Things I’m scared to say out loud

This post was inspired by this from Nina Badzin and this one.

I have been not writing much at all like I used to. I have so much to say, but it feels weirdly tiring when I try to write a post that makes sense. When I saw Nina’s post about things she won’t write about and then Alison’s piece on what she’s afraid to tell her readers, I realized that it was ok to just write my thoughts down, whether or not they make sense and then just hit publish. That’s the beauty of my blog, I appreciate that I don’t have any rules and no one looking over my shoulder at my content / themes and subject matter.

Without further ado, some things I’m scared to say out loud:

I really didn’t like living in Florida.

It has nothing to do with the friends we DID make while we were there, but instead all about the combination of trying to repatriate, realizing that we didn’t fit in anymore (but we looked like we should have) and struggling to find common denominators with those we encountered.

I loved the climate, or so I thought. It was great to have consistent flip-flop weather and a garden that grew nearly year round. It was nice living in a place where so many friends and family came through on vacation, so we got to see more of them. The reality was that I missed the four seasons and snow in the winter. I wore skirts nearly every day because it was THAT hot in Orlando, almost every day. As my friend Lynden will say, skirts allow one to cool off the undercarriage!

I don’t know how to parent my children.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know how to LOVE them, cherish them and encourage them. I do not, however, know how to parent them. I realized recently that they have no idea how to do any kind of housework and all three of them are very unorganized and unable to prioritize. I also am not quite sure how to instill tradition into their lives because we’ve bucked the system for the majority of all their childhood years by raising them overseas and some days, it feels too late to begin.

I don’t like talking about politics or racism, even though I am very outgoing and not afraid to voice my opinion.

I recently wrote about how it feels to be from a mixed heritage but several months ago, I had another experience that made me realize just how uncomfortable of a topic it is. When I passed my Real Estate Exam, at the end, I was asked to fill out a form that asked about my race. The four options were 1. Caucasian 2. Asian 3. African-American 4. Hispanic.  “Huh” I said to the proctor, “I’m half and half, what should I put?” She said “Well honey, up here in Virginia, I’d say you look black.” I’m currently investigating this with our State Board as I think this paperwork needs to be updated a bit, don’t you think? I will work hard to change things like that, but I still don’t like discussing racism. Sometimes that feels ignorant, and sometimes it feels like a way to protect myself. I don’t know how to have that conversation either.

I have a family member who struggles with addiction and is in rehab, after a considerable amount of time in jail.

Someone said the other day that she enjoyed interacting with me because our family was so fascinating and interesting, and “whatever your parents did, they sure did something right.” She went on to say that she sometimes feels shame when talking about her sister, who is in and out of jail, who struggles with addiction and is letting their family down. I listened to her, and then when she was finished, said “I know what you mean.” She was shocked and said “You too?”  We then had a very strange conversation about the assumptions and stereotypes that we give one another when it comes to criminal matters, family drama and discussions about addiction. I don’t have a solid, streamlined way to have this discussion, so I’ll leave it here for now.

 Are there things you wish you could talk about to others, but feel afraid to open your mouth?


Brunswick Stew. Georgia on my mind.

During the summer that came before our departure for India, we spent some time in Georgia with the Husb’s family. It was back in 2009, but it feels like just yesterday. Some of the best memories included:
  • a family reunion on Mimi’s side (46 strong)
  • swimming nearly daily at the hacienda
  • creek schlepping
  • watching spiders build intricate webs
  • fishing with Papa
  • Sushi with Aunt Carla (yummo!) and My Sister’s Keeper (crying, crying and more crying)
  • LOADS of eating and food (pulled pork, Picadillo, fried plantains, Brunswick Stew, deviled crabs)
  • fireworks that you wouldn’t believe from Uncle Pete
  • crafting, crafting and more crafting
  • low well tables meant an afternoon at the laundromat with Mimi (and Dairy Queen)
  • Build-a-Bear (twice!)
  • a trip today to the Georgia Aquarium
  • Six Flags tomorrow for Terran and I

