Sounds of life

sounds of life

Dear Friends and readers,

I recently became a mum and life has been thrown into a complete disarray. Sleepless nights, headaches, body aches, untimely feeds, smelly poops, unsettled bub, unfinished household chores and sharing time between two kids (my eldest has paws). It can be overwhelming at times even with all the help.

And in this hustle-bustle I found a perfect moment yesterday evening. Amit was settling a cooing baby in the feeding chair that has a slight creek. I was expressing and the pump hummed along rhythmically. Penny was at my feet crunching on her jaw gym.

In those few moments, in one dimly lit corner of the house, our entire family was surrounded with the sounds of life without saying a word. With the cooing and creaking, humming and crackling we were all at peace and surrounded with love. It was a perfect moment.

Dear friends and readers share with me your experiences of parenthood and those few perfect moments that found in all the chaos. Leave a comment below or write to me at deeptiamitsrivastava@gmail.com

Image from:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/09/photographer-captures-the-chaos-of-family-life-with-hilarious-photo-series_n_7318126.html

 

 

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Of love and simplicity

sunset-hands-love-woman

Of Love and Simplicity

Dear Friends and Readers,

Another post after a long time. It is still February and a little past V-day but still it’s the month of love, chocolates, roses and romance (winter in the northern hemisphere adds a little more charm to all this I suppose, but here in Perth February is the warmest month of the year…. so romance does not come all that easy..:)). And I blame the heat and humidity for this delayed V-day post.

This was a very different kind of valentines day for me. After many years of being lost and searching for love, this year, it was a day of blissful content. And what made it so was the simplicity of it all.

Like most girls I spent my childhood fantasizing about a being in love with a handsome prince one day. Most of my adolescence was spent searching for this prince charming and learning a little bit more with every heartbreak. But all this left me none the wiser. I realised heart desires what it desires. there is no reason to it. Love seemed neither reasonable nor permanent. I think the only thing I learnt from it all was that I didn’t actually know what love is. What I thought to be love was sometimes just a crush, sometimes obsession, sometimes desire to have something that I knew I couldn’t have, sometimes friendship and sometimes just companionship against loneliness.  I still do not profess to know love but I know a little about being a peace and being content. And may be this is what love is really like. Anyways…. I don’t want this post to turn into a philosophical rant… and my thought seem to have strayed away again.

What I was going to write about is how this V-Day was different from the rest. Well for starters there were no roses or chocolates or wine or candle light dinners….And surprisingly I was happy without it all. In past I have pretended not to like the materialistic nonsense surrounding this day….. getting gifts and roses always made me happy. To tell you the truth, I secretly even wished for it all, but tried to act all practical and mature…. hehe 🙂

Well, this V-Day for once I did not even remember that it was 14th Feb. It was a Tuesday when Amit usually fasts….but he made some golden crispy heavenly bread pakodas for me. And as I am supposed to be on a liver detox at the moment… it was a sinful delight. He made it just the way I like it…. not the way he loves to make them… and trust me it is hard for him to take off his master chef toque to accomodate and indulge my tastebuds…. hehe 🙂

And as he was fasting and loves mangoes…. I made this yummylicious mango shake for him. Being me still couldn’t resist the heart… but that can be forgiven 🙂

And in the evening he took me out to the front yard to show me the first blossoms on our hibiscus bush. We didn’t pluck them or anything but it was so pleasant to just watch them. We had planted the tree last winter and these were the first blossoms on this tiny bush.

And as nothing is complete these days without mentioning Penny. So ….. well she made the day special by hopping like a dear all around the house being naughty as she had just come out of her elizabethan collar after a fortnight and had her sutures removed.

So, this was it. A regular day made special by simple kind gestures and a loving puppy.

How did you make your day special? Write to me about your thoughts on love and matters of the heart. Leave a comment or write to me at deeptiamitsrivastava@gmail.com

Image from: https://static.pexels.com/photos/5390/sunset-hands-love-woman.jpg

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Garden fresh dill…..

Dear Friends and Readers,

I recently took up gardening and put up a veggie patch couple months ago. It has been a therapeutic experience to be sure. It is so pleasant to see the seeds turn into seedlings, two leaves grow to four and watch plants grow in height, flower and bear fruit. I will write a post on my gardening experiences some other day…. but today is the day of Dill.

After harvesting some fresh rocket for salad last week, today I harvested some fresh organic dill. Oh! the aroma of home grown foods. After the recent rains my plants are greener and healthier. And dill was great with healthy stocks, green leaves and heavenly smell.

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Some people enjoy dill in dips, but I love to cook it with potatoes. Its a simple preparation with just a little bit of oil, cumin seeds, chopped potatoes, salt and chopped dill. And cooking on slow flame beautifully browns the potatoes and retains the heavenly aroma of dill. Here are some pictures of the preparation.

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This is a quick and easy preparation. Leave a comment below if you need the step-by-step recipe.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Write to me or leave a comment below to share your gardening experiences with me.

Cheers!

D.

 

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The Breakfast Journey …. Part – 3

Good Things Cafe

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Dear Friends and Readers,

Moving forward with our breakfast journey, on one beautiful sunny morning we headed towards Mason park, Perth. We found ourselves at Good Things Cafe.  Decor wise the place is minimalist. I think what keeps them running is great food. The seating arrangements are comfortable and outdoor seating available as well.  Limited parking, but again the place is thronged by locals and not everyone transverses Perth in search of food early in the morning like me. Amit had a couple of things which were good and my bagel with cream cheese and tomatoes was fantastic.

Reviews:

The Good: Very good food, good service

The Bad: The place looks like an upscaled room now being  used as a cafe, ample space and all, but hardly any effort goes into painting the walls white!!

The Ugly: Nothing that I could find.

Zomato rates this place as 4.1, again very close to my experience. Chick here to read reviews and take a look at the menu on zomato.

Here are some photographs that I took.

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I will keep you all posted on my breakfast journey with more restaurants, pictures and reviews.

So dear friends, wherever you are, share with me your experiences with food and various eating joints. You never know I might get a chance someday to visit your favourite places as well.  Write to me at deeptiamitsrivastava@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Enjoy!!

 

 

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The Breakfast Journey ….. Part – 2

The Hardware Store Cafe

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Dear Friends and Readers,

On one particular cold and stormy morning, our breakfast journey took me to the Hardware Store Cafe in Scarborough. It is a beautiful cafe with good food and great ambiance. With friendly staff and good seating, there breakfast menu is plentiful with a lot of options for vegetarians.

Now the review.

The Good: Good food, good ambience

The Bad: Hardly any parking

The Ugly: Nothing that I could find.

Here are some photos for you to enjoy. After breakfast we also went to nearby Scarborough beach. It was raining, cold and windy and I was glad to have had some good breakfast.

Zomato rates it as a 3.4, which is close to probably what I would give. Chick here to visit zomato page for more images and menu.

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I will keep you all posted on my breakfast journey with more restaurants, pictures and reviews.

Enjoy!!

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The Breakfast Journey ……. Part – 1

The Breakfast Journey

How it began

Much awaited weekends as they are, most of them turn out to be more tiring than the week itself. You spend time finishing up the house hold chores, cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing and folding that huge mountain of laundry lying on the spare bed, and to add to my list would be gardening, painting, making to do lists and getting on with my reading. So at the end of Sunday, I am probably more exhausted than I was on Friday.

To break this cycle of monotonous adulthood, Amit and I decided to explore the beautiful city that is Perth. Thus began our breakfast journey.  This post offers you some insight on the places that we have been to for delicious food.

1.         The Shipping Lane

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As the name suggests, the Shipping lane is located near the beautiful Fremantle beach. This restaurant offers a rustic shipping environment with modern chic furnishings. The menu offers some delicious food choices. But, like most places, vegetarian selection is limited. The staff is very friendly and accommodating though and can help you with non-meat versions of a dish. After finding sweet potatoes in my baked beans, I’d say the preparations touch on the healthier side. With rustic hanging pendant lights, an up-scaled shipping container for a bar counter and shipping port blueprints wall decals, I found the decor beautiful and food was good too. So over all a win-win. I especially found bus boys selling fresh flowers to be charming. And to give you a better view, here are some pictures in and around The Shipping Lane.

And finally the review.

The Good: Good food, good views, good ambiance

The Bad: Limited menu

The Ugly: Nothing ugly that I could find

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Zomato rates it as a 3.5, which probably what I would give. Chick here to visit zomato page for more images and menu.

I will keep you all posted on my breakfast journey with more restaurants, pictures and reviews.

Enjoy!!

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Women and Leadership

leadership_qualities

Dear Friends and Readers,

Many young women like me find it difficult to find focus and set goals when it comes to our professional lives. Despite being competent and competitive, we somehow still find it difficult to take on leadership roles. Do you wonder why that is? Does being a woman with a career weigh you do sometimes? Do you find it difficult to manage work and home or are you plagued with guilt at leaving your kids at day care?

Well I wanted some insight and therefore when opportunity presented itself in May this year, I signed up for a Women’s Leadership Symposium in Perth.

To tell you the truth, as the excitement wore off, by the time I reached the venue, I was having second thoughts on wasting a perfectly good work day, but, it turned out to be a very insightful and inspiring event.

I got an opportunity to hear wonderful inspirational women from completely varied backgrounds. Women who had overcome demands of raising kids single handed, faces life threatening disease, faced death, tragedy and mental illness and come out on the other side as winners.

Tress Walmsley, CEO of InterGrain, recounted her story of moving to Three Springs, a small town of about 300 people at the time. She was lazing around the house in her pyjamas when someone showed up on her door asking if she could drive a tractor. Thus began her long and fruitful journey at the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA. An organisation that I am proud to be working with at present. She and her husband, like true partners, raised kids requiring frequent medical attention, sharing the responsibility. They both took off time from work to raise their family. She overcame bias at work and worked with her husband as a team to achieve professional success. She was named the WA Rural Woman in 2015. Her story was a journey of accepting and adapting to numerous changes and challenges that life throws at you, including cancer. Her positive, happy-go-lucky attitude got to me the most.

Professor Colleen Hayward had a completely different story. Overcoming cultural differences, discrimination and bias, she has managed to give voice to many. Having worked in so many different areas including health, education, employment, child protection and law and justice, her life story was awe-inspiring. She overcame a different background, difficult relationship and even cancer to get to where she is today. Helping people to be more culturally aware and knowledgeable about their rights is a regular day for her. Her apparent strength, grit and determination was inspiring.

Jassica Smith, the famous paralympian shared the story of  her disability, trying to conform to mainstream society standards, her struggles with performance pressure and a decade long battle with depression. Her story was dark, deep and very touching. I appreciate the courage it took for her to come on stage and open up to a room full of strangers, baring her soul. In the end, overcoming all, she too has found her purpose and balance in life. She talked about investing time in right things at the right time. Her message of believing in what we say, communicating with people around us and acknowledging ones limits was simple yet powerful.

Then came the trio panel of – Linda Wayman, General Manager at Southern Cross Austereo; Abbie Wright, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Aurecon and Avril Fahey, Head of Metro Allied Heath and Home Care Packages at Silver Chain Group. Linda talked about how she has managed to be successful in one of the most competitive worlds – Media. She attributed her success to curiosity and making the most of opportunities. Her advice – Who dares wins. Where Linda had years of experience with a tough and no bullshit attitude, Abbie was sweet, smart and friendly. Abbie works in human relations and her approach to diversity and inclusion has placed Aurecon in the top 25 for LGBTI inclusive organisations. She was humble in accepting that opportunities that came up in her life were surprising at times, but she realised that she had been asked and this meant that people had placed their trust in her. There was only one way from there – Upwards. Her message – Most of us do not recognise the leaders in ourselves, but when opportunity comes, don’t fight it. If it is the right thing to do, don’t wait for approval from others. Avril talked about translating her learnings from test cricket to health care and how her determination and sportsmanship came in handy. Her advice – Change your self talk. Remember your accomplishments and use them to motivate yourself.

Another keynote speaker Sonja Cox, Assistant Director, Strategy & Planning, WA Police shared the story of how the murder of her teenage boyfriend steered her to a career in law enforcement. She has faced death in her family, broken marriage and is raising 3 young sons as a single parent, all this along with a full time successful career. She encouraged all to realise the strength in ourselves and actively letting it out. She said women are afraid of being confident as confidence turns thoughts into action. And sometimes what holds us back is a choice not to try. Her advice- Be brave to try something without the guarantee that it will be a success. Be brave. Be authentic.

Rabina Siddique, Human Rights Lawyer, Author and a Mother of young triplet boys in her acceptance speech talked about the power we all have to create the change in the world we wish to see. She talked about how confronting reality, ability to change perception, faith in oneself along with courage to stand up for a cause, even if at times it means standing alone, can cause a ripple effect of change.

Professor Lyn Beazley, Science Ambassador for WA was all plush with pride for all that women who have achieved great feat in the field of science and technology. Brimming with experience, she recounted tales from her life as well as other women scientist who seized opportunities, that were not their first choice and accomplished great thing by being curious and courageous at the same time. She was very open about the fact that women hold themselves back. For instance, if a women was applying for a promotion, she wouldn’t unless she could tick every box. Does it sound familiar to you? Well, it did to me. And I found her advice very effective – if you know something and can learn the rest- go for it. And seize opportunities, even if they are not your first choice.

Ronni Khan, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest was an absolute darling. She is loud, colourful, naughty, unapologetic and fun. She regaled the audience with her sentimental stories from growing up in South Africa to running a successful event management company in Australia. The desire to make a difference in peoples lives led her to OzHarvest. OzHarvest has delivered more than 32 million meals to women, children and men in need while rescuing more than 10000 tonnes of food from ending up in land fills. She inspired us all to be the best versions of ourselves. And not to despair if we are still looking for a purpose in life…..it will come to us.

The event overall was a great leaning experience. The speakers and discussions with attendees all made me realise that we all have a leader within us. Sitting in that very room were women who had conquered mountains, won battles against life threatening diseases, overcome adversity, managed work and home and still refused to recognise the leader in themselves. Oh! Heck!! I had failed to recognise my accomplishments and a budding leader in myself. The symposium was a true learning experience. It was an exceptional tale of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. Of how through thick and thin, through soul wrenching darkness, people had still managed to stay positive and succeed.

Leadership-in-Action

Insight from all the speakers and the group serve me as a source of inspiration and much needed motivation everyday. Before attending, there were some things that I already knew and practiced, but others that I learnt and have stuck with me.  My list of top takeaways from this leadership symposium is as follows:

  1. Award yourself for small wins to keep yourself motivated.
  2. Do what you love and love what you do.
  3. You cannot help others if you are not okay yourself.
  4. Do the best you can do everyday and new doors will open.
  5. Have a good support system of people you trust and those who have nothing to gain by being in your life.
  6. It is important to have a team as part of the decision making process and have them own the decisions made. It keeps teams together.
  7. Believe in yourself and dare to win. Change your self talk.
  8. Do not fight the opportunities that come your way. If it is the right thing to do, do not wait to approval from others.
  9. Translate your learning from other areas.
  10. We all have strength in us, we don’t need tragedy to bring it out.
  11. We all have the capacity to create ripples of change, and
  12. Seize the opportunities that came your way, even if they are not your first choice.

So dear friends and readers, hope you enjoy reading this post and find it helpful in clearing some of your doubts. Hope this helps you to identify the leader in yourself. Share your experiences with me. Leave a comment below or write to me at deeptiamitsrivastava@gmail.com

Images from:

http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/images/article_images/small/leadership_qualities.jpg

http://www.creativenj.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Leadership-in-Action-2014-wordle449x303.jpg

 

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