Monthly Archives: July 2015

5 Simple Steps To Have A Relatively Clean Fridge Every Single Day!

clean fridge-1

REFRIGERATORS! A magic box which keeps all the items which I wish to refrigerate, without any complaint! It won’t curse me even if I keep every bit of my leftovers wishing to use it later but forget it just like that for weeks! Refrigerators are depressing at times. Even though I have the luxury of storing food, refrigerator often gets cluttered with all these perfectly stored leftovers and most of the leftovers get wasted eventually. So, I end up in wasting food more than I could imagine! If I would have maintained a journal on how much food got wasted in my fridge, am sure it should have come to a pretty big amount of money equivalent to at least 1 month of my grocery expenses! AND, I wish to buy more efficient, bigger refrigerator! 🙂 [ It’s Strange! But true! But I am glad that I didn’t go for it!  🙂 ]

At last, I realized, storing all food and wishing to use it effectively is impossible most of the times. It really don’t suit my personality! 🙂 It just made my fridge look cluttered, leaves the fridge smelly and makes me stressed out every time I open it. While having bigger refrigerators are mandatory for the cold countries, it won’t suit much for our Asian, particularly Indian climatic conditions. So, at least for me, smaller the better. Smaller ones are easy to clean, they don’t encourage me to store more food and in turn wastage will be less.

Irrespective of the sizes, here are the 5 steps to have a relatively clean fridge almost every day.

Buy the perishable items in fewer quantities.
While we have the luxury of buying the veggies and fruits in bulk, our climate does not support that. No matter what, for our climate, vegetables and fruits should be consumed within 7 – 10 days else it’ll kiss the garbage bin for sure. So, try buying fewer quantities in order to avoid wastage. In addition to that, fewer items makes your fridge looks neat and organized. I prefer buying veggies in the shop nearby my home in smaller quantities  (even though it’s slightly costlier) than to buy in bulk for fewer prices. Buying lesser amount helps me not to waste and also the fridge looks neat with few items. Win-win!

Here are the tips to help you finish up the veggies you bought

  • Make sure you prepare a list before buying ANYTHING that goes inside fridge. Be cautious not to over buy more than your refrigerator’s capability.
  • Before preparing the list of what to buy, hunt the refrigerator first. This helps you to put your list effectively by not buying same items by mistake.
  • If there are any leftover vegetables that are sitting in the refrigerator and you don’t have the plan to use it the following week, then simply donate it when it’s still in  good condition.

Only refrigerate the things that need to be refrigerated.

A lot of items will be fine without refrigerating. Products like spice powders, flours just need to be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool dry place. If you are a person like me who refrigerates almost anything which has an expiry date, then STOP doing that and start reading the labels for storage suggestions of every product. Invest in good airtight containers for storing all those packets and store them in your kitchen shelves to avoid much clutter in your refrigerator. I keep all the small spice powder packets in two big airtight containers and it works very fine. Refrigerate the items only when that product labels advice you to refrigerate. Also, there are few vegetables and that don’t need refrigeration. Few vegetables are onion, potato, tomato and garlic. So, find out what is sitting unnecessarily in your fridge and find a proper place to store them.

Check for leftovers EVERY single day.

Leftovers! – The main culprit behind a cluttered refrigerator. A lot of times, we forget what we leftovers kept inside the fridge. Eventually, it will sit for days/weeks or in the worst case, months, without our knowledge. It leaves the fridge smelly and cluttered. But, on the other hand, leftovers can be handled efficiently to reduce our cooking time. For that, we need to follow only ONE simple step.

We need to check for leftovers as the first thing in the morning before we start cooking every single day.

This simple practice helps you to reuse the leftover for that day’s menu or at least helps you to throw it away if it is spoiled. Above all, it gives you space in fridge and fridge will be less cluttered and gives a clean look. If it has become a habit, lot of food wastage can be controlled for sure.

Tackle the mess right away
As I always say, simple living is a set of right choices (even though they don’t look that fancy!) we choose in our day to day life. Whenever you happened to see a mess in the fridge, a spill of sauce, cracked egg mess or whatever, decide to tackle it right away. After all it’s going to take just a few minutes of your time. But, it’ll save you from a lot of tension later and present you a clean fridge. Fridges get messier a lot easier than anything else. So, be intentional to deal the mess inside the fridge right away. This simple not-that-fancy choice helps you to have a clean fridge.

