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A few weeks ago I entered my LeBron year (haha…a little NBA humor for you all who are going to come at me for saying that). I turned the big 2-3. And…there’s no song about it.

In order to make up for the lack of “23” songs to jam to, I had to make sure I rung in the next chapter of my life in the perfect way.

I ditched the usual “me and my 160  closest friends” theme that I had been running with the past few years and called on only my closest local friends to help me make 23 the new 21.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of photographs from the occassion – sign of a good night, right?

This past weekend, I hit up Brooklyn NY to celebrate my birthday the way it was meant to be celebrated – with my best friend and my sister (and my brother!). Can you believe that I hadn’t visited them since their big move to BK?

Anyways, we ate amazing food, overdosed on the complementary coffee their building offers, watched Friends, and bought matching rings – I guess you could call that the usual.

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It truly is always better when we’re together. I’m now in the slump I always get trapped in after coming back to Chicago after family time. Luckily A and I have a trip to SF planned in March, so at least there’s something to look forward to – right?

Lots of love,

K

K’s 2014 Flashback

2014 was a huge year for me. So many things changed, and so much happened that helped shape me into who I am today. It was probably the first year I noticed myself growing up, which was an adventure on its own.

While most people take the new year to focus on the present, I want to spend just a little time reflecting on the past.

Well. In prepartion for this post, I went through all my photographs from 2014 and I’m now experiencing the strangest mixture of over-the-moon happiness and deep sadness. Happy that it happened and sad that all those times are over.

2014 was a little like this for me…

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I graduated college. Which, considering that I just typed “gratuated”, is surprising. I want to take a second to tell those of you who have not graduated yet to really really embrace those years. I miss everything from $2 pitchers on a Wednesday night to entire weekends spent studying at the library (yes, I miss the library and studying). 2014 was the year of late-night talks with best friends, parties, and roadtrips.

FullSizeRender-2I started my first full-time, adult world, job. And let me tell you, it’s been a roller coaster. Firstly, I should say that I absolutely love it.  I get to spend every day in what was voted “Chicago’s Coolest Office”, surrounded by some of the smartest, most inspirational people. I actually get excited to go in every morning and finally do something that yields to more than just a large, red A scribbled at the top of a paper. That being said, I also struggle with the change everyday. I’m having a tough time finding the balance between adulthood and hard work and still having fun and doing things that satisfy a different side of me. I think this will be something I aim to achieve in 2015.

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And to keep away that evil eye...

And to keep away that evil eye…

I moved into my first apartment! I can definitely say, thanks to my parents help on move-in-day, that I’ve never felt more at home in my life. I spent months walking around stores with paint chips and creating my dream apartment, and it actually paid off.

So I guess you can say 2014 was a year of change for me. And as far as I can tell, 2015 will be a year of adjustment and settling. Excited to share another year with you guys on Jointly!

Love,

K

Better Together | Chicago Adventures

We are bumming hard today. A real case of the Monday doldrums.

It’s always so difficult to get back to the usual after an amazing weekend, especially when that amazing weekend is spent with each other, and some really close friends.

I hadn’t been to Chicago since a work research trip in the Spring, and Mr. P hadn’t been in almost a year, so we were due for a visit. Ask K… she had been on our case for months (with reason!).

We got in late Friday night (after catching up on NPR’s Serial for the entire flight, with wide-eyes and dropped jaws), and because we were desperate to eat at as many amazing Chicago restaurants as possible during our short trip, headed to The Girl and The Goat for an 11:30PM reservation. Of course, it was poppin’ and the food was exceptional, and it was totally worth the half-asleep ride home.

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Saturday was jam-packed with food, drinks, conversations, anddd more drinks. First, we went on a quest to find a gluten free donut (after I watched K, KM, and Mr. P grub on Do-Rite Donuts in the AM). We came up empty-handed, but stumbled upon Big Star, and hello… TACOS, Margaritas, and a big booth that got more and more stuffed as best friends arrived. Excellent.

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(Those peace signs are obviously meant to be ironic)

After a crazy amount of food, we walked around Wicker Park, stopping in record stores, bars, second-hand clothing shops, and more bars (we were with our college friends! No judgements, Judgies). It reminded Mr. P and I a bit of Williamsburg – except slightly more charming, slightly less gritty.

At night I went to hang out with my dear dear friend N, and her group of lovely and interesting friends. We had a delicious dinner at Travelle, in the Langham Hotel. It was seriously beautiful.

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We had so many insightful conversations – from love, to business ideas, to Ted talks. We ended our night out dancing, of course.

Finally at the very end of the night, which of course lasted another few hours – until about 5AM… I caught up with one of my college besties, L. Mr. P took to the floor for the night, giving us time to “pillow talk,” as he called it.

Overall, Saturday was one of my favorite days. With some of my favorite people.

