31 December, 2021

Word of The Year 2022 - Change

 Following some fellow bloggers and friends, I started this tradition of setting a word every year to focus on it. I did a very bad job in focusing on that word last year. I even forgot the word that I have set. It doesn't mean that I cannot try again! So, a post to set a word for the year 2022. :-)

Hope you all celebrated the new year! This year, we just moved to a new place and so, it's a lot of work packing and unpacking during the new year. We are excited to arrange our new home, settle into the new place, adjust to new weather, and make new friends. So, we are in the process of many changes.

Of course, this is the word I need to focus on this year. This came to my mind without much thinking.

Change is inevitable and sometimes, challenging as well. But, I believe change is good. Actually, my sentence should be "adapting to the change". Since it's a single word, setting it to CHANGE makes sense.

Here is to the new beginnings. Cheers and Happy New Year 2022. Hope this new year brings you all Love, Happiness, and Good Health. 

Until next time,

23 December, 2021

Things to do in LEH, LADAKH (India) - A guest post by Banbanjara Travels

It's my pleasure to have Rishi Shivhare write a guest post on my blog about things to do in Leh Ladakh.

Hope you will like this article!


There are many must-visit places in the Leh Ladakh region. From ancient architecture, markets, and traces of Tibetan heritage, you will experience rare beauty and bliss. 

Take a look at the list of places you will love to visit. 


The palace was built in the 19th century by King Sengge Namgyal. It is a 9 story royal palace of Leh blessed with some breathtaking views. You will love and enjoy the sights of snow-capped peaks, Stok Kangri looming up to the sky, and the serene Indus river. The palace also has a beautiful collection of artifacts of the time. You will also get to see various costumes, jewelry, religious scriptures, and remnants of the royal family. 


The lake is nestled at an altitude of 14,270 feet above sea level. The crystal clear lake is about 134 kilometers long. 60% of the lake falls under China's territory. The scenic beauty of the tranquil lake is simply mesmerizing. As the lake displays seven shades of blue, the water certainly ensnares the traveler's mind. The towering peaks and the tough road leading to the lake is an experience of a lifetime you shouldn't miss. 

PC: https://pixabay.com/photos/lake-mountains-coast-fog-snow-5832067/


The Tso Moriri lake is located at an elevation of 15,000 feet above sea level. It is a popular freshwater lake in the Ladakh region. The environs of the water body are a splendid landscape offering a change from rough to lush green. The lake is fed by streams and springs that run about 7 kilometers wide and 19 kilometers long. The lake is home to 34 species of rare flora and fauna. You will be awestruck by the splendid view. 


The Shanti Stupa was inaugurated by the Holy Dalai Lama in 1991. This is a beautiful Japanese structure located close to the town of Leh. The place is set at a height of about 4,200 feet above sea level. The white beauty enjoys splendid and magnificent views of the panorama of the looming snow-clad mountain peaks. The view of the sunrise and sunset from this place is all worth it. 


This monastery has put the town of Hemis on the world map and made it popular. It is one of the richest and largest monasteries in India. You will be mesmerized to see the Tibetan-style architecture in the midst of the rugged environs. The Hemis Festival is the most popularly celebrated festival in this region. The monastery is also a house to many rare and exquisite Buddha, gold and silver Stupas, and Thangkas. 


The Zanskar Valley is blessed with picturesque natural beauty all along the way. The valley is inhabited by monks and is one of the places that will complete your tour. The Zanskar river flows along the valley and has lent its name to the place. You will love visiting this place if you are an adventure enthusiast. You will have numerous options of adrenaline-gushing activities to choose from river rafting to a frozen trek. 


The KhardungLa pass is the highest motorable road in the world located at an altitude of 18,739 feet above sea level. The pass is situated in the Karakoram Range at the north of Leh. The KhardungLa pass is a popular tourist attraction because of its pristine air, scenic vistas, and the feeling that you are on top of the world. Before you sojourn the region, make preparations as it is a challenging pass. 

PC: https://pixabay.com/images/id-232730/


The Diskit Monastery is located in the Diskit village of Nubra Valley. This dates back to the 14th century. This ancient monastery is home to a 106 feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha in the prayer hall. The monastery will bustle with activities every February as the popular Dosmoche festival is celebrated. 


Drass Valley is located in the heart of the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir. The valley is famous for all its natural hot springs that are blessed with medical benefits. The Valley is renowned to be the second coldest inhabited region in the world. You will love to visit the place as it strikes a perfect balance between the lush greens, soothing blues, and bold browns. 


