Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Resolution/s for every NEW YEAR

When the clock strikes midnight and the year 2015 is ushered in, chances are you will be awake. Might be partying with friends; or standing outside and being dazzled by fireworks; or you might be texting your loved ones to wish them a Happy New Year or, perhaps, you'll be quietly contemplating the 12 months that have passed and the 12 that are yet to come. At the end there’s no escaping the fact that the turn of the new year is a very big deal.

New Year Day (Varies with people and traditions)

Babylonians rang in their new year with an 11-day festival in March, and ancient Egyptians celebrated the advent of their new calendar during the Nile River's annual flood. Chinese have their own ways and dates and Indians usually count their new year with either Dipawali or Basant celebrations.

New Year, no matter when people celebrated it, has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's time to reflect on the changes we want, or often need. Lets begin with discussing traditions that are carried out around New Year's Day. The first thing would come in your mind is to keeping a New Year RESOLUTION... 

Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?

The origin of making New Year's resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they'd earn good favor in the coming year. Many of us are still believe in making resolutions with hope to turn it out as beautifully as we imagine. Be it fitness one, job one or studies one.. be it staying happy and positive around the year or just to be little more creative.. New year is the time when an idea born somewhere in your mind, to grow and flourish with time.

WHY waiting for New Year to grow?

Because most of us thinks that New Year magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves. Unfortunately with time we often forget our resolution, however this year, don't set yourself up for failure by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow simple steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

For me 

I have some big goals.. and no its not about more money, more power or more fame... its about more PEACE!

1. When someone has wronged you, continue to treat them with civility: It's the ultimate goal/resolution of my life.
2. Give far more than you take
3. Genuinely acknowledge others: Taking the time to give sincere praise to those who deserve is fuel for the soul.
4. Default to kindness
5. Embrace diversity: Every person is a world. The uniqueness of each human being makes our communities a more beautiful place.

Share your resolutions in the comments :) have fun in remaining 4 days of '14.. Thanks for reading


Sunday, December 14, 2014

DIY for Christmas

Personalize your Christmas season with some DIY projects..

I am sure its not the best time to start something entirely new, but you can always give it a try... if you are not sure how to decorate your home this Christmas, make these adorable items at home, just to add a little creativity in your fun Christmas decorations!!

DIY 1: This paper garland would add a little color in your decoration. It is super easy, all you need are, colorful hard paper, scissors, thread and needle. Create any shape like stars, teddies, trees etc using scissors and connect them through thread using needle... You can also create this garland according to your Christmas decoration theme like golden start and red santa :) 

DIY 2: This holiday season, let it snow. For this piece you need scissors, lightweight white craft paper, thread. For each snowflake, fold a paper square in half once, and then in half again. Create a fold so that the upper right corner meets the lower left corner and fold the paper in half diagonally once again. 

Cut random smaller notches in the paper edges. Then, unfold the paper to check the snowflake. Attach strings/thread with the snowflakes and enjoy the show!

DIY 3: Haven't worn a scarf or a sweater in a while... if its actually not wearable anymore and you are pretty sure, you can't even donate it then no problem, don't throw away.. recycle it! Cut it in a square, make sure these cuts are really fine and you are not end up spoiling it. Fill with some goodies, so it will take a nice shape, make it it look a little Santa’s sack and tie it with the heavy thread! You can use it either like an ornament or like a gift bag!

DIY 4: Love wall art? Use popsicle stick to make snowflakes, that will give you the special feeling of winter, perfect art for the holidays. Use glue to attach the popsicle sticks together. You can google some snowflake designs if you like. After a while spray paint the sticks in silver, gold or any other color and put the art on the wall :) Super easy to make right :) 

Share your ideas in the comments :) Thank you for reading, Enjoy your Christmas!



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It’s Christmas... Not ‘X’mas

Christmas posts, before Christmas :) The best thing about having a writing platform is that you can write about anything and everything... Today I m going to write about Christmas...

