Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What I've Been Reading Lately

How I Keep My Email Inbox To Fewer Than 5 Emails :- Basically, unsubscribe ruthlessly, use delete liberally, use (gmail) filters to push emails out of inbox, deal with email immediately. I've tried multiple times and succeed for a few days and then fall behind a bit and then off the wagon completely. I will try following these steps to see if they help.

4 Tips On Doing What You Don't Want To Do :- The core idea - You don't want to do it. Do it anyway. Take the first step. Keep the momentum going. It's not as hard as you think it is. You'll feel great afterwards.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Strawberry Season

Strawberries Nutrition Info :- My daughter and me both love strawberries. We eat them all year round and I love strawberries in my smoothies. But I didn't know they were so good for you - there are a superfood for diabetics and lower cholesterol as well.

Oftentimes, I cut the strawberry stem off and a good chunk of the strawberry too when preparing it for my daughter. I've been meaning to buy a strawberry corer but kept putting it off. I came across this tip at Popsugar



Get rid of those pesky stems without wasting too much of the fruit by inserting a straw into the bottom of the strawberry and pushing up. The leaves will come off too!

I tried this out and while it wasn't perfect, it did work.





Monday, June 22, 2015

What I've Been Reading Lately

What Happens When Wives Go On Strike :- I've often wanted to do the same thing - just disappear for a couple of days and let my husband handle everything - perhaps he'd appreciate me more... :) ... *sigh* but that's not likely to happen.

Why I Defaulted On My Student Loans :- I read this article and was just so disappointed. I can't believe NYTimes actually published something like this. I'm putting this in here just because I didn't agree with it at all. You take a loan, you repay it. Go to a college you can afford if you can't afford to go to a private school. There was just so much whining and excuses it was unbelievable. The worse thing is that he encourages other people to follow his example.

Motherhood is the strongest bond :- I had tears in my eyes when I read this.

Monday, June 15, 2015

What I've Been Reading

Chip-Enabled Credit Cards are Coming: What You Need to Know :- Recently, I got one of my first credit cards replaced by one with a chip. This article was an easy read to know what's it's all about.

The Exhausting Shadow Work of Being a Modern Wife :- Interesting article!

Which Supermarket Truly Has the Best Deals :- As expected, Costco comes in at the cheapest overall for most of the items with Trader Joe's and Target coming in next. To no one's surprise, Whole Foods came in at most expensive. Of course, one single place may not make sense for buying everything and you can read through this article and decide for yourself.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Daily Routine

A few weeks ago, I bought the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and as part of the bundle, the getting started section contained the 4 Simple Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking mini-course as an introduction to the bundle. This course is 

There are 4 short videos each of which talks about how to solve common problems in homemaking and how  to integrate those solutions into your daily routine. I came up with a simple daily routine to start implementing these steps. 

The 4 steps are fairly simple but really important:

  1. Fold and put away one load of laundry before starting another
  2. Start dishwasher in the night and unload dishwasher first thing in the morning so you can start loading dishes throughout the day
  3. Once a week, have a meeting with yourself. Check on what are plans for week and see how many meals need to be made. Decide on what those meals are going to be and make a grocery list.
  4. Nighttime routine:
    • 5 mins to do quick cleanup
    • 5 mins to check calendar for next day
    • 5 mins to prepare for next day - clothes, lunch, anything that needs to go out the door
With these steps in mind and with some other ideas, I've planned my daily routine:

Morning
  1. Wake up and shower
  2. Make up your bed
  3. Unload dishwasher
  4. Write down To-Do list (5-7) for day
  5. Pack lunch for AGirl and me
  6. Switch laundry from washer to dryer
Evening
  1. Load the dishwasher and start it. Wash any vessels remaining by hand.
  2. Fold and put away the load of laundry you washed and dried in the morning.
  3. 5 minute cleanup of kitchen, dining room table and family room
  4. 2 minute preview - look at calendar for next day
  5. 5 minute Prep - clothes, lunch for next day, what needs to be taken out the door
  6. Put AGirl to sleep
  7. Take 5-15 minutes to do something you love.
  8. Put a load of laundry for next day with timer set for morning 4 AM
Once a week, write down meal plan for AGirl for the next one week.

I'm not working on the meal planning for the my husband and me yet but I'm going to start with meal planning for my daughter.

