Wish List Wednesdays November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017  |  Wish List Wednesdays 9 comments

wish list wednesday November 22, 2017

What I want, need and love on my wish list this week …

Black Friday sales start now! Shop some of the best sales of the season and score big for the holidays:

1 / Glamorous Ruffle Front Sweater / Shopbop Sale

2 / Ann Taylor Belted Velvet Blazer / Ann Taylor 50% off

3 / J.Crew Sequin Ball-drop Earrings / J.Crew 40% off

4 / Vince Camuto Kalinda Boots / Nordstrom Sale

5 / Boden Ellis Coat / Boden 30% off

6 / Topshop Nancy Faux Fur Collar Coat / Topshop up to 50% off

7 / Naturalizer Adelle / Naturalizer 40% off

See anything you want, need or love for your wish list?

A Luxury Stay at the Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi

November 15, 2017  |  South Asia 17 comments

After a busy week of runway shows at Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW), I retreated to the Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi for a weekend of relaxation. I didn’t anticipate the lengths to which the Shangri-la would go to make our stay as memorable as possible. It was a weekend of total indulgence from the culinary delights, to the rejuvenating spa, and especially the world class Presidential Suite fit for a queen. Read on to discover what a luxury stay at the Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel entails.

Shang Palace Private Dining Room at Shangri-la New Delhi

Shang Palace

After a private and leisurely check-in at Mister Chai lounge over a cup of tea and biscuits, I headed over to Shang Palace for their signature Dim Sum lunch. I craved a proper Chinese meal in India and this restaurant was high on my list of places to try.

Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel prides itself as a culinary destination with five world class restaurants featuring international cuisine from India, Italy, East Asia, and more. Starting my culinary journey at Shang Palace, the meal kicked off with an assortment of dumplings, rolls, and potstickers made with the freshest local ingredients.

Dim Sum lunch at Shang Palace

After a round of Sichuan and Cantonese dishes served up table side, I enjoyed one of the restaurant’s signature dishes — sauna prawns: chili and garlic marinated prawns cooked over a lava stone.

Shang Palace Prawns Over Hot Coals

No meal is complete without dessert. I ended the insanely rich feast with a scoop of homemade ice cream.

Shang Palace Dim Sum lunch New Delhi

The Presidential Suite

After another evening of inspiring runway shows at AIFW, I turned in for the night at the stunning Presidential Suite. The amenities felt endless including a private dining room and kitchen, spacious living room and bar, sweeping views of the city, walk-in closet and dressing area, sumptuous marble bathroom with jacuzzi and shower for two, and a private concierge.

Presidential Suite Shangri-la New Delhi Living Room

The bathroom alone was the size of a regular hotel room. I was overtaken by the glamorous wall-to-wall white marble — definitely bathroom goals.

Presidential Suite Bathroom and Dressing Room Shangri-la New Delhi

The next morning I enjoyed breakfast in bed and took my time getting ready for the day. On the schedule: a body scrub at Chi, the spa at Shangri-la, followed by drinks at Grappa, and an authentic Italian meal at Sorrento.

Presidential Suite Breakfast in Bed Shangri-la New Delhi

After an over-the-top breakfast, I saved my appetite until dinner, which I knew was going to be epic.

Presidential Suite Room Service Shangri-la New Delhi

Chi, the Spa at Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel

Having been a while since I last visited a spa, I was in need of some serious pampering. The natural elements of the cavernous space at Chi immediately brought me down to earth. Once I changed into a fluffy white robe, I enjoyed a ten minute rest in the steam room to open my pores. My journey into zen mode was officially underway. Off the extensive spa menu, I chose a mineral salt and citrus oil body scrub, which left my skin radiant and smooth. For the the next half hour, I soaked in a warm milky bath of rose petals thinking, “this must be what Cleopatra felt like.”

Chi Spa Shangri-la New Delhi

With dinner plans in the evening, I wanted to look my best after a week of wear and tear. I opted for keratin hair smoothing and a blow-dry. The luxe treatment left my hair silky soft for the rest of my trip, minimizing the time I spent getting ready everyday.