I love Christmas.. to be honest I love all the holidays but Christmas brings festivity for the whole season... its not a 'one' day holiday... its an event, a series of celebrations... :) 

First of all It’s Not ‘X’mas, It’s ‘Christ’mas

Christmas celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Jesus Christ... Christmas is the message of a child born in a manger in a city of Bethlehem but for his deeds worshiped around the world.

For some reason Christmas has been shortened by the use of ‘xmas’. ‘X’, cannot take the place of Jesus Christ, the most venerable name, in Christianity! the name that upholds a vision, an inspiration, can NOT be shortened.

The season of Christmas remains in the air entire month of December and beginning of January. The real essence of the festival is in the feeling and sense of sharing love and the reason why it is celebrated.

There are many things that can spark the Christmas spirit, the arrival of cold weather, the smell of cookies, cakes baking in the oven, the presence of family... Let me share few examples...

The Christmas cake is also called the ‘Plum cake’, given that the main ingredients of the cake are tiny bits of plums. Although there is no specific time to start baking cakes people generally begin baking it few days before Christmas. Other then the authentic Plum Cake there is a Ribbon and Chocolate-Walnut cakes for the cake lovers.

The custom of singing Christmas carols is said to have come from 13th century, Italy where a man named St. Francis of Assisi led songs of praise. It is considered bad luck to send carolers away empty handed as it is customary to offer food, drink or even a little money. A Christmas Carol is basically a song or hymn whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general, traditionally sung throughout the season of Christmas.

Decorations trigger the magical feelings of the holiday season. A Christmas without the Christmas tree is incoherent. They played a symbolic part because they stay green and alive when other plants appear dead and bare. They represent everlasting life and hope for the return of spring. The tree is decorated with Christmas ornaments like coloured stars, balls, bells, drums, Santa-Claus, angels.

Christmas is a season of great joy and is marked by reading the story of Jesus' birth, singing Christmas carols and giving gifts after the pattern of God's greatest gift to us- His own Son. People usually put up the decorations around their home after Thanksgiving to mark the beginning of Christmas season. Since Christmas comes about the same time as New Year the celebrations are coincided and therefore the festive season is intact for a longer period.

So don't wait more... start baking cookies, decorate your tree and home and enjoy the festivity :) Thank you for reading :) 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Adam's Bridge (Rama Setu) and Dhanushkodi

Adam's Bridge also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu (in Hindi), one the popular mythology tale in India, seems more real than ever! It is a chain of limestone shoals, between between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, situated at the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, to the Mannar Island, northern coast of Sri Lanka.

According to the Geological evidence, the bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka and according to religious tales this bridge was made by Lord Rama with his ape army to reach Lanka and rescue his wife, Sita. Due to this popular Ramanyana tale the bridge is still known as Rama Setu. 

The bridge is about 18 miles long and sea area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft deep in places. As reported in the temple texts that, the bridge was easily passable on foot until it broke in a cyclone in AD 1480. 

(Floating stone exhibit near Rameshwar Temple)

The Ramayana attributes the building of this bridge, naming it as 'Setubandhanam'. Other names of the bridge by different cartographer are: 'Sethusamudram' (Sea of the Bridge), 'Ramancoil' (Rama's Temple), 'Sethubandha', 'Sethubandha Rameswaram', 'Set Bandhai (Bridge of the Sea) etc. 

The other name 'Adam's bridge' was prepared by a British cartographer in 1804, referring to an Abrahamic myth, according to which Adam used the bridge to reach a mountain (identified with Adam's Peak) in Sri Lanka, where he stood repentant on one foot for 1,000 years, leaving a large hollow mark resembling a footprint.

Adam's Bridge starts as chain of shoals from the Dhanushkodi tip of India's Pamban Island and ends at Sri Lanka's Mannar Island. Here I would like to share a fact about 'Dhanushkodi' (end of the bow) is a ghost town at the south tip of Pamban Island of the Tamil Nadu, India. According to the story, after rescuing Sita successfully lord Rama broke the bridge with one end of his bow. And from where He broke the bridge the area named after that incident Dhanushkodi or 'end of the bow'.

