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Fashion

Wow At Every Event and Rock 1 Outfit 3 Ways

With florals literally EVERYWHERE this season, I stepped out of my comfort zone and scooped up this fun outfit! Come on ladies, Hillary Clinton can’t be the only one to rock a pant suit!  What I love most about this outfit was that I was able to wear it more than one way. I’ve rocked it three ways so you can see how to maximize on one outfit!

If I must say so myself, this set from Akira is AH-mazing.  For those of you who don’t know, Akira is a Chicago based boutique that has several locations all over the city and suburbs!  This store truly has something for everyone – you just have to dig it out 🙂

Getting More Out of the Outfit

The set I am wearing is a size small jacket paired with a medium pant.  You can wear the set with both the blazer and pants, or the pants with bodysuit, or just the blazer with jeans….it’s truly up to your imagination!  Additionally, you can dress it up with stilettos or down with sneakers. Wearing something you feel good in makes it easy to find creative ways to wear something multiple ways! When I picked this up, I realized the entire outfit cost me around $140, but was worth every penny given that I could be worn 3 ways.

Hope you love this floral piece as much as I did!  To shop this look or others, check us out on @liketoknow.it and see what other outfits might fit your fancy!

Your chick

Sonia

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Birds Of A Feather Flock Together or In This Case Dance Together

In the famous words of P Diddy & Co. “Shake Ya Tail feather!” The ladies of Chicks And Salsa certainty did just that this past weekend.  We not only shook it, but also rocked the scene in downtown Raleigh during the Style Collective conference!  I can’t tell you how many times we were stopped about our feathered look while exploring Raleigh’s culinary scene.

The Look

A little about our look…when I first saw this feathered shirt, I was SOLD!  I wanted to make a statement while exploring on my off time from the conference…I did this by adding a few simple touches to tie my look together.

I dressed my top with a pop of color thanks to my high-waisted rust mini skirt.  Though the skirt is currently unavailable, I linked a few other options that would work just as well.  Rina simply added a sexy sheer bodysuit to her skirt and a Gucci belt bag to the ensemble.  The results on both looks were feminine yet bold!

Shop The Feathers:

Why Feathers?

For years feather pieces have always had a touch of retro glamour and sophistication to them. I’ve found that feathers are a cross between fab costume & sexy fashion forward style….the way they just dance and move with a hint of wind is just SEXY. It’s like wearing a trend with its own personality…Like us Chicks!

Right now my feather top is a steal for just $30 and Rina’s feather skirt is an affordable $24 (she is wearing a size large). If wearing feathers doesn’t fit your fancy, then just throw on a pair of earrings or heels (or both…also listed in our link) and that will complete your look!

So choose your flock and tail feathers and fly!

(Left to Right: Rina, Coutrney of Fab, Fierce, and Fabulous, Me (Avani), Stephanie of TheBorrowedBabes, and Sonia)

With 💕

Your chick,

Avani

Ziva: Chicago’s New Favorite Indian Bridal Boutique

The world of shopping has completely changed! People are shopping online and looking for a more personal experience when it comes to custom clothing. As South Asian women we spend a great deal of money on Indian clothing.   Most pieces are handmade with some of the finest quality fabrics and with gorgeous embroidery!  With wedding season upon us, I can’t wait to share with you a fun boutique we discovered in right here in Chicago!

Ziva Boutique

Boutique Owners Vrati Doshi and her Mother, Nita Bagia
Boutique Owners Vrati Doshi (Right) and her Mother, Nita Bagia (Left)
Ziva Bridal OwnersThe Owners

Ziva boutique is situated on the north side of Chicago in West Town/ Ukrainian village at 1604 W. Augusta Street.  It’s owned by Nita Bagia and Vrati Doshi, a knowledgeable and sweet mother daughter duo!  Without the distraction of Devon Street (India Town in Chicago), it was nice to walk into a minimalist store front with absolutely gorgeous clothing lining the walls!  Nita and Vrati greeted me with a smile and immediately made me feel welcome. After perusing the store I sat down with the Nita and Vrati who took the time to get to know me and my wants.  They were hardly there to sell me anything (which is was a nice change from other aggressive Indian stores I’ve been to in the past), but more to figure out what I was looking for and how to make me feel gorgeous in my own style!

