A blog on various topics related to Home and Living, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Relationships, Self Help, Fiction and Spirituality. I love to share some of my life incidences too on this blog, so if you want to know me more, just grab a cup of coffee and go through my life here!




Fun facts about chairs

Fun facts about chairs

Chairs hold an important place in the list of necessary inventions. We simply can not think of our lives without them, can we?

According to the below infographic, chairs found throughout the world have dated back to as early as 2B.C. found in the Mediterranean.


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In Medieval times, cushions or chair pads were used to ease the hardness of the wooden stool or chair. These pads not only provided the desired comfort but also came in a variety of colorful patterns and colors. The pads were used in both poor and wealthy homes.

It was the legendary Charles Darwin who added wheels to his chair so that he could get his specimens quicker while in his study. Apart from many things, I believe we, especially the office people should thank Darwin for this particular invention as well.

In the Gothic times, chairs were used as the seats for the clergy in the churches. The ornate designs of these chairs were inspired from the nature. As the fabric covers got added to the chairs, the most prominent and popular pattern was the  fleur-de-lis that looked like local foliage.

As the centuries passed, chairs too got evolved in their designs. In the Victorian era, exotic designs were given to the chairs. It was a common trend to see lacquer-finished chairs with Oriental motifs in rich people's homes.

A rocking chair was another great design that is still quite popular. Check out some of the fun facts related to rocking chairs below:


  • The record for spending the longest time non-stop rocking a rocking chair is held by Dennis Easterling of Atlanta, Georgia. He did it for 480 hours.
  • The world's largest rocking chair is placed in Cuba, Missouri. Its height is 42 feet, 1 inches and total cost of its construction was around $22000.
  • The record for spending longest time non-stop rocking a rocking chair without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes.


When Darwin introduced wheels to the office chairs, he certainly wouldn't have thought about this crazy thing as "Office chair sports" or "Race of office chairs" that time. However, now we certainly do have something like that to talk about.
The first German Office chair Racing Championship was held in year 2009, and it took place in  Bad Koenig-Zell, Germany. It was a 170 meter race and 70 participants took part in it.

Sources: 1, 2

Top 5 Classic Games for Family Fun Night

Top 5 Classic Games for Family Fun Night

A good family bonding requires the presence of each family member, and spending a fun family night once in a fortnight can be an excellent way to strengthen that bond. In today's fast paced life, with our daily work obligations and social networking frenzy, the time we spend with our families has really crunched down.

Therefore, it becomes even more important to plan a family get together weekly or bi-weekly. There are many ways in which you can spend fun time with your family, a few of which I mentioned in an article HERE.

My personal favorite way to spend a great family fun night is to play games. There are certain board and card games which have been played since a very long time, and are still as fresh and interesting for enjoying time together, irrespective of what age group you belong to.
Check out an interesting infographic below that states some amazing facts about some of the popular family board games:


Source Site

Let us have a look at my top 5 favourite family games below:

1) Carrom

Carrom is one of the oldest and classic games to spend an amazing and relaxing family fun night, particularly for a small family with 4 members in it. The wooden carrom board, its coins and striker still haven't lost their charm and are sure going to stay for another century or so.

2) Scrabble:

Scrabble is one of the most educational and fun game to play with your family members. It definitely helped me build my English vocabulary, and learn new words every time I play it. Add a bit of spice to the game by making a rule of your own, and your game gets a complete new dimension. This is one game no one can ever get bored of.

3) Monopoly:

Monopoly is probably world's best selling board game and an ultimate hit in family fun games. I've enjoyed playing this game for endless hours and still can't resist a temptation of  owning major properties in it. Somehow, playing it has always given me immense feeling of financial satisfaction. An amazing family game, which is also great for kids for improving their addition and subtraction skills.

4) Clue

A perfect board game to help you unveil your detective and intuitive side. Since ages, this game has made people to compete and know who killed Mr. Boddy. Was he murdered by Professor Plum in the library with the rope or was it Mrs. Peacock in the kitchen with the candlestick? The mystery keeps on changing every time you play.

