Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cheap and best entertainment for parents who visit US from India

Hi All, I am having a wonderful weekend. Yesterday we went to the base ball game, today took the kids to Locomotion Inflatable and then to Mozart's Coffee Shop. I must say the weather is still good in the late evenings in Austin.

When our parents visit US, we always find ways to make them feel at home. Since most parents don't drive a car in the US and they cant take any public transportation to go out of the house, they are pretty much stuck in the house. The only way to entertain them is to have some Indian channels ,of course in some cases they are also engaged by playing with their grand kids still they need some time to relax.When our parents visited us, we browsed through all the options and finally found this cheap and best.

We bought  the Dishworld Roku offer, which includes  :13 English International TV channels, 6 Sports TV channels, Willow Cricket, foreign films new releases, classics, and 100's of Bollywood movies and Indian titles. Included at NO COST!. Dish offers 180 channels in 15 different languages. Please select your language and proceed with the process.You pay a discounted $14.95 for the first three months. For a limited time take advantage of their special 50% off Roku 3 or Free Roku LT offers when you purchase 3 months of DishWorld at the discounted price of $14.95/month and an additional month at the regular price. Make one convenient payment for four months of your favorite Dish World programming and  they will  send your Roku with Free Shipping. Also you can set up the Roku in four simple steps:
*Sign up on Dishworld Website
*Plug your Roku into your TV
*Connect the Roku to your wi-fi network
*Select the dish channel on your TV screen.
Once you set up Roku you can also stream youtube on your TV. As I have mentioned in this post Save money now and thank me later :) , we disconnected our cable and stream shows and baby shows through Roku now. This way you get Indian channels, Willow Cricket  and other international channels in one low price. Also for local channels you can get a TV antenna for as low as $8.99. The process is very simple and our parents were able to switch it on and navigate through it easily after doing it for a couple of times.  Doesn't this sound like a sweet deal? 

Also tomorrow is the big day of IPL, the finals. To know more interesting fact about IPL 2014 check out this post IPL 2014 Interesting facts . It is the big finals between King XI Punjab Vs Kolkata Knight Riders. If you are wondering how to see the match check out this Willow Cricket plus 13 English International Channels for just $10. So you can watch the match in the phone through and app or on your TV. Enjoy tomorrows game and hope the deserving team wins. Please let me know your thoughts and what other options you all use.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Are you a Costco member? Read this post II

Hope all of you had a wonderful day.My day was good with so many surprises. If you read this post  Our Wedding story, you will know that tomorrow is a special day for us.
I  also want to share with you, about something that I recently bought after searching through many websites,a small handy screw driver 30 in 1 Screw Driver For Housings and Office-Cell Phone, PDA , PSP, NDS, MP3,PC,Laptop etc. This is only $7.99 and free shipping. We use it for unscrewing most things as it has different heads. If you are looking for a small handy screw driver set ,this is the one.

Today's post is the continuation of my previous post click here to read it . Other things that we buy from Costco are
* Toilet wipes and paper towels : With respect to paper towels look fro select a size. These paper towels are shorter in length so we dont use a large paper towel size to clean everything. Some thing like the one shown here

*Organic carrots, Blueberries and Strawberries: We buy other season produce like mangoes, small oranges, water melon  also, these items are always on the list though

*Snap peas & Feta cheese : These are very good for salads.

*Organic Pasta: Since I make pasta every now and then as lunch for kids, this is a good buy.

*Moisturizers: Right from kids Cetaphil moisturizer to Aveeno that we use , we buy them from Costco.

*Shredded Mozzarella cheese: This is a good buy as we always make pizza at home. Read this post to know how .

*Kids stuff: This year we got kids swim wear, some dresses and some books from Costco. There are a lot of other stuff that we pick up when we sample and like them. Also we get kids juice "Honest Kids" and other snacks like Graham crackers.

 We also buy chips, trail mix,  nuts and soap bars from there. I know some of my friends who buy milk also from Costco. Wow!!! we buy so many products from there. No wonder that every time we shop from there our bill is surely more than 100$.Do share your thoughts and also other products that you buy from there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Are you a Costco member?? Read this post

Hello everyone. Hope you all had a nice day. Recently my I phone charger socket was not working. I found this website, from where I bought it for as low as 10$. There are other also other products  in this website which are very cheap and useful with free standard shipping. Check this out for sure.
Coming to today's topic, it is a long due to one of my friend who had requested me to write on what all products we buy from Costco. Here is the list
*Oil: We buy both "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" and "Canola" oil for cooking from Costco. My friend buys grape seed oil which she uses for deep frying. I always think I should get it but have been forgetting. As far as I have researched the extra virgin olive oil is surely cheaper in Costco. Also buying oil in bulk is not a bad idea , we somehow use it.

