Author Archives: Beulah Jegan

5 Simple Parental Acts That Can Make Your Child’s Day!

5 simple acts that can make your childs dayImage Source

It’s been a season in this blog for writing 5 things I guess! 😀 Today also I’ve come up with another 5 simple yet powerful ways that can make your child’s day.

“PARENTING”, is one of the most important and major responsibility in our lifetime. It is a cave of untold surprises and a place where we learn a lot of life lessons! Every day we march past inside the cave without knowing what was there for us that day! Some days are normal, some days are pleasant and some are totally crazy.

The sad thing is, we often forget we are unique and often compare ourselves with other “so-called” good parents in our point of view and beat ourselves to do more. Also, we get trillion bits of advice from our near and dear ones, judgmental talks and comments about our parenting leave us more frustrated. These negative factors distract us from improving ourselves one step at a time and leave us in chaos.

Other than beating ourselves to do more, we should realize that “We are enough”. Whenever we compare ourselves with another parent, just remember that “We are unique and our needs and skills of our children are unique and it’s a total injustice to our own self to compare with someone who’s not eligible to compare

Whenever you feel the pressure inside, be intentional to take one step at a time. One small act a day can change your parenting little by little and make it manageable and do it with intention in the days to come. Even though there are rough days, you know how to tackle it and you will accept and feel content that it is a part and parcel of your life.

“Giving THE BEST to  our children is, letting them learn all the lessons you learned through your experiences and make them understand the meaning of life.”

In general, children are not complicated as we assume! All they need is our attention, love, and guidance. We need to treat them as a team member in a team, a fellow family member, a friend who needs time to be spent on. Stop thinking that they don’t know anything. When we start focusing on them and treating them with importance, then you can see a “new” person in your child.

The following are the five simple tips that can make your child’s day.

1.    Hug!

A hug is one of the best love languages. Its simple yet powerful. A warm hug is enough to comfort a crying child, enough to make them feel secure and calm them down. It is more than enough  to make our children feel that we are there for them without spitting out a single word.

Researchers say that on an average day, a child needs just 6-9 hugs  to drive their day and feel loved. Buying them costly toys, taking them out for dinner or new places won’t touch them as strong as a hug. It’s a perfect way to show your love and make your child’s day. A little pat on the back, a squeeze in their hands, holding hands when you walk with them are enough to make our kids feel happy and secure.

Giving love won’t come naturally. It’s a part of intentional living. Next time when your kids are getting on your nerves, be courageous to give them a warm hug and ask what’s wrong. You will notice the difference! You come to know that a small hug do wonders other than shouting and punishing them.

If you are a parent who would like to present good things to your children, pamper them with lots of hugs!

2.    Listen

Children talk a lot! They never bother whether we are free or busy, they just come in and start conversations! Usually, when they get excited about seeing something new they hop in and share it, when they get hurt, they come to us crying and share what happened and in short they love to communicate everything they encounter in their daily life.

But for us, listening part is too tough! We often get busy with our works and don’t listen to them. It might be impossible to listen to them always. But, make it as a choice to listen to them at least a few times a day. While listening, do it with your full concentration. Hold all your works, look into their eyes and listen intently to show your love. It will encourage the children to share more and help them to count on you when they are in need. Listening also helps you to know their intentions, interests, fears, concerns, likes, and dislikes.

A few things to keep in mind while listening

  • Try not to interrupt until they finish talking
  • Keep it confidential if they ask you to.
  • Encourage them to share their shortcomings and assure that you won’t yell at them after hearing that.
  • Encourage them to share EVERYTHING they encounter. And ensure them that you believe in them and you will be there for them no matter what. [In a lot of repeated child abuse cases, there are two types 1. The child doesn’t get the space to talk about it to their parents 2. Parents who don’t believe/hear what their child shared! ]

When you start listening to them, you can see a lot of improvement in the parent-child relationship. They seem to be more friendly and sharing than before. So, why don’t we try to listen to our children and make their day?!

