I am into simple and minimalist living, but it sure is a bit more complicated when you have small kids and are surrounded by many consumerist minded family and friends. Zenguy and I have stopped making a big deal out of our birthdays since kids came along, we still celebrate our birthdays, doing things that each of us really want that, we can not simply go and buy. For example, I like some alone time, meaning I should be able to take shower without kids knocking on door, writing, reading a book, blog or magazine while sipping hot tea, things that matter most to me. For Zenguy, his passion is nature, music and food. On his special days, either, I cook his favorite food, or sometimes we go out to eat his favorite restaurant and go to easy outdoor hiking or listen to classical music at home.
Valentine day is second most greeting cards sending holiday, just after Christmas. Americans alone spent approx 14.7 Billion dollars on 2009 alone for Valentine day gifts. Men spent lot more about $147 per person and Women were not too far behind with $87 per person on Valentine day gifts.
Valentine day is supposed to show your care and love, everyone you love including, your friends, kids, parents, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, all people you know and care for. Please be kind to single friends or recently single person in your life, as no holiday should exclude any group or any one.
Why does anyone have to wait for February 14th, to express thier love? Why it can not to be today, tomorrow, or everyday?
Have you ever watched “It is wonderful life”, 1946 movie with James Stewart and Donna Reed? Many of us watch it during Christmas holidays as a holiday tradition. Why am I talking about a holiday movie in February time?
What I love about the movie, is not only uplifting and inspiring story, but also a sense of community in the movie, where everyone knew each other by name and were friends. I would like to live where everyone knows us, and we know them and are friendly with each other too. Our older generation used to know people around them such as neighbors and other everyday folks they met during the course of the day.
Now a days, we have lost that connection with people, a sense of community is hardly there. Many of us live in Apartments, Condo or house for months or years, yet we do not know many of our neighbors! I mean really know them as a friends not just by face or car they drive only. We no longer know people we deal with often such our bankers, bakers, gas station workers, mail man as they keep changing jobs often and due to lack of time on our part. And not many knows “real” us either, as we seemed to busier than ever.
We go to work, office, business, school, college or work at home, busy making money and paying bills, running errands, yet hardly we take time out to connect with people whom we meet. Take an example of working couple who work crazy hours till late evening, and they live early from home to work and come late from work too tired to mingle with anyone.I remember when I was working full time, we used to eat out or crash in… Continue reading
Many times, we often are busy with many non important and non-urgent tasks and life gets out of balance. If we focus on following six areas, we can be balanced. All of these six areas need attention in order for our life to be in balance. One can be healthy, wealthy but yet lonely,that will not be a true balanced life, you get the picture.
1. Money: Money is one of the biggest issue we all face, if it is ignored, it can destroy happiness and harmony in any relationship, including one with yourself. Did you know, many married couple or family members fight about money and it is #1 cause for divorces. Not to mention sleepless nights and constant worries that will wreak all other aspects of one’s life. Best way to deal with this issue is to spend less then you earn, pay off debts via snowball and automate your financial life, so you will need to spend little time maintaining it and more time enjoying it.
2. Health: Some one has said ” True wealth is health”, which is so true. We will realize it only after being sick often that how easy we had it and how we abused our bodies by eating unhealthy and not exercising. Health problems can make us feel miserable, cut our social and financial life short. It is good to spend little time cooking, eating healthy food, drinking water and exercising your body and staying right weight. Doing little changes everyday will have a major impact on your health, slow and steady wins the health race too.
3. Family time: If this list was based on priorities, it will be at the top. If we are so busy making money and exercising but not spending enough time with family, our life… Continue reading
In past, my holidays during thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings were hectic, stressful and hurried. I did not enjoy it as much as I should have. I was so busy trying to impress my friends and family to top previous year’s recipes, new decorations, giving creative goodies bags to kids and adults all alike, just because I thought that what made happy holidays. How wrong I was.
Now our thanksgiving party has become smaller, more meaningful and lot more enjoyable. Here are a few changes that made it possible and maybe you can too.
1. Do not accept every invitation, be selective, who you invite or whose party to go to. If you get no invitation, plan one your self or enjoy alone time volunteering many thanksgiving food charity. 2. If you are hosting, plan a simple a menu or plan a potluck. Make sure, everyone gets different food, so you do not end up with 6 pumpkin pie and no main course. 3. Do simple decoration and entertainment plan. Simple pumpkin, or colorful foliage leaves can make a great center piece. 4. Have everyone say 2 things (at least) they are thankful for at the dinner table. 5. Buy and do prep work before the party, delegate some work to others. 6. Use nice plates and glass. If you must use paper plates, use biodegradable. It is better for environment. 7. Have a few people pitch in to clear up table, do the dishes while a few adults can entertain/play games with kids in other area. Do that for other host too. Work gets done faster and host also gets to enjoy without pile of dishes waiting for them. 8. If you must give goodies bag to every guest, make it home made, simple that will be used. 9. Everyone… Continue reading
A few years ago, before we had kids, Zenguy and I both used to work in a corporate world. Our weekdays mornings were hectic and much hurried to say the least. Waking up to several alarm beeps (we needed it, as we kept hitting “snooze” button and going back to sleep) quick shower, toast/breakfast bars on the go, tea on go, while we listened to TV or radio traffic news and sitting on traffic jam till we reached office, finally breathing before getting to routine of day to day work issues.
Now, that I am at home, life is lot less hectic for all of us. We have not woken up to sound of alarm in years. We now wake up to sound of our children R (4.5 years) and P (8 months) in the mornings. It takes us a few minutes to be fully awake and than play with kids on bed for 10-15 minutes before getting up with them. Sometimes we wake up to sound of birds, that is also very soothing.
There is no radio or TV news sound in morning for us, we still eat toast or quick breakfast choices sometimes, but leisurely. Now, I am not saying, our every morning is perfect, some days kids are sick or cranky and some days we are so sleep deprived from previous night wakings that we become cranky but despite all of these issues, mornings are much less hurried compared to when we both worked. When we have to go to preschool or work, Zenguy and I work as a team to get kids ready and fed. Zenguy is very sweet, some days he lets me catch some sleep in morning while watching both kids.
Our mornings are not sexy but they are lot satisfying and less hurried… Continue reading