*Sugar: We always buy the organic cane sugar from Costco. After I read an article about all the chemicals added in the process of bleaching white sugar , we stopped buying bleached white sugar. It is always a good idea to get organic cane sugar although it is 3 times more expensive than the bleached version.

*Bread: We love the bread at Costco. We usually buy any one of these  Multigrain, Whole Wheat  Oat&Nut, Sprouted Honey Wheat, Sunflower seed breads. If you think  2 loafs is a lot, freeze the second  loaf and when the first one is  almost over bring the second one out of the freezer and use it.

*Sandwich thins: This forms an excellent base for mini pizza for kids  and also for cheese sandwich for kids. We really love this one. You can alternate between bread and this , just to have some variety.

*Diapers and baby wipes: I find diapers and wipes are very cheap compared to other places. We always look for coupons on them and buy in bulk. We buy Huggies diapers and Kirkland wipes

We buy a lot more products from there. Stay tuned to know more. Please add your comments.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kegel exercise

Hello everyone. Congrats to my few friends who have become parents recently. It is a nice feeling to become a parent and also a lot of responsibility comes with it.
Recently I was chatting with one of my friend who does research on the process of  episiotomy(this is related to child delivery process). As she was asking me some questions about the delivery process, she told me "Finally someone who did Kegel". That made me realize that most  people are not aware of "Kegel exercise" s and it would be a good topic to focus on.
Most women who have undergone natural childbirth process will know what episiotomy is. The whole process of pregnancy and childbirth is something very specific to woman. We all know that a woman's body goes through so many changes. Usually after delivery it takes time for the mother to recover completely. But most of the times she is very busy with other things like nursing and taking care of the baby , that she doesn't take care of herself very much.
After my first delivery I thought I was done with the process, then slowly I realized that it was just the beginning. One good thing I followed was to do some kegel exercises to recover faster.  The prenatal yoga teacher told me this "Do kegel exercises whenever you nurse the baby for faster recovery". Good that I remembered this.
Kegel exercise : Contract your bottom muscle like you want to stop urinating and release it. Repeat this at least 10 times and do it 3 times a day. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. 
Why Kegel exercises matter:
Many factors can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, including pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging and being. Kegel exercises can be done during pregnancy or after childbirth to try to prevent urinary incontinence.
Apart from just child birth it is a good practice to do it on  a regular basis. Looks like  men can also do them . Google more to find out about it. Please share your thoughts on this and also if doing kegel helped you to recover faster.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chuck E Cheese Rocks!!

Hello everyone. A quiet Saturday afternoon at home for me. The weather is awesome outside and kids and hubby are asleep. Perfect time to write my post.
Last week we had been to a birthday party at the Chuck E Cheese.  Believe it or not that was our first time to Chuck E Cheese. The birthday party was from 10-12 in the morning. As soon as we entered I figured out that it was not just a eat out place. We met our friends and the cute birthday girl , wished her and then we were running behind our kids who were all excited to ride on the various fun rides that was there.

I saw so many parents with their kids and it was a Saturday morning. I was impressed so much seeing the crowd. I thought to myself  "Wow, so many people come here on a Saturday morning". My kids enjoyed all the rides there. It is a perfect place for kids from 2-7 years I would say. 
Then our friend came and told us there is going to be cake cutting and some show with the Chuck E Cheese mascot. We gathered around a table and to my surprise there were 8 tables and 8 birthday parties going on in parallel at the same time. Then I understood that all people who were there, were a part of another birthday party. I felt like being in an Indian marriage for the first time. So many people , so much of commotion and the singers were bringing the hall down singing "Chuck E Cheese Rocks". All kids watched the special treatment given to the birthday kid. Finally after the party was over, as  we were heading out, I saw the people getting ready for the next set of birthday parties.
We got into our car and my son started singing "Chuck E Cheese Rocks" . Then he asked "Are we going to celebrate my birthday party in Chuck E Cheese?" "I like this place appa (Dad) and I want to go there again".
I just thought to myself "What an excellent  business model this is ?" , Not only they managed to celebrate so many birthday parties at the same time, they were able to put the brand in the kids mind and also make them wonder if they were going to have a cool birthday like that. I really admire how they have designed the whole thing and how nicely they executed it. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thinkery ..Does it really make kids think??

