Category: Family

An Easy Idea To Get Rid Of Shower Stains

An Easy Idea To Get Rid Of Bathroom Shower StainsDo you spend too much time cleaning the shower and still see some residues that are not going away? I came across this DIY cleaning hack around 5 years ago when I was trying to get rid of a hard stain on our bathroom shower. It’s super simple and doesn’t require any scrubbing or hard work.

Required:

Directions:

  1. Soak the cotton balls in bleach and cover the unclean areas with bleach soaked cotton balls
  2. Let it sit overnight
  3. In the morning, remove the cotton balls and wash with plain water

As I mentioned above, you only spend few minutes to prepare the cotton balls and few minutes in the morning to clean the area. Just make sure everyone at home stay away from the bathroom till you clear it in the morning.

This hack never fails and works every single time.

Minimalist Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital bag checklist coverWhen we found out that I was pregnant with our first child, I started putting together a baby registry cehcklist right after I turned 3 months pregnant. Over the next several months, I started getting inputs from multiple sources such as from moms I know, Pinterest and forums etc for a comprehensive list of things I needed to buy for the child. Later I realized, no matter how many times you tweak the list and make it efficient, each baby is different. Even with our babies, one loved the bouncer and one hated it. So, some toys/items might not be used by your baby at all. For hospital bag checklist, however, we don’t have to worry about not using something. For sure every mom/baby use the majority of the same items as they go through the same things in the hospital.

I realized my hospital bag checklist was way too long the first time and I didn’t even use a lot of items I brought to the hospital. Can you believe I carried a 50 pounds suitcase as hospital bag for my first delivery? I didn’t use even 10% of the items I carried. Hospital carired and provided most of the basic things and I was way too exhausted (who knew you’ll feel like you’re hit by a car after delivery) to even open my big luggage.

The second time around, I reviewed my first pregnancy hospital bag checklist and cut unnecessary/not-used items from the list. As you can imagine, the revised checklist contains only basic, important things we have to carry and nothing else. I call it a minimalist hospital bag checklist. 🙂

I used almost all the items I carried to the hospital during the stay. My bag was also much lighter than the first time. I only needed a small backpack (+boppy pillow) during the second time (however, I needed a bigger bag when we left the hospital to carry the freebies from the hospital after delivery).

Although you can find some hospital bag lists in the internet that are practical, a lot of them have some unbelievable long list of recommendations. For example, I have no idea why they recommend us to carry diapers to the hospital. Unless you are particular about a specific brand or cloth diapering from day 1, there is no need to carry diapers in your hospital bag. For both of my babies, the hospital provided Pamper Snugglers until we left home. I even brought additional diapers from the hospital when we were released to go home.

Personally, Food is the primary issue when it comes to the hospital stay. You’ll be deprived of good food and it’s better you carry some snacks for munching during the stay. Also ask your family to bring lots of fruits. I remember not having any fruits (other than the ones that come with the meal) after my first delivery.

For Baby:

I only carried going home outfit for the baby. Until she was ready to go home, my baby wore only hospital onesies and blankets (for swaddling). So, the baby practically doesn’t need anything other than going home outfit that you need to keep in the hospital bag.

For the Mommy:

  • Make sure to take your prenatal vitamins every day
  • Makeup and toiletries such as toothbrush and toothpaste are a must. Even if you forget, do you know hospital does provide toiletries?
  • Electronics: Don’t forget to take all the necessary electronics and chargers
  • Clothes: Get your favorite pajamas for the stay and going home outfit
  • Folder for the paperwork: During the stay, you’ll receive multiple important documents. I’d suggest you carry a folder to keep the documents, as soon as you receive them, in the folder
  • Nursing cover and Boppy pillow: Nursing cover is optional. Boppy pillow is a must
  • Thank you gift for the caregivers: I can write a big essay on this topic. I did so much research on “thank you gift” when I was pregnant. Thank you gifts are completely optional and you don’t have to give anything to the caregivers, nor do they expect anything from you. However, if you do want to give them, make sure you have them ready in the hospital bag. 

Other Family Members:

Mostly clothes and toiletries are the essential items for the family members who stay with mommy and baby at the hospital.

For convenience, I created a checklist printable that you can print and keep it handy. Click the below image and save it on your computer. Click print this minimalist hospital bag checklist. Hope you find it useful.

Minimalist Hospital Bag Checklist

Life Lately

Life LatelyIt’s been minutes since I shared my life lately. Probably not after the baby was born? 🙂 You all know how the first few months after baby would be. Jeev was getting adjusted to having a sibling, sleepless nights, new place, and a lot more changes than we would prefer. We survived and finally, things are getting better.

about meera

About Meera:

Meera just turned 5 months old and she already adores her brother. She is sitting on her own and always looking to grab something to put it in her mouth. She is such a charmer and wants everyone around her. She gets upset even if one of her moves away from her. This girl is full of life and I’m already seeing her uniqueness.

hershey chocolate world

Our Trips to Chocolate factory and DC:

When Jeev was born, we started taking him out as soon as he turned 2 months. With Meera, we finally took a long trip only after she turned 4 months old. My husband has been working too many hours lately (not a happy wife here) and on a Saturday evening, we decided to take a 3 hours trip to Chocolate Factory in Philadelphia. The best part was, we finally traveled to someplace nice and enjoyed every bit of the experience. The worst part was, Hubby was on call all through the journey and we missed meeting some of the folks in PA.

