Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Productivity Quote

productivity

I am starting this series to motivate us at the middle of the week, when we need it most! "The Wednesday hump" is what we call the phenomenon. I will be putting forward a quote now and then by someone that matters. Don't worry, won't be me! Of course, as always you will see my thoughts along with the quote.


How many times have we told our friends, "I'm busy!"?
More often than not we have excused ourselves from things we don't want to do by saying this.
However, the problem arises when we tell this to ourselves. We often lie to ourselves about being busy. The worst happens when we give some work our time, but not our mind! So this is where this quote comes into play. It really doesn't just matter how many minutes or hours we are giving some work, but also how much effort we are putting and how much output we are getting.

Productivity may mean different things to different people. In a blogger's life, it may mean what useful research she can do, or how fast she can edit photos well. In a students life productive work might be solving a certain number of problems in certain time. In a software developers life productivity may be writing number of lines of useful code. And in the life of a teacher's may be how well the students understood in the 1 hour class that she just took. Etc.. Etc..

Productivity =  time + efficiency

So lets try to be productive, instead of busy!

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Friday, October 24, 2014

TGI Friday: Happy Diwali



Hi guys, So, technically diwali was the last two days! but I didn't really finish my post, so I'm posting it today!

If you are reading this, I want to wish you a very Happy and prosperous Diwali! Hope the best for your family and friends. 



Last Friday we decorated our work place. Since we are freshers, this was the task assigned to us for that day.

We ran to the near by store, picked up a few things to decorate the place. We were given a budget of course. Got back, and decorated our section of the floor. It was a fun time with the team. I guess this experience enhanced the team spirit in all of us!



The last two days were great!
On the first day of Diwali, I visited the Shiva temple. Its a beautiful place to visit in Bangalore. I will be a doing a post on my experience shortly.

On the second day of Diwali, I didn't have an off, so I was at work. My friends and  I went out for lunch in order to not let work completely make us forget that its a festival. We had a good time.
In the evening I went for a Diwali party with my parents, where there was great food and good music and good crowd. I also had the pleasure of meeting Nandan Nilekani, The Chairman of AADHAR. Every time you meet some iconic personality you are touched by their presence. I felt the same way!

This Diwali definitely brought me great experiences. Hope they did for you too!

How did you celebrate Diwali? Please let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Declutter your life- Step 4: Little lesser load on the gadgets

phones

Has this ever happened to you?

You walk in to a room wanting to take something, and then you check your phone, and the walk out of the room without taking that thing? 

What happened while you were in that room?
Nothing?
You might be wrong there! You might have checked your phone. Or there might have been something that you were chatting about with your phone prior to entering that room. Since that was on your mind, something possibly more important slipped out.

So anyway this is just an example I was taking to start off on how distracting our phones are. They are a necessary evil. Can't do with them, but can't do without them.

However, here are some demerits of gadget, particularly phones, that you might want to look at.

>> Waste of time: Well, we might think that a gadget is speeding up our work, and we are right! We must however not disregard the time we waste in the middle, on distractions, like social networking websites or videos streaming websites.

>>  Negative Health concerns: Health problems ranging from fatigue to eye problems to obesity are triggered by use of gadgets. Gadgets promote a sedentary lifestyle which leads to obesity which in turn leads to plethora of health problems. Use of mobile phones have be related to Alzheimer's disease as well as cancer. Read more, here .

>> Stress: When you're connected all the time, there is always a possibility of news reaching you as an when it happens. There is a constant stress factor associated with being connected at all times. Work from home has erased the line between personal and professional life. This does lead to added stress.

There are many more demerits. But its impossible to do away with something that is so important to us, right?

So here comes my advice. Tried and tested. So I went a whole day without using my cell phone or laptop. I picked up a real book, as in stead of my Galaxy Tab on which I usually read. Did chores around the house. It was a good day.

So you don't have to go Oh So Dramatic and disconnect completely for an entire day, but what you could do is unplug yourself for 2 hours a day. 1 hour in the morning after waking up and 1 hour before sleeping at night. Perhaps a little more during the weekend.

Do you agree with me? Do you have any other suggests. Put it in the comment box below :)

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha 

Friday, October 10, 2014

TGI Friday: A hopeful day



Fridays are always beautiful! They bring to us joy. Joy that the week full of work is gone and the two golden days have arrived. And hope. Hope that these two days will bring us joy and productivity. Cheers to Friday. Good Weekend to everyone!

Friday, October 3, 2014

TGI Friday: Pajama To Do's



Have you ever had a weekend when all your plans have fallen through and you have caught your self cursing yourself for have not planned better. Here's my list of things to do when there's nowhere to go( in the comfort of your jammies ;-) )







I enjoy going to work. Yet Fridays are my favorite! The thought of staying in and relaxing is extremely pleasing. I have usually have one day when I stay in and one day when I go out.
If you are a "stay in" person, you probably already know what you will do for the weekend. But if you enjoy going out and your plan falls through, here's your guide to staying home.


