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New Year Resolutions 2014

New Year … new beginnings, as this year comes to an end my mind races back to all the significant moments of the year 2013…in my personal and professional journey.

I am so full of gratitude to be surrounded by caring people, who have been instrumental in mentoring/making my journey as a mom, wife and a teacher so rewarding and enriching in experience. Here is wishing my friends and family a very happy and prosperous New Year! See you on the other side of the year!

Year end also means setting up new goals, new resolutions, gearing up for challenges. I have never believed that resolutions are meant to be broken. Another thought process – Why does one need to make resolutions only at the beginning of the year? Why not ‘as and when’ or throughout the year? I guess the New Year ushers in hope… hope that things will be better…the best is yet to come. The choice of making these resolutions is absolutely personal… you make ‘em, break ‘em, keep ‘em or not make any at all. I always look forward to make my new year resolutions and my wish list every year.

I like the ritual of putting it down in my diary and then striking it off throughout the year, as I achieve them…knowing that I have been able to keep them (95% of them! ) This year again I have made my diary entry for the New Year- Resolutions 2014.

I would be sharing some with you and the rest is only meant for my family and me (I am a little old school 🙂 ). So here are my lists:

My Personal List:

 

  • Exercise daily, include jogging.
  • Read one book every month
  • Have 8 glasses of water every day (I am really bad at this!)
  • Take supplements regularly
  • Do my laundry before the ‘Ironing’ guy comes!
  • Be more tech savvy
  • Master Photoshop
  • Be more patient and forgiving
  • Be more planned and organised
  • Try not to procrastinate!

 

 

For My Home:

 

  • Stencil my bedroom wall (with a quote)
  • Stencil my Kitchen wall (with a quote)
  • Complete my son’s room
  • Re-do my daughter’s room
  • Plan for the patio & garden makeover
  • Change window treatments in dining room and my son’s room

 

 

That’s a part of my resolution-2014 diary entry… I think it is quite do-able. I hope to strike each of them off my entry! Once again wishing you all a very happy New Year!

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Hubby's bar contraption!

Drinklip-Carry-all Organiser

Sometime back I participated in a contest, hosted by Floorspace and happened to win it! A week later I received this super cute thing as my prize from them… it’s called a Drinklip. It’s a giant clip…can be attached to any table.

Its packaging box has images to show in ways it can be used… but in the past two weeks or so, I realized its utility to no extent. I would rather rename this product as- Drinklip-Carry-all Organiser! I have used this amazing clip as my hold-all/carry-all device in so many ways other than what it is meant for… hold beverages! Actually, I prefer not to take any beverage when I am working. My tea/coffee time is sacrosanct… I prefer to have it in peace, with the exception of the company of my Newspaper (that is ‘Me’ time in the mornings) and with my hubby (that is ‘Wifey’ time in the evenings) therefore no distractions or any other work at that time. Okay, coming back to Drinklip… let me show how I used it in the past two weeks:

I really like the way it holds my thread spools and other sewing trivia when I am sewing something for my home/daughter.

Here is an organized way to hold my pens when I fill up my diary with ideas for my home/blog (Ok, you may find it silly but I do like to write with coloured pens! I find it easy to skim and scan through my notes).

Who likes to come out of a warm n cozy comforter on a grey, cold and foggy day? Certainly not me! And this clip has given me just the excuse not to! I have all my accessories (very organized) right next me…attached to my lappy table, while I am nice and cozy in my comforter!

My daughter’s quilling tools and the inverted glue bottle(we prefer to keep it inverted when we craft) gets a cushy place!

So, finally it is holding a glass of water… but only for my brushes as I sit to paint, no spillage…handy isn’t it?

Recently, hubby borrowed it to use it with his bar. Funky contraption! Isn’t it?

So far I haven’t used it in my car, kitchen and bathroom … maybe, I’ll try it soon!

When not in clipped position, it has a nice angle to hold stationery etc. Convenient!

Oh! By the way, I tried fitting my cup of tea in it… it didn’t fit 🙁  because of its handle… too bad, that is the last thing I may use it for! 🙂 It’s a great utility product and I love towing it around my home! 🙂 I think I need a couple of more of them ! Can you think of other ways to use it?

PS- I wasn’t asked by Floorspace to write this post, I was under no obligation… it is my personal review and I just wanted to share it with all my DIYer/organizing addict friends!

Linking up with- Anything Blue

 

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Easy decor idea!

