On Making Choices

I found this quote on Mashable today. Now I don’t usually seek out life inspiration on Mashable. It’s generally reserved for updates on digital behaviors or stats on how many Millenials play Flappy Bird. But as I was skimming through my Facebook Newsfeed over my morning cup of coffee, I saw “In case you need them… 10 Mister Roger’s quotes to remember on bad days.”

My day hasn’t been bad per se, but couldn’t we all use a pick me up on a Tuesday morning?

Anyway, one of these Mister Roger’s quotes really stood out to me. It’s a feeling that’s been weighing heavy on my heart a lot these days.

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It’s glaringly obvious these days that there is time for very little outside of work (& secondarily wedding planning). I try and call my family every day (even for a few minutes), I hang out with my fiancé, eat some food, and sleep. A lot of what I envisioned for this year has already fallen to the wayside, but I’ve learned not to be too hard on myself. I’m trying and prioritizing the best I can!

So when we decided to get a dog, everyone’s opinions really hit me hard. Some people expressed their disagreement, and others, their concern. Some people asked us how we could be so irresponsible. Why were we choosing such a busy time in our lives to get a puppy?

My answer to them (and myself, because of course when the people you love are against something you’re doing, you experience a bit of cognitive dissonance), is because it feels right. Because we’re choosing to do this over other things. Because it’s coming from a deep sense of who we are! It’s something that we’ve always wanted and from the inside, looking out on our lives, it makes sense. Even if from the outside looking in, it doesn’t.

And this sentiment from Mr. Rogers is so inherent to everything we do, no matter what phase of life we’re in. Do we take time off after college to travel? Do we move to a far away city to fulfill what may be a pipedream? Do we quit our job because we hate it? Do we get married? Do we break up? Do we put our careers on the back-burner to raise a family?

People will always disagree and have something to say, but if your decision comes from “a deep sense of who you are,” how can you be wrong?

Love,

A

The Doggy Diaries – Part I

I have a confession to make. Amidst the utter utter madness that is my life right now, I haven’t been focusing on what I should. Work is… happening. Wedding planning is also happening. And though my brain is chugging along and going through all of the necessary motions, my heart is doing something entirely different.
Dreaming about a dog.
About two weeks ago, I found and fell in love with this puppy on Petfinder. He was up for adoption and I just HAD TO HAVE him. His name was Squigles. YES. Squigles.
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I emailed the volunteer to inquire, and found out he had a ton of applications on him. Of course I freaked out because I had immediately planned our entire life together, and submitted an application. Fiancé was busy, so he found out later. Ooops. This is the wrong way to go about things. I know!!!!!
I couldn’t stop thinking about my future puppy. I looked at what supplies I would need, made fiancé a Keynote presentation filled with reasons why we should get a dog and why we could absolutely, 200%, without a doubt handle it splendidly. I even called a local Vet to find out how much all of the first-year medical treatments would cost.
I was serious. Zero to obsessed in a matter of days.
Squigles didn’t end up working out *cue devastation and unruly tears.* Adoption, even in the puppy sense, is hard. It’s trying and risky and sad (though of course it’s incredibly rewarding when it does work out – and is undoubtedly the best way to go). And even though I didn’t know what to do with myself after what I thought was my dream puppy, slipped through my fingers (except allow Fiancé to cheer me up with dreams of the puppy we’d pick together), I knew that the time in my life had just arrived. I always knew I wanted a dog, and suddenly, something just clicked (I’d appreciate if you avoid making weird nesting jokes about my maternal instincts – I’m only 26, people!).
I had taken a step in the right direction. AND, due to my excellently crafted presentation (thank you, Advertising for teaching me how to sell!), I had convinced Fiancé.
So now we’re in the process of looking for our future puppy (which is much harder than you think but also probably much more exciting)! We’re exploring the best routes to getting a healthy, happy puppy, in a way that keeps our conscience clear. No pet stores for us!
So call us crazy, tell us we have bad timing, continue to scream at us about how we should “WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE HONEYMOON!” but we will politely ignore you. This is going to happen!
I will keep you all posted. I think things will happen pretty fast :), so keep your eyes peeled for a puppy reveal sometime very soon!
Excitedly Yours,
A
PS – If anyone else is thinking of bringing a furry loved one into their life, I can drop some serious knowledge, so shoot me a note.

