7 Free Souvenir Ideas to Bring From Your Holidays

travel souvenir

At last, her husband had to scold her for stuffing her travel bag with souvenirs. But the thing is that Neeta is amazed by different cultures and lifestyles. And traveling helps her explore these cultures. When she went to east-Asia during her holidays, she felt quite good on experiencing the things she saw and people she met. To make sure she remembers everything and take a trip down the memory lane whenever she wishes to, she wanted to take some souvenirs like fridge magnets for her friends and her own self. However, it is not easy to box up the memories just through materialistic souvenirs. And the extra luggage was making her husband anxious as well. But the question arises that are such souvenirs really necessary? Unlike Neeta, my holidays were not limited to such souvenirs. Let me tell you what I brought back from holiday trips.

1. Stones

What??? Stones? Are stones counted as souvenirs? At least for me, they do. Different places have different types of sand and stones. I like collecting the stones from such places and remembering the holidays and trips through the stones I collect. So, when we went to the beach last year, I collected a huge even colored stone from there. This year, the trip was to the mountains and rivers. So, this year’s collectible is a little different from the last year. Nevertheless, beautiful both of them are, in their own ways. Stones can be preserved as it is or painted and decorated as a piece of art. And the best part is, they are available free of cost at every destination. Further, when I see the stones, I recount their journey from different places they must have been before coming back with me to my home. They help me stay grounded.

2. Shells

Holidays to the beach are not complete without collecting shells and knick-knacks on the beach. I love making efforts to lay my hands on something unique. I especially love different sizes of the same kind of shell. Observing them is a delight. It gives a sneak peek in the diversity that the ocean holds. Just like stones, shells too are available for free at the beach. They can be preserved as it is or stuck in a scrapbook as well. Artistic people can create photo frames using collected shells or other creative decorative things.

3. Tickets

This is one of the oldest ways to preserve memories. But it has not lost its sheen even today, irrespective of the technological advancements the world has been through. The moment we step outside the door to begin our holidays, we are given a ticket or a coupon or chits like that for one thing or the other. So, we have airplane tickets, restaurant bills, and hotel or homestay coupons and so on and so forth. All these things can be collected and stored in a holiday box with the name of the destination. It is beautiful to view them in the future. My husband has stored the wrappers of the chocolate I gifted him, tickets of the movies we watched together and such things, which is a delight to go through after so many years of the experience.

4. Recipes

Whether you stay at a hotel, choose a homestay or prefer bed n breakfast, you can always visit the kitchens on request to learn local recipes. The experience of the food is hard to replicate but practice can help you replicate the taste of the place. Learning recipes will help you accept the culture and widen your experience as a whole even if you are one of those who do not cook. And if you belong to the other lot who find cooking therapeutic, learning local cuisine gives you a peek in the lives of people living there. And when you prepare the local dishes and serve them to people in your city, you spread the good word about the culture you just experienced. When you visit a place and love it, then it becomes your responsibility to make other people aware of that place, the people residing there and their accepting nature. Recipes, thus, are not just souvenirs but a medium to make the cuisine popular.

5. Local Songs

While it is difficult to learn the language on a short trip, a line or the two of the popular song over there can be learned at least. Now, you might think how can the song become a souvenir? You can jot down the song in your diary and hum it now and then to recount your holiday experience, right? After all, that is the original purpose of souvenirs – a trip down the memory lane.

6. Local Games

While on a trip once, I encountered a group of young girls returning from school. They were playing some game wherein they needed to dance and stop. It seemed quite interesting to me. I learned the game from them and even played along. When I returned to my city, I taught it to the girls in my locality and we had fun together. Just like people and recipes, games travel too. And the way they are learned and played becomes a story to tell.

7. Personality Traits

Around the globe, people have different personality traits and behaviors. However, every region breeds specific personality traits that help local people survive. For instance, people residing in the mountains are quite humble and down-to-earth. While walking or driving on the hilly terrain, people there have a habit of giving way to others coming from the opposite direction. They do not insist on going first but give preference to the ease and simplicity of travelling and giving way. This requires both guts and humility. Already it is difficult to drive on hilly terrain and also quite time-consuming. And taking some time to stop and let the other person drive-through is one of the traits I learned during the trip.

Nah! I am not saying that fridge magnets, local weaves and dresses should not be bought! They are necessary as well. However, the best souvenirs are those that do not cost a dime, as per my experience. With so many places to travel to around the world, it is nearly difficult to make repetitive travel trips to the same destination at times. Hence, making the most of the trip and soaking in the environment and the ambiance during the trip form the best memories. On return from holidays, I do not have many pictures to upload on social media or swipe through on my cellphone. I just have so many things to jot down in my diary and experience to share. Happy travel memories to you!

How to Make Most of the Last Time Together

A few years ago, a Facebook friend updated her status, “If only I knew last time was indeed the last time”, she was talking about the last meeting she had with her grandmother. Her grandmother had passed away soon after. This got me thinking. If she knew that last time was indeed the last time, would she have behaved differently?

I got the chance to stay with my baby sister for four days before she left for abroad to settle there. We did everything that we used to do in childhood – sharing the same dinner plate, going out for morning walks, binging on brownies, etc. All the time that we spent together, I very well knew that this would be indeed the last time before she leaves. As both of us didn’t know when will she be back to the country – after one year or five years? And even when she comes to visit, will both of us remain the same? Our habits might change, our preferences, family members, et al might change as well. It might also happen that we meet only for a couple of hours due to prior commitments. In spite of knowing about the last time, there was nothing I could change. Yes, I was making most of the time available. However, the sadness of that being the last time used to pinch every now and then.

In stark contrast to this, when you don’t know that it is the last time, you are your usual self. You behave like you usually do and have fun. You are not conscious of the present time. That is the real beauty of spending the last time. When I see the painting, ‘The Last Supper’, I am a little hurt. I feel deeply about all those disciples at that dinner, who knew that this would be the last supper with Jesus. They must be all in attention, wary of every minute, listening assiduously to what Jesus has to say. There are ‘last times’ of different kinds – one where you realize it later that that was the last time and the other you know all the time that this could be the last time.

Last night, while scrolling the Instagram, I came across a question, “If you come to know that the book you are reading is the story of your life, would you read the end?” Yes, it is tempting to read the end but after reading the end, no one can remain the same. The end will always be there on the back of the mind and will play an active role in all the decisions one takes in life. Similarly, knowing that it is the last time is like knowing the climax or the end of the book or a story or a movie. The perception and perspective change completely after knowing the end. One cannot behave the usual, no matter how hard one tries.

“You think that you will be but you can never be the same how hard you try, be it after reading a book, after watching a movie, after a conversation with a stranger, after exchanging a glance at the airport, after a Whatsapp chat, after falling in love, after falling out of it or after knowing that it is the last time”. Some incidents change our outlook towards the world and life and knowing that the present is the end is one of them.

So, what can be done to make the most of the last time?

1. Live in the present

Ever did bungee jumping? There is this feeling that you are falling. That feeling of fall is like knowing about the end – the last time. So, when you know that is the last time, try to live in the present, as much as possible. If you take a plunge in the future and do not find the person in your imagination, you will lose the present happy times with him or her. And if you reminisce about the past and think about the happy times or the sad ones, you will, again, lose whatever time that you have with him or her.

