A city break to Milan

I had always heard that Milan is a city of fashion, culture and delicious Italian food. A perfect mixture of all the things that I love. This made my husband and me plan a four – day trip to this gorgeous city and experience all of this first hand. We visited in July, and the weather was lovely and warm with a mixture of clear blue skies, the sparkling sun and also a torrent of rain to cool things down. The moment we landed and after we settled into our hotel, we went out for a walk and to eat dinner at this cute authentic Italian restaurant with the most cozy decor and a huge selection of Italian wine. I was absolutely taken aback by the beauty of the city and the relaxed happy vibe that this city exuded.

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The architecture, the cozy cafes with people sitting outside and laughter rippling through the air, the gentle breeze, the young professionals returning from work in their stylish clothes and accessories, people queuing outside the gelato stores filled with innumerable mouth-watering flavours…. it was truly a sight that warmed my heart and filled me with excitement!

I absolutely love visiting churches and The Duomo (Cathedral of Milan) dedicated to St. Mary of the nativity is one of the most beautiful churches that I have laid my eyes on. It is truly majestic with amazing detail and intricate carvings. We even walked all the way to the top to catch a view of the vibrant city. Sitting inside and praying was a truly humbling experience for me.

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The Duomo – Milan Cathedral
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Inside the Duomo

We were super lucky to have the opportunity to see the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, preserved in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. 

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The Last Supper – Leonardo Da Vinci

Right next to the Duomo is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is the world’s oldest active shopping mall and boasts an iron and glass roof. It is packed with designer stores, jewellery shops, chic restaurants and is alive with talents musicians busking and artists sketching potraits of tourists.

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We also visited the Sforza Castle, which was built by the Duke of Milan and contains several museums, luscious green lawns and a gorgeous water fountain at the entrance.

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Being a food lover, Italian being one of my favourite cuisines, I absolutely feasted on the delicious pastas, pizzas, lemoncello and gelatos! Here is us looking super happy visiting this gorgeous city.

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On top of the Duomo

Milan was everything that I ever imagined it to be and more. It is a great place for a city break. Have you ever visited? Would love to hear what you loved about the city!xx

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A channel of your peace

Happy Sunday loves!

I hope you’re having a great one so far. Everyday on listening to the news, I always hear about all the suffering and hardships this world is facing. It is an era of unrest and turmoil. But it is also a world of compassion, kindness and love. We must not lose courage and strive to become a channel of God’s peace and love. There is always hope that one day we can all live together in peace and harmony.

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Below is one of my favourite hymns titled “Make me a channel of your peace”

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring you love; 

Where there is injury, your healing power,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you. 

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope; 
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy. 

O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand, 
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all that we receive,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

 

Amen!

 

Miracle Prayer

I have had a sudden urge to publish this and share it with all of you. A few months ago whilst attending mass at my local church, I headed to pray to the sacred heart of Jesus. This is when I saw this beautiful handwritten prayer titled ‘Miracle Prayer’ resting at the feet of the statue. I took a picture of it. I never really prayed using this particular prayer until recently, for a special request from God.

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” Dear Heart of Jesus, in the past I have asked for many favours, this time I ask for a special one (mention here). Take it dear Lord, dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart where your father sees it, then in his merciful eyes it will become your favour not mine ” (To be said for 3 days)

Isn’t it just a sweet and beautiful prayer.

Image courtesy: straphaelslifeteen.com

 

 

40 acts and lent

I first came across what 40acts was all about on a busy day at work. It was 2016 and I remember worrying about all the jobs I still had to complete for the day and finish on time for once. Lost in my own thoughts and engulfed by all the tasks lying ahead of me,  is when I bumped into a friend and her colleague on the corridor. It was lent time and since all of us belonged to the same faith, the usual question of “oh, what are you giving up for lent this year” came up. I don’t think I had thought about anything in particular – maybe sweets/chocolates was my answer. This is when both of them told me that they were doing this 40 acts challenge. 40 acts are acts of compassion, kindness or generosity – however big or small, that you perform each day of lent, which enriches your soul. What a beautiful way of going through lent and enhancing one’s spiritual being. I thought I would pen down my 40 acts journey here – I am a bit late as I was poorly these past few days, but now I am on the mend, here goes (better late than never right?);

If this is something you might be interested in here is the link

40acts.org.uk

Day 5 – Favourite. 

Here is the challenge:

What are your favourite things? Favourite film? Favourite coffee shop? A view where you go to be alone? Get ready to fly in the face of your impulses – and give those personal favourites away. Give away the novel. Pass on the scarf you think someone would look fantastic in. Share the introvert hang-out spot.

I have always been an avid reader. Over the past few years I have fallen in love with the books written by a turkish author – Eli Shafak. My favourite one being – The forty rules of love. It was presented by my mother to me a couple of years ago – and is about the relation between the poet Rumi and his guru Shamz-e-tabrizi, one of immense love, trust, honesty and understanding. Here is a link on when I had written a bit about the book Reflections and Resolutions 

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You can also read more about it here – www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-forty-rules-of-love-by-elif-shafak-2021678.html

I would love to share it with one of you, if you are interesting in reading it. Just comment on here (not just like) and I will be happy pick one via a draw and contact you in the next couple of weeks to arrange sending a copy across to you 🙂

“You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only providing for the needs of the saints but is also overflowing with many thanks to God.”
(2 Corinthians 9:11–12 NET) – from 40acts 

Have a blessed lent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year and a “New” me

Goodbye 2017 – filled with bittersweet memories! And hello 2018! I have never been the kind of person to set a list of new year resolutions, usually the same every year – cook more, go to the gym, don’t leave everything last minute and stress, spend more time with family, meditate etc etc. Come first of Jan I’d start making all these salads, hit the gym, call my mum more often and organise my diary with full gusto. After not even a week (I am talking about a few ‘days’) my enthusiasm and will power would dwindle at top speed till I’d be back stuffing my face with takeaways, paying religiously for my gym membership and never going and studying for that exam until a week before. Such a nightmare! By the way, my last post about going on a diet totally failed!

But, this year is different and needs to be. I feel like I have totally started 2018 on a wrong note – by being daunted by all the mammoth tasks lying ahead of me. But, if you fail and fail again, you have to pick yourself up and keep trying right? Who knows, I might even be looking back at 2018 with a sense of satisfaction – feeling healthier, happier and at peace. I recently read a book by a celebrity nutritionist and fitness guru – Rujuta Diwekar. Her weight loss and health fitness mantra was simple, ditch diets and counting calories and eat small healthy portions of meals throughout the day, and enjoy indulging in that samosa or gulab jamun every every now and then. Now, that can also be applied to other aspects of life – ditch worrying about what will be or not, set small achievable tasks throughout the day and enjoy pampering yourself every now and then.

So here are my big goals of 2018

Work and study related 

  1. Pass all my masters exams x 3
  2. Pass my work-related exam
  3. Write a 20,000 word dissertation to complete my masters (and be organised so as not to have a melt-down last minute)
  4. Audit
  5. Complete writing that case-report

Health related 

  1. Cook every alternate day at least (just bought a vegetarian cookbook on amazon)
  2. Gym twice or thrice a week
  3. Meditate once a week
  4. Try being vegan for a week

Personal 

  1. Pass my driving test
  2. Go on holiday for some sunshine
  3. Weekend getaway with friends (been planning this for years now)
  4. Visit Devon/Cornwall
  5. Go on a hike
  6. Read 3 books (any suggestions will be welcome)

These are the big ones for now! 🙂 Will keep posting my progress on each and every one of them throughout this year. Lets hope for a good one.

Happy New Year and do let me know what your 2018 is looking like 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections and Resolutions

It is almost a week till Christmas (and yes before you say it, it is definitely one of my favourite festivals and time of the year) and I am sat here at the table with a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon reflecting on this past year and the year to come. This is the time where we all stuff ourselves with mince pies and drink way too much mulled wine, and come January resolve to sign up to the gym, exercise at least thrice a week and eat no sugar!! I know I certainly have and my resolution started with much gusto lasts a total of a week at the most!

I probably will do it all again this year but for today I wanted to write about three ladies who have personally inspired me this year and how I would love to imbibe some of their qualities/teachings as I see myself into the new year.