Hi Everyone...Hope all of you are having a nice week.I am still sailing through the week waiting for the  long weekend.
 Today's topic is about a Children's museum that we visited on Saturday with our kids and friends. It is is Austin and is called "Thinkery". Around 3 weeks back if you had asked me what is thinkery? I would have not had an answer. Recently one of our friends visited this place and told us about it. It is a real cool place that I recommend everyone in Austin to visit it with their kids. The building looks like this

Thinkery building 

There are so many fun activities for the kids. My kids are 3 1/2 years and 1 1/2 years old. I was surprised that they had fun things for most age groups to work on. I would like to highlight some of the fun activities that we did
*As soon as we entered there were some train tracks that my daughter loved.
                                                 Riya playing with the train tracks

*There were glass walls that the kids could paint and then spray water and clean it, the kids loved it.
*There were many wooden blocks that was painted with magnetic paint that could stick on the walls. The kids can use their imagination to build blocks on the walls.
*The market place was a lot of fun, the kids could buy wax carrots, peaches, onions . My son bought all the fruits and veggies.
                                                          Pranav buying veggies

*Upstairs there are so many water activities, there were drums and water droplets that falls on them made sound.
                                                      Riya playing in water drums

*There was also a pump mechanism that filled the containers with water when you turn a knob and then splash when the container is full. My son loved it and was doing it again and again.
*After that we just visited the dark room with lot of small lights and frozen shadows.
*Then we went to the backyard where they had fun in the small pool.
We really loved the place. We also got a annual membership that allows unlimited visit for  4 person for 95$.One good thing about the membership was , it was valid for a year from the month of purchase rather than a fixed 12 month period like Jan-Dec.We enjoyed seeing our kids smile and have fun. The 3 hours we were there flew away  and it was very tiring for us and the kids. Kids slept well that night :). I think every city should have a children's museum that makes kids think. Yes, thinkery is wonderful and I recommend parents in Austin to take their kids at least once to enjoy the wonderful experience. To know more information visit thinkery website. Also read other posts related to kids and share your thoughts click here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Simple quick yummy pizza recipe

About: how to make simple quick pizza| pizza|Trader Joe's | pizza dough |yummy pizza recipe
What an amazing weekend. Did so much with kids and friends that I am all excited for the week (just kidding).  We did so many things that I am planning to write about each one of them.
To all parents who are looking for a deal to buy Graco  car seat and stroller, Amazon has a very good deal going on now, 20% off all Graco products click here to see it .

 Today's topic is about a method that we recently figured out on how  to make yummy pizzas at home.If you have a Trader Joe's store somewhere nearby I consider you lucky . We have one so I am lucky !! . They sell pizza dough ready made that you have to use within 3-4  days. There are three varieties whole wheat, plain and garlic and herb. We always buy it and have it in our fridge. Now let us see what all we need and how we can make yummy pizza's.

                              Yum , healthy whole wheat crust pizza ready for lunch.

Things you need:
*pizza dough
Trader Joe's pizza dough
*marinara sauce: Any marinara sauce you get from the store click here to see it.
*Cheese: Mozzarella shredded or cut into small pieces.
*veggies for toppings : Anything you wish, we usually use
         *different color bell peppers
         *minced garlic
         *sun dried tomatoes
         *jalapeno/pine apple
*Pizza stone : Very useful and comes out well when you use a pizza stone. We have this one.Click here to see it . Have been using it for a year now and no complains. Just follow the instructions , dont drastically heat or cool it immediately and gentle soap wash after use, the stone will stay for a longer time.
*Pizza peel: You need this to take your pizza out from the oven. Try to get an aluminum one, I have a wooden peel that peels out into layers. I am looking to buy an aluminium one. Click here to see it.

*Leave the dough out for sometime so it is not too cold when you try to flatten it.
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
*Cut all the veggies you want for toppings.
*Take the dough spread it evenly with a roller , use some all purpose flour if it is too sticky.
*Spread the marinara sauce evenly.
*Add all the toppings and cheese.
*Bake it in the oven, after it is preheated for around 10 minutes.
*Keep checking periodically  every 5 minutes after that until you feel that the crust and toppings are cooked well.
*Dont cook over  20 minutes, as it could over cook the pizza. Timing varies as it depends on how you roll it thin or thick but keep checking at least every 5 minutes until you feel that it is cooked well.                          