2. Involve yourself

A scene from the epic movie Titanic plays in my mind when I think of the last time. While others were trying to save their lives, there was this elderly couple on the giant ship, who wanted to spend as much time together as possible, doing things that they do or always wanted to. That was a very touching scene. When one knows that this is probably the last time with the person before she flies off to another country or another world, one should make the most of it by spending it with other friends and family. One can also spend time alone but without being sad about it.

3. Live the regular life

When my sister was leaving for abroad, I did not know what to do for those last four days. So, instead of making elaborate plans, we let the routine take our lives over. We woke up early in the morning, walked for an hour or so, talked at length, listened to our favourite songs, had the regular homemade breakfast, danced and joked, spent time with the family.

Also Read: Get that Glow on Your Face, Be Beautiful From Inside

4. Do something the other person likes

When a person is leaving, do something that the other person likes. This is because, the person who leaves, leaves alone. He or she just has the memories to take with him or her. However, other people live their lives as usual and carry on with their routine. When we go out of our ways and do things like eating the food that the person likes and partake in events he would want us to, then it is etched in our mind and hearts as memories, forever.

5. Photographs and videos

What could be better than the photographs and videos clicked during the last time! Click the pictures with funny faces and unusual poses. Sing and dance together. And keep exchanging the pictures for times to come. Going through the old albums together before the person leaves is also an interesting activity.

While it is very difficult to be in the knowledge of the last time, making the most of it is the best thing to resort to in such times. Happy last times to you!

Eco-Friendly and Inexpensive Modern Age Birthday Gifts for Your Kids

Birthdays have always remained the most important occasion of nearly everyone’s lives. We want to make the most of this day and plan things much in advance. We pass on the same attitude towards our kids as well. Right before the birthdays, parents, friends, relatives and near and dear ones of the birthday girl/boy/woman/man start scouting for the right birthday gift. The budget varies depending upon the feelings, the behavior of the birthday-person and also upon the birthday gift that the person gave. Earlier, there used to be specialized stores wherein there was a huge stock of greeting cards, slam books, soft toys and other gifts. Some of these stores still exist; however, the warmth and excitement to choose gifts from such places are missing now.

I very well know that you have clicked on this post to read about the possible gift options for the upcoming birthdays. However, I would like you to choose the right birthday gift by reading this first.

The Modern Gift Dilemma

People scout for birthday gifts online – some even get it personalized and customized. Thanks to the personalized gifts, my cupboard is full of mugs with my husband’s name on it. He doesn’t want to use them or even discard them. In a bid to give an exclusive gift, we don’t even realize whether the birthday gift will actually be useful to the person. He or she might not like a lamp of personalized photos on it. Nonetheless, he would have to accept and appreciate it. So, when you choose a birthday gift for kids, make sure that the kid is happy with what he or she receives.

How Birthdays Can Harm Nature

I do not want to be a party pooper. But many birthday parties are a threat to nature, especially that of the little ones. I would like to begin with gifts. Kids are mostly gifted things like toys – most of them are made of plastic that eventually are discarded and harm nature. When it comes to food, children are not that happening consumers and wastage is a little bit more than the usual at times. Ah! How I can forget the decoration – balloons, banners and the like. These take many years to decompose. And lastly the return gifts – they are mostly plastic, which again is not eco-friendly. Many people are taking an active step against such birthday parties; however, there still is a long way to go.

Finally, here are some suggestions for birthday gifts. The gifts that I mention might seem a little off to you, considering your budget for the person and your wish to make him or her feel special. However, if you make the person understand the concept successfully, such birthday gifts are not only good for the birthday-person but also for nature as well.

New-age Birthday Gifts for Kids

1. The Gift of Time

And I am not asking you to gift a watch or a clock to the birthday person. The present age is quite cluttered. People spend most of their time in front of the screens. Each has his own favourite medium – while one parent watches Netflix, other is busy with the television and the kids are stuck on to YouTube. So, gifting time on birthday seems to be the best option for me. Now, you will ask me how time can be gifted. For gifting time, you need to plan the day in advance. Take the kid for an outing by leaving your cell phones at home. No, you cannot take your kids out for movies. You need to spend time together – talk, eat, sing, laugh, recall old memories, talk about things that make you happy, cook together, dance, and do everything that you are not able to do in daily humdrum. If you are thinking of this gift for the elder ones – you can take them for pampering outings – spa, manicure, pedicure et al. And if you are my friend and reading this, give me the gift of time, please. I would love to have a heart-to-heart conversation.

2. The Gift of Experience

This gift is quite close to the gift of time. When you give the gift of time, you automatically gift an experience to your kid. When I ask my husband to buy a toy for my little girl, he asks me to give her an experience instead, however much expensive it is. He asks me to take her to book stores, restaurants (where she will learn how to eat on her own), malls (where she will learn how she can’t be stubborn and have everything on display) and the likes. So, for an upcoming birthday of a kid, you can gift her experience of a play-area, a farm may be, a zoo, a planetarium, bird-watching, etc.

If you wish to build character, you can take the kid for a visit to an orphanage, old-age home, blind associations or religious charities as well. To make the kid aware about different religions, the kid can visit a different place of worship apart from his or her own religion – may be a Temple, a Church, a Derasar or even a Gurudwara. And it is not necessary that you take the kid on her birthday itself. Instead, gift an experience-coupon on that day and schedule a trip later in the week. (Experience-coupon can be prepared at home in the format of a greeting card)

3. The Gift of Playtime

Play is the best gift that can be given to kids ever. However, the meaning of play has got lost somewhere in the midst of expensive playthings, especially the pretend-plays and soft toys. Kids are pretty demanding these days due to exposure to several advertisements and videos available on the internet. And it is not wrong in giving them exposure. However, there can be a way out. You can teach your kids borrowing such toys and sharing the ones they already have. This makes absolute sense, especially in the case of soft toys and pretend-plays which do not amuse a child for longer periods. When it comes to toys, I prefer giving wooden blocks, puzzles, story-building games, clay, slime and even active sand. These things are quite helpful for kids in building different types of skills. And most of them are eco-friendly as well.

4. The Gift of Art

This is quite an age-old option. People have been gifting colour-kits, bead-boxes, origami and other art and craft options to kids. I really like the new age D-I-Y gifts that are doing the rounds. Irrespective of the gender, kids can be gifted tiny knitting or sewing kits, do-it-yourself greeting cards, mask-making, 3-d houses and others. These are quite fun and keep the kids engaged for some time. Another option is to take out some time and gather some old waste things in your house. Team them up and gift it to the kid. Sit with the kid and try to create some good things out of these waste items. If possible, put them up for sale and use the money for an ice-cream treat or a charity. What say?

5. The Gift of Nature

With the reducing green cover on the earth, gifting a plant seems to be the right option. When you gift a plant to a kid, the kid learns to take care of it. Watering, adding manure, waiting patiently for the flowers to come and relishing the taste if it is a fruit or vegetable tree. And the best part about plants is that they flourish with the kid and remind him or her of the birthday and good memories, every time.