5) Card games:

A deck of 52 cards is possibly the most versatile in providing fun night games to play with your family members. And the best part is that all members can participate and play together, whether there are just 3 or 13 members in the family. Games like Rummy, eights, Hearts, cribbage, spade, bridge, poker and around hundreds of other card games have been played since ages and are definitely going to stay there. 
Tips to Help you Bring Romance in your Marriage

Tips to Help you Bring Romance in your Marriage

Tips to Help you Bring Romance in Marriage


Life can become a lot different after few years of marriage, particularly after having kids. It is usual for the couples to let other things take toll over their lives, while their romance takes a back stage. For keeping the marriage successful it is important to proactively work on keeping the spark up between you and your partner.

Many times, just failing to do little things can pile up the bitterness in the relationship and can lead to heartbreaking results such as a divorce. Check out an infographic below that showcases some statistics on divorce cases in the US:


familygamenight.net

In the US, around 41% of the first marriages end in divorce. The percentage goes alarmingly up with around 60% of second marriages and around 73% of third marriages ending up in divorce. The divorce rate among couples with children is 40% lower than couples without children. And out of all states, Oklahoma has the highest divorce rate of 32%.

Such alarming statistics do make it necessary to go more in-depth of the problems that lead to divorce and solve them. Generally, the three most common reasons that can lead to divorce are - Adultery, Absence and Abuse.
While the third reason (abuse) in a marriage can be solved with the help of external consultants, the first reason (adultery) might come in marriage because of the second reason (absence).

Absence of a spouse in marriage - both in physical and mental way can lead to many complications. It becomes really important for the couples to make their presence known to each other, even in smallest possible ways to make their marriage work successfully.

Here are some tips that can help you bring that missing romantic factor in your marriage, and you don't even have to spend too much time, energy or money doing these. Check them out below:

1) Communicate:

Many times we get so busy with our daily routines, that we simply forget to talk to our partners and appreciate their presence in our lives. Even if you are dealing with 10 meetings a day, you can always find time to send a "Thank you" or "I love you" message to your spouse. Not only it will bring a smile on his/her face, it will also brighten up your mood and day.

2) Plan a date:

After spending a long hectic week, it is easy to let the weekends pass doing pending household chores and lying on the couch watching movies on television. However, if you put a little more efforts and plan to go on a dinner date with your better half, it can definitely add a lot of zing to the relationship. A nice candle light dinner, or even a long walk on your favourite walkaway while carrying coffee cups, discussing your lives, thoughts and casual things in life, can help you relax a lot.

3) Little surprise gifts can do wonders:

You can always bring a bright smile on your spouse's face by getting a little surprise gift for him/her. Thanks to these online shopping websites, now you don't even have to plan a shopping trip to a mall or spend loads of time and energy going from one shop to another in search of a perfect gift. Every thing is just a click away on online shopping portals, and you can always buy some nice goody for your spouse. Little surprises can always do big wonders in a relationship.

4) Give yourself a makeover:

Giving yourself a nice makeover can not only make you feel good, it will also make your partner see you in new lights. If you aren't much into fitness, try hitting the gym without letting your partner know and then let him/her observe the positive changes. Get a new nice haircut (or hair color!) and see how much difference it can make in building your chemistry with your partner.

5) Give your partner a relaxing massage:

If at times your spouse has to work long hours at office, instead of barging him or her with endless questions when he/she comes back, try giving a nice relaxing massage at back, neck and shoulders. Not only will your spouse enjoy it, he/she will be more thankful to you for being there and try to spend more time with you.

Marriage can definitely work well if the couples are willing to do their part a bit. What you give is what you get. So, instead of complains, worries and tantrums, give love, kindness and support and I am sure you can do wonders for yourself, your spouse and your family on whole.
Things to do a Week before Home Moving

Things to do a Week before Home Moving

Moving to a new location can be a big decision for many, especially for those who have to move with their families. You might have looked over all the factors that can get impacted because of your move, and how you will manage to cope up with the change.
However, once you've decided to go for the move, it becomes important to plan your activities much ahead in time, so that you don't face rough situations on the day of moving.

Check out an interesting infographic below stating some of the stuffs you need to know prior to preparing your move:


Source Site

While moving your family to a long-distance location, if each of your family member packs a suitcase with their own personal essentials then it makes the job of packing quite easy, smooth and fun. Valuables like cash, jewelry, photos and important documents should be packed to travel with you and not with movers.

Listed below are a couple of important things that you can include in your checklist for things-to-do a week (or probably few weeks) prior to actual moving:

1) Keep a record of everything you are moving to the new location, and check the resale value of the things you are planning to discard. You can either decide to donate or resell them at good price. Also check with your insurance companies for certain of your household goods that might need additional insurance.

2) Maintain a record of the serial numbers of all your electronic goods. Also, keep all the installation manuals and warranty cards at one safe location, so that you can refer to them while assembling your goods at your new home.

3) Fill out all the forms that need your address change and submit them with proper documents, e.g. for your gas connection, bank accounts, library accounts etc.

4) Check thoroughly the terms and conditions of your packing and moving company. If you have an object that is restricted to be carried in their vehicle, you need to find an other option to transport the stuff. Failing to adhere to the rules and regulations might cost you financially in form of fine and penalties.

5) For your initial stay at new location, start packing the essentials and keep a few additional stuffs just in case it takes more time for your household goods to arrive there. Also get your hotel and travel reservations done accordingly.

6) Dispose off all the chemicals and flammable items like paints, oils and other similar stuffs. These aren't allowed to be carried in any form of transportation, and you don't want them to spill around and create a mess in your existing home, while packing and moving your precious goods.

With proper planning and organization, you can definitely make your new move hassle-free and smooth. Just do your homework well and keep a check on all the possible things that need to be taken care off.
Things to consider before Relocating for a Job

Things to consider before Relocating for a Job

Relocating to a new place along with your family, requires a lot of efforts, and brings a lot of changes in your social, professional as well as personal life.

Check out an interesting infographic below:


Graphic Citation

Relocation may help you save a few bucks on your taxes, e.g. if you are moving over 50 miles away from your old residence, you may be eligible to get some tax deductions.

However, you need to consider a lot of things before deciding on whether to relocate or not. You can not simply agree doing it just because your employer wants you to work there or you are just frustrated with your current boss, want to quit and consider a new job. You need to seriously think over a lot of factors that might get affected if you agree to relocate for a job.

Let us have a look at some of these factors below:


1) How will relocation affect your spouse and kids?

If you are single, then choosing to relocate to a new location becomes a lot easier. However, if you are married and have kids, you need to consider the impact of relocation on your family. If your spouse is doing well in his/her career, how will your decision affect his/her career growth and future? Also, a change of school for kids can definitely affect them a lot. Getting adjusted to new school, teachers and friends does take time and efforts. If relocation holds better prospects for your spouse and kids then give it a go, otherwise you might want to think about your decision and possible options accordingly.

2) How will relocation affect your career?

Do you think you'll grow better in your career if you relocate to this new place for the new job? Irrespective of whether you are relocating for a job in your current employer or your new employer, it is always advisable to check out the prospects and growth analysis of your new job location. You can always refer to people working at your new office beforehand.

3) How will relocation affect your personal finances?

Even if relocating for your new job role gives you better salary and other allowances, it is advisable to check the cost of living at the new location. If you've been living in suburbs now, and considering relocating to a city, your cost of living is bound to go up manifolds. If you think you can manage the move and your personal finances in your new salary structure, you can consider the relocation.

4) How will relocation affect your lifestyle?

Do you love enjoying your weekends? If you are amongst those who follow the mantra "Work hard on weekdays and party harder on weekends", you must check the work culture at your new location. Many companies have a few "work-o-holics" who love to spend their weekends sitting in office, and if you become a part of their team, you can easily forget going your favorite hobby (like fishing!) on Sunday mornings. Again, it is advisable to refer to the people at your new office beforehand, and know the work culture there before considering to become a part of it.

5) Will your employer cover the cost of moving?

The cost of moving to the new location can easily put a bit of dent in your pocket, and it includes packing, moving, getting a new home at new location (depends on whether you rent it or buy it!) and getting a new mode of conveyance (like buying a new car, if you are moving to suburbs and the place doesn't have good network of public transport!), etc. Whether it is your current employer for which you are relocating or its a new one, you must always check with them the policies that cover the refunds and reimbursements on moving. 
Tips to Easily Manage your Tools for Home Repair

Tips to Easily Manage your Tools for Home Repair

Owning a house and living in it, definitely has its own merits and demerits. While you don't have to bother about your house landlord breathing down your neck for every month's rent, you certainly have certain other things to worry about while living in your own home.
Taking care of each and every inch of your home may feel like a burden initially, and if you are living in a location that faces extreme climates throughout the year, you may need to get your home repair work done more frequently.

Check below an interesting infographic about home repair trend in America


Image Source

Why is it necessary to learn Do-It-Yourself Home Repair?

