family

Is your kid “foodthusiastic” at the dining table?

Do you cook once and eat it for a week? yuck! (sorry, I honestly didn’t mean to insult you) Are you killing your kid’s taste buds and enthusiasm with stale, reheated, boring food? Don’t you agree defrozen items from a Microwave Oven can never ever compare with a Mother’s warm and fresh magic delicacy?
In a world obsessed with Calories but not Kitchen Wisdom, at times when eating out is considered convenient and fashionable but cooking your daily food is looked down, with families hardly having enough time to cook, sit down and eat together, if your kid is NOT saying this everyday, every week, at least once in an year, then you as a parent is a complete failure:

“<grins>Mommy! You are the best cook in the world</grins>”

PYKFTW – NTWFYK

In the Pic below is one of the super man snacks that a kid can get… minapasunni

“ఇంటికి ఇనుము – ఒంటికి మినుము” కదా మరి 🙂
minapasunni

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Categories: తెలుగు, family, food, fun, health, indian, kids, kitchen, my, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel log: Six days in SoCal

Roadtrips in Southern California are sure a true mix of technology and nature. 2 days in Los Angeles, 2 days in Joshua Tree National Park and 2 more days in Legoland gave us a perfect blend of fun, infocation and entertainment.

Day-1:

what else goes first? The Universal Studios, yey.  Start early if you are visiting for the first time because you need to catch up with a lot of rides. And if its December-31st, then you would get to enjoy live music and frenzy crowd dancing until midnight and finish it with a brief but amazing fireworks.

Day-2:

Here you have a really lot of options. We went to the Science Museum for a leisure day of infotainment. Don’t miss the IMAX movie experience, its one of the biggest screens in the world.  You may prefer to stroll among the exhibits, but let kids roll all day and tire them with some science 🙂 You may drive to the BAPS swaminarayan temple if you have spare time and energy in the evening.

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Lotus Pond — BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, LA

Do you have the heat image of your family? :P

Do you have the heat image of your family? 😛

Day-3,4:

Drive to the Joshua Tree National Park, to slow down your watch and mind. Mesmerize yourself with a million stars in the sky and a zillion cacti on the ground :). The skull rock is silly but together with one of its kind — cholla cactus garden — would make a day full of fun for your kids. I think the baby cholla cacti  are some of the cutest in their category, no wonder they are called the “teddy bear cholla” 🙂 We did our first exotic hike of the year on the “hidden valley trail”,  with tall boulders all around, walk by the world-famous climbing destination the “Burrito rock” and of course watch your kids jump, climb and run in every direction. Its important to keep them on the trail, watch the plants and other micro organisms.  Test your leg muscles too and your shoe grip. There are no cabins inside the park, only campgrounds but there are many hotels just outside the park entrance.   If you are an astro enthusiast, then you are in the right place. Just go out after dark and grab yourself an experience of a life time.

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At the “Hidden Valley Trail” head

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It takes to become a Junior Ranger.

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Ranger’s check point

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Cactus cactus lots of cactus

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Skull Rock

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Cholla Cactus Garden

Day-5,6:

LegoLand. This is a place that sure entices every kid with a lifetime of memories. Their Lego characters coming live, trivial but funny rides and lots of walking and excitement around.

Legoland -- you can never leave without buying something :P

Legoland — You can never leave without buying something in that shop.

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Hero Factory 🙂

Bonus:

They say the roadtrip between SFO and LA would take at least a week if you are serious about all the places in between, thats so very true. But when you are doing it for the first time, don’t miss the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Soda Lake.

Watching the San Andreas Fault stretch a hundred miles with your naked eye  leaves you in awe.

The Petroleum Highway and the thousands of “Oil Derricks” swinging like giant dolphins doing Sine curves will bring smile onto your face and explains something that drives that metal body under your steering wheel.  The “driving buds” in your brain would sure get some satiation 🙂

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Thats one grand plain and my next campground for star gazing 🙂

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault

thats my best possible shot at the San Andreas Fault — it stretches hundreds of miles on the West coast… Just from the Soda Lake with a good wide-angle lens, you can capture at least a few miles of it.. An iphone camera doesn’t do any justice to that spectacular view 😦

bumblebee on the south bed of Soda Lake

Bumblebee at the south bed of Soda Lake

Road in Carrizo Plain approaching Soda Lake south bed

Road between Taft and Carrizo Plain National Monument

Petroleum Highway & the Oil Derricks

Petroleum Highway — thousands of Oil Derricks

Right, thats all. There are many other places worth your time :).. Just start driving first.

thanks for reading.
B

Categories: California, car, family, fun, hike, infotainment, kids, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, secret, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how to entice a kid to his breakfast?

how to entice a kid to his breakfast?Just a lil trick I thought worth sharing. When kids say they are not in a mood for breakfast but its time, you can certainly grab the ‘parent’ wand and force them eat something, but thats not what the daddy here does 🙂 I asked them to the kitchen, made them break the eggs, wash the veggies, light up the stove, put the pan and toast some bread slices. In the meantime, I beat the eggs and cut the veggies. Then they added a good amount of garlic salt and jira masala, readied another pan and butter.. One kid  wanted a dotted-sauce outlining and the other a linear ketchup border 🙂 Daddy bows like a magician and voila!

