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.

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