Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Post Christmas shopping

Usually here in the USA we get huge discount on all kind of Christmas items, starting from Holiday decors to Holiday dresses after 25th December. So, we decided to go on a shopping spree on 26th morning. Since November we are buying so may thing, which is very unusual to my nature. In the morning my husband didn’t tell me about going shopping. I also didn’t remind him anything, thinking that he forgot about the SALE. Actually, I thought, not to spend any more money. Suddenly he jumped up and told that, we should go shopping. First he told about Michael’s, where I always love shopping. Though I thought not to go shopping, but lastly I couldn’t avoid  the temptations of the BIG SALE. So, we went shopping. First we went to Michael’s, but I didn’t buy many things The most of the shelves were already empty there. Still I took something. I made a major mistake. I had a coupon of $5 off on purchase of $25 items. What I bought, I reached $25 with tax, so the coupon was not applicable. Instead of taking another item, I return few item to make the bill under $20. What a fool I was!!!!Anyway, next we went to Traget store. I had no idea whether the store throws in any sale on 26th December. Still we went there. I got few of the items, which are essential for Christmas decorations, but I didn’t have this time. Our next stop was Kohls. I love to buy Christmas tree ornaments from Khols. Long ago, I bought few ornament from there. Since then I didn’t bought from there, as the price is very high to me. But , on 26th we got an 70% sale and I bought few of them. The most satisfying thing I got, a Santa Claus. Next year Mr. Claus will stand on the mantle of my living room.Next we went to Pier 1 Imports, which is our latest favorite shop. I thought of buying few more decors, but lastly I decided not to buy them, because I have plan to make more decors and ornaments on next year Christmas. Instead of that, I bought four beautiful plates which were on 50% off. We already spent a lot of money on those four stores. It was a wise decision to come back home, and not to spent more money on Christmas decorations. The rest of the day was uneventful. I didn’t want to make it more eventful, as we already went to a shopping spree in the morning. We took rest in the afternoon. My son and my husband spend time watching movies, while I spent the time watching  handmade Christmas card tutorial on Youtube, because still I was very much in Christmas mood. 



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Visit to Widmer-world , The Christmas fantasy

The other day I found out about this exotic Christmas Lighting from my dear friend. After visiting the place , she came to me with a great excitement , and gave me an elaborate description of that fantasy world. This year my new found happiness is watching the Christmas lighting. On that very evening I told my husband about the theme park and asked him to go there . He readily agreed with me, and in the evening we went there.
It was small house at the end of a cal-de-sac.  All the houses on that cal-de-sac were much bigger than that house. But in Christmas lighting that very house just out-staged the others. 






The Widmer couple stared decorating from the 80s and their decorations started growing year by year towards a mini theme park, which also made a news in the local newspaper.

 






Apart from the normal lighting the mini theme park included miniature version of houses, carousels, giant wheel , houses, fairground, all the fantasy characters and many more. I heard that they usually take four months to set up the park, and four months to disassemble everything. They converted the spa into a beautiful mini village.  Their grand-kids’ play house was turned into a candy shop. The Gazebo was converted into Santa’s workshop.   Mrs. Claus, Train Town, Disney, Rein-Deer, Penguins and Kinex,  all have places of their own.  They had their own designers ,who painstakingly designed to make a unique fantasy world of the season.







Merry Christmas to my readers!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas lights

In our neighborhood all most all the families decorated their home for the Holiday season. The whole neighborhood has come into a new life. Sometimes in the late evening , we take drive in the neighboring areas to see the decorations. It is indeed an exciting thing to see. It really makes me very happy.  Anyway, the other day while I was talking with my friend, she told me about the grand Christmas lighting in the neighboring town. I came home , and told my husband about that. He immediately searched on Internet and found some addresses. On the very evening we went to see the Christmas lighting. Unlike our neighborhood, the place was quite dark, not many houses were decked up for the season. When we were going to the first house to see, I couldn’t understand where my husband was planning to take us. It was narrow, dark, and bumpy  road, the houses were almost dark. It seemed that, nobody was there in any of those houses. We were driving , and driving, and I thought my husband lost the road. However, he was confident that , he was driving on the right direction. Suddenly , in the dark, one huge house came in front of our eyes, fully decked up for the season. That was a stunning beauty. In the mid of darkness, the decorations with lights was really stunning.





 Next we went to see another house. Truly, we were so impressed with the first one, the second was nothing to us. I think ,if we had seen the house first, then we would have found it beautiful. Anyway, then we went to third house. Again, my husband  started driving through dark roads, and again I felt skeptical. But after driving about 15 minutes we came in front of a dazzling house. The house was covered by bright yellow light from top to bottom. There was empty no space, and many figurines they put to entertain the children. There were plenty of helicopters, and trains. Even the propellers of the helicopters were moving. My son was so excited , he didn’t want to move from there. It was extremely amazing. I felt like , it was not on earth. 


While coming back we just stopped in front of another house. 


