Thursday, February 24, 2011

Down the rabbit hole...

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was a favorite book of mine as a little child and it was with a lot of excitement that I descended down the rabbit hole at the office party today. Suffice it if I say, I was spectacularly entertained, had a rocking time with friends (and some acquaintances) and was very well fed.
Our floor had the caterpillar on the mushroom theme and we of course feasted on marinated mushrooms and mushroom tarts...yum!

Here's me getting gyan (aka advice) from the caterpillar - Hmm, was he sleeping or eyeing the mushrooms in my hand I wonder :)

Yes, we looked silly but of course we had fun...and I am not the one holding the placards...I only admit to some haphazard dancing....

Choose the one that doesn't fit...

I am glad I got to hang out with my colleagues at the Mad Tea almost felt like the Holidays. How has your week been?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's raining Cauliflowers...

What makes you smile?

This week for me it has been my son making silly faces and saying silly things (K2 overheard telling my brother and father in law - you know...mommy is the boss ;-))...yeah! he knows which side the bread is buttered on !!!

And this morning what made me smile was the bright sun after 6 days of dreary weather and a visit to the Farmer's Market and the public library. I picked up from the Farmer's Market 3 different coloured cauliflower (green, white and orange - the Indian Flag), broccollini, leeks, cabbage, spring onions, leeks, 2 bunches of golden beets, cheery brussel sprouts, golden and garnet yams and strawberries....and can I forget the pumpkin bread from Beckmann's...Life is good!
Is it raining Cauliflowers where you are.....?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cabin Fever...

What's up with the constant deluge of rains over the past's been tough keeping the toddler in the house occupied and the grand parents have been itching to go for their regular morning walks...everyone was restless...yearning for some warmth and sunshine and all we got was the constant rumblings of the thunder clouds, the sharp chill and the pitter patter of the water against the windows.
I got up in the morning and dragged myself to my Yoga class in the pouring rain and it definitely helped me balance after a couple inversions, pigeons and intense backbends. A quick stop at the Whole Foods for some Juice Boxes, Organic Hummus, Tortilla Wraps and Chicken Broth and I had a brilliant cure for Cabin Fever - IKEA (yeah! you say Mall...I say IKEA).
We decided to skip lunch and eat at the famous (infamous?) swedish bistro...a greek salad and poached salmon later we trundled our way through the maze...our two notable buys are pictured below...

A very delicate looking lamp for our living room -

A combination easel with a blackboard and white board for the toddler
Of course who can leave IKEA without consuming their $1 non-fat yogurt (cold be damned!) and the calorific cinnamon buns.  I made another batch of muesli to tide us over for a couple breakfasts and the MIL make hot utthapams (lentil and rice pancakes) for dinner. We have kept the cabin fever at bay today...but  tomorrow is another day...
How has your weekend been thus far?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dare to Ask...

"It is a man's world...I just play in it..."

As a young child I was brought up in a traditional Indian home setting where the man got up every morning and went to earn the living and the woman stayed at home taking care of the hearth and little ones. I was accepting of the fact that one day eventually I would end up following my mother's foot steps...yet I don't know when the roads forked and I became this intensely career-focused person. Even though we talk of an emancipated society, what happens in reality (even today) is that a woman  has two roles to play - the nurturing one who takes care of the hearth and also the strong willed career person. Especially for the immigrant working mother who has her upbringing rooted in watching her traditional mother spend her entire life devoted to her home and children and her new life that she has built around a career and then family...the balancing act is even trickier....there is a constant tug of war between family and career.

Fact of the matter is most women abhor conflict and  do not aggressively pursue what is rightfully theirs...they become stuck in a complacent place, they call "career"...don't get me wrong, there is a time in our lives where that very complacency is like "comfort food"...However, as I picked up and read the first few chapters of this book "Dare to Ask..." what I realized is the following - women seldom ask, and they are not comfortable negotiating with the traditional methods outlined in the traditional negotiating books (Fisher &  Ury comes to mind)...however when negotiation becomes a "collaborative conversation" that builds on the strengths that are second nature to most women—being social, empathetic, good listeners, team players, creative problem solvers...Negotiating or Daring to Ask does not really become that Ominous or threatening.

Don't know if I will finish this book, I have definitely started reading it and it has the thinking juices running...SO, LADIES....will you Dare to Ask?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Of Morbid thoughts...partial isolation and sneezes & sniffles...

As I pushed myself to stretch beyond my comfort zone at my Yoga mind kept going back to circular thoughts related to work and home, thoughts that I was trying to push outside of my head...I wonder what people mean by - Mind going totally blank...I have tried to have the mind go totally blank and yet there is a random deluge of incessant thoughts that float persistently into my consciousness - the presentation to be completed, the meetings to be set up, what he said/she said, the car to be serviced, the bills to be paid, the kiddo's dinner, grocery, laundry...phew! I just get tired thinking about it...time for the corpse pose...MIND GO BLANK...GO BLANK!

I came back home this weekend  from my travels with a very bad cold, K2 was also we spent a lot of the weekend drinking hot soups and under the warm blanket ...partial social isolation...scary thought...I spent a lot of my spare time in the past with friends - confiding, sharing, empathizing...and it felt good. In these twelve months I have focused a lot more inwards...doesn't mean I have become self absorbed, just more self-aware (or so I hope...). I guess I will be back to being a quasi-social butterfly in the near future...but for now the isolation is comforting and comfortable. We took the in-laws to Turmeric this weekend. We then went grocery shopping at The Milk Pail and what a fun time I had shopping there...for all of $15 I picked up -
  1. 4 lbs of Organic Apples
  2. 4 lbs of Mandarins
  3. 1.5 lbs of Cucumber
  4. 1 lb of Baby Radish
  5. 1 pint of Grape Tomatoes
  6. 2 Orange Bell Peppers
  7. 4 Lemons
  8. 1 Bag of  Frozen Chocolate Croissants (check out how it looks !!!)
  9. 1 wedge of Sheep & Cow Gouda Cheese
  10. 3 Lbs of Zucchini ( free for any purchase over $10)

I almost sound like Frugal Fannie...but here is a wonderful, non-traditional independent grocery store that helps you live healthy even if you are on a budget. If you live in Mountain View or Sunnyvale and haven't visited The Milk are definitely missing out...

Looking forward to Chinese New Year tomorrow. I  picked K2 some of the traditional chinese new year candy and cookies...he ate some but has kept some to share with his pre-school buddies at their Chinese New Year Celebration...xīn nián kuài lè  !!!