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.

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