19 December, 2022

My Top 10 things to be grateful for in 2022

 I have stopped posting my gratitude lists being busy with much important stuff in life but I would love to try one last post in 2022 to show my gratitude. 

10 things I am grateful for in 2022:

1. Move to Texas:

Technically, we moved to Texas at the end of 2021, but we started the new year in a new place. I am grateful for the better weather, better health, and great environment. 

Initially, I was hesitant if I would like the place after coming from a scenic place. Thankfully, Austin is better than other cities in Texas. 
The rolling hills, lakes, and beautiful hikes are solace for the mind. 

Sunset Deck in Balcones Canyonlands National wildlife refuge, hike to Mt Bonnel and the scenic viewpoint, Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis, Zilker Park, Blue hole regional park in Georgetown, and holiday lights at peppermint parkway are impressive so far. Grateful for the beauty of nature and I wish for more scenic hikes in the new year.

2. Dance School and Recital:

It was painful to leave the old students from Colorado and start my dance school from scratch in Austin. But, by God's grace, this has become easy and less stressful.

Within 6 months, my dance school grew and we even did our Annual Recital! 
By the way, here is the link to our Youtube channel to watch the recital.

I am grateful for the Parents and students who trusted me even though I am new to Austin. I am happy about the recital as students could showcase whatever they learned. 

Now, it's holiday time of course. Time to relax, enjoy and replenish for the new year.

3. India Trip:

I am grateful that the India trip was not as stressful as I expected. The trip was short but we could visit all near and dear. I am happy to bring my parents along with me to the US.

Feeling blessed that all things went smoothly during the visit, especially with the extra rules after covid. 

4. Parents' visit to the US:

I feel fortunate to have brought my parents along with me. They are our moral support and a large help for 3 months. It feels like the time is running quickly and within a few months, they will return back.

These are some moments I and my family will cherish forever in the future. We could celebrate Diwali with them, and kids could learn Ramayanam, Mahabharatham, and some Telugu from them. I am grateful that I am being pampered especially by my mom. :-)

5. Learning Cypress and Javascript:

It's always the happiest feeling for me to learn a new language and implement something useful. I am grateful for my job which helped me to learn Javascript and cypress. 

Image by Dhruvil Patel from Pixabay 

I am doing a lot of experimentation and learning this year. This year has been the best year for my technical advancement. I also learned Kotlin and Appium at the beginning of the year. A few more feathers to add to my resume :-)

6. New Home:

I am grateful for the new home we bought. It's a single story as I always wished for. 

Since the house is at a bit of elevation, I enjoy the Sunrise and sunset and the views from the home every day. The Sunrise views from Patio are wonderful. The morning sunlight brings positive vibrations for the whole day.

The move is definitely stressful, but I am glad my parents are here to help. We could complete the moving at last though we were exhausted. Now, is the time to relax a bit and settle in.

7. Health:

So far, my health is great. I have to see how it goes in the future. I could join yoga on and off, but I want to focus more on yoga next year.

The weather definitely helped. With my mom's help, I could rest more, read more books and focus on my dance school.

8. Books:

I am grateful for the amazing books that I got to read this year. After coming to Austin, the first thing I searched for is the library. The library is not as great as Colorado but met my criteria.

Kids also loved the library and we read a lot of books this year including the ones from the little lending library near our home. 

I was certainly busy and couldn't publish many reviews this year, but here are some of the best books that I read in 2022:

9. Kids and School:

It is a frustrating move for our kids as they had to change schools multiple times this year. I am grateful that they could move on to a new place, and new school even though they miss their friends due to moving. 

The next year continues to be tough for them to adjust to a new school. I am grateful for understanding kids. 

10. A Long drive and a road trip:

We could go to Port Aransas this year and it's a wonderful beach vacation. Unlike our other trips, we stayed in a comfy Airbnb for all 3 days which is a walkable distance from the beach. Here is the link to Travelogue: https://www.fantasticfeathers.in/2022/09/a-perfect-weekend-getaway-from-austin.html

I am looking forward to our future trip at the end of the year. I am so excited about a long drive. Our travelogue will be up in the new year. Until then, I will be busy planning our trip. I am grateful for this holiday season and family time. 

So those are my top 10 things to be grateful for in 2022. What are you grateful for this year?

I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Until next time,

14 December, 2022

The Pirate and R by Daniele Forni - Book Promo

Book Details:

Title: The Pirate and R

Author: Daniele Forni

Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing

Print Length: 30 pages

Reading Age: 5 - 8 years

Genre: Educational book, kids books


The Pirate and R is a simple introduction to the statistical software R, specifically aimed at future data scientists.


