Weekend Recap – Birthday Fun & Oddball Comedy Festival

When it comes to my own birthday, I don’t like to make a huge deal out of it.  A little chocolate in some shape or form, and I’m a happy girl!   But what I didn’t realize is that I was applying my nonchalant attitude to Vishnu’s birthday as well.  Yes, I always make sure to do something special for him, but I never make it ALL about him.  And as much as he denies it, I know he enjoys and appreciates a little extra attention on his birthday.

That is exactly why I decided to change things up this year!

After work on Friday, I made a little celebratory dessert – Katie’s Gooey Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars.  You guys, these bars are addicting.  I know this was Vishnu’s birthday weekend, but I definitely ate more of this sweet treat than he did.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture…oops.  Trust me though, you need this in your life!

When Vishnu got home from work on Friday night, I asked if he wanted the first half of his present a little early (his actual birthday was on Saturday).  Before he even had a chance to say “ok, sure,” I ran into our room.  I knew he was going to love what I got him, and I couldn’t wait any longer.  If you can’t tell, I was more excited than he was!

Leather Toms

Vishnu’s a shoe guy.  He has more shoes than most girls I know!  And that’s exactly why I got him some beautiful new leather TOMS.  The cognac color is beautiful!  They even look great with scrubs. Smile

On Saturday morning, I asked Vishnu what kind of food he was craving.  The answer was brunch, so the birthday boy and I headed to Banyan Café.  This restaurant came highly recommended from a waiter at a different restaurant, so we were super excited to check it out.

The Black Bean Benedict had my name written all over it, so that’s what I ordered.  Vishnu decided to go with the Smoked Salmon Benedict.  Both dishes were absolute brunch perfection.  My benedict came with eggs, black beans, a grilled peppers, salsa verde, corn bread, and a side of rosemary breakfast potatoes.  Vishnu’s came with eggs, smoked salmon, capers, tomato, lemon marmalade (I know right!), toast, jalapeno aioli, and the breakfast potatoes.  We will be back!

Banyan Cafe Brunch

After stuffing ourselves silly, I suggested we walk around for a while.  The weather in St. Pete was gorgeous – warm with a slight breeze.  Vishnu forgot his sunglasses at home, so we made what I thought was quick pit stop.  Umm no.  The birthday boy decided to take a birthday nap, and I didn’t have it in me to wake him up!

Eventually, we had to get ready for part two of Vishnu’s birthday present – the Oddball Comedy Festival!

Oddball Comedy Festival

I did a little research beforehand and learned that this event can get a little crazy in terms of parking, lines, etc.  We decided to leave home around 3:30 because the parking lots opened up at 4:00.  In true Parita fashion, we were a tad bit early, but it all worked out because we were able to grab a quick bite to eat from the Taco Bus food truck!  We were also able to watch a few different comedians perform on the festival (secondary) stage.

A little before 7 pm, we headed to the amphitheater for the main stage performances.  You guys, we laughed…A LOT!  Of course, when you go to something like this, you have to put your sensitivity hat away and just go with it (I’ll be honest, I found this a little hard when it came to certain topics.), but overall, we had a great time!

Jeff Ross, Roastmaster General and the host for the night, was awesome.  He started the show by using an audience cam to narrow in on members of the audience so he roast them.  Later, he randomly picked 10 people to come on stage so he could roast them.  Hilarious!  Of course, Amy and Aziz were ridiculously funny!  Amy joked about how she’s always told what a great time it is for women in Hollywood and how that can’t be true because all the women are starving!  Aziz joked a lot about his relationship and how being a minority in Hollywood has affected him.  Good stuff!  Vishnu and I were reacting some of the jokes on our way home…albeit not as successfully!

There was no celebrating on Sunday because Vishnu had to get up early and head to work.  I, however, woke up and finished Why Not Me?.   I then made a to do list and got to work – cleaning, organizing, packing, shopping, writing, etc.  Needless to say, Sunday was a full yet productive day.

While I’m sad the weekend is over, I’m excited about my trip to Chicago this week!  And the fun doesn’t end when I get back.  Our friends Jenny and Jimi are visiting and staying with us over the weekend.  WOO HOO!

Have a great Monday!

Do you like comedy shows?  Who’s your favorite comedian?

Don’t Apologize for Being Picky About These 3 Things

Early on in life, being picky is usually seen as negative thing.  For example, toddlers can be picky eaters and that can oftentimes pose a problem for parents.

Even later in life, I’ve had several friends be told that they’re too picky because they aren’t married yet.  (Side note: I mean, I get that parents worry, but really?  Too picky about who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with?  Hmm…)

Now that I’m in my thirties, I consider pickiness to be a positive attribute.  I know it’s cliché, but you only get this one life.  There are no second chances or do overs.  That’s why I’m not going to apologize for being picky about the following three things.  In fact, I’m only going to be pickier from here on out!

Be Picky


Like it is with so many other things in life, we oftentimes don’t respect time until it’s a thing of the past.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Time is precious.

And that’s exactly why I want to be pickier about how I spend my time.  Admittedly, I’m not the best at this.  However, I’m trying to be more present and aware of how I choose to spend my free time.  If I find myself aimlessly watching TV or surfing the internet, I check in and ask myself if this is really what I want to be doing right now.  If the answer is yes, then I continue on.  If the answer is no, I turn my attention to something more meaningful.

I’m also trying to be better about prioritizing my time so that it’s not always filled with other people’s agenda items.  This ensures that the ever important “me” activities don’t get pushed to the back burner.


Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that one of the best things you can do is be picky about who you let into your life.

I used to be the kind of person that wanted everyone to be a part of her life.  Even if people didn’t return the favor, I’d do my absolute best to keep in touch.  I’d also make excuses for people who were less than kind.  And those excuses usually resulted in me blaming myself for their behavior.  One word comes to mind when I think of those days…EXHAUSTING!

So now, I’m choosing to be picky not only about who comes into my life but also who stays.  I’m trying very hard to be more positive, grounded and zen.  The last thing I need is someone else’s negative energy.  And by no means am I saying that I only want positive people all the time.  In fact, that wouldn’t be very authentic at all.  I guess my point is that if someone’s overall vibe is negative, I don’t want or need it.



I’m a firm believer in that money (aka “things”) can’t buy happiness.  In my 31 years, I’ve seen plenty of unhappy people with plenty of money and “things.”  I’ve also seen lots of happy people with very little in terms of the things money can buy.  Now, I know this isn’t as black and white as I’m making it seem, but overall, when I reflect on the happiest/most fulfilling moments in my life, they had nothing to do with the things money can buy.  They did, however, have to do with an experience of some sort.  And I totally acknowledge that some experiences in life require a little dough!

Vishnu and I are ridiculously fortunate in terms of our finances.  Don’t get me wrong.  We aren’t bringing in the big bucks by any means, but for the most part, money isn’t something we worry about regularly.  However, that doesn’t mean we can/should spend freely on “things.”  In fact, my goal with our next move is to get rid of as many “things” as possible.

What I do want is for us to be pickier about how we prioritize between things and experiences.  For example, I splurged a little for better seats at the Aziz Ansari show this weekend because I know it’s going to be a fun experience for both me and Vishnu.  AND it’s his birthday!  Travel is another experience I want us to prioritize.  Our trip to Italy, while expensive, was beyond amazing!  The memories we created will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Sometimes “things” are necessary and even warranted, but when it comes to how you choose to spend your money, prioritize and pick experiences over “things.”  Trust me, you’re guaranteed to get a better happiness return!

Thanks for reading and happy Friday!

Do you find yourself getting pickier as you get older?  How so?

Three Things Thursday (26) – Chicago, Burt’s, and Mindy!

It’s my sister and Vishnu’s birthday week!  These goofballs are two of my favorite people in the world.  I can’t wait to celebrate with Vishnu this weekend (AZIZ!) and with my sister next week when I’m in Chicago for a work trip (she’s up there for a rotation).

Anyways, let’s get right to my Three Things Thursday…

3 Things Thursday Badge


I’m headed to Chicago for a few days next week!  Not only will I get to see Aekta, but I’ll also get to spend time with my Chicago + London colleagues.  And you better believe I’m going to try a new restaurant or two!  Can’t wait!

(2) Burt’s Bees Lip Balm with pomegranate oil

Burt's Bees Lip Balm
When I was home last weekend, I saw that my mom had an unused lip balm sitting around.  As is the case with lots of things my sister and I find at home, I asked my mom if I could have it.

I’ve been using it all week and can personally attest to the fact that this balm is awesome!  I love how moisturizing it is.  And it leaves the perfect pink sheen.  Thanks, momma!

(3) Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me - Mindy Kaling

I’m a HUGE Mindy Kaling fan!  I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) a few years ago, I watch The Mindy Project religiously, and I follow her on Instagram.  Huge fan!

I’ve heard lots of great things about Mindy’s new book.  So even though it wasn’t on my original reading list, I’m going to break my own rules yet again and read it next.  Woo hoo!  I see marathon reading Sunday being a thing this weekend. Smile

Well, that’s all I have this week.  Happy Thursday, and as always, thank you for reading!

If you’re a blogger, write a post and link back to one or all of the hostesses: Raj from Pink Chai Living, Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, or Salma from The Write Balance. Then share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page).

No portion of this post is sponsored.  However, there are a few Amazon affiliate links sprinkled throughout. There is no extra cost to you, but I do receive a small commission on anything you buy through my link.  Thank you for reading and supporting My Inner Shakti!

InstaNatural Scar Gel + My New Skincare Routine

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my acne dilemmas.  And there’s a very good reason for that.  Over the past 3ish months, my acne has gone from prominent and painful to nearly nonexistent.

Yes, that’s correct!  I have (for the time being at least) cured my face of constant breakouts.  Of course, I’m still prone to the occasional pimple here and there, but it’s not a regular thing anymore!  And the pimples I do get disappear in days versus weeks.

