Friday, June 27, 2014

Bucket List: Gummy Bear Popsicles, Shopping Spree and Puppy Chow

Gummy Bear Popsicles:

The idea is pretty self explanitory, put gummy bears and sprite together in a popsicle mold and in  couple of hours you will have these adorable and tasty gummy bear pops.

Well that was not the case. The gummy bears inside the frozen soda turn rubbery and mushy and are hard to eat. The rest of the popsicle is pretty good I guess but definitley not worth the time and effort it took for me and my cousin Anita to walk to the grocery store and back with a bottle of soda and some gummy bears.

And I'm sorry for the extremely unappealing photo. But it was pretty gross.

Shopping Spree:

As part of my bucket list I donated two garbage bags full of clothes to Goodwill. And afterwards I went shopping to fill the holes I had created in my closet with some new items.

I picked up a swimsuit from aerie, flowy blue flowered shorts and  new pair of high waisted crops from aeropostale and some strappy gladiator-like sandals from Marshalls.

Now I just can't wait to wear them!

Puppy Chow:

I remember puppy chow being the most sought after item at ever bake sale I ever attended as a little kid. And until this summer I had never made it myself. So I decided to try it! I didn't use much of a recipie and it turned out great. First I melted some chocolate chips and peanut butter in a double boiler. Then I poured it over nine cups of chex mix cereal. After I mixed it to coat the whole mixture evenly I put it in a large ziploc bag and poured some powdered sugar over the whole thing and shook the bag until evenly coated. It was just as delicious as I remembered!

Love and Miss You Grandma.

On June 10th, Heaven received a beautiful new angel, my wonderful grandma Mary Rayan. I wrote a small eulogy that I read at her funeral below:

It was truly a privilege to have known a woman as amazing Mary Rayan. The day she passed, I received phone calls from all over, each person testifying to the impact that she had in their lives. She didn't have to do much. Her quiet, simple nature spoke louder than any words that could have been said. She had an infinite amount of patience, whether it was dealing with her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The amount of Double A Massages that she endured are countless and she always tipped well too. She always made her grandchildren feel at home in the India house. Grandma never needed much. She could be kept happy and entertained at home with her rosary and some SunTV. Every day in the summer once she woke up she would ask me to turn on the tv for her. And begrudgingly I would climb out of bed and show her how to turn on SunTV. But every morning she would stand at my bedside whispering "sorry yuna, just show me one more time, please yuna". One day a couple years ago grandma lost her favorite brown rosary. She pleaded with me to look for it in exchange for whiskey filled chocolates and money. But I was busy and I never truly looked. In March, shortly after the diagnosis I set out to find it once and for all. And I did find it after a bit of searching. I kept it in me bedside table foolishly believing that I would have infinite opportunities to give it to her. Well, I know I never got to give it to you grandma. But I found it and I'll give it to you one day. Grandma has taught me many life lessons, the most important of these being patience, kindness, simplicity, unconditional love and humility. And her amazing legacy lives on within each of us every single day. We each have inherited some part of grandma; her smile, her laugh, her sense of humor, her singing voice, her loving spirit. She was loved and adored so much that all eight of her children dropped everything they were doing and sacrificed their jobs and families to be at their mothers bedside. And I am so honored to call such an extraordinary woman as you my grandmother.

Love you Grandma. See you again someday.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bucket List: Glitter Banner

Ever since I got rid of my curtains (well, to be honest my curtain rod fell and I've never found the time or effort to put them back up) I have gotten into the habit of making a banner to hang up for each season or holiday. For Halloween it was tiny candy corn, for Thanksgiving it was turkeys, and for Christmas it was paper snowflakes. So first order of business on my bucket list was to make a banner to remind me that it was summer. 

I decided on orange as my theme color, accenting it with white glitter. I cut a circle out of cardboard and used it as a tracer for my other circles. Using modge podge I covered half the circles with white glitter and left the extras blank. And then I strung the whole thing up on an old piece of white ribbon and wrote SUMMER on it in my favorite polka dot lettering. And violá a perfect banner to remind me when I wake up in the morning that school is out and I can go back to sleep.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Bucket List

Yesterday, in a random bout of boredom I decided to keep up an old Summer tradition of mine. A summer bucket list filled with attainable goals for the summer of 2014. Some of them are a little bit crazy, but all of them can be done with a little bit of help and ,in some cases, will power. They are not in any particular order. Here they are in all their glory, in case you can't read them (They are written in neon marker, it can be hard to read I know):
  1. Make a glitter banner
  2. Visit Jones Island
  3. Watch a movie at a drive-in theater
  4. Make gummy bear popsicles
  5. Reach level 45 in Bakery Story
  6. Read The Kite Runner
  7. Watch a classic movie or play
  8. Ride Goliath at Six Flags
  9. Eat a Snow Cone
  10. Have a movie night with friends
  11. Buy cute trinkets from Goodwill
  12. Take sparkler pictures
  13. Sleep in the basement
  14. Visit a museum
  15. Make a time capsule
  16. Have a bake-off
  17. Wake up early to watch the sunrise
  18. Send a postcard
  19. Watch The Fault in Our Stars (Released June 6th)
  20. Finish your Wreck This Journal
  21. Eat a full watermelon
  22. Keep up with your blog
  23. Buy a pair of overall shorts
  24. Have a disney movie marathon
  25. Make Nutella puppy chow
  26. Go one week vegetarian
  27. Go one day without internet access
  28. Take a trip to Maryland
  29. Start a new T.V. Show
  30. See a movie in Millenium Park
  31. Attend a festival
  32. Finish all your summer school assignments
  33. Finish 2 novels
  34. Eat breakfast for dinner
  35. Go to the Grayslake Farmers Market
  36. Try on fancy dresses for no good reason
  37. Donate clothes and buy new ones
  38. Volunteer your time
  39. Get your ears double pierced
  40. Create a photo journal of the summer of 2014
  41. Use sidewalk chalk paint to cover the driveway
  42. Eat at Chik-Fil-A
  43. Have a cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes
  44. Find a flattering maxi dress
  45. Eat at Cava

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Welcome Back, Mom!

