Monthly Archives: September 2012

benjamin franklin,a penny saved is a penny earned,money management tips,paul clitheroe,insurance

Money Management – Family Finance Manager

 

There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn.
- Paul Clitheroe

Isn’t it the Gospel Truth, applicable to us all?Art of Money Management

The greatest of kings, the finest of artists, the sweetest of vocalists, the smartest of painters and well, the great going you and me! If there is a common connecting factor amongst us all, that would be money, apart from breathing and the strive to survive at all costs!

Money gives you the status, the class, the power and the position in any society. The difference is some people know how to make use of their pennies and cents and the rest of the world doesn’t know the very basics of money management.

The following tips may help you in managing your hard-earned money.

TIPS 

1. Your monetary Worthiness: Guess you know how much you are worth in monetary terms; if not, start calculating today. Compute your assets in terms of your home, properties, investment in stocks and shares, your money in the bank, your investment in precious metals etc; you will know where you stand today vis a vis your requirements, liabilities and responsibilities; you may have to plan your present and future in terms of finances.

2. You do budgeting, I suppose: Make a clear cut budget of your income and the allotment of your money to various expense heads. Stick to it and don’t get tempted by a beautiful dress or by a great, unbudgeted holiday etc.

3. Save to Invest: Put some money, however meagre it is, away in your savings account; when you earn, you are entitled to keep something for your future, before you spend the money on your various needs and spend money on your family. Invest the saved up money wisely.

4. Emergency Fund: Always keep an emergency fund; accidents don’t wait for you to accumulate some funds and then happen. You may never know about tomorrow in anyway.

5. Your Bills: Pay only your bills and not with fines and penalties. Organize your bills in such a way that you should know the dates of payments of all the bills in advance. Make a note and keep it readily available for your reference.

6. Credit Card Trap: Cancel all, but one credit card of yours; even one, only when required. If not, at least go for a credit card with lower interest rates. Credit cards eat up a lot of your money on interests, if the card payments are not being done on time. Even otherwise, the rates of interest on the credit cards are on the higher side. Try to pay more than the minimum amount on the credit cards.

7. Insurance, insurance and more insurance: Avail of life insurance, health insurance, household insurance, car insurance and accident insurance. It’s easy to pay the meagre insurance premiums to the insurance companies, than the huge payments to hospitals and others, when something unwanted happens.

8. Note your expenses: Maintain a dairy or a notepad and compulsorily write the daily expenses on it. You may even cloud compute your expenses on the Google Drive excel sheet. By the end of the month, segregate the expenses and understand how much of money has gone under what heads and reduce the spending on unwanted expenses.

9. Bank statements: Read and try to understand your bank statements. Enjoy and relish the accumulation of money in your name.

10. Check your bills: You should check all your bills properly and when in doubt, you should call the customer service centre or the concerned offices to clear your doubts. Why to pay more when in doubt?

11. Home loan account: A great chunk of payment goes into the home loan account; hence, be on the alert for lower home loan rates from other banks or refinancing institutions and shift your account to the best of them.

12. Always make comparisons: Compare in case of the credit card interest rates, compare in case of the home loan interest rates, compare in case of the vehicle insurance rates and compare and save money even on expenses.

13. Attend Courses: Attend a course on personal finances to learn more about the tools and techniques of saving and investing. Learning is also an investment in this case.

FAQS

Q Every time I try to save up, some emergency or the other crops up and I am forced to give up the saving money management skillsto meet the emergency expenses. What to do?

That’s precisely why we would like you to have a separate emergency fund so that you don’t need to make use of your regular savings on an emergency. Also, emergency doesn’t happen all the time. You should be able to segregate your emergency expenses from the other expenses and spend accordingly.

 Q I am not able to save much money by the end of the month. How can I stretch to save more?

Few important lifestyle changes can help you save little extra money. Like, while shopping look for good and cheap deals, buy things in off seasons, do purchasing from a wholesalers. Eating out too often will get heavy on your pocket too. Maintain a piggy bank at home. Keep putting your coins or small changes in it. Remember, drop by drop forms the ocean.

Q I am getting married soon. My to-be husband is in debt. I am confused of getting married to him?

My suggestion is to wait till the time your fiancé is debt free. Because marriage will bring lot of changes in all aspects of life including finances. So to develop a strong relationship you both first need to be financially sound also.

Smita’s Advice

Take charge of your finances. Educate and make yourself aware of yours and your family’s money. Control your urge to splurge unreasonably. There is only one secret….Spend less than you earn. Save more than you spend. Because….

A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Benjamin Franklin

 

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Traveling Alone Tips

 

While traveling alone, your safety should be of prime concern. Awareness and a bit of street-smarts are the keys to safe and happy travels. Solo travel is fun, challenging, vivid, and exhilarating.tips for traveling alone for woman's

You see, the basic and most important point that you have to remember is; we are in fact women.We may be beautiful and intelligent, but unfortunately are the prey of many predators.

 

For example, you may have at some point of time or another faced problems of eve teasing.In other instances, you have either been pestered by men who want to get close or even some male relativeof your family.

To help you get the most out of a trip, here are quick

tips compiled from the advice of women who have

traveled alone.

Tips

Safety: To start with, you should learn to be responsible for yourself. So learn some self-defense mechanism and make yourself ready for extreme conditions.

Packing Light: You might be in love with your Gucci and Prada, but while traveling alone, make sure that you pack a bag, which you can lift. Asking for help with your luggage in some countries are a sure shot way of inviting thugs.

• Laws and Regulations: This tip is especially very important for women to travel to Islamic countries. Make yourself very thorough with the laws and rules, before you do something wrong and are locked in prison.

• Alienating People: Though this tip may not sound very inviting, take the cue and stop inviting strangers while traveling alone. Please remember that you are not in some movie, that you will meet someone through serendipity at an airport and get married that very night. Usually, chances are that you will be robbed and manhandled, if not worse.

Language: It is no rocket science that different nations speak different languages. Try and learn some of it from a manual, the basics at least. Or else, hire an interpreter cum guide who can show you around.

• Be careful about your personal Belongings: Traveling alone may make your nervous and vulnerable, especially for first timers. . Keep your passport, extra money, and other important documents tucked well So be on the guard and make sure that you keep your belongings in an orderly fashion.

• Attire: It is said…..when in Rome do as the Romans do. Make sure you dress properly and carry yourself with confidence. Wearing revealing clothes may put you in trouble. Wear simple, comfortable covered clothes so as to keep the predators away. A good thumb rule is to dress modestly.

• Exude confidence: If you are lost, walk into a shop or restaurant and ask for directions there. Try to avoid obviously looking at maps while you’re in the street. Best is, before you set out from your hotel, ask the concierge or other hotel staff for directions to the places you plan to visit each day.

• Don’t Carry Valuables: Leave all valuables, such as extra credit cards and jewelry, at home. Even costume jewelry poses an unnecessary risk to your safety, because most thieves are not jewelry experts and won’t know they’ve stolen costume pieces until after the crime has taken place.

• Use common sense: Common sense is perhaps the single best tip for staying safe includes the usual recommendations: don’t walk around late at night, don’t drink with strange men, don’t ride in empty compartments on trains, don’t compromise safety to save a few bucks on a hotel or transportation, and know how to use a pay phone. Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.

FAQsWomen traveling alone

• What kind of dresses should I pack?

Pack dresses, which are comfortable as well as befitting the location and the purpose.

• Do I need to keep a tab on my travel health insurance?

Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage for your trip abroad and that your coverage includes medical evacuations. If your policy does not cover you overseas, you may need to purchase supplemental traveler’s insurance.

• Should I keep medicines handy?

Make sure that you have medicines handy, especially if you are suffering from some ailment or if you are on regular medication.

• Which is best cash or credit cards?

To be fair, make sure that you have both in safe places so that the chances of being looted are less.

Smita’s Advice

Overall, I think that it best for women to travel in a very practical fashion, rather than being whimsical and suffering later on. The basics of traveling in any country are the same.