I honestly don’t know what to attribute this wonderful and exciting development to.  My mom and Vishnu think it’s because I’ve been working on reducing my stress levels.  Personally, I think it’s due in part to that and in part to my new skincare routine. And in particular, a new product I added to my regimen – the InstaNatural Scar Gel.

Insta Natural Scar Gel

Before I tell you all about this magical potion, I have to share how I came across it.

At the end of May, Vishnu suggested I use Mederma (a scar lightener) on the scars I have on my legs from the Tough Mudder race I ran last year.   I said I would look into it but never did (oops!).  When he realized this, he took matters into his own hands and did a little research on scar gels/creams.  That’s how he came across InstaNatural.  And without telling me, he bought a bottle.

When it finally arrived in early June, I asked Vishnu if he thought I could use it on my face too.  Ultimately, I decided to give it a try (because why not?!) and started with a couple of the more prominent scars on my face.  Over time, I started applying a thin layer to my entire face.  And I kid you not when I say that it has made all the difference in the world.  Not only are my scars (both new and old) fading, but my skin is smoother and brighter than ever before.

You guys know I’ve tried everything under the sun to address my acne – I took antibiotics and used a prescription grade cream, I tried going dairy-free, I used Proactiv, and we can’t forget about my ACV fiasco.  And this is just scratching the surface.  I’ve been experimenting for YEARS!  And now, I have finally found something that is the real deal (for me)!

InstaNatural Scar Gel is made with Epidermal Growth Factor which helps speed the healing process.  It also includes green tea, moisturizers, etc.  Whatever it is, it’s truly magical!  And while the price point compared to the size of the bottle is on the higher end of the spectrum, I can vouch for the fact that the product goes a LONG way.  I’ve had the same bottle for almost four months.

The gel itself is light brown in color and has a runny but spreadable consistency that absorbs quickly into the skin. I use one full pump for my entire face.  Some reviewers say the smell is off putting, but I honestly don’t smell anything at all.

Here’s exactly how I incorporate it into my skincare routine

My New AM Skincare Routine

My New PM Skincare Routine

My PM skincare routine mirrors the above with one small change.  Instead of using the Trader Joe’s Moisturizer, I apply a nickel sized amount of the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin to my entire face before bed.

Clarification – I also use coconut oil every PM around my eyes, on my eyebrows, and on my lips.  

I’ve been taking pictures of my face to monitor the progress, and if I wasn’t such a wuss, I’d share them with you guys!  But trust me when I say that my skin on June 12 looks completely different than it does now.  In fact, when I went home this past weekend, my sister thought I was wearing makeup when I wasn’t!  If that’s not something, then I don’t know what is!

I’ll post an update in a few months to share how this new product and routine are going.  Fingers crossed that I don’t have to add this to my long list of acne experiment failures!

Let me know if you decide to try this scar gel.  While I can’t guarantee that it’ll be just as life changing for everyone, I do think it’s worth a try!

No portion of this post is sponsored!  However, there are a few affiliate links sprinkled throughout. Thank you for reading and supporting My Inner Shakti!

‘Officially’ Engaged!

My sister and Adarsh (her fiancé) got engaged the “down on one knee” way back in March.  This past weekend my parents hosted their religious engagement ceremony (pooja) at our house, so now they’re ‘officially’ engaged!

AA engagement 4

I (unfortunately Vishnu had to work this weekend) flew into Atlanta on Wednesday night, worked on Thursday, and then went into engagement mode on Thursday evening.  While my parents had prepped a lot of things beforehand, there was still lots left to do.  For example, on Thursday evening, my mom and aunt made puris (fried bread), mathai (a savory fried snack), and a few other things.  We also prepped the mitai (Indian sweets) packages and made the haars (garlands).

AA engagement 1

AA engagement 2

AA engagement 3

We woke up bright and early on Friday morning to make more food and clean.  Adarsh, Aekta, and Adarsh’s family, along with a few other family members got in a little after noon.  We ate a delicious South Indian lunch and then started to get ready for the pooja.

The pooja started around 6 pm and lasted a couple of hours.  Because I wasn’t the one getting engaged (been there done that!), I was able to take pictures and move around a bit.

Unlike some of the other poojas my parents have hosted in the past, this one was small – very close family only (~30 people).  It was so nice to hang out with everyone afterwards, including Vishnu’s parents, brother and his girlfriend who all drove up in the crazy Atlanta traffic.

AA engagement 5

AA engagement 6

AA engagement 7

My dad didn’t get the smiling memo!

AA engagement 8

AA engagement 9

AA engagement 10

Adarsh’s family stayed with us on Friday and Saturday so we could get through some of the big ticket planning items, including a four hour visit to the outfit designer and a tour of the wedding weekend venue.  Even though we were all so exhausted, everyone rallied and made the most of our time together.  This was my first time meeting Adarsh’s family, and I love them already!  His little sister is so much fun to hang out with, and his parents are super sweet.

Even though the big day is eight months away, I just know it’s going to be here before we know it.  AND I’M JUST SO EXCITED!!!