Around 64% of American home owners don't have $1000 savings for home repairs. 1 in 5 home owners say they put off completing repairs on their home, and around 39% of home owners say it is hard to find a reliable repair service.

It is always good to take care of that minor leakage or that small dent in their initial phases, otherwise the problems may aggravate and you might have to spend a lot getting things back in place. The good thing is that you can always save a good deal of money and rely on your own shoulders to fix little things in your house, provided you decide to take the responsibility, get a few necessary tools and trust your gut to know what little things you can do yourself to keep your home in shape.

If you've already got your tools, nails and beads in place, here are a few tips that can help you save a lot of time, efforts and money in taking proper care of them:

1) Notepad for measurements:

It is easy to take note of that window's measurements in your mind, but the moment you reach hardware shop to get that particular glass pane, you might feel lost remembering all the dimensions. It is always advisable to keep a measurement notebook and a pen in your toolkit to record the measurements.

2) Silica gel to keep your tools rust free.

Remember seeing those little packets that you get in a box of chewing gum, or in the new suitcases? Instead of throwing them off, keep them in your tool kit and in between your collection of nails and beads. These packets are excellent in absorbing excess moisture and keep your tools and metal stuffs rust free.

3) Hang drill on the side of the ladder

While using a drilling machine while working standing on a ladder, it becomes a tedious job to come down the ladder and keep the drill down, and go up again, just to fix that small screw at its place. Imagine how strenuous it would be if there are 10s or 20s of screws to be fitted. Instead of doing all the military work going up and down for keeping and picking your drill, hang it to the sides of your ladder by coiling the wire 3-4 times around and supporting the drill on one of the case. It'll save you a lot of energy.

4) Candle to ease up the screw driving

Many times the screws get roughed up in the tool box and it becomes difficult placing them using screw drive. To smoothen their surfaces, always keep a candle in your kit. Rubbing the surface of a screw on candle wax can definitely ease up your job of putting it in that wooden plank using your screw driver.

5) Use cello tape to pick up scattered pins, beads and nails. In case it is all metal, use magnet.

Once you start building your own home repair toolkit, you might see lots of minute things in it - nails, beads, smaller nails, pins etc. Many times in all the activity, you might drop your toolkit and it feels like a lot of work picking all the stuff back. Here, you can use a cello tape for your rescue. Just wrap the cello tape around your hand, with sticky side up and press it on the floor to pick up the little pieces. It'll grab the stuffs in chunks and you can easily scrap them off in your tool kit. A good magnet can also do the trick, if all that's dropped is metal.
Additional Costs to look for in Long Distance Home Moving

Additional Costs to look for in Long Distance Home Moving

Home moving requires a great amount of planning, especially when it is a long distance moving. You need to take care of a lot of factors like the size and dimensions of your new home, all the goods to move, wrapping up all the pending tasks at your current location, time and season of the year and access to the new location etc.

Even if you have done a good amount of homework searching for the best packing and moving company that can do the job within your defined budget, there are certain costs which might come up in addition to what your packing and moving company quotes. Let us have a look at the following information below:


www.1800packrat.com

It is always advisable to show all your goods to your packing and moving company to get an accurate estimate of your moving expenses. In addition to this amount, there are certain other expenses you can expect to see, some of which are listed below:

1) Insurance: For long distance move (and even for short distance ones!), you might have to pay certain amount to the insurance company to get your goods insured.

2) Tips to the packers: You may have to pay tips to people who come for packing and unpacking. On our last move around 2 years back, we paid tips to people who packed our goods and also to those who did the unpacking in our new home. The total amount of money that we gave in the tips was roughly around 3% of total moving expenses. For this additional expense, you may not receive any receipt so don't expect it to come back in any form of refund or reimbursement.

3) Additional boxes: Even though your packing and moving company can give an almost accurate estimate on the goods you have, you might need additional boxes for the huge collection of little things you have in your kitchen's cupboard or in your grandmother's closet. In our last move, despite our estimate, we needed at least 8 extra boxes to carry all our stuffs. These extra boxes may cost you a bit more than the original estimate.

4) Fuel charges: Though most of the packing and moving companies include the fuel charges in their cost breakdown chart, you need to be aware of any difference in the fuel prices at the new location. In case of long distance move, if the fuel prices at the new location are higher than those at your current location, then you can expect the overall moving expense to go a bit higher than the original estimate.

