The winner of the Ugly Christmas Sweater giveaway is Jessica Miller of Ohio!
Please congratulate her and stay tuned for more giveaways on my blog. Jessica, please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize ☺
Love is the most powerful emotion that a person can experience. It has the power to make us act irrationally to please the object of our affections, forgive mistakes and insults that we wouldn’t otherwise let slide so easily, and it makes us feel like life is worth living, no matter what else goes wrong.
But keeping a close relationship between two people over many years can be challenging, no matter how strong the bond of love is between you. Other obligations like work, our social circles, and yes, even our children (though we love them dearly), can all be factors that prevent you from staying close to your special someone.
If you’ve found that you and your partner have started to drift apart, or even if everything is just fine, but you’d like to grow even closer, here are some ideas to help you reconnect with your one and only.
Finding common ground is one of the first steps to developing a relationship, beginning well before you start dating or even before your first kiss. To keep the butterflies fluttering between you as time goes along, a great option is to get back to those activities you both enjoy that you can share together.
This doesn’t mean you have to get fancy and spend a ton of cash every week. You can do some simple activities, like watching a TV show, cooking, going for a walk, or taking your child to the park together.
The key is that you’re sharing an experience together. Even if your attention is mostly focused on what you’re doing, that’s okay: your partner knows that you’re doing it with them, and that shared experience will give you something to discuss after you’re finished, the memory of time spent in each other’s company, and will reaffirm that the love of your life will be there for you when you need them.
Tying in with the first idea, if you want to grow closer to your lover, you need to make it a priority, and so do they. This means setting your obligations aside, and blocking off dedicated time to spend with each other.
When we first start dating, we turn into the best version of ourselves to both attract and please our partner, to give ourselves the best shot at winning the heart of our crush. We’re way more particular about hygiene, how our hair and makeup looks, and we always dress to impress. Our focus is completely on each other, and the romance is at its peak. As time goes on, and we get comfortable, we often stop putting in all that effort to look our best and act a certain way because, quite frankly, it’s just way too much work. This is normal for almost all couples, and it doesn’t have to kill your relationship. In fact, Julia, who runs a marriage counselling practice in Sydney has a great post on the transition from romance into true love.
Still, we like to feel like our partner has eyes only for us, and it makes us feel incredibly good to put on our little black dress, spend an hour on our hair, and pull out the expensive perfume, because when we look good, we know it. And so does our partner. Taking a date night will not only give you both a break from life’s other concerns, it will help you rekindle the romance that you felt way back, and remind both of you that the person you love is well worth the effort to look your best.
Many couples are hesitant to discuss their relationship with others, even close and trusted friends. This is completely understandable. However, often we feel like the depression we experience, and the possible guilt or anger that comes with it, from our relationship woes is unique to us. This can make us feel isolated, alone and that there’s something wrong with us.
Connecting with other couples can be crucial to maintaining your own love life, because you can both see that you’re not alone in your struggle, and it’s 100% possible to improve your relationship. Sharing your stories and advice together will help other couples through their relationship concerns, and will almost certainly lead to some great advice for your own. You don’t have to treat your blog like a tabloid, spilling every dirty secret between you; you can be as open as you choose to be.
Write about topics like your relationship history, what drew you both to each other, challenges that you’ve faced and how you overcame them, and moments of triumph that you achieved together. To keep your blog interesting to you, and more appealing to your readers, share pictures from events that you’re discussing on your blog, or use free stock love photography to
illustrate more general topics like relationship advice.
You’re probably thinking, “What?!? No! That’s dumb! We’re growing apart as it is!”, but hear me out. Often times, one thing that can lead to feelings of isolation, or a widening gap between couples is that one or both feels crowded. When we’re constantly bugging each other about the money in our bank account, whose turn it is to do the dishes, asking, “Why can’t we take a vacation right now?”, and other similar concerns, we can often make our partner feel like we’re crowding them, only coming to them with our problems, and that we don’t value their space.