The Zoji La Pass is a popular mountain pass lying between Ladakh and Kashmir. The pass is situated at an altitude of 11,575 feet above sea level. The spectacular views are heartwarming. You will fall in love with the place and cherish these memories for a lifetime. 

Make sure you visit the above-mentioned places and make beautiful memories. 

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Author’s Biography

Rishi Shivhare, an MBA IT And MARKETING Graduate as well as pursuing Bachelors in  English Honours. is fond of reading books and magazines and writing articles, interacting with people, and is still learning every day. I am also interested in getting to know about new things, traveling and enjoying the scenic views, and cooking. I am presently involved in content writing work with Banbanjara Travels LLP and taking short-term courses on human resources. At times I also take interest in painting and drawing.

Until next time,


12 December, 2021

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner - [Book Review]

 Book Details:

Title: Touch and Go

Author: Lisa Gardner

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Publisher: Headline

Print length: 432 pages

Source: A copy from the local library

Blurb :

The perfect family. The perfect crime?

'Lisa Gardner always delivers heart-stopping suspense' Harlan Coben
'An amazing writer' Karin Slaughter

The addictive thriller from Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller Lisa Gardner, featuring Detective D.D. Warren.

Justin and Libby Denbe have it all: a beautiful daughter; a gorgeous house; a great marriage, admired by all.

Arriving at the crime scene of their home, investigator Tessa Leoni finds no witnesses, no ransom demands or motive - just a perfect little family, gone.

But Tessa knows that flawless fronts can hide the darkest secrets. Now, she must race against the clock to uncover the truth. Who would want to kidnap such a family? And how far would they be willing to go?

Purchase Link:

My Review :

The story is a perfect investigative thriller with many unexpected turns. This is a second book in the series of Tessa Leoni's investigations but can be read independently.

While the head of Denbe constructions - Justin Denbe and his family goes missing suddenly, Tessa is involved as a corporate investigator. Wyatt, a local Sheriff, and Nicole come together to solve this case. They interview all top-level employees from Denbe constructions and learn many corporate and personal secrets of the Denbe family.

The story takes many turns even after they get ransom notice from kidnappers.  Who are the kidnappers? What is their motive? to kill Denbe's family or something else? this forms the crux of the story.

What I liked is the mystery and unexpected turns and the sequence of events building up suspense. The characters are fine.

What I didn't like is the title of the book. It didn't feel very relevant and the book cover also doesn't feel apt. The suspense and turn of events are good, but the climax fell flat from my expectations. 

My Rating:


About the Author:

New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels. Her 2010 novel, THE NEIGHBOR, won Best Thriller from the International Thriller Writers. Most recently, she was honored with the Silver Bullet Award for her work with at-risk kids and homeless animals. Lisa loves to hike, travel the world, and yes, read, read, read!

Readers are invited to enter the annual "Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy" Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa's latest novel. People have nominated themselves, spouses, bosses. It's cheaper than therapy and twice as much fun! For more details, visit Lisa's website.

Lisa's latest novel BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED, is available January 19, 2021. Meet Frankie Elkin, an everyday average woman who specializes in finding missing people. When the locals have given up, when the media has never bothered to care, Frankie takes on the challenge. Her latest mission has brought her to Mattapan, Boston to find a missing Haitian teen. Eleven months later, Angelique Badeau's disappearance remains a mystery. What happened to the quiet, studious teen? Frankie learns quickly the dangers of asking too many questions, but that won't stop her from discovering the truth behind what happened BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED.

Until next time,

20 November, 2021

Dr. Marsha and the Case of the Missing Hot Dogs and Marshmallows by Rachel B. Wellner - [Book Review]


Join Us for this Tour:  November 15 to December 6
Book Details:

Book Title Dr. Marsha and the Case of the Missing Hot Dogs and Marshmallows by
Rachel B. Wellner

Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7), 42 pages
Genre: Educational Fiction
Publisher: Richter Publishing
Release Date: May 2021
Formats Available for Review: print- Softback (internationally), e-book (EPUB)
Tour dates: November 15 to December 6
Content Rating:  G - (No Profanity, no nudity, no sexual content, no adult themes)

Book Description:

Doctor Marsha is a series created to entertain children at the preschool through grade school level relying on educational content. The main character, Marsha, will introduce kids to exciting challenges in basic health education as the series explores the world, vanquishing health problems. It is my hope that the characters will stimulate young minds by introducing them to a positive, professional figure that embodies the spirit of cultural competence, creativity, and adventure.