For two weeks and four days, I ran the Rayan household.

It was not an easy feat, it had its trials and toils but I think that if this experience has taught me anything, its that my mother has one of the toughest jobs in the country. Maybe even the world.

Kiren had 5 birthday parties to attend in this two and a half week span. That is five trips to Walmart searching for the perfect present and 10 trips back and forth to friends houses.

I cooked 26 meals, facilitated 3 library trips, sent Neil to 2 soccer practices and packed lunches 4 times. And its something that my mom does on a daily basis.

All I can say is welcome back mom. And thank you. 

Goodbye Freshman Year

A college student once told me, "Freshman year will be one of the quickest years of your life."

And being a naïve freshman I ignored them. There's something that makes you feel invincible about high school. But also very very puny. And as I settled into the routine of school and life and family and friends the days slowly morphed from endless days of learning to rapid bouts of studying specked with sunny weekends spent with family. And something that once seemed so foreign suddenly became everyday life. And I waited for the initial fuzzy excited feeling to wear off but it never did. Every day was nothing short of an adventure in itself.

And now here I am, a fifteen year old sophomore-to-be, remarkably different from the fourteen year old freshman to be that I was just one year ago. And I'm so happy to be here, to think about how amazing this year has been and how thankful I am that I will hopefully get many more years similar to this one. 

Friday, May 2, 2014



Two days ago a friend asked me a question. It was so simple that it caught me off guard. And I didn't have an answer for her.

"Are you happy?"

After two days of careful contemplation I realize that the answer is yes. I am happy. Truly and honestly blessed in every single thing. And once in a while we need a sign that reminds us how happy we should be everyday just to be alive with all the blessings that we have. And so I started the 100 Happy Days challenge. 

How long can you be happy for? 10 days? 50 days? How about 100 days?

The best part of the challenge is its simplicity.

Post one picture a day that shows something you are happy about. It can be old or new, it can be of you or of an object. It can be posted on instagram, twitter, blogs, youtube. Whatever it is, make it special. Think it out.

You are not competing with anyone. Not searching for popularity. If you do either of these, you loose the challenge before you even begin.

So join me. Every day post what you are happy for in the comments.

How long can you be happy for?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Takeoffs and Landings

I honestly don't believe that there is a feeling akin to the feeling you get when a plane takes off.

You've probably felt it before.   

It when you feel weightless yet heavy at the same exact time. You feel like you're floating but your heart is being pulled towards your stomach and you feel like you may just fall right through your seat.
I love plane rides in general. There's something about how the world looks from mid air that makes everything seem small in comparison.

How tiny the cars on highways look against a backdrop of mountains.

How even in sunny California the Rocky Mountains are snowcapped and gleaming.

How a city glows at  night like thousands of twinkling stars, revealing its hope for sunlight when morning dawns.

How being of miles away from the ground can make you feel more small and human than you have ever felt before.

Something About The Snow

There's something different about the snow this year.

It shines differently in the light, like glitter. And maybe I've just never noticed it before, the beauty of the white powdery substance, but I think it's changed.

I have seen more than enough snow in this winter alone than I needed to see in a decade. And the snow gets passed by, simply because it is an inconvenience. Which I understand. There is nothing more annoying than snow in your shoes, being tracked into your kitchen or car or somehow ending up all over everything.

But there's also a simple beauty to every flake that falls. How it alerts us to the wintry holiday season that is approaching and rings in the new year with a fresh set of clean white snowflakes dusting the ground. And as much as I complain about of how I have to trudge through it for what seems like miles on my way to school, the world wouldn't be the same without the wonderful snow I have come to love and admire.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hiya 2014

There's something about new years eve that makes my mouth go dry and my head throb.

It's not fear, far from it.

But its other things.

Uncertainty. Nervousness. Helplessness that the last few moments of the year are slipping away and you don't know if you made this year as sucessful as you had wished last year this time.
But apart from the crazy hodgepodge of feelings in your stomach, when those final seconds are counting down you know your hopes and dreams and wishes for the upcoming year.

But its also something else.

Refreshing. Empowering.

It may be nothing more than the replacement of a 3 with a 4 but it means so much more. It means a blank page. A fresh start. A new beginning. And everyone in the world deserves a blank page. A fresh start. A new beginning.

Take this year. Make it yours. Fill it with your wishes, your adventures, your thoughts and memories.

2014 is a blank notebook. And it waiting for you to write in it. For your life to fill its pages.  

May 2014 be a prosperous, healthy joy-filled year for you and your kin.

2014 will be your year. I know it.

Year Timeline

I had my Dinner Dance

Went to England
Went to Paris
Went to Neil's Birthplace
Went to Switzerland
I graduated elementary school at Prince of Peace    
I attended Terrence and Nitya's wedding 
I visited New York City and watched the fourth of July fireworks
I started high school                      
I got confirmed
I attended homecoming
I joined the GNHS Knight Times newspaper staff
I turned 15
I visited Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota