Happy Friday!

I wanted to share with you an incredible recipe my friend Zakiya @ Blend of Spice created. I was always blown away by her creative talents in the 10-ish years that we’ve known each other, but watching her transition into wife/motherhood has been exceptionally inspirational. I come from a pretty non-traditional household, my mom isn’t much of a cook and doesn’t love it the way I hear of other moms – like my MIL who is a beast in the kitchen *salivates*. Needless to say I was a bit unprepared & insecure about my domestic abilities when I was thrown into having a household of my own. So while I can’t come up with amazing dishes on my own (yet..?), I can follow recipes without fail haha. I’ve gotten into a horrible habit of not saving the recipes that have worked out well for me, so every time I want to make the dish again I have to scour the internet until I find the page that might be it. So this begins my attempt to not only earmark an incredible dish, but also share it with you, & introduce you to my gf Zakiya!

My relationship with my husband began in New York, for the year and a half that we were dating & engaged I was in the city at least once a month. We were young with more energy then (ha!) so after our nights out, we’d always end up at The Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th at 4am. Their chicken & rice has become so iconically New York that I can’t not get some every time I visit, even now. Let’s be honest though… it’s only really good at 4am, any other time you’re left with a stomach ache and you end up hating yourself. It is fast street food after-all. I’ve kept an eye on Zakiya’s recipes on her blog for awhile and have made notes of tons of things I’ve been wanting to make (Rasmali cake.. HELLO!?) but never really got around to it. But the moment I saw her chicken & rice recipe I began preparing immediately.

I’ve made the dish twice already, mostly to make sure I wasn’t just lucky the first time because it was so mouthwateringly delicious. Dare I say it….. its actually better than the real thing. How can it not be though? Fresh ingredients, less grease, not sitting on a street all day! It’s so easy to make too, I made very very slight tweaks based on preference and what I had available in my kitchen so be sure to check out Zakiya’s OG recipe as well. The second time around I also figured out a streamline way to make the three parts – the white sauce and chicken need to sit for awhile, so when I made it the first time I was a bit out of order and I didn’t have enough time for my sauce to develop. IMO it’s most efficient to go in this order…. let’s begin with the white sauce!… View Post

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I’ve dreamt of visiting Santorini for as long as I can remember, the white stone homes, the endless Aegean sea, and blooms of bougainvillea framing colorful doors. Today I’ll be sharing with you our travel diary of our visit to the island with some tips along the way. This was our first time in Santorini and it was a relatively short stay, so I am by no means an expert. I did, however, have an incredible time so I’m sharing what I can so you can have an even better time!

I’m sad that this is my last batch of photos to edit but I still have my vlog coming which I am so excited to work on. I put together a little sneak peek to hold you (actually, me) over until then :) What do we think?

I hope this travel guide is helpful, please let me know if you have any questions at all!… View Post

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Unwanted hair… the bane of my existence haha! Being South-Asian, managing unwanted hair has always been a full time job. I’ve done it all.. shaving, waxing, threading, laser, just everything. A couple weeks back I went in depth about my experience with laser hair removal and from all of the dialogue that came after it is beyond clear that I am not alone in my hair woes! Enter Completely Bare: an incredible brand with a large range of salon quality depilatory products – available at Ulta! They have different types of waxes, hair removal creams, bump smoothers, redness eliminators, and what I found most interesting: moisturizers that double as a hair inhibitor!

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Having a history of horrible childhood eczema, I’ve tried practically every lotion on the market to soothe my uncomfortable skin. I used to get thick, bright red, itchy sore-like rashes on the insides of my elbows and knees. Although these have completely gone away since I cleared adolescence (thank goodness!!!), I still suffer from chronically dry skin. I hate getting wet because I have to fully lotion up afterwards or my “skin” will crawl, feel tight, and I will be visibly ashy. Of course my husband was blessed with the complete opposite skin, he never puts on lotion and the bottom of his foot seriously feels like my face LOL! If I don’t moisturize regularly, problem areas tend to pop up: dry, rough, flaky patches that need a little extra love & care. During our trip to Greece and Turkey last month we were on 8 planes within a week and a half and I came prepared for the dry plane-air with moisturizing paper masks for my face. What I didn’t think to pay extra attention to was my body and I was left with a few rough patches thirsty for moisture.

I came home to a package from AmLactin Skin Care with a variety of their products and I dove in right away. I change moisturizers often because it seems that as soon as I find something that works for me, it either gets reformulated or discontinued (so frustrating!); so I was more than ready to try something new! I’ve been lathering up with AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion & Cerapeutic Restoring Body Lotion for about three weeks now and my skin is so hydrated and more importantly.. Comfortable. The ashy, rough patches I mentioned earlier are no longer ashy, are supple and are starting to blend back in with the rest of my skin. If you take a look below, all that is left is a tiny bit of bumpiness which is smoothing out day by day. Summer is around the corner and the last thing anyone needs to feel self conscious about are tanktops!View Post

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It’s Friday!!! *happy dance*

I am closing out the week today with one of my favorite tutorials ever! So many of you seem to think so as well ;) thank you for the buckets of love (& screenshots!) on Snapchat yesterday while I was filming this. I love when we can all share the excitement haha!

Bipasha Basu got married recently and her photos have been all over my twitter feed.. holy smokes she looked perfect!! It was only after admiring her traditional look that I realize I’ve never seen a famous Bengali bride before!! I wish I could rewind three years and do my wedding all over again. I kept catching myself going back to look at her photos so I thought I would do my best to recreate the look. Its my favorite yet & I hope you guys love it too!!! I wore it out to dinner last night without the eyebrow decoration and a lipstick change and it wore flawlessly with a matte brown lip too!

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Happy humpday blog-fam!

If you saw my Paris Travel Diary you’ve already seen these photos but if you haven’t.. you’re in for a treat! At least I think so! :) Our visit to The Louvre back in December became one of my favorite photo-sets and I just had to break it off into it’s own post. My husband, Waseem, and I closed out 2015 & kicked off the new year in Paris and London. We took the exact same trip back in 2012 and he proposed to me at Pont des Arts which is just a stone’s throw from the Louvre. So, it’s needless to say that this itinerary is very near and dear to our hearts. <3 We were engaged on Cinco de Mayo 2012 so I thought it was pretty fitting to repost this today!
Enjoy the photos! If you missed the Paris post be sure to check out the full travel diary and travel vlog.… View Post

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Hi loves! I was getting ready last week and was browsing the web for some makeup inspo. I came across Vogue India’s April cover with Priyanka Chopra and just fell in love with everything! Her makeup, hair, styling – she looked perfect! She never goes overboard with her makeup and always has a natural, fresh glam. I wanted to try out some of my new eye products and they were perfect for this look! Pur Cosmetics’ Eye Polish in Cashmere & Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Contour Palette in Rust – love love love them both! Let me know what you think!

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What tumblr dreams are made of! Santorini has always been my dream destination and our stay did not disappoint thanks to Andronis Luxury Suites. With the exception of our very first night, we spent our entire time in Santorini here in Oia. We stayed in the gorgeous Zeus suite and everything was simply perfect. Our suite had two large terraces, one with a bistro set where we had our delicious breakfast every morning and another adorned with daybeds for our lounging needs. I realize now I never took a photo of the living area in our suite (I blame our luggage uglying the scene!) but the window opens up to the hot tub which opened to our breakfast terrance.. ahh perfection! You’ll catch a sexy photo of the husband enjoying a soak while we waited for our breakfast. Speaking of which… I have never experienced anything like a Santorini breakfast!! I can’t broadly call it a Greek breakfast because our mornings in Athens paled in comparison to the incredible meals that were brought to us every morning at Andronis. :) And I’m not even a breakfast person!

The village is mostly a pedestrian walkway and Andronis is located right at the beginning making it a quieter and less crowded area which we loved! It was so conveniently close to the lot where we kept our rental car. The property has 27 suites and villas. Our Zeus suite was one of the few in the main building just up a quick flight of stairs. All of the other suites and villas (as well as the restaurant and pools) are built into the cliffside so just like in the rest of Oia.. be prepared for a ton of stairs! Our first night we headed down to Andronis’ restaurant, Lycabettus, for our anniversary dinner. Holy moly, make sure you reserve a table over the cliff – the most incredible views you’ll ever see. Oia’s sunset is world famous for a reason.… View Post

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Being able to blog full-time is an immense blessing. Work can always be something I’m passionate about because I control the content, ensuring that everything I create has my heart and sweat behind it. Ha, sweat! We’ll come back to that in a sec. Being in complete control of my content and my space makes me very protective over it as well. As much as I logically know that I need a team, as of now I prefer to be a one-woman- show. After all, my blog is my baby! As overwhelming as things can get and no matter how flustered I make myself, I know I can always rely on Secret Outlast Xtend to keep me feeling put together and fresh.

A typical day for me begins with shooting under bright lights in my tiny home-office, lugging half of my equipment out into LA’s hot afternoon sun to shoot some photos, drag it back inside and run off to an event or meeting. Working for yourself means being on the go from the moment you wake up and sometimes there just isn’t time to touch up between point A and B. Feeling dry and fresh really keeps me in the right mindset to feel confident and be able to work the room once I get to point B. I think every blogger can agree that you never feel like you’re not working, everything becomes a photoshoot and everything exciting needs to be shared with my e-family (you guys!). It might seem unhealthy but I promise, to me, the passion I have for documenting everything just feels like a closer connection to life, not the opposite. Real life does find its way into my work-that-feels-like-play schedule: errands, deadlines, family responsibilities, etc.; so it’s important for me to be organized in mind even if my workspace doesn’t look like it. I rely heavily on my iCalendar but I love to keep a handwritten notebook and planner on me at all times as well. Handwriting helps me visualize and organize my thoughts better, baby-steps towards a clear mind on a busy day. Being forever on the go, not even counting my permanent wanderlust, means I have to have multitasking down to a science and Secret Outlast Xtend keeps me feeling like I’m never running on empty.

Secret Outlast Xtend comes in two forms: an Invisible Solid and a Clear Gel. I love both but I’ve always gravitated towards a gel. I love the way it feels on the skin; I instantly feel cooled & refreshed and I love how quickly it adheres to my skin leaving no white marks or residue behind. Now that is the key to success for a woman of color! I do enjoy the Invisible Solid when I travel because there is no chance of it getting messy from all the moving around and pressure changes. The Invisible Solid has a patented active enhancer that helps stop odor before it even starts! Its dry application also lets you control the amount of coverage you need. Both formulas provide continuous 48-hour protection, perfect for a jet-set-girl or woman on the go. Our days may feel meshed together, but it’s comforting to know that Secret’s got you covered!

Secret is giving you all the chance to try their new Outlast Xtend for free! Head to SecretStore.com and enter promo code PL76XS for your free sample!

(Make sure you click Outlast Xtend at the top of the page, that is what the code will work for!)

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