December 2, 2008

Mississipi River view & a Play

This weekend was hectic and fun as usual. I will be home in 2 weeks! Cant wait!!

One of my friends invited me to view a play at the "Guthrie theater". This theater has a "Bridge to nowhere" also called as "Endless Bridge", a cantilevered walkway stretching 178 feet over West River Parkway, provides stunning views of the Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge, and St. Anthony Falls. Here are some pics of the view, decide for yourself.

Below is a picture of the most talked about bridge - St. Anthony Falls (35W) Bridge . This 1,216 feet long bridge was constructed in 9 months! You can see a little part of the bridge to the right and the chimneys are from one of the Mills - I think Pillsbury.

In the picture below I was playing with the reflections from inside the theater.

The play I watched "A Christmas Carol" was awesome. Here is the synopsis of the play: Miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge greets Christmas Day with his well-known bah humbug! On Christmas Eve, the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, visits Scrooge in his bedroom. Marley has been doomed in death to wear the chains he forged in life through his stinginess, greed and uncaring attitude toward others. Scrooge's chain, he says, is much longer than his own, but there is still time for Scrooge to change. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.

Picture & synopsis of Christmas Carol from source

November 21, 2008

Cold Stone Creamery

They say...Because the World Deserves Better Ice Cream! I agree!

Cold stone Creamery - The name comes from the frozen granite stone, used to mix nuts, fruits and candy into smooth and creamy ice cream on “the stone”. All ice cream creations are offered in three sizes: "Like It", "Love It" and "Gotta Have It"

I hogged on the Cheese Cake Fantasy: Cheesecake ice cream, Graham Cracker pie crust, Blueberries & strawberries
My little sister choose Mud Pie Mojo: Coffee icecream, OREO, Peanut butter roasted almonds and fudge
They have yummy looking cakes too! What else can a girl ask for? Well, my sweet guy to share all these delicious stuff with ;-)

Have a great weekend you guys

November 12, 2008


Weekend weather forecast for Minneapolis (source)

I am glad I will be here only a month & will fly off to Bangalore where its 84 degrees F today :(
No more outdoor activities as it will be too early to go snow mobiling or ice fishing (Not that I love snow, just want to have fun!). I am going to keep myself busy shopping the coming weekends... looking forward to it :)

Some flowers to brighten my day. Thank you T.
PS: I will try and take some decent snow shots & more to come on my shopping trips. Cant wait for the weekend!!

November 3, 2008

I need longer weekends

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was great! To cut a long story short, here is what I did.

I visited another Apple orchard & sorted apples off a conveyer belt, No- I am not especially fond of apples! Then on the way back visited a beautiful lake, yeah – I am in the land of 10,000 lakes! Ended the day by having great pasta with mozzarella cheese & mushrooms as dinner & we were a big loud gang that was laughing like crazy! Thankfully they did not kick us out of the restaurant! The next day I had several friends from work at my place for lunch.

No wonder I always feel we need longer weekends. 2 days is so insufficient, no time to shop or sleep :( Yeah, I am cribbing! Well, you can’t blame me. It’s Monday!

Have a great week ahead. Enjoy these pictures from my weekend.

October 29, 2008

Lebanese Deli

My Dinner tonight - One of the Best!!

This is what I ate...with the descriptions of the yummy dishes from the menu...

Tabouli: Traditional salad of parsley, tomatoes, onions, cracked wheat, lemon, oil & spices.

Hummus Bi-Tahini: Fresh garbanzo bean dip made with sesame paste, lemon & garlic (None of the Hummus I had before compares to this!!

Mistah: Thick bread bakes golden brown, served warm with melted butter

All this with a beautiful book to give me company!


October 23, 2008

At the Apple Orchard

Since I have been only sulking all this while about how sad I am to be away etc., I have decided to write about the silver lining around the clouds!

