September 16, 2014

High Versus Low

Welcome to my age-old dilemma. The one where I debate the pros and cons of buying sometimes designer, always expensive, higher-end clothing. Is it worth it? Let's discus..

Although my salary leaves me with little $$ to go shopping at Creatures of Comfort, I can't help but feel attracted to the silhouettes and fabrics that contemporary/high end designers put out. Every time I walk into Barney's there's one item I always think about splurging on. Problem is, I can't help but think about the fact that it's $400 and who knows how many times I'll wear it before it goes out of style?

That's not to say I don't love shopping at High Street stores. However, my thought process is a bit different there. Shops like Zara and H&M are great for really trendy pieces like heather gray sweatpants and tulle tutus. I drop $70 and it's like I have a whole new closet. Sill, multiple transactions of $70 eventually adds up to $400. Instead of buying the sweatpants and tulle tutus that'll only be in fashion for a month, why not splurge on that perfectly boxy dress by A.P.C?

And so, I really battle with this; should I limit my spending to more expensive, quality pieces that will last me a lifetime (or so I hope. But quality control is a different conversation that deserves its own post)? Or should I get over my attraction to Barney's and buy more trendy pieces, more often and just shop by trends.

Lately, I've been doing a mix with more of a focus on higher-end. For so long, I found myself buying things from H&M and Zara and only wearing them once or twice before I was over them. My recently purchased Rachel Comey dress which was more than it should be (even on sale!) is classic and well-made. Although I can't decide if I find myself wearing it more than twice because it cost so damn much!

What's your take?

September 3, 2014

The Unwanted Tenant

The other day I woke up with a giant pimple on my upper cheek. It was the size of Russia, as red as a cherry pie and quite noticeable. Having about an hour to get ready for work, I spent the next fifty minutes cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing hoping that a clean, polished face was the answer to ridding myself of the behemoth that had taken up residence on my face.

Days passed and though I kept a strict face-washing schedule, my pimple proved harder to evict than a squatter. At that point, I decided to try something different: For the next few days, I would let go of my usual regiment and instead simply wash my face one a day. No moisturizers. No face oil. Nothing!

To my surprise, my anti-regiment worked. Although a little red dot remains, it's nothing near what it used to be and seems to be getting better. I was surprised mainly because we're sold products thinking this cleanser will keep your face clean and that moisturizer will keep your face glowing. Sometimes, I forget that our bodies sometimes really do have the power to cure themselves. My foray with the pimple was a much needed reminder.

Today, my skin is a bit dry so I've decided to start using my moisturizer again. Still, I'm thinking of ignoring my regiment like an unsolicited phone call and locking away the products. I'll let you know how it goes.

July 29, 2014

Do This: Burn Palo Santo Wood

On most days, my house smells like an Indian shala. That's because Nicholas is constantly burning incense. A lot of people are turned off by incenses, claiming their scent is too strong, but I actually like the smell. Still, every once in a while, I find my nose tickling and wishing the air smelled a little more...airy? 

Recently though, Nicholas has been burning Palo Santo wood sticks. Considered the 'holy wood', healers and shamans of all kinds burn these sticks in order to remove bad energies. Even if you're all good in the bad-energy-removing department, I will say these sticks do smell nice. They give off a mild sandalwood and citrus scent that leaves our home smelling really pleasant. 

Photo from here

July 28, 2014

More Italy 2014

I finally got around to editing my non-iPhone Italy photos.

Locanda Costa Diva in Praino, Italy

I had always wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast and we finally made it down. Because of the last-minute nature of our trip, we actually ended up staying in two different hotels in two different towns. On our first night, we stayed at Locanda Costa Diva, a cute little hotel situated on top of a cliff (the picture above and below is of our view) in the town of Praino. Praino was quite little fishing town that boasted a perfect little. The room was clean but definitely nothing to write home about. What was something to write home about was the dinner we ate at the hotel. The freshest seafood topped over delicious (what else?) pasta. It was easily the best meal of the trip.

Locanda Costa Diva in Praino, Italy

Praino, Italy on the Amalfi Coast

 Praino's 'perfect little beach'!

Praino, Italy on the Amalfi Coast

Praino, Italy on the Amalfi Coast

The view from Villa Scarparleio

the view from villa scarpariello in Ravello italy

After Praino, we headed over to Villa Scarpariello in the Amalfi town of Ravello. Okay, now this place was out of this world. I wrote about it a bit in my last post which you can find here, but I can't stress enough how magical this place was. The view! The sea. Everything.

July 23, 2014

How Do You Breaky?

I believe there are two types of people in this world--those who eat breakfast and those who don't. My whole life, I've considered myself a person who doesn't really eat breakfast--only because I'm never dying of hunger in the morning and can't really stand to do the standard "American breakfast." Eggs aren't my thing (although I've learned to deal with them) plus pancakes, waffles and all that nonsense are for people who rather swim in a pool of syrup than a pool of olive oil (my dream!) My family used to actually be in awe when I'd opt for a leftover plate of pasta for breakfast instead of that omelet with a side of bacon my sister was in the process of devouring.

As my life has progressed though, I've been exposed to different kinds of breakfast. I am sure you can imagine my excitement when I realized that they don't eat eggs for breakfast in India, Italy or even France (although they sometimes do, it's not always a regular thing)! My kind of people!

In India, they basically eat another version of dinner for breakfast. It's usually a curry/stew served with pieces of chapati (bread) with which you dip into the stew. In Italy, it's un caffe with this over the top, extra-sugary, creme-filled pastry Nicholas always tries to get me to eat. But in France, it's usually a tartine which is basically an open-faced sandwich with spreads and other delicious accouterments.

Ah, the French. They do things so well, don't they? At least I think so. See, the thing about a tartine is that it can go so many ways. You can do the whole American thing and top your tartine with eggs. Or you can disguise your need for salty mid-day foods by topping your tartine with ricotta and prosciutto. Basically, the world is your tartine and you can dress it however you want.

This morning--you guessed it--I had a tartine! It was a piece of toast with salty butter and honey drizzled over it. It sounds so simple but it was so delicious. Give it a try.

Photo taken at Black Seed Bagel, a great place to get a savory breakfast!

July 18, 2014

It Feels Good To Be Home

Most of you know I have always loved to travel. From a young age, my mother taught me to seek new places and to look for adventure on the way. Once I graduated high school, I sought any excuse to skip town although, short on cash, and still somewhat tied to the womb, my escapades never took me too far. But still far enough to have my friends proclaim Eli, you're never home!

It's cool to be adventurous. It's exciting to see new things. It's really great to try new foods. And I guess that's why when I came to the realization earlier this month that lately, I've really enjoyed being home, I couldn't help but think of how lame I was being. Why be home when you can be in X?

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I spent the last four years or so traveling somewhere almost every month. Whether it was a quick trip down to Miami to visit my family, or nice jaunt to the West Coast to visits Nicholas', traveling became a bit exhausting. I actually remember the trip(s) after which I proclaimed, okay...I'm done for a bit. 

But still, the question remains: is it boring of me to just want to be home for a bit? I don't think so. I feel as if it's just a phase. Sometimes one wants to be moving around and at other times, one wants to be sedentary. I just happen to be having one of those sedentary moments and I'm looking at it as an opportunity to really enjoy New York for what it's worth--to hate love just have to deal with it. I'm spending my time focusing on my home, my career, my hobbies and my relationship. After all, this can't last forever, right?

PS-I hope you don't take this in the wrong way. I am forever grateful for the fact that I am so lucky to travel the way I do. I actually think staying in New York is MORE expensive than if I was elsewhere. The irony!

photo from unknown.