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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cool Kids

During our trip to Goa I got to listen to this song Cool Kids. I am not even sure who is it from but it was a pleasant tune and even my kids were singing it after hearing it for the first time. I got me thinking about me and my youth. I was never part of the cool kids. They were a bunch of  handsome and rich (or upper middle class)neighborhood kids who spoke French like the French themselves and live their lives like they were the cast of 90210. I used to hang with the cool kids, long enough to envy their lifestyles but also to discover that they were not what I needed in my life at the moment. At a very young age I had to make a decision whether to keep on hanging with them or find other friends that were more suitable to what I wanted. I was barely 15 and I witnessed them going to clubs, having sex and creating dramas. Moreover I always felt that I was never really a member of their gang. I was more like the girl they tolerated just because my best friend at the time was a member of the gang. They were having a negative influence on me and I just wanted to be free from all of them. And I did. It was a painful cut but in the process I went back to family and childhood friends and discovered where I really belonged.

Fast forward 18 years and I am still not part of the cool kids or mothers. I live a lonely life because I move from one place to another. I like people but they also scare me. And if I see that we clearly do not have much in common, I would not bother hanging out with you. When I lived in Japan, I had my set of friends and I would divide my time between them. In the US I had no one to talk until the last two years. In India I have some mom friends but we do not hang much outside the school playground or play dates. Therefore I spend lots of time by myself doing things for myself. I watch a lot of crappy movies, sew even crappier clothes, even eat alone. Sometimes I like it. Other times I just want to cry. 

It is not like there are no other women around me I could hang with. The school my kids go to offer a plethora of women I could befriend. But I have a bad habit, I judge people even before getting to know them and decide whether they would be good for me or not.  I did it countless of times in the past and missed on opportunities to be friends with excellent people. Still I do it again and again. Let me give you examples of how I judge:
- Indian mothers scare me because most of them do not smile or say hello. Moreover most of them are as rich as Cresus therefore hanging with them would be a tad hard for the simple person I am.
- Foreigner moms also live a lifestyle of coffees, Zumbas, sari parties and ladies nights. There is nothing wrong with most of that but I do not do ladies night. I barely even go on diner dates with my husband let alone leave him and the kids at home at night to go partying. 
Now you see how it would be hard for me to make new friends.

 On top of that I have a strong fear of rejection. If I cough up the courage to invite you for coffee and you turn me down, chances are I will never invite you again. It is not because I am petty. No, I am scared of not being liked. Plus, once you start a relationship with someone, they may do something that will either hurt you or disappoint you. And I would rather be free of the heartache. 

The funny part is that if you ask my oldest friends, they will tell you that all of it is just nonsense, that I am a very open person who likes people. They are partly right because I do not show that side of me to them.  

So what am I supposed to do? Be more open? Be more inviting? Or wait for someone to hand me a life jacket? I just want girlfriends with whom I can exchange laughs, tips or complaints. I just need someone who would make me feel less lonely in this small town. I do not need them to be rich or cool, just fun and open and understanding. Is that so much to ask? 

Anyway, enough of my rant. I leave you with pictures of my latest design. I call it the Kente Baseball tee. I got the idea after seeing a grey jumper with African prints on the Internet. Since I do not know how to make baseball tees (or jumpers yet), I cheated a bit. I lucked out when I saw white baseball tees at a shop in M.G.road. I bought two of them one to use as a template and the other one to sew. For the one I am wearing I just removed the sleeves, traced them on Kente fabric and attached the traced sleeves to the tee. I love the end result. If I find other baseball tees I may reproduce them but this time with sequins sleeves. And who knows I may even make some for the kids to match because I realized that Raglan sleeves (the kind of sleeves you find in baseball tees) are really easy to draft and sew. 

Baseball tee - Sunder Sale shop, M.G. road then refashioned by me
Skirt - Sunder Sale shop, M.G. road

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 things to do in Goa

Just before school started again,  we went down to Goa for a few days.  I did not think we would have fun because of the rain but we did.  That is why I am sharing 5 things I enjoyed doing in there while it rained:


You would think that after 10 hours on the road,  I would be fed up with driving (or being driven). But a two hour drive to Palolem beach just reminded me how much I love just driving.  Plus the scenery was beautiful: luscious greens,  colorful houses,  even the tumultuous river was a sight not to miss.  Plus listening to the radio made it so fun. Which brings me to my number two.

