Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday: 2 years ago, big and pregnant!

I wanted to join in to this week's theme, but I had no pics on the computer available for it! I definitely have similar pics as Tia, from around the same period of time! But not scanned. :(

So I am sharing one more mom/baby related picture for now! I'm sorry if the theme has been too often from me lately, but it's what I have. Since my son officially turns two on Monday, I thought it would be fun to share my last pregnancy picture before he was born! So it would have been almost two years ago exactly. I was 39 weeks pregnant.

I felt good overall, although this picture was only a week or less before Kavi was born. I always notice that women's noses get swollen during pregnancy and my whole face also looks swollen at this point but especially my nose, so funny to me! You don't even notice it until a couple months later when you look at the pics and think, wow my face looked different near the end! I am a self-conscious person so I kind of had to get brave to post this picture! It's the arm flab issue and fat face look that makes me go eee, but since I was pregnant I feel a little more brave about posting it and can blame being a little swollen and 9 months pregnant! ;) heehee. (What's my excuse these days?)

I liked my belly sticking out and having a nice reason to not worry about it sticking out. But I didn't have the perfect round belly thing going on until near the end when I was ready to pop!

I love participating in this, but I have to tell ya, I always feel like I am scrambling to find an old picture to use, because I don't have a scanner. I end up being able to use something. But soon I hope I can odd more photos onto the computer somehow from long ago yesteryears! :)

Click below to join in! It's fun!
Flashback Friday Button

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thank you for the encouraging words about the last entry. :) I really appreciate them!

I managed to get on the exercise bike last night, though not as long as I wanted to. But it's a start back on the right road.

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday. Happy birthday! or as they say in Hindi -
Janam Din ki badhai!
जन्मदिन की बधाई

We are planning our next trip to India to visit my husband's family. We are probably going in the middle or end of March for a few weeks! We haven't bought plane tickets yet but will soon. Knowing we are going on a trip like that always gives me an extra boost of motivation for weight loss. :P I'd like to look smaller than last year! Not the same.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Action packed weekend and packed on LBS!!!

We had such a busy weekend that I am still feeling tired out. My family arrived Thursday night. On Friday night we went to a memorial service for our dear friend who passed away. It was actually a wonderful service and we saw hundreds of old faces, like a reunion.

Saturday was spent with the family and preparing a little for my son's birthday party the next day. Sunday was spent partying for Kavi, who is turning 2 on February 1st! We had a bunch of people over during the day. The weather was really nice for the kids to play outside in the back yard. It was very fun but also tiring. My parents left Monday and I spent the day not doing much of anything but sitting around.

On another topic, I'd like to start losing weight again. I don't like to get too detailed about this stuff on here since it's public so I will just share general info. Others have been writing about it as well, which only adds to my inspiration.

Where I am right now weightwise is better than I was before I had a baby and better than when I got married. I should feel good about that and I do, but, I am stuck again!!

Ok let's see if you can follow this ramble: I got married, gained a little weight(was already overweight), thought about having a baby, decided to lose some weight. Lost only about 13 lbs, got pregnant. :) After my son arrived I knew I was going to get back on the weight loss train and I did- losing the extra pregnancy weight plus another 20lbs down. So that was great! It took about a year but so what. Then I stalled and stalled since last May 09 and I am now up about 10 Lbs from the holidays. ARGHHH. So now I need to get rid of those extra 10 Lbs, and then get back on the rest of the journey.

The way I lost weight that worked for me - stationary bike (in my house) 5 times a week and loosely counting calories. And if I can do that, I know I can lose more weight. It's just a matter of doing it.
This is a funny vintage mug my sister has, it was purchased from Etsy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday

As it says on the photo, this picture is from Feb 14th 2008. Kavi was 2 weeks old. :) What a little little baby. He weighed 6 lbs 2 oz at birth and even though he seemed small I still ended up with a c-section after really long back labor. So I was still healing up from that in this picture, and getting used to being a mom and not getting enough sleep. It was a very wonderful time but also a very hard time for me. I felt overwhelmed, really overwhelmed, for the first 3 weeks. I think it was hormones - the baby blues. But a weight seemed to lift from my shoulders when he was around 3 weeks old and I finally felt like yes I could do this job of being a mom. I always wanted to be a mom, I longed to be a mom, but I did find it very overwhelming to go from caring for myself to caring for another life that was entirely dependent on me.

This Sunday we are celebrating his 2nd birthday! Wow has life changed. I have learned so much about being a mother since this picture. So I just wanted to share!! :) Motherhood not an easy task at all and I sometimes wonder if I am a wimp at motherhood because I will feel tired and worn down sometimes. But I think most moms must feel that! :) I know I will become a more experienced mom with passing of time.

Visit ChristopherandTia's blog if you would like to participate in Flashback Friday! Or just go to check out others' flashbacks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saying goodbye to a dear person

Originally uploaded by madjbug&Astrid_Ari (away-busy)

Our dear family friend Mary passed away Tuesday night at around 8:30pm. She had a battle with cancer for a few years and she is in a better place now, cancer free. I am going to miss her and I am more sad for her husband and two adult daughters. My family is driving down here to Florida today so that we can all go to a memorial service tomorrow night.

Not trying to be a downer, but wanted to post this in memory of dear Mary who was like an aunt to me. There is much admiration for her.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Indian snacks and simple recipe

I posted about getting some yummy Indian snacks in the last post. I thought it would be fun to share tips some in a new post.

My goal: to give you ideas for some simple snacks that you can find at an Indian/South Asian grocery store. Go to their frozen foods section. We don't have an Indian store in our town :(. We went to one in Tampa, about an hour away.

Something we loved and wish we had bought more of was called Surti Khaman (chick-pea cakes).
This is the box:Imagine soft, savory cakes made from chick pea flower with mustard seeds, coconut on top, other spices plus a delicious side sauce. Our box was only 1.99. Prices may vary. If you don't see anything called Surti Khaman, this is also called "Dhokla" a lot of the time. Give it a try! It's a common Indian snack.

Also check out frozen bags of mini samosas. They say to fry them, but we put some in the toaster oven and they were still good. We also bought frozen "Dal puri", flat bread that puffs up when fried(we don't drench them in oil, we fry one side at a time). Inside is a smear of spiced dal(softened lentils).
If you have the brand "Tandoor Chef" in the frozen section, try their food too. We have liked what we ave tried before. Their frozen samosas are also tasty.

If you want to buy some spices for Indian cooking and feel lost in the sea of spice boxes in the store, here are some suggestions.

One of my husband's favorite brands is called MDH. This is what it looks like.
Once you can actually find these boxes, grab any that look interesting to you! Some have slight different tastes while others have very different flavors. You could always google them afterward.
If you can't find MDH brand, try Shan brand.

The chicken masalas don't have chicken in them. It's just used for making that kind of chicken usually.

These above spices, tandoori and butter chicken masala, are used often in my house in all different meals. You don't need to follow the directions on the back of the box. Use these per your taste. Start with a little and add more after tasting- it can get spicy.

Buy yourself some cumin seeds, as they are the base for many dishes and so delicious. You can get those at many grocery stores, often in the Mexican food section or spices section.

If you are not sure what to try making with these boxed spices first, experiment making "Indian home fries", which is what I have nicknamed it.

  • I soften a couple large (or 4 small)potatoes in the microwave(saves sooo much time) to a firm but softened feel, then chop them up into chunks.(you know, home fry style)
  • Slice up 1/2 an onion, I use red onions.We like to thinly slice them.
  • Heat a couple tablespoons oil on a frying pan, on medium heat, and wait until it's hot. Add about a teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them sizzle(if they didn't sizzle, wait until the heat gets a little hotter before adding the onions or turn up heat a little).
  • After maybe 30 seconds of sizzling cumin seeds, add the onion, they should sizzle. Stir occasionally.
  • Once onions start softening you can add some masala and stir. It's already going to smell soooo good. Try adding a pinch at first.
  • Add the potatoes, stirring occasionally.
  • At some point you are going to want to add salt to taste. I taste things as I go along and add more spice if needed as well. Sprinkle salt, stir, taste, etc. You probably already know that!
The potatoes should remind you of the look of home fries when they are ready. Soft inside, at least one side browned a little. That is a simple way to start using the special masalas. This could be an easy version of what is called "aloo gobi" in Indian restaurants. Aloo means potato, gobhi means cauliflower and you can add cauliflower to the above recipe - but make sure you soften them before adding into the whole mixture(heat in pan to soften). Potatoes alone in the recipe idea above would be called "aloo fry".
Some picture examples:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday Planning, and Sadness

Our son Kavi turns 2 years old on Feb 1st! It's a little hard to believe. We were going to have a birthday party for him the day before his birthday, Sunday Jan 31st. But now we are moving it to this coming Sunday. So I am not really prepared. But that is ok considering the reason. We have a dear friend of the family that has battled with cancer the past few years. She was in remission for an amount of time, but it came back. I have not heard anything yet, but unfortunately she could pass away at any time now. I have been getting updates online here and there. We love her lots and I am praying for her family. She is in her 60's and has a husband and two daughters(grown and married). They have been like family to us even before my parents got married - they met my parents that long ago. They live in the town I grew up in, about 30 minutes south of here.

