23 October, 2018

11 Ways to make Long Term Travel Affordable - A Guest Post from Shipra

I am glad to welcome Shipra Aggarwal to my blog to share some tips on making the long-term travel more affordable.



People usually put their traveling desires on hold because they believe that traveling could be expensive. They think that it will take away all their savings and spending savings on desires instead of necessities is not preferred in our Indian society. Nowadays plane tickets, hotel reservations, and restaurants are becoming costly, so there is no wonder why people think travel is not obtainable.

But there is another side of the coin also. This thing is that travel can be very cheap & affordable if the people are ready to open their minds and change the way of their thinking. If you are ready to change your way of thinking and are willing to think of those travel options that you haven’t think before. 


Here are some of the options that you should consider that will change your way of thinking and make your travel affordable.

Planning is must

Before going to any place for travel, it is necessary to do proper planning. From air tickets to your accommodation, & places to explore, everything should be planned. If you will not do any planning, then definitely you will spend a lot and there are chances you will also use the cash that you kept for the emergency purpose. So, instead of spending unnecessarily on anything, make a plan and spend wisely.


Don’t spend without Budget

After planning for the travel, the next step comes your budget. Your budget should contain all your expenses but within the limit. It should cover all the expense for your necessities. Don’t use all your savings instead try to save money by taking wise steps. Always keep some cash for an emergency such as any kind of medical expense. 


Credit Card

If you are planning to travel for long-term, obviously you will need money and you will carry a credit card. While choosing for the credit card, always choose that card gives you maximum benefits on international transactions such as SBI Elite. This card has a very nominal international transaction fee of 1.99%. So, using a card can be beneficial instead of that card which has a huge transaction fee. Also, look out for the other benefits of the card in terms of reward points and discounts whether on booking tickets or on shopping.


Choose your travel destination wisely

You would like to travel all around the world. But there are many places in the world where traveling can burn a hole in your pocket despite all planning. So, choose a destination which is cheap in all aspects such as accommodation, daily needs items, travel expenses and many more. Choose that country where you can reach easily, comfortably, and with less money. Always go to any place in the offseason. If you will plan to go in the tourist season, you will be spending more than your budget.


Booking air tickets

If you want to go on a long-term travel, it would be better to book your air tickets well in advance. By doing this you will air tickets cheaper and it is possible that you might get some discounts. Try to book tickets months before your travel. Don’t make the foolishness of booking tickets near your travel date as it might cost you many times costly than usual rates. If there are any other means of transport for going at your chosen travel destination which is cheaper than air tickets, then go for that option. You can use the credit card that can give you benefit in booking air tickets like discounts or reward points such as Yatra SBI Card. It gives you the discount of Rs 4000 on all your air tickets booking on minimum spending of Rs 40000. It also gives you 6x reward points on every Rs 100 spend on international spending. You will have to explore all the options before deciding which one to use.


Rent out your place

When you are going for 3 to 6 months, then it is obvious that you must be staying in the place where you are going. So, if you will rent out your own house for that period of time, you can earn money from the rent of that house. This money can be used in your travel.




Go for cheap accommodation

If you are staying at a place for long-term, then costly hotels will not be the right choice for you. So, it would be better if you will stay at a cheaper place such homestays or take the house on minimum rent of someone who has also gone for long travel like you. Avoid taking accommodation near any tourist destination since it will be costly. Choose your place of stay where public transport & all necessities are available. Your accommodation shouldn’t be in the middle of the city as it will costly again and not too far away from the city as that will not be safe.


Cook yourself

Instead of spending lavishly on fine dining, make arrangements for self-cooking. As you have to stay for a long time, it will cheap and beneficial for you. Consider yourself as a local person of that place and live like them. 


Cheap Transportation

Always use cheap transportation such as local bus, auto or local train instead of going through cabs everywhere. There all will be cheaper for you and you will able to know that place more closely.





Earn & spend

Although you can’t do a job, you can do some freelancing so that there must be a regular income source. It will not only keep you in touch with your work but also help in meeting your expenses.


Minimum Stuff

While going on for a long-term travel avoid taking more stuff that would become difficult for you to carry. Avoid heavy baggage and big bags. Instead, go for cabin bags as you can carry them easily. Don’t stuff your bag too much. You buy things from that place also where you are going if it is cheaper there.

