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 was 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 sizeuseful to your needs. I made a square size and a picture frame style.
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.
Atul and I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world together, from different parts of Mexico to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Nepal. I hope we can continue this trend with our son. Sky has done not so bad for being just a 3 and half year old. He went to Puerto Rico at the age of 3.5 months. Then to Nepal for his first birthday. He has been to Mexico 3 times already. Sky loved it every time.
Atul loves the nature and I love the beach. So whenever we have any free time, you will find us hiking or driving on any closeby scenic mountain routes. Our local excursions means being with the nature. We felt Sky, at the age of 2.5 was a good enough of an age, especially since he also enjoys nature to start camping. As always, he was an awesome trooper!
We went camping at the end of camping season (September), so the campsite was pretty empty. I actually like it like that (less crowded). It is the same exit going towards Mesa Verde National Park, except you would make a left turn instead of right to go to the park. It’s a little hidden but close to the highway. They even have small hiking trails within the campground. We didn’t have time to play mini-golf or go to the pool. Pool looked okay. We saw so many shooting stars. It was just beautiful. It does get cold in the evening and early morning, which is expected. Besides that, we really enjoyed the campsite. Our tent site was exceptionally large. I don’t know if all tent sites are that large. It was great for us, as we had amazing mountain views, on the corner, next to a cool looking barn (almost abandon) and the playground. The last night, they even brought us “free” firewood. It was nice gesture.
$20.00/night for one person.
$27.00/night for two people.
$3.50 for each additional person six years and older.
All sites shaded by ancient cedar trees, with fire pits.
**I don’t really agree with the ratings. The husband and wife who own the campsite were very helpful. They had told us that they recently purchased it, so the rating maybe a reflection on the past management. The bathroom area was clean and the campground itself was very well kept.
If you have a dino lover like my son, it is totally worth the visit. It’s actually a thrilling experience for adults as well. The giant dinosaurs amongst the natural desert and the rocky arches as the background makes it look so real. Be ready for the scorching heat!! They have a small museum. It was still being worked on it when we were there.
A cup of tea.. relax.. it looks like it will be just fine…
My Nepali Style Chai Tea:
Tea, it’s a simple way to bring people together. In Nepal, tea is served at all times, in any occasion, literally, any of time of day. Tea truly is a source of hospitality and conversation.
Everyone has their own style, which is okay. Some like it with a lot of masalas (spices), some don’t. Some make a large batch of just the black tea with masalas and just add milk as needed. I prefer it to make it fresh each time. It only take about 10 minutes to make the hot and savory Nepalese chai tea.
Chai (serves 3-4 people)
2 cups of milk
1 cup of water
2 tablespoon of brown sugar (add as needed)
1 tablespoon of freshly, chopped ginger
2 teaspoon of black pepper
4-6 pieces of cardamom and cloves (slightly crushed)
½ piece of a cinnamon stick
2 table spoon of black tea (If you cannot find Assam loose tea—Tetley tea bags are fine)
Step 1: In a medium size pot, pour all of the milk and water. The stove should be in medium to low heat.
Step 2: Be cautious, as milk heats up quickly. Allow the liquids to boil and then add the sugar. Stir occasionally.
Step 3: Add the tea, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and the cinnamon stick. These are essentially called the tea masalas.
Step 4: Once all the masalas are added, the liquid should stop boiling. Within 5 minutes, once it starts boiling again, turn off the stove and let the tea sit for few minutes.
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!