About Smita Agarwal


Posts by Smita Agarwal:

Scientifically, women love to shop because it is in their DNA. From the beginning of time, men are the hunters andshopping bag women are the gatherers and it is natural for women to gather things up and stake up for use for them, for their family and for their future needs!

Shopping gives a few hours of freedom to them from juggling their work at home, work at office, nurturing their family and maintaining the rapport with their world of friends and relatives. It helps them to take advantage of the sales and discounts at the stores and buy things with an eye on their family budget.

It elevates their mood from low swing to upswing; getting new clothes and accessories gives them more self confidence in dealing with the world.

Socially, the sales and discounts make them to group up with their friends and enjoy shopping. They love trying out new things in front of their family or friends. Someone in every family needs to buy things on festivals and other special occasions. As women are equipped well with handling shopping, it is natural for them to do so. It also helps them to gain exposure to the outside world and to gain social contacts.

Shopping can be done for various reasons in a variety of ways: holiday shopping, budget shopping, on-line shopping, shopping on travels and tours, grocery shopping and more.

Whatever the reason for which you are shopping, there are certain common tips that shall help you to enjoy shopping while saving your hard earned money:


1. Go shopping with a list: Look into your refrigerator; consult your kitchen cup boards and pantry stocks. LookGo shopping with a list into your recipe plan for the forthcoming week or two. Look at your other requirements and then go shopping.

Shopping with a pre-planned list helps you to regulate your requirements according to your budget. Shopping without a list may tempt you into doing unplanned purchases that many put a strain on your finances.

2. Buy in bulk logically: If there is a way of stacking up on non-perishable goods for a couple of months at discounted rates, you could do so. It would ease on your budget. However, take a decision on the perishables even at discounted rates as they are well, perishables!

3. Compare prices on the net: Before you actually do the shopping, compare the prices on the products on the net and choose the medium of shopping through which you may gain the most.

If personal shopping in person may give you advantages, do so. If virtual shopping may save you money as well as energy you should do so. Take an informed decision on your purchases and accordingly do your shopping.

4. Discount Coupons: Collect discount coupons in a shoe box or in an envelope and use according to your requirement. Do not allow the marketing tactics of the companies to trick you into buying an unwanted good or materials which may put a strain on your budget.

Use coupons to buy only things that you have planned to buy in anyway and is in your shopping list.

5. Discount Day or Fresh goods arrival time: If you are a visitor to a nearby departmental store or a chain shop,  make a note of the “the lowest price of the week day” and shop on that day to take advantage of the lowest prices on goods and materials.

Observe the time of the day the fruits and vegetables look fresh and try to buy your perishables at that point of time when possible.

6. Watch out for the date of expiry: Almost all the products have the date of manufacture and the date of expiry Watch out for the date of expiryprinted on the label and look closely to verify whether the products you are buying are well within the expiry date.

7. On the Bill Counter: Verify your bill with the products you have purchased and make sure that the bill is correct before making your payment.

8. Avoid shopping in gas stations and air port shops: Except to while away your time waiting for your flight or to get your car filled in with gas, do not do serious shopping at the air ports or gas stations; they are costlier compared to your regular corner shops or departmental store.

9. While doing your on-line shopping: Always e-shop with a trustworthy e-shopping network as you needs to share your credit card details with them. Read carefully their terms and conditions, their return policy etc. so that in case you are not satisfied with their products you may be able to return them and take the refund of your money.


Q. I am probably hard-wired into stress and I can never tune away from the stress factor. I carry with me all the problems and issues of work and home wherever I go. I just don’t know how to relax. Can you help me on this!

  •  Do you have some money to spare? Go for shopping and splurge on yourself without pre-planning.Pre-Plan Shopping
  • Do you shop on a budget? Well, still go for shopping with a list and do your shopping.
  •  Enjoy your shopping experience completely: listen to the music that is being played in the stores; sway imperceptibly to the rhythm of the song. Touch and feel the fabrics, try on the new clothes just for fun, have an ice cream, chat with your friends while shopping, simply sit on a chair looking at the other shoppers, feel their enthusiasm in your heart, forget about your pains and worries; browse through books, if any; let the aroma of coffee pulls you inside the café in the stores. Eat something with coffee. Feel refreshed.
  •  Finally, allocate a “worry time” with yourself; for ex: between 5 and 6 PM, you will do nothing, but worry about all your problems! This way all your worries will have your undivided attention and you don’t need to mix your worry time with any other time, including that of shopping!


Smita’s Advice

Practically, shopping is a great stress buster for women. Emotionally, it gives them lot of happiness, joy and a feeling of fulfilment.

“I always say shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist”.

- Tammy Faye Bakker

Well, me too!

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Email and Phone Etiquette

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot!”

Clarence Thomas

Email etiquette tips
Britannica Encyclopaedia defines etiquette as the“system of rules and conventions that regulate social and professional behaviour”.

Email Etiquette Tips:

Email etiquette is nothing but the observation of such system of rules pertaining to the emails on the internet. The following are the simple tips to make your emails to look simplified as well as dignified:


1. Subject: The subject of your mail should refer to the body of the mail in a short form. Ex: Resume for the post of Vice President, Marketing or Party at Kumar’s place @ 4 PM etc.

2. Proper addressing of the recipient like Dear Sir/Madam, Hi, Greetings etc should be made depending on the personal or professional relationship with the recipient.

3. The first paragraph should spell out the reason for your mail: for example, “with reference to your letter” “Reference our telecom”, “We would like to introduce ourselves” and “Hi! How are you?” etc.

4. Coming to the matter itself, it should be spelled out in a precise tone, without aggressive tenor, way too many excuses, threatening remarks and the work.

5. Grammatical errors: It is mandatory that you should check your mails for spelling errors and punctuation marks before sending.

6. Keep it precise: Too long a mail, people would get bored, too short, your mail may not convey what you had wanted to, too many enclosures, people would get hassled about and you write too much about yourself, no body bothers to read, except your mom, of course!

7. No Spamming: Do not spam other people’s mail ids. You don’t read the spam mails, do you? Nor do the others.

8. There is no need to add the time and the date in your mails, as by default, the mail will show these details to the receiver.

9. End: At the end of your mail, write your name, your work designation, your complete office address and your phone number, if the mail is official. It would be better if you could fill these details in the signature column in the settings, making the appearance of the details automated.

10. Your personal mail will look nice if you could add a nice quote after your signature at the end of the mail.

11. CapsLock:Typing your mail in ALL CAPS is a criminal offense, unfortunately not recognized by the law, but poses a great strain to the eyes of the reader. That should never be done.

12. Emails should better be used for basic non emotional communication and not for sending the condolence messages, marriage proposals and such important real life details.

13. With today’s technology, it’s easy to copy & paste anything on the mail, thinking that your recipient will enjoy the info. It may not be true. You should control your urge of sharing everything with everyone.

Phone Etiquette Tips:

What you say in between “Hi!” and “Bye” is the most important feature of the phone etiquette

1. Do not bark, repeat, do not bark on the phone if you are upset, irritated or hurt due to some reason.

That is the worst offense as far as the phone etiquette is concerned.Chances are that the person on the other line could turn out to be an important person to you.

2. Do not ever give missed calls on someone’s mobile. If you want to say something to someone, it would be better if YOU call them!

3. Do not repeatedly say the same thing again and again on the phone. Recitation classes are long over in the grown ups world!

4. Try to keep the conversation short and simple. There could be others trying to talk to the person on the other line.

5. Always keep a pen and notepad handy if you may have to note down something on the phone. Keeping the receiver hanging, while you search for the writing instruments may irritate the person on the other end.


1. What should I do if the recipient of my mail does not follow the email etiquette?
You can still be polite and show fine manners hoping that the recipient shall take the hint from you.


2. Sometimes I shall have to shout on the phone to be heard when I am commuting in the crowded areas or I am in the market place.
Sure the person on the other end shall understand if he is told of the reason. We all go to the market and we all commute to work.

Smita’s Advice

Writing is not enough: you should write in the proper manner. Speaking is not enough: you should speak in a well-mannered way.

Like Thomas Sowell says,

“Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back”.

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How to be good parent ?

Your cute son, all of seven comes back home from school and you notice a few differences that you had noticed

How to be a good parentlast week also. For one, he is wearing a cap backward. Two; his cute little cowboy shirt is un-tucked and there is a make belief chain made of silver paper around his neck and his wrist. Last but not the least, his shoes are unlaced.

Oh, yes! His new name is Matt-Dogg and he insists to be called this all times from today, as he wants to be a famous rapper. By the way, I hope that you had not forgotten that last week, the erstwhile Matt-Dogg was Indiana Jones, as he wanted to be an actor.

So ladies, welcome to such ironical and many more situations of parenthood, which are guaranteed to stump you every minute of the day. Like the above-mentioned case did. The problem with such a situation is that, you neither know whether to support your child or oppose your child’s ideas and uniqueness.
Saying that striking a balance between both is easy enough. However, implementing the same effectively is rocket science of a different kind. Hence, you ought to know what to do and we are here to help you.
I will clear it outright that there is no hard and fast rule, which will help you to be a good parent. This is not algebra that you can substitute a particular formula and get away with step marking, even if the answer is wrong.


• Free Rope: Smothering your kid with what you have always wanted will never make you a successful parent. It does take considerable technique to embed your ideas and thoughts into your children. Please do not force them to do everything that you think is right. Let them explore and come up with something. Also, try to implant family values and certain rules right from the beginning so that it might someday be implemented successfully.

• Embrace the Difference: If you love your child and do not want them to hide things from you, try to like what they like. If you think that your kid will be a ballet dancer, because you are, or go to Princeton, just because all of your family did will crush your views once you discover that your child is different.

• The Art of Saying No: If you think that saying yes to everything your kid is doing will make you a good parent, now is the time you change that view. Supporting or giving plenty of free rope to your kid does not necessarily mean to let them do whatever they want. Therefore, make sure that you learn to say no on some instances.

• Listen: Hear out to your child’s views because things are tough for them too. Forcing your views upon them would only worsen things.

• Be popular: Try to be popular by mixing with her or his friends and playgroups.

FAQsparenting skills

• When do I know that my kid is a problem child?

When you find yourself tired of negotiating with every little thing that is going on into your child’s life. He is unable to focus on things and behaves very differently, which could be too aggressive or too subdued.

• Sometimes I yell at my kids and they usually end up crying. Is there any way to stop?
The best thing to do would be to practise talking with your child. Ask yourself and try to analyse in a cool mind, what makes you so short tempered or “what made me shout like that?” Take the help of your spouse as well.

• How do I control the temper of my child, when she refuses to listen to me?

Very important is you stay calm. Don’t react. Try to distract her. Look for the reason of her anger. Try talking to her about it, once she has cool down.

Smita’s Advice

Being a parent is not easy and trust me, it will never be easier. What you should try to do is, make sure that you celebrate and reward their successes and punish their extra nosiness. However, overdoing any of them will be bad for both you and your child.

In beautiful words of William D. Tammeus:

“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.”


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Time Management

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller,   Louis Pasteur,   Michelangelo,   Mother Teresa,  Leonardo da Vinci,   Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”   - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Wikipedia defines Time management as, “the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity? ”.Importance of Time Management

We define time by its short stature. We are always short of time. We mostly end up reaching late to our places of academics, work, meetings, workouts, lunch and stuff like. We fall short of time in case of the completion of the presentation materials and projects.

The short stature of time is easily a curable one. You see, the time is a flexible tool and is easily stretchable, if we can only analyze our own shortfalls and heal our own issues. If we can plan forward and stick to our schedule, time would be an excellent tool in our hands. Easy, isn’t it? It is!!


1.Primary Task : The primary task in the time management is to find out the avenues in which you fritter away your time the most. It could be your sitting in front of the television set for hours, while there are important tasks pending to be tackled by you. There could be a hundred other channels through which you might be wasting your time, while there are projects pending to be completed or tasks waiting to be finalized with. You need to find out your weakness which consumes your important time and should put a cork on it firmly.

2. To Do List : We all have our endless work schedule, home schedule, family schedule and then some more! Note down, “Things to do” and list out all the tasks to be completed that day.

3. Prioritise: “The most important tasks” should conquer the first few places, followed by non-important tasks, followed by the tasks that can be delegated to the others.

4. Take Charge: Focus on completing such tasks yourselves that involves family, tasks that would push your career graph up and tasks that are imperative for your health and well being. The rest shall become easier to handle then.

5. Forbid the distractions: The ringing of your phone(s), a quick tempting glance at the emails, notification from one of your social networking forums, background noise from your television, the chat window which suddenly pops open with a nice “hello”, dragging you into its net… Well, close the doors on the face of all these distractions while you are attending to your most important tasks, period.

6. Procrastination: It is to put off doing a task habitually due to laziness or even carelessness. Of all the enemies of your time management, here is the five star rated villain. So, no procrastination!

7. Get Organised: Clutter, clutter and well, more clutter: Whether it is your actual desktop or your virtual desktop, keep your files, folders and other things in an orderly fashion. Whether it is your home or office, learn to be organized. This shall make it easier for you to locate a tool or an instrument that may be needed at the time of the execution of your tasks.

8. Take a Short Break: As you are not a robot, you should take a break for ten minutes in between your ‘accomplished’ tasks. Stretch your legs and go for a small walk, have some more coffee and be back at the desk exactly in ten minutes or whatever the short break time that would be suitable for you.

9. Completing is Important: Its fine even if you work on a slow pace and as long as you work according to your prioritized list, being slow should not be an issue.

10. Incentive: Have you completed your scheduled tasks well on time? Patter on your back and give a small incentive to yourself. It’s always good to feel good!


1. Why organizing your home, office or desktop is important for time management?time management skills

While you are working on a project or trying to complete a task, if you are going to search for an email out of hundreds in your inbox, search for gem clips, paper clips or a punching machine when you need one in a hurry, you will be wasting tens and tons of minutes every single time. Keeping things organized shall help you in reaching out to the right thing having kept at the right place in a jiffy, thereby saving your precious time.

2. I need a break in between work and hence, I need the distractions. Is there any harm in listening to music or glancing at the mails or saying hi! to the chat window?

There is no harm in listening to music or glancing mail. But, saying Hi! over chat will be distraction, because it won’t stop there and will take your lot of time Your work shall get delayed. You shall take a break “after completing” the task and not while you are on your task.

3. I spend lot of time in commuting. Can you suggest how can I use that time productively? I commute by bus.

You don’t need to waste time and twiddle your thumbs. Always take something to do with you, book to read or just a blank pad of paper that you can use to plan your meeting or write your next days To Do list . Technology has made things easier, your cell phone have lot of features which you can use to make your commute productive.

Smita’s Advice

Time Management shall be easier if you plan well, execute well and shall reap the benefits accordingly.

 Just look at what Earl of Chesterfield had said:

“I recommend you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”.

You do and it does!

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Solving puzzles and riddles


“The problems of puzzles are very near the problems of life, our whole life is solving puzzles. If you are hungry, you have to find something to eat. But every day problems are very mixed – they’re not clear. problem depends just on you. You can solve it independently.  But to find happiness in life, you’re not independent. That’s the only big difference”

•Santiz Erno Rubik 

brain teasers

Puzzles and riddles have always intrigued us for ages. There is always this wonderful inquisitiveness, an eager to search for the final destination, a hundred ways and means of reaching out to the solution and looking in awe at the person who had solved the puzzle well before us!

Just like we do physical exercise to keep our body fit, the puzzles and riddles helps us to keep our mind healthy. They are the means of our mental exercise, to keep us alert, awake and aware of the various combination of the solution, similar to our reaching real solutions to our multiple problems in our real life. They help us to improve on our memory, sharpen our brain and reduce the chances of our developing diseases like Alzheimer, dementia etc.

Games like Cross words, jigsaw puzzles, Chess, Sudoku, Rubik’s Cube etc. are our own brain bashers and brain teasers. They throw challenge to us and teach us lesson of life. They teach us to think before we make a move in life, possible outcomes, keeping a time count, staying flexible etc.

Now, how to improve on our capability to solve the puzzles and riddles?


  On Puzzles:-

 1. Refer to websites: There are thousands of puzzle based websites available on the net: practice playing on the net, trying to solve the puzzles and thereby, getting a knack of developing your ingenious ways and means of solving them.

2. Discuss with the other players: A lot of puzzle based web sites have got their members forums for discussions on the various issues and problems relating to the solutions for the puzzles. Make use of them. Ask questions and understand the logic behind the various combinations of the puzzles.

3. Don’t loose heart: After trying just for a few minutes or sometime, don’t loose patient and don’t turn to the answer page. You are worth more and should be able to try and crack open the puzzle and draw out a solution from it. There are no ready made answers for your real life issues and you do solve them somehow, isn’t it? Apply the same psychology here!

4. Take help from the inanimate objects: You may need the help of a dictionary, a thesaurus book, a pencil to note down your reasoning as well.

5. Patterns and Logic: You should look for patterns and use your logic to locate the missing piece in the pattern.

 On Riddles -

     “A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed  in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and conundrums, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either the question or the answer.

- Wikipedia, the free Encyclopaedia.

1. Types of Riddles: As Wiki says there are two types of riddles and you should be able to understand what you are dealing with before you even start working on your riddle. That’s the primary requirement of any riddle.

2. Misleading Riddles: Riddles are meant to mislead you into thinking a response which may not be true. The only way to solve the riddle is to think from outside the box and not to take into account the obvious answer.

3. Multiple Meanings: Every word has multiple meanings. Take into account all the meanings and then, try to fit the right one into the riddle.

4. Use what’s available: There is nothing wrong in using the hints, cheats, tips and tricks that are available all over the net. You can also take the help from the friendly riddle forums for solutions.


Q Though I like to play the games of puzzles and riddles,I just can’t continue if I don’t get it right in a short while.I simply refer to the solutions page. How to go about it?

 Rubik’s Cube

Turning to the solutions page is the most natural thing to do in case of the puzzles and riddles for a lot of people.However, as these games are of entirely different genre, they need a lot of patience, time, logical thinking, some mathematical skills and the works. You may even need to take the help of thesaurus, dictionary etc.The only solution to your problem is to do the impossible whenever you can. The more you play such games, the more you will learn the skills and your brain will start getting used to solving them. Above all, your brain will become sharp, more active; can draw multiple solutions for any issue and shall get a boost to your thought-process.

Q Can riddle solving be helpful in academic sphere?

Today’s corporate world aims at analysing more of an individual’s common sense and outlook to complex problems. Hence it is been observed that most competitive exams and entrance tests, such as GMAT, CAT, SAT etc  have incorporated riddles and application based problems.

Smita’s Advice

In a way, puzzles and riddles are an extension of our real life complications. They challenge us to solve their mystery and we are enthralled into taking up their mighty challenge too!

“Life is a puzzle. Sometimes it makes us laugh. Sometimes it makes us cry.”

There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.

-Deepak Chopra


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“…dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
       - William W. Purkey

 There was this amazing, yet so simple, rhythmic and spectacular dance sequence in the rain, in which Gene Kelly (Singing in the Rain, Title Song, 1952) was dancing accompanied simply by an umbrella and raindrops.”.”.salsa dancing

What a joy, bliss and happiness his body language and his face are expressing? How can anyone ever depict the beauty of love and dancing this spectacular, without using the pen and paper, the paint brush and the camera?

I am sure the song should have become an instant rage at that point of time and should have touched the heart of even those people who could never dance and has got what they say as two left foots.

Great dancers are not necessarily be born; dancing can be learned like any other skill set.

Whether it is casual dancing, salsa dancing, club dancing, lap dancing, slow dancing, swing dancing, ballroom dancing or for that matter, any type of dancing, the following general tips shall be of some use to you:


1. Warm up Exercises: Before the actual dance, it is highly important to warm up and stretch your muscles; otherwise, you may get your muscles strained unnecessarily.

2. Prepare in coordination with the Mind: Dancing involves the complete co-ordination of mind, body and the movements. Mental preparation is as much importance as the physical preparation and dance practices. The films and the net are full of dance videos. Watch them and observe the dancers’ movements. Read the techniques in the dance magazines and practice under a good dance master. Be mentally prepared to dance in front of a whole lot of people. Visualize yourself to be on top of the world as far as your dance appearance is concerned.

3. Practice styles: Sitting Asian style and lying straight on the floor shall help a dancer immensely; practice sitting cross legged on the floor would help a dancer to practice in the steady flow of her hand movements; lying down shall help in finding out the basic body alignment. Any shortage in the right body alignment can then be remedied through exercise, diet and the works!

4. Facial expression and the Eyes! :An amazing smile and dazzling eyes can compensate even for a couple of wrong steps. Hence, be smiling both with your eyes and lips.

5. Hair Style: Hair style should be done in such a way that your hair should not fall all over your face and obstruct your observation of your partner’s dance movements. It’s better to keep your hair tied upwards or into a ponytail, so that you can dance in complete co-ordination with your partner.

6. Wearing suitable dress: Wearing attire completely suitable for your type of dance is important to feel comfortable, relaxed and stretchable; this would help in the fluid body movements. Too tight costume or quite loose costume shall hinder while dancing and you will be limited in your style and circles. Hence wear the costume which would give you the comfort feeling both from inside your heart and from outside on your body.

7. Dancing is a learning process: It’s rather a never ending learning process. Though no one can master all the dancing movements, you can earn a good name for being an amazingly natural dancer. Never feel unnerved about the steps yet to be learned, but be happy about the level you had reached in your dancing style.

8. Communication with your dancing partner: It is advisable to have a mutual understanding and personal communication with your partner on the steps, the rhythm, on the circles and curves, spins, lifts, timings and momentum, so that the flow of dance would move through both of you to the dance floor, reach the ceiling, cut across the space, thereby reaching your audience smoothly.

9. It’s OK to make mistakes: While dancing, if you make a mistake like stepping on your partner’s shoes, simply move on with your next steps; if you are going to hesitate for making a mistake, it will be noticed more by people, than if you have continued dancing with confidence as though nothing has happened.


1. It is important to follow the tricks and techniques being taught by your trainer. Dancing is a laborious process and wouldn’t

Folk dancing be possible to master in a short duration of time. Hence, instead of trying to rush in, take the required time to learn.

2. Practice, practice and well, more practice: Dancing, like music and public speaking, needs a lot of practising. So go ahead and practice whenever possible.

3. Exercise and diet is a couple of other important factors to implement in order to have an abundant energy that is required to keep up with the practice and the actual dancing sessions. Getting tired or getting disheartened is not the characteristics of a good dancer.

4. Instead of thinking that you have selected to be a dancer, think that dancing had generously selected you to be a part of it; how humbling a feeling that could be!

5. The other tips can be referred to as for the regular dancers.


Q Alone, I can dance very well; however, I am terrified of an audience and am sure to make mistakes and become

 ethnic dancenervous in front of them. How to get into the confident frame of mind?

All the performers invariably feel the pressure of performing in the public. The secret of a good dancer lies in her self confidence, great posture, and understanding with her partner on the dance moves, a lot of practice coupled with a relaxed frame of mind.

Q I tend to forget my steps easily which I learn in my dance class. What do I do to remember them?

If you practice your steps once or twice after coming back home, it will register in your mind. And keep doing it regularly. Practice will give finesse to your movements and you won’t forget them very easily.

Smita’s Advice

Dancing is an expression from the soul using the body as an instrument to reach across the tide of humanity. So go ahead and practice movements, practice self-confidence, practice relaxed mind frame and practice to match the movements with your partner.


“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
                                              - Martha Graham

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Good Conversation


A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good 

conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.
Truman Capote

good conversationIn the series “The Undercover Boss USA”, (BBC Entertainment), if you would

have noticed, the CEO (the undercover boss)
of the companies makes it a point to ask about the families of their staff. You may also observe that the moment you ask about someone’s family, one’s face lights up like a 100 watt bulb and there is a lingering smile at the corners of one’s mouth.

People love to talk about themselves. Listen to them. A good conservationist should listen patiently to the others and then talk. A good conversation starts from there. When you listen to someone, then that someone will readily listen to you too


1. Conversation is like using grammar: Metaphorically speaking, your conversation should be grammatically correct, just like your writing is. When someone interrupts while you are talking, you should put a comma on your talk and should listen to him. When you complete your sentence, insert a period and listen to the other person’s response and so on.

2. Listening within a limit: Conversation should not mean listening to someone indefinitely: Some people just need a chance to open up and you will never see an end to their talks. If the conversation is not a two way street, you may as well square off the meet nicely and move on.

3. Compliment people: One of my friends always starts her conversation with, “You look nice”, this lipstick looks great on you”, “you have a lovely bag” etc. She always finds something to compliment about the other person, before starting the conversation. She has the knack of getting into a person’s heart and the other person is won over, hands down by her technique. Anything she says after that is always being listened to carefully. Compliment people!

4. Conversation with strangers(How to start a conversation): If you are in an art gallery, an exhibition, the museum or any such public places, you may always start talking about the art, the exhibition and museum pieces and the works. If you are in a party, the host can be of the subject of interest apart from the nice food, good atmosphere, great coffee, a mutual friend etc. However, a woman should always be careful on her conversation with the strangers. She should know when to stop and move on out of that place.

5. Body Language: In most of the office meets, people start fidgeting after a couple of hours, may be even before so. While a lengthy presentation is going on, some people yarn, some people engage themselves in an animated conversation with their colleagues, some people will be looking everywhere except on the podium etc. This makes the presenter to feel uncomfortable. Your body language depicts your interests, your focus, your involvement, your carelessness and your disrespect to the person who is trying to talk to you. Pay attention to the person on the other side of your conversation, so that he shall pay attention to you when you would be talking.

6. Conversation startersWeather of course is the major conversation starter. For a woman, a conversation starter could depend upon the familiarity of the person to whom she is talking. If he is quite known to her, she can starts and ends with any subject like work place, family, friends, TV serials, movies, sports etc. Conversation with less familiar people should be kept at that; less familiar, till the time she is sure of the person’s behaviour, character, the reliability factor and the reference of a friend or of the family.


Q Some people are uninteresting and are also so dumb that they don’t ever understand when I give one excuse after the other, to cut short their conversation and move on. I can’t be rude on their face. How to go about this?

Conversation starters

To share a secret with you, a lot of us find ourselves in such a situation. People are the same everywhere. When you see such person from a distance, try calling someone on your mobile and start talking; say a few pleasantries while crossing your would be tormentor and continue to walk; you should show a serious expression on your face. This is one of the tricks that work for me every time.


Q Sometimes I meet people who answer in Monosyllabic language.Its difficult to converse with them after a point. how do you keep a conversation going?

The best way to deal with this problem is to ask open-ended questions. Like, if a women whom you are conversing with is fond of cooking, then you can ask her recipe of her favourite dish or request her to give you some quick tips on cooking. These common interest questions help a person to be at ease and to speak more.

Smita’s Advice

Conversation is not about your talking with others, it is mainly about your listening to the others.

Conversation should be like juggling; up goes the balls and plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them.”
Evelyn Waugh.

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Handling Peer Pressure

What is peer pressure ?

Dictionary.com defines peer pressures as the, “social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise, conform in order to be accepted”  handling peer pressure

Peer pressure is the ‘in thing’ to do what others are doing in a group, a class, an organization or at a social event. Why to oppose when it is easy to agree with and remain a part of the group or the class or the work place?

The positive peer pressure is good for us all. Anyone or a group of friends encourage us to come up in life, persuade us to stand first in the class, and the colleagues who are happy when we get promoted are some of the samples of the positive peer pressure.

Peer pressure, especially the negative one, is omnipotentomnipresent and omniscient and can be found all across the society: the social networking sites, the share market, the advertisement and marketing world, the school, the college, the work place and some more. Most of us upload our photos to social networking sites not because we would like to do so, but because our friends would like us to do so; people sell shares in panic because others are doing so, things are advertised in the visual media by youngsters, compelling other youngsters to buy them…there’s no end to the negative peer pressure in the outside world.

 Some positive tips to counter the negative effects of the peer pressure:-


1.Acceptance: “What others will think of me” is the basic cause for the peer pressure. It happens when you long to get accepted by the others in the group and you are ready to do what your peers want you to do, whether it is for your good or otherwise. So obviously, breaking the pattern of thinking on acceptance by the others should be the first step in avoiding the peer pressure trap.

2.Negative to Positive: The world is full of people. You may slowly withdraw from the negative group and gradually become a part of a positive group that would encourage you to do things that are good for your future, career and relationship.

3.Distract: Sometimes, it’s not easy to switch groups or put your foot down on the negative peer pressure. In that case, while there is a discussion on your doing something against your wishes, you change the subject and draw their interest into an another interesting subject, dial a number and while on the phone, take leave from your group and walk away from there.

4.Self-Confidence: Show self-confidence and be assertive if it is your known group. If it is a new group of people, in a party or social gathering, you better leave quickly with a valid excuse.

5.Don’t Condemn: Do not condemn others if they force you to do something which you don’t want to do. It may turn out to be an unpleasant scene. Use humour and common sense, use one liners to distract their attention and walk off in a short while.

6.Understand your childrenBe a friend and a good listener to your children. Even if they feel neglected by their group for having said no to cigars, drugs and alcohol, or for any other wrong doings, they will turn towards you for comfort.

7.Open Doors: Encourage your children to bring in their close friends for study, play and or to watch TV at your home. They wouldn’t dare to do something wrong at your home, nor will they encourage your children to do anything wrong.

8.Become Approachable: Form a group of your own with your family and indulge in a variety of activities, like picnicking, trekking, watching movies, shopping, having dinners at restaurants, watching opera or visiting museums etc. which will bound them to you and will make them feel comfortable to talk to you on their problems and issues.

9.Family Time: Make the dinner time for sharing about the happenings in your day. When you open up to your family and share with them your details, they will be encouraged to do so on their own. You shall be able to guide them on any wrong turns.

10.Learn to Distinguish: “Having fun” or “Being cool” does not mean doing reckless things or things that may ruin your future just because your friends or group would like you to do so. Always be on the alert on the pitfalls of groupies or friendship. You may get any number of friends; it may take you a long time to get your life back on the rails if you do something reckless with your life, career, relationship or the works.


Q Sometimes, what my friends want me to do is not agreeable to me, but still I do it, just to satisfy them or just to make them to feel good. But, I am not happy under such circumstances. What should I do?

This is precisely what the peer pressure is all about. Instead of thinking about satisfying your friendship, you should start thinking about satisfying your needs, maintaining your self esteem, growth factor in your future and the right turn in your life.

Q How negative peer pressure will affect my life?

The decisions you take in your life, whether willingly or under pressure, has got a way of affecting your entire life. At some point of time in your life, you should start thinking about what works good for you, rather than what works good for your friends or group. Show self confidence, don’t do something which you don’t want to do and take the support of your family and good friends who had always stood by you.

Smita’s Advice 

Peer pressure is nothing but the knack of sailing with the wind and not turning against the wind. It’s time we should know how to curtail the advancement of others on our psyche. For everything, there is a new beginning and let your beginning be now!

It’s better to take guidance from what Steve Maraboli says:

“At any given point you can release your greatest self. Don’t let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone dilute you. Don’t be peer pressured into being less than you are. People willing to dilute themselves for the sake of others are one of the great tragedies of our time. Stop letting others define and set the pace for your life. Get out there and be your best. Do your best. Live your best. Make every day count and you’ll see how exponentially more exciting, thrilling, successful, happy and full your life will be.”

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luggage, Packing list, packing tips, traveling alone, what is packing

Packing when traveling


In most cases, all around the world, women are hardly known for their packing skills.

When traveling, packing light is a concept most women are completely strangers to, even in the 21st Century.

Packing Bag However, I would advise all of you to stop being fussy and learn to embrace packing and traveling the practical way. If you really think, ‘some stranger’ is going to ‘save’ you when you walk around with luggage you can barely lift, maybe you should try and build a time machine and travel back in time instead of traveling in another country or continent

Too many bags attract attention. Secondly, your safety might be a problem, you might be mugged. In addition, packing unnecessary things will make you puzzled once you get to the place and realize that you packed everything, except your panty.


Packing tips :-

• Pack Light: This particular tip simply cannot be stressed upon enough. Please stop bundling your already full bag with more stuff. God knows, at one point of time it might actually tear and you will be thrown into trouble gathering them all.

• Make a list (Packing list): Before you start packing, make sure that you make a list of all the things you need and stick to it.

• Carry your own medicine: This applies for both women who are healthy and who are ailing from something. Many nations may not have the kind of medicines you might take or give you without proper doctor’s medical prescription. Therefore, it is better to make sure that you have medicines, which you require. Also, remember to pack general medicines like for your stomach, head and sleep, small cuts just in case.

• Check temperatures and events at your destination: Only pack what corresponds—do not bring “just in case” clothes.
• Know your folds: Make sure that you fold your stuff in such a manner that there is some space for incidental shopping and accidental inclusions to your luggage.

• Space for documents: Be very careful to carry and preserve your documents in a safe place but they should be easily reachable. You see, at any point of time, your identity card is your identity. In addition, particulars like tickets and vouchers must be kept very carefully.

• Toppers: Be very particular at what you keep at the top of your luggage. Make sure essentials like your toothbrush, creams and some loose change should be right at the top, because that is what you need first.

• Wash it out: If you’re traveling for more than a week, plan on washing clothes instead of bringing more. If you’re in a country with a good exchange rate, or aren’t on a tight budget, use hotel laundry service or dry cleaning. Otherwise, bring individual packets of detergent.

• Miniature toiletries: Small size versions of toiletries: Buy sachets of your favourite products  If you can’t find miniatures, buy small plastic bottles and decant from larger products.
• Wear your heaviest shoes, sweater, and jacket: That way, you don’t have to pack them.


Q. Where to keep cash?packing light

Apart from some loose change and few bills, make sure that you keep your cash well hidden and in a safe place. The same thing goes for your plastic cards. Another thing to remember is that; make sure that you do not keep a lot of cash in the same place.

Q. What other things should I consider?

Just packing your stuff is not the only challenge you will face. Make sure that you choose your luggage bags wisely.

Q. What should I focus upon when making that list?

Make sure that you pack clothes according to the weather you are travelling to.

Smita’s Advice

It is very important to remember that we are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves as well as others. So, make sure to carry yourself and your stuff around in a confident fashion. Do not go overboard with your dresses. Avoid attracting unnecessary attention and all of you will be fine. If taking kids along, make sure to teach them the value of practicality beforehand.

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Self Defence


…when a woman is assaulted she may not stoop to think in terms of himsa or ahimsa.

Her primary duty is self-protection. She is at liberty to employ every method or means that come to her mind in order to defend her honour. God has given her nails and teeth. She must use them with all her strength and, if need be, die in the effort…”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Every woman should understand the value of such an advice. Not just the message, but the ways and means of defending themselves too. Remember, when you are on self defence you have every right to defend yourself.self defence technique

Prevention of danger is also a form of self defence:

1.Do not take the risk of walking alone after dark.

2.Let somebody walk you to your car after dark, whether it is at work or after a party etc.

3.Your car should always be parked in light or in well lit areas.

4.Have a look at your surroundings and be alert both mentally and physically.

5.Always be in touch with your family, inform them of your whereabouts, when your office timings are over, when you start your car, when you will visit someone’s place, when you are at shopping etc.

6.Do not venture out into the bad neighbourhood areas alone.

7.Do not use devices with headphones (walkman, iPod, etc..) When you are in remote areas.

Here are some of the best self defense tips for women:



•Just Shout: The first thing you should do when someone attacks you is to shout with all your strength or shout “Police” to attract the attention of the others.

•Change anything into a weapon: Like Mahatma Gandhi said use your teeth and nail to save yourself from the attacker; rather anything you carry with you should become your weapon, like your handbag, your lunch box, your shoes, your hair pin, your bangles, your umbrella, your books, just anything!

Pepper Spray: Always keep a pepper spray in your bag or even deodorants. You can spray this directly into the Peper Sprayaggressor’s eyes, temporarily blinding them. This will give you enough time to get away and hide somewhere. The use of pepper spray is also legal in a lot of countries.

•The moment of attack: The first few minutes of the attack are the most important time to save yourself. The attacker will never expect you to be brave enough to fight him. He would expect you to get paralyzed with fear and would obey him frightened. Just do the opposite. Fight with all your might and hurt him however you may.

•Self defence tactics: Learn the self defence tactics and learn martial arts if you may. Use all the tactics you know against the attacker.

•Knowledge of Location: Understand the general map of your city, locality or of any place you may visit. It would always be helpful when in need.

•Note the registration Number: If you shall have to take a taxi or an auto after dark, jot down the registration number of the vehicle and sms to your family.

•At Home:If a stranger tries to attack you when you are alone in your house, run into the kitchen.You alone know where the chili power and turmeric are kept. And where the knives and plates are. All these can be turned into deadly weapons.

•In Lift: If you need to reach the 13th floor, press all or alternate buttons up to your destination. No one will dare attack you in a lift that stops on every floor.

•When Dating: If you are dating someone for the first time, trust your instincts about him. Observe your date and be alert on his negative body language. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable with him, get out from there giving some excuses. Even a visit to the restroom would be an adequate statement


Q. My work involves a lot of travelling within the city and meeting new people on self defence equipment business and reaching home at quite late hours. How to safeguard myself?

1.Enrol yourself in a self defence course, if not already done so. Martial art course, if your time permits.
2.Buy a couple of safety gadgets like cell phone stun gun, pepper spray, personal alarm etc and always keep them handy in your bag.
3.Be a professional and once the meet is over, take leave of your prospective clients immediately, especially after dark.
4.Take the help of your trustworthy colleague to drop you at your car, after dark.
5.Keep in touch with your family from time to time and if not, with a trusted friend.
6.Above all, exercise your common sense on the troubled spot and ESCAPE.

 Q. What if the taxi or Auto driver takes a turns into a street he is not supposed to – and you feel you are entering a danger zone?

Use the handle of your purse or your stole to wrap around his neck and pull him back. Within seconds, he will feel choked and helpless. Don’t have a purse or a stole? Just pull him back by his collar. The top button of his shirt would then do the same trick.

Smita’s Advice

“Defend yourself under the trying circumstances when your honour and self esteem is in danger”. This the most important message every parent should give to one’s daughter(s).

Self-defence is not about fighting but about protecting yourself.


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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.


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.


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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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.


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….:)


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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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”


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!


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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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!




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.



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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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:


  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.


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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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.


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.



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 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”.


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.



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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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.



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.


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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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:



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.


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



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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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:


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!


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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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.


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.


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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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.


  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.


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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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.


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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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!


  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.


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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Back to work after a break?

Any woman who has a career and a family automatically develops something in the way of two Back to  work after a breakpersonalities, like two sides of a dollar bill, each different in design.

Her problem is to keep one from draining the life from the other.- Ivy Baker PriestIt’s common for women to take break from work due to pregnancy, child care, to take care of their family, to manage any contingencies at home, in case of prolonged illness or just to take a breather of freedom from work.

Whatever the reason, when women decide to get back to work, it gets difficult. Well, it doesn’t have to be.Certain general tips shall help you in making your come back to work easier and better:


  1. Keep in touch : While you are away from your career world, never loose in touch with your ex-colleagues and friends. Keep them on your radar and contact them casually from time to time. Such a network will help when you decide to get back to work later on.
  2.  Be aware of the career world: Just because you are not working, it does not mean that you should not be aware of the latest developments in corporate, the job market and the HR world etc. Read articles on current affairs and current market conditions and improve on your knowledge. Browse on the jobs in the job sites and understand the demand for the kind of the job you were doing before you took the break.
  3.  Enrich your knowledge: Enrol in a foreign language course; enrol in satellite, correspondence or week end courses in your selected branch of studies. Get an additional diploma or a certificate relating to your line of work. Your resume will speak of your dedication to your working knowledge, even during the break period. It will give a positive impression on the interviewer when you attend your interviews.
  4.  Enrol in an employable skills course: There are more courses in the world than the stars blanketing on the Returning To Work After a Long Breakvelvet skies. Just enrol yourself in one of the courses, where they may sharpen your skills in interviews, self confidence etc. This may help you tremendously, if need be.
  5.  Technology: While on learning, make sure that you are computer savvy and improve your skill sets according to the technology demands of your career path.
  6.  Update your resume: Update your resume; do not bother about the gaps in your bio-data. If you show self confidence and convey a proper justification for your absence from the career world, the recruiter will understand.
  7.  Park your resume in job sites: When you decide to get back to work, upload your resume to the job sites; check your latest email id and phone numbers in the resume, so that the prospective companies and consultants can contact you without strain.
  8.  Contact: Contact the corporate, management and HR consultancies; make enquiries. Send across your resume to them all. If you have decided to do something, do it aggressively.
  9.  Take Help: Take the help of all and sundry; take the help from your ex-colleagues and friends; take the help from your ex-boss,  supervisor, manager and the head of the department for job opportunities and references etc.
  10.  Social networking sites: Become a part of a trust worthy and reputed job related social networking sites, wherein it will be easy to get referred by some one for a job or to get to know of an opening somewhere etc. Remember, the word “trust” is the golden rule, especially when you are going to give out all your personal information on the net.
  11.  Negotiate with your employer: Take a decision whether you would like to come back as a part time, full time or as a freelancer employee and accordingly, negotiate the terms with your employer.
  12.  Prepare yourself: Groom yourself. Set-up your wardrobe in line with your work. Take care of your fitness.


 Q I took time off from work for a couple of years due to pregnancy and child birth etc.tips for mom Even though I now would like to get back to the career world, I am unsure of myself and hesitant to appear for interviews. I feel sort of uneasy and terrified of going back to work. What to do?

It seems that you had cut yourself off totally from the career world during your break. That should not be.  However, you may enrol yourself in a soft skills course relevant to your requirement, wherein they may train you in the path to the self confidence, including that of facing the interview board and other necessary skills.

Develop self-confidence; straighten your posture and look interviewer at eye level and smile. Be truthful in your responses.

I am sure you will come out in flying colours and shall land yourself an excellent opportunity in no time.

Perseverance is failing nineteen times and succeeding the twentieth. -Julie Andrews

Gospel Truth!

Q I have taken a break for 2 years and want to return to work. People who were reporting to me have become bosses now. It will be very difficult for me to work under them. How should I handle this issue?

One of your options, could be starting off with another company, instead of re-joining your former job. However, if you do choose to join the same company again, remember, that it is only a matter of re-proving yourself and capabilities, before you catch up, in the race. When you return back to work after a hiatus, there will be some confidence, and ego issues. Don’t let them get in the way of your progress. You will soon bounce back!

Remember beautiful words of Eleanor Roosevelt:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”


 Smita’s Advice


As men take on the role of the prime bread winners, it is the women who take a break from work, short or long, a few months or a few years; never think that you are losing on anything since you took a break. Stay positive and be confident.

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.

~ Sonya Friedman


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Health and Nutrition for Women

A woman never fails to amaze me. She is the affectionate daughter, a dutiful wife, a devoted mother, a loyal friend,fruits and milk an outstanding companion, a superb teacher and a coach, an efficient employee and is indeed an excellent employer too.

She shop around for her family needs, she visit doctors for her family health, she insist on her family taking nutrient meals, milk and fruits and wait for her family to come home at late nights!

Sadly, she doesn’t take care of herself! She doesn’t give importance to herself. She treats herself as though one amongst the multiple material things that are strewn around her house, lifeless and useful only for the others.

No wonder sooner or later, she starts looking matured compared to her age! She becomes obese for want of exercise, she gets into various discomforts of body due to lack of nutritious supplements and she feels irritated and upset; she shows her frustration on her family giving raise to misunderstanding and unrest in the family from time to time.

There are certain general tips to take care of you starting from now!


1.   Be SelfishBe selfish; be selfish just for a couple of hours daily, without feeling guilty. Allot a time for woman eating watermelonyourself and make it clear to your family that they should not interfere in your special time with yourself.

Listen to music, go for a walk, have a Starbucks flavoured coffee along with the red velvet whoopee pie; talk to yourself, talk to your friends over phone, lie down for a cat nap, watch a part of your favourite movie; do anything in your own special time. You are not supposed to bring water to your children, pass on the spectacles to your husband; open the gates for the visitors, and well, you got the point!

 2.   Take care of your diet: Supplement your food with calcium and nutrition; consult your family doctor. Eat well to take care of yourself well, so that you shall be able to take care of your family well. Most importantly, do not eat to compensate for your emotional upheavals. Eat at the right time and eat healthy wholesome food.

3.   Maintain a Diet Chart: Keep diet chart according to your health requirements: it could be the Protein Rich Diet Plan, Low Carb Diet Plan, Weight Loss Diet Plan, Diabetic Diet Chart and more. You may even link your exercise chart with that of the diet chart for comparative results.

4.   Diet plan and Balance between Calories: The very success of any weight-loss diet plan depends on the difference between your daily calorie intake and the output of it. Means, you should burn more calories than what you consume! Make a chart of calories required to perform your day to day activities and make a note of the calories gained from your food intake and try to strike a balance between these two!

5.   Keep a Control on Whites and other fat foods: Certain food items are imperative to bringconsuming junk food in the taste and flavour to the food. However, along with the taste and flavour they also bring in different diseases to your body.

Research says that sugar and salt are addictive in nature. Research also says that unless you control the intake of sugar and salt, it would be difficult to keep a check on your diet plan. Research further says that high intake of sugar and salt, fast, fried and junk food give rise to blood pressure related issues, heart and kidney related problems and much more. Hence, control the white foods and other fast foods in your diet.

6.   Balanced FoodA well-balanced food results in a well balanced and healthy body. A healthy food also makes your skin to glow and your hair to shine.Balanced Food

7.   Stages of Life and the Stress for the Nutrition: Women have significantly different stages of life that needs different nutritional requirements; from childhood, puberty to fertility, pregnancy, nursing and menopause; women need to fulfil different nutritional requirements according to their age and body composition. You should plan your diet taking into account your age, health condition and body composition and should follow the plan strictly without fail.


Q. I need guidance on the swap food techniques. Can you help me on this?

Swap food technique is more of a commonsense than of a rocket science!

  •  Swap full cream milk with skimmed or toned milk.swap food techniques
  • Embrace wholegrain cereals and multi-grain wheat options.
  • Use fat-free yogurt. Use more of boiled or steamed food and less of fried food.
  • Substitute ordinary cooking oil with Olive Oil for cooking.
  • Eat unsalted nuts rather than the salted ones.
  • Avoid or keep to the minimum of the consumption in cheese,  butter and other milk fats.
  • Replace white bread with brown or multi-grain bread.
  • Finally, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Bring in healthy alternative to not-so healthy food.


Q There is always left-over food in the refrigerator, which I tend to eat next day. I don’t feel like throwing away the food. What can I do?

Your stomach is not a dustbin where you keep putting in all the left over food. Sometimes it’s ok, but not always. Make ‘’just’’ sufficient food for the family. If food is left then serve to everyone on table.

Sometimes use your imagination and modify the left over food with an added ingredients, flavour and taste; serve to the family and consume.


 Smita’s Advice


A woman is morally bound to take care of herself as much as she takes care of the others in the family.

By adding the nutritional components into your food and by maintaining the healthy and balanced eating habits, you will find a lot of improvement on the quality of your life-style. It will also keep you and your family disease-free or at least keep the disease of a family member well in control.

What you eat, so you become!


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Gossiping on a positive note


Gossiping on a positive note: A Breather of Fresh Air!

The word Gossip reminds me of Page 3 of the newspapers; the so-called personality and film related postive gosspinggossip (entertainment) programs of the TV Channels; the glossy murmurs of  the film magazines, tabloids etc. They are meant to be taken on a lighter vein; still it’s just not a feel good factor to a lot of people!

However, gossip can be used in a positive way as well. Just as the back of the same coin and it would do volume of good to you as well as to the others.


1. Always say nice things about people behind their backs:

 What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away.

- Chinese Proverb

It’s not a rocket science, is it? Remember good things about people; however bad they are, every one must have a few good things about them in anyway; highlight only about their plus points, while talking about them to the others.

Even Hitler was said nice things about him by the others:

“… he (Hitler) has succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe, and not only has he restored the position of his country, but he has even, to a very great extent, reversed the results of the Great War … whatever else may be thought about these exploits they are certainly among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world.”

- Winston Churchill

Am sure, you would be able to find a couple of nice things about people and spread the word about them around them. When it will reach the ears of the recipients, you create a good impression on them. They may speak well of you as well. If it will become a habit with you, you will have a group of well wishers wherever you go!

2. Steer conversation from negative to positive effects: When someone speaks ill of “someone else”, just say a few good things about that “someone else” to reverse the effects of the bad mouthing. The gossiper may hesitate to continue further on the ill-will road, and you may divert the conversation to another topic.

3. Spurt in the self confidence: Research shows that mainly people with low self esteem speaks ill of theGirls gossping others. When you consciously indulge in positive gossiping, both your self esteem and the self esteem of the recipient shall improve. Self Esteem is the basis of the all round personality development.

4. It stretches your imagination from a selfish “Me” to a wonderful “We”: When you start on the positive gossiping track, you stop thinking of yourself and start spreading the light about others all around the place. A light has the tendency of throwing off the darkness, fear and loneliness; it brings in feelings of warmth, happiness and positivity. Spread light and spread warmth and happiness all around you.

5. Emails:US Social Scientists had analyzed the thousands of emails belonging to the former Enron Energy Trading Company and had found that 1 out of every 7 Emails at work had indulged in gossip; negative gossip was more prevalent by 2.7 times than positive gossip.

These findings are more or less applicable to any organization in the corporate world.

As Emails are almost equivalent to direct interaction, albeit in written words, you can reverse the efforts of negative mails and infuse some positivity in your mails which will create a ripple effect along the shores on the recipient side of the mail.

6. Improve some one’s credibility: Positve gossiping improves on some one’s credibility through the worthy words spoken by you about them. Your praise may help them to get over their complex, (inferiority) if any; it will also help to bring in the positive energy into the home, work and other places and shall help in maintaining your status of well being.

7. Forgive: Not being able to forgive someone who has hurt us also gives birth to negative gossip. Forgiving some one helps you to stop talking about them in a wrong way.



Q There is a group of people at my work, who always indulge in negative gossiping as though “aimed to Girls Whisperingdegrade all and sundry”. As they are from my eastern wing, I am unable to avoid them as well. Most of the time, I can’t stomach listening to such nonsense about the others. I just wouldn’t know what to do?

Of course you know: as you are a fairly decent person, you wouldn’t want to hurt the people whose gossip is “aimed to degrade all and sundry”.

Somehow, you should try to avoid such people like plague and virus. Start slowly!

On the onset of their, “Classic syndrome”, you start pretending as though you are busy with work, busy on the phone, busy having engrossed into your files, busy getting a cup of coffee, busy scratching on the notepad, busy locating another colleague or busy trying to clarify a point with your boss etc.

Team up with a few positive people and hang out with them. Am sure, there must at least be a couple of people like you, good and constructive at your work.

Take your lunch from outside for some time or with the people whom you like at least vaguely!

They may get your point; of course, you may become a part of their gossip next! Don’t give them any important. Just move on with your career.