Then, the week after, we took my mom to DC. DC is 4 hours away from our place and it only took us 7 hours to reach there after taking breaks almost every 30 minutes.

It’s our third visit to DC and a low key visit. We made the whole journey as simple as possible. Driving to DC was the hardest part of the trip. We stayed 5 minutes away from major attractions and took Uber everywhere. We came back to the room for kids nap time and went out again in the evening. It worked perfectly fine for us.

Back to work:

I was back to work from maternity leave from March. It’s been over 3 months and I should say life has been crazzaay over here. I’m not really complaining, I love what I do and overall I’m happy that I’m able to balance better than I expected. Big thanks to my family!

Meera’s 100 days and Anna Prashanam:

I’m someone who keeps looking for ideas to celebrate and create memories as a family. We celebrated Jeev’s 100 days and I followed the same tradition for Meera as well.

For Meera’s anna prasannam (first feeding ceremony), mom and I went to Jo Ann’s, picked material for her dress, and Mom handmade a dress for her first bite. I’ll treasure this dress forever. The day was, for sure, very special.

My YouTube channel:

I started YouTube channel a couple of months ago to share some of the things that work better when I show visually. I also realized I’m stressed out when I try to do everything. My initial plan was to post a video once every couple of weeks and I don’t think it’s feasible.

Even to take a video, I had to wait till the house is silent (is that even possible with an active toddler and a baby?), set up everything, take video, and edit. Man, it’s a lot of work and not doing something I planned stresses me out.

So I decided to take it easy and shoot videos whenever I feel like. If I post a video, I’ll share it on Facebook and Instagram.

The Bad:

In the last few months, we had to visit ER multiple times. By God’s grace, all are due to me freaking out over small issues (mom hormones, maybe?). But, this side of life is definitely stressful. I hope there won’t be any sickness for a while.

Did you have any big moments in the last few weeks/months? I’d love to hearing more about you.

Gifting Options to Family in India + $100 Giveaway

Gifting options to family in IndiaAs someone who is living outside of India, I miss the celebrations and special occasions in the family back home. Worst of all, they get used to us being away from them. For them, the first few years are hard. After that, they’re used to our online presence and don’t miss us like before. No matter whether it’s our own parents or distant relative we love, it’s important to keep the bond strong. It’s important to remember and wish on their special occasions.

Gifting Family in India:

People who are close to us, don’t expect gifts or anything from us. But, we know they will be very happy if we gift them something that they love. When the years pass by, I no longer know my family members wants and needs. For example, as long as I remember, my mom never wore makeup. She didn’t like to wear any big jewelry or anything, nor did she like to wear heavy silk sarees. So I assumed that my mom doesn’t like makeup and not much into grooming. She recently visited us a few months back. Even though it’s her 3rd visit here, only recently I got to know that she likes makeup. Well, now it’s my turn to find suitable products for her and help her learn to apply makeup.

Gifting Fail:

Finding and deciding suitable gifts for the family members is the most painful part of India trip planning. I remember buying vegetable peelers and handbags in bulk before one of our India trips. 😉

For birthday and other special occasions, our standard gift so far has been either booking movie or ordering cake. It’s so predictable that it’s no longer a surprise for our family in India. I remember buying something from Amazon for my nephew’s birthday hoping that he would like it.  We gift everything we thought they will like it, but in reality, they might not want to watch that movie we booked or play with that toy that we gifted.

In our defense, we have very limited options to gift from here. Recently, I came across Oxigen’s digital gift services and I ordered Levi’s gift card for my brother through them. The gift card was delivered to his email directly (I got a copy of that email as well. Sweet!).

My Brother’s Experience:

  • He searched the nearby Levi’s store from the list of exclusive stores where the gift card will be acceptable
  • He went to one of the stores from the list and checked in the billing counter whether they will accept the gift card
  • He selected a shirt and bought it using the gift card

I was not completely sure of using gift cards in an Indian retal store. I was so happy that he was able to use it without any issues. Maybe I should visit India often.

Some of the highlights of Oxigen’s digital gifts are,

  • They are great as last-minute gifts when you’ve almost forgotten an occasion.
  • It works when you don’t want to or can’t make a decision on what exactly to gift a loved one,
  • It also provide flexibility when specific preferences come into play (clothes size, material, color, etc.)
  • They offer a variety of gift cards for buying both physical as well as experience gifts. For example, they have gift cards even for restaurants, movie theater, spa, travel etc

Now that we are only a few days away from Father’s day, a gift card to your Dad in India might a good option. I’m sure he would be delighted to try Italian cuisine Spaghetti Kitchen or watch a movie through BookMyShow.

Note: 

  • Even though Oxigen’s online gift cards are instantly delivered to your email, the first transaction takes 2 days to complete. I ordered their gift card on Friday and both my brother and I received the email with gift card information only on Sunday.
  • When you receive the gift card over email, it also contains the list of stores where you can use the gift card. Make sure you use in one of those stores.
  • Certain gift cards, like Cleartrip, Makemytrip and BookMyShow can be redeemed online. It differs for each gift card/type of gift
  • For any issues: the email that goes out to the recipients of the gifts has a link to FAQs and the option to contact the specific retailer for the gift card

Finally, THE GIVEAWAY:

Before going to the giveaway, I wanted to clarify that I spent my own money to try Oxigen’s digital service and even though they are sponsoring the giveaway, all the opinions are my own. I value my readers and I would not recommend anything to you that I would not use/try.

Oxigen is giving away $50 gift card for 2 of my readers. Yay! All you need to do is share this blog post on your social media page with a hashtag #OxigenUSA. You can find a variety of social media share buttons available at the bottom of this post. Choose the one that you prefer and share it to the world with the hashtag #OxigenUSA.

The giveaway ends on June 28, 2017. I will randomly select 2 winners who shared this post on social media (it can be either on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter). Both of you will get $50 gift card that you can choose from Oxigen digital service options. Shower your family in India with gifts using the gift card.

Have you used Oxigen’s services before? What do you think of them? If not, share away this post for a  chance to win $50 gift card of your choice from their options.

If you have any questions, reach me at centsibleindian@gmail.com or leave a comment in this post.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Clueless Moms

Father's Day Gift Ideas For Clueless MomsFather’s day is around the corner and if any of you are looking for ideas to celebrate the special day here are some ideas for us, clueless moms 🙂

Do-It-Yourself Gifts:

If the kid is over 2 years old, it’s possible to make a DIY gift for the Daddy. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on DIYs and it’s my go-to place for any DIY project. I came across the below Finger Paint Canvas and I am totally in love with it.

(image credit)

Since Jeev is already 3 and Meera can sit and grab stuff, this DIY canvas is possible to make for this Father’s day although I’m afraid of the mess it would create when we make it. It’s relatively easy to make, yet quite a nice gift that the Daddy would love to receive.

Note: Hubby never visits my blog or the social media unless I sit with him and show him the blog. So there is no way he would know this gift idea. If you know our family outside of this blog, keep this as a secret. Will ya? 😃

Experience Gift:

experience gift for father's day

If your spouse is not much interested in physical gifts, experience gift can be an option. Who doesn’t love a ticket to their favorite game or show?

Experience gifts can be something like, massaging session at a spa, offroad biking, ticket to an event that he wants to go etc. My husband prefers experience gift and every time I bought one for him, it was a success.

We try to avoid clutter in our home. If I didn’t use a non-seasonal item for over 6 months, it goes out of the house. I just got rid of a Clarisonic Mia because I used it only a few times and personally didn’t like it even though I bought it after so much research. I’d rather experience something awesome as a gift than buying something that I might or might not use. My husband has a similar approach and this idea works for us every time without fail. However, this time I am going to try the DIY canvas idea because we are anyway looking to decorate the house and this would be a great addition.

If you don’t know where to start, Groupon can be a good option. Try your local city mom blogs that share upcoming events in the city. Ask for a good spa recommendation to your friends or in your community Facebook page.

Material Gifts:

Now we are talking about typical gifts. Here are some material gift ideas if you’re looking for one: drones, underwater camera, GoPro, bluetooth headphone, Amazon echo, wearables such as fitbit, Apple watch, electric razor etc.

What to do if you don’t know what your spouse exactly wants? If he wants a camera, do you know the exact model he wants? Personally, even if my husband said something about a product he is interested in, I still wouldn’t know the exact model and obviously, I don’t want to ask him.

If you’re not sure what your spouse wants, write the product name in a note and present to him with a greeting card. You can take him to the shop even on the same day and buy the exact model he wants. It’s a win-win because you gave something your husband wants and your husband is happy to get the product model he is interested. This note is a ticket to buy the item whenever he wants.

If you’re buying online, don’t forget to shop through cashback websites for some nice payout.

Family Gifts:

This is yet another favorite gift category for my spouse. He is always on the look out for some fun games to play with my son. Buying something your spouse likes, yet adding fun to the family is the best of both the worlds.

Some of the gift ideas are lawn games, jogger, bike trailer, backpack to carry the child on hikes, kite etc.

Picture Gift:

One idea when it comes to picture gift is to collect all the pictures of your hubby and kid(s) (just them in the picture) and create a photo book. I’m sure your hubby would love to go through this photo book more than ones and it will be his forever treasure.

Create Your Own Gift:

Does it sound fun? 😀 Create your own gift for the Daddy. Offer him personal care such as pedicure, massage or even cut the lawn once for him (if you know how to do it). He will love the little pampering by his special someone. If you can include your kid(s) in the process, it would be more fun.

We have this Conair pedicure at home and my husband enjoys a relaxing foot massage once in a while. I pamper my guy with a nice pedicure using some wonderful feet/hand creams I use. So far he never complained. Guess, its a success? 😉

Do you gift any other fun gifts to your loved ones? Would love to know as well.