On Sunday morning we lazed hardcore. K trekked around to find me the perfect gluten free donut (bless her, it was not as easy as you’d think), and me, Mr. P, K, and L all ate donuts on the top floor of K’s building and talked about urban planning, 3D printing, and what the world will look like in the future. But since we were so sleep deprived, and so happy, we just ended up laughing a lot. Sigh. The best of times.

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On Sunday, we met up with some family at The Publican. K and I both had the Red Wine Poached Eggs and they were pretty incredible.

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Sadly, our Sunday was cut short. I WAS GLUTENED. Beware that the Publican Mimosa is made with Orange Juice and Beer, NOT champagne. Womp womp.

So K and I just hung out, talking about life, and Jointly, and making plans for the future.

See what I mean about the Monday doldrums?

xx

A

October Adventures | Chicago Edition

Hey hi!

It’s time for me to share a snippet of my month with you guys. October has always been one of my favorite months, mostly because of the autumn leaves, Halloweentown, and candy. But this year, October has meant a lot for me.

Along with being my first full month of work (no, I haven’t adjusted. Yes, I’m still going to bed at 10PM latest on weekdays), I also moved into my first very own apartment. To say I am obsessed with it is probably the understatement of the year. Despite loving being around my family, being on your own is satisfying in an entirely different way. I can also say I’ve never felt more at home in a place (probably because I decorated it so it really screams “K”).

Anyways, this weekend was my first weekend in my new place and I got to share it with some of my oldest and closest friends.

On Friday my good friend R and I sat with a bottle (okay, half a bottle, I can’t do as I did back in college) of wine and caught up on the past year where we hadn’t seen each other. One year! Of course, it felt like time had stood still all this time and despite our lives moving forward, our friendship managed to stay right where it was at, in a happy, friend-bliss.

On Saturday, I spent some time with my favorite guy, K, doing some birthday shopping. Afterwards, my sunshine-filled pal, came to see the new place and help me stomp on the new grounds. We went to dinner at the most adorable “grandma’s house” inspired restaurant, Ping Pong which serves amazing Asian Fusion cuisine. I highly recommend the sushi and green tea ice cream (don’t be deceived by the website).

Sunday, though it came all too soon, was filled with furry creatures and cheesy goodness. S and I first hit the LP Zoo and saw everything from monkeys to lions.

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And of course, we found some great photo opps. LP is chalk-full of them around this time of the year. The foliage and city is simply too beautiful to not take advantage of.

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Next, we hit up Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder where we proceeded to stuff our faces with Pizza Pot Pies. They literally brought out a bread bowl with fresh marinara sauce and dropped a bowl of pipping hot cheese in it. There are simply no words.

So, I guess you could say my first weekend on my own was pretty great. September was filled with change, and so far October seems to be the month where I’m making myself at home in my new life. We’ll have to see what November brings. Hopefully a lot of potatoes.

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Lots of love,

K

Adventures in September

Well well,

It’s been quite a while since our last post. As usual, things have been moving at the speed of light, leaving Jointly a little bit behind. But, we’re here to catch you all up on the Gautam (-Pai) adventures!

This past weekend I (K) was in NYC celebrating A’s birthday with her. The weekend was chock-full of awesome places, wonderful people, and a lot of fun.

On Friday Mr. P and I (K, again!) slowly made our way to Gotham West Market where we grubbed on…well, an excessive amount of junk food that we’d rather not disclose. And then, we did something that was sort of a big deal…

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K signed her first official (real adult) job offer! Next Monday I (K) will be starting my advertising career at FCB Chicago (formerly known as Draft FCB). The funny thing is, this is the same company and the exact same position where A started her career. Yet another similarity! And some pretty big shoes to fill.

On Friday evening we celebrating the big job acceptance with a few bottles of Rose on A&A’s rooftop, and then headed to dinner at Nizza – a very gluten-free friendly (and DELICIOUS) Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. Cue more wine, cheese, meats, and pastas, and we were completely fooded out.

On Saturday we ventured over to Williamsburg to look at A & A’s new apartment and familiarize ourselves with the area. Our first stop was obviously Primp & Polish, because it’s not a Gautam Girl weekend without a manicure. I would say it was probably the best manicure I’ve ever gotten. And A’s is probably the wackiest she’s ever gotten (hint: It’s lime green – quite a departure from her usual neutrals).

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After some pampering, we grabbed a quick lunch at The Meatball Shop, one of our usual favorites, and then headed over to see A & A’s new place (which may just become the only place either of us are motivated to use the gym)!

Despite a few encounters with some sour people (from which we surmised that perhaps people in Brooklyn may actually be more stuck up than folks in Manhattan), we had a great time exploring A&A’s new hood.

