Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Technologies in Indian Wedding !!

Happy weekend !!! . We are slowly hitting 100 degree Fahrenheit in Austin. Will have to wait and see how this summer turns out to be.

There is a good deal on Groupon for Car Wash. $54 worth car wash for $33.There are different locations from which you can choose one to get your car washed.

Indian Weddings are fun-filled. You get to meet a lot of  relatives and friends in weddings.I usually love the lively atmosphere.Best part is you dont have to worry about cooking and just enjoy. To know more about our wedding check this post Our Wedding.

 Wedding  is also a big business where everyone is trying to make money in an innovative way. Technology plays a major role in Indian weddings over years , using which people come up with new ideas to make more money. I remember my mom showing her wedding pics in black-and-white. They had only one color picture taken , which was a great deal at that time.When my aunt and uncle got married, color photos were common. Later by the time my brother and my cousins got married digital pictures was the trend. Also email invites was prevalent at that time. There has always been some new technology getting introduced every decade.

Now  I see some of my friends creating a website for their wedding and  sharing pictures and their love story, which I think is a great idea. Then came  the live streaming of the wedding  for  people who are not able to attend. Latest fashion is to take a short video and also a variety of pictures and post them on social media. This gives a peek into the wedding for most of us who are abroad and cannot be there in person.

The biggest thing I miss living in US is attending Indian weddings that would have given me an opportunity to at-least wear my wedding sarees more often :). I wish there was some technology that will let me travel to India for a weekend and enjoy these weddings. Please share your thoughts on this.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Planning a road trip with kids this summer ??? Here are some tips !!!

Hope all of you are busy. Busy is always good  :). This weekend  we harvested okra, eggplant and cucumber from our garden. I cooked  those vegetables and all tasted good. It is a great feeling of accomplishment !!.

Our kids had a 2 week summer break this July. We did a road trip to Florida. We went to  Pensacola beach, Daytona beach, Lego land, Clear water beach and Atlanta. The trip was around 3500 miles. My husband loves driving and I drove for a few hours in between to give him a break. Some tips that made our road trip a success are :

1) Once you plan your itenary book Hotel rooms accordingly.

Things to eat :
2) Next will be the things to buy , a Cooler is absolutely essential .
3) Get  juices, water chocolate milk  from Costco. All these will go into the cooler.
4)Take snacks like gold fish mini bags , Oreo mini packs , gummy bears mini packs for kids so it is easier for them to handle.
5) For adults take trail mix and nuts, breakfast bar , something that fills you well.
6) Fruits : My daughter just loves fruits so we took some fruits.
7)Flavored yogurt was a great hit among my kids. It fills them and also helped to cool their body. We bought a flavored yogurt pack and put it in our cooler.

Things you should not forget to take:
7) If your kids are young around 2-3 years old take a small potty and enough pull ups.
8) Stroller:  Stroller is something we tend to forget.
9) Put small plastic bags as trash in front of your kids seat and ask them to throw all the trash in there.
10) Have paper towels handy as you can clean any mess easily with it.
11) Take enough trash bags to put the old clothes.
12) Reusable spoons for kids to eat something.
13) Take sunscreen and hat if travelling during summer.
14) Phone/laptop chargers
15) GPS
Pensacola beach , loved the white sand beach

Things to pack
16) Plan and pack : Travel light ,take only required clothes.Take shoes and flip flops as you might need both of them. Since we were travelling to beaches I had a seperate bag with beach stuff which we wont take out from the car unless we go to a beach.
17) Every night pack things you need for the next day in the backpack.
18)Pack all the  medications for kids like especially probiotics Florastor for kids . It helps to keep their tummy happy. Their tylenol, band-aid, allergy medicine etc.

For entertainment in the car :
19) We took latest collection of songs on a CD and also got Curious George DVD, which my kids watched on repeat mode. One of my friend suggested that you can also rent from RED BOX as you go and return it next day at some other RED BOX location which I thought was pretty cool.

Please add if I have missed something. We really enjoyed the experience. Advantages of a road trip are , it is cheaper, very flexible and you can change plans based on how things go, you get to see mother nature and changing weather patterns, spend  a lot of family time in the car . Do try one trip and you will think twice about flying to a place next time.

If you found this post useful do like my FB page IndoUSMoms and also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Healthy and Quick breakfast ideas !!

My week is sailing through slowly. Getting into routine after a vacation is really tough. Trying our best.

Tomorrow is "Prime Day" and all prime members of Amazon get great deals, even better than Black Friday deals during thanks giving. If you are already not a prime member you can sign in for a 30-day trial today  for no charge Happy Amazon Prime Day July 15 - Exclusive Deals for Prime Members - Start Free 30-Day Trial and you can view all the deals tomorrow. There is 40% off on all grocery items, there is going to be great deals on electronic items and also on back-to-school items, dont miss this opportunity.

Breakfast is the most important meal of our day. The name clearly states that we break our fast after sleeping through the night. Usually it is a good practice to drink a glass of water as the first thing in the morning. Following that you have to eat breakfast within one hour of waking up.

When I was young, I remember having south Indian delicacies like idly, pongal, dosai, poori or upma for breakfast. These days we dont have the time to make all that. It is a fast paced life and in most household both parents work and they are always on the go. I looked up some healthy breakfast ideas and we follow this at our home now. I thought of sharing it with you all

1) Oats with milk and sugar: This is the most favorite. We all like this. It is simple to make. Boil oats in water for a few minutes once it is cooked add some milk and sugar.

2) Smoothie: This is becoming big these days. Most of us have a Vitamix at home. You can put in fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, honey, milk, avocado whatever you feel like having and have a smoothie.

3) Home-made Yogurt+ Berries+ Granola: This is our house favorite, kids love to eat it and it is also healthy.

4) Eggs: I am not a great fan of eggs, but I like the egg white omelette, my husband loves scrambled eggs and omelette. Our kids haven't developed a taste for it yet.

5) Bread: We always get wholegrain or Honey+ Sprouted wheat bread and have a toast with a spread. I love the spicy spread from Trader Joe's.Peanut butter + Jelly is our house favorite

6) High Fiber low sugar cereal: Kids love Cheerios , we try different cereal every time. We love everything with a pinch of cinnamon and nuts on them.

7) Breakfast Bar: This is the last resort when we really wake up very late and dont have the time to fix any breakfast.

8) Milk and Orange Juice: You can have one of these along with the breakfast.

9) Quiche: My husband makes this quick quiche

 On weekends I usually try to make pancake or waffle for my kids with fruits. Usually they have a fruit as morning snack at school , so I dont give them a fruit during weekday. Also I try to make poha, idly or dosa during weekend mornings. Sometime we have the normal breakfast that we eat during weekdays also.

 I am pretty sure each household have your own hidden breakfast tips, please do share them. If you found this post useful do like my FB page IndoUSMoms and also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Some tips to keep kids engaged at home during summer!

Hope all of you are enjoying your summer break. We went on a long road trip and are finally home.Slowly getting back to routine :).

There is a great deal for new customers on They are giving you $5 off when you purchase gift cards worth $15 or more for over 200 retailers that are associated with Gyft. Some of the popular retailers  are Whole foods, Kohls, Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Home Depot, Itunes, Best Buy, Ebay, Express, GAP, BabiesRUs , ToysRUS, Old Navy, The Childrens Place, JC Penny etc.  I recently got a Whole foods $15 gift card for $10 through this. Check it out ! . Summer Special! Sign up today & get a free $5 Gyft card at! *New customers only. See site for details.

After reading this post  How do you engage your kids at home? many of you asked me to share what other activities I do with my kids at home. I try my best to present different activities to them so they are engaged and also have fun. Some of them are :

1) Flash cards: Flash cards are an excellent way to teach kids alphabets or numbers and it will also keep them occupied for a while. I ask them to arrange the cards in  alphabetical order or just lay them down and call out an alphabet and they will pick it up. For my 2 year old I will call out the pictures on the card and she will pick and give it to me. You can use your imagination and  play differently. You can buy something like this Flash cards.
Kids at work 

Arranged for the pick up game
2)Beads and threads: This is a favorite activity of my kids. They make their own necklace and bracelet out of it.You can buy some beads  1000 beads sale and bead string and you will be amazed on how kids love to work with them.
My daughter busy with her beads

3) Colored Popsicle sticks: These are a great resource for activities. You can do color sorting with them or shapes or alphabets. This is also a good time consuming activity.You can buy some colored sticks like these Colored sticks.

Popsicle stick alphabets

4) Milk can lid game: This is the cheapest activity. Just collect all milk can lids and stack them and use something as a striker to hit it. This is also a good time consuming activity.

My son at work with the milk can lids
We do a lot more activities. To manage the mess I place all the raw materials in a good container and make my kids clean them after they are done.

Sometimes they will not have the mood to do anything. I try to go at their pace and will just throw ideas. Also I keep removing some activities that they are bored playing with and introduce new ones. My aim is to minimize their TV time and also spend more time with them.

Stay tuned to know more activities and also share other things that you do with your kids. If you found this post useful do like my FB page IndoUSMoms and also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Natural serene place within one hour drive from Austin !!

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone. Fireworks are amazing everywhere and we enjoyed it a lot yesterday night.

It is summer and we all want to be outdoors to keep the kids occupied. I have heard so many good reviews about a park and wanted to go there for a while. You can plan a day trip from Austin to this park and be back home by evening. Two weeks after the Memorial day break we went to the "Pedranales Falls State Park". Photo courtesy Anand Lakshmanan.

Pedranales State Park 

 I think the timing was perfect since there was plenty of water in the falls after the rains. We loved to sit in the flowing water and kids enjoyed playing with some of the water and sand toys.This State Park is only 1 hr away from the heart of the city.  The place was very serene and completely out of the city life. As you drive be very attentive  since  the board to this state park is very small and you could easily miss it . Check this website for the address and other information Pedranales Falls State Park.

There were many unknowns before we left and I asked one of our friends who had already been there, he did give us a lot of tips and also after we visited I came to know a few things  that I would like to share here

1) The hike to the Falls is roughly around 1.5 miles from the parking lot at the head of the trail and we did the downstream trail.Old parents can do it and you can take a stroller if you have young kids.

2) If possible pack lunch and go , something like a sandwich since the nearest place to find a restaurant is Dripping Springs which is about 20-30 minutes drive from the park.

3) We did the twin Falls Hike, it was very steep and also muddy ,you can't take  a stroller on this hike.

4)You can drive around the park and make sure you stop at the visitor center and pay the entry fee ($6 for adults and children 12 yrs and under free) and get a map of the park.

Things to take if going on a sunny day :
1) Sunscreen
2)Insect repellent OFF : It is advisable to have deet less than 20% on such repellents.
2) Hat/Coolers : There is a deal on kids hats girls hat and boys hat
3) Food
4) Stroller
5) Enough water or Gatorade
6) Change of clothes and a bag to get your wet clothes
7) Shoes (for hikes) and Sandals (for water area)
8)Try to take backpacks as it would be easier to walk around with the stuff.

You can always leave a comment or mail me if you need more information about the park.We did not do all the trails but don't mind going again to do some as my son loved it.

Enjoy the summer break and do share some pics of other places you visited with your family around Austin. If you found this post useful do like my IndoUSMoms face book page and also follow me on twitter @IndoUSMoms. Have a wonderful week ahead.

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