Parlez-vous francais?

Photos by J. Mears

I don't yet either, well not quite. But I'm working on it!

I took about three years of French in high school and wish I would have stuck with it. C'est la vie, I suppose. I realize it's not the most practical language, but I'm throwing caution to the wind on this one! 

I had my first class last night (beginner level 2 at Alliance Francaise San Francisco) and wow, do I have a long way to go. The good news is that I actually understood over half of what my instructor was saying. 

His technique is immersion, so the minute he arrived, there was very little English! But the reality is, even if I attend class, do the homework and practice, can I actually become fluent this late in the game? Is it possible? 

I'll just have to give it my best! À bientôt! 

Weekend Wishes

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Friday friends!

Lots of happenings in the city the next few days, it's San Francisco's Pride weekend! To help breakdown all the festivities, here's a great guide by SF Weekly. It looks like the weather is going to cooperate for all the parades!

Have a sunny weekend!

Apartment + Garage!

Photos by J. Mears

Living in San Francisco means small space accommodations for Jay and I (and probably for the majority of city dwellers). We actually enjoy it much more than anticipated. We know exactly what we own and each item has its place, it's very simple. This also means that if something doesn't have a designated spot in our home and we don't love it, it cannot stay in our home (visitors excluded of course!).

So far, this one-in, one-out policy has been working very well. We are master editors! However, we have had to stash our camping gear and golf clubs at a generous friend's storage space (our lucky duck friend's apartment has a huge storage room for each tenant!) since there is just no room for these items in our cozy apartment.

Well, now we have become lucky ducks as well! Recently the garage in our building has come up for rent. Not only that, but it also has a small room attached to it (a proper extra room with windows!). After some discussion and a budgeting exercise, we have decided to take it!

We are still small space living but now have a place for our bikes, snowboards, golf clubs and camping gear. And no more street parking to Jay's delight, hip hip hooray!

I have some major plans for the extra room, so stay tuned! Hint: our guests may finally have some privacy and the pullout couch routine may be history!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Photo by Ksenija Savic Photography

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Today we celebrate and honor you!

My dad and I share the love of lists (preferably bulleted). We love things organized and neat. And we over think everything (mostly in a good way).

So dad, I give you my list of why you are so special to me:
  • You took a huge risk and giant leap of faith in 1974 and decided to come to the U.S. so your future family could have a chance at a better life.
  • You are a self-made man.
  • You have the strongest moral compass of anyone I know.
  • You taught Manan and I to always do our best and work hard, even if many times the results are out of our hands.
  • You are an artist and musician.
  • You put family first, before all else.
  • You taught me how to read, ride a bike and fly a kite.
  • You are a planner, which means that everything is always taken care of.
  • You took (and still take) care of all of us, mom, Manan, me and Subhadra ba, always.
  • You love your family so much that sometimes it keeps you up at night.
And the list can go on and on. Dad, we love you so much, no list can ever contain all the reasons that make you so dear. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do for us!

Kavita, Manan & Mom

Weekend Wishes

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Friday friends!

We are looking forward to a wonderfully peaceful and quiet weekend! A really low profile Friday, we are planning an evening at home catching up on Dexter season 4 (we are so behind!). We had followed season 1 and 2 and then just sort of dropped off the TV show routine.  Michael C. Hall, cute or awkward? I go back and forth on that one.

We will get our lazy bones out and about on Sunday however, wish us luck on our 9 mile cross-country race. Yikes! Feeling ill prepared as usual!

Wishing all the fabulous dads out there a Happy Father's Day on Sunday! Happy weekend!

Packing Made Simple

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I love traveling as light as possible, so I am always on the look-out for the perfect weekend travel bag. I just noticed Lo & Sons O.G. bag featured on Cup of Jo this week and am quite tempted to make the purchase. I am even more so tempted because there's a potential 40% discount available (details here)!

I think what I like most about the O.G. bag, is the side pocket for extra shoe storage. That's so handy! There are so many trips in which I have had to leave my running shoes behind because there's no room. Now I'll have no excuse to skip my run when on the go!

Fleet Foxes

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Yes, yes, yes! I'm super excited, we are going to see Fleet Foxes in September! Tickets went on sale for the Greek Theatre in Berkeley today (pre-sale code is blues).

I really just recently started listening to Fleet Foxes. I'm a little behind! Jay tried to introduce me to them awhile ago, but sometimes (often actually) it takes me a little time to warm up to new music. 

Jay likes to say that if I had a radio station it would be called, indie hits from 1995-2003. He's probably right! Better late than never though, currently loving Fleet Foxes recent album, Helplessness Blues!

Weekend Wishes

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Friday friends!

While the rest of the country is enjoying the hot hot heat, in San Francisco we are making do with mild yet windy conditions (it's at least sunny for the most part!). Therefore I won't feel guilty staying in a bit balanced with a little time at the de Young Museum. We have more Picasso to enjoy starting tomorrow!

To kick off the chill weekend, we start tonight at the Omnivore Books on Food event for a lesson in homemade fizzy soda! 

Have a relaxing and carbonated weekend!

Congratulations Ph.D.!

Photos by J. Mears

My little brother has always been an academic. When we were young, while most of us were running around aimlessly, he was at his desk quietly writing and drawing. He's always been one of my best friends and I love him dearly.

That's why I am so incredibly proud of him for passing his final dissertation review today! As of this afternoon, he's officially Doctor Manan Desai!  

Congratulations Manan! We are all so very proud of you!

Green Spinach Lentils

Photos by K. Mears

Thanks to a little encouragement and motivation from my sweet friend and neighbor, I finally attempted a recipe from The Indian Slow Cooker. I purchased it back in March, but I think I was slightly intimidated and also weary of being let down once it came to actually cooking.

I crave very specific Indian food flavors, it's a taste that only my mother can create. And until my mom decides to move to California, I will need to attempt to recreate the taste on my own!

For my first trial, my friend and I picked out Green Spinach Lentils (Palak aur Sabut Moong Dal). Once my friend read the ingredients out load, I realized I had just about everything I needed to make this tasty dal! And like author Anupy Singla promises, it is really quite simple. It truly is, a little chopping, stirring and then just waiting!

Now, my first attempt did not go perfectly. I am quite sure that I accidentally put a few extra cups of water in the slow cooker (my miscalculation). However, the taste was still good and when served over brown rice, it was really quite fine. I will definitely attempt this one again.

With one recipe pretty successfully completed, I am excited to try the next!

Weekend Wishes

Photo by J. Mears

Happy Friday friends!

This four day work week could not end soon enough. Ever have one of those weeks that just sets you off balance? Well, I'm hoping to claim some of it back this weekend. Nothing a little hike through Lands End can't solve!

Also up for the weekend is lunch with family in the peninsula and perhaps a little overseas vacation planning. There is always something to look forward too!

Have a fun and balanced weekend!

We Won't Give Up Sweets

Photos by J. Mears

Jay and I like to think we are fairly healthy individuals. We do our best to stick to exercise routines, we try to eat whole foods and whole grains, and in general believe that all is well in moderation. But one item we struggle with is sweets. It's been our weakness for as far back as I can remember.

We love dessert and aren't willing to give up our sweet tooth. So we've decided to get on board with Michael Pollan's food rule #39, "Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself". He basically says, there's nothing wrong with eating sweets or pastries, as long as you are willing to prepare them because chances are good, it won't be every day.

For our first attempt, we tried our hand at salted chocolate chip cookies (using this recipe from Stonesoup). To our surprise, it was really quite easy and extremely satisfying. The cookies not only tasted like heaven, but it felt incredibly fulfilling to have a successful baking experience!

We made it and we ate it!