So, by considering the above-mentioned points and changing your thinking way a little bit, you can save a lot of money and enjoy your travel in the best possible manner. What do you say?

About the Author :


Shipra Aggarwal


Shipra is a personal finance writer, working with a prominent News Daily in Chandigarh. She has the experience of over 3 years in the BFSI industry and she loves to share her experience with the users by giving them in-depth knowledge of personal finance.


Until next time,


19 October, 2018

Murder at Archly Manor by Sara Rosett - Book Spot Light







Murder at Archly Manor (High Society Lady Detective Series)
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (October 15, 2018)
Approximately 250 Pages
BN ID: 2940161789018
The book is not up on Amazon or GoodReads yet.
A high-society murder. A spirited lady detective. Can she out-class the killer before an innocent person takes the fall?
London, 1923. Olive Belgrave needs a job. Despite her aristocratic upbringing, she’s penniless. Determined to support herself, she jumps at an unconventional job—looking into the background of her cousin’s fiancĂ©, Alfred. He burst into the upper crust world of London’s high society, but his answers to questions about his past are decidedly vague.
Before Olive can gather more than the basics, a murder occurs at a posh party. Suddenly, every Bright Young Person in attendance is a suspect, and Olive must race to find the culprit because a sly murderer is determined to make sure Olive’s first case is her last.
Murder at Archly Manor is the first in the High Society Lady Detective series of charming historical cozy mysteries. If you like witty banter, glamorous settings, and delightful plot twists, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett’s series for Anglophiles and mystery lovers alike. Travel back to the Golden Age of detective fiction with Murder at Archly Manor.
About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes light-hearted escapes for readers who enjoy puzzling mysteries, interesting settings, and quirky characters.
She is the author of the Murder on Location series, the Ellie Avery series, the On the Run series, and the High Society Lady Detective series. Sara also teaches an online course, How to Outline A Cozy Mystery.
Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, “satisfying,” “well-executed,” and “sparkling.” Sara loves to get new stamps in her passport and considers dark chocolate a daily requirement. Find out more at SaraRosett.com.

Author Links:
▪      Website: https://www.SaraRosett.com
▪      Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SaraRosett
▪      Twitter: @SaraRosethttp://www.twitter.com/sararosett
 ▪     Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/srosett/
▪      Litsy profile name: SaraRosett (no profile links available at this time, home page:                http://litsy.com/)
▪      Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Rosett/e/B001IXRPSS
▪      Bookbub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sara-rosett
▪      Newsletter sign-up: https://www.SaraRosett.com/signup


Until next time,

17 October, 2018

My Gratitude List for Sep 2018 #GratitudeCircle

Time has come again to be thankful for all good things. Are you practicing Gratitude?

Already it's 16th October and I am late to write my gratitude list. I focused on dance classes in September month and we celebrated a festival and birthday of a family member. We had some short weeks for school, thus more holidays. I performed Kuchipudi on stage after a long time and I have also started training 7 to 8-year-olds for a stage performance.


Gratitude is the best attitude. 




My Gratitude List for last month (Sep 2018):

1. Dance performance :

I performed annamacharya keerthana on stage. With just one week of practice, I think, I could do well. Fortunately, one friend helped me with makeup and the costume suited well.

2. Festival and Birthday:

We celebrated 'Vinayaka chavithi' which is an important festival in Telugu household. This time, I could do some festival dishes better than the earlier years. I think I am getting better in cooking slowly :-) We also celebrated a family member's birthday. We have cut a cake and as usual, I prepared Payasam (milk sweet) and we went for a long drive on the weekend. In our family, long drives and traveling are actually birthday gifts :-)

3. Fall colors:

I love watching nature. This season is my favorite due to many reasons. I love the leaves changing to bright yellows, oranges and then vibrant reds. Here are the best places for a long drive in the fall season in Colorado. 



4. MyFriendAlexa Campaign :

I have participated in the #MyFriendAlexa Campaign and published 2 posts per week. I read almost 10 blog posts every day, commented and shared them on social media. It was a great experience to write content regularly and see my Alexa rank grow. I didn't have many expectations before joining the campaign but this campaign organized by Blogchatter benefited me with not only a reduced Alexa rank but also to enhance my blog visibility. I grabbed more sponsored post opportunities too.

