Atlanta Thoughts

1. You guys, it’s so cold in Atlanta.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Parts of the country are literally covered with snow, and I’m complaining about being cold.  I get that, trust me I do.  I’m so grateful that the only thing we have to battle is low temps.  However, I’m not used to being cold.  Live in Miami for a few years, and you’ll see.  It spoils you!

On that same note, we lost power at my parent’s house on Tuesday.  I woke up shivering and ran into my parents’ room.  My dad was still at home, so I asked what was going on.  When they said the power was gone, I figured it would come back in an hour or two tops.  Nope.  It was gone until 5:00 pm. 

Because we didn’t want to sit around in a cold house, my mom and I decided to run some errands and monitor the situation via our phones.  It was quite the day!

2. I feel like all I’ve been doing since arriving in Atlanta is eating.  I tend to overdo it a little when I come home because I love my mom’s food (and Atlanta food in general) and don’t get to eat it that often.  Here’s a sample of what we’ve been consuming since last Saturday.

Gokul
Dosa at Gokul in Decatur.

Shredded eggs and veggies
My mom’s shredded eggs + veggies dish.  Recipe coming soon!

Egg Harbor Cafe
Farmer’s Market Benedict with a Basil Hollandaise at Egg Harbor Cafe.

Kerela dinner

A traditional Kerala meal at Vishnu’s house.  Chickpea curry, bananas, and a rice/coconut/cumin mixture.  SO good.

Not featured – my mom’s green enchiladas, samosa chaat + dahi puri (Indian street food), my mom’s traditional Gujarati food (Indian flat bread, a bean curry dish, mango pulp, lentil soup, and rice), Vishnu’s mom’s dosas and idli, and a few other things I can’t remember.

After a few days at home, I sent this text to Vishnu. 

I ate too much
NOTE: Vishnu spent one night my parents’ house and then went to his parents’ house to hang out with them.  We always split up our time this way. 

3.  I’m so glad we were able to get together with friends this week.  After a day of group texting, my friend Jetan picked the neighborhood, and my friend Farnaz and I picked the restaurant – Tin LIzzy’s in Perimeter. 

Tin Lizzy's
College friends are the best!  I feel like I’ve grown up with all of these people.  They just get me.  The only con…they’re the ones with all the stories! 

4.  My mom didn’t like the tops I brought with me to wear this week (not warm enough), so she went shopping one afternoon and bought me three new sweaters.  I love my mom!

5.  The original plan was to drive to Knoxville tomorrow evening with Vishnu’s parents and brother to visit his uncle’s family.  But because the weather forecast is predicting freezing rain and super low temps, we nixed the trip and instead decided to spend the weekend in Atlanta.  While I’m sad that we won’t get to see Vishnu’s aunt, uncle and cousins (they are SO cute), I’m excited to spend time at home relaxing and hanging out. 

Have a great weekend!

A Q&A with My Mom: The Power of Never Giving Up

Like many immigrants, my parents came to this country with very little.  Two suitcases and $40 between the two of them. 

When I sit back and really think about this and look at how much they’ve accomplished in 32 years, I’m truly amazed.  Talk about starting at the bottom and working your way up!  But even more than what they’ve accomplished, it’s how they’ve done it.  Simply put, they never gave up.  Settling for the path of least resistance (or no resistance) was never an option.  And it’s still not.  In fact, I would say that this is the best unintentional lesson they’ve passed on to me and my sister. 

A perfect example of this would my mom recently getting a new job (same company, new job).  A little bit of background information – my mom has been trying to move into a different department for the last year.  When she realized that most of the jobs she was interested in required two specific financial licensing exams, she talked to her management and signed up ASAP (this is where I get it from!).  Not only did she sign up for the exams, but she studied hard and passed both of them on the first go.  No easy feat!  Then, after applying to numerous positions, going on a ton of interviews, and never making the cut, she finally made a really good connection with a hiring manager and got a job she’s excited about.

When my mom first heard she got the job, she was obviously overjoyed!  One of the very first things she said to me when we spoke was that she wants to share a message with people – a message about not giving up. 

