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Attention to Details Makes Wor(l)ds Magical

By January 13, 2018 Art, Memes, Travel


These words of Walt Disney ring true as we walk around any Disney theme park. The attention to details paid in every thing, from the obvious to the little things like trash cans and benches and lamp posts, is simply amazing. A post with more photos and tips from our Disney trip to come soon…

For Six Word Saturday  hosted at Travel with Intent and  Saturday Snapshot over at West Mommy Reads, as well as for UBC

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Street (sm)Art

By January 9, 2018 Art, Travel

As we drove past the streets of quaint Winter Park, Florida, my eyes were drawn to this mural. I do not recall what the store was, or even the name of the street we were on, but I had to click a photo. Luckily, we had to stop for a red light ahead, and here is my click….

This fits perfectly into today’s prompt for the UBC (post a photo), and for RubyTuesdayToo.

this below is street art…so, you might wonder about the smart part of it.. 🙂 Here it is

I actually asked this puzzle to readers in my Liebster post here but am sure it got lost in the wordiness of the post.. so, here it is again.

One favorite question I was asked in an interview – You are given 10 bags of coins, each containing x number of coins (let us say, 500 coins each), but one bag contains coins that are fake. You only know that the fake coins weigh one gram lesser than the real coins. You are also handed a digital kitchen scale (with just one weighing pan/not a balance). How can you find out which bag contains the fake coins with just ONE weighing?  (Let me know – You can email me the answer – . and i will post it on my blog post later this week)That Random Street Art In Winter Park

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X is for X-Mas

By December 25, 2017 Everything Else, Travel

Merry X-Mas and a Very Happy Holidays to everyone…

Pictured below  is the tree at Epcot (Walt Disney World) which has Happy Holidays/similar message in different languages placed all over the tree.. our last week (and explaining my absence at the blog) was spent having an Xcellent and Xtraordinary holiday at Orlando, where we Xplored the wonders of two theme parks – Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center, as well as two non-theme park attractions – Kennedy Space Center and the swamps of Kissimee on an Xquisitely wonderful airboat ride (via Marsh Landing Adventures)…

and thus ends my post for this week’s ABC Wednesday..

epcot christmas tree

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So Many Wonderful Tomorrows

By November 7, 2017 Memes, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Once upon a time

your tiny kicks,

like bubbling whispers


danced upon my heart.

Soon no longer a dream,

your first breath

on my cheek

made me blissful


Today, your giggles, your grins

cue answering

sparkly shimmery


Tomorrow’s beauty is next.

There is so much a little girl can do – waiting to see what the tomorrows bring!! For dVersePoet’s Quadrille #44, where the word to be used this week is ‘kick’.

I can read this too - says my little girl

My little girl at age 2 1/2 letting us know she can read the map at Great America park:)


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The Why Post

By October 28, 2017 Art, Everything Else, Food, Learning, Memes, Reviews, Travel, Writing

My previous(still actively current as well) blog

I started blogging years ago actually and as part of setting up this new blog earlier this month, I even imported content from there (excluding a couple more recent posts).. So you might be asking, why a why I am blogging post? This is more of a reinventing myself as a blogger post – of moving from a free blog to my own space on the world wide web. If then, why import all content from my previous blog? Because that is a part of me as well, and as part of reinventing, I also plan to refresh and redo some of my posts from earlier.

Writing Fuels me

Writing has been a treasured part of my life forever now (well, since I learned to write anyways, and before that, I made up stories to tell my little brother), and blogging is an extension of that.  As a child, I wrote poems, stories, and participated in writing challenges whenever I could. Everything I wrote, no matter what it was, gave me a sense of accomplishment that it energized me, made me happier, made me ‘me’, and that eventually led to a better me, which meant I was able to also help others (tutoring classmates the previous night before finals and all through the year was one of my first such experiences; mom would worry that I would not be able to focus on what I needed to study for, but teaching and sharing my knowledge made me better at it so it was all gooood!) (By the way, I also experience this same energy-up when I work on art or end up taking a really good photograph or somehow manage to have cooked up something yummy that is also healthy)

What was I blogging about?