After selecting a few ready-made pieces I tried on some outfits in their gorgeous dressing room.  They gave me some fun ideas on how to mix and match.  What I loved was that I wasn’t bound to buying an outfit just the way I saw it!  They informed me that they offer custom options which was nice to know. They said if I had a designer style in mind, they had multiple contacts throughout India who could help create my masterpiece. Of course, the timeline would be anywhere from 3 to 4 months for anything custom…so that would be important to keep in mind for planning!

Nita, Vrati’s mother, has lots of experience in fashion having previously owned a boutique and also having run a business out of her home.  Nita was then able to loop in her daughter, Vrati to create a stress-free way to shop for any occasion!  They specialize in Indian bridal clothing, but also have outfits that you can dress up or dress down!  The chicks of ChicksAndSalsa love mom-preneurs and supporting other women working hard in their businesses!

The Clothing

In the attached photos I played around with some of their ready-made pieces. These outfits can be mixed and matched!  I paired one of their bottoms with a fun crop top I had in my closet! Also, their boutique offers fun accessories, take a peek at this gorgeous necklace!

I can tell you firsthand, you won’t be disappointed with your experience at Ziva!  They are offering 25% off to anyone that mentions Chicks And Salsa on their next visit.

Love, Your Chick,

Sonia

Look Good and Feel Great Poolside This Spring Break

I recall last summer when my daughter asked, “Mom, are you getting in the pool?” and I had to respond “Ugh, sorry babe, not today! I will just sit over here, you guys have fun. I will get in next time!” Come on, I think to myself, I JUST washed my hair, and I haven’t’ lost those last few pounds yet… I can’t get in right now. Does this sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong, I love swimming and I love watching my kids have fun, but I regularly prefer sitting on the sidelines because it means I get some me time and they kids get to have a little space too.  Just getting to the pool can be a roller coaster half the time, I can’t get out of the door without at least twenty minutes of prepping all of our gear: goggles, sunscreen, pool toys, sunglasses, a hat, towels, flip flops, snacks, water, etc.  You know  the drill! So by the time we get there, all I want to do is just relax!

This Pom Pom Dress/Cover Up

Statement Earrings

Kate Spade Sunnies

Then there is always the pressure of being comfortable at the pool, do you leave the cover up on or just embrace your body and lay by the pool without an ounce of insecurity?  Although I am a pretty confident woman, I always feel like there is room for improvement when it comes to my body and I am in constant pursuit of my pre-baby body–an inconceivable dream at this point.

What is conceivable is finding a swimsuit that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. Last summer I tucked my belly into high waisted suits and one pieces that were nice for lounging but not for swimming.  And then I had the classic fits that were great for swimming but kind of boring for lounging.  So THIS year, I have found a balance between comfort and style.  I found swimsuits that work well in AND out of the pool along with some cover ups and accessories to make the whole trip to the pool easier to manage.  Check out our top swim essentials here!

Swimsuit

Floral Off The Shoulder

Flirty Poolside Florals

The Cover Ups

Best Cover Up SkirtTiare Hawaii Wrap Skirt

Accessories
The Bags
Our Favorite Pool Toys:

For more cuteness, see what we are packing for our upcoming Spring Break Chick Trip to Charleston, SC in a few weeks!

Cheers,

Rina

What A Girl Wants, What A Girl Needs – HAUTELOOK!

What every girl wants may vary, but what every girl needs is Hautelook!  What is Hautelook you ask?  Hautelook is a Nordstrom owned online store.  They offer limited-time sales events that introduce new brands from up and coming companies at an affordable price- this means that if you like it, scoop it up right away because items sell out quickly.

The Skinny

With two young children and a work-a-holic hubby, it is simply too hard to run to the store and take the time to find and try on clothes!  Thanks to the internet, online stores like Hautelook sell the latest trends (not to mention unique pieces) at a steal price…and what can be better…they deliver them straight to your doorstep!  With an app and the convenience of being able to return the items to your nearest Nordstrom Rack, Hautelook has been my savior for gala dresses, vacation outfits...AND they even sell kids clothing and shoes…I’m in heaven!

Haute Looks Is My Secret To a Good Deal

If you still don’t have time, let the Chicks shop for you for FREE!  Chicks and Salsa offers free styling for you, check out the program details here.

The Look

My latest favorite purchase is a high waisted, asymmetrical zippered leather skirt….’cause let’s face it, every girl needs one in her closet…am I right?  I personally love the brand Romeo & Juliet Couture, they create unique pieces which are more of my style.  Needless to say, when that vegan leather skirt popped up, it was in my cart within minutes! I scooped this up on Hautelook for $30, but because they use a flash sale model, the same skirt is now for sale for $62 (it is on sale right now for 30% off), this skirt is budget friendly, and with it’s high waist line, it is mom-friendly for women who are conscious of their love handles.