6. The Gift of Books

Since the birth of my kiddo, I have been gifting books to all and sundry. I love them and want to spread the message of how important reading is. So I gift storybooks, art and craft books, sticker books, activity books, pop-up books and even used books if someone is willing to accept. Books are books – they are like jewelry to me which can be passed on to coming generations. Books are timeless and I cherish every book that has gifted to me or any of us in the family. Instead of gifting a bundle of books, you can even subscribe to weekly or monthly books to kids who will cherish this gesture for sure.

7. The Art of Return Gift

Yes, returning the favor of birthday gift is an art in itself. Recently, I attended a birthday party wherein kids were given personalized boards and coasters with their names etched on them. Times have changed and return-gifts need to be as special as gifts. On our kiddo’s birthday, we returned the favor with biodegradable ceramic mugs. It is necessary that return gifts should be useful. They should not clutter the home of the guests. Gift something that is of routine use or can be passed on to others for usage. Possible ideas are mini plants, plant seeds, cane baskets, jute bags, d-i-y kits, etc. Home décor, decorative items, plastic toys might just add to the heap of return gifts present in the homes these days.

The Way We Celebrated Birthday this Year

Throwing a birthday party is an experience in itself. However, keeping minimum wastage and nature in mind, birthday parties can turn into a beautiful experience. My little one just celebrated her fourth birthday a couple of months ago. Attending lavish birthday parties of her friends had made her a little conscious of her birthday. She wanted a birthday party as well. We had not yet thrown a single birthday party for her. All her three birthdays were quite low-key being just a family affair. But this year, she wanted to be that princess that her friends have been on their birthdays.

To keep things simple, we asked her to choose just four of her friends for her fourth birthday party. She found it fun and interesting. To avoid dress-clashes that generally girls have, we kept a theme of jumpsuits on her birthday, after confirming that everyone already had a pair at home. At the end of the day, there was no wastage of water, food and plastic, of which we were very particular. However, while wrapping things up, my daughter reminisced her last birthday. Mom, my third birthday was much more fun. She missed how she had talked at length to her grandparents, went to the local playhouse, had cut cake right in the morning and had quiet time with her parents as well. Nonetheless, she is waiting for her fifth birthday party now with a list of five friends.

Let us make birthdays for what they essentially are – a day to celebrate the day we were born. Make the most of the time available at hand by spending it with people who have made our lives special. Happy birthdays!

Top Seven Tips for a Happy Trip to Bali – Things to Keep in Mind

“So where are you headed to, this summers?” asked my cousin.

“Bali, the paradise” I quipped.

“Ahaan, let me know what all things should I keep in mind, I might travel later this year” she retorted.

Travel tips are so much handier, especially when one is travelling to a new place. Bali tops the bucket list of most of the travellers, be it of adventure or leisure seeker. And why not, when this small but pretty island can make any of your wishes come true even if you are on a tight budget. But like any itinerary that needs valuable information from former travelers to the region, Bali too would, as it’s small but still big enough to confuse you with the choices of stays, visits, activities and food it can offer. Here are my seven points that can help you plan your trip to “the” paradise.

1. The Most Important Tip – Make Ubud Your Base for the Trip

This smaller and noncoastal region of Bali holds more culture and pretty surroundings than any other. It is quite at the center of the island. And so can make your commute (to any direction that you choose) a little less hectic. This is because every place in Bali takes lot of time to reach. What I liked about staying here is that there are really wonderful places to go and things to do in Ubud. It can keep you occupied for a week or more if you plan not to wander around much. The list begins from visiting scenic cafes, stretching out at yoga studios, rejuvenating sessions at spa salons and resorts, a ride to the local market place, cycling tours, rice terraces, mountain ridge walks and does not specifically end if you want to repeat something from the above.

2. Visiting Any One Waterfall is a Must

Bali is a tropical island. And so it has umpteen number of waterfalls. These are like hidden treasures that are not just adventurous to reach but equally rewarding thereafter. And when all the tourists are heading to its crowded beaches it is quite sensible to be the black sheep and head in the other direction. And I am sure you would want to visit one more before you leave. Choose one or all among Gitgit waterfall, Niagara Munduk, Sekumpul Waterfall, Nungnung Waterfall, Banyumala Twin Waterfall, Aling Aling Waterfall, Tegenungan Waterfall, Peguyangan Waterfall, Blahmantung Waterfall, Jembong Waterfall, Yeh Mampeh Waterfall, Carat Waterfalls, Singsing Waterfalls, Leke Leke Waterfall.

3. Skip those Mundane Beach Destinations

You can completely give a miss to Kuta and Denpasar or Seminyak for that matter. I know they are the major tourist hubs but if you are someone who is carrying a really pretty image of Bali in your head, be it the beaches or the culture, then please take this advice seriously. Drop them off your itinerary as they are not only heavily urbanized but also overcrowded and hyped. Opt for Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan islands, south of the mainland and easily accessible by ferry from the coastal port of Sanur. It has spectacular cliff views and pristine beaches. These are mostly preferred by surfers, divers, hikers and adventure seekers. It is perhaps not so elderly and kids friendly but no need to be disappointed if you have those ages in your group. Head up northeast of the mainland to Amed which has few worthy resorts and equally amazing beaches. It has just the right mix of culture, luxury and adventure.

4. Foods You Should Not Miss at Any Cost

I know going to an island in Indonesia and talking about going vegan is equal to sin. How can you commit such a sin when you have delectable dishes like seafood, nasi gorengs and babi gulings plated for you! It sounds crazy, right. However, if you happen to be a vegetarian or ever wished to try vegan at some point in life then be it here. Ubud is elaborately vegan and has many cafes and restaurants that serve vegan food to die for. Alchemy cafe in Ubud had me visit twice for the raw vegan desserts.
And while there is no secret about the tropical fruits being heavenly on any tropical island, Bali is certainly no exception. You can consider being fruitarian for a while. Snakeskin fruit was my personal favorite.

5. Do Go for the Volcano Trek

Yes, the place that people choose to relax every muscle in their bodies has the potential to twinge them the most. Bali has three volcanoes within and many surrounding the island. The sunrise trek that begins before the break of light requires you to wake up by midnight and hike up to five hours to reach the crater but the magnificent views are worth all the pain. Many tour organizations can book you a trek just a day in advance. And you can dial this for from your hotel desk itself.

6. Put an End to the Temple Dilemma – To Visit or to Skip it Altogether

Being a devoted Hindu island where offerings are made every morning and evening, the number of temples in the region is quite high. While you would think that the most sacred or popular choice temples would be the best ones to visit, then you are wrong as most of them do not allow visitors to enter and needless to say are crowded too. And though the Balinese people are humble and helping, they have created a business out of temple visits. Find local unpopular temples where there would be more chances of witnessing the rituals and fewer chances of being fooled around. Uluwatu and Tanah Lot are for framing the beautiful orange sunsets, Ulan Danu Bratan for the pretty reflection, Lempuyang is far and has an unending queue for the gates of heaven. I would suggest trying the water temple and Taman Ayur temple. Check the temple reviews on TripAdvisor.com before you add it to your itinerary.

