Thursday, December 25, 2014

Burglary near Austin Beware!!

Hello All, Merry Christmas to all of you. Recently you all would have seen the NEWS on KXAN on series of burglary in Cedar Park Area near Austin. For those who have not seen it here you go There are some tips given here in the video  to avoid your house from being targeted.  I just wanted to add some more tips that we all should follow:

*Never keep expensive things at home. Always keep them in a safe in a bank.

*Never put the "thoranam" or any other decorative things out in front of your house that will clearly show that it is an  Indian or Hindus house.

*Make sure you have a home security installed in your house. Either the major companies or you can try something like this Fortress Security Store (TM) S02-A Wireless Home Security Alarm System DIY Kit with Auto Dial

*As said in the video never discuss your vacation plans on social media , never let package or papers lie in your front door when you are gone, if possible ask you neighbors to take and keep them so people don't find out that you are not in the house.

*Never reveal your travel plans to your cleaner or lawn mower or nanny who comes to your house , even if you now them well.

*Last year one of our friend's house got broken and the robbers took all the stuff in the car and drove  away. Never leave your car keys near the garage when you are gone. Hide them somewhere, even better park your car in your someone else's house if possible.

*In general  during  holiday season the thieves identify Hindu /Indians houses easily. Even if you dont have the tradition to put lights, I think it is better to put lights or some decorations in front of your house during this holiday season so your house doesn't stand out.

Add some more points that you think we have to be more careful about. Thanks for reading this. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do you all have powerful mind???

Happy Holidays !!!. The holiday season is all about meeting our family and friends. We had been to the airport yesterday, to drop our friends as they were travelling. The traffic at the airport was very bad, that we finally dropped them at the parking lot and they went to the check in area from there as there was  no way that we could get to the drop off area.
So all  this travelling is to be physically there to meet your friends or the loved ones, but today's topic is about mental power. How you can bring some people into your life through mere thoughts. All of us must have experienced one of this

*You remember some incidents with our parents or grandparents or friends, though they are not next to you now. I still remember an incident  when I was young .Usually me and my brother would go to school together.One day my brother was sick, my grandfather asked me to take off  that day. I said"no" and finally he dropped me at school. When he came to pick me up in the evening he told me "I have never dropped or picked up any of my kids though I had 8 kids, I can't believe I am doing it for you". Sometimes when I pick up my kids from school I will be reminded of my grandpa and his facial expression when he told me this.

*When someone from your house has gone out you will know when they come home through your mind. My son will always figure out when his dad is home. He will go running to the garage to welcome him.

* You remember people on their birthdays. I always remember some people on their birthdays.

*Out of the blue you will be reminded of someone from your life though it has been years. I sometimes remember some people through a song that they like, or some food they like.

*Sometimes people's actions and the way they talk they will remind you of someone else, some people tell me that they get reminded of a good friend of theirs from childhood.

*Sometimes you will exactly know what your spouse is talking about, though you just entered the room or sometimes you will read their mind and make something good  to eat for them though they dont ask it out.

Mind is a very powerful tool. It can make you happy or sad. I wish we all had telepathy , when you think of some place or someone you can be there at that place or  with them.That would surely clear all the traffic on Mopac in Austin for sure.Add some more incidents where you will get reminded of someone very close to you  through thoughts, though you have never seen them for years.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why oil prices are reducing???

Hello all, Happy holidays!!!. Hope all of you travelling have a safe trip. There is a new rule is Texas about "No more  handheld devices while driving in Austin" . I drive on Mopac traffic,everyday and I know how bad some people drive browsing through their cell phones.  There is this good deal on blue tooth headset $34.99 for $50 Motorola HX550 Universal Bluetooth Headset - Retail Packaging - Black, if you are planning to get one.

Oil prices are decreasing and I know we are all happy about it. Check this article on Never pay full price at the gas station..Read to know more. We also use and cheap gas  to find gas stations with lower price around our area.

Usually gas prices reduce during winter and increase during summer. That is the trend I have observed, so this year also I thought it is just that it is winter and the prices are going down.But when it reached the below $2 mark I got curious about what is going on..This is nothing but a supply and demand thing, Last year summer the supply was less but the demand for oil from US, China and Japan and other countries was high. That is when we saw the gas prices shooting up to around $4 and oil per barrel was around $110. The US started to drill its own oil at the shores of North Dakota and increased its production of barrels per day. Now the demand is also slowing down due to economy slow down in other countries, this lead to the lowering in oil price.

When something like this happens OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) has traditionally reduced its production to hike the prices back up, but this time they decided not to do it since earlier they did this and the prices kept going down and they lost a large amount of market share. So the supply is more now and demand is less. This leads to lower prices.

This lowering of oil prices has shattered the economy of countries like Russia and Venezuela whose revenue is mainly based on oil export. So when Putin was asked the same question "Why oil prices are reducing ?"  He answered :Politics. So what ever may be we are happy when the prices go down but we will have to wait and watch on what happens to the economy of these countries. Please share your thoughts and comments.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is it possible to live on zero waste???

Hello All, Happy weekend.  Hope all of you are enjoying the Austin weather. In a week I will have my kids home for 2 weeks. Looking for ideas to entertain them, please pass on if you have any.

