South Run Recreation Center

posted on: Thursday, July 23, 2015

It is rare for Gracie and me to make it out of the house in the morning, mostly due to her nap times, for which I am blessed and extremely grateful. She naps in the morning and in the afternoon and sleep through the night. What more could I ask for? 

Summertime fun

posted on: Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer has arrived and is here to stay! The oppressive heat we have been experiencing lately reminds me of that old, familiar feeling of being back in India. Our backyard was starting to look more like a desert, so we decided to water the grass and weed a little bit. Not one to miss out on an adventure, Gracie was ready to help. Sort of.  She may look mesmerized by the water.

Happy Birthday, Alexandria!

posted on: Saturday, July 11, 2015

Every year, for the last five years, Aaron and I have attended the birthday celebrations of the city of Alexandria.  It is always a blast, pun intended :)  Alexandria knows how to throw a party! Fantastic big band live music, free cupcakes, awesome vendors, a huge bubble machine, and fireworks to the Star Wars theme music.  What more could you ask for? 

DC Dragon Boat Festival

posted on: Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another thing checked off on my bucket list this weekend! The DC Dragon Boat Festival has been something I have always wanted to attend but never got around to it. This year, Aaron was invited by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US, to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival Race. He was thrilled to do something that was a tradition of DC, to be outdoors on the water, and to get some exercise all at the same time :) Of course, Gracie and I went to support him and cheer on the teams that assembled early in the morning. We missed the opening festivities because we had to feed Grace and get her ready, but we made it in time for Aaron to join the team he was assigned to, find a parking spot right at the Boat Center with an out of order parking meter (score!), and scope out a good spot for some pictures of the race.

National Museum of the Marine Corps

posted on: Friday, May 15, 2015

Photo credit -
An unplanned thing happened today. Gracie and I found ourselves in the parking lot of the National Museum of the Marine Corps this morning after we had dropped off Aaron who was part of a group of Congressional staffers who were invited to tour the Museum and spend a day being a Marine. Since we wanted to avoid traffic and never ones to pass up an opportunity to explore, Gracie and I stayed and spent some time walking through the place. And, boy, am I glad! I checked off another thing on my DC Bucket List! This place was amazing! It increased the respect and admiration I had for so many who volunteer their time and sacrifice their families to serve this amazing country and protect its people. Each exhibit was meticulously planned and highlighted things in a way that helped us get the whole picture.

Clemyjontri Park

posted on: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It is already reaching summertime temperature around here but I am thrilled that I can go outside the house and enjoy the sunshine, lovely greenery, and explore my surroundings. That is something I missed intensely as I sat, cooped up in the house all winter, trying not to go crazy! This month, I am determined to get out and explore as often as I can. Gracie loves every minute of it! 

Today, we wanted to visit Clemyjontri Park. My local friends have all been to this place and highly recommended it, so I was dying to check it out. It definitely did not disappoint! Clemyjontri is a one-of-a-kind park. It is playground built to accommodate children of all abilities. In fact, they even have a swing that is specially designed to allow kids in wheelchairs have a go. Isn't that amazing?!

Holland in Haymarket {Burnside Farms}

posted on: Saturday, May 2, 2015

In honor of Gracie's 1st birthday and a commitment to myself to explore again, I took Aaron and Gracie to Burnside Farms in Haymarket for the Holland in Haymarket Festival of Spring 2015.  This was something I had been looking forward for several weeks now and had been tracking when the flowers were at their peak season. This weekend was it! 

Burnside Farms hosts the Annual Holland in Haymarket Festival where they plant over five acres of spring flowers to provide the largest, and most spectacular pick-your-own-flower event in the world! Right here in our own backyard in Virginia!  

Oatmeal Savory Abelskievers (Paniyarams)

posted on: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

First things first: I am not a fan of oatmeal. I will try my hardest to camouflage the oats by any means possible. Yep, a bit crazy, I know. But that's how I feel about eating oats. I still eat it because it is good for me but I don't have to eat it in porridge form always, do I? In fact, I rarely do, and when I do, it is also disguised by a generous portion of fruits and nuts. That's how I like it.  When I came across this recipe in Cook, Click & Devour, I knew I had to try it. It was savory! Done! 

Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad

posted on: Monday, April 20, 2015

Today is Day One of my attempt at clean eating. Now, I usually tend to eat healthy—lots of veggies, protein, fruits—however, I also load up on the carbs and I love salty things :) If I don't get my breakfast in, then I find myself craving some white rice and eat more than is needed to curb the hunger and the craving. Not so good, right? In fact, it is a vicious cycle and one that is hard to break: skip breakfast, blood sugar levels yo-yo, eat carbs, turns that into sugar, body stores fat, and you start all over again. Since my gym membership has been calling my name for the last three months and I have seen its doors maybe four times this year, I decided I needed to kickstart my dormant gym-rat status and start somewhere. Eating right. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven helps me do just that and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! Check out Ali's blog (one of my favorites) where she creates this and other fantastic recipes.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

posted on: Saturday, April 18, 2015

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” 

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

From the moment we walked through the doors of the Visitors' Center, I felt like I had been transported to a different time—a serene, beautiful, surreal one. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem. Stunning expanse of the most beautiful little gardens all over the acres and acres of nature.  It was the perfect day to explore. But then again, Aaron and I are ready to explore any day of the week ;) Grace loves the outdoors and will relinquish all desires for sleep just to soak in all the beauty around her. And, oh it was beautiful! I will warn you that this is a picture overload but I am sure you won't mind when you see God's gift to us - Nature at its best!

The Johnsons' Visit_Family Photos

posted on: Sunday, April 12, 2015

What a lovely family photo, if I say so myself! No one could have guessed that Scotty was having a little meltdown and Gracie wanted to walk around the backyard and I was taking these pictures with my camera on a tripod and a timer/remote combo. Didn't they turn out just great? A wonderful way to preserve our memories of Adam, Tonna and Scotty.  We loved having them over, showing them around, eating good food, and enjoying just being together! Please come again, Johnson Family! 

The Johnsons' Visit_Sunday Morning Stroll

Sunday mornings are treasured around here. Since church doesn't start till almost the middle of the day, our mornings usually consist of a fantastic breakfast by Aaron, and a stroll along our favorite trail. What makes this even more appealing, at least for me, is that the path is now paved :) Pushing a stroller just got a whole lot easier! Obviously, we were excited to show Adam and Tonna one of our favorite spots. So, we headed out for a stroll on a beautiful, cool, crisp morning where the sun was shining but the air still had a nip in it, and the blossoms were spreading out their petals and enjoying themselves. Perfect for a walk, right?

Cherry Blossom Festival 2015

posted on: Saturday, April 11, 2015

In the five years that we have lived in these parts, Aaron and I have never made it to the Cherry Blossom Festival together. No, let me revise that statement. We have never made it to the Festival - for obvious reasons: crowds, traffic, lack of parking and walking space around the Tidal Basin.  This year, we had family in town — Adam & Tonna Johnson—who drove in from South Carolina and were excited to see the blossoms. So, we joined them along with the throngs of people who traversed the beaten path around the Tidal Basin. 

The Johnsons' Visit_Old Town Alexandria

posted on: Friday, April 10, 2015

It is a rare occasion for us to have family pay us a visit! Adam & Tonna Johnson (Aaron's cousins on his mother's side) along with their handsome little boy, Scotty, drove all the way from South Carolina for a weekend of fun, food, and exploration. Aaron and I were thrilled! 

Among the many reasons we enjoy our time with them was the fact that they are adventurous eaters like we are and they love to explore. I knew this would be a fun trip!

Blacksburg, VA

posted on: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No matter where I go, Virginia will always have a special place in my heart! It has the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen and each season punctuates its beauty in a significant way. Aaron and I had been itching for a road trip for quite some time—actually, since our last one to North Carolina & South Carolina in September 2014. It was time. We loaded up our new SUV (yay! we have a second car!) and hit the road.  For those who do not live on this side of the country, trust me when I say, we felt our burdens lifted a bit as we drove through the suburbs and they gave way to green, lush meadows and bucolic beauties. The fast pace in this part of the country can take a toll on one's morale and once in a while (or as often as you can), one should escape into the far reaches of the open countryside and take some deep breaths of fresh air. The bonus for us was that we got to see our dear friends - The Kachers - who moved away last year and we rarely get to see them anymore!
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