If it gets worse, ask for a transfer to another wing or department in your organization.

Q How is gossiping different from backbiting?How can gossiping be positive?

Gossiping is idle talk or sensational talk whereas backbiting is unsporting attack behind a person’s back.

Gossiping can be termed as a harmless way of venting frustration and sharing insecurities. Backbiting is speaking against someone with evil heart.

Q How can gossiping be positive?

As long as Gossiping is not malicious or irresponsible rumour-mongering, it is not exactly a bad thing. Infact, many firms are supporting ‘water cooler conversations’. Few minutes of gossiping near water cooler can help you beat stress. And this gossip can even be talking about your kids or boyfriend.


  Smita’s Advice

Talking about others in a wrong way can never be right! When that boomerang comes back to haunt you, it would hurt, wouldn’t it?

However, Positive Gossiping is constructive, effective, uplifting and helps you in your well-being, apart from helping others to feel good about them.

Go ahead, indulge in Gossip; let it just be all positive!


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Nowadays, accessorizing has become an important element of dressing. You can make a plain dress lookwoman Accessories stylish and chic by adding a few pieces of accessories to it. Thankfully the market is flooded with numerous choices. All that you need is to find what will go best with your outfit.
Accessories can be classified into various categories. Anything that you wear apart from the dress material can be considered an accessory. If you like experimenting with your clothing and don’t want to spend too much money on buying new dresses, then splurge on accessories and get a different look each time.

Here are few tips to help you accessorize and to get the most out of your new and trendy look.



1. Jewellery: Jewellery is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dressing up your outfit. Apart from traditional pieces, you can now purchase artificial jewellery that goes well with both ethnic and western dresses. The general rule of thumb is to wear chunky pieces with a plain dress and to wear simple, subtle pieces with heavily printed dress materials.

2. Bangles, earrings and anklets: Big bangles look beautiful with one piece dresses. Mix and matchBangles, earrings and anklets the colours to create a sense of variety. With earrings, you can really experiment. Long danglers look perfect with low cut necklines, similarly small studs will look beautiful and classy with collared shirts.

If you are fond of wearing quarter pants or knee length dresses, accessorise by wearing anklets. They add a touch of subtle feminism to any gear.

3. Shades: You will be surprised but even with a trendy pair of glares you can style up your appearance. Large framed shades are in vogue this season. You may see lot of celebs supporting big shades and looking modish. A nice pair of glares can go well with all your dresses and create a style statement.

4. Hats and Scarves: Not only do hats and scarves serve a utility purpose but they also make you look Hats and Scarves:fashionable. You can team up a hat with almost any outfit. With beachwear, you can adorn a straw hat.

If you live in cooler climes, wear woollen hats that come in beautiful designs and colours to go with your overcoat.  A simple chiffon scarf tied around the neck looks beautiful with both formal and casual wear.

5. Belts: Just a couple of years ago, no one could have imagined the difference a simple belt can make to an outfit. But now thanks to designers who brought to us a world full of choices. A wide belt can transform the look of your dress completely. It also makes the waist look smaller and doesn’t bring attention to your midriff. Use thinner belts when you wish to accentuate your waistline. Accessorizing with trendy belts will make you look voguish. You can mix and match them with various outfits.

6. While Traveling:  While traveling or holidaying, you are bound to travel light.  So you can do serious mixing-and-matching and with the help of accessories like scraves, belts, jewellery give new look to your clothes. You can get multiple looks with your little black dress with a bunch of simple accessories.



Q. What is the best beach party look?

If you are wearing a two-piece, wear a long necklace that is in contrast to your outfit. Wear a sarong and support the look with classy shades and a low brim hat.

Q. I have simple black dress. Can you please suggest different looks at different time of the How to Accessorize a Black dressday with this dress?

You can get many looks with one simple dress, depending upon the occasion.

  1. Shopping: Wear a printed scarf or stole around your neck to add colour. You can even wear a shrug. Take a bright colour sling bag and comfortable nude colour footwear to complete the look.
  2. Night Out: Same black dress can be worn with heels and a dressy clutch. Wear a statement piece of jewellery like a neckpiece or a watch.
  3. Official Meeting: Wear a formal blazer and formal pumps in black or grey colour. Keep jewellery to small and elegant pieces, like studs or pearls. You can carry a mid-size handbag in neutral colour.
  4. Lunch with friends : Wear funky bangles and earrings to add drama to your attire. Gladiators or sandal with a colourful bag will look great.

Q. What accessories will help make a full figured woman look shapely? 

Wear dresses with small prints and tie a belt on your midriff to make your waist look smaller.


  Smita’s Advice

Accessorizing is fun and gives variety to clothing. You can create different looks with different accessories each time. Just team up any dress with jewellery, belts, scarves, the choices are endless. Next time you go out, don’t forget to accessorize to add a bit of spark and a dash of glamour to your evening.

Remember….A great outfit can be ruined with wrong accessories.

If clothes make the man, then perhaps, accessories define the outfit.


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Stressed Up?

Simple Relaxing and De-stressing Techniques

You don’t need a reason for stress; any reason would do! For some women, it would be marriage,stressed up pregnancy, leaving their job or raising their children. For some others, it would be being single, not having a proper relationship or not getting connected to the right people.

For few others, it could be the delay in the arrival of their maid servant, the traffic signals, queue in the picture halls or the delay in their flight schedules; there is no specific reason required for stress and anxiety; any reason would do!

However, de-stressing and relaxation are tough nuts to crack! Any reason wouldn’t do. Feeling stress-free and feeling relaxed in the body and mind needs plan, action and implementation of the action to achieve them! Again, for some it’s easy and for the rest of the lot, it’s really tough!

Certain common tips to achieve peace of mind, feeling de-stressed and feeling relaxed:


1. Take a Deep Breathe: This is the universal technique of getting relaxed immediately; if you are going to attend an interview, going to meet your date or even going to attend the PTA meet at your children’s school; take few deep breathes, gulp lot of air and you will feel immediately calmed down.

Make it a routine. Embrace the breathing exercise or Pranayama. It would do a lot of good for you. Do it in the early morning hours. When it becomes a routine, you would feel automatically relaxed at times of stress.

2. Yoga and Meditation: All over the world, yoga and meditation has become a craze now. It gives you concrete yoga and meditationresults.

There are hundreds of meditation and yoga techniques. Meditation needs you to concentrate on a word or on the part in between your eyebrows. The word could be of God’s name or you may just repeat, “Relax” or any other positive word many times in your mind. You could even concentrate on your breathing. Relax your body, sit straight and take deep breathe before you start your meditation.

Yoga gives extremely positive results, when you do it in the right way you need a guru or a guide to train you and then you can you can practice on your own.

3. Morning WalkThe easiest of all the relaxation techniques is the early morning brisk walk in morning walkthe park; that’s when you become one with the awakening dawn, the weak murmur of the sleepy birds, the mostly empty benches, trees, plants and the flowers, few elders, few youngsters, few children and you amongst them all!

Breathe in the fresh air, fill your eyes with the greenery and take a brisk walk!

Walking on green grass, bare feet is also therapeutic.

4. Keep your body hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Dehydrated body makes it difficult to concentrate on things in hand and thereby creates stress to the mind.

5. Books and Reading: Books have a huge heart: they allow you to enter into the lives of their characters. books and readingThey take you away to the world beyond your world. You may visitSpain,Italy, India, Greenland andSouth Africaand more, simply by sitting on your comfortable coach. You just need to become a part of the characters.

I lost count of the countries I had visited with the characters of Robert Ludlum or Frederick Forsyth. That’s the power of reading and that’s the power of becoming one with their characters!

When you get loosened up completely, where is the space for your stress?

If you are a book lover, the reading would be your way of de-stressing after a hard day’s work or while travelling. If you are not a regular reader, you are missing out on something wonderful! In that case, you should start with some light reading and then take on from there.

6. Music and Listening: Listening music relaxes the core of your being; there is no better way of de-stressing and relaxing better than listening to music. It regulates your heart, stimulates your brain, reduces pain, promotes good sleep, well, that’s the power of music!

Whatever is your choice of music; hip hop to country to blue to metallic; just listen to your choice. That would do!

7. Body massage and steam bath:If you have the time and resources,Simple Relaxing and De-stressing Techniques you may indulge in the luxury of the de-stressing body massage and the relaxing steam bath. Soaking in the Spa would be another method of relaxing with water, flowers and fragrances.


8. Spend time with people you are comfortable with:Stay in positive company,whether they are friends, family, colleagues or neighbours, spending time with people you feel comfortable with, helps you to feel extremely relaxed. Do that often enough!

9.  Recreational activities:Do activites like playing games, singing, dancing, playing instrument, punching ball etc to ease yourself. Its good to enjoy lighter side of life. Recreational activities help maintain a balanced state of mind.
10. Others:There are so many other ways and means of relaxation techniques and de-stressing means, like autogenic training, laughing therapy swimming, aerobics etc.


Q I am always short of time. I reach home quite late and my way of relaxation is sitting in front of the TV and trying to wind up. How can I otherwise feel relaxed?

The time is never short; we are short of options in using the time. You could get up early by an hour. You will have time for the morning walk, meditation or yoga.

On week-ends, you could spare a couple of hours for swimming, meeting friends, watching films, family outings etc.

While doing your household chores, you could listen to the music of your choice.

And you can take a couple of deep breathes often enough; you don’t need to allot specific time for that.

You need to fit yourself within the time frame for your own well being.


Q I am always surrounded by too many things in not-so-big space. Read inspirational quotesThis leaves me with lot of stress. How can I overcome this?

Sometimes, having too much stuff around leave you feeling overwhelmed and bog you down, eventually leading to stress. Living in messy surroundings brings in unwanted anxiety. That’s why you need to de-clutter to de-stress. Don’t start by clearing everything at once. That will only stress you further. Begin with small space and gradually moving to bigger things. A space that is uncluttered can feel satisfying and soothing.


  Smita’s Advice

All of us have work and family responsibilities, stressing out too much about them will Stress Bustersimply cause more grief – both physically and mentally. Relaxation and de-stressing helps you to keep away from the ill health and diseases.

Read inspirational quotes! There is a world of lessons in them for your smooth life and living!

“Doing something positive will help turn your mood around. When you smile, your body relaxes. When you experience human touch and interaction, it eases tension in your body.”

-      Simone Elkeles.

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Importance of Computer Knowledge

Why it is essential for today’s women to be literate in computers?

Who else can describe a computer better than Bill Gates?Importance of computer knowledge

“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”

- Bill Gates

Computers can be used in so many million ways today; it’s rather made for today’s woman!

Computer knowledge not only gives a fresh boost to your regular career, but also is useful in many other ways for you. It is needless to mention that knowledge of computers is a must not only for working women but also for homemaker.

A few common tips on the other ways and means by which you may make use of the computers in your daily life:


1. Work from HomeIf you are a young mom, if you are taking care of a senior, if you are work from homesuffering from ill-health; whatever the reason may be, if you want to earn money working from home, you can do so today with the help of the computer and the internet.

You may run a small business from home and can draft a business plan, maintain the database of the contacts, send the intro letters to clients, keep track of your business, bill your clients and maintain the other business details in your system.

You may become a writer, a copywriter and can even write your books or blogs from home.

You may share your expertise on various things on the net, can become a Virtual Assistant, Data base Manager, an E-Store Owner, an abstract painter and more.

2. Connect with the WorldA computer and an internet can connect you to more people in the world than ever before. You can easily get connected with your old school friends whom you have lost touch with otherwise. through the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, Google+, Orkut, CafeMom, myLife and others.

Social networking has become kind of a mass addiction and does not require much of computer knowledge for being handled.

You may post your thoughts, participate in the comments, and make friends with some one from the other corner of the world.

By browsing through the various posts and pictures, you may smile a bit, you may laugh a bit and you may feel happy despite of your immediate problems and circumstances.

3. Search for Multitudes of Things: I am a Google person; for the biggest of big things and for the smallest of small things I Google around and Google about regularly.

You may Google around for anything; buy a surprise gift for your husband, order your fashion accessories from an E-shopping network, learn how to make your child’s paper plane, take tips to keep your closet clean, for flower arrangement, keep in touch with your financial status through your banking website, pay your bills, recharge your prepaid mobile phone, well, you choose your requirements, go ahead and find it all on the Mother net!

4. Videos and Chats :There is no reason to be upset with your son or daughter staying away. videos and chatsYou can keep in touch with them on a routine basis; see them or speak to them through Skype and Gtalk, contact them through email or by the other means of chat programs; get in touch with them through social networking sites and more. Installing these can be done quickly and without any hassle.

5. Learn something new: You may learn a new language, get tips from the ‘how to’ websites on various and sundry things, enrol into a program of spiritual and mental well-being, practice meditation with the soft music from the music sites, get into the ‘all possible’ mode through the inspirational sites. You can achieve more things working through computers today than had ever before!

6. Use of computer in other ways: You can make Excel spreadsheet or Google Docs which helps you maintain records of countless things such as your child’s school assessment time table, your major expenses for the month, and lists of various other necessary details.

You may upload your photos and important files to theGoogle Driveor to any using  computer to make school projectsother safe website for back-up and safe-keeping. You may download the applications of your choice.You can help your children with some innovative school projects as well.

7. Surprise: Did your husband invite his boss to dinner? Surprise him with a variety of gourmet dishes. Countless recipes are just a click away. Whether it is Thai soup or Indian kebab, Chinese fried rice or Mexican Chicken, salads, puddings or mocktails, you can choose to prepare any mouth-watering dish by the recipe from the internet.

8. Finally, Just Relax: Choose and watch an entertaining series from the Youtube, watch a film, listen to music from the internet radio and simply relax!


Q I have started working from home as I need to take care of my young children. I mainly work on the office suit and accounting software. It’s easy enough. However, I really don’t know how to maintain my system. I am afraid of my system crashing out some day and getting my work disturbed. Give me suggestions on maintenance of my system.

Your operating system has come packed up with the Disk Tools; use them regularly to avoid errors and fragmentation on the disk and do back ups of your hard disk regularly.

Clean your system Registry with Registry Cleaner software from time to time. A damaged spilling coffeeor corrupt registry may result in the crashing of your system.

Clean cookies; delete history and other unwanted and junk files regularly. Use a Cleaner program for this purpose.

Install an anti-virus and anti spyware program on your hard disk for day to day check and cleaning.

On the external front, do not keep anything on or near your system. Do not spill your coffee, tea or snacks on your system. Keep your system dust free and clean. Keep away from very young children.

Q Is credit card necessary to shop online?

Credit cards are mostly accepted for online shopping but there is no need to be bogged down if you do not have one. You can purchase the same goods by using your debit card. Many e-commerce sites now have option of ‘Cash on Delivery,’ which is very convenient.

Smita’s Advice

Computers can give you wings and propel you into the air of freedom, financial security, getting connected with the people who matters, making friends with the new ones, learning new things, visiting to the new worlds and more!

Did you knowit was a woman, who is often referred to as the first computer programmer? No, I’m not going to tell how or when she did it. If you want to know about her then type ‘Countess Ada Lovelace’ and click search!


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Fights and Arguments

Fighting in the family:

Fighting add spice to the married life; no one can live on smiles, love and hugs all through their lives.Fight in the family When you are an individual and holds an independent view on things, is capable of making your own decisions and you are living with an individual who has got his own way of approach to life; well, it’s natural that clash arises when one refuse to see the other’s point of view on things and situations.

Rather fighting is the most natural thing that happens in any household: whether it is with your parents, life partner, children and other family members, fighting do happen.

There are two ways of handling the situation. Either, you fight to win or you fight to find a common solution to the issue in hand.

By fighting to win, you really are fighting to loose. By hurting your partner or your family members time and again, you may win the fight, but you will loose the battle!

Fighting with the others:

Unlike in marriage and with the other members of the family, the fight with the outside world needs less caution and more spirit in fighting. Or is it so?

Fighting with any one, whether it is with someone from within the family or with someone from outside the family, invariably leaves a bitter taste on the minds of the involved parties.
Fighting should have a component of dignity in it; it should not become a time-pass factor to the others like watching a street play or an opera!

Certain tips are given below with the main purpose of managing the fighting in your  life:


1. Fighting is momentary: Always remember that the fighting is momentary .There is always an underlying reason for the fight to happen, which generally doesn’t surface into the argument due to one reason or the other; describe your emotions clearly, instead of fighting back and forth without getting into the real cause of the fight.

2. Don’t drag the past into the present: Do not drag the past fighting details into the present fight.Stress Keep your focus on finding the solution ‘only’ for the present situation.

3. Don’t play the blame game: Don’t use the blanket blame phrases like, ‘you are insensitive, irresponsible, impossible; ‘you are always like this’, ‘you don’t help me at all’ and ‘you don’t stand by me’ etc.

If you are emotionally hurt, talk about your emotions and not about the other person’s personality or attributes.

4. Forward and Accept Suggestions: Suggest to your partner a solution for the cause of the fight and listen carefully to his suggestion on the solution from his side.

Try to find a mid-way that would suit both of you to end the fight smoothly. It should never be either your way or highway sort of the thing!

5. Show respect to your partner: Do not start listing out the weaknesses of your partner while fighting. That would intensify the fighting and would increase the mutual hurt. Apologize instantly if you are in the wrong and mend the relationship immediately.

6. Listen to his inner cry: Sometimes, fighting starts not because of the present situation, but because it triggers up some unwanted hurt or anger from the past. Listen to the inner cry of your partner and find a solution to his past hurts.

7. Appropriate timing: Fight should never be started at the time when your partner is getting ready for the office, working on some projects, is about to retire for the night; while the guests are staying at your home or in front of your children. You should be sensitive to the timing of the fight.

8. Certain important don’t while fighting: Don’t yell at your partnerFights and argument

Don’t use words like always, never, hopeless, fit for nothing, can’t expect anything from you etc.

Don’t indulge in character assassination

Don’t assume you are on the right without knowing the full facts

Don’t use below the belt tactics

Don’t compare the person with the others and insult him

Don’t assume an aggressive body posture

Don’t mention the word, “Divorce” while fighting with your life partner.

Don’t sulk or stop talking once the fight is over

9. Conquer and Last Word: Fighting is not a country to be conquered and it is not necessary that you should have the last word in the fight before storming out of the room or slamming down the receiver.

Show maturity and walk away with a purpose of bringing in some water to your partner or putting away the phone simply because you want to give some cool off space between both of you.


Q. I and my husband fights over everything; right from the remote control of the TVfamily fights till the upbringing of our children. We can never converse after the first five minutes. We only fight and I feel bad and would like to end our way of fighting on every little thing. How to go about this?

  • There seems to be an underlining conflict in your fights. It could be an emotional hurt, anger or any other unresolved issue from your pasts that comes out so negatively in your daily life and in your mutual dealings.
  •  You need to dig deep into your consciousness and should find out the real reason for the constant imbalance in your relationship. Try to adjust wherever possible. Give him space and listen to his inner cries.
  •  It’s better to take the help of a trained professional to resolve your mutual emotional issues.

Smita’s Advice

Don’t fight with vengeance; don’t fight to win. You should fight only to find an amicable solution for the problem at hand, because fighting is momentary and the relationships are forever!

Learn to argue effectively and listen actively.

Always remember:

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”

-      Mahatma Gandhi

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Menu Planning

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, tips to help you in menu planningcooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.”

Robert Heinlein

Wonderfully said! To slightly modify, a human being should not only cook a tasty meal, but also do the meal planning well in advance!

You know exactly what you are going to cook on any given day and that itself is the biggest advantage of menu planning. You may refer to the cook books or take the help of the Google search and collect menus, segregating and allotting them to different dates in advance.

Some general tips to help you in menu planning for a successful cooking management:


TIPSChoices of family members

1. Choices of family members: When you decide on the menu, you should take into account the age group of the people at your home, diet or disease constraints in their food consumption, the probability of religious fasting in the family, frequency of meal intakes and the likelihood of the arrival of any guests during the period. All these factors directly affect your menu planning.

2. Duration: Decide on the period of menu planning; whether it is for a week or for a couple of weeks or more.

3. Do Research: Google for various recipes and select those suitable for your purpose out of the innumerable choices available on the net.

4. Make the List: Once you have planned your menu, keep the list readily available for ready reference.Make a list You may keep it in the kitchen shelf, pin it on the fridge door or on the notice board, and keep it anywhere that is easily accessible for your ready reference.

5. Variety and Variations: Variety is the spice of not only your life but also of your meals. Bring in a variety in your meals to satisfy both the appetite and the nourishment requirement of your family. Even the left over food should be used in a unique way.

6. Shop in Bulk: Whatever the missing ingredients are at home should be compensated by shopping in bulk for the entire period of menu planning. It shall also save your costs and help in your budgeting.

7. Nutritious Food: You should include various colours of fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, Nutritious Foodwhole grains, pulses and cereals and other food ingredients that would help in maintaining the energy levels of your family; that would help in the growth and the body building requirements of your family; all the more, it should help in maintaining the good health and well being of your family.

8. Seasons: While selecting the recipe, always remember the season of the year and the availability factor of the fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables shall be available in abundance in certain seasons and shall not be available in other seasons. This is an important factor to be remembered while selecting your recipes at the time of menu planning.

9. Garnish: The beauty of a meal is half its looks; if the meal looks colourful, nicely garnished and smells good; that would invites people to eat. Plan accordingly. You should also plan to substitute butter and fattening oils with healthy olive oil for cooking. Try to reduce the intake of salt and sugar, the twin inevitable ingredients of most meals, but nevertheless unhealthy for a variety of reasons for most people. Try also to avoid soft drinks.

10. Healthy Food: Instead of mindless oil soaked snacks, introduce olives and almonds for snacks. Replace the fried foods with baked and boiled foods. Replace white bread with brown breads. All berries are good for health, the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and cranberries. Make them a part of your menu planning.


I take all the efforts to plan menu at least for two weeks in advance. I abide by the plan for aChoosing the right food to be cooked couple of days and then start cooking on impulse, on a temptation to eat something on the spot and the compulsive requests from the children to prepare something unaccounted for in my planner. How to strictly adhere to my planned menu?

Don’t we all do that occasionally? You spend time and efforts to prepare the schedule, you do shopping to be ready with the ingredients, and you do stick to it for a couple of days. Then, bang it goes with the wind.

Well, include your temptation foods in your menu while planning. Include the favourite foods of your children on a daily basis. Planning nutritional meals does not mean ignoring the wants of your children. Give them the healthy foods in degrees and not all at one time. The more you gradually introduce healthy and TASTY foods and withdraw junk and unhealthy foods, the children will adjust to them gradually as well. You may find a change in their attitude and a change in your attitude towards food too.

Q I am a working mom. Although I plan menu on weekly basis, but find less time for cooking. How can I plan it more efficiently?

Its simple. Keep few important pastes and sauces ready in your refrigerator. It saves lot of your time while cooking.Keep chopped veggies for emergencies. Its good to try new dishes once in a while. But on regular bases stick to your basic food. Over weekends you can do preparations in kitchen for the coming week.


Smita’s Advice

Whether it is cooking at home, or planning for a party, you need to plan your menu well in advance. Advanced meal planning shall save your time on a day to day basis;You may save on your budget by pre planning and shopping at one go.

You just need to spend some time in planning, which would be well worth your efforts.


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Learning Foreign Language


Wiki says that Mandarin language (Chinese family) is spoken by 1025 million people, French by 120 million Learning Foreign Languagepeople, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu) by 490 Million people and English by about 1.5 billion people!

Learn a couple of new languages and you will be introduced to millions of new people, their literature, their culture, their way of thinking, their way of living, their music and the works!

While traveling abroad, when you speak the language of a country to its natives, you respect their people and you get their love and admiration in volumes in return. Just look at the surprise and the smile on the face of the native person even when you smatter out a question in their language, let me tell you, it’s worth all your efforts in learning a new language.

There are certain general tips that may help you in learning a new language:



1. Choose the language: The choice of the language depends upon your reason for learning it. Whether it is for your immigration purposes, whether you are going to study abroad, or may be, like me you are impressed with a country and would like to know more about them. The reasoning follows the choice of your languages to learn!

2. Courses and materials: The physical and the virtual world is full of courses for learning various languages;Ancient coins you may choose the course in full time, part time, week end, e-course, satellite course etc. depending upon your time availability, your time zone and the duration of the course etc.

3.Tools and Materials: Different tools may be made use of, apart from your course materials, for your learning purposes; like dictionary, thesaurus, e-books, DVD, grammar and phrase books, e-translators etc. You may even take the help of easy readers like Amazon kindle, Sony Reader, Cybook Opus and the jetbook to download any books that you may need for study or reference.

4. The Time Factor: Guess human race must be the only species in the Universe, which is perpetually complaining of their lack of time before taking up any new task! We always crib for short of time, despite having 86,400 seconds in a day! Time can be easily made use of, if you take advantage of all your slippery seconds, minutes and the hours!

5. How to learn in anyway? : Learning a brand new language is a different body of game altogether, compared to learning a language from the same family. Ex: If you know Sanskrit, it would be easy for you to learn Hindi, Tamil, Kannada etc. as they all belong to the family of Sanskrit.

If you are learning a brand new language like Spanish, French, Chinese or Russian etc. you need to listen to the phonetics, focus on the words and phrases; understand the characters and practice; accumulate your vocabulary; there is a wealth of sources available on the net. Listen and read; read and listen. Meet new words and note down their meaning and use in phrases. It of course, needs the investment of your time, the time that would be well spent!

6. Learning and You: A teacher can teach you only to a certain extent: whether it is at the basic levels, Learning Yourselfsmiddle or advanced levels, the trainer can only train you to a certain extent. Unless you put you heart and brain into the learning, a language can not be caught hold of. You should take the responsibility of your learning and should show an enormous interest in them.

7. Make friends with the native speakers: If you are learning German, and if possible, try to make friends with some one who speaks German and practice your language on them. It will help you in correcting your pronunciation, learning to make use of the same words with different meanings and for accumulation of new words etc.

8. Watch Movies: The easiest way to learn a new language is to watch plenty of movies in that language while undergoing the course. With the body language of the characters readily expresses the meaning of the dialogue in the movies, it will be easy for you to co-ordinate the details in the mind. That’s how I had learned my new languages.


Q. I have started learning a new language: it’s very tough to learn, pronounce the words, and commit to memory. Sometimes, I feel that I should stop this pain right away. I am overwhelmed!

  • This is how the beginning happens and as you have not stopped learning so far shows your commitment to learning. That’s a good sign!
  • Just like you have segregated time for eating, sleeping etc. segregate half an hour for studies, apart from your classes, for your new language. Don’t skip.
  • The more you will start learning, the more interest you shall develop, and the more time you would start allotting automatically for more studies.
  • Use entertainment channels constructively: listen to music in your new language, watch TV serials in your new language and watch movies in your new language; never mind, you won’t understand much in the beginning. You will start understanding the language in the due course of time. Be patient and givebenefits of learning a foreign language yourself some time. The moment you start understanding the language in bits and pieces, you will start loving the learning in anyway!

Q. What are the benefits of learning a foreign language?

When you know foreign language communication becomes easier while traveling to that region. You can easily and immediately connect with the local people. It’s helpful on work front, for students who have gone to study there, appreciating their culture and literature, making new friends, global understanding etc.


Smita’s Advice

Learning a new language opens doors to an entire civilization! Don’t take learning as a burden. Enjoy learning other languages.

“Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know.”
– Czech proverb

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Doing Make-Up

Doing Make-Up risk free make up tips

Your make up depends upon your skin type: you may not wear a make up meant for dry skin to the oily skin. Hence identify your skin type, whether it is neutral, dry, oily or moisturized skin. You must obviously know your skin type; if not, you may take the help of the cosmetic shop people. They will take the basic test and shall let you know of your skin type.

You may also ask their advice for the make up items that are suitable for your skin type and shop for them according to your budgetary requirements.


  1. Use Quality Products: You may always buy a couple of quality products at a higher  tips on the make up artprice rather than buying ten low quality products at a cheaper cost. Remember, the make up materials are full of chemicals and if you would compromise on their quality, they may compromise on your skin.
  1. Make up your Neck: Whenever you apply make up, always stretch it to your neck too. Otherwise, your face will look decorated and your neck will look shades darker.
  1. Make up and skin tone: Whatever the colour you choose for your make up, make sure that it matches your skin tone, your eyes and your hair colour.
  1. Make up for the occasion: Your make up should always match the occasion: there should be differences between your make up for career interview, marriages, family function, for travelling etc.
  1. Remove your make up: Always remove all your make-up before going to bed in order to avoid prolonged chemical exposure to your face, eyes, lips and skin.

Easy Application of Make-Up Tips: 

A few general tips on the make up art may help you on this:

  1. Base Wash: Your face needs to be smooth and clean, before you start applying your  tips on the make up art
    make up. Hence wash up well; you may also undergo facials in the parlour or go for a quickie clean up routine at home. Anti bacterial soap should be used if you have acne on your face. Apply toner to remove the residue dirt and to restore the pH balance in balance.
  1. Moisturizer: Apply moisturizer on the skin irrespective of the skin type and wait for a few minutes for the skin to absorb it.
  1. Primer: Apply Base coatr on your face: it would help your make up to last longer and help in reducing the pores on your face.
  1. Concealer and Foundation: Apply concealer on the spots and blemishes on your face and then apply the foundation. Foundation, like every other make up material, is available in different shades and hues and you should choose the foundation that is suitable for your skin.
  1. Highlighter: Apply highlighter on your cheek bones and brow bones etc. It will help in highlighting the contours and profile of your face.
  1. Smile and Blush: Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and below your cheek bones. Smile before you do so, to lock the blush on to the exact position. Blend it back towards the hairline.
  1. Eyes:
    How to Apply Eye Makeup
  • Eyeliner: You may use light brown or black eye liner to line your eyes. Use lighter eye shade on the eye lids and crease. With a darker colour complementary to the lighter eye shade, start at the outer corner of the eye and draw the shadow along the crease and the edge of the eye lid. Use a light shade on the outer side of the bottom lid.
  • Eyebrow Pencil: If you have gaps in your eye brow, use eyebrow pencil to fill in the missed area(s).
  • Mascara: By using a clean mascara brush, coat the eye lashes in such a way that they stand out in their individual lengths.

8.     Lips: Use a lips pencil to outline your lips and
Use a lips pencil create the shape. Apply a coat of lipstick,
followed by a matching gloss to square off your lip looks.

9.     Time and make up: For daytime make up, use lighter shades and neutral colours; use just a coat or two of the make up materials to keep the effect lighter. In the evenings or at night, use brighter shades, glitters, more coats and indulge in a variety of colours.



Q I am undergoing certain eye related issues and am under treatment for it. I use light make up most of the time. Can I touch up a light bit on my eyes too? My eyes look sunken while the rest of my face is nicely made up.

As you are undergoing eye treatment, you should refer this question to your ophthalmologist. He is the right person to respond, as he knows the current status of your eye issue. One thing for sure is don’t use cheap quality products.

Q When going for parties I usually apply foundation. Do I need to wear powder over my foundation as well?

Yes, you should apply foundation especially if you have oily or combination skin. Because, Powder helps foundation  to stay for long and controls the oils to give it a better look. It is  also helpful for smooth application of other powder-based products, such as blush and eye shadow.

Smita’s Advice

Well, make up does give a boosted confidence to a woman. It should however be well worn, and not to be left with blotches and blemishes around the face.

Make up depends upon the mind-set of a woman. Some women look amazing without make up too. To do make up or not to do, depends upon your time element, convenience, compatibility of the make up materials with your skin type and the pride you take in maintaining of your appearance.


“I love the confidence that makeup gives me.”
– Tyra Banks


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Team Management

Team ManagementWomen are meant for multi-tasking; they are versatile and are creative in nature. They are more communicative than men, understanding and adjusting to the people and the circumstances.

They are effective in bringing a consensus on a given topic and are good in taking work from people.

If you want to manage your team effectively, you may make a note of the following common tips:



1. Get to Know Your Team: In the, “Undercover Boss, America”, I had time and again noticed that the CEO (who is the Undercover Boss of the company) strives hard to get to know his staff fairly well. He asks a lot of questions about the personal life of his people; he understands their stress, anxieties, financial strains and family details. By the end of it all, he helps the deserving staff in one wonderful way or the other.

Get to know your team well. A birthday present, a morning greeting by name, a film ticket for his family once in a while, a dinner arrangement with his family occasionally, a bouquet on their anniversary etc. shall endear you to your team. Your team will understand that you really care for their well-being.

2. Walk with your Team: A leader walks with her team, whereas a boss walks before her team. Be with your team and be available for them. Be a team player yourself, so that your team will follow suit.

3. Be a Role Model: Be punctual at work, so that your team will understand the value of time. Be a role modelBe open to suggestions, so that your team will understand the value of dialogues. Be kind to the people, so that your team will share your kindness with the others. Be a role model to your team!

Have a role model for yourself. There are so many woman leaders who have reached their zenith in public life, business, politics, communications etc. Be impressed by a role model to draw a constant inspiration from her.

4. Appreciate your team: People would love to get appreciated: wouldn’t you?

Even if there is a small improvement at work because of some one, appreciate them. Appreciate the appearance, the timely help by someone, the late sitting of your team member to complete a project, the combined effort of an enthusiastic group of people despite long hours; the sharing of the files and folders, the repair of the Xerox machine, the passing of a cup of coffee and the efforts of your team despite failures; just appreciate them.

A sincere appreciation can get your work done much faster than the monetary compensation you might offer to your team.

5. Criticize your team member when alone: Appreciation should be done in front of the others,Party with the team whereas even a constructive criticism should be made when you are alone with the team member. Show respect to someone’s self-respect and dignity. Do not hurt or humiliate people ever!

6. Be knowledgeable: Be well-prepared and be knowledgeable not only about your part of the work, but also about your team’s responsibilities. It will help you in understanding the efforts put in by them and accepting their faults as and when it happens. If you know the reality, you wouldn’t expect miracles without proper preparation and help to your team.

7. Train your Team: Training your team from time to time according to their requirement on the job and on the soft skills shall help you tremendously in getting the work done effortlessly from them. Providing training to your people is an investment on their potential.

8. Keep the Communication Channel Open: Always initiate dialogue and discussion on the topics of your day to day affairs. Listen to your team and listen carefully to their words. Make them to understand that you care for them. Help wherever you possibly can. Encourage their positivity by being a true leader.


I am a manager in a big corporate and I have a lot of people reporting to me, directly or indirectly; the issue is that I am unable to make them to get excited about their jobs. They work with a bored resignation on their jobs and it hurts me. I just want them to feel passionate about their work and I want them to enjoy working with me. What can I do?

Have you read the book, “Fish?” Every one should read it. It is an amazing book of a mere 112 pages with a power packed and joyful description of the Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market.

It is the Alchemist of the Work place Story on how to boost the morale and on how to improve on the productivity of the office staff.

It is not necessarily your fault that your people are not happy with their job. However, you could always help them to start enjoying their work.

You could read the book and devise your own ways and means of bringing in the positive changes in your office atmosphere.

Smita’s Advice

Women are naturally positive and can motivate people to do work and work effectively towards any set target. They are born Managers and can efficiently do Multitasking.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

John C. Maxwell quotes

So, be a leader, know the way, go the way and show the way to your team!

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Homemade Cures

 Fix for Stings and Sores

Natural medicines are the best cures for ailments. They have no side effects, they are not artificially createdNatural medicines with chemicals and the best part is that you can concoct them at home for nothing. Yes, you guessed right, we are talking about homemade remedies that can be used to cure basic infirmities and work out to be an inexpensive way of looking after your precious health.

Long before the world developed the modern medicine, people depended on their age-old traditions and made home-based cures to revive their strength and keep fit. It will not be incorrect to say that even today some people believe in using remedies that have been handed down to them by their forefathers.

You too can use these timeless remedies to cure basic conditions at home and benefit from the wealth of knowledge that our ancestors left behind for us.

Here are some basic homemade cures that you use next time you feel down and under.


1. Cold and Cough: If you are suffering from cold and cough, you should have a cup of warm water mixed with honey and lemon to soothe your aching throat. You can also add bite size pieces of ginger to the drink. Ginger is known for its medicinal qualities and provides great relief to a sore throat.

2. Joint Pains: If you regularly suffer from muscle and joint pains, you could use stingingmedication bottle nettles to cure aches. This is commonly used as a herbal medicine but should not be applied on skin directly. Its leaves have to be used when dried and should be consumed in the form of tea. You can also use it as a topical soak for aching joints.

3Scars, Burns and Wounds: Turmeric powder is a substance that has amazing medicinal qualities. This spice is not just used for cooking but also to cure long standing conditions. It can be applied on open wounds and can stop the skin from scarring. Turmeric powder is also said to have anti-cancer properties that is helpful in curing people with tumors and melanoma. Aloe Vera is known for its medicinal uses especially over burns.

4. Diarrhea: The best homemade recipe for treating a person with diarrhea is to headacemix ripe banana with nutmeg powder and eat daily. Another popular remedy is to make a date paste with honey and consume the mixture 4-5 times in a day. Black tea with some lime juice also does wonders.

5. Headache: Many people suffer from headaches on a regular basis, to overcome this you can try eating an apple with salt on empty stomach everyday.

6. High Blood Pressure: If you suffer from high BP, try the solution of honey, ginger and cumin seeds. Mix these ingredients well and drink twice a day for controlling your blood pressure.



Q. What homemade cures can I use for stomachaches?homemade remedies

Take a hot drink of lemon tea with honey in it.

Q. Is there homemade remedy for toothaches?

A simple cure is to keep a clove between the teeth or apply clove oil.

Q. What can I do to control nausea and vomiting?

Mix lime juice with honey and ginger and drink the mixture. It should help you feel better.honey

Q. What is common cure for fevers?

The best thing is to eat things rich in Vitamin-C. This helps fight off infections. Having grape juice and oranges will build your immune system.



Smita’s Advice

The human body is vulnerable to diseases but nature has also blessed us with antidotes to cure ourselves. Natural and homemade treatments work wonders on your health. You will never feel the need to take antibiotics for conditions that can easily be cured at home.

Take care of yourself and remember that: best solutions in life are always the simple ones.


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The Art and Science of Driving for Women

Driving gives you a feeling of freedom, which  boost your self-confidence; confidence to secure her place in the women driving a carworld where men lead in all the fields, whether it is in the field of business science, medical science, work science or rocket science!

Driving needs certain prerequisites like alertness of mind, smooth co-ordination of the body, mind and the machine and a mindset of a defensive player! It also needs the sharpness of a decision to be taken on a fraction of a second to avoid collisions with the other vehicles and people on the road! It needs the logical reasoning and the street smartness in handling the road rage and the after-effects of an unavoidable accident on the road, if that happens!

A woman of course, can drive better than a man because she has the alertness of mind, sharpness of thoughts, logical reasoning and street smartness in handling the vehicle, like she is used to handling the rest of her life responsibilities.

Driving can be extremely relaxing, can be soothing on the nerves after a long day at work; it can be an enjoyable experience of having listening to your own audio delicacies at the cosy comfort of your car.

However, in order to enjoy an uninterrupted and smooth driving, you need to take care of your vehicle, adjust your car according to the weather conditions, attire according to the driving distance, not to get entangled into any problems on the road and to feel safe within the confines of your vehicle.

Certain Common Tips on various things you need to take into account on driving:


1. Take care of Your Vehicle: Before you hit on the road, hit on the tires; check on them for proper air pressure and tread depth; make your tires well balanced and vehicle well aligned. Make it an once in a month affair for your own safety against skidding; it will also help in the increase of the tyre mileage and precise steering, apart from the improvement in the performance and comfort of the car.

You should also check the condition of your headlights, rear lights, brake lights and turn indicators to see whether they are in a proper working condition. The main elements of steering, clutch, brake and accelerator should also be kept in a well balanced condition all the time.

You should give your car for servicing according to the requirement for the fine tuning of your car and to avoid unwanted hassles while driving.

2. Mind your Mind: Be alert and do defensive driving throughout the time of your driving.

If you are emotionally upset, feel ill, feel very tired; if you are on any medication that mayDrive within speed limits make you drowsy, do not drive – period!

Keep a watch on your speed. The speed of your vehicle should depend upon the weather, the road condition, the traffic flow and the speed limit prescribed by the particular locality. Drive within speed limits and drive with a sense of responsibility to avoid accidents.

Always drive defensively: react to the driving and the sign language of the other drivers.

Allow people to overtake, if they are driving too close behind you with blaring horns and songs. Don’t get into an offensive mood.

Do not get into the highway hypnosis or drowsiness during long drives. Always drive with a companion during long drives, so that you could stop from time to time for refreshments, to stretch your legs and to sleep off the sleepiness.

Always wear seat belt for your safety.

3Things to Avoid while driving: Avoid wearing high heels while driving; experts had even Things to Avoid while drivingcalled for a ban on high heels, stilettos and platform shoes while driving for women. It may lead to your loosing the control of your car.

Do not use mobile phones while driving; it may distract you completely.

Do not do texting while driving

Do not touch up your make up while driving

Avoid multi-tasking like eating, drinking, talking on the phone and having a conversation while driving! It could distract you greatly!

4. The weather Conditions:Whether it is in winter or in the rainy season, drive with extra caution. Set your head lights to dim or better use fog lights during the winter season.

During rain, increase your distance from the other drivers. Take extra care while applying brakes and while driving in curves and turns. While the wiper is on, your headlights should also be on. Drive slow.

5. Night Driving: Your headlights and the tail lights should be kept ON during the entire period of your driving till you can see the road clearly on sunrise or later.

Avoid stopping around a curve to avoid accidents by the tailgates.

Keep the headlights on low beam when another vehicle is about 200 meters from you or when you drive behind another vehicle at that distance.
Stay on the road by following the road signs, reflective signals and the vehicles driving before you.

6. Safety Tips for women drivers who drive alone: In order to safeguard yourself from the unwanted Safety Tips for women drivers who drive aloneelements, you should keep your car doors locked and windows raised.

Allow a fast driver to overtake you; don’t get entangled into the road rage atmosphere.

Be alert all the time; keep your music down, your ears up and your eyes constantly around for any signs of trouble.

Be alert in the parking lot. Park your car in a well-lit area, away from the dark corners.

Avoid talking to the strangers at night whether it is at the parking lot or at the signals.


Q. I know that using of the mobile is not allowed while driving. I generally keep my mobile in the silent mode and try to avoid answering the calls while driving. However, I am a Doctor and sometimes, I may get professional phone calls regarding treatment from my work. Guess I can answer such calls while driving.

Most of the countries in the world has made it mandatory that mobile conversation and vehicle driving should not get mixed up; the laws not only prevents you from using the mobile, but also has provision for imposing fines or impounding the mobile set as punishment.

The conversation over mobile distracts a person to a great extent, endangering both the driver and the people on the road. Avoid using phones while driving. Most of the countries rather would require you to keep the mobiles switched off and not on the silent mode.

Smita’s Advice

For a woman, driving a vehicle is not just a means of mobility from one place to another; it is a proud statement of her freedom and self-reliance to the world; it is a statement from her that she can take on the roads; take on the people and take on the world most comfortably and can become a roaring success at that!

“A driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-seat throne, changing direction with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with a flick of the button, changing the music with the switch of a dial.”

-          Andrew H. Malcolm

As long as you drive with alert state of mind and defensively, you may keep changing the directions, the climate and the music in your car!


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Women, the Creator of the Creativity!

“There’s a woman at the beginning of all great things.”Creativity

-Alphonse de Lamartine

 Of Course, there is!

God took a lot of time and care while creating the woman, as she was destined to be the creator of multitudes of things in her life and for her family.

Call it her creative outlet, a hobby, her passion or even her slight weakness; a woman likes to do a lot of her work herself, whether it is sewing and stitching the clothes, decorating her house with flowers, wrapping up her gifts to the others, breeding her pets, making her scrap book et all!

Creative people are sensitive ones; they think more with their hearts than with their minds.

The world is full of options when you want to channelize your creativity into constructive ways! Just a few common tips to help you in identifying some of the options that could suit your style of creativity:


1. Stitching and Sewing: Stitching, Sewing, Knitting, Embroidery and Quilting is as old as the Stitching and Sewinghuman history; even today, it is the favorite past time of a lot of women. A woman feels pride in making clothe and quilts for herself and for her family. Sewing is also an exercise to the body, however old fashioned this activity seems to some people.

2. Gardening, Tree Arts and Landscaping: Gardening in and around your home is a hobby unlike any other hobbies; it exercises and gives fresh air to the body, provide a blanket of greenery and colour therapy to the eyes and a sense of calm and peacefulness to the heart and mind. Taking up gardening is quite easy too.

3. Flower ArrangementFlower arrangement around your home is an amazing talent and flowerFlower Arrangement arrangement as a business would do more to augment your bank balance.

4Reading and Writing: Reading enriches your mind and makes you a knowledgeable person. Writing enriches your soul and makes you the Queen of the characters you develop in your book and the articles you write in your notepad. You can derive an amazing happiness in looking at the happy faces of the people who read your work.

If you are not comfortable in writing professionally, you may always indulge in writing blogs. A blog is the mirror of an individual heart; what you think of can be shared with the people of your choice or to the public in general.

5. Fine Arts: The fine arts of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Dance, Drama, Music , Rangoli  and Theatricals; indulging in any of these arts opens doors for creativity, peacefulness, stress-free state of mind and happiness for you.

It is not necessary that you should be an expert in any of these fields; if you are, that would be fabulous. However, if you are not, nothing is lost and there is a lot to be gained from developing your creativity in any of these activities.

Painting can even be done on ceramics, glass and pots. You can draw murals around your room. You don’t need a specific canvass, when the whole world could be your canvass to paint around with.

If Music is the reflection of your soul, then dance is the reflection of your heart. You may adopt some one’s style or may even develop your own style of these twin arts.

Drawing and Sculpture are the true creations of the mind; the visual appeal drawn with pencils is a
 Photographydelight to any one’s heart.

Sculpture can be made even out of discarded household goods, old plastic bottles, office supply, CD shards, paper and driftwood. Sculpture is not necessarily made with stone or bronze anymore!

6. Photography: Photography is an art in itself; a picture is a visual therapy that captures the colors
  forms, lines and designs into the mental camera.

A landscape picture could relax you. A nature picture may delight you. A human picture may capture your imagination and a serenity picture may calm you down. A picture, of course, speaks more than a thousand words!

 Artificial Jewelry

7. Artificial Jewelry and Artifice: Artificial jewelry and artifice can even be made at your home;
you may however, need to undergo a course on this to get into the knack of making of them.

There are so many creative ways of spending your time and energy; such an art will enhance your capabilities, calibre and physical and mental dynamics.


I am a successful business woman and even though, I would very much like to spend time on any creative activity, I am unable to do so due to my heavy-duty work schedule. How can I do something on my own in the field of creativity?

Being a successful woman in business is in itself certifies your creativity; you have come up in the man’s world to be a successful business woman and that can not be achieved on minor terms.

Any success need a measure of creative thinking, application of the vision to the future, converting the thinking into practice and thereby, reaping the benefits of your idea or creative thinking into competitive advantage.

However, try to develop some hobby, which can help you to De-stress from work. All you need is to do some time management and prioritization. Things automatically fall in place.


Smita’s Advice

Creating something new or mending something old helps you to channelize your happiness. Creativity helps you in easing your stress out, gives you a tremendous sense of accomplishment, helps you in bonding with the others (when you gift them the products of your creativity) and assist you in earning a constant income on the side.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”.  G.B. Shaw


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The Secret of Family Happiness

Relationships are those delicate threads that hold us together and give us a profound sense of belonging. The Secret of Family HappinessOur existence is a product of our desire to associate with other human beings. We thrive as a part of a community but wither away in solitude. This need for compassion and to be loved by others gave birth to the concept of families.

We all depend on our loved ones to fulfill our emotional needs and this is what makes the bond between family members grow stronger. But being relatives is not enough; family is a seed that needs constant nurturing and care. Feelings like love, trust and camaraderie makes family a very special unit.

Having discussed why family is so important to all of us, let’s look at how we can successfully maintain our family ties.


1. Patience: An important ingredient to maintain family relations is to possess the virtue of patience.Patience Lot of people underestimate the value of this quality but patience is an effective tool in maintaining peaceful and loving relationships between family members. The art of listening to another and resolving issues with composure will lead to trust and long lasting friendship between people.

2. Anger Management: Sometimes it’s easy to loose your temper when faced with difficult situations and usually family members endure the brunt of this anger. But rather than judging the person and confronting them, it is better to give them space and time to come out of their sullen mood. After the person has calmed down, speak with them and ask them what the problem is. A calm mind will always be able to see reason clearly and make sound judgements.

3. Realistic Expectations: Most often we become embittered or cynical in relationships because our expectations are not fulfilled. We should remember that we are all human and we can’t always live up to other peoples’ hopes. Hence, each one us should keep realistic expectations from one another. It is always better to communicate honestly with each other and express your feelings, sometimes your relatives maybe clueless of what you anticipate from them. An open and honest relationship always breeds faith in people.

4. Respect: One of the most winning traits in a relationship is giving respect to each other. We tend to understate the scope of respect and think it’s only reserved for the elderly. But this is not true; respect is a feeling that should be mutually shared by every family member, whether old or young.


Q. How can I deal with a family member that doesn’t understand my point of view?Shapes our character

Clear communication is the best way to approach a problem. An open dialogue will help you clear the air.

Q. My younger child feels that his older sibling gets more attention from me, how can I change his perceptions?
Sibling rivalry is an age old challenge that parents often have to deal with. The most important thing is to constantly offer your child a sense of security and show him that this feelings count too.

Q. My husband doesn’t tend to pay heed to my emotional needs, how can make him understand?
First try winning his confidence by being there for him when he needs you and then slowly get him to reciprocate the same back to you.

Q. My father loses his temper too quickly, this has hampered our family life, how can I get him to stop?
Approach him when he is calm and share with him how you feel when he is angry, make him see how it is negatively affecting your family life. Advise him that for everyone’s betterment, he should control his anger and resolve problems by sharing it with his family members.

Smita’s Advice

A strong family is the foundation of a well balanced society and each of us play our part in building this social order.

A family is a precious entity. It defines who we are and shapes our character. Always love your family unconditionally because it is the root of your existence.

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family. ”
Jim Butcher

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Managing Moods and Emotions

Managing your emotions is an inside job. That’s why it’s important to learn techniques to make attitudeManaging Moods and Emotions adjustments. You can then direct your emotions more efficiently. Happiness comes through emotions qualified by the heart”.

- Doc Childre and Howard Martin.

 Wonderful, isn’t it?

You can scale the highest mountains, dip into the deepest oceans, can travel towards the farthest distance and can even locate the God Particle! But still, it is difficult to control one’s own inner mechanism.

Most people flare up like the heads of the match sticks: a bit of an emotional fracture, they go all out to get the others. The regular tussle in the family, scuffle among friends and colleagues, road rage and frowning faces all over the place are some samples of our emotionally vulnerable minds and the wounded thought process.

