Reflection with a purpose

The doorbell echoes throughout the home, the entrance left unlocked, inviting all guests, the warm rumble of conversation and footsteps of children running fill the space, food and drink flow freely, replenished as quickly as they are absorbed. We’ve gathered.

To share, to laugh and love, to enjoy our time together, to learn, to educate, to build friendships, to introduce, to reunite, to make memories, to celebrate, we’ve gathered.

Head held high, gaze remaining focused and confident, warm smile from within,

I walk in with a purpose.


writer’s block, my favorite time of year, and talking to everyone

Hi there! I’m back from an almost 3 month blogging hiatus. Some of it was hesitancy to put words to paper, a privacy concern, and some of it was just plain busyness. This time of the year is by far my favorite. Not only are these last few months of the year the time for all the US based holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s also the time of the year for the Indian holidays and events like Garba  and Diwali. This year I missed that time of year all because I was… in Italy! A ten day family trip on a  six city guided tour through Italy was just what I had been waiting ( and saving my vacation time) for all year. It’s funny how we can have an image of a famous site in our minds based on media, but the true site is completely different.  I took way too many pictures ( well you can’t ever have enough of Italy), had amazing conversations with the fellow tourists from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the US, and  thoroughly enjoyed myself. Among the forty group members, I met two newlywed couples on their honeymoon, a mother of a tsunami victim, three educators,  and other several successful individuals with stories of their own. It was great to hear the experiences, stories and opinions of all the tour members on issues that really join us all no matter where we are in the world.  I’m a big believer in talking to everyone, no matter how shy or outgoing one can be, otherwise is can become a lost opportunity. Everyone has a lesson or a story to contribute. On the trip, the conversation flowed just as smoothly as our travel across the country. I’ve heard many times before that talking to strangers is sometimes easier than talking to  friends or acquaintances simply because it becomes a new conversation in an unbiased setting.However, I always enjoy a good catch up session  and chance to learn something new with friends. With that said, I’m leaving on a little roadtrip to enjoy the holiday weekend with my family. Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday Morning Caffeine

Fun little findings over the last few weeks to share with you:

We all have friends who teach us one thing or another, whether it’s a tangible lesson or not. What would happen if we were to record the tangible lessons?  Fallyn Smith has done just that through her new blog Friendships With Benefits. She’s recorded one lesson from each of her friends and shared it there.

Sundays are usually when it’s time to make a few items for the week. Cooking for one can be very tricky because you don’t want to get bored eating the same things over and over, and at the same time you don’t want to be wasteful. Yummly is a recipe page I found, where you can find meals to make using the ingredients you have left over in the fridge/pantry and based on your flavor preference( sweet /sour/spicy/bitter/savory/salty). Whether you’re a vegetarian, non-vegetarian, eggetarian, or vegan, that website has you covered with recipes to fit your needs. For those who want to control their carbohydrate/sugar/sodium/etc intake, it considers those needs as well.

Last but not least, as part of this series , I stumbled on this fun infographic via I Love Coffee .

Now go get your coffee and have a great week!

Start each day like it’s your birthday

Bright and early today, my bag is packed and I’m ready to go.  I’m thrilled to the point it has been a few sleepless nights. I’m doing what I love best –traveling and spending time with family and friends. I’m another year older today—but who’s counting? Well maybe we all should. Life becomes so busy that some days it seems like we are just waiting for the next event, the next moment, the next big thing, rushing through it all to check off our list.  Start each day like it’s your birthday, with just as much excitement, happiness and vigor in all the moments you have. Take a step back and capture every moment, savor every bit of it. No worries, then next big thing will be right around the corner, so start enjoying now. What are you waiting for?

Turning back the clock… or not


glasses of chocolate milk turned into coffee mugs to go.

waking up for cartoons changed to early morning meetings and deadlines.

getting an allowance turned to balancing budgets and bills.

driver’s ed allowed for our daily commute

trying to stay up past our bedtime turned to pressing the snooze button for more sleep.

playing house isn’t playing house anymore.

when we wish we could turn back the clock

that’s when you know you’re an adult…. or maybe still a child at heart.

Life is a celebration…even when it’s over

Earlier this year I attended the funeral of a coworker’s family member who had lost the battle to cancer. I haven’t attended too many funerals , and definitely not one as celebratory as this one. It was at a Southern Baptist church and yes, the mood was somber for all who attended, tears were shed, tissue boxes were emptied, but in turn in was also a celebration of this young woman’s life and of the blessing of life itself. It was a beautiful reminder of how precious and quick life is. It’s amazing how the perspective of a loss is different, culture to culture. In my culture, this event is more somber, and formal. Whereas the one we attended was full of song and uplifting thoughts, rejoicing that the young woman no longer had to suffer through her battle, in praise of a higher power.

52 in 52 and bookworm recap

photo credit - el_rogos

Hello friends! How are you? As we settle into the chill of December I wanted  to recap on the books I’ve read this year. and share some new ones I would like to cover. For those who know me well, you know that on some days, if all I have is a good cup of coffee, a comfortable chair and a good book, then I’m one happy camper! This year I’ve also joined Good Reads as a way to track a few of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed the following books this year:

  • The power of small things by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
  • Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
  • Definitive book of body language by Barbara Pease
  • The yes factor by Tonya Reiman
  • The happiness project by Gretchen Rubin
  • Rules of work by Richard Templar
  • Never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi
  • All I need to know I learned in kindergarten by Robert Fulgham
  • The cheapskate next door by Jeff Yeager
  • Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn
  • Have a little faith by Mitch Albom
  • Nice girls don’t get the corner office by Lois P Frankel
  • How to talk to anyone by Leil Lowndes

As we go into the next year and beyond, I would like to explore through the following reads as well:

  1. 10 Days to Faster Reading by Abby Marks-Beale
  2. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  3. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
  4. The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
  5. Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst
  6. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
  7. Brain Rules by John Medina
  8. Making Sense of Behavior by William T. Powers
  9. Driven by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria
  10. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales
  11. On Writing Well by William Zinsse
  12. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  13. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  14. The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly
  15. Show Me The Numbers by Stephen Few
  16. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
  17. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson et al
  18. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
  19. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein
  20. Smart Choices by John S. Hammond et al
  21. The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz
  22. Ethics for the Real World by Ronald Howard & Clinton Korver
  23. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  24. Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun
  25. Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F. Drucker
  26. Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun
  27. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
  28. The Knack by Norm Brodsky & Bo Burlingham
  29. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  30. Indispensable by Joe Calloway
  31. The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
  32. First, Break All The Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
  33. Hiring Smart by Pierre Mornell
  34. Tribes by Seth Godin
  35. Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman
  36. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
  37. The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan by George Bradt et al
  38. The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig
  39. Work the System by Sam Carpenter
  40. Learning from the Future by Liam Fahey & Robert RandallAnalysis
  41. Turning Numbers Into Knowledge by Jonathan Koomey
  42. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
  43. Principles of Statistics by M.G. Bulmer
  44. The Unwritten Laws of Business by W.J. King
  45. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  46. The Simplicity Survival Handbook by Bill Jensen
  47. Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez & Vicki Robin
  48. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
  49. It’s Not About The Money by Brent Kessel
  50. Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt
  51. Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina
  52. The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohnaker

Maybe I can cover a book a week? A lofty goal I’m hoping to reach!

What book recommendations do you have?

Where did 2011 begin?

I can’t believe it’s already December! Where did 2011 go? Well let’s start at the beginning….

2011 began by bringing in the new year with friends in the Raleigh area,  and it started at a restful pace. Not for long though! The year was filled with jetsetting, roadtrips, and quality time with a variety of friends. My adventures were filled with travel for most of the year including:

  • a spontaneous trip to historic Charleston in February with an old high school friend. celebrating a childhood friend’s “last days of freedom” at a Florida getaway weekend in March
  • rejoicing with the same friend about her new stage of life in April at her destination wedding in Boston.
  • the annual June whitewater rafting trip with a group of friends in the mountains of NC
  • a long weekend getaway with my family in July
  • time to be thankful at home with family and friends in November

This year has been a whirlwind of fun, family, friends, growth and joy and I’m looking forward to see how it will end and what the new one will bring.

It’s that time of year again!

It’s already December, folks, and that means it’s time again to join the reverb11 crowd. This year is a little different, since Gwen Bell won’t be able to run the show. The community and post ideas have been left open to the writers’ imaginations. I’ll be reverbing the post ideas of one of the three main reverb10 starters, Kaileen Elise. You can get started on my 2011 reverb posts , check out last year’s posts and feel free to join in with Kaileen’s post ideas as well.

Fifty, Nifty, United States….

Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies;
Fifty Nifty stars in the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze.
Each individual state contributes a quality that is great.
Each individual state deserves a bow, We salute them now.
Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies,
Shout ’em, scout ’em, Tell all about ’em,
One by one,til we’ve given a day to every state in the USA

( Ray Charles)

Here’s what your state is famous for: