Monday, June 13, 2016

How to get $15 off your purchase at Costco??

Shopping has  taken new dimensions over the past few decades. When I was young, I have shopped at  mom and pop stores near my house in India. They are very convenient, you just tell the shop keeper what you want and he gets it for you, you pay cash, get the balance and leave.  Then came the Super  markets and  Credit card age, where you shop in bigger super markets picking what you need and pay by the Credit card. Then came the one click shopping, where you order things from one provider and it gets delivered to your home.

Now we are at a point where you dont have to step out of your home if you want to shop at multiple stores and all gets delivered to your door step within 2 hours. Google Express is one such service that makes your shopping easier. It was first launched as a trial in the bay area and slowly expanding to other cities. Google Express the same day or overnight delivery service is available in Austin now. I have heard good things about Google express from my friends in Bay Area. I am really happy that it is now in Austin too.

What is Google Express ?: You can order from stores like Costco, Whole Foods, Target all in one place. You just add items to your cart and pay by Google Wallet or any credit card .

Is there a delivery fee? : Delivery is free for Google Express members as long as they place an eligible order  .Order greater than $15 and excludes restricted items are eligible orders. If you don't meet the eligible order then you pay a $3 minimum order fee. For non members delivery fee starts from $4.99 per eligible order.

Are all orders delivered within 2 hour mark ?: No , only selected orders. The minimum order is $35 for a 2 hour delivery.

 How much is the Google Express Membership? You will get a free 3 month trial membership after which it is $10 per month or $95 a year.

Who is eligible for 3 months free trial membership? : Someone new to google Express, you should be 18 yrs or older, reside within our delivery area and have an active membership.

Who process this? : The store processes your order and arrange for a driver to bring it to you.

How do I know if Google Express is in my area? : Goto and put your area zip to see if Google Express in in your area.

What should I do to get $15 off from my first order? : Goto then select your items and use the code QF77VV3EU  and place your order.You will get $15 off your first order. 

New moms dont miss this offer, it would come in handy for any baby products, also if you order anything from Costco you can use the code QF77VV3EU to get $15 off your first purchase.

Hope this helps and please do share your experience with Google Express if you have already ordered through it.If you want more updates from us please do like our Face Book page INDOUSMOMS and we will send you regular updates.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My favorite vegetable briyani recipe !!

Moms take up various roles, but the critical one  is cooking a healthy meal for the family. Dads do  help in household work , but cooking and getting a healthy meal on the table mostly  falls on the mother's shoulders. I generally love to try different recipes for a dish until I hit the one everyone likes in the house.

Vegetable Briyani is not something my mom made at home, I have always ate it in the restaurants. Usually restaurant briyani  are too spicy  or too oily or has very less veggies, or  it is just rice and lacks flavor. I have always wanted to try making it at home. Then I kept searching for a good recipe and finally found one. I made  notes of this recipe from a video by Chef Menu Rani Chellam.

People who have tasted this Briyani have always asked me for the recipe .So here you go !!! .This recipe involves marinating the masala mix the night before, then cooking the veggies and the rice separately and mix them all.

Ingredients needed:
 For marinate :
Yogurt - 2  cups
Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala -1 tsp
Coriander powder -1 tsp
Cardamom -3 pods
Cinnamon sticks -2
Ginger garlic paste - 2 table spoon
Star Anise -3
Bay leaf - 3 leaves
Cilantro chopped - 1cup
Mint chopped - 1cup
Tomato diced - 1 cup

Vegetables required:
Carrot chopped  -2 cups
Beans chopped - 2 cups
Cauliflower - 2 cups
Potato-1 cup
Peas -2 cups
Onion - 1 cup
Bell Pepper -1 cup

Basmathi Rice - 2 cups
Ghee - tsp

Marinate:  Keep  yogurt as the base and add all the ingredients in marinate section and let it marinate for 2 hours. It looks like this :

Cooking rice :Soak basmathi rice for 20 minutes. In a pan add some ghee, fennel seeds, bay leaves ,cardamon. After the fennel seeds turn color add the rice and add water in ratio of 1: 1(For 1 cup of rice add 1 cup of water). Close this with a lid and wait till the rice cooks.

Cooking Veggies: Add all the vegetables and salt in a vessel and  cook  in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. Steam cook the vegetables meaning, pour water only in the cooker vessel, not inside the vessel with vegetables.

 In a pan add add a teaspoon of ghee, fennel seeds and then fry onion and bell pepper , add a pinch of salt.

After onion and capsicum is fried add the vegetables and mix them.

Then add the marinate to this mix
The curd will ooze some water. Cook the mixture well, add some Briyani masala at this point if you feel you need more masala. You can add soy chunks at this point(optional).  Let it cook completely until all raw smell is gone.

Add this mixture to rice and sprinkle the remaining coriander and mint leaves as you mix.

Yummy vegetable briyani ready. Serve it hot with onion ratia and enjoy !!

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why haven't I done this more often??

Have you ever done something that made you feel very good and thought to yourself  "Why haven't  I done this more often?". I experienced it last week, read more and I will tell you all about it.

Handling pain in any part of your body, be it back or wrist or shoulder and doing your daily chores is not easy.When I was young my parents used to complain about back issues or joint pains only after they were in their 50's,. These days , due to the nature of our job, the stress we go through at home and work, not having the time to cook our every meal, most of us develop joint/back/shoulder/neck issues as early as 30 years. 

Last Monday I woke up with a bad  shoulder  and right wrist pain. It was a sharp pain and not being able to do things as fast as I usually do  was very frustrating. I had hard time sleeping due to the pain. I tried to do stretches and yoga to see if it would help, it didn't. I tried talking to the nurse at work, she told me it could be my posture. The number one culprit for such  pains is  having desk job and not following the ergonomics correctly. The nurse suggested me to start using my left hand to operate the mouse.I tried cold pack that didn't work. Finally I booked an appointment with my doctor.

On Wednesday  I saw the below picture about the benefits of  "Massage" online :


 After I saw this ,I realized  that I haven't gone for a massage in the last 3 years. I had bought this groupon online  Therupetic massage with Jodie Brown   and completely forgot about it.

I immediately called and set an appointment for the very next day. I went with zero expectations. It was a small place, Jodie the massage therapist welcomed me. I explained to her about my pain . She did  a wonderful job with aromatic oils, warm towels and soothing music. That 1 hour just flew by. After the session , I felt so good. It was very relaxing and it  did help me with the pain. I was able to sleep better that night. I was wondering why I didn't do this more often ?? 

Days just go by and we try to rush into everything, but remember you all need some time for yourself. Stop the madness and do something good for yourself now and then. Believe me you will never regret it.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

List of best Montessori Schools in Austin

Montessori is an amazing method of teaching for young kids. If you want to know more about  Montessori check this post Montessori way of teaching.I believe this method is best for kids from 3-6 years and it forms a good foundation in this age group of kids.

Most Montessori schools in Austin have a long waiting list. You have to start looking out for a good school , when your kid is around 1 year (or even earlier)  to get an idea on which one might work for you.Usually Montessori schools close for summer , some might offer summer camps. Please make sure you see the calendar of each school before you decide whether it  will work for you.

Here is the list of Montessori schools that I know of in Austin :

South Austin :

Austin Montessori School : I have heard great reviews about this school. This is one of the oldest Montessori school in Austin. They provide healthy snacks for the kids.You can get to know about their admission process here Admissions .This School is near Sunset Valley. Check their website Austin Montessori School for more information

Khabele: I have visited this school and have heard very good reviews about it. Some parents who send their kids here love it. They have a good curriculum.Early childhood campus is located in South Austin at 6305 Manchaca and it consists of two different programs. Young Children's community from 18 months to 3 years and primary from 3-5 years. Khabele also offers elementary  to 12th grade. Check out their website for  more information Khabele

Athena:I have visited this school and love their campus. They are located at 1503 Morgan Lane near South Lamar. It have heard good reviews about this one as well.They offer toddler program 24 months to 3 years and primary program for 3-5 years. Check out their website for  more information Athena Montessori

Lake Hills Montessori: They have multiple locations in Austin. There is one in RM620 , near Lake-way area. I visited this school and liked it. They offer Young Primary (2-3 yrs) and Primary (3-5yrs) program. Check out their website for  more information Lake Hills Montessori 