I have styled this skirt casually and formally! For a sexier look, I have pulled up the zipper a little to show some leg, but for a more casual look, the ‘midi’ length has paired well with this t-shirt.  It also layers well with a loose fitting sweater. I tend to have an edgier style and love to wear things that are less main stream, I’d love to help piece together some outfits for you if my style speaks to you!

In this look I have created for a girls night, I am wearing a black bodysuit, blazer, my new favorite skirt, and platform booties (I am 5’3’’! I need the heels).

I hope you love this look as much as I do, see what else is in my bag here!

Your Chick,

Avani Patel

Currently Craving:

5 Ways to Resurface from Hibernation : Is it Officially Spring Yet?

I look forward to “spring cleaning” every year!  It’s my chance to be “out with the old and in with the new!”  A fun place for me to start is always my closet.  Every year I’m reminded of how I’ve been in rotation of the same clothes throughout the winter… especially since us Chicago folks have the ability to hide behind our parka jackets.  With nice weather creeping up on us (hopefully 🤞🏽) I wanted to think about how to re-surface out of my hibernation and back into the balance of life, fitness and just being ME and I have come up with 5 ways to do it!

Put away your leggings!

I have finally come to terms with the fact that summer is around the corner.  My recent harsh reminder to put my leggings away was when I tried to squeeze into my jeans from last summer – not gonna lie, my fly kept falling down!  Come on chicks, I can’t be the only one who has leggings as their go to piece in the fall and winter.  Leggings can be a dangerous “go to” item because it’s easy to expand and not notice.  Also, it doesn’t help that the temptation to grab for Spanx leggings is real since they help squeeze in the extra pounds! With March finally here, it’s time to kick back into gear and work towards getting back into shape…bye bye leggings….hello jeans, dresses, and skirts!

ASOS Pink Asymmetrical Top

ASOS Pink Asymmetrical Top

(For the Pink Top – Size Down- I exchanged my Medium for a Small)

Consider a Change of Hair Style or Color

The winters in Chicago can be brutal! The wind chill in the city will make you feel like you never want to leave the house. I don’t know about you, but going for a cut and color has fallen by the wayside over the last couple of months. My split ends need to be gone…pronto! I am so looking forward to a fresh change.  Perhaps cutting off a few inches and going a little lighter in my highlights would be fun. Change it up and be bold!  It’s amazing how the way we look can influence the way we feel about ourselves.

Spring Is In The Air

My biolage was done by Anna George Salon at the Illinois Center – Ivana is amazing!

Add a Pop of Color to Your Spring Wardrobe

My husband always tells me that he’s tired of seeing me in grays, whites and blacks. When I look at my wardrobe I definitely fall into a sea of similar colors, cuts and styles. There is something about spring….the flowers, the sun, and getting out of the house that gives me an extra pep in my step.  When Spring shopping, I am usually looking for something with a pop of color that makes me feel like I want to smile and spread the positivity. I recently bought this really fun white blazer that is making me feel springy! A couple bright pieces is all you need. Don’t try to buy a new wardrobe — otherwise you’ll end up with several items that you don’t even wear.

Grab a Buddy and Join a Fitness Program

Over the years I have yo-yoed in my dieting and exercise routine. To be honest, I used to avoid having a workout buddy when going to the gym for fear of letting them down when falling off the bandwagon. What I’ve learned is that the accountability helps when committing to a fitness program. I recently joined ClassPass which had helped me work out with an array of different people who enjoy different styles of exercise. I’m not only getting in shape, but I am also able to socialize and hopefully work towards fitting into those jeans from last summer!

Women's Locker Room Inspo

Start Planning Your Next Chick Trip with Your Tribe

I can’t believe it’s already been 8 months since my last chick trip with my chicks! If you haven’t seen it, check out our vlog to Miami on YouTube.  When I take the time to focus on myself with the people I love most, coming back to home-life feels so much more refreshing. With the weather warming up, I’m really looking forward to coming together with my chicks and seeing where we are headed next (hint hint: DC and Charleston are on the horizon)!

Any ideas?

Your Chick,
Sonia

Currently Craving:

Evil Eye: Is It a Real Thing?

As an Indian-American, my thoughts and beliefs have been heavily influenced by my parents who immigrated from India over 30 years ago.  I feel blessed to have grown up in a dual culture household — I often ponder the discussions we’ve had that were deeply rooted in my parents upbringing. When reflecting on my childhood, much of the “norm” in my household was governed by my parent religious and cultural background.

