A day out in Lehigh|Travel Notes And Thoughts

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Thank you for inviting me. Thank you for showing me around. Thank you for showing your amazing cooking skills Ashi <3

One of the perfect summer day. Everything was just so good. The weather, The food, The people, The university. I was so happy inside.

Lehigh University

Every time I visit this place, I feel like I’m walking in and between 18th and 21 st century. There is old buildings, new buildings. All soothing to my eyes. Especially the old buildings.

The green grass actually made me believe like that ‘SUMMER IS HERE’. I haven’t seen such a big green meadow other than in a park. No more to say, it was beautiful.

Became a bit adventurous here. Sorry, Amma. I know you are reading this. I swear, I won’t do that again  😛

I don’t know from where I learned all these weird poses. Most probably from all those Instagram pictures that right now I’m addicted to.

 

 

To my mother and father|Notes And Thoughts

Maybe this will be the most confused post that I’m ever going to write till date. Today I just want to give a bit of gratitude to my Amma and Achan. I know for sure that they will be reading this post. Thank you so much for taking care of me. Thank you so much for bearing all my tantrums. I know, even if the whole world is against my opinions you two will be there to support me. I don’t have any words to display my love.

Amma Achan

There were days that I was not feeling okay. I know how hard it was for you two to see me going through that pain.

There were comments about my body structure, about my body weight and all. I’m genetically skinny by nature. No matter whatever I put into my body I won’t get fat(except fast foods). When I was young it was really hard to accept that fact. Because I was against the society norms body structure.

I’m not ready to put on weight by daily eating McDonald’s cheeseburger. I’m not going to do that.

I have never heard a comical comment about this body matter thing from my parents. Even if they are raising their concern about my health I can clearly understand the love in their voices. It’s genuine. My grandmother(father’s Mother) used to always tease me about this. But no matter what, I know how much she loves me. I miss her a lot. I love you.

I can clearly differentiate the difference between the genuine love and the fake love that is showing towards me by the people. I’m so grateful for all the real love. Growing up, I have learned a lot about this.

Currently, I’m reading a book by Sarah Knight’s ‘The life-changing magic of Not giving a fuck’. I think my father have already read this in his dreams. It’s a book about giving too many fucks in our life. Pleasing other peoples. Doing the things for others, that are against our wishes and desires. Salute to him.

P.S- I don’t have the courage to be you, my dear father. Please be you. Never ever change your personality for others. I know how much you care about others ‘if you like them’.

Macy’s flower show and Samsung store

who is this?
Who is this?

Who is this in the picture. I seriously had no idea. It was on our way to the Macy’s flower show. After we came home I googled it and this was the statue of Horace Greeley who was the founder and editor of the New-York Tribune.

We stopped here to get some empanadas. I love to snack  :-P.

He is totally confused what to get. Next stop Macy’s flower show. Expectation- Very high 😀

It was completely different from what we can see in a flower show. And the end result. I love the creativity.

 

 

 

If you are going with the normal expectation for a flower show, you will definitely not like it. If you can enjoy the creativity and effort behind it, it’s an eye-pleasing show plus the bonus display of all the branded bags  :-D.

Next stop Samsung store

What about seeing our picture on a big screen. YAY, I’m excited. And here it is.

And the day ends 🙂

 

 

My favorite photos of me and my <3

My favorite photos of me definitely mean the photos that I’m looking good :-). Not always. Sometimes I just love some pictures if the background is good and if it’s candid(conditions apply- I have to look good in that).

near rockefellar centre
Rockefeller centre

This was taken when we went to the see the large Christmas tree placed annually in Rockefeller Center. It was worth one time. But not again 😛

maryland
A farmhouse in Maryland

AHH….. I love the scenery of this place. Waking up to the view of a meadow in the backyard with horses was a dream come true. Except for the dust which was probably there in the house till we came 🙂

Srilankan Restaurant

How can I not post a picture of my husband without a Restaurant in it.

Washington dc

The only thing I remember when we went there was, it was freaking cold.

Philadelphia

Most memorable days. WALKING THROUGH THE RAIN. It was slightly raining when we reach there. But it was perfect for me. I love rain. Drinking coffee, watching rain. It was so good.

Pennsylvania

Autumn colors at its best <3. Thanks to my favorite photographer(Ashi)

Korean Vegetable Japchae(Noodles stir fried with vegetables)

Finally, I got a chance to make this colorful dish which is originally from Korea. I’m a great fan of  Korean drama’s, the reason because is quite obvious for me. I like different cultures. By watching these I will get a sneak peak of all that is going around there. What they are wearing, what food they are eating, How they are traveling etc. Because of these drama’s, I become a great admirer of their cuisine too.

japchae
Vegetable japchae

I started searching in youtube for the Korean recipes to make at home. There were a lot. I like Japchae among all because it’s colorful, tasty. It’s not a very easy thing to make. But the effort is worth everything. Japchae is usually made with beef. I’m not using beef and I’m replacing that with portabello mushrooms. It tastes exactly the same.

The carrots should be thin like matchsticks. Since I’m not a cutting expert, it took a long time to complete everything.

Marinated Portabello mushrooms
Blanched spinach

Vegetable Japchae

Ingredients(serves 4):

6-7 portobello mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons sugar

2 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil plus 1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1 egg yolk

4 ounces spinach, washed and drained

4 ounces of sweet potato starch noodles

2 to 3 green onions

1 medium white onion

Half cup enoki mushrooms or white mushrooms

1 medium carrot

ground black pepper- As needed

salt- As needed

vegetable oil- 2 tbsp

Method:

Marinate the portobello mushrooms with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, pepper powder, salt, garlic, 1 tsp sugar. Set aside.

Blanch the spinach and squeeze out excess water. Season it with soy sauce, sesame oil as needed.

Prepare the noodles by adding it to the boiling water for 5 minutes. Wash it with the cold water to stop the cooking.Season it with 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil.

Cut the carrots, green onion, and white onion lengthwise.

Heat the skillet. Add the onion and green onion till onion is translucent. Add a little bit of salt. Add it to the cooked noodles.

In the heated skillet, add the enoki mushrooms with a bit of salt and saute till its done and add it to the noodles.

Add the carrots to the skillet. Saute till its cooked and add it to the noodles.

Put the marinated mushrooms into the skillet and saute till it’s done and add it to the noodles.

Finally, Add the seasoned spinach and egg yolk Omelette(cut lengthwise) into the noodles and mix everything well by adding remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, garlic and toasted sesame seeds.

Ps-Enjoy it with Kimchi(optional)

My favorite Fiction Books|Notes And Thoughts

My favorite place in the entire planet would be a book shop. Even if I’m not buying anything, I love to roam inside each and every corner. I love the smell of new books and it’s always addicting.

As a part of my new year resolution, I’m not buying any new books this year. Because I have collected enough books last year I don’t have much space to store it. It’s always hard to throw away books. I won’t do that except donating books.

Eat Pray Love
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Among my entire book collection, there are few books that will always be so close to my heart. Because it’s my favorite, that doesn’t mean it has to be everyone’s favorite. Each and every one in this planet has their own interests and likes and I respect that.

White tiger by Aravind Adiga. I was so hesitant to read this book. When I started it, it was finished unknowingly. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year.

And there were none by Agatha Christie. It’s a mystery novel. While reading this I felt like I was in the story. I was with the characters. I was terrified when I read the climax. It’s such a great book and considered as one of her masterpiece work.

M.T Vasudevan Nair is one of my favorite novelists. He is a prolific and versatile writer in modern Malayalam literature. Thanks to my mother who had a huge collection of his writings. Few of my favorites are Nalukettu, Asuravithu and Iruttinte Athmavu.

S.K Pottekadu(S. K. Pottekkatt, is a famous Malayalam writer from Kerala state, South India), the man who gave me the passion for traveling. I have traveled to Finland many times through his book(Paathira Sooryante Naatil). I have been to Bali many times through his book(Balidweep), it’s beautiful 🙂

PS- If I’m going to explain all of my favorite books and authors, this will be a never ending blog. So it’s better to end before getting bored.

A day out in Central Park,New York City|Notes and thoughts

The weather was so good that I couldn’t resist myself going back into nature rather than sitting on the couch for the whole day. We started a bit early at about 11.30 a.m, that’s a lot early for us. The destination was the central park, it’s my third time and never got bored of this place. Expectedly the park was so full because of this perfect weather.

central park
Central Park

We spend almost 1-2 hours there. It’s still an amusement to me that this luscious green park (now there is not a single greenery, because of the winter season) with almost 843 acres situated in the middle of this huge megapolis.

Cleopatra's Needle
Cleopatra’s Needle

 

King Jagiello Monument
King Jagiello Monument

The park was so lively. I can sit there for the whole day watching these wonderful peoples around me. But I have to consider my poor husband too who will easily get bored if he didn’t get anything to eat in a gap of 1 hour. Remember we just had our breakfast at 10 a.m before starting from home 😛 . There was a band show going on, someone was playing the flute but above all, I was so fascinated with this puppet show.

 

puppet show in central park
Puppet show

We couldn’t even cover a small portion of the central park because it’s so big. We were hungry. Found this hotel, Han dynasty in 85th street, which is a Chinese restaurant. The place was spacious. The lighting was just like any other Chinese restaurant which will be dark and everyone sitting in the place will have a halo because of the lighting. Even I had one. Apart from all these the food was really good especially the chilly oil :-). Somebody out there please help me to transform me into a vegetarian. From tomorrow onwards no more nog-vegetarian dishes, I swear(wink, wink).

Rice noodles
Han dynasty Restaurant

A post valentine’s day celebration|Notes and Thoughts

The truth is till today we(me and my husband) never thought of this day. We just realize it’s valentine’s day because there will be some kind of valentine movie and more to say the shops will be full in red theme. Red flowers, red colored gift wraps and paper red hearts hanging everywhere in coffee shops. I’m a kind of person that wants to celebrate for each and every moment. Life is so short so enjoy, celebrate.

This year I woke up and decided that, okay I’m going to celebrate valentine’s day without my valentine cool right?yes, my sweetheart went for a conference and he will only return by Feb 14 night. So this year I changed my valentine day to Feb 15. Yes, this year’s valentine’s day is on Feb 15. Believe it or not, it was so much fun.

doodle
Things used to make the doodle

I made this handmade drawing like doodles which was actually so easy to make. It only took 2 hours sigh 😛

He enjoyed reading it and promised me that he will take me to a nice restaurant for the upcoming anniversary. Okay, baby, I got it, I got it, you always say this(not always).

Doodle

Today as a Valentine dish, I made this vegetable biriyani, which really was super delicious 😛 . I didn’t make any non-vegetarian dishes because(secret)I’m in a process to become an eggetarian. What is eggetarian?okay, I don’t know.i just made that word. According to my knowledge, it’s something that a person who will not eat non-vegetarian except eggs and soon may be after my eggetarian transform who knows if I become a vegetarian? 😛

Vegetables needed for making Vegetable Biriyani

I put a lot of caramelized onions in this, which will give a slight sweetness to the biriyani.

 

Biriyani
Vegetable Biriyani

Who doesn’t like chocolates? I had this Godiva which was super yummy.

Godiva
Chocolate

Ps-Although you haven’t Given me anything I know how much you love me and take care of me. Love you <3

What I Eat On Friday|Notes And Thoughts

morning coffee
Coffee

I need my coffee in the morning. I don’t know I’m so obsessed with the morning coffees, not just the ‘Dunkin’ or ‘Starbucks coffee’ but the real filter coffee that is made from the scratch. I love it. 🙂

I made ‘vegetable pulav’ for lunch. Obviously, it was not the tastiest thing in the world. But I just love to bring some colorful dishes back and forth in my menus. It’s very easy to make, that’s also quite obvious (wink, wink). It’s healthy, with lots of veggies in it. I usually will eat this with raita(salad) but I didn’t make it this time because I have a bad cold, indeed very very bad cold for the past one week. So I have to pair this Pulav with Maggie ketchup as a substitute for raita.

Who will have cereals as a snack, ME. I was hungry and made some cereals as a snack.it tastes so bad. Won’t do the mistake ever again.

For dinner, I had this egg curry, beans thoran (Beans Fry) and rice(Kerala matter rice). Literally, I didn’t have any veggies left to make any other items.

This is my night snack. Baked by Melissa cupcakes, yum, yum, yum. I know it’s not healthy but couldn’t resist.I also ate one banana as a snack.

Five must-read Inspirational books|Notes and Thoughts

Reading book
Will Power Instinct By Kelly McGonigal

There are many Inspirational books that are available in the market.I haven’t read many. I’m still in the process of finding new and good books to read in this category. Given below are the books that I felt like the best in many I read till date in the category of Self-Help. Hope you all will find it helpful 🙂

1.The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

The monk who sold his Ferrari is the first book I read in this category when I was 18. It’s the journey of a person and the revelations in his life’s journey. It’s a like a story. But in many chapters, we can found out our picture in them. It’s written by robin Sharma. After reading this book I became a great fan of him. He is a world renowned public speaker. Out of all his book, I like this one the most

2.The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

I found it in the category of the Barnes and nobles top must-read inspirational books. The book is explained in a very simple language and talks about the functioning of the brain in which even a school can understand every bit of it. Kelly McGonigal is a psychologist. She talks about all about willpower, what is willpower, what’s the importance of willpower and how we can achieve it, in a very simple language.

3.The power of now by Eckhart Tolle

I heard about this book when the youtuber Lavendaire was talking about the must read books in 2017. This book is so inspiring and talks us about the power of now. Everything that has happened in the past has passed and the things that are happening right now is the most important thing. We have to feel it, understand it. Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and a famous author.

4.The art of happiness by 14th Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler

I actually didn’t read this book. I bought it through audible. I downloaded it through some free trial offer and there were some points left. Using audible or kindle can reduce the usage of papers, in that way it’s good. But we will never get the feeling of a book. I like reading books in paper form. I used to listen to this whenever I’m on the subway. it’s a very small book. It’s written by the 14th Dalai Lama, which is the current Dalai Lama.

5.Feeling Good by David D burns

His point is very clear and crisp in the functioning of our brain and our actions. There is no pseudoscience in this book. This book is included in the list of inspirational reading because we all need to set aside our anxiety and sadness before getting inspired, right? :-). David D. Burns is an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of the best-selling books Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy and The Feeling Good Handbook.