Apart from these little expenses, you may have to spend some more money depending on the area you are moving to, such as toll taxes etc. Using an online cost calculator can help you a lot in covering most of the factors that determine your moving expenses, so you can plan your finances well ahead in time.

These cost calculators work on predefined data for a particular location, which gets updated periodically. All you have to do is enter the details about your current and new locations and some other fields. These online cost calculators not only give you a customized report and estimate, but can also enable you to be ready for any surprise expenses that may crop up during the whole phase of transitioning to your new house.
Military Housing Tips - Things to check before Purchasing a House off-base

Military Housing Tips - Things to check before Purchasing a House off-base

While getting deployed to a particular military location, it becomes important to decide whether you'd like to buy a house or rent it. Though both the options have their share of advantages and disadvantages, it depends largely on your financial position, location of deployment and certain other preferences. Check out some interesting info below:
Let us first have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of both Renting vs. Buying a home off-base.

Renting a home

Advantages:

1) A rent is generally comparatively lesser than the monthly mortgage amount for the similar house. 
2) You don't have to take responsibility for house repairs or maintenance. 
3) The initial deposit for renting a house is considerably lesser than the down payment needed to purchase the similar house. 
4) Adding a military clause in your lease agreement can allow you to break the contract in your terms in case of further deployment.

Disadvantages:

1) You don't get to earn profits from the house's sale. On contrary, your rent may get increased in case you get your contract renewed after some time. 
2) Rental options may be limited in your preferred location.

Buying a home:

Advantages:

1) You can earn profits from your house sale, if the price goes up after some time.
2) You can get tax deductions on mortgage interests and property tax.
3) Military families get Basic Allowance for Housing which is tax free.

Disadvantages:

1) You need to have enough cash for the down payment and closing price of the house.
2) You have to take the responsibility for the house repairs and maintenance.

In case you have a good credit history and you choose to purchase a house, your buying capability depends largely on your monthly income, insurance and taxes. Ideally your total mortgage amount should be less than 28% of your income (without taxes!) and your total debt amount (including your mortgage and others) should be less than 36% of your total income. Once you've discussed your options, contacted the bank, Mortgage Company and got your loan approved and sanctioned, the next step which requires a lot of work is finding the house that fits into your taste.

Location is the key factor when it comes to finding a house as the area of your preference should be safe, near to base and should have good quality schools and recreation centers near by. Though Internet can help you know more about the location, it is best to contact a real estate agent to show you the housing options.


Once you have found your perfect home, made the negotiations for the price and paid the initial deposit, ensure that the house is inspected by a qualified professional inspector to check for any deficiencies and repairs. You can then negotiate with the house owner depending on the repair work needed. You can either get it done by them or expect a refund in the house payment. Once all the details are done, your final sales agreement must include all the details like expected closing date, final price, repairs and list appliances and fixtures that come with the house (like windows, fans, tube lights etc.)
Tips on Saving Money on Home Moving

Tips on Saving Money on Home Moving

When it comes to moving your family with your household stuffs from one location to another because of your job change or transfer, it becomes a great deal getting the whole activity done without a hitch. You literally need to shift and settle down all over again each time you move.

Many times you may not get the same square feet of house at the new location. You need to dump a few stuffs in order to settle in your new home so that you don't feel like staying in a cloak room. You are either left with an option to sell some of your stuffs ( Oh! But I loved that sofa so much, I got it designed myself! I don't want to sell it!  ), or keep them safe somewhere till you find a new bigger home to stay. Well, storage services are designed for rescue you in such situations. You can easily pack and keep your bigger stuffs safe in these storage houses for some period of time. Nowadays you get packing, moving and storage services at amazing deals that offer guarantee jobs done.

In case you are wondering, here let me share with you some interesting details regarding the moving trends in the U.S. according to the US Bureau of Census:


www.1800packrat.com


  • More than 15% of the US population moves every year.
  • Around 6.7 million households moved in year 2010 and 34 million people moved in year 2007-2008.
  • Around 37% of Americans never moved out of their hometown, and 40% relocate due to job offer.
  • At present the annual migration rate in the US is 11.9%


So, the statistics show a good number of people moving from one location to other in the US, and if you are amongst them, then you can surely rest assured that there are great deals of packing, moving and storage services available at good prices. While checking for the best company to choose, always ensure that you check the latest deals and discounts (online or offline!) for the current season. It is best to consult someone from your family or friends, who has freshly made a move from one location to another to know the deals.

