20 March, 2018

My Prince Wears Blue Jeans by Kayla Davidson - [Book Review]

Children’s Book / Picture Story Book
Date Published: February 13, 2018

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Many girls dream of a prince from a land far away and long ago. But what about dreaming about an everyday prince? In My Prince Wears Blue Jeans author Kayla Davidson celebrates ranching life and the love between a father and daughter as she compares a traditional cowboy to a young girl’s prince. Yes, this prince really does wear blue jeans.

My Review:
This is the story of a girl living on a ranch with her cowboy father. For every girl, her dad is a Kin who treats her like a princess. In this story, the girl talks about her father and she considers him as a Prince who wears blue jeans. The story depicts the father who loves her daughter and takes care of all the animals and land. 

I enjoyed reading the story and I felt, it is good to read for children ages from 5 years old. The illustrations are simple and relevant to the story. There is a lot to learn from the story from treating animals well, taking care of animals, taking care of land and nature etc., There is also a mention of seasons and activities done on the ranch during the specific time. 

The story is not lengthy which is apt for bed time story. The narration is from the perspective of a little girl which makes it a good children's story. Overall, a good read for kids with some morals to teach. 
My Rating: 4.5/5

PS: I have received this book from RABT book tours in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book. 

About the Author

Kayla Davidson is wife to Travis, mother to two daughters, and author of children’s books, My Prince Wears Blue Jeans, The Ride, and Daddy’s Little Squirrel. She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Angelo State University.   Together, Travis and Kayla ranch in west Texas on land which has been in their families for many generations.  In My Prince Wears Blue Jeans, Davidson celebrates ranching life and the love between a father and daughter.

Contact Links

Purchase Link
RABT Book Tours & PR

Until next time,

16 March, 2018

Lucknow by Annie Hall - Book Spot Light

Women’s Fiction
Date Published: February 2018
Publisher: Threekookaburras

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When Rosie's marriage suddenly ends one night in Sydney, nothing makes sense any more. She doesn't know what to do next. Her sister, Juliette, suggests she come and live where she is — in Lucknow,  a town in Central Victoria, that they knew in their childhood. It doesn't seem to offer much at first. But her life changes in ways she had not thought possible. Lucknow isn't just a romance, it's about life in a small country Australian town.

Praise for Lucknow:

"Heartbreak, comedy, tragedy, farce, romance, secrets, even love. Annie Hall lifts the lid on the way things are in this Australian country town with the beguiling name of Lucknow." — Carmel Bird


While Hamish was being minded by Mrs Pickett for a couple of hours, Juliette and Rosie grabbed their bathers and headed out to the old reservoir. It was the perfect time for a swim, the sun had real warmth, the wind held its breath, there was a clarity of light in the air and the fragrance of eucalyptus and spice. The old reservoir shimmered and sang with bird calls that afternoon. Save for two fishermen sitting on the levee wall mute and still as statues, Juliette and Rosie had the place to themselves. Near the water’s edge they baked on bare rock like lizards, their towels rolled under their heads for pillows. Juliette lay on her back staring at the sky while Rosie lay on her front gazing at the water.

‘I heard about your quiet night at the pub,’ Juliette said. ‘Jade said you were announced on stage as single. Really putting it out there, aren’t you Rosie? Next it will be an ad in the local paper.’

‘I had no idea Eloise would do that,’ Rosie said. ‘It was so embarrassing.’

‘You don’t know the half of it,’ Juliette said. ‘If you heard what they were saying about you.’

‘Like what?’

Juliette looked at her sister, and didn’t want to hurt her feelings. ‘It’s a wonder you weren’t raffled off like a tray of meat.’

There was a pause.

‘Eloise grew up here. People know her, they don’t know you. You’ve just arrived.’

She looked at her sister, always slight, like a teenager in her blue bikini with yellow buttercups. She didn’t look strong enough to have had Hamish or gone through a torrid marriage breakdown. She is tougher than she looks, Juliette thought. If she didn’t physically show signs of suffering she must have felt it somewhere. But where did Rosie feel it? wondered Juliette.

‘I know I’ve just arrived, Juliette,’ Rosie said, yawning. ‘To another age, it seems, as well as another place.’

‘In Lucknow, you must take care,’ Juliette said earnestly. ‘Gossip spreads faster than a virus, it’s more invisible than hepatitis. It just floats around and somewhere decisions are made about you, your reputation is decided. It might not be the truth but it is what will pass as the truth.

‘You will be stuck with it. And, and,’ Juliette said, warming to her point, ‘it will be very hard once your reputation is fixed to change it. It will stick with you no matter what you do. If people find that you vary from your reputation then they will find it curious, but they won’t disbelieve the gossip.’

Rosie thought about what Juliette was saying. ‘If people can’t distinguish the truth from gossip then why is their opinion of any value?’

‘They only know what they hear,’ Juliette said. ‘You need to take care.’

The smooth grey rocks were hot beneath their bodies. Rosie felt sweat beginning to trickle and the water looked invitingly cool.

‘I’m going in,’ she told Juliette. ‘Race you.’

As warm and brown as a bottle of beer in the shallows, the water was chilly and fizzy as champagne at waist height. Rosie dived under and came up tingling with shock at how cold it was. Juliette was already ahead, arms and legs slicing cleanly through the water. Rosie set off like a threshing machine, churning the water white as she overtook Juliette and raced the one kilometre to the other side. She stood in the shallows, her ribs heaving and subsiding as she gasped for air, her body bent, head down near her knees, eyes swimming with red, brain nearly blacking out from a lack of oxygen. Juliette came up behind her, the water draining off her body in silvery rivulets and watched her sister.

‘You always push things,’ she said, casually. ‘You always go too far.’

About the Author

Annie Hall has worked as a journalist in country towns as well as Sydney and Melbourne. She lived for a number of years in the Goldfields area of Victoria.

Contact Links

Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR

Until next time,

5 tools which help me in my regular blogging #SuperBloggerChallenge2018

When I started blogging many years ago, I was not sure how to make my content more attractive to readers. In this blogging journey of around 10 years, I have learned a lot from other bloggers and from Google as well on different techniques like below:

  • Choosing a better headline or title
  • Writing content in small paragraphs and with bullet points if needed
  • Including relevant high-quality images to attract readers
  • Including quotes and providing a takeaway in each article
  • Ending the article with an action item/ a question to connect with readers
  • Promoting in social media
  • Publishing the post at specific times when the readers are active (mid of the week and in the evenings after 6pm)
  •  Writing genuine content with personal touch instead of some ideal scenarios
  • Reading and replying to the comments regularly
  • Joining link parties and participating in writing challenges regularly.

Even though my blog is on a custom domain, it is managed through blogger platform. This made it tough for me to use the plugins because of blogger platform limitations. Since I don't earn much revenue through my blog, I cannot go for paid tools as of now. But, there are some free tools which help me to write regularly on my blog. These tools/ apps/ websites made my life easier.  

Here is a list of 5 such tools/ apps/ websites:

1. Grammarly

I write good English with fewer grammar mistakes but the punctuation mistakes irk me a lot. I have Grammarly chrome extension enabled which helps me to write content without grammar mistakes. I use a free version as of now and it meets my purpose. I feel Grammar is the first thing any blogger should focus on if they want to improve their blog and reach to more audience. 

2. Canva

I would say this is a boon for social media promotion and to write content with attractive images and text. I use this regularly and almost everytime I blog unless I am using my own images. It is free and it has loads of templates and images. It is very easy to use. Just we have to pick an image, include the text we want to add, include our blog's URL and download the final image to include in our blog post or use for social media promotion. 

3.Image Sources

Picking attractive high quality images is very important for any blog post. The first source that helps me with this is the website www.pixabay.com. Many images are available for free. One more option is to search for an image in "Google images" page, select "tools 》usage rights" and filter the results by "labeled with non commercial reuse". Those images are not copyrighted. Other sources are Flickr images with creative common license and a website www.unsplash.com

4. Buffer

Taking time to promote our content is as important as publishing quality content. I usually promote my content on Facebook, Twitter and Google plus. I also add my links to Indiblogger and the blog chatter reading lists. When I schedule my content ahead for a future date I use buffer to share the links on social media. It makes planning easier and I use a free version as of now.