The Dhanushkodi railway line running from Pamban Station was destroyed in the 1964 cyclone with over 115 passengers drowned in the sea. Before the 1964 cyclone, Dhanushkodi was a flourishing tourist and pilgrimage town. Sri Lanka is just 19 miles away, there were many ferry services between Dhanushkodi, India to Talaimannar, Sri Lanka, transporting travellers and goods across the sea. Altogether, over 1,800 people died in the cyclonic storm. All dwellings and other structures in Dhanushkodi town were marooned in the storm. Following this disaster, Government declared Dhanushkodi as Ghost town and unfit for living. Only a few fisherfolk now live there.

In Dec 2004 just before the arrival of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck South India, the sea around Dhanushkodi receded about 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the coastline, exposing the submerged part of the town for a while. This rare event was witnessed by the local fishermen.

So back to Rama Setu on a more scientific note. There are two main theories explain about the fact about the evolution and origin of this structure. One considered it to be formed by a process rising of the land, while the other explained that it was formed during the drift of Sri Lanka from the Indian mainland. The Geological Survey of India concluded that the dating of corals that Rameswaram Island evolved beginning 125,000 years ago.

So is Rama Setu already exists when Rama reached there or Lord Rama build that?? Anyhow this bridge is important for both, Mythological and Science geeks... if you can then do visit the area and experience the aura by yourself :) 

Thanks for reading


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Food and Health

Happy Saturday guys :)

Its been a crazy week, work stuff, studies, fitness, change in weather, cold and fever, 2 lengthy meetings and as if its not enough, I already have a meeting scheduled for sunday... wow November 3rd week is certainly a hit!

I was talking to my mom other day about my busy schedule and lack of energy and she gave me the most common tip of all time, eat well and stay healthy (good mind needs healthy body)... For a couple of minutes it seems pretty common but later when I thought about it I said (to myself), Why not, lets do it... 'challenge accepted' lets try to add more veggies, fruits and whole grains in my regular diet..

So today I am going to share few healthy ideas that I tried recently to keep myself healthy and fit and well prepared for the season...

1) Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more of healthy veggies into your daily and weekly menu. It is also one of the tastiest. Try to include at least one sweet vegetable (beet, carrot, sweet potato) for the flavour. 

2) If you are a kind of person who don't like salad, try to sprinkle with dried cranberries, sliced dates, any nuts of your choice or your favorite cheese, to add the fun in the otherwise healthy recipe.

3) You don't like green juice, its ok try to make it tasty add fruits like pomegranates, beats, oranges, honey or lemon to make green juice healthy and fun. All you want is to enhance the taste right... :)

4) You got the veggies in the soup but for you soup will always be a side dish.. Add whole grain bread sticks with soup to make it more full. You can have different flavours of sticks to go with the soup!!

5) Try to add fresh food items.. its not healthy or tasty to eat frozen peas; same goes with the tomatoes or bananas... don't stock up your fridge for 7 days try to buy fruits and vegetable at least 2 times in a week. This would motivate you to eat the correct amount of portion too. 

6) If you can't leave your favorite food then try to pick one day for adding or subtracting particular food type.. Ex. Go for the Meatless-Monday or Tofu (on) Tuesday. 

7) Dedicate your busiest day to veg dishes. There are many recipes that take less than 30 minute to prepare (including cooking time). Would share few 'quick' veg recipes in the other blog post! 

Till then Happy weekend :) And thanks for reading!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Fitness :)

Happy Weekend everyone :) Today I met my former trainer, who is in town for 3 days and I arranged a meeting with her to plan my fitness routine. I was super excited to see her. She gave me this list of diet plans and a fitness program according to my work routine. 

To update my daily activity routine real quick... I didn't work out in 5 months. Yep, I last went to gym in June, that time my ankle got twisted and the physiotherapist recommended to slow down. On top of that, I was practically busy every single day (even sundays) from about 9 a.m. morning to 8 p.m evening. I was doing my studies, job and whole lot of stuff together. I could barely function after work because I was so exhausted. So I quit.. 

Stuck into my working schedule, fitness was truly the last thing on my mind and by then, I had zero motivation. I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person that needs as little obstacles as possible in order to stop a workout routine. Yes I am not a fitness freak, I am an ordinary person who needs to be fit but need someone to hover around too so I can stay committed.

But lately I gave myself a break and remembered that in my priorities list 2014, fitness use to be on top five. So what happen if I have no trainer right now, I m still a member of a gym, I still have all the gears at home, I can always try, even if I start with zumba for 5 min, or 15 min yoga, or 10 min brisk walk or anything. As we all know, a healthy mind needs a healthy body :)

So from today, I started my fitness program again. I started with good intentions and promised myself to back up in the healthy zone.  I really hope I will continue on this track. Even four days a week of workouts is a good start for me!

The 3 fundamentals whenever I start my fitness program

1) Log on to myfitnesspal and make an account to update your regular calorie count.
2) Set realistic goals and stick to it (at least try)
3) Don't hurt or starve your self

Here is the plan... :) 

Plan #1) I am going to Exercise at least 4 times a week for at least 30 minutes to lose weight. Cardio exercise is what burns fat (anything that gets your heart rate up) and burns calories. I am going to exercise on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Pick your days according to your routine.

Plan #2) Stick to Exercise Schedule.. remember If you have time to read this blog and I have time to write this post... we have time to work out!

Plan #3) Listing Food Items: My Healthy Food List includes:

Whole grains- bread, pasta, tortillas, wraps, oatmeal etc.
Vegetables- every single vegetable. I especially like spinach, lettuce, cucumber, peas 
Nuts- In moderation because they're high calorie despite their nutritional benefits

Fruits- every single fruit. I especially like apples, strawberries, tomatoes, cherries, pomegranate etc.
Pulses: every single
Dairy– skim milk, light cheese, yogurt 

Avoid oils and classic fat

Just a note: I started juicing lately and its good.. fresh (green or fruit) juice at home is the key according to me :)

Plan #4) I never cut off entire food groups or my favourite foods completely. The more forbidden something is, the more you'll crave it. So try to pick healthy ingredients for your favorite recipes :) 

Plan #5) I need to drink more water, I hardly drink 6-7 glass per day, during winters it get worse. As odd as it seems, the more water you drink, the more water weight you'll lose.

Plan #6) Weighing myself once a week just to keep the weight track... If your machine shows the same weight after three workouts, don't need to dishearten cause being healthy is not a miracle, you need to keep doing it.. :) 

We can do it.. I know we can.. just stick with me for more updates

Thanks for reading :)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Treasure Beads, DIY Jewelry Storage

As promised, here’s a post for those who wanted to see a handmade jewelry display and collection. I use to make these little craft items by myself but lately I was got busy into stuff.. so I thought to introduced one of my friend's 'Handcrafted Jewelry and DIY project'. 

'Treasure Beads' wear the magic... is an online showroom/exhibition where you can find Necklace, Bracelets, Earrings, Anklets etc. No more searching all over the internet; I am going to put all of my favorites in one convenient post!

Before I introduced, actual Treasure Beads collection, let me share few ideas; how to keep your jewelry safe...

DIY Lace Trim Hair Clip/Earring Holder

DIY Jewelry Display Tree

DIY Jewelry Branch

DIY Dangling Chain Earring Display

DIY Bottle Bracelet Display

DIY Simple Frame Jewelry Holder

(all the credit goes to the creators, I am sharing for reader's interest)

Now about Treasure Beads (Owner: Archana Gupta Mahajan). The best thing about Treasure Beads is the jewelry is handmade and its quite unique. It is sort of custom made jewelry where you can find Indian traditional touch, elegant westernized jewelry, trendy and modern collection all together.

These pieces are so charming that I don't have proper words to describe them. I'm simply sharing few picture here.

To be honest, my post didn't do the justice.. Treasure Beads have lot to offer, check the link for more information and stay fabulous!

Thanks for reading