After marriage, or even after if you’ve been dating a while, it’s easy to forget that you’re both individuals, and before you came into each other’s lives, you had your own way of doing things, with your own schedules. While we can and definitely should change our ways to help strengthen our relationships, the reality is that we’re still people; we need to be allowed to do certain things the way we want to do them, and when we choose. On the other hand, we also need to respect those boundaries for our partner as well.
If you and your partner don’t seem keen to interact as much anymore, or you sense there’s tension when you do talk, consider giving the other some space. Don’t get me wrong: if you sense a deeper issue is at play, you need to open up and discuss it with your partner first; as the old saying goes, “Bad news doesn’t improve with time.” But once you’ve had that discussion, if you or your partner feels crowded, give each other time to pursue your own interests. Go out with your friends, watch TV in different rooms, or split up when you go shopping. Your partner will appreciate that you respect their boundaries and feelings, and after some time to recharge, you’ll be the first person they want to reconnect with..
Relationships can be tricky from the beginning, and keeping a relationship going can be trickier still. You’re going to have bad times in your relationship, potentially so bad that you’re tempted to call it quits. This is normal, and you need to both accept and understand this because it will turn your relationship concerns from an insurmountable roadblock into a challenge that you can face and overcome together.
The important thing to remember is that you love your partner, and they love you, even if you don’t feel it as strongly as you both once did. Remember that you were both drawn to each other for a reason, and though we evolve and grow as time goes on, never forget that what was true then can still be true today. If you do, you will still face those same hardships, but you’ll be able to overcome them together.
I have been right in the middle of the Kerala flood and I can tell you, it’s too much. Never have I ever seen anything like this in my life. Sure, I’ve seen news about things like this happening around the world. But once it happens to you personally, everything is put into perspective.
Being a beauty blogger, I realize now how materialistic I am. How beauty products, creams and such matter so much to me. But having seen people suffer so much, I am humbled that my house hasn’t been affected too much. My parents were out of electricity for 3 whole days but they too haven’t been affected by the flood as such. Some of our neighbouring houses though have just fallen apart. They belong to poor people and my heart goes out to them.
My husband went out for volunteering at camps and what he says to me is alarming. The camps have anywhere between 500 – 5000 people, some of whom don’t even have an extra dress with them. They just fled from home in whatever attire they were in. So many babies and kids, having no idea what’s going on around them and crying. We were able to buy rice, vegetables, sugar, salt, more basic things like that, in bulk for them. I am happy I could do at least that much for them.
Supermarkets have run out of products due to high demand. ATMs have run out of cash. There is no diesel/petrol available. I am also alarmed that many are charging exorbitant prices for the things they are selling just because they know people will buy it somehow. What a sad situation..
Mobile networks are down. There are no ways of communication. Thankfully, the landphones work.
Another major problem is that in this flooded water, there are plenty of snakes. It’s such a dangerous situation. Also weeks later, even once this flooded water has flown on/dried and withdrawn, still there is a huge chance of a major breakout of various kinds of waterborne and airborne diseases. God help us!
If you would like to help & contribute financially to these affected people, kindly get in touch with me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put ‘I wish to help’ in the subject line. I personally know so many families in need and even the smallest amount would help in restoring lives back to normalcy.
Couple days ago, my blog hit the 6th anniversary and I thought it would be great to introduce something new to my blog. I will be doing app reviews, occasionally from now on.. 😊
Today I’ll discuss about a free app I recently found out about and have fallen in love with. It’s called True Balance. But first, I wish to make it clear that this app is only for people based in India.
This app shows the entire details and I mean every single thing you need to know about your talk time and mobile data. Expiry date, current balance, best offers, amount of mobile data being used by you etc. You can also recharge your mobile, earn cashback & also play a lucky spin wheel to get free cash (that can be used towards recharging your mob). It supports dual SIM too, be it any operators in India.
On to the details :
When you open the app, this is the screen that you will see.