7. Don’t Compromise on Luxury for a Chosen Budget

The best resorts in Bali can literally dig a hole in your pocket but the place that ranks for its hospitality has more to offer than just a few pricey stays. Opt for private serviced villas or smaller resorts that have all the amenities you wish for at your budget. But go through the reviews section before booking any. Airbnb.com is the safest way to go about it. And if you still wish to taste the luxury of big resorts then opt for day passes. Many of them allow day visitors at nominal costs here.

This pretty eat-pray-love island is rightfully the top choice for many and just one trip is not enough to savor all that it has to offer.

Happiness often doesn’t need a price tag. The most beautiful views on any trip are often free. So don’t worry much about the available budget and make the most out of it. Before heading to any place for a holiday, chalk out your plans. Decide the objective of the holiday – is it taking a break from the mundane or is it visiting every tourist spot that the destination has to offer? CThe chock-a-blockitinerary will leave you exhausted. Instead ,choose a fewer places and soak them in to extract the maximum. Life is long and you can visit any place again to make the most of it. You would definitely want to visit this paradise again!

Tips and Tricks for Naturally Curly Hair – Basic Rituals that Might Change the Course of Your Curls

I had a huge crush on hair brushes while growing up and whenever I visited some family friend’s house, I secretly grabbed their brush and tried combing my hair with it. However, to my embarrassment, this habit of mine never remained a secret though as the friends had to cut their brush out of my hair.

Interestingly, every time I go for a haircut, the salon guys suggest me to get my hair straightened. And every single time I duck my head down and ignore their suggestions or tell them that I am falling short of time and will come back for all the fancy treatments in a few days’ time.

Yes, I have a curly mane on my head and like the rest of 68% of Indians I did not grew up to like them much. Least bothered about how they looked, I thankfully did not convert them into straight hair. “Convert!” Did I just make it sound like a religion? I think I did and why not after all that I learned about them recently, these curls definitely can become a ‘religion’.

This religion like others has a holy grail written by a hairstylist named Lorraine Massey and it has its own rituals, language and a huge following community. It calls for devotion to all the hard work it will take through the path. And the staunch belief in what has been given to us since birth by our creator, in order to liberate the inner beauty of those soft, lustrous perfect spirals.

So, if you think this new religion allures you and you have what it takes to be a part of this endearing community then here, I share with you the basic rituals that might change the course of your curls and thereby the course of your perception of beauty.

Also Read: Are You Going Through Hair Split-Ends Havoc?

Know Your Curl Type

According to the natural curl formations they have been categorized from grades 2 – 4 and A-C depending on the tightness of your curls and you can find your curl type here. This will keep your expectations in check.

Know Your Hair Porosity

Our hair strands have cuticles that can be tightly or loosely closed making them differ in the way they react to moisture. Low porosity hair is the kind that have tight cuticles making absorption and evaporation of moisture difficult whereas high porosity hair being the kind with open cuticles making the same process easy. The same test can tell you your porosity or you can check it out here. This will help you choose your products.

Cleansing and Conditioning Hair

Washing hair daily rips off the natural oils present in it and so does the harmful chemicals in the shampoos and conditioners. So, wash your hair just twice or thrice a week and find good products free of sulphate, paraben, alcohol, sls, silicone, minerals and fragrance. (There are websites like honestproducts.in and naturallyyoume.com run by curly hair enthusiasts who sell genuine products in India). Curly hair also needs timely deep conditioning treatments where thick conditioners specifically designed for the job are applied for a given period of time to ensure the hair gets what it has lost to the dryness of the environment.

Detangling Your Hair

You know how electrified they look after brushing them dry, right. This is the reason why most of us instinctively never brush them and get scolded by our mothers who have been equally ignorant about their maintenance! Brush and detangle them only when they are wet and slathered with conditioner. This will make sure that it won’t break and there is even distribution of the moisture from your conditioner.

Providing and Holding Moisture

We completely do injustice to our hair over our skin. We moisturize the skin every day after a bath then why not the hair! After all, moisture is what curly hair lacks the most. A good leave-in conditioner and hair cream are to be added to every curly hair regime to moisturize them and a gel and light oil to hold onto that moisture.

Frizz Control

Most of the frizz magically appears in the morning as we wake up, right. The reason is the cotton pillow we rest our heads on which gives more friction to the hair and creates the broken wires look the next morning. Use satin or silk pillow covers instead. It won’t eliminate the friction completely but reduce it many folds. Carry a satin bonnet if you are a frequent traveller and change your regular scrunchies with those of silk ones. This won’t kill the frizz completely but reduce them visibly.

Terms and Techniques

I would say this as the most important point as everything discussed above won’t make sense if they are not done with the proper technique:

  • Praying hand method – part your hair in equal sections on either side of your head. Rub the product in your palms; run them over each section in the praying hand form. This technique can be used for every product and it will not disturb the clump formation of your curls.
  • Raking – running your fingers through your sectioned hair to evenly distribute your products. It is mostly used for conditioners and never for the gels.
  • Scrunching – with products in your hair, tilt your head to the side you want to scrunch and then cup your hair with both your hands gently till you near the roots and scrunch. Repeating this method for a few minutes on each side enhances the curl formation and can be done after every product application or at the end of all.
  • Pineappling – this is a way to tie your hair at top of your head, loosely with a silk scrunchie while sleeping in order to minimize frizz and flattening of the curls.

Like every other religion, this one too calls for regularity and purity in actions but unlike other religions, this one pays you with not metaphysical but physical and more visible results. Love your curls.

8 Things to Keep in Mind While Holidaying with a Toddler

I was quite scared while travelling during pregnancy. My biggest concern was whether I will find a loo at the right time or not? At that time, I did not know that bigger fears were soon on their way. Then after the birth of my baby, I was convinced that travelling with a baby is much more difficult than pregnancy. How will I feed him, burp him or make him sleep? And now that my baby has grown up to be a toddler, I do not know whether to take this phase as the worst or there is more in the years to come.

At least, I am convinced now that traveling with a baby was a lot easier as compared to traveling with a toddler. If you have one or if you have seen one in a neighbouring room in your hotel, you will know what I mean. They can be embarrassing, torturous and nothing like you had to call merrymakers. With my experience, I came up with these few pointers that have made my life a little easier while travelling with a toddler. Of course, you will learn more from your toddler and experience is the best teacher but it can be beneficial to keep these on the back of your mind. Because just in case out of all the hundreds of tricks that you have tried to calm down the tornado, by God’s grace one of these works. You might be aware of many of them and some of them would definitely take you by surprise.

1. Keep Your ambitions ZERO

I mean completely zero, not low. If you go with a list of ‘To – do’ and ‘Must see’, burn it or throw it out of the window. Nothing will progress as you plan. Just go, see how your toddler wants the day to be like and work accordingly.

2 There are No Holidays for their Schedules

If you think that it is a vacation and as your child is enjoying the park, you can delay his nap time or replace a meal with a snack, I am afraid you are calling a fire-spitting dragon out of his cave. They might look like they are doing fine without the nap or with the snack but they are not and you will come to know this soon when they get bored of the things that are presently keeping them occupied. Just transition them from high to low energy levels softly (that’s a very important point coming up as the next pointer) and put them to nap or feed them their meal.