Buy the Book

My Review:

Dr.Marsha and the case of the missing Hot dogs.. is a humorous book with a message behind it.  This reminds me of Dr.Seuss's books for rhyming and musical words. 

There are many sentences with funny comparisons like Canada and Mexico are like the bread in a sandwich and the US is the filling. 

I enjoyed reading the book and the conversations between Dr.Marsha and Terence Toad.

Dr.Marsha, Terence, and Louie have to travel to Washington to find the mystery of missing Hot dogs and marshmallows. The mysterious log cabin seen from the window seems to have some clue. 

Atlast, they could solve the case and return to Australia while we learn more about the food pyramid and healthy snacks. 

The story and characters are entertaining for 4 to 11-year-olds as well as give them an introduction of healthy foods to consume.

My Rating: 4/5

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


Meet the Author:

Dr. Rachel Wellner is a board-certified general surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, most recently the Assistant Professor of surgery at the Monteflore-Einstein Center for Care. She has also been Director of Breast Services at NYEE/Continuum Cancer Center, Pascal Valley Hospital, and Palisades General Hospital. Dr. Wellner graduated Magna Cum Lauda and Phi Betta Kappa from Dartmouth College, earned her medical degree from the University of Connecticut and her Master's degree in Public Health from Columbia University. She pursued her surgical training at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and worked to establish a clinical rotation in an underserved region of The Dominican Republic. She completed Society of Surgical Oncology-accredited breast oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California. She has been featured as a guest expert on several local and national news networks, including WPLX 11, Fox and Friends, and CNN.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook 
Tour Schedule:

Nov 15 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 15 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / guest post /giveaway
Nov 15 - Splashes of Joy – book review /guest post /giveaway
Nov 15 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Nov 16 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 17 – The Page Ladies – book review
Nov 18 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Nov 18 - Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Nov 19 – Kam's Place – book review
Nov 19 - Fantastic feathers – book review / giveaway
Nov 22 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Nov 24 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 26 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
Nov 29 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review
Nov 29 – @twilight_reader – book review
Nov 29 - Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Nov 30 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Dec 1 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Dec 2 – I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Dec 2 - I'd Rather Be At The Beach – book review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 2 – Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway
Dec 3 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 3 - Reading is My Passion – book review
Dec 6 - Books for Books – book review

Enter the Giveaway:

Dr. Marsha and the Case of the Missing Hot Dogs and Marshmallows Book Tour Giveaway


Until next time,

18 November, 2021

The Beauty of Nature

 Do you enjoy Nature? Did you try hiking in deep forests, beside waterfalls overlooking mountains, and realized the impact of it on your body and soul?

I did. I forget myself in nature. I love staying outdoors relishing the beauty of trees, lush forests, misty mountains, and wonderful beach sunsets.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels


Fortunately, I am in a mountain town. Watching the Sunrise above the snowy mountains in the morning is a beautiful feeling. 

Nature heals. Scientists have found that there is a profound impact of nature on our mental wellness. Nature can help relieve stress, relax our minds, and improve our physical,  mental, and spiritual well-being. I hope, you all get to experience the beauty of nature.

Here are a few nature pics by me which will make sure that you crave for outdoors. 

Let me know how they are! 

Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer and never owned a DSLR. All photos are taken from my phone - Samsung galaxy or my husband's iPhone. 

Linking this post to Fiction Monday by Vinitha Dileep.

Until next time,

13 November, 2021

Tips to stay Focused on any Activity

 How do you stay focused on any activity? 

We usually think a lot about focus and concentration. We can be more productive and get better results in less time if we can focus on the activity. Right?

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Here are the 5 tips from my experience to focus on any activity:

1. Remove distractions

Mobile, TV, games, gossip - there are a lot of distractions We find every day. But, there are ways to avoid distractions. Keeping the notifications off on phone, Uninstalling the apps that waste our time, setting a specific time to distractions like watching TV etc., will help.

2. Find the purpose of the activity

The purpose gives us clarity and determination to complete an activity. It acts as a motivating factor to focus better.

A student writing an essay might think about her purpose as getting recognition in class or getting a good grade. Instead of working on something like a chore, doing with purpose in mind makes it easy.

PC: www.pixabay.com

3. Time the Activity 

Sometimes,  it's tough to focus for longer periods of time. But, it's easy with fewer durations, right?

