Happy New Birthday

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

Hubby sneaked in a cake to be lit at 12 am sharp. Son didn’t like it much, he just hated the color enough not to even taste it,discarding it at the first  sight! But he insisted on lighting the candles every time we got the cake out from the fridge , for next 2 days till it lasted!

Having a vacation courtesy husband’s off from work since Christmas. He is looking after the baby and I’m on a roll, doing my stuff!

Good beginning to the new year, hope it stays this way….all my life.

One of my friends husband wished me- Happy New Birthday…( happy new year+Happy Birthday) Lol

Wishing you all good luck and good health in 2017 and all your life.

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S for Saturday

 

sun_decline_lake_evening_patches_of_light_romanticism_45766_1440x900

Growing up in 80’s and 90’s we had 6 days in a week. That is working days and Sunday used to be reserved for all the amusement we could have. Life was fun then and we never complained about that only day off in a week. We would do all that we could do in that one day and in the evening catch a movie on DD too! I could not imagine that after a decade or so we were going to have 5 days a week. But how we have people whining about being overworked and tired the whole week through. Having said that , I make sure that I plan for my weekends ahead and treasure them thoroughly.

I reserve my Saturdays for mostly outdoor activities ranging from hiking, trekking, shopping, watching a movie etc and then catch up with all the sleep and some family activities on Sunday!

So typically my weekend has a schedule which  make during the week (which is critical) else I end up mindlessly watching television or browsing the internet. Planning lets you savor the joy of anticipating something fun; psychology says we’re often happier anticipating an event, like a vacation, than we are during or after it. My weekends need to feel different than the weekdays which means I do a different kind of labor/activities which  allows my mind and body to recover from the typical stresses I undergo during the week. Like, spending time with my plants, doing crochet for an hour, paint the glass bottles or simply clean a corner which has been pending for long. I make sure to have-

Max Mornings- Getting up earlier than the rest of the family is great for personal pursuits like an early morning walk, reading a favorite author with the cup of tea or getting together things for a later in the day activity like a hobby.

Family Rituals- There is a designated Pizza night on the weekend. Happy families often have special activities on most weekends that does not require special planning like Friday night pizza or Sunday morning pancakes. Because these habits are what become memories later.

Sun Siesta-It’s not just for toddlers. Having a nap time in the mid-afternoon ensures that your body rests and recuperates.

Plan Chores- I designate a chore time, on Saturday. so that they get done quickly and I can move on to the fun things of the weekend.

Tech Sabbath- A stretch of time apart from the computer, phone, and work stresses creates space for other things in life,I put up a specific window of an hour or so to sort through my inbox, rather than periodically checking and writing back to emails all day long.

Well, a weekend well spent is eventually a life well spent. Cheers for the rest of the counted weekends of our lives!

 

Movietime

Movietime

H- Happy

happy-life-lugar-mundo-Favim.com-320333

To be happy is the most important quality required to live a content life. To be happy regardless of ups and downs in life.

How can I be happy when everything seems to be going wrong in my life…? I used to ponder but no one, no one could explain. I had to discover it on my own that no one is either bothered or can do anything if you choose to be unhappy. The secret was to find happiness in small things when bigger plans go wrong. How do you do that? obviously when big things are going wrong you are disappointed and all your energy is diverted to either reasoning it out or sulking over it as to why bad luck only targets you. Instead of that we must start focusing on smaller aspects of life which cannot go wrong.Like a cup of tea with a friend, some shopping time, or just go hiking with your camera and a packed sub, simply offering to baby sit a friend’s child, go for a movie, eat outside with a close group of friends or simply indulge in a big ice-cream!

It is better said than done, you may say. But trust me, its all about creating a habit of being in that state where you know that the next moment is under your control. We waste so much of time, energy and precious moments of life when we depend upon others/things to make us happy.

So, let it be US- the reason of happiness 🙂

Happy

Things about Summer

s1

Morning walks, evening walks, no winter clothes, frappes, icecreams , summer dresses, cool breeze ….

