Getting to London + A Meet-Up

I made it to London!  I was absolutely exhausted and sleep deprived, but I made it. 

Since there are no direct flights to Heathrow from Tampa, I connected through Chicago.  And let’s just say the whole notion of staying calm came into play on this flight.  I had a one (ish) year old directly behind me, and while I can only imagine how hard it is to travel with young kids, it took a lot out of me to ignore the constant kicking and banging.  But I just let it go and sent the mom positive vibes knowing I’ll probably have to go through it at some point and would want people to do the same for me.

During my four hour layover in Chicago, I finished my latest book, walked around the terminal to build up an appetite, and ate dinner at Tortas Frontera (SO good!). 

Then came an almost 10 hour flight to London.  I’m super fortunate that when I travel overseas for work I have the opportunity to fly premium economy.  With that being said, all the extra space did me absolutely no good this time.  My left leg was throbbing the last half of the flight, my neck was killing me the entire time, and I just couldn’t get comfortable.  Not all was lost though.  The guy sitting next to me was super friendly and interesting.  He shared a lot about his life in Mozambique – from his work and family situation to proposing to his girlfriend soon.  Love making airplane friends!

By the time I got through customs and baggage claim and made it to my hotel, it was a little past noon.  I unpacked a bit, showered, and then fell asleep for FOUR HOURS!  I certainly didn’t intend to sleep that long but am glad I did because I was SO tired.

And then I got ready to meet up with Khushboo!  As I mentioned in my last Three Thing Thursday post, Khushboo and I have been reading each other’s blogs for over four years now.  And over the course of time, we’ve gone from commenting on our blogs to emailing each other every now and to finally meeting up in person. 

London meetup with Khushboo 
It’s kind of hard to explain, but as I was getting ready, I thought to myself, “It feels like I’m about to meet an old friend.”  And the funny thing is Khushboo said the same exact thing to me as we were walking around!  Because we regularly read about each other’s lives, our conversation flowed very naturally.  We talked about our recent travels, family, friends, blogging, etc.  And we probably could’ve kept talking all day long if Khushboo didn’t have to be home at a certain time.  It was so much fun, and I’m crossing my fingers that a US meet up is in our future. :)

I felt the hunger pangs hit after getting back to my room, so instead of wandering around aimlessly looking for dinner, I decided to go with the room service route. 

London room service 
Soup and salad sounded like the perfect way to end the day after a long almost 24 hours of travel. 

And now let’s hope I make it through the next few days without yawning every few minutes!

Happy Monday and thanks for reading!!

What kind of flyer are you?  Do you like to pass out and not be bothered or do you always find yourself talking to the person next to you?  I usually pass out and don’t wake up until touchdown, but for many reasons, this trip turned out differently!

A Simple Packing Tip That Could Save You A LOT of Money

I’m going to share a stupidly simple tip that could end up saving you a lot of money.

But first a little background…

Once upon a time, I went to Vegas for Roshni’s bachelorette party.  We ate, we drank, we gambled, and then we came home.  As I was unpacking, I realized that I left a brand new pair of pants, a pair of jeans, and the t-shirt we had made for the weekend in my hotel room.  Uh oh!  The jeans were found and sent back to me, but the pants and the t-shirt were gone.

You’d think I learned my lesson but no…

Fast forward to September.  I was in Chicago for the month because Vishnu was up there for his rotations.  This was also the month I had a week long work trip to London scheduled.

Anyway, as I’m sitting in my friend’s condo watching TV, it suddenly dawns on me that my passport is in the top drawer of our dresser…IN MIAMI!   To make a very long story short, my friend Rohit saved my life.  I mailed him our keys so that he could get into our apartment, get my passport, and send it back to me.  Mind you, all of this happened within days.  It was pretty crazzzzzzy!

And there have probably been a few more times since then where I’ve almost forgotten something (either when packing or repacking) and remembered at the last minute.

So recently, Vishnu stepped in and made a strong suggestion.  He asked me to make as detailed of a list as possible when packing and then duplicate that list on another piece of paper.

packing lists
Note: I know what some of you may be thinking.  Making lists is not a new thing…most people already do that.  And I completely agree.  The thing is I used to make lists too, and I still forgot stuff.  But two very detailed lists?!  Now that’s something.  And it’s actually helping me remember!

I should use one list when I’m packing, and the other list should be tucked away in my suitcase/purse only to be taken out when repacking.

