The Perfect Must-Have Bags For Spring Break Travel

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Spring Break has arrived for some us and for others it’s quickly approaching.  I am definitely counting down the days when I can sit on the beautiful beaches of Mexico.  It’s time to hit the road for a fun-filled getaway with our families.  Even though you might have already completed your Spring Break checklist, it’s inevitable that you will either forget something or not take something into consideration…like how many bags the family needs to carry while traveling!

So before you put the final touches on your vacation “to-do” list, I have a few bags that you may want to consider before sprinting off to the airport.   Let’s make sure you have the right travel essentials for you and your family.

 

EXPLORE

The Explore bag is a multi-purpose shoulder bag that’s perfect when you have a large family.

Everyone’s essentials can fit into this bag while site-seeing.

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LIVE LOVE TRAVEL

The Live Love Travel bag is the ultimate carry-on bag when going to the airport.  It has a zipper top to keep your essentials safe, and it fits perfectly in an airplane overhead bin.

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Make A Statement

If you’re able to get away one night without the children, the Make a Statement small crossbody is a great way to dress up your outfit for a night out.  It’s easy to pack and it also turns into a clutch bag as well.

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Salty & Sandy Beach Bag

The Salty & Sandy Beach Bag is perfect for the beach!  You will be able to carry everything from beach towels, sunscreen, toys and your wet bag in this roomy bag.

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Salty & Sandy Wet Bag

When it’s time to pack up, stowaway your wet bathing suits in our Salty & Sandy wet bag which fits perfectly in the Salty & Sandy beach bag.

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Make Up First

Keep your makeup in one place and secure with the Make Up First bag.  It packs well!

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Ashton Dopp Kit

And we can’t forget about “Him.”  Keep his shaving essentials secure in one of our roomy dopp kits.

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Wishing you lots of fun during your Spring Break adventures!

Be Fearlessly Authentic,

Mona B

Cooking with Mona – Egg Bhurji

Egg Bhurji

How to Make Egg Bhurji

I can almost guarantee you that you already have all of these “Traditional Indian” ingredients in your kitchen. This quick breakfast is too good and way too easy. So let’s get on with it.  Grab a cast iron pan (coated with oil), spatula, knife and a fork and let’s get cooking!

Finely chop 1/4 of a fresh red onion and a handful of cilantro. Crack two eggs. (I told you this was simple)Cracking Eggs

Saute your onions and cilantro until they’re tender.Saute

Scramble your two cracked eggs. (Really, it’s this easy.)Scramble Scramble

Meet traditional Indian spices (below). Add some hot pepper, to taste of course, to your scrambled eggs. I love it spicy, but add only as much as you’d like.  Throw in a pinch of salt, too. This dish is deliciously spicy, so don’t skimp on the spice.

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Pour your egg mixture into the pan with your cilantro and red onion. Traditionally you could add chopped tomato and a 1/2 tsp of brown mustard seed at this time, but I wasn’t in the mood for tomato today.Every last drop

Slowly move around the egg mixture until it’s cooked through to your liking.Goodness

The best part, add some fresh cilantro and enjoy with a hot cup of tea and some fresh fruit. Perfectly Traditional Breakfast

Don’t mind if I do…

Check back for more cooking with Mona B as I share with you  some of my favorites from the kitchen. As always, live in the brand with us and live in a better world.

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

Raised Garden Beds – Food For Your Body and Soul

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

 

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Gardening.

Definition: The practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture.

Okay, let’s do it. Let’s get dirty. Let’s grow our own food. Let’s eat something where we know how it was grown, what was not sprayed onto it and what is good for our body, mind, and soul. Reuse the earth and recycle what was once a broken piece of furniture into a raised bed garden. Why not?

This time, we used untreated wood that was a temporary king bed frame just sitting in the garage (I was waiting for the most perfect bed to be created for me and needed a solid place to throw our bed for a while until this was accomplished).

Step one – Follow these very simple instructions and video that Lowes created to build a raised bed garden. Put the bed in a spot where it will receive A LOT of light.

Step two – Fill half of your bed with topsoil, it’s cheap, it’s useful, go get some. Fill the other half of your bed with an organic fruit and vegetable fertilizer. No need to grow with chemicals this stuff works just fine.

Step three – Sow in your seeds and plant any fruits or vegetables you’d like according to their package instructions.  This could not be any easier. Don’t be afraid to get dirty.  Your hands are your best tool!