  1. Watch a movie online or on television. I usually catch up on my seasons during the weekend because no time for one during the week.
  2. Reading is oh-so relaxing. Books which are in no way related to your life are the best way to escape reality. Currently reading: Mortal instruments . However if you're not a book person, pick a magazine or read a blog... Or many ;)
  3. Bring out your inner Martha Stuart/Male version and spruce up your place. When else will you get the time?
  4. Organize your home. File up your paper work. Fill up your calendars. Just do it now!
  5. Too stressed? Try meditation. Try this : Set a timer for as long as you like. Close your eyes. And concentrate on your breathing. Count it. If you forget your count, try again. Do this till your timer buzzes.
  6. Whether you are a health freak or not, home is the best place to get the best food(Unless you burn it up)! So pick your recipe and mix it up and serve it for yourself.
  7. How long has it been since you spoke to your best friend from school? Call em up! 
  8. Pick up a tune you like or  turn up the radio. I like this online radio station.
  9. May be dance to something from ^ 
  10. Day dream! Ponder over things. Things you like, dislike, want from life... Etc.
  11. DIYs are all over the Blogosphere. Just try out something you like.
  12. Of  course, read my blog! :P Or you could work on yours :-D 
Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coming up on Defining Me



defining ayesha

Hi All!

I have been MIA for a while. So I decided when I do start blogging again I'll make a few changes to the blog. When you invest some time on something, you tend to show more commitment to it. So I gave it a few days, came up with a different header, made a few changes to the layout and planned a few posts in advance to prevent procrastination and in turn avoid long gaps between the posts.  I've also taken up the 100happydays challenge on instagram and you can see the pictures at the bottom of this page. 

What's coming up on Defining Me?


Declutter your life series
As you all know the last 9-10 months have been hectic and stressful. I started this series to share my experience while I de-cluttered my life. I have realised I enjoyed writing this and I know that many people can relate to my experiences and so I want to continue this series.


Know my city series
Bangalore is a resplendent city. Capturing its essence completely is not possible, but I will share my experiences and joys as I revisit the places in Bangalore. I want to share my opinions on wherever I go. Since I don't go out too too often this may be an infrequent series. But I will try to make it as insightful and entertaining as possible.

Previous posts:



Tip off series
I have a tip on my mind. Do you think I can keep it to myself? Mostly not! I go around telling everyone around me if I have read something new. Be prepared for a bunch of tips in this series.

Previous posts:



Life in the corporate series
I started work 3 months ago and I am experiencing new things everyday. Anything share-worthy will be up here. Wish me luck!


TGI Friday series
Friday always brings happiness to the people who have weekends off. In this series I want to share anything that makes me happy. #allabouthappiness #TGIF

Previous posts:


Loads and loads of standalone posts 

 Random stuff come to my mind. Oh, I like that outfit. Might do a post on that! Or that speech I heard on news; may be that! OR anything else, without a category. 

Hope all goes as planned. And hope you enjoy all the nonsense that I put in front of you!

Thanks for reading,
Hope you continue to do so,
XO Ayesha

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New learnings and experiences


Hi everyone,

Its been exactly 3 months since my last post, and my apology to those who read my blog. I have been busy but not too busy to not be able to write. LAZINESS is a bad attribute! I had almost forgotten what blogging means to me till a friend of mine asked me why she hadn't seen a post from me. I haven't really read or written anything around the blogosphere. Of course, I can't say the same about work related reading that I've been doing! I've been undergoing training for work. Phase 1 of the same is over. If I have to sum it up, I'd say, loads of java+web tech. But a few other things that this training has taught me are team work, best practices and the sapient approach.


I met many new people during this training. Meeting new people is always delightful as it bring new experiences and learnings. Being a people person, I have always enjoyed human interaction. So it was an obvious pleasure to engage with 26 other trainees. We had a great trainer. At first it felt like we were back to college. We were at a wrong view point. This was a wrong approach to corporate learning. My manager spoke to us about the push versus pull strategy. Push strategy was what was applied in our schools and colleges where the teacher pushed the information to us. In contrast to that, we have the pull strategy, where we the trainees, pull the information by being inquisitive and asking the right questions.



We had the rewards and recognition ceremony which gave us the opportunity to recognize people for 6 core values that our company stands for. This was an enriching experience because when you recognize someone for something, it does not only make that person happy, but also makes the recognizer happy. I won for the core value of openness. I was very happy as this was my first recognition at my work place.



We also had a mock project after the classroom training, where we were given a stub for an online bookstore, and we had to complete it in 19 days. We were assigned a project manager and an architect. We also had a in-house client. This mini project gave us a mini insight on what's in store for us in the future. It taught us that if we work together, it is possible to smoothly complete a project in the given amount of time.