That was not so dazzling, but the decorations was so neat and fettle that you cannot avoid to stop by and watch.


Lastly, I shouldn't forget to mention this above house. This is one of the house neighborhood, with amazing lights and Figurines. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday crafts

This year my Holiday decor is going on rather in a slow pace. I had some decors, which I made two years ago. I put them up in the house, but that turned out nothing. I realized, I needed to make more and more crafts to decorate my whole house. I thought that, I was doing all the crafts very fast, but after so many days I couldn’t fill up my rooms with decors. 

Anyway, currently I stop doing more, because , I find I’m not creating anymore good stuff. I’m thinking something else, but crafts are turning out something else. So, I realize I should stop doing more crafts now, only which are yet to be finished. Still many of the walls are empty. May be after few days if I think, I’ll do rest of the item in my list. Here I’m giving some of the pictures of my Holiday crafts. 

The wreath on the front door
The centerpiece on the dining table
Christmas cone
Wall hanging
More Christmas cones
Santa Claus

More wall hangings








Cross stitch wall hanging




Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday month begins

First week of december was pretty hectic. Actually, it was usual like any other uneventful weeks. However, I made it hectic. You can ask me, how can it be possible to make it hectic, when there was no scheduled work?  Here is the story.


In that week, my husband was away from home, through the whole week. I didn’t have as such work. Frankly speaking, I literally stopped cooking. I’m not a foodie. My son is a very picky eater. He eats very little. So there was nothing to cook. The whole time I devoted in making all Christmas decorations. The weekend before my husband left , we went to Wal Mart to buy the Christmas light. While shopping at Wal Mart I thought of making a Christmas wreath, and I bought few items for that. On Monday, after sending my son to school I sat down with the materials to make a wreath. As all the things were available, I made the wreath within 10 minutes. This made very dissatisfied me. I thought it would take long time. Suddenly I felt like doing some more crafts. Since Monday I couldn’t stop my myself making holiday crafts. One after another I was making. Nothing couldn’t satisfy me.

The Christmas tree is up 

 As finished something, I started doing another. I made a plan to decked my home in holiday flavor. I stopped cooking, I stopped cleaning my home. My home was in total mess, but I couldn’t refrain myself. I couldn’t come back to normal course of work. Then I stopped thinking about household chores. I decided to finish all the crafts, until I could satisfy myself. Even I stopped teaching my son. Really I didn’t feel like teaching him. It really needs hard work and fare amount of concentration to teach a little one. My mind was too preoccupied to do any other things. I almost finished 15 crafts. 


Still I was not satisfied. It was just like an addiction. It overpowered me in such a way that I stopped thinking beyond holiday crafts. But my hard work paid. Now my home is looking very colorful and vibrant. I’m very much satisfied. Now I can go back to my normal routine.

I've decided to cook especial dish on every night during this month



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Goodbye November



Today morning I sat down to say goodbye to November. Though today is 2nd December, I’m still in November. In fact, I’m still in Fall mood.

Trees are still yellow

 

I yet to take down all the Fall decorations and put the Holiday ones. Actually, the last week of November, was very eventful, not only for the Thanksgiving holiday, but also  for our marriage anniversary which was eventually just the day before Thanksgiving Day. Apart from that, during the weeklong holidays, one of our family-friends came with his family from Los Angeles to spend the Thanksgiving with us.  

Before the Holiday begins, I was very concerned about, how to spend a whole week. I was not concern about myself, I was concerned about my son. He had nothing to do at home, and he was going to miss his school friends. I spoke with his best friend’s mom, whether she could come our home on a play-date with her children. But, she called us at her place. I happily agreed, and went to her place with my son. At least two days went by like that way. On Wednesday, we celebrated our anniversary. It was our 7th anniversary.Yes, we spent successfully 7 years with each others, in happiness and sorrow. 

A delicious at Brijes


On that day our family friend came from LA to spend with us. My son, didn’t know that his friend (Our family also has a son of same age of mine one. They love to play with each other.) Anyway, we decided to have light lunch in some restaurant, because my friend told me that she would cook biryani on that evening. She is the perfect biryani-cook. So, we were looking forward to have a great dinner with home-cooked biryani. 
Next day was the Thanksgiving Day. Truly speaking, I didn’t arrange any Thanksgiving dinner, because we had a plan to go Black Friday Shopping. This year all the shops opened in the evening on Thursday. So, that was not actually a “Black Friday Shopping”. Anyway, we finished our lunch with leftover biryani of previous night. Next, my friend and I went to Michael’s art and craft store. The husbands flatly denied to go with us because, to them it was “boring”. My friend and I went were so busy in picking items and then we were in much hurry to reach Wal Mart, we just forgot to give the 30%  discount  coupon to the cashier while checking out. We already started for Wal Mart, suddenly my friend  remembered that we made a mistake. Again I made an U turn and rushed back to Michael’s . We are Thankful to the store, because they considered us and took all the hassles from taking return all the items and checking out them, otherwise it was not possible to use the discount coupons.  We wasted half an hour, and that was our fault. Then we rushed to Wal-Mart. When we reached Wal-Mart our husbands were already inside, and they picked up the items what they needed, even some of our items. The madness in Wal-Mart was something to watch. It was a show of pandaemonium. 