It hurts to see people getting hurt like this! It of course, is not easy to control the mind and emotions. If it can be done, we don’t need spiritual leaders and millions of inspirational literature to guide us through the life.

Well, it’s not that difficult either! The following are some of the tips that could help you to calm down the mind and the emotions. It also may help you in dealing with people and the situations with more maturity and understanding:


1. Spilt Milk: The worst form of an emotional imbalance happens when we cry over the spilt Spilt Milkmilk time and again. Something bad happens and we get hurt badly. When we think about it time and again, our hurt remains intact. It just doesn’t go away. In that case, we need to take help from the outside. The help could be in the form of counseling from a qualified doctor, or it could be in the form of confiding with a trustworthy person.

2. Regrets: Exorcise the “Regret Ghosts” from the mind. We all regret about having done something wrong or having not done something at all, which could have been a step stone to our relationship, career or our future.  We should firmly understand that regrets wouldn’t bring back what we had not done or done so wrongly. Whatever has happened has happened in the past and we should move on with the present now.

3. EFT: There is a wonderful method of healing called as the “Emotional Freedom Technique” which works nicely without side-effects, as per the website. EFT is a form of emotional healing simply by tapping on selected points on your upper body. EFT heals and comforts the mind, emotions and the body.

4. Forgiveness: Forgiving people who has hurt you is another way of healing your inner engineering. ForgivenessForgiving others set you free from their mental bonding. If you think of someone means you are in some way bonded to that someone isn’t it? 

Like Oscar Wilde said,

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”

5. PPT: We all have heard of the “power of positive thinking”. Positive thinking can eliminate all the uncertainties and the negativism out of our minds. Think good, think positive and think right!

6. Just Relax: Getting into a regular habit of doing visualization, meditation, yoga, pranayam (deep breathing) and other relaxation techniques shall work a long way in healing, repairing and managing your mind and emotional well being.

7. Positive Words: When you are upset about something, which happen to us all, start writing the positive words like healing, amazing, spectacular, wonderful, astounding, relaxing, love, hugs etc for ten minutes. You see, the positive words have a way with our minds. It works for me.

8. Listen to soft music. There is something wonderful about listening to the soft music, listening to the raindrops, breathing in on the fresh earth when the first few thousands drops fall on them, thinking about wonderful things that has happened to you in the past, appreciation from someone, heartfelt thanks from someone else….managing the inner being is not so tough as it feels sometimes.


Q Its easy for me to be in a bad mood. How can I manage my mood swings

There are lot of things that follow mood swings like irritability, restlessness,depression, fatigue and insomnia. Try and understand the triggers of your bad mood. Stay away from those triggers. Eat and sleep well, do meditation, do breathing exercise, stay with happy and positive people.

Q I break up easily into tears. How can I become stronger and manage my emotional health.

Its ok to cry sometimes, but not always. Crying too much is certainly not healthy. It means the source of problem is coming from within. Stay confident and don’t let your emotional side control each and every situation. Believing in yourself will help you from emotional outburst. Act fearless. Live in now. Don’t worry for future. Always think positive and stay optimistic. Learn from your past mistakes and try not to repeat them.
“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’”

Smita’s Advice

We all have come a long way in life, crossing so many hurdles, hurts and unwanted happenings. We are still alive and are doing fine. You see, the mind has ways and means of healing on its own. We just need to help it to heal us faster.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think like Oscar Wilde?

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

So be it!

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How To Decorate Your House

“For a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond
Decorate Your House convert a house into a HOME and balance one another.”

– Andre Putman


The Art and science of interior decoration runs in the veins of every single woman in the world; she just needs a bit of a suggestion here and a push of an idea there and am sure, she will become a great success in converting her house into a home!

A few common tips on the interior decoration of your home:


1. DeclutterBefore decorating your interiors, de-clutter your home: though it is elementary, as Sherlock Holmes would have said, it has to be done!

Harden your heart and throw away all the junk that has been accumulated at your home for eons now. Throw away ALL your old and unused stuff. Give it to a charity. You will be blessed!

2. Clean upClean up your entire house, room by room, wall by wall and inch by inch; include
your curtains, blinds, windows, carpets, furniture, library, medical cabinets and cupboards and even under the beds; just clean up the whole nine yards!

3. Planning and BudgetingNow that your junk has been lifted and the home is sparkling, it is time to sit down and draft up the interior decoration plan. The plan of course, depends up on your budgetary allocation. The more the budget, the more you may be able to spend on your interior beautification.

4. Decorating Choices: There are so many ways by which you may decorate your home: Decorating Choicesyou may choose to decorate each room on the basis of a theme or on the basis of a focal point, to start with.

Theme based Interiors:

Let’s go with the theme based interior decoration. You may decorate every room on the basis of different colour combinations or on the basis of different styles, like traditional, country and retro style, contemporary, spacious, arts and crafts and in different country styles, the most famous being Italian and French ones!

5. Walls: After the theme and style has been chosen, you should choose the method of decoration for the walls; wall painting, wall papers or even vertical gardening on one entire wall!

Base mantra for paints: small rooms, light hues and large rooms, dark hues, simplicity itself. Sherlock Holmes again!

Light hues make the room looks more spacious. If you would be using two or more colours in a room, you should make sure that they belong to the same colour family, like blue and pale green.

You may even choose wall murals for an entire wall which will look amazing. You should hang the wall arts and other hangings at your eye level.

6. Windows: Do you have decorative windows at your house? (Like bay windows or octagon), be blessed and let them maintain their individuality! Add some greenery around the windows and add some lovely decorative furniture close to the windows facing the sunshine. Add a small rack for magazines for reading during the day time and a lamp for the night; am sure, the place may soon become your favorite haunt!

For other windows which may need curtains, you should choose the curtain colors in sync with the color theme and the style of the room.

For a small room without a view, use a number of mirrors to reflect the room light to give an illumination of brightness and space to the room.

7. Floors: Use tapestry, carpets and rugs in the appropriate places for good looks and maintenance of the floors. Clean the nooks and corners of the floors, tiles, linoleum, carpets and rugs regularly for maintaining the sparkling look on your floors.

Tips for individual rooms:

1. Living Room: Do you have decorative knick knacks, a lot of books, and quite a few
Bedroom family photos? Well, display them all in an imaginative combination in your library at the front room. Don’t have a library racks? You should get some.

2. Bed Rooms: A day of hard work, traffic jams, projects and meets, family requirements and worries comes to a conclusion at night right at the bed room: make it the most relaxing, peaceful, calm and romantic place at your house. Spend lavishly and get the most comfortable bedding for complete relaxation. Add décor in terms of candles, mirrors and stuff like.

3. Children’s Rooms: Do you ever watch, “Extreme Make Over: Home Edition”, a reality show on home improvement for the less fortunate people? (BBC Entertainment)  The episodes are worth watching in anyway! They will also give you plenty of ideas on the decoration aspect of your children’s rooms and your home in general.

As you know your children’s interests and favourites, make the thing they like the most as the central theme of your children’s rooms. If your child loves forest, bring in the cut outs or wall pieces relating to animals. Paint a mural on trees, birds and animals. Paste a wall paper with the forest theme. Let the interest of your child decides on the décor of their room.

4. Dinning Room: This is where the family gets their energy and nourishment to tackle their entire day. Decorate this room with lovely chandelier. Add some pieces of fancy and soft lights.
BathroomLet the walls be adorned with rich wall paper or be painted with floral and light colours for peace and relaxation.

5. Kitchen: The kitchen is one of the most significant room in a home. Decorate the cabinet tops with decorative china, vases and other suitable knick knacks. Let your counter tops and appliances
shines. Keep the kitchen always clean and disinfected.

6. Bathrooms: The shower curtains, windows and rugs should be kept completely clean. Perfumed candles may be added to the master bath and decorative toys and accessories can be added to children’s baths.


Q. I had always wanted to do interior decoration for my home, but I am afraid to indulge in that dream due to financial issues. Do I need to spend a lot of money on house beautification?

 Not necessarily! All the things, whether it is the furniture, paints, different types of flooring, wall hanging etc. comes with various price tags, suitable for all packets.

You shop for the items that suit your budget. The same house can be decorated at a minimum expense or in multi million dollars.

Q. How can I cut down on multiples in my kitchen?

It is crucial to keep Kitchen well organised and clutter-free, so you can handle the stress that can accompany cooking.Most kitchen end up storing large bowls and gadgets that are bought from the trips abroad and are rarely used. If you find not using them for over a year, give them away or transfer them to another storage area.Best way to de-clutter is to get rid of multiples of things as you are just hoarding them.

Smita’s Advice

Decorating is not about making stage sets

Go wild with imagination; create beautiful space in the living room, relaxed atmosphere in your bed room and peacefulness in your dinning room. Let your creativity touches all parts of your house, thereby converting it into your HOME!

“Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul”.

- Albert Hadley, The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer


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Event Management

Effective managers live in the present but concentrate on the future.Event Management

- James L. Hayes.

Women are the best of managers; look at how they manage their home, their children, their work, their schedules etc.That’s why they are known to be Multitaskers.

They are naturally the best ones to manage the events as well: like party planning, house warming, kitty parties, birth day parties, dinner parties, engagement parties, wedding arrangements, christenings and baby showers etc.

A few general tips to help you on the event management at home.


1. Budgeting: Unless certain specified funds are channelized into the preparation and the execution of the events, you wouldn’t be able to rationalize on the expenses incurred; you may end up spending more money and may feel the pinch later.

2. To Do List: Create the complete list of the requirements for the party; right from the guest list till the gift list to the guests. This will give you a clear cut idea of the things you should be doing and the time frame required for you to do them.

3. Concentrate on the hero of the event: Concentrate on the Hero of the event, ex: Birthday boy or the Engagement girl or To Be Mom’s baby shower. Work around your hero’s tastes, like and dislikes, friends, favourite dishes, favourite music and games etc. The party is because of and for the hero; ensure the star’s happiness.

4. Plan well in advance: For an event to be successful, the event should be planned well in advance, so that there should be no margin for errors and you may have a lot of time to work on.

5. Delegate some work to your family: Do not try to do everything on your own; delegate some work to you family members and let them handle it successfully, well, under your supervision!

6. Decide on the guest list: Your guest list should set the tone of the party. Decide on the guest listWhether only ladies are invited, (Ex: kitty party), whether only youngsters are invited, (Ex: Your son’s birthday) etc. decides on the menu, décor, the type of the music and food etc. Create the list to avoid mismatching of the guests and your preparation. Decide also on the invitation, whether you need to send a formal invitation by an envelope, a simple email, or a phone call etc.

7. Car Parking: Remember to do something about the parking problems. Today, even a 18 year old youngster has got a car and you should arrange for the car parking for your guests, failing which before the party starts, unpleasant feelings shall start.

8. Arrange the caterers: You don’t want to be busy with cooking while the guests are milling around aimlessly all around. Engage caterers and give them the specific time for serving the meals in advance.

9. Arrange for photographer: If it is a small party, you or a family member can take photos of the memory. It the party is big, it’s better for you to arrange a photographer, instruct him on the photographs and leave it at that.

10. Home Beautification: Clean up the home thoroughly a few days before the event, so that your home will look “sweet home” for the guests. Use the essential oils wherever possible to create a relaxed atmosphere in the party.

11. Personal Beautification: A visit to the beauty parlour is a must for you to look dazzling at the party; you are the host and people will look up to you for everything. Let them look up to a beautiful face and a wonderful smile!

12. Set the tables and flowers:Allocate a specific place, the reception or theSet the tables and flowers entertainment room etc, for the event. Set the tables with cutleries and plates; put a small flower vase in the middle. You may even have a centre piece of flowers in the middle of the room, which will look attractive to the guests.

13. Set the Music: Fifteen minutes before the actual party starts, set the music on and let it flow till the last guest take leave of you.

14. Move around: Move all around your guests, exchanging pleasantries with them all; don’t get struck with a small set of people and engage in conversation with them for a long time. A host should move around freely like a butterfly.

15. Serve drinks and snacks: Arrange to serve water, cool drinks and light  Serve drinks and snackssnacks before the actual meals, which would set the mood of the people nicely. There is nothing like a light snacks and cool drinks to pep up the party talks!

Arrange to serve coffee and desserts after meals. Coffee in anyway would be welcome to most people, after meals in a party.

16. Say Bye to your guests with grace: Give a small gift to your guests as a token of your thanks, when they take leave.


Q. Sometimes, despite my best event management, things happen; drinks get spilled or food arrive lukewarm etc. How to control them?

Spilling of water or cool/hot drinks can not be controlled; you may see children and clumsy adults everywhere. Instruct your hired help to take care of the cleaning part immediately.

On the other hand, lukewarm or cold food is a serious matter. Change your caterers for your next party and instruct the new caterers strictly on the importance of serving the food piping hot.

Q Whenever I have party at home, cleaning after the party becomes very difficult. Any quick tips that can help avoiding the mess during the party?

Yes, after party cleaning is a tedious job. Few things you can keep in mind before thecleaning is a tedious job party begins. Put trash can at easy excess to the guest.  Put extra trash bags in your waste basket bottom, then when u empty it u don’t have to make special trip to cabinet to get one to go in there each time u change your trash.

Try keeping food in one single corner. Because that’s where it goes dirty fast. Keep free flow of tissue towels, so that guest doesn’t spoil sofa covers and curtains. Keep good supply of toilet paper and liquid soap in the bathrooms. Keep few dusters handy for unavoidable accidents.


Smita’s Advice

The Event Management needs a lot of preparation and it should be done in a well planned and well executed manner.Don’t forget to throw a party after you go through them…

“Incremental planning and sustained execution can make the insurmountable possible”

- Mr. Prophet

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Benefits of Essential Oils

When we receive a bouquet of flowers, while walking in a garden of fresh plants and flowers;
fresh plants
when we are holidaying in the vast mountains and forests and when we spray a wonderful fragrance on our clothes; we unconsciously take a deep breath and immediately feel calm and relaxed with ourselves and feel one with the atmosphere.  That’s the kind of the compulsive natural response our mind has for the aromatics.

Essential oils are observed by our body when we apply it on our skin, inhale through our nose and when take them internally.

For the sensitive skin and the soft nature of a woman, the essential oils are a gift of healing to her heart, emotions, mind and body.

There are a number of plants from which the essential oils are being extracted; some names are worth mentioning:



1. Kitchen Cabinet: Look no further than your vegetable basket, refrigerator and your dry storage mates. Cloves, Ginger, Lemon, Cardamom, Garlic, black pepper, parsley and coriander are right there at your home to provide you relief from various ailments. Add basil, oranges and grapefruits with them. Your mini medicinal cabinet is ready to serve you.

Some of the benefits of these plants are: relief from cold and cough, muscle aches and exhaustion, bronchitis, arthritis and rheumatism, low BP, sprains, indigestion, nausea and appetite loss, skin problems, warts, and much more.

2. Cosmetics Cabinet: Essential Oils made from angelica Root, Bay, Rosewood, German Cosmetics cabinet and Roman Chamomile, Cypress, Galbanum, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Hyssop, Lemon and Lavender etc. are some of the plants whose oils take care of the different problems of your skin, including dryness, itchiness, oily, sensitive or matured skin types. Make a note that not all the oils are effective for all the skin problems.

3. Emotional Cabinet: Our heart and mind holds our emotions and our body react to our various emotions in varied ways. The following essential oils shall help you to keep your emotions in control, to feel calm, relaxed and to feel peaceful.

Women, more than men, go through mood swings, mental fatigue, nervousness, grief, anger, panic, depression and stress due to various reasons at various points of time in their lives. Being sensitive, women are more emotionally vulnerable than men. The healing properties of essential oils shall be useful here as well.

Oils from plants like rosewood, cloves, frankincense, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, rose and rosemary, ylang ylang shall be useful to heal your mind, relax your body, gives happiness and peacefulness to your whole being.

Geranium and Rose helps to ease the menopause related issues.

However, not all the plants are effective to heal all the emotional issues. The details noted here are noted only in general.


Q. I am depressed: How can I go about using these healing oils and in what proportionsAromatherapy massage for my personal use and for my home?

Glad you had asked. The above details are given purely for basic informative purposes only. Just like you are, we are impressed with the effectiveness and the healing properties of these oils and had just wanted to share the knowledge with you.

I would specifically like to advise you to consult a qualified aroma therapist; a qualified doctor with alternative healing specialization with plants or a qualified specialist in essential oil healing; or some one who is qualified for this very purpose for advice on the usage and administration of essential oils.

It is not advisable to self administrator anything that may affect your health and well being without consultation with some one who is a specialist in that field.

Q. How do I use essential oils, and its benefitsessential oils

There are many ways in which you can benefit from essential oils through aromatherapy.

You can apply them externally either by diluting them in a base oil for massage or in water while bathing or bath products. Depending on the type of oil or oil blend you use you can soothe aching muscles, calm frazzled nerves, ease a tension headache or enhance concentration.

You can use them in a diffuser to create a specific mood or atmosphere in a room, clean or disinfect the air or help provide relief from a cold. They are very helpful in de-stressing.


Smita’s Advice

Essential oils possess amazing healing properties on our emotions, mind, and body and on our very core being. They are the true form of alternative healing; organic essential oils are known for very less or nil side effects when compared to the commercial essential oils.


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Flower arrangement and flower jewellery

All through the ages, women are compared to the flowers; flowers are the favorite instruments in the hands flower arrangementof the writers, painters, sculptures and others to compare them with the women.

Flowers have a way of understanding a woman’s heart; in a way flowers are like a woman; soft, endearing, exceptional, beautiful, sensitive and comes wearing lots of colors!

There is nothing better than flowers to give as a gift and there is nothing better than flowers to receive as gift. Whether you receive them as gifts or buy for your home, it’s important to know the basics of flower arrangement. There are a few general tips given as follows:


1. Types of Flower Arrangements: There are different types of flower arrangements viz., Free Standing arrangement, Hogarth’s Curve arrangement, vertical arrangement, horizontal arrangement, oval arrangement, minimal arrangement, crescent arrangement and Triangular arrangement.

2. Types of Flowers: Three MAIN types of flowers used in the flower arrangement shouldTypes of Flowers be taken note of, the Line flowers, Mass flowers and the Filler flowers.

3. Identify the types of flowers received by you or buy the flowers according to the types specified so that you shall be able to do the flower arrangement according to your chosen type as a visual treat to your family and friends.

4. Line Flowers: Just like their name suggests the Line flowers are the ones that add height and width to your flower base structure. Certain examples of such flowers are snapdragons, gladiolus, liatris, tuberose, curly willow, bells of Ireland, delphiniums etc.

5. Mass Flowers are the God Particle of the flower arrangement; they give the mass or the weight to the flowers. The lovely Rose comes under this category. Certain other examples are Tulips, Iris, Lilies, Daffodils, sunflowers, magnolias, daisies etc.

6. Filler Flowers: Filler flowers are the ones that fill in the space between the line and the mass flowers and give us the visual appeal of the flower arrangement.

7. Choose the container: Vase is the most common form of container used for the flower arrangement. You could try different forms of container, including synthetics, metal, stone, plastics, hand-painted containers, terra cotta, glass etc. Change the routine and bring in bright and shinning colour in the flower combination; keep it in the centre of the room. People will look delightedly star-struck!

8. Flowers submerged in water: Roses, lilies and a variety of orchids, sturdy calla are some of the flowers that can be kept submerged in water. Remove the leaves that are submerged in water. A teaspoon of glycerine added to the water shall help in increasing the life of the flowers. Use lukewarm water and keep the cut flowers in the vertical position.

9. How to choose the flowers for arrangement: You may choose the flowers based on the colour combination you have in mind, based on the different meanings of the flowers, (fluorography), and based on the flowers you love the most, based on the texture, size, colour and the harmony of the combination of flowers.

10. Use localized flowers: It’s best to use the flowers that are native to your locality; they survive better in your arrangement

11. Suggestions of combination of flowers in the arrangement: Combination of peach, green and white, just peach and green, yellow, white and red, the same colour arrangement like the pure white types, red, yellow and blue together etc.

Flower Jewellery:Flower Jewellery

The beautiful and natural flower patterns in light weight gold and diamonds in various jewellery sets are one of the most famous jewellery trends in 2012. It is also expected to rule the 2013 trends too.

Termwiki refers to flower jewellery as,

“a piece of jewelry that features flower stations or gemstone arrangements designed to resemble a flower”.

Flower jewellery comes in various hues and colours, just like the original flowers; they can either be bought outright or can be made to order in select jewellery show rooms.


Q. Though it’s my passion to buy flowers and decorate my home with flower  Flowersarrangements from time to time, I don’t generally get to buy the flowers of my choice as I live in a semi urban area. How can I go about getting the flowers of my choice?

Simple, really! These days you can order whatever you want from online. There are specialized websites and e-shopping sites that cater to almost all the requirements of the customers. Google and order any number of flowers of your choice and enrich your flower arrangements at home.

Smita’s Advice

A woman can arrange a bunch of flowers far better than a man, sorry folks, because she understands their language, their laughter, their sweetness, their endearing and exceptional qualities. You see, in a way, women are like the flowers too!

Like Gerald De Nerval had said,

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.”

How very true?

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Handling Medical Emergencies

We all are surrounded by medical problems, emergencies, accidents and other Medical Emergencieshealth issues; however, we never realize the need for learning to cope with the any of them.

We see accidents happen from time to time and wouldn’t know how to save a person. We see someone struggling through a heart attack but wouldn’t know how to take care of him.

We women in general feel emotionally so vulnerable that we refuse to acknowledge the probability of medical emergencies happening to us or to some one close to us. We believe, like everybody else, that things happen only to the others.

Like weather, life’s tips and turns are never predictable. If it can be, we would all be Gods on our own. Hence, it’s important to think of the health emergencies and should equip ourselves in order to face them.


1. Before you try to help others, help yourselves: Protect your hands and skin with gloves, towel, shirt etc. when you are helping a person covered with blood, tissues, body fluids etc. While you are giving first aid to someone, do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. It is important to avoid getting infected with diseases, when you are trying to help others.

2. First Aid: First aid is the steps that are taken in order to care for a person before the medical help arrives. Because of the lack of first aid so many people die all over the world. In lot many cases, it makes a huge difference between the very life and the death.

3. Cuts and Grazes:

a. At home: Cuts and grazes are easy to handle: wash cut and  woundthe wound with soap and water. If it is minor, you could even clean it with Dettol or any other antiseptics. Use clean pad to press on the bleed till it stops. Cover with a sterilized bandage. If it is a minor cut, an ordinary band aid would do. Check on it from time to time. You may change the band aid or bandage in between when you check on it. Once it gets healed, you may remove it. If you feel that it gets infected, a visit to a doctor is a must.

4. In case of Accidents: 

a. Be Calm: Calm down yourself; breathe deeply and understand that you are going to help save someone who is in a critical position and that’s one of the finest things to do in the world.

b. Evaluate the Situation: Evaluate the seriousness of the situation:  Check for the
In case of Accidents ABC of a person: airway (unobstructed airway), breathing and presence of pulse points in the major body parts, like wrist, carotid artery etc.

c. Get help: Call for emergency assistance, call an ambulance or contact a nearby hospital as the case may be.

d. Do not move the injured person: If it is a case of serious injury, do not move the injured person, unless it is unsafe for the person to be left where he is. Moving a person is more injurious in case of head and spinal cord injuries etc.

e. Calm the victim: Speak to a conscious victim to reassure him; do not to alarm him by talking about the seriousness of his injury.

f. Accident Site: Do not disturb the accident site, except to administer first aid and call for medical assistance.

g. Severe Bleeding: A clean towel, a clean T Shirt or any available clean cloth should be placed on top of the bleeding and the victim or you may press your hand on it to stop the bleeding or to reduce the severity of the bleeding. If possible, raise the wounded area above the level of the heart of the victim. Wait for the help to arrive.

5. In Case of Fracture: Keep the fractured area immobilized. Try to place a small pillow or a folded blanket or some such things between the injured area and the ground. Wait for the help to arrive.

6. In case some one stops breathing: When some one has stopped breathingstops breathing, place him on his back on the floor. Place your fingertips under his jaw bone, while softly pressing his forehead down, lift his chin pointing upwards. This helps to make sure that his tongue is not blocking his throat way. Keep up this position for 10-15 seconds while you check for the obvious signs of breathing like the rise and fall of his chest, or the breathing from his mouth etc. When he starts breathing, keep him in the same position till the medical help arrives.

If he does not start breathing even after 10 seconds, you may have to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation.

7. In case of a person in shock: Help the person to lie down on his back on the floor with his feet raised so that the blood circulates to his brain.

Keep the person comfortable and warm; if possible, cover him with a blanket or a bed sheet.

Do not give anything to drink as he may get chocked on it.

Wait for the medical assistance to arrive.

8. In case of a burn victim: First and second degree burns can be treated by immersing or flushing with really cool water. Don’t use ice, ointments etc. Do not touch the blisters. Cover the third degree burns with a wet cloth. You may remove clothing and other wearing from the burn, but not the clothing that is stuck to the burns.  Wait for the medical help to arrive.

These are just a minuscule part of the medical emergency scenario: this should not be taken as a professional advice. It is always advisable to learn the first aid and medical emergency courses from professionals. Such training should be able to give you confidence and technical knowledge in dealing with such situations.


Q. When I see some one going through some medical emergency situation, even though I would like to help, I am unable to muster the courage to do so. I get extremely nervous, anxious and do not even know how to react. How can I help some one at that point of time?

