Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Preparing for Interview #2

Tomorrow is interview number 2.  Hopefully, this one will work out for the better.  If not, well, maybe I'm just not meant to move to another employer just now.  I plan on wearing the same suit as interview #1, but with a red polka dot shirt (why not, right?).  I am looking forward to this interview as well.  It is always nice to learn about another company.  What better time to do it than an interview?  I came home early to prepare today.  Taking advantage of the extra time, I visited my favorite thrift store.  The tempation was just too great.  I managed to score a bolt of red cotton fabric and a lace doile.  What in the world am I going to do with a doile? you might ask.   I plan on making a dress. That's right a dress.  It might be a total disaster, but I spent a whopping $4 bucks, so a failure in this enterprise is not going to set me back much.  I am hoping this motivates me to finish my sewing room so I can get started on these projects.  I took a picture of what I was wearing today.  I like how this outfit turned out.  Well, it's back to interview prep.

Shirt: Target
Skirt: Thrifted
Shoes: BCBG, thrifted
Belt: from another dress, Kohls
Jewelry: self-made

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another Week

I had a lovely weekend.  On Saturday we went to Rehoboth beach in Delaware.  It is a charming place that still has an old time essence about it.  We got there in the afternoon and were able to sit in a lifeguard chair and watch the boardwalk under the stars.  If you want a formula for romantic/magical evening.  It is as follows: beach + clear night sky + slight cool summer breeze + the sound of lapping waves + some random person playing the guitar + charming boardwalk for gazing + your honey.  It really was a perfect evening.  We sat, listened, watched, and talked.  I recommend all couples give this a try.  After that perfect evening, we woke up early to watch the sun rise.  Another magical experience, no matter where you watch the sun rise, it is breathtaking every time.  It was cloudy, so the effect was different, but beautiful still.  There is something about summer that makes a trip to  the beach seem necessary.

Sunday we went to a Celtic festival at the Ren Faire grounds in Lancaster, PA.  As usual, we had a great time.  We listened to talented bands, ate great Celtic food (Hagis, deep fried eggs), and enjoyed looking at the wares of the craftsman who have booths at the Faire.  One thing I love about the Ren Faire is all the artisans who come and display their work.  To me this is the optimal way for goods and services to be made and purchased.  The quality of items made by craftsman don't compare to items made in China for mass market at big box stores.   I miss this kind of craftsmanship.  One positive  thing is that the internet has made it easier for artisans to sell their wares to a wider audience.  I suppose all things are cyclical. At some point we will return to a demand for quality over the lowest price.  Well, that's my hope anyway.

I also am including some pictures of the CSA I go to.  Just so all of you know what I go on about constantly.  The food is simply amazing! :) I am going to start theme week next week.  I was not prepared for it this week.  It doesn't look like I got the job at the place I interviewed at last week, despite the positive feedback.  It wasn't meant to be it appears.  I have another interview this Thursday, hopefully that one will work out.  If not, it is not the end of the world.  I really believe when it comes to things like this, things work out if they are meant to be.  Well, enough of my rambling.  I hope you enjoy the pictures below.

The CSA: Penny Pack Farm



Sunrise at Rehoboth Beach:



The Celtic Celebration at the Ren Faire


Dress: Express (thrifted)
Sandals: Calvin Klein
Purse: From India
Jewelry: Purchased at other Ren Faires 

Friday, June 24, 2011


As you have probably guessed from the title of this post, it's been that kind of week.  I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately for whatever reason.  The gloom outside certainly hasn't helped.  Hence the lack of posts.  I didn't wear anything all that exciting this week.  I find myself getting a bit lazy on the outfit front.  Monday is the new week, so I am going to put in a little more effort.  On my one hour drive home the other day, I was thinking about creative ways to keep my brain entertained on a daily basis.  I think I am going to start theme weeks for outfits, lord knows I have enough clothes to do that.  This coming week will be my first theme week.  I figure this will keep me in a creative frame of mind as well as looking stylish (well, that's the hope anyway).

I have some great progress to report on my terra cotta vegetable garden.  While the weather has been bad for the mood department, it has been fantastic for my plants.  With the exception of the carrots, all the seeds are sprouting (the spinach is too, but they were to small for decent pics)!  (Those were some damn good seeds, many thanks to my work dad.)  Some tiny tomatoes are also growing.  They still look a little sad, but hopefully they will be feeling better soon.  Below are some pics I took today of the portable veggie garden progress.

Oh, and any suggestions for theme week #1?

Sweet Peas
Bush Beans

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to Plant a Patio Veggie Garden

Today I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do some gardening.  A couple of weeks ago I bought some tomato plants at Lowe's for fifty cents.  I of course then proceeded not to plant them.  Wanting to  take advantage of my newfound motivation, I decided to pot my tomato plants and create a mini veggie garden.  This is an easy project and perfect for small backyards or apartment dwellers.  Now you might be asking, "Sunduri, don't you have a backyard?"  The answer is yes, I indeed have a backyard.  It is also a large one at that.  I could plant my future veggies in the yard, but I don't know if the soil has heavy metals, I have a dog, and it would require me to build out all sorts of things since it is not a level yard.  That being said, I have some fruit trees that are finally begining to yield some fruit.  So perhaps sometime in the future (after having the soil tested) I shall plant things in my backyard instead of in pots.

Back to today's tutorial.  For this project you will need: soil (being an organic evangelist, my soil is, you guessed it, organic), some pots (clay is the best), tomato plants (or anything you want to plant), and veggie seeds.  I also used some bamboo stakes, since tomato plants tend to need a little extra support.  I like to use clay pots because they retain moisture and are more attractive then plastic pots.  I am using heirloom  seeds today (bush beans, sweet peas, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes).  The lovely gentleman I work with (I like to call him my work dad), sent me these lovely seeds for my birthday this year. My love of things from yesteryear, and for veggies, makes this the most thoughtful present anyone has ever given me.  So, I thought why not plant some of these charming veggies and make a patio ensemble.  It will be both attractive and tasty.  Below are pictures of the supplies used:

Neglected tomato plants

Back of the seed packet


 I had all the supplies for this project with the exception of the soil.  I have lots of things like this that have great potential, but I never get around to using.  Well no more, this year will be the year of finishing unfinished projects.  I digress, back to the DIY project at hand.

Step 1: Block drainage hole

Step 1: Put something to block the whole at the bottom of the pot so that the soil does not spill out.  I used a leaf for this purpose, a paper towel or napkin, work well too.  

Step 2: Pot your plant  
Step 2:  Fill the pot halfway with soil and place your plant on top.  With tomato plants, I like to plant them a little deeper so that their trunks grow thicker and are more sturdy.  After this, cover the plant with soil up to the lip of the pot.  You don't want to put soil all the way to the top. 

Step 3 & 4:  Now it's time to add the seeds.  The advent of modern agriculture has resulted in monoculture planting of crops.  Not so long ago (and still in some parts of the world), plants were grown together for optimal food production.  For example, beans add nitrogen to soil, so when planted with other crops (like tomotoes) it results in healther and more bountiful yields.  I am planting bush beans, snow peas, and spinach with my three tomato plants.  Cucumbers, radishes, and carrots are going to be planted in smaller pots.  Hopefully, this variety will make for an attractive arrangement.  Another idea is to plant edible flowers with your veggies.  This too, makes for a very attractive potted ensemble.

Step 3: Make small holes for seeds
Step 4: Place Bush Bean seed
 in hole and cover
Step 5: Planting seeds in soil
Step 5:  For the rest of the seeds, follow the instructions on the seed packet.  Some seeds will be required to be planted  1/2 an inch deep and others will be deeper.  Spacing requirements will also vary by veggie.  Below is a picture of the cucumber seeds I planted.  I like to plant these types of vine plants three at a time. This helps give plants a little more support, and if one seed doesn't germinate, you have two more for back up.  Once all your planting is complete, water thoroughly.  As in water should be coming out from under the pot.  Watering needs will vary depending on the weather.  You want to keep the soil most, not soggy. 

Below is picture of the finished product.  I have three pots with tomato plants with spinach, sweet pleas, and bush beans respectively.  Three more pots have cucumbers (the slightly larger pot), radishes, and carrots.  I'm not sure where I am going to put them in the yard yet.  They might go on the patio, or maybe by the swing.  That is a decision for another day (I will be sure to keep all of you updated).  Right now, they will be in semi-shade until the tomato plants are a little stronger.  I hope this was a helpful tutorial.  Happy Father's Day Everyone! :)

All done!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview Day

I had my interview today.  It went very well.  Everyone I met was incredibly nice and warm.  I did not feel exhausted, like I usually do after a job interview.  The whole process felt more like a conversation, instead of a grilling.  I was able ask all my questions with satisfactory results.  Hopefully the folks who interviewed me felt like it was a good use of their time.  Now comes the waiting game, if it doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be.  I am not worried about that at all.  I wore my favorite suit to the interview.  I bought this suit at a department store more than six years ago.  Remarkably, it still fits (actually it is a little loose), and is still current.  I like how my body looks in this suit.  I might add that for a woman, it is incredibly difficult to find a suit that both fits well and looks good on your body. Well that has been my experience anyway.  Maya got up to investigate when I was taking this picture.  She never disrupts my picture taking, she is such a good girl.

Afterwards I went thrifting at the thrift store nearest my house.  It worked out to be a good haul.  I  got a pair of satin shoes (strangely, despite my large shoe collection, I did not own a pair of satin black shoes), a dress, a black top, and a linen summer suit for 12 dollars.  Can't beat that.  I love thrifting! :) Needless to say, it was  good day.  (Yes, I did check and respond to work email after my interview, despite taking the day off, I think I can officially declare myself a workaholic.)

Suit: Kasper
Shirt: Express
Shoes: Bondolini
August Silk
This dress was only $1.50! (And yes as the
name implies, it is silk)

Also $1.50.  It looks cuter on

Summer Suit: Tristen & Isuet
$5, Linen

Summer Suit: The skirt (ok, I confess, I bought this
because I liked the bottom part of the skirt)

Satin shoes

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lace, Ahhhh Lace

As I have mentioned in past posts, lace is one of my favorite embelishments on fabric.  (This might explain why I adore clothing made in the 19th century.)  So today seemed like as a good a day as any to bring out some lace.  The hubs liked the outfit this morning (he normally doesn't comment), which was a good sign.  The weather was perfect today: not to hot, not to cold, with just the right amount of sun.

On the job front I am preparing for my interview for tomorrow.  I have my schedule of all the people I will meet, so tonight will be spent formulating questions tailored for each of them.  I also need to come up with some questions about the organization itself.  The interview starts at 8:30 in the morning and ends at noon.  It will be tiring, so I'm hoping I will enjoy it.  After that, some much needed rest.  Although I suspect I will be working.  I actually have some work to get done before my interview prep tonight.  <Sigh> so much for work life balance.

Lace Top: The Limited (thrifted)
Cotton top: tee spoon
Skirt: Anne Taylor LOFT (thrifted)
Shoes: Moda

Hi, My Name is Sunduri Das and I am addicted to Thrifting!
Grab a button and come to a meeting!
Thrifters Anonymous

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CSA Time! :)

Well its that time of year again.  That's right I'm talking about the CSA (community supported agriculture).  My pick up day is Monday this year, which actually has been working out well.  It starts the week off on a positive note.  I LOVE the CSA.  This is one of the best decisions I have made (the other was adopting my dog  Maya).  The food tastes incredible, my community is supported, since it is an organic operation it is good for the environment (not to mention the savings in transportation), and as a bonus, the Mr. is finally eating his vegetables (he is not a fan of things that are green).  I find it to be incredibly relaxing as well.  Something about seeing the food being grown brings me back to what it is all about.  I have been pretty good about cooking things regularly (another CSA benefit), but this weeks things have slipped.  Work has been exhausting.  On the career front, I have an interview at another company on Friday.  I am very excited about this opportunity.  While I like who I work with, the promotion limbo has become frustrating.  (It doesn't help that I have been working above my job description without an increase in pay, recognition, or career benefit in a year and a half.)  That being said, I wasn't looking for another job, a recruiter contacted me and this company did work that would provide me some much needed experience in a different area.  I always say: "if opportunity knocks, you should at least open the door and inquire."  Whether it works out or not, it will help me brush up on my interview skills.  In general, I enjoy job interviews.  I find a good  interview is one in which both the employer and interviewee are both being evaluated to determine a good fit.  Anyway, here's hoping  it goes well.  Below  are pics of what I wore Monday and Today (Tuesday is not noteworthy).  As a bonus I added a recent picture of Maya sitting in her lookout chair (she looks out the window from this chair).
Top: H&M (thrifted)
Skirt: Don't  Know
Belt: Ralph Lauren (thrifted)
Shoes: Joey 
Dress: Nine West
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings & Pendant: Self-made

Maya sitting on her lookout chair

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It. Is. Hot.

It's been sweltering the past few days.  I haven't posted in awhile since things have been very hectic the past few  weeks and work is back to being crazy.  I went to Vegas for work, followed by a friend's wedding in Houston during the memorial day break.  Like every wedding I have had the privilege of attending, it was lovely.  I really enjoy going to weddings.  There is nothing like sharing a moment of such joy and importance in someone's life.  I always consider it an honor when someone invites me.  My friends are for the most part single, so I haven't  been to  many weddings.  During our Houston escape, we also did a quick stop in Galveston and San Antonio.  I met  a friend from grad school I haven't seen in six years in Galveston.  She brought her fella (he is sooo perfect for her), it was great catching up.

San Antonio is a charming, romantic, and unique city.  It's historic architecture, charming riverwalk, and there's the Alamo, make it a delightful place for a short vacation.  We strolled down the riverwalk (both during the  day and at night), took picture of the Alamo, and watched a show outside.   Much of the riverwalk was built during depression through the WPA program.  In some ways this city reminds of the cities in southern Europe.  It has the same feel.  The one negative is that the riverwalk has been a bit commercialized with all of the hotels with their generic tall buildings.  As that worsens, the city will lose much of it's charm and feel a bit like an amusement park.  Until that time, it is definitely worth visit (just go in  the winter time). 

Below are some pics of romantic San Antonio and my outfits during the trip.  On the second wedding day, I wore the sari and jewellery my mother in law gave me on  my wedding day, in memory of her passing. I know she would approve of the look.

Wedding Day 1, thrifted purse
Wedding Day 2, thrifted purse

Gotta have a cow girl hat in Texas.
The skirt is thrifted   

Riverwalk, San Antonio
Thank you WPA!

Outdoor show

Dancing under the moonlight
 (yes, there was singing)

A very old church

The Alamo