Friday Finds

Hi guys!

Hope you had a not-too-terrible week. I know here in Chicago I’ve been thrown off by the weather pretty much every day and swamped with midterm prep. And I’m pretty sure A has been swallowed by the Wedding Monster.

Safe to say, with another hectic week under our belts, we need to find a little happiness and fun this Friday. This Friday, A and I will share with you things we’ve found in the past few weeks that we feel are worth a share. Hopefully this can help get you through the last day of the work/school week!

Enjoy!

A

1. Life After Life: My favorite form of escapism has always been reading. But there are obviously books that provide a better journey than others. This is a really interesting story about a woman who can’t die (not giving anything away!). It’s told beautifully with a mix of dark and light moments.

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2. Blackthorn Cider: Because of my celiac, I’ve had to totally cut out beer. And man, do I miss it. Most of the time, I have to opt for ciders, which are okay on one-off, sunshiney days, but other than that – blech. Too sweet! Blackthorn is a dry cider from the UK. Next time you’re out and about (and over 21, boos), you have to try it. I’ve had it at Berry Park in Williamsburg and Drop Off Service (LOVE) in the East Village.

3. Bacon the Maltipoo: Self Explanatory. Also more to come on my recent obsession with getting a dog…

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4. THESE BATHS in Tribeca, recommended by my good friend G. She told me I have to go during one of my workplace-wedding-stress-meltdowns. God bless her. This is going to be my pre-wedding gift to myself (because apparently my wedding isn’t gift enough – spoiled?)

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K

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1. This song : How Did I Get Here, Odesza 

Actually, I discovered this song a month or so ago, but recently I have not been able to stop listening to it. Also I really hope you guys appreciate me sharing this, because I can be a music snob and sharing my music is just not what I do.

2. Check out my friend, M’s blog – Streeter. She posted a lavandar chai recipe this week and while I haven’t had the chance to actually make it yet (I’m dying to do so), I have no doubt it’s totally delicious. Plus, her photos are ah-mazing. Here’s a little preview:

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3. The fact that at Chipotle you can get a burrito wrapped IN A QUESADILLA. A “quesarito”. Okay, stop. This is my life-long dream, how did I not know about this before?

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4. This quote :

“ I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art. ” —    Helena Bonham Carter

 

Jointly yours,

A & K

The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl

Hey there!

Hope you guys are having an amazing start to the week! I’m feeling rather chipper despite my lack of sleep, my scattered mind (let’s not talk about how many assignments I almost didn’t have completed today), and my body aches from sleeping with too many pillows.

So I thought I’d do a little something fun for you guys today. If you follow my personal blog, you may remember me sharing a tid bit of my life in a post titled, The (Unexaggerated) Struggles of an Indian Girl  (I’ve linked to it here in case you missed out). But, let me tell ya. As an Indian girl, the struggles are too real and endless. So, I’ve decided to create a Part II, to allow you guys to better understand A and I and the struggle bus that we often ride as being Indian girls.

So, here we go.

1. The creepy Facebook messages

As an Indian girl, you have to expect and know how to deal with strangely worded and “flirtatious” Facebook messages from Indian men. My personal favorites have included, “Hi, I like your friendship” and another one where Rajanth told me I’m beautiful enough to be a Bollywood actress. Well, thanks Rajanth, how did you know that was my life long dream (but really though).

2. Raisins

Okay, I don’t like raisins. Like what are these weird, tiny, shriveled up things? And for some reason, Indian people love to put raisins in everything. I don’t want raisins in my halwa and kheer (Indian desserts that you should definitely try if you haven’t), it ruins it! And most of all…I don’t want raisins in my rice! What ever possessed someone to try to put raisins in rice…I don’t know. But raisins are only edible when they are coated in chocolate.

3. The many cultures and languages of India

One would think that being a part of a country means a sense of unity and community among states. Well, not in India. In fact, we all make fun of people from other states. Don’t even get me started of the Punjabi and Gujarati feud. And the languages. According to The Hindustan Times (yes, I researched for you), there are 780 different languages spoken in India. Seven hundred and eighty. Like…why? This takes away some of the fun of being from a foreign country because half the time when my friends and I are trying to talk about the girl getting down in the club, we can’t even communicate. I say something in Hindi, I get a response in Gujrati. Like…girl…what. Are. You. Saying.

4. The stare down

If you’re Indian, you know all too well that every single brown person you see will stare you down. This isn’t even a friendly, oh, we’re all brothers and sisters stare. This is a do I know you stare. And if the answer is no, then it becomes a who the eff are you and why don’t I know you? stare. Because Indians just assume that they know every other Indian and if they don’t then something is wrong with you (the person they don’t know). Or…hmm…maybe guys, you just don’t know them because there are over 2 million of us in this country. Stop staring at me.

5. All up in your love life

My god, where do I even begin? As an Indian, your love life is everyone’s business. Your friends, everyone at your school, everyone that anyone at your school knows, and, of course, your family. I think people know the updates on my love life before I even do. My absolute favorite instance of this is my Dadi (who I love very much but our conversations always make the best stories). Every time I see my dadi, she “whispers” to me, “Acha, koi boyfriend hai?” (translation: “So, is there any boyfriend?”) Whisper is in quotation marks because she does not whisper. So unless I want the entire party to know about my love life…no Dadi, koi boyfriend nahi hai (translation: no Dadi, there is no boyfriend). I then see a little flicker of panic in her eyes, but then she kindly reassures me that it’s okay to focus on my studies. She then proceeds to hold me hostage and ask me questions about my cousin’s love lives. Whoops, sorry S & M.

Speaking of Dadis, let me share another great story with you. Dadi’s oldest sister (who is the cutest old lady ever) didn’t even bother asking me “koi boyfriend hai”, when I was in India this past December. Instead, during our family photo shoot, she sneakily tried to get everyone to take solo photos of just me to send to the handsome Punjabi man from Amritsar who is now a doctor in London. Wait. Let me fix my hair and reapply my eyeliner because…YES! Please send the good-looking doctor in London my photographs. S Daddy was NOT pleased and did not let this happen. But hey, I’m open to all possibilities.

6. Indian clothes for women

Okay, last time I focused my frustrations on just saris (the 9 yards of fabric we, as Indian women, are supposed to be born knowing how to tie around ourselves). But really, the picture is much bigger than this. With A’s wedding right around the corner, I’m starting to panic about the tiny blouses I’ll be having to wear. Honestly WHO can look good in those aside from actresses who make a CAREER out of looking good. I simply cannot axe wine, Chipotle, or Firecakes out of my diet. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. But I’m expected to look like this….

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Annnnd…cue the stress eating.

To my Indian ladies, props for staying sane through all of this.

Lots of love,

K

College

College.

