Life Lately- February

Life Lately- February
Photo by Reinhard Rosar

Welcome to my monthly “Life Lately” reflections, where I chronicle things I did/ate/drink and liked.  I’ve never been much for diaries (short attention span!), but I do really love looking back on these monthly lists. This month has been a series of ups and downs. Work-wise, it’s been a tough month. We got our first negative feedback, and let’s just say, I did not handle it well. It’s really hard– especially when it’s your own family business- not to take it personally. Luckily, I have a solid boss and excellent friends that forced me (in a nice way) to look at all the positive things we’ve accomplished. On the other hand, my social life was lit. We had an epic Super Bowl party, did some Olympic worthy ice skating and ski sessions (not), and celebrated V-Day and Birthdays surprise-style.  It’s all about the work/life balance, amiright? How’s your month been?

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Life Lately: February 

Currently Eating: Creamy Bacon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole 

Currently Craving: Peking Duck (hint hint G)

Currently Drinking: Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey Tea

Currently Reading: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Currently Recommending:  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Finally!)

Currently Watching: Black Panther and Director Ryan Coogler’s breakdown of this epic scene

Currently Podcastin’ to: Arm Chair Expert with Dax Shepard. Specifically his episode with Kristen Bell. It’s a refreshingly honest look into how this couple relationship. Hint: Involves a lot of humor and work.

Currently Sweating to: The Sweat App by Kayla Itsines. Still chugging along.

Currently Playing: Alto’s Adventures….even though I just download Alto’s Odyssey 

Currently Traveling to: San Antonio, Texas

Currently Dreaming about: South Africcccccaaaa, May 2018.


In case you missed it:

  • Take a moment to laugh at some of the best Super Bowl commercials
  • Get inspired … or hungry, but my favorite foods from our Paris/Burgundy trip
  • Try this amazing PALEO/WHOLE30 casserole dish
  • Check out what I did last weekend– hint it involves skiing and hot chocolate


Things I Ate, Drank & Loved: Paris Edition

Things I Ate, Drank & Loved: Paris Edition

True fact: I would happily spend an entire trip to France eating just bread. No butter. Just warm, long pointy, baguette parisienne. Sure, I’d be happy to add in some stinky roquefort  or a nice spicy saucisson. But honestly, I could eat baguettes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In fact, when I was a kid, I’d visit my family in Montreau and make a constant request for bread. I made the request so much, my grandfather asked my parents if I actually like the food they were cooking. After that, my parents put a swift end to the constant bread requests and I happily moved onto better things like “stinky cheese” and “patè.” Last year, G + I took a 5 day trip to France, where we basically ate our way through the Paris and the Burgundy region. I thought I’d share some of my favorite food pictures.Quick tip: if you’re planning a trip, drop the frantic trip advisors searches and just wander around. My favorite meal was an impromptu restaurant while waiting for our Airbnb to open up. I hope you enjoy.


Eat With Master Chef: Jean Yves 
Tea with a View at Carette‘s
Scones at T’Cup
Fresh Prawns
Escargot at William Fèvre in Chablis
All the Melty Cheese in France
Avocado Toast at Juice Lab
Steak Tartare at Place Unknown
Dessert at La Pharmacie
Quintessential Views with Jamon & Baguette
Obligatory Tourist Shot

Life Lately: January 2018

Life Lately: January 2018




I think Roz Chast’s New York Cartoon sums it up best. Unlike the end of the year which flew by faster than an African swallow (bonus point to anyone who got to Monty Python reference), January took FOUR-EVAH to finish. This isn’t to say that it was a bad month. In fact, minus the week I was out due to the Winter Plague (aka the flu), this month has been pretty awesome. I started off the New Year with my favorite cousins. There may or may not have been some dancing to 90s youtube videos. Back in Brooklyn, G and I made it to two epic concerts- The Killers and Above & Beyond. We tried Shiso (healthy Japanese syrup) for the first time at a shiso cocktail tasting ( less healthy but still very delicious.) And we took full advantage of our MoviePass card- by seeing Jumanji, I, Tonya and Molly’s Game. And yes, don’t worry, I still managed a full work load with two work trips. You see what I mean- it was a LONG month. I had all this fun and was still a productive human. Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the New Year. Here’s hoping that February is just as fun…if not more.


Sending big hugs,


Currently Eating: Homemade Bolognese by my friend, Chen.


Currently Craving: The 10 piece omakase at Taro


Currently Drinking: Hot Water with Meyer-Lemon and Ginger (Be gone, cold germs!)


Currently Reading: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Finally!)


Currently Recommending: The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh


Currently Watching (TV): Narcos Season 3. I know, I know, I’m late.


Currently Watching (Movie): I, Tonya. I was shocked by how much I liked it. Also, this article on how to shot the triple Axel is really cool


Currently These cool wood block jewelry holders. I found Emily Henderson’s blog via Pinterest.


Currently Bloglovin’: Hitha on the Go


Currently Podcasting to: Terry Gross on Fresh Air


Currently Listening to: Above & Beyond’s Always ft. Zoë Johnston


Currently Sweating to: The Sweat App by Kayla Itsines. I’m on week 2 of her 15 week challenge.


Currently Dreaming: An upcoming trip to South Africa!


Currently Reminiscing About: Our trip to India. Good thing we have another trip plan at the end of the year!



A Blog in Review

New Year, New Intentions

New Year, New Intentions
This is a bit late but: Happy New Year Everyone. I actually wrote this post back in Kolkata with every intention of publishing it on Jan 1. And then life, travel and honestly really good Bengali food got in the way. But there is no time like the present to talk about New Year goals and resolutions.
New Year, New Goals
 Looking back, I think we can all agree that the world in 2017 was stressful AF. Every day seemed to bring a new brand of “ugh” with news of natural disasters, terrible policies, sexual harassment scandals, racist incidents and an upward trend in hateful rhetoric. Never have the words “self-care” and “social media detox” meant so much to me. Personally, though, 2017 was an incredible year. I had a couple of major milestones, both professionally and personally. I’m not a huge fan of New Years resolutions- I mean we all know we should chose the gym over Netflix marathons— but I did want to take a moment to look back on some of things I accomplished and thing that I’d like to work on in 2018.
The Look Back: 3 Things I’m Proud Of from 2017
I think all too often we set “goals” and “to-dos” without taking a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished. I know that I personally don’t focus on the things I do well…and instead berate myself for things I ought to have done. Actually, I started writing this post about things I need to do better in 2018….
1. Maintained Aheli Wanders
I have to start here with my blog. It’s taken many forms since its inception in 2007- from travel blog to infrequent journal to recipe holder and part-time memoir. Last year, I set a goal: a post a week on whatever topic I could think of. The only rule was not to obsess or re-write a post too many times. I’m incredibly proud that I met my goal. Writing has become such a wonderful way to reflect and unwind.
2. Embraced Minimalism (and cut down on my unnecessary spending/hoarding)
Moving into a 700 square foot (admittedly gorgeous) apartment with two small closets that you must share with your wonderful roommate/partner definitely forces you to embrace a minimalist lifestyle. Over the past year, I’ve gotten rid of over fifty articles of clothing and bought exactly twenty new pieces (most of which replaced items that I wore often but were badly damaged. Previously, when I got rid of an item, I felt the need to immediately buy something new. The lack of closet space and the fact that I was enjoying spending more money on quality pieces rather than cheap pieces revolutionized my spending habits. I obviously still have room for improvement, but I’m pretty proud of “buy better, buy less” motto. Also, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that the majority of the items that I “get rid” off actually just go to my parent’s place. (THEY ARE THE BEST). Another goal for 2018 is to actually get rid of more.
3. Traveled More (for Fun)
I travel a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I spent 35 weeks of 2017 in a different city. Most of it was for work, but this year G+I (unintentionally) made it a priority to travel more. We started the year in Tampa and then made trips to: London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Belgium, the Finger Lakes, Montreal, Paris, the Maldives, San Antonio and India. With each trip brought new adventures, new memories and most importantly, new restaurants to recommend.
Looking Forward: Things to Build On
1. Cut Down on Technology
Can I blame my fancy-smancy iPhone for this? Every morning without fail, I wake up to check my text messages, email, WhatsApp message, Instagram, New York Times, instagram again because it always updates, and end with facebook. Sometimes, I waste about an hour in bed just scrolling through useless information. This year, I will try to cut down on useless technology and social media binges.


2. Make More Interesting Plans
I live in one of the greatest cities in the world. Yet, without fail, I end up grabbing a “dinner & drink” with friends to catch up. This year, I’m making it a priority to take more advantage of what Brooklyn/NYC has too offer. We’ve signed up for a BAM membership, and I’m starting to bookmark different gallery events. Any suggestions for interesting NYC area events would be greatly appreciated :)


3. Say “No” More
I have a terrible problem saying “no.” Seriously, at the end of 2017, I was the  was the co-chair of my college alumnae group, a board member of a non-profit, a volunteer leader for my tax program, sat on four different committees…all while running a business, managing a relationship and managing to binge-watch multiple Netflix shows. By 2017, I started to ween off some of the groups. I’m hoping in 2018, I can continue to continue the “extra” and only do projects (and activities) that truly matter to me.
And that’s it for now. Happy Weekend everyone.

Life Lately – December Edition

Life Lately – December Edition

Happy Almost New Year Everyone. Is it me or does it feel like December… actually all of 2017 just flew by? These last four weeks have been filled with so much love, fun, and travel. In the last couple of weeks, I got to see my parents & a best friend in NYC (separately), threw an epic apartment holiday crawl in my building, had an amazing Mexican food-fueled trip to San Antonio with G’s family, and I’m now sitting at our Kolkata kitchen counter writing this blog post. Basically, it was a pretty awesome month. There are so many things going on lately here is the quick summary of my life!

Currently Eating: Dosa from Rama Krishna Lunch Home in Kolkata

Currently Craving: Bean and Cheese Tacos from San Antonio

Currently Drinking: Balvenie 12 Year Old Triple Cask Whiskey (Scotland). Courtesy of my mom and dad

Currently Reading: Exit West by Moshin Hamid

Currently Recommending: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Currently Watching: The Indian Detective with Russell Peters. It’s only four episodes!

Currently DIY-ing: Hand Lettering.  I’m practicing fake calligraphy so all my holiday cards looked extra special this year.

Currently Bloglovin’: Extra Petite– this is one of the first blogs I started reading back in the day.

Currently listening to: Vienna Boys Choir. (Fun Fact: They usually perform at Carnegie Hall every December.

Currently commuting to: NPR’s Fresh Air. This one with President Obama’s photographer Pete Souza made me tear up…on a greyhound bus. Thankfully no one was sitting next to me.

Currently working out with: Wundabar. Or Wunda-booty as I like to call it. It’s an amazing pilates- amazing fun and amazing like you will feel every muscle in your body the next day.

Currently Visiting: Jorasanko Thakur Bari 

Currently reminiscing about: the Maldives

Currently traveling to: India! Yay!

Currently looking forward to: the New Year

A Blog in Review

  • Divulge in some of my favorite guilty pleasures…of the literary variety
  • Or try your hand at some homemade holiday bark. All it takes is 5 ingredients.


Big Hugs,


Happy American Turkey Day

Happy American Turkey Day

pro-church-media-441073chris-lawton-154388simon-maage-351417Happy American Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday. What more could you want than food, family and leftovers? Most years, we host Thanksgiving at my parent’s and invite my mom’s graduate students and colleagues over. It’s usually potluck style so we end up with an eclectic assortment of food (my mom’s Biriyani is the most requested dish) and very few leftovers.

This year, however, we threw an early Friendsgiving since my parents and I are traveling (in two different locations!*). And honestly, it was one of my favorite celebrations to date! Since we were able to invite 25 of our closest friends, neighbors, and colleagues without encroaching on actual thanksgiving day plans. Continue reading “Happy American Turkey Day”

Weekend Guide | 36 hours in Belgium

Weekend Guide | 36 hours in Belgium
IMG_2114Belgium is one of those hidden gems that often gets (rudely) overlooked by its more popular neighbors- France, Netherlands and Germany. Considering Belgium’s central location, it’s an ideal location to swing through and stay for a 3-5 day trip. I managed to convince my parents to visit over Thanksgiving break for my mom’s birthday. In their honor- and because I’m craving some frites right now- I wanted to share a very quick (read: RUSHED!) overview of my most recent trip to Bruges & Ghent. I hope you enjoy.
– Aheli
Belgium 101
Location: Nestled between France, the Netherlands, and Germany, Belgium is the perfect central location- make it your primary stay or a pip-stop during a European adventure. An ideal stay, in my opinion is about 3-5 days.
Currency: Euro (€)
Language: There are three official languages: French, Dutch and German. Please note that language (and national identity) are a sensitive subject. In the North (Flanders), residents typically speak Flemish (Dutch). In the South (Wallonia), residents speak French. In a small section of the east, residents speak German. To avoid, offending anyone, it’s best to stick to English. And also read up on this history before you go…just to be well informed.
Electric: Type C two-prong plug
Weather: Temperate, though make sure to bring a jacket if you’re traveling in the winter months. That means you, Dad!
Transportation: Within the major cities— Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp- you can easily walk from place to place. Between cities, you can easily and unexpectedly travel via train.
Deciding Where to Go:
I’ve only been to three places- Brussels, Bruges and Ghent in Belgium and I’d recommend them all. Brussels, being the capital, has a lot to offer.  Bruges (Dutch) or Brugge (French) is one of my favorite cities. This charming UNESCO World Heritage site is filled with cobble-stone alleys, picturesque canals and the most quintessential market squares. It honestly looks like it came out of the set of a medieval fairy tale. Ghent is equally charming- but is much larger and cosmopolitan.
Where We Stayed: 
We opted to stay in the most charming medieval hotel the Hotel Ter Brughe.  Seriously, our room overlooked a bridge, canal and a tree that looked like it was painted.
Where We Stayed:
Things I Ate & Liked in: (Bruges)
  • We had a wonderful Vlaamsche Stooflees (flemish stew) at ’t Gezelleke
  • The best beer — and I say this as a none beer drinker— was the house beer at the Staminee de Garre  Warning: it does look like you are breaking into a private courtyard. There are no signs at all.
  • The waffles at Chez Albert are completely instagram worthy
  • If you need a fancy dinner, try the Park Restaurant.
Franz* in front of ’t Gezelleke
G and the best Vlaamsche Stooflees
Waffles from Chez Albert
Fancy Birthday Dinner at the Park
Things We Ate (& Did) in Ghent
Postscript: I know G is reading this and shaking his head because I named Franz post trip. I tried to convince him that all cars- see Lord Dashell of Steph and my UK+ Ireland Road Trip— need names but he was not convinced. Also, I was tired and not creative.