However, women should remember that wearing stilettos while traveling alone and having a bag that they can barely lift are no good.

How you present yourself can make the difference between a great time and an undesirable situation.

 

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Gaining Victory – Self Development

 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not Gaining Victoryour darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of god. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

What a glorious quote on self-esteem and it is one of my favourites too! We are not born to be cowards or to be slaves.

The definition of Self development according to the Oxford Dictionaries is, “the process by which a person’s character or abilities are gradually developed”.

Sadly, it is easy to live life in pint size, being submissive, being a non-entity and being just one drop among the massive crowd. I wonder why some people live like this, especially the whole world can be at one’s feet, when only one assert oneself; display one’s mightiness, knowledge and power to the world at large. I wonder why?

 

The following tips shall help you with the improvement of your self improvement and self esteem.

TIPS

  1. Self confidence in small doses: Plan a small self improvement component in your day today, like a firm handshake with your boss, looking someone directly in the eyes, speaking in a steady voice in an official meet, giving a presentation on an official matter, approach some one whom you are in awe of and talk to him in measured tones and well, choose what you want to do today. Anything in small measures but in added proportions on a daily basis shall help you in improving on your self development program.
  2. Plan for something bigger: Create a goal towards a bigger achievement, make a note of it, chart out a deadline and Plan for something biggerfollow through it till the end.  Move on to the next goal. Writing your goals down and keeping it around you in your wallet or bag and referring them time and again, shall help in reaching the goals well in time and with a firm resolution.
  3. Failure and Persistence: Persistence in achieving your goal shall improve on your self esteem. It’s ok to fail or to face hindrances and road block. Just try and do it. Michael Jordan said something amazing: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Overwhelming lesson here for anyone who is listening!
  4. Mistakes: Not all your endeavours will become a success. Learning from your mistakes shall help in avoiding the pitfalls at the next round.
  5. Weakness: Understand your weakness and accept it. Even lion has its weakness. It cannot run as fast as gazelles and cheetahs, though it is the King of the Jungle. Acknowledge your weakness firmly and progress despite your weakness by accepting it and adopting it for the better.
  6. Understand your real worth and not your imaginary low self esteem: You are generally worth more than you think you are. Ask your family and close friends.
  7. Survival: Learn to survive. Bowing down when there is a real need is acceptable as long as it does not become a habit.
  8. Expect Changes in your life: Just like the mice in the amazing book “Who Moved My Cheese?” always expect changes, accept changes, adopt well with them and move on.
  9. Faith: Have hope in your heart and faith in your abilities and the combination of the two shall proper you forward to achieve any goals of yours.
  10. Body Language: Improve on your verbal and non-verbal body language, because it speaks volumes to the others even better than the spoken words.
  11. Read inspirational stuff and watch inspirational videos like 212 The Extra Degree, Don’t Quit Poem, The Winning Movie, The Race Movie etc. These are just a handful few of thousands of inspirational stuff available all over the net. Make use of them and get propelled by such a firing squad.

FAQS

Q I had always suffered from low self esteem. Even though I would like to show some level of confidence in the Understand your real worthpublic, it just doesn’t happen. What to do?

Self Confidence doesn’t develop overnight. It shall have to be nurtured, practised and then shall have to be shown around in public. The above tips shall help you immensely in developing your self confidence.

Q I loose heart if I don’t achieve something after a few tries and leave it at that. Guess I shall have to practice persistence.

Well, your question has a component of an answer in it. It’s easy to loose heart. I wouldn’t blame you. That’s what most people do. But when you are on a path of self development, you should pursue what you had intended to do till the end. Isn’t it?

 

Smita’s Advice

It’s not difficult to gain back your confidence levels and killer instincts and become highly successful in whatever you do. So aspire to get inspired and confidently walk towards your goal and achieve victory in whatever you do.

We are born to achieve great things, to live life in full and should live “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high”, gratefully borrow from Rabindranath Tagore’s thoughts.

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Dining Etiquette and Table Manners

Having food with good mannered diners enhances our joy of food whether it is at our homes or out in the restaurants, our work place, cafeteria, parties etc.table manners

Eating with a knife or with the fingers; soiling the lips; using the fork or the fingers as a toothpick; making audible the process of mastication or of drinking; taking soup from the point of a spoon; lolling forward upon the table or with the elbows upon the table; soiling the cloth with what should be kept on the plate; in short, everything that is odd or coarse should nowhere be indulged in…”

How to Behave: The Etiquette of Society’ (1879)

General tips on dining etiquette, whether it is at home, at a party, office gathering or restaurant etc.

TIPS

1. At Home: Strict observation of the table manners should be made mandatory and should become a part of the dinning etiquettelearning process to the children in the family. They should be taught the intricacies of the dinning etiquette so that they will observe the rules when you go out as a family to restaurants, parties or even to a friends’ place.

2. Arranging Table: Whether it is for your family or to host a party at home, the table arrangement is the most important aspect of dinning etiquette.

a. Cover the table with a nice plain or a floral patterned table cloth.
b. Set a dinner plate in front of the chairs of your family members or the guests and place a folded napkin on the plate.
c. Place the forks to the left of the plate in such a way that the larger forks should be next the plate and the smaller salad forks should be on the outside of the line.
d. Place the dinner knife on the right of the plate and the spoons to the right of the knife.
e.Drinking glasses should be kept at the top right (above the silver ware) and coffee cup and sauce at the right  of the glasses.

3. Host Signal: If you are invited to a party, wait for the signal from your host to begin your dinner, unless you are compelled to start eating before her. Keep pace with your fellow diners. Wait for the entire table to be served before you begin eating.

4. Knife and Fork: The knife in right hand and fork in left hand is the popularknife and fork method of eating; however, there are few items that can be eaten with fork alone like some deserts etc.

5. Glass etiquette: Your water or beverage glass should be kept at the right side of your plate. After every use, replace your glass to the same place, so that the others may not use it by mistake.

6. Use of Napkins: Napkins are kept in a restaurant or in a party, so that you may use them. Spread the half folded napkin on your laps right from the beginning of the meals till the end. You may use it in between bites as and when required. Loosely fold your napkin (casually hiding the soiled portion) and return it back to the left side of your plate once your meal is over.

7. Manageable pieces of food: The food should be cut in eatable pieces and not in a big chunk,Manageable pieces of food which will make it difficult for you to bite and chew in front of the other diners.

8. Quantity of Food: If you are in a party or in a group, do not rush to stand in the food line and don’t fill your plate with food in abundance.  You may always go for a couple of more helpings and hence, take an average quantity of food at one time than burdening your place with a lot of stuff at once. It may also help you in avoiding the spilling of food on your clothes or on the others.

9. Eat, not talk: Talking while the mouth is full of food should be avoided at any cost. In the same way, swallow your food before you sip or drink from your glass.

10. Avoid noises: The eating noises, the noise of the food utensils, the noise of burping etc. should be avoided while having dinner with other people. The noise of trying to cool your food when it is hot should also be avoided.

11. Body Language: Do not frown or crease your forehead, if you are unhappy with some of the other diners. Do not make face if the food takes a long time to arrive or arrives in scarce quantities. Do not focus only on one person; talk to every one. Smile once and smile often.

12. Like it or not: You may not like the food being served at a friend’s place or in a party;unwanted food you may even be on a dietary control plan. However, pretend to eat a bit of everything. The host may not be aware of your liking or otherwise. Even if you feel that the food is not well cooked or not made up to the mark, do not ever criticize the host.

13. Take Help: Ask to pass on any food items from the others, if it is not reachable for you. It is far better than your trying to reach the utensils by stretching across and disturbing the other diners.

14. Conversation: Make light conversations while the dining is on; keep clear of controversial subjects like religion. If subject doesn’t happen to come up then refrain from getting into debate. Just nod politely and smile, irrespective of whether you agree or not. Your mobiles should be kept in vibration mode or should be switched off, so that the dining table conversation shall not get disturbed. You should eat in a relaxed pace in sync with your fellow diners.

15. Placing a order: If you are invited for a sit down dinner to a restaurant, try not to order the most extravagant items on the menu unless host recommends. Do keep in mind dining sensibilities of fellow dinners. If rest of the table is vegetarians, don’t order meat. Order alcohol only if everyone else does.

FAQS

Q I am always at a loss when I have to make a light conversation with a group of diners. Nor I am a conversation starter. It’s a real handicap for me at times when I have been invited to parties. How to party etiquetteimprove on my problem?

It’s not that hard really! You may look around at the people in the party and locate the familiar faces first and may talk to them. People would love to answer you if you show interest in others. But do not go overboard. People may take your casual queries into something serious.

You may talk about the soft music and the candles, praise a bit about your host, the food and the drinks, the party atmosphere etc.In all probabilities, you may get introduced to some one new and the chain might go on. It is better to talk about the general topics or common interests with a new acquaintance.

Q Sometimes I drop some food or spill water while serving myself. How should I tackle such an embarrassing situation?

If you happen to have a small accident at the table, don’t panic. It happens to the best of us. Stay calm, apologise and excuse yourself from the table. Go to the serving station and request them to attend to the situation, while you get yourself cleaned up.

Smita’s Advice

It is quite important for us to observe the table manners as we would expect the others to do so.

Little bit of dining etiquette will serve us well. It’s not that tough, really!

Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential.

Will Cuppy

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The Homemaker

The All-Pervasive One!

Sometimes I wonder at a normal happening in a household; the husband comes home from work, most probablyThe Teacher at home switch on the TV while having his tea and relax. The children come home; eat, play and relax. The other family members have their space for work and relaxation and the so-called ‘home maker?’

Her ‘work at home’ starts early in the morning; she works when her husband is away at his work. She works when her husband comes home from his work. She works when her children are away at their studies. She works when her children come home from school or college. She works when the other family members are at home or away from home.

Her ‘work at home’ ends neither with the end of the day nor with the end of the work and play of the family members!

Sometimes, I wonder as how to call such a hard working woman?

Some people even call her as a “housewife”; making me to further wonder as to whether she is the wife of her husband or she is the wife of  all the material and immaterial things at her house as well!

At times, even her own family members make her to feel that she is JUST a housewife and NOT a working woman! From when on a home maker does not work? What a thankless job it could ever be?

However, if you are a HOMEMAKER, you should sit straight and stand tall, because you are the person around whom your family orbits about, just like planets orbiting around the mighty Sun.

Certain important tips to make you to realize your great value despite being the common factor in your family:

TIPS

1. Feel Proud of Being a Home Maker: Home doesn’t make itself; you make the home to run. If you are a homeMulti-tasking Housewife maker, first and foremost, you should respect yourself and you should feel proud of yourself. The whole universe of your family revolves around you. You are the sacrifice factor, the saviour, the Queen, the Servant, the Comfort factor and all these roles rolled into one for your family!

2. You are Courageous: Realize your worth.

Realize that you are the most courageous person the world had ever encountered and you have no idea about that! True, you haven’t scaled the mountains. You haven’t crossed the desert or walked through the jungle.

However, realize that you have shown the courage to trust some one you have known only for a few months to a few years and had gotten married to him; you had gone on willingly with him to make a home, leaving behind the people you had loved and lived with for decades.

It takes more courage to leave everything behind to venture into an unknown territory called the life with a companion! It takes more courage than driving the Formula1 car or taking the venom out of a cobra!

Realize that you are more courageous than most of the people and be proud of yourself!

3. Multi-tasking: Understand, that you don’t realize the amount of work you put in, to make the lives of your family the most comfortable; you cook, clean, wash, tidy the home, make the children ready for school or help the grown ups to get ready; you help your husband in all the ways possible, do shopping, surprise family with gifts, take care of the guests and more!

Feel good about your multi tasking capabilities and you are never less than any one in the world!

4. Self-Confidence: Realize your worth! You are worth more than what you think you are worth of! You have more self confidence than the rest of the world.

You take care of the day to day issues and problems most comfortably without rushing into your family for solace; you take care of the issues at your children’s school and at their college; you handle the price rise and the shortage in your budget magnanimously. You work out a solution for the problems of your husband, as and when there is a need be!

You stand by your friends for their moral support and you extend invitations to even those guests whom you may not like personally, but still take care of them genuinely.

You attend classes and courses, when necessary and possible; you come out with flying colours in the trainings as well. You learn a new recipe and make it effortlessly. You help with the home work of your children comfortably. You manage the people around your home nicely and you manage the people in the outside wonderfully well too.

Realize that you are some one to be reckoned with and walk with a straight back and with a smiling face!

FAQS

Q. Recently, I had been introduced to a friend of my children by my children as their mom and when asked what I was doing, they said carelessly, “Oh! She is just a housewife!”

I felt so hurt and uncomfortable in front of all. How one’s own family doesn’t understand one’s value? How can I ever make them to understand how much I have done for them and would go on to do for them, despite being a ‘housewife’?

It feels sad that one’s own family doesn’t understand one’s value. In a way, the home maker is responsible for such thinking in her family. She goes on sacrificing her comforts, her health and her life without any limit; she becomes an unpaid servant to her family, willing to be ordered around by all.

She appoints herself as the sentry, the cook and the waiter, the washer and the iron woman, the maid servant, an assistant, the decorator, the dusting woman and much more.Drying of Clothes

When someone gives so much of oneself, it is natural that the others would take her for granted.

You should stop being taken for granted. You should make your family to share, at least to a certain extent, your household work. Your husband should be made to understand that reading newspapers or watching TV does not come under sharing the household work.

Your children should be made to understand that they should be able to do their own work instead of depending upon you for a glass of water or for bringing a pen, pencil or their notebooks to them. They should be asked to make up their beds and clean up their rooms.

The moment you start asserting yourself in front of your family, they shall start looking at you in a different light. Not just a housewife, but the Wife and their Mom, who should be respected and not to be ordered around by them; a person who plays a vital role in their lives and take care of their well-being without expecting anything in return.

You should start claiming your own space and should command your own personal time to take care of yourself; your health and well being!

The more you respect yourself and show command on the others, the more they will understand that you are not ‘just the housewife’; you are the power behind their success, health and well-being!

Smita’s Advice

So, the readers, the next time, when someone introduces you to a “house wife”, don’t raise your eyebrows with a fleeting glance of disapproval and think, “Oh, just a housewife?” Instead, think that “Wow! She is The Home Maker!”

She makes house a Home!

 

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Be Witty and Be Humorous !

 

Good sense of humour?

Have you ever watched, Seinfeld?” (1989-1998) God, You should!Good sense of humour

A series on sense of humour having mixed with a lot of common sense and sensibility! Having a good sense of humour about the day to day life and happenings with a quotient of intelligence, just like Jerry has; such a sense of humour speaks volumes about your upscale character, brilliance in thinking, your capacity of observation on your surroundings, being alert in your mind and stuff like that!

(Jerry) Seinfeld was not just a comedy series; it was much more than that! It had proved that the comedy can be effortlessly used for the application on to the day to day circumstances. When it was over, I felt a personal loss at it!


A few tips for you to keep your humour intact with a slice of wit mixed with it:

 

TIPS

Dinner AnecdotesAlong with your delicious dishes, treat your family to humorous anecdotes from your day. Make your family to share their bits and pieces of incidences of humour and smile with you. It will train them to take their days with a measure of sugar and not just a pinch of salt!

Innocence in Humour: When you bring humour into your conversation, you should be sensitive to the feelings ofInnocence in Humour others; your being humour should not hurt, humiliate or insult the others, who may or may not even be present at that point of time. Words run around, circle across and shall get back to you with vicious response from the affected party. Keep your humour innocent and harmless, which should create smiles but not hurts to the others.

Steer Clear of Bad Humour: People do not enjoy being depreciated even if what is being said is “supposed to be for fun”. Steer clear of mentioning of race, religion, colour of skin, age, weight, differently challenged person etc. Bad humour is worse than no humour at all!

Self Depreciation works wonders: Rather deserved self depreciation works wonders! If you are heading a team, a department or a company and if you use humour in a light vein and in a self depreciating manner at your work, people will understand that it is being said to make them smile and does not mean anything more than that!

Differentiate the use of your words: There is a difference between humour and sarcasm: whereas humour lifts people up, sarcasm is used to put people down. Never use the later. People won’t like to be associated with you.

Localise your Humour: Localise your humour streak; include the local situations, environments, local politics, weather, films etc. while talking to people. Most people may not be familiar with what’s happening outside of their hemisphere! Take the case of Google (It’s actually the name of a village in Karnataka, India where they don’t have the internet connection!) Well, you can’t Google in Google!

If you have friends who understand and enjoy your joke on something like this, don’t loose them. Being witty with intelligent people is really something! It’s like watching Seinfeld or looking at the Amul advertisement on a hoarding!

Amul advertisement often changes with relevance to the current news; it not only makes you to smile but also make you to think while you are looking at the golden yellow Amul butter and the cute Amul child on the hoarding. Amazing!

 

Difference between plain Gossip and great Humour:

Difference between plain Gossip and great Humour

Whereas gossip hurts people down, humour lifts people up. Learn the difference between these two. In a group of gossip mongers, you may not be able to indulge in a wit of innocence. Better to leave such people to their gossip.

Smile:

Above all, smile: smile is at the neighbourhood of the humour and it leads the herd, while humour parades its mightiness.

 

FAQS

Q. I am a sort of a serious person; I can never crack jokes easily like my colleagues at my work or some of my friends. It does not mean that I don’t want to make people laugh spontaneously. I am just like that. Sometimes, I feel left out, when all the other women are smiling and laughing and having a whale of a nice time. I am unable to come out of my nutshell. Is there anyway by which I can develop being humorous, at least to a certain extent?

Sure. There are a lot many training programs available on this score; both on line and off line.There are management people who may train you on this and there are personality development companies who do the job of helping you out on this score. You just need to search for a course according to your suitable timings, location etc.

 

Q I don’t like if somebody crack jokes on me? How can I become more sporting and take it in positive spirit?

Good humour helps in the lightening of our day to day problems and issues. It’s better to live with a smile rather than with a frown.

Humour shows the class of a person; good people indulge in a harmless humour and vicious people indulge in gossip and black humour.

Smita’s Advice

Having a good sense of humour and being witty can take you places, provided you use it to your advantage by making people laugh with you and not at you!

Be good, so that you will get better!

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Singing & playing instruments

Singing & playing instruments: an appreciation for and the Miracle of Music

 

Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”

- Anonymous Art of Singing

Sometimes, when I hear Mozart or the piano music of Chopin, Vivaldi’s four seasons, amazing pieces of country, blue or bluegrass music, something amazing happens to my whole being. A sort of electricity runs over the skin, tears well up in my eyes and the world stops bothering me.

Such an appreciation for the music happens to all of us, may be in different genre of music. You may love rap, folk songs, film songs, bhangra, fusion, tribal, jazz or reggae, hip-hop or rock, devotional songs, bhajans or rap and rock…it just doesn’t matter, as long as you listen to something and is being soothed by the miracle of music and songs.

Becoming one with the music slows down your heart beat, relaxes your mind and is one of the finest therapies for your physical and mental discomforts. Your projects and deadlines, the traffic and the work timings, the hurts and pains, everything stops matters. What matters is the singer or the instrumental music you are listening to, along with your melted heart and blurred eye sight!

Kishore Kumar never had the formal training in music and see, how he had performed his songs? There was such a stupendous joy in his voice while singing that we love to hear him again and again.

TIPS

 

A few general tips on Music and Singing:

1. Never too late: It’s never late to start your singing career, if you are sure of your talent.

Susan Boyle was 47 years and was unemployed, when she had entered the stage of Britain Got Talent; both the judges and the audience had laughed at her looks and her unsophisticated way of responding to the judges.And then the miracle had happened!

She had started singing, and boy oh boy, the whole audience including the judges had erupted into a frenzied happiness in appreciation of her voice; their enthusiasm and appreciation hadn’t stopped even after she had completed her song. What a performance from some one that modest and that simple and didn’t even know how to respond to the judges on a public platform?

If you have talent and want to showcase your talent, use every chance at performance in front of an audience.

2. Oral Hygiene: To maintain a spectacular voice, it is important to maintain your vocal health; keep your vocal tips on Music and Singingchords, teeth, lips, tongue and chest in a healthy condition. Keep away from cool drinks and ice creams. Do not eat butter, milk, cheese and the likes a few minutes before the actual performance, as they may create a gluey film over your vocal chords. Drink plenty of water, which will help to keep your vocal area hydrated.

3. Select your Niche: Just because you admire a singer a lot, do not try to copy his songs and his way of singing. Country could be your specialization and just because you love the voice of a hip hop singer, do not try to mimic or copy him and his songs. It wouldn’t work that way. You have to excel in what you are specialized in.

4. Take care of your voice: That’s your million dollar asset. Exercise your throat opening, exercise your breathing and do warm up exercise on your voice before you actually start singing. Use warm water gargling. Hot tea and pepper milk helps in softening your voice. Avoid screaming or talking in loud voices. Use soft tones while talking. Don’t smoke.

5. Take the help of others: Sing before your Guru/Trainer and other singers known to you and ask for their help in correcting the faults in your music. You may even record your voice and listen to it carefully to find out your own faults.

6. Practice: Practice helps you in finding out your own limitations in singing. Practice helps you in getting you both mentally and vocally ready for your performance. Practice helps you in averting the stage fright. Practice with a smile will help you to win over your audience. Practice makes a person perfect!

 

A few general tips for playing music instruments:

1. Right material composition: Choice of the instrument made of the right materials is the most important part tips for playing music instrumentsthat would help you to play your instrument without hitch and with conviction.

2. Maintenance: Oiling, tuning and proper fingering of your instrument shall help you in playing your instrument smoothly. Learning the parts and parcel of the instrument shall help you in identifying the problem areas for correction.

3. Positioning: Whether you are standing, sitting or walking around, keeping your instrument well positioned according to your comfortably and comfort playing position is an important aspect of playing a music instrument. Get used to it right from the beginning of learning.

4. Practice: Practice with your instrument shall help you to be one with it and to feel absolutely comfortable in playing it in front of your audience. Treat your instrument as an extension of your arms.

5. Body Language: Show a lot of confidence and smile greatly in front of the audience. Smile can camouflage even a mistaken note or two.

FAQS

Q. Though I am a singer by choice, I am also working for my livelihood. I don’t find enough time for practice and it affects my performance. How to solve this issue?

 It’s great that you are a singer by choice: The quality of practice counts and not the amount of practice. The psychology says that a mindful of practice counts more than the mindless of practice in singing.As minimal as 15-20 minutes of practice shall do if you are young and 30-45 minutes of deliberate and totally involved practice shall do if you are an adult.

If you can, you may do a couple or more of short sessions in practice, rather than one long and strenuous session of practice every day.Warm up before the practice.

Q How important is correct breathing for singing?

Breathing is among the most essential components in the art of singing. Potential musicians should learn how to breathe deeply and evenly from the diaphragm through taking deep and long breathes that helps to improve voice building, resonance and voice control. Deep breathing facilitates holding of notes for longer durations, especially the longer ones.

There are sometimes when you will be required to sing long sentences without breaking. The only way to attain this goal would be through practicing the art of deep breathing. Through engaging in deep breathing exercises for at least 10 minutes per day, you can greatly improve you’re your singing ability.

 

Smita’s Advice

Music doesn’t see your attire, your status, your looks and your mannerism. Music is what it is! If you can sing or play an instrument in the finest of fine way possible, you can mesmerize the audience.

You love the music and music will love you right back! You appreciate it and it will bestow you with calm and peacefulness, happiness and joy beyond bounds and boundaries.

Plato had aptly described the beauty of music:

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

So True!

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How to be Street-Smart

How to be streat smart

Street smartness according to the Free Dictionary is, “…having the shrewd resourcefulness needed to survive in an urban environment…showing mental alertness and calculation and resourcefulness”.

TIPS

1. Dress to blend in any given locality. It will be easy to move about freely and will be much safer as well if you will look like the rest of the folks.

2. Be  knowledgeable about the neighbourhood: You don’t need to be a Google Map, but should have a general knowledge about the general neighbourhood to skip quickly to a safer area when the need arises.

3. When you dress like them, be like them : Look natural, don’t look people in the eyes on the streets, don’t smile at any one, don’t look at anything in awe and in wonderment, which others may ignore, don’t answer to people’s queries, if they look threatening, don’t be friendly with any strangers, well, look natural!

4. Someone follows: When some one follows you or tries to talk to you and when you feel uneasyTips on being street smart about it, try to blend in with a group which is walking close by you and where women are present and walk with them, asking casual queries about something, anything. If not possible, seek out a senior person or some one with a child and start talking to them. Leave as soon as you can without attracting the attention of your pursuer. If a guy is chasing you or passing comments on you, its better to ignore.

5. Life threatening situation: If any one threatens you with a knife or a gun for your bag or wallet, just handover the things to him while raising an alarm. Run away from there. You can always file FIR for your things and block your mobile number, credit and debit cards etc later.

6. Street Fights: On the onset of any street fights, strike or violence, leave the locality immediately and reach a safe place to safeguard your own interests.

 

FAQS

Q What is the difference between being street smart and having a common sense?being street smart

Street smartness is an unsophisticated type of common sense; rather common sense is the sophisticated form of street smartness.

Q I sometimes feel awkward, gawky and it is not easy for me to start a conversation or to participate willingly into it. I am a highly qualified person and still it happens. How to avoid things like this?

There is no basic connection between being street smart and being highly qualified. Rather uneducated people are more street smart than the educated people, because for them being smart is their means of survival. However, learn to work beyond your education and keep your mind open to the others. A broad smile on your face, a courteous call to someone, helping other when there is an emergency, talking in such a way not to cause pain to the listeners etc. shall help you to gain the confidence of others and you will soon be in their friends’ map.

 

Smita’s Advice

Being street smart is realistic with an unbeatable knowledge and an experience in the worldly ways whenever there is a need. . It’s an important skill for women and cannot be learnt from formal education.

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Dress to Impress

“ Beauty is ten, nine of which is dressing’

Few days ago, I came across an article on the internet about celebrities who have aPower Dressing bad sense of dressing. The article beautifully illustrated that no matter how rich you are, sense of proper dressing and style is something that comes from within and cannot be bought. Our dressing sense is an inalienable part of our appearance. A wrong dress in a wrong place can invite mockery which none of us would ever like to be subject to.

Everyone likes to look good and fashionable clothes add just the right touch of glamour to one’s personality and create a sense of personal style. Over years, women clothing has seen an upward trend; new and innovative designs targeted and made fashion an irresistible force that has taken modern world by a storm.

Our clothes make a statement about us; no doubt we take it so seriously. Appropriate dressing is an art that must be acquired if you are not too good at it. We dress up differently for different occasions. Each occasion demands a certain style of dressing. For instance, formal clothes looks good in work places, interviews, and conferences and are not expected to be worn on picnics and Sunday brunches. One thing must be remembered that there is a time and place for each dress we wear. Do you go to bed in a party dress or attend a wedding in a sleeping suit?

The answer of course is NO!

Hence, there are certain things which must be remembered if you are to dress up properly for an occasion.

TIPS

A perfect fit: While choosing clothes always make sure you keep in mind your height, complexion, body shape and size. A beautiful but oversized dress can ruin your entire look. Thus your dress should neither be too loose nor too tight but just the right fit. If you are bulky you should avoid body-hugging and loose dresses. While the former make your body shape prominent, the latter make you look fatter.

Colours: Women’s clothes are available in array of colours. Its good to experiment with different shades but every woman has her special colour that brings out the best in her. Know the colour or shades that will accentuate your features and will sit well with your complexion.

Prints: You should wear prints that suit your figure type. Some women are apple shape while others are pear, hourglass or a tube shape. Know your shape and buy clothes accordingly. For ex: a tall women should not wear vertical stripes Similarly if a woman is on the short or plump, she should wear vertical prints that takes away attention from the body weight and makes her look slimmer.

Accessories: Thankfully the market is flooded with variety of accessoriesdesigner red handbags to choose from and make you look chic and glamorous. Common accessories include jewelry, belts, scarves, hats, shades,watches, bags etc. Whether you are going for an office meeting or a night out with your friends, accessories create the desired effect effortlessly. Complement your dress with statement accessories, such as, a classic hand-bag or a watch, modern pair of shoes, a blend of your old and new necklace to articulate your eccentricity and traits.

Shoes: No look or attire is complete without shoes. A few good pairs can be worn with multiple dresses. Stilettoes spell confidence in a woman and no wonder they take women’s fancy instantly.  Your shoes are as important as your dress; they speak a great deal about you. Hence always choose them with care and ensure they are comfortable.

General Grooming and Make up: Make-up is one thing that cannot be overlooked. Grooming and make-up plays a vital role in accomplishing the right look. Your make-up doesn’t have to be very professional. Buy make-up that will suit your skin tone. There is nothing more beautiful than healthy and supple skin of a woman. Go for regular manicures and pedicures.

Hair: In fact, a right hair-cut can make you look five years younger. Ask your stylist to give a hair cut that suits the shape of your face. Use a good conditioner to moisturize your strands. Styling your hair with some fashion hair accessories will be good for parties and casual get-together.

Occasion: Dress for the occasion. In case of client meeting, formals are must. If the occasion is not strictly related to business, then you can take some liberty. At the same time, ensure your outfit is sophisticated and apt for the occasion. to choose from and make you look chic and glamorous. Common accessories include jewelry, belts, scarves, hats, shades,watches, bags etc. Whether you are going for an office meeting or a night out with your friends, accessories create the desired effect effortlessly. Complement your dress with statement accessories, such as, a classic hand-bag or a watch, modern pair of shoes, a blend of your old and new necklace to articulate your eccentricity and traits.

 

FAQS

Q. How can I use accessories to make my frame look slimmer?art of dressing

Use broad belts and tie them around the waist. This will make your frame look slender and take away the attention of weight from your body.

Q. How to buy jewelry to match with my dresses?

Chunky pieces of jewelry go well on plain dresses but with dresses that have heavy prints or patterns, wear subtle ornaments that wouldn’t overshadow the effect of your gear.

Q. How can I buy make-up that suits my skin tone?

Many big stores employ beauty sales professionals that help you choose the right make up. Seek their help and ask them to apply it on you to see if it’s going well on your complexion.

Q. I am not very bulky but my arms are fat. What should I wear?

Sleeveless dresses must always be avoided if your arms are fat or have chicken wings. Three quarter sleeves might just be the perfect choice for you.

Q. How to dress-up for a casual party?

You can dress casually in denims or khakis  that can be paired with a cool T-shirt or a bright colored top. Also, a pretty skirt that is paired with a tank-top and a nice jacket is a good choice. You can even wear a cute casual dress or a maxi. Wear light make up and comfortable shoes. You are all set to go!

Q. I keep having business meeting in monsoons. What should be a correct way of dressing in monsoons?

Wearing correct kind of clothes in monsoon is a task in itself. Its important to look professional and feel comfortable. Do away with your leather shoes and bags. Instead opt for ballerina flats or jelly shoes. Carry water proof bag. Wear light blended fabrics as they are wrinkle free and easy to dry. Avoid wearing light colours. Avoid silks. A classic trench coat teamed with formal shirt and trousers will also look good.Damp atmosphere makes hair frizzy. Try to keep them tied in ponytail or bun.

Smita’s Advice

Dressing is an art that every woman interprets in her own way. Fashion merely accentuates what you already have. Create your own personal style because there is nothing more unique than bringing your individuality into your dressing.

Whatever you wear you must be confident enough to carry that properly. Remember, your dress is your attitude! So, Dress to Impress!

A famous designer, Cecil Beaton said The truly fashionable are beyond fashion’’

 

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How To Stay Fit

 

Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

                                     – Edward Stanleyhow to stay fit

The Medical Dictionary, Free Dictionary talks about Physical Fitness as,

“…state of physiologic well being that is achieved through a combination of good diet, regular physical exercise, and other practices that promotes good health”.

Maintaining one’s health and being physically fit helps in fighting innumerable diseases including that of obesity, cardiac problems, diabetics, high blood pressure etc and keep you hale and healthy to a great extent.However, most people start their fitness regime with all the enthusiasm in the world and after a couple of months or even earlier on, they loose their interest on it and find excuses for not getting into a regular physical exercise program. It is not so difficult to maintain one’s well being and there are easier ways to do so too.

Stressed and unfit, with no time for gym?

Just read the following:

TIPS

  1. Modification in your lifestyle:Tips for staying fit
    1. Never skip your breakfast
    2. Stop eating junk food and drinking carbonated drinks
    3. Drink a lot of water
    4. Stop smoking, period!
    5. Variety in food is a must
    6. Add fruits and milk and subtract coffee and tea from your diet.
  2. Exercise: Exercise is a must if you want to be physically fit. All you need to do is to exercise at least five days a week.
  3. Exercise can even be done in short spells. You may do exercise for ten minutes each throughout your day. Want to know how?

Play with your children, do skipping, dance along with a dance program in your TV, use stairs instead of lift at work, take a short but brisk walk, reduce the use of car for the short distances, walk the dog, clean the floors, gardening etc.

4. Means of Exercise:

    a. Daily walks in the park, in and around your society or  you feel comfortable with.

    b. Yoga: Depending upon your age, 15 minutes to 1 hour shall do.

    c. Pranayam: (breathing exercise) also depending upon your age, 15 minutes to 1 hour.

    d. Other activities: walking, jogging, swimming, biking etc.

    e. Aerobics: Low  intensity and vigorous aerobics exercises, depending upon the physical ailments, age    and on the advice of the doctors.

    f. Strength Training Exercises: Can be done at least twice a week

 5. Play Sports: Get into playing regular games: Playing games like basket ball, base ball, cricket, foot ball, tennis,  olley ball etc. is an enjoyable form of exercise.

6. Practice Martial Arts: Depending on your interest, you may even learn and practice Karate, Tai chi, Tae Kwon Do etc.

7. Location of your home and the Country: Depending upon the location of your home, you may even indulge in adventure sports like hiking, ice skating, skiing, back packing, trekking etc.

8. A Word Of Caution: Always consult your doctor before you start any strenuous exercise program. Your doctor shall be able to help you in chalking out your fitness regime

9. Stay-at-home fitness: Take stairs instead of lift, use chair as support for leg lifts, lift water bottle to tone arms muscles. You can use your towel as a resistance band.

FAQS

fitness tips for women

Q Can I combine more than one exercise at one point of time?

As I am not aware of your age, body composition and health condition, your doctor shall be the best advisor on this. Always take the advice of your doctor before you start your fitness regime.

Q I am not very slim, still lazy to do everyday workouts. What can I do to improve myself ? Some practical and easy to follow guidelines which can help me without effecting much of my daily routine.

To begin with, be happy with your body. Don’t slouch. Do light, but regular exercise. Never go for crash diet or skip meals or completely avoid anything. Eat everything in moderation, even chocolates. Eat small meals at frequent intervals. Drinking alcohol and smoking is harmful, so avoid. Drinking warm water after every meal is also helpful.

Q What is the most effective way of monitoring my diet?

Understand that your diet should be dependent on all aspects of your lifestyle- age, height, weight, medical history,nature of work,etc. The most effective way of monitoring your diet is maintaining a diary, where you write the quantity and time of consumption. Be honest to yourself when you maintain this diary.

Smita’s Advice

Don’t lie down, sit; don’t sit, stand and don’t stand, walk. Finally, don’t walk, run! Just be active whenever you can and wherever you can. Idle body and idle mind is not a fertile ground for hale and healthiness. Be Active !

 

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Dating – Do’s and Don’ts

 

  There are a lot of people who call you by name.But there is only one person who can make it so damn special”.

                                                        —Anonymousinternet dating dos and donts

A woman goes on a date hoping to find that one person whose calling of her name could seem so damn special;that’s why she gets excited when she gets fixed up on a date. She discusses it with her family, her friends and if possible, with her colleagues and neighbours, on the web and with the world!

 

TIPS

 

Certain Do’s of Dating:-

 

 1. Confidence: Walk with casual confidence in his presence, even if you are all clamed up inside your heart.Wear the best attire possible and that would give you confidence. Walk with measured steps and that would give you confidence. Men get impressed with the confident women.

2. Feel Comfortable: Wear comfortable dress, comfortable shoes and carry comfortable accessories. Concentrate on your date and not on managing your dress, shoes,hair or your accessories.

first date tips for women

4. Observe: Nurse a glass as long as you can, (without indulging too much in alcohol) talk smoothly, take in on his body language, the subject of his interests, his manner of responding to your queries etc. and gather an impression on him. This will help you to take a decision on the further course of your dating.

5. Wrap up: If you end up liking him, you could casually ask about meeting him another time; you could show your interest even by sending across sms or a short message. If you don’t like to continue with him, say a short goodbye and thank him for the nice date and leave it at that. Making promises to meet him again but not responding to his calls does not come under the dating etiquette.

6. You are late for date: Anything more than 15mins is rude. So, if you are getting late make sure you call and inform about your delay. Avoid texting.

 Certain Don’ts of Dating:-

1. Judging on the outset is wrong: Don’t make the mistake of judging your date by his outward appearance. Don’t show displeasure on your face and on body language. It could send out a wrong signal to him. With progress in time, you might find him to be far better attired in his heart; better attired with kindness, calm, caring and courtesy. Be pleasant to your date whatever
your first impression is.

2. Choose to response: No need to respond to ALL his queries. If you feel you don’t want to respond to a couple of questions,  smile, change the topic, ask a question to divert his attention and move on. You are not bound to answer all his questions and dating is not being interrogated in the immigration office.

3. Don’t probe: If he does not want to discuss about a subject don’t probe further.Change the subject and give      him space to recover. He would appreciate your courtesy.

4. Answer truthfully: Do not answer to please him. Answer truthfully to his questions. It might not be a one time dating. It could develop into something meaningful and at that point of time, the lies you said earlier on could come back to haunt you.

5. Craving for attention: Don’t crave for your date’s attention. Sit relaxed and look around occasionally. There is nothing wrong to hang on to his words and respond nicely. You don’t need to hang on to him, as though he is the only solution to all your problems.

6. Regrets: Do not indulge overtly in drinking; do not do anything that you may regret later.

7. Talk natural: Do not ask prepared and rehearsed questions to keep your conversation going; your date will      eventually notice that.

8. Show interest: Let your conversation flows and not set strictly in a module. Show a lot of interest in the interests      of your date. Smile and laugh when he cracks jokes. Poor chap; he could also be nervous and could be trying hard to please you and trying to keep the conversation interesting. At least during the dating stage, “Men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus!”

Dating Tips

9. Skip talking about other men: It would be better if you wouldn’t talk about other men, famous or otherwise with your date. He has come to meet you and talk with you and not to listen to your talking about the other men!

10. Don’t spill the food: Handle your glass carefully and avoid spilling drinks or food on his attire or on your dress.By any chance if you spill a drink or drop food on your date, apologise profusely, offer to pay for laundry and get some tissues.

