Getting to Know Me Challenge

Happy Saturday everyone!

I am sitting in bed this morning sipping coffee from my favourite mug wearing my favourite shirt. :))

 

Lots to do today as Hubby surprised me that he’s flying into Vancouver today! YAAHOOO! -> Clean up the apartment, do laundry, buy groceries ….and write up a fun blog post!

I came across the Getting To Know Me Challenge on LunaLoveCow’s page and thought it would be fun to do! So here goes, 10 questions 🙂

1. What is your favourite food? As of RIGHT NOW a rare treat of Poori and Channa masala but only when Hubby visits. A mouthwatering pic on Instagram!!

2. What Harry Potter character would you want to be and why(if you don’t know any, go read the books right now!)? Oh my goodness! I have not read any Harry Potter books, but definitely will be getting on that bandwagon soon!

3. Do you exercise, if yes what do you like to do? I don’t really like to exercise in the gym but I force myself to go because I cannot harp on good health to my patients if I don’t follow my own advice! Apart from interval speed running on the treadmill & weights, I love outdoor exercise activities such as hiking!

4. What person or character from any time in history would you like to be friends with and why? I would want to spend time with both my Grandfathers again, they were such wise and loving men, so close to my heart ❤

5. Where in the world would be your ideal place to live if cost and immigration were no problem? I would stay put in Canada!

6. Do you have or want children? Not at the present moment but in the future probably 

7. What is your dream job? Travel journalist!

8. Margaritas or pina coladas? Margaritas

9. Favourite way to spend a Saturday? Depends on my mood and two extremes ….1) curled up in bed, Netflix binging 2) discovering a new hiking adventure in B.C.

10. What is your favourite band/musical artist? I used to have favourites as a teenager but right now I listen to any genre of music in any language that makes me feel good – English, Hindi, Tamil, French, soft rock, Indian classical, pop, jazz….the list goes on 

Ok wow. That was harder than I thought!

Now here’s your challenge of 10 questions! I nominate all of my readers to answer these questions and drop me a message when you do! I love getting to know more about you!

1. Given a chance to abandon your current life and do something completely different, what would you do?

2. Do you have a pet? If not, what pet would you want to have?

3. What do you do when you see a spider crawling around at home?

4. Peace, love or happiness?

5. What qualities do you look for in a doctor?

6. (not including English) If there was another language you can learn to read, write and speak to perfection what would it be and why?

7. Tell me more about a hobby that you want to take up?

8. What do you love about yourself?

9. Favourite colour?

10. What’s something fun you have planned this weekend?

 

 

Coffee date blog post

Hi everyone!

Let’s chat over some coffee (or tea)! As we sit on a comfy couch let me tell you about my week…

Many people in British Columbia have fled their homes because of raging forest fires. 😦 I pray for them and their families, their health and hope they return home soon. I cannot imagine how devastating it must be!

The clinic is busy! I am getting to see more patients and perform more procedures independently. I am able to communicate with my attending dx, tx, mx more confidently. I thank the recent exam I took increased my confidence.

Latest Indian tune I have on repeat!

My hubby will be moving over by the end of the month. I am anxious, nervous and excited all at the same time! We have been long distance for over 2000 DAYS (5+ years)! It is going to be SO weird knowing that this is not just a weekend visit or a week-long visit. I cannot wait ❤

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I show you pictures of these purple flowers, lavender I think! They are beautiful and growing around the city! I clicked this pic next to the clinic.

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I tell you about my new face care products….I am pretty strict about what I use. I’m in my 30s now!! Skin care is important!! 🙂 I usually keep it clean and hydrated with sweet almond oil. The makeup I use day to day is Colourpop’s black eyeliner and lipstick (that too rarely). I don’t have time for layers of makeup, honestly, I don’t have the patience.

Since the summer began I found that sweet almond oil might not be good for my face with the sun exposure, so I switched to Alba Botanica‘s facial sunscreen lotion. It is not greasy and a little goes a long way! The only thing I don’t like is that when you squeeze the tube a LOT of product comes flying out, so be careful with that.

I am in love with their facial cleanser! I have been using this every night before I sleep. It is gentle and my skin feels quite fresh after use. Make sure to hydrate your skin after, it is a bit drying. I massage sweet almond oil into my facial skin at night before sleeping.

 

I show you my latest paint project! Painting roses are/is not easy! I thought it would turn out to be a blob 🙂 Not yet done though…

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Some recent Netflix shows I enjoyed watching (trailers added): Southside with you (sweet movie about Mr. & Mrs. Obamas’ first date), Gypsy, Snowden, Queen of the South (so addictive!!), Vacation (hilarious and silly!!)

That’s it for now!! What have you been upto? 🙂

 

Randoms and my tiny garden.

Happy belated #CanadaDay150 everyone! I spent some time catching up with my best friends, we then visited the Aga Khan Museum as there was free entrance on Canada Day.

 

….and then went home and watched the fireworks with my parents from the comfort of our front porch!

Flew back to Vancouver yesterday! Just as my parents and I were pulling up to the airport, Hubby called me and informed me that my flight was canceled, as I was talking to him I received notification of the cancellation as well. Thanks, Air Canada *sarcastic*. At least provide us a coffee for waking up early and coming to the airport?