3. Know About Transitions

Are you aware of that fundamental known as speed transition? Yes, deceleration it is!! And the downside of missing it is, yes jerks! Here the jerk will be on the mental wellbeing of the parents. Jokes apart, handling toddler is not an easy thing. Toddlers are like high energy balls and if you try to stop these speeding balls with your cold and still hands, you will get those unexpected jerks. So, move them out of their activities slowly, softly and skilfully. What I will advise is that make your vacation a Stay-cation because moving places frequently with the toddler can be tiring. Select someplace where you can put up in just one hotel or B-n-B and that too something centrally located (because you might need to run back for the nap times). Also, if you have your own private car, the public display of craziness will be much less.

4. Play a Devil in Disguise

If you have a flight to board and you want your toddler to sleep through the flight to give you a respite in that cramped space some thousands of miles above the earth, exhaust them at the airport. Let them go repeatedly on the travellators, escalators and create ruckus in the lobby, it will guarantee that both of you will be dead asleep in the flight.

5. Don’t Miss the Bassinet Facility Ever

I was glad to know that when kids below two years of age do not get an allotted seat, they get the benefit of a bed to sleep. A bassinet is a foldable basket that is attached to the partition wall in the flight and however small it is for a child under two, it is a blessing for the parents. And if you have enthusiastically followed the Point 4, believe me, that the size of the bassinet won’t matter at all. Your exhausted toddler is bound to sleep even in that cramped space.

6. Keep Your Nutrition Radar Down for the Holidays

Definitely. If this in-built radar is left on, it can be serious harm to your vacation. To be on the safer side, carry healthy snacks that are familiar to your child so that if he is not willing to try the local food (which is anytime better for health and for grooming them into non-fussy travellers) they can satisfy themselves with something familiar while you are satisfied with the nutrition index.

7. Hydration is Very Important

Generally, every parent these days carries a mineral water bottle for his/her child. So, this might come as a shocker but what I am going to say is worth trying. Quench their thirst with safe but locally available water. By doing this, apart from building immunity, you are also aiding digestion of the local cuisine your toddler seems to love.

8. In the End, Call it a Good Trip

I very well know that travelling with a toddler is not exactly like a dream vacation with all the things falling in place exactly in the same way that you desired them to be. But the good part is that you get to experience something new, which might get registered in the kid’s subconscious mind, to your surprise. And the best part is that next time when you travel together, both of you will be better at handling the situations that arise.

Also Read: How Travelling Benefits You Emotionally

The objectives of travelling keep on changing with age, phase, experience and moods. When you were a teenager, the motto to travel must have been very different as compared to the one when you travelled for the first time with your spouse. Similarly, travelling with your kids means spending more time with them. It means getting out of the routine and tasting a life that is completely different from the usual humdrum. All the crazy parts of the trip will eventually become fun memories. Believe me when I say this that that is what counts more, in the end. I will advise not to get intimidated and disappointed with the trip. Just learn your lessons, draw your own pointers and go for the next one because that’s how trips and life works. Happy travels to you!

5 Secret Things to Say to Your Mirror Everyday

The Secret 5 Things to Say to Your Mirror Everyday

The Secret 5 Things to Say to Your Mirror Everyday

Liza changed suddenly. The lady I loved meeting had transformed into a lady I started avoiding suddenly. Earlier, she used to be this bubbly woman, full of life and zest to live. And now, especially after she left her job, she turned into a cribbing machine I just didn’t want to meet. Our common friend advised me to talk to her. I did not want to. But I finally did. And to my pleasant surprise, Liza told me that she knew she has changed and wanted to be her old self. So, what do I advise her – the secret of the mirror!

What is the Secret of the Mirror?

You know what? The mirror that you come across, day in and day out harbors a secret ability. As you know that the mirror has the ability to reflect, you can tap this power of reflection of the mirror to transform your life for the better.

Before telling you what it is, let me tell you what it is not:

  • No, it is not meditation at all.
  • It does not require special equipment at all, except for a mirror, of course
  • It does not require much time
  • You can do it anytime during the day
  • It does not require a special place or the same mirror

Why Do You Need this in Your Routine?

Just like the ocean, your life too has its share of tides and ebbs. You are not always happy. You are not always sad. Between this black and white, there are many shades of grey when you are somewhat happy and somewhat sad. You don’t need motivation or pepping up when you are happy but you certainly do when you are sad. Our elders used to say that precaution is better than cure or prevention is better than medicine. So, when you take care of your emotional self when you are happy, you can easily take care of yourself when you are sad. When you are strong in emotional upheaval, you can easily say, “This too shall pass. I will not get affected by it.” It becomes easy to bounce back out of the turmoil of sadness. So, how do you go about this?

What are the Five Things You Need to Say to the Mirror?

Here I am with these five beautiful, encouraging, inspiring, happy, confident things that you should say to your mirror to transform yourself one day at a time.

1. I am Healthy, I Attract Good Health

We all need good health. Good health is the very foundation of life. So, attracting good health should be your first purpose. And the rule is ‘always say this sentence in the present tense’. Your sentence should not be in future tense. You should not say “I will become healthy.” When you utter this magical line in the present tense to your mirror, your mirror will reflect good health to you. You will feel energized and experience that all the ailments, whether physical or psychological are bidding you goodbye. While chanting to the mirror, you can also add lines like, “I get time to exercise”, “I choose good food”, “the food that I eat nourishes my body” and other positive things.

2. I am Beautiful / I am Handsome, I Love the Way I Look

And I do not just mean about physical beauty but also the inner beauty. Many of us are not happy about our weight, height, looks, features, etc. But the way we are designed by the Almighty, there is a purpose ingrained in every feature of our body. (that does not mean that you stop working on your weight, but all I mean here is stop obsessing over it) There is this beautiful story. A deer was very proud of his beautiful horns but always cursed his thin ugly legs. He used to think that except for his legs, his entire body is so handsome. One day, the deer was attacked by hunters. He did not know what to do. He ran for his life, without realizing the same ugly legs have made this possible. However, as fate had planned, his beautiful horns got stuck in a tree while running. He could not run anymore and the hunters had him. The moral is that the beautiful horns took his life while the ugly legs were trying to save it. Be grateful for your looks and body while talking to the mirror.

3. I am a Positive Being. I Attract Positive People into My Life

Amid all the drama and negativity that this world has, create a nest of people who are above all this chaos. It is not necessary that all the good friends will remain in your life forever. Just like everything is transient, good friends are too. However, your goal should be to remove toxic people from your life, be it friends, family and relatives and attract positive people. And by removal, I do not mean that you do not talk to them at all. Removing people means that their behavior, conversations and acts should not affect you. You should realize that you are above all this. When you tell the mirror that you are positive, you automatically attract positivity. In this process, you might lose friends you termed as good, but they were not right for you and ultimately, you rise high.