Grappa

In the evening at Grappa, we enjoyed a mixology demonstration from one of their award winning bartenders. This is a great place to go before dinner or after a party. The dim lighting is perfect for a romantic date or a night out with friends.

Yasmin at Grappa Shangri-la New Delhi

The Bar at Grappa Shangri-la New Delhi

There are so many cozy corners at Grappa. Plus the outdoor terrace is a popular hot spot when the weather is nice.

Grappa Lounge Shangri-la New Delhi

Sorrento

After being thoroughly wowed by the bartender’s skills and attention to detail, we moved the party over to Sorrento, Shangri-la’s award-winning Italian restaurant. They procure fresh produce to create artisanal pasta dishes, Neapolitan delicacies, pizzas, and slow-cooked family-style favorites.

Sorrento Italian Restaurant at Shangri-la New Delhi

Open Kitchens at Sorrento Shangri-la New Delhi

Pasta at Sorrento Shangri-la New Delhi

We enjoyed fresh tomato mozzarella salad, hand made pasta, mushroom risotto, oven roasted cod, neapolitan pizza, and two mind blowing desserts: the infinity chocolate cake and the decadent tiramisu.

Pasta at Sorrento Shangri-la New Delhi

I don’t think I’ve eaten better during a hotel stay. The Shangri-la also offers an array of international cuisine at Tamra restaurant and Indian street food at Mr. Chai, both of which I will definitely indulge in on my next visit.

If you’re looking for a chance to recharge yourself between travels or after a long business trip, consider Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi on your next trip to India. You’ll experience the finest cuisine and the ultimate in spa rejuvenation for a visit you’ll long to repeat again and again.

This post is in collaboration with Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi. All opinions are my own.

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How to Save Money Every Time You Make a Purchase

November 13, 2017  |  Tech 6 comments

Do you feel like you’re never in control of your finances? That you can’t quite save up for that dream vacation? Or pay off your student loans? Maybe you don’t like to think about finances for fear of being judged for your spending habits. Now there’s a mobile bank that encourages you to feel happier and more confident when it comes to saving and spending. Meet Finn by Chase, recently launched at “Food with Finn” pop-up events around St. Louis. I had a chance to demo the new all-digital bank. Here’s how to save money when you manage your spending and saving with Finn.

Slide Piece Food Truck

How to Save Money with Finn

Finn is designed to help you change your attitude toward banking. Built for the digital generation, it offers intuitive tools that help you save, understand your spending habits, and make better purchasing decisions.

The team at Chase did a ton of research and testing, over 15 months to be exact. They asked millennials about their banking challenges and what drives their spending habits. They found that as spending is often based on emotions and short-term gain, it’s hard to keep track of the long-term impact on one’s finances.

Finn by Chase App

Finn offers a few key tools that harness the power of emotions in your favor to help manage your finances:

Tool #1: Rate Your Purchases

Specify if the purchase is something you want or need. Then tag it with the appropriate emoji based on how it makes you feel.

Tool #2: Autosave

Create spending rules that will automatically save money every time you make a certain type of purchase. For example, transfer $5 from your checking to your savings account whenever you buy coffee. Before you know it, you’ll be saving more money.

Tool #3: Monitor

See your spending trends in one easy chart. By tracking where your money is often spent, you can make more informed decisions about where to save or spend next month.

Since Finn is a bank, you’ll also have all the capabilities of a traditional checking and savings account at your fingertips. Sign up at https://www.chase.com/personal/finnbank

Local St. Louis artist John Hendrix

I had the pleasure of trying it out at the Cortex Commons over some hearty chicken sliders and cheese fries courtesy of the Slide Piece St. Louis food truck. Local artist John Hendrix provided some amazing on-site custom artwork. And I also caught up with fellow St. Louis bloggers Summer Albarcha and Laura Heying.

Yasmin Hakim at Cortex Commons St. Louis

While Finn is currently only available for St. Louis customers, Chase will be adding additional cities next year. Check it out here for more information on how to save money with Finn.