3.    Make Conversations

Children have no problem in talking to us. On the other hand, most of the time, we talk to them only to give some advice or instructions. Other than that, we never make more conversations with them. (At least me!

Instead, try making conversations. Ask them about their new findings, how their classes went, who are their friends, do they want to help anyone they know, what are their setbacks and a lot more!

Feel free to share them, your financial situation, share them the responsibilities they have as a family, share them how much their help was appreciated in certain parts.

When you start sharing all these, you can see a new person in your child. They seem to be more understanding, surprisingly, they come and give us ideas, commit themselves in few works and so on.

I have tried sharing my thoughts with my older one and have seen lots of difference in her activities. Even though she needs a lot of reminders, I can see a paradigm shift in my view towards children! Actually, they understand us, when we are willing to tell our shortcomings and explain the real situation.

As they love us intently, they take it to their heart and we can see remarkable changes in them very soon. They seem to be more responsible and friendly after that. That, in turn, increases their confidence as they get to know their importance in their family.

4.    Go Crazy!

Going crazy is the best stress buster for children so as parents! 😉 . A sudden pillow fight, a squeezing game, unexpected splashing water game, singing songs, dancing with kids, jumping in bed, all makes them happier in no time!

We do it a lot at home. Even when they are crying, they can’t resist joining the crazy party. So, all bad moods fly away faster. They will forget all the things that made them feel bad and join the crazy games in no time!

Go crazy at least one time a day and let your children see the child in you and join their hands to celebrate the moment with you!

5.    Give Some “Dedicated” Time

This is mainly for the parents who have more than one child. We often end up in spending time with our younger ones. Elder kids are assumed to be grown ups, once the young ones are born. They are expected to live more responsibly and forgiving. We often fail to see the child in them! The fact is, they also want us to treat them as children, they also need some time to be spent with us.

To tackle with that, we can take them alone for shopping or for a small trip to the juice shop to spend some alone time and share some giggles. Get to know their concerns and ensure that you love them more than anything else. Make them understand that how much you look up to them in every situation and thank them for their understanding and support.

I used to spend time with my older one when my younger one sleeps. We talk lots and it is always enriching the love and understanding between us.

Make sure you give some “alone” time with your children and make them feel special and loved.

So, what’s your idea of making your child’s day?!

 

 

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5 Simple Cooking Tips For A Newbie!

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                    I still remember the days when I started to cook. Whenever I started to cook, I feel the pressure inside and my utmost goal used to be “the dish should be at least eatable rather tasty”! I used to drool over all the complex recipes and spend hours watching all those cookery videos and never got the guts to try it out.
Even if I try out a recipe from the internet, I had difficulty in keeping the ingredients in mind and keep checking my laptop to confirm what ingredient to be added next! Oh! Those days are gone now! But, they stay fresh in my memories! So, this post is for all the newbie’s who has just started to cook without knowing what they are doing! (Just like me! :-D) But, newbie’s cooking doesn’t have to be that daunting task if we have few basic things in mind.
Here are the 5 steps that considerably reduce newbie’s cooking!

1.    Start Small

It’s always wise to start small no matter what work we do as a fresher. Starting small help us to accomplish more and gives a confident that we can do it and can move further forward without more hesitation or procrastination. You can start by just making a cup of coffee or a simple dish that involves just 2-3 ingredients, Do it with an interest and celebrate once you finish it. Keep doing the same thing again and again. You can see the improvement as the days go by.
Starting with very simple recipes that can be completed in lesser time will help you to try more than one dish a day. Soon you will get an idea of what you are doing other than confusing over complex recipes. One simple step a day helps you to try out more recipes in the days to come without breaking your head.