  1. Eli Shafak – Author of forty rules of love

I stumbled upon her book by chance, thanks to my mother’s love of reading and instilling this in me as well. Her book is so beautifully written and warmed my soul directly. It is full of history – about the bond between the poet Rumi and his guru Shamz-e-Tabrizi, wisdom about the teachings and beliefs of sufis and an insight into the true/higher meaning of life where the modern is blended with the mystic. It is a book that anyone and everyone can relate to at various levels.

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She is a Turkish author whose parents separated when she was young and was brought up by a single parent. She is now a successful author, has won various prizes and lives in London. I recently watched one of her TEDx talks where she says anyone can write about anything. I have always wanted to start a blog where I can pen down my thoughts and write about my journey through life and was inspired to do this. I have always had a thirst to learn more about other people and their experiences and better myself as a human being not only learning through my own journey through life but also theirs. This blog has opened up a world of knowledge/life experiences out there and I am truly grateful for that!

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The book also inspired me to start on a spiritual quest, something that has always drawn me and I have wanted to pursue.

I hope in the year 2017, I continue to strengthen my passion for writing and spirituality.

2. My Mother – entrepreneur and founder of @rosamysticaindia

The words that always come to my mind when I think of my mother are – will power, strength, integrity and compassion. She is truly an incredible woman who has faced several obstacles in life – to do with family, health, friends, career and has always braved these with immense strength and determination and triumphed. She has sacrificed and compromised a whole lot for her family and her love is truly unconditional.

She recently started an NGO called Rosa Mystica. It is an initiative aimed at empowering the women of Garhwal, India by showcasing their talent.These women are mostly single parents striving to provide a better future for their family or women who are struggling to make ends meet. I have never seen anyone so dedicated and passionate about her work and cause.

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I have always loved and enjoyed being creative and as a result I created an instagram and Facebook page dedicated to this noble cause. Please check out their instagram page @rosamysticaindia or Facebook page to learn about their work in more detail.

www.facebook.com/rosamysticaindia/

Here is a sneak peak of an ethnic and vibrant kurti that these ladies made. All their products are handmade and made with a lot of handwork and love. You name it and they make it: clothes for women/men/children, fashion accessories, bedding items, home goods such as hot water bottle covers, table runners, dining table covers, place mats, potholders etc, handmade cards etc.

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In 2017, I hope to have more compassion, passion for what I do and will power to see through any obstacles and goals.

3. A friend 

What i admire the most in this dear friend of mine is her determination and motivation to stay fit. She goes to the gym everyday without fail and eats in moderation (without depriving herself of sweet treats/eating out). She always strives to stay healthy and happy.

We really need to learn to respect our bodies, the saying that we are what we eat is true to a great degree. A healthy body and mind are key ingredients to a happy life full of contentment.

What I admire about her is not going on ‘crash diets’ for a certain occasion or to fit into a dress or prepare for a beach holiday. Those kinds of diet don’t last for long. I did one myself before my wedding (kind of) and did manage to lose weight but have not been able to sustain it.

In 2017, I hope to become more fit by exercises a bit more regularly and indulging in yoga and meditation to heal my body and mind.

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So bring on 2017 and the challenge to advance myself….physically, mentally and spiritually 🙂

Photo sources:

  1. amazon.com
  2. cnn.com
  3. my visions.org

Do remember this Christmas!

The feeling of cold and crisp winter air on your face, soft snow flakes falling gently and curling on the window ledge, a cup of steaming and delicious hot chocolate in front of the blazing fire, a choir melodiously singing carols in the town centre and children sitting on santa’s lap asking for a present for being good all year round, sparkly christmas trees, lots of mulled wine and egg nog, minced pies, a rush to get all the christmas shopping done, parties, dinners and family gatherings….yup! all sounds like that beautiful time of the year again – Christmas! And I don’t know about you, but yes I do love this festival 🙂

It is a glorious celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. However, let us not forget, his parents; St. Joseph and Mother Mary.

Mary was born to St. Anne and St. Joachim of Israel. Joachim was a wealthy man and always made a double offering to God. He was once denied to do so first, as he had not raised a child (Anne and Joachim had been trying for an offspring for a long time). As a result, Joachim went into the desert, pitched his tent there and decided to fast for forty days and forty nights whilst praying to God for an offspring. Anna, who was also frustrated, sat under a laurel tree and prayed to God to bless her with an offspring, just as he had blessed Sarah (wife of Abraham) with Isaac. Suddenly, an angel appeared to Anne revealing that her prayer had been answered by the Lord and that she will be blessed with an offspring. On hearing this, Anna was overjoyed and vouched to dedicate her child to serving the Lord. Nine months later, Anna gave birth to a baby girl, Mary.

At the age of three, Mary was presented to the temple by her parents in order to be educated and serve the Lord. When she reached the age of fourteen, the priest of the temple had a visitation from an angel stating to gather all the widowers of the region and ask them to carry a staff. The one that the Lord points out to, shall be Mary’s husband. The priest did as he was told, and a dove came out of Joseph’s staff ; and he was the chosen one.

Mary through the power of the holy spirit, conceived Jesus. She is a symbol of compassion, kindness, innocence, mercy and is a pure soul.

St. Joseph, was a working man, a carpenter and not well to do. He once offered two turtle-doves (pigeons) as a sacrifice to the Lord, as he could not afford a lamb. He was hardworking, righteous and dedicated his life to serve God and obey his commands. Above all, he loved Jesus dearly and did everything he could to protect his child. When an angel appeared to him and told him to leave the town as his child was not safe, he did as he was told and stayed in Egypt, till he was further instructed that it was safe to return.

Let us celebrate Christmas this year, by remembering the humble parents of Jesus and their life. Let us remember their virtues and strive to imbibe these in our daily lives.

featured image courtesy: filcatholic.org

 

A Love-ly Breakfast

I am not sure how I feel about Sundays. My Sundays usually commence mid-day at the latest followed by a good few hours of procrastination, until I feel utterly depressed around evening time for being such a sloth coupled with the knowledge of the impending doom of Monday and the week ahead. But no feeling like that today, because I am off work (please read my first post if you have a burning desire to learn why). https://onedayatatime665.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/img_5893.jpg?w=1462

I actively attempted not to browse any of my usual online retail therapy stores, thanks to my bulging wardrobe, my rapidly decreasing bank balance and my new resolve to not be so in love with all things material and embark on more of a spiritual journey.

I did however, browse amazon for items to make my flat a home (I am newly married and also a bit in love with interior designing) and lo behold! I do not know how but after a great deal of browsing, tabs, websites and what not I found out that certain organisations and institutes did an amazon wish list where you could buy things required by them. And trust me, not all items are expensive! The ones that stumbled upon were Ronald McDonald House (rmhc.org.uk), which provides free accommodation to families whose children are in the hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (childsplaycharity.org). Did I really need that extra lamp for the living room? Nope,I didn’t! But wouldn’t it be nice to buy that toy for a sick child in the hospital? Or those paper plates and flower bracelets? And this is what I exactly did!
By this time, my husband was up unexpectantly from a deep slumber post his night shift on call due to an even deeper rumble in his belly. And suddenly I realised that I hadn’t eaten since I had woken up (it was 2pm), just a cup of delicious coffee, oh how I love you so! And so after a long time we decided to cook ‘breakfast’ together. He was in charge of the chopping and washing and I was in charge of making the omelette stuffed with tomatoes, cheese, peppers, chilli and onion. It turned out to be absolutely delicious and I am afraid I do not have evidence in pictures of our lovely breakfast as we devoured it because both of us (me especially) were on the brink of being ‘hangry’. 

But wasn’t it just lovely to do something together as a team, to share this small portion of the day. We didn’t do a great deal of talking except cooking related, but coupled with the music, a number of silly dance moves and trying to show off our culinary skills….a lot was said unknowingly and filled me with so much warmth and love. Next time you get a chance from your busy schedules, do try this; the cooking not the silly dance moves, although thats entirely up to you 🙂 – could be a partner, friend, sibling, parent, anyone.

Not such a bad Sunday after all eh?

ps: I have to post a picture of my beloved coffee machine here, please pay special attention to the mug 😉