4. I am Busy, My Hands Always have Work to Do

Busy. You might have uttered this word to your mom, your kid, your spouse or to your own self, many a time. But are you really busy and what is that that keeps you busy? An empty mind is a devil’s workshop. However, in the present times, most of our time is usurped by social media and its different platforms. And you get it right, social media is the devil’s workshop. You have to make your presence felt on each one of the social media platforms once in a while. Instead of that busyness, cultivate busyness by utilizing your education, your talent and your time. Ask the mirror to give you good work to do. When you are busy with something good, you develop your mind for the greater good. You rise above from the clutter and become a personality that you always desired to be.

5. I am Fulfilling the Purpose of My Life

Every living being has a purpose in his or her life. Without purpose, the life on this earth is useless. It is not necessary that purpose remains the same throughout life. It might change with the age and circumstances. When you are on the road to achieving the purpose of life, you automatically stay charged and you feel good about your own self. The purpose should not be supporting the family financially or earning good money. It should be for the greater benefit. The purpose should be noble and performed with clear intentions, with no expectations in return.

If you like writing, write a quote every day on the common wall. If you like cooking, feed the underprivileged. Incase you are a good singer, organize a concert for the elderly in the locality. The purpose should be something that brings a smile on the face of the people. Tell the mirror that you have a purpose in your life and you are definitely fulfilling it in more ways than one.

How to Use the Mirror Effectively?

  • Stand in front of the mirror.
  • Write the things you want to say on a paper.
  • Say out loud what you want from life.
  • Declare it with confidence and positivity
  • Make sure that you do not speak the word ‘No’
  • While speaking, imagine you are attracting good things
  • Choose the right time to say when your energy is on a high
  • You can speak it any number of times that you want
  • After waking up, during the day or before retiring to the bed
  • Above all, SMILE when you speak.
  • And BELIEVE in it. Be PATIENT for the transformation to happen

Ultimately, you are your own angel. You are the person who can get you out of the misery that you have fallen into. You do not need a shrink, you do not need a shoulder to cry on. But you just need your own self. And in the mirror, you see just that – your own self. Cultivate a positive environment wherein you can bloom like a flower and spread the fragrance.

Simple and Instant Homemade Flour Based Face Packs for Flawless Skin

“What is the secret of your glowing skin”, asked her friend. Joey replied that there is no secret. But this made Joey think about her routine and what is that that is making her skin glow. She never gets a facial done in the salon, not applies cosmetics or skin whitening creams, seldom uses a face wash and does not understand the reason people use bleach on their face. And suddenly it dawned upon her that that was the secret of her glowing skin. She followed her mother’s grandma’s advice. Yes, she was alive till Joey was about 16 years. Her great grandmother never used cosmetics or even soap in her entire lifespan. She was healthy, beautiful and fun all her life.

With the changing lifestyle, people around the world have got so much exposure. And this exposure is troubling to their health and skin. The moment someone says that I got ‘x-y-zee’ skin treatment or facial done, it gets added to the list of the one who is listening. Friends, it does not matter if your feet are not pedicured or you have not got a hair spa. Go straight to the kitchen and treat your feet with something better than chemicals at the salon. Ah! I am deviating from the topic. Today, I will let you know the benefits of the humble flour in your kitchen. We use different types of flour in our cuisine and this very flour can also become a beauty ingredient. Let’s begin the unraveling.

1. Wheat Flour

You have been using the wheat flour almost daily to churn out the best bread for your lunch and dinner. But do you know that wheat flour is an awesome ingredient for your tan-removal face pack as well? It also helps remove oil and contributes to skin whitening. This is because wheat flour is rich in selenium, vitamin E, zinc and fiber. While selenium is an anti-ageing agent, fiber helps remove toxins from the skin.

To remove tan, apply a thin paste of wheat flour and water on your face, scrub it when it dries and washes it off. For oily skin, make a paste of wheat flour, warm milk, rose water and honey. Apply this paste and wash it off when it dries. For an even tone, make a paste out of wheat flour and milk cream. Apply this and rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. Wheat flour does wonders on both consumption and application. Make your skin glow by adding fiber-rich wheat flour to your dishes and face packs.

2. Gram Flour

This is my favourite facial flour. I have been using it since I was a teenager. This flour has so many benefits that it will become difficult to list them all over here. You can even chuck soap and wash your face daily with plain gram flour. This flour helps fight acne, aids in tan-removal and moisturizes the skin. To cure acne, use gram flour with honey.

For tan removal, use it with lemon juice, turmeric powder and yogurt. For exfoliation, mix gram flour with rice flour and almond powder. Apply on your skin and scrub it after some time. For skin toning, use gram flour with rose water. For moisturizing the skin, a mixture of gram flour and olive oil works best while for removing fine facial hair, use gram flour with yogurt and turmeric powder. Let the pack dry on your skin and then lightly scrub it and wash it off. Gram flour is quite versatile both in the kitchen and in your beauty treatment. Several dishes come out well by addition of gram flour. Similarly, your skin will get a fresh makeover by using this flour regularly.

3. Millet Flour

Slightly coarse in texture, Millet flour is excellent as a scrub for the face. To use a scrub, mix around two spoons of this flour with three teaspoons of milk. Form an even paste and let it rest for about thirty minutes. Soaked flour is better for use. You can even add fresh yogurt in this mix. Apply on your face. Leave it for some time and scrub lightly. Wash with lukewarm water. You will notice a fresh and radiant skin with this application. There are different types of millet available in the market. While here I have mentioned about red millet flour, you can use the one that is available in your household.

4. Rice Flour

An excellent ingredient for your facial scrub, rice flour is an anti-ageing agent as well. When teamed up with other ingredients, rice flour facials keep skin smooth, silky and glowing. Rice flour helps remove dead skin cells and purifies the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. For exfoliation, mix rice flour with gram flour, some granules of sugar, honey and half a teaspoon of coconut oil. The consistency of this pack is quite thick as it is a scrub. It can be used for the entire body. To get a natural glow on the skin, blend rice powder with orange slices, apple pieces and cherries. Add some chilled yogurt to this paste. Apply it on your skin and leave it for around half an hour and rinse. To remove tan, use rice flour with cold milk and chocolate powder. Apply this paste and let it rest for twenty minutes before washing it off.

5. Corn Flour

You might be thinking that this lady has gone crazy going by the number of flour she is listing for beauty. But I promise you that the flours that sit in your kitchen to be prepared into something edible can also be used for your beauty. Now, I would list the benefits of corn flour for your skin. That corn flour helps absorb moisture in the recipes is a known fact. But you might not know that corn flour also helps absorb excess oil secretion on your skin as well. The texture of corn flour is such that it is an excellent cleansing agent if used accurately. Using corn flour in your face pack will help you in keeping your skin blemish-free and naturally glowing. Corn flour even helps in making your skin healthy and smooth as well. The reason corn flour works is that it is brimming with antioxidants, the much-required thing for skin. These antioxidants prevent ageing by fighting off free radicals. Presence of vitamin A firms up the skin whereas vitamin C heals the skin naturally.

