Diary, Health

It is the time for Whaaat?

2014 has sped away like a roller coaster in full speed, with all its ups and downs and it feels like it is time to take stock. But am i the stock taking types?No. That would be husbands profession – (Logistics and Supply chain). So we shall not interfere. We shall stick to the resolutions for the year. Cause according to about 80% of the global average population, it is must do activity. In all honesty, they are just for the first month and in some cases last only 1 week.Nevertheless we shall make them this year, just like every other year past. In retrospection, I really to buckle up. So this year, lets make them SMART. And schedule some reviews. Tedious? Yes. Works? Apparently Yes yes.

1. Sleep a little less. (now i need some serious commitment to get this going. I made this resolution  last year, practised and woke up at 9 on 1st Jan 2015. Phew!)

2. Less TV and increase daily productivity ( lock away the remote and throw the key into the bottom of the sea)

3. Eat home cooked food – all 3 meals – for atleast 5 days a week. (Brownie points for making the husband very happy)

4. Gym more and be regulat ( its not enough to buy fancy shoes and bag. Must put them to use!! No seriously)

5. Read atleast 1 book per week. ( Without TV, this is very much achievable)

6. Live within a budget. ( more money for my precious electronics. Hehe)

Now for the smart bit.The Specific,Measurable,acheivable,realistic,timebound aspects – I have decided the specific bit is all i am going until. The measuring is gonna happen with a planner and review shall happen in 3 months. Hehe . Lets see. So here goes.

As much as I have all this shaped up, I am still craving for sleep and sloth, my eternal friend. I plan to shake them off and start of new activities surrounding the blog this coming year. Yup, new stuff coming up in 2015!!

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Beauty, Face, Lakme

Hot off the Rack ….Lakme Absolute Skin Gloss Reflection Serum

A review post after quite a while ..

After the move to Bangalore, I am in search of products for dry skin. In my beloved Chennai, my skin was shining and clear. But the Bangalore air is messing my skin’s pysche. It has been acting up, drying to the point of patches and flaking despite a regular CTM routine. I guess the hydrating strength of the products I was using wasn’t enough . So my quest for products to suit my now crazy skin has officially been flagged off.

The first product in my trials is the Lakme Absolute Skin Gloss Reflecting Serum. The pack says this product hydrates the skin to make it lustrous and moistures coats your skin with gloss. It is an aqueous veil with mineral laden glacial water. I sorta lost the plot here with the spelling of “aqueous” .. Anyway there is a foggy picture here(excuse it and jump to the review please) and product details are right below here …

Net Volume: 30ml

M.R.P: Rs.899

Usage: Dab entire face with 3-4 drops of serum and gently pat till absorbed.

Best used with rest of the range.

Well I opened the pack today. It is a very nice looking black packaging. And bottle has a pump fitted to dispense the serum. I had to work it a few times to get enough product. But the pump was a pretty fancy one I say. You need to twist the bottle cap to make the pump appear, then lock it place and then work the pump. This packaging is super travel safe, wont mess your handbag if you carry it on you. It is not as difficult as it sounds but it is packed much better than most face products I have tried. I really like the retro black and white sketch of a woman on the box. It looks like retro and b/w picture is all the fad these days.

Now to the serum itself and my experience on the first use. I applied as instructed on the pack. But I have not bought the rest of the range. And decided to try just the serum. I somehow equate serum to more concentration and therefore assume the “serum” versions of any product are more potent. That’s just me. So lets take a deep breath at my profound logic and turn to my excessively dry skin for answers. And my skin is acting angry. It does not like the serum much. The serum makes my skin feel all the more dry and stretched. I will think very hard before using this product alone. I guess I will use the range in entirety but the effect this product has on my skin makes me question that course of action. Lets see. I have decided on a one week trial period.

Rating: 2/5

And that is for the elegant packaging. I may revise the rating after a period of use or buying the whole range.The latter of which is very unlikely.