Anyway, as they had booked a whole bunch of us for another flight later in the day, I spent some time sitting at David’s Tea sipping on iced tea, watched The Good Dinosaur. A safe movie to watch in public when everyone can sneak a look at my laptop screen as they are passing by haha! I recommend watching the movie, it was pretty cute 🙂

My Mom had sent some clippings from her spider plant and money plant so that I can grow it in my apartment. It survived the flight. Here is my tiny beginner garden in my tiny apartment ❤

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My poor fern had few stems of brown leaves and the soil was pretty dry after me being away for three weeks. My bad. I watered it thoroughly yesterday and went to bed. This morning I cut all the dry leaves and noticed the soil was still dry. Set the plant in a shallow cup of water and it sucked the water right up! It’s looking MUCH better though.

I am back to work tomorrow. It’s a long weekend for Canada day, so no work today. I do need to pop by Walmart and get some groceries.

Some future travel plans….my best friend’s Indian baby shower in Sept/Oct, my cousin’s wedding reception in October. Hubby and I are considering a vacation in December – India or Hawaii?

Have a great week everyone!

Travel Thursday: Part 2 Netherlands and Iceland

Here’s Part 1

Part 2

The next morning we ate an okish breakfast at the hotel, rented a car from the Schiphol airport and met my cousin and her husband. We were so excited for Geithoorn! I was a little nervous about driving in another country (excluding US) but it was not a problem at all! I love playing various radio stations and listening to the language/music while driving.  The drive through the countryside was beautiful!

Giethoorn is a must visit! Many places to eat, beautiful houses, travel by boat, quite romantic. I even snuck a drink onto the boat that hubby and I shared. We felt so relaxed ❤

On our drive back to the Schipol airport, we drove past Zanse Schans to see the windmills. Zanse Schans is a full-day visit, something I want to do the next time I stop by the Netherlands!

Grabbed some delicious chocolate (for the family) and Dutch-fries with dip before we boarded our flight. Yumm!

Iceland

Hotel: AirBnB

Vegan Eats: AirBnB had decent breakfast (soy milk woohoo!), we had bought several falafel wraps from the Schipol airport grocery store, Amsterdam ahead of time to get us through lunch for the next day.

We initially had planned a road trip within Iceland but our late arrival into Iceland from Amsterdam threw off our plans. The flight overall was smooth, but when the pilot tried to land in Keflavik airport the weather and visibility was quite poor. Eventually, we flew for another 1 hour and landed in another airport on the East side of Iceland. We waited in the plane for several hours, refueled, before the flight took off again to land in Keflavik airport. The view of Iceland from the plane was pretty spectacular!

By the time we landed it was almost 4 am and quite chilly! Our original plan was that we would land by 11:00 pm, sleep and get up by 6 am and do a 3-4 hour road trip around Iceland and catch our flight at 3 pm to Pittsburgh, but it did not work out that way. Instead, we landed at 4 am, woke up much later and drove to Reykjavik.

We rented a car from Hertz at Keflavik airport. My recommendation, DO NOT rent from them. We did not have a good experience.

Iceland’s scenery is indeed breathtaking and quite different from places we have seen in Vancouver, Netherlands, and places in the US. We saw several cairns on our drive to Reykjavik and many lupine flowers. We had time to quickly visit the Hallgrimskirkja and grab some coffee (woohoo they had soy milk!) opposite the cathedral. Then we made our 40-minute drive back to the airport, right in time for our flight – we cut it quite close!

Our flight view over Greenland….

We would LOVE to visit Iceland more leisurely next time, so many things to do and see! On the downside, it is VERY expensive in comparison to the Netherlands. We will figure out a way to keep our expenses down. Some tips I came across online: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/iceland-budget-tips/

I am currently watching the movie Bokeh that has been filmed in Iceland. The story line is interesting but I am primarily watching it for the scenery 🙂

 

Till our next adventure in BC! 🙂

 

Cold Pasta Salad (vegan)

Cold Pasta Salad (vegan)

My brother was invited to his friend’s potluck BBQ so I thought I would help the kid out and make him a pasta salad. It turned out pretty good! Best eaten cold and on the same day you make it, as it is most creamy then!

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Ingredients – feeds 6 – 8 people (leftovers are always yummy!)

  • 3 to 4 cups Penne pasta, but you can use any type of pasta you have handy
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons Hellman’s vegan mayo, depending on how creamy you want it
  • 1 cup onion/red pepper/yellow pepper mix veggie bag
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • green/black olives cut in half (many as per your liking)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 0.5 tablespoon lemon juice
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped coriander (not seen in picture)

Boil pasta in salt water until it is cooked but still firm to bite (al dente). After cooked, wash thoroughly in cold water and set aside.

Thaw and stir fry the onion/red pepper/yellow pepper veggie mix. Keep aside and let cool.

Thaw frozen corn. Cut olives in half.

In one big pot mix together the pasta, mixed veggies, corn, and olives. Add the tablespoons of mayo, cumin powder, paprika powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir it all in. Store in fridge. Just before serving garnish with freshly chopped coriander.

Something simple and tasty to eat! Enjoy!!

Travel Thursday: Part 1 Netherlands and Iceland

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Hi everyone! This is a lengthy post so I will split it into a Part 1 and Part 2.

I have been MIA for a while. After my exam, I escaped to the Netherlands to join my husband on his PhD conference as he was one of the presenters. We spent about 5 days in the Netherlands. While traveling back to Pittsburgh at the end of our visit, we had a 12+ hour stopover in Iceland.

Netherlands

Cities visited: Eindhoven, The Hague, Giethoorn, Zaandam

Hotels: The Student Hotel, Hampton by Hilton

We spent most of our days in The Student Hotel. I give this place 4/5 stars! It was cute, quirky, free laundry. We played table tennis while we did our laundry. Our last night there they had a pool party for the students. It was wild….we didn’t attend it though as we were our with our cousins having a wonderful time! I deducted a star because the bathroom was open-concept….take a shower and the water was everywhere!

 

Vegan Eats:

  • The Student Hotel, Eindhoven had a budget-friendly restaurant below hotel, it was a hit and miss though. Depended on the chef working in the kitchen. The first day the service was quick, I had a wonderful cheeseless mushroom garlic pizza and huge salad with peanut sauce. The second day I waited for over 45 minutes, ended up getting squid soup (yikes), and then after they apologized for the mistake, they gave me pizza with cheese. By this point I was hangry and walked out of there. At least they got my husband’s order right 😉
  • Falafel Masters, Eindhoven really awesome food and many vegan-friendly options on the menu,
  • Happy Italy,  Eindhoven once again loved their option of pasta and pizzas (just order without the cheese, large pizzas and loved the flavour!
  • FOAM, Den Haag, their dessert was so yummy!
  • I packed some instant rice packets, Larabars and Cliffbars to keep me from getting hangry
  • A Subway had newly opened up and was right across from our hotel, so that was helpful as well
  • Schipol airport/train station has a grocery store with vegan/veggie wraps and other items

Travels:

 

I was tired from finishing up the exam and flew directly to Toronto. Hubby (from Pittsburgh) would meet me at my parents house in Toronto and then we flew together to Amsterdam airport. We landed and met up with my cousin and her husband that night for dinner. They got married just a few months ago so it was wonderful catching up on our lives over food and drinks!

The next day while Hubby was at his conference, I slept. It was glorious! I don’t sleep at all during flights, so when I got the hotel room all to myself I caught up on my sleep.

The people of Netherlands are BIG on biking. It is very cheap to rent a bike and travel to wherever you want. Also, their train/bus services are great and on time! There was not a problem with language, everyone we met spoke English. If there was something we came across written in Dutch, Google translate was very helpful.

 

With the remaining time we had, we walked around Eindhoven. I love the canals in just about every place we visited. Next day, took the train and visited The Hague. Walked around the city, the architecture was beautiful! Ate at FOAM. Visited The Peace Palace in the Hague. I left a note on the Peace tree outside the Peace Palace. Walked around the World Peace Flame.

 

Walked through a beautiful park to reach Madurodam!! The intricate details on the miniature buildings and mini trains running through the park are just adorable! Hubby and I spent the rest of the day there.

 

By the time we caught the train to our hotel in Amsterdam (Hampton by Hilton near the Amsterdam airport) it was late in the evening. Touring Amsterdam was definitely on the list of to-dos but we had to keep in mind that we had something else planned for the next day early in the morning – Giethoorn, the Venice of the Netherlands! So sadly we had to skip Amsterdam tour for another visit in the future. I had planned to visit the Ann Frank museum in Amsterdam but tickets were sold out!! A word of advice: book early!

 

More on the next post!!!

Cookie monster

I become a cookie monster when I study. My CAP exam is a few days away and I have been cramming as much info as I can into my head. I also got in some practice sessions with the family medicine resident who is working with me. SO THANKFUL that he could spare some time for me! Got some good feedback about what I need to improve on! Confidence was the main thing!

High yield topics that I could be tested on (history taking, physical and tests, mx, tx, counseling): DM, HTN, headache, chest pain, SOB, abdominal pain, vaginal bleed, back pain, fatigue, dementia and delirium.  Sigh. Will the studying ever stop? 🙂 Well yes, when I bake cookies! A few ingredients, very simple and hits the spot.

Choco Chip Pretzel Cookies (vegan)

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Turn oven on to 350-375 degrees.

  • 1 cup white flour + 1/4 teaspoon baking power and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • maple syrup (I only added 2-3 tablespoons, but feel free to add more for something sweeter)
  • Almond milk (I didn’t measure this, poured a little at a time until the batter was thick enough consistency)
  • Lots of crunched up pretzels and vegan chocochips
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla essence (half teaspoon)

In one bowl I mixed it all together. Greased the baking tray with some vegan butter. Plopped some of the cookie dough on there (once again I was not particular on the shape because I just wanted some COOKIES) 🙂 Baked for a good 20-25 mins, checking to make sure it didn’t burn.

It was not too sweet and I got the crunch from the pretzel pieces and sweetness from the chocolate chips. Yummy!!