Inspiration from Julie and Julia

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The first time I watched this movie, the title drew my attention and so did the trailer. You see, it resembles my life on 2 levels. First, my middle name is Julia and family and dear friends call me Julie. Now you see why the title caught my attention! Second, my blog started out as a food blog back in 2008. I was offered a job and I was waiting for my joining date (which took several months, as the great depression of 2008 happened). So day in and day out I would experiment new recipes, watch food shows and blog them. Thus started my blogging story. Julie in the movie started her blog after the 9/11 incident. Not all parts of the movie align with my story, but you get it right?

Yesterday, I wanted to watch the movie again, because its been 7 years since I started blogging and my blog has branched into several directions. I’ve been blogging about my recipes, craft, travel, photography, books and all random stuff. It has become so diversified, that I have difficulty trying to write something because I can’t decide if it aligns with my blogging goals. I am an “either everything or nothing” sort of person. So you can imagine the trouble I go through to publish a post, let alone write on a series.

So I watched the movie again yesterday, in an urge to gain inspiration as the October write 31 challenge approaches very soon. I had written once in this challenge and it was an absolute delight. Check it our here : 31 Bible Verses you should know by heart. It helps you stay motivated as many bloggers are writing alongside you, it helps practice discipline because you don’t want to miss a day and most of all at the end of it you get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The movie helped and I am all pumped up. I’ve narrowed down the main subject and I’ve come up with titles for 25 days. I hope to find the rest somewhere down the line. But I want to write 31 days in October this time!

If you haven’t heard about the challenge, take a look here and hopefully you can join too. See you soon with my new series 🙂

I’ve linked this post with Inspire Me Mondays


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It’s the first day of fall 2015! Did summer get past so quickly? It might have. But it sure did leave some good memories. We have a bucket list for every season in our lives. While we are chasing through the list we should remember to pause and cherish the moment.

This summer we bought new bikes and created new memories of our own. It helped us get out and explore some really beautiful and lovely landscapes that could only be possible with bikes!

One more interesting thing we did this summer was start our own hashtag! How cool is that. #claytonandalicesummer2015

We tagged all our outdoorsy adventurous and vacation pictures taken this summer using this hashtag in twitter and instagram and when you lookup you get a beautiful scrapbook of all the fun we had in the summer. Brilliant idea 🙂 Try it.

Checkout the hashtag here… claytonandalicesummer2015

Here are few pictures from the hashtag. Enjoy and happy fall 2015!!!




Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis

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This is the story of Adam discovering a collection of postcard poems written by Gabe to Huck for 60 years after their marriage. Intrigued by the collection and devotion to mail poems every friday to his love, Adam sets out to discover the love story of Huck and Gabe and the secret to their long lasting and devoted marriage. At the end he discovers new hope in marriage.

The Idea behind the book was intriguing. More so was the fact that a husband could send poem postcards to his wife every Friday for 60 years. It is just beyond imagination! Within the book there are pointers to selfless love and commitment to married life. This is emphasized by a strategy the author calls “The Long Division Problem”. The book paints a neat love story between Huck and Gabe, tremendously in love and at the same time going through the ups and downs every couple faces in their life. I liked the parts where I got to know more about life in the early 1900s. I liked it for its story line and fell in love with the love story of Gabe and Huck!

Curiosity is a good friend of adventure!

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Curiosity is a good friend of adventure. I think I just made a catchphrase!

You’ll never know if you don’t try. Taking an initiative, breaking the ice is what takes the edge off of suspense. Someone said, Change is not the problem, resistance to change is.

I’m not suggesting that you be adventurous and fall off a plane or go live in the Arctic. But tone that adventurous spirit down a little bit and apply it to everyday things and watch how it changes your perspective on life.

Few weeks ago we went shopping at the Baspro shops. Behind the store was this little pond and a fountain. Curious over the sign that said Cranberry bog (never heard the word before) we started walking on the half mile nature trail.



There was this beautiful landscape and a pond with plenty of baby turtles with stripes and patterns on it! Cranberry bushes on one side, lush greenery on the other side, full bloomed lotus flowers and a not so difficult trail. I learnt about wet and dry Cranberry harvesting and saw cranberries in the bushes. Most of which I learnt after the trip, but hey, I learnt right?

Simple. Yet delightful, informative and refreshing! I’m all up for first time experiences. They give you a sense of thrill and child-like excitement!

Take a break from the routine life. Tread on paths you’ve never been before. Make memories and share your experiences.

Now I know how Cranberry is harvested 🙂



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Learning is an ongoing process. Like the air you breathe, the lessons you can learn are everywhere. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and complicated. Life’s lessons are learnt at the simplest moments.

However widespread the opportunity to learn might be, the most important thing you need is a teachable heart. If you are unwilling to learn then there is no point.

The more you learn, the more humble it should keep you. Not having the arrogance of the learned, but the humbleness to learn more.

The more you learn, the more you can share the knowledge.

Try and convert the learning into actions. If you learnt a new recipe try it, if you learnt about a good book, read it.

Above all, keep your minds open to new learning opportunities.


Today I’m joining Five Minute Friday and writing on the word LEARN in 5 minutes.


I look Like An Engineer!

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Honestly, until I started exploring the hashtag ILookLikeAnEngineer, I never thought there was gender stereotype in the engineering and technology world, or at least in developed countries! It took me by surprise that even in this era when women are doing research, entering space, making history and reaching heights, we are still fighting the stigma of gender stereotypes.

I am a full stack web developer and I work with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. I have a degree in Information Technology and I have worked as a Software developer for a few companies with experience ranging from integration and reporting services, web application development and database management.

If I need to talk about me being and Engineer then I guess we need to chat a little bit about my background. I wasn’t born a programmer nor did I have the passion to be one. I was always interested in Writing, I still am. I was streamlined in to the technology path by what is called Socioeconomic Status Pressure that exists among Indian parents. A picture is worth a thousand words, so i’ll let you glean all the information from the following picture, which is a Survey taken by HSBC. You can read the entire article here. (Talk about stereotypes huh?! 🙂


That being said, I must mention I don’t hate doing what I do. It was definitely not my first choice, but I’ve learnt to like it. I love programming, solving problems and creating new solutions, so not a day goes by without me fixing something or creating a new solution. Now I don’t think I can live without it.

The reason why the gender stereotype in technology field came as a shock to me is because I’ve never experienced it personally. The men in my life and career path have never made me doubt my potential or think less of myself when it came to education or career.

My dad always appreciated my interest in learning and gave me the best education that he possibly could.

My husband challenges me on an everyday basis to be better at what I do and he never fails to recognize my victories and takes pride in them!

My co-workers and superiors have always encouraged me and entrusted me with challenging task fully acknowledging my potential and that has always been a source of inspiration and boosted my confidence.

I don’t think women are in any way inferior to men in anything, let alone technology. There are tonnes of statistics and research that proves otherwise. But I don’t want to get in to a debate. The only place where this particular stereotype exists is in the minds of people.

If you are a man, encourage your woman a little more, give her the nudge she needs to break open the stereotype. If you are a woman, you have no excuses. The world is filled with inspiration. No one can hold you back.



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It is a three-letter word that has so many strings attached. I try to keep up with ironing, make a beautiful garden before the onset of fall, get the dishwasher loaded every night, hit the gym at least 3 times a week and so on. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. But I keep trying! Again and again. Till I attain perfection? Maybe not. But will I stop? I hope not.

I mentioned earlier that try has many strings attached. Well here are some:

Keeps you going. You set a goal and when you try to achieve it, it gives you something to look forward to.

Gets you one step closer to where you want to be. Your goals may be higher or farther, but trying gets you closer.

Never mind the outcome. Like I said, some days you win, some days you lose. But never mind the outcome and never trying.


Today I’m joining Five Minute Friday and writing on the word TRY in 5 minutes.





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I did so much decluttering today and one thing led to another and I found a new use for the spare shower caddy that was just lying around and didn’t have a purpose. It fits perfectly in my very narrow linen closet that had a very huge bottom shelf.

I can only imagine how many stuff that’s lying around in your house that you don’t want to give away can be repurpoed. Sky is the limit. I am not going to give you ideas. We have Pinterest for that now. I’m just saying, it can be done 🙂 Get creative.


And if you are wondering what my cleaning products are, they are the non toxic ones from Ava Anderson. Check out my post on A non-toxic step to know more about them.


A non-toxic Step

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Today I would like to share with you some of my experiences with using non toxic cleaning products. A friend of mine introduced me to Ava Anderson. They sell quality products without the harmful chemicals. They not only sell these products but also are in a mission to spread awareness on the increasing toxic substances in our day to day life.

I’ve used many cleaning products and the main issue is that they leave a strong odor behind. Not a pleasant one, but even if it is, it’s usually strong. Now if it’s going to be up in the air for a while, it’s definitely getting into our system. One thing I noticed on Ava bathroom and glass cleaners is that they don’t have a strong smell. They do have a pleasant fragrance from the tree oil, but even that smell does not linger.


I’ve also realized that a scarce amount of Ava cleaning product is enough to handle even tough spots. This gives an edge over other products, because the more you use, the more you are exposed! Simple math 🙂

Finally, the feeling of trying to make a non toxic home, even if it’s a tiniest step, is in itself a reward! Trust me, when you read the label, and I always do, it is a good feeling to know and understand what goes in to the products you use rather than reading a bunch of chemical names that scares you.

Ava also has a host of personal care, home care and skin care products. Be sure to check out the shop and I assure you that you will be glad you did.

If you are new to the whole non toxic thing, be sure to check out this link on why you should use non toxic products.



Mark your Calendars

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Kitchen is a place where there are a million tiny tasks that needs to be done. Okay, maybe not a million, but you know what I mean. If you lose track of these tiny tasks they could get neglected and easily pile up. And trust me, deep cleaning a kitchen is no fun.


My recommendation, is that every kitchen should have a calendar. You need one to mark important dates like when you changed the water filter refill, cleaned the range hood filters, de-cluttered the pantry, so on and so forth. These dates will help you mark when to do the task again.

Let me know in the comments below if you use calendar in your kitchen or any other things you use to keep track!