If you have to complete an essay in 2 days, it's good to spend some set amount of time each day instead of working continuously on the last day to meet the deadline.

4. Break down the activity into multiple small tasks 

It's a no-brainer that we can focus better on small achievable tasks instead of big complicated tasks.

For me, this technique helps me a lot to focus. 

For ex: publishing a blog post seems like a single task, but I usually split it into multiple small tasks, so that I can focus and finish each task. Like creating a draft post, proofreading,  searching and adding images, creating social media images, publishing and promoting on social media, etc.,

5. Enjoy the activity and the process

In the end, it all comes down to what we love. If we love the process and activity,  we will focus better.

It is important to enjoy the activity.  But, all tasks are not fun and easy. For these, determination and not giving up are the required attitudes.

PC: www.pixabay.com

Linking this to Vineeta's Fiction Monday for prompt: Focus.

Until next time,

07 November, 2021

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom - [Book review]

 Book Details:

Title: The Time Keeper

Author: Mitch Albom

Genre: Metaphysical Fiction, Science Fiction

Publisher: Sphere

Print length: 239 pages

Source: A copy from the local library

Blurb :

In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time.

The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world - now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began - and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Purchase Link:

My Review :

The Timekeeper is not a timepass read, but a story/concept with a moral. It is science fiction that takes us through the lives of 3 people Dor, the inventor of time, an old businessman, and a teenage girl.

While Dor is a curious person exploring and measuring the time for the first time in this world, Victor is a millionaire who is trying to defeat his death to cancer. Sarah is an intelligent girl best in academics, but dealing with her insecurities and struggling to keep up with everything going on.

It is interesting to learn about Dor, his experiments to measure time with sticks, water, and shadows. The love between Dor and Alli seems eternal. I feel pity for girls like Sarah who are intelligent but feel insecure when they don't meet society's standards.

Victor is an ambitious businessman. At last, he realizes that he cannot defeat death with money/power and only love can give the satisfaction needed for any human being. 

The moral at the end of the story and how these stories connect to each other is an interesting premise.

Even though the theme is interesting, the execution doesn't seem to be great. The narrative and the shift between characters and time periods are a bit confusing. There are a lot of sci-fi elements that are unbelievable. 

There is some clarity missing about the characters and their intentions. That is the reason I am not very much impressed. 

I loved the climax though and it is a very satisfying end to the reader. I found it an interesting read. 

My Rating:


About the Author:

Mitch Albom is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, which have collectively sold more than forty million copies in forty-seven languages worldwide. 

He has written seven number-one New York Times bestsellers – including TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, the bestselling memoir of all time, which topped the list for four straight years – award-winning TV films, stage plays, screenplays, a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and a musical. 

Through his work at the Detroit Free Press, he was inducted into both the National Sports Media Association and Michigan Sports halls of fame and is the recipient of the 2010 Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement. After bestselling memoir FINDING CHIKA and “Human Touch,” the weekly serial written and published online in real-time to raise funds for pandemic relief, his latest work is a return to fiction with THE STRANGER IN THE LIFEBOAT (Harper, November 2021). 

He founded and oversees SAY Detroit, a consortium of nine different charitable operations in his hometown, including a nonprofit dessert shop and food product line to fund programs for Detroit’s most underserved citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, which he visits monthly. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan. Learn more at www.mitchalbom.com, www.saydetroit.org, and www.havefaithaiti.org.

Until next time,

31 October, 2021

Top Places to Visit in Idaho, USA


Idaho, the less popular state is a land of many waterfalls, mountains, rivers, and hot springs. 80% of the state is public land. Idaho is known as The Gem State as it produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones. Idaho is also a number one Potato state producing almost 1/3 of all U.S Potatoes.

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We could visit Idaho after our Yellowstone trip. 

You can read about Yellowstone here:

How to Plan A vacation to Yellowstone

Yellowstone Itinerary Day #1 - Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and West thumb geyser basin

Yellowstone Itinerary Day #2 - Midway Geyser Basin and Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook

Yellowstone itinerary Day #2 (Part 2) - Upper geyser basin and Lower geyser basin, Old Faithful

Yellowstone Itinerary Day #3 - Mammoth Hot springs, Roosevelt Arch, and Norris geyser basin

From the Yellowstone's North Entrance at Gardiner, we drove up to Mesa Falls, which is 2.5 hrs. 

