MY 2017 NEW YEAR's RESOLUTIONS

Happy New Year, Everyone!!! Here's to first day of this beautiful amazing year 2017. I'm so hopeful and positive for this year. In my heart, I feel like this will be my year. Year of positivity, love, happiness, success, discipline, new habits and belief that something wonderful is about to happen. 

I want to embrace this year. Do things that I've never done before. Push my limits to find myself. To explore and be a better version of myself. I've never been a new-year-resolution kinda girl which is something I'm going to change this year. So below are my 2017 resolutions that I would like to accomplish- 

Every Moment of 2017

  • See the good in everything. Everything.
  • Learn to let go of things and live for the present.
  • Be Happy.
  • Be grateful.
  • Be thankful.
  • Spread love and positivity.
Get Organized

  • To-do List - I live by to-do lists. I've one for workplace and one for home. However, at times, despite of having them I fail in completing those tasks. So this year, in order to check the tasks off, I'm bringing a small change. I'm going to write my to-do list for next day one day before. For workplace, before leaving the office and for home, before going to bed. This will help to think, prioritize and check the tasks off the list.

  • Home maintenance - I love to keep my home clean and organized. With my job sometimes, it becomes difficult to keep up with. I cannot sleep with dirty dishes in the sink and shoes lying on the floor. Not that it never happens but when it does its always at back of my mind haunting me. Throughout 2016, I made my bed, cleaned home, washed dishes etc only after coming right from office as I was rushing in the morning to get to the office at time. So this year, I'm starting small with making the bed first thing in morning. Who doesn't love a good made up bed!!

  • Purchase Plans - I used to be an impulse shopper, not anymore. I like to write the stuff I would like to buy and then over the course of months I buy them without breaking my bank. This also helps me to not to be a hoarder as the last thing I want to deal with loads of crap stuff while moving. I currently live in an apartment which in turns helps me to not go overboard. My plan is to get that list ready this week and start checking off the items as we move into the year. 

  • Travel Plans - I love traveling (who doesn't) As far as Travel is considered, I'm both an planned and impromptu traveller. I like the detail planning as well sometimes to go without a plan at a short notice. Its the start of month which means its a good time to lay out my travel plans and things I would like to check off from my bucket list. I already have one 😁. This May I'm going to watch Nascar something I've never ever seen. So much looking forward to it.

Get Disciplined

  • Fitness - In December 2016, I took small steps to get active and fit. I plan to continue the same this year. My goal is to get into consistent workout mode and shed extra pounds.

  • Diet - If I'm hungry and there is nothing precooked, I tend to eat anything in front of me whether its healthy or junk, mostly it turns out to be junk. This year, my goal is to get into meal planning and stick to it.

  • Morning Person - I'm a night owl. I've never ever been an morning person. Its always a struggle for me to drag myself out of bed in the morning which in turns always disturbs my day activities and cut short off time. So my goal this year is to start waking up early, do the workouts in the morning, eat breakfast, take shower, get ready and leave for office at 8:30 AM. 

Learn New

  • Career - I love my job and would like to enhance my skill set. I work in IT industry which is constantly changing and if I don't keep up with the new technologies, I will be left far off. This year, my goal is to learn one programming language and one automation tool. I won't go in detail around which ones as that will be too geeky.

  • Hobby - I love taking pictures. I love photography. However, I'd like to improve my photography skills. This year, my goal is to make camera my best friend in my visual journey.

MEE Time

  • I want to make more time for myself whether its taking extra minutes getting ready in the morning or reading a book or enjoying a cup of coffee. Just some my time :)

Are you into New Year's resolutions? If yes, would love to hear your resolutions and how do you make those happen? Any secrets? I'm all ears.

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work it - week 1

A beautiful dress caught my eye and I took it to the fitting room imagining where, when and how I will wear it during the holidays. I was so excited but within minutes, everything fall apart when I couldn't get it all the way up. It was my size but didn't worked and looked ugly on me. Its not that it happened for the first time to me but my emotions were so high during those minutes that made me cringe looking at the person I was seeing.