We all love this pizza as we can control the amount of cheese and the toppings. Also the base is  not frozen and the dough is made freshly.  Try this, enjoy and let me know what you think. To check out other recipes click this.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Who said Bill Gates is the world's richest ??

Hi All...I know all of you must be following the election results now. If you  have read my post on Interesting facts about 2014 Indian elections, I have mentioned that the results and vote counting counting is on May 16th. It seemed like long away when I wrote it , but here the day has arrived. My brother was doing a count down . Amazing victory to BJP. I really congratulate Narendra Modi for a sweeping victory and I am really happy about it. The Sensex in India  had increased 1300 points looking forward to the new Prime Minister ,which Indian stock market has not seen for a while and the Rupee is strong again. It is believed that Narendra Modi will form a Government favorable for business and will bring in more foreign investment.

As I am watching the results some things that I think  lead BJP to win are:
*Rahul Gandhi's interview : I think Rahul Gandhi's interview was an important thing to note. After listening to that I felt that there is no way that he can become our Prime Minister.
*Modi was a strong candidate for BJP. BJP didn't have a strong candidate for a long time after Vajpayee. As far as I know when Vajpayee was the Prime Minister , he did lot more than just worshiping a lady.
*2G scam : This was the biggest scam that we all would have heard of and still everyone involved were released and worst , were allowed to contest in the election. I dont think anyone would have wanted them to win.
*Commonwealth Games Scam -8000 crores: This scam really embarrassed India in the eyes of foreign countries and the world.
So many other scandals happened during  the whole period Congress was in power. And if you want to know more about the assets of all the Congress men , look at this image released by the Swiss Bank in 2012.

Thanks to my brother for sharing this with me. Who said Bill Gate is the richest in the world?? , you will understand that it is our own fellow Indians.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ketchup Rice

Hello Everyone. Just got over with the hump day of the week and waiting for the weekend. Ketchup is my son's favorite. So I converted tomato rice into ketchup rice. To make it more interesting I add spinach, soy chunks (meal maker) click here to see it , it is really healthy and high in protein and  roasted and unsalted peanuts click here to see it   Since we normally eat brown rice, I will cook the rice in the morning or day before, so it is easier to make it in the evening after I come from work.This is how I make it

Tomatoes -small ones 6
Onions -2 large onions finely chopped

Spinach- finely chopped  2 hand fulls

groundnuts -2 handful roasted

meal maker -2 handful, salt added and microwaved in water for 2 minutes
cooked rice 2 cups (I have used brown rice)
For tadka:
mustard (kaduku), chana (kadalai parupu) dhall, curry leaves and some green chilies.
salt and sambar powder to taste
*Heat a pan and add oil, then add the ingredients mentioned in tadkha.
*After mustard splutters add onions. Then add salt ,since salt will help to cook onions faster
*After onion is cooked add tomatoes
*Then add spinach, meal maker and some sambar powder.

*After spinach is also cooked add rice and mix well
*Check salt and add more if required.
*Finally add the roasted peanuts and serve it with raita.

My son just loves it and this is the only rice item he has taken to school till date. Try this and let me know if you liked it. Please add your thoughts on improving this recipe. If you want to know on how to make hulk dosai click here .

Monday, May 12, 2014

What is the right age difference between kids?

Hope all the mothers had a nice mothers day weekend. I had a wonderful weekend  we met a lot of our friends and  all ready for the week.
Coming to today's topic,I have a sibling to know more read this post Sweet sibling. The question that I get asked often is " What do you think is the right age difference between kids?". When I was going to have my daughter, I read a lot of forums and blogs on"what is the right age gap between kids?". I never got a good answer. Whatever I read said that it depends on you and your family. To some extent that is true. My kids are 2 years apart and after experiencing this age gap I kind of figured out the pros and cons of having them close.

*Since I had delivered my daughter 2 years after delivering my son , it was easier with respect to the whole delivery process.
*Baby related things was  fresh in my memory , in fact within 2 years we forgot some of the things but most of it came back.
*The closer age gap between the kids they play with each other better.
*They are like friends rather than a big bro/ little sister.
*Able to do the same activities with each of them. Though my son is 3 1/2 and my daughter 1 1/2 my son is still young and he enjoys the baby games I play with my daughter.
*As they grow you can enroll them in the same school and pick up and drop will be easier.
*Deal with the same age related  issues pretty much around the same time.
* I have heard that as they grow they will be close with each other as well.
*Initial few years are very tough for you as parents.
*You need help for a longer period of time and your older one is still a baby.
*As a mom I went through so much emotionally thinking of how my son and how he will cope up with my daughters arrival.
*Paying for two kids day care at the same time is surely a financial stress, sometimes makes me think if it is worth working at all.
*Everyone told me it is tough , including my mom and she asked me if I was insane to have two kids with such smaller age gap.
*Changing diapers for 2 people at the same time was tough.
*Monetarily it will be tough if you don't plan ahead.
*Both of them will go to college around the same time 

Whatever age difference your kids are I really feel you need very good planning. Planning is the only thing that will help you. Also dont worry too much about your first kid. I was very much worried about my son the real fact is, every kid knows how to grab his/her parents attention, and as parents we all will always do our best to keep each of them comfortable. Share your thoughts on this and good night.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What will I do without you mom ??

Happy mother's day to all the wonderful mommies out there. I just dont remember my life without my kids, they have overtaken all my priorities and of course my attention also.
Coming to my mom, I have so many wonderful memories about her. She is the only person who can relate to and understand me completely. My mom was also a working mom. Everyday evening  I will wait for her to come home and also will be more happy if she gets home early. Some days when she comes home very late I used to smell her sari/dress just to feel her presence. I dont know if my kids will also miss me this much. Those days I thought to myself that  I should be a stay at home mom.

                                              Me, my brother and my mom

Then I was with my grandparents and my dad when my mom was working in another city. She used to visit us only during weekends.  I used to wait for the weekend to arrive and be longer. I was so happy when her work got transferred to the city where I was living.
Then I missed her the most after I came to the US. Until she visited US there was a big gap between us as she could never understand what I was going through. Her first visit made us close again as she could see what life I was living and from then she could relate and she could understand things better.
During my wedding I could see what was running in her mind on her face. She was all emotional and could not take the fact that I was going to be a member of a different family. She has helped me with the delivery of both my kids.
Now after becoming a mom of two kids and working and managing everything I really wonder how she did it . Even now, whenever I have some issue  bothering me I will call her and tell her and she will give her thoughts on that. She is also very successful in her career and recently got a promotion in her job. I am really proud of you mom !!! . The very thought of her not being alive and around me freaks me out. But I know it will happen one day, and if it happens mom, what will I do without you?? who will listen to me and be my pillar of support? with whom I will share the stories of my kids? who will be such interested in me and my family? . I love you so much and hope I can spend more days with you. Happy mothers day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How to reduce the water bill?

Hello everyone, I love the spring weather in Austin , wonderful weather where we can go out and also our  lawn turns green after winter and also the time when we plant so many plants and trees. We have to water all that we plant and the lawn and so our water bill raises steeply. Especially in Texas , we have drought conditions most summers. So apart from just to reduce  our water bill it is always a good idea to conserve water. It is one of the natural resource that we totally take for granted. Some tips to save on your water bill this summer are:

* Be aware, this is the first step. Be aware of how much of water the whole family is consuming so you dont be completely surprised when you see your bill.
*For some people having a green lush and healthy grass is a symbol of proud ownership . But it needs a lot of water. Make sure you know your grass type and how much of water it needs, based on that adjust your sprinkler to the correct timing required. This will help on conserving water. Dont water the lawn during winter.
*Hand water most of the plants and trees , make sure your pipes dont leak water at the point where it connects to the tap or at any other points, check it well. If you dont check it, you might be wasting a lot of water without noticing.
*Drip irrigation is an alternate method which can be used if you have many vegetable plants and fruit trees planted.
*If you have a pool in your house make sure you know how much it costs to maintain a pool. In general I have heard that if you have a pool in Texas it is like digging a hole and putting in your money.  Do the research before you install a pool.
*Toilet flushing: If you have two flush setting make sure you use the right one, also teach your kids about conserving water and using the right one.
*Laundry: Make sure you always put if full load or change your settings according to the load.
Other small things to note:
*Time your shower. Make sure you dont keep the shower turn on the whole time you are in the shower room.
*Usually it takes some time for the warm water from the boiler to reach the tap. Make sure you have a pail and save that cold initial water so you can water the plants later using it instead of just wasting it.
*If you have kids, there will be  a lot of water wasted in sippy cups, do collect all of them and use that to water the plants.
*Collect  all non-soapy water collected during cooking and use it to water the plants.
These are some of the things that we follow. Do add what you all do and thanks for reading this post. Also read other posts on Money saving tips that might be useful to you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Corpus Christi beach trip