My family is coming down at the end of the week because of this issue. Our friends let us know that there will probably be a service at the end of the week if she goes home to Heaven soon(unless a miracle happens and she survives longer, then my family would be here to visit her). My heart is very sad for our friends that are in this situation.

After Ikea last Saturday, we stopped at an Indian grocery store that we hadn't been to in a long time. We got a lot of yummy things!! We would like to have Indian snacks at Kavi's birthday party. But that store is in Tampa so it depends on whether we can get down there before Sunday. I wish we had a closer store that had these items. If anyone lives near an Indian grocery store and likes Indian food but isn't sure what to buy, you can ask me!! I can give you some good ideas. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finally got my Ikea fix

I had planned an Ikea trip while my mom was visiting, but as many of you probably remember Kavi was sick then I was sick and I couldn't go.

On Saturday we went and I got my fix! I got fabrics I wanted. I bought two of the same fabrics I had bought in the past and sold as items in my shop The Cozy Nest, mostly as pillow covers like these below:
My only disappointment was that I didn't buy some fabric that I had shared here recently - it was bright with birdcages and bunnies on it. The pattern on the fabric was just so large in size, it would have to be a massive pillow to even contain one of the squares so I didn't buy any. It would be cool for a large project.

I did get some clearance fabric that was .99/yard. It is not a wide fabric, but I can use it for pillow covers and something else I'm sure. I also ate some of the swedish meatballs with the lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes at their cafeteria - I can never resist those.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New items

After my post a few days ago about lack of motivation, I found some! I worked on new jewelry pieces a couple days ago. I have yet to work on any new sewing projects but I will eventually.

I have listed a couple of these so far and will be listing the rest during the weekend.
I have two more necklaces ready but haven't downloaded the pictures yet.

I also wanted to share a picture of some of my Christmas gifts. A cute gnome, awesome locket from my hubby(from Etsy), coolest calendar I've seen(from Anthropologie, given by a friend) which is houses with months on the side of them, and a vintage owl votive holder(from Etsy).
I really want to talk about my new sewing basket. It was from my husband (though I picked it out hehe).

This is an old box I had my pins, some thread, and other junk in:
The box had some items out of it or else it would have looked even worse in there!

Here is my new adorable storage. I finally moved things to it a few days ago.

It matches my blue sewing machine!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Flashback Friday!

The three musketeers

I'm going to guess this picture is during 1985. I don't exactly know when but I think I look around 4. We moved to Florida in August 1984, so this was definitely after that.

I'm in the middle, my sister is the littlest one, our cousin is the blonde one. We three were close our whole lives. The only thing keeping us apart now is distance. My sister living in Alabama, and my cousin lives about 30 minutes away(not too far, but with busy schedules it's hard to meet up often).

We sang together, put on "shows" for our family, danced together, and had a lot of fun. I am the oldest of us three. I am about 6 months older than our cousin, and I am 21 months older than my sister. So we were close enough in age to always have a lot in common even while growing up. I have a few other cousins but we were not close to any others like we were with our cousin above. I am glad I had them in my life growing up.

For more Flashback Fridays reading visit Christopher and Tia's blog - or join in and write one too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Check up: All ok

I took Kavi for a check up appointment this afternoon since he had been sick. Back then, they had me make the appointment to have him checked after 2 weeks. Of course, he is all good now. :) A little complaining now, and today wasn't even that bad - what are the points of appointments at doctors' offices when it has nothing to do with when you actually get seen by the doctor? Today the Dr saw us only 35 minutes or so past our appointment time. Argh. When I took Kavi a couple weeks ago, we literally waited an hour in the smaller exam room waiting and waiting. Such an endurance challenge for mothers or fathers or whoever is the one to take a baby or toddler to the Doctor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Needing Motivation

I'm trying to get my creative juices flowing again, along with trying to actually want to spend time making something. I don't know if it's just that I don't feel like it or need a burst of creativity to get restarted. I haven't made anything new in a couple weeks. I have two pairs of earrings I made weeks ago and haven't listed yet. I finally took pictures of them this morning so that I can list them soon.

I bought some simple fabrics for new pillow ideas, but haven't made them yet. I felt so creative and was really into making things before Christmas, but those were gifts. Then going away for Christmas, coming home and Kavi getting sick then me getting sick has thrown me off.