The Evil Eye

One of the most fascinating topics was the concept of the “Evil Eye”, also known as “Nazar”, in India.  The idea is that unbeknownst to a person there is negative energy in the universe wishing malice upon you or your family.  This negative energy can manifest in human emotions by way of envy. Both my children were gifted black bracelets to wear in order to ward off any bad thoughts or energy that might come their way.  I was happy to comply, but I couldn’t help to wonder, “Is it possible that there really is an energy to fight off those who don’t mean well?”  I didn’t want to take the chance to find out so I was happy to have them wear it.  Similarly, in this world of social media, it’s often said not to show too much of your life or family for fear that others might look on and wish negativity upon you.  As a spiritual chick, I have found over the years that I truly am a believer in the evil eye warding off evil spirits. Whether the evil eye actually wards off mysterious negative energy or not, the comfort and confidence I derive from the superstition is worth it.

I have received so many compliments on this blue and white sapphire necklace that I wear and it is only $32Evil Eye Necklace
Layering

Evil Eye Necklace

Over the years, I have learned that this concept exists beyond Indian folklore. Latinos speak of “Malos Ojos” , Jewish and Islamic stories speak of the “Hamsa” or hand of God, and here in the US, we refer to the “Evil Eye” and have fashioned it into our culture as well through fashion.  You can often find evil eyepieces to compliment a cute outfit. Accessories that are an ode to the energy theory are a way to feel protected from negativity.  Why not, right?!? Even if only symbolically  the Evil Eye concept is a reminder to remain positive and emanate that positivity to others.

Shop this an other evil eye swag that I have my eye on here!

Anyone heard of the Evil Eye?  Would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.

Your Chick,
Sonia

4 Ways to Tell your Wardrobe that Spring is Coming!

I recently attended the Atlanta Apparel trade show in Atlanta.  A world class experience where boutique and business owners go to shop. It happens five times a year in order to showcase different seasons of fashion! This year on display were a few notable trends that you’ll start seeing as the season turns.  With a few helpful tips by blogger and influencer Kathleen Barnes, I have compiled what I think are 4 things that you can easily add to your wardrobe to stay on trend, fun, and fashionable this Spring.

(Ashlee Nicole Tiller from Ashlee Nicole MD, Kathleen Barnes from Carrie Bradshaw Lied, Madeleine Raiford-Holland from Moderately High Maintenance and Me, Rina Puri from Chicks and Salsa.)

Lavender

Pastel colors, particularly the pinks and purples, are the IT colors this Spring.  It is  a feminine tone that makes an outfit instantly feel elegant.  This Free People top I am wearing has a lace covered cold shoulder that mixes a little bit of edge with lady-like detailing. I am wearing a size medium. This top is one of those versatile pieces… dress it up with some capri pants and stilettos or dress it down with jeans and sneakers.

Lavender is HOT this Spring!
Lavender is HOT this Spring!
Loving On Lavender
Loving On Lavender
Floral and Prints in General

There was clearly a pattern across all of the vendor booths: prints, prints, prints!  In particular, florals were VERY popular on skirts, tops, blazers, dresses and pants.  There is no doubt that Spring will bloom inside and outside of boutiques.  This skirt I am wearing is MSGM is a size 6. The fit to flare look of this outfit is flattering for mom’s who are conscious of waistlines (I am also wearing my Spanx under this look). Throwing in a floral print can not only brighten an outfit but also your own mood. 

Feeling Extra Pretty With these Florals
Feeling Extra Pretty With these Florals
Going Hands Free With a Belt Bag
Going Hands Free With a Belt Bag
Feathers

So this one is a little trickier for me. As a mom, I just could not find a practical way to incorporate a feather vest or skirt into my wardrobe – I just don’t see myself having the opportunity to rock those. BUT there are other ways to incorporate this trend through the use of accessories, from scarves to jewelry. I did find some cute accessories that would allow me to be ‘trendy’ without overspending. Check out some beautiful feather earrings that add just enough sass to a spice up a daytime or nighttime look.

Feather Frenzy
Feather Frenzy
Blazers

Casually or formally, there is clearly no right or wrong way to rock a blazer this Spring.   This trend is one of my favorites – there are so many ways to wear them.  The weather in the Spring can be unpredictable but a jacket may be too much.  A blazer is the best way to layer and prepare you for some of the unexpected weather that comes with spring.  My cami pictured below is reversible (cool, right? Two pieces for the price of one). Paired with my Hudson white bell bottoms, this look has Spring written all over it!