Got to www.thelittledatascientist.co.uk for more codes to use and to stay up to date regarding future publications.

Purchase Link:


Until next time,

02 December, 2022

The Children of Moonstone Beach by F V C Miller - Book Promo


 Book Details:

Title : The Children of Moonstone Beach

Author: F V C Miller

Genre: Children's stories

Publisher: Clink street publishing

Print length: 182 pages


Do you have a moonstone tucked away at the back of a drawer? If you do, then dig it out, hold it close and read this heartfelt adventure, because you are invited to dive wholeheartedly into the magical world of Moontide, where almost anything can happen with a moonstone in your hand.


Join four unlikely friends as they are thrown together on a beach far away from their homes in London amidst the chaos of the Covid pandemic as it hits the UK.


Troubled, lost, sad and with hearts searching for more, they unknowingly kickstart a chain of events which sees them swept up into a new and spellbinding world; one that has been waiting patiently for their arrival for a very long time.


With royal dragons, howling wolves, evil magic-maker pirates, a sea nymph, a bog monster, flying cats and a war to wage, the children must find out who they really are before they can embrace the magic they hold within.

Buy on Amazon

Until next time,

01 December, 2022

Go Figure!: The astonishing science of the female body by Lisa Falco - Book Promo

 Book Details:

Title : Go Figure!: The astonishing science of the female body

Author: Lisa Falco

Genre: Woman's health

Publisher: Clink street publishing

Print length: 330 pages


The story is about a body in continuous transformation.


This book unravels the mystery surrounding women's biology and explains what is happening underneath the surface.


We all know that the female body changes cyclically every month during the reproductive years, and that it completely transforms during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. However, most of us ignore the fascinating details. What triggers those changes and what are the sometimes unexpected consequences?


The facts are as mind-blowing as entertaining. Based on the latest research, all information is presented in an easy to read manner with plenty of anecdotes; from historical prejudices to personal experiences, with some evolutionary ideas in between.

Buy on Amazon

Until next time,

07 October, 2022

3 Wonderful Board games good for family nights

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Board Games

Board games are a lot of fun. I feel nostalgic thinking of board games as they bring back my childhood memories. 

Board games are perfect for family nights. These days, we are so used to laptops and playing video games on phones that we tend to ignore board games. But, do you think there is still some charm around these?

Reasons to love board games

What's special about board games? 

  • Family participation and bonding
  • Fun with friends 
  • Away from digital screens
  • Not addictive like video games
  • No violence
  • Good for brain and relaxation 

Board Games that I love

1. Snakes and Ladders

There is no skill needed in this game. Just fun! roll the dice, and let it decide your win /loss, you just bond with friends and family. Tease the ones who are eaten by snakes, and enjoy the small wins when you climb up the ladder.

A very simple concept, but what a wonderful game!

You can order this on Amazon.

you can even play online here these days.

Photo by VD Photography on Unsplash

2. Chinese Checkers

This game brings out so many nostalgic memories. This is the perfect game for our family night. I played it for so seriously and hard with my parents and my sister as a family that I even dreamed of our steps and opponents' counterattacks! Lol 😂 

Such a cool game. Simple concept, easy to learn, makes you a little addicted, gives satisfaction, and is good to bond with friends and family.

Checkers is also a similar game that my kids love to play.

Get it cheap on Amazon.

PC: Image by Mykola Volkov from Pixabay 

3. Uno

My kids really love this game. We also love joining with them.

It's easy to teach this game to elementary kids. The game is fun and engaging. Nowadays, we get cards with different themes to enjoy. 

You can buy cards on Amazon.

Have you ever tried this? If not, try this online version. 

Photo by Adam Mills on Unsplash

There are so many wonderful board games but I have listed only the simple ones. We also love playing Monopoly, Jenga, Connect 4, Scrabble and Chess.

Let us start these games as a tradition on weekend nights and enjoy our screen-free time as a family together. What do you say?

Until next time,

05 September, 2022

A Perfect Weekend Getaway from Austin - Port Aransas and Corpus Christie, TX

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

Port Aransas is a perfect Weekend Gateway for families and couples alike for a relaxing time on the beach. There are many more cool things to do other than beaches. 

Pin it for later!

Getting There from Austin

We are exploring places within 5 hrs of Austin for a relaxing weekend. Houston, Dallas, Port Aransas, Corpus Christie, San Antonio, and Galveston are great options. When we also searched for the cleanest beaches, Port Aransas and Padre Island of National sea shore appeared in the top 10 list.