I couldn’t even think of a way to start off this post other than just saying, “college”. Because, honestly? No words can describe it. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of it until I was about half-way done. I was a homebody. I missed my home (which I still do but not in a mope-y “I think I’ll just stay in” way).  Bummer, right? Two years wasted. Two years of living ignorant to the pure bliss that is college. But then, college hit me like a brick wall. I went all out college. And it has been the most amazing, indescribable experience.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’ve been going through the whole but wait…I don’t want this to end phase for quite some time now. But this past weekend when I drove down to U of I to visit some of my high school friends, it hit me full speed. Shut the front door. Hold the phone. *Insert other dumb but not profane lines here*. This can’t be so

I realized, never again will I be able to pick up on a Thursday afternoon and road trip down with friends, to visit friends. Rarely will I be able to put all my responsibilities on pause, all to go party (and I mean p-a-r-t-y) with my favorite people. I mean…when else will our lives revolve around partying? Because…be honest. In college it’s less about “this assignment is due on this day so I can do this and this tomorrow”, and more about the “well, there’s that party Friday, and then Saturday I have to stop by here, so really I need to get something done before then…or eh…I’ll just do it all Sunday” (Don’t try to do it all Sunday, guys. It just won’t work.) Seriously. I rescheduled my wisdom teeth removal so I could make it to a party….whoops.

But really. Everything in college is planned around partying. What you eat during the day (“well we shouldn’t eat pizza because we’ll probably drunk eat pizza tonight”, what you wear (“Well, we’ll have to stand in line for a while so maybe we shouldn’t do dresses”, when you shower (right before you go out so your hair looks perfect, obviously), when you call your parents (oops…sorry mom). And it’s so totally awesome.

Okay, but it actually is way deeper than this. What it actually comes down to is your lifestyle and your friends. In college, we’re all pretty much on the same page. First off, life is pretty much like Friends. You live with some of your friends and the ones you don’t live with have the tendency to just swing open your front door and plop down on your couch, Jimmy Johns in hand, at any given time. Day time is for classes. Early evening/night is for homework. Late night is for chilling, exchanging stories, and maybe going out. ButI have the feeling adulthood isn’t quite like that…

Are my friends and I still going to all crash at one apartment at 4AM on the weekends and wake up together to reflect and piece together the night?! Are we all going to bum around and waste time getting brunch until 4PM? Are we going to FaceTime when we don’t see each other for one week? Are we going to have the energy for late night talks when we get home from work at 10PM and have to be in the next day at 7AM? Are we going to have time to stay updated on each others lives via Group iMessage?

Something tells me no. So…with college ends our lifestyle?

Cue freak out #327

So, to make myself feel a little better, I’ve decided to compile a small list of all the things college has taught me. Lessons and skills that I’ll forever carry with me, keeping my college dream alive throughout adulthood.

1. Being resourceful

At this point in life, I can pretty much open a wine bottle with anything. Things I’ve done it with include a hammer and also a hanger. Speaking of wine bottles, I once discovered they are the perfect alternative to rolling pins! Also, I can open a beer bottle with a pair of scissors. Oh. And obviously like connecting and networking with others.

2. Going with the flow

I entered college as a pretty type-A person. S Daddy is big on punctuality and sticking to a plan. Let me tell you something. In college, that ain’t going to happen. I don’t think any of my friends have ever showed up to my place on time. This used to ruin my mood for the rest of the evening. But now I take my five minutes to be insanely annoyed, and move on with life. Plans will get changed, delayed, or cancelled. People will bail or people will bring five other people with them. Just…let it happen.

3. Being nice to everyone

College is a drama-zone. My philosophy? Even when I really don’t like someone or you’re feeling really salty…kill ’em with kindness. There is no point in giving dirty looks or talking smack because I promise, it will end up bitting you in the ass.

4. Tell it how it is

In college you form these family-like friendships. Not only do you become so close with all your friends, but you become close with yourself. You finally begin to understand how you work and you should embrace that. I will always be honest with myself (and my friends) about how I feel in any situation. 

5. How to find or make room for my friends and I on the stage

To the couple getting a little too cozy on the dance floor…get outta here! Some of us are actually trying to dance. I’ll push and I’ll shove, all in the name of a good time.

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(Front row at Major Lazer)

6. How to enjoy (almost) every moment of life

The number one thing college taught me was how to live in the moment. Guess what? You’re always going to have 100 things going on in your head. You’ll always be worried about studying or work or your love life or someone’s health. But you just can’t let that stop you from living life. I can’t lie and say that I’ve learned to put things totally aside or out of my head. But I have learned that not matter what is going on, you can still have fun in this very moment.

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(Making drinking games named after myself and forcing everyone to play with me)

Love,

K

(Getting Over) Hump Day

It’s hump day, guys.

So this week is a little crazy for both of us. I have like a thirty things going on at once and…well…I wish I could tell you more about A’s life right now but we haven’t even had time to catch up. It’s safe to say a little push is definitely needed to get over the hump and power through for the rest of the week.

Whenever I have a lot of studying to do, my tumblr activity always sky-rockets. There is no better break than getting lost in my dream world of clothes, food, amazingly decorated rooms, cityscape photos, and killer quotes.

So…welcome to my (dream) world.

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A’s world is a little different. She’s more about the dream pets, the sun & moon, flowers, books, and wanderlust.

You can check her Tumblr out here.

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You will see some overlap. We are sisters after all! (: Enjoy the eye-candy. Hope it gets you through this gnarly hump day.

Jointly Yours,

The Gautam Gals

Friday Fancies

We’re going to get cheesy this Friday, and channel lifestyle bloggers far and wide. If you couldn’t tell from the alliteration, this is going to be a list of what we’re fancying. I know. You’re over shit like this. But I promise it won’t be nail-polish, $700 jeans, or trips to Tulum that we fancy (although all of these things sound just wonderful).

What we fancy this Friday:

A

1. The Greatest Good

Not going to bother with comparisons here, this is the greatEST.

Insight: People would love to donate more to a good cause than just money. But sometimes, they just don’t have the time to volunteer.
Idea: Greatest Good helps partner thought-leaders – teachers, authors, sociologists, etc. – with people who could benefit from their learnings. It allows them to donate their thinking, in 30-minute time-slots, to help companies & individuals solve problems, get inspired, and do better. My good friend Saneel is the founder – so we know this is going to be really good. Spread the good word!

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2. Thing Industries

A friend at Mother, Bridie, started this amazing little creative shop. Her and her biz partner Matt are passionate about designing, making, and producing things. We’ve been after this unreal birdhouse bookshelf for ages. Also, the Hairy Thing(!!!!).

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1. Mixing silks, chunky sweaters, and jewels to stay warm and keep wardrobes looking fresh.

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4. All-woman Motorcycle gangs in Morocco are sick. And know how to do patterns.

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K

1. Ms. Betty’s Original Bad Ass Bitch Soy Candle (Any F’n Scent I Want)

Okay, so I have an obsession with candles. I keep begging my mom to buy me more because, well, they’re expensive and I’m a broke college student. But I think I may just have to dig into my mostly-empty wallet and purchase this one because, PLEASE, “Bad-Ass Bitch”…amazing.

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2. Frends “Layla” Headphones

I’ve been dying for a good pair of headphones (in rose gold). Of course, my Apple ones work just fine. But I literally am plugged into tunes all day. Soo…I really deserve to splurge on these, right? (if anyone agrees with me I’ll actually go buy them)

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3. LEAF – Living Eating and Fashion

So my very cool friend, R (you’ll hear more about her later, but she’s totally kick-ass and also the designer of our lovely logo) introduced me to this amazing and beautiful blog. We actually sat in her bed for hours during one of the “snowed in” days and watched their videos for hours. Want to learn how to make amazing cocktails? Cook an actual meal? Make your braid look professional rather than an eleven-year-old school girl’s? These lovely ladies got you.

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4. This quote that is probably the most wonderful thought anyone ever had:

Even if you come home late and I’m already asleep, just whisper in my ear one little thought you had today. Because I love the way you look at the world. And I’m so happy I get to be next to you and look at the world through your eyes.

– Theodore Twombly, Her

And of course…in the spirit of Valentine’s day…you! Yes. We fancy you.

Jointly yours,

A & K