I am surrounded by so many nice people at work who take me to different fun places, it’s a great experience! I have been to the US multiple times before, but they were all very short business trips (read: 2 weeks or less) which I would spend off shopping till my feet hurt! This time it’s different as I am here for 3 months, and thankfully before the snow started (Yeah this is another big story, will tell u later – I always get here when the temp is below zero). This time I got to see some part of fall & I am happy about that.

One of my Friend’s took me to an Apple Orchard with her 7 year old son- Adam. The lady who owns the place bought $50 worth of popcorn from him last year as a fund raiser for Cub scouts. He was hoping that she will buy some this year too – that was his mission. However, like all kids his age – he got so distracted with the Halloween Room that was set-up at the orchard (I will write about it soon); he almost missed selling the popcorn till his mom reminded him :)

I have never been to an apple orchard before – so no expectations here. This place is in South St.Paul, a small & sweet place owned by a friendly old couple. They had different varieties of apple trees, I was so tempted to pluck some!

Here are some pictures from "Orchard Hill"...

Entrance to the orchard

Apple Trees

Apple polishing machine

Apples for sale

Adam lost in wonderland…No…Halloween land!!

October 10, 2008

Simple joys of life....

I do not like staying so far away from home for such a long time...
I do not like the fact that I need to be at work by 8.00 am...
I do not like coming back to an empty apartment...
I do not like weekends where I need to spend 2 boring days all by myself in a studio...
I do not like the fact that such a happy/cheerful person like me is so depressed & lost these days!

What I like is such simple joys in life that could brighten up the most depressing days: These are so colorful & cute!!! They made my day!!

Like someone once said "A joy shared is joy doubled" I hope they brighten your day too.

Have a great weekend!

September 28, 2008

Sinful Indulgence!

Freshly picked raspberries:

Pound cake topped with vanilla icecream & garnished with a generous amout of mashed raspberries combined with sugar syrup!! Sinful indulgence indeed!

September 21, 2008

Far, Far away...

I am west bound...travelling halfway across the globe for work [without my family:(] for somemonths... so, this means that I will be posting loads of pics and might get little time with this blog. Have a good day!

September 5, 2008

Boring life??

I have so many friends whose favourite one liner in life is "I am Bored!". Now, how do we really determine if we are leading an exciting or boring life?? there is a way!

Ask yourself this one question:

Yeah! it stumps you sometimes, doesn't it?? Think hard!

If you can list 2 or 3 things that you have done for the first time in the last 1 month - then you are having fun! Otherwise you are leading a boring life.

Its all in your hands! Take charge!! Enroll for those music or art classes that you have been planning for years now. Re-look at your New Year resolutions, I am sure you discarded most of them, dust those & see if you can keep up with those resolutions, pursue the hobby that you always wanted to, go on that postponed holiday now... Its all in your hands!! There's more to life than sleeping, eating & going to work!! Have a blast!! Live like there's no tomorrow!!

Keep asking yourself this question frequently & ensure that you are doing new things all the time.

(Yeah, yeah, even I go thru philosophical phases sometimes!)

August 29, 2008

“What’s in your bag? It’s so heavy!”

This is a question I hear regularly from all the men in my life (Other half or best half ;-), Brother, friends). They find it amusing/ridiculous that I always carry this really heavy bag!

I am sure that most of you girls out there reading this post can relate to me – almost all of us have a bunch of MUST-HAVE’s in our bags without which we do not step out. Whether we are going to work, shopping, movie, dining out, traveling…we just have to have these in our bag…we might not need everything everyday, but, just in case the need arises, we are prepared!!

Here’s a sneak peek into my bag:

  1. Mobile Phone: Mine crashed! So this old model Nokia is a make shift arrangement till I buy my new one.

  2. Purse: I picked this up in Minneapolis last Dec from Target. I love it as it has several compartments for holding cash, cards, pictures, visiting cards, pen and coins

  3. Pouch: Made of denim from Bath & Body works for all make-up related stuff.
  4. Perfume: Christian Dior Addict 2 is my latest Fave (earlier it was Chanel Allure). Picked this up in Srilanka. I love this pink tonic!
  5. Hair brush: This over sized Con-air brush is a must to manage my wild, moody, messy tresses! Almost all days are bad hair days for me!

  6. Camera with accessories: Earlier I used to click pics on my mobile (which crashed recently) so now my Sony Digi cam is a must wherever I go along with battery charger & a cord to transfer pics.
  7. Mint: Listerine strips are a smart invention in my mind – so compact, yet so powerful!

  8. Hand Sanitizer: Germ-X from Walgreens. Before I spotted this & got hooked on,I used to wash my hands several times for no reason (waste of time, running to the washroom multiple times to wash my hand) yeah – I guess I have OCD! Now I just use this wherever I am! I think this is one of the coolest inventions for people like me!

  9. Post-its: To make multiple lists in the hope that I will be able to organize my life?

  10. Pen: To manage my multiple lists (shopping, groceries and things to do…)

  11. Book: I am currently reading “Leadership & the one minute manager” by Ken Blanchard, I am not a big fan of self help & leadership books. Now that Sidney Sheldon is no more & Jeffery Archer is not writing Good books like before (Kane & Able, Shall we tell the President etc.,) I started reading the remaining books in my house. Please suggest some good fiction books if you know of any.

  12. Chocolates: I used to love chocolates till about some years back. Then I grew out of that. Now my other half has taken over that love for cocoa. The only chocolate I eat without giving him my share is Raffaello, I have not seen this in any stores here yet :( Thanks to Venky, I get my endless supply!!

  13. Lip gloss: 3 of them: Mac ultra shine, gift from a friend from my ex-company. Beautiful shade…transforms you into a diva in seconds! (Yeah, little exaggerating – but love it!). 2 from Beauty rush line of Victoria secret – lovely shades of brown (Latte love & coconut craze)

  14. Body Lotion: Very Sexy from Victoria Secret. It’s heavenly! Terrific!
  15. Moisturizer: Japanese Cherry Blossom (JCB) from Bath & Body works. Yummy…
  16. Body spray: JCB again from Bath & Body - used along with the same scented moisturizer for a layered effect.

  17. Make-up: Not much of a make-up person, only for special occasions I might need eye liner & eye pencil (Lakme), Mascara (Loreal-volume shocking), lipstick & lip pencil (Maybelline), 2-1 sharpener for lip/eye pencils.

  18. This & That: Safety pin (for emergencies…hmm…like wardrobe malfunction! Yeah, I am from a weird planet!); Small bottle of water; House keys; Dental floss; Nail filer; USB drive

Yeah, this bag packs a punch(Picked this from NEXT in Lido Mall). Well, looks could indeed be deceptive!

I know that all of us do not carry the exact same things…So girls, share what’s in your bag?

Signing off humming: ….And I am a material Girl…..

6 unspectacular quirks - TAG

This is the first time I have been tagged, Anitha has passed on this tag to me. Thank you Anitha, you got me thinking...

Rules of this tag:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here is the inventory of my unspectacular quirks (Or should I call them spectacular?! – One of a kind):

  1. I have to wash my hands at least 1000 times a day! No reason….just OCD I guess!

  2. While going out of the house, I have to say a small prayer to the picture of god stuck on the door – every time! Yeah! I am not the hyper religious types! So this is a surprise.

  3. I do not like any other fonts on my comp other than Trebuchet! I have this annoying habit of changing all the fonts on all the slides made by others to Trebuchet.

  4. I can only sleep on the left side on a bed. That’s my side. That’s it!

  5. If I am alone in the house at night – I lock myself in the bedroom & don’t come out till next morning… well, is there proof that there are no ghosts?!

  6. I can’t stand cluttered spaces. So – I hardly buy/let my husband buy any furniture in the house. I like it to me minimal & spacious.

I am passing on this tag to Sireesha (Breaking the rules)

August 24, 2008

Dessert - Junnu

We are just back from a refreshing vacation in Hyderabad. Its feels great to be pampered by Mom & now I am sad to be back. While we were there dad got Junnu paalu & mom made Junnu for us. All of us love it - Its one of our favourite desserts.

Junnu is prepared from cow/buffalo's lactating milk. I do not know what this is called in other languages. However, I do know that this is very nutritious and is low in fat content & above all tastes heavenly! melts in your mouth!! While leaving Hyderabad mom gave us some more of this milk & she shared the preparation process with me.

  • Whole pepper: 10-12
  • Cardamom: 4
  • Jaggery: 100 gms/according to taste
  • Junnu paalu (Lactating milk): 1/4 litre
  • Buffalo Milk: 1/4 litre

Junnu made from first day's milk is very dense & has rubber like consistency. Second days has soft custard like consistency. I love both. Here, as I have 1st days milk - I mixed Buffalo milk to make this little softer.


Step 1: Junnu is made in my house using a double boiler method. Two sauce pans are required for this process. One of the pans should be larger than the other one. Fill 1/4th of the larger pan with water and bring this to simmer/boil.

Step 2: Coarsely grind pepper & cardamom together Powder jaggery & make a thick paste by adding 4 tsp of water Add Junnu paalu & add buffalo milk in the smaller vessel Mix in ground pepper & cardamom powder along with soaked jaggery powder to the milk

Step 3: Slowly insert the smaller vessel in to the bigger vessel. Cover both the vessels with lids & leave it on low flame for about 20 min. Once the milk is set & reaches thick consistency, delicious junnu is ready!

Refrigerate & serve cold.

This is my entry to Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi event hosted by Purva of Purvasdaawat

Serendib Srilanka: Colombo

It took a lot of time convincing mom that I will be safe in Srilanka…. Finally after 3 months she agreed! And what a trip it was!! We were a gang of 4 girls (or women…what ever!?)… Who had a blast!!

Srilankan Airlines had a 3 night 4 days package at affordable prices – This included to & fro air ticket, taxes, airport/hotel transfers & breakfast. All of us could afford it & still shop a lot. So with some apprehension about the deal (will there be some surprise charges…) we reserved our tickets & happily landed in Colombo.

The airport is very clean and has some duty free stores – they had a wide range of perfumes & liquor. All of us lost track of time & finally realized that we spent about an hour buying stuff – we ran to collect our luggage if it was still there – thankfully someone kept all of it aside. There are some bank counters to exchange dollars to Srilankan rupees in the airport. We got 109 Srilankan Rupee/dollar. Thankfully our hotel coach was still waiting to pick us up and we reached the hotel post several security checks at various check posts.

We stayed at the Taj Samudra – Beautiful property, huge rooms & good service. We hardly slept with excitement, we were the first ones to land in the coffee shop for breakfast & then embarked on a sight seeing trip. The hotel provided us an a/c car at a very reasonable price. The city has a rich cultural heritage. We saw several Buddhist temples, churches & Hindu temples. My favorites are the Beira Lake Temple & Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple. We also saw the commercial district, Town hall, Independence square, we ended this evening at the spa.

Next day was dedicated to shopping…It’s like leaving a couple of kids in a candy factory. We shopped till we dropped. House of fashion & Odel are worth a mention. We picked up a variety of branded shirts/T-shirts for like 200 Srilankan rupees! Good quality & low prices…so now you know why we went there the rest of our trip & filled our bags! I looked for more excuses & more people to gift so that I could buy more.

Food was not a problem as you have a lot of variety. We tried Srilankan – good – close to Indian food. The seafood is delicious. Followed by icecream at Gelato almost everyday of my trip!!

In between we made time to go to the casino....No profits - but won whatever we gambled on ;-) These casions are very small when compared to the one's in Las Vegas. Dont expect a "real casion experience"...its just fun. thats it!

All good things have to come to an end….so did our journey. Several cherished memories & hope that I will go back another day to explore more of Srilanka.

Find Information about Srilanka

Open air fish pool @ Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple

Seema Malakaya Temple in the Beira Lake

Taj Samudra Hotel

View from the hotel room

Shopping at ODEL

One of the local market's

View from Raja Boujan Restaurant(from top floor)

Srilankan Family