Here are the rank updates:

Sep 1st (Week 1) 
My Global Alexa Rank: 3,642,454
India Rank: 310,640

Week 2 - Sep 11th
Global Alexa Rank : 1,939,208
India Rank : 143,227 


Week 3 - Sep 17th
Global Alexa Rank : 1,435,439
India Rank : 109,652

Week 4 - Sep 25th
Global Alexa Rank : 888,185
India Rank : 47,908

I am still maintaining my Alexa rank :-)

5. Teaching Dance:

I never thought I would teach dance in my life. I always dreamed myself to be a professional Kuchipudi Dancer and not more than that. I am learning to be a good teacher and here are a few lessons that I learned from teaching. I think Now I am enjoying that phase too as a teacher. 


So, those were the important happenings in my life that I am thankful for. What are you grateful for today? Please share in the comments.


Until next time,

Linking this post to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury and #ChattyBlogs hosted by Shanaya. Also linking to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne. 





16 October, 2018

Driven By Desire by Shilpa Suraj - A guest Post and Book Review

Book Details:

Title: Driven By Desire

Author: Shilpa Suraj

Genre: Romance, Fiction

Length of the Book: 434 pages

Publisher: Juggernaut Books


Purchase Link: Juggernaut




Blurb:

An ace vintage car restorer and a pharmaceutical tycoon, Maxine and Krish have nothing in common.

A chance encounter puts their lives on a collision course and a stubborn and steady attraction begins to bloom.

Wanting each other is easy, it's happy ever after that's the problem...

My Review :

Driven By Desire is about a couple Krish and Max who doesn't have much in common. As they attract to each other, both have to figure out what it takes to make it a long-term relationship. 

While Max is a free-spirited ambitious woman, Krish is someone who has a lot of responsibilities both in his personal and professional level. While he is hesitant to take his relationship with Max to next level due to his other responsibilities, he realizes that it's not easy to live without Max who is like a rainbow in his life. While Max can understand the problems in Krish's life and is ready to make their relationship work, she needs more patience dealing with Krish's short temper. 

Can they make it work? Will the family responsibilities / their work become an impediment in their journey? You have to find out this by reading this book.

I don't think the storyline is unique but the characters, the narration and the backdrop make it interesting. I love the vibrant and lovely Max. Krish, Pooja, Adi, and Mr. Sheredian all contribute tot he story and they are all positive and friendly characters. I like Krish who is such a strict and responsible man but is sensitive and caring. I liked the climax though it seemed dramatic like in movies. 

At a few places, I felt bored to continue reading, especially Christmas party and the next scenes. But, the climax is worth the read. The book cover is apt. I would have loved if the story has interesting twists. Overall, a good read with proper pace.

My Rating : 4/5

I recommend this book to all Romance lovers and who love to read a story about real life responsibilities and complications in relationships.

PS: I have received an e-copy of the book in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

Guest Post from the Author about the Book and Characters :


 “Life would be very boring if we only played to our strengths.” – Max, Driven by Desire

Max and Krish from Driven by Desire are some of my most vibrant, multidimensional characters so far. As someone who has always made unconventional choices herself whether it was in her choice of career, her choice of husband or her choice of lifestyle, I wanted to write a story that showed the reader that unconventional is just perception. 

One person’s strange is another’s normal. Driven by Desire is about refuting gender stereotypes, breaching supposedly insurmountable age differences and melding vastly different lives without losing your individual selves.

Meet Maxine Sheridan, aka Max, ace vintage car restorer, chronic klutz, irrepressible optimist and abysmal guitar player. When I first thought of writing what would eventually become Driven by Desire, Max and Krish’s biggest obstacle was their perception of each other. He thought she was an immature, irresponsible tomboy and she thought he was a boring, judgmental stick-in-the-mud. But when you look beyond the surface, you see the incredible.

