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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an equal music by vikram seth

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I assumed it would be extremely difficult to write about music , but Vikram Seth has written so beautifully about it in this moving novel, that I find it hard to believe he isn’t a musician himself. The novel itself takes place in breath taking romantic cities like London, Vienna and Venice, which left me longing to be back in Europe.

Vikram Seth writes: ”Music to me is dearer even than speech.” His love for music shines in his ability to describe it better than anything I have ever read. This novel is elegantly written and the ending did not fail to touch me.

Seth describes different relationships, the ones we have with others and the one we have with our musical instruments. I have a new found respect for my sitar and can’t imagine life without it. I now have a deeper respect not only for music, but also for all the sounds around us that we so easily take for granted.

I can’t wait to read more of his work.

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

my world.

 

This song from Dum Laga Ke Haisha- I am beyond obsessed with this song, which made me love the movie even more. Definitely watch this light hearted yet full of soul movie on Netflix.
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Coco mademoiselle Chanel– I have finally found my signature scent. After trying many  different scents, I realize this is the one I come back to the most. It is season less in that it works for any time of the year, is strong enough to let people know you’ve arrived, yet subtle enough to have a lingering impact.

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Chutney’s nose- My husband and I lovingly call Chutney “button nose” along with the many other names we have for him. His nose is the perfect button and is perfectly wet at all times. I love feeling his wet nose rubbing against my leg whenever he comes to tell me that he’s finished eating his food:) Love him so much
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sea themed charm bracelet- This fun bracelet makes me excited for beach weather! Summer vacation is so close:)

FullSizeRender (4)Weddings- Weddings are beautiful and super fun to dress up to get all fancy for. Going to a wedding always makes me nostalgic about my big day. Plus it’s so nice catching up with old friends and have yummy food!

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 fig and olive- We recently went here and absolutely loved the food. The vibe is trendy and romantic. Do not miss the dessert tasting, which includes Pear Crostini, Chocolate Pot de Crème Crunchy Praline & Clementine Vacherin. Each of them were exquisite.

my world.

fuller houseFull house was hands down my favorite show when I was growing up. It’s probably one of the best “feel good” shows out there and I cherish it so much because it reminds of Friday nights sitting in front of the TV with my sister and indulging in our “TGIF” programming. I loved every minute of it! So when my sister told me that Fuller House was coming out, I couldn’t wait. I have to admit that watching the first episode did make me a bit teary eyed– it brought back so many sweet memories. I felt like I had grown up with DJ, Michelle and Stephanie! The most heart warming part of all, though, is that now my nephew loves Full House and binge watched all the Fuller House episodes with my sister:)

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Foam WashThis face wash is great for anyone who loves the original Cetaphil but wishes it would lather. This is more of a foam wash rather than your typical soap like cleanser and unlike anything I have ever used in the past. It does what it says and smells great. I’ve been using it day and night and haven’t reached for any of my other cleansers. It leaves my skin soft, smooth and clean- but not that squeaky clean I like to avoid (we don’t want to strip our natural oils). Also it costs under $10.

QueenI have always enjoyed watching Kangana Ranaut for her dramatic roles in movies such as Katti Batti and Fashion, but seeing her do comedy was such a pleasure. She really makes this movie as great as it is, simply because of her authenticity. This is a light hearted film which will have you hooked from its opening song.  Well done once again, Kangana. This girl can act.

Verina peplum topI recently purchased this blouse from Anthropologie after falling in love with the pattern. I can’t wait to wear it with cropped skinny jeans and booties or strappy nude sandals in the spring. A piece like this makes it effortless to look put together. I am a sucker for Anthro blouses(…and dresses…and sweaters…and jewelry…and home decor…and bedding- oh boy.)

 

kava cafe.  We recently went here for our java fix and were not disappointed. This place has a laid back vibe, isn’t too loud and the coffee definetely delivers. Being across the street from the Highline, you would think it attracts lots of tourists but it was surprisingly low key on a Saturday afternoon. We ordered a Macchiato and a Cortado.

falooda at junoon. Everything we ordered was excellent, but this was my favorite part of our prix fixe meal. The next time you’re in the neighborhood, go here and order the Falooda for dessert. The photo does it absolutely no justice. Thank me later.

my world.

  1. Tamasha- Despite having read not so stellar reviews, we decided to go see this Bollywood film. I am not a huge Deepika fan, but have to admit that she has come such a long way with her acting skills. This movie proves it. Both she and Ranbir Kapoor have powerful roles that do the film justice. The story line of this film- which is centered around loss of identity in an attempt to live according to societal conventions- is nothing like your ordinary romantic Bollywood romance- even the songs are well placed and make sense in the context of the film. One such song has been on repeat on my Ipod for the past several weeks. Well done AR Rahman. This movie definitely left me thinking about all the “shoulds” we all face.

2.  Black Opium-  I have found my new favorite winter signature scent. I love how warm and at the same time sweet this smells. Here are the notes: Mandarin, pink pepper, pear, orange blossom, jasmine, coffee, patchouli, cedarwood, and vanilla. This is a confident scent, great for work, or after work fun- all you need is this and a pair of high heels- hello date night:) I love how different it is from anything else I currently own.

3. Nutri Bullet-   Though this isn’t a new item in our home, I have recently been using it every day again. It makes breakfast fuss free and portable. I like to make my smoothies using greek yogurt,almond milk, kale, berries, and sometimes half a banana to make it creamier.

4. All the stars in the heavens- I am only about 50 pages in but cannot put this book down. Trigiani’s writes with amazing visual imagery which I love. My favorite read of hers is still the first one I read of hers, The shoemaker’s wife. 

