Birthday made special with Online Shopping from Myntra

With so many online portals, shopping has got a new dimension. I usually shop online for books and gadgets as that is the least customized product and there is no hassle of returns. I usually didn’t do clothes shopping online as I was worried about size and material etc. However, when a simple thing like buying girls top became a challenge for me, all of my doubts about online shopping were put to rest.

Online shopping sites like Myntra have a large variety of choices

Birthday Planning

Like every other kid, my daughter is super excited about her birthday. Usually her planning starts 6 months before her birthday and she is very clear about what she wants at her party – the theme, the gift etc. She meticulously comes up with details and informs us about her requirements.

That said, it’s not like she expects a fancy party every year, but she likes it when some thought is put in the arrangements and she has a say. This year was no different. However I was pregnant with my second child and could not do any running around for her party.

My due date and her birthday were really close. I had even been advised rest for a few days. To top it all, my husband was expected to travel and be back only around the due date. She was aware about it and like a wise young girl; she came up to me and said ‘I don’t want a birthday party this year. We will have a big one next year once my baby sibling arrives!’

I was so proud of my little girl! I hugged her tight. Once she had freed herself from my embrace, she smiled a full smile showing all her pearly whites and said “I still want one thing you know?”

Looking at the questioning look in my eyes she quipped “I want a Frozen themed top.”

I immediately said ‘Yes’!

‘How hard could that be? All kids’ stores will have popular themed girls tops’, I thought to myself

My husband was busy with his last minute preparations for the travel, so he couldn’t make it to the store and buy something for my daughter.

I didn’t want to miss out on giving something that was ideally so simple to my daughter and that’s when I realized the power in my hand!

Online Shopping to the Rescue

Pardon my melodrama, but I actually felt like that when I had the brain wave of trying online shopping for clothes!

There were so many options available that both I and my daughter were spoilt-for-choices!

Lot of variery, ease of shopping and returns is what makes online shopping a cool option

We quickly ordered what she liked and the same arrived, well before her birthday!

On her birthday, my daughter’s joy knew no bounds, when she wore her special Frozen themed top and jumped with joy! We had only a few guests, mostly family and her very close friends. She wasn’t tired of showing off her new top to everyone who walked in that door.

My kids happiness without any hassle to me or anyone else was only possible because of online shopping and the power of technology.

Gratitude for the year gone by- Goodbye 2017

Rewind 2017 for blogging

As I look back, I realize 2017 has been a fruitful blogging journey! 2017 saw a lot of new beginnings for me and I am really happy the way things have shaped up. As I take stock and #Rewind2017 I know I have a lot to be thankful about.

Blogging opened a window of opportunities and I met a lot of interesting new people.

Took blogging seriously

I knew blogging and was doing it for clients for a really long time! This is my second attempt at having a personal blog! My first attempt died a natural death when I just did not invest time in it and kept coming with excuses for not being regular.

During the second attempt, when I started off, it was more like a place to vent it out or just write fiction without the fear of being judged! Yeah, I know this is like going in the opposite direction of being an author or a writer. Sometime during the start of 2017, I decided to take blogging seriously, like a project I am managing and promised myself to be regular. That was one of the best decisions I took in life, as it opened a window of opportunities and I met a lot of interesting new people.

Made new friends        

I made a lot of online friends, who are fellow bloggers and writers. I always loved observing people and understanding how a situation is seen by different people. Blogging and online interaction helped me realize I could do it online too! I saw people coming together for a cause, helping each other and sharing advice. I understood a lot about others professions and the way people have managed to keep blogging alive. It motivated me to keep going and that is a big reason why my blogging euphoria, did not crumble this time.

Campaigns

With various blogging platforms like Blogchatter and Indiblogger, I participated in a few contests and campaigns. These campaigns helped me read more; explore more and set mini-goals that I could achieve. It was another big factor that was a motivator for me. I even won a small blog award and that was another ego-booster for me and my blogging journey.

Practicing Gratitude

This is something that was taught to me right from childhood, but in the daily grind of things, I somehow seemed to have stopped doing it or wasn’t mindful enough about it. But then I came across a few bloggers who practiced gratitude and talked about it on their blog. This made me reflect and realize that it’s a wonderful thing to do! Thankful Thursdays was a linky party that helped me do it and I have been participating in it as and when I can. I do urge you all to participate too!

