The Lost Art of Good Conversation by Sakyong Mipham-Book Review

In a world full of screens, we forget to look up and make eye contact, and then use our breath to create words, and our ears to listen. I like the simplicity in the book! It come from a Buddhist perspective, but it’s open for everyone to take in and learn from and use.

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My favorite part that resonated with me was the one on Being Kind. For the simple reason that  it is just nice. Especially now in a world full of uncertainty…..being kind as a base for all decisions is a damn good idea!

It’s a quick read full of wonderful chapters:

  1. Why Conversation?
  2. Be Mindful
  3. Be Kind
  4. Enrich your World
  5. Strive for Conversational Excellence

I think anyone would enjoy and have something to gain from reading this book!!!!  See below for pictures!

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New year…Let’s Begin!

2018 is here! So as another year begins, a new list…specifically…a new 48 things to do before I am 49 list. And since my birthday was in December, I am already behind a few days.

But not to worry, as I am keeping my list simple, doable, and pleasant! Those things in RED means they are done, or in the process. I will elaborate on each through this year to help me document.

  1. Walk/Jog/Run-make it a habit.
  2. Write and write some more.
  3. Purge and Purge and donate alot, thus clean out sheds.
  4. See movies in theaters with my girls. Jumanji 1/2/18
  5. See movies in theaters with my parents and Raj.
  6. Stop forcing Trevis to do things I want to do-ask him just once, but do them..even if alone. Jumanji 1/2/18.
  7. Make home-made pizza.
  8. Drink lots more water….no fancy gadgets…just a glass filled with water a few more times a day more than you do now.
  9. Regular walks with Slider-she likes to walk too!
  10. Do one 5k on my own every month. No medals that you send money away for. Instead, after you finish one, donate the money you would have spent on a virtual 5k, to a charity.
  11. Volunteer.
  12. Give more hugs…cause when you give them, you are really getting them too!
  13. Work harder at work. Cause it feels good to work hard.
  14. Find paint color for inside house and get samples.
  15. Paint inside of house.
  16. Detail & Clean car.
  17. Purge old photos from phone.
  18. Cook with the girls.
  19. Bike with Tam to school.
  20. Be calm and learn to breath before arguing.
  21. Paint rocks and leave them in places for others to find.
  22. Geo Cache with the girls.
  23. Make lists in bullet journal.
  24. Print this out and post. 1/2/18
  25. Attend Women’s rally in slo and other place if possible.
  26. Learn to Knit.
  27. Yoga when you can.
  28. Make valentines day treats. Cause Heart day is a sweet day.
  29. See dermatologist for skin tags and body scan.
  30. Write letters to girls for them to open later in their lives.
  31. Build something out of wood.
  32. Repaint the mailbox stand.
  33. Make calendar for parents.
  34. Visit Trevis’s parents.
  35. Call friends to say hi.
  36. Send letters to say hi.
  37. See butterflies.
  38. Take girls to Getty Museum.
  39. Visit Muir Woods.
  40. Make sandcastle.
  41. Compile book of poetry, your own.
  42. Plan a big party for your 50th!-Even though it’s two years away!
  43. Hang out with Brother more than you did last year.
  44. Be thrifty when spending money and make it money well spent.
  45. Call mom and dad once a week.
  46. Add more to this list if you want.
  47. Learn to let go. It’s ok cause those things meant to stay, will.
  48. Smile more.

+get more sleep

+attempt to make Timpano (yes! From one of my favorites movies, Big Night!

A very good day!

Today I turned 48……

1. Woke up with kisses and hugs from Trev and the girls!

2. Hung at home with a sick Tam for a bit, and then got call from parents in India!

3. Went into work where desk was decorated! Thanks to Dani and my team!

4. Went to Bar Method and was surprised with cheers and flowers and a great workout!

5. Went back to work to an amazing salad bar potluck! Love the people I work with!

6. Then played bowling with teammates at work with these amazing oversized pins!

7. Drove to basketball practice and was sung happy birthday twice by the team and parents!

8. On way home got free Sylvester’s burger and free Starbucks drink. Saved for later!

9. When home was sung to again by family and opened tub of popcorn, new earbuds, and a sweet handmade card!

10. Went back out to cal poly gym to workout with Idona and Chuy! And Raj and fam called and they sing it again!

11. After, Idona treated me out to dinner at Santa Cruz Taqueria and girl chat time!

12. Came home and read all my messages from near and far!

It was a damn good day!!!


Vibrant India-Cookbook Book Review


Going back to my roots with this one! Chitra Agrawal, chef and owner of Brooklyn Delhi has brought me back to tastes of turmeric, garam masala and coconut curry!



This cookbook is full of tips and techniques for Indian cooking! I love the sections on spices, as it gives wonderful descriptions of each kind of spice. There are over 200 recipes to try! I love popcorn, so I was pleasantly surprised by the Ben’s Curry Leaf Popcorn. So damn delish!



I’m looking forward to trying all the different, exciting recipes! Ands you will also enjoy reading about the author and her traditions in her family and cooking!


FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

My uncle’s wise words revisited!

This is from my Uncle Ashwin, in India back in 2008. I love this and wanted to share it here! It really is timeless!


1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured  in plants.
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy,  Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5..       Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
6.       Play more games.
7.       Read more books than you did in 2008.
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.     Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.


11.    Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake.
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything.
28.    Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD (whatever you believe) heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come.
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.–

Cookbook Review-Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations, Pure Yum!


This cookbook is beautiful! Right away, I noticed how heavy it was and new it would be substantial! Every recipe has a color picture, and I love the theme of celebrations, allowing you to cook gluten-free, dairy free and paleo recipes for all the special occasions you can handle!

In the back of the book resides a cool special diets index. This cookbook is now one of my goto’s. It really is for everyone regardless of your eating needs, but all the more special because not only will it taste great but will be better for you!

FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Remote…Making a case for more productivity and work life balance!

Enjoyed this quick read! Although it took me some time to post, it was very easy to read! I’m always interested in way to make work life balance more feasible. I feel very lucky that I work for a company that promotes this already!

This book reads like a manual for those companies that don’t yet think this way, but want to! It makes sense to allow for this, especially as we move into workloads that are as demanding, if not more, than family life. And the whole common sense about this is that it works! Remote illustrates  that working remotely is good for everything: family, balance, environment and productivity!

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What’s your Purpose?

finding purpose white on black

I created this a few years ago when I was pondering this very question. I actually went onto facebook and asked, “What is your purpose?” Simple. the responses is what I then used to create this subway art piece. It’s so  much more than a good job and things. It goes much deeper than that. I’ve posted this before but feeling the need to bring this back front and center! Hopefully it will make you think!

Dancing that brought me to tears and grateful for it!


You may or may not know that I have recently taken up dancing. It actually was first brought to my attention by Angela, who told me about this…mmm, over a year ago. Then more recently by Jessica. As fate would have it, I had the time and took it on myself as a personal created as part of my work goal (Yes, I work for a pretty kick-awesome place…but that’s another story!) I am going to take a dance class.

Every Thursday now, for the past few months, I join other women and men and take an Adult Contemporary Dance class at Studio at Ryans American Dance in San Luis Obispo. When I first joined it was more for the workout…and boy did we get worked! I love the fact that I was a sweaty mess and had to take a shower again by the time I got home, but it is so well worth it!

What’s even more amazing is the community of people I get to be part of every Thursday night. Serendipity, karma, laws of the universe…call it what you want…but this group was brought together for a reason…and whatever reason we each hold in our hearts, we treasure as sacred. No judgement…just a love to move! AndI brought my friend Anne into it to!

Tonight’s class was an exceptionally amazing one. Our teacher, Josh, recently had a loved one pass away. Jessica and Angela went in to action and via social media, we were able to come together to provide him a care package for his trip this weekend. You have to understand , Josh is simply a loving, kind, genuine, soul who loves to teach. I feel very fortunate to be his “student,” but really he treats us more as his friends…which I am happy to say…we are! He often says how he looks forward to our class each week because of how we are really so eager to learn!

This week he created dance numbers for most of his classes as a tribute to his Nanna. We did our usual warm up, but it seemed tonight we were all in sync and I felt myself breathing harder and pushing my warm up limits. Then we learned this beautiful routine…full of flow and ability to take to it and run with it kind of feel……By the end of our class we were feeling elated and connected. Julia asked to take video of the routine…I love her for this! She does this for all the routines and then drop boxes them to us to study and use. Normally we would all also join, but we all just wanted to see Josh….see him perform and let go. He had the whole hanger floor to himself…and he flew! In those few moments of watching him….we were moved with such emotion to tears. Now most of you know me and I cry at just about everything! But I realized I have never been moved to tears through the sole act of movement and dance. Watching him dance…with such passion, care, and freedom….was amazing to see. I was transported…as if to a tribute…which it was, that was breathtaking and full of grace, humility and love. We all felt it, as did he and we thanked each other for the experience.

It’s one of those experiences in life that you can’t quite explain to it’s full vivid glory (I tried, but still…my words don’t do it justice)! We all realized and take to heart that what we have is something simple but something so special….every Thursday night, we come together to stretch, to learn….and to fly.  I am so very grateful for all the people here and no doubt more to come……..for those who will soon be joining…you are so lucky! To those of us already there… are we! Thanks for this.

As I was driving home tonight…I was thinking of the dance… I had to stop to take pictures of the sky as I always look to the sky to talk to those who forever remain in my thoughts. Look up and know they are alway there for you. Then do something specials for yourself…cook something new, dive into a good book, take a dance class…..and you to will learn and yearn to fly…and you never know…just may find a community of kindred spirits too! Kara, Cathie, Angela, Jessica, Julia, Anne, Josh…..and more….Thank you!



IMG_2392(Little dark spec in the sky above and to the right of the crescent moon was a balloon…a sweet sign if you ask me!)