Port Aransas is around 4hrs from Austin via US-183 S. It can also be reached via I-35 S and I-37 S through San Antonio. We can either go through Corpus Christie on a road bridge or get to Aransas Pass and take the free ferry to Port Aransas. 

If you are visiting from any other state, here are some cheap flights to San Antonio:

The ferry is definitely a wonderful experience while traveling with kids. We can find the schedule and wait time at the Aransas Pass by following the updates by @PortA_Ferry on Twitter. Usually, wait times on both sides is 15 to 20 mins. Ferry runs 24 hrs day weather permitting. 

Where to stay in Port Aransas?

Port Aransas and Corpus Christie are just 45 mins away from each other. Since We found that accommodations are expensive in Corpus Christie and they fill up pretty quick, we chose Port Aransas as our base for the weekend trip. It is easy for us to drive to Corpus Christie, Padre island national seashore, Mustang Island, White cap beach, and other popular destinations from Port Aransas.

We stayed in 'Life in Paradise' vacation rental. We stayed at Sea Breeze condos - a 2 Bedroom suite that is clean, comfortable, not very expensive, and includes all necessities with a fully equipped kitchen. It's a walkable distance to IB Maggie Beach. There is a fishing pier as well on the beach.

There are many options to stay in Port Aransas with an ocean view and the hotels are less expensive compared to Corpus Christie. It's less crowded as well than Corpus Christie.

Here are some hotels around to book.

What to do in Port Aransas?

Beaches in and around:

This is an exclusive relaxing beach vacation for us, so we spent most of the time in IB Maggie beach which is very close to our accommodation. 

There is a fishing pier as well which is great to walk during Sunrise/sunset to soak in the beautiful views. 

Here are some beautiful beaches that we visited: Padre Island National Seashore, White cap beach, Rockport Beach, and Melquite beach.

Here are some Beach essentials not to forget:

Sunscreen (Water resistant)

Beach Hat

Sand toys


Love this design :-)

Padre Island National Seashore:

Padre Island National Seashore is spread across 66 miles of coastline and it separates the gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre (One of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world).

The beach is very clean, it has a visitor center with a gift shop, restrooms, and showers. The Park entrance fee is $10 per vehicle for 1 day. This is also the best place to drive a 4-wheeler on the sand along the coastline.

We spent an evening on the beach watching the magnificent Sunset and the colors in the sky. 

Whitecap beach is very nearer to Padre Island National sea shore, but it's crowded. 

Mustang Island State park:

Mustang Island State Park with 5 miles of coastline is also a great place that is less crowded. We can swim, surf on the beach, camp/picnic, fish/ kayak and enjoy bird watching. 

Unfortunately, they said we need to get a reservation ahead to enter the park. So, we couldn't get in. The entrance fee is $5 per adult. Kids get in free.

Packery Channel:

We asked the ranger in Padre Island National sea shore if we can see 'Sea Turtles' anywhere around. He guided us to visit the Packery channel. 

Packery Channel is a dividing line between Mustang Island and Padre Island. Near its jetties, we saw many sea turtles. They are so cute to watch. We are so grateful to the ranger for suggesting this place. Else, we would have missed a great experience.

Aransas Wildlife National Refuge:

This is best known as home to endangered whooping cranes. It has a 16-mile scenic drive, hiking trails, and observation decks to enjoy. 

Corpus Christie:

The next day we spent most of our day at USS Lexington. This visit is completely worth the entry fee and our time.

USS Lexington:

USS Lexington is a World war 2 aircraft carrier that now houses the Naval Aviation museum. It took some time to get parking here. This is nearer to North Beach, which is also a great place for an evening stroll. This is just steps away from Texas State Aquarium as well.

Admission for adults is $18.95 and for kids below 12 yrs, it's $13.95. 

The flight deck showcases around 20 aircraft from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. This is the most interesting part for us to see the different types of aircraft in closeup.

3D Mega theater has regular shows on National aviation and details about how aircraft are landed or managed at the aircraft carrier. This show is free with admission.

There are escape rooms for an extra charge to whoever is interested. The Virtual battle stations and simulators are a fun experience. There is a lot to take in about the information on the history, details of aircraft carriers, different types, the technology inside battleships, the life in a carrier etc., 

Texas State Aquarium:

We couldn't visit this but if you have time, you can include it in your itinerary. It is a nonprofit aquarium promoting environmental conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. It seemed a bit expensive though.

North Beach :

This is a popular beach in Corpus Christie. Jet ski rental is around $60 for 30 mins / $100 for 1hr. Canopy rental is $30. There are boat tours available for dolphin watching. 

Other places to visit:

  • The water garden has a nice view of Harbor bridge and it's beautiful to watch with the lighting in the evening. 
  • Waterfront and Mirador de la - Selena Perez's memorial is a good stop.
  • The beaches here are famous for kite surfing and windsurfing.
  • Port Aransas is a touristy town and so, many restaurants have some photo opportunities. If you have kids, don't miss the Giant Shark before a store 'Destination'.

Where to Eat?

Here is a list of places suggested by a majority of friends in both Port Aransas and Corpus Christie:

  • Snoopy's Pier - Pizza, burger, seafood
  • Doc's Seafood and Steaks
  • Republic of Texas Bar and grill - Steak and Seafood
  • Andy's Country Kitchen - Breakfast, home-cooked
  • Hester's Cafe and coffee shop 
  • Harrison's Landing - Burgers, Sandwiches 
  • Black Sheep Bistro 
  • Iries Island Food 

Hope you liked our travelogue and photos! Do let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

Pin it for Later!

23 July, 2022

Within : Short Stories for the Evolving Multicultural Woman by Aditi Wardhan Singh - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title: Within: Short Stories for the Evolving Multicultural Woman
Author: Aditi Wardhan Singh
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
Publisher: Raising World Children LLC
Print Length: 277 pages
Purchase Link: Amazon


"Life is all about the moments. A moment occurs when you are awakened from the slumber of everyday life by a feeling of significance in a snapshot of time, caused by a profound connection with people or nature, which evokes great emotion, nourishes the soul, and makes one think that this is what life is all about."
--- Craig Stampler

Told from the Indo-American perspective, multi-award-winning, best-selling author Aditi Wardhan Singh takes a bold step into telling stories that we often tell to each other over coffee or chai to our closest friends. These 30 stories provide you with a unique opportunity for self-reflection at your unconscious biases. our closest friends.

Told from the Desi perspective these 30 stories provide you with a unique reflection on your unconscious biases.

My Review:

This is a collection of short stories which are relatable incidents in everyday life. A few stories are very small and actually like conversations. A few are informative and provide moral in a subtle way. I loved the writing style and narrative which is like having a conversation with a friend.

I loved most of the stories as they are relatable to our day-to-day lives. I felt that a few stories are too short to register in my mind. For a few stories, I felt the title is not apt. The title of the book is justifiable as all stories seem to have come from within the author's heart based on her experiences. All stories touch on different human emotions and a few also talk about sensitive topics/ taboos.

Here are some of my favorite stories:


Such a cute and short love story. A simple story, yet every couple can relate to it. I loved it.


It's a nice story that tells in a subtle way how society sees a housewife.


Though it's sad to read, I loved the way the emotions touch the reader. Love is like a beautiful rainbow in the rain.


I loved this story for the message. It might come as a surprise when our kids teach us something important.


Many women can relate to it. While marriage comes with lots of problems, women are conditioned to ignore and forgive their partners even when they physically abuse them. This story shows that circumstances can trigger a change.


A wonderful way of teaching kids about Christmas. I really like this story as a bedtime read to my kids.

Soul mate

The story is practical and good. I loved the talk between the mother and her daughter about marriage, and dating .

Loved these lines :

" You have to be your own soulmate first. Job, husband, kids. All this doesn’t matter if you are not happy with yourself. If you are happy with yourself, then everything can become good. Don’t look for happiness in another person."


A small story but enjoyed reading it. Nothing is ever perfect really.


This story is a sad reality. Well written about the sensitive topic.


This is not actually a story but a conversation between the parents of a child. Many households can relate to this type of conversation comparing one child's capabilities with others.


I loved the story because of the way the mother talks about periods, traditions, and their relevance in today's world. If I had to rate stories in this book, this would be my favorite.


This is a simple story about self-respect and is well written.

My Rating: 4/5

About the Author:

Aditi Wardhan Singh is a multi-award-winning, best-selling author. She is an authoritative voice on cultural sensitivity and empowerment, featured on numerous global publications and broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, Huffpost, Thrive, Richmond Family Magazine, Reading with Your Kids podcast etc. Her passion for diversifying dialogue within multicultural families led her to founding the collaborative RaisingWorldChildren.com platform. 

Today, she aims to help parents diversify their libraries by lifting other multicultural authors like herself. In her spare time, she enjoys choreographing dance recitals, volunteering, and having impromptu dance parties with her two charming kids.

Her upcoming works include a multicultural children’s book about belonging and a unique bilingual Hindi-English resource for children.

Until next time,

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