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Diary, Food, Me

A box of lunch – after so many years

 Today at about 1330hrs, I opened my lunch box. It was nothing odd, nothing new but it certainly was different.

Until 1995-2001, every school day, lunch was home made curd rice+vegetable of the day. 2 tiny boxes, waiting to opened at 1220hrs. Most people would find it a bit boring/repetitive to carry the same food everyday but I somehow found it comforting. The routine and the predictability of the contents of  my box actually made me look forward to the lunch hour at school. I was never a good student and was usually upto no good. Among all the live-wires I never knew when I might trip, this box of lunch was the only constant. If I got to it, I got through half my day safe. On the days when i was relatively safe, it gave the luxury of extra time to run around, play and be upto to more useless stuff. But on days I was keen on playing volleyball, or had work to do for house I belonged to, or had March-past practice, it turned out a real blessing. Continue reading

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Akki, Holiday, Movie Romance, Reviews

Review: HOLIDAY

This weekend was date night with the husband and what did we do? Watch Holiday and have dinner at Copper Chimney. Which is material for another  post. This post is about the movie. Picture below. Review and other stuff further below.
 
 
For those who have seen Thupakki, this is a movie to skip. So is this review. But there are a few bits at the end that might give you a laugh, so jump right down.
 
For the others, the movie is about a happy army officer Akshay Kumar who comes home on a holiday. The opening scenes shows a dirty-booted, awkward mannered Virat(akki) being forced by his family to endure a “girl-seeing” ceremony. Enter Sonakshi as the girl, Saibaa. After a bit of he-says-no, then she-says-no, then they both say yes and run around the trees, or desert in this case, the movie proceeds. This angle of the story is very much the same old. So no news here.
 
The other angle is the more interesting one.

Continue reading

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30th, Diary, life

On being 30.

I was born on 11 Apr 1984. Yesterday, I turned 30. And as I look back on those years, I realise I have so much to tell. About my life. About what goes on in my head. Where I stand at the turn of this decade and what special challenges I face. How I handle them and I hopes & opportunities they bring along. 
I did not have a blog when I was 20. I did not care for what it was then. I probably should have started writing then, considering I used to chatter incessantly then. Documenting it would have been quite fun actually. But I did not. So, here is me, writing at 30. When I started off, I couldn’t really start right away with whagt i wanted to say now. So I made of list of things to talk about at this juncture.
I made a list:
1. A list of things I am grateful for – when I mentally composed this, I actually had quite a list. Surprising!!
2. A list of things I am proud of – not much here.
3. My goals before I reach my next decade – quite a few actually. Health a priority.
4. The dreams I have currently. – quite a few. I want to act on them for sure. Let’s see
5. Lessons learnt so far – I needed to think hard on this one. I need a pen and paper
6. Aspects of me I would like to change – whole host here !! No surprises!
7. My regrets – Oh I have these too (despite my all smileys face).
And then I decided to write about the more mundane things. A few things really made made my day( Gifts! Yay!!) and taught me important lessons as well. 
First I received quite some gifts. People were very generous this year. While I bought myself a bracelet to commemorate this year, I got a perfume bottle, a nexus tab, a wad of cash, a cake, a load of wishes from friends. Blessed aint I. My mom decided it is the right time to have a chat with me about patience,tolerance and the compromises I would need to make with a smile on my face to make my sleep easier and days peaceful, on what I should prioritize and what I could afford to leave behind. Moms really are god gentle angels. They know exactly what to say when. My stoic Dad also decided to break into a smiles and hugs. And so did my frail old loves – my Granddad and Grandmom. My sister got me the cake and took me out for a dessert under the skies at 2200hrs and we ate in quiet closeness. What a day and what an awesome ending. It really was a day that got etched into my memory like words carved deep into stone. A day I can never forget for other reasons too – ever. 
Come to think of it, I really do stand at the brink of a whole new world. I am stepping into a new job. Moving to a new city. Setting up a home of my own with my husband. All ready to take on a whole new set of challenges. While I should have started off on these a while ago, now is when life has presented me these opportunities. I am looking for the lessons in store for me in this decade. 
I truly believe that I stand a brink of a strength test now. I am really stepping into the furnace with so many changes happening all at once. I think I might need new shoes for this journey but for now the excitement would do. 
 I think i will mark my landmark decade years with posts all year through. Probably I’

ll start of with the list aboveNot really regular, but a series nevertheless. It will be something to look back on when I do get older.Hmm.