Pop Of Color Blazer
Pop Of Color Blazer

The only thing I had before I went to the tradeshow were blazers so adding some trendy pieces to my closet was fun.  It helped to focus on bring new energy to my closet through the use of certain  colors, prints, and textures.  Follow us on Instagram to see how we mix and match these pieces into our daily looks and check out what is on our Nordstom Winter Clearance wish list.

Xoxo,

Rina

Upgrade and Organize Your Closet for Less Than $100

It has been years since I have given significant thought to the organization of my closet. Until I get the Vanderpump closet of my dreams, I needed an easy and preferably inexpensive way to make my closet feel more organized and, upgraded.

To make this simple, I used only two products to achieve this: shoe organizers from Amazon and Velvet Hangers also from Amazon


My shoes were piling up on each other! Unorganized and often not visible to me, I would have the hardest time keeping a proper inventory on my own shoe collection. Over the holidays I found this product from TrySmarter that changed everything! Let the pictures below speak for themselves.

Before And After : Shoe Closet Upgrade and Organization

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The Finished Look
The Finished Look

My second tip to keeping everything in order in your closet is to get slip free velvet hangers. They are a game changer. Say goodbye to things falling on the floor! They also have half the profile of the plastic hangers so for tighter spaces, they actually create more closet space and look more uniform. At $22 for 50 hangers, you can’t go wrong!  

Before And After : Hanger Upgrade
Before
Before
After
After

Both options gave me more space (to add more clothes!) – which was an added bonus to an upgraded aesthetic and organization!  I was able to fit double the number of shoes in the same amount of space!

So what are you waiting for? Tune into Spring and get to cleaning your closet. Once you have organized your closet, don’t forget to add these Spring Staples into your new wardrobe.

Xoxo,

Rina

As a Bonus, the shoe organizer is great for kids shoes too!

Kids Shoe Storage
Kids Shoe Storage

 

Beat The Bloat With Spanx

Having spent the better part of my life dealing with the symptoms of Endometriosis, I am no stranger to the occasional bloat.  Even when having a low-sodium diet, doing abdominal exercises, and with normal healthy food intake, I tend to bloat without warning.  It’s fine when I’m sporting my go-to leggings, but not so much when I have to “dress-up.”  As some of you ladies know, there’s no warning to the occasional bloat so I always have to be prepared.  This is where my ever-trusty Spanx come in handy (they don’t call them essential for nothing)!  

There comes that moment after finishing my makeup and hair, I realize that my bloat may come in my way of what I wanted to wear out.  Sure, I could just wear whatever I want and not really care about what others’ say or speculate.  Sure, I could wear a big baggy shirt and head on out. Sure, I can painfully squeeze into whatever normally fits me.  But is this all worth the pain?  The bloat doesn’t just look like I’m 3 months pregnant, but it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable feelings out there.  Also, I’m definitely not a delicate eater when I’m out and about — I like my food and I like seconds!  

Tummy Control Faux Leather SpanxHigh Waisted Faux Leather Spanx

Rina (photographed) is 5’7” and 140 lbs and wears a Medium in Spanx Leggings

Knowing that I have Spanx to depend on during my desperate “I need to get into this dress or I’ll be staying home tonight” protest helps a ton.  I’ve also found that not only do Spanx offer shapewear to hide and tuck in, but also they offer a wide range of uses.  For instance, my favorite Spanx have a dual purpose — not only do they help me make sure I can squeeze into my favorite dress but also as a grown-up’s version of “bloomers.”  You know, the shorts you wear under a dress or skirt for extra coverage under there.  When my two children were toddlers, I had no issues wearing summer dresses — I could easily change their diapers, run around after them in the park, or sit down on the picnic blanket without hesitation!  

More Than Tummy Control — Underarms and Back Too!

Also…Spanx doesn’t just offer undergarments, but also some pretty fashion forward leggings! And of course — these tuck in, squeeze in, and are so comfortable all while looking as if this cardigan-wearing teacher mom knows how to go out in style!  I can style these with a casual white tee shirt or a lace blouse — with heels or flats…the possibilities are endless.  This is a huge, HUGE help when I’m trying to find something to wear in a hurry!

So go get out there mama’s — no reason to stay in because of the ever-so-common bloat issues! Spanx it and have a blast!

Cheers,

Your brainy chick, Komi