One of the things that came out of that summer was an intense desire to master the art of making and recreating Brunswick Stew. Said to have originated in both Brunswick County, Virginia AND the town of Brunswick, Georgia, no one is quite sure. In fact, a plaque on an old iron pot in Brunswick, Georgia, says the first Brunswick stew was made in it on July 2, 1898, on St. Simons Island, however another claims a Virginia state legislator’s chef invented the recipe in 1828 on a hunting expedition. (Credit: Wikipedia

brunswick stew recipe

No matter the origin, I was introduced to it’s loveliness by Mimi (Husb’s mother) and it is divine. Using smoked pulled pork and the most delicious of homemade barbecue sauce as part of its base, it’s a treat that we’ve since come to love.

:: :: :: :: :: :: ::

First the sauce:

In a 2 quart sauce pan, over low heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Then add:

  • 1  3/4 C ketchup
  • 1/4 C mustard
  • 1/4 C white vinegar

Whisk until smooth, then add:

  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 T chopped garlic
  • 1 T Tabasco
  • 2 T Liquid Smoke
  • 2 T worchestershire sauce

Blend until smooth, then add 1/4 C dark brown sugar
Stir constantly, increase heat to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for approximately 10 minutes. Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of sauce.

Then The Stew:

In a 2 gallon pot, melt 1/2 lb of butter and add:

  • 3 C small diced potatoes
  • 1 C small diced onion
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of chicken broth
  • 1 lb rotissierie chicken (white and dark)
  • 1 lb smoked pork (boiled, then shredded)

Bring to a rolling boil, stirring until potatoes are near done, then add:

  • 2 14.5 cans stewed tomatoes – (chop tomatoes, add liquid to the stew pot)
  • Prepared sauce
  • 1/4 C Liquid Smoke
  • 14.5 oz. can creamed corn

Slow simmer for 2 hours

Yields 1 gallon

Heroes Home Advantage, Northern Virginia


Service of our country and community means an awful lot to me!

I haven’t talked a whole lot over here about my new real estate business, but I’m super happy to share with you about the Heroes Home Advantage program that I’ve aligned myself with here in Northern Virginia.

I recently started counting up the HEROES in my family and the numbers were a surprise to me! Because I want to honor them and their service, it is truly awesome to be able to give back by participating in the Heroes Home Advantage program. My husband is a veteran of the Marine Corps, as is his father. My grandfather served in the Air Force during the Korean War and my step-mother is active duty with the Air Force. My mother-in-law and grandmother served their communities by teaching, my father’s uncle is a retired firefighter. Law Enforcement also runs deep with my family with many working as police officers, prison personnel and more.

The only category covered as a hero that doesn’t have family representation is the health care field … maybe I can convince one of my children to go that route?


As a way of saying “Thank You” to the HEROES of America for their services to our country and communities, I give back 25% of MY commission when I work with a HERO to buy or sell a home via the Heroes Home Advantage program.

In addition, I’ve been working hard over the last couple of months here in Northern Virginia to identify Agents (from all over the country), Lenders, Home Inspectors, Title Companies and more to all join with me in giving credit and other discounts when a hero buys or sells a home using my services. I have partnered with the Heroes Home Advantage program SIMPLY so that I can give back to those who have served. Not only does this benefit cover active duty / active employment but also provides amazing services for veteran military, retired teachers, retired police force, and on and on!

The great thing is, it doesn’t cost the hero a thing!

When you or someone you know (who qualifies as a hero, see below) is ready to buy or sell your home, call me at 571-482-7356 or leave a comment and I’ll first say “Thank you for your service.” Then, if you’re not in Virginia, I’ll connect you with an amazing team of professionals to help. If you ARE located in my service area, I’ll jump in with both feet and all hands on deck to help you and your family navigate through your real estate journey.