P.s : I am really glad that this time, I got personalised wishes direct to me instead of wishes created through social media frenzy. All those who remembered to wish me on 11th Apr, thank you, love you.
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blogger's block, Blogging, content creation, writers block

Blog Block? – 5 Ways to beat writer’s block

 For a while now, I have been working on others things and not tending much to my blog. I have recently  moved and am still settling in. And along with it comes a whole lot of challenges, and my blog took a back seat. Now most of the work is done and all I need to do is to buy my tickets. When I look back, I think I should have documented the moving process.

Now, I have been trying to write about it and come up with posts but I just did not. In fact I have a lot of ideas, lot of created graphics etc and yet am stuck. And I am wondering exactly what I have been upto. And I arrived at a nice pie chart of the reasons.

And realised at most of these are really superficial and most popular(lazy reasons to not write). Also, I noticed that the red big part of the pie was the most important reason. I was actively pushing writing away. Writers block had set in.

Wikipedia lists this article for writer’s block and defines it as “a condition, primarily associated with typing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition ranges from difficulty in coming up with original ideas to more extreme examples in which some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years, and some have even abandoned their supposed lifelong careers……Writer’s block can manifest when a writer views their work as inferior or unsuitable.

Mike Rose defines writer’s block as:
 “an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than lack of basic skill or commitment”

That is quite true of me now & I sure hope it is temporary(fingers crossed).

In order to break this, here are some ways:

  1. Read/surf a little bit more – There always is inspiration, lurking just about the corner. Particularly Pinterest. There is something inspiring about looking at beautiful pictures on topics of interest to you &  There is a lot of good work out there. So yes,  read a book or surf for ideas more than you normally do.
  2. Re plan posts –  If I have already planned topics and find then uninspiring, shake up their schedule a little bit. Going through the post content and re prioritizing them. It is a good source of ideas for follow up posts.
  3. Get creative otherwise – Sometimes, creating graphics for post topics actually feels therapeutic, and helps break the silence in the head. Make a good meal, indulge in another hobby, anything that feels creative to you.
  4. Speak to your blog community – Use them as a spring board for Ideas. Interact with them. Appreciation usually lifts spirits and therefore helps creativity. I think it is sometimes o.k to fish for compliments shamelessly
  5. Find a quote calendar – The most recent help I have found is a year calendar with no dates, but a nice quote for each day. I have decided I will elaborate on the quote of the day when I find a dearth of ideas, and keep the writing going. Try to come up with a whacky product to avoid feeling a little like writing a middle school essay on a given topic. Just keep the juices flowing.

  Here are some preventive ways to help you tide over a block

  1. Have a blog Journal – A nice fancy notebook to jot  ideas every time one strikes. Use this reservoir to come up with posts during a dry period.
  2. Journal or not, Note it! – when I have an idea, I grab a piece of paper, note the idea, elaborate it with single word points and stuff it in my purse.
  3. Allot a schedule for this purpose –  dedicate a specific time for writing, Eg. Mon, Wed, Fri at 1900hrs, and concentrate only on writing in this time.Shut out distractions. 
  4. Stay committed – Stick to your blog post schedule/plan. If you dont have one yet, create one right now. There are very good available online to help with this procedure.

Here are some sites that I find quite informative on tackling the block:

Most of these ideas are based on actual writing, but are also equally relevant for blog posts. But in order to keep posts flowing with out taxing your creativity too much, there are a whole bunch of other ideas. And that list is coming up soon!! Here.

Have you encountered and countered this challenge? If so, How?

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