This Week

October 8, 2014

Did anyone catch the lunar eclipse this morning?  If you did – I’m so jealous.

According to Hindu lore, pregnant women aren’t allowed to view the eclipse.  Or cut/bite their nails during the eclipse.  Or leave my bed during the eclipse. While I ascribe to the “be a good person and don’t hurt people” philosophy, I did as my mother requested.

Basically, I was bed-ridden until 8:22 a.m this morning.  On the bright side – it meant getting breakfast in bed. Win!

I spent the beginning of this week at home in PA visiting my dad, who just returned from India.  The rest of the week is a busy mish-mash of meals with friends, meetings, and previews.  I’m particularly looking forward to a lazy Saturday, with the sole plans of diving into a new book and tackling the clutter in the office-soon-to-be-nursery.

It’s going to be a good one, you guys.

  • This interview may be as close as I get to featuring Anthony Bourdain on En Route With (and a h/t to Felicia for sharing the link with me).
  • Nicolette’s collection for Modcloth launched this week.  It’s beautifully designed and styled, and most importantly fits every size.  I purchased this sweatshirt and have my eye on this cotton candy pink trench.  Also, snag 15% off everything with the code YAY15.  Brava, N!
  • Grab a box of tissues – this woman’s story on choosing when to die will make you cry.  A lot.
  • Solid entrepreneurial advice from a surprising source – Blake Lively.
  • While I’m no beauty junkie, I did splurge for Glossier’s Phase 1 set, completely captivated by the pre-launch snippets on Instagram.  The seemingly effortless updates turns out to be a carefully planned program, architected by ITG & Glossier founder Emily Weiss.  I’m happy to report that the products are as fantastic as their marketing strategy.
  • #HGQ03 update time!  The theme for my third box is “Pack Your Clothing Perfectly.”  Much like the second box, the five items in this box are meant to be used both at home and on the go.  We’re kicking things up a notch with our Golden Ticket program – if you sign up by THIS Friday (October 10th), you’ll be eligible to win this Hudson+Bleecker garment bag.  Existing and new subscribers who sign up by next Friday (October 17th) will be eligible to win a black Encircled Chrysalis cardigan.  We have some additional prizes up our sleeves for the two weeks after, too :)  I’m working diligently to make sure each box is better than the last, and I truly appreciate all your support!

Hope you’re having a great week!



October 7, 2014

There are only two topics that I can think about, read about, and talk about these days.

Twitter followers will know that the first one – it’s the Philadelphia Eagles.  Sorry for my ranty tweets during the game!

The second is SPACE.  Like my obsession with the Eagles, this obsession is nothing new.  It really started in middle school and the planetarium we were lucky to have.

A FULL planetarium.  Think the Hayden’s little sister.

We also lived in a rural suburb of Philadelphia during that time, on a road with no streetlamps and a star-filled night sky.  To the annoyance of my parents, I spent many evenings and nights sitting on the deck, staring at the sky above and trying (fruitlessly, I may add) to identify constellations.

These days, my planetarium visits are limited to my jaunts to the AMNH and I’m lucky if I spot Venus in the hazy New York night sky.  But I’ve turned to other sources to continue my fascination with the universe we live in.  And they’re awesome.

  • NASA on Instagram.  If you do just one thing on the list, DO THIS.  Yes, the images on NASA’s Instagram account are spectacular.  The captions also deserve a commendation, as they beautifully describe just what you’re looking at – solar flares, cloud patterns on Saturn, supernovas.  Double tap to your hearts desire.  Each picture deserves it.
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir.  My poor loved ones.  I would not relent until they finished reading this book, which I could not stop consuming both in its written and audio form.  As told by Mark Watney, the stranded astronaut on Mars, the book chronicles his survival and NASA’s furtive efforts to bring him back.  While the writing is simplistic, the story is incredibly compelling and the detail of space travel is described in a manner that’s both educational and entertaining.  Here’s hoping the upcoming movie will be just as good.
  • COSMOS and Star Talk Radio.  I’ve spoken about both ad nauseum in this post.  Just check BOTH out.  So worth it.
  • India’s successful Mars orbit mission.  You can’t write a story like this.  India bootstraps a mission to get a probe into Mars’ orbit, and is successful on their first try.  Did I mention they did it for less than it cost to make Gravity?  And that women made up a significant part of the Mangalyaan team?  AND the NYTimes managed to make an insensitive joke about it?  Bollywood films have had less drama.
  • Star Trek.  You know how, in relationships, you do things to make the other person happy?  I started watching Star Trek at my husband’s request. Much to both our surprise, I quickly became addicted.  I reveled in Rodenberry’s idyllic universe where Earth has eliminated all conflict and has prioritized innovation and exploration, where aliens and humans work together in near harmony, and when people leave their shit at the door to get stuff done.  Forget Ayn Rand – I’d happily live in a Roddenberry world, aboard a starship.  Not ready to dive into the series?  The recent movies are also quite good.

I think that’s enough geekery for one day, don’t you?  I’d love to know – what is one secret geek love you have?  COMMENT below and let me know!

images via


My mother is my traveling idol.  The woman even potty-trained me on a flight from India to the USA.  When I was 2.

Yes, I’m trying to wrangle her for an En Route With feature.

If there’s one thing she never leaves home without, it’s a small vanity case filled with jewelry.  Mama Palepu and her bling is as classic a combination as peanut butter and jelly, biscuits and gravy, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Haribo Gummi Bears

Ever since I could pack for myself, I’ve followed my mother’s sage advice and packed my own bag of jewelry.  Granted, it was limited to friendship bracelet-making supplies as a kid, but it’s evolved to a healthy smattering of costume jewelry, with a fine piece or two thrown into the mix.  Mom’s wise advice also provided the foundation of my entire accessory packing style.

Jewelry - As mama said, don’t leave home without it.  I’ll wear my delicate items on the airplane, and pack a statement piece from each category.  Sometimes, two of each.  As long as it…

Clutch Move - …all fits inside the clutch I’m packing.  Sometimes it’s a small, structured number.  Other times, it’s a large envelope clutch.  Whatever the trip and my mood dictates.  But as long as it fits in the clutch, it’s fair game.  Between the clutch (or any small bag) and the tote I use for my personal item, I’m well-equipped for all my purse needs.

Wrap It Up - Along with my bag of jewelry, I never leave home without a scarf.  A lightweight number that doubles as a sarong if I’m headed to the tropics, or a warm cashmere number the rest of the time.  My absolute favorite travel scarves are from Julie Vos – crazy soft, super warm, AND lightweight.  They are the Holy Grail of scarves.  Worth every penny.  If I don’t wear them, I use them to pack my hat?  How, you ask?

Top It Off - Hats aren’t something I always pack, but always do if I’m headed to the beach or suffering from a bad hair day.  Which is…often.  I usually opt to wear my hat on the plane (adds instant style AND hides awful airplane hair).  If I do choose to pack it, I’ll stuff the aforementioned scarf into the hat section (with other small items), and place it at the bottom of the suitcase or top, depending on the brim situation.  More tips on packing hats here!

Talk to me – how to pack your accessories?  Are you a minimalist, or do you believe more is more?  And what advice did your mother give you that you continue to follow to this day?  COMMENT below and let me know!