Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's getting close

Moves are hard, moving across continents a bit harder. I think. Yes, there are logistics, endless to-do's, lists, list of lists and then besides all the work, it’s the emotional part of it. Leaving the comfort zone, saying good byes, already missing the hugs. It all adds up.
Yes it does get over whelming. But, yes there is a but: It’s okay. You try to look at the bigger picture and say. Hmm, it’s okay.
You remember the reasons of why you are doing the move, why it makes sense for now, the gains... it all adds up. Friends will make the trips, there will be Skype, there will be new jobs, new schools and new land to explore. Yes, there will be missed birthday's, missed milestones, baby showers, baby births.... but then you get back to saying- It's okay. Technology will help me keep closer!

We are getting closer and closer to our Big Move. In less than a week we go to East Coast to meet Baby A. My closest friends kid. I can’t wait to hold the kiddo, try to sneak her in my bag and take her with me. I can’t wait for V to cuddle Baby A. After some more good bye tears in East Cost.... we head off to London!

First air shipment sent- Check
Visas, travel papers ready- Check
To Do lists- Check
Packers, Movers scheduled- Check
Having V' and her friends ready for move- Sorta Check
Crying endlessly on surprise farewell- Check
'Aaahing' in gatherings- Check
Meeting everyone one more time- In progress
Drinking that one barista's coffee- In progress

Ready to go- Nope

I know it’s almost time.... and my husband's facebook status reads: '6'
6 days left till we say good bye to Chicago hello to new Adventures

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raise your glasses....

Breathe.... Breathe... and then breathe some more.

A lot of things are brewing up... and some are winding down. It's like a roller coaster, sometimes up and sometimes down, but exciting all the time.
That’s my state of mind right now.
I know I am speaking in circles!!
Breathe... breathe...
There was a question recently: "What are you looking forward to most this year" and I responded: "Change"
And I know, there is more to it than just the word: "Change"
Here it goes-
We are moving, and not just a blog address change, it’s a whole street, apartment, home, and even country change. Yes, ... we are moving out of US. After almost spending a decade here, we are moving. And I don’t know how else to tell you.. but We are moving. To the other side of the pond.
I came to US about 9 years ago with two bags, puppy eyes, big glasses and lots of excitement. I completed my masters with the bestest of friends. We rocked the two years, we burned the mid night oil and travelled in sunny CA. I was super excited at sending the first copy of my pay check home. I was even more proud when I filled my own tax returns. Simple joys! Living with my closest friends made the single-independent-girl-living a whole load of fun! I met the man who scooped me off my feet and very soon, we got married. I moved to his city and enjoyed the process. Met new friends, met my friends-his friends- our friends. We travelled and travelled and then travelled some more. Having my brother on speed dial here did make me miss India less. Life pretty much was work-fun and then some more fun. We along with our friends pretty much painted the town red. Good Times.
Two become three and we move once more. To another city and we three learned to love Chicago... even with the winters, I love this city. Our friends, our late nights, mid-day lunches, email chains, long gossips, girls night, conversations, trips, shopping sprees, V's school, her trips, her milestones, my blogging buddies, work, all of them.

It will be unfair to summarize my decade here.
I will miss it all, not the city(s), not the weather, not the trips, not the locations and not even my barista.

What I will miss are the people! My friends, my family who made my years here, the most formative, fun and full of excitement.

I might have come to US with two over-full bags, but I know when I leave US, I leave with a lot more.... may be more than two lifetimes of memories.

Raise your glasses tonight- To Change! And To new adventures... and look around you and thank all the wonderful people who make life fun no matter where you live.

And yes, today I introduce new Tags in my blog: 'Expat in London', 'Moving to London'

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I caved in...

And got an iPad 2 as a gift for my Big 3-0! Thank you hubby!
I made it very clear to my family, that it's all mine and I get first right to use it... even if it to endless Gilt/ News/ Facebook. My machine, my rules! Simple.
When I ‘smartly recommended’ hubby to get this as a gift for me, I imagined myself sitting with my feet up writing furiously, reading at a tap of my finger, taking endless pictures, surfing with a really light weight wonder toy in my hand.
Sadly reality is very different! The four days that I have had it have been the following-
Me looking at endless app's for kids, playing Angry Birds of course, complaining about picture quality and downloading the 'Write with me' 'Dora Puzzles' ‘Math for kids’, ‘Mickey’s adventures’ and telling V: Be a good girl and you get it for 15 minutes and then resolving the conflict in the 16th minute. Fine two more minutes!
Hmm....While V was writing alphabets with her fingers, I was chatting with my brother and told him- We learnt writing with Chalk on black board. Less than a dollar and she gets this fancy gadget! Hmm.

In V's defense, yes, she does do 'tracing practice' on a Doodle and paper & Pencil. But the iPad is just so much cooler! Aaah!

The iPad is still mine. I plan to leave it switched off until kiddo is in bed. My husband might look at it longingly (Not me, the iPad!) but I will be firm at: “my machine, my rules’ and vow for iPad being a 'weekend' thing for V!

Now, I am waiting for my swanky case to carry it everywhere and a nicer, bigger purse to put the case in. Aesthetics I am all for it.
Once again, Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TY & Quick Food Fix: Besan Mirchi

Thank you for the wonderful emails, yes all is well. Just a lot of things on my plate and sadly blogging is suffering. However I am continuing to write on: Mommy-In-Making, so feel free to stop by there.

Meanwhile... I leave you guys for a week with the unbeatable: "Besan Simla Mirchi" recipe from my MIL. When they were visiting, my MIL made it for us and I loved it and loved how simple it was, so I tried to make it and it turned out really bad! Then I made it twice a week for 4 months until finally my FIL was like- “Now it’s more like your moms! Good!
I still make it pretty often! Sumit does our grocery shopping and he has stopped buying bell peppers (Capsicum) lest I make it again! Hehe

But it’s heavenly and totally follows my rules of a Quick Food Fix:

Things needed:
Bell Peppers/ Capsicum (Any color- I generally make it with green) - 2: Chopped in cubes
Besan/ Gram Flour - 3 spoons (1 bell pepper to 1.5 spoon ratio), you can add more if you like the besan aroma's like I do!
Saunf - 2 tsp (I add three since I love saunf flavor in food!)
Spices: Per Taste: Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Dhaniya Powder, Amchur, Turmeric (Garam Masala/ hing if you like- I skip it all the time)

1. Heat oil in a pan
2. When hot, add Saunf until lightly golden. This takes less than a minute.
3. Add chopped bell peppers, toss/ sauté for 1 minutes.
4. Add all spices except amchur and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes till the bell peppers are slightly tender.
5. Now add besan
6. Stir vehemently to avoid besan lumping Golden rule, the bell peppers must look coated with besan, if you think besan is less, add a little more)
7. Continue stirring for 5 minutes until besan turns into a pretty mustards color or the aroma of cooked besan fills the room or both.
8. Add amchur and now close the pan for another minute.

The main thing is keep an eye on the besan- it should not stick to the pan or burn! This is where I used to go wrong all the time, either the besan turned out under cooked or over cooked or bell peppers were gooey soft or too hard. Trust me, practice makes this dish perfect. Now I can make it with my eyes closed.... of course it’s not even close to my MIL's flavor... I honestly feel my FIL told me it tastes nice to not have it yet again!
To his defense, on there return, the first thing he wanted to have was: My hand's besan mirchi! My MIL feels happy that I carry the tradition forward!

I am a sucker for all filminess! Hehe

Note: Yes, you can replace the Bell Peppers with any kind of Mirchi- but just make sure you can handle the spice of the other types.

Note 2: This picture is from one of my 'good attempts'! And Was served at a party and am happy to say there were no left overs!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Small Break!

Its been a busy couple of weeks in our household. Will be back in a bit!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lunch In Paris: Fond memories revisted

It was actually a perfect time to read 'Lunch in Paris' With my 30th Birthday looming over my head and me having a mini-freak-out session. It was actually wonderful. Reading the memoir, it took be back in time when my husband and I were dating. Not technically Boyfriend-girlfriend, but just kind of figuring out and seeing if 'this is it' for us.
As I read about the nooks of Paris that the author went, I remembered the crazy lunches, weekend getaways, random trips we both made while 'sorta dating' and making very fond memories. SD and I are bitten willingly with travel bugs. No complains. We lived the farthest possible away from each other, diagonally opposite in US- I was enjoying my sunny California and he the four season filled East Coast! But the distance only made us grow closer.
With time some details have been forgotten but not the meals- I still remember the Thai food we had, our first meal together- He ordered some ugly coconut milk filled dish and I hated it. I vowed to never let him order my meals again. I remember cooking a surprise dessert for him. An Indian dessert which takes over two hours of cooking time. I made it and excitedly asked him to eat it. As he took the first morsel in, I exclaimed- "Oh no, I forgot to add sugar" Yes, no sugar in dessert.
The meals, the smells, the trips, the conversations all came alive as I snuggled in my Comforter and read 'Lunch In Paris'.

Note: I was sent this for guilty reading pleasure as a member of From Left to Write Book Club at no cost to me. However the views expressed are solely mine.