To New Beginnings….

I love writing and blogging and food, good food. . But it’s very difficult impossible, to write or enjoy a wonderful meal with a newborn. S and I welcomed our beautiful, baby girl, ‘A’ into this world in November 2015.  Since then things have been on an absolute roll!

I am happy to share that my tiny venture – Socially Influenced, a digital communications agency, has taken off well and I have some fabulous clients. I love my job because I get to meet passionate, hardworking and sincere individuals and learn more about other businesses and industries. It is one of the most exciting things and for me – it is as much fun to deliver great content to clients as it is to play & watch Baby Girl A grow! I am blessed that I can follow my passion and get paid for it!

Among other news, S and I are slowly and steadily moving into Ahmedabad from our current home in Baroda (or Vadodara). Since the distance is barely 2 hours, we have been dilly-dallying with the actual move and end up going to our Ahmedabad home for just 10 odd days in a month. We hope that with Baby Girl A starting a Parent-Toddler program in AMD, we are more motivated to stay there and enjoy what the city has to offer.

From cooking a meal, once in awhile, I now need to cook at least 3 meals a day for us! Making a so-called ‘simple meal’ of Dal, Bhaat (rice), Roti & Shaak (Sabzi), or as we have begun calling it “DBRS”, takes me at least 2 hours! I still don’t know a lot of vegetables and it must be amusing for vegetable vendors when I ask them for help to identify common vegetables like parwal. Moving into your own home is definitely a lot of hard work, planning and organizing especially when you want to have a professional life as well. But, millions of people do it and all it takes is time. I am sure we will get to a smoothly functioning home very soon.

It’s a beautiful thing that we have friends and family over who fill our home with laughter. The happiness rings through the house and we love the chatter and sounds of people in our home. We’ve had casual dinners, teas and coffee nights which is perfect!

Baby Girl A loves exploring the house and we’ve kept it sparsely furnished so she can drive her trike in the house, or run around, without a care in the world. I’ve found veggie vendors, fruitwalas, small grocers, large grocery stores everything very close to home since we’re located in Prahladnagar.

The only thing that has been absolutely horrid is finding an Internet Connection!! We’ve moved in about 5 months ago and we still are struggling to find an internet provider. A huge bummer from me. I hope S can find a way soon to get some connectivity!

That’s what my family and I have been upto, what about you?

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Almost 25!!!

In just about 6 days I am going to be 25 years old!! 25!! That used to be my scary age.. I used to think when I turn 25, I would become a bore! How wrong I was and I couldn’t be happier that I am wrong! 🙂

I remember when we were 15, all of us friends right out of middle school, sitting and thinking about how different our lives would be in the next 10 years. We all had dreams and ideas about where we would be when we were 25. Most of us, maybe all of us, wanted to be married, some of us wanted to have a child by then and some of us wanted to either have our own businesses or be right on top of the corporate ladder by then. It’s amazing to have these dreams and goals which seem so real at that time. I know many people believe that you should be realistic and practical and shouldn’t day-dream, but the truth is, if you don’t dream how do you decide your life’s goals?

So with those wonderful day dreams we move on in life, trying to chase those dreams. In time we realize, we were wrong about certain things or ideas but we also figure out what brings so much happiness to us. One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling a little disheartened is to actually go online and look for that list of 20 or more things that make people happy. I love those lists!! And here is my mine – inspired by many of the lists I have read online so far!