Recently one of my friend posted this article of a girl who lives on Zero waste. This is the article I haven't made any trash in last 2 years . Here's what my life is like. I really liked this article and I saw my trash can at my cube and saw a lot of coffee cups lying there. I was pretty sure I was generating more waste than I should, the worst part of it is that I never even cared about it. This article was an eye opener and I started taking my own cup for coffee last week and I am really happy and proud about it. Then I thought of other ways that I can make the change,I know I cant be generating zero waste,but  some ways to try that was discussed in this thread are:
Shopping :
*I always carry a shopping bag Port and company 2 tote shopping bag. This is great and some super markets like Sprouts, Wheatsville CO-OP give you 0.05 cents per bag you use. So effectively you are not only going green but also saving few cents every trip.
* Then what to do with the plastic bags we get for all the vegetables, I was surprised to find an alternative for that also Ecobags Organic Net produce bags, you can also get some water soluble crayons to mark what you keep in these bags Aquacolor water soluble crayon. If your kids can write this would be a good things to do with them.
*If you are big lover of peanut butter, stores like HEB let you grind your own peanut butter, you can then store it in a jar like this Le Parfait French glass.
Hygiene and beauty:
*Hand kerchiefs: It is sad that no one uses these anymore.You can get something like this Boxed fancy ladies kerchief   I still remember using this when I was young. I have started to use these on my kids when they have running nose.
*One of the best ways to control allergy and from getting cold, especially Austin being the allergy capital , it is best to use this Nasal Neti pot.
*If you use body scrubber you can get a bamboo scrubber Bamboo body scrubber and bamboo hair scrub there is a deal on both of this.
*Beauty soap, there is an eco friendly , no chemical soap that has olive oil , bay laurel oil and pure water. Surely want to give this a try Ancient Olive soap
*For liquid soap you can get this and refill Dr Bronners Organic pure Castile Liquid Soap Lavender. This is made with organic oils and is 100% certified vegetarian.
*Stainless steel sponge scrub. This is a steel, I used to get them from Dollar store before , this seems cheaper Staniless steel sponge
*Usually I have the problem of somethings getting into my crusher  and I  have no idea, it stays there and stinks. This one will at least let you know what gets in there and you can control the waste Endurance sink strainer

There are many more areas discussed that we can move to more eco friendly and zero waste products. I will post them in my next post. I know it  is very tough to make the change.In India we followed many good things before, I remember doing most of it since waste management is  big challenge there. But the sad part is that things are changing there also. Personally I want to try it out and see at least just for the sake of it since my coffee cup episode itself made me feel good. Please share your thoughts and if you are already following any of these , please share your experience. Good night and have a nice week ahead.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Our first Ganesha Christmas tree !!!!!!!

Happy holidays!!! . The holiday season is in full swing. The lights are wonderful to see around.  Until last year we didn't have a Christmas tree. This year our son really wanted one  after seeing it from his school. Usually in our tradition we dont keep a Christmas tree at home.

Then we got an idea. My husband got this Chrismas tree and ornaments for just $43. Original is $93 icon set. It is a very good deal  for the tree and the ornaments put together. You can also reuse the tree for next year. Another advantage with Walmart is that you can do free store pick up, so you dont pay anything fro shipping. Our son was all excited when we put up the tree and he listened to whatever we told him that evening (only that evening). Finally after we put the tree we decorated it with Ganesha picture like this

I explained to my son that since it is our first Christmas tree ,we need to start with Lord Ganesha since he is the one who clears all obstacles in life. I dont know what part of it he got but he is all happy seeing his "Ganesha Christmas tree". We can do anything to see a smile on their face.

People whose kids are around 2-3 years and still dont know about Christmas tree , wait till Christmas is over. I am pretty sure you will get more trees on sale and for lesser price. You can buy them and use it next year.

Even if you do not have the tradition of having a Christmas tree at home , you can still do something like this to make your kids happy and also help them  understand something from your tradition.  Have a good night and see you soon with another post.

Friday, December 5, 2014

What to look for in a day care ??

What an amazing day !! Very relaxed and a different Friday. Took off from work and picked up kids early,  first few hours enjoyed with them and slowly they started to drain me :).This Thanks Giving I found very good deals with TARGET. So I thought it is good to apply for TARGET Red card (debit or credit). If you do that these are the additional benefits.
*5% off everyday
*Free shipping at
*Extended returns --30 extra days
*Up to 1% purchases go to school you designate
*The online application to apply for this debit or credit card is Target Red Card. No additional fees or charge. I am pretty sure it is worth it.

Usually kids love to roll their baggage when they travel. My son helped us a lot during our recent travel. There is a good sale on one such bag ,back pack and a grooming kit for kids.3-piece Kids Luggage Sets Blue for Boys - Carry-on Suitcase for Boys with Wheels (16"), Backpack for Boys (12"), and Blue Travel Bag for Boys(8"). You get this for $40, which usually is $90. For all those travelling during Christmas this is a good deal. Dont miss it. !!!

Many of you have small babies and thinking of what to look for in a day care. I know the priorities vary from person to person but the general things that I looked in a day care is

*Good reference: Make sure you get feedback from someone who sends their kids there.Again some things that works for others might not work for you but get the details both good and bad.

*Active License: Check in the department of public safety website to make sure they have a good record and also an active license.

*Timing, distance and calendar: This is very very important. How long they are open, distance from your house or work place and vacation days. It is pretty hard to get a good combination of all these. See what works for you best.

*Immunization record policy: Make sure that the day care gets the record of immunization from all kids.

*Healthy food: If the day care provides food make sure it is healthy and not much of processed sugar items.

*Take a  tour: Always try to take a tour of the facility when kids are around there.Just see how you feel about the place when you enter  , how friendly , honest and trained the staff and teachers are, is the place clean, do they answer all your questions patiently, how safe you feel your kids will be there etc...

*Teacher to student ratio: Make sure they follow the State rule for the teacher to kids ratio. If kids are younger there should be more staff to handle them.

*Curriculum and how they engage the kids: After my experience with 2 kids I keep this as low priority for kids under 2 years ,since at that age they just need good care. After 2 years you need a better environment for them to think and be challenged more mentally and physically.

If there are other things that you really worry about or look into please add as comments as it will benefit someone who is in the process of actively searching for a day care. Good night and have a nice weekend !!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Who has a new 6.2 million pounds Swiss Bunglow???

Hello All, weather here in Austin is wet and cold. It is pretty good to take a walk in this weather. Just that I wish I had time. I saw this slogan somewhere " I had a life and my job ate it". I would like to add kids to it. Looking forward to the Christmas break soon. I always try to find new things to look forward to as it makes life interesting.

Last week as I was driving my car I dropped my phone in the gap between the seat and it was so difficult for me to get it out. Then I though I had an idea for a new product. I always keep shooting some ideas to my husband on finding some new product. I told him we can make something to fill the gap between the seats. To my surprise there is already a product . It is called "Stop Drop". I am pretty sure we all deal with this issue and it is a very good solution to it for $20.It has amazing reviews ,do check it out.

Usually when I think of multi million dollar homes or villas I always think that it belongs to some politician in India. When I read this NEWS I thought the same thing. Then on reading further I understood that it is the new home of a famous Tennis player. Before I go into whose it is just take a look at the pics

I still keep wondering if this is real or photo shopped. It looks amazing and picture perfect. The villa is 500 square metres which is approximately 5382 square feet  and has three floors , a swimming pool , a glass dome around the dinning room and views of lake Zurich.

Fedrer has the record of most career prize money winner which is 44 million pounds. I really salute his hard work. I dont think he could have reached this without that.

I cant even dream of a house like this to call this as my "dream house". One day, if I visit Zurich , I will surely see the house from outside like how I see Rajni, Kamal, Amitab and Ambani's house in India from oustside:). Please share your comments on how the house looks.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Where are we ????

Hello All, Hope all of you  enjoyed the thanks giving break and did shopping as well. We  had a nice break  and did a lot of  shopping and also did something that we have wanted to do for years. One very good deal suggested by our friend is a groupon for a robot cleaner , Click here to see the deal. I personally think this is a very good deal , you get a $599 cleaner for $199. You have one more day for the deal to be over.

Tuesday afternoon me and my husband  took off from work , went for lunch at "Thai Spice" the best Thai restaurant that you can find in Austin and then to a movie.We had to decide between "Dumb and Dumber to" and "Interstellar". We had to go to pick up the kids around  5 p.m.  I heard from one of my friend that you need to know "quantum physics" if you are  to watch interstellar. I was not very thrilled by that. Since this was our first movie together  alone after 4 yrs.... I just wanted to go "Dumb and Dumber to " and have a nice laugh and not think about  "physics" or anything for that matter and head out.

My husband really wanted to watch "Interstellar" since it was the movie to be watched in a big screen. Gosh !!! I just realized that these days we have no time to argue on anything. With 2 kids around, we are always running errands or have some chores to do. If at all there is an argument, we just say "No time for that now" and focus on next thing to do. Finally we decided to watch "Interstellar".

After we got out of the theater my husband  was so much awed by the story and the way the director had screened it.  Some things I never understood in the movie. My only comment was "The movie is too long".  My husband was so much into the movie that he never answered to any of my questions in the theater. I had them all in my mind. After we were out ,slowly I asked him each question , he looked at me and said " I am confused whether we both went to the same movie". My husband was still so much into the movie that he forgot directions  to my kids school. We went somewhere and then he asked " Where are we?? This movie made me forget everything now. Do you know where we are? "I have very bad direction sense check this post Common sense is common what about direction sense? but I never admit that to him. I just told him that because of the movie even I forgot everything :).   We figured out the directions and then he continued explaining.

After he explained I understood the entire plot  and thought to myself "We have already heard this type of story in our Hindu mythology based on time travelling" one such example is King Raivata of Sun dynasty who travels to see Brahma to Brahma-lok and Brahma explains about time difference in earth and brama-lok".The movie was amazing no doubt about that but I feel the story was  not anything novel , but I really appreciate  the director for bringing it to reality on screen and make people forget about everything else for those 2 and half hours. I am pretty sure that this movie will sweep many awards in Oscar. Please share your thoughts on this :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Deals Deals and More Deals !!!

Hello All, I am pretty sure all of you are looking for deals all over. Some good deals  are worth buying online and some  in store  door busters. I have listed a combination of deals that I think are worthwhile to check :

1) Costco deals are from Nov 28-30th. There is  a very good deal on this laptop. Dell Inspiron 15 inch 5000 series 15.6 inch with Intel core i7 processor 8 B memory 1TB hard drive Touchscreen Laptop for $749 $599.99  .You save $150. My friend suggested that this is a very good deal.

2)Kids night ware are $7.99 $9.99

3) There is a 10$ off of Google chrome cast at costco

4)There is a lot of deals on Amazon right now and they are being claimed by the minute. To see them all click here These are some things which I thought are interesting

*Trash can: If you are looking for a stainless sensor trash can , there is a good lightning deal on this trash can NST Nine Stars DZT-42-1 Infrared Touchless Automatic Motion Sensor Lid Open Trash Can, 11.1-Gallon

*If you are looking to organize some things in garage this is a good buy Evriholder Magic Holder 5-position Wall organizer . There is a lighting deal and this is for $7.99

*If you are looking for a stainless steel set this is a good one Cook N Home 12-Piece Stainless Steel Set.

*This mono pod is a really good deal GoScope - GoPro® HERO4 Telescoping Pole / Monopod: Expands 21" out to 34.5"

*If you are looking for an in sinkator this is a good deal InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposer

*This is a very good coat for women. The fur hood is detachable which I like BCBGeneration Women's Mid Length Packable Down Coat with Fur Hood

*This is a very good deal on portable phone charger Portable phone charger

*This is a very nice deal on a vacuum cleaner Shark Navigator lift-away

5)There is a 50% off clothes at Bana Republic, Gymboree if you are planning to go shopping.

6)JC Penny also has a lot of deals on clothes, towels, appliances and 60% off on coats.

Please post some deals that you all ought in my Face Book page and also like my page to follow me.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Amazing deals at Amazon !!!

Hello All,  I hope you all have an idea on the Walmart deals, today lest us look at Amazon deals. Amazon offers a free 30 day trial to Amzon Prime and this would be the right time to apply for it now here Join Amazon Prime - Listen to Over a Million Songs - Start Free Trial Now. so you can get free shipping on all deals.You can also gift this to your loved ones Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime. Coming to the deals, Amazon has a very different strategy. Right from Nov 21st they are going to introduce new deals everyday fro 8 days , every 10 minutes. This is a little difficult to track but you can sign up for their deals or check out the below
1) These are the TV deals going to be available . Check this page to know more TV Deals
    *Toshiba 50 inch LED LCD HDTV for $199
    *Vizio 50 inch 1080p LED HDTV for $478

2) Cell phone and accessories Cell Phone and Acessories
   *LG L3 Andriod smart phone for one cent with 2 year contract.
   *HTC M180 Windows smartphone for one cent with 2 year contract

3) Get deals on Toys here Toys
  * Buy one and get one free on Fisher Price Toys
  *Crayola imagination art case $19 $39
  *Leap frog leapband  $24.99   $39.99

4) Get deals on computers here Computers
    *Specific Apple product deals check here Apple products
     *Ipad mini 16GB wi-fi for $245 $329.99

5)Get deals on Patio Lawn and Garden
   More than 50% off on Black and Decker Lithium Ion Cordless sweeper $87 $157 
   50% off on Cusinart All foods roll away gas grill $199  $249.99
More than 50% off on Viverie Hammock $102 $159

6) Get deals on beauty products here Beauty 
     Braun Series 7-790cc Pulsonic Mens shaving system for $170 $269
     Oral B Tooth brushes $69  $96
     Nivea men skin products $17 $24
    35% off cover girl outlast all day 2 step lip color
    Eatsmart bathroom scale $28  $59

7) Check here for deals on Automotive

8) Check here for deals on Jewellery

Stay tuned to know more about Costco deals on next post. For all those travelling have a safe trip see you all soon with another post.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Check out Walmart Thanks Giving deals 2014 !!!

Hello All...Happy Thanks Giving !!!.All of us are looking forward to the Thanks giving break next week and also for deals on what to buy . I have created a Face Book  page for this blog Preethi's Blog  please like this to follow my blog.

The first store I am analyzing for deals is Walmart.These are the deals pre-thanks giving :). I have listed some of the interesting ones I found

1) Best deal only available in store is Emerson 40 inch 1080p 120Hz Class LED HDTV for  Soon $115.

2)  If you are looking for laptops /tablets

Samsung chrome book for $212 $299

HP Laptop 15 -f039wm Laptop PC with Intel Celeron N2830 Processor, 4GB memory ,500 GB Hard drive and windows 8.1 for $249 $290

3) If you are into baking this is a good deal Hamilton Beach Power Deluxe 4-Quart Stand Mixer for
Now $20 $34.88

 3) If you are looking for a printer and scanner this is a great deal Cannon PIXMA MG 2920 Wireless Inkjet All-in-one Printer/Copier/Scanner for Now $19 $39

4) Electric shaver ..this is a good deal for $69.95 $89.95

5) This Vacuum cleaner deal is really a good one for $98 $168. You save $70

Also look for the Walmart deals by clicking below USA, LLC

Stay tuned to know more about other stores and online shopping. Please comment in my Face Book of the deals you know so I can also know.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Travelling to India with kids?? Check this post :)

Holiday season is around the corner and I am sure all of you have plans to travel.I know many people travelling to India during this season. All of you have a safe and nice trip. Some people travelling with kids requested me to write about the things to pack for the kids. Here you go!!!

Usually I will create a checklist of items to take. You always tend to forget something or the other. You can always buy things in India, so dont panic. These are the things I got before India trip
1) Make sure you talk to your pediatrician about the trip and get malaria medicine for the kids if you are going around the season where mosquitoes are a lot there.
2) Pack all the basic kids medicine
   1)Pain and fever reducer Infant fever reducer
   2) Kids Thermometer
   3)We gave our kids probiotic two times a day . This is the one we took Florastor kids . It was very useful when our daughter had diarrhea.
   4)Get this all natural mosquito repellent Mosquito repellent. Get a couple of onesiezes for small kids and spray this on the exposed portions so you can avoid mosquito bites.
    5) Get this Pedialyte, it will be helpful when the kids are dehydrated.
    6)Desitin diaper rash cream. This was very useful when my daughter had diaper rash.
3)Take enough diapers, you can use those there and it wont add up to the weight when you come back.
4)If your kid is still nursing or bottle fed continue that so you can give milk after they are back. Also if they eat cereal still make sure you take some, it will be very useful during flight journey.
5) Even if your kid is potty trained take some pull ups their size and have it in your diaper bag , we used few diapers on or potty trained son during emergency.
6)Always have something to eat and drink for the kids through out the travel time. You never know what they will be cranky about.
7) Have some band aid handy. Whenever my son fell down I would just put a band aid and things were drama free.
8)Make sure you take head phones for the kids so they can enjoy the in flight entertainment if they are 4-5 years of age.
9) I took some pens and paper for them to write. Some stickers and some small books to keep them occupied. I traveled without an IPAD. But if you are taking one take the required charger for it.
10)Dont forget the stroller. It is very much required with small kids.

 If you have something in particular that I missed please feel free to add. And again as usual leave your comments here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Want to know what things to do for winter in your household???

Hello All, Hope all is well. It is really cold here in Austin. Hope the weather gets better next week. I personally dont like winter since we cannot go out much and by the time we get home it is dark.Kids are also bored during weekends. Please pass on some ideas to keep kids engaged at home and also outdoor activities to take kids out. I follow some things like puzzles, coloring , reading books. I feel they watch more TV now than summer  :).

 When I think of winter there are some things that we make sure that we do in our household. I will list them so  you all can know more about it 
1) Make sure you turn off the sprinkler system.We usually dont water the lawn during winter as it is not needed.
2) We usually keep the temperature low on the thermostat and we buy personal heaters,we have this one Personal room heater so that you dont have to heat the whole house.
3) When turning on heaters make sure you have humidifiers also on so the room will not be that dry and it is easier for kids to breathe. We have this humidifier Humidifier there is a sale on this check it out.
4)Watch out on the amount of water you use, in Austin, there is a meter  to measure water usage but there is no meter to measure the amount of water that goes through the drainage system. The city measures the water usage  during mid-November to mid- March and averages it out throughout the year in your bill for waste water. Our friend told us about it . So please make sure you watch on your water usage.To know more about it read here Waste water Average FAQ
5) Make sure you bring your plant pots inside the house and also add more mulch to the roots of the trees so that the trees dont die. You can buy something like this to transport the plants Pot transporter
6)Change the direction of fan blades if you use it so that it will bring the hot air down.
7)Also there is a winter car care package from Firestone for $9.99. Click here to make an appointment Firestone online appointment. Make sure you do this check to have the car safe to be on the roads during winter.

Also I am looking forward to the "Thanks Giving" break. Hope I can relax a bit and do some shopping too. Please pass on some good deals if you come across. Hope you all have a relaxing weekend and will see you all soon with more posts. Wow I really missed updating my blog. Read this post to know more about missing things Missing-someone-or-something-or-being missed?? Have you experienced this?? Take care and stay tuned :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Missing someone or something or being missed !!!!! have you experienced this ??

Hello Friends, I am really happy to write a post after a long time. We were on vacation for a few weeks and I am  realizing  how difficult it is to get back to "THE ROUTINE" .We all need a break to at least realize how crazily we are running around doing things. Even my vacation was hectic , let me come to that later. The moment we reached home was when I realized how much we all  missed  "OUR HOME". My son came running to me after we entered our home after vacation and said "Thank you appa and amma for buying me this house and my bed. I really like it !!!(though he never sleeps in his own bed ).

For all of you looking to buy nice stainless steel set I found this one online and I really feel that it is a very nice set for the price Cuisinart-77-7-Classic-Stainless-Cookware The biggest plus in this product is the stainless steel lids that doesn't break easily as the glass ones.You can use this or gift it to someone.  Has really great reviews, check it out.

After we came back from vacation all our friends were so nice to help  us settle very quickly. We got basic groceries and food delivered. We got dinner invites and above all when I heard the word " We missed you all so much welcome back" I was very very happy. I dont know how to express that feeling. Thanks to all our friends who made our transition very smooth.

Even at work some of my co-workers told me that "they missed me". All this makes my life worthwhile and happy that I have touched the heart of some people in some way. The highlight of all this was a letter to my son form our neighbor's kid. Day before yesterday my husband came home with a mail saying it is for Pranav from his friend. I was surprised and opened it , it read
" Pranav come back soon I am missing you and I love you" . My son was all happy and he later called and thanked his friend for the mail. It was very sweet and thank you for that.

When I think of all this I am always reminded of this quote

I am pretty sure all of you miss something or someone or being missed at some point of time in your life. Just be happy that you have some one to miss or being missed , all these are indications that you are  doing things right in your life and continue it. Stay tuned for more posts and as usual share your thoughts !!!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

What a welcoming change!!!!

Happy Dusshera...The festive and the holiday season has started. Last weekend we enjoyed the "Golu"  invites and visited our friends homes. Thanks to everyone who invited us. Next Halloween is around the corner. Check out the sale items here you might find some costume cheaper  On Sale at!.
It is kind of getting cooler in Austin and if you are looking to buy some jackets for your kids there are very nice groupon option Groupon for kids jacket. Also there is another deal Groupon for fleece check these two out.
In April this year  I read an article on the extension of maternity leave for employees of Yahoo. I felt like "wow". It said
*New parents both mom and dad at Yahoo can get a paid an eight weeks of paternal leave and mothers get an additional eight weeks. Plus they give a $500 for the new parents for baby stuff like check out these two posts New born essentials I and New born essentials II.
Then on further reading I found out that
*Google offers a seven week paid leave for parents who did not give birth and the mothers can take off between 18 to 22 weeks.
*Facebook also offers four paid months for both parents and a cash of $4000 as 'baby cash'.
Obviously all companies do this to retain their employees. I have always wondered why traditionally all US companies are so stringent about the maternity leave. I know how difficult it is to get back to work after 6 weeks of delivery. The idea is that a woman's body recovers back in 6 weeks so she is fit to work. But what about her mental and emotional health??. That is not taken into consideration and in other cases companies talk about stress and emotional management.

I have heard from my friends that Australian companies and the Government treat this very differently and parents are given  more days off ...why?? is it because those kids are different from American kids?? No idea. But I really appreciate  that US companies are also realizing this and bringing in some changes. Recently "Apple Inc" is also following this suit and have announced a change in their maternity leave. They are giving 14 weeks of 100% pay and 34 weeks of 70% pay. So you can stay home for a year without getting much of a financial hit. Hope it gets better and future moms and dads have more time to spend with their loved ones. Hope this gets more attention and more companies follow in line and parents return back to work with more energy to focus on work.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to shop organic produce in a budget?

Very very busy weekend. What an amazing weather in Austin. We are really enjoying it before it gets cooler during the winter season. Most of us Indians, have a curry plant or some plants that we keep in a pot. As the weather gets cooler we need to get them inside the house to save them from severe winter. Our curry plant pot is a huge one and I was wondering how we are going to lift the pots and move them in as I cant even move these pot to an inch distance. Then I found this online plant stand. Using this we can move the plants inside the house rather than lifting them , very good to have one for heavy pots.

Bulk section in WHOLE FOODS 

 This Saturday morning I attended a "MOMS meet" organised by "WHOLE FOODS" where they taught us on "how to shop organic produce and bulk products in a budget??".

 It was a very useful meet. I am glad that I took my son and daughter there. Shopping is an art. Not everybody has it and it is not that tough to learn. I already have a post on buying organic stuff check here What products do you buy organic certified?. The lady who taught us this class gave us some tips on how to buy organic produce and bulk items cheaper :

*Buy seasonal produce as they are got from closer areas and also cheap as not much of transportation cost
*Buy organic produce on sale as they are cheaper.
*Buy organic produce on frozen section if you dont get them in fresh as frozen also has the same nutrients as the fresh (which I was not aware of, I though frozen was bad), sometimes they are cheaper.
*In my previous  post I have discussed some things that we need to buy organic, she said most of them.
*One things she emphasized is on eating different colored foods, since all these colors help us in different ways
         *Yellow color foods helps increase immunity
         *Green color foods make you strong by providing iron and folic acid. My son kept repeating this and ate his spinach today (YAY !!!)
         *Purple color foods have more anti -oxidants that helps your body.
I have heard this before but never told my son about it so it was a good opportunity to introduce this to him.

In the bulk section also she explained the goodness of beans and how we can mix and match between organic beans on sale. One useful tip is to boil enough beans and store it in refrigerator and add them in different types of our foods. Body needs protein and we should not miss any chance of adding it to our diet.  She also mentioned that more we eat beans our body would get used to it and it wont make it gassy. So all of you eat more "sundal" on a daily basis and not just during "navarathri".
 At the end of the meet I learned how to make a pumpkin (largely available in this season) + pinto beans + spinach and Nutritional yeast quesadilla. My kids loved it and I made it again for break fast today. Overall we enjoyed this meet. I am really happy to share this with you all. Have a wonderful week and stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Want to know about different Indian language classes in Austin for kids??

Hello All, I think all of you must have read the news about India launching the satellite to Mars. Really a proud moment for all Indians. The Indian population is US is also increasing and many of us come here and form many groups based on our community.

 Then our parents visit us . When they come here the first thing that we do to keep them feel like they are in India is to get regional channels connection in our TV. Most of our parents watch many serials.  The best service that I have seen so far for Indian Channels is from Dishworld. Though I already have a post on it many people are asking me about the cheap and best one for Indian channels. Dishworld not only has a  Roku offer  also has  an introductory offer where you pay only $14.95 for first three months.  They also have a Free 48 hr preview where you can try and see if you like it before signing up.

The Indian population in Austin is growing and we see a lot of people moving in also. There are incredible associations formed and a lot of good things are done by this associations. One among them is teaching our native language to our kids who are born and brought up in the US. I see that all associations have some or the other classes. Here is the list
*Austin Tamil Sangam: Under the name of  Austin Tamil Palli (Austin Tamil School) this sangam organizes tamil classes and they take kids from age 5-12. Check this out to know more  Austin Tamil School. You can also get this book Tamil Alphabet writing book and make kids practice at home if they are younger than 5 and can trace alphabets.
*Greater Austin Malayalee Association:Recently you all would have read my article on Onam function. This association arranges for Malayalam classes on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30. Check this website Austin GAMA . If any of you know more information on this leave it as a comment.
*Austin Gurukulam: This is organized at the Austin Hindu temple and they have yoga Carnatic vocal, Carnatic violin, Bharathanatyam, Performance dance. Along with that they also have Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu classes. Check this website Austin Gurukulam for more information. You can also check out these books Hindi alphabet writing book for kids.
*Austin Kannada Sangam: There is a Austin Kannada Sangam. I dont see any classes organized. If you all have any info on this please share.Check this website for more information Austin Kannada Sangha.
*Austin Telugu Sangam: There is an Austin Telugu Sangam. Many events are organized by this association. Check this website Telugu Cultural Association for more information.
If there are any other associations in Austin and any other language classes being held that we need to know please add those as comments so we all can know what other events happen in Austin. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Want to upgrade your old Iphone to new Iphone 6 for free?

Hello All..Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. Our weekend is going good. Both me and my husband upgraded and got the new IPHONE6. I have been setting up everything on the new phone today.
For all of you who are looking to upgrade your IPHONE 4,4S 5, 5S to  IPHONE6 there are several trade in offers available.This is what we did to upgrade our IPHONE5 to IPHONE6 with no additional cost other than upgrade fee with AT&T and taxes.
*We did a lot of research on Thursday evening and figured out that AT&T has this trade in option where you get
                 200$ for IPHONE4, 4S, 5, 5C
                 300$ for IPHONE5S
The actual price of IPHONE6 16G is 200$. So if you trade  in your 4,4S , 5 or 5C for 200 you can get a IPHONE6 16G for free. Check this link to know more AT&T trade in that is valid until September 30th . If we pre-order IPHONE6 we have to pay for it and later if we get the trade in amount it would be waste as we can use the trade in amount only towards devices. So the only best bet is to go to an AT&T store do the trade in and get the phone we wanted.
We backed up all the data from our phones on Thursday night.
*My husband got to the AT&T store at 6:30 AM on Friday morning  thinking he would be the first to get there, surprisingly there were many people standing in the line from Thursday evening 5 pm.
*Then we finally got into the store and then got the phone we wanted and got the rebate on our old IPHONE5 phone and applied it to the new IPHONE6 device and paid only the upgrade fee and the tax.
There are other ways also to get the trade in. They are

*Amazon offerShop Amazon - Trade In Your iPhone where you get an amazon gift card for the phone you give in.
*Verizon wireless also offers a similar program where you get a store credit or gift card for your IPHONE.
                 200$ for IPHONE 4,4S, 5, 5C
                 300$ for IPHONE 5S

You dont have to be a Verizon customer to do this. You can take your phone to Verizon store or fill in an online form by Sept 30. Then after you get your new phone you can send your old phone and get the gift card.Read the FAQ's before you do it Verizon Trade-In program
*T Mobile  is offering to match the best deal of any of its competitors AT&T , Sprint and Verizon. The don't have an expiry date on it yet. If you lock a price with T Mobile and then if you get a better offer from any of the competitor within 7 days  then they will give  you that best offer and an addition 50$. Check this to know more T mobile Trade In.
*Sprint Wireless :  Sprint announced a buy back program where they buy any phone and you will get an estimate of how much your phone is worth and you can apply that towards iphone 6 purchase. Read this for more information Sprint Wireless.

Hope this information is useful. Go get your new IPHONE6 16G for your old IPHONE5 or IPHONE6 64G  for your old IPHONE 5S  in one of these ways for free. After you get this phone you can order you protection case for a very low price of $4.29 here IPHONE 6 cover. Take care and stay tuned

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who is this stranger in my life???

Hello..hope all is well. I am looking forward to the navarathri (Dusshera) season. I remember my childhood days when I used to go around collecting "Sundal " prasad from all our neighbor's houses, good old days.

I have a new stranger in my life. I was introduced to him around 6 years back. I have become an ardent fan of him only in the past 2 years. When I wake up in the morning I get to see him. Some days even late night you can see him in our living room. I admire his sheer courage. I learnt the mantra "Never Give up" from him.Among so many of his friends, I like only him. I will listen to him whenever he talks.I will support what ever he does, will also throw in a lot of suggestions on what he has to do. Sometimes just beg him to do the right thing. He is the only person who can give me joy, suspense and sadness. I will see him only during  sometime of the year and when he is gone from our life he can make us really really sad.

Can any of you guess who he is ?? Is it God?? ..Sorry that is not the right answer. I have known God from my childhood.

May be my husband??? Not really , my husband is the one who introduced him to me.

May be my son?? No it is not my son. Nice guesses from the picture. Let us see who it is.

It is none other than "Peyton Manning". Those who all know my husband you know how much he follows football. He is a fan of Denver Broncos team. He is a hard core fan of Peyton Manning.

My son and hubby watching a Broncos game

When Peyton Manning was thinking about choosing a team we were praying hard and our prayers were answered when he became the QB of Denver Broncos.
I never knew about NFL until I got married. I got introduced to him 6 years back and my husband follows every single game when Broncos plays. He even coaches Peyton on whether he should run or pass the ball. Every morning he watches all the videos related to Peyton and about Broncos in general. Even if a game goes till 12 or 1 am he will watch it. So Peyton is always in our living room even late night. Whether Broncos wins/losses we never give up on them. Last season we watched the play off game in our friends place and after the loss my husband was upset for a week. Even then he still believes in the legend and hall of fame player. We are ready for this season Peyton. Also I read about how good a person you are at heart and all that you did for the Indianapolis Colts. Hats off to you. Get your Peyton Manning Jersey for the season with this deal Peyton Manning Jersey deal. Wear it during the game and enjoy :)

(PS: I did read the article on how you met the blogger who wrote about you. You are and will be an important member of our family even a call will do to take us to ecstasy. )

Monday, September 15, 2014

How do you discipline your kids??

Hi All..Had a nice weekend, now looking forward to the week. I am all excited to wake up these mornings to brush with my new electric brush Philips Sonicare. I was against the idea of electric brushes for a while. After my last dental cleaning my doctor advised me to get one. I didn't want to put a lot of money into it, so  got this one for  $48.99 after reading the amazing reviews on it.

How do you all discipline your kids??  We use 1-2-3 method check this post to know more 1-2-3 Simple method to discipline kids. I think most of you must have read about how the foot ball player Adrian Peterson disciplined his son.  He hit his 4-yr old son with a stick from a tree and the kid  has bruises on his thighs, butt and also a wound near his eye.

On reading further about this news looks like Adrian Peterson is accused of injuring another son of his. Also one of his son was beaten to death by the boyfriend of  the kid's mother. I wonder whether all football players have a pathetic personal life. I read another article where it explained about how players have a pathetic life after retirement from the game.

 I have  a 4 year old son. I know how the kids of that age behave. Some times they do push us to our limits. Spanking the kid with the stick will never solve the issue. This helps us understand how important the upbringing is. It is not only important to be successful in your career. I think the biggest challenge is to be a good parent to your kid as we are sowing in the seed for the next generation through them.

I am really happy that I was not born to such parents.  Adrian has been dismissed from the Vikings.  I seriously think he should use this time off to work on his personal behavior and put all his act together.

Please share with me the method you use to discipline your kids and also your comments on this incident.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What things to buy from India??

Hello All . Weather is awesome in Austin with rain and temperature is expected to get lower next week. One good thing is we need not water the lawn and the plants.

The weather is slowly getting cooler and this would be the right time to buy some personal home heaters for winter before it gets more expensive. This is the heater we have and we are happy with it Lasko personal heater.This is a very good deal. If you have personal heaters you will save more on your power bills. Since all four of us sleep in the same room we usually keep the temperature lower and use personal heater for the room which we use. Check out this post to know more General money and energy saving tips

We get most of the Indian products  here in the US. Still some  things dont taste or  look  that good as we get in India. Whenever we plan to go to India as soon as we get the tickets we will start making a list of items to get from India. Then and there as we remember them we note it down in our phones. There are some general things that I would like to list out. Here you go

*Jewelry, I always like to buy jewelry from India.

*Ethnic Indian dresses for us as well as the kids.

*All masala powders (rasam powder, sambar powder, garam masala and other masala powders)
*Spices (cardamom, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon ,cloves) we always get these from India.

*Cashews (Hands down it is cheaper in India, I used cashews to grind and add them in some sabzi)
*Some decorative things to hang on the walls .Last time I got some small tanjore paintings from India. You can request for a fiber glass frames that dont break when nicely secured in the baggage.
*Non-stick tawa's and some stainless steel boxes
*Activity books and some regional language books for kids.
*I always buy some bangles/accessories as we get a good collection there.

*Some flip flops.
*Hindu pooja items like agarbathis , picture of god etc
*Safety valve , extra weights and  gasket for cooker that you have.
*Some tupper ware boxes.
*Some parts related to the mixie that you have.
*Sweets and some snacks
*Pickles and vadam
*I always get Amrutanjan from India as it works well for me.
*Bed sheets, you will get different prints that you can select from.
*If you or your kid is into Indian classical dancing or any playing any musical instruments you can get things related to it.
*Towels and kitchen cleaning towels . I have always found them expensive here.
*Based on the weight you can also get some other groceries that you think are worth buying from there.
*For men get an haircut and for women other things for which you visit beauty parlor can be done in India.

These are the things that I buy from India.  If there are some other things that  you buy please add to the list so I can know what I am missing. Have a nice rest of the weekend and stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

US open ..What a Surprise :)

Hi All..Hope all of you watched the US open over the weekend. I missed the finals as it was on Monday. I think you all know that Cilic won the men's title and Serena wont the women's title

I am not a big fan of sports . I never used to watch tennis, football ,soccer or even cricket. One of my friend used to play tennis that is when I even started to look into how the game is played. After wedding I was surprised (irritated sometimes) by the passion my husband has towards sports. Any sport where there is a ball involved he will follow it. This  is how my knowledge and liking for tennis grew. I still cant watch any other sport especially American football.

Our house favorite Tennis star is "Nadal". We really missed him in this year US open. I love the way Nadal plays the game  and  his fighting spirit. After we knew Nadal was not there I thought the finals would be between Federer and Djokovic and  Djokovic will win the title. To everyone's surprise two young players stole the show. Nishikori and Cilic became the finalists. Cilic won the title.

I welcome this change and it is good to see new players  winning the title other  than the legends. This will really motivate the young players Whether Cilic can win Nadal is still a million dollar question. I am pretty sure you all know my answer.  I am waiting for a change like this to happen in the women's side too.