Strawberry fields forever!  Okay…not forever, but this whole bed is filled with late blooming strawberries and early strawberries as well as three organic basil plants.

Step four – water, water, water, water, water!  Everyday that it doesn’t rain water!

Note (we started in May – where you are in the world depends on when you start, i.e. no more risk of frost!)

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

The Man Who Changed Painting – Maqbool Fida Husain

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Maqbool Fida Husain

Known to many as one of the most controversial Indian artists, he’s known to me as the man who changed painting and made it, well, fun.

What drew me to Maqbool Fida Husain was not his controversial way of painting but that he took traditional figures in our culture, specifically Ganesha the elephant god, and made them fun to visualize. 

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One of my favorite pieces of his work was this oil painting of Ganesha to the left. It brought art to life for me. Ganesha is the elephant god you pray to for just about anything. This god is known as the god of the beginnings, and thus, you pray to him for just about anything and everything at the beginning of prayer.

We used to go to a restaurant in Delhi, India. It had black chalkboard walls. Husain used to come in every week and draw on the wall for nothing other than to share his gift. That kind of passion stays with you forever.

Here’s a bit about me. Tell me a bit about your favorite artists. I am dying to learn more about other cultures, especially yours.

Fearlessly yours,

Mona B

Music To My Ears With Jagjit Singh

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My Favorite Musician – Jagit Singh

We’re asked a lot of the time who is our favorite musician. I’ll tell you mine, and hopefully, share with you the love for this artist who is a part of the world of Ghazal music.

Ghazal music can be described  as a poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. That explanation in itself will show you why this is my favorite genre. This is an ancient form of music, originating in Arabic poetry but Jagjit Singh, the Ghazal King who was born in India, my home.

Below you will find my most beloved musician, Jagjit Singh, my favorite song and Singh’s lifetime hit, Woh Kaghaz Ki Kasthi.

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(Click on the above photo for my favorite song, ever.)

This song in particular resonates with me because it is about growing up, remembering his childhood, comparing how things were to how things are now. He talks about his grandparents, playing in the rain and how childhood ends so quickly.  We don’t appreciate it and tend to miss that time even when you’re not really thinking about it.  Look back at the simpler times and be thankful.

Twist my arm, I’ll tell you my second favorite song would have to be Tere Khat. Why, you ask?  He’s captured his story about love and depicts this misunderstanding he’s had with the love of his life but repeats, “How could I burn all of your letters?” A man scorned is just as poetic in song as a woman who’s been hurt, but the way Jagjit sings about adding fire to the Ganges River (Holiest River) by throwing her letters, truly shows the meaning of heartbreak and love all at once.

There’s a look, I hope you won’t forget about what is inside my head in the world of music.

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

 

Cooking with Mona – Balti Butter Chicken

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Balti Butter Chicken Recipe

Tonight’s menu: Balti Butter Chicken with Wild Rice (because that’s what I had in my pantry tonight.)

Let me just tell you one thing, this is a traditional Indian dish that I grew up eating and still make for my family. Even if you have never heard of this dish before, you probably have most of these ingredients in your house right now, if not all of them. So there you go, I just made your night SO MUCH EASIER! You’re welcome.

Let’s get started:

Assemble all of your ingredients: 2 oz ground almonds, 1/4 pint plain yogurt, 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp crushed bay leaves, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp marsala, 4 green cardamom pods, 1 tsp ginger and  1 tsp garlic pulp, 14 oz canned tomatoes, 1 1/4 tsp salt, 2 lbs bonesless/skinless cubed chicken, 3 oz butter, 1 tbsp oil, 2 sliced onions, tbsp fresh cilantro, and 4 tbsp light cream.

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Put all of the dry spices, yogurt, ground almonds, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and salt in a bowl and mix together.

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Mix the cubed chicken into the bowl.

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Melt together the butter and oil in a deep bottomed frying pan, add the onions and fry for about 4 minutes.

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Pour the chicken mixture into the pan (with all of the sauce) and about half of the cilantro. Cook until the chicken is almost cooked through and then pour the cream in, stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Serve with the rest of the chopped cilantro.

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I had some wild rice in the pantry, so I decided to serve some of the rice (seasoned with the same spices as the chicken of course) and they paired quite nicely.

Enjoy & until next time!

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

Living In The World of Mona B

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We’re excited to venture into the world of blogging!

