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Cultural misappropriation strikes again

This topic pops up frequently Stateside around Halloween when we often find ourselves cringing as we explain to others that "dressing up as an Indian" is not in fact a costume option. It is actually cultural misappropriation. This can be a touchy subject as we can often be perceived as being overly sensitive. However, the main issue is that unless you "walk the walk" of the minority group day in an day out (you face all the discrimination that it entails to be brown), then you don't get to play dress up and use our culture and dress on a lark. Our traditional dress, and adornments such as the tikka or mehendi are routinely used as props by Westerners who don't know the first thing about what the practices mean. I want to be clear that appreciation and misappropriation ought not be confused! If as a non-Indian, you have learned about the cultural practices and significance, you would also know not to cart out bindis as props. Likewise, if you are attending a…
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Travel Diary: Flagstaff

This trip was highly uncharacteristic for us in that it was pretty impromptu.  Flagstaff is a very short drive for us, so with a little help from Amazon, I had boys ski accessories in hand (everything fit perfectly!), hubs rented the gear in town, and we were off. Hubs and I are Floridians so we're not exactly bred for alpine adventure - we wanted to make sure our kids got on skis early to prevent the fear factor from setting in.

Flagstaff is a picturesque town - it's at a high enough elevation that the mountains are home to evergreens and there isn't a cactus in sight. In town, the temperatures really only required a fleece and some layering, but up in the mountains, of course it was a bit cooler. Flagstaff really is a stunning little town - walking around among the buildings (many of which are on the historic register), you can imagine what the town was like in its timber heyday. I'm a sucker for turn of the century history, college towns, and that gorgeous alpine sc…

Cover Fx Mattifying Setting Spray

If I had a skin care weakness, it's mattifiers. I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest mattifying products. I grabbed this bottle thinking I'd use it as an afternoon refresher in lieu of patting on an oil-absorbing powder.
I'm sorry to report, that this spray took its sweet time drying, and I didn't observe any mattifying action. I basically felt like I spritzed my face with water. Hydrating and cooling? Yes. Mattifying? Not really.

Dr. Jart Tiger Grass Camo Drops

What under-caffeinated, sleep-deprived mom wouldn't love to quickly blur redness and uneven skin tone via one tiny addition to her morning routine? I certainly couldn't resist the temptation of a product that seemed to promise to do just that without (and I cannot emphasize this enough), adding much time to my morning routine. I've got three breakfasts to fix, two lunches to pack, two sleepy boy to wake up, and an unpredictable baby. Time is the one thing I don't have.
Enter Dr. Jart's Tiger Grass Camo Drops. Essentially, they act like a color corrector in liquid form. After giving the bottle a good shake, I squeezed out 2 drops onto my fingertips. The drops start out green (makes sense for redness cancelling), and then turn to beige as you blend them into your skin. Here's where I ran into a couple of issues. First, my skin is oily at baseline. Adding the Dr. Jart drops after my serum, but before my mattefier and SPF, resulted in mega-shine for me. If you have…

"Dear Abby" misses the mark entirely

Yikes. May feels like forever ago. I know I resolved to take this blog in a new direction, and truthfully, I've had a number of posts in mind. Yet the devastating state of American politics, children indefinitely separated from their parents at border jails, and the recent SCOTUS drama, have occupied much of my spare mental energy. I am no longer phased by the newest lows the GOP and 45 sink to on a daily basis. But it was this seemingly "coming from a good place" load of appallingly tone deaf advice from "Dear Abby" columnist Jeanne Phillips, that has angered me into cobbling together a few sentences. So here I am.

Let me start by saying I'm not trying to lump Abby or this particular advice seeker in with the MAGA pitchfork wielders. However, her thought process (however well intentioned it may be) is most definitely part of the problem. Per Phillips, “whiteness” is still the norm and reference point for everything, and all that deviate from this norm are t…

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, fashionista

In addition to a penchant for XXL white button-downs, Mrs. Ahuja is a known pusher of sartorial boundaries. While most times this produces spectacular results, occasionally it is a bit of a misfire. Take this distressed denim sari, for instance.
A denim sari is an interesting concept. However, the extreme distressing kills it IMO. It's an interesting spin on the Texas Tuxedo...a Texas Sari, perhaps?
Despite the occasional dud look, one can expect two things always from Sonam. She will make bold choices and take risks (gone are the Saawariya days, thank the gods). And her hair/makeup will always be on point. Always.
Photos:@sonamkapoor, @rheakapoor, pinkvilla

Travel Diary: Clearwater Beach

As the school year draws to an end for two of my kids, we were fortunate to have an opportunity to spend a few days beachside. Luckily, though it is May, we avoided major rain and thunderstorms. An added bonus: cloud coverage helps alleviate the heat a bit. It was a perfect mini-vacation because honestly, all the kids wanted to do was swim in the ocean, make sand castles, and swim some more. The kids also enjoyed giant inflatable slip-n-slides, and play structures located near the pier.

We stayed at the Wyndham Grand which has a prime location ocean front near the pier. The room had an airy, beach vibe and we had an excellent view of the ocean and harbor. A and I accomplished our goal of relaxing and the kiddos maximized their time in the surf. Despite the fact that all three kids remained firmly on west coast time (sleeping at midnight and waking up at 9am), the housekeeping staff was accommodating and efficient at turning the room over after we crawled out close to lunchtime most da…