These are like the highlights of my 2017 blogging journey! I have a few things planned out for 2018 and I wish to make it a success. I will continue with my series #FridayFreelancer and #LearnNotEducate which saw some momentum in 2017. Stay tuned on my blogging journey in the coming year and lets all help each other achieve our goals for the next year!

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2018!

Linking this post with Amrita and Tina

Tina Basu

Linking up with Upasana for Quoted Stories

Music as a promising career – Interview with Priti Talwalkar #BlogchatterProjects

Singing or music has come into limelight with all the numerous singing competitions that have the capability of making someone a star overnight, however what goes behind the success is what we are here to see today.

I met up with Mrs. Priti Talwalkar, a professional classical and light music vocalist to understand what it takes to be a singer! Having a great voice is just half of the picture. Read this interview to understand the passion and the effort required to be a trained singer. An alternative career, that if followed with passion and dedication can give you money and fame.

Aachievements of Priti

When did you start learning singing?

I started learning music in 6th std from Mrs. Swarada Sathe. After Visharad I started learning Jaipur-atrauli gharana gayaki from Smt. Manik Bhide (senior disciple of Smt. Kishori Amonkar and a great singer of jaipur Atrauli gharana). I completed sangeet alankar under guidance of manik tai and smt. Mukta Bhide. Presently I am learning from pt. Bhalchandra Tilak, another stalwart of jaipur gayaki.

When did you decide to make it your career?

I always liked classical music the most and after 10th I decided to pursue music besides my college studies. I opted for arts so that I could focus on music properly.

Are there any professional degrees or exams for being a well-trained singer?

There are graduation, post graduation degree exams at the university level. One can do PhD after M.A in music. There are institutions like Gandharv Mahavidyalay where these exams can be given externally.

What are the future prospects in this field?

Future prospects in this field :

  • Job as a Music teacher in schools, university.
  • Private tutions or teaching in private institutes.
  • Performing artist in classical, light music.
  • There are other opportunities like playback singing, singing for albums, jingles, etc.


What are your tips for the parents of such students?

Parents should realize the ability of the kids and encourage them to acquire proper training. Help them get over the stage fright by making them sing whenever there are opportunities. Parents should treat this career equally important as any other career like doctor, engineer, etc.

What should a student keep in mind when choosing singing as a career?

According to me one should like singing very much and be passionate about it. With the help of the guru (teacher) try to find out whether you are ready to become a singer. Competitions, exams, singing in front of the audience will help to improve.  This can be a full time career. Proper training and riyaz are the most important things to become successful in this field.

If you follow an alternative career or know someone who does, fill up this google form

I will be glad to feature you in my upcoming series

Are we raising a generation of escapists and cowards? My reason to start #LearnNotEducate

A bright student kills herself when court passes directive supporting National level entrance exams for medical

Every hour one student commits suicide in India

The most shocking was the Rayan International murder, where a XI standard student murdered a small child just to postpone his exam and parent teacher meet!

What have we come to? Is it easier for children to be murderers than face an exam or Parent Teacher Meet? Is your personal life, so immaterial that you prefer giving it up than standing up and finding second chances? Have we made our future generation so weak and a coward? If this is the coming generation how are they going to face the many challenges that life throws at them?

Questions like these and many more were hounding me since I read that article and it made me wonder if we have messed up our kids future in the name of ‘no pressure childhood’

We seem to be swinging like a pendulum – from too much pressure to absolutely no pressure. Is this really a workable solution?

Child’s Exposure

The current system of no exams, no punishment, no negative words and no failing, though established with good intentions seem to be working adversely. No exams mean the child has no idea of how well he is doing. No Negative remarks mean the parents have no idea if they need to help their child in a certain subject. I certainly don’t support corporal punishments or failing a child, but regular feedback good or bad is essential for the child to develop. Introducing vocational courses in school level and a possible option of making that a field of study from high school itself might help in easing the pressure. The child will be exposed to a variety of field of education apart from the traditional 8-9 subjects taught in school.

Parental Responsibility

We can’t just sit back and say “We have been paying enough fees to the school so the responsibility lies with the school to educate my child” We are paying for quality education, but if the child needs extra support in certain subjects we need to help. Not every child will be a topper, we need to accept that and let them blossom at their pace. A child might have talents in other areas – be it dance, singing, elocution, sports or craft. As parents it is our duty to let them explore and help them be the best version of themselves in whichever field that interests them. Not expecting the child to be an all-rounder and ensuring that he/she gets enough time and exposure to follow their passion might help in creating world-class sportsmen, musicians and toastmasters.

