Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

Six Things You Can Do In India

India is a country known for its ancient and exquisite multicultural societies, which makes it a dream tourist destination for many people across the world. When visiting India, there are so many things that you can do, and you will need to identify your priorities. First things first, research and book your hotel and plan for any transportation ahead of time. Be prepared for the unexpected by finding a convenient way to transfer money to and from India and know the local emergency services. Be prepared so you can relax and enjoy the best parts of traveling. Here is a guide of some of the things you can do while in India:

1. Consider going on a tiger safari.

Tigers are a common feature in India, and anybody visiting the country must consider going on a tiger safari. The Bengal tigers are a significant highlight of India’s wildlife, and many people visit the country just to have a glimpse of them. The best time to go on a tiger safari in India is between March and June.

2. Visit the numerous temples.

India is known as a country of many temples. Ancient temples in India are so common that you will find several of them within a one-kilometer radius. In India, temples are held in high regard, and locals flock in them daily since they are considered residences for Hindu gods. Temples are always open, which means that you can spend a whole day exploring them.

3. Join the locals in a festival

In India, festivals are part of the local cultures and religion. There are many festivals celebrated in India throughout the year, and they are part of the tourist attractions. The festivals are about celebrating the gods and goddesses, prophets, saints, and new seasons. The best festivals to watch out for in India are Holi festivals, best celebrated in Varanasi, and Diwali festivals, which are celebrated at the Pink City of Jaipur.

4. Visit the Himalayas

What many tourists do not know is that India offers excellent trekking opportunities, especially in the Himalayas. You can decide to enjoy easy day treks or view the fantastic terrains in Himalayas’ valleys. The best time to visit the Himalayas is from May to September when the weather is dry and warm.

5. Go to the beaches

India is a country blessed with endless beautiful beaches. The country experiences a tropical climate most times of the year, thus making its beaches a popular tourist attraction. There are numerous beaches on both the east and west coasts of the country that you can visit. The best time to visit the Indian beaches is between October and March when the weather is warm.

6. Visit the capital’s streets

If you find yourself in India’s capital Delhi and do not have a lot of time to crisscross the country, just take a walk across the capital. Delhi is a multicultural city, and walking across its streets can be mind-blowing. You will interact with the people and enjoy what the city has to offer in shopping, food, and transportation.

Take Away

India has a lot to offer to travelers. From exploring its multicultural experiences, its ancient sites, its wildlife, its foods, to shopping malls, you are sure to enjoy your tour of the country.

Rice Dish

Make Your Rice Positively Tasty

Nutty, hearty, delicious, and ever so easy, rice is without a doubt a staple ingredient for many traditional Oriental dishes. It is a pertinent building block for many tasty recipes, which is why it is on most people’s dinner list at least once or twice a week. You combine this with the fact that it is a lot healthier than most other sides, and you will be asking yourself why it is not on more people’s lists. With just rice, brown or white, and a few other ingredients, just about anyone can create a healthy meal that tastes just as good as it looks in little to no time at all with little no work. The only problem is, most people have done just about everything imaginable with the dish. To the point where they are tired of it. Well, that could be because they haven’t tried the following!

Soak It

You have likely heard about people soaking or marinating meats and other ingredients overnight. Heck, this is probably something that you have done from time to time. Well, did you know that you could do this with rice as well? No, that is okay, because a lot of people didn’t know either, but now you do. The big thing with rice, however, is that soaking it overnight not only changes the taste and texture, but it helps increase the overall nutrient absorption rate. This with the softer texture that absorbs flavors more intently, and you will be looking at a new technique that you will be taking advantage of every time you make a dish with rice.

Increasing The Cooking Water

Forget to soak your rice overnight and got a recipe on Corrie Cooks that you are trying to rush for a big dinner? Not a problem! Just because you forgot to soak it overnight, it does not mean that you are up the creek. All you have to do is just simply increase the cooking water to 2 cups. In fact, you can do this rather than soaking it overnight if this is a different approach that you want to take. Nonetheless, all you have to do is add the rice to a small 2-quart pot and fill it with fresh water. Swish the rice and water around until it is completely soaked, strain out the water, and repeat several times. When sufficiently rinsed go ahead and return the rice to the pot along with water and salt.

Bring to a boil on high heat, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, let it simmer for anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes, and you will have a dish just as potent as delicious as if you soaked the rice overnight.

Rice With Lemon-Marinated Kale And Avocado

Looking for something a little healthier, but immensely more delicious? Sure, you are! Combine 1 cup of thinly sliced kale with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cold-pressed flax oil, and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale until it starts to wilt, place ½ a cup in a bowl, drizzle with ½ teaspoon tamari, 1 teaspoon flax oil, and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds. When finished, top the entire thing with marinated kale and sliced avocado and you will have a dish so delicious, it will become a regular for the family.

