Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Want to know about best Elementary, Middle and High schools in Austin???

This year summer is very mild in Austin, thanks to the rains. I know most of us are very busy this summer with a lot of outdoor activities and travel. For some, this might be the time they move from one state to another or move from a home with not so good schools to good school district area.

I know some friends who  moved to new houses are looking for furniture at reasonable rate.There is a good deal in Costco and Amazon on furniture. Check both these places before you buy anything to just compare prices. This sectional couch is only $571 in amazon reduced from $1200.

If you are moving to Austin and searching for apartments or looking to buy  houses in a good neighborhood, read these 2 articles that I wrote:
Moving to Austin, Check this post
Good Neighborhood in Austin to buy a house

Many of you have contacted me after reading this  and I have given the best info whatever I know. Do let me know other questions as well.

Well as parents we all want to give the best education to our kids, the first step towards that is buying a home in a very good school district. Another advantage to this is that the resale value of the houses in good school district is always good. Hence the next biggest topic is the best schools in Austin. Many of you have asked me to research about a particular school and let you know about it. So to  help you all, I just wanted to list the Top 10  Elementary, Middle and High schools in Austin.  I wrote three different articles on each topic and it was published in Indus Ladies website. Again it was a lot of research, I based my article on the 2014 ranking of the schools. Thanks to Jey from Indus Ladies for the input and also for publishing my article.

Here you go read these and let me know your feedback.
10 Best Elementary Schools in Austin
10 Best Middle Schools  in Austin
10 Best High School in Austin

Good luck with your home search and hope you all find a good one. If you found this article useful, please LIKE my IndoUsMoms FB page and also follow me in twitter @IndoUSMoms for regular updates. See you all soon with another post. Have a nice rest of the week.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Want to buy real-estate?? Have you considered buying in Sun or Moon??

Happy  weekend, this weekend is also booked with birthday parties. My son loves to put this solar system puzzle  together ,since it glows in the dark. He  just put  the puzzle pieces together and was asking me questions about sun and each and every planet. He also asked me if people live in sun and other planets and if he can buy houses there. I told him "no" that is not possible.

To my surprise I read an article  on a woman named Maria Duran who was suing Ebay for not letting her sell plots on "SUN", that she has registered on her name. Ms Duran  who is 54-yrs old, registered sun in her name at a notary office in Spain in 2010. Then she started to sell square-meter plots on the sun for 1 Euro ($1.12) each. She sold almost 600 such units before Ebay cancelled her sale , saying she violated the sites intangible goods policy.

Ms Duran has taken the case to court and she is suing Ebay for not letting her sell the pieces of sun which helps sustain life on earth. Ebay has tried to settle the matter out of court but Ms Duran doesn't want to take the deal and leave. Ms Duran is expecting around 7500 Euro which is approximately $11,641 for the payment that she has not received.

Ms Duran strongly believes that she has not breached Ebay's seller agreement policy and says that she is not stupid and she knows the law.UN's outer space treaty, prevents a nation from not owning a celestial body, but any individual can own them.

My son's puzzle 

Apparently Ms Duran received  inspiration to sell plots on Sun from a US entrepreneur who registered planets and moon under his name in 2010 and 2011 and made more than $10 million by selling plots on moon, Mercury, Venus  and Mars.

I am very confused as to what I should tell my son now. May be it is possible to buy plots and build houses in the planets, sun and moon??

Please share your thoughts on this and also to get regular updates from my blog like the IndoUsMoms FB page and also follow me in twitter @IndoUSMoms. See you all soon with another post. Have a nice rest of the week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Upclose with A.R. Rahman !!!!

Hello All, I am really happy today. My article covering AR Rahman "Intimate Concert"  in Austin was published in  website . Check the article here The picture in that article was clicked by me. I would like to share on how I was able to get that close and click a picture of A.R Rahman.

I am a huge fan of A.R Rahman is an understatement. I have read his biography and I admire the way he shaped his  music journey.

Sometime in February when I knew that Rahman was going to render "Intimate Concert"  in Austin on June 4th, I was so overwhelmed and was waiting for the date when the ticket sales was  going to open, for  booking my ticket. My husband is also a big fan of Rahman, but since it was a Thursday and we can't find a nanny all of a sudden to take care of our kids (4 and 2 yrs old) , only one of us could go. You guessed it, I won and I was going to go leave the kids behind with him.

Luckily, due to huge demand the organizers added another show on June 5th. My husband was happy and we booked a ticket for June 5th. We decided to take turns and go so one of us can watch the kids. We got the tickets delivered home and then the waiting game started.

