3 steps to start homesteading in the suburbs

Farm house style has gotten major attention recently in the home decor world. Chip and Joanna Gaines should get the major credit in bringing back the old world charm to the decor world. The reason farm house style has become so popular is because no matter where one lives ,human beings crave the coziness of the old style homestead living.

The real truth is that the real coziness of a homestead is not in the decor of your home, but your lifestyle. However not everyone will have the luxury of living on a farm in the country side. We live on a quarter acre land ,in suburban neighborhood , 20min from a major city, with a pretty strict home owners association. Even with those limitations I try my best to bring some homesteading practices into our life style. So if you are like me , living in a suburban neighborhood here are 3 ways your can jumpstart your homesteading journey.

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3 Hobbies that everyone should have

The more you focus on minimizing distractions in life and maximizing value, the more time and money  you have at your leisure. That is the whole goal of being a Valuist. When we have more time at our leisure we have to make sure we are spending it creatively. Your activities should be relaxing as well as enriching.

3 Hobbies that everyone should have

The definition of Hobby is “An activity done regularly in one’s Leisure time for pleasure”. When you look at the definition the watching Netflix on couch with bag of chips will  fit the criteria. Assuming you are doing it in your leisure time, it certainly gives pleasure for most of us. That is the reason I like to modify the definition. My definition is  “An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time that fits at least one or all of the following criteria”

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May Frugal Wins

Indoor spring cleaning is a piece of cake when you are a minimalist. It took me about one hour to do a thorough spring cleaning of our entire 3500 sq ft home. The biggest reason being lack of accumulated clutter.

Outdoor cleaning was something I dreaded. We have been living in this house for over 5 years now.  So as you can imagine the windows and outdoor vinyl on the front porch had started getting dull and a nice coating of mildew.

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April Frugal wins

April was a month I made a big change to move to working part time hours! With both our children in school age I felt I am needed a lot more at home. We ran the numbers and decided we are in a reasonably good shape financially that I can afford to take a salary cut.

Although we can easily manage our expenses even with our newly reduced income, We are constantly looking to find new ways to save money.

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I can live without these..but I chose not to- Money well spent!

We are strong believers of spending money on making memories instead of spending money on products. So we usually plan couple of fun vacations with our kids every year. This, we think, is money spent well.

However, every now and then we come across some products or services that we can totally do without but they add so much value to your every day life.

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Traveling with Kids? Do these to take the hassle away

Traveling with kids is not easy and it gets worse when it is a long haul international flight. Over the past 5 years, my wife and I have had 10 trips which includes 11 countries with our now 12 and 7 year old children. Obviously from these number of trips, it is evident that we love traveling. My kids love them as well and are always look forward to the next trip.

Among all this, there was (emphasis on the “was”) something they hated. It was the plane ride, the waits at the airports for security check ins, at the gates before and at the time of boarding and finally immigration when they get back. I could not disagree with them as I hated these too but being an adult, but I was not in a position to complain.

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Is cooking the new sewing?

I enjoy cooking . Of course there are some days that I feel a little lazy to cook but they are very rare. But lately I keep hearing more and more frequently from friends and family they do not cook, they get take outs and ready to eat food. I think within the past 1-2 years I am hearing this more and more frequently.

Recently I while listening to one of Mark Hyman’s podcasts I heard a nutritionist mention that cooking has become like sewing. This comment got me thinking. Maybe one or two generations back it was common or normal for the mom or grandmom to sew all the clothes for the family. Then with the ready made clothing industry and fashion industry booming, less and less people were making their own clothing. Now sewing has become more like a hobby which you do just for the fun of it.

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A little gadget that drastically changed my driving habits

UPDATEIn August 2019 Automatic made a decision to move to an optional subscription model of $5/month to get all the features explained in this post. At the same time they decided to expire the existing hardware from the time of writing this original post and replace with another model. I was disappointed,  at the least to say, of this change making my OBD hardware obsolete and having to not only buy new hardware but also enroll in a subscription plan to get the benefits. I have since then decided to stop using the product.

I have left the original post as it did impact my driving habits and it has sustained even to this day.

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Connected cars were one of the big highlights at the 2018 LA Auto Show in November last year. Almost every brand had their own version, showcasing the unique features they had to offer. One of the features that interested me was the Mercedes mbrace service wherein a customer specialist at Mercedes is notified in the event of an accident or collision. Now, this is not a new concept, similar services are offered by On-Star. The part I did not like was the monthly subscription fees for the service.

 

One day, I accidentally, stumbled upon a social media ad of Automatic Car Adapter. It was $69.99 for a unit at that time and there were no subscription fees for the accident notification service. I decided to give it run.

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