Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year everyone! As we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018, hope we all always remember to be thankful and optimistic! It’s been a wonderful year spending such amazing time with my family and friends. I am looking forward to what this new year holds for all of us! As a family we did so many fun excursions. I wanted to share some of my favorite excursions.

As summer started, we spent almost a month in Colorado. I want to share my loves of Colorado first. We hiked local trails at Glenwood Springs, camped and hiked some more at Buena Vista, hiked St. Mary’s Glacier, visited our local favorite spots: Estes Park, Boulder, Downtown Denver, Highlands, and most importantly, enjoyed our time with family!

Glenwood Springs/ Rifle Falls State Park:

The hike itself is a little hidden, as there are campsites before the hike trails even begin. Fortunately, it truly is an amazing and hidden gem. My husband surprised me to this amazing hike for our 7th wedding anniversary. It was well worth the wait! It is said that Rifle Falls is the home of Colorado’s only 80-foot triple waterfall!

 

 

Rifle Falls State Park

5775 Hwy 325

Rifle, CO 81650

Tollfree: 800-678-2267

Local: 970-625-1607

rifle.gap.park@state.co.us

http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/riflefalls

Buena Vista

I lived my whole life in Colorado, and I cannot believe I had not made it Buena Vista. I really enjoyed this place. It is an amazing small town with even more breathtaking hikes and views. The downtown area is so cute and quaint. It’s a street full of delicious food trucks from burgers to Mexican yumminess. We stopped at Louie’s Ice Cream Shoppe. We got there right on time, because minutes later the line was out the door! It’s a cozy ice shop with lots of kid-friendly outdoor games. I think we spent a good hour just hanging out.

 

Louie’s Ice Cream Shoppe

Phone: (773) 450-0803

Website: www.facebook.com/Louies-Ice-Cream-Shoppe

Summer Hours: Open 12-10pm till October

Address: 414 E. Main Street

Buena Vista, CO 81211

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Cottonwood Pass: (Altitude: 12,126 feet) If you are in the area, you have to hike the Continental Divide trail at Cottonwood Pass. It is a great hike for beginners and very much kid friendly till the last part. It is a little ROCKY! It was beautiful to see wildflowers growing next to tundra and snow. Visiting for North Carolina, it was amazing to see snow in July!! I will always be a #Coloradan in heart! We had a blast sitting on the edge of the rocks and just enjoy the amazing views. Our 10 plus family and friends crew took over the trail. The dads and the kids had a blast leading the group.

 

Chalk Creek Campground and RV Park

I really enjoyed our group campsite at Chalk Creek Campground and RV Park. It was such a well organized, clean, and open campground. I really recommend this place, especially for people traveling in a large group. The management was very friendly and helpful. The only con, if I had to say, would be that because we were in the lower level, the full hot shower bathroom was a little far. Thankfully, the bathroom was very clean and truly HOT showers!

 

11430 Co Rd 197

Nathrop, CO 81236

Phone: 719-395-8301

www.chalkcreek-campground.com

St. Mary’s Glacier

IMG_3530Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow in the summertime is amazing! This is an easy to moderate, kid-friendly hike.  The trail is about 1.5 hour round trip (2 miles), but it will require some climbing through boulders. When we reached the end of the trail, it was truly just breathtaking. The snow topped mountains over a large clear lake is just picture perfect. It was also fun to see people snowboarding and sledding down icy snow in the sunny middle of July Colorado weather! There is so much space for kids to run around. It is truly an amazing spot to snack or picnic! I am in love with this place!

Directions: From Denver, take I-70 west about 25 miles past Idaho Springs to Exit #238 (Fall River Rd. or Rd 275). Follow Fall River Rd. for approximately 9 miles until you see the trail to St Mary’s Glacier on your left. The parking area is past the trailhead on the left. You will see cars parked in a big open, dirt lot.

 

Parking: There are parking spaces, but it does get filled quickly. So, plan accordingly. There is a $5 parking fee, which is well worth the scenic beauty. They are very strict about parking on the road!

Day Hike Quick PACK LIST:

  • Cash for Parking
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock/ Chapstick
  • Ankle hiking boots
  • Water/Snacks
  • Bug spray
  • Layers (it can get windy)

There are so many places in Colorado to enjoy, like my parents scenic, untouched mountain-view backyard. These are someplace I enjoy going back anytime of the year.

 

Estes Park: (Going back in history for a little bit). For our first anniversary, we spent the whole day there. We started the day with a horseback-riding excursion, and then strolling down the old-fashioned, classic downtown area, where we finally stopped and ate at a rooftop Mexican restaurant. I wish I knew the name. It was fun then, and I am sure, if it’s still there, anyone can find it, because it was the only rooftop restaurant in the downtown area. After lunch, we hike up to the old cabin ruins for a birds-eye view of the whole town. It is just majestic. Finally, we ended the afternoon with wine tasting at a local winery. I am so bummed that this placed closed few years ago. This place was so charming. We were allowed to take the bottle of wine by the stream. There we spent hours literally watching the hummingbirds flying from one direction to another.

Every time we visit Estes Park, we try to do something new or something old. It’s just a beautiful iconic old town that has a lot of beautiful memories for us. We love revisiting the place all the type, anytime, literally.

Boulder Downtown: I started my life in Boulder. When we were kids, we learned all the bus routes to get to Boulder Downtown, recreation center, parks, etc. So, either we were saving all of our dimes and quarters for a bus ride, or literally, riding our bikes everywhere. Boulder is another place that I can never get enough of. So, whenever we are in town, or time to spare, we are in Boulder Downtown. We take our son everywhere, and when he returns to the same place, it is so cool to see his eyes glow with fond memories of his time there. It is so nice to hear him recall his past memories, from whether it be touching the water fountains, playing at the large boulder park, eating ice cream or just watching the street magicians.

Denver Downtown: 20 plus years ago, when we moved to Denver from Boulder, my parents opened a restaurant and gift shop in Downtown Denver. So, almost every weekend the kids were in the downtown area. We saw the area grow from a scary, “don’t walk alone street,” to a safe and upcoming “16th Street Mall.” We love taking our son on the light rail to Downtown and ride the 16th Street free mall ride bus. Our go to place has been the Union Station. In just a few years, it has become so fun and lively, with amazing food and drinks. It is truly a hotspot to hangout with friends. I love the atmosphere, it feels like the old meets new, and it’s always changing.

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Union Station

 

Address: 1701 Wynkoop St

Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (800) 872-7245

Website: unionstationdenver.com

Denver Highlands: Highlands is an amazing, redeveloped neighborhood. It is truly in the middle of everything. There are three diverse districts to discover here: Highlands Square, Tennyson Street and Lower Highland (LoHi). There are so many boutiques shops, restaurants, breweries, and my favorite, ice cream shops. Everyone needs to go the Little Man Ice Cream Shop and try the toffee ice cream! OMG, it’s yum!

 

Little Man Ice Cream Shop

Address: 2620 16th St.

Denver, CO 80211

Phone: 303-455-3811

Website: http://www.littlemanicecream.com/

Please do check out a video of our visit to Colorado in 2017. Enjoy!

 

 

Lakh Bati Puja

Our son, Sky has been a wonderful blessing to us. This past January, he turned 4. Each year I try to host an event that is memorable to everyone, especially my son.

The first year, we were in Nepal and hosted a grand party for him there. It was a wonderful event to meet both of our extended family!

The second year, we hosted an even grander event. In Nepali culture, we celebrate the 2nd year of the child’s life more than the first year. It probably goes back to the old days, as  life, health, and longevity was a serious issue. Nepal lacked and in some places still lacks the suitable conditions to live a long and healthy life. If a child lived past 2, it meant that the child will most likely SURVIVE. So, we celebrate the 2nd birthday like it’s their first! For Sky’s 2nd birthday, we had a black tie event and all the guest dressed up accordingly. We had a photo booth for the adults, and a face painter and balloon artist for the kids. We even had adult and children party favors. It was so much fun organizing the party!

His 3rd birthday party was Bollywood themed birthday party. Everyone dressed up in Bollywood attire and danced the night away. Everyone (kids and parents) has started looking forward to Sky’s birthday party, as it is a surprise and a lot of fun each year. A fun surprise for Sky was that Spiderman came to visit us at the party.

So this year, for Sky’s 4th birthday and as we moved to a new place, I wanted to celebrate and be thankful for what we have. We hosted a Lakh Bati Puja during the day and celebrated his birthday with Spiderman (again) in the evening. Most of my family from Colorado (20 plus people) came to celebrate with us. The event was beautiful. In the evening, we enjoyed the awkward smiles and amazement of seeing Atul dressed up as Spiderman. The kids’ reactions were just amusing. Thank you for the effort, babe!

What is Lakh Bati: An ancient Nepalese tradition of lighting 100,000 hand-made cotton incense. Lakh Bati, is a ritual that cleanses all karmic doshas (blemishes) and opens doors of good fortune. There is no true trace of why or when it started, but people believe that hosting a Lakh Bati Puja or being part of the event will lead to great fortune, health, and happiness. Hosting the event is not easy either, as there are strict ways to make the “Bati” (light). For me, this day truly would not be possible without the guidance and the help of my mother. Thank you, mommy.

 

 

 

 

 

Planting, potting, blogging..

 

Taking advantage of living in the Southern States means gardening is okay in winter. Harvesting your own produce means having fresh vegetables and herbs right in your
backyard, without worrying about what pesticides was used on it or how it was
transported, saving you money and time. Seriously.

img_5684You can use seeds or replant the vegetable or herbs that you can buy from a nursery. It’s really up to you. I am a beginner in gardening; so seeding is something I will wait till my mom visits us. I usually just use rosemary, thyme, cilantro and mint in my dishes, so I repotted those herbs. My husband loves spicy peppers, so I made a separate pot of chili peppers for him. I think it will take the peppers few more months before we can taste it. The herbs will be ready to use in just a week. I just need to make the roots feel “at home.” It will take little maintenance and I can clip off the leaves as needed. Wonderfulness growing in my patio!! This is exciting!

Please do check out my short video of my son and I potting!

Herbs:

-Rosemary

-Cilantro

-Thyme

-Mint

*Chili peppers

Average Costs:

Herbs: $25

Pots: $14

Miracle Grow  soil: $8

Total Cost: $47 (one time cost)= long term saving and time!!

First Day of School!

I am sure, actually, I am positive that the first, first day of school of your child is more exciting for the parent than the child. Seriously, I am not exaggerating; well it img_4496was for me. Today marked the officially first day of school for my son, even if it’s just pre-school. He was very eager to wake up, brush teeth, wear new clothes, eat and just get to school. Strangely, waking up early felt normal. I am sure it will be just TODAY. As it was totally worth it! I could see in my sons’ eyes the eagerness to get to school and feel special that he is old enough to go to a place and learn. I felt so proud of him. 

As you may all know, we have recently moved to a different State. So, we have a lot of cardboard and wood boxes, storage bins, and just stuff around the house. Instead of throwing it out, I thought I’d make a chalkboard out of the wood box. The the thing to make “first day of school” sign!

Step 1: Using your power tools or saw, cut the wood to the size useful to your needs. I made a square size and a picture frame style.     img_4410    

Step 2: If needed, sand the wood board, so that the paint will go on more efficiently. 

Step 3: Paint the wood board with chalk paint. Let it dry for at least a hour before doing a second coat of the chalk paint.      

    Step 4: Once dry, the chalkboard is ready. Write your messages!! Erase, reuse, have fun! **Recommendation: Do not use permanent pens or marker, unless you want it to be permanent. Use chalk markers, so that you can erase and use the board. 

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Moving to North Carolina

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Leaving CO

2016 has been a year of full of roller-coaster rides for us. After a year and half of searching for the “perfect” place; it seems like we are a step closer. We decided to move to North Carolina. We packed our bags and drove cross-country to Charlotte, North Carolina. We made our road trip to NC into a mini vacation and visited our family on route. It was one of our best decisions we have made, yet. As Skyler (Sky), our son, met his cousins Pala Didi and Mayank Dai in Kansas and Maniel Dai in Centralia for the first time. Even for us, grown ups, it was great seeing our family we rarely get to visit, and just simply hanging out with the cousins!

Once we arrived in Charlotte, we struggled for a few weeks. Struggled in the terms of directions, adapting to the hot and humid temperature, as well as learning that ABC is the where you buy liquor and liquor only, and beer and wines are sold only at the grocery stores. In this time, we were also breaking out of our shell and becoming more so emotional, which was good, as we were able to talk more openly about if the move was even the right decision. Thankfully, Sky didn’t get too sick from his allergies; as Spring is suppose to be horrible because of pollens. It also confirmed to me, at least, that this was the right decision. After few weeks, we finally met up with few of our friends. It felt good to meet people we knew in a new town.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we realized within a month that we are in-love more so with Raliegh, NC. So imagine this, you are paying monthly rent (short-term lease=higher $$) in Charlotte, but looking for homes in Raleigh, which is about 2.5–3 hours away. Sometimes, we would drive 2 or 3 times in a week, back and forth, and spend extra money on hotel for the weekend. I think we spent our down payment in just 3 months. No joke. It was one of the most stressful 3 months ever, but poor Sky, he was a “trooper!” He quickly realized that this was going to happen more often than he liked. Thankfully, he didn’t mind it too much, as he knew he would get to play in the pool and have waffles at the hotel! Such simple pleasures! Thankfully, we also made wonderful friends to take care of us and tell us “just relax.” On a funny note, every house we went to see, Sky had his opinion. He would take off his shoes in almost all the homes, feel it out and be very blunt in what he had to say, such as, “I don’t like this house, this room smells, why is that there?” and the one and only home he said, “I like this house, this is my room,” is the home we picked in Chapel Hill.

Our closing date wasn’t set till few months down the road. So we thought, “why not travel around till we closed on the house.” And, that is exactly what we did. We went to Playa Del Carmen in May, Bryce Canyon and Zion Mountain in July, and by the end of the month we were back to our new home in NC. I truly feel that we found our beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. Every time we would talk NC, Sky related it to this home. I only realized this when we walked into our new home after getting the keys and Sky said, “finally we are in North Carolina.” It’s adorable what a 3 and half year old thinks and says.

I have an amazing family and great friends that I’ve left behind in Colorado and I’ve made wonderful friends here in North Carolina, so why not share my journey with all and keep in touch in a more unique manner. I want to share my life, experiences, and what I am still learning…

I wanted to end on this note. Thank you to my family, who has always supported me. Thank you to Atul and Sky for always loving me dearly. And thank you to my new friends in NC. I am very thankful and I can’t say it enough. You guys have been a wonderful support system and made this move a breeze! Thank you again!

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Arriving to NC