7 years of marriage + picture overload

If someone told me when I was 24 that in 10 yrs I will be celebrating 7 years of marriage.. I would probably give them a blank stare followed by a nervous laugh!  

But here we are… and we’ve accomplished quite the list:

  • 10 countries
  • 7 street races (me usually running 5 min ahead of the hubz)
  • 5 wedding reception performances (can’t believe he’s convinced me to do them)
  • 3 homes,
  • 2 MBAs
  • 2 daughters

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We actually had our first ALONE date in almost 5 months yesterday.  We went out to an Italian food resto (that would be a big drag bringing two kids to) and had a date like ‘old times’.  Here is a silly questionnaire we filled out while waiting for our food to arrive.

1) Who is older?
A: Me
B: Anuj

2) Who made the first move when we first met?
A: I did, oh wait you said when we ‘first met’ oh…
B: Me, tried to go in for a kiss and got shot down

3) Who studied the hardest in school?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

4) Who is smarter?
A: *points at Bhanu*
B: Anuj

5) Who is more creative?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

6) Who does more of the cooking?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

7) Who cleans more toilets?
A: Me
B: Anuj

8) Who said I love you first?
A: *looks down in embarrassment*
B: Me

9) Who spends more money?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

10) Where was our first kiss?
A: At Meeta’s wedding
B: Under the clock at distillery district

11) What date did we first meet?
A: uhhh dammit!…May 27?
B: May 27 2009
…we were both wrong it was May 20

12) Who is more likely to get lost getting back to the hotel while on vacation?
A: probably me
B: Anuj

13) Who hates driving in traffic the most?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

14) Who wears the pants in the relationship?
A: Both of us
B: Um loaded question I decline to respond

15) Who is better looking?
A: *points at Bhanu*
B: Anuj

16) Who talks more?
A: Bhanu
B: Me

17) Who says I love you more?
A: *points at Bhanu*
B: Anuj

18) What date did Anuj propose?
A: Sept 4 2009
B: Sept 19 2009

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Inspiring creativity in my kids

You know as a parent you are doing something creatively right (especially when it literally feels like chaos in the house 24/7) when you kid asks you to put the photograph you just captured on your camera in their room. But what exactly am I doing:  I am taking time to do something creative everyday.  Luckily my kiddos see what I do.

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We went on a stroller walk, which I turned into a photography walk because it ended up being the only chance I had all week to use my camera.  I’ve kept my 50MM lens on my DSLR for about a month now to create a constraint in hopes that it would allow my creativity to flourish within a restriction.  It has – and I am loving it.

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We had a great weekend, family dinners, breakfasts out, soccer practice, lots of coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and even a McD’s run (because we are so used to daycare taking care of lunches :P)

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My to-do list is long and already in play.  I even got started on some of my planning.

5 daily pick me ups

Mat leave is wonderful and hard.  The second time around it’s definitely more work. The first time around, I don’t remember ever making/preparing dinner before 5pm or doing dishes for that matter.  These days I am constantly multitasking and with that I fight for my personal time.  I need it for myself and for my family.

On the hard days, I want to remind myself on ways to pick myself up.  So here goes:

1. Consume something positive or uplifting: My go-tos are an inspiring Ted Talk, Pod Cast or listening to my summer play list.  I know I’ve been discussing and trying to understand #CreateMoreThanYouConsume but when the thing you are consuming is positive and uplifting I really believe it pushes you to create something.  You’ll have a smile on your face, you’ll be filled with inspiration or you’ll actually create something to deliver what you’ve learned.  Here, here and here are somethings I’ve consumed worth sharing.

TLY_WRWW12. Drink water: and lots of it.  When I am feeling blah, a light goes off in my head “drink more water, drink water now, finish that entire bottle and then refill it”.  So without thinking I do just that.  On some level I think it’s my brain or unconscious self saying, get rid of the toxins and you’ll start to feel more content.

