5 Coupons for Spring Cleaning!

This has been long pending. I have been wanting to get my act together and do some spring cleaning ever since I read MixHart’s Blog¬†on her family’s Big clean! Now that Spring has arrived, somewhat, I guess it is time I get started on things. Since I am gonna be busy all day cleaning things up, I thought I will leave you with some coupons I am using to get the costs under control during the whole process… Enjoy ūüôā

 

Get 25% off on Furnace and Duct Cleaning services! Trust me. You will need them

Get 25% off on Furnace and Duct Cleaning services! Trust me. You will need them

Your car needs some spring cleaning too! Get $8 off when you get an oil change at Mr.Lube

Your car needs some spring cleaning too! Get $8 off when you get an oil change at Mr.Lube

Spring Cleaning cannot be complete without a dash of paint! Avail $10 off on every $50 you spend at Sherwin Williams

Spring Cleaning cannot be complete without a dash of paint! Avail $10 off on every $50 you spend at Sherwin Williams

Couch gone all bumpy? Time to get it changed! With $100 off!

Couch gone all bumpy? Time to get it changed! With $100 off!

You know what goes wonderfully with Spring cleaning? A cup of hot fruit tea! Make that 2. The second one comes free after all!

You know what goes wonderfully with Spring cleaning? A cup of hot fruit tea! Make that 2. The second one comes free after all!

Hope that helps.. So are you starting on the spring cleaning yet? or Have you already finished? Did you blog about it? Share a link maybe? Would love to know more!

 

May Day Basket – Recipes for a special day!

Let me start this post by wishing all the women out there, a very happy May Day! If this was a day to celebrate people who worked hard, it has to be a day to celebrate us Moms, wives and all of us power women! It beats me how we manage so many different roles with such ease!

maydaymom2

But May Day is not just about labor and hardwork. May Day is also a day to celebrate the coming of Spring! I was reading up and found this excerpt in Wikipedia

¬†Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on¬†neighbors’ doorsteps

That sounds like a super fun idea! Wonder why this idea would fade. I have decided to do my part to bring the May Baskets back in vogue. I am going to leave a few in my neighborhood today! And what do I put in the Mayday Basket? These are the recipes I am considering:

CheeseStraws

helloflower

hotcafemochatruffles

nobakelemondreams

Strawberry Banana Bread

 

As for the baskets themselves, I am planning to use this one:

Homemade Brown Paper Baskets

 

Join me in celebrating this May Day the good ol’ way! Spread some love and some home made treats in the neighborhood! What recipes might you be trying? Drop a comment and let me know!

Happy May Day again ūüôā Hope you have loads of fun welcoming Spring!

10 Coupons to save you money as you move to your new home

It is established that Spring is possibly one of the best times to move, since the rates are reasonable and the weather is not too harsh. But moving doesn’t just stop with moving. In many cases your new home requires special attention, painting, plumbing, Electrical repairs, new furniture and all that jazz!

Bills could spoil the joy of moving into a new home.

The only way to get through it all is to use as much discounts and offers as you can, through it! Here are 12 coupons to save you some money over your move!

1.  5% discount on the movers

Well, this is a given. You might need the help of packers and movers to get you through the move. So here’s a coupon from Platinum Movers to save you some money on that: 5% off on moving charges

2. Save on 10% Dispatch fee on Electrical works (Plus free inspection)

Use this coupon to save on Dispatch fee (10% of the total invoice). Also, get a full home electrical inspection, worth $250 absolutely free: Save Dispatch fee on Electrical works

3. Save GST on Plumbing

The government charges about 5% Goods and Service Tax on your Service bills and Plumbing falls under that. So, as you fix those leaky tubes, save some tax, using this coupon: Save GST on plumbing

4. Convert the basement into a den, and save while at it!

This is a topic not many experts remember. There is always, simply ALWAYS, some work to be done on the basement. But don’t fret, use this coupon to save you some:¬†Save 15% on Basement development

5. Get some heavy discounts on the paint

For one, paint your home yourself. Adds that personal touch, is a super fun activity when you do it as a family and lets you save a lot on painter charges. But the paint itself doesn’t come free. But you could always get a discount there: $10 off on Sherwin Williams paints

6.Get the dream couch for $100 less

Sitcoms don’t lie when they portray the couch as the most important part of a home. It is, in fact one of the places your family spends most time at. So go for your dream couch or sofa. And get it for a lot lesser with this coupon: $100 off on any sofa set

7. The bed!

Most families move because they have expanded in size, which mostly calls for a new bed. Here’s a double save. Get a bed frame and pillows for free¬†and also get 5% off on the mattress set

8. More plumbing coupons

In case your plumbing work is fairly less, use this coupon to avail a reasonable discount on plumbing: $25 off on all plumbing works

9. Get a shower door, for half the price

Yup! You heard me right. Here’s that coupon for you: 50% off on glass shower door¬†– Enjoy the move, and the shower after!

10. Clean up with a discount

Sometimes, the new home can come pretty dusty. If you need some Furnace and duct cleaning, this might be the coupon you are looking for: 25% off on furnace and duct cleaning

 

There you go! 10 coupons just as promised. Now smile. You just got yourself a new home, all shiny and clean. Here’s a toast to that!

 

10 hairstyles to try this spring!

The Spring ramps of 2013 clearly go to show that the mantra for this season is simple, casual and maybe even messy. And in all honesty, I like that. It is doable and practical. Here’s what I definitely want to try this season!

1. Long and Super-Straight

Long straight hair pulled together with a minimalistic band seems to be a popular trend this season. So if you have long hair, just straighten it, thin out the volume a bit and go for slightly layered edges. Get yourself some minimalist hairbands and you are done!

Poker straight hair is totally in this season!

2. Low pony tails

If you have medium to long straight or slightly wavy hair, this is a style you could get done in 30 seconds. the ultra low pony tails were seen all over the ramps this season, and I have to say they are really cool in a casual chic kind of way!

The ultra low pony tails

3. The super short

If you saw Charlize Theron’s latest hairdo, you probably already know that the super short cut is sure to trend this season! And for the power woman, this is a cut that is not just easy to maintain, it is also easy to carry off. But pick this style only if you are the slim types. The short hairdo tends to make curves look curvier, and might not suit the healthy body types.

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment

4. The messy bun

Having a bad hair day? Wonderful. You just got yourself the hairstyle of the season. I am not being sarcastic at all over here. Just tie the hair up in a messy bun or knot and you have the most trending hairdo as seen on fashion weeks of this season.

Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

5. Soft, natural waves.

If you have naturally wavy hair, awesome. If not, Ask your hair stylist to help you with a layer cut that will make your hair look bouncy and wavy. Use a serum to control the frizz and keep the waves soft. And Voila, you have yourself a good hair day…

Wave, naturally!

6. Take a side!

I mean, take a side partition. Yes, it is as simple as that. Works for any type of hair, and any length actually. The deeper the parting, the better! and the look is totally in this season.

Photo Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images Entertainment

7. The Braided look

Braids, messy or set well, are a statement by themselves this season. A few small braids on the side of an otherwise free flowing hair also works well. So which braid are you planning to try?

Photo Credit: Imaxtree

8. Long Bangs

Bangs are back, with a bang! You could even try a cropped fringe if you are the experimental types! however, what seems to be in vogue is the grown-out messy bangs worn on the side, or parted in the middle to hang near the eyebrows. Pick your style! But it is definitely the best time to get a bang!

Back with a Bang!

9. Take the ribbons out!

Ribbons, satin bows, gold hair bands, scarves, and even pearls on the hair seems to be thing to do, according to the stylists of the fashion weeks! So the inference is pretty clear. Accessorize. Period.

Accessorize. Period!

10. The Asymmetric A-line bob

The A-line bob has been popular for some time now! Add that to the side part that we already found out to be a thing this season, and you get the Asymmetric A-line bob. Beware though, this is a hair cut to experiment with only if you have naturally straight hair or have time to flat iron at least on alternate days!

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/WireImage

They all look wonderful don’t they? Some of the cuts are actually pretty tempting as well right? Tell you what? I will be a good buddy and give you this discount coupon: 30% off on all hair and aesthetic services¬†–¬†Go on, grab and get ¬†your haircut today, and rock on for all of Spring! Add your feedback on the comments people! Would love to hear which style is your favourite!

3 Shoes EVERY Woman should own

I am going Shoe shopping with friends this weekend and was looking for inspiration on what shoes I should be buying. And the more I looked, the more I saw patterns emerging. Almost every Fashion Guru suggests the same kind of shoes as must-haves!

The top 3 of all of the lists though, in no particular order:

Nude Peep toe pumps

The Nude Peep Toe Pumps work well with every single outfit in your closet, be it jeans or a cocktail dress, in a very elegant way. No wonder the fashion gurus call this a treasure to be had and a must-have in every closet!


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3 Out of the box ways to make some money on the side!

“Being a mother takes a lot from you. Personally and financially. Don’t get me wrong here, I am the types that believes being a mom is the best blessing a woman can get. But in reality, it is demanding.

A lot of my friends who had high flying careers gave that up to be a hands-on mom. But once the child grows up a little, they had lost the gusto to go back to a full time job (Myself included), and if they did, the 4 year gap yawned wide on their resume. So we chose the freelance and consultation routes. Trust me, it gives you a lot to do while keeping your schedule totally flexible. However, it does leave you wanting a little bit more in terms of variety and money.”

This is an excerpt from the ranting that happened over my girlfriends’ dinner meetup yesterday. See, Maya, a good friend of mine has a wonderful husband who is an investment banker that earns quite a lot. So this ranting from her came as a surprise for us. She dissed our concern and simply said

“Ah! But what he earns, is at the end of the day, HIS money. Our money when it comes to family expenses yes, but I want some MY money! That I can spend without asking, without guilt!”

I see her point now.¬†Don’t¬†you? Having some MY money,¬†always leaves you feeling more confident and independent. It is a good thing. Now show me one person who wouldn’t want some extra cash? That being said, we found the perfect solution for Maya. Maya paints. She also does a fair bit of screen printing. Real quirky stuff. We convinced her to make totebags and shopping bags with quirky prints. Check out one she had done as a gift for her meme crazy sister… cool right?

meme tote

You can stop staring! I know I am cute!

And Maya has promised to show us samples by a week. All is well that ends well. But this whole conversation got me thinking. This is something a lot of us want right? That extra guilt free My Money? Maya had a talent to tap on. I am sure you would too. Maybe with a little training you could start a little side business that gives you that extra cash?

Here are 3 out of the box ideas that could help you earn some extra cash!

1. Make and sell vinegars and Root beer from home!

I am sure nobody talks about this. But that is why this is a niche you should choose! As long as Salads and pickles stay in fashion, Vinegar will as well! And with everyone shifting to organic and home made products,  your neighborhood might give you a wider welcome that you think! This is a simple 3 hour class you could attend this weekend (28th April 2013)

Friendly Ferments - Learn to make vinegars, ciders, root beer and more in a 3 hour class!

Friendly Ferments – Learn to make vinegars, ciders, root beer and more in a 3 hour class!

My aunt attended this last week and swears by it. I am considering checking this out over the weekend. Join me maybe? Let me woo you with a 11% discount on the Course fee

2. Learn to make Jewelry and sell it online

Time and again, Jewelry and accessories are the biggest sellers on online marketplaces for designers! And making jewelry is fairly simple if you look and learn. The best part is you can sell these easily online, on the ebays and etsy’s of the world!

3. Learn to screen print. 

You could start with the 20$ kits available online but screen printing has so many uses. From printing wedding cards or birthday invites for friends to making t shirts and bags, you could become the go-to-person for customized anything in your neighborhood  You could sell these products online too!

How to screenprint

How to screenprint

These are just 3 top of mind ideas I am putting out this week, and I will keep pointing you at stuff you could earn from, as a regular feature! What say? Add more ideas in the comments section. I would totally love to hear some out of the box ideas to make money on the side!

Birthday Bash on a Budget! Race car theme!

My nephew’s Birthday is coming up next week and I, being my usual enthusiastic self have taken up the party planner role. Now both my sister and I are budget conscious and don’t believe in spending lavishly for a birthday party. But at the same time, we also want the party to be Grand and a total hit! Snicker all you want, but I am just about to prove to you that this is possible!

The first step in planning a Fab birthday party is selecting a theme. In our case, it was pretty obvious. While my Nephew, lil Dave, loves to play King every now and then, he is very clear on what he wants to be when he grows up. A Car Racer. (Blame it on his father’s F1 addiction!) So we were planning a Racer Themed Birthday Party!

