beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle

five ways to take care of yourself- my self care routine

As a (very) new mama, I find it’s even more important to carve out some time each day to take care of myself. Here are some things that I’ve been doing to get in some me time and do the things that I enjoy, now that our daughter is here. Honestly though there are some days when I would rather just stare at her all day and take photos and videos!

  1. I  love making myself an iced coffee every morning, or an iced espresso mixed with a protein shake. I really enjoy starting my day this way and will usually check my emails and write out a plan for the day.
  2. Once I get out of the shower in the mornings I like to use either the bare minerals complexion rescue or the nars velvet matte. I just use a small amount, especially when I know I’m not going out. Each of these has an SPF so it’s the only product I need to use on my face. One step and I’m good to go for the day.
  3. I started going back to the gym for a light workout each morning. I am not there for long and haven’t been doing anything intense yet, but it feels great to move and have that time to myself at the gym.
  4. I love to read so much and can’t imagine not doing that now. So every evening, I give myself a few minutes, even if I only get to read a few pages at a time. I’m currently in the middle of Less by Andrew Sean Greer.
  5. Once in a while I like to do a little pampering, whether it’s a face mask at home or going out to get a manicure pedicure. I think having some time to pamper yourself just helps you to feel more like yourself. I’m currently loving this face mask by Fresh and this nail color by essie.

 

 

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lifestyle

erin condren planner

As a planner addict, I love getting my hands on the newest planners out there so it comes as no surprise that I had to get the new Erin Condren life planner! I’ve been using Erin Condren planners for years now, both the life planners as well as the teacher planner. I really enjoy the customizable options, the variety of layouts to choose from, and not to mention how pretty they are! This time I decided to go with a vertical layout in the life planner and added the baby tracker petite planner since we have a little one on the way:)

I love that this planner starts in July 2018 because my current planner finishes at the end of June and I like to start my planners at the beginning of the summer since I work at a school. Planning my year academically makes most sense for me.

Here’s a look at my new life planner:

 

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Here is that the baby tracker looks like:

 

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Do you have a planner? Are you part of the “planner community”? I would love to know what planner you use and how you keep yourself organized!

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

good reads · lifestyle

2018 reading list

IMG_7669.jpgWho else loves books? bookstores? the smell of books? books and coffee? books and curling up with Chutey? Me! Here are my top picks for books to read in 2018, including what I’ve already read.

Already read:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 

The F word by Liza Palmer

The tribes of palos verdes by Joy Nicholson 

Paris for one & other stories by Jojo Moyes 

Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray 

Reading now:

What to expect when you’re expecting by Heidi Murkoff

The library at mount char by Scott Hawkins

Current reading list:

Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 

My not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella 

The library at mount char by Scott Hawkins

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

What to expect the first year by Heidi Murkoff 

Everybody lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Eating animals by Jonathan Safran Foer 

I need more recommendations so please leave some in your comments below! I’d also love to know what you’re reading.

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Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

lifestyle

fall zara and topshop haul

After doing the biggest closet detox ever, I was able to make room for some new pieces. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I love shopping for fall clothes mid to late summer, mostly because it makes me more excited to go back to work/school! I picked up some basic pieces while also including some of the big trends for the coming season- mom style high waisted jeans and sleeves with details details details!!!

Zara:

mom jeans

I am so excited to own my very first pair of mom jeans!! I love how these are loose but not too baggy so you can still show some shape and the ankle length is perfect to wear with booties.

pearl sweater :

This sweater will be great for the fall since it’s not too heavy or bulky. The pearl details on the sleeves make it more interesting. I am planning on wearing it tucked into my new mom jeans.

crossover front sweatshirt: 

I recently wore this on the plane with joggers and it was comfy, warm and because it’s cropped it’s just the right amount of fabric. This is my new favorite while traveling or just lounging.

sweatshirt with metallic details: 

This is a sweatshirt that I have been reaching for so much- I’ve been wearing it with high waisted denim shorts, black yoga pants and high waisted jeans. I think it would also look really cute with black high waisted jeans. It is super soft and the metallic details give it that something extra. The fabric is very unique as well- I don’t own anything quite like it.

astronaut tee: 

