My Regrets of 2022

Kind of a sad post, and probably not the best timing but I just wanted to let it out.

I thought hard for this post, kind of introspected why I am feeling that 2022 was blah and I kind of know why.

What I am feeling is that it was not the year of growth for me. There are some personal goals that I didn’t even care about, professionally I became more complacent, albeit knowingly. I am getting a feeling that becoming complacent even knowingly was not the best for growth.

I could improve my routine heavily because of my husband and I finally getting to live at our place which led to some small wins in consistency, however, there also I struggled with growth. One, I became more consistent with working out, but lacked in improving their duration or quality. Second, I became more consistent with eating healthier but didn’t manage to give up on snacking as much as I should have.

These are the things that are now affecting me and since I am usually one to go with the flow, I am worried that I might get too caught up in 2023 towards fulfilling these goals. I really hope that I don’t get too caught up but manage to do things at my own pace which also satisfies and keeps me and people who matter happy.

Wishing a happy new year 2023 for all of us!

May Favorites

Okay, this is the month after which I stopped logging my monthly favorites. I had this one in drafts and, to be honest, its a very random set of things I made a note of, but I am still making it live.

Mango Lilac Sling Bag: I had a wedding to attend in Baroda and I was in need of some things for my trip which is when I ordered this bag on Myntra. Its a basic bag but I liked it a lot because it was a very compact design and super light weight plus it looked better than in pictures. Basically, it superseded my expectations. However, the moment I got the bag, I was randomly browsing Myntra again and saw that the bag got discounted heavily. Sadly I returned it then to buy it again at the discounted price. However, by then, my trip was done and my need was not there anymore, so I just never bought it again. I am not able to find the bag now on Myntra, but here’s a picture in a different color.

Carlton London Heels: I ordered them the same time as this bag and the only reason to put them in my favorites is that they were perfect for my purpose, I needed a basic golden pair which goes with all Indian wear but is low heeled enough for comfort while looking pretty.

Classique Cake: I saved the best for the last. This is a home baker in Surat and if you see yourself in Surat, you have to try their cakes. I don’t have a big sweet tooth but these are really best of the best.

Edit: I didn’t add this in May and neither did I try this in May but writing about Classique reminded me of a bonus favorite. Blue Vanilla Patisserie on Swiggy/Zomato has one of the best cheesecakes I have ever tried. I am pretty sure I’ll get some packed next time when I am flying back to Delhi.

Share some of your favorite things in this year or this last month, it’ll be fun!

Book 14 of 2022 | Why is my hair curly?

For the first time on this blog, I have caught up to write about just as many books as I have read. It is obviously sad because that means i have managed to read pretty less. The reasons for that are: a) my current read which sent me in a reading slump of more than 2 months, b) being obsessed with reading Reddit threads at night instead of reading or phone addiction in general.

A short note on reading habit before the actual review: Remember this post? A lot of you appreciated it and while I barely continued this practice, at least it initiated me into reading articles more mindfully. As for books, I already used to savor what I read but I mostly forget what I read. Hence, going forward, you will see a structure to my book opinions. I also maintain a book journal for my notes now and I love doing that. You’ll also see me writing why I chose to read a book. It will sort of help me take a mental picture of the time I was reading that book in. I want to clarify here that I don’t read for ROI (not that that’s a bad thing) but the note-taking may sound like tedious to some of you and that’s totally understandable, but I do it to savor the book reading experience. Goes without saying that I only do it when I like to.

Moving on to the 14th read of this year:

Why I chose this book?

I got this in one of those Westland sales when they were giving away one free eBook a day, really long ago. Westland has since shut shop. 😦

What I liked?

It is a children’s book and a really enjoyable one. The book is about a little, curly haired girl and her daily struggles at school and home. Later on, the book followed to involve a family mystery that the girl helps solve. What I liked most about the book was that its writing style was similar to an old childhood favorite of mine – When Amma Went Away. Basically, if you have read any children’s book by Devika Rangachari, it’s in the same tone.

What did I not like?

I think if (and when) I had kids, I would have been extra judgy towards kids books. for now, i was pretty much happy with it. Just one complaint – I wish the story had a mystery that was more related to the kid’s own life, rather than one focused on overall family drama.

Here’s the link to the book and you can give it a go as a cosy read!