Also, make it a note that the prices may vary depending on the location, distance, season and even the time of the month/week, so you need to keep all these factors in mind and plan accordingly. Most of the times the companies charge you lower fees if you make a move on weekdays instead of weekends. Despite the price factor, you must also consider the code of conduct by the company people. If they are prompt in their replies and proactively discuss with you all the factors, then congratulations - you are in safe hands. If a company is charging less, but not providing prompt service or response to your queries, it is better to check for another one.

Even though there are lots of cost calculators available online, you need to strategically check the options on your own. If suppose the moving rates of one company are good, but their packing rates are too high, you can consider another company (that charges less!) to do the packing. However, ensure that the packing standards are up to the mark.

If you and your colleague are making a move at the same time, you can even collaborate together for the move and save a lot. Internet is a boon when it comes to checking real testimonials from people who have used the packing and moving services. So, always check out the online customer reviews of the company you want to consider before giving it a go.

My Idea of a Perfect Road Trip goes from Barmana to Manali

One of the most amazing childhood memories that I have is the one in which my dad used to take me on long drive at night, especially after dinner. He used to take me to the petrol pump nearest to our house (around 2-3 KMs away from our home, on the Shimla-Manali National highway!), get me an ice cream (because that was the only place near to our home where we could get ice cream!) and then take me to the bridge crossing Satluj river.

The whole place just looked thousand times more majestic, grand and out of the world at night. Small lights twinkling from houses on the dark hills would look like jewels and crystals scattered on a super huge pitch dark magical flying carpet! The view of the river from the bridge was indeed scary at night, but equally breathtaking and awesome too!

Night view of a valley in Himachal
Night view of a valley in Himachal


Add to all this, the soft car fragrance lingering in the interiors of the car (I remember my dad had always kept a soft and relaxing car fragrance, irrespective of how many cars he changed to!), lovely music blaring the car's speakers and my dad's smooth and amazing driving skills, I was bound to have the best time always. The trend continued for years and no matter how many times I'd go on those roads in his Hyundai Santro car, the whole experience always used to make me immensely happy and at peace. The feeling was tantamount to having a session of meditation!

Now, fast forwarding my life to present, I still love to sit on the navigation seat of my car in front, more than actually driving the car. Even after learning the driving, getting my own license and doing a good job till date, I somehow never enjoyed driving much. I feel more at peace in seeing the world outside from the navigator's seat. My dad drives a Chervrolet Cruz now and my husband has a Hyundai FluidicVerna and I love travelling in both of them.

My perfect idea of a road trip
My perfect idea of starting a road trip (I took this pic while sitting on my fav seat in the car! )

Me relaxing a bit! :)


I've traveled a lot both in India and abroad, going from Himachal Pradesh, to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka , to a few places in United States of America (New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Las Vegas) to some places in Germany (Ulm, Stuttgart & Esslingen).

Even though I've traveled across all these places in possibly all means of transport one can think of, the road trip from my childhood hometown - "Barmana (a small town in Bilaspur District, Himachal Pradesh) to Manali which is approximately 150 kms away, always takes the cake for an idea of a "Perfect Road Trip".  The whole journey just brings peace, awesome scenic beauty, relaxation and romance to you, no matter what time of year you take it! The memory of my fabulous last road trip from Barmana to Manali (which happened some 4 years back) is still so alive in my mind that whenever I get a smell of lavender,the trip just comes into my mind by default. Here is an account of it:

Road trip from NTPC Koldam to Manali
Road trip from NTPC Koldam to Manali

It was May 2009, and I'd started dating a guy who I'd known from my childhood. We used to spend a lot of time jamming in the club; I used to play piano, and he used to play guitar. The weather in Himachal Pradesh is always quite mushy and just gets extra romantic during Feb to June months. We fell in love and our parents weren't very supportive of our relationship that time. Those were the days when even a single day meeting used to be a big adventure and accomplishment for us.

One fine day his Dad had to go to Manali for an official trip and he decided to take his family along, in his car (he had Hyundai i10 that time!). There were certain new management trainees of his company too accompanying them in the trip on another vehicle. My boyfriend smartly roped me in the trip to go with the girls, and somehow managed to shift me from the other vehicle to his dad's car with his family after driving for 2-3 kilometers and of course he was driving the car!