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3.  Exercise: Whether it’s a stroller walk in the mall or run on the treadmill while the baby sleeps, stop procrastinating and do it.  The endorphins will kick in and you’ll have an automatic smile on your face.

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4. Journal: Right now, I have two journals of choice.  One for gratitude/intention/affirmations/positive thinking and another for day planning/bullet journaling. I use them to both start and end my day as well as keep me focused on things I want to accomplish.

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5.  Get Outside:  Fresh air does wonders.  Even if it’s only 5 minutes of sitting in the warmth of the sun.  The babe will be mesmerized by something in nature which will give you a few minutes to yourself :)

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OOTD + Watching Documentaries about Food

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I’ve watched too many Netflix documentaries over the last 3 months.  But they are so informative / horizon broadening that I can’t help myself.  (Some of which have been What the Health, Forks over Knives and In Defense of Food).

I know people don’t understand extreme food choices like veganism. And these movies and the overall thoughts behind these docus can seem a bit pushy (especially to people who like red meat).  But I’ve always thought about being vegetarian (and eventually vegan). It all started about 10 years ago when I read this book, but I kept my thoughts to myself.

The major theme of these docus has been food/health/environment; pretty much everything good in the world is pointing to a vegan lifestyle.  I’ve been dabbling in meals here and there that are vegetarian or purely vegan (i.e. no meat or dairy).  So far the meals have been satisfying and make me feel good (not necessarily in a ‘save the world’ kind of way but ‘wow, I’m cooking in a new and different way’ kind of way lol).  Additionally not having to deal with cleaning a cutting board and knives to avoid contamination has been a plus :)

The Hubz and I are in talks about our food choices.  But for now we are just talking and I am doing a lot of experimentation and personal recipe testing.  Would be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t fun to challenge myself in this way.

Maybe we’ll do a 2 week trial to see if we can do a vegan diet in our home or maybe we’ll become weekday vegetarians.  Or maybe I’ll find it too difficult to give up cheese and chocolate.  I see lots of discussion and research in our future.

Long weekend BBQ with friends #May24

This would be our second annual BBQ and I am liking if this becomes an annual thing with our friends (of course we’d love to be able to host our friends over for a meal / potluck more often).

This time we kept it pretty casual by inviting our friends via our whatsapp group chats (ha!).

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On the grill the mister had:

  • Veggie and paneer skewers
  • Hotdogs (halal and veggie)
  • Eggplant “burgers” (with spinach mayo sauce)
  • Simple BBQ chicken drumsticks
  • Pineapple

Plus one of friends brought a deep fryer to make fish and chips.

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With our society becoming more and more busy (long hours at the office, kids extra curricular activities etc) and on our screens than #IRL, I think it’s even more important to put the effort towards friendships, in person interactions and events.

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Although a pretty huge undertaking, planning and executing a lunch or dinner party is always a goal/to do item on our mental check lists.  That said, we definitely weren’t thinking it through much because during all the prep work we were dealing with Miss El’s feeding schedule and skipping the elusive toddler nap (for Miss S).  But I am glad we managed to pull it off and enjoyed ourselves in the process.

Belly Photo Shoot

Thought I’d share a few pictures from our Maternity photo shoot (aka belly 2.0).

Major thanks to our photographer for capturing these precious memories.  I really appreciate how tasteful and that they capture the stage of life we are experiencing.

If you are on the fence about getting a maternity photo shoot – I would definitely recommend it.  Here are the reasons why I did it

  1. Celebrate the transformations: Because it is a true blessing.  This is the few times in life where you body grows in ways that it never can and having a keepsake of the changes is ahh-mazing.
  2. Family bonding:  Yes we can read big sister and new baby books, nothing is sweeter than having your kid on the outside give your kid on the inside a high five :)
  3. Photos can help you remember: Everyone says it goes by in a flash but having a physical photo can trigger a feeling or emotion – and it’s true a picture speaks a thousand words.

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