2.    Learn The Magic Of A SHARP Knife!

Yes, sharp knives can do wonders. In my initial days of cooking, I hate the cutting veggies! Oh, how much I hate that cutting part! Some days it is enough to make me depressed. (Okay, I was that much dumb that time!    :-D) It was also time consuming!  One day, my friend suggested buying a new knife (Darn! Why didn’t I get the idea by myself!!!) And that’s where my life totally changed! I felt easier to cut vegetables, especially hard ones like carrots, potatoes. I started to enjoy cutting. It was no longer a time consuming and depressing task for me.
Also, knives need to be sharpened periodically else we will end up in spending more time on that. We can sharpen our knives at home. Check wiki how <http://www.wikihow.com/Sharpen-a-Knife> and know about sharpening your knives at home and enjoy stress-free cutting!

3.    The Beauty Of Cooking In LOW Flame

When I started to cook, I used to cook in high flame in order to finish cooking the dishes in no time. But, I used to end up in burning the dishes and spoil the taste. Sometimes, I have totally spoiled the dish when I tried to cook more than one dish simultaneously.
Later I started to cook in low flame and lids on. It was just fabulous! As I always use lids to close the vessels while cooking, meals get cooked in no time. In addition to that, there was no burning as I was cooking on low flame. In addition, lots of gasoline will get saved if we cook in low flame and lid closed.
We can certainly finish up cooking faster by keeping it in a low flame with lids on than cooking in high flame. Cooking on high flame needs lots of attention, where it is minimal when it comes to low flame. I used to put one dish for cooking on low flame and simultaneously do some other works like washing the dishes or running one load of laundry in the gap. The best part is, we are not standing next to the stove all the time waiting for the meal to get cooked!

4.    Keep Recipes Handy

Oh boy! I have wasted so much time by not having the recipes handy in my earlier days of cooking. I search for a mouth smacking recipe and bookmark it. Next day, I will keep it open on my laptop and start doing it. I keep checking the method/ingredients whenever I get a question. It used to take up a lot of time and eventually made me stop trying out new dishes.
In order to avoid that burnout, you can start with simple recipes with fewer ingredients and I would suggest keeping it handy. It will help a lot not to get distracted and concentrate on what you are doing. Also, getting an idea about the recipe by reading the steps once or twice before trying it  will save loads of time and energy and help you to understand the recipe and know what you are doing other than just following the recipe.

5.    Plan

I keep the best for the last. Planning is the main thing in almost all parts of our life, especially in cooking. It saves a lot of time in cooking. Planning the night before helps you not to panic in the neck of the moment. It helps you to make preparations the previous night. For example, soaking beans the day before helps to cook them in no time, checking the availability of ingredients helps you to change the menu if needed. Planning the previous night helps you to save a bunch of time in the morning and helps you to cook relaxed.

I hope the newbies would have got some idea through this. So, what are your tips for newbies?

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A Simple De-cluttering Tip That Can Save Your Sanity.

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We all enjoy looking at flawless pictures of organized closets, neatly arranged books in the living room, perfectly decorated rooms and fabulously designed bathrooms! We save those in our desktops, download it on our mobile phones, pin it to our Pinterest boards and really wish that someday we should do something to make our home picture perfect. Sometimes, we spend hours together looking at those and choose what fits our home and make a note of it. BUT in reality, all that seem to be an untouchable goal. Our homes are still messy, our interiors seem to be outdated, our furniture seems to be worn out and toys shelf is a total horror!  Even though we go beyond to make our interiors, our home still seems to be messy and overflowing with a lot of “STUFFS”!

So, in short, “STUFFS” are one of the major reasons that make our homes look disgusting. Clutter can be paper clutter, an overflowing amount of dresses, kitchen utensils, kids’ toys, craft items and so on!

On the other side, in reality, we know that we never ever attain the goal of Pinterest perfect homes as those are staged, staged and staged to perfection.

Other than drooling over that perfection, we can take a simple step to make our home a less cluttered one and give it a clean look.

Earlier, I used to spend hours together to clear out my clothes, choose what is needed, what is my favorite and clear out other things to give away. But, that seems to be so time-consuming and I used to end up in clearing out very few items and moreover it takes more time and makes it so hard to de-clutter all the stuff in one go.

Recently, I did something that saved my time and made my wardrobes look clean and neat within minutes.

Here Is What I Did!

I took all the clothes from a particular rack which I felt I am not accessing much and put that in a cardboard box and kept it aside.

You heard me right? “I just cleared out EVERYTHING in that particular rack”. WOW! Now I got a COMPLETELY empty rack and it REALLY felt very good to see an empty rack in my nearly overflowing wardrobe.

After that, all I did was, whenever I wanted something from that particular rack, I searched it from that cardboard box for the next THREE months. And at the end of the third month, I gave away everything that stayed in the cardboard box. AND it was almost ¾ th of the box! By this way, I cleared out ¾ th of my rack without making any great effort to sort out my favorite clothes.

For me, three months was enough to find out my favorite clothes. It can be 6 months or 1 year for others. You can be flexible with the timings. But, this can really help you to get away with any of your clutter.

In your home, the clutter can be in the form of books or craft items or a messy rack in your kitchen. Whatever it might be, all you have to is, just wipe out everything in that particular rack and keep it in a cardboard box. For the next 3 – 6 months, search for items when you need it, from that box other than searching it from the rack.  I’m sure that will take the same time as you search in the rack. BUT, it will help in finding out your “needed” items for your wardrobe/ kitchen /bookshelf /craft items and get rid of the other items without working out much on it.

Hope this helps! What is your effective, time-saving de-cluttering tip?

 

 

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A Little More About Me On My Birthday!

A little more about me on my birthday

Today is my birthday! For me, it’s like am just out of college and I still remember the days I struggled to get work! Yet, 12 years gone by! So, on this special day, I would like to reveal more about myself to let you know that am just a normal and average person and in fact, most of you should be functioning and handling things far better than me!

As you all know, I am a stay at home mom with two lovely kids named Catherine and Christa and wife to a wonderful husband who is an enthusiastic entrepreneur (I’m still learning to pronounce the word “entrepreneur”! 😉 )

This post is to just let everyone know that I’m nowhere special or efficient just by writing or running a blog and I too have all struggles just like you in leading my daily life. To be frank, am lesser than average and learning to simplify my life beyond all complexities!

Here are the few more truths about me!

  1. I am NOT the one who stands out of the crowd but one among the large average group; I am a work in progress. I am a jack of all and master of nothing! AND I have had trouble in following routines. I’m getting little better now. (Maybe, because of the age! 😉 )
  2. I have difficulty in climbing the escalators. Yes, I still stand wait for half a minute and then only climb on it very carefully. (On the other hand, my little ones do it without any problem!)
  3. I am allergic to sounds. Few sounds are enough to make me down for a whole day! Writing with the tip of chalk piece on a black board, brake sounds and dragging furniture on a tiled floor make me panic and depressed.
  4. I don’t do a variety of cooking. I repeat and make simple tweaks in that now and then. On the other hand, I love to try out a variety of cuisines and love to taste new dishes. But, my choice of food always flops wherever I go! Yet, I have the looove towards tasting new dishes hoping that will taste good.
  5. I have travel sickness and hate long trips in car. On the other hand my hubby loves to go for long trips in car! What a combo!
  6. I have love towards both coffee and tea and both are my comfort drinks when I need a break!
  7. I used to be so sensitive and my parents call me “delicate darling”.
  8. I faced lots of failures after my college and made wrong decisions which changed my life as a whole. But, now am so very thankful for those mistakes as those failures and mistakes moulded me into a person of who I am today!
  9. I wished not to marry my husband but married him and ended up loving him too much. Now, I am thankful that I didn’t go as per my decision!
  10. I plan a lot but very poor in executing it.
  11. I LOVE dancing and acting in plays. I have done a lot of performance in my school days but now, I do a very little bit of dancing in parties, family get-togethers and with my girls at home.
  12. I am very bad in remembering names and sometimes people’s faces. oops! Faced lots of awkward moments because of that!
  13. Whenever I feel stressed out, I lie down or try to sleep for 20 minutes without thinking anything. I believe relaxing for 20 minutes can help me regenerate and continue to do my work.
  14. I never get too close to anyone and I have less than 5 close friends. But they are my best! 🙂
  15. I CAN’T multitask. When I work, I couldn’t even hear what others talk next to me/ what song is getting played. Yes, you can scold me when I work and I will accept that without any objection! 😉
  16. I am very poor in geography. I don’t understand maps till now and always prefer to use navigator even for short distance and my whole family teases me about that. 😀
  17. I have immense respect & love towards my school teachers & grandparents. I don’t consider this as a good quality but as a privilege to have them in my life.
  18. Besides writing, I have a love towards fashion designing & kitchen gardening (both are on my bucket list 😉 )
  19. When I feel unproductive, I go colour one or two pages in my girl’s colour book and feel good about my accomplishment 😉
  20. I really get cranky when someone (specially my children 😛 ) interrupts in my work as it takes me more time to get back on track (I mean concentrate) and continue the work! See #15.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. As I mentioned above, I am just like you and I have my own struggles and minus points. Yet, I love sharing my day today learning in this blog with a hope that it helps least one reader who desperately needs that.

Me signing off to enjoy my evening! Good day to you all!

 

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5 Things To Improve Your Marriage

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We are living in a generation where the marriage is losing its preciousness. Every day we are bombarded with lots of marriage memes, husband-wife conversation memes, arrogant wife & pity husband memes, ego related memes, and LOT more. Even though those memes seem to be funny, it makes a huge impact down the line in our subconscious that marriages are tough and unworthy to fight for.

When marriage is rightly understood then we will get motivated to do our best in that relationship to make it happy and meaningful. It is a wonderful relationship and it is worthy to fight for irrespective of all the challenges we face as husband and wife.

Nowadays, marriages are breaking up due to a lot of untold expectations. The truth is, marriages can be healthy, loving, energetic and meaningful. All we need is to work out few things and let go things that we are holding for a long time.

Here are the 5 simple things to improve your marriage.

  1. Give space

Every person should be allowed to have their own space to refresh, retreat and reflect. Whenever I feel low or just get overwhelmed with my day to day responsibilities, I love to meet my old colleagues or my friends. Sometimes, my husband encourages me to do so as he knows how energetic and happy I will be, after those visits. This happiness reflects certainly in our marriage relationship.

The best part is, if I want to go meet my friends, he never hesitates or show faces. Instead, he readily accepts that with a happy heart which makes me not to feel guilty for spending time on my own.

In turn, I also love to allow him to watch movies on his own and spend time with his friends as I know how much important to make relaxed and refreshed.

Even there is a misconception between you both, just give some time to your partner to be alone and get calm down. That few minutes of thinking in their space allows them to calm down and think straight without any added emotions.

Allowing your partner to spend time on their own makes them feel more relaxed, happy and energetic. This, in turn, boosts the relationship between you both.

  1. Share Responsibilities

Taking Responsibility and sharing responsibilities are the major struggle in a lot of marriages. But it can be tackled and well managed in the course of time. In order to avoid untold expectations in sharing the responsibilities, better list out all the responsibilities and talk about it freely and share it with you two. Kindly notice that I didn’t mention “equally share”! 😉

For instance, in our home, he takes responsibilities of all kinds of payments (yes, he needs reminders from me, though 😉 ), dropping kids and planning weekend outings. Other than that, I take care of other things, as he spends most of his time in managing his business and travels often. I won’t say this is the best way to share responsibilities. But it works for our home.

Try to take up responsibilities that you can manage and don’t overload yourself with a lot of responsibilities. If you are more like me, then try to outsource few works and can avoid stress. I have a helper who comes every morning to clean up my home and wash dishes. This reduces few of my responsibilities and helps me focus on the other things without any further burnout.

Always there should be clarity in this area. Men need more clarity in this area. If wives are able to patiently discuss about it and share the responsibilities to them perfectly, then that will improve marriage and avoid a lot of disappointments.

3. Focus on Positives

Everything in the world has a speciality inside right from a grass. So, focus on positives of your partner and try to appreciate that. When we start looking at the positives we will start falling in love with them all over again.

In our initial days of marriage, there were lots of misunderstandings between us. I started to look at him as a villain in my life. (Oh me!!! Yeah! 😀 ). One day when I was reading a book, I liked the idea of focusing the positives of our partner. From that day, I started to look for the positive character in him. After that, I was surprised to see there is another positive side of my husband. I found out lot of positives in him more than I thought! He was more caring but poor in expressing, more reasonable in few things, loves to travel as a family, wanted to watch movies together, love to give gifts for my birthdays but forgets the date (oops!) and a lot more. Yes, I started to fall in love all over again with my earlier “villain” 😉 I hope you got the idea.  😀

Focusing on positives qualities of your partner surely lift up your marriage to a new level.

  1. Communicate

A proper communication avoids lots of misunderstandings and problems arise especially between couples. In the Bible, there is a saying, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Communication is important between couples but we should also give equal importance on when and where to communicate with our partner.

Let’s say, you are playing a game. You cannot expect your team member to catch the ball without taking care on throwing the ball in the right direction. In order to play a happy game, first you should know the art of passing the ball towards your team player properly.

If he keeps on forgetting your birthdays, even you fought for years then it means that he really doesn’t have the capability of remembering the dates! SIMPLE! Then there needs a proper communication. Remind him the day before your birthday or in worst case remind him on your birthday with a smile. (Not a mean one, though!  😉 ) See the difference in them!

Try not to open an argument when he/she is tired or stressed. Talk about sensitive issues when they are calm and in good mood. Talk to them softly and politely so that they can think about it without getting emotional. If we do so, there will be a lot of thinking from our partner before answering our questions other than getting emotional and breaking out as an argument. AND hence a happy and understanding relationship!

  1. Always remember you both are “ONE” team and “ONE” body!

When we were little, we could not stand when someone talks ill about our parents/siblings. Especially, even now we couldn’t stand when people comment on our parents. This is because you consider your parents as your own flesh. Same way, you should consider your better half. We should always be on their side no matter what.

Consider your right hand has some problem and you can’t lift it. Does your left hand complain about doing everything alone? Or are you getting frustrated and cursing your right hand? No, a hell NO! Instead, the left-hand does almost double the work until the right hand becomes normal. It comes naturally to the left hand. We take medications, put ointments if needed and almost the whole body is taking care of the right hand until it becomes normal.

We should have the same mindset with our partner. Start to encourage them when they fail, care for them when they are stressed out, hold hands and ensure you love them when they do something really wrong. Stop pointing your fingers and start loving them no matter what. When you start considering them as your team and do everything a successful team needs, then that good spirit will catch them too and they also consider themselves to be on the same team and work for the success of your marriage! That certainly improves your marriage relationship!

These are the few simple tips to improve your marriage. What are your thoughts to enhance your marriage relationship?

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5 Simple Things That Can Make Your Mornings Hustle Free

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Either you are a stay at home mom or a full-time/ part-time working mom; our mornings are always busy like a washing machine! We run, run and run until everyone gets out of the home. A lot of times, its more tiresome and eventually causes meltdowns. Some days, this morning hustle is enough to fill in all negativity into us.

Deep down our hearts, we all long to sort it out and have a peaceful morning routine, but we often don’t get time to sort it out or just procrastinate to do that. So, let’s try to sort it out here and find few simple ways to tackle it. The main reason for our stressful morning time is: we are trying to do EVERYTHING in the morning time. Right from searching important things, cleaning up, cooking, sorting, to choosing what to wear, we try to do it ALL in the morning time. Obviously, our body and mind get tired and we feel exhausted once we finish up the morning tasks.

If we would like to choose a hustle free morning, then we have to lessen the burden that we are giving to us every SINGLE morning.  The best way to lessen the load is to split up the load into simple tasks and do that in the previous day whenever we get time.

