for as low as INR 3K a night, with breakfast!

We stayed at 4 different hotels/resorts.

Starting with Bali Ayu in Seminyak

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Private villas, outdoor bathrooms, calming pool-side and yummy breakfast! We love you Bali Ayu!!!

Ohana Hotel in Kuta,

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Just chilling in this gorgeous pool in the heart of Kuta!

U Tube Hotel in Uluwatu,

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Chilling by the pool with our Bintangs at midnight, while watching countless stars was the best memory of this place.

And lastly De Sapphire Cliff Villa in Uluwatu

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The breathtaking view of this resort made the last morning in Bali, the most memorable one. If there’s anything we regret, we wish we stayed longer here.

Tip: We chose booking.com, but do look up airbnb.com. Also, keep an eye for last-minute cancellations. You might just get that suite you wanted for peanuts!

Travel

Traveling within Bali is just like Goa! Taxis will cost a fortune, bikes wont.

You can rent a bike for as low as INR 250 a day. Your Indian driving license will work just fine so don’t worry about that.  A Taxi will cost you anywhere from 500 and above, one way.

Traffic can be bad in Bali at times, but with a bike you could wade through it.

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Grinning away on our two-wheeler. Conroy managed to pose for this one without getting us killed. LOL!

Tip: Should you need a taxi, I’d suggest booking one via your hotel. Also, wearing helmets for both persons is mandatory in Bali. 

Food & Drinks

Bali can boast about having some of the finest restaurants! You could find the best of Italian, Mexican, Continental, European, Asian and Balinese cuisine of course.

A full course meal besides the sea, paddy field or even on a cliff will cost you an approx. of INR 700 per person.

Bali’s famous beer BINTANG will be one of the best beers you’ve tried this far. It’s cheap and don’t be surprised if it’s all you’re sipping on the whole time. 1 pint is an approx. of INR 80 – 100.

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One of the finest meals we ate in Bali was at Nook, Seminyak. Glad we found this place on Instagram on one of our #Bali stalking sessions. What an experience!

I will leave my favourite ‘Places to eat in Bali’ for another blog post. Trust me, it deserves one to itself.

Tip: Most local restaurants go by the title ‘Warung’ before their name. This practice was started to help tourists indicate the local ones. The cost of Bintang differs from area to area, we found them to be the cheapest in Uluwatu.

Currency

When in Bali, you pay in millions!

Just kidding, the exchange rate is pretty amusing; 1 INR = 195 IDR.

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Tip: Beware of suspiciously good deals at local money exchange shops, stick to the authorized money exchanges to avoid being cheated.

That’s it for now! I know it’s been rather lengthy, but I hope I’ve left a little part of you wanting to visit beautiful Bali!

Cheers!

Iona