Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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Spring...its almost here!

Spring is just around the corner but are you ready to enjoy it? Here are few ways to enjoy Spring:


Spring Cleaning: I guess no one wants to be cleaning the garage or attic or the yard in the cold and that is probably why Spring is the time when people want to re-haul their houses. Weather is nice, you feel fresh and energetic and lots of things around the house vying your attention. So take a peek into that attic and revisit what you have there...sort it, pile what you need, box it  and donate the rest. Same goes for the other places in the house.


Check out the Spring trends: One of the reasons I love Spring...the spring fashion. Dresses are pretty, colors are fresh and the looks are delicate. Check out the new styles, whats in and what not...update your spring wardrobe and have fun with the colors. And don't forget to give your house a new look, with fresh flowers or colorful cushions.
Spring fashion

Take off someplace over the weekend and enjoy the outdoors with family: Plan a picnic, a weekend outing...enjoy the outdoors...play Frisbee, go for boating....or do nothing but sit, relax or chit chat with friends and family over sandwiches and coffee. Spring is the perfect time for this.


Work in the yard: Get into an old jeans/t-shirt, turn on your radio and spend your weekend morning working in the yard. Time to remove old plants and leaves and put in new seeds and pots for spring. Now is the time so that your yard will be pretty and colorful all through spring and summer.


Pamper yourself
: You just survived a harsh winter and spring is going to be lot of work with the new look, updating the yard, planning weekends :) so treat yourself. The pedicure appointment you were putting, or the facial you have been stalling,  or the gym you have been avoiding...you will need it all. Get yourself radiant and ready for those spring dresses, strappy heels and outdoor fun with a spring in your walk and a glow on your face.


Go out for a run or walk or bike riding: The slight breeze, the freshness in the air, the grass getting greener and the trees getting their foliage back...it feels like you can breathe again. And what can beat a nice stroll by the river with your soul mate... for a perfect spring evening while the sky turns orange as the sun sets?


Have a great spring and enjoy this song...somehow it feels like the mausam, Dharmendra is talking about has to be Spring.

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Spring...its almost here!

Five simple things that make my day better:


1. Groom yourself: No, I don’t mean being a fashion plate but spending ten minutes in the morning on grooming which means wearing something nice that is well put together with accessories and little make up that enhances looks. When I know I am looking good and presentable, it automatically makes me feel good and confident to go out and tackle the world out there.

2. Silent conversations: For me this means a few minutes with God at the end of the day to thank Him for another wonderful day. For someone else it may mean a few minutes with yourself or meditation but it definitely helps to put things in perspective. Make sure to count your blessings, thank for the wonderful things in your life and understand that there are things to look forward to.

3. Exercise: I know, you are thinking, “I want to but who has the time?” I evaded my exercises until I decided that I will exercise ten minutes each day. Just ten minutes, now that is not that hard right? It works. Most of the time, we think of exercise as some activity that we want to begin only when we have an hour. Next time, when you have ten minutes, get on the tread mill, go for a walk or just stretch. Just for ten minutes…and you will not regret it.

4. Set up a bed time routine: No, I am not talking about my child, this is about me. Without a routine, I lay awake in the bed waiting for sleep many times. A good night time routine helps me avoid a lot of that. A night routine can be as simple as washing your face, applying some night time cream, checking on kids, reading a book, some soothing music and going to bed. You can create one that suits you but it definitely helps a good night’s sleep.

5. Surround yourself with goodness: I have put up few pictures, cards, souvenirs from friends and family around the house and work place. Looking at a moment captured in the form of pictures, drinking coffee in the mug gifted by sister, a friendship plaque from a friend make me remind that I am loved even in the middle of a tough day. Finding a few minutes to say Hi to a friend and talk about your day or just random things in general makes even a bad day so much better.

These are just some things that work for me, feel free to try them out and share your own. And here is a song that may pick your moods up a little for today:

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Five simple things that make my day better:


Five things I remember about Holi:

1. Colors: Red, Yellow, Pink, Green...you name it and Holi has got it. After all the festival is all about covering each other in all kinds of colors. I loved all colors except silver which seemed more like a chemical than color.


2. Ghujhiyas: As I am writing this, I can smell the whiff of ghujhiyas being fried. Most of the families have tradition to make ghujhiyas on occasion of Holi. It is one tasty treat made of patties stuffed with sweet filling. I remember my mom spending hours making the stuffing and I would always want to help. She would let me cut the stuffed ghujhiya patty on its side to give it its decorative edges since that was the easiest thing in the entire process.