So, here are the five simple things that can eventually make your mornings hustle free. After reading this, if you feel that it can reduce your morning hustle then I encourage you to try it one at a time.

  1. Keep things in place.

It is an old proverb that my father in law used to say it often “A place for everything and everything in its place”. [I can hear the groaning! 😀 ] Yup, it’s the first and foremost step. As I always say, simple living is a set of wise choices that often don’t look fancy. I’m very poor in following routines. I never keep anything in proper place so as my kids. It was dreadful to find their ID cards, his car keys and almost anything in the busy morning time, made a very irregular person like me to be a little regular in few things. To avoid this morning rush of searching items, I put a small container to put my kids ID card and belts and a separate bowl to keep his car keys and his wallet. It took few weeks to encourage & train my kids to put it in there. But, it made a great difference in my morning rush.

Now, this is what my kids do as soon as they come from school (almost 90% of the days). Put the shoes & socks in place. Put the lunch and snacks boxes to wash and keep their school belts and their ID cards in separate place. All I need to do is to be mindful when they enter into the house and gently remind them to keep everything in its place. As days go by, it will be a habit for them. As for me, it’s still in practice. 😉

  1. Keep the next day’s dresses & accessories ready

In a rush morning time, a big block of time is spent to decide “what to wear” for that particular day.  My first one has to wear different color uniform & socks on alternate days. I have just 2 pairs in both of that. Even though having less is great, sometimes it gives me such a headache. Some days, I end up finding that there is no pair of socks to wear in the last minute. This gives me lots stress and guilt. After that, I tackled that by spending just 5 minutes in the evening while my kids change their uniforms.  While they change, I go check whether the uniform & socks are available for the next day. If not, it gives me time to get it ready before next day morning. And, I exactly know where all their uniforms & socks are, and I will be totally relaxed to face that particular part in the morning time.

Also, if you are an office goer, you can spend just 5 minutes to select next day’s office wear when you change the dress that evening. Our mind used to be calm in the evenings and it is easier to decide than in the rush morning hours. If something is missing or needs to be washed, we can do it that night other than getting annoyed the next morning! This helps us to face the next morning without any unexpected surprises and stress.

  1. Keep  the things ready for cooking.

This one saves me a huge amount of time. Once dinner is over, I used to take out the main ingredients (2-3 items max) that are needed for cooking for the next morning. Also, I try to clean dishes that are needed for the next day.

This is what I do after dinner. (Okay, almost 90%)  I take out the quantity of rice needed, soak beans and wash the vessels that I use for cooking the next day. By doing so, I don’t have to search for the vessels or get extra work by cleaning them in the morning and measure or look out for  main items in the morning rush. It helps me lots to finish up my work quickly in the kitchen. In addition, it gives space to plan my next day’s menu in advance. Usually, it takes merely 10 minutes to finish this routine and sometimes it takes 15-20 minutes (if I have more dishes to clean).

  1. Cut vegetables, just a little.

Too much of work in the evening can make us tired. Already we have made simple but few wise choices. Cutting vegetables may seem to be an over work, but I suggest to do a little cutting in the previous evening.  I used to do one vegetable side dish every day for my lunch. So I prefer to chop vegetables for preparing the veg side dish in the evening time. I do it while I watch my favorite program on TV. It helps me not to spend more time in making my side-dish in the morning. Other veggies can be chopped in no time while this side-dish is getting ready.

  1. Fill ALL possible things for the next day

If we take a list of items that we need to take care of in the morning, then we will be surprised to see the size of that list. Children’s snacks, water bottles, lunch boxes, towels, spoons, pencils, eraser, sharpener, books and few more. Every item takes at least 2-5 minutes to get it ready.

 In order to avoid last minute hustle, some items in the list can be tackled by our kids and others by us the previous night. For example, if we encourage them to arrange their bags & boxes in the night, then there won’t be any serious searches for a particular book in the morning. If we keep the water bottles and snack boxes filled and ready the previous night, then surely it is going to save time and lessen our stress in the morning.

 

These are the five simple things that I practice in my day-to-day life to reduce the morning hustle. How you tackle the morning hustle and what are your choices that help you reduce the morning hustle?

 

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When Less Is More

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We all have dreams, quite a LOT of dreams. Everyone’s dream is unique and special. Few follow their dreams and achieve it whilst others keep dreaming and waiting for their moment to pursue them. But in common, most of our goals trackback to materialistic possessions we would like to own. We work hard to get promoted to higher positions, which in turn results in more salary, and that extra money helps us to pursue our needs/wants. But, most of the time, the large part of that extra income is spent to fulfil our wants than just our needs.

The pursuit of fulfilling our wants is quite flashy outside yet dangerous inside. Getting what we need is completely different from getting everything that we want to own. It’s more like eating junk all the time. Eating junk is a pleasure all the time. Who don’t love having French fries, donuts and coke?! 🙂 . Obviously, it will result in serious health issues down the line.

Likewise, getting/buying what all we want gives an immediate pleasure and happiness as soon as we buy those things. But, looking it in a deeper sense, it just adds up stuff in our homes silently. But, it ends up in eating all our time in maintaining and organizing it.

When we give importance to our wants and start filling our homes with those items, then those in turn demands us to give more importance to our stuff: in organizing cleaning and maintaining them other than enjoying our time with our loved ones or pursuing something we love.

At one point of time, instead of owning our stuff our stuff starts owning us. The reality is, we often end up in spending our time in organizing our overflowing wardrobe, wiping up our classy and costly showcase pieces and sorting out our unending mess of our children’s toys.

Even though it’s little tough to practice mindfulness and be content with what we need and to suppress the feeling of getting what all our heart desires, that practice help us to live a life without any stress. So is the saying “Too much of anything is good for nothing.”

How many times we stand before overflowing wardrobe and felt like we don’t have enough *good* dresses to wear! Are we not content with what we have? OR we keep those dresses we don’t love because they are costly? OR someone we love presented that dress? Or we are waiting to wear those after shedding few extra pounds?

On the other hand, what if we have fewer items? Just the items we REALLY love? That pink jacket we love to wear anytime we go out, that comfy jean we wish to wear for almost ALL casual parties? That few party wears that we wish to wear for parties. Imagine having a wardrobe of items that you love most. Imagine having a wardrobe that you can just grab ANY dress and wear because everything is your favourite!  In that case even if you have fewer dresses to wear, you will feel content and happy to have those most favourite dresses in your wardrobe. Even it is 5 or 15. How comforting and relieving it is?! At that time we conclude, LESS IS MORE :).

The Pareto principle (commonly called as 80-20 rule), states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. To put it simpler words,

We use only 20% of what we own and another 80% are just sitting idle and unused.”

If we use only 20% of what we own and another 80% are just sitting idle then why we still allow them to waste our space & energy in maintaining them??

Yes, having less is more when we only have the items we love most. More seems to be less when we keep things we don’t like but still keeps it in the name of remembrance/ guilt/ costly/ whatever! When we are surrounded by the things we don’t really like, we never feel content; our hearts desire for more and never get satisfied.

So, let’s be thoughtful in buying new items. ASK few questions BEFORE you buy.

  • “Do I really need this? Or just want this as my shopping mind is urging to buy?”
  • “How often I’m going to use this? Or I can just borrow/rent it from shop/friends?”
  • “Do I have space to store this item?”

Regarding ALL the overloaded things you currently own, start paring down those unwanted stuffs.

  1. Start one item at a time.
  2. Examine each and every item.
  3. Identify the things that you don’t like.
  4. Donate it or throw it away or pass it on to friends who really need those.

Free yourself from all those clutter that is suppressing you. Start giving your time and energy for the ones whom you love and put your efforts which deserves most.

Do you ever feel stressed out with the extra things you have owned so far? How do you tackle that?

 

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

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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.

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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

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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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