Give responsibility to your children
Refrigerators never get a neat look if the exterior is not that clean. While we tackle all those clutter and mess inside the fridge, let your children take care of the exteriors. Ask them to wipe it alternate days. You will be amazed to see their responsibility. In my home, Catherine (6 yrs) is taking care of that. She always get excited with the clean look once she wiped it down. I can see the happiness of accomplishment and the confidence in her face whenever she does it. Giving responsibility is simple. Teach them first how to do it and leave the rest to them. Don’t get tensed if they are not willing to do or forget to finish up. Gently remind them and appreciate their effort even though it’s not as clean as it should be. Don’t do it all over again once they finish wiping it. They will not be interested in doing it again and leave the work to you. They will do it perfectly as days go by. Giving responsibilities helps your kid to learn values and you get a clean fridge!

As an end note, if you are currently stressed out with the condition of your fridge, then don’t worry. Here are few simple tips to clean

  • Tackle one rack at a time.
  • Throw away all your left overs.
  • Sort out the vegetables and throw away the spoiled ones.
  • Take out all the items that don’t need refrigeration

You will be amazed to see a clean fridge in a weeks time. Then, start following the above simple steps and enjoy a clean fridge every single day!

Do you ever get stressed when you open your fridge? If so, what’s your suggestion to keep a relatively clean fridge?

(FYI: This post is written mainly for people living in tropical regions where the food items don’t remain fresh for more days even we refrigerate them.)


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Count Your Blessings. Name Them One By One.

count your blessings name them one by one July 11Image Source

I was sitting in the couch with tears. My mind was rewinding the things happened that day. I was sinking in self-pity. “No, I can’t take it anymore”, my lips murmured with hopelessness!. I started pouring my thoughts to God “I can’t handle these anymore. It’s too much to handle. I couldn’t go by my plans. I’m failing lot of times. I don’t want to try another time. I’m all done. Why did you make me stand alone and struggle? Where am I missing? Blah blah blah…..”  I felt a bit relieved. Thinking to change my mind, I washed my face, made a cup of coffee, sat on my couch with my laptop and started to browse. (This is called Self-pampering! 🙂 ) I kept on browsing and browsing until I saw that picture! That ONE picture completely changed me from self-pity to thankfulness! It made me  feel sorry for pouring unwanted things to God and made me  feel ashamed of my attitude. What was in that picture?? It’s the one from Srilankan war crimes! Oh, my! It was so heartbreaking. Usually, I avoid watching any videos/photos/movies that has too much of human abuse/torturing. I never get  a temptation to watch the videos that have the warning, “weak-hearted are not advised to watch the video”. Yes, if I watch anything like that, it won’t go out of my mind at least for a week. But, I saw that photo accidentally and it affected me deep inside.  At the moment I saw the photo, I felt like God hath ANSWERED all my useless blabbing immediately. I felt sorry for being so delicate by getting upset for too little (before it seemed to be a mountain! :)) things!

Yes, how privileged we are, even though we are not better than those are the ones in deep pain! They have encountered lots of pain that words cannot describe. Men, women and even children were tortured, abused and killed without humanity. Their houses were destroyed. While we have lot of  short terms and long term goals to achieve in our life, escaping from those heartless killers and being alive is their only short and term target goal for them EVERY single day! Their children were denied to have an education. Oh, I am not ready to explain further more about them. Words can’t do justice in describing their painful situation!

We have got homes to live, people to love, education is our basic rights, secured society, food is always in our table, we enjoy going to places  without any threat of terrorism. We are living in a secured society with a sophisticated lifestyle. Besides, we have clean air and water, medical facilities, and almost everything is available. But still we find ourselves missing out the things we don’t have!

Yes, we are all blessed with an infinite number of things which we are not aware of. If we started to list all those, we never and ever complain at all! And am sure that,instead of feeling inadequate, stressed and depressed, we all will be filled with a heart of thankfulness and we will find ourselves more content with what we have.

