Personal

Writing Spaces!

Every writer has a specific writing set up where he/she feels most comfortable. A cozy corner of their own, a proper study, a beautiful little coffee shop, a Garden, whatever gets the writing flowing! Writers, professional or amateurs alike, I find, are choosy when it comes to writing spaces. Creativity brings with it certain Quirks!

For me Personally, person-woman-apple-hotel-large

This is how I write – Sitting up on my bed, in my room at home, with a cup of tea or coffee!

I usually write on my Laptop! Although when I started Blogging, it was from my cell phone! It was a random idea to blog! I had always maintained Journals, but never went online with it. It was a couple of blogs later when I really got serious about blogging & wanted perfect themes & backgrounds. It was then that I moved to my Laptop.

I like perfect silence while writing. I hate being disturbed when I am writing. It makes me irritable very quickly, when somebody interrupts my flow of writing & I lose my chain of thoughts. I find it very difficult to get back on track, hence need to have a quiet environment & no disturbance. It makes me wonder how people find coffee shops a great place to write! You need to be incredibly focused to not get disturbed by all that noise!

I sometimes find inspiration when I am running in the morning at the park. So once in a while I do write mini posts from there as well. Usually its mostly my observations or Aha moments that I try jotting down( What is it with Mother Nature & AHA moments!? )

bench-people-smartphone-sun-medium

It takes a long time for me to write. I usually start building a post by jotting down ideas in my Writing Journal & when I am sure I have covered all the points I need to convey, I finally get down to writing it. I write, edit, write, edit a million times before finally Publishing a post! That’s just me!

I have reached a point where I have a schedule of posting & its not random. Unless of course I am taking a blogging class ( which I find are very helpful ). Even when I ideas pop up in my head everywhere & anywhere, my writing space now is mostly my room ( which I totally love, Its my Zen place! )

What about you guys? Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have certain quirks when it comes to writing? I’d love to know! Leave a comment down below!

Love,

Arpita.

Advertisements
Personal

Are You My Target Audience?

person-woman-eyes-face-large

My Assignment today at Blogging101 is to Identify my ‘Target Audience’. To be very honest, I don’t really like the words ‘Target Audience’ for my readers here at ‘It’s Arpita’s Life’. It seems very business like to me. Not my style.

The thing I have always looked at my Blog as an Airport Lounge of sorts.

When you are Traveling & waiting at the Airport Lounge to board your flight or in between flights, you don’t really know who is going to come & settle in the chair next to you. But sooner or later, somebody walks in, settles down, either of you says hello, the usual conversations take place. You exchange stories about your Travels, the place you are from & where you are headed, so on & so forth. But there are also certain instances when you meet a person as a strangers, but when you part, you part from a friend. (True Story)

So basically my ‘Target audience’ is everyone & anyone with a story to share, those willing to turn from a Stranger to a friend & those who love a hearty conversation over a cup of Coffee/Tea ( you at your place, me at mine, till a better way is worked out by WordPress)

Somehow, I find that I have succeeded at finding my Target Audience! I have met so many wonderful strangers from exotic places here(Every place is exotic) who later became dear friends today.

There is so much I have shared that is close to my heart. Life Lessons I have learned, Books I have loved, My move to my new Apartment, my lifestyle choice of Minimalism & my love for Charity. You share stories this close to your heart generally with your friends, right? So I have it figured out I believe!

To all my new readers, from Bloggin101 community & otherwise, I say this – Come as a stranger, leave as a friend.

So are you my Target Audience???

-Arry.

 

Reviews

Scholar PU Magnet Notebook Review!

Scholar Stationery is premium quality paper stationery brand in India since 1958. I personally have been using their Notebooks since my school days.

You should know by now that I am an absolute fan of Diaries, Planners & Notebooks. I am always looking out for beautiful ones that are easy to carry around.

So the other day when I came across this cute little Notebook by Scholar Stationery I decided to get it.

IMG_8351[1]

The Scholar PU Magnet Notebook is a perfect for taking notes on the go. It comes with a Premium Italian PU Cover which makes it look really good.

The size of the paper sheets used in the Notebook is A6 which is an ideal size for me as it fits comfortably in my handbag.

The Notebook has rounded back & corners & has a magnetic flap for closure. The magnetic flap holds the notebook together & the pages are safe from being crumpled, which is something I always look for in my Notebooks & Planners.

IMG_8352[1]

Lets take a look at the pages inside.

IMG_8354[1]
The name page
The Notebook is very simple but has some unique features.

IMG_8353[1]

The Notebook comes with 192 pages that are ruled. You do not have the option of Blank Pages. But here comes the part that I love. On the top of each page you have a date option which you can put in your self & also next to it you have the day option. You just have to tick the day of the week your are jotting the notes on!

I always wanted this feature in my Notebook. Helps me remember the day I took down a particular note.

The Notebook is relatively inexpensive & costs around 4$ which I think is very less for a notebook of such good quality.

Pros

The Price.

The Looks & Quality of the Notebook.

The Date & Day Feature that one has to fill in on ones own.

The size

The Magnetic Flap.

Cons

I wish they came up with a Blank Pages version along with the ruled one.

Summing it up

I absolutely love the Notebook. Its Simple, yet looks really great. The Quality of pages is also pretty good. The best thing however is the Price!

Will I recommend it – Absolutely!

Rating – 4.5/5

For Indian Readers – The Scholar PU Notebooks are available on Amazon & Flipkart. You can also visit their website to look at the available color options http://scholarstationery.com

Regards,

Arry.

Making a Difference, Uncategorized

Blogger with a Cause – Tag

Picture this. You have your day to day responsibilities taken care of. You have all the time in the world. You have all the money in the world. If I were to ask you about that one cause you could throw yourself completely behind. What would that cause be?

If I had it all, the cause for me would be ‘Feeding the Hungry’.

the-day-each-family-keeps-aside-food-to-feed-one-hungry-person-or-animal-or-bird-every-day

A human being can survive with say a set of clothes & no shelter at least for a while. But if a person is not fed for more than a day or two, his very survival is at stake.

But when I think of it, do we need to have all our worries taken away & have all the money in the world to throw ourselves behind a cause we care for? Can’t we just start where we are. I found this Quote that came from Mother Teresa.

8b204772fcae3bd872fc80ffffcd9994

We don’t always have to do things on a grand scale. There are so many ways we can still throw ourselves behind a cause with whatever little that we have.

Now, lets take the example of the cause ‘Feeding the Hungry’. How can you help with that?

These days there are so many charities & organizations that do such amazing work of providing nourishing meals to the poor. Why not volunteer with them. If you can pay for a meal, by all means help out that way by donating money. Or it can be as simple as handing out a homemade food packet to that poor homeless man across the street. Go do that! Just start where you are.

It might not be much for you, but to a hungry person, it is means much more.

feeding the Hungry can also be the Animals & Birds. Feed them too. It takes very little. Like Human Beings, hunger affects them too. Leave a bowl of water & some food for them on the deck or terrace as well. Every life is equally important in the eyes of our maker.

So, the way I interpret throwing yourself behind a cause does not translate to Throwing yourself behind a Cause when you have it all. It means this.

10-things-to-do-now-8-728

So this year, I welcome all my Bloggers friends to embrace the Blogger with a cause Tag. Select a cause you are passionate about & make a commitment to it this entire year. It can be Feeding the Hungry, Helping the Homeless, Giving away clothes to Charity, Educating a Child or the one that speaks to you.

Let us make 2016 a year, when we make a difference in our own little way. Blogging is a platform that takes your thoughts & initiatives across the boundaries. Use it!

I invite all of my fellow blogger friends to participate in this Blogger with a Cause Tag.

Here are links to some Great Organizations that work towards Feeding the Hungry sent by some amazing fellow bloggers. If you are already involved with some great charitable institutions working with great causes, feel free to leave a link in the comments section & a brief description of the same!

FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN – http://www.fmsc.org ( Submitted by Whitney Parchman )

COMPASSION – http://www.Compassion.com ( Submitted by Rashmi )

CONVOY OF HOPE – http://www.convoyofhope.org ( I usually donate here)

GIVE INDIA – http://www.giveindia.org ( Another one from me)

Together Let us make a difference.

We can. We will.

Love,

Arry.

 

Personal

Memorable Moments of 2015 Tag!!

2015 has really been a really good year for me. I am very grateful to everyone who has in some way or the other made 2015 a year that I will remember fondly.

I usually do this in my Personal Journal, but this year I am doing an Online version as well.

So, here are my most memorable moments of 2015!

Traveling to 4 of the most beautiful countries of Asia

sky-night-clouds-blue-large

Last Year around this time, I declared that 2015 would be ‘My Year Of Travel’. I had only heard about there being a certain power to the written word. Now I am a believer. Somehow I ended up Traveling to 4 of the most beautiful countries of Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand & Bhutan. I feel incredibly blessed. It was a dream come true!

Starting a Blog!

person-woman-apple-hotel-large

In January 2015, I finally decided to have my own Travel Blog. ArpitasTravelogue was born on January 13th 2015. This is the one moment I will always remember fondly & having a Blog has been the best decision I have ever made in my life!

Quitting A Job that was making me Miserable

Although I had the most amazing boss ever, I was just unhappy. It was physically & mentally exhausting & the thought of going to work itself was giving me anxiety. I was afraid of Quitting. This went on for a year. The Trip to Singapore could not have come at a better time. Sometimes removing yourself from the situation helps you arrive at the decisions that are right for you. I had the time to think over my work situation. The decision was made. The day I came back to India was the day I quit my Job. It was the best decision ever.

Joining Blogging101

blogging101

This is one Course that every Blogger, new/experienced alike needs to take up! Almost everything I know about Blogging, I learned during the course! I also met some fabulous fellow bloggers who are now dear friends. You guys know who you are! I loved it so much, I am going to be doing it again this January!

Becoming a Minimalist

This was a life altering decision & also the right one. My journey towards Minimalism started with a Tedx Talk by a duo who call themselves ‘The Minimalists’. I knew immediately this was the right Lifestyle choice for me. Somehow I met Debbie during the same time. I was so impressed by her lifestyle!  I decided then & there that this was something I wanted to live by. I read books, spoke to people & gave away tons of stuff. My Journey is documented in the Minimalism section of this Blog. Its worked for me beautifully.

Moving to a New Apartment

house-window-flowerpots-large

I have always wanted to live closer to Nature. I love having trees & greenery around, the birds chirping, open space, fresh air. I found a place that offered me all of the above, plus a beautiful view of the mountains right from my bedroom window! I love how peaceful & quiet it is here. Plus my moving helped me really become a Minimalist in so many ways. I got with me, only what I needed. Gave the rest away to charity.

Reaching my Health Goals

I am finally where I need to be as far as my health is concerned. The Job I quit was affecting my health negatively. I was stressed all the time, losing weight & some or the other problem would come up. Now, that I am happy doing what I am loving, I have almost no stress, anxiety & am completely fit. Stress is bad for you! No job comes before your health & physical & mental well-being.

Learning II levels of Reiki

I have always wanted to learn Reiki & finally I took time out this year, to make it happen. I am a level II Reiki practitioner & I am loving it.

Learning how to Cook

befa5c7cfca376be94eddaf5af8d72f6-large

You tube is my Cooking Teacher! I learned how to cook everything from scratch. The best way to learn hoe to cook I feel is by watching how it is done. You Tube has made lives very easy for those who wish to learn how to cook. Laura Vitale, Vahchef, Sanjeev Kapoor’s are some really great cooking channels on Youtube. Honestly, cooking is fun, you only need to have the passion for it! Now that I can cook, I enjoy putting together meals for my family and friends & I love it!

Connecting with you, my wonderful readers

I cannot even begin to explain how much I have loved interacting with you & getting to know all of you. I am very very grateful to all of you guys for your love & constant support. I feel incredibly blessed!

I would love to hear about your most memorable moments of 2015 as well! I think of it as a fun way to recollect the good times & be grateful for the blessings that the Lord has so kindly bestowed upon us!

Tagging you guys – @sashay909 @thinkervo @dalees107 @drmegsorick @piyushavir @shinepositivepower. Also anyone else who wants to go ahead & do the Tag, please feel free!!

Thank you for your Love!

Happy Holidays!!

Love,

Arry.

Reviews

Moleskine Classic Notebook Review

After Reviewing The Moleskine Diary/Planner for 2016, It is time to review the Moleskine Classic Notebook.

Moleskine as we all know is world famous for Quality notebooks & planners. They are well loved among writers & Journal lovers alike. I have been wanting them for days & finally this year thanks to Amazons amazing service, I got my hands on both the Diary/Planner & the Classic Notebook.

I am a fan of writing online, it is very easy & convenient , but when it comes to maintaining a Personal Journal, nothing can beat putting pen to paper.

So without further delay, Let us get on with the review!

IMG_8338

The Moleskine Classic notebook’s Dimensions are 5 x 8.25 Inches. The one I have is a Soft cover with an Elastic closure & a Book Mark ribbon. You also have the option of Hard Cover.

The Notebook also comes in a variety of colors like Green, Red, Purple among others, but like always I had to go for Black one.

I like to compare the size of a notebook or Planner to other objects, just to get a clear idea about them. So here I am placing the Moleskine Classic Notebook next to my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, so as to give you a clear idea of its size.

IMG_8343

As you can see, it is about an Inch or Two larger than your average Tablet. So if your bag can hold a Tablet, it can hold the Notebook as well.