There are three tabs, ‘Check’, ‘Recharge’ & ‘Earn’. In the Check tab, you can pull down the refresh button and it instantly runs a USSD code for you and finds out your current balance. This allows you the convenience of not having to remember the codes (For eg, Vodafone’s USSD code to check mobile data balance is *111*2*2#) to check your balance.
You can see in the pic that my first SIM is Vodafone while the second one is Etisalat which this app doesn’t support. On clicking the operator’s name, you will be lead to their portal where you can place a call to their customer service, check the amount you spent to make calls etc.
At the bottom of screen it shows the mobile data you have used today. On clicking that, you will be lead to a ‘Statistics’ page like the one below :
This page is pretty cool. It shows which all apps take up most of my data (shows both the personal usage and background data used up by these apps). Also, the above pic shows the usage for 7 days. On clicking the left arrow, it shows the data for 3 days and the right arrow leads to the statistics for 14 days. It’s really handy.
The ‘Earn’ tab shows ways to get cash back, promo codes while recharging & ways to invite friends & get cash. For example, here are the promo codes for March. These are monthly codes that can each be used only once a month. It gets refreshed every month.
The navy blue colored codes are operator specific offers while the orange colored codes are the monthly offers I mentioned just now.
You saw a miniature yellow and white spin wheel at the top of the first pic in this post. That takes you to the Lucky Spin Wheel that lets you win gems (points). Every 15 mins, you get the chance to spin the wheel once for free. You can win between 0 – 100 gems in one spin. Even if you don’t check the app every 15 mins, your turns will accumulate until you have 5 free spins. After ‘Free Play’ instead of waiting another 15 mins, you can spin again but for each turn you will use up 5 gems. You can see the screenshot below :
On the top of that page, there is a ‘redeem’ option. You can redeem 100 points for Re 1. The best option is redeeming 990 points for Rs 10. See how I have redeemed that below :
I can now use this money for free recharges!
Next, let’s discuss the ‘Recharge’ tab. You will get a 1% cash back plus the cash back from the promo codes. If you recharge for Rs 500 (can be in multiple transactions), you will be upgraded to Gold membership and thus get Rs 50 plus your cash back percentage will change from 1% to 7% in the upcoming month.
Recharging is super easy. It first asks which number you wish to recharge. Your own number is shown there already. You can even recharge the numbers of your friends / family. When you start typing the number, the contact list comes up and you can select the number you want, which is pretty cool..
The next step asks for the amount you want to recharge for. This screen also shows some plan offers. For example, I’ve typed in Rs 350. I have cut off my mob number with a marker.
In the next screen, it automatically detects what kind of recharge you are doing. In this case, 350 is a ‘Top Up’. You can select the Free points and that amount gets deducted from the amount you have to pay.
It shows two payment methods, either Debit/Credit card or Net banking, where you will be redirected securely to your bank.
The cash back is shown below, in this case Rs 3.5 and also I have applied the promo code MARCH12 which gives me Rs 12 back. ou have to copy your promo code from the codes page and paste it here.
By the way, if you are using your free points, you can’t use the Promo code option.
Overall, this is a wonderful app. You should definitely try it out.
Go to Google Play store and search for True Balance. Also, if you use my code, 2C28JRY6, you will get Rs 5 and I’ll get Rs 5 too 😚
Children’s Day is celebrated on Nov 14th. When you hear of Children’s day, what is the first thing that flashes through your mind?. Isn’t it the celebration you had in your school, when you were a kid?. Well, that’s how I remember Children’s day. Sweets are distributed to the kids and some programmes are conducted on that day.
However, the question you need to ask yourself as a parent, on this Children’s day is, how you will celebrate it with your kids, at home. How can you make it special for the kids?. Children’s day doesn’t have to be restricted to being a school event. It should be celebrated at home too.
Here are 10 gift ideas for your lovely kids, in no particular order :
1) Time : The most precious thing you can give your kid is, your time. Quality time spent with your child will change their whole attitude itself. Plan a picnic or a road trip. They will learn several things from this : being open, better communication, respect, being polite to others, value of family etc.
2) Cadbury Dairy Milk : Who doesn’t like chocolates?. Especially, the smooth, creamy and delicious Cadbury!. I am a huge fan of it. This Children’s Day, the Cadbury’s motto is ‘Iss Children’s Day Baccho ke Saath Bacche Ban Jaayein’ (Translation : This Children’s day, become a child along with the children!).
I think it’s a thought provoking & powerful message. There is so much tension in our lives. We sometimes become strict with kids, having no time to tolerate their kiddish ways. But, kids will be pleasantly surprised when you are not being your usual strict self and behaving like a kid with them!. Surprise them.
How much fun would that be, sweetened all the more with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk!. Have you seen this poignant and playful ad they have launched recently?.
3) Dramatic play toys : This is a fantastic gift idea. Pretend play is great to develop the imagination of kids. Excellent examples are doll houses or cookery ranges for girls and doctor or pilot kits for boys.
4) Books : Reading is a habit that can be started very early on. It helps develop the vocabulary and understanding of kids. There are so many gift choices out there depending on the age of the little readers.
5) Dresses : I have noticed that every kid (that I’ve met), loves to dress up. Even little kids get so excited about new dresses. Nowadays there are so many online shopping sites that host a lot of irresistible discount offers, to choose from.
6) A Piggy bank : Kids should understand the value of money from a young age. I think by age 6 – 7, they will be able to grasp the importance of saving. A piggy bank helps them do it the easy way. A transparent one is the best since kids are more satisfied with visual results than the actual gratification of having saved some money for a particular goal.
7) Non toxic nail polish that’s kids friendly : Tween girls love to dress up like their moms, imitating her ways of dressing/getting ready. Brands such as Suncoat Girls make water based, chemical free nail polishes that are fun and easily washable (nail polish remover not required!).
8) Plushie toys : Don’t really think there is an age limit for this one. Everyone loves a plushie. Ah, how adorable it is to hold one..
9) Personalised gifts : Kids love to see their names printed on things. Great ideas are personalising the stationery products/school bags/favourite blanket etc.
10) Colouring books & crayons : My absolute favourite thing to do when I was a kid was, to color. I was pretty good at it. I loved it more than even dolls. Lol!. It helps the kids understand what color is what, the very concept of color & how colorful anything and everything can be..
I hope you liked this gift guide that I have put together. I believe all the gifts listed are thoughtful and lovely. Do leave a comment below as to what you think about it 😍.
Buying a home is an exciting accomplishment and one that many dream of. It is a challenge to purchase a home as it often requires a great deal of money up front as a down payment. In addition, if you purchase a home that is older, it may require some work to get it up to your expectations.
While purchasing a home is exciting and rewarding, it can also be very stressful as there is furniture to buy and moving also needs to take place. If you know someone who is a new homeowner and you want to give them a gift but you are unsure of what to give, this article will help you out. Here are the top gifts for new homeowners in 2017 –
1. Soda maker machine – Making your own soda is all the rage these days. Because of their popularity, you can find one for less than $500 if you do your research and look for sales. Before you purchase a soda maker, however, be sure to read reviews as you want to make sure that you spend your money on the best soda maker machine available. As with any other appliance, some machines have better features over others. Also, be sure to check out the manufacturer warranty information and what supplies are needed to make a great soda.
You may want to also consider gifting some supplies with the machine so that they can start to enjoy it right away.
2. Candles – If you are moving into a home that has been lived in before, you may welcome candles as a gift. Burning a candle in your home can be relaxing and give off a great smell. It can be hard to mask the smell from previous owners so starting out with a collection of lovely smelling candles can do the trick.
3. Champagne or a bottle of wine – It is so exciting to move into a new home and it cannot be celebrated enough. Gifting a bottle of champagne or wine to the new homeowners is a nice touch and one that they will appreciate. There is nothing like the day that you sign your mortgage papers and collect your keys. What better than to step inside your new home and have a glass of bubbly to celebrate?.
4. Offer to host dinner – Purchasing a new home is exciting but it can also be very stressful. Moving into a new home takes a great deal of time and energy which may leave the cook of the house out of energy and unable to make dinner for their family. Offering to bring dinner over or cook dinner at the house is a nice gesture and one that is likely going to be greatly appreciated.
5. Toaster – A toaster is a great gift to give to someone you do not know all that well. For example, if your coworker is moving into their first home, consider giving them a toaster. It’s a nice gift that can be used for years to come and does not have to be expensive.
The recipient will be appreciative of your thoughtfulness and think of you when they make their toast in the morning..
Every winter, millions flock to stores to purchase woolen items to keep them warm as temperatures drop during the season. This type of fabric is among the most expensive types of garment material due to its high quality, production cost, and delicacy. However, if cared for properly, woolen items may provide a lifetime of warmth to their owners.
Here are four tips to washing your washable wool blanket.
1. Use soaps intended for washing wool
Wool is one of the most delicate kinds of fabrics and as a result requires gentle soap or detergent which will not strip away the oils trapped within its fibers. These oils are essential for keeping the fabric looking as lovely as the day you bought it. Any detergent which claims to be “heavy duty” or contains enzymes and bleach will only harm the fabric. Opt for soaps and detergents such as Woolite which are designed for washing woolen products. Alternately, detergents suitable for babies and other pH neutral soaps may be used. If you must use powdered soaps, dissolve the particles in water prior to use as friction may cause holes to form.
2. Don’t scrub
When the blanket is soaked in a mixture of cold water and detergent or soap, dirt lifts off the surface of the blanket and into the water. Scrubbing the blanket is therefore unnecessary and this only damages the fabric and ruins its shape. If you must machine wash, soak the blanket for 15-20 minutes then wash at the machine’s gentlest setting for no more than three minutes then rinse for a full cycle.
3. Don’t wring
Woolen blankets become very heavy when immersed in water and one’s first impulse may be to wring out the fabric in order to remove as much water as possible in order to reduce drying time. This is a pretty bad idea. If you do, you may end up ruining the shape of the blanket and cause permanent wrinkles. Instead, roll the blanket like a beach towel, within a towel, in order to remove moisture. Do this until a significant amount of moisture is removed.
4. Air dry
Air drying your woolen blanket is a major key. Placing it in the dryer can cause the fibers in the wool to crush and make the blanket coarse. Instead, hang the blanket on a clothesline on a windy day. The wind will remove much of the moisture while sunlight does the rest of the job. Exposure to direct sunlight may cause fading, coarseness, and damage to fibers but is helpful in moderation to remove mustiness. However, if you must dry using a dryer, place wool dryer balls into the machine as this reduces the amount of time it would take to dry, eliminates static and softens the fabric.
To ensure the longevity of your favorite woolen blanket, follow these tips. But before you begin to wash the blanket, make sure to read the tag to see if it is a hand-washable wool blanket or if it is “dry-clean only”.
My dear friends & followers,
I apologize for the email blast you had to face today morning. I was making some changes to my blog, so I hid most of my posts. Then I restored it and I never knew it would be considered as new emails. You must have gotten about 300 emails. Please don’t feel annoyed with me or think of unsubscribing :(…😳
SORRY… 🙇.. Won’t happen again..
For this last Eid, my husband got me a special henna cone by the brand Arabian Gold. Two things that were written on the cone, immediately caught my attention :
● 3D color
● Clean within 2 minutes
Not to mention the extremely colorful packaging!
I was quite intrigued. I always sleep overnight with henna on, so that I can get the most intense color. However, this cone was different. I decided to try it out. As I started applying it, I understood how it works.
It is jet black in color and very shiny on application. It dries pretty fast (even though not in 2 mins as mentioned on the tube) and it looks exactly like a tattoo. It also changes color to a golden-ish color. It’s very pretty to see.
As soon as it is dried, you can peel the design off and the color is absolutely intense!. It’s so surprising. But one thing is sure, this thing contains chemicals. Otherwise it wouldn’t work like this.
