10 Things I am enjoying right now!

Now that you guys know a little bit about me, I wanted to share a few things I have been enjoying lately. Hope you find something in common or something new to enjoy yourself!

  1. Home-cooked meals: When I lived at home(back in India), I took home cooked meals for granted. And now, I really miss it. But considering Pia’s mother is visiting, we are having home cooked meals everyday!
  2. The little book of skin care by Charlotte Cho: This book is really great if you want to start your own skincare routine. The information she has provided is great even for a beginner to understand. Her experiences make me want to visit Seoul myself!
  3. Skin-care: I have really started taking care of my skin since fall/winter is just around the corner. Also, because I do not wish to have scaly skin like a snake which I did last year. The book really helped me understand why I need to take so many steps to make my skin look and feel right. The entire experience feels like I am at a spa and gives me time to concentrate on myself.
  4. Baby pics: My cousin had a baby girl last month. She is just so adorable. I was amazed by her expressions and her fearlessness. Her life is so simple- eat, sleep, poop, repeat! I have been loving her pictures on Instagram. Its my daily dose of gooeyness. I love her!
  5. Sleeping: I am religiously sleeping 7-8 hours a day which I have always wanted to do. No skimming- I have noticed my body/ mind is loving it! Zzzzzzz!
  6. Some good news: This year has been great with good news. Two of my close friends from school decided to get married. Congratulations to Roshni, Pria and Sid! Few friends got promotions. People seem to be happy around me. So I guess I am really happy 🙂
  7. Shopping: This should have been at the top of my list! Since it was my birthday a few days ago-I shopped a lot! The labor day sales didn’t help either. I bought two Kate spade bags, a LOT of skin care items from SokoGlam, Uniqlo basics etc. I will follow up later with 10 of my favorite items this month!
  8. Homeland on Hulu: I know this show aired a few years ago, but I recently started watching this. I have already completed 4 seasons and just began my 5th one last night. Its a complete rollercoaster of emotions if you enjoy psychological/political thrillers. Must watch!
  9. Cereal: My favorite cereal for a while has been Lucky charms. I love them! My colleague was really surprised (a little offended) when I told her that I didn’t know what it was. My apartment has been stocked up since then!
  10. Day-dreaming: Come on! I love day-dreaming about random stuff. It gives me great pleasure to see where my mind can wander when I am idle!

I hope you enjoyed my list! And please comment below with what you have been enjoying. So I can get on it too! Also, just want to take a moment to be thankful for all my friends. Every now and then I realize how lucky I am to have found them. I love you guys!

10 Ways to be positive and happy

I have been recently brawling with being positive and looking at the “brighter” side of things. I am sure most of us struggle with this every day. And if you don’t you are very lucky my friend or you might be living in denial. So I thought I could share a few things I do to make myself feel better through the somber times.

  1. Take a good nap: Sleep is really important to induce positive thoughts and rejuvenate your mind. I won’t go into the science of things but I try to sleep for 7-8 hours daily.
  2. Enjoy a drink/ Listen to music: Whenever I am alone over the weekend or during the week I like to turn on some music I enjoy or videos I like to watch. I do this with a glass of cold juice or wine for weekends.
  3. Read something motivational: I know not many of us like to read but there are some motivational books that are perfect for pick me ups during the day or read motivational quotes online.
  4. Make a list of short term goals: I love making to-do lists!! This helps me to be focused on my current tasks and also make short term achievable goals. This is important to understand your own capabilities and strengths.
  5. Love yourself: I know a lot of people who find flaws in themselves and forget to embrace who they are. It is really important to accept your true self to move forward without being hung up on what is wrong. It is always good to know your weaknesses so you can work towards mitigating them.
  6. Take up a hobby/ exercise: I cannot stress enough on the importance of having a hobby. This will help to keep your mind active no matter how old you are. Another important key to being positive is exercising. The blood flow in your body will help you clean out your thoughts and help you sleep well at night.
  7. Worry less: Everyday I remind myself to not worry about the things that are out of my control and just concentrate on my priorities. This can be really difficult but it does get easier once you make a conscious effort to do so. Just take a deep breathe and move forward!
  8. Eat healthy: Ayurveda describes beautifully how the food you eat affects the formation of your thoughts. Some foods can make you lethargic or even stressed out. Learning more about what you consume and making conscious decisions can go a long way. You need to be fit mentally and physically to have a healthy and happy life. It’s not to late to start today.
  9. Smile: Every time you smile your mind will automatically take you to your happy place and make you feel better. It doesn’t take much to smile at a stranger at a store or even your colleagues on a hard day’s work. It definitely will get you through a tough day.
  10. Give your 100%/ This is your life: You worry less, give your 100% from the time you get up and things will always move in a positive direction. This is your life so don’t worry about making mistakes and enjoying every second of it. You only live once!