If those victims were given one more chance to live in our place, I’m sure they will feel like they are living in heaven! But, we are living here from our birth and looking out for further more comfortable situation. Sad but true! We often find ourselves in self-pity and comparison and allow them to spoil our happiness. When we are in self-pity or when we start comparing others, our views tend to be so narrow. Encourage yourself to look at life in a bigger picture.

We curse the heavy traffic, we get upset with slow internet, we feel depressed when our partner couldn’t understand certain problem, we doubt ourselves when our children disobey, feel bad about for not taking proper diet and.. yes, that endless list goes on! Dear reader, there are LOT more disturbing issues out there to really worry about. Let’s remind ourselves that truth whenever we get upset with these simple issues. Tackle all the issues that are disturbing you other than worrying about it.

Let’s start living with gratitude and be thankful for the innumerable things we are blessed with! When we start looking at the things we are thankful for, we will be amazed to see how abundantly we are blessed in our day to day life.

I have a habit of recording (voice) the good things I’m blessed with. I record the incidents that were more inspirational, that made me feel blessed and encouraged me to live more intentionally, in my own voice. I hear it whenever I feel down or depressed. It helps me to be thankful whenever I get irritated and stressed with all my day to day issues. Find your comfortable ways to remind yourself how blessed you are and make it as a reminder to get back to your track whenever you feel down and depressed.

It’s normal to feel stressed out in our day to day life. But the key is, how fast we come out of it and jump back to normal  and get ready to run in our path with full energy. In short, in order to come out of all our negatives, count your blessings, name it, engrave it in your heart so that you can call your blessings by their names whenever problems knock your door. As soon as you call them, problems seem to be nothing and once again  you will feel happy and content.

So, how you tackle your problems? Remind yourselves all the blessings and get energy to tackle it? Or get depressed and blame others for it?

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5 Ways To Show Love To Your Partner Other Than Gifts

5 creative ways to show loveImage Source

Most of us enjoy the period before marriage. We all have our own sweet memories of the time we spent with our partners before marriage. Late night talks, surprise visits, unexpected gifts, sweet nothings, silly arguments, too much pampering, plans for the future, moments waiting to meet, and a lot more. Everyone has their own interesting stories to ponder and share.

But, once married, everything goes upside down. We lose patience towards our partner,  take them for granted, couldn’t bare their tiny mistakes and we literally want them to be perfect and ideal which creates a lot of problems and misunderstandings. In addition to that, the internet plays an important role. Lots of jokes are passed on regarding marriage and it is misleading the younger generation and the married couples. Most of us have a wrong assumption that marriage is not a thing to be cherished and enjoyed. It’s seems to be a not so fancy life long commitment. I was also in the same phase in my early days of marriage. Our marriage looked horrible in 2 months. Lots of arguments, misunderstandings until I met a person who undergone divorce. She insisted that marriage is the best relationship we can ever have and the saddest part is, many of us don’t understand that until we lose it. She advised me look at marriage in a bigger picture. It was a total eye opener for me. There was a remarkable positive change in my marriage after that. So, before losing that precious gift, let us start respect our marriage, our partner and our relationship. Let us try to live happily  in this wonderful commitment.

Yes, marriage is a long term commitment. It has to be maintained with care and love in order to live at its best. In fact, marriage can be made sweeter and nicer more than before when we intentionally work on it. The base of the marriage is love & trust. We all show love to our partners in many ways, mainly through gifts. Here are five (known but seldom used! :))creative ways to show our love and pamper them other than just gifts!

Wake them up in an unhurried manner with a heartfelt smile.

We used to have a good day when we wake up with a happy heart. Try to give a pleasant situation when your partner is waking up so that he/she remains with that positive energy the whole day!  Wake them up gently with a heartfelt smile. Give him/ her favourite cup of tea/coffee and make them feel loved early in the morning. Sit for 5 minutes, chat with them until they finish up their coffee. Even though it can’t be done every single day because of our busy schedules, make it as a point to present them a blissful morning whenever you get a chance.