2-Listening to Indigo radio

I actually  discovered this radio on my 1st trip to Goa and urged the hubby to check it out.  He loved it and said that it reminded him of the radio in the US.  They have all the latest hits but also some good oldies like How will I know from Witney Houston or Pray by Take that.  I just wished I could have this radio in Pune as well.

3- Eat

If you go to Goa you got to eat well.  And their selection of international  food makes it so easy to indulge.  We love Goan food but we also enjoy other cuisines.  On this trip most of the joints we wanted to hit were closed for the monsoon, but we got to discover new ones like Fat fish and Cafe Délicieux.  The fish Thali we ate at Fat Fish was succulent.  I am not big on seafood but I was licking my mussels and sucking my crab legs till the last drop.  I could not stop.  And I could not remember the last time I enjoyed seafood.  My husband said that if it was any indication of how good coastal food is,  we should try to go to kerela.
Cafe Délicieux  was a surprise.  I could not believe how cheap everything was.  Plus it was good. The dessert selection was a bit of traditional and bit innovative. The sandwiches were great and came with a refreshing salad.  I just wished we stayed longer because they have these huge velvety couches that are perfect for lounging. Actually I wished I had such a nice place to hang in Pune.

4-Stroll on the beach

Well duh! It is Goa.  You may want to swim but I would not recommend it during Monsoon.  The waves are high and strong,  they may drown you.  So a nice little stroll is in order. The sand is wet from the rain but still feels nice under the toes. If you are lucky,  you may see the skies clearing up and enjoy the light peeking through the clouds.  Is it peaceful.

5- Visit old Goa

Old Goa is an area in the city with old buildings dating back to the 15th century. They have old churches and Unesco World heritage sites.  They provide a peaceful and nice shelter from the rain and many Instagram opportunities.

There are plenty of others things to do in Goa like shopping but for a short trip and under the crazy rain,  I was glad of what we did.  I hope I get to go back to Goa.  It is really a nice place for vacations with or without rain.

I leave you with what I wore on the way to, in and out of Goa.  To learn more about what to wear on road trips, read this.

Outfit 1:
Golden jumper -  thrifted
Camo top -  People
Cargo pants - Shimamura 
Sneakers - shoe store in Ishikawacho
Bag - shop in Pink City

Outfit 2:
Open cardigan - M. G. road
Jumpsuit - Brandbox
Jellies - M. G. road

Outfit 3:
Scarf -  Big Bazaar
Dress - gift
Pants - H&M

And pictures of the food:

Fish thali at Fat Fish

Eggplant Toastie and... 

Rocher praliné (sorry had to bite it) at Cafe Delicieux

Friday, August 8, 2014

Leopard print simple blazer

They say if you love something, buy it in two. I love my polka dots blazer bought less than a year ago at Max. It comes in a soft lightweight fabric which means that it is perfect for layering in Summer. Back when I bought it, the store carried another version in leopard that was really cute. But for some reasons I could not let myself buy two blazers that day. I chose the polka dot because it would have been easier to style than the leopard one. And made a mental note to purchase the leopard one a few weeks later. But when I went back to the store it was sold out. I have been looking for a leopard blazer for a while now but saw nothing that interested me.
Yesterday I went fabric shopping for my business and I spotted a really nice leopard fabric. I bought 3 meters thinking that I could make a maxi dress. At home, I played with the fabric a bit thinking about all the things I could make instead of a maxi dress (I am getting a tad bored with them) : jumpsuit? Not sure I am confident enough to pull it off and wear it. Pants? I already have one. A dress shirt? Yes! That could work. But wait a minute, a blazer would get more use.

