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2015 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Season

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Not until a few years ago when I moved to the US I really understood the term “Season”. I came in the heart of winter and I was saddened at the sight of the trees with no leaves. I wondered if they would always remain that way. Then in a few months, I started seeing colors, beautiful colors and then leaves.

Season to me is a Blessing. Because God said so:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:27

The winter might be long, but you know that spring is coming. That is the beauty of seasons. One season goes away, and another follows. There is always hope. Hope for something better, something colorful.

I like the way how things are organized around seasons. This way, there is an opportunity to celebrate every season. There is a way to be happy in every situation in life. I can setup a flower garden in spring, explore beaches in summer, go biking in the fall and cozy up on the couch with hot tea in winter! 🙂

This post is linked to Five Minute Friday.

 

Biking at Cape Cod Canal

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I’ve realized lately that if you want to get yourself out there and explore places, take your new camera or bike out for a spin, you got to make a lot of sacrifices. You got to plan and this might involve giving up sleeping in on a Saturday. But the outcome is going to be worth it!

That’s exactly what happened last weekend when we decided to explore this new bike path that we had passed by few months ago. We had a hearty brunch at NorthWorks , a fine little restaurant in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. We tried Belgian waffles for the first time!

Belgian Waffles

We headed to Sandwich, MA and biked for about two miles up to the Sagamore bridge. It was a windy morning and the cool crisp fall winds, added to the proximity of the canal made it difficult to bike longer than that. But the ride was nice and we passed by some oil tank cargo ships (probably) and spotted a lot of birds.

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

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double-crested cormorants

How else are you gonna spot a double-crested cormorants (totally googled it) up so close!

 

 

Curiosity is a good friend of adventure!

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Curiosity is a good friend of adventure. I think I just made a catchphrase!

You’ll never know if you don’t try. Taking an initiative, breaking the ice is what takes the edge off of suspense. Someone said, Change is not the problem, resistance to change is.

I’m not suggesting that you be adventurous and fall off a plane or go live in the Arctic. But tone that adventurous spirit down a little bit and apply it to everyday things and watch how it changes your perspective on life.

Few weeks ago we went shopping at the Baspro shops. Behind the store was this little pond and a fountain. Curious over the sign that said Cranberry bog (never heard the word before) we started walking on the half mile nature trail.

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There was this beautiful landscape and a pond with plenty of baby turtles with stripes and patterns on it! Cranberry bushes on one side, lush greenery on the other side, full bloomed lotus flowers and a not so difficult trail. I learnt about wet and dry Cranberry harvesting and saw cranberries in the bushes. Most of which I learnt after the trip, but hey, I learnt right?

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Simple. Yet delightful, informative and refreshing! I’m all up for first time experiences. They give you a sense of thrill and child-like excitement!

Take a break from the routine life. Tread on paths you’ve never been before. Make memories and share your experiences.

Now I know how Cranberry is harvested 🙂

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Learn

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Learning is an ongoing process. Like the air you breathe, the lessons you can learn are everywhere. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and complicated. Life’s lessons are learnt at the simplest moments.

However widespread the opportunity to learn might be, the most important thing you need is a teachable heart. If you are unwilling to learn then there is no point.

The more you learn, the more humble it should keep you. Not having the arrogance of the learned, but the humbleness to learn more.

The more you learn, the more you can share the knowledge.

Try and convert the learning into actions. If you learnt a new recipe try it, if you learnt about a good book, read it.

Above all, keep your minds open to new learning opportunities.

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Today I’m joining Five Minute Friday and writing on the word LEARN in 5 minutes.

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Repurpose

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I did so much decluttering today and one thing led to another and I found a new use for the spare shower caddy that was just lying around and didn’t have a purpose. It fits perfectly in my very narrow linen closet that had a very huge bottom shelf.

I can only imagine how many stuff that’s lying around in your house that you don’t want to give away can be repurpoed. Sky is the limit. I am not going to give you ideas. We have Pinterest for that now. I’m just saying, it can be done 🙂 Get creative.

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And if you are wondering what my cleaning products are, they are the non toxic ones from Ava Anderson. Check out my post on A non-toxic step to know more about them.

 

A non-toxic Step

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Today I would like to share with you some of my experiences with using non toxic cleaning products. A friend of mine introduced me to Ava Anderson. They sell quality products without the harmful chemicals. They not only sell these products but also are in a mission to spread awareness on the increasing toxic substances in our day to day life.

I’ve used many cleaning products and the main issue is that they leave a strong odor behind. Not a pleasant one, but even if it is, it’s usually strong. Now if it’s going to be up in the air for a while, it’s definitely getting into our system. One thing I noticed on Ava bathroom and glass cleaners is that they don’t have a strong smell. They do have a pleasant fragrance from the tree oil, but even that smell does not linger.

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I’ve also realized that a scarce amount of Ava cleaning product is enough to handle even tough spots. This gives an edge over other products, because the more you use, the more you are exposed! Simple math 🙂

Finally, the feeling of trying to make a non toxic home, even if it’s a tiniest step, is in itself a reward! Trust me, when you read the label, and I always do, it is a good feeling to know and understand what goes in to the products you use rather than reading a bunch of chemical names that scares you.

Ava also has a host of personal care, home care and skin care products. Be sure to check out the shop and I assure you that you will be glad you did.
http://avaandersonnontoxic.com/annaradchenko/shop/

If you are new to the whole non toxic thing, be sure to check out this link on why you should use non toxic products.
http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/annaradchenko/why-non-toxic/

 

 

Mark your Calendars

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Kitchen is a place where there are a million tiny tasks that needs to be done. Okay, maybe not a million, but you know what I mean. If you lose track of these tiny tasks they could get neglected and easily pile up. And trust me, deep cleaning a kitchen is no fun.

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My recommendation, is that every kitchen should have a calendar. You need one to mark important dates like when you changed the water filter refill, cleaned the range hood filters, de-cluttered the pantry, so on and so forth. These dates will help you mark when to do the task again.

Let me know in the comments below if you use calendar in your kitchen or any other things you use to keep track!

 

 

Back to the basics

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I’m not very comfortable posting before after pictures. But I took a little out of the ordinary step today. I had a very tough rust stain on my sink. I’ve been exposed and informed about non-toxic products recently, so I didn’t want to purchase a strong chemically loaded cleaning product to beat this stain.
FormatFactoryIMG_8156   So, back to the basics. I sprinkled some baking soda and drizzled  vinegar on top. Waited for an hour and voila!

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I will be talking about my non-toxic cleaning product finds in the future posts.

 

It’s all about Association

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Have you ever been in one spot in the house and a chore always comes to mind and then you totally forget about it when you walk out of that room? For instance, you think that you should dust the window sill when you water the plants but never think about it until you come back the next day to water them. That’s what I meant!

Now, try to associate activities together so that they get done every time the other work is done. Like giving the sink a wipe down after your nightly dental routine, fluff the cushions whenever you switch off the tv.

Its all about association!