It is the natural reaction for most of the people. We are used to a certain comfortable way of living; we just can not tolerate when some one goes through so much of pain and suffering in front of us. That’s why there is so much of respect to the doctors, who instead of becoming immobile, spring into action in saving a person’s life.

You should undergo a thorough course on medical emergency and first aid. A professional knowledge shall help you immensely in handling such situations in a much better way.

Q. What are the important contents of the first aid box at home?First Aid Kit

The recommended contents of first aid box are

A box of adhesive dressing (Plasters) of different sizes for covering small wounds. Blunt-ended scissors,  Antiseptic lotion to use with the cotton wool and antiseptic wipes.Cotton wool for cleaning cuts and gauzes. Some triangular bandages  Sterile dressings (field dressings) of various sizes for covering wounds. Sterile eye dressings with bandage attached for eye injuries. Aspirin or paracetamol preferably sealed in foil to give longer life. Anti histamine cream for insect bites and stings. Cream for cuts and burns. Tweezers for removing splinters. Tubular gauze bandages for finger injuries and applicator tongs. Two or three crepe or conforming bandages for sprains and for wounds in awkward places such as elbows and ankles.


Smita’s Advice

When there is a medical emergency happening in your presence, don’t get excited, nervous or get frozen in your tracks; take steps to help the affected person.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

-John Bunyan

When you had helped some one in their desperate moments of stress, discomfort and pain, probably you have been blessed with a life time of happiness on every single day!


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Reciting Books – Voice Modulation

Do you watch the animation films? Have you ever wondered how we get engrossedVoice Modulation with the characters in such films whether they speak, cry, laugh and even sleep with all their hearts? I especially love Robin Williams for his energetic, enthusiastic and amazingly animated background voice. You see, there’s something wonderful in getting into the soul of the character and speaks through it to you! That’s what he does and that’s what you should do too while you are reading the written words.

When you’ll become the character itself, then all the emotions shall start coming out of your voice automatically. You give life to the characters in the book(s) and you can see the crowd getting mesmerized with you. If you laugh, they laugh and if would crease your forehead and they would do that too!

The following are some of the tips to bring in and improve on the art of reciting books with an amazing voice modulation:


1. Recite with conviction: We read books to our children and we automatically make noises according to the characters in the book, whether it is a tiger, lion or a bird. We change our voices unconsciously to suit the characters when we read stories to our children. In the same way, when you would recite the written words with a complete conviction, then the listeners will hang on to your words and will totally be focused on you.

2. Preparation: Preparation is always the best thing to do. Before the actual Preparationrecitation, you should prepare in advance, read the book a few times, no need to memorize the details, but just read, so that you will know the grammar areas, the emotional areas and the areas where you should go slow, or take a breather; a special emphasis should be given to the correct pronunciation of the words too.

3. Voice pitch and volume: It is imperative that you should give importance to your voice pitch and the volume; ban your personal emotions in the real life and become a part and parcel of the book you are going to recite to your audience.

4. Slow and steady recital: You should recite the book slowly, without mumbling, so that the audience will capture the picture of the book through your voice. Rushing into the completion with nervousness shall never help you.

5. Record your voice to listen: If possible, before the actual recitation, audio or
video record your voice while reading the book and listen to it carefully for pitfalls. Nobody is perfect and you will be surprised to find a lot of areas for improvement.

Well, improve on them.

6. Dress and posture: Well dressed with a good
Record your voice posture, eye contact with the audience, relaxed body movement and self confidence shall help in deporting you to the pages of the book to recite as is required.

7. Dress carefully: However, make a note that the attire should be free around your vocal chords so as not to disturb while you are making your recitation.

8. Maintain Hygiene: It is also highly important that you maintain your vocal, chest and nasal hygiene, so that your voice will come across well modulated, while you are on the job.

9. Flow with words: You don’t need to do anything extraordinary; just flow with the words, sentences, paragraph and the pages. The audience will sway with you, will focus on you and will appreciate you.


Q. I always struggle with the stage fright despite being well prepared on the contents. It becomes difficult for me to recite comfortably while on the stage. How to overcome the stage fear?

Even the seasoned speakers feel butterflies in their stomach when they mount on the stage and there is absolutely nothing wrong in feeling the stage fright. You may try the following:

  1. Practice, practice and practice some more,  in front of the mirror, in front of your family and friends and in front of anyone trustworthy who is willing to listen to you.
  2. Do not loose any chance of talking in front of a group, known or unknown, give presentations in the college and at work.
  3. Put on a big smile and think positively of your recitation. Visualize that people will really enjoy having you on stage reciting from the book and loving it!
  4. You can do it!

Q  Can voice modulation be useful in my professional sphere?

Voice modulation is an extremely important skill for those whose work is frequented by presentations and speeches. It is vital to hold the attention of your audience for a long duration, and voice modulation makes you effective.

Smita’s Advice

The amazing voice modulation shall only be possible if you would become a part of the scenery, a part of the book and you if would get into the soul of the character itself.

Wouldn’t it be so amazing to listen to a well modulated voice which would leave a lasting effect like Ben Jonson said

“The voice so sweet, the words so fair, as some soft chime had stroked the air; And though the sound had parted thence, still left an echo in the sense.”

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Being Disciplined

Is it too hard to work on?

There is a video named, “Try to Watch without Crying” uploaded by XEDV on Oct race track18, 2011 to Youtube.com. You should watch it!

It is an amazingly extra-ordinary video of a runner Derek Redmond, who had participated in the Barcelona 92 Olympics. He had seriously injured himself during the race and despite an agonizing pain which we could feel in our hearts through our tear filled eyes, he ran; limping, a bit stumbling, crying and taking the support of his father.  He had ended up as the symbol of the true Olympian at the standing ovation of 65,000 audiences at the stadium.

I had tried, I tried to “watch without crying”, but I couldn’t!

It’s the classic case of an amazingly spectacular persistence capability and the great power of self discipline. A capacity to forge forward, focusing only towards your achieving of the target, irrespective of your emotions, pains, discomforts, distractions and disturbances. That’s precisely what is called as self discipline.

Self Discipline can be exercised with regard to any part of your life and or on any decision you take; if your aim is to become the next head of your company, if your aim is to make you child to stand at the top of his class, if you aim is to reduce your weight, if your aim is to become the best sprinter at your college, if your aim is to keep a smooth relationship with your extended family and if your aim is to … (you should fill in the blanks here)

It’s exactly like the sprinter springs forward running towards the marked mark on the moment he hears the whistle, without stopping for any pain, circumstances, disturbances and distractions.


1. Persistence: It is the most beautiful word ever found in the English dictionary,  Persistencegoes well beyond your love and hugs.

You set a goal; set your time limits; start on the action and move on towards the action despite any hindrances. Persistence!

It will make a world of difference to your reaching or forgoing your set targets.

2. Procrastination: It is the classic villain bounces on your self discipline methods; postponing something for tomorrow everyday makes the tomorrow never comes calling you home. Self discipline and procrastination can not stay in the same place. Hence, choose action and not inaction or the postponement of action for some other time.

3Move Forward: Whether you want to take it easy or move on fast towards your set goal, let us say, on implementation of your diet control program, just do something. Take some action.

Start your program with three days a week and gradually fast forward to five days a week. Work in small steps if you feel overwhelmed in taking big steps. Just move forward. Only status stands at the same place. You are not one, are you?

4. Enlist the help of others: Once you start working on a goal, enlist the help of your family, close friends and colleagues.

In the classic case of the weight loss program, your friend may stop tempting you with junk foods, your family might co-operate with you
Self-Appreciationon healthy drinks and your colleagues could leave you alone with the salads for lunch. Enlist the help of at least a few people who understands your seriousness towards
reaching your set target.

5. Self-AppreciationThe moment you had reached a set target with success, be expansive on the self appreciation. Take yourself for a cup of coffee. Buy a couple of clothes. Get some fancy accessories. After the celebration, move on to the next set target.


Q. Just like multi-tasking, I undertake multi-targeting on certain goals. Being DisciplinedSometimes, it works, however, most of the time, it doesn’t! How to go about it?

It must naturally be working, when your goals are complementary to each other and not contradictory to one another. For example, if you continue to eat the fattening food items while expecting great results on being fit and fancy, it doesn’t work!

Create goals that are complementary and work on them simultaneously; am sure, you will succeed.

Smita’s Advice

When the goals are contradictory, set them one by one and achieve them on a priority basis.

Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which”.

-      Gary Ryan Blair

Only when you sow the seeds of self-discipline, can you reap the benefits of self growth.

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Being Charismatic and Charming


“Charisma is the transference of enthusiasm.”Being Charismatic

Ralph Archbold quotes

“Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question”.

Albert Camus

Charm and Charisma are more similar than different from each other in their attributes. Both talk about the personality of some one; the enthusiasm of someone, the care that some one give to the others, the comfort with which they make others to feel etc.

Recently, I had attended a function at a friend’s place; as soon as I had entered, I had noticed the host amongst the sea of other faces. In a way, no one could escape noticing her; she was floating around the party, exchanging pleasantries with people, her eyes intent on the ones with whom she was talking to, bending over a toddler hugging him with dancing eyes; she was in general behaving like a perfect host that she was, may be better!

She was not beautiful in the strict sense of the word. But something about her was so charming and that something had made me to look at her and had made me to continue to do so.

Presently, she was talking to some one with a lovely smile; she was looking directly into his eyes, had focussed totally on his face, as though excluding the rest of the world from that moment; she must have been sharing with him something interesting that had made him to smile broadly. In seconds, she had arranged cool drinks for him and had asked about his comforts. When she left him, I saw the dazed look on his face, a sort of pleasant drowsiness that had shown me that the thoughts of hers were still lingering on his mind, like the lingering fragrance from some one that had crossed his path.Charm and charisma! The words can never be defined completely; however the dictionaries may try to do so. I had just tried!

What attracts you to some one and what makes that some one as the centre of a party, meeting, at work and even in the family?

People who are genuinely interested in you

People, who are focused on you

People who make you to feel comfortable and special

People who treat you as an equal to them

People who make you to smile from the heart

People who are kind to you

People who are sympathetic, generous and are approachable

People who show respect to you and

People who make positive comments about you;

Those are the people you are attracted to and those are the people whom you think are charming and charismatic!


1. Like the others: Show an interest in people, make positive comments on them, make them to feel at ease, be Charming kind to them, show respect to them and spread smiles a mile and they will be yours. It does not even need a practice!

2. Listen to people: Most of the people don’t allow others to complete their sentence. They had to interfere, thereby creating irritation and discomfort for the other person. Listen; is it such a complicated thing to do so? By listening to the others, you help in boosting their self respect and confidence levels.

3. Show self confidence: When you walk through the doors people should respond to your positive vibes involuntarily. Maintain a straight posture, keep your handshake firm and meet the others in the eyes. Introduce yourself clearly by name.

When Oprah enters the stage in the Oprah Winfrey talk show; when Nelson Mandela gets up to speak on any platform, when you look at the dazzling blue eyes of Paul Newman and the emotion filled face of Meryl Streep; they are charming and you are charmed!

Their charisma is mysterious in a certain way, lingering on your hearts even after they leave the stage or when the film is over, whatever the case may be! Their confidence levels are so high that you tend to love them, clearing a space in your hearts for them to stay there forever!

Show an enormous self confidence and claim the stage as your own!

4. Engage people in good conversation: Knowledge about the current affairs, present political and economic scenario helps. Speak with conviction. Be sure in what you want to convey.

People love themselves. Show interest to learn about them.


Q. I am a young woman. Though I would like to be charming in the party circles and would like to be quite young womanpopular, I am unable to overcome my introvert nature. How should I go about it?

Like any other art, charming is an art and a talent that can be developed easily and being charismatic is at the ripening end of being a charming woman.

Always talk about the others and not about yourself to them. Listen to what they have to say carefully with a nice smile. Compliment people and they would love you just for that. Carry your self confidence just like you carry your bag and accessories. Treat people as equivalent to you and be ready to tell little and interesting stories to people. When you meet some one at the next time, remember to compliment them by calling their name.

Finally, don’t go overboard on anything. Being a woman set your limits and be watchful for people’s body language. If you feel uncomfortable around some one, especially with strangers and in parties, clear out of that place.

Smita’s Advice

When the rocket science is an acquired science, surely learning to charm others or being charismatic in your approach, should not be a big problem. Practice and you will become one!

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The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.Gardening

- Alfred Austin

A woman would love to plant, nurture and nourish a plant, because it is in her basic nature to do so. That’s what she does by the end of the day, that is, to nurture and nourish, whether she is the CEO of a corporate or a Prime Minister of a country. Unconsciously she takes on her first role of being a daughter, wife, mother and grand mom very seriously, despite her varied roles in the outside world!

Whether you have a huge space around your home or you live in an apartment and may just use a balcony, a place below your staircase or just your window sills for gardening; doesn’t matter, you can become a gardener!

A few general tips to help you gardening at your home and in your containers:


1. Choose your container(s): To start with, you need a container to hold the soil and the

plant: you may use a pot, a plastic container, half cut old tyre tube, bucket, old paint tins, old food cans, wire baskets, laundry baskets, wash tubs etc; or you may buy from a nearby farm a variety of pots in various heights and colors at your choice and at interesting colour combinations.

2. Choose your soil: You can use soil from around your home or may scoop up some soil out of a nearby park as well (if possible) or you could straightaway buy soil from you farm or the stores meant for them.

If you take your home gardening seriously, get your soil mixed with peat moss, composite and old manure, so that you will start your plantation with the nutritional base. Good potting soil is the basis of good plants.

3. Drainage of Water: Your container should have the facility for drainage of water, whether you use containers from home or buy them from a farm.

4. Fertilizers and Pesticides: There are different varieties of fertilizers and pesticides available
basic gardening tipsfor different type of plants. The same set of fertilizers and pesticides can not generally be used for all the plants.

The quantity, the components and the frequency of the usage of fertilizers and pesticides varies mostly from plant to plant. Ex: While spinach needs fertilizer only at the time of planting, onions needs fertilizers once a year and most of the other vegetables needs once in three weeks. Hence, when you start your gardening, it’s better to start with a sound knowledge about the plants.

5. Do Basic Research: Google around the Google, read some gardening books, talk to your family, friends and neighbours and talk to your farm people or a gardener on the plants that are suitable for your home or the plants which you would like to plant around your home.

It would be better if you learn the basics of their growth, their water, fertilizer and pesticides frequency and the time of their output; you should also take into account your convenience and your availability to take enough care of them. If you are going to choose some plants which need a lot of your attention, which you may not be able to provide, you may rather choose another set of plants that needs less attention from you for their growth.

6. Watering the plants:  The best time for watering the indoor plants is in the morning hours. The more the plants grow, the more frequency of watering has to be done. Frequently look at the soil for dryness ra
Drainage of Waterther than allowing the leaves to get wilted before you water them.  Always water and use the fertilizer at the base of the plants and not all over the plant. This shall help in avoiding the fungus problem.

7. Wind and Sun Shine: Your plants need sunshine and breeze; more or less depends upon the type of your plants.

8. Easy to grow container vegetables: Some of the easy to grow vegetables in containers are tomato, cucumber, green beans and carrots.

9. Easy to grow container flowers: Some of the best flowers for containers are Geraniums, purple fountain grass, Petunia, Impatiens

10. Best herbs for containers: Some of the best herbs for containers are Mint, Rosemary and Thyme.

11. Perennial plants: Some of the perennial plants in the containers are Golden Creeping Jenny, Blue star Juniper and Golden Sword Yukka and Green Mountain Boxwood.

12. Vertical gardening: If you have hardly any space for pots and containers, you may still grow your garden, but in a vertical form.Vertical gardening

You may grow fruits, vegetables and flowers in vertical garden.

Such plants grow and spiral upwards using walls, arches, columns, artificial structures etc

Some of the plants and vegetables that are suitable for vertical gardening are tomato, melon, cucumber, philodendrons, ivies, ferns, bromeliads, hoyas and begonias.


Q. What is the major advantage of the indoor vertical gardening? vertical gardening

For one, it’s a living, breathing green wall within your home.  It just looks amazingly lovely when compared to your pots and containers. As the water drains quickly because of the hanging nature of this garden, they are easy to create, easy to maintain and difficult for the pests and fungus to hang on to them.

Well, whether it is container gardening or vertical gardening, the beauty of your garden should compensate for the lack of space around your house for the real garden. The greenery and colors are good for your eyes and you feel one with the nature. Above all, gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies for a woman.

Smita’s Advice

Gardening is like a poem; the Sun, the wonderful smile of the freshly watered soil, the green plant and the output; whether it is just the colorful leaves,flowers, fruits or vegetables. It’s just a poem. Instead of getting to read the poem, you are creating a poem, that’s the difference!

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

-      Marcus Tullius Cicero

 The Gospel Truth!

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Nail and Dental Beautification

“You can tell a lot from a person’s nails.”beautiful nails

- Ian McEwan, Saturday

Beautification does not happen on chipped, dry or brittle nails. Finger and Feet nails should be maintained in a proper way so that the nails can be decorated for your personal joy and for display to the others on the festivities, parties or just for fun.


Basics of Nail Management:

1. Regular Manicures: Getting regular manicures, helps in removing dead skin around the nails. ManicuresIt nourishes your hands and soften them.

2. Cleaning and Moisturizing: Clean the nails regularly; massage and moisturize them properly.

3. Remove the stains on your nails: soaking your nails in a cup of lemon water shall help greatly.

4. Breathing Time: Give your nails a breathing time in between your nail polish and nail arts etc.

5. Trimming of your nails: Your nails should be trimmed in a straight line and not in a circular fashion which may not be good for them; always use cuticle softener to remove undesired cuticles. Do not use the harsh nail cutters, scissors, steel files or any other sharp instruments to cut your nails.

6. Don’t bite your nails: Remember your Mom used to say not to bite your nails when you were young? It’s true. Biting your nails is quite unhygienic and should be avoided at any cost.

7. Protect your hands: Wear rubber gloves when you are doing your household work; this will keep your hands soft and save them from the harsh detergents, chemicals and the constant usage in the water. This will also save your cuticles from getting rough and from developing minor cracks.

 Nail Beautification:

Hand and feet nail beautification is nothing but the application of the nail art to your natural nails and or artificial nails (like sculptured nails, gel nails and nail wrapping); it also involves manicure and pedicure. If you will be indulging in nail art yourself, be aware of the basics of hygiene and the maintenance of your nails.

1. Variety in Nail Arts: The preference for nail art differs from woman to woman. It depends on her desire for pattern, floral, dried flowers, precious stones, geometrics, glitters and shimmers, line arts, art scenes, riot of colours, may just be a couple of colours etc. As many woman in the world, there are as many preferences for the nail art! You may either use the nail art on your natural nails or on talons (nail enhancements).

2. Nail Paints: Nail paints are available in all hues and shades. It’s for you to choose soft, neutral, flashy,Nail Paints shinny or shimmering colours for your nails. You may choose flashy and shimmering colours for the parties and for the festival seasons. Before starting the actual painting, you should make sure that the surface of your nail is clean and devoid of dirt or creams. Always use good quality nail paints.

3. How to create the nail art:  Coat a basic colour of your choice and create the design on top of it with contrasting colours. You may incorporate your design with animal or floral patterns, dried flowers or gemstones etc. Always allow some time between your coats for the paint to get dried out. Square off your design with a sealant coat.

4. Uneven nails: Now, if you have chipped or brittle nails, you can use the nail extensions and can implement the nail art on them. Gel can be used on your nails, if the acrylic paint is not suitable for you.

The only combination that’s required for the “Do it yourself” nail art is your nails and your imagination!

5. Nail Technician: You may even take the help of the nail technician or nail artist on the first few times of nail art; it would be advisable to let them paint your nails. You may observe and learn the art.

Dental Beautification:dental smile

Smiling is infectious,

You can catch it like the flu.

Someone smiled at me today,

And I started smiling too.

-      Author Unknown

Dental Beautification is nothing but the art of smile beautification. The set of 32 pearls in the mouth and the enchanting smile of a woman do come with a cost; for some it could be God’s blessing, but for most of the others, the dental professionals take care of them.

1. Dental Cosmetologist: The real beautification of the teeth is being taken care of by the dentalDental Cosmetologist cosmetologist, who manages the teeth’s form and appearance. The final destination of the “dental beautification is to have an amazing and dazzling smile”.

Dental beautification or “Smile Makeover” can be achieved by undergoing one or more of the following treatments as per your requirements:

2. Reshaping of the tooth: It helps to correct the chip, length and shape of the tooth(s), so that you can have uniformly beautiful teeth.

3. Dental Whitening: Whitening is the basis of dental beautification. You can not beautify the teeth that are discoloured or stained: bleaching, power bleaching, laser treatment and using gels are some of the methods by which the dentists shall help you on this.

4. Dental Veneers: What the bleaching can’t do for your teeth, veneers can! BleachingDental Whitening reduces the teeth stains to a large extent; however, the stains which can not be removed completely can be taken care of by the application of veneers that cover the surface of the stains.

Veneer is also used to change the shape of a tooth, cover a minor misalignment, bridge gaps between the front teeth and mends cracks and chips, malformations of the teeth.

5. Dental bridges and Implants: Dental bridges are the artificial teeth that fill in the area of the missed teeth, to bring in a proper alignment to your teeth.

6. Gum lift: Gum lift helps in raising and sculpturing the gum line in order to help in the forming of a uniform teeth structure.

7. Dental Gems and Tatoos: Dental jewellery and beatification is the latest craze in many countries.Its a great way to give dazzle to your million dollar smile.

Well, it is an

8. Extreme Makeover, Dental Edition: all the efforts to make your smile picture perfect, dazzling, and attractive and to give you the self confidence which you deserve.


Q. What should be the frequency of my manicure and pedicure?

Manicure should be done about every 2 to 3 weeks, as your hands handle on a lot of work and needs care often enough. Pedicure should be taken about once in a month, as feet is comparatively safer from abuse than the hands.

Q. How do you restore the natural color of your nails?

Discolored and misshaped nails can be a indicator of various medical conditions. Get your nails checked from a physician to rule out the possibility of a fungal infection. Use a soft bristle nailbrush to clean your nails.You can also use cotton dipped in lemon essential oil on nails to brighten them.Always use good quality base coat under your nail polish. Avoid using bright red, black or any other dark or very bright shade too often as they stain our nails more than light shades. Refrain from applying polish all the time.It deprives nails from oxygen which is needed to maintain its natural color.

Smita’s Advice

Generally people neglect their feet and their denture. They are often noticed when you speak, when you keep your hands on the table or when you write or type etc. Hence, maintenance of teeth and nails are quite important for a woman.

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Common sense

Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life”.

- Henri Frederic Amiel.

Common sense! How can two simple words be so complicated? I assure you, they are.


1. Trust instincts: The basic common sense is to trust your instinct and rely on your guts. It will Trust instinctssave you from unwanted situations and unreliable people.

2. Do not take any one on their face value: a person always plays multiple roles in his life. He is a son, a husband, a father, a relative, a friend, a colleague and a stranger to unknown people.  Sometimes, a stranger can do things, a son and a father might never do and hence, rely on your observation about someone and not on the good things you have heard about him. The moment that someone makes you to feel uneasy, leave the place at the first given opportunity or better, create your first opportunity to leave.

3. Look at what lies in front of you: Apply your experience, expertise and explore the options of making the most out of your situation. That’s the basic common sense.

4. Think on your feet and it shall solve more than half your problems Understand, Think on your feet accept and be friendly with all groups of people. You may never know when you may need the help of some one or any one. Courteous people always score with the others.

5. Body language scores even better than the verbal language. Don’t shrug your shoulders, fold your hands in front of your body or show displeasure on your face on seeing someone you may not like.

6. Be knowledgeable and be a good conservationist. Be aware of the current affairs, economy, politics, share market and a bit of everything, so that you may be able to converse with anyone of any stature.

7. Good Listener: You should be a good listener. You see, we all want to be heard and no one is willing to listen. Listen to people and they will love you for this.


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

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

Smita’s Advice
Body language

Common sense surpasses educational qualifications and always comes in handy. Its more logical in nature.

Like Thomas A.Edison said,

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense”.

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Art of Painting and Drawing

The prime twins of the Fine Arts Art of Painting

Drawing is the basis of painting; Most of the paintings start with rough sketches of drawings to bring out the creativity of the painter. Whereas drawing uses lines and shades, painting uses colors and designs.

Shade, line and object drawing are some of the types of drawings; oil, water, landscapes and portraits, real life and still paintings and religious painting are some of the type of paintings.

However, the art and science of drawing and painting are the same; both are fine arts and needs the use of specialized part of your brain, a spectacular imagination, a fine vision and amazingly skilled hands.

Just like a writer brings out her emotions through her words, phrases and sentences; a dancer depicts her feelings through facial expressions and body language, a drawing artist and a painter expresses her sensitivity and imagination through lines, strokes, shades, colours and hues.

Both drawing and painting can be created either through the physical format or through the e-format.

There is software available for painting on the net like Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop and Fireworks; there is also software available on the net for drawing like Designer, CorelDraw and Freehand.

However, a lot of people would like to use the hand painting and physical drawing materials for the sheer joy and happiness, while indulging in these fine arts.

There are a few general tips given below to help you on the prime fine arts of drawing and painting:


1. Sketch Book: Carry the sketch book with you wherever you go: it’s the rough sketch medium ofbrushes your imagination and creativity. You may further draw on them based on your initial thoughts.

2. Easel: The best method of drawing on an Easel is to stand up and draw; keep distance between the easel and your hands, wrists and fingers so that you can move your pencil freely and also maintain a clear view of your art in progress.