My initial blog started out as my spot for my R&R – this could easily mean the traditional ‘rest and recreation’ or my little twist on the traditional ‘Recreation and Relaxation’ or my very own ‘Raving and Ranting’.  In the beginning (and even today), I read many blogs about blogging – and many of them had a central message – “pick a niche”. That led me to thinking – what is my specialty? I realized I am more of a Jack of Many Trades (with some level of mastery in a few) and it would be me being me, if I wrote about all of those passions and interests I have. So I have been writing about reading, travel, participating in memes, sharing recipes, tips, my poetry, and photographs, life’s magical moments, parenting and its many facets, reviews of books and products, and more.

And now 

All those varied things that I (plan to) write about inspired me to add the tagline for my blog – this is not a niche-less blog, but a blog(ful) of niches!!  I am still working on the theme, the logo, updating my older posts so they fall in place with my categories, and some more branding to make it more like home, a cozy place for readers to drop by and explore.

Today, I hope to keep doing all that and also include more posts where I can let my readers relax a bit, learn some more, and leave with a smile on their faces, facts in their brains, a spring in their step, and a desire to return (of course)!!…

So here is my question to my readers (old and new) –

what energized you today? Or made you smile? Do let me know in the comments!!


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D is for Delhi, and for Dharwad Peda

By April 6, 2017 Food, Travel, Writing

Delhi is what I put in every form where it asks me ‘Place/City of Birth’. And that seems to be enough to make me feel a special connection to this city which I have visited not more than five times in my life (I think, and this includes my entry into the world!) but each visit was a treasure chest of memories its own. One of them is recorded here.
My last visit to the capital city of India was last summer with my DH and my little (well, not so little anymore at 14 and 11 years) ones. (Check – – Favorite Childhood Memories, be it games or books or food or movies or just random somethings – with one additional twist – these are memories I would like to build in the future as well – with my kids, if possible).

Here are some glimpses of Delhi from the eyes of my camera…


Dharwad Peda: This simple looking, often overlooked in the sweet shop (except by die-hard fans like me) dessert is simply put, delicious. While other people might go for the fancier looking sweets shaped like flowers or fruits or all colorful, or rich milk sweets like rasmalai or the cham-cham, or the nuts based barfis, my eyes (and taste-buds) always lead me to this sweet – the Dharwad Peda. Named for where it hails from, the town of Dharwad in north Karnataka, this simple sweet has an interesting history that goes back two centuries. Baba Singh Thakur of Unnao in the northern India state of Uttar Pradesh fled to Dharwad when plague struck Unnao in the 19th century. He started making the pedas and his grandson popularized it – today Thakur Peda or ‘Line Bazaar peda’ or Dharwad peda is known all around the state and elsewhere and always leaves your sweet tooth satisfied. The recipe is zealously guarded but there are faithful copycat versions and recipes and someday, I will eat it whenever I want – homemade! One recipe can be found at easybitesonline should the reader want to attempt it.
And yes, now I share the love for this peda with my little ones too – it is the family favorite!

#Dharwad Peda
Attribution: Wikipedia

Q to the reader: What is your favorite dessert? Have you tried the Dharwad Peda?

Signing off on the letter D as I continue on the #AtoZChallenge and #UltimateBloggingChallenge  
while listening to this familiar tune from childhood


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Treasure Trove Thursday – Hiking Trails, Tips, Memes

By January 3, 2013 Learning, Memes, Travel

My Thursday theme is now Treasure Trove Thursday. So what will I draw out of my treasure trove each Thursday? It may be totally useful(or not!) tips, travel highlights, trivia, or just about anything a virtual treasure trove can hold.

Today, I have my usual contributions to Thursday memes that I participate in, as well as some tips to get rid of ants in the house that seem to invade the kitchen every time you turn around, as well as one wonderful hiking trail in the San Francisco Bay area – a local favorite – the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

For NaBloPoMo, where the prompt today is:

What is your favorite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?
Currently, I am on a major sleep debit. So, my favorite way would be to sleep but since I cannot do that any time I want, my energizers are the following in lune form for dVerse:-(written in the Collum – 3-5-3 form)
Ways to recharge
Let me list the ways
That energize me
My kids’ smiles
Dancing across the kitchen floor
Music in background.
Walks energize me
When done with family, friends.
or sometimes alone.
And, yes, sugar!
How could i forget that? 
desserts, chocolates, more..
Last not least
A hot cup of tea
Black, green, herbal.
For Alphabe Thursday letter G, Theme Thursday(Again) and dVerse (Form for All: La Lune – written in the Collum – 3-5-3 form)
Goals, Resolutions – Again?
That time again
to set new year resolutions
should I try?
Past years show
Lists of unmet goals, should
I try again?
Hope is eternal
So here I am again
With goals, resolutions
Thirteen ways I discovered to get rid of ants – I have not tried them out yet, just found out that they are tried and tested by others – I am going to pick a couple and see which works over the next few days
  1. Clean up
  2. Spray white vinegar on counter-tops and wipe clean
  3. Spray a mix of lime juice and water and wipe clean
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon /place cloves at entry ways for the ants
  5. Cayenne pepper does the trick too in keeping them away, apparently
  6. Spray Liquid dish soap spray and wipe clean
  7. Sugar and borax mix – a slightly messy solution but proven to work
  8. Diatomaceous Earth – this works too, according to the many places I checked
  9. Cornmeal – the ants cannot digest it and it is safe to use around kid/pets
  10. Vaseline – to barricade at entry points – temporary fix before using a more permanent seal
  11. Salt – works as a barrier
  12. Chalk – just draw lines with chalk at entry points.
  13. Coffee grounds – a little messy afterwards to clean up later but works according to couple of web resources.
Travel Spotlight: 
Rancho San AntonioRancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve. – Lush greenery everywhere your eyes can see, lots of options for hiking and beautiful views of the bay area. In addition to this, the preserve also offers abundant wildlife viewing, easy accessibility, and restrooms too! Parking can be a little difficult on weekends so arrive early if you plan to hike.Rancho San AntonioWe have been there a few times with the kids and we all enjoy being out there in the hills, watching the deer, looking out for horses that people have brought for a ride (we see the trailers parked in the parking lot), and just walking around the various trails. We also enjoy watching airplane enthusiasts fly their model airplanes – it is lots of fun and we plan to do it ourselves soon. Our last visit there found us gazing at deer, at least half-a-dozen model planes, and an almost empty parking lot (it had been raining the night before).
Rancho San Antonio
The preserve also has picnic areas and a farm (we have been there years ago but not recently). The PG&E trail in the park is something we have heard about from many of our friends who hike regularly but we have only explored part of it since we have been there with the kids. We do plan to do this trail fully someday soon – one other goal for this year for me, maybe, on one of those solitary energizing walks that I sometimes need!!

Rancho San Antonio

This is a 5-star place for all to explore, whether you plan to hike, bike, or just relax…

Rancho San Antonio


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Travel Thursday – Tips for car travel with kids…and memes

By December 15, 2011 Family, Travel

Planning to drive for your holidays? An exciting destination, perhaps? With kids in tow? Then you know that this trip definitely needs some planning and preparation after you have made your hotel reservations and figured out your itinerary but before you open the car door and start loading your bags. Backed up my own previous experiences and mishaps, I came up with this list of tips that works for me along with others I got from others as well which helped a lot too:

Tip 1: Entertainment: Though I should not be saying this, if you have a DVD player, that helps! it is surprising how this otherwise-evil-at-home device reduces the number of ‘Are we there yet?’ questions from the back seat(s). And if you do not have it, do not fret. Any personal mobile device will help as well – an iPhone, iPad/iPod (Fruit Ninja, anyone) or other gaming device – but this will mean multiple devices if you have multiple kids all wanting to play games (and they will, at the same time).
The other option/additional item you can use is audio books and music the kids love. I always have a couple of their favorite music CDs in the car and have to yet try audio books – will try it out the next time we plan a long drive with Harry Potter.

Tip 2: One word – Snacks (actually two words – Accessible snacks)! Hunger strikes kids at the oddest moments – definitely not when we are at the dinner table reminding them to finish every minute of the whole hour they are at the table – but definitely when you are driving down the middle of nowhere stuck in traffic and the nearest snack is in the trunk of the car or maybe not even there. This also includes fluids – meaning water, juice boxes – but remember to not overdo this – remind the kids to have little sips (see #3 below)

Tip 3: Nature’s Call: Make room for restroom breaks and to let the kids stretch out a little, especially when the drive is longer than three hours. This is inevitable – the moment you have passed the closest place that has a restroom, your kid will want to use it – so make sure that the kids use the restroom (not just asking them whether they want to use it) at every stop and before you start.
Note: Best places to use restrooms – a restaurant or a motel near the exit rather than a gas station.

Tip 4: Classic car games are always fun and the best way to spend the time if everyone is well rested – games like trivia,memory game (we pick a theme and then each player adds on to what others have said before – eg: theme: animals , player one says tiger; player two – tiger, lion; and so on – you can make it tougher by making it alphabetical also), multiplication based game (pick two numbers and two words, the multiples of those numbers should be replaced by the words while players take turns counting from one – 1, 2, dog, cat, 5, dog, 7, cat, dog, 10, 11, dogcat, 13 – got it?)

Tip 4: Rest: Have a couple of pillows and sheets/blankets handy to make it comfortable for the kids and create a cozy space for them right in the back seat. The kids love this.

Tip 5: A fun bag: Let your kids pick a few items of fun for the trip and fill their ‘fun bag’ – it can be crayons, small toys, coloring books – as long as it is not too big and not too many – you can decide what works best for you. Books to read are OK too though I am not a big fan of reading while driving or on the bus/train to avoid car sickness.
Note: You can pack one bag as well with treats/surprises for them and keep it with you.Watch their faces light up when you whip up a surprise for them just at the right moment..

Tip 6: Cleanup: Do not forget tissues, wipes, and paper towels – you will need to clean up at least once. Trash bags too.

Tip 7: Prepare: Contact numbers of friends, the destinations (hotels, etc), charged cell phone, maps, directions (and alternate routes), updated GPS (if applicable), a first aid kid, a flashlight, sunscreen, emergency flares, change (quarters, dollar notes) are all helpful to have.

Tip 8: Time of travel: Plan to drive at minimal traffic hours (not rush hour) – though this is obvious, in the excitement of a trip and with other last minute delays, you might miss this. It is better to start a little early or a little late and drive in smooth traffic rather than be stuck in rush hour and deal with frazzled nerves (of everyone, including yourself)

Tip 9: Packing tips: If staying at multiple hotels and you have multiple bags, pack such that you need to open only minimum bags at each place. Take along plastic covers to use as laundry bags for the dirty clothes. Pack clothes in the order you will be using them so you do not need to turn the bag upside down for something you need. Pack  clothes in complete sets – undergarments included – and roll them or fold them into one another – socks, undergarments and the shirt can all be folded and the pants folded over them. Some off-season clothing as well in case the weather changes. One set of clothes for the kids can be kept handy during the drive in case of accidents.

Tip 10: Enjoy! Have fun – you are going on a vacation, so sit back, smile, and drive!

Traveling is fun and if done well, then, of course, sweet success

Thursday Memes:

Theme Thursday over at Theme-Thursday – the theme is ‘Sweet’
Alphabe Thursday offers up the letter ‘F’ this week
Theme Thursdays:
‘Food’ is the theme this time over at ‘Reading
Between the Pages’ who hosts this weekly meme. The rules are:

  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)

And to enter all three memes in one sweep, I have the following:

“For the uninitiated, frozen custard is like ice cream,
only smoother and richer thanks to extra egg yolks being whipped in.
Take I-43 north to suburban Glendale and brake at exit 78 for Kopp’s
kitschy, retro building.”

Planet, Lonely (2011-06-22). 5 of the USA’s Best Trips (Kindle Locations 345-346). Lonely Planet Publications. Kindle Edition.

Image from Now@MPL where you can find the recipe for this delicious sweet frozen treat!

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