11. Limited use of washroom: Do not nervously walk to and fro to the wash room; you won’t be giving a good impression on your date.

12. Don’t bad mouth your date: Even if you do not like to date your date further, do not ever talk derogatorily about him to your group of people. Words have a way of spreading across the air and reaching the wrong person at the wrong time.

13. Online dating/Blind dates: Don’t share any personal information till you develop trust. Considering the fact that you have no knowledge of your date’s personality, be careful when meeting for the first time. Decide to meet only at some public place. Try to find out as much about your date as you can via social networking sites, etc.

 

FAQS

Q. There is someone in my friend’s group I had always wanted to date; however, when I see him in person, I am unable to muster the courage to talk to him. How to go about it?

A. He may be unaware of your interest in him or may be too shy to initiate the talks; there is no harm in asking him out for a cup of coffee. If you people are really serious, the rest shall take care of itself!

Q. What if I run into my ex while I am with my current date?

A. If you have just had a break-up or things didn’t ended on cordial note, running into your ex could be awkward for both you. Always keep a back-up venue in mind, so that you can leave unnoticed. If your ex has already spotted you then politely make a few second conversation.

 Smita’s Advice

The most important aspect of dating is to feel relaxed despite being excited. Dating is not a job interview; it is much more than that. It’s a life interview. You may pass and get on to the next stage; fail and get out of his sights.

Even if your dating doesn’t work as expected, just remember:

“…someday everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason”

- Anonymous.

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HouseKeeping – How to keep house clean

 

How to keep house clean?

Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door”A good home must be made, not bought

                                                  – Marcelene Cox.

Housekeeping in general terms, indicates the need for the house to be kept in a pleasantly functional form,including dusting, cleaning, washing, organizing, decorating, maintenance and repairs, payment of the bills and shopping; well,

it is a never ending, repetitive and thankless job on the one hand, and full of love for the family and completely dedicated job on the other hand!

Even the God Particle may not be able to find a suitable and all powerful solution for a pleasant home all the time!

There are TV shows, dedicated magazines, news paper columns, and books that talk specifically about housekeeping all over the place. There are numerous house keeping courses and at any point of time, you may discuss housekeeping with your friends and family.

Just a few tips to make the housekeeping easier and not to feel like, “being caught in revolving doors”

TIPS

1. Clean your house in anyway: You can spring clean your house, speed clean your house, maintenance clean your house, odour clean your house or slow clean your house; just clean your house. That is the basis of      housekeeping!

2. Schedule Dusting: Apart from the regular dusting, a scheduled dusting should be done on the photo frames, ceilings and fans, air conditioners and other electrical and electronics devices, inside the furniture, doors and windows including the window sills, carpets etc. Rather you should clean such things which you see on a      routine basis but don’t clean on a routine basis.

3. Young children at home: If you have young children at home, plug in all the plug points all over your house.

4. Learn to switch off: When not in use, switch off all the fans, lights, electrical appliances, mobile chargers, laptop   chargers and stuff like.

5. On Finances: Budget your expenses and do your shopping on the discount days in the departmental stores. Avoid  shopping in bits and pieces in the local shops, except on emergency.

6. Salt, the Star: While on finances, make your salt a bit of a star. It helps you in so many ways. Add some common salt in the water before you start mopping your home; salt has got the ability to observe negative and low energy from your house, leaving the energy fresh and positive. The ordinary salt can also be used to remove grease from pot and pan, from on top of the gas stove, to remove rust and wine stains, to remove tea or coffee stains from the glass and more.

7. To save time: To save time, you can even order your requirements on the net and use the door step services of Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving doorthe e-shopping websites; if you could compare the site prices, you will discover the best site that gives you better discounts, refunds and door delivery      services.

8. Leftover Food: Learn to make unique recipes with your leftover food, so that you save your budget by not wasting your food, but also serve your family with good, healthy alternatives.

9. Organize: Get yourself organized. There should be a difference between the bedroom, kids’ room, dinning room, laundry and kitchen etc. So many times, the toys are scattered around in the reception, people have their bed-fast in their bedroom and not breakfast; sometimes, pillows can be seen outside the bedroom and vegetables are being cut in the balcony etc. When there is a proper place for proper things in a proper room, the things should be kept accordingly.

10. Organizing Schedule: Instead of trying to do everything everyday, it’s better to draw up a schedule on organizing your  home, ex: Wednesday, your kids’ rooms, Thursday your garage etc. and stick to the schedule like a stamp on an envelope.

11. Clean the refrigerator: The refrigerator should be cleaned out on a routine basis. The food should not be kept for a long time; either eat it or throw it. Minimize the waste of food at all times.

12. Give away to charity: Once in six months or once in a year at least, the house should be thoroughly checked for unwanted clothes and stuff, and should be given away to charity or in donations. It shall remove your unwanted clutter and shall also be useful to other less fortunate people

13. Prevent pests and bugs: Draw up an annual contract with a pest solution company in order to prevent or minimalize the entry and existence of the pests and bugs in the house.

14. Demand for Help: There is nothing wrong in asking for help from your family, as you have graduated in your household management simply for them!

 FAQS

Q I am a working woman and I don’t find time to do the cleaning all over the house on a regular routine Housekeepingbasis. What should I do?

Schedule your cleaning routine on a daily, weekly, bi-monthly and monthly basis according to your convenience and strictly adhere to it. Take pride in the completion of your tasks and feel the achievement in your bones. Pride in any task shall help you to complete the task effectively.

Q I like to keep my house clean. But find it very boring to do it myself on daily basis. How can I make this process interesting and convenient?

You can make it enjoyable by cleaning with someone, maybe your kids. You can put on some of your favourite music and clean while singing and dancing. You can tie up with cleaning agencies to do major cleaning once in a while to make things easier for you. You have to realise that it is important for you and your family’s health to keep the surrounding’s clean. Clean and organised house makes the day to day tasks smooth.

 

Smita’s Advice

 

Housekeeping, like weather, is the universal language that can be spoken, written and discussed anywhere in the world.

Being a smart housekeeper is not a rocket science and almost all the women learns it very quickly.

A good home must be made, not bought.

                           – Joyce Maynard

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How To Behave At Social Functions

 

How to behave/carry yourself in parties and social functions

 

How to behave in social functions

The Japanese Proverb says that, “the reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”

We may stretch that one hour into a few more hours because that is what the timing of the social function is all about. We may have few hours to impress people, do networking and leave our impact on them. Contacts might help us in furthering our career, might be a potential source of a new business; such contacts could develop into a brand new friendship or could even be the beginning of a new relationship for us.

Suffice to say that the proper implementation of the behavioural sciences in the social gatherings holds a lot of positive potential in our lives.

The following guidepost may help you in carrying yourself with self-confidence and dignity to any social gathering.

TIPS 

1. Dress Code: A fine sense of dressing depending solely upon the invitation, whether it is formal, semi-formal, casual, black tie, business dress, white tie etc. shall help you to feel confident about yourself in the function and shall help you in meeting people with ease and élan, without worrying about what the others might think of your improper attire.

2. Carrying a Gift to the Host: Generally, bringing a bouquet or any other appropriate gift to the host would be an appropriate thing in a social gathering.

3. Timing of Arrival: Your arrival timing to the function plays another important role in your social etiquette. Arriving too early might mean that you are too eager to attend the party. On the other hand, arriving late/too late to the function indicates rude behavior on your part towards the host and to the rest of the people at the party. Hence, the arrival time should be kept well within the first 10-15 minutes of the time mentioned in your invitation card.

4. Host formality: Locating the host and making an appearance in front of the host, having a few words of nice ties shall indicate your arrival indirectly to your host, which is a part and parcel of the party decorum.

5. Self Esteem: With such a good sense of dressing along with a smiling face and self-confidence, you will automatically become a great success in any social gathering or a party.

6. Have fun with dignity: Party is a place to have fun and to let loose your inner self. Don’t be rigid, rude or be aggressive to people. Be polite, crack some jokes, talk about topics of interest to the group and generally enjoy yourself and help others to enjoy themselves as well.

7. Move around the gathering: Mix gradually and freely among the people within the party; greet people, circulate among the known faces first, talk to them for some time and then, when being introduced to new people, talk to them well helping them to feel at ease around you.

8. The Knowledge Factor: Always be ready with the knowledge on the current affairs, the current political situation, the famous films or TV serials, basic tit bits about stock market, world politics etc. which will help you to deal with multiple personalities. You may never know whom you are going to meet next!

9. Feel comfortable: If you are alone, you may walk around a bit, savoring a glass of drinks/soft drinks of your choice, looking at the atmosphere with a soft smile on your face, thus making yourself comfortable and allowing anyone to talk to you on your rounds.

10. Time to Leave: Towards the end of the party, by the time Coffee/desserts are being served, you may excuse yourself softly from the group of people you were talking to, by saying polite thanks and after saying an appreciation for the well organized party to the host and then you may leave the party.

11. Don’t be the last person: You should never wait for the party to come to an end and then leave as a last person from the premises.

12. Write Thanks: Write a thanks note to the host appreciating her/him on the party within a couple of days. That would make sure of further invitations for you from them….:)

FAQS

Q I always feel self-conscious and rather am afraid of any social gathering and could never feel social parties comfortable with anyone in the group. Rather I would be waiting for an opportunity to rush out of the area so that I can breathe freely. How can I feel comfortable in a social gathering?

To comfort you first of all, you are not the only person who feels so at a social gathering. There are multitudes of people who feel suffocated in a party or in a function. The only remedy to such a fear is to attend more such parties and social gatherings, despite your fears and self-conscious feelings. It would be better if you could go with a companion/a friend at the initial stages. Once you gain some confidence, you will start feeling more comfortable and someday, you may even start missing out on a social gathering!

Just take a note from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who says that,” do the thing you are afraid to do and the death of fear is certain.”

Q Whenever I go for party, I get very conscious of eating. I land up not eating anything at the party. How should I overcome this?

Boost your self-confidence. Eat something before you go for the party. In the party, take small portions of simple dishes which are easy to eat. Just slow down and eat in a relaxed manner. Soon you will overcome your inhibitions.

Smita’s Advice

We may have just a few hours to meet people, create an impression on them and establish our contacts with them in such gatherings. Show a lot of self-confidence and put on a full faced smile. Enjoy!

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Wardrobe Arrangement

Closet Overhauling

“Good clothes open all doors”

                               -      Thomas Fuller.

To maintain the good clothes without wrinkles, with creases at the right places, without being torn orWardrobe Arrangement spoiled, they should be kept nicely and properly in the wardrobe.

It is very important to keep the wardrobe neatly arranged so that it will be easy to locate the clothes you want to wear, whether it is for work, a party, for an evening with friends or for that date with a special someone!

TIPS

  1. Empty your wardrobe for good: Before you start your wardrobe arrangement, it makes sense to completely clear out your wardrobe of all your clothes and accessories; look through the details to have an ideas as to what you possess; what could be useful to you and what are the unused clothes that are hanging in there, being pushed around to locate the wearable ones.
  2. Clutter Management: Well, The Formula1 of wardrobe management is to cut the clutter with a hardened heart; you should keep the clothes which are comfortable to your size and in the colours which are in good condition and of course, your favourite ones; the faded clothes, the old clothes, clothes that don’t fit you anymore and the clothes which you are not using for a long time should be given away to charity or can even be sold for some pocket money.
  3. Unused Favourite Clothes: Some of your favourite clothes may seize to be of use to you; you may be keeping them due to some memories and attachments, fine; keep them separately and do not hang them along with the clothes which are in current use.
  4. Wardrobe Hardware Accessories: Before you start organizing your closet, shop around for some adhesive hooks, which you may paste on the inner back side wall. It would be useful for hanging out your scarves, soft belts and stuff.
  5. Shop some more: Also shop for some plastic boxes: keep your purses, clutches and bags in one and keep your underclothes, swim suits and other accessories in another. If you keep your bangles, chains, ear-rings and cosmetics etc in your closet, well, get a couple of more plastic boxes and fill them in with your accessories.
  6. These will basically remove your accessories from clustering around the closet, thereby giving you clear and neat space for organizing your clothes, only clothes.
  7. Off season clothes: If your off season clothes are still in your wardrobe hanging along with your current wearable,off season clothes you should chuck them out to the last rack in the closet. If possible, you should transfer them altogether from your wardrobe to another storage facility at home. This will give you space for organizing your clothes, which are in use at present.
  8. Exclusive, Party and Expensive Clothes: You may not be wearing such clothes on a daily basis. Hence, instead of hanging them along with the daily use clothes, keep them one on one separately in the first rack, either folded or wrapped up in a fine cover. Finally, we have reached somewhere! We just need to segregate our clothes now:
  9. Methods of arranging clothes:

 Always use strong clothes hangers which will carry the burden of hanging your clothes and still be strong enough to being pushed around in your wardrobe.

Seasonal Variations: Start arranging the clothes with the maximum heights; in winter, it would be top coats, coats, blazers, sweaters; followed by jeans, pants and shirts etc.
In summer, it would be jeans, full pants, half pants, shorts and skirts; followed by full sleeve shirts, half sleeve shirts and T Shirts.Your collection of clothing may vary according to your culture; any other clothes you have accordingly should be arranged relating to the height of the clothes and seasonal variations in your country.

Colour Combination:Colours are our life line. We love the green of the earth, blue of the sky, blue green of the ocean and the peacefulness of the earthen colours. Colours affect us to such an extent that there are colour therapies being practised by people.

  • Bring in some changes in your colour combinations. You may keep the same colours together for soothing looks, as in blacks are clubbed together with blacks, greys are hanged together with greys etc.
  • You may keep the colours according to the VIBGYOR pattern too. (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow,Orangeand Red: the rainbow Colours) Arranging your clothes to match up to the rainbow colours will look highly attractive when you open your closet doors.
  • If you have a huge collection of clothes, you may even refer to the colour tables of the paint companies and try to arrange your clothes accordingly, which will look electrifying, to say the least.
  • You may even use your aesthetic sense of colour combination to suit your requirement and arrange the clothes accordingly.
  • As long as your wardrobe is arranged to look appealing and neat, any colour combination shall do.

   10.  Arranging is not enough, maintain: When you spend so much time and energy in arranging your wardrobe and keep the things in their assigned place, it is the most important thing to maintain the closet. As we are generally in a hurry while getting ready for work, we just pull out a scarf, remove a shirt hurriedly or pull down a pant from a hanger, resulting which the arrangement doesn’t lost long and you may have to resort to rearranging of your wardrobe.

FAQS

Q I take a lot of pain in arranging the wardrobe and maintaining it for a couple of weeks. WardrobeIt becomes a mess after that. How to maintain my closet for months together?

By selecting the clothes for the next day on the previous day night; hang them at the right corner of the steel rod for easy accessibility.

By getting ready a bit earlier for work and spending sometime selecting the clothes in a relaxed way, rather than hurrying through the process and thereby creating a mess in the wardrobe.

By taking pride in the neat collection, the beauty of the colours and the combination of your wardrobe so that you wouldn’t consciously make a mess of it.

Q How can I put a new spin to my wardrobe?

Start by cleaning your closet and put a one-year rule on your clothing. If you haven’t worn it for a year, throw it or give it to someone. Keep some basics as the anchor for your ensembles. Look through magazines to examine latest trends. When you are buying new clothes, don’t buy items that look like something you already have or previously had. Buy articles, clothes etc which can be mix and match with things already in your wardrobe.

Smita’s Advice

Neatly arranged closet will save your time and energy; you won’t be anxious in trying to locate a particular dress out of the messed up lot. Remember to maintain your wardrobe after arranging it. It’s easy rather than resorting to rearranging from the scratch.

So, please arrange your wardrobe today!

 

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