The training was happening at a lab dedicated for the same purpose. Since we spent most of our time together in that room, it brought all the trainees together. There was bonding over coffee and banana cake along with training. We got so close that we felt bad when the training got over last week. We will never forget the last three months together. This was our first three working months and we were fortunate enough to experience it together.

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

P.S. It will not take me 3 months for the next post. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ayesha's internship experience

In my last college semester I was interning at a company. It didn't fetch me any money but what it did do for me was a lot more. I just want to highlight some of the benefits of an internship at an IT company.

Firstly and most importantly, you get to learn about how a company works. You see how people interact, how office tools work. You get to explore intranet and use many online facilities that wouldn't have been available as a student or wouldn't be very useful when you're working full time and you're overloaded with work. You get to learn to send semi formal emails, send requests etc.


Secondly, you get to learn about the project specific details. You can learn about the technology and platforms and frameworks that are being used. And of course, you understand the work you are doing.


Thirdly, you get to see how a team works in the office. The collaborative efforts that lead to formation of a product can not be seen while sitting in a classroom. A team usually includes some developers, testers, a team lead, manager, architect, and product owners. The learning process requires that all the members of the team cooperate and collaborate in order to give good results.

Fourth, free snacks!!! (Well, that was probably only in the company where I interned) Anyhow, coffee machine is always free and so useful.

Fifth,  you are allowed to make mistakes. One thing that really helped me get comfortable with my team was that they helped me rectify my mistakes. You will not be judged for making mistakes because you are there to learn.



Some of these things I might have experienced because I had a good team. A good team forms a great support system. Even though I went there 2-3 times a week, I felt at home. I want to encourage all college students especially engineering students to have this experience at least once during their college life. It is great to go into a full time job after doing an internship because it always helps to know something before hand. It gives a confidence boost and a positive attitude. What if the internship experience was not good? Well, then you know what not to do!!

Fun at work!

All the best!
Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Friday, June 27, 2014

From an end to a beginning

It has been forever since I last wrote. So long that when I sat to write again I had trouble forming my sentences. I wanted to write about college getting over, a new beginning to an old ending. Instead I shut my blogger account. And did not open it until two weeks later. That is, today!

A lot has happened over the last few months. So, so much has changed! I can not even put all my thoughts in words. All I can say is, a lot of it has been positive change, even if it has kept me away from blogging for a while. A long while.

I had my last semester in college. There were internship, college project, 4 subjects to take care of, amidst the entire anxiety of leaving an era and entering into a new one. It was not just about leaving college. It never is, right? College is not just college. We have our teachers, who we have love/hate relationship with. We have a routine of going, sitting and spending 8 hours in a place that is sheltered, where we are spoon-fed with all the information that we are never going to be using later in life. And, most importantly college life is tied up with the friends who make it a "life", without whom it would have been difficult impossible to get past even one day of college. The thought of everyone splitting up and scattering to different places logically and geographically was numbing, but it happened. Farewell happened. Exams happened. And it was over. Just like that, four years were over.

I didn't have much time to mourn over my emptiness. I was called to join my work within a week of college getting over. Thank god! The excitement of first week over shadowed things in a way. I'm sure, I'd have felt it harder if I had stayed home. New workplace, new friends, new activities and a new debit card too! :P .. But by the time weekend arrived, I needed to see my friends. It was my friend's birthday on that Saturday. So we got together and celebrated it. Sunday was just a day to relax after all that excitement during the week. Monday onwards involved a lot of learning amongst other things. Training has not been as hectic as I thought. Thank god! But yes, an hour and a half of traveling can drain the life and soul out of any normal person. Wish the traffic could just smoothen out a little.

Today I completed the 10th day of my work. So yes, I filled the time card for 10 days. Beginning of my career. So much to learn, so much to do. No time to waste! Sure feels like something. And this new feeling drove me to type this entire post. And I feel proud to finish something that I was not able to for so long.

Completely irrelevant, but here's a random selfie taken on an office morning :D

 

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weather Schmether

While Bangalore's temperature are soaring heights, I'm beginning to wonder how much worse it is going to get. I feel like I'm going to melt. Who would have thought that this would happen to Bangalore. As of today, Bangalore is at 36 degree Celsius while Delhi is 37! Going out is so difficult. I have been using a huge stole as cover-up because without that it feels like my skin will burn and my hair will get fried. It rained a couple of days back but goodness, that was good for just the time it rained. The sun shot back with so much more aggression.This year, most apartments had ACs installed. I feel bad for the plants and animals who don't have cover-ups and ACs the way we do. I see leaves drying out into withered brown, birds falling from the sky because of the heat, ants suffering due to lack of water. And so much more. 


heat kills



All living beings have to suffer for what humans do. Cutting trees for human settlement, clearing up ground water for users who don't appreciate or use it judiciously, killing wild animal for business benefits, having more and more vehicles each day with only one person in each vehicle. It is crazy how the consequences of these actions are known and yet ignored. We have seen a gradual change in our cities, and yet we do nothing about it. We sit and watch. We complain. We go on with out lives. 