I don't have much time during the day to create. If I sell in either of my Etsy shops, I use the morning to pack the orders before the mailman comes. I have more time to make things at night, especially after Kavi is asleep. But then I end up using that extra time to do nothing and just sit around and watch TV. haha. But when I do take the time to brainstorm and make something new, I feel happier afterward.

Oh- here are pictures of items I made for Christmas presents!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flashback Friday!

I know I am not consistent with my flashback Friday participation! I wanted to join in again this week. :)

I wasn't sure what photo to use because I still don't have a lot of old photos on my computer. So I picked one that is of just me, before being a mother.
This was November of 2006, visiting Alabama. We were at Noccallula Falls, and it was more like a trickle instead of a waterfall because they needed rain. My husband took the picture.

I don't know why this picture recently struck me, I was thinking - wow, that was before Kavi, there was actually a time before Kavi? I sometimes think of things as "BK" or "AK", before Kavi/after Kavi. :P

I also like the way my hair looks in the picture, which is funny because I remember that day and I thought I wasn't thrilled with how it was looking. I also look like I am thinking...even though I was just leaning forward so I would be in the shot with the waterfall. That trip was very fun. My family also went and so did a couple friends. It was a visit to the town where my parents now live. It was pretty fall time there.

It's amazing how life changes. We knew we wanted to have a baby sometime soon after this picture. We hadn't started trying just yet, but almost. Life was different in a lot of ways. So fast forward to May 2007, about 6 months later, and I was pregnant after trying for about 5 months.

For more flashback Friday posts by various cool people visit!

A new favorite in my house

Originally uploaded by coffee&cream

I did a trade on Etsy soon before Christmas, but got this in time before leaving for our trip we went on. I actually did a trade for ME! I had most of the things I needed for gift giving and I fell in love with this print from the shop We did a very nice trade. So I stuck it into one of my empty frames that I had painted months back and hung up(empty). I just love the vintage ornate frame with the aged sea themed print inside! I still have a love for old style ships.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My "brrrr" mug this morning, filled with coffee. :)

For Florida standards, it had been a very cold week! Today it got into the high 50's here which felt warm. It had been in the 40's during the day and 20's at night. But we have more cold air coming back! I really like the break from hot/warm weather, but the truth is that I am not really prepared for weather like daytime in the 40's! For me it's all about layering since I don't own a winter coat. I own a jacket that isn't very thick. I'm guessing most in FL are like me.

So now it was time to make another polyvore set - My idea of a nice layering outfit. Maybe for work(casual setting) or an outing? Made to add layers or take off, depending on if you are in a nice warm building or out in the cold! Each layer looking fun. The only issue is the shoes, no open toes in frosty weather!

The art of layering

So about the shoes, how about we add these to the mix instead:
with tights underneath for warmth?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ooh, aah

I like seeing what other people come up with on A couple months ago I found sets from a pair of sisters(I believe) whose ID on polyvore is RadarLove. They each make sets under the same name, and you can sometimes see their style differences. I think it's fun.

So here I give you "sets" of items I had marked as favorites, put together by RadarLove. I can just say ooh, aah. I want so many of the items. (Not really the heels though, my ankles don't do well with them!)
My Master's Exam!!
Miss Moneypenny

Happiness by Radar Love
I like the international/Indian flare of the last outfit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Holidays over, boo

Today was sort of the first day of trying to get back in the swing of things. My parents went home yesterday. I have been feeling a little better, but I still have a gross sinus infection type thing that I am getting over. Kavi is also getting better, but poor little boy's nose is still running a lot.

I really dislike getting sick right after a trip. It throws everything totally out of whack. Your things stays in their tote bags longer, laundry doesn't get done, etc. I had plans for last week. But plans have to change when your child gets sick and then you get sick! I have a lot of fun time added up in the "fun time bank" that I need to spend, because I didn't get to spend much last week. As I said already in another entry, thank God my mom was here though!

I didn't make it to Ikea over the weekend! :( I felt the worst on Saturday, the day we were going to go. Bummer!! But I am determined to get there soon, like within the next two weeks.

Friday, January 1, 2010


We are planning to go to Ikea in Tampa tomorrow(Sat). I don't feel totally good right now but I am hoping that by tomorrow I will feel well enough to go. Kavi is also improving. His energy level is normal(which means HIGH energy hehe). It hardly even went down despite his cough/cold.

My mom is still visiting and yesterday evening we got a surprise knock at the door - it was my dad! He had driven down from Alabama without telling us. My mom was supposed to ride back with friends but my dad couldn't resist coming down too. So now they will go back together on Sunday.

If all goes as planned and I get to Ikea tomorrow, I hope to buy some fabric!! Here's some new, interesting, various fabric from there that I'd like to look at: