In Conversation with Vasantha Vivek!

There are some people who will keep on doing their work and you would never know about their greatness until you know them better. I found this awesome blogger and fell in love with her writings and their simplicity. I am happy to have Vasantha Vivek over my blog today, in continuation of the series of Guest Blogging.

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Vasantha blogs at mysweetnothings.in . She loves to call herself as a happy woman, daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend, mentor, seeker, lover. She’s from Kovilpatti, a small town of Southern Tamilnadu of India. She’s a teacher by profession. She worked as a professor at an Engineering College for nearly 15 years. She has learnt a lot as a teacher. She hopes that she had inspired some hearts during that period.  Teaching is her passion Reading is her love. Cooking is her heart. She enjoys reading and writing very much. She starts & ends her days with reading.

She’s guest authoring on various sites like Indian Moms Connect, Monsoon Breeze, Parentous, Women’s Web, mycity4kids & World of Moms. She has been featured on The Times Of Amma, Stories of Motherhood!, Smart Indian Women.

This is her typical day as a Blogger:-

5:00 AM: My day starts with two-line prayer at 5 am. Followed by morning routines and a glass of Methi Water.

5.10 AM: Mostly, I love mindful mornings. It always starts with a short prayer at my most favorite pooja room. The aroma of agarbhathis fills my heart and soul.

5.15 AM: As I am an ISHA follower, I never want to miss my Sambhavi Mahamudra practice in the mornings. It is followed by 10 minutes simple workouts. I love spending time watching, feeding and watering the birds at my terrace after my yoga and meditation.

6.15 AM: I help in cooking with my maid. I enjoy listening to mesmerizing bhakti songs on TV for one hour.

8.30 AM: I go to our nearest Vinayaga Temple most of the days. I spend nearly half an hour reciting slogans, mantras and sing songs at that temple.

9:00  AM: Simple south Indian breakfast.

10 AM to 1 PM: I do my blogging work of reading, writing, commenting and sharing. I prefer to reply to all my reader who has left their loving comments on my posts. Customizing of my blog will be done once in a while. I love to encourage new bloggers. Blogging groups help me to connect with many fabulous bloggers.

1.30 PM: Simple south Indian lunch.

3.00 PM: It’s my personal time. Mostly I will be reading magazines, newspapers or otherwise write in my journal. Spent some time sitting in silence mindfully. It helps me to energize myself for the rest of the day.

4.30 PM: My son returns from home. And it’s our chat/coffee/snacks time. We enjoy it to the most by sharing our day, cracking jokes, singing silly songs.

6.30 PM: My detailed pooja time. I spent nearly 30 minutes in doing elaborate traditional pooja with aarthi, mantras and silence.

7.30 PM: Family dinner time. All of us sit together and have our dinner. This is the time which bonds us more.

8.30 PM: Study time for my son. TV time for my hubby and again reading time or house chore time for me.

10:00 PM: Our good night sleep time. We spent a little time with bedtime stories earlier. But now, it had turned into cricket/movie talk, exploring science and mystery, planning for next day and like that.

4.45 AM Next Day: My mobile alarm rings and blessed with another happy day.


Vasantha has inspired me to focus on mindfulness and meditation. I am grateful to her for instilling this spirit in me which is helping me focus on my never-ending tasks.

You can follow Vasantha at Facebook  or Twitter to know more about her.

In Conversation with Tina Basu!

There are times when I am not able to finish one important task and then I see people handling work, looking after kids, taking up all the challenges in life and managing everything so well and most importantly living Life.

There are many bloggers who inspire others with their stories and writings. In continuation of the series of Guest Blogging , today I have Tina Basu,who is a freelance writer, author, blogger, graphic designer and a food enthusiast. When she is not running around a little hyperactive munchkin she blogs at Tina Basu – Being Real Not Perfect where she writes, fictions, girly stuffs and hosts link parties and blog beautiful tutorials. Tina is a self-confessed food obsessed girl and all her love for food is reflected in her food blog Twinkling Tina Cooks.  Tina has been in the FMCG industry for over seven years working as a trade marketing and branding expert.

Here is Tina sharing  A Day in the Life of a Solopreneur Blogger:

There are two kinds of people who – wake up, get ready, rush to work, spend time in meetings, secretly loath the boss and the second kind who – wake up and start working – for themselves! There is no break, no holidays, no sick leaves but at the end of the day you know you are working for yourself and the only person who’ll gain from all the effort is YOU. I have recently promoted myself to the second kind from the first and am loving it.

So what do I do?

I do what I like to do – Write, Blog, Design, Bake – when I am not running after my one and a half year old power house of energy. So how does a day look like in the life of a solopreneur blogger? It all starts with the question WHY? Why should I waste my education? Why should I work for someone else? Why can’t I have it all? When I became a mom, I wanted to give enough time to my son and not leave him in care of anyone else. After having worked for 7 years in the FMCG sector there can be no way I can sit at home doing nothing! I am not meant for the ‘SAHM’ tag! So why not get both the sides of it? I made my passion for writing and designing a little business. We are in pup mode now but our baby steps will lead us to a foothold of its own.

How do I manage to be a mom and a mompreneur?

Managing work with a baby is a challenge. Some people manage to wake up early and start their work, but my son wakes up the moment I do, so that option of working early goes out of the window! I go to sleep with the iPad on my bed side table and when I wake up I read all my mails, Twitter interactions, DMs, Instagram comments, FB Page queries first thing in the morning till the rest of the house is sleeping.
My house help and cook are my saviors – I am heavily dependent on them so that I can focus on work while they take care of the house. The key is to schedule and plan work depending on the timelines given to clients. I take several breaks to give adequate time to my son as well. My only reason to quit my career in FMCG was – I wanted to be a hands-on mom and didn’t want to lose a second of his childhood. I had decided his bathing schedule, sleeping schedule, eating schedule will always be maintained by me. And I am happy that I still am being able to manage that. Bath time is our mom-son play time and I love to see him splash water everywhere. Feeding a toddler is a story in itself, the days he’s in a mood we get through it without bumps but the days he’s not in a mood it involves a lot of running around, story-telling and nursery rhymes on YouTube.

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When do I do serious work?

It is important that you do justice to your work. Most of my serious work – both writing and designing happens in the night after my son is asleep. I tend to work late hours (and this time without too much complains). The peace of the night is perfect for my kind of work and you of course enjoy the company of a good playlist on the iTunes.

Food Obsessed Girl

The birth of Twinkling Tina Cooks happened because I am obsessed with good food – not just any kind of food! I like collecting, curating and innovating recipes. This obsession about food comes from my folks – as a family we are all obsessed about good food! I cook/ bake in the mornings only to get the food shots in the natural light – which is amazing for food photography.

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Why I like what I do?

Currently, I am loving my space. I have huge plans for my baby biz and I am sure I’ll enjoy the journey even later. Blogging has opened new doors for me – meeting new people, reading new people, working with brands, events and so many things. It has taught me to manage myself online and offline.
I have been involved in trade marketing and branding for long enough to manage an entire advertising agency may be. But when I am doing it myself I am the boss, I am the creative director, I am my accounts department and I am my marketing and PR person too! That’s like – learning from grass root level!
Every day is action packed in life – that is exactly how I like it and it also makes sure I don’t have any Monday Morning Blues!


 

I appreciate Tina for sharing her day here and wish her a great journey ahead!.You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram for your daily dose of eyegasm!

 

 

In Conversation With Anamika Agnihotri!

Blogging is a different world altogether. You meet people, make new friends, encourage and motivate each other’s writings.

One day, while reading, I thought about knowing more about my fellow bloggers. I have not met them in person and this led to the curiosity to know them, about their lives and learn from their blogging journey.

And this inspired me to host posts from the bloggers I follow. I asked some of the bloggers and was extremely happy to hear positive responses.

Starting with the first in this series, I have Anamika Agnihotri, who writes at thebespectacledmother.com. She shares her parenting experiences in raising her 5-year-old son telling the funniest anecdotes as well as sharing some hands-on tips. She says, “Parenting is a tiring job and at times can tend to become daunting too. Over this period of time, I have learnt some and am still exploring the fine nuisances of it.”

Here is a sneak peek of the conversation:-

1-   Please tell something about yourself and your blog?

I am Anamika Agnihotri, a stay-at-home mother of a 5 year old boy. I am an introvert, an optimist, a spiritual seeker and an eternal learner.  After completing my MBA in 2004, I worked in the corporate sector for 9 years before giving up my job in 2013 when, as a family of 3, we shifted to UK owing to husband’s work. At present, I live in Bangalore. I am in love with my current role as a parent. This role ensures I get daily doses of lifelong wisdom from none other than my son. Ironic but true since this should have been the other way round. Apart from becoming wiser with each passing day, I am invested in raising a reader and I myself love all things books, reading and writing.

I blog at thebespectacledmother.com where I write about my everyday stories, book based discussions with my son and his never ending questions.

2- What inspired you to start your blog?

I always wanted to write. I had these (half-baked) stories boiling in my mind which never made sense to me but prodded me to write anyway. So I filled my diaries. I poured my passion into crafting the best work e-mails in office. I  wrote a skit for an office play for introducing my team in Six Sigma Presentation (which was great on paper but not at all good in execution).

When I began as a full time stay-at-home mother, I was a clueless, bewildered soul who struggled with parenting. I was losing my hair and my sleep. I was also battling with mild depression at that time. However, with passing time things started perking up. With some free time at my hand and also for deviating my mind, I started my blog to write about my struggles, my mental state and my occasional break-throughs with respect to raising my son..

3- How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?

I have kept blogging pressure free for me since I did not want it to become yet another chore amongst a sea of other chores. I only blog once a week. I am committed to blogging on Mondays with my Monday Musings post. On rest of the weekdays, I devote 2 hours each day to reading, sharing and commenting on other blogs.

4- How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?

My motivation comes from the heartfelt interactions with other bloggers on my blog as well as theirs. I know who my audience is as a lot of readers are regular visitors who come to read my posts every week.  Also, because of the fact that my blog is an extension of me, I do not have to make extra efforts to keep it going.

5- What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?

When not working on the blog, I run errands, take care of the house and check social media sites often in the midst of everything. I spend a lot of time reading whether it is reading my books or reading to my son or hearing him read out aloud to me. I also run a weekly book club on Friday evenings where I hold storytelling sessions for 4-6 year olds.

6- Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and tell why they are your favorites?

My most favourite blogger is Corinne Rodrigues. She writes about self-acceptance, compassion and gratitude. There is so much to learn from her and her blogs. She was the first person in the blogging world who generated confidence in me with respect to who I am, as a blogger and also as an individual.

The other bloggers whom I love to read and connect with are Shailaja Vishwanath, Tulika Singh, Nabanita Dhar, Esha Mookerjee-Dutta, Parul Thakur. The connection is the reason which makes them my favourites.

7- What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?

The love and acceptance that I received through blogging has made big differences in my life. The biggest difference is I am, at present, most comfortable in my skin.

8- What has been the one thing (blog post, project, etc) that you have been really proud of?

I have been especially proud of my article which got published in the June 2016 edition of the ‘Complete Wellbeing’ magazine. The article was about gifting the life-long love for books to the children, a topic closest to my heart.

9- If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?

I would suggest –

  1. Be authentic.
  2. Write from your heart.
  3. Invest in making genuine connections with fellow bloggers.

10-  Tell about your favorite: Book, Quote, Author, Song and Movie.

My favourite books are actually 2 –

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho – This book did the same for me which Alchemist did for rest of the world. It got me in touch with my dreams, ambitions and belief in self. It moved me spiritually.

Zahir by Paulo Coelho – Zahir came to me when I was on the verge of making the life altercating decision to quit my job. This book spoke to me, almost jolting me to begin writing and honour my long time aspiration.

Quote ‘Control what is in your control‘. This is the quote from the Andre Agassi’s autobiography. I practically live my life on the basis of this quote.

Author – The most recent favourite one is Khalid Hosseni. I read all 3 of his works back to back a few months ago. What a story teller he is? I feel I know Afghanistan very well – the life and pain of Afghan people, the plight of Afghan women, Afghanistan from the olden times to the post-Taliban era. I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days after I read ‘A Thousand splendid Sons’. It was haunting.

Favourite movie – I hardly watch movies but there is one movie which I must have watched numerous times and it is English Vinglish‘. There is a considerable resemblance between the main protaganist played by Sridevi and my mother in the treatment she received from the rest of the family, gaslighting being the new term for it. Sridevi’s character was inspiring in her fight to overcome her shortcoming  of not knowing English. This movie reminds me that a housewife’s worth is not dependent on how her family sees her or treats her but how much she values herself. The world puts down those who fail to value themselves.

Song I do not have a favourite song.

I am really grateful to Anamika for taking out time for this interview. If you want to know more about Anamika, you can follow her at Facebook or Twitter.


Keep reading my space for the next guest post. You can write to me at throughthewindowoflife@gmail.com and I will be happy to host your post on some interesting topic.

 

 

 

 

Soul Sunday #7

It’s the Thanksgiving weekend and there is never a better time to count your blessings and be thankful for what you have in life. So I thought of sharing a quote which supports the idea of expressing gratitude in daily aspects.

As all the small things that matter will always make us happy, I am thankful to God for making me smile every day.

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A sincere attitude of gratitude is a beatitude for secured altitudes. Appreciate what you have been given and you will be promoted higher.”
           ― Israelmore Ayivor

Do you believe in expressing gratitude??

Soul Sunday #5

It is getting cold here in my area of living and as I am preparing myself for the coming months by layering into multiple woolen clothing, I am thinking of the winter break which I enjoyed during childhood.

The foggy mornings with a hot glass of milk and some healthy pinnis (laddoos) and reading some Dr. Seuss in cozy bed during the vacation are some of the cherished memories from those days.

This is a long weekend. Being at home and doing nothing is one of the pleasures which we never get amidst the hectic schedules. As I am planning to curl up in bed with a cup of ginger tea and a good book, leave away all the worries and enjoy the day.

We should do this often. What do you think??

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“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
      ― Guillaume Apollinaire

 

What are you up to this weekend??

Those Little Things

 

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Sometimes the smallest of gestures go right to the heart.

A smile from a stranger when you are lost in a crowd;

An old friend calling from a distant land just to day I Miss You;

The touch of a mother’s hand on your brow when you are unable to sleep;

A message from a friend asking what’s wrong when you thought no one could notice;

A hand on your shoulder when it feels like the world is against you.

Sometimes it is the tiniest of things that bring a smile in hard times.


A friend had sent me this when I was facing some problem in life. Whenever I am low, simply reading this makes me SMILE 🙂

This is Day 29 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter

I will always be there !

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I can feel you in my sighs

I can see you with my closed eyes

You have been an encouragement to me

You have been there to guide me

What else can I say about you

You have been like an air blow

Quietly moving with me

Slowly coming with me

You have been and will always be

By my side

In all dark nights

Like a friend

Like a mentor

Just to say I am always there!!

 

This is Day 24 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter.

21 Random Facts About Me

I love making lists and I got excited when I saw this prompt. I jumped to writing down as soon as I reached home after work.

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Here are some random facts about me:

  1. Completing a management course, I discovered my interest in writing. I joined a blogging platform 1.5 years ago leaving the corporate sector.
  2. I have a Twin Sibling.
  3. I am an ambivert, I prefer meeting people (who are mostly a closed set of friends).
  4. Every day has to start with a cup of ginger tea and end with a hot cuppa of coffee.I love both of them.
  5. Reading rather than going out for window shopping is my preference if I am free.
  6. I love dosa and sambhar. However, I can never make crispy dosas at home.
  7. I am crazy about handbags.
  8. Winters scare me as I can’t tolerate cold temperatures and the parts of North India are freezing for two months during the season.
  9. I don’t use a lot of make-up. Only Kajal in my eyes and I am ready 🙂
  10. I am firm believer in God. I pray every morning but go to a temple occasionally.
  11. I have learned driving twice and still can’t drive.
  12. I have curly hair and I just love them.
  13. Sweets don’t entice me. I am only fond of gulabjamun.
  14. I can speak four languages, but write only two.
  15. I can’t resist buying stationery, colors, pens, pencils and diaries. Though I never use them.
  16. Buying a home and establishing a “me-corner” is my dream.
  17. I rarely get angry and even when I am angry, I can’t express to someone.
  18. Music is my therapy for any problem.
  19. Diwali is my favorite festival and I love making rangolis and lighting Diyas.
  20. I make a to-do list every day and smile whenever I tick one thing off from it.
  21. Blogging has given me a whole new world and I am very glad to my friend U, who first introduced me to blogs.

 

This post is written for the  prompt “21 Random Facts about me” #Friday Reflections hosted by Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Corrinne of  Write Tribe.

Today is Day 22 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter.

 

 

OMG, Twins!!!

It’s double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you’re blessed with twins.
The bond of twins is unique in different ways. To the world, it’s always so amazing and extremely weird too to be twins. People are naturally curious to talk to Twins.

I am that lucky one to have a twin sister. Being twins our growing up was a unique experience. At first, it was cute, getting all that attention and stuff. But this ongoing process gradually became incredibly predictable and included a series of repetitive questions, my sister and I were wondering why people make such a big deal about us being twins.

The most common question was always, “What’s it like to grow up as a twin?”
My answer was, and has been, the same “I don’t know.”

Here, I am putting down some of the questions, which were directed to us, too often.

“O-M-G! You look so similar! Are you twins?”

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This is exactly what people ask when they see twins together. Ummm,if we are dressed alike and look similar does not that mean we are twins??

“So, are you identical??”

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No, we don’t look alike. We are fraternal. But what difference does it really make?

“Do you wear the same clothes?”

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We are grown up now and we buy our clothes as per our preferences. It is true that our parents dressed us alike when we were young and it was cute, isn’t it?

How did your parents manage?

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We don’t know, to be honest. But they were never confused and could easily identify us.

“Can you feel it if the other person gets hurt?”

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Do you really want to know this?? To be fair, we never experienced this. Though, there are twins who say that they have experienced some kind of telepathy.

“Which one is the oldest?”

 

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Why does our five-minute age difference fascinate you? We are the same age.

“Do you ever switch places?”

 

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This is an especially stupid question if you are asking Fraternal Twins. No, I didn’t decide to take on my sister’s for a day and she never went to give my exams.

“How do you feel being a twin?”

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Come again?? I mean are you asking what it’s like to have a sister, brother, etc. Our lives are normal like you. But yes we are Lucky!!

There have been so many questions that I think If I will not stop here, my list would become another book.

Growing up together, I have realized that it’s indeed a blessing to have a twin sister. I feel thankful that my sister is the one person with whom I can share my true feelings without the fear of being judged.

I love my sister and I want to tell her that ” We’re twins and so we love each other more than other people.”

If you grew up as a twin and have faced any such questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Today is Day 20 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter.

 

Who was She ?

She barely managed to reach office on time and left early mostly.
They thought she was not committed.

She was always in a hurry,
They thought she was pretending to be busy.

She was never a part of the gossips at the water cooler and finished her lunch at the desk;
They thought she was an introvert.

What they didn’t know was that one tiny soul was waiting for her at home
She was a MOTHER!!!

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Today is Day 17 of the #DailyChatter by BlogChatter.