I will give an update on how this routine works in a few days.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mini-Goal + Challenge: Walk 10000 steps everyday

I did the 30-Day Walking Challenge recently and did not do so well at it. I had 2 issues with it - it asked me to walk 10k steps over my regular day-to-day steps and also, I fell sick quite a bit.

My goal to lose 16 pounds by the end of the year is also not going too well considering it's almost 6 months out and I've ended up putting on weight.

I thought perhaps both of these were a little too ambitious for me at this point and I should probably start off with mini-goals to get started on the right path.

Mini-Goal & Challenge: Walk 10,000 steps everyday including day-to-day steps

May 11: Day 1: 10450 steps
May 12: Day 2: 8515 steps
May 13: Day 3: 8982 steps
May 14: Day 4: 6411 steps
May 15: Day 5: 10010 steps
May 16: Day 6: 5795 steps
May 17: Day 7: 8727 steps
May 18: Day 8: 11379 steps
May 19: Day 9: 10882 steps
May 20: Day 10: 10663 steps
May 21: Day 11: 8269 steps
May 22: Day 12: 10289 steps
May 23: Day 13: 9510 steps
May 24: Day 14: 14538 steps
May 25: Day 15: 4228 steps (didn't wear the tracker for most of the day - this was just the extra walk steps)
May 26: Day 16: 10432 steps
May 27: Day 17:  5484 steps (not well)
May 28: Day 18:  5566 steps (not well)
May 29: Day 19:  7521 steps (stayed at home all day & didn't wear tracker part of the day)
May 30: Day 20:  7155 steps (didn't wear tracker part of the day)
May 31: Day 21:  22,149 steps (Disney World Trip Day 1)
June 1: Day 22: 13147 steps (Disney World Trip Day 2)
June 2: Day 23: 18802 steps (Disney World Trip Day 3)
June 3: Day 24: 18960 steps (Disney World Trip Day 4)
June 4: Day 25: 11218 steps
June 5: Day 26: 10329 steps
June 6: Day 27: 6752 steps (Saturday, at home - did gardening work)
June 7: Day 28: 3863 steps (Didn't wear tracker most of the day)
June 8: Day 29: 6445 steps
June 9: Day 30: 10,201 steps

I'm done with this challenge and it's been a good one for me. I hit more than 10k steps 15 days out of the 30 - which was not bad but not great. But I'm glad I did it as it made me more conscious of how many steps I was walking and how active I was.

I will continue to follow this and try to hit 10k steps everyday and make it part of my weekly update.

Monday, June 8, 2015

May Goals Update

Overall, May was a good month for me. I didn't get a lot done but was still a good month personally. We're having some personal changes - good ones but it did cause some disruption.

I've been walking 30 mins most days and it has felt really good.
  1. Lose 12 lbs: *sigh* I'm still at 136. However, as per my 30-day walking challenge, I'm walking 10k steps most days. 
  2. Learn swimming: Waiting for my summer plans to get fixed before I can register for classes.
  3. Read 12 books this year: Am really disappointed I didn't read much this month since I was preparing for our Disney World trip - I read a bunch of travel books on DisneyWorld and online websites. 
  4. Do 12 craft or knitting activities this year: Spent some time gardening this month - planted seeds in seed starting pellets and did some potting outside of new plants.  
  5. Introduce a new experience to AGirl once a month: Took AGirl to DisneyWorld. We had a great time and she had a blast meeting princesses and going on rides. She went on her first 3D show and really enjoyed it. 
I'm starting a new section below for my parenting goals. I'm hoping the accountability will inspire me to do more. 

Parenting Goals:
  1. Potty Training: I've been asking her to sit on the potty in the morning after she drinks her milk. Towards the end of the month, she started to go some of the time. 
  2. Teach her to recognize ABCs: Didn't spent too much time on this. 
  3. Drinking milk from a cup: She drank from straw cup a couple of times but she hates it and takes forever to drink from cup.  
How has your progress been on your goals?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Disney World Trip

We had a great trip to Disney World this week. We just got back on Wednesday around midnight and are still exhausted from the trip. It was a relatively short trip of only 4 days, considering it's Disney World we're talking about.

AGirl had lots of fun at the trip though she did get over stimulated towards the end. She met her favorite Disney Jr. characters - Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First. She also met some princesses and saw lots of animals.


Cinderella's Castle


Animal Kingdom Entrance


EPCOT


I'll post more about my trip soon!