Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year. New Resolutions

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Pallavi: Reviewing my last year’s resolutions, I have come to the conclusion that I did not do too well. I have definitely started to stress less over small issues. But I am definitely the type of parent I vowed never to be.

The past year was definitely a big change for me, going from just being me to being completely responsible for another human being. It definitely has its challenges but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.

So, here goes my new year resolutions for 2014:

  1. I will learn to drive a manual car and get my license.
  2. I hope to teach my son tolerance and patience.
  3. I hope to be a good parent.
  4. I hope to start speaking Marathi at home. I understand it completely and already speak to my maid’s daughter.
Mommy and Baby

Mommy and Baby Dressed for Diwali

Hubby and Me

Hubby and Me at my sister’s wedding

Swara: Where did the last year go? Well wait, there were times that I thought the year would never end. As part of a class activity, I made my students write new year resolutions. They did an awesome job at it; most of them wrote about how they wanted to become better readers, improve their English, be more honest and start doing homework everyday. I also pulled out my resolutions from last year and I utterly failed at completing any one of them! I never learned how to make Indian desserts-actually haven’t made any desserts in the past year, nor did I explore India as much as I would have liked to.

As Pallavi mentioned, 2013 bought a lot of new things for us…baby, new career, living in India (readjustment to India), but nonetheless it was exciting. We might have not achieved our resolutions, but we accomplished others goals. So what is the harm in setting new resolutions, we might achieve them this year around 🙂

1) Learn to speak Punjabi (I spoke 3 lines for my brother-in-law’s wedding and I think I did an okay job)
2) Enjoy the simple pleasures of life
3) More travel (not restricted to India)
4) I have adjusted to the pace in India, but there is a long road ahead of me

Here is to the new and exciting 2014!!!

Anniversary Gift Ideas

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Wow! I have been married a year:) How was it? I think we should ask my husband this question. A typical question for your first anniversary is what gifts are you getting/giving. I love giving gifts! I had thought long and hard about what to gift my husband. A thing that I did trouble him for is us having more time together, with work and family, we both tended to loose our time together.

So what could I do to change this? My husband and I started a travel list two years ago, places we wanted to visit, etc. With our limited budget and work committments, getting to all these places could take us the next 60 years. So, it got me thinking, could there be anything that could combine our love for travel on a friendly budget. I searched blogs and Pinterest, and by mixing and matching ideas, decided to make him a travel itinerary for a year.

Basically, I picked out different events/restaurants we could explore in Pune over the next year. I set a “date night” for each month with a new country theme. Just to add some fun to it, I even printed out boarding passes and a fake Indian passport, where we could store our memories. The aim was that we can travel the world together in the next year.

The gift :)

The gift 🙂

Some of the restaurants selected:

1) Margarita Deck (Mexico)
2) Trios (France)
3) Euriska (Greece)
4) Gokul (Domestic Travel) 😉

Let me know what you think of the idea. If you like it, feel free to steal it 😉

You can make your own boarding passes here: http://omatic.musicairport.com

Bollywood Beats

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For some odd reason I need to be listening to Bollywood music when I am working out. And if you ask my friends they will all tell you that most of the time I tend to like the really trashy Indian songs. Also known as items songs, or the kind that you will likely forget in a couple of months.

I am starting to work out again after a gap of more than a year, and I need all the motivation that I can get. Pre-pregnancy I would be on the rowing machine for at least 20 minutes, do abs and leg exercises, and skipping. During the pregnancy it was primarily walking, with a little bit of squatting.

Now, my baby is seven months old, and though I have lost all the pregnancy weight, I need to exercise not only to tone up but for a healthier body.

This is what is on my current work out playlist, and so far it has been quite effective in getting me awake and in the mood:

  1. Boom, Boom, Boom (Lip lock)- Ajab Gazab Love
  2. Tu Mera Hero- Desi Boyz
  3. Lat lag gayee- Race 2
  4. Balma- Khiladi 786
  5. Hookah Bar- Khiladi 786
  6. Radha- Student of the Year
  7. Khuda Jaane (Remix)- Bachana ae Haseeno
  8. Desi Girl- Dostana
  9. Bakhudi Tumhi Ho (Remix)- Kismet Konnection
  10. What Makes you Beautiful- One Direction
  11. Best Song Ever- One Direction

What can I say I am a huge One Direction fan!

I think I speak for both of us when I say that it is indeed difficult at times to get yourself out of bed early in the morning, when you really could do with an additional 30 minutes of shut eye. So, we would love to know how you motivate yourself to work out regularly.