Corpus Christi Hotels, Attractions, Group Tours, Beaches & Texas Vacations in Corpus Christi
Hello everyone,how did your day go? mine was very hectic and I am ready to hit the bed. Today's topic is about the road trip we all went on Saturday to Chorpus Christi beach.
Me an my husband grew up in city very close to the coastal region in Southern India. Beach was very near to our house and we can go any time to the beach within 30 minutes. After coming to Austin the only beaches we have been to are the Hawaii beaches , read the posts on Hawaii trip to know more. It has been a really long time since we went on a road trip, as the kids are very small and we didn't want to drive too long with them. Last week, one of my son's friend at school had been to a beach and apparently he told my son stories about beach. My son told me and my husband that he wants to go to a beach too. After hearing that old memories kicked in our minds and since one of our neighbor was already planning to go to a beach , we all thought it would be a good idea to go together.
Highlights of the trip are
* 4 families went together and it was a lot of fun.
*We all started around 7 a.m and reached there by 11 a.m. It was nice to overtake each other's car and the trucks as we drove to the destination.
*We all carried some light lunch and ate lunch by the bay.
*There were 6 kids and all had fun in the water.
*Kids had a blast at the beach  building castles on the sand and getting tanned.
*We all ladies were relaxed and chatting
*We formed a Whats App group and kept messaging throughout the drive
*Paddle boating was an excellent experience


Some low-lights
*We did the whole trip in a day which was hectic. Next time we will surely stay there ;) at least for a day or two.
*Didn't have much time to roam around ,as the city was going to close for some parade , so had to rush at the last minute
*There were so many other beautiful "North Shore" beaches which we could have gone to.
*Corpus Christi is a beautiful city and has many more  beaches by the shore and so many more things to explore.I am pretty sure our first trip was a success. It was an excellent trip to cherish in our memories and we have already started to think about our next one.Thanks to all my friends for making it a memorable one. We went to the visitor center located at 20420 Park road 22 Corpus Christi. This place has restrooms and showers. Later we went to 400 North shore line Blvd, where we did paddle boating. We took the Ocean drive and Shoreline Blvd to reach this paddle boating place. On Shoreline Blvd we many nice parks like Swantner park,Ropes Park by the beaches. Those beaches were very clean and shallow. We didn't have time to stop there.
Please share other exciting things to do in Corpus Christi if you have been there and also some ideas for a road trip in and around Austin.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Is it all about money?

Hi All, hope all of you had a wonderful day.Today's topic is about how money plays a major part in everyone's life.
Sometimes I feel that barter system that prevailed 100,000 years back was a lot better than the current currency method that we follow. Money or currency has evolved and it takes a very important role in every society. It gives you a status in the society and makes you more affordable to all luxuries of life. Why do we all work? or run a business ? it is all for the money we make out of it. I know all of us have heard this "Money can buy you bed but not sleep, books but not knowledge ....." but in reality money I feel money does relieve and create a lot of tension at the same time.
I feel that we all are so much attached to it that we also lose our moral values for it. That is when it is getting more dangerous. Seeing how a person spends we can easily figure our if he/she is a single/married/parent of one kid or two kids.
Meaning of money at different stages of my life:

  • As a kid I never understood value of money. If I got 5 bucks all I knew was I can buy a chocolate or ice cream with that.
  • During teenage money is something that we need to eat out, go out with friends, buy clothes and just chill out, since it is my parents money I still didn't know the value.
  • After coming to US is the first time I understood the value of money. I still remember how I used to wait for my day when I was student that I can spend money and eat out. Since I was on a tight budget that time. 
  • After getting married and when we didn't have kids it was a different life,  we feel we can spend money and enjoy
  • After kids every penny matters. We always think about our kids education and their needs
  • Finally we have to worry about retirement savings.

