We Got Baked in San Francisco

I’ve been in a mood this week. A crappy mood. Did you know bloggers could have bad moods? Yeah, this is the real shit people. In fact, the lack of bad moods in the blogosphere (like the lifestyle blogosphere) was exactly why I was hesitant to start another blog. Where’s the realness? But I made a deal with myself that I could be as real as I wanted here. So even if it doesn’t make for the most uplifting, inspiring, enjoyable content, life isn’t all cupcakes and crinkle chips, y’all.

I think my mood stems from vacation-withdrawl. It has been just a few days since mom, K, and I returned from what I now know as undeniably amazing San Francisco. K and I had never been before, and it was RESPLENDENT. Like drop dead delightful. Coming from New York and Chicago (and Mom from Cleveland), the weather played a definitive role. Seventies, and not a cloud in the sky. No fog. Just crisp, clear, freakin’ California.

We really had an incredible time. The Gautam Girls hadn’t taken a trip in quite some time (if ever?). And we’re just GOOD travel partners. We enjoy the same sorts of things – wine, tacos, ice cream. We get tired around the same time. We don’t push each other to do more. We don’t hold each other back.

We got in late Thursday night and spent Friday roaming around The Mission. Taking snaps with murals, wandering into interesting stores, drinking coffee.

DSC04260k pink edit

DSC04240a edit

And then we walked up some mad hills to the Painted Ladies. Which were okay. But the walk itself, the fresh breeze, the sunshine, was so so pleasant. And laying on the hill after all that huffing and puffing was also pretty great.

DSC04265k pink edit

We had Mexican for dinner, obviously. And they had this amazing gluten-free beer from Moonlight Brewery… so I had my first ever Michelada!

On Saturday we were super touristy, and went to the Golden Gate Bridge, which is truly a sight to see. It’s more impressive than I expected. We also look super touristy. In fact, my husband, after a boozy brunch, quite eloquently told me I looked like I belonged in the FBI. In retrospect, that’s exactly what I looked like…

DSC04279k pink edit

DSC04289k pink edit

We then stopped in Sausalito.

From there, Mom, K, and I explored the Marina. We walked along the water and marveled at all of the extremely fit people of San Francisco (there were SO many six-packs). We stopped at the Palace of Fine Art, which is incredible, and then had an amazing lunch with a massive pitcher of margaritas, and… TACOS. We ended the afternoon with an insane walk all the way to North Beach, the Italian District.

DSC04318k pink edit

We slumped home sweaty and sore, and then took some time to recharge before some drinks and a really tasty Thai dinner.

Sunday was specially for me – wine country! We drove to Sonoma, stopping briefly at Lands End where I happened upon a very serendipitous “A+A” carving, and missed Mr. P.

DSC04329k pink edit DSC04331k pink edit

Sonoma was amazing. It was almost like being transported to Italy. It was extra special to me because my best friend got engaged in Sonoma, so the whole time I had this warm, lovey dovey feel (though it could’ve also been the wine). We had chocolate wine shots, gluten free burgers, and then drove home with the windows down playing Ne-Yo and Rihanna (dream).

DSC04351k pink edit

And then, sadly and suddenly, it was Monday. We were all in a slump, but our uncle (who is seriously the best host), took us out of the house for a final look around town. We stopped by Union Square, got baked at Mr Holmes Bakehouse (see Instagram here hehe), and then had one final delicious meal together.

The meal was super memorable, because something BIG happened while we were there… Super big. So big that it merited this face from K.

IMG_9081

She’ll be sharing in our next Jointly post.

Love,

A

Advertisements

Thursday Travels

Yesterday Swarm (aka Fourquare) informed me I had been to JFK six times in 4 consecutive weeks. And I usually fly LaGuardia…

My travel-sized toiletries haven’t left my carry-on bag, I know which shoes are most suitable for both quick removal at the airport AND looking fancy in a client meeting. I know what (very very limited) gluten-free options are available, and I know to wear at least three layers for easy piling on and peeling off.

Now I’m an advertiser, not a consultant, so I wouldn’t claim to be as experienced as those (smart as hell) Deliotte, PWC, Bane, BCG, McKinsey folks. My best friend, bless her, lives the NY>SF bicoastal life (and has mad status). It can be super exciting, and don’t even get me started on the travel perks…

But, despite my line of work, the last two years have been a chockfull of professional and personal travel. Minneapolis, Miami, LA, Chicago, North Carolina, Bali, Singapore, Punta Cana, Austin, India, Cleveland, Toledo, Baltimore, Washington DC, Virginia, Phoenix, Ann Arbor. Next week I’m off to Binghamton.

If you asked me four years ago, I would’ve told you that New York was a two-to-three-year plan. Mr.P and I would work our tails off for a while, and then move to a more livable city. We thought about Chicago. We thought about Portland (even though we’ve never been there). San Francisco (even though I’ve never been there).

In the meantime, we traveled – mostly for work. And although work trips don’t necessarily afford you the opportunity to explore and get to know a city, you naturally get a gist. You see the people, you sense the attitudes, you taste the food. You see the roads, and the greenery, and the fashion.

Every city I visited, I asked myself “could we live here?” And even cities that we used to consider no-brainers, somehow didn’t feel right. They were too cold, or too hot, or too cloudy. The people were too singular, or in-your-face, or asked things like “what do Indian people eat for breakfast?” And every time our trips came to a close, as the plane descended on New York and the Empire State Building was shining, even through the fog (it’s not smog!), we were filled with the undeniable warmth of home.

Mr. P has been here since 2010, and me since 2011, and it’s just getting sweeter as the years go by. Your friends just get closer, your neighbors just get kinder, and you just get more comfortable.

969759_10101188851538858_274065427_n

2013 – When Mr. P and I got engaged in Central Park.

So thank you – employers, friends, family, life – for taking us around, and in turn, making New York home.

Hugs,

A

Honesty Hour | Things We Like About Ourselves

Today, as I was doing my daily advertising research at work, I came across Dove’s latest film, Legacy. I know that body image, especially women’s body image, is something that has taken over the media in the past few years. But what I’ve never seen before, is the impact one’s body image can have on other generations.

I guess I’m so far removed from my childhood, that I forgot the impact my mother has had on me. Lucky for me, I don’t remember ever hearing my mom complain about her appearances (props to you, mom!), though I can’t say I’ve never done so. I think in a world that’s so focused on comparing and improvement (improving homes, pimping rides, getting makeovers, teaching others what not to wear), we often forget to celebrate the things we like.

I know both A and I are much more likely to complain about things than to celebrate them. So I figured today, despite our complete discomfort in doing so, for the sake of our pledge to honesty, we could share with you guys some things we like about ourselves. Here’s to self-esteem week, starting October 9th!

A

Let me just start off by saying that K prefaced this post by telling me that I wouldn’t like it. And I don’t. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been really critical about my looks and my body. I had the pinnings of an eating disorder in high school, wanted to get a nose job for years, felt awkward about my height (I remember specifically being told by a cute boy that I was “too tall” and that “the perfect woman is 5’6”), and was conscious about having the “typical Indian thunder thighs.” I was bullied quite a bit when I was young, but in that weird, back-handed, it’s just a joke because we’re friends, sort of way. But it wasn’t a joke, and it hurt.

Growing up has been good for me, because I’ve slowly realized that while I care what people think, I care a hell of a lot more how I feel. Sure, it’s lovely to have a six-pack, and chiseled Michelle Obama arms, but it’s even more lovely to have healthy skin and hair, a happy demeanor, energy, and a bit of junk in the trunk – IMHO.

Which brings me to what I like about myself. Here goes.

My waist. I like it. It’s small and sits between two other parts of my body that aren’t as small, so it all works pretty nicely together. I am a curve enthusiast, so anything that ties, cinches, or sits at the waist, send em my way so I can put em on! Peplums? Yes please! Coats with belts? Get on me. Oh, those high waisted jeans from the 80’s are back in fashion? I’ll take 10 pairs.

My hair. I’m a hair person. And a bad hair morning can seriously ruin my day. But in general, my hair is on of my favorite parts of me. It’s shiny and healthy, whether it’s long, short, colored, straight, curly. Knock on wood. I can randomly cut my own bangs on a Tuesday mornings, and not only will it work (DISCLAIMER: Do not try this at home! I’ve had bangs before so I know a thing or two), people will tell me I look like Hannah Simone! Which literally makes my life (because have you seen her Instagram?! It and her are effing amazing).

New hair-do

New Do

K

While I introduced this post to A telling her she’d hate it, it’s only because I knew I already hated it. Not just because my insecurities and the things I don’t like about myself, but also because I am not one to brag. Our dad raised us in a way that anytime we would talk about appearances, whether it be our own or a celebrities, good or bad, he would tell us to not be “so vain.” So I repeatedly had to tell myself while writing this post that it’s not vain or self-absorbed to like yourself. It’s actually good and healthy.

That being said, I’m proud to share a few things I like about myself.

I think the first thing would be my eyes. While I often tell my mom that if she had had green eyes like both her brothers do, I probably would have too. But now I’ve come to embrace my brown ones, though they’ve often lead to some very awkward moments. Namely the time I was getting my hair washed before a cut (so I was in that weird laying down position) and my hairdresser just looked into my eyes the entire time. It was weird. But it was also fun and I (well now not-so) secretly loved it.

Snapz on snapz on snapz

Snapz on snapz on snapz

My legs. I got ’em from my daddy. I actually did and to me that’s hilarious. But for someone who’s just shy of 5’5 (I just discovered this, I always thought I was like 5’7. It was kind of heartbreaking), they’re pretty damn long. When I’m not suffering from thoracic output syndrome and other insane things, they also allow me to run and squat – which is just great. They’ve taken me around the world, they’ve allowed me to walk head-on into many experiences, all while looking pretty okay in short shorts. So, thanks dad!


While this post was insanely awkward and uncomfortable for us to compose (to the point where we repeatedly asked each other whether our sections were too braggy and over the top), we did it for the greater good, Dumbledore style. We want everyone to know that it’s not just okay, but amazing, to love yourself. We’re tired of being down on ourselves, comparing ourselves to others, and not feeling like a million bucks.

Hope we inspired you to think about what you love about being you! We know it might give you the creepy crawlies, but if you’re open to sharing, we’d love to hear. #LUVYOSELF.

Jointly yours,

A & 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…

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

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).

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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.

IMG_1690

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,

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAnd yay, sisterhood!

A & K

Fall With Me | September 2014 Playlist

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and that your long weekend turns into a quick, short week!

So, as promised, I’ve put together a new playlist of songs for the month of September. This one is comprised of softer, acoustic songs. These are songs we love to listen to year-round, but especially while watching leaves change golden brown in fall. I also made sure to put a few of A’s favorite songs in this playlist since it’s her birthday month. 

tumblr_nb54eeAXvI1rzo7txo1_500

So, here it is: Fall With Me | SEPT ’14

Hope you enjoy it! 

Love,

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

 IMG_3222

A

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

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.

Mother.

Where to begin on the topic of Mothers.

And not Mother like the company I work for, though it’s pretty cool to work for a company that’s all about “making your Mother proud.” Especially on Mother’s Day. When we have the day off. Awesome, right?

 

Image

K and I are in constant awe of our Mother. Whether it’s Mothers Day or not, obviously. She is incredible. She managed to be a wonderful Mom, even though she was 21 (yes, just legal drinking age. Remember what you were doing at that age? Or… do you not even remember?) when I surprised her and came into this world. She had just moved to the US, far away from her parents in India, to marry my dad. They lived in the attic of my grandparent’s house in Cleveland, and my dad worked and went to school, while she single-handedly took care of me (and maybe even my grandparents, a bit).

 

She is the most positive, strong, and independent women I have ever met. And I’ve met a lot of amazing women.

Thank you, Mom, for giving K and I such an amazing life. For keeping our secrets, for making us laugh until we’re crying, and wiping our tears when they’re not happy ones. Thanks for always making us a cup of chai when we get home after a long flight, or drive, regardless of the time, and always drinking one with us. Thanks for dictating the same recipe for me 45 times, and still putting up with me when I call you 15 times while I’m cooking. Thanks for showing us that Motherhood isn’t scary, and that being a Mom doesn’t mean you lose yourself. Thanks for showing us what an amazing daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, wife, and friend looks like. Not saying we’re the bees-knees or anything, but who knows what kind of crazies we’d be if you weren’t our Mom. So thank you. For everything, and more than that. And more than that.

And to everyone out there – we know our mom is gorgeous. But thanks for reminding us. We promise to never wonder “WHAT ABOUT ME?” and just accept that our Mom is the prettiest Gautam Girl.

Love you until the end of time, Mom.

A & K