Days rolled by and in May when the concert commenced, I was closely following every tweet and news about the concert. Finally, on June 4th ,even though my husband was sick, he was all excited to go to the concert. He went to the show and gave me updates then and there. I asked him about where he was seated  and whether he can go and take a selfie with Rahman. He told me that the chances were thin, since our tickets were in 2nd balcony. That night he came home and told me the highlights of the concert. He also told me about the abrupt ending of the show and how Rahman came back.

I told him that I really wanted a selfie with Rahman. He joked " That can happen only if you jump from the second balcony". On June 5th, I reached the Bass Concert Hall earlier. I entered the Hall and went to 2nd balcony and sat on my seat. It was so steep that I felt dizzy whenever I saw the podium from there. I got out and practiced how to get from there to the orchestra level.

The concert began, I could see Rahman as a small white dot from my seat. I missed my husband being next to me to enjoy the concert. As I was watching I made some notes for the article I was going to write. Then when Rahman ended the show abruptly, I immediately got out of the hall took the elevator and went to the orchestra level and when the lights came back I went close to the podium and clicked many sellfies and took a few pics of Mr Rahman.

I shouted "Thalaiva Chennai Thalaiva", I could not believe this legend was in front of me, so close. Then we all requested him to sing a song. He did sing few lines of "Oorvasi" and also gave me a hi-fi. It was a hard hit on my hand. I was in cloud nine. When all this ended I came out and could not talk.I met some friends who asked me about my life and kids. I told them I can't talk about anything right now.

I came home and sat down to look at the pics that I clicked, believe me not even one proper selfie. In some pics only my head was seen, in others I was there but Rahman was not there. I was so sad for 3 days that I could not take a good selfie and finally got over it.

I firmly believe that some day I would  take a selfie with him. Even if that doesn't happen the experience was surreal that I will cherish it my entire life. Thank you Rahman Ji.

If you found this post interesting do like IndoUSMoms FB page and also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms. See you soon with another post.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Memories of my grandfather !!!

Slowly getting into the weekday routine. Today we had lunch as a family in my daughter's school for a change. It was good , only thing is my daughter never ate anything as she was too excited to see us :).

My kids think I am a magician , since I always fix their broken toys with Super Glue. It never hurts to buy this tube and have it handy,when you fix a favorite toy that your kids break, the smile on their face is priceless.

From yesterday evening memories of my grandfather has been flashing across my mind. It all started with me grinding dosa batter. My grandfather used to like dosa, made of batter that is not fermented. I used to hate that dosa as a kid. I made one yesterday and tried it , I liked the soft texture of it, may be that is why he liked it?? . Out of my 2 sets of grandparents I had the chance to spend more time only with my mom's dad. I studied staying at my grandparents house for a while.

I remember him as a tall,healthy, strong,compassionate,emotional person. My mom used to say that he was very strict when she was young. He hardly showed that side of him to me.He used to always be in the living room of the house with a mat and 2 pillows next to it. The moment you enter the house you can see him doing something , mostly writing letters to people.I used to write the address and stick stamps and post the letters that  he wrote.  I never understood what all went between the other people and him. So many used to visit from his native village. He used to help many people with their request. I have inherited some of that trait form him. Even if I dont know a person , I would try to pass on information that I know, I have seen him doing that.

 During weekends I would go with him for  a morning  walk and collect flowers from neighbor's garden. He used to proudly introduce me as his grand-daughter to everyone we met on the way. I also sat with him for the morning pooja . He used to sing some devotional bhajans. He taught me some songs too.I used to play cards and carom board with him during break.  Every time when I left the house he would mention "Poi va Jai Sakthi Vel" , I never understood what that meant. He always protected me and taught me the right things to do.  He would go any extent to do something for me. He was very very proud of me. He always mentioned that the person who married me will be lucky :).

We always have many dreams of how we want to live . We have role models and want to become one of them but my biggest role model for peaceful death is his death. He passed away during his afternoon nap. We could not believe that he was no more. He was a big pillar of support to many people around him. After my grand-mom's death, I used to talk to him every other day just to see how he was doing. He did leave a big impression on me, though I had spent only few days of my life with him. I never told him this how much I loved him. Now when I think about all this , it just  appears as a dream.

 I just realized I dont have even a single picture of him and I dont know his birth and death date. This just reminds me that in this world ,some day we will also be forgotten like out ancestors, so just enjoy the rest of the time you have in this planet.Please share any good experiences that you had with your grandparents.

If you found this post interesting please do like IndoUSMoms FB page for regular updates from my blog. Also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms Thanks so much for the support.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Curry Family :)

I have been hearing a lot about Curry family these days in the news. Every game this family is focused a lot on cameras than any other family.I got curious and started to read more about Stephen curry.  Stephen Curry is the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a two-time NBA All-star. He is the son of the former NBA player Dell Curry. We have not been following NBA for a while so pretty sure I have missed knowing him before.