The Elastic band that holds the Notebook pages together is a feature I completely love, especially when the Notebook is in my hand bag. The pages do not get crumpled at all, which is great.

The Notebook is covered on the outside by a leaflet Kinda thing, which gives you information about the dimensions of the Notebook , the number of Pages & where it is made.

IMG_8332

On the Inside of the same leaflet you will find ideas about personalizing your Notebook. You can cut along the dotted lines to make yourself a Book Mark which says Have a Nice day & Do not Touch.

IMG_8333

The Moleskine Classic Notebook has around 192 pages with its corners rounded & the paper is acid free.

Lets take a peek at the Pages now, starting from the Name page.

IMG_8335

When it comes to the pages, you have the option of either ruled or Blank ones. I am not a fan of Ruled ( Reminds me of Notebooks I used in School) So I always opt for the Blank version. Its great if you wish to write, doodle or Draw. Blank is full of possibilities, but hey if you like the Ruled version go for it. Whichever works for you.

IMG_8336

Right in between the two sides of the Notebook is the bookmark ribbon. You see the purple thing above? I really think it is a great addition.

Another thing I really like when it comes to both Moleskine Diary & Notebooks is this arrangement that the inner back part of the books have. The slot where you can keep those little notes & cards which you find important. Visiting cards, Tiny greeting cards, Travel passes etc. It is so very convenient.

IMG_8334

Uses for this Notebook

I think it will make a great Daily Journal.

Also a great option for writers.

A nice notebook for sketching as well( although I think Moleskine has specific notebooks for sketching)

A great notebook for College Students for jotting down Lecture notes too.

Pros

The Quality of the Notebook & its Pages.

The Elastic band keeping the pages together. You don’t have to worry about the pages getting crumpled if you put the Notebook in your bag.

The Slot at the back for holding important things.

Cons

The Price again like all other Moleskine products!

The number of pages, 192 doesn’t really work for me.

You have to be careful about the kind of pen that you use. There can be feathering if you use the wrong one. ( Note – Moleskine does have a specific pen for their notebooks. Be sure you google for the pens that go well with Moleskine notebooks, there are many articles written about it.)

Summing it up

It is a great Notebook as far as Quality is concerned but I do find the price a bit on the higher side for a Regular Notebook considering you do have relatively inexpensive options with similar quality at a much lower price.

In the end, it all comes to how much you are willing to pay for a notebook.

Will I recommend it – May be.

Rating – 3.5/5

Have you used a Moleskine Notebook before? How do you like them? Let me know in the comments section!

 

Personal

Tis the Season to be Jolly!

image

Dear Friends,

From my family to yours here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!! May all good things come your way today & everyday. Let us praise the Lord, Be kind to one another, Be grateful for our blessings & spread the cheer of the Holidays.

Most importantly – Believe in Miracles!!

I am very grateful for your love & support, today & every day!

All my Love,

Arpita.

Reviews

Moleskine Daily Diary/Planner 2016 Review.

Hello Everyone!

Today I will be doing a review of the 2016 Moleskine Daily Diary/Planner. I have been wanting to get my hands on this tiny little planner for so long! Moleskine is  a brand that is famous worldwide for its Quality notebooks & planners. It is popular among the Planner/Journal lovers of the You Tubers community. After seeing so many reviews on them, I had to try it out for myself! This year thanks to Amazon India’s amazing service, I finally managed to get my hands on it.

So let’s get on with the Review!

IMG_8234

The Moleskine Diary/Planner that I have is a 12M, Extra Small, with the Dimensions of 6.5 x 10.5  centimeters. It has a hard cover with elastic closure & Bookmark ribbon. The best part is, it is available in many colors from Red to Green, Blue to Purple & of course the classic Black.So of course I chose the Black one! I always get the Black ones & then personalize it the way I want to.

My very first reaction when I saw the planner was – ‘Oh My God! This is soooo cute & so tiny!’

Now, I did read about the dimensions when I ordered it, but once you actually have it in your hand, you actually realize how small it really is! Somehow I never found pictures of it online, in comparison to some other object, to completely grasp how small it is. So, for your convenience I have placed it next to my Blackberry phone, so that you really get the right idea of its size!

IMG_8233

See how tiny it is! If your phone fits in your pocket, this planner certainly will!

The planner has on its outer side a leaflet kind thingy covering it which gives you information about that particular planner.

IMG_8246

On the inside of that leaflet you have the 2016 Date & Day Calendar.

IMG_8247

This Molekine daily planner has around 400 pages.

Take a look at the first few pages from the planner!

