Labor Day In Tahoe

Tahoe has a different feel over summer. The quaint cottages and evergreen trees that were once covered in snow seem a little bare. Skis and snowboards are replaced by mountain bikes and kayaks, and the crisp cold by a warm bright sun.

Sun. Oh how much I missed you living in foggy San Francisco. But I digress.

I love Tahoe because it allows you to create the feel of home away from home. Stay a cabin, bring a book for an evening read, cook a nice little feast and then watch movies at night. As much as I try to do these things back at home, I get caught up in a never-ending routine. I almost need an excuse for good-quality relaxation.

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We stayed in the north, just a short drive away from the lake. Suprisingly, we didn’t spend that much time near Lake Tahoe. Instead, we hiked a couple of miles to a set of different lakes near Squaw Valley. There was a steady, moderate elevation gain throughout the hike and it got a little rocky around the way, but the end was completely worth it.

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In the evening, we had dinner at Manzanita at the Ritz. I ordered chilled avocado soup that was surprisingly tangy but delicious.

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After dinner, we made our way to the lake to watch the sunset.

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One thing I learned about myself: I cannot skip rocks if my life depended on it.

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Exploring the City – One Jog at a Time

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Wow, first of all, thank you guys so much for all the positive feedback on my last blog post! It feels great to be back to blogging.

Today I want to talk about my love/hate relationship with running. I cannot even begin to explain the mental battle that fires off first thing in the morning:

Rinngg Riingg. Alarm goes off.
(looks out window) Ugh it looks so dreary and cold outside, I think I’m better off getting 30 minutes of sleep.
– No you idiot, you’re already up so get out and go on your run.
(wastes some time lying in bed) Ok fine.
– Good.
– Oh shit, I’ve been debating this for the past 20 minutes, if I leave now I will be late for work.
– Stop making excuses, maybe its a 3 mile run today instead of 5. Now go go GO!”

Unfortunately, it’s a regular occurrence.

But one thing that keeps me coming back to running is the sense of adventure I feel when I run outdoors. There is no better way to explore the city than by foot and it’s amazing what kind of cool things I discover during my runs.

One morning, without paying much heed to my route, I ran past Fort Mason, Ghirardelli square, and Lombard street. I felt like such a tourist – yet such an efficient one! I also came across a cute little garden.

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The best kind of runs are the ones in which I get lost. First I cover more distance than anticipated (win) and I discover something new (double-win). During one long-run, I traveled the long windy roads and somehow ended up in the Presidio. Not a person in sight, it was just me and Mother Nature.

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How did I leave the busy streets of San Francisco into this quaint historical haven?

It’s almost impossible for me to go on a run without taking pictures.

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Change

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During the past few weeks I’ve been debating whether I want to come back to this blog. So much has changed in these past few months that I felt like I couldn’t do justice to blogging.

What do I say? How do I get back to this blogging business?

I’ll start with this:

I become quiet during change. Quiet as in I disappear from this blog for 5 months. Occasionally, I would take this blog out of the dark depths of my closet, wipe off the dust, and draft a post. But the posts never came to life. Other times I would take a quick peek to see if people were still stopping by. It was encouraging to find that there were still a few stragglers who would come across my content.

Last time you heard from me I recently I moved to San Francisco. Well I’m still here and I’m slowly adjusting to life in the city. I’m finally taking the time to enjoy and explore it. I’ve also switched positions at my company which has put me on a very different career path. Finally, I’ve been forced to come out of my comfort zone when it comes to my relationships. I’ve surrounded myself with new friends and a new lifestyle. I’ll be honest it is kind of scary, but exciting.

I’ve held back for a while but I am finally back.

Cheers to a new beginning!
-Akansha

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Napa Getaway

I’ve been craving a quick getaway, a mental break from my daily-routine. I didn’t want the hassle of planning big vacation; I just needed something easy and enjoyable nearby. My solution: Napa.

I had NEVER been wine tasting in Napa and considering that I now live an hour away, I knew that was completely unacceptable.

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There was one winery, called Ehlers Estate that I absolutely adored. The wine was exquisite, but the decor of the winery took it to a whole different level. The winery looked like it belonged in a Anthropologie catalog: rustic, vintage, and spruced up with few bright chairs and cushions.

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Dinner was at Mustards Grill. Outside of the restaurant, they had a cute little herb and flower garden. I insisted on taking pictures!

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Napa, I don’t know why it took me so long to come visit you, but now that I have…I’m officially hooked.

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Another Place to Call Home

After I graduated college I moved back home. Logically it was a wise decision: I did not pay rent, I enjoyed home-cooked meals everyday and I had a short commute to work. But even with all those I wasn’t fulfilled. I was subconsciously relinquishing responsibilities, losing a sense of independence and felt like I was breaking the linear progression of adulthood.

I love my hometown and I want to keep it that way. But in order to keep loving it, I know I needed to move before I was unhappy. Where did I choose to go? San Francisco!

Two weeks ago, I moved into a beautiful apartment with two lovely ladies in the Marina. Although I do cook my own meals, pay a good amount for rent, and commute 1 hr 15 mins each way to work, I’m already happier.

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The first week was a bit chaotic with the move and it took some time to get situated to make my apartment finally feel like home. My room is still a work in progress but the rest of the apartment is starting to take on a warm, cozy feel. My apartment does not make me feel like I’m living in a big city but rather, I feel like I’m living in a quaint cabin on the country side.

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My favorite place in the apartment has to be this bookshelf tucked into a tiny nook in the living room. The literature, the cook books, and the candles make it want to curl up against it with a cup of tea. However, I can’t take credit for this because I only contributed about 4 books to this entire shelf. My roomies Jessica and Hanna were the masterminds behind this.

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I’m fortunate that I have one more place to call home while still having my original home a mere hour away! I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life by living in the city.

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I’m Moving to San Francisco!

sanfranI know I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted but I’d like to share some exciting news…I’m moving to San Francisco! Sure I’ve always lived quite close to the city but I know there will be a completely different feel living there.

I found a beautiful apartment in the Marina which I’ll be sharing with a two lovely ladies. I can’t wait to show you the place and share my adventures with you in the city.

But until then, for the next couple of weeks, I may be going back into blogging hibernation while I sort some things out.

Stay tuned!

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New Year’s Resolution: Take Action

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I’m  taking a new approach to my New Year’s Resolution by choosing a theme for the year rather than an actual resolutions.

Because let’s face it,  I’ve never stuck to a New Year’s Resolution because I never had a plan of action.

I was  rebel when it came to New Year’s Resolutions – was I suddenly going to become more motivated when the clock changed from Dec. 31  to Jan 1st? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I like setting my goals whenever they time seemed appropriate.

My theme this year is to Take Action

It’s time for me to reflect rather than try something new. I still have a list of resolutions from 2013 in the back of my mind and not much progress has been made. What has been holding me back? I could probably create a whole list of things but in the end do those excuses really matter? I am going to keep it simple by thinking less about the past and spending more time taking action now  & in the future.

This blog  is a great example.  Blogging is very dear to me but  at times i hesitate to write new posts because “I don’t have time” or “I’m too tired” or I think my next post may criticized because it is not good enough.

I am getting rid of that attitude . In 2014, I will stop over-thinking and will start doing.

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That Post About Your 20s

I’ve been going through a whirlwind of emotions lately that people have told me is normal in your 20s.

Guess they are right because today another article on “How to Survive your Twenties” popped onto my Twitter feed. Next thing you know “What I learned in my 20s” is being shared by half of my Facebook Friends.

Read no more, those preachy articles, because I here present you “The Infographic on Life in Your 20s.” I had some fun by taking a few entertaining quotes and advice from these articles and creating an infographic. I think it is fitting to pretend T-Swift is narrating this – she’s good at age-reflective pieces.

Life in your 20s

Ah these quotes are amusing yet quite appropriate. But I have to disagree with Mr. Crate & Barrel. I think even us young folk could benefit from home decor.

Thanks to Elite Daily, Levo League, Thought Catalog and many other sources for the food for thought.

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The Coffee Culture

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Coffee resonates with nostalgia, ambition, and friendship. It goes beyond the dark liquid and forms a culture of its own. I have to admit sometimes I enjoy the culture more than the actual beverage.

Let me start off with a childhood memory: my parents’ caffeine-of-choice was chai, therefore the times we would drink coffee were quite special. My mother would make Indian “Espresso” Coffee: instant coffee with sugar & water that she would beat until it was a creamy smooth froth. Sometimes you could find me eating the mixture by the spoon ☺.

My love of coffee shops begins with this simple nostalgia. Once the college days rolled around coffee became my partner-in-crime. I felt undefeatable with my coffee, ready to tackle my next econ problem set or English paper. A few cafés in Berkeley would be converted into my own little sanctuaries.

And in many memorable conversations, coffee has been involved. Whether I’m catching up with my friends, or receiving advice from a mentor, coffee has been by my side. The things I’ve learned or shared over a cup of coffee are hard to beat.

There is a warm fuzzy feeling coffee invokes in me – I wish I could pinpoint it. The aroma alone gets me lost in my own thoughts. After writing this I could really use a cup of coffee. Unfortunately it doesn’t make the best bedtime drink.

I know some of you may be thinking that I have betrayed tea for coffee. Don’t worry I still am obsessed with tea but coffee, you too have a special place in my heart.

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Gift Guide: Gifts Under $30

You went through Black Friday and Cyber Monday and you’re mentally exhausted and the mere thought of shopping may result nervous breakdown. But uh oh…you still haven’t found the perfect gifts? Trust me I feel ya. Luckily I devised this little guide that won’t break your bank but will still help you find those unique gifts.

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1. Tipping teacup: A strainer and teacup in one! Perfect for your tea-lover friends. If you don’t have any you can just get it for me ;).

2. Microwave S’mores Maker: Okay I admit, no one needs this but who doesn’t want it? Would be a fun White Elephant gift.

3. Shark Shocks: Spice up your man’s work day by trading his boring daddy socks for these cool shark ones!

4. Vino2go: I’ve always wanted a wine sippy cup.

5. Tocca Hand Cream Set: Soothe your frost bitten hands with this handcream set from Tocca. Their fragrances are amazing!

6. Leather Pop Watch: Elegant, simple & goes well with any outfit. This particular watch is sold out but you can find something similar here.

7. Juniper Leaves Jar Candle: Candles are wonderful gifts for the holiday season and generally are a safe bet. This one is so pretty!

8. Vegan Chocolate Truffles: Yes even your hipster friends love chocolate. Show them some love!

Hopefully this provided some much-needed holiday inspiration. Are there any gifts that you are raving over this season? Please do share!

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