He  plays at the point guard position and is considered as one of the best shooter in the NBA history. He played college basketball for Davidson and was named Southern Conference Player of the year and set the all-time scoring record. Later he was drafted by Golden State Warriors in 2009. Everyone describes him as "someone special".

What is so amusing about his family?? He has a younger brother Seth and a sister Syndel Curry. He did his schooling in a Montessori school started by his mom Sonya Curry. Sonya Curry is a former basketball and volleyball player and has won state championships. She met Dell Curry in Virginia Tech and they both married in 1988 and moved to Charlotte , North Carolina where she started a Montessori school. She doesn't look like she is a grand-mom and  never fails to attract cameras  towards her during every game. I really wonder how she looks so young.Check a family pic here , where she is holding her grand daughter 

The other famous person in this Curry family is Stephen Curry's 2 year old daughter Riley Curry. who is very sweet and never ceases to amuse interviewers. Watch this video 

Stephen and Ayesha Curry are expecting their second kid in July 2015. I wish them all good luck and will continue to follow the Curry family NEWS.  Good luck to the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA finals and I will continue to follow the remaining final games.

Hope you all have a very good week and if you found this post interesting please do like my IndoUSMoms FB page to get regular updates from my blog.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Does nature need people??

Happy weekend everyone.A very  busy weekend with birthday parties and other functions to attend. Somehow 2 days is always not enough.

Thanks for the comments and feedback on my previous post. Since many of you were interested in manicure there is a very good deal on groupon Day Lily Manicure . I have tried this place before and had good experience and the manicure lasts for 2 weeks. This groupon is 34% off .

Recent floods and tornado in Texas reminded us that nature is a beast. Weather conditions can change any moment. Last few years Texas was in drought and now suddenly there are floods . I watched the KXAN report on the floods on Blanco river and how it ruined many lives and houses. On the contrary when the rain was pouring here , my mom in India kept complaining about the scorching heat. I was wondering what was really happening.

I was thinking to myself that humans are really not taking care of nature and that is why all this is happening. We pollute the environment to the core and we expect the nature to be ok with it. I have always thought what would nature tell us  if it had voice and could talk to us.

To my surprise I found these videos , where nature, ocean water, rain-forest, coral reef and flower are talking to humans,  going viral all over the social media. Take a look at the video on Nature talking to us

Every word in this video is true. Nature doesn't need people and we need it. Hope we all think in terms of nature when we do something instead of taking it for granted.Please do share your thoughts on this.

If you found this post interesting please like my IndoUSMoms FB page to get future updates from my blog.  Thank you for all the support.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do you know why most nail salons in US are run by Vietnamese?

Happy holidays to all of you. Summer holidays have begun, still I see no improvement in Austin traffic. Few years back we used to see a vivid difference , roads became  more free when schools were closed. Hope the Mopac project does some magic.

If you all are planning to stay home for summer do try Amazon Instant Video 30 day trial
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I remember someone asked me a few years back "How does India manufacture so many Engineers ?".  It is very hard to understand how this happens unless you are from India. Similarly have you ever wondered why most of the nail salons in US are run by Vietnamese people?  I have had this question in my mind for a while and got it cleared when I read an article on it recently.

The article mentioned that around 40 years the Hollywood actor Tippi Hedren traveled to Hope Village, a Vietnamese refugee camp near Sacramento, California,to meet a group of women who had recently fled the takeover of South Vietnam by the armed forces of Communist leader Ho Chi Min. Ms Hedren was trying hard to help these women to find some work so that they can support themselves in their new country. She tried to bring seamstresses and typists to see if they can be of some help. To Ms Hedren's surprise she found all the women staring  at her nails. Then she understood that they all loved manicure and would love to learn that art.

Tippi Hedren with the 20 Vietnamese who got their first manicure license in 1975

Ms Hedren flew in her beautician and enlisted a local beauty school to teach 20 of the women on how to execute the perfect manicure. After these 20 women learned the art they slowly started offering manicure services.  Manicures and pedicures were thought as luxury in California before , which costed $50 and up.  These trained women offered the same service for 30 to 50 percent lower rate and made it available to everyone.

Now the nail industry is a $8 billion and around 80% of the nail technicians are Vietnamese. Many of them are direct descendants of the 20 women whom Hedren met and taught them this skill.  Hedren had mentioned that she wanted something good to happen to these ladies as most of them lost their family , homes and everything in Vietnam  and they had nothing  in this new country.

I found this story very amusing and wanted to share it with you all. This story is a reminder to all of us that even our small deeds matter. We should always help others, even our smallest deed might bring in a big change to a community.

If you like this post and would like to get more updates from my blog please do like my IndoUsMoms Face Book page. Have a nice rest of the week.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The hidden Indo-chinese gem in Austin !!

Hope all your weekend sailed smooth. Mine was fun, exciting and  adventurous , will post about it in future. Thank you all  for the likes and comments on my previous post.

Last week I wanted to try out Indo-Chinese food. I was reminded of this restaurant suggested by our cousin in Dallas called  “Chicken Lollypop” in Austin TX. Being a vegetarian I was not sure if they would have vegetarian dishes, looking at the name. To my surprise they did have a lot of vegetarian options too.

We have tried to call this restaurant twice before and they have been out of food, due to the demand.  You have to call them well in advance to order the food and then you can pick it up. Last week we called them really early (around 6 pm) and luckily they had vegetarian options still available. Looks like non- vegetarian options go by fast. Spice level is very close to Indian spice level. Their price is very reasonable. While ordering you should specify your spice and oil level. You can check their menu from here. Currently they don't carry Bombay Sandwich and Paav Baji in their menu, they are planning to add them soon.

This restaurant is located inside a food mart at 1005 East Braker Lane. It was almost a 30 minute drive for us, but we were determined to try this restaurant after reading very good reviews about it. 

There were few chairs and tables inside the restaurant. I saw halal poultry signs on the board and also they import their paneer from India. They cut the veggies fresh and all dishes are made from scratch. We got our food and decided to eat there.

The food was really awesome and they have varied fusion items in their menu. I have been a fan of naan-wrap and trying it out at different places recently. Their naan wrap and the Manchurian fried rice were really good. Their portion sizes are good. The palate is very close to the food that you get in India. The owner checked with us  about how we liked the food and had a brief chat with us. I found the food to be a little oily,  if you don't like too much oil in your food you can mention that when you order. You can get all  other information from their FB page.

Overall, I enjoyed the food and service. You must think of it as a  trailer in terms of ambiance. I liked the experience and would love to try it again. Do check it out and share your thoughts and also like my IndoUsMoms Face Book page , if you found this useful.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Is your marriage successful?

Very busy week and weekend with lot of things to accomplish. I am really happy that I found few minutes to write a post.

I recently came across this  book Angie Grace's coloring book. This is an adult coloring book and people recommend it saying coloring soothes and calms your body. This is what we used to do it India as Rangoli.Now I understand why I drew Rangoli in front of our house in India. It improves your concentration and by thinking  how to connect the dots and color it you tend to forget your other worries :)

Marriage is a big gamble. You fall in love with someone and you think that you know everything about that person and get married, but after wedding there are always surprises. How many of you really knew what you were getting into before marriage? . All that you know is,  you love that person and you want to spend the rest of your life with him/her. There are general qualities that are required to sustain a marriage like  trust, understanding, being a good friend ,caring,  being there for each other etc , from my experience these are the top 5 essentials for a successful marriage

1) Communication: Anything can be sorted out by talking with each other. If you have a problem with your spouse talk it to him/her instead of telling it to all the other people around you. Remember that when you tell something wrong about your spouse to others, you are creating a wrong image about him/her . Within few days you will patch up with your spouse, but the third person with whom you discusses everything will form an image based on what all you said.

2)Dont share everything that is going on between your spouse with your parents: Parents are our biggest pillar of support in our lives. They are the ones who love us unconditionally, but remember you are their daughter/son first before they realize that you are a husband/wife to your spouse. They will not be able to understand any situation well. It will always be a biased judgement and that might lead to difference of opinion between your spouse and your parents. Also parents always tend to worry about you, so it is better not to share everything with them.

3) Give space: The person whom you married was an individual before he/she married you. Let them follow their dreams and passion. Everyone's passion gives them happiness and they get energized by doing it. Live and let live should be the motto.

4) Say thank you and praise your spouse whenever needed: Never take your spouse for granted. Whenever he/she does something nice say thank you. Also when you feel you hurted him/her try to explain why you did that and be cautious about not repeating it again. Praise your spouse for all that he/she does. Nothing is easy in this world.

5) Remember you both decided to enjoy life to the fullest together:Yes , this is the most important one. When I am really angry about something and trying to make my point, this would flash ac-cross my mind "We decided to be together and enjoy life to fullest" , that thought would vanish my anger .

When you follow all this, even when you have been married for several years it feels like you are just married and you want many more years of happiness together.  Wish you all a successful marriage with loads of fun and adventure !

If you found this article interesting please like my blog FB page IndoUsMoms FB page. Also share your thoughts about this article.

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