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FOOD & LIFESTYLE
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TRAVEL THURSDAY- WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR NEXT MOUNTAIN SKI TRIP

Winter is here and so is the snow. For most people an escape to a warmer place tops the getaway list but believe me there is a different charm in paying a visit to the wintry mountains. I was able to squeeze in a mini escape with my family to the Bryce Resort- a ski resort here in VA and it was a blast. While most of you here might be ski-pros, for first-timers like me it was fun with a mix of fear. I did snow tubing for most part but my first rendezvous with the snow-sports left me unsatisfied. I need to go there again, to try out snowboarding and skiing and to satiate my sporty soul. 

Now that we have decided to make skiing an annual winter tradition, it makes total sense for me to invest in the snow gear. I borrowed the jacket from my friend which is a double-shelled insulated jacket, but I am going to go ahead and order one for myself.

Packing for your snow sports trip can be overwhelming. While overpacking is totally allowed, you certainly don't want to underpack and leave yourself at the mercy of cold which is brutal out there in the mountains. I had a major panic-attack making a list of things I should be packing, and kid you not I overpacked according to hubs, but we ended up using all that packed. Thanks to my inner instincts...

Anyhow, if you are headed to your next ski-destination and are looking for a guide to the snow gear, you are in luck. I've rounded up the must-haves for your next ski trip. 

BASIC THERMALS- this will be your foundation for the layering, it will keep you warm without adding too much bulk. Uniqlo offers a HEATTECH line of winter inner wear that will sure come in handy. They have several levels of thermal technology and come for the entire family. We bought the shirts and the leggings for everyone, hubs included. 



NORTH FACE triclimate outer jacket  // ARCTIX onesie // SOREL Joan of arctic boots // LL BEAN mittens // KARSAER googles 





HOW TO LAYER FOR OFFICE AND STILL LOOK PROFESSIONAL

What seems to be a long winter has actually been the longest and coldest winter in my thirteen years of living in the States. We've had days of constant rain, icy and snowy conditions with strong wind gusts and even no sun for weeks. As depressing as it might get, it is even more debilitating sartorially. Who likes to wear the same jeans, sweater, coat, scarf and boots uniform day in day out. Well, I don't and especially when wearing jeans to work is not an option. Dressing up for work and looking chic when it is below freezing outside can be challenging but with my simple hacks, not only will layering appear easy but also fun and visually appealing. 

With trial and error I have found my own hacks for wearing the same number of layers but in a more eye-appealing, office-appropriate way. 


ZARA coat // ZARA pants // H&M black bodysuit // TIBI Caleb boots





5 MOST POPULAR GIFTS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

It feels like we were ringing in the new year like a minute ago and here we are twenty days already down. Before you even realize Valentines will be here and be history.  Valentines has become a holiday that is celebrated globally and the month of love holds a special place in my heart as I got married to my love in February. 

Honestly speaking, love needs no special day to celebrate- it should be expressed, nurtured and celebrated everyday. But there is no harm in going above and beyond than normal to express it.  There is nothing like making your loved one feel special and cared for on this day of love. So while you gear up to express your love to your someone special this year, I have rounded up the top 5 popular gifts for Valentine's and yes 'Jewelry' tops the list. 

Jewelry: Jewelry happens to the most sought after gifts for Valentines day. Be it fashion  jewelry or something precious, the options are endless and every girl loves and appreciates a handpicked piece of jewelry. In case a diamond jewelry is on your list for Valentine's this year and you don't know where to begin, you could read my DIAMOND BUYING GUIDE here


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KATE SPADE heart print dress // ZARA coat // STEVE MADDEN heels ( in orange





LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

Tell me one person who hasn't struggled with insomnia at some point of their life? Whether it is a set of new parents taking turns to watch their newborn at night or just everyday physical stress, there is always something to trigger sleeplessness. A normal human being needs an average of 8 hours of sleep every night, but if not- it can impair your thinking and judgmental abilities. I have been there and it's definitely the worst feeling with even worse after effects that can't be healed with a cup of coffee. It takes a toll on your body and impairs your judgment. 

I was like that- restless and turning all night in effort to get some sleep. As a consequence, I was always irritated and paranoid. I would scream over petty things, I was more forgetful, less present and my family could tell I didn't sleep well the night before. It was frustrating and debilitating most of the times. I realized there was a problem but I was not ready for any sleeping aid or medication yet. I tried yoga nidra ( Yoga pose for relaxation ) and noticed partial relief from sleeplessness. I was at least able to fall asleep easily but still struggled to stay asleep. I knew there was something more I needed to do get my groove back and the answer was lifestyle changes. 

