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.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Money Tips Roundup

12 Items That Pay For Themselves Tenfold or Better :- Great article! I need to try making more crockpot meals and hanging clothes on a clothesline.

Applying SMART Goals to Personal Finance :- This was a great breakdown of how to apply SMART goals we use at work in our personal lives & personal finance. Reading this article made me want to look at my life goals and how I can apply the SMART principles here.

The Benefits Of Paying Yourself First :- I've been trying to use a zero-sum budget but ever since I've started using it, we've had so many unexpected expenses my budget has been going bust every month. I am going to have to try harder with this.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Girl's Afternoon Out

My friends and I had a girl's afternoon out a few days ago, leaving the children at home.

We went to a paint place - where they teach a group of people how to paint a particular piece of art. It was a lot of fun and the end result is below.

I have never been good at art and I can't even draw a straight line. So I was actually nervous about going to this place and only the fact that I was going with my friends helped me.

I guess the one thing I learnt about art is that there's no right or wrong in art - you just go with what you like and don't be too hard on yourself.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Stress Affects Diabetics - Tidbit of the Day!

Diabetics are advised to avoid stress but why? How does stress affect diabetics?

When we get stressed, the body starts getting into the "Flight-or-Fight" mode. The term "Flight or Fight" was coined by Walter B. Cannon in 1915. He studied the autonomic nervous system and started by studying an animal's response to a threat.

When "Flight or Fight" is triggered, the body produces more cortisol and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and the liver produces more glucose for the body to use as energy in an emergency. This excess glucose makes it difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tomato Cucumber Feta Salad

One of my favorite salads (of which there are few) is the Greek Salad at Panera Bread. I want to start eating more salads to lose some weight and eat more healthy and one of the salads I came across was a Tomato Cucumber Salad. I made some modifications to it based on what's at home and made a Tomato Cucumber Feta salad with a vinaigrette dressing. It was awesome and I just loved it.



Here's what I did:

Ingredients:

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt
Pepper
3 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Peel and take out the seeds from the cucumbers. Then chop them up into small chunks.
  2. Cut the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Then chop them up into small chunks. 
  3. Finely chop and add the flat-leaf parsley.
  4. Make the dressing by adding olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper and mixing it up. Add this to the cucumbers and tomatoes and toss to coat.  
  5. Crumble the cheese on top. You can mix it up to coat the cheese or leave it on top.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015