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Filtering by Category: lifestyle

The Village.

Ruchy Khurana

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I've come to understand more and more these days, that the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” actually applies to just about everything in life. From polling Facebook for insurance agent recommendations, to workshopping a book idea with friends, it's become obvious to me that good ideas come from many voices. Even further, when we cast a net for information to our networks, the enthusiasm and eagerness that comes back at us is unparalleled. People are ever willing to give an opinion, lend a hand and help. All we need to do is ask - to put it out there, into the big, scary ether. 

All this seems contrary to what we hear in the news every day. The 24 hour news cycle would have us believe that there is nothing out there besides "dog eat dog", or "every man for himself". Once in a while, after a catastrophe like a hurricane or flood, do we see human interest pieces popping up where neighbours help neighbours or minorities (gasp!) help majorities. Maybe its because disillusionment is sexier or sells more airtime. Whatever the reason, I don’t believe it for a second. I am glad, on some level, to realize that i have not become the cranky old lady I was always destined to be. THIS old lady is optimistic about the world, and about humanity. 

When i had the chance to start a business of my own, I jumped at the chance to create an entity that had meaning, at least for me. Along this crazy, difficult and sometimes daunting journey, I have realized for the first time how much support and generosity actually exist out there in the world. 

It took a village to start my business and that village is showing no signs of weakness. My village is a force to behold. 

I have friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers (yes! Strangers!) offering help, to purchase, to promote and offering ideas or encouragement. When my parents tell me they are proud of me, I glow a little (ok… I preen a little). When a stranger tells me this, however, I admit to getting a lump in my throat. I am not a pretty crier, so I do try to get a grip on myself. Funnily enough, this kind of support is always offered when I am at my lowest. When I am sitting in a dark room, re-evaluating my life choices and trying to figure out if I should just give it all up. In those dark times, the universe has never failed to present me with a sign. Sometimes that sign comes in the form of a friendly face at a market. Or a gushy email from a happy customer. Or a friendly account manager who promises to be the “easiest company you will ever work with”. 

During a recent crunch time before a big order was to be delivered, I had 6 - count them: SIX - friends tell me they were ready to jump in as soon as I said GO. I did end up calling a few of them, to help me and my courageous family bang out 4000 units of product. The making, the bottling, the labeling, the boxing and price ticketing seemed, at first, like something I would never get through. But, step by step and day by day and help by help - we all got it done. 

Early. Ahem. 

We got it done early. 

I didn’t pay these people. In some cases, my helpers made ME lunch (thanks mom!) or my helpers skipped their own work to be there (thanks dad!). They didn’t ask for anything back. They just wanted to help, to experience and to be able to say they had a hand in the birth of a company. What an amazing feeling to be surrounded by lovely, generous and kind people. 

Thanks to the eye opening events of the last two years, I have made it my mission to give back in any way I can. What does that mean in practical terms? It means I always take the call. I always arrange the meeting. I always tell some random person I am proud of them. I try to promote other small businesses and give out information and tips. I am generous with praise and always look vendors in the eye at artisan markets. I show them I know they are human. I know they are struggling and I know they are hopeful. 

I will happily help you label a billion jars on a Saturday or heatedly discuss the pros and cons of sugar vs salt for your new product line. 

Small business owners come from all backgrounds and walks of life. No two have similar education, life experience, mentor support or vision. Helping each other ultimately helps us, because there is a force in the world that keeps track of these things. Some call it karma, some call it energy and some call it being a decent human being. 

The next time you pass a earnest entrepreneur hustling their butts off, take a moment to chat. Tell them they are doing a great job. Offer a cookie. Do anything to make their day a little brighter. I guarantee it will brighten yours too. 

R

xx

Summer Eats. Or, Not a skincare blog

Ruchy Khurana

After an insanely long winter, it seems we are finally seeing the light (literally). All the sights, sounds and smells of the season are on display - pasty legs, drippy ice cream cones and barbecue!

As the days get longer and the nights get warmer, one thing I can’t get enough of is cold treats. i am one of those annoying people who prefers the fresh air (even if its oppressively hot) to the artificial freeze of an Air Conditioner. That means, if you drive anywhere with me, be prepared to have to shout over the sound of the wind through my sunroof. It also means that everything in my room is covered with a fine layer of dust because of my open windows. Its a small price to pay, I think. 

The best thing about being warm all the time is the pleasure I get from getting cold. Sounds counter intuitive, right? Jumping into a swimming pool on a hot day, a sudden cool breeze or even an iced coffee are the simple pleasures I look forward to in the hot summers. 

And so it was in pursuit of these little pleasures that I happened across two simple summer recipes that caught my eye. Now, I am in no way a domesticated goddess. I am a functional, if not inspired, cook. The best I can do is boast that no one under my direct care has ever been sick after eating my meals. Yes, I will consistently kill plants, but I do have a good track record with humans. Complaints don't count. 

I love recipes. I love reading them, trading them, drooling over them, and, pinning them for the "future". The two recipes below, however, will added to the small list of things I actually do make. You'll see why!

First, an easy homemade popsicle recipe that looks absolutely divine! The recipe is for strawberry cheesecake popsicles but I’ve been toying around with modifying the recipe to be raspberry, rosewater and mint. Or maybe rosewater and pistachio… or maybe watermelon mint. The possibilities are endless!

Take a look and see how many interesting combos you can come up with (and share them with me!!).

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/06/strawberry-cheesecake-popsicles-low-carb-and-gluten-free.html

Recently, I’ve been craving ginger beer like mad. I adore ginger beer - its a crazy spicy version of Ginger ale, technically, but when you taste it, it seriously just blows your mind. Since I've been on a low carb kick the last few months, ginger beer is something I’ve had to give up, sadly. Then, I found the holy grail: low carb ginger beer! Actually, its a ginger beer concentrate that just has to be mixed with sparkling water - or with your Soda Stream, if you have one. With the temps hitting the high 20’s - 30s this week, I’m making this one ASAP.

https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2016/02/09/sugar-free-ginger-beer

Again, I’m doing low carb (and loving it, I might add), but if you prefer the taste of real sugar, go ahead and use that. Once you let ginger beer into your life… everything changes!

Now if you will please excuse me - I need to go lay in the sun, turning into my favourite shade of Sweet Potato. 

R

xx