Welcome to Heart and Mind, Please visit me at my new site
Heart and Mind. Hope you see you there!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kids talking: Series

I am starting a series on cutest things kids say. Sometimes my R, my 4 years old says things that makes me chuckle or sometimes makes me laugh out loud.

Even if you have kid or not, kid talks can be amusing, inspirational and may make us smile and make us feel good. I am sure, you will find it fun, even if you are not a parent, or parent many smart little ones.


I was talking about music to R and we talked about Beethoven and his music, his life etc. R got so impressed by Beethoven and classical music, he asked many questions and when he told me he will be as good or even better musician, I was smiling as he wants to be best Fireman, Policeman, Robot, and million other professional jobs he is fascinated by.

Until I heard him tell Zenguy that, he will be better because he will be Beetho-two or even Beetho-three!!! (sure beats Beetho-one)!!!!!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Laidback Mornings: without an alarm

A few years ago, before we had kids, Zenguy and I both used to work in a corporate world. Our weekdays mornings were hectic and much hurried to say the least. Waking up to several alarm beeps (we needed it, as we kept hitting "snooze" button and going back to sleep) quick shower, toast/breakfast bars on the go, tea on go, while we listened to TV or radio traffic news and sitting on traffic jam till we reached office, finally breathing before getting to routine of day to day work issues.

Now, that I am at home, life is lot less hectic for all of us. We have not woken up to sound of alarm in years. We now wake up to sound of our children R (4.5 years) and P (8 months) in the mornings. It takes us a few minutes to be fully awake and than play with kids on bed for 10-15 minutes before getting up with them. Sometimes we wake up to sound of birds, that is also very soothing.

There is no radio or TV news sound in morning for us, we still eat toast or quick breakfast choices sometimes, but leisurely. Now, I am not saying, our every morning is perfect, some days kids are sick or cranky and some days we are so sleep deprived from previous night wakings that we become cranky :-) but despite all of these issues, mornings are much less hurried compared to when we both worked. When we have to go to preschool or work, Zenguy and I work as a team to get kids ready and fed. Zenguy is very sweet, some days he lets me catch some sleep in morning while watching both kids.

Our mornings are not sexy but they are lot satisfying and less hurried now. Best thing about it is, waking up to kids cooing (or crying) is lot better than alarm beep's harsh noise.

How is your morning routine? What works for you? I understand our situation is different, as I am staying home with kids and Zenguy has somewhat flexible work hours. I understand this routine may not work for everyone, but even if you are working, with no kids, you can try waking without an alarm or other harsh noises. For starter, try waking up one of the weekend day without alarm; just night before you lay your head on a pillow, wish or say time you would like to wake up next day and imagine yourself doing it. It has worked for me 98% time, without alarm, that is not bad, right?

When you wake up naturally, morning and day tend to go much smoother in my opinion. Try it, let me know how it worked for you.


Friday, October 9, 2009

11 reasons we hoard on things

Why it is hard to let go of stuff and why it is easier to hoard things in our life. To simplify our life and be more free, we need to keep only items we need, and use often.

When we start decluttering, it is overwhelming to go through it all. There are many reasons we hold on to stuff such as;

1. It holds past, precious memory of your childhood, your first time living alone, or first love, first trip, or all firsts you did in your life. It is hard to let go of those memories.

2. We have spend too much money on it.

3. We may need it someday syndrome keeps us getting rid of stuff.

4. If we have kids, it is little hard to simplify. (Not impossible, just hard)

5. We do not know where to begin.

6. We think our current system works, why fix it? It is part of your comfort zone.

7. It takes too much effort and time to clean it all.

8. It will be clutter again, why bother?

9. It might be valuable in 10 years, we can sell it then at better price. We are not hoarder, we are collector.

10. We'll just move in to a bigger place, or buy more storage system to place it all.

11. We as a species always hoarded things to survive since early days , so what we are doing is natural process. Blame early ancestor (early human) for our hoarding habits.

My biggest problem is kids ever changing stuff and "I may need it someday" syndrome and I have to work hard to overcome it. What are your reasons for holding on to your stuff? How do you overcome those reasons?


Monday, October 5, 2009

10 Creative and Frugal hacks

I get inspired by many blogs/articles and people around me, which keeps me learning new things and makes my life easier, frugal and better.

Betsy Bargain at Talk Thrifty to me is author of the one of the blog that inspires me, she wrote a recent article about Tweak your routine to sneak in savings . It has many wonderful ideas and suggestions, please check it out this and other articles there, if you have not done so already.

It made me think of some ideas/hacks I use at everyday. Here are some of the creative hacks I use in my house, instead of buying new items, use what I have at home;

1. Instead of buying new plastic or other types storage boxes, use unused luggage bags to store winter or summer clothes or extra stuff. Use shoe box to fill up smaller items such as crafts, glue, pens etc. One can glue or wrap used wrapping paper to make it unify and make it easy on eye

2. After using canned food, wash and unwrap can and wash it with soap, use it to store small pens, crayons, pencil holder. Use larger can to hold serving utensils. Larger used cans can be used for small pots outside or inside plants. It can also be used as a flower holder, straws holder.

3. Reusing gift wrapping paper is popular with most frugal people already. Another great idea is to use extra colorful cloth with raffia tied as a wrapping gift. Sunday comic page also make a good wrapping paper for kid's gifts. Gift basket and gift bags can be made with simple things from home. Used brown bags from groceries can be used as a gift wrap, one can stencil some nice stencil design made out of cut apples or cut potatoes and stamp with colorful pattern.

4. Reuse leftover food in soup or veggie burger, it hides and holds better. Use tired and over-ripe fruits and vegetable in to chutneys or soup instead of throwing it out. Blacked out mushy banana makes a wonderful bread or muffins.

5. Use old plastic bags cut to tie up plants that need support. Make craft out of used plastic bag such as parachute or kite for kids. Cut up 4 plastic bags and join them with tape on edges to make a large plastic catch all for kid's messy games.

6. Use old yogurt container for storing leftover or freezing items. It can be used to make also home made yogurt. I use small individual yogurt size container for juice Popsicles, it is also perfect for seed starter too in spring time.

7. Use old and unusable CD to make craft mobile, CD curtain on strings, frame or toss game for younger kids.

8. Use cheap/free baskets and plastic tote bags to store kid's toys, arts/craft supply.

9. Use old T-shirts, towels as a Rag, cleaning clothes. Use newer, small pieces of clothes to make small and simple quilt napkins. Join various pieces of small carpet pieces to make a larger size rug, using duct tape to seal joints on bottom.

10. Reuse old calendars for art pieces in your house, laundry or garage. One can decoupage Calendar or old magazine pictures on glass coffee table or room door to personalized and unique art in your home.

What other creative ways you use reuse items you have at hand, instead of buying it? Please share your ideas.