Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy International Colour Day!

March 21 is International Colour Day. Who knew?

It's not a coincidence that International Colour Day corresponds with the equinox – aequus (equal) + nox (night). Around this date, day and night are equally long, symbolically juxtaposing the complementary nature of light and dark, illumination and shadow that are expressed in all cultures and in color.

Here are five fun and easy ways to celebrate International Colour Day and the beginning of spring - my favorite season.

  1. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. My favorites for spring are tulips and daffodils.
  2. Peruse the glassybaby website.
  3. Google "color" and see what awesome images come up.
  4. Sign up for The Color Run aka "The Happiest 5K on the Planet." Sofia and I are doing it together in Seattle on Mother's Day again this year.
  5. Follow my color guru, Leatrice Eiseman, on Facebook for a daily does of color from the world's leading expert on color.

Leave a comment below and let me know how you are celebrating color/colour today!

Have a great week friends.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

India Through a Child's Life

Sofia in her colorful Indian outfit for one of the wedding parties.
A lot of people have asked me how Sofia (age 8) liked India. When she's being p.c. she says it was "interesting." Sometimes she says it was "horrible." But in the next breath she says she misses it. She quickly clarifies she misses the wedding festivities and her cousin, Lars, her travel buddy. 

She doesn't miss the noise, the pollution, the massive amounts of people, Old Delhi or the food. She didn't like the food and she pretty much went on a food strike. As a result she lost five pounds. That's a lot for a 50 lb frame. This was stressful for me, but thankfully she's healthy and I'm pretty sure she's gained it back. 

Overall, she was a trooper, but it was hard and exhausting. We were gone for 18 days and our days were very full and the travel was hard. But I think she will remember it as a positive, enriching experience, as will I. 

She put together a presentation of her highlights from our trip for her third-grade class. Just like with our trip to Jordan and Israel, I think it's fascinating to see what her highlights were. And I'm so grateful she is being exposed to cultures that are so very different from ours. 

Let's start in Old Delhi....LOTS of cows everywhere!

Hindu goddesses....

Old Delhi wiring, wow!

Modes of transportation... bike rickshaw.

Tuk tuk....

A highlight for the kids was their ride on our tour guide's motorcycle through the streets of Old Delhi... no helmets!

Cars and people everywhere!

In the middle of our first week in Delhi we escaped the crowds and the pollution and spent two days visiting the erotic temples in Khajuraho. Good thing the kids mostly didn't know what they were looking at!

Back in Delhi, our days were packed and we took in all of the major sites. Here are a few of Sofia's favorites.

Celebrating Christmas in India was certainly interesting. You can read all about it here.  The kids were excited to see Santa! 

Sofia loved traveling with her cousins Lars (8) and Ingrid (2 1/2) from Iowa.

And her grandparents from Oakland, veteran travelers to India. This was their fourth trip!

And she was so excited to meet the beautiful bride, Eli, who is from Italy.

The henna party was a huge highlight. All of the ladies, including Sofia, got their hands adorned in henna for the wedding.


Here we are all dressed up for the wedding festivities. It was a colorful family affair!

The groom arrived in his father's vintage Chevrolet not the storied white horse!

Here are a few more of Sofia's favorite photos from the various wedding celebrations.

After the five days of wedding celebrations in New Delhi we headed to Rajasthan. We were in Jodhpur for New Year's Eve. This camel was all dressed up and ready to party!

Jodhpur is known as the "blue city." Many of the houses and buildings, which you can see in the distance, are painted blue.

We were in Jaipur on New Year's Day. The elephants had been painted to ring in the new year!

Here's Sofia riding an elephant up to the Amber Fort in Jaipur.

One of the most famous sites in the state of Rajasthan is Jaipur's pink city fa├žade.

We ended our trip with the granddaddy of them all!! Sofia tells people the Taj Majal was "small" and not that exciting. It was day 17 so I think we were all a little desensitized (and exhausted) by then. It's still pretty cool that she can say she's visited the Taj Majal!

Here's our adventurous group of nine Andersons! We survived India!!

The icing on the cake was a seven-hour layover in Paris on our way home. We sped into the city on the Air France bus (well not really, it took an hour and 45 minutes) but it was worth  it for the macarons, croissants, cappuccino and a quick visit with a friend!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Saree Shopping in India

Ever since we found out we were going to India this past December for a wedding I imagined I would wear an orange saree. Orange and gold to be specific. That's what I saw in my mind's eye.

Our first outing the morning after we arrived (at 3 a.m. after 30-plus hours of travel!) was in search of a saree and other outfits for the five-day wedding celebration. We consulted with locals to ensure we wore the appropriate outfits to each of the different events.

Like everything in India, saree shopping was an adventure. The host at our hotel in New Delhi arranged for a driver for the morning and directed us to several shops including Roop Sarees Extension where I purchased my saree. Roop Sarees is on the second floor of a low-rise building in one of the many shopping districts. We ascended the stairs and were greeted by lots of colorful fabric and lots of men sitting behind large tables. One of the men invited me to sit down and the process began.

I started pointing to different colors and patterns I liked. More men emerged and started presenting them to me. I started to get overwhelmed by all of the colors and choices, which surprised me since I love color and I was very excited to wear a saree. Blame it on jet lag and culture shock! I quickly narrowed down my choices to chartreuse, hot pink, orange and royal blue. 

The men wrapped me up in each of the colors and I knew immediately which one was the winner - but it surprised me!


After I made my decision, one of the men (no women anywhere, kind of weird!), took my measurements so they could make a blouse and petticoat out of the fabric to go with the six yards of fabric that makes the saree. The three pieces were delivered to our hotel a few days later just in time for the wedding. To my relief they fit like a glove!
Can you guess which color I chose?

Drumroll please....

I loved the royal blue and gold. I wore orange bangles which I thought was a good way to bring in a pop of my signature color.

I'm excited to share more details of the wedding in a future post. Suffice it to say, it was AMAZING and the most extravagant celebration I've ever experienced. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.