Nail Polish Key

Getting into my room requires three keys – for the gate, front door and my bedroom. It’s been taking me a while to remember which key does what, so in order to make the memorization task simple, I decided to paint a portion of each key with a different color of nail polish to tell them apart. All you have to do is paint the handle portion of the key (on both sides) with two coats of any nail polish. Problem solved:

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Favorite room objects, through the lens of Instagram

{I am obsessed with finding neat pillow combinations. The round one with the flower print is by Shabby Chic, while the heart and square pillow is from Kohls}

{Pillows / These are just a few from the pretty large collection I own. The round one with the flower print is by Shabby Chic, while the heart and square pillow is from Kohls}

{I love the light, fresh scent of this sugar blossom candle from Target}

{Candles / I love the light, fresh scent of this sugar blossom candle from Target}

{This classy/vintage looking piece is from... Ross! It holds all of my office suplies and more. I love the feminine touch it adds to the room}

{Storage / This classy and feminine looking piece is from… Ross! It holds all of my office suplies and more}

Jodhpur

We spent most of an afternoon at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, and it’s no wonder the tour took so long, the place is huge! The walls are massive and the inside is like a maze. Apparently the maze-like structure was meant to hinder intruders from entering the fort – the sharp turns would slow intruders down, since most of them traveled by elephant. The architecture was beautiful, especially when it shone in the afternoon sun. A Hindu temple sat atop the hill and looked out onto the city of blue and white houses. The view was amazing and I loved the experience of taking part in a Hindu prayer ritual. You may recognize the Mehrangarh Fort from the latest Batman movie – pretty cool!

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Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World – when you see the wonderfully preserved mausoleum in person, you’ll understand why it retains such a prestigious title. The perfectly symmetrical structure is made up of hand carved and decorated marble. The detail is truly stunning, with intricacies that leave you in awe. The Taj Mahal is meant to be a symbol of love, as it was built by the order of the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, to honor the memory of his wife.

When I got the first glimpse of the Taj Mahal in full, I was completely blown away. Pictures and stories can’t compare to the experience of seeing it with your own eyes. The more I learned from our tour guide about the science and symmetry behind the building, the more I appreciated its beauty. Everyone should see the Taj Mahal at some point in their life!

{The first glimpse}

{The first glimpse}

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Night in the Desert

We spent one night in Jaisalmer at a campsite with beautiful tents complete with king sized beds and running water! The desert was an endless sea of soft almost-white sand… the seclusion made the stars shine bright at night. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many stars in my life! After we unpacked, we rode camels out into the sand dunes to hang out and watch the sunset. The area was peaceful and the sights were like something out of a national geographic magazine. Two young men played a Rajasthan welcome song and two young girls sang and danced. The combination of the sights and sounds made the experience one I won’t ever forget.

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{The welcome path to the campsite}

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{Believe it or not, this camel’s name is Michael Jackson!}

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{This man sang and played a Rajasthan welcome song}

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Splash of Color – Vera Bradley’s Dogwood Backpack Is Perfect for Travel

As you’ve probably gathered already from my past posts, I am in love with the brand Vera Bradley. The designs are whimsical and brighten up any outfit. From makeup bags to laptop covers, Vera Bradley provides products for every girl’s day-to-day necessities.

I was ecstatic when a representative from Vera Bradley generously offered to send the Double Zip Backpack to take along with me on my recent trip to India. When the backpack arrived in the mail, I was immediately drawn to the design – Dogwood. The combination of flowers splashed with beautiful neutrals of white, yellow and army green against the stark black background is perfect for a winter wardrobe! I loved how the backpack blended perfectly with any scarf or sweater I wore while abroad.