Travel in 2022 | Taking Stock

2022 is a weird one for me, I cannot classify it as good or bad. It had some pretty big sad events for me, mentioned here and here, however, with much gratitude, I can say that my mental strength was alright this year. Additionally, this year I didn’t bother a lot about my unfinished goals (wishes :P) from 2021. They are bothering me now and, let’s see, I would probably need to make another post for it (heads-up – won’t be comfortable sharing all the wishes).

This post is meant to be fun and take stock of all the travel I did in 2022. Albeit less, I have gratitude for this, because I missed traveling only a little bit. I had a lot going on from a family standpoint, Rahul’s father passing away, my father’s retirement event, and later on the year, I was so busy over the weekends too with some or the other social engagements. I am not someone who likes to be on the move all the time (none of the digital nomads, wanderlust etc etc for me please), but I see travel as a change from my very much loved routines. (I say routines in plural because the past pandemic years have made me work from different locations & I am proud to say that I have managed to carve out a suitable physical as well as mental space for me. Also, acknowledging the privilege to do so here). I would definitely like to increase my travels in 2023.

Moving on to the trips:

  1. Jan’22 | Shimla, Kasauli & Naldehra: The year started off with a very fun trip to the mountains with my cousins. For me, the highlight of this trip was the old, colonial style villa we stayed at which also gave us an opportunity to sit in the sun and eat breakfasts at a leisurely pace. Also, this was my first time to the quaint town of Kasauli which seemed like a very laid back, colonial town but i got the symptoms of big C the next day of arriving there and my husband and i just drove back home post testing.
  2. Feb’22 | Jodhpur, Jaisalmer: It’s going to be funny when I mention the highlight of this trip as food again – I loved the hing kachoris at a random shop and also the gol gappe. However, there’s one thing that stood out in this trip. I had been to these cities before and done the forts, sand dunes etc but I hadn’t been to the Golden Fort city in Jaisalmer. It’s basically a proper city dwelling inside a fort! It has markets, cafes, people’s houses – all inside a fort.
  3. Mar’22 | Mussoorie & Nag Tibba Trek: I planned this for my husband’s birthday, but since i am the one who hadn’t been on an overnight trek before, it was more of a gift to me. Of course, I am scared of heights and on the way down, my feet gave away which kind of ruined it for my husband. However, the feeling of reaching the peak was something else and totally indescribably beautiful.
  4. May’22| Baroda: Was here for a wedding and i liked the idea of experiencing a very different Gujju city. how you ask? Baroda has a very service class vibe but combined with a small town vibe. Usually the cities which have a lot of jobs are the metro cities, so Baroda has a very different vibe. Its almost like a town but usually in such places, you see business class more often while that’s not the case here. It’s also where my husband did his first job so it was quite nice to visit his old haunts.
  5. Aug’22 | Bangalore: This was the time when my husband had his office offsite to Spain and I had planned to go with him but had to drop it. Then, I ended up visiting my brother in Bangalore with my parents. It was good to be back in Bangalore after so long. Also, this time we visited IKEA which was good.
  6. Oct’22 | Jaipur: Rahul and I made this trip for a wedding and the wedding was quite fun. However, this trip was fulfilling in many ways. I got to stay with my cousin after a long time and it was good to spend time together. I also got to visit the gorgeous Bar Palladio which I had wanted to visit since long in Jaipur.

Aside these strictly leisure trips, I made two business trips to Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), multiple trips to Surat to my in-laws and multiple trips to Raipur too where my dad was posted before his retirement. I tried a lot of food places in these cities which I love. I may make separate posts on places i love in surat, as there are a lot of good places to eat in Surat and I’ll love to document those.

Kasauli
Jodhpur
Nag Tibba Peak
Bangalore
Jaipur
Bar Palladio, Jaipur
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

April Favorites

I talked about my impulse to share about some things I am loving here & got some really good suggestions on how I can make it interesting. Hence, I started with this monthly favorites series.

For my previous monthly favorites, go here.

I actually got pretty lazy with keeping a track of my favorites after a couple of months, so I have very few in this post which I managed to draft back in April. :O

Prelude to a Riot: I talk about this book here. Its one of the good books I read this year, albeit too small. Weirdly, not in an I-don’t-want-this-to-end way, but rather that it felt incomplete, I wish there was more to the story. Maybe, there’s one coming soon and the book is strategically named a “Prelude”? (I mean, yes, that name has another meaning in the book but a girl can hope).