5. Image editing tools

Sometimes, for travelogues, I post photos directly from my mobile. So, I use snap seed app to edit my photos. This is a free tool with lots of editing options. I use photo grid app to make collages of photos real quick from my mobile. 

What tools do you use for blogging? Did you try any of the above-mentioned tools/ apps/ websites? Please do let me know your thoughts and also suggestions on some free tools which make blogging easy.

Until next time 

This article is written as part of SuperBloggingChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com,Fashionablefoodz.com, and Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused. 

Also, linking this to #QuotedStories hosted by Upasna

Life through my Bioscope

12 March, 2018

Alexander the Great (BiographyIn60) by In60Learning - [Book Review]

Book Details: 

Book Title: Alexander the Great (Biographyin60)
Author: In60Learning
Genre: biography, non fiction 
Publisher: In60Learning
Length of the book: 32 pages (kindle edition)
Source: A free kindle copy from publisher for review


Smarter in sixty minutes.
Get smarter in just 60 minutes with in60Learning. Concise and elegantly written non-fiction books and audiobooks help you learn the core subject matter in 20% of the time that it takes to read a typical book. Life is short, so explore a multitude of fascinating historical, biographical, scientific, political, and financial topics in only an hour each.

Long before historians added “the Great” to his name, Alexander stated, “I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity.” He certainly lived up to this ambition, conquering most of the known world in just 13 years before his death at age 33. Though undefeated in his lifetime, Alexander died unsatisfied--he always wanted more. His ambitious personality comes as no surprise considering his upbringing: born to powerful parents, he studied under Aristotle and grew up believing himself a descendant of the Greek heroes Achilles and Heracles. His parents and tutors raised him to believe he had something to prove, and this book serves as an account of what he accomplished.

My Review:
Before I review the book, I have to mention the publisher. In60learning is providing many kindle and audible books which can be completed in 60 mins. These books are about historical events and biographies of famous personalities majorly. If you want to get updates about their new books, check this link.

 I chose Alexander's biography as Iam curious to learn about the person who expanded his kingdom from Greece to Asia in a very less time.

I enjoyed reading this biography. In history, there are many versions written about Alexander and a few are exaggerated to a great extent. So, the author mentions the different versions and tries to clarify which version might be true.

I felt, narration might have been more interesting but since this is a short book I enjoyed learning more about Alexander in a very less time.

A few cool facts I learned about Alexander:

1. He is an alcoholic and showed bouts of anger when drunk.
2. There is no love life at all or there is no influence of any woman on his life.
3. He lived only 33 years but conquered a lot of countries.
4. He is ethical but unmerciful also sometimes.
5. He respected women and never took any queens as wives when he defeated their kingdoms.

PS: I have received this book from the author in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

My Rating: 4/5

Purchase Link:

Until next time,

09 March, 2018

On a snowy day #ThursdayTreeLove

This was on a drive while it is snowing.

Linking this to #ThursdayTreeLove hosted by Parul.

Until next time,

Infused Water and its benefits #SuperBloggerChallenge2018

We reside in Colorado state in USA. I thought, only places with hot weather will be dry. But, Colorado springs being a mountain town at high altitude, temperatures usually decrease while humidity is not high. This state is cool and dry. If we don't drink enough water here, it is common to bleed through the nose due to dryness. 

We all know that we should drink at least 2 liters or 8 glasses of water daily though this requirement changes with geographical conditions and our health. Sometimes, drinking plain water multiple times might be uncomfortable.I came to know about infused water only a year ago. While different types of flavored waters and flavored sodas are available in the market, Infused water is a healthier option.

Strawberry, Cucumber, mint Infused water
PC: Google image labeled with non commercial reuse

What is Infused water?

Infused water is the water with herbs and fruits soaked in it over a period of time. Because of the infusion process, flavors of the fruits or plant material are steeped into the water. 

How is Infused water beneficial?