New Home

Revamp Or Relocate: How To Decide Which Option Is Best For You

There are many reasons why homeowners might start thinking about moving or making changes to their property. Growing families and changing lifestyles can play a role, and sometimes, people simply want a change of scenery. If you are at a crossroads, and you are not sure whether to revamp your home or relocate to pastures new, hopefully, this guide will come in handy. 

Do you love your current home?

For many people, this is the most important question to ask. If you absolutely adore your home, and you are thinking about moving, because it does not work for you anymore, it is worth considering taking on a renovation project. If you have welcomed new members to the family or you have started working or running a business from home, for example, and you have run out of space, there may be options. Adding living space can provide a solution, which will enable you to stay in a home you love. In contrast, if your home does not fit in with your lifestyle, and you have fallen out of love with it, it makes sense to explore the possibility of moving. By moving to a new house, you can set about trying to find a property that crosses all of the boxes. 

Is it possible to make changes?

Before you get carried away planning extensions or thinking about what colors you are going to use in your new attic bedroom, it is critical to make sure that your ideas are viable. If you want to extend your kitchen or transform the basement into a living space, for example, call some reputable local building firms and make sure it is possible to make the changes you have in mind. Once you have made sure you can carry out work, get some quotes, compare prices, and consider every option on the table. You may find that architects and building companies have ideas that will help you reduce costs or make better use of the space, for example. Take your time to make a decision. If there is no space available to extend your indoor living areas, you could think about adding a garden room. This is a great idea for those who work from home, and it will free up space indoors if you have an office upstairs, or your desk is taking over the living or dining room. 

Which option makes financial sense for you?

When you are considering major life events, such as buying a house or making wholesale changes to your home, it is always important to consider your finances. Assess your financial situation, figure out how much you could afford to spend if you did choose to move, and get some quotes for renovation work to see if your vision is affordable. You can use sites like MortgageCalculator.Org to see how much you could borrow if you decided to move. If you are undertaking work, it is a good idea to ask local real estate agents about value-adding potential. You do not want to spend a fortune on a new loft studio if it is going to add a limited amount of value to the property. If you are stuck between revamping and relocating, it can be helpful to have the figures in front of you. You might find that improving your current home is a lot cheaper than buying a house that already has all the features you are looking for. 

Does what you want exist?

Many of us get restless when we have lived in the same home for a long time, and when you are bombarded with picture-perfect images of houses on social media and TV, it can be tempting to start dreaming about moving. The trouble is that most people do not have a bottomless budget, and there is almost always a need to compromise. You might have a vision in your mind, but does it actually exist in real life and can you afford the kind of property you want? Do some research into the local market, have a look at prices and think about your priorities. Are you desperate for everything on your list, or could you make sacrifices? You may find that sprucing up your current property gives you what you want without spending a vast sum of money. For ideas and inspiration, have a look at this article https://www.realhomes.com/advice/how-to-add-value-to-a-house-20-ways-to-boost-your-homes-value

Does your home make you happy?

Our homes are supposed to be places where we feel safe, secure, comfortable and content. If you are unhappy in your home, relocating seems like the obvious option, but it is beneficial to pinpoint the underlying cause first. In many cases, we find that our homes stop making us happy, because our requirements change. If you bought a house as a couple, for example, and you now have children, you might find the layout frustrating or dream of a home that makes it easier to live, work and play in the same spaces. Rather than writing off your home as a lost cause, you could investigate making changes that would make your home more family-friendly. Opening up living spaces by knocking down walls, adding extensions and joining separate rooms together to design functional, versatile rooms that have a range of purposes can all help. If you chose to extend or join a cloakroom, laundry room and kitchen together, for example, you could create a space for dining, working, hanging out and playing, socializing and entertaining and unwinding. If renovating your home still would not make you love it, and you are excited by the prospect of moving, buying a new house is the way to go. 

Many of us get to a stage in our lives when we think about moving. If you have run out of space, your home is not working for you anymore, or you are tired of the decor or the layout, it is wise to consider your options before you decide whether to stay put or up sticks. There are often ways you can enhance living areas to maximize potential, add value and create more space, but if you do not love your home, there are limited opportunities to develop it, or you are keen to explore new areas, moving may be the best choice for you. 

Piggy Bank

Seven Resources And Tips To Take Control Of Your Finances

When it comes to goal setting, most of us can relate to financial goals. Whether it is savings goals, investments, or paying off debts, taking control of your finances allows you to improve your lifestyle and your wellbeing. To help you on the journey to financial freedom, here are a few tools and tips for support.

1 . Goodbudget 

Goodbudget is an expense tracker and money manager, which is perfect for all your budgeting needs. The app was designed to track your cash in real time, using a digital ‘envelope’ system. It’s a fantastic app for households and couples because it’s simple to share and sync your budget with other individuals. If you are looking to manage your household finances together, Goodbudget is the perfect tool. The app allows you to set budgeting goals, transfer between various accounts, customize your budget, and access ‘split expense transactions’. To improve your budget fast, Goodbudget is the tool you need.

2. Clarity Money 

Clarity Money is a top AI-powered financial platform; it works by analyzing your finances and helping you to make better decisions about your cash. Using this budgeting app, you can get your bills organized and automate savings. You can also track your debts and investments, all from the same platform. Clarity Money provides a clear picture of your finances, so you can improve your financial health and make savings. The app offers ‘multi-level safeguard’ protection for all of your data and info. With these features you can rest assured that your personal info is safe and sound.

3. Future Advisor

Looking to start investing? Future Advisor is a Robo Advisor with a difference, (and that is because a few of it is services are free)! For free, you can access a retirement analysis and a portfolio analysis. Paid features include support from a financial team, tax-loss harvesting, automatic rebalancing, and investment management. If you are a DIY investor looking for support, Future Advisor is the app you need. The tool works by assessing your portfolio, based on contemporary portfolio theory.

4. Debt Reduction Techniques

To improve your financial situation, you must focus on your debts. There are several popular debt reduction methods that you can look into, including:

  • The Debt Snowball Technique: This debt reduction method means paying at least the minimum per month on every debt. After this, you pay towards the smallest debts, then move onto the larger ones later. The concept is that the small gains serve as motivation to keep on conquering those debts!
  • The Debt Avalanche Technique: With this method, you have to make your minimum payments each month and then put the money left over to paying the debt that has the highest interest. Once this is paid, you tackle the debt with the second-highest interest rate, and so on. 

Tackling your debts is the first step towards financial freedom. For a great debt reduction calculator and other financial resources, check out Pigly.Com.

5. Start A Retirement Fund

Starting a retirement fund is a great way to get on top of your finances. Before you commit to any service, it is vital to determine your needs and conduct thorough research. There are several different types of retirement accounts that you can look into, including:

  • Traditional Individual Retirement: These are accounts that you open yourself, without the support of an employer. It is possible to get an income tax deduction on what you contribute, depending on your circumstances. 
  • Roth IRAs: These accounts are also individual retirement accounts which you start and fund yourself. A Roth IRA allows you to put in after-tax cash, meaning you do not get any income tax deductions on these contributions. 
  • 401(k) Schemes: A 401(k) is a type of retirement account provided by an employer. You can contribute pre-tax, which reduces your amount of taxable income. One of the best things about these accounts is that your employer can match what you put in, (up to a certain amount).

6. Automatic Saving Deposits 

Lastly, one of the simplest ways to get on top of your finances is to automate your savings. It is simple to set up automatic transfers, to ensure that your savings account stays nice and healthy. Once you get into a routine of automating your savings, you will barely notice the contributions!

7. Switch Your Service Providers

Improving your finances is all about reducing expenses where possible, and one of the easiest ways to do this to look for better deals on your service providers. Whether it is your energy, Internet, or car insurance, there are plenty of deals to discover if you shop around.

Little girl writing

Encouraging Children To Write

Children have some of the biggest and most beautiful imaginations. But sometimes getting them to release that can be very difficult. If your child is not loving writing, then there are several ways that you can encourage them to enjoy it more. 

Magnets

When your child is old enough to start putting words together themselves, then magnet letters can help them. They can spell a huge range of funny words on the fridge, and you can take it in turns to spell the longest word you can think of. Or the funniest words. Anything that gets them involved with putting letters into the right order. 

Write Books

There is something so fun about writing a book. In fact, most adults want to say they are a published writer. There is a joy in holding something that you have created in your hands. Writing a book can be more appealing to children than just writing for the sake of writing. Studentreasures Publishing has a process that can help children publish their own works of brilliance. 

Writing Letters

If you have friends and family that live far away, your children can write them letters. These can be typed up on a computer, or you spend some time creating beautiful letters. Add stickers, use their best pens, and create letters that the other person will treasure. This is even more fun as letter writing isn’t something that happens often. Older relatives will particularly enjoy receiving these works of art. 

Lists

Imagine that you have forgotten how to write your shopping list and that your child has to create it. Using a mixture of words and pictures, to create your next shopping list. Using colored pens and pencils for each item, write down how many you need, or even just the meal plan for that week are all great ways to get your child writing without the pressure of creating something other than a list. 

Scrabble

There are other word games that can be played too, but Scrabble is one of the most popular. You can spend a few hours playing with letters and forming words. You do not have to play seriously, you can relax and let them just place letters all over the board. Encourage the use of the dictionary to find out if a word is real or not. Make a point of praising get words or the attempt to spell them. 

This will mean they are less likely to worry about spelling things wrong and will keep trying. 

Own Alphabet

Although, you are aiming to spell words in your own language. Creating their own alphabet can build-up their fine motor skills, which will support their writing efforts. Create 26 different shapes and formations that look like letters. 

Every child is different and not all will enjoy writing. Over time it is something they will need to do a lot, so it can be very helpful if they find ways to make it interesting for themselves. Writing is a lifelong skill and when fostered early can bring a lot of joy.