Thursday, September 24, 2015

I'm back! and a story!

Sorry for having been away from the blog for a while. I've been busy with some personal issues and health reasons and was just not up to blogging.

But I'm back and hope to be blogging more.

I'm a big fan of the TV show Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman that used to air back in the 90s. I used to watch it infrequently back then because we didn't have reliable TV then. When I was in my early 20s, I discovered the DVDs in Blockbuster and watched all the seasons. I loved how the show attacked modern day issues in the Old American West in the 1860s time period. Plus, the show was based in Colorado Springs and I used to live in Colorado back then. The show covered so many issues - women's rights, slavery, american indian rights, prejudice, ignorance, diseases that it was fascinating to me. I've never tired of watching it multiple times.

A few days ago, I discovered it on Amazon Prime Video and have been watching the shows and I loved this story that the town's Reverend says in a sermon at the end of a episode. I don't know if this is an actual story somewhere else but I've only heard this here.

Once, there was a shabby town and all the people were unhappy, poor and ignorant. Then one day the king came to visit and he told them he had secretly switched a baby in the town with his own. After the king left, the people were afraid. They were worried that when the king returned again, he would be angry if the royal child was unhappy and would punish them. But since they had no idea which child it was, the whole town began to treat each child as though that child were royalty. 
Many years later, the king did return. By then, these children had all grown up and they had children of their own and the town was very different. There were libraries, schools, hospitals, churches and all the families were hardworking and happy. You see, these grownup children had no idea - they had never heard the story of the king. They had no idea that there was a prince or princess among them. They were productive, creative, happy and kind simply because they had been loved and educated and protected and treated as if each child were royalty. 
And old lady on her death bed - she asked the king, "I know that my wonderful grownup daughter - she is the princess, isn't she?". The king told her, " They are all the one". 

Monday, August 24, 2015

What I've Read Recently: Trump, Bedtime Regrets and More

Heidi Klum to Donald Trump: Every Woman Is a “10” :- Recently I've been watching Donald Trump in the news a lot and I've been very put-off by his attitude towards women and his bombastic nature. I loved Heidi Klum's response - that you can't attach a number to a women.

The Post-Bedtime Regret Every Parent Has Felt | Babble: This one is so true - so many days I've been impatient with my daughter and then at bedtime when she's cuddling in my arms and I'm rocking and singing to her, I'm calm and I feel bad - I should have been more gentler and spent more time with her. I should be more patient.

When Life Feels Like a Mess, There’s Something We Can Do: Just read it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Best and Worst School Systems in the US

I was surprised when I came across this article about the best and worst school systems in the USA. I live in NH and work in MA and have family in CA.

Though I expected MA to have one of the better school systems in the country, I was surprised to see that it was the top school system in the country. NH came in at No. 15 which was a big surprise to me. CA came in at No. 43 which was a big surprise to me.

Another item which really surprised me was that NH was 2nd in the country for highest reading and math scores. This was great news!

Read the article to see where your state stands!

2015’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems | WalletHub®

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Goals Update

July was a busy month mostly spent with family and some travel to NYC & NJ. I didn't get a lot done but was still a fun month with spending lots of time with family. My sister and her kids are visiting us for last 3 weeks and it's been great having them here. We did a road trip to NYC and NJ and visited family. It was hectic but fun. We also spent a significant amount of time planning for my daughter's birthday party which was so much fun!
  1. Lose 12 lbs: *sigh* This goal has gone completely to pieces. I'm 140 pounds now - I've put on weight since my parents are here visiting me. Over the next 5 months, I'm going to have to try harder to lose weight. 
  2. Learn swimming: On hold for now
  3. Read 12 books this year:  Got a little more light reading done this month - Read the  "The Heir - Windham Book 1" and "The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy". 
  4. Do 12 craft or knitting activities this year: Went for a Girls' Afternoon Out with my friends to a graffiti paint bar, which was a fun experience and something I would definitely do again. 
  5. Introduce a new experience to AGirl once a month: We went to NYC and NJ and saw the Statue Of Liberty. That was fun! And she had loads of fun playing with her cousins!
Parenting Goals:
  1. Potty Training: This has been going well and over the next few days, I'm planning to start pushing it just a bit more. 
  2. Teach her to recognize ABCs: Not much progress on this.
  3. Drinking milk from a cup: Not much progress on this. 
How has your progress been on your goals?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Money Tips Roundup

