Cleaning and Cooking

This post is a short and sweet recount of the week.

Cooking has been a major activity this week- I made home made fajitas the other night complete with a black bean side, cooked corn and everything. Thankfully, everyone loved it! Even my cauliflower and dal fry recipe with rotis- simple and filling was  a hit! Plus, I made ghee and will be making sweets and savories for Diwali. (after this post).

Plus, I have been doing loads of cleaning and clearing to welcome Fall and Diwali- the Indian Festival of Lights! It has been a little tougher with cooking so much- but, we thrive on challenges!

And with that, Happy Diwali! Enjoy the weekend!


Declutter -3

I am trying to do deep cleaning since Fall is officially here as is the cold! As I mentioned in my previous posts, that means getting winter gear out and starting baking regularly!

This week T and I made a Banana cake with whole wheat flour. Simple, healthy stuff that we have been devouring. A fabulous way to eat bananas!

But, in the midst of my decluttering came a tiny issue. I hang our mail and bills in a beautiful 3-pocket hanger and my accessories in a multi-pocket holder (a gift from my thoughtful SIL). I used Command hooks to hang them but they kept falling off! Not by the weight (as I initially assumed) but simply due to our wall. The glue does not adhere well to our painted walls! Which means I now need to find a new home for my stuff. Bummer!

But all is not downhill in my cleaning mission. T and I rearranged our furniture and refreshed our toys. So, that is one major item off my list!

Also, with Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights, to put it simply) comes the tradition of buying new clothes. Since, I have been revamping our wardrobe (still in progress!); it was easy to find a permanent home for the bag of clothes until we don them on Diwali morning!

Next on my list is my kitchen, which usually is difficult, since we do cook a lot. But with Hubby and me gearing up to cook up a storm for Diwali, my motivation is high!

So, it is off to tackle the kitchen and get on with Fall Cleaning! Have a splendid weekend ahead! Toodle-Doo!!


Welcoming Fall

20131104-193235.jpgOk, Fall began a few weeks ago, but our community’s Fall Decorations went up only yesterday. That means it is time to Welcome Fall!

That means:

  • Fall Cleaning: deep cleaning the entire house
  • House Makeover: Every Season, I move around our furniture and revamp our closet to keep up with a growing child and changing climates.
  • Halloween: Gearing up for Halloween and more importantly, bracing myself for an avalanche of candy and chocolates.
  • Fall Art and Crafts : Fall also ushers in our major Indian festivals. T and I tried our hand for a few arts and crafts last year and discussed festivals, significance and even culture. We both enjoyed it immensely. I am hoping to make it a kind of tradition. (Fingers Crossed!)
  • Gear up for Winter: Unlike Hubs and T, I am not a big fan of cold weather. In Windy City, I start bracing myself for the coming cold from Fall season- Youtube Scarf & Cloak Fashion Videos, I am coming!!!
  • Renewing Friendships: Since Winter is Coming, I start renewing all the acquaintances that temporarily wane with summer (trips, holidays, etc.). After all, winters mean stay at home (did I mention I am not a fan of cold) and that means boredom. Playdates are the perfect antidotes for kids and mommies alike, so, most of my friends with kids start coming over more often right around Halloween and continue all the way up to Summer. (when our schedules clash but the absence makes our hearts grow fonder?!!)
  • Baking & Frying: Nothing like a warm kitchen and piping, hot food on a chilly day! This time marks the onset of regular baking and frying for me. I am delighted because I’ve taught T to measure and pour carefully, which means we can bake and cook together. (Only safe stuff though!)

So, what does Fall entail for you? Have a good weekend and stay safe!


Time keeping and Making time

It seems like only last month, I was lamenting to my twin about how I am always hard pressed for time and there is too much work and too little time to do it in. I actually stated that while I know everyone has the same amount of time; it feels sometimes, that someone is possibly stealing my time! I feel that over worked! But no more; I no longer feel so rushed.

The change is definitely because of my time keeping. I followed Laura Vanderkam’s time tracking and in just one week, I got so many insights and ideas. With every activity written down, it is hard to fabricate my over work or miss glaring trouble spots. Also, I have the satisfaction of not having to wonder where my time goes- since I know!

While I still am studying my time, especially our unpredictable weekends and the upcoming holidays, I have been able to identify/ change some activities to better use my time. Here they are:

  • Only work/ study while T is away at school. Those hours are precious and allow me to get solid work done, especially studying, coding and writing. I do not use this time for anything else. It’s doubly benefitting, I cross off important tasks and surge ahead during the day with that happiness of having completed my top priorities.
  • Cooking in the late evenings instead of mid evenings is helping. Since I devote all afternoon and early evenings to T, she is happy to play/ watch iPad while I cook. Staying in the kitchen and clubbing all my culinary and cleaning chores together helps get them done better.
  • Ironing has always been a trouble spot for me. Now I just listen to a good podcast/ video to take my mind off it. In fact I conquered my ironing load both these weeks! Yippee!!
  • I have blocked a few sites where I would mindlessly spend time surfing and waste it.
  • Using the ‘Double Dip’ strategy as suggested in the ‘No Regrets Parenting’ book is immensely useful.
  • Reading list and Save for Later Playlist is a good trick. Whenever, I am taking downtime or simply multitasking, I refer to this list. Since, I know what I have to read/ listen, I no longer go down then surf and lose track of time route.
  • Editorial Calendar is another great trick. I blog here and on my website, so, having a clear topic to write on saves me the heartache, cluelessness and succumbing-to-surf-instead-of-research mistake!

I have improved slightly- won’t say dramatically! But I am happy to feel more relaxed now. I actually did some amazing stuff this week:

  • Watched ‘London Has Fallen’ on Netflix
  • T and I watched ‘Zootopia’
  • On the day she missed school, T and I made Fairy wings, wand and a crown.
  • We also found time to play and do homework quite leisurely.
  • Hubby and I devoured Pani-puris and Dal Makhani on the same night. (I would definitely not have ventured 2 prep-intensive dishes on the same day earlier)
  • I did a lot of frying- 3 days in this week. Another activity I would not have thought possible previously.
  • We had company on 2 evenings- and my schedule worked just fine! I did not even ponder if my schedule would remain on track. (This I felt was a big Win!)

Signing off soon that happy note! Have  good weekend! And since the weather and nature are quite violent in places- stay safe folks!