January 2016 | Footnotes and Finds

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Life Lessons for my 30s

Turning 30 always seemed like a significant event for me. I always imagined how life would be at 30, how I would have everything figured out and how I would be settled down - basically, in my mind it would mark when the stressful 20s would be over! This past year I turned 30  and it came sooner than I thought.  I didn't have everything figured out and definitely had not settled down. (and I just turned 31 this month)

So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on turning 30 and reflect on my 20's or what I would tell my twenty-something-year-old-self. There are quite a few lessons I have learned in my 20's that I would like to continue to work on and take into my 30s.

So here are my Life Lessons for my 30s:

1.  Learn to live a balanced life.

I spent way too much time on my academic life. This meant working hard and for long hours at the expense of my health and social life. School consumed most of my time. In my 20's I completed two BA's and 1 Masters degree, meaning I had little time for anything else. As I move into my 30's it is key for me to balance things more and learn to give all aspects of my life time to develop including my social side, career, health, hobbies and down-time. In fact, this whole blog post can be viewed as what I learned I should do in my 30s in order to live a balanced life.

2. It's not necessarily about how hard you work, it's about working smart

I have always been a goal driven person.  I have also been a really hard working person. I would set a goal and work really hard to achieve it. What I have learned is that it's not just about working hard, because working hard does not mean that you will accomplish your goals (unfortunately). It's about your social network, about being at the right place at the right time or even knowing the right person. So you need to work hard but more importantly work smarter!

Its also about being smart with your time. You can do this by having to do lists - but that doesn't mean that you have to do everything on the list that day - organize your time in such a way that you are productive and not just busy. Because there is nothing more stressful that not being able to cross off majority of whats on your list. Working smart means being flexible and adaptable not only strict and disciplined!

3.  Your health is VERY important, in fact its the most important!

I know this seems like a given,  but, throughout my 20s my health took a backseat to my ambition of being a "successful" person.  I had many health problems, some which led to hospital visits and surgeries, but these still didn't serve as a wake up call. It wasn't until I was in the middle of doing my Masters - that too overseas in England-  when I had a major physical and mental breakdown that landed me in the ER that I realized something was wrong with the way I had been doing things.  This was just the beginning of my real wake up call.  Basically my body was saying I can't be pushed any more, and honestly, if you are not healthy you can only push yourself to a certain extent, which, ultimately means you won't be able to achieve whatever your goals are. So slowly, but surely, I have started to concentrate on my health - eating healthier, sleeping at regular times, doing more physical exercise and listening to my body.

4. Pick up hobbies

In my drive to achieve success in my career trajectory, I didn't make time for anything else. This meant that my hobbies were neglected. I love photography, yoga, crafts, reading, and creative writing. But I wasn't doing any of these other things. This meant that I was leading an extreme life dedicated to one thing in my life and being extreme in any way is never a good idea. The quality of your life increases the more you do and learn, the more you push yourself and test your own limits and find out your own strengths and weaknesses. What better way than through hobbies? If I had not tried snowboarding I would not have ever know that I am not made for board sports or if I had not tried calligraphy I would have never known that it not only calms me but I am actually somewhat alright at it! These are all outlets that are important for your mental wellbeing and for your soul. But you also meet like-minded people through these things if you decide to join short courses or circles etc. And lets be honest, it gives you something else to talk about other than your job!

5. Self care

We get so busy in life that sometimes we forget to stop and just relax.  We get conditioned into working hard and putting in extra hours and feel guilty spending time on ourselves. The truth is that we get caught up in this rat race and we don't realize that our purpose in life is not just our 9-5 and the after-work stress that we carry, its about living a good quality and well-learned life to the best of your ability. Find ways to pause, reflect and rejuvenate everyday. Whether it is through focusing on your thoughts and writing them down in a journal or taking care of your physical and mental health by taking a long bath or treating yourself to a facial, make the time for self-care!

6. Be more flexible

This concept applies to my attitude, as in to what I think life is supposed to be or my trajectory is supposed to be and to be more flexible towards it.  To go with the flow more.  To let things happen.  And maybe not even have a trajectory worked out, and if there is a trajectory worked out  to learn to be okay with the fact that you might deviate from it or end up on an entirely different path. Flexibility means to be able to problem solve and be creative, to be able to think of setback as not failures but simply challenges to be figured out and learn from. What ends up happening in being flexible and open to all possibilities and change is that your idea of success and life is actually continuously changes making your achievements and life limitless!

7. Be kind

This has been my motto from a very young age. Its something that I try to practice in life always and something that I wish to continue to practice. I have always found it important to be kind to everyone, since we don't know what battles they are fighting. But the thing that I need to work on is being kind to myself. At the end of the day you need to be your own best friend and biggest support. Loving yourself develops self-esteem and builds confidence. It also makes you happier and kinder to others. You know your life journey more than anyone else and if you cant be kind to yourself its hard to find others that will be kind to you instead.

My friends, my biggest take away is that NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED IT OUT ...they just appear to have it figured out! Love yourself, take care of yourself, understand that life is a journey, learn to live more of a balanced life, keep learning and be kind.

If you liked this post, you might also like: 10 ways to improve the quality of your life + 5 ways to better sleep 


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

snowboarding for the first time

If you were following along on snapchat ( @footnotesnfinds) you know that Prabh and I went snowboarding for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

I have a few memories from the first time I went skiing, I was about 12 years old and let's just say it was not a great experience! it included me bumping into signs and people in order to stop and the worst  of it was coming down on a bunny hill on my bum in front of my entire class because I was too scared to ski down it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when my youngest sister convinced us to join her for snowboarding. I was really apprehensive. The images of my ski trip kept coming back to me and I told her I don't think it's a good idea (plus I am not in the best shape fitness wise currently).  But the thing is  she is my baby sister - 11 years younger - and I have a hard time saying no to her. On top of that I also wanted to give it a try. I thought "hey,  I have tried out skiing, might as well try something new." Also my sisters and I love watching competitive snowboarding. We have met Mark Mcmorris twice! So there I was, on a weekend morning, which was also a terrible day out (super foggy and pouring rain) heading out for my first snowboarding adventure.  

Prabh was determined to stick to skiing since she has done it before, but I convinced her to join us on the snowboarding adventure. So Prabh and I were first time snowboarders. We took lessons and let me tell you it is 100 times harder than I thought it would be! They make it look super easy on tv! I had quite a few bad falls. The experience left me with a slight shoulder injury, sore back, and blisters from the snowboarding shoes. But I am told that your first time snowboarding is difficult but if you go a few times it gets drastically better each time. 

I am glad I ventured out and gave snowboarding a try - I know I would have regretted not trying it otherwise. Prabh and I concluded that you need to be more fit and more strong to snowboard than we thought. We also decided that since skiing is supposed to be easier to learn at first that we would try that again-- if there is a next time!  

Here are some images captured from our experience:


Monday, 25 January 2016

those topshop brown suede boots

Approaching the end of January and with February creeping in, I am feeling more determined than I have in a while.  It's usually the third week of January that people start hitting that slump - falling off the new year resolution wagon. But for Prabh and I we are super determined and focused on a secret project we are working on and can't wait to share with you all. It is still in the planning phase but we are super determined to have it come into fruition soon!

As for my look - I don't know if you can tell, but I was really cold taking these photos! I wore my super warm jacket but took it off for the photos.  I cannot stop wearing my topshop brown suede boots that I bought a few years ago while I was in Grad School. They just are extremely comfortable and warm to wear in the fall/winter season. I am of those - buys a pair of shoes or a sweater and obsessively wears it - that is the same with these boots.  Although they were suede and I was living in Brighton, England at the time (where it rains quite a lot) - I took the plunge and bought these boots. Since my move back to Vancouver (where it rains A LOT - its a temperate rainforest) I have worn them tons - and they have lasted! Love those kinds of investments!

boots: topshop / similar here & here
dress: forever 21 / similar here
cardigan: h&m / similar here & here
earrings: leah alexander

Also a heads up - we are planning on being more active on Periscope - so if you are not following already follow us @footnotesnfinds 


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a series that Footnotes and Finds runs every friday where we share interesting, informative and fun finds/links from around the web.  Follow along!

1. One of the best things to come out of instagram (in my opinion) has been the Rich Kids of Tehran account. What intrigues me about it is the almost media smashing image of the youth of Iran that we get from it. This vice article spoke to the creators of the account and phenomenon, in order to get to the bottom of what exactly this instagram account tells us about the youth of Iran. 

2. Currently in love with this mellow, dreamier, slowed down version of Bob Dylan's "It Aint me Babe" by the Stars!

3. In love with this, this and this hat!

4.  This list of 11 Latina musicians has made my week, I am absolutely hooked! And no it doesnt have Shakira or J.Lo. on it! My personal favourite from this list is Bomba Estéreo. 

5. Menstruation is a hush-hush topic in general, regardless of geography. While conversation around the topic is beginning to be had in some parts of the world, it is still considered an "awkward" and taboo thing even though its regularity in women's lives should have made it a normalcy by now. In a country like India, where patriarchy is prevalent in all institutions, it is amazing to see these women standing up against such taboos that in some cases even prevent them from entering certain temples. Check out this article on this topic! 

This week on footnotes and finds
1. Myth or Reality? 
2. Montenegro + Croatia: Travel Diary Part 1
3. Savon box review 

From the Archives
1. Punjabi Jutti Amritsar
2. The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}
3. A Statement Shirt for all Occasions 

Remember  to follow along on our instagram,pinteresttwitterfacebook,and snapchat (@footnotesnfinds)

Savon Box Review

Couple of weeks ago we received our soap box of the month from Savon Box in the mail.  As my personal move towards natural products and becoming more aware of what is going on my skin and thus into my body, this came at a great time. Savon Box is a monthly subscription box service.  

If you venture onto the Savon Box site and head over to their about section, you will learn that this isn't just another handmade soap company. This is a story of a woman who has been on a journey and struggle regarding soaps and her skin - which inspired her to create her own.  

We received Savon Box Black Raspberry Vanilla and the Blue Opal Bar. Both of these soap bars are handcrafted and beautiful to look at!

Black Raspberry Vanilla - "This bar has a burst of fresh black raspberry with the soothing warmth of vanilla undertones" Raspberry is a known aphrodisiac, and vanilla inspires love" 

Blue Opal Bar - "This bar is a fragrance of joy, the essence of a sunny, happy morning. Fresh apple, plums and bergamot as top notes proceed into the floral heart composed of freesia, lily, rose and morning orchid with an Amber."

What was great about both the Savon Box soap bars was that they were really nice on the skin - not too harsh. Thus it didn't leave your skin dry and irritated. The fragrance being natural was refreshing and not overpowering.  Both of the bars came packaged in a plastic wrap. The package also came with a piece of paper with a description of each bar.  How fun would it be to receive a monthly package? 

Disclosure: We received a the Savon Box December subscription box Care of Savon Box in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.  


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Montenegro + Croatia: Travel Diary Part 1

First off, remember to check out the Travel Itinerary. This travel diary will be split into multiple parts seeing as though I was in Montenegro and Croatia  for a combined 15 days and I don't want to shorten any part of the trip in order to make it fit into one long master post. 

Day 1: Arrival and Sveti Stefan

The trip began with a 4:30 am bus from Oxford to London Stansted for a 8:50 am flight.There were 4 of us travelling: me, Tia (whose house we stayed at), Kasey and Nila. Our bus arrival time cut very close and we literally ran across Stansted to reach our departure gate--believe me, I never felt so unfit in my life! We arrived at Podgorica airport in Montenegro at 12:40 am and bought some snacks at the airport while we sorted out how we would get to Herceg Novi, where Tia's family lives. 

After an hour or so of procuring snacks and wifi, Tia managed to get us a taxi. Getting a taxi over the bus turned out to be the best decision we could have ever possibly made and between the 4 of us would have been about the same money-wise. But the best thing about the taxi was our driver, Bato. Not only was he a great driver, braving through the fog of the mountains of Montenegro, he went out of his way to stop for photo-ops, to drive us to Sveti Stefan/Budva (that wasn't planned) and he even bought us local sweets, which were these amazing chocolate covered marshmallows that I forget the name of.

The first thing that hits you when you leave Podgorica airport is the mountains and it makes the name of Montenegro even clearer. I come from Vancouver and mountains are not a strange presence. But the mountains of Montenegro were majestically black, maybe they were more pronounced because we were coming from England. Due to all the stops, the drive from Podgorica to Herceg Novi took longer than it should have (should have been around 3 hours), but it was so scenic and breath-taking it was well worth it for the perfect introduction to this beautiful country and its overly friendly people. We drove around the Bay of Kotor (Boka) in order to get to Herceg Novi which meant we stopped over at many scenic locations on the bay on the way!

Sveti Stefan used to be a village but has now been turned into a hotel resort. Its restricted access, so we couldnt get into it but the guards there were so friendly that they allowed us to go into some areas that were closed off in order to take pictures. They were so nice that they even took our pictures for us. I found that to be a common thing in Montenegro. People were so excited to show off their country and to have tourists that they went out of their way to make sure we had a good time, it definitely warmed my heart.

We decided to take the longer and scenic route to Herceg Novi which included 2 fairy rides.

We even stopped to take in the view of Budva from up-top!

By the time we got into Herceg Novi and met Tia's lovely family we were exhausted and it was late evening. We decided to have an easy dinner and call it a night!

Day 2: Herceg Novi, the day we walked ate, laid in the sun on repeat

This day was full of discovering the beautiful coastal town of Herceg Novi that we would call home for 15 days. We walked seaside on the seawall and in the upper town and we ate and ate and ate! Herceg Novi has a very relaxed feel to it and has a Venetian fortress that has a great view of the whole town from up top. The food there is amazing, but be prepared to walk a lot of stairs...like I mean A LOT!

We were first awoken by this tradition of a band procession that happens every Sunday I believe. Tia's house is situated right on the main street so our view of it was amazing! And even though it happens every week all the inhabitants still come out to enjoy it.

We then went on to have breakfast at the Gradska Kafana, which easily became our staple breakfast place...honestly the combination of a great view, great building, great service and above all great food made it impossible for the Gradska Kafana not to make a permanent place in our heart. If you are ever in Herceg Novi, do go!

The view from our breakfast table

The view from our breakfast table of the Adriatic as well as Montengro and Croatia

The view on the town side of the Gradska Kafana (on the right) 

After breakfast we walked the upper town. We went through the old town gate into small stairways and winding pathways, it honestly felt like you were transported back to the 1400s. Nestled in these pathways were houses, churches, and schools...and kittens...lots and lots of kittens!

The old gate 

View from the old gate

What awaited us after going through the old gate

Kasey, myself and Nila having a little fun at the old gate 

We then walked our way down to the seawall and to the front of the fortress ruins that, as you can see in the picture below, fell into the water and was left as is.

We then walked the seawall to the main strip of shops and restaurants. By this time we were hungry and stopped for some tea, coffee and snacks. Also by this time the sky began clearing and the sun came out. It became warm enough to lay and sunbathe, which we did!

Me taking a picture of Herceg Novi from the dock

We then went back to Tia's house, rested, showered and then got ready for dinner. We decided to try the seafood since it is a coastal town and Tia boasted that it was delicious. I dont eat seafood so unfortunately I cant say if it was tasty or not, but Kasey, Nila and Tia really loved their food! And since we all over ate that night climbing the 200 or so stairs back up to go Salsa dancing at Gradska Kafana was painful. 

Kasey's dinner, some sort of fish some sort of pasta...sorry Im a vegetarian and didnt pay attention to what she actually ordered!

This is part one of the Montenegro and Croatia Travel Diary, the next one will cover Kotor and Dubrovnik!

These pictures are a collection of pictures taken by myself, Nila, Kasey and Tia!


Myth or Reality?

Myth or Reality: Long beachy hair are not for women in their late 20s?

This was a conversation I had with my hair-stylist a month ago that I still find myself thinking about. This was when I went and got 7 inches cut off from my hair, as some of you may remember from this blog post. Long wavy hair has always been a part of my identity and was the reason I was so apprehensive about cutting it off to begin with. To this, my hair stylist added that long wavy beachy hair suited younger women as well and the short hair was an older and more sophisticated look. I know that he was just saying it as his opinion and it wasnt directed towards me since I know he doesnt know just how old I am (..or my maybe I am giving the benefit of the doubt here?).

While I dont agree, I have heard this idea from a lot of people. Maybe not in the same words, but I was once told that I best enjoy having the long hair I have now because once Im older it wont be the same. Although having short hair at an older age has a lot to do with biology and health, I think its strange that in the West it can be considered as an age defining trait.

Its not so much that shorter hair makes you look older as much as it is that longer hair is tied to an idea of youthful beauty. The way I see it is, do whatever you want. If we're so concerned about age then the important thing is that we do what we want to for the little time we have on this rock!

Jacket: Urban Planet, similar here 
Top: Forever 21, similar here 
Trousers: H&M, similar here
Shoes: Primark
Purse: Vintage
Sunglasses: Tom Ford

Friday, 15 January 2016


Friday Finds is a series that Footnotes and Finds runs every friday where we share interesting, informative and fun finds/links from around the web.  Follow along!