Everyone need not be a Doctor or an Engineer

This has been amply proven in the past few years, when many engineers have turned authors or musicians. I am not saying a child will figure it out when he is a kid, but as parents if the child chooses a different profession than the main-stream careers, we need to be supportive of them. Saturation of  a few traditional course is not only going to create intense competition in that field but will also inhibit a child. Dignity of labor should be ingrained right from childhood. An environmentalist or a pet-trainer is an equally respectable profession as an engineer or a doctor for the simple reason that we need them and they help a society function, just like any other profession.

World is their oyster

Instead of everyone running in the same rat-race, lets help our children blossom. See the international curriculum where there is equal focus on learning vocational and non-vocational courses. We need a change in mindset and a strong belief that talent and intelligence is not limited to bookish knowledge and 99% marks. As seen in the past – World Leaders, Entrepreneurs and even Sportsmen haven’t scored an A in the exams but have been an A-lister in life!

If you know someone who is following a satisfying alternative career or you are doing one, do fill the form below. My goal with #LearnNotEducate is to showcase to the children and their parents that passionate people can create amazing lives – a bad result is not the end of the world.

 

Staying in touch, in the age of nuclear families – A #ThankyouNote

You don’t choose a family, you are born with it! I am not talking about choosing a husband, I am talking about the family that you are born in. Nowadays with nuclear families, we don’t get enough time to know our own first cousins, let alone an extended family! So how do we keep that warmth intact?

I have a pretty decent number of uncles and aunts on both sides of my family, but I was born in a nuclear family as dad had to migrate for his work. So we were too far away from the immediate relatives of both sides of the family. We could only meet them in summer vacations, and that too was usually only 10 days at each place, but I share a great bond with my first cousins and I guess a lot of its credit goes to my parents and uncles and aunts.

A Thankyou Note to family

 

Travel

My parents made sure that we went to our granny’s place every summer. My aunts and uncles co-ordinated their visit to ensure that we kids could meet each other every summer. Now that I am a mom of two, I truly understand the effort that went into ensuring a truly memorable vacation for us. We are talking of an era before the advent of What’s app and mobiles!

Letters

We were introduced to letter writing at a young age. The real romance and beauty of long letters were presented to us, by our parents, who themselves wrote such letters to their parents and families. The blue inland letters carried every detail that an 8 year old could think of – the small mischief, the big tiff, the greatest secret and the occasional salty tears. This tradition continued long after the advent of mobiles. We still have those letters and reading them, still equally sentimental.

Family Albums

Our favourite time-pass was pulling out old family albums and enjoying the entertaining narration that mum gave. This introduced us to a lot of extended family. Even today nothing can beat the flipping of large albums on a sultry afternoon with entertaining tit-bits of information that go with it.

Visiting relatives

I made horrible faces, if I had to visit some long lost cousin of my parents but I had no choice then! It was a rule that we will visit relatives as a family and my parents ensured that it wasn’t more than an hour if we were meeting for the first time. This ensured that I meet a lot of relatives. I love observing people and this was the perfect occasion.

Thanks to the efforts put in by my parents and uncles and aunts, we have a gang of cousins who continue being in touch using the modern communication mediums that we have at our disposal. I truly hope to give a similar environment to my children. A communicating and engaging family is a pillar of strength when life hits you hard.

Linking up with Tina and Amrita for the #AThankYouNote contest all through the month

Thanksgiving Special – A Thankyou Note to my Friends

I was/am (a bit confused here!) an extrovert. Making friends, planning and going out, conducting events etc was never a problem for me. It came as second nature; hence there was never a dearth of friends or people whom I could confide in.

I always had different set of friends that I would hangout with and find time for. There were school friends, class friends, building friends, dad’s friend’s kids group and so on. I met and observed a myriad of emotions, thought processes and behaviors. Some struck a chord and stayed on, while some faded away.

But as I grew older, I saw a marked difference in my attitude. It was not that I met some terrible people that changed my attitude towards life and friendship. No Bollywood inspired story here! I guess, Life happened, nothing else!