3. Thandai: Can u imagine Holi without Thandai? Cool, refreshing drink made of Milk and dry fruits which is offered at almost every house you visit to wish a Happy Holi.  At times people mix 'Bhang' in it for the kicks which can make things even crazier. I definitely regret not experimenting with Bhang when I had the opportunity. I wish I can have some Bhang ki Thandai this Holi.


4. Milna Milana: Holi is all about people. The Holika Dahan evening kicks the festival off with the customary fire around which people gather to pray and then wish each other. That night I would lay awake for a long time in anticipation of the excitement of the next day. The morning will start off with neighbours knocking at the door to get everyone out of the house. People in groups go to everyone's house with colors and wish each other with the customary tilak, color each other...eat..drink and enjoy. Evenings are again meant to meet people outside of the neighbourhood and spending time with people who matter to you. I loved every minute of it.


5. The Carefree attitude: Holi does bring out the best and worst in people.  It will probably be the only time of the year where even the old let loose and let their hair down. They will be fighting to color each other, saving themselves from the color, calling out your name on top of their lungs, laughing crazily, dancing on the dhol n holi songs and not caring about anything under the sun. Even the most stern and anti social Aunties will be smiling away taking care of the sari's pallu when others drag them into the group of crazy people enjoying the 'I care not' attitude. I used to try to get away with every naughtiness under "Bura Na Mano Holi Hai" slogan :)
I specifically enjoyed watching my parents letting their hair down and enjoying the holi masti.


Wishing all of you a very Happy holi. Tell me about your favorite Holi moments.And dont forget to enjoy the Holi song from our own Blockbuster Sholay as its truly says "Holi ke din dil khil jate hain Rango mein rang mil jate hain" here:

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Five Things I miss About India I left Behind

Five things I miss about India I left behind: We all miss the family, festivals & celebrations, Indian food...but some things that I never thought about being in India as important and took it for granted is what this list is about.

The monsoon rain: When the rain falls the first time on a hot summer day...the earthy smell from the street when the parched earth soaks up the rain water eagerly..unparalleled!!! Couple this with the chirps of birds and cuckoo, excited because of the rain and cousins and family (over at my house for summer vacation) happy and relieved..makes it extra special. Have never experienced the same joy and excitement here ever.

Street Hawkers: Remember the Peanut Hawker carrying a basket with small heater to keep the peanuts roasted and warm along with masala salt in winters calling out to you. I would get out of the covers in no minute to buy those warm roasted peanuts...Can you beat the convenience of getting veggies, yogurt, icecream, Chana Jor Garam, Roasted peanuts, chaat right outside your door? Oh how I would love to have it here when I am out of Onions and dont want to tag along my 14 month old with me all the way to Kroger. My front door neighbor is the only savior then!!! U guessed it right I borrow it from her desi style and never pay her back for them..that too desi style :).

Hospitality by shopkeepers where u are a regular: Madam chai, coffee, lassi..kya lengi??? (Madam, Tea, Coffe or Yogurt smoothie, what will you have?) Remember those words? Ever heard it here? Nope. It is very common in India for shopkeepers to offer you a seat and some refreshment when you are a regular at their store. Buying clothes at such shops is an experience where you tell what u want and they will go over piles of clothes (read Saris & dress materials) to help you choose something. What fun!!

Having less choices: Yeah you read it right..I miss that. Things are actually simpler that way sometimes...I get lost in the bread or breakfast aisle at grocery stores...50 kinds of breads...cereals...I get confused what should I watch on TV with 500 plus channels and I build no loyalty towards a product at times coz I am trying something new at all times. But I still remember the 'Popular & Gold Coin' brand of breads...only ones we had in our town. I loved to wake up on Sunday morning to watch Rangoli and Chitrahaar was a time entire family would get together to watch Hindi songs. At times I wish I didn't have so many options in everything. We don't value them as much.

Enjoying the seasons/weather truly: I loved spending sundays in our balcony/patio where we would get good sun light in winters..females in the house will get together with the maid to get things done..similarly evenings and night on the terrace in summers were a social place. We wouldn't think twice before jumping out in the first rain of the season with neighborhood friends either. Each weather had its own special place and had its distinct flavor and I really miss that here.

A good song that reminds me of all the favorite things of the seasons is 'Dil Dhoonsta Hai' form the Movie Mausam.

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There is lot more to the list...but lets leave that for some other time!!! Till then keep the faith..

Five Things I miss About India I left Behind

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