~ Summer Fashion: Skirts!!

This year is zooming by!! It’s already July end, say what!?! For most of ya’ll summer is on it’s last leg but for us Houstonions, we are blessed with scorching summer heat more than other states of the US! Haha! Not that I am complaining, I am enjoying my summer 🙂 with my frizzy hair in tow and all 😉 LOL!

When it comes to dressing up during the summer months, I like being chic yet comfy and wearing skirts is one way out! I love my skirts!! Over the years, I have picked my skirts from various places – India, Kuwait and here in the US: Aeropostale, New York and Company, Cato’s, JC Penny and Macy’s!

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I have many skirts, some printed, some plain. Mostly I like to keep complimenting pieces together as in if the skirt is printed, keep the top plain and vice versa, but off late I have been more daring and mixing some prints.

In the collage above, I have compiled some of my recent summer looks depicting my love for skirts. These skirts are from all over the place and I am sharing the details below (going left to right, from the top row):

1. Green Skirt is from Biba. I got it on my trip to the in-laws in Lucknow, India. I paired this with a simple beige top from Loft and shiny gold sandals that I also bought from Lucknow, for an evening party.

Links for similar items are below:

Biba Skirts

Loft Beige Top

2. Grey Skirt with mint green stripes is from Macys. I usually pair it with a black top for an evening look but since this was an outing during the day, I wore it with this mint green top from Aeropostale along with my new sparkly mint green shoes from Cato’s. The tote bag is from Gucci.

Links for similar items are below:

Macy’s Skirts

Mint Green Sparkly Flats

Gucci Tote

3. The black skirt with white tiny polka dots in the third pic on the top row is from Mumbai, India. It’s a sexy little number with side slits and all. I hadn’t found an event to wear this skirt to, but the recent date night with the hubby was a perfect occasion. I teamed it up with a nice white lacy blouse from Loft, sparkly black flats from Payless and my Coach wristlet.

Links for similar items are below:

White Lace Tee from Loft

Coach Wristlet

Payless Sparkly Flats

4. The white and black chevron print skirt is from JC Penny and this is the time I tried to mix prints! The orange palm tree print top, my sparkly orange flats are from Cato’s and my bag from Gucci. I usually wear this with a plain white or black top, but like the mixed prints – what do you girls think?

Links for similar items are below:

Orange Sparkly Flats

Maxi Skirts JC Penny

Blouses from Cato’s

Gucci Tote

5. Next up is one of my favorites – the beige skirt. This one is from New York & Company and I have had it for a while. I wear it pretty often with different tops, but love my pairing of purple and beige! In my opinion even though the skirt has white zig-zag lines all over it, the butterflies do not clash as the skirt’s subtle neutral color makes it almost as good as a plain skirt. What do you think?

Links for similar items are below:

Skirts from NY&C

Tops from Cato’s

Flats from Payless

6. The last one on this collage is actually a perfect skirt for the fall – with the colors and all!! It’s a recent addition to my skirt collection and comes from Cato’s just like the top and the shoes I am wearing with it. I love this bag I got from Aldo in Kuwait, especially using it in spring/summer months thanks to it’s bright color and laser cut design 🙂

Links for similar items are below:

Skirts from Cato’s

Tees and Knit Tops from Cato’s

Orange Sparkly Flats

Aldo Bags

My jewelry is from all over the place, I pick things up as and when I like it, anywhere and everywhere – some from India and Kuwait, others are either from Charming Charlie, Forever 21, H&M, Rue 21, Icing, Old Navy or Cato’s among others. There are way too many cute options available, so be sure to check it out:

Charming Charlie

Rue 21

Forever 21

H&M

Cato’s

Icing

I hope this post has made you want to whip up a skirt style of your own!! I’ll be back with more summer fashion posts soon, till then, stay stylish! Ciao!

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~ Patio Maintenance!!

The credit for this post’s idea goes to the hubby. One evening we were sitting on our patio swing and talking when he made a comment about how he loves our patio and loves how I take care to make it pretty and relaxing, and asked me to write a blog post about the same 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@nshrivas) you must have already seen pictures of my patio, but for those of you who have not, here is what my patio looks like:

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In this post, I am sharing details on what is in my patio along with how I decorate and maintain it. Over the years, I have tried many different variety of flowers and plants and will share my opinion on the same as well. Ofcourse the details about the plants that work and those that don’t is based on the Houston climate and will differ if you are elsewhere.

I love plants and usually buy them from either Ikea, Kroger, Lowe’s or Walmart. I do have some from our trips to Hill Country as well, namely from Wildseed Farms. I shared details about this place in my ~ Around Houston: Fredericksburg!! post. Patio decor shopping is one of my favorite things to do and I pick things up as, and when, I see something I like.

Plants:

The following plants are what I have in my patio currently:

  • Money Tree (from Ikea)
  • Bougainvillea (from Lowe’s)
  • Mint (from Walmart)
  • Rose (from Kroger)
  • Kadi Pataa/Curry leaves (from my aunt…thanks Bua!!)
  • Jasmine (got a cutting from an aunt)
  • Miniature Palm Tree (from Ikea)
  • Tulsi/Holy Basil (Mommy got seeds from Kuwait)

Over the years I have figured out that these are good all year-long, however I do cover them during the winter season to save them when we have frost warnings. Some of these do shed their leaves in the cooler temperatures, but we keep on watering them as they do flourish and grow right back as spring approaches, thriving through summer and a good part of fall as well. I keep my Tulsi indoors by the patio door, so as to keep it away from the harsh temperatures of the outdoors but still giving it the much-needed sunlight it needs, as its placed right next to the patio door.