If not a major change, can we at least check our own actions? Can we do with shorter showers? Or put out a bowl of water in the balcony for birds? Can we remember to switch of the fans when we leave the room? Did you know that garbage leave out harmful radiations. Can we make it a point to not litter and throw the trash where its meant to go, in a trash can? Can we try the public transport, or at least, car pooling? Can we do these small things in order to create an impact? We can. And we should. 


Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ideas worth spreading



I know its been a long time yet again. And I apologize for having failed to keep up my promise of being more regular. With all this work load its been hard to write.  So you will be seeing a post from me whenever I have the energy and the thought process to write.

Today, I want to talk about Ted Talks. Ted: Ideas worth spreading, is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation. It was started in 1984.

The answer to why I'm writing a post about it is simply because these are ideas worth spreading. These ideas may or may not be something that you're interested in. But watching a 10-20 min talk might open your mind to something so new, refreshing, enlightening or just funny. The speakers are veterans in domain that they choose to speak about. So you know that there's going to be no B^ll$#!T happening. They are available online freely. Ted app allows you to watch talks on your tablet with ease. I am hooked to the TED app. Here are some videos that I love and recommend.

Larry Page: Where's Google going next?



Del Harvey: The strangeness of scale at Twitter

 

Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn't usually work 

 

Sally Kohn: Let's try emotional correctness 

 

Cameron Russell: Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model. 

 

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are 

  

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

 

Here are some that you could start with. Some are really old, yet eye opening. 
Hope you like them. 

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Add this to your skin routine: Facial steaming


This isn't a new concept. Everyone has heard of it. Many use it. For those who don't, well, this is why you should.

I had a cold this week. And you know the kind of thing that goes with it. blocked nose, headache, then running nose, sometimes both blocked and running nose... I decided to use steam to help me with it. It was evening time and I had come back from college. I looked worn out and tired. On top of that I was sick. I cleansed my skin and then used a facial steamer. After a minute of breathing in steam, I felt a lot better with my blocked nose but I also saw a difference in my skin radiance. It was glowing as though I spent the day relaxing at home or in a spa.

After a little research, I saw that this method is widely used and has many other benefits.

  1. Makes the skin glow, by increasing the blood circulation
  2. Helps in removing dust and other particles because of the water vapor action . And this helping with acne. 
  3. Steaming has anti aging benefits simply because it helps loosen the top layer of the skin which becomes stiff as a person grows older.  
  4. Removal of blackheads and whiteheads. It helps loosen the skin and aids in removal of blackheads and whiteheads.
How to prepare a steam bath:

There are two ways to go about.

Simple one. Buy a steamer. Add water and switch it on. 

If you are not interested in buying a facial steamer, you can use a large metal bowl.
  1. Pour a few cups of water and boil it till steam is very visible.
  2. Place the bowl on a flat surface. 
  3. Take a towel to create an enclosure for your face and bowl. Make sure to maintain good distance with the bowl to avoid burns.
  4. Breathe in and out for a minute or until it starts to feel too hot.
  5. Wipe off.
It is advisable to use a cleanser before facial steaming because it helps prep the skin.

While this is a brilliant procedure it is important to remember to not overuse it. So once in a week is the limit you should use this.

Hope this was good information.

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Random bits of Ayesha

When you write a post like this, you think of your positive and negative self. You think of your strengths and weaknesses. Its just a way of self realization too. Since this post isn't to highlight my strength or weakness as such, I'm putting down 7 funny/silly things about me that I feel like sharing with you.



1. I am a typical Aries girl. And by that mean I pick up qualities from the books.
You name it, self-confident, restless, ambitious, spirited, spontaneous, demanding, self-centered, passionate. I possess all these qualities to an extent.


2. If I am close to a person, I am bound to have crazy expectations from that person. I don't always express them and it takes time for me to get to that stage. But when I do get there, they need to face my music.

3. I keep my laptop on an Oxford dictionary while using it on the bed. Well, this isn't to offend the bibliophiles but you will always find the fat Oxford dictionary on my head board, only to be used to keep underneath my laptop to avoid over heating.


4. I like dancing to Bollywood tunes. I dance like a lunatic and call it "exercise" at times. The songs may be slow, but that doesn't stopped me! Try dancing to this-


PS: If I'm really happy, I sing the song. :P

5. I don't like soft drinks. But I love lemonade and other fruit juices. I drink green tea but coffee is the best thing ever!!!