I no longer wished to make friends. It’s not that I have become anti-social it’s just that I don’t feel that it’s a necessity. I am happy in my world. I take time to connect and if I do, then that is for life. Right from when I was a kid, I have a few handful of friends that are my 2am buddies. Those numbers on my phone, I can call any day and know that they will listen, find time for me and be my rock if I need. They have the same trust in me!

Funnily, none of these close friends, will you find on my recent call list! The other day, I called one such girlfriend and the first thing she said was “Is everything all right or are you in town?” So we either call to catch-up in person or when we are in a mess 😛

These are the people who have left deep impressions on me and have shaped me in one way or the other. Today, most of us are around similar mile-stones in life and are part of celebrations or problems of each-others life. We might not be highly active on What’s app or the staying in touch business, but we know we stay in each other’s mind and prayers. What more could a true friendship mean? Thanking all my friends who know the deepest secrets and the happiest moments of my life.

Linking this post with Amrita and Tina for Thankful Thursdays #ThankYouNoteContest

#ThankYouNote to my home #ThankfulThursday

Buying a house is a breeze nowadays, but that wasn’t true earlier. I had seen my parents struggle to get their home. A friend’s dad invested in a plot of land, but the dealer was a fraud and he ran off with all the money. Heartaches related to important investments like home can be stressful and emotionally tormenting. After seeing such incidents at close quarters, we were extremely cautious when we were buying our house. Our first home was the result of a lot of research and thought.

After looking at many projects, we finally zeroed in on this house. The project had the right mix of open spaces and spacious homes, while being close to daily needs and offices. The moment we saw it, we knew we had to make it our own.

Home is where the heart is

I still remember the day we signed on the dotted line. There was happiness, but there was also the realization of additional responsibility. While the project took off on a great start, due to some unavoidable circumstances the possession was delayed. We were a worried lot, as though the builder was of good repute, delayed possession meant the burden of EMI and rent. Thankfully all went well and we got our apartment.

When we got our possession, we went around town looking for good furniture and furnishings that fit our budget. We explored millions of designs online and in stores and zeroed in on what worked design and budget wise. After the initial research we preferred hiring a carpenter and getting the furniture done the way we liked it.

We shouldered all the responsibilities on our own – getting the material, the carpenters, the paints and all that, but it was a fun and memorable experience. We felt the joy of making an apartment our home, giving it a bit of our identity and persona. Every piece in my home has a story to it and each time I see it, a smile appears on my face.

Our bundle of joy started walking here and made new friends. She was at her naughty best here and also developed a mature persona. This house has been witness to the many joyous occasions and also a few achievements.

I have a lot to be thankful for this house. It has been an abode of happiness, peace and contentment and that’s what I wish it to be for years to come. #ThankyouHome

The day we understood – #DaanUtsav, the joy of giving

Every year India celebrates #DaanUtsav , the festival of giving and people from all walks of life come together to make it a grand success. Every year we donate clothes, books and toys that we can to this noble cause and it’s heartening to see it is growing bigger and bigger with each passing year, with more corporate’s pitching in.

However, I am not writing about that, I am writing about the time when my daughter found joy with #DaanUtsav, the festival of giving. As Diwali is nearing, we took our kid shopping. Diwali means new clothes, sweets and fun. My daughter was looking forward to it. While we were shopping, my daughter came across this #Daan Utsav poster and carton full of clothes, books and toys.

She asked me what was this all about and when I explained her the concept of Daan Utsav, she suddenly looked around in wonderment. So you mean to say, so many people have given their toys, books and dresses so that others too can have a happy Diwali? She asked. When I nodded in affirmative, she ran to her father and insisted on going home. We assumed she might be tired and came back home.

The next day, when my kid came back from school, she had already sorted her dresses, books and toys. When I asked her what she was upto, she replied “These are the things that I am giving away this Diwali! I have even told my friends and all of us will be donating our things” Isn’t Diwali all about joy of giving? She quipped.

These wise words from my primary schooler made me proud and happy. My daughter had not only understood the real meaning of Diwali gifting, but had also found the real joy in life through #DaanUtsav

My Friend Alexa by BlogChatter


Indian Bloggers

#MyFriendAlexa is an initiative by BlogChatter to help us blog better. I am fairly new to blogchatter and this is my first #MyFriendAlexa campaign with them. As a digital marketer, I tend to use all the tools for the betterment of a client’s business or campaign, however, forget to implement the same for myself. I don’t know about you, but I come up with loads of excuses the moment someone points it out and though I can see through my flimsy excuses, I haven’t done much to improve. So I am taking #MyFriendAlexa as a challenge to push myself to work for my blog, my personal brand, which has been neglected for way too long.