The Invite

This is a fairly simple DIY project! We will be making flag shaped invites by printing Black and white checkered pattern on one side and the invitation wordings on the other side, Cutting it out and attaching to a stick.

Race flag for invitation

This is how it might end up looking!

The Center Table

Again, this was easy. Dave has a big collection of Hotwheels, that being the only gift he ever wanted since he was very young. Plus an acquired collection from his father. The Center table will be a little race car exhibition, which will let him show off his super car collection. We already made an inspiration board.

Inspiration for the center table!

Inspiration for the center table!

The Cake

Ok, I just lucked out here! My sister makes AMAZING cupcakes. So we are planning to make cupcakes with Black or white frosting, arrange them to look like a flag and attach checkered mini flags on them. Something like these, but with race flag instead:

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

The Chocolate ones need to look darker, but yeah, something like this!

The pitstop – Food and snacks counter

Car shaped Sandwiches are a given.

Car shaped sandwiches! Adorable + Healthy

Car shaped sandwiches! Adorable + Healthy

My sister is totally in love with these traffic light biscuits. We definitely intend to make this one together.

Traffic light Biscuits

Traffic light Biscuits

Keeping with the traffic light idea, we might scoop out watermelons and cantaloupes, add grape or kiwis to it and make a fruit skewer with a race flag toothpick. That should be fun!

Traffic light fruit skewers

Traffic light fruit skewers – Need to add a raceflag to these!

Games and activities

A car race obviously?

A car race with a DIY racetrack made of Cardboard!

A car race with a DIY racetrack made of Cardboard!

Or Fix the wheel! Basically, you have a car without wheels drawn on a big chart paper. And you give the kids 4 cut out wheels with board pins. They need to fix the wheel in the right place, blindfolded. This is so much fun for the people who are watching as well.

 

Giveaways and favors

I know this is what you were waiting for! How do I give racing car favors in a budget right? Ha! This should show you how:

Spare Tires aka Oreos in a box!

Favors: Spare Tires aka Oreos in a box!

A couple of Oreos in a black and white checked box or DIY checked paper bag, with Spare Tires written on them! Inspired by CatchmyParty. Isn’t that smart?

The Birthday Gift

This was obvious right from the start right? We are obviously gifting him some more hotwheels. But this falls in our budget as well. Because we have a Special Discount coupon for it!

See? Having a super cool birthday bash in a budget is that easy. Just needs a little creativity and some DIY time! What kind of birthday bash are you planning? Maybe we could come up with a plan together? Do let me know how you planned a birthday party in a budget, in the comments. Would be lovely to know! Now, I better get to the DIY projects. I sure have a lot to do. See you tomorrow.

PS: Dave says Hi and invites you to his Birthday party ūüôā

Boring Breakfast no more!

You know what I realized? Our meal system is faulty! Why would the most important meal of the day aka the Breakfast also be the most rushed meal of the day otherwise huh? Makes no sense right? It’s such an ordeal to make the kids eat the same cereal or oatmeal or PB&J sandwich day after day. Forget the kids. I am so bored with breakfast that I am skipping straight to lunch these days. So today, I made a decision to myself! Boring Breakfast No More!

Here’s what I am planning to try out this week. 6 Breakfast recipes that are interesting and also Kid friendly!

1. Make Your Morning Muffins

Make Your Morning Muffins! And they stay true to the name!

Make Your Morning Muffins! And they stay true to the name!

Are you already drooling? I know! This one has that effect! These mini muffins found at Modernmom are packed with energy and have just a hint of cheese that makes it all the more yummalicious! I used Dofino Havarti Cheese since I had a discount coupon for it! And it worked perfectly! I say this is a MUST TRY!

2. Pumpkin Pie Pancakes.

Halloween special Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. Good for non Halloween days as well!
Halloween special Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. Good for non Halloween days as well!

I found this super cool recipe at¬†Will Cook For Friends – A blog I am starting to grow fond of every passing day. Perfect to add some jazz and joy to the mornings, and so easy to make! ‚̧

3.  Crunchy topped Strawberry Kiwi Parfait

Crunchy Topped Strawberry Kiwi Parfaits

Crunchy Topped Strawberry Kiwi Parfaits

This Betty Crocker¬†recipe has every ingredient to become the family¬†favorite¬†and it takes just 20 minutes to make! Doesn’t look like that though right?

4. Corn Parathas

Corn Parathas for the growing kid

Corn Parathas for the growing kid

This is me getting a little experimental with other cuisines. Corn Paratha recipe by Tarla Dalal, a masterchef from India. These look very simple to do, and is power packed for a busy day. PS: Has a little hint of cheese in it as well!

5. English muffin Egg Pizzas

 

English Muffin Egg Pizzas

English Muffin Egg Pizzas

Oooh! How lovely do these egg pizzas from Real Simple look? You could use wheat bread instead of the English muffin, and go a little generous on the cheese unless you are dieting!

6. Breakfast Pie

Breakfast pie = Breakfast Yay!

Breakfast pie = Breakfast Yay!

I am keeping this recipe from Taste Australia for the weekend, so we can make it together and ravish it together. I am sure I am going to dream about this every night till then though!

 

So that would be my breakfast plan for the week! But I do intend to try out all the breakfast recipes I pinned today as we go along! Check out my pinterest board on Breakfast for kids and do leave your favorite breakfast recipe links in the comments..

Bon appetit people

 

3 simple ways you can save the earth!

 

 

Image

It is April 22nd. 43 years back, this day, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. We are still fighting the battle today.

The climate changes are becoming more and more obvious and we are aware today of the environmental imbalances. But the question still remains! Where do we start?

Here are 3 simple oaths you can take today! 3 baby steps towards making this planet a little greener.

1. Recycle e-waste

 

The E-Waste Explosion

This number is actually terrifying! Click the image to see the full infometric

We are gadget addicts. We want the latest smart phone in the market. We also want the next generation tablet and the 3D TV that is making news everywhere! Plus that new super slim laptop. Nothing wrong with that. Our lives require us to be one up on every game, and be connected always! The problem however is  what we do with our old gadgets once new ones take their place!

First things first, Lets take an oath to take an effort and recycle e-waste. If you have extra time, collect e-waste from your community and deposit them at e-waste recycling centers! This is very easy! You just have to do this a couple of times a year. But the impact it has on the planet is immense!

2. Maintain your car for heaven’s earth’s sake!

Your car is costing the planet dearly!

Your car is costing the planet dearly!

Sometimes we can be lethargic about maintaining our vehicles. I am going to confess, I am pretty lazy myself when it comes to taking my car for its regular check ups. Sometimes you push it to the last minute since it could come with a bit of an expense! ¬†But we don’t realize what we are¬†inadvertently¬†doing to the planet by our lethargy!

Decreasing Vehicle pollution could be as simple as picking a fuel efficient car over fancy ones and giving it an oil change and tuning it regularly! On account of Earth Day, here’s a special coupon you can use at Mr.lube to save on your Oil change charges.

3. Take your own shopping bag!

The plastic bag menace is still not over!

The plastic bag menace is still not over! Poor piggie though!

I agree with you! Plastic bags are really convenient. But we have been told time and again that they are not as convenient for the planet. This is an extra effort, but lets take our own shopping bags to the store. Also, wherever possible, lets avoid packaged products and buy from local markets! Just one baby step in killing plastics from the face of the planet!

So are you with me on taking these 3 oaths to save the earth, even if by just a little bit?

DIY Sunday: 5 new projects to do with your kids

This sunday, the kids and I decided to go all out silly! And as I kept looking around for silly things to do, more silly things simply popped out! But here’s our fave 5 countdown for this Sunday!

5. DIY Ribbon headbands

It was a girly project, but since there was a boy involved, this got funny..

4. DIY Recycled Robots

We had a Robot roleplay after this which was the silly part! Fun but!

3. DIY erasers

Tee hee! We made a whole tea party set of erasers and god! was it fun!

2. Sock Puppet DIY

I promised my kids I will not dwell into detail on this one, but what followed the sock puppets was an hour of rolling down the floor laughing till our stomachs hurt! So yeah!

1. Crayon Melt Cards + Fridge Magnet Delights

It really can’t get sillier than this! Oh god! How much fun we had doing the crayon cards! YOU HAVE TO TRY this one ūüėÄ

So what are the DIY projects you are planning for this DIY Sunday? Share with me on the comments section. Would totally love to hear!

maren ellingboe

recipe developer, stylist, content creator

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