Things/moments that make me happy

  • 1. Laughing hysterically to the silliest of jokes
  • 2. Dancing your heart out
  • 3. Star gazing
  • 4. Shopping
  • 5. Hugging/playing with a puppy
  • 6. Listening to the rain
  • 7. Ice-cream on a hot day
  • 8. Getting likes/comments on your updates on Facebook (very childish, but I love it!)
  • 9. Getting that warm, fuzzy feeling when you think about the one you love
  • 10. Receiving text messages/BBMs (still makes me happy!)
  • 11. Personal jokes
  • 12. Compliments
  • 13. Late night phone calls that go on for hours
  • 14. Hot chocolate
  • 15. Hugs
  • 16. Kisses
  • 17. Knowing someone misses you
  • 18. Humming nursery rhymes!
  • 19. Good dreams that leave you waking up with a smile
  • 20. Skipping school/college/work for a day
  • 21. Lying on the grass staring into the sky, watching the clouds
  • 22. The smile that comes to your face when you remember a special moment
  • 23. Jumping into a warm bed on a cold night
  • 24. Seeing your guys/girls name on your mobile when it rings
  • 25. Watching a movie thats funny enough to make your stomach hurt with all the laughing
  • 26. Talking for hours about absolutely nothing
  • 27. Looking back on the laughs
  • 28. Receiving presents
  • 29. Giving presents
  • 30. Birthdays
  • 31. Air conditioning when it’s hot
  • 32. Being full of energy and you don’t even know why!
  • 33. Seeing your boyfriend/girlfriend
  • 34. Watching someone do something stupid, and them thinking no one saw
  • 35. Nice smelling perfume/cologne/deodorant
  • 36. Good hair days
  • 37. Turning on the radio to hear that your favorite song is being played (Any Salman Khan track makes me happy!!)
  • 38. Running into an old friend
  • 39. Taking a long walk with great music
  • 40. Finding money in your pants/bag
  • 41. Being home alone
  • 42. Reading a good book on a rainy day
  • 43. A nice cup of hot tea on a cold day
  • 44. Sleeping in
  • 45. Watching the sun come up
  • 46. Seeing a shooting star
  • 47. Winning a bet
  • 48. Weekends
  • 49. Holidays
  • 50. Jumping on a trampoline
  • 51. Sitting in front on the fire on a cold evening
  • 52. Smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  • 53. Singing into your hairbrush in your room
  • 54. Bubble baths
  • 55. Listening to those classic love songs
  • 56. Being so happy it makes you cry
  • 57. Watching the light reflecting of a glass
  • 58. Finally completing something you started a long time ago
  • 58. Achieving a long time goal
  • 59. Warm nights
  • 60.Lighting up a room with only candles
  • 61. Swinging on a swing feeling like you’re going to touch the sky
  • 62. Peanut butter and almost anything! 🙂
  • 63. Cooking/baking for friends and family and making something delicious
  • 64. New recipes that are simple and so delicious
  • 65. Hot tubs and steam rooms!
  • 66. A great new hair style
  • 67. No queues in the grocery store
  • 68. Buying a new fountain pen!
  • 69. Girls night!!
  • 70. Falling asleep in your mother/grandmother/aunt’s lap
  • 71. Falling in love…

I know there are sooo many more things that make me happy like spending time with my entire family, my friends from school and college, finding out new ingredients, going back to your favorite restaurant and feeling like nothing’s changed! And the list can go on and on and on..

I read something that has really inspired me and I hope everyone starts living this way too,

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can – Danny Kaye”

Live life to the fullest!

No more chocolate for me!

I love chocolate. I have always loved chocolate.  I remember my mom telling me that when I was a few months old, I would grab candy bars from store counters and bite into them with the wrappers so that they would have to buy the chocolates for me! 😀 Every time I go to a restaurant/cafe and I am having dessert, it is always (no exceptions) a chocolate dessert. Coincidentally, the Marriott has an excellent chocolate cake/pastry called the Chocolate Marquise.  It is so rich, dense and full of chocolatey goodness! I literally feel like I am floating in heaven whenever I take a bite. I wonder when will I ever be able to make something that is as delicious….. Sigh….

Most of the desserts I make at home have some chocolate – chocolate chip cookies, nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies, peppermint and chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate brownies, triple chocolate brownies and peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. (As I type this out, I realize that I may have a slight obsession for chocolate chip cookies as well!!)

Did you know, in India it is common to give up some food item in order to appease a God hoping that your wish will come true? Now, while I don’t really believe in superstitions, I have this one wish… One wish I wish gets fulfilled. I can’t tell you what it is because if I do, it probably won’t come true (another superstition!) I really, really, really want it to come true. I imagine  if it does come true it will change my life forever! I don’t know if it is going to happen and if it is really going to change my life, but I am willing to go all out and try to make it come true.

To please the Gods (any and all Gods) I decided to give up chocolate in any and all forms. I guess what I have actually given up is cacao beans! It’s been tough considering my brother just got a bunch of chocolates (peanut butter snickers, Lindt chocolates, M&S chocolate covered biscuits – all my faves) and they are simply lying around the house. But its amazing how powerful our mind is when we really want to achieve something.

Here’s what I have learnt – if you wanna give something up (bread, sugar, coffee, tea, alcohol etc…) just give it up then and there. Don’t tell yourself you’ll stop from tomorrow. It never works! Day 1 was hard. I had gotten so used to eating a bite of a chocolate as soon as I got back from work. I almost succumbed to the temptation. But then I remembered the reason why I had decided to give it up and I managed to control myself. If you can get through the first 7 days of resisting temptation, it’s all good. It’s hard to go to a coffee shop, to go to a restaurant and sometimes even to open the fridge and not eat anything which has chocolate in it. Friends and family wonder what’s wrong with you and keep pushing you to take ‘just a small bite’. I think that is in fact really difficult to overcome – the social pressure. But after 2 weeks of sticking to your guns, they usually do leave you alone. The only problem I have now is I don’t know what to order in restaurants! I end up not eating any desserts (my dietitian is probably going to be very happy to hear that!).

What about baking without chocolate? It’s going to be a challenge. I may just bake chocolate stuff for friends and family and I hope I have the strength to overcome the temptation to try it ‘just to make sure it’s edible!’ but other than that I am looking at a lot of recipes that have Cinnamon in it. I think this weekend I will make a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting if I can help it or Cinnamon pull apart bread. I am already working on getting inspiration from the many food blogs I see online.

I leave you with this quote:

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  This is the day your life really begins.”  ~Bob Moawad

Till Sunday then!