Another problem with money is if we earn less then we have to make ends meet, if we earn more money than what we need then we have to be worried about investment .If we lose money on some investment it does affect us.
When I take a step back and look at it, I think all of us are stuck in a vicious  circle and there is no end to it . We keep chasing money and it keeps chasing us. If any of you know where it ends please let me know.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sweet story of a dark shop (Tirunelveli Halwa)

Sweet Story of a dark shop

About: Tirunelveli halwa | irutukadai| Story of Tirunelveli Halwa
Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend. Ours was awesome, we drove down to a beach on Saturday and had a lot of fun. Will write a post about it soon. I am really excited to let you all know  that I have started to write small post for my company's Indian Association newsletter. Recently my post got published it in and I would like to share it with you. I am posting it here today.

Tirunelveli Halwa …As soon as I hear it, it  brings water to my mouth. Since my father was born and brought up in Tirunelvi (a district in Tamil Nadu, South India),  every time my grandfather visited us, he used to bring us some halwa and  that  taste still sticks to my mouth.
I have always been curious on how this whole “Halwa” thing started in Tirunelveli. Famous shop to get halwa in Tirunelveli is  “Irrutukadai”(dark shop).  

After searching through the web  for the  facts about the “story of halwa”, I found out that it was first prepared by “Rajput cooks” who were hired by the Zamindar of Chokkampatti (a village near Tirunelveli). The Zamindar after tasting the sweets from Kasi , insisted that Jegan Singh’s (the Rajput cook) family  to prepare halwa in his palace. Later Jagan moved to Tirunelveli where he opened the old and famous halwa shop “Lakshmi Vilas” , named it after a female relative who was accidentally the first to sell halwa on the streets of Tirunelveli. 
The halwa is prepared over three days.
           *First day the wheat milk is extracted and let to ferment overnight,
          *The second day , halwa  is made  
         * The third  day it is sold.

Tamarabarani river water that flows through Tirunelveli District  is one more factor that gives that amazing taste to the halwa. Originally the  Singh’s  prepared the halwa all day and had time to sell them only at night. So is the famous name “Irrutukadai”(dark shop)  given to the halwa shop. They still prepare it with pure ghee that gives an amazing crust layer on top of the halwa after it is cooled. Whenever you or your friends  visit this  place “Tirunelveli “ don’t forget to ask them to bring a packet ,no at least three or four packets of this mouthwatering “Halwa” and slightly microwave it and put it in your mouth and forget  about the world for  few seconds.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

IPL 2014 interesting facts

IPL 2014 interesting facts
Hope all of you had a nice day. My day was pretty hectic. Got home managed to cook and clean. After dinner my son told me "Yummy mum mum(food) , thank you amma for making it ".  I felt very happy and I want to capture these moments in my memory always.

 Nowadays it has become a ritual in our house for my kids and my husband to play cricket with my son's "plastic" bat  for at least 10 minutes before they go to bed. Today as they were playing, I started to browse some interesting facts about the 2014 IPL. Some of them are

*This is the 7th season of IPL and Mumbai Indians are the defending champions
* There are only 8 teams since Pune Warriors withdrew. Pune Warriors was owned by the  Sahara Adventure Sports team and was introduced in 2011. This team was never successful , out of 46 matches played it won only 12 matches and lost 33 matches with 1 match no-result. So BCCI officially terminated the team on 26th October 2013.
*Untill May 1st the matches are held outside India in UAE. Starting May 2nd the matches will be held in India. This is because the Indian Government could not provide enough security due to 2014 elections in India. Read this post to know more about it Interesting facts about 2014 Indian Election . Even in 2009 the same thing happened and some matches were held in South Africa
*In this season , unlike other seasons the player auction was done in Indian Rupees rather than U.S dollars
*Yuvraj Singh fetched the highest bid of  14 crores (US$2.3 million) and Dinesh Karthik was the second most expensive purchase at 12.5 crores (US $2.1 million) by Delhi Daredevils.
*To follow up to date information logon to the IPL official website ( . 
*Current status table is below.

Kings XI Punjab550010+1.334
Chennai Super Kings54108+1.050
Rajasthan Royals53206+0.400
Kolkata Knight Riders52304+0.154
Royal Challengers Bangalore52304-0.207
Sunrisers Hyderabad52304-0.642
Delhi Daredevils52304-1.116
Mumbai Indians50500-0.942
To all of you who are supporting different teams, I wish your team wins. Keep following the matches and good luck to all the teams. Though Hockey is the national game of India, Cricket is the heart and soul of many Indians.

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