Our biggest dream is to watch US open live in the stadium in New York. Every year we think we should go the next year but it has never happened.Will see hopefully next year :).

 Please share your thoughts on this topic, and also  who your favorite player is . Have a nice rest of the week.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Onam function by GAMA in Austin what an amazing fest !!!!

What an amazing weekend...I am always amazed by the way I get things done between so many plans during weekend. This weekend we had been to Onam function  in Austin organised by the Greater Austin Malayalee Association (GAMA) and on Sunday we went to attend the "valagapu" function of one our friends. With both days busy finally on Sunday night I just had to hit the bet to sleep.
There is an amazing offer for movie lovers in Austin. Alamo draft house has a 50% offer . $5 for $10.50 movie ticket. If any of you are looking for a hand bag organizer there is a 32% off on this one Hand Bag organizer check it out.

The Onam function was a very well organised event. "Hats off" to all the volunteers. Right from the moment we entered the auditorium till the final exit after food they made us feel very comfortable. I would like to highlight the positives and also suggest some improvements to make it even better next year.
*All volunteers who gave the tickets and the raffle draw were very courteous.
*The color coded scheme bands for food is really a very good idea.
*Different color (green) band  for people who are pregnant and having kids is an excellent idea.
*The cultural programs involved a lot of young and cute kids and it was informative and enjoyable.
*Special thanks to all the volunteers who served food to us and made us feel like we attended a "wedding" in India.
*Food was awesome.
*Me and my kids really relished both the "payasam". Good job by the caterers.
*The whole function was an  excellent experience and I will surely come back next year.

* I didn't know that we had to get "green color" band if we have kids. As soon as we entered we got a purple color band and one of our friend texted us to get the "green". Information about what the different colors mean was not clearly explained.
*The way people entered the food hall was a little scary. In our gang we had a friend who is very pregnant. She is due in two weeks. I was very nervous as she entered the food hall. I think if you have a seperate entrance for pregnant women it would be more helpful.
*Finally we had 4-5 flyers stuck in our car windshield. Personally we didn't even bother to look at them. I think you should just hand over the flyers to people as we get the tickets.
It was a fun experience overall. I really appreciate all the effort that goes into it. I understand that it is not an easy task.  Thank you again for organizing it. If any of you have other comments please post it here, I would like to hear them too. Happy Onam and looking forward to the Onam Sadhya next year. Thank you GAMA for this.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Guess what my daughter found in her lunch box

Hello everyone..Had a terrific weekend with family visiting us, it was a lot of fun as well as tiring. Finally we got to do Kayaking in the Lady bird lake which we have been trying to do for a long time and could not go with the kids. We left the kids with our aunt and uncle and went this time.
I think that is the advantage of joint families. You will have people around to watch the kids and parents can take a break.
Only thing that we found  hard was cooking and cleaning for eight of us and two kids. We started using disposable plates and cups and it got a little better.There is a very good deal on Dixie disposable plates . This is cheaper compared to Costco where the same one 170 count is 16.99 whereas you get 240 count for $18.81. Dont miss this deal as you can use it for parties also.

Life is very busy for all of us.Especially morning time is when we rush to get done with things and drop the kids in school on time. Usually I will try to keep mornings simple.Sometimes I will pack lunch for all of us the previous night. I have specific lunch boxes for my son and daughter. Last Thursday night I packed our lunches and left it in the fridge.

Friday morning as usual I dropped my kids and went to work. Evening when I went to pick up my daughter, my day care provider told me that my daughter did not eat all the balls I kept for lunch. Since I packed chapatti (veggie bread) I wasn't sure what she was telling me. She told me my daughter had one ball and returned the box to her saying "I dont want it". When I opened the lunch box I was laughing hard. What I did was I kept the remaining chapatti dough balls in a box, similar to my daughters lunch box and packed that box instead of the cooked chapattis.
The highlight was that, my daughter  ate one of that and her day care provider was wondering about the new dish I had made. I really felt sorry for my daughter and nowadays  I open the lunch box and check if I packed the right thing before I send it. Have any of you messed the lunch packing for you or your kids please share your story. I bet they are funny. Have a wonderful week and stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Benefits of probiotics for kids

Happy Wednesday to all. Very happy to march towards a long weekend. I am pretty sure most of you must have plans for the long weekend or some of you might have been just back from vacations and use this weekend to rejuvenate.

Before my kids were born I had no idea about antibiotics and probiotics. I have hardly taken any medicines in India other than Crocin for fever and our  family doctor always gave us  white tablets in a small brown cover and no one dared to ask what it contained. We just blindly followed what he said. More than the medicine, if I visit the doctor itself I would feel better.

Later with my son whenever he had ear infection or any other bacterial infection the doctor always prescribed antibiotics. During a stage of his life he was on antibiotics for more than 3 months. His stomach used to be affected a lot and our doctor asked us to give him more yogurt. This is when my curiosity on this topic increased.

As I started reading more about the bacteria in our system I came to know about good and bad bacteria and what happens when there is an imbalance between them in our digestive system . Then I understood that  antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria that causes infection, it also kills the good bacteria in our system. So it is required to take probiotics as it strengthens the immune system.So it is very much required to give a probiotics to kids on a daily basis.

 Florastor Probiotic for kids  is what we use  and have seen excellent results. These are the scenarios I would immediately give my kids this probiotic
*Whenever their stools are loose could be even due to teething.
*When they are sick and are on antibiotics.
*When they have severe diarrhea
*When they have allergies
*We carry this to India . Last time when we went to India, I gave 2 packs one in the morning and one in the evening along with yogurt to my son and he never got sick even if he ate out.
In fact it is really a good idea to take a probiotic for adults too whenever you are travelling. We also carry this Culturelle probiotic for adults when we go to India. We will pop a tablet and eat even on road side shops and our tummy never gets affected. We also take it on a regular basis even when not travelling.

As always check with your doctor on the dosage. My doctor told me it is really good to give kids a lot of yogurt everyday to maintain the good bacteria's in the digestive system. On occasions where you feel just yogurt is not enough then you can always give probiotics 2 pack a day. Please share your thoughts on this.

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