Black-Friday Madeness


My shopping cart


Everyone was rushing, pushing, pulling, shouting, and I think everyone went mad. There was no space to move inside the store. Though it was cold, but with so many people inside the store, it was hot, and it was difficult to keep the jacket on. Anyway, my husband wanted to buy some DVDs. So we had to spend a lots of time there. Then it was the time to check out. It took years to pay and come out from the store. Anyway, our next job was to have dinner. Due to Thanksgiving Day, every eatery was closed, except Denny’s. So, as there was only option. When there is no option it is easy to take decision.  After coming out I decided not to venture anymore. So, I went back home with the kids. The others went to Mall to buy more things. I was not a part of that “adventure”. Later I heard from my husband that, same madness had been going on in the mall.
Friday was just a free day. We decided to go to San Francisco. As we were so relaxed we took a long time to get ready. When we reached San Francisco, it was already half past one. We didn’t went by our car, so after getting down from train, we spend some times to get bus. Lastly, we took cab and headed to Ghirardelli Square to have lunch. Again we spend sometimes to decide where to have lunch. As we started walking we saw  “Maccormick and Kuletos “ and went inside. The food was good. That was a bay-side restaurant.

The view from Ghirardelli Square


 We enjoyed the meal as well as the beautiful  view of the bay from inside the restaurant. When we finished our lunch it was 3:30. After that we had nothing to do. We just walked along the shore. Then we stopped to watch an unknown artist was doing some spray painting. What the pieces of art he created!!! 

That unknown artist
The beautiful Farinelli decorative art store


Those were really something to see. Sadly, everyone, who had been watching him painting, just gave a big hand after he finished one painting, and went away. We also, didn’t buy any of the painting. But back in my mind I felt very sad. I can understand, after finishing some art-piece, if everyone just turn around and goes back, it really hurts. 
Anyway, then we went to Fashion district. When we reached Macy’s it was already dark. But the madness at Macy’s was still going on, especially at the Women’s shoes section.

Little Fall decor at home


Saturday morning our friends went back their home. Again we were three at home. My son was little bit sad, as his playmate said goodbye to him. Rest of the weekend we stayed at home doing nothing. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Some simple chicken curries


Curry 1
Ingredients:
One pound Boneless or normal chicken
One medium onion
Three fourth cup yogurt
One tsp. coriander powder
One tsp. cumin powder
One tsp. garam mashala powder
One tbsp. ginger paste
One tsp. garlic paste
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
One tbsp. of oil

For tempering:
Two cloves
Two green cardamom
One inch of cinnamon stick

Make small pieces of the chicken. Marinate the chicken overnight with all the ingredients, except onion. Cut the onion into small cube. Heat one tbsp. of oil in a wok. Add cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon stick. When you smell the fine aroma, add the onion. Fry the onion for few minutes, covering the wok. When the onion becomes tender, add the marinated chicken. Give a good stir, and let it cook until the chicken is tender. It you need you can add one-two cup water. Serve with roti.



Curry 2
Ingredients
One pound boneless chicken
One big tomato
A bunch of basil
Two-three cloves of garlic
One medium sized onion
One-two green chili (slitted)
One tbsp. oil or more
Salt to taste

Cut the tomato in big chunks. Peel the garlic cloves. Take a saucepan, boil tomato, basil leaves, and garlic with little or no water. Let it cool down Make a fine paste. Cut the boneless chicken into small pieces. Marinate the chicken with the tomato paste and salt for overnight.  Finely chop the onion. Heat one tsp. of oil (you can use a little more, if you want) in a wok. Add onion and fry until it is soft. Add the marinated the chicken, and the chilies. Give a good stir. Cover the wok, and let it cook , stirring occasionally. If you need, add one cup of water. Bring it into boil. Cook until chicken is tender. Serve hot with roti.


Chicken with tomato and basil
Curry 3
Ingredients
One pound of boneless chicken
One cup of full fat milk
Half cup. of plain yogurt
One tsp. garlic paste ( or smash 3-4 big cloves of garlic)
One tbsp. of oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For tampering
Two cloves
Two cardamoms
One bay leaf

Method:
Cut the chicken into small pieces. Marinate the chicken with milk, garlic paste, yogurt, salt, pepper overnight. Finely chop the onion. Heat one tbsp. of oil (you can use a little more oil if you want to) in a wok. Add cloves, cardamoms, and bay leaf. When you smell the fine aroma,add the onion. Fry the onion until it is soft. Add the chicken pieces and fry for sometime covering the wok, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of juice which is  left in the bowl of the marinated chicken. Cook under low heat, until the chicken in tender.
White chicken with garlic



P.S. If you cook under high heat, after adding the juice, milk will be curdled.