Cheddar jack cheese on garlic omlette with 17-grain bread sandwitch is deliciously ready 🙂

and they ate it happily.. thats the finishing touch.  Hope this gives you a message.  Happy Thanksgiving week 🙂

 

Categories: family, fathering, food, fun, kitchen, suggestions | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Why is a Tooth-fairy so important?

why is a Tooth-fairy so important?  Enriching a childhood doesn’t always take a lot of planning or effort. You must ensure their imagination goes on and on and up and deep.. Because :

Better you imagine, better you create

and we need more creators in this world than consumers 🙂

Tooth-fairies probably are the most basic points of interaction with a kid’s imaginary world 🙂

Here is Kartik’s letter to the fairy and the gift she left on the window sill overnight. He is already excited about teleporting 🙂

 

Categories: family, fathering, home, kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you are welcome to the family foosball championship (weekly)

 

  • Every Sunday afternoonUntitled
  • You and your spouse are a team
  • Each team plays 3 games with all other teams on that day
  • Potluck or Pizza Lunch
  • Entry fee $10 (to start with) and the lady in winning team takes all

Lets have some fun as adults. Bring your kids too but focus on your own game. They can play separately :). We can drop the entry fee if none of the teams are interested in OR we can bump it up, bet separately likes if someone wanna become a little richer by the evening 🙂

This is an open invitation welcoming you all to get hands on and have some fun. Beer and wine are on the house 🙂

Please feel free to ping me for any questions or directions.

🙂

Categories: california, entertainment, family, food, friends, fun, my | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

I finally figured it out and its my responsibility to share this secret recipe with the rest of the world. Whenever a husband communicates with his wife, he must remember these 3 rules: 1) Say it with love; 2) Say it softly; 3) Say it again… I bet you will never have a communication problem again.. for all the marital bliss for eternity.. All the best to you.
greatest trick for better communication between wife and husband, men and women.

Categories: analysis, తెలుగు, emotions, family, fun, life, my, philosophy, recipes, world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legume Paradise — బొబ్బర్ల దోశ – ఉలవల చట్నీ — Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

If you are an energy freak but likes a zero glucose, zero fat, zero cholesterol recipe, then this wonder combination with superb amounts of soluble Fiber, symbiotic bacteria, Iron, Potassium and Zinc will be on your menu, salute the Leguminosae.  You don’t need guts of steel to digest these but the health burst will surely be visible the next time you go for a hike or hit the gym..  Along with that heavy coat of nicely baked onions and ginger, this will also help tune your body to maintain a steady temperature no matter what the weather is..  Try it out and lemme know. Traditional Indian Recipes never let you down 🙂 #sunday #experiment
బొబ్బర్ల దోశ -- ఉలవల చట్నీ -- Black-eyed-peas dosa with Horsegram chutney

Categories: experiments, family, food, fun, health, indian, kitchen, my, recipes, suggestions, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

మసాలా గారెలెన్నున్నా మామూలు గారెనే మిన్న

తాజా కరివేపాకు ఘుమఘుమల కమ్మటి నూలుపప్పు పచ్చడితో వేడి వేడి గారెల కొండను ఢీకొందాం!
మసాలా గారెలెన్నున్నా మామూలు గారెనే మిన్న

Categories: family, food, health, kitchen, my, recipes, traditional recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the heck do kids learn outdoors?

For fun they played in snow
In pain they cried in snow
The contrast taught them a lesson which they don’t realize now

Take your kids to the great outdoors and face the elements, let them handle the inconveniences and they will quickly stop crying and start thinking solutions.

You can’t give them anything better as a parent… Anything.
    
what the heck do kids learn outdoors?

Categories: california, entertainment, family, fathering, fun, hike, kids, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, winter | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

What do you want to be? happily rich? or richly happy?

Categories: family, fathering, fun, kids, life, my, philosophy, urban | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

French Fry Bajji

Don’t laugh but my new invention today is an instant hit with the kids and of course my wife’s exclusive letter of appreciation. Presenting to you the “French Fry Bajji”. After the kids’ rounds, add lot of chilli flakes to make your evening and also welcome the winter, hot hot 🙂
French Fry Bajji -- my new invention :)

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bring China home

with crispy noodle minestrone soup, veg spring rolls and spicy hot wheat-chowmein fried with garlic, onion greens n mushrooms and all served with fresh carrot cuts 🙂

Bring China home

Categories: chinese, family, food, fun, kitchen, my, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Half-moon bay beach camping on a full moon day

My kids were camping for the first time and I wanted them to start big 🙂 so whats better than a beach front on the night of a full moon?  Book your campsite on the Half-moon bay, arrange for lots of food n drinks, carry a ton of firewood, plan your barbeque ahead, pitch your tent,  exhaust them on the sand, split the woods, fire the pit, show them how to manage fire, make a few smoking corn and let them avoid burning their lips, lights on, open the sleeping bags, teach them how to go to bed comfortably… All this when the waves of the great Pacific ocean are splashing heavily just a 100 yards away, with a chilling breeze making your fire most valuable.. 🙂

Enjoy the life with most basic amenities and appreciate the value

The cozy small place to stay for the night:
our tent a 100 yards away from the Pacific waves

Thats all you have:
car camping

smoking corn for the evening:
smoking corm for the evening

good night with no electricity:
good night

Thanks for reading, hope this inspires you to go out into the nature.

B

Categories: california, family, kids, life, moon, my, outdoors, roadtrips, state parks, summer | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Travel Log: 1400 miles of our Alaskan roadtrip is just thrilling

Alaska is no doubt one of the most beautiful places on the Earth. The stunning Glaciers, large lakes, enormous mountain ranges, diverse wildlife and museums with rare collections etc certainly make it one of the bucket list items for any traveler. We did a week long circular road trip of ~1400 miles from Anchorage ->Denali ->Fairbanks ->Delta Jn ->Paxson lake -> Matanuska -> Seward -> Anchorage and thoroughly enjoyed it that we want to go back again 🙂

Day-1 started with a quick hike to the Thunderbird Falls:
thunderbird falls hike

Glacier Ruth — you will surely feel like dancing when you land on it:
dancing on glacier Ruth

Horns Everywhere:
horns everywhere

That was the first time we saw a ‘moose’:
moose

10pm sunlight and the sunset still an hour or so away:
10pm sunlight

Hatchers Pass:
Hatcher's pass

End of the Alaskan Highway mile 1422 at Delta Junction:
End of the Alaskan Highway mile 1422 at Delta Junction

Denali National Park and Preserve:
Denali national park and preserve

Every moose belongs to the Earth 🙂
Every moose belongs to the Earth :)

That was a ‘wild’ bear with two cubs, came so very close 🙂
That was a 'wild' bear with two cubs, came so very close :)

flightseeing was super fun:
flightseeing was super fun

Mount Denali from a flightseeing air taxi:
Mount Denali

wild and bald eagle 🙂
wild and bald eagle :)

look into his eyes, he can read a scribble pad from across a football field 🙂
look into his eyes, he can read a scribble pad from across a football field :)

holgate glacier (that is a flowing ice river, if you don’t mind):
holgate glacier

one house that I always wanted:
one house that i always wanted

designer musk ox (he was just shredding):
designer musk ox

never saw a bear claw that close:
never saw a bear claw that close

wood bison:
wood bison

woolly mammoth skeleton is so huge and the video that shows how painful it is for them to excavate the fossils is just mind blowing:
woolly mammoth is so huge

post card sceneries:
post card scenaries

Road Road Road:
road road road

road road road

road road road

road road road

Doll’s porpoise playing with the tourists on board the Glacier Express:

orca group Ak-6 on the Seward shores:

And the last but not least, a humpback breaching the water surface. You should see it with your naked eye and understand how exhilarating it is to watch the world’s biggest mammal known doing that flip on open ocean:

Thats all for now. Thanks for reading.
Balu

Categories: car, family, fun, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mussel Rock, McCluers Beach and the San Andreas fault in between

Not many would be interested to go to an Earthquake fault on a weekend road trip but what if you add a beautiful beach to it, and a stunning rock floor all filled with mussels, and a big tunnel in the rock with the high waves crashing and trying to close both sides of it? That would be one awesome day, trust me!

As for the record, Mussel Rock is the place where the San Andreas fault re-enters the land mass. The “Pacific Plate” and the “North American Plate” just rubbed against each other and made an 800 mile long fault that looks like a scar on the Earth’s cheek.. Isn’t it creepy?

And touching the edge of such a ” tectonic plate” with your human hands is like a crazy dream.

And then, all the rocks on the shore are filled with tiny black mussels, wow, why? Don’t miss the “hole in the rock” which is just one wonderful experience to sit in the tunnel and hear the crashing waves at both sides.  And another point close to the fault but far away from here is the McCluers Beach. We will do Fort Ross some other day, but this beach is hidden from the public view by few hillocks and the hike down took just 0.5 miles and you enter a private beach thats all your own 🙂

hole in the rock

mussels on the rocks

ever ever sand

ever ever sand

Thanks for reading. You have nice time too.

Categories: california, family, fun, hike, kids, my, outdoors, roadtrips | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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