To remove tan, mix corn flour with yogurt and honey. Let it rest for about 15 minutes after application. And then wash it off with lukewarm water. Do not forget to moisturize your skin post this. To remove blackheads effectively, mix a tablespoon of cornflour with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. To lighten the skin tone, mix corn flour with lemon juice and turmeric powder. By using this pack just once a week regularly you will get the results. Mix cornflour with rice flour and milk and honey for blemish-free skin. For a natural glow on the face, prepare an apt face mask using corn flour, baking soda, rose water and honey. To rejuvenate your skin, add coffee powder, oatmeal and a few drops of coconut oil to corn flour mask. Corn flour is very interesting flour. It is added to so many recipes and a range of different masks can be prepared with it. Next time, if you face any skin problem, make sure you first think about corn flour and how it can be used to make your skin healthy.

6. Arrowroot Flour

You must have heard about arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder. It is a thickening powder used in foods. A healthier option to corn flour, arrowroot powder is gradually gaining popularity. The flour is finer in texture as compared to corn flour and hence, is most suitable for beauty applications. It helps absorb excess oils secreted by the skin. The beauty of this ingredient is that just a little amount of it is enough.

To cure acne, mix a teaspoon of arrowroot powder with a tablespoon of honey and around 3 drops of lavender oil. Mix well and apply to clean skin. Let it rest for up to ten minutes and wash it off. To soothe your itching skin, prepare a mask out of a cup of oatmeal, a tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 6 cups of cooled chamomile tea or plain water. Let this mixture rest for some while before using. This pack is quite soothing for rashes, especially in children. To prepare a toner, take a cup of cooled chamomile tea and add three drops of tea tree oil with one-fourth cup of aloe vera gel and half a teaspoon of arrowroot powder. If aloe Vera gel is not available, replace it with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. This mixture can be stored in a bottle. Shake it well before use. To use, just spray it on your face. Isn’t arrowroot flour great? It is actually a must for your kitchen and beauty.

Also read: 15 Skin of Fruits and Vegetables to Apply for a Glowing Skin

Why use household ingredients for skin?

In all my posts, I have been advocating the use of ingredients readily available at home in your beauty packs. The reason for this is that human skin is quite fragile. Rubbing the skin with chemicals turns out to be quite harmful in the long run. You might have heard about a sudden rise in skin diseases, especially cancer in the present age. This is all because of the chemicals in our food and on our skin. If you have teenagers at home, keep them away from chemical-laden face packs and rather ask them to use kitchen components. The beauty of these ingredients is that the use of chemicals in them is none to minimal. Further, they can be used frequently to get good results.

While I have asked here to use flours, you can also use pulses, different types of edible leaves, fruits, vegetables and spices and condiments for glowing skin. That’s what our elders did and without any doubt, they looked more beautiful as compared to us. Further, I would also recommend eating well. All the flours that I have mentioned here are also healthy. You should make a point to eat whole flours regularly. This would also reflect in the quality of your skin.

That’s all for this post, friends. I will be back with more such interesting recipes that enhance your beauty and are healthy as well. Till then, make sure that you eat healthily, apply healthy and stay healthy. If possible, I will check on you!

Bored? Reasons Why Boredom Has Become So Common – How to Exit Modern Age Boredom

“I am bored, Mom” used to be my most common phrase during school holidays. And I don’t remember much, but my mom sure dreaded this statement. Inadvertently, I passed this statement to a little girl staying in the neighborhood. I realized this when her mom (my friend) told me that her daughter has caught up on my boredom as I kept on repeating this in her presence.

This made me question, “Was I so bored of everything around me that I am exuberating boredom as well?” I did not take stock of my life until recently when I started getting bored again. I realized that boredom is not something around us, it is inside. In spite of so many people to talk to around us, so many programs on television to watch, so many video games to play, so many books to read, getting bored has become very common these days. Believe it or not, boredom is a modern-age menace.

My husband grew up in a little town amid a joint family of forty members. He never got bored. In fact, there was nothing to get bored of those days. There was no cell phone, not many toys and not a single mall for window shopping. There was only a shared television with just two channels being aired and in spite of that, he never got bored. My mom tells me that she did not know the concept of boredom at all in her childhood.

In the present age, there are so many things to do. When you are bored of television, there is social media. If you are bored of one social media platform, there is another. If you are bored of one video game, check out another. When you are bored of friends, make new virtual friends. If you are bored of your spouse, get into a relationship online. With so many things to get occupied into, what is it that is making people bored? When I think of people getting bored, mechanically I also think of those people who do not have time to kill. They are so busy that they are not able to talk to their parents; they are not able to spend time with their kids, et al. So where is all the time going?

If you delve deeper, you will get to know that the same set of people who do not have time to kill are getting bored. This is because in the present age people are so addicted to busyness that even a single minute of emptiness makes them bored. They do not know what to do if there is not a single message on Whatsapp to check. Such people are on an island if there is no Wi-fi. People get antsy if others are too busy to respond. In spite of being surrounded by so many other things to do, many individuals give more importance to their virtual avatars, rather than their real selves. I am not here to blabber about social media menace at all. Because I believe that it is important in some way.

Read more here: Quitting Social Media Does Not Help – Learn How to Stop Your Social Media Addiction

The point I am trying to make is that boredom is the result of so many things to do around us. Getting Amazon firestick is not the solution, folks. The solution is getting rid of the idea of finding new sources of entertainment. I read somewhere that the kids get creative if they have fewer toys to play. When kids have more toys to play with, their minds wander off from one to another. The same theory applies to us, adults. When we have more sources of entertainment, we are all the more bored. Probably, that is the reason earlier people were not bored at all. So, what can be done now? What is the solution of this constant boredom that haunts us?

Better Things To Do Rather than Entertainment When Getting Bored

So, next time when you are bored, do not make a profile on another social media platform or hunt for the best photograph for your profile picture. Instead, disconnect the internet and do one or all of these things.

Sit Quietly

Ahaan!!! Can this be done – sit quietly? You are asking me to sit quietly and do nothing, retorted one of my friends. Sitting quietly is grossly underestimated. People think that this is not possible at all with so many things to do. With so many disturbances, sitting quietly is a thing of bygone era. Only when you think of sitting quietly, the doorbell will ring, so my mother used to say. However, nowadays, doorbell seldom rings, instead, the phone pings. Because there is no one to pay you a visit, neither the postman nor your friend. Everyone will ping you instead. This means you just need to switch off your phone and sit quietly. Think of your childhood days, your school friends, your sources of joys or better, think nothing. Listen, don’t doze off.

Stand and Stare

Yeah, this is a forgotten art. I read a poetry by W.H. Davies, when I was young, “What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” This was written long ago in 1911 and every word of it is so true even today, in fact, more so in the present times. People are so lost in worldly pleasures that there is no time to stand and stare at life, take stock of present things. So, next time when you are bored, just stand and observe things around you. If there is a window in close proximity, stand by the window and stare into the oblivion. Windows with a view of nature are best for this activity. The beauty of this thing is that it can be done anywhere and everywhere. My favourite is staring at the sea.


The power of observation is rarely discussed. When you get bored of things and want to do something in a passive manner, just exit yourself from the commotion and observe quietly. The reason why people love watching television is that it gives the leisure of observation – it is a passive activity. If in office, observe people communicating. When you are stuck in a traffic jam, instead of cribbing, observe the reaction of other people. When you are in a playground, observe kids talking and playing. This activity needs to be done without other people knowing that you are doing it. The moment another person comes to know that you are observing him, it becomes artificial.


