Monday, December 3, 2012

Sorry Target, You're Not Cutting It

Dear Decision Makers at Target:

I have a major bone to pick with you since your release of your collaboration with Neiman Marcus that features various members of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America). I'll preface my concern by saying I am normally very pleased when you folks decide to collaborate with designers. I agree it is a great way to give regular people with a love for fashion an opportunity to purchase items from designers they look up to. Your Missoni collaboration last year was well executed and every piece added something special to the overall collection.

I was equally if not more excited when I found out you would be collaborating with Neiman Marcus to make designers I am obsessed with (Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenburg, and Tory Burch) readily available to the American public. But, I have to be honest and say that every designer's pieces left something to be desired.

I am just going to focus on the three designers mentioned above and give you my two cents on the matter:

1. Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs is my all time favorite fashion designer. There is no way around the fact that the man is a creative genius. I also believe his attempt at the collaboration was the most genuine. He actually created designs of items similar to those he actually sells in his own line. He came up with a leather pouch (clutch) in gold, rose gold, and gunmetal shades. I appreciate the fact that he used real leather to create his pieces, but the color choices gave both of the gold shades a rather artificial look. And, I think it's a little counterproductive to pay for real leather that looks fake because of the way it is crafted. Also, the fact that the clutch is a pouch, gives it a very pencil case-y look. I can't quite figure it out, but the clutches look like they belong in a bag instead of being stand-alone pieces. Marc Jacobs also designed a black scarf for the collection. Again, it seemed like a genuine effort, but I cannot justify blowing seventy dollars on a solid black scarf that could easily be found elsewhere.


2. Diane von Furstenburg: Ok, what happened here? When I heard Diane von Furstenburg was on the list of designers creating for Target, the first thing that came to mind was the legendary wrap dress silhouette that was birthed by her. I thought for sure she would create some version of that dress or at least gift us with some dupe of her many other amazing silhouettes. But, what did we get instead? A jewelry box and a yoga mat! Really, a yoga mat?! And fifty dollars a piece at that I might add! I just feel like we deserved to see an actual garment from a fashion designer who makes garments instead of a box and a mat in a punchy print.


3. Tory Burch: Alright, last but not least, I think it was a great move to get Tory Burch in on the Target action. She is fairly new to the fashion scene and has been growing in popularity among celebrities and fashion lovers alike. Her fame primarily comes from her classic reva flats and many variations of handbags that both feature the legendary Tory Burch medallion. It would have been really phenomenal to see her incorporate the metal medallion into her Target pieces in some way. Oh well. But, I will add that it was refreshing to see her use one of her most famous prints on both pieces she did for the line (lunch box and beverage container).


Overall, I just feel as if these designer collaborations hurt the image of designers if there pieces do not evoke the same emotions in the customer as do the pieces from their regular lines. I also believe that the designers' talents are not portrayed accurately through collaborations if they are not executed thoughtfully. I think when doing designer collaborations, it is more important to focus on quality and authenticity rather than quantity and speed which I didn't see happening this time around. I really hope there are more collaborations in the future that include pieces that more effectively demonstrate the talents and individuality of the designers involved.

(All images via target.com)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Today Is Not My Day...

...tomorrow doesn't look too great either.

I woke up today with good intentions. I figured since I didn't have a class to go to or any immediate deadlines, I would do something I don't often have the time to do: CLEAN. So, I made up my mind that I was going to clean the kitchen top to bottom. I wiped all the counters, washed the dishes, polished the sink, swept the floor, you get the picture.

Perfect. Well almost. I spotted a white styrofoam takeout box sitting next to the toaster.

"Ok, no big deal", I thought to myself. "I'll just stick this in the refrigerator and then everything will be perfect".

Boy, was I wrong! As I reached to pick up the box, water gushed out of the box onto the entire counter and all over the floor. And, I'm not talking about ordinary water. This was straight up feta water. For those of you who have had feta cheese before, you know that soaking it in water helps to keep it moist and lower the sodium content. And, you also know that as good as feta may TASTE, the SMELL is heinous!

So, by now the aroma of feta had dispersed into the entire kitchen along with tiny chunks of feta everywhere.

Great. Back to square one.