During my trip, I traveled around the northern part of India to places such as Chandigarh, Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Agra. The backpack accompanied me everywhere and was the perfect size for everything I needed – whether it was a weekend trip to Chandigarh or a day trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra. The outside pocket contained a pouch to hold my iPhone and was even big enough to carry powder, blush and mascara so that I could leave my makeup bag at home. Both sides of the backpack have a pouch to hold a water bottle or any small items – this was perfect for day trips when I needed to carry bottled water. The main pouch of the backpack is surprisingly spacious – it held enough clothes and other essentials for a 4 day trip to the desert. When en route to India, my 15-inch MacBook Pro was also able to fit in the backpack! The large pouch even has a space to put your ID where it is visible and easy to access – an absolute must for when you are traveling in a foreign country. As with all Vera Bradley products, the double zip backpack is incredibly practical and durable while at the same time it is absolutely fashionable and feminine. I loved carrying the backpack with me on this incredible trip!

I picked up many souvenirs  during my trip to the Delhi Haat market - all of them fit in the backpack!

I picked up many souvenirs during my trip to the Delhi Haat market – all of them fit in the backpack!

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See how the Dogwood design blends in with the Indian fabrics? Love it!

See how the Dogwood design blends in with the Indian fabrics? Love it!

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I loved how the backpack added a splash of color to my winter outfit - it was surprisingly cold in India!

I loved how the backpack added a splash of color to my winter outfit – it was surprisingly cold in India!

We had a very nice tour guide at the Taj Mahal, he made sure we had a wonderful experience.

We had a very nice tour guide at the Taj Mahal, he made sure we had a wonderful experience.

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The backpack even doubled as a pillow during the train ride to Rajasthan!

The backpack even doubled as a pillow during the train ride to Rajasthan!

The design blended with everything I wore - even these crazy awesome pants!

The design blended with everything I wore – even these crazy awesome pants!

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We stayed in a pretty luxurious tent in the desert... it had a king size bed!

We stayed in a pretty luxurious tent in the desert… it had a king size bed!

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, nicknamed “The Golden City,” is a desert town in Rajasthan. The nickname comes from the desert sand and the yellow stone used in the city’s architecture. Despite visiting in December, the day was quite warm, but the sun illuminated the buildings beautifully.
First, we visited the Patwon-ki Haveli, a mansion built by a wealthy businessman named Guman Chand Patwa. The architecture was beautiful and intricate – apparently it took over 50 years to build. The haveli contained well preserved artifacts that told a story of the people who lived there long ago. The inside contained walls painted in gold, steep stairwells and infinite hallways that made the house feel like a maze.

After visiting the haveli, we went to a restaurant called Trio. The restaurant sat on the second story of a building overlooking the city. Colorful decorations adorned the restaurant and the food was nicely presented. To start, we drank fresh lime soda and cold coffee, then we ordered chicken, lamb and a vegetable dish – all very spicy! The spice level of the food in Rajasthan surprised me, and though the taste was intense at times it was great to experience. Finally, the restaurant provided a mouth freshener made up of fennel seeds and sugar.

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Chandigarh – Part 2

Our next stop in Chandigarh was the Rock Garden, which was a maze of unique statues and structures made of urban and industrial waste. Basically, it’s a place where trash is turned into treasure. Glass, stones and sparkling bangles are just some of the materials that make up the statues and walls within.
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After the Rock Garden, we drove to Pinjore Gardens, which was created in the 17th century by the Patiala Dynasty Rulers. The idyllic garden contains beautiful fountains and huge patches of bright green grass. The views were breathtaking…
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Chandigarh – Part 1

Chandigarh, about four hour drive north of Noida, was a peaceful break from bustling Delhi. People drive within the lanes and the streets are full of open green areas and gardens. On the way to Chandigarh, we stopped at a nice and clean rest stop with lots of delicious food. My favorite was the bhel puri – an Indian street food tradition made up of puffed rice, onions, peanuts, spices and tamarind chutney.

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We spent the first night in Chandigarh at a market just around the corner where we were staying. I love walking through the markets in India – the smells of all the different kinds of food mingle together and you’re surrounded by vivid colors along with sparkling shoes and jewelry.

The next day we visited the Chandigarh Rose Garden, which is full of hundreds of different flower species. The clear day made the colors even more bright and beautiful. I even found a grasshopper sitting on one of the roses!
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