Om Sweets Gol Gappe: If you don’t know what are Gol Gappe, what are you doing with your life? Anyhow, specifically Om Sweets Gol Gappe is a pandemic favorite. So, this is an Indian street food and before the pandemic, I used to judge every single person who would even consider making it at home, forget ordering in. However, during the pandemic, a friend ordered it at our place and we made fun of him for the first 5 minutes, but eventually we were hooked. Gol Gappe are just as tasty at home, you guys, and Om Sweets has set the bar high now with convenient packaging and all.

Pencil Case for Kiyan’s Return Gifts: Kiyan is my husband’s nephew and we spent a lot of our pandemic period in Surat at my in-laws place with him. We were there for his 5th birthday which was also a timeline when people were trying to bring back kids birthday parties post the pandemic dry spell. I took the responsibility of being in-charge of return gifts for his birthday party. Since I love kids stationary so much, I ended up loving what I finalized so much that I took one for myself as well. πŸ˜€ Below is a picture. By the way, I had many other cooler ideas in mind for kids birthday party return gifts which didn’t end up working that time, so, if you are looking for any such ideas, do hit me up. πŸ˜€

A Busy November Update

I knew since a long time that I am going to have a busy November. I looked up to it with every ounce of excitement. You know why, right? Its the wedding season in India and that is kind of my favorite “festive” period. πŸ˜€

However, November turned out to be busier that I expected and it meant a truck load of work for me before I even get to the point of piling on Gol Gappas in Indian weddings.

I am going to write everything that down in November below. If it sounds like a lot on top of a full time job, that’s because it.

So, it started with my SIL’s family and MIL visiting us impromptu. Basically, they were on a trip to Rishikesh and Badrinath and we were asking them to take a halt while going back to Surat. They initially didn’t agree and eventually ended up making an impromptu halt. We were just back from a wedding right then and since my SIL was staying over properly for the first time, it was less of a chill family time at home and more of a tourist-y going around the city. Hence, it got a busy week.

Right when it ended, I had a business trip to Vietnam again. On my way back, I ended up missing my flight because of some fuck up and even my luggage didn’t arrive on time. It was truly a bad day, that i didn’t see coming at all. 😦 I was howling on the airport like an idiot.

To top it all, long ago I had decided to take over a fun but very time intensive task of hand painting a sari for my cousin who’s getting married in a few days from now on. Of course, I knew how happy I would be doing this task and how happy she would be too, but I so didn’t see it for the effort it requires. πŸ˜€ Also, I didn’t manage to even start on it until I came back from Vietnam. I had all these months I mean, but still. I am happy that I didn’t let this ambition die a slow death and did use my previous weekend entirely for doing this start to finish. There’s a sneak peek for you at the end.

I would also say I had a very fulfilling busy November, because as long as its not irritating or monotonous work making me busy, I am up for it sometimes. πŸ˜€

But what did I miss out on due to the busy November?

  1. I haven’t been reading at all, like at all since probably more than 2 months. This is what happens when I get into the loop of a boring book. Instead of pulling myself out with an alternative, I just continue being the phone addict that I am.
  2. With busyness comes the drive to avoid working out as much as possible and I have been successful in that. Not gonna see me in that jawline I wanted for the weddings I guess. πŸ˜€
  3. As expected, this blog suffered the most. I obviously didn’t do any of the planned posts in a long while, but more importantly, I am lagging behind in my book posts. Something I am going to regret the most if not done on time. It matters a lot to me that I get in all the book posts before the year ends.
  4. Getting a new outfit: Please don’t be too quick to judge that I am one of those tone deaf people who get a new outfit whenever they have an event to attend (I know I sound more judge-y than you :P). In fact, I have managed to take a lot of use out of my wedding trousseau but that’s also the reason why I had planned on getting a new outfit this time. I buy anything after a lot of thinking, so I had some specific ideas in mind. I didn’t get the time and frankly I was lazy. So, I am just going to re-wear a lot of outfits which I love, but I have been sort of bored with, since I have attended a lot of weddings and stuff since my own.

If you made it till here, give me your November update. πŸ˜€

A sneak peek of the hand-painted organza sari πŸ˜€