Have I really been MIA that long? My bad, I hope no one noticed! Yeah, sometimes life happens and it becomes difficult to write with a preoccupied mind. I’m trying though! As I sit back and reflect on 2015, I’d say it was a pretty rough year for my family with my dad’s passing, but there were also some great moments that I would like to share with you.
My dad passed away peacefully in his sleep in Ocean City, NJ, in the midst of all his family. His passing came as a shock to all of us, and has been especially hard on my mom. It is a rather strange feeling losing a parent, it almost feels as though that sense of security is gone along with a part of yourself. Although they say time heals all wounds, I believe in time the pain lessens, people heal, but the pain is never completely gone. We all miss him and I hope wherever he is, he is at peace and in a much better place.
Aside from my dad, my family and friends are all in good health. Although I feel okay physically, I need to see a doctor for my annual checkup, it’s been years since I’ve gotten a physical, so much for being a “health food blogger.” Shame on me!
My brother turned 50 this year! A huge milestone! This past spring he enjoyed the biggest surprise party, and I’m thrilled that my dad was still around to celebrate his big day. Despite our huge age gap, it’s nice having a much older brother who plays several roles in my life, some of which are a father figure, a role model and a friend. He pretty much tells me what to do, and I blindly listen.
My sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 25th anniversary this year! It was the party of the year celebrated with close family and friends. Marriage is hard work – hats off to any couple who crosses these big milestones, and in my opinion each milestone should be celebrated.
My eldest niece, Salena, took part in a study abroad program for a semester in Germany. I had a chance to visit her in Germany this past fall and I’m glad she seized the opportunity and traveled all over Europe. Although Salena was nervous moving to Germany for 4 months, she is happy she did, and I see a newfound level of confidence in her. I’m so proud of you for doing this, Salena.
My niece, Sonia, started college this past year. Sonia is the kid who used to be so shy with strangers, but now she is the new and improved Sonia who has totally stepped out of her shell after just a month in college. I’m so glad she loves college and it has been such a positive experience for her.
With a little more time on my hands, my friendships have definitely grown stronger. My closest friends and I are making a conscious effort to meet more often for a Girls Night In/Out. I find that in my 30s, I’m so much happier just going out to dinner and/or staying in to enjoy some tea and dessert. Hmmm… guess I’m growing up!
In particular, my friend, Anu, has been my rock, my strength and has been there for me emotionally. There really isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t hear from her. Her personality is so laid-back, calm and rational, so she rarely loses her patience with me. She enables me to see the big picture quite clearly when I tend to be pessimistic. Who needs therapy when you have friends who will listen for free? I always tell her to consider being a therapist as her backup occupation.
My friend, Jhiane, has been so extremely busy with her 2 year old, but yet she still manages to call me a few times a week just to check in. Despite being so sleep deprived, she will stay on the phone with me until she can’t handle it anymore. She is one of the most giving people I know who isn’t the slightest bit judgmental. She’s my one friend “with kids” who will set aside time to go clubbing with me, and do all the things my 27 year old self would do. She’s one friend who is always up for a good time. Her personality is vivacious, her spirit is contagious.
And as for me…
I feel my year was overall pretty stagnant. 2015 started off on a negative note, but I’m ending the year with a more positive mindset. I’m learning the art of letting go and surrounding myself with positive energy.
This year I ate a whole lot of eggs. Based on my Instagram posts, I’m sure you already figured that out. I’ve most certainly mastered the art of making eggs. Additionally they’re just so convenient to make, high in protein and good for you. It’s great for days you really don’t feel like cooking, which is admittedly quite often. I hope 2016 will inspire me to cook other things besides eggs because I just can’t imagine consuming so many more eggs.
This year I finally took my first vacation after 21 months. For someone who claims to be a wanderlust, I surprised myself that I waited that long. I headed to sunny Aruba with my friend. It was the perfect getaway we both needed with good company, good food, good drinks, beach, sun and sand.
Our adventure then continued onto Heidelberg, Germany, to visit my eldest niece, Salena. The trip ended with a weekend in Prague, Czech Republic. Prague is absolutely beautiful and one of the most magical places I have ever been to (posts are coming soon, promise).
my artistic side
Or so i think! This year I took one of those Paint Wine Classes in New York. Van Gogh is my favorite artist and I surprised myself with the result of this painting – Starry Night. Certainly not a masterpiece, but it’s pretty good. In the coming years, I’d like to start challenging myself and trying new things outside of my comfort zone.
cooking with a chef
In Aruba, I had the opportunity to cook with Executive Chef Teddy Bouroncle of the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. It was my first time actually cooking this closely with a chef. We made Keshi Yena which is essentially chicken sauteed with peppers, onions, raisins, olives along with other spices and then filled inside a lined ramekin with lots and lots of Gouda cheese. The chef and I then sat down for lunch. It was a wonderful experience where I learned about Chef Teddy Bouroncle and what inspired him to become a chef. I’ll treasure the experience forever.
My blog hit a milestone of 5 million views this past year. I’m so thankful people are still visiting despite the fact that I haven’t blogged in a while. My goal for 2016 is to at least start posting once a week and build momentum. Blogging is an outlet for me and gives me so much joy, a hobby that got me through some really rough times in my life. I need to just focus, and not lose sight of what is important to me and what makes me happy.
Perhaps my biggest accomplishment in 2015! In 2014 I lost about 15 pounds without really trying or meaning to, I blame it on loss of appetite due to stress amongst other things. I probably needed to lose 5 pounds, but 15 pounds was a bit drastic. My family and friends were concerned about my health and well-being. My goal this past year was to gain 5-7 pounds, grow a bigger butt (YA), and believe it or not, it isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially if you want to gain muscle weight. And so I decided to invest in myself and do it right, I hired a personal trainer.
Hiring a trainer was the best investment of my life! I learned A LOT! I learned to workout more effectively. I’m ecstatic that I finally gained 5 pounds, hopefully muscle weight, but regardless I feel stronger, healthier and happier. I’m eating more than just salads and fruits. My appetite is back. My family and friends no longer tell me that I’m too skinny and blah blah blah. I tell you, Indian people have no tact, especially the Aunties!
happy new year
To my family, my friends, and all my fellow readers… I wish you all a very happy and safe New Years. Let’s hope 2016 will be our year! Here is to wishing all of us and our loved ones excellent health, delicious food, continued success, and lots of love & happiness!
TELL ME: What are your plans for New Years? Staying in? Going out? Don’t care for New Years?