Quick DIY Arrangement for Christmas

Yesterday while coming back from work, I realized I haven’t done anything to welcome the festive season this year.  How can I not welcome the festive spirit without decorating (in the theme) my home! At 4 in the evening I felt I must do something to bring in some joy and cheer into my home. And of course it had to be handmade, so I attempted something in a jiffy… here is my quick DIY arrangement for Christmas…20 minutes tops!

We have four palm trees in our garden, huge ones. I requested our gardener (who, luckily, was there)to cut a few seed strands of the palm tree.

I taped the strands to form rings and spray painted them in gold.

I wanted to bring in the colours of the festival … using this green table mat as my base for the table décor.

On a glass plate I assembled the palm seed rings, added a red candle vase and pinned a few shimmery poinsettia that I made a couple of days back; to know how I made these shimmery poinsettia {click here}… they are really simple to make.

Somewhere I felt I should raise the height of the red candle vase… so I tried these two bowls (turned upside down), I chose the brass bowl (it kind of added a golden gleam to the setting).

Here it is… quick and easy festive arrangement. The rings (or a wreath) can be made, the same way, using the green foliage available at the local florist for as inexpensive as 25 rupees a bunch (and it lasts for more than a fortnight). You may also use ‘morpankhi/vidya’ (Thuja ) for the rings.

Seeing me do my bit, my lil one chipped in by making a miniature quilling Christmas tree.

It looks adorable, don’t miss the star on top! The base is rolled pastel paper, stuffed with cotton and the Christmas tree’s trunk is a sipping straw and she used toothpicks for the branches (my little recycling Diva!).

Both of us collected a few things from around the house to set up her lovely DIY project right at the entrance of our home… I so love it!

Wishing one and all a very happy Christmas!

 

 

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Wowee! My first award!

Blog Award

Everyday I reserve an hour and a half for browsing the net… just going through the blogs I follow/love to read… there are several of them (and the no. is increasing by the day!) and I am in awe with these bloggers’ creativity with words, ideas, resourcefulness and photographs. There are times when I want to leave more than just a comment on these blogs but don’t know what and how to. Now I know… I am going to nominate some of my favourite blogs for a blog award that I received from a blogger friend. Let me thank Ashima from Lime n Lemony for having nominated me for this blog award.

It means a lot to a newbie like me… to get an award from someone whom you don’t know… and yet that person appreciates your blog enough to recommend it to others… means a lot. Now as per the award tradition I have to follow certain steps to complete the acceptance:

1.       All recipients need to thank the giver. (Tradition #1)

A big hug and a bigger thank you to Ashima, for nominating me for this award! I have been floating on cloud no.9 since then!

2. Post 7 things about yourself. (Tradition #2)

Here it goes:

1.  I love gardening; I find it therapeutic and rewarding.

2.    I have ugly hands and I hate getting my hands photographed, I try and avoid it as much as can… I ensure the angles that are being clicked are presentable (check out on my blog and you would know what I mean!)

3. My secret desire is to learn to dance like those contestants on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and to run a full marathon! I guess it’s no more a secret now… I am going to do both the things before I die! (Wishful thinking)

4. I never say ‘no’ to anything that is assigned to me (@ work or @ home) even if I don’t know it,  I learn it and complete it (to the best of my ability).

5.  I am really bad at keeping my refrigerator organized, I suck at it. I have been a butt of many jokes for it but I haven’t really been able to have it under control. My hubby and my children have taken it over from me; I guess they realize that’s one area beyond my scope of learning!

6. I am an excellent driver but a very –very bad navigator. Be warned- Don’t ever take my advice on roads/routes/directions, you will never reach your destination! Believe me.

7. I am a huge movie buff, I can watch movies all day long and not get tired…I can watch repeats as well!

3. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.(Tradition #3)

These are the blogs I have fallen in love with… They are my daily dose of blog vitamins! There are many blogs that I follow and read religiously  and it was extremely difficult for me choose only 7 … tough job. Some are so grand that they don’t need any award at all, they’ve become legends now. So here is my list of nominees, it includes some amazing stalwarts in the blogosphere and some almost there… do check them out.

And the award goes to-

1. http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/  (Sewing & Organizing)

2. http://simpleighorganized.com/  (Organizing )

3. http://deeconstructed.com/  (DIY  Makeovers)

4. http://www.thenester.com/  (DIY & Décor )

5. http://www.stepstowardscrafting.com/   ( Crafting Cards)

6. http://lulumusing.wordpress.com/ (Musings on living a good Life)

7. http://happyandharried.wordpress.com/ ( lil bit of this and lil bit of that)

4. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog. (Tradition #4)

Done!

Thanks again, Ashima, for the nomination! Happy blogging! Merry Christmas to all!

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DIY FestiveTags (12)

DIY Festive Tags

With Christmas around the corner and winter having completely set in (It is white and foggy all day long), it is one of the most amazing times here in North India. Hot cup of ginger tea, peanuts, varieties of revari & chikki, not to mention gajar ka halwa and all the ‘wintery chaats’ … I love this season!

This time, I am a little late (I am yet to begin) in visiting friends for Christmas socializing. With my hectic routine I couldn’t craft anything for gifting either, so I thought of these cute diy festive tags for the gifts (something handmade is better than nothing!).

I made these shimmery Poinsettia, keeping up with the Christmas theme, to use them as embellishments on the gift tags.

These are left over shimmery ribbon tapes (‘gota’ in Hindi), any other ribbon or paper can be used to make these poinsettia.

I cut out a few hand drawn leaves to go with the flowers and embossed them to add some texture.

I used these cut shapes (left over from my card making stints) and added a little bow here and a little string there to make the tags.

You maycut out various decorative shapes using old wedding cards and other cards… recycled them all! And to make the festive tags all I did was layering… no painting, coloring or stamping. Just added whatever fitted where ever using a stapler and some glue!

Here are the ready tags, stapling them on the gifts.

Here is a closer look: Happy crafting!

Merry Christmas to all!

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multitasking_woman-obtained-from

Better Ways to Use a Tablet

This is a prize winning post in ‘Better Ways’ contest, sponsored by Lenovo!

Since the tablet PC’s launch speculations have been rife that it will die a natural death due to lack of response. But has it? In fact it has been accepted widely (and with open arms) by the masses. Why so? For starters it is a convenient device, compact, portable and high on performance not only in terms of battery life but also functionality. I, for one, am an absolute fan of the device! So I couldn’t care less about the speculations and forecasts as I can’t do without the tablet today! For me it is a God send device.

Its popularity has put critics to rest…don’t you agree?  I would say that, arguably, it is one of the best inventions for people who are on the go and would also want the functionality of a PC and phone rolled into one. Although I wouldn’t disregard the PC and a phone’s place in homes and offices at all, but when you just want to carry one device that has it all… it is the tablet that would fit the bill. It is after all a mobile computer with flexibility and ease of use of a smart phone since it has most of the functions and capabilities of both.  My life would come to a standstill if I am to think of it without my tablet. There is so much I do with my tablet PC; here are my ‘Better Ways to Use a Tablet’, in my daily chores/life:

  • Apart from doing the regular stuff, which is, surfing the net, the convenience of checking my e- mails, quick updates on my social networks, clicking a picture and instantly uploading it, games, music, movies, books etc.
  • It works as a navigator, loaded with maps; when it is propped against the dashboard in the car.
  • Using the tablet as a TV screen on journeys, loaded with movies which we missed watching. It comes in handy on long journeys; especially in the car when I attach it to the backrest of the front seats (for viewing by my children in the back seat).
  • Use it as a digital picture frame (when we throw a party at home) by perching it on a self-made stand.
  • It has my entire collection of art, craft and design resources for quick and easy reference. I have printed a grid sheet on OHP (1cmx1cm squares) and I place it on top of my tablet PC as a grid sheet when I am drawing or painting something (from the jpeg on the tablet screen).
  • My recipes are always available on my tablet, perched on the stand on my kitchen counter, when trying out a new recipe.
  • My reference manuals, book collection etc. are with me always.
  • It works as my teaching aid in the classroom, apart from loading my lesson plan resources, I load it up with visuals & graphics for students to see. I also use it as my prop during stage management and when compeering events.
  • One excellent use of this device is that I take pictures of all my bills (ALL), warranties, applications, important documents like passport, Aadhaar card, certificates etc and have it stored in it for quick access. Keeping my home and my life organized hasn’t been so easy and all in one place had it not been for my favourite gadget.

So does it make me a super woman? Nah! But it surely makes my Tablet a Genie! Hence no misadventures with it, so far!

 

How I wish that I could also use my tablet to scribble notes and draw free hand, another thing that makes me put it down to pick another device is its camera. I really look forward to a Tab with fabulous stylus compatibilities, good camera features and a flexible stand to prop it  up anywhere. Also, I wish it had a small silicon fold-able keyboard mat which I could attach to the touch screen keypad for ease of use of keyboard functionality like a regular PC keyboard feel.

It is in use by many companies in many efficient ways making the use of paper almost negligible apart from saving time (I won’t be going into details of it as such advantages run into many paragraphs, Google it!) Maybe its potential is yet to be realized fully but in most certain terms… It is definitely here to stay and stay for good! As for me I can’t imagine a day without it!

Check out this amazing gadget candy {here}  . Linking this post to t Lenovo Yoga Tablet #Better way  contest hosted at indiblogger.in

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DIY FAIL!

DIY Fail

Any failure is a result of lack of planning/preparation/systematic execution. Having said that, I have to admit that I failed miserably in doing up our basement (turning a storeroom into a recreation room). I can give a hundred genuine reasons for not being able to do what I set out to in the first place but all would seem lame excuses (to read about my ambitious plans with the basement Hooked on Homes (4). It is difficult to face failures and trust me when I write this IT IS 🙁 All these days I have pretended that there is no basement or the clutter… kept it out of sight and out of mind, but my self set D-date kept nagging in my head. I knew it all yet I pretended to be oblivious to the herculean task of cleaning the basement.

 

Now to save my DIYing spirit I have decided to wait for my better half to take charge of my epic  DIY fail and help me set smaller and more do able goals for the basement. I still can’t figure out where I went wrong. Did I get too ambitious to pull off something like that all by self? Need a DIY counselor… Help!

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Photo credit- www.snuut.com

Floor Seating Ideas

Floor seating may have become a decor fad in recent years but it has been a culture (& tradition) in India from time immemorial. All our religious & traditional ceremonies take place sitting on the floor. Not only in Hinduism but also in many other cultures sitting on the floor connects you to Gaia (Greek personification of Earth)- the energy of Earth, one of the five elements of nature. The other four elements being Fire, Sky, Water and Wind; all five form a part of all religious, traditional or cultural rituals in India.

Coming back to the fad, floor seating definitely has become a more evolved universal concept; luxurious rugs, giant fluffy floor cushions, low tables and lamps & lights, it creates a very relaxed & informal set up for lounging; although not everybody is comfortable with it for various reasons. For those who enjoy sitting on the floor here is a quick and simple floor seating arrangement with things around your home.

I, for one, have always enjoyed working on various projects sitting on the floor (in fact most of them!) hence there is always a corner in our home which has a comfortable, fuss free floor seating (which can be picked up and set up in five minutes flat for cleaning & mopping). All you need is:

  • Any old/extra mattress (you can fold it or keep it full length, depending on the space you have chosen for the arrangement)
  • A single bed sheet/bedcover
  • A mat/straw mat/ thin rug (even a table runner would do) on the wall for your back.
  • A small rug/mat (any shape)
  • A few extra cushions/bolsters (any size)
  • Any low table or cabinet to stow/stash your things (optional)
  • A table lamp (optional)

Choose your space for the seating, I chose this corner

Hang the straw mat/thin rug on to the wall(if it is against the wall) just a couple of inches above the floor or directly above the skirting, assemble the mattress as desired or as the space allows, throw in a few cushions and add a rug in front of the mattress and it’s done! Addition of a low table or a low cabinet acts a utility piece than a mere accessory.

This arrangement was (for one of  our ‘base’ homes) done with the stuff that was otherwise lying in boxes/storage (didn’t buy anything!). It may not look plush in terms of style or luxury but it’s functional and fuss free. 

 

It won’t take more than 20 minutes of arranging time, from scratch till the end, if you have everything you need.

I am planning to do a floor seating for my son’s room… maybe next weekend, I have started digging for the extra stuff that I need. Till then here are some pictures for inspiration 🙂

 

 

Linking up with:Redoux InteriorsNifty Thrifty ThingsThe Foley FamThe Tablescaper

 The Heart of Your HomeDIY ShowoffCreating My Way to SuccessI Should be Mopping the FloorThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouThe Charm of HomeBacon Time with the Hungry HippoA Blossoming Life

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House on the WayGinger Snap CraftsSew Much AdoOh My CreativeSomeday Crafts

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My Romantic Home, NancherrowThirty Handmade DaysAngels HomesteadI Heart Nap TimeMy Turn for Us, Crochet CrazyMy Uncommon Slice of Surburbia

Six Sisters StuffBe Different Act Normal, Natasha in Oz

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