These are the designs I did with it :
On top right side, you can see how it looks immediately after application. Then, in the next pic, it has a golden tint. It’s dried & ready for removal.
On top left side, you can see that I have peeled back a small part & kept it aside.
Here is another surprising thing. It fades fast. The next day itself it faded to the level where normal henna would be on the 5th day or so.
The tube is bigger than a regular henna tube (like the green Singh tube which I usually buy). Overall, I would recommend this henna cone, if you need to get amazing results fast for just an occasion or so.
Price : Rs 25 (A regular cone costs only Rs 10).
I got this from Navaratna Hypermarket, Kerala.
This post is a personal discussion between you and I. Have you ever been on the fence about whether or not to have a kid in your life?. Then read ahead :
I never wanted kids in my life… You might wonder what kind of woman am I to say something like that. But it’s the truth. In fact, I know there is a minority in the society consisting of women who share my sentiments. I am writing this for those women..
Today, I am a mother to a 22 months old son. I had him after 4 years of married life. Even after the initial year of my marriage, people had started asking when I am gonna have a kid and it annoyed me a lot. That’s how the Indian society is. My husband said we should enjoy life freely and thus, we put the ‘family planning’ on hold. But after 4 years, hubby said it’s his dream to have a kid and I was shattered. I finally told him I am not ready and nor I ever will be and he was shocked.
We had several discussions, mostly arguements but then he asked me why did I get married if I didn’t want kids.. Hmm, interesting point. Truth is that, I didn’t wanna get married at all but then my parents wanted me to have a support, a husband, a family and I had just gone with the flow.
Anyways long story short, I understood that it’s truly selfish if I didn’t let my husband realize his dreams of being a father. Then I became a mom. Our son, Eshaan, was born in 2015 and it was just amazing 👶
A little bundle of joy indeed, something I would have missed out on if I had decided to never have kids. I realized a lot of things after actually being a mom and I will discuss it with you now. It might help you to finally make your own decision. Here they are below in points :
● First and foremost thing is that a child becomes your future. Something to look forward to… Something to live for….
● When you are old and needs support, it’s your child(ren) who will look after you. Well, that’s the hope atleast. We can’t predict at all, how the future would be but you can raise a child with values and they will respect you forever.
● You grow with them. Children teach a lot of things to us too. My son has taught me to be a better person..
● The joy that you experience when they develop each day, do/say something new is inexplicable. Even their smile lights up your day. Every moment, a memory created, to be relived another day..
● A child is a happiness maker. Recently, I noticed how sensitive my son is to my moods. When I am sad, he calls me, gets my attention, kisses me and generally just distracts me from whatever I am sad about. I am incredibly amazed by how much a kid understands even from such a young age.
● The fact that this little person comes to you for comfort is just adorable. They need you and you can’t help but need them back.
● When I hold my son, I just feel complete. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like a puzzle that’s complete, now that he has come into my life..
Picture source : Google.com
● Since becoming a mom, I realize how big this role is. I now respect my mom more.
● Kids are one of God’s most precious gifts. They keep amazing you each day..
● Sometimes I just want him to sleep, so that I can rest. But once he does sleep, I surprise myself when I feel a longing to hold him again and play with him..
● A child brings more love into the family. The love between you and your hubby increases like ten fold 💑
These are but a few points that I wish to convey to you. By the way, motherhood isn’t just happiness. It’s tough. It definitely is. I believe that when I am discussing it, I should discuss it all & not just paint a picture of joy.
● Be ready to be responsible. You have a little person depending on you. That’s huge.
● Be ready to get your patience tested. Sometimes I just wanna rip my hair apart. That’s how much my son makes me go nuts, by being stubborn. But I need to learn patience. I am slowly doing it and that’s why I said earlier that he makes me a better person.
● Be ready to learn that your kid is an individual, one with his/her own viewpoints, that might clash with your’s.
In another two years, my son would be ready for school and God only knows how I would cope with that. More responsibility, more madness & craziness coming up in my life. But then again, I am happy. That’s what truly matters…