Military: Active Duty, Veteran, Retired, Reservist, National Guard

Teachers: Current and retired

Law Enforcement: Police Officer, Prison Guard, State Trooper, County Sheriff, Border Patrol, Retired

Firefighters: Active, Retired, Volunteer

Health Care: Doctor, Nurse, Technician, EMT, Home Health Aide, Ambulance, Dispatch, Therapy, Dental



Heroes Home Advantage Naomi Hattaway 

* Realtor credits based on purchase/sale price of home

Free eMeals planning service trial

I found a really fun freebie for you guys this week! As many of you know, I LOVE eMeals! eMeals is a meal planning service that sends you a weekly list of recipes including side dishes with a completed grocery list. Not only does eMeals get you organized, but they can help you eat healthier, save money and have more time with your family…and who doesn’t want that?!

eMeals Free Trial

Just tonight, after a long, full day, I realized we had zip, nada, zilch in the fridge as far as meal prep ingredients for the week.  Never fear! eMeals is here! I simply opened the app, swiped through to create my menu plan for the week and hit the “Shopping List” button. A quick trip to the store, and before I knew it, Balsamic Beef Tips with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes and Green Peas were waiting on our dinner table. Are you ready for the free eMeals planning service trial? eMeals is offering 2 weeks free of their service right now for you to try out! If you decide to stick with it after the two weeks, you can enjoy your choice of over 60 meal plan options including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As we move our family into the new year, here are the EIGHT promises I am making to my family as we start the New Year.

[Read more…]

I am a Triangle, the Audio version

For those of you that might prefer the audio version of the I am a Triangle discussion.


I’d be honored if you would share this I am a Triangle audio version with those in your community who might relate to this discussion!

If you prefer the written format, here is a portion of what I wrote:

Imagine a place called Circle Country. Everyone who lives inside of its borders are Circle Citizens. The Circle Country has very specific culture, holidays, celebrations, food preferences, a language that is unique to them as well as music, education and political categories.

Let’s also talk about Square Society. Everyone who lives inside of its borders are Square Settlers. The Square Society also has the culture, holidays, celebrations, food preferences (and on and on) as the Circle Country, but they are completely different.

One day, a Circle Citizen got on a plane and flew to Square Society. That Circle landed squarely (pun intended) in the middle of the Square Settlers and their Square Culture.

Circle Citizen now lives in the midst of Square Settlers, and he or she may adapt to a degree, but will never become a truly Square Settler. At the same time, this Circle Citizen will also start to lose a bit of his/her Circle culture.

The normal circle things start to blend together with the new square culture. The major holidays in Circle Country might dissipate a bit to allow for the celebration of Square festivals.

Favorite comfort foods that remind her of Circle Country give way to the acceptance of new Square foods. The Circle culture never quite gives way to the new Square norms and at the same time doesn’t go away completely either. …  Read the rest of the post: I am a Triangle


What does it feel like to you, to be able to say “I am a Triangle” in the midst of your repatriation or return home?

Twenty things your kids should know how to do

I recently had one of those weekends.

I am trying to balance the workload of a new business, with the consistent responsibilities of being a mother and following through with the expectations of being a wife. You know, laundry, dishes, cleaning, meal planning, homework, tending to the animals, picking up after everyone … the list goes on and on.

But I had an ah-ha moment as I hid in the bathroom and pretended not to hear the calls of “Mom?” and “Naomi? Where are you?”

Instead of grumbling under my breath that everyone seems to rely on ME for these tasks, it’s time to teach THEM how to do for themselves! Here are 20 things I think your kids should know!

20 things kids should know how to do

Not only is it important for there to be some balance around the house (whether you work outside the home or not) it is crucial we raise our kiddos with the know-how to do these tasks, without being nagged or without hearing “but I don’t know how to do that!”

1. Hold the door open for others. This goes without saying, yet how many times do you see it happen? Just a couple of days ago, while out for dinner with our family, my 11 year old held the door open for his sister. The hostess in the restaurant was gushy and said “Oh wow! That was cool to see.”  It’s not just a boy thing, girls can hold the door open for others as well. It’s a simple act of kindness and respect, and trust me, the effort goes a LONG way!

