Wall Decals

Growing up, I was not allowed to hang up anything on the walls of my room. My parents were afraid that putting up posters of the Backstreet Boys and picture frames would leave holes in the wall, thus damaging it. Also, considering that I live in Northern California, we always had to be cautious about what we put on our walls (if anything) in case an earthquake were to occur.

I recently rearranged things so I began searching for the perfect wall decoration for my room that would not harm me if an earthquake were to happen and it would not leave holes in the wall or chip the paint. Not an easy task!

I had an idea when I saw this featured on one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere. As much as I loved the idea of a tassel garland, the price tag and the size were not for me.

A few weeks later, I came across these wall decals that were on sale at Michaels. It fit my requirements and complimented the color of my walls perfectly. I knew just the place to put it.

What do you have on your walls for decoration?

City by the Bay

The 4 day long weekend was a great one. It was a perfect balance of relaxation and activity. I took naps and finished the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy and am on the second, Catching Fire. One day was spent in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco.

We went to Union Square to catch the tree lighting and then ventured to the Hayes Valley neighborhood where we ate at Patxi’s Chicago Pizza. I love deep dish pizza and was happy to find a place in the Bay Area that comes close to the amazing pizza you get in Chicago.

The next stop was Smitten Ice Cream. This small ice cream shop features only a few flavors a day but they make their ice cream right in front of you. Using only fresh, local ingredients the ice cream is made in 60 seconds with the help of liquid nitrogen-run ice cream maker. The ice cream was full of flavor and creamy.

I had the TCHO chocolate (made in San Francisco) ice cream with cocoa bits.

Also, their cash register is an iPad and if you pay by credit card you have the option to have your receipt texted or emailed to you. Pretty cool! I can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer.

It was so fun to play visitor to a city where I’ve lived my whole life, exploring new neighborhoods and places to eat.

Thanksgiving Outfit

At heart I am a sweats kind of girl. Most of the time its jeans and a shirt or sweater. However, I do have random urges to dress up. Luckily, this urge came to me on Thanksgiving morning.

With all the eating that would be taking place, I decided on wearing a sweater dress with leggings. Since it rained in the morning, I wore a light cardigan and my boots.

It ended up being the perfect outfit as I was able to play with my niece and also indulge in a slice (or two!) of pie.

Giving Thanks


Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine. Honestly, how can I not like a holiday that is centered around food?

My plans for this long weekend include: Thanksgiving dinner with family, reading The Hunger Games (I just started this week and I’m hooked), and scouring the web for Cyber Monday deals (I cannot deal with the lines and crowds that come with Black Friday). I’m looking forward to it.

While the origins of Thanksgiving are not something to be proud of, its message is a good one: being grateful for what you have.

So in no particular order here is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • My family and friends
  • The good health of my family, friends, and myself
  • A roof over my head and food to eat
  • Kettle cooked jalapeno chips, Thai food, red velvet cake and guacamole
  • Books/my kindle
  • Heaters, sweatpants, and fuzzy socks (to keep me warm all winter)
  • The simple pleasures, my favorite being sharing a good meal with a good friend

What are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Winter Must Haves

This winter season, I am on the hunt for the perfect pea coat. I have one currently, but would like something more fitted. I am by no means a fashionista, but rather a recessionista (love that term).

Here are some great pea coats I found under $100. (Keep in mind that these are great quality and pea coats last a long time.)

Zappos; $89.00

Macy’s XOXO; $59.99. I love the neck of this coat.

Macy’s XOXO; $59.99. Oh this is my favorite. Love the ruffles near the buttons and how it flares out. Adds a unique flair!

What’s on your must have list this winter?

Wedding Outfits

As soon as my brother got engaged, my mom and I started thinking about all the shopping we’d get to do! We debated on going to India or not and instead decided to get all our outfits from here. I thought it’d be fun to show you all my outfit selections! It didn’t strike me to take individual pictures of myself, so instead I looked through photos taken by family and friends to find these pictures.

Pooja at home: I liked this sari because the blouse was heavy, but the actual sari was plain.

Mehendi night- I loved the color and how the outfit flowed out.

Garba- This was the sole outfit of mine that came from India. I loved that it was all different colors but still went so well together.

Wedding day- doing my sisterly duty! I think my brother is asking if my arm was hurting. 🙂 As we walked through the hotel lobby, the guests were talking pictures of us.

Reception- I was trying to make sure my plate filled with paneer tikka didn’t make the picture. I guess not! 🙂


On the way down- My brother and I doing what we call the “India pose”- no smiling, no touching.

The Bright Side of Being Sick

I get migraines. My mom used to get them, so thanks to genetics I now get them every few months. For those that have never had a migraine I cannot describe just how debilitating it is. My mood completely changes, I can’t eat anything, and even the slightest sound reverberates in my head. Medicine doesn’t help so all I can do in these instances is go to bed.

I awake the next morning almost feeling superhuman, like I can do anything. My head feels so light..it’s amazing! I love that feeling. After so many hours with a migraine, I forget how it feels to actually feel normal. It almost makes the migraine worth it to realize how great it is to be completely healthy. I say almost because I am not a masochist.

The point is it is awful to be sick. But it makes us appreciate the little things. Like how it feels to not have your head pounding, how nice it is to breathe through your nose, or being able to speak a sentence without having a coughing fit.

Hope you all have a happy, healthy day!

My love for fusion

I absolutely love anything that is a fusion of Indian and American styles. I can’t really explain why, other than that it is so quintessentially me.

I have just as many garba/bhangra/Hindi film tracks on my iPhone as I do Britney, Maroon 5, and Nicki Minaj. I enjoy chaat just as much as I love In-N-Out. My Netflix queue consists of Hindi movies and Gossip Girl. Fusion is just who I am.

Here are my favorite fusions in dance, music, and food.

Dance

I discovered this video a few months ago via Facebook and have yet to tire from it. The classical song selection remixed and paired with hip hop is brilliant. It doesn’t hurt that the dancers are amazing. My favorite part is in the first song when the beat kicks in. So, so good!

Music

This mash up of Nicki Minhaj’s Super Bass and Mission Kashmir’s Bumbro is my current jam. I first heard this song featured on the Curry Smugglers (who are awesome! Check them out.) and I was instantly hooked.

Food

Okay, I love food so after much debating I’ve decided that my favorite Indian-American fusion food is tandoori pizza. Pizza is amazing by itself, but tandoori pizza adds such a kick that it takes pizza up a few notches. Besides don’t pizzas called paneer tikka or mango chaat make your mouth water?

Some of my other fusion favorites:

I found this cake on Pinterest and immediately repinned it with the caption “My future wedding cake”. Jokes aside, I love the mehendi-like designs on these cakes. They look almost too pretty to eat.

There is no better Indian-American fusion book than The Namesake. This is the book that started the Desi lit genre. It’s one of my all-time favorite books and it’s what cemented Jhumpa Lahiri as one of my favorite authors.

Do you like fusion? Why or why not? What are some of your favorite things in fusion? (It doesn’t have to be only Indian American fusion.) I’d love to hear your thoughts!

PS – I thought it interesting to note that I was inspired to write this blog post during this morning’s work out. Don’t you love it when inspiration strikes at the unlikeliest of times? I sure do. 🙂

Branding

For those of you reading this post, please look at the address bar. Yep that is correct, I have my own domain: http://amisampat.com.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, especially after I revived this blog a few months ago.

I bought the domain on 11/11/11 and considering I’m not an engineer, it took me a while to figure everything out. But I got it! 🙂

I’m pretty excited, because I am finally starting to create a brand for myself. This is especially important in the marketing/social media field, which I hope to one day find myself in. Having read countless articles about branding and how it helps boost your visibility, I am glad to have taken the first steps.

Next up, I need help in making my site prettier! Any graphic designers want to help me out? I promise to pay you with an abundance of baked goods. 🙂

What caste are you?

Despite being born and raised in the US, I know a great deal about the Indian culture. I can speak Gujarati. I know the story of the Ramayana and Mahabharat. I have some shloks (prayers) memorized. I’ve read a lot about Indian history and have done kathak (Indian classical dance) for 12 years.

I was getting my make-up done for my brother’s garba-raas event (an Indian folk dance). The girl was an Indian-American (like me), just a few years older. While putting on my foundation she asks, “What caste are you?” I honestly replied, “I don’t know.”

I was taken aback by the question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before from someone in my own generation. What does it matter, especially here in America?

She then said “Oh you are so cute”, which annoyed me. I could tell she thought I was a naive little girl, but caste has never been a big factor in my life. I know I’ve asked my parents what our caste is on numerous occasions, but they themselves are not concerned with it. Therefore it was never anything important enough that I felt the need to remember.

It has never been a restriction for me. I’ve never been told I only have to marry only within my caste..in fact, my parents themselves didn’t.

It makes me wonder why this girl who was born and raised in the States was so interested in knowing my caste. Perhaps she just meant it to be small talk or maybe she was genuinely interested. If these are the questions she asks during small talk, well then…that’s a whole other blog post.

Does it make me a bad Indian for not knowing my caste? I don’t think so! It’s an outdated practice that has no place in the US and now has no relevance in big cities in India.

Has caste played a big part in your life? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!