5. Lush BB Seaweed- Loving this mask! Works really well for sensitive skin. It has aloe vera, fresh rose petals, and ground almonds in addition to seaweed. I think this is by far my favorite mask by Lush. I like to use this twice a week.

6. Indian for everyone- In an attempt to do more clean eating, I find myself going back to the recipes in this book more and more. You can see some of my faves here. Indian food is comforting, healthy and makes me happy.

 

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7.  myfitness pal- This is not a new app to me, but I am back on it. Though it’s not always fun to count calories, it definitely keeps me in check so that I am aware of exactly how much I am taking in. My favorite part is that it also keeps track of my steps and I can log daily exercise. I feel motivated to keep going and monitoring progress is so simple. I also love that I have my sister as a partner in crime with me on this food/ health journey.

 

 

9 orange is the new black My husband and I are totally hooked to this show. We have been watching at least an episode every day and can’t stop talking about it afterwards. All the actors are phenomenal, the issues are very real, and the story line has been unfolding in such a suspenseful way that it’s addictive! I am definitely a Modern Family kinda girl, but I do love me some drama.

10 bath and body works sleep body cream- This has been my go to post shower body cream. I love the subtle scent, easy to use tube packaging, and the non great hydration it provides. I am a huge fan of bath and body works body creams. I also like to use it as a hand cream right before I go to bed.

 

 

13. SK-II facial treatment essence I received a sample of this as part of an Asian skincare set Sephora offered a few months ago. I went through the entire sample size and was very pleased. I plan to use this for a few more weeks before doing a full review. It makes my skin baby soft but I am curious to see if it will help with hyperpigmentation and post acne marks.

14. OPI gel manicure in black cherry chutney I am loving this color for the winter especially because it goes with everything. I know gel manis aren’t the best for nails, but I really enjoy not having to do my nails every week.

 

 

march favorites!

Hello my lovely readers! I’m super excited to share things that I love for the month of March. Let’s just say I am pretty obsessed with each one of these items…hope you enjoy! I love to read your comments and feedback:) Here we go: I am currently loving these 3-wick scented candles from bath & body works. The peach Bellini makes me feel like I am on a tropical island….and the clean scent of the eucalyptus mint is really relaxing. I like to light them in the evenings after I’ve made dinner. unnamed (1) Bath & body works has so many scents to choose from that there is a scent for everyone! I got these on a 2 for $24 deal:) http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/product/index.jsp?productId=56825676&cp=12586994.12936192.4147333 http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/product/index.jsp?productId=31340926&cm_vc=200

MUSIC

I am currently obsessed with these songs!

and these albums:

Shreya ghoshal’s humnasheen

anoushka shankar’s traces of you

  BOOKS

This is how you lose her by Junot Diaz

  Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

BEAUTY

Lancome Micellar Cleansing Water:unnamed (6)I cannot say enough good things about this cleansing water. It can be used to remove makeup, to freshen up (a sticky face) after the gym, before reapplying makeup if you’re going out in the evening, to use as an alternative to washing your face with water, and the list goes on. I like to use it on the weekends in the am and pm. I love to use it as the first thing that goes on my face- it does a great job at removing the oils from the night before. This product smells and feels amazing going on, leaves my skin super soft and supple. I am on my second bottle! I had my mom try it recently and she too fell in love:) I use it at least once a day and the smaller sized bottle lasted me over 3 months. The dispenser is fabulous too!

Diorskin Nude Air Serum SPF 20:IMG_8749Check out my review of this foundation here. I have been using it every single day and don’t have a single negative thing to say about it.

Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield broad spectrum SPF 30:IMG_8920I recently received a sample of this and am completely obsessed. When I saw that this is a primer with SPF I was instantly sold. I like to use as much SPF as I can before heading out to work since I am exposed to the sun walking to and from the subway during my commute. This is hydrating and smoothing but not greasy.  This does a wonderful job as a primer itself and I would probably buy it even if it didnt have the SPF. The texture is silky and light and comparable to pore fessional by benefit or the smashbox primers. The best part is you get the benefits of a sunscreen in a primer! Murad hit a home run with this one. I will be purchasing this and plan to use it every morning rain or shine!

Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleaner:   IMG_8740I love how gentle yet effective this cleanser is and have been using it am and pm for several weeks now. In the mornings, it is super gentle and provides a nice fresh canvas for me to apply makeup. In the evenings, it works hard at removing all that makeup, but never leaves my skin feeling tight or stripped of oil! It contains olive oil, has no scent (which I happen to love) and gives me a baby soft face:)

Estee Lauder doublewear stay in place powder makeup:unnamed (25)You can read my review here.

I am still loving this!!

Fresh sugar face polish:   unnamed (6)This face scrub feels like a luxurious spa treatment that I am giving myself! Yes it’s pricey but a little bit goes a long way- I use this once every 2 weeks on moist skin and will leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. It’s such a nice way to pamper myself and is packed with antioxidants and nourishing ingredients like brown sugar, strawberries, and several fruit oils- delish!! If I had to pick one beauty item to treat myself with, it would definitely be this one.

Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask:   IMG_8928This has become my new favorite mask. It gives my skin a deep cleanse, clears my pores and really feels like it’s doing what it claims to do. I have been using this once a week and find that is enough. I wouldn’t say this mask is gentle. It’s one of the more intense products I use on my sensitive skin. This mask has replace the Queen Helene mint julep mask I was using in the past because I find the charcoal to be more effective for my skin. This will be especially great to use in the warmer months as well.

Milani Rose powder Blush:IMG_8921I love how subtle this blush is, which makes it foolproof. It’s really hard to apply too much! I like the hint of color it gives my cheeks without looking like I have pink circles on my cheeks:) I like to use it with the Milani blush brush- perfect duo.

Last but not least, here’s my favorite any month of the year:

IMG_8894What are your March favs??

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