Category Archives: Wedded Bliss

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Spring Cleaning – How to do a Pantry Makeover

Spring … crossing my fingers that its on the way. Winter has been one tough beast this year.

I tend to feel anew in spring, I want to open windows, clean everything and feel light and fresh especially after being couped up all winter long. I clean out my closets, switch out my winter jackets and of course, clean out my cupboards. I really enjoy a clean non cluttered kitchen, including pantry, fridge and all cupboards. Its borderline obsessive, but I figure there are worse things to obsess over right?!

Courtesy of Balance Bar (I am a 2014 Ambassador) I was able to chat with nationally recognized Registered Dietician Sharon Richter and leader of the #SpringintoBalance movement. She spoke to my Spring Cleaning (and obsessively organized) heart with her wisdom. I applied them to my Spring Cleaning Pantry Makeover and wanted to share some of her tips with you:

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HOW TO: Conduct a Pantry and Refrigerator Makeover

  1. Take everything out of the cupboard
  2. Look at expirations dates. Remove anything expired or rancid.
  3. Organize into categories (herbs, canned, breakfast foods, dry goods)
  4. Read the labels, analyze your food …

⁃ Do you have some items that have High Fructose Corn Syrup, hydrogenated oils or MSG? Get RID of them!
⁃ What is the Sodium Content of your canned goods? The average person should consume no more than 2400mg in a day – look at sodium content and portion size.

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HOW TO: Reorganize your food back into your cupboards and refrigerator.

  1. Put the healthiest items at eye level so that when you grab something its always a good option.
  2. Portion control – portion things out in advance. Prep for yourself. **Sharon says that she uses snack size baggies to measure out cereal portions and then puts the baggies back in the cereal box – GENIUS! **
  3. Use tupperware and baskets to organize your food and dry goods. An organized kitchen leads to a more awareness when eating

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Here’s an extra tip from me … keep all of your snacks (pretzels, chips, cookies, crackers) in a basket in your pantry.
This keeps bags from flopping around and looking messy BUT it also keeps you from instinctively grabbing that bag of chips when you’re hungry. If you don’t see it right away you are less likely to “just grab a few” or snack on empty processed calories rather than healthier alternatives.

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Join me for a Twitter Chat!

Balance Bar and Sharon Richter will be hosting a live, one-hour Twitter party focused on Spring Cleaning TOMORROW Thursday, March 20 at 3:00 PM EST.

Joining the Twitter party via the hashtag #SpringIntoBalance will be the most trusted natural products company, J.R. Watkins, and Balance Bar blogger ambassadors, Sweet Life Ericka, The Nutritionist Reviews, and me!.

*Balance Bar and J.R. Watkins products will also be given away to participants using the hashtag throughout the Twitter Party.

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A single red rose

6 years ago today I walked through the doors of Gemma, an Italian restaurant in the Bowery Hotel downtown. I was meeting a boy. A boy that I had known 6 years prior. A boy that I had had seen once breifly in London and a second time in California. A boy that I once thought had slipped away.

That boy had found me after all that time and asked me to dinner.

When I saw him in Gemma the stars aligned. We sat at a small table, shared bites of dinner, a bottle of wine and 4 hours of conversation. I fell deeply into a place I had never been before, I knew that from that night forward my life would include him.

When I left he handed me a gift. A simply wrapped package with a pink bow. I didn’t open it in front of him, instead I hugged him goodbye and hopped in a cab. When I was safely 1 block away I ripped it open.

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A single red rose. Perfectly painted on canvas. A single red rose that will live forever.

That boy is of course now the man that I am happily married to, the single red rose is the third best gift I’ve ever received (G1, G2 take first and second) and the most surprising gift of all time.

VC, thank you for always being full of beautiful surprises.

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(the full story of how we met can be found here)

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4 years … reflecting on my wedding

Today is VC and I’s 4th wedding anniversary … I honestly can’t believe its only been 4 years, life has been so full of wonder and goodness that it seems like more time should have passed!  I’m currently in Muskoka Ontario celebrating the wedding of a dear friend, so I’ve been reminiscing a bit on our own wedding day.  Here are some of the lovely details and our short video edit!

Aug 1 2009.  VC and I had what we consider to be our “official” wedding.  However this would be the second time I walked down an aisle, being that the day before I was in Indian Bride.

Our wedding – East meets West was a 5 day long fete in Santa Barbara.

Day 1 – The Sangeet.  

A traditional Indian “dance party” held at the home of the bride’s parents.  This evening is for the family and wedding party and is a way for those closest to the bride and groom to gather before the wedding madness begins.  We held this at my dad’s house and enjoyed a beautiful evening of Bollywood Dancing and laughter!

Day 2 The Mendi Party and Rehersal.  

The Mendi Party is a women’s only event that is a time for adornment.  The bride gets intricate henna which can take hours to apply.   I went for simpler henna because I wanted to be able to cross over from an Eastern bride to a Western Bride.  My henna was on my feet and the palms of my hands

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She then sits and enjoys the party while her guests get adorned with henna as well.

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We followed the Mendi Party with a very casual rehearsal dinner.

All of these events were held at my friend Erin’s house.  Erin and I have been friends for close to 15 years and I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends who will open their doors to my memories.  Thanks Super E! 

Day 3 – The East Wedding 

The morning of the Eastern wedding began with the bangle (choora) ceremony.  This ceremony is when the maternal uncles of the bride adorn her with red and white bangles called choora.  The bangles are cleansed in milk overnight and then taken from the milk and placed onto the bride.  The bride is asked to be natural, make up free and freshly showered, as if to symbolize the new beginning that she is embarking on.

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I also had my friends and loved ones help tie the gold kalira ornaments to my bangles.  Each Kalira symbolized a blessing.

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This morning was extremely special to me, It was a time with only my family and wonderful to have a one on one moment with each person amidst the chaos.

After the bangle ceremony we went to get our hair done.  I had long extensions braided into my hair to create one long thick braid.

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The wedding itself began with the Barat.  Which is the groom’s entrance … VC came in on a horse with his friends and family singing, dancing and playing the drums.

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The ceremony was held in a Mandap, a  four-pillared structure is said to represent the four parents of the couple, without whose support, love and blessings, the marriage would not have come to take place.

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And what followed was an epic dance party.

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Day 4 – The West Wedding 

Now begins the traditional wedding …

Getting ready

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Ceremony

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Reception

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This Western wedding was the wedding of my dreams.  It was what I had pictured in my head whenever I was a little girl dreaming of her wedding day.  My memories of it are blurry as I would expect most brides are but what I do remember is a glow.  A glow that my loved ones were dancing in, a glow that I was encased in with my new husband and a glow that symbolized how beautiful life was going to be.

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Day 5 – The Send off Brunch

100% honesty, I barely remember this day.  I was exhausted from the week and still basking in my glow.  I said my thank yous and good byes and enjoyed the rest of the day in Santa Barbara with my husband.  3 days later we left for an amazing honeymoon … but more on in another post.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week and thank you for listening to my reminiscing :)

If you have some extra time, this is the short video edit that the Phenomenal Elysium Productions did for us

All Photo Credit Dane Sander’s Photography

 

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