6. I've been using a white dupatta for the last two months to cover myself and to protect from harsh sun rays.  I used to use a baseball hat until last year. This year, thats not enough.

7. I love mirrors. I have 5 in my room(not including the hand and foldable mirrors).



Hope you enjoyed reading my post. If you would like to know anything more about me, you may comment below or send me a mail :)

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Declutter your life- Step 3: Take time to enjoy the fun stuff

Hello All!

Here I am with the third post of the series, declutter your life.
(More here and here.)

While it is important to improve productivity and put in enough work time, it is well known that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Solution? Play a little! Get outside. Breathe a little! Take a walk. Cut school, watch a movie. Life is too short for killing yourself over to-do lists (pun intended). Take time out for things that make you happy. "Me" time is important whether you are a student, fresh into work place, mother, or CEO of a company.
Source:wikipedia
Today I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm rang. I was a little annoyed by that. But then I stepped into my balcony. My balcony is west facing so I couldn't really see the sun. But pinkish-orangish morning sky looked beautiful. And the air felt cold and fresh. I filled my lungs with that air because I knew that this might be the only time of the day when the air is like that. There is a tree in front of my balcony that has pretty flowers. Spending 5 minutes outside at that time felt relaxing. I guess what felt great was that I stood with my mind uncluttered and that I wasn't running out of the door to the bus stand( I obviously did, like 40 minutes later)

Glorification of busy has become a thing now. Everyone is busy. Well, I'm not saying they aren't. I know how crazy my life is. But taking 10-15 minutes a day, 2-3 hours a week(I take more than that :P) is just as important as being that busy.




What's your "me" time activity? Do tell me!

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Declutter your life- Step 2: Create a to-do list

So, continuing from last time, the next step is... the To-Do list!
time management
to do list: Flickr

Have you heard of the saying "failing to plan is planning to fail" ?
 I think no explanations are required for this saying. Always plan! They may not go accordingly always but important thing is that at least part of your list is taken care of which is better than not having a list. Its best to be able to complete most of the list if not all. Few tips for that -->

* Create the list in the morning. For some weird reason, the list that I make at night get lost or forgotten by the time its morning. Who wants that? Also, in the morning you will vaguely know what you will be doing the rest of the day.

* Don't keep the timings crunched up. That can get super stressing. Keep enough time to breathe between the tasks.

* Don't just keep hard things to do. Keeping a few simple ones and watching them crossed off provides a great deal of motivation. Say talking to a friend. Adding things like this will help you stay connected and motivated.

* For the harder things, have reasonable rewards. However do not associate junk food or food as reward. It doesn't end well. In India, most teenagers gain weight at the time of their board exams (10th and 12th grade). What you can do is watching an episode of your favorite television soap, etc.

* Goes without saying that enough time should be given to sleep and exercise. 

*** This I feel is very very important! Put up this list wherever you are bound to see at all times. I have been using my cork board and white board. Out of sight always means out of mind. Many a times I have made lists and forgotten to see them at the right time. You can only imagine how frustrating that might have been.


 These I have learned from personal experiences and so I wanted to share them with you. Hope these tips help you.

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha




Sunday, March 2, 2014

Declutter your life- Step 1: Organize your desk

What screams louder than disorganized life?

Yes, very evidently from my title, a disorganized desk.
If you are anything thing like me then a cluttered desk adds to your stress, makes you want to avoid work and watch TV. Does that sound familiar? I hope not!

A nicely organized desk is the first step to de-cluttering your life. If what you see is pretty and welcoming then it becomes easier to stay around. Along the same lines, if its easier to find the things you need then it will be that much easier to use the same things. Once that is done, you can read this tidy tip and keep it looking that way!

Before and after pictures:

The key to make use of what's available. Rubber bands to tie pens or wires together, envelope for flash cards and book marks , paper clips, board pins etc.

Throw out the pens, highlighters that you have finished using. If you haven't bought refills yet, chances are you are not going to, ever!

Put the books where they belong. You don't need everything outside at the same time!


You can look at the before and after pictures and decide which you like better :)

Thanks for reading
XO Ayesha

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New post!

Long time, no see?

Yes, as I described previously I was going through a blogger's block and along with that there were a couple of things that I was dealing with. And even though I really shouldn't bore you with the details but I should mention they revolve around tests, college and projects.

I haven't replied to anyones comments. And I feel really bad about it. I realize that first I need to do that. And then bring about some structure to my blogging and to life. I've been uselessly all over the place. But its time for things to start happening.

Well, with respect to blogging. I took all your advice and started paying more attention towards things around me. And I have to thank you for this because I have a list of things I want to write about. What do I want to write? Well thats something you're just going to have to wait and watch! All I need now is a good plan with how and when to write it and put it up.

I have prepared a calendar and hopefully it will go as I planned.
By this I plan to bring in order to not just my blog but also to my life.

Wish me luck!!