3. Pencils: Pencils have different levels of thickness; HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B etc. and are available in different degrees of blackness like average hardness and black, soft and black and very softness and black etc.

According to the type of your painting, you should choose the thickness and blackness of your pencils.

4. Change the pencils: You may even use the charcoal pencils, in colours of white, black and grey for better drawing output. Charcoal pencils are available in various grades of various tones as well.

5. Sharpeners: Pencil sharpeners should be used frequently to maintain the required sharpness of the pencils.

6. Erasers: Use the non dust erasers to save the texture of the paper: you may also use electric or battery operated erasers.

7. Watercolors: Use acrylic painting brushes for watercolor  this will create a nice line effect andwater color a great stroke effects, different from the sable brush every one uses.

8. Use mixed media: Allow your creativity flow through you; add anything to your canvass, even to the extent of fake flowers, glitters, beads and feathers. Let your imagination speaks to the wind, sand, sea, artifices and the works!

9. Use Gloves: Wear gloves on your hands to avoid the smudge marks getting on to your hands and on to your art work. However, you should change the gloves, when the smudges appear on them.

10. Paper Towels: Replace your regular paper towels with soft paper towels; this way, less lint particles shall enter into your artwork. They are also soft on your brushes.

11. Air Purifier: Use air purifier to clear the air to avoid headaches, nausea and other health issues while painting. Your painting materials are filled in with chemicals, which though create beautiful paintings, but are sometimes, detrimental to your health.

How to maintain the painting art materials:

12. Brush in use: The tip of your brush should be pointing down, when you hang them to dry after Brushcleaning. This will help to get all the moisture to dry away from the tip ferrule.

13. Brush in store: You may use plastic ice cube trays (the non stick types) for storing the paints and for keeping them fresh, while in use. Once the painting is done, keep plastic wrap on top of the trays and store them in plastic containers.

While storing, keep the faces of your paint brush, whether it is Rigger Brush, Fan Brush, Mop Brush and Flat or Round brush, always up to lengthen their life time. You may buy Artist Brush Holder for this purpose.

Finally, exercise safety measures in your Art Studio or the work place or your art room. As the art materials are full of chemicals and toxins, caution needs to be taken to maintain your well being. Wash your hands before leaving the studio. Do not eat or drink anything in the studio. If there are cuts in your hands, wear gloves to keep the crack away from the chemicals. Use a proper ventilator system. During cleaning, avoid exposure to solvents.


I am not a beginner exactly: but still, I am unable to bring forth what I want onto the canvass.art of drawingSomething eludes me all the time and I am not happy with the final product. Some days, I even stop painting and look at the white mass of the canvass, as though it is the answer for all my questions. How to get what I want out of my work?

Getting discouraged in the fine arts is nothing new: None other than Vincent Van Gogh has gone through that phase:

“In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing”.

- Vincent Van Gogh

Persistence and Practice are the only answers in expressing your exact imagination on to the canvass. Practice with persistence. Get on with your drawing and painting.

You may also join in a course relevant to your interests in painting, thereby, understand and clarify your queries, improve on your work and finally catch hold of that elusive satisfaction which you are looking for in your final product.

Smita’s Advice

To Quote Vincent Van Gogh again:

“As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.”

(Letter to Theo van Gogh, c.29 October 1883)

Three Ps, Practice, Progress and Perfection and the key factors of both drawing and painting. You will achieve tremendous results when you follow the “P” path!

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No Multi-tasking

Don’t get caught with the multi-tasking Flu!

All through the day, our minds alternate between the physical, digital and the virtual world.Mono-tasking While working on a project, you look at your emails, call someone on the mobile, checking with children if they are back from school, exchange a few words with a colleague, worry about your sick family member, and think about the need for the shopping to be done, while planning about the car maintenance task and more.

At home, you switch on the TV, prepare snacks for the children, while looking at the text messages in the mobile; tidy up one of the rooms, worrying about the project deadline in a couple of days at work while wondering about the neighbour’s daughter! In the meanwhile, your mom calls up, you receive another text message and the children are waiting for your snacks; you also remember the clothes that had been left to dry in the morning in the clothesline!

Multi-tasking: is it a brain drain of a different style? Is it a train of thoughts and action getting derailed into more thoughts and less action?

You are so much used to multi-tasking that you don’t even realize that you do multi-tasking! You get ready to office with a glance at the morning news, a sip from out of the morning tea while handing over a shirt to your husband and extending a hand of help to the children. While attending the mobile, you tidy up the children’s books in their cupboard, your mind furiously working on the morning breakfast, lunch meeting at work and trying to fix up on a recipe for the dinner!

Oops! We do put on a lot of strain on our brain and body, with the result that the damning factors of anxiety, stress, restlessness and mild depression enter into our lives with wide merriment!


1. The Solution: Disconnect from multi-tasking firmly and unplug from the switch point of multi-tasking which depletes all your energy at one go. Either do one thing at a time or at least do related things at one time that wouldn’t put a strain on your brain.


Let’s look at some tips on how to relax your brain and focus on handling either one thing at a time or do a few related things at the same time:

2Brain Map: Time and again, the researchers had found and had agreed upon that our minds are made to focus on one thing at a time; the mind can handle different things simultaneously, provided the tasks are managed by different parts of the brain. The brain can also manage to multi-task if one of the tasks is so mundane that it does not need any conscious effort on the part of the brain. Ex: watering the plant, talking over the mobile, while drinking some orange juice.Handle your day in Blocks

You may not be able to do multiple tasks effectively that involves the use of the same brain area at the same time; like reading something, while adding up maths and texting a message on your mobile.

Hence, the remedy lies in working on a Single Task with a complete focus; after completing it you should move on to the next task. This will give raise to more productivity than trying to do all things all at once.

When you repeatedly do multi-tasking, what you really are doing is to multi-distract your brain, resulting in stress and reduced productivity in your tasks. You may start by doing many tasks, but may end up unfinished in most of them. Better would be to start on a single task, complete it and move on. Otherwise, you may start on a task, complete a chunk of it and work on another task, and come back again to finish off the first one!

3. Handle your day in BlocksAllot specific time for specific tasks. Draw up a To-Do List. Don’t get tempted to check mails while you are working on an urgent project. Allot a specific time for checking the mails, returning the phone calls, doing your household work, completing a project and for the other tasks.

4. Avoid distractions: When you are handling one job at one time in one block, keep the door closed on the other distractions. When you are working on a PowerPoint program, work ONLY on the .ppt. You should close down and switch off the rest of the distraction from that block, like your mobile, the mails, casual chat with your colleagues, thoughts about your family and more. Just distract the distractions and concentrate on your earmarked task.

5. Improve on your Concentration: Doing one thing at one time will be more effective if you will totally be focused on your job. Take measures to improve on your concentration, like meditation and other Zen Habits.

6. Club together similar tasks: Clubbing together the similar tasks like responding to all the missed calls or sending out the pending emails at one go etc. shall make your work more easily compared to doing unrelated tasks in one block.

7. Stop vague day dreaming: Many of us start doing a task, but then get interrupted Take Multi-Breaksby our own thoughts; we start travelling back and forth from past to future in our minds. The past may hurt or it might make you to feel guilty, whereas the future thoughts would makes you to feel financially insecure. There may well be a hundred reasons for your mind to start getting wandered into the chaos territory. Pulling the mind back into the present is the most important aspect of your completing your task within the set time limits. It needs a lot of practice, but it has to be done.

8. Take Multi-Breaks: We try to stop multi-tasking to improve on our efficiency and to reduce the stress and anxiety on our mind and on our body. Taking multiple breaks of short duration shall help you to relax more and to feel more calm and peaceful in mind. Stretch your body, raise your hands and take your legs for a walk. Drink fruit juice instead of tea or coffee.


Q. I simultaneously try to do a number of things and end up doing nothing fruitful and notsay no to Multi-tasking much work getting accomplished. However, I never know any other way of working except multi-tasking. I just don’t know how to take it easy as I get stressed up a lot. How to slow down?

Been there and done that! We are discussing here how not to do multi-tasking and to take one step at a time in order to complete one task at a time with focus and attention.

Multi-tasking has become a fast spreading virus now, giving rise to stress in our day to day life. You should become a part of the peace keeping force like meditation or any other relaxation techniques; you should switch off your communication network at least for an hour every day. Our forefathers were alive before the advent of the modern communication network and so will we, at least for a few short hours every day!

Live more in the present; relax with your family and talk more with the physical people and not just to the virtual ones. Take a long winded breath to feel the inner calm multiple times during the day.

The chances are there that you may see the results of the restorative properties sooner or later.

 Finally, do not allow others to take advantage of you; most of the time, we are not able to say No to our family, friends, neighbors  colleagues and others. We are always ready to do a favor for all and sundry because we are not into saying an emphatic No in favors of us! We just add a couple of more tasks in our lengthy multi-tasking list, ending up with frustration, stress and depression.

Start saying No to people if you are not able to help some one whenever that some one needs your help. You don’t need to go out of the way to help others and hurt yourselves in the process. You should do something for the others, if you can and if you feel comfortable in doing the favour.

Smita’s Advice

You should get into the habit of mono-tasking as against the multi-tasking; you would feel more relaxed, more at peace with yourself and  may even get more work done than before!

Multi-tasking is actually less productive compared to doing one or two thing at a time with focus.

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Art of Matching Perfumes with a woman’s personality

Irresistible Fragrances
Irresistible Fragrances
“Perfume puts the finishing touch to elegance – a detail that subtly underscores the look, an invisible extra that completes a woman’s personality. Without it there is something missing.”

-  Gianni Versace.

Always consider the quality and not the price of a product.

There are four major categories of fragrance for women:

Floral (Ex: Jasmine and Rose), Fresh (Ex: Citrus and Green leaves) Woody (Ex: warm wood and citrus) and Oriental (Ex: spice cents and vanilla).


1.Major categories of fragrance

a. Floral fragrance suits the type of woman whose personalityFloral fragrance is vivacious and who is an amazingly self confident person. Such a woman would naturally be the centre of attention wherever she goes.

b. Fresh fragrance suits the personality of woman who is cool, maintains low key with a laid back attitude, but has a wonderful sense of humor and be delightful to be with.

c. Oriental fragrance suits the personality of woman who is mysterious, sophisticated, kind of someone who is in control and a just wee bit dangerous too

d. Woody fragrance suits the personality of woman who is a bit stubborn; she is also a kind and compassionate woman, warm, wise and unique in her characteristics.

2.Seasonal Perfume Matching: Spring is the season of flowers and festivities, Seasonal Perfume joy, romance and happiness. The light, floral and citrus fragrance shall be suitable in the spring season for a woman.

Summer is the season of dazzling light, long evenings and bright moods. The light and fresh fragrance shall be suitable in the summer season for a woman.

Autumn is the season that is spiced up between two other seasons; the rich woody scents, a bit of spice and cinnamon shall be suitable in the autumn season for a woman.

Winter is dull, depressing and needs inspiration: The spicy, rich and fuller perfumes suits the winter time for her.

3.Perfumes and the time of the day: In order to match the perfume with the Rose Perfumestime of the day, a woman should be having a wardrobe of perfumes, to mix and match according to the variations in the timings of a day!

Science of smell says that your smell scene is at its peak in the mornings and progressively declines when the time moves on.

Wear a heavy and a bit overwhelming perfume in the morning. A fresh morning can take a heady perfume head on!

Wear a perfume that spells of intense, deeper and sultrier smells for the night. Some of the ingredients could be jasmine, amber, sandal wood, patchouli etc.

Wear floral, woody, green, and sweet and white floral in the afternoons. Afternoons are warm, sunny and are the right time to indulge in some laughter and light heartedness.


Q. I am confused. There are a lot of perfumes available on discounts all over the place. Can I go for it? I will have a wonderful collection of perfumes to suit my various moods.

You should always shop for the best names in the perfume market. They sure are costlier; however, they not only give you the value for money but also may save you from skin irritation, headaches, migraine, nausea, drowsiness and other health hazards.

Smita’s Advice

Both a woman and her perfume speak volumes about her class and how fabulous she is. However, compatibility of the perfume with the personality of a woman, seasons, her moods; even the compatibility of the perfume with the time of the day plays an important part in the “classy and fabulous” feature of a woman.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

- CocoChanel

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Depressed ?

How to handle Emptiness, Loneliness and Depressed feelings? loneliness

Feeling depressed, feeling empty or lonely inside may happen due to various reasons; the loss of spouse, divorce, the empty nest syndrome, the infidelity of the spouse, the indifferent attitude from the family members, the financial crisis, a prolonged illness, the deep winter months, low self esteem and more.

Let’s look at the following few tips to manage your inner engineering:


1. Handling Loneliness and emptinessLoneliness is the mind numbing feeling of expression, Handling Loneliness and emptinesswhich is trapped inside and which you are unable to share with the people you would like to, due to one reason or the other. It could be due to the loss of some one very close to you and the feeling of overwhelming sadness and the resultant pain and hurt. It could even be the physical loneliness and your need for sharing the salt with some one during your regular meals.

The obvious remedy for this is to reach out to people and enrol them in your remedial list.

2. Start visiting people: Sometimes, you will be surprised to find that people don’t reach out to you because of their own circumstances and not out of any specific reason against you.

They would well be struggling under their own stress factors, their awkward work schedule, their household problems and issues and more. Hence, you could reach out to them and open up the communication channels.

3Convert your feelings into something concrete: Express your feelings through writing, painting, music, sculpture or dancing. Start maintaining a dairy or a blog.

4. Network with the world: Becoming active in the social networking sites would be an amazing remedy to the feeling of emptiness or loneliness.

5. Volunteer: Locate NGOs who caters to the interests of the people of your age and issues; whether widowed, divorced, lost some one close to you or being a senior person with physical illness, you start working with them. You will find it a soothing remedy to your hurt feelings.

6. Reach out to the virtual world: Make the word wide web as your knowledge centre; do some research, learn a lot of new things, donate to the cause of wonderful knowledge based sites. Write for them or type out their books or repair errors in their grammar.

Send E-Greetings or mails to sites where the members would be glad to receive a mail even from an anonymous person. The dark side of the world is full of people longing to hear a word from some one or longing to exchange a few words with some one. Shine a ray of happiness on them. Give them a few precious minutes of happiness. Your darkness will get lifted out of you automatically.

Handling Depression

Women are more prone to depression than men. They are emotionally vulnerable and thereHandling Depression is this trap door to depression waiting for them to trip on, merely on the onset of hurt, pain or any unwanted emotional circumstances in their lives.

They go through depression during pregnancy, during menopause, due to their poor body image, due to miscarriage, due to empty nest syndrome, continued negative feelings, stress and even due to their multi-tasking deficiencies.

They want to be so perfect in whatever they do that even their own inefficiency in completing a task or handling a situation gives raise to their feeling of ‘being down in the dumps’.

a. Stop blaming yourself and Start Moving: Do not watch depressing soap operas or cry with theStop blaming yourself helpless women in the movies over junk food on your sofa; get out of your home and get some sunshine and fresh air. Walk on and on till you feel tired looking at people and places. This will take your mind off for a while. Make it a habit. Stop blaming yourself for whatever had happened that had made you out to be a victim or a villain in the past.

b. Reach out to people: Call people and establish contact with friends and relatives you rely on the most. Share your inner engineering with them and win some consolation prizes. This will boost your morale. No need to tell your sob story time and again. Once is enough and move on to the next stage of gossiping, shopping, going out to films and theatricals with them; visit a restaurant all the way to the other part of the city for lunch. Get to know people around you, while you go for walking or shopping. Saying Hello to the people your instinct trusts may help too.

c. Try to deviate from the usual: Take a new route to work and observe the details on the way. Stop using your car for a couple of weeks and take a metro or an auto just for a change. Experience the inexperienced. If you customarily wear only suits, change to casuals and try saris. Say hello to your watchman, postman and your milk man, if any. Surprise some one you like a lot with a gift and enjoy the expression on their face. Do the undone and do with fire and passion.

d. Reach for healthy food and sleep: Replace the unhealthy food with healthy food. Exchange milk for cola. Increase the intake of water and aim for a good night’s sleep too.


Q. I am depressed all the time; I am unable to take care of my family well and am unable to handle my official tasks well too. I sometimes feel so useless and incapable of being successful at anything. I just don’t know to whom to turn to. Can you help me on this?

 First, wipe away your unworthy and inefficiency feelings. You are worth more. Do you sincerely feel that they keep you at work if you are not capable of handing your work efficiently?

 Most of the working women feel guilty about their home management and nourishment of their families. It’s alright if you feel so too. It does not mean that it’s true.

You should ask the opinion of your family about you. They will tell you how inevitable you are for their happiness and life. Realize your self-worthiness.

Finally, if this feeling of depression continues, you should enlist the help of a medical professional as well.

Smita’s Advice

There are so many ways of handling your inner demons; it is as easy for you to occupy them as it is for them to occupy your inner self.

“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear (that result) from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”

- Stephan Hoeller

Remember Women! You are worth-more!

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Art of India – Rangoli and Alpana

India is without doubt a country, which loves to celebrate; and households in India know


Source :- wikipedia

how to make something from scratch. It could be anything, food, the décor, the ambiance or even lights. Since people in India love colors and try to incorporate the same in each of their activities, let us then explore yet another activity, which is found in almost every household all over the sub-continent. For one, let us consider the art of designing your floors. Yes, Indians do design their floors with a lot of colors, lights, flowers and other materials and this particular one is called a ‘Rangoli.’

In fact, Kolam, Moggu, Madana, Chowka Purana and Alpana are all names for the Rangoli designed in different parts of India. Just like the diversity of language and culture, there is so much diversity in the way each state makes a Rangoli.

Actually, the whole process is rather flexible. For example, Alpana is the art of Rangoli making in Bengal. Rice is something, which is considered holy and is abundantly available. Yes, Bengalis design their Alpanas with rice, either powdered or in the form of a paste. Kolam in the Southern part of India employs the same method. Since most Rangolis are designed on the entrance of the house, it usually means to invite guests in style and of course, it is in a way considered as holy. Alpanas are however created to mostly welcome the Goddess Laxmi or the other deities to our house.


1. Keeping the area clean: Whichever area you choose to make a Rangoli in, Rangoli and Alpanamake sure that the area is wiped off all dirt and any other residue, since the color of the Rangoli will not come.

2. Use rice paste: If you are a beginner, follow the Bengali style of Rangoli. Since a rice paste is easier to tackle then powdery colors, you will have an easier time to design it.

3. Use materials, which are easily available: As mentioned earlier, the process of making a Rangoli is very flexible. You can use colors, flower petals, diyas or the traditional lamps and of course sand and candles.

4. Keep the design ready: Unless you are an expert, make sure to keep the blueprint of the design you have chosen right in front of you. It is best if there is one drawn on, paper or even better if there is a previous photo or something.

5. Keep it at sight and yet at bay: Since a lot goes into making a Rangoli, it is best if you choose a place which will not be treaded upon by visitors, kids or even family members much.

6. About Stains: If you are worried about stains, it is best if you use powdered colors, rice paste, or other dry materials instead of the traditional wet colors. The process with wet colors is of course a long one, full of trouble.

7. Keep it Simple: Do not choose a design, which is too complicated, and please work on the color combination.Use your creativity and make simple designs in the beginning.  I will tell you from personal experience that many a good pattern can be destroyed by trying to make it too perfect and too colorful.

8. Handling Kids: The best way to handle kids while trying to make a good Rangoli is to involve them with you.



Q. What is the best material for Kids?
Since kids love color, make sure that you get plenty of dry powder based colors. Using rice paste will also do, make sure that you add colors to them as well.
Q. How bad are the colors for your hands?
There are several organic colors available in the market. You can always choose from them. On the other hand, even better, make sure that you make a pattern with flower petals or sand.

Q. How to choose a design for Kids?
Kids might be the most enthusiastic, but are also synonymous with a mess. Choose a geometric pattern or a simple flower.

Q. Can anything else be used?
Well, if rice paste is what you are using, a small piece of cloth can be used. It goes for wet colors and slurry mixes.

Smita’s Advice

So go ahead, have some fun with colors or even scrap materials and design your patios, your doorsteps and other open parts of your home with a Rangoli. In addition, yes, it can be done anytime, without or without festivals.

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Pets Make Your Life Easier!

Pets make your heart beat easier: even if no body loves you, even if you don’t pets makes your life easier love yourself, your pet will love you unconditionally and will prove it a hundred times a day by showering his wet kisses on all over your face! Pets are the best medicine for the pet owners: research shows that even touching and hugging your pet calms you down and reduces your blood pressure!

Role of a pet in our lives is very important.

Here are tips on why having a pet are helpful for humans:


1. Having a pet makes your mind work easier:when you enter your home, back from a tiring day,birds your pet is awaiting your arrival, with the wagging of tail and with a broad smile on his face. What a welcome party to some one so damn tired due to mental stress and physical tiredness? Sometimes, even when you loose cool due to some reason and gets annoyed with your pet, he still remains loyal to you and be a comfort factor for you all through his life.

2. Having a pet makes your life easier: pets are amazingly helpful in case of blindness, in case of depression, in case of your feeling of insecure and unsafe due to one reason or the other; it is also helpful for deaf people.

3. Being used in the domestic abuse centres: The pets are being used in the domestic abuse centres for women and children all over the world. The pets are being used in the hospitals to bring sunshine of smiles on the faces of the elderly, women and the young patients. Pets also ease the fear and pain of surgery and multiple medications. For the children with autism and for women suffering from body numbing diseases, the pets are the direct Gift from the God.

4. Pets have a way of working with your heart: they just lie down next to you as a comfort factorPets your stress buster in your illness, depression, loneliness and anger; they become your hugging factor in your happiness. They know with their innate ability your need of mental and physical support.

5. Exercise : Pets help you to do a compulsory exercise as you need to walk with them, at least a couple of times a day! By walking with your pet, you are introduced to the wonderful world of kids and to the other women walkers. The children, being adorably curious, generally are attracted to your pets and in the process you get to know them and their parents or guardians. In a short period of one month, you may get to know more people while walking with a pet, than you get to know people in six months of walking alone.

6. Learning : Broomfield library even employs a service dog (named Sassy) in the children’s section to make reading fun and easier for the children. The children even read out their books to the service dog; this makes it easier for them to open up in front of the others. Their mothers get happier and



relaxed along with their children.

7. Companions : Dogs are the constant companions of many epileptic women; the pets know with their sixth sense before the occurrence of the epileptic attack by barking constantly to make the patient to sit or lie down to face the seizures.

8. Healing : Apart from the dogs, the other animals, like cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, goats, horses, ferrets, birds and chicken too help in the healing of human beings; the pet for therapy program uses the benefits of the pets to heal people mentally and physically and to help them to take care of their day to day situations, including the domestic abuse cases of women.



Q. I loved my dog very much; he had helped me through a lot of tears and heart breaks; rather most I loved my dogof my tears during my divorce have been witnessed only by him and he stood by me, even compared to my parents. However, I had lost him to sickness and old age. I don’t have the heart to get another pet now; however I try to get one. I don’t want to loose another pet ever!

People do loose some one close to them at least some time in their lives; it does not mean that they should stop living. Life goes on and a pet will help you in many ways to take care of the ups and downs in your life, as has very clearly been acknowledged by you.

You should accept this simple fact and should acquire a new pet to enjoy the happiness and the companionship only a pet can give you. You should get another pet; the earlier, the better!

Smita’s Advice

Take care of your pets; acknowledge their love and affection. Take them for regular check-ups. Feed them nutritional food. Take them for a long walk. Some pets love outdoors a lot.

Finally, don’t ever take your pets for granted; it’s the easiest thing to do so. Just remember there is that one friend who would be there for you despite the fact whether you are rich or poor, happy or depressed, single or married and love or hate yourself. The pets love you forever and more!

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Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being

Sometimes, things happen which are out of our control. We long for the warmth of the sunshine to stay with us for some more time and the winter spiritual
come calling in; we wish that we never have to go through bad things in our life, but we all endure abuse, hurt and pain at some point of time or the other in our lives!Sometimes, things happen which are out of our control. If you go through abuse, neglect and maltreatment in childhood; abuse in the hands of the people who should never ever have abused you; that creates emotional stress and mental scare for life.Sometimes, things happen which are out of our control.

If you go through domestic violence, battered married life and abuse in the hands of some one whom you had trusted with your love and life; that creates physical and mental wounds.Sometimes things happen which are out of our control. If you are hurt and humiliated by some one, that stays with you for a long time. If you are in anger or in mental agony due to people and circumstances, it affects your body and mind. If you are in pain due to illness or accidents, it takes time to return to normalcy. Even then, the pain consciously or unconsciously lingers on in the mind.Such after effects of scars and wounds take a long time to heal; it impacts your psychological balance; such impact makes it difficult for you to trust others; it affects your faith in the humanity in general. It affects your emotional well being.

However, there are certain things that are well within our control; getting healed and taking baby steps on the path to recovery towards mental, physical and spiritual well being is definitely in our control. We just need to take some steps, rather many steps towards the sunshine.


1. Forgive People: Forgiveness is the most difficult thing to do, if you have gone through physical, mental and emotional disturbances in your life
Emotional due to others.

However, not forgiving people is to carry them around in your mind day in and day out and replaying the horror and hell you had gone through time and again. Forgive and let go of them and let go of your agony. Forgive people!

2. Be Positive: Forgiveness is the most difficult thing to do and once it gets done, the path of positivity is easy enough. Being positive can not come from any outside forces; it should be developed from within.

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

Or wise man can decide

What’s right for you–just listen to

The voice that speaks inside”

- Shel Silverstein

By patience and practice on channelling your negative thoughts into the light bound positivity. Be alert for the negative voices in your mind. The moment you hear the negative voice, distract it with positive thinking.

