Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Today, I want to have a little heart-to-heart with you. Shall we? So, I have a few things to say about life and social media.

Now, I know you may be thinking how strange it is of me to put social media on a high enough importance level that I am grouping it in with a conversation on life. But, I really feel like we have made it this important as a society.

Personally, the social media app that I keep up with most is Instagram. For me, it’s fun to see what my “real life” friends are cooking, where they are traveling to, and who they’re hanging out with. It’s just something I consider enjoyable. I also follow people I don’t know personally (i.e. fashion bloggers, famous journalists, artists, and companies) because I find their posts to be creative, inspiring, and entertaining.

But, what I have found to be true in many cases through talking to friends is that many people use Instagram as a way to determine the fullness of their lives by comparing themselves to the pictures that other people post. Oh, your friend from high school is always “instagramming” from exotic locations? Her life must definitely be better than yours. (Please note the sarcasm in the previous sentence.)

The truth is, everyone has moments and days that are less than perfect. It doesn’t mean that they are lying by only posting the happy moments. They are just showing the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. I mean, honestly, would you want to see people posting about all the things that go wrong in their lives? I know I wouldn’t. I actually find Instagram to give me the opposite effect in that even if I am having the worst day or am super worried about something, seeing a friend post from a wedding or share something special makes me feel happy…not envious.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself feeling down that someone’s life on social media seems happier, prettier, or easier than yours, just know that everyone goes through low points. And, hypothetically speaking, let’s just imagine for a moment that there is someone out there who has the perfect life. There is still always something to be grateful for.

If you are reading this post right now, you have an internet connection. Now, there’s something to be grateful for! Ok, but all jokes aside, now that we’ve established that you have internet access, chances are you also have a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat. With these basic things (that A LOT of people in the world do not have), how silly must it seem to God that we stress out over things like Instagram?!

If you’ve never played the comparison game, congratulations. You’re on the right track. But, if you have, I really hope that what I’ve said above hits some spot for you and resonates with you. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fully enjoy the life you are given and the special people in it. After all, #YOLO.

xo Aneela

Thursday, November 6, 2014


That salutation up there was me "trying" to say hello while shivering. It is suddenly freezing in our house and the wind has been howling for a bit. Also, I worked out today after a long hiatus and ma knees be achin'! Does anyone else get really achy knees after running? I only get them the first few days, but boy oh boy....they HURT.

So, lately I've been super domestic and cooking every night. Sometimes, I get lazy and make one of my signature dishes that I could make with my eyes closed (ie. butter chicken, lentils and rice, stir fry, basic curries). But, a lot of days I have been trying new recipes because of my close relationship with pinterest. I have been pinning and cooking everything under the sun! Today, I made tandoori chicken and zucchinis with naan. I know, weird combination, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. I made the chicken in a wok-type pot and I wanted to combine bell peppers into the curry mixture, but we were out and the aforementioned windy weather/knee situation forced me to improvise with zucchinis. I got good reviews all around, if I might add!

I will finish off this little post with this ADORABLE wittle guppoo!! Did your day just get a little brighter? Mine sure did!

xo A

image via

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Food Realness

I have been trying to write a blog post declaring my love for the fall season for quite a few days now. The one I have saved in my drafts highlights the fall-time activities I believe everyone should try. You know, the typical pumpkin farm, hot apple cider, baking with loved ones shenanigans. Groundbreaking. It didn't sound like something I had written or like something I would personally enjoy reading (even though it was embellished with some pretty spiffy photographs I took). So, using my disappointment in that post to my advantage, I am going to write in my usual style...typing whatever comes to mind. Can you tell I don't do well with structured writing? I don't know, it just sounds a bit insincere when I do it on the blog.

In place of reciting off all the reasons I love fall, I'm just going to share some things I find exciting as they come to me. Let the journey through Aneela's scattered thoughts commence...

Lately, I have been enjoying cooking/baking dishes that taste a gajillion times better during the colder months. Last week, we hosted a tea party and I took a short cut with some Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies. They totally tasted like they were made from scratch. I truly believe that with a few tweaks here and there in terms of ingredients you can make packaged desserts taste like you've been slaving away for hours. Case in point: I was just in NYC over the weekend and the lovely person I was staying with baked the most delicious brownies. They were so rich and had a generous amount of almonds and walnuts in them. When she told me she just used a brownie mix and added lots of nuts, I couldn't believe it! They tasted sooo good! Now, before you accuse me of trying to turn people to the dark side, give boxed baking a try. You might win over a few hearts and never look back ;)

Now, I know a lot bloggers are into doing everything from scratch. I enjoy both methods and I think it really depends on how much time I have and what kind of mood I'm in. Personally, I love cooking from scratch on the weekends when I have hours to spend in the kitchen. So, I have been collecting (and using) recipes that I think will be extra delicious as the trees outside become bare and a blanket of white settles in.

First of all, in case you haven't been looped in, sea salt + caramel = the solution to 99% of the world's problems. In honor of this delicious equation, I am going to link some of my favorite fall-time salted caramel recipes. Here is how to make simple salted caramels via Barefoot Contessa. Or, you could opt for a fun salted caramel pudding recipe via Portuguese Girl Cooks. And, of course, no fall gathering is complete without cupcakes, so try your hand at these salted caramel cupcakes via Tidy Mom.

image via Tidy Mom

image via Portuguese Girl Cooks

Now, this next topic, I am hoping to dedicate another post to as well, but in the meantime, I will just give you a quick synopsis here. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the goodness that is...THE CHEESE BOARD?! It's sweet, it's salty, it's fancy, it's casual, it's whatever you want it to be. I personally like one that is actually made on a wooden board...add those cute little chalkboard labels for the cheeses and we're talkin' par-tayyyy. And this is coming from someone who doesn't even particularly like cheese. Which, I know is embarrassing for someone who lives in America's DAIRY LAND, but I can't even remember the last time I craved cheese...UNTIL the cheese board. Here is 'The Perfect Fall Cheese Platter' via Honestly Yum. Get on it, people! More to come on this in a future post ;)

image via Honestly Yum

Well, I wanted to share some fall fashion trends in this post as well, but it is getting insanely long. Honestly, congratulatutions if you're still reading this. So, I'm going to end this post with the "it drink" of the moment. Make it. Try it. Love it. Here is how to make Rosemary Hot White Chocolate via Golubka. You're welcome:) Also, this girl has some mad manicure game (see below).

image via Golubka

Happy Monday!
xo Aneela