An Old Goodbye and a New Hello

So, what’s in a date? 1st January 2015 is just a new day; but since us humans have turned it into such a big deal, it calls for a mandatory, cliched post reflecting the year gone by. It’s healthy to reflect though, so here goes.

It’s funny how things changing around us on a daily basis, it all seems so normal except as the year ends, and everything is suddenly seemingly different. I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve just been so uninspired lately. With the passing away of my beautiful 16 year old labrador and almost losing my new puppy to a parovirus, December hasn’t really been very kind. It’s okay though, I like being a “glass is half full”  person so that’s kept me going.

2014 started off on a great note with a short trip to my beautiful Durham city for my Masters’ graduation. Mid-year we found out that our great dane was pregnant and soon she gave birth to 10 beautiful little puppies. The year also saw an incredible trip to Greece, my first independent trip so that was quite a big deal :)) and of course the birth of my baby Chai Cake & Kitsch ❤ With only 1 day left to go, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve learnt any lessons in the last 12 months. I definitely think that I’ve emerged stronger, more humble and compassionate than before.

Here are a few lessons I learnt along the way –

1. Do more of what you love

You deserve to do what you love – whether it’s your field of work or social activities, go out and do just about anything that makes you happy. It’s not easy being stuck in a job that you don’t like, or having responsibilities at home tying you down all the time. It’s healthy to do the things that make you happy. Plus on the work front if you’re doing what you love professionally, it will never actually feel like you’re working 🙂 This severely decreases the chances of a burn out so make it happen.

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I decided to start Chai Cake & Kitsch 🙂 

2. Meet more people

As fun as it maybe looking at people’s photos on Facebook, Instagram, Whats App, Snapchat, etc. there’s just way too much social media. Lost in the world of communicating via technology, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to go meet an old friend at an old school hangout or just approach someone that’s drinking coffee at the next table. I say get up, go out there and meet more people ! It’s a great idea to network, make new friends/acquaintances. You never know who you may meet and the positive influence they can have on your life. Conversing with more people is also a pretty neat way to keep your brain healthy and feeling alive. There’s a whole new world out there full of opportunities. Get out of your shell, talk to more people, explore new ideas. It will also teach you to be more compassionate and look at the world from several, completely different perspectives.

3. Travel more

Put on a blindfold, spin a globe around and pick out a new country to go visit. It’s one of the most fun ways to learn something new and immerse yourself into a different culture.

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4. Eat well and exercise more

There’s no better feeling in the world than devouring a dense chocolate cake or licking cheesecake crumbs off your plate. If you want to enjoy these things guilt-free though, you’ll have to get moving and shaking. Find exercises that make you happy and your workouts will never be dull. Take a dance class, join a spinning session or go for a run to take in some fresh air. Nothing feels as good as looking at your best self in the mirror.

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5. Communicate better

This is something that I personally need to work on. Do you believe in something strongly that others do not? Stand up for yourself, and speak up. Want to make a change in your boring routine? Get off your couch and do it. Want to make a life changing decision? Believe in yourself, plan well and do it. If you don’t, nobody can do it for you. It’s unfair to expect others around you to understand unspoken words. Communicate with your family and friends. Tell them how you feel, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

6. Never settle for anything or anyone

Whether it’s your work, friends or a love, NEVER settle for something when you feel like you deserve better. Everybody should have a chance at happiness, but only YOU can do something about it. So if you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like or your relationships don’t make you happy, you’re the only one to blame. Only you are responsible for your own happiness and for the way you feel. NEVER let anybody else be in charge of that.

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7. Learn to let go

This is never easy, but it’s possible. Whether you’re mending a broken heart, you lost out on a great work opportunity or you lost someone, you have to learn to let go, because eventually life has to move on. A friend of mine sent me a really beautiful article, excerpts of which I’m going to put down here –

Sooner or later, someone you know will disappoint you in some way. They’ll say something or fail to say something that will hurt or anger you. It’s inevitable. Unfortunately, you make things worse when you stew over someone’s words and deeds. The more you dwell on these things, the more bitter you’ll get. You’ll find your joy, peace and happiness slipping away. You’ll find your productivity slowing down, you might even get sick. So what should you do the next time someone betrays you? TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FEELINGS. Even though the other person may be at fault, even though the other person wronged you, you are still responsible for your own feelings. In other words, other people do not “cause” your feelings. You choose them. You can take some time to think about your feelings. And you can decide what is the best thing to say or do. Then, you’ve got to learn to WALK AWAY FROM DISAPPOINTMENT AND LET GO! AND FORGIVE.  

It’s difficult to do, but it’s possible. It’s difficult, especially when the other person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness or doesn’t even seek it. It’s difficult when the other person is clearly in the wrong. Part of the difficulty comes from a common misunderstanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person’s behaviour is okay. And forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person is off the hook. He’s still responsible for his misbehaviour. Forgiveness is about letting yourself off the emotional hook. It’s about releasing your negative emotions, attitudes, and behaviours. It’s about letting go of the past so you can look forward to the future. Everyone in your life, everyone on and off the job is going to disappoint you. If you know how to respond to those situations, you’ll be way ahead of most people.

Finally, here’s to a better 2015 – abundant with good health, happiness and love. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year ! xx

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Restaurant Review – The Sassy Spoon, Hill Road

Location: Classic Corner Building, Next to Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Telephone: +91-8655555555
Reservations: No
Meal for two: approximately Rs. 2000
Serves alcohol: Yes
Valet Parking: Available

I just recently 23 yesterday ( big boo hoo 😦 ), so to celebrate me getting a year older and hopefully wiser, my sister chose The Sassy Spoon for dinner. I haven’t been to the one in South Bombay, but have heard great things so, no arguments there. Plus, I’ve passed by the restaurant a few times and the decor has always seemed peculiarly inviting.

Step into Sassy Spoon and (if you can do yourself a favour and ignore the loud traffic outside) you will feel like you’ve just entered a romantic Parisian cafe – charming wooden tables, bright upholstery, their signature display wall with vintage bread baskets, et al. The staff is extremely courteous and we were greeted with big smiles – they were in my good books already.

Appetizers and Mains

My dinner began with a much needed glass of Fratelli Cabernet Sauvignon as my sister happily sipped on her pink apple lemonade. Chosen from a self proclaimed eclectic European menu, appetisers consisted of a smoked eggplant and chickpea bruschetta, tomato and basil soup and a soup of white onion and smoked scar – absolutely brilliant! I’m huge on smoked eggplant and onion soup so my night was pretty much made. The onion soup was everything but healthy – creamy, buttery (hence delicious), making it difficult for me to order another portion. Mains were recommended by the staff – brown rice paella (vegetarian), mapo tofu and spaghetti lemon beurre. The paella seemed a tad bit bland to me, but I would go back just for the tofu and the spaghetti. The mapo tofu prepared in a black bean sauce was what they call a melting moment. If I could, I would’ve licked my plate clean. The spaghetti with the lemon butter was nothing short of perfection. It’s one of their most recommended dishes. My only wish is that some more vegetarian options are added to the menu so there’s a larger variety to choose from.

Dessert

Sassy Spoon has a completely separate menu for desserts so I suggest you don’t fill yourself up on the food. Trust me when I say this because you want to spend the last half an hour of your meal just devouring their desserts. I only got to try three of them so I know for a fact that I’m going back to sample every other item on this menu. We got the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (umm.. YUM!) and a basil and olive oil ice cream. I have never tasted anything like it before and this is a MUST HAVE if you’re ever here. Since it was a special occasion I asked them to surprise me with a dessert, and boy did they! They brought out their signature ‘Sassy Stacks’ – a mini red velvet cake with a shot of cappuccino foam. Order this dessert just so that you can dive into that coffee goodness!

Overall, my dining experience was splendid – from the food, to the decor and the friendliness of the staff – I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I’ve given one less only because I wish there were more vegetarian options.

A meal for 4 cost us approximately Rs. 5,000 (we were charged only for one dessert).

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Vegetarian Bruschetta

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Soup of white onion and smoked scar

 


Brown rice paella with artichokes and the Mapo Tofu

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Sassy Stacks

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I completely fell in love with this setting

So whether you’re going out on your first date, celebrating something special, having a girls’ Sunday brunch or just want to eat at a great place, I say Sassy Spoon is the one 🙂