So there I was on a Sunday afternoon between reheating lunch for the kids and preparing for Iftar, cutting and sewing the blazer. It actually took me more time because as always I mess up ( finished it the following Tuesday). I used this tutorial found on Youtube that looks super easy. I was glad to realize that sewing the sleeves before closing the sides is much easier than sewing them on a finished garment. For a touch of fun, I addded a pink collar and cuffs. And voila?
What do you think?

Leopard blazer - Did it myself
Tee - Gap
Jeans - super old
Shoes -  thrifted

I wore it today for a school run and felt pretty comfy. My kids complimented me on it (they want me to start making them clothes now...) and my Mom friends could not believe I sew it. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself once I was done. But now, the more I look at it, the more it ressembles a robe some go go dancer would wear after her show. Is it just me, or there is something about pink and leopard put together that screams hoochie? Maybe the material is too light and needs lining. Or maybe it is ill-fitting. I am not sure. One thing I know is that I love the fabric and I am dying to get more of it. Maybe next time I will make a kimono or kaftan out if it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jaipur ( day 3 and 4)

Every time I wake up in my hotel room, I cannot help but feel happy because it is truly a beauty. The grounds around the room leave me breathless and I cannot help but take pictures after pictures. As a wannabe fashion designer I find our hotel to be excessively inspiring. Actually I find the entire city of Jaipur to be inspiring from the architecture,  the vibrant hues,  the locals. Everything makes me want to reach for my sketch book and draw collections after collections.

Pool area

Dancing girl painting 

Garden View 

Painted ceilings in the bar area next to the pool

Day 3 in Jaipur was spent in Amber fort at the outskirts of the city.  The fort was perched high on a hill that could be reached either by walking,  elephant ride or car. Thankfully our driver took us all the way to the top.  The fort itself is imposing with barricades similr to the wall of China running around it for miles. Inside the f our t has a huge court, two or three main building harbouring what used to be bath, latrines,  audience hall, chambers.  There is nothing inside except beautiful mazed gardens and carved ceilings.  The day was hot but we took our time visiting the place,  resting and drinking a lot of water between areas. 
Anyway after the fort, our driver took us to a shop where they sell textiles.  We were not to buy but I got to witness how block printing was done. I was so excited that I wanted to try.  But the professional would never have let me ruin his craft. The entire time I was watching him work,  my husband was busy listening to the manager of the place explaining his business.   I have to give it to the Rajhastanis,  they sure know how to sell. 

Before returning to the hotel for nap time,  we had refreshing lassis.  The kids enjoyed the pool in the afternoon and we had early diner at a local restaurant.  Since everyone was feeling better we ordered Thali.  Let us just say that we had better and cheaper Thali.  The restaurant called Natraj was old and you could feel it.  Plus upon paying outrageous taxes,  they still beg for service charges. Unbelievable! Needless to say that we will not eat there again.  I am very disappointed  that I could not get to sample real Rajhastani food due to my stomach and poor choice of restaurant.  But life is not perfect.

Outside Court

Beautiful carvings

Gardens inside Amber Fort

Day 4 
We rested all morning at the hotel. I was waiting to hear from a guide I was referred to by another tourist so that he could take us to see Elephants but he never called me. After another lunch at the hotel, we headed to Nagrah Fort. It was way up high in the outskirts of the city but near Amber Fort.  We had a 360 degree view of the city of Jaipur. We took several pictures and enjoyed drinks.  During our drive down to the city,  we spotted several wild peacocks.  I always thought peacocks were domestic animals so I was blown away to see them in the wild.  Some of them even flew when we attempted to take pictures.  
As we wanted to have a good night rest before our road trip back to Delhi the following morning,  we ordered take away from Handi,  an Indian restaurant.  We had some chicken rolls which was simple but delicious.  The following day was also the first day of Ramadan so a good meal was in order. 

View of Jaipur from Nagrah Fort

We left Jaipur happy to have visited.  It was an interesting trip with a few ups ( Taj Mahal, sightseeing, our hotel in Jaipur, shopping) and a few downs ( hecklers, our lazy driver,  the kids and I getting sick). But at the end it was worth it. I wanted to share more pictures but between my husband and I we took over 500 pictures.  India has so many beautiful places and I hope to see them all before we leave.

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