That being said, this blog will be comprised of all things Mona B, written by Mona B. What I want you to see is how you can really truly live in the brand. While I’m sure you’ve seen this before…

Mona B is a line of handbags and accessories made from upcycled canvas military tents and tarps from the Indian Army. These materials were once stretched across the bed of cargo trucks, and set up in fields for the army to protect them from the elements.  The materials allow for a product that is always going to be unique and ultimately, authentically yours.

We used these materials in an effort to make a difference by up-cycling, recycling, and re-using. What we aspire to accomplish is a world where adventurous, free spirited women can make a difference without sacrificing style.

So here goes, this is what I’m all about!

Fearlessly yours,

Mona B

Relaxing Yoga Music

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Mona B’s Playlist: Yoga Edition

Sometimes I choose to practice in silence.  This playlist is perfect for a combination of gentle, relaxing yoga music to get you going and tunes to push yourself with some upbeat songs. I couldn’t love it more.   I’m also sharing with you some of my favorite yoga poses to get you going!  Namaste…

 

Warrior Pose

Yoga 1

 

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Extended Side Angle

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Forever – Ben Harver

Shambala – Beastie Boys
Re: Stacks – Bon Iver Jailer – Asa
Come Undone (feat. Kazu Makino) – Trentemøller Java Shiva Shankara – Snatam Kaur
Lights Out, Words Gone – Bombay Bicycle Club Songbird (Instrumental, Take 10) – Fleetwood Mac
Ready to Start – Tears for Fears St. James Infirmary – Allen Toussaint
Station – Lapsley Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) – Arcade Fire
Hope for the Hopeless – A Fine Frenzy Your Life Your Call – Junip
Good Life – Francis Dunnery Into Dust – Mazzy Star
Lifeline – Mat Kearney Ooh OhKeri Noble
Breathe in Breathe out – Mat Kearney Only You – Portishead
Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin Seagull – Bad Company

 

Exercise Happy!

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

Show Season – Mona B Appearance

Come Visit Mona During Winter Show Season 2016

Here’s the inside scoop: I will be attending four shows in early 2016 and the days and places are here in this cute little chart I have created below. I hope you want to meet me because I want to meet you!

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There are a lot of fun, new things happening at Mona B this season. The newest Mona B Collection blends the best of urban fashion trends with our traditional style. For the first time, we’ve created a Lifestyles Collection featuring Resort (Spring 2016). Our resort collection is made up of carefully-selected and one-of-a-kind t-shirts, scarves, up-cycled canvas and burlap bags. Lastly, we have created a Men’s Collection celebrating different styles, you can do it all with Mona B Lifestyles. Our resort collection is made up of carefully-selected and one-of-a-kind t-shirts, scarves, up-cycled canvas and burlap bags.

I do absolutely love the entire collection, however, I’ll share with you my favorites from each Collection:

Mona B

Patriot Burlap Market Tote

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Cascade

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Crochet Bottom Tee

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Fold Over Convertible Tote

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Live Love Wander Tote

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Live Love Travel Weekender

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Artisan Tote

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Mona B Lifestyles – Resort Collection

Tech Pouches – Boardwalk, Coral, Aqua

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A little bit of everything sunning up my life!

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MB Men’s Collection

Keith Key Fob, Ryan Travel Wallet, Keith Tech Bag

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The Ashton Travel Bag

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The Ryan Dopp Kit

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Hoping to see all of you in the upcoming month. Stay connected with me for more Mona B L-O-V-E-S!

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B

Mona’s Gift Guide

MONA’S GIFT GUIDE

A Gift Guide For Everything We Want For Any Gift Giving Occasion!

 

Mona’s Gift Guide delivers her top gifts for the 2016 season.

THE CLASSICS

Simple, classic, clean to keep you going everyday of the week.

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THE BEST BEACH RESORT WEAR FOR 2016

It’s on, chic beachwear and accessories for the sunniest of vacation spots.

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GIFT BAG STUFFERS

Small accessory pieces making a huge statement.

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FOR THE TOTE LOVER ON YOUR LIST

Durable and packable for anywhere you’re headed.

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FOR THE TRAVELER

Classics that will never fade, no matter how far you go…

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PRETTY PERFECT ESSENTIALS

Because accessories should be fun and fill your closet with laughter.

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FOR THE HOSTESS

The gift that keeps on giving…

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Everything you want and so much more. A gift guide for anyone for any occasion.

Fearlessly Yours,

Mona B