12 Items That Pay For Themselves :- The one I want to use the most is my slow cooker. I really need to start using it more. I do use dryer balls and would love to cancel cable altogether if not my husband's new-watching and my daughter's Disney Jr addiction.

Why We've Given Up On Coupons :- I have tried to use coupons but most of the food we cook is Indian and we don't have coupons for them and other stuff - we generally buy what is cheap and generic. I make an effort sometimes if it will be relatively easy and quick but otherwise I don't bother with coupons.

Decoding Your Pay Stub [Infographic] :- Fairly basic info graphic which gives you an idea about your paystub and what it all means. This is good info for those new to the workforce and are not familiar with how and what happens with your paycheck.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NY and NJ Trip

My sister and her kids are currently visiting us and we took them on a trip to NY & NJ along with my parents. I have some family in the NJ area and after visiting them, decided to go do some sightseeing.

It was a very hot and humid day - one of the worst days so far. Also, very cloudy and thunderstorm-y.

We parked in the Liberty State Park to visit the Statue of Liberty. We took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and had a lot of fun on the top level of the ferry. There was a nice breeze which really helped with the heat. Unfortunately, we didn't get tickets to go to the pedestal or the crown. So we just saw Lady Liberty from the bottom and walked around a bit. I loved the view of the NY Skyline from the boat.

We ate a picnic lunch on some benches in Liberty State Park and took the ferry to NYC to the Boardwalk Ferry Station near the 9/11 Memorial. Earlier in the day, on the way to Liberty State Park, we were all sharing our memories of where we were and what we were doing when 9/11 attack happened.

My niece, who is 9 years old, was asking what does a terrorist attack mean and what does 9/11 mean? My sister explained the history of the terrorist attack, what it means and what exactly happened that day. We walked to the 9/11 memorial. The memorial is built beautifully and so differently. I loved the waterfalls and the engravings of the firefighters' names all around the memorial.

We tried to take a taxi to Times Square and that was when the nightmare started - first, we could not find a taxi, my daughter was too exhausted and fell asleep and she needed a diaper change ASAP. There was no place we could do a diaper change nearby and I finally ended up doing it on a park bench nearby as she was sleeping.

Then we waited for a cab and went to TimesSquare. We could barely move in TimesSquare - it was so crowded. Apparently, President Obama was in the area and that caused crowds to go up along with security blocking off some roads. We just went to the ToysRUs in Times Square and got out and tried to get a cab. We could not get a cab for 20 mins - finally we found an Uber Taxi but gave him the wrong direction and we ended up walking for almost 30-40 mins to get to our ferry station to catch the ferry back. We just made it in time with 2 mins to spare before the ferry was at the station.

We were all exhausted by this time. But we all went to dinner to a really nice Indian restaurant, Sapthagiri and the food was really good. They have an awesome Cashew Curry and the Dosas were tasty. My favorite was the Papdi Chaat. It was awesome and so yummy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Success, Blogging and Other Tips

Daniel Norris Code Of Success :- I wish I could adopt some parts of this - like reading more, playing outside more and travelling a lot. Sounds great!

How to Start a Successful Blog Today: 27 Tips:- This was a great, in-depth article on how to start a blog and make it successful. I plan to use some of the tips here to try to make my blog better - mainly, focus on content & making it more visible.

5 ways to keep your financial information safer from hackers:- I'm guilty of not following a few of these but it's something I'm working on.