XO Ayesha


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Post valentines day

Happy Valentines day to those who are Pro-Valentines day

And Happy Just-another-day to those who are anti!



I'm stuck between the two because I know for a fact that I'm not pro-valentines but its hard to be against something that is making so many people happy!
I truly believe you shouldn't celebrate love on just one day. That's not love. Love must be celebrated everyday.

Also, I was googling the origins of valentines day, and though there isn't a "real" first time valentines was celebrated, this article is a must read. Woah! So many years have gone by and people continue to celebrate this day without a clue about why it is celebrated in the first place. Valentines day was actually not romantic at all. And if it wasn't for Shakespeare, it would have stayed that way.

For the retailers, surprising, there was drop in sales. (This article.) I was surprised that fewer people have spent on valentines day this time.


Towards my end.. Well, I went for work. But I got off early and spent time with my best friend at a pizza place called Gustos pizza. We weren't celebrating but turned out, they were. So along with a good discount we got complimentary brownie with ice cream. Lovely treat, right?

 We watched a nice chick flick and laughed a lot.

So a just-another-day turned out to be fun!

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Monday, February 10, 2014

The blacks, the whites, and the grays.


Life has become super hectic. But that is not the reason for being missing this long. Its due to complete lack of motivation to write. I am out of ideas. As I type this sentence I am thinking of what to type for the next one. There is a term coined for this. Bloggers block? Yes, that's what I'm going through.



I read so many blogs in a day as way of relaxing. I love reading as a way to de-stress after a long day of college and/or internship. And everyday, I learn something new, from these blogs, from my life. Something beautiful, something painful. There are always two sides to a coin, a head, and a tail. But, what people fail to cover are the in-betweens. Between black and white, there always are the grays. The grays are actually what we go through everyday. Black and white days are very rare. What's common are the gray days. Days with a mix of happy and sad moments. I trying to show the transition using the image above. Light gray days are those with more happiness. And I associate darker shade with slightly gloomier times. Many of you I'm sure will not agree with this because happy people associate life with colors. Bright colors. But if you think this through, then you might agree with me. Happy and sad days can be put on a 0-256 bit scale of gray.

As I was typing the last sentence, I found out that my close friend, PC got promoted. So guess what, my day just got a lot more brighter! So, I'm going to go now and have some sweets in order to celebrate this accomplishment of hers.

Mean while, Every word of motivation will count for my next post. So please please, take a minute and motivate me by posting a sweet little comment below!

Love you guys!! 

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sammydress blazer to upgrade the simple look


I usually wear very simple clothes. So I tend not buy very fancy stuff either. But often there comes a time when I want to upgrade my look. Accessories and outer wear generally tend to do the trick.

Here, you can see me wearing a plain and simple red tshirt.


 There is something missing, isn't it? Its too plain and simple.
So here I have just added a blazer to look ready. Find link here.

leather strips at shoulder and sleeves

 ayesha's blazer
Material has a different shine in front of light


I have been meaning to buy a blazer for quite some time. But its always expensive in the mall. 
Sammydress offer you the very latest fashion at the lowest prices online. Its a really cool online store. They have wide range of clothes, from dresses to tops to bottoms to inners. 

I wasn't very sure of this website, as I saw mixed reviews. But I was very very pleased to see my product. The blazer not only fit me perfectly, but also looked great. 


Pros:

  1. Looks as promised on the site. 
  2. Light weight which means good for my city weather.
  3. It can be worn for both casual and professional look.
  4. Simple yet chic, just the way I like it.
  5. Material doesn't require ironing.
Cons:
  1. Couple of loose thread ( can be cut with scissors and there will be no issue whatsoever) 
  2. I don't like the shoulder pads, they make my shoulders look squarish ( That's totally my opinion)
Clearly, the pros outweigh the cons, so I will give my recommendation to go for it! One must try out this!

Thanks for reading
XO Ayesha

What have your experience been with sammydress?
Do you like blazers? How do you upgrade your look from plain and simple to fabulous? Do comment below! :)
Check out sammydress stuff here:
                                                                  Sammydress
sammydress

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mid-week weekend!

What's with the oxymoron, you might ask.

Well, we have 3 day working this semester. So,
 Wednesday(8th semester)=Friday(for everybody else)
And even though right now it might look like I'm going to be free for the next 4 days, I'm going to put it out there. Busy, very busy!!

When life gets really busy, home seems like a get away like never before. So however tiring work is, getting home can take away all that in a little while. It is important to never lose yourself in your work. Finding time to do the things you love is the key.


So take a break, sip some tea and have a nice day :)
What are your ways to unwind after a long day?

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Guest post: Stages to falling in love with your friend(Hilarious)

Stages to falling in love with your friend
Untitled, a photo by Carolina ABR on Flickr.