It is also a best stress buster to cool down your partner if you both have a misunderstanding the night before. This act of kindness eases up the situation, make them feel loved. For sure all the hard feelings will fly away and love will be overflowing.

Write personal notes to them

Writings speak more than words [at least for me! :)]. We may forget the words that our loved ones spoke but not the letters/notes/emails. Letters and notes can be saved and treasured, read whenever we feel like reading it and it remains with us as a token of our blissful love. So, occasionally write notes, it can be either a thank you note or a passionate love note or a funny note. Write to them and keep it in some place where they can find it. It might be a heartfelt thank you note or a passionate love note, don’t hesitate to express. Give them an expectation that they may find your notes surprisingly in unexpected places as a treasure hunt. As I always say, love is highly contagious. It will affect the other person so quickly and soon you will find yourself caught into the happiness of sharing your love.

Give space to them

Relationships can be crisper when we give the needed space to our partners. If he loves to go out with friends, accept it without hesitation. When we allow them without any hard feelings, they will be happy and would love to be at home without any compulsion. Take care of your kids and surprise her by allowing her to go somewhere she loves to go. Surprise your partner by booking her/him a spa so that he/she can relax for a while. Giving space in the marriage relationship helps in growing the relationship. Relationships are like wet soaps. If we try to hold it tight, we will lose it for sure. Treat them gently, give them their space and they will feel happy and feel loved. Do I need to say, there will be a remarkable positive changes in your marriage?

Plan for a surprise date lunch

We all get into a machine life with our day to day responsibilities. There is not much time to think out of the box and have a good time with our partners except very few days. In order to overcome that, plan for a surprise date lunch. Just inform them an hour before and check for their availability and visit him/her in her/him office to have lunch together. Definitely they feel so happy & loved to see you in that unexpected moment. Have your lunch together with a lot of conversations. Love is to be expressed. Even though we know we love our partners and vice versa, it’s important to express our love to feel them loved. This gives a comfort to them in the midst of everything. Let’s learn the joy in giving love to our partners.

Switch off all your gadgets for some time and give your time

We have a stressful work atmosphere. There are lots of deadlines to be met, clients to be taken care, bugs to be fixed, and problems to be solved. As soon as we come home, we engage ourselves with our laptop or mobile phones or TV, in the name of relaxation. There are not much of conversations going on nowadays. The interactions are not happening as a couple or as a family. Everyone is engaged in their own gadgets. Lets us be the starter of the conversations. Let us gift our time to our partner. Share the day’s happenings or ask about his/her day. There might be few ups and downs every day. Ask them and make them feel relaxed by sharing it to you. Relationships will be healthy if there are a lot of healthy conversations going on.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. What are the other creative ways you prefer to show love to your partner other than just gifts?

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The Old Soggy Puddle Called “The Comparison”

 

OldSaggyPuddleCalledComparisonImage source

Humans are really special. Unlike everything in the world, we are all unique in our own ways. Right from outer appearance to inner qualities everyone is different in one or the other way. Although it looks like it’s a gift to all mankind, most of us are all not happy about it most of the time, or at least me! Irrespective of our uniqueness, we compare our looks, career, abilities, and whatever that can be compared! We go so creative in this! 🙂 Comparison is like pulling the emergency brake rope in a train. It suddenly slows down our usual flow of our life in a negative manner. One incident made me rethink my intention to compare.

It was when I had a push inside to start a blog. But, I was hesitating to start a blog thinking about how come I’m going to write in good standards as other leading bloggers do and was doubting that whether I can consistently write as I’m a very irregular person who have difficulty in following routines! Not knowing what to do, I was sitting in the school ground staring at the children playing there. At that time, my kids were playing with their grandpa in the school ground. He called me to take a video as he was conducting a small running race among the kids over there. The game is, they have to run, touch a target and come back to the starting point. All were in their position. My little Christa (2.5 yrs) was also standing there, ready to run. She was way too younger than others. I thought how she is going to compete with everyone! At that time, my father counted 1..2..3.. and everyone started to run including Christa. Everyone was running so fast while Christa was running way too slower than everyone else. Everyone touched the target and was returning back, but Christa was only half way through the target. I thought she was going to quit. But, to my surprise, Christa didn’t stop running. She ran slowly yet steadily and touched the target and returned back without any hesitation. All others reached the target and were clapping and encouraging her until she reached the starting point. The happiness of accomplishment was in her face as she came back to the starting point! I was quite moved by her attitude. How pessimistic am I to compare her abilities with others! At that time, I got an immense energy inside and I decided to go ahead with my writing.

At that moment, I felt like I have understood everything about the comparison. Mind was quite clear. Yep, the comparison is actually meaningless. We compare our realities with someone else’s glamorous stage appearance. Life used to be moving normal and good. Then, all of a sudden, there came this old soggy puddle. We very well know that this old soggy puddle is just located right there and it is in the SAME place in our whole life AND also know that if we fell into it, it’s hard to come out of it! But, still we love to play and ponder in that puddle and later fell into unwanted stress!  For example, most of the times, we feel okay with the way we keep our home. Either it’s neat or it looks like as if the hurricane just hit the home, we all are okay with what we have until we see someone else’s clean & organized home. It looks clean and clutter-free even when you visited them without any notice! Our heart cringe inside. Suddenly a feeling of discontentment peeks in and we start doubting our ability and our home management! In fraction of a second, our happiness is gone! Come on, there are a lot of factors involved in this. Don’t just come to a conclusion and doubt your abilities all of a sudden. It is like assessing the abilities two children of different age groups with the same question paper! We never notice their exact situations, their expertise, or anything else, but blindly compare with that we see at that point of time.

How to handle comparison?

Life is not an easy job. To keep it simple, we have to choose few intentional good choices even though they don’t look fancy! Choose to respect you. Choose to appreciate your abilities. Choose to be gratified with what you have. Choose to take it as an inspiration whenever you see someone with better abilities.

Yes, it’s hard to digest when you struggle to look after your kids sitting at home while your friend is going for work, taking good care on her family, and have good work-life balance! Friend, that is totally fine! You are doing great right now. Stop right there! Stop comparing! You are unique. We are all running in our own tracks. It’s NOT  who is coming first, who is best, who is able. Completing the race matters. Don’t try to run in their style. You have your own style. Respect it! Dig yourself, improve yourself, encourage yourself but don’t stop yourself by just comparing with others.

In my school days, whenever I showed my mark sheets, my father never asked me any questions about what I’ve scored, nor inquire about the top scorer’s marks. Besides, he will simply sign my report card with a smile and say, “try to beat these marks next time”. It was really encouraging. It helped me to study freely other than worrying about what everyone else will get! It gave lots of space for me to improve.

The comparison is redundant. It follows wherever we go. It stands next to us and expecting us to fell right into it. It stops us participating from everything. One or the other time we fell into it unless we make an intentional choice to ignore it. Even though I was totally aware of the comparison, at one point of time, I couldn’t start writing when I kept comparing my writing with all those legendary bloggers! I was earlier stopped by all those so called reasons, but not anymore. I intentionally stopped comparing or competing with all those big writers over there in this whole blog world. This one intentional choice is helping me to write now. This choice gives space for me to improve in my own pace. Now, I’m trying my best to give a better post than before.  when I start writing the next post, I consider my previous writeup as my competitor. I intentionally prefer to make the best out of myself than before. I may not get noticed for what I write. But, definitely I have a satisfaction that I have used my ability and have tried my level best to share my thoughts to others. You never can be perfect. It’s just a phantom.  Let’s try to be happy with what we have and start using our talents without any hesitation.

When you have understood the fact that you are unique, then there will be a lot of space for you to improve yourself in your own ways. Right from your neighbor to unknown people, where ever you see people excelling in their skills turn out to be your inspirations. You will be able to celebrate their success & happiness along with them without any hard feelings inside. How relieving it is! You will feel lighter, happier and more energetic when you get the fact that you are unique in your own ways!

When we intentionally avoid that old soggy pit called comparison, we can be able to explore other nicer things in our life. Let’s just intentionally come out of the pit, clean ourselves and start a happy & adventurous journey all over again!.

So, how do you tackle comparison? Get depressed? or Just avoid it? or take it as an inspiration?

 

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