This is a fun graphic tee that says “I need more space”. It’s on the shorter side but I can still tuck it into high waisted jeans or shorts. It is a great layering piece and I enjoy the play on words.

eggceptional tee 

This is another great layering piece which I’ve worn tucked into high waisted shorts. It washes well and the size medium is just right on me. Also there is a glittered sunny side up egg on it and says “eggceptional”- how cute is that?!

tee with shoulder detail 

I knew I had to have this tee as soon as I saw the sleeve details- the pink makes it soft and feminine while the sleeves give this top some edgy vibes.

topshop lattice back sweater 

This is my first sweater purchase of the season. I don’t own anything in this color and the bell sleeves, v neck and lattice back just make it so cozy and on point with the trends for this fall. It’s also incredibly soft!

top shop high waisted jeans 

These are my first pair of topshop jeans and I am in love! They hug all the right places and are extremely comfortable. I can tuck in my tops easily- the wash is very versatile as well. Very happy with this pair of denim to add to the jean family!

 

Stay tuned for my closet detox post and thanks for visiting!

Sincerely, 

Surleen

beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle · music

my world.

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately, as we wait for Spring to finally arrive…

We recently saw Rangoon in the theaters, and a few of the songs were great. I find them to be pretty addicting though, so listen in moderation:)

 

station eleven- This wasn’t a book I thought I would like but I couldn’t put it down around 100 pages into it. The “end of the world” concept doesn’t appeal to me, but the way this book switches between before and after the collapse, kept me interested. The premise is that a pandemic hits the entire world, and civilization quickly and abruptly comes to an end. There is a group of people called the traveling symphony, who go to the different settlements to entertain the surviving population. The connection between the characters and how all the author connects all the dots at the end is what makes this book special. Also worth mention is when breathe becomes air– really enjoyed this one as well.

Vanilla Pistachio candle- I love my bath and body works candles but there is something so subtle about this one that I just love. I purchased this from Anthropologie, where I always seem to find unique candles.

 drink chobani– This is my new favorite breakfast drink. I’ve been drinking special k for breakfast for a while now but when I saw that chobani came out with a yogurt drink, I thought I would try it. It has 14 grams of protein which keeps me going until lunch. It tastes delish and comes in different flavors- I have only tried the strawberry banana and really enjoy it.

 tocca simone– This perfume by Tocaa is spring in a bottle! I was in the market for new scent for the transition months into summer and this is so perfect.

Here are the notes:

Top: Crisp Apple, Fresh Picked Watermelon, Lemon, Calypsone  

Middle: Frangipani, Ylang- Ylang, Rose Petals, Freesia

Bottom: Creamy Lactones, Blonde Woods, Musk, Amber, Nirvanolide 

this sweatshirt-  I recently got this sweatshirt from Zara and can’t stop wearing it. I love the pink color, the fluffy sleeves and how comfy it is. I like to wear it with leggings on the weekends and with jeans to work (on a Friday). Zara has been killing it lately!

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle · music

my world.

I want to say I can’t believe it’s already February but I honestly feel like the Holidays were so long ago. For once, I don’t feel like time is flying. Here is a roundup of what I’ve been obsessing over lately.

music:

 

 

beauty:

MUFE stick foundation:

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I’ve been using this foundation for the past few weeks now and have been loving it how easily it blends and how flawless the coverage is. I also like that the coverage isn’t too matte- I don’t like a very matte look during the winter months. This was a great find and I’m not sure what took me so long to try it.

too faced semi sweet chocolate bar:

unnamedI’ve had this eye shadow palette for a while, but I recently started using it more consistently. I love how many looks I can achieve with this, and it’s so fun to play with. It makes getting ready in the mornings more fun! See my review here. 

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer:

This is my go to bronzer- I use it every single day to give my face some warmth. I love the finish it gives- it never looks ashy and is pretty fool proof. I like to use a big fluffy brush or the brush it comes with.

fashion:

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Steve Madden studded buckle booties- I get compliments every time I wear these booties. They’re comfortable enough to wear all day and have a bit of edge with the buckles. I got them in the Fall from the Steve Madden store and wasn’t able to find the exact pair I have, but these are similar.