IMG_8260

This follows the introductory page – A quick view of the entire year from January to December. Perfect place to jot down birthdays! Especially if like me you are really bad with dates.

IMG_8257

After the monthly overview section you have a page for each day, dated from January 2016 to December 2016.

You have the option of opting for either ruled or blank version of pages. Personally I prefer the blank ones. They give me the freedom to utilize the space the way I want to. Whether it is Writing, drawing or just doodling.

(Note –  Make sure to choose the version you prefer especially if you are buying this online, so you don’t end up getting the ruled if you wanted the Blank one).

IMG_8240

The one feature I really think is amazing about all the Moleskine Notebooks/Journals, is the arrangement on the inner part of the back. A little slot where you can keep things like Visiting cards, Travel passes, Bus Tickets etc. It is so very convenient!

IMG_8251

Uses for this Planner/Diary

This tiny planner is perfect for a Gratitude Journal ( Jotting down 5 things a day that you are grateful for).

It is also great as a Editorial Diary for Bloggers especially if you schedule your posts.You can also use this planner to jot down ideas you have during the day for the upcoming blogs.

It is also a great planner to have on you while traveling, especially to note down your daily expenses or names of places you’ve visited during that particular day.

Pros

The size! It is so compact, almost the size of your phone ( In some cases smaller too! I am talking to you, you giant phone screen users ;)) It fits anywhere. Takes very little space. Perfect for jotting things down on the go!

The Quality of the Planner is really good & the pages seem really smooth to write on.

I especially love the provision of the elastic band & the ribbon that holds the planner together. I just put the planner in my bag & the pages still remain secure in place.

Cons

The Price! It is slightly expensive like any other Moleskine product!

You need to be careful about the pen you use to write with. Sometimes, there can be a little feathering. (Note -There are a number of articles on which are the pens that go best with the Moleskine Notebooks & Planners. Make sure you go through them before you begin writing)

In the end it all comes down to whether the Planner caters to your needs & the kind of money you are willing to spend on a planner.

Personally, I will recommend it.

Rating – 4/5 .

Have you used a Moleskine before? Do you like them? What pens do you use when writing on them? I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Arry.

 

LifeLessons

Time to Disconnect!

We live in a world where technology has advanced to such an extent that you can get in touch with a person residing on the other side of the planet within a mater of seconds. You are constantly connected with people at any given time, you are constantly accessible .

startup-photos-large

I have been one of those people who would update their Facebook, use Watsapp & Bbm for personal & work related matters, answer my phone every single time it rang, & have gone to bed & woken up in the morning having my smart phone constantly on me.

I have Attended almost every single social function I was invited to. Ansered work calls & attended to my clients even when I was on a family holiday thereby missing on all the fun! I am sure I am not the only one out here who has done that!

bench-people-smartphone-sun-medium

However there came a time when that joy of connection turned into an obligation. I was almost like a burnout. And I started to think to myself, Do we really need to be constantly connected all the time?

The answer is was No, we didn’t. We just do it out of obligation. A kind of societal pressure we face, that’s causing us a lot of stress!

The truth is we do not have an obligation to make ourselves available all the time. I think it is extremely important especially in the age of such constant connections to periodically disconnect & to simply be.

Its important that we set boundaries for ourselves.

How do we do that?

Try & leave your cell phone at home next time you go out for a family dinner. Stare at the face of your family member or spouse instead of your smart phone screen. Give them your full attention without the distraction of your phone buzzing every now & then.

bench-couple-love-people-large

Have no phone zones in the house like the dining room & the bedroom! If not no phone zones you can have a time limit set beyond which you will not be available on your cell phone to people. You have special features these days on phones where they have the no disturb timings settings.

Delete Social Networking apps from your phone! The urge to constantly use your smart phone is primarily because of having these apps on your phone! If you have to use Social Networking, do that when you log in through your desktop!

I strongly suggest having a Gadget Free holiday! Be conscious not to use them as much as you can when you go traveling.  People did travel when there were no cell phones & did not get lost (if using Google maps is your excuse!) Enjoy the glory of mother nature & appreciate the beautiful things that you might otherwise miss!

person-woman-summer-girl-large

Spend time with yourself, Spend the time you would have spent on your cellphone on your own self! Do some old fashioned reading, or just be! When was the last time you did that?

People, Its okay not to answer every single phone call, its okay not to check your mails everyday, its okay to not post update of every activity you’ve done on Facebook & its okay to not attend every event you are invited to. Connections are Important, don’t get me wrong, But more so now, Its important to learn the joys of Disconnection.

DO IT FOR YOURSELF, you will be glad you did .