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Happy July you guys! I know, I know, I know, you all are probably like, Kusum, we are already 10 days into the month and you are just now saying a happy new month, tch, tch, tch!
But hear me out… I was out vacationing for 10 days and just got back. Though I had no intentions of going full-on MIA or taking a complete break from work (even had full intentions of publishing this blog post on July 2nd) but the vacation made me do it (and I am not even complaining)!
It was a much-needed break, and I anyway love to take breaks from everything but life when we are traveling, so it was just perfect!
We didn’t travel too far, we were just in California, and shuttled between San Francisco and the many burbs of the bay area one too many times. And between meeting friends, catching up until the wee hours of the morning, planning surprises for my darling hubby’s birthday, coordinating with friends, eating too much delicious food, even 10 days felt too short.
Hubby only took a couple of days off and was working the rest of the time, so it was my toddler monkey and me for the most part, but was so much fun! More about our trip to come later.
So without further ado, here goes my Current Favorites list…
1. First up, we have too many awesome friends in California, but sadly, we couldn’t meet even half of them. But the good part is this new airport which makes going to different parts of California and a few other cities/states so much easier and hence more Cali trips will likely be on the agenda.
Alaska Airlines and United Airlines operate out of this small airport, and I am secretly praying that they add more flights/routes to more cities from here. It was our 2nd time flying out of here (read all about where we went and what we did when we flew for the 1st time, shortly after they opened, here) and it is such a breeze to both get to the airport and also w.r.t security lines, etc.
Pro Tip 1: If you are traveling to Washington, do check if you have flights to this airport, because, 1. This hotel and this hotel make a great base for you to explore the state from. 2. Based on where you choose to stay your commute to/from the airport will be much shorter (and did I already say easy breezy security lines!?).
Pro Tip 2: Whichever state you live in, check to see if you can take flights in and out of smaller airports to make things easier for yourself, and also to save time.
2. For our trip, I ordered this new makeup organizer (which only got delivered after I packed all my cosmetics, LOL, talk about last-minute shopping, but there are more trips on the horizon so it’s all good, haha) and I am in LOVE with it for how light it is and how easy it will make my life to keep things (cosmetics/skincare products and more) organized and easily accessible.
You guys know that I love this makeup organizer I mentioned here in the post but it felt a bit heavy to fly with, and every oz counts, especially now that we are trying to carry only 1 big piece of luggage and 1 personal item each (perks of traveling with a kid who still needs a stroller and car seat, plus economy tickets which no longer allow a carry on item without paying extra for it).
So we are severely downsizing every time we travel and I’ve started to weigh every.single.item and only carry items that are comparatively lighter (may it be clothes, shoes, or anything else, sigh). And despite all that, I am still always taking out more stuff out of the suitcase cuz it is still so dang overweight #thestruggleisreal
3. And speaking of organizers, who here constantly forgets to carry one of the many credit/debit/gift cards you own? Me, me, me, especially when I swap bags/purses/wallets, so I ordered this wallet from Amazon and now there’s a place for all my cards and no more forgetting any of them at home and cursing myself later or having to make multiple trips to the same store.
I have forgotten to carry the store-specific credit card one too many times when I shop at this store and it’s sister stores. I hate to use any other card and miss out on the equivalent of a 5% discount I get (given that I usually spend a minimum of $300 at their stores #nokidding) but not anymore.
Another major plus, it also holds my big phone, so if I only want to carry this wallet for a quick grocery or target run then I totally can.
4. And speaking of weighing everything, I didn’t realize how helpful this scale would be when the hubs ordered it a few months back. I honestly thought it was going to be useless given that we already own an actual weighing scale, but to my surprise, it is one of the best $12 he has ever spent, hehe.
I have got so much use out of it, both when I need to portion control (cuz I am the worst at it) and understand how much I am (over) eating vs. how much I should be eating, and also when I am (over) packing (when packing for our Cali trip, I put a plastic sheet on top of the scale and weighed my sandals/jewelry/and everything else to decide which one to bring on this trip and which ones to leave behind), full paisa vasool (something like worth every penny) I tell you!
Oh BTW, the cat is out of the bag from this post, I updated it with what I had been keeping a secret from you all. I am mentioning that here because this scale was extremely important to help me measure everything and attain my goals. A full-blown recap to follow.
5. Cauliflower rice (C.rice) with taco seasoning + lotsa veggies anyone? This dish was a huge hit at home last month! I make some kind of dish from C.rice at least once a week, each time a different recipe, and right before we left on vacation I was trying to use up the veggies in the fridge, so finely chopped them and threw everything in a pan with C.rice and some taco seasoning and hubby LOVED it.
He was like, ‘is there more? and what’s it called? well, I don’t even know the names of all the yummy dishes you make.’ And I was like, ‘just eat what I make and don’t ask me any questions, unless, you are going to cook’, but in my head I was like, ‘now if only I knew the names of them all (when all I am doing is add a little bit of this and a little bit of that based on what I feel like that day ROFL)’.
So I am asking you guys, what should we call this dish? Do try before you tell me, deal?
6. And while we are on the topic of food, that mango sauce I got from here (which you all saw on my IG stories) was another huge hit! I am obsessed with this sauce cuz it reminds me of home (India) in summer and all the mango pickles mom would make and we would eat this time of the year! This mango sauce is so close to the taste of homemade mango pickles, yummmm!
In case you missed it on stories, I put this sauce in a quick and healthy ramen recipe I made, it is saved under the ‘Recipes Healthy’ (along with plenty of other recipes) on my Instagram, it was one of the dishes you all liked the most and I got several several DMs after I shared it 🙂
7. While I was doing great getting through books after books (for someone who hasn’t read books in so long), this book in particular, which BTW thousands and thousands of people have raved so much about completely stalled my progress for quite a long time, I just couldn’t get through it and honestly didn’t get much from whatever I did manage to read, so I said, ‘I don’t give a F*ck’ (sorry about the expletive, but if you know which book this is then you will know why I used it) and moved onto this book instead and helped myself get back on track with reading books.
This book isn’t game-changing or anything, it, in fact, talks about many things that are either common sense or you have already heard at least a few dozen times, but it is the way the author says it or the fact that you are hearing it one more time makes you pause and make notes. It is an easy and quick read, and I for sure walked away with a few things that I am trying to implement in my own life.
8. Given that the weather is finally warm and that we have all been spending quite some time in the water, this and this have been my baby boy’s best friends aka water essentials (thoroughly loved spending time with my little monkey in the water last month, see more under ‘Baby Boy’ highlights on my Instagram)!
These essentials almost make him seem like a natural and he has no fear of the water whatsoever. If you have a little one who either doesn’t know how to swim or is trying to learn swimming then these are a must-have summer-essential (get a checklist of other summer/beach/pool essentials here).
While that was my kiddos summer favorite, there’s a summer favorite for his dad too, this sunscreen, at first he didn’t even believe that it is sunscreen cuz 1. It is not greasy or sticky 2. It feels like a moisturizer and super easy to apply, and once he applied it on his face he was like, ‘oh this is good, let’s buy more of it’ haha, big baby only! 😉
This sunscreen has been my favorite for a while now and I love that it doubles as a base/primer for my foundation too (always a sucker for double-duty products).
9. And when you spend so much time in the water or the sun your hair is bound to get more dry and damaged! And hair care is one of the questions that I get asked frequently about. So I (literally) keep looking for new hair products for you guys when I am out shopping or browsing online. And I found this hair mask at one of my favorite stores (when I wasn’t even looking for one and was least expecting it).
Yet again, hubby likes it (he has really rough hair and if he likes it then it is the real deal!). Apply this hair mask in the shower after shampooing and you can wash it after a few minutes, and your dry/damaged hair will surely thank you!
10. I just realized that I didn’t share any clothing favorites until now, though I have a ton of recent favorites to share with you guys, maybe I will save that for a separate post. But for now, let’s talk two-piece sets, they have all my heart, wore the one in this pic in the desert in Morocco and got so many compliments!
Real Talk: I used to be very conscious about wearing anything that shows my midriff (maybe still am a little), cuz 1. I don’t have flat abs but have tires instead (my tummy is, in fact, my problem area, has always been, even before the baby), 2. all the extra flab + stretch marks after the baby (no amount of oil massaging by the hubs when I was pregnant stopped them from showing up, it’s probably genetic for me), but I am trying to let go of my inhibitions and wear what I like (even if they show parts of my body that I used to previously try and hide) and feel confident in them.
If you too have similar inhibitions about any piece of clothing, let go of it and give it a try, at first maybe wear it/them at home, and then slowly feel confident enough to wear it outside – it is certainly a journey, and who cares as long as the one who wears them is comfortable in it right!?!?
Linking a few more two-piece set options I own and love or have in my cart: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (ok, I will stop now).
Again, I have tons more June Favorites to share, but will hold off for now, don’t want to overwhelm you…
And as you go, remember, be sure to rock that swimsuit this season, whatever your style, don’t let swimsuits be the reason stopping you from having fun in the sun or in the water.
Summer days are too few so don’t let any kind of insecurities deter your spirits!
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”