This, he says, should help me avoid what he calls the “oops I forgot” syndrome.  Everything I need to take with me gets packed, AND all my stuff is guaranteed to come back.

Yet another way I am helping us (and hopefully you!) save some big $$$! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Three Things Thursday (16)

This was a pretty big week for us here in the MIS household.  Vishnu officially started intern year on Monday!  To be honest, it’s been a little bittersweet for me.  I’m so happy for him (us) and can’t wait to watch him thrive and grow in his career.  And on the flip side, I know I’m not going to see him as much as I have the past few months.  I guess the good outweighs the bad in this situation.  On to bigger things!

And on to this week’s Three Things Thursday as well!3 Things Thursday(1) We ended up going to see Jurassic World last Friday.  And while it wasn’t as good as Jurassic Park, both Vishnu and I enjoyed ourselves.  It was entertaining and fun to watch on the big screen.  And I pretty much held on to Vishnu’s arm the entire second half, so that same feeling of being a little terrified was still there! 

Movie theater selfie 
A “we are scared” pre-movie selfie!

(2) Did you guys know that Fandango offers BOGO movie tickets every Friday through the end of August?  I didn’t either until Vishnu told me!  The only catch is that you have to have a Visa Signature credit card.  We paid $12 for two movie tickets.  $12!!!  That’s unheard of! 

Click here to check if your credit card is a Visa Signature card.  And click here for the Fandango offer.

(3) My third update has nothing to do with going to the movies.  It is, however, a bit more exciting!  I’m heading to London on Saturday for work.  Not only will I get to see my colleagues that I only see a few times a year and eat my favorite porridge from Pret A Manger, but I will also get to meet up with Khushboo

Khushboo and I have been reading each other’s blogs for four years now, and we finally have the opportunity to meet in person since she’s also visiting London right now!  Can’t wait!!

Well, that’s all I have today!  Your turn to share – what are three things you’ve been thinking about/doing this week! 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).

Thanks for reading!

Diet and Acne Update

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but for one reason or another, it just wasn’t happening.  However, an update of sorts is definitely in order as a few things have changed since my last post about My (Almost) Dairy-Free Experiment.

If you’re a regular MIS reader or you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that dairy is back in my life.  Namely in the form of yogurt and cheese.  I’m not consuming either in large quantities, but they’re part of my diet again.

Let’s start right where I left off…

Back in early January, I was seeing some positive results after not consuming dairy for a month or so.  If I remember correctly, this trend continued for another two weeks before my skin decided to go berserk again.  I honestly have no clue what went wrong. 

And it didn’t get any better.  In fact, it got worse.  I went from a few big bumps to full breakout mode in a matter of weeks.  Even still, I persisted on with my almost no dairy plan. 

Acne clipart

Right before we left for Italy, I saw a friend of mine post something on Facebook about a new line of products from the creators of Proactiv.  I texted her to learn more.  After a brief phone conversation, I signed up to try Unblemish*, a line of products designed to help acne-prone skin. 

Now, I know I’ve been harping the benefits of more natural treatments, but I felt hopeless (once again) and was ready to try something new, something a bit stronger. 

Anyway, I started using Unblemish and within a few weeks, my acne was subsiding.  I still had a few bumps, but they were less painful.  I used it for 60 days and ultimately decided to only continue with the blemish treatment (a benzoyl peroxide lotion).  This stuff isn’t cheap, and I felt that the lotion was making the biggest impact for me. 

Well, that was exactly a month ago.  I just got around to ordering more of the Unblemish treatment. 

But guess what?  In the last month, I haven’t been using any fancy products (just a little tea tree at night) or following any particular diet, and my skin is the best it’s been in a long long time.  I even ran errands the other day without makeup (this was a HUGE step for me). 

I’m totally waiting for the other shoe to drop and my face to go crazy again, but we’ll see.  I’m crossing my fingers that the “not doing much of anything” approach keeps working.  Time will tell. 

I should also mention that Vishnu thinks stress is a major contributor to my acne.  I’m what you would call a chronically stressed person but not in an obvious way.  I’ve always just thought it was part of my DNA, but Vishnu now has me convinced otherwise.  And he may be on to something.  Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been constantly stressed/worried about one thing or another.  But over the last month, particularly the last few weeks, I’ve been trying really hard to chill out.  I’ll share more on what I’ve been doing in a separate post, but overall, I think my efforts are helping.  Sure, I still get a little stressed, but I’m not holding on to it anymore.  And of course I have absolutely zero proof of this, but in the past few weeks, my face has been clearer than ever before.  So maybe Vishnu’s right.  I’m going to pay more attention to my skin during high stress times to see if it’s a factor. 

So where does that leave me?  Well, as of right now, I’m sticking to a very simple routine that includes the Soothe face wash, my Desert Essence face wash, tea tree oil, Trader Joe’s moisturizer, and Cetaphil face cream as needed.  I also plan to use the Unblemish lotion as a spot treatment (if things get bad again).  In terms of diet, I’m sticking to a vegetarian diet that includes a little dairy here and there.  And most importantly, I’m trying to be as stress free as possible!

Like I said, we’ll see what happens next month, but for now, I’ll take as much clear skin as I can get!

Clear skin clipart 
*The Unblemish face wash contains sulfur as a main ingredient.  After using it for a couple of weeks, I found out I’m allergic to sulfur…the hard way (i.e. SUPER itchy, red skin).   My friend was kind enough to send me the Sooth face wash to try. I’ve been using that for the past few weeks and love it.

Thanks for reading and happy hump day! :)

The One with the Missing Toenail

Just a fair warning.  This post may be a little TMI.  Proceed at your own risk!

Missing toenail 
Our Saturday afternoon took an unexpected turn as we went from watching TV at home to driving to the closest urgent care clinic.

Let me start from the beginning.

It all started when we got home from Detroit last month.  I was getting my heavy bag out of the back of the Uber.  I guess I pulled it out too quickly because the next thing I knew it hit my big toe on my left foot causing me to scream in pain.  Vishnu ran over, calmed me down and we eventually made our way upstairs. 

Even after icing it, the pain was still there, so Vishnu wrapped it up for me.  I went to bed and woke up with an achy toe, but it was nothing compared to the excruciating pain from the night before. 

Over the next few days and weeks the pain went away.  However, I noticed that my toe was badly bruised (my nail was black and blue).  I didn’t think much of it since the pain was gone.  Life went on.

That brings me to this past Friday evening.  As we were getting ready to go to dinner, I noticed that my toe was throbbing a little and there was discharge coming out of my toenail.  When I showed Vishnu, he told me to make the next available appointment with a podiatrist.  I cleaned up my toe, put a Band-Aid on it, and made a note to find the closest podiatrist.

The pain continued in the background for the rest of the night, but when I woke up the next morning it was gone.  I did a little happy dance and continued on with my day.  Vishnu and I went on a pain-free run, I ran errands, etc. 

After getting home and eating a little snack, I settled in on the couch with Vishnu to watch TV.  A bit later, I got up to get some water and lightly hit my toe on the coffee table.  When I looked down, my toenail was completely detached from my toe on one side. 

I looked at Vishnu with tears in my eyes and panic in my voice and told him what happened.  I was a bit traumatized at this point and am so glad he was there to take care of the rest.  He asked if I wanted him to try and remove the rest of the nail.  I asked if it would hurt, and he said yes.  I suggested we go to the hospital.  Vishnu didn’t think that was the best idea because of the long potential wait time, and so he started to look up urgent care clinics in our area.  After calling and confirming that the one he found would be able to see us, we drove over.  

The doctor on duty was super nice and really patient.  He and Vishnu brought a lot of humor to the situation which helped a ton.  Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to save my nail.  He gave me a shot to numb the area and pulled the toenail right out.  I didn’t feel any pain (thank goodness!) but was absolutely disgusted by the look of my toe.  The doctor (and Vishnu and my FIL and my sister) reassured me that it would grow back in 12-18 months and said that it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  At least it wasn’t broken.  That definitely helped me bring some perspective to the situation.  And let’s be honest.  This wasn’t a life or death situation.  Everything was and would be just fine.

And now here I am.  I will likely have to wear a bandage on my toe until the nail grows back.  But all things considered, I’m doing great!  There’s no pain, and I even went for a run this morning and felt fine.  It still looks really gross, but I guess I’m just going to have to get over that.

And believe it or not, but we found a silver lining in this whole ordeal.  While Vishnu is upset that this happened, his eyes lit up when I told him that I would be doing my own pedicures for the next year saving us $30 a month.  Haha! 

Thanks for reading and happy Monday!

What’s the most physically traumatic thing that’s happened to you?