Five Minute Friday : TEAM

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Five Minute Friday - Team

Last year, I was offered 2 tickets to the Patriots game at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Now, I have to confess, I don’t know the game, but I went anyway because my husband is a huge Patriots fan. It was my first time being in a stadium to watch the game. I have to tell you, being part of that vast audience, the cheers, looking at the players in real life and rooting for your TEAM, I enjoyed every part of it.

The same happened yesterday when we caught the Olympic Women’s Single Badminton game for Gold live on TV. There is so much thrill in watching a live game, cheering and cooing for your team to win.

If you ask me, I would rather go outside and play the game myself than watch someone else play. But once in a while I let myself watch the finals of Euro or Cricket World cup or any sport my husband is crazy about. I have to admit, for a little while, I feel I am part of that team, I want them to win, I cheer for them, I support them. It’s good to be part of a team.

This post has been written based on the Five Minute Friday prompt TEAM on Kate Motaung’s Blog.

Five Minute Friday : WANT

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Five Minute Friday - Want

We recently had to move our stuff from a 2 bed room apartment to a storage and then squeeze our essentials in to four check-in bags and travel half way across the world. I thought three weeks was a good enough time to de-clutter, purge, donate and beautifully pack my stuff in boxes and label them and then have an inventory of them. Oh how wrong I was. As the deadline crept, and several trips to the donation center later, I realized that I had so much stuff.

You wouldn’t think that if you walked in my house. I’m very good at cleaning, purging and organizing. Or so I thought. In my head, I owned only minimal stuff, but in reality it was a little overwhelming. The good news is that the storage unit we rented fit all the things, and now that I’m on a temporary living having and buying just the essentials, I’ve started to seriously think about minimalism.

What we want is way out of proportion with what we need. Can we live with just the things we need? We most certainly can. Then why do we keep buying and hoarding all these things we want? Something to think about. I’ve begun my journey towards minimalism. It’s a long path, but I’m liking where this is going. I encourage you to think about minimalism too 🙂

This post has been written based on the Five Minute Friday prompt WANT on Kate Motaung’s Blog.

2015 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What I learnt from my Goals in 2015

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When we were kids, every year on December 31st or January 1st, my mom would ask us to write down our resolutions for the new year. It was a good exercise, but there was a major flaw. The resolutions were unattainable, unrealistic and would fly out the window probably in the second week of January 🙂 As I grew up, I gave up on this tradition because nothing good came out of it, only regret and guilt :-/

In the last couple of years, I’ve discovered how to be realistic in setting goals and how to accomplish them. You might have heard of the SMART rule while goal setting. Your goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

I read a book called Live for Him by Leigh Ann Dutton on how to have individual mission statements tied to the goals and have action plans for them. You can read more about the book here. You can click on the following affiliate link to buy the book.

IBG Live For Him

This and few other resources helped me understand what goal setting really means. I’ve learnt how to set goals and actually work on them. I’m going to share a few examples of my goals below and how I worked on accomplishing them.

Goal 1: Read 40 books

Now, this might seem like a huge and unrealistic goal. But the reason why I chose the number 40 was because I had read 15 books in 2014 and that was only in 9 months. In addition to that, I have 2 hours of commute time during the weekdays. I did the math and came up with the number 40. I haven’t accomplished this goal yet, (I am close to 30 books), because of something else that has been in my radar to work on during my commute. Still, this is a smart goal and I will know better when I plan next year’s reading goals. I should also mention that GoodReads has been an excellent tool in tracking this goal. Check out my GoodReads reading challenge here.

Goal 2: Prepare and Execute Meal Plan

I had to start making a meal plan because my work life and commute were consuming my personal time and I had to bring a system and reduce time spent in the kitchen. I also wanted to adapt some whole foods and healthy eating practices. So I decided to start planning my meals. There are several methods to achieving this, by I have adapted one that works for me. It still requires a lot of corrections and alterations. I’m learning week after week, but I could safely say I’ve attained this goal. My husband and I use Google Keep to share our grocery list and Meal Plans.

Goal 3: Continue Writing in the Blessing journal

I say continue, because I started a blessing journal in 2014 and I kept it very well and up to date. Not only is it a reminder of God’s blessings in our life, it is also a reminder of the important incidents and events that changed our lives. I’ve kept that journal through 2015 and it has been a tremendous blessing in itself! I might in 2016, write one thing everyday that I’m thankful for because God’s mercies are new every day!

Goal 4: Write at least 2 blog posts every week

This is a specific, measurable and achievable goal, but I haven’t been taking it seriously until almost the end of this year. I guess, I will keep this as is and try to work on it next year.

I hope you have been able to glean something for yourself from my experience and experiments with goal-setting. Take note that each goal needs to have a tool to measure them. This can be both for accountability as well as self motivation. I look forward to my new goals for 2016 and hope to share them with you sometime!

Live for Him: A Grace-filled Look at Planning

This post is linked to Inspire Me Monday and Testimony Tuesday.


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As I look back at 2015, I’m humbled and overwhelmed as I reflect on the following.

First, I’m reminded of the goodness of God! He has been an all sufficient God, providing for me and my family, keeping us sane through difficult situations, providing us guidance and wisdom in important decision making moments. His all-sufficiency has been overshadowing us throughout this year and for that I’m ever thankful!

Second, I’m reminded of His grace! Every moment I live, every step I take and everything I am, is by His grace. I’ve been reminded of this throughout this year through books I’ve read and sermons I’ve heard and personal experiences I went through. His grace was sufficient for me. Through the abundance of His grace, I’ve learnt to show grace to myself and others.

Third, I’m reminded of the memories we made together as a family, places we explored and new adventures we made together. You can find some of them under my Journal or Photography.

I’ve linked this with Five Minute Friday.




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Not until a few years ago when I moved to the US I really understood the term “Season”. I came in the heart of winter and I was saddened at the sight of the trees with no leaves. I wondered if they would always remain that way. Then in a few months, I started seeing colors, beautiful colors and then leaves.

Season to me is a Blessing. Because God said so:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:27

The winter might be long, but you know that spring is coming. That is the beauty of seasons. One season goes away, and another follows. There is always hope. Hope for something better, something colorful.

I like the way how things are organized around seasons. This way, there is an opportunity to celebrate every season. There is a way to be happy in every situation in life. I can setup a flower garden in spring, explore beaches in summer, go biking in the fall and cozy up on the couch with hot tea in winter! 🙂

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday.


Citrus – Book Review

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Citrus is the first recipe book that I had ever read cover to cover. Maybe I read it because I had to write the review but then again I realized that the book was exciting and not just another recipe book.

Citrus by Valerie and Victoria

Citrus by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson unravels the entire family of citrus fruits, lemon, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, orange, you name it! Each recipe is wonderfully and uniquely crafted with utmost passion and creativity. The recipes are categorized by fruit type. You can also find an index with dishes by course which I find very helpful. There is this whole array of food you can make with citrus fruits as a main ingredient that I had not known or imagined before. This book is an eye opener, especially as the winter approaches. I can’t wait to try more of the recipes from this book.

This book was given to me by Blogging For Books for FREE in return for my review.

blogging for books

Biking at Cape Cod Canal

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I’ve realized lately that if you want to get yourself out there and explore places, take your new camera or bike out for a spin, you got to make a lot of sacrifices. You got to plan and this might involve giving up sleeping in on a Saturday. But the outcome is going to be worth it!

That’s exactly what happened last weekend when we decided to explore this new bike path that we had passed by few months ago. We had a hearty brunch at NorthWorks , a fine little restaurant in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. We tried Belgian waffles for the first time!

Belgian Waffles

We headed to Sandwich, MA and biked for about two miles up to the Sagamore bridge. It was a windy morning and the cool crisp fall winds, added to the proximity of the canal made it difficult to bike longer than that. But the ride was nice and we passed by some oil tank cargo ships (probably) and spotted a lot of birds.

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path3

double-crested cormorants

How else are you gonna spot a double-crested cormorants (totally googled it) up so close!



A birthday like no other!

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This birthday was like no other because we celebrated this birthday by going to New Hampshire. It was the best birthday gift I could get! I love going places and seeing new things. This time we went on the Cog rail on the White Mountains, World’s first mountain climbing train, built in 1869.



It was great to be part of a historic masterpiece. The weather was warmer when we started the ascent at about 2000 ft from the baseline, but as we went up there was snow and eventually we couldn’t go to the summit because the winds were at 70 miles/hour that day. At about 5000 ft we stopped at the Skyline switch for pictures. There was nothing but snow everywhere! I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a wonderful experience 🙂




It was one of a kind birthday experience and I am thankful for yet another year in my life!

Biking on the South County Bike Path

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Note: This post was drafted few weeks ago and I just found time to post it 😉

When my husband surprised me by serving coffee in bed for me this Saturday, that’s when I had a feeling that the weekend was going to be eventful and memorable!

After much debate, we bought bikes this summer and it was not until this weekend we had a chance to really enjoy them. After a late breakfast, we headed to Kingston train station and started riding on the South County Bike Path

Its a 8 mile bike path and after that you could ride on the road alongside the traffic to head down to the Narraganset Town Beach. This is the farthest we have biked so far and it was a wonderful experience. The path was well laid with rest stops along the way.


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