The whole trip from NTPC Koldam bridge to the gorgeous terrains of Manali was one of a kind experience filled with all mixed feelings. There was obviously the most beautiful scenery to bring your mind at peace. The view from the car on whole road trip to Manali looks like a gorgeous painting, where you see the most amazingly crafted mountains on one side, and the beautiful rafting waves of the river on the other side. I usually don't enjoy drives on mountainous regions mostly because of winding roads and growing heights that tend to reduce your speed and make you feel sick. The road trip to Manali however is one plain and smooth journey that can definitely bring smile, enjoyment and peace to your mind, body and soul.

So, there I was enjoying the view, sitting just behind my dear boyfriend who was driving the car. Beside me were seated his mother and his brother, and his dad was sitting on the front navigator seat. The trip took around 5 hours for us to reach Manali and in between we halted at two local dhabas (there are tonnes of roadside dhabas that serve really yummy foods. You must try their kadhi, rice, roti and daal makhni *yumm*), where we had our refreshments. The trip was kind of a perfect road trip for me because of many reasons, some of which are listed below:

  • Perfect weather. It was cool and breezy; neither too hot nor too cold.
  • The smooth drive - thanks to the driver and the car! :)
  • The spell bounding scenic view, with nature at its best that you get to see all the time right from the start till you reach Manali. Of course, you get to see more beautiful things at Manali, but the journey definitely makes the visit more enjoyable, satisfying and complete.
  • I got a chance to mingle with my boyfriend's family. It was the first time I was spending some amount of quality time with them. The trip gave a great chance for us to know each other more.
  • Lovely songs of Shammi Kapoor's movies being played all along the trip! He has been my all time favorite and I absolutely adore his songs, dances and movies. Some of my favourites being - "Deewana mujh sa nahi", "O haseena zulfon waali", "Tum se accha kaun hai', and the list goes on!
  • The relaxing interiors of the car, along with its soft lavender fragrance from Ambi pur . I usually get sick of breathing in air conditioners and I get sick of the smoke and pollution as well, if I keep the windows open. I am really thankful to these amazing car fragrances that make life of people like me, so easy!
  • Some stolen romantic moments with my boyfriend. :)
I think it might be the glory of first love or whatever you want to call that made the trip even more exciting. To think of a moment that worked as a cherry on top of the cake, was when we halted at a place nearing Kullu. It was a bliss to sip some hot masala tea while munching on hot samosas, watching the course of wild flowing river, feeling the cool breeze and just letting the glorious rays of setting sun fall on us. 

All in all, no matter how many times I think of the trip, I always smile and feel elated. It was a trip, I'd definitely call perfect for me as it made me experience peace, anxiety, excitement, beauty, relaxation, love, warmth and above all the joy of travelling at its best!

P.S. This post is a contest entry for Indiblogger-Ambipur contest. To know more about the contest check HERE
To know more about Ambipur car fragrances, check HERE


Trying to Catch Water...Can you?

Life has been going on a quite rapid pace, and as I see my son Abhiraj growing up so fast, time certainly feels like a blur! Anyways, I've got a new camera and have been experimenting a lot with it, mostly to catch my son in action. I wonder why babies do everything so fast. My son moves his legs so fast that I can bet any adult would never be able to keep up the pace with him for more than 5 minutes. Seems like, this is the way babies vent out their burst of energy.

Keeping this energy part aside, what Abhiraj enjoys most in the entire day is his bath time. These days, he is able to sit on his own in his bath tub and enjoys being splashed with water. I had most fun when he tried to catch the flowing water for the first time. Its always so much fun to see his fascination towards the flowing water and how he tries to catch it with his fingers again and again, every day. I captured a few shots of him doing this. Check them out below:

Baby playing with water
Abhiraj...Happiest in water

Baby playing with water
Trying to catch water droplets

Baby playing with water
All falling down

Baby playing with water
Lets have another try

Baby playing with water
Oops..missed again

Baby playing with water
I think I'll just play with them for a while, and will try catching them again tomorrow

Baby playing with water
Tata... :D

Clickety Click - Mornings


My son Abhiraj is usually most peaceful in mornings, may be because of a long night sleep. And I love to make his videos or click his piccys at this time, because even I am relatively happier in the mornings as compared to any other time of the day. No wonder, breakfast is my favorite supper. I usually have a peanut butter sandwich and one cup milk in the morning, or egg on bread and milk, or Cornflakes and milk.

Anyways, what I think makes a morning so beautiful, is the fact that I look forward to a promising day ahead, feel thankful about the previous day's achievements, and let go of all previous bitterness.

Wouldn't life be as wonderful as mornings, if we follow the same rule for every moment we live? Just a thought! :)


Nigellissima

Nigellissima

Nigellissima

These days I am quite glued to watching TLC channel so much, that it has become my default channel now. I watch almost everything that gets aired on the channel, even the re-runs. Most of them are cookery shows, or reality contests on cooking such as Chuck's day off, Everyday exotic, The big food truck race, Family food fight, Ultimate Cake off, Fabulous cakes etc. The only show that I usually skip watching is the "Tattoo" show. I absolutely love the travel shows they air and can watch them for hours.

I've always loved watching cookery shows. I remember when the first such show was aired on Zee tv. It was "Khana Khazaana" by Sanjeev Kapoor. I was a kid and simply loved watching the way he used to cook, the utensils, the sight of the food being cooked. Funny thing is, I don't enjoy cooking that much. I hardly ever note down any of the recipes and even forget the dishes as soon as the show gets over.

Anyways, so coming back to now, even though I don't follow any particular schedules in any of the TV shows, these days I've been religiously following the show "Nigellissima" on TLC - India channel, where celebrity cook, food and recipe book writer Nigella Lawson showcases some of her Italian recipes. I absolutely love watching her cook the food and talk about it. The whole set up, her personality, her voice, the way she speaks and her aura in whole makes the show so magical, that you simply want to sit, relax and watch her. The show is aired daily on TLC channel from Monday to Friday at 10 pm, but I generally watch the re-run next morning at 10 AM.

Usually the show is followed by any of the old episodes of "Nigella Express" or "Nigella Feasts", and I love to watch them as well. As Nigella says, cooking food is therapeutic for her. For me, watching her cook is kind of a therapeutic activity, as for the whole one hour I sit in front of television, and mentally get transported to her kitchen, cooking the delicious meals with her. One reason that I think makes watching the show so relaxing might be that Nigella mostly cooks what you call "Comfort food". Her recipes show lots of butter, chocolates, deep fried stuffs, which I know I'd not make in anyway. Just watching the chicken breast sizzle in hot oil, chocolate  sauce dripping on fluffy, spongy chocolate cake and a whole can of Hazelnut-chocolate paste going into a dish makes the view luscious enough.
To all this add the gorgeous Nigella Lawson with her awesome makeup, long lashes and dreamy voice - you are set to feel good no matter what.

Nigella Lawson

Do you follow her shows? Do let me know any of your favorite recipes that you've taken from her shows and tried it. :)

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Being a Mother

I think it has been almost a year since I published anything about myself here on my blog. And now when I thought of writing here again, I am in loss of words and couldn't find any place to start from. Doesn't it always happen with us? Writing here right now is exactly like meeting my best friend of school days after a decade. You just feel a bit of awkwardness in breaking the ice. Well, since I've already written a couple of sentences now, I think I can go with the flow. What say?

Life has been a roller coaster ride since past few months. I got blessed with a beautiful baby boy in October 2012, and now I can actually feel the "super hard work" my mom would have done in raising me. I seriously feel, if mothers start getting payment for their work, every mom would be a millionaire in no time. However, it is all rewarding since the payment I have been getting in this role is eternal bliss, feeling of being complete, loads of smiles, an excitement to see something new and astonishing every day and pure love.

My son - Abhiraj


Though I am a full time mother and house wife now, I have still continued working on my beauty blog as and when I get time and energy to do so. My freelance writing work has taken a backstage for the time being and I am in no hurry to go back to it. Funny thing is, even after staying away from my IT life, I don't miss it at all. Sometimes, when I remember my life being a software engineer, those 8 years feel like somewhere from my previous birth or past life or whatever you call that.

Life has been a constant change for me, and I think that is what makes it so exciting. However, I must admit that sometimes all the turmoil drains you off of your energy and peace of mind, and you need to find the focus to set yourself up again. Earlier I used to do that while listening to some of my favorite trance tracks, but now it isn't possible coz I have to keep my eyes and ears open all the time for any call from my little one. So, I simply close my eyes, lie down beside him with his hand touching mine and try to calm down doing deep breathing exercises.

Do you follow any particular exercise to find your inner peace? Share yours with me in your comments below. I might get benefit from that. :)

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