Alas, the Idaho board is full of stickers :-)


Mesa Falls:

To reach Mesa Falls, we took US 20 to Mesa Falls Scenic byway at Harriman State Park. The entry is $5 per vehicle and this trip is completely worth the time and money.

From the Mesa Falls visitor center, it is a short hike to the Upper Mesa falls view. When we visited this in June, the place is roaring with the sound of gushing water and the falls are majestic with a rainbow. The viewpoint gives a fantastic view without the need for a hike. 

The Lower Falls is a 10.4-mile moderate hike. We couldn't take that hike with kids.

After visiting the falls, we drove to The Craters of the Moon National monument and Reserve. This monument is around 3 hrs from the Mesa falls scenic byway.

The Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve:

The drive is mostly along the drylands without any towns or civilization. The National monument preserves around 50,000 acres of volcanic formations and lava flows. This place is desolate and lifeless, but yet it amazes us with the peculiar landscape which looks like the surface of the moon.

The entry to the monument is $15 per vehicle. In this monument, you can see cinder cones, lava tubes, lava rivers, spatter cones etc., 

We took the map from the visitor center and started our 7-mile scenic loop drive. Our first hike is Devil's Orchard nature trail. This is a paved easy 0.5-mile loop that gives a good introduction to the park and features like lava fragments sitting amidst beds of cinders. 

We stopped at all the points mentioned in the scenic loop. The next interesting hike was to Inferno cone.

Inferno Cone:

An Inferno cone is a cinder cone. Climbing the steep 0.5 miles out and back cone trail is a bit tough when it's windy. But, the climb is very interesting to us and to kids. When we reached the top at the elevation of 6,181 feet, the 360-degree views are amazing.

Cinder cones form when gas-rich volcanic froth erupts high into the air and then piles in a mound.
This is the most interesting hike in the whole monument. 

The next stops are Snowcone and Spatter cone trails. 

These "miniature" volcanoes form during the final stages of a fissure type eruption. As gases escape and pressure is released, the lava becomes thick and pasty. When these sticky globs of lava plop to the surface, they pile up to form spatter cones. Most spatter cones are much smaller than cinder cones. They are rarely more than 50 feet high. The steep sides of a spatter cone protect the ice and snow inside from the hot summer sun. One spatter cone, Snow Cone, has been known to hold ice all summer.
Next, we hiked to see the caves through the Caves trail. To go inside the caves, we need a permit. 

There are more than 500 caves discovered in the monument. There are 3 types of caves - Lava tubes, fissure caves, and differential weather caves.

Lava tubes are formed when the cooling exterior of an active lava flow insulated the molten river within allowing it to continue to flow. In this way lava sometimes flowed for many miles underground until the source was cut off or diverted leaving behind an empty space or “cave.”
Fissure caves are found within the the deep cracks that make up the Great Rift. Some of these caves are remarkably deep, including one particular fissure that may be passable to a depth of 650 feet (200 meters) from the surface. The King's Bowl area is an excellent place to view the Great Rift but entry into these caves is restricted due to extreme safety hazards within the caves.
Differential Weather caves were formed when volcanic material was hollowed out by wind, rain and frost. These caves are relatively rare and difficult to find.

We drove to Idaho falls and stayed there for the night.

Shoshone Falls:

The next day we drove to Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls. These falls are known as 'Niagara of the West.
At 212 feet long and 900 feet wide, this is one of the largest natural waterfalls in USA.

Perrine Bridge:

On the way to Shoshone falls park, we got down near the Perrine bridge which is 1500 ft long across the Snake river canyon. This bridge offers pedestrian walkways with beautiful views of the river and canyon. 

This bridge is near Twin falls, about 10 mins south of I-84. Perrine Coulee Falls is around 10 mins from the Perrine bridge. So, if you have time, please plan to visit it. On the highway, there is a parking lot near the hairpin bend to get a view of these falls and it is very easy to miss it. 

We reached Shoshone Falls park by 11 am or so. The entry to the park is $5 per vehicle. It was not as spectacular as we expected. It seemed like the water flow is completely controlled by the dam. So, water is not released from all sides yet when we checked from the viewpoint. 

It is definitely a beautiful waterfall, but after watching the majestic Mesa falls and the Grand canyon of Yellowstone, these fell short of the expectation.
The drive to Shoshone falls is scenic though.

After Shoshone falls, we started our return journey to Colorado Springs.

We feel fortunate to have visited these beautiful places in the least visited state of Idaho. How do you like this travelogue? Let me know in the comments.

See you next with more travelogues..

Until next time,


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