1. Tasty
We all know the benefits of drinking water. If the water consumed by us is also tasty, there is a probability of us drinking more water. Infusion process slightly improves the taste of the water. The common ingredients used for infusion are cucumbers, lemon, mint, ginger, cinnamon, strawberry, pineapple, coconut, basil, rosemary, raspberry, blueberry etc.,

2. Detoxifying 
Since infused water has high antioxidants, it cleanses the body and detoxes. This will keep you hydrated for more time eliminating wastes from the body.

3. Nutritious
This is not a major benefit but 20% of nutrients from herbs/ fruits used for infusion will steep through the water. So, definitely, it is not equal to having a full fruit or having a smoothie with fruit but better than plain water.
Strawberry, lime, mint Infused water
PC: www.pixabay.com

4. Helps in Weight loss
Some specific fruit infused water are known for weight loss properties. Some can burn fat and even relieve stress. The combination of cucumber and lime infused water, strawberry and rosemary infused water etc., are good for weight loss. 

5. Immunity booster
Infused water can improve immunity depending on the fruits/ herbs we select to infuse. 
For example: 
Pears, raspberry, and rosemary can lower blood pressure and support immunity
Blueberries, lemon, and cucumber can boost metabolism and detoxify

Since you are convinced of the benefits, how do you infuse the water?

Here comes the process:

1. Choose the ingredients

2. Buy a pitcher/fruit infuser bottle. See below for product ideas:

Fruit Infuser bottle from #Instacuppa   

Fruit Infuser bottle with thermos steel from Instacuppa
Fruit Infuser bottle from #Instacuppa

Green tea detox bottle from Instacuppa

3. Soak the ingredients in filtered water. 

4. Leave it overnight or at least for 4 hrs.

5. Sip whole day and enjoy!

Try the infused water and let me know how you like it :-)

Until next time,

This article is written as part of SuperBloggingChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com,Fashionablefoodz.com, and Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused. 

06 March, 2018

The Love Lottery by Raj Dhaliwal - [Book Review]

The Love Lottery: a comic tale of lessons in life, love, dating and the odd samosa party 

In our fast-paced digital age, never has finding the one felt more like playing the lottery. If anyone knows about the cruelty and chaos of dating in the 21st century it’s Raj Dhaliwal; accountant by day, hopeless romantic by night. By his own admission, Raj is a tax wizard but a clumsy disaster area when it comes to matters of the heart. This book charts his misadventures in the art of looking for love in an age when a man’s best intentions can be coldly dismissed by a swipe to the left. 

The Love Lottery: a comic tale of lessons in life, love, dating and the odd samosa party explores the emotional rollercoaster of dating, charting the epic excitement and anticipation, highs, lows and disappointments of our ever optimistic search for romance. As a British-born Indian gent, Raj compares and contrasts the social and cultural distinctions between his family, his friends and the women he meets on the dating scene; a route to romance that’s littered with speed dating, online dating and feverish matchmaking, in this funny and heart-warming book. As self-appointed United Nations Love Ambassador, Raj has made it his mission to date the weird and the wonderful in the pursuit of lasting love. Want to play The Love Lottery? Then read on.

My Review:
This is a comic tale of Raj searching for a bride. The focus is more on Indian life, culture, their perspectives while making matches etc., Even when you are in another country, you behave as per your native culture and the way you are brought up. Even though Raj looks for alliances from the London, he follows the same route as other Indian bridegrooms. Starting with shortlisting of profiles through relatives till attending samosa parties, the misadventures of Raj are hilarious but also relatable if you are an Indian. 

There is no story but it is a fun, satirical and humorous read about matchmaking in India. What I loved is the fun take on all stages of matchmaking and hundreds of genuine thoughts and doubts that go through the groom's mind at every stage.

Some Conversations are a lot of fun to read like this on a date:

On the Outside, he would say, "Oh Yes, you cannot beat an English Cream Tea.With a slice of homemade cake!" 

On the inside, it may be more a case of "WTF! How much? I could buy a kettle for the price of the Tea alone! How on earth did they calculate the price of the cake?! Cost plus 1000%? I could buy a bakery and bake my own!"

What I didn't like is that the narration becomes too casual and gets boring at some point. There is no proper ending but the book ends with a hope that someday we will find true love.

Overall, it is good humorous read that you can finish on a train journey. 

My Rating: 3/5

PS: I have received this book from the author through Rachel's Random resources tours and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the author: Living in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Raj Dhaliwal works as an accountant for the car manufacturing company Land Rover.

Until next time,

03 March, 2018

My Childhood Food memories #SuperBloggerChallenge2018

I am not a foodie and I manage to eat anything if it is a veg option cooked properly with enough salt and spice. But, My mother is a great cook. She loves cooking tasty dishes, she takes time to improve the food that she cooks and presents them properly. I am just the opposite. I don't have interest in both cooking and eating.

Still, I have some good childhood memories of food. Here are some:

Gold fingers :
They are some fries with salt and spice. We used to get these packs in our school cafeteria. We used to stand in a queue to buy them in the interval and share with our friends. I used to save pocket money for this. Of course, this is a junk food but I liked them as they are spicy and crunchy.

Gold finger snacks
PC: From Google images labeled with non-commercial reuse

Evening snacks :
After coming from school, our daily routine was to fresh ourselves, eat homemade snacks made my mom and rush to dance classes. My mom used to make a variety of snacks like plantain bajji (stuffed fries), wholewheat dosas, Maggie, Rava laddoo, sweet laddoo, murukku etc., My favorite was whole wheat dosa and my mom used to make 2 versions - a simple one and sweet one.

Wheat Dosa
PC: From Google images labeled with non-commercial reuse

Poori :
I used to hate almost all breakfast items like idli, vada, and dosa as I am allergic to them. But, Pooris are so tasty and my all time favorite breakfast. They take some time to make, so my mom used to prepare them on weekends when we get up late enjoy Pooris with potato curry or with a gravy made with chickpea flour.

Rice items and Specific vegatables :
I almost like all rice varieties like veg pulao, tamarind rice, tomato rice etc., I like some vegetables more like ladyfingers, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants.
Ladyfingers/ Okra

Really, those were fantastic days when we need not cook anything and just eat and enjoy a tasty meal. What were your childhood favorites and best food memories? Do share in comments.

Until next time,

This article is written as part of SuperBloggingChallenge2018 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com,Fashionablefoodz.com, and Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused. 

Linking this to #FlavoursomeTuesdays hosted by Sunita and Shilpa

Also, linking this to #QuotedStories hosted by Upasna.

Life through my Bioscope

02 March, 2018

Gratitude List for February 2018 #GratitudeCircle

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

We take many things for granted in our daily lives. Being healthy, having someone to love us, having something to look forward to by the end of the day, having enough food to satiate our hunger etc., Aren't they the most important and basic things that we should be thankful for?
Everything else is a bonus.

So, never take anything for granted and start appreciating the little things in life.

This is the basic idea of me practicing gratitude. If you have been following my blog, you know that I write a  gratitude post every month.

Here is my Gratitude list for February 2018:

1. Books

I have read about 5 books this month. It was tough but somehow managed. I am grateful for the free time that I got this month.

Into water by Paula Hawkins is a good thriller. Read my review here. Necessities by Boyd Taylor is a crime fiction. Best of Luck by Corinne Scott is a Romantic Suspense. Comfort Food by Julia Chen is the first cookbook that I read.

2. An Adventurous and Fun vacation

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Steamboat Springs. Read my travelogue here.  We tried the new mountain coaster, adventurous 2 hour trip on snowmobiles and had so much fun with snow tubing. Playing in the snow is very nice and watching the purest form of nature closely is something that I cherish in my life. I am very grateful to my husband for the cool companionship of 10 years. Fortunately, we had more happy moments and fewer hiccups. Of course, I am grateful to my parents and in-laws :-) They made a good match.

3. Birthday Party

We celebrated my elder one's birthday and unlike other parties, I planned it by focusing on kids alone. Of course, we had cake and pizza as usual but I have arranged some games to engage kids and also gave some surprise gifts. Kids were happy. There were challenges due to space constraint and managing kids together, but I am grateful to the parents of kids and my friends who helped me in the party.

So, That was about how my month went. How was your February? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury.

Also, linking to #ThankfulThursday hosted by Shirley.

Thankful Thursday 09

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