EVERYDAY GOLDEN

London Diaries – Serious Business in Aldwych



I have been reading, writing, organizing and sorting through all the notes from the latest trip and its taking forever to sort through nearly a 1000 photos and its go me impatient. So I thought I would do a short post about a rather rare hour that we spent one of London’s business districts. Aldwych is one of the main business areas in the City of Westminster and home to many Embassies and offices, including TheP’s London office. Since I had to set up my spare phone on the fly and needed wifi, I used their lobby to get all my admin done. Its a shared workspace building with modern interiors and cool neon lights wall art and their very own in house coffee shop with a Barista. While I was busy trying to soak in the atmosphere of a lively, vibrant workspace full of grown ups, Adude was busy taking in the views of the city.

I would highly recommend this area between Covent Garden and Holborn to serve as a base. You are close enough to Covent Garden and The Strand, but its a quieter, less touristy area with excellent access to travel amenities, including the Hop on Hop off tour busses.

7 Things you can do near Aldwych

  • Walk to Trafalgar Square and look at the sculptures
  • Walk to the markets in Covent Garden
  • Take in a show at the West End
  • Have Afternoon Tea at The Savoy Hotel
  • Visit Somerset House and marvel at the artwork
  • Walk to the Thames and take in the views
  • See Cleopatra’s Needle, an Egyptian Obelisk in the middle of London
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Rounding Up

Its the end of January. Almost.

The year stretches in front of me with so much adventure, potential and the unknown. I keep thinking 2016 and 2017 were going to be the biggest years of my life and here again I stand, staring down into 2018 going – This is it, this is the year thats going to define your life!

Well one month down, 11 to go and I guess we’ll find out if 2018 is indeed the year of all years.

Meanwhile in more mundane things

I finally kicked off the jetlag after coming back from Europe. I actually stayed up way too late and woke up later than I wanted to. #bodyclockreset

Friday, I went to the NC Museum of Science and Downtown Raleigh on a field trip for Adude’s class and really enjoyed a slow, calm morning in the heart of the city.

Saturday was my community Saraswati Puja. I typically give this event a skip, but I swung by for an hour and had a chance to wear my turquoise kurta and catch up with my Bong friends, although some of my fave people were missing. Saturday night, I ran out to our local Aussie bar to celebrate Australia Day.

Sunday was a much needed relaxing day, where we bummed around the house and enjoyed a rainy day indoors. Rainy day means Instant Pot Spaghetti and Fresh Lime Cocktail

And now here I sit ready to deal with the weeks ahead.

 

 

 

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10 days in Europe – London, Cambridge & Copenhagen – Itinerary and Overview

10 days in Europe

 

My 2018 started off with two trips. A quick little getaway over new years in the mountains of North Carolina and 10 days in Europe. While one was a sweet little retreat to escape the world, Europe was a major life moment for me, While I have travelled extensively in North America and Asia and visited Africa, I had never done the classic Europe Holiday. You know the “European Tour”, the one that everyone from 19th Century young male protagonists, Bohemians of the early 20th century, hippies of the 60s and the 70s, to the modern college students who study abroad, the life epoch, the trip that makes you truly cosmopolitan because Europe has some of the greatest cities of the world!

My expectations were high and I was not disappointed. The trip had some classic travel mishaps – stolen phones, nearly missed connections, questionable accommodation, but overall it was absolutely fantasic!

I’ll do more detailed posts on the trip but to give a brief overview this is how I split up my ten days –

I flew into Heathrow and spent the first night in London.

Took the train to Cambridge and spent the weekend (2 nights),

Returned to London for 3 more nights

And then flew to Copenhagen for 3 more nights. I flew back from Copenhagen with a connection in London.

The itinerary worked out well but if I could go back and do it differently, I would add more time in London, but then again, I will always argue for more time in London. Also, if I do visit Denmark again, I would want to get out of the city to see more of the countryside. But with that being said, I like to be immersed in my travels and not rush from place to place, so in that respect, spending a continuous stretch of time in Copenhagen, truly gave me a sense of the place.

 

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101 in 1001

 

What better way to kick of the new year and blogging by a good old fashioned list. I saw this list over here on It starts With Coffee and then on googling a bit more found the “Day Zero Project” a community of people setting goals. We all could use a little support and accountability for reaching our dreams so it got me thinking, why not put out my intentions and wishes for the next few years. I like that this format allows for some quick wins and some that require more thought and planning. I don’t know about you but I get discouraged if I don’t see at least a little bit of results.

Here they are in no particular order my list from Jan 2018 – Dec 2020

 

1. Master three basic dinner meals – Chicken Tinga for tacos, Fish Curry, Spaghetti Carbonara

2. Learn to cook one  three course difficult meal – fancy app, fancy entree, fancy dessert

3. Use a grill – either indoor or outdoor

4. Learn to make 5 kinds of Dal – Mooshurir dal, (bengali style), Dal fry, Ma ki Dal, Moroccan Style Lentil soup, Channa or Rajma Masala

5.  Make Yogurt at home in the Instant Pot

6. Buy a House

7. Buy a new car

8. Buy a DSLR camera

9. Get the Iphone X

10. Buy good quality  matching luggage

11. Join a dance class

12. Read two books a month

13. Attempt Hot Yoga

14. Get the Global entry for US

15. Do a couch to 5k

16. Master one make up/hair trick – perfect cat eye

17. Learn to use a curling iron properly

18. Update my music playlists instead of constantly skipping old songs that I no longer listen to

19. Find 6 new podcasts each year

20. See a broadway musical

21. Have one no spend day a month

22. Do 30 meatless mondays a year (roughtly 2x a month )

23. Organize all of Adude’s baby clothes and baby gear

24. Declutter and sell everything in this house that I haven’t used in 6 months

25. Invest in a travel crossbody satchel

26.  Self Host my blog

27. Learn how to better use photoshop

28. Meet other bloggers locally

29. Attend a  Social Media Conference

30. Brand and streamline my social media properly with the blog

31. Modify one portion of my blog by editing actual code

32. Participate in a Week/Day in a life series

33. Blog consistently, 3x a week

34. Find a blog mentor

35. Join and participate actively in Blog groups on social media and support my fellow bloggers

36. Contribute a guest post on a blog

37. Pitch an article

38. Have dinner with my parents once a week

39. Plan a trip with my mom

40. Have one girls night a month

41. Go on a girls trip once a year

42. Have A dude meet his family in India

43. Go on a hike in the Himalayas with my dad.

44. Throw a fancy dinner party for friends

45. Take a life skill class – cooking, baking, calligraphy, knitting

46. Plan and take TheP out on a date

47. Have a grown up only getaway with TheP

48. Have a family reunion somewhere exotic

49. Visit all my cousins in one year ( USA, India, Australia, Singapore, Canada)

50. Have a curry or chili night for friends

51. Start a new TV series with the Partner (TheP)

52. Eat at Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavna

53. Try spin class

54. See an NFL Panthers game at Charlotte

55. Attend a grown up event at the Museum of Life and Science

56. Spend the day at NCMA

57. Try every new restaurant in Durham

58. Complete Matador networks Things to do in Raleigh/Durham

59. Take a day trip to a State Park

60. Spend a day in Hillsborough

61. Visit The Raleigh Farmers market

62. Have a staycation at the The Durham Hotel.

63. Take Adude to Yellowstone

64. Stay in all the original lodges in the National Parks – Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Shenandoah

65. Go to Paris

66.Travel to UT to see my friends and for a ski trip

67. Go to a Nordic country

68. Go back to Africa but visit a different country

69. Go to Mexico

70. Go to London

71. Fly business class on an international trip

72. Visit all 7 continents

73. Go to Volcano Bay in Universal, since we messed it up last time

74. Go to Amsterdam

75. Learn to snowboard better

76. Do yoga 3x a week

77. Join a book club

78. Watch 5 Oscar wining movies I’ve never seen

79. Watch a comedy show that TheP adores

80. Buy starbucks for the car behind me in drive through

81. Get my car detailed inside and out

82. Drive a car on the other side of the road (aka outside the USA)

83. Get highlights in my hair or a brazilian blowout

84. Pick up tennis again and do a spring clinic with Adude

85. Listen to more new artists – One a month

86. Organize and create digital images of all my important papers

87. Make a will

88. Back up, organize and declutter all my photos

89. DIY something for the house

90. Buy one piece of original artwork on canvas

91. Throw Adude a double digit birthday party

92. Purge my closet once a year

93. Start a daily skin care routine

94. Take a photography class

94. Bake cookies from scratch with A dude

96. Volunteer in Adude’s classroom/ school

97.Volunteer and fundraise for an NGO

98. Make one photobook a year

99. Perform once a year

100. Share one ongoing project with people I know IRL

101. Tweak this list every 6 months

Do you make long term lists? What are yours?

 

 

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Love and Upma

I made Upma. If my mother reads this blog, she would be shocked, I hated upma all through my childhood, the texture, the onions, the taste, all of it was unpalatable to my poor ignorant tastebuds.

And then I came to the NC and had grits and it was love at first taste. Of course, Shrimp and Grits is an amazing dish with strong roots in Gullah cuisine, but I love plain grits in butter and even those instant quaker packets as well. After my love of grits was cemented where I was literally eating grits on a daily basis that it got me thinking about Upma. Upma is made of rava or semolina a derivative of cream of wheat, while grits is coarse ground cornmeal. The essence is the same however, a sticky, gooey highly textured dish that can be seasoned either savory or sweet. I am partial to the savory versions of both Rava and Grits. I like my grits, cheesy and spicy with a little of fat (bacon, butter) and of course shrimp. My upma I like spicy with mustard seeds and curry leaves and lots of ghee (clarified butter). I am still opening myself up to experimenting with upma, adding different toppings – nuts and raisins (YES!!!), veggies (meh), cheese ( I really want to try this soon).

But my point is, I learned to appreciate a familiar food that I had rejected only after I had found an unfamiliar version first.

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Four And a Half

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Four and a half is challenging. Its not the terrible twos…actually the twos weren’t that bad at all. The threes were a bit rough. But this has been the most challenging. Four and a half is defiance. four and a half is letting go off my hand and running off in the middle of the mall. Four and a half is back to back time outs. Four and a half is a constant state of negotiation. I can handle the dawdling over shoes or breakfast, I can handle the whining even. I can’t handle the defiance, that moment when he just says no when I ask him to do something. There are fewer and fewer cuddles, more and more jumping and wrestling.

But four and a half is also sweet. I adore the non stop chatter coming from the back seat when we drive around. I love that he wants to share everything with me and I’m still his favorite person. This conversation sums up all the awesomeness of four and a half

Me: Thanks for helping me with the laundry, you have been a really good helper today

Bun: yeah, I am a good helper Are you glad you borned me?

Me: Yes, I’m glad I borned you

Bun:I’m glad you picked me.

.:Heart Bursts:.

And the five minutes later we are back to the spitting and shouting and yelling.

Four and a half will also pass and maybe I’ll say it wasn’t so bad. But right now…its a challenge

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Summer in Durham

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It will be my 10 year anniversary in Durham this august. I can’t believe this has been my home for nearly a decade now. One of the things I fell in love with when I first moved to Durham, were the Magnolia trees. Magnolia blooms are spectacular and they are all over Durham. This photo was taken on one of  Bun and my walks around our neighborhood park. Isn’t it lovely?

This summer is going to be hot and humid with ferocious afternoon thunderstorms and it will be filled with Magnolias

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This Last day of May…

untitled-8 ..is bittersweet. All the sunshine and the flowers-intoxicating. A sweet distraction from the big changes that are happening in our lives. The first half of 2014 is almost over and I feel like I am just waking up and seeing all the changes that are still yet to come. Durham suddenly feels a little less like home.has been bittersweet.Our favorite family in Durham had to move away. They are now an ocean away and although I am looking forward to visiting them, Durham feels a little empty. Bun also  just finished his last day at Greenwood School which was a huge part of our lives for the last year and a half. Soon there will be new schedules, new camps and new Pre-K. We’ll have to find new buddies at the park and step outside our comfort zone to make new playdates. June will different. Thats the meaning of May The photos are from a recent visit to the American Tobacco Campus in Downtown Durham untitled-12 untitled-11 untitled-10

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Mothersday

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I worked a little on Mothersday, yes Mothersday, like Sunday, only sweeter. Had a mini tantrum, felt unloved due to excess technology in the house. Brunch at City Beverage or as Bun calls it CityEv. My sweet boy gave me some sweet basil. Home for some quiet and more tech, only this time it was my turn.

The afternoon was filled with trips to the garden shops and hardware stores. Bookshops and Homegoods, and finally ending at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham. One of my most favorite spaces in Durham.

Garlic fries and golden light and smiling, giggling running boy. Just felt so right.

 

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