Time Flies!

Time definitely flies. I just realized I haven’t written in four months, It is crazy! My day goes by so fast at work that when I am home, I laze like a hippo and have now started to look like one. I have been catching up on a lot of shows- Quantico and Hawaii Five-O being the latest. Its like I am hypnotized by the TV. The idiot box is definitely living up to its name. I am trying so hard to be productive but somehow it seems difficult once I lie down on my cozy bed after a long day’s work.

I really enjoyed my birthday in September celebrating it with the amazing Broadway show- KINKY BOOTS. I recommend this one to all age groups. Its a perfect blend of crazy, funny and sad. I really shouldn’t say sad as it was much better at depicting sadness. I was smiling as I cried.

I had a great meal with friends at Craft House which is in Suffern, NY. It is definitely worth a try. Their drinks are delicious and the Peach Cheesecake was to die for. What else do I need- I got food, great theatre and some alcohol. Oh! And my friends to enjoy this with. They even gifted me a fall jacket from COACH. My first ever!

Talking about jackets- Fall is here! Its so much better to snuggle with the person you love and smell the fresh air when you are out. I really love fall. Its gives a different quality to the breeze and the trees. Of course I am talking about the beautiful colors of the leaves as they turn yellow, orange and amber. I had never seen fall before because Mumbai doesn’t have fall. We have monsoon (I really don’t know why). But the first time I experienced fall I was so mesmerized by my surroundings. The aroma of pumpkin spice lattes, cinnamon and apple pies. YUM! It is my favorite time of the year. It is crazy how I never forget my food while talking about other important things. I guess I am just one of those people who eats while being happy, sad or stressed. Its a bad thing- definitely a bad thing. You see how the Hippo is still lazing on the bed?

The most exciting event of 2015 is that my sister is finally visiting me! I’ve been here more than 4 years and this is the first time! I’m so thrilled to have her over and show her my life that I have built here. I do believe it is important for family to know how you are really doing. It helps ease their worries and obviously makes life simpler. Also it ts that time of my life that Indians my age are pressurized to get married. All parents are worried about whether their children will ever find the love of their life (more like someone who can tolerate us). The hunt for the perfect person goes on. Just for all the parents who read this- YOUR KIDS DO NOT WANT TO DIE ALONE! We do want to find someone. Having said that, its not easy to find that one person among 7 Billion people now, is it? So sit back, relax and help your children in other ways and also have fun with them. That is important too!

Work has been hectic since I am learning new things everyday! Being in the cosmetic industry, you constantly have to keep up with the times, the trends etc. Its an ever growing business that calls for innovation and research. This industry has a lot to offer. I have finally gotten into make-up and to be honest- I love it! Never did I think that I would, but its fascinating and fun at the same time. Hopefully I’ll learn some new make-up techniques and share just like the new trend of make-up videos and blogs. I’ve also been catching up on all the cool ideas people have for putting on eyeliner. Trust me its an art and not everyone can master it.

I’m enjoying buying cosmetics and spending a lot of money on them. I bought the Urban Decay smoky palette, splurged on a nice organizer, lots of lipsticks among other stuff. Its been fun to experiment with all the make up and wear lipsticks to work. Its definitely a simple way to feel great about yourself. The past four months have been great in terms of work and also because I bought a beautiful car. It was long overdue and I wanted it before the winter set in. Commute has been so comfortable; this upgrade was necessary.

I’m definitely going to be writing soon about how I love the holidays or how much I shopped with my sister.It is going to be so much fun. Can’t wait to have you here Payal Kamath!

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Enjoying summer at Asbury Park

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Al Hirschfeld Theatre- KINKY BOOTS

Starting Afresh

So I guess it’s been a while since I saw my own website. I have been swamped with work! Oh, but first let me tell you that I have finally found a permanent job at a renowned cosmetic contract manufacturing. My interview went really well and I was hoping to nail this one. And I did! It has been two months here and I have been learning quite a bit. I really wanted to switch jobs, get recognized for what I am doing. And I guess this is a stepping stone towards that. There have been so many changes in my life right now.

I moved closer to my new job that is in New York. No! not New York city, just New York state. Its a beautiful drive I take every morning. It was horrible in the snow but I made it. I moved all my stuff in the storm too! It’s like the storm wants to be my best buddy. Also, I am the only Indian in my workplace. Breather from New Jersey/ Indian land. Not like I hated it, I still do love New Jersey. But this is different. May be good different; I haven’t decided yet. Its too early.

I was kinda thrown into the middle of our innovation collection at work. It was like mad house a month ago. I really don’t know how I survived it. The job is teaching me the dynamics of a manufacturing unit I had never seen before. It is so different from the previous companies I worked for. I’m definitely learning though. I guess, sometimes, you just have to take one day at a time. And then all goes well. Its not the best place to build your career but I feel like I made a good start. In this day and age it’s so important to have a good relationship with all your colleagues for various reasons. One being your own sanity. The minute things go south, stress increases. I am definitely learning to ignore the things that irk me.

Living alone has been difficult, more like overwhelming. I handle my own bills now, clean the apartment and do the dishes by myself 😦 Not to mention all the cooking. Its tough to keep your mind occupied all the time in an empty apartment but I guess I have been doing okay. Its as if I have been given all this time to plan my life ahead. Plan about the more important things.

When I left home four years ago, I thought I had taken the biggest step of my life. I was wrong. That’s because I landed a fantastic group of friends and roommates here. I realize now living alone has been the toughest thing I’ve had to do.

I know I do have a long way to go. Build a career first, save some money to support a family. The future looks bright and I hope I can be positive and determined through this learning curve of my life.

For all you people out there who are considering living alone (moving out from your parents house or not living with roommates anymore); I think you should think twice before doing this. Its a lot of responsibility, its expensive and you have to pretty much take care of yourself. Having said that, sometimes its amazing to unwind by yourself, doing things you like- be it watching your favorite show or just reading a book or playing an instrument. It feels like it is going to be okay. And then a new day begins. I would recommend every person to live alone at least once in their life. See and experience the bigger picture.

Bringing in the New Year

2014 just flew by. Can’t believe it’s 2015 already. I’m pretty sure I feel this way every year. I had a great, long break from work and my other stressful stuff. In this one week, I traveled, ate good food, saw dolphins among other things. I did not drink much, considering most of my other new years have gone by wasted. It’s been wonderful having these experiences with no alcohol. Life feels so much better! I enjoyed a few TV shows (that was me taking a break from being in the car and cold).

I visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The 4D experience in their movie theater is awesome! If you have young children, should definitely take them. The different types of fish I saw there, just made me ecstatic. There were sharks, shrimps, crabs, swordfish and there was a huge leopard print sting ray! And of course the dolphins were there and beautiful jellyfish. This definitely is a must-go place. TIP: Try a weekday; weekends and holidays are way too crowded.

I also had brunch at this famous place called Miss Shirley’s cafe. If you Yelp it, you will find great reviews and amazing pictures of the food. I had the shrimp and grits with the fried green tomatoes, very flavorful. Another must- have desert is the Monkey bread. Just go try it; I don’t really have words to describe it. Its that good! Miss Shirley’s was a great experience.