Orphaned at the age of twenty-one and responsible for three younger siblings, Krish had no choice but to age way before his time. His life centered around his responsibilities to his siblings, the family business and last but not the least, his father’s unfulfilled dream. He has no time for car restorers with multi coloured hair who fall out of trees, land on his head and leave him dizzy in both the literal and figurative sense. And yet, he can’t resist her…He could try blaming it on the concussion but at the heart of it, he knows there is more to it. More to Max than burnt cheese sandwiches, allergy inducing lip balms and ear shattering guitar renditions. And Max slowly manages to show him that there is more to life itself.

But the path to happily ever after is never that easy, is it? There are commitments to meet, examples to set, children to nurture and families to safeguard and through it all an irresistible, incandescent attraction to fight.

Driven by desire offers everything for the consummate romance reader- passion, romance, humour, strong supporting characters, a hero to die for and a heroine who is quirky enough to change his world, if he can just let her.


About the Author:

 Shilpa Suraj was a year and a half when she was first introduced to the world of books. Her mother would park her with a picture book on the floor of the kitchen while she finished her cooking for the day. While it’s no longer the kitchen floor, you can still find her tucked away in a cosy nook somewhere with her nose buried in a book. While books in all genres interest her, it was romance that captured her heart. While racing through every romantic fiction book she could beg, borrow or buy, her over active imagination started to work overtime and weave its own stories. Years in the corporate world followed by a stint of entrepreneurship crystallised her belief that all she really wanted to do was give life to the stories bubbling inside of her. She briefly managed to tear herself away from the world of fiction to find her own personal happily ever after and now spends her time happily focusing on the two loves of her life – family and writing romances.

Enter the GiveAway on Facebook



Until next time,

12 October, 2018

5 ways to comfort / help a new Mom

How much ever experience you have or how much ever help and support you have, Giving birth to a child is not an easy task. After waiting for 9 months and after taking the utmost self-care and diet, even though the mom eagerly waits for her child, it is impossible to prepare for postpartum 100%. That's why the help and support of family and friends are most needed after delivery. 

Here are some ways that I think will be helpful to comfort a new mom. 


PC: www.pixabay.com

1. Helping with Food and cooking

I think any friend or family member should take care of the food and cooking needs for the new mom. An infant takes a lot of time feeding every 2 hrs, adjusting to this world, needing diaper changes often. Since the mom will be busy with the infant, the family/ friends should step up and arrange food. 

2. Giving more sleep to mom

Sleeplessness gives more stress than day-long work. If the family and friends can take care of baby sometimes with pumped breast milk, the new mom can have some sleep as she has to wake up every 2 hrs in the night. 
PC: www.pixabay.com

3. Taking the mom outside

Taking care of a baby the whole day is very difficult and sometimes, it becomes depressing. In those stressful days, moms feel like pumping machines as feeding baby is the high priority task they have the whole day. If moms can take a stroll outside with the baby or if they can just go outside once in a while, it takes off some stress. This helps the new mom to be happy. Family/ friends should help in making sure that the mom is spending some time outside once in a while.

4. Dealing with Hormones

After delivery, hormones show their impact. Sometimes, new mothers feel like crying without any reason. Postpartum depression is real. The family has to talk to her and listen to her and understand her behavioral changes due to hormones.  While the reasons might be many for postpartum depression, a positive dialogue and support to the new mom will help her to come out of that. New moms often doubt their efficiency to take care of an infant and doubt that they may cause any harm to the baby unknowingly.  These thoughts are common and if they can discuss these thoughts freely with friends and family, they get better support. 

5. Appreciate her

When life seems mechanical with just taking care of baby selflessly, appreciation is very much needed. It gives the mom a confidence that she is doing her tasks better and is a good parent. Appreciate her. Gifts might not be necessary always, but the support and encouragement are important at this phase. Gifting her some baby essentials from Lovingly Signed is a better idea. The website has many personalized gift sets for baby boys and girls.
Super Luxury Gift set for Boys


What are your suggestions on comforting a new mom? If you are already a mom, let me know if these ways could have helped you after your delivery.

Until next time,



5 ways to help a new mom


Ps: This sponsored post is really coming at a great time because I was just thinking to share information about Lovingly Signed website for different baby gifting options. 

11 October, 2018

Some more fall colors #ThursdayTreeLove

I cannot get enough of the fall colors and it is already first snowfall here :O

Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day. - Shira Tamir

Borrow some Gold?

Early Reds

Linking this to #ThursdayTreeLove hosted by Parul.

Until next time,


The White flowers from the Heaven #MondayMusings


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers



I am not sure why I am crazy about the snow.

While it snows, I feel like beautiful white flowers are falling from the Sky.



As per the scientists, the white color is formed by the combination of all rainbow colors. Is this the reason, nature looks divine and peaceful after the snowfall?
Tree covered with Snow
Pc: www.pixabay.com

While it is fun to be under the snow catching those white flowers who are as light as cotton balls, the temperature might be freezing to play outside. But, What I observed is that the time before it starts snowing, temperature falls down reaching 0-degree Celsius and weather becomes foggy or fills with mist. The visibility slowly reduces to zero and it will be freezing at this time to go outside without proper winter wear like the scarf, cap, jacket, socks, shoes, and gloves.


Snowflake
Pc: www.pixabay.com

After it snows, it seems like the whole Earth is wearing a white blanket. The serene scenery cannot be explained with words. The rooftops of the houses and the tree leaves shining white with the sunshine look pristine.

It will be wonderful watching the snow fall from the window sipping a hot coffee/ Hot chocolate. I always think - while nature is this beautiful, how can we work on our routine things without stopping for some time and enjoy the beauty. My heart will always be outside when it snows and I just want to be a spectator and enjoy the experience.

How do you feel about snow? Or Am I the only one crazy about snow?

Until next time,








Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne.




10 October, 2018

Dussehra Celebration

Dussehra festival is celebrated for 9 days and this year it is celebrated from 10th October to 18th October.


Dussehra 2018

Significance of Dussehra:
There are many stories about the significance of Dussehra celebration. One is the victory of good over evil. Goddess Durga fought with a demon Mahishasura for all these 9 days and killed him on Vijaya Dasami. There is also a legend that Rama fought with Ravana and killed him on Vijaya Dasami.

Celebration: We celebrate this festival for 9 days by performing puja to Goddess Durga in 9 forms. We offer different prasadams on each day and perform pooja. Many women read Lalitha Sahasra namam and do kumkuma Archana in the evenings.

Day
Avatara
Naivedyam (Offering)
1 (10th oct)
Shailaputri Navadurga
Chalimidi (Sweet with rice flour), Vadapappu(soaked moong dal) and Payasam (Kheer)
2 (11th Oct)
Balatripura Sundari
Sweet Boondi and chickpeas
3 (12th Oct)
Gayatri Devi
Ravva Kesari and Pulihora
4 (13th Oct)
Lalita Tripura Sundari Devi
Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) and Pesara Boorelu (Wadas made of lentils)
5 (14th Oct)
Saraswati Devi
Dadhojanam (Curd rice)/  Atukulu (puffed rice), Jaggery (bellam), Sanagapappu (split skinless chickpeas)
6 (15th Oct)
Annapurna Devi
Pongal 
7 (16th Oct)
Sri Maha Lakshmi
Ksheerannam (Sweet with rice and milk)/ Jaggery Rice 
8 (17th Oct)
Sri Durga Devi
Gaarelu (Wada) , Lemon rice with Ginger
9 (18st Oct)
Mahishasura Mardhini
Chakkara Pongali (Sweet made with rice, milk, and Jaggery)

On the 10th day, we worship Sri Rajarajeswari Devi by offering Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) and Garelu (Wada) as naivedyam.

Source: https://hindupad.com/nine-types-of-naivedyam-for-navaratri-in-south-india/

Dussehra 2018
Happy Dussehra

Other than the puja, we also do Ayudha puja on 18th October, which means, we perform pooja to machines, instruments, weapons, and vehicles. Pooja is done for books and musical instruments also on that day.


Another important celebration is Bommala koluvu. Many idols of different colors and idols of Gods and Goddesses are arranged in a hierarchical way. Hosts arrange small gathering and invite girls and women. During this festival, a few also perform puja to small girls treating them as Goddess Durga and offer them bangles and flowers.

So, this is how we celebrate Dussehra in our household. I hope, this Dussehra brings health and happiness to your households.


Until next time,

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