3. Believe in Gratefulness: Nobody has to endure only the negative things in their life. Good things happen to all of us.
Believe in Gratefulness:However, we notice the bad things often enough that the happening of the good things, happy moments and the micro seconds that elevates our minds and make us to feel good about us normally takes a back seat.

Start counting on the good things and be grateful for the blessings in your life.

There are scores of people who have not experienced the early morning glory and the warm sunshine that you have seen today; be grateful for that!

Be grateful for being alive today and plan for the betterment of your future. Pray to God. Pray to the Universe. Pray to the One about whom we know nothing about. Just Pray!

“If the only prayer you said was thank you that would be enough.”

- Meister Eckhart

4. Help Others: Show kindness to people and help others. When you give something, your hand opens up to receive something
from the one to whom you give! No one can give something to some one without receiving something back! It is the Universal Law of Kindness and Compassion; it is the fast track on healing the total you!

5. Be Healthy! A healthy body is a must for the spiritual and emotional well-being of a person. Get into Yoga and do breathing exercises. Get into the habit of morning walk. Do meditation. Enrol yourself in a gym. Eat balanced and nutritional food. Smile a bit and laugh a lot. Light up the world. Dance with the wind and listen to the music and cry with a melted heart. Be Healthy!


Q. I have attended various programs on spiritual upliftment, had watched plenty of inspirational videos and had attended a lot of discourse from religious leaders. However, I never feel at peace with myself. I am always anxious, feel at a loss, and feel hurt by others or guilty on my own for the things done or not done. How can I ever find peace of mind?

This is the question for which the whole world is searching for answers right from the beginning of time and no satisfactory or the final answer has been found so far.

Rather, the answer lies within and not without. Everything you had seen, heard or had gone through, finally comes down to your way of dealing with your problems. Nobody can deal with you except yourself. No body can hurt you unless you are ready to get hurt. No one can insult you unless you are ready to get insulted and no one can make you to smile, unless you are ready to smile on your own.

Resolve your entangled feelings of hurt, anger and abuse; you solve your issues. Resolve your equation with the others; you solve your mental hurt. Calm down and practice various ways and means of being positive as said above.

There is a reason for your being here on the Earth; you are special to God or to Universe or to Nature, whatever the name by which you may call the Higher Force!


Smita’s Advice

Treat yourself with respect and dignity; trust yourself to do good for you and don’t allow others to enter into your mind or heart space to hurt you. Love yourself; you deserve more!

“Healing comes from taking responsibility: to realize that it is you – and no one else – that creates your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.”

—Peter Shepherd

Get Healed and be on the path to emotional and spiritual well-being!

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Household Engineering

A house needs maintenance; not just the maintenance in terms of keeping it spotless, taking care of the family or fixing house repairspaying bills on time.

It also entails taking care of the wear and tear of the house at least in terms of minor repairs and modifications, rather than buying things every time new or paying for repairs to an outside agency.



1. Tools that is required for handling repairs around your house: hand drill

  •  Safety Glasses
  • A variety of screwdrivers or a screw driver set
  • A variety of screw, nails and wall plugs
  • Scissors in different sizes
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Handy Hammer, spanner and pliers
  • A Torch light
  • A hand drill and a wrench
  • Measure tape, Cello tape
  • M Seal and glue of different types
  • Insulation tapes
  • Extra light bulbs and socketsfile000506133386
  • Electrical Tester

2. Be your own handywoman:

  • A home maker should be able to manage the basic repair work around her home like the following: you should be able to:
  •  Change a light bulb
  •  Replace a shower head
  •  Patch a hole in the wall and hang a picture
  • Fix up the minor leaks
  • Fix a clogged sink
  • Fix a broken flower pot with gluereplacing a light bulb
  • Mend a fabric
  • Switch to organic food to control the pesticides intake in your family’s food.
  • Change a flat tyre
  • Use a lawn mover
  •  Repair a leaky faucet
  • Repair your child’s doll and more!

3. Be your own DIY woman: Google on for the “do it yourself” and “how to” sites; there are

scores of such sites that would teach you to do any work whatsoever on your own Fix up the minor leakswithout taking the help of others; the money thus saved can be used for other vital purposes.

4. Record Keeping: You should be able to maintain the bills, receipts and addresses in a methodical form; maintain the bills and receipts in a folder of a file and enter the addresses in an excel format for easy reference. You may even take a print out of it and keep it posted on the notice board. You may also have the addresses entered manually into an address book.

You should have a notice board to pin up your To Do list, pin up the list of important dates like birthdays etc. of your family and friends, pin-up the list of the bill payment dates for easy reference etc.


5. Make a first aid kitYou should have a first aid kit readily available at home; you don’t need to rush to doctor for minor cuts and scratches or light fever, cold and cough in your family.


Q. Though I am a home maker as well as a working woman, I would love to work around my home, repairing minor things. However, I am terrified of repairing any major things and always hire some one to do the job. How can I go about taking care of the entire management of my home?

It is highly appreciable that you are both a home maker and a working woman and also work around your home handling many things.

However, it does not mean that you should handle ALL the repair and maintenance work around your home on your own. There is nothing wrong in hiring some one from time to time to take care of the major repairing work. You will also get some time for yourself and will feel stress-free. Hence, chill out and cool down; don’t feel guilty on small things. Create your own space and spend more time with your family. Relax and enjoy your free time.

Finally, there should be a balance between your inner engineering and the household engineering at your home. Feeling free, happy and joyous is more important than running around your home doing all the work all the time. The home is made for you and by you. Don’t become a slave to your home needs.

Smita’s Advice

A woman should appoint herself as her own handywoman and should be able to take care of the minor repairs around her house, along with the installation of goods and materials etc.

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Beauty from Kitchen

“A woman has strengths that amaze me, she can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens, she holds happiness, love and opinions, she smiles when she feels like screaming, she sings when she feels like crying, cries when she’s happy, and laughs when she’s afraid, her love is unconditional, there’s only one thing wrong with her and that is that sometimes she forgets what she is worth”.
-      Anonymous
A woman! What an amazing observation?


1. Water:  Drink at least eight glasses of water. This will help in reducing acne and pimple. This will also help in hydrating your skin nicely. Drink glass of waterwater on empty stomach when you get up in the morning. Drink whenever you feel like drinking water and do not postpone the thirst quenching exercise.

2. Take care of your Vitamins and Minerals: Refer a chart on vitamins and minerals and eat food that can nourish your inside as well as outside the body. Beauty comes from within.

Ex: You may find potassium in potatoes, bananas, milk, raw vegetables etc. which help to regulate your heart beat and body fluids etc. Vitamin C can be had from fruits and vegetables; Vitamin C helps in the development and maintenance of bones, teeth, blood vessels etc. It also fights infection and heals wounds.
3. Exfoliate Skin: Mix sugar and olive or almond oil in equal measures; add a few drops of essential oils. Make a mixture of it and rub it onto the skin for a few minutes. You may rinse the dead skin and the residue off with warm water.

4. Glowing Skin: Apply the mix of turmeric powder and gram powder, mixed in yogurt or milk.

5. Face Mask: Half spoon of olive oil and half spoon of honey along with a pinch of turmeric, mixed well, can be applied on the face.olive oil

Alternatively, make a paste of sandalwood powder in rose water and apply it on your face.

You may also use papaya pulp mixed with lemon juice as your face mask.
6. Facial Toner: White of egg is a damn good facial toner. Whip it up and gather the foam. Apply it on your face and neck. Once dried, wash with warm water. If you can bear the egg smell, it’s worth the effort.

Any pack or cream you apply on your face, don’t forget to apply on your neck too. Otherwise, your face will look fresh and your neck will look dull.
7. To remove tan: Mix cucumber pulp in yogurt, apply it on your face.
8. Simple Face Care: Apply milk to your face. Wait for it to dry. Sprinkle water on your face. You may even wash your face with milk on a daily basis. It would do wonders to your face.
9. Dark Spots reduction: You may rub cucumber slice on your face thoroughly for some time and wash with warm water.
10. Dark Circles: Add lemon and tomato juice and apply it over the dark circle; it helps.

11. Teeth: Apple cedar vinegar is a remover of stains from teeth. You may apply the vinegar directly on the teeth and rinse thoroughly with water.
12. Enhance the life of your lipstick on your lips: After applying your lipstick, apply some sugar on your lips and keep it for a minute.

13. Hand Care: You may soak your hands in olive oil for five minutes once or twice a week. It will soften both your hands and the cuticles.

14. Age spots on hands: Rub with half a lemon thoroughly on the hands. Make it a habit. Wash it egg yolkafter 10 minutes.

This will help in delaying the onset of the age spots on the hands.

15. Hair Growth: Massaging scalp thoroughly with coconut oil at least twice a week shall help. Wash with cold water after an hour.
16. Natural Hair Conditioner: 1 tablespoon of Yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, an egg yolk and a teaspoon of almond oil; mix them nicely and apply it on your hair. Wash after 20 minutes. Use hair pack made out of curd, fenugreek seed paste for lustre.

17. Dark Under arms: A half cut lemon should be thoroughly applied to your underarm in circular motions. Wash after a few minutes and do it Half cut lemonregularly for whitening results.

Application of a teaspoon of lemon juice mixed with a teaspoon of turmeric powder regularly shall also be quite beneficial for dark under arms.

18. Dry and Cracked Heels: Olive oil is a great healer for many issues. At night, before bed time, apply olive oil on the dry and chapped heels and after five minutes wear socks and keep your feet covered all over the night. Do it daily and you will get good results.

You may also use glycerine and rose water mixture on a daily basis for 10 – 15 minutes religiously for 15 – 20 days and you will get good results too.



Q. I am so busy managing my home, children, office and outside work that I generally doesn’t find time for any of these routines. How can I take care of myself?

“A woman…there’s only one thing wrong with her and that is that sometimes she forgets what she is worth”

It seems as though the quote has been written specifically keeping you in mind! Realize your worth. When you can spend hours and hours for the family, work and outside world, can’t you spend a few minutes on YOU?

Start spending ten minutes on you on a daily basis and gradually increase the time according to your requirements.


Smita’s Advice

As a woman’s kitchen is her “queendom” and as she spends a better part of her life in her kitchen taking care of the nourishment of her family, there are multiple options in her kitchen cabinet to help her in maintaining her good looks!

“Believe that YOU are worth more!”

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Women and Personal Crisis Management

A personal crisis can make you feel as though your life is spinning out of control.

Sometimes, even someone in her own family works against her. It could be her parent, her sibling, her relative and her intimate partner for life. Sometimes, a woman goes through battering, mental torture, unspeakable offenses, financial abuse, authoritativeness and power politics in her own family structure and circumstances.

These are few tips you can keep in mind through this period of time.


1. Domestic violence and other heinous crimes: If you go through abuse in your own family, you may need to take an immediate action as follows:

2. Stash away: Stash away as much money as possible in any tin or in any solid box and stash the box away from the abuser(s). Include your home and car keys, policies, bank books and other important documents; get a new mobile set along with a pre-paid calling card for contacts with the outside world. Keep the box safe, secure and secret!

3. Keep yourself safe: Even though, you may not be able to get away from your placetake help from police immediately; plan and wait for the very first opportunity to leave your house.

4. Dependable people: Identify the people in your family and friends who are sincerely dependable and who may help you when you need them the most. Keep their numbers readily available in your stash box.

5Collect contacts: Be alert and aware of the address of the nearby NGO centre, Domestic violence or crisis shelter, support groups etc.

6Take Help: You may always enlist the help of the Police, the Government agencies and the private social service organizations. Note down their emergency help numbers.

7. Collect Proof: Collect possible proofs of the violence and abuse by the perpetrator(s), which may help you when you file a case against them.
 place of safety

8. Get away: Get away at the first opportunity from the abuser and reach the place of safety.

9. Complaint: You may file a complaint against the abuser with the police and may enlist the help of a lawyer to proceed further in this case.

10. Counselling: Enrol yourself into free or paid counselling services. You may need them.


Divorce:Divorce effects on children

Divorce is another crisis in a woman’s life. A woman enters into the sanctity of matrimony hoping that the partner shall remain with her for her life. She works hard in taking care of her family and a divorce shatters her beyond words. However, everything has got a remedy. If you are going through divorce, you may need to do the following:

  1.  Enlist yourself for one to one counselling, crisis counselling or self help groups.
  2. Talk freely to the emotional help lines and discuss your issues.
  3. Talk to people you trust in your family and friends and share your hurt or depressed feelings.
  4. Maintain your dignity and self esteem and restart your life.

Work Place Harassment:

Wikipedia says that,

Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature. It is commonly understood as behaviour intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behaviour which is found threatening or disturbing. Sexual Harassment refers to persistent and unwanted sexual advances, typically in the workplace, where the consequences of refusing are potentially very disadvantageous to the victim.

If you are undergoing any such crisis at your work place; you may have to consider the following:

  1.  Protest immediately; tell the offender that his behaviour is not acceptable. Period!
  2.  Witness: Remember or write down the names of the witnesses, if any.
  3.  Inform: Inform a trusted co-worker(s)
  4.  Find solution: Find out if others have been harassed like you are; enlist their help. Try to find out a solution to the problem.
  5.  Complaint: Complaint to the higher authority in your organization, immediately after the first harassment; don’t delay or don’t wait for it to happen again.
  6.  Family: Inform some one in your family or in your friend circle.
  7.  Leave the job: If the situation gets worse or doesn’t improve; if you feel unsafe or uneasy, change the job to a better organization.

You deserve more!

Crisis on roads:

  1.  Someone follows: When some one follows you or tries to talk to you and when you feel Street Fightsuneasy 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.
  2.  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.
  3. 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.



Q. Though I am a newcomer, I am the best of the lot in my department. However, a small group of my co-workers bully me from time to time; sometimes, I feel that they want me out of the organization. My other co-workers ignore them and are indifferent to my flight. I just can’t understand this.

Easy in itself: The bullies are afraid of you because you are the best around the place and the co-workers are afraid of the bullies and hence, they don’t take your side.

The bullies can not measure up to your efficiency and effectiveness. They have no other way of showing their immaturity and resentment on this score except bullying. Ignore them, if possible. If they persist, complain about them to your department head.

If the company doesn’t take effective steps, leave the company. It’s their loss and not yours.

The above tips are just meant to be a common guide and not the exact solution for the problems being faced by you. Individual problems may vary from person to person and so are their solutions.


Smita’s Advice

          “Woman…can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when feeling like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid…
She gives herself so her family can thrive…

Her love is unconditional.

She cries when her kids are victorious…

There is only one thing wrong with her
we forget what she is worth.

- Author Unknown.

A woman is all these and much more! Sometimes, people simply “forget what she is worth”.


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 Twisted Tails

Women of all ages, round the globe, second me when I say that we have so many reasons to be happy about and soHairstyling many things to experiment with!

For one, take your hair.  Yes, that mane of shiny, woven silk, which can make humans of both sexes simply go wow! That cascading shiny mane which has been put under much speculation by many poets of many centuries. In fact, examine this comment by Martin Luther and you will know what I mean.

“The hair is the richest ornament of women.” ~Martin Luther
Your beautiful hair is also the reason for turning the opposite sex red with love, while those of the same sex would go green with envy.

Its very important to know the kind of hair you possess. The upside of doing so will tell you what kind of stuff will and will not work in your hair. Like do not forget to choose styles, which suit your face type. That beehive might have looked awesome in the late Amy Winehouse, but make sure you picture yourself well before doing it.

As far as coloring and hair treatments like perms, bangs and stuff goes, please do not forget your skin tone. This is applicable especially for coloring your hair. You might be a natural blonde, but make sure that you check with your stylist before going beach blonde or black or even purple!


1. Trim your hair every three months: It is all about getting rid of those annoying split ends and making it work with healthier edges. Always go to a hairstylist and never cut hair at home.

2. Shampoo daily: You might think that shampooing everyday may ruin your hair. Trust me, it does not. You shampoomight just need to choose a shampoo according to the type of hair you have. Buy “sulfate free” shampoo as it protect the hair from damage, moisturize as much as needed, protect colored hair.

3. Quality: Always buy good quality hair products. Check the expiry date. Never use products which are expired.

4. Experiment with Colors: Mix two or three shades in order to get the one, which works best with your skin tone.

5. Hair Parting: Little change in parting can change your entire look.

6. Shampoo before: A good style like buns, tie-ups etc works best if you shampoo your hair previous night as it requires to hold your hair at one place.

7. Brushing it Right: Your technique of brushing affects not just your hair but also your style. hair brush

8. Ironing curls: Do not bring them out too often as it may result in damage.

9. Getting the right haircut: No style will ever work unless the basic haircut you have is a suitable one.

10.Complementing your apparel: Especially important for very fussy types. Create a look, which goes with your outfit, and make up.

11. Do not overdo it: Brushing too often and keeping hair tied all the time can also be detrimental. Let it breathe. Over styling your hair with too many products is also not recommended.

12. If you wear Spectacles: Make hairtyle that can complement your glasses. If you wear glasses with small frames, avoid haircuts that make the facelook small, like a bob.

13. Pinup your hair in curlers and then start doing makeup. Style hair after makeup is complete.

14. Balanced Diet: Eat healthy and protein rich diet like sprouts, milk, curd, fish etc. Drink sufficient water.


Q. Does short hair go with a round face?comb

Yes it does.Just ensure your hair cut is one or two inches below your chin.

Q. Does Beehive go with middle age?

Why not? In the age we live in, experimenting is the best that you can do. Just your normal “U” shape might be replaced with so much more.

Q. Are sprays safe to use?

The hair spray contains chemicals, which can be bad for the hair. But, certain hairstyles need hair spray to keep hair tidy and stay at one place. Use good brand spray. Spray carefully.

Q. Which is more important- coloring or touching up?

In a way both are. However, coloring the full length is advised for the first time only or if you want a different shade. Otherwise, touch up works fine.

Q. How can I give a voluminous look to my hair when left loose?

Moisten your hair and just turn them upside down. Then use a blow dryer to get a natural voluminous look.

Smita’s Advice

There you go, a few tricks to get celebrity hair and looks like them. Just do not forget to use what you have to the full. Even if your hair is limp, there are ways to make it look full. Explore!


Beauty draws us with a single hair.

~Alexander Pope

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Importance of Basic Cooking

Cooking is an integral and a well rooted tradition that binds us together and defines our status as humans. No Basic Cooking wonder that so many of us spend hours labouring in the kitchen to produce meals that are not only appetising but are important to fulfil our emotional and communal needs too.

The skill of cooking is a valuable skill worth knowing that comes as a life saver in grave situations. But unfortunately, this ability is losing its grip day by day in the present day generation. Growing rare, soon our future generation may find this skill of cooking an extinct talent with the numerous upcoming ready-to-eat food items paving its way into the grocery store racks.

Irrespective of gender difference, this skill is worth learning and knowing rather than depending on eat-out joints or pre-made meals available whenever you are hungry. The advantages of knowing the basics of cooking are numerous.

Let’s delve a little further into the art of home cooking and learn various methods of preparing simple yet scrumptious dishes for our loved ones.


1. Independency: You need not be a master chef to satisfy your hungry tummy. Basic cooking skills like making Cookingan egg omelette or soup or knowing any other basic recipes helps you to prepare your own meal without depending on others. This has two benefits to itself. First, you can decide on the taste of your delicacy if you have the basic knowhow. Secondly, the skill makes you more independent, developing a sense of pride when you realize you can fend for yourself.

2Monetary Gain: It is well said, “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Everytime you head to various diner joints in your vicinity when hungry drills a hole in your wallet. It is way cheaper to cook your own meal rather than going out to eat everytime. The knowledge of basic cooking helps you save a big amount of your monthly budget that otherwise ends up in the money valets of various restaurants and diners.

3. Healthy Option: Preparing your own meal offers a healthy option over the pre-made or junk food that in the long run takes a toll on your health. Fast food tends to be tasty and addictive as they are prepared just to satisfy your taste buds, which affects your health in several ways when eaten regularly. But the skill of cooking can be a saviour for your health, as you can easily prepare healthy yet tasty homemade food to please your grumbling stomach.

4. Aids Survival: No matter, if ever you are stranded with no supply of fast food or pre-made food. Availability of common food items will be a life saver, in case you have a fundamental knowhow about cooking techniques. You can even impress your loved ones, with your cooking skills, in case the food joint fails to deliver your order. Regardless of the situation, knowing essential cooking skills are always an added advantage.


Q. I’m 26 year old and reside in a different place, away from my family and hence end up eating from local breadrestaurants and diners, which infact have been a heavy on my pockets and unhealthy too. Is it possible I can start to learn cooking and if yes, how?

It’s never too late to start learning a new skill and with cooking, which is like a must knowhow, you can start off soon after you finish reading the article. There are umpteen ways to pick up the basic cooking skills needed to cook and provide for yourself. To start with nothing works best than your mother’s instructions. You can pick up some basic and easy recipes from your mother and gradually go over to cookbooks and online recipes. Another easier way to learn cooking tips is through YouTube videos or food specialized channels that gives a better perspective on how to cook various recipes.

Q. What appetizer can I serve that is light yet tasty?

You can serve warm pita bread with hummus. Add olives to the dish to make it a true Mediterranean salver.

Smita’s Advice

Cooking is an enjoyable and a recreational activity for many. The possibilities to experiment with food are numerous. You can create something unique from ordinary ingredients; it just takes a pinch of imagination and a whole lot of thoughtfulness to cook for people you love.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

Harriet Van Horne

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Its Ok To Say No

The Art of putting your foot down without being aggressive on people

Plenty of times, we happen to be busy with our lives, attending to our own business when a relative, a friend, aart of saying no colleague or a neighbour approaches us asking for a favour; hesitant to hurt others’ feelings, along with the kindness born of a woman’s heart, we accept such additional responsibilities along with our own and complete the task of helping them out.

It has happened to me and it has happened to you and we just say yes even though we long to say no to them! In the process, we waste a lot of our own time, money or energy on the others.

We could have used the time spent on the others to complete another task of ours. We could have used the time to take a bite of food, to wash a bit of clothing, to do the left-over shopping, to help out with the home work of our children or even to take a well-deserved nap in the noon. However, we have decided to keep the people around us happy, thereby getting hurt in the process!

Recently, I have decided that enough is more than enough and there is nothing wrong in being a wee bit selfish, doing my own stuff first, taking care of my family, my work and well, you got my point!

I have resolved that I am going to change and well, I had started changing. I did a lot of soul-searching, prioritized my priorities, accepted the loss of a few selfish people, was pleasantly surprised by the unexpectedly helping hands from the others, was happy to have found time for myself, and had spent a bit of money on myself too. It felt good to be on my own for a change than to be bogged down by the burden of the others’ tasks.

It’s of course, a slow process of change, but change it is nevertheless and a positive one at that! The following tips shall help you in helping you to say No when you want to say No to them all, Period!

You see, these tactics can be extended to your own family as well. From to time, even our own family takes advantages of us making use of our emotional bonding with them; they start ordering us around on things. Doing things willingly for the family is what women are famous for, but being manipulated into doing things is quite un-called for, even by your own family.


1. Get to know your inner-self first: You should analyze the reason for your being so accommodative to all and Its OK to say Nosundry and for your not being able to say “No” to the world. Knowing the reason may help you to come out of this dilemma in a better way. For ex: If you are being so nice to people simply because your parents are being so, realizing the underlying reason shall help you to control your actions.

You can not copy your parents all through your life. Their demands on time, their circumstances, their age factor, their phase of living may entirely be different from yours. You need to live your life according to the demands on your time, your circumstances, your family issues etc.

2. Be positively negative: Be firm in saying no to people. No should mean a negative no and not a “may be” no to the people. A firm “No” will make them to take their issues elsewhere and not wait for you to accommodate them as usual!

3. Don’t play the guilty game with yourself: If you are firm in saying no to the others, be firm with yourself for having said so. Don’t start having second thoughts or start feeling guilty of not rushing into helping some one as you usually do. There is a limit for everything and your limit is at present and now!

4. Be firm, but not aggressive in saying No: You have always been a nice person and that’s why you are being sought after for help by all and sundry. Fair enough. Now, say no nicely too! You could even sandwich your No in between a few Yeses.

You may start by saying that you are more than willing to help them on their tasks. However, you won’t be able to, due to unavoidable reasons. Be quite firm, but not aggressive in saying that no!

5. Start asking for help from them: Two people can play the same helping game. You may start asking for help and support from people who usually seek help from you. When they approach you for help, you may tell them that even you were thinking of asking for their help, as you are hard-up for time, finances etc.


Q. I have always been a sucker for requests on help from a lot of people. Many a times I feel like refusing, don't say yes when you want to say nobut unable to bring myself to do so. In the process, my own work and sometimes, even my health and relationships have suffered. I just don’t know how to get rid of this life long habit of being a ‘nice person’ to all! Can you help me on this?

A life-long habit of being a nice person to all can not be changed in a few tries. Just go ahead and try some more. Start in small measures and stop being too nice to the others.

Spoiling of your own health and relationship is not worthy of any help given to any one. You should consider this on a serious note and should start becoming a bit selfish. Take care of your own self, tasks and requirements. If required, start asking help from the others. You will soon be able to segregate the really good people who care for you and the opportunists. You shouldn’t be bothered about the later in anyway.

Smita’s Advice

There is nothing wrong in being helpful to the others. However, if it starts affecting your work, your time, your finances, your peace of mind etc. you should put your feet down on such supportive causes. Just be careful not to be aggressive on the others.

“Sometimes you have to put your foot down to get a leg up.”

- David Weinbaum, Writer and Businessman

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