There are 5 stages to falling in love with your friend. First your best friends for ages and then you realize that somewhere along the way you had fallen for the other. Of course at this stage you refuse to believe it.

STAGE 1: DENIAL

THINGS COMMONLY SAID:

  1. “I do NOT like him/her!” (this usually said to another friend close enough to notice the subtle differences)
  2. “We’re just friends!”
  3. “Yes mom, I know he/she’s great but we do not like each other that way!” (usually said to the mother or a really overprotective friend)
  4. “no we are not secretly going out” (said to an annoying acquaintance)
  5. “Just because we’re friends of the opposite genders doesn’t mean we’re going to fall madly in love and end up married with a dozen kids!” (If this is said to a mother then its usually quickly followed by- “No! That is not ‘so cute!’ nor would it be great mum!”)

Then comes the stage where you get tired of the assumptions and accusations and want to stop defending your friendship to everyone (and secretly yourself) so what happens is either one or both of you get a significant other. If not that at least a fake crush.

STAGE 2: JEALOUSY

THE THINGS COMMONLY SAID:
  1. “yea, yea they look cute together, big deal”
  2. “So? I could do that too, it just looks cool that’s all”
  3. “I’m happy for them, they are made for each other”
  4. “I get along really well with her/him, we’re like best friends!” (said about the significant other)
  5. (when asked about your own relationship) “It’s going great, yea I mean we’re in a really good place right now y’know?” or “He/she’s great, really great. We have a lot in common plus he/she is really cute!”
  6. “I am not jealous! They could get married or whatever! Big deal!”
  7. “Seriously I do not care!”
  8. “Good grief they are getting so bloody sickening!”
  9. “SHUT UP!”
  10. “yea yea I know everyone thought we’d get together and its sad that we didn’t blah blah get over it!”

The third stage can go in two possible directions

Your friend and you have a falling out due to aforementioned jealousy or because of the significant others meddling.

OR

You and your friend accidentally make out and don’t talk about it leading to a very awkward time in your relationship.

To be honest, unless you’re part of a happy story or a dream scenario 2 doesn’t really happen. Of course unless you’re just lucky. Because scenario 2 leads almost straight to the last stage (so we’ll skip this scenario shall we?).

STAGE 3, SCENARIO 1: THE FALLOUT

THINGS COMMONLY SAID:
  1. ”You just don’t get it do you?”
  2. “Typical you, I mean when is it ever your fault!”
  3. “You know what? Just go back to that little twerp/(word a bit abusive), he/she is all you want anyway!”
  4. “I cannot believe I ever even thought of you as a decent human being!”
  5. “Talking to you is just a waste of time”
  6. “He/she is an utter waste of space, (or) is manipulating you and you just can’t see it, (or) hates me because he/she feels like I’m some sort of threat!”
  7. “He/she is bad for you trust me!”
  8. ”You know what? Fine, just fine, go but don’t come crying to me when this whole thing blows up in your face!”
  9. “Take that back!” (said in response to some degrading insult)
  10. “He/she is perfect for you, but…”
  11. “you know what, this isn’t working for me, I’m sorry”
  12. ”look it isn’t you just drop it

Now you see, this stage is pretty tricky, perhaps one of the trickiest for no two friends ever fight the same way, they bring up scenarios and memories and comments only they can understand. And that’s the beauty of it really, they’re best friends. What really shows it is the weirdness and severity of their fights.

Then they reach an area of despair, both filled with the type of ego only friends can have. Usually they deny missing the other, or perhaps they are disgusted by them. They will vehemently try to prove their point to everyone around them and will scream in frustration at any one who gets in their way.

STAGE 4: THE FRUSTRATION

This stage has varied responses and each individual acts in the mentioned three ways. I wish I could say that they aren’t common things done or said but hey! We know that isn’t true. So things commonly said or done:
  1. “I hate him/her!”
  2. “I mean who exactly does he/she thinks he/she is. Plus that idiot(significant other) is such a AARGH!”
  3. “I don’t miss him/her”
  4. “look he/she is acting crazy, if he/she wants to talk it out like mature adults then great, I’m willing”
  5. “he/she’s too proud to admit to the mistake he/she made”
  6. “Blaming me for everything was extremely immature and I’m glad this whole friendship thing has been dealt with!” (harsh I agree)
  7. Getting sloshed is common
  8. Getting pissed off at random things and objects
  9. Crying(but not admitting it)
  10. Making crappy profound statements randomly

Then the honesty. Now this is a slightly tricky thing to explain. Some people first realize they are in love while others realize it when they say it out loud to the person itself.