Once I made these changes my life changed for good. I was sleeping better, I could stay asleep for until my natural alarm clock woke me up at 6 am. It was a total game-changer. It took my system a few days to get acclimated to the new routine and my sleep pattern transformed completely. There has been no looking back since then, cuz it's not worth. Hope these lifestyle changes help you experience what a good night's sleep feels like. 

Limit your screen time-  Be it your phone, your tv or your tablet, refrain from using them an hour 30 mins prior to your bedtime. The rays and the bright light that any screen emits actually keeps you up. It just stimulates your brain too much leaving you alert when you actually need to relax. The blue light from the screen interferes with your natural sleep cycle and triggers the brain to stop producing Melatonin- a chemical that is responsible for the onset of sleep. 

MY JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, STYLE SWAP TUESDAYS ( link up)

"Do you really want to become an AMERICAN CITIZEN? ", an American friend asked me four days before I was getting Naturalized? 
"YES, without any second thought", I said instantly.


SIX THINGS TO BUY AFTER CHRISTMAS

Christmas might be gone, but the spirit remains for as long as the tree and decorations are up, the smell of cinnamon lingers in that winter air and AFTER CHRISTMAS SALE tags are the highlight of the retailer's windows. This is actually the best time to make use of all the gift cards you received over Christmas and shop for certain items that have been deeply marked down to make room for the new inventory for Spring

I didn't shop much during Christmas, except for a few gifts that I needed to bring to NY with me, but I was sale stalking and now I am finally sale shopping. I have already bought a few outers for both husband and I, some winter accessories and a whole lot of holiday decor for this year. Talking about which, HOLIDAY DECOR tops the list of things people shop for after Christmas in case you had no idea. Let's see what six other things people shop for after Christmas. 

HOLIDAY DECORATION 
Holiday decorations don't budge much in price until after Christmas. The price may get slashed by as much as 60-75% as soon as the big day is over.  Artificial Christmas trees, wrapping papers, lights, decors, gift boxes, and other paraphernalia- this is a good time to stock up and save a bundle on these for next Christmas. 

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H&M tulle dress ( shop same ) // H&M pearl sweater // c/o MODCLOTH Mary Jane pumps // MICHAEL KORS bag ( shop same






TIPS ON JUGGLING LIFE- HOW I DO IT ALL

Not once, but I have been asked several times how I manage/juggle my life and the multiple roles I have to play on a daily basis. My duties as a mom, a blogger, a wife, a home maker - "how I manage them all sometimes amazes me. " A big chunk of my duties gets offloaded on days when hubs is at home and pitches to help, but otherwise I am on my own, on my toes nonstop. It used to be daunting at the beginning, but soon I figured out a plan for myself: a plan which was realistic and really helped me keep my sanity. You might not relate to all but I'd still like to share some of my everyday lifestyle hacks. 

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EVA MENDES Top ( buy same ) // EVA MENDES pants ( buy same ) // STEVE MADDEN pumps ( buy same ) // BANANA REPUBLIC fur bomber ( shop similar ) // GUCCI belt 







FIVE MUST HAVE JACKETS IN YOUR WINTER WARDROBE, STYLE SWAP TUESDAYS ( LINK UP )

When I moved to the States thirteen years ago, gosh can't believe it has been so long, I was a complete stranger to the fashion scene here. In summer, for me a pair of jeans, a tee was my uniform: plain Jane and simple! In winters, a winter coat would top off the summer uniform. Talking about which, little did I know of the myriad options of winter coats available in the market. For me it literally implied a long piece of warm fabric meant to keep me warm. Down jacket, pea coat, puffer jacket, duffel coat, teddy coat all these sounded french to me......

I am glad that's not the case now. If you ask me, I will sit high on a chair, roll up my sleeves and give you an extensive walk-through of all the types of coats out there- no kidding !! So if you have been a stranger to the world of winter coats, listen up, I am talking about the five most popular winter coats/jackets and why you need them in your closet.

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HAPPYxNATURE jacket ( shop same ) // SAM EDELMAN boots ( shop same on sale ) // c/o LULLA COLLECTION headband // RAY BAN sunglasses  ( shop same