Another great place for desert is “The Bent Spoon”. I really enjoy this place when I crave for my dose of ice cream. I drive all the way down to Princeton for this one. This is the only place I’ve tried, that has different flavors every week! Can you believe that? They do have their usual dark chocolate, vanilla etc. But they also experiment with their bold choice of flavors. For example they had ‘Tree” flavored ice cream. Can you imagine? It was just I like imagined how a tree would taste. They incorporated it beautifully into the ice cream. I love their ice cream because its flavorful obviously; but its also so light. The after effect is not lethargy. TIP: Their sorbets are splendid and if you like hazelnut, their ice cream is to die for. I also like the sea salt caramel (its seasonal 😦 ).

For Christmas, I went to the Christmas village in Philadelphia, PA which happens every year. They have great food, lot of handicraft items, handmade goods etc. Had a waffle with strawberry bits at the waffle counter. So let me tell you this, no matter what I eat in Philly, it never seems to disappoint me. There are great places to hangout with friends, eat food, watch movies and plays. Philly has it all. And it isn’t even as crowded as New York city.

Today, when I start my new ‘work’ year, I feel well rested and ready to get on with work. To top up the motivation, I got a hair cut! A hair cut is a great confidence booster. I do want this year to be better than the last. Achieve my set goals, one at a time. I feel stronger this year and have decided to begin this year with a lot of self motivation and confidence. There is no time for set backs and mistakes!

The New Year always brings some resolutions with it. Though, this year, I have just decided to take one day at a time. Enjoy it and do everything to make it an awesome one. Every year I decide to be healthier than the previous one (doesn’t mean I exercise). I have got my appetite back that I lost in 2013. No complains there. Just that now I need to lose the hearty weight I have gained. Good thing is, I bid farewell to my addictions from 2013. I have been clean for a while now! Something that everyone should consider doing. Its totally worth the effort. I feel so much better. You won’t know how it feels until to try it. Give it a shot!

And for all those who feel the way I do- ALL THE VERY BEST! 2015 is going to be great!

Handicrafts at the Christmas Village

Handicrafts at the Christmas Village

Waffles I ate (Christmas Village)

Waffles I ate (Christmas Village)

At Miss Shirley's Cafe, Baltimore, MD

At Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Baltimore, MD

Jellies, National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

Jellies, National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

Oh, you little thing, you inspire me..

As a part of growing up, I liked the little things to inspire me in a way that the vital ones didn’t. A kind act by someone (not necessarily for me) or even someone sharing an article they read. It makes you believe that people do think about you in the day and that you did make a difference to them. I am quite self motivated and usually don’t get dispirited. I take delight in bringing energy among a group of people I am a part of. I appreciate every deed a person has done for me. Although I do want to learn how to be less critical of a person or a situation and see the light behind it.

I really enjoy my ride to work. There is something about early mornings, the fresh air even if its so damn cold! I like seeing the roads, shops by the side, slowly getting busy. I enjoy seeing little children being dropped off to the school bus by their parents. Something about the mornings also inspires me to do better, do much  more than I can. Sipping a warm cup of coffee, listening to music; I mentally make a to-do list for myself. I feel like the coffee helps register things better.

My recent inspiration has been travelling and being on the road. It has given me time for myself and also helped me enjoy food of different styles and people of different kinds. Good food and good conversations are my fuel for life. Whenever I feel down, I read. I enjoy playing with my never ending collection of stationary. So I write back home to my family and friends. It makes a difference to me and to them. My friends from India have told me that my posts have reached them at the correct time or when they were least expecting it. It makes me so happy.

The most trivial things help you to make so much sense of every situation. I bask in the joy of somehow knowing it all (at least I feel I do). Doesn’t everyone want to feel that way? I suggest you give importance to the less valued things, emotions and gestures. It makes life simpler and gives you an edge. Then you start noticing that people around do appreciate you for it.

Someday I want to be a person who is strong emotionally and who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I want to make a difference in multiple lives. Motivate them when they need me the most. I want to move forward and take all my loved ones with me.

Have you made a difference today or changed anyone’s life?