STAGE 5: HONESTY / (the blurt out)
  1. “I miss you”
  2. “He/she’s great okay, and I’m sure is perfect you, but thing is…I’m better”
  3. “I think I can fall in love with you, and I would really like to try”
  4. “We’re best friends right? And I want to be honest with you, I hate you with him/her. I want to be with you and if that isn’t possible then I don’t know…it’s up to you now”
  5. “I love you”
  6. “I’m in love with you”
  7. “This is crazy, it feels crazy, I’m crazy but yea I think we’d be great together”
  8. “I miss you, and yea I never wanna feel like that again”

I would love to give a few more but the thing is I lied, these things aren’t commonly said, they are just what seem the easiest to say. Every couple has their own way of coming out and being truthful and defining that conversation is wrong.

And I guess you could say that was the last stage. What happens after that is once again a different story every time. But yea according to me and the little I’ve seen these are the stages of falling in love with your best friend. How do I know? Well can’t you guess?

By S.K.

She wanted me to use a pen name for her. But don't you think she should write more?? Do encourage her by commenting below!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smash plates to relieve stress


I often feel destructive when I am really really angry. The farthest I have gone is tearing sheets of paper. I was watching Pretty little liars where Hanna's mom takes her to a place where she could throw plates in order to relieve her breakup anger. First of all, SUCH A COOL MOM!! Second, I had no clue such places existed!



I Googled to check the existence of a place that allows you to break dishes to feel better. I was surprised to see, they did exist! This is a 5 year old news link about a place called Sarah's smash shack, San Diego.

After further reading, I found out that plates smashing is a Greek tradition observed during a celebration. This was adopted in Greek restaurants earlier. However a modern twist has been given to this tradition and is being used at Smash Shacks. I couldn't find any place like this in India. But with the growing IT industry(or any other stress inducing field) stress, the smash industry would be a smashing success in cities of developing countries.

Have you heard of this Greek tradition? Do you like the idea of it?

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Using last nights Chapati

Many a times extra chapatis are prepared and some are left over from the previous day. And thrown out in the morning because no one wants to eat them.

First of all, for those of you who don't know what chapati is, find out over here.

My mother calls these Indian quesadilla. I simply feel that this is one of the simplest ways to fill the stomach! 


So firstly the ingredients. Nothing much is needed.

1. Cut up the vegetables. I have used here tomato, capsicum and onions. Lay out the roti. Cut up the cheese slice into little strips.

2. Lay the ingredients as illustrated below.


3. Serve hot, eat hot!


Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Monday, January 13, 2014

How to fake sleep

What happens when you aren't able to sleep for enough time?

I wrote a post about sound sleep. To read, click here.

source: wikipedia


For any reason if you aren't able to sleep for the prescribed amount of time for two days in a row, what usually happens?

Well, you may feel lethargic, inattentive, irritated etc. But most of all you may become  unproductive. One may be able to fight the previous three, but being unproductive is sometimes just not excusable.

According to Michael Breus, PhD ( sleep expert) from Scottsdale, Arizona, you may use the nap-a-latte to feel fresh again.

What is nap-a-latte?

Get a cup of drip coffee with highest caffeine content, cool it down and drink it at one go. Then take a 25 minutes nap. Caffeine takes about that much time to kick in which is enough to feel productive again.
 Hope this helps the next time you have to be productive in spite of cutting back on sleep!!! Let me know how it goes :)

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Friday, January 10, 2014

99 varieties of dosa

My friends and I were roaming on the streets of HSR layout, when one of them said, you should try these dosas. They taste great. It was a roadside stall labeled "99 varieties of dosa". We said, "why not?!". They were not cheap. In fact if you go to Adigas, you will get cheaper dosas. But we wanted to try something different. And I have to say, It was a great experience.



If you see the following video, you can see the different topics lined up on the side. We had babycorn mysore masala dosa and paneer dosa. It was Yummy. And its smell still lingers around me. It was served with mint chutney and coconut chutney. Delicious delicious! By the way, Please mute and play. I was not able to edit the video.

video



The roadside stalls have become very popular in the city and are growing to most streets. This growth has been appreciated by people largely!

Do you eat from roadside vendors?

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Makeup for kids! Yes or no?


When was the first time you applied applied for the first time?


Little girls as young as 6 years of age are applying make up these days to look "pretty". Heartbreaking!

I probably tried make up as a child, myself. Thats what my mother says. But it was a no-no from her side. And she prevented it from happening to an extent that, even now I have enough make only to fit in my tiny pouch.

A little girl I know, was over at my place a few days back. And she applied my lipstick. And used my mascara on her eyebrows. I don't really use much makeup so she didn't find anything more. This girl is 7 years old. She uses fair and lovely and she has a lipstick of her own. I sat and explained to her why it was not good for her to start using make up yet. I told her that fair and lovely is too harsh for her skin. I'm not sure how much of it she understood. But I did my bit.

My opinion: Makeup for kids? No way!

My sincere request to those around young girls. Keep makeup out of their reach. Both physically and mentally.

But of course, until the time is right.

Thanks for reading,
XO Ayesha