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Plants I have had in the past on a seasonal basis:

  • Marigold – Fun to plant and looks pretty too! Makes me feel like I am in India 🙂

Plants I have tried but haven’t worked due to Houston heat:

  • Lavender – I got my Lavender plant from Hill Country and they had mentioned that Houston temperatures may be too hot for this plant to survive and that is exactly what happened! I tried this particular plant twice, but it dried up and died both times and so I gave up!
  • Geranium – I believe it needs more space to grow healthily than my little patio can provide!

Patio Decor:

  • I have many solar lights and 2 colorful spin fans, both of which are from the Dollar Store!
  • The big metal spin fan was a birthday gift, but can be found in stores like Kirkland, Pier 1 Imports and Big Lots.
  • The little collection of things on the table are from various places: The mosquito repellent candle is from TJ Maxx, the LOVE sign from a Valentine’s Day sale at Kroger, the small solar lamp is from Dollar Tree and the big pink cup and saucer came with an orchid plant. I collect wine corks in this cup and also have 2 other vases that I keep my corks in (it’s hidden behind the yellow pot in the pic below).
  • My pot stands are from Wildseed Farms in Hill Country.
  • The brown table is actually a breakfast table that the hubby had when he lived in Virginia. He got it from Target and when he moved, we consolidated our furniture and this worked perfectly for the patio. The high stools that came with this are used as a side table and a seating option.
  • Patio Swing is from Walmart and so is its seat cushion and back cushions. I have another mosquito repellent thingi on the swing, it’s very much-needed especially in the spring/summer.
  • The red/pink mat under the swing is from Ikea and it not only helps keep the patio clean but also makes it look fun, inviting and gives it a more relaxing feel.
  • On the railing, I have a metallic sign that reads Live, Laugh, Love and another cute little ceramic piece hanging from the patio swing that reads Home Sweet Home.
  • I love chimes 🙂 I have many! A total of 4! 2 of these are from Hawaii and 2 from Kuwait. You can also find chimes at stores like Kirkland, Pier 1 Imports and also order some online via Amazon.
  • The big chime with the bells hanging on the wall is from Pier 1 Imports and it’s gorgeous. It does not make noise since it’s pretty heavy, but I love how it looks against the wall as it compliments the beige walls of my patio.
  • We also have a small hot air balloon that we bought from a hot air balloon festival we attended in Longview, Texas. I love when it spins on a windy day, looks so pretty!!
  • I have 2 more cute solar lamps from Bed Bath and Beyond and a reading lamp from Walmart as well. I love reading on the patio and often cozy up with a book on the patio swing. The lamp helps me continue reading even as the sun goes down. My mosquito repellent candle helps keep the mosquitoes away!
  • Lights!! I have these lantern lights from Pottery Barn (not shown in pix) that go up in my patio once the Day Light Savings end and it starts getting dark outside earlier. We also put up multi-colored lights on the railing every Diwali and leave them up until after New Years!! I love it when my patio is all decked up like a newly wedded bride!!

Here are the websites for some great patio decor and furniture options:

Pier 1

Kirkland’s

Bed, Bath & Beyond

AtHome

Amazon

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Patio Maintenance:

I won’t be sharing details like how often to water the plants etc. coz that really depends on where you live, how much sun you get etc. etc. Instead here I am going to be sharing some details on how to ensure your patio is kept clean for easy access and use.

  • Ensure all the decor items, mats and cushions used in the patio are fit for outdoor use. Things made for outdoor use are not only quick dry in the rainy season, but also do not fade quickly, hence making them durable.
  • The mat under the patio swing is of a plastic sort of material (read chatai material) and this helps in maintaining it and keeping it clean. I like having the mat under the patio swing coz I feel like my feet keep clean while I am swinging away to glory! 🙂
  • Have a dedicated broom only to clean the patio. It helps if this broom has plastic bristles, since it’s easier to clean the mud, leaves etc. that spread all over the patio on a windy day, without having dirt get stuck to the bristles.
  • Have a nice heavy-duty mat to wipe your foot on, so you do not bring the dirt from the patio into your apartment.
  • I clean the patio once a month with hot water. Basically use the plant watering container to pour water and then broom it off the patio. While I make my downstairs neighbor angry as their balcony gets dirty, I am still happy coz mine gets cleaned! Haha! Just kidding!! I make sure that when I clean the patio, I let them know in advance. Their patio is anyways empty so it’s not like I dirty any of their things! Haha! So, coming back to the point, the reason I wash it with hot water once a month is to keep away the dirt and also keep away/wash away any insect that maybe making themselves too comfortable in my patio!

This was a post out of the usual, hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions regarding my patio, please feel free to ask.

I hope you are ready to decorate your patio and make it a cozy extension of your perfect home 🙂 Go ahead and enjoy some time outdoors in the comfort of your own patio! It makes for a great escape from the usual surroundings… Cheers!