I’ve always been a happy go lucky person, never bothered by my appearance or weight. I was happy with myself in my own little world. However, that change somewhere this year. I wasn't happy with myself anymore. Everything around me is perfect, the way I always wanted it to be. Beautiful loving family, amazing husband, good job…basically whatever is needed to be contented non materialistically. Except ME. I was lethargic, lazy, living day by day and working as a robot. To bring my sanity back, I much needed a change with my lifestyle and the dressing room encounter just pushed me to make up my mind for the nth time. I made FITNESS my best friend. 

Over last decade, I went from size 4 to size 12. In 2014, I relocated to India and with time in hand to kill, I joined a gym and started working out. It worked and I dropped 20 pounds. My size dropped from size 12 to size 6. In 2015, new job brought me back to States after living a year and a half in India. With relocation, new job, setting up home, my health took a hit again and I started gaining weight again. From size 6, I am almost back to size 12 due to bad eating habits and no physical movement.

I love fashion. I love clothes. I love shoes. But it is heartbreaking to stand every day in from of the closet and knowing nothing fits me anymore. I’m not shaming any size or saying one form of body is better than other. I’m saying what I like and how I would like to see myself. This may be wrong for someone but it is right for me. I want to be healthy, active and few pounds lighter.

I started my fitness journey this Sunday 12/17/16 with whatever I knew around fitness. The only thing that was hugh for me to make myself accountable and stick to regimen this time was to put myself out on the social media(Instagram). I’m not a shy person but neither I’m a social media person. 

So from now on, I’m going to post my daily workout snapshot on Instagram and a weekly roundup on my blog. Below is the recap for 12/18/16 - 12/24/16. 

WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS

WEEK
WEIGHTLOSS
STARTING BODY WEIGHT
CURRENT BODY WEIGHT
1 (12/18/16 - 12/24/16)
- 1 lb
156.4 lb
155.4 lb

WORKOUT SUMMARY

Below are the workouts I started with. I kept it simple as I wanted my first week to be the warm up week.

  • Elliptical or Treadmill -  Everyday for 30 mins
  • Warmup workouts:
      • Neck rolls - 15 reps
      • Arm rolls - 15 reps
      • Mid back turns -  15 reps on each side
      • Side bends - 15 reps on each side
      • Bent over twist - 15 reps on each side
      • Toe touches - 15 reps
      • High kicks - 15 reps on each side
      • Alternating side lunges - 15 reps on each side
      • Toe rolls - 15 reps on each side
  • Workouts:
      • Side leg raises - 15 reps on each side
      • Back leg  raises - 15 reps on each side
      • Squats - 15 reps
      • Sumo squats - 15 reps
      • Lunges - 15 reps on each side
      • Crunches - 15 reps
      • Cross crunches - 15 reps on each side
      • Bicycle crunches - 15 reps on each side
      • Side crunches - 15 reps on each side
      • Leg raises - 15 reps
      • Half leg raises - 15 reps
      • Side leg raises - 15 reps on each side

Thank you so much for reading. If you have any suggestions or advice, please feel free to drop me an comment. I sure can use one :)

DisclaimerI’m not a doctor or fitness expert. The purpose of my post is to share my experiences with fitness and life—not to dole out advice. When it comes to your health and fitness, please do your research.
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Kate Spade 'CEDAR STREET MAISE' Handbag

Where do I start with my love for Kate Spade ?? May be from the start. 

My love for Kate Spade started in 2011 when I relocated to United States for couple years. Back then, I came across Kate Spade aisle in one of the malls and the quirkiness, fun and pop her designs offers instantly made me her fan. I specially love how Kate Spade designs brings an chic element to any outfit. Its my go to place when I'm looking for something fun, bright and unique.

I got this Kate Spade "Cedar Street Maise" handbag as an anniversary present from Hubs (Thank you!!) and it easily became one of my favorite. Its bright, spacious, chic and perfect size. To keep it safe, it came with signature Kate Spade brown dust bug embossed with the brand name in gold. What I love most about the bag is the color. I have this bag in "Sunshine" color which is neither neon nor dull but just perfect shade of yellow.


Since I wanted the handbag to be in limelight, I paired it with another favorite combo of mine. Blue & Grey. Lets take a peek........Shall we?