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ZARA check maxi coat: This is my new favorite coat- warm, long and trendy. I can wear this with leggings and a sweatshirt and still look stylish:)

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reading:

the night circusThis book was such a joy to read. It was a treat for the senses. I felt like I could smell the foods of the circus, see the elaborate tents, and feel the magic of the circus. Reading this book is like entering a fantastic world- a true escape. This book makes you wonder what is real and what is magic? What makes something real and what makes it a dream world? Highly recommend this one- a disclaimer though is that the plot is slow moving but worth your patience at the beginning of the story.

food:

I recently started making my own trail mix using just three ingredients in equal parts- almonds, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. It is so delicious and easy to put together. I like to have it in the afternoons at work as a pick me up.

What have you been loving lately?

Sincerely,

Surleen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

beauty · food · lifestyle · music · photography

my world.

December is my favorite month of the year and there has definitely been much to love…There is something about the colder months that just makes me appreciate things like being home and being warm, snuggling up on the couch with Chutney, listening to good music or watching bad TV, staring at my Christmas tree or making comforting food. Here is a roundup of all that I’ve been loving lately.

channa mereya  To say that I’ve been obsessed with this song is an understatement. I liked it when I first heard it, before I had seen the movie, but there’s something about listening to it now after having seen the movie that is very touching. I thought the movie was incredibly heart felt and would recommend it- even if the story doesn’t appeal to everyone, I am certain you will find a song that moves you.

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Chutney’s snowman pajamas- I couldn’t pass these up when I saw them at the store- Chutney looks so adorable in them! This morning he was still in bed and lazily gave me his paw one at a time so I could get them on. We got them from a dog boutique called Popcorn Paws.

This is Us: My husband and I have been watching this show ever since the very first episode aired and we were blown away by it all- the acting, the storyline, the twists and suspense. Most of all though, I think what keeps us watching is how every episode is full of emotion- the most powerful of all being love. This show is the best show to have come out in a very long time. I can’t remember the last time I saw something that was this good without being violent, disturbing, or vulgar.

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Peeping santa bubble bar- I have many favorite Lush bath bombs but this one tops the list because not only is it festive, it smells amazing, has the perfect amount of bubbles yet leaves my skin baby soft! Not to mention how cute it looks…

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Anastasia Beverly Hills lipgloss in Bordeaux- I am not a liquid lipstick girl. I just don’t like the way they look on me- I love the shine of a lip gloss but the pigmentation of a lipstick. This is the best of both worlds and isn’t super sticky. I love this color so much and am planning to pick up some other shades in the collection.

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Twisted peppermint candle from Bath and Body works- Hands down, best candle made by the brand, have repurchased it several times and I just wish they carried it year round.

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Mexican hot chocolate- We recently picked this up from Surla Table and I have to say, it takes hot chocolate to another level. I like to make mine with half parts skim and half parts soy milk. It’s the perfect drink to sip on while on a Netflix binge.

Sincerely, 

Surleen 

 

 

 

 

 

beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle · photography

fall essentials

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Fall is my favorite season of the year and in a perfect world we would have fall for 6 months and summer for the other half ( vacation applies to said 6 months).

I love fall food, fashion and decor so much. Here are my fall essentials (in random order):

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Caramel pecan apple pie– The next time you want to put a smile on someone’s face, bring them one of these. This is a staple in our home every Fall.

My all time favorite fall lipstick is Lolita by Kat Von D. It is that perfect fall shade. I know liquid lipsticks can get a bit drying so I like to apply a lip balm before applying this lipstick.

I’ve been loving this duster coat as the weather has been cooling down. I love that I can throw it on with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and I instantly look pulled together.

I am a die hard fall candle fanatic- I literally have a candle burning whenever I’m home and usually in different rooms of my home. Fall to me is all about creating that cozy and comforting environment where you truly don’t want to leave home- and lighting one of these is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the season.

 

I cannot wait to wear these new booties, which I got as part of my Norstrom haul as well. The black suede will go perfectly with leggings or a pair of skinny jeans.

I love drinking Yogi bedtime tea in the evenings, either reading a good book (currently the latest Ann Patchett novel Commonwealth), or catching up on my favorite fall shows. I am also planning on having a Twilight movie marathon!

This is my favorite soup to make during the fall season- I’ve been making it for years and it will always remind me of our first Fall as a married couple. I loved making it with my husband and he still helps me every time this is on the menu. The crispy shallots  on top are optional but not in our home!

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Last but not least, I love to get some fall/holloween toys for Chutney. He likes getting in the Fall spirit too! You can check out my Instagram account @ilovechutney to see my fall home decor haul and to see Chutney’s reaction to his new toy.

Happy Fall everyone!!

Sincerely, 

Surleen 

 

 

beauty · food · good reads · lifestyle · music · photography · travel

my world.

As summer officially begins to wind down, I thought to corral all the things I’ve been loving while basking in the joy of summertime–  if only it could last forever.

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Summer olympics 2016– We thoroughly enjoyed watching the summer olympics and I was amazed by how fast those 17 days went by! I’m always in awe of these athletes, who dedicate their lives to the sport and find myself inspired and motivated to be more dedicated to whatever it is I am doing- whether it’s working, creating something or finding new ways to build a healthier lifestyle. Who else was super impressed with the “Final Five”?! I literally wanna be best friends with them.

Wooden Tulips– This summer I was fortunate enough to visit Amsterdam, and have to admit it was among the most beautiful places I have been. Every step I took was a photo opportunity, from the beautiful canals to the bicycles to the countryside filled with charming windmills and farm animals. It was truly a dream destination. The flowers there were incredibly beautiful and they even have a floating flower marker right on the water where they sell various seeds and buds for you to take home. Since I don’t have much of a green thumb, we decided to bring home these colorful wooden tulips which look so gorgeous in this delft vase. Whenever I look at them, I am reminded of beautiful Amsterdam.

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Isla Verde Beach

Vegetable Biryani– In case you don’t already  know this about me, I LOVE RICE. My husband constantly teases me about my ongoing love affair with rice. I can have it every single day of the week- on its own, with daal or sabzi, with raita, in the form of risotto or mexican rice–I don’t care, I just love it. I had the highest of hopes when I ordered the vegetable biryani at Tulsi during Restaurant Week. It was love at first bite. This dish was prepared dum style–in order to lock in all those fragrant flavors it had been sealed with dough. Once you tear open that seal, the aroma is intoxicating. Is anyone else’s mouth watering? No, just me? Ok.

Caribbean water- I’ve always known how much I love the beaches of the Caribbean, but after recently visiting the Hamptons this month (August), the water was so cold I could barely keep my toes in. I would love to insert the video of my husband attempting to go in and promptly walking away, but he would kill me, so I won’t. But my point is, the water here on the East Coast is freezing at the height of the summer. I much prefer my Caribbean beach vacations, where I can actually spend time in the water and truly be a beach bum.

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 The fault in our stars– I posted about this book here and still find myself thinking about it. I’m still waiting to watch the movie and enjoyed it so much that I just picked up Paper towns, by the same author and also a movie.

High key photography- I took a black and white photography class last month and one of my favorite concepts was high key photography. Chutney is the best subject and I plan to take many more black and white photos of him in a dream like state.

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Quinoa- Ok, where has this been my whole life? I had a brief and unpleasant experience with this stuff while living in Bolivia many summers ago. I found it to to be bland and it didn’t do anything for me at the time. This has made a comeback for me though. I think the key is to cook it in vegetable stock, which adds tons of flavor. I have quinoa in my salad most days for lunch. I also like to mix it into rice when I make Indian dishes, for example, half rice and half quinoa with a heaping bowl of Rajma.

Vanilla Almond Iced Coffee– This iced coffee has been the perfect post workout pick me up. I like mine unsweetened but you can certainly add sugar/sweetener.

Mix together these ingredients and enjoy!
1 cup cold coffee
¼ cup almond milk, sweetened
¼ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla extract

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Mason Jar decor- It’s just so cute!! I love how happy these mason jar pieces makes me, especially since I’ve spent so much of my summer off in the kitchen.  I purchased the utensil holder, measuring cups and spoons for myself and the cookie jar for my sister.

Sincerely,

Surleen