Mariposa: Some of  my friends send their kids to this Montessori school. They are really happy with it and give very good review on the school and teachers. They offer different programs from 8 weeks to 9 years , check here Programs . They ave 2 campuses in Brodie and South Lamar. Check out their website for  more information Mariposa Montessori

Park Side Montessori school:One of the best Montessori school in South Austin.They usually have a long waiting list.They offer programs from 3-12 years check here Programs. They are located at 3207 W Slaughter Lane. Check out their website for  more information Park Side Community

Central Austin :

Children's school : I have personal experience with this school. I can say it is one of the best Montessori  school in Austin. They nurture the kids in true Montessori way. Head of the school and the staff are very flexible. I really love this school. They are located at 2825 Hancock Drive . They offer programs from 2 -7 years check here Programs . Check this website to know more The Children's School

Cedar Park/Brushy Creek :

Brushy Creek Montessori: One of my friend sends her kid to this Montessori and she is really happy with it. They offer different programs from 8 weeks to 6 years, check here Programs. They are located at 3017 Polar lane Cedar Park. Check here for more information on this school Brushy Creek Montessori 

Cedar Park Montessori:  I see good online reviews for this school. They are located at 400 E White Stone Blvd. They offer toddler, primary and elementary programs. Check here for more information on this school Cedar Park Montessori.

Cypress Creek Montessori :I see good online reviews for this school. This is located at 2006 Sun Chase  Blvd. They offer pre-primary and primary programs. Check here for more information on this school Cypress Creek Montessori.

Round Rock :

Smart Steps Montessori: I see good online reviews for this school. This is located at 1000 Crushing Drive, Round Rock. They offer programs from 18 months to 6 years. Check here for more information on this school Smart Steps Montessori Montessori.

Round Rock Montessori :I see good online reviews for this school. This is located at 1818 Sam Bass  Rd , Round Rock. Check here for more information on this school Round Rock Montessori.

Sunrise Montessori  Preschool :I see good online reviews for this school. This is located at 104 Northwest Drive, Round Rock. Check here for more information on this school Sunrise Montessori Preschool

If you send your kids to a Montessori school in Austin and I have missed it please let me know and  I will add it. Hope this list helps people who are looking for good Montessori schools in Austin. If you like this post and would like to get future updates please like my FB page or subscribe by providing your email id. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Interesting facts about Model-3 that you need to know !!

       It has been only 2 days since TESLA announced MODEL-3 and the pre booking numbers are off the charts.  Elon Musk, the CEO of TESLA  announced this in the company's design studio in Hawthorne, California.

         The preorder numbers have crossed 200,000.We have heard of pre order for
 I -phone's to hit record numbers that costs below $1000. This is the first time in the history , a car worth around $35-40K is getting so many pre orders.

         What is so great about this car ?? This is the first question that pops out when we hear a news like this. Lets us see some  interesting details about this car

1) It is promised to be the best car you can get in the $35-40K  price range. This  is a bold and confident statement made by the CEO on the presentation.

2)The car will deliver at least 215 miles of range , which is pretty impressive.

3)The CEO announced that TESLA doesn't make slow cars, the base car will do 
0- 60mph in less than 6 seconds, which makes it the fastest car on roads.

4)Supercharger support is standard which is a good news, also the number of supercharging stations will double in 2017 to what we currently have.

5)Safest car possible, autopilot mode is standard and all safety features are active automatically.

6) Comfortable car, five adults can fit in comfortably.

7) The looks cool with one piece of glass extending from front to the back of the car , that allows unlimited sky view(!!!)

8) Trunk space is huge, we can fit a 7 foot surf board easily.

Wow !!! what more can we ask in a car. Check out the cool pics here :

So when do we get this car if we preorder now for $1000???  - In 2017 , that is the only fact that is not interesting to me.  But HOPE is everything , lets wait and see what happens. How many of you are ready to preorder now ??

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Planning a camping trip?? Check this out

Spring is the right time to get out and have fun. Usually we plan  out a fun camping trip during this season to enjoy the nature. We want to be outdoors and also want to enjoy the little luxuries that we are used to in our own home.During camping  trips , we have so many things to plan out. We have to decide the days  of the trip, decide  a place and work out many  other trip details. We always forget to take some small things and we get reminded of it only after we leave home or even worse once we reach the destination. Just think about how many times you have done it.

When we camp at remote places it is hard to find a store and buy things.When you forget things it is a big deal. So how do we make sure we take everything?? . Don't worry, there is a solution.Making an extensive list always helps. It makes you think ahead .Plan out the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and take more than required since during vacation we tend to eat more than usual. Also with experience you will  add more things to the list.To help you all with the process I have an extensive list of camping essentials from one of my friend , I have found this very useful. Also I have some links to products that have good review, check them out as well.

Shelter :
Tent , Ground cloth/ tarps(2), Hammer/ Axe

Sleeping bags , Sheets/ blankets, Utility bags for storage , Comforters ,Pillows

Water bottles,Cooler, Ice, Stove,Propane tank ,Matches, Lighter,Firewood , Fire liquid ,fire extinguisher, Table cloth , Plates/ bowls/ tumblers Spoons/ forks/ napkins, Aluminium foil, Paper towel, Trash bags , Dish soap/ scotch brite , Containers for food ,cooking oil , cooking pots ,spatula, knife, ladels, tongs, peeler ,can opener, cutting board ,ziplock bags,Sugar/ salt/ pepper ,chilli powder,
turmeric powder,jeera powder ,spices,ghee/ butter, Tea, bru ,cheese sticks ,Milk, banana/ grapes/berries ,cheerios,chips ,snacks,Tava,Frying pan (upma, curry) ,Deep pan (for boiling milk)
Personal :
Shower shows/ flip flops ,Towels/ wash cloth ,Shower gel/ shampoo ,Toothbrush/ paste ,Mouth wash, Deodrant, Comb, Razor, Feminine products,Toilet paper ,5 gallon bucket ,Medications,Contact lens/ solution,Sunglasses/ regular glasses ,Cell phones and chargers,Quarters for shower

Miscellaneous :
Sunscreen,Chapstick/ Vaseline ,Extra batteries/ bulbs,Natural no deet bug repellant,Camera,Books/ magazines/ puzzles,Camp chairs ,Portable fan,First aid kit ,Tissues ,park map/ trail map,Marshmallows, graham crackers, hershey bars (smores),Flashlight/ batteries, Pocket knife, Playing cards/ games ,Tennis ball ,Beach ball and hat, Frisbee,Duct tape ,reservation info/ confirmation ,Notepad/ pen ,umbrella,Money/ID/credit card ,scissors ,hats ,Walking/ playing shoes.

Kid's stuff :
Diapers, wipes,sippy cups ,Snacks - gold fish, yogurt etc,blanket,night dress,books,non toxic baby Sunscreen , swim diaper,floaters,hats ,sunglasses , Probiotics, medicines.

Please share this with people whom you think it will be useful, also add other items that you think 
will be useful.

Link to Facebook page :

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fun things to do with kids during spring break in Austin !

Happy women's day to all the wonderful ladies. I attended an event organized at my work place on March 8th. I t was a wonderful event with loads of information on women empowerment .The day was well spent.

The famous Indian-Asian fusion restaurant ,MASALA WOK  in Austin has a groupon deal. Click here to get the deal . This is one of my favorite restaurant. They have Naan, Rice, Noodles and gravy. Click here to view the menu.

 Next week is spring break. If you haven't planned anything ,dont worry.There are some fun things  you can do with your kids in Austin.

Austin Rodeo :From march 12-26 Rodeo Austin Carnival is open. you can buy a one day pass here . It is $8 for adults and $5 for kids.

Library: You can always take them to a library. Through out the week there are several events. Check for events in library here

Austin Public park events : There are some events conducted by Austin public park. Check here for more details 

Thinkery : You can go to thinkery on Wednesday.. It is open from  10am – 8pm (Community Night from 4 – 8pm – admission by donation). To know more about thinkery check this post Does thinkery really  make you think ? 

SXSW has many free events. Get your free pass here. There are some free family events that you can check here  

Egg hunt : Easter egg hunt is a good way to keep kids engaged and it is a lot of fun. There is a free event in Barton Creek Mall and Lake line mall. Check here for more info .

Check this post for more ideas on places to visit around Austin. Have a wonderful Spring break. Do share this post with people whom you think it will be useful to. 

Link to Face Book page :

Friday, March 4, 2016


Have you ever wondered "What am I doing with my life?? Where is all this going? , Why am I working so hard? What am I running behind?". These thoughts often come to my mind and makes me feel  overwhelmed.

All of us at some point think how did our parents manage everything?. Most of our lives are fast paced and we somehow try to fit so many things into it. Also we are guilty about the things we cant do.Everyone I speak to have their own problems. Some you can share with people around you but some most people around you cannot relate to.

So how we we pause the mad race that we all are running. Is it even possible. As kids grow the responsibilities keep changing for us and there is always something to do. After kids we have to constantly keep adapting and changing.How can we do all this??. This leads to stress and the mental stress starts showing up in your physical health.

Dont worry there are some solutions. At every stage of your life when you feel overwhelmed you need to analyze these things:

1)Am I prioritizing things that  I need in life: Always think what is the most important thing in life at that point.
2) Am I doing something for myself that bring joy to me: Find something that you enjoy. Blog writing and sharing things  is my biggest stress buster.
3) Am I feeling guilty of something: Sometimes we cant provide our kids fresh food always. Dont be guilty it is ok.
4) Are there some things that I am  doing that I can cut down on: Sometimes we want our kids to learn everything and stress too much about the classes they go to. See if you can cut some.
5)Everything happens for a reason : Yes everything happens for a reason. Most incidents in our life happen for a reason and we need to see what it teaches us.
6)Always think about how to slow down : Try to take a day for yourself in between when possible.
7) Come to terms with certain things: If your house is not clean always come to term with it and it is perfectly ok.

These are some things that I try to follow. First we need to keep us mentally and physically happy only then we can spread it to others in our family. I know many of us will be in the same boat, please share what all you do keep yourself happy and spread the joy to others.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

No worries..

At every stage of our life, we worry about something. As a kid we worry about  small things. As we grow, there comes more responsibilities, you have to get a job , get married, have kids. After we come parents we worry right from the first day of our kids. I just feel like the worry is never ending.Even today my parents are worried about their grand kids :).

Life is a roller coaster ride, we worry about ups when we are down and worry about downs when we are up. We all know worrying doesn't help anything, still it is very hard to control our mind.What if I told you I have a solution to all your worries. I am sure you will laugh at me. I dont have a solution, but there is a simple flowchart . If you follow it, you can become more logical about the things you worry about than act emotionally.I found this flowchart online a few months back. I am trying to follow this for small worries that bother me.

For example, most of us (mostly moms) worry about getting back to work after a baby,  worry about kids not eating, worry about work related issue, worry about future. I always analyze those worries through this flow chart. Most of my worries  usually  take this path " Do you have a problem -> Yes -> Can you do something about it -> No ->Then dont worry".

The more we train our minds to let us be happy the better it is for us.Please share your thoughts on this. See you soon with another post.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What makes you and me happy ?

I watched a TED talk video shared by one of my friend on Face Book about a Havard study on what makes human happy.

In the talk he explains that all of us think our main goal in life is to be
1) Rich or
2)Famous or
3) Really work very hard to achieve one of the above.

But what really makes someone  happy is good relationship. They have studied the brain development and also the physical health of around 700 people over their entire life to understand what really makes someone happy.People in a good relationship have always been very happy physically and emotionally than people in conflict. Being in a conflicted relationship can lead more harm to your health than you can imagine.Also people with a big social network have also been really happy. Watch the video below to see more

 Loneliness is something that can kill you.It is so true that people can feel lonely even in a crowded place. It is just a state of mind. Also holding a grudge against someone deteriorates your mental health. Man is a social animal.The talk ends saying , it is surprising how having a good relationship is never a life goal , when that is what really matters at the end of our life when we are at our 70's or 80's.

After I listened to the talk , I realized how true it is. Having a good relationship is not very difficult but needs a lot of understanding and patience. Social network is another thing. In this fast paced life it is very difficult to maintain a social network,  not just Face Book or Twitter.Meeting new people and making new friends is something we have to try to do at every stage of our life.One thing to remember is after the kids grow up, it is only our friends with whom we can connect.

Listen to the TED talk and share your thoughts. My first thought was , I was surprised as to why it took so long to find this little secret. Good night and see you soon with another post.

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