Saturday night, Mr. P planned a little family dinner for us and the Koitas at Pera Soho. Sadly, it was raining so we couldn’t take full advantage of the gorgeous garden seating, but we had a ton of awesome Mediterranean food and some delicious cocktails. After dinner, we headed to A’s party. She wanted to keep it low key this year, so she hosted it at a Jazz Lounge called B Flat in Tribeca. She had the greatest time – it was clear to everyone who attended. Lots of friends, laughs, and glasses of champagne. What else could a woman ask for?

On Sunday, I (K) got some time to see two of my closest friends who just recently moved to NYC. We grabbed dinner at Bea and then hung around, catching up, exchanging stories about jobs, cities, our moms, and life in general. The atmosphere was amazing for an intimate meet up with close friends.

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The next few weeks will be even crazier than the last few. With two big moves, one big job, and lots of work in between, we’re going to have our hands full. But looking forward to sharing many more adventures as our lives take steps in new directions. It’s going to be a great Fall.

Jointly yours,

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A & K

Honesty Hour 3

Hey guys!

So I’m thinking it’s about time to go back to the basics here on Jointly. A and I have always envisioned this as a place where we can be ourselves, honestly.

Join us in round 3 of Getting to Know the Gautams. So cue Honesty Hour!

 

K

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A

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1. What is your least favorite chore?

K – Doing dishes. For sure. Hands down. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing me wash dishes (especially if it’s not my own dish), it’s more than clear that I hate it. I’ve been told that I hold the dishes as far away from my body as possible and look utterly disgusted the whole time.

A – It’s a tie between taking out the trash (disgusting), and cleaning the fridge (potentially even more disgusting). And taking out the trash after having just cleaned your fridge… nauseating. And K, imagine those rotten food dishes… HA!

2. What is your favorite quote?

K – I have so many favorite quotes, I can’t really choose one. But recently I rediscovered a Malcom X gem that I can’t seem to get out of my head: “When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘We,’ even illness becomes wellness.”

A – Again, so many, but one has been sticking with me a lot lately. “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung

3. If you could learn anything, what would it be?

K – If I could learn anything I think I would want to learn more about design. Both interior design and web design. Both of which are so doable and I will probably dabble in after the big A & A wedding is done.

Also I’ve always wanted to take photography classes – so why not throw that in there too?

A – I’d want to learn how to write a screenplay. For some reason, before I ever dreamed of writing books, I’d write weird movie concepts. They were mostly Hindi movie musicals, but nonetheless. I’d also want to learn graphic design. Logos fascinate me.

4. What is the #1 song on your “Top 25 Most Played” list on iTunes?

K – This is going to be so humiliating, but I’ll check…Ishq Wala Love…followed by Laal Ishq. In my defense, this is because I listen to all my English music on Spotify or Soundcloud. But….okay yeah…I have no defense.

A – Oh no… Yes. Embarrassed. Mine is also “Ishq Wala Love,” but I have a feeling it’s because I stole all of K’s music and put it on my phone at some point, and IWL has just sort of stayed there. My second is “Kabira” which… is literally one of the best songs of all time.

5. What is something you’ve learned in the past month?

K – In the past few months I’ve come to learn that you can’t rely on anyone but yourself. At the end of the day people will look out for themselves, so I guess you have to do the same thing.

A – In the past month I’ve learned that the best way to be happy is to not give a shit about the things that make you unhappy. This sounds extreme, but disengaging, taking a step back and really evaluating why is really liberating. And a lot of the times, the unhappiness has nothing to do with you (it’s caused by other people, things, situations). So it’s best to do whatever you can to help make it better, and then slowly move on.

6. Would you rather read a book on an iPad/Kindle, or in print?

K – As much as I love the feel of reading an actual book, I have to admit that I’ve fallen in love with reading on my iPad. I mean…you can literally look up the meaning of a word with one tap! Sigh, technology is so amazing.

A – Hands down a million times over, a book. I love the smell of them (I know it’s weird but I don’t care!), I love folding pages over, I love making notes in the margins, I love making it mine.

7. Hike or bike?

K – Hike. I think I would love biking if I actually did it, but for the past few years I’ve been obsessed with hiking. Being able to exercise and be one with nature at the same time is a priceless experience.

A – Hike. I love being able to slowly absorb everything around me. Sit down in places that are exceptionally beautiful. Find nooks and crannies that are off the beaten (bike) path. But I have to admit, having the wind in my hair in central park on a rented bike also has its splendors.

8. What has been your biggest success up until now?

K – I think my biggest success hasn’t been one specific thing. I think it’s been a number of challenges, realizations, and successes combined to make me who I am today. Being me is my biggest success.

A – This is tough. The no brainer is my career. I have worked really really hard to get where I am, and no it may not be the most impressive place in the world, but I’m still pretty impressed with myself :).

9. What is your spirit animal?

K – I want to say a wolf, but maybe that’s just because they’re beautiful and so bad ass in Game of Thrones.

A – I had to take a quiz to answer this question. I got a wolf.  #twinsies. Followed closely by swan…….?

10. What family member do you think you are most like?

K – I think I’m a true mixture of literally everyone in my family, except for A because we’re obviously the most alike. I think when it comes to my parents though, I’m a perfect cusp. Most of my hobbies and interests come from my dad, while my passion and thought process is more like my mom’s.

A – I think I’m a mix between my paternal grandmother (Dadi), and maternal grandfather (Nanoo). I’m really emotional (surprise) and wear my heart on my sleeve, like Dadi. And I’m really introspective, like my quiet/reading/writing time, like Nanoo. But K and I are basically twins… so overarchingly I would say her.

Reasons I Smile

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the very first stages of summer!

So inspirations been a little low on my end lately. I’ve had one jam packed day after another since my last day of college. Yes, a large reason is because I’m giving my body all the hours of sleep it has been cheated of the last four years (this, much to my mother’s dismay, means waking up at noon pretty much everyday), but beyond that I’m busy planning my post-grad life, A’s bachelorette party, A’s four wedding functions (Indian wedding are f-ing awesome…until you have to plan one), exercising (also for the wedding because let’s be honest, who in their right mind enjoys that s**t…seriously), and trying to keep up with my friends who are literally scattered around the globe right now.

I can tell you one thing…it ain’t easy. None of it is easy. And with all the stress going around, I have to remind myself of all the reasons to smile and be happy.

I know that everyone feels low sometimes, so I thought I’d share a few of my happy thoughts, hoping that maybe you can use them as yours too!

1. It’s summer

Sure, it comes every year, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! The warmth of the sun, the smell of chlorine, the sensation of freshly cut grass under your feet. Summer alone gives you over one hundred reasons to smile.

2. Family

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down (and I mean whenever, even at 3AM) I pick up the phone and call someone in my family (depending on what the situation is). Having the most loving, giving, and beautiful family is always a reason to smile. How lucky am I, to have my mom, dad, and sister? The answer: so lucky.

3. TV

TV is good. Actually, it’s the best. All you really need when you’re feeling blah is a good show to watch. There are shows to make you feel like less of a failure, shows to make you feel less alone, and shows to make you feel nostalgic. My go-to show for an overall pick me up is The Mindy Project. Because she is amazingly hilarious, real, and people tell me I’m like her so I obviously love her. But sometimes all you really need is to get out of your shoes in order to realize that your shoes are exactly where you want to be.

4. Flowers

They’re beautiful. Need I say more? Hit up Trader Joe’s and put something fresh and colorful in every room. Then you can take artsy Instagram pictures and get a ton of likes and feel good about yourself (I’m totally being sarcastic…well kind of).

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5. Music

Turn off The Weeknd, Jeff Buckley, or whatever it is you’re listening to. While these are two of my favorite artists…are you trying to drown in self-pity? Put on some o’ dat Leighton Meester, Pharrell Williams stuff. Happy tunes = happy life.

6. Candles

It can be 90 degrees outside and I’ll still light candles. Because nothing is more beautiful than a dancing flame.

7. Kiddie foods

Popsicles, Dunkaroos, Moon Pies, Gushers. How can you not be happy in a world with all these delicacies?! The only thing that gets me through my beach/wedding workouts is knowing that soon I can eat all of these things. In one sitting.

8. My friends

I love ’em. I’m obsessed with them. More stuff you already know about me.

9. Anything colorful

I like being around anything that is bright and gives my life a little pop. I bought this turquoise blazer today with huge pink and red flowers all over it and I just wanted to sit with it all day. Being around pretty, lively things will make you feel pretty and lively…guaranteed. (This is also more proof for #4).

10. FaceTime

FaceTime is so fun. I could FaceTime anyone and the conversation would start with an ear-to-ear smile. Maybe it’s because it’s so awkward that you just have to have fun with it and smile. Or maybe it’s the thought that someone loves me and wants to talk to me so much that they’ll sit miles away from me, on their phone, staring at my face on their phone screen…I don’t know, but FaceTime is awesome.

11. Dogs (this is a bonus because the list was meant to end at 10, buuut…)

I’m obsessed with my dog. Every time I re-enter the room that she’s in I cover her with hugs and kisses and yes…baby talk. She’s happiest being at home, on the couch, with a comfortable blanket and a cuddle buddy. Which is perfect because that’s when I’m my happiest! We’re two peas in a pod. It sounds like I’m talking about my significant other but she’s way more significant than another “other” out there.

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12. Chipotle (another bonus…there are just so many reasons to smile!)

How could I have almost forgotten Chipotle? It’s been a long month without you…but I’m comin’ for you baby. Me and you, July 13th.

 

So guys, I’ve just given you twelve reasons to perk up and smile. Life ain’t so bad, sunshine!

 

Lots of love,

K