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Just Throw Color At It

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Happy Holi!

This Holi, I hope we appreciate that once we filter a shade or a tone out, the rainbow gets compromised.

This Holi, I hope that we don’t create colorless borders to hold color in, but allow them to move, mix and run, so that we can come alive.

Holi not only celebrates the beginning of spring and all of it’s promises, but it urges us to throw color at anything that kills our spirit.

So the next time the world gets you down, throw color at it!

The next time you feel overwhelmed by life’s battles, throw color at it.

Burn your fears and sorrows as Holika burnt the night before all was colorful.

P.S. Here is my girl Sneha’s beautiful post on Holi called Colors of Nature.

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One Chance. Speak Up. Put Up.

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If Trump and Clinton’s messy battle has taught me anything, it’s that in America, you really can do what you want and find like minded individuals to help enable you to do so. The land of opportunity is also the land of the great gamble. So, we must find that crazy animal within us and find the courage to put up every single day. If there is something we stand for, we must work. If there is something we want, we must work. And if we want to make a difference, we must work, work, werk it. 

Here’s to personal greatness & collective greatness, without the hatefulness. ❤ Shilpa

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Had to share my first pumpkin carving experience… Mine’s the haunted house on the right!

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Of Sugar & Light: The Year When Diwali Led Halloween

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Diwali may actually be the direct opposite of Halloween. And yet, here are these two festivals, being celebrated within a day of each other in 2016. The light and the dark. The good and the supposed evil. As Hindus around the world light the world with diyas and pray for prosperity, graveyards pop up on the front yards of the western world. As spiderwebs are cleared to make way for clarity in Indian homes, fake cobwebs are places over wooden door trims and corners in America . But there is one thing in common…

Sugar!

Whether it be in the form of candy or pedas, sugar is the high that makes everyone feel happy, and both traditions make it a point of exchanging lots of it! So have something sweet and be merry. After all, a festival is merely a means for communicating with the people who matter to us, whether it be in costume or in spanking new gold jewelry. Happy Diwali & Happy Halloween! May you conquer evil, find joy, revel in prosperity and enjoy a decadent meal with the people you love…<3 Shilpa

 

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Of Seeds and Sand: How Words Transform Us

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Have you ever gotten an email that you never expected (and didn’t think you deserved) and it changed the course of your day? Yep. I got one yesterday. I was going about my calculus homework when I clicked on a random private message on Facebook. Although I won’t quote their words because it was rather personal, I will however share the most beautiful thought presented in the message…

Place trust in the digital universe like the real universe…Thoughts are like seeds…if you spread them out and tend for them, they will blossom into something incredible.

So not only am I blogging as this kind stranger urged me to do, but I am spreading these beautiful thoughts to you through this blog. It appears that no matter how small we are when we stand alone, together, we can be (and are) enough… ❤ Shilpa

P.S. Thanks MJ for this brilliant shot on one of my favorite beaches! 

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We Are Not What We Were Called

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It takes a long time, perhaps a lifetime, to overcome childhood stigmas. It is up to us to remind ourselves that the we can, at our will, scrape away every label which was given to us without our consent.

Because the only label that sticks, is the one which we allow.

Have an amazing weekend! ❤ Shilpa

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Birthday Hike

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Leave it to my dad to want to celebrate his birthday at the Stanford Dish! Happy (belated) Birthday daddy, may we continue to climb higher peaks!!!! ❤

P.S. For anyone who hasn’t looked into Charity Miles, it definitely beats Pokemon Go at providing an impetus to go out there and break a sweat!!! Although, my sister did catch 2 Pikachus and overtake a Pokemon gym at the Dish!! ;P

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Level 20??! @_@

 

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 1/3

 

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First of all, I would like to thank Josh, the creator of California Through my Lens. His Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide made it super easy for my friends and I to enjoy the actual exploration rather than fretting about all the details of the journey. So thanks! Secondly, my friends are camera shy, so you will be seeing mostly me (and maybe a limb or two) in the pictures. Lastly, I had to break this down into days because its way too much content! ;P

Our road trip started from Dana Point and went all the way to San Francisco in three days. For those who are into budget trips, this is legit because it cost less than $1000 a person (mostly on hotels-the amount halves itself every time you share a room). I used my birthday funds for it and it was worth every penny!

From Dana Point to Ventura: Pete’s Breakfast House: For a ridiculously good tex-med style breakfast.

Ventura to Serra Cross: These were some of the quietest moment on the trip! A couple of moments of serenity and reflection to start the trip right! 🙂

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A gorgeous lavender bush (you needed to see this)

Serra Cross to Lompoc: Amongst beautiful murals, I found one of my favorite cafes called Southside Coffee & Co.! And you know that I am seriously into cafe culture….! I must say though, if you go on a weekday like I did, beware of the eeriness of this town. Maybe it was just us, but there was a strange “The Shining” quality to this place. #enjoyatyourownrisk 

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There was the photographic Bubblegum Wall at San Luis Obispo!

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Lompoc to Hotel Carlton: We stopped at Hotel Carlton for the night. For the price, it was a downer. 😦 Too expensive for the quality for a single recipient for sure! However, I had one of the best veggie burgers at Sylvester’s Burger. If you are in the Atascadero area, don’t miss this! (Sorry no pics 😦 There is a point when you really must enjoy something and forget about clicking pictures!)

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 2/3

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Our last stop on day one was Carlton Hotel (you can see the first post in the series here), where, in the morning, we found a delicious breakfast at Black Porch Bakery. Again, (surprise!) a cafe! If I lived there, this cafe would definitely be a haunt! 🙂

After checking out, we backtracked  to see the spectacular Morro Rock. Trust me, the pictures don’t do the area justice. I could have spent the entire day there! It was beautiful.

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Pacific Coast Roadtrip: Day 2 Morro Rock

Then, there was the Brown Butter Cookie Company. Expensive, local, buttery goodness!

The sweet treat readied us for the gorgeous eye candy that would follow. We were absolutely blown away by the magnificence and beauty of Hearst Castle. The man and his wife created not only an empire, but a brilliant legacy. I secretly made a wish that I would be inspired by the muse that inspired him! ❤ #mindblown

On the way to Monterey, we spotted the stunning McWay Falls.

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The drive to Monterey was gorgeous but my GoPro let me down and captured mostly the dashboard of our car! Then, we checked into one of my favorite hotels-ever! The Spin Drift Inn located beachfront on Cannery Row in Monterey. We were greeting with ‘happy hour’ at the lobby! 

For dinner, I really wanted Mexican Food. We found La Bahia and their delicious Enchiladas! Yummy! Did I mention there was a brownie sundae from Ghirardelli that followed? Yep!

Thanks for reading!!! Hope you’re planning the coastal trip for yourself! (You can read the first post in the series here)

Again, I would like to thank California Through my Lens and Josh’s blogs on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide. #checkitout

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Along the Pacific Coast Highway in Three Days (Mostly In Pictures, Coz Who Needs Words?) 3/3

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Hello and welcome to day three of the road trip! (You can read the first post in the series here and the second post here) I left you off with some brownie sundae on Cannery Row! On day three, we took the opportunity to explore the almost ‘private beach’ behind Spin Drift Inn.

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Pacific Highway Road Trip: Day 3 Monterey Bay

Leaving Monterey was tough but I was excited about Santa Cruz! By the time we reached Santa Cruz, we were ready for lunch at Burgr & dessert at Donnelly Chocolates. Their chocolates are famous all over US (and the world, claimed by the company ;P) so if you drop by, it might be worth a try if you have a sweet tooth. It wasn’t per my palette but my sister and friends loved them!

Santa Cruz is one of the most stunning beaches in California! ❤

After Santa Cruz was a quick drive through Mavericks (Because who isn’t a fan of Chasing Mavericks!) Photographed here is the Pillar Point Air Force Station that overlooks Half Moon Bay.

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It was a mid-day energy slump so we found this tiny little cafe along the coast called Here Comes The Sun. They were closing so the coffee was whatever but I thought the interiors were adorable!

We finally reached San Francisco and the final hotel stop was the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. It was a gorgeous view and was worth the splurge.

Z&Y are one of my favorite Chinese restaurant ever so there was no way we wouldn’t do dinner there! They actually have decent vegetarian options. After Obama stopped by the restaurant has gotten very mainstream but the food is still great! This was followed by the Pagan Idol on Bush St. to cap the night! Bet you thought you would see Bush and Obama in the same paragraph on this blog huh? Well… Just keeping you on your toes!

Before heading back to square one, we had some delicious breakfast followed by a tour of Grace Cathedral, kind of coming full circle! 

Thanks for joining us on our road trip!!! What did you think? Which places would you include along the coast? (You can read the first post in the series here and the second post here)

Again, I would like to thank California Through my Lens and Josh’s blogs on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip Day Guide. #checkitout

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