So, after drying, disinfecting, and polishing, I realized I should probably stick to school work...and that feta cheese smells way too nasty to be considered edible. Well, that was my Friday morning. How was your day?

P.S. There is no real moral to this story. Just thought I would share it and enjoy the humor of the situation rather than get frustrated over my clumsiness.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

If You Didn't Snap It, You Didn't Eat It

Today, I was going through the pictures on my phone and I noticed a certain trend. Aside from the kabillions of photos I take in stores and send to my mom to ask permission before buying something, I realized I take A LOT of pictures of food! I know for a fact I'm not the only one though because 90% of my instagram feed consists of food shots. I am sure pretty soon restaurant menus are going to come with suggested instagram filters. And people will ask the question, "If I didn't post a photo online, did I really eat it?" Some of you might think things are getting a little out of hand, but I think it's cool to see what everyone else has been metabolizing lately. So, here are some of the more photogenic foods I found on my phone complete with instagram filters and everything. Sorry in advance for the salivation that might occur as you scroll down :) And, these photographs are pretty self explanatory, so I'm not going to label or explain anything. If you have a question about what something is called, just comment below and I'll be glad to let you know!
















































(Note: All the above photographs are taken by me. If you would like to use them, please contact me at thedesiknot@gmail.com Thanks.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Black on Black on Black

There is nothing more sophisticated or breathtaking than a woman wearing all black the right way with subtle accents of either gold or silver hardware accessories. It works no matter how old you are, where you live, and what you look like. So, the title of this post is probably the best advice you will ever hear. I promise. You have to say it with a certain flair for the full effect, but my black theory should definitely be made your style mantra if it isn't already. Yes, you read that correctly, it is MY black theory and I am taking full credit for it. You are more than welcome to use it though! Alright, let's get into the meat of the mantra. Follow these pointers and you will look like you have a personal stylist living in your closet. Shhh....

The Fit
Yes, we all realize that black is the holy grail color for hiding that food baby, but that is not to say that size does not matter. Make sure your garments are snug, but not squeezing, stretching, or pulling in all the wrong places. Below are two prime examples of perfectly fitting black. I don't need to say much about these because you can clearly see how well it works. It just works. Over analyzing will just take away from the effortless beauty of this outfit. I will add though that the Prada bag is the blackberry cherry on top!


Accessorizing It
When it comes to accessorizing, I believe that statement pieces in gold and silver look much more subdued on black than on any other color. If done correctly, you can get away with a lot in the name of black. Here are some examples of bold hardware pieces that look stunning on black!




The Modesty Factor
Another one of my favorite things about all black clothing is the level of skill it takes to look vulgar. Basically, unless you are trying to look tasteless, black will prove to be super flattering and sophisticated looking without much effort. Here are some of my favorite black outfits. See? Covering up can be beautiful!
 



(all images via tumblr)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bloggers I Love...

Reading blogs can be a very time consuming activity and with all the blogs out there, its definitely hard to read very many. But, I have compiled a list of blogs that I cannot miss a word of. Here are the bloggers I am obsessed with at the moment and why I love them so much!

































1. Paris Rouzati, creative director of Sweet Lemon Magazine recently started a blog called Chicamoo. She used to write a different blog, so I am familiar with her writing style. I love how her writing is a perfect marriage of intellect and humor. I just can't wait to see how her site progresses over time.

2. Another blog I love reading is called A Series of Serendipity started by a girl named Melina. The site is in Porteguese, but there is an option to let Google automatically translate it for you into English. Melina definitely has a knack for photographing interesting parts of her life and I love reading about what is going on in her part of the world.

3. One of my new favorite blogs is Veronika's Blushing. Veronika is a YouTuber and a blogger and she literally writes about EVERYTHING! Whether you like reading about makeup, fashion, decor, or fitness...Veronika has got all the bases covered. By the way, I'd like to add here that she has amazing taste in interiors and her home is probably one of the most beautiful that I have seen yet! You can check out photos of her home and renovation projects she has done under the 'Interioirs' section of her blog.

Ok...well seeing as I am fighting a terrible case of the sniffles right now, I think I will leave you with this list and call it a night. I will feature more bloggers later if you all are interested in seeing more! Let me know and good night! Hope you enjoy reading these blogs!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Desi Knot Loves #3

Welcome to the third installment of 'The Desi Knot Loves'...finally! This post is a little different from my previous ones because I took all the photographs of the mentioned items myself. I am trying to incorporate more original photography on my blog because I think it adds an element of authenticity to whatever I write about. Anyways, I know these posts are some of my most viewed ones, so I hope you enjoy seeing what I've been loving lately!

1. Eco-Friendly Portable Coffee Cup
My mom got me this ceramic coffee cup  with a silicone lid recently and I have been using it CONSTANTLY ever since. I love taking it with me for my morning commute because it keeps my drink hot for an insanely long amount of time and it doesn't spill. The only downside...I think my caffeine consumption has increased by 1000% since I've gotten it...yikes!


2. Betsey Johnson Gift Set
Well, this scent is not a new obsession for me (just purchased my fourth bottle), so me and Betsey go way back. But, I love this stuff! I wear it all year round and this time around I decided to get the gift set that comes with a lotion and shower gel as well. This perfume smells crazy good and I can't even imagine ever getting sick of it. As long as I can get my hands on it, I don't need any other fragrance in my life! Oh and did I mention the packaging is to die for?!


3. Jonathon Adler Pen and Pencil Set
My cousin recently got me this adorable pen and pencil set by one of my favorite designers, Jonathon Adler! By the way, I think a post of his work is in order, so you will be hearing more about him soon. Anyways, the writing utensils feature his signature elephant illustrations in a really punchy color combination. I love doing my homework with these and have been neglecting my beloved Sharpie pens ever since I got them...shocker!


4. Nail Color Picks of the Season
I have been obsessed with these nail colors lately. I feel like they are such versatile colors and if I had to live with just three nail hues this season, these would be the ones for me. From let to right: Revlon's All Fired Up #675, China Glaze's Evening Seduction #256, and Revlon's Lilac Pastelle #185.


5. Mystery Stuffed Animal/ My Baby
The last love I want to mention in this post is this stuffed animal that I have owned for a while. He has a permanent spot on my bed and is the perfect cuddly item during cold Fall/Winter nights and I am never going to get rid of him. We just  don't know what animal he is. I think he is either a gorilla or an ox (or a cross between the two lol), but I can't decide. What do you think? Isn't he just the cutest?!


Note: All images are owned by me. If you would like to use any of them, please email me at thedesiknot@gmail.com. Please do not take my content without permission. Thanks.

Easiest Cupcakes Ever...And Yummy Too!

These are honestly the fastest, easiest, and most delicious cupcakes ever! All I did was bake a box of Betty Crocker strawberry cupcakes and topped them with a thick layer of whipped cream and a strawberry halve. I tried to make them as lowfat as possible, but you could easily replace the whipped cream with cream cheese frosting for a luxurious delicacy. These are great to have at a party or to gift a friend. I hope you all enjoyed these easy DIY cupcakes and happy baking! xoxo Aneela

Monday, October 29, 2012

Paris is Always a Good Idea

I have recently discovered a saying floating around on the internet that proclaims, "Paris is always a good idea". And, to add to the intrigue of such skilfully crafted words, it doesn't hurt that they were spoken by none other than the fabulous Miss Audrey Hepburn herself! And with my upcoming trip to Frankfurt, Germany in December I was really debating whether or not it would be worth it to take a 4 hour train ride to Paris (especially since it will be pretty cold by then). But, after seeing this quote and thinking about what I would be potentially missing out on, I decided to just go for it. I am not usually one to do spontaneous things and like to measure out all of the risk factors before committing to something. But, I am actually excited for a solo trip to Europe and look forward to making memories that I can reflect on for the rest of my life.

Anyways, on to the actual point of this post...this quote really got me thinking about all of the (sometimes seemingly trivial) things in life that are always worth it. I thought it would be a fun post for the reader who isn't always the first to dip her toes in the water. So, here we go:

Cleaning Out Your Closet
It is always...I repeat ALWAYS a good idea to clean out your closet from time to time. Not only does this help to declutter your space and your mid, but it also gives you a better idea of what you have. I am sure that I am not the only one who forgets they even owned a certain piece until they dig it up from the depths of their wardrobe. Look at the bright side, cleaning out your closet could turn into a treasure hunt of sorts. Hello, where do you think they get the saying "shop your own closet" from? Another great plus is being able to give away pieces that don't work for you anymore, passing them onto someone who really needs them, and making room for new purchases. See? It is a win-win situation!