Slather me Up

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I lot of people here have asked me what my skin care routine is, and how come I do not have dry scaly skin in the winter months. I am OCD about moisturizing and I think there lies the answer

So, here is my winter skincare routine.

Face: in the mornings I wash my face with Clinique face bar, and then I use a gentle exfoliator-either Clinique or Himalya. Then I apply the Clinique No 2 toner for combination skin, and finally I moisturize.

Daily use light scrubs

Daily use light scrubs

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At night I wash my face with Neutrogena, tone and finally apply Bio Oil.

Try getting a facial at least once a month, but if like me you get lazy you can easily do one at home. Which is what I usually end up doing: cleanse, exfoliate, steam, pack, and moisturize.

Body: I exfoliate once a week. I am a big fan of Lush Ocean Salt, and Soap & Glory scrubs. But at the moment I am use The Body Shop’ olive body scrub. DSC_0099

During the winter months I also use a body oil in addition to my body butter, and it helps to lock the moisture in. I am currently using Palmer’s body oil, and Soap & Glory body butter.DSC_0105

Hands: Even if I wash my hands 50 times a day, I will moisturize no matter what. I think I got the excessive hand washing habit from my mom. I am currently using Burt’s Bees hand cream at home, and since I ran out of my travel size Soap and Glory hand cream, I carry a mini aloe vera Vaseline tub.DSC_0102

Feet: Come winters, a pet peeve of mine-ok all the time-is cracked dry feet. I see women at weddings all the time dressed to the nines, and wearing heavy jewelry and they are in desperate need of a pedicure. Before I hit the bed, I apply a generous amount of foot cream and wear socks, which really help keep your feet smooth plus they help against the cold. I am currently using Attitude by Amway.

Hair: my hair routine stays the same come winter or summer. I am lucky that my hair is quite easy to deal with. Since I am still feeding, I wanted to stay away from strong products and hence have stopped using my beloved L’oreal Professional shampoo and switched over to Tresemme, and so far I love it.DSC_0100

Personally, I am sucker for yummy scented products, thus my love for Soap and Glory, in addition to the cute packaging, and the fact that it is amazing on my skin.

We would love to know what your skin care mantra is, and do share your wonder skin secrets.

Election Season

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With the non-stop election coverage that has been in the newspapers and news channels, it is difficult not to get caught up in it all. We get the Indian Express at home, and for the past 10 days or so it had been listing out the net worth of candidates as filed by them to the Election Commission (EC). I must say, politics makes good money in India.

As a rule, candidates are required to declare the market value of their assets, so that the public is aware of year on year wealth accumulation and if this is fact was because they were in power. Not that it matters in my opinion since there are numerous politicians who have amassed wealth way beyond their means and they have had no inquiries on them. Also most tend to list paid value of their assets instead of market value and in some cases the value seems to have stagnated on the properties.

Just to give you some shocking numbers, there is a 25 year old worth 250 million Rupees, and a cabinet minister from Mizoram who has not even finished High School but is worth 1.75 billion Rupees. These are not figures being made up but those declared by the candidates themselves. Then there are those with houses in the capital worth 90 million Rupees and 50 kgs of gold.

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi

Then there is the speculation. It is alleged that Congress President Sonia Gandhi is worth 2 billion USD, making her in fact one of the richest people in the world. Richer than Queen Elizabeth. Former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati is said to own hundreds of Hermes bags, and supposedly has the largest private collection. I am yet to see a single bag on her. And ofcourse out very own Emelda Marcos with a twist Jayalalitha. This former movie star has a saree collection that extensive that she has never once repeated her look.

They all claim to work for and understand the needs of the common man, but are at times seen as taking advantage of the same and instead building their own private empires with offshore accounts.

Arvind Kejriwal-the text on his cap translates to "I am the common man"

Arvind Kejriwal-the text on his cap translates to “I am the common man”

Therefore when people went out to vote, they demanded change. A change from the same age old politics and politicians, and instead of someone who was the voice of the common man, they chose the common man himself. Arvind Kejriwal with his incumbent Aam Aadmi Party (literally the Common Man’s Party) shook Delhi CM off her seat. They are all for a corruption free government, where everyone is accountable irrespective of their position.

Kejriwal at a party event

Kejriwal at a party event

For now, they have the people’s backing and support. It is time to now sit back and see how will they practice what they preach. All I hope for is for a country we are proud to call home. A country where is it safe for women to go out and night, a country where you do not have to think twice about what you choose to wear, a country where work can get done without money exchanging hands, a country that builds infrastructure, creates jobs, addresses poverty and gives hope to the common man. That yes, there dreams will come true.

Only time will tell.