And that is why instead of sharing my thoughts about my mom’s experience, I’m letting her do the talking while I do the typing! 

Me: Hi momma!  I’m so excited to help you share your story with people like you wanted.  Anything you want to say before we get started?
Momma: Hello to all of Parita’s My Inner Shakti readers!  I’m excited to share my thoughts with all of you.

Me: You’ve been trying to move upwards and onwards for a long time.  What kept you going?
Momma: I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.  Also, I knew it was time to try something new and I knew I could do it!  I was going to get there.

Me: Did you ever felt like giving up?  What kept you from doing so?
Momma: Yes, I did feel like giving up, but I did not let that thought stay in my mind for too long.  I didn’t give up because I was confident that I could do what I wanted to do.  Eventually, I was going to get there.  It just required a little bit of patience from me.  Also my faith helped me a lot.  It reminded me that it’s natural to feel frustrated every now and then, but at the same time it gave me the strength to move forward.

Me: What would you say were your biggest lessons learned over the last year or so?
Momma: The biggest one was to never ever give up on something you believe in.  As long as you don’t do that, you will get there.  Persistency is the key to everything in life.  Also, there’s a lot of power in believing in yourself.  No matter how frustrated you get or how hard life gets, look inwards and push outward. 

Me: If you could go back and do things differently, would you? 
Momma: No, not really.  Except maybe be more patient!  Everything happens for a reason.  It’s hard to think this way when you’re in the middle of a challenge, but that’s a fact.  And I guess I would have done more mental reality checks.  Even though I wanted a different job, I wish I had stopped to be a little more grateful that I already had a good job.  Always appreciate what you have, even while trying for new and different things.

Me: What advice would you give someone facing a difficult situation right now who is wanting to give up?
Momma: Think about how you want to feel after the situation has passed and use that to motivate you.  If you give up, you will not get there.  But if you persist and keep moving forward, you will.  One way or another you will get there.

Me: Any last words?
Momma: I don’t believe in giving up!  Don’t ever do that!

What’s the best unintentional lesson your parents have passed on to you?

Help Us Choose a Minted Art Piece!

Whenever someone walks into our apartment and compliments how it’s decorated, I have to give all credit to Vishnu.  While I’m good at giving input and sharing my opinion, I honestly have zero design sense.  Vishnu, on the other hand, has an eye for all that stuff!  In fact, if he wasn’t already on his way to becoming a doctor, I’m 100% certain he’d be an architect.  I’m also pretty sure he has our future home built, designed, and ready to go…in his head of course!

So when I was approached by Minted, an online stationary store powered by a global community of designers, to select a piece of artwork for our home, I knew I had to consult with Vishnu before I settled on a design.

Just for kicks, I went through and picked a few that stood out to me.  Later that night, I asked Vishnu to help me select one that suited both our tastes.  Of course, we had a slight difference of opinion but eventually settled on a few designs that appealed to both of us.

As an aside, I just want to note that this process took us almost an hour.  The art collection on Minted is amazing…and huge!  There are so many unique pieces that appeal to everyone from travel lovers to food lovers.

Now we’re stuck again and need you to help us narrow down the perfect piece of artwork for our home!

To help us out, tell me which design you like in the comments section.

A:

MIN-L9W-GNA-007_A_APZ
B:

MIN-3U6-GNA-007_A_APZ

C:

MIN-HCV-GNA-007_A_APZ

D:

MIN-02Q-GFA-007_A_APZ
E:

MIN-CXJ-GNA-007_A_APZ

So, which of these stands out to you – A, B, C, D, or E?

And because you guys are taking a minute to help me out, I promise to repay you in a future post (HINT: there’s an awesome giveaway on the horizon!).

Have a great Monday!

Disclosure: I received Minted credit in exchange for writing this post.  However, (as always) all opinions are my own.

Par’s Picks – 24

Vishnu and I are headed to Atlanta today!  Woot woot!  I can’t wait to spend a week with family and friends, and this time there are no weddings, no special events, etc. to attend.  Just quality time at home.  My mom already has a delicious menu planned for the week…I. Can’t. Wait! 

More on our Atlanta adventures to come!

In the meantime, enjoy some of my favorite reads from the week.  Lots of good stuff to share!

Starting with…

Life quote
Source

LIFE/SELF:

The One Question That Can Change Your LifeNothing will change if you don’t.

Say Hello To Goodbye: 6 Times Letting Go Is Exactly What You Need – Sometimes letting go and giving yourself permission to be is exactly what is needed.

See More, Do More: It’s Your Responsibility To Live Your Life More Actively – Life is too short to not do the things that, as I like to say, make your soul sing.

How To Intentionally Design A Happier Life – Very much in line with my post about making time.

There are no extra lives. Make this one count.This…

What I AM saying is that every day is an opportunity for adventure, happiness, and improvement…or another day of being unhappy and unfulfilled. We spend so much time on shit that Just. Doesn’t. Matter, when we should make sure we spend that time on the important stuff.

Savor Discipline: Merge the Interests of Your Future & Present Selves – An interesting way to think about our present and future selves and build discipline.

20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You AreIt’s not always about the big accomplishments.  Give yourself credit where credits due!

HEALTH:

13 Signs You’re a Health NutA little extreme but still pretty funny!

Is a Calorie REALLY Just a Calorie?LOVE this article.  So much great information that’s explained simply and in a way that just makes sense.

8 Must-Read Books To Inspire Your Wellness Journey – Lots of great reads to add to my growing list.

FOOD:

12 Must-Try Dumplings Across the Country – I’m hoping to try Gu’s Bistro this week.

Sriracha Ketchup Is Real And All Your Food Just Got Infinitely BetterVishnu’s dream come true!

9 Popular Foods That Are Total Frauds – #2…I had no idea!

RELATIONSHIPS:

20 Habits Happy Couples Have (But Never Talk About) – Love this list and agree with each and every point.

Diane Sawyer Shares The ‘Genius’ Marriage Advice She’ll Never Forget (VIDEO)Applicable to all relationships…just watch this!

If You’ve got a Smart Older Sibling, You’re Sorted – You’re welcome, Aekta!!!

Happy weekend!

Three Things Thursday – Chicago

I’m in Chicago this week for a two-day leadership development training program.  This is actually one of my favorite trainings to date.  We took the DiSC assessment yesterday (more to come!) and discussed our leadership styles in various contexts throughout the day all while keeping our personal profile in mind.  And today we’re delving a bit deeper on a number of topics.  Such cool stuff!

Anyway, I thought I would link up to Three Things Thursday and share a bit more about my short trip.

3ThingsBadgeresize_thumb

1.  I would be a fool not to mention the temperature difference between Chicago and Miami right now.  And while it is dramatically different, I’m maintaining a little perspective because at least this city isn’t buried under snow. 

We decided to walk to dinner last night (~10 minutes), and by the time we got to the restaurant, it felt like my face was going to fall off.  Not something I’m used to! 

Chicago temps Miami temps

2.  Roshni and Samir’s condo is only 0.5 miles from my hotel, so I got to hang out with them on Tuesday and we have plans to grab dinner tonight as well.  I love it when work travel allows for some personal fun!

Of course, we ate great food (smoothies + lasagna) and laughed A LOT!  It’s always a party with these two!  It was like college all over again…but this time we’re married and a lot older!

Roshni smoothie
I know this doesn’t look all that appetizing, but it was really really good!  I’ll have to get Roshni’s recipe and share.

Roshni lasagna

3. And last but not least, I get to hang out with my awesome coworkers again!  While not all 19 of us are here this time around, about seven of us are here for the training and it’s been so much fun being together again.  There’s something special about working with great people. 

And not only do we work together, we even work out together.  My colleague Jas and I met up two mornings in a row to get our sweat on!  It’s so nice to have a workout buddy!  I’m hoping I can share the tabata workout we did with you all (she has to check with her trainer).  It was tough!

weights

Well, that about covers it.  I fly back to Miami tomorrow morning, and then Vishnu and I fly to Atlanta on Saturday morning. I can’t wait to spend the week at home with our families!

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). 

Have a great Thursday!