Being Kind
This one may seem a bit obvious, but you have no idea how many times a day I find myself wanting to tell someone to just calm down and be kind. Everyone has things going on that make their day less than perfect ,but it is so unfair to take that anxiety out on others around us. Now, it goes without saying that I preach this to myself before anyone else. Something I find really helpful when I am sad and feel like acting less than pleasant is doing something creative to release the negative energy (like writing on this blog)! You would be surprised how much it helps to just do something you love every once in a while to get away from the hectic state of your life at times. And, being kind also has a calming effect because the attitude you give to the others is the one that you will get back from them. Ever heard the saying, "you reap what you sow"?


Taking Care of the Little Ones in Your Life
This idea goes for any children in your life whether they be your younger siblings, cousins, or your own kids. We all know that children are very 'malleable' and look up to their elders as role models. So, why not actually give them a good example to look up to? I personally have two younger sisters and see first hand on a daily basis how they try to mimic my every action. This has definitely made me a lot more conscientious about the way I act around them. Even though, I am crammed with school work most of the time and have many late nights, I try my best to do something enjoyable with them whenever I get a chance. For example, tomorrow my sisters are off from school, so I am taking the to school with me. They are beyond excited about seeing what university life is like! My sisters also love it when I tell them bedtime stories. I always feel like I tell boring stories, but my sisters love the stories I make up better than the ones I read out of any book!


Let me know what you all think of this post...I am thinking of doing another one about things that are NEVER a good idea! Would you like to see that? Comment below if it tickles your fancy!

(images via weheartit)

Monday, October 1, 2012

The True Character of Muhammad!

I do not really talk about not-fun topics on my blog, but I felt that it was necessary for me to address this issue in some way as I am a Muslim and would like the freedom to defend my faith if I feel it has been attacked in some way. As many of my registered readers (especially those who follow on facebook and twitter) are desi, you guys have probably at least heard about the controversial film released recently that portrays our beloved Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a negative light. I am not going to mention the director or the name of the film on here because I do not think they deserve any more attention than they have already received. But, I will say this much...everything depicted in the film is false and based on ignorance. The makers of the film obviously did not do any research on Islam and seemed solely to have been on the hunt for attention.

Although, I completely condemn this film, I also condemn any violence or protests that have been taking place as a result of it. The news is filled with examples of Muslims all over the world getting their anger out in the wrong ways. The most horrifying example for me was when a certain Pakistani politician announced that he is offering a large reward to the individual who commits the murder of the director of the film! What a huge disappointment!

So, I present to you, the moderate Islamic response to the film and its disgusting portrayal of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)! I hope it acts as much as an eye opener for you as it has for me. Then you decide what you support...the film, the violence and protests, or the intellectual and well informed proclamation of the truth. So, what will it will it be? Feel free to leave your politely delivered responses in the comments below:


Friday, April 27, 2012

Not Another White Wedding: Gold Glamour

I thought I would start a series of posts that introduce unique color palettes. I'll just include the major elements of the wedding day such as the cake, decor, favors, and of course the bride! This week I chose to go with gold. Gold is one of those colors that looks amazing as an accent color, but makes a huge impact as the main color of a wedding. Hope you enjoy this week's picks and let me know if there is a certain color you would like like to see next week! For more gold wedding inspiration, check out a post I did a while ago called 'Throw Some Glitter on It'. Just click this link! Have a super weekend!







(images via pinterest.com & tumblr.com)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dainty Jewelry Trend & Some DIY Magic

Lately, dainty jewelry has been all the rage. There is something very sophisticated and feminine about a delicate piece of adornment.  So, with the cold winter months gone until next year, fashionistas everywhere are stashing away their statement necklaces and chunky cuffs and are swapping them for tiny rings, studs and necklaces. Here are some of my favorite picks for this season. I made sure to find pieces that are affordable and available online! Side note: most of the following pieces are from etsy.com which is my favorite site for offbeat handmade pieces! Check it out...you can find anything on there!

1. One of the most popular and simple dainty rings trending right now is the thin gold or silver band. It looks great on its own or can be stacked with other rings to create a more bohemian effect. You can a find an affordable version of the ring shown below in 14k or 18k gold here. If you want to learn a super easy way to create this ring at home with crafting wire...look for that at the end of this post!

2. This gorgeous 14k gold plated heart with gold chain can be found here. This is a great piece for everyday wear and would look phenomenal paired with fancier necklaces for a special occasion. Snatch it up fast there is only one left in stock!


3. These pyramid gold studs are perfect and the fact that they are under 10 bucks doesn't hurt either. They look great on their own or you could buy two pairs and wear them in your second piercing as well (as shown below). You can find these here.



4. This last one I  thought I would just throw in for good measure. It is a wishbone necklace! How cute is that? Too bad I couldn't locate a seller for this one :( I guess we'll just have to "wish" for this one. Haha.
And, as promised here is a tutorial on how to make your own DIY dainty ring. Scroll down to the bottom for written instructions and credits.

STEP-BY-STEP 
1. Some tools you will need are: craft wire (18 gage), wire cutters, round nose pliers, and flat nose pliers- all of which you can get at Michaels. Another thing you will need is a few different size pens/chap-sticks/lip-glosses to represent different sizes of fingers. These do not need to be the exact size of your fingers, but close. You will see why in a second.

2. First, cut about 3 inches of wire. I usually cut more than I need, but that is better than cutting too little. You will get the hang of it once you can eyeball how much you need.

3. Next, wrap the wire around where you want to wear your ring. My first one I did on my middle finger and this one i decided to wear above the knuckle on my ring ringer. When you do this, don’t worry too much about shape… just get an idea. We will shape it in a little.

4 & 5. Cut the long ends so they are about 1″ on each side.

6. Hold your ring with your flat nose pliers and twist each end opposite directions of each other, so it looks like the letter S.

7. Next, slide the ring on the object that is closest in size to your ring and twist the wires around each other one more time to make a little swirl. Clip the ends of your wire.

8. Now this is where you shape the ring into a circle. When on the lipgloss/chapstick/ or pen, twist the item of choice along the ring, while applying pressure with your thumb to help smooth out kinks and mold into a perfect circle.

9. Lastly, use a nail file to file the ends of the wire. This will make sure you have no rough pieces scratching your skin.

(tutorial via fashionlushxx.com)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mera Pakistan by Zainab Sajid

The new Mera Pakistan (My Pakistan) collection by Zainab Sajid showcases some amazing summer outfits. They are inspired by everyday elements of Pakistani culture such as local means of transportation like trucks, taxis, rickshaws, tongas, and bicycles. The dresses also depict some famous Pakistani landmarks such as Darra-e-Khyber, Minar-e-Pakistan, and the Empress Market. For the full collection, click here. Hope you enjoy this fresh take on Pakistani dressing courtesy of Zainab Sajid!







(images via)

If My Blog Was A Baby & Pancreatitis

If my blog was a baby...it would definitely be an orphan by now. I swear I do not have commitment issues and I have not forgotten that there are actually people who check back daily to see if I have updated. Seriously, I am so grateful to those of you that do. Without you, I would just be writing meaningless thoughts into an empty abyss.

Anyways, I do not want to bore you to death with all the reasons that I have been gone so long, but let me just tell you that this past month has been a heck of a roller coaster ride for me. I have been having some pretty major health issues and ended up in the hospital as well. Hint: Although getting seriously ill stinks and I would never wish it upon anyone...it's a great way to get cheap health insurance. I guess I just like looking at the bright side of things lol. But, on a more serious note, I have been diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis and have basically been on a liquid/raw diet for the past month or so.

But, I am back and hope to be blogging regularly again. Expect some major awesomeness in the days to come! Oh, and thank you for hanging with me through my blogging hiatus. It really means a lot to me!

P.S. I also had my 20th birthday on March 29th which was ah-mazing! I recieved some unexpected presents from my cousin/best friend which included a personalized necklace from Things Remembered (that I now either wear or carry around with me at all times). I thought I would throw in a picture of my cake. It's my way of saying, "I know it's been a while, but I'm back and I'm ready to do some major blog writing"!

xoxo
Aneela