Outfit Details : Trumpet Sleeve Sweater (Loft), Old Navy Jeans(Similar), Ann Taylor Necklace(Similar), Sunglasses(Prada), Handbag(Kate Spade), Jessica Simpson Heels(Similar), Watch(Michael Kors)



Are you a Kate Spade lover? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.




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Pumpkin Patchin'

**Caution - Heavy image post**
Last weekend I checked off one more item from my bucket list 'Pumpkin Patch' and boy! it was so much fun. Hubs and I looked around the nearby pumpkin farms and settled on 'Center Groove Orchard' farm located in Cambridge IA. I'm so glad we chose this farm as it was a perfect day out location filled with hayrides, farm animals, good food and so much more! You can't agree more after seeing the pictures. If you are in Iowa area, I highly recommend Center Groove Orchard. Its very well maintained, beautiful with amazing staff.   
After we bought our ticket, which by the way was reasonably priced for the fest, we decided to hit the pumpkin patch. There were these yellow cute pumpkin carts all over the farm to carry the pumpkins and I saw little kids using it for ride too, which was really cute.

We took a hayride to get to the patch. I had the farm feeling riding it and was so much fun. On our way, we saw corn maze, apple orchard and CGO express train.


And finally we were at Pumpkin Patch!! I picked only small white pumpkins from the farm as I wanted to see and enjoy the rest of the farm after the patch. We stayed there for an hour, clicked some obligatory pumpkin pics and enjoyed the crisp fresh air.

After spending an hour in patch, it was lunch time and we decided to fuel us up before looking around the rest. Since I don't eat bacon or pork, our only option was 'Shucks'. I took my favorite Caprese sandwich and Hubs went with Chicken stripes. In all, it was not bad for the farm. They have many small cute named eateries within farm, all serving different varieties. Check out below.
After fueling us up, we decided to explore the other parts of the farm which mainly involved corn pool, farm animals, kids tracks, kids maze, apple sling shot(which I did too), jumping pillow and so much more. Its definitely a good place for the kiddos and the adults with kids spirit.
After few hours, the day started to worn off us and we decided to call it a day. On our exit, we picked up some fresh organic farm apple, farm made peanut butter and apple cider donuts. By the way, per Hubs the donuts were yum. 
In all, it was a day well spent and I can't wait to go there next year too. I hope you liked my visual journey. Thanks for reading!!
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Badam halwa



Badam Halwa is an rich Indian dessert made with badam (almonds). Its a go-to Indian dessert at my house when guests are coming over or sweet craving hits us. Its super easy, delicious and quick to make. Lets get straight into pics and recipe. Would love to hear from you on how you make it!



Ingredients: 

  • Soaked and peeled almonds - 1 cup. You can either soak almonds overnight and peel them in the morning or can soak them in hot water for fifteen minutes and then peel them.
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 3/4 cup. Take 1 cup if you like it to be too sweet. 
  • Saffron strands - 3-4
  • Cardamom (optional) - 2 
  • Ghee - 3 tbsp
  • Sliced dry fruits - sliced almonds and cashew nuts

Note - The key is to use good quality almonds with lots of stirring until the raw smell of almonds fades away.

Method:

  • Grind the almonds with little water to semi-coarse structure. If you like smooth texture, grind it for few more minutes until fine.
  • Warm the milk, add saffron strands to it and keep aside.
  • In a nonstick pan, add ghee. Once its hot, add cardamom and fry it for few seconds.
  • Add Almond paste and fry it. This is most time consuming part. Continuously stir the paste for at least 10-15 mins until it starts leaving the sides. The color of badam doesn't change much but you know its done when it starts leaving the sides and gets thick.
  • Now add the sugar and stir it again. After adding the sugar, the paste becomes thin. Continuously stir for 1-2 mins until completely mixed.
  • Add the milk-saffron mixture carefully as when added it splutters everywhere. Mix the mixture and keep stirring in between. Cook till all the milk gets evaporated and the mixture gets a thick consistency.
  • Once its thick, add the sliced dry fruits. Mix it and take off from the stove.
  • Cool it down and serve with dry fruit garnish. 


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