What? Write? Yes, I am asking you to write with a pen on paper. Writing is, again, a lost art. People have forgotten how to write. Some people do not even remember how their writing looks like. We may be the last generation who teach their kids how to write well or maybe not. So, next time when you have nothing to do and boredom is haunting you, grab a pen and paper and start writing. Now, you ask me what to write. You need not be a good writer to write. Just write about things you want to do, things you did, your thoughts about people, places, recent experiences, etc. Writing lets you explore your own self in a manner that you would not have realized till date.

Breathe in, Breathe out

This is another interesting thing you can do, in fact, you should do. Whenever you have nothing to do, just observe how you breathe. Take stock of every breath you inhale and exhale. Initially, it might seem artificial to you, but you will get used to it. Conscious breathing is not only interesting but fun as well. It is also healthy, they say.

To Conclude

Boredom is a temporary phase. Nothing can wander off your interest without your permission. It is up to you whether you want to get bored or cultivate interest in regular things. So, next time when you think that you are getting bored, just sit back and breathe. You might not get bored again so make the most of it. Happy boredom to you!

How Non-Working Mothers Can Add Value to Their Lives? Things Mothers Should Do

A mother goes through different phases in her life. From being an independent working professional, she leaves her job suddenly and is home bound for first two months when she gives birth to a baby. Those two months are quite tough. She goes through hormonal changes, emotional upheaval and taking care of a baby for the first time. However much she has determined to begin the job after the job, she is in two minds as to how to leave the baby and go. While some mothers do not have any other option, others change their mind and decide to be at home with the kid and concentrate on upbringing. After two-three years, she decides to begin schooling for the kid and focus on her career again. But what’s this? Industry is not that welcoming as it seemed to be. After trying for six months to a year, she decides to become a pre-school teacher or resume studies. Some even opt for trying their hands on entrepreneurship.

This is not my story as I have been writing all through the trying times. But I have come across many such new-age mothers who are not able to live their dream of balancing work and family together. What to do when your kid leaves for school? What to do when your kid grows up and leaves for studies to a different city or a country? Here are some ideas that will help you cope up with the situation and how to add value to your personality.

Your Hobbies Should Never Take a Pause

I have seen many a times that ladies forget their hobbies or simply stop them, when they find that they are pregnant. Yes, you are pregnant, that’s a great thing. But it does not mean that you should stop being yourself. Keep yourselves occupied by indulging in a hobby. So, when at a later stage, nothing seems to work, your hobby would keep you company. Even when the baby arrives, take some time out for your hobby. When the baby grows up and leaves for school, you can turn your hobby into a profession or team it up with some other work as well.

Try to Earn Something, Even If the Amount is Minimal

Yes, your husband is quite supportive and has been earning well. However, you need to stay independent and that will make you a confident woman. Confidence is quite important for mothers as they are role models for their kids. Search for work-from-home or go out and work to earn something. This will motivate you and even contribute to your personality. You can be a teacher, you can make something at home and sell, or you can be a consultant or a full-time working professional. Do not be available for your kid 24×7. Let your kid know that you have a life beyond home and family as well.

Learn A New thing, Skill Or A Course

Now that you are free, you can learn something new. Find out something that you always wanted to do. Or try out something new. Overcome your fears and drive on a new road. You can learn swimming, driving, singing, playing instruments, dance, pottery, drawing or anything and everything. Be a kid again and try your hands on things that you were not able to do as a kid. You would love this and your family would also gain something out of your new learnt skills.

Make New Friends, Start Fresh Conversations

By this, I do not mean that go on a hunting spree for new friends and leave the ones that you already have. I mean to say that you need to open up to strangers and talk to them. Connect with other mothers and learn how they spend their time. Visit places that you were not able to with your kids. Keep a tab on the exhibitions, trade shows and events that are happening in your locality and city. Even if it means travelling a lot, do that. Take public transport for long routes. It helps you ponder, contemplate and observe people and places better.

Prepare An Event Calendar

You might think that there is no use of event calendar as you do not have much to do. However, the moment you make a calendar, you would be tempted to fill that up. You would scout for opportunities that can sizzle up your calendar. If your kids are younger, make space for some play dates for them. If your kids are teenagers, schedule some family meetings where your kids could meet the extended family.

Plan Get-Together With Groups

You might have a friend from school, a friend who stays in the same apartment as you, a friend from your kid’s school and so on and so forth. Invite different friends over to your place. Even if it is just two of you, plan something interesting. For instance, you can keep a theme wherein both of you wear similar clothes and prepare similar dishes for potluck. Play fun games and involve your kids too if they are willing to.

Watch Interesting Content

With the influx of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, lots of interesting content is available to watch. Start watching a web-series that matches your interest or watch short movies that have been appreciated around the globe. To make it different and slightly tough, try to watch movies in other languages without subtitles. This way, you can understand the emotions and appreciate cinematography as well.

Work Out to Stay Fit

Irrespective what your scale says, no matter whether you are thin or fat, it is necessary that you work out to stay fit and healthy. Working out not only keeps you physically fit but keeps you mentally alert as well. Those who work out regularly do not suffer from depression, anxiety or blues frequently. Find out a workout buddy and get going, girl.

Work Out Your Mind As Well

You might not be aware that your mind too requires exercise. For these, you need to play mind games. Learn to solve Sudoku, kakuro, Hittori, crossword, brain puzzles, etc. Mind Games are very helpful to keep you alert and sharp. People who play mind games do not suffer from memory issues as well. If you are not aware of mind games, get a basic book for beginners from a book store near you. It is better that you play such games in a book or newspaper, basically offline, rather than online.

Go On Trips Alone Or With Friends

Yes, trips are a fun thing to do. When you explore places other than your city, you learn about different cultures, nature and environment. Above all, you learn about surviving in different settings. Ask your friends to accompany you, find out groups on Facebook that plan such trips, plan something out with your family or just take a solo trip. When you plan to take a solo trip, keep your safety in mind.

Start Reading A Book

Whether or not you are a voracious reader, you can always start reading a book. Books transport you to a different world altogether. Depending upon the book, you will learn about something – be it emotions, skills, survival or the inspiration to live your life to the fullest. Choose your books carefully. You can check the Google reviews and ratings before beginning a book.

Begin A Club Or An Initiative

Depending upon your hobby, you can start a reading club, storytelling club, sports club or anything that seems good to you. It doesn’t matter how many members your club has. What matters is that you meet regularly and make your initiative a success. If you want to do something for the society, begin a charitable initiative wherein you teach deprived kids, take senior citizens to a picnic or something like that. You can even do something for the environment – a green initiative wherein you ask people to ban the use of poly bags.

Above All This

No matter whatever be your day like, every day you need to:

  1. Laugh a lot
  2. Eat good food
  3. Stretch and Exercise
  4. Read the newspaper
  5. Meet a friend
  6. Compliment a stranger
  7. Compliment your own self

There are no set formula to live life well. When you find others doing something good, instead of being jealous or feeling insecurity, ask them if you can join them. Just because you are a mother now, it does not mean that you do not have a life of your own. Keep yourselves busy. Live your life to the fullest. Learn how to balance motherhood, family and your interests. Happiness to you!