I am supremely thankful for communities like BlogChatter as its because of them, people like me get the necessary push (or should I say kick :P) to better ourselves. I usually write about parenting (no advice, only personal experiences or my confusions) try my hand at short stories or micro-fiction and my advice or experiences as a Digital Marketer. As you can see my Digital Marketing section is the shortest as I am usually lost about what to share that will be helpful without being overwhelming.

Theme for My Friend Alexa

It’s not necessary to have a theme for My Friend Alexa, however, I have decided one for myself. I will write eight posts that might be helpful for bloggers or small businesses to push themselves on social media. These will be tips, hacks and maybe ideas to try out. I will touch upon all the major social media channels and what I know about improving them. So be it Facebook, Instagram, Youtube or Twitter, hope you will find a tip or two that you would like to try. Hope you enjoy these posts.

 I want to take my Alexa Rank to the next level with My Friend Alexa

Do add in the comments below, what you would like to read more about. That will give me ideas for the posts and hopefully helpful information for you.

As required by  #MyFriendAlexa, I am sharing my Day 1 ranking below. Currently, it is 1, 571,494

My Alexa rank on 1st Sep 2017

Winning the Liebster Award

Yay, I have been nominated for Liebster Award! This is the first time I have been nominated by someone for an award (Shh!) and I am enjoying every moment of it (grinning from ear to ear)

I have been nominated for this award by CrazyList. She is a lifestyle and beauty blogger, quotes collector and lover of lists! Check out her blog here.  I loved her pineapple / palm tree gold logo! Thank you so much, Mayuri Saxena

Liebster Award

What is a Liebster award?

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.   Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The rules vary at times, but here’s what Mayuri stated and I am following the same.

The Liebster award rules:

1.      Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site.

2.      Display an image of the award and write a post about your nomination on your blog.

3.      Answer the 10 questions your nominee has asked in their blog post.

4.      Nominate 5-10 other deserving new bloggers for the award and ask them 10 questions of your choice.

5.      List the rules of the award in your blog post.

Answers to Mayuri aka NYX questions:

1.  Tell us about your blog.

My blog started off as my private space to hone my writing skills and today has grown into a space that talks about parenting, digital marketing, short stories and micro-fiction.

2. What has been the most rewarding experience your blog has brought you?

Meeting wonderful people and reading about their amazing journeys! In Blogosphere all you need to do is ask and people will help and guide you. Blogging is an exciting journey and you learn something new everyday. All this has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

3. What is the best piece of advice you can give your readers?

Life is too small to bicker and hold on to painful memories. Keep working on a better ‘You’ and collecting Neki Ka Khazana (Kindness treasure).

4. What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I fell in love with Andaman’s. The idyllic islands were so mesmerizing that I didn’t want to come back. Read more about it here 

6.  If someone were visiting your city or town, what would you suggest they do?

Pune and its beauty can be best appreciated in the monsoons. Go biking or hiking in the Western Ghats, trek the many forts around Pune or take a splash in the natural waterfalls dotting the hills around the city.

7.  What makes you deliriously happy?

Small achievements make me happy. I am someone who loves and enjoys the small things in life. I like to surround myself with achievers and dreamers and rooting for them and they rooting for me is what keeps me going.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?

Desserts, Masala Chai and Pani-Puri

 9. What is a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome?

I believe there aren’t obstacles. Life throws choices at us and it’s up to us to decide what we wish to do. I always look for solutions and thankfully have always been lucky to either find solutions or get help in finding them.

10. What are you most grateful in your life?

Family and friends

I nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award:

All of these bloggers are hard-working, professional and just really good, inspiring people to have in your blogger life! Please answer the same questions I answered.

Congratulations! I hope you guys do justice to Liebster Award and I am looking forward to reading your answers.

Dr. Amrita Basu

Shalini 

Tina Basu

Uttpal Krushna

Hiral Amodia

Atul Maharaj

Mayuri

Deepa Gandhi

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. All the best to the nominated bloggers and looking forward to reading your replies.

Love,

Neha