Wow, summer is my favorite time of the year…okay spring is the best one actually! Summers back in India are like scorching hot. But I still like them better than the cold of nothern India where I grew up. In Assam where I originally belong to, the summers are wet because the monsoon starts in April already! So the memories of rainy, breezy, and cloudy summers during my collge years are something that I fondly remember!

s2

Since we have moved to this part of the world, its been different and nice too. The winters are like bad but luckily I have not yet spent any winters here so this year its going to be my first. I dont like them…my husband always asks me what will happen to me if we were to move to mid-west or east of this country sometime!! I’m sure I will learn to enjoy the snowfall sooner than he fears!

cocktail-summer-wallpaper

The onset of summer in California is marked with beautiful cherry blossoms and scores of other pretty flowers in the parks and on the streetsides.You know its summer when sunset is after 8pm and you have plenty of time to do your stuff. The feel of the cool breeze energises me while I take my evening walks now with my son and Ani joinning us on weekends. I can hear the birds chirping away at all times except in the noon when they too take a break and hide under the thick branches of the trees.

strawberry-ice-cream

 

Summers also reminds me of the onset of rains back in home. Back then , it used to be hot in Agra but childhood never feels it and we would eagerly wait for our school vacations during summers.

s5

I hope my affair with summer will carry on even if we have to move to a colder part of the country! Till then let me enjoy the summers of California which lasts almost throughout 8 months!

Last but not the least, a drive in the summers could let you see a lot more colors than anytime in the year!

Last

Simple Things in Life

Simple-Things

Honestly, a few good friends and some good place to spend the lazy afternoons…thats what life’ s pleasures are all about.

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Life’s treasures lie in simples things indeed. Mom’s food, a simple cup of her tea,sitting in the porch sipping it watching rains, giving grains to sparrows and hens at home…

the-simple-things-jai-johnson

Watching a random flick on TV in the afternoon when alone, making that special cup of tea on weekends for both of us when Riaan is taking a nap, going for an evening walk and looking at the clouds and talking about future.

1234

Finding the phone number of an old friend and calling her and catching up with old times, wishing good day to a fellow jogger, smelling the rose on my morning walk, watching the clouds fly by in the evening sky, stopping by and talking to the old lady in the neighbourhood.

apple-pie

 

Truly, life’s treasures lie in simple things. The very fact that life is short but sweet makes it even more important to love its each moment.

Cheers!

friends

 

Ringing in 2015

Sunset by the lake Shot- A & R

Sunset by the lake
Shot- A & R

Its already late to write on this topic nonetheless…better late than never!

The new year eve which coincides with my birthday is usually spent dancing,shopping and ends with a dinner of my choice. Of course then a cake cutting session in the middle of the night! This was happening since last 3 years, thanks  to my sweetheart and this year I wanted it to be a quiet evening. Because I was expecting , I wanted less noise, less people around and a quiet dinner. So we decided , we shall go camp in our favorite hotel a previous day, spend the evening there and ring in my birthday and the new year from the quiet room overlooking the lake of the city.

With 2 bags , we drove into the hotel and took a room at 10th floor. Down from the window, the preparations for the New Year Eve’s party on the dance floor was on full swing. I just wanted to relax on the sofa and listen to some soothing music and watch the sun go down the lake. The year had been pretty hectic with lots of good things coming in. There were a few incidents which caused a bit of heartaches too. Nonetheless, I wanted to decompress and unwind and create a still better beginning for the coming year. Dinner was sumptuous -Palak Paneer, tandoori chicken and Rotis with a green salad and Ani disappeared from the room to hunt for a birthday cake! We went down and had a look at the hotel bakery. It was sensible to buy the cake from the hotel then driving down to another bakery through maddening traffic of people getting out to celebrate new year’s eve. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper , the parks were crowded, the hotels were brimming with people….my goodness, India is exploding with people!

I convinced Ani to get just a chocolate pastry as cake would have become too much for two of us.

The ceremonial cake was cut at the stroke of 12 midnight, as the people down the dance floor started hugging each other and the hotel sky was lit up with a string of firecrackers!  Three years of togetherness and much of bliss and peace. Next day was spent quietly lazying and taking stroll along the pool.2nd of January saw me doing some shopping for husband, baby and some essential items for the trip to US. And by evening we were at our home sweet home.

Im glad this new year was quiet with lot of time for introspection and retrospection. There should be days in our life when one can sit back , relax , do nothing, feel the life go by, moment by moment and just live in the moment. Life is short and we have lot of aspirations.If we do not sit back once in a while,we will not realize and life will zoom past us.

This one is for everyone to take a break from routine, if its on the birthday, its all the more great!

Chocolicious... Shot-  A & R

Chocolicious…
Shot- A & R

Sparkling or Still

Crystal Springs Lake, San Bruno Caught & Shot- A & R

Crystal Springs Lake, San Bruno
Caught & Shot- A & R

Idea of perfect day off…Of course it has to be outdoors. The whole day out a midst nature with a picnic basket. Some home made sandwiches or  some quick Rajma-Chawal (Mexican beans & Rice)with salad and pickle, potato chips, some nectarines,a book bottles of fruit juice, a few books, a big sheet to lie under a tree or next to a lake and some wine and cheese for the evening.I would also like to have a day out lined with activities like in a theme park or water-park or better still visit to a nearby nature resort ,may be a wild life park. But the best would be the first option- a picnic for the entire day of course with my man by my side. He is the most serene man I have ever seen and makes it a point not to disturb me for hours if he sees I’m enjoying something!

Every weekend of the year 2013 was filled with such cozy and pleasant evenings while I had a dream holiday in the US. At Marriot’s Residence Inn, there was a spread of huge american breakfast and evening snacks and I had to cook only the lunch! I was being pampered and taken care of like never before. I would pick up stuff from the breakfast table like bagels/cheese,biscuits, apples,pancakes with juicy maple syrup/honey packets,sandwiches, baked potatoes,stir fried veggies, cute milk packets and we would be on the road in search of a nature park to spend the day in. I would also cook a small meal for lunch so that we don’t have to hunt for an eatery at lunch time. These luxuries were also there at Delhi star hotel,when we stayed there for a year and a half but we had to leave the town for the weekend ,to hunt for greener places.

The best thing about spending the day in nature is that you become close to God by absorbing  the other beautiful things he has made. For hours you can get lost in their resplendent beauty. You appreciate the time of your life when you are away from the daily chores and it unwinds the mind and let us take each day as it comes without worrying about the next day’s or next week’s that emergency deadline at work!

Looking forward to have these fun filled and relaxing outings once the baby is delivered and is a few months bundle!Till then the memories of last year in the US and this year in southern India are fresh to keep me going!

A nearby park at San Mateo Caugt & Shot- A & R

A nearby park at San Mateo
Caugt & Shot- A & R

Monthly Anniversary

One month down

Anniversary Bloom Seized by A& R

Anniversary Bloom
Seized by A& R

….Ria had to spend the week back at home with Parents. It was awful, not being able to spend the day with her husband of one month! This could not be avoided as Ria needed to be with her dad for his annual health check up and then she dropped him back at home. They decided since it was almost a year, she should spend sometime with parents. She looked forward for it! But nothing could make up for not being with her hubby on that day!

Now that she is back and good things are happening, they have decided to celebrate it all together! the wedding, the baby on board, the incentive at work and the promotion….!

Happy days are rolling in!

Cheers

The Post Wedding Movie Date

Felt bad that I spoiled the surprise Ani kept for me on the very next day of our wedding! Stumbled upon the Book My Show sms on the mobile phone and asked him if he booked any tickets. Poker faced , he said no….it was only then when I realised that it was supposed to be a surprise! I quietly came out of the room, with a grin on my face.  My sweet hubby….:-)

Mary Kom , was a movie I was waiting for since many months since we both are very particular about watching which movies to go for. Ani never showed , he too waited for the movie or he may have just got the tickets coz I wanted to see it. Being the hard core feminist that Im , Ani knew I would love the movie.

Finished a quick supper and we zoomed past on Mumbai- Hyderabad highway on our Honda car to the destination. Reached just on time and settled ourselves with eats and treats for next 2 and half hours.

Amazing opening scene with Priyanka Chopra in her elements and the perfect picturesque Manipur in the background, we just loved the movie till the last shot. I had tears rolling down every now and then, nonetheless it was worth it and after a long time we were totally satisfied and happy watching  this good movie.

It was one of the best days of my life, my hubby treating me with a movie about a woman protagonist and that  it was surprise from him…..! Falling in love with my guy all over again….

A must watch- Mary Kom

No Apologies

Satrbucks @San Mateo (with Ani)

Satrbucks @San Mateo
(with Ani)

No apologies :

Afternoon escapades with a friend or two to pick berries in the campuses and getting back home without anyone knowing about it!

Cat fight in school with a friend over a favorite one!

The times that I have shouted and screamed on my kids and those occasional whackings too.

Moral lectures for team members every once in a while

That occasional push to that most deserving team member

Putting up brave fights with my manager in Matrix (for the team )

Getting outta that rotten marriage alive

Dare to love this guy knowing the circumstances that he was in and finally winning him 🙂

Starbucks cold coffee delights with yummy doughnuts in San Mateo when Ani was at work

Trips to that pastry shop in Burlingame for weekend evening coffee and cakes with Ani

 

 

 

 

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