1. The Oscar nominations were announced and many people, like myself, were upset with just how white the nominations were. In order to prevent an argument on meritocracy, I would like to say that the argument based on it doesn't hold. This is because there were actors of colour in roles that deserved an oscar nod, for example, Idris Elba for "Beasts of No Nation." What this just tells me and re-affirms for me is that the Oscars as an institution is biased towards white mediocrity.

This also sheds light on how Western everything (media, adverts, fashion, film, beauty etc) is made for the white, overlooking the fact that it is not only consumed by the white population. This article about the "10 ways the Beauty Industry Tells you Being Beautiful Means Being White" covers the struggle that a person of colour goes through when it comes to the beauty industry.

2. As some of you may know, through knowing me or through our twitter feed, I love samosas! They are my favourite comfort food and in the relatively healthy life I try to lead, it is one of my only food cheats I allow! So I was super excited to find this article outlining the short history of the samosa!

3. Loving this, this and this jacket under $100!

4. In recent months, MIA came out with her song "Borders," which discussed the plight of refugees and came out effectively during the time when the refugee crisis seemed to have reached a climax in the media. Now you can see her explanation of the video, her own refugee background, and why multiculturalism is important  in this Al Jazeera interview. 

5. If you love your art and documentaries this tiny video excerpt from John Mekas' "As I was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty" will surely make your day more wonderful!

This week on footnotes and finds

1. The Black and White Dilemma
2. Montengro + Croatia: Travel Itinerary 
3. Easy Egg Bhurji Recipe

From the Archives

1. Buttery Cinnamon Buns
2. 5 New Favourite English Singer/Song writers
3. Top 5 Museums in Rome

Remember  to follow along on our instagram,pinteresttwitterfacebook,and snapchat (@footnotesnfinds)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

easy egg bhurji recipe

So there is both a story and journey when it comes to eggs and me.  Let's just say that the journey did not really begin on a positive note. As a child (and now) , my sisters and I were primarily vegetarian (out of choice) and our parents had always tried to make us incorporate eggs into our meals to make the meals healthier. But the thing was that along with meat, I was repulsed by eggs. My parents tried everything - omelettes, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs etc.  I just really didn't like the smell and taste. But that was just not it, along with the dislike of the smell and taste I was a highly imaginative child, and I would think  I was eating baby chicks. All in all - it was not a great scenario. 

Parallel to this journey of eggs and me, were the massive weekend brunches with my family - this is when my mom would pull out the paranthas (stuffed bread) and we would feast like kings and be hit with afternoon food comas. And it is during these weekend brunches that the narrative of eggs changed in my life.  My mother decided to incorporate eggs into our brunches but with her own take on it - scrambled eggs with an Indian twist - making the egg bhurji.  It quickly became one egg-based dish that we all enjoyed and didn’t put up much of a fuss over.  This is a common dish in north India, in particular Punjab (where both my parents are from). This dish is basically an Indian take on scrambled eggs and is normally consumed with a roti (Indian flat bread) and yogurt (if that’s your thing!). So if you are looking for a new egg recipe, it’s great to give the normal scrambled eggs an Indian twist with this recipe!

Now not to keep you in suspense of how this journey continues - let's just say that it's come to a polar opposite occurrence.  I now, as an adult, LOVE eggs.  In fact my breakfast everyday consists of some form of eggs. I have discovered various different recipes that have different takes on eggs and have really come to enjoy them.  And the egg bhurji remains as one of my favourite dishes.  In fact when I lived away as a student for my Masters and I was craving Indian food - I resorted to making egg bhurji since it is super easy to make! As long as you have the spices - this is a great quick egg dish to stir up.  


Serves 4:

6 large eggs (I use free range organic eggs)
1 table spoon oil
cumin seeds – half tablespoon
1 onion – diced
½ cup peas
salt to taste ( we used ½ teaspoon )
turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
garam masala – ¼ teaspoon
chilli powder – 1/8 teaspoon or to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro (or more - I love cilantro!)

1.     In a pan heat oil, once oil is hot add the cumin seeds, stir
2.     Let the cumin seeds cook less than a minute – make sure they don’t burn
3.     Stir in the onions and cook until they are a light brown colour
4.     Add in the spices and salt, stir
5.     Add peas and let it all cook for about 3 mins
6.     Crack in eggs to the mixture, mix well and cook until eggs are done to your liking
7.     Top with fresh cilantro, mix, and serve!
© Footnotes and Finds | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig