Monthly Archives: March 2013

A New Decade & New Look for Get Clued In!

I finally did it, I finally made the change to a new look for my blog.  Starting a new decade ain’t all that bad but I also wanted a make-over for more than my life.  You may have read through some of my recent posts, like Are you a Fred? Fabulous 40 and From the Mouths of Kindergartners along with others, and noticed the common theme for me:  Being more positive, learning something from every situation, and just trying to be a better momma, wife, and person.

So, since the trend for my life is a fresh new outlook I also wanted my blog to have one too.  My goal for Get Clued In is still to post for fun because I love, love writing.  I plan to continue blogging about products, dining, movie reviews, book reviews, giveaways, and the like but I  really want to rejuvenate the blog that was known as Clueless in Colorado.  This was my previous blog identity (which was anonymous) and I had so many posts on self-improvement, lessons learned in life and love, and plenty of philosophical underpinnings.  I am still uncertain whether I like blogging without the anonymous shield to hide behind but we will see how all that goes.  I love having loyal readers and conversations with my friends and other bloggers about topics.  The comments on my posts  by those who are reading them are so very nice and engaging.   I do love politics and writing about my opinions which can be controversial at times but they are mine opinions and I may, from time to time, draw fire from those who disagree or misinterpret my intent.  But, I am okay with all of this and fully expect it – it is part of the territory of having a public blog and remaining open to improving.

I am excited for this new look, and so happy you are here to join me on the journey.*  As the new title above the cover photo reads, “day by day, experience by experience, growing, learning and hoping to…Get Clued In!”   So much more to experience, so much more to learn and hope for and a fresh new look to boot.

*My new header picture was taken by Brent Worth- I have written about her photography before.  Beautiful photos, beautiful edits.  Thanks, Brent!

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Chipotle catering in Denver – post-event Review

I wrote previously* about the introduction of Chipotle Catering in Denver.  I had the opportunity to see their catering options at an event held in HQ Denver and post about their various different options and the pricing too.

Chipotle Catering
Chipotle Catering

Well, we got to try it out ourselves this past weekend and it was, well…. a lot of food!  We had the catering for 20 people and it was the BIG SPREAD.  Check out their entire menu and options here.  We had 2 trays of chicken since we do not eat beef and did pork in addition to the chicken.  There were 2 different types of rice – brown and white; and beans came in pinto (contains bacon) and black.   This spread came with the fajita veggies, tortillas, taco shells, and chips and all the salsa.   It has been 5  days and we still have a ton of food left over.   Chipotle really gives you a lot with their catering option.  We got all the serving spoons from them, signs for the salsas (so much flavor), and all the sterno and dishes to keep the food warm.  All of it was put into reusable bags to carry home easily.  They provided serving bowls for your guests, napkins, and spoons and forks. And, if you return all the equipment, you get a coupon for a free entree on another day.

photo 2 (2)All in all, the catering option went very well for us, and my 40th birthday bash but the sterno is very, very hot and it is not adjustable so it burned some of the rice, veggies, and chicken.**  So, if you can, wait to light that when all your guests arrive and only light it if you need.  Have people heat up their food in the microwave because sterno tends to scare me.  In any case, if Chipotle could do adjustable sterno (so you could turn the flame low or high) that would be ideal.   What a fiesta and the food was perfect for everyone including kids because they could pick and choose what they wanted to eat.  Chipotle catering is perfect for vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free guests, and for kids.  And if you do not want to do this much (the big spread) you can do a smaller version, or chips and salsa only, and as always, burrito in a box.  This burrito option comes with chips and salsa too!  You just can’t go wrong with Chipotle catering.

*Disclaimer: as previously posted, I was compensated with free catering for 20 people (the big spread) for writing about the new Chipotle catering option in Denver and for taking my time to attend the Chipotle HQ event.  The opinions listed here are mine alone and do not reflect any views from Chipotle corporate.

**PLEASE NOTE:  I attended a Chipotle-catered event last night, and it seems we did it wrong.  You do not place the sterno below the pans.  You put about 3-4 cups of water in each LARGE pan, then you place the food pans inside of these pans.  Then, you light the sterno underneath it, so the food stays warm from the heat of the water, and it’s not a direct flame.  DUH!

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Fabulous 40 – here I come!

Fabulous 40This is my final post at Get Clued In before I hit the big 4-0 this weekend.  Wow, what a decade it’s been!  As I write this, I realize it has been almost 9 years since I began blogging and it has been quite the journey.  When I think about where I was in the year 2003 and what I was doing, I am amazed at how much has changed and yet, how much stayed the same.

My first post, when I began to blog says it all!  The post was written in October 2004, and called “Clueless? Why?”  I was literally known as “Clueless in Colorado,” and that was my identity until 2010.  I blogged anonymously back then and treated my writing as a journal- an outlet for me.  Inspired by the character of Carrie on “Sex & The City”, I wrote about my life as a single woman in her 30s living in Colorado, dating, building friendships, working and all the trials and tribulations of that, and just trying to have it all!  Back then, I had just hit the milestone age of 30, and embraced a new decade, a new journey in my life.  I had come to Colorado bright-eyed and determined to do well with my career and hoping to find love.  Mission Accomplished, with a few bumps along the way.  Check out my archives on the right side, from 2004 and 2005- what a fun ride and along the way, so much growing up.

I am now approaching 11 years living in Colorado and so much has changed in my life:  My career took a different direction and I am now working two jobs- both equally satisfying, both jobs that I like with bosses that are truly amazing.  My personal life though is where all my real rewarding changes have been.  After leaving my active duty career, I realized that the work I do does not define who I am.  A job is a job – it’s what I do, not who I am nor does it define me.  Each day, I still turn a new leaf and write this journey as I go – it has its ups and downs but I would not change it for the world!

Since starting to blog, I have met the love of my life here in Colorado -a decade ago this April.  We got married two years later, and we now have two beautiful daughters.  They are all the center of my universe and so daily, I strive to achieve balance in all I do- activities, jobs, and the most important job of being a mom of two and wife of one.

This Saturday, I reach a milestone, turn a new leaf:  Fabulous 40 awaits me and a new decade full of change, full of love, full of tears and laughter, full of amazement, and full of hope.  It is time to leave the 30s behind and embrace a new decade of many more firsts and milestones; a decade which will bring new and even more gratifying adventures.  But, for me, it’s not the destination, it’s not even the journey, but the people that I have met and will continue to meet along the way.  It’s about the people who accompany me in this journey, and those who influence me to be better – a better mother, a better wife, a better person.   I can’t wait …  see you on the other side!

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A Century Ago…

downton2
Copyright PBS; Downton Abbey

… they didn’t let women inherit or own property, let alone vote.  Only a century ago, having a son meant so much more than having two or three beautiful daughters who had to marry well.  And a century ago being middle class was so uncool.  How interesting!

I watched the first 3 seasons of Downton Abbey, which airs on PBS here in the U.S.  I absolutely love this show but I think it is because like many of my girlfriends, I am addicted to this time period.  I love all things Jane Austen, and Downton Abbey is very popular because of all the charm of this particular century.  But, what is so interesting to me about this series as an Indian-American, is two-fold: (1) How few rights women, gays, and minorities really had back then, and (2) how culturally similar all of this is to Indian culture in post-British rule India.

Copyright PBS and Downton Abbey
Copyright PBS and Downton Abbey

The virtue of a woman is portrayed with as much similarity as it is in a Bollywood movie especially those movies of the 70s and 80s.  The woman was not to sleep around nor date.  She had to be, well… “proper.”  The guy – it did not matter- I suppose he could do whatever he wished.  But the woman could ruin the entire reputation of her household for four generations to come by just being seen in public with a man.  My, how times have changed!  Growing up, my parents were very traditional and conservative, so dressing appropriate was very important especially how a girl dressed.  And dating was out of the question.  Which is why I think so many first generation American kids like myself secretly dated.  “If you are from a good home, you dress appropriately and part of that is not showing much of your body.  And you can have friends but you cannot date.”  In some parts of Indian society, it is still this way.  How interesting!  Who knew British rule had this much influence on the Indian culture!   Indian women were not allowed to inherit or own property and a last will and testament had to state that a wife inherits or else, the male heirs got to split the property excluding any sisters in the picture.  How simply awful!  The laws have and are changing in India but this drama I watch reminds me of how ill-treated women were for the better half of the 20th century.  And even now, in some British colonies, and in some countries, women cannot even get an education much less vote, or speak out.  And, if they do, they can be killed right there in the streets with thousands watching- able to do nothing.  How dreadful!

The parallels between that time period and what I still see in India when I visit hold true:  to have a male child is priceless.  Most people have begun to value daughters too but ah, to have a son!  Equality (among the sexes) is still not apparent, and women working outside the home is just now starting to take hold.   In our recent visit to India in 2011, I heard the following: “Once she is married, her husband will decide whether she works outside the home or not.”  WTF!?  But, if you are a Downton watcher, you get it.  The male-dominated culture of the British wore off on many colonies and countries they influenced.  First, the father decides what a daughter may or may not do; and then her husband.  Women were treated like property instead of equals.  Let’s not even talk about other discriminated classes during this time period – we won’t go there in this post but you can only imagine.

The other thing I find interesting about this time period is all the cultural norms.  The upper class had to act a certain way – had to behave in a specific manner or they would probably be viewed in a negative light and even lose their “status” in society.  All families had their issues of course, but how these issues could be shoved under the rug was the key.  There was a distinct class system:  Working class, middle class, and upper class (privileged few).  It reminds me of the caste system in India too.  This was not something created solely by Indians- I do believe British rule had a hand in perpetrating it.  And it goes without saying that health care was not what it is now.  A woman could die in child birth because most doctors  just did not have a clue.   Oh, and right – women could not be doctors just yet.  The technology was not there and people were still learning about the female body let alone treating things unique to it.

So why do we all find this time period interesting and exciting and honestly, simply mesmerizing?  I think it is the charm of the period- the beautiful estates, and homes, the dresses (however uncomfortable they really were to wear), and the sweet allure of romance and love without all the modern day nonsense that goes with it.  There was no dating per se.   If you liked someone you better propose so you could hang out and then get married.  You really were not supposed to have any pre-marital “fun” so to speak.  All of this has a certain innocence attached to it and what fascinates us to this otherwise horrible period in civil rights history is that sense of innocence, and romance and the richness of it.  What is not portrayed in Downton and other shows is how the poor lived – under British rule, under any socialist system like this the aristocrats tended to prosper, while the working class and poor got poorer.  The irony of today’s economic woes in America are not lost on me as I write this.  A healthy balance is required in any economy to survive but when one class dominates, the 99 percent suffer.

In any case, a century ago women could not do as much as they can and have done today and I am proud of the progress and evolution of the human race.  Let’s hope the evolution continues… in the proper direction.

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