2. Do laundry. You might say this is far reach depending on how old your children are, and I’m not suggesting you make your 3 year old load the washing machine. However, raise your hand if you’re tired of turning clothes right-side-out and separating underwear from pants that were removed in one fell “schwoop”? Teach your little ones to place the dirties into their laundry bin in the same way they would like them returned to their drawers. When your kids are a little older, let them take over the responsibility to put folded clothes away. When they are old enough to reach the dials on the back of the machine, put them to work! I wouldn’t recommend letting them deal with the delicates, however.

3. Set the table. I love these simple suggestions from Simple Kids on how to teach little ones to set the table. If yours are older than that, begin them with the habit of setting the table daily on their own with no cues or assistance.

4. Know how to cook.  I took this topic to my Facebook Page to ask what my crew thought. Jess suggested I add “cooking” to the list and I concur! My 8 year old recently made dinner for us recently and she did a super job. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact, in can be something that is frozen-to-skillet or a microwave dish. The point is, giving some responsibility in the kitchen to your kids is a good thing. Let them be creative and feel confidence. It will serve them LONG after they’ve left your nest.

5. How to budget and live within your means. YES to Carin for suggesting this one! Not sure how to start though? I really love the Three Jars system and want to learn more about it! Renee, a friend from our time in India added to this topic and said the best thing her parents taught her was how to comparison shop and balance a checkbook. By learning about brands, price comparison what groceries actually cost, they taught their family how to plan meals, the value of money, and a lifelong ability to feed and care for ourselves, within a budget.
Same goes with learning to write checks, and balance a checking account.  

6. How to be safe. My friend Mahima suggested this one and followed it up with “call a parent or friend to give a ride home, or call a cab” but I think we can also expand this to also apply to choosing friends in the first place, and guarding their vulnerability safely.

7. Don’t conform to your friends just because they have an opinion that is different from your own. This tidbit came from Jill and I whole-heartedly agree. This is a concept / characteristic that I think most children need to be taught. Some rare ones come by it naturally, but if yours doesn’t, consistently explore the comfort of having different opinions and establish a “agree to disagree” vibe in your own home as a starting point.

8. How to make breakfast. I know we talked about knowing how to cook up above, but it’s equally as important for your child to know how to fend for themselves in the morning. After years of living abroad with a staff full of people ready to serve, we discovered early on in our time back in the United States that our children, even the youngest, needed to know how to pour a bowl of cereal or spread his bagel with cream cheese. As they’ve gotten older, they have also learned how to scramble eggs and make bacon in the oven. All worthwhile on those mornings when everyone needs to be out of the house early!

9. How to make their bed. Ok, so, I have NOT mastered this one yet. Not even close. No one in our family makes our bed in the morning. I am half tempted to just let this one slide, after all, one can’t expect perfection.

10. Write thank you notes. THIS one on the other hand, IS a must in our house. I actually don’t care if it’s a text, a voice mail or a photo with a card made out of Sharpies and a piece of construction paper. The effort to say THANK YOU is important and we do it as often as we can.

11. Add air to vehicle tires. Again, we haven’t tackled this yet, but it’s on our list. I knew how to change a tire when I was 15 and it’s the least I can do, to teach my children how to check the air in their tires and refill as necessary. Pumping gas is a necessary evil too! Have you shared this skill with your children or do you assume they’ll know how to do it?

12. How to load a dishwasher. I do not have a specified way to load a dishwasher, but I do know that a child should know how to rinse dishes, place large food debris in the trash, how to generally load a dishwasher and then rinse the sink. Can you imagine being able to say “hey ______, can you load the dishwasher?” and then have it magically done?

13. How to sweep and mop floors.  You might think this is an obvious chore that most children could automatically accomplish. However, when my middle child drew the “sweep the kitchen floor” chore stick a couple of weeks ago, the awkwardness was almost comical. I realized right then and there that proper sweeping is something to be taught!

14. How to shower / wash their own hair. Again with the obviousness, but how many of you are still washing your children’s hair in elementary school? Instruct your kiddos on the appropriate amount of shampoo and conditioner (much less than they will normally squeeze out!) and how to properly rinse it all out before ending their bath or shower.

15. How to volunteer. One of my biggest soapboxes you’ll find in my corner is that of volunteerism. Teaching children to have this as part of their normal and everyday practice is super important in my books. Taking your children along when YOU volunteer to begin instilling the love of doing something for the simple joy of giving to others. Often times, children are too young to volunteer officially for an organization, but there are always opportunities to work alongside you while you stuff bags for your local food bank, or stick labels on outgoing packages. Try Volunteer Match to find opportunities near you.

16. How to show up and be on time. Whether you set your clocks ahead by a couple of minutes, or set alarms for those days when you need to leave the house at a specific time, teach your children young to be on time for commitments, events and functions. I’m consistently surprised by the number of adults I encounter who set “be on time” as an annual New Years Resolution. Start with your littles and let their resolutions be saved for more important goals and ambitions!

17. How to clean a toilet. Teach them how to apply your choice of cleaning solution, scrub up underneath the rim and let the brush dry out before replacing it into the storage caddy.

18. How to order a meal while dining out. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you intentionally instruct your children on this topic, it builds confidence and teaches respect. Teach them how to politely ask questions about their meal request, and even inquire about substitutions. Children who can look their waitstaff in the eye, speak clearly and say “thank you” while handing back their menu adds up to a really enjoyable experience when dining out with your family!

19. How to pack their own suitcase. As frequent travelers while raising our children, I often pined for the day when I would no longer have to pack ALL of the suitcases for our family. What I didn’t realize was that I should have started sooner in allowing them to begin helping! If your children are young, let them step alongside you during the packing and explain the purpose behind your packing – ask them how many pairs of socks they will need for a 5 day trip, etc. As they get older, allow them to pack themselves, with a check by you before you actually leave the house. The effort put into training them to pack for themselves will be well worth it the next time you get your passports out!

20. Don’t be afraid to talk to mom about stuff. A second contribution from the awesome Jess, this is a big one. I think that we as parents move very quickly from loving our little ones while they are little life being full of cuddles, before we know it, bedroom doors are getting slammed in our faces. We then wonder what possibly went wrong. We need to make more of an effort to get our kids talking to us about all of the things from an early age. I like asking mine at bedtime these three questions: What was your favorite thing from today? What didn’t go so well today? What do you hope for tomorrow? It can surprisingly spur some fantastic conversation. Bonus Tip: be present enough to listen to the answers.


What do you think? What would you add to this list?

Live On. Give On. giving back with the Bakken Invitation

During our time overseas, living in New Delhi, India and Singapore, it meant a lot to me to be able to give back with my time. Living abroad as an expat wife who wasn’t employed meant I had plenty of time to dedicate hours in every day to different organizations.

Giving Back in India Naomi Hattaway


Now that I’m back in the United States, I have had to step away from gala planning and teaching English as a Second Language to kiddos from an Indian slum. These days, I find myself looking for simple ways to give back. I’m constantly on the lookout for volunteer opportunities that allow me to give back to my community and those who serve our community. Giving back doesn’t always have to be a huge, massive event or something that everyone is talking about. I’ve settled into a routine of honoring those who serve our country/communities in many different ways, including by offering a percentage of my commission from my real estate business to military, teachers, police personnel, firefighters and those in the health care industry. I also spend time volunteering at Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont, Virginia, offering overnight and weekend stays/retreats for wounded military personnel and their family.

Here in the United States, we’ve just finished the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday and we are moving rapidly into the sometimes over-commercialized holiday season of December. 

I’d love to introduce you to the Bakken Invitation.

The Bakken Invitation, by Medtronic, has chosen ten honorees from around the world in a Live On. Give On. campaign. Each of these honorees has been given a second chance at life. Due to a variety of medical issues and challenges, these honorees have faced incredible battles and truly understand the short nature of the life we are all given. They have all chosen to do spectacular things with their second chance and that inspires me. I’d like to introduce you to the honoree whose story most spoke to me.

Meet Raj.

Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken

Nearing the age of 80, Raj started experiencing pain in his chest when exerting the slightest of energy. My own grandfather passed away after a long struggle with cardiac issues and those that suffer from problems related to cardiac issues and coronary artery disease have a special place in MY heart.

“I have been a lifelong volunteer and public service worker through various groups like the Progressive Group, the Jaycees and the Rotary Club. But it is my work with Sleeping Children Around the World that is most important to me. Their premise is simple. If you have a good night’s sleep on a decent mattress and something to cover yourself with, you will be able to get the most out of your day in school and at home. Since 1987, I’ve been locating needy children, purchasing essential items that they need such as pillows, sheets and blankets, and then coordinating distribution events to successfully reach the children. Over the years, I estimate that I have been able to help more than 75,000 young people. Then, I started having pain in my chest when walking, or when climbing the stairs. I was getting easily exhausted, and did not feel like going to the office or doing any other work involving even a little physical activity. My doctor advised that two stents should be inserted to remove blockages in my arteries.”

Read the rest of Raj’s story.


Rajnikant Reshamwala Bakken Medtronic


You may not be sure what offering you have or what talents you could lend to your community, and that’s ok! Take a look at this infograph and let the ten points really sink in with you.

What inspiration can you take away from these ten lessons? Which lesson speaks the most to you?

Medtronic Bakken Infograph


What inspires YOU to give back? How do you give of yourself in your community? What would YOU do with $100 to make a difference in your community?

Share your comment for a chance to win a $100 prepaid Visa® gift card to be used to further your volunteer efforts!


Note: Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s post and the giveaway. Gift Cards should be used to further an effort inside of your community or in some way give back. I would be honored if the winner would come back to report, and would love to do a follow up post on the topic! Gift cards will be mailed to winners the week of January 5. Participants must be 18 years or older and with a US address.


Fellow Passengers.

Something that is very new to me and VERY much enjoyed is the luxury of having a driver.

I don’t have to explain it to you … no hunting for the car keys, no need to worry about reaching behind you to retrieve a thrown sippy cup and no longer the requirement to be “on your game” while behind the wheel.

Guess what else comes with having a driver?  Someone ELSE cleans up the car.  It is freshly washed first thing in the morning, and several times throughout the day.  The interior is cleaned DAILY.  No more finding rancid cheese sticks or melted fruit snacks. 

If I’ve had a long night, I can doze on my way back from school drop off.  If I want to read the paper, I can do it in the car.  If I’ve let my purse get out of control, I can simply go through it, en route to the next destination.

The interesting thing – on the days I choose to look out the window – is that there are loads of other women sharing the same road.

* *

Some of them are fellow expats.  It’s obvious that they are expats, though not visually apparent from which country they hail from.  Some (if not most) sit in the same seat as me, eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses, nose buried in a book, or fingers typing an email.  Some appear to be exhausted, succumbed to the daily grind of getting through their days in Delhi.  Head resting in their hand, body slumped.

Others appear to be actively engaged in discussions with their children, or the fellow female passengers – possibly on their way to a lunch date or a morning coffee.

* *

Some of them are young students, crammed into a tiny bus, with brilliant white uniforms (how they keep them white is a secret I may never know).  Hair braided into two braids, tied off with big ribbon bows with oversized barrettes holding back the wayward strands of hair and bangs.

* *

One day I saw a very white and very blond woman.  If I had to guess, I’d say she’d only been in the country for a day or two, judging by the paranoid look on her face.  A beggar approached her window, which was rolled down, and pointed out the baby on her hip.  She got aggressive and began holding the baby up physically to the window, speaking to this petrified woman through the open window.

I could see the look in her eyes, as she glanced towards the rearview mirror – trying to ask the cab driver silently with her stare – to help her.  The air conditioning must not have been working in the cab, and that day the heat was stifling.

She let tears fall and tried to close her eyes.  Each time she attempted to shut out the drama right outside her window though, her eyes sprang back open.  As if she couldn’t help but look, listen and experience.  The relief on her face as the traffic light turned green, and her cab inched forward, away from that woman and the baby, was evident.

* *

I see blue license plated cars, which means its a diplomat’s car.  Is the woman riding solo in that car the diplomat, or is she married to one?  Does she like it here or would she rather return to their last posting?  Does she speak multiple languages and have a road map of history that would take years to tell?

* *

I also sometimes glance out of my window and see a yellow and green rickshaw.  Because of the way they’re constructed, often times you can’t see the passengers inside, only their feet, and their hands – most often folded neatly in their lap, clutching their bags.

* *

I see all of these other women … every day.  I’ll most likely never know their stories.

What if I did know their stories?  Would I take the time to listen?  To offer a bit of advice or a shoulder to lean on?  Would I smile a fake plastered grin and say “yea, lunch sometime sounds nice.”  Would I take the time to really get to know them … if the glass between us wasn’t the barrier, would I bother getting to know them?

When it’s not convenient to make a friend … do you make the effort anyway?
(reprinted from Delhi Bound, my blog about our time living in India, 2009-2012)

It’s Not About You, by Bob Burg and John David Mann

I have been reading an average of two business development or personal development books since starting my business in mid-September. That’s a lot of books! Many of them resonated right off the mark and some of them fell pathetically flat. The books that I have found myself returning to, time and time again, are the books by Bob Burg and John David Mann. Easy reads in terms of the number of pages, but powerful lessons to be learned!

It's Not About You Bob Burg Naomi Hattaway

“Life leaves a mark. None of us passes through the experience of our days unblemished or pristine. We all suffer tragedies and dissapointments, struggles and failures. Losses great and small, and every one of them hurts.

We can try to cover it up, although if we do, we just tend to grow bitter on the inside. Or, we can embrace who we are – that is, who we are in the process of becoming. Embrace the hurt and it deepens you, makes you a richer person. Deny, reject, hold it at bay, fight it off, and it simply hardens you.

Character is how you choose to respond to what life throws at you. You can lead only as far as you grow. And you will grow only as far as you let yourself. Character is what happens when life scratches itself onto your soul.”

Looking for a book for yourself? Need a gift for the entrepreneur in your life, or for a future business owner? This is a little book that packs a BIG punch! ——> It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business.

Have any of you read it?

What business or personal development book(s) would you recommend?



Chandni Chowk

There are virtually TONS of markets in India.

Just when I thought I could puff up my chest and say “oh yea, I’ve been THERE”, someone chimes in with a market I had never heard of.

Chandni Chowk was on the list of “must do” markets, but it was a ways from our house, so I hadn’t calendared it as a ‘must do’ market.

When I was in need of groceries, or a location to pass the time, or specific items in mind, I’d much rather have visited the markets that were in a 10-20 minute radius of our home/school.

Enter Kate, who suggested we visit Chandi Chowk together for spices.

Now … although I did 80% of my grocery shopping (Kushal, my driver did the other 20%) I was NOT cooking.  So my first response was “spices?” … I don’t need spices.  ROSY needs spices.  BUT, I am a sucker for exploration and seeing new things, so we set out.

Come with me … explore!

“Traffic Jam”



Inside the courtyard

They sift through the peppers with bare hands, looking for the perfect sack!









(these funky things, which I never did identify, caught my eye because I thought they were wickedly shaped pasta.  The green-eyed Punjabi man explained that instead they were snacks …to be fried in hot oil.  I bought 4 kgs of the stuff.  They didn’t turn out so hot but they were sure pretty to look at!