Saving with Finn by Chase

Additional benefits:

  • Get $50 when you sign up for a new Finn checking and savings account with direct deposit
  • Receive a debit card with fee-free access at 29K+ ATMs
  • Backed by the safety and security of Chase

Chicken sliders and cheese fries from Slide Piece

This post is in paid partnership with Chase. All opinions are my own.

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Varq: The Modern Indian Restaurant You’ll Want to Splurge On

November 9, 2017  |  Food 8 comments

Vary Taj Mahal New Delhi Interior

If there is one Indian meal to splurge on while visiting New Delhi, it’s at Varq. I was invited to enjoy a modern Indian lunch courtesy of The Taj Mahal Hotel during my trip to New Delhi for Amazon India Fashion Week. At Varq, traditional Indian cuisine is taken to the next level through thoughtful innovation, creativity, and imagination. It was a stomach stretching exercise of epic proportions as my head and my heart did not want to quit, but my appetite was pushed to its limits.

Varq entrance and menu

Swinging open the black timber and ruby red glass doors, I walked through what felt like a life sized jewel box. The intricately carved and painted walls immediately seized my attention, as did the resplendent red beaded pendant drums shimmering from the ceiling. The traditional wall art, created by acclaimed artist Anjolie Ela Menon, contrasted elegantly with the contemporary ambiance of creamy leather chairs, dark wood floors, and gold leaf ceilings — certainly a nod to the blend of food to come.

a table at Varq Taj Mahal New Delhi

The Chef prepared a selection from his signature menu as well as a few other unexpected surprises. Just when we thought the meal was coming to an end, another sumptuous dish would appear in front of us, whetting our appetites once again. Each dish was artfully plated with attention to detail. It was interesting to see how traditional Indian fare was given a modern update while still retaining its rich and diverse tastes.

Varq: On the Menu

Varq Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi Menu

Starters

Varq Teekha Tamarind, Varqui Crab

Left to Right: Teekha Tamarind, Varqui Crab

We started with an Indian inspired drink for a sweet and savory twist. The Teeka Tamarind mocktail was tangy and refreshing with a spicy kick of tamarind powder, enough to jump start the palate.

Our first bite was the Varqui Crab, one of the most popular items at Varq. The smooth and creamy spiced crab contrasted well with the crunchy texture of the filo dough. The succulent tandoori shrimp was the perfect cherry on top. Needless to say I did not leave a crumb (or think about pacing myself). I probably could’ve eaten two of these without blinking.

Varq Kale Channe ki Cappuccino, Pink Ginger Lassi

Left to Right: Kale Channe ki Cappuccino, Pink Ginger Lassi

When the next dish appeared before me, I was easily duped by its foamy coffee appearance. This bit of subterfuge was a tempting trick of the eyes, but a pleasant surprise for the stomach. The Kale Channe ki Cappuccino was not in fact sweet milky coffee, but a savory black bean soup. The deliciously light broth was a good break before the heavier dishes to come.

What followed were two rich and velvety lassi (yogurt shake) drinks, equally refreshing and unlike any lassi I’ve ever had.

Varq Taj Mahal Menu Saffron Lassi

Saffron Lassi

Mains

A flurry of dishes were set before us, including a perfectly seared Chilean sea bass in a mango curry sauce, a tangy chicken stew wrapped in filo dough, lamb biryani (my favorite rice dish), and an entire bowl of dal all to myself. This was a feast fit for a queen (or maybe an entire harem).

Varq Green Chilli Tulsi and Pinenut Fish

Green Chilli Tulsi and Pinenut Fish

Varq Murg Sirka Pyaaz and Tadka Dal

Left to Right: Murg Sirka Pyaaz, Tadka Dal

Varq Gosht Biryani

Gosht Biryani

Varq Chef's Selection 2

Dessert

Now that I was thoroughly ensconced in food coma territory, I mustered up a little room for my favorite part of the meal, dessert, featuring a trio of apple kheer, jalebi and khaas malpua. Spectacularly plated, this was a feast for the eyes as well. Tart granny smith apples punctuated the rice pudding along with a bite of syrupy jalebi and sugary sweet pancakes to round out the trio of desserts.

Varq Dessert Trio of Apple Kheer, Jalebi and Khaas Malpua

Varq Dessert Trio of Apple Kheer, Jalebi and Khaas Malpua

To help cleanse the palate after a robust meal, we enjoyed a cup of the most calming rose tea. Just as I mentioned how this would be a better alternative to my tea at home, the restaurant presented a pouch of rose tea to take with us.

This was one of the best Indian meals I have ever had. Each dish was exquisitely flavored, perfectly cooked, and elegantly presented. Experiencing the meal was akin to opening a thoughtful care package, with one wonderful surprise after another. Dish after dish impressed with complex flavors and unique elements. I highly recommend this experience if you’re looking for something outside the box on your next trip to New Delhi.

This post is in collaboration with Varq at the Taj Mahal Hotel. All opinions are my own.

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Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2018 Diaries

November 3, 2017  |  Fashion 30 comments

Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2018 Day 1

Attending FDCI Amazon India Fashion Week as a U.S. blogger is pretty uncommon. It took a lot of planning, a few key connections (thank you FDCI), and an epic level of organization to make the trip work. But for my first time attending, it was totally worth it. Seeing the designers, the runways, and the street style up close solidified my passion for the South Asian fashion scene. Here’s a peek at the week in Delhi highlighting my personal style, the Spring Summer 2018 runway looks, and a few fun activities in between.

Outhouse Jewelry Studio

Outhouse Jewelry Studio Visit

On my first stop in Delhi, I visited the Outhouse Jewelry studio to meet designers Kaabia and Sasha Grewal. These two sisters showed us their most recent bridal collection featuring crisp whites and soft rose golds. Needless to say, I wanted it all! They provided a behind the scenes tour of artisans at work, vintage pieces from their collection, and a look at jewelry before its plated. It was incredible to see each stage of the design process starting with the initial sketch. In complete awe of what the sisters had built in just five years, I was seriously inspired and ready for fashion week.

Anthropologie Rainbow Ruffled Maxi Dress Details

Anthropologie Rainbow Ruffle Dress on Bangles & Bungalows

Dress: Anthropologie / Necklace: Anthropologie (similar) / Bag: Nordstrom (similar) / Sunglasses: Quay Australia / Bracelet: c/o Soft Surroundings / Earrings: c/o Collections by Joya.

Amazon India Fashion Week: Day 1

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 Runway: Rimzim Dadu, Wendell Rodricks; Photo by The Co Lab

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 Runway: Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal, JJ Valaya; Photos by The Co Lab

FDCI AIFW SS 2018 (Clockwise from Top Left): Rimzim Dadu, Wendell Rodricks, Anupamaa by Anupama Dayal, JJ Valaya; Photos by The Co Lab

Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2018 Day 2 on Bangles & Bungalows

H&M Floral Midi on Bangles & Bungalows

Dress: H&M / Shoes: Old Navy / Belt: Banana Republic (similar) / Sunglasses: Express / Earrings & Necklace: Collections by Joya

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After breakfast overlooking the beautiful verandah at Eros Nehru Place, I dove right into Day 2 of fashion week. While checking out the runway shows is always exciting, it’s getting to meet the designers and seeing their work up close that gives me the most pleasure. It was especially delightful to meet the talented and adorable designer Urvashi Joneja, whose pieces are full of bright and whimsical prints, geometric cuts, and thoughtful details.

Designer Stalls at FDCI AIFW SS 2018

From Left to Right: Varun & Nidhika, Urvashi Joneja, and Pooja Shroff

H&M Floral Midi on at Eros Nehru Place

Amazon India Fashion Week: Day 2

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 Runway: Aartivijay Gupta, Vineet Bahl; Photos by The Co Lab

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 Runway: Hemant & Nandita, Rina Dhaka; Photos by The Co Lab

FDCI AIFW SS 2018 (Clockwise from Top Left): Aartivijay Gupta, Vineet Bahl, Hemant & Nandita, Rina Dhaka; Photos by The Co Lab

Amazon India Fashion Week SS 2018 Days 3 & 4 on Bangles & Bungalows

Funny how when there’s so much to do and see, you’re willing to overlook jet lag and stop from going into full on zombie mode. It may help that I’m wearing yellow — the happiest color in the world — to keep things bright and cheery. After an indulgent multi-course meal at Varq, the Taj Mahal hotel’s high end dining spot for Indian cuisine, there was no time for a food coma. Onwards to more inspired runway fashion, networking, and people watching for a serious case of style envy!

Boden Icon Rita Jacket on Bangles & Bungalows

Hanging out at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi; Outfit c/o Boden: Dress / Jacket / Bag / Shoes.

Amazon India Fashion Week: Days 3 & 4

Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 Runway: munkee.see.munkee.doo, pinnacle by shruti sancheti, abraham and thakore, kavita bhartia, shivan & Narresh, payal jain, bhanuni by Jyoti; Photos by The Co Lab

Thank you the Fashion Design Council of India for hosting and a lovely first Amazon India Fashion Week experience! And follow along for more adventures in Delhi, including a food tour of Varq, and Rajasthan, coming soon.

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How to Style Rose Gold Jewelry with JTV

October 27, 2017  |  Jewelry 24 comments

This post was sponsored by JTV. I was paid for this post and received JTV jewelry pieces as compensation.

 
Could you imagine life without jewelry? I certainly can’t. I have a love affair with it, and own more than I know what to do with. I often forget about pieces I own, only to come across them later like I’ve reconnected with an old friend. Jewelry has been around for thousands of years. Even the Cro-Magnons had a sense of style, shaping crude necklaces and bracelets from bone, teeth, stone, or wood. The history of jewelry is vast and showcases how these covetable adornments have played an important role in shaping human civilization. Today I’m sharing a little lesson about how jewelry has evolved over time while styling my favorite new rose gold jewelry pieces from JTV.

 
Jewelry has endured through thousands of years across the world because it is known to retain its value over time. As one of the oldest forms of body adornment, jewelry was in use prior to even clothing’s existence. It was employed as a form of currency, a practice that some tribes use to this day. It was also made for practical uses such as pinning one’s clothes together with a brooch, a common accessory in ancient Rome. Some wore jewelry to ward off evil. And rulers frequently wore jewelry, including a crown or a collection of royal jewels, as marks of distinction over their subjects.

 
Today jewelry’s main purpose is to adorn oneself, which happens to be my forte haha. If you’re looking to purchase new jewelry, natural pearls are a fabulous option. They are going through a resurgence in popularity. This particular set of earrings and necklace feature cultured freshwater pearls with 14 – 18K rose gold, respectively. The set has a classic design and can be passed down for generations.

 
I chose to style these pieces with a soft blush dress. The dusty rose in the dress beautifully reflects the pink tones in the rose gold of my necklace and earrings. While the necklace and earrings work well together, I’d definitely wear the earrings on their own with a dressy blouse for a night out or with a structured top for work to make an elegant statement. While styling the necklace with solid colored tops and dresses really lets it shine, it would also be fun to wear with autumn’s dark florals or boho paisley printed dresses.

 
JTV’s Rose Gold Collection starts at only $20 and ranges up to $7000. There’s something for everyone and every budget whether you love delicate pieces like the charming Bella Luce bracelet or a statement piece like this sparkling 2.75-ctw diamond ring.

 
I usually choose gold pieces because they go with most of my wardrobe; but lately I’ve been leaning more toward rose gold items. Adding rose gold jewelry to my look makes it more fun to mix and match different metals. And rose gold is the perfect tone to complement autumn and its warm color palette of styles.

Shop more rose gold jewelry from JTV here.

 
About JTV: Jewelry Television® (JTV). has been a source for jewelry and gemstones in the United States for 23 years. While known for its live 24 hour shopping network, jtv.com has been recognized as the largest non-bridal jewelry e-commerce website in the country. It is also a trusted source for jewelry, employing numerous Graduate Gemologists and Accredited Jewelry Professionals to help create educational content for its consumers.

Disclaimer: My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. These affiliate links are not associated with JTV.

Folk Florals for Fall

October 9, 2017  |  Fall Fashion 31 comments

This post is brought to you by Old Navy.

When fall rolls around my wardrobe gets earthier with grey and brow tones, layering becomes the norm, and I always have an excuse to wear more cute jackets. This field jacket from Old Navy is the perfect layering piece at a great price (only $45). And it’s easy to score a discount on top of this. What I love about this jacket is that it can take a floral maxi from summer to fall with its olive tones. Plus the field jacket is a classic must-have wardrobe piece.

Yasmin Hakim Old Navy Style

Old Navy on Bangles & BungalowsYasmin Hakim outside the Muny St. Louis

Old Navy Field Jacket

Old Navy Outdoor Folk

Yasmin in Old Navy

Get the look with this field jacket and one of Old Navy’s lovely floral dresses for easy chic style. Shop more “outdoor folk” style here.

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Statement Furniture: Fab Pieces for Your Home

October 6, 2017  |  Decor 13 comments

Today I’m sharing some beautiful decor pieces that you’ll love — elegant, unique, and luxe furniture for your home to take it to another level. These statement furniture pieces are so lovely, you’ll want to pass them down for generations.

Statement furniture: pink quartz liritz coffee table

This pink quartz coffee table is a literal jewel for your home. Natural quartz in a light rose hue gives this an ethereal vibe. Trimmed in hammered brass, the table makes a beyond elegant statement for your living room.

statement furniture: mina settee

Blue and white chinoiserie adorn this adorable settee. A perfect statement piece for a small living room or wonderful for a sitting spot in your entryway or even pull it up to your dining table as a clever little banquette.

statement furniture: aero marble oval dining table

A midcentury dining table reminscent of the classic Saarinen tulip silhouette. A cast metal pedastal base and a sturdy marble top give this piece a sturdy, yet glamorous feel. Perfect for cozy dinner parties or an ultra chic breakfast nook.

Kate Spade Home

Kate Spade’s philosophy is to surround yourself with things you love. These pieces are certainly loveable with their clean lines, glamorous gold and glitz, and plush cushioned seats, in a rainbow of sorbet colors. Shop the Duncan Side Table, the Beringer Bench, and the Syrie Stool.

 

Anthropologie Fireside Faux Throw

How cozy does this blanket look? It probably feels 10X cozier. Wrap yourself up and snuggle up on the couch or cuddle up with your loved ones in this soft faux fur blanket. Plus the reviews are excellent so you know it’s comfy.

Restoration Hardware Teen French Rococo Etched Dresser Mirror

 

An antique inspired mirror etched with flowers and vines for a romantic touch. Hang this in your bedroom or dressing room or even in the entrance way for a quick makeup check.

What’s your favorite piece? Is there any other statement furniture you recommend?

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When Fashion Inspires You

October 5, 2017  |  Fashion 9 comments

You know when you find a piece and you can imagine exactly how you’re going to style it? I saw this Anthropologie Hyacinth Jacket and was inspired. I had a picture in my mind of this look and when I tried it out, it really came together. When fashion inspires you, it’s a great feeling. And when it looks terrific, it confirms your faith in your vision and the ability to make good choices. At least style choices that is. The extra bag of potato chips I ate today after the gym – probably not the best choice.

Yasmin Hakim in Anthropologie Hyacinth Jacket

Anthropologie Hyacinth Bomber

Yasmin Hakim in Forest Park St. Louis

Hanging out at the Muny

Anthropologie bomber on Bangles and Bungalows

Floral bomber on Bangles and Bungalows

There’s something about the stream of blue from head to toe that’s really calming about this look. The pops of pink and orange let the blue breathe a bit, making it a bit more whimsical. And these oversized, yet lightweight Clearwater Drop earrings add the perfect finishing touch.

Get the Look

Here’s some of my favorite colorful jackets to kick up your look a notch: