13 September, 2019

A large tree in Utah #ThursdayTreeLove

We found this tree during a strenuous hike to see 'Delicate Arch' in Arches National Park.

Looked enormous with big branches and facing the heat above 100 Fahrenheit there.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul.

12 September, 2019

Rangoli Zentangle #wordlesswednesday

A zentangle this time!

Until next time,

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha

10 September, 2019

My Gratitude List for July and August 2019 #GratitudeCircle

August month was so hectic that I missed writing gratitude lists for both July and August.

Sometimes, you know? It's good to be busy with what you like. I was just focusing on Our first Annual recital of dance school and some challenging work in Office in a new role.

Let me quickly mention my Gratitude List.

Annual Recital :

We did our first Annual Recital of our Kuchipudi Dance school in September. But, the planning of the event, rehearsal etc., took most of my time in August. If you want to get any updates about our performances, please follow our Facebook Page - Kala Deepika Dance Academy.

I am grateful to my parents and my teacher for teaching me the classical dance for around 15 years. Of course, my husband and kid's help is like the backbone for the event.

My Parents and especially my sister helped with this memento order and delivery to our place.

Work :

Work-front, it is a major learning curve in July and August. Adjusting into a new role is stressful but I feel ready for the next level. 

While it is good to progress in work, it is equally tough to manage home, work and health. I am still not used to less sleep and so, I am using weekends to the best to sleep as much as I can.

Cooking :

Some days, it's very tiring to cook in the evenings. I am grateful to my family as we all adjusted in this phase, ate some quick dinners , got food from outside, went to restaurants, we survived by supporting each other. 

Back to School :

Every year, we spend more time buying new clothes, school bags, snack and lunch boxes etc., in this season. While schools started in the mid of august, we did just one quick shopping and done!

I am thankful to my Manager who allowed me to leave early daily to pickup kids. Thus, I could manage this school season easily.

Travel :

We could plan a trip to South Dakota in the starting of July. I am so happy and we all enjoyed a lot. I could drive this time on highways and help my husband covering long distance.

Spearfish Canyon and Carhenge were beautiful than I expected. Mt Rushmore and Crazy horse memorial were great too. We had to come back by Sunday to take dance class, else, we would have extended our trip by one more day.

Here are some travelogues of South Dakota:

Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park
Spearfish Canyon and Badlands National Park

I am yet to write my travelogue of Carhenge, Nebraska. You see, it was not possible these 2 months. Will write one soon.

So, that's it from my side, guys!

What are you grateful for? Please share in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury.

06 September, 2019

When it Rains.. #WordsMatter

I enjoy nature and outdoor walks, but was not a fan of rain from childhood.

Rain and Crawlies

During summer holidays and rainy season, we used to visit our Grand mother's house which is in a village. The house had a big backyard with lots of plants and trees. It was really pleasant in the evenings with flowers and lovely breeze. We used to play with our cousins in the backyard every evening.

But, when it rains, the garden used to fill with disgusting crawlies everywhere. I hate crawlies so much that I never used to step out during and after rain. From that time, my mind associates rains to crawlies and so, I never really enjoyed rains in my childhood.

Rain in movies

Rain is depicted very well in movies. When I reached my teenage, I was awestruck by the Hindi movie 'Taal'. There is a beautiful rain song in Taal picturized with Aishwarya Rai and the director Subhash Ghai is really brilliant to show the purest form of Mother nature.

After watching this movie, I decided that I should visit some place with heavy rains like Kerala in monsoons or North east to enjoy the pure form of nature. I couldn't visit these places till now, but that's another story.

Fast Forward to Now in USA

I haven't experienced heavy rains both in Colorado and Texas until last year. In India, we have monsoons every year around June, but in USA, there is no specific rainy season.

But, this year, first time in my life I have experienced what damage a heavy rain can do. Here, When it rains, there will be hail too sometimes. Hail is like pellets of frozen rain falling from the sky. Depending on the size of hail, damage will be more or less. 

It is beautiful to see small ice balls in the size of thermacol balls. But, once during a trail, we were stuck in a large hail which was hitting hard on the skin and there was lightning and thunderstorm too to make the experience horrible. We literally ran to the car with kids before getting wet completely. 

Recently, We drove through South Dakota during a heavy rainfall with lightning. It was frightening to drive with zero visibility and water splashing on car front window very fast. By the way, South Dakota is known as 'Blizzard State' and these kind of heavy rains are common there. 

Since we stay in a place surrounded by mountains at high elevation, Rains usually come with thunderstorms and lightning which is a dangerous combination. Lightning can cause spot death. 

When it rains, it's cool to watch from the window or even drench in the light drizzle but, when there are lightening and thunderstorms, better be at home and safe. By the way, I love to have snacks like corn cob or pakoda enjoying ginger tea during rains.

What do you like about rain? What comes to your mind when it rains?

Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #WordsMatter bloghop hosted by Corinne, Parul and Shalini.

 I received this tag from Sunita Saldhana at https://sunitasaldhana.com/
It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Holly Jahangiri at https://jahangiri.us/2017

There are 42 of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days – 6, 7, 8 September 2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised! 

05 September, 2019

From Story book Island #wordlesswednesday

From Story book island in Rapid city,  South Dakota,  USA.

Until next time,

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha

28 August, 2019

23 August, 2019

The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Book Title: The Great Jewel Robbery: A Front Page Mystery Book 1 by

Elizabeth McKenna

Category: Adult Fiction, 204 pages

Genre: Cozy mystery

Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna

Release date: May 28, 2019

Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019

Content Rating: PG-13 (There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.)

Book Description:

Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. 

When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. 

With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

To read more reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

My Review:

The first thing that caught my attention is the book cover. It's amazing. Very well designed and attractive.

The story is about the jewel robbery in a posh party and the investigation. While Emma, a journalist has to attend a charity auction event with Grace as plus one, things take a different turn when they realize that the jewelry set for auction is stolen.

Since their host Ivy is dear to both Grace and Emma, they decide to take the investigation in their hands. 

This is not a crime thriller or a mystery novel. I felt it is a light read. The plot, the mystery, and the backdrop are fine but it is more of a casual read than a thriller. 

Emma Moore is a fun character, a no-nonsense girl who doesn't take no for an answer. She is brave and intelligent. Even though Emma and Grace couldn't find any clue till the last minute, they use their social skills to talk to guests and get the insider information about family and the event.

Detective O'Mara is an attractive and interesting character. The plot, the motive behind the crime look reasonable but all the plan revealed by the same person is quite boring instead of someone finding out the details.

I would recommend this to readers who love women fiction and casual reads.

My Rating: 3.5/5

PS: I